Before leaving his father's attic and coming to Germany to do something truly horrifying (getting married), this elusive man-child of the night lived in New York, where he frequently haunted the gold coast ruins of Long Island. Mr. Lawrence enjoys moon lit nights, evading officials whilst ghost hunting restricted areas, and believes that 'Keep Out' signs posted on chain-link fences are terrific for that "extra boost!" When he's not out doing things we will have to disavow all knowledge of later, Moaner resides near Cologne, where he grows pumpkins, and uses his spare time to investigate all things 'spooky and cooky' in the name of Rue Morgue Magazine.
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Well gang, another Halloween has passed, and with it has come another spectacular Weekend of Horrors: Europe’s largest assembly of actors, amateur filmmakers, and horror memorabilia. This year’s organizer, Mr. Thomas Hartz, literally brought fanfare to a whole new level by moving the venue to the massive Turbinenhalle (pictured above and below) in Oberhausen, Germany. The area is located on former mining territory, adding an extra layer of grit and flair to the already industrial atmosphere.
Recently, veteran host Alasdair Stuart of Pseudopod (RMs #72 & #134) announced that Escape Artists, Inc. is currently in “serious financial trouble,” warning listeners that Pseudopod and its sister podcasts, Podcastle and Escape Pod, will shut down at the end of 2013 unless they receive the funds necessary to continue. Since its establishment in 2006, Pseudopod has published hundreds of horror-fiction podcasts, featuring authors such as Scott Sigler, AC Wise, Eugie Foster, and David Barr Kirtley. It also won a Parsec Award in 2009 for Best Speculative Fiction or Anthology Podcast. People who want to help can go to pseudopod.org and either click “Feed the Pod” to make a one-time donation, subscribe, or purchase archive discs (DVDs containing high-quality mp3 versions of the stories on the site.) New Subscribers, Subscribers, and anyone making a one-time donation of $50, before November 30th, will receive premium content flash stories in December.
Midnight Syndicate frontman Edward Douglas has just announced the duo’s intentions to “bring your nightmares to life” with a new Kickstarter project called MIDNIGHT SYNDICATE LIVE. According to the campaign page, the composers hope to raise $40,000 to produce “a unique horror-themed multimedia concert experience that blends live music, original films, music videos, and theatre.” To that end, they’ve enlisted legendary FX artist Robert Kurtzman and a host of industry pros. The fundraising campaign lasts until Sunday, November 10; check it out here.
There’s already a Midnight Syndicate Sinister Seven with Edward Douglas from 2011 done by the talented Sean Plummer. So why do another one?
The last interview covered Midnight Syndicate’s movie The Dead Matter as well as their collaboration with Destini’s Beard on the album A Time Forgotten. This time around, we’re going to delve into the duo’s origins. Who cares? You should, if you like Halloween and horror themed music…
Writer, director and producer Don Coscarelli was well ahead of his time when fathoming Phantasm back in 1974. It was a film that tackled multiple phobias, not the least of which included abandonment, bereavement and separation anxiety. Above all, we, the audience, were reminded that “death” was not a slasher, but a stalker – a stalker that we will all inevitably meet. Of course, death’s personification – the Tall Man – demanded some theatricality: A mortician who bled yellow, commanded a fleet of flying, razor-wielding, silver spheres, whose agenda was to abduct the dead and turn them into his personal army of zombie-dwarves – and the same fate awaited any living person who happened to get in his way!
German autumns don’t indicate Halloween. It’s possible you’ll spot a witch cutout or encounter a lonely, uncarved pumpkin on someone’s porch, but you’re more likely to see tree ornaments, gingerbread cookies or Santa Claus. Here in Germany, October serves as more of a reminder that Christmas is coming. In spite of this, there exist those who refuse to let the Halloween season slip by uncelebrated. One such group are the men and women who organize, promote and support the annual Weekend of Horrors convention at the Salbaau Hall in Bottrop, Germany.
Among the must-have ingredients for any successful horror story are characters with depth. Sure, the monster in question may be harrowing to look at and it might kill gruesomely, but that’s not half as important as the fear that’s demonstrated by the subject of the monster’s attention. Doubly-so in zombie stories: Without living flesh to eat, zombies would just slouch around or stagger aimlessly about in a depressing parade. You wouldn’t go to a movie where there’s just zombies and no living people for them to eat, would you? So it’s fair to say that, as much as we like monsters, we don’t care about them half as much as we care about the struggle against them.
International zombie films such as Shaun of the Dead, Dead Snow and [REC] keep things fresh with new terrains, people, cliches and cultures. What’s also neat about them is that we get to see the breakdown of those cultures as they attempt to endure the zombie apocalypse.
An American Werewolf in London was a milestone for the werewolf genre. Before David Kessler, werewolves had the benefit of a breather during the day while they contemplated what to do about their “situation” before the next full moon. David Kessler had no such luxury: After incurring the mark of the beast — and losing his best friend — David woke up to a never-ending barrage of guilt, nightmares and loss of sanity, the only reprieve from which would be death. Being a werewolf was not cool – it was a curse.
The role of David Kessler required an actor whose talent could reflect the melancholy nature of the beast. Director John Landis wisely chose David Naughton for the part. Thirty years after the release of An American Werewolf in London, I had the privilege of interviewing Mr. Naughton at the Weekend of Horrors convention in Bottrop, Germany.
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