Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Horror Show Theater Presents, Honey

Welcome back to Behind The Closet Door.

We have a tasty treat for you tonight, kiddies.  This torrid tidbit stars Horror Icon Ed Gale, the Killer Doll from the films Child's Play and Dolly Dearest.  He was also notorious for portraying the feathered foul, Howard in the 80's classic Howard The Duck.

"Good Morning Honey.  Don't be scared, it's Just me.  You didn't eat your food..."

Friday, October 25, 2013

Horror Show Theater Presents, Happy Halloween

Welcome back to Behind the Closet Door.

Now it is time for a Holiday  Treat; something to really sink your teeth into.

This Seasonal Special is about two sisters with a broken friendship and their respective social circles...And a soul eating demon.

Happy Halloween, from Sepulture Productions and all us monsters at Behind the Closet Door.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Top 10 Halloween Dance Crazes

 It’s that time of year again. Time to pull out your bags of god-awful candy corn and dress up like your favorite movie character if you are a guy (or in your favorite slutty outfit if you are a girl…sorry ladies, you want to fight the stereotype don’t give into it). It’s Halloween! Frequently around this time, people ask me, “Jeffrey, what are some good frightening dances I can do at my next Halloween party?” I like to tell people to listen to novelty songs, as there is an endless supply of horror dance crazes perfect for the Halloween season found in many of their lyrics. However, it is a huge time investment to go digging through the endless supply of songs created over the past century. Many of these songs have never even received a release since the creation of their initial record and rely on bit torrents and amateur format transfers to even see the digital light of day. That is why I have here a list of my favorite novelty songs that teach you how to bop like the abomination you are (or the abomination your parents mutter about under their breath when they think you aren’t listening).

1) Doin' The Zombie by Chubby Checker 

I don’t know where the legendary Chubs got the idea to make a Halloween Novelty record, but he did. And it is…a novelty. In the late September of 1997, Chubby Checker came out with his campy EP “Doin’ The Zombie”, which consists of four Halloween novelty songs. But let’s focus on the title song, which teaches a simple little number anyone can do at any dance party. The point of Checker’s dance, “The Zombie” is not finesse or grace; it is persistence and longevity. All you have to do to do The Zombie is to act like a slow shambling monster on a dance floor for as long as you possibly can (preferably until the sun comes up). In the opening lyrics, it is expressed that the dance is “not very tricky”. In fact, it is a dance for people “who like to party all night and get freaky”. The lyrics remain vague on the specific steps of the dance, but do spell out the essential points needed to accomplish the dance properly.

Shake your head Put your hands up high
Wiggle all your fingers like a bird tries to fly
 Kick off your shoes Keep your body loose
Moving in a strange and freaky way
You’ve got to look like a ghoul Stand real cool
And dance until the break of day

You also have to “jump to the rhythm” during the bridge of the song. But this step does not need to be repeated throughout. It is also the most amount of exertion you will make when performing the dance.

Since this song was written in the mid 90’s and running zombies were not around quite yet, it is safe to assume this dance number is inspired by the pop culture interpretation of a zombie at the time, which was a slow shambling undead corpse. Given the lax nature and open interpretation of the steps, it is clear the point of the dance is to mimic zombie shambling on the dance floor, so long as you remain loose and occasionally “jump” to the rhythm. What’s even better is the less energy you use, the more adequate of a job you are doing. That way, you won’t get burnt out as quickly as you would while dancing a Charlston or a Jitter Bug, which involve high energy movements and fast motion. With this spare energy, you can dance the night away.

2) (Everybody's Doin') The Ghastly Stomp by The Ghastly Ones

In 1996, these wacky Southern California Undertakers formed a band to rock your crypt with their Surfabilly/Rockabilly monster music. And boy, are they good at it. This is particularly evident in their song from the 2007 album “Unearthed” titled (Everybody's Doin') The Ghastly Stomp. The song is ambiguous about the specific steps of the dance. But since it is a variation of a “stomp” (I assume they mean a Bristol Stomp, not a Native American Stomp Dance) it is a fairly simple move that takes very little effort and is fun to do. However, what differentiates a Bristol Stomp from a Ghastly Stomp is the inclusion of a “hip wiggle” throughout.

 Here are the steps to the Bristol Stomp, accompanied by a clip of The Dovells, the inventors of the Bristol Stomp, as they perform the move on live TV (Is that Chubby Checker introducing them?  Man he gets around).

You begin the dance with your feet shoulders width apart. Start with the right foot by tapping your right heel twice on the dance floor in front of you.
Then return your right foot to position one.
Next, with the left foot, tap your left heel twice on the dance floor in front of you.
Then return your left foot to position one.
You bring your left foot back one step, and slide your right foot backward to meet your left.

Once that is accomplished, you repeat all these moves once from the top. This part of the dance is the break. You pick up your right foot and tap your heel in front of you twice.

Then, take a step back with that same foot and kick backward twice with your left leg.
Once that last kick is done, you step forward with the still raised left foot and return to the top of the dance.

 Now you’ve got the whole motion of the Bristol Stomp. To turn it into a Ghastly stomp, don’t forget to wiggle your hips throughout. There is also an additional move that must be accomplished to make a complete Ghastly Stomp, and that is when you make a powerful leap upward and slam both of your feet to the ground together.  This is the move the lead singer accomplishes at 1:34 into the video.  It’s a tough move, but easy to pick up on if practiced a bit.

3) The Halloween Dance by Reverend Horton Heat

This song is the “Cha Cha Slide” of Halloween dance numbers. The steps to The Halloween Dance are literally written into the song, as the dance is intended for a large group of people to follow the song’s instructions. The Halloween Dance was created by Reverend Horton Heat for the album Halloween Hootenanny, by Rob Zombie.

In case you wish to practice the dance at home, here are the lyrics that spell out the steps.

You put your hands up around your neck
You run in a circle back and forth like heck
You hold your arms out like you’re in a trance
Now you’re doing the Halloween Dance

 You do the stab with the psycho knife
You push a shopping cart like a Stepford Wife
You stoop like the hunchback of Notre Dam
Now you’re doing a Halloween Dance

You hold a cape up around your face
You slash your teeth like you need a taste
You shake your booty like you’re changing your pants
Now you’re doing the Halloween Dance

4) Voodoo walk by Sonny Richard's Panic

Now we are really digging into the obscurity barrel. Sonny Richard was a musician from the 50’s and 60’s who never really hit it big, but came out with a few pop gems that are still around today (if you dig deep enough). This song remains his most well known. Co-written by “Cindy and Misty” (who apparently wrote the majority of the song) The Voodoo Walk doesn’t have many instructions. But the song does describe the different ways various famous monsters engage in the dance during a dark night where “the moon is high”.  For example, “The werewolf does the voodoo walk, instead of monster mash you stalk. The mummy does it with a thud, when the vampire does it he drinks your blood”

However, the chorus’ lyrics spell out a fairly simplistic series of steps that if performed are meant to accompany the song. Here they are.

Do a little walk, give a funny quiver
Walk on back and give a little shiver
Fly back in, then begin to stalk
Just like the shadow that’s the voodoo walk
All the ghouls do it, it will go through your head
Do the voodoo walk, the dance of the dead

As long as the main instructions are followed, there is a great amount of room for improv. However, if I may be so bold, I have elaborated a tad on the specifics of the steps to make this dance easy and not so interpretive; perfect for those who wish to see instructions that are a little more black and white.

When executing the “little walk”, take three steps forward, exaggerating the natural swing of your hips during each step.
“Giving a funny quiver” is nothing more than shimmying your shoulders back and fourth.
For the “walk on back” step, take three steps backward. Don’t forget to exaggerate your hip swing again.
For giving “a little shiver”, you shimmy your shoulders again in an identical fashion to the “Give a funny quiver” shimmy.
To “Fly back in”, you take one large step to the left with your left foot and slide your right foot to meet it, all the wile, keeping your hands and arms outward to your sides.
Once that has been accomplished you “then begin to stalk”, which consists of three baby steps in place, all the while your arms are tucked in and fingers curled like claws. Swing your arms left, right, left in unison to the steps of your feet.
During the lyrics “just like the shadow that’s the voodoo walk”, make a motion with your left arm as though you were wearing a long black cape and slowly covering the bottom half of your face with it, tucking your mouth between the crevice under your elbow. Think of Dracula covering his face with his cape. That is the motion you want to make.  If the light is not too dim on the dance floor, it is a nice touch to shoot a sinister gaze all around the room while engaging this step.
Next, during the lyric “all the ghouls do it, it will flow through your head”, you shoot both arms up in the air, fingers extended outward. Then make the shape of a gun with your left hand and put it to your temple.
Finally, during the last line of the chorus, “come do the voodoo walk, the dance of the dead” you return your arms to your sides and take three steps forward, exaggerating the natural swing of your hips during each step.
Then perform a final shimmy of your shoulders to complete the dance.

 That’s it. Just one more thing; don’t forget that the Voodoo walk is in fact The licensed official “Dance of the Dead” and carries a lot of clout in the monster world. When performed correctly, you are bound to get a terrifying round of applause from your audience, as well as a possible couple of extra “love bites” from your new adoring fans.  Or at least from the mosquitoes hanging around the graveyard night with you and your monster buddies...weirdo...

5) The lurch by Ted Cassidy

In the 60’s the Adams Family was all the rage. And like every show, there was a “Fonz” character written for general audiences to gravitate to the most. In this show, this character was the Frankenstein Monster lookalike Lurch. The hulking butler was so popular at the time that someone up high decided to make a whole variety act around him for the show Shindig! with a song and dance number titled “The Lurch”. The sketch begins with a pack of children approach the 6 foot tall behemoth in hopes of him teaching them how to “Lurch”, a new dance craze which is apparently the talk of the town.

The dance steps are similar to “the Pony”, “the Roach” and “the Charleston” but incorporate an added “Lurching” twist of the torso and a swing of the arms. As you do this dance, remember the illusion you want to create is that your arms are flaccid and loosely attached to your shoulders. As you dance, it will look like the movement of your feet and torso control the motion of your “limp”, swinging arms.

You start with a big step to your left with your left foot.
You then follow with your right arm and leg simultaneously to the left, crossing your right leg behind the left leg and making a “swinging” motion with your right arm. As you make the swinging motion, really put your shoulder into it. You want your arms to be very loose and lanky throughout the dance.
Next, you make another step to the left with your left foot, and bring your right foot to meet it, tapping it on the ground once. Keep all your weight on the left foot, for when you finish your right foot tap, you take a big step to the right with the right foot.
You follow with your left arm and leg moving simultaneously to the right, crossing your left leg behind the right leg and making that familiar “swinging” motion with your left arm.
Now take another step with your right foot to the right, and bring your left foot in to meet the right.

As you can see, all you are doing is repeating the first series of steps, but inverting your body’s direction.

 Once you have completed these steps, you take one step forward with your left foot and swing your left arm forward and outward.
You follow with one step forward with your right foot ahead of the left and your right arm swinging forward and to the left. Simultaneously the momentum built up from the initial swing of your left arm has swung it all the way around you to your back.
Now lean back with your right shoulder, swinging both arms simultaneously clockwise around your body. Your right arm is now swung behind your back and your left arm is in front of your chest, pointing to the right.
Take a step backward with your right foot, meeting both feet together and arms back to the side, returning to position one.

 Now, repeat these steps from the beginning.

 Sounds confusing? It’s really not.  As long as you watch the video and follow the steps, you will do just fine.

And remember; Don’t just stand there.  LURCH!

6) The Pistol Stomp by Zacherle 

This jaunty parody performed by the infamous Jon Zacherle is another variation of “The Bristol Stomp”. But this one is much more fun, as it involves crazed lunatics shooting at your feet while you jump around to dodge the bullets. *By the way, as a side note, I’ve tried very hard to avoid posting more than one Zacherle song, as he is responsible for creating such steps as “Limb for Limbo Rock”, “The Bat” and the “Weird Watusi” (My personal favorite). But the Pistol Stomp is one to be shared, especially given how relevant it is these days with government shutdowns, fiscal cliffs, marshal law and a complete collapse in the status quo, I bet we’ll all be doing the Pistol Stomp very very soon. So better get to practicing or you will be ill prepared for the collapse of the world order.

7) Do the Necronomicon by George Reinblatt

“In hell we dance our own special way let’s show em how we dance while our bodies decay” Here’s another super simple series of steps. “Do The Necronomicon” was the climax song for the infamous “Evil Dead The Musical”. At this point in the show, the shotgun toting hero, Ash, is up against a band of murderous Deadites and has little chance of survival. What he must do now is read from The Infamous Book of the Dead and complete the spell to remove the Deadites from this plane of existence. But part of the spell involves granting the evil behind the Deadites a mortal form to destroy. When The Evil takes on its mortal form, it leads its band of monsters in song and dance to celebrate their coming apocalypse. They call this song and dance “The Necronomicon”.

The show itself is fantastic. With blood, guts, gore, murder, demons and dark comedy galore, there is no reason to not fall for this wonderful piece of theatrical art-house cult custard pie. Do yourself a favor and buy the soundtrack, it’s a hoot. That way, when the Deadites come for you, you will know the proper choreography.

Here are the lyrics that teach the steps to the dance.

First you jump Then you sink down
Then you get back up and lasso all around
Then you spin Clap your hands
And take a brief moment to acknowledge the band

Do the robot And the sprinkler
And finish it off with your best Henry Winkler

To do these steps properly, you follow these directions.

 First you jump with both feet together in the air.  Upon landing, you “sink” or squat downward, to create the effect that you have fallen from a great height.
Once this is done you return to your position 1.
With your arms, you pretend to twirl an invisible “lasso” over your head like a cowboy. The amount of twirls is debatable, but in the past it has been done with four consecutive twirls of your wrist over the head.
You then take a step with your right foot to the left, stepping over your foot and pivoting counter clockwise to rotate or “spin” your body 360 degrees, at which point you raise your forearms so your hands are eye level.
You clap your hands three times.
Next you pause for a break, in which you engage in an improv called “acknowledging the band”. To do the improv, you pretend to be on a stage with an accompanied band just below your feet. You then pretend to shower the invisible band with admiration and affection for the time and work they have taken out of their busy lives to perform “The Necronomicon” for you.  Now don’t get too excited, there isn’t a real band performing for you in your living room.  All you have to do is pretend there is and you’ve got it.

For the next three steps, you are also expected to improvise your movements. Don’t get overwhelmed; it is all interpretive and supposed to be fun.

You take a beat to perform your own variation of “The Robot”. For those of you who don’t know, the robot is when you make rigid, stiff motions to simulate robotic movement in your body, usually with your arms stuck in 90 degree angles by the elbows.
You follow up with “The Sprinkler”. This is when you twist your body from right to left once by the waist, all the while pretending to be projecting a water stream from your arms like a lawn sprinkler.
Finally, all you have to do is finish it off with your best Henry Winkler. That is to say, you tighten your elbows into the sides of your ribs, angle your forearms so they are parallel to the floor, stick your thumbs un in the air, and as you make small circles with your forearms, you let out a cool collected “aaaaaaaayyyyyyyeeeeeee” sound.

8) The Monster Mash by Bobby "Boris" Pickett

Alright folks, here’s where we get a little predictable. But there’s a reason we save the best for last. Even if you don’t know Bobby “Borris” Pickett, you certainly have heard his work before. Back in the 60’s, he was the king of the monster dance craze scene, as he created what has become the most well known Halloween song of all time, The Monster Mash.

The dance is a basic variation of the Mashed Potato. For those of you under the age of 50 who don’t know how to do the Mashed Potato, allow me to explain the steps.

You begin with your feet facing inward.
While on the balls of your feet, you rotate them outward, second position with your heels together.

You repeat this motion twice, then on the third foot rotation, you shift your weight onto your left foot and lift the right foot to your side.
You then repeat these steps but this time you shift your weight to your alternate foot, extending the other leg outward the opposite way.

To do the Monster Mash, all you have to do is follow these simple steps, all the while raising your arms in a monstrous manner up and down in unison to the beet of the music. If you are in need of a visual reference, here is a splendid little tutorial that shows you the basic steps of the Mashed Potato.


With this classic move, you are sure to win any dance contest at your local mortuary. It’s like bringing a bazooka to a butterfly hunt.

***Fun fact; most people like to stick their arms out in this fashion to imitate the Frankenstein Monster.  But it originated not from the movie Frankenstein, but the movie Frankenstein Meets The Wolfman. In this film, Bela Lugosi played the monster; not the iconic Boris Karloff. In the previous film to Frankenstein Meets The Wolfman, the Ghost of Frankenstein, The Monster was blinded as a byproduct of a botched up brain transplant.  Even though they don’t address it directly, it is heavily implied Lugosi was trying to keep continuity, playing the creature blind by extending his arms out as though he couldn't see.  But after this film they hired Glenn Strange to play the monster, who would continue this trend of arms out in the air without playing the monster blind.  And they never address it again. I don't mean to be critical of Stange's performance; I love his Frankenstein Monster.  There is footage of Strange discussing how he was directed by Karloff himself at moments in House of Frankenstein in order to stay more true to the fan favorite character.  But I find it fascinating to see how the creature evolved throughout the years.  In the "Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein" DVD, there is a documentary about the making of the movie, where we learn a great deal about Strange's transition from Western actor to Horror Actor.  All this information and more is covered in this documentary.  Anyway, enough nonsense, time to get back to dancing.

9) The Time Warp by Richard O'Brien

Easily the most well known horror dance craze of all time, the Time Warp has been a fan favorite since it’s creation in 1973. Go ahead and insight a Time Warp at your next party. I bet everyone in the room will join in on your shenanigans.

Despite the dance’s fame, the origins of The Time Warp are a complete mystery to the world. The most any of us know is it is a dance conceived in the distant galaxy of Transylvania, on the planet Transsexual and is used as a ritualistic “affair” hosted by the late Transylvanian mad scientist, Dr. Frank-N-Furter.

 The steps to the dance are simple, and even spelled out in a very helpful graph by British actor Charles Gray.

It’s just a jump to the left, then a step to the right with your right foot.
You put your hands on your hips, and tuck your knees in together, making for an awkward squat.
Followed by a pelvic thrust backward and forward three times that will literally drive you insane.
Then, using your hips and knees, you twist your body clockwise as you make a light bounce with your feet and knees.

10) The Thriller by Michael Jackson

"Though you try to stay alive your body starts to shiver For no mere mortal can resist the evil of The Thriller."

The gold, friends.  Did you expect anything else?  Doubtful.  To the majority of folks in this world and the next, this is THE ONLY Halloween dance. Yet very few people know the steps outside of extending their arms and fanning their fingers into claws, swinging them back and forth a couple of times. Let’s not forget that the Thriller was a well organized, well choreographed number that requires a lot of practice. It is for this reason that I myself am not going to teach you how to dance this famous craze. Instead, I will lead you to the real professionals who have spent days, weeks, months and years to perfect their skill at getting down like the dead man himself (Too soon?)

Ines Markeljevic has created a 40 video tutorial on how to do the whole 6+ minute long dance number. This all sounds so difficult, but believe me when I say the videos are efficient, effective and super easy to learn. With a couple of friends, this is a very fun recreational activity to engage in. You can start with the first video here, and if you go to the youtube page, watch the rest to learn all the steps.

But that’s not all. Turns out Markeljevic is an activist as well as being a huge Michael Jackson fan. He is responsible for the creation of the charity event/flash mob group Thrilltheworld.com. Under the Thrilltheworld.com bandwagon, Markeljevic plans on breaking the Guinness World Record for the largest group of people performing the Thriller dance at one time this October 26th; the 30th anniversary of the release of Michael Jackson’s Thriller. That’s right folks, they will be holding their special dance number in Toranto Canada. If you are in the area and available, I encourage you all to go check it out and join in on the shenanigans of the undead.


Honorable Mentions

The Zombie Walk by The Magics

Good lord is this one obscure! I can’t tell you how hard it was to find this dance craze, but I did! You die hards can find it on the album “Doo Wop Halloween Is A Scream” and to tell you the truth, this is one of my new favorite Halloween Mixes! Every song in this mix is golden. But I really can’t say the same thing about this song itself. Written and performed by “The Magics” (Can anyone else find another song these people made?) This is easily the most difficult and obscure dance number in this list. I almost didn’t put this song in the list. But it screamed inclusion, since it was clearly written to be a song and dance craze. Hell, even the lyrics offer instructions on how to perform The Zombie Walk.  But I just can’t make out what the Hell these singers are saying. If the song was written to teach a dance number, shouldn’t the point be to understand the instructions they tell you? No one has posted the lyrics online either. It seems that nobody can understand what The Magics are saying (or maybe nobody cares).  So it is up to Uncle Jeffrey to figure out this conundrum. Well I just about have.  So, wanna learn the Zombie Walk? Let me teach you.

There’s a brand new dance called the zombie walk
Come on and dance lets start to stalk
Ooooooooooooohhhhh zombie walk
Ooooooooooooohhhhh zombie walk

 First you bend your knees left and right, sit up too
 On your toes left heel out right heel too
 Now you go up twice, move Turn and 2 Steps back
Then you do the ___ you’re on the right track

As you can see, I didn't quite make out that last line.  It was a chore to decipher the lyrics this much and I still can't understand what the singers are saying most of the time.  If you happen to have a better interpretation of the lyrics I would love to hear it.  But this is what I believe these mush mouths are saying...Either way the dance is dumb.  So let's just pretend it never existed.    

Werewolves Of London by Warren Zevon

In 1978, Singer/Songwriter Warren Zevon got together with his crew of fellow musicians and producers to create a Halloween themed song and dance number. With copious amounts of alcohol in their systems, they each wrote a different verse and came up with this classic, iconic dance number. It is easily one of my favorites of all time and I would put it much higher on the list if not for the fact that despite being written by 4 different musicians, not a single one of them remembered to teach us how to do the dance in question. They just allude to Lon Chaney and his son performing the dance at one point with The Queen (I assume of England and not of Scotts). No one else dances The Werewolves Of London, not even the werewolf in question. All he ever does is look around SoHo for some Chinese food and get drunk at Trader Vics (following a very good hair day mind you). Maybe he was the one who got everybody drunk.  He didn't want to share how he performs his dance.  Oh well.  Despite that this song doesn’t have a dance craze to go with it, it is one of the best dance crazes to sing about. And next time you fimd yourself walking through the streets of SoHo in the rain, look for that place called Lee Ho Fooks, and get yourself a big dish of Beef Chow Main. Endorsed by the Werewolves of London themselves.  AHOOOOO! Werewolves of London.

Danse Macabre by Camille Saint-Saëns 

This is easily the oldest best kept secret in the horror world of Dance Crazes; Danse Macabre.  Written by Camille Saint-Saëns in 1874, this classic piece is something to savor with a dark red wine on a late, cold October evening.  The reason I did not put this on the main list is, like The Werewolves of London, there isn't one official dance any mortal can perform.  The story goes every year on All Hallows Eve, Death raises the dead and plays his fiddle.  His playing is accompanied by the newly raised corpses who dance the Dance of the Dead (not the Voodoo Walk) until the sun comes up.  At which point, they all must return to their graves for a whole other year.  It is an iconic piece that imbues listeners with a sense of reverence, fear and insight.  So allow me to cheapen all that with this horribly animated cartoon produced by PBS in 1980. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Horror Show Theater Presents, Give A Little Whistle

Welcome back to Behind The Closet Door.

Time at last to present episode 3 of Horror Show Theater titled Give A Little Whistle.  This one stars comedian/singer/actor Derrick Blacknall.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Horror Show Theater Presents, Lights Out

Welcome back to Behind The Closet Door.

This week we present to you episode 2 of Horror Show Theater, Lights Out.

Staring Dukey Flyswatter from the Legendary California band, Haunted Garage.  Pleasant dreams.  And remember to keep the lights out.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Horror Show Theater Presents, Dumb Cat

Hey Everyone!

Welcome back to Behind The Closet Door.

It is that time kiddies.  Sepulture productions has just released a brand new horror channel on Youtube and has begun releasing it's horror Anthology Webseries, Horror Show Theater.  Each episode will be released every Tuesday Bi-Weekly throughout the Holiday months of 2013.
The Pilot, Dumb Cat is a quaint and darkly humorous bit of terror, clocking in just under a minute including the credits and the logo (which is awesome looking by the way).  The logo animation was created by artist and graphic designer Camden Remington. 

Without further to do, allow me to present to you Episode 1 of Horror Show Theater...

Dumb Cat.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Top 10 Most Frightening Youtube Videos To Keep You Awake All Night Long

I know what you are going through right now.  Your Mom told you to, “Go to bed” and you aren’t the slightest bit interested in doing a single thing that witch tells you to do.  Well, that’s what I am here for.  Allow me to help you stay awake, because I like you a lot.  Also because the system your Mom has created for you is bogus and you of all people deserve to do what you want.  So go ahead and party all night like it’s 1999!  And to help fight off the sandman from sprinkling those magical dust particles in your eyes, I have compiled a list of the top 10 most frightening videos on youtube designed to keep you wide awake all night long.  Just remember to turn the lights out before you begin.  Are they out yet?  Good.  Let’s have some fun. 

1. Unbelievable Poltergeist Activity

This video entertains me as it manages to create a tense scene without turning the lights off.  The camera remains stationary throughout as it catches a bunch of spooky shit happening in this house; all the while those dogs keep wondering what the hell is going on.  Some have said this video is a fake (what else is new) because some point in, the lighting changes implying a passing of time to create fake ghost effects.  I myself question the almost-too-obviously-spooky choice of music the Poltergeist plays on the radio (seriously, who has a song like that set up to play on their home entertainment system?).  But despite my doubts of its authenticity, it still managed to make my spine tingle in a way very few youtube ghost videos can do.  Some of the simplest scares are the most effective after all. 

2. Dorm Room Ghost

This video is especially creepy, as the ghost manifests itself from the shadows around it and nothing more.  Granted, a lot of the mystery behind this ghost seems to come from the low quality of the camera, but it is tough to just write off how this spirit just appears and disappears without opening any doors or using any video effects.  Real or not, this is one hell of a spooky clip.

3. The Old Tape

This is a creepy online horror artifact, first shared on Redit in April of 2013.  Supposedly it was recorded off of a radio broadcast by the Redit poster Ravenmouth (the youtube poster is AD10669sh, presumably the same person) back in 1995 and until 2013, the recording had been sitting in a desk drawer.  It is of creepy ambient noises, followed by an echoed choir of female voices reading off a list of names and dates.  The trusty diehards of godlikeproductions.com (link to the discussion) took some time to study up on some of the names recited in the recording and found they all belong to dead people and the dates are of their deaths.  But some of the names are of these deceased individual’s next of kin.  The word on the street is The Old Tape may have your name listed in the recording too.  So take a good hard listen when you play this…You know…If you’re brave enough.

4. Japanese Ghost

Few cultures are as creative with their horror as the Japanese.   This has a lot to do with their rich, diverse background and belief system, which incorporates a platoon of supernatural creatures, ghosts, gods and demons.  It is easy for us to forget that the world we live in today is manufactured to provide us with more comfort than our ancestors were able to provide themselves.  But sometimes the old world likes to sneak up on us and shake us out of our comfort zone as a reminder that the same threats our ancestors had to face are still relevant today.  Such is the case with this fantastically frightening video, in which a happy group of individuals are interrupted by a Yūrei; a tortured spirit whose body was not put through the proper rights of passing.  If you had to pick a ghost video to watch to keep you from falling asleep, this is probably the one you are looking for.

5. Body of a Pig

Despite what I just said about the Japanese, don’t write off the British as just a bunch of tea sipping swootilypoopers.  They are hardcore with their myths and legends of ghosts and demons as well.  Body of a Pig messes with your head, as it anthropomorphizes one of the most delicious creatures in the animal kingdom and makes it a threat to these curious paranormal investigators.  The EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomenon) is creepy enough.  But the money shot is what follows the EVP.

6. Real Demons Caught on Tape

Arms, arms everywhere but not a gun to shoot (sorry, it’s not a creative joke).  Whoever made this video is sick.  And I want his autograph.  Seriously, what could be more frightening than being locked in a room with a million arms reaching out at you from nowhere?  How about a gaggle of tiny baby arms grabbing at you from underneath the doorframe, or the doorknob turning into an eyeball?  Or how about a giant finger monster ready to turn you into tasty tasty finger food?  I don’t know, but I do know I practically crapped my pants the first time I watched this.

7. Real Exorcism of Annelise Michel

All of you know about Exorcisms.  If not, I know you’ve at least heard of the movie The Exorcist.  Some of you may even know of at least one of the three not-as-good-or-popular horror films in similar vain, The Exorcism of Emily Rose, Anneliese: The Exorcist Tapes and Requiem.  Those three films were all inspired by the real case and Exorcism of Annelise Michel, a young Catholic woman who believed she was possessed by the devil.  In response, her parents secretly organized an Exorcism for her by two priest which took place over the span of 10 months and 67 sessions.  She died on July 1st, 1976 from Dehydration and Malnutrition, among other ailments brought upon by mistreatment during the Exorcism rights.  The trial of her death received a great deal of press and the individuals responsible for her death were charged with negligent homicide.  Needless to say it was an all around fail for those who were responsible for her well-being.  The following is an audio recording of the actual Exorcism taking place, juxtaposed to photographs of Annelise throughout that last year.  If the ghosts and the demons make you scoff, let the sweet and somber tones of the horned one himself speaking through a dyeing young woman keep you company as you spend the rest of your night huddled nose deep beneath your covers.  They won’t protect you of course, but at least you will stay warm when he comes for you.

8. The Scariest Video You’ve Ever Watched In The Name of Science

After all those spooky videos I’d say it is time for a break from the paranormal.  Want to learn how to fix a transmission tower?  There’s nothing scary about that, right?  I mean it’s a pretty blue collar job working with electricity and metal pipes and whathaveyou…Oh yeah, and you also have to climb a vertical ladder that can go up thousands of feet while barely secured to only the most bare bones of safety equipment.  If you ever wondered what it was like to climb a 2,000 foot ladder while dragging over 30 lbs of equipment dangling from your belt, feeling the wind blow you back and forth, knowing that just one unpredicted storm cloud or the slightest breeze could knock you off balance causing you to fall hundreds to thousands of feet to the hard, unforgiving ground, wonder no more.  But look on the bright side; if you fall at least they won’t need to dig a grave for you.  By the time your body hits the earth, it will surely leave a 6-foot deep crater for your broken bloodied carcass.  Have fun thinking about that as you sit back, relax, and watch this climb from the safety of a GoPro camera. 

9. Robert The Doll

Haven’t got the creeps yet?  Bare with me now, I’m not done yet.  This video is about one of the most famous haunted artifacts of the 20th century, Robert The Doll.  He is to this day one of the most nightmare inducing things ever conceived by mankind.  Robert the doll was a gift to the 6 year old Robert Eugene Otto.  His maid, who was thought to practice voodoo magic, created the doll in the likeness of the young man himself. You want to know the really scary part? Until his dyeing day, Robert Eugene Otto really believed his doll was alive.  And the people in his life including his wife were legitimately affected by the supposed mischievous actions of Robert The Doll.  That’s right folks, paranormal or not, everything in this video actually happened.  Pleasant dreams.

10. Found Footage Super 8 Reel 8.687687.87: Fragment 7k

I’ve seen a lot of these “guy with a camera checking out a lot of nothing until a pair of eyes stare back at him from the darkness” videos.  But I really like this one for a few reasons.  Most notably, the idea that the only thing separating you from whatever is reaching through those cracks is a flimsy, rotten bathroom door stall.  The youtube poster of this video is Jack Torrance (link in the name), and he has a bunch of these, “found footage super 8 reel” clips supposedly found in, “10 large boxes at an estate sale for 5 bucks a box” in Austin, Texas.  If my list wasn’t enough to keep you awake, then as a bonus I challenge you check out all of the videos on his channel.  Though this one is particularly scary, they will all aid in keeping you from catching the necessary Z’s for your well deserved night’s sleep. 

So that’s it folks.  I hope my list has kept you thoroughly entertained.  Maybe next time you won’t need inspiration to keep yourself awake, as these videos provide a sufficient amount of nightmare fuel for a lifetime. At least so long as you keep the lights out.  And remember.  There is nothing in the dark.  So there is no need to look behind you.  Even when you feel that warm, raspy breathe of air on the back of your neck.  Whatever you do.  Don’t turn around.  

Monday, August 5, 2013

Phantom of the Paradise Review

All right, all you Phantom-of-the-Opera-fans, it is time to knock your socks off.  You want an original take on the phantom?  I bet you didn’t even know you had one.

Phantom of the Paradise is a film directed by Brian De Palma, director of Carrie and Mission Impossible.   It draws heavily from both the original Phantom of the Opera novel as well as the infamous legend of Faust.  In this story, Winslow Leech, played by the late William Finney, is an up and coming composer who is solicited by the great and powerful record producer, Swan, to produce his album.  But this is only a ruse for Swan to steal Leech’s music, which he plans on using to open his new Casa de Rock and Roll that rivals such industry locals as Disneyland, which he calls The Paradise. 

Upon discovering Swan’s plan, Winslow struggles in vain to get back on the same page with the satanic producer.  But each attempt lands Winslow in even more trouble, such as being kicked out of Swan’s office, sent to jail, having his teeth removed, having his vocal cords removed and having his face melted down to silly putty in a record press machine. 

Humiliated and presumed dead, he stalks the paradise, sabotaging Swan’s attempts to put on his opening act.  Unfortunately ever the devil, Swan’s not done with Winslow yet, as he plans to bleed the new phantom’s creativity and steal the woman of his dreams all in one sinister swoop. 

Funny thing this movie, it is filled with tiny inconsistencies and technical errors but it remains to be one of the most entertaining indie films of the early 1970s.  Normally, I like picking the bones of these cult movies clean like a vulture in the Arizona desert.  But this movie is way too much fun.  Partly because of Paul Williams of course!  What?  That guy from the Muppets who sings about an old fashioned love song with two clones of himself singing alongside him?  Yup, that guy.  Apparently this guy plays bad guys very well, as this is not his only time performing as a villainous character.  You can also see (or rather hear) him as the murdering, bank robing, son of a bitch Oswald “The Penguin” Cobblepot in the Batman animated series. 

Mr. De Palma made a wise choice in hiring Paul Williams to write the music for this movie.  It’s fun, dark, creepy and hauntingly beautiful.  Strange, coming from the man who wrote Rainbow Connection.  This brings up a very good point.  Does anyone remember any original not-used-for-television-or-film songs written by this guy?  More importantly, why does no one remember this guy?  He’s had it all, and even been the subject of a mildly darkly themed documentary titled, “Paul Williams Still Alive”.  Not only can he write memorable, catchy music but also he plays such convincing bad guys.  Look at him, walking into his office with a million women climbing all over each other just to have a piece of this piggy bloke, Swan. You know these women are doing this just to get a taste of the lime light their foster parents went so far out of their way to convince them they weren’t good enough for.  What a schmuck.

My favorite scene in this movie is when Swan hooks up Winslow to an electric voice box jerry-rigged to a mixing station.  Winslow plays the piano and sings his bittersweet song (lovingly entitled “Faust”) as Swan, at the mixing board, works to re-create Winslow’s true voice.  The progression of “tuning in” to artificially restore what Winslow no longer has, juxtaposed to the horrible figure he now is, is eerily beautiful.  This scene also brings up a lot of nostalgic Frankensteiney imagery such as a mad genius slaving over his machines to put together his horrible monster.  Classic.

Just like in the original novel, the Phantom of this film is not a ghost but actually a talented and misunderstood artist who uses mystique and theatricality to impose fear and intimidation on his enemies.  But unlike in the original novel, Winslow has an on screen change from your run-of-the-mill musician to the haunting creature, The Phantom.  At first, Winslow is a pretty approachable guy, albeit with a bit of a temper when threatened.  He flirts, he smiles and he writes beautiful music that touches fellow performers and tycoons alike.  When he first realizes his music has been stolen, he attempts to make peace with his antagonist to come to a fair arrangement for both parties.  But the more Swan pushes him, the more his anger takes over.  He even tries to break into Swan’s boudoir dressed as a woman in hopes of getting Swans attention, only to be beaten up and framed for possessing illegal drugs, fetching himself a life sentence for Sing Sing, were horrible medical experiments are implemented on him for God knows how long.  The dark side of Winslow’s nature seems to dominate his actions for the rest of the movie after that.  He breaks out of prison, dons a mask and black leather outfit and attacks the various performers who attempt to bastardize his own music at The Paradise.  He is quick to react aggressively when things don’t go the way he wants.  Yet Winslow’s passion is easily manipulated by the evil Swan into making more music in exchange for fame, a new voice and various narcotics to keep him cranking out them hits!

This movie is also my second favorite film starring Jessica Harper.  Try and guess which one is the first (If you can’t figure it out, I’d find that a little Suspiricious).  She has a girl-next-door plainness about her that fits well in this movie.  She is young and mouse-like with a good singing voice and a lot of stage presence.  But outside of her stage presence, she is your average everyday girl, looks and all.  This makes the Winslow character even more down to earth, as he finds this young woman to be perfect despite her shortcomings.  His standards are just not as corrupt as everyone else.  This is the one thing he is able to hold onto throughout the film in order to keep his humanity

Lastly, let’s not forget one of the best characters in this movie; the effeminate, metal prima donna Beef played by Bud the Chud himself, Gerrit Graham.  When on stage or in front of a camera, Beef is a nasty grimacing badass with an attitude to match.  But meet him in his changing room and you’ll find a very different kind of man.  He’s girly, catty and a tad on the bitchy side for a metal head.  His butchering of Winslow’s music is hilarious, especially coupled with Winslow’s reaction to every note he listens to Beef belt out.  Winslow is flat out against Beef performing his music, as he only wants the angelic “Phoenix” (Harper) to sing his songs.  Swan bricks Winslow into his room to keep him from interrupting Beef’s opening performance of Winslow’s music.  But just like a Honey badger, Winslow breaks the wall down and attacks the live performance once more.   

This movie was panned at its initial release, mostly due to a mishandled marketing campaign and a great deal of confusion from the audience about what type of movie this was  But since the late 70’s, it has built a rather impressive fan base.  In 2005 and 2006 in Winnipeg, The Convention Phantompalooza was held to honor the film, consisting of a reunion of most of the surviving cast followed by a concert from Paul Williams.  When William Finley died in April 2012, indiewire wrote a wonderful piece on his career as an actor, most notably his involvement in Phantom of the Paradise (link to article right here).  It seems that even though this film was forgotten almost as soon as it was made, time has treated it with great reverence.  It continues to rope in newer, fresher audiences who hunger for the lost gems of indie Hollywood.  Do something nice for yourself and take a moment to check this one out with your friends.  I promise you will get a lot out of it.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

5 Youtube Channels Probably Run By The Insane

It is said the internet is a never ending cesspool of mystery.  But the concept that the “Internet has no end” is fairly new.  It wasn't long ago that no amount of DOS prompt or surfing would uncover anything exciting outside of the Ultimate Showdown and a very gay Spiderman.  But screw that; it's 2013 now.  The net is chock full of content to waste your valuable little lives on.   

The internet is the world's microphone; it is so easy for anyone to get up and speak when the whole world is tuned in to listen.  With the digital generation currently taking over, everyone wants the opportunity to share their thoughts and creativity.  The best part is the anonymity.  You don't have to share your identity if you want to say or do something completely whacked online.  Which if you think about it can be pretty creepy, as some of these speakers could be really touched in the head.  Just like Lewis and Clark, Uncle Jeffrey has patrolled one of the most popular mediums of expression, Youtube, and has come up with some of the craziest speakers out there.  Without further ado, Allow me to share with you my top 5 favorite Youtube channels probably run by the insane.

5. ShayeSaintJohn

ShayeSaintJohn has been an Internet personality for years and is an expert in the field of whatthefuckology.  But you would be lying to yourself if you didn’t admit to having even the slightest tingle creep down your spine when first popping your ShayeSaintJohn cherry.  Every one of his videos is a combination of the bizarre and the macabre (just like me) and yet, like a good ol’ train wreck, you just can’t look away.  He has in his repertoire a creepy arm gimmick, which makes his arm look like it can float away from his body.  A simple illusion to be sure, but an effective one.  I highly recommend keeping your eyes open for the next of this man’s videos.  He may be insane, but he is a lot of fun being it.

4. Adolfo Mateo

This man, on the other hand, is no fun at all.  He just sits there smoking his pipe all day.  But he films himself and posts it to youtube, so you can have a smoking buddy when you don’t have any real friends to smoke with.  No, really, His videos are just of him smoking his old pipe wearing slightly different outfits in each video, grumbling inaudibly the whole time.  And he’s posted over two thousand videos of just that.  There is little to no rewatch value; after seeing the first five seconds of one, you’ve seen them all.  But just like the little engine that could, he keeps on posting his bizarre smoking videos.  And I commend him for it, as should you.  Here’s to you Adolfo Mateo, the world wheezes an anticipated and smoke filled gasp of excitement for your next youtube production.

3. Nasajim108

Have you got a spare tin hat handy?  You may want to put it on after taking a gander at what this man has to show you.  If he is a man at all. 

In July of 2008, Nasajim108 uploaded the first of many creepy videos, asserting to expose the truth about the Illuminati and the government’s involvement with extraterrestrials.  He claims to be a dyeing former NASA employee who has met with the Alien Greys while on the job.  According to nasajim108, there is a highly intelligent subterranean species of aliens living on Mars right now that are tied deeply into the doings of the government.  

He likens his channel to a digital deathbed confession, shedding light on the sinister agenda of the government and the aliens that inhabit the White House.  In his videos, he shares an audio recording of an alien, a hypnotic tool used to probe the sleeping mind of a human, and lots of other weird extraterrestrial things that leave you scratching your head in disbelief.  Nasajim108 is not first ex government employee to preach the existence of aliens and I doubt he will be the last.  But is his particular message of death and horror from beyond the stars legit?  Or is he just a troll looking to play with innocent dopes that stumble across his channel?  The world may never know.

2. Alantutorial

Probably my favorite channel on this list is Alantutorial.  Alan is a simple man who only wishes to teach you neat life hacks through a series of video tutorials on youtube.  At heart, Alan is a lover of his fellow man and a helper of the bored and bewildered.  But he is also completely out of his mind.  None of Alan’s tutorials have ever taught how to do anything.  They are all bizarre and some of them very creepy to watch.  Don’t believe me?  Take a gander at his video, “How To Make A Double Barrel WWII Italian Fighter Plane Origami Paper Art”.  Besides the fact that he doesn’t go beyond folding the sheet of paper in half, the entire time a mysterious and ominous knocking coming from the front door keeps interrupting him.  Despite his attempts to call out to the individual on the other side, there is never a response, just more knocking.  Not to say Alan is ever able to concentrate when there isn’t a mysterious knocking at his front door.   In his video on how to pick up a blue chair off the ground, he struggles to keep his composure since he is balling his eyes out and doesn't even accomplish the simple task of lifting a chair off the ground.  There is even evidence that Alan is a murderer.  In his video "AlanVideo.mp4 Tutorial", he walks around the street with blood on his hands and with his camera, shows a giant splash of blood on the pavement next to a jagged rock.  Since his last video on “How To Change”, in which he lights a chair on fire and chops away at it with an axe, he has stopped making his famous tutorials and presumably died from forth degree burns or disappeared to a higher plane of existence.  However, die-hard fans continue to hope and pray for his sweet, unholy return.  For this man is not a man, he is a god; a god of tutorials.  And we all anxiously wait for his resurrection.

1. The Molly Holly Stalker

This individual does not have just one youtube channel; he has many.  He also has a website and a twitter page all dedicated to defacing the good name of WWE wrestler Nora “Molly Holly” Greenwald.    Now I don’t actually know if this guy is only one guy, nor do I know if he is even a guy at all, but whoever is posting these videos is holding some serious hate for the young female wrestler and her current husband, whom he constantly refers to as a drug dealer.  Each channel has at least one video but they are all filled with anger induced drivel accusing Molly Holly of everything from lying about her virginity to being an all around terrible person.  What makes these videos so crazy is that no one is talking about them.  One of the videos depicts a man with a giant collection of Molly Holly action figures, throwing them in the dumpster (along with what I assume is a sports bra of Molly Holly’s) with a threatening caption saying how she messed with the wrong person.  This man got it all on film, put it online and no one is addressing how creepy this is?  It makes me wonder if anyone ever tried to address it before and was quietly taken out to the back of the woodshed for disposal.  I tell you, after watching a good portion of these videos; I sure would hate to be Molly Holly.  Nor would I want to be the dumb schmuck who tries to call attention to this obviously insane person…wait…shit…

Here is a quote taken from the website: http://www.knowthetruthng.com/

Fun facts about Nora Greenwald: 1. She lied about being a virgin. 2. She screwed people out of charity donations that went to her pocket "in the name of christ" (ask the donators). 3. She sabotaged Malia Hosaka's career. 4. She's anorexic and broke these days with a pill habit and tried to sell her used underwear for cash. 5. A Dr. diagnosed her as a pathological lying sociopath. 6. She associates with low lifes including her husband who robbed a church. *So much for sweet innocent Molly Holly.*"

Here are some of the youtube channels made to slander this woman…there are definitely more.  Give them a watch and relish in the insanity of it all. 

ChriMurderer Benoit