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.

Continue reading

Advertisements

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.

Continue reading

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.:

Continue reading

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 – The Thing (2011) Awesome beasts

Monster Monday

The Thing (2011)

John Carpenter’s 1982 ‘The Thing’ was an eye-popping mix of tension and gory special effects which were mind blowing at the time, and are still effectively shocking today. So when word of the remake or prequel started to come through, it seemed ridiculous, nothing could top it.

And now this remake (or, ok, officially a prequel) has been out for a couple of years, and I still haven’t watched the whole movie, let’s just make that clear now. However, I have peeked at the shiny innards of the film, having grown curious about the way they treated the iconic, shapeshifting alien which so troubled Kurt Russell and Keith David back in 1982.

And you know what? I was pleasantly blown away by the new movie’s monstrous effects. I was expecting much ropier CGI than this, and they’ve brought us a beautifully horrendous and importantly a very SOLID looking monster. Im only going by a youtube copy here, so can’t say for absolutely certain that it’s flawless. But neither is it a SyFy channel lame duck, there’s no unconvincing SharktaPus rubbish for this remake. The new Thing has some quality nasty going on. And arms…with teeth,,,and merging with your face and…and….dissolving and spearing and…owch. Wow.

I really didn’t think it would be any good, but this is pretty twisted. Yes, the Dead Space movie could get made, and if we’re lucky it’d look half as good as this.

The video below contains spoilers, but if like me you don’t want to tarnish the memory of the original film (which, yes, I am well aware was ALSO a remake of a quality black and white ‘man in a rubber suit’ extravaganza from RKO in the 1950s) then this is an excellent way to taste of the meat of the latest version. Weirdly, it’s now a lot likelier I will look at this once it pops up on Netflix, or becomes very, very cheap on blu ray. Or if I win it in a raffle…

Although it could be argued that this gives away all the good bits, if the remake is any good at all it should survive that. In the mid-1990s, Lenny Henry ruined the surprise of the SFX in the 1982 The Thing. I foolishly watched a documentary he presented about monsters in movies, shortly before ITV network (UK) was broadcasting the whole ‘Thing’ movie. Still loved it to pieces.

So if my appreciation of the 1982 movie remains unaffected by seeing all the goodies ahead of any narrative, maybe the prequel isn’t going to be so bad after all. Let’s remember that high tension and relatable characters made the Carpenter version vastly rewatchable. Perhaps this new attempt has nailed it as well. Perhaps.

Generally, though, a prequel is stuck in its own dead end of time, doomed to copycat whatever enthralled viewers of the originals, whilst charging boldly through the motions like a soulless running zombie. What happened to the Norwegian team, who the US research team tried to help, was already quite evident during the scenes when Macready checks out what remained of their camp. I keep calling the prequel a remake because John Carpenter pretty much nailed the interesting part of that story, and all its lovely Lovecraftian elements as well. Frankly, the prequel looks like more of a ‘look what we can do now’, which is fine, but not necessarily as intriguing. Of course that could be age talking, too…

What would be interesting to see is an actual sequel to the John Carpenter movie, with Macready and Childs stopping the Thing in another setting. Or at least something that moves the story along, or tries it from a fresh angle. The logical progression would be to move it to the desert. Right? A ‘Thinged’ camel would be pretty awesome….it already looks like a camel spider. Gulp.

On a final (heavhanded?) note, the Thing monster is endlessly transforming and adapting to survive its new environment, and the blockbuster industry could definitely learn a thing or two from that.

Lovecraft Week! Video: Lovecraft’s Pillow

And finally….we end the Haunted Eyeball’s Lovecraft Week with a look at a fantastic short film inspired and part written by Stephen King, and directed by Mark Steensland (who also made the terrifying Peekers).

It’s the kind of situation that every aspiring writer could have to face, and hopefully empathise with (OK, part from the actual pillow thing). Don’t be fooled by its low-key approach, this is a great short about the boundaries between reality, madness, and beating the crap out of writer’s block. There’s also a bit of a ‘magic beans’ aspect to it all.

***

While the unfortunate wife probably doesn’t deserve to suffer this fate, this is really an exercise in writerly wish fulfilment! This guy isn’t quite starting with a Stephen King career, you get the sense he’s on his path to success. Just wait until he starts self-publishing…

More info about this short film can be found over here, on IMDB.

The rest of Lovecraft Week on the Haunted Eyeball

Short stories: Two Bite sized Lovecraftian stories by James Pratt

Graphic Novels: “Howard Lovecraft and the….” by Bruce Brown

Anthology: Future Lovecraft by Innsmouth Press

TV: The Real Ghostbusters ‘Collect Call of Cthulhu’

Also check out:

Short horror film: Peekers

Review: Just After Sunset by Stephen King

Review: Innsmouth Press Magazine Issue 8

Graphic novel: You Know, for Squids?

Lovecraft Week: Real Ghostbusters ‘The Collect Call of Cathulhu’

People who love horror often started their fascination early on. For instance, if you grew up in the 1980s, it seemed you could scarcely move for cartoon monsters, demons and Dungeons and Dragons. Even My Little Pony had a particularly nasty beast at one point. But the The Real Ghostbusters in particular stand out from its animated peers. Spawned from the phenomenal success of Ghostbusters (1984), the early seasons of The Real Ghostbusters were created with the full blessing and influence of Dan Akroyd and co. It also had some very decent writers, most notably J Michael Straczynski. Upon revisiting, some twenty-plus years later, The Real Ghosbusters remains streets ahead of many similar shows at the time, especially in terms of unusual storytelling and enjoyably snarky adult characters.

Although the animation isn’t as lush or fluid when compared to modern cartoonage, it’s extremely well produced and the sheer inventiveness of the ghosts, and the cynical banter between the Ghostbusters themselves, are a real joy. The lesson here is that cynicism doesn’t age! No part of pop culture or ancient history, was out of bounds and it drew from anything and everything, ranging from Citizen Kane to Norse Mythology, and of course, good old Howard Phillips Lovecraft.

Which explains the episode ‘The Collect Call of Cathulhu’. Punning on Lovecraft’s famous Call of Cthulhu story, and written by Michael Reaves, we can assume that the misspelling of ‘Cthulhu’ in in this title is so the kids watching won’t be confused about how it’s pronounced. Equally, it could have been done to piss off rabid H P Lovecraft fans. Your call, Eyeballers.

Of course, the episode’s plot is just a little hokey – some mook from the Miskatonic University opts to display the notorious Necronomicon at the New York Public Library (did the Ghostbusters ever dispatch their first ghostly encounter there?) Of course the tome gets stolen, our guys are called in to find it, and the Ghostbusters soon face off against some aggressive and fast-regenerating Cathulhu(sic) Spawn underground. This sewer attack is actually played pretty straight, the guys look absolutely terrified (and they’re hardened ghost fighters after all!) so the Cthulhu/Cathulhu awakening is really a pretty big deal. It could even be considered pretty dark.

Cathulhu, Cthulhu, Ghostbusters, Collect Call of Cthulhu, H P Lovecraft, horror

However, including overt references to the Cthulhu Mythos (mainly from the August Derleth perspective, it seems) in a show ostensibly aimed at kids really isn’t so surprising. Let’s not forget that the first Ghostbusters movie is effectively a Lovecraftian movie all on its own. The live-action Ghostbusters battled Gozer the Gozerian, the Destructor, ender of reality and turner of innocent apartment dwellers into giant monstrous ‘dogs’. Oh, and several makers of the original Ghostbusters film also worked on Heavy Metal, an animated film not without its own blatant Chthulhu references (and a few more nekkid boobs, too)!

Including Cathulhu/Cthulhu in the plot here just seems like a natural step. It’s not taken too lightly, either, even though there are some priceless lines such as “Anything that looks like Godzilla wearing an octopus hat shouldn’t be hard to find.” – Pete Venkman.
To emphasise just how serious the threat of Cathulhu’s return actually is, Egon points out that Gozer is “Little Mary Sunshine” in comparison. Yikes. (Think how big that Twinkie must be!) This neatly provides viewers who’ve never heard of Cathulhu/Cthulhu (for instance, all the under-fives in the audience at the time of broadcast!) with a sense of the scale of a ‘dreaming’ god that could kick Gozer’s ectoplasmic rear back across infinity. Again, yikes.

So, how do the Real Ghostbusters cope with battling the greatest threat to humanity to world has ever known? Check out the video of the episode just below to find out:

For sheer fan service, The Collect Call of Cathulhu is an outstanding episode. From Pete Venkman lusting over Ms Derleth, then battling ‘Cathulhu’ with a proton pack from a moving rollercoaster, to Egon basically saying ‘we’re screwed’, and Ray’s love of Weird Science magazines helping them to win in the final showdown, frankly it’s all over a bit too fast.

Points if you spot the blatant Scooby-Do ending, too. Also, South Park also seem to have been influenced by this episode’s approach to the Mythos in their recent episodes. It can’t be a total coincidence that Cartman meets his own Cthulhu while he’s on a rollercoaster, can it?

Coming up tomorrow – Innsmouth Press presents Future Lovecraft stories

Coming up on Thursday – H P Lovecraft and the Frozen Kingdom by Bruce Brown

Don’t miss:

Lovecraft week, day one – James Pratt’s bite-sized Lovecraftian horror stories reviewed 

Also of interest

You know, for Squids!

Innsmouth Magazine Issue 8 reviewed