Category: Past Articles
Stuck for ideas on what to watch for Halloween? Want a moviethon that will appeal to everyone but no idea where to start? Do you go iconic with Halloween, surreal with Eraserhead or a bit of tongue in cheek with American Werewolf in London? Try a pick n mix from these sub-genres of horror to get things rolling:
Top 10 Classic ‘True’ Horror Movies
Ok so it might not be 100% FACT but there’s a definite edge to watching movies with elements of truth to add to the scare factor knowing these people do exist…out there…somewhere. Ham it up with friends and family until you’re well and truly freaked! What better time to revisit old classics than Halloween?
1. The Blob (1958) starring Steve McQueen might not leap out as a based on a true story but this expanding … Read More »
It’s that time of year again. A time when monsters, ghosts, and tales of the undead grace our t.v. screens filling our hearts with horrors of the unknown and bloody fun. Some of my favorite films, especially this time of year, have been horror movies that take place on or around Halloween. In my opinion, it helps add to the atmosphere of all things scary and relive moments in cinema that filled our childhood with terror, and our adult lives with newfound pleasures. Compiled here is a list of my top ten favorite Halloween themed films that are guaranteed to amp up your holiday with scares and remind us just why Halloween is the most thrilling and entertaining time for fans of the horror genre to celebrate!
10. Hell Night (1981)
Linda Blair (The Exorcist) stars in the film as Marti, a … Read More »
Wine? Boring! Beer? Boo! Get creative this Halloween with these Punch, Shooters and Cocktail recipes. A perfect fit for PWD’s Halloween drinking games…
1 shot = 25ml in these recipes
You will need:
1 shot peach schnapps
1 shot Irish cream liqueur
1 tsp grenadine syrup
Fill the shot glass with schnapps and top with liqueur which will create a curdled effect. Add the grenadine for blood and sprinkle with edible glitter for a shrapnel effect.
You will need:
Chilled juice from 8 blood oranges
6 tablespoons of blood orange liqueur
Combine juice and liqueur and chill for 30 mins minimum. Pour into test tubes for a blood bank effect or shot glasses.
You will need:
1 shot dry vermouth
1 shot Irish cream liqueur
1 shot tequila
Pour ingredients into a shaker filled with ice, shake, strain and pour. Garnish with grated chocolate.
You will need:
1 shot vanilla vodka
1 … Read More »
Why should trick or treaters have all the fun?
Halloween party drinking games to take your guests from bored to floored:
Atomic Apple Bobbing
There are two ways to play this game depending on how much you want to share face space with the people you’re hanging with!
Option 1: Grab a tub and fill with water. Get a selection of miniatures (or get your guests to provide them as an entry toll) and drop them in the water. Take it in turns to bob and drink.
Option 2: Grab a tub fill with alcoholic punch drop in apples that have numbers on them. The person has to drink as many shots as their boozy apple tells them to!
Poison Pumpkin Hunt
This is one for outside. Grab your mates and head outdoors where you will have already hidden little pumpkins. Set a time and race … Read More »
Every year around the same time, mid-September thru October, I begin to really get into the autumn way of things. I go to pumpkin patches, haunted houses and most importantly, the horror genre dominates the airwaves. ABC Family has “13 days of Halloween,” AMC has a month long horror film celebration with “Fear Fest,” SYFY Channel does “31 days of horror” and many other networks do their own variation of the sort. No matter what channel you watch or what movie you see on Netflix, chances are you are going to come across a film from the Halloween franchise. In lue of the recent 35th anniversary DVD release of the original film, I have decided to go though and review all 10 (YES-10) films in the franchise. So lets kick this baby off with the film that started it all!
Halloween … Read More »
I am a staff writer here for Playwithdeath.com and recently I produced a short film titled “What Comes From Within.” The film has been accepted into many different festivals and has played all over the country this past year. Our final screening will be at the International Student Film Festival Hollywood! The festival takes place October 25th-27th at the Beverly Grand Theater in Hollywood. It is the perfect timing for our film to have its Hollywood premiere, especially since it’s a horror film and the screening is Halloween weekend.
“What Comes From Within” is a supernatural/thriller centering around siblings Josh and Jamie Hunt. After they lose their parents in a freak car accident, their cousin Haley moves in. Shortly after, strange things begin to occur. In 2006, over 15,000 cases of demonic possession … Read More »
If there’s one thing I love, its psychopaths. I have a whole list of actors that I didn’t find attractive until they played serial killers or sociopaths. Dan Dillard opens up his book How to Eat a Human Being not only with my favorite character type, but also one of my favorite genres.
The title piece is a rhyming, rhythmic poem about the joys and ways to partake in cannibalism. The sing-song tone and carefree attitude had me smiling and very excited to join the narrator’s cooking class. It was a perfect opening to his anthology about how far we can be driven to go to sate our desires.
As a person who tends to judge books by covers, this one was great. At one point, I found myself thinking that the story was moving along very quickly, then it was over … Read More »
I am a horror story fanatic. Give me a book filled with scares, a thunderstorm outside, and I’m in paradise. There’s something about a plot that can pull you in and make you face your deeper fears. A great story is an exaggeration of life and great horror is the exaggeration of death. Authors have known this since the first time cavemen and women painted on walls.
I’ve decided to split my list into books and categories to offer some alternative suggestions to the ones selected as the top. Feel free to try out any of these and let me know what you think.
It is debatable where to start. I think as good a point as any is the summer of 1816 with the extended vacation of Lord Byron, Mary Shelley, Percy Shelley, and Byron’s doctor John Polidori. Legend has … Read More »
Many games in this genre go for shock value, and this game is no exception. Based on Inferno, from Dante’s Divine Comedy, this game takes you on a journey through hell like you have never before experienced before.
It follows Dante, a crusader that is designed much like a Templar knight, on a journey through hell to save the soul of his beloved, Beatrice.
Even though Dante has devout faith, the Bishop convinced him and his fellow crusaders that all their sins committed during the war would be absolved. So despite his promise to Beatrice to be faithful while away, he was not. He also committed many other atrocities, for which he thought he would be forgiven. During an attack led to steal a holy relic, Dante is stabbed in the back. Death appears before him, and damns Dante to hell for … Read More »
A highly addictive drug causing gangrene and even rotting flesh has found its way to the shores of the U.S. Krokodil (pronounced crocodile), aptly named for the scaly skin appearing around injection sites, is now being used in America.
The first cases were reported by doctors at the Banner Poison Control Center where two men from Arizona began to show signs of damage from the drug.
Originating from Russia, this homemade drug grew in popularity due to the price which is 20 times cheaper than heroin and the fact that it can be made very simply by using chemicals found in your garage. It is an opiate made from codeine-based headache pills, gasoline, paint thinner, and alcohol.
Users of the drug near Siberia are reported to have a life span of two to three years after continually injecting themselves. Once injected, the blood … Read More »
Throughout September 2013 the town of Northampton in England was invaded by a mystery clown modelled on Pennywise the creepy character from Stephen King’s bestselling novel It.
Captured in a range of disturbing grainy photographs, frightened residents reported the clandestine clown lurking stony faced in the shadows, sometimes clutching a bunch of balloons and just staring. The clown’s identity or the reason behind these eerie appearances remains unknown but on Friday 13th a Facebook page Spot Northampton’s Clown appeared.
Using the page as a platform some terrified residents pleaded with the clown to stop but to no avail. One of the mysterious messages left by the clown begins with Pennywise’s catchphrase ‘’Beep, Beep! Didn’t think I’d be seen tonight. Extremely quiet but there were a few of you who saw. See you all around”. Some residents claim they suffer … Read More »
Director: John Poliquin
Writers: The Vicious Brothers
The directors of “Grave Encounters” return with their highly anticipated sequel, ”Grave Encounters 2”. There certainly was a buzz about the first film in the series which was actually the Vicious Brothers directorial debut and was written by them. They also wrote the second but stepped down from the director’s chair for John Poliquin whose career started in music videos and commercials.
The premise of Grave Encounters 2 surrounds a film student named Alex Wright and his crew as they work on their thesis, a torture porn horror movie. Alex however, receives a message from an online user named DeathAwaits666 and begins to receive information leading him to believe that maybe the “Grave Encounters” movie may not have been fiction.
Weeks go by and Alex has become obsessed after he realizes that all the actors … Read More »
In 2012, anthology film “V/H/S” captured the interest of the horror community. Though met with mixed reviews, the movie’s concept—six short segments, all shot in the increasingly-popular “found footage” style and presented within the narrative as tapes from a mysterious snuff film collection—was fresh enough to garner major attention, and, of course, spawn a sequel.
2013′s “V/H/S 2” (formerly titled the more-clever “S-V/H/S”), much like the first installment, is a mixed bag. While this sequel improves on many of the first’s problem areas, it also makes some new mistakes and manages to repeat old ones.
This time around, there are only five segments (including the wrap-around framing story). While the pace of the film is considerably improved compared to its predecessor, one less segment also means a little less variety.
The framing narrative, “Tape 49” (directed by Simon Barrett), follows a private … Read More »
Directed by Marcel Sarmiento and Gadi Harel
Two degenerate teens discover a nameless, zombie-dead-girl. One teen decides to chill with it and play house. The other teen considers having sex with the dead girl, but then decides he is going to focus on another girl. One that is alive.
Deadgirl is a film about people who have sex with a dead girl. You can watch the situation corrupt JT (I know where there is this dead girl that I can bang!), and you can watch this guy named Rickie (Shiloh Fernandez) pursue his pie-in-the-sky love while he waits most of the movie before he decides to save the day for dead girl.
JT doesn’t want to leave his “Precious Deadgirl,” and then discovers that deadgirl can bite and pass the zombie-condition. Even though he fails to capture a new woman to infect, the … Read More »
Ever since Bram Stoker started his classic novel Dracula, he put the world of the vampire directly in the hands of men. His count was a wealthy aristocrat, one from an exotic location with powers beyond anything society could imagine. The women of Stoker’s world existed at the whim of men and this was most likely a product of his time.
As film embraced the vampire, it followed suit. A stream of quality lead actors portrayed the creatures of the night. Christopher Lee, Bela Lugosi, Gary Oldman, even Leslie Neilson and most recently Jonathan Rhys Meyers have all donned the cape. They have all been paired with sexy supplicants, women they’ve turned into wives to do their bidding and defend them against the Abraham Van Helsing’s of the world.
Finally, as film started yielding to other forms of … Read More »
It’s no surprise to fans that Jack Wallen is about to release the next novel in the I Zombie series, titled Cry Zombie Cry, in the next month. Mr. Wallen was kind enough to take some time out of his busy schedule to discuss with Playwithdeath.com the latest in his beloved zombie series, as well as his journey from actor to author. With a Master’s of Fine Arts in acting, Mr. Wallen has a strong sense of what it takes to drive character development and give storytelling the dramatic “punch” required to lure in an audience. Some may not know that Mr. Wallen spent the first twenty years of his career as an actor, primarily working stage and Broadway shows. Part of the Colorado Shakespeare festival as well as spending a large portion of time as a resident actor in … Read More »
Directed by: Eric Walters
In November 1974, Ronald DeFeo went floor by floor in his parent’s four-story Amityville home, shooting and killing all six of his family members. DeFeo claimed spirits told him to do it. A year later, George and Kathy Lutz moved their three children, Daniel, Christopher, and Melissa into the house. After only 28 days, the Lutz family fled the in fear leaving all of their personal possessions behind. They claimed that they were forced to leave after all the haunting experiences that occurred in their short stay at 112 Ocean Avenue.
Over the years to follow the Lutz’ story became an international phenomenon. They were on the cover of “Home Journal” and they were on every news and radio program. They also made national television appearances on talk shows. The story became the subject of a best-selling novel … Read More »
Father Gabriele Amorth, chief exorcist of the Catholic Church and head of the International Association of Exorcists, will be calling for open approval from Pope Francis for all priests to perform exorcisms, ending the need to request special permission based on individual criteria. Amorth’s conviction of the link between growing demonic possessions and an increasingly godless world is calling for the change after seeing the Pontiffs alleged exorcism in St Peters Square on a man known as Angel V.
Angel claims in the Spanish Newspaper El Mundo he was possessed by an energy he sensed whilst on a bus ‘something like a stake pierced my chest and, little by little, I had the sensation that it was opening my ribs’ ever since, he claims, it’s difficult to eat, breathe, sleep and he suffers blasphemous trances that enable him to speak in … Read More »
When word came out in 2011 that FX would be offering a show called American Horror Story, I was excited. When the word continued to say that it would be helmed by Ryan Murphy, my excitement faltered. I mean, how could the guy from Glee turn in a quality show with drama and scares. Now, at the start of the third season, Murphy has lived up to his acclaim and American Horror Story is at the top of the fear market on television.
The show is a mix of great casting, atmospheric effects, and a background of genuine urban legends. It has strong performances and multiple award winners in Jessica Lange, Evan Peters, Lily Rabe, Zachary Quinto, Sarah Paulson, and Dylan McDermott. The new season has Kathy Bates, Angela Bassett, and Gabourey Sibide. Let’s take a look at some of the … Read More »
Directed by David Schmoeller
This classic straight to DVD thriller centers on an ancient Egyptian formula with the ability to create/give life discovered by Andre Toulon, a puppeteer. He is a gentle man, using the power to give his puppets life. When the Nazis learn of this secret, however, they are determined to take it from him and use it for their own means. In a last-ditch effort to protect his secret, and the puppets he loves, Toulon takes his life before the Nazis get to him.
50 years later, in 1989, the secret was found by a despicable man named Neil Gallagher. Through the powers of the mind, he reaches out to four psychic colleagues. The four are compelled to go to him, to the same hotel where Andre Toulon took his life all those years ago. Upon arriving the four … Read More »
With all the zombie movies that’ve been bloating up the horror genre, you’d think that fans across the globe would’ve become tired of our slinking, undead friends; but then you’d be thinking wrong. Zombies have come back with full force in the media, and with good reason. They’re no longer the blundering, painfully slow Romero-types of old. They’ve evolved into insatiable beasts, quick with animal instincts that drive them to a single purpose: tear flesh from limb, infecting as many as possible. With this new adaptation to a beloved staple in the horror universe zombies have been reborn, and World War Z does an excellent job of bringing this new, fledgling class of the undead to the big screen.
Based on the book of the same name written by Max Brooks, World War Z is just shy of two hours of … Read More »
Vampires are some of the oldest monsters we have. It’s no wonder they’ve been a source of fascination for centuries. Especially since Bram Stoker gave us Dracula, the penultimate vampire. With his book The Romance of Dracula Charles E. Butler chronicles the Count’s journey from his inception at Stoker’s hand to the modern day.
There’s a certain way a person talks or writes when they really love something. That’s exactly how Butler’s book reads. From the opening to the final closing notes, this is clearly a book written out of love for the genre and characters.
He guides the reader easily through the decades and shocking number of appearances the Count has had. He covers many of the incarnations and actors—Max Schreck, Bela Lugosi, Christopher Lee, Klaus Kinski, Gary Oldman, and Leslie Nielson just to name a few—and offers an in depth … Read More »
From 2001 to 2013, a look at thirteen strange, unique and grisly deaths you may have never heard of.
The absurdity of life can sometimes only be matched by the absurdity of death. Here are 13 odd exits from the land of the living.
2001: The Windshield
Who died and where: Gregory Biggs, age 37, Fort Worth, TX
Chante Jawan Mallard, addled by drugs and alcohol, was driving on a county road near Fort Worth, TX when she struck homeless man Gregory Biggs, lodging him in her windshield. Apparently unfazed, Mallard made her way home, driving down a six-lane highway and through town with Biggs’ body stuck in her windshield, his legs wrapped over and onto the car’s roof.
Mallard was kind enough to return to the garage throughout the night, apologizing repeatedly to Mr Biggs. Sometime in the night, Mallard stopped visiting Biggs, during … Read More »
Directed by: James Wan
Imagine sitting in a theater, completely crowed, and filled with young adults and teens. Now imagine sitting in that exact theater at a midnight premiere of “The Conjuring.” The energy filled the room as the lights turned down. Everyone was excited and fearful at the same time to finally view the film that was widely publicized as one of the scariest movies in history.
The film opens on an old rag doll named Annabelle. This aspect of the story introduces the Warrens. The story is based on the true events and the lives of Ed and Lorraine Warren, famed demonologists who have investigated some of the most famous hauntings in the world, such as, The Amityville Horror (we’ll get to that later). Portrayed by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga respectively, the two are wonderful talent to grace the … Read More »
Directed by Lucky McKee
Incest? Check. Rape? Check. Torture? Check. Violent Misogyny? Mega-check.
The movie tells the story of a Nell-like wildling woman who intersects with “civilization.” Unfortunately for her, “civilization” is in the form of a control-freaky lawyer (Sean Bridgers) who captures her and takes her home to the fam.
The lawyer chains her up in his bunker/cellar and hilarity ensues. As the film progresses, we are treated to a thinly veiled didactic feminist tale; stereotype upon stereotype stack for the director to make his point. The lawyer beats his complacent and obedient wife, encourages his son’s sexual deviance, and rapes the captive Woman. Wait, is he the one who knocked up his teenage daughter?
The story arch is predictable on the macro scale; the wild woman has more class and strength than the creepy lawyer and her arrival triggers the end of … Read More »
Although it sounds like the name of some sort of restaurant chain that sells chicken wings, unbeknownst to most is the ancient indian legend of the Wendigo Spirit.
Originating as a myth of the Algonquian Indians, this demon is believed to lurk between Canada and North America. The creature is said to have lived for many moons, possessing humans with its diseased spirit. If infected by the spirit, one will go utterly mad and feast off of human flesh, proof that the zombie myth dates back farther than Night of the Living Dead.
Here lay just a few documented encounters of the spirit:
In 1920, A young doctor was said to have moved to Fort Kent with his wife in a time of war, helping those in need. Little did he know, an ancient spirit lurked within the land and soon … Read More »
Take a psychiatric hospital opened in 1903, add decades of patient mistreatment and death, and you have the perfect formula for one of the most active paranormal locations in southeastern Pennsylvania. As a child, I grew up in the last house adjacent to the Pennhurst grounds, after we moved and I reached the teenage years, my mother made me promise to not drive back into the grounds, though she would never explain why. Of course, this didn’t stop us from making our midnight trips to the abandoned buildings and forests surrounding them.
The property spans 120 acres of grounds and multiple buildings. You can find old pictures and advertisements online portraying the hospital as an idyllic location for psychological and mental treatment. You can also find official documentation from inside the hospital, detailing years of abuse and law breaking. A documentary … Read More »
Imagine if you will, in the dead of night, you hear a knock on your door. You look through the peephole to see a child or teenager asking to use the phone. Or you are walking alone in a deserted area when you are then approached by hooded figures in the form of children who are in need of your help. Only there is something off about them. For one, you feel a sense of dread and terror as they approach. And if you’re brave enough to stick around, you might see them look into your eyes. Only what is seen are dead black eyes devoid of any humanity. This is the mystery surrounding the phenomena of the Black Eyed Children, a story that has gained increasing popularity around the internet for decades.
The urban legend of the Black Eyed Children … Read More »
It’s not very often that a book I’ve read gets made into a movie. Usually, I end up seeing a movie, finding it out it was a book, and then getting excited to read it because the book’s always better. I’ve never had to wait while a movie studio looks for crew and starts auditioning actors that I’ll probably hate, all the while ignoring perfectly good options that so obviously would have worked out better. No, all that protective anticipation just gets turned into rapt fascination on my drive to the bookstore to buy something I know I’ll love even more than the movie I just saw.
So, this whole business with John Dies at the End was completely new to me. I’d read it originally when it was posted on David Wong’s site, like, ten years ago. Then I went … Read More »
Swedish men have been warned to keep their swim trunks on whilst taking a dip after a fish known as the pacu, a relative of the piranha, has been seen as of late in the waters of the Oresund Strait between Denmark and Sweden.
The alert came last week when a fisherman in the area retrieved an 8 inch Pacu.
These little “nutcrackers” are found in most rivers of the Amazon and Orinoco Basins of South America. They have also been spotted in Papua New Guinea and even as far as the U.S., where in Texas, there was reportedly a $100 dollar bounty on the pacu found in a lake.
“The pacu is not normally dangerous to people but it has quite a serious bite, there have been incidents in other countries, such as Papua New Guinea where some men have had their … Read More »