Hellbound: Hellraiser II

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“Your suffering will be legendary, even in hell!”

Hellraiser has spawned eight sequels over the years, not including the piece of trash Revelations, and has made “Pinhead” one of the most iconic of all the horror villains of all time.
It has one of the biggest cult followings ever and has actually influenced our culture in more ways than one. Many people will tell you that they like Hellbound: Hellraiser 2 better and actually prefer it over the first Hellraiser film. Then again, many people will also tell you that the first film is by far superior.
I find myself stuck somewhere in the middle. I don’t feel that either film is better or worse than the other. I tend to think of this film as more of a great companion piece to the first Hellraiser. It is the only one in the series that continues the story of its predecessor and it is the start of the ever growing mythology that has become the Hellraiser universe.

The film once again stars Clare Higgins as Julia and Ashley Laurence as Kirsty. The newcomers are Kenneth Cranham as Dr. Channard and Imogen Boorman as Tiffany. Pinhead is played by Doug Bradley, Chatterer by Nicholas Vince, the female Cenobite by Barbie Wilde, and Butterball by Simon Bamford.

“We have eternity to know your flesh.”

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The first Hellraiser film gave us the love story of Julia and Frank and the “super butcher” order, also known as the Cenobites. Hellbound: Hellraiser 2 puts the tragic story of Julia and Frank on the back burner and changes gears a little, favoring to focus more on the Cenobites themselves. As viewers we get to see just how “Pinhead” was created and also get to see a new Cenobite being created as well.

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The film is a direct continuation of Hellraiser. In fact, the beginning of Hellbound is the ending of Hellraiser. After Kirsty defeats the Cenobites and sends them back to the labyrinths of Hell, she is sent to a mental institution where she meets Dr. Channard. With the exception of a single doctor, his colleagues and a police detective, not believing a word of her fantastical story, assume she has lost her mind. She almost wonders herself after having a vision of what she thinks is her skinned father appearing in her room, and with a bloody fingertip writes the words, “I am in Hell help me.”

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This begins her voyage to Hell and save her father.
It turns out Dr. Channard wants to embark on a voyage of his own. We see throughout the film he has been obsessed with “the box” and the pleasure and pain aspect it synonymously represents. He has the mattress that Julia died on delivered directly to his home. What unfolds is actually one of my favorite scenes in the film. Dr. Channard brings a patient, known as Mr. Browning, to his home from the mental ward. The acting here given by Oliver Smith, is second to none. This is one of those scenes you won’t soon forget. The patient is restrained by a traditional straight jacket and constantly repeats the words, “Get them off me, get them off me!” Releasing the patient from his restraints, Dr. Channard sets Mr. Browning on the mattress and gives him a straight razor to relieve himself from his mental affliction. Mr. Browning then cuts himself repeatedly from chest to groin. That’s when we see a skinless Julia rise from the mattress, and after a short struggle, consumes the patient much in the same way Frank did his victims in the first film. What follows is a unique journey from the maze like corridors of the labyrinth of hell and back.

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“Our mind is a labyrinth.”

Just like the first Hellraiser, this film is packed with highly quotable lines, from beginning to end. Tony Randel did a masterful job of creating Hell on celluloid, particularly how he makes Hell seem “personalized.” We get a glimpse of Frank’s Hell, and I must say, it is quite suiting. We learn from the first film that Frank is a lustful being always looking to satisfy his every sexual desire. There are small arch ways on each side of his room in his personal part of Hell. Inside each hole is a sliding table with writhing, voluptuous women moaning in ecstasy, that he is completely unable to touch or even see outside of the sheet that has been placed on each. If he tries to remove the sheet, there is nothing there anymore, only a slab where the womanly shape had been. Frank’s quote regarding this is wonderful. “This is my Hell. They are here to tease me. They promise forever and never deliver.”

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“Oh my God!”
“No, this is mine. God of flesh, hunger, desire. My God Leviathan, Lord of the Labyrinth.”

When the film was released, screenwriter Peter Atkins received loads of hate mail from fans that were outraged that “Pinhead” and his three Cenobite cohorts, were so easily defeated in their battle. Peter Atkins said it was because they had become “spiritually weakened” by Kirsty when she reminded them that they were once human, while Dr. Channard had already completely left his humanity behind. A lot of people who have seen Hellbound multiple times complain of a somewhat muddled storyline.
One main reason is because Andrew Robinson refused to reprise his role as Larry Cotton, which forced hasty script rewritings. Andrew has stated that he withdrew himself from the production because he was told he would be making less in Hellbound than he did in Hellraiser.

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If you’re a long time fan as I am, you’ll remember an image on the back of the original VHS jacket depicted Pinhead and the female Cenobite dressed as doctors. There are some that think this had become a deleted scene. Doug Bradley enlightened long time fans on his official website by stating that the scene had never been filmed, nor completed. The day they were to shoot that scene, the special effects were not working properly and eventually it was decided that the scene be abandoned.

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Tony Randel made an excellent decision by bringing back Christopher Young for the soundtrack. He did such a masterful job in Hellraiser and it actually became a highlight of the first film. He does such a great job of showing us balance in his score, a mix of beauty and terror, light and dark. He even went so far as to incorporate morse code for “GOD” with Tibetan horns when Leviathan is first shown.

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I have had the absolute pleasure in chatting with both Nicholas Vince (Chatterer) and Barbie Wilde (Deepthroat). They are both great actors and are both authors that have recently published books, all with fantastic success and excellent reviews and they have taken time out of their busy schedules to answer a few questions for me.

Barbie Wilde interview :

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Death by Stereo: The Cenobite you play ultimately became known as “Deep Throat.” Is this a nickname that happened on set during filming? Or was it created by fans of the films?

Barbie Wilde: “Deep Throat” is the nickname that the Image Animation makeup crew gave to the Female Cenobite character. If you look at the credits from the first film, Pinhead was “Lead Cenobite”, Chatterer was “Chattering Cenobite”, Butterball was “Butterball Cenobite”, etc. By the time the second film rolled around, the decision was made to give the Cenobites their makeup crew names for the credits. However, the American production company thought that “Deep Throat” was too rude to use in the credits (because of the notorious 1972 film, Deep Throat, starring Linda Lovelace), so I was lumbered with the rather dull name of Female Cenobite.

Death by Stereo: Did you do anything specific to prepare for the role?

Barbie Wilde: I read Clive Barker’s novella, The Hellbound Heart, as preparation for the role. The makeup and the costume were really helpful as well. Looking into the mirror and seeing myself as a Female Cenobite for the first time was really empowering.

Death by Stereo: Were you ever asked to reprise the role of the Female Cenobite in any of the subsequent films?

Barbie Wilde: The whole production moved to Hollywood and Doug Bradley was the only Cenobite who was asked to come on board.

Death by Stereo: Do you have a favorite Hellraiser film?

Barbie Wilde: I’ve only seen the first two. I love the first Hellraiser movie. I think that the character of Julia is absolutely brilliant. All that twisted sexual obsession for bad boy Frank! And of course, the first time the Cenobites enter is a pretty gobsmacking moment. Of course, a lot of fans prefer Hellbound, as it delves into the Cenobite-Hellraiser mythology in more detail.

Death by Stereo: Clive Barker has recently said that he is very interested in remaking the first Hellraiser film. Would you be interested in appearing once again as a Cenobite for the remake should Clive ask?

Barbie Wilde: If Clive wanted me to be in a Hellraiser reboot, then who am I to say no?! Of course, I’d love to appear in anything that Clive was involved in.

Death by Stereo: How did you get the part of the Female Cenobite?

Barbie Wilde: My acting agent was approached by Doreen Jones, the Casting Director of Hellbound. I met with Tony Randel and I got the part. It was probably one of the easiest auditions I’ve ever gone to! And who knows, maybe Tony was impressed that I knew what the word “cenobite” meant. (It means a member of an order.) He thought it was a word that Clive had made up.

Death by Stereo: What was your favorite experience/memory on the set?

Barbie Wilde: The camaraderie behind the scenes. We all spent a heck of a lot of time being prepared for our roles in makeup and costume: my prosthetic makeup took four hours to apply; I think Doug’s took five hours; Ken Cranham’s took six. We kept our spirits up by telling stories, singing (I know all the hits from Cabaret) and dancing. There is some footage up on Youtube of Simon “Butterball” Bamford doing the CanCan in his costume. Fabulous!

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Here’s Part One of the Hellbound behind-the scenes video filmed by Geoff Portass:

And here’s Part Two:

Also, I’ll never forget my first day of filming. My flight back from the States was delayed 24 hours, so I had to go straight from the airport to Pinewood Studios, then sit in the makeup chair for four hours, get into costume, then wait around for six hours until I got in front of the cameras to film the first big Cenobite scene in Channard’s study. By that time, I was not only jet-lagged and exhausted by not having any sleep for 24 hours, but my mental state was altered beyond belief. I really did feel like a demon from hell!

Death by Stereo: What are you working on these days?

Barbie Wilde: I’m writing a screenplay based on one of my short stories, ‘Zulu Zombies’, which appeared in Fangoria’s Gorezone #29, as well as the anthology, Bestiarum Vocabulum, which is published by Western Legends.
I will be appearing (for the first time in 16 years) in a brilliantly written, unusual British horror anthology movie called Bad Medicine, written by Amazon #1 horror author Dave Jeffery. I’ll be playing an unconventional therapist. I’m also co-writing a musical drama for both stage and screen called Sailor. It’s about love, revenge, death and redemption, set in the ruins of post-War Marseille.

Death by Stereo: Your book The Venus Complex is getting rave reviews all across the board, including our review here at Horror Homework. Do you prefer writing as opposed to acting, and why?

Barbie Wilde: I love writing, although it’s not an easy process for me. I can’t really compare acting and writing – they are so different. (Yet at the same time, complement each other perfectly.) I’m excited to be acting in a movie again after all these years, but I’m equally excited to be writing a movie screenplay.

Death by Stereo: Is there anything you’d like to say to all of the Hellraiser fans out there?

Barbie Wilde: A big “thanks!” to all the fans who have loved Clive Barker’s Hellraiser mythology. It’s a testament to Clive’s genius that people are still intrigued by this most imaginative and seductive of horror stories.

For news, reviews, interviews and convention appearances, you can check out Barbie’s website here, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter!
To check out Barbie’s books and stories, please go to her Amazon USA Author Page.

Nicholas Vince interview :

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Death by Stereo: Your makeup is considerably different from the first film. I saw an interview regarding the first film and you mentioned the makeup process, when finished, was tough to see through. Was the change solely for you to be able to see better?

Nicholas Vince: There was a combination of things. It really was a tough makeup to wear, akin to sensory deprivation as I couldn’t hear, speak or see when wearing the original makeup. So, the guys at Image animation suggested making alterations. Also there were sequences in Hellbound where Chatterer was running after Kirsty down the corridors under the Channard institute. Obviously, I’d need to be able to see to do those. We filmed them but they didn’t make the final cut.

Death by Stereo: Did you have any say so in the final look of the character on the second go round?

Nicholas Vince: Nope. I was just happy to be able to see.

Death by Stereo: Did you do anything specific to prepare for the role?

Nicholas Vince: Just the same as when I played him the first time – chattering my teeth to the bathroom mirror.

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Death by Stereo: Were you ever asked to reprise the Chatterer role in any of the subsequent films?

Nicholas Vince: They were all filmed in the USA and I wasn’t asked.

Death by Stereo: Do you have a favorite Hellraiser film?

Nicholas Vince: Hellraiser and Hellbound. Hellraiser, as it’s a domestic drama with monsters and Hellbound for Kenneth Cranham’s wonderfully creepy Dr. Channard.

Death by Stereo: Working on the first and second Hellraiser, what was different for you in regards to taking direction from Clive and Tony?

Nicholas Vince: I’d not met Tony before, whereas I’d known Clive for years. They also had a very different style.

Death by Stereo: I’ve heard you say you actually had an accident on set with a large hook. Can you tell us about that?

Nicholas Vince: We were filming the sequence where Chatterer is hit in the chest by a tentacle fired from Channard’s palm. I was standing in front of a spinning pillar and at the top was a piece of wood sticking out with a chain and 12” rusty hook – a rice hook I think. As I opened my mouth to scream, the point of the hook went between the false teeth and into the roof of my mouth. It only went in about 1/4” so it was very lucky I was wearing the false teeth or it might have been a lot nastier.

Death by Stereo: Clive Barker has recently said that he is very interested in remaking the first Hellraiser film. Would you be interested in appearing once again as a Cenobite for the remake should Clive ask?

Nicholas Vince: If Clive asked, I’d probably walk into a cage full of lions. No, strike that, probably bad to give him ideas. Yes, whatever Clive asked me, I’d probably do it.

Death by Stereo: What was your favorite experience/memory on the set?

Nicholas Vince: Just being back with the gang who’d made Hellraiser and then meeting Barbie Wilde.

Death by Stereo: You have had excellent success with What Monsters Do and Other People’s Darkness, both have great reviews have been well received. Do you prefer writing to acting? Why?

Nicholas Vince: I prefer to doing everything possible. Acting gets me out of the house and it’s really interesting to work with other people’s words, and other actors. I find it very inspiring. At the same time, I love writing. I always wish I was doing more, but as I’m an author publisher, I spend a fair amount of time concentrating on marketing the books etc. And walking the dog.

Death by Stereo: Did you read Clive’s novella, The Hellbound Heart, prior to working on the film?

Nicholas Vince: I suspect I will have read the book after making the film as I have a memory of reading the standalone version, but honestly, I’m not sure.

Death by Stereo: Is there anything you’d like to say to all of the Hellraiser fans out there?

Nicholas Vince: Yes, thank you! It’s been an amazing couple of decades and I’m really looking forward to meeting some of you in a couple of weeks at Texas Frightmare and later at Atlantic City. And, I’m also looking forward to the 30th anniversary of Hellraiser in 3 years time.

Follow Nicholas Vince on Facebook and Twitter as well!

So that’s it Hellraiser fans! Be sure to check out Nicholas Vince’s and Barbie Wilde’s official websites for great Hellraiser memorabilia and upcoming projects. Be sure to friend all the Cenobites for the most current news and places they will be.
Nicholas Vince even does Google chats with fans on occasion! Until next time hellions!

“It is not hands that call us. It is desire.”

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Horror Comics at TFAW.com

The new trend : Four upcoming movie-to-TV adaptations!

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The remake train doesn’t seem to be slowing down, even for a second.
In fact, it is expanding and crossing platforms, proving once and for all that there may not be any new original ideas out there but there are some new ways to tell the same stories.
Remakes of all of our favorite films have been disturbingly abundant for the past few years, and current producers have fearlessly re-booted, re-imagined, and remade their way through a healthy portion of modern horror classics.
While this is obviously nothing new, and has caused most die-hard fans to begrudgingly accept that their favorite would become a stop on the train sooner or later, this new shift to television is interesting.
In the mid to late 90s, theaters were flooded with big screen adaptations of small screen hits, Hollywood recycling many of the ideas we grew up watching at home. In the two decades since then, television has emerged as the place to be for interesting drama and spectacle. Shows like The Sopranos, Breaking Bad, and American Horror Story have changed the television landscape into a place for the dark and gritty, with more time to live with and focus on getting to know the characters.
So it makes sense to have these expansions, and many of the recent ones have been creatively successful. For example, Hannibal is an incredible series currently ramping up to finish it’s second season, but it faced great adversity from the fans.
Recasting Hannibal Lecter? Unthinkable.
But the show works, and is one of my favorite things on television at the moment. Recent television reboots of Sleepy Hollow and Bates Motel were mildly successful as well, and Robert Rodriguez recently recast and rewrote the cult 1996 film From Dusk Till Dawn for his own television network, El Ray. Nothing seems untouchable, even a new version of the Coen Brothers’ Fargo has hit the networks, featuring a stellar cast and garnering rave reviews.
As with any venture resulting in some success, everyone else has followed suit, so now we have a new trend about to explode all over our shiny flat-screens.
Today we will take a look at several upcoming movie-to-TV adaptations that will be here before you know it.

 

Rosemary’s Baby

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First up is the new version of Rosemary’s Baby, a four hour miniseries kicking off on Mothers’ Day, May 11th on NBC.
A re-working of Roman Polanski’s 1968 classic starring Mia Farrow, this new take brings us Zoe Saldana as Rosemary, an expectant mother who fears her baby might be the spawn of the devil. Set in Paris rather than New York, this new version hopes to creep out a whole new generation of expectant mothers.
Said to adhere more faithfully to Ira Levin’s original novel, this new version has a slew of talented people involved, including writer James Wong (American Horror Story) and director Agnieszka Holland (The Wire).

 

American Psycho

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This project is more of a sequel, which might be a good idea if done well.
The new show for FX is described this way :
“In the new drama series, iconic serial killer Patrick Bateman, now in his mid-50’s but as outrageous and lethal as ever, takes on a protégé in a sadistic social experiment who will become every bit his equal — a next generation American Psycho.”
A “next generation” of American Psycho?
I’m in, as long as it isn’t Mila Kunis this time.
Stefan Jaworski (“Those Who Kill”) is writing and executive producing. Allison Shearmur and Ed Pressman are also executive producing the project, which is being produced by Lionsgate Television and FX Productions.
Personally I would watch the hell out of a series like the one embedded below!

 

 

LifeForce

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Tobe Hooper’s 1985 follow-up to Poltergeist was based on the 1976 novel The Space Vampires by Colin Wilson, and was a favorite as a youngster growing up. Mostly because the main space vampire was a hot French chick that was naked for most of the film.
Seriously though, this one gave me nightmares back in my pre-teens, as the aforementioned naked chick sucked the life out of unsuspecting gentlemen with lightning bolts and shit.
An odd choice for development in television, maybe, but it is happening.
Ringleader Studios is reportedly currently developing the series, with a graphic novel series and video game to tie in as well.

 

The Overlook Hotel

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There is little news about the rumored prequel to The Shining, to be titled The Overlook Hotel, but the 1978 novel and 1980 film are still very popular, and in the spotlight again after the recent documentary Room 237 and Stephen King’s own sequel Doctor Sleep.
Originally planned as a feature film, the idea morphed into a television series, which could be interesting as a collection of ghost stories from the historic hotel.
The last reports were that Glen Mazzara, who worked on The Shield and The Walking Dead, is hard at work on a script. This one has potential, but nothing concrete yet.
Stay tuned.
Some interesting things afoot.
What do you guys think?

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Doomsday is coming. What are you going to wear?

 

Never Sleep Again — The Making Of A Nightmare On Elm Street : The Book!

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As we close in on the 30th anniversary of the release of Wes Craven’s game-changing film “A Nightmare On Elm Street”, a group of the film’s most talented fans intend to give us all an awesome birthday gift!
The over-sized book Never Sleep Again can rest on your coffee table soon, with your help.

The definitive documentary Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy gave us an extensive look at the beloved Nightmare On Elm Street series back in 2010, and now the producers have set their sites on creating a one-of-a-kind book celebrating the history and legacy of one of the most influential films ever made.

 

Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy–The Making of Wes Craven’s “A Nightmare on Elm Street” is the definitive account of the film that began what many have called the best, most frightening and imaginative horror franchise in motion picture history.

As with all the projects and documentaries with which we’ve been involved, it’s the fans who truly make them a reality. That’s why we created the book and are bringing it directly to you: to ensure it’s the most thorough, in-depth, unfettered presentation of the story behind the film. Your pledge will bring this book to life and save it from becoming lost in Freddy’s nightmares!

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10247391_10203923672718404_323644070194899328_nAwesome horror artist Nathan Thomas Milliner has even been tapped to create the amazing cover artwork for this book. Mr. Milliner has spent a life-time immersed in the legacy of the series, and has been creating unique artwork based on the iconic slasher for many years now. He has even recently announced his intention to create a new fan-film prequel to the story, which is incredibly exciting news!
A confirmed die-hard fan of the Nightmare series, this project is a dream come true for the accomplished artist, as you can see from the post from his Facebook page below :

 

If this book is something you would like to see on your own shelf, be sure and donate to their Kickstarter campaign to ensure your copy of the completed book, and share it with any other Nightmare fans you know!
They are offering some great incentives for your donation / pre-order.
Be sure and take a look.
I know that I can’t wait to get my hands on this thing!

 
Horror Comics at TFAW.com

 

Krueger : The Slasher From Elm Street

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Well, unfortunately last week’s announcement of Robert Englund returning to fill Freddy’s glove once again was a cruel April Fool’s joke. The good news is the excellent fan-made series “Krueger” continues this week with part 4 of the story of the man before the burns.
Starring Roberto Lombardi as everyone’s favorite dream-stalker, this prequel from director Chris R. Notarile just keeps getting better.
You can see the first three chapters right here, and please enjoy the newest installment “The Slasher From Elm Street” below.

Be sure and stay tuned to the official Krueger Facebook page for more updates and info about the series. I know I will be looking forward to the next chapter!

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Horror Comics at TFAW.com

Unique custom horror creations from KittieKink Artwear!

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Misty Marie, also known as “Kittie”, has been creating her own unique brand of clothing with us weirdos in mind for the last ten years now. She tells me that she started out cutting up band shirts, and using patches to make corsets, shoes, jewelry, and much more.
With a decidedly unique horror-themed approach to designing artwork as clothing, she began experimenting with different designs and fabrics, all created with the passion of someone who loves what they are doing.
She says, “
I consider my clothes as art because they never turn out as I think they will, always changing my idea through making them, and most of the time my best pieces are made by accident. I’ve been a traveler most of my life and I had to make some kind of trade to make some money. One day I discovered cutting the tops of dresses and sewing on different bottoms looked really awesome, so I also got into doing patch-work. The first pair of pants I made were so awesome and I sold them for a 40oz and some food money to a very excited girl, who had wanted them for awhile…”

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We share her work often on the Horror Homework Facebook page, as she is constantly working on new designs and presenting them for sale on Etsy for anyone who is looking for something one-of-a-kind for someone with a dark side!
Don’t forget, Mother’s Day is coming up!

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Do you have a favorite horror movie?

Hellraiser, of course. But i enjoy them all even the B’s.

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10153859_728724637149564_2668664685589638223_nHas there ever been something that you created that you found difficult to part with?

Yes, most of my pieces I create an attachment to. My art is like my babies.
I’ve actually not sold some items to people because I felt they wouldn’t take care of them.

 

Everything looks so soft and cozy. What kind of fabrics do you use?

I use cotton,Lycra, soft vinyl, and leather.
On my furries I use faux fur.

 

Furries?

Lol yeah I make furry costumes too.
I have a fetish for being a kittie so I made myself a kittie costume and posted it and started getting orders for them.

Mine are unique I make corsets to match.

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Is there a dream project you have not gotten around to yet?

Yes! To make a full burlesque outfit! Made out of serial killer fabric.

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Serial killer fabric? Where do you find such a thing?

I print my own fabric. I printed my john Gacy and Hellraiser fabrics, and can print any image into fabric for custom orders.

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Be sure and stay tuned to KittieKink’s Facebook page for updates about her newest creations, and check her Etsy listings for her latest creations, like these brand new horror comic shoes!

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Doomsday is coming. What are you going to wear?

Stop scrolling! Ten choices for you to watch on Netflix Streaming right now!

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Netflix is a gift and a curse.
Since it’s arrival on the Home Video scene, the company has all but destroyed video stores and rental services as we knew them, and re-invented the way we get our movies. Streaming is the way of the future, and Amazon and many other video services have followed suit and created their own ways of getting the instant gratification we are all seeking.
However, Netflix is still the leader in this area, and one would be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t kick down the 8 bucks a month for unlimited movies.
The problem comes with the choices. There are so many, and some are categorized very strangely, that it is possible to just scroll through the choices for hours at a time without making a decision.
I get asked for recommendations consistently, so what follows is a list of hidden gems and new additions to Netflx Streaming that you may have missed, recommended for your horror/weirdo viewing pleasure!
I hope you guys enjoy the list that follows, and if I have missed any of your favorites, please leave a comment. I am always looking for new things to creep me out as well!

 

Contracted

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Contracted is a recent addition to the service, released a few months ago.
An excellent premise presenting the zombie virus as a mysterious sexually transmitted disease, this one is definitely worth a late night watch.
Not for the squeamish or promiscuous, the film features a dark social commentary with some disgusting practical effects. Add to that a solid performance from Najarra Thownsend as Samantha, this is one will stick with you.
I wrote a full review of Contracted upon it’s release, which you can see here.

 

The Lair Of The White Worm

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Ken Russell’s follow-up to the 1986 film Gothic was this loose adaptation of Bram Stoker’s less-known final novel, The Lair Of The White Worm. Featuring a young Hugh Grant in his first starring role as James d’Ampton, ancestor of a legendary giant worm-slayer, this flick messed with my head as a youngster. The psychedelic sequences brought on by the seductive snake lady Sylvia March make the film worth a watch, and the overall mythology of the legendary White Worm make for a unique horror experience.
Watch this one while medicated. ;)

 

We Are What We Are

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Another recent release that was just added the service is Jim Mickle’s excellent follow-up to Stakeland, this American remake of We Are What We Are. Since seeing this one, I have searched fruitlessly for a copy of the Spanish original, which I understand is very different.
Taken on it;s own, however, this film is a hypnotic slow-burning character study full of great performances. The story of the back-woods Parker family, the film begins as the family begins to fall apart with a shocking tragedy, and degenerates from there.
They are not what they seem, but they are what they are. The film plays out at a tragic measured pace, as the father tries desperately to keep his family together and their odd traditions alive, as a local doctor (played by the always awesome Michael Parks) gets closer and closer to the truth.
This one is a must see.

 

Drew : The Man Behind the Poster

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A fascinating documentary about the legendary poster artist Drew Struzan, this film is required viewing for all creative people, or anyone who enjoys beautiful artwork. The name of Drew Struzan may not be instantly recognizable to all of you, but his classic poster work surely is.
He is the one responsible for all of those amazing posters we grew up drooling over in the 1980′s. Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Back To The Future, The Goonies — Drew Struzan was the man behind these iconic images we all know and love!
This documentary takes a look at his life and work, and gives a fascinating insight into the mind of a true artist. Just awesome viewing.

 

Attack On Titan

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Okay. Anime is not my normal favorite thing. But this show…damn!
The premise is a unique and fully-imagined one, with a dark sense of humor and social commentary and they kill off characters with the sadistic glee of George Martin.
With all 25 episodes available (and the pushy way Netflix starts the next episode automatically 8 seconds after the last one ended) you would be hard-pressed not to get hooked immediately and waste a day binging on this unique series.
I won’t tell you much except that the story revolves around an isolated city surrounded by a series of giant walls designed to protect the inhabitants from the threat of the menacing Titans, over-sized mindless maniacs with a taste for human flesh. Each episode is action-packed and dramatic, and hard to stop watching once you start. Recommended.

 

FDR : American Badass

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After an excited recommendation from a friend at fellow horror page Horror and Shit, I was inspired to watch this ridiculous satirical epic. With a concept so absurd and actors committed to the delivery of some of the most insane dialogue with the straightest of faces, this flick won me over in the opening scene where the titular president gets polio from a werewolf bite. Yup.
The 80 minutes or so that follow are a treasure trove of quotable lines and over-the-top slapstick violence as Barry Bostwick takes on a multi-national coalition of murderous werewolves. With writing and dry performances that bring to mind the old Zucker brothers’ classics from the 80s like Airplane! and The Naked Gun, this one is a real hidden gem.
Need a laugh at something so absurd it shouldn’t even exist?
Click on this one, and thank me later.

 

Tales From The Darkside : The Movie

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A classic from my days growing up, the film version of Tales From The Darkside is hit-and-miss. Rumors have always floated that the film was intended to be Creepshow 3 (!), and it definitely has that flavor, with a wrap-around story that brings us Debbie Harry as witch planning a dinner party with a kidnapped child intended as her main dish who postpones his fate by telling her some progressively better stories.
The first story “Lot 249″ has always kind of bored me to be honest, despite the presence of Steve Buscemi. The second short, The Cat From Hell, ( a Romero/King collaboration) is fun but pretty empty. The last story, Lover’s Vow, is the one that has always stuck with me, following the life of a struggling artist and the promise he makes and breaks with horrifying consequences. Just a great story, with some fun practical effects!

 

American Mary

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The Soska Sisters haunting follow-up to Dead Hooker In A Trunk, American Mary tells the story of a young medical student hitting hard times, who stumbles into an underground body-modification culture where she learns to flourish in a whole new way.
Ginger Snaps’ Katherine Isabelle (all grown up!) stars convincingly as Mary, and we are taken along her journey into a dark hidden world full of creeps and weirdos, as well as surprisingly genuine beautifully-modified people. The film works on all of these levels, and is destined for cult classic status.
Check it out.

 

Frankenstein’s Army

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Looking for a good fast-paced gore-fest? Then, look no further than Frankenstein’s Army!
A found-footage flick set in the end days of World War II, we go along for the ride as a group of Russian soldiers stumble into the ruins of a  village occupied only by a mad scientist and his awesomely designed monstrous creations.
Although a little light on substance, this one works as a late-night thrill ride, and is reminiscent of being pushed through a well-done haunted house attraction.
Jump scares and gory scenes galore!
Looking for something light-weight and different with gorgeous monster effects?
Check out Frankenstein’s Army!

 

Night Of The Living Dead (1990)

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This is one of the few films that makes the case for why remakes exist, even though so many of them fail. Tom Savini’s directorial debut takes George Romero’s original terrifying concept to a new colorful level in this excellent remake.
Starring pre-Candyman Tony Todd as Ben, and Patricia Tallman as Barbara, the film hits the ground running and doesn’t slow it’s pace until the final haunting scenes. Savini’s experience as a special effects master brought a new level of realistic decay to the film’s look, and kept all of Romero’s original social commentary intact, resulting in a film that works so well on every level. This is definitely one of my favorite remakes of all time, and one of my favorite ever horror films, period.
Tom Savini does an amazing job with this modern classic, and it is a shame he hasn’t directed more films!

 

Riki-Oh : The Story Of Ricky

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So…I was going to end this list at 10, but this one goes to 11!
I just discovered, through my browsing, that The Story Of Riki is now available on the service, and this one is a must see for fans of, well, movies.
If you have never seen this insane bit of awesomeness, stop what you are doing right now and start it up. That’s all I have to say about that.

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For any of you who don’t have Netflix, or have the inferior service across the pond, all of these recommended flicks are available through Amazon Streaming or purchase using the widget below. Enjoy!

 
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Robert Englund set to return in a new Nightmare On Elm Street sequel!

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Great news for us horror fans came in today, with the announcement that New Line Cinema has finally decided to listen to the pleas of fans and bring back Robert Englund as Freddy for one last hurrah!

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Even better, similar to last week’s news of a secret Phantasm sequel, this new Nightmare film has already been shot, by none other than Freddy creator and original Nightmare director Wes Craven!
The film is currently being edited by Craven and long-time collaborator Bob Shaye with practical special effects all done by FX master Tom Savini, and they are hoping for an October release.
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Calling the 2010 remake of the beloved cult classic a “disgrace”, Craven claims to be bringing the iconic film series back to it’s roots, with a new vision of what could be the darkest and most disturbing take on the legacy of Fred Krueger ever.
Our source says that Craven has utilized every dark and horrific idea that he was never allowed to put into the older films into this new version of Freddy, and claims that this will be the film that turns Freddy back into the horrifying villain he was at the beginning of the franchise in 1984.
“Over the years,” says our source, “Fred Krueger somehow transformed from the awful nightmarish creature he was into a comedy sketch version of that. Our intention is to return the character to his dispicable roots, and make the audience fear him rather than cheer for him.”
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We are very excited by this news here at Horror Homework, and will be sure and keep you updated as more details emerge about this dream come true film!
I mean, what one of us out there doesn’t want to see one more Nightmare On Elm Street sequel starring the original icon?
I know that I would love to, if this news were true!
Happy April first, everyone. :D

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Rest In Peace Oderus Urungus, aka David Brockie.

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Some very sad news came in late last night.
Reports were popping up everywhere that David Brockie, better known to us as Oderus Urungus~Scumdog Of The Universe, was found dead by his room-mate Sunday evening at the age of 50.
Reported first in his hometown of Richmond, Virginia by StyleWeekly early this morning, it has since been confirmed by several close friends and band members.
David Brockie has died.
Gwar is no more.

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Dave Brockie was 50 years old at the time of his death, but as we all know, the legend Oderus Urungus was 43 billion years old, and was assembled on a planet called Scumdogia in “Syntho Womb 5″ after pieces of his moldy war frame were found scattered throughout the galaxy.

He has survived vicious penguin attacks, raining maggots, sleazy music business honchos, and an ongoing cosmic battle with his arch-enemy, Techno-Destructo. The ever-expanding mythology of Gwar and their adventures out there in the universe have entertained the weird masses for years, spanning 13 albums and many low-budget feature films. They were nominated twice for Grammy awards for Best Metal Performance in 1995 and Best Long-Form Music Video in 1993, losing out to Nine Inch Nails and Annie Lennox, respectively.
Oderus even showed up recently as the next door neighbor in Adam Green’s web-series, Holliston.

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Aside from fronting the relentlessly-touring band, Brockie was also a prolific painter.
His artwork has a chaotic and rough style, and he has consistently produced new and interesting work over the years.

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Gwar was the first “shock rock” band that really made an impression on me in those young formative years. As much as I wanted to get into the other scary bands at the time, the serious Satanic schtick always turned me off. Then came Gwar.
These were guys who didn’t take themselves so fucking serious, and played some heavy songs to scare the parents, dressed in ridiculous costumes and claimed to be from outer space. Now this was something my teenage self could get behind!
Songs like “Sick Of You”, “Sexecutioner” and “Meat Sandwich” helped alleviate the boredom of algebra, and I became a full-blown super-fan after seeing the band live for the first time, at the age of 18.
I will never forget it.
It was in the middle of summer in Ybor City Florida, and the show was outdoors in the courtyard of an old historic theater. Until that point, I never knew how many weirdos there were out there. The show was a loud, obnoxious spectacle and we all left there covered in sweat and fake blood and wearing huge grins.
One of my favorite memories, to be sure.

It seems that Brockie was acutely aware of his own mortality, especially following the shocking death of Cory Smoot, aka “Flattus Maximus” back in November of 2011.

In a January 2012 interview with Full Metal Jackie, Brockie stated about Smoot’s passing: “I think Cory’s death is a big wake-up call for all of us. We all breathed a big sigh of relief when we found out it wasn’t a drug overdose, to speak quite frankly. But then to think that he was 34 and died of a heart attack — it’s really scary.”

He continued: “Everybody out there needs to take care of themselves, especially you guys who are playing in bands and starting to get up into your 40s and you’re all sitting there just like me saying, ‘Holy shit, this is still going on and I can keep doing this probably for the rest of my life?’ Yeah, you can, but you have to take of yourself. You really, really, really, really do. So I’m trying to quit smoking right now.”

Whether you loved him or hated him, David Brockie made his mark on the world, to be sure. These are my favorite people, the ones who get away with it.
A prolific and creative entertainer who delighted in obnoxious subversiveness and over the top theatrics, his voice will be sorely missed.
In the words of another late cult hero, Hunter S. Thompson, “He was a high-powered mutant never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, too rare to die.
Rest in peace, David Brockie
August 30th, 1963 – March 23rd, 2014

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Bad Medicine : A new anthology from Venomous Little Man!

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If there is one trend in horror films I would love to see replace the current glut of remakes, prequels and re-imaginings, it would be more anthology films!
Although most attempts at this type of film are generally uneven, they still tend to entertain most of the time. The shorter lengths help the cause, and if you didn’t care for one story or style, maybe the next one will prove more to your liking. In most cases, even if every short isn’t a home run it is usually possible to find something to enjoy.
Personally, I would love to see more films like this, where a collection of different writers and directors get to play in a loosely-shared world. There are so many short films out there waiting to be seen, and much of the time they get lost in the shuffle at film festivals and buried on Youtube channels. Bringing them to the big screen is a fine idea, and a trend to get behind!
In fact, this coming year will bring us several new attempts at the horror anthology, including The ABC’s Of Death 2 and XX, the first ever anthology directed exclusively by women.
With any luck (and some generous donations), we will also see Bad Medicine, a new anthology from Venomous Little Man Productions, creators of “Ascension”.
The crew of VLM seem to have their heads in the right place regarding practical effects and their intention is to bring true horror to the screen!

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According to the Bad Medicine Kickstarter page :

Anyone who remembers the classic horror anthologies such as ASYLUM, with Robert Powell and Peter Cushing, or King and Romero’s CREEPSHOW will have an idea of what VLM Productions is hoping to achieve with its next project. BAD MEDICINE is a psychological horror film that contains five stories – or segments – united by a wraparound story. The film is set in a modern day mental health unit where a therapist is holding a group therapy session. Five participants each recount their story in the hope the therapist can resolve their trauma and help them to move on. But what happens if the therapist is not what he seems and has something far more sinister in mind for his patients?

The project will be shot in five phases. The first installment, Tainted Love, is expected to shoot in late April, 2014.

Your donations will help to hire professional crew and equipment, industry standard sound, make up and FX artists to ensure that what ends up on screen is of high quality and reflective of the standards an audience expects from a film on a big screen. There will also be a heavy emphasis on practical creature FX as seen in seminal movies such as AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON and THE THING.

As a project, we at VLM Productions are excited at the prospect of revisiting the classic kind of storytelling that has made shows like THE TWILIGHT ZONE, TALES FROM THE CRYPT and OUTER LIMITS such a long lasting success. We believe that quality filming making from an award winning company BAD MEDICINE will resonate with any member of the audience who wants more from their movie experience than cheap make up and meaningless violence.

The filmmakers have already assembled an impressive cast, including Barbie Wilde (Hellbound: Hellraiser II), Derek Melling, (Ascension, Inbred, The Electrician), Laurence Saunders (Ascension, Deadtime, The Seasoning House, The Village, EastEnders, Doctors), Tom So (Casino Royale, Sherlock, Being Human), Anthony Miles (Quizmaster, Blood and Bone China) and Mark Rathbone (Ascension, Inbred, Cradle of Fear).

If you are interested in helping this ambitious film get funded, be sure and check out the Kickstarter page and make a donation to claim one of the great perks they are offering!
And stay tuned to the Venomous Little Man’s Official Facebook page for news and updates about the film.

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Original Horror Shirts

Delirium magazine delivers the goods on Full Moon Studios!

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Billing itself as “the only film magazine made by filmmakers” the new bi-monthly print magazine Delirium is available now!
Edited by master horror journalist Chris Alexander (former columnist for Rue Morgue, and current editor of Fangoria and the newly-resurrected Gorezone), Delirium is a different kind of magazine.
Brought to us under the banner of Full Moon Pictures, this new periodical is meant to focus on the work and films of Mr. Charles Band.
A legend in the horror industry, Mr. Band is responsible for many of the classic Empire films of the early 80′s before forming Full Moon Studios and bringing us many new staples of the genre.
In fact, over the past four decades, Mr. Band has had his hand in hundreds of films of varying quality and relevance. The goal of this new magazine is much more than a simple advertisement for the works of Charles Band, it is a glossy look into the past and future of everything Band-related.

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The first issue smartly kicks off with an informative look back at the definitive cult classic Re-Animator, as you can see on the beautiful cover above.
The format of the magazine closely resembles the Rue Morgue layout from Alexander’s tenure, beginning with a brief editor’s note and a quick look at notable releases. News about the new web-series “Trophy Heads” and a re-release of the “ganja-version” of 1996′s “Head Of The Family” quickly leads into the Re-Animator coverage.
The articles include an insightful interview with director Stuart Gordon and a nice chat with scream queen Barbara Crampton (complete with stills of her assets). Capping it off with a look at the much-loved score by Richard Band and a fascinating serial memoir from Gordon himself, the Re-Animator coverage is informative and fun. Everyone seems to remember it fondly, and it is great to learn some inside information on the making of the classic film!

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Followed by an article called “The Birth Of A Director”, Alexander next interviews Douglas Aarniokoski about his experience in the movie industry. Known as the director of the new film Nurse 3D, as well as past experiences as an AD for Robert Rodriguez and Sam Raimi, Aarniokoski’s story is one of those great ones. A guy who loves movies just goes for it, and his hard work and dedication pays off. A very inspiring story!

Next, we get an inside look at Full Moon’s Wizard Studios imprint, which is designed to spotlight international indie filmmakers and give them a wide distribution through the new streaming service. They give us quick looks at three upcoming titles from the service, alongside quick chats with the creative people responsible for them.

A peek at the sequel for Killer Eye follows that, and a long and loving look at Stephanie Rothman’s 1972 film “The Velvet Vampire” which is one of many titles streaming under the Grindhouseflix label. In fact, the next article gives us quick synopses of a selection of titles also available to stream under the Blue Underground license. Some serious classics are on this list of exploitation flicks, including The Blood Spattered Bride, The Church, and Lamberto Bava’s directorial debut, Macabre.

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Things get wrapped up with a long and loving look back at Tourist Trap, and a final  thank you from Charles Band himself, reminiscing of the days of old Marvel Comics and the fond memories of “Stan Lee’s Soapbox”, where the readers were treated to a look inside the windows of the life of the creative person. This seems to be the mission of Delirium magazine : to take a long look back at the decades of work put in, and have a little fun doing it!

Over all, I very much enjoyed the first issue of Delirium, even though at some points it feels uncomfortably clear that it is essentially a 52-page advertisement for the films and services of Mr. Band. To be fair, however, the man has had a long and fascinating career in the horror industry, and it seems unlikely that Alexander and the other contributors to the magazine will run out of interesting stories any time soon!
Looking forward to the second issue, which will feature a close look at the great “Tombs Of The Blind Dead” series, and many more!
Subscribe to the magazine and peruse the unique Streaming Service here , and be sure to check them out on Facebook for updates and news about new and upcoming issues.

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