Thursday, December 18, 2014

Silent Night, Deadly Night action figure from Retroband

I want one of these under the Festivus pole this year, too cool:

Get yours from Retroband here:

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Art fart 11/15/14

The latest scraps of flesh....

Sketched these while watching SOULTANGLER....



A movie about a demonic answering machine directed by Freddy Krueger(!?); sign me up twice.  Over this Halloween holi-dazed weekend I decided to dust off my old 976-EVIL VHS tape and give it a spin, and I am glad I did.  The movie itself focuses on an odd pair of cousins (Spike and Hoax) who live under the rule of a staunch religious fundamentalist aunt who is obsessed with keeping her couch clean.  Spike is the hard knock cool motorcycle riding greaser dude, Hoax is the helpless nerd who looks up to him.  Spike discovers a strange card for a “Horrorscope” service in a booby magazine, and decides to start calling it for daily kicks.  The strange, supernatural phone service seems to have insider knowledge in Spike’s life which makes him uncomfortable with calling the number so he tries to throw the card with the number away, however his nerdy never-do-well cousin picks up the card and discovers the phone number is the answer to all his problems.  Dark rituals always get the job done.   Soon Hoax gets possessed by a demon, he starts ripping the hearts out of his foes, cracks a ton of puns, grows some facial hair , soils the couch, and is generally being an evil jerk, which I thought was a nice change in pace from perpetual victim. 

I had a lot of fun dialing into 976-EVIL.  Freddy Krueger knows how to film sleazy, dirty, dingy piss soaked locals.  The entire film has a miasma of trashy delight that I found quite atmospheric, like a horror yarn told in a neon lit back alley.  I used to live on the wrong side of the tracks, the “bad” side of town and the locals picked in the movie reminded me of those streets.  You can almost waft the scent of day old beer and broken dreams.  I think maybe they were going for the 80’s punk trash culture look, which works for the movie. 

The main set of bullies that antagonize and torture Hoax spend their nights playing strip poker behind a movie theatre that constantly spins horror movies.  It’s kind of an odd choice considering there is only one girl in the group, but there are a lot of little odd accoutrements to the film that make revisiting it interesting; like the pneumatic air messaging system the cousins use to communicate between their separate houses (Spike kind of lives in the shed).  I don’t think I’ve ever seen a bank teller pneumatic air system used as a set piece in a movie, especially one that dangles over the pits of hell, but here we are.     

There is also a scene that has fish falling from a sky during a rain storm; seemingly legitimizing Hoax’s crazy religious mother’s claims that God regularly speaks to her.  She claims the falling fish are a sign from God that something disastrous is going to happen to Spike if she doesn’t intervene in his ungodly ways.  The movie kind of sides with her on this point; later Spike does find himself in trouble with the Horrorscope call number.  It brings a reporter into the mix of the story but his thread doesn’t exactly go anywhere, he stumbles across the origins of the Horrorscope number, figures out there is some supernatural mumbo jumbo behind it,  then finds himself a target of the demon possessed Hoax.   

Hoax is a total Marty-a-like from Slaughter High.  He’s the kind of nerdy momma’s boy that makes other nerds want to bully him.  He is emotionally stunted, has no friends (hey that sounds familiar), and basically spends his time trying to impress Spike, who finds Hoax mildly amusing but for the most part treats him like a nuisance.  It’s clear that Spike is the intended protagonist of the story but I thought he came off as kind of a dick.  He steps in to protect Hoax from bullies during one scene, but seems extremely reluctance to do so; maybe it was only to maintain his greaser veneer.  The rest of the film he seems to want to avoid Hoax like the plague, getting drunk with the “strip poker” bullies that tormented him earlier, and basically just not giving a shit about anybody but himself.

So I was kind of rooting for Hoax the entire movie.  His mother is horrendous to him, his “best fiend” is a greaser dickhead, and he gets beaten regularly by the local bullies.  He deserved his revenge; so when the “Horrorscope” begins to take him over with dark magic, transforming him into a furry demon elf guy, I was totally on his side.  Finally Hoax gets his day.  The movie clearly paints him as the big baddie, but when he begins ripping hearts out of people’s chests and spewing one liners I couldn’t help but crack a deviant smile.  
In the end Hoax gets a little too over zealous with his new found powers and thirst for revenge against, well, everyone, so Spike steps in to finish him off by tossing him into a pit of Hell; the poor dweeb.  I’m not clear why Spike suddenly felt compelled to stop Hoax from hurting more people, especially people he didn’t seem to give a squirt about earlier.  I guess he felt responsible for introducing Hoax to the Horrorscope call line, but I think Hoax kind of found that himself by snooping through Spike’s stuff absolving him of any guilt.  I really wish Spike ended up in the pit and Hoax ended the movie victorious in his revenge, especially after the scene where he throws Hoax on the floor of a boy’s locker room and mock spits at him.  What a knob. 

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Soultangler VHS available

I ordered mine from Mondo Tees.  Bleeding Skull is fucking rad.  I can't wait to check out this lost gem.  It looks pretty dope.  Hope all you ghouls had a groovy Halloween!  I ran around as zee CHUD.

Friday, October 31, 2014


Still working on new fanzine which should be a whopper.  I am being very fussy about this one because I want it to be really good.  If anybody is wondering why I am off Facebook it's so I can concentrate my time here and on the fanzine and not checking on what people had for lunch.  I will return when this beast is done.  I am thinking about combining all the old reviews with new art and stuff to make for one massive new fanzine loaded to the gills with gore.  There is some stuff from my first two fanzines "Sewercuse Diegest" that I wanted to include in Cropsy's Crypt.  I was also seeing if I could recover some stuff lost in a fire but that might be gone to the void forever.  Unfortunately I couldn't swing the new rag before the holiday with work and life and just keeping myself happy, but will let you all know when it is closer to completion.  It WILL definitely happen!  Hope you all are having a great Halloween!  Time for some movies...

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Lake Nowhere

A new slasher movie that actually looks awesome...I cannot wait...

Halloween 2 poster

So cool!  I've been watching this movie all week.  I might like this better than the original poster art!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Halloween 4 art

Watching some Halloween 4 tonight as part of the Halloween boo-ray collection that just got unleashed.  Hopefully my disc doesn't have the dreaded time synch issue people were complaining about.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Bloody scraps 10/05/14

More bloody scraps for the gore zine for the horror hound elite.  The true underbelly of culture right here.  Actually it's more like the "chode".  Watching Hammer vampire movies this weekend, drinking the rot gut. May yer season of rot be merry! 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Nightmare on Elm Street Art from interwebs

Time for some "Nightmare on Elm Street" action to kick off the season of rot.  I've been sketching up a storm, hoping to fill the next fanzine with prime time slime for your consumption.  Hope all you ghouls are snug in your catacombs, waiting to unleash HELL on HALLOW'S EVE!   I particularly like the picture from the NOES NES video game.  I have fond memories of that little devil.  Maybe I'll pound through the NES version of Friday the 13th next and review that in the next zine.  I've got that puppy down in the crypt, I give it a go when my hands aren't busy sketching gore and zombie bull shit, or doing daily worker bee stuff like pay my god damn bills and taxes, cause freedom isn't free!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Halloween: Michael Myers without the mask

I believe the original Halloween should stand on its own.  It's much more effective that way and thematically self contained.  No need for the sequels other than to pander to the fans and the studios looking to capitalize of the original's success. 

With that said the de-masking scene fits brilliantly in the film and serves many thematic purposes which I'd like to touch upon here.  It was an act of subverting expectations; this whole time the killer behind the mask was not a monster, but a man, with a man's face, and it's non-distinctive to the point where it could be anyone.  Michael can take off his mask and blend in with a crowd, like Jack the Ripper, or the Zodiac killer.  It makes him more of a threat.  It also fits in with the idea that evil can exist anywhere; it was not an abstract idea floating out there, it was HOME.  Halloween takes the ordinary and makes it sinister; so this normal looking boy is a killer, this normal looking house is the Boogeyman's house, this normal man is really a super natural killing machine. 

The de-masking scene also shows how desperate Michael is to retain the illusion that he is in fact the Boogeyman.  The de-masking temporarily shattered that illusion; it brought him back down to earth, hence the desperate struggle to get the mask back on before pursuing Laurie.  If the mask was meaningless to him he would have ignored the de-masking and finished choking her to death, but to Michael the ritual of Halloween trumps all.  He wanted to scare her THEN kill her.  It was an important progression to him and the mask was integral to making it happen.  Without the de-masking scene we don't get that urgency from Michael.  It's more alluded to, but that is the only example of him pausing or stopping what he was doing.  He was a force driving forward the entire movie; outside of taking physical beating this is the only time I can think of where he stops with his goal so close, literally in hand.

The vulnerability on his face is a 6 year olds expression, harkening back to the opening sequence when he is de-masked after killing Judith.  If he is copying the ritual of Halloween from 1963 it would be thematically fitting that somehow he was de-masked at the end, tying together the movie.  But another thing to consider is that no matter how vulnerable or catatonic Michael seems he is a veiled threat.  That was what Loomis was trying to get people to believe with little success because of Michael's appearance, his feigned innocence and silent retreat into himself, all of this is deceit.  That last shot drives home the idea that evil can exist anywhere, it was hidden behind the common, the everyday; it was in suburbia, right under our noses.  If he was hideously deformed it would not have carried forward the themes presented in the entire film, and not de-masking him doesn’t bring much to the table either, it doesn’t make the point that Michael can be anyone, anywhere; even an innocuous 6 year old child.

When I use the word "illusion" I am also referring to the idea that Michael was performing a ritual.  He wanted the mask, the tombstone, the bodies, all in place for his impromptu haunted house; all part of the illusion.  He takes normal things and puts a sinister spin on them.  He couldn't maintain that sinister illusion by running around without a mask.  To his 6 year old mind the mask was inseparable from the illusion that he is the Boogeyman, that's why it was so important for him to put the mask back in place and complete the ritualistic murder of Laurie, his new Judith. 

Without the mask the re-enactment of his first murder is incomplete and it seemed like an important point Carpenter wanted to drive home in a simplistic yet brilliant way.  Michael really wanted to “get off” on killing Laurie on terrifying her, and the mask is integral to that equation.  It also drives home the idea that Michael isn’t just out there killing people for killings sake; he plays games with them.  Michael terrifies his victims; it’s a psychological as well as physical assault.  Without the de-masking moment we don’t get the true importance of the mask, or the way it defines Michael (Michael as himself is just an empty shape of a human).

I think Carpenter took pains to express the idea that evil could exist anywhere, even in an idyllic mid-western town, even in a 6 year old boy or young teen.  I think that point is more important to the overall plot of the film than Myers being more than human, and is emphasized at the end by revisiting all the locations he touched or tainted with his evil.  These non-sinister locations at day are suddenly foreboding fortresses of horror at night; normal locations that could be in ANYTOWN, USA inverted and made evil. 

Myers being more than human is only part of what makes him the Shape; the tricks and the stalking, the emphasis on re-enacting the death of Judith, the Halloween mask, all encapsulate what makes him The Shape.  Remove those aspects and he is nothing.  The nomenclature is meant to convey the idea that he appears human (again, emphasis on appearances) but is only defined by his actions and the ritual of Halloween.  On the surface he is human but internally he is missing any persona that would define him as a human being, so he is defined by killing, by evil.  The de-masking was not meant to bring the idea that Myers was a normal man to light. The Shape has a foot in both the physical and meta-physical realms.  It’s meant to re-emphasize the idea that he APPEARS normal.  He could be anyone.  

If we are going to give Carpenter the credit he deserves we have to assume the de-masking was a calculated decision.  He knew what the expectation of the audience was, and instead of catering to it he fell back into the themes playing throughout the movie. 

Michael's plain face; a true representative of evil, and it looks like the next door neighbor, the high school quarterback, the lone hobo on the side walk, the face of normality, of the common place, and that's the snare that will trap you.  He doesn't look like a monster; it's a monster in THE SHAPE of a man.  Both aspects of Michael are equally important to realize.  The sequels seemed only focused on Michael as the MONSTER.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Art dump...9/8/14

Still carving out the next slice of sleaze, till then here are more works in progress to sate your sickness...

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Formula For Murder

Formula for Murder

A Giallo crime mystery from the gutter of Italy; Formula for Murder is a movie that abides by the genre familiarities of blood soaked yellow rain coat killers, a seemingly helpless protagonist, and religious iconography encompassed by a dark and mysterious multi-layer cake of murder mystery plot.  Formula for Murder does it one better and includes people fencing and jousting in wheel chairs and a European version of the Special Olympics.  The plot is straight forward enough, a chair bound millionaire heir named Joanna is targeted by a scheming couple (Greg and Ruth) looking to score her McScrouge sized fortune.   Greg somehow is able to pose as a physical therapist, eventually winning his way into Joanna’s heart though fencing with her and showing her how to properly throw a javelin.  True love is showing someone how to kill a man.  Ruth weasels her way into Joanna’s life as her personal nurse and confidant.  Because this is the setup right from the beginning we can only assume the greedy couple’s scheme took years to execute, making it all the more fantastic and unbelievable.  Joanna firmly believes Ruth to be her best friend, not the kind of trust that’s formed overnight.  As Joanna suffers from haunting nightmare and flashbacks involving horny old priests, Greg and Ruth quibble about the best way to finish her off, an argument that eventually ends in Greg viciously stabbing Ruth repeatedly with a razor blade.  Somehow Greg knows that Joanna was raped by a priest as a young nubile girl, a tragic event that left her disabled in a wheel chair, so to push her over the edge he dresses as a priest and spooks her repeatedly, making her repeatedly question her already fragile state of mind.  At the end Greg reveals himself to be the killer, and Joanna reveals she kind of knew it the whole time!?  Through some contrived logic Greg was hoping to cause Joanna to have a fatal wheelchair accident to inherit her fortune, but the tricks on him, all the deadly arrow shooting, fencing, and javelin throwing skills he taught her come back to bite him in the ass at the end. 

Formula for Murder is a decent chunk blower, plenty of gooey, splattery Giallo styled slashings to go around.  Even though the plot seemingly defied common sense with a flaming middle finger it seems to work on a visceral level.  The DVD came with a slick yellow rain parka to play your own sick little psycho stalker games with, ya sick pup.  Go outside and play!



Brutal z-grade basement budget horror so good it needs two title screens; Scalps is a bloody mess of Indian curses and transmogrification, a virtual cornucopia of racial stereotypes and loud mouthed jerks.  The story centers on a group of amateur archeologist that dig up a sacred spooky Indian burial ground and become possessed by a blood hungry native named Black Claw who more closely resembles a living troll doll in dirty gray underpants than a malevolent spirit of the ancient world of Indian black magic.  The gore comes thick and gooey with slow motion scalping action and some nice arterial spray to make your day.  Randy the macho jerk-wad was a personal favorite character of mine calling chicks BITCHES and basically owning everything with his cheesy cut off shirt and ragged blue jeans.  Spoiler alert you numb skulls, I love movies where everyone dies in the end and this is one.  Evil prevails!  I evoke the lion headed wizard of Native American black magic to make the sequel Scalps 2: The Return of DJ a reality!

Cards of Death 1986

Cards of Death

This is a stick up sleazebag; give me all your good taste because you won’t need an ounce of it for Cards of Death; a movie that is a holocaustic bomb of depravity, hooker nails, and porn lighting.  Featuring a sordid and bizarre love affair between a neo-Nazi dominatrix named Tracy and a brutal sadomasochist with spider tattoos named Hog Johnson, Cards of Death deals out the bludgeoning with cheese and crackers; literally.  The main pelvic thrust of the story centers around a struggling finger painting artist (seriously) named Billy who is trying to find out what happened to his father, the police chief, whom mysteriously disappeared when investigating a series of serial killing like murders taking place every Thursday.  The poor red flanneled schmuck is actually held captive by Hog and Tracy who slowly and systematically torture the chief, cutting off his nose with a cheese slicer along with several fingers and toes and sends the “sick shit” to police headquarters.  Billy the sensitive finger painter is paired with a hysterically bad tough guy cop with a pink cut off shirt who overreacts to virtually everything because he has a “hot head”.  During their investigation clues about the chief’s whereabouts are gathered from fast food takeout, doodles of pigs, and a heart to heart between Billy and a street hooker.  Hog Johnson and Tracy bring in new meat to play their “Cards of Death” game, which is never explained really, only that the loser is killed by the winner who wins some sort of cash reward, and Hog can change the rules whenever he wants like some brat. Their secret hideout is neon lit, giving it that soft porn look.  Hog is a bored billionaire so he invented the “Cards of Death” game to sate his blood lust.  Since refereeing a death game doesn’t seem to be all it’s cracked up to be Hog also had an industrial press installed in their secret evil lair to crush street people and strippers in so he and Tracy can drink and bath in fresh blood, Bathory style.  Because the setup of the story wasn’t crazy enough there is an impaled priest with a gambling problem, copious nipple teasing, and rape thrown in for good measure.   Padding comes in the form of a dancer dancing to, what else, the movie’s theme song “Cards of Death”  Cards of Death will probably be one of my most bizarre and rare VHS tapes.  They don’t make them like they used to, and I doubt a movie with the same atmosphere and dime store feel as Cards of Death will ever come out again, making it special in its own right.  The apocalypse is written and it is “Cards of Death”!  

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Art fart 08/19/14

The season of rot is almost upon us.  Time to kick out a new zine.  Expect more B-rated shit that's bad for your brain.  MOSH!  Here's some gooey work in progress sketches to tide you over for the real deal.