#100HorrorMoviesfor100Days Day 4


TheTexasChainSawMassacre-poster (1)

 

Day 4: The Texas Chain Saw Massacre
Writer: Tobe Hooper and Kim Henkel
Director: Tobe Hooper
Year released: 1974

The first time I saw The Texas Chain Saw Massacre I was probably 10 or 11. I was in my best friend’s basement and it was late at night. We knew we shouldn’t be watching this film because our parents would not approve so that added to the intensity of it all. I remember my chest hurting and I thought I was going to have a heart attack during that famous door slam scene. After watching the movie, I knew I had seen something that completely was set apart.  I’ve only seen it one other time since this recent reviewing and it’s as gritty and visceral as ever.

 

Overview: A group of friends are terrorized by a chain saw wielding murder and his family of cannibals.

 

  1. Tobe Hooper was inspired to write this movie after a visit to the hardware store.
  2. Real human skeletons were used as they were cheaper than plastic ones. In the Masters of Horror documentary by Bruce Campbell, Hooper said he acquired the skeletons from India. In Hooper’s The Poltergeist, real skeletons were also used.
  3. The original script was titled “Leatherface.” Before the film’s release the title was changed to “Head Cheese.” The name The Texas Chain Saw Massacre was final.
  4. The budget was so tight that Gunnar Hansen, Leatherface, wore his costume and mask every day in the 110+ degree temperature for 12-16 hour days for a month because the crew couldn’t afford a new costume and were scared if it was washed it would change color.
  5. A real family’s house was used for the filming location and they continued to live there during the filming.

 



#100HorrorMoviesfor100Days


Poltergeist

Day 3: Poltergeist (1982)
Writer: Steven Spielberg (screenplay), Michael Grais (screenplay), Mark Victor
Director: Tobe Hooper
Year released: 1982

 

Overview: After a family moves into their new home strange events occur around their young daughter.

 

  1. Spielberg hired Tobe Hooper to direct after being impressed with Hooper’s direction of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
  2. Real human skeletons were used for the film as they were cheaper, and many people suspect that the film was cursed because of this. The movie was plagued with supernatural occurrences, and several of the cast members died within years of the film’s release.
  3. While Poltergeist is a horror film there are no fatalities in the movie.
  4. JoBeth Williams did not know that the skeletons in the swimming pool scene were real until after the scene was shot.
  5. Heather O’Rourke, who played Carol-Anne, and Dominique Dunne, who played her teenage sister in Poltergeist, are both buried in the same cemetery. Dunne died the year of the film’s release, O’Rourke died six years later.


#100HorrorMoviesfor100Days


The_Innocents_Poster

 

Day 2: The Innocents
Writer: Henry James (novel), John Mortimer (additional scenes), William Archibald and Truman Capote (screenplay)
Director: Jack Clayton
Year released: 1961

 

Overview: The film follows a governess who takes care of two children and discovers the house and the children are being haunted.

 

  1. The film The Innocents is based on Henry James’ novella The Turn of the Screw.
  2. The title of the movie comes from William Archibald’s stage adaptation of James’ novella. The word “The Innocents” is used twice in the film.
  3. Directors Martin Scorsese and Guillermo Del Toro both rank The Innocents as one of the most frightening films.
  4. Bright lamps and extreme lighting was used to create the sharp visuals.
  5. The film has influenced a range of artists, including Nine Inch Nails who imitated parts of it for their The Perfect Drug video, and a clip of audio from the film is used in the horror movie The Ring (2002).

 



#100HorrorMoviesfor100Days


Psycho_(1960)

Because I don’t have enough to do…I decided to give myself a challenge. I am going to watch 1 horror movie every day for the next 100 days and tell you a few things about it you may not already know. The horror movies are going to be a combination of films I have seen or have not seen.

 

Why am I doing this? Ultimately, I want to study what makes a good horror movie and apply that into my writing. I feel like there are a lot of elements I can improve by considering character development, setting, and dialogue in good horror films. Most of the films I am aiming to watch are those on the exceptional side, either classics, amazing scares or have a cult following.

 

Now, here we go!

 

Day 1: Psycho
Writer: Joseph Serano (screenplay), Robert Bloch (novel)
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Year released: 1960

 

  1. The film Psycho is based on the novel written by Robert Bloch. One thing I didn’t know was that Robert Bloch was a frequent correspondent of H.P. Lovecraft.
  2. One thing I found particularly interesting is that the main character we are introduced to is not the individual we follow throughout the film.
  3. The famous shrieking violin score was written by Bernard Herrmann. Herrmann also worked on scores for Citizen Kane (1941). His last score was for Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver (1976), and he died hours after recording it.
  4. Psycho was filmed in 30 days.
  5. Psycho was Hitchcock’s first horror movie. His next was The Birds. There are several references to birds in Psycho, including Bate’s preference to taxidermy birds.

 



Gothic Blue Book V Featured Fiction Writer


maria-alexander-web2

Burial Day Books is honored to announce our featured fiction writer for GOTHIC BLUE BOOK V, Maria Alexander! Maria Alexander is a produced screenwriter, published games writer, virtual world designer, award-winning copywriter, interactive theatre designer, prolific fiction writer, snarkiologist and poet. Her stories have appeared in publications such as Chizine Magazine, Gothic.net and Paradox, as well as in acclaimed anthologies alongside legends such as David Morrell and Heather Graham.

Her debut novel, Mr. Wicker, won the 2014 Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in a First Novel. Publisher’s Weekly called it, “(a) splendid, bittersweet ode to the ghosts of childhood,” while Library Journal hailed it in a Starred Review as “a horror novel to anticipate.” She’s represented by Alex Slater at Trident Media Group.

When she’s not wielding a katana at her local shinkendo dojo, she’s being outrageously spooky or writing Doctor Who filk. She lives in Los Angeles with two ungrateful cats, a pervasive sense of doom, and a purse called Trog.



Happy Triskaidekaphobia Day!


ShanghaiMissingFloors

A picture taken in an elevator in a residential apartment block in Shanghai. Floors 0, 4, 13 and 14 are missing. Picture upload by Chrisobyrne at en.wikipedia

Fear of Friday the 13th is called Triskaidekaphobia. Many of us know that already. Many of us also know that the superstition has been attributed to a variety of events, the most famous of which is Christian in nature. It’s believed that Judas was the 13th person at the Last Supper and it is him who is said to have turned in Jesus of Nazareth in to the authorities. Now, the Bible makes no references to the number 13 in relation to this event. The Bible also makes no mention to the number 13 as being inherently evil, or unlucky.

There is information that references a fear of the number 13 before the Last Supper. The Babylonian Code of Hammurabi, one of the earliest deciphered forms of writing, which consists of 282 laws, is said to have no 13th law recorded. There is also information that attributes Loki, a deceitful god of Norse mythology, as being the 13th in that pantheon.

My interest with the fear of the number 13 has recently been structural in nature. You’ve probably been inside an elevator that does not provide you with an option for the 13th floor. I’ve been in buildings that do not have a 13th floor, and instead skip from 12 to 14. I have also seen buildings with an alternative designation to the 13th floor, such as 12A. It’s been said that some buildings close their 13th floor entirely  to the public using the space  instead for mechanical needs. Otis Elevator Company is the world’s largest manufacturers of vertical transportation, elevators and escalators. An article in USA Today stated that according to Otis Elevator Company 85% of elevator panels omit the number 13 entirely (http://traveltips.usatoday.com/isnt-there-13th-floor-hotels-107585.html).

When some people think of superstition and fear of the number 13, particularly Friday the 13th as being silly, just think of how many building designers have complied with their tenants wishes to eliminate the designation of the 13th floor entirely. I suppose many of us do believe the number 13 should be feared.

-Gravedigger



The Lucky Horseshoe


Horseshoe_and_devil.svg

“Horseshoe and devil” by Creator:George Cruikshank – The True Legend of St. Dunstan and the Devil by Edward G. Flight, 1871; image at http://www.gutenberg.org/files/13978/13978-h/13978-h.htm. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

 

The other day I purchased a lucky horseshoe charm. Why? I don’t particularly know why other than I was compelled by the design. I have also heard of “Lucky Horseshoes,” but I suppose I didn’t know exactly why horseshoes are considered lucky. I suppose I purchased the charm because I somehow believed it would bring me good luck. This then compelled me to do some further research on Lucky Horseshoes.

A standard horseshoe is a constructed device fashioned out of metal that is intended to protect a horse’s hoof from wear. The most commonly used materials are steel and aluminum. The shoes are attached to the surface of the hooves, and are nailed through a part of the horse’s foot that is insensitive. Horseshoes can also be glued to the horse’s foot. A farrier is a person whose occupation is the fitting of these devices. The farrier‘s job is to assess the horse’s hoof, design appropriate shoes, and apply the product.

Now, it’s believed that the origin of the tradition of the lucky horseshoe originated with the story of Saint Dunstan and the Devil. Dunstan, who would later to become the Archbishop of Canterbury in AD 959, was a blacksmith. One day, the Devil asked him to reshoe his horse, and Dunstan nailed a horseshoe – through the Devil’s hoof, which caused the Devil much pain. Dunstan agreed to remove the horseshoe and release the Devil if the Devil promised to never enter a place where a horseshoe was hung over a door.

As there is a specific production and application involved in creating a horseshoe for wear, there is a specific placement of a horseshoe for use as a talisman in the home. First, some believe that a true lucky horseshoe should be found, not purchased. Then, the horseshoe should be hung above one’s entry door. It’s then believed that a horseshoe should be hung pointing upwards. The ‘U’ shape is thought to hold good luck that passes by. Hanging it upside down is believed to be bad luck, as it is thought all of the good luck will fall out. However, there are some who believe that the horseshoe should indeed be hung pointing downward, as it allows good luck to flow into the home.  To some, it does not matter how the horseshoe is hung (pointing upward or down), as long as it’s hung above the door because it’s presence alone is believed to draw good luck.

Do you have a horseshoe hung over your door? Is it pointed upward? Or, is it pointed downward. Let us know at @burialdaybooks on Twitter.

-Gravedigger



The Lucky Horseshoe


Horseshoe_and_devil.svg

“Horseshoe and devil” by Creator:George Cruikshank – The True Legend of St. Dunstan and the Devil by Edward G. Flight, 1871; image at http://www.gutenberg.org/files/13978/13978-h/13978-h.htm. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

 

The other day I purchased a lucky horseshoe charm. Why? I don’t particularly know why other than I was compelled by the design. I have also heard of “Lucky Horseshoes,” but I suppose I didn’t know exactly why horseshoes are considered lucky. I suppose I purchased the charm because I somehow believed it would bring me good luck. This then compelled me to do some further research on Lucky Horseshoes.

A standard horseshoe is a constructed device fashioned out of metal that is intended to protect a horse’s hoof from wear. The most commonly used materials are steel and aluminum. The shoes are attached to the surface of the hooves, and are nailed through a part of the horse’s foot that is insensitive. Horseshoes can also be glued to the horse’s foot. A farrier is a person whose occupation is the fitting of these devices. The farrier‘s job is to assess the horse’s hoof, design appropriate shoes, and apply the product.

Now, it’s believed that the origin of the tradition of the lucky horseshoe originated with the story of Saint Dunstan and the Devil. Dunstan, who would later to become the Archbishop of Canterbury in AD 959, was a blacksmith. One day, the Devil asked him to reshoe his horse, and Dunstan nailed a horseshoe – through the Devil’s hoof, which caused the Devil much pain. Dunstan agreed to remove the horseshoe and release the Devil if the Devil promised to never enter a place where a horseshoe was hung over a door.

As there is a specific production and application involved in creating a horseshoe for wear, there is a specific placement of a horseshoe for use as a talisman in the home. First, some believe that a true lucky horseshoe should be found, not purchased. Then, the horseshoe should be hung above one’s entry door. It’s then believed that a horseshoe should be hung pointing upwards. The ‘U’ shape is thought to hold good luck that passes by. Hanging it upside down is believed to be bad luck, as it is thought all of the good luck will fall out. However, there are some who believe that the horseshoe should indeed be hung pointing downward, as it allows good luck to flow into the home.  To some, it does not matter how the horseshoe is hung (pointing upward or down), as long as it’s hung above the door because it’s presence alone is believed to draw good luck.

Do you have a horseshoe hung over your door? Is it pointed upward? Or, is it pointed downward. Let us know at @burialdaybooks on Twitter.

-Gravedigger



More Short Stories


I have my class list for the semester of the students I’m advising, and I will be tutoring this semester as well. So, I’m going to keep busy.

 

Also, given recent developments that one of my writing projects seems to have fallen through I am going to make a big push to write more short stories this year. Perhaps it was for the better that this happened. You can’t get lazy with writing. You can’t depend on people. You have to depend and trust yourself and your skills. At least with me, the moment I put trust in people things fall short. It’s terrible to say, but it’s happened to me quite a lot in this industry. So, perhaps it’s the universe teaching me to keep pushing forward and trusting only myself. My writing goal is to write 3,000 words a day. Yes, that’s insane, and I know it, but I have just one life and so why waste it? Plus, 3,000 words a day is doable if one focuses.

 

Lately, I’ve been missing my MFA and it’s incredible to believe that I finished my MFA over 4 years ago. Being in an MFA was one of the best experiences of my life, yet I do greatly miss the comforts of having a writing community. At least when I was in an MFA program many of us leaned toward dark fiction and so it was great to have people to bounce ideas off of. After completing an MFA I charged to get so many things published, and then this past year I feel like I just fell flat. I was burned out, and I’m not sure why. I enjoy writing. I enjoy research. It is exhausting having a full-time career outside of writing and being a new mom so perhaps that explains my exhaustion. I’m still trying to balance writing, work and motherhood. I’m still trying to advance my writing skills.

 

Again, more short stories this year, and definitively more poetry. I’m back to submitting to publications so I am looking forward to new work.

 

-Cina



My husband text me this morning “You keep getting a raw deal.”


Here’s a short list of my recent raw deals, otherwise known as being screwed over. Yes, there’s more, but these are the top three that really just get me.

 

Writing a short story collection titled Loteria. No publisher picked it up, yet that same year someone published a poetry collection titled Loteria which used the same cards I wrote about as a device. They got a big 6 deal, I got a raw deal.

 

Acting as an assistant YA editor of a certain blog where I did all of the research work. The editor got signed on with a prestigious literary agency. I got none.  So, I left the blog. Raw deal again.

 

Was told my poetry collection, which I submitted in 2013, would be published in 2015. Got told last night it would be pushed to 2016. Because of the length of time they held on to it, and thus moving my work to accommodate other people’s work, who likely came after me, I’m leaning towards not just self-publishing that work but  posting it all online here, on my blog because that’s just a raw deal to be told to wait that long.

 

Maybe I’m overly sensitive today. Maybe I just feel so blah and frustrated by this writer life. I don’t know. Maybe it’s just all unfair. Maybe that’s just what this is – unfair. Maybe it’s all just luck and I’ve just had bad luck. Maybe my bad luck won’t end. Maybe one day I’ll have good luck. I have no idea any more. I’m told by everyone to stay positive. Heck, I just wrote a blog about that last week – stay positive, but when you consistently get bad news how can you continue to be upbeat? Maybe all this is just pointing that I’m not good enough and I should just quit, abandon this goal because it’s just not working out. I don’t know. I have my press, and that does well, but I’m a writer too…at least I want to be one. I don’t want to be a writer confined to the indie space forever, yet that’s where I feel cornered and no one is listening. Maybe I’m just meant to be a 9-5 corporate office person who takes care of her kids, keeps a clean house, joins after school meetings and speaks fondly of art from time to time. Maybe I’m just that person who had occasional dreams about what life would have been like had her dreams come true.

 

-Cina