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Archive for the tag “Witch”

Autumn of Terror: My Favourite Monsters Part 2

By @hmsbeefnuts

Yesterday I brought you part one of a two part blog about my favourite versions of all the classic monsters. Well guess what? Here is part two, so you know the deal, here comes some more monsters that I love, and some more honourable mentions that I love almost, but not quite, as much. Part One can be found here. Part Two starts…. Now.


Zombies really don’t have that much in the name of variety. You have your standard undead, raised by magic, meteorites or simply if Hell is full with souls, and your voodoo type slave zombies. I happen to like the undead type, and what better, more horrible zombies than the Nazi variety. Call of Duty is a great game and the zombie mode is always fun. The scary thing about zombies is that on there own, they can be quite manageable, it is only when there are a crowd that things become a problem. When that crowd comes running screaming towards you, dressed like nazis, shit has really hit the fan, all one can hope is the magic box grants you a ray gun…


Little girl rage zombies, well that is just scary as shit right?


Responsible for more children’s nightmares than any other monster on this list, The Wicked Witch of the West is the perfect embodiment of evilness. Green skin, perfect witchy outfit, broom stick, hatred of children and general goodness, and if that’s not enough, she has flying blue monkey soldiers, and it doesnt get more evil than that.


The head witch is very scary. That moment when she takes her face off, absolutely terrifying, and she looks grotesque. Imagine waking up to that? No thanks.


I like my Mummies wrapped in bandages and the Hammer mummy looks creepiest to me. Boris Karloff may be one of my favourite horror actors, but then so is Christopher Lee, and his eyes are way creepier than the Universal Mummy.


If Karloff had stayed in the bandages all the way through the film, he would have been my ultimate choice, however, he doesn’t and is quickly portrayed as a Dracula type figure. Love that black and white picture though.


I have always loved this look for Mr. Hyde. Very simian looking, very primal, and a brilliant transformation scene. It has to be this version of Hyde, it is the greatest.


Forget the film, the comic version of this Mr  Hyde is king. The way he deals with the invisable man alone proves this.


Lon Chaney Snr. old school make up job, say no more.


Bela Lugosi played an evil hunchback assisstant in Son of Frankenstein, almost the best.

Top 5 Monster Mocumentaries/Found Footage Films

By @hmsbeefnuts

I have recently written about the Top 10 Documentaries that I think are definitely worth checking out, which you can check out here, and here. Whilst writing the lists, I decided that I should also write a blog about mockumentaries, and as monster/horror mockumentaries are a particular favourite, well I should base my list on this specific genre. I do like a good mockumentary, and I think that the found footage genre, which I am including in this list (OK so found footage isn’t strictly mockumentary, but is usually based on a fake documentary that was being filmed, until something unfortunate happened to the film makers), is a decent way to ramp up tension and scares, when used well. I’m not including the Paranormal Activity films in this list, as although thoroughly decent and effective, the characters in them aren’t really filming documentaries, and so I didn’t feel like they belonged in this list. Right, enough pre-amble, lets get down to some films shall we?


That was the only picture I could find for this film. Honest…. Anyway. HmmHmm. Incident At Loch Ness is a wonderful film that follows film maker Werner Herzog filming a documentary on the enigma of the Loch Ness Monster, and the various problems that he encounters. Obviously, Herzog is playing up to his great director image, and is having a whole heap of fun throwing hissy fits at his interfering producer and crew of misfits. Of course, there may or may not be real trouble on, or under, the Loch (hint: there probably is) and things start to go tragically wrong. I loved this film, it is a bit of a favourite of mine, and as a fan of Herzog’s real documentaries, it is a brilliant device to use Herzog in this way. I have been to Loch Ness, and there is definitely an air of mystery there, although I don’t actually think a dinosaur lives under the murky depths, but how amazing if it did?!? It’s hard to write a great deal about these kind of films without spoiling them slightly, but I will say that if you like Herzog, have any interest in Loch Ness at all, or like a good monster tale, Incident at Loch Ness is well worth a look.


A Norwegian mockumentary about three film students following a mysterious bear hunter around the wilds of Norway, Troll Hunter is absolutely first rate. When ‘bears’ come too close to population centers, Hans is called in to hunt the animal. Turns out though that bears are not the real problem in Norway. Hans is really a Troll hunter, and he agrees to the students following him around on his trips and filming the results. This leads the viewers on a trip through some magical scenery, where we encounter a number of different Trolls. The film is funny, exciting and tense when it needs to be, and yes, it has subtitles, but that only lends itself to the films ‘believability’. You should check this out immediately.


This is a very new entry, and to be honest, is a little ‘straight to DVD’ smelling, but I’m a sucker for Bigfoot, and although there are many better films out there, I personally liked this quite a bit. The story goes, a man contacts a TV documentary crew about a dead Bigfoot that he has obtained. Obviously they set out to film a documentary about this guy and his story. He happens to live in the middle of nowhere, and his property is surrounded by some very unfriendly locals. This is a bit by the numbers, and it doesn’t really do anything too original, although the ending was different, but the Bigfoot connection won the day for me. I would recommend this film if you like the genre, or Bigfoot, or both.


Well this is the grandaddy of the bunch. The film that started the found footage boom, although not the first example of the genre, this is certainly the best known. Three film students decide to film a documentary about the Blair Witch, a local legend of witchcraft and child murder, that doesn’t exactly go as planned thanks to the titular Witch. I’m sure most have you have seen this film, and there is a reason why that is so, it’s pretty damn good. The film is bleak, and the tension and horror of being lost in the woods is very apparent, and that’s before you add a pissed off Witch. I re-watched this recently and it still has a big effect. I’m not a huge fan of the ending, but the film was a breath of fresh air at the time, and is still well worth seeing, even if it’s originality has been dulled by imitators.


I love the exorcism sub-genre, I find all the Catholic mystery and demons etc. fascinating, even if it is bullshit. Well I could not have been happier with this film. Basically, a documentary crew follows an exorcist around on what is supposed to be his last job. He is tired of making a living out of lies and cheap parlour tricks, and has decided to ‘come out’ on film and expose his job as the theatrical show that it is. Of course, his last job may not be his easiest, and in fact, may be a real case of possession. I enjoyed this film immensely, and loved the ending, the characters are likeable and the story far more complex than initially thought. It does have it’s fair share of scary bits and is a great film for Halloween.

The Magical World of Miyazaki: Kiki’s Delivery Service

  By Geeky Gem

As you all know I have a thing for Studio Ghibli movies and have seen close to all of them, in these articles I have and will continue to tell you about them. This time I thought I would tell you about Kiki’s Delivery Service.

Kiki’s Delivery Service first came out in Japan in 1989, and was translated and released in the UK in 1997. It was the first release from the Disney/Ghibli partnership. The film was a success for Ghibli as are so many of their movies. It won the Animage Anime Grand Prix prize in 1989, the movie is loosely based on the novel of the same name by Eiko Kadono. Again this movie was written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki.

According to Miyazaki the movie touches on the gulf that exists between independence and reliance in Japanese teenage girls. Going beyond the coming of age themes, this movie deals with the nature of creativity and talent, and the central difficulty every person faces in becoming themselves, whether through luck, hard work or confidence: the inner movie explores the same questions that are later asked in Whisper of the Heart, which we will come to on this journey.

Kiki is a 13 year old witch-in-training, living in a village where her mother is local herbalist. It is traditional for witches to live for a year on their own when they reach 13 years of age. At the start of the story Kiki takes off for the big city with her best friends Jiji her cat. Kiki decides to live in the city of Koirko which is on the coast near a beautiful sea. After a hard start, Kiki finds herself some friends and a place to stay. But she only has one of her witch abilities which is she can fly a broomstick. Which at first she is not very good at. She decides in order to look after herself and earn some money that she will open a delivery service.

As you can imagine Kiki does have some set backs, and many are to do with her adolescent worries. She is also chased all over town by a boy called Tombo, the local crazy boy who is mad about aviation and is fascinated by Kiki’s ability to fly. Kiki eventually warms up to him and they become friends. After a nasty event involving some of Tombo’s friends Kiki is left very upset, so much so that her ability to talk to Jiji and fly disappears. She now has to figure out how to get these powers back. When Tombo’s ends up in some trouble, Kiki must try to save him, but she still has no powers. It is with this attempt to save him that she regains her powers and rescues her friend. The story carries on through the closing credits, you see Kiki settle into her new home, and she is somewhat of a local celebrity.

By now you should being seeing the themes that run through Miyazaki movies, he wants to portray the struggles of his characters but he makes them so you can relate to them in some way. Here for example we meet Kiki and her struggles to deal with adolescence, something I could relate to very easily, the awkwardness of being a teenager and finding you are now of an age where you have to start being responsible for your actions and choices. This is a hard thing for anyone to get used to. This again is one of Miyazaki’s life telling stories, I think this is the real reason why I like these movies so much.

Again the music is beautiful and always fits fantastically with the action on the screen. Its one thing that isn’t lost in the translation. I have seen this movie in both Japanese and English and as always the voice for both languages is brilliant. There is something about the way Miyazaki picked his actors and he does have a say on who is cats in the English dub version which I think is really important.

This is the part where I tell you if you haven’t seen it then you must, but if you have read the other pieces I have done on Miyazaki and you have liked them and have indeed liked the films if you have seen any of them, then I don’t need to tell you, this Is a must see. You’ll just know, and you’ll add it to the list of things you have to see.

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