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  • The ‘Cutting Monster’: Bizarre 18th century illustrations of London’s stab-happy lady stalker
    11:20 am



    A bizarre illustration/caricature by James Gillray of the ‘Monster’ (aka the ‘Cutting Monster’) assaulting one of his female victims, 1790.
    Nearly a century before Jack the Ripper terrorized the streets of London, a serial lady-stalker dubbed the “Monster” (or the “Cutting Monster”) would attack his first victim in May 1788. During a short walk in the early evening to a friend’s home, Mrs. Maria Smyth had the misfortune to cross paths with a man who, according to a vintage account of the incident, made a loud, lascivious request of Mrs. Smyth. Smyth picked up the pace of her evening stroll which in turn caused her harasser to increase his lurid taunting. By the time Smyth got to her friend’s doorstep the man lurched quickly with a knife and stabbed her in the breast and thigh—something that would become somewhat of a signature move for the Monster.

    More than 50 similar attacks by the roving slasher would occur over the course of a three-year period in which the Monster would seemingly go out of his way to stab his victims in the same areas—the breast, buttocks or thigh—after verbally accosting them in the street when they were not in the company of a male companion or chaperone. The slash-happy assailant also incorporated the use of a bouquet of flowers to conceal a knife which he would use to stab his targets in the face when he was able to convince them to get close enough to the flowers to smell them. It’s also been theorized that whoever the “Monster” was. he enjoyed slashing up his victim’s clothing almost as much as plunging his knife into their flesh. As you might imagine the incidents were covered by the newspapers of the day and in 1790 a rather terrifying and wildly out-of-proportion caricature was done by Scottish artist Isaac Cruikshank (pictured at the top of this post) and was published by S.W. Forest, which was based on a first hand account by three women who were attacked by the Monster.

    In the summer of 1790, florist—and frequent visitor to London’s many brothels—Rhynwick Williams was picked-up by the Bow Street Runners (who were essentially functioning as an early version of the police during the time) on suspicion of being the man behind the sexually-charged attacks. William’s not only insisted he was innocent but was able to bring forward numerous witnesses that would vouch for his whereabouts during the crimes. As the furor surrounding the assaults had reached epidemic levels around London the prosecution in the case decided that charging Williams’ with “destruction of property” would bring the longest sentence—a possible seven years per crime. The destruction of property in this case being the clothing the Monster had such an affinity for shredding up while attacking his female victims.

    The charge didn’t stick and Williams was tried a second time four months later and convicted of “three counts of wounding” which sent him to chokey for six years. Though the attacks all but stopped once Willams was locked up, he would continue to profess his innocence (noted in the 2002 book The London Monster: A Sanguinary Tale by Jan Bondeson) in letters from jail where he would cite criminal cases that were similar to the ones he was accused of in an attempt to perpetuate the idea that the “Monster” was still “out there” and that the cops were even covering up crimes to save face. When he was finally released Willams apparently married a woman who wasn’t afraid of sharp objects and according to historians of the case no further references to “Rhynwick Williams” were ever recorded with the exception of one that strongly suggests Williams changed his name to “Henry” so he could avoid further association with the Monster.

    A strange depiction of London’s the ‘Monster.’

    The second panel from Cruikshank’s depiction of the ‘Monster’ featuring his victim outfitted with protective ‘copper bottom.’ And yes, ‘copper bottoms’ were a thing back in the 18th century though they were used by women to ‘enhance’ their appearance.

    The ‘Monster’ (now with three heads) attacking a pair of ‘old maids,’ 1790.
    More of the Monster after the jump…

    Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
    Corrosion of Conformity member’s parents tell hilarious tale of legendary 1984 punk riot show
    09:41 am



    Corrosion of Conformity have been at it for over three decades now. Formed in 1982 as a hardcore punk band in Raleigh, North Carolina, within a couple of years of existence they came to the forefront, along with DRI and Suicidal Tendencies, of the burgeoning “crossover” scene, which was the initial melding of hardcore punk and thrash metal—two subcultures that were strangely previously at odds with one another in the early ‘80s.

    COC has continued successfully, throughout the years, eventually settling in to a slower, heavier, bluesy-metal sound.

    This week, COC will be playing the North Carolina State Fair, but it’s not the first time they have made an appearance on that stage, as The News and Observer reports:

    Thirty-two years ago, Dorton was the site of a battle of the bands called “Battlerock ’84.” COC, whose members were still teenagers, was among the contestants. And no one outside of Raleigh’s punk cognoscenti knew what to make of them.

    COC’s performance would end almost immediately after security mistook the crowd response for a riot and shut it down. In the ensuing scuffle, COC vocalist Eric Eyche was arrested, COC guitarist Woody Weatherman’s mother had an altercation resulting in charges – and a legend was born.

    The scene, as described by band members, was a misunderstanding between security and concert-goers with the officials being confused over the slam-dancing, freaking out, and shutting the show down, which merely escalated the volatile situation.

    They moved to shut COC down and pulled the plug. The head of the stage crew wound up onstage in a confrontation with [vocalist Eric] Eyche, and he sustained injuries after being thrown into the crowd. That got the cops’ attention.

    “What ensued was a misunderstanding,” said Steve Bass, the promoter. “They saw Eric as instigating a riot, so they tried to restrain him, put hands on him and it did not go well with the crowd.”

    Once the music stopped, multiple altercations broke out between band members, State Fair police and the stage crew. Eyche was the only one arrested on the scene – taken offstage as the crowd chanted “T.J. Hooker,” a reference to the cheesy cop series starring William Shatner.


    In Eyche’s telling, the cops’ treatment of him was not exactly gentle.

    “When they took me out back, a female officer was detaining me by a squad car,” Eyche said. “I kept asking her what I’d done, she kept telling me to shut up and I finally said, ‘Baby, (expletive) you.’ She grabbed the back of my head and slammed me into the car. ‘You shut up now,’ she said. ‘O.K., got it!’ ”

    But Eyche wasn’t the only one who got into trouble with the law at that fateful show…

    See who else ran afoul of police at the show, after the jump…

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



    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
    Illustrations of the people who want artists to work for free
    09:17 am

    Current Events


    If you’re an artist these actual quotes from people asking you to work for free just might sound all too familiar. Heck, you don’t even have to be a freelance artist for these quotes to ring true. This is being done all over the workplace these days.

    Format Magazine asked artist and illustrator Emmie Tsumura to take actual “will you work for free?” quotes and imagine the faces of the people who said them. These very real quotes come from the Twitter feed For Exposure. For Exposure currently has over 38k followers and counting.



    More after the jump…

    Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
    Rocky Horror Denture Show: Artist recreates Dr. Frank-N-Furter/Tim Curry’s teeth
    08:38 am



    I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, “Well someone had to do it, right?”

    And this someone is painter and sculptor Jessine Hein. We’ve blogged about Hein’s work here before when she created dentures of David Bowie’s old teeth before he had them “fixed” with porcelain veneers.

    This time around it’s The Rocky Horror Picture Show‘s own Dr. Frank-N-Furter’s pearly whites. They’re made of denture acrylics, plaster and acrylic paint.

    When I think of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, I think of Tim Curry’s big crooked smile. Dr. Frank-N-Furter was a character on the forefront of expressing oneself honestly and unapologetically. And his wonky teeth were not standing in the way of his outrageous glamor. Instead they were highlighting his shimmering personality and were part of his charm. It’s a beautiful example of a complimentary imperfection.

    Some time ago Curry got his teeth “fixed.” That inspired me to revive the original oral pearls of the one and only “sweet transvestite” in celebration of things that don’t need a remake.

    Not only is Jessine Hein skilled at making exact replicas of pop icons’ teeth, she’s one hell of an oil painter, too. Do yourself a favor and check out her work here.


    More after the jump…

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



    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
    Giant John Waters head bong
    02:34 pm



    Image via NikkiSwarm on Instagram

    I completely adore this huge ceramic John Waters head bong by artist John de Fazio. The piece is currently on exhibit in Los Angeles at Venus Over Manhattan. (Looks more like a “pipe” to me, but the Internet is calling it a “bong.”)

    Fun fact: During his brief tenure at NYU in 1966, a young John Waters was involved in the first major pot bust on a college campus. University authorities asked the students involved to keep quiet about the incident, but Waters called the New York Daily News the next day giving the tabloid paper an interview about what had happened.

    Photo by Nicole McClure AKA Nikki Swarm on Instagram and Twitter

    Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
    ‘Plan 9 from Bikini Beach’: Glamourous beatnik ghoul girl ‘Vampira’ goths it up back in the 1950s
    01:05 pm



    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
    Wonderful Japanese kaiju playing cards
    11:07 am



    I have almost no information about these marvelous Japanese playing cards featuring some of the most fearsome kaiju monsters, blithely exposing the naked hubris inherent in all of our fancy industrial structures (mostly by tearing them apart).

    Judging from the typeface and so forth, it can’t be much later than the mid-1960s, can it? Anybody out there know?

    The source for these images is Flickr user ToadLickr, who indicates that these cards may have been made by the Alaska card company.

    You can see quite a few more of these great cards at the endlessly rewarding blog Monster Brains.


    More of these excellent kaiju playing cards after the jump…...

    Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
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