If you don't get chills from the ASMR audio experience of Tingle Monsters, then you'll definitely get them from the looming tension and sheer overwhelming sexist dread that oozes throughout this ten-minute short film (especially in the expertly-created comments section that helps to drive the plot). It is weirdly kind of relaxing, until it's absolutely not. Here's the official synopsis:
An ASMR vlogger with a devoted fan base returns from an extended absence with a livestream that spirals out of control.
Writer/director/actress Alexandra Serio had this to say as well:
I was compelled to make "Tingle Monsters" because I believe that violence against women truly starts with words. With this in mind, I designed the film’s unconventional viewing experience to feel like a real ASMR livestream.
Shot in screenlife format with no extra score or sound design, the film is designed to transport viewers into a scenario they are already familiar with—the harassment of women on the internet—ultimately inviting the audience to examine the link between what we say and think about women affects their real-world treatment.
I firmly believe that through gender parity and telling women-driven narratives we can begin to change the world. But we must start by taking a sobering look at where we currently are. Tingle Monsters aims to do that.
Serio also did a great interview with Paste, offering a behind-the-scenes perspective on this creepy little capsule of awful internet intersections.
The movie is only ten-minutes long, and definitely unsettling. I haven't much followed the ASMR phenomenon, but Serio uses the genre conventions deftly here to create a creeping experience that — I suspect — accurately reflects the horrors that often accompany simply being a woman on the Internet. Read the rest
For all of us sheltering in place, the claustrophobic cluttered workshop that serves as the sole location in Budfoot -- a film where one eccentric man quickly loses his biscuits -- may feel all-too relatable. Meet Joe Carver, an indie toy designer whose penchant for manufacturing toys using sketchy chemicals unleashes the latest character in the killer doll genre of horror, Budfoot.
A spiritual heir to the cursed figure from Trilogy of Terror, watch as Budfoot transforms from mild-mannered cannabis mascot to Exacto knife-wielding menace who turns on his creator. The psychedelic stop motion is reminiscent of the late, great, Bruce Bickford if Bruce had ever had a budget, that is. The slick production value of the VFX are just as impressive as they are revolting.
Pair Budfoot with Cheech and Chong’s “Next Movie” for a midnight movie experience at home tonight.
Starring Skinner and Henry Zebrowski (Last Podcast on the Left). Directed by Tim Reis and James Sizemore. Special Effects by Shane Morton & VFX by Derek King. Read the rest
Famed "Mother" crooner and former ex-lead-singer of the Misfits Glenn Danzig has finally directed his first film, and of course it's a horror anthology. The movie's called Verotika, and while I'm slightly disappointed he didn't name it Die Die My Darling, this absolutely bonkers minute-long trailer makes up for it.
The trailer doesn't really tell you what the movies about, per se, but it definitely gives you some gorey, self-indulgent, eerily terrifying B-movie vibes—though whether it's genuinely terrifying, or just terrifyingly bad, well, the reviews so far lean towards the latter. Alex McLevy at the AV Club caught the film last summer at the Cinepocalypse Film Festival in Chicago, and his review is a work of art in and of itself:
Within the first 60 seconds, a narrator pokes out a woman’s eyes with her fingers, and it works all too well as a metaphor for what this movie puts the audience through.
This wasn’t quite the willful misunderstanding of a Tommy Wiseau, but it wasn’t far off.
Glenn Dan-zigged where he should have Dan-zagged, and for that we should all be profoundly grateful.
Verotika will be available on Vimeo on-demand starting February 25, with a 3-disc collector’s set to follow in March. Read the rest
Matt Davies, a foley artist and sound designer for Studio Unknown, is a master of the slurping, squishy, groaning, gross sounds of horror movies. Zombies are his specialty.
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Inspired by the 50th anniversary this month of the release of Rosemary's Baby, my friend Peg Kay Aloi has written a piece on Crooked Marque on how the iconic occult horror film helped set the stage for the Satanic panic that was to follow.
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And therein lies an unusual irony: The clear message of Rosemary’s Baby was that the devil-worshiping witches live right next door, on the other side of the wall of your charming flat on Central Park West. They’re like family: They act as surrogate parents by giving you healthy herbal drinks and silver pendants to protect you, but they’re actually planning to consecrate your baby to the devil. Even your doctor is in on it; heck, your own husband signed his firstborn over to Beelzebub so he could get a juicy part on Broadway! You try to convince people of the plot you’ve uncovered, but they just cluck their tongues (poor thing, you’re just exhausted) and tranquilize you. Even when you’re proven right, that they were there all along, the witches next door who contrived to make you give birth to Satan’s spawn, no one helps you.
Despite overwhelming evidence that most acts of violence against children are perpetrated by family members, the tendency is to look beyond the home, to suspect a shadowy outsider, someone with a taste for heavy metal music and black T-shirts, or a penchant for goddess worship and tarot cards. Rosemary’s Baby masterfully other-ized the evil that lies within (and without), making us hide our children away from any and all possible dangers, including public schools, the internet, the outdoors.