Saturday, February 28, 2009

Vampire Wins Gold!

The Spectrum 16 winners were announced tonight. Spectrum is a prestigious annual dedicated to the "Fantastic Arts" and is one of the most coveted awards in illustration.


© 2008 Craig Elliott

Craig Elliott won the Gold Medal in Editorial for his Damali Richards painting in the concept art book, Exotic Contraband: L. A. Banks' Vampire Huntress Legend, published by The Devil's Candy Store.

Another Devil's Candy Store artist, Jon Foster, won the Gold Medal for Comic Books.

Congratulations to them both!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Wildclaw Junior: Coraline!


We here at Wildclaw love kids (well maybe not Brian). So what if half of our shows featured bad things happening to children? It doesn't mean we did not shed a tear. We here at Wildclaw also love horror (obviously) and want to encourage you, gentle readers, to introduce the wonderful world of horror to your children in responsible and fun ways.

I will admit that I saw a ridiculous amount of horror as a child at far too young of an age...mostly my own fault. I sought it out at the library, stayed up late watching cable, or waited for the unscrupulous babysitter to come over to get my gorey fix. I am also not here to shake my finger at parents who think it's cool to bring their ten year old to see My Bloody Valentinein 3-D (though I think you are crazy).

To this day I shudder at the mere mention of Sleepaway Camp...very confusing times followed that one. Alien still scares the snot out of me and I read the Shining when I was ten leading to a terrible fear of topiary. However, horror did feed my imagination as a youngster. I craved scary stories. I have already mentioned in an early post my favorite childhood book, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. It is a wonderful classic with fabulous illustrations that I would not hestitate to hand to a curious and morbid youngster.

My next recommendation comes from the marvelous Neil Gaiman. Coralineis Mr. Gaiman's dark fantasy novella from 2002. It swiftly won a gaggle of rewards and has spun off into a graphic novel, an upcoming stage musical, video games, and the recently released film by Henry Selick. There is even a wonderful audiobook version performed by Neil Gaiman himself.

The novella is fabulous. I cannot say enough about it. The film takes this marvelous story and expands it in a way that stays true to the novel's original spirit and author's voice. I won't give a synopsis here...there are plenty of places to find them online...just do yourself and your children a favor and get them the book, read it, and then take them to the movie. Adults will love it as much as the kids (assuming your kids like to visit spookyboots street...for it is indeed spooky). And of course, being a costume designer, I have got to love any story the so heavily revolves around a villainous who wants to sew buttons over people's eyes...muhahahaha!

I am also quite fond of the film due to some adorable craftiness...the super cute tiny knits by the amazing Althea Crome.

You can even make your own Coraline gloves in grownup form! Knitter, blogger, and podcaster Tikabelle developed a free pattern for the adorable gloves from the film. I plan to make a pair for myself shortly. You can also make your own star sweater too!

Submit YOUR short film to the Fangoria Frightfan Filmfest



If you think you've got what it takes to be the next Sam Raimi, John Carpenter or George Romero, or at least think you can scare the hell out of folks in an original way, our fellow fiends at Fangoria would like to see your short film. They're looking for the horrific best of the best for possible inclusion at this years WEEKEND OF HORRORS events in Los Angeles and New York, and also to be featured on FANGORIA.COM.

There is no final deadline for submission as this is an ongoing call, but if you want to have your short considered for the LA WEEKEND OF HORRORS show get it in by March 20th.

Submit your four to thirty minute opus on DVD to us at:

FANGORIA's FRIGHTFAN FILMFEST
Attn: Marla Newborn
250 W 49th Street
Suite 304
NY, NY 10019

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Big Man Japan

Holy S#!t! You have got to see this.

Clive Barker Art

When was the last time you looked at a heaping bowl of Clive Barker art? Well, that's too long. Take a quick hop over to the Revelations website and check out the overview of Clive's art shows. Lotsa great images there.


© 2004 Clive Barker

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

WETA Makes Mermaid Dream Come True

A double-amputee New Zealander approached WETA to help her realize her dream of becoming a mermaid. And WETA came through.

The Keene Act And You

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Let the Right One In at the Music Box

Let the Right One In
Midnight Feb. 27 & 28, Mar. 6 & 7
Directed by Tomas Alfredson, 2008, 114m



A well-crafted horror film in the tradition of Guillermo del Toro's THE DEVIL'S BACKBONE, Swedish import LET THE RIGHT ONE IN ably blends genre chills with genuine feeling. There are plenty of scares, but it remains moving and intelligent, a rare feat for the genre.

Below is Dr. AC's capsule review from 2008:

"From the cold, windswept snow fields of Sweden comes one of the most astonishingly sensitive and original vampire tales ever to hit the screen.

Kare Hedebrant plays Oskar, a bullied 12-year-old who hungers for revenge, keeping a scrapbook of vicious murders to comfort himself. Enter the strange and exotic Eli (Lena Leandersson), a bloodsucker forever imprisoned in the body of a young girl. Together, the two strike up a precarious friendship that surprises and rewards viewers again and again.

Tomas Alfredson’s direction finds just the right balance between chilly and warm, bolstered by John Ajvide Lindqvist’s exquisitely crafted screenplay (adapted from his own novel). A brilliant fable of unconditional companionship, eclipsing the romantic Anne Rice/Stephanie Meyer notions of vampirism with honest emotional content, and does it without skimping on the red stuff. Not to be missed."


Music Box Theatre
3733 N. Southport Ave,
Chicago, IL 60613
773-871-6604 (showtimes)

Monday, February 23, 2009

Elton John/Jane Austen/Aliens?

Okay, we are all very excited about our pals at Quirk Publishing putting out "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" by Seth Grahame-Smith (and Jane Austen) on April 1st. And now we hear that Elton John has revived an old film script called "Pride and Predator", in which aliens crash land and take on Jane Austen's world.



Seth Grahame-Smith welcomes the competition, feeling that the more merrier is better and that they are two very different mashups. In "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" there has been a zombie infestation for years and years. Both Elizabeth Bennett and Darcy have become quite the zombie killers. Headstrong zombie killers.

WildClaw looks forward to seeing them both!

The Shadow Over Innsmouth - The Musical



Via the lovely Warren Ellis

And don't forget Zombie Bowling with WildClaw at Timber Lanes on March 14th!!

Zombie Bowling



Do not forget to buy your tickets to WildClaw Theatre's Zombie Bowling now, as there are a limited number available we plan to sell out.

Buy tickets now at www.wildclawtheatre.com.

Saturday March 14th, at 9:00pm, at the Timber Lanes, 1851 W. Irving Park, Chicago. Admission to this evening of bowling and brains is $20 in advance/$25 at the door. You provide the zombie or the victim, we provide the shoes and the bowling.

For $5 extra you can get zombiefied 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 DEATHSCRIBE, The Great God Pan, and H.P. Lovecraft’s The Dreams In The Witch House, present an evening of bowling and fun like nothing you have witnessed before. Buy your tickets today!!!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Cthulhu Leather MAsk

Bob Basset creates some amazing stuff. Check it out.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Episode #006 Deathscribe Part One

Click to listen

In this episode, we present part one of WildClaw Theatre's Deathscribe, part one. Recorded live at the historic Music Box Theatre in October of 2008, this evening of live radio drama with foley sound was hosted by Aaron "Dr. AC" Christenson and features some of Chicago's best acting talent.

Scabs Bandages

These babies are hard to beat when you've just caught your hand in the wood chipper.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Statues of Cult Figures

Arkham Studios makes these cool statues of:
H.P. Lovecraft
Edgar Allan Poe
Anton LaVey
Legrasse Cthulhu Idol
Cthulhu
Brown Jenkin
Aleister Crowley


H. P. Lovecraft

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Rondo Awards 2008

Ladies and Germs, our very own Dr. AC's Horror 101 is up for Best Book of 2008 in the 2008 Rondo Awards! Go and vote in many categories, but don't forget to Dr. AC.

Zombie Banks - Bad for the World Economy, Good for Horror Fans

Glad to see the media beginning to raise awareness for the plight of our undead brothers and sisters -- too long have they been denied service by close-minded, terrified bank tellers. As their pockets and purses rot away, zombies need a place to keep their money just like the rest of us.

on NPR's Morning Edition
The Motley Fool
The Huffington Post

Monday, February 16, 2009

Year of the Werewolf?

Will 2009 be the year of the Werewolf?
Not since 1981, with the release of "The Howling", "Wolfen" and "An American Werewolf in London"(one of my personal all time favorite movies), has there been such of glut of filmed lycanthropy preparing for release.

We have already seen "Underworld: Rise of the Lycans", and later this year Benicio Del Toro will go through the Rick Baker transformation in "Wolf Man". Throw in the sequel to "Twilight", "New Moon" and the upcoming Harry Potter flick, and then add for good measure "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" (I know, not actually a werewolf movie, but, what the heck...he's furry with claws), and you have one hairy beast of a howling movie line up.

Will they be any good? Well, in my humble opinion, outside of the "Wolf Man", I do not hold much hope. Whereas the three released in 81 (all released within 4 months) were true horror flicks and carried with them the requisite R rating, only the "Underworld" and "Wolf Man" seems aiming for anything like true adult horror. Oh well. I guess that is better than nothing.

NYC Zombie Crawl 2008

NYC Zombie Crawl 2008 - World Zombie Day

Thrillpeddlers

Thrillpeddlers is a theatre company based in San Francisco who specialize in Grand Guignol. Here is what they say about their work: "We've been adapting and performing classic plays from the French Grand Guignol theatre for over 15 years, and are recognized as America's leading authorities on Grand Guignol interpretation and performance. Our annual "Shocktoberfest" has become a San Francisco Halloween tradition, and our one-of-a-kind Hypnodrome theatre is home to music, video, spoken-word and theatrical performances all year-round."

Check out their website www.grandguignol.com which states to be the most complete source of Grand Guignol information on the net!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Bloody Valentine


On February 14th, 1991 one of the greatest horror films of all time was released.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Ladies, don't trip and fall in the woods...


Happy friday the 13th ladies. Here's some advice to survive what is a notoriously dangerous day for young attractive women of loose morals who spend their summers at campgrounds:

#1 Always wear shoes you can run in. Though I did appreciate the evasive talents of the naked gal wearing ridiculously tall platform shoes in the My Bloody Valentine remake, it's best to stick with hiking boots or jogging shoes when you are running for your life.

#2 Never take your bikini top off in a lake...

#3 Never swim out to one of those floating platforms in a lake.

#4 Never perform #3 and follow it up with #2...you are dead for sure if you do.

#5 Never leave your clothes on a bush and then go skinny dipping. Someone is going to steal your clothes...and that someone is either the unattractive pervert guy in your gang of friends or a serial killer...or possibly both. Either way, your wet and naked and usually that means someone is about to chase you and imbed an ax in your head. Because if there is one thing psycho killers love more than killing girls, its killing naked wet girls.

#6 If you have managed to escape the campground alive, assume that ANYONE that stops to help you on the road is either: the mother of the psycho killer, a sheriff who wants to kill you to keep the story of the psycho killer out of the press, or the psycho killer himself in a snazzy new sheriff outfit.

Best wishes and happy camping...

Archives of the Dead

Check out all the zombie memorabilia you can shake a half eaten limb at over in the Archives of the Dead.

If it seems like WildClaw's got zombies on the brain - well, we do. Make sure you get your tickets early for our Zombie Bowling Benefit coming up on March 14th at Timber Lanes in Chicago. When there's no more room in Timber Lanes, the dead will walk the streets.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Long Live The Claw


On this day, February 12th, 2004, The Claw passed away. Above is a photograph from Clive Barker’s “In the Flesh”, in which he played The Bishop. He is pictured on the right, with Maurice Chasse, who played Cleveland Smith.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Evil Disney

The Maleficent Mouse is stealing away our friend Adam Kozlowski, designer of the fantastic soundscapes of Dreams in the Witch House and The Great God Pan.

He's off to Las Vegas to play Puumba in The Lion King, for pity's sake. Heaven help the children of tomorrow. Stop by the Four Moon Tavern tonight to see him off.

So damn them slightly for that, but Disney certainly ain't all bad. Despite not-so-subtle campaign for global mono-culture and their ham-fisted fumblings with the geniuses at Pixar, (golly, I hope they don't screw up The Muppets), they've done some good over the years. Like cultivating young horror-fans-to-be.

I'm sure I'm not the only youngster whose snot was scared out by the witch/dragon in "Sleeping Beauty".




And Ursula was pretty bad-ass. Made me feel better about digging the movie--it wasn't ALL about the underage mermaid and her little shell-bikini.



This guy was cool. But the film is such a disappointment if you'd ever read the original Chronicles of Prydain series by Lloyd Alexander. Do yourself a favor and search it out--it's rollicking, it's profound, full of Celtic myth, adventure, and coming-of-age. Beautiful stuff.



And correct me if I'm wrong, but Escape from Witch Mountain was SCARY.



So farewell to Adam. And farewell to a little bit Mr. Morlock's dignity for this posting.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Jess Franco Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

On February 1, 2009, Jess Franco received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Goya Awards (Spain's version of the Oscars). For those of you who might be asking yourself, “Who is Jess Franco?” you’re not alone. But trust us, the man deserves his moment and is required viewing for any serious student of the genre.

With a career spanning over 50 years and nearly 200 directorial credits to his name (under nearly as many pseudonyms), Franco is a one-of-a-kind cult filmmaker who has carved out his place in history through sheer quantity, if not always quality. He has worked alongside such screen legends as Christopher Lee, Klaus Kinski and Howard Vernon, along with Eurobabes Laura Gemser and Lina Romay. Franco would eventually marry Romay and cast her in over 30 films, often in a state of undress. (Thanks for sharing, Jess!)

Since much of Franco’s output might be considered schlock/exploitation (which, well, much of it is), it is all the more impressive that the Goyas chose to honor him. In the attached YouTube clip of the official ceremony, Franco is introduced by Spanish superstar Santiago Segura (Accion Mutante, Day of the Beast, Beyond Re-Animator), with luminaries Penelope Cruz and Alex de la Iglesia applauding one of their own from the audience.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7jEWOmQSS1I&feature=related

In the career retrospective montage, offering praise and commentary, are Jack Taylor (Count Dracula, Female Vampire), Ricardo Palacios (Blood of Fu Manchu) and Antonio Mayans (Oasis of the Zombies, Mansion of the Living Dead). And hey, when are the Oscars going to start showing clips with full frontal nudity??? We’re thinking that would pull in a heck of a lot more viewers than those tacky production numbers (or Hugh Jackman, for that matter).

From all of us at WildClaw, hearty congratulations to both Franco and the Goyas for their courage, creativity and spirit. For more info about Franco, visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jess_Franco

Monday, February 9, 2009

Sales from the Crypt...


The Associated Press reports that in April, the horror and Sci Fi memorabilia collection of Forrest J. Ackerman will be going on sale. Thousands of items will be sold at an auction arranged by Profiles in History. Among the items up for bids: the ring worn by Bela Lugosi in the 1931 film version of “Dracula,” and the costume he sported in Ed Wood’s 1959 sci-fi train wreck “Plan 9 From Outer Space,” as well as first-edition copies of Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” and Bram Stoker’s “Dracula,” the latter signed by Stoker, Lugosi and Boris Karloff.

Ackerman, of course, was a writer, actor, producer, editor of the magazine Famous Monsters of Filmland, and a literary agent who helped coin the phrase Sci-Fi. He passed away in December.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Ann VanderMeer

Ann VanderMeer is the founder of the award-winning Buzzcity Press and currently serves as the fiction editor for Weird Tales, the oldest fantasy magazine in the world. She is also on the Advisory Board for the Shirley Jackson Awards.



She and her husband, Jeff VanderMeer edited this cool collection of Steampunk stories (Tachyon Publications) by the following authors:

Michael Chabon / Neal Stephenson / James P. Blaylock / Joe R. Lansdale / Mary Gentle / Ted Chiang / Michael Moorcock / Jay Lake / Molly Brown / Stepan Chapman / Ian R. MacLeod / Rachel Pollack / Paul Di Filippo / Rick Klaw / Jess Nevins / Bill Baker

Saturday, February 7, 2009

"The Wendigo"


Algernon Blackwood is one of the greatest horror writers of all time and WildClaw Theatre may well adapt his works for the stage at some point. In the meantime, another theatre company - The Vagabond Theatre Ensemble - has tackled one of his most influential stories, "The Wendigo". It opens this weekend in New York. If you are in the vicinity, please go and see what could be a terrifying evening of horror theatre. We wish them the very best indeed with their production!!!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Jane Austen Zombies!


Jane Austen is not dead. She's the Living Dead.

Here's how Chronicle Books describes it:
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies -- Pride and Prejudice and Zombies features the original text of Jane Austen's beloved novel with all-new scenes of bone-crunching zombie action. As our story opens, a mysterious plague has fallen upon the quiet English village of Meryton—and the dead are returning to life! Feisty heroine Elizabeth Bennet is determined to wipe out the zombie menace, but she's soon distracted by the arrival of the haughty and arrogant Mr. Darcy. What ensues is a delightful comedy of manners with plenty of civilized sparring between the two young lovers—and even more violent sparring on the blood-soaked battlefield as Elizabeth wages war against hordes of flesh-eating undead. Complete with 20 illustrations in the style of C. E. Brock (the original illustrator of Pride and Prejudice), this insanely funny expanded edition will introduce Jane Austen's classic novel to new legions of fans.

Remakes






Getting ready for the release of Friday the 13th, they are talking about remakes at the San Francisco Chronicle. Chronicle writer Peter Hartlaub puts re-makes up against originals.

Remakes don't fare so well. I think you have to start out with a movie that is not so great to have any chance for a good remake. I, for one, enjoyed My Bloody Valentine, but then again...

Thursday, February 5, 2009

R.I.P. Lux Interior


photo © Steve Jennings

Skynet Is Coming... Um, It's Here.

This is what modern day nightmares are made of.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

NEW CARPENTER FILM IN THE WORKS...

You have to give it to Peter Block. Since his departure from Lionsgate he's been a very busy man, and his new company A Bigger Boat has just announced its latest feature -- John Carpenter's The Ward. (Many thanks to WildClaw friend Larry Sternshein for the heads up.)

The Ward, written by Michael and Shawn Rasmussen, is an intense psychological thriller set in a mental institution where a young woman, Kristen (played by Amber Heard), is haunted by a mysterious and deadly ghost. As danger creeps closer, she comes to realize that this ghost might be darker than she could have imagined. Production is scheduled for a May start.

From the press release:

"The Ward is the kind of script that I've been looking for: a complex, visceral story, full of suspense and scares," said Carpenter. "I am especially pleased to be working with Amber because I know she will create a powerful central performance."

The Ward is being produced by Doug Mankoff, Mike Marcus and Andy Spaulding of Echo Lake Entertainment, which recently wrapped production on The Joneses, co-starring Heard. Financing and producing alongside Echo Lake will be Peter Block and his recently launched company A Bigger Boat. "Working with John Carpenter on The Ward is a dream come true; fans everywhere, me included, have been waiting for just this kind of thriller from him. It's great to be able to tackle it with the Echo Lake gang whose work I've also admired for years," said Block.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Cthulhu Bloop

Coilhouse Mag has a fun piece on the mysterious Bloop sound that has been recorded under the ocean. Is it Cthulhu?


Bloop spectrogram

Happy Birthday George!

This week in 1940, a man was born whose singular vision would remake the world of horror. George A. Romero would unleash his army of undead on an unsuspecting world in 1968.



Over the next 40 years, zombies would be his stock and trade, and his very name would become synonymous with the undead.



Happy 69th birthday, Mr. Romero. Thanks for the thrills.