The ABCs Of Death Release Date Bumped Back AGAIN, Goddamnit!

The release date for the sick, twisted, entertaining anthology film The ABCs of Death  has been bumped again!  AGAIN!  We’re putting together our list of Ten Most Anticipated Horror Projects in 2013, went to check WHEN in January it was set for, and found the new release date is March 8th of 2013. Well, shit.

We discovered the existence of this film in June of 2012, started writing about it, and remember thinking how the fuck are we going to wait till October to see this one?   Every once in a while, even though we knew chances were slim to none, we’d search On Demand’s “Indie” sub-section for Magnet Releasing because hey, you never know. Personally, they had me at “26 Directors – 26 Ways To Die” and everything else I heard was icing on the cake. A veritable extravaganza of icing (several flavors made by some of our favorite, trusted chefs) that had no nutritional value, would cause a crash after the 90-minute sugar rush, and could very well cause tooth decay …but fuck dental hygiene, it’s gonna be so yummy and that sugar rush is going to make us high as a kite, we want it to eat it now. GIMME!

Screen shot 2012-12-29 at 10.35.59 PM

What’s that? You’re not open for business in four months, instead you’re opening next year? Well, that’s a real bummer, nothing we can do about that. Oh, you have samples now? Hot damn, that tasted as good as we thought!  See you in January! Well, it’s gonna be January in a week, let’s go down and double-check the opening da– HEY!  What’s this “Closed Till March” bullshit? WE’VE BEEN HUNGRY SINCE LAST SUMMER! Well, this time we’re doing something about it! This time we’re just gonna …have to …uh …wait some more.*

Screen shot 2012-12-29 at 10.36.39 PM

Well, we’ve written a lot about it, and here’s the new VERY red band trailer (again, we also wrote about it here). As always, we’ll keep our eyes peeled for any new footage, promo stills, or info. Plus, we’ve still got the last five top picks from the “26th Director Contest” to post, which should help keep you going until March.

*what’s that? We’re taking the metaphor way too far? You can’t believe we kept going as long as we did? We’re sorry.

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Sick Horror Short “T is for Talk” Packs a HELL of a Wallop (From “The ABCs of Death” Contest)!

The stand-outs so far (according to several sources) were Xavier Gens (who made the brutal Frontier/s  and The Divide;  his name always gets dropped, and rightly so, when people mention ‘New French Extremist Horror’) and his segment called “X to XXL”, where a woman, “takes the ultimate action to reduce her body size”.

“T is for Talk” (2011), directed and co-written by Peter Haynes, was a top vote-getter in the “26th Director” ABCs of Death  contest. Of course, that was back when the voting window for the contest was still open, which I managed to totally miss, thus this series to share the best other shorts with a wider audience. I’m pretty sure you’ll see why; it packs a hell of a wallop into four minutes.  This is definitely one of the most intense entries, and isn’t something you should watch if you’re NOT in the mood for something dark, nasty…and very original. Oh, and if you have a pounding headache, I recommend waiting until your head’s back to normal (you’ll see why pretty fast).  Check out the very NSFW, intense “T is for Talk”, from New Zealand, below!

Damn!   A prequel to that short could be interesting in the right hands. Anyway, that’s eighteen down, seven to go (I think. I’ll do the math later). You can go back and read the first three posts, each with five picks either embedded or linked–some were only on Vimeo or the official voting contest page via the ‘related’ links below, or you can watch the first five entries (plus the introduction) here, the second batch of entries here, and the third bunch of five entries—which has one of the sickest entries in the series– here. I also went and posted a link (I couldn’t embed it) to one that I meant to post, but missed, a couple of weeks ago back in September, which you can check out here. Enjoy, and expect the last eight entries by the time of the full-length movie’s release, which should give me plenty of time since the release date got bumped way the fuck back to January 31st for VOD, and motherfucking March for a limited theatrical run (sigh). I read three reviews from sources I trust, and they said it was kind of a mixed bag; some were more toilet humor/gross-out* than scary or gory (or worth four minutes of your time).

Anyway, now that reviews are coming in, the reviewers said there were some great segments that made The ABCs of Death  worth sitting through. The stand-outs so far (according to several sources) were Xavier Gens (who made the brutal Frontier/s  and The Divide;  his name always gets dropped, and rightly so, when people mention ‘New French Extremist Horror’) and his segment called “X to XXL”, where a woman, “takes the ultimate action to reduce her body size”. My guess it she does a little whittling down at home, taking matters into her own hands by using a sharp blade.**  Another standout is supposed to be “L is for Libido,” dealing with (I am not making this up) a psychotic masturbation contest (worse than a biscuit party, I assume) –gee, how could THAT go horribly wrong in an unrated horror movie?–that ‘ends with sick and deadly results.’  I’m not proud of admitting this, but …SOLD!

Right now, I really  want to see what Banjong Pisathanakun (half the team from Shutter  and  Alone ) does with his four minutes …and with what letter of the alphabet and title. N is for Natre? S is for Siamese Twin

Well, that’s seventeen down and eight to go! More to come, definitely before the holidays (and probably sooner).

NO REPEATING

*I wonder if any of them had to (or needed to for the purpose of rating them, no-one held a gun to my head making me watch all of them, it was just too late in my project to back-pedal by then) sit through “T is for Testosterone Replacement Therapy”, “T is for Tentacle Rape“, or “T is for Tampon”? Those weren’t anywhere near scary, they didn’t have a plot, two out of the three were so misogynistic I felt like punching whoever was responsible for them in the teeth, and they didn’t even try to be entertaining –on any level. I got the feeling they only made the films because they had some serious issues and/or really filthy sexual fetishes to work through. Through the years, I’ve picked up on the fact that self-indulgence usually doesn’t make for an end product entertaining for anyone but the artist. Consider yourself warned if you’re somehow still compelled to watch them …especially if you’re eating at the time.

**For a while now, I actually have been fleshing out (no pun intended, I should get of my tired ass and take a stab  at grabbing the thesaurus before half my comments sound like The Cryptkeeper introducing a story, boils and ghouls ) an outline for a short horror story, where a woman with some serious issues hates her body  –and doesn’t have the money to go pay for lipo or another medical procedure. At the end, she really goes over the edge and tries the do-it-yourself approach with craving knives and maybe a vacuüm cleaner or other suction device. The scariest part? I’m afraid if I Googled or otherwise researched this, there will turn out to be not one but a ton of cases of people who already tried to do it. Self-surgery, not writing a short story about it, I mean. There’s no way that’s going to end well…

“The ABCs of Death” Release Date Bumped To January 2013, Goddamnit!

Well, I was getting my last nine posts for The ABCs of Death  Contest entries ready (I did a list of top twenty picks, with five runners up, and was putting them up five at a time) and needed to insert the release date. I looked it up, found the official site, and said, “Motherf*cker!” out loud when I saw that instead of being released this month around Halloween, it got bumped back not to November, not to December, but till next goddamned year. The new release date is On Demand January 31st, then in limited theatrical release on MARCH 8th. What the fuck? I know it got mixed reviews at the festival debut, but not THAT mixed. Maybe the calender just got really crowded for the month of October…

That does mean, on the (sort of) bright side, I’ll be able to post all the top picks for the contest entries before the movie is released. I probably won’t have a problem getting them done by Thanksgiving, either.  Hopefully, none of the entries (or the contest entry page) will get taken down before the feature film comes out, because these are all worth checking out –especially at only four minutes a pop. Keep an eye out for them – these entries really deserve to be seen by a wider group of horror fans!

Two New Red, Red, RED Band Trailers for Wrong Turn 5 (2012)!

I have two trailers for the  October 23rd DTV release of Wrong Turn 5: Bloodlines.  One is Red Band, the second is really, REALLY Red Band. It’s probably oh, I don’t know, the goriest, most NSFW teaser trailer I’ve posted (so far) on Horror Boom.  The ABCs of Death trailer was spectacularly gory, but that turned out to be composed entirely of snippets from all the entries in the 26th Director Contest run last year, so it might not count completely. I’m glad that most of the directors got featured—even if the clips flash by pretty fast—because as you know from reading my Horror Boom Picks for the top twenty (out of over 160) entries for the T is for… entries, at least twenty of them were kick-ass great.   If you want to catch up on the first three articles, please do by all means (it turned out to be an insanely time-consuming project, but I don’t regret it). You can find Part 2/5 here and Part 3/5 here.  The final two parts WILL be coming later, though I’m thinking of spreading them out two at a time instead of five at a time.

But I digress.  OK, first up, the (slightly) less offensive and shorter spot for Wrong Turn 5: Bloodlines  can be found below. It made me laugh the first time I saw it even though I had an ugly headache at the time. Still makes me smile (you’ll know the funny part when you see it):

Here’s the official plot description (or excuse for the mayhem, this go-round, anyway):

The cutting-edge terror continues when a small mining town hosts the legendary Mountain Man Festival on Halloween, where crowds of costumed party-goers gather for a wild night of music and mischief. But a killer celebration soon gives way to a blood-soaked feeding frenzy when an inbred family of hillbilly cannibals trick and treat themselves to a group of visiting college students who are just dying for a good time…

The DVD/Blu-ray details are a little, ahem, juicier:

Now that horror fans have the backstory on the Hillbilly Cannibals’ “Bloody Beginnings”, the franchise rejoins the infamous disfigured brothers as they return when WRONG TURN 5: BLOODLINES debuts on unrated Blu-ray, DVD, and, for the first time ever, Digital Copy on October 23rd from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. This all-new terrifying film boasts the talent of horror movie veteran Doug Bradley (Hellraiser) along with “Game of Thrones”’ Roxanne McKee.

With hours of bonus footage including behind-the-scenes featurettes and commentary “DIE-aries” from director Declan O’Brien (Wrong Turn 4, Sharktopus), WRONG TURN 5: BLOODLINES will give audiences an extra scare this Halloween season. Available on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital Copy October 23rd.

Special Features
A Day in the Death
Hillbilly Kills
Director’s Die-aries
Audio Commentary by Declan O’Brien

Speaking of “Hillbilly Kills”, here’s the REALLY offensive, gruesome teaser trailer that debuted in the last 24 hours, although it’s closer to a ‘tightly edited Death Reel’ from parts one through four. THEN, they tacked on a fun Director’s DIE-ary that was also shown at SDCC 2012. Almost everywhere but You Tube, they require age-verification, and HOAH! you’ll soon see why. Check it out below…

If you want to go to the official site and see it bigger, click on this link here. It’s the closest they have to an official Wrong Turn 5  site for now anyway, though I’ll be keeping an eye out for an official Facebook page (they did one for the prequel last year, also with a ton of fun stuff).

I am kind of bummed, though, that the DVD cover I voted on a few months ago didn’t get picked, because I thought it was way cooler. Found it:

What’s not to like?

I also really prefer “Bloodbath” instead of “Bloodlines” after the title, especially if this is going to be the ‘the most gruesome Wrong Turn  ever”.  Maybe it had something to do with the inclusion of Doug Bradley in the cast, as a kind of in-joke, but come on, you’re going to pick Bloodlines over BLOODBATH? Unless they’re saving it for the next movie, planning to REALLY out-do themselves, that’s just not acceptable to me. (Mm’kay?}

If you want to see more, our good fiends/friends at Dread Central have a giant  gallery of photos from their on-set visit (to Bulgaria), and it looks like they’re gonna be going with at least SOME practical effects. The only things in the previous entries that have bothered me CGI-wise were a few really shoddy CGI blood squirts that looked one notch above someone drawing them on the frame with a red Sharpie. I know they don’t have an eight-figure budget or anything (see:filming in Bulgaria), but do film-makers who use CGI blood really think we’re not going to be able to tell the difference between that and the real thing? Hey, when they can do a good enough job that we can’t tell the difference between CGI blood and practical blood, fine, but if not, please don’t insult our intelligence.

From the prequel – this happened in the first ten minutes, possibly even before the opening credits. Sold!

Though, speaking of intelligence, looks like I’m one of the last fans to be aware that the family is known as “The Hillicker Brothers” –though I know there was at least one female in Wrong Turn Two:Dead End.  I remember a scene pretty early on of her getting jealous of her brother secretly peeking from the woods and drooling at a naked reality-show bimbo, and then stabbing her so fiercely and so many times that you could see her spine by the time the mutant sister was done. I think she may have done the tongue bite-off at the opening, too, but right now I’m too tired to check.

Guess now it’s down to Three Finger, One-Eye, and Snaggletoof Saw Tooth. Oh well,  keep things entertaining and I’ll overlook that. Declan O’Brien’s Part 3 —he wrote, but did not direct—  did so little for me I think I only watched it once, but he improved a hell of a lot when he wrote and directed the prequel, Bloody Beginnings,  which didn’t try to be anything it wasn’t,  just embraced the horror and gore. Both had some really mean-spirited endings, but best of all, he really seemed to be having fun.

There’s a ton more info on Dread Central about Wrong Turn 5  (going as far back as April). Here’s the link for their index of every piece/headline they’ve done.

Is it October yet?

Ka-BOOM!
“Say hi to the Missus for me.”

Name That (Horror) Frame – Week of 9/23/12 – Masters of Horror Edition!

The  Masters of Horror series doesn’t get near the amount of recognition it deserves. And yes, the best episodes truly are the stuff of nightmares.

Now would be an appropriate time for me to repeat I do NOT own the copyrights for any of the images here, nor own them in any way–I put them here for entertainment purposes only!

Well, if you’re anywhere near as big a fan of the Mick Garris-produced Showtime series Masters of Horror,  you’ll be in luck this week.  Those shows (OK, most of them, they got pretty hit-or-miss in the final season) were very, very memorable.  Just the opening credits (the frames above, and directly below) were a disturbing work of art. Actually, I’m not sure why I’m using the past tense …they still creep me out.

Yep, that’s someone burying an axe is someone else’s head.

So, if you can name these episodes, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll win a DVD. I’m working on a list of the top ten episodes of Masters of Horror, but I’m having serious trouble narrowing it down. Hell, I own more than ten of them. I might just have to spotlight the best ones and forget lists. By the way, I definitely count the unaired Takashi Miike-directed “Imprint” as an official episode. So much sick shit went down on the series that I still wonder if it was a publicity stunt Showtime pulled, or something.. I’ll have to look into that. There’s a torture scene in that episode that makes the notorious one towards the end of Miike’s Audition look tame.  I still have to cover my eyes with my fingers for most of the “Imprint” scene, it’s that hard to watch.

But I digress. The photos below are all from different episodes… feel free to comment if you just want to know which episodes they are! The Masters of Horror  series doesn’t get near the amount of recognition it deserves. And yes, the best episodes truly are the stuff of nightmares.

I believe the above frame took place during the opening credits of the episode…

And below, what the last thing you’d want to see written on a wall when you woke up at the bottom of a pit?

and finally, thanks to the genius of Greg Nicotero’s make-up and FX work… what a shot.

That’s it (for this game) until next week. Don’t forget, American Horror Story Season One comes out on DVD and Blu- ray Tuesday. Expect at least one piece on it this week!

Imprint (Masters of Horror)

Imprint (Masters of Horror) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The ABCs of Death – Horror Boom’s Top 20 Picks From the “T” Contest (3/5)

Welp, looks like it’s that time of the week again. So, here’s Part Three of Horror Boom’s Top Twenty The ABCs of Death Contest Entries for the letter T!  don’t think I’ve mentioned this before now, so as an  aside: I tried to avoid feedback before I watched almost every entry. I’m not being self-righteous about that fact, I actually regretted doing it after I watched too many lazy, shitty, hateful four-minutes wastes of time. Well, since it’s too late now and I can’t get the time back, I CAN at least say that I watched every single entry–over a hundred and seventy– that was available to me (perhaps a dozen were un-watchable because they’d been taken down, or made private).

OK, I’ve got one of the most NSFW picks on this week’s list, so be warned! I’ll put it at the end, and give you an additional heads-up! Hope you have fun —and find at least one entry with a “Holy Shit” factor. I’m pretty sure one of the picks will make you gasp.

First up was one of the top vote-getters, and for good reason.   This one is also pretty gruesome in parts …but also ultimately satisfying, and it’s easy to see why it was in the top ten. Turns out it really is based on a true story, but I want to avoid spoilers so I’ll put it far after the video (just the first line is a spoiler). I think it’s safe to say it’s NSFW.

T is for Tamales (photo above), was directed by Lex Ortega & Sergio Tello from Mexico City, MX.  The female’s lead’s acting was a definite standout. Because it’s from Vimeo, I can’t embed it like a can content from You Tube. I can assure you, though that T is for Tamales is well worth the extra mouse click.

Next up? T is for TV Casualty. This film, self-described as “an axe murderer has a Case of the Mondays” is directed by Jeff Nugent/Rob Neilson.  Here’s a pic or two first (great attention to detail):

Love the Lil’ Abner jug of moonshine simply marked “XXX”.

from “T is for TV Casualty”, directed by Jeff Nugent/Rob Neilson

and here’s the link to watch T is for TV Casualty on Vimeo. According to the directing duo, they “had to resort to the digital blood sadly, we tried to do some blood FX on set, but the air compressor we had up there was not up to the task!” Could have fooled me;  I never would have known it wasn’t a practical effect. This one is a little shorter, but it’s another (oddly) satisfying entry, and one of the ones I laughed out loud at on first (and second, and third) watch. Wish it’d gotten a few more votes – but you can still see it right here, just use the link above!

For the third entry, we have “T is for The Third.”  See what I did there? Actually, I didn’t connect the dots till I was typing that a few seconds ago.

Creepy image from the below entry, “T is for The Third, ” Written and Directed by Scott Biddle. Filmed by Brett Thomas.

Apparently, some viewers had trouble sleeping the evening after they watched this. It is one of the scarier entries, and I found it kind of refreshing after all the gross-out and torture-porn entries. Watch the end credits for some out-takes. Starring Ellen Gorrell and Mike Biddle, effects by Scott Biddle, and audio by Scott and Mike Biddle.

Finally, here’s the surprisingly nasty one, and this is an official heads-up. Hey, here’s a good way to tell if you’re going to be offended by it –check out the screen caps below for “T is for Thermometer”

Does any of the above offend you? Then “T is for “Thermometer” is NOT for you! Didn’t make you cringe in horror? Check out the short film, then!

“T is for Thermometer” was directed by Rafael Andrés Becerra. I love the split-screen technique the film-maker uses …good way to pick up the pace and give you the information you need to know. The result is a fast-paced, tight little film that I couldn’t second guess. Definitely NSFW – but if you’re feeling brave and/or very mellow, give it a watch.

Check out this sickie from Bogota, Columbia by using this heah link – T is for Thermometer!

Serious gut-punch of an ending …and sorry, I fucking love it!

Still pissed at me for picking this entry? Try the “Runner Up” short film below. Love the vibe, especially at the ending.

The only reason it didn’t make the top twenty is I found one of the actor’s performances a little lacking, but the story is great. This is another one with an EC comics vibe, though I’d say I get more of a Creepshow vibe (especially the final images). I had a feeling about who was going to die, which was correct, but it happened in a manner I never would have thought of.

Here’s the “true story” that Tamales was based on. I cannot find the author’s name, so if you see this, and want your props, drop me a line. I translated the story from Spanish to English (as you can see from my stilted, awkward writing.

In July 1971 c Portales, a lower middle class neighborhood created a more twisted stories from Mexico City.  

Mares Trinidad Ruiz lived with psychological violence and abuse from her husband, was the classic man remained alone that it kept scrubbing your partner, which to tamales to keep afloat the meager family income, husband, Pablo Days. Besides beating his wife, he also began to beat the children, which many assume was the straw that finally broke the fragile patience of Trinity.

In Mexico, if women have something, they can often hold out …but hurting her children wakes up a sleeping murder instinct in every woman.

That day had begun badly. Paul had taken money that Trinity had been saving to pay the monthly bills. When she tried to ask for the money back, he responded with the usual abuse. This time, however, he was not content with beating her and began to also beat his eldest son. Ms. Ruiz, unable to defend him, kept her temper while she waited for him to pass out from the alcohol he’d been guzzling …the same booze he’d spent the money on.

When he was sure he was fast asleep, she took a bat and unleashed  all her hate out on him. She dealt his head one hard blow after another until h gf

Although the evidence pointed to her husband’s actions as motivation, as she remained stoic and claimed responsibility for the crime.

She made her confession: she’d broken his legs and arms with the bat. She used the large knife that used to cut meat from tamales to finish cutting off his head.

She took the torso and limbs put them in the pot for tamales and put them to cook, to make tamales to sell that morning. The next night, she put the rest of his body in the car he used to sell tamales, then threw what was left of him  in a field near his home. Her husband’s head, however, was kept in a pot under her bed to be found by investigating officers.

And this is where the myth begins. Despite health warnings issued, no one reported to testify or claim they’d eaten the perhaps ashamed to be publicly named as a customer of the “tamalera killer.”

She says they asked the authorities to sentence her to  20 to 40 years for the crime committed. Her defense asked for the acquittal because of the high degree of abuse and stress that was inflicted to by her husband. She was acquitted.

I don’t have time to look on Snopes, and I will, but some facts on here are pretty specific for this to not have SOME basis in truth. I’ll keep you posted!

Hopefully for the final 10 coming up, I’ll be able to embed more, rather than make you click on a link to watch the entry. Hope some of the extra images make up for it. These are all worth that extra click. Enjoy… and watch out for that thermometor…

The ABCs of Death – Horror Boom’s Top 20 Picks From the “T” Contest (2/5)

Hey there! Now you don’t have to wait another week for another list of four of the best of the T entries for The ABCs of Death “26th Director” competition (plus one runner-up per list).  Also, I have to blurt out that I confirmed the word/way to die for the final letter of the alphabet : Z is for Zymosis.  I hope everyone will be done with their popcorn by the time that one rolls around!

Oh, and more good news confirmed about the rating! Here’s how and why : Rated NC-17: For Graphic Horror Violence, Strong Vulgar Language, strong sexual content including graphic nudity, and some drug use. DONE and DONE!

T is for Tiles, written and directed by Vincent Gárcia.

OK, here’s that disturbing content warning I promised in my introduction earlier!  If I tell you how long the gory part is, or when it appears in the entry, you won’t ‘go in clean’.  You know what, though? If you’ve been following Horror Boom for a while and the content (not to mention my habit to like a swear like a regular on The Sopranos) hasn’t driven you away, then you’ll wince (maybe not, though I sure did) but not have your day ruined.  This one’s clever;  a slow-burn with a great pay-off. I also discovered the director is a seasoned professional with several feature-length films under his belt so far, IMDB him and check out his résumé —not too shabby.

Next up, there’s the one other UK claymation entry called T is for Top Hat.  I find it festive in a weird way, and there’s certainly some showmanship. This little gem (also quite possibly the shortest entry) was directed by Sarah Davison and Sarah Duffield-Harding.

Then there’s this stellar entry, T is for Tantrum (a T-word chosen to create entries that was used more than once, as were Tomato, Trash, Time, Tranny, Toy, and Teratophobia*, among others). This is one of the two entries to use a “name” actor, probably easily recognizable by their fans. The first time I saw it, I was distracted trying to decide if that was Paul F. Tompkins playing The Dad, or just strongly resembled the stand-up/actor (he doesn’t have a bad resume either).

Turned out it was indeed him, and without the distraction, a re-watch of Tantrum proved that this entry packs a wallop, and I couldn’t second-guess any of it. Check it out… but not if you’re having trouble sleeping right now.

The final pick of the best of the contest entries for tonight, T is for Trick (written and directed by Travis Betz), happens to be the other featuring a familiar face: Amber Benson, who (me being the Buffy TVS super-geek that I am) I recognized less than a minute in. I can see why she’d be happy to appear in this entry, because it’s by far one of the best and the director knows how to create the perfect blend of dark humor, surprises, and  briskly paced story. I hope it gets seen as much as it deserves to be, since it’s a real treat for the viewer and any horror fan with a sense of humor. Hope I don’t jinx anything, but when I was arranging the lists to make sure there was a good mix of styles and scares, Trick was categorized by me under “Sure Things.”** This one is especially fun to watch.

Another runner-up:  T is for Toy, Directed by Eli Dorsey, which I mostly included due to the intended Creepshow vibe, right down to the score. Drew Pierce & Eli Dorsey also deserve a mention for the fun props and art design.

Awesome additional poster art for the film.

By the way, the world première of the film itself (you know, the one with every letter of the alphabet in it) was recently announced!  It’ll show at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival’s MIDNIGHT MADNESS. You can read more here, and in the “Related Articles” listed below. Man, am I sorry I’m missing this (not that I’ve ever been to TIFF before, or even been anywhere near Toronto itself in my entire life) because there’s a TON of additional Midnight Madness world premieres– I think 2012 sets a new record.

Oh, and more good news confirmed about the rating! Here’s how and why : Rated NC-17: For Graphic Horror Violence, Strong Vulgar Language, strong sexual content including graphic nudity, and some drug use. DONE and DONE!

* I am not making this up. There were two. It refers to the fear of giving birth to a deformed child, which you’d think could create some pretty impressive material, but I guess I had my expectations too high, because the finished entries all disappointed me.

** since I’m already flirting with a jinx here, the other four “sure things” I wrote down on my list were:, T is for Time,  T is for Table,  T is for Temptation, and T is for Top Hat.

The ABCs of Death-Horror Boom’s Top Twenty Picks from the T Competition (1/5)

 

 

Let me preface this with a pro-active apology. The temperature is at least in the high 90s here, and I’ve discovered over the years that for each degree over 80, I lose at least ten IQ points. I’ll be polishing it up later, but if you’re reading this before it cooled down here and I had a chance, that’s my excuse for this piece sounding slow-witted and clunky!

Anyway, if you’ve read my blog in the last 30 days or so, you know I’ve been geeking out about this contest since I discovered it. Unfortunately, I missed the voting deadline for the 26th director in The ABCs of Death competition by oh… almost ten months.  Shit.  So instead, I decided to get in a little over my head by choosing and compiling a list of what I thought were the best twenty, plus five runners-up.  The first I heard about the contest, I dove in fast and watched a few of the top entries; the ones I saw first blew me away, and I loved them so much I needed to do a piece on them and get them up for other horror fans to enjoy that night. I already devoted an entire post on the contest winner, Lee Hardcastle’s T is for Toilet, and Michael Foulke’s flawless, fun entry T is for Temptation.

That was when I decided to watch all of them, without counting the entries first, guessing there were approximately 50, 75 TOPS. I had no goddamned idea what I was getting myself into time-wise, but it ended up being worth it. The plan was to select and post/share the best ones, with five runners-up that I thought were very close but still a hair or two away from making the top twenty, yet good enough to deserve a watch and a recommendation. Turned out we’re talking twenty out of over 170, all short films I watched. I only skipped ones that were marked private, locked, or taken down. I think it roughly evened out to one in ten singled out for recognition.

Some really kick-ass ones didn’t even get what I felt was a fair number of views, let alone votes. I did some formatting and pasting and printed out a list of every single entry, got out a pen and paper, and set in. I figured I’d be able to post my picks in a couple of days, but I REALLY misjudged the amount of time to just watch. I did the math after I watched them all, (rather than, say, before I decided whether this would be a good idea and started, because hey, why plan THAT out in advance)? 170 shorts times four minutes is , rounded DOWN, ten hour’s time just to see them all, let alone the time for note-taking, organization, plus re-watching if they lost me halfway in.

Anyway,  seems fair to give you an explanation of how I picked what I thought were the best of the best (if you want to just skip to today’s five entries, you can hit “more”). Continue reading

Claymation Horror Short of the Month – Lee Hardcastle’s T is for Toilet

Wait wait whoa whoa whoa! Give me a chance to explain.

A little over 24 hours ago I discovered a movie that’ll be released in October from Magnet Releasing, called The ABCs of Death. Hold up, is that as sick as I think it sounds? Why YES. I read the description from the  twisted but very entertaining, and even addictive, official site for the movie…

FROM THE DIRECTORS OF
HOUSE OF THE DEVIL
HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN
A SERBIAN FILM
TOKYO GORE POLICE
YOU’RE NEXT & Many More
COMES THE GENRE EVENT OF 2012

Twenty-six directors. Twenty-six ways to die. The ABC’s OF DEATH is perhaps the most ambitious anthology film ever conceived with productions spanning fifteen countries and featuring segments directed by over two dozen of the world’s leading talents in contemporary genre film. Inspired by children’s educational books, the motion picture is composed of twenty-six individual chapters, each helmed by a different director assigned a letter of the alphabet. The directors were then given free rein in choosing a word to create a story involving death.

Provocative, shocking, funny and ultimately confrontational, THE ABC’s OF DEATH is the definitive vision of modern horror diversity. Drafthouse Films, Magnet Pictures and Timpson Films are proud to present this alphabetical arsenal of destruction orchestrated by what Fangoria calls “a stunning roll call of some of the most exciting names in horror across the world.” 

They are not fucking around, trust me. The trailer alone was the goriest trailer I’ve seen in over a year. Maybe more, I’ll add it at the end of this post, so you have plenty of warning NOT to watch it if you’re eating something, are easily offended, and can’t stand violent trailers. Even  I was saying, out loud, ” Jesus fucking Christ!!”  at higher than normal volume for when my husband is trying to get some sleep next to me. I’m surprised my husband slept through my reaction.

Don’t take the adjective ‘disturbing’ lightly! Oh, and  several YouTube comments strongly advised “Do not watch if you’re high“. I didn’t feel the slightest urge to test this theory out, but I’m still 100%  sure it’s great advice. This is hands down the goriest claymation short I’ve ever seen…

So there’s that. Then I read about their contest for the letter “T”. It was an open call for short horror films lasting less than five minutes, the prize being the short getting to be included in this fucked-up anthology, with plenty of cool directors attached –the winner would be the 26th director. I am really sorry I missed voting on there, even the entries that I thought would be more appropriately titled, “T is for Torture Porn” had good production values, good effects, and it was clear that the directors took pains to craft the best short film they could. I have a dozen or so more entries I’m either going to post or include in a playlist on You Tube. There are a few ones less worth your while than other ones; I’ll try to limit my playlist to the ten best, entertaining, most effective ones  (okay, maybe twenty, but no more), not necessarily all of them. If by some miracle I can exercise enough self-control to keep it down to ten, I’ll post ’em here for you to watch.

I also watched maybe… pffffft …15-20 entries in a row, which did not have a beneficial effect on my sleep cycle. I had nightmares not about any of the images in the movie, or the movie itself, and I can only half-remember said nightmares. You may be familiar with those. I do remember it was one of those dreams that was so stressful and/or wretched that I made a deliberate, and successful effort to say, OK, this is horrible, I think I’ll wake up now. Even going without enough sleep I can live with, since it’s better than this God-awful dream. Unless you need to stay awake and can’t find coffee, I recommend NOT watching ten of the contest entries in a row after dark.

You Tube description : Very disturbing, not for children. Humorously creepy clay-mation horror that tells the story of a little boy who is a bit uncomfortable about using the toilet.

Don’t take that disturbing part too lightly! Oh, and “Do not watch if you’re high,” several YouTube comments advised. I didn’t feel the slightest urge to test this theory out, but I’m pretty sure it’s great advice. This is the goriest claymation short I have ever seen. Even though there were DOZENS of entries, at least half of them out-standing,  the below short is the one than won the contest call to be included in the movie. I assume the claymation gave them an angle–as well as it should, since it probably took a long, looong time and hard work to create, then execute the concept. I’ll share some of the finest coming up.

OK, you have NOW BEEN WARNED! Plus if this is too gruesome for you, DEFINITELY don’t watch the seriously Red Band gore-fest trailer that I’ll post last.

Nasty little twist at the end, too, that really nails it shut!

Here’s the goriest trailer I’ve seen in years. I think the last real jaw-dropper was a trailer for “Summer Massacre,” but I’m not 100% sure that’s an actual feature film that has now been completed. Again, don’t say I didn’t warn you! BEWARE …unless you’re a gore fan, or curious. VERY NSFW!

Well, I warned you! More shorts from the contest entries coming soon!