The theme this month is a werewolf summer.
My poem is inspired by Joe Slucher’s artwork entitled Werewolf Camp.
After missing my own self-imposed deadlines in January and February, where I was to present a movie review for the month, I am determined not to miss March! Thus, I decided to triple down and do three movie reviews in celebration of our legendary creatures theme.
The truth is, earlier this March, I watched Dawn of the Beast, but it was only when I started writing the review did I realize the movie was actually the third cryptid monster film, following Monstrous and The Retreat, all directed by Bruce Wemple. Naturally, I had to watch the other two films.
Armed with a great love for campy horror films and his trusty cast of relative unknowns, New York director Bruce Wemple creates fresh horror that makes the socially conscious Gen Z crowd proud. All boxes checked. Wemple knows all the horror tropes, and these films felt like proper indie horror movies. There was decent acting, strong female characters, and lots of action. The camerawork makes good use of those shadows, close-up shots, and practical effects to perpetuate the scares and despite the low budget, the production quality was pretty good. I was even forgiving of the few man-in-a-monster-suit shots, which were super cheesy, but hey look, considering the third film was entirely developed during the pandemic, all of us should be impressed by that. I’ll be honest, I never gave much thought to Adirondack mountains before watching these films, and whatever location Wemple chose to shoot on location is some damn beautiful country. If I wasn’t so scared of the real Wendigo, I’d run out and buy a Winnebago.
There’s a lot of good psychological horror here too, especially in the second film, The Retreat. The biggest flaw of this cryptid trilogy was the films suffered from having too much story. I guess having too much story is better than having no story, right? It’s just these long drawn out or overly heavy exposition scenes take away our monster time, and when you make a feature film starring these two legendary creatures, you have got to have more monster!!
I should also mention upfront, each of these movies is stand-alone. You’ll understand each of them on their own just fine, but movie marathons are so much more fun.Continue reading “Cryptid Monster Marathon – Monstrous, The Retreat, and Dawn of the Beast Movie Reviews”
Every year, I see recipes for Halloween pasta using black squid ink pasta. It always looks so fun for this time of year. Pasta is typically a fast and easy meal to make, so, after years of thinking about it, I finally found a place that sells black squid ink pasta (Cost Plus) and decided to make my own version of Halloween Spaghetti Monster. The results were delicious, even if my pictures were complete fails. (Please don’t tell me it looks like a dog.)
Black Squid Ink Pasta is made from durum semolina wheat, water, and 1% squid ink. I was always nervous that it would taste fishy, but that’s not the case. Instead, it tastes just like bland wheat pasta. The creepiest thing about black squid ink pasta is the boiling water turns a deep charcoal color and look like slimy worms once drained.
1 pkg Plain Spaghetti
1 pkg Black Squid Ink Pasta
1 jar Traditional Marinara or Pasta Sauce
Black Olives (1/2 cut for monster nose and mouth)
Green Olives (for monster eyes)
Dash of Parmesan Cheese
All reheats nicely with a little tab of butter. Happy Halloween!
Our theme this month is campfire creatures.
musty pine cabin
a beast roams the campgrounds
summer’s first moon
Our theme this month is campfire creatures. I came across the piece below from @JoseRealArt and was inspired to create a haiku:
ancient curses never sleep
For more artwork by JoseRealArt, please go here: https://www.deviantart.com/joserealart
Every Sunday until the week of Christmas, I’ll post a gift giving guide for Halloween and horror fans. From cool collectibles to offbeat gifts, check out these awesome gifts I came across, featuring the classic Universal monsters.
Ravensburger Universal Monsters Horrified Board Game – Target/Walmart ($30)
Universal Monsters Funko Mystery Minis – Amazon/Various Stores ($7-$25)
Holiday Horrors Monsters Ornaments – Trick or Treat Studios ($19.99)
Universal Monster Geeki Tiki Mugs – Entertainment Earth ($19.99)
Universal Monsters The Creature From the Black Lagoon and Frankenstein’s Monster Bottle Stopper Box Set – Toy Wiz ($29.99)
Dracula Puzzle, Pocket Size – Wiz Head ($12.95)
Universal Monsters Socks! Art by Sara Deck – Fright Rags ($12)
Invisible Man Vintage Mug – Tee Public ($11)
Phantom of the Opera Bookmarks – Film Cells ($9.99)
While Film Cells does have its own website and store, they’re only selling the Universal Monster bookmarks via Amazon
The Mummy – Classic Universal Monsters USPS Stamp replica pin / tie tack – Boris Karloff – Postal Brass ($8)
Universal Monsters art print, Dracula, Frankenstein, The Mummy, Wolfman, Creature from the Black Lagoon, Horror art, 11 x 17″ print – Paul Maitland ($15)
LINKS TO OFFICIAL LICENSED CLOTHING COLLECTIONS:
Summer is always a rough season. Summer combined with the Corona virus lockdown is almost unbearable, but being stuck inside doesn’t have to be torture. I found these five low budget gems, definitely better than expected, that should satisfy your horror movie cravings.
We Summon the Darkness (2019)
“There’s a lotta evil out there.”
For anyone’s who has ever worn a leather vest over a jean jacket, sported big feathered hair, or been bullied for listening to Ozzy or Slayer, all over the misguided belief that heavy metal is Satan’s music for devil worshippers, this one’s for you. Set in the 80s, this low-key thriller about three victims falling prey to a murderous cult with diabolical intentions isn’t particularly scary or gory, but it definitely harkens back to those old glossy B slashers that the studios used to churn out. The movie stars a gaggle of Hollywood’s brightest teen stars, led by Alexandra Daddario, and Johnny Knoxville, surprisingly right at home, playing a smarmy televangelist. The energy is high and acting is decent, honestly though, absolutely nothing else stands out here. Both the plot and the twists are totally predictable, it’s a little hard to tell if that’s by design or not. If I was one of the filmmakers, I’d get all meta and say, ‘oh yeah, it was supposed to be that way.’ People really enjoy homages, and stickin two giant middle fingers up to the real evil in the world, those big greedy corporate churches, for lying to the world about great music, using the lord’s name in vain, and besmirching religion. That, plus a bitchin’ soundtrack, and heavy metal couture, so 80s, you can almost smell the AquaNet, there are worse ways to spend a Saturday night.
“I gotta make sure you’re the kinda crazy I can deal with.”
There aren’t too many well-made horror romances out there in the world, but this movie is in top ten. Spring, the story of grieving young man who finds love with a mysterious woman, while on a vacation in Italy, is just as refreshing as its name sounds. It’s simply a beautiful movie, everything from the strange Lovecraftian story to the incredible cinematography, and the dark, creepy suspense to the blossoming love between two strangers. What makes the film work, besides getting lost in charming scenery of Southern Italy, is the chemistry between the leads Lou Taylor Pucci and Nadia Hilker, it’s sweet, like saccharine, yet, definitely filled with a touch of danger and mystique. Their romance moves a little fast and even seems unrealistic, but if you factor in love at first sight (hey, it can happen), and remember the vulnerability of a lonely, grieving, inexperienced young man, it becomes real easy to understand why he would be attracted to an alluring, beautiful, mystical 2000 year old creature. It’s almost sad to watch her toy with him so effortlessly, then again, the boy is as impulsive as he is lost. A violent episode in the film’s beginning shows he’s far from a perfect hero and they might just be morally matched. As for the girl and her “condition”, well, you’ll just have to go watch the movie to see if her intentions are pure or not.
Ghost Stories (2017)
“Things are not always as they seem.”
This movie about a skeptical professor and paranormal debunker is a cleverly disguised anthology from IFC Midnight, turns out to be one of the scariest movies that I’ve seen in a long time. Triple threat writer-director Andy Nyman stars as the wry skeptic investigating the disappearance of his hero mentor. Once he finds him, he is then tasked with looking into the old man’s three most disturbing cases, which brings the professor on a terrifying journey of self-discovery. Nyman, along with co-creator Jeremy Dyson based their script off their hit theater show of the same name. The writing, cinematography and performances here are all phenomenal, in particular, Martin Freeman as a haunted banker, and in a mystery role, that I won’t give away. Ghost Stories makes good work of jump scares and sports some deep Hammer vibes, paying homage to numerous horror films, so it’s not inventing the wheel or anything, just making really good use of the tools from the tool box. Sometimes, that’s all a proper horror film needs.
One Cut of the Dead (2017)
Service: Shudder (Japanese subtitles)
“One take, no cuts. With one camera from start to finish.”
Shin’ichiro Ueda’s brilliant feature debut is a bit of movie inception. The movie starts off as a seriously cheesy low-budget zombie movie about an indie film crew filming a zombie movie in an abandoned warehouse, when suddenly, they’re attacked by real zombies, much to the director’s delight. If you’re still watching by the time the credits roll about 37 minutes in, yes, you read that right, boy, are you in for a treat! As you’re sitting there wondering ‘what the hell was that?’ a new movie starts. Well, sort of, it’s a flashback, and all good things to those who wait. One Cut of the Dead isn’t really a cheesy low-budget zombie film, it’s a hilarious meta-satirical comedy about filmmaking, including the backstage antics of producing live television. There are a ton of references to zombie movies and lots of gore and screaming, of course, but, the real prize here is the storytelling. One Cut features a strong message about the collaborative filmmaking process, and the resourcefulness, courage and heart it takes to be in the entertainment business. I guarantee, by the third act, you’ll forget all about those 37 minutes wasted in the beginning and cheer on the film crew’s spirited efforts to make their zombie movie.
Blood Quantum (2019)
“Every one of those motherf****** is a time bomb.”
Blood Quantum is essentially zombies on a modern-day reservation. You get all the blood-thirsty ravaging undead and pensive natives struggling to survive day-to-day, while reconciling their anger, resentment, and fears. Writer-director Jeff Barnaby channels his inner Romero and delivers biting social commentary on real life native troubles by drawing parallels to surviving in the zombie apocalypse, thus, immediately making it a better than average zombie story. Life on the reservation hasn’t improved, but it hasn’t necessarily deteriorated either. The white man is still trying to kill us. Same shit, different millennia. A little closer to the heart, there’s nice family drama subplot involving a wayward son named Lysol, wonderfully played by Kiowa Gordon. Lysol is one complex dude. He’s angry and alluring, righteous, and terrifying, and I don’t think it’s a stretch to say he represents a lot of young native men across the North America. Sadly, in a film filled with quirky interesting characters, Lysol is one of the few fleshed out characters. Dropped plot points involving back stories is just one of tiny problems that all add up over time, keeping the film from being truly great. I read director Barnaby wore several post production hats to ensure he told the story he wanted to tell, but I can’t help but wonder what the film could have been, if only it had a bigger budget and better editing. Despite its obvious flaws, this is a solid horror movie with nice cinematography, comical one-liners, ranging from cheesy to endearing, and plenty of zombie action and bloody carnage.
Today is the last Friday in October, which means it’s National Frankenstein Friday! Weary from the work week? Well, give your system a jolt with a spookalicious drink to kick off the last big weekend of the Halloween season. Miss Information teaches us that science can be fun with this freaky good Frankenstein Cocktail.
For full mixing instructions, please go here: https://www.missinformationblog.com/halloween-cocktails/
Hey all you scientists, if you prefer your monsters to be a little more green (or blue or purple or whatever), a dab of food coloring should help.
Friday Friday Nightcaps returns for 2019 Halloween season! For the next four Fridays, I’ll be posting recipes for my favorite adult Halloween beverages.
Today is National Vodka Day and after a monstrous week of dealing with weirdos and mean people, I have found the perfect beverage to honor today, from the good people of Homemade Hooplah aptly named the Purple People Eater Cocktail.
You can find the instructions on how to make the drink over at:
Pretty sure after a couple of these suckers, you’ll be one-eyed people eater for certain.