The Moment I Loved Horror

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I was reminded recently of an article from Glamour magazine that was floating around Twitter. This article basically called all us Horror Lover freaks and that we must’ve had a horrifying childhood to love this genre. Check out the article HERE incase you haven’t seen it.

Anyway, I can’t really tell you the exact moment I feel in love with Horror but I can tell you the important moments that I really came to love it.

The first moment was when I was a little girl. There was a show called WISHBONE that I used to love. It was about a Jack Russell Terrier that would reenact classical literature for kids. I learned about stories like Ivanhoe, Pride & Prejudice, The Odyssey, etc. My favorite story, however, was The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. As a kid I loved the story of how a man wanted to separate the animal within but ended up making himself the monster. Don’t we all wish that we could remove the evil within ourselves so we can have peace?

The second moment I really loved Horror was when I was in my tweens. I LOVED watching Buffy The Vampire Slayer! In my house is was the forbidden fruit of television. My mom believed that Buffy was the devil and that watching that show would invite him in. I watched it anyway. What I loved was this badass chick killing monsters, saving the world, and still having a social life. I also loved the makeup of the show! The way the vampire faces changed was awesome for my tween brain. They were creepy looking but in a good way. I also thought that the backstory of the “Fanged Four” was pretty cool. That’s how I love my vampires…completely unapologetic.

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The third moment was when THE WALKING DEAD premiered on AMC. My father traveled to Afghanistan for work so we could pay for university. My father and I are really close and I missed him so much. While I was emailing him, I told him about the show and he said to spoil every episode. So every season of THE WALKING DEAD, I would have my laptop out with an email ready. During the commercial breaks I would write everything I just saw and when the episode was over I’d send my message. What we both loved about this show was that it’s not about the zombies, it’s about the survivors. Watching the show you can find a least one character that you can relate to or have your own ideas of how you would survive. My father and I do that all the time. It’s funny how a zombie show was the one thing that my father and I could share while he was so far away.

The fourth moment came to me recently. I watched THE TRAIN TO BUSAN and I was amazed by how well this Korean zombie movie was made. I won’t spoil anything because I’ll write a review for it later. But I will tell you that it had me at the edge of my seat and even made me cry. Not because I was terrified but because I came to love the characters and it hurt to see some of them die. You see, horror movies can bring out a number of emotions if it has the right cast and the right script.

To me the horror genre is more than just boobs, blood, and gore. Although those are entertaining too. If this glamour magazine writer used half her brain, she would know that horror is filled with symbolism and various themes. I think Glamour Magazine needs to stick with the hair and makeup tips with articles of “love your body” right next to the picture of the size zero supermodel.

What was the moment for you guys? When did you love horror? Which moments stuck out to you the most?

 

Goth Art is Underappreciated

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So I’m taking a moment to talk about one of my most prized possessions….My gothic oracle cards. The reason why I love this deck of cards so much is because of the artwork. I LOVE gothic art! I honestly can’t describe what it is that I love so much. I think it’s that even dark and sad subject matter can be beautiful. I have some pics of my oracle deck below.

The artist for this lovely set is Victoria Frances. She has published numerous art books so please check out her website HERE

Here’s a few pics for you

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I really need to order some prints and hang them in my room. So beautiful! Anyway, please check out her art and let me know which is your favorite piece! These ones are my favorites from this deck!

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Chastity Bites (2013)

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Chastity Bites (2013) A delightful parody of vampire genre films with a feminist twist!

Director: John V. Knowles

Writer: Lotti Pharriss Knowles

Starring: Allison Scagliotti, Francia Raisa, Louise Griffiths

So I knew nothing about this movie going in. It was on TV and I had time to kill. I recognized the starring actress, the ever snarky Allison Scagliotti from the SyFy’s “Warehouse 13.” Her character, Leah, is a ball-busting student journalist who suspects the new abstinence program at her high school keeps all the girls virgins so to feed vampires.

“Chastity Bites” is silly old fun. Yes, there’s gore and the expected dead, slutty teenager tropes. What makes this movie stand out is how they balanced out this trope with satire and a refreshing feminist edge. The horror wasn’t scary per se, but nor did it try to be. The one-liners from Leah kept me laughing and I was impressed with the lesbian supporting character. She wasn’t just thrown there to titillate a (mostly male) audience with girl-on-girl action. Actually, if you’re looking for gratuitous girl-on-girl action, or hell, sex for (mostly male) consumption, you won’t find it here. Refreshing! I don’t mind sex in horror movies but it is so often one-sided.

This movie doesn’t punish the teenagers who have sex. Getting laid actually saves Leah’s life!

I recommend this movie for anyone who makes fun of sparkly vampire movies. It was campy but enjoyable all the way through. Might have to give this one a “B”.

A New Twist On Vampirism With “Afflicted”

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Directors/ Writers: Derek Lee, Clif Prowse

Starring: Derek Lee, Clif Prowse, Baya Rehaz

I’ve always imagined that I’d take a trip like this with my best friend. Travel the world, see new things, meet new people, and have fun. But what I don’t want as part of the trip is to be turned into a freaking vampire and possibly massacring my BFF.

Afflicted is about two friends, Derek and Clif, taking a trip around the world and starting a blog to share their adventures with their family and friends. One of the reasons for this trip is because Derek was diagnosed with an incurable illness and figures this could be their last hurrah. While living it up in Spain, Derek hooks up with the mysterious Audrey and find himself falling deeper into an unexplainable illness. An illness where one of the symptoms is craving human blood. What started out as a travel blog turned into a documentation of Derek’s strange affliction and their quest to find a cure.

I have to say that I was impressed with this movie which has won awards for directing, writing, and special effects(see HERE). Instead of portraying vampirism as brooding sex symbols that infest our TV today, Lee and Prowse painted vampires as actual monsters. It wasn’t pretty watching Derek’s transition from dying human to animalistic immortal. Seriously…there was projectile vomit and seizures. At first it started out as fun and games where they discover super speed and super strength but then things turn serious when Derek can’t eat anything without vomiting and the longer he holds out from drinking blood the more he transforms into a feral monster.

I really enjoyed the special effects for this movie. There was one “test” that Derek did where he tested the sunlight on his skin and it was gross! I also applaud the fact that there were times when they actually put the camera down. It isn’t logical to carry a camera and document every little thing. Some scenes they left the camera on a table and you’d just hear a conversation rather than see it. In other scenes they created a vest that held the camera so the person could document what was going on while having their hands free(Chase Out Window Scene).

Anyway I give this movie an A.

Check out the trailer and a clip! hopefully you enjoy it as much as I did.

Sites:

http://www.afflicted-movie.com/

https://www.facebook.com/AfflictedMovie

R.I.P Dracula

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I’m seeing some mixed reports about this show. A friend and fan of the show told me that NBC was cancelling Dracula. This breaks my heart because it’s a great show to watch. I liked the costumes and I liked that story around Dracula and Van Helsing’s vendetta against the Order of the Dragon. I want another season! But if the vampires aren’t sparkling and bitching about life, then TV/Movies won’t bother with it. It’s ridiculous! Let’s the stupid teens have Vampire Diaries and let the grown ups have Dracula!

Here’s where it gets interesting. Some reports are floating around that the UK is picking up the series for the second season but NBC may not. Makes no sense to me but if that’s the way they want it then maybe BBC America might air it(here’s a link). There’s also a petition going around the Internet hoping to get NBC’s attention.

Anyway, let’s hope that the show comes back for another season, even if it’s the last season. I just don’t like unfinished stories.

Here is a link to the online petition if you are interested in showing your support for the show: https://www.change.org/petitions/nbc-continue-producing-nbc-dracula

[Side Note]

Unfortunately, as of May 10, 2014 Dracula has officially been cancelled. YOU SUCK, NBC!

Vampire Blood Incense

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Made by Devils Garden. Certified Undead, you guys. www.vampirebloodincense.com

Made by Devils Garden. Certified Undead, you guys. http://www.vampirebloodincense.com

So the boyfriend and I found this premium vampire extract whilst perusing through our local head shop. He laughed. I giggled. (The meth-head cashier rolled her eyes.) Then we took it home and lit up.

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I’ve never inhaled vampire blood before, so this was a very exciting experience. The fragrance is deep, complex, and earthy. It is pleasantly floral without being too perfumey and smells like old lace, sex, and damp cemeteries.

When burned, the incense releases a thin, steady stream of smoke. It slowly scents the whole room without burning your eyes like some other incenses. Vampire Incense may look like a novelty item, but it really does have a nice smell. It’s subtle and calming. One of my favorite new incenses, too. And it’s certified undead. You can’t beat that!

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The Day the Monsters Died….

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I thought I’d just take a minute and mourn Monsters as a whole. No longer are they created to scare the shit out of us, now you just feel sorry for them. You feel sorry not because they’re these tortured being, but because they’re so depressing.

THE BEAST

I think the CW’s Beauty and the Beast bugs me the most. It was a reboot of the 1980’s TV which everyone loved with Ron Perlman as Vincent the strong Beast with a poetic soul. This new Vincent is sexy former soldier with a scar on his face. I enjoyed the 1980s version better because you can see why Vincent feels that he and Catherine can’t be together. He looks like a freaking lion!! the modern Vincent was part of a super-soldier program that went wrong and the scar is a result of that. When he gets upset he turns into something similar to the Incredible Hulk. So he feel because of his emotional issues he and Catherine can’t be together. Take an anti-depressant and move on. You have no right to call yourself a hideous monster when you’re anything but hideous. I tried watching it with an open mind but I just hated this no modern Emo Vincent.

FRANKENSTEIN’S MONSTER

I’m not going to say I hated “I, Frankenstein” because I didn’t. I thought it was a fun scifi movie. However, I wished that they made Aaron Eckhart look more like a monster. He’s got scars that look like they’re painted on. Now if the patches of skin were different colors letting us know they were different body parts, then that would make us see with our own eyes that he is a monster. His character too is running around the planet whining about how he’s a monster and no one would love him. Look in the mirror! Scars are sexy so you don’t have a reason to complain. The original Frankenstein’s Monster was a mess! Of course people are going to run away from him, but Adam(Eckhart) looks pretty normal. If he needed to make up a story he could tell everyone he got mugged once….and it didn’t end well for the mugger! Just saying. Yet another Emo Monster.

And lastly there’s the vampires. The sparkly and bloody kind.

I realize that vampires are supposed to be sex symbols but sparkling vampires?! I like my vampires unapologetic, violent, and bloody. That’s why I love shows like TrueBlood and Dracula. These vampires will tear you to pieces. Why? Because they can. They are monsters with nothing but time on their hands so they do whatever they want, whenever they want. It’s pretty cool to have that kind of power, don’t you think? So the question I ask myself is why would you waste your time being a “vegetarian” vampire? To make them seem more human? They’re monsters! They’re not supposed to be human. I also can’t get past the glittering thing of Twilight. I’ll admit I read the books and I got wrapped up into the “Team Edward vs Team Jacob” battle but then I grew up. Sparkling vampires isn’t scary, but I will give Edward Cullen credit for being a creep. He watches Bella sleep, follows her everywhere, and thinks she smells delicious. Kinda like a creepy Santa except he doesn’t have any presents.

On a side note: has anyone else noticed that as the Twilight movies progressed, the vampires stopped sparkling?

Anyway, that’s my rant about monsters today. I have more hope for the future though. NBC’s Dracula has shown me that the classic vampire is back in action. I also heard through the grapevine that NBC is considering a “Wolfman” series inspired by the classic monster. I hope it’s true and that they remain faithful to the classic monster. Below I found a hilarious video about what would happen if Eric Northman from TrueBlood ever met Edward Cullen.

ENJOY!!

The Moth Diaries (2011)

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Director: Mary Harron (female director, whoohoo!) 

Starring: Sarah Bolger, Lily Cole, Sarah Gadon, and Scott Speedman

Let me begin this review with a quote from the movie. Ahem. There are three things in every gothic vampire story:

  • 1. Sex
  • 2. Blood
  • 3. Death

But in this movie there’s a missing element. So I’ll just come out (no pun intended) and write it:

  • 4. Lipstick femmes and implied lesbianism

16yr old Rebecca is a *cough*closeted*cough* student at an all-girl boarding school. She shares a room with Lucy, her “best friend” *cough*girlfriend*cough,* who offers “comfort” in the wake of Rebecca’s father’s suicide. Rebecca makes a habit of joining Lucy in the bathtub and caressing her face (cuz straight girls LOVE sharing intimate bubble baths together.) They even have an “out” token lesbian friend named Charlie who they hang out with, too. Yup.  Everything in Rebecca’s sapphic utopia is cool until a new girl, Ernessa, shows up on campus.

Rebecca becomes troubled *cough*jealous*cough* when Lucy and Ernessa develop an unnatural friendship *cough*havingsex*cough. Mmmhmm there’s a love scene between the two girls. And menses. Mattress. Staining. Menses. I was half-expecting to see gory muff-diving stuff, but thankfully the movie didn’t go there. Rebecca is convinced Ernessa is a vampire. Ernessa walks through glass. She pops up everywhere in Rebecca’s wet dreams. And the girl has a rotten scent and never seems to eat at the cafeteria.

Rebecca goes so far as to burn her rival in a coffin. But you stopped paying attention once I wrote “lesbian love scene” right?  Let’s be honest. We’re here for the thinly veiled girl-on-girl stuff. Yes? OK? Good. I’m not the only one.

“The Moth Diaries” is long, predictable, and maudlin at times. The actress who plays Rebecca isn’t very convincing, and there’s not much horror here, either. What this movie has a lot of are perky femmes, meta gothic theory and…um…yeah. That’s about it. The plot is a hot mess. The ending doesn’t even make sense. But I’m giving it a “C.” I can see where the director meant to go, but there were too many derailments along the way to give this movie the bite it needed (pun intended.) I recommend this movie for folks who enjoy underaged schoolgirl fantasy flicks. And weird closeted lesbianism. Sigh.

Darkened Hills (Review)

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Darkened Hills (Darkened - The West Virginia Vampire Series, Book #1)Darkened Hills by Gary Lee Vincent

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

At first glance ‘Darkened Hills’ looks like any other run-of-the-mill vampire book. With its unsubtle references to Bram Stoker’s, ‘Dracula’ and Stephen King’s ‘Salem’s Lot,’ one might dismiss the novel for being yet another uninspired regurgitation. Horror readers are all too familiar with vampire lore and its tropes; therefore it takes an exceptional vampire story to stand tall above the rest. Gary Vincent not only succeeds in doing that, but does so while providing buckets of laughs and snorts.

‘Darkened Hills’ is an eccentric mishmash of gothic horror, pop culture, and black, tongue-in-cheek comedy. I appreciated the author’s nod to my favorite show, ‘Breaking Bad’ with the character, Walt Pinkman. I also loved how Vincent opened each chapter with a quote from one of Edgar Allan Poe’s short stories. Each quote foreshadowed the events of the chapter—a strange, but dexterous touch on the author’s part. But no, this is not a literary horror novel. Nor does it try to be. There is gore and splatter for comedic effect. Most memorable is the scene when that man runs over a herd of cats with his lawnmower. Do feline guts and “girlie cams” add much suspense? No. Was it funny? Hell yes. And that sums up much of what ‘Darkened Hills’ accomplishes here.

This book is an ode to popular vampire novels before it. Vincent does not attempt to supersede the legacy of Stoker and King, but rather poke fun at it and revel in their entertainment value. The campiness is a refreshing approach and reminded me of Robert Rodriquez’s movie, ‘Planet Terror.’ Even as I write this sentence, I am replaying the ridiculous “Cat Herding” scene in my mind and am grinning again.

I wouldn’t say ‘Darkened Hills’ is frightening, but it is funny and there’s plenty of cheese, sex, and violence to love.

View all my reviews

New Orleans Ghost Tour

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So I went to New Orleans for New Years Eve. It was a magical trip, with gothic cemeteries and cathedrals, public intoxication on Bourbon Street, and eccentric Voodoo shops and boutiques. I had a blast and visited many tourist attractions, which included the New Orleans Ghost Tour. Spoiler alert: I did not see any ghosts. But I did see the infamous Lalaurie Manson where Delphine LaLaurie slaughtered and tortured dozens of African slaves.

Those who watch American Horror Story are well-familiar with the Delphine’s historical bloodlust. When I stood outside that house I felt a terrible shiver. I wanted to get away from it as fast as I could. I didn’t feel an evil presence or anything like that, but as our tour guide spouted off all the gruesome events that happened there, I got more and more creeped out! The Lalaurie Mansion was the scariest part of the tour. I also visited the oldest and most haunted bar in America, Lafitte’s Bar. I heartily recommend the Hurricane: a pleasant cocktail made with fruit juice and rum. Very tasty! I got to sip on that while I walked through the French Quarter.

New Orleans is supposed to be a hot spot for vampires, ghosts, Voodoo, and other paranormal activity. I didn’t see any of that–but I think I did meet a white man who wanted to mug me! I knew he meant me harm, and yet I was very much attracted to his lazy, Louisiana drawl and the predatory glint in his eye. He said as we walked by, “Hey, can I have that bag?” But I knew he meant it, and had I  been alone, he would have tried to take it. He might’ve been a vampire, I don’t know, haha! Anyway, I was disappointed by the weak selection of “magical items” in the Voodoo shops. Most of it just looked like fare for tourists, however I did buy a figure of St. Teresa de Avila. Mostly because she’s an important element in my novel. At any rate, the ghost tour was fun and I would recommend everyone try it at least once. Who knows…you might just snap a photo of a ghost!