Archive for monster

Book of the Week: Goosebumps 25th Anniversary Collection by R. L. Stine

Posted in Books, Media with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 29, 2018 by ranranami

goose

Goosebumps is close to my heart. Funny how you can read a book that you love so much, even reading another copy with a different cover just doesn’t seem like an option. Don’t get me wrong, the redesigns are cute, and it sort of revives the series in a way for a younger generation. Yet I love the old art here. It’s very 90s, and very much a slice of my childhood.

I’ve always love reading, but when I was 6, learning to actively put a sentence together was hard. I’ll save you the whole story of how it suddenly ‘clicked’ one day, and I could read just about anything. Suffice it to say, the first year I could go to that Scholastics book fair with money in hand and the knowledge that I could read whatever I bought without any help was magical. So I got a VHS of The Haunted Mask (which I still have), and a goosebumps book with a pumpkin book light. I’m not going to lie, the book light was what sold it. I think I bought Welcome to Dead House. It was ’97, and Goosebumps was the series that all the kids were reading. The show had just launched, too, and I remember rushing home every day to watch it. There’s not usually a huge scare in the Goosebumps books. Most of them have ambiguously an happy ending (yes, the day is saved…but you’re a monster, or that sponge is going to wreak havoc when it gets wet again, or your dad might be one of the hundreds of plants in the front yard.) The next dark step up from Goosebumps was Ghosts of Fear Street, and then Fear Street when you were really ready for something ‘darker and more mature’. Something for the teenagers.

My point is that I got this collection as a gift, it’s amazing, and I’m pretty sure it could all be easily read in the course of a day by anyone of any age, and still feel just as magical as it did to me that day at the book fair when I bought my first Goosebumps.

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Drive-in Trailers: Under The Sea

Posted in Media, Movies and shows, Trailers, Videos and Clips with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 28, 2018 by ranranami

I think we can all agree that the world is a dangerous place, and anyone who steps foot out of their home for anything other than absolute necessities (food, water, bullets, Dolly Parton’s latest album) is a fool. That being said, let us make our way back to the topic at hand: oceanic horror. The spooky, the dark, and the non-shark related horror waiting in your swimming pool, bathtub, and not-so-friendly local beach.

Book of the Week: Monster, by A. Lee Martinez

Posted in Books, Media with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 22, 2018 by ranranami

I have read so many of this man’s books. For me, his humorous balance in his story is on par with another favorite author of mine, R. Chetwynd-Hayes. I’ve already recommended one book by A. Lee Martinez in the past, Gil’s All Fright Diner, but honestly? I love this one even more. There was a period of time a few years ago where I was pretty much reading at least one of these books a week, and Monster is one of the best.

monster

The story plays with a concept I rarely see done as well as it should be. There are monsters everywhere, and normal people don’t know about them. This one adds your typical Martinez guts and gore along with a succubus here and maybe a yeti destroying a grocery store there. A gland in people’s brains that lets them see monsters for what they are, and a sort of supernatural police force doing what they can to at least keep things somewhat normal.

What I love about A. Lee Martinez, is that his protagonists are both very normal and very special in so many creative ways. This book was no exception to the rule, and it is very easily a 3-day read if you put your mind to it. Or don’t. Just grab a glass of wine (or coffee) and enjoy.

Vintage Comics: The Beyond #2: Valley of the Scaly Monsters, Bubble of Destruction, The Shrieking Terror (Pg. 16- End)

Posted in Comics, Media with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 29, 2017 by ranranami

Running behind on some grad school homework, gang, so I figured I’d share the rest of this comic issue before I hide behind the books. Since I usually take undetermined hiatus after October anyway, I didn’t want to leave you waiting either. Tomorrow, for Halloween, I’ll be featuring a write-up on a very special actor.

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Grim History: Gilles de Rais

Posted in People with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 23, 2016 by ranranami

Blood was flowing – in Bluebeard’s house, in the abattoirs, in the circuses where God had set his seal to whiten the windows. Blood and Milk flowed together.” – Arthur Rimbaud

Barbe Bleue

It is said that you can divide fairy tales into two categories, stories based on general fears and thoughts at the time, or apocryphal adaptations of historic fact. What can one say about the story of Bluebeard? A rich man who took many wives, locked them in his house when he left, and left them with a key and an egg just to make sure he could trust them not to discover all of the dead wives he’d slaughtered countless times before. Frankly, I don’t see why people Bluebeard could be associates with Gilles de Rais, but that’s what many people believe. Odd, considering a vast majority of the children he was purported to have slaughtered, if not all, were little boys…

Gilles was born in 1404-05, depending on your sources, precocious, titled, disgustingly rich, and destined to become orphaned at the age of 10. From then on, under the guardianship of his maternal grandfather grandfather, Jean de Craon, who was without a doubt one of the more interesting and dastardly schemers you may read about in history. The man desperately wanted to be the richest in all of France, and as any respectable person of his time would do, endeavored to earn this by wedding Gilles off to a toddler. He tried, anyway. The whole mess got immediately rejected by the Parisian Parliament, so he settled for kidnapping Gilles’ cousin, Catherine de Thouars instead.

But this isn’t Game of Craon, this is the history of Gilles himself. Ultimately, he ended up supporting the Dauphin in the Hundred Years War. He did quite well for himself, reckless, brave, just about everything you could imagine any model aristocratic soldier being. When Joan of Arc came to court, Gilles was to be her military advisor.

Following several successful battles, Gilles became Marshall of France.

gilles-de-rais

Things were looking up for our hero. Then, after a series of unfortunate events, not the least of which being the burning of Joan, and the death of his grandfather (who decided to leave the family title and respect to Gilles’ younger brother),  Gilles decided he’d had enough of being the typical good guy. Some believe the death of Joan may have been the major domino in his gruesome path later on, but really…a lost friend, or perhaps even unrequited love, does not account for psychopathic behavior. Otherwise the world would be far worse than it already is.

Gilles had one daughter with his wife, then it’s purported that he swore off women altogether. The man had spent a good deal of money investing in chapels, the church, and all things holy…suddenly decided to make a complete polar opposite shift in how he lived his life…

In 1432, the year after Joan of Arc’s death, Gilles killed his fist victim. His first documented one, anyway. A boy his cousin had sent to deliver a letter to him. Gilles, essentially went absolutely insane. He started to spend his fortune at an astonishing rate, to the point of having to sell of portions of the family lands and estate to support his activities. What’s more, his parties didn’t stop with boozing and debauchery. There are many claims that insist he raped, tortured, and cremated up to 200 small children by 1440. A majority of the murders took place in 1438-1439. These children were gathered for him by his closest servants, and there are even wild accounts Gilles himself described in his confessions at court of satanic rituals he would perform, very likely involving the remains of these children as well.

gilles-retrato

His brother finally forbade Gilles from selling off anything else, and the family lands were kept intact by a court order, while the man practically threw money at his favored ‘magician’, an Italian man  who had once been a priest, named Antonio Prelati. Gilles’ ultimate goal was to restore the money he had squandered, and he spent it like water just to find out if he could somehow transform common elements into gold. He actually thought murdering the children would somehow aid in this, and it’s clear by the sheer number that no cost was too high for Gilles to maintain his wealth.

Arguably, what ultimately did him in, was the kidnapping of a cleric. Though many people suspected Gilles of murder, kidnapping, and all sorts of crime, his military history and standing with the king had given him a great deal of protection from any persecution…the church, however, was just a little too powerful for him to get away from (at the time.) He was finally brought to trial, and after several witnesses (his own servants who had actually aided him in many of his crimes) spilled the beans.

Gilles at first insisted he was innocent, but quickly caved, and described in detail many of the horrible rituals he committed with Prelati, to the point of even trying to summon Satan himself. Gilles was put to death, but because of his standing he was allowed to be strangled/hanged (some accounts differ) before his brief burning, and even so, given a Christian burial on church grounds.

It is said that many testimonies given by witnesses and Gilles himself of the crimes he committed against his victims were so terrible, that they were stricken from the record so people could be spared ever learning of the horrid details.

Netflix/Hulu Instant Horror Watch 2016

Posted in Media, Movies and shows, Uncategorized, Videos and Clips with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 1, 2016 by ranranami

It’s that time of year again. The Fog rolls in on your dvd shelf, eery Carpenter tunes playing as it awaits Halloween, while the echoes of ‘Trick ‘R Treat‘ can almost be heard outside your front door, and The Thing becomes Ravenous for Popcorn…yet, at the same time you wonder why these film references I just made seem to be disproportionately John Carpenter titles and a few other random titles thrown in. It’s like this game is Child’s Play, a veritable Witches of Eastwick

Okay, that last one didn’t make sense at all, even as a play on words. Anyway, this October I decided to not only post the instant watch list on time (for once), but mix it with some Hulu for variety. Alas and alack, it’s mainly because Netflix really didn’t roll out with much for horror this October…and the proportion of films I actually wanted to watch that I hadn’t seen…well, this just seemed to be a little bit less painful. So, without further ado, the list begins…

1st. – The Rite

 

2nd. – The Silence of the Lambs

 

3rd. Most Likely toDie

 

4th. Hollows Grove

 

5th. Dead Set (this one is actually a show, but it’s 5 episodes, boiling it down to the length of one film. Plus, it’s awesome.)

 

6th. The Lodge

 

7th. Para Elisa

 

8th. 2001 Maniacs

 

9th. The Babadook

 

10th. Cujo

 

11th. Would You Rather

 

12th. All Hallows Eve: October 30th

 

13th. Stung

 

14th. Offpsring

 

15th. Curve

 

16th. Poor Pretty Eddie

 

17th. The Damned

 

18th. Beneath (2007)

 

19th. The Veil

 

20th. Occupant

 

21st. Final Girl

 

22nd. Stranded

 

23rd. Deformed Monsters

 

24th. Comforting Skin

 

25th. The House at the End of Time

 

26th. Witching & Bitching

 

27th. Out of the Dark

 

28th. Castle Freak

 

29th. The Host

 

30th. The Fury

 

31st. Jaws

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

shrine

 
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.