Horror Boom’s 2014 Holiday Gift Countdown – Part 2 of 5, Cthulhu Tree Ornament/Stocking Stuffer

So, most of you probably know about the Cthulhu plush toys (“Cuddly Cthulhu”), but this is the first time we’ve seen one of these – an actual Christmas tree ornament! It’s pretty nice quality, and we wish we had the dough this year to pick one up for the tree… even better, a dozen.

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Right now,  Amazon (among other places) sells them for a little under $10.50, free shipping, and it even looks like as of this writing you can get it delivered just in time for Christmas. The guy also has a 4/5 average star rating– not bad at all. Cthulhu (the ornament also features, according to the manufacturer:

  • Comes in a cool illustrated box and is packaged for gift-giving.
  • Putting Cthulhu on your tree balances out all your happy ornaments. Attached string makes for easy hanging.

If you’d like a little something extra for a stocking stuffer, you can also get Cthulhu mints, in a nice collectible tin, for less than six bucks, and free shipping if you have Amazon Prime.

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Stay tuned for more cool gift ideas, or things to put on your wish list!

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Horror Boom June 2014 Updates, News From Mrs. Horror Boom – Plus, Take Our Poll (We Wanna Know)

OK, so first, I know the ads that cover up the images are really annoying.We ain’t too thrilled with them either.

The deal with that is, Horror Boom applied over six months ago to be part of this new program (owned by WordPress). Since our site has sidebars, we never had a problem with ads being inserted. We pay extra for some premium WP services like customization, but no extra $ to keep the site ad-free. Since my gig of freelance writing jobs are hard to come by these days (well, ones that actually pay you. Plenty of places would be cool with me writing internet content for free) we’ve been looking for ways to monetize the site without turning into a huge whore with pop-ups everywhere, etc.

So we joined the program, and at first there’d just be some ad at the very end of the post. Then about…pfft… six weeks ago, ads by a service called ‘Luminate’ started covering up the bottom half of images.  Since sometimes our pieces and posts are image-heavy, this looks tacky. You can sort of see through them and you can click the X to close them and see a normal view of the image, but that’s a tiny X. Funny co-incidence, about the same time our number of visitors per day got cut down by about 30%, according to our stats! I know from my years of working for Amazon.com that even one extra click can cost you a sale/reader. I’m not calling you guys lazy, but you get the idea. I finally got fed up when the previous post on The Green Inferno had a gallery that took a while for me to assemble, only for each of the dozen or more images to have an ad over it. Sheeeit.

I also, when I applied for the program, agreed not to advertise for ANYTHING else. That’s sort of a problem since I’ve been working on building up an Amazon store, a we’ve officially been Amazon Associates for over a year. We also can’t put up the shops connected to CafePress of Zazzle that feature shirts with horror-themed designs (mostly obscure references that only horror fans will get, a small niche, but we still worked hard in Photoshop constructing them).

So, we’re sorry.  We’re looking at other options. Hey, if you have a site/blog yourself and have any suggestions or tips, great.

We’re still working on the FAQ, but in the meantime, we’d love some feedback. This is a site by horror fans for horror fans, and we want you to enjoy your visits to Horror Boom. So, there’s the poll below. If you want to contact us directly with feedback, email us as always via Gmail, user name horrorboom (not case-sensitive). We check for comments regularly too. Actually, more regularly than email.

The poll should take less than a minute. We’ll assume you want to see less invasive ads unless we hear otherwise. What do you want more of?

We left room for more than one answer, plus you can write your own answer. Hell, use the comment section if you want (I didn’t have room for ‘More spoilers’ for instance. Elaborate all you want, and there’s the email address, too.

Thanks for your time, and look for a ‘Scariest Short Horror Film Of The Week’ in a couple of days (of this writing)!

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Happy Birthday Kim Novak – Watch Ms. Novak as Madeline At The Bell Tower In “Vertigo”!

When I think of Kim Novak, I have two initial thoughts: the first is the fact that when she started dating Sammy Davis Jr., the then-Studio Head of Columbia Pictures and well-known total asshole Cohn threatened Mr. Davis–to his face–that if he didn’t break things off with her and marry the first black woman he could find who was interested (the rotten prick started off by threatening to ‘put out his one good eye’, and  blinding him as he’d already lost the one eye in a car accident by then. Wedding bells rang ASAP. Wish that wasn’t what always, er, jumps to mind at the mention of her name, but her unforgettable performance in Vertigo comes along with it and quickly wipes the first thought out.

I also remember watching Vertigo for the first time in a theater as a teenager, at a really cool revival movie theater who showed different movies every day. Some bigger ones and premieres got one week, but most just got a day. We sat in the front row of the balcony and she proceeded to blow me away; I actually thought two different actresses played Madeline and Judy up until after I saw it and someone pointed it out to me. I remember that it was a weekend matinée, and there were lots of other teenagers there. Many audience members, including my date (who had his arm around me at the time), actually SCREAMED in a high voice during this, er, jump scene. Take a look below the SPOILER ALERT…

Although this happens in the middle of the movie, SPOILER ALERT if you haven’t seen Vertigo (which you really should do).

Happy 81st birthday, Ms. Novak!

Remember Joan Fontaine With This Haunting Clip From Hitchcock’s “Rebecca” (1940)

As you’ve probably read by now, Academy Award-winning actress Joan Fontaine, the leading lady known for her string of roles as demure, well-mannered and often well-bred heroines in the 1940s, and the younger sister of actress Olivia de Havilland, died today at her home in Carmel, California; she was 96.

She was known best for her back-to-back roles in two Alfred Hitchcock thrillers — the 1940 Best Picture winner Rebecca and the 1941 film Suspicion, for which she won a Best Actress Oscar, making her the only actor in a Hitchcock film to receive an Academy Award.

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Her obituary on the IMDB (click her for the entire piece) stated that producer David O. Selznick snapped up the rights to the Daphne du Maurier bestseller Rebecca, in which an unnamed, demure heroine — known only as “the second Mrs. de Winter” — is taunted by the memory of her husband’s first wife, the beautiful and seductive title character. Selznick brought director Alfred Hitchcock over for his first American production, cast matinée idol and rising star Laurence Olivier as moody, mysterious husband Maxim de Winter, and embarked on a Scarlett O’Hara-style talent search for his leading lady. Rejecting Loretta Young, Margaret Sullivan, Vivian Leigh (then Olivier’s wife), and a then-unknown Anne Baxter along with hundreds of other actresses, Selznick decided on Fontaine, who though not an established star projected the right mix of beauty, insecurity, and tenacity needed for the part. Fontaine’s insecurity, however, was heightened by Olivier’s sometimes cruel treatment of her on set, as he had lobbied aggressively for Leigh to get the role, and Hitchcock capitalized on her inferiority complex to shape her performance. The resulting film, released in 1940, was an unqualified critical and financial success, catapulting Fontaine into the tier of top Hollywood leading ladies, establishing Hitchcock firmly in the United States, and nabbing the film 11 Academy Award nominations, including ones for both Fontaine and Olivier; it would go on to win Best Picture.

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Below is a classic nine-minute clip from Hitchcock’s Rebecca – the one that first jumped to our minds whenever we thought of her acting in the film.

And here’s a fan-made trailer for the film:

RIP, Ms. Fontaine. Your fans will miss you dearly.

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Horror Boom Creepy Holiday Countdown: Creepy Dolls – 10 Dolls you won’t offer to you kids for Christmas

We’re not kids, but we wouldn’t want to see most of these under the tree (and especially not under our beds) any time of the year. Guess what? They were created by Bastet2329, who you can find on Etsy! Click on the unusually hideous doll photo below to go to the piece on ufunk.net and check them all out (not for the easily upset, or for the doll-phobic …some are pretty gruesome).

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Click on this scary fucking thing to see more of this artist’s creepy dolls that would mentally scar a young child for life if they unwrapped a Christmas gift and found them (and there’s a great piece in there, too)!

Adam Wingard’s “You’re Next” – We Get The Feeling You REALLY Want Spoilers (Spoiler Alert)!

Due to the fact that several variations of “You’re Next spoilers” have been our top Google search term per our WordPress statistics for the past ten days, and the fact that a Variety review that we “Re-Pressed” that simply contained the tag “you’re next spoilers” because there were some mild spoilers in there has been getting top traffic …even over The Conjuring pieces and brand-new American Horror Story Coven details (and even the notorious ‘ Is This The Face of Javier Botet as Mama?’ piece, which is responsible for something like 30% of Horror Boom’s total number of hits over the last year). If those weren’t enough big enough hints, we’ve gotten a flood of actual requests.  So!  We’re guessing people would be happy if we posted some spoilers for Adam Wingard‘s You’re Next, which opens August 23rd.

A 'blink and you'll miss it' shot from the trailer

A ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ shot from the trailer

We had two options after combing online for specific details: either write a long, thoughtful piece that combines every single spoiler into a coherent, elaborate synopsis of the entire film that’s as close as we can get without having seen it, or give you a series of direct links to the pages that contained the most details. For now, we’re going with the latter due to 1. time constraints and using all our energy to find what we already did (going through endless message board threads takes longer then you’d think, and there’s a surprisingly small amount of spoilers for this flick out there) and 2. we already feel sort of vulgar blurting it out.  People have been going nuts to see this (after waiting since 2011, the first Midnight Madness at TIFF premiere) and anticipation is high (despite the really lame TV spots and, sadly, countless instant comparisons to The Strangers and even The Purge that some–sorry–ignorant moviegoers have been assuming from a glance at the posters without doing any further investigation into what the movie is about). Thus, we don’t think it’s gonna flop at the box office due to spoiler spillage. This writer still feels slightly tacky for posting these major spoiler links, even though people have asked repeatedly (and politely).

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OK then! SPOILER ALERT, these links contain SPOILERS! You may have to highlight or mouse over the text for some, but they’re right there. You want spoilers? Here’s the links and what you get.

  • At the end of this thread (if it’s not already, set preferences to ‘flat’ so all the posts in the thread are inline and you don’t have to click a dozen times to get to what you want to read) there is a list of how every character dies, and who survives. Then there’s a newer post that elaborates and clarifies all of them. THEN someone asked for clarification and key plot points late in the movie, and pretty much all the big reveals are… revealed. Maximum spoilage, so tread lightly! http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1853739/board/flat/212515132
  • Here’s a funny, good review of the flick I found on Topless Robot (heh) that really sets up the plot and characters in the movie, and contains spoilers (including on kills). It’s good reading (if you don’t mind some spoilers; this is NOT a review I would even think about recommending to anyone who wants to read a review, but also go in as clean as possible before seeing You’re Next). It’s also a handy guide to keeping the characters straight when you’re reading spoilers that name names: http://www.toplessrobot.com/2013/06/laff_review_youre_next.php
  • And last but not least, here’s the IMDB parent’s guide. Several people contributed and wrote  the “violence/gore” spoilers, meaning you’ll see some things repeated. One of the contributors, though, took pains to mention character names and sort of set up the scenario for the act of violence/gore in a very, very spoiler-y way, basically explaining entire scenes. Those red “Spoiler!Spoiler!” areas you need to mouse over, added specifically so that no-one accidentally spoils themselves by merely glancing at some words before they realize it, were inserted by yours truly.  http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1853739/parentalguide

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We hope this scratches that spoiler itch for You’re Next. Honestly, we’d advise you to wait till you see the movie–hey, you waited this long, you can make it till opening weekend–to preserve the surprises, but if you really must know… then you’re welcome.

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Oh, and the below photo–shown VERY fast in the trailer–is spoiler-y. It’ll fit right in if you read the IMDB Parent’s Guide we linked to. You’ll know who this chick is…

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“You want to (spoiler) me on top of (spoiler)?”

*I had to actually take a break from researching because I got sick of threads with titles like “Total ripoff of the strangers? U can totally figure it out”. Then I just started to get noticeably depressed when I saw that quite a few groups of people thought that it was about an actual wolf, lamb, and tiger who were hunting humans in their home. (Rant warning) For some reason the ‘actual animals’ in question in this imagined scenario would bother to dress up in people’s clothing and wearing white masks over their real animal faces (I guess, so they’d be incognito),plus be able to operate crossbow mechanisms. When I started seeing arguments about how it was unrealistic to have animals as the masked killers because sheep, big cats, and wolves couldn’t operate doorknobs,  my brain just made a unilateral decision to power down in order to protect itself.  This stupid bullshit wasn’t one or two stupid people or grade-schoolers, but entire fucking  factions.  I guess I was asking for it… but these are the kind of idiots who give real horror fans a bad name, and that pisses me off. (End of rant).

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Is this connected to the “five knives” scene mentioned in those spoilers? We kinda think so…

The Editing Room Burns ‘Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters’ At The Stake!

YOUNG JEREMY RENNER

So we don’t need that trail of breadcrumbs, then. Wait, did we even leave one?

YOUNG GEMMA ARTERTON

I don’t think so.

YOUNG JEREMY RENNER

Great. Hansel and Gretel has like six plot points, how did we go off the rails this quickly?

They FIND THE CANDY HOUSE, then get KIDNAPPED BY THE WITCH, then STAB and BURN and KILL her.

YOUNG JEREMY RENNER

Well, that was the classic tale of Hansel and Gretel. The end?

NICE TRY.

-from the abridged version of the script by Craig

Oh well.

Wow, we sure are embarrassed we promoted the red band trailer (back about six months ago). You have to admit, the trailer didn’t make it *look* like a stinker. Thank God we didn’t waste money to see it in 3D. Or 2D. Or DVD.

Click on the big red link below to give the abridged script a read. As usual, it’s hilarious (and in this case, DEFINITELY more entertaining than the actual flick)!

Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters: The Abridged Script / The Editing Room.

Don’t Miss GIANT SEA SERPENTS AND CHUPACABRA SNAILS – WELCOME TO THE MONSTROUS MENAGERIE OF TAKESHI YAMADA (ShukerNature)

Here’s a really great, exhaustively researched and put-together article on Takeshi Yamada, artist and rogue taxidermist (he currently appears on AMC’s “Immortalized”). In fact, this is the best, most complete one I could find.

I mentioned his work last week in this piece, and how I accidentally discovered his work on You Tube while surfing online when I couldn’t sleep–you know, the kind of online session where you invariably end up places with user comments like: “I think I landed on the weird part of the internet”. I couldn’t find the original video to post here. I recall it pretty well, though. The clip was presented with no explanation other than some title like “Nature’s Mistakes: Cryptozoology“* and just had a series of black and white photos of Yamada’s hair-raising art slowly fading in and out, including a couple where he poses on the beach with them as if he has discovered them, wearing a white lab coat (scroll to the very bottom of this post to see one I distinctly remember seeing and thinking something tells me in I’m for some real bad dreams tonight), set to creepy music. One of the user comments said to Google Takeshi Yamada. I did, and my first emotion was a wave of relief that these were photos of very realistically created works of art by a”rogue taxidermist” who specialized in carefully designing and crafting animals that didn’t actually exist. Nature’s Curiosities. A few on the You Tube video just looked a little too realistic (the obvious lack of Photoshop manipulation was unsettling).  Then I found the article below and read for at least an hour.  I looked him up again to read more later, when it was light out and my sleep cycle wasn’t troubled by nervous insomnia. Check it out below and prepare to be dazzled.

ShukerNature: GIANT SEA SERPENTS AND CHUPACABRA SNAILS – WELCOME TO THE MONSTROUS MENAGERIE OF TAKESHI YAMADA

 

If you’d like to see him in action, talking about his work process and his art, and showing the viewer around his studio,  I highly recommend you watch the below video (“Who is Takeshi Yamada?”) that AMC put together as an online extra for “The Immortalizer”:

The concept of the competition is that there’s four Immortalizers**, and each week some rogue taxidermist the showrunners picked comes on to challenge; they go in totally blind and they don’t even know the theme they’ll be given. The themes are pretty broad and always make a tiny part of me a little nervous as to what will be the final reveal of the art, such as “Your Worst Nightmare,” which another Immortalizer was picked for. That was kind of a relief, as even Yamada’s one depiction so far,  for the theme “The Odyssey” featured a canine beast with something like nine heads, being circled by his ‘dragon-bats’,  all with very sharp teeth–among other features– and if I owned it, I’d put it as far as possible from the bedroom or anywhere else I planned to sleep. See the ‘reveal’ in the below video (and note the sense of showmanship the artist has):

The challengers also don’t know which Immortalizer they’re going to be matched up to compete with–there’s a big build-up to the announcement and then the chosen Immortalizer makes their grand entrance.  If I were in the guest challenger’s shoes (when the challengers are introduced, they always describe themselves as ‘edgy’ and ‘wild’ in varying degrees) when the reveal came for who they are up against, and Takeshi Yamada came strolling out smiling in his vintage top hat and tux, with his ubiquitous pet ‘Sea Rabbit’ tucked under his arm, I’d immediately want to throw up my hands and say, “Fuck it! I give up, never mind! You win, I don’t know what I was thinking.” Fortunately the challengers don’t do that, though, so you get to see Yamada really go to town:

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OK, maybe there are less than nine heads, but looking at this piece? That sure as hell doesn’t matter.

If you want to see more but are in a hurry, I put together a small gallery of a few photos that I DO NOT CLAIM TO OWN THE COPYRIGHT TO (Mr. Yamada does in most cases) below; click to enlarge.


I sure as hell don’t claim to know everything, but I’m positive Takeshi Yamada is incapable of making a boring work of art. Even if he tried.

*I remember Googling the word ‘Cryptozoology‘ before I Googled ‘Takeshi Yamada’, and the definition of  Cryptozoology and cryptids didn’t calm me down any at the time.

**Beth Beverly, Dave Houser, Page Nethercutt, and Takeshi Yamada are the four champion Immortalizers. If you’re a Brian Posein fan, he’s one of the three judges and says something hilarious (that usually has to have a word bleeped) at least once a show.  I looked up the schedule on the official site and Yamada will next be featured in an episode with “Heaven and Hell” as the theme.

This is one of the first photos I saw that freaked me the hell out on You Tube several years ago.

This is one of the first photos I saw that freaked me the hell out on You Tube several years ago.

R.I.P. Robert F. Chew, The Wire’s Proposition Joe – TV – Newswire (The A.V. Club)

Oh man, as Wire fans, we were really sorry to hear about this. We’re going to miss this big guy. Check out some of the great clips from The Wire in The Onion A.V. Club below. They’ll make you smile.

R.I.P. Robert F. Chew, The Wire’s Proposition Joe | TV | Newswire | The A.V. Club.

 

Also, here’s a few of our favorite lines from Proposition Joe. Wire fans usually say that Omar Little got all the best lines, but the writers did a fine job of spreading them out among the ensemble casts (cops and criminals alike), so that each character got at least a few lines that you wish could fit on a T-shirt and give you a grin every time you remember them.

 

I’m Proposition Joe. You steal from me, I’ll kill your whole family.

(To Omar Little)
Business men, such as myself, does not believe in bad blood with a man such as yourself. Disturbs the sleep.

(Repeated line)

I’ve got a proposition for you.

Also, if you’ve been meaning to watch the series, don’t put it off any longer– no time like the present, and sooner rather than later you’ll be thinking, Where the hell has this show BEEN all my life?  We watch the entire series about once every year and a half, and even on multiple viewings,  notice something we miss every time. Also, there’s not one weak episode – the idea of skipping an episode to get to the next one where some serious shit goes down will never cross your mind. Many of our friends admit to having lost sleep because they HAD to watch the rest of the season through to the finale. Just beware (or at least tread cautiously) when mentioning to longtime fans that you’re watching it; since the series wrapped in 2008, many believe that statute of limitations on spoilers has run out and will blurt out something you wish you could have seen first.

 

 

Exclusive (From /Film): ‘Django Unchained’ Mini Game Lets You Become Bounty Hunter Dr. King Schultz

There was NO WAY I was going to let this slip by you guys! Click on the below link to check it out, and enjoy!

Exclusive: ‘Django Unchained’ Mini Game Lets You Become Bounty Hunter Dr. King Schultz.

By the way, when you see “Exclusive” in a subject line or title, that means I “Pressed” (a feature of Word Press) or re-blogged it. Usually the system doesn’t let me edit anything in the title, or I’d either take out the exclusive or say who is was the exclusive was from. So unless you see “Horror Boom Exclusive!” that means I hit “Press This” and/or re-blogged it. Just pointing this out because I don’s want anyone thinking I’m some horrible plagiarizing hack by claiming I came up with the exclusive.  We good? Oh, and in the “Related Articles” section, there’s some killer links for you to check out, as far as the soundtrack to the movie and a comic boo, that I didn’t even know was happening.

“Django. The D is silent.”