Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Bloody dozy, bloody dozy, bloody dozy

Movie • DEAD MARY • 2007
Watching this movie made me feel like muckitypoo. It was bloody bad. Time for nappy-naps. The twisted tension between the characters never makes sense despite their ability to spell out the characters within the first twenty minutes. You get everyone’s story, and it’s all so borey. I think the movie was supposed to be a metaphor for the depressing monotony of life.
Just like a cliché horror slasher Blair Witch flavored teen angst crumb bucket, this picture uses all the ingredients popular with producers. Apparently the old urban legend of Bloody Mary is too dull, so these camping characters assert that Bloody Mary is the “lame version” of Dead Mary. So, say “Dead Mary” three times in a mirror when you are alone, and you’ll be bored to death.
The only saving grace I found — and I’m not even certain it’s not just a seed for a trash sequel — was the character of Ted. He’s mentioned several times, but never shows up. I’m hoping they were meaning to draw a connection to Waiting for Godot, and leaving the characters to dwell in dismal uncertainty. Nah, they couldn’t be so clever. Skip this one; and if there’s a sequel, just throw it back at the mirror and hope for seven years of bad luck. You’ll have a better time of it.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Ruby’s ghost tale is a gem

Book • LILY’S GHOSTS • Laura Ruby • 2003
I was perusing the kids’ section at my local mom & pop bookstore and found this prize amongst the crème de la crème. It’s actually for mature young readers, but all-ages enjoyable.
Not to be confused with our good friend, LilyBat the vampire girl, Lily is a young girl who lives with her mom. Always on the move, they’ve settled in at Lily’s uncle’s house on the tiptoe of New Jersey in Cape May. Lily makes friends, living and dead fairly quickly, but there is a mystery to solve. Every good ghost story involves a mystery, but we get to have a run-in with a pirate’s ghost and his treasure too - crikey!
Yo-ho, scallywags! This young adult book doesn’t treat you like a baby, so prepare for real family issues and problems that aren’t diluted or ignored. Single mothers and their daughters have real feelings. So do local misfit boys and ghosts.
It gets a little far-fetched at the end. I’m not talking about ghostly happenings, though. We all know that’s real. I was just a little amused by the motivations of some of the characters. Don’t worry, it didn’t do me head in thinking about it. Get your claws on a copy of this book!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

In the aisle for the macabre bibliophile

Christina Maxwell representing Baby Tattoo Books for Bob Self.

Books • Publisher • BABY TATTOO
Another great find at ComicCon this week was Baby Tattoo Books. The brain managing the publishing soma was a man named, Bob. He demonstrates a terrific energy and passion for the dreadfully delicious art he publishes. When someone is doing what they love, you can tell because the work is always preeminent and appealing. And brill as a whippoorwill.
While LilyBat took DeMonica off to lunch, Betty Bones and I devoured all the smashing volumes at this booth, and found so many great books! You can bet your knickers I'll be reviewing the long ton I bought there. How I wish I found the booth later in the day, though. They’re still sewing my shoulder back on.
You can see the Baby Tattoo blog here for information on upcoming books and events.

Unidentified work by Viktor Koen from forthcoming Baby Tattoo book.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Beware the cursed bear

Toys •
Censorship alert! LilyBat and I met a boy named Aaron at ComiCon in NYC this weekend. He makes bears that swear at you! They’re so sweet and cheeky! I can’t say any of the words they say, or my tongue might fall out. Butter sticks! You just have to see them! There are several generations of plush, vinyl, and mini Swear Bears. He even has T-shirts with the vulgar little buggers.
We bought one of the vinyl Swear Bears from the picture above. The skelly bear second from the top left. Betty Bones squealed when she saw it, so we gave it to her. I’m sure DeMonica would have loved the Devil bear on the bottom left, but she’s been a bit bratty lately.
If you visit the site, please say hi from the GirlMonsters, and definitely buy one of those delicious little insulting bears.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Boogily boy artist

Website, Toys, Art • GUS FINK'S BOOGILY
Where to start with this boy??? I went to ComiCon in NYC with the rest of the girls this past weekend. What jolly old time we had! We met lots of smashing artists, and bought so many books and toys my shoulder fell off!
Gus Fink was one of the artists we fell in love with. His Boogily Heads were brilliant! He makes the cutest little bobble heads you ever did see (and he was a cutie-pie as well ;) - He also makes some delicious looking plush monsters. I wanted to eat them up, nom nom nom!
I bought four of his Boogilies because of budget constraints, but I wish I had the guts to nick a few more. Go buy some at or look at his amazing art at Tell him Abby Cadaver said hi! I think DeMonica has a crush on him, but she’s a cheeky monkey, and I called dibs anyway.
I'll review some more pictures next week because I’m rattling on about what I saw at ComiCon for the rest of this week.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Frankenstein power activate! Form of astronaut!

What a relief! I’ve watched too many modern humdrum horrors lately. The silly billies who put this movie together should get an award. The Play-Doh make-up, poorly integrated stock NASA and military footage, and the ridiculous costumes come together like a yummy fruit tort. I devoured it in one big bite.
Okay, so Frankenstein isn’t the Franky we all know and love. His name’s been exploited since the success of Universal’s Frankenstein. This guy is more like a zombie-android astronaut built like a public relations Steve Austin who turns dumb after he blows a circuit. At one point when he becomes injured he reminded me of Jason Voorhees. And the monster he meets isn’t until the very end.
It all wraps up nicely, but the real present is the meat in the sandwich. These characters are hilarious! Sit down on a warm, sunny Saturday afternoon when no one likes to be outside; and enjoy Frankenstein Meets the Spacemonster with friends. You’ll have tons to make fun of. My favorite character was Dr. Nadir, played by Lou Cuttel. He looks and sounds like Jon Lovitz. I kept expecting him to say, “It stinks!”
I need this soundtrack. If anyone knows where I can get my hands on it, please let me know in the comments.
Lou Cuttel as Dr. Nadir looks and sounds like Jon Lovitz.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

I want your skulls, I need your skulls

Website •
My friend Betty Bones told me about this site, and I love it. I had to share it with you. For the record, the above rating is my highest rating, and this is the first time I’ve given out five wide open eyeballs!
I really admire Skull-A-Day’s ability to show the beauty most people don’t see in what they consider to be the grotesque. He puts up a fabulous new skull image every day! They are all so creative and artistic. Bravo. I only wish I found it sooner. He’s only doing it for a year, and the year is almost up already. Maybe you can contact him to convince him to continue!
It’s also up for a Webby Award, so show some love, and vote!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Her today, gone Tamara

Movie • TAMARA • 2005
For the record, the above graphic is my worst rating. I think I need to make a new one with all five eyes completely closed, dried up, and sewn shut. I don’t usually lose my appetite when I watch my scary movies, but Tamara made me want to wretch… and it wasn't the particular scene where she used her powers to make a girl chuck her dessert. The only kudos I extend for this movie are for the fact that they actually had me hoping for a particular death scene, and they yanked it away from me. It may have been a first. Fast forward through to see it. Hint: It almost had me wishing for smelevision. It would have smelled delicious!
Okay, to start… what’s with all the dead student returns for revenge themes? They are filling my DVR like factory-made cannoli cream. Second… I don’t understand why witchcraft is represented as evil way too often. Third… If you ask me, aside from acting like a floozy in the second half of her duality role, she deserved revenge for how she was treated. But they always have to toss in a true-love moment that saves those that have any good in them. Boring.
Bah! Why am I even spending time writing this. Tamara was a bad movie, and I wasted enough time. Bad gore. Boring premise. I need to watch a good, silly black & white monster movie to get the taste out of my mouth.
PS Believe it or not it was really me, Abby Cadaver who wrote this, not LilyBat. But I’m sure she’ll agree.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Alice in Murderland

Movie • ALICE, SWEET ALICE • 1977
It’s one of those religious themed scary movies form the 70’s. There are no monsters in this movie, but Paula Sheppard who plays Alice sure pulls off the scary little girl so well, I am still haunted by her face. It should be noted that a little known Brooke Shields was in this as Alice’s little sister, but it’s no spoiler to say she dies very early on. I’m disheartened to see that some DVD covers give her name top billing when her role lasts about as long as a Lemon Meringue Pie at a hungry crone tea party. Trust me – she’s not the reason to see this. Paula Sheppard is.
Oh, and get ready for the creepiest landlord you’ll ever witness. Played by Alphonso DeNoble, he steps out of a Rob Zombie movie then gets into a time machine, and steals the show in Alice, Sweet Alice. I was rooting for Alice to put the creepy landlord out of his misery.
If you know me, you know I love everybody, but I think I hated everyone in this movie. I also wanted Alice to cook the goose of everyone from her naggy Aunt Annie to the old lady, Mrs. Tredoni.
The blame is laid out so carefully that you just know there has to be a better explanation for all we witness. Of course there is, but you’ll have to see it yourself. I was slightly impressed, and fooled only a bit.
As a bonus, keep your eyes out for the delicious chocolate cake Alice gives to Mr. Alfonso after her sister’s funeral. And for all you “I spy” players, take a look at the priest, and tell me he doesn’t look like Seth McFarland. Now I want to give confession to Brian the dog.
Paula Sheppard as Alice Spages.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

TOHO massacres Frankenstein

This wasn’t as good as I remembered. There was a time when giant monster movies were all the rage, and everyone was trying to capitalize on the successes of Godzilla and King Kong including TOHO themselves. This is one of those efforts that clearly failed. It’s another movie warning of the dangers of fiddling with atomic bombs, but they twist it up like a churro with warnings of nazis and cloning. A lot is implied, but very little is explained. The writers, and thus the characters jump to all sorts of conclusions.
There is a contrived battle with the giant monster, Baragon that ends so poorly, I wondered how much time they had to write this. It’s as if they realized they created a seriously lame character in this giant Frankenstein boy, and figured they’d flush it down the toilet before it got too big to feed.
The acting is fun and over-the-top the way it should be, but the movie itself doesn’t come together. Definitely see it if you are into the goofball side of giant monster movies, but don’t expect it to be as much fun as a genuine Godzilla movie.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Rest your scary head

Website • SEW
I found the unique work of this independent artist who has an appreciation for monsters and the spooky side of things. Her crafty items caught my eye (don’t worry, I got it back and popped it in again; but I kept the pin). She uses pin-up style devil-girl and Frankenstein’s monster themes. Check out her pillows and quilts. Much nicer than some silly country themed floral wagon wheel picture. Stop by, and let her know Abby Cadaver sent you.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Queen of Wands, that’s good Tarot

I stumbled upon this a few days ago, and sat on it to decide whether it was worth mentioning. Then I went there again, and wondered what I was waiting for. I could look at my future, contemplate my present, and study my past forever! Click on the “Tarot Reading” tab to try the cards. You won’t be able to stop.
There are also some graphics to download, and mystical recipes presented in a retro-fashion that look famously delicious!
I’m going to tell Betty about this. I think she’ll love it too.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Zombies are a girl’s best friend

Movie • ZOMBIES OF MORA TAU • 1957
First things first. The old lady in this movie has a Great Dane very much like the one I neglected to mention in in The Undying Monster a few days ago. I made a point to omit my fascination with its presence because there really wasn’t much point. Now I’m wondering if Great Danes were the Rottweilers of yesteryear. We’ve seen Doberman Pinchers and German Shepherds as the ‘bad’ dogs, but I’m wondering if these Great Danes were considered ‘good’ dogs.
Back to business… I believe the Twilight Zone first aired in 1958, but I think there may have been a radio show earlier than that. Anyway, the opening crawl (which isn’t crawling, so is it a crawl at all?) read as follows:
In the darkness of an ancient world -- there is a Twilight Zone between life and death. Here dwell those nameless creatures who are condemned to prowl the land eternally -- the walking dead.
I found the use of that term interesting. I’d love to hear from you on this.
This has to be the first movie where zombies walk under water, and they did a terrific job. Zombie sailors are protecting a treasure of sunken diamonds off the coast of Africa, and many expeditions have died and “undied” trying to retrieve them.
I loved the cast that felt right out of Hogan’s Heroes. The heroes and their hussy were in direct contrast with the old lady and her snowflake great-granddaughter. Of course they had to give the sailor girl attitude. That was the excuse for subjecting her to spousal abuse. We were meant to dislike her. After all, someone has to join the zombies. By the way, the zombies are super-thug sailor zombies apparently made of steel! They just don’t go down. You go, zombies!
Even if you don’t like the movie, it’s worth seeing the Titanic / Ben Kenobi ending. Trust me.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Tha Saragossa ghosta

I got to see this on the large screen this weekend. I’d never heard of it before, but it’s apparently a favorite of Martin Scorsese, Luis Buñuel, and Jerry Garcia. I was grateful to see it to say the least, but I can’t count it amongst my favorites. I don’t mind watching a 3 hour movie with subtitles, but The Saragossa Manuscript got awfully confusing.
It’s simple enough to follow at first. An officer finds a book in an abandoned building in the middle of a battle. He begins to read about a soldier who meets a couple of beautiful ghosts who claim to be related to him… but also want to marry him… both of them. Is it every man’s fantasy to marry two ghosts? The ghosts and all the other characters he meets tell him tales from the past to lead him to understanding his place in eternity, but that’s where it gets freaky and beyond. Each tale goes deeper by having characters that also must tell stories that begin in flashback style, but soon get so complicated themselves that you forget which story is being told by whom. It seemed convoluted for the sake of it. I imagine Jan Patocki’s novel reads the same without the humor that was injected into the film. The humor is what saved the film for me, by the way.
In the end, it all made sense… kind of, but it had to be the most convoluted ghost story I’ve ever heard. By the time you finished telling it the camp fire would have gone out, and there’d be no time for s’mores!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Undying toffee

They shouldn’t tell you this is a werewolf movie because it’s more of a mystery, and the werewolf is part of it. I DVR’ed this a while back and tried watching it a few times. Every time I fell asleep. Nothing like a good bedtime story. That’s what I get for watching it in the middle of the day.
I finally watched it in the middle of the night when I’m wide awake. Yippee, not as boring as I thought! It’s based on the novel of the same name by Jesse Douglas Kerruish. I bet it’s a pretty good read, and would make a scrumptious gift ;)
It’s all about the secrets in this movie so I’m going to recommend it to Betty Bones. She loves secrets. It’s funny how everyone is devious and mysterious until the end when it’s all solved. Then they couldn’t be more chummy… even though people died.
My hero in this was Ms. Cornelia Christopher or ‘Christi’ as they called her. She multi-tasked investigating monsters and making what looked like a delicious batch of cappuccino and toffee using equipment from the laboratory. She’s always famished, and she makes a good point when she says, “Lunch comes but once a day.” She grins when she hears clanking chains, and when she finds out there’s a crypt in the house. She’s my kind of gal. I shivered when she declared, “Monster? Now we’re getting somewhere.” Her enthusiasm for monsters and dessert won me over, but her taste in decor was brilliant too. She described Helga’s mansion as a “divinely gloomy old house.” Helga is the heir to the Hammond fortune, but that’s plot stuff I won’t bother you with.
Watch this movie with a plate of toffee and remember… When the stars are bright on a frosty night, beware the bane on a rocky lane.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Werewolf SMASH!

Movie • THE WEREWOLF • 1956
This one’s been eating a hole in my DVR for a long time, but now I wish I’d watched it earlier. I was a little leery because I never really loved Lon Chaney, Jr.’s The Wolfman from 1941. This werewolf, played by Steven Ritch is much more convincing. Not so much the make-up or effects. That was pretty standard, and not much of a leap for a decade and a half later. But his acting was superb. A bit melodramatic at times, but that appeared to be the director’s instruction.
It began with narration very much in they style of a detective story, with storyboarding leaving me wondering why not much else from the 50’s looks this good. The angles were brilliant and the shadows were delicious. All of it was artfully done, though, at one point I was reminded that these times were a bit different when a patient was smoking in the doctor’s office.
It was interesting to see that this werewolf in particular didn’t need a full moon to change. It was kind of random, but I’ll leave that plot device for you to discover. It seemed fear, anger and pain triggered his changes. Sounds a lot like The Hulk. I half expected to hear, “Mr. McGee, don’t make me fuzzy. You wouldn’t like me when I’m fuzzy,” but there was no one named Mr. McGee ;)
Werewolf SMASH!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Terrore Nello Spazio

I bought a soundtrack a long time ago from a movie called Terrore Nello Spazio. I’ll review that later, but you kind of get the hint when I tell you I looked for this movie after hearing the soundtrack.
When watching, please disregard (or enjoy) the silly technical phrases like, “Meteor Rejector.” Also take the time to w00t for the leather astro-outfits. You don’t get great costumes like this these days. Now, these aren’t your run-of-the-mill vampires. In fact they aren’t really much like vampires at all. They’re aliens looking for bodies to occupy, but the plot twists better than Twizzlers. This is a must-see for anyone who loves some of the sci-fi classics like Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The Day The Earth Stood Still and Forbidden Planet.
This cast, set, and creative team could have or should have worked together to do more. The story easily set up a sequel. I imagine with Hollywood’s inability to create anything new, someone will come along a remake this one. But, just like that delicious triple layered chocolate cake you remember from your 10th birthday no one will ever make another like it.