Vintage Halloween Paper Dolls

Posted in Comics, Fun and Games, Halloween Junk, Media, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on September 25, 2016 by ranranami

Children, small and big, arguably even adults…can be destructive. Which is why, when you find yourself a vintage Halloween magazine or game book…you may want to reconsider cutting out the paper dolls inside for a one-time spooky game of house. Fear not, those beautiful images can be appreciated outside of their antique setting, thanks to modern technology…google…and your printer.

The following dolls were some of my favorites I found browsing the web, and they’re absolutely perfect for the Halloween season.

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Charlotte Ware, 1939-40

 

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Newspaper Doll Series, 1926

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Joan Walsh Anglund, 1987

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Dolly Dingle by Grace Drayton, 1916

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Children’s Playmate Magazine, 1958

 

Horror Flick of the Week: Nightmare Castle (1965)

Posted in Media, Movies and shows, Trailers, Uncategorized, Videos and Clips with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 23, 2016 by ranranami

It is no secret that a disgustingly high number of classic films, and especially Italian ones, found themselves butchered terribly in their transitions to the American screen. I’ve heard Nightmare Castle is no exception, but if you’re looking for the full version, you can find it under the title of ‘The Faceless Monster’. The discrepancy is 11 minutes. Pacing and I believe a bit of violence being the key missing bits…

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However, I am not necesarilly a purist about these things. Because I can still enjoy it on its own if I haven’t seen the original first, and that’s why I’d recommend Nightmare Castle to any fan of B movies, Italian Gothic horror, Bava-esque settings, and of course…Barbara Steele. The one and only.

Throughout this film, I found myself mostly appreciating the set…the house…the costumes…and the fact that it really wasn’t as slow as some people would have you believe. Especially if you’re used to the sort of dragging elements Italian cinema is especially known for, the general classic philosophy of their filmmaking being that ‘cinema is about the art and the experience, not the plot or the philosophy of being concise.’ Taking that into consideration, there’s quite a bit of plot in this that you wouldn’t otherwise expect. A mad scientist tortures his adulterous wife to death, uses her blood to youthen their maid (who is obviously his dish on the side), then marries her step (or half) sister to get the family property and fortune…did I mention Barbara Steele is in dual roles? Barbara Steele is in dual roles.

A great film for the approaching holiday season. Check it out as soon as possible, and especially if it’s dark and stormy in your neck of the woods. You won’t regret it.

Vintage Comics – Midnight, Issue #1: ‘Speedy, The Sport’, ‘Lighthouse Keeper Wanted!’ (Pg. 15-27)

Posted in Comics, Media, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on September 19, 2016 by ranranami

Back again for yet another little snippet of vintage comics, continuing where I left off with Midnight. So far, not really my favorite…the super hero/super villain elements in the first story leaned just a little too much away from the horror genre for me, but hey…the drawings are still cool to look at. Besides, as long as there’s a mildly…I guess gruesome…moral, I guess that’s good enough to qualify.

The second story gets a little bit closer, but stops just short of being anything but maybe a tiny mystery. I do appreciate the owner of the lighthouse having a peg leg, however.

 

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Horror Flick of the Week: The Shrine (2010)

Posted in Media, Movies and shows, Uncategorized, Videos and Clips with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 19, 2016 by ranranami

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I feel like horror is one of the few genres that tends to truly suffer if you reveal the ending of a story. That, and obviously mysteries or thrillers. The Shrine is a movie you should watch first, without any sort of spoilers, if you really want to see the story in its entirety and get the most out of it. Because…well, I can’t say much. What I will say is this: when you are traveling, if the people in a village don’t want you to be there…go away. Don’t explore. Don’t stick around. Don’t argue. Just leave.

That, in essence, is one of the establishing factors in The Shrine that really helps set the mood. It’s not merely a mystery, but a supernatural thriller. The best kind. Also, of course, best enjoyed in the dark at night…possibly alone, unless you absolutely need someone to cling to. On another watch, I realized this one still held strong, and that made it even better for the kind of story it is. Nice, creepy, and a sort of moral story (which all good horror should be, if you follow the premise any good, dark Grimm faerie tale.)

Please, do yourself a favor, and watch this movie. It’s on Netflix…it’s waiting for you. Also…maybe avoid the forest for awhile. Just in case.

 

Vintage Comics – Midnight, Issue #1: Bedeviled Puppet, Eternal Struggle, There’s a Will and There’s a Way (Cover-Pg. 14)

Posted in Comics, Media, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on July 10, 2016 by ranranami

What? I’m alive? You bet your sweet ass I am. And just to let you guys know, when I disappear for several months at a time, I’m probably not dead…undead at best, but I’m sure we all knew something like that was going to happen to me at one point or another. The sacrificial altar in my bedroom and haunted cemetery in the backyard don’t help much, really.

In all honesty, I’ve just been writing a lot of short stories (even completed a few personal novels I will very likely never publish.) The result is of course maybe a little less blog-time, but fear not! October is around the corner, and as always I will be taking part in the horror blog-a-thon as I do every year. So if you’ve been desperately starved for more vintage comics, possible Hallowholic podcast episodes, trailer compilations, playlists, pretty pictures, and gruesome historical facts…they’ll all be flying right at you on October 1st.

Anyway, I thought I’d start up a post this week with a little bit of vintage comics. The first thing that struck me about this one was actually the cover. The richness of the robe against that green backdrop…I can only imagine how incredible this must have looked crisp and new on the shelf.

The first story plays on one of my favorite tropes. Evil dolls/puppets. But…it really does explain every single action. I got the impression the writer for this one hadn’t really acquainted himself with the practice of showing rather than telling. It promises something dark, but stops just short as a moral story…sort of…I guess. The second one is again, a moral story. But I did enjoy the little ‘twist.’ Imagine Final Destination if death pretty much lost in the end, and you get the picture. The third and final story of the entry…could have used more blood, but I doubt they could’ve gotten away with it at the time. Ultimately, this was one of those ‘oh…I promise this is a scary comic’ issues, that was really general adventure/moral lessons in disguise.

The cover promised a lot for this comic, and sadly did not deliver, but the art is still worth appreciating on its own.

 

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Horror Flick of the Week: The Boy (2016)

Posted in Media, Movies and shows, Trailers, Uncategorized, Videos and Clips with tags , , , , , , on March 6, 2016 by ranranami

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I’m the kind of person who basically watches a film trying to figure out exactly how it’s going to end, based on tropes and character traits that get laid out with traditional story-writing techniques. Basically, first time around, I always over-analyze. Sometimes it takes a lot of the fun out of a horror film. But…well, The Boy threw me for a complete loop. It was the first time in a very…very long time…that I’ve actually watched a horror flick beginning to end not know where the hell it was going to end up. I haven’t felt this way about a movie since the first time I watched ‘The Sixth Sense.’ And I loved every second of it.

Walk in with low or no expectations, even high ones. It doesn’t matter. The Boy is brilliant, and if you haven’t seen it yet, you need to. Because I promise, it’s going to turn out to be one of the best horror classics of our decade.

Horror Flick of the Week: Bloodsuckers from Outer Space (1984)

Posted in Media, Movies and shows, Trailers, Uncategorized, Videos and Clips with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 27, 2016 by ranranami

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Filmed in Dallas. Absolutely…bizarre. Because it’s hard to tell whether the filmmakers were trying to make something scary…or something just…awful. Then at times the comedy comes through, and at other times…are they trying to be scary again? Yes? No? I’m not really sure….At any rate, I feel like everyone who likes a good bad horror movie needs to watch ‘Bloodsuckers from Outer Space’ at least once in their lives.

 

Don’t get me wrong, when I say this is awful. I don’t hate this movie at all. Because this was the first zombie film I ever watched. There is such an intense fondness in my heart for Bloodsuckers from Outer Space for that reason alone, that I can’t honestly say ‘don’t watch this. It’s terrible.’ My mom had this film on her shelf for years, and every time I’d look at the green and black VHS cover, I’d get chills up and down my spine remembering how awful it was watching a farmer vomit blood at the opening until he morphed into some sort of weird…blue…scarred…zombie thing. I didn’t notice the tube at the side of his mouth when I was 5.

Basically, this is like Diet Troma. A far more watchable movie than anything actually from Troma (Toxic Avenger aside, because I freaking love that one). And for the most part…family friendly. Kind of.

At any rate, Bloodsuckers tries to be a brilliant horror satire, and it fails. Killer Klowns ended up being much for successful in that regard. But…it’s still charming. And it’s a movie everyone needs to see once in their life, especially if they’re from Texas.