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Peter Murphy stars as ‘The Dead’ in the experimental Super 8 film ‘The Grid,’ 1980
09:53 am


Peter Murphy

The VHS release of The Grid (via Tumblr)
In 1980, the animator Joanna Woodward (a/k/a JoWOnder) cast her boyfriend Peter Murphy in a short film called The Grid. Now I know it’s hot on planet Earth, but goddammit! If In The Flat Field-era Peter Murphy playing a character called “The Dead” doesn’t put you in the holiday spirit, then maybe somebody’s forgotten the true meaning of Halloween.

Here are JoWOnder’s own notes about her movie, which she says was projected at Bauhaus shows in the 80s. I wish she explained what T.S. Eliot is doing on the soundtrack. Typos are hers.

A story about a time traveler and the search for the first cell of one’s existence. ‘The Dead’, played by Peter Murphy searches for and finds a ‘Grid’ which enables him to watch the beginning of his life -from the moment of conception.

Tip: For a better picture view: watch using the ‘Full Screen’ Option.

Filmed when, when Peter was the boyfriend of Joanna Woodward in the 1980’s, on Super 8 Film Format. This copy has been taken by Jo from the VHS which Peter sold copies of on his, 2000, international Just for Love tour. (The original a clear picture Super 8 copy having been mislaid).

The Grid, movie toured with Bauhaus and was projected on stage in the 1980s. Jo says;’ that she was much more interested in fine art and not so much commercial art or popular music. Punk was predominant at that time and it was quite common for things to get ‘gobbed at’ as a sign of appreciation.’

The closing music here is Subhanallah by Peter Murphy however, the original concluding music track, for The Grid was Kate Bush, Lion Heart. Jo finds both concluding music tracks satisfying however, the Kate Bush track was intended to echo the opera music earlier in the film and the female ‘creator of life’ bursting through. The film’s main soundtrack Jo devised herself on a synthesizer with live playing of a recorder. The tiny sound of ‘clicks’ that can be heard are, literally the sound of switching on and off equipment as she recorded live to the film picture with an open microphone.

Watch ‘The Grid’ after the jump…

Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
‘The Witch’ movie playset for kids!
09:48 am


The Witch

Somehow I missed this delightful The Witch playset for kids created by Playnnobil and featured on Millionaire Playboy. It was “released” to the Internet back in March and is based on Robert Eggers’ 2015 historical period horror flick The Witch (or The VVitch if you prefer). Dig his Black Phillip figure!

I had mixed emotions about The Witch. While I thought that it was very beautifully shot, and well-acted, it just didn’t scare the pants off me the way movie critics (and seemingly everyone on Facebook) promised it would. More “arthouse flick” as opposed to something truly terrifying, like say The Descent.

I don’t know, but I thought that it could’ve been a lot scarier. That’s just me. I kept waiting and waiting for something to happen, but by the time it finally did it just felt too late. If you haven’t seen it yet, I won’t give anything away. Again, what do I know, it could make for a good, spooky October film for you and yours. You might love it. Many people did. There were several haunting elements of the film that stayed with me, but I can’t honestly recommend The Witch but tepidly.

Anyway, I can appreciate the artistry, of both the film and this cool PLAYMOBIL-themed playset! If you want to know more about Playnnobil’s thoughts about his creations—and the source of his inpiration—go here. There aren’t too many spoilers.


More after the jump…

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Behold the wonders of ‘The Simply Divine Cut-Out Doll Book’
01:50 pm



Seventy-one years ago today, Harris Glenn Milstead was born at the (appropriately named?) Women’s Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. Decades later, after a potent handful of John Waters movies and who knows how many disco singles, we celebrate perhaps the greatest diva the world has ever known—as Divine.

It’s amazing to think that Divine appeared in only thirteen movies in all those years. Thirteen! At least that’s how IMDb has it. I find that absolutely amazing. You could easily argue that on a per-minute basis, Divine had the biggest impact on audiences in movie history. Who would rate higher, Rob Reiner’s mother?

Much like Groucho Marx, Divine’s characters always had the best names, from Francine Fishpaw (Polyester) and Dawn Davenport (Female Trouble) to Babs Johnson (Pink Flamingos) and Edna Turnblad (Hairspray).

In 1983 Van Smith, who did make-up and costume design for most of Waters’ movies, released The Simply Divine Cut-Out Doll Book. Today it’s out of print, and is listed on Amazon for more than $300, although a typical asking price is closer to $125. However, you don’t need the book to soak in the bumptious appeal of Divine, we’ve got several pics from it right on this page.

More pics after the jump…...

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Limited edition Alejandro Jodorowsky ‘El Topo’ figurine
10:45 am


Alejandro Jodorowsky
El Topo

For a certain type of person, the announcement of four figurines based on characters from the films of Alejandro Jodorowsky—and created in consultation with the director himself—will be cause for much fanboy and fangirl rejoicing. If you are the significant other of one of these certain types of people, then this is the part where you cross them off your Christmas list, he wrote chuckling to himself, knowing fully well that his own wife would be reading this post…(!)

With pre-orders starting this Friday, October 21, ABKCO Films and Unbox Industries are unleashing the first in a series of licensed limited edition figurines based on the work of Jodorowsky, specifically characters from his films El Topo and Holy Mountain:

The first figure released is El Topo (“The Mole”) from the landmark cult film of the same name that began the Midnight Movie phenomena of the counterculture 1970s.  Classic Americana and avant-garde European sensibilities meet Zen Buddhism and the Bible as master gunfighter and cosmic mystic El Topo, played by Jodorowsky, must defeat his four sharp shooting rivals on an ever increasing path to allegorical self-enlightenment and surreal resurrection. The statue, made of polystone, a full 14 inches in height and distress brown in color, features exquisite detail and is packaged in a specially crafted wood embossed box. Each piece bears the replica signature of Alejandro Jodorowsky.

The highly respected sculptor Andrea Blasich worked closely with ABKCO and Jodorowsky to ensure the figurines are as realistic as possible to their characters from the films.

As you can see, it looks very nice.

Unbox Industries will be releasing future figurines based on Jodorowsky’s 1973 masterpiece The Holy Mountain later this year and in 2017. I doubt they’ll do this, but imagine what it would be like if they did the famous Christ statue from the film and you obtained dozens of them for display in your own home. It would be expensive, sure, but just think how impressed the guy reading the gas meter would be!

Pre-order yours from the Unbox Industries website.


More after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
‘He has his father’s eyes’: Behind-the-scenes with ‘Rosemary’s Baby,’ 1968
09:21 am


Rosemary's Baby

Last week I blogged about behind-the-scenes images Brian De Palma’s 1976 supernatural horror film Carrie. To keep things in the Halloween spirit, this week is Roman Polanski’s 1968 psychological horror flick Rosemary’s Baby.

I love this film. It absolutely scared the shit out of me when I first saw it as a kid. I can see why it’s considered one of the greatest American horror films ever made. Many, if not most horror films—like The Exorcist for example—eventually lose their ability to truly terrorize audiences over time. Rosemary’s Baby never will.

Here’s a quirky little Wikipedia tidbit about the filming of Rosemary’s Baby:

When Farrow was reluctant to film a scene that depicted a dazed and preoccupied Rosemary wandering into the middle of a Manhattan street into oncoming traffic, Polanski pointed to her pregnancy padding and reassured her, “no one’s going to hit a pregnant woman.” The scene was successfully shot with Farrow walking into real traffic and Polanski following, operating the hand-held camera since he was the only one willing to do it.

Nice guy!

If you, like me, dig Rosemary’s Baby as much as I do, hopefully you’ll appreciate these marvelous on set images. Sadly, I could hardly find any candid moments with the wonderful Ruth Gordon.

Roman Polanski directing Mia Farrow

John Cassavetes, Mia Farrow and director Roman Polanski
More after the jump….

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
These gruesome horror movie posters from Thailand really know how to sell their shit
09:26 am


horror movies
movie posters

Zombie Holocaust’ (1982)
You could say the best kind of movie posters make their pitch—entice an audience—without giving too much of their story away.

On the other hand, these kickass movie posters from Thailand don’t bother with such niceties—they go straight for the choice cuts, chop ‘em up and serve ‘em fresh on a lurid day-glo platter. The end result often means the posters are better than the films they’re selling.

In among this lurid gallery of grisly delights are some fine movies—To the Devil a Daughter, The Changeling, Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead II, George A. Romero’s Martin and (a personal fave) John Carpenter’s Prince of Darkness. Of course, there are quite a few bombs too—including George Clooney’s film debut Return to Horror High, Subspecies II and Manhattan Baby.

In the end—it doesn’t really matter as long as these posters succeeded in making each of these films look like two thumbs up.
The Beyond’ (1981)
The Changeling’ (1980)
More lurid Thai horror movie posters, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Pulp friction: Vintage matchbooks transformed into tiny pulp novel book covers (and more)
02:46 pm


pulp novels
Jason D'Aquino

Matchbook art by Jason D’Aquino based on the rather terrifying looking cover for the vintage pulp novel ‘The Hungry Ones’ from 1968.
I’ve been a fan of miniature artist Jason D’Aquino since becoming aware of him back in 2008 when I saw some of his artwork drawn on the little wooden spoons that are included in Good Humor ice cream bowls, as well as his detailed matchbooks on which the New York artist incorporates images of everyone from Hunter S. Thompson to Alfred Hitchcock. Since that time D’Aquino has expanded his matchbook art (for which he only uses vintage matchbooks) to include homages to lurid pulp fiction novels featuring bad girls and guys acting as you would expect them to. Poorly.

D’Aquino (who also used his artistic skills in the tattoo business until 2014) has credited Maurice Sendak and H. P. Lovecraft as his inspirations. His most recent matchbook artwork features naughty pulp pinups (including Bettie Page), a few serial killers, Christopher Walken, and an incredible teeny-tiny homage to Gene Wilder in which D’Aquino managed to reproduce a sweet riff on the movie poster for the 1974 film Young Frankenstein, The piece not only included Wilder but also Marty Feldman (who played Igor) and his creation of “The Monster” as played by actor Peter Boyle. I’ve been lucky enough to see some of D’Aquino’s work up close and in-person and can safely say that it is even more magnificent than it looks on your screen. A dizzying array of D’Aquino’s artful matchbooks follow. Some are delightfully NSFW.

A reproduction of the cover of the 1962 pulp novel ‘Blondes are Skin Deep.’

‘Homicide Hotel,’ 1951.

‘Illicit Desires,’ 1949.
More mini-masterpieces after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
‘Plan 9 from Bikini Beach’: Glamourous beatnik ghoul girl ‘Vampira’ goths it up back in the 1950s

Maila Nurmi (aka ‘Vampira’) looking gorgeously goth at the beach with her umbrella, mid-1950s.
Maila Nurmi the captivatingly gorgeous Finnish model and actress with a tiny nineteen-inch waist, created an instant sensation when she attended a masquerade ball in Hollywood in 1953. She was dressed as the cartoon character created by longtime New Yorker contributor Charles Addams that would later become the inspiration for “Morticia Addams” in The Addams Family television series. After winning the top prize in the ball’s costume contest, Nurmi became “Vampira,” introducing—and often poking sly fun at—horror movies on her own local LA television program The Vampira Show on WABC. By the time that 1954 rolled around Nurmi was already a star. After doing time as a coat check girl in her early years, Nurmi was now rubbing elbows with everyone from Marlon Brando (who romanced Nurmi), to Surrealist photographer Man Ray (who shot her), to Antonio Vargas (who drew her) to James Dean (who wondered if she was possessed by something demonic). The evil “Maleficent” character from Disney’s animated Snow White was even based on her look (as confirmed by Disney), but her fame sadly didn’t last as long as it should have. She was cast in Ed Wood Jr.‘s Plan 9 from Outer Space in 1959, for which she was paid $200 but insisted on not saying a word of Wood’s lousy dialogue. It is for this mute role that she will eternally remembered.

After disappearing from the Tinseltown spotlight Nurmi continued to be a sort of real Hollywood vampire, even ghoulishly cavorting with the Misfits and performing with a pubk band called Satan’s Cheerleaders during the 1980s when she was in her sixties. At one point Nurmi got into some legal disputes stemming from the rights to Vampira’s image including one lawsuit Nurmi launched against Cassandra “Elvira” Peterson for ripping off her Vampira image, which was dismissed. Despite this, Nurmi’s “Vampira” character continues to endure since she conceived of her over 60 years ago. She was played by Lisa Marie in Tim Burton’s film, Ed Wood.

Somewhat rather underappreciated during her time, Maila Nurmi was lovingly profiled in the 2012 documentary Vampira and Me which featured newly restored kinoscopes of her TV appaearances. Some of the photos that follow (though tame) might be slightly NSFW because, bikinis.


More after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Behind-the-scenes images from ‘Carrie,’ 1976
12:18 pm



A blood-soaked Sissy Spacek sneaking a smoke
Since Halloween is just around the corner, it felt appropriate to post these behind-the-scenes images from Brian De Palma’s 1976 supernatural horror film Carrie.

Although I couldn’t find too many, I fell in love with the images of a blood-soaked Sissy Spacek giggling her ass off. Not quite “scary,” a lot of these images are just plain funny.

As creepy as Carrie is, it looks like many smiles were to be seen on the set. Good times with pigs’ blood!

Brian De Palma (left of frame) sets up a nearly 2 1/2 minute, circling dolly shot that tracks around Sissy Spacek and William Katt as they dance at the prom.


Brian De Palma discusses Piper Laurie’s death scene with the actress.
More after the jump…

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Gothtastic pics of the alluring Carroll Borland as Dracula’s daughter in ‘Mark of the Vampire’

Actress Carroll Borland in a publicity shot for the 1935 film ‘Mark of the Vampire.’
Director Tod Browning’s deeply strange gem from 1935 Mark of the Vampire (alternatively known as “Vampires of Prague” and “Vampires of the Night”) was actually banned in Sweden and Poland following its release for possessing too many gory scenes. In Hungary numerous scenes—especially any that featured bats—were removed, which sort of makes sense given Hungary’s long history with vampire mythology. The film’s tale actually started off a whole lot weirder and part of its incredibly dark and sinister storyline ended up getting slashed.

Browning—who also gave us 1932’s Freaks and 1931’s classic Dracula—directed 62 shorts and films during his career decided to add a layer of WTF to the already off-kilter flick which was adapted from his own 1927 silent film London After Midnight starring another famous movie monster, the great Lon Chaney. Apparently the screenplay had been enhanced and edited by such a large number of writers that at one point it included an incestual father/daughter relationship (noted in the book 2009 book Bram Stoker’s Dracula: A Reader’s Guide)  between Lugos’s character of “Count Mora” and the gorgeous Carroll Borland who played the Count’s daughter “Luna.” And since that kind of deviance (according to the screenplay) was against the “Vampire Code of Conduct” Count Mora is sent to live out his days away from the dark world he once inhabited. He then ends up committing suicide by shooting himself in the head out of remorse for his crimes.

In all about fourteen minutes of footage was cut in accordance with the morality police in charge at the time. Though Browning campaigned to keep the footage and storyline intact he wasn’t exactly a studio darling after the massive financial hit the studio took on Freaks a few years prior.

If you’ve never seen Mark of the Vampire, despite its jumpy storyline I highly recommend it to you if for no other reason to see the scene where the gothtastic Ms. Borland flies onto the set with the help of a massive set of white bat wings. A trick that according to reliable folklore took nearly three weeks to nail. Nice.

Borland and Bela Lugosi.

Borland and Bela.
More more more after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
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