Friday, August 31, 2012

Twisted Treasuries #4: From Hell

On Friday, August 31st, 1888, 3:40 am, the body of Mary Ann Nichols, was found badly mutilated in Buck's Row, Whitechapel. She was to be the first of the Canonical Five, a group of women believed to have been the victims of the infamous Jack the Ripper.

Imagine my surprise when I sat down to watch Jack's Back the other night, only to discover this little fact. I'm not particularly good with remembering historical dates so if I knew it, I had forgotten. Gave me a nice little shiver after looking at the calendar, let me tell you.

The fact and folklore of the Ripper Murders combine nicely to fuel the imagination. This week's Twisted Treasuries takes a trip down the cobblestone back alleys of Whitechapel in search of Jack the Ripper.

The classic silhouette of the Ripper-- suspected Victorian era gentleman complete with top hat and cloak.

This original oil painting by John Slaney depicts the crime scene photo taken of Mary Jane Kelly, the Rippers final (known) victim of the Canonical Five. There's also a portrait of Catherine Eddowes and an autopsy photo interpretation as well. Make sure to read the artists descriptions for further insight into the murders and the motivation behind his subject choices. Prints of his paintings are available in the shop as well.

For the miniature super sleuth. Follow the case with this creepy cool little dollhouse evidence collection. I know my dollhouse needs a set.
via LDelaney 

There are a few schools for thought of the weapon the Ripper used, scalpel? straight razor? Personally, I've always seen him with a pearl handled razor myself. Adds a bit of style to the image of the man in the top hat and cloak stalking his victims.

Not exactly inspired by, and taken holy out of it's original context, this pin by zine Queen extraodinaire Alex Wrekk, seems ghoulishly fitting. If "Jack" were alive today, cleaning up his razor and knives after leaving Mary Ann behind in the night, betchya he'd have this on his doctors bag.

See the rest of the treasury HERE

If you have the time I recommend checking out "Jack the Ripper in America" an interesting documentary I caught on Discovery awhile back.
Part I
Part II
Part III

Or the Biography documentary "Jack the Ripper: Phantom of Death"

Thursday, August 30, 2012

On tap tonight:

See the trailer HERE
You can currently catch it in it's entirety via Watch Instantly on Netflix or for free on Hulu (with commercials).

Dave Lebow: the Soul Behind Dexter's DDK

"This is the way the world ends"

Finally got to watch the sixth season of Dexter. Another great season, save for the Dexter/Deb dynamic which wanes thinner and thinner on my nerves each season... let's hope with the cliffhanger they smacked us in the face with alleviates some of that tediousness next season.

Really, when all is said and done, every season of Dexter has successfully and repeatedly toyed with excellence. The religious zealotry and psychotic-WTF of this 12 episode run didn't disappoint, mainly in thanks to the the brilliantly evil Revelations tableaus. I love and lust after a creative kill in my horror an element of the genre that Dexter (with the exception of the Ice Truck Killer) has always been a bit lacking in for me.

Fictional killers like those in 2009's The Collector, Horsemen, The Silence of the Lambs in '91 (trailed but not surpassed by 2002's Red Dragon or the much maligned, nearly forgotten Manhunter released in 1986), and even on occasion Freddy and Jason, who take a little time to really engross us with their passion and flourish with some style in either the hunt or how they display their prey to be discovered later, can really elevate even the most low budget of movies. As the season played itself out, the macabre effect and presentation of the victims unfortunately lost some of the vehemence that they'd had with the Angel of Death or the Four Horseman. Sure, our killer was on the run and forced to improvise, so the final product was compromised-- I get that. I build for Halloween every year! Luckily, the oil paintings that captured these end-of-days tableaus, didn't lose a shred of intensity.

"Seven Snakes"

"Whore of Babylon"

"Seven Bowls of Wrath"

I wish they'd been a little less backdrop. I found myself not listening to the characters at all, trying to sneak a peak behind them to the paintings, so I googled. The Doomsday Killer/s work was envisioned by and brought to canvas by real life artist, Dave Lebow. The technique and visual of movement and light is astounding. Elements of Klimt, Frazetta with a breath of VanGogh hit the canvas in striking style and subject all his own. His 2010 portfolio is by far my favorite:

"The Magic Show"

"Satan's Shadow"

Hmm, I wonder why?

Scrolling through his web page I was reminded of the covers and art spreads in Heavy Metal magazine I'd sneak peaks of while snooping through my Dad's studio on early weekend mornings, my parents still asleep and unknowing upstairs. For all I know Lebow's work could've been amongst those pages. One thing is for certain, his are beautiful works with a darkness and macabre sense of humor that tickles my poor unfortunate, damned little soul.

For more Dave Lebow go to:
His Blog
His deviantart page

Ain't Misbehavin'

Monster girls Lilith and Baba Yaga by Junker Jane.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

On tap tonight:

Watch the movie HERE

Ice Cream and R.L. Stine

R.L. Stine: Making scrunchies scary.

When I was a kid I devoured R.L. Stine's Fear Street novels by the dozens. Super Chillers and sagas were my favorites. There's gotta be a couple boxes worth (at least) of paperbacks in my parents basement smoldering under five pounds of dust and cobwebs. The Brother was the same way with the Goosebumps series. His collection is still squished in with the entirety of The Boxcar Children series on the bottom of his bookshelf.

I think he'd be okay with my sharing that...

It's funny the way something can play such a huge role in your life and then years later, after they get forgot with all that crazy life stuff that tends to happen, something flips a switch and it all comes rushing back. Last month I probably wouldn't have remembered The Real Ghostbusters or Eerie Indiana any more than I had Fear Street. Mostly, I remember the crazy covers, because YES, I did judge the books by the covers, who wouldn't? They were flat out awesome.

I probably couldn't sum up a plotline if you held a machete to my throat, but I remember the books and I remember I was obsessed. I have  R.L. Stine's The Haunting Hour: Don't Think About It to thank for the resurrection in my synapsis. I caught it when it came out on the Cartoon Network a few years back (ironically at the beach, where I find myself sitting today writing this) and the nostalgia magic got all kinds of crazy stirred up. Then, I caught the series on the Hub. The channel's right next door to I.D. Discovery, and while searching for the next episodes of Deadly Women and Most Evil, I noticed the television series of Goosebumps and The Haunting Hour listed on the guide.
The way the universe works, huh?

Today, I heard an ice cream truck troll passed the house. There's really nothing creepier than ice cream truck music. Well, except for maybe bunnies.
Are there bunnies? :/

Oh crap...
Now if we'd ever had an ice cream truck rolling thru our neighborhood growing up, maybe I'd feel different about it.The nostalgia of the memory would get me all smiley in the same way Fear Street, Eerie Indiana or Tales From the Darkside (or The Crypt) manage to, but we didn't have an ice cream man that pulled up to the curb come summer time with sweet treats for us kiddies. We didn't have curbs or sidewalks or even many kids in our neighborhood. Still don't-- I'm realizing more and more what an offbeat childhood I had (never deprived or depraived, just different) and the everlasting effect it's had on me. Give me ghost stories, high school murder mysteries and even evil lawn gnomes, but an ice cream truck jingling "innocently" by? I shoot under the bed to hold hands with the monsters and the dust bunnies (bunnies?!) till it passes... But that pied piper calliope sound blasting from the trucks speakers this afternoon did remind me of good old R.L. Stine and an episode I'd seen of The Haunting Hour a little while back:

"Only the bold get the Creamy Cold"

For the full episode:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Summer's almost over. I can't wait to see it go.
And the ice cream man with it.

Young Clara Kimball, Year 1914

Image Source

Out to Socialize

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Kathryn Parker Almanas


Probably, and rather unfortunately, best known for one of the most epic tear-for-all breakdown appearances in reality show history during her short stay as contestant on Bravo's Work of Art, Kathryn Parker Almanas' portfolio is a study of real life health and medical horrors, freshly extracted and put on display for all the world to gawk at. It's the exact sort of fodder that fuels a haunt and horror enthusiasts wet dream.

One of the less visceral of 23 pieces in the "Juice of Life" photography collection

I remember actually turning away from the screen for a moment as they showed the sculptural, plascenta-like viscera as subject in her photography in the season premiere. The realism or even the hint at reality as portrayed in the photos got to me. Nothing gets to me like placenta. I can barely even type it without a shudder... But that's the exact sort of reaction art should induce and one that sticks with you, especially when you're a self-proclaimed slasher flick addict, who's used to our insides being on the outside. But that's a movie and this... it's as close to reality as you want to get. Tackling that curtain to make you see ("can you see? CAN YOU SEE?!") it makes you respect what the artist is doing. Mad props to Kathryn and her awesome glasses for making me cringe. For that reason I really wanted to see her do well in the competition, but alas, in the pressure cooker of art under the microscope of America, she didn't have a chance.

#1 in an untitled collection of selected collages from 2008-2010

Her work isn't all blood and guts and is actually quite diverse from what the show represented. A nice reprieve for vegan viewers and the faint of heart. Her toilet paper and floss collage is a fun and lite collection that reads as a Karma Sutra for Scott tissue (I wonder if they'd ever take THAT up as a commercial campaign? it's way better than "gee, this feels good against my....erm, face" haha) and the sterile, isolating desolation of Ex-Votos is a sickly sweet, still and quiet environment. As it is a newer collection dated post- Work of Art, I can only think of it as a representation of life after the fact. Like a crazy comfortable straight jacket built of icing and gauze....

For her full portfolio:

For a really excellent summation article of her work, and yes, her Work of art appearance go HERE

If you absolutely have to see her breakdown, google it.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Sunday, Bloody Sunday #3

... with Maximum Overdrive

Music in the trailer sound familiar? It should. It was pilfered borrowed from Halloween III: Season of the Witch, another favorite.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

A Quick Face Lift

I stumbled upon this little number at Home Goods last weekend. They've finally put out their Halloween. I was originally eyeing the  plaster house at Michael's as a quick and easy (borderline brainless) craft project to take a break from my heavy lifting haunt projects-- the little kid in me can't resist a 3-D coloring activity like that-- but they weighed a ton and shed plaster dust like crazy. I had a place to put it, but it's on a shelf on the wall over my bed. Wouldn't THAT be fun to wake up like the Wicked Witch, with a plaster house on my head after the shelf gives out in the night...
On a whim I went in to HG to check things out and there it was-- a sad little mess, all by itself, a bit vacant in all it's glittery genericness on the shelf. None-the-less I thought it was cute and packed with potential.

Best of all, it's lite enough to put on those persnickety bed-hovering shelves of mine. I'd much rather be pummeled by some cardboard and glitter than a 5lb plaster cast.


Some dried out cherry stems for weeds, a new "wreath" and some pumpkin-esque pasta (also found at Home Goods) with stick bits from the yard and it's looking super homey. Still a work in progress, but for the moment I'm enjoying the simplicity.

I almost, kind-of, miss the "Beware" sign, but it's found another, more appropriate home.

Cause Goldfish are just that dangerous... ;)

Friday, August 24, 2012

Twisted Treasuries #3: House of 1000 Faces

Since this inadvertently became a Face Off kind of week, today's Twisted Treasuries is dedicated to the fine art of mask making...

First up is a mask by Matt Valentine from season 2. I favorited his etsy shop eeons ago and didn't even notice it was him till now. There's a new version of his Burtonesque challenge mask (tied for #2 on my Face Off Top 5) and a bad ass (non-sparkly) succubus, but I find myself drawn to this guy:

There's a nice array of latex crazies by Nick Petty of Lost Souls Dept. on etsy. There's a Marilyn Zombie, a Dark Elf, but this Baphomet mask takes the cake for epically creepy. Gotta love a god that brings his own altar...

I love this zombie, and his voodoo doctor smirk. It's classic and simple. And affordable!

Anyone who knows me knows I can be pretty Anya when it comes to rabbits. I'd imagine Lauren's mask comes as close to representing what they really look like beneath all that cute and cuddly bunny fluffinstance as you can get.

I love a good pig mask. Started with my swine flu epidemic themed haunt a few years back.This guy would've been so perfect!

Speaking of pigs.... The Shoggoth Assembly's been all over the Haunters and Halloween blogosphere lately and rightfully so. Probably better known for his skinned horror face masks and affordably priced disarticulations, his works are some of the most absolutely phenomenal, realistically detailed and inspired atroscities around-- his pig mask doesn't fail to impress. Check out those hairy warts!

Lots more lovelies in the treasury, found HERE...

Thursday, August 23, 2012

On tap tonight:

Nope. It's not Carrie. :)

See the trailer HERE
And for the original "la Casa Muda" go HERE

"These are Godless times, Mrs. Snell"

I can see your dirty pillows, Hollywood

"Movies, Angelica. They're called movies..."

It's ANGELINA! And Yeah. Uh, huh. Tell me another, Hollywood. I know all about what your definition of a "movie" is these days... You may have the tweens, teens and all the clueless consumer sad sacks in between fooled and frothing to shell out the money on a Friday night for an overpriced celluloidal orgy of everything with extra butter, but not me. I see right through you!

Say it ain't so!

I guess it was inevitable. The remake of Carrie. I was blissfully ignorant of the fact such a travesty was wrapping up production until about an hour ago, when the incomparably fabulous Venus broke out in a rant over on her blog about it.

Okay, maybe longer-- I must've blacked out from the shock and anger of the news.

Now, I've put up with a lot of Hollywood's sh*t, and like Venus, I am not all together innocent of partaking in and even enjoying a remake now and again, so I try to stay open minded. We've all probably wished bits of a movie were different or yes, even flat out redone. Directors cop to it all the time and issue their own preferred cuts, but this? This is a little too much. Carrie is sacred space for me. One of the very few movies of a long list of loves, I can be zealously Margaret White about. Fright Night, Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th, Halloween... fine. Take them if you must (especially if you want Rob Zombie to direct, that I can understand. at least he's a fan of the genre and can show the original material some respect), but leave me my Carrie!

It's a joke, right?
 It HAS to be a joke. The pictures Venus posted looked like a hair-commercialed frame-by-frame of the original, like a twisted little 1998 Psycho-sized prank. Which I guess could explain why Julianne Moore would even dare pick up a knife, playing make-believe she can improve on one of the greatest, craziest Christ-on-a-Cross lovin' uber-mom's of all time! Chloe Moretz at least has the excuse of being young and stupid and hungry to keep herself in her post-pubescent sized Jimmy Choo's, but Julianne?
Fer serious?! For shame.

I can't take it anymore!
 I don't rant movie-wise very often, but everyone has their breaking point and this is mine. Enough is enough! What ever happened with making pacts with the Devil for a little creative genius in exchange for your soul in the monster machine that's un-Holywood? Hell, if you're too lazy to do that, what are you even doing out there? Are you even trying to write? Do you need a pen? Some paper? You're in Hollywood, surely some intern in the prop department can messenger something over to you. Do you even remember how to use them or are you really having that much fun, stuck on cut and paste in cyberspace hacking up and recycling actual movies someone out there actually put some thought into once upon a time?

I mean, yeah. I'll probably watch it, but WAY after the release date and most likely rented from netflix so I don't feel so guilty about it. Got know what I'm loathing and why... right? ;)

Better watch out, Hollywood. Careful where you're peddling your remake wares...

You know they ALWAYS come back for you in the end... and you best believe we're all going to laugh at you!

Go read Venus' original post. She's got the details a little better covered than me. I'm still too invested in the denial stage.