John Skipp’s Favourite Weird And Horror Short Films From Festivals

Hello hello my Christmas friends, let’s all dance and sing, with joy and stuff and stuff and things and all stuff in between.

While at Bizarrocon, horror author John Skipp had a showing of his favourite short films (or movies, if you want to be all American about it). However a more accurate title for this post should be ‘some of John Skipp’s favourites’ because the showing lasted two and a half hours and I’ve picked out the ones I liked best, and I couldn’t find the full movies of Einstein-Rosen by Olga Osorio or The Honeymoon by Ruth Pickett.

I’ll start with the silliest first. You might recognise the Lovecraftian rapper as Cody Goodfellow, one of the authors who sat with me on the Weird In A Post Weird World panel. Other bizarro authors pop up too, along with Rose O’Keefe, the owner of Eraserhead Press.

Baby Got Bass from Eli Dorsey

The next is a sci fi short most fans of Black Mirror would probably appreciate, SWELL from Bridget Savage Cole

THE BULB from calvin reeder is weird, fun and a little bit gross

And finally Death Metal from Chris McInroy had us howling. Contains daft violence

Merry Christmas and see you next week!

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Crappypasta Submissions Reading (Bad Horror Fiction)

They’re here!

Merry Halloween my little apple carts, may all your disturbing dreams come true and your stomachs explode with sugary delights. I asked people to send me their own crappypastas, which are terribly written internet horror stories. Enjoy!

The writers are:

Ian Willingham

Gary Buller

Neil Dinsmore

Myk Pilgrim

Prince Kano, Classic Gothic Horror Poem

Today’s video is very short so tomorrow I’ll add a podcast and mini documentary I found on one of the oddest Hollywood true crime stories I’ve ever heard of.

For now, here’s classic gothic horror poem Prince Kano by Edward Lowbury. Merry almost Halloween!

Abandoned Buildings – Kelvedon Hatch Cold War Nuclear Bunker

Is anything scarier than the potential destruction of the human race? Well, to other humans, anyway.

My friend Steve and I visited a local weird spot, Kelvedon Hatch cold war nuclear bunker, for the Halloween video bonanza.

Creepy Stop Motion Animation – Fantasia by Guldies

Hello my little sections of time spent in bed when you know you have to get up soon thus making it even more comfortable, I found this stop motion animation the other day and couldn’t wait to share its creepy glory.

Alex, aka Guldies, is a Swedish stop motion animator. Have a look at his (pretty sure it’s a he, sorry if not) youtube channel. Enjoy!

Art: The Creepy Grin Of Yue Minjun

The other day I went to use the computer only to be shocked by a terrifying, eternal grin repeated many times over. Bill had discovered Yue Minjun and saved his picture to the desktop. I thought immediately of Aphex Twin or Being John Malkovich.

Minjun is an artist from Beijing who uses his own face, frozen in a grin, in all his paintings and sculptures, which often replicate iconic imagery such as the Terracotta Army. There’s a kind of mischief and joy to his work, which has been shown in China, London, France, and Switzerland among others.

Bizarre Book Club: Caitlin Doughty From Ask A Mortician

I read this book in a single day, which should tell you something. No, the book wasn’t two pages long.

I chanced upon a YouTube channel called Ask A Mortician and found her not only informative on all things death related, but also funny and charming. Caitlin Doughty seemed like someone I’d want to hang around with.

This in turn led me to her book Smoke Gets In Your Eyes (And Other Lessons From The Crematory). I expected and enjoyed the anecdotes of working with corpses and the awkwardness of experiencing another culture’s grieving rituals for the first time (the segment on the Chinese family is fascinating).

The horror from outsiders, too, wasn’t a surprise, such as a hospital security guard’s distaste at her picking up ex-babies, that “it didn’t matter how many times I smiled at her, expressed my new-on-the-job status with bumbling Hugh Grant– esque apologies. This woman had decided that I was dirty and deviant. Handmaiden to the underworld.”

I also anticipated moments that made me laugh out loud, such as when “the family had placed a Häagen-Dazs coffee-and-almond ice-cream bar between her hands like a Viking warrior’s weapon. Those are my favourite. So I yelled, involuntarily, “Those are my favourite!””

What I didn’t expect were the many literary quotes and philosophical thoughts. Not that I didn’t think mortuary workers were capable of them, but I didn’t expect to be thinking about them so much afterwards. Caitlin believes the West’s relationship with death has gone astray, that “death might appear to destroy the meaning in our lives, but in fact it is the very source of our creativity. As Kafka said , “The meaning of life is that it ends.” Death is the engine that keeps us running, giving us the motivation to achieve, learn, love, and create.”

She feels that hiding death away and pretending it doesn’t happen is creating greater fear of the  inevitable end. She advocates for a more natural, eco-friendly approach, and for not allowing funeral homes to dictate to the family how the final proceedings should go. I’ll let her explain it in this Ted Talk:

She also believes (more in America, not so much here) that embalming is often sold to people as the only way and is expensive and often unnecessary:

At first I thought, well, is it really so important to be more involved with a body before a funeral? How much can that really change things? Then I thought hard on her point that we also hide old age, stashing the elderly and infirm in sometimes substandard homes, while other cultures move ageing relatives in with them to deal with the consequences of the years together. I wonder if maybe she’s right. What do all of you think?

Caitlin also began The Order of the Good Death, where “funeral industry professionals, academics, and artists explor(e) ways to prepare a death phobic culture for their inevitable mortality.” I’d like to go to one of their talks one day. I’ve also pre-ordered her book From Here To Eternity, in which she travelled far and wide gathering information on the death practices of various civilisations.

As an added bonus, here are a few fun videos from her Ask A Mortician series:

Crematory Scandal That Changed The Death Industry

Victorian STANDING Corpse Photography?

The Punished Suicide

The Self Mummified Monks

Medieval Zombies?!

La Pascualita: Mannequin or Corpse Bride?

Lead Based Make Up Tutorial For Spring