Three More Fantastic Horror Shorts

A queue of watch-later videos greeted me this morning. What better time to find some good horror shorts. I saw about ten or fifteen short horror films to find these three.

Now it’s time to scare the shorts off of you… No, that’s not right. Scare you with shorts…. Wait, even if you don’t wear shorts, I still want to scare you. Let’s try this again… It’s time to scare those of you with or without shorts, knowing that those with shorts might be scared out of them so they’ll join the without-shorts group. Er… Umm… Just watch the videos.

In Chambers

This one comes from the directors of the excellent-looking Thale. A women wakes up in a random chamber, not knowing why she’s there. Men in black coats take people when their number is up. What do the numbers mean? What happens when the men take you? Don’t ask me. Watch the movie to find out. This is a professionally-made movie. High quality effects, acting, camera-work and sound.

Can I Call You

Ah, the blind date. Where the adventurous find love, or maybe boredom, or maybe something else. This is another professionally-made film that makes you laugh and provides a bit of suspense.

Roses

A professional hit-man, a desperate woman. Not everything is as it seems. Quite gruesome and not for the easily-disturbed, this is an excellent new take on the torture-porn story.

New Live Music From Grown Below: Reverie

If you haven’t heard of Grown Below before now, you’re missing out. The Long Now is the best metal album I’ve heard in a long time.

I can’t wait for the band’s next album, which is slated for 2013. Fortunately, the band published a live video of Reverie to give us a preview of their upcoming work.

Art and Passion: Lisa Martin Stanhope Interview

Lisa Martin Stanhope - Passion and ArtAn old friend from high school recently started posting her paintings to Facebook, and being a curious soul, I wanted to learn more about her artistic resurgence. Not only did I receive permission to post her work, but Lisa Martin Stanhope provided a fantastic and thoughtful interview. We didn’t get too much into the mechanics of painting, but rather talked about who she is as a person and an artist. I think you’ll find Lisa as someone who has reached a healthy respect for her own talents. We could all learn from her passion and her symbiotic relationship with the muse.

Here is the interview in it’s entirety with minor edits for clarity and web formatting. Click here for the unedited version of the interview.

First things first. Please understand that I know nothing about art. If any of my questions appear to stem from ignorance, it is because they do, in fact, stem from ignorance.

How did you get started as an artist? Is it a passion that has always been with you? Does the urge ebb and flow?
My father used to work at a paper mill and would bring home huge pieces of card stock (bigger than me sometimes); I spent hours drawing from a young age (about 4) and progressed through the years through art classes in school, fist getting recognition when I was 11. I have always had a desire to create although, there have been big stretches of time where I didn’t always paint or draw (starting a family, working full time and loosing my confidence kept me from painting for many years). However, creativity in one form or another has always been a big part of my life and way of expression. My urge to create does ebb and flow especially with my emotions. I find painting a great and fantastic way to release stress, anxiety or any overwhelming emotions. I find this is when I create the most easily and feel the most satisfaction.

Do you have any modern influences in your work?
I have many modern influences in my work, too many to mention! Although I have studied famous artists in school, I find my greatest influences from the internet and the ‘average artist’. I spend hours looking at all kinds of work, and find inspiration everywhere from all those brave people who create regularly, post their work and share with, literally, the world. They have all helped me to see that I can find the courage to paint and share again. If I see something I especially like I will try it out, see how it feels, incorporate it into my next painting along with my own ideas or a different inspiration and see what happens there. Some artist’s work that I am currently drawn to are Miss Van Miss Van & Antonio Natale. I have always been in love with Klimt

Tell us a bit about your artistic process? How do you start a painting? What techniques do you use to complete a piece?
The artistic process…hmmm well,it’s an ongoing process! I’m always planning on a next piece, sometimes it’s just a vision that pops in my head or a piece that I’ve seen or something out in nature that inspires. I take pics with my camera phone or book mark pages, print out pics or sketch. Other times I just feel overwhelming emotions, had a bad day, I’m angry, I’m anxious, I’m happy and I just take out a piece of canvas and splatter on some paint and see what comes out. I do try to do something with my work on a regular basis.Starting and finishing a painting are sometimes the hardest part. Getting up the motivation to start and then knowing when to stop and not over do it.

What do you get out of your art? Is it cathartic? Inspirational? Something else?
I get a few different things our of my art. It is most definitely cathartic sometimes and [that is] when I feel I produce my most creative and expressive work. These are also the pieces that I get the most positive responses from others. Other times it’s a way to spend the time, just doing something I love and gets my mind off of other stresses of the day. I absolutely love sharing my work with my friends and family, I actually tend to give most of my work away to them!

What themes do you find in your art? I see a lot of flowing curves in your paintings. Is that intentional? Can any meaning be ascribed to the style?
Yes, very much so. I like to incorporate lots of flowing curves in my painting since this is what I am naturally drawn to, what I see in nature, what I feel when expressing an emotion. I adore the ocean, water, trees, movement. I’ve tried doing more structured pieces without them, apparently my subconscious won’t have it! My brush ends up making a swirl, circle, wave…I can’t help it!

Do you ascribe any meaning to certain colors?
I don’t necessarily ‘assign’ any kind of meaning in my colors. I am seeing that I tend to go through phases with what I use after my work is done. I use colors I am personally drawn to. After doing a few pieces I’ll take a look at the pictures I’ve taken of them and say to myself ‘Gee I guess I’m really into red lately’. I also really love metallic colors. If for nothing else but the way they reflect the light and how they look when it’s placed next to flatter colors. I first saw and appreciated this with Gustav Kimt’s work and as of late have used it in every piece I’ve painted.

Besides color, what do you portray in your art? Feelings, emotions, stories, etc…?
It’s not so much about capturing a particular feeling or emotion. I don’t say to myself,’ I feel really happy today, what happy painting can I make?’ I start with the idea or inspiration of what I’ve seen and what ever emotion comes out, comes out. I’ve created some work when furiously angry and upset with a personal issue in my life and after I’m done the painting, it actually looks peaceful or calm or bright. I’ve been in perfectly good moods and painted stuff that has come out with a much darker feel than I expected. I gave up on trying to force my work to reflect what I had set out to do in my mind. I’ve frustrated myself for years thinking ‘ This vision is what I want to paint – God, this turned out nothing like what I was going for…it’s crap!’ then throw it to the side. Now I just start with what I’ve envisioned, and go with the flow. If it’s not turning out the way I thought, I step back, look at what I have done and continue to work in whatever direction the art is taking me. What you see is the end result of that.

I ask this question to everyone I interview. This blog is about stories in word, film, music, art and life. What are some of your favorite stories in any of those domains?
I really love stories with lots of mood and details. Books – I actually am a HUGE Stephen King fan, love Anne Rice, also adore Anne Lamott. Movies – I really like Quentin Tarantino and the way he shows and tells the story. I, being a dreamy eyed chick, can’t help but love romantic films of all kinds. The Hairdresser’s Husband makes me cry every time. Music – oh man…I listen to the weirdest mix. I listen to artists like Lily Allen, Fiona Apple, Alanis Morissette then flip my Pandora station to T-Pain, Afroman or Ludacris. I love The Mamas and The Papas, The Everly Brothers and I am in love with Cake and System Of A Down. I know, go figure.

If you could tell the world anything at all, what would it be?
Be yourself, screw the haters, enjoy what you have to the fullest…..or just fake it ’til you can.

Danielle Tunstall: Official Photographer of Hell Hunters

Danielle Tunstall - Scary clown

Check out this article on horrorbug.com.

Tunstall is a supremely twisted and talented horror photographer, and will only make this show better with her work.

Here’s a quick excerpt

The producers of the upcoming TV series “Hell Hunters” are traveling in the fast lane and have just announced a new addition to the crew: English photographer Danielle Tunstall has come on board as the official still-photographer and graphic designer.

Read More…

Read my previous post on Danielle’s work to see more of her horrortastic photos

Great Finds: Amazing DIY Halloween Props by Mizerella

Various horror props

Found an awesome creepy blog by Mizerella today. 102 Wicked Things to Do is loaded with DIY projects for horror props. I'm absolutely amazed at the detail that goes into her projects. Unfortunately, I have niether the talent nor the patience to build any of these, but they're cool all teh same.

The whole site is fantastic, but the projects below caught my eye. 

#28 Silhouette Plates for a Witch's Kitchen

#27 Don't Judge a Book by it's Cover! (This one is incredible.)

#12 Candy Corn Vodka

 

Red Balloon: Great Find By The Horror Smorgasbord

Red Ballon is a fantastic horror short by Alexis Wajsbrot and Damien Mace. Thanks to The Horror Smorgasbord for this find.

Red Balloon Poster

18 year old Julie is used to babysitting for pocket money but terribly bored by the children she has to take care of, finds that this particular evening is different: several times during the course of the night, Dorothy, the little girl she's looking after, behaves oddly, screaming from her bedroom. Each time, Julie puts her back to bed, comforting her by telling her it's just a nightmare… Or is it?

 

 

More at: http://horrorsmorgasbord.blogspot.com/2011/09/red-balloon-horror-short-film.html

 

 

13 Great Stories In Song

Music touches the soul in a way books and movies cannot. Some of my favorite stories are told in song. As a child, I listened to country music, and story tellers like Reba McEntire, Kenny Rogers, and Michael Martin Murphy filled my head with tales of murder, injustice, loss, and triumph. Later on, as a teenager, Melissa Ethredge, Queensryche, and Krokus filled my need. And now, as an adult, I turn to La Dispute, mewithoutYou, and Amorphis for my fix. While styles change, the message never wavers; a poignant story, backed by minor chords and a drumbeat, etches itself in my consciousness for life.

Here are some of my favorite stories in song.  What musical tales impact you? Let me know in the comments.

Wildfire by Michael Martin Murphy: I never realized how feminine this song was, until I found out “It turned out to be about a magic horse.” Seriously though, this is and will always be one of my favorite songs.

Coward of the County by Kenny Rogers: I still get goose bumps when “You could hear a pin drop when Tommy stopped and locked the door.”

The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia by Reba McEntire: This may be the ultimate story in song. It has a beginning, a climax, and an end.

or if you prefer the original: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X6-4N0IPVh8

Bring Me Some Water by Melissa Etheridge: Is there a singer alive who projects pain and passion in her voice like Melissa Etheridge?

Suite Sister Mary by Queensryche: The Wall may be the quintessential concept album for most, but Operation Mind Crime will always be my favorite.  I would love to write this song out as a full story.

Fancy by Reba McEntire: Another Reba video. I don’t get how a rich, famous singer can squeeze such desperation out of her voice.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_K6Y-YGZUec&feature=related

Winter’s Call by Badlands: Next to Mr. Big, Badlands was probably the most talented hair band of their day. I used to listen to this song over and over.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M_7-VqhG4lA

 

Deathbed by Relient K: What a moving song. I had given up on Relient K after several boring albums, but Five Score and Seven Years Ago brought me back. This album is their finest work.

Andria by La Dispute: I just can’t get enough of this band. They embody everything I love about music, amazing lyrics, raw guitar riffs, energy, and passion. This song inspired me to write The Emotional Man, which I hope to send out soon.

The Fox, The Crow And The Cookie by mewithoutYou: I listen to this band more than any others. I love how they never make the same album twice. Everything is new and fresh. Their latest, It’s All Crazy! It’s All False, It’s All A Dream, It’s Alright is full of fantastic stories. This one tells an old fable.

From The Earth I Rose by Amorphis: This song inspired me to write The Flame Of My Passion—published by Bards and Sages Quarterly (April 2011 edition). All of their music tells a story of some sort.

Breakfast by The Newsboys: A Christian rock classic. I love how they find amusing ways to discuss serious topics. Writers can learn a lot from Peter Furler’s lyrics. Only he would coin the phrase “That day he bought those pine pajamas,” to describe death.

Love You To Death by Kamelot: A touching song about young lovers, love and loss—Fantastic and cheesy! (Hmm. A common theme, I think.

I could go on and on, but your browsers would eventually crash. Let me hear your favorite musical stories.

Book Review: The Well by Peter Labrow

The Well, by Peter Labrow, is a rarity for several reasons. First and foremost is the ending. Without giving anything away, I’ll say this; The Well has a great ending!

Combining realism and the supernatural, Peter tells the story of two teenagers trapped in a well, and the desperate search to find them. Not a boilerplate hero’s journey, this book follows several points of view as characters with individual motivations witness or participate in the story.

Mixing  joy and grief, the author gives us a realistic glimpse of how people deal with stress, loss, and love. The characters in The Well act like real people with real motivations. Some you will love, some you will hate, and some you will not care about—just like in real life. And, while some characters are introduced in a heavy-handed manner—stating their feelings rather than exploring them—they are memorable and easy to relate to.

While, not a perfect book—the author uses a bit more exposition than I like—The Well is unique and worthy. In fact, it gets better and better as you read it. I can’t wait for the next Peter Labrow book.  Oh yeah, did I mention the great ending?  For $2.99 on the Kindle, this is a must read.