Thursday, December 23, 2010

Remember the Bogeyman


Lon Chaney Sr in London After Midnight (lost movie). *Mr. Chaney, the Man of a Thousand Faces, was born in my hometown, Colorado Springs, on April 1st 1883.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Captive

I envisioned the alien abductors being shrouded in moonless night and yet kind of obviously repulsive and reptilian. The whole thing ended up a little on the murky side but I wasn't meaning to do more than a speed paint so it works for that at least.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Portal Lurker

This is some creature I was thinking about that captures unwary dimensional travelers and eats their minds. Sort of a psionic predator.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Retro Space Exploration


This is a simple collage I made from a fifty year old book called The Golden Book of Astronomy: A Child's Introduction to the Wonders of Space. I posted a bunch of other scans on my Tumblr pages Castle Monster and Green Blood Potion.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween Sunset


Well, that's another 31st of October passed. I'd hoped to get a lot more done for the Halloween Countdown but as I kept falling behind I sort of hoped visitors would look at my last years countdown or my Tumblr page. And I missed the coffin races this year. Last year the races gave me three or four good posts but it wasn't until the 30th this year so I regretfully gave it a miss. Well, I can only add this shot of the sunset tonight and my last minute gang of jacks. This might be the last year I'm giving out candy. There's just not that many trick-or-treaters around here to make a fuss. Next year I think I'll just catch some parties.

So with that, my thanks to all the visitors and posters, hope you had a Happy Halloween and have a good day after!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Friday, October 8, 2010

Devils Night


This is just a slap-dash photoshopping I did, just for grins, from a vintage bubble-gum wrapper art.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Hanging Man


I think my earliest Halloween memory was seeing a crude dummy in a flannel shirt hanging from someone's porch with a bloody knife sticking out of its eye. I was trick-or-treating and I must have been about 6. It's a mystery why this image would have stayed with me for so long but that seems the earliest one I can bring into sharp focus. I don't remember whether I was frightened or whether I found it hokey or anything about what could possibly have burned it eternally into my memory. Maybe it was the idea of someone hanging a real murder victim out in front of their door on Halloween as if to say "If you play a trick on me you just might get stabbed in the eye and hung from my porch with bulging eyes and blackened tongue as a warning the other children!" What else could it mean?

Friday, October 1, 2010

Counting on Fun!

Well, time to take the plunge, again. Last year I was worried that I couldn't find enough material for a daily post for the Countdown to Halloween and I figured I'd pretty much shot my wad by the time it was over. This year I'm that much more nervous but I'm no less enthused so hopefully I won't have anything to apologize for on the big day. I'm not sure what's going to come out of this blog for the next 30 days but hopefully some of you will find the unfolding mystery of it interesting enough.


In the meanwhile, feel free to browse my last countdown, which was successful enough not to garner me any hate mail. It includes last years coffin races and most of the jack-o-lanterns I've carved over the years, as well as spiders, squirrels and cannibals! N-joy!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Colorado Vampire Sighting

Vampire Car Crash: Colorado woman blames vampire for crashing car - KDVR

FRUITA, Colo. - If a Western Slope woman is to be believed, vampires may be lurking in Colorado’s Grand Valley.

The woman claims she spotted a vampire in the middle of a dirt road near Fruita, Colo. Sunday night. She told Colorado State Troopers she was startled by the undead being, threw her SUV into reverse, and crashed into a canal.

She was not injured.

State Troopers say the woman’s husband arrived at the scene and took her home. The vampire, which was not seen by anyone else, apparently let her get away.

Troopers do not suspect drugs or alcohol to be factors in the crash.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Monday, April 19, 2010

Let's Scare Jessica to Death (1971)


However dreary and cruel the present is, horror movies teach us that darker scenes can always be uncovered in those places immersed more deeply in the past. Retreating city-slickers inevitably invite terror and carnage upon themselves when they make the mistake of not getting back on the interstate after visiting that remote fishing hole or greasy spoon. And deigning to put down roots among secretive villagers with arcane beliefs and buried atrocities risks conjuring some ancient evil from the alien depths of prehistory to consume them whole.


Such a fate is surely in store for the troubled New Yorker Jessica when she, accompanied by her husband and a friend, moves into an idyllic orchard in rural New England to get a fresh start of things after her treatment at a mental hospital (for reasons that are left mostly to the viewer's imagination). We meet a cheerful Jessica emerging from a hearse to make grave-marker rubbings in an old cemetery; a brief detour on their way to the house.


During her eerie excursion a strange girl in a nightdress appears to her and then runs off. Not sure if she only imagined seeing the ghostly figure, Jessica elects not to tell her husband and their mustachioed companion about the encounter. From the beginning we get that Jessica hears voices in her head and her haunted internal dialogue serves as a disjointed sort of narration throughout the film.


The trio board a ferry and are met by an elderly ferry man who, though initially friendly, turns rather stony when Jessica's husband, Duncan, mentions that they are moving into the old Bishop house. The local townsfolk (a small crowd of old men, actually) are less receptive, deriding them as "hippies". When they arrive at the house, they get another surprise in the form of an attractive but unassuming red-haired woman named Emily, an apparent transient who has taken shelter in the house. The couple's partner Woody automatically takes a fancy to the stranger and Emily is invited to stay. It's soon clear that Duncan is attracted to Emily, as well.


After a promising beginning, things begin to get weird at the old Bishop house. The townies get stranger and more menacing. Jessica finds an old (19th century) picture of the Bishop family and realizes that one of them, a tragic figure known as Abigail, looks oddly familiar. Emily's voices get darker. She sees something terrifying beneath the waters of the lake that beckons to her. She finds a bloodied corpse which disappears before she can show it to her husband. Someone or something is stalking her. Jessica is forced to decide whether the growing threat against her is real or just in her tormented mind.


A modest, fairly amateur production, Let's Scare Jessica to Death is a supreme example of 1970s Gothic, unmarred by camp and blatant exploitation with a plot device (is it real or is she mad) seldom utilized within the genre with the competence and restraint exhibited here. Atmospheric music and scenery are used to good effect to evoke an escalating sense of dread and isolation experienced by our disheveled protagonist. LSJtD got a modest response in movie theaters but became a staple of prime-time network television in the 70s, which is where and when I first saw it. The film has garnered a growing cult following, represented by blogs and sites like http://letsscarejessicatodeath.net/.

Now for some thoughts about the film for those who have already seen it. First of all, is there really any doubt that Abigail is real and not just in Jessica's mind? It does make sense that Jessica might see the woman who is seducing her husband as a monster. But the problem arises in the scenes that unfold outside of Jessica's presence. Did she merely dream that the shopkeeper was killed while fishing? And there's no indication that the killing of Duncan dispelled the illusion, though Jessica might have been too far gone at that point. The idea that the haunting is real is just more consistent than the idea that it's all just the delusions of a madwoman.


Also there's something fascinating about the aquatic vampire Abigail Bishop. It's a wonder her name isn't mentioned along with other spectral horror icons like Freddy, Candyman and the Blair Witch. Someone should give this legend a jump-start. A pity that you could only expect a remake in this day and age to get everything wrong.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Two-Headed Dog


This concludes my Roky kick for the time being. For the record, of his albums I recommend The Evil One (plus one) above all, though his anthology I Have Always Been Here Before has a lot of his better non-Evil One stuff like The Beast and the song he's best known by horror fans for:


Friday, March 5, 2010

"Fine stuff, but it'll rot!"


Until I started blogging I never thought it possible that I'd find so many people with an enthusiasm for Halloween that matches or exceeds my own. And there's at least one blogger who seems to actually be a strange alien from the Halloween Dimension. I'm talking about Rot (a.k.a. "Rot") from the highly spooky Halloween haunt blog Pumpkinrot. This master of mâché literally burns the midnight oil making Hollywood-quality props for his annual haunt. I hope his neighbors know how lucky they are. In addition to his amazing sculptures and photographs, Rot finds the time to seek out other haunts and artists and feature their work on his famous blog. And every thing that could possibly interest a Halloween-o-phile. This guy should be elected President of something! Anyway, it's an honor for me to give Pumpkinrot a shout out and point the way to any wretched lost souls who might not have heard about it. Check out his new "Skull Witch". If you dare!


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Barbra went bye bye


Personally, I was always curious about the fact that Barbra was only catatonic when a ghoul wasn't coming after her. I don't think it works that way. It was nice that Tom Savini eliminated this distraction from his remake, at least.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Haunting Madness


Vinnie meets Babs in one of my favorite of the Corman/Poe cycle, The Pit and the Pendulum

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Naschy Lives!


My Basil Gogos-inspired take on the late great Jacinto Molina Alvarez (better known as Paul Naschy), legend of Spanish horror cinema, here playing cursed Polish Nobleman Waldemar Daninsky in The Werewolf vs. the Vampire Woman. Naschy passed away this last November 30th at the age of 75.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Meet Harry Cooper


That's the late Karl Hardman as the skulking, abrasive little crank Harry Cooper from NOTLD. I picked this one out as a just a little practice piece but the watercolor tool in ArtRage Studio Pro turned out to be so freaking awesome that I decided to let it happen. I had to clean it up in Photoshop but I figure that's okay. I'll be using this program all of the time.