Been noticing that a lot of the images, carry-overs from out tenure on the gravediggerslocal.blogspot.com account, have turned up dead. A lot of the Tuesday uEtsy features of old are screwed up. I’ve been talking with the Front Office and we’ll have things fixed by April. So if you come across a post a year or two old and there’s a huge EXCLAMATION POINT!, we know about it. It should be fixed by next month (and that, once again, being April.)
You might remember how we asked our readers to help nominate us so that we could get on the The Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards ballot a few months back. Since then, we have gotten a nomination for 6′+ as Best Horror Audio and one of our writers has put in a nomination for Gravedigger’s Local 16 as Best Blog and seconded the 6′+ nomination. Yeah, it seem we were mistaken in our previous belief that such a thing was against the rules.
So, if you haven’t already, please do us (and yourself) a huge favor by signing up for membership at the Classic Horror Film Board and post your seconding of the about nominations here. The more we get, the better chances we’ll have of getting on the ballot. Besides, you’ll also be a part of a really cool place to discuss classic horror films!
Today (January 18th, 2012) is when a coordinated effort by most of the major web sites and services (Google, Wikipedia, The Oatmeal) have ‘gone black’ in protest of H.R. 3261 or ‘Stop Online Piracy Act.’ We’re not going black because, honestly, it requires more CSS scripting than what I currently know.
I personally oppose SOPA and the Senate bill PROTECT IP/PIPA or S. 968 because we currently have legislation on the books that counteracts piracy and that both SOPA and PROTECT IP/PIPA are draconian, broad strokes of power that will, in the wrong hands of zealous enforcers, fuck up the internet.
We here at Gravedigger’s Local 16 (and our podcast, 6′+) are proponents of Intellectual Property Rights. We support the idea that if you make the work, you should be credited and that no one should steal your creative property. We also believe that if you put in the time and effort to make something, you deserve the fair credit.
Similarly, as you can tell from Weird Jon’s many posts, we also support the idea of there being a Public Domain. While we respect creative rights and intellectual property protection, we can’t support any kind of efforts that limit artistic expression. If someone wants to utilize Frankenstein or Dracula as a symbol of runaway legislation or greed-motivated lobbyists in an artistic statement, they shouldn’t be fined or prevented by the Shelley or Stoker estates since both creators have been dead in the ground for over a century. “Art as a commodity” should have a shelf life, where “art as expression” is timeless.
SOPA and PIPA are on the side of “art as a commodity” in an alarming way. While they are in the good intention of stopping illegal action, the wording of both pieces of legislation are frighteningly broad, granting powers that will interfere with search engines and take down websites without due process. Both pieces, SOPA in particular (since PIPA has been put on hold thanks to Senator Ron Wyden) are threats to the Internet AS WE KNOW IT.
Of course, the Internet is always going to change. That’s what makes it great. Fifteen years ago, we were using 56k modems to log into AOL and CompuServe networks. Today, your cell phone is faster than your 1996-era computer and there’s a wireless network on the bus you take to school. Acts like SOPA and PROTECT IP look to restrict growth to where progression is reduced to a standstill.
I personally want to see Net Neutrality enforced, so I’m not opposed to all legislation in regards to the Internet. I don’t want to see the Internet Provider companies divvying up service and reducing access to sites THEY decree to be ‘lesser’ anymore than I want the government to automatically, without due process, shut down sites that THEY decree to be ‘illegal.’ A balance between “regulation” and “free” is best and SOPA aims to tip the scales.
What can you do? I’m jaded so the idea of going to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, filling out my information and sending a form letter to my congressional representatives seems pointless to me. But I did it this morning, anyway. It seems pointless but pointless actions are better than no action at all. Plus, I got to call Charlie Rangel a motherfucker so there’s some joy in that.
SOPA and PIPA are bad legislation and if you don’t want to see the Internet get fucked up, sent some kind of correspondence (write, call) your Congressional reps. That is all.
2012. It’s a brand new year. We have lots of plans here at Gravedigger’s Local 16. First is our eventually taking down our Blogspot page. Although it was the site’s birthplace, there’s no real point in keeping up something that isn’t updated anymore. We’re aiming for having it taken down and converted into a redirection page to this site sometime by the end of January. More importantly, this month is going to be devoted to reviews of Full Moon movies! That’s right, I’ll be covering everything from their early films to their most recent offerings. The others might be joining in too! For those who don’t care for Full Moon’s output, there’s always the (soon to be) revived Tuesday uEtsy.
So as you wait for all these great new events, why not take a look at these classic GdL16 Full Moon articles:
We’re afraid to announce that, like last week, there will be no Tuesday uEtsy this week or for the rest of the month. Don’t fret, it’ll be back in 2012 and we’ll repost some updated articles every Tuesday on our Facebook page to fill the void!
The 10th Annual Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards will be held in 2012 and the nominations period is now here! We really want to get on the ballot, so please head over to the official Rondo Awards thread at the Classic Horror Film Board and nominate Gravedigger’s Local 16 for Best Blog and 6′+ for Best Horror Audio. Don’t forget to put the category and nominee in the subject line!
Also, you can “second” a nomination if someone nominates us before you do. The more nominations we get, the more likely it is that we can get on the ballot. Oh, and if you start a Yuku account just to nominate us, please consider sticking around and checking out the Classic Horror Film Board. It’s a really cool place that’s chock-full of trivia and stimulating conversation.
Good Morning, everyone.
The Day after Halloween usually indicates a slowdown, as Weird Jon and I usually chill out after the Halloween Bonanza. But, we’re going to keep things going strong. The weekends won’t have as much content as they used to but we’ll try to have some daily content for you.
We hope to resurrect the A Handful of Dirt series. If you have suggestions of who GdL16 should interview, contact us by sending an email or reaching out to us on Facebook or Twitter.
Word from the Front Office is that Tuesday uEtsy will make its return in November.
There will be more forthcoming after we sleep off this Orange and Black Hangover. Hopefully, you all are doing well. How was your Halloween?
Or specifically, a target ad featuring a pale H.P. Lovecraft looking motherfucker being stalked by his British Grey shorthair in regards to the deals on Catfood available at Target.
The opening notes were from either “I was a Teenage Werewolf”
or their cover of “Rockin’ Bones.”
Edit: Someone put video of it up!
The crap I’ve been coughing up is like an early Peter Jackson movie.
Maybe you’ve seen this in your part of the world, but there are reports of a pumpkin shortage here in the US. After a summer with heavy rains and turbulent winter, the crops have been either rotted out by disease or washed away by Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee.
Depending where you go, you might see your prices increase. Last year, I got two medium sized pumpkins for about ten bucks. They were going for about five dollars a piece at a Stop and Shop (New England represent, punk.) They weren’t really too big, nothing that I would think for a large piece of work. But for five bucks, they were big enough for what designed I wanted.
These pumpkins were outside an organic grocer, so I assume they are organic themselves. Ergo, ten bucks a pop. They were about a reasonable size. If I were to buy one pumpkin this year (likely) then I can see myself paying that much. Not to mention I currently live in a city. I don’t know where the nearest farm would be, and how many subway transfers t’ll take for me to get there.
Considering how warm it has been, it probably has been hard to keep a pumpkin. With your http://www.ZombiePumpkins.com membership, you get access to their forums and all the tips on how to keep a pumpkin from rotting. Using petroleum jelly on the inside (or outside?) will keep the pattern, though check zombiepumpkins for all the info.
I’ve noticed a Key Foods here offering pumpkins for about five bucks a pop and some really decent sizes are available. I wouldn’t buy a pumpkin for another five days. Really, my preference when it comes to carving is about around the 28th, so maybe next Friday, I’ll have another photo essay up. I might take another design from the Zombie Pumpkins site. If you have any suggestions as what I should pick, I’d be happy to hear them.
My cat Jack won’t be with me this year, as he passed away this prior March. He was an old cat with a variety of health issues. I miss him a lot but I was lucky to have as many years with him as I did. Thankfully, I have the Mascot for Halloween 2011, TALLULAH, here to help me out.
Paranormal Activity 3 opens next Friday. Are you excited? I’m not.
Why? Because I’m tired of derivative content. I’m tired of the news about the multiple Frankenstein movies in production. I’m sick of commercials for Grimm and the subway signs for Once Upon A Time (which is the inspiration for yesterday’s post, since I’m one red sharpie away from introducing the world to my concept, Once Upon A Fuck You. As of writing that sentence, I’ve received five offers, two of which were from NBC, and as we know, Ryan Gosling has been rumored to playing the lead.)
I’m tired of how chickenshit movie studios are from taking risks that they have to mine every book, board game, television show and plastic toy for an idea because if there’s a preexisting fanbase, there’s at least a guaranteed return on the investment.
Popular culture is killing my Halloween Spirit. I feel like three monsters will appear to me tonight in a dream. Leatherface, Jason and Freddy (haw, haw) will show me the error of my ways. Which, we’re half-way through the month and I am not loathing Halloween.
This is why I value independent cinema. The bad independent monster movie will always trump the mediocre remake in my opinion. Look, I’m not strange. It’s in my name and yeah, I’m kind of a weirdo but there’s at least hundreds if not thousands (possible millions, but lord. What a thought.) like me who are willing to cut you some slack. Make a movie but some things have fucked up, out of your control and it’s not that A+ effort? You know what? You took a risk and you did it. Gold star.
So instead of seeing Paranormal Activity 3 in a week, rent a damn video or stream from Netflix or download it. I don’t care. Just get out of this funk of junk food they’re feeding and get back into the creepy spirit. lord knows I need to.
Also, listen to our podcast and let us know what you think. Leave a review on iTunes, will ya? It’ll help spread the word.
No internet. No update from me. Trick or treat. Smell my feet. Give me something good to eat. If you don’t,
edit: Got internet. Still grouchy.
Things are quiet around here as everyone prepares for the annual Halloween Countdown. We’ll have new, daily content for you throughout October (even weekends. Rad, right?) You can help out GdL16 by spreading the word – tell people to check us out, interact with us on Twitter and Facebook.
In the meantime, I’ll chat a bit about something I read over at ComicsAlliance involving artist Francesco Francavilla and TeeFury, a Shirt.Woot.com copycat that sells one shirt design every 24 hours (though it seems more transparent with its payment policy than Woot. And, artists retain rights of their designs whereas Woot retains rights in perpetuity.) Francavilla got pissed off because a TeeFury design depicting H.P. Lovecraft had some elements similar to something Francivilla drew.
Of course, both designs seem to rip off one of the two existing pictures of Howard, so it’s a question of “who ripped off who?” The answer is “they both suck” and that ultimately, Francavilla doesn’t have as strong of a standing to sue, in my opinion. If he had a more original piece of work, instead of adapting a existing photograph, he’d be in a better position. Hell, we all would. Hell, people, there are more classic horror writers than H.P. Lovecraft. Yeah, C’thulu and all that but c’mon. It’s like how Hollywood keeps making movies out of Philip K. Dick novels. We’re turning C’thulu and H. P. Lovecraft into the McDonalds of Horror literature.
My main point is not that people are overexposing Lovecraft (they are) or that some whiny dirtbag artist stole artwork from another whiny artist (Jimi Benedict, artist of the TeeFury piece, is innocent in this case but his blog posts kind of reveal that the guy’s a dick.) The main point, one that ComicsAlliance hinted at, is that if you contribute to the Internet and don’t cover your ass, it will rip you off.
Example: Some guy posts a picture of his cat wearing a custom-collar that looks like a tie. Someone makes a few captioned pictures and thus BusinessCat, the meme, is born. Shortly thereafter, Icanhazcheezburger.com starts selling pictures featuring a black cat wearing a similar tie-collar. The design is a drawing and it’s altered enough that while it retains similarities to the original meme (the cat is black, there’s no discernible facial expressions, tie-collar), it’s clearly different from the original picture. This difference is made to scuttle any possible lawsuits that the original photographer might make, though if the guy wanted some of the profits, he could probably make a decent case. I’m not entirely sure if the cheezburger group reached out to the original poster (the picture first appeared on the SomethingAwful.com forums. The cat’s name, by the way, is Emilio.) They might have but after seeing how they use all the troll faces from 4chan/reddit with gleeful aplomb, it’s pretty clear that unless you put a signature on the piece of art, you’re going to get fucked over.
We here at GdL16 are against intellectual property theft. I’m personally for reforming the Intellectual Property laws, since a lot of the corporate culture has lobbied for laws that will erode away the ‘public domain.’ Big respect, personally, goes to Senator Ron Wyden for putting the ‘PROTECT IP’ act on hold, since its obtuse, vague language gives sweeping powers in combating piract and copyright infringement. Yeah, the AFL-CIO supports the bill but so does the MPAA and RIAA. Yeah, the MPAA/RIAA have stopped suing grandmothers but they’re still assholes.
So. What can we learn about this Francavilla/Benedict issue?
1. Lay Off of H.P. Lovecraft. Seriously, people. The dude had some good stories but c’mon. He’s not the be-all, end-all. He was also racist as fuck and not terribly kind to women in writing or in life.
2. Don’t rip off work in the public domain and cry foul when someone else does it. Originality is key. If you’re going to hi the ol’ PEE DEE, then make sure your work is clearly transformative enough that it establishes a style and at least, something that if someone ELSE steals, you can have some stable ground for your lawsuit.
3. When defending your position on a blog, have some sympathy for others or else, you’ll look like a total asshole. Don’t be an asshole. This is the “Jimmy Benedict” rule. The guy’s pretty entertaining and witty but he’s kind of a dickhead on his blog, sometimes. Writing “all’s fair in love and art” without some kind of empathy towards the opposite side in the recipe for Instant Shitbag(tm). If someone calls you out for doing something, EVEN IF YOU’RE IN THE RIGHT, don’t be an asshole.
However, if that person is clearly being an asshole themselves, you’re allowed to ignore Rule 3.
4. Seriously, knock it off with all the Lovecraft. Find someone else. I mean it.
5. There are enough legislation on the books to combat internet piracy. This is more of an opinion, though I’m sure if someone set up gdl16.me and just ripped off everything we did, I would change my tune. Actually, no. Who the fuck would go to gdl16.me? Which, brings me to:
6. Cover Your Ass. Don’t put stuff up on the internet without either expecting it to be copied or without you securing the right paperwork to protect your work. And when someone DOES steal it, use the tools at hand to combat piracy. Yeah, they’re jerks for ripping you off but don’t seek vengeance; seek justice.
That’s pretty much it. I’m going to be busy for the week so I hope this half-brained sermon will hold you over. Trust me, the next month will be entertaining.
By now, you’ve probably read that the Evil Dead remake won’t include the main character, Ash, in any form. Bruce Campbell won’t show up as an aged S-Mart employee doling out advice to some new bunch of saps who happened to read from the Necronomicon. Sure, Bruce will be in the film but not as Ash.
Problems? Eh. I don’t have a problem with this. I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t really get pissed off at remakes anymore, since the derivative nature of the movie industry will continue to mine nostalgia and comfort for money. Sure, when they remake ‘Citizen Kane’ or ‘The Godfather,’ it’ll unleash a portal into the chittering unreality where foul monsters will teach us a new way to worship. But I think that’s what? Five, maybe ten years away? They still have to remake Disney’s “The Black Hole” first. So speaks the prophecy.
Anyway. Evil Dead is going to be done again and this time, they’ll find some other actor to do his or her best Ashley J. Williams impression while giving it a 2012 twist. Look, don’t you know? Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell have been in the process of remaking Evil Dead for twenty years. They’ve just been doing it in other movies, one scene at a time. Did you see Spider-Man 2? Did you see the scene where Doctor Octopus’s arms came alive? Hell, let me find it.
Hell, half of Darkman is Campbell and Raimi screwin’ around. Don’t throw up any rage at the idea of this venerable horror classic somehow being tarnished. The whole legacy is rusty as a bloody chainsaw.
Can’t say I’m a big Dark Shadows fan, having been born ten years after it went off the air (and never caught a rerun on SyFy or whoever might have carried it post-mortem) so I have no attachment to the franchise. I watched the first twelve episodes or so about a month or two ago, those episodes before anything terribly spooky started. The signature character, Barnabas Collins, hadn’t shown up yet.
So when the first photos of Johnny Depp as Barnabas hit the internet today/yesterday, it didn’t really inspire any rage or disgust. More as “casual indifference.” And that’s how I think any of you should handle this upcoming movie. I wasn’t surprised that Depp looks like a powdery Truman Capote playing at Darkman. Nothing about this coven surprises me anymore.
Look at the stats: It’s a big screen adaptation of a 70′s soap opera that wasn’t that popular to begin with. It’s being directed by Tim Burton. It stars Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter. Danny Elfman is the music composer. Yes, it’s just as you think: this is the same exact movie as Sleepy Hollow/Big Fish/Corpse Bride/Sweeney Todd/Charlie and the Chocolate Factory/Alice in Wonderland. I’m sure you can toss in half of Edward Scissorhands and half of Planet of the Apes in there as well, bringing up the total to 7 movies spanning twenty years.
But should we get mad? No. It’s going to happen. No matter what, some fool will give Tim Burton to make movies with Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter. They will always get funding, they will always get distribution. Warner Bros. knows that there is a contingency of the population that will always go see a Johnny Depp movie, no matter what. There’s also a slice of the public that actually enjoys Tim Burton’s movies, even if there’s no story, no character development, no plot or no real sense. The shit will always have a distinct spooky look to it.
Until Burton has a divorce (from either Helena or Johnny) these movies are always going to be made. We can’t stop them. It’s a Big Brother/Chinatown thing. Either you can end up loving Tim Burton or you can walk away. Getting mad won’t do anything anymore.
As we prepare for the upcoming Halloween schedule, we’re going to suspend out Tuesday uEtsy feature until the start of November. We’ll resume the feature on November 1st or 8th, depending on how well things go.
However, we do have good news. Loretta, Bernie and Poinsettia welcomed young Humphrey Freakshow into their family on September 5th. Healthy, smart and loud as one of Bernie’s excavation machines. Both child and mother are doing well.