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Mutterings of a Mad Woman

The Movie of Many Names (But I Like to Call it 'Zombie vs Shark')

on July 22, 2008 - 11:32pm

poster for Zombi 2: city skyline and zombies
Zombi 2, Zombie, Zombie Flesh Eaters, Zombi.

Call it what you will. This 1979 movie by Lucio Fulci may not be the best zombie movie ever made, but it is worth a look. At the very least, watch the underwater zombie-vs-shark scene (with the actual shark trainer as the zombie; a last minute casting decision when the original stunt actor was unavailable the day before the shoot. Coincidence?). You can watch a clip of it further in this post.

I could go into more detail about the different titles this film went by around the world or what to expect in terms of plot, but Tim Brayton over on "Antagony & Ecstasy" does a great review with loads of information.

And don't go looking for Zombi Part 1, because this movie isn't actually a sequel. There just happened to be another movie out at the time called 'Zombie', so to differentiate it, they called it part 2. Because that's less confusing. Apparently.

Ghoulish Gary Pullin

on July 19, 2008 - 11:32am

Fellow frighteners, you may have seen the work of Ghoulish Gary Pullin before, but let me formally introduce you.

After earning a degree in graphic design and advertising, Pullin moved to Toronto from London (Ontario). For a time he was producing work for the corporate market, but soon Pullin became involved with Rue Morgue (which is where most of you have probably seen his work. And for any of you who thought to yourself 'What is Rue Morgue?', sweet lord. Get thee to their website).

When he isn't adding creepy-cool to Rue Morgue, he's creating web illustrations, posters (for bands like Canadian horrorbillies The Creepshow) and other various commercial pieces (all worth a peek). One day when I finish building the bones of this site, and come into money, perhaps I'll ask him to spookify my own little real estate on the web. Donations gladly accepted *wink*.

Until then, I've posted a couple of my favourite pieces here on this blog, including a nifty drawing of the 'Hilarious House of Frightenstein'.

The Hilarious House of com?

on July 18, 2008 - 4:45pm

Collection of images from the showIf you were a kid growing up in Canada after 1970, chances are you can recognize the images shown here. 'The Hilarious House of Frightenstein' was a little show produced in Hamilton, Ontario. It did get some American exposure but it certainly wasn't as widespread south of the border. Frightenstrein was the brainchild of Billy Van who played almost all of the characters that appeared in the show.

Personally, I liked to watch Grizzelda the Ghastly Gourmet, and felt bad every time Igor was denied a new pet. I'd wait for the Gorilla sketch to see it get pelted with ping-pong balls in new and creative ways.

Mostly Ghostly Music Sharing Blaaahhhggg

on July 17, 2008 - 12:23pm

Ok you Rockin' Rottens, listen up. If you like spooky tunes, jittery jazz and Halloween ditties, get yourself over to Mostly Ghostly Music Sharing Blaaahhhggg. Once there, you will find loads of hard (or impossible) to find ghoulish music to last you for a long, long time.

Dave, a gentleman in NY State, posts his rare finds to share with any fellow collectors or fans. You'll find:

  • Entire albums of old time Halloween music
  • Clips from television and film
  • Links to forums where you can chat with other frightful fans
  • Records he has for sale
  • A plethora of like-minded music maniacs who also run blogs of this nature

Website: Gallery of Monster Toys

on July 16, 2008 - 2:38pm

Toy wolfman
Raymond Castile, reporter and documentary film producer ('In Love with Toys', 1995), has put together a collection of classic monster toys and masks from the 1960's to the 1990's. Hundreds of photographs await you on The Gallery of Monster Toys, many showing items that can make a ghoul drool.

Prompted by the threat of these collections being forgotten, Castile has gathered images to remind us of what was, including Mego toys and masks by Don Post.

When asked what his favourite toy was, Castile picked the AHI Creature from the Black Lagoon action figure (specifically, the 'male' version with the wider waist).

If you reach the end of his catalogue and haven't run out of steam, go to his links page and start monster hunting all over again.

The Art of Laura Vegys

on July 15, 2008 - 1:21pm

watercolour painting of a little red demon creature holding a jar with a human heart inside. Cuter than it sounds
I love promoting local talent. Today, it's Laura Vegys, another Toronto artist. I'm usually not too into watercolours, but I think her work is thought-provoking and well done. Or perhaps I've been swayed by the free magnets she was giving away at her booth at the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibit held this past weekend. I magnets! Come on!

From her bio:

"I am a watercolor painter who loves melodramatic and tragic stories. I paint pictures that reflect my ideas about sad situations, isolated individuals and painful moments. I often channel my strong opinions about life through these images, but I love that people always make their own stories about what the images mean to them.

Damned Dollies

on July 14, 2008 - 7:10pm

hand painted doll
Based out of Montreal, Dana De Kuyper creates 'Damned Dollies', a collection of plush little ladies who are all a bit off-kilter.

Yetch (my boyfriend) and I saw a stall for her at the recent Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibit. I've seen her things before at the Toronto One of A Kind Show (and was disappointed that all the t-shirts were long and slender, meaning I could possibly wear it as a headband or scarf but not an actual shirt). This time, she had simple black and white prints for sale at a very reasonable price. Yetch bought one that showed a doll with a yapping, vicious little razor-mouthed dog in her arms.

Julia Hepburn, Talented Toronto Artist

on July 12, 2008 - 6:54pm

sculpture of a tiny creature with a dunce cap in an abandoned building
Absolutely stunning. Dark. Beautiful. These are words that came to mind as I stumbled upon Julia Hepburn's display stall in the maze of artists at Nathan Phillips Square this weekend for the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibit.

She creates miniature worlds inside boxes and lampposts (some of which you can actually plug in) that make you feel like some sort of omnipotent being peeking into a smaller universe. Hepburn describes her art on her blog:

"I attempt to reclaim the innocence and curiosity of childhood. Each compartmentalized piece displays a single scene with virtually no context. Viewers are encouraged to use their imaginations in order to develop a narrative explaining the scene.

Halloween on Facebook: Part 2

on July 11, 2008 - 5:36pm

As mentioned in the last blog post, I've been sorting through the array of groups on Facebook. I thought I would list 4 groups of different categories that may be of interest.

image of a skeleton in a casket

Halloween Home Haunters is my immediate first pick. It's a fairly active group of people with a certain degree of home haunting experience. It's much like being on a forum, only with less members. So far, everyone seems pretty friendly. And as an added bonus, most of them seem to be from southern Ontario, Canada which suits me just fine.

Halloween on Facebook: Part 1

on July 11, 2008 - 3:11pm

cartoon of a large cat opening the door to a trick or treater with a glowing cross between the two of themAh, Facebook. How you entertain me. The following is an overview of my dark journey through the spiralling depths of social networking.

I decided to join Facebook as Ghoul Friday (naturally). So if you are a fellow ghoulie, add me as a friend if you like. You can track which groups I think show possible potential or you can bring a group of interest to my attention (let me know in the friend request that you saw this post).

As of two days ago, there were 533 groups with the word "Halloween" in it. You should know that about 30 of those are actually fronts for a costume shop spammer who has created a collection of their own fake groups and has "commented" (read: pretended to be an innocent group member) on each and every Halloween-related site there is. Shame, shame on you.

The very first group at the top of the search list was a group (at first I thought it was Japanese, but I think it's Chinese) whose title was half in English, half in what I believe are Hanzi characters (*) which read "Oh my God,**Halloween ********". I was stumped since the group was labelled as being spiritual and had Christian links and posts (which made up the only bits of English available).