Archive for the ‘I LOVE LISTS’ Category

Hand-held Horror: Beyond the Blair Witch

August 16, 2011

Fancy yourself as the next big horror movie director? Of course you do. Well, you’re in luck! Forget forking out for a fancy camera and a couple of years at filmmaking school. Hell, don’t even bother hiring any actors, ‘cause all you need to scare kids these days is a hand-held camera and a few willing participants to run around a dark forest/college campus/backyard squealing. Add a couple close-ups of scary looking shadows and the tagline ‘…and five years later, the footage was found…’ and BAM you’ve got yourself a horror movie.

Remember this?

It’s been nearly 13 years since The Blair Witch Project shook up the horror movie circuit by adding a new level of realism using low quality cameras. We’ve all seen it, and although you probably remember crapping your pants, you might not remember that we never actually SEE anything truly terrifying: the image of the Blair Witch remains a mystery and the terror is created wholly through suspense. Poor Blair Witch never got her 15 minutes of fame, but The Blair Witch Project itself got a whole lot more than that, paving the way for hand-held horror. Awesome Art takes a look at some of these ‘found footage’ films.

Evil Things (DVD release in 2011)

The latest installment to the club, Evil Things, is an independent horror movie about a bunch of college students who go away to some desolate snowy location for a 21st birthday party, and as you know a gang of college buddies isn’t a gang of college buddies without an aspiring filmmaker, so they bring along a video camera to document the super fun times. WHEN WILL KIDS LEARN THAT THIS WILL NOT END WELL!? Or should I say, when will writers start racking their brains a little more for new ideas, hmmmm?

Cameras are everywhere, ya know!

Predictable set up aside, it is described as a ‘nightmarish descent into psychological terror’ with a ‘bone-chilling’ conclusion. Those dopey kids certainly spend a lot of time running away from something… but just what the hell are they running from!?

HERRO!? GHOSTIES??

Is it ghosties? Mutated woodland creatures? Axe-wielding psychopathic ex-lovers? You’ll just have to watch and find out for yourself. Relatively positive reviews have upped the film’s credentials while its website is also pretty good at keeping in character, and you can watch video testimonials from ‘friends’ and ‘families’ of the missing kids. But can it rival the Blair Witch? Check it out for yourselves.

Cloverfield (2008)

Cloverfield is hand-held horror with a difference. First of all, there are no screaming college students (well, maybe there’s a few in there somewhere), no woods and certainly no ghosties. Second of all, Cloverfield takes matters out of the usual horror setting of ‘nameless hick-town’ and into the big bad city.

Essentially, Cloverfield is a cinematic apocalyptic vision, added to a long list that includes The Road and 28 Days Later, only with a giant monster instead of an unidentified virus and a hand-held camera that is needed in order to make any aspect of this over-the-top movie seem ‘real’. Without the clever camerawork Cloverfield would have been a monster flop FO’ SHO.

Bright lights, big... creature?

Paranormal Activity (2007)

Otherwise known as The Exorcist for the digital generation. The reason Paranormal Activity generated so much hype is simply because it taps into a fear that everyone has: what happens when you sleep? Paranormal Activity knows. But do you? It’s quiz time, kids!

So, just what DOES happen when you snooze?

a) Do helpful little elves burrow into your bedroom and mend the holes in your work boots?

b) Do your toys come to life and have a rockin’ luau at Barbie and Ken’s new pad?

c) DO YOU GET POSSESSED BY A HIDEOUS DEMON AND DO SHIT YOU DON’T REMEMBER!?

Answers on a postcard, please.

Please tell me that's just an elf...

Paranormal Activity intensifies this fear that we all possess by tricking viewers into thinking that they’re watching a true story, and then takes the next step in spooking by making us jump. A lot. There are long, drawn out moments where nothing happens… nothing happens… you start to get bored… and then BAM SOMETHING MOVES! And that’s it. For now. It continues to build until the final scene, which will make you shit yourself, no matter which alternative ending you choose to subject yourself to. And that’s essentially what you want from a good horror film, innit!?

Oh yeah, and then there’s this.

I watched this once. All the way through. I think I might have kind of liked it. Yeesh.

What are  your favourite ‘found-footage’ films?

Search Engine LOLZ Part 1

August 11, 2011

Scaring yourself silly is certainly a fun way to pass the time, but while locking yourself in a darkened room with hordes of horror movies and googling scary faces just before bed is all well and good, sometimes what you really need is a good ol’ fashioned LARF-FEST.

I JUST LOVE A GOOD CHUCKLE!

Luckily for me, larfs aplenty can be found with one simple click of a button: checking the search engine terms that have led people to my blog.

Over the course of Awesome Art’s short life (1 year old in October – send cake plz), search engine terms have played a huge role in bringing visitors to my lovely little blog, for which I am eternally grateful.

Of course, many of these people must have been pretty disappointed by what they found. I’ll tell ya, I live to regret the day that I absent-mindedly shoved the word ‘porn’ into a post. I don’t think I need to elaborate on that one.

Even aside from the plentiful amount of porn-searchers, people are looking for some pretty strange stuff on the Interweb. Usually disgusting, often bemusing and always hilarious, here are some of my faves that hopefully will make you larf just as much as I did.

(And just in case you’re interested, the top search engine term at the moment is ‘Village of the damned’, followed by ‘female horror characters’. Definitely not as amusing as the ones which shall follow. Spelling and grammar have not been changed.)

Sheri Moon ass
STANDARD.

Fairuza Balk tits
LESS STANDARD.

crazy horse cabaret
I like the sound of this.

Rob Zombie’s halloween tits
I wasn’t aware that Mr Zombie had breasts. Although if he did, they would probably be Halloween-themed.

The dark side of winnie the pooh
Pretentious English Lit/Film student seeking material for their essay about the dodgy deeper meanings behind our favourite childhood bear? Or just some stoned guy who was craving more Heffalumps and Woozles?

Virgin mary horror porn
Initially this perplexed me no end. However it turns out that it must be some kind of new fad that I was unaware of. See below.

The virgin mary+naked+porn+horny+weird+
+ what? + WHAT!??????

porno blasphemy virgin mary 
OK, seriously, who is this guy!? Whoever they (he, she, it, who knows) may be, they must be pretty sick of looking at my blog by now. And pretty sick in general. THERE’S NO VIRGIN MARY PORN HERE! BE GONE! THE POWER OF CHRIST COMPELS YOU!

Hot naked grandma
Nice…nice.

cannibalism side effects
Good to know that modern cannibals are concerned about possible risks. STAY SAFE, CANNIBALS!

bald woman rampage
This would make a great horror movie title. The one thing worse than a woman scorned? A BALD woman scorned.

real life t rex that’s still alive today
This kid may not be the brightest crayon in the box, but at least he knows where to put his apostrophes.

bald dumbo rat
I believe that this guy was searching for his perfect pet: a bald, brain-dead rodent.

what if your heaven was also your hell would you still go there no fear
Ah, that age-old question man has been asking since the dawn of time… don’t think you’ll be finding the answer here though, mate.

And to bring it all to a delightful conclusion, I share with you one person’s beautiful vision…

cannibal frolics
The image of this is just too awesome for words.

This topic may become a regular feature on Awesome Art because it’s so gosh darned fun(ny). And, like I said before, we all love a good LARF.

See y'all again for more lolz soon!

The Scariest Faces in Horror

July 17, 2011

It’s happened to all of us.

Picture the scene: the lights are off, you’re all wrapped up in your nice little bed, clutching your teddy/spouse/empty bottle of vodka, but just as you start to drift off… you see it. THAT FACE!

Fancy a bedtime story? 

While creepy characters and gruesome scenes from horror movies may have us grimacing and seeking shelter behind our sofas, the things that stay with us long after the DVD player is turned off are THE FACES. There are some that shock unexpectedly, briefly visible in a flash of light, and others that just keep popping back for more fun. Whatever the case, it’s these faces that remain embedded in our tired minds as soon as the lights turn off.

Awesome horror blog The Horror Digest has created The Scary Face Club, where such faces are placed in one handy little spot where masochistic readers can experience one horrific viewing right after another. I have chosen my top three scariest faces in horror, plus a few extras just for funsies. Sweet dreams, readers…

1. Pazazu – The Exorcist

BET YOU'RE GLAD I BROUGHT THIS INTO YOUR LIFE!!

Yeah, so Regan is pretty rank to look at once she morphs into the pea-soup stained devil child. And her demonic voice paired with frequent crotch stabbing and weird spider-walking only adds to her status as a truly horrific character. But even I must admit that she’s no match for Pazazu (yep, this thing even has a name). Pazazu’s leap into the limelight may only be for a few seconds, but it’s a moment that we’ve all paused onscreen resulting in serious regret and sleepless nights. The Godfather of all shit-your-pants scary faces. Yeesh.

2. Double Offender – The Shining

Jack Nicholson

Demented Daddy

I stuck this one in here to pay homage to one of the greatest horror movie performances that depicts an entirely realistic possibility: Daddy goes cuckoo and attempts to bludgeon his brood. That face of his is pretty spine-chilling too. But The Shining’s ultimate nightmare FACE moment comes in the form of: OLD CHICK IN BATHTUB.

Who wouldn't want a hug from Grandma!?

First we see a hot naked chick just chillin’ in the bath, it’s all good. Jack Nicholson cops a feel. Bit creepy, but yeah, it’s still all good. Kinda. Then suddenly, without any warning, hot naked chick morphs into geriatric naked chick but not just any geriatric naked chick… a decaying, somewhat green, particularly saggy geriatric chick with a hideously eerie cackle.

3. Zelda – Pet Semetary

Don't you think I'm purdy?!

This dude decked out in drag and encased in plastic (Yup, it’s a dude. Does this make he/she/it scarier or just laughable? I know my answer) had a particular effect on my nerves when I first saw the tongue-in-cheek gem that is Stephen King’s Pet Semetary. Many of the scenes were filmed in my friend’s house, including this one. A house we used to play in when we were kids. Let that sink in for a minute.

I HAVE BEEN IN THAT FUCKING ROOM.

Some more beauts for you to gaze upon…

Nosferatu – Count Orlok

Surprisingly, not the best thing to watch when you're stoned.

The Others – Creepy child/old guy in veil

Is it a kid? Is it a midget? Is it an old shriveled little leprechaun? OH GOD WHO KNOWS!!!

The Ring – Closet chick

Late night, love?

The Strangers – The, uh, strangers? Particularly this guy

la la la, on the phone, la la la... HOLD ON WHAT THA!?

Psycho – Norman Bates

Srsly, though, if your mother called you Norman you'd do the same, right?

Who do you think has the scariest face in horror?

One Final Scream: The Scream franchise

May 23, 2011

Before torture porn stole the horror movie crown from slashers, there was the ultimate horror franchise complete with guide-book: Wes Craven’s suspense soaked Scream. Forget supernatural serial killers and creepy Japanese chicks, however camp it may be Scream made audiences jump with strategically timed creepy music and the theory that seemingly normal high school kids are actually horror movie-obsessed deranged serial killers.

Hey there!

After reaching cult-like status can the ultimate slasher collection successfully return with one last memorable punch? Take a deep breath and remember: don’t have sex, don’t answer the bloody phone, for God’s sake don’t ever say “I’ll be back,” and remember, Ghostface’s knife can stab through any door.

Scream

Based loosely on the killings of the Gainesville Ripper, the original half piss-take half blood-fest paved the way for a flurry of spoofs and earned itself a permanent cult-status. Sydney Prescott may be the most annoying character known to man (seriously, dude, how many lives can one chick have?), but hey, you can’t get a much better principal than the Fonz. My favourite bit? Rose McGowan’s garage-door death. Although Drew Barrymore’s 90s bob and sweater combo is also pretty sweet.

Regretting that last donut?

Scream 2

Sydney’s all grown up, attempting to be a college student while making the most of caller ID. Character development in a horror film sets Scream apart from the masses, and the whole playing-on-the-idea-of-horror-movies-now-playing-on-the-idea-of-the-sequel (still with me?) is just a further example of Scream’s deliciously original concept. Not as good as the original, but still a damn good effort.
Best bit: Will Smith’s wifey getting the stab while watching Stab. Oh, the irony!

GIMME BACK MY POPCORN BITCH!

Scream 3

Now this is where it flags a bit. The film-within-a-film and the ‘revelation’ at the end can’t save this from being a mediocre ‘final’ chapter.
But who cares about the plot, I just get too distracted by Courtney Cox’s hair.

Shit, she's spotted a mirror...

Scream 4

Now how the feck is this one gonna work.

How can a generation who will happily watch human centipedes eating each other’s shit flinch at the sight of Ghostface flopping around clumsily in his comical robes!?

LOLZ.

The reality is that they probably won’t. But Scream 4 ups the camp and creates a ridiculously over-the-top ending that makes it a full-blown parody of itself. Pretentious film students will be all over this shiz.

Scream 4 introduces a new set of Woodsboro faces, a ton of iPhones complete with Ghostface apps together with an annoying kid with a webcam permanently attached to his head to make a seemingly new breed of Scream that in reality relies on pretty much the same techniques as the first three films.

Old-school Screamers

New kids on tha block... complete with irritating live blogger

Scream fans will pick up on the mirrored moments from the previous films and in typical Scream fashion (and quite possibly the only reason that most people will want to watch this movie) you’re left guessing right until the end. Will Gale Weathers ever shut her trap? Will Dewey stop being the most useless bumbling cop since Chief Wiggum? Will Sydney bite the dust? One thing’s for sure, you’ll be yelling at the idiots onscreen for the duration of the movie, as always. Enjoy.

Women in Horror Recognition Month: Awesome Female Horror Characters

February 26, 2011

Women in Horror Recognition Month is nearly at an end, and shamefully I have left it until the last-minute to get involved. Whoopsh!

February is Women in Horror Recognition Month. The concept was created by awesome horror writer Hannah Neurotica, who is also responsible for Ax Wound, a feminist horror zine.

Horror films are chock full of chicks, from final girls to slasher scream queens. But often they are represented as dumb bimbos with blood-drenched boobs.

Some quality filmmaking right there.

And what about the ladies behind the cameras?

Women in Horror Recognition Month celebrates the female writers and directors of horror, as well as the ladies onscreen, who have defied the myth that horror, like heavy metal, is a boys-only club.

Plenty of bloggers have jumped on the bandwagon in spreading the word of the event, including The Girl who loves Horror’s post on Stephen King’s leading ladies and a bunch of awesome posts on Fatally Yours.

From kick-ass super-women like Ellen Ripley to every dimwit blonde who’s killed off in the first half hour, female characters rule the horror screen. I have compiled a list of some of my favorite female characters in horror in celebration of Women in Horror Recognition Month.

1. Sheri Moon Zombie – Baby Firefly (House of 1000 Corpses, The Devil’s Rejects)

The woman I would like to trade lives with, please.

Yeah, we get it Rob Zombie, your wife is super hot. Do we really need to see her arse again?

I’m just kidding. I could look at Sheri Moon’s ass all day. Baby Firefly may be a controversial choice for this list, with her high-pitched squeaky voice and white trash barely there wardrobe, but I bloody love/am ridiculously jealous of Sheri Moon and Baby is the ultimate creation of Rob Zombie’s tongue-in-cheek horror style that many people just don’t get.
“TUTTI-FUCKING-FRUITY!”

2. Linda Blair – Reagan MacNeil (The Exorcist)

OH GOOD LORD MAKE IT STOP!

Yeah yeah so this is pretty obvious. But I think I deserve some recognition for actually putting this picture on my blog. Every time I look at it I crap my pants. Yeesh.

3. Fairuza Balk – Nancy Downs (The Craft)

Now that's what I call PMS.

I was obsessed with The Craft (1996) as an angst-ridden pre-teen. It was definitely one of the influences behind my goth/wiccan/Marilyn Manson-loving phase. Nancy Downs, the ringleader and mega bitch of the gang of teen witches, is performed to perfection by the awesome Fairuza Balk. This is the ultimate teen horror flick for budding goths and wannabe witches.

4. Shelley Duvall – Wendy Torrance (The Shining)

yeesh

The Shining (1980) is one of my all-time favorite horror movies. And one of the (many) reasons for this is Shelley Duvall as Wendy Torrance. Gangly and awkward, she portrays the part of the fragile victim with memorable originality. And what can I say, boy is she ridiculously creepy.

5. Katharine Isabelle – Ginger (Ginger Snaps)

Got any tampons?

Forget Twilight, before the teen vampire craze began there was Ginger Snaps (2000), a film about teenage werewolves. Two teenage outcast sisters, a creepy loner (Brigitte) and an outspoken redhead (Ginger), are obsessed with death and are going through some pretty weird changes during puberty. The film’s tagline states: “They don’t call it the curse for nothing.” What a larf! This low-budget Canadian horror film was an unexpected cult success, and despite the hilariously garbled creature costumes, it is funny, original and suitably blood-drenched.

6. Ingrid Pitt – various characters

BOOBS

The original scream queen unfortunately passed away last year. But her legacy as the heavy-bosomed sexy siren in Hammer horror classics like Countess Dracula and The Vampire Lovers will continue to live on.

Who are your favorite horror movie screen queens?

These two perhaps?

Check out a cool interview with Hannah Neurotica talking about Women in Horror Recognition Month here.

The Dark Side of Disney

January 21, 2011

I’m just going to go ahead and admit it: I freakin’ love Disney movies. As embarrassing as it may be for a horror blogger to admit, I have no shame in proudly declaring my love for The Emperor’s New Groove (the funniest movie, like, EVER), or admitting that Beauty and the Beast was on my Christmas list alongside Hammer Horror classics.

Disney has always been controversial. First of all, parents drop like flies and ‘good’ characters are sent to their graves. Then there’s a whole issue of allegations of creepy hidden meanings, racist content and scenes that are deemed too disturbing for kiddies. Disney has always had a dark side.

One of the earliest Disneys, 1929’s The Skeleton Dance, is a creepy short film featuring eerie ghosts and cawing crows, while Gothic imagery is rife in Disney classics like Beauty and the Beast and Snow White. I decided to take a look at some of the scariest Disney scenes and delve into the horror that lurks behind the magic.

Click on the title links to see the horror for yourselves!

Trippy Terror
Two of the scariest scenes in Disney look as though they were dreamt up by some dope-fueled ’60s hippy.

Dude… can you see those pink elephants too!?

Pink Elephants on Parade
Dumbo (1941) is a pretty scary movie straight from the start, channelling the whole ‘creepy carnival’ vibe. But the freakiest moment comes when Dumbo and his mouse pal Timothy drink too much booze unknowingly (who would have thought it, drink spiking in Disney), and end up hallucinating about petrifying pink elephants.
Heffalumps and Woozles
For those of you unfamiliar with Heffalumps and Woozles, they are the Winnie the Pooh version of elephants and weasels. The song of the same name appeared in the Disney musical film featurette, Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day (1968). Poor Pooh bear has a nightmare vision of creepy elephants and weasels who morph into different shapes and colours and are hell-bent on stealing Pooh’s precious honey. At least there’s sort of an explanation behind this one, it was the ‘60s after all.

Totally Traumatizing
Everyone remembers the Disney films that traumatized their kiddie souls for life. Surprise surprise, they always involve the death of a parent.

I. WILL. NOT. CRY.

The Massacre of Mufasa
Even those with hearts of stone would find it hard not to blub uncontrollably when the ultimate ‘good’ Disney character meets his end in The Lion King (1994). He’s bold, brave, full of good advice and not to mention fuzzy and freakin’ adorable. I can still remember watching it at a friend’s birthday party back in the early ‘90s, and Mufasa’s death resulted in a roomful of traumatized toddlers.
Mummy Bambi Bites the Dust
The word ‘meadow’ will forever have terrifying connotations for anyone who witnessed the trauma that was Bambi (1942). I can’t decide which is worse, Bambi’s mum getting slaughtered by hunters or the blazing forest fire scene. Either way, it’s quite possibly the most disturbing of all Disneys.

Truly Terrifying
Then there are the scenes that are, well, just plain scary.

Can’t we just watch Aladdin!?

Fantasia: Night on Bald Mountain
Let’s face it, Fantasia (1940) is just freaky all over. But wizards, sorcery and broomsticks gone mad can’t compare to the terror of Night on Bald Mountain. The demon Chernabog summons restless souls from their graves in a horrific Gothic vision that would terrify any tot.
Pinocchio: Stay off the Booze kids
You can’t deny that Pinocchio (1940) has underlying morals: Don’t fall in with the wrong crowd or you’ll turn into a jackass. Literally. Pinocchio hits the booze, starts gambling and puffing on cigars with his naughty pal Lampwick on Pleasure Island. He and his delinquent friends are then transformed into donkeys to be sold into donkey slavery . If this terrifying scene doesn’t stop kids from smokin’ and drinkin’, then I don’t know what the hell will.

What Disney films do you think are the most horrific?

From Dracula to Drugs: Horror in Irish Cinema.

December 3, 2010

In my quest to delve into the world of Irish horror (and doing everything in my power to avoid leprechauns) I found myself at a bit of a loss. Irish literature and theatre are full of myth, creepy ghost stories and legends: think Bram Stoker’s Dracula and The Weir by Conor MacPherson. But somehow, Irish horror cinema has never risen to fame. I examined horror films set in Ireland, made in Ireland and written/directed by Irish filmmakers to bring you some of the best, and indeed the worst, Irish horror films.

The Butcher Boy (1997)
The Butcher Boy is based on the novel by Patrick McCabe, and delves into the twisted mind of 12-year-old Francie Brady as he descends into madness. Director Neil Jordan, who specialises in Irish drama films but dipped into horror with Interview With The Vampire (1994), creates a bizarre black comedy that is more psychological than horrific. But throw in an alcoholic, violent father, a paedophile priest who makes Francie dress up in a bonnet and a climax that involves the butchering of an irritating neighbor and you’ve got yourself a truly Irish horror gem. Oh yeah, and Sinead O’Connor makes an appearance as the Virgin Mary. Blasphemy? Or just brilliance?

Forgive me Father?
The Butcher Boy/ Sinead O'Connor

Rawhead Rex (1986)
A Pagan god who unleashes his fury on a small Irish Catholic village could have been a recipe for a genuinely creepy horror flick. Instead, Rawhead Rex (don’t you just love those rustic Pagan names?) resembles the bulbous aliens from The Fifth Element, only with more shiny plastic and a fuzzy afro. Well, it was the eighties. When an American writer brings his family to the village in search of material for a new book, he ends up in the middle of the ‘Pagan’ god’s rampage. This film is bloody hilarious. There are stereotypical Oirish wisecracks, priests gone mad, cranky auld biddies and then there’s Rawhead Rex himself: the most ridiculous use of plastic that I have ever seen. A must-see. Seriously.

Rawhead Rex and friend
Rawhead Rex/ The Fifth Element

Shrooms (2007)
A bunch of half-wit American students arrive in Ireland for one purpose: to trip on magic mushrooms in a creepy forest. This is literally the only reason for their visit. So much for kissing the Blarney Stone. Oh, and did I mention that the creepy forest surrounds an equally creepy deserted children’s home? Obviously.
Apart from a few offhand mentions of Irish druids and banshees it’s easy to forget that the film is set in Ireland as the idiot Yanks roll around off their faces in the woods. They are introduced to mushrooms by Jake, a character whom I assume is supposed to be Irish but looks more like a sleazy Italian and speaks like he went to a British boarding school. The only Irish characters in the film are two intellectually challenged brothers who live in a shack in the middle of the woods and say amusing things such as: “Ma used ta have ta lock us up with the pigs!” Charming.
Shrooms is far from being frightening, but it does have its amusing moments. The ‘twist’ at the end isn’t exactly mind-blowing stuff either.

Silly tourists
Shrooms

The Ten Steps(2004)
By now you’re probably assuming that I went down the they’re-so-bad-they’re-good route with my investigation into Irish horror. But fear not fright fans; I’ve left the best ‘til last (apart from Rawhead Rex that is).
This ten minute film by Brendan Muldowney is a shining example of the fact that the best horror sequences rely on slow-paced suspense. This short film about a young Irish girl’s babysitting experience stayed with me much longer than any gore-fest I experienced during my blog-researching. The best news? It’s all on YouTube.

Here are a few more Irish horror flicks for further viewing:

Dead Meat – Zombies take over Leitrim.

Boy Eats Girl – Anyone remember Samantha Mumba? I assume her career ended here.

Red Mist – Another one from Shrooms director Paddy Breathnach. A coma victim causes havoc from his hospital bed.

Darby O’Gill and the Little People – Yes I’m aware this is a Disney. But a Disney with a particularly creepy banshee scene. Hell, this film is just creepy all over.

Any other Irish horror films that you think are worth mentioning?

A First Taste of Fright: What Scenes Scared You as a Youngster?

November 16, 2010

"I'm every nightmare you've ever had"

Everyone remembers the films that scarred their little kiddie souls for life. From disturbing Disneys like Snow White (1937) and Pinocchio (1940), to David Bowie’s bulge in Labyrinth (1986) to an accidental viewing of Stephen King’s IT (1990) (How did that happen to so many of us!?). Whether we stumbled upon a late-night televised fright-fest or just watched what we assumed would be kid-friendly that turned out to be traumatizing, these films will always remain permanently imprinted in our minds.

Taking inspiration from Kindertrauma, the awesomely amazing site that takes a look at everything and anything that freaked us out as young ‘uns, I decided to comprise a list of what films, aimed at children or otherwise, scarred mini-me for life.

Return to Oz (1985)
The unofficial sequel to the Judy Garland classic was more gritty than glittery. For a start, it begins with Dorothy (played by Fairuza Balk) undergoing electric shock treatment because she won’t stop harping on about some weird place called Oz. Talking chickens, frantic freaks on wheels and a crazy headless witch with a collection of screaming heads make this a bleak and often terrifying continuation of the much-loved classic.
This won’t be shown on Christmas Day anytime soon.

your face says it all, Dor

John Carpenter’s Village of the Damned (1995)
A bunch of funny-haired alien children with psychic powers taking over a small American town would barely make modern horror audiences flinch. But it sure made terrifying television to my unfortunate young soul who stumbled upon it late one ‘90s night. Creepy children have always been a popular choice for shock value, from The Omen (1976) to Let Me In (2010), and I can’t remember anything that terrified me more than when one of those platinum-haired brats forced their mother to shove her arm into a vat of boiling water. Although admittedly I would probably guffaw at it now.

The 1960 original Village of the Damned.. complete with haircuts even worse than the remake.

Garfield’s Nine Lives (1988)
I can feel your eyebrows raising. But even Kindertrauma agree with me on this one. This adaptation of the book of the same name is split into segments detailing the lifespan of the lasagne-loving furball, from cave-cat to space-cat. Sounds cute and cuddly, right? Wrong. I watched in horror as a poor girl’s beautiful cat died (the Diana episode), and if that wasn’t enough they just had to stick in some animal testing. Yep, some poor kitty escapes from an animal testing lab, endures a whole lotta traumatizing crap along the way and eventually turns into a creepy dog with glowing eyes. Oh yeah, and Garfield meets God at the end. Who turns out to be a cat. Guess they just had to throw in some blasphemy as well.
Unfortunately it’s been taken off YouTube. You’ll just have to scope it out to see the horror for yourselves!

Trust me. This can be scary.

Heavenly Creatures (1994)
Another late-night television special I wish I had avoided. Crazy clay-loving fantasist lesbians are always going to be scary, but when they decide to butcher one of their mothers with a brick stuffed into a stocking they become part of another league altogether. Did I mention it’s based on a true story? Jeeeez.

Now that's teenage angst right there.

After questioning my Facebook friends on what films made their skin crawl as nippers, Return to Oz and Roald Dahl’s The Witches were rated the scariest alongside other traumatic terrors such as Beetlejuice (1988), The Last Unicorn (1982), Mary Poppins (1964) and The Shining (1980).

"Is there something bad here?"

So what films had your young self squirming with fear?

Halloween Playlist – Macabre Music to Mosh to

October 31, 2010

It’s the most wonderful time of the year (sorry Santa). While I would like to spend every day covered in fake blood and blasting Marilyn Manson, All Hallows Eve is the one day that this becomes socially acceptable. Well almost.

To celebrate both the birth of my blog and the annual night of the dead, I have selected a playlist of songs that I consider to be the ultimate in horrific melodies, complete with over-the-top visual theatrics.

Alice Cooper – Feed My Frankenstein

The Godfather of shock rock’s classic song deserves the top spot on this playlist, although I admit I can’t listen to it without being reminded of Wayne’s World.

Rob Zombie – Mars Needs Women

I would have no problem with completing an entire Halloween playlist of Zombie showtunes. But, given the recent release of Hellbilly Deluxe 2 this summer, I figure at least one new song deserves a mention, and ‘Mars Needs Women’ is a perfect example of Zombie’s signature tantalising tongue-in-cheek.

Marilyn Manson – Dope Hat

Long before Manson started embarrassing himself, he shocked the world with Portrait of an American Family. Manson uses his obsession with Willy Wonka to fabricate Dope Hat’s deliciously creepy video.

Monster Magnet – Space Lord

With a name like that, it would be criminal not to feature them on this playlist. Monster Magnet are still going strong, and their new album Mastermind was released in October. But ‘Space Lord’ remains the ultimate tune by these stoner rockers.

Type O Negative – Christian Woman

Sadly, lead singer of this Gothic/Doom band, Peter Steele, passed away this April. ‘Christian Woman’, from Type O Negative’s 1993 hit album Bloody Kisses, is a perfect Halloween classic, with its dark gloomy chords and gothic imagery.

 

• Nine Inch Nails – Closer

If we’re talking creepy videos, ‘Closer’ is the one to pick from Trent Reznor’s demenented mind. A sleaze rock classic perfect for Halloween debauchery.

Queens of the Stone Age – You’ve Got a Killer Scene There, Man

Lullabies to Paralyze is an appropriately-named album of chilling tunes, and ‘You’ve Got a Killer Scene There, Man’ is ideal for late-night, candle-flickering creepiness.

Rob Zombie – Living Dead Girl

To bring this playlist to a suitably spooky climax, a return to master of Halloween melodies is necessary. I’m hoping to see plenty of living dead girls channeling Sheri Moon scouring the streets tonight.

Happy Halloween horror lovers!

pumpkin