There’s something about surfing the internet when you’re a newly single twenty something drunk on cheap lager and having exhausted your own (astronomical) capacity for free porn. Browsing through the infinite digital maelstrom of bullshit and wonder, searching for something indefinable, finding mostly cats. This was back when the internet was the real internet, before it was tamed by facebook and twitter and whatever people use instead of those things now. This was back when internet culture wasn’t just… you know… culture.
That’s when I found John Dies at the End. A horror comedy novel by noted humour writer David Wong, pseudonym of Jason Pargin, the man who would go on to be editor at cracked.com.
Beasts have always provided fantastic source material for horror filmmakers across the ages, whether from the mythical world or the natural. To celebrate the release of Into the Grizzly Maze (on digital platforms from August 3rd and DVD from August 17th, 2015, courtesy of Signature Entertainment) we take a look back at some the biggest, baddest beasts on film...
And so the British summer comes around again and leaves just as quickly, and that means it's time for the fastest growing speculative fiction convention, Edge-Lit. Masterminded by author, publisher and regular Ginger Nuts enfant terrible Alex Davis, Edge-Lit takes place in Derby and is fast becoming the event to attend, both for its relaxed informal atmosphere and the array of diverse and interesting panels, workshops and dealer tables. 2015 saw such giants of the genre as John Connolly, Sarah Pinborough, Mike Carey and Joanne Harris amongst others attend and, at this rate, we may well see someone like Stephen King pop along one year. Hey, who knows...? Anyhoo, Ginger Nuts sent two of its most intrepid and eager - and, in one case, not the most social - of its contributors to see what this year was offering...
I’m both an author and an adult. Due to these factors, I often find myself asked to list the books that made me the man I am today. Because, yes, even for those who don’t write professionally, certain reads can shape us into who we grow up to be. There are Lee readers who became the Atticus’ and Scouts of the real world; just as there will be a generation of Rowling devotees who’ll grow into strong, resourceful Hermiones constantly saving our asses. The weight of literary influence is a beautiful thing, and it’s important to accept the scars such influences leave behind. Scars that stay with you for life. That’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Let’s begin at the beginning.......
The Boom Boom Girls of Wrestling was made by two (female) German filmmakers using a budget of $5K and a lot of heart.
Los Angeles- June 30,2015—Using creative budgeting, various cost-cutting techniques, volunteers, and a lot of blood, sweat, and tears German filmmakers Carolin Von Petzholdt and Ursel Walldorf was able to bring their film vision to life and is now raising money for distribution on Kickstarter. Independent film making on small budgets is not unusual. Sundance Film Festival routinely shows films that are made for well under $100,000 USD. What makes this particular film remarkable by any standards is that it was done for only $5k, something not even Kevin Smith's original Indie powerhouse “Clerks” was able to do in the 1990s. The Boom Boom Girls of Wrestling was released by Exciting Films Production and not only represents what can be accomplished with initiative and innovation, but also a unique spectacle of “sports horror” that is sure to appeal to audiences looking for something better than a franchise reboot.
I can not believe I am writing a guest post for Ginger Nuts of Horror. I love this site. This is not a good way to start a post for a site that has such great content as this one. I need to be more professional and hold myself together. Time to write like a pro.
Promoting a zombie novel series on Ginger Nuts of Horror? That is going to be a tough sell. People have heard a lot about zombies. I really should have come in with something more literary, if I knew I’d be explaining myself on this site. Well, it’s too late to change the whole novel now just for this guest post. I have to trudge ahead. Time to oversell my work like a champ. That’s what we do in America. We take everything to apocalyptic proportions. Time to let my America show!
Karen is a horror artist working on some new monsters for an exhibition as part of Dark Arts - a genre show as part of the Bram Stoker International Film Festival in Whitby (where Dracula came ashore, appropriately enough).
They take a lot of effort to bring into the world - she works literally from the bones up and spends a huge amount of time researching anatomy to make sure she's got them right. Only when the structure is sound does she produce a final drawing. That's when the real work starts. Children and animals may be difficult to work with - but they're not a patch on monsters. They turn up when they like, clear off when they like, hide - yes, Stephen, we can see you under there - and have a nasty habit of waking everyone up in the early hours of the morning.
Which is why she's running a Kickstarter campaign to fund further work and an art book revealing the stories behind each creature.
She has lived with this horrible lot for as long as she can remember and much to her parents mortification, has been drawing strange, many legged things since early childhood too. A few years ago, Karen decided to unleash the original Stephen on an unsuspecting public.
The response was amazing - he actually gets more attention than she does now, but that's as it should be. The images of him have gone down a storm - her favourite sale was to a customer who had bought one for a friends birthday, who sent before and after photos as the gift was unwrapped to the horrified cry of 'what have you done ???'
What more can a horror artist ask for :)
Over the last year, she has come to realise the personal relationships other people have with her monsters. She started telling Stephens story from the music that brought him into being (a cautionary tale of what happens if you listen to Alice Cooper for several weeks straight), where he lives, what makes him so special and why they get on so much better now. That touched people more than she'd imagined it could. It's not just about the drawings- it's about bringing people into their world, letting them wander around and experience something strange and wonderful. Everyone needs a little of that now and then.
With the help of her incredibly understanding partner Rich, Karen made a short video for the project to show what it's like doing all this from the artists point of view. They included some stop motion animation featuring the models she uses to work from and channelling their inner Nosferatu, made the whole thing silent movie style.
Everyone backing the project gets a unique set of rewards - including Stephens asylum file, which includes a map of the hospital he lives in, his patient notes, newspaper cuttings and specially created Rorschach cards amongst other fun things.