Saturday, December 19, 2009

Oh, The Horror! #39: Attack of the Killer Foot!

The final cut/version of my editing project. Had a ton of fun making this. This is my homage to two of my favorite horror films, Psycho and Jaws, and of some of the old cheesy no-good B&W horror films that had a bit of fun element to them still. Besides the score riffs, I had some inspiration from the great Eraserhead film that made this an even more fun experience.

Was glad to hear a lot of good feedback during the final showing and some good laughter, especially at some of the identical scenes from this and Psycho which I was hoping to hear.

Attack of the Killer Foot Final Cut from Greg Anderson-Elysee on Vimeo.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Oh, The Horror! #38: Greedy Fly by Bush and Marcus Nispel

One of my favorite bands and favorite videos ever. From Razorblade Suitcase, Greedy Fly was the second single off that album. Gavin has said of the song, "...You invite thing into your life; you know, that we are all ‘servants of out formulaic ways." For a few years know I've analyzed the song to be about suicide and the weird thought process of it.

“This was our ridiculous movie, shot in the same building where they filmed ‘Seven.’ It was just crazy. We spent almost half a million quid on it, which is a stupid, immoral amount of money that I can’t really justify. It was fun to have done an epic like that once.”- Gavin

“We sort of tried doing one mad Interscope vieo sort of thing, big budget like a rock version answer to a rap video. It was kind of fun to do, but I felt a bit immoral doing it.”- Gavin

But anyways, Marcus Nispel, the director of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake, directed this fantastic horror video. I dare you to watch it and not feel a bit weirded out or confused about it. A short movie running about 7 minutes, Nispel does a great job setting up a strange and dark mood and atmosphere.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Attack of the Killer Foot rough cut

A film I originally made with my sister and sadly lost the footage. For editing class, decided to reshoot it, this time with a better camera, lights, tripod, a small crew composed of family, etc. This is a rough cut of the project, a homage to two of my favorite horror films: Jaws and Psycho. Sound and music will be added later for the fine/final cut. Hope you like it, tell me what you think...

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Oh, The Horror! #37: The Mist

I've wanted to see this movie since it came out two years ago and finally caught it. Written for the screen and directed by Frank Darabont and adapted from a novella by Stephen King, Darabont and crew develop a wonderfully directed and acted piece of horror film which I will say is very underrated. Sure, I've heard a few people here and there praise the film but I honestly feel it could get a bit more. This is definitely on the list of actual great horror films in the past few years which people don't like to acknowledge when they say the horror genre is dead.

The ensemble cast is lead by manly-man Thomas Jane as David Drayton, a loving and caring father who takes charge of a strange situation after a thunderstorm hits town. After the storm, David and his wife and child notices a strange mist coming from the mountains. They casually shrug it off as David decides to go into town to buy supplies for home along with his son and his neighbor who has had past tension with him, played greatly by Andre Braugher. While at the supermarket, Dan Miller (Jeffrey DeMunn) rushes to the store with a bloody nose claiming that there was something in the mist. He gets people to shut the market door as people outside of the mist start screaming in agony and soon enough, the mysterious mist surrounds the whole market place. Theories begin to pass around about the cause and effects of this strange mist and what people should do. While in the supermarket, we're introduced to a variety of different characters, played wonderfully by their actors. Among them that truly steals the show is Marcia Gay Harden who portrays religious zealot Mrs. Carmody who sees the strange situation as the Wrath of God coming to punish his sinful children. I will say, though, although I absolutely loved this character, aspects of this character starts to become a bit too extreme and I do feel that the constant portrayal of religiously heavy characters like Mrs. Carmody could get a bit annoying in contrast to actual Christians with a grand faith. But I'll just leave it at that as I refuse to say too much. Another character that stands out is Irene Reppler (Frances Sternhagen) an elderly school teacher who thinks for herself and kicks monster ass. As the day goes by, people begin to die one-by-one as people attempt to escape and investigate as strange giant bug creatures break into the store, causing havoc and death.

The thing that I love about the movie is that although this could be classified under monster film, it's truly a study of humans and how they handle themselves under stress and the effects they cause on people and situations around them. I'm more interesting in the things they say to each other and what they do then who's going to die next and how the monsters look. Now not to say I don't get tense when they go out and a creature is around them, but the film truly shines on the characters and their decisions and relationships to each other. Some are very caring to each other, some very violent, some attempting to find an easier way out of life through the situation that arises them. This aspect of the film makes me think of The Walking Dead, a comic book character study about a group of people who struggle to live on after the world is infected by zombies, written beautifully by Robert Kirkman. Awesomely enough, Darabont himself is heavily attached to the upcoming Walking Dead TV series.

But back to the movie, highly recommend. Seek this out if you haven't. Great directing, acting cast, and good suspense.The use of music works perfectly as it's actually not that noticeable. The rise in tension is used perfectly when no music is played and when it does play, it's a very beautifully composed sordid and menacing sounding piece that helps dig the strangeness under your skin. For the people who can't get into their head that gore doesn't make a horror movie, there's at least a bit here for them as the slight gory scenes really stand out but don't particularly pull you out of the story or take center stage. Though one particular scene when a bunch of spiders creep out of a man truly gets me itching and uneasy. Yeeesh! I don't want to say too much because the movie came as an absolute surprise of how good it was and I'm glad I avoided all reviews and spoilers besides people here and there telling me it was a great movie. And the end, oh boy the ending! It was advertised on the trailers about how insane the ending of this movie was and I just fell in love with it. A bit of a predictable ending, but still heart-wrenching and a perfect ending for this movie.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Sippin' Poet #8: Obstacled Union

You’re a welcoming warmth of release
To an untamed devil with eccentric charms.
Use to a returning tray of cloud
She came in with a strange entrance, ringing alarm.
Let the confusion and disputes unwrap
Our differences quickly interact
But our weirdness finds a way to relax
Into a pool of ridiculous prosperity.

A complex fit to two paranormal worlds
There’s no reason for this bliss, I’m sure.
My charm that tears down large nations
Getting you bothered and breathless.
Try not to forget your obligations
As I kiss and let my hands explore
A very wrongful sensation you continually adore
With no reason to fully allow in
But you can’t help to just give in.

Slow and calm yourself down now, woman
As we cause earthquakes with our destructive temples.
My apple in your mouth, I am the filth
Corrupting a once flower, I’ll respectfully accept the bill.
Ms. So-called innocent with pleasures of burning wax
It’s no wonder we’re at times intact.
Mutuals attempt to push forward that fact
But we just can’t let it be… or I can’t…

Some feelings of doubt underneath layers of suns and droughts
And instead of just numbing numbing numb thoughts
I’ll let myself go and enjoy the ride.
I’ve already let you inside
Just promise me you won’t bite
As I’ll excavate through your body, that WonderLand
Where I quench my thirst as you quiver
And my tongue welcomes your shivers.

A sting’s a sting, and not of the sweet kind
And your sweet sting I’ll try to bare
As we’re held together rather close and near
Strange duplications in a twisted fucked up sphere
Where there’s constant troubles of portals forever spacing our plans
While you search through time to attempt to find me.
I’m not an image of perfection
Yet you love my affection.
Why? I dunno, but I’ll try to comply.
I said I’d try. There’s no right guarantee.
My vodou can only go so far and no promise
But I’ll try.

Various occasions I may push away
It’s due to a breach in comforted security.
A sense of space to recollect my sowed mind
Is what I ask for, but don’t fret, you may still be priority.

So here we are, in front of this door.
Are we in or are we out? Whatever it is, have no more doubts.
I know my place You know our place.
Follow me for once and don’t think.
Just be.
Appearances may visualize otherwise but I’ll attempt to meet
At the crossroad half-way.
Just for now allow yourself to be with me.
So just be.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Brother Voodoo celebrates Halloween 09!

Went as the good doctor for Halloween! Only a fraction of last night.


Now it's time for bed!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Oh, The Horror! #36: Trick 'r Treat

What the heck is this now? Horror films are becoming fun again? First we had Drag Me To Hell then the recent Paranormal Activity, and Zombieland has been getting some great reviews all over which I've yet to see for myself and now this nice little gem called Trick 'r Treat directed by Michael Dougherty and produced by Bryan Singer. From what I understand, this movie was set to come out in 2006 but it was delayed by Warner Brothers for whatever reason and it's finally been released on DVD about a week or so ago. Decided to pick it up due to some of the great reviews I've been reading and hearing about and finally watched it and have to say it truly is a nice little gem to own and watch with some buddies.

The movie revolves around four stories all taking place in the span of a few hours in a town during Halloween. You have a sadistic murdering principal played awesomely by Dylan Baker, a virginal girl dressed as Little Red Riding Hood played by Anna Paquin who is being stalked by mysterous man in a mask and cloak, a group of kids who collect Jack o' Lanterns and recount a town's creepy urban legend, and a grumpy ol' hermit, played by Brian Cox, with no Halloween spirit and needs to be taught it. Through out the movie is one small figure named Sam who appears in all four segments and plays a bit of a role as the Spirit of Halloween, making sure things go according to plan with this special holiday. You don't want to mess with Sam and break a Halloween tradition, I'm telling you. As the movie progresses, we come across various creatures of the night such as demons, zombies, werewolves (the werewolves segment had to be my favorite part of the whole movie), vampires as each segment beings to interlock and connect with each other in some way shape or form. One of the exciting things about this anthology is putting together the pieces of when certain things occurred as various scenes are in fact out of sequence.

Dougherty, who wrote and directed this movie, does a great job behind the helm. Visually, this movie definitely grabs you and gets you interested. He knows how to definitely bring a script to life through the camera using some great camera movements with beautiful editing transition shots, all adding greatly to the quirky but creepy fun of this movie. He also picked a great set of actors as his characters who all seemed to be very comfortable in their skin and all enjoying their parts in this movie.

I honestly don't know much else of what to say about this movie without going into full detail of everything that was showcased without spoiling some stuff. It was cleverly written with some nice subtle touches throughout. I honestly couldn't help but allow myself to fall in love with this movie. This is definitely a movie to be enjoyed by anyone with the Halloween spirit. It's not the scariest film you'll ever see, though there are some really jumpy parts and some great tension built up in certain segments, but it will be one very fun evening you'll have watching this with a group of buddies or some family members. Even though I do think it'd make a fun flick to watch with family for Halloween, it isn't a kids movie. There's language, sexual innuendo, killings, mutilation, and breasts. I know growing up, I wasn't scorned against watching stuff of the like, but a fair warning to parents who want to watch this with their little kiddies.

But enough of great praise. There were but two things that didn't quite do it for me. For one it was one of the designs for Sam himself. The look he has through the movie is fantastic and quite adorable. You can't help but love the character just based on his visual alone. It's when he takes off his mask that a bit of the mystique of the character sort of loses me. Now it helps for the story where you see his look, but I could have done without seeing it. And the second would definitely be the running time. 82 minutes of this? Why couldn't we get more? Ah well. I do hope this movie does very well and WB notices they screwed up in not releasing this when this was originally suppose to come out. This definitely has the markings of a big cult favorite and following. Hopefully a wide-released sequel? I do know Dougherty himself has plans for one.

So c'mon, guys, get into your Halloween spirit and enjoy this nice little fun movie. You're never too young or old to follow the traditions of this festive holiday. But then again, go ahead, don't follow the traditions. When you see Sam on your doorsteps, I sadly won't get the chance to tell you I told you so.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Oh, The Horror! #35: The Addams Family & Addams Family Values

I re-watched both movies a few nights ago with my girl and both remain at the top of favorite movies for me. When I was a kid, I dreamed of being part of this kooky family that was created by the masterful Charles Addams and it was these two movies that cemented my love for this morbidly humorous family. The film stars the late Raul Julia as the energetic and romantic Gomez, Anjelica Huston as the vampish wife Morticia, Christopher Lloyd as the indestructible Fester, Christina Ricci as the morbidly deadpan Wednesday, Jimmy Workman as the unintelligent naive Pugsley, Judith Malina as the curse-inducing Mama in the first film and then Carol Kane in the sequel, Carel Struycken as the Frankensteinish butler Lurch, Christopher Hart as the handful Thing, and finally John Franklin as the too kool to shave Cousin Itt. Each actor perfectly brings the family to life in both movies that feature non-stop laughs ranging from disturbing actions and high morbid humor.

The first movie revolves around a plot of a greedy woman named Abigail Craven played by Elizabeth Wilson who dresses her son, Gordon, to resemble Gomez Addams long-lost brother, Fester, to steal treasure and become rich. Gordon, as Fester, slowly begins to feel more like part of the family despite at first being completely uncomfortable with their weird life-style. Morticia found no problem with finding cyanide in his suitcase, Pugsley laughs at having his arm caught in Gordon's bear trap, Thing attacks him to sleep, and Wednesday watches him from her door in a suspicious way. A huge question is constantly brought up about if Gordon is actually in fact really Fester or really an impostor. The overall plot of the movie isn't strong, but you still can't help but fall in love with the characters. They're kookier than the 60's television show (I know, as if that were possible) and their constantly one-liners are too perfect not to love.

Craven: Love/hate. Hate/love. Like for Mama, no?
Gomez: But I didn't hate my mother. It was an accident!

Morticia: Gomez.
Gomez: Querida?
Morticia: Last night you were unhinged. You were like some desperate, howling demon. You frightened me. Do it again!

A most definite favorite part of both movies are completely how into each other both Gomez and Morticia are. They're the most perfect couple I've ever seen in any movie with hardly any tension in their relationship, just complete adoration and love. The chemistry between both Huston and Julia works perfectly and are completely believable. When the two get into a scene that requires them flirting, you can't help but smile and laugh at their lines to each other. The scene when Morticia is tied up and being tortured and Gomez is speaking to her about real torture being to live without her and their theme music begins to play as they're about to kiss and are interrupted is truly hilarious and gets a chuckle out of me and people I'm watching it with every time. Lloyd does a wonderful job playing the extremely chaotic Fester and watching his love and appreciation for the family grow is a delight to see, especially when he grows especially close to Wednesday and Pugsley and teach them how to sword fight and blow up bombs and play pranks against Mama. Besides the fantastic scenes between Gomez and Morticia, it is Ricci as Wednesday that steals the show. Wednesday in the original series/cartoon/strips is a completely different character as she's more happy-go-lucky and sometimes very sad character but Ricci plays her with such deadpan humor that it's impossible not to love the ret-conned personality. Ricci's portrayal of Wednesday fits perfectly for this type of movie and it would have been extremely weird seeing a different portray than what we got.

Girl Scout: Is this made from real lemons?
Wednesday: Yes.
Girl Scout: I only like all-natural foods and beverages, organically grown, with no preservatives. Are you sure they're real lemons?
Pugsley: Yes.
Girl Scout: Well, I'll tell you what. I'll buy a cup if you buy a box of my delicious Girl Scout cookies. Do we have a deal?
Wednesday: Are they made from real Girl Scouts?

The sequel, Addams Family Values, takes place about 9 months from the last movie where Morticia reveals to Gomez that she's pregnant with a third child. When the child, Pubert, is born, Wensday and Pugsley grow highly jealous to the point where they drop him from the roof of their home and try to decapitate his head. The loving wife and husband see fit to find a nanny. After various failed attempts, they finally find just the right nanny, the white-dressed and extremely beautiful Debbie played hilariously by Joan Cusack. She seems right at home with the family as she isn't quite freaked out by their life-style and even says a few lines that fit perfectly with the Addams way of thinking. As she's introduced to the members of the household and shown through the house, she takes an interest to Fester who's extremely shy of her. As the movie progress, she tries to get close to him and they eventually get married. But during her first night at the Addams Mansion, it is revealed to us that she is actually the murderous Black Widow who marries rich men and kills then during their honeymoon, collects their money and vanishes until she's broke. Due to Debbie, the family starts to slowly deteriorate as Wednesday and Pugsley are sent to a freakishly happy summer camp that hates them and tortures them with songs, hugs, and Disney movies, Gomez seems to slowly go insane and may possible die, while their baby has transformed to a rosy cheek and blond curl baby who may fearfully become President one day.

Once again, this movie is filled with even more of the humor that's loved in the first movie:

Morticia: Oh Gomez... you still desire me after all these years? The old ball and chain?
Gomez: Forever.
Morticia: I'll get them.

And we get more laughs and destruction. And it's inpossible not to fall for the adorably new-born Pubert who fits perfectly with the kooky family especially by the end of the movie as he laughs happily after causing a death of a character.

Overall, both movies are very fun and well made films. While the second film is much stronger plot-wise, I have a slightly bigger love for the first movie due to the music and editing. The soundtrack score composed by Marc Shaiman is very enticing and grasping as when the tracks from the movie play on my Media Player, I can't help but reply them over and over for a long while, my favorite piece being A Party for Me? and the Finale. Shaiman plays very well with the energetic family while adding some horror sounding music that complements the family very well. Editing-wise, a huge favorite transition of mine is the scene when Morticia and Gomez waltz for a few seconds and Morticia pulls off a sheet that then brings us to the grand ball for Fester. Beautifully well made films, both movies are directed by Barry Sonnenfeld. If you haven't seen either of these movies, you've been living under a rock and need to be stoned with that rock and enjoy it.

And major props to David Hine for making me a part of the Addams Family.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Oh, The Horror! #34: Paranormal Activity

Most over-hyped film in recent years or does it live up to it? Honestly you'll have to see for yourself, but for me personally I'm definitely in the middle. Now not to say I didn't enjoy it, I enjoyed the hell out of it. But when I hear people deem this as the scariest movie made in decades, I have to stop and ponder... and it is rather hard to think of a truly terrifying great movie recently, all I could think about are Drag Me To Hell and Coraline (not really terrifying, but put yourself in Coraline's shoes and view it as a lil' kid, you'll piss your pants!). But yes, this film is a mockumendary directed by Oren Peli starring Katie Featherston and Micah Sloat as a couple who decides to video document strange occurrence in their house. We are presented through this story through the video documents taken by the characters.

We begin the movie with Micah testing out his new video camera then meet his girlfriend of three years, Katie, as we watch them all lovey-dovey on a normal day. As to why Micah has the camera, Katie reveals to us a little later that she's been haunted by a strange entity since childhood. One day while asleep with her sister, she noticed a big black mass standing at the foot of her bed. A few days later her home burned down. A few years later the same entity haunted her and and this time it was happening again now that she was happy with her new wise-cracking boyfriend. The characters are fairly likable which is a plus to have when you make a horror movie, but Micah is definitely the character that gets you irritated watching the movie as he's warned against certain things such as antagonizing the entity and thus making things worse than it could have been. Note to everyone: DO NOT MESS WITH OUIJA BOARDS!

So yes, the movie documents about two weeks of strange occurrences that includes load banging sounds and creaking doors and lights flickering. Each night is a lil' more and a lil' more and tension grows as you're not sure what to expect next despite quite a few scenes being fairly predictable. The slowness and gradual build-up really grasps you until things really start unfolding finally. The director did a wonderful job growing suspense and using time and quietness to his advantage. It's really refreshing to see how a low-budget movie done in seven days can get you uneasy with hardly much special effects. I also see this as a way of getting into "horror fans" heads who only believe that a good horror movie should be rated R with a ton of gore and tits. If this movie had eliminated all the cursing, it could have definitely been a PG-13 movie and still frighten the viewers it's been frightening. And speaking of, I enjoyed hearing girls scream their asses off and panic through the movie. Now some scenes I felt weren't too strong to fully get me to jump or be fearful, but I did have a hell of a good time watching this film. I felt it was well made and may not be a top favorite of mine, but it's good money spent and good to watch with some buddies. Hell, bring your girl friend. I shoulda done that. Heh... there's always next week or so... But yes, in the end I could have done without the final second or two of the movie as I felt it was a tad cliche but a way of Peli having some fun. So go have some fun with Peli and others and allow yourself to enjoy this good horror film. Don't put too much thought about if this will live up to the hype. Just go see it.

But I do have to ask, though... people really threw up watching this movie?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A Motherf**kin' Rat!

A recreation of Annie Hall that I helped some friends do. I'm the dude in the film. Weird seeing me act...

A Motherf***in' Rat from Lucas on Vimeo.

Oh, The Horror! #33: I Walked With A Zombie

I Walked With a Zombie was a 1943 movie directed by Jacques Tourneur and produced by Val Lewton. A common thing about Lewton's films were that he had a title and had to make a story around that title. This was one of them. The movie is about a Canadian nurse, Betsy Connell (played by Frances Dee) who gets hired to watch over an ill woman named Jessica Holland (Christine Gordon), wife of Paul Holland, a sugar plantation owner in the Caribbean island of St. Sebastian. In the first night she meets Paul (Tom Conway) who warns her that the beauty she sees in this island is really misery and death, his brother Wes, Alma the maid, and Jessica who walks zombie-like to the protagonist at the dead of night frightening her and beginning the problem of the story. Betsy is told that a tropical fever had caused the strange case of Jessica's condition but underneath it may in fact be a supernatural cause to this. After a few nights of Jessica's condition not improving, Betsy becomes desperate and searches other means: finding a houngan, the local Vodou priest to help her recover. When she reaches the village, a mob of Vodou practitioners approach Jessica, stabs her with a sword and sees that she doesn't bleed, thus revealing her state as a zombie. This then leads to many other complications as the film goes on with Jessica's condition and a Vodou priest getting involved in trying to recover Jessica for whatever reasons.

Now I will say that although not much happens in this movie, I had a delightful time watching it. It could be my bias as to my recent interest in the religion of Vodou, but I was intrigued into this film since the beginning till the end. The atmosphere and mood of everything was very chilling and engrossing. The characters all stood out very well, even if they weren't main characters. I especially loved the depiction of the black characters in the movie. For a film done in 1943, I was expecting some random offensive depictions, for example the maid and Vodou practitioners, but I was surprised to see them depicted quite well.

A few aspects had caught me by surprise, though, that got me intrigued. One being the scene when Betsy travels with Jessica through a mysterious field to reach a Vodou ritual. As they move deeper and deeper, the scene gets creepier and creepier and very tense until we meet Carre-Four, an actual zombie who appears throughout the film in very creepy fashion. The scene caught me entirely off guard and would scare the living hell out of me if I were in her shoes. But the thing that got me was that Carre-Four was explained to be a guardian of the crossroads and that you wouldn't be able to pass through him without a Vodou badge, which Betsy had lost on her way there. Carre-four just walks away, letting them pass. After that, we see Carre-Four being controlled by a Vodou priest to retrieve Jessica. Now what got me questioning this was that ever since hearing "Carre-four" was in this movie, I was expecting to see "Kalfu" which was pronounced the same. Kalfu in the Haitian Vodou religion is a god and not someone to mess with, the Lord of crossroads and known as the grand daddy of sorcery and black magic while he allows bad luck and destruction. There was no way in hell Kalfu would allow a Vodou priest to control him as a zombie. It was until I did a bit of research of the movie and saw the name was used mostly as a nod to him. I will say, though, Carre-Four was creepy as all types of hell in this movie. Especially when he creeps towards us, arms wide-open... sheesh!

Another scene I especially loved was when Betsy found the village and the locals were singing in actual Haitian dialect. That made me proud, oh yes, especially hearing that the film-makers did a big bunch of research, even hiring actual Vodou practitioners and Vodou musicians. But something did get me later... the use of a Vodou doll. So I'm guessing it was this film that gave Vodou dolls a bad name, huh? The Vodou priest begins to use a Vodou doll to control Jessica and later causes things to happen while in control of her. Now, from what I understand, Vodou dolls have nothing to really do with Haitian Vodou but with Louisiana Vodou and is actually used to bless and protect people, not control or do harm. Thanks, Hollywood. Heh.

So yes, throughout the movie, there is a constant sense of questioning where all this is going to go. You're not too sure which characters will do what or how they'll act out through the movie. There's simply a sense of not knowing anything, who's to blame, who's the villain, etc. That definitely gives the movie a big plus from me with the ambiguity as questions are left unanswered in some way despite there being... well, let me stop before I spoil something. But overall, definitely watch this movie. I especially loved the depiction of zombies- not the cannibalistic superhuman monsters we're used to now, but the monsters that are easily controlled and aren't too frightening, but you sure as hell don't wish it to happen upon you. Although Carre-Four is scary as fudge. Watch this for Carre-Four!

edit: Oh yes, I also read that the Saw creators are planning on remaking this movie... WHY?!? PLEASE DON'T!!! NO!!!!

Monday, September 14, 2009

I was interviewed...

As mention, part of this website mission is to unleash hidden talent for the world to see. To expose goldmines regarding stories and art that might be tucked away from the general public. For our second interview, we've contacted Greg Anderson who recently published a short story within an comic anthology called Loving memory.

let's get this interview started.

So can you tell us what the name of your published piece is called and what it's about?

Hey, it's great to be here. The name of my piece is In Loving Memory... and could be found in an anthology called RX Tales: Stories To Make You Feel Better! published under MC Studios. It's a very short story, about 8 pages, of a woman speaking to her comatose husband to awaken. There's a bit of a reversal at the end which I won't spoil. It's also drawn by Kotsu, a fantastic artist from Jersey. We were very fortunate to find her.

Wow, that's pretty deep. So did you have plans to expand this into a mini series or was this going to remain as just a one shot?

Always meant to be a one-shot deal. I tend to leave some of my short stories with a bit of a cliff-hanger which I developed through my love for reading and writing horror stories but this was a one-shot story and not horror, but a complete love story.

I see, so how exactly were your approached with this opportunity, did they come to you?

Nepotism. Heh, nah, just something my cousin-in-law, George Hartman, and I started discussing. George is a big comic geek and whenever there's a family reunion we're to the side just talking about comics. One day he told me he was putting together an anthology that focused on hospitals, whether it be doctors, nurses, patients, etc ranging from all types of genres. He asked if I wanted to contribute and there was no way I was going to pass that up. I at first wanted to write a horror story but decided to challenge myself and write something else out of my element and I have to say I loved how it turned out.

Wow, and how was that for you? As an aspiring artist, I can definitely admit it's a daunting task to work outside your element. Did you feel you did it successfully, and how did you feel about the finish product of your writing?

It was great. Although I'm mostly a bit of a horror writer, I definitely try and love to dabble in other genres. There's usually a good bit of comedy and character moments I love to put into my writing. Even if a work isn't horror, I've added at least a very small element or supernatural thing to it. But I do like to challenge myself as a writer. Sometimes it's a little hard for me to step out of my element, but that's usually when it comes to poetry. When writing scripts, I could come up with anything of whatever genre/topic, but tell me to write a poem, it'd usually come up quite morbid, haha. And I swear it's not intentional. When I do try to write poetry out of my element, you could tell it comes off a bit forced but it's something I'm trying to cross as I don't feel depressed, least not for the past few years, But I think it's one of those things where it's said pain makes good art. I tend to only write poetry when I'm down. Only a few times I've written poetry in a good ecstatic mood... I just may do that right now...

So tell us a bit about the artist. How did you find her and do you feel she captured your script the right away? How did it feel to see your creation come to life?

The artist is Kotsu. A girl from New Jersey and a damn good artist. Funny, she's also more of a horror fan from her love for zombies. It was George who found her in time to do the art for my script. After locking her in, George sent me a link to her myspace and deviant art and I was excited. What was funny was that her and I were already friends from myspace, but never interacted. When George sent the first batch of preview pages to me, I was the giddiest school girl you'd ever see. I was speechless for a while with a twinkle in my eye. I was truly beyond ecstatic to see something of mine produced into such good artwork. I printed a few pages out and showed it off to some friends and folks at my comic shop, haha. I feel she truly helped bring the story to life, especially the flash back scenes of the main characters' date. I was also very excited to meet her at the Mocca Fest a few months back. Sadly I didn't get to take a photo with her or have her sign my copy of the anthology.


Wow, the art does appear very impressive. So how have sales been so far, and for those that maybe interested in this anthology, how can they purchase it?

Well, I don't know much about overall sells, but the one day I was at the Mocca Fest promoting, we did sell a good amount. I know George was able to sell a lot more the days I wasn't there. Anyone interested in purchasing a copy could get one by e-mail George at Just leave a subject topic indicating RX Tales.

Excellent, so now we have an avenue for those interested in the anthology. So how much is the price of the anthology, and what are you currently working on?

It's $3, so pretty cheap. Currently I'm mostly working and focusing on school. Planning on turning one of my comic scripts into a thesis film, hopefully half live-action/half animation. Fingers crossed on that one. Beyond that just writing scripts as practice. But George is planning on another anthology which I've written a script for. This time a horror, heeeh heeeeeehhhh......

So we definitely know what to expect from you in the near future lol. Thank you so much for conducting this interview with me. Do you have last words for our readers out there?

Eat a roach.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


"Icon is that rarest of creatures -- a well-told adventure story that achieves genuine political depth. Highly recommended."
-Alan Moore (writer of WATCHMEN)

Written by Dwayne McDuffie
Art by M.D. Bright and Mike Gustovich
Cover by Denys Cowan

The flagship character from Milestone Comics is back in this new printing of the classic title collecting Icon #1-8. This is the title that introduced Augustus Freeman, a successful lawyer who covertly uses his alien super-powers to help those in need. But when a teenaged girl from the streets convinces him to use his abilities to inspire his people and becomes his sidekick, Rocket, the affluent Augustus embraces his true destiny and becomes Icon, the hero of Dakota.

Advance-solicited; on sale September 30 • 192 pg, FC, $19.99 US

Monday, September 7, 2009

Oh, The Horror! #32: Cat People

For this semester in school, I enrolled in a film class showcasing horror movies by Val Lewton and Jacques Tourneur. The first movie we watched was 1942's Cat People. It was directed by Tourneur and produced by Lewton. The movie stars Simone Simon as Irena Dubrovna and Kent Smith as Oliver Smith. The film focuses on these two stars as they play a couple who meet at a zoo, fall in love, and get married. But there lies a problem. A problem in which Irena fears that if there were any moment of passion, even a slight kiss, she would turn into a cat and kill her lover, a curse that was passed on in her old village of Serbia. Oliver struggles to love Irena as he continues to try to convince her that it's all in her mind while Irena pleads against it and grows jealous of her husband's budding friendship with co-worker Alice, played by Jane Randolph. Tom Conway plays Dr. Louis Judd, a psychiatrist who tries to help Irena get through her fears but also starts to develop feelings for her.

A continuing point that gets made in my class, starting from the supernatural class I took over the past summer, was that horror - usually films of the supernatural - dealt with the eruption of the repressed, usually sexuality. This is showcased in films like The Innocents (my favorite horror film) and also in this movie. In this movie, if Irena's frigidity or passion is unwrapped, the horror comes out. Underneath, this film is about a woman unable and afraid to express and develop her sexuality. This is one plot point that makes it a very interesting movie to watch, as we begin to wonder if Irena isn't in fact crazy.

This wasn't my first time watching this movie. I had seen it previously during the summer and wasn't entirely sure how I felt about the movie. To me it was very slow but I did enjoy parts with Irena freaking out and her scenes with animals who all seem to have a sixth sense and would react wildly around her. One particular scene with a canary gets a good chuckle out of me and people who watch it. Second time watching, while I still felt was a little slow, I was more into the movie. Despite having over 90% over at Rotten Tomato, I do feel that watching this film may be a required taste for people use to watching movies of the now. But who knows, maybe there are some who'd enjoy it. Though I'm not too sure who among my friends would sit through it.

Another note about the movie: it was the first to use the horror technique bus. From wiki...

"Lewton and his production team claim credit for inventing the popular horror film technique called the "bus". The term came from the scene where Irena is walking behind Alice; the audience expects Irena to turn into a panther at any moment and attack her. At the most tense point, when the camera focuses on Alice's confused and terrified face, the silence is shattered by what sounds like a hissing panther—but it is a bus pulling over to pick her up. After the excitement dies down, the audience is left uncertain whether anything supernatural or life-threatening actually happened. This technique has been adapted into a great many horror movies since then. Anytime a movie creates a scene where the tension rises and dissipates into nothing at all, merely an empty boo!, it is a 'bus'."