Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Bride of Frankenstein Plaque

With how my Dracula plaque turned out, I decided to make one for The Monster and his Bride. I've actually got a lot of them planned, for all my favorite horror movies. I was a little ambitious with this one. I wanted to make it pretty and stripey, and I got seriously technical with it. I dragged out the measuring tape and painter's tape, and I tried to be precise. But I wanted it to be green on both ends, and that made things kind of hard. So the stripes aren't perfectly even, and the mod podge didn't dry quite as well as it should have. So, again, this one isn't perfect. But at a distance, it's really not all that noticeable. And I really like it! It looks really nice on my lime green wall.

I'm thinking I'll do a Nightmare on Elm Street one next. Although...I might wait until later so I don't have to deal with stripes again so soon. Because stripes for that one are absolutely necessary. 

Monday, May 13, 2013

Attempting to craft with Mod Podge

So, a while ago, I started trying to be crafty. I started getting little figurines and dolls from thrift stores and painting them up to be monsters, and I realized that I actually really enjoyed it. Some of them didn't work out as well as others, but it's still something that I like doing. I've been seeing mod podge craft tutorials everywhere, and I thought that it looked wonderful and it was something that I wanted to try. I have a big project in mind, but I don't want to try that one until I get the hang of this thing. The first one I tried was a photo transfer: you use the mod podge to transfer a photo onto a piece of wood. I chose a picture of my boyfriend and I, and I set to work. It transferred, but it didn't look good at all. Some parts of it peeled off, and the picture looked really faded. I painted the wood a bright green first, and I think that...maybe I shouldn't have done that. Maybe I should've sized the picture to fit the wood exactly. Maybe I'm using the wrong kind of mod podge (there's a photo transfer medium that I didn't know about until afterwards...) I'm not entirely sure what I did wrong, but I'm not giving up. I will get this right.

So, with that failed experiment staring me in the face, I had to figure out something to do with it. My first thought was to paint over it. So I started to paint it white. With the bright green, and the darker colors in the picture, though, it didn't cover it up very well. I could have let it dry and given it another coat, but I'm far too impatient for that. So, I started to paint some purple onto it. The purple that I have is very thin for some reason, and it doesn't stick to most things I paint. I'm not sure why I chose it here...But when it mixed with the white that was still wet, it actually thickened up and gave the wood a really neat look. I liked it. So I left it that way and started brainstorming on what else I could do. I decided to make a Dracula plaque. So I got a photo of Bela Lugosi, printed out some words, and mod podged 'em right on there (no transferring this time...) Putting Dracula on a purple board might seem weird, but to me, it looks like purple satin coffin lining. I actually really like how it turned out. It's not perfect, but for a beginner, I'd say it's not too bad.

My first failed mod podge experiment turned into something I'm actually quite proud of. It will be hanging on my wall once I get some hooks and things. And I'm already planning on doing one with Frankenstein's Monster and his Bride. Maybe I'll have a whole collection of them before too long.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Clive Barker's Fantastic Worlds

So, I thought I'd take a moment to talk about an author that I absolutely love. That, of course, is Clive Barker. I'm kind of new to his work, but he is steadily becoming one of my favorites. He has the amazing ability to create far-out worlds that no other man could ever dream of. I've only read a couple things by him: The Thief of Always, The Hellbound Heart, and Mister B. Gone, all of which I thoroughly enjoyed (Especially The Thief of Always, which is absolutely fantastic). I know it's a short list, but with those few items I've realized that Barker is a genius. I've recently started reading Imajica, which is another example of Barker's ability to create fantastical and amazing worlds beyond our own.

I've only read seventy or so pages, and with somewhere around 800 still to go, I'm barely even into the story yet. At this point, I'm still in the dark. I'm not entirely sure what's going on yet. I know there are other dimensions (or dominions, as they call them) that are separated from Earth (which is the fifth), and that there are magical creatures intent on reconciling the fifth dominion with the other four. The main character, Charles Estabrook, has something to do with this, but I'm not sure what exactly. He's already getting himself involved with murderous creatures and assassins, and it looks like he's about to be in a world of trouble. Even though I'm kind of confused at the moment, I'm not worried. I've still got a long way to go, and 800 pages is more than enough for everything to be explained. So far, though, the seventy or so pages I've read are wonderful. He's drawn me in, made me curious about these other worlds and creatures, and made me feel for the few human characters present. I'm excited to discover just what the Imajica really is.

Another of Barker's books that I'm really looking forward to reading is The Books of Blood, which is a vast collection of short stories. One of those is The Forbidden, which is the story that Candyman was based on. It all seems extremely interesting, and I know it will be beautiful once I finally get my hands on it. 

So, if you've yet to delve into the fantastic worlds of Clive Barker, you should definitely give it a go. He's an amazingly talented writer with the gift of extreme creativity. 

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Vincent Price Explains Why We Love Horror

I just got finished watching Madhouse, a slasher movie from the '70s starring Vincent Price. Price plays an old horror actor who becomes surrounded by murders he's not sure if he's committing. I've already reviewed it on my other blog, so I'll stop there so I don't end up reviewing it again. Anyways, there's a part in the movie toward the end, when Price's character gives an interview on a television talk show. The interviewer asked him why people enjoyed his movies so much, and his answer was absolutely incredible. I know I've always said that I don't care what makes me love horror, but I can't deny that I've at least been a little curious. I just didn't care enough to really do any research to find out. But now I know. Mr. Price has made everything crystal clear to me, so that now, when people ask me why I love horror movies, I can give them a real answer other than "because they're fucking awesome, that's why!"

I'm going to paraphrase here, because there's no way I can remember that entire speech. But it was something along the lines of this. Everyone has hidden desires and impulses, some quite terrible -- murder, violence, bloodlust, and other things. They're there, in the backs of our minds, but we don't let them out. We keep them caged inside. But sometimes they whisper to us, they beg to be let out of their cages, and we still don't let them out. The reason that we love horror movies is because they do let them out.

So, there you have it. It's the simplest answer I've ever heard, but it's the one that makes the most sense to me. Horror is how we see our darkest desires come to life, and let's face it, we all have them. We all have those moments at a restaurant, store, or at work where someone pisses us off and we feel like strangling them or stabbing them with a fork. Instead of doing that, though, we come home and watch horror movies. At least, that's what I do. So people may think we're weird because of our passion for blood and guts, but they should really be thankful. This is the way we get our jollies; this is the way we let off steam. Some radical thinkers believe that horror movies make people crazy; that if you watch too many, you'll go out and shoot a bunch of people or go on a killing spree. But in reality, horror movies keep us from poking a fork into the eyes of those idiots at work, or those people in Wal-Mart who like to stand in the middle of the fucking aisle and never move. So for all those naysayers out there, and those believers in horror creating monsters...You should be thanking Vincent, Boris, Bela and the like. Horror movies keep us sane.

Friday, February 8, 2013

The King and I Believe in Monsters

Recently, I started reading “Nightmares and Dreamscapes” by Stephen King. I watched Quicksilver Highway without knowing that one of the stories was based on one featured in the book. I didn't like the movie all that much, so I figured that I should read the book to see how the story was meant to be told. I haven't even gotten halfway through it, and I haven't yet reached the story that was told in the movie, but I already love it. Stephen King has a way with words that can make absolutely anything interesting, and that's why he's the only author whose introductions I actually read. Even though he's only talking about his life and things that drove him to write the stories in the book, it still feels like a story in itself. Mainly what he talks about in this particular introduction is imagination, and the things that he believed in when he was a child. He says that believing leads to imagination, and that imagination is an absolute necessity in life. It is also what lets him create the most amazing stories ever told. As an aspiring writer myself, the things he wrote about were inspiring to me. It made me realize that you can't tell a story without believing. You have to believe in the story you're telling if you want your readers to believe it as well. So I'm here to tell you that I believe in monsters.

Things do go bump in the night; there are things that we cannot see that lurk in the shadows, waiting to pounce when we're at our most vulnerable. Vampires lure us in and then drain our lives, our souls. Werewolves are those who hide behind a false skin; during the day, when they know we're watching, they appear to be normal. But at night, when there's no one around to hear you scream, they turn into animals. Ghosts are those left behind by some unfinished business. They're the ones we're not even aware of until it's too late. Zombies are mindless creatures. They hide behind nothing; they play no games. They're out to get us, and they don't care if we know it. 

You see, monsters are all around us. Whether they're undead creatures brought forth by nature, or an evil curse; whether they're the people in our lives that we allow to control, manipulate, and drain us of everything we have. It doesn't matter how you look at it, monsters are real. They're everywhere, and they're waiting. 

The King and I believe in monsters. Do you?

Monday, January 28, 2013

Weird Dreams #2, Jason edition

My whole life, I've been a humongous Friday the 13th fan. And I mean absolutely ginormous. So it's only natural when you love something so much that it'll be on your mind even while you sleep. Many of my dreams have centered around Jason Voorhees, so I figured I'd compile them all into one handy little place.


Number 1 - When I was a kid, I was also a fan of The Labyrinth, and I once had a dream that combined both that, and F13. It was a very long time ago, so I don't remember every little detail, but I do remember that it was strange. I was at a party of some sort, in one of those nice houses you see in subdivisions. My oldest friend was there with me, and we were having a great time, until Jason showed up. It jumped around a lot, I think, but I assume that Jason had already killed everyone else at the party, leaving my friend and I the only remaining survivors. He chased us out into the garage, and I swear Jason got into a car and ran my friend over. I didn't even know he could drive. Then, to get away, I started running. On the ceiling. Apparently the garage was underground or something, as there was a very large staircase that would lead back into the house. But it flipped, made me walk on the ceiling, and then eventually did take me back inside, where I continued to run across ceiling-based staircases and things. I don't remember if I ever got away from him, killed him, or what. But Jason created a labyrinth in that house that the Goblin king would have been proud of.

Number 2 - This one also combined two of my favorite movies: F13 and NOES. It was a short, but still very strange, dream. I was with a group of my friends spending some time outdoors. I don't remember seeing it, but I think we were camping - naturally. So Jason showed up and started trying to kill us all. Oh, and Freddy was there too. Keep in mind that I had this dream well before FvJ happened, so that wasn't the cause of it. Anyways, they chased us all out into a giant open field. A good ways away, in the middle of the field, was a big farm house. We ran to that farmhouse as fast as we could, hoping that someone was inside that could help us. In the house was a family of Amish people. They taught us some Amish voodoo or black magic or something (complete with powerful streaks of light that could be shot at our enemies), we went underground for a while, and we were eventually able to kill the two nightmares with said voodoo.

Number 3 - I don't consider any of my Jason-related dreams to be nightmares. In fact, I don't consider any of my dreams to be nightmares. Even if they're scary, I consider them inspiration. Nothing else. But there's no way that this next dream could be considered a nightmare at all. What this is, is a love story. Yes, I love Jason, and I do have sweet, poetic dreams about him sometimes too. Okay, maybe not poetic...But anyways. In this one, I went to Crystal Lake with some family and friends to have a birthday party. For me, of course. We're partying it up, and then Jason shows up and starts swinging his machete around. I yell at him, shake my head, and say, "Jason! No!" He looks at me, lowers his head as if he's awaiting punishment, and then he drops his machete. He walks over to me and mumbles almost incoherently, "I'm sorry." I hug him, and he joins the party. That was it. Yes, that's right people; I have tamed the beast. You're welcome.

Number 4 - This one could possibly be considered a nightmare, only because I cannot believe I actually imagined myself doing these things. In this one, I was helping Jason with his killing sprees. I think I was just luring people into his lair so that he could kill them, and I wasn't actually doing any killing myself. But during one particular one, a young girl, Jason passes the torch, so to speak. He tells me, in his own way, that I can have this one. We've got the girl in Jason's house, tied to a bed. I straddle her and start doing unspeakable things, all while Jason is watching with approval. This one's kind of hard to tell, because I know how it makes me look. But again, these dreams are inspiration, because I'm a writer. That is the only place I do any killing, trust me guys. I'm not crazy, I promise. I've just got weird taste, I guess.

Number 5 - Sometimes, I will admit, I combine horror with sex. My biggest fantasy involves that big guy in the hockey mask, and yes, I've had several dreams like that. They're usually short and uninteresting, but there was one that I remember very well--because it wasn't just Jason. There were a couple of my favorite characters thrown in there. I was apparently having an orgy in Hell, which is cool I guess. There was Jason, Scorpion and Motaro from Mortal Kombat (yes, I realize Motaro is half horse...), and some generic demons. Yeah, I'm Hell's biggest whore..What of it? I've had plenty of other horror/sex dreams, but this is the only memorable one that featured Jason.

So, those are the Jason related dreams that I've had throughout my life. I'm more than certain that there have been others, but those were all lost as I woke up. So, what do you think? Should I be committed or what?

Monday, December 17, 2012

Confessions of a Horror Fan

There are a lot of horror fans in the world, and all of us have our own ideas o f what the greatest horror movies are. I'm a bad, bad, horror fan, though, because there are quite a few movies on those lists that I've never even seen. I'm a little ashamed of myself, but this is my confession. These are the famous horror movies that I haven't seen.

1) Original Texas Chainsaw Massacre

This is the one I'm actually most ashamed of. I'm a huge fan of slasher movies--I mean huge. I love Friday the 13th, I've seen all the Nightmare on Elm Street, and Halloween movies; not to mention all the smaller or lesser known slasher movies. This is one of the biggest horror movies there is, and Leatherface is one of the huge horror icons. I watched the remake when it first came out, and I thought it was just okay. I've seen bits and pieces of the originals, and I can honestly tell that I'd love them.

Why I haven't seen it: It just didn't happen. It's not because I never wanted to--trust me. But it will change, I guarantee it.

2) The Shining

Don't be mistaken, I know all about the movie. I know the Overlook Hotel, I know Jack, Wendy and Danny Torrence, and I know all about Tony the talking Finger. I even know about the man who explained exactly what "the shining" was. I've seen half of the movie, but I could never make it all the way to the end. I simply don't like it.

Why I haven't seen it: The Shining is one of my all-time favorite books, and the movie doesn't do it justice at all. The book was truly frightening, but the movie only bored me to sleep (literally) so that I could never finish it. Maybe one day I'll see the rest of it and change my opinion. But I doubt it. There's only one man who can tell this story well, and that man is Stephen King.

3) Silence of the Lambs

I'm not really sure about this one, either. I know about Hannibal Lector, I've seen the mask everywhere, and I know all about Ed Gein, the man on which he was based. I've been told by several people that I absolutely have to see this movie, and I agree. It just never happened. 

Why I haven't seen it: Beats me. I know Anthony Hopkins was creepy as hell, though, so I need to jump on the bandwagon pronto.

4) The Exorcist

This is another instance of seeing bits and pieces of a movie, but never finishing it. Many people consider this the scariest movie ever made, but I do not agree. Maybe if I had watched it (or tried to) when I was a kid? I also read the book the movie was based on, and I didn't care much for it. 

Why I haven't seen it: I'm not a fan (usually) of demonic possession movies. I'm not a religious person, so that kind of thing just doesn't phase (or entertain, or scare) me. I do know that Linda Blair was one creepy little girl, so maybe this is one of those times where the movie is actually better than the book. I don't know, but I definitely need to see this one.

5) The Wolfman

I am talking, of course, of the 1941 movie starring Lon Chaney, Jr. See, I'm not completely oblivious. I know of it, and I do consider The Wolf Man one of the "big three" of classic horror--even though I've never seen it. 

Why I haven't seen it: I didn't get into those old movies until I was about fifteen. Up until then, it was all about Jason and the like. I didn't think I'd like all that old stuff. I was wrong, of course. But there are still a lot of those old movies that I've yet to see, and The Wolfman is sadly one of them.

6) Dawn of the Dead

I know, I know! I call myself a zombie fan, right? Well, I do love zombies, and this is one of the grandaddies of zombie movies (the other being Night of the Living Dead, which I HAVE seen, thank you). There's really no excuse for me not seeing this movie, especially as a zombie lover. To be fair, I haven't seen any of the other sequels/remakes, so it's not all that bad. Right? Right?

Why I haven't seen it: I have no clue. Must see it pronto! 

So those are the big horror movies that I haven't seen. Now not only do outsiders think I'm weird, but those in the horror community probably do as well. There are plenty of others that I haven't seen, but these are the biggest and most shameful. I'll see them all eventually, so don't worry fellow horror fans. I won't be in the dark forever.