Giveaway: Creepy Company

Posted on Friday, May 29, 2015 by


Hey guys! Earlier this month we wrote about the ultra rad Creepy Company in a link roundup. This new Chicago based company came in with a splash with their horror driven button packs and Divine lapel pin. I'm SO excited because the lovely folks at Creepy Co. are giving away one Divine lapel pin and a 12 pack of buttons (curated from their shop by yours truly!) to one lucky Girl Terror reader!

To enter, head over to the Creepy Co. website and look around, then come back here and leave a comment below with your favorite button from their shop! Use the Rafflecopter widget below to gain additional entries. You have until Friday, June 5th, at 11:59 CST to enter and the winner will be contacted privately. US residents only, please! Good luck!

Unboxing: Box of Dread: May 2015

Posted on Tuesday, May 19, 2015 by



This month's Box of Dread was super rad. I can't wait to dig into this Re-Animator comic and am really exited to start watching Hannibal! Check out my unboxing below and head over to the Box of Dread website to learn more! What did you think of this month's box?

Unboxing: Cryptocurium Creations 8-Bit Magnets

Posted on Monday, May 18, 2015 by


During the last Google Hangout, Jason of Cryptocurium Creations announced he was giving away a very special handmade 8-bit Freddy and Jason magnet set to a lucky viewer. Then, he made a limited run of them and I was lucky enough to get my hands on a set. These magnets are SO beautiful and I am so excited to add them to my slasher magnet collection! Check out my unboxing below, and make sure to head over to the Cryptocurium website to check out more rad handmade horror merch! 



Flashback Friday: Back To The Future Part II

Posted on Friday, May 15, 2015 by

"Roads? Where we're going, we don't need roads."
Hey pals! This week I'm continuing the Flashback Friday feature with fan favorite flick (say that five times fast!), Back To The Future Part II. This sci-fi comedy sequel really excited me. In fact, I have been begging my boyfriend to watch it with me every day for over a week. Back To The Future Part II (the second in the Flashback Friday feature from Taylor Swift's birth year, 1989) didn't disappoint.

Immediately after returning from 1955, Dr. Emmett Brown informs Marty McFly that they have to travel to the future (2015, to be exact) to prevent Marty and his girlfriend, Jennifer's, future son from going to jail. Everything goes as planned, until Marty tries to take a sports almanac back to 1985. Doc warns Marty of the consequences and reminds him that the DeLorean isn't to be used for financial gain, but an elderly Biff Tannen overhears and takes the almanac (and the DeLorean) to 1955 to deliver it to his younger self. Meanwhile in 1985A, millionaire Biff is married to Lorraine, and George McFly has been murdered. Doc and Marty must return to 1955 and retrieve the almanac to restore 1985 to its unaltered state.


My favorite thing about this sequel is that it was really made for fans of the original (although the first film was the top grossing film of 1985.) Director, Robert Zemeckis and writer, Bob Gale, received praise for the writing and casting decisions in Back To The Future Part II. After all, is there really a duo stronger than Christopher Lloyd and Michael J. Fox? (I'll leave that open for debate.) Crispin Glover (George McFly) and Claudia Wells (Jennifer) were both recast in the sequel.

The film was nominated for, and won, several awards including those for special effects from artist, Ken Ralston. The way the future is portrayed in the film is quite comical, especially seeing it in 2015. One of my few notes for the film was "lol sky cars," to which Gale previously commented, "we knew we weren't going to have flying cars by the year 2015, but god, we had to have those in our movie." The film did predict a handful of technological advances though, like picture-in-picture, flat panel television, internet video calling, and hands free gaming. A Nike designer did say that self lacing shoes would arrive in 2015, but I'm still waiting on my hoverboard (and Hologram Jaws 19.)

Not unlike last week's Ghostbusters II review, I liked Back To The Future Part II more than the original film. A lot of past reviewers felt that the plot was forced, but I didn't. In fact, I really enjoyed some of the future scenes (especially those with the future McFly family) and thought the physics and science between two sets of Martys and Docs was really fun. All in all, I fully recommend Back To The Future Part II and I can't wait to head to the Wild West in Part III next week!

ICYMI: Weekly Link Roundup

Posted on Tuesday, May 12, 2015 by

NEWS:

I want to believe. The X-Files reboot has a release date!

Etheria Film Night short film selections announced.

IT remake casts Will Poulter as Pennywise.

New teaser trailer for Jessica Cameron's Mania!


COOL STUFF:


I'm loving all of the pins from Creepy Co.! This Divine lapel pin retails $12 and they have a HUGE selection of pinback buttons of your favorite horror characters, vintage horror masks, and the filthiest person in the world, Divine! My favorite thing about Creepy Co. is that they're a lady duo based out of Illinois! Head over to their shop at www.creepycompany.com and like their Facebook page for giveaway information!

Horrordecor.net and Freddy in Space's John Squires are releasing a limited edition Ecto Cooler candle on Thursday, 5/14. You have two days to get your hands on one of these bad boys. There are two sizes to choose from and retail $9 and $15. Ecto Cooler brings back so much nostalgia. I love everything Horrordecor puts out and can't wait to order my candle on Thursday! (PS: Did you see my Ghostbusters II review last week?)

ETC:

I've just started reading H. P. Lovecraft for the first time and am really enjoying it. You can read all of Lovecraft's work for free here!

Speaking of H. P. Lovecraft, I've also been listening to the H. P. Lovecraft Literary Podcast. I love podcasts for my weekly commute to work. Every week, hosts Chris Lackey and Chad Fifer discuss a specific Lovecraft story, what it's about, why it was written, what it's influenced, etc. It's really helpful for those of us just digging into Lovecraft and it's really entertaining.

I had an AWESOME mail week. My BFF Johnny Tellez sent me a box of awesome and you can see my unboxing here. Also, my friend Caroline runs a record label called Headfirst Records and they printed some rad horror stickers to send out with orders. Caroline was kind enough to send me one of each!

Unboxing: Parcel of Terror: May 2015


If you've been following Girl Terror on Facebook, you've seen all of the crazy cool stuff Cryptocurium has been doing. This is my second Parcel of Terror and I was so thrilled about the Ladies of Horror theme. This month featured a wall plaque from H.P. Lovecraft's The Dreams In The Witch House (which I read over the weekend and LOVED), The Ring's Samara Morgan as part of the exclusive slasher magnet series, a Medusa linocut print, The Amulet of Coffin Rock from The Blair Witch Project, a Bride of Frankenstein sticker, and a dark chocolate anatomical heart. 


Sculpture details from this month's Parcel of Terror

Short Film Sunday: Kristoffer Aaron Morgan's No Way Out

Posted on Sunday, May 10, 2015 by


No Way Out is a nine minute psychological horror film from 2011 that hasn't left my mind since the first time I saw it. In fact, when I created the Short Film Sunday feature, I knew No Way Out would make its way into the early mix of spotlighted films. This is one gem of a short film.


No Way Out reads as a horror film from a seasoned filmmaker, however director Krisoffer Aaron Morgan, and writer Eric Vepse, are fairly new to the industry. In fact, together they've created just two short films with a full length that's only been announced. (Someone get on that.) No Way Out drops us into the middle of the action. We're given no back story, just a man in the dark running away from something and begging for help. As the pieces to the puzzle unfold, we find a monster and a man seeking a way out.

The sound design for No Way Out is beautiful. I kept asking myself "what's making those sounds?" and not "this sounds like a cheesy monster," which is something that doesn't happen often. I like that. There are also some real cringeworthy practical effects moments that really impressed me. It's clear that the film's crew really did their homework. No Way Out's cinematography is stunning. The way light is used to show the character's psychological downfall is effective and really stuck with me. It's no secret that I'm AJ Bowen's biggest fan. I love him. I love him a lot. I love him more than I should love him. Bowen is the sole actor in No Way Out and really delivers. Viewers feel every ounce of his character's panic and haste. AJ Bowen is modern horror's Vincent Price. I mean it. For new filmmakers, Morgan and Vespe have splashed into the genre with No Way Out and I can only hope their full length, The Home, is coming quickly because I can't wait to see more.

What did you think of No Way Out? What should I review this month?

Women in Horror Spotlight: The Bride of Frankenstein, Elsa Lanchester

Posted on Saturday, May 9, 2015 by



When you think of the classic Universal Monsters and the actors that portrayed them, who comes to mind? Usually it’s Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Lon Chaney, and Lon Chaney Jr. Your mind may possibly wander over to the Bride of Frankenstein, but do you know who played the iconic role? I didn’t either until I listened to a podcast about her early life roughly a year ago. Let me tell you guys, this is one kick-butt female. How her independent and funky spirit isn’t talked about much today, I do not understand. Before I dive into the interesting early life of this woman and how she became The Bride, lets get the boring facts out of the way. 

Young Elsa and Waldo Lanchester
Elsa Lanchester was born on October 28, 1902 in Lewisham, London to her mother Edith “Biddy” Lanchester and her father James “Shamus” Sullivan. She did have an older brother, Waldo Sullivan Lanchester, who went on to become a puppeteer, but that is a whole other article. You may have noticed her parents did not have the same last name. Well, the two never married as they didn’t believe in marriage, though they stayed together until Shamus’ death. Additionally, they were vegetarians, Socialists, and atheists. Yup, you read that correctly. This was a bold stance back in the early 1900’s in prim and proper England. Here is a little fun fact about Ms. Biddy Lanchester: her father was so angry with her for not marrying Shamus, that her father and brother kidnapped her in the middle of the night and had her committed under the terms of insanity. At the asylum she was interviewed and her education and ability to speak with reason showed that she was not insane so she was released. This very case is what started the reform of the lunacy laws in England. Maybe the history of her parents isn’t really all that boring. 

Allow me to get back on track. The London City Council had a law that stated all children must attend school starting at the age of 5 years. Biddy did not feel Elsa would get a worthy education in the public school system, so she moved around a bit with her family to avoid attending a Council approved public school. Eventually the Council caught up with the family but Elsa was able to attend an all boys school with her brother because the headmaster was a friend of the family. Around the time Elsa was 11 years old, she was hand picked to be one of the first students to attend the famed Isadora Duncan’s dance school in Paris, France. Elsa’s spunky and independent spirit sprang it’s head when she spoke against the kissing of Isadora Duncan’s ring each morning. She says she pretended to kiss it because it was just like the outdated policy of bowing to royalty. Sadly, World War I was impending and the majority of children were sent back home. After the assassination of the Archduke Ferdinand, the all boys school Elsa returned to was shut down. She then went to a co-ed boarding in London and taught a dance class for a short period of time. 


In 1920, Elsa co-founded the Children’s Theatre in London, where she taught for several years. The children received lessons for free and the theatre put on paid shows for the city. Eventually the Children’s Theatre’s plays and dances became so popular the program began making a profit, which oddly enough ended up becoming a bad thing for Elsa. The London City Counsel called Elsa in for questioning and accused her of exploiting the children under the Child Slave Act. The Counsel decided to close the final run of the current show, but she worked around this by having the show run in the practice room and said all proceeds were going to the Save the Children Fund.

The Children’s Theatre eventually closed and Elsa started working different odd jobs to make ends meet. She worked performing plays in a night club with her then partner, posed for painters and sculptures, house keeping, and helping out couples that wanted to get a divorce. I shall divulge on the divorce help, because this is somewhat odd. During this time period if the husband had an affair, the divorce would occur much quicker. Through a lawyer, Elsa would be contracted to meet the client wanting the divorce at a hotel and the next morning she had to make sure she was clearly seen by the maid. Usually the maid was in on the act and when called to the divorce hearing, the maid would say she saw the husband with a woman that was not his wife. Elsa was never called into court because the name of the woman having the affair was usually not revealed. Nothing sexual ever occurred with any of the clients; as Elsa stated “it was just acting.”

Elsa with husband, Charles Laughton
In 1927, Elsa was cast in an Arnold Bennett play titled Mr. Prohack and this is where she met actor, Charles Laughton. The duo dated for two years and after an abortion (which she was surprisingly open about during the time) and moving in together, she agreed to marry Laughton in 1929. After two years of marriage Laughton told Elsa that he, in his words, was “homosexual partly.” While she did not have an issue with his sexual orientation, she was understandably upset that he kept this secret from her. They never divorced. 

The couple moved to Hollywood to pursue acting further and in the 1930’s, MGM Studios offered Elsa a movie contract that started a busy decade for the actress. In 1935, friend and director, James Whale, offered the role of the Bride in The Bride of Frankenstein to Elsa directly. The role and set were grueling for the actress. Part of her hair was braided into rows circling her scalp and a cage covered in horse hair was sewn into the braids. The remaining unbraided hair was brushed up into the horse hair and the famous white streaks were hair strips added on at the end. Her make-up took three to four hours each day. The make-up artist did not like for chatter and did not like being spoken to unless he spoke first. Elsa did not drink much on set because it was too much of a hassle to use the restroom when she was in the bandages before the reveal. She was in great pain at the end of each filming day from having to keep her eyes popped open since her character didn’t blink. All of the hissing and screaming as the Bride caused her to blow out her voice and she had to be prescribed codeine for severe throat pain. Through all this, Elsa speaks fondly of her time on set.  
Elsa with Vincent Price

Eventually, Elsa went on to be nominated for two Oscars in supporting roles and stayed married to Charles Laughton until his death from cancer in 1962. In her later years to performed in many Disney productions and played Katie Nanna in the movie Mary Poppins. Elsa Lanchester passed away from bronchial pneumonia in 1986.

Flashback Friday: Ghostbusters II (1989)

Posted on Friday, May 8, 2015 by

Would you believe that until last month, I had never seen the Ghostbusters sequel? I know, I know, you can start hazing me now. Even though I'm a remake fan, I typically avoid sequels unless they are from major franchises like Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween, or Friday the 13th. My boyfriend was appalled at this, and has made a mission of making me catch up on famous sequels and 80s/90s movies I've missed. I'm taking you guys along for the ride while I watch movies everyone has seen but me. Welcome aboard.

Ghostbusters II picks up five years after the first film, when the Ghostbusters are put out of business after being sued for property damage that occurred while saving New York City. Ray and Winston are working as entertainers for children's parties, a gig that has them a laughing stock among town. Peter is hosting a faux paranormal TV show. Egon is studying human emotion as a scientist at Columbia University. Dana is working as an art restorer, has been married, divorced, and has a new baby when she realizes she needs the Ghostbusters' help again. One of the paintings at the museum she works at is possessed by sixteenth century tyrant who needs a child to regain human life. You know the rest. Ghosts are everywhere and the Ghostbusters come back together to save the day.


Ivan Reitman is one hell of a filmmaker. He's directed and produced some classic comedies but the Ghostbusters films are most memorable. The franchise was cast perfectly. Harold Ramis and Dan Aykroyd wrote their characters expertly, and the addition of Bill Murray and Ernie Hudson (although not written for the roles) perfected the team. Sigourney Weaver can do absolutely no wrong, and Rick Moranis is hysterical in literally everything. The writing in Ghostbusters II didn't fall short of the first film, and made sense for expanding the plot in the timeline given after the first film. I thought Ghostbusters II was funny and smart, and it kept me along for the entire ride. The film had critical reviews but, and this might be a lofty statement, I think I enjoyed Ghostbusters II more than the original. I wish I had seen this film as a child to attribute the positive memories most people hold with the franchise. My mom watched a lot of horror films with me growing up, but science fiction wasn't a love I discovered until my adult life.

I can't wait to see the next installation in the franchise (you can hear some of my thoughts about Ghostbusters III here.) and am glad I finally crossed Ghostbusters II off my to watch list. Next week: Back To The Future Part II. Do you have any recommendations for me? Leave them in the comments!

Review: Unfriended (2015)

Posted on Tuesday, May 5, 2015 by


I've been looking forward to MTV's Unfriended (directed by newcomer, Levan Gabriadze, and originally titled Cybernatural - a name I'm glad they dropped) for months. I finally caught it in theaters last month and was so happy I did.

Unfriended opens with Blaire's Macbook desktop, a place we'll all come to be quite familiar with as the film progresses. A Liveleak video documenting Laura Barns' suicide one year prior plays before Blaire's boyfriend, Mitch, calls her on Skype. The two share an intimate moment discussing Blaire's virginity before the call is interrupted by three of their friends and a mysterious extra member with the username "billie227." After trying to get rid of the extra member, Blaire begins receiving threatening messages on Youtube from Laura's Facebook account. The friends suspect another classmate is to blame, and add her to the Skype call. Soon, "billie227" begins playing games with the group and turning them against each other, before killing them off one by one in an intense game of Never Have I Ever. No one is who they seem and we learn what really happened to Laura Barns.


One thing I loved about Unfriended was how real it seemed. The operating system they used was real, and not fabricated for screen. The browser showed websites teens normally look at (although through product placement, MTV's Teen Wolf and Free People were two of the open tabs) and we see Laura doing things that people on the internet normally do - multi-task, click through tabs, IM her friends, search the internet. Spotify was used to add music in a way that music isn't usually used in found footage. The Skype call was lagged and the filmmakers used that anticipation to their advantage. We all know the Skype ringtone all too well, and the app was used in a way that makes me never want to receive a Skype call again. Although some might find it distracting, the internet use in Unfriended was clever, especially for a teen movie put out by MTV.  Although Unfriended had a budget of only $1M, it sported some pretty excellent gore. There's a blender scene I will never forget and I was thoroughly freaked out by a couple of the kills. 

Unfriended has a narrative about the real harmful effects of cyber bullying. A 2006 report stated that cyber bullying "affects almost half of all American teens," a number that must be rising with the increase of technology over the past nine years. Preceded by The Den, and Open Windows, Unfriended takes place solely on the internet and I'm a sucker for the growing use of computer technology in horror. In fact, I think Unfriended will surge an entire new genre of horror and I'm excited to see what will come from that. 

Did you see Unfriended? What did you think? What upcoming horror flicks are you excited for?

Author's note: I totally forgot to mention that Unfriended DOES have some teen language. Be prepared for some slut shaming. (I know, I know, but it came from MTV so like, what were you expecting?)