Apr 18 2014

Record Store Day 2014

This year’s Record Store Day sponsors are Red Bull, Red Eye, Universal, and WB records (along with others.) Plus, with bands like Aerosmith and Linkin Park getting in on the celebration, I’m just about done with Record Store Day. It was cool that they developed this ‘holiday’ to drum up sales for the dying brick+mortar music store industry. It might have been corporate from the start and I’ve only just now noticed. But in 2014, I’m not as enthusiastic about it as I usually am. Of course, who am I to badmouth the day when I haven’t owned a functioning turntable since 2006?

Anyway, if you head over to RecordStoreDay.com, you can find a store and see the listing of exclusives being released tomorrow or today, whenever you’re reading this. (April 19th)  A few of my suggestions?

Cancerous Growth – 80′s Hardcore/Thrash crossover. Can’t go wrong with that (actually, it can go wrong ALL SORTS of ways so listen to this before you buy it.)

Christian Death – Death Rock. Good stuff for your proto-goth collection.

Drive By Truckers have something out and they usually do on Record Store Day. The band is a bit prolific lately. I haven’t checked them out since The Big To Do which came out four years ago. That means they’ve probably released six more albums and two different solo projects and three members have both quit, rejoined and quit the group again.

Devo and The Flaming Lips are doing an edition of the ‘side by side’ series. Last year, it was Evan Dando doing a version of The Misfits “Skulls” (released under the name Lemonskulls or Lemonfits, I can’t remember.) This time, Devo and the Flaming Lips have recorded a live version of “Gates of Steel.”

Do the Flaming Lips get a lot of shit? I ask because I don’t know and in my humble opinion, they do a lot of stuff that should earn them a lot of shit.  In between lead-singer Wayne Coyne pitching for Virgin Mobile and the pretentious/awkward format releases (the song that can only be heard if you play twelve YouTube videos simultaneously, the four-song-flashdrive encased in a seven pound gummy skull, the 24-hour song) does anyone say “All right. That’s fucking enough, Flaming Lips.” Also, there’s the hippie factor. Take a look at the video the band released for their Devo cover, and you see – if these are the people who GO to a Flaming Lips concert, why the fuck do I want to risk get covered in gold dust, Bacardi and stupid?  When you get sick of the video, go listen to Psycho Charger’s version of the song.


The Flaming Lips – “Gates Of Steel” (Devo cover) from stereogum on Vimeo.

The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion -  their release contains a live mash-up of Run-DMC’s “She’s On It” and Link Wray’s “Jack The Ripper.” If that sucks, you can get the Link Wray release that’s going out. Frank Zappa‘s ‘Don’t Eat The Yellow Snow’ is going to be released because lord knows the Zappa Family Trust needs more money.  And Southern Culture On The Skids team up with Fred Schnieder form the B-52s in a “why hasn’t this happened sooner?” collaboration.

And that’s it. Enjoy Music!

Apr 18 2014

6′+ Delay

In case you don’t read our podcast’s Facebook page, here’s a repeat of an important status update:

“Sorry to do this, but no show this week. We’ll just have to make sure that next week’s show is twice as great than usual.”

If you have any suggestions for artists/bands (or anything else you want more of on the show) please feel free to submit them to CONTACT at 6FTPLUS dot com.

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

Apr 11 2014

6′+ Episode 101 is Up!

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

“On the other side of 100, it’s a retro-kind-of-episode as everyone else is out and about, while Strange Jason spins music from The Itch, Bonsai Kitten, The Brains, Jumbo Shrimp and more..”

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, Stitcher and Spreaker. They’re also on Facebook and Twitter.

Apr 10 2014

Record Store Day Is Coming!

Record Store Day 2014 is scheduled for April 19th and boy have things changed since we first started promoting it here. Although I’m sure participating stores will have some sort of freebies available, most of the focus now seems to be on limited edition vinyl releases that are being made available for purchase on the big day (in addition to special sales and live performances). Judging from the releases (the international list is available here), the people behind Record Store Day have taken criticisms that it’s gotten too mainstream to heart. If the presence of Frank Zappa and Sun Ra vinyl releases doesn’t silence the critics, I don’t know what will!

Horror fans should be especially interested in the 10 inch release of the Ghostbusters theme that glows in the dark, the spooky surf sounds of Hang Ten by Ghoul and (I kid you not) the remastered The Last House on the Left soundtrack. Like I said, they’re really going out of their way to avoid looking too mainstream this year.

As was noted last year, it’s important to support your local record store. Despite big push towards streaming media, the truth is that physical media sales are better for the artists. We’ll be offering plenty of freebies right here on the big day as well (along with our own list of suggested vinyl and cassette purchases). It’s our gift to you once you’re done visiting participating stores in your area. Hope to see you then!

Apr 07 2014

Doin’ it for the Lulz: Charlie Short and Omegle

I still hate the term ‘creepypasta.’ But some of this internet-urban-legend-horror has produced a couple of stars – Laughing Jack, Jeff the Killer, Unwanted House Guest. There even was an actual movie made with an honest-to-god monster, Smiley. So though the name is stupid as fuck, it’s actually producing some horror for the ADHD-minds of the younger generation. Right on! Sure, what reviews I’ve seen of that film make it seem dull and listless, but baby-steps. Baby-steps.

Makeup and effects artist Charlie Short (aka PinkStylist on Youtube) decided to have a bit of fun with some ‘creepypasta’ characters and Omegle, which is the Chatroulette for people who think they’re too good for Chatroulette. Watch as Charlie decides to spook some innocent webcamers, and make sure to subscribe to his channel.




Apr 04 2014

6′+ Episode 100 is Up!

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

“100 Episodes! For this occasion, Strange Jason recounts the origin story of 6ftplus, on how censorship, indie rock, Canadian punk and Rob Zombie all contributed to the birth of this podcast.”

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, Stitcher and Spreaker. They’re also on Facebook and Twitter.

Mar 28 2014

6′+ Episode 99 is Up!

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

“It doesn’t need to be summertime to enjoy some surf music, so jump into this episode with music by The Irradiates, Kill, Baby…Kill, The Surf Zombies and more. Monstermatt Patterson tries not to wipe out with the Monstermatt Minute, and we hang ten while talking Six things about the new release MONSTERS OF SURF.”

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, Stitcher and Spreaker. They’re also on Facebook and Twitter.

Mar 27 2014

The Ghost of Slumber Mountain

Dino Might!

Jack Holmes decides to entertain his visiting nephews with the story of the time he went to Slumber Mountain with a friend of his. But this was no ordinary camping trip. His friend had noted how an abandoned cabin there once belonged to a hermit named Mad Dick, whose ghost is said to haunt it. That night, Jack sneaks off to investigate and find a strange device that resembles a telescope inside. When the ghost of Mad Dick appears and shows him how to use the telescope, he finds himself looking back in time and seeing various prehistoric creatures. But as it turns out, they can see him, too…

Despite being in the public domain, this film is nearly impossible to find on home video. This is presumably due to it being a silent movie that runs under 20 minutes long and because (in my opinion) most so-called “public domain” outfits seem to be more concerned with swiping transfers of the same pool of films from each other than actually bringing new material to the table. It’s a shame, as there’s plenty of stuff that will interest genre fans. In addition to the brief appearance of Mad Dick’s ghost (rumored to be played by Willis O’Brien), there’s an apatosaurus, dueling triceratops, diatryma and a tyrannosaurus. Thankfully, interested parties can find it online and a restored version occasionally shows up on Turner Classic Movies every so often.

The Ghost of Slumber Mountain has long been surrounded by mystery and misinformation. Some sources claim it was released in 1918 while others say it was 1919. Is the beast at the end an misidentified allosaurus or tyrannosaurus? As you can see from this old copyright listing and this vintage article publicizing the film, it was a 1919 release and the dinosaur is indeed a tyrannosaurus. As you may have noticed in that last link, special effects artist Willis O’Brien is given zero credit for his work. Instead, producer (and lead actor) Herbert M. Dawley claims to have done all the effects. Not only that, but he actually claimed to have invented the concept of stop motion animation (he didn’t) and even took out a patent on it! Not helping matters was his laughable explanation that he used giant sized model dinosaurs for the film. Dawley is also infamous for editing down the film from its intended 30-45 minute running time down to the short version we’re all familiar with. Some sources claim that some of the deleted scenes found their way into Dawley’s 1920 film Along The Moonbeam Trail, but a quick look at the film in question shows that’s not the case.

While some modern critics might find the effects primitive compared to O’Brien’s later work in The Lost World and King Kong, I found them to be quite enjoyable and much better than one might think. Let’s not forget that this is the first film to combine stop motion animation and live action footage, in addition to having models made under the supervision of paleontologist Barnum Brown (the man who discovered Tyrannosaurus rex)! The success of the film also led to O’Brien being able to get the famous silent adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Lost World made. This also resulted in Dawley suing over the supposed patent infringement, although there is some speculation that this was actually due to O’Brien’s famous demo reel for The Lost World using models or deleted scenes from The Ghost of Slumber Mountain. Whatever the exact reason was, the lawsuit ultimately went nowhere and the classic film was eventually made (which led to numerous other genre films). That alone should convince you to see the movie that started it all.

Mar 23 2014

Help Us Win A Rondo Award!

Forget Buster Keaton!  I am the Great Stone Face!

Voting for the Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards has began and we’re proud to say that Gravedigger’s Local 16 and Six Foot Plus were nominated as “Best Blog of 2013″ and “Best Multimedia Horror” respectively. We’re also very proud that our musical tribute to the 25th anniversary of Forbidden Dimension, Creepsville ’13, was also nominated for “Best CD.” Given his participation in Six Foot Plus, it was also great to see Dr. Gangrene nominated in categories like “Best Article,” “Best Magazine Column” and “Favorite Horror Host of 2013.”

Given all that Monstermatt Patterson and Tammy and Junior from Twisted Central have contributed to the show, we hope you write in Twisted Central as “Best Website” and Ha-Ha! Horror by Monstermatt Patterson as “Best Book of 2013.” Speaking of write ins, Monstermatt Patterson would be a great choice for “Linda Miller Fan Artist Of The Year.”

We hope you keep the above suggestions in mind when you ballot submit your via email (with your name included so that your vote is counted). You can vote for as many or as little categories as you want, so please check out all of the other great categories. As much as we want you to vote for us, we want you to vote for others as well. Voting ends Sunday at midnight (May 5th), so don’t delay!

To reiterate, here’s our suggested voting guide:

Category 11. Best Book – Ha-Ha! Horror by Monstermatt Patterson
Category 13. Best Article – ‘Credit Where Credit Is Due: Jack Pierce: Frankendesigner,’ by Dr. Gangrene
Category 16. Best Magazine Column – The Doctor Is In-Sane, by Dr. Gangrene, SCARY MONSTERS
Category 18. Best Website – Twisted Central
Category 19. Best Blog – Gravedigger’s Local 16
Category 23. Best Multimedia Horror – Six Foot Plus
Category 24. Favorite Horror Host – Dr. Gangrene
Category 25. Best CD – Creepsville ’13
Category 31. Linda Miller Fan Artist of the Year – Monstermatt Patterson

You can find the ballot (and voting instructions) at the official Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards website.

Mar 21 2014

6′+ Episode 98 is Up!

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

“We’re nominated for a Rondo award! A lot of people are and we go into detail who should get your vote in this Rondo-riffic episode with music from The Coffin Daggers, Anima Morte, The Renfields, Midnight Syndicate and more! We also have the Monstermatt Minute and a Dr. Gangrene Recommended Movie of the Week.”

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, Stitcher and Spreaker. They’re also on Facebook and Twitter.

Mar 18 2014

Music to Haunt By: Legion of Shadows

Nox Arcana
Official Site
Legion of Shadows, Monolith Graphics 2013

There's a Jean Grey joke in here somewhere...

As you may recall from my last Nox Arcana review, I had to pass on reviewing the band’s 10th anniversary album due to a scheduling issue. Thankfully said issue has been since resolved and I can finally cover this musical tribute to Nox Arcana’s fanbase. Taking its name from from Nox Arcana’s official mailing list Legion of Shadows is made up of tracks inspired by the numerous fan suggestions they have acquired over the years.

As is the standard for Nox Arcana albums, things open with a spooky spoken word segment. The tolling bells and wordless female vocals that start “We Are Legion” usher in the dark, heavy tones and organ work backing Joseph Vargo’s speech about beings of darkness. “The Hidden Realm” starts out with light spooky tones that are almost like a music box. There’s an definite sense of creeping or sneaking while the eerie spectral chorus and tolling bell adds to the suspense. “Skeletons in the Closet” mixes light tones and pounding, menacing music with bells and wordless unisex vocals. There’s also some great performances on the piano and organ which conveys a kind of lurking fear to the listener. While one could get away with using this with an evil clown scene, I think this would be great in a slasher room (especially if played on a loop with the next track, due to its ending). But I’m getting ahead of myself here. “Shivers” lives up to its name thanks to its combination of eerie piano music and wordless female vocals while “Distant Memories” is perfect for any crypt, graveyard, etc. Why? Because its slow piano and faint wails create a sense of history. The pace picks up somewhat later in the track, but the overall tone remains the same. The moody strings and light chimes that open “Ancient Flame” lead to touches of harpsichord and a ghostly female chorus which give this track a medieval feel…at first. Although you could use this in a haunted castle scene, the blend of flute and hand claps give this a mystic feel that’s well-suited for a witch’s or wizard’s lair. The harpsichord also shines in “Loveless,” which combines creepy light music with some dark touches. The piano work, strings and extra soft female vocals help make this perfect for any spooky setting.

“Dreamscape” features light piano music with plenty of plinking music box tones and wordless unisex vocals that make it great for a haunted nursery filled with evil dolls. Heavy strings and faint wails start off “Evil Genius,” but strings and pounding tones take over. Wordless vocals and tolling bells join in later. It’s perfect for use anywhere you want a sense of evil to be felt. It could work in a mad scientist’s laboratory, but you might want to throw in some lab sound effects as well. “Ghost in the Mirror” offers more light and creepy music box-like tones, while a piano and wordless female vocals take over at times. Given the name, I suggest using it with a Pepper’s Ghost variant that makes ghosts appear in a mirror. “Toccata” is a relatively shortened (but still fairly lengthy) take on the horror classic that is “Toccata and Fugue in D Minor”. As the inclusion of ghostly vocals and bells would imply, this is not your standard take on this Halloween standard. Nox Arcana makes it their own while still remaining faithful to the original. This works wonders in a variety of haunt scenarios, but I imagine many will use this in scenes involving Dracula or a phantom organist. “Lorelei” takes its name from ancient folklore and uses a mix of light music box tones and faint female wails (with a few male ones as well) to great effect while “Black Phoenix” combines female vocals with touches of bells and revved up strings. “Spirits of the Past” uses tolling bells to usher in spooky piano and a mix of violins and harpsichord. This, combined with the vocals, creates an ancient feel.

“On Dark Wings” is truly chilling thanks to its effective use of piano work, bells and strings (along with some mixed vocals), which makes it great for any kind of creepy room. In “Haunted Dreams,” chiming tones and wordless female vocals are coupled with piano and bells. The piano work is pounding and heavy at times, which creates a sense of danger aided by violins. “Into the Night” has a medieval sounding feel thanks to its subdued harpsichord mixed with bells and choral work. “Rites of Passage” features fast and pounding opening with dark undertones. The use of violin, organ, bells and a gong are quite striking (as is the choral work). “Arise” has great chase scene potential thanks to its fast, frantic piano and moody bells. The string work and vocals add to the sense of pursuit. I think this would be best used by having it play once guests trigger a motion sensor in middle of a haunted hallway, right before a monster attacks them. “Legion of Shadows” has a strikingly eerie opening thanks to its use of bells, organ and harpsichord mixed with vocals. The plinking tones and piano work of “Heart of Darkness” gradually builds in intensity to create a feeling of darkness and dread. The string work, bells and wordless female vocals also add to the overall feel before an evil laugh ends the track. Or so it would seem to those unfamiliar with Nox Arcana. After a period of silence, a slow piano and whispering wind bring us to a Vargo monologue about having waited ten years in darkness while gathering power and kindred spirits (all backed by wordless unisex vocals). In addition to explaining the album’s cover art, he also bookends things with the same “We are Legion” quote he used in the opening track rise from the ashes as a creature of darkness.

Legion of Shadows is yet another excellent release from Nox Arcana and is well worth purchasing. Haunters and Halloween fanatics will appreciate how all tracks are suitable for individual looping (and how it can be used with pretty much any spooky theme). Looping the entire album while handing out candy on October 31st is also a great use of it. As always, the liner notes feature beautiful illustrations and other goodies. But the good news doesn’t end there! Band member William Piotrowski has created the soundtrack for the vampire movie Crimson Winter. Said score has been described as a mix of Nox Arcana and the work of György Ligeti and is available as a separate album. It truly is a great time to be a Nox Arcana fan.

Special thanks to Monolith Graphics for the review copy!

Mar 17 2014

Saint Patrick’s Day Spooktacular

He'll feck you up!

As you can see from the above image, GRAVE is back with a celtic knot-inspired design based around Shin Tanaka’s “Hoophy” template. Just like last time, all you have to do is send him an email about it and he’ll send you its template so you can print out and assemble your own.

Although the names of J. Sheridan Le Fanu and Bram Stoker are well known in the world of horror, people often forget that they are Irish writers. Celebrate their heritage by sending some of the day reading their spooky stories. If you need of more quality Irish reading material, I recommend checking out the Irish Journal Of Gothic and Horror Studies.

Propnomicon has some amazing pictures of Jacob Petersson’s preserved leprechaun prop, which nicely captures the fearsome nature of the fae which is usually glossed over in modern depictions.

Despite what Durarara!! would have you believe, a dullahan is not a beautiful headless valkyrie. Bogleech has a great article showing just how vile they really are.

If you want to learn more about the legendary creatures of Ireland, Wikipedia has an entire category devoted to the subject. However, said link is missing the fearsome Dobhar-chú.

Readers of this blog should remember how Jack O’Lanterns have their origins in Ireland and used to be carved from turnips. You can see one such example here. He also posted a great gallery of eerie artwork by Irish artist Harry Clarke.

When in Ireland, be sure to visit the Ferryman Zombie of Victoria’s Way!

If you’re in the mood for visiting a haunted attraction, Fright Bites has a handy list of several locations that are holding special events today.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Special thanks to GRAVE for use of the image!

Mar 14 2014

6′+ Episode 97 is Up!

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

“Featuring an interview with ZAC AMICO, comedian and star of RETURN TO NUKE ‘EM HIGH, we have an Troma-rrific episode with music from Griswalds, The Monster Klub, Hawaii Samurai, and more. Monstermatt Patterson dons his mop and tutu for another edition of the Monstermatt Minute. And then we all move to New Jersey.”

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, Stitcher and Spreaker. They’re also on Facebook and Twitter.

Mar 13 2014

Scared Stiff by the Party Monsters: Elvira’s Pinball Adventures

It seems like I’ve always known about Elvira. I know that can’t be possible, but at the same time I can’t pinpoint the exact moment I learned of her existence. I remember learning about her pinball game Elvira and the Party Monsters during one of the same family vacations that led to me discovering Rampage but at the same time I don’t remember being mystified by who Elvira was. As this was long before I had learned before I learned of her association with movies through seeing her ThrillerVideo releases at various video stores and Attack of the Killer B Movies, I must have seen one of those cardboard Coors Light stand-ups featuring her during one of dad’s trips to the package store. It would certainly explain why I had no reason to question Elvira having a barbeque with a bunch of monsters. Given how those Elvira stand-ups usually lumped in with some generic “party” display, it makes sense the two images would become mixed in my mind.

Given my love of pinball and monsters, I immediately made a beeline for the machine and started to play. Being a casual gamer (and being too young to to know or care about them), I didn’t play according to the game’s official rules. I just tried to score as many points as I could by hitting stuff. I remember being quite amused by the dancing “Boogie Men,” both for the pun and the fact they used the same type of finger puppets I had back at home to create them. I also picked up on the parodies of Gold’s Gym and Tombstone pizza, but remember having to have one of my parents explain the “Dead Head” joke. Having recently looked at the backglass artwork, I had originally assumed the werewolf was modeled on radio personality Wolfman Jack. However, it turns out he’s actually based on one of the designers!

My research for this article also led to me learning there was a sequel made in 1996: Scared Stiff. Like the original, it has its own unique rules and both games are popular enough to have separate fansites. Not only that, but Elvira appeared in a special promotional video for the sequel, as uploaded by duncanfbrown:

Elvira pinball games (and her promotional video) make sense, as her revealing outfit and numerous double entendres fit in perfectly with sexual world of pinball. Oh, you think I’m kidding, don’t you? In addition to numerous pinball machines with backglass art featuring scantily clad women with plunging necklines, there have been many instances where pinball machines feature risqué artwork and references. Let’s not forget all the machines where the sound of women having loud orgasms make an appearance. But in fairness (and as noted in those links), the manufacturers did provide ways of making those machines more family friendly.

And then there’s the promotional videos intended for potential buyers. Some, like this one featuring an Elvira-style hostess, are restrained, but then you have ones where a woman is shown having sex with a pinball machine! Granted, it’s Demolition Man-style virtual sex rather than a variation on Cameron Diaz’s infamous car windshield scene in The Counselor, but it’s amazing how they thought that was the perfect way to sell that particular machine.

Since pinball has been on a decline (but thankfully its predicted death never happened), digital ports of classic machines have been on the rise. Farsight Studios has not only licensed both of Elvira’s pinball games (in both censored and uncensored forms) for a collection of titles known as “The Pinball Arcade,” but they also hired Elvira to appear in new videos promoting them! The Mistress of the Dark also appeared on the Spooky Pinball podcast to discuss the matter.

There’s one last connection between Elvira and pinball: although not as popular as they were in their glory days, they’re always going to around in some manner. I remember running across copies of her second video game while visiting Staples and seeing copies of the Elvira: Mistress of the Dark laserdisc in Johnson Smith’s “Things You Never Knew Existed” catalog back in the day and you can always count on her showing up in some form on television or in your local costume store every October. And you know what? I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Mar 07 2014

6′+ Episode 96 is Up!

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

“BOTTLE NOSE KOFFINS INTERVIEW! No matter what time it is, we’re getting close to 00:00 so let’s enjoy ourselves while we can with an interview with BNK, the Monstermatt Minute and music from White Blacula, The Reigning Monarchs, Bloodsucking Zombies From Outer Space and much more!”

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, Stitcher and Spreaker. They’re also on Facebook and Twitter.

Feb 28 2014

Why We Need Another Take on “The Island of Doctor Moreau”

Normally I’m very against the idea of remakes. To me, a remake or a “reimagining” is basically the admission the studio doesn’t have any original ideas and have so faith in the quality of their work that they feel they have to piggyback on an established name in order to generate any interest. But sometimes there are remakes that are worth it, such as the 80′s version of The Fly. With that in mind, I would love to see a new film version of H.G. Wells’ The Island of Doctor Moreau due to the lack of a faithful adaptation.

Don’t get me wrong here, Island of Lost Souls is a classic. But it, and most of the other adaptations of this story, seem to miss some important details from the original novel. For example most movies tackling the subject depict Dr. Moreau’s creations as having animal heads on human bodies, people with fur glued on their face, or some minor latex prosthetics and contact lenses. This couldn’t be further from what Wells was trying to portray! Here are some quotes from chapter 15 of the novel:

Most striking, perhaps, in their general appearance was the disproportion between the legs of these creatures and the length of their bodies; and yet—so relative is our idea of grace—my eye became habituated to their forms, and at last I even fell in with their persuasion that my own long thighs were ungainly. Another point was the forward carriage of the head and the clumsy and inhuman curvature of the spine…Most had their shoulders hunched clumsily, and their short forearms hung weakly at their sides. Few of them were conspicuously hairy, at least until the end of my time upon the island.

The next most obvious deformity was in their faces, almost all of which were prognathous, malformed about the ears, with large and protuberant noses, very furry or very bristly hair, and often strangely-coloured or strangely-placed eyes.

See? Try watching any adaptation of the story and you’ll be hard pressed to find creatures fitting that description. Something like the guy on left in this image is a best case scenario for what one of the beast people would look like. A worst case scenario would probably be like the second to last image found here. It’s amazing how the obvious opportunity to run wild with the “uncanny valley” has gone untouched in all adaptations of the tale to date.

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