Uptight perfectionist Beth is having a very bad time. After a fitful night’s sleep, she learns that her young daughter has answered the door to the eponymous man with a blue hat who has one message – he’s coming for Beth. She then begins to spawn awful, murderous thoughts towards her child, and the people of her sleepy New England town also start to become aggressive as insomnia takes hold of the population. As the blame for everyone’s madness turns on her, Beth must remember Continue reading
The Farmer by Wyatt Michael
Funding Deadline: 30th June 2013
Funding Goal: $100,000
What is it?: Full length horror film set in the Old West
Why does the Eyeball love it and want to have its freaky kids?
We love a creepy story from way-back-when, told over a crackling camp fire.:
We’ll have more info soon, but very excited to report that Part 3 of the award winning Takers will be out to buy on Monday 20th June 2013. The Eyeball has just received this lovely preview image of the cover from Plotfish Press and we can’t wait to get our yellowed little Eyeball teeth into it. (Yes, Eyeballs have teeth…this one does anyway).
A horror and YA paranormal thriller writer. In September, Griffin Hayes published his first novel, MALICE. Two short stories, THE GRIP and THE SECOND COMING, as well as my novella, BIRD OF PREY, are now also online. And don’t worry, there’s plenty more in the pipeline, including a zombie novella that’s currently in the works. Griffin Hayes – related links: Blog: griffin-hayes.blogspot.com Twitter: @griffin_hayes Griffin’s spooky mailing list (excellent image on the site)! Facebook Goodreads Find Dark Passage on Amazon.com Amazon author page
HE: Which authors did you enjoy while you were growing up?
Tyson’s nightmares are overwhelming him, fracturing his mind, his family life and his business. In a final, desperate measure he takes on a clinical trial of a new drug, allegedly designed to aid his sleep, which soon reveals some rather grim side effects. At first, things seem to be going well and it brings him considerable benefits. However, nothing is quite what it seems, least of all his encroaching nightmares and the real source of his problems. We reckon it’s not exactly what the reader will expect either.
This unpredictability made Dark Passagea very compelling read. While at first it appears to be a typical thriller outline, and the order of character deaths are not really going to shock you, there were enough curveballs in the mix to keep us pushing on to the next chapter, eager to get to the next scene and chew on the next crumb of information. As we said, it’s not quite clear what’s going on until it all clicks near the end. Another character attempting to make sense of insanity is the ambitious, and obsessive, Doctor Hunter, and he is nicely woven into the uncanny web of Tyson’s problems.
The tightly written characters were a pleasing range between banal, brave and pure evil. Really, really evil. But it’s also great to have a real hero to root for amidst all the horror, and Tyson was a very likeable lead. Your eyelids will ache in sympathy as he battles his sleepless state, attempting to dodge his debilitating dreams. It was very easy to get behind him as the awful truth emerges, and the battles against his nightmares become increasingly lethal.
From its sinister opening chapter, to a rather clever finale, this was a solid horror thriller that made great use of some very surreal twists. We were thoroughly hooked on the story, from its unsettling start, all the way up to an unexpectedly heart breaking conclusion. Vividly written (although we’d still love to see a graphic novel version), if you enjoy well-written action, not-entirely gratuitous gore, and freaky monsters from Beyond (and who doesn’t?), then Dark Passage is very definitely for you.
The Eyeball picked up Dark Passage in January during a Kindle sale.
Griffin Hayes – related links Blog: griffin-hayes.blogspot.com Twitter: @griffin_hayes Griffin’s spooky mailing list (excellent image on the site)! Facebook Goodreads Find Dark Passage on Amazon.com Amazon author page
One, Two, Freddy’s coming for you,
Three, Four, Better lock your door
Five, Six, grab your crucifix,
Seven, Eight, better stay up late,
Nine, Ten, Never sleep again….
That eerie rhyme remains emblazoned on our inner ear for good reason. It’s ingenious. Capturing everything wrong about dreams, warning even people who haven’t seen it what it’s about. Nightmare on Elm Street was an inescapable rite of passage for children of the 1980s and Freddy Kreuger’s shadow still draws a long, irregularly scratching line into our collective unawareness.
Freddy has lurked in the inner lives of 1980s kids since we first heard stories about his movies in the classroom. The Eyeball remembers listening to them with fascinated horror during ‘wet playtime’ (not nearly as much fun as it sounds), while we read Eagle comics in the corner. We strongly remember a nine year old boy with access to far too many grown up movies callously dissected the unpleasant final moments of the flesh puppet in Dream Warriors, and Johnny Depp’s final bloody gush in the original film. When we finally saw all the films in a lengthy marathon of low-res second-hand VHS vids, (in our teens, Freddy’s favourite age group) then we were hooked.
We didn’t even care that ‘the rest (allegedly) sucked’. OK, Nightmare 2 aside – which was still an unusual piece of film – they’re all exactly what we signed up for. They brim with weird, unnatural deaths, a properly unpleasant monster, and the heroines who we rooted for as they grew in confidence and took on the ultimate disgusting, predatory misogynist child molester. To wonderful, tough Nancy, and those that followed, we salute you.
But still, Freddy (formerly the more low-key ‘Fred’) has remained the real star attraction. He’s repulsive, he’s in love with hating the world, and he’s a fantastic bastard son of a thousand maniacs. There was something perfect about a dreadful tragedy that made sense to the storyteller in us. As they coated more layers of Freddys backstory onto the franchise, the dreams remained an exciting angle to watch it all from. It’s hard to hate any of the movies when they’re so clearly in love with weirdness, and symbolism (Jung that movie!). In a dream, anything is possible, and the Nightmare films used that to their advantage.
They provided an alternative type of horror to to Jason and, just compare them to the recent string of humourless, torturous Saw movies. Imagination, latent teenage sexuality, strong female characters and a mercilessly playful killer. Freddy will stalk you into the daylight. You can never be sure you’ve woken up – a point drawn out until it squeaked in the unlovable remake.
So why does Freddy hold such a fascination, when he is clearly so very, very horrible? Most intriguing is that he’s based on a series of experiences and research by his creator, Wes Craven. Freddy was born in the creepy man glaring at Wes Craven from the street when he was a kid, and came to life when he read some real life stories where boys had refused to sleep, and when they did, they died without a known cause. Uncanny. The way Freddy’s popularity gets dealt with in the Final Nightmare is also clever, suggesting he’s really a demon who must be contained by the totem of Freddy Kruger.
He’s also absolutely bloody terrifying because:
- His picture alone terrifies us, especially if it’s one where he’s grinning at the camera (see above – thanks a lot, Rob Englund!) and he does that a LOT.
- In a continuation of the first point, even Pinhead doesn’t scare us as much as Freddy does.
- He’s capable of beating up Jason! (Though we do reckon Pinhead could take him in a sequel)
- Phone-licker. Eeeew.
- That hat. Those greasy green and red jumpers. Finger gloves. Sartorially the chap’s already a nightmare.
- Increasingly smug one-liners. Grrr.
- The charming way he can snip off all his own fingers and have a big laugh about it.
- You can’t sleep, so it’s an endurance test we can all relate to. The Eyeball would last about two minutes (tiiiired Eyeball, zzzzzzzzzzz-splat)
- You might never wake up. Even if you think you have. Repeatedly.
- He can make your family believe you killed yourself, or that you killed someone else.
- The Police and your parents will NEVER believe you about him.
- Your only allies are your best friends at school, and they’re being picked off like flies.
- Or like cockroaches.
- You can kill him in numerous ways. But be warned that a dog pissing on his grave is enough to resurrect Freddy so he can murder all the plucky survivors from the previous installment, so basically, if you ever run into Freddy, and think you stopped him…not so much. You’re still all gonna die.
Now, we’ve featured him on the Eyeball today because it was Robert Englund’s birthday last week (June 6th) which makes Mr Englund a highly respectable 66 years old. Happy belated birthday, Robert! It’s amazing how Freddy has taken over his life in so many ways, and he’s never quite escaped the character’s razored grip. It seems odd, but in the early 1980s, Englund actually used to play nice characters! Luckily, Englund seems to love that he’s a horror movie legend, and to the Eyeball and millions of other fans, he always will be.
If you want to know more about Elm Street and Kreuger, then the Eyeball very strongly recommends the awesome 2009 documentary Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy.
Are you off to bed now? Then…grab your crucifix….and don’t have nightmares….
Darkk Storage by Shay Morgan Brook
Funding Deadline: 16th June 2013
Funding Goal: $3,500
What is it?: Short horror film
Why does the Eyeball love it and want to have its freaky kids?
Fantastic trailer and nails the scariest thing about those creepy storage locker spaces.
Welcome to a new, hopefully regular, feature on the Eyeball where we focus on some of the most interesting horror and weird-themed projects we’ve found on Kickstarter. This Sunday we start with Darkk Storage:
“Darkk Storage” is a bone chilling horror about Julie, a beautiful woman that discovers her fiance is cheating on her just after getting fired from her job. As the day couldn’t get any worse, (or so she thinks) she unloads her life into a storage facility, hoping that will help her move on with her pathetic life. The storage facility might be the last place Julie will ever know…
The funding trailer does a hilarious summary of this setup, going from funny to terrifying in a single bloody step.
The trailer was made for nearly $0, so we cannot wait to see how the full length short film will turn out.
A labour of love for all involved, the Eyeball wants to lend its support. Dying to see how it turns out, and if Julie ends up like our hapless filmmaker! (Sorry, Shay!)
Hoping for a terrifyingly awesome outcome here. Who will survive in Darkk Storage and what will be left of them?
Also, hopefully we’ll learn why they use two k’s at the end of Darkk. Seriously, why is that?
Brian Rowe is a writing fiend, book devotee, film fanatic, and constant dreamer. He’s written nine novels, dozens of short stories, five feature-length screenplays, and hundreds of film articles and essays. He is one half of the blog Story Carnivores, where he reviews the latest in books and film. He is currently pursuing his MA in English at the University of Nevada, Reno, and is hard at work on his next novel. You can also visit his Website or find him on Twitter @mrbrianrowe.
Haunted Eyeball: Welcome to the Haunted Eyeball, Brian! We’re very happy to have you here today and we really enjoyed reading your horror novel Townhouse.
Brian Rowe: Thank you for having me today!
HE: Let’s get started right at the beginning, Brian. Tell us, which authors did you enjoy while you were growing up?
BR: My favourite author growing up was Stephen King, who I’ve looked up to for probably twenty years now (and I’m only twenty-eight!). I also loved Roald Dahl, Dean Koontz, and, of course, J. K. Rowling. My favourite novel I’ve ever read is Boy’s Life, which I read as a sophomore in high school.
HE: Who are your favourite authors now?
BR: Stephen King remains my favourite author, but lately I’ve been focusing on young adult fiction and have turned to many of these authors for inspiration. I particularly love John Green, David Levithan, Stephen Chbosky, John Corey Whaley, and Emily Danforth.
HE: Which films, TV and music influenced you in your writing and daily life?
We at the Eyeball strongly believe that the films we watch as children can scar us for life. Now, The Neverending Story (1984) is a case in point. Made in the less patronising end of the early 1980s, when little was sugar-coated, it has plenty of cool monsters to choose from, but one in particular stands-out for its nightmare inducing moments.
For instance, the events in Fantasia open with the weird group of hobgoblin, racing snail, and a rock giant – who are actually quite sweet, but their demise later on is heart-breaking. Then the horse drowns in a swamp. Graphically. Then a creepy turtle the size of a hill maliciously sneezes the heroic Atreyu into the disgustingly sticky swamp, and coats him in grimy snot. Repeatedly. Also, a man in a suit of armour get crispy fried by bare breasted giant female statues who can see right into your soul. And you see its grinning charred skull (TV networks allowing…) and a single, leering blue eye…
Oh, and then, there’s a big bad Wolf.
Even Gmork’s theme music freaks us out. Music is pretty important throughout the film, it’s a very emotive soundtrack (yes even the theme song!). But when Gmork’s tune plays we get our first glimpse of his malevolent green eyes and really, really sharp white teeth in the depths of a tunnel: And that’ll stay with you.
Gmork’s not only savage, relentless and huge, he’s got a terrible plan for humanity and is bent on controlling human minds once the Nothing has destroyed Fantasia. Gmork explains his horrible ambition to Atreyu like this:
G’mork: Foolish boy. Don’t you know anything about Fantasia? It’s the world of human fantasy. Every part, every creature of it, is a piece of the dreams and hopes of mankind. Therefore, it has no boundaries.
Atreyu: But why is Fantasia dying, then?
G’mork: Because people have begun to lose their hopes and forget their dreams. So the Nothing grows stronger.
Atreyu: What is the Nothing?
G’mork: It’s the emptiness that’s left. It’s like a despair, destroying this world. And I have been trying to help it.
Atreyu: But why?
G’mork: Because people who have no hopes are easy to control; and whoever has the control… has the power!
Very creepy. Perhaps he’s actually Simon Cowell in disguise?
Reasons why he rocks:
- Scarily nihilistic attempt to control all humanity. Gulp.
- Hardly seen until the end of the film, so therefore had plenty of time to grow even scarier in the depths of impressionable young minds.
- In VHS copies you STILL couldn’t ever see him properly, so even bloody worse (he was just darkness, teeth and fangs)!
- Cool growly voice.
- Relentless pursuit of Atreyu. So what are the chances that these nemeses both ended up on the same beach right at the end? Well, it is a story…
- You can really only escape him with a Luck Dragon’s help – or try and take him on with a really big knife.
- Shades of Landis’ American Werewolf in London beast, when he flings himself at Atreyu in a huge mass of black fur and even when he dies, those enormous paws kick away.
- Scary even to this day. Even though he’s obviously a great big puppet.
He has quite a following even now and there are tumblr accounts and songs and DeviantArt dedicated to him.
A great tribute to Gmork here as well, with rock music!
The Neverending Story itself ended up with two very sappy sequels, both best avoided. But the first one is an exhilaratingly grownup fairytale with several brutal twists, and a fantastic and terrifying final monster.