Friday, September 30, 2011
Thursday, September 29, 2011
In the meantime here are some tips:
- DON'T SEND US SCREENPLAYS. Seriously people. I am not sure how ten minute radio plays became the same thing as a two hour feature film screenplay. Grumble.
- Use proper radio format...look to the BBC writer's room for inspiration.
- Write about something that excites/repels/interests/scares/arouses you.
- Don't send us stage plays....there is a difference folks.
- Theatre of the Mind...when you have no visuals, your mind gets to play a little. Enhance that by thinking of the sounds as well as the dialogue and story. It makes a huge difference.
- Remember that because there are no visuals...you need to do things like repeat names on occasion. And you can't write sound cues like "man throws himself off a building"...I mean you CAN but as your foley girl...I will hate you. Think about how you can make that visual happen with sound and dialogue. The audience won't know what that thud is (probably a sack of potatoes)...but if you add lines like "Don't do it Chet!" and "Oh no that dude just jumped!" then people might get it. Got it?
- And once again...don't send us screenplays. Seriously.
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
So buy your tickets to this killer party, kick your Halloween off in style, and feed your horror collectible urges.
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
So I think you should read this comic. It is by the delightful Raf Nieves and Dan Dougherty of our fair city of Chicago. It's about a normal guy, with a normal job, fighting monsters. I love it.
Monday, September 26, 2011
Friday, September 23, 2011
Our Red Death Benefit is fast approaching (get your tickets!!!!). Sazon Chicago is doing the food...and let me tell you it's going to be tasty....and some of it even tentacle-y. No fooling! They are also rocking out our silent auction with a gift certificate to their Sazon Light meal plan!
Thursday, September 22, 2011
Wondering what to wear to our Masque of the Red Death benefit...how about a mask? I know, a shocking leap of logic...
$15 for $30 Worth of Costumes and Accessories from Chicago Costume http://www.groupon.com/deals/chicago-costume-1?utm_campaign=VisitorReferral&utm_medium=email&utm_source=anonymous
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
That's right. Reposting from FAILblog. Mr. Morlock, can you get any lazier? Shame on you. You should re-read the Studies in Scary post. Casey and Barsotti are making you look like a clown.
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Continuing my quest to learn more about the horror genre of film, Scotty B and I took in a small, family film called Poltergeist. Released in 1982, Tobe Hooper's horror classic tells the story of a terrorized family dealing with an unknown evil presence in their home, one that has seemingly abducted their youngest child. But the child hasn't gone far - she's somewhere in the home.
SPOILER ALERT! This conversation divulges in detail many of the scary twists and turns of the film. If you haven't seen Poltergeist, you probably won't want to read this!
Scott: Poltergeist is one of my favorite horror movies ever. I have my reasons (some of which you might be able to guess). But where does it stand for you?
Casey: It's one of the few horror movies I've seen that I've both been scared by and, for the most part, have been able to keep my eyes open throughout. That ranks pretty high in my book! There is such a focus on performances, it's really a great movie for actors to watch.
S: Who in particular?
C: Particularly JoBeth Williams and Craig T. Nelson as the parents, and Beatrice Straight as Dr. Lesh. All three face such a frightening reality but they hold onto each other and treat one another with compassion. At the heart of the story is a family who love one another facing extraordinary circumstances.
S: Yeah, I love how intimate the movie feels, especially that scene with Dr. Lesh and Diane, the one at night when they're whispering about the light. There's something so sweet and yet reassuring and yet deeply frightening about that scene.
C: The film manages to feel very
intimate despite the big ass monsters throughout.
S: As you might imagine, horror fans love Zelda Rubinstein ("Tangina") in that movie.
C: Oh yeah, I can imagine!
S: I think Oliver Robins, who plays Robbie, is excellent too, especially that moment when he discovers Carol Anne's "location" and is too scared to yell. How long it takes him to yell "Mommy!" is so true to life, like trying to wake up from a nightmare.
C: Agreed. That little dude didn't have an easy job. He's got an inordinate amount of scared faces in his bag of tricks, and there are so many close ups of him in despair. I appreciate that you see the story, at some points, through his eyes. As a child afraid of storms and weird trees, missing his sister, loving his parents. It feels very real.
S: Yes, the story's point of view changes throughout, which I really like. I also like that it's a movie that makes me genuinely sad at times. Watching their reactions. That it's so reactive makes it a quintessential horror film.
C: You're right, there is such a deep sense of sadness. You're watching a family deal with the loss of a child. It's heartbreaking.
S: Yeah, they really might not get her back. You had mentioned that you found it sad that Nelson's character promised that he'd "Never" let go of the rope during the retrieval of Carol Anne.
C: Totally. Immediately I felt like it was a promise he couldn't keep and when he didn't, it would haunt him to feel responsible for the loss of both his daughter and wife. Oy. Big stuff.
S: Yeah. That's a really sad idea to me. When faced with the unknown, you can't make any promises.
C: As an audience, we're duped into thinking "this house is clean" but the keen observer can probably guess we're in for a lot more. Did you see that coming the first time you saw it?
S: Nope. They up the ante from paranormalist to medium. That giant skull comes flying out of the closet. The parents are heroes. It definitely seemed over to me.
C: It's not one of those situations where you're thinking, "That was too easy." They go through hell.
S: Exactly, they even get slimed.
C: Haha, yeah. I did have a sick feeling in my stomach when Diane (the mother) leaves the kids to g
o color her hair later in the film. I knew that wasn't going to end well.
S: Well, when the resolution starts to wear on and they don't just wrap it up, you know the other shoe's gotta drop. You just have no idea what that shoe is. What'd you think of the big climactic showdown?
C: It was awesome! You get a fierce mama running around in her underwear, climbing the walls, which is an evil we haven't seen yet. That damn clown comes back. It seems, though, that while there is for sure an evil presence in the house, it doesn't want to kill them.
S: One of my favorite elements of that climax is that the dead aren't animate, that the bodies and caskets resurface but they aren't like, grabbing at them or shuffling after them like zombies. There was probably a temptation to do that which I for one am glad they resisted.
C: Me too, exactly.
S: Yeah, it's ambiguous whether it wants to kill the family, though it DOES seem to want the kids. For their innocence? Their life force? Who knows?
C: It's like a big game. Mama falls in the slime-bucket pool, and I thought the skeletons would drown and kill her, but they just sort of bobbed up and down with her. It's as if the evil picks and chooses when to really show its hand. What was your take on some of the creepy things that happened - like the face melting scene in the bathroom and the tree swallowing Robbie? Is the poltergeist making them hallucinate? The tree thing is what I can't get over...
S: The face peeling is a hallucination, or maybe just a morbid waking dream. The tree swallowing Robbie is a weird one. What happens if he gets swallowed? It's weird to me because it's outside the house, though, I guess still on the defiled land.
C: Yeah, but I think after my favorite old oak tree tried to eat my son, I might not sleep there another night.
S: I think they're gratuitous in a storytelling sense (they could've found a less silly way to distract the parents so Carol Anne could be taken), but they definitely up the creep factor with that stuff.
C: True, that's when she gets all swirled into the closet, huh? That part of the film is very sensational.
S: I suppose the pool is outside the house too. I agree though, the tree is a little over-the-top.
C: I'm really glad I saw it, it's clear why it's such a powerful, lasting force in the genre. Have you seen the sequels?
S: I have a vague recollection of seeing the second one, but that was a long time ago. The first one is the only one I've given repeat viewings. Though they do make it clear that poltergeists are different from hauntings, as poltergeists focus upon people not places. Perfect setup for sequels. Or perhaps a series on the CW. Sarah Michelle Gellar is back on TV, after all.
C: Aaaaaaand scene.
Monday, September 19, 2011
Saturday, September 17, 2011
Friday, September 16, 2011
Two early medieval skeletons were unearthed recently in Ireland with large stones wedged into their mouths — evidence, archaeologists say, that it was feared the individuals would rise from their graves like zombies.
The skeletons, which were featured in a British documentary last week, emerged during a series of digs carried out between 2005 and 2009 at Kilteasheen, near Loch Key in Ireland, by a team of archaeologists led by Chris Read from the Institute of Technology in Sligo, Ireland and Thomas Finan from the University of St. Louis.
The project recovered a total of 137 skeletons, although archaeologists believe that some 3,000 skeletons spanning from 700 to 1400 are still buried at the site.
The "deviant burials" were comprised of two men who were buried there at different times in the 700s.
One of the men was between 40 and 60 years old, and the other was a young adult, probably between 20 and 30 years old. The two men were laid side by side and each had a baseball-size rock shoved in his mouth.
"One of them was lying with his head looking straight up. A large black stone had been deliberately thrust into his mouth," Chris Read, head of Applied Archaeology at IT Sligo, said.
"The other had his head turned to the side and had an even larger stone wedged quite violently into his mouth so that his jaws were almost dislocated," he added.
Initially, Read and colleagues thought they had found a Black Death-related burial ground. Remains of individuals buried at the end of the Middle Ages with stones stuck in their mouths have hinted at vampire-slaying rituals.
It was believed that these "vampire" individuals spread the plague by chewing on their shrouds after dying. In a time before germ theory, the stone in the mouth was then used as a disease-blocking trick.
Since the vampire phenomenon didn't emerge in European folklore until the 1500's, the archaeologists ruled out this theory for the 8th-century skeletons.
"In this case, the stones in the mouth might have acted as a barrier to stop revenants from coming back from their graves," Read told Discovery News.
Revenants, or the "walking dead," tended to be people who lived as outsiders in society, according to Read.
The two Irish men could have been considered potentially dangerous people, such as enemies, murderers or rapists, or they could have been ordinary individuals who died suddenly from a strange illness or murder.
Anything outside the norm would have caused the community to fear that these people could have come back to life to harass their loved ones or others against whom they had a grudge.
The mouth was seen as a key part of the body for such a transformation.
"It was viewed as the main portal for the soul to leave the body upon death. Sometimes, the soul could come back to the body and re-animate it or else an evil spirit could enter the body through the mouth and bring it back to life," Read said.
According to Kristina Killgrove, a biological anthropologist at the University of North Carolina, the burials' dating is particularly interesting as it appears to predate historical records on revenants.
"I'm also intrigued by the fact that the two males were not buried at the same time but were nonetheless buried side-by-side in this non-traditional manner, which suggests these burials were not accidental or careless," Killgrove told Discovery News.
Artwork by Vlad has donated a super sexy Poe Poster for our upcoming Masque of the Red Death Benefit Gala. You should check both Vlad's Etsy store and our Gala out!
Thursday, September 15, 2011
They have a rollicking community of commentators as well. Read (and join) the discussion about what counts as "Space Horror", the relative merits of "Red Planet" vs "Ghosts of Mars", and what an abysmal ball of poop "Doom" must be (god, I can't wait to Netflix it.)
Monday, September 12, 2011
DEADLINE EXTENDED: September 29th, 2011
Scripts must be ready to produce - all sound and music cues included. Details on format can be found below. Please be aware that these scripts, if chosen, will be performed by no more than 6 actors, therefore if you have more characters it will require double casting by the director of the piece.
5 scripts will be selected from all submissions. After being selected, there will be an opportunity for the authors to refine, revise, and tighten these scripts (if deemed necessary) in collaboration with WildClaw Theatre Company.
These scripts will be rehearsed and presented as an evening of Live Radio Drama with foley sound at the Mayne Stage in Chicago's Rogers Park and recorded for a future WildClaw Blood Radio Podcast.
Deadline for submissions is midnight, September 29th, 2011.
Deathscribe selections will be “blind.” The title page should include the title of the script, names of all authors, and the address, phone/fax and email address of the author(s). The subsequent pages must include only the manuscript title and page number and NO identifying personal information (name, address, email, etc.) or it will be disqualified. There will be a “Best of the Fest” award, with the winner chosen by a celebrity panel of judges on the night of performance.
By submitting to WildClaw’s Deathscribe Radio Horror Festival, you are stating that the script is your own work and has not been produced or commissioned for pay by other theatre groups. Plays which have been produced professionally are not eligible. Audio plays that have received college/university productions only will be accepted.
By submitting your play and upon acceptance to WildClaw’s Deathscribe Radio Horror Festival, you are granting WildClaw the exclusive, non-binding rights to make copies of your work in all media - including print, digital, film, video, audio, or other Internet formats - used to promote the Festival. WildClaw Theatre will have the right to produce the selected scripts for the WildClaw Theatre Deathscribe Horror Radio Festival, including broadcast and/or webcast of the festival; however, WildClaw Theatre makes no commitment to produce any script. The author retains all other rights to his or her work.
Instructions to Submit
To submit electronically, please make sure your script is formatted correctly according to the guidelines (see below) and submit your script as an attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Scripts must be no more than TEN MINUTES in length. This includes all sound effects, transitions and dialogue. The ENTIRE performance should only last 10 minutes. (And preferably no shorter than 7 minutes. Please read it aloud at home before submitting to check the running time. Generally one page reads as one minute.)
• Writers may submit up to two (2) scripts for Deathscribe consideration in any year. Submit three or more, and the Literary Legion will be very, very angry, and will choose which two they wish to read arbitrarily.
• PDF format is strongly preferred. If you don't have PDF, then only MS Word please. All scripts must have a title page with all contact information, but no identifying information should appear anywhere else in the document. Submissions must be in a standard font and no less than 12 point.
• NO SCREENPLAYS. SCREENPLAYS WILL BE DISCARDED. WE KNOW THEM WHEN WE SEE THEM.
• DO NOT submit full-length plays for consideration in Deathscribe. They will be discarded. If you wish to submit a full-length horror play to WildClaw, see our general submission guidelines.
• Scripts should follow radio drama format. Refer to BBC Writers Room's Script Smart site (not affiliated with the WildClaw Deathscribe Radio Play Festival) for script format, samples, and free templates at http://www.bbc.co.uk/writersroom/scriptsmart/
• Writers will be notified by email if their script(s) get selected.
• WildClaw Theatre’s Deathscribe Horror Radio Festival will take place December 5, 2011.
• Deadline for submissions is September 29th, 2011, at midnight.
Please contact the Daemon of WildClaw with questions at email@example.com
Thursday, September 8, 2011
WHEN? Saturday, October 8 at 7:00pm - October 9 at 1:00am
HOW MUCH? $10
WHERE? Friendly Towers: Deep Hope Screening Room
920 W. Wilson Avenue
Note: Please keep in mind that the Deep Hope Screening room is affiliated with a Christian community center that some of the event planners are members of. If attending/sharing information about this event, please be respectful of the spiritual beliefs of others as well as the space being provided.
MORE INFO AVAILABLE & TICKETS NOW ON SALE AT TICKET LEAP!!!
Sponsored by DEEP HOPE PRODUCTIONS and HORRORBLES
Come meet the star of Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy I & II, Fantastic 4:Rise of the Silver Surfer, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Batman Returns, Hocus Pocus, Mimic, Mystery Men, Lady in the Water, Three Kings, The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle, The Time Machine, Men In Black II, Doom, Legion, Cyrus, and Quarantine Tales from The Crypt, The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones, Bone Chillers, The Weird Al Show, The Outer Limits, CSI, The Guardian, Fear Itself, Criminal Minds and Universal Dead.
FREE Autographs on your personal item or purchase a photo or DVD from Doug.
INTERVIEW AND Q&A... DOOR PRIZES... more!
FULL FILM PROGRAM:
Doug Jones Award Winning Horror and Fantasy Shorts including The Candy Shop, The Butterfly Circus and Sudden Death and a Special Screening of ABSENTIA
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Great school supplies and t-shirts (some in adult sizes as well!) featuring original designs. my fave items are the split-personality Jekyll & Hyde split-notebook, the Three Hole Punch notebook for lefties, the Bench Warmer and the Buffy The Vampire Stapler items -- and keep your eyes peeled for the Elm Street Glue!!!(I only wish these notebooks came with more pages in them.)
How about it folks, do you have any awesome places to shop for creepy school/office items?
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Friday, September 2, 2011
I was brought up short by the lead image, which turns out to be a screen cap from "Grave Encounters".
I think my favorite comment is from n3onknight: "The more I stare at it, the more convinced I am it's a spawn of Gene Simmons."
What do you think? Any other "found-footage" films you can think of that hit the mark? My personal faves are [REC] and Cloverfield (I know, I know, bite me. Maybe my fondness really stems from this:)
...speaking of nerd-topia.