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!

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!

Amazingly Creepy Horror Illusion Make Up

Just over a month to Halloween!

If you’re creatively inclined with your hands (I’m really not, everything handy I try to do comes out looking a little depressed) maybe you can have a go at this insane horror illusion make up for Halloween. Some people make it look so easy, and SammyLovesFossas is one of those people.

Here’s a Matrioshka (Russian dolls) effect:

Eye Popping Make Up:

The Last of Us:

Human Gruel facepaint:

Ghost facepaint:

Honestly there’s so much more, please visit her channel for more amazingness. See you soon!

Interview With Me On Deadman’s Tome Podcast

Hello! May all your jolly moments come at once in an overwhelming rush.

I was interviewed by horror podcast Deadman’s Tome about my new story with the magazine, and other things as well. It was live which meant I had to crawl out of bed at twenty to four in the morning my time. At first I was quite chatty, but a muesli crash ensued. Enjoy!

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!

My Weird Science Fiction Horror Type Short Story In Deadman’s Tome

Hello!

You may buy (pre-ordering today, it’s available to read first of September) the anthology containing my disturbing, weird science fiction short story about octopuses (apparently octopi is erroneous, who knew) that appear in the corner of everyone’s living rooms. The story probably doesn’t go where you think it will.

Get the kindle version of First Contact, edited by Deadman’s Tome, and possibly get a T Shirt. Or something. I don’t know, I advise going to the source  and asking. The physical book is on it’s way.

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

Ghost Cars, Paedophiles And Hitler: The Weirdest American Sitcoms

Sitcoms can be quite odd. Often a vacuum of humour, they’re mostly born of a Network’s desire to keep things inoffensive and entertain the whole family, dulling any creativity on the way (Big Bang Theory and Citizen Kahn, I’m looking at you). Sometimes they break free and become something great, for example Nathan Barley, Silicon Valley, Spaced, The League of Gentlemen, Fleabag, The Mighty Boosh and Atlanta (technically a comedy drama but I highly recommend it, particularly the BET episode. My stomach hurt during that).

Most of the time, though, sitcoms are just the same old thing in different settings, cobbling ideas together from already successful shows during a very desperate board meeting. Sometimes they have an original idea, but it’s so outlandish that you can’t quite believe was pitched let alone accepted.

Bosom Buddies

Tom Hanks’ first screen appearance seems to be inspired by Some Like It Hot only more stupid and less funny. Some Like It Hot had to be in black and white for audiences to accept Tony Curtis and Jack Lemon as women, but the Bosom Buddies creators thought nah, it’ll be fine.

Tom and his chum find a cheap apartment to rent but oh, curses, it’s a hotel for women. Did…did those exist in the 1980s?

My Mother, The Car

Wanting to capitalise on the success of fantasy sitcoms like Mr Ed and Bewitched, with a little oedipal complex thrown in, the reviews for the sitcom in which a man’s dead mother is reincarnated as a 1928 Porter were so bad that it wasn’t picked up for a second series. I suggest you watch The Simpsons parody Lovematic Grandpa instead.

Diff’rent Strokes – The Paedophile Episode

I had to include this. Generally a regular, unfunny situational comedy, it took a dark turn when the writers decided to highlight the dangers of paedophiles.

While I think it was well meaning and may have done some real good, the story slips down a rabbit hole of inappropriate laugh tracks and wise cracks while the action onscreen grows ever more disturbing. If you’ve ever watched the Butter’s Very Own Episode of South Park you’ll know what I mean, only this was unintentional.

The Flying Nun

“There’s this nun, see.”

“OK?”

“And she can fly.”

“What? Why?”

“She weighs just 90 pounds and…and…when the wind is strong it catches that funny hat they wear, and off she goes!”

“Tere, your mother and I are very worried about you.”

Mr Smith

The orangutan from Any Which Way But Loose landed a speaking role in this short-running sitcom. Apparently transformed into a genius after drinking an “experimental mixture” (pesky stuff) he becomes a political adviser (?) while his assistant and secretary try to keep his ape identity a secret. Yes, I’m sure it was hilarious.

Bonus! full episode of Heil Honey, I’m Home

Hitler and Eva Braun live in an apartment next to a Jewish couple in this British parody of American 50s sitcoms which aired for a single episode. I suggest you read this review of the shockingly unfunny programme here. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

P.S. The writing at the start is fiction.