Archive for the ‘Horror’ Category

Undead in the Night on Swedish TV

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

Undead in the Night thumbnail

The National Swedish TV Arts and Culture program, Kobra, featured my Undead in the Night performance in Malmö, Sweden as part of their Horror Ministry series about, yes, horror. The performance was a collaboration with Lilith Performance Studio in Malmö, Sweden and 100 non-professional actors, out in the forest in the middle of the night. It placed two undead creatures (hideous Zombies and stunning Vampires) in the same scenes along with their victims, violating the codes and boundaries of the horror genre, and creating an impossible scenario. The audience, transported 8 people at a time to an undisclosed forest location, became visitors in a living horror movie. Following a path in the dark various scenes came alive along a 3 km long horror path.

Also featured in the TV program which aired Oct 1 are Seth Grahame Smith, author of bestseller Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Max Brooks author of The Zombie Survival Guide, and Freddie Wading, lead singer in several Swedish horror-themed punk bands. Most of the interviews are in English. Check out the whole horror series which is fascinating, or just scroll in this “Zombier” episode to 20:45 for the segment on Undead in the Night, created by Ulrik Petersson.

Watch Zombier online.

Zomblogs aplenty

Thursday, October 1st, 2009

The Zombie Research Society, of which I am a board member, gets some attention for their blog, named here in the “top 3 zombie blogs”:

Video GameE3 2009Attack of the Show

Diarama drama – another review (sight unseen)

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

Off the radar for the past four months, I’ve probably missed a lot of important information. Waiting at the Greenpoint G train station last night I was ill prepared for a poster advertising the upcoming TV series, Vampire Diaries. Reading later about the main characters who are either “beautiful and popular” or carrying “dark, deadly secrets of their own”, two thoughts raced through my mind:

1) how refreshing, it’s high time someone made melodramatic books and motion pictures about beautiful young vampires.
2) Dear Diary, I am beautiful and in love with the dangerous vampire next door – it’s complicated, what shall I do?

Vampire Diaries is based on a series of young adult novels. For those who can’t get enough of Twilight and True Blood – hold your breath; here comes more of the same.

As much as I disliked Diary of the Dead, Romero’s recent zombie film (2007), at least the zombies have some character, albeit rotting and unpleasant. I might actually read their diaries.

Monsters on our Minds

Saturday, August 8th, 2009

There is a lot of writing in the press these days about Zs and Vs:
For those who need an infusion of pop-monstrousness…check these links:

In the Blood: Why do vampires still thrill? by Joan Acocella

A Trend With Teeth By Ruth La Ferla

Zombie Films as Liberal Parables in The New York Times’ blogs.

Poor poor modern vampires, stuck merely “hot and bad” while zombies are busy enacting “progressive ideals of common cause and collective action”. If, like me, you’re jaded by the beautiful immortal Twilight and True Blood variety of pouty hero-vamps who aren’t even dangerous drinkers – one is “vegetarian” and the other sips synthetic blood substitute, though you know they both want the real (pretty young) thing – check these new creatures. Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan’s novel The Strain and Park Chan Wook’s film Thirst, below, offer monsters you can really sink your teeth into, or vice versa.

the strain

Lend your Buffalo kitchens & bathrooms!

Saturday, August 8th, 2009

hallwalls

In mid-September I’ll be in Buffalo filming Red Rum (working title), a new video for exhibition at Hallwalls in January 2010. I will film in kitchens and bathrooms around Buffalo, NY, so if you have some and are willing to participate, please contact me or John Massier (info on poster, above) for details.

Red Rum, its title a reference to The Shining where a young boy predicts “redrum” (backwards, murder) before a hotel elevator bursts with blood and all hell breaks loose, is a video with a haunted horror theme. The scenes take us through a cavernous home where blood – a predominant prop in horror films—drips from faucets, runs down mirrors, pools on stairs, and seeps from cupboards. This blood appears disembodied until the camera slowly reveals its haunted source. Meanwhile the camera visits many neighbouring houses that also drip with blood, suggesting a murderous streak. Red Rum, filmed on location in Buffalo during the artist’s residency in September 2009, features local actors, students, a choir, musicians, and homes.

Undead in the Night Slide-Show

Saturday, July 11th, 2009

Lilith Performance Studio posted a slide show of our recent forest performance collaboration, Undead in the Night on their website. Check it out; crank the volume!

Zombies in Condoland documentation!

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

At long last, the documentation is completed! It’s also on Youtube…
Note: the sound doesn’t start right away.

Installation at Rosenthal Gallery

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

Jillian mcdonald rosenthal gallery

My show, Monstrosities, looks great thanks to Michael Rosenthal and his wonderful staff – especially Maureen and Caitlin! Many happy zombies were made the night of the opening, I hope no one was eaten. If you’re in San Francisco come to my talk tomorrow night at 7!

Zombies Trump Vampires in Time Magazine

Friday, June 19th, 2009

Time magazine is also comparing Zombies and Vampires. Lev Grossman (ironic name for a man writing about zombies) points out the obvious fact that no one wants to sleep with Zombies. I would add with the exception of Zombie Honeymoon and Otto, but who could resist those mighty cute zombie boys?

In Zombies are the New Vampires, Grossman declares Zombies the official monster of the recession, after all “what monster could be better suited to our current level of ecological anxiety? Zombies are biodegradable, locally sourced and sustainable — they’re made of 100% recycled human.”

Bruce and Bruce: Zombie Night in Canada

Friday, June 19th, 2009

PontyPool, tag line “Shut up or Die”, is a film from Canadian director Bruce McDonald [2008]. Zombies invade a town in Ontario and the only human defense is utter silence, the zombie virus spreading via language. Read more on the use of silence in horror film, specifically in The Descent. It’s a tricky concept considering our natural impulse to scream or yell when startled by excessively violent creatures or threatened with extreme bodily harm. Not to mention the convention of sound overuse, especially as shock effect, in many horror films. In PontyPool much of the horror is not seen by the protagonists or the audience, but rather described to the radio show staff core characters, via the helicopter weather guy.

In other 2008 Canadian zombie news from directors named Bruce, Bruce laBruce’s Otto or Up with Dead People is a film with a cute gay goth boy zombie protagonist. The trailer claims it “Brings Sexy Back…From the Dead”. This one looks more funny than scary – at least from the trailer.