Scottish Terror on Film: Darkfall

KICKSTARTER VIDEO

This week, Kodak and Kickstarter announced a joint venture to support low budget film projects that want to shoot on celluloid (that means real film, as opposed to digital). Of the four films Kodak is supporting, psychological horror movie Darkfall is the most interesting to me.

Written, produced, and directed by my long-time buddy magician R. Paul Wilson, Darkfall returns to the classic filmmaking techniques inspired by our fellow conjuror Georges Méliès—that means using magic methods and illusion secrets in place of modern CGI. Inspired by classic horror movies like Cat People, The Haunting and Halloween, Paul hopes to produce a powerful experience using psychology, audio effects, and “in-camera” trickery to terrify the audience.

Special effects and cinematic storytelling were pioneered by Méliès, whose life story was the inspiration for Martin Scorsese’s film, Hugo. Méliès produced and directed over 500 films in which he invented new effects and techniques to tell fantastic stories, leaving an invaluable legacy for future filmmakers. Wilson is a huge fan and, during a visit to an exhibit of Méliès’s work in Madrid, it occurred to him to use modern conjuring methods in the same way.

Paul says, “Filmmaking has evolved at an amazing pace and so has the art of magic, but the two have grown apart, especially with the introduction of digital effects. I began to wonder what Georges Méliès would do with modern magic and the idea grew from there.”

The Darkfall story revolves around how perception can be distorted. It’s a supernatural tale with a killer twist inspired by Paul’s time working on television. Read the rest

The Everything Box: demonological comedy from Richard "Sandman Slim" Kadrey

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Richard Kadrey's got more writing identities than anyone has any business having: cyberpunk pioneer (Metrophage); master of hardboiled supernatural fantasy (Sandman Slim); young adult author (Dead Set). Now, with The Everything Box, Kadrey delves into supernatural comedy and shows that he's funny as Hell, and can make Hell funnier than you'd believe.

The Munsters, starring the GOP presidential candidates

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Hugh sends us this "beautifully made mashup video of the Republican candidates as Munsters." Read the rest

The unlikely actor who played Ridley Scott's Alien

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In Ridley Scott's classic 1979 science fiction/horror film Alien, the terrifying creature was played by a 6'10" Nigerian named Bolaiji Badejo. It was Badejo's only film credit. In fact Badejo, who died of sickle cell disease in 1992 at age 39, wasn't even an actor. He was studying graphic arts in London when casting agent Peter Ardram spotted him in a pub. From CNN:

"As soon as I walked in Ridley Scott knew he'd found the right person," Badejo said in a rare interview for the French film magazine, Cinefantastique, in 1979...

"I could barely see what was going on around me," Badejo recalled in 1979, "except when I was in a stationary position, while they were filming. Then there were a few holes I could look through... It was terribly hot... I could only have it on for about 15 or 20 minutes at a time. When I took it off, my head would be soaked."

Bolaji Badejo: The Nigerian giant who played 'Alien' (CNN)

Below, Badejo's surreal screen test that I've previously posted:

Read the rest

Trailer for The Internet Wants, when the big hotels use psychopaths to disrupt Airbnb

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Indie sf movie kingpin Jim Munroe writes, "Ever wonder how the Hilton and the Marriott families feel about Airbnb? What would happen if the heir to a hotel chain empire gets fed up and decides to rebrand the sharing economy... as the scaring economy? A concept trailer for a new tech-horror webseries called THE INTERNET WANTS by Postopian Pictures, the guys behind HAPHEAD and GHOSTS WITH SHIT JOBS." Read the rest

Donate: scholarship fund for the Alpha teen sf/f writing workshop

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Lara writes, "The Alpha SF/F/H Workshop For Young Writers is running a scholarship drive February 16-23. Make a tax-deductible donation to change a teen writer's life!" Read the rest

Matt Ruff's "Lovecraft Country," where the horror is racism (not racist)

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Matt Ruff is a spectacular and versatile science fiction writer who is perhaps most commonly considered an absurdist, thanks to his outstanding 1988 debut Fool on the Hill, but whose more recent works have highlighted his ability to walk the fine line between funny-ha-ha and funny-holy-shit. The Mirage was one such novel, but as brilliant as it was (and it was), it was only a warm-up for this book, Lovecraft Country, a book that takes a run at the most problematic writer in today's pop culture canon and blasts right through him. Read the rest

Skulls carved from vegetable matter

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Dimitri Tsykalov, a Russian-born sculptor living in Paris, sculpted a series of gorgeous, haunting skulls out of fruits and vegetables in the mid-2000s (previously), documenting his work with photographic prints. Read the rest

"The Chickening," a deeply weird remix of The Shining

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The Chickening, directed by Nick DenBoer and Davy Force:

It is a theatrical trailer for a fictional film in which Stanley Kubrick’s classic film T​he Shining​has been artfully transformed into a new, poultry­infused comedy adventure by digitally altering the film to create a new narrative. This new style of filmmaking is a hilarious collision of classic films with modern day visual effects; “Cinegraffiti” — the ultimate neo­nostalgic visual feast for this digital age.

Read the rest

Hand-colorized Munsters credit-roll

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Zach Smothers hand-colored all 1,300 frames from the opening credit roll of The Munsters, doing a beautiful job that balances the palette of the later color episodes and the classic EC/Haunted Mansion horror-colors. Read the rest

The underlying horror of the rebooted Full House

Ah, the power of music. Original trailer below.

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The Afflictions: a beautiful, gruesome, witty audiobook

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What happens when a scrappy independent press, an advertising copywriter with a sonorous baritone, and a physician-writer with a haunted imagination decide to make something together? An audiobook that’s sometimes beautiful, sometimes gruesome, witty and philosophical, magical and eerie.

Star Wars medical merch from Scarfolk, the horror-town stuck in the 1970s

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Scarfolk (previously) is the English country town that is caught in a perpetual ten-year loop from 1970-1980; in 1977, while the rest of the world was getting Kenner Star Wars toys, Scarfolk's children were treated to a line of Star Wars medical equipment from the good people at PalliativeToy. Read the rest

Ring-themed J-horror doughnuts

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Leeds's Lou Lou P's Delights made these Ring-themed J-horror doughnuts in honor of National Donut Day. (via Seanan) Read the rest

In-mouth dental CNC mill

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This Russian video shows a high-tech, terrifying in-mouth CNC mill that uses built-in cameras and a machine controlled drill to precisely mill out rotten parts of teeth while you clench the machine's anchor in your jaw, whimpering around it (usefully, it doubles as a gag). (via JWZ) Read the rest

READ: issue one of Mike "Hellboy" Mignola's Frankenstein Underground

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The creator of Hellboy, Mike Mignola, has long been fascinated and inspired by Frankenstein’s monster. In 1991, Mignola illustrated scenes from Bride of Frankenstein for a Topps trading cards of Universal Studios horror films and last year he drew a limited edition Bride of Frankenstein Mondo print.

Porcelain figurines transformed into creepy-cute insects

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Judith (AKA Miss Mantis) remakes kitschy-sweet porcelain figurines, transforming them with polymer clay, flocking and paint into statuettes of anthropomorphic insects going about their weird, daily business:. Some favorites: Bee Lady "Mìfēng", Fancy Dancing Mantis Gentleman, Bee Lady "Alice", Little Praying Mantis Boy, and Scandalous Mantis Dancer. Read the rest

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