Guillermo Del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities
In the new book Cabinet of Curiosities (out now via Harper), visionary director and filmmaker of Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy and Pacific Rim, Guillermo Del Toro presents — according to the volume’s subtitle — “My Notebooks, Collections, and Other Obsessions.” In other words, the books offers the rare opportunity for an all-access peek into the working methods of the acclaimed movie maker. The lavishly illustrated coffee-table book pulls from Del Toro’s notebooks, drawings, journals, behind-the-scenes photos, and more.
A Leap of Death
Buffalo Courier Press photographer I. Russell Sorgi did a little impromptu ambulance chasing on his way back from another job. He wound up snapping photos of a woman standing on a ledge at the Geneese Hotel as she waved goodbye and started her fall to her death. He quickly reloaded his camera and caught the last second of her life, 15 feet above the cold sidewalk below. Her name was Mary Miller. There is something about seeing her frozen here in the middle of her last, irreversible action, a moment before her death, that is truly haunting.
On a creepy side note, this photograph was used in a psychological study and it was found that 96% of the people given the photo didn’t even notice her body caught mid-fall in the middle of the picture on their first examination of the shot. Did you?
Norway Store Sells Severed Meat “Hands” for Halloween
Many shops are pulling out all the stops to market their products this Halloween, but a discount store in Norway, has stirred up controversy by selling fake severed hands in their meat freezers.
The Europris discount shop thought putting realistic plastic human body parts in their freezers would help their customers get into the Halloween spirit. However, they were rather surprised to discover that parents who came in with their kids were furious after, among witches and monster costumes, they found severed human body parts wrapped in plastic and packed just like ordinary meat products.
The bloody limbs, which came from a made-up butcher called the “Chop Shop”, not only looked incredibly realistic but also came with nutritional information stickers, which only added to the gruesomeness of the stunt. This story gained more ground as it was featured on television. So the store pulled out its entire range of gruesome products as a result of the backlash.
Halloween Gifs from The NIghtmare Before Christmas
This is Halloween! THIS IS HALLOWEEN! Halloween, halloween, halloween, halloweeeeennnnnn!
It’s also the 20th anniversary of the film The Nightmare Before Christmas.
The Horrifying Bat Flower
This flower is an incredibly unusual looking species, with its black bat-shaped flower. The flowers themselves can grown up to twelve inches across and the ‘whiskers’ that you can see are known to grow up to thirty inches. So why does it look like the Predator? Of the Flying Spaghetti Monster? Because Mother Nature is just as likely to scare us as to entrance.
Altogether the bat flower is one of the spookier plants you will come across – something Morticia Adams might like to have in her conservatory. There is certainly something of the triffid about them too, but the fact is that the wild variety of this plant species can be found in the Yunnan Province of China. It is also found in Thailand and Burma.
Why Do We Fear Clowns?
Anyone who has read Stephen King’s It would probably never choose to decorate a children’s ward with clowns. And it probably comes as no surprise to horror fans that a University of Sheffield study of 250 children for a report on hospital design suggests the children find clown motifs “frightening and unknowable”. We don’t know what’s behind the mask.
One might suspect that popular culture is to blame. In It, made into a television movie in 1990, Stephen King created a child-murdering monster that appeared as a demonic clown. King’s It has sparked a slew of horror films over the past 20 years, known as “the killer clown” or “evil clown genre”.
The recurring theme in popular culture of the scary clown goes back at least as far as silent move star Lon Chaney Sr, who identified the spooky potential when he reportedly said, “There is nothing laughable about a clown in the moonlight.”
The place of the scary clown in mainstream popular culture can be seen in The Simpsons with Bart’s intonation of “can’t sleep, clown will eat me”. The phrase became an Internet meme and inspired the Alice Cooper song Can’t Sleep, Clowns Will Eat Me. Even SpongeBob is afraid of clowns. In the Tunnel of Glove episode, SpongeBob and Pearl are in the dark after the ride has broken down. SpongeBob stammers, “It’s okay Pearl, it’s only the dark. There’s nothin’ scary about… the dark! It’s whats in the dark you gotta watch out for. Monsters, creeps, ghouls, CLOWNS, witches, werewolves, CLOWNS, crawly things, CRAWLY CLOWNS, those are the worst CRAWLY CLOWNS.”
And the real-life serial killer John Wayne Gacy, who often dressed as a clown for neighborhood parties but was secretly killing young men and hiding their bodies in his basement, provides an unpleasant and sinister undertone to the clown theme.
If you search for fear of clowns on the Internet, the results will include plenty of sites referring to “coulrophobia” — an avid fear of clowns. You are not alone with your fear; just stay away from the crawly clowns.
10 Best Horror Films to Watch on Halloween
More and more October has become defined by Halloween. It permeates through the month and has become everyone’s favorite non-holiday, holiday. So to help get you in the mood, here’s a list of ten horror movies to put you in the festive, and frightened, spirit.
- The Shining (1980) - Stanley Kubrick was one of the most acclaimed filmmakers who ever lived, so there’s no wonder that he made one of the best horror film of all time. The sense of isolation conveyed by the wintry setting and Jack Nicholson’s performance as a crazed, homicidal family man are perfect. Watch it with the recent documentary Room 237 to hear about all the insane fan conspiracy theories and interpretations.
- Dawn of the Dead (2004) - Now, everybody should respect George Romero. He basically singlehandedly created a new kind of movie genre: the zombie movie. But, the original Dawn of the Dead is really boring and cheesy. The remake, the debut of Zack Snyder, is better made, more fast-paced and more terrifying. The first fifteen minutes alone are ridiculously intense, and – after our protagonists seek refuge from the zombie horde in a shopping mall – so is the rest.
- Halloween (1978) - You have to watch Halloween on Halloween. This little indie film about a masked psycho stalking babysitters in suburbia was a huge hit, and ushered in the slasher-movie boom of the 1980s. That said, Halloween is more spooky than gory. Michael Myers, capital-E Evil incarnate, has a phantom-like presence in every frame of this feature, and your quaint childhood neighborhood has never looked scarier.
- Friday the 13th (1980) - We’re still stuck in the woods, readers. Despite an absurd string of sequels, the original Friday the 13th is actually pretty good. Well, it’s not like good good – but still, watch it because it’s fascinating to see the humble beginnings of a (former) powerhouse franchise. Friday the 13th might not be much of a box-office powerhouse anymore, but the series left a huge, bloody mark on pop culture and film history. Also, Mrs. Voorhees is one bad mother.
- Phantasm (1979) - This is a goofy little movie about a kid and his brother who think the town’s mortician is reviving the dead to serve as his slaves on another planet. Ya know, one of those stories. The movie’s villain, the Tall Man, is iconic in the horror genre, and so is his weapon of choice: a metallic sphere that impales victims and sucks out their blood (see above). As the tagline says, if this film doesn’t scare you, you’re already dead, so watch out.
- The Descent (2005) - The claustrophobic and creepy story of six women who explore an unmapped cave – which itself is unsettling – who then get attacked by humanoid monsters. As you can tell from the poster, the filmmakers made sure to include plenty of red-dyed corn syrup.
- Suspiria (1977) - This is a bloody and beautiful work of art. Is that a weird thing to say about a cheesy-at-times horror movie about a coven of witches that secretly controls a dance academy? Probably. Dario Argento, a famed Italian horror director, approached Suspiria with the craftsmanship of a master Renaissance painter, and it shows. The plot doesn’t make much sense and the English dubbing is atrocious–none of that matters. Just watch it.
- Black Christmas (1974) - This proto-slasher about a foul-mouthed prank caller who terrorizes a sorority house on Christmas is the perfect transition from one holiday season to another. Have a very scary Christmas!
- The Cabin in the Woods (2012) - This is one of the best horror movies ever made about a cabin in the woods. Maybe not better than Evil Dead, but certainly better than Cabin Fever or On Golden Pond. As the poster illustrates, The Cabin in the Woods is about way more than just that. It’s a puzzle that twists its way to a delirious and blood-drenched conclusion. Oh, and it’s super funny, too.
- Scream (1996) - Like The Cabin in the Woods, Scream gets meta with its horror. With its introduction of the movie-loving Ghostface killer (not to be confused with Ghostface Killah), Scream revitalized the slasher genre in the mid-’90s. It also turns into a surprisingly good mystery.