I am truly delighted to be back with the blogue. And although I missed much, my return in time for the Boris Karloff Blogathon hosted by Pierre at Frankensteinia is wonderful timing. I'm going to take this opportunity to return to one of my personal favorite features here at Blogue Macabre, OTR Tuesday.
Boris Karloff was crowned king Karloff not just because of his on screen presence, for which he was most renowned, but additionally Boris took to the airways with his unique and powerful voice talents to bring horror into our homes time and again.
Here are some selections from some of the many radio appearances Boris has done on some of the most noteworthy radio programs. Some I have featured before, others are debuting on Blogue Macabre for the first time. So sit back in your chair turn down your lights if you can, turn up your audio and enjoy.
Tell Tale Heart
Birdsong For a Murderer
The Wailing Wall
Death for Sale
Corridor of Doom
Gary D. Macabre
Monday, November 23, 2009
I am truly delighted to be back with the blogue. And although I missed much, my return in time for the Boris Karloff Blogathon hosted by Pierre at Frankensteinia is wonderful timing. I'm going to take this opportunity to return to one of my personal favorite features here at Blogue Macabre, OTR Tuesday.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
It's a chilled November eve in this shadowy land, come closer to the fire friend. I'm pleased to have found this old camp of mine here on the riverbank, and am even more pleased that you have found it as well. Perhaps it was the warm flickering light with promise of hope and comfort in this cold strange land or the enticing aroma of burning wood still damp from the dew of ages, thick with the feeling of familiarity. Whatever it was that drew you here I am sorry to say that this strange land offers nothing comforting nor soothing for a wandering soul. Perhaps you will do better in the next world, or perhaps you're fortunate enough to be one of the few visitors I see here who return home to the living world with all of it's great promises and dreams (and often painful realities). Before you continue along your path whichever it may be, please stop for a visit and a cup of coffee, reheated but still good.
Hmmm there's a lot there that reminds me of a little film I just saw, Paranormal Activity . As I sat in this rather rundown theater with very few other attendees watching this offering I too was drawn in with hope and promise. I do truly love supernatural spook shows, the unseen dead possess a whole other level of ominous threat and untouchable, uncontrollable menace not found elsewhere in the genre. Century old tales of ghostly beings, that shiver that traces the length of your spine when you turn you back on a darkened cellar, the little jump and the quickening pulse when an unsuspected thump in the dark that startles you. Each and every one of these things lends subconscious credibility to ghosts and the supernatural that does not require the suspended disbelief that monsters, vampires, zombies and aliens require of us. At the same time offers much greater internal terror than any slasher, murderer or real world psychotic can muster. This coupled with the rumblings about the internet, and indeed I took to my torn and sagging theatre seat with a degree of hope. And come to think of it as I sat in darkness watching this flickering light projected on the screen before me, much as I sit here now with you at this fire I felt that same sense of familiarity of something I had seen and known before. Oh yes I know what it was, it was that same old first person video footage style of directing that has been inflicted on the horror genre since Blair Witch made its fortune.
If you haven't yet partaken of this cinematic entity, have no fear as I have no intention of releasing any spoilers in this post. Since the inception of Blogue Macabre I have long determined that this is not a home for "regular" movie reviews as there are plenty of others who do a far better job of that than I. But instead lets speak of this film's inclusion in the home video footage sub-genre. I think we can almost certainly label that a sub-genre of its own by now. And perhaps take account of what it is that that sub-genre offers.
Now I'm on record as saying that The Blair Witch Project is the most over rated piece of horror genre crap I've ever tried to choke down, so you can guess that despite my previously stated hopes there was a healthy degree of cynicism in my heart before the screening as well. I did however find that both Romero's foray with Diary of the Dead and Cloverfield both offered creative approaches to this film style and regardless of what you thought of the films themselves, they did prove that this linear low budget film school dropout sub-genre perhaps could have something to offer. Sadly Paranormal Activity I found offered no creative or inspiring use of the home video technique and does nothing do further the sub-genre's plight for respectability. On the upside however the vomit churning shaky cinematography we have come to know is absent from this film as for once the lead character had the sense to invest some dosh in a decent camera with image stabilization and a damned tripod. The director also chose to take a more reasonable approach and actually allowed the camera to be placed in more realistic and inconvenient places and actually be abandoned by the fictitious filmographer which added greatly to the "intended realism" that is the ultimate goal of the genre.
The greatest thing about the home video technique is that it does one thing amazingly well, it gives the writer the latitude to come up with a mere handful of decent scenes with no real cohesion and a complete lack of an ending of any sort, and combine them with an hour of pointless going nowhere "reality" and voila you have a full length motion picture. And again this movie does that well...so surprisingly well in fact that it actually keeps the viewer in the film. The screenplay writers deserve an academy award for this one in fact, as they managed to keep all the meaningless crap for the most part natural, topical, inject an enjoyable degree of self satire, and squeeze in a couple of highly entertaining allusions to boot.
So you're wondering, why in the name of all that was and all that is, did I subtitle Paranormal Activity as Secretariat's Ghost? The answer is quite simple, this film poses the question "When you beat a dead horse, is there some supernatural or otherworldly way that that said horse can actually get up and run?" Like the fun house ride at the local fair, while I found the film entirely predictable, and lacking originality in almost every way somehow I came out of it with a smile on my face.
Pte. G Macabre
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Greetings and condolences once again fellow travelers. It has been quite some time since I left the banks of the mighty Styx to put my mark with the forces of good. I am pleased to say that I will now have the ability to frequent these parts again in a more timely fashion and thus will be able to resume my role as guide here on the banks of these murky waters. It was very much troubling and regrettable that my duties kept me away during the most treasured of seasons and the celebrations of all hallows eve, the day of the dead and the day of the innocents as well. I do wish I had something substantial for my first post returning from hiatus. In fact I do have a significant offering that has been partially assembled since prior to my departure, but alas it remains still incomplete and on a computer many, many miles from where I currently reside.
Instead I will post a much more meager feature regular to the Blogue...
Moment of Horror #7
King Kong vs. Tyrannosaurus Rex
This scene has to count as one of the most influential scenes in cinema history. nothing is more empowering than giant monsters fighting, and the legendary King Kong going head to head with arguably the greatest beast this world has ever known (well it was certainly true in 1933 at the time of the film's release)the tyrant lizard king, Tyrannosaurus Rex. OK so some will point out that the dinosaur in question actually has three fingers and must be an Allosaurus, but to every young boy in the audience to this day will tell you otherwise.
King Kong certainly is one of the great hallmarks of science fiction and special effects on film. Selecting my moment of horror from such amazing images and scenes such as Kong atop the Empire state Building swatting at biplanes, or gently holding a terrified and under-dressed Fay Wray in a tropical jungle was not so easy, but I truly believe the visceral and imaginative impact that this scene has forever burned into the minds of generations of young boys makes this scene Moment of horror #7.
Friday, July 17, 2009
Greetings and condolences again my fellow travelers. I hope you have been navigating about the banks of the Styx successfully in my absence Well if it wasn't apparent already, the Blogue is going on hiatus for a while.
Through times and time again, one such as myself gets a first hand view of the macabre goings on in the lands of both the living and the dead. The celebrations of life and death and the more ominous and disturbing evils that are inherent in both worlds. As a traveler here on the banks, a citizen of the neither world between the two worlds, it has been my privilege to be an impartial observer. Well the time has come to place that impartiality behind me and be counted among the forces of good. To fulfill my duty to those who have crossed over before defending what is right. That does not preclude my return to the banks, when my duty allows, but for the time being, I owe it to you my fellow travelers to speak of my prolonged absence, and I hope you understand.
Take care of yourselves, enjoy the musings of the other members of the League of Tana Tea Drinkers and remember to tip the ferryman when he calls on you. Until I return,
Pte. G. Macabre
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Greetings and condolences once again to my readers in the land of the living. If you have been following my H1N1 zombie outbreak watch and have started preparing, this post is for you. Due to the current popularity of the topic of zombie planning, I have again returned to expand on my earlier public service announcement with A Further Guide to Zombie Planning, Although I promised a Firearms part 3, I have decided to leave that a bit longer, this time taking a closer and more in depth look at selecting melee or hand-to-hand combat weapons.
Selecting your weapons.
Before selecting any weapon, the first thing that must be determined is what classification of zombie will you be encountering. In the event you are encountering pseudo, or non-zombies where the afflicted is simply a mortal exhibiting zombie like behavior, disposing of them is as simple as disposing of any mortal human cranked up on meth, as they will not be distracted by pain of injury. Naturally a zombie that cannot be destroyed because of mystical origin or any other reason, and thus cannot be destroyed by conventional weaponry, discussion of weapons would thus bee moot. For the purposes of this discussion we will assume the zombies are of Modern of typical contemporary nature that can only be destroyed by destroying the brain or severing the head.
As this is the first I have written of this, I make mention of it here, as it is pertinent to the destruction of a zombie, but as I further progress in the completion of Macabre’s Guide to Zombie Planning I will re-edit at some point in the future. Really it is imperative that anyone looking to survive a zombie outbreak fully understands the mechanisms of destroying a typical zombie. Naturally the destruction of the brain is self-explanatory. The less gray matter left intact the greater the likelihood of destroying the zombie. But the details of decapitation are not nearly as straight forward. What it is about removing a zombie’s head that destroys it? As removal of any of the other bodily organs including severing the spinal column does nothing other than perhaps reduce mobility? Effective decapitation really is an extension of the former method of destroying the brain. More specifically it is the separation of the brain from the brainstem, or the destruction of said brainstem that bears results. This may simply sound like semantics, but the intricacies of such are quite important. If a zombie is decapitated below the brainstem the head will remain animated and dangerous, and by the same means if a decapitating blow is delivered to the base of the skull complete decapitation is not necessary. This is important to realize as the human neck is very muscular and is not easily severed. Even with the sharpest of edged weapons multiple blows are usually required to fully decapitate a human body, but partial decapitation near the base of the skull is quite possible with one blow.
While a firearms or even multiple firearms should be your first choice as a defensive weapon, (providing you are capable of using them to their potential) it would be foolishness to not include some more basic primitive weapons in your arsenal in the event you must defend yourself without a gun. The reasons for this could be quite numerous, and as this whole planning guide is about being prepared, one must also be prepared for the contingency that you may find yourself without a usable firearm. Much like with firearms, the individual choices are practically limitless, but there are some common traits of certain types that can be examined and considered more closely.
General weapon types
Archery equipment: Lets get this out of the way right from the beginning. Unless you are previously skilled with the use of these weapons they are NOT worth your effort. Although they may present some benefits in being a relatively silent ranged weapon they are not easy to use with the accuracy that would be required to consistently take out a zombie with a well-placed head shot. As a hunting tool, their purpose is not to cause trauma or significant damage but to lacerate vital organs causing death through exsanguination (blood loss) that is obviously not going to affect a zombie. Additionally they are typically long and awkward, usually have very limited amount of ammunition and a very slow reload rate. I say this to you being experienced with archery equipment myself.
While they may be useful as a tool to deliver a form of incendiary over a long distance or into a building, they are not a good choice for a type of weapon. Even crossbows, although they than can be equipped with optical sights and fire much the same as a rifle are too flawed. Firstly a suitably powered crossbow is no more silent than a .22 rifle, possesses only a fraction of the effective range, and lacks the reload rate of even a single shot rifle. Hand crossbows are not a suitable consideration in that they are again relatively inaccurate, are lacking in power, and possess an abysmal range at which you will be lucky to get that one shot off.
Blowguns: Another type of ancient weapons that will prove quite useless against the undead. Don’t even consider these even in the direst of circumstances.
Ancient and Historic Weapons: Now we’re getting down to the meat and potatoes of hand-to-hand weapons, but we’re not quite there yet. Like archery equipment, many ancient weapons require specific training to be properly effective in combat. If you are so trained in their usage you will likely already have a selection of weapons at your disposal. If you are not, acquiring them is going to be difficult short of raiding a museum. Most ancient and historic weapons available are reproductions intended primarily for display purposes only and will not perform in combat as well as a proper weapon would. Most effective historic weapons realistically are reproductions designed and build for the purpose of use, and training by clubs and associations, and you can likely bet that when the time comes they will not be gracious in sharing them with you. Some suitable choices of Ancient and historic weapons however will be discussed a bit later in this topic.
Improvised Weapons: These are going to be among your best choice of hand-to-hand combat weapon come Z Day. Like the ninja, selecting and crafting practical every day implements to be used as weapons is an option that should not be overlooked. Many products available off the rack at your local hardware store require no modification whatsoever to become a lethal weapon. And to their advantage, unlike “fantasy swords” and replicas, they are for the most part designed to be used and abused. Additionally in a post apocalyptic world having the weapon perform as a tool for the purposes it was intended will become invaluable while scavenging and for building and removing blockades and barricades, giving them an edge over many similar historic weapons.
Power tools however are poor choice in improvised weapons for anything beyond a very localized primary outbreak. They are limited to their energy source, be that electrical battery or gasoline motor and tend to be rather noisy which may draw other zombies to your location. In addition they tend to be bulky and heavy using energy better saved for carrying other more valuable equipment and supplies, or simply conserving that energy for later, as exhaustion in battle is equally bad as running out of ammunition. Another significant drawback of motorized rotary weapons, such as chainsaws, lawn edgers, and gas mowers will likely result in infectious splatter that, while looking really cool, presents a considerable health threat to everyone in your party.
Basic primitive weapon types:
Edged Weapons: Edged weapons are traditionally for cutting or slashing. While for the most part their use is intended to be directed towards the torso and vital organs of an opponent, that can still be somewhat effective when used on the living dead. Unless one is utilizing a particularly sharp blade with significant force, decapitation with one blow is unlikely. A decapitating blow aimed to the back of the head if possible will increase your chances for killing with a single blow. If this is not possible it is best to attempt to direct your blow to the side of the skull, hopefully penetrating far enough to damage the brain.
Pointed Weapons: Pointed weapons are designed for piercing blows to the opponent. Like edged weapons they’re traditionally intended to target the torso, however they can still be somewhat effective when directed toward the head as a target. The human head is a fairly hard object designed to protect the brain, and is a relatively small target too. The rounded shape also tends to deflect killing blows from the brain, making a fatal piercing blow rather difficult, but not impossible. When using a pointed weapon there are three targets to aim for providing the attacker is coming straight towards you. The first target would be the eye(s). The skull behind the eyes is noticeably thinner than at the forehead thus far easier to penetrate. The Eye socket will also trap the point of the weapon and direct the following thrust right where it counts most without deflection. The second target is the mouth, again trapping the point of the weapon and directing the blow towards the base of the skull. The third target is the head/neck just below the lower jaw. The wielder will have to direct the piercing blow upwards and back, driving the weapon as to penetrate the back of the skull. This will destroy or sever the brain and or brainstem. In some cases, depending on overall weapon design (usually involving a form of spike), a deliberate piercing blow to the cranium will be the most effective.
Blunt Weapons: Blunt weapons traditionally had two purposes; to wear down an opponent and more significantly deliver a fatal crushing blow to the opponent’s cranium. Wearing down a zombie isn’t going to happen, but then again they really don’t defend themselves well anyway. As the head is the best target when attacking a zombie, a weapon that targets that specifically is a prime candidate for consideration. Blunt weapons usually are constructed in one of two designs, fixed to a handle as a club or hammer or attached to a handle in a pendulous fashion. In either case the user simply directs the blow towards the head of the zombie relying on concussive force to break open the skull and destroy the brain.
In Melee weapons part 2 we will look at some examples of melee weapons. We will also in the near future look at what other supplies and equipment we should look to acquire beyond the weapons.
Saturday, May 9, 2009
Stephen King's Carrie
In 1973 the Horror landscape changed forever. Unknown author Stephen King would publish his first novel, entitled Carrie. Undoubtedly the success of the novel had a fair amount to do with the story's subject matter finding an immediate and hungry audience. Carrie, a teen aged girl, living under the thumb of her "unbalanced" and oppressive mother; ridiculed and ostracized by her peers develops telekinetic powers and uses them to exact revenge. OK I admit being a guy, and one who grew up as the younger sibling, and was intelligent enough to let my older sister challenge parental authority, and make all the stupid teenage decisions to which I could observe and myself avoid later in life, the book had no appeal. But to the millions of girls just like my sister King was writing about their lives, or more accurately, their lives as they perceived them. His writing style was new and explicit and tackled subtexts that would clearly have been taboo anywhere else. In the beginning of the book he addresses Carries discomfort with her adolescent body and the changes it is undergoing, and then goes over the edge with people stoning here in a communal shower with tampons and "sanitary napkins". The book was so evocative, that it was widely banned from numerous schools, and not just library collections, but students could face out right confiscation in many cases. Only three years after it's initial publishing the book was made into a major motion picture, again with great success, which produced one of the Horror genre's most iconic film images, Carrie standing on stage dripping with blood.
While this image, this film and more so this book are all worthy of being included in horrors greatest moments, really the most important aspect is the emergence of Stephen King the novelist. So synonymous with horror fiction today that it could be argued his name rivals the likes of Edgar Allen Poe.
Friday, May 8, 2009
Despite the fact authorities are now down playing the seriousness of the H1N1 virus, and the spread of the virus is being greatly reduced from what was anticipated, Fact is the numbers of the infected continue to rise and so does the body count. From the 26 reported deaths and 1085 infected persons as of my last post, the official count is now 44, with 2384 reported cases as of this posting. While apparently these numbers are still within the comfort levels for most of the authorities, it does however indicate that with still no known vaccine or treatment if the virus continues to spread in an exponential fashion half of the world's population will be infected my mid August. And with a current mortality rate maintaining approximately 2% of the infected population would translate to 68 million deaths. Now naturally these figures are quite rudimentary, utilizing minimal data at the moment not fully factoring in such variables as comparative infection in third and first world nations, incubation periods and then there is the dynamic of when the dead actually start rising and killing and further infecting healthy humans. So clearly these figures will be dramatically different in the coming weeks and months.
Unfortunately as we have not seen much evidence of the dead rising at the moment as the numbers are still few, it is still hard to clearly identify this as a Zombie outbreak, and beyond that it is impossible to determine what type of zombies are we dealing with. Although we can comfortably rule out Traditional or Voodoo Zombies, both Modern and Contemporary Zombies are both still plausible (see Know your Zombies). Early indications would rule out supernatural origins, and the Long Dead zombie however.
As the authorities seem to be regaining control of the media and the panicked hype is lessening somewhat, this could indicate that any clear evidence about the nature of the outbreak as it relates to the living dead could, and is quite likely to become more obscured from the general public. One factor that greatly worries my in this scenario is that if there in fact is an airborne flu-like component, and how that will effect the transmission of the virus. Utilizing our current base of knowledge regarding zombie outbreaks, transmission has been exclusively through direct contact via open wounds, etc. Bearing in mind there is currently no concrete evidence to the contrary here, beyond the authorities persistence about this being a flu virus. If airborne transmission does become a factor, this could have a dramatic effect on your zombie plan. For example remaining in a densely populated urban environment waiting for the chattel to evacuate the cities could be a monumental mistake in not getting as far from the vestiges of humanity as soon as possible. Similarly the size of your group, or secure community could be more detrimental than beneficial. Again I stress that it is far to early with far too little information to start amending your current zombie plan yet, but it may be well worth your while to begin evaluating and adding for these yet unexpected possibilities.
For the un-initiated I would like to at this time make direct reference to Max Brooks book, the Zombie Survival Guide. For those without a Zombie survival plan I would highly recommend purchasing a copy. But Please be aware, that as good as the book is I steadfastly disagree with a degree of what he has included. Firstly he has unequivocally dismissed the class of Contemporary Zombie as being a construct of Hollywood, and such Zombies do not exist. With this as a foundation for his book, it makes it far simpler to put forth a guide to zombie survival that only factors in one type of zombie. From a publishing standpoint this is a very intelligent decision. However, in contrast, I believe that the silver screen has shown us that no two zombie outbreaks are the same, and that you must be flexible in your planning and the execution of your plans if you intend to be successful in surviving a Zombie outbreak. Nor do I agree with some of his weaponry assessments (see a further guide)or the value of apartment complexes or high-rise buildings as secure places (try as you might, without some form of explosive which would severely damage the structure of said building, destroying the staircases is not practicable. Dawn of the Dead has shown how good a choice apartment complexes are IMO.)
Monday, May 4, 2009
Greetings and condolences once again fellow travelers. My recent prolonged existence in the land of the living has certainly not been without it's fair share of excitement. It would seem that regardless of what remote hovel you occupy you would be made well aware of the current H1N1 virus,aka Swine Flu outbreak. Odd that such a minor viral pest, with no more adverse side effects than a normal human influenza virus that this should receive such widespread, nearly panicked global attention, after all "seasonal human influenza" claims the lives of 250,000 to 500,000 people annually (according to the WHO). Or, my dear conspiracy theorists, is there more to it?
Here is what the Center for Disease Control is telling us...(WARNING official and rather dull text follows in italics, but regardless if H1N1, Rage virus or Zombie outbreak it will all look the same, bet on it.)
WHAT TO DO?
The novel H1N1 flu virus is causing illness in infected persons in the United States and countries around the world. CDC expects that illnesses may continue for some time. As a result, you or people around you may become ill. If so, you need to recognize the symptoms and know what to do.
Common symptoms include fever, headache, tiredness, cough, sore throat, runny nose, body aches, diarrhea, and vomiting. Nearly all persons with flu will have at least two of these symptoms. (GM: yeah sounds just like what you'd expect if you were bitten by a zombie to me) The high risk groups for novel H1N1 flu are not known at this time but it’s possible that they may be the same as for seasonal influenza. People at higher risk of serious complications from seasonal flu include people age 65 years and older, children younger than 5 years old, pregnant women, people of any age with chronic medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease), and people who are immunosuppressed (e.g., taking immunosuppressive medications, infected with HIV).
Avoid Contact With Others
If you are sick, you may be ill for a week or longer. You should stay home and avoid contact with other persons, except to seek medical care. If you leave the house to seek medical care, wear a mask or cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue. In general you should avoid contact with other people as much as possible to keep from spreading your illness. At the current time, CDC believes that this virus has the same properties in terms of spread as seasonal flu viruses. With seasonal flu, studies have shown that people may be contagious from one day before they develop symptoms to up to 7 days after they get sick. Children, especially younger children, might potentially be contagious for longer periods.
Treatment is Available for Those Who Are Seriously Ill
It is expected that most people will recover without needing medical care. (GM: or at least appear to before they go on a murderous rampage gnawing at any breathing being in eye shot)
If you have severe illness or you are at high risk for flu complications, contact your health care provider or seek medical care. Your health care provider will determine whether flu testing or treatment is needed. Be aware that if the flu becomes wide spread, there will be little need to continue testing people, so your health care provider may decide not to test for the flu virus.
Antiviral drugs can be given to treat those who become severely ill with influenza. These antiviral drugs are prescription medicines (pills, liquid or an inhaler) with activity against influenza viruses, including H1N1 flu virus. These medications must be prescribed by a health care professional.
There are two influenza antiviral medications that are recommended for use against H1N1 flu. The drugs that are used for treating H1N1 flu are called oseltamivir (trade name Tamiflu ®) and zanamivir (Relenza ®). (GM: although the WHO ha already said these seem to have little effect on the current contamination. But that's OK they're just trying to keep you blissfully calm and comforted) As the H1N1 flu spreads, these antiviral drugs may become in short supply. Therefore, the drugs will be given first to those people who have been hospitalized or are at high risk of complications. The drugs work best if given within 2 days of becoming ill, but may be given later if illness is severe or for those at a high risk for complications.
Emergency Warning Signs
If you become ill and experience any of the following warning signs, seek emergency medical care.
In children emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:
* Fast breathing or trouble breathing
* Bluish or gray skin color (GM: who here has seen Dawn of the Dead?)
* Not drinking enough fluids
* Severe or persistent vomiting
* Not waking up or not interacting
* Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
* Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
* Seemingly heightened senses of hearing and smell
* Heightened uncontrollable aggression towards others beyond the standard
report card comment "does not play well with others"
(GM: OK those last two I added)
In adults, emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:
* Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
* Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
* Sudden dizziness
* Severe or persistent vomiting
* Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
* desire to eat under prepared meat products, human flesh and headcheese
(GM:OK that was me again)
Protect Yourself, Your Family, and Community
* Stay informed. Health officials will provide additional information as it becomes available. Visit the CDC H1N1 Flu website.
* Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
* Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
* Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
* Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
* If you are sick with a flu-like illness, stay home for 7 days after your symptoms begin or until you have been symptom-free for 24 hours, whichever is longer. Keep away from other household members as much as possible. This is to keep you from infecting others and spreading the virus further.
* Learn more about how to take care of someone who is ill in "Taking Care of a Sick Person in Your Home"
* Follow public health advice regarding school closures, avoiding crowds, and other social distancing measures.
* If you don’t have one yet, consider developing a family emergency plan as a precaution. This should include storing a supply of extra food, medicines, and other essential supplies. Further information can be found in the “Flu Planning Checklist” (GM: Seriously did I just read that right!!??? DEVELOP A FAMILY EMERGENCY PLAN!! With extra supply of food, water and other essential supplies!!!??? for a flu outbreak likely less significant than our "normal seasonal flu outbreak". Sorry but that seems a little extreme wouldn't you think?) You know I'd almost bet that was a cut and paste at least twice before replacing Nazi with Communist and flu respectively.
So this is all practical, and if we stay the course, and listen for updates, and do what the authorities tell us we all will be fine? Gee I don't know about you but I can't recall the last time that Miami was effectively shut down, with airlines canceling services to the US during any normal "normal flu" season, or the when World Health Organization called for a class 5 pandemic, even during such known deadly ailments such as the SARS outbreak a few years ago and the West Nile virus, a deadly summertime reality here in North America and Europe claiming hundreds of lives every year, or China just started detaining people based on nationality, ignoring human rights and banning import on meat products, or...Ummm, yeah forget that stuff about China.
Some interesting facts with possible Zombie plague parallels:
On March 18th. The Mexican Government starts investigating a mysterious disease in the province of Veracruz.
On April 6th. A US company located in Veracruz reports changes in behavioral patterns of local residents.
So far the World Health Organization claim that the virus is being contained and those affected have all been immediately connected to visits to Mexico, and no secondary transmission as been confirmed. Yet daily numbers of the infected are increasing. (Getting bit or wounded will do that you know.)
Mexico has confirmed 16 deaths, but are investigating an additional 85 deaths that have been reported since. (forget the paper masks, issue chain male.)
The Mexican Health Agency starts taking international flack for not getting heath workers to the families of the first reported casualty for nearly three weeks citing logistical problems. (Can you say zombie horde.)
Areas that have reported a limited number of early, less serious cases that had appeared to be recovering, suddenly have more and more serious cases. Nothing is said of the earlier patients current status. (If that doesn't scream dead returning to life and attacking others nothing does.)
Well folks it's too early to say that this is the beginning of the Zombie apocalypse, but stay tuned to this blog for any further developing information which could indicate that Hell is in fact full. In the mean time now might be a good time to check if you still have those Y2K supplies and buy some more ammunition.
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Greetings and Condolences fellow travelers. I trust you've been finding your way about the netherworld successfully without my presence as of late. Unfortunately there is some unfinished business in the living world that I must attend to before the end of month and thus explains my absence while off haunting others. I will return soon and hopefully with a surprise for you all while you wait on the ferry man. In the meantime remember those coins on the eyelids kids, better tips up front mean better service.
Gary D. Macabre
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
In keeping up with my promise to continue to uphold FJA's commitment in Famous Monsters to honour Lon Chaney Sr. what better day to mark a Lon Chaney Sr. post than on the anniversary of his birth. Here's a little Youtube tribute that is really quite well done and well worth the viewing.
And for those of you with a bit more time on your hands join me in celebrating Lon's birthday with a viewing of the cinematic masterpiece and one of my personal favourite films of all time, Phantom of the Opera...
And for those who are looking for something perhaps a little more out of the mainstream of Lon Chaney films check out this piece of silent screen history. Tod Browning's (yes legendary director of great horror films such as Dracula and Freaks) 1914 Universal western silent By the Sun's Rays, Starring Lon Chaney as lead villain Frank Lawler. This one is under 12 minutes so do yourself the favor and watch it damn it, broaden you knowledge of film history, your life will only be all the better for it.
Gary D. Macabre
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Well if you didn't figure it out my my complete lack of screaming and strutting I didn't get a Rondo. But that's OK this is one of the awards that it truly is enough to be honoured with a nomination. But that does mean I'm NOT doing the 100 ways to kill yourself post.
Congratulations to all the well deserving winners and to fellow LOTTD members Max Cheney (Drunken Severed Head Blog) who took runner up, and Brian Solomon (Vault of Horror) and Stacie Ponder(Final Girl) who scored honourable mentions in the Best Blog catagory. Here is the Official Rondo Press release:
Barbie tops Creature in Rondo model showdown
Rue Morgue takes four Rondos; Twilight Zone is Best Book;
Rich Koz as Svengoolie is voted favorite horror host;
Tim Lucas is Best Writer; Basil Gogos is Best Artist;
Ackerman's caregiver Joe Moe is named Monster Kid of Year
MARCH 24, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
By David Colton
ARLINGTON, VA -- Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho, TV's The Munsters and Ray Harryhausen's
7th Voyage of Sinbad were all winners Monday in the Seventh Annual Rondo Hatton Classic Horror
Awards, which also honored the man who cared for sci-fi legend Forrest J Ackerman in the final
years of his life.
But the biggest surprise came when a special "Hitchcock" edition of Barbie, dressed like
Tippi Hedren and swarmed by miniature crows from The Birds, topped the Creature from the Black
Lagoon in a showdown for Best Model, Toy or Collectible.
Not only did the 50-year-old doll from Mattel beat out the green-scaled Creature, but she outclassed
models from The Exorcist, Invasion of the Saucermen and even an action figure of Rondo Hatton himself,
the obscure 1940s horror actor who inspired the fan awards.
The Rondos are an annual celebration of the vintage monsters who sparked almost a century of horror films
and sequels. The worldwide online survey by the Classic Horror Film Board, a 14-year old online community, is
the largest in the genre and drew a record 2,932 emailed votes.
Beyond Barbie's latest triumph, winners Monday ranged from the modern -- The Dark Knight was
voted best film of 2008, the BBC's Doctor Who was favorite television show -- to classic horrors from the past:
-- A new edition of the 1960 film, Psycho, was voted Best Classic Horror DVD.
-- A collection of Harryhausen's 1950s science fiction films, including a colorized Earth vs. the Flying Saucers,
was named Best DVD Collection, and the collected episodes of The Munsters was the favorite TV collection.
-- The painstaking reconstruction of Carl Dreyer's atmospheric 1932 chiller, Vampyr, was voted Best
The most emotional moments came when it was announced in an online ceremony that a Los Angeles
producer, Joe Moe, had been named "Monster Kid of the Year,'' for his long years serving as a friend and
caregiver for horror and science fiction collector Ackerman. The founder of Famous Monsters of Filmland
magazine, Ackerman died this year at the age of 92.
"For his quiet, constant and unwavering stewardship of Forrest J Ackerman's final decade of life,'' the
Rondo citation reads, "Joe Moe revealed not only the man behind Mr. Monster, but the grace and
strength of the ultimate fan. For being there when we all couldn't, Joe Moe is Monster Kid of the Year.''
Moe, contacted by phone during the event, said, "If ever there was a time when I needed my monster
family, it's now. Thank you so much for validating the work I tried to do in a fashion that would make
all of you proud. I tried not to cry for Forry but now that he's gone, this honor from you, my pals, has me
in tears. Thank you so much."
Other winners included:
-- Best DVD Extra: "One for the Fire,'' a documentary about the making of Night of the Living Dead.
-- Best DVD Commentary: Makeup master Rick Baker, Bob Burns, Scott Essman, Steve Haberman and
Brent Armstrong for The Mummy (1932).
-- Best Documentary: Spine-Tingler: The William Castle Story.
-- Book of the Year: The Twilight Zone by Martin Grams.
-- Best Magazine: Rue Morgue.
-- Best Article: "Coffin Joe Resurrected,'' a look at the legendary Brazilian filmmaker Jose Mojica Marins,
by Scott Gabbey and Jovanka Vuckovic in Rue Morgue.
-- Best Magazine Cover: Rue Morgue #83, a portrait of Ackerman by longtime Famous Monsters artist
-- Best Website: Trailers from Hell.
-- Best Blog: Video Watchblog.
-- Convention of the Year: WonderFest in Louisville.
-- Fan Event of the Year: World Zombie Day.
-- Favorite Horror Host: Svengoolie, played by Rich Koz, in Chicago.
-- Best Horror Audio Site: Rue Morgue Radio.
-- CD of the Year: Soundtrack of The Blob by Monstrous Movie Music.
-- Best Horror Comic Book: Hellboy: In the Chapel of Moloch, by Mike Mignola.
-- Biggest controversy: An L.A. fan's disputed claim he had once examined the long-lost Lon Chaney
film, London After Midnight.
-- Writer of the Year: Tim Lucas, author and editor of Video Watchdog
-- Artist of the Year: Basil Gogos.
-- Favorite DVD Reviewer: Glenn Erickson of DVD Savant.
-- Vasaria Public Citizen Award: Cameron McCasland and Creature Cinema for public service announcements
by Nashville's Dr. Gangrene and Nurse Moan-Eek.
-- Monster Kid Hall of Fame inductees: European horror actor Paul Naschy, Jim and Marian Clatterbaugh of
Monsters from the Vault magazine, painter Ken Kelly, the late Calvin Beck, founder of Castle of Frankenstein
magazine, the late Lux Interior, lead singer for punk band The Cramps and an influence on the psychobilly
horror rock movement, and the late Bob Wilkins, original host of San Francisco's Creature Features.
Many of the Rondo winners will receive Rondo busts, sculpted by Kerry Gammill and cast by Tim Lindsey,
at the Wonderfest convention in Louisville on May 16.
Further information, including runners-up and all the nominees, can be found at rondoaward.com
Monday, March 23, 2009
Blog Macabre going sci-fi??? well we'll indulge just this once shall we. So The New Battlestar Galactica has come to an end and fans are in a divided tizzy. Did the ending suck or was it epic, was it a bold conclusion to a bold series or was it a cop out just to try and tie up as many loose ends as they could? Well folks the greatest surprise of all is that BSG (as it has become known) was actually just another of the multitudes of unique incarnations of the Douglas Adams epic The Hitchhikers' guide to the Galaxy. Although much of the story from day one was a dramatic departure from Adams' tale, the writers finally played their hand and revealed in the final episode that this was indeed the case. It had happened all before in fact it happened first in 1979 with the BBC radio series and then the books in which apparently no two publishing's are alike, the 1981 TV series, a later DC comic book adaptation and a multimillion dollar Hollywood flop. In fact the greater the BSG story strayed from the source the more consistent with the HHG omnibus the show became until the final culmination of events where the cast finally arrive at Earth mark2 to start all over again.
With this secret now revealed with the series finale, fans can now look to Adams' works to fill in the gaps that the BSG writers left with somewhat unsatisfactory conclusions...
What of Kara's final fate?
As it turns out, she is inexplicably reunited with the Cylons at a chance meeting at the restaurant at the end of the universe.
What's with Hera? All that for a postscript about being the mitochondrial Eve?
Well there is a bit more to it than that, but that is the gist of it. It would seem that being the last offspring of both the colonists and the Cylons, locked in her primitive brain was the question to the answer of life the universe and everything that the mice wanted so dearly And by mice I mean the pan dimensional beings or "angels" represented by Head Baltar and Head Six.
What of all the dream sequences at the opera house leading up to a rather pedestrian conclusion in reality?
The simplest answer here is that it all took place when the series reached an improbability factor of 2*310888005:1 against which interestingly is Tom Desanto's phone number in Hollywood.
What happened to the Centurions?
Their home planet and in fact their entire solar system was destroyed at the conclusion of a Disaster Area concert which was the first and coincidentally last stop on their short lived "Ultimate Armageddon"tour.
Who was God? why did he hate being called that? and was it the Cylon God or the Human God?
We know they are now colonizing earth mark2 created by the Magratheans commissioned by the mice/angels/pan dimensional beings/the colour blue and designed by the semi-omniscient computer Deep Thought (the Cylon god it would seem). Problem solved.
So there you have it fans, until the next time (and the one after that, and the one following that...)
Gary D. Macabre
Saturday, March 21, 2009
What the hell I may as well do some shameless self promotion for the Rondo Award: best blog category myself. So I'm appealing to the Teenage Goth and EMO kid demographic here. (Hey you guys won Rob Zombie a Rondo for best picture last year after all, right!)
So if you think your life sucks and nobody understands you, you hate them all and would rather go somewhere dark and be alone with other freaks and vamps like yourselves, even if that does contradict the whole concept of alone, who cares the critics can just go to hell anyway, or you're not worthy of existence and want some recognition while your here to bemoan it before skagging yourself (or at least making it look like you're trying to), well then this blog is for you.
So go to the rondo site and mail in your ballot and vote Blogue Macabre for best blog so we can all rule together for one day. Well actualy I'll have a Rondo Award so I won't suck quite so much, but hey, that just legitimises your selfloathing a bit more now doesn't it.
And if I win I promise I'll post Gary D Macabre's top 100 ways to kill yourself and make someone else's life really suck in the process.
So do your part and get your ballot in before midnight tonight if you haven't already done so!!!
Oh yeah, and any support for the Blogue and/or theFrankensteinMonster.com (aka the Many Faces of the Frankenstein Monster) is much appreciated, without harping on it like some blogers (Max, elbow,elbow, poke with a stick).
And I Strongly urge you all to vote for Billy Van, genius behind Hilarious House of Frightenstein for the Horror hall of Fame.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
OK first up, I make no bones about it this blog isn't about movie reviews, and that's not going to change any time soon. I will however discus films in a casual manner without the pretense of actually reviewing it. If you can grasp the difference then we'll continue, if you can't I don't want to hear about it.
So here we are with a Zombie/Western that actually uses the word "zombedy" in it's promotional material. Man this is looking bleak from the get go. As a matter of fact I tossed it back in the two-for-five-dollar bin a couple of times. But alas the allure of some zombie busting carnage with lever action rifles was just too strong and I finally caved. Fortunately I was in the mood for a really bad movie and I had little preconception of this being anything but, so all risk of disappointment and an hour and a half of my life safely socked away in the bottom of the dirty laundry hamper, I settled in with a plate of nachos and my own trusty Winchester '94 at my side ( Don't worry the ammo however was still safely locked away elsewhere, after all if it truly was worse than even I expected, I couldn't risk pulling an Elvis on my 50").
To my pleasant surprise this film was actually conceived with some intriguing and enjoyable premises. The origin of the wild west zombie being attributed to a native Indian curse on the white man I actually really like, some great ideas on how zombie cannibalism would be treated and dealt with by an ignorant town and the application of typical "wild west justice", and even a great little "betcha didn't see that coming" ending. Sadly however the few gems there in never made it past the screenplay writer, the director or the lamentable acting. Even my thirst and enthusiasm for the much anticipated and oh so inevitable zombies vs. .30-30 romp was left largely unsatisfied, rather like having a glass of nice cold Coke on a hot day only to find it has gone flat in the fridge. As for the comedy, well I think that SNL hit it's low point through the late 90's, and actor Chris Kattan... well lets just say "A Night at the Roxbury, Corky Romano, House on Haunted Hill, ..."
There was enough to like in this film to be worth the $2.50 it cost to purchase, and maybe even enough to justify the 91 minutes lost on it (92 minutes might be pushing it). But that said you have to be sold on the premise of Zombie Western/ weak comedy because if you can't take that into a viewing your in for a world of hurt.
Friday, March 13, 2009
For all you poor schmoes who have to sit on your tookas' all day behind a computer screen making the big bucks, here's a link that should make your day go by just a bit better.
And for those of you who aren't afraid of the boss walking in on you check this one out.
Survive the outbreak
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Oh how I love National Geographic. Best known for their astounding wildlife and nature photography, the National Geographic Magazine has been publishing equally impressive images of the macabre for every bit as long. Although the brilliant colour photography wasn't the norm until the 20th century, tales of the Mummies of Egypt and sketches and later black and white images of places like Mexico's Aztec temples with their great bizarre carvings thrilled readers from the onset. One of my earliest and most vivid impressions of National Geographic was of the petrified bodies of Mt. Vesuvius. The remains of actual people trapped in their last moments of life in fear and terror, gasping for breath as they appeared to be turned to stone as from a mythical Gorgon. Mummified remains, grotesque skeletons draped in fine robes, ritualistic burials and sacrifices, it's ALL HERE! and if that weren't enough for you during the later periods of the 20th century photographers ventured into the world's most deadly and hostile locations and brought back bloody and graphic images from places like Cambodia. Disturbing images of slain bodies and even stills of the Khmer Rouge posing with human remains or actually butchering humans like cattle or worse.
Now don't think this was simply a thing of the past, the new eco-aware National Geographic isn't going to let readers down either. February's issue contains some truly beautiful images in an article on the Mummies of Palermo Italy and recently the NationalGeographic.com has a short quip about a a recently found skull of whom locals had believed to be a Vampire (when vampires brought death and pestilence, not drank blood) found near Venice (man I've got to visit Spain/Italy someday). link.
Also head over to KinderTrauma for a reader's recent traumafession about National Geographic and his childhood.
Sunday, March 8, 2009
Use #35: Torso throw pillows
These cheerful and practical accents will bring a cozy/creepy feel to any room. Their durable leathery texture will see that they provide you many years of enjoyment. We created these delightful and artistic pieces from a pair of transients that we found in the shed out back. This scrawny underfed pair were perfect candidates for this craft. It's important that there is as little body fat on the torso as possible prior to stuffing, as excessive fatty tissues can putrefy, negatively effecting their delightful and whimsical charm. But remember to save that fat in a jam can for future crafty projects like candles and soaps.
Just a simple reminder for those who may be able to attend. Uncle Forry's memorial tribute is 3:00pm local time, today(March 8th) at the Egyptian theatre in Hollywood. I wish I could attend, but my portal to the land of the living is too far and remote for that to be a possibility.
Saturday, March 7, 2009
Greetings and Condolences. As I sit on the banks of the mighty Styx in silence, hearing the ripples of life and time wash on the rocks of the shore, I look out and see the fragments of an old memory trapped, swirling in an eddy in the middle of the current. Just upstream snagged in the weeds and strainers of the near bank; the bank of the living, there is an accumulation of scraps of dreams unrealized, of loves unrequited and goals unfulfilled. While this is a peaceful and somber spot we the dead still hear the silent footsteps of the living that curiously approach the great river, and see the footprints that they leave in the soft mud. While guests to the Blogue seldom seem to pass comment, their presence is none the less noted, and appreciated.
I was just cruising the Blogue's stats counter, and I thought it worth giving a shout out to to the living who have ventured this way from some unusual lands of their own.
To the tour group from iceclan.com that passed through mid February I say battle on friends and stay warm.
To those who have found there way here from the mysterious portal at Gothic Rose Antiques and Scarlet the talking Macaw, and his/her mysterious mistress who placed the portal there to begin with.
The folks at Horror Blips, that were quite literally that , a brief blip on my radar, but thanks for the mention all the same.
The good folks at the Horror Web blog as well.
Our celebrity visit of Dr. Gangrene who apparently hoped to go un-noticed likely while on Rondo ballot tour.
The deluge of people doing google image searches from Denmark and the UK, hope you found what you were looking for.
To the Lady who googled "100 things to do with plants" I hope she's not too disturbed and will recover in time with therapy.
To the guy who googled "worlds greatest dad" I hope your not taking my advice.
The person Looking for the Virginia Mayo Political Rally, man did you take the wrong turn.
The guys asking google" is aborgast jewish" I have no idea, It's not my business, why don't you ask him yourself.
The the guy or gal in Dundas Ontario with the average time on site of 5.08 min and multiple hits, wow a masochist if there ever was one, but it's appreciated just the same.
Could one of my UK readers (the guy in Wallington perhaps) please check on the guy in Swansea who was logged in for an astonishing 21 minutes and make sure they're still breathing?
Props to my readers in Paris, Belo Horizonte Brazil, Rome Italy (now wouldn't that be cool is the Pope was checking out the land of the Macabre), Copenhagen Denmark ( man I get a lot of good hits from Denmark) Auckland NewZealand, Debrecen Hungary, and Singapore.
To my fellow traveller in Sahuayo Mexico, I really need some of those sugar skulls, can you set me up?
Hey Cancun, I really appreciate the visit and a killer 28 minute Blogue Macabre marathon way to go!!! Seriously now, you've got killer beaches and tropical weather, what are you doing on the banks of the Styx? A cold foggy day in Swansea perhaps, but Cancun?
And my fellow fans of dark places who wander in the US, I ask what's up with North Dakota? the only State I have yet to get a hit from?
The most staggering statistic is that my Public Service Announcement:Making your Zombie Plan has recieved over 1600 views since I posted it last May.
So yes while the living may indeed tread silently amongst the dead, your footseps are well noted.
Thursday, March 5, 2009
OK I admit it I slipped up on a previous commitment I made back in December, but that's OK I'm using my time machine to correct that oversight (and why the hell is post being underlined, and how do I stop it?) Anyway go back by following this link to the post I made today on February the 26.
the Time Machine of the Macabre
While there are many great moment's in horror and this segment is not intended as a top 10 list, or to represent rankings in anyway whatsoever, I felt I couldn't go another installment without including what is quite possibly one of the greatest scenes in the history of film, horror or otherwise:
The shower scene from Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho.
In an era where colour was the proud domain of the cinema and the mundane black and white pictures were relegated to the pedestrian invention the television, Hitchcock took his television crew and the stock of black and white film and shot what I believe is the penultimate Horror/Thriller of all time. The audacity to brutally slay your leading lady not even midway through the film would surely be enough to make a mark on cinema history, but it was the details in how Alfred Hitchcock, the master that he was, chose to do this which shook the cinema going world. With powerful imagery, intense emotional acting and skillful edits, the master didn't show the audience one tenth of what every cinema goer saw. The implied nudity, graphic violence and brutality that never existed on screen, just in the viewer's minds, provoked the censors to give the film an X rating until they were petitioned to further review it. The psychological and emotional effects on the audiences of the time were unheard of and widespread. Alfred Hitchcock with a great actress, a sound idea and a can of chocolate syrup managed what grindhouse bloodfests, slasher flicks and modern torture porn aspire to achieve and seldom accomplish.
I will never do a Post Mortem on this scene for the sure futility it would be.
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
OK It's been brought to my attention that the Blogue Macabre has been lacking in truly macabre content. (although the on going 100 things to do with a corpse does fill the bill to some extent). Any way this past summer I was writing a bit based on some rather macabre current events that occurred up in the north country in which a disturbed whack-job, Vince Wieguang Li, boarded a Greyhound bus and proceeded to kill another passenger and then proceed to behead his corpse. I was actually writing from the angle of what is it about decapitation that disturbs our societal sensibilities more than the simple explicit act of brutal murder, after all once dead the corpse rarely complains. Well lacking a degree in either psychology and/or anthropology I decided to drop the entry. But Damn it this story just keeps getting more bizarre. The whack-job in question is now in court and the details of the incident as they come to light are far more grotesque than were originally reported, elevating Li to the ranks of Geoffery Dhamer or Ed Gein.
Sun columnist Tom Brodbeck has summed up excerpts from the court records esentialy making the first comprehensive wiki on history's most recent psychopath. So for those of you who want disturbing read on, but remember you've been warned.
Now in respect to Mr. Brodbeck, the following is his article, however I am making one minor alteration to his piece, for which if he objects, he is welcome inform me, but I am removing the abbreviative title "Mr." from usage in reference to Vince Li, as it denotes a degree of respect that I will not bestow him.
The story of Vince LiThe following are excerpts from the agreed statement of facts for the trial of Vince Weiguang Li.
This information, filed in court, is extremely disturbing and may not be suitable for all readers.
However, it is now public record and forms part of a very important aspect of this case. Reader discretion is strongly advised.
Vince Weiguang Li was born in Dandong China on 30 April, 1968. He graduated from the University of Wuhan Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Science (Computers) in 1992. Li immigrated to Canada in 2001, and became a citizen in 2005. He graduated from CDI College (Computer Programming) in 2002.
He was divorced from his wife Ana in 2006. During his time in Canada, he held a number of menial jobs including caretaking in a church, assistant manager at McDonalds, sales assistant in the parts department at Canadian Tire, and newspaper carrier. He was unable to obtain employment in his field, and had periods of unemployment, although at other times held two jobs at the same time.
Li had few friends, those he had describe him as having mental problems, but never knew him to be violent.
At approximately 12:30 am on Tuesday, 29 July 2008, Li boarded a Greyhound bus in Edmonton, Alberta heading to Thunder Bay, via Winnipeg. He purchased his ticket under the name of Wong Pent. He did not notify his ex-wife that he was leaving, nor what his destination was. He did leave her a note stating: “I’m gone, don’t look for me, I wish you were happy.”
Li got off the bus in Erickson, Manitoba at 5:55 pm on 29 July 2008, although the bus driver tried to advise him that it was not his stop. There was insufficient time to re-issue his ticket, as per the statement of bus driver Patrick Delbridge, attached as Appendix 2. He spent 24 hours in Erickson, as there is only one bus per day stopping in that community. During that time he disposed of most of his personal assets by either selling them or burning them.
At approximately 12:30 am on Wednesday, 30 July 2008, Tim McLean (born 03 October 1985) boarded Greyhound bus 1170 in Edmonton, Alberta, to return home to Winnipeg at the conclusion of summer employment on the carnival circuit.
Li boarded Greyhound bus 1170 for Winnipeg on 30 July 2008 at 5:55 pm at Erickson, Manitoba.
Tim McLean and Vince Li were not known to each other. They did not appear to have any interaction with each other on board the bus or at any of the scheduled bus stops.
Tim McLean got off the bus for a cigarette break, between Brandon and Portage la Prairie. After he returned to his seat, Li moved to the back of the bus and sat beside Tim McLean. The two did not appear to converse.
At approximately 8:30 pm on Wednesday, 30 July 2008, when Greyhound bus 1170 was approximately 18 kilometers west of Portage la Prairie on the TransCanada Highway, Li began to repeatedly stab Tim McLean, for no apparent reason.
Tim McLean struggled and tried to escape, as evidenced by a number of defensive wounds. He was unsuccessful and eventually either fell or was thrown to the floor of the bus. Due to his location at the back of the bus and adjacent to a window, the seats ahead of him were a barrier to escape.
Li was pre-occupied with Tim McLean, and continued to stab him as he lay on the floor. He did not pay any attention to the other passengers as the bus was vacated. He appeared oblivious to the demands of bus driver Bruce Martin that he stop what he was doing. Several persons indicate that after everyone had vacated the bus, Li came to the front of the bus and tried to exit. The bus driver was able to close the door on Li’s arm, with the bloody knife extended outside of the bus.
Li was able to pull his arm back into the bus, and returned to the rear of the bus, where he defiled the body of Tim McLean. Mr. Martin immediately called 911, once everyone was safely off his bus, and the bus door was closed.
As Greyhound bus 1170 pulled onto the shoulder, Bernie Scyrup, driver of a second Greyhound bus that was following Greyhound bus 1170 to carry the passenger overload, realized that there was something unusual in the fashion that Mr. Martin pulled over and stopped his bus. Mr. Scyrup stopped his bus on the shoulder in front of Greyhound bus 1170.
Mr. Scyrup attended to Greyhound bus 1170, and observed that Li was at the back of the bus. Mr. Scyrup entered the bus and called out to Li, as Li continued to stab the body of Tim McLean. Li responded by stating “get emergency.”
As Li repeatedly looked at Mr. Scyrup, Mr. Scyrup realized that Li was severing the head of Tim McLean. Mr. Scyrup got off the bus, as he realized that Tim McLean was dead and could not be helped.
Li attended to the front of the bus, holding the severed head of Tim McLean in one hand and a black-handled knife in the other hand. He motioned that he wished to be let off the bus. The door to the bus was not opened, and was barricaded or protected by a truck driver who pulled over to assist, and was armed with a snipe bar. Upon RCMP arrival, a police vehicle was parked against the doors to the bus, to prevent Li from exiting.
At one point Li looked at the controls, and witnesses believed he was trying to start the bus. Rather, Li was trying to open the door so that he could exit the bus. Mr. Scyrup cut the power to the bus. Li threw the head of Tim McLean into the stairwell and then returned to the back of the bus and continued to mutilate the body of Tim McLean.
(RCMP) Cpl. Harder attempted to communicate with Li, and asked him to drop the knife out of a small window located in the bathroom at the rear of the bus. Li’s only response was some unintelligible words, plus words to the effect that he had to stay on the bus forever. As the officers watched, Li continued to mutilate both the body and the head/face of Tim McLean, using both a buck knife and a pair of scissors.
Various officers noted that he continued to mutilate the body and head of Tim McLean. Cst. Brown and Cpl. G. Smith noted that Li appeared to smell, and then eat parts of Tim McLean’s flesh. He also appeared to lick blood from his fingers and hands. Li also continued to carry Tim McLean’s internal organs and various body parts throughout the bus, later returning to bag them in white plastic garbage bags. He also carried the head of Tim McLean from time to time.
At approximately 1:20 am on 31 July 2008, Li broke open a window on the bus, threw out some personal belongings, a knife and a pair of scissors. He then jumped out of the bus, head first, landing on top of the knife. RCMP members immediately tried to apprehend him. He was struggling, screaming, and refused to surrender his hands. Police stunned him with a Taser on several occasions before he surrendered his hands and could be handcuffed and taken to a police vehicle.
Found in Li’s pants pocket was a plastic bag containing Tim McLean’s ear, nose, and tongue.
Li was formally arrested.
Li was taken to the Portage General Hospital for treatment regarding a gash on his right hand and a cut to his head behind his right ear.
A variety of Tim McLean’s body parts and organs were found throughout the bus.
The tip of the blade was located in the skull of Tim McLean in the forehead area just above the inner aspect of the right eyebrow.
The autopsy reveals that the cause of death of Tim McLean was multiple stab wounds.
The body of Tim McLean showed evidence of damage in excess of 100 areas, ranging from abrasions to a large gaping wound of the chest.
The eyes were missing and not recovered.
The internal organs were recovered, in plastic bags, in 4 separate areas of the bus.
Dr. Littman, the pathologist, estimates that one third of the heart of Tim McLean was never recovered and it is presumed that Li ate it. Further, Tim McLean’s eyes were never recovered, and also are presumed to have been eaten.
Li denies eating the flesh of Tim McLean.
Indeed a macabre tale of nonfiction. So as you go about your daily life with a comfortable degree of separation in your mind between the horror genre that we all enjoy so much and the physical reality in which you perceive yourself, think of this tale the next time you board that bus or subway car.
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Well it's Tuesday once again my fellow wanders of dark places. Today's offering is from the well acclaimed radio series Suspense. I haven't spoke much of Suspense thus far so I guess now is as good a time as any.
Suspense aired on the CBS radio network from 1942 through to 1962 unlike other programs like Lights Out, Inner Sanctum or even the Shadow which established an identity and although there may have been a significant change in the host, casting or director, the series maintained that identity. Suspense during it's long run never really strived for that embossed trademark, rather their quality thriller based scripts with numerous Hollywood contemporary actors and actresses, and a revolving door of 10 different directors and as many as 15 different writers, always remained relevant and fresh for their audience. Not to say the show didn't have a feel of it's own with a distinct opening and few of the hosts using the nom de plume "the Man in Black", but its identity was more so marked by the fact it actually maintained a pretty consistent formula in the majority of it's episodes where an average individual such that the audience could relate were suddenly immersed in a bizarre, terrifying or mysterious situation, with the solution remaining obscure until the very end.
The Radio series survived through the novelty of television which all but erased numerous radio programs from existence. Ironically the radio series actually spun of it's own television program which it outlived as the television series only ran from 1949-1954 with a brief revival in 1962.
So here is today's offering:
Suspense: The thing in the window
(Linked from OTR.net)
Friday, February 27, 2009
If your looking for monsters in modern horror well then you've likely noticed that zombies are all the rage (ok even 4SJ would have choked on that pun). Zombies are really the predominant monster in modern horror although I would recon Vampires are still a close second. Damn good thing that can I enjoy a good (or often a bad) living dead film as a lot of other modern sub genres really do nothing for me.
So amid the commercial outpouring of Zombie fare I landed myself a copy of the video game "House of the Dead: Overkill" for the Wii. Let it be known I'm not a gamer and own and play very few titles so this isn't a review for that crowd, rather one coming from a horror film fan who happens to own a Wii.
The visual appearance of the game is satisfactory, although admidetly less refined than games on other console systems, but compared to the Wii's usual 8 bit looking 3D stick people the game looks fantastic for the platform. Appearance of a zombie game is pretty damned important in my books.
The game play is a bit primative. The game simply walks you through the story and offers little more than a carnival style point and shoot. Hell we saw that with the original Nintendo Entertainment System and liht gun og the '80s, and other more primative systems have offered more indepth zombie games such as Resident Evil and even the Nintend DS title Touch the Dead is more interactive. So I'm not sure the gamers out there will be lining up for this one (on the upside if it should likley be hitting previously enjoyed shevlves not long from now for those who may be looking to buy it) . But alas the NES lightgun is long dead and hasn't been revived by anyother system, meaning first person shooter games are at best with te didgital representaion of a gun barel being controled by a pair of joysticks. The hands on gun-in-hand aspect of the Wiireally brngs the enjoyment level of thsi game up a knotch and is a welcomed addition to the first person shooter games.
As a Movie fan there are some aspects that make the game well worth my financial investment. Although the game is rather linear and the system has other titles that are more interactive first-person-shooters I'm not holding that against the game, after all I bought this for one reason and one reason alone, blowing away the hordes of living dead, and that it delivers in spades. Second is the Grind House theme. The whole game is done up like a nasty 70's grind house feature with all that implies (well ok, not ALL that implies as the game lacks the nudity.)
Light entertainment, virtual gore and a bazillion brain munching living corpse to scag and a toy gun, what more could one want?
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Greetings and condolences fellow (time)travelers. Hey Check it out!!!! Uncle Forry would get a kick out of this one! I have just now realized that a promise I made in December has not been fulfilled, and for that I am ashamed. But today I look to make amends and honour that commitment by going back in time to February the 26th to uphold my promise. Upon the passing of Uncle Forry I committed that I would honour his memory with a post bimonthly in the tradition he set forth with a likewise commitment to the memory of Lon Chaney Sr. Seeing that the records show that Forry himself slipped up on said promise, I trust his ephemeral hereafter will smile warmly and forgive my transgression. (or was there one at all?????) Cheers to you Forrest J.
Hey check out this piece of 4E flotsam of fiction. A nice compilation of short stories assembled by the Ackermonster.
Forrest J Ackerman (Dr. Acula)
Edited by Lynne Rock
284 pages, 6"x 9", illustrated
Trade Paper: ISBN 0-918736-30-7
Available for online order at Rock Publishing
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Greetings once again fellow travelers. What brings you to my fireside this dark cold evening? Perhaps it was the warm glow of the small fire, or perhaps the scratchy, droning voices emanating from this old radio, carrying through the thin night air. Well gather closer friend have a mug of hot tea and listen with me to today's offerings form the golden age of radio. This from the NBC series Sleep No More. A lesser know series than Suspense, Inner Sanctum or even the Witches Tale, host Nelson Olmsted hosts this series straight up much like Arch Obler did with Lights Out!. The most noticeable departure is that the story is orrated to the audience as one would read book to a child, and not presented as a scripted play the way we are most familliar.
Sleep No More: The Woman in Grey