Apr 22 2015

Brute Force

Hi, I'm the main reason to watch this movie!

Feeling snubbed by his girlfriend at a party, Harry Faulkner finds himself dreaming of the past where a tribe of cave people is attacked by a rival tribe for their women. Numerous fights and occasional encounters with prehistoric monsters ensue.

I’m sorry for the shortness of the synopsis, but there really isn’t much plot to be found in Brute Force. The arms race between the two tribes for control of the women takes up the bulk of the film, but the main reason to watch this are the “dinosaurs” that appear early in the film. There’s a normal sized boa constrictor with a horn glued on it, a photographically enlarged juvenile alligator with rubber attachments, and a huge moving model of a Ceratosaurus. Said model is rather impressive for the time despite it only being able to move its mouth, bob up and down, and shake its tail. Its brief appearance that closes around 8 minutes into the film marks the final time any dinosaurs appear and I have to wonder if there was originally more footage featuring it that wound up on the cutting room floor. Deleted dinosaur scenes would explain why what appears to be a turtle suddenly wandering around in the background of one scene featuring the alligator. Speaking of the alligator, its appearance must be seen to be believed. It has wings and so much other prosthetics glued on that it’s less of a dinosaur and more of a walking mess of rubber. The rest of the film’s 24 minute running time is devoted solely to the cave war and does manage to be fairly entertaining in spite of how many scenes go on for too long. The over the top acting by the rival tribe is downright hilarious and while it is enjoyable, it does clash with the film’s high body count. There’s even a point where one of the bad guys strangles a child to death!

Brute Force is actually the sequel to an earlier, dinosaur-free film called Man’s Genesis. At some point, footage from both films sloppily edited together to create a movie known as The Primitive Man and you can often find the subject of this review erroneously listed under that name in film listings. Despite being released on 8mm for home viewing by Blackhawk Films (and being the work of D.W. Griffith), Brute Force has never surfaced on VHS, DVD, or Blu-Ray! It’s a shame, as has an important place in the history of motion pictures. Why? It appears to be the earliest example of a film using living reptiles to depict dinosaurs onscreen. Thankfully you can easily find a copy online if you decide to give the movie a try.

Apr 18 2015

6’+ Episode 146 is Up!

2013 Logo IconTo quote the description given at the new listing:

“The countdown is on for you to vote in the RONDO AWARDS this year. We also make note of RECORD STORE DAY in between tracks from FIVE-EAUX, TOMBSTONE BRAWLERS, GWAR, SAM HAYNES, THE BIG BAD and more, along with THE MONSTERMATT MINUTE!”

Remember to email 6′+ (contact at 6ftplus.com) or leave a comment below about the show, whether you liked it or not. Tell your friends, leave a review on iTunes, but above all – enjoy.

You can find all episodes of 6′+ over at the official site as well as on iTunes and Stitcher. They’re also on Facebook, Twitter and SoundCloud.

Apr 18 2015

Record Store Day Is Here!

The only thing better than vinyl LPs are vinyl kaiju toys.

It’s the third Saturday of April and it’s once again time for our unofficial celebration! Since all the details about the official stuff were discussed earlier in the month, let’s skip right to our list of goodies. First up is a list of suggested vinyl purchases:

Uncommon Interests
The Drool Brothers
Beware The Dangers Of A Ghost Scorpion!
The Panic Beats
The Monster Ones
Bloodsucking Zombies From Outer Space
Mondo Zombie Boogaloo
Los Straitjackets
Man Or Astro-Man?
Dionysus Records
The Satin Chaps
Slasher Dave

Next up are tracks you can select your own price for. Although you can get them for free, hopefully some of you will show these bands some love:

Lupen Tooth has a few EPs available while Eddie Golden III and -MERRIN- have full albums. Ron HeXe (of Ghoul Squad fame) has plenty of albums available under this payment model as do White Blacula (which are linked to Zombina and the Skeletones), Wolfmen Of Mars, Lo-Fi Kabuki, and Horror-Punks.com. Alfa Matrix is the label that carries Zombie Girl and you had better believe she’s included on their online compilations.

And of course we have a fine selection of free downloads:

DIEMONSTERDIE, Snowbeast Records, Sam Haynes (limited time only), and Monsters From Mars.

If you like the freebies Forbidden Dimension has available then you should check out the free streaming goodness of Creepsville ’13.

Happy Record Store Day!

As always, Gravedigger’s Local 16 is not to be held responsible for anything that may occur (be it good or bad) as a result of downloading from any links given here. Attempt at your own discretion. Blah blah blah…

Apr 16 2015

The Torments-The Creamer 7″

photo-26    From Hidden Volume records comes this great instrumental surf 45 from the relatively new band, The Torments. Pressed on orange vinyl with a limited run of 300, the first 50 with a set of glow in the dark buttons, these 2 songs on The Torments 2nd 7″ hit you with a one two punch of sonic rock.

Ohio’s The Torments are not exactly an instrumental band as how they have plenty of songs with vocals. And even on the A side of this record, The Creamer seems to use the sparse  vocals almost as a separate instrument more than words for a song.

I’m making this short and sweet. This record is a must for your collection. You can go on over to http://hiddenvolume.com/  and pick up a copy. You might as well pick up that new Insomniacs white 7″ while you’re at it. You can also pick up The Torments record at http://www.slovenly.com/ and tell them Kraig Khaos sent ya.

I also wouldn’t be too surprised to hear The Torments on any future episodes of some of  your favorite podcasts.

Apr 14 2015

Movie Review: The Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954)

Behind the scenes of “Creature From the Black Lagoon”, 1954 (2)My article, The Creature from the Black Lagoon Still Holds Us Captive,  first appeared in the British magazine We Belong Dead, issue number 13. I highly recommend you pick up a copy. WBD is the best fan written magazine available today covering classic horror. This issue in particular is a tribute to the Creature from the Black Lagoon movie series.

 

Where is Universal Orlando’s Creature from the Black Lagoon ride?

Since 1954, when Universal Studios grabbed on to the tail-end of the 3-D cinema craze with their tropical-locale beauty and the beast story, and ever since Marilyn Monroe in The Seven Year Itch instinctively empathized with the Creature’s need to be loved (or at least not shot at) , and after all these years of fond memories and undying merchandizing for this beloved “beastie” (as director Jack Arnold called the Creature), I want to know why there’s no ride, no tourist attraction to beguile us. Given the best they could do was Creature from the Black Lagoon: The Musical, which played from 2009 to 2010 at the theme park, I’m not that hopeful.

They did a ride for Jaws, loved it, but there’s none for the last great Universal Monster, the one whose box office success leveraged Universal-International’s entry into the 1950s science fiction atomica and alien-invasion cycle, where big and bigger monsters, and they were quite unlovable ones at that, weren’t as mesmerizing as this low budget, process shots galore, jungle adventure set in the mysterious isolated lagoon.

Imagine a boat ride, which would be akin to Disney World’s Jungle Cruise. Wouldn’t you get a thrill standing on the deck of the tramp steamer Rita, helmed by its crusty and resourceful captain, Lucas (Nestor Paiva), as it enters the mysterious lagoon no tourist has set foot in? Wouldn’t you get a chill encountering the Gill Man as his curiosity gets the better of him and he dares to come aboard looking for companionship, for understanding, for a soul mate after all those years of being alone? After all, the Devonian period he hails from goes back a few hundred million years.

With Creature from the Black Lagoon borrowing thematic elements from King Kong and Frankenstein, we already know how well his search for companionship and understanding will go; and that would be not well at all. Like Kong, he becomes infatuated with a woman, and like Frankenstein’s Monster he’s mistreated on sight, making him retaliate in kind. His mistreatment involves fire, too, but unlike the Frankenstein Monster, the Creature has to also dodge harpoons and cope with rotenone, a piscicide–yes, it’s a real chemical used to catch fish. The desperate scientists drop it into the lagoon to knockout the Creature after they’ve riled him up. 

Here is where sustained tension and subtextual motivations come into play, making Creature from the Black Lagoon a more intelligent and prescient script than many critics (Bill Warren among them) have given it credit for. While subsequent 1950s science fiction movie fare focused on the more horrific aspects of the aftermath of scientific meddling and hubris (all those big spiders, bugs, and dinosaurs chomping and stomping) the subtleties here center on conservation versus exploitation and research versus trophy-hunting. But the Creature is not the only prize being hunted and that opens another thematic element centered around the prima fascie movie gender roles of the 1950s that dictate male scientists are take-charge characters and decision-makers, and female scientists are always pretty, always think about romance, and always scream a lot when not making coffee or patching up those battered, take-charge males.

The beauty and potential trophy wife role is filled by Kay (Julie Adams), a research scientist who, in turn, draws much studious attention from her pushy boss, Mark (Richard Denning), who thinks he’s a better catch for her than her more reserved but earnest fiancé, David (Richard Carlson). Mogambo-minded Mark, seeing dollar signs and newspaper headlines, finances the expedition to the Amazon when a fossilized hand with webbed fingers is found in a geological dig by Dr. Maia (Antonio Moreno). It takes David’s enthusiastically delivered speech, part science-justification, part science lesson (fashionable for all 1950s science fiction movies) to lend gravitas to the expedition’s intentions. David is, surprisingly, the environmentalist and conservationist. He wants to study nature, not wrap it around his will. It takes Mark’s aggressive posturing directed toward Kay and the Creature to generate the sparks above and below the waterline. The action moves between David, Mark, and the Creature butting heads and gills over Kay and the interplay between them as each asserts his intentions over her and the outcome of the expedition.

It takes Bud Westmore’s makeup team to builld our feelings for the Creature while scaring our wits at the same time with his unique mix of piscine and humanoid features. Fess up now, it’s the Creature Aurora model kit you always preferred to build and paint, right? Commercial artist and part-time actress Milicent Patrick is now credited with designing the Creature’s iconic head, with Chris Mueller doing the sculpting. Jack Kevan created the airtight molded sponge bodysuits worn by Ricou Browning (doing the underwater scenes) and the larger Ben Chapman (doing the above water scenes). The original design called for a less fishy, more Oscar statuette looking Gill Man (a smooth-skinned humanoid) due to one studio executive’s preferences (I wonder if he was related to Irwin Allen?), but that didn’t prove scary enough on camera. More scales and gills were added, giving us the Creature we know and love today. Bud Westmore appeared to have taken offence at Milicent Patrick and her successful publicity touring for the movie, claiming she took too much credit for creating the Creature. He threatened to never use her talents again and followed through on his threat. She was good, having designed the alien in It Came from Outer Space and also that wonderful pants-wearing Metaluna Mutant. The consensus now is that Bud Westmore was the one actually in love with the limelight and taking too much credit in the first place for what his team had accomplished.

Behind the scenes of “Creature From the Black Lagoon”, 1954 (11)

Another person who possibly received more credit than he truly earned is the underwater scenes director, James C. Havens. According to Tom Weaver, Havens didn’t bother to don scuba gear to join Ricou Browning, Scotty Welbourne (who worked the 3-D cameras), and the stunt doubles under the water to direct them in situ. Instead, Havens floated on top, looking down from above to direct the action taking place farther below. Quite a trick when you consider a 3-D movie like this relies on key coming-at-you moments and spatial-blocking to sell those three-dimensions within the frame; how could you gauge the effectiveness of these moments when you’re not looking at them the way you intend your audience to see them?

While Havens easily breathed air while directing his scenes, Ricou Browning, who could hold his breath a lot longer than you or I ever could, relied on air hoses kept close, but out of camera range, on either side of him during shooting. He already had experience with how to breathe from an air hose while underwater, and that came in handy when attempts to supply him with a self-contained air supply failed to work as too many bubbles were showing and there wasn't enough room in his suit to accommodate the tanks easily. Although breathing that way may have been second nature to him, the limitations of the Creature’s headpiece made clear sight difficult for both him and Chapman. During the filming of the climactic scene where the Gill Man is carrying an unconscious Kay through his grotto, Chapman guestimated wrongly and bonked her head against one of the grotto’s fake rocky walls. Luckily, Julie Adams was not actually rendered unconscious from that mishap, but the publicity department played up her head scrape for all it was worth, including a snapshot of Adams receiving serious medical attention: a Band-Aid applied by a nurse.

Heavy publicity during production and through the release of the movie was a new marketing slant undertaken by Universal-International Studios. That effort, combined with the use of the Moropticon single-projector 3D system instead of the cumbersome and expensive dual-projector system the majority of theaters still couldn’t afford, made possible the wide-release of Creature in 3-D to more urban theaters than usual, although many smaller neighborhood theaters still showed the movie flat (in 2-D). The Moropticon system allowed a standard 35mm projector to be “converted to 3-D in minutes by attaching the Moropticon prism lens to the front of the unit.” The installation of the system only cost the theater a hundred dollars, provided the theater agreed to purchase twenty-five hundred pairs of viewing glasses per month for twelve months. Then, as is the case today, those glasses generate a lot of money. The underwater scenes take full advantage of 3-D with harpoons whizzing by, retonone fizzing and clouding up the water in our direction, and a shimmering spatial dimensionality enhanced by careful choreography of the action moving toward and away from the viewer.

Jack Arnold, who personally storyboarded his movies, envisioned the most memorable scene, whether viewed in 3-D or flat: the alternatingly sexual and playful swim between Kay, gliding on the surface (not Julie Adams but her stunt double), and the Creature gliding through the water below her, entranced by her leggy aquatic form. He cautiously reaches out to her, draws back, then reaches out again. It’s a beautifully realized interplay that can be interpreted in various ways with varying levels of innocence and maturity, such as Johnny Weissmuller and Maureen O’Sullivan's frisky swim in 1934’s Tarzan and His Mate. Here, however, the censors had much less to worry about.

The Creature’s moment of bliss is fleeting. Hunted, captured, shot at, harpooned twice, and made groggy from being doped up repeatedly with retonone, he manages to elude Mark’s best efforts to stuff and mount him and Kay’s best screams to deter his ardor. The final confrontation in the grotto leads to two more sequels and a mystery: just what are those three columns seen in the grotto’s background? Is the implication that the Gill Man’s parentage is not as Devonian as we think but alien? Or was a matte painting from a previous movie not moved in time and to save money they kept on shooting?

Even more problematic: why does Kay, a research scientist who should know better, carelessly throw her cigarette butt into the pristine lagoon she couldn’t wait to swim in? Maybe that’s what really pissed off the Creature?

 Note: Sources used in the writing of this article include Tom Weaver’s audio commentary for the disc releases of The Creature from the Black Lagoon; the Wikipedia article on CFTBL; Ghouls, Gimmicks, and Gold: Horror Films and the American Movie Business, 1953-1968 by Kevin Heffernan; the documentary Back to the Black Lagoon written and narrated by David J. Skal; and Bill Warren’s love/hate relationship written up as Keep Watching the Skies! Science Fiction Movies of the Fifties. The use of the term “rad,” which is short for “radical,” comes from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. No common ancestry between them and the Gill-Man is implied.

Pictures used in this article are from http://www.vintag.es/2013/04/behind-scenes-of-creature-from-black.html.

This article originally appeared at From Zombos’ Closet.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 License.

Apr 10 2015

Record Store Day Is Coming!

April 18th is the date of Record Store Day 2015 and we just can’t wait! Horrors fans should be especially interested in the limited edition picture disc for The Walking Dead, along with this sci-fi inspired poster for the event.

You can learn much more about Record Store Day at its official website, which has everything from a list of
Record Store Day releases and participating stores. Gravedigger’s Local 16 will be celebrating with our own unofficial selection of freebies and vinyl LPs you can buy.

Apr 06 2015

Music to Haunt By: The Dead Matter: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Midnight Syndicate
Official Site
The Dead Matter: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, Linfaldia Records 2010

Hey dead guy, how many pieces of pizza do you want?

This is an interesting situation for me. Since I’m going to be covering the film later on, I decided to save most of the back story about The Dead Matter for said review. Here are the basics: Our story begins in 1996, when Edward Douglas made a short student film called The Dead Matter. Years later, the overwhelming success of Midnight Syndicate gave him the opportunity to revist the project without being limited by running time or budget. Both the feature film and soundtrack were released in 2010. Got it? Good, let’s start the review!

Tolling bells and percussion take us into “‘The Dead Matter’ Main Title,” where haunting piano work and wordless female vocals create an ethereal feel. Listening to this conjures up death and ghosts in my mind. But don’t let the fake ending fool you. “Dangerous Meeting” offers pounding and unnerving music with Psycho-like violin stings to create a sense of danger and unease. The opening drums are used to great effect, as are the various voices and roars. The wolf howling at the end is a great touch. “Entering the Dusk” creates unease with its spooky buildup of strings, wind, piano snippets and ghostly vocals. It also offers a sense of something creeping, so it could also work with a spider scene. “Unexpected Company” will make you feel like you are being chased thanks to its suspenseful and speedy violins. The spooky opening and snippets of soft piano work in “Hollows Point” are mournful with a dash of danger. I love the uneasy fluting and the tried-and-true effect used to imply ghosts. You’ll know it when you hear it. Its sense of an evil presence lurking lets you use this in a variety of haunt scenes. I suggest filling a room with these. Not only is it a creepy visual, but the music will make people look around the room and notice the optical illusion. That, combined with the music, will give your visitors chills. “Ian McCallister” is the album’s shortest track since it clocks in at just under a minute. But the extra soft piano and haunting vocals (with plenty of other spooky touches) make it seem longer. It also blends seamlessly with the next track, “Seance.” Although the piano picks up the pace compared to last track, it still has all of the eerie stuff you love. If anything, it increases them as well. The surprise pounding beat and violins appear for a sense of extreme danger and the ending buildup gets blood pumping. As the name implies, it’s great for any haunt’s séance or a room where a Pepper’s Ghost fades into view. Perhaps you could try doing both at the same time! “Sebed Suite” is more subdued than previous track, but still creepy. Its soft music goes well with the wordless unisex vocals and it builds in intensity towards the end. There’s also a sample from the movie, but it works well in with the overall ghostly feel. This track could be used to enhance a jump scare by having your performer leap at at just the right time. Especially from a place which seems unlikely to be a hiding place in the dark.

“Gretchen and Mark Pym” has a classic Midnight Syndicate feel that is further enhanced by the vocals, bells and dreamy chimes. The soft and slow piano work is also very effective. “Late Night Snack” starts off soft and eerie, but soon picks up the pace and gets scarier thanks to its frantic violins. The occasional footsteps and flapping bats really add to the effect and I can see this being used in a dark area filled with fake bats. The moody “Possession” offers a slow creepy buildup and magnificent use of strings. The pounding percussion speeds things up in chase-like tone which blends into the next track. “Death is the Answer” enhances its fast-paced menacing tone with chanting in Latin and a woman screaming “stop”. The piano and frenzied violins are a great touch and I can easily see this working in a cult room. “Trilec Labs” is the album’s longest track, clocking in at a little over 7 minutes. The opening is moody and ghostly thanks to the wordless vocals and later gains a lurking feel when the strings pick things up. But things really pick up at end. In addition to the sense of pursuit created by the use of percussion, the ghostly unisex voices and wails make things especially eerie. “You’re So Funny Frank” combines ghostly voices, soft musical tones and evil laughter to create a track perfect for any creepy hallway or spooky scene. Just as the name implies, “Sleep” is soft and peaceful…but also creepy due to its spectral voices. It’s perfect for a haunted bedroom, especially one with a misdirection-based scare which occurs when people are leaving the room. Soft (but pounding) drums, strings and a malicious feeling combine in “Finale.” At first it creates a mood of panicked fleeing, but the ringing bells make me think of a crypt scene while the occasional use of a ghostly old fashioned piano makes me think of a haunted saloon. Tolling bells and piano work also appear in “‘The Dead Matter’ End Credit Suite,” but this track has more of a classic Midnight Syndicate feel. To the point where anyone familiar with their work could easily identify them as having made this even if they had never heard this particular album.

Gavin Goszka’s pounding and powerful “Lost” kicks off the first of many rock tracks. Just as I said when I first encountered the track on The Dead Matter: Cemetery Gates, the use of synth work and guitar makes for interesting combo, along with a light piano riff and various spooky touches. Just like the other rockin’ tracks on this album, it can be listened to all year. “The Graveyard” is the first of two tracks by Lazy Lane. You might remember vocalist Lily Lane’s work with Midnight Syndicate on their album, The 13th Hour. Or if you’re a Lazy Lane fan, you might remember this track from Keepers of the Gloom. But old fan and new listener alike will enjoy what they hear. In “Shadows (Haunt Rocker Remix),” a storm and Jerry Vayne’s guitar skills give new life to a Midnight Syndicate classic. Eternal Legacy’s “The Dead Matter” really grew on me thanks to its
low, slow buildup to medium paced guitars and vocals (along with some samples from the film). Those interested in haring more from the band should check out their album Lifeless Alive, which includes this track as well. Lazy Lane return with a selection from The Chills called “The Girl Upstairs.” I love the haunting vocal work coupled with some beautiful piano and instrumentation. “Noctem Aeternus (Masquerade Remix)” re-teams Midnight Syndicate with Destini Beard for a new take on an old favorite. While it retains the spooky piano and opening of the original, the rest is all new vocal work from Ms. Beard. This one of the few tracks on the album that I think could still work in a haunt despite not being orchestral. UV’s “Graveyard (Dead and Buried Remix)”
has spooky touches from the original at times, but this is mostly new material. The industrial opening leads to a catchy beat and lots of drums, with plenty of samples from film thrown in for good measure. It’s easily the most
danceable selection on the soundtrack. Hipnostic’s “Ritual” would work even without the vocals, but who wants that? Certainly not me. The rockin’ guitars and drums further help make this an excellent listening experience. We return to spooky orchestral music with the final track, “Sean is in the Ground.” It’s a haunting nursery rhyme of sorts with eerie children chanting the title over and over again. If your haunted attraction has a scene based around a playroom, then this is the track for you!

Once again Midnight Syndicate has created a fantastic listening experience. The bulk of the tracks are suitable for looping and there’s plenty of material to mix and match from when you play it on Halloween. Although the rock tracks might not suit your haunting purposes, they’re still great and can be enjoyed throughout the year. I know I have been playing “The Girl Upstairs,” “Lost” and “Graveyard (Dead and Buried Remix)” numerous times already. But if they are the sort of thing your haunt is looking for, you’ll be happy to know they are included in Midnight Syndicate’s royalty free program. What are you still reading his for? Go out and grab a copy!

Special thanks to Entity Productions for the review copy!

Gravedigger’s Local 16 is not to be held responsible for the content on or anything that may occur (be it good or bad) as a result of visiting any links on the above sites (or constructing a project that’s detailed on them). This also applies to the suggestions made here. Attempt at your own discretion.

Apr 05 2015

6’+ Episode 145 is Up!

2013 Logo IconTo quote the description given at the new listing:

“April 1st, 2015 marked 4 years of 6ftplus. We celebrate in this episode with music from THE CRIMSON GHOSTS, THE HALLINGTONS, BOSS FINK, HERE COMES THE MUMMIES and more. Plus, Monstermatt Patterson lights the candles on the cake in the MONSTERMATT MINUTE, while Kraig Khaos blows them out with another KILLER KUT.”

Remember to email 6′+ (contact at 6ftplus.com) or leave a comment below about the show, whether you liked it or not. Tell your friends, leave a review on iTunes, but above all – enjoy.

You can find all episodes of 6′+ over at the official site as well as on iTunes and Stitcher. They’re also on Facebook, Twitter and SoundCloud.

Apr 05 2015

The 6th Annual GdL16 Easter Egg Hunt

Why is an Easter Bunny is playing with a Halloween toy?

This year’s Easter Egg hunt is going to be a bit different. There was supposed to have been a new review of a DVD filled with hidden “Easter Eggs,” but some circumstances beyond our control have delayed it. So instead, this year’s hunt will involve a mix of goodies from previous years and a video that’s actually one of the Easter Eggs from the delayed review. But you’ll have to search through a bunch of articles and videos with no connection to Easter Eggs at all. Let the hunting begin!

Brain Candy
Pieces
Puppet Master
Pumpkin Carving With Commentary
Freaky Tiki Surf-ari: Hans Karl
Music to Haunt By: The Dead of Fall
Winterbeast
Freaky Tiki Surf-ari: Phase 2
Cat in the Brain
Calls for Cthulhu
Music to Haunt By: House of Nightmares

Happy Easter!

Mar 24 2015

Into The Voodoo

intothevoodooartFINALBC

At the end of May, Uncommon Interests will be unleashing it’s first record. A hair raising, eye popping, eardrum exploding sonic terror meltdown. Into the Voodoo is a 3 way split compilation record featuring The Bad Whoremoans, Creepersin, and The Jim Parsons Project. The record will be a limited edition of 500 on blood red vinyl. As of this post, roughly 150 are left for pre-order over at https://uncommoninterests.bandcamp.com/ All other copies are spoken for.

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can currently listen to and download the album for free at https://uncommoninterests.bandcamp.com/ And while you’re there, you can also get a limited edition (only 100 made) Into the Voodoo promo poster.

0004600861_10

And don’t forget to check in every 2 weeks for a new episode of the Uncommon Interests podcast over at  https://uncommoninterests.libsyn.com/

Mar 21 2015

6’+ Episode 144 is Up!

2013 Logo IconTo quote the description given at the new listing:

“White or Blue Collar, we all bleed red and it’s time to let the blood flow with music from ZOMBIE!, THE MOANS, The MONSTER ONES, GHOUL SQUAD and more. Plus, Monstermatt Patterson and THE MONSTERMATT MINUTE!”

Remember to email 6′+ (contact at 6ftplus.com) or leave a comment below about the show, whether you liked it or not. Tell your friends, leave a review on iTunes, but above all – enjoy.

You can find all episodes of 6′+ over at the official site as well as on iTunes and Stitcher. They’re also on Facebook, Twitter and SoundCloud.

Mar 17 2015

Have a Spooky St. Patrick’s Day!

Since we tend to focus on American works inspired by Irish traditions in our annual celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, it is a welcome change to pace to actually share something from the Emerald Isle with you. It’s an Irish short film called Midnight Dance and it’s the creation of John McCloskey of Raw Nerve Films:

In case you are wondering what song is playing, it’s Camille Saint-Saëns’ famous “Danse Macabre.” The judges at the 1998 Palm Springs International ShortFest must have been as taken with it as we were, because they gave Mr. McCloskey the “Best Animation” award for it! It’s also available as part of the Short Insanity 6 DVD (or as some retailers refer to it, “Short 6 – Insanity“).

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Mar 13 2015

TGIF13: 6’+ Episode 143 is Up!

2013 Logo IconTo quote the description given at the new listing:

“Just when you thought it was safe – HE’S BACK! Strange Jason cuts through with some deadly F13 music from THE JASONS, EYE-GOUGE!, THE HEXTALLS, THE APPRECIATION POST and so much more. Monstermatt Patterson gets shot in the eye with a harpoon – but he’s okay! He’s still going to THE MONSTERMATT MINUTE – which makes us wish Jason would hurry up and KILL US ALL!”

Remember to email 6′+ (contact at 6ftplus.com) or leave a comment below about the show, whether you liked it or not. Tell your friends, leave a review on iTunes, but above all – enjoy.

You can find all episodes of 6′+ over at the official site as well as on iTunes and Stitcher. They’re also on Facebook, Twitter and SoundCloud.

Mar 11 2015

The Raven

It's okay sweetie...I'm sad he couldn't find any poster art too.

Edgar Allan Poe has had a hard life. Separated from his sister after their mother passed away, Edgar was taken in by the Allan family. But as he grew, so did his debts and taste for alcohol. Now off on his own with his wife Virginia, Poe struggles with selling his work to help treat her illness and with hallucinations, including one involving a strange bird…

As you can see from the plot description, this is not the 1963 film starring Vincent Price and Peter Lorre. Nor is it a direct adaptation of Poe’s most famous work. Instead, it’s an adaptation of the biographical play by George Cochrane Hazelton. Since the novelization of the play is called The Raven: The Love Story of Edgar Allan Poe (‘twixt Fact and Fancy), it’s pretty easy to figure out that liberties with some aspects of Poe’s life were taken. But although the details might not be exact, the basic facts are present. The ancestors noted in the opening really did exist, he did have issues with alcohol, and he did suffer from hallucinations. However, most of his heavy drinking appears to have only occurred during times of great stress and is only reported to have had hallucinations towards the end of his life. It is unclear if the sequence where Poe hallucinates a version of “The Raven” is supposed to depict him experiencing one of his past works or if it is supposed to represent his inspiration for it, but it’s not true either way. However the part where he buys a slave to save him from a cruel master (portrayed by a white man in blackface) is definitely fictional.

This is not a horror movie, but should hold the interest of horrors fans who enjoy Poe’s work. In addition to the biographical details provided by the film and the additional spectral figures added to “The Raven,” there are some genuinely funny comedy scene and the chemistry between Virginia and Edgar as depicted by Warda Howard and Henry B. Walthall (who also appeared in the Poe adaptation The Avenging Conscience) is very enjoyable to watch. Unsurprisingly, the film neglects to mention that Virgina was Poe’s 13 year old cousin!

As a public domain film, it is available from several companies. The version I watched is one that I found online (as is the case with most of my reviews), so I can’t be sure which DVD of the film to recommend. What I can say is that the print I saw had plenty of print damage and tape lines. It also suffered from strobing and was so oversaturated that anything white seemed to have a strong “glow,” including the intertitles! This also resulted in many obscured faces and almost ruined the clever transition from a picture of the real Poe to the man playing him. I also noticed how the intertitles for the raven’s “Nevermore” and the ending “Lenore” speech used a completely different front and did not suffer from the glowing issue, but can’t tell if they were a stylistic choice or if someone inserted new material in order to create a copyrightable version. But said intertitles did have print damage and there is none of the new copyright information one would expect the maker of such a version would include, so I don’t know what to think. Although some sources claim it originally had a running time of 80 minutes or 57 minutes, the version I saw was only 45 minutes. I hope some company will one day give this film the restoration it deserves. I also hope you try watching it for yourself and then look more into Edgar Allan Poe’s life, because the movie leaves so many details out. Remember his struggles to sell his work? It turns out that was due to publishers preferred publishing bootleg copies of British works for free rather than pay American authors for their work! His issues with Rufus Wilmot Griswold are also left out of the film, so you’ll have to do a little reading on your own if you want to get the amazing full story.

Mar 09 2015

6’+ Episode 142 is Up!

2013 Logo IconTo quote the description given at the new listing:

“Better late than never – we finally blast off into space! We say good-bye to SPOCK with music from BATMOBILE, THE EVIL STREAKS, SONNY DAY and more! Monstermatt Patterson is found to be ILLOGICAL in the MONSTERMATT MINTUE and Kraig Khaos breaks the prime directive by sharing another KILLER KUT.”

Remember to email 6′+ (contact at 6ftplus.com) or leave a comment below about the show, whether you liked it or not. Tell your friends, leave a review on iTunes, but above all – enjoy.

You can find all episodes of 6′+ over at the official site as well as on iTunes and Stitcher. They’re also on Facebook, Twitter and SoundCloud.

Mar 04 2015

The Worm Turns

Surprisingly enough, I do a lot of decorating for Halloween.

I used to be involved with a number of haunted house attractions and loved the kind of big, flashy props that those environments require. Electric chairs with flashing strobe lights and maniacs wielding roaring chainsaws are certainly effective, but as I’ve grown older I’ve developed an appreciation for a smaller, more intimate approach that places atmosphere and theatricality above cheap shocks. These days I’d much rather create props that are creepy and disquieting.

This particular project involves creating realistic parasitic worms for a “thing in a bottle” display. When finished, you’ll have a reasonably realistic depiction of some of the (image warning) most gruesome real-life creatures in the world. Having a few preserved specimens on display should go a long way towards making your Halloween decorating memorable. Best of all, this is an amazingly cheap and easy project that can be finished in an hour or two.

To make our worms we’ll be using liquid latex (Capitol brand latex carpet adhesive in this example, $3 at Home Depot), a glass cutting board, some off-white acrylic craft paint, and a cheap craft brush:

After cutting off the tip of the liquid latex squeeze out a line of the material on the glass sheet. Make sure you have good ventilation, since the ammonia in the latex reeks to high heaven.

A line about 6 inches long should be more than enough.

Now stipple the latex with the craft brush, spreading it out into a thin layer on the glass.

Once the latex is spread thin squeeze out a drop or two of the craft paint and stipple it on top of the latex. The stippling process not only mixes the paint in with the latex, but helps everything dry faster by increasing the surface area.

Now wait.

And wait.

And wait.

After about ten minutes the latex should be just slightly tacky to the touch. If it sticks to your finger when you tap it give it more time to dry. When it’s fully dry use your fingertip to start rolling it up from one side by dragging your finger across the latex. It should come right off the glass and start forming a tube shape as it sticks to itself.

Once you have a good edge established you can use the length of your hand to continue rolling the edge over.


When you roll up the last of the latex from the glass sheet you’ll have your parasitic worm.


The only thing worse than a thread-like worm devouring you from the inside out is a whole colony of worms turning your innards into a buffet, so make extras.


Ick! Now all you have to do is bottle ‘em up. Congratulations, you’re now on your way to having a display of specimens any mad scientist would be proud of.

This article originally appeared at Propnomicon.

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