Friday, November 20, 2015

Friday Links: Nightmare Castle, Devil Goddess, and Industrial Strength Conte Cruel

Thanksgiving is next week, so there won't be a Friday Links post; instead I will be spending time with my family. To make up for it, here's an extra-special Friday Links, collecting the weird, horrific, and bizarre things that happened over the week.
  • Breakfast in the Ruins discussed the gothic film Nightmare Castle: "So, get this for plot line: Dr Stephen Arrowsmith (Paul Muller), a saturnine scientist involved in questionable and secretive experiments involving frogs, bubbling test tubes and exotic plants, catches his aristocratic wife (Steele, of course) in an adulterous greenhouse embrace with the hunky gardener (spaghetti western regular Rik Battaglia). Crazed with jealousy, the good doctor vows to torture the lovers to death, making use of the castle’s conveniently appointed medieval dungeon in the process, only to discover in the midst of his gloating that his wife, “..upon realising what a vile, perverted monster [she] had married”, has already disinherited him, instead leaving her estate and fortune to her “simpering idiot” twin sister Jenny."
  • At Jim Mcleod's Ginger Nuts of Horror, Alex Davis reviewed the 2015 film Headless: "After a slightly surreal trailer for 'Wolf-Baby' (presented a la some of the Grindhouse trailers out there) we move on to Headless, the story of an unnamed serial killer who relives his dark past over and over again in a spree of depraved violence and murder. And if ever a film laid out its agenda in the early running, this would be it. By the end of the credits I was feeling decidedly uneasy, and there were still 80 minutes ahead of me."
  • What's inside Zombos' Closet? A must-see pressbook of the 1955 movie Devil Goddess! 
  • Sean Eaton brought us some industrial strength conte cruel at his always-trenchant, perpetually interesting R'lyeh Tribune: "Despite the realism that distinguishes this form of horror, the dire situation imagined by the author will seem preposterous if the reader examines it too closely.  Yet a well written conte cruel can be an oddly satisfying read, a kind of psycho-emotional calisthenic.  The form works well as a thoroughly documented nightmare of incarceration and claustrophobia.  To the extent that the reader identifies with the protagonist, he or she can be thinking of escape routes well in advance of the demise or rescue of the fictional victim."
  • Nev Murray reviewed The Blood of Talos at his Confessions of a Reviewer!!: "I remember reading about this story when Keith Deininger was just talking about it. It hadn’t been published and he was telling us all about this epic fantasy tale he wanted to tell. It all sounded wonderful when it was being talked about but sometimes it never materialises. This man has well and truly put his money where his mouth is and raised us all a bit more."
  • A man in Taiwan married his dead girlfriend's ashes: "It is not unheard of in Asia to have a 'ghost marriage,' where a dying or dead man will be arranged to marry a female corpse to keep him happy in afterlife. However, marrying an urn with a wedding dress attached might be taking it to the next level."
  • Divine Exploitation told us about a movie called Dickshark. It appears to be a comedy of some sort.
  • Sharon Day at Ghost Hunting Theories thinks that we're all a bit more accepting of the paranormal: "The discussion of paranormal is not taboo any longer which allows people to compare notes from alien contactee experiences to UFO sightings, strange encounters in the woods and grandma's ghostly figure at the foot of the bed. Our population is also aging and the bigger questions of the universe are being pondered. The studies of ghosts and near-death experiences are of great interest to those of us a bit closer to the grave."
  • The Unflinching Eye reviewed Bone Tomahawk: "Mashing up genres requires real finesse to pull off, resulting in any number of cinematic trainwrecks, but Zahler's fusion of western and horror in Bone Tomahawk is a thing of beauty. We've seen a few good examples before (Antonia Bird's Ravenous; J.T. Petty's The Burrowers), but I don't think it's ever been accomplished this seamlessly." (Interested readers can see my review of Bone Tomahawk here.)
  • Here, I talked about the similarity of recent college protests to the removal of Lovecraft's bust from the World Fantasy Award and how I became involved with the Beyond Lovecraft Indiegogo campaign.
Illustration taken from the Stormbringer supplement White Wolf: Temples, Demons, & Ships of War.

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