Del Toro wound up creating a mash-up love letter to all sorts of his horror/fantasy inspirations in paying tribute to The Simpsons, while taking a page from Mad magazine’s Mort Drucker, Will Elder and Harvey Kurtzman. “They would try to cram so many references in,” he says. “You as a kid could spend an afternoon on your bed with your magnifying glass going through a frame of Mad magazine and finding all these references to this and that.” Keep your eyes peeled for a Futurama nod too. (“I integrate[d] Lisa falling through the couch like Alice in Wonderland but in the dress of the girl from Pan’s Labyrinth, and instead of landing next to the giant toad in Pan’s Labyrinth, she lands next to the Hypnotoad from Futurama.) He stuffed in as many horror/fantasy masters and iconic characters as he could (from H.P. Lovecraft to Edgar Allen Poe to Stephen King to the Universal monsters), though many more had to be left on the cutting room floor. “At the last minute I wanted to put a Mexican wrestler in there,” he notes with a chuckle, “but [casting producer] Bonnie Pietila said to me, ‘We’ve got to go! We cannot keep adding and adding stuff.”
–From the EW.com piece by Dan Snierson (see below)
Seen it now? Told you it was pretty goddamned cool! The below gallery would be bigger (and we’d have some informal ‘catch the obscure horror references’ contest), but we’re having a couple technical difficulties, plus this writer has a splitting headache. We’ll add to it before Sunday if we can.
(Click on any screen-cap to enlarge) Let’s see, off the top of my (tired, aching) head, what did you spot besides the following:
Charles Burns (the artist)
Clash of The Titans
The Day the Earth Stood Still (the original)
Edgar Allen Poe
The Illustrated Man
Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds
The Fly (original)
The Invisible Man
Classic Universal Studios monsters
Hot Fuzz (we think)
Todd Browning’s Freaks
Mars Attacks! Trading cards
Pan’s Labyrinth (you don’t need a sharp eye to spot these particular homages)
If you’re getting the sense that del Toro is a big fan of The Simpsons, you’re right. Not only did he slip a few homages to The Simpsons in Hellboy (“Mmmm, nachos” “Why you little…!”), he has a room in his house that’s brimming with Simpsons memorabilia. “My favorite is a 30-inch tall Mr. Burns as Dracula that they only make in Germany,” he says. “It’s a really good sculpture. It’s going to run away eventually, but I think that’s very appropriate.”
-from the EW.com article by Dan Snierson
Don’t miss this! It is almost impossible to count the homages and references here. The classic Universal Studios monsters, artist Charles Burns, Brian DePalma‘s Phantom of Paradise, Lovecraft, Bong June Ho’s The Host,Ray Bradbury‘s The Illustrated Man (short story collection and the movie), Todd Browning’s Freaks (watch for the pinhead from the movie; I’d say it was an American Horror Story Asylum reference but it’s in a shot with a bunch of really old-school monsters and aliens, including the Ray Harryhausen skeletons)… they have to be into the triple-digits. Mrs. Horror Boom was going to be all clever and try and list them all, but that’s pretty time-consuming even without a nasty headache. Of course, special attention is paid to Guillermo Del Toro‘s movies (even ones that most moviegoers aren’t familiar with), especially Pan’s Labyrinth. Just check out the screen caps in the gallery link right here, and see how many you can spot… and enjoy this year’s Treehouse of Horror, which airs this Sunday, October 6th!
Damn, not only is my ‘hit count’ improving drastically, but as of this writing, I’m at exactly 666 hits, which is a first! That’s pretty awesome, and– wait, did you guys hear that noise? Why did it get so hot in this room all of a sudden?
Yes, sadly Halloween has come and gone, but the scary goodies will be continuing, hopefully at the same pace they have been. Right now lots of horror fans are pretty excited about American Horror Story Asylum, so I’m adding more news and spoilers as I hear them (with spoiler warnings, of course). Hopefully I’ll get a news round-up with links to any new interviews at least once a week. I’ve noticed lately that the specific search terms that show up the most for the show* are variations on “American Horror Story who is the Pinhead.” I’m surprised a fan page for Naomi Grossman as Pepper hasn’t sprung up–wait, actually, I bet if I searched, there’d be a couple at this point.
I upgraded and added the option for adding sound and video files to my posts. I’ll keep slapping up the You Tube videos, of course, but now there’s other forms of media. I’m trying to use the “Press This” option (AKA re-blogging), too, so that you get some variety; I’m the only one writing this site, hearing fresh voices is probably nice. There’s room for every horror writer/blogger on here! Everyone has been super-cool and supportive lately, and I appreciate it. It was just a few months ago when I was averaging about 30 hits on a good day, which really was a drag.
If you want to check out Horror Boom on You Tube, I don’t have anything really spectacular right now, but I’m putting together playlists, especially of hard-to-find movies that are worth a watch.
Oh yeah- here’s a poll (below) that’s be cool if you could give your opinion on. Basically, what would you like to see more of here? If you have a favorite feature and just want it to keep going, that’s worth a vote. You can vote for up to five things you think would be groovy to see on Horror Boom, plus write in something if it’s not listed. Plus, I promise to actually pay attention and respond to what you’d be amped up to see on here. Thanks in advance for voting …and hopefully it’ll take your mind off the “Election 2012” 24/7 media jamboree that you’re really, really fucking sick of hearing about (and thinking about) by now. ENOUGH. We already sent in our ballots and are mostly watching horror DVDs when the TV is on, until Election Night. At this point I think many of us just want it to be OVER. Anyway, the feedback from y’all fellow horror fans would be great.
Image-wise, I just added ten more photos of Kayako to the recent Ju-On Gallery. They’re all PR photos (or very close– if they weren’t ones taken in a closed session with Takako Fuji posing and making her scariest facial expressions, they used shots on set as official PR photos) and I’m pretty sure, unless you have a weird Ju-On obsession like I do that includes buying the novel, tie-in Manga, and a copy of the Ju-On “Haunted House Simulator” game for Nintendo Wii even though I knew I’d probably be too much of a pussy to sit down and play, there’s several you haven’t seen yet. At least half of them were staged photo shoots, because if they were in a Ju-On movie scene, you would definitely remember the image/shot. Check out the latest growing Kayako gallery here. The first series of Grudge/Ju-On images I posted, let me think, right over here, and here’s the “Chills to Beat the Summer Heat” gallery I did second. More Ju-On goodies–OK, I don’t know if that sounds appropriate when referring to one of the Top Five most frightening females in horror history, let alone J-horror history. Uhhh, try that again. I mean more Ju-on/Grudge (relatively) rare footage, trivia, and of course, plenty of new photos are coming soon. Also I would again to state I am well aware I do not own the copyrights to any of the images, they’re here to entertain you; if anyone who DOES own the copyright wants me to take it down, I will. Just contact me …I’m not looking for any copyright trouble!
Meanwhile, genius that I am when I’m not getting enough sleep, I go rifling through Kayako content on the night we set our clocks back, after I spent several hours (before and after sundown) watching a bunch of J-Horror shorts back-to-back Friday and Saturday to build up a decent backlog of “Scariest Short Horror Film of The Week” entries like a moron. Hell, I’m watching a featurette right now onThe Grudge 2 (American sequel) boxed collector’s tin/set AFTER I sat through the last half of the movie; I think back and find no real justification whatsoever for this. Something tells me an Onyro might be making a surprise cameo in one of my dreams soon. Ooooh goodie!
While I’m on the subject, I’m still puzzled and sort of concerned over the amount of males who make comments on You Tube, and/or have websites, where they rhapsodize about how hot and sexy Kayako is. Not Takako Fuji, the actress who plays her, mind you, or even Fuji-San as Kayako before she was murdered, but Kayako in full-out terrifying, crawling or limping un-naturally right at you, dead white, eyes wide as saucers, bloody running down her face, croaking out the classic Grudge/Ju-On Death Rattle mode. Attraction is subjective, and I know she’s a beautiful actress, but I just don’t get it. One said the “kind of lustful, hungry look” she has on her face is “soooo HOT!” Fine, to each their own, but I do hope it’s not because the think only women who look very dead, have broken necks, with blood-smeared faces and a white dress so soaked with her own blood it actually could be mistaken for a red dress are sexually attractive. I’m not even close to a judgemental person, yet I am not altogether comfortable with that piece of information…
Anyway, thanks for reading, and Happy November. Don’t forget to set your clocks back this weekend, and even if you hate less daylight (I do), look on the bright side– hey, that’s time for an extra episode of American Horror Story, time for watching/re-watching a Masters of Horror episode (may I recommend Dance of the Dead, Imprint , or The Damned Thing ?) or two back-to-back Tales From The Crypt episodes you can enjoy.
Hey, it beats more election coverage…
Stay Scared, Mrs. Horror Boom
*after variations on “Evan Peters naked”, “Evan Peters getting spanked”, and “Evan Peters butt,” that is.
I just couldn’t wait till next year to put this up. This was made as a promo for FEARnet’s Trick ‘R Treat marathon – and directed by the talented writer and director of Trick ‘R Treat himself, Michael Dougherty.
Halloween is a great time to get creative and make a new friend, as you’ll see below! Hey, I’d hang out with this cool kid.
Hey! I’m pretty sure you’ll all be busy tonight. Whether you’re waiting for your friends to come over and watch some scary 80s classics and get tipsy, taking your kids out to trick or treat, going to a party, or to pass out candy yourself, or to watch Trick ‘R Treat and wait for American Horror Story to come on like we are, you may have some time to kill. Here’s some last-minute suggestions.
1. Remind yourself of the four Halloween Rules with this twisted, fun list Fearnet.com put together to promote their Trick ‘R Treat marathon last year. You can tell they had a pure blast creating them. Check them out below!
3. Want to see one last really great Grim Grinning Ghosts video (until the 2012 Halloween season, that is), this time that someone who knew their old-skool Disney put together? Depending on your age, it may very well take you right back to your childhood. Being forty-COUGH COUGH…ahem (clearing throat) years old, I didn’t think this was still actually possible for me. If you remember watching Disney’s Sleepy Hollow on TV when they used to run it the Sunday before Halloween and getting the hell scared out of you by the Headless Horseman chasing Ichabod Crane over the covered bridge, this will warm (or chill) you right up. Those skeletons really know how to kick up their heel-bones and dance, too.
4. Have you heard of perhaps the scariest goddamned flash horror games on the internet, The House and The House 2? Well, if you haven’t seen them, hold off since I’ve been working on a piece for both. However, this truly frightening, interactive Halloween greeting-game from the same studios that created the aforementioned soil-yourself frightening games. When I played the flash games, I got the suspicion they were created by a team in South Korea, Japan, or Thailand, because they had a serious Asian Horror vibe. At the time (in between my high, girly screams and yelps caused by jump scares), I also remember thinking, There is NO WAY anyone in the US could have come up with something this fucking terrifying. Well, after I finished playing this one, a card hops up from the team that created it, and wouldn’t you know, the studio that created all three was Sinthai studios in Thailand. Patted myself on the back for that call!
Before I give you the link to “The Halloween”, some hints: at least three things will be swooping down or rushing past you onscreen. Just start moving your cursor around and clicking on everything it indicates you can click on. It’s not a first-person shooter game, it takes place all in one room, (unlike, say, House or House 2) and not really a puzzle game. The closet it comes to being a puzzle game is you have to click on everything multiple times, in various orders, sometimes many times, for the sudden scares. Light switch, the corner of a piece of paper sticking out of a grate, a pumpkin, if you can click it, keep trying.Turning the lights on and off a bunch of times will give you something …but at some point when you click them on and the room is light again, something blood-curdling may be there this time. You’ll see something when the lights are off, too.
It could take you up to fifteen minutes to get to the grand finale that wraps up the game (and the biggest scare), depending on whether you’re new to this style of point and click game, maybe less if you play these kinds of horror flash games on a regular basis. If you need hints, comment or drop me a line. If all else fails, I’ll post a walk-through, but since there’s not much exploring to do, you’ll probably get it. You’ll discover just how brave you are, based on knowing you have to click the same item a dozen or more times before it activates the next big scare. Oh, and don’t bother scanning the code with your smart phone, it just takes you to the Sinthai company’s URL–nothing much to see there. Well, you CAN get the URL, I’m just saying it’s not a missing puzzle piece or extra to the game. I believe at the end some kind of thank-you note from the creators pops up with a friendly message and Halloween wishes. I’m sure as hell not going to play the game NOW to find out.
“…You’ve heard the rumors, right? It gave me such chills when I heard about it…”
When it comes to frightening Japanese horror shorts, there’ s a lot of contenders. I’ve seen a ton of J-horror short this year, several so disturbing and creepy they left me badly shaken. Then there’s Keita Amemiya‘s Rattle Rattle (2006), which is the first segment of an arguably uneven J-horror anthology called Unholy Women (Kowai Onna). It’s the scariest J-Horror short I’ve seen all year (let alone all month), and that’s why I saved this for Halloween!
My advice is to watch Rattle Rattle on You Tube streaming, if you have the technology for that, and if you’re feeling especially brave, turn off all the lights. Seriously, I dare you. The first time I discovered and watched this–it was recommended to me by a trusted source– was after dark, on my lap top. I kept turning the sound down lower and lower as I got more and more creeped out, and by the last ten minutes it was down all the way. I didn’t have the nerve to watch it again until almost six months later, and since it was a sunny, cheerful afternoon, I got the nerve to watch it via streaming on our flat screen. It was still scary as hell (and also filled in a couple blanks in the plot; the first time I was too busy being freaked the hell out before to focus on every pesky little detail).
I’ve talked to other horror fans, especially those who love Asian Horror, and they agree with me that this segment embodies everything about J-horror that scares the shit out of us. Elements like not knowing quite what you’re looking at, which makes it all the more creepy and unsettling, things that aren’t supposed to be there, or move the way they do, never being safe from whatever scary entity is after you, no matter where you go, what you do, or how long you wait, finding out a horrible truth, then finding out another horrible truth on top of it. Most of the time you don’t even have to do anything wrong, or anything stupid, all you have to do is show up, and you’re fucked . It never forgives …it never forgets, as one of the taglines for The Grudge correctly assures us.
At first the story in Rattle Rattle seems like the familiar–but always creepy on varying levels– theme of an innocent, frightened young woman being pursued ruthlessly and horribly by an onyro (a vengeful female ghost such as Kayako Saeki or Sadako from Ringu; here’s a great, thorough article I highly recommend if you want to learn a little more). As I said, it’s hardly a new theme if you’ve seen a couple J-horror movies; I hear a lot of people say thery’re sick of seeing the pale, skinny ghostly girl with long black hair hanging over her face bla-bla. However, in nine out of ten cases, I’ve noticed those same people continuing to see Asian horror and admitting they’re scary when done right.
“Someone did jump from here recently…”
Anyway, that’s what I thought this short movie would completely consist of. Don’t get me wrong, I was already terrified and my heart rate was up. Then, though I didn’t think it possible and already was regretting my decision to watch the movie after dark as I knew I’d have to really apply myself to relax enough to sleep, I got even more frightened when I turned out to be wrong… and wrong a second time…
OK, I don’t want to talk this little-known gem up too much, so I’ll just tell you if you want a real scare for Halloween (or any time), invest half an hour and watch one of the most frightening J-horror shorts you’ll ever see. That’s why I saved this for Halloween. Watch this till the very end—there’s a moment when it looks like it’s over, but isn’t. You’ll know it when it’s over, trust me… Happy Halloween!
Hey! I highly recommend going into this one clean. Just give it a watch. Relax, though! It’s just one of those funny prank fails, happens to be Halloween-related. Would you wear this lame costume to scare your friends? Watch the short (it’ll fly right by), THEN read my piece underneath (trust me). Perfectly safe for you to shut off the lights and crank to volume up while you watch this viral video below! What could possibly go wrong?
Yeah, you could say that prank failed horribly! I love the idea that someone on You Tube might just think it’s a regular “fail” viral video and have no idea it’s made by a team of talented horror filmmakers. Surprise! Hopefully including the idiotic tweener trolls that now seem to make up half of You Tube’s viewers base, or the elitist hipsters who go out of their way to find something to insult in every video/trailer/clip, no matter how good it is. Actually, I kind of feel sorry for that last group, they’re missing out on some cool stuff.
I found this one while I was looking into the directors of the various segments of V/H/S.; I was most impressed by the first and last stories. The most memorable and fun ones, the ones that actually frightened and even disturbed me. I was fairly sure of the direction “10/31/98” (the segment where three guys go to what they think at first is a really inventive haunted house on Halloween) was taking, though that was due to the fact that one reviewer spoiled the hell out of it by not understanding the fucking difference between writing a plot set-up and a plot synopsis.
That’s on the reviewer, though, because knowing where the plot was going was not due to the writing and acting in the segment itself, which was outstanding. Even with the spoiler for everything but the last five minutes lurking in my brain, things got so freaky and wonderfully chaotic in that final segment that I was 100% in for the ride, and the dénouement was a brilliant and fun payoff. They definitely made the right call saving their segment for last, because it was a show-stopper. Both David Bruckner’s “Amateur Night” and especially “10/31/98” brought something fresh and thrilling to the found-footage genre that’s been given a very bad name in the last ten years by dogshit movies likeThe Devil Inside, Apollo VII (I don’t respect that crappy movie enough to research the correct Roman numerals in the title), 8213 Gacy House, and many, many WAY too many more. You know, the all-too-familiar kind; the ones that don’t have an ending, and instead just …stop.
Yup, the short you just saw and the final segment of V/H/S are indeed both the work of Radio Silence, AKAthe team Chad, Matt & Rob. Like “10/31/98”, the above video sure didn’t end the way I thought (I knew something scary was going to happen, but not ...that ). This “Mountain Devil” short is one of their highest-rated on You Tube, but you can bet your ass I’m going to start watching the rest and posting the best. Let’s hope their work appears in more movies soon and gets the wider audience it deserves!
I know this was a very tough event to get into—in fact, I thought at first you had to be a VIP/insider of some sort. After some digging, I just read that the limited number of tickets available to the public were upwards of $300 per person (I would have coughed it up), and sold out within minutes (unfortunately, so many people went online that the server crashed).
They really pulled out all the stops for the special dinner show. I mean, they went to freakin’ TOWN. I wish I could travel back and RSVP to Constance and George’s wedding! Well, there’s always the 50th Anniversary Event (and it’ll probably take me seven years to save up the scratch to attend, anyway)…
The official press announcement was: The Plot Thickens. . . After five husbands and five untimely deaths, the Black Widow Bride of the Haunted Mansion will wed once more. Has she found her soul mate? Or will another groom meet his doom? Join us, Foolish Mortals, and we’ll dig up the answers at our ghostly celebration that everyone’s dying to attend.
This event (which took place on 9/9/09, get it?) clearly utilized lavish planning, rehearsal, craftsmanship, and talent to organize. They pulled out all the stops and managed to incorporate every element they possibly could, even including the “ghost host” as the MC (well, his voice, anyway, as far as I know there was no corpse hanging from the rafters). Watch the 15-minute special “Dinner Show” event below, in HD:
If that’s not enough incentive for you to watch this, SEE! A member of the wedding party transported to the altar via a Doom Buggy. SEE! Madame Leota perform her séance to make sure the groom shows, and SEE! her officiate the ceremony (the actress they cast has her and her voice nailed). SEE! A cameo from our three ghostly friends looking to hitch a ride (the trio’s surprise appearance, and the Doom Buggy, got the biggest crowd reactions of the wedding)… and more, including the “Newly-Deads” cutting the wedding cake on the Haunted Mansion upper balcony. I’ve seen other coverage of the evening’s festivities, and as of yet, the above video is by far the best (though I’m sure there’s other stuff to look for).
Even if you’re pretty familiar with the story, every fan should check out DoomBuggies.com. You couldn’t ask for a better, more thorough, comprehensive, loving tribute/fan site to the Haunted Mansion. Hours and hours of entertainment! I simply cannot recommend it enough.
Hurry baaaaack… Hurry baaaaaack…
there’s always room for one more!
So, probably not a big shocker what “Halloween Edition” means… these are all from horror movies that take place on Halloween, or in the days leading up to it, with at least the last act taking place on Halloween. You won’t see Michael Myers, but John Carpenter is in the mix here. Actually, once I started in with the screen caps I was having so much fun I had trouble stopping… Anyway, check this out. Look familiar?
Hey! No white shoes after Labor Day! BITE
I only own one of these movies, and I’m re-considering that right now. Second, I own the special edition of this flick and boy is it worth it:
Ginger is looking good …for now!
and finally… I think anyone who saw the movie will pick up on this one…
Hint: we’re in flashback/back-story mode.
OK, that’s it! Now I have to force myself to toss the rest of the grabs on my desktop. More Halloween goodness coming soon, so I better get to writing it. Plus, you guys remember there’s a prize for this, right?
No need to guess this, I just really liked it and wanted to put it in here!
Ok! So here’s the second Halloween 2012 treat (three more to come). I promised another Ju-On gallery, and this time– y’know, Halloween Treats and all– I’m going to focus on Kayako. It also seems fitting, since on Halloween 2004, I was first introduced to the series and to Kayako (and her family) when my mom and I went to see the movie The Grudge in the theater (in a packed house, closer to the screen than was optimal when seeing a really scary movie). By thirty minutes in, we were holding hands!
Looks like lots of people have been doing searches and landing here because they want to dress like her for Halloween. Maybe this will help you out with the make-up. There’s a couple of make-up tutorials on You Tube but it seems as though most of them don’t understand Samara from The Ring and Kayako from The Grudge/Ju-on are two different characters. Here’s the closest I got, just taking photos to use on T-shirts I’d be selling. I wanted a recognizable image yet needed to do my own to avoid copyright infringement. Well, I gave it a shot, anyway!
Oh, and please note I’m going to be adding to it over the next 48 hours until it is juuuuuust right. I have over 100 images but need to start sleeping before dawn breaks. It can’t be healthy for my system to keep the sleep-cycle of an undead crack whore, so I’m making an effort to get in bed and at least TRY to fall asleep before I hear birds chirping outside. Keep checking back, as you’ll keep finding plenty of new, scary, Ju-On photos and content all the way up to Halloween night!
Overall, I really made this as a tribute to her character. I even added a little behind-the-scenes stuff on the multi-talented Takako Fuji, who has played Kayako six times in full-length features, in addition to the two short films. As far as I’m considered, The Grudge 3 doesn’t even count as part of the series, since she didn’t play Kayako in it; in fact she wisely turned it down. I’ve read a few recent interviews with Fuji-San (they needed a translator) which I purposely sought out to remind myself that the Ju-on series were only movies, and Kayako doesn’t really exist. Fuji-San said that even though she has a strong background in modern dance, her back would always hurt for a day or so after each time she filmed a staircase-crawl (that makes my back hurt just thinking about it), that she’s a smoker who would take cigarette breaks in costume as Kayako which would make anyone walking by seeing her start to laugh, that she sometimes gets asked to “do” Kayako at parties (she always does), but most of all, kept apologizing “for all the nightmares!” That helped… sort of… a bit… a little, tiny bit, anyway.
So here’s that gallery, in some different formats to mix it up. She remains one of the most frightening female horror icons of all time, even probably up in the top five for me.
The above and below are shots where the lighting is dim, but what you CAN see is clearly Kayako, just enough to know who you’re looking at and to scare the shit out of you.
mirror mirror, on the wall, who’s the scariest one of all?
You’re not even safe under your own bed sheets…
This is from the very first Ju-On TV movie, and the first time I’ve ever let out a shriek watching something on my TV in my own home. During daylight, no less. Almost had a goddamn heart attack when Kayako quietly said, “Kobayashi?” held still for a long moment, then suddenly SWOOPED down close to his face. And that was the last time we (or anyone) ever saw Kobayashi Dear…
Here’s some really frightening PR shots taken…
When someone dies in the grip of a powerful rage…
…a curse is born.
…The curse gathers in that place of death.
Those who encounter it…
…will be consumed by its fury.
More quotes from this interview later on.
More coming soon; I’ve now looked at the maximum amount of depictions of Kayako (after dark) that I can without risking nightmares. If you have requests for photos/pics, please put them in the comments below and I will do my best to accommodate them!