KICKSTARTER SUNDAY: Untitled Horror Film

Untitled Horror Film by JP Bankes-Mercer

Untitled Horror Film poster one number eleven

Number Eleven and a haunted house

Funding Deadline: 5th July 2013
Funding Goal: £5,000
What is it?: 95% finished, feature-length horror film.
Why does the Eyeball love it and want to have its freaky kids?
We’re intrigued by the giggling insanity of the lead actress, and want to know the creepy significance of the number eleven.

Visit the movie’s official page and on Twitter and Facebook.

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KICKSTARTER SUNDAY: Third Contact by Simon Horrocks

Third Contact by Si Horrocks

Also visit the movie’s official page and their Twitter and Facebook pages

Funding Deadline: July 10, 2013
Funding Goal: £15,000
What is it?: Surreal cerebral horror film which needs help to reach the big screen
Why does the Eyeball love it and want to have its freaky kids?
The film has already come a long way, but with an extra push it could make it into the mainstream. And we love a creepy mystery with early David Lynch aesthetics.

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KICKSTARTER SUNDAY: The Farmer by Wyatt Michael

The Farmer by Wyatt Michael

Also visit the movie’s official page and Facebook page.

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.:

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Monster Mondays: Freddy Krueger

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.

Our favourite dream monster, Fred Kreuger. With looks like these, no wonder he stays in our minds - and our Dreams.

Our favourite dream monster, Fred Kreuger. With looks like these, no wonder he stays in our minds – and our Dreams.

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.

Nancy Thompson Freddy Krugeur

Turn around and cast him out! (Image from Bleeding Dead Films – click to see their site)

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.

Nightmare on Elm Street Poster

The original Nightmare and it’s the best! Your mileage may vary, but you’re wrong, buddy….

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….

KICKSTARTER SUNDAY: Darkk Storage by Shay Morgan-Brook

Darkk Storage by Shay Morgan Brook

Find Dark Storage on Twitter and Facebook.

Fantastic horror short – please support on Kickstarter

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.

We really hope you can spare a buck, or some online time, to hep turn horror nightmares into horror reality. You can also support them using Twitter and Facebook.

The trailer was made for nearly $0, so we cannot wait to see how the full length short film will turn out.

Lunatic attacks in Darkk Storage

The menacing luncatic attacks our intrepid filmmakers!

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!)

Shay Brook's in trouble in Darkk Storage

Shay Brook’s in trouble in Darkk Storage

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?

Also, check out Darkk Storage from Encore Demos on Vimeo.

Monster Mondays: Ray Harryhausen’s Skeleton Warriors

We were all saddened to hear that Ray Harryhausen had passed away last week, and here on the Eyeball we’d like to pay homage to some of his most famous monsters, created with the painstaking technique of stop-motion. Using real life sculpted models. Animators and monster fans, we have lost a great artist in film-making and the Eyeball would like to dedicate this Monster Monday entirely to him.

However, the great man left us many fantastic beasts to choose from. After a brief Twitter poll earlier today, and a little searching on YouTube, the top Harryhausen monster, the Eyeball has decided that the finest creation of them all are, unquestionably, the relentless animated skeleton warriors from Jason and the Argonauts (1966).

Technically outstanding even today, the only way our hero can even escape them is by throwing himself off a cliff! They dispatch Jason’s two companions with leering grins on their faces. These meatless monsters really love their job.

Why do they work so well?

  • The leering grins and mocking squint of their hollow eyes.
  • That synchronized stalking movement, like a hideously emaciated boyband.
  • Superb swordsmanship.
  • They repeatedly get knocked down by the Greek heroes, but boy do they get up again. And again. 

Also, on a meta note, the design of these frightening warriors has been borrowed in numerous films ever since.

They lurk within the gleefully evil faces of the Martians in Mars Attacks (1997).

Harryhausen, Mars Attacks, Tim Burton, fresky skulls

Mars Attacks Martian – originally these were going to be stop motion

They inspired Sam Raimi to more or less do his own stop motion version, with a ferocious Deadite army, in the sublimely silly Army of Darkness (1993).

 

The bar in Pixar’s Monsters Inc (20001) is sort of a shout-out, if by ‘shout-out’ you mean ‘foghorn announcement’.

And finally…’ wouldn’t it be cool if the 300 (2005) Spartans had faced THESE guys instead of the so-called ‘Immortals’? (Well, c’mon, wouldn’t it….? Walks off muttering about Watchmen…)

So, the skeleton warriors were highly inspirational, technically incredible, and the entire scene still holds its own today, amidst a tidal wave of flashy CGI gods and monsters and, er, remakes. They’re elegant and deadly, and that’s how the Eyeball likes its monsters.

And good gods, they’re mean little bastards.

Harryhausen skeletons, stop motion, jason and the argonauts

Harryhausen’s terrifying skeleton warriors

And so, Ray Harryhausen, we on the Haunted Eyeball salute you. You lived an amazing life, brought many crazy mythological creatures to life and inspired generations of Rest in Peace.

A superb video here featuring every one of Harryhausen’s marvelous monsters

Also, the owl was cool.

Monster Monday: Lord of Tears (2013) AKA Owlman

First of all, thank you to Mike at the Lovecraft ezine for sending this to my inbox. Thanks for sleepless nights. Really.

The Lord of Tears is coming soon, a ‘low budget horror’ directed by Lawrie Brewster, also involving David Schofield, a veteran genre actor and craggy faced genre favourite from American Werewolf In London among many, many others.

Funded by Kickstarter, this has the potential to be extremely effective. A man in the Scottish Highlands is menaced by a childhood terror, which bears an uncanny resemblance to the Slenderman, which they have, improbably, made even scarier.

Lord Of Tears, Owlman, Slenderman, terrifying, short British horror, scary movies, Hammer, low budget horror, horror films, Scottish horror films

Lord of Tears

This is a monster that really shouldn’t be that scary. It utililises the dread horror of the Slenderman, and yes, the Slenderman is already pretty unnerving. It’s the internet boogeyman meme that just won’t die, that’s bad enough.

But then, egad, it makes it worse. So much worse. The trailer creates a terrific sense of dread and atmosphere.

And what’s so scary about owls? Really?

OK, then imagine yourself in your own dark hallway, or in the centre of town on a Friday night out, and what do you see peering out at you, from the end of that dark hallway, or from a shop window reflecting the night back at you?

This. This monster is what you see.

Hope you’re also going to be pre-ordering the blu ray, with all the goodies, and enjoying this on its release in July 2013. If not, look out for the review on this site in the summer.

Thanks for the nightmares, you wonderful filmmakers. And for the rest of you horror fans – enjoy….if you dare.