The Art of Darkness

Scary Movies for Kids

July 17th, 2008 by Cobwebs

Someone on the Halloween-L Listserv recently wrote that his ten-year-old daughter wanted to start watching “scary movies” and asked the list for age-appropriate recommendations. I thought some of the suggestions were worth a mention.

I’ve divided these into three rough groups, based on how likely you are to have company in your bed after a screening. Nothing in the first group should be too scary for a ten-year-old, and several of them are probably appropriate for younger kids. The second group has some spookier stuff, and the third group is spookier yet; if you haven’t seen them, you may want to pre-screen them for their Nightmare Quotient.

I erred on the side of caution in grouping these, and obviously your mileage will vary depending upon your particular child. One lady on the listserv said her five-year-old’s favorite movie is The Ring. I think I’d be afraid to take my eyes off that kid.

If you have other suggestions, please share them in the comments.

Posted in Bittens | 2 Comments »

The Witches’ Kitchen

July 16th, 2008 by Cobwebs

UtensilsDesigner Tord Boontje has created a lovely–and insanely expensive–collection of kitchenware “inspired by the witches and wizards of western lore.” In addition to this utensil set there are some neat black casseroles that are reminiscent of cauldrons, some gothy-looking aprons, and a pair of spooky oven mitts.

I’m not kidding about the expensive part: The salad “hands” in the upper-left corner are $330 per pair, and one casserole will set you back $1,150. Whoooa, doggies. However! Could you ask for a better source of inspiration for a little kitchen witchery? Take a careful look at the style of these items, then keep an eye out for similar (cheaper) kitchenware.

The apron is an easy do-it-yourself job: It’s little more than a carefully-shredded hunk of black cotton.* Similarly, the oven mitts could be copied by buying or making a pair of black cotton mitts and then adding some rough stitching with heavy thread.

Pair your cast-iron cauldrons and pointy utensils with some artfully-decorated storage jars, and you can add a spooky vibe to your kitchen without cleaning out your bank account.


*I would, incidentally, caution against wearing something like this around an open flame. Too many loose floaty bits to catch fire. And flaming goths smell terrible.

Posted in Needful Things, Paint It Black | No Comments »

True Blood

July 15th, 2008 by Cobwebs

Alan Ball, the creator of Six Feet Under, has a new series launching this September. True Blood is based on author Charlaine Harris’ Southern Vampire Mysteries books, and details the coexistence of vampires and humans in a small Louisiana town after a synthetic blood substitute hits the market.

As seems to be de rigeur any more, there are a couple of viral sites associated with the series. BloodCopy is a blog which purports to detail the integration of vampires into human society. Tru Blood is a “marketing” site for the synthetic blood. It’s cute; the site is aimed at the young, hip vampire demographic and even includes a Type Finder to determine the blood type you’ll like best. (I’m Type A, the “Cultivated Aesthete.”)

I enjoyed Six Feet Under…well…let me rephrase that: I enjoyed the first two seasons of Six Feet Under and then watched the other three seasons out of some twisted sense of responsibility (did those people ever do anything but whine?), so I’ll be interested to see what HBO does with vampires.

Posted in Whatever | 3 Comments »

Gorbachev: Bigger and Russianer

July 14th, 2008 by Cobwebs

Videographer Tom Stern was tasked with creating a music video for a Mikhail Gorbachev tribute by Russian metal band ANJ. He decided that discretion was in no way the better part of valor and created a video that brings tears to your eyes.

I had a brainstorm to take it way over the top and I think it was just the thing. Suffice to say it’s half Russian History allegory as told through an old zombie movie made in the Soviet Union, and half animated Soviet Propaganda posters.


GORBACHOV: THE MUSIC VIDEO – BIGGER AND RUSSIANER from Tom Stern on Vimeo.

How do you improve on perfection?

Posted in Funny Peculiar | No Comments »

Tattooed “Living Zombie”

July 11th, 2008 by Cobwebs

Zombie TattoosRick loves horror movies. Not content to just hang a couple of posters in his bedroom, he’s tattooing his entire body to look like a rotting zombie.

He’s about halfway done, with 24 hours’ worth of inking and about $8,000 sunk into the project. Bizarre Magazine features an interview with him with lots more pictures. According to the interview, turning himself into a corpse has been a positive experience for him.

Note: There’s nothing NSFW in the article, but some company firewalls flag the Bizarre site as pornography. You have been warned.

Link (via BoingBoing)

Posted in Whatever | 1 Comment »

Garden Sculpture Zombie

July 10th, 2008 by Cobwebs

Zombie SculptureDesign Toscano offers a variety of unique statues and decorative items, and they’ve just released a garden sculpture that’s right up our alley.

Their “Zombie of Montclaire Moors” is a life-sized undead guy who appears to be clawing his way out of your lawn.

He appears to be a little clean-cut for a zombie, but this sure beats the heck out of a garden gnome.

Link (via BoingBoing)

Posted in Unhallowed Ground | 1 Comment »

Bath Fizzy Cupcakes

July 9th, 2008 by Cobwebs

CupcakeThe Crafty Chica has instructions for making these cute bath fizzy “cupcakes.” These would be adorable with black or scarlet icing and little sugar skulls on top.

A couple of notes:

  • Her recipe calls for grapeseed oil, but any skin-soothing oil will work (we use sweet almond oil in our skull fizzies).
  • I’m not sure about the whole meringue-frosting thing; I’d be tempted to use something like a tub truffle mixture instead.
  • If you don’t have a silicon cupcake mold handy, stack a few foil or paper cupcake liners together for extra stiffness. I think I’d prefer to leave the liner on anyway, for decoration. (Use spooky ones like this or this.)
  • Be really, really careful about moisture. The fizziness is activated when the baking soda can interact freely with the citric acid. Too much moisture in the mixing stage will leave you with a bubbly mess. Likewise, make sure you store these in a dry place.

Individual fizzies would make unusual party favors, and a set of four in a nice cupcake box would be a lovely hostesss gift. They’re fast and easy to make, so do give them a try.

Link (via The Felt Mouse)

Posted in Doom It Yourself, Terror in the Aisle | No Comments »

Bottled Fangs

July 8th, 2008 by Cobwebs

FangsShadow Manor just started carrying these and they’re sufficiently unusual that I wanted to share.

These are “souvenir” fangs from some vampire slayer’s successful hunting expedition. A pair of real teeth in a collecting vial, complete with a tag listing the date and location they were, um, collected.

The tag can be customized with the species, location, and date, so if you’d prefer that these were werewolf, troll, or demon fangs, you have only to ask. This would be an unusual accessory for a desk or bookshelf. Or just pull it out of your pocket the next time you go clubbing and regale your friends with the story of how you acquired your souvenir….

Link

Posted in Needful Things | 1 Comment »

Win 100 SF/Horror DVDs

July 7th, 2008 by Cobwebs

Electronic Arts is promoting the release of its new game Dead Space by giving away a collection of 100 science fiction and horror DVDs. The list of movies is fairly eclectic, although it appears to be weighted slightly toward dystopian futures and slasher flicks.

To enter the sweepstakes, you need only sign up for their newsletter.

Link (via SF Signal)

Posted in Whatever | No Comments »

Carpe Demon

July 4th, 2008 by Cobwebs

What would happen if Buffy the Vampire Slayer got married, moved to the suburbs and became a stay-at-home mom? That’s the plot of the Carpe Demon series of books by Julie Kenner. Sequels include California Demon and Demons are Forever. Har har har.

This is a rather strange mix of “vampire slayer” and “mommy lit”–I didn’t realize that the intersection between Buffy fans and soccer moms was sufficiently great to market a whole series of books toward them– but the books have pretty decent reviews and look like fun.

If you’re looking for a beach read (assuming you don’t burst into flames in the sunlight), these would probably be an excellent choice.

(via Memarie Lane)

Posted in Needful Things | 1 Comment »

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