Friday, November 6, 2015

Friday Links: The Haunted Palace, the Altay Princess, and Zombie Ninjas vs. Black Ops

Halloween's over, sadly enough, and as we recover and get ready for next year's holiday, let's take a look back at what's happened over the week in the world of the strange, the bizarre, the horrific:
  • Mondo Bizarro reviewed the Australian movie Zombie Ninjas vs. Black Ops: "The Film is about...well, you can probably guess.  What you wouldn't guess, however, is the tone of the Film.  Despite the Troma-style Title, this Film is pretty much played 100% straight.  Alright then.  The Story involves mutated super-soldiers, the plot from Die Hard and lots of fighting."
  • At the penetrating, perspicacious R'lyeh Tribune, Sean Eaton brought us an archetypal terror from Lovecraft contemporary William Sloane: "Stephen King, who wrote the introductory notes to the most recent release [of The Rim of Morning], notes that Sloane once met Carl Jung, the famous psychotherapist and J.B. Rhine, a renowned expert in extrasensory perception at a special luncheon in 1937.  Jung had read an earlier version of To Walk the Night—it had first appeared as a play—and was apparently impressed with Sloane’s work.  Jung’s notion of the mysterious archetypal feminine principle, the “anima” is strongly echoed in Sloane’s character of Selena LeNormand."
  • The Slaughtered Bird reviewed Adam Howe's Die Dog or Eat the Hatchet: "I’ve written long & hard about Adam’s storytelling and it’s here in abundance, more so than ever before in fact. I can’t imagine why he restricts himself to the novella but it makes for a pacy, breathless and tightly wound read without ever feeling rushed or crowded. To compliment the oddest of tales are characters that never feel out of place, and with exquisitely torrid back-stories as a rule." (Interested readers can find my review of this book here.)
  • Nev Murray reviewed Jonathan Janz's Wolf Land at his Confessions of a Reviewer!!: "The plot is not unlike some of those old horror films you might have watched when you were younger. Basically the werewolves come to town and it is a battle for the good to survive against the evil. The difference with this story is the fact that people know from the outset that they are dealing with werewolves. There is initial disbelief at what they have witnessed but at the same time an acceptance of what is happening and a desire to stop the evil in whatever way they can."
  • Breakfast in the Ruins deconstructed Roger Corman's Lovecraft film The Haunted Palace: "As in so many things, Corman was ahead of the curve in choosing to adapt Lovecraft. Whilst HPL’s name may be ubiquitous in horror fiction today, he did not actually attract a widespread readership until mass market paperback editions of his work began to proliferate in the mid/late 1960s. At the time Corman was planning this film, Lovecraft’s following was still a closely-guarded cult within the wider cult of Weird Tales/fantastic fiction devotees, his reputation kept alive largely via the expensive, small-press editions produced by August Derleth’s Arkham House."
  • Shock Volume 3, Issue 2 from May 1971 was the latest bit of horror to fall out of Zombos' Closet.
  • Demonic possession is on the rise in the Philippines: "'These days we have around 80 to 100 cases at any given time,' says Father Jose Francisco Syquia, the chief exorcist at the archdiocese's Office of Exorcism. The sudden increase in cases of possession has stretched the country's few exorcists thin and, according to Fr. Syquia, most Philippine dioceses do not have in-house exorcists. As a result many of the faithful are turning to "healers and occult practitioners" in the hopes of curing the afflicted. This route, however, only attracts the demonic and exacerbates the problem, says Fr. Syquia. By the time the exorcists from the archdiocese of Manila are able to see people, the victims are in bad shape."
  • Some of Siberia's most bizarre mysteries were the subject of discussion at Ghost Hunting Theories: "Siberian Ice Maiden "Altay Princess": From 5th century BC, this mummified lady was found in a subterranean burial chamber. This tomb was on the border of China. She was buried with food and with her horses, facing east. Her skin still showed tattoos of deer shapes. She was buried in a beautiful gown and leggings and a 3-foot tall headdress, a fur, a mirror, and deer figurines. Interestingly, DNA testing proved her to not be of Asian descent as the Altai's in the area."
  • At the Film Gutter of Jim Mcleod's Ginger Nuts of Horror, Alex Davis introduced us to The Girl Next Door: "If there's a single thing that elevates this movie, it's Blanche Baker's role as pretty much the sole adult in the lives of the children of the neighbourhood. In the beginning she's free in giving out the beer and cigarettes to all the youngsters, but her attitudes towards men, women and sexual relationships are warped to say the least. And Meg is soon enough a victim of her ire, resulting in a couple of beatings and unpleasant scenes."
  • Soiled Sinema sprayed us with the Aussie film Salt, Saliva, Sperm and Sweat: "A 47-minute piece of outstandingly outlandish and obscenely offbeat Australian iconoclasm, the alliteratively titled flick Salt, Saliva, Sperm and Sweat (1988) directed by experimental musician, composer, academic, film scholar, and sometimes filmmaker Philip Brophy, who is probably best known for his satirical slapstick biopunk horror flick Body Melt (1993), is indubitably one of the best kept secrets of Australian cinema."
  • Here, I talked about social media strokes and why I'm no longer hunting skunk apes.
Illustration by Tom Sullivan for Call of Cthulhu's S. Petersen's Field Guide to Cthulhu Monsters.

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