creepy

film study: the VERY FIRST Alice In Wonderland movie..from 1903!

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It should come as no surprise to readers of this blog that when I was growing up, Lewis Carrol‘s Alice In Wonderland was – and still continues to be to this day – my favorite fairy-tale ever written. I absolutely love Disney‘s animated film, and I even enjoyed Tim Burton‘s “version”; which, as a fan of Burton, shouldn’t be too much of a surprise. Something about the cast of characters, the colorful world it takes place in, and even the themes of Alice being “crazy all along”; these are all things that I find fascinating – there really is no story like it. But when it comes to the concept of a movie version of the familiar story, there’s been many; just look at what comes up when I type in “Alice in Wonderland” on imdb down below.

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Looking at this list, there’s a total of ten films on record, [not including all the ones that come up when I click “more title matches”] and that includes two films called “Malice In Wonderland” – which, after reading the plot- doesn’t seem to be  what we’re looking for. Today though, we’re looking at the very first one, the one from 1903[over 100 years ago!] This version involves a girl – named Alice – awakening in a garden beside a white rabbit in a waistcoat with a pocket watch..sound familiar yet? A Director by the name of Cecil Hepworth decided to make [a faithfully as possible] an adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s original story: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland for the big screen..at least, as big as screens were in 1903! Originally running a whopping twelve minutes in length, Hepworth’s film of Alice In Wonderland was – at the time – the longest film produced in all of Britain. In order to keep faithful to the novel, the plan was to try and keep the style of the film to look like  Sir John Tenniel’s original illustrations. [which I find fascinating!] The costumes were designed from hand and elaborate sets were built at Hepworth’s film studio – including a rather impressive rabbit burrow. To save on money, which mainly went to costumes and set pieces, family members, friends and their children were used in the cast. [Hepworth even cast his wife as the White Queen]

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a screenshot of Alice running from the Red Queen‘s card soldiers

Unfortunately, being as the film is over 100 years old, the full version of Hepworth’s mini classic has been lost: the print that exists is damaged but is still a beautiful, trippy and incredible experience. However, all hope is not lost, as The British Film Institute created a remastered version in 2010. This “remastered” version is nine and a half minutes long, is a black and white silent film, and is definitely an interesting piece of cinema. Don’t be too shocked: it is still creepy in it’s own right, but it is still a landmark in film making. Even knowing that it existed so very long ago, and was able to be restored is magical. For your viewing pleasure, and my wanting to share it with the world, I’ve included the remastered Alice In Wonderland film down below.. but not before asking my usual set of questions – which can be answered after watching: What do you think about this film from 1903? Is it really interesting to know and see that the BFI remastered it for viewing in this day? Or do you think it’s too creepy, and that children would have panic attacks just watching playing cards attack a young girl? Let me know in the comments! Do you have any theories behind Alice In Wonderland? What do you think is truly happening to our Alice? Share your theories below! But enough questions. Without further stalling, here’s the VERY FIRST film take on Alice In Wonderland. [Coming to you from the year 1903]

THANKS FOR READING.

[a special thanks to the BFI for restoring the film!]

warrenisweird’s top FIVE cemeteries in horror movies!

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Cemeteries have always held an air of creepiness to them: they are places where we bury our loved ones, giving them a final resting place. Sometimes, the place manages to creep you out because of the way it looks – all decrepit and broken down – but, there’s a reason the Fantasy and Horror genre tend to like this setting. In these cemeteries, it is almost always night and often, the moon is full, for extra supernatural points. Fog is usually a contributing factor, and more importantly, the dead aren’t ‘really dead‘! I mean, some horror movies revolve around being in a cemetery! But as expected, not all film cemeteries are created equal; many are pretty standard, boring versions of what is supposed to be granite tombstones and black, but bland backgrounds. But every so often, we get a glimpse at what seems to be a truly spectacular collection of mausoleums and even more headstones, sometimes with familiar names engraved on them! Or maybe I’m just overthinking this whole thing. Either way, this is warrenisweird‘s TOP FIVE cemeteries, in horror movies. As with all my list posts, this is entirely an opinion piece – if you disagree, or have preferred horror movie cemeteries, be sure to leave a comment with your favorites!


Night Of The Living Dead [1968]

Because of course I would be adding this movie! Esthetically, this cemetery isn’t really isn’t anything spectacular that makes it stand out, but the scenery around it is very nice..especially for wandering zombies – even though we never really see one come from inside a grave! In real life, this location is known as Evans City Cemetery, and if you find yourself curious, this website compares the film and the cemetery as it stands today!


Braindead [1992]

often referred to as the goriest film of all time, Braindead strongly deserves that title. It’s extremely gory, even for a film that doesn’t take itself too seriously.. Even the scene above shows that Peter Jackson was a master at making gory horror flicks in his early days as a Director.


Nightbreed [1990]

You know what I like more than slasher films? Monster movies; specifically – movies like NightbreedThe movie follows a troubled young man, who is drawn to a mythical place under a cemetery called Midian. In Midian, he quickly learns that there are a variety of monsters are hiding.. from the humanity above. After Hellraiser, I fell in love with Clive Barker‘s work, and Nightbreed confirmed it.


Drag Me To Hell [2009]

Say what you will, but I actually really enjoyed Sam Raimi‘s return to horror with Drag Me To Hell; it was dark and gritty, it had the slapstick humor that Raimi is known for, and most importantly – it had a really dirty cemetery scene..which I loved. If you enjoyed Drag Me To Hell, let me know in a comment! I can’t be the only one..


Army Of Darkness [1992]

Speaking of Raimi, who could forget the scene in this movie when Ash forgets the ‘magic’ words from the Necronomicon? it’s funny, it’s slapstick silly, and it’s probably the most memorable cemetery on this entire list! And that’s saying something!


So what have we learned today? Besides the obvious, cemeteries aren’t always made the same in movies. Sure, they are the birth place of the hoards of the undead, and in the case of a Zombie Apocalypse, expect every grave to be a “Clown Car Grave“. As with most of my ‘list’ posts, there is literally thousands of different cemeteries I could have mentioned for this list. Hell, I’m sure I’m going to get comments asking why this cemetery wasn’t added or this one; and I’ll quickly realize that I didn’t even consider/think of that one! So now I ask you: what is your favorite horror movie cemetery/resting place? Did I mention it above? If not, let me know in a comment or two! I’d love to compare lists!

Also, if you found yourself to enjoy this article, please take a minute and follow me over on my Facebook page [it’s at over 100+ likes – thanks so much!] By clicking “like”, you’ll see every post from warrenisweird the very moment it’s been posted. I also share links to articles and pictures/videos that will not be featured here on the blog. Every “like” helps me a ton, giving me the ability to write more posts for you guys to read, so be sure to tell the horror enthusiast in your life to do the same, and share the page with your family and friends!

THANKS FOR READING.

FIVE Pokémon that are secretly TERRIFYING

From working a ton, to visiting friends [this guy, and this guy] and family [out of town, which is why I’ve only been posting on the Facebook page, rather than here lately] – I’ve been a fairly busy guy this past week. But when I got home Monday night, I didn’t want to jump on the computer and type away, so I decided to take a blast to the past and play Pokémon Heart Gold on the 3DS; which I got as a gift from one of the above said friends.I completely forgot how much I love the games [I grew up playing Pokémon Blue and Red] with the cute characters, the battling mechanics, and most of all – the “gotta catch ’em all” feelings you get when you throw that famous Pokéball : it’s all around good natured, child-friendly fun.. Or is it?

Let’s quickly recap, in case you have been living under a rock for the past 15+ years or you haven’t played the games, Pokémon is a long running video game series where your objective is to collectively ‘catch’ over 600 creatures and make them battle each other to level up and “evolve” them to stronger monsters. If you’re against the whole animal cruelty thing, you can alternatively have them participate in contests, judging their beauty with different accessories on them, and so forth. I guess it’s also fair to mention that in the game, you leave home at the age of ten to find and “train” these wild monsters..

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[relevant to this blog’s Pokédex]

Now the reason this post is titled “secretly terrifying” is because although it’s marketed to [ten + year old] kids, many of the Pokédex – an electronic ingame Pokémon encyclopedia – entries are creepy as fuck.. like morbidly creepy. It makes you wonder how some of these slipped past game-censors, and how parents would feel if they knew what little Tommy was playing with..To make this list easier, I have included a picture of the “creepy Pokémon“, and added it’s Pokédex entry [also stating which game the entry is from]. So grab your Pokédexes, and let’s have some nostalgic fun, shall we?


Kadabra:

Pokédex Entry: It happened one morning – a boy with extrasensory powers awoke in bed had transformed into Kadabra. [as per Pokémon Fire Red]

Starting off with one of the more what the fuck moments in the very first Generation of the series, Kadabra is already kinda spooky looking. But to know that this “pocket monster” was once human makes it downright terrifying! If that’s not enough, Kadabra has a similar look and feel to Baphomet – the Freemason’s god. In all seriousness though, this basically tells us that trainers who have one of these, are “training” a child..to battle monsters..to the death. yup.


Yanmask:

Pokédex Entry: Each of them carries a mask that used to be it’s face when it was human. Sometimes, they look at it and cry. [as per Pokémon Black]

Based on this particular entry, we’re introduced to a pretty deep – yet messed up concept as if it was completely normal. According to this, humans [and trainers alike] can die and ultimately turn into Yamasks. If that’s not bad enough, it basically gets humiliated by losing it’s entirety of its human body except the fucking face: WHICH IT THEN CARRIES AROUND AS A MASK!!


Haunter:

Pokédex Entry: It’s tongue is made of gas. If licked, it’s victim starts shaking constantly until death eventually comes.. [as per Pokémon Silver]

It’s one thing that Haunter‘s tongue is made of gas, I mean it is a ghost – but to know even the slightest of touch will kill it’s enemy? that’s dark..even for what we’ve seen already. The above entry doesn’t even try and deny that fainting is just a term used for death in the Pokémon world! The scariest part of this creature is that if you remember the TV show, during the opening theme, Haunter actually licks Ash‘s Charmander: what does that tell us? the shaking is clearly visible..[check it out here]


Darumaka:

Pokédex Entry: Darumaka’s droppings are so hot, people used to put them in their clothing to keep themselves warm.. [as per Pokémon White]

Although cute, Darumaka is a strange creature; even by Pokémon standards. In a world where all of society seems to only care about pocket creatures that are constantly beating each other up – which seems to be the norm amongst kids – the concept that people are putting scalding hot monster feces in their pockets to “keep warm” is probably the most fucked-up thing on this list – and that’s passing the fact that some Pokémon hold their dead face around.


Cubone:

Pokédex Entry: It always wears the skull of it’s dead Mother, no one has any idea what it’s hidden face looks like. [as per Pokémon Silver]

Hard to believe that as a kid, Cubone was actually my favorite Pokémon, I loved it’s design, it’s move set and even it’s evolve form [Marowak, which has the deceased Mother’s skull fused to it’s face] it blew my mind as I grew older to know that it’s skull mask isn’t a “mask”.. This Pokémon is more depressing than any, and I still love Cubone.


Obviously, there’s more than just these five Pokémon that can be classified as “terrifying”. There’s many psychic types that even go so far as to kidnap kids, or even eat their dreams! And that only marks seven total – out of over 600! But now I ask you: which creepy critter is your favorite? Did it make this list? Let me know in a comment or two! Also, if you found yourself to enjoy this piece, please take a minute and follow me over on Facebook where you can click the “like” button on my Facebook page. By clicking “like”, you’ll see every post from warrenisweird the very moment it’s been posted. I also share things that will not be featured here on the blog.  So be sure to tell the horror enthusiast in your life to do the same, and share the page with family and friends! The page only needs FIVE more “likes” until we’re at the 100 mark! [there will be a celebratory post when it’s reached!]

THANKS FOR READING.

the SCARIEST “whistle” you’ve ever heard: the Aztec Death whistle

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It’s one thing not to like a certain type of instrument, like a Tuba or even an Oboe. But what about something different? Something ancient, from hundreds [if not, thousands] of years old.. something like a death whistle! Described as the “scream of a thousand corpses”, this “death whistle” sounds like the cry of the undead, or at the very least, the torment of a human being burned alive! Oddly enough, these skull shaped whistles were actually discovered over 20 years ago by Archaeologists, but, were figured to be toys for the Aztec children. Even if they were looked on to be just “toys”, most of the studies behind them focused on how they looked, rather than what they could possibly sound like. However, with the fearsome sound of the whistle discovered, it’s gaining notice of scientists, other archeologists, and historians everywhere!

and sometimes, the dead are buried with one of these “whistles”..

Roberto Velazquez, a man who has spent several years trying to recreate the sounds of his ancestors, has claimed that the Aztecs played the ‘Whistles Of Death’ just before they were sacrificed to the Gods. This way, the sound of the death whistle would help the deceased, as they journey into the Underworld. Other Aztec tribes would use the whistle and it’s terrifying sounds as psychological warfare, as a way to scare their enemies at the start of battle.. [and based on the sound of the whistle – I can see why this was effective!]

Before this discovery, archeologists figured the existence of other types of noisemakers that were used by the Aztecs: which were made of clay, turkey feathers, sugar cane, frog skins and other materials – with each one serving a different, yet specific, purpose. Conch shells, for instance, were used at the beginning of ceremonies, while hunters used animal-shaped instruments to produce sounds that lured deer, and other wild animals. Medical scientists also believe that the Aztecs may have used sounds as a way to cure illnesses. But in the end, it is the Death Whistle that generates the strongest reactions, mainly due to the creepy sound it makes when blown into!

Not surprisingly though, getting an authentic Death Whistle is pretty damn unlikely – but if you wanted, you can always hear what one sounds like thanks to YouTube musician Xavier Quijas Yxayotl. He actually uploaded a video of himself blowing into the Death Whistle, even warning people that it isn’t for the faint of heart! Before exampling it, he says:

We call this the ‘death whistle’ that the Aztecs used for special ceremonies – for Day of the Dead celebrations, and also they use it when they have a war, when they fight with other tribes. They would play over a hundred instruments, a hundred death whistles, marching to cause a big psychological effect to the enemy..”

If I still have you reading up to this point, and you’re genuinely curious – I’ve actually included the video of Yxayotl blowing into the Death Whistle below: as previously stated, the sound it makes isn’t for everyone so watch at your own risk! It’s probably the most terrifying sound, especially since it was used to effect enemies on a psychological level!

So there you have it, the most terrifying instrument I’ve ever seen, It’s no Tuba or Oboe, but it’s something more terrifying: the Aztec Death Whistle.

THANKS FOR READING

“The Island Of The Dolls” is HAUNTINGLY beautiful

let’s be honest for half a second; We’ve all heard of supposed actual haunted houses and even homes where people were actually murdered — the list goes on when it comes to the topic of “real horror”. But what about a “man-made” island in Xochimilco, Mexico known only as La Isla de las Muñecas or more commonly: The Island Of The Dolls?  Through-out the pictures I will be sharing about La Isla de las Muñecas, you’ll notice that there are dolls hanging from the trees, while sometimes they’re found hanging from clotheslines like clothing left to dry on a hot summer’s day. Other times, you’ll find yourself tripping over the ones on the ground. Their [now] dead eyes will stare at you from empty sockets with their dirty hair hanging like loose strings. Their skin is grossly scabbed and decaying, their broken off limbs can be found scattered everywhere— there’s even decapitated doll heads impaled on stakes! It’s nightmare fuel at it’s finest — with hundreds of dolls just hanging about! This is none other than the infamous Island Of The Dolls. But questions remain; what’s the hell is the deal with this place?

Don Julián Santana and one of his [many] dolls

It all starts with this man, Don Julián Santana. He was once the owner of the quiet island and was a local farmer in the area. According to legend, [just to make it scarier of course] He watched a young girl drown in a canal, presumably on the island, and since then has claimed she has been haunting the island. As an almost “protection” from her spirit, Don Julián began collecting dolls from trash bins, small bazaars, or/and anywhere he could get his hands on them. As he gathered the dolls, he started hanging them from trees like a demented, creepy Christmas Tree.. It was only when he ran out of branches [that’s a lot of trees] that he started just scattering them about the island; including decapitated dolls on fences. Over the span of 50 years, he had collected over 1,500 dolls for his island! His first doll  is actually still there, it can be found in the shed closest to the entrance to the island — naturally, because of it’s age, it’s probably the creepiest thing doll on the island, [in my opinion] looking like the corpse of a child: as seen below.

even the hat looks chewed up..50 years can do that to you.

Unfortunately, Santana died of a heart attack back in 2001, there’s a small white cross near the shore on the island which marks his grave. His cousin Anastasio, actually  now lives on the island, running it as a [fairly popular] tourist attraction. Anastasio claims that The spirit of the little girl is still there, It’s important not to remove the dolls. But probably the creepiest thing he has said [in interviews, and what not] is that at night, these dolls come alive! I think Anastasio said it best when he said:

“They will move their heads and whisper to each other. It’s very spooky, but I have gotten used to it..”

Assuming you’re wanting to visit La Isla de las Muñecas, it takes about two hours by boat and leads you through quiet green lands where wild animals can be found living peacefully. It’s far off from the craziness that is Mexico City, considering it’s a sprawling capital has roughly 9 million people. On the island though, the only people calling it home are Anastasio and his cousin’s 1,500 dolls.

Would you ever visit La Isla de las Muñecas? Why or why not? [this is assuming you haven’t already: if you have, that’s fucking cool!]  I think it’d be really interesting, especially for the ‘creepy’ factor — though, I think Stephanie would be against the idea of going, as she’d probably find it too creepy.

THANKS FOR READING.