Check Out Horror Photographer Josh Hoffine’s Take On H.P. Lovecraft!

 If I had ever seen what Pickman saw—but no! Here, let’s have a drink before we get any deeper. Gad, I wouldn’t be alive if I’d ever seen what that man—if he was a man—saw!  Pickman’s Model, ©H.P. Lovecraft, 1926

 

Another great piece on a great series by Joshua Hoffine. This time he doesn’t take on Jack the Ripper – he takes on Lovecraft‘s Pickman’s Model, and knocks it out of the fucking North End park. Don’t miss this! By the way, if you haven’t read Pickman’s Model, the H.P. Lovecraft story can be found online to read here – it creeps me out to this day, and I highly recommend it. I also love the Hammer Horror look Mr. Hoffine achieved with this flawless, atmospheric series. If you want to see more on his Jack the Ripper series, I reblogged it here.  I also can’t recommend looking at Joshua Hoffine’s online portfolio enough – but not if you plan on getting a good night’s sleep! If you’d like to see an example to decide whether or not you should perhaps peruse his online portfolio in the daytime, or when you’re not the only one awake in the house, here’s a link to one of his scariest, titled Refrigerator, from the After Dark, My Sweet Series. I personally find this series deeply frightening, in fact the most frightening of any of his work (and that’s really saying something) probably because it preys on childhood fears, the monster hiding just around the corner or in the dark under the stairs. You haven’t seen it yet, you sense your worst nightmare is within grabbing reach of you,  you’re too terrified to turn around and look directly at it …but it  has seen you.

Joshua Hoffine | Behind The Scenes

This is a recent project I photographed for Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine called PICKMAN’S MASTERPIECE.

This sequence of images is based on a 1927 short story by H.P. Lovecraft called Pickman’s Model.  I was attracted to this project because of the character of Pickman – who in Lovecraft’s mythology is a brilliant but marginalized artist notorious for his horrifying artwork.  Due to the graphic and disturbing nature of his work, he is shunned by his fellow artists.

Pickman is my patron saint.

I focused on the moment in the story when Pickman brings his last willing patron into his underground studio to show him his Masterpiece – his greatest and worst work – the one that can never be shown in public.

What he reveals is too much for the human mind to bear.

Instead of creating one heroic image, I wanted to create a sequence of images…

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Horror Boom Halloween Treat! Mountain Devil Prank Fails (Short Movie)

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 like The 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!

Nope, I do NOT mind waiting for the fresh popcorn.

Name That (Horror) Frame – Week of 10/21/12 – Special J-Horror Edition!

Ten more days till Halloween, Halloween, Halloween (Silver Shamrock)!  I actually saw Halloween 3 – Season of the Witch  in the theater with my mom. I was young enough that my memory is kind of fuzzy, but I remember the evil mask scene and the ending pretty well. That jingle got stuck in my head for life! Anyway…

Okay, first of all, none of these are from Ju-On/The Grudge   (I’ll have a new gallery for Ju-on   coming up soon, though – check out my last one if you’re in a Kayako-kinda mood). These are all J-Horror, but they’re not all from the same horror movie – just the same franchise. There’s three installments. All three of them have pretty goddamned scary scenes, but the first is still my favorite. Anyway, if you’re a fan of any of the installments, I think you’ll be able to figure it out –comment away! Those DVDs (all in great condition) are still waiting on a winner…

First up, here’s a scary-ass thing to see talking on the phone… especially if the other person blows you off!

Oh, stop kidding around! There’s nothing behind me…

You’ll REALLY recognize the franchise fast if you recognize this one. Also, if you saw it and don’t remember it …you must have missed this scene!

and finally…

You know, the picture quality is not one is kind of rinky-dink, so here’s a bonus photo (same franchise):

So! Put your guesses in the comments section – and by the way, a shitty US remake was made of the first installment of the series. They managed to somehow take a great set-up and just destroy it. Oh well, if they can fuck up a remake of Shutter,  I guess it’s no big shocker.

Happy Monday!

Why I’ll Be Waiting Until Daylight Before “Scariest Japanese Urban Legend of The Month” Goes Up Here

This was actually going to be a post for “Scariest Japanese Urban Legend of the Month”, but I scared the shit out of myself just researching it at 3AM. I figured oh, it’s not going to be that scary, because I bet I’ve already heard of it. Whoop-de-doo.  Twenty minutes into researching the legend of “Hikiko” I heard something heavy and loud fall on the (hardwood) floor in the kitchen and almost had a goddamned heart attack. Figured one of the cats wanted attention, because it turned out to be a giant plastic binder clip that one of them pushed off when I went out to look.  I calmed down and then researched more–bad idea when there’s a windy rainstorm outside. All I needed was thunder and lightning.

I was already realizing 1. I should probably stop and write something else for tonight, as the research just kept getting creepier and 2. I was going to have to write about it when it was light out if I wanted to fall asleep while it was still dark, when I heard something else fall off the kitchen counter (not as loudly). I went out hesitantly and saw an empty Dansani water bottle had fallen and was rolling slowly on the floor. Then I realized both cats were asleep in the other room.

At this point, I would just like to thank whoever is in charge up there for the gift of a very patient husband, who woke up when I asked him to and demonstrated how it was a draft, not something freaky and supernatural that blew it off the counter. Thank you.

Laugh all you want! Just imagine watching THIS (below) with the sound on, after dark, and hearing sudden strange noises down the dark hall from your room:

Plus, this is just a snippet of a longer video about the legend I’m going to post, too, and I had to turn the sound down ten minutes in. After that I decided to bookmark it and try to pretend I hadn’t seen it until the sun came out. The first bookmark tag I used was “scary as fuck.”

OK, back to what I was doing…

Check out Horror Artist Joshua Hoffine’s Making JACK THE RIPPER!

Hell, just check out Joshua Hoffine, for starters. His still photography is some of the most creative– and downright nightmarish– imagery I’ve ever seen outside of a horror movie. I’ve been following Joshua Hoffine since an article in Fangoria a few years back did a feature on his art that just fucking blew me away. I’ve been keeping tabs on his work through his website on a regular basis ever since. His new projects never cease to amaze and frighten me; JACK THE RIPPER is no exception. I’ll be sure to share more content from his blog and site with you.  While I admire his entire portfolio, I especially enjoy his pieces that draw inspiration from childhood nightmares (the monsters waiting under your bed, in the dark space of a closet or under the basement stairs), or urban legends (the maniac escaped from a mental institution who just so happens to be hiding in your house …and has almost made his way to grabbing range of you).

Don’t miss it …but at the same time, remember much of what you see will be burned into the inside of your eyelids for years!

-Mrs. Horror Boom

Joshua Hoffine | Behind The Scenes

This is my new photo project titled JACK THE RIPPER.

It is a 2-panel diptych.

Put together, JACK THE RIPPER 1 & 2 depict the moments “just before” and “just after” a grisly alleyway murder.

What makes Jack the Ripper so compelling is that nothing is factually known about him.  Because he was never caught, we have no information about who he was or why he committed his gruesome crimes.  We do not possess a historical or biographical portrait, but instead share a communally imagined idea of Jack the Ripper as an aristocratic predator.  As a boogeyman, he graphically symbolizes the idea of the wealthy preying on the poor.

For the brick alleyway, I decided to build a set.  The walls were made from large sheets of styrofoam that I carved and sculpted to look like brick using a hot-knife and heat gun.

My cousins Steve Hoffine and Jerry Hoffine…

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Ten Reasons We’re So Psyched for American Horror Story: Asylum to Premiere October 17th!

Well, it’s about a week or so until the big night arrives the season premiere of American Horror Story: Asylum on Wednesday, October 17th. Now that’s gonna be a looooooong week for us AHS fans! Here’s ten reasons why.

REALLY looking forward to the things in the woods that Sister Jude went to feed in that very early promo. and there is no way that’s not raw meat in the buckets. Plus, is that part of a human arm I see on the ground?  I heard a rumor the creatures are the result of hideous medical experiments gone horrible wrong…

1. This season takes place in 1964. How about a S4 Mad Men crossover? Just have Don Draper or Joan Harris, circa 1964, stroll into frame for a few seconds? Of course that’s not going to happen, but the period mid-60s detail style will be incredible.

2. The return of half the actors from American Horror Story S1, including Jessica Lange as Sister Jude, Sarah Paulson as Lana (a lesbian reporter), Evan Peters as Kit,  Zachary Quinto  as Dr. Thredson, Lily Rabe as Sister Eunice, and Frances Conroy (though they haven’t specified as yet what part she’ll play, I was psyched to see her name).

3. Sister Jude’s dark, perverted back-story —or “troubled past” as I’ve heard it referred to in the press materials.  Speaking of that, you know else had a “troubled past” on American Horror Story last year? Dr. and Mrs. Charles and Nora Montgomery, for one! During the early episodes, it was referred to as a “troubled past”, but boy, what an understament. Their back-story that shocked the hell out of me (and created “the Infantata”,  and made me giddy it was so over-the-top and cool old-school horror. Oh and hey, know who else had a troubled past? Tate Langdon! Surprise surprise, that didn’t go so fucking well for anyone unlucky enough to be involved or get in his way.

4.  A really horrifying serial killer housed in the Asylum known as “Bloody Face”, who Ryan Murphy tweeted about saying he’s ‘this year’s Rubber Man’. I’ve seen photos of Bloody Face in the makeup chair and I’m about twenty times more scared of him than Rubber Man.

Suddenly, Rubber Man doesn’t look so scary…

5. Hopefully finding out what the ‘Easter Egg’ Ryan Murphy described in the S1 episode “Birth” is, and what it has to do with this season. He will not tell ANYONE. Or he could have just been fucking with us. Murphy has also (allegedly)  indicated that, some lingering questions from season 1 may get answered in season 2. Like oh, I don’t know… the ANTICHRIST?   “Now what am I going to do with you? “ Constance asks the unholy toddler lovingly after she came home and discovered he had cut open his nanny’s throat and apparently has had himself a little snack. Maybe that’s why he looked so happy…

6.  Lots of practical effects! Again, I’ve seen photos… the below photo was in also in  Entertainment Weekly when they did a cover story on AHS:Asylum at the end of August …

 

7. The things in the woods that Sister Jude went to feed in that very early promo. I linked to the Entertainment Weekly directly just now because it has a photo with a little more detail, and there is no way that’s not raw meat in the buckets. Plus, is that part of a human arm I see on the ground?  I heard a rumor the creatures are the result of hideous medical experiments gone horrible wrong (at least I HOPE it wasn’t intentional) by…

8. James Cromwell’s character, Dr. Arden. I am now quoting directly from EW.com:  the not-so-good doctor is behind one of the season’s newest frights: the Raspers. The mutated humans lurk in the forest outside of the institution and are a product of Arden’s diabolical experiments on Briarcliff’s inmates  (end quote)  Raspers.  Just that name for them is ghastly!  Raspers (and how they got that way ) show some serious  promise!

9. Some of the talent they’re bringing in as guest stars. Let’s see, among others we got Clea Duvall as the lesbian partner of the reporter played by returning cast member Franke Potente  (Run Lola Run, The Shield, two Bourne movies) Eric Stonestreet (he played a patient terrified of an urban legend about “The Pig Man,” in the season 1 episode “Piggy Piggy” and only lived through the last act of that episode), Chloë Sevigny as Shelley (an inmate committed for her nymphomania–though the 1964 definition/diagnosis was quite different back then), who I miss watching riding the crazy train on Big Love ), and Uncle Ring-a-Ding AKA Hector “Tio” Salamancas himself from Breaking Bad, Scarface, and Oz. Sorry, though, as a diehard Breaking Bad fan, he’ll always be Uncle Ring-a-Ding to me! And I sure wish they’d brought back Denis O’Hare, but when there’s not a schedule conflict, I bet he’ll show up in another role at some point. This just in: Ian McShane, who, as a hardcore Deadwood Fan, I’ll probably always remember as Al Swearagen, is signed for a guest spot. Welcome to the fuckin’ Deadwood Asylum!

10. (SEMI-SPOILER ALERT- highlight to read, though this bit of info was from the EW cover story on AHS, so maybe many people know. I’m just going to err on the side of caution, though). A giant spider-like alien (as also described in that Entertainment Weekly cover story). How cool would it be if they used a mix of  practical and CG effects on that? Or just practical? SOTA could probably come up with it. Maybe we’ll be extra lucky and  (as shown in Mega-Spider, which SOTA effects did some pretty cool spec work for) it’ll have a defense mechanism where it could spray someone with an acidic substance that burns into and melts away human flesh! I was concerned that nun all in white except for her black eyes* (they used her image on the first teaser promo poster, and it’s hard to miss her in those creepy teasers) was the alien. Actually even if she is the alien, or related to that story thread, I still have total faith in Ryan Murphy to make it work. He said in the EW article that spiders scare the hell out of him, which is why he chose the creature design.

* “Black eyes, lifeless eyes, like a doll’s eyes”… (Quint from Jaws  )

 

Name That Horror Frame Contest – Week of 10/7/12 – Special Thai Horror Edition

OK, trying a little something new here to see what happens. These aren’t just from a Thai horror movie. They aren’t just from a Thai supernatural  horror movie. They are all actually from the same  Thai supernatural horror movie!

I don’t even know if I should give you more hints than that.  This one is hard to find to rent; I had to watch it online (though if I can find a region 1/PAL version, I’ll probably just buy it). If you’ve seen it, though, you’ll know the answer, and I’m all for giving out a horror DVD to anyone who has also seen this excellent, frightening, fun Thai horror movie.

OK, you know you shouldn’t have hitched a ride in this truck to Bangkok (actually, that sounds like a terrible idea in the first place–I’d take my chances sitting on the roof of the vehicle) when the contents turn out to be anything like the below–

Second up, any sort of explanation for the below frame would take up way too much space. That’s blood, by the way. I’ve been sitting here trying to think of a horror movie from Thailand that had used CGI use so well and discreetly that it wasn’t slightly distracting, and I’m coming up with zero. And I’ve not only seen an extensive amount of Thai horror movies, I’ve seen every one I heard was good (or at least had one really good scare in it) and could get my hands on.

and finally, I’m sure this next one will look familiar if you’ve seen more than two horror movies from Thailand with ghosts in them. But if you recognize the above panels and FACE! YOUR! FEARS! (hint hint), you’ll know how it fits in:

That’s it for this week. If you don’t know what movies these are from and just REALLY want to see them, contact me and I’ll tell you. By the way, the  theatrical trailer for the movie all these frames are from hasn’t been posted yet, but I have it in my “Ten MORE Trailers to Keep You Awake” list, so you’ll know the movie in a month or so, regardless.

Any guesses?

Thai Language Camp Petchabon province

This photo is NOT from a Thai horror movie, I just thought I should show something beautiful from Thailand as well as all the horrifying Thai ghosts! This is a photo from Thai Language Camp, Petchabon province (Photo credit: Daffydus)

Scariest Japanese Urban Legend of the Month – Teke Teke (AKA Tek-Tek) テケテケ

A lone boy was walking home from school later than usual; dusk had just begin to hit. The streets were nearly deserted, so he was surprised to hear a sound behind him. He looked around for the source of the sound, and soon saw a lighted window. A pretty young girl his age was sitting at the window, hugging her elbows, which were propped on the open window sill…

Creepy-ass poster art from the J-Horror adaptation of the Teke Teke legend (2009)

I honestly don’t know which creeps me out more– Teke Teke or the Slit-Mouthed Woman. They both frightened the bejeezus out of me when I first discovered them… on You Tube. A few years ago. When the only internet connection in the house was also in the most dimly lit, coldest room in the house. The desk in the room can only be placed one way,  so my back was always to the door. I may have also mentioned that about this time, the two kittens we’d adopted (who I swear could violate the laws of physics) weren’t allowed in that room because there were too many irreplaceable possessions in there for them to destroy, (no matter where in the room we hid the breakable stuff), so we kept the door closed at all times. This room ALSO had the one door in the house with some kind of frame dysfunction, whereas the kittens discovered if they both hurled themselves against it enthusiastically enough*, the door would crash open so they could enter (more like ‘explode into’) the office!  You can read about my first experience with that here (funny now, NOT funny then).  My point is, imagine watching one of the scariest videos  on You Tube for the first time, sound up, after dark, then adding the door to the room crashing open so hard it bounces off the wall (with no warning whatsoever). Someone might as well have snuck in the room behind me and tossed a lit firecracker under my chair.

Which brings me to Teke Teke (テケテケ). I hadn’t heard of either of the blood-curdling, horrifying Japanese urban legends at the time, and I discovered Slit-Mouth Woman and Teke Teke within the same half hour!** Oh, what a nice ninety minutes or so of sleep in had that night …when I wasn’t having nightmares about being chased around by Slit-Mouth woman or Teke Teke.

If you think the name of the legend, ‘Teke Teke’ sounds too goofy or even too cute to be scary,  join the club …though the club membership only lasts until you get the equivalent of Teke Teke 101 by watching this:

Aaaand I stopped seeing the humor in the name too!

Here’s a retelling –this one’s actually written by yours truly– of what I thought was one of the most frightening variations of Teke Teke…

A lone boy was walking home from school later than usual; dusk had just begin to hit. The streets were nearly deserted, so he was surprised to hear a sound behind him. He looked around for the source of the sound, and soon saw a lighted window. A young girl was sitting at the window, hugging her elbows, which were propped on the open window sill.
It was unusual place for a girl his age to show up, as it was an industrial section of town. Still, he couldn’t take his eyes away from her slender silhouette, her long hair blowing in the wind as she rocked gently on her elbows. Nervous but also curious, he slowly walked closer to the window and the girl so he see her face, ask her name.
As he got closer, he thought he saw her give him a slow, inviting smile as she rocked.  It was then that she suddenly leapt out of the window and onto the ground, landing on her hands. He froze as he realized with horror that the lower half of her body, below her ribcage, was missing. The girl’s head lolled on her neck and grinned at him as she balanced on her palms.  She lowered herself down further, onto her elbows. Then she began to rapidly drag herself towards him on her hands.  Since the flesh on her elbows was partially worn away, the bones made a distinct sound on the pavement as she skittered towards him: tek tek… tek tek… tek tek…
Horrified, he moved to run but stumbled backwards and fell; the impact when he hit the ground hard temporarily knocked the wind out of him.  He tried to shuffle back on his hands and push his legs back and away, opened his mouth and inhaled a huge gulp of air. The half-girl paused for a moment.
Before he could scream, however, she sprang onto him and tore him in half at the waist.
After the police arrived at the scene the next morning, they found the boy’s remains, but no trace of the girl. And though they searched for weeks, they never did find the lower half of his body…

something tells me I’m in for some real bad dreams tonight…

There’s a third re-telling that was made into a J-horror movie (Teke Teke, then the sequel, Teke Teke 2 Electric Bugaloo). Here’s the official plot synopsis:

Yuko Oshima stars as Kana, a schoolgirl whose normal life is turned upside-down when her best friend is found brutally murdered, having been cut completely in half at the waist. Soon, Kana hears about the urban legend of “Teke Teke,” the ghost of a legless woman who was found dismembered years ago and now haunts the railway station. If you see her, in three days you will be killed. In a race against time, Kana must search for the truth in order to escape the horrific fate that awaits her.

I’ve looked all over the goddamned internet to try to obtain or watch either movie in the series, but so far, no go. I did find a creepy trailer, though…

Plus a trailer for the sequel, which seems to be bloodier. Like, a lot.

If I do track these down, trust me, you’ll be the first to know. If you find the first one, every single review sternly advises that you stay after the end credits, which tie the two movies together.  I’ll also report back if I can locate the manga Hanako and the Terror of Allegory, which apparently cuts to the chase and features victims just being pushed in front of the tracks right off the bat.  The other version I found of the legend takes place in a bathroom stall (if you know much about Asian urban legends, you’ll know bathroom stalls–especially in any kind of school– are not the safest place to be when you’re alone.

In that version, Teke Teke (who again, lost her legs on the train tracks) haunts bathroom stalls and will ask the occupant where her legs are. Answering incorrectly will result in having your legs promptly ripped off. To save yourself you must answer and tell her that her legs are at the Meishin Railway. I don’t know what happens after that, but now you know what to do in the situation.***

*and LOUDLY enough, of course…

**I also discovered “Red Cloak”, and “No Face,” among other horrifying Asian Urban Legends , but let’s spread the sleep-with-the-lights-on posts out a little, huh? Good, I’d rather dial down the nightmares a little bit too.

***Also, if you run into the slit-mouthed woman, I’ve heard you should toss something shiny on the ground–or some candy– and run. Riiiight. Yeah, you know what, I’m not going to Japan any time soon.

If you see this, well, bad news …you’re fucked.

Chills to Beat Summer Heat, Part Three: Bongcheon-Dong

OK, I checked this out last week after a recommendation. It was way too hot for me inside, and actually just as baking-hot outdoors.  I didn’t notice the heat for at least ten minutes after I read this web-comic ghost story, written and illustrated by Horang.

The comic made the rounds in Korean first, and I’m pretty sure it was still scary as hell that way, it’s much more effective being able to know the actual story–much, MUCH creepier. If I say too much –well, just go in clean. That is, if you’re feeling brave. You’ll find the link (very clearly labelled by me, so no-one accidentally clicks on it) below…

A screen shot from the South Korean web comic Bong-Cheon-Dong. A shadow stretching towards her, out of the blue, on what was a deserted walkway. Creepy enough for you? It gets better!

Watch it with either headphones on and the sound turned medium-to-loud, or (like I did) with the volume setting on my laptop medium-to-loud. And no, this isn’t one of those cheap “scary maze game”  or “if you look closely enough at this photo for at least 30 second, you may be one of the people who sees the suggestion of a ghost” jumps. Yeah, those work the first time; anyone can make someone jump with a loud blast of noise and a representation of Samara Morgan suddenly appearing while you’re focusing on something else*. Real artists earn their scares, and this is one of them. After you click the link below, scroll down as you read the web-comic, get into the unsettling (at best) story, and let it wash over you… and see what happens.

Click here to read the Creepy-Ass Boncheon-Dong South Korean Ghost Story.

 

If you’re prone to panic attacks or anxiety, I’ve officially (if sort of retroactively) warned you about watching/reading after dark! Seriously, I don’t want anyone to start hyperventilating and pass out like Tony Soprano used to. OK, it’d probably take a lot of other scary things going on in your life to cause you to collapse to the floor in a dead faint, but still. I don’t even want to think how it would have affected my mood and insomnia if I hadn’t been mentally healthy and feeling fairly cool, calm, and collected when I read it! Keep the sound on, turn the lights down, and check out Boncheon-Dong. After people have had a chance to read it, I’ll go into the background. I actually want to find more from this comic series, because (unsurprisingly) the artists/writers know how to scare the living shit out of everyone …with finesse, might I add.

Let me know when you’ve read it…  and pleasant dreams! Did I mention this is an urban legend, but supposedly based on a true story? I’m a little hesitant to look into the background, even though I know it’s probably just an urban legend, because I may find more information than I need.

Update, 8/19/12: Showed this to my husband last night (yep, after dark), with the volume cranked, and as he was casually scrolling through, realized I was doing my Pilates/yoga breathing, a technique I learned not just to do doing a workout, but to calm down if I can feel myself starting to get jumpy or see red. Guess my body was ahead of my brain. This is a man who saw Insidious with me in the theater and barely changed his facial expression while at least half of the audience screamed in panic at over half a dozen BIG jump scares. If he did flinch, it was due to the fact he was sitting inches away from the loudest scream queen in the theater (me). Bongcheon-Dong made us both jump twice (and I knew what was coming) and prompted him to comment on the freakiness after the first jump and swear loudly the second. In fact, I had to nudge him a little to get him to finish reading the entire story.  So yeah, that’s his endorsement …and shortly after we finished and he fell asleep, I left more comfortable after I turned the fan down from the “High” to “Low” setting.

*By the way, have you seen (among the ton of ‘Funny Reaction to Scary Maze, Lol!’ videos on You Tube), the ones where they trick a kid clearly so young they were probably in Kindergarten at the time into watching it? And it’s usually one of the parents that gets the clever idea not only to scare their small child but RECORD it for laughs? I have a rule of thumb not to judge others on their parenting skills since it’s none of my business, but what the fuck is wrong with them? You deliberately frightened your kid to the point of tears? You think that’s a good idea? Really? If I put links up to any reaction videos to Bongcheon-Dong, it’s going to be of grown men (and there’s no shortage of those) who filmed themselves reading it. Now THAT is some funny shit.

Red Balloon – 12 Minutes of Must-See Horror!

OK, it’s actually 13 minutes long, but a minute of that is end credits (not that the cast and crow don’t count), plus I’m one of those irritating people who avoids the number 13 if at all possible.

Remember the short French film The Red Balloon? Released in 1957, cute little boy follows a red balloon to see where it leads him, written and directed by. Albert Lamorisse. I recall seeing it on a local PBS station from time to time in grade school.  A couple of times it was played for us in junior high (always in a Liberal Art-oriented class). Maybe you remember seeing it on YouTube, if you were born in the 80s or 90s;  it was about a blonde kid found a red balloon that brightened up his life. The 1957 movie suitable for all ages was beautifully shot with an upbeat finale. Official IMDB synopsis: a red balloon with a life of its own* follows a little boy around the streets of Paris.

Shockingly, the piece is NOT about that wholesome, upbeat movie above. Well, I guess they both created a great work of film-making with what they had excellent production values with the money they had, a small cast, beautifully shot, not an abundance of dialogue, but I think similarities end there*. I think  there’s only one red balloon in a brief shot, but I was too busy scraping myself from the ceiling to say with 100% certainty.Nelieve me, you’ll the moment when you see it. The tagline (if that applies to a short film, but hey, it’s on the poster art and I think it’s cool) gives you just the right amount of information, no more. LET ME TELL YOU A STORY YOU ARE GOING TO LOVE. IT’S ABOUT A COUPLE WHO HIRE A BABYSITTER FOR THE EVENING…

This  thirteen-minute horror film is an absolute blast. No gore, but scary enough so that every other comment on You Tube (where I first discovered it) makes some kind of comment referencing their wish for a box of Depends adult diapers. This movie is scary as hell, carefully crafted and shot,.and deserves recognition. I was lucky enough to discover this hidden gem of a short on you Tube a week or so ago. It’s tightly edited, the acting is above-average,  flawlessly directed, and you can bet your sweet ass it delivers on the scares well before the time it roars to a finish. Writers/directors Damien Mace and Alexis Wajsbrot make their debut, and I can’t wait to see what they’re cooking up now. Like many of the best horror stories,  it takes a simple concept and focuses on making that concept simply terrifying. I recommend that you watch the movie first (with the sound up and the lights down, especially if you’re feeling cocky in a yeah, right, whatever, I guess I’ll watch this candy-ass short movie way). So find thirteen minutes and give The Red Balloon a well-deserved watch. I highly recommend it …but not if you happen to be baby-sitting in an unfamiliar house at the time, or are sensing you may be on the verge of a panic attack. Here it is! Come on, you can find 13 12 minutes free to check it out…

OK,  now that you’ve seen it (do yourself a favor and don’t read further until you do – go in clean, you’ll thank me later) I dug up a little more info on the film-makers, and have some for you.

The official site says it was shot with Red Cam (I have no idea what this is, other than the fact it’s something you can use to shoot footage). It was also an official selection of over 20 international film festivals-not rinky-dink ones either.The movie was nominated to numerous festivals (including Festival international de Clermont-Ferrand, Palm Springs International ShortFest , Festival International Du Film Fantastique de Gerardmer , Festival De Cannes Short Film Corner, and more.  The short’s won the Directorial Discovery Award at Rhodes Island film Festival and 12 selections in others. Here’s a little more about awards/selections on this page of the official site. Check it out!

It draws a little on an urban legend (one that not everyone has heard),  yet puts an original spin on it that I didn’t see coming.  I didn’t quite catch a minor plot element the first time, but it wasn’t due to any flaw with the movie, more to the fact I had the sound turned down as low as possible and since it was after dark, lights off, decided not to watch it on full-screen. Oh, and that I was a little freaked out. The second watch filled in any blanks for me, and the third watch I decided to just quit while I was ahead if I wanted to get to sleep at a decent hour, and wait until daytime to revisit the film (which I did). If you’re interested in any of the FX, here’s something from You Tube where the writers/directors discussing the. Their accents are strong enough that I wish there were closed-caption, but it’s still fun (and you can see the duo is having fun, too, better yet).

*Goddamn, I’d sure hate to see the results if someone in an Elementary school AV department got their wires crossed and showed THIS Red Balloon by mistake to an elementary-school classroom of hyperactive kids  as one of those post-reccess/lunch “quiet time” activities. You may remember those –and I recall this from kindergarten myself–where the point is to get the kids to simmer down, relax, and calm the hell down after 30+ minutes of charging around the playground. If say, the teacher went out for a smoke and put this on the projection screen, I’m fairly sure someone present would end up in therapy, and someone would definitely have to make an apology to parents. This movie doesn’t have a calming effect on MY mood, and doubt it will with other adults, let alone jumpy kids, unless they are very, very mellow.

** Describing anything without a brain as ‘taking on a life of its own’ sounds sort of ominous, even if the object in question is a balloon.