The dead are here for Halloween

Posted in Uncategorized on 10/31/2012 by vincentstark

Book one and two available now

 

Book three early 2013

 

 

Halloween – it’s a strange world

Posted in strange world on 10/31/2012 by vincentstark

In Zimbabwe two self confessed witches were ordered to undergo a psychiatric evaluation after they were arrested for indecent exposure – the women were found naked in a garden more than sixty miles from their homes. Both women claimed to have fallen from their flying basket.   police spokesperson Inspector Clemence Mabgweazara identified the suspects as Rosemary Kamanga (48) and Esnath Maodza (56), both of Shackleton compound about 20km from Chinhoyi. Police said the informant, Eneresi Mufunga (55), of Shackleton, was awakened around 4am by strange noises that resembled fighting dogs. When she went outside to investigate, she found two naked women.

 
A Muslim Facebook group has warned of the dangers of eating tomatoes after a woman in Palestine had a vision of the prophet Allah – apparently the prophet was crying and warned his nation against eating tomatoes. It was claimed that if you cut a tomato in half a cross was revealed in the fruit. Along with a photo of a tomato cut in half to reveal what could be viewed as a cross, the group originally posted on Facebook: “Eating tomatoes is forbidden because they are Christian. [The tomato] praises the cross instead of Allah and says that Allah is three (a reference to the Trinity).

 

 

William LaFever, a 28 year old man, who attempted to cross the Utah desert survived for three weeks by eating raw frogs before being rescued by a police helicopter.

 

 

New figures reveal that the fastest growing hobby in the UK is ghost hunting with there being an estimated1,500 paranormal investigation groups operating in the UK. There are also many independent ghost hunters who operate alone and estimates are that these people number in their thousands.
David Icke claims that the Olympic opening ceremony in London was actually a satanic ritual on a grand scale.On his website HERE the noted nutter explains that the flame had a sinister role to play in the ritual. The former Coventry City goalkeeper and snooker host shocked Britain in 1991 when he gave a press conference announcing he was the son of God and predicting that the world would end in 1997.Now he has resurfaced to insist that the Olympics  was a “mass satanic ritual disguised as a celebration of Britain and sport”.

 

Two young girls in China committed suicide in an attempt to travel back in time.The girls, Xiao Mei and Xiao Hua (pseudonyms), were fifth-grade classmates at a primary school in Zhangpu county, Zhangzhou. They each wrote suicide notes before their death, expressing their reasons for ending their lives, which included a wish to travel back in time. They believed that dying was the only way to achieve it.

 

Now feminists have attacked the bible, claiming that it is sexist and that Christianity demeans women and makes them into second class citizens.

 

Male fruit flies that have been rejected by females drink significantly more alcohol than those that have mated freely, scientists say.In  an article in Science, researchers suggest that alcohol stimulates the flies’ brains as a “reward” in a similar way to sexual conquest.

 

A periodic nighttime census for rats on Alcatraz Island took an unexpected twist in February when surveyors from the National Park Service and UC Davis discovered glowing millipedes on the island. A recent February search turned up no evidence of rats. Instead, surveyors were surprised to discover millipedes glowing intensely white. To ensure that the millipedes hadn’t munched on the fluorescent rat bait, a researcher at UC Davis cast a black light over a collection case at the university’s Bohart Museum of Entomology. Preserved millipedes from the same scientific family fluoresced in the case as well.

 

 

Frankenstein re-made

Posted in frakenstein, halloween, halloween countdown on 10/28/2012 by vincentstark

Following their atmospheric and totally shitty version of Dracula BBC Radio 4 have just broadcast part one of a two part version of that other gothic classic, Frankenstein – you can listen to part one HERE for the next seven days.

 

A lush and haunting dramatisation of the story-within-a-story-within-a-story that does Mary Shelley proud. This is, unquestionably, the finest drama in the current Gothic Imagination season and breathes new life into the ultimate story of pride and obsession gone monstrously wrong.

About this programme

The first of a two-part dramatisation of Mary Shelley’s gothic horror tale by Lucy Catherine about a monster created in a science experiment. Sailing through the Arctic wastes, Captain Walton picks up a man who is close to death and has a disturbing story to share. Starring Jamie Parker and Alun Raglan.

Cast and crew

Cast

Frankenstein
Jamie Parker
The Monster
Shaun Dooley
Elizabeth
Susie Riddell
Walton
Alun Raglan
Father
Robert Blythe
Clerval
Sam Alexander
Mother
Christine Absalom
Waldman
Patrick Brennan
Justine
Emma Hook
Sailor
Joe Sims
Lieutenant
Don Gilet

Crew

Director
Mark Beeby
Dramatised By
Lucy Catherine
Producer
Mark Beeby
Writer
Mary Shelley

Hammer’s blood drenched hound

Posted in Uncategorized on 10/28/2012 by vincentstark

Hammer’s Hound of the Baskervilles (1959)

So suitable for the British horror studio was Conan Doyle’s, The Hound of the Baskervilles that it could have been written with Hammer Films in mind. Indeed following their success with revamping the Dracula and Frankenstein franchises Hammer turned to the most famous fictional detective of them all, Sherlock Holmes for this movie which was intended to be the first in a new series with Peter Cushing in the title role. Alas the movie didn’t perform as well at the box office as expected and plans for the series were scrapped while Hammer concentrated on more gothic material. Pity really – I would have loved to have seen Hammer tackle The Giant Rat of Sumatra.

The film looks like a Hammer movie – the colour is excellent, garish in places with all that over saturated red and the gothic elements that the studio did so well, are brought out in Doyle’s story like never before. Of course they were always there, even in the original story but Hammer emphasise these parts of the storyline without really altering the original. There are some differences to the original story – Stapleton’s webbed hands for one thing, the tarantula attack for another but these work well within the story and indeed the  webbed hands carried by one line of the Baskerville clan is inspired and is a nice little macabre touch.

Peter Cushing here gives an excellent performance as Sherlock Holmes – the actor was a Sherlockian himself and he brings his knowledge of the character to the role. Andre Morell is a more than suitable Watson. It is also nice to see Christopher Lee playing a romantic lead role and one wonders what would have happened had he played more such roles. He is certainly convincing here. All in all this is a great Sherlock Holmes movie and under the direction of Terence Fisher the ponderous middle section so obvious in most productions of this story moves along at a great pace.

Why wasn’t it a big box office hit then? Well the blame for this lies with Hammer themselves. They promoted the movie as a big horror flick in the style of their successful Dracula and Frankenstein movies, with hardly any mention that this was in fact a Sherlock Holmes movie. The advertising posters suggested a kind of werewolf but when we see the hound on screen it is nothing more than an over sized Great Dane. Movie fans back in the day may have been disappointed – after all, they were going to see a film starring Hammer’s two biggest horror icons with a large slavering hound in the advertising posters and what they got  Sherlock Holmes adventure. A damn thrilling one nonetheless but word of mouth could have harmed the movie after its strong opening weekend.  SEE THE ORIGINAL CINEMA TRAILER EMBEDDED BELOW TO SEE HOW THE FILM WAS MARKETED.

Still the movie’s stood the test of time and this is a great version of the much filmed story – it’s also nice to see the current DVD version showing such an impressive looking cut of the movie. The colours are vibrant and the sound booming. It is only a pity that it is a full frame 4.3 version on the UK release when I believe the American market get a true widescreen version.

Peter Cushing would of course go onto play Holmes for the BBC, but his performance as the detective here is perhaps his definitive stab at the part. Christopher Lee also got a stab at playing both Watson and Holmes in future Holmes movies but the less said about them the better.

Halloween Countdown: The Spandex wearing Undead

Posted in halloween, halloween countdown, halloween movies, marvel zombies, the dead walked, the dead weekend, the undead, the walking dead, vincent stark, walkers walkers everywhere, WALKING DEAD, zombies on 10/27/2012 by vincentstark

Imagine a world where the iconic superheroes are all zombies – it’s made possible because of the Marvel Multiverse. You see there are many different worlds in the multiverse, each of them with a different versions of Marvel’s beloved characters. I’m only a occasional comic book reader so here’s an explanation of the multiverse courtesy of the WIKI –

“Within Marvel Comics, most tales take place within the fictional Marvel Universe, which in turn is part of a larger multiverse. Starting with issues of Captain Britain, the main continuity in which most Marvel storylines take place was designated Earth-616, and the multiverse was established as being protected by Merlyn. Each universe has a Captain Britain designated to protect its version of the British Isles. These protectors are collectively known as the Captain Britain Corps. This numerical notation was continued in the series Excalibur and other titles. Each universe of the Multiverse in Marvel also appears to be defended by a Sorcerer Supreme at nearly all times, appointed by the mystic trinity of Vishanti to defend the world against threats primarily magical in nature from within and beyond and bearing the Eye of Agamotto.”
Sounds complicated but you don’t really need to know any of that to enjoy this graphic novel which collects together the five issue mini series, Marvel Zombies. An introduction gives is some of this background and also explains how the Marvel Zombies mini-series came about. When Mark Miller wrote a Fantastic Four arc set on an alternative world where Marvel heroes and villains had been turned into flesh-eating zombies, Marvel where so taken with the concept that they decided to continue it in other titles. The Walking Dead writer, Robert Kirkman was brought in and the resulting mini-series, collected in this graphic novel, is a truly gruesome horror story with some sick and twisted black humor. It’s also unpredictable and many heroes and villians are killed off in the story. This is a crazy world where Spider-Man hates himself for eating both his wife and Aunt May and Bruce Banner finds that whatever he ate as zombie Hulk quite often bursts through his stomach when he transforms back into zombie Banner.


It’s a crazy concept that works wonderfully and Kirkman brings us much of the same gore filled storytelling that made his Walking Dead title such a success, only this time in vivid full colour art by Sean Phillips. Of course we’ve had many variations of zombies – from the shuffling undead of Romero to the speeded up versions in films such as 28 Days Later, but Marvel here provides us with a new and original take on the genre – zombies with super powers who can also talk and think. It sounds absurd and I guess it is but nevertheless it works perfectly and provides a read you’ll want to chomp down on.

Marvel Zombies is available now as part of the Ultimate Graphic Novel Collection

American Horror Story- Asylum

Posted in american horror story, american horror story asylum on 10/24/2012 by vincentstark

Um, er – confused is how I’d sum it all up – mind you I think that’s the feeling the makers were looking for with this opening episode of the second season. Of course they couldn’t use the same trick they used for the first season, since the suspense of the first season was created by the viewer never really knowing what was going on, and after watching the first episode of Asylum I guess they’ve achieved the same compelling puzzle for a second time. The story took place in two timelines – the modern day in which a young couple break into the closed down Asylum only to find something lurks in the darkness, and the early Sixties when the asylum is very much open and just about to take in two new patients. A young man accused of killing his wife and a lesbian journalist who has fallen foul of the formidable Jessica Lang.

 

The first series was basically about a young family living in an haunted house, and the series cleverly played with stereotypes and cliches and carries the viewer towards a satisfying conclusion that would put most horror movies to shame. The second series also seems to be playing with familiar horror tropes – madness, stern Catholic nuns, human experimentation and unseen beasties, though it is anything but predictable. It was also nice to see a nod to the Pinhead character from Todd Browning’s Freaks.
It’s far too early to give much of an opinion on the series as there’s no way of knowing which way it will go – it’s anything but predictable and it’s certainly very creepy. There’s a suggestion of extra terrestrial involvement in this storyline and although I’m as confused as a stoner with a Sudoko, I’m eager to see the next episode.

 

 

The Walking Dead: Season 3, episode 2

Posted in the dead walked, the walking dead, zombies on 10/24/2012 by vincentstark

Season three is certainly not suffering from the slow pacing that dragged the first half of the second season to a virtual standstill, and this second episode hit the ground running and didn’t stop until it had played out. Again the emphasis was on Rick and this week we saw him doing things that the Rick of the previous season would never have contemplated – killing Shane has certainly changed our man. In one scene he drives a machete through a prisoners head and in other locks another out in a courtyard to be eaten alive by zombies. Rick, it seems, is tired of the constant wandering and wants to build a safe base for the group of survivors he finds himself in charge with.

 

Of course we know the storyline is leading up to the appearance of the governor and an almighty battle for the prison, and buy am I looking forward to these episodes. The battle for the prison arc provided some of the greatest issues of the comic book and I guess we’re in for some good time.