Archive for vampire

Horror Flick of the Week: Salem’s Lot (1979)

Posted in Media, Movies and shows, Trailers, Videos and Clips with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 23, 2018 by ranranami

My friends, this is one of the greatest vampire movies of all time. It is one of the greatest Stephen King films. It is also one of the greatest made for TV movies. Not because of phenomenal effects (though they’re pretty solid and simple), but because of acting, writing, and story. It’s the perfect horror film.

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Make no mistake, it’s pretty 70s as far as movies go, which isn’t a bad thing. It suits the Stephen King setting quite well (small Maine-esque town, quaint locals, stranger rolling in a la Something Wicked This Way Comes, and the gradual corruption/death of everyone he encounters). What’s more, who doesn’t love a good old-fashioned Nosferatu? I know I sure do! Do yourself a favor if you haven’t watched Salem’s Lot yet–which I can’t even begin to understand–you won’t regret it.

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Vintage Comics: The Beyond #2: The Mystery of Lunablanca & The Ghost who Stole a Body (Cover-Pg. 15)

Posted in Comics, Media with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 28, 2017 by ranranami

Coming close to Halloween! 2 more days! So why not journey back to one of the first comic series I shared here, ‘The Beyond’, and continue on into their 2nd issue? I am still fascinated by the glorious colors in this series, and pleased with how the color correction came out this time around. Yes, I do moderate color correction on these comics sometimes when the yellow balance is too high.

Absolutely adore the villain-esque designs of the Countess Sinestra ‘transforming’ from a bat into a bat…woman…vampire-thing. I have a feeling if this had ever been adapted to the screen, Barbara Steele would have been ideal for the roles of both women.

As for the second story, the ghost art was absolutely stunning, with much heavier ink lines than we normally see in these comics. Perhaps a little dialog heavy, most of them are, but well worth the read just for the gorgeous panels alone.

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Book of the Week: Look for Me By Moonlight by Mary Downing Hahn

Posted in Books, Media with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 25, 2017 by ranranami

I’m sure I’ve gone on tirades before about what makes a real vampire (or a good one), and the fact that they are not in fact romantic heroes. Dracula, especially, was nothing if not a predator and monster. Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, I’d like to tell you guys about a wonderfully dark little book I first discovered in middle school, and fell in love with. There’s a romantic gloss to the cover, and a sweet title, belying the dark story behind it.

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If you wanted Sarah to pick Jareth in Labyrinth, perhaps this book isn’t for you. Bowie was gorgeous with his typical glam rock beauty, but he was a man pursuing a little girl who wanted to prove to the world she was a woman. There’s a similar vein in this book about a young girl named Cynda vacationing with her family and trying to find her own way, isolated from the father and stepmother she doesn’t know, as well as the little brother she doesn’t really like. Then, Vincent shows up, and suddenly everything is different. It gets darker, and pretty soon the game Cynda thinks she’s playing spirals out of control. It’s a young adult novel, and certainly appropriate for the audience, but the heart of the story is a disturbing one, and that’s what makes this book so fantastic.

Book of the Week: Varney The Vampire: Or “The Feast Of Blood” by Thomas Preskett Prest

Posted in Books, Media with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 19, 2016 by ranranami

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With Dracula, many romantic images are conceived in today’s readers minds. They attribute a good deal of the mythos to that particular novel, and for good reason…it was pretty popular, but did you know this one came pretty much half a century before, and was the true progenitor of many of the tropes we still use today in vampire stories?

There’s plenty of awesome ‘penny dreadfuls’ out there worth browsing through if you like yourself something a little campy, a little gory, and perhaps a little tasteless…but few so long, and rarely do they receive much attention today (‘The String of Pearls’ aside, which you may know by the name ‘Sweeney Todd’.)

Essentially it’s a soap opera. In fact, fans of Dark Shadows might even consider Varney awfully similar to Barnabas Collins in his journey, at times sympathetic, and other times absolutely despicable. Anyway, it’s a fun romp, and an important mile stone in Gothic literature, well worth the read (over perhaps several dozen sittings.)

Horror Flick of the Week: Dracula (1931)

Posted in Media, Movies and shows, Trailers, Videos and Clips with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 30, 2015 by ranranami

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Cliche? Perhaps. I just went to the theatre this week and watched the English-Spanish double feature TCM is featuring nationwide, and had a blast. But…there were only 5 people in the theatre (including myself and two friends) during the first film, and only us when the Spanish version aired. Which leads me to believe not enough people truly appreciate this movie.

I will not say it’s Lugosi’s greatest performance, even though it’s spectacular. Honestly, I think he doesn’t get enough attention for the many other excellent roles he has played in horror. Sure…there were a few bad ones…but I really never fault his performance. Even Plan 9, the few frames he was actually present, I wouldn’t say Lugosi was what made that movie bad. But this isn’t an article about Bela, it’s a recommendation for any and all who haven’t Seen Universal’s Dracula to do so as quickly as possible, and follow it up with the Spanish one too.

Renfield was not a huge character in the novel, and only cinema has made him dynamic. Specifically this movie is what started it…so watch Dwight Frye (english) and Pablo Alvarez Rubio (spanish) closely. They’re absolutely incredible. In fact, I’d say they’re my favorite characters in both movies. Keep in mind that the pacing is slow, because this was during the infancy of talkies, but also keep in mind that Todd Browning was nothing if not a master of making silence work for him rather than against. IF you have put Universal’s Dracula off for any reason, this is the year to finally give it a good watch. You won’t regret it.

Horror Flick of the Week – Slaughter of the Vampires / Curse of the Blood Ghouls (1962)

Posted in Media, Movies and shows, Trailers, Videos and Clips with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 16, 2015 by ranranami

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Don’t let the trailer fool you. Lurking out there somewhere in cyberspace (or possibly on a good quality dvd) is an excellent copy of this movie, as crisp as something you’d expect from a prized Bava picture, not from something by Roberto Mauri (who also directed such films as ‘Zorikan the Barbarian’ and ‘The Porno Killers’). Now, it isn’t nearly the same class as Bava’s best, but certainly enjoyable enough to at least spend the night watching with a couple of friends. It’s just a simple, classic kind of vampire story. Evil count. Terrified villagers. Handsome young man struggling to maintain his humanity while he battles evil…

The dubbing is…well, it’s an Italian movie. So the dubbing is fairly obvious. But keep in mind, that’s pretty much how it works out with most Italian cinema, and there are plenty out there worth checking out if you can get over that hurdle many people seem to struggle with. It’s well worth the effort.

Horror Flick of the Week: What We Do in the Shadows

Posted in Media, Movies and shows, Trailers, Videos and Clips with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 2, 2015 by ranranami

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It is incredibly rare for me to feature a new release on the blog, but this one was just too good not to recommend. What We Do in the Shadows took a premise which I don’t tend to be too receptive to…mockumentaries (I generally find them quite boring), combined it with Jemaine Clement and a bit of Rhys Darby, and lots of vampires. Also some werewolves and zombies. It’s about the lives of 4 vampire flatmates, their new (reluctant) fledgling friend, and mostly just jokes ragging on everything about vampire movies.

This movie was so fun, I didn’t regret driving 2+ hours to Austin to see it, because god forbid anything even remotely independent or foreign gets decent distribution in general American theatres. Honestly, even the cgi was pretty decent (for the most part), which is no small praise from me. If you get the chance to see this in theates, do not pass it up.