The Nightmare Machine is an MIT project to use machine learning image-processing to make imagery for Hallowe'en. Read the rest
Fragments of Horror by Junji Ito Viz Media 2015, 224 pages, 5.8 x 8.2 x 0.8 inches (hardcover) $12 Buy a copy on Amazon
Fragments of Horror is a collection of eight wonderfully grotesque and creepy short stories. A seemingly bright and pretty architecture student terrorizes a family while having a bizarre relationship with their house. A boy tries to hold his body together after cheating on his girlfriend. The number one fan of a novelist finds herself in a sick situation trapped in the writer’s basement. A young woman who just eloped can’t understand why her new husband won’t come out from under his futon covers.
Written by horror manga artist Junji Ito, whose influences include H.P. Lovecraft, the stories are as weird as they are original, while the art is crisp and expressive. What I love is the way these stories, set in modern Japan, are about seemingly normal lives that take a twisted turn into the bowels of darkness. They remind me of my favorite Twilight Zone episodes, the ones that start off in a stylish, mid-century modern house or office where sharp-looking people go about their ordinary lives… until a crack in normality suddenly appears, the creep factor sets in, and they enter the twilight zone. My only regret is that there aren’t more stories here, but fortunately Ito isn’t new to the genre and has many other titles that I’ll be picking up soon. – Carla Sinclair
A friend in France sent me an email one day and wrote, "You have to watch this Japanese movie 'Ring.' It's very special." Since he likes horror films as much as I do, his words carried weight. But in 1998 it wasn't easy to find a copy, and I had to nose around a bit before finally locating a DVD on amazon.co.uk.
As you can see from the photo above, it's one creepy-ass film. There's a moment at the end which, if watched in blissful ignorance of what's going to happen, and in a dark room, the hair on the back of your neck will stand up. If for some reason you haven't seen the movie, then watch it without reading anything about it in advance.
Like all good horror in the past few decades, it was recently turned into a parody where Sadako (the creepy lady with pale skin and long black hair in Ring ) eventually faces off against the Kayako (the creepy lady with pale skin and long black hair from another excellent Japanese horror film, Ju-on [The Grudge]) and her son, who is seen below.
The new film is supposedly funny (in a good way), though I haven't see it yet, so who knows. I guess it's the Japanese version of Freddie vs. Jason, which sucked. Or Alien vs. Predator, which sucked even more. (Frankenstin Meets The Wolfman still remains good fun.) But those films weren't supposedly to be intentionally funny. Shall we next see Michael Myers as a stand-up comedian? Read the rest
Evidently someone at Syfy is just as fond as I am of googling images [WARNING: POSSIBLY GROSS] for hyperdontia, in which subjects grow lots of supernumerary teeth; "The Tooth Child is Hungry" is an episode of Max Landis's series Channel Zero: it features a kind of dental onesie that I wish I could wear every day. (via JWZ) Read the rest
The Ray Bradbury Theater was a far out 1980s television series with each episode written by Bradbury himself. With 65 suspenseful (and sometimes terrifying) episodes of dark science fiction/fantasy, The Ray Bradbury Theater shined the freaky flame of The Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits down the shadowy path of The X-Files and Stranger Things. And now you can watch all the episodes free on YouTube! Below are two to get you started: Marionettes, Inc. and The Playground:
I was born in 1958, a tail-end Baby Boomer, and as a young boy—evidently like a lot of others—I faithfully read Famous Monsters of Filmland every month and spent an inordinate amount of time watching horror movies on WPIX channel 11, WNEW channel 5, and WOR channel 9—all local channels out of New York City. Read the rest
Arizona State University, Nanowrimo, and the Chabot Science Center are commemorating the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein with a series of events, including a short-story contest judged by Elizabeth Bear. Read the rest