5 Silent Movies By And About Non-White People

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Oh my God…it’s too hot…forgive me for not being my usual witty, raconteur self (what do you mean? Yes I am) but it’s just too hot to think.

You’d be forgiven for thinking the silent film era consisted entirely of Hollywood flappers and prat-falling comedians, but you’re WRONG! Not that I don’t love those films too, but there’s more you may not have seen.

Raja Harishchandra (1913)

This is officially India’s first feature length film. The footage starts with a bit of info about director Dadasaheb Phalke (D.G. Phalke) including scenes of him directing, before launching into the legend of a king, a wise man, and loads of sacrifices.

Within Our Gates (1920)

Oscar Micheaux is considered to be the first African American feature film director. Within Our Gates is a massively important film because it looks at life for the black American in times of lynching and other atrocities, leading you to question how far we have really come, making it the perfect antithesis to D W Griffith’s Birth of a Nation.

A Page of Madness (1926)

This film is beautiful insanity, quite literally. A man goes looking for his wife in an asylum, and…you know, I’m not too sure as there are no intertitles, but it’s really worth watching.

It was made by an artist collective called The Shinkankakuha (or School of New Perceptions). No one else knew of it’s existence until it was found in a warehouse in 1971.

The Goddess (1934)

Wait, you say, 1934?! The Chinese film industry transitioned to sound a lot later than other countries, thus actress Ruan Lingyu, known in Western parts as ‘The Chinese Garbo,’ remained silent for much of her career. Sadly she committed suicide at only 24.

Written and directed by Wu Yonggang, this tale of a prostitute trying to raise her son was his directorial debut.

Barsoum Looks For A Job (1923)

This Egyptian comic short is the epitome of independent film making, as director Mohamed Bayoumi did pretty much everything but star in it. Aside from being a simple story of friends competing for jobs amidst comic misunderstandings, it’s interesting for having a Christian actor play a Muslim and Muslim actor playing a Christian. I think he was making a point there about tolerance.

Creepy Interactive Online Horror Stories

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It’s almost Halloween! OK it’s still technically summer but by golly if you squint really hard and pinch your nose against the delicate scent of flower blossoms it could be autumn.

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With this in mind I went on a hunt for the spookiest, scariest, creepiest online horror stories. Some are more inventive than scary but please be aware there is a chance you may scream very loudly, causing any housemates, friends or partners to come running.

My Father’s Long, Long Legs

This Weird Fiction tale is the reason I delved into the world of interactive stories. It’s cleverly done, subtle and very creepy.

Wear your headphones to get the best from the sound effects. You have to click the words in bold to get to the next part, and there is one section where you’ll need a little patience. You’ll know the bit. And keep going if you’re not sure, it will be abundantly clear when you’ve reached the end. Good luck!

630-296-7536

The story is entertaining though not terrifying, but what makes it even better is the number above. Call the number after finishing the story and you’ll see what I mean (please check for potential charges though, I have poor impulse control and am now waiting to see if I get an abnormal bill).

The Dionaea House

This intriguing tale begins with a series of emails you have to click through. At the end, if you click on the Updates page, you’ll find more ‘information’ and links to other sites corroborating the story. It’s very clever and the story itself is fascinating.

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Joralemon

Similar to Annie96 Is Typing (another good ‘un) this story appears as a chat history needing the click of your button to show the next piece. Not only that but a link to a wikipedia page correlating with the story appears which is a nice touch.

Annie96 may be slightly creepier but this one is still good. I think the thing that tips it for me is the friendship between the two girls.

The Bongcheon-Dong Ghost

If you haven’t seen this one yet you’re in for a treat. Keep scrolling down and make sure you’ve been to the toilet beforehand, that’s all I can say.

If you like scary webcomics try The Split Lip or the Midnight Tea Party anthology serieseseses. Well, what’s the plural of series? Series’? Serieses? I’m tired.

My Dead Girlfriend Keeps Messaging Me On Facebook

Though not interactive, this creepypasta makes good use of facebook chat and pictures. Plus it genuinely gave me the creeping willies so there was no way I wasn’t going to share it.

ALSO…

There’s a few fun interactive spooky stories on youtube including The House, A Knock At The Door and Stillshore CottageEnter if you dare, mwa ha ha!!! Um, that’s about it, until next time…no, really, that’s it, I’m going to make tea now, you’ll have to get off the porch. Bye!

Halloween3

Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared The Complete Series (So Far)

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I think we can all agree  that it’s far too hot to think. If you’re one of those people who likes the sun then, well, nothing really, just carry on liking the sun and I’ll carry on hiding from it. However I will share with you a web series that I’m continually inspired and fascinated by, Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared.

When I saw the first one, many moons ago, I thought to myself, “what the hell is this?” Then I reached the surprise ending and I was in love. I shared the first episode with the other new authors of Eraserhead Press and we all agreed it was really about us and our editor was the writing pad.

However, I think the third is my favourite. If ever I were to utter the words “This is my aesthetic” it would be about that: a veneer of rainbows and cute, while underneath something very unpleasant lurks. Plus it has a catchy song.

So, without further ado, here’s Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared 1-6

Creativity

Time

Love

Computers

Food

Dreams

Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories Anthology – Bizarre Book Club

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Bonjour mon petite panier de fleurs! Ca Va? Bien!

Just a quick pop in to say I just finished this book and loved it, Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories from Crystal Lake Publishing. Gutted-final-cover-smaller-1000x500The title is certainly right, the stories are beautiful, though some may not be strictly considered horror. However there’s a horror edge to them whether they’re fantastical or realistic, and who cares about genre with writers like Neil Gaiman, Clive Barker, Maria Alexander, Stephanie M Wytovich and lots more?

Some were darkly sad, some gothically beautiful and one or two gave me the genuine shivers, particularly Clive Barker’s Coming To Grief. Another very different favourite of mine was the tragically realistic Arbeit Macht Frei (Work Sets You Free) by Lisa Mannetti. Try it, you might like it, as the teenagers in Public Information Films used to say. However this book will probably not lead to hard drug consumption. Or will it? (No).

Read The Voynich Manuscript, One Of The Weirdest Books Ever Written, Free Online

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Good day my little free passes to Disneyworld which only get you onto three of the rides but it’s better than going on none. I’ve had an eventful week which included falling down a flight of stairs whilst sober (sadly true) and breaking one or more of my toes. Voynich_manuscript_bathtub2_example_78r_cropped

You may have heard of The Voynich Manuscript, a text similar to The Codex Seraphinianus in that it is full of strange pictures and gobbledygook.Voynich_baths01 Many, however, say there is a genuine message within the pages and people have been trying to work it out since it’s re-discovery in a second hand book shop by Wilfrid Voynich in 1912. Some even claim to have deciphered portions already, though the findings have not been verified. Others say it’s an elaborate hoax. Either way, it’s been carbon dated to the 1500s.

Here is the manuscript, in full, available free online.

Horror Stories For The Daft: Rob Dyke Reads Crappypasta

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I’m sure we all know of the ancient, time-honoured tradition of creepypasta, scary internet stories passed from post to post and now youtube channel to youtube channel. Some of them are downright horrifying, tapping into a dark part of the imagination perhaps more sophisticated stories no longer reach. Some are getting pretty darn sophisticated themselves, with the website Creepypasta now looking more like a horror story site with author’s names attached. Some, however, aren’t, and youtuber Rob Dyke has a new channel reading the worst. By the way check out his other channel, Seriously Strange, it’s very good.

When you send a story into creepypasta.com you can tick a box which sends your story to crappypasta.com if it falls short in some way. Some just need polishing, some need major overhauls and some are just…well, you’ll see.

Disclaimer: I’m sure more than a few of these are written by kids. However, it’s still funny because God knows I’ve written some stinkers in my time and that’s just as a grown up. The tick was checked by the writer to send it to crappypasta so that’s where they went, and we all learn from our mistakes. May they continue writing and improving and, who knows, one of them might become a famous author.

Evil Come (no, not that kind)

Glass Eyed Monster

The Unknown Hunter

Doll To Hell… (his cat features heavily in this one, which makes it worthwhile)

You Will Not Escape

The Real Origin of Jeff the Killer

The True Origin of Eyeless Jack

Jeff the Killer Has A Wife?! (This one reeks of hormones bless her cottons)

Zombie Lovers, Light Bulb Heads And Social Disease: Bizarre Book Club 17

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Today’s pretentious book picture is brought to you by Leigh-On-Sea’s The Book Inn. Words galore!madeleine-swann-bizarroGood day weary travelers! Come inside my humble abode and rest your tired bones. have some soup. No, I wasn’t going to rob you, merely draw an amusingly upturned moustache upon your lip.

Let’s get on with the latest recommendations, shall we? There are a couple of books I’vezombie lovers anonymous madeleine swann berti walker promised to read but, never fear, I just haven’t done it yet – their turn will come.

1 The Pulse Between Dimensions and the Desert by Rios De La Luz. This book of short stories contains fiery Spanish poetry mixed with mostly English words (the author is Mexican American) and strong elements of magic realism, from stress related time travel to fruit containing photographs.

I did Spanish at college and was pleasantly surprised by how much I remembered, but even if you don’t know a single word I imagine it’ll be easy to understand in context. Each word is sprinkled in magic and El Paso dust, reminding us of the proud heritage of the cleaning women characters.

2. Zombie Lovers Anonymous by Berti Walker. Don lived through the zombie apocalypse. There aren’t many people left, but neither are there many zombies anymore. Those left fill their days with going to the bar and hanging around. One day Don decides to visit his ex girlfriend, who has unfortunately (or fortunately) become the undead, and Don just can’t help himself.

Joyously perverse and very entertaining, it made me laugh in several places. It’s erotica with a sense of humour and horror sensibilities. Sometimes it teetered on the edge of revolting but never went too far. However, this is me we’re talking about, I could be very different to you.

madeleine-swann-social-disease-anderson-prunty3. A Light Bulb’s Lament by Grant Wamack. Grant Wamack’s twitter proclaims him to be “A mind-bending entity who happens to be a novelist, rapper, urban mystic and book slinger.” Well, I don’t know about you, but that sounds exhausting!

The person waking with no memory is a common theme, but this time it’s a dandy with a light bulb for a head. The world is dark and snow bound and he, along with a pretty girl with a good singing voice and an amoral professor, have to figure out how to escape the evil Telemarketer.

I enjoyed this a lot, it appeals to my silly sense of bureaucratic humour, and I grew quite close to the characters. It was good fun.

4. Hi, I’m A Social Disease by Anderson Prunty.  As expected from the title, it shows the ugly side of humanity in a variety of ways, from surviving the apocalypse to sideshow revenge. It’s brutal, the characters are lonely and tortured, but it’s well written with enough strangeness and imagination to keep it interesting for me.

Just when I’d wonder if I was reading pure violence and unpleasantness, which isn’t my cup of tea, something very odd or beautifully described would happen. There’s intrigue in this mire.

Well, there we have it, I’m off to skip with rainbow unicorns with massive…ears. Until next time!

Photography (And Video): Creepy Taxidermy, Vintage Coin Operated Machines And Peep Shows

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Afternoon my little chicks almost ready to fledge the nest! I’m currently reading the oddest books I can find for Friday’s Bizarre Book Club post but in the meantime here’s a bunch of great vintage items I saw yesterday at Battlesbridge Antique Centre.

The room filled with coin operated machines such as the hanging man execution, peep shows, laughing sailor and fortune teller had me hopping for joy as did the taxidermy. I filmed a few and added the video below if you’d like to see them in action. Imagine you’re at the seaside in the 1920s looking for some fun and titillation. Enjoy!

P.S. I think my photography might be improving!

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Deep POV—What’s So Deep About It

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Hello my little munchkin fruit parcels. This blog post was sent to me by writer and artist lady Betty Rocksteady and I found it helpful, so I think you will too:

 

Discover what deep POV is and and how to use this popular viewpoint in your fiction and stories. Give viewpoint characters deep POV.

Source: Deep POV—What’s So Deep About It

Blood, Body Parts And Evil Angels: 6 Creepy, Weird Or Scary Plants

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Hello!

It’s almost summer and the flowers are sprouting, which is the best time to remind ourselves that nature is the weirdest thing you’ll ever experience. As you can tell from previous posts, I love weird nature and creepy creatures, they’re brilliant prompts for stories, but today I shall focus solely on those life forms that were here long before us and will remain when we’re gone – plants.

The Bleeding Tooth Fungus: We’ll start with something really grotesque because you can handle it, you’re grown ups with eyes of steel. The Bleeding Tooth Fungus apparently isn’t poisonous but has a very bitter taste rendering it inedible. Doesn’t it make you hungry though? It reminds me of jam. bleeding-tooth-fungus

It lurks mostly in North American forests but has been spotted elsewhere. The ooze (or sap, if you want to be all sciencey about it) is sometimes yellow (mmm, pus) pink, beige or orange.

Bleeding Tooth Fungus: In French With English text

Angel Trumpet: brugmansia

The very epitome of a wolf in sheep’s clothing, these South American plants appear heavenly but are said to have a darker secret than an Edgar Allen Poe character.

They contain atropine, hyoscyamine and scopolamine, the last of which can apparently be used to alter another person’s state of mind, or create ‘zombies.’ I don’t personally know how true these claims are, much of it sounds a little over-hyped, but cases exist where the plant has been blamed for causing a hypnotic state, such as in the victims of a trio of thieves arrested in Paris who ‘willingly’ handed over possessions. However it’s unclear whether scopolamine can actually remove free will.

World’s Scariest Drug

Rafflesia Flower: We all know of the Titan Arum corpse flower and it’s scent of rotting corpses, but perhaps slightly less known in some parts is the Rafflesia from Southeastern Asia, also known as the corpse flower. Confused? Good.

It’s a parasite which latches onto the roots of a host plant. It’s innards stink of decomposing flesh to attract the flies it feeds on. Naturally, with all this going for it, it’s the official state flower of Indonesia (?).

worlds largest corpse flower Rafflesia Arnoldii

Devil’s Fingers: Mistaken online for an alien life form the Devil’s Fingers fungus, or Octopus Stinkhorn, is truly rather strange.

Growing mostly in Britain it bursts from an other-wordly sack to release it’s foul stench (for attracting flies) into the world.

Devil’s Fingers Time Lapse

Clitoria: clitoriaThe scientist who named this beauty certainly wasn’t shy. He/she saw a flower that looked like it had a clitoris and called it as it was.

Another native of Southeast Asia, this flower is used as food dye or eaten deep fried. Others have historically attempted to give it less ‘controversial’ names but they never stuck because, let’s face facts, it looks like a fanny.

Dracula Orchids: orchid-dracula With a name evoking the undead you would expect these flowers from Central America to look creepy but they’re actually quite cute, if you like monkey faces. Slightly judgmental monkey faces.

Being Orchids these are cultivated by fanciers for their beauty and rarity. They were named Dracula because of the red colour displayed by some.

There we have it my little summer popsicles. Go, now, and frolic amongst the monkey faced fields and corpse laden air. I’ll be watching.