I don’t know about you, but this week has been brutal. Time for some escape. What’s happened in the world of the strange, the bizarre, the horrific?
- The Catholic Church is offering a week-long course in exorcism for priests and laity: “The lectures and panel discussions—which include direct Q&A with actual exorcists—aim at equipping students to recognize demonic activity and deal with it properly, including through the practice of exorcism itself and prayer of deliverance. This year’s enrollment in the program comprises pastoral workers, psychologists, doctors, teachers, lawyers, as well as dozens of priests, and features a lineup of speakers including Vatican officials, bishops and even Riccardo Di Segni, the Chief Rabbi of Rome’s Jewish Community.”
- At Nev Murray’s Confessions of a Reviewer!!, Matthew (Matty-Bob) Cash related the confessions of his past, present, and future: “Ever to be one to be the last on the bandwagon I’ve recently discovered Brian Lumley’s Necroscope series. I was always put off in the nineties by the trashy book covers, skulls and stuff, I still really hate book covers that look like they should be the cover on a heavy metal album (not that I have any issues with metal \m/ ) I loved his take on the vampire Mythos and the whole espionage, or ESPionage as they refer to it, spies with telekinetic powers, kinda like a horror X-Men.”
- John Kenneth Muir deconstructed one of my favorite films, the 1994 effort The Shadow: I don’t believe that The Shadow is as visually compelling or inventive as Dick Tracy is. That film’s overwhelming and distinctive color scheme — as well as its fidelity to keeping action sequences confined to individual “frames”– resulted in a singular entertainment. Yet The Shadow does a remarkably effective and impressive job creating 1930s New York City, and locations such as The Cobalt Club, The Empire State Building, the Monolith Hotel, and the aforementioned Brooklyn Bridge.”
- If you like the original Star Trek, if you’re even the least bit interested in monster flicks, you must take a look at what fell out of Zombos’ Closet: Monsters of the Movies Volume 1, Issue 9.
- It turns out that there were such things as Soviet Westerns back in the day, and Die, Danger, Die, Die, Kill! reviewed one titled The Elusive Avengers: “Loosely based on Little Red Devils, a novel by Pavel Blyakhin, The Elusive Avengers spawned two sequels, making it one of the more popular examples of the uniquely Russian riff on the Western genre known as the Ostern, or “Eastern.” Like most Osterns, it is set in Ukraine during the chaotic period of civil war that followed the Russian Revolution.”
- The Horrors of It All brought us the horror comic Haunted Love Issue #3: Tomb for Two. Disturbing, disgusting, invaluable. Take a look.
- Sean Eaton delved into matters theological and Lovecraftian at his never-to-be-missed R’lyeh Tribune: “It seems that horror, religion and the psychological process that creates dreams, visions and nightmares form an unholy triumvirate, each contributing substance and inspiration to the other two, and all derived from the same underlying material. Which material is comprised of the primordial fear of death, the terror of life’s ultimate meaninglessness, and the intuition that other realities exist beyond the one we know. Like that more familiar and comforting Trinity with a capital ‘T’, this one consists of three different entities united in one substance.”
- The ghost of a woman’s mother-in-law has begun to haunt her family photos in the UK’s West Yorkshire: “Caroline Walker was snapping shots of her grandson as they played peek-a-boo. But when the 49-year-old looked through her shots, she spotted a see-through spirit in a nightie popping up behind him. Caroline, from Bradford, West Yorkshire, said: “It’s really weird and quite spooky, I can see arms and part of a see-through body that appears to be dressed in a nightie. ‘The figure in the pictures is transparent and the only person I think it could be is my ex-mother-in-law because we have her old furniture in the room.'” (A problem with an easy solution. –Dave)
- Taliesin Meets the Vampires reviewed Jonathan Maberry’s book V-Wars: Night Terrors: “Whilst arguably the first V-War never really ended, this volume is set during the second V-War and one of the great things about the volumes is how the various authors pull your loyalties one way and another. One moment you may root for a human and the next a vampire.”
- At The Slaughtered Bird, The Movie Critic Next Door reviewed the film Judas Ghost: “Jerry McKay (Martin Delaney, who will soon be in ‘Now You See Me 2’ is the slightly smarmy team leader who’s always got everything under control, even when he doesn’t. Anna (Lucy Cudden) is the psychic of the group who hears and sees things the others don’t. Ian (Alexander Perkins) is the tech guy who handles all the computer scanning and such. He’s afraid of the dark and should really have a nice normal job in the IT department of a bank, but somehow ended up here. Then there’s the cameraman Mark Vega (Simon Merrells).”
- The real-life horror of sleep-paralysis was the subject of discussion at Ghost Hunting Theories: “The Germans have a creature named “Alp” An alp is typically male…Its victims are often females, whom it attacks during the night, controlling their dreams and creating horrible nightmares (hence the german word Albtraum (“elf dream”), meaning a nightmare). An alp attack is called an Albdruck, or often Albdrücke, which means “elf pressure”. Alpdruck is when an alp sits astride a sleeper’s chest and becomes heavier until the crushing weight awakens the terrified and breathless dreamer.”
- Who doesn’t like Euro-sleaze? Especially Euro-sleaze from the 70’s? Not me. That means I do like it. So does the House of Self-Indulgence, which reviewed the 1978 film Satan’s Blood, AKA Escalofrio: “On the other hand, eating your food like a dog has never been cool. And that’s exactly what Annie catches one of her hosts doing at one point. A normal person would have politely excused themselves after witnessing this canine display and ran for the exit when the opportunity was right. But since it’s the… (Yeah, yeah, it’s the 1970s. People put up with all sorts of weird ass nonsense back then.)”
- Here, I reviewed the film He Never Died and told you about my dead cat.
Illustration by Mark J. Ferrari for Call of Cthulhu’s S. Petersen’s Field Guide to Creatures of the Dreamlands.