• Masters of Horror is the perfect show to binge for Halloween

    I love watching horror shows and movies to celebrate the time leading up to Halloween.

    This year, my friend introduced me to a show called Masters of Horror and I can't get enough of it.

    Mick Garris created 2 seasons and 26 hour-long episodes of the show, which originally aired from 2005-2007.

    Each episode is directed by a different notable horror creator, such as Dario Argento, John Carpenter, Takashi Miike, Tobe Hooper, Norio Tsuruta, and many more. You can watch Masters of Horror on Tubi, Amazon Prime, and Apple TV. 

    I've been sufficiently creeped out by every episode I've seen, and my favorite so far is an episode called Jenifer. It's an adaptation from a 10 page black-and-white comic book written by Bruce Jones. The comic, illustrated by Berni Wrightson, originally appeared in issue #67 of the 1974 horror comic book Creepy. Without giving away too much, I'll say that Jenifer is about a terrifying monster-woman who latches onto a bamboozled policeman and turns his life upside down.

  • Scenes from a vintage circus preserved on film

    Circus Day In Our Town (1949) is an old black-and-white 15-minute film presenting footage from a 1949 circus. 

    The film shows clowns putting on their makeup, folks walking around the fairgrounds, many beautiful costumes, and various acrobatic circus acts. I'm thankful that these circus performance scenes are preserved on film, as they are from a fascinating yet controversial subculture of the past. 

    From YouTube:

    Circus Day In Our Town (1949)

    Scenes of a big three-ring circus include the arrival, the parade, unloading, tent raising and highlights of the show itself. This film has amazing footage of a circus coming into a town, the townspeople helping with construction of the circus tents, the clowns preparing for their performance and the variety of circus acts and the crowds viewing them.

  • Bored with your hair? This living plant-wig could be just what you need

    Many of us are still growing out our DIY quarantine-haircuts, and are getting impatient.

    The Living, Growing Plant Wig by "SusanLand" may be exactly what you need to cover up the awkward phase of your grow-out.

    SusanLand's step-by-step tutorial will show you how to make your very own living plant wig, which will grow a little bit each day as you wear it. Be careful when you're wearing it outside though; a bird or some other critter might try and make a nest in it.

  • Why I listen to Boards of Canada's "Music Has the Right to Children" more than any other album

    Music Has the Right to Children by the Scottish electronic band Boards of Canada is one of the albums in my music library that I've listened to the most.

    This is the band's debut studio album from 1998, which received critical acclaim when it was released and is now recognized as a milestone of electronic music that has inspired many other artists.

    This album has a distinct sound which always puts me in a peaceful and vivid trance-like state. This makes it one of my go-to albums when I'm working and need background music to keep me focused and inspired.

  • The RSPCA's disturbing 1987 "Shoot a Dog" video

    RSPCA Shoot a Dog is a 1987 video from the UK's largest animal welfare charity, the RSPCA.

    In this short video, an adorable dog sits there while an eerie version of "How Much Is That Doggy in the Window?" plays in the background. A narrator says "please give us a pound, or we'll have to pull the trigger."

    This video was likely influenced by this National Lampoon cover which says "If you don't buy this magazine, we'll kill this dog."

    I think it's safe to say that neither the video or magazine cover would get greenlighted today. 

    From YouTube:

    Scary 1987 cinema PIF from the RSPCA, rated 18, where they go the whole hog and emotionally blackmail their supporters by putting a gun to a dog's head and threatening to pull the trigger, while a disturbing instrumental version of "How Much Is That Doggy in the Window?" plays in the background. It's strange to think that the RSPCA actually went this far. I mean, just look at that dog. It must be a good actor, because it looks like it's about to cry. The only way to make this worse would be to cut to the end text just as the sound of a gunshot is heard. My heart would be in my mouth.

  • This stop-motion short from 1933 is perfect nightmare fuel

    The Peanut Vendor is a charming and unintentionally terrifying animation from 1933. This black and white, two-minute short, features a creepy monkey puppet who sings a song about the "peanut vendor."

    One of the things that makes this puppet so eerie is its googly-eyes that keep rolling around, and its incredibly long and slender arms.

    If someone re-created this puppet and put it on their lawn this October, it would surely top any store-bought halloween decorations.

  • This 1950s Sugar Crisp Cereal commercial sparks joy

    This adorable 1950s commercial  for Sugar Crisp Cereal surpasses the cuteness levels of any commercial on television today.

    It features three adorable bears who sing about the joys of sugar crisp cereal as old-timey music plays in the background.

    The commercial doesn't fib about the dubious nutritional value of the cereal, either. It straight up tells the kids that "each single puff is candy-coated" and you can "eat Sugar Crisp Cereal like candy right out of the box."

  • I love Dirty Girls

    "Dirty Girls" is an outstanding short documentary made by a teenager 1996 about a group of teenage riot grrrls at a Los Angeles high school. These girls were named the "dirty girls" by their peers due to their grunge appearance and status as outcasts within their high school.

    In this film, people from various cliques around school talk about their "dirty girls" in a negative light. Despite the way they are treated by their peers, the dirty girls distribute a zine around school to share what they believe in. It's quite interesting to hear what the "dirty girls" have to say about the way they are perceived by the people at school who judge them.

    This documentary is incredibly well-made, and gives an inside look into what it was like to be a highschool outcast in the late 90s.

    From Youtube: 

    Shot in 1996 and edited in 2000, this is a short documentary about a group of 13-year-old riot grrrls in Los Angeles who were socially ostracized at their school by their peers and upperclassmen. Everyone in the schoolyard held strong opinions about these so-called "dirty girls," and meanwhile the "dirty girls" themselves aimed to get their message across by distributing their zine across campus. Directed by Michael Lucid. Music: "Batmobile" by Liz Phair.

  • This video of a hippie chick on LSD is awe inspiring

    This vintage video of a hippie woman talking about LSD is enchanting to watch and listen to. She's so articulate and insightful about what the psychedelic experience has taught her. She talks about the beauty she's felt while on LSD, and is visually glowing with happiness to prove it.

    Psychedelics affect everyone differently and taking them is a very personal decision, but it's wonderful to see someone who's been so positively affected by tripping. 

  • Two Thousand Maniacs is one of the first classic gore movies

    Two Thousand Maniacs is a thrilling 1964 horror movie, and you can watch it for free here.

    Herschel Gordon Lewis, a pioneer of gore films, directed this classic which stars 1963 Playboy Playmate Connie Mason. The movie is about 6 unlucky Yankees who are lured into a small southern town where the displeased residents kill them one by one, as a form of revenge for the town's ruination during the civil war. I'm normally not one for slasher movies, but the creepiness of Two Thousand Maniacs had me captivated all the way through. I think it's safe to say that Midsommar and even The Wicker Man were heavily influenced by this film.

    From Wikipedia:

    An all-time great because of all the sadism", enthused Cramps singer and horror aficionado Lux Interior. "The people who act in the movie actually live in the town where it was filmed—they look very inbred. There's a wonderful scene where they take this sexy girl and drop this 2,000lb. rock on her from 20 feet, and the whole town's out there watching. Old ladies all looking, like, 'What are we doing here?'"

  • Here's a mundane but oddly captivating Blockbuster training video from the 1990s

    Are You at Risk? Is a Blockbuster training video from 1990 that instructs employees on how to handle injuries in the store as well as how to help people who have come in contact with hazardous materials.

    The nearly intolerable levels of mundanity in this safety video make it simultaneously interesting to me. The training video serves as a time capsule of an aesthetic and type of store that aren't around anymore.

    In fact, there is only one Blockbuster left and it is located in Bend, Oregon. It has been dubbed "The Last Blockbuster."

  • These two guys re-made Raiders of the Lost Ark, shot-by-shot

    Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation was made by three creative Mississippi teens Eric Zala, Chris Strompolos, and Jayson Lamb over a seven-year period.

    The boys began making their own adaptation of Spielberg's hit film when they were only 12 years old in 1982. They worked on the film over the next seven summers, re-creating the original shot-by-shot. It's amazing to see stills of their movie compared to Spielberg's. They didn't miss a beat.

    In 2014 the friends raised money on Kickstarter and reunited to complete one last scene that they needed for the film: the explosion of the flying wing aircraft. As youngsters they never could have imagined that one day their film would gain notoriety, and even be seen by Spielberg himself.

    In this video you can hear Eric and Chris talk about the film, their friendship, and learn about the notoriety that their completed project gained.

  • Les Religions Sauvages is the wicked brainchild of 30 different artists

    Les Religions Sauvages [NSFW] is a two-hour film featuring a series of animations which depict a trip to hell. This film, directed by Pakito Bolino in 2004, includes work from 30 artists, from 11 different countries.

    The scenes in this film were inspired by religious imagery of the La Major cathedral in Marseille. I watched this entire film from start to finish in one sitting, and I'm positive that tonight, my dreams are going to reflect the surreal horror I just witnessed. All of these artists' minds combined is a riveting concoction of madness.

    From YouTube:

    Thirty artists from eleven countries have created a visual trip to hell that was inspired by the devotion pictures of the La Major cathedral in Marseille. This absurd mix of styles is close to the Art Brut. The ugly, blasphemous and obscene work stresses out the often anarchic side of the animation film and is easily incorporated into the complete works of the artists collective Le Dernier Cri, which was founded in 1993 in Marseille.

  • "The Maniac" and "Return of the Maniac" are two homemade horror films from the late 70s

    In the late 70s, two 8-millimeter horror films titled The Maniac and Return of the Maniac were made by kids in Galion, Ohio. I stumbled across these vintage films on YouYube, and I can't get enough.

    I love old homemade horror films and seeing what kids are able to come up with to freak people out. The grainy aesthetic and nostalgic color palette of these films adds to their eeriness and beauty.

    As a lover of film and horror, these truly creepy stories about "the maniac" were delightful to come across.

    From Youtube:

    This film was made in 1977 in Galion, Ohio.  It was filmed on 8 millimeter film with no sound.  Each scene was filmed a single time in sequence.  No splicing was used.  Minor editing was conducted once the film was digitized. Musical accompaniment was added in 1989 when the film was converted to VHS.

  • An 8mm film of Pink Floyd founding member Syd Barrett's first mushroom trip

    In the summer of 1966, Syd Barrett of Pink Floyd went on his first psychedelic trip and his life was forever changed. Nigel Gordon directed this 8mm film which includes a segment of the day when Barrett tripped on mushrooms at the Gog Magog hills in England. The following footage shows Barrett climbing around the hills, observing everything around him, and staring at his palms as he contemplates this profound experience.

    Was this day the beginning of the end for Barrett, who was ejected from the band in 1968 and died in 2006? Or was it a new beginning of a brief but brilliantly creative period in his life?

    From ubuweb:

    "On an overcast day late in the summer of 1966, Syd first tripped on mushrooms while film student/friend Nigel Gordon captured the event on 8mm film. This marked the point of no return to Syd's life as he knew it. The spirit that entered the Gog Magog hills that day would not be the same entity that returned. The second part of this historic video shows Pink Floyd after having signed their first recording contract with EMI Records outside Abbey Road Studios in April '67. It is apparent in this scene that Syd has not yet come down from the hill."

  • The Fleischer Studios "Out of the Inkwell" is a blast from the past

    Out of The Inkwell was a classic silent era cartoon produced by Fleischer Studios from 1918 to 1929.

    The series was born out of Max Fleischer's invention of the rotoscope, a device made out of an easel and a film projector, used to depict realistic movement within animated cartoons.

    Out of the Inkwell was a demonstration of this new technology.

    "Out of The Inkwell: Fishing" features the iconic Koko the Clown, interacting with live-action footage of the outside world and the cartoonists who drew him. I love the combination of animation and live action.

  • I had fun learning about Brian Chippendale's artistic process in this video

    In addition to being a drummer and singer of the band Lightning Bolt, Brian Chippendale is also a spectacular visual artist. He makes comics, drawings, sculptures, paintings, prints, and collages. During this interview from 2012, Chippendale talks about his varied creative pursuits and talks about some of the techniques he uses to create 2D artworks.

    His collage process is described in the video around 1:57, which I thought was so innovative and cool. He prints out sheets of body parts he has designed, arranges them like paper dolls, and creates scenes with them. Chippendale's vision carries through his work in every medium he uses. In my opinion, his visual art looks like what his music sounds like.

  • This video of cyber goths dancing underneath a bridge never gets old

    Cybergoth Dance Party is one of those classic YouTube videos that entertains me every time I see it. What I like about this video is how all of the action occurs under a bridge during broad daylight. Imagine taking your dog for a walk and running into this ground of unstoppable cyber goths, dancing like they're at a rave. I would travel far and wide to attend this dance party. 

  • The wordless "Frank" by Jim Woodring is one of the first comics I ever read

    The first comics I laid eyes on were Jim Woodring comics, because I could enjoy them at an age before I knew how to read.

    Many of Woodring's comics lack text, and it's up to the reader to interpret Woodring's breath-taking illustrations in their own way.

    I have such wonderful memories of reading Woodring's Frank stories in my bedroom at night when I was about three or four years old. Magical is the word that comes to mind. 

    On the Cartoonist Kayfabe youtube channel, Ed and Jim show the pages of Frank and talk about this exceptional comic in this video: Weird Comics!  Frank, A Psychedelic Trip Thru Jim Woodring's Brain. Tune in to embark on the trippy journey of Frank.

  • This video of Edie Sedgwick talking about life is beautiful and heartbreaking

    Edie Sedgwick- on going crazy, drugs and the afterlife features audio of the actress, model, fashion icon, and one of Warhol's superstars, Edie Sedgwick.

    The audio in this 4-minute video begins with Edie saying, "I'd like to turn the whole world on, just for a moment."

    She goes on to speak about drugs, her personal struggles and how they've affected her, and her thoughts about life and death. There is something beautiful and poetic about the way she expresses these ideas.

    From YouTube:

    Edie voices her cynicism about the flower children of her time and being in denial. She discusses her drug addiction and why she lost her mind. She also talks of a recurring dream, how she feels she's living on borrowed time, and her overall life philosophies. Includes clips from Andy Warhol's films Poor Little Rich Girl and Beauty No 2.