Sunday, February 28, 2010

Custom Cover Art

Maybe it's due to the dream I had awhile back about a video store's VHS clearance sale, but I've been thinking about custom cover art for VHS and DVD lately. More specifically, covers created by rental store employees after something happened to the original cover. I've only seen this happen a couple of times, with the styles ranging from hand drawn overs to "blank burst" advertising signs crammed it into a black clamshell case with the title written on in black marker. My personal favorite has to be a Children of the Corn cover consisting of a mostly B&W drawing of a corn stalk with a trickle of red ink "blood" on it. If memory serves me correctly, the artist even went through the trouble of designing a logo for the title instead of just scrawling it on in block letters.

However, I've noticed that practically everyone I've talked to about this has never been to a video store where this has happened. Instead, the stores used photocopies of the original cover art. Has anyone out there ever seen the sort of replacement covers I'm talking about?

Bonus links:

Printable custom DVD covers hosted by Retroslashers.

TheGreatWhiteDope's custom DVD covers.

This page offers horror-themed printable CD/DVD covers which are similar to the cardboard slipcases used for promotional CDs.

These covers
look great, but don't seem to be printable.

This page has some examples of covers put out by a professional video company that look amateurish.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Return of Horror Trivia

Back when the 1998 American Godzilla movie was announced, Sid Pink tried to get funding for a sequel to or remake of Reptilicus by commissioning some CGI test images.

Curse of the Puppetmaster was originally supposed to be the first entry in the proposed Puppet Wars trilogy, in which Toulon's puppets battling a mummy and other classic monsters. However, money issues resulting in the film being turned into a Sssssss clone.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Remakes Are Hell

Horror remakes are always interesting and controversial: interesting, because it's always good to see the old nightmares get new blood; controversial because the movies often trample over the established cannon for the sake of 'modernizing' and 'revamping.'

Often when changes are made to the appearance of the central antagonist, they're small and more subtle.  Michael Myers' pristine white mask was dirtied and slashed in the 2007 remake, but still had the William Shatner cast to it. The 2003 'Texas Chainsaw' movie tweaked Leatherface but it wasn't far from the iconic human flesh grimace. It'll be interesting to see how the Freddy Krueger appearance turns out in the coming remake. (Hit Flix has a good write-up about Jackie Earl Haley taking on the character, which raises my own optimism for the project)

Recently, I came across the following video concerning the possible Hellraiser remake.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

ADV is not dead, it just smells funny

I discovered something quite interesting while trying to find contact information for Section23/SXION 23 Films, AEsir Holdings and Switchblade Pictures so I could ask if they'd be licensing certain Asian sci-fi movies. You see, it turns out that I made a mistake when I reported that ADV Films had gone out of business and that most of its assets were bought by several corporations registered by their former senior vice president of business and legal affairs. As it turns out, ADV had (more or less) split itself into several companies!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Chinese New Fear?

In honor of Chinese New Year (aka the Spring Festival), I had originally planned on doing a review of Mr. Vampire coupled with a paragraph about the origins and traditions of the holiday. Up until now, I had never known that Chinese New Year is celebrated over the course of 15 days or that it doesn't have a set starting date.

However, I noticed very something interesting during my research. Something interesting enough to make abandon my original plans: the claim that Chinese New Year's origins are linked to a rampaging monster!

Happy Valenslime's Day!

Referencing The Green Slime on Valentine's Day actually makes sense in a warped sort of way, seeing as how there's a love triangle in the movie.

(from neotokeo2001's Youtube channel)

Man, does that song ever need a CD release. Don't laugh, it got a vinyl release back in the day.

The film's Wikipedia entry is a must-read. Not only does it reveal who composed the amazing song showcased above, but it also has some cool trivia. For example, did you know about the film's loose connection to the "Gamma I Quadrilogy" of Italian space adventures directed by Antonio Margheriti. It's claimed here that the films were originally commissioned by MGM as a set of made-for-TV movies. Said films consisted of: Wild Wild Planet, War of the Planets, Planet on the Prowl, and The Snow Devils. It should be noted that those films have about a million alternate titles and the ones that seemed to be the most popular were used to create that list.

The Green Slime is also famous for having footage used in the unaired pilot episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000, which finally had a public showing in 2008.

MGM has yet to put out The Green Slime on DVD, but the VHS release (along with some promotional gimmick memories) can be found here.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Lil' Cthulhu

Given the popularity of "franchise characters as children" shows in the entertainment industry, it was inevitable that someone would create a parody using characters from a source that was anything but "kid friendly." Enter Youtube user TheZebu's The Adventures of Lil' Cthulhu.

The Adventures of Lil' Cthulhu is also a dead-on perfect parody of television programming aimed at young children, right down to the use of female narrator speaking in soothing tones. It also features what is (in my opinion) undoubtedly the best Nyarlathotep joke ever made

You might be interested to know that there's also a "Lil' Cthulhu" web store selling official merchandise.

Away He GoGoes.

Just found out that Kevin "Sir GoGo Ghastly" Hair retired from The Ghastly Ones. They made the announcement on the site back on January 28th. 
THE GHASTLY ONES want to extend a ghoulishly warm welcome to our newest member Ryan "Cousin Boris" Watusi who will be pounding the bass guitar in our band from here on out. Many thanks to Sir Go Go Ghostly for his years of service. Sir Ghostly has retired to the ghastly graveyard and we wish him all the best as well. Come see Cousin Boris' debut on Saturday April 3 at HAUNTED HOUSE AU GO-GO!!!
Sir Ghastly was one of the founding members of the Ghastly Ones. Next year is the band's 15th anniversary. I'm glad I got to see him in 2007. Wish the best for him and the Ghastly Ones. Shame though. Hopefully this means that both Ghastly and Ghastly Ones ascend to new personal and professional heights this year. One can hope.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

A Black History Horror First

Rather than doing my usual profile of an African-American who made some kind of contribution to horror cinema, I thought I'd do something a little different this year. Instead, I'm going to highlight the (alleged) first-ever collection of short horror fiction by African-American authors.

First published in 2004, Dark Dreams: A Collection of Horror and Suspense by Black Writers, is an anthology of 20 tales of terror edited by Brandon Massey. From classic horror staples like ghosts and vampires to lesser known creatures of the night, "Dark Dreams" has them all. Interested parties can find previews of selected stories here. I particularly liked Steven Barnes and Tananarive Due's "Danger Word," a tale of survival in a zombie-infested world. In my opinion, the rich characterization and interesting twists would've made for a perfect episode of Masters of Horror. I'll definitely have to dig up a copy of this sometime (as should you).