Monday, August 31, 2009

WildClaw Interviewed by Innsmouth Free Press, part III

Click here to read Innsmouth Free Press' interview with WildClaw's own Scott T. Barsotti, author of THE REVENANTS and one of WildClaw's newest members.

(Part 3 of 5)

ONLY 3 DAYS Left for the Cthulhu Haiku Contest!

ONLY 3 DAYS Left for the Cthulhu Haiku Contest!

Cthulhu Haiku Contest.

"I walk through the dark.
The tentacle squirms away
In the hot, wet heat."

Come on people, you can do it...

Cthulhu Haiku Contest.

Sunday, August 30, 2009


According to the Mayan's the world is set to end on December 21,2012, a global cataclysm bringing an end to the world. Starring John Cusack and directed by Roland Emmerich, the movie 2012 is a depiction of what is to occur on that date.

Ensuring the End is Just the Beginning
The IHC, Institute for Human Continuity, is organization that was developed to prepare the world for 2012.You can visit their website at On the IHC website you can view scenarios of what they expect to happen to the world and civilization. You can also register for a "survival lottery" in hopes to win the chance at survival. The most intriguing aspect of the website is the chance to be the leader of the post-world. Yes. You can register yourself to be the leader of the new world. After registering you take a series of quizzes on strategy, culture and reasoning. Your score from the quizzes and votes by your peers could land you the leadership of new world!!

Creepy Paper Automata

Paper automata kits by Cool4Cats. Feeding Time at the Zoo is an excellent creepy example.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Rob Zombie to remake THE BLOB (say it ain't so)

I haven't seen the new HALLOWEEN sequel yet, but this is not the news I was hoping to hear from Zombie's camp. I know he's a big monster movie fan, but considering what he did with, er, TO John Carpenter's classic and considering we already had a perfectly respectable BLOB remake in 1988 courtesy of Chuck Russell...

Rob, you were supposed to be the horror genre's dark knight in shining armor. but thus far, you've done an "homage" to the 70s grindhouse flicks, a sequel to that homage, a violently divisive remake of one of the most influential horror films of all time and now a sequel to that remake. Another remake? Really? Really?


Thursday, August 27, 2009

Head Games

Neurosonics Audiomedical Labs Inc. from Chris Cairns on Vimeo.

CEMETERY MAN (1994) this weekend at Facets!

Facets Night School presents...

Cemetery Man (aka Dellamorte Dellamore) (1994) : The Last of the Great Italian Zombie Knock-Offs

This Weekend!
Saturday, August 29th at MIDNIGHT!

Join Facets Night School as we unearth Michele Soavi's unsung Italian zombie flick, Cemetery Man. Lecture, screening, discussion--only $5!!

Rupert Everett stars in this 1994 horror-comedy, based on the best-selling novel by Tiziano Sclavias, as a hapless groundskeeper who has a cemetery full of vengeful dead who won't stay dead, including the woman he loves.

Facets staffer Patrick Ogle examines this acclaimed, though oft-overlooked, zombie fave, digging into symbiotics, symbols and signs of the living dead, and how the film falls into the great Italian horror tradition.

About Facets Night School:

Facets Night School digs into cinema's wild side with special Saturday night, midnight lectures on cult favorites led by Facets' staff, followed by screenings of the films and post-screening discussions. Each student receives an educational packet for the films full of notes, essays, articles, a bibliography for further reading and more with admission. DVD give-aways and pre-class grindhouse trailers round out the night. All for only $5! FREE for Facets Members!

Lecture starts at midnight!!

Further details on the lecture, film and presenter available HERE.

Tickets available at Ticketweb.

Kitley's Krypt MYSTERY PHOTO #15

Another week, another MYSTERY PHOTO!

Jon Kitley, pillar of the Chicago Horror Community and head honcho over at KITLEY'S KRYPT, wants to challenge your horror knowledge. Week in, week out, he posts a Mystery Photo - sometimes from an obscure horror title, sometimes just an unusual shot from a well-known classic. We figured our faithful Claw readers would enjoy the challenge!

Mr. Kitley reached into the foreign realms last week, as he is wont to do from time to time. The image below is from the 1988 Japanese film EVIL DEAD TRAP, which is no relation to any of the Sam Raimi flicks, but has more than enough effed-up moments to keep any gorehound satisfied. Available on DVD from Synapse Films, it's worth taking a look at.

Let's see how well you fare with this week's offering:

Send your guesses to:

If you provide the correct answer, your name will be announced next week on the Kitley's Krypt website (, along with a new photo. Even if you don't know the answer, we welcome any sorta-kinda educated guess! So, send in your emails today and good luck!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

WildClaw Interviewed by Innsmouth Free Press, part II

Click here to read Innsmouth Free Press' interview with WildClaw's own Aly Renee Greaves. Killer.

(Part 2 of 5)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Deathscribe 2009: The Second Annual International Festival of Radio Horror Plays Final Roster.

After 6 months of reading and writing, after nearly one hundred submissions, WildClaw Theatre is very excited to announce the final five DEATHSCRIBE 2009 Radio Horror Plays.

First, however, we would like to thank EVERYONE who submitted a script to DEATHSCRIBE 2009. We were delightfully overwhelmed with the number and quality of the submissions. In the end, we were upset that we could only present five, as there were so many wonderful scripts to choose from. It was a privilege to read these scripts, every last one of them. To all of those Dark Scribes who did not make the final five, thank you so much for sharing your stories with us, and keep writing. The more Dark stories out there, the better.

In the end, there could be only five scripts in the judged portion of DEATHSCRIBE 2009. After two rounds of blind judging and much discussion, all signs pointed to these five:

Bags of Blood, written by Daniel Caffrey, directed by Don Hall.

The Most Beautiful Woman in the World, written by Clint Sheffer, directed by Cecilie Keenan.

The Dust Gods of Dr. Gaul, written by Jude Mire, directed by Robert Breuler

The Skinny Man, written by Scott T. Barsotti, directed by Katie McLean

Remembrance, written by Chris Hainsworth, directed by Nic Dimond.

Congratulations to all the Death Scribes. We will see you all at DEATHSCRIBE, at the Music Box Theatre on October 5th.

Horror Birthdays...

Happy Birthday Timothy Burton!

Corpse Bride, Nightmare Before Christmas, Sleepy Hollow, and Ed Wood all earn you a spot in my heart. The way you neutered Batman and Disney-fied The Planet of the Apes will continually eat away at my soul. You always go big, and I respect that. Even when you fail. I am interested to see what you and Depp do with Dark Shadows and the rumored remake of 1984. I have to say, I will go see them, but your record on remakes and updates remains pretty bad. Regardless, Happy Birthday sir, and keep on swinging...


Happy Birthday Sean Connery!

You only need to use one word when talking about Sean Connery and his paradigm-shifting impact on the world of film. That word is Zardoz.

WildClaw Interviewed by Innsmouth Free Press, part I

Many of us here at WildClaw were recently interviewed by the good folks at Innsmouth Free Press as part of their celebration of H.P. Lovecraft's birthday. IFP is a faux-news site devoted to the work of Lovecraft and all things related to the Lovecraftian/Cthulhu Mythos Universe.

Here's part 1 of 5: Ambassador of Horror, Dr. AC himself, Aaron Christensen. Stay tuned for more WildClaw interviews in the coming week!

And here's a bit more about what they're doing over in Innsmouth. Check 'em out:

Innsmouth Free Press is a collaborative effort. We want readers and writers to help us map out and flesh out Innsmouth and the surrounding area, and to do it in epistolary form through news stories, opinion pieces, lifestyles articles, which blur the boundaries between fantasy and reality. Metafiction, if you will.

We also seek to publish short fiction inspired by Lovecraft’s writing, especially fiction that explores interesting, novel settings and characters juxtaposed with Lovecraft’s original fiction.

Our aim at Innsmouth Free Press is not to keep a static website that is updated with fiction every few months, but to maintain a breathing, energetic publication which evolves with help from the user; a publication where fiction does not take the shape of a self-contained short story.

In short, we’d love it if you would join us in this virtual playground. Many of Innsmouth’s streets and locations remain unmapped. Help us discover what lies in the shadows.

Monday, August 24, 2009

The Wolfman Trailer

Please don't suck, please don't suck, please don't suck...

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Kills - Black Balloon

A sweet take on vampires.

British Film Board Bans Japanese Horror Movie

From Britain's The Independent newspaper: "A Japanese horror film which features the lengthy and brutal torture of a young couple at the hands of a sadistic madman has been banned amid fears it could leave viewers psychologically damaged.
The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) said the film, called Grotesque, offered audiences "little more than an unrelenting and escalating scenario of humiliation, brutality and sadism” and refused to give it a certificate.
Its decision means that selling or supplying the film in the UK is now illegal."

For the rest of the article, click here.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Adorable Demon Animals

These adorable critters are all available for adoption and are looking for a good home to invade and torment with their tiny abomination teeth and claws. They are perfect for households with edgy children and lots of shadowy nooks and crannies.


National Socialist Zombies

Bloody Disgusting reports that yet another battalion of zombified Nazis is on the way, in Outpost II: Black Sun, director Steve Barker's follow-up to 2008's DVD release Outpost.

Both of these films involve the same zombie concept. Those bastard Nazis were trying to create invincible soldiers by experimenting with Reanimation and so forth, and in doing so created zombies that are still hangin' out in Eastern Europe.

Fuckin' Nazis.

I'm fascinated by horror movies that involve the military, and Nazis specifically have their own horror tradition (no doubt because their ideology was, for lack of a better term, evil). While we're invoking the universal baddies of the 1930s and 40s, the concept of Nazi zombies plays very much into modern fears. It could be that military powers, in an attempt to stay ahead of each other, have perverted, mutated, and will ultimately cause the downfall of mankind. Nuclear proliferation, biological warfare, eugenics, what have you. It plays to our fear that people are making decisions in our "defense" that will lead to our obliteration.

Another possibility (a more historical commentary) is that the atrocities of WWII and the Holocaust were/are so great, that the Nazis are forever damned (as we perceive zombies to be), or at the very least that their blight on Europe will not so soon be washed away as this. Watching Band of Brothers recently, I find myself wondering if we've already, a mere 60 years later, tragically pushed WWII into the realm of distant mythology. Nothing would remind us of the evil committed during that time quite like SS zombies still wearing their totenkopf.

Maybe it's that brutality, arrogance and racism (which the Nazis embody) will never be defeated entirely.

Maybe it's just a zombie movie with Nazis, because Nazis are scary.

Haven’t seen a report yet of when Outpost II will be released, or if it will be a straight-to-DVD like its predecessor or, thanks to the original’s critical attention and success in Europe, if it will receive a theatrical release in the States.

Saturday at the Portage Theater - 4 movies/$10!!!

Brought to you by our friends at Time Tunnel Toys

EDGE POUNDING AUGUST: An ribald evening of classic sci-fi and horror cinema for only ten, count 'em, TEN bucks. ($10!!!)

Saturday, August 22, 2009
Portage Theater
4050 N. Milwaukee, Chicago IL

Doors open at 4pm, with collectibles available for sale in the lobby ALL NIGHT LONG.

Here's the movie schedule:

5:00 PM - The Beast from Haunted Cave (1959)

6:30 PM - Munster, Go Home! (1966)

8:10 PM - Legend (1985)

10:15 PM - House of Frankenstein (1944)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

NPR wants to know, who will win in a Zombie War?

Robert Smith? thinks we will, if we move quickly.

"A zombie outbreak is likely to lead to the collapse of civilization, unless it is dealt with quickly. While aggressive quarantine may contain the epidemic, or a cure may lead to coexistence of humans and zombies, the most effective way to contain the rise of the undead is to hit hard and hit is imperative that zombies are dealt with quickly, or else we are all in a great deal of trouble."

Happy Birthday, H.P. Lovecraft.

For the love of all things weird, Happy Birthday Howard Phillips Lovecraft.

Commonly regarded as one of the most influential horror writers of the 20th century, and the cornerstone to any understanding of Weird Fiction, we salute H.P. Lovecraft on this, the day of his birth.

Zombie Bowling II, Dawn of the Dude

WildClaw Theatre Company proudly announces Zombie Bowling II, The Dawn of the Dude, Saturday, September 19th, at 9:00pm, at the Timber Lanes Bowling Alley, 1851 W. Irving Park, Chicago.

Admission is $20. We provide the shoes and the bowling. The White Russians and brains are extra. Remember, this isn’t ‘Nam. This is bowling. There are rules. Tickets are limited so buy your tickets today at

For an extra $5, get zombified by WildClaw! Undead America Founder and Zombie Engineer, Aly Renee Greaves will be heading up a team of gruesome makeup specialists on site to transmogrify you.

The folks who brought you the critically acclaimed Zombie hit, The Revenants, present an evening of shambling, brains and undead bowling, with a lotta ins, lotta outs, lotta what-have-yous, and perhaps an undead Pomeranian.

- The Horror Queen Scream-off!
- The Maniacal Laugh-off
- Zombie-oke!
- The Ultimate Horror Movie Trivia Contest!
- The Undead Prize Lane

Proceeds from this benefit will go directly towards WildClaw Theatre's DEATHSCRIBE 2009, The Second Annual International Festival of Radio Horror Plays, which will take place on Monday, October 5th, at the historic Music Box Theater.

Timber Lanes is near all forms of public transportation and is wheelchair accessible. Please allow extra time when arriving by car.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

H.P. Lovecraft Memorial Ice Cream Social - This Saturday!

The stars are right for the return of the H.P. Lovecraft Memorial Ice Cream Social at 57th Street Books! Hear tales of unspeakable horror, see (and possibly win) forbidden tomes and strange artefacts, and partake of frozen confections colder than the howling void!

We are also pleased to welcome Lovecraft scholar and Hyde Park resident Kenneth Hite who will be speaking about his book, Tour de Lovecraft: The Tales.

Saturday, August 22nd at 2pm:

57th Street Books
1301 East 57th Street
Chicago, IL 60637


Kitley's Krypt - MYSTERY PHOTO #14

Another week, another MYSTERY PHOTO!

Jon Kitley, pillar of the Chicago Horror Community and head honcho over at KITLEY'S KRYPT, wants to challenge your horror knowledge. Week in, week out, he posts a Mystery Photo - sometimes from an obscure horror title, sometimes just an unusual shot from a well-known classic. We figured our faithful Claw readers would enjoy the challenge!

For those out there that didn't get last week's photo, don't feel too bad. Even our reigning Mystery Photo kings failed to come up with this one. But once you hear the answer, there's going to be a lot of slapping of foreheads. The film is John Badham's 1979 version of DRACULA, starring Frank Langella. The photo is that of one of Dracula's first victims, Mina Van Helsing, when her father comes looking for her in the caverns below the cemetery. It's one of the best sequences in the movie and still packs a punch today.

Let's see how well you fare with this week's offering:

Send your guesses to:

If you provide the correct answer, your name will be announced next week on the Kitley's Krypt website (, along with a new photo. Even if you don't know the answer, we welcome any sorta-kinda educated guess! So, send in your emails today and good luck!

WILLIAM CASTLE DVD Box Set coming soon!!!

From our good friends at Horror Yearbook comes this exciting news:

Sony is releasing the William Castle Film Collection on October 20th. Castle is famous for releasing horror films with gimmicks like buzzers on seats, special glasses that let you see the ghost in 13 Ghosts, and so on…

The set includes; The Tingler (1959), 13 Ghosts (1960), Homicidal (1961), Mr. Sardonicus (1961), Strait-Jacket (1964) and for the first time on DVD Zotz! (1962), The Old Dark House (1963), and 13 Frightened Girls (1963).

DVD Special Features:

Commentaries with Producer/Director Jeffrey Schwarz and Terry Castle.

Disc 1 featuring 13 Frightened Girls/13 Ghosts includes:

Featurette: “The Magic of Illusion-O.”
Original Theatrical Trailers.
Original “British” trailer introduction for 13 Frightened Girls.
Original “Candy Web” trailer for 13 Frightened Girls.
Original “Candy Web” theatrical opening message from William Castle for 13 Frightened Girls.
Original “Candy Web” theatrical closing message from William Castle for 13 Frightened Girls.
Alternate opening (British) for 13 Frightened Girls.
Alternate opening (Swedish) for 13 Frightened Girls.
Alternate opening (French) for 13 Frightened Girls.
Alternate opening (German) for 13 Frightened Girls.

Disc 2 featuring Homicidal/Strait-Jacket includes:

Featurette: “Psychette: William Castle and Homicidal.”
Featurette: “Homicidal Youngstown, Ohio Premiere.”
Featurette: “Battleaxe: The Making of Strait-Jacket.”
Vintage Featurette: “How to Plan a Movie Murder.”
Original Theatrical Trailers.
Joan Crawford Wardrobe Tests.
Joan Crawford Axe Test.
Strait-Jacket TV Spots.

Disc 3 featuring Old Dark House/Sardonicus includes:

Featurette: “Taking the Punishment Poll.”
Featurette: “Ghost Story: Pilot (The New House).”
Original Theatrical Trailer.

Disc 4 featuring The Tingler/Zotz! includes:
Featurette: “Scream For Your Lives: William Castle and The Tingler.”
Featurette: “Ghost Story: Graveyard Shift.”
Alternate Drive-In Sequence for The Tingler.
Original “Scream” Sequence for The Tingler.
Original Theatrical Trailers.

Disc 5 features the documentary: Spine Tingler! The William Castle Story.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Happy Birthday GRANT WILLIAMS!

The star of one of the seminal sci-fi/horror flicks of the 1950s, THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN (1957), was born on this date in 1931 in New York City.

Williams appeared in numerous genre pics throughout his career, including THE MONOLITH MONSTERS (1957), THE LEECH WOMAN (1960), THE DOOMSDAY MACHINE (1972), and BRAIN OF BLOOD (1972), as well as memorable appearances on the classic TV shows THE MUNSTERS and THE OUTER LIMITS. He passed away due to peritonitis in Los Angeles on July 28, 1985.

Happy Birthday Roman Polanski!

76 years young today.

Rosemary's Baby, Dance of the Vampires, Repulsion...

Happy Birthday Roman.

Science ponders 'zombie attack'

From the BBC website, written by Pallab Ghosh: "If zombies actually existed, an attack by them would lead to the collapse of civilisation unless dealt with quickly and aggressively.
That is the conclusion of a mathematical exercise carried out by researchers in Canada".
To read more, click here.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Great Overacting Moments in Horror #1

This is, hands down, one of my favorite pieces of full-flavored cinema cheese. When they pass out the Horror Film Overacting Awards, the winner for 1982 will most likely go to...Lynda Day George. Though she has demonstrated her ample skills in such B-classics as DAY OF THE ANIMALS (1977), MURDER AT THE WORLD SERIES (1977), BEYOND EVIL (1980) and MORTUARY (1983), nothing comes close to her stellar work as a former tennis pro turned undercover cop in PIECES (1982). Here's a little sample:

Sunday, August 16, 2009

A Darker Side

Zombie Girl Documentary

More Manic Movie Mutterings

Mr. Morlock is notoriously behind the curve when it comes to movie watching; rarely will he tell you anything you don't already know. But here's an incoherent bit about a fine film that has aged quite gracefully and should be given a seat of honor at the head of the dinner table, but is more often than not (in the words of a friend) banished to the basement barco-lounger to doze and drool until dessert is served. Cuz it's sometimes accused as the progenitor of modern, much-maligned torture porn. Wrongly. And even if rightly, meh. What's wrong with a little hackety stabbity?

But first, a quick shout-out to my local franchise of "Half-Priced Books." Normally, one should ignore franchises for the sake of mom-and-pop stores, but in this case ain't no giant corporate entity skimming money from nobody. Ain't no money in reselling dead media. And by dead media, I mean books. LP records. VHS and DVD movies.

I understand kids nowadays download their entertainment and have it imprinted directly into their cerebral cortex. One click and they can speak proprietarily and dismissively about work they have never actually owned, touched, or seen.

Whatever. I like "Half-Priced Books" because I can stagger in there some evening after work and come away with three movies and two albums for fifteen dollars. That's right, baby. Vinyl. And magnetic tape. It's cheap, but it's still art.

So what movie is it that' got Mr. Morlock all hot and long-windedly bothered?


All right, before y'all purists tune out, I know Se7en, (or 7, as to which I will now refer to it, because I'm lazy) is NOT a horror film. Whatever that is. What exactly is a horror film, Mr and Ms Smartypants? Lay out your theory and let us all take a turn at mocking it and THEN TELL ME what is or IS NOT A HORROR FILM. Why am I shouting?

It's a film noir piece. I'll give you that. It's built to make Morgan Freeman look like the archtypical, Raymond Chandler, Micky Spillane, avatar of flawed, reluctant morality, facing down the dirty dirty cosmos against unassailable odds.

Well let me tell you. Mr. Morlock is of a certain age and actually grew up with Morgan Freeman as the voice of Easy Reader on "The Electric Company", so he didn't need "Shawshank Redemption" (BTW, kudos to Tom Hanks for looking shame-faced for taking MF's Oscar for what, "Forrest Gump"? Remind me to post a riff based on the "going full retard" thing in "Tropic Thunder", possibly the funniest movie of the millenium) to convince him that Morgan Freeman is a freaking super hero.

Good heavens. Sorry, "hells". What was I talking about? Oh right. 7. Great movie.

You say a horror movie needs groovy latex critters and gratuitous boo scares? How bout the scene when they discover "Sloth." Gothic themes of good, evil, sin and redemption? Check. You want a scary monster? Kevin Spacey is purty damn scary, because what with the recent wave of increased recognition of how pervasive are Asperger's and autism-spectrum symptoms, I can easily picture a hundred shaven-headed nutbags out there with just a half-stripped screw holding them hinged.

Yours truly excepted, of course.

So what have we learned, my dear readers who've actually followed me to the bottom of this rant? Blow the dust out of your slot. Did that sound dirty? I meant out of your VHS machine, of course. Or pick one up at a garage sale. So it goes bad after running a dozen movies through it? So you're out ten, fifteen bucks.
But for a buck a movie and a visit with the past? Worth it.

Friday, August 14, 2009

The New Vampire Lestat?

Charlie Chaplin.
Iron Man.
Sherlock Holmes.
The Vampire Lestat?


PICKMAN'S MUSE screening August 23rd!

Attention H.P. Lovecraft fans! Special Screening of Chicago filmmaker Robert Cappelletto’s latest feature, PICKMAN’S MUSE!

Time: Sunday, August 23, 2009 1:00pm
Location: Portage Theater, 4050 N. Milwaukee Ave, Chicago IL
Admission is FREE!

"Based loosely on H.P. Lovecraft’s short story: Haunter of the Dark, PICKMAN’S MUSE is the story of an artist, Robert Pickman, who becomes obsessed by visions of unworldly horror, revealed to him through an ancient artifact discovered in an abandoned church. His doctor and friend, Ambrose Dexter, becomes embroiled in the mysteries surrounding Pickman’s newfound obsession, and struggles to combat forces determined to drag Pickman down the inevitable road to madness."

Starring Barret Walz (CHICAGO OVERCOAT, JIGSAW) as Robert Pickman



Written, directed and photographed by Robert Cappelletto
Makeup and Character Effects by Clare Martin
Musical Score by Willy Greer

Admission is FREE! See you there!

For more info, visit

District 9 Original Short Film


This week, our resident Fool (for Blood), Dr. AC, takes a look at three different screen versions of Richard Matheson's classic apocalyptic novel, I AM LEGEND. Be interested to hear your thoughts as well, true believers...

Last Man on Earth, The (1964)
“Another day to live through. Better get started.” From its opening shots of barren city landscapes littered with lifeless corpses to its bleak conclusion, the first screen version of Richard Matheson’s novel I am Legend is a downer all the way. But considering the subject matter, this is no surprise, and directors Sidney Salkow and Ubaldo Ragona are to be lauded for remaining true to Matheson’s apocalyptic spirit. Following a worldwide plague that transforms the living into vampiric undead, lone survivor Vincent Price spends his days dispatching his former friends and neighbors with wooden stakes and his nights tearfully watching home movies while the infected batter away at his barricaded home. The stark black-and-white scenes of shambling undead, some of which are former loved ones, cannot help but conjure images of George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead (still four years away). Through haunting voice-over, Price projects the appropriately weary tone of a man isolated for nearly three years, torn between apathy and a base animalistic desire to survive. However, his less-than-athletic screen presence here makes him an unlikely and/or unconvincing hero at times. In the face of Uncle Vincent’s limp-wristed stake-pounding, one cannot help but imagine what Peter Cushing (once considered for the role) might have done with it. The flashback sequences of the plague’s early days never quite pack the punch they should, due to the cast’s oddly mannered acting. But with the help of a strong third-act twist, the film musters an ending both tragic and satisfying. An admirable effort overall.

Omega Man, The (1971)
A knuckleheaded blight to serious fans of the source material, a camptastic treat for others, screenwriters John William and Joyce H. Corrington turn Richard Matheson’s brilliant post-apocalypse vampire novel into a ham-fisted allegory for the societal conflicts of the late 1960s. After germ warfare starts a plague that wipes out the world populous, Charlton Heston finds himself the only “normal” human in a Los Angeles overrun by an insane cult of albino neo-Luddite barbarians (as opposed the zombie-like blood drinkers of the previous screen version, 1964’s The Last Man on Earth). To director Boris Sagal’s credit, the early scenes of Heston alternating his time between tracking the “monsters” down during the daylight hours and taking refuge in his barricaded home at night work fine. Unfortunately, the movie takes a series of wrongheaded turns after he discovers another tribe of full-on “urban flower power” survivors, led by Rosiland Cash, leading to an array of moralizing speeches, interracial makeout sessions, head scratching fashion choices and rampant Christian symbolism. Matheson’s subversive message of his protagonist having become the monster in this new world order is completely discarded, with Heston presented (as he was in 1968's Planet of the Apes) as humanity’s last best hope for survival.

I am Legend (2007)
The third screen version of Matheson’s novel is the first true “Hollywood” take on the story and the end results are thoroughly confounding. While the backstory for the plague that wipes out the world’s population is inspired (a mutated cancer cure gone terribly wrong), one wonders how and why the virus had to turn the source material’s “vampires” into hopped up, steroid-sucking CGI monsters straight out of a Stephen Sommers Mummy movie. Director Francis Lawrence and screenwriters Mark Protosevich and Akiva Goldsman pitch Matheson’s themes of hauntingly quiet desperation and “who is the monster now,” replacing them lots of whiz and bang. Taken on its own uber-Hollywood blockbuster terms, Legend delivers several mainstream crowd-pleasing set pieces (provided the crowd is not composed of fans of the book), tons of action, and oodles of shamelessly transparent manipulative screenwriting devices. However – even though he never gets dirty enough, emotionally speaking, for my tastes – Will Smith does a commendable job in a difficult role and there are several unconventional surprises (i.e. the bacon scene) that are pleasant enough in their offbeat nature to offset the gloss. The ending is too optimistic, and could have (read as: should have) gone darker, but since the whole movie maintains an element of optimism throughout, I suppose we shouldn't be surprised. Ultimately, it comes down to viewers’ individual expectations and sensibilities: Is it a satisfyingly jazzed-up action/horror offering or simply a goddawful bastardization of a terrific story, one whose faithful adaptation still awaits the light of a projector? Personally, I was and remain disappointed, but have not yet settled on the degree of my chagrin.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


WildClaw Theatre is very proud to announce our 2009 DEATHSCRIBE Directors. These talented men and women have taken on the creepy task of crafting the eerie and spooky stories that will make up DEATHSCRIBE 2009, on Monday October 5th, at the historic Music Box Theater.

The Directors for DEATHSCRIBE 2009 are:

Don Hall – Founder of WNEP Theatre, Angry White Guy, & director of DEATHSCRIBE 2008's winning piece.

Katie McLean – Award winning playwright & Lifeline Theatre Ensemble member.

Nic Dimond – Award winning Artistic Director of Strawdog Theatre.

Robert Breuler – Award winning actor & Steppenwolf Theatre Ensemble member.

Cecilie Keenan – Award winning director & Resident Director/Ensemble member of Teatro Vista Theatre.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Kitley's Krypt - MYSTERY PHOTO #13

Another week, another MYSTERY PHOTO!

Jon Kitley, pillar of the Chicago Horror Community and head honcho over at KITLEY'S KRYPT, wants to challenge your horror knowledge. Week in, week out, he posts a Mystery Photo - sometimes from an obscure horror title, sometimes just an unusual shot from a well-known classic. We figured our faithful Claw readers would enjoy the challenge!

Last week's MP was from the 1965 Mario Caiano film, NIGHTMARE CASTLE (aka THE FACELESS MONSTER, NIGHT OF THE DOOMED and ORGASMO, among other retitlings), with the legendary Barbara Steele in yet another dual role.

Let's see how well you fare with this week's offering:

Send your guesses to:

If you provide the correct answer, your name will be announced next week on the Kitley's Krypt website (, along with a new photo. Even if you don't know the answer, we welcome any sorta-kinda educated guess! So, send in your emails today and good luck!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Screenwriter Talks Ideas For Prequel to The Thing

The forthcoming prequel/remake of John Carpenter’s The Thing, one of the best sci-fi horror pictures to come out of the ’80s, has caused no small amount of consternation. Ronald D. Moore (Battlestar Galactica) wrote a script which is currently being rewritten by Eric Heisserer, who also worked on a rewrite of the upcoming A Nightmare on Elm Street reboot. We haven’t known much about Moore and Heisserer’s approach to the story. Bloody Disgusting got a few comments about the approach and how Heisserer is ‘reverse engineering’ the story of the doomed Norwegian camp that dug up the shape-shifting alien that eventually battled Kurt Russell & Co.

From what we’re reading here, it looks like the prequel approach is still going forward. That means we’ll see the Norwegian research camp that dug up a crashed spaceship and the alien it once contained, and we’ll see that alien decimate the camp in much the same way it did an American outpost in John Carpenter’s movie.

I, for one, am tired of prequels. The original filmmakers gave us enough background to get their individual stories rolling - do we really need to go further back? Answer: NO, we don't. But it seems to be the convenient way for Hollywood suits to tie in the name recognition of a hit film, and it's been a nasty trend for a while now. Why not do something "in the same vein as"? Answer: Because then they wouldn't have the name to latch onto and lure the completist fans (present company included) in. Makes me crazy.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Vampire Con Aug 14-16 Hollywood

Go to Vamp Chix to get all the details on the Vampire Con coming to Hollywood on August 14th-16th.

PSYCHO screening in Chicago's Grant Park!!

This Tuesday, August 11 @ 8:27 p.m., prepare to check into the Bates Motel...

The Chicago Outdoor Film Festival runs on Tuesday evenings every summer in Grant Park. It's a wonderful summer experience to watch a movie under the stars with our magnificent skyline as a backdrop. In some ways, though, the festival has become a victim of its own success. It can get packed, especially with blockbuster movies. So, arrive early, bring a dinner, and be prepared to share the lawn with thousands of your fellow horror film buffs.

Film begins at dusk. (approx 8:27 p.m.)

Admission is FREE

Grant Park, Lake Shore Drive and Monroe Street, Chicago, IL
The city places the screen on the southwest corner of Lake Shore Drive and Monroe Street.

See you there!!

Neo-Futurists seeking performers for new show "FEAR"

The Neo-Futurists are looking for 6–8 performers for their upcoming show, “Fear,” curated and directed by Noelle Krimm.

“Fear” is an environmentally-staged walking tour inspired by the works of Edgar Allen Poe. The audience will be led through the Neo-Futurarium, which will be transformed into “a thinking man’s haunted house” featuring local writer-performers, dancers, and visual artists.

“Fear” is looking for a group of 6–8 performers with multidisciplinary experience to collaborate on small-scale performative or visual installations that will take place in and around the Neo-Futurarium during the show. Led by Neo-Futurist Rachel Claff, these performers will create “ambient” pieces of work that will enhance the overall environment of the space. Some emphasis will be put on creating durational pieces that may not include the physical performer (visual installation, sound- or touch-based work).

Commitment dates are as follows:

August 29th – Performance/brainstorming workshop with Rachel Claff, 11-5pm
September 5 & 6, 12 & 13 – Build/install dates at the Neo-Futurarium (times TBA; located at 5153 N. Ashland Avenue. Performers will only be required to work short shifts during build/install.)
September 17th, 7:30pm – Dry run
September 18th & 19th, 7:30pm – Run-throughs with invited guests
September 24 – October 31 – performances on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 7:30pm. NOTE: Nobody will be required to work every single performance; we will rotate different performers/installations in and out during the six-week run.

Applicants should send an inquiry to Rachel Claff at by August 15th, 2009. Please include:

1) Your first and last name, and contact information (email, phone)
2) A resume indicating your performance experience and other skills (see below)
3) Two work samples (brief descriptions and photos are acceptable) or website links
4) Why you feel you would be a good fit for this show

Experience in the fields of visual art, performance/art installation, movement, sound-based work, and/or carpentry and construction are a definite plus. All submissions will be considered.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Quuen of Blood

Just saw this low budget 1966 sci-fi horror for the first time the other day. Starring John Saxon, Dennis Hopper, Basil Rathbone and Judi Meredith (from "Jack the Giant the Killer"). Must have been an influence on "Alien" and sequels, but makes it particuarly memorable is the best use of THE END that I have ever seen in a film.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

TERROR IN THE AISLES 2 (w/ TRICK 'R TREAT director Michael Dougherty!!

JUST ANNOUNCED: Michael Dougherty, director of the most buzzed about horror film of the year, TRICK 'R TREAT, will be attending!! Next Saturday!! Buy your tickets NOW!!!!


A Night of Ultimate Horror!

AUGUST 15, 2009 - 7PM


$12 (yep, you read that right. $12.00 for a full night of flicks!)

The Midwest premiere of the most talked-about horror flick of the year! This highly anticipated anthology film stars Brian Cox, Anna Paquin, and Dylan Baker.

(with Evil Dead make up master Tom Sullivan in person with his traveling Evil Dead Museum!)

Original director's cut! (with director George Mihalka in person)

GAY BY DAWN - The cult classic!
HELLCAT AND TALA - Chicago premiere!



Plus vintage trailers, dealer tables, prizes, surprises, a live charity auction for Vital Bridges and more!

Pre-Sale tickets available at

For more info: