Archive for November 29, 2005

Carnival of souls

November 29, 2005

Told you so!

Let’s start with one for Infocult’s Cyberspace Gothic file: Presenting the Craigslist-post-as-horror-story. Done in the standard “missed connections” style, this post chronicles in graphic detail the dream-relationship the female poster believes she is having with an attractive but increasingly frightening ghost who haunts her apartment. Lord only knows if the dreams are even real, let alone the ghost, but to me the intriguing aspect of the post (aside from her obvious talent with gruesome imagery, unconscious or no) is the way that horror seems able to seep into virtually any available space on the Internet, not just the blogs and journals that seem to lend themselves so easily to the genre.

Speaking of Infocult, Bryan Alexander offers his thoughts on Lost. Unsurprisingly, given the way it dovetails with his own uncanny interests, he likes it quite a lot; also unsurprisingly he makes explicit the series’ connection to the enigmatic phenomenon known as numbers radio.

And speaking of uncanny interests, my own affinity for recorded media as a locus of horror was piqued by Bryan’s post on eerie wax cylinder recordings. Noises picked up where no noises were meant to be–all horror comes back to “the things that should not be,” doesn’t it?

Back on the Internet-horror beat, Eric Heisserer, creator of the Dionaea House project, reports to the Dionaea Yahoo group that obstacles have been encountered on the project’s road to film adaptation. First is a new, low budget; as Heisserer puts it:

[Warner Bros.] may also be

attempting the SAW business model for horror, which translates to “tiny budget = decent profits.”

There are some publish-or-perish problems involving similar projects heading to the screen first, too. Overall, Heisserer is startlingly candid about his misgivings. If you’re interested in this project in particular or the journey idiosyncratic horror must take to get to the screen relatively untrammeled, you’d do well to join the Yahoo group and receive these email updates.

My irregular “Meet the Horror Blogosphere” series continues with Mexploitation, by Norwegian expat Joakim Ziegler, a genre actor and filmmaker living and working in Mexico City. Lately he’s been chronicling the film he’s currently working on; he’s also written on Mexploitation’s place in Mexican culture and put up a fascinating pair of posts on “What’s Scary,” which touch on (flatteringly) my senior essay on the subject along with such lodestones as Noel Carroll’s The Philosophy of Horror, as well as offer a defense of the actual scariness of Lovecraft. Go ye and read.

Jeez, where’s Sean at The Outbreak been? I hope everything’s alright over there.

Finally, The Family Shoggoth. (Link courtesy of Heidi MacDonald.)

Carnival of Souls

November 27, 2005

It’s back. Just a quickie one, just to get into the habit again, sound good?

In Focus‘s lengthy interview with Harold Ramis touches on his whole career, and as is the case with most vets of the whole Lampoon scene it’s pretty damned impressive. But for our purposes, the interview has some fascinating tidbits for fans of the Ramis-co-written Ghostbusters, the best horror comedy of all time:

Part of the fun of

From the Derry News, July 24th, 1958 (page 1)

November 17, 2005


In a dramatic development in the District Court trial of Richard Macklin for the murder of his stepson Dorsey Corcoran, Macklin broke down under the stern cross-examination of County Attorney Bradley Whitsun and admitted he had beaten the four-year-old boy to death with a recoilless hammer, which he then buried at the far end of his wife’s vegetable garden before taking the boy to Derry Home Hospital’s emergency room.

The courtroom was stunned and silent as the sobbing Macklin, who had previously admitted beating both of his stepsons “occasionally, if they had it coming, for their own good,” poured out his story.

“I don’t know what came over me. I saw he was climbing on the damn ladder again and I grabbed the hammer from the bench where it was laying and I just started to use it on him. I didn’t mean to kill him. With God as my witness I never meant to kill him.”

“Did he say anything to you before he passed out?” Whitson asked.

“He said, ‘Stop daddy, I’m sorry, I love you,'” Macklin replied.

“Did you stop?”

“Eventually,” Macklin said. He then began to weep in such a hysterical manner that Judge Erhardt Moulton declared the court in recess.

It, Stephen King


November 15, 2005


A perfect storm of headache-inducing blog-obstacles has hit around ADDTF lately. First of all, as regular visitors have no doubt noticed, the entire All Too Flat empire has been experiencing frequent service outages and interruptions, some lasting for entire days. I’m assured by our crack squad of Cornell graduates (oxymoronic as that may sound) that we are simply victims of our own popularity, and measures are supposedly being adopted to prevent blackouts in the future. Please be patient with us.

Secondly, the increasingly hideous post-Yahoo-buyout had another one of its periodic freakouts, ditching blogs from its database left and right and resetting a whole lot more to look like they haven’t been updated since early October, then refusing to allow new updates to register. This has really frigged up Where the Monsters Go, my horrorblog aggregator service, as it runs off of’ code. (The same ignominious fate has befallen Dave G.’s wonderful Comic Weblog Update Page as well.) I’ve tried to add some of the missing blogs back in and will continue to do so, but it looks like getting all the listed blogs to register update will require some hours of work, hours that I don’t appear to have at the moment. And there’s always the fact that seems likely, if not guaranteed, to have another meltdown like this in the near future, which means the whole fixer-upper enterprise would be a waste of time.

Finally, a heaping helping of extra work and a lingering hangover from the mandatory daily blogging of my big October marathon have left me too pooped to pop, as far as blogging’s concerned. Hopefully all three of these problems will be solved soon, but I just wanted to give folks a heads up as to what’s been going on around here.


New Comics Day

November 7, 2005

Recently I wrote a short comic about prolific Ukrainian serial child-murderer Andrei Chikatilo; a swell artist by the name of Matt Rota drew it. The end result is “It Brought Me Some Peace of Mind” (the title comes from a quote of Chikatilo’s explaining why he did what he did), which I’m happy to post for your enjoyment, or whatever, here on the site. It’s twenty stand-alone panels, so apologies in advance for the user-unfriendly interface, but a judicious use of your tabbed-browsing capabilities should do the trick. I hope you like it!

Favorite Songs meme

November 4, 2005

Boy, do I like lists. So how could I resist this meme? Taken from Bill Sherman, with some of the categories he deleted added back in and some new ones of my own thrown on the end for good measure. Pass it on!


Favorite Beatles song: I prefer “the Beatles gestalt” rather than naming any one Beatles song, but okay, fine, “Mother Nature’s Son”

Favorite solo song by a former Beatle: “My Sweet Lord” by George Harrison

Favorite Bob Dylan song: I don’t really have one

Favorite Pixies song: “Monkey Gone to Heaven”

Favorite Prince song: “Purple Rain”

Favorite Michael Jackson song: “Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough”

Favorite Depeche Mode song: “Enjoy the Silence”

Favorite Cure song: “Pictures of You”

Favorite song that most of your friends haven’t heard: “2HB” by Roxy Music

Favorite Beastie Boys song: “Shake Your Rump”

Favorite Police song: “Synchronicity II”

Favorite Sex Pistols song: “God Save the Queen”

Favorite song from a movie: “Into the West” by Annie Lennox from The Return of the King

Favorite Blondie song: I dislike Blondie, but I guess “Heart of Glass”

Favorite Genesis song: I don’t really have one

Favorite Led Zeppelin song: sort of a Beatles-esque situation for me, but I guess I’d go with “No Quarter”

Favorite INXS song: “Don’t Change”/”Mediate” (tie)

Favorite Weird Al song: “Smells Like Nirvana”

Favorite Pink Floyd song: “Come In Number 51, Your Time Is Up”

Favorite cover song: “Across the Universe” originally performed by the Beatles, as covered by David Bowie

Favorite dance song: “Born Slippy.NUXX” by Underworld

Favorite U2 song: “Lemon”

Favorite disco song: “Born to Be Alive” by Patrick Hernandez

Favorite The Who song: “Won’t Get Fooled Again”

Favorite Elton John song: the opening riff from “The Bitch Is Back”

Favorite Clash song: “The Card Cheat”

Favorite David Bowie song: “Stay”

Favorite Nirvana song: “Come As You Are

Carnival of souls

November 3, 2005

Ah, it’s good to be back! But it’s even better to have taken a couple of days off after a 31-day posting marathon. You don’t really realize how much time and energy blogging requires until you obligate yourself to do it every day, regardless of whether you’re tired or it took you two hours to drive home from work or you’re under six different deadlines and closed three publications in eighteen days or America’s Next Top Model is on.

That said, MAN did I enjoy doing Blog of Blood. In the same way that my Where the Monsters Go marathon from 2003 reignited my love of horror cinema, this blogathon reminded me of why I loved Clive Barker’s work so much in the first place. The elegance of his prose and fearlessness of his transgression are both stand-out inspirations. I hope you enjoyed reading along. Links to my examinations of each story in The Books of Blood–the complete Blog of Blood project–may be found here.

First up, a plug: I reviewed my beloved Black Hole by Charles Burns in the lastest issue of Giant (the one with Jennifer Love Hewitt on the cover), on sale now. Here’s a link to my review of Black Hole, as well as Chris Ware’s Acme Novelty Library hardcover, at Giant’s website. And while you’re there, why not subscribe?

Of course, I wasn’t the only guy who wrote his horror-lovin’ heart out in honor of Halloween. I always enjoy the Best Horror Movies of All Time lists that various pop-culture outlets come up with at this time of year, not so much for the fun of agreeing or disagreeing, but just for the peek they provide at the constantly shifting critical consensus as to where the strongest horror material lies. (For example, I’d bet that zombie movies get ranked a lot higher these days than they would have about five years ago, but that’s just a guess.) Here are a handful of lists for you to peruse and argue with:

IGN’s Top 25 Horror Movies of All Time (This is interesting in that while it picks pretty much the same Top 25 as everyone else, it seems to invert, say, the customary 15-10 with the customary 10-5.)

Entertainment Weekly’s 20 Scariest Movies of All Time (I’m delighted to see that they included Lost Highway, which certainly ranks on my Scariest of All Time list.)

Bravo’s 100 Scariest Movie Moments (This is really just a list of the films featured in the cable net’s spoileriffic countdown specials, which I studiously avoid watching for fear of having the endings of movies ruined for me.)’s Top 25 Highest Grossing Domestic Horror Films of All Time (a fairly even blend of quality filmmaking and evidence of the power of hype)

Entertainment Weekly’s Six Creepiest Forgotten Films (I guess I’ve got to see this Picnic at Hanging Rock movie, huh?)

Fearfodder’s Great, Over-Hyped, and God-Awful Horror Films (A novel approach to seasonal list-making, as its introduction of an extra degree on the rocks/sucks scale makes it easier both to agree and disagree with.)

Most of those links come courtesy of Dark But Shining, Dark But Shining again, and Escape from Obsession.

I also wasn’t the only blogger to make a marathon out of it. Final Girl’s Stacie Ponder has posted an enormous wrap-up link list leading you to her reviews of the 47 (FORTY-SEVEN!!!) horror movies she watched during October, 28 of which she’d never seen before. Wow.

Dark But Shining also has a massive round-up post with links to their 63 (SIXTY-THREE!!!!!) horrorblogging marathon posts from the month of October. Wow again. (Full disclosure: one of the 63 was from me.)

Here’s something a little different: found via the ads on the right-hand side of this page (which y’all click every time you visit, right?), “The Mechanics of Fear: A Look at the Construction of Horror Screenplays”, by Ryan Williams at It focuses primarily on popcorn-movie scares, but it’s a look at horror movies from a very different and nuts-and-bolts angle than I’m accustomed to. Check it out.

News of the real-world weird: Remember when I mentioned the mystery stench that struck L.A., D.C., and Wales? Last week another mystery smell enveloped New York City, the third major American urban center to be so afflicited–only this time, instead of smelling like a used diaper filled with Indian food, it smelled like maple syrup! You’ve got to love the headline of the NYT piece that reports on it: “Good Smell Perplexes New Yorkers.” Well, it would, wouldn’t it? So at least we can rest assured that while whoever-it-is is conducting experiments on unwitting citizens, they at least have switched over to pleasant experiments.


(Image courtesy of PostSecret.)