Everyday in the news, whether it be the paper, t.v., or internet, we hear of awful tragedies around the globe or in our own backyard. Awful people hurting or taking advantage of others through criminal behavior or just plain ignorance. Angela Simpson however, resident of Phoenix, Arizona, is of an entirely different breed of criminal. The atrocity she committed is something I have only seen in the most vile Italian horror fare.
Simpson plead guilty on March 22, for the August 2009 murder of disabled man Terry Neely, 46.
She lured him to an abandoned apartment with the promise of drugs, but instead of fulfilling this promise she started beating him with a tire iron. She then stabbed him 50 times with different knives, strangled him, and drove a nail into his forehead, all while making him watch his own torture first … Read More »
“This dread was not exactly a dread of physical evil-and yet I should be at a loss how otherwise to define it. I am almost ashamed to own–yes, even in this felon’s cell, I am almost ashamed to own–that the terror and horror with which the animal inspired me, had been heightened by one of the merest chimeras it would be possible to conceive.”
Edgar Allan Poe, “The Black Cat”
The fear of black cats dates back many centuries. During the Middle Ages the superstition of black cats was so rampant that many people engaged in the killing of black cats. This in turn led to an increased rat population which aided in the Bubonic Plague, a.k.a the Black Death. But why? Felines had lived beside humans, and in some countries even held in higher regards, for … Read More »
Directed by Guillermo del Toro
Foreign films have an odd way of feeling so real that it’s scary. I’m not sure if it’s the shooting style, the fact that the actors are mostly unknown to me, or that I have to read so I can’t find all of the blemishes that would typically stand out in your American horror film. While subtitles deter some, I welcome the test of my reading comprehension.
The story of “The Devils Backbone” has striking similarities to “Pan’s Labyrinth”, another film Toro directed and wrote 5 years later. In “The Devil’s Backbone” we follow the story of a young son of a soldier killed in war. The son, Carlos, is left at an orphanage and has to fend for himself against bullies, a grounds keeper with a mean streak, and the ghost of a boy who … Read More »
If you’ve ever watched a horror or adventure movie set in the South American Amazon, it’s likely you’ve seen a moment in the film where the unsuspecting adventurer comes upon an ancient burial site or an abandoned city decorated with shrunken human heads to scare off any who would dare encroach upon the sacred or forbidden areas. It’s become a cinematic cliché representing impending danger from uncivilized, native, Amazon people.
But is there a real-life basis for the cliché? Is it actually possible to shrink a human head, and was the Amazon region populated with cultures that did so on a regular basis?
There was actually only one culture in human history that engaged in the practice of shrinking heads. They were called the Jivaro Indians and they lived in the Ecuadorian and Peruvian regions of the Amazon. The Jivaro Indians were … Read More »
Director: William Friedkin
Date: December, 1973
Somewhere between science and superstition, there is another world, a world of darkness. Things beyond rationality and reason have a tendency of making us search for the answers to the questions we cannot fully comprehend. We simply cannot accept the fact that sometimes there exist situations that are beyond our control, that shake us to the very core of our humanity, that everything, including our faith, becomes tested.
I never had the luxury of seeing “The Exorcist” when it hit theaters. Reports from 1973 speak of viewers fleeing from the movie in shock and of stunned silence reigning throughout packed movie houses. Although audiences have become more desensitized to the images conveyed in the film, “The Exorcist” has withstood the test of time and remains one of cinema’s greatest horror movies ever.
The story is based on a … Read More »
In 1848, 2 young sisters were believed to have contacted the spirit of a peddler with whom they communicated through rapping. Basically, they would ask a question the spirit would answer by knocking on the floor, the wall, wherever. 1 knock for “yes,” 2 knocks for “no.” With this belief they not only started the religious movement of Spiritualism, but initiated the phenomena of what we now call the Ouija Board. The Fox sisters, Kate 12 and Maggie 15, were already living in a supposed haunted house in Hydesville, New York (now Arcadia, NY), when on March 31st the youngest challenged the spirit to imitate the sounds of her snapping fingers. It did. The spirit was then asked to rap out the girls ages. It did again. From there, a rapping code … Read More »
There’s a new novel released in June from Deno Sandz dealing with the horrors of slavery and with how some horrors will come back to haunt you. Here’s the press release on the upcoming novel:
“Blood Plantation” is a historical fiction set at a Bed and Breakfast owned by the great, great, great, granddaughter of Captain Rollins the 3rd, once known as the big house on a plantation in Virginian. The antagonist, the SOTO (The Soul of the Ocean) is a captured slave from the southern tip of Africa, thrown overboard near the shores of Shonwaay, Virginian where the Shonwaayians now call, “The Shores of the Evil Soul” in 1810 after a mutiny he spearheaded leading to the murder of crew members, slaves, and his wife by the evil hands of Captain Rollins the 3rd who owned the plantation. It’s now … Read More »
Director: Steve Miner
Date: July, 1998
In 1998, John Carpenter’s Halloween, a film that had inspired a decade’s worth of bloody slasher movies, was turning twenty years old. To date, the original Halloween has been one of the few entries into its gory genre to inspire praise from critics, rather than the scorn reserved for most of the so-called “splatter films.” There’s good reason for that: Halloween is a well-crafted excursion into terror, where the focus is on shivers, not fake blood and gross-out wounds.
The travesty is that the sequels that followed the predecessor never matched the effectiveness. Sure, Halloween 2 could have been considered campy fun, but once we arrived to the final indignity of Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers, the thrill was dead and buried. So when Dimension studios opted to commemorate the anniversary of the original by releasing … Read More »
First direct sunlight in 20 million years
When you look around the small world we live in, it’s crazy that there is anything that we haven’t seen or places we haven’t been to. Science makes the planet seem smaller every time we dive deeper or dig further. Yet, every week there seems to be a deep forest with species that have yet to have named, and ocean area too hot to explore, or even a lake buried in over 2 miles of ice and snow. Lake Vostok in Antarctica is such a lake.
Lake Vostok is the third largest lake by volume in the world. Russian scientists have spent the past 20 years boring through just over 2 miles of snow and ice to reach the lakes surface. This is the first time in an estimated 20 … Read More »
I was stalking through…I mean, scanning through Facebook as I often do, when I came across a photo of what appeared to be a hand-carved wooden doll bearing a striking resemblance to an infant Captain Spaulding. “Decadence Dolls” was the profile page heading and the photograph indeed carried the title “Captain Spaulding.” After a “like” to the page and a “click” to the photo I had enlarged the pic and was blown away by the detail. Not only did this doll look life-like, but it looked creepy as hell. It was dirty, it was menacing, and it was covered in blood. Not your typical doll, to say the least.
I browsed the page and was greeted with several more photos, each one just as intriguing as the last. Infant monsters and murderers such as “The Bride of Frankenstein” and “The Wolfman,” … Read More »
The horror movie genre has always been a favorite of mine. Starting at the ripe old age of five, I was exposed to a world of darkness, scary ghosts, and killer dolls. Magic, starring Anthony Hopkins, was my first viewing of a whole new world, one that my parents tried to shield me from. But thanks to my persistence, and my dad’s interest in sci-fi/horror films, I was bonded for life with the excitement and the gore.
Growing up in the 80’s and early 90’s, I fell in love with the campy scenarios and the putrid gore of amazing makeup FX artists such as Tom Savini, Stan Winston, Dick Smith, Kevin Yeager, and Screamin Mad George. Like these dedicated artists that helped the movies come to life with their creations, the many actors and actresses who made a career in … Read More »
“Community Service” is a horror/comedy film which first takes place in the late 1980′s at a school ground. Billy Fouls is just a school kid at the time, but one that always gets picked on. One day Billy gets tired of the school bullies and ends up killing one with a rock and making another one suffer. He is then taken away to a Psychiatric Center were he waits to get his revenge on one of the school bullies, Bob Butterfield, who is now a cop in charge of Community Service.
When Billy Fouls finds out about were Bob will be doing Community Service, he finds a way to escape and the Community Service Workers and Officer Bob Butterfield, along with Officer Jim Springfield, are in for more then a weekend of work.
“Community Service” The Movie began production in August of … Read More »
Director: Samuel Bayer
Date: April 2010
Hollywood should really be ashamed of itself. There are so many untold and underutilized stories, yet production companies keep falling back to remaking classics they shouldn’t really touch. Have you seen the retelling of A Streetcar Named Desire or Citizen Kane? No? That’s because they’d never touch them. Why? Because they’ve been labeled classics and people are afraid to go hardcore against the grain. Yet we are seeing all too often a remake of a horror movie that would have been better off left alone.
I’m talking the “I Spit on Your Grave”, “Last House on the Left”, and “Prom Night” type remakes. The ones that punch you in the gut because the original was so good, and then someone comes along with a few extra bucks and hopes to do something better. I am not talking … Read More »
Whether you are an experienced murderer or not, some things are common knowledge.
First, hide the body.
36 year-old Xiu Jin Teng lived in Toronto with her husband, Dong Huang, 40. One night, the landlord of their apartment heard Huang screaming. When, in days following, he did not see his tenant, he asked Teng of the man’s whereabouts. She claimed he had gone to Hong Kong.
Yet on Wednesday, February 29, the landlord caught Teng moving items out of the apartment. Suspicious, neighbor William Zhang and his wife checked out the apartment.
Teng was out, but the couple was greeted by a pair of feet.
There was Huang, dead and wrapped in a blanket.
Second, have a good story.
Teng allegedly returned to the apartment soon after the grisly discovery was made and claimed Huang had suffered a heart attack.
Considering the situation, this seemed unlikely, and Teng … Read More »
The one commonality among most serial killers is that they suffer from mental illness. The term “mental illness” covers a broad spectrum of maladies. With that said, let’s take a look and see which mental illness makes for the best horror movie.
There is a stigma that serial killers have multiple personalities, clinically known as Dissociative Identity Disorder. The most famous case of this disorder is demonstrated in 1976’s “Sybil”. Sally Field (“you like me, you really like me”) portrays Sybil a mild mannered, quiet woman whose horrific abuse suffered during childhood lead her to house 13 different distinct personalities (11 female, 2 male). Most of whom were not aware of each other. The film is based on a true story, although there are many critics who refute the validity. In any case you would think with 13 different “people” living … Read More »
Director: Scott Reynolds
Date : August 1997
It’s creepy! It’s quirky! You guessed right, it’s from New Zealand! This cult thriller about therapist Dr. Karen Schumaker (Rebecca Hobbs) attempting her new controversial method on seriously disturbed serial killer Simon Cartwright (Paolo Rotondo) is reminiscent of another kiwi classic, Peter Jackson’s “DeadAlive.” That’s because many of the “Lord of the Rings” crew worked on “The Ugly.” Simon Raby’s style is hard to miss whether he is the director of photography or cinematographer. Along with Gary Mackay’s art design and production designer Grant Major there is no question that these talented fellows also worked on the LotR trilogy.
In retrospect, the only real relation between “The Ugly” and “DeadAlive” is the complex, brutally honest characters. And by “honest”, I mean bizarre and by “characters”, I literally mean characters. Between the dreadlocked-shirtless-tattooed-sadist attendant and the roaming … Read More »
“Deer Crossing” is the latest work from Potent Media, and this one looks like a winner.
Maggy Chancelor (Laura Lynn Cottrel) sets out on a road trip with her six-year-old son Cole to visit family in the Pocono Mountains. After an unexpected road detour, Maggy is forced on an unfamiliar route. Narrowly avoiding a deer on the road, Maggy and her son crash into the woods, out of the view of traffic from the road. Later that night, Maggy and her son are rescued by a man with less than admirable intentions. They are not seen for eight years.
Cole, now fourteen and the sole survivor, is brought home by retired detective Derrick Stanswood. (Christopher Mann). It is now up to Cole to tell the gruesome story of what has happened during the last eight years.
The film stars Christopher Mann as Derrick Stanswood … Read More »
Isakin Jonsson, known in Sweden and around the world as “the Skara Cannibal”, is in love.
His last relationship didn’t end very well. The 32 year-old murdered his then-girlfriend, 40-year-old mother of five Helle Christensen in early 2011. He removed parts of her body, seasoned, fried, and ate them.
23 year-old Michelle Gustafsson has a bad track record with the opposite sex as well. The “Vampire Woman” killed a father of four and drank his blood, then posted photos of herself with her meal on her face on her personal blog.
It was fate, then, that the two would meet in the Karsuddens psychiatric facility in eastern Sweden. The inmates cultivated their relationship by chatting on the web, and, “We got together on November 13th (2011),” said Gustafsson. “‘Do you want to be my girlfriend?’ he asked on MSN. Then we decided to get engaged, which we … Read More »
Director: Philip Gelatt
Date: April 2011
Poor Gloria (Alexandra Chando), nobody seems to understand her. Even her mother (Betsy Aidem) locks her door from the outside and will not allow her to leave the house. Is this due to the dozens of insects skewered and pinned to her bedroom walls, or because her mom is a total control freak?
Soon the family’s sorted history is illuminated, but only droplets at a time. In the beginning all we know is that this family has been exiled by the rest of the residents of their small farming community and the Bell family is somehow involved. Gloria, her brother, and her parents are just starting to lose their wits to isolation when a stranger in white knocks at their door in need of a place to stay. Taken aback by … Read More »
While there are many films based on true stories about psycho killers going on a rampage and murdering the innocent, sometimes news headlines show just how truly horrible people can be without the fiction added. Such was the case with a Northern California man named Thomas McDonald, 35. Apparently McDonald went into a mad rage after he couldn’t locate his medication and put the blame on his friends and roommates Captain Cappy Ricks, 35, and Gary St. Pierre, 53. He then preceded to attack his buddies after a failed attempt to calm him down, stabbing them in the face with a fork. Thomas ran from the house and that’s when things became really gruesome.
He went after two random men with a splitting maul, a long axe used to split logs, and began his killing rampage. He approached a neighbor, Ralph … Read More »
Directed By: Chris Nohan
Date: April 2009
There are very few original stories hitting the horror scene today. Many are a retelling of either something much older or simply putting a relative or new age twist on an already solid story. Blood is no different. It is a regurgitation of the created hunting the creator. Like Blade, Saya is a half-breed hunting the full bloods.
The gist of the story line is that a government secret agent half-breed demon (vampire) enlisted to hunt demons is sent to a Navy base school to lure in and kill the head demon. The head demon Onigen is the oldest and vilest of all the demons, and it is her destiny to kill it. It is explained that the demons were sent to test our virtues but she is there to push back. So we see Saya … Read More »
38 year-old Brian Schmidt was having a bad night, but his ex-girlfriend – and her pet snake – were about to have it much worse.
A drunken Schmidt visited his ex’s home on the night of Saturday, February 11. She was not home, but her babysitter instructed the belligerent guest to leave. He refused, and allegedly blamed the sitter for the crumbling of his relationship. (Yeah, we’re sure she’s the reason…)
When his ex returned, he was asleep in her bed. She woke him and he forced her to drive him to his car, which was parked at a local Woodbury, Minnesota bar. No surprise there.
Throughout the drive he made threats on the woman’s life and told her to expect a “nice surprise” when she returned home.
Surprise it was. Nice it was not.
Bottles of lotion had been emptied all over the woman’s belonging, … Read More »
Directed by: Justin Powers
Date: February 2006
Troma is one of those movie distributors that you pretty much know what you are going to get: Low budget entertainment that is made for the love of making a movie. They are typically films that folks with little to no cash have to make and create a fun exciting piece. Now, you know there will most likely be blood, guts, and some T&A, but isn’t that the point of some horror films? Sometimes it’s better to not throw a ton of cash at something when less then 10K and some innovation will suffice.
Now imagine if some radioactive weed hit the streets and everyone heard it blows your mind, except that when you smoke it your skin turns green, your eyes light up, and you get the munchies for human flesh. That is the basic … Read More »