Monday, July 30, 2012

Today Has Been a Vincent Price Kind of Day...

Today has just been one of those days where I had the chance to simply laze about and do nothing of importance. It was rather nice actually. So I decided to have myself a themed movie marathon. Vincent Price themed! He always plays the madman so well and most of the horror movies he's in make me laugh at their absurdity. (In a good way!)  So if you haven't seen any of these movies I'm going to recommend them to you.

1) The Pit and the Pendulum (1962)

One of eight films done using the works of Edgar Allen Poe. This is a horror movie people who aren't normally fans of horror movies can enjoy. The violence/blood/gross things are kept to a very extreme minimum, leaving everything to the imagination. A man receives news of his sister's death and is suspicious of the vague details he receives. He travels to the castle to investigate and discovers the ghost of his sister might be haunting the place. But not everything is as it seems...
The atmosphere is done extremely well for such a low budget production and the Gothic castle is dark and elaborately decorated. Vincent Price plays the meek man wonderfully and then rises to his other part with arresting enthusiasm. (Nearly overacting I'd say, but without seeming ridiculous.)  The movie keeps you in a constant state of suspense and the plot is decent.

2) Theatre of Blood (1973)

A Shakespearean actor (Edward Lionheart) is insulted and overlooked for an award and as a result attempts to commit suicide. Failing, he is discovered by a bunch of meth-addicted tramps (Yes, I'm serious) who he manipulates into helping him exact his revenge on the critics. He makes each murder into a performance and reenacts deaths from Shakespeare's plays. This movie is just so amusing with the frenzied actions of Lionheart and his perverse enjoyment in killing each critic. It's campy and fun with just the right amount of horror thrown in.

3) The Masque of the Red Death (1964)

 This is my second favorite Vincent Price film that I've seen to date. Once again, he's playing an insane man (Can we say typecasting?) but the madness is more subdued. Prince Prospero, a devil-worshiping sadist, mistreats the plagued villages and hides in his castle with his shallow courtiers for entertainment. Francesca is a peasant girl he takes an interest in and brings back to the castle with the intent of corrupting her and making her renounce her faith.  The best part is towards the end, when a stranger crashes the masquerade he's holding and it turns into a danse macabre. Prospero learns that not even his 'master' can protect him from the Red Death he so fears.

 4) The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971)

This blows Theatre of Blood away in terms of campiness, (it borders on ridiculous at times) but all the same it's my favorite of the lot. Dr. Phibes, hideously scarred from an accident works to get revenge on the nine doctors he feels are responsible for his wife's death. Dr. Phibes is manic in his obsession, completely mad. He bases the deaths around the plagues of Egypt and utilizes 'darkness' in the finale and his own end. And seriously, Phibes had to be the inspiration for Jigsaw. The scene where he places the lead surgeon in a race against time to save his son is a predecessor to the traps in Saw and much more entertaining. (I've never found the Saw movies very good.)  Granted, it's pretty unrealistic (Especially the locusts) but this horror-comedy really is a must see. I personally wouldn't recommend the sequel, it gets too supernatural for me and I think it ruins a perfect end to the first one.

To wrap it all up and break the Vincent Price pattern I decided to go and watch Carrie. Now I remember why I was so freaked out the first time I saw it. Don't denounce old horror movies. I swear all I'll be seeing is her face in my windows tonight. (Note to self: buy curtains). Her fanatical, abusive mother created a monster and both of them creep me out beyond belief. And you almost forget the film is a horror movie until you get to the prom scene.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

30 Day Clothing Challenge~Day 3: A Piece of Clothing or Jewelry that was a Gift.

This was actually a bit difficult. I just tore apart my closet trying to find something my parents or I hadn't bought while shopping. Gift-wise I tend to ask for books, movies, video games, etc. Plus, my memory is so horrible I could barely remember where I got half of my closet!

This dress was a present from a friend. she wore it once, but she decided it didn't fit her style and handed it over to the first person that wanted it. Lucky me! It's affectionately referred to as "The Trash Bag Dress" because of the shiny black material it's made out of. I haven't had a chance to wear it yet. As pretty as it is, it sits rather high up and I'm afraid it gives that unfortunate 'I'm pregnant' look. I'm trying to figure out how I can fix that, but it might just be being my paranoid self. Eventually, I'll get some use out of it ^^

Then I have my my converse boots. Years ago, I remember begging my parents to get me these for Christmas. Nowadays I'm more of a 'black leather boots' kind of gal, but I still wear these from time to time.

I think the straps are a nice touch.

By the way, my preview option on Blogger doesn't seem to be working. I just get the spinning gears and have to actually publish the post to view it. This is extremely annoying because I like to see how they look before-hand. Is it happening to anyone else?

Swedish Picspam!

Well I did it! (I'm only a few weeks late after all...) It took me an hour or so to sort through ALL THE PICTURES, but here are the ones that made it through inspection and to this blog. It was extremely difficult to find non-derpy ones only featuring me and the countryside/city (Depending on where we were.) I don't believe my family wants their pictures up here for all to see so don't think I'm a camera hog. I'm not, I swear ^^

Our trip pretty much went like this.

1) Stockholm
2) Goteborg and surrounding area
3) Summer house at Oland
4) Back to Stockholm

I would give you a map but the massive amount of pictures coming your way is going to clog up enough space on this post. So without further ado...

A ferry off of Stockholm.
I love graffiti when it's tastefully done. It's art, despite what other people think.

We got to go sailing!

An old castle.

The view over Marstrand.

An old fort.

Casual me doesn't like shoes.

Pretending to angst over something that looks suspiciously like a gravestone.

Sailboat races!
We found time to mini-golf ^^
Getting off the Subway.

Can I just reiterate how much I love cities. There are so many different kinds of people everywhere and so many places to shop. (And no money to spend...*cough*) Not to mention, I got to break out some uber-goth outfits every time we went in to Stockholm or Goteborg. (With some exasperated looks from my parents) Unfortunately, I don't have pictures of any of them.  Pretty much all the outfits in this photo set were my casual I'm-on-vacation-and-just-don't-care outfits. Of course. *Smacks self*

The last day we went shopping I picked up a few more things. I got a new leather jacket and an unopened, remastered copy of Pornography by The Cure! *Squeels* It's my favorite album and I couldn't be happier. Of course, I'll be in debt to my parents for at least a year, but we'll ignore that until I see something lovely online and realize how screwed I am.

I've also realized my makeup supplies are running a bit low. Recently, I've been eyeing a few shadows over at moiminerals.  I especially like these three.

Friday, July 27, 2012

DIY~ String Dolls

I saw a display of these the other day, but didn't have enough money to buy one. When I got home I raided mom's sewing kit for string, sat down, and got to work. Many, many finger cramps later I finished my first one.

Everyone, meet Snagglefang.
He's a bit sloppy. I had no idea what I was doing after all. But he's pretty cute if I do say so myself. I've just got to go back and fix those awful fangs of his ^^

How I did it
  1. Roll string into a small ball. Then start winding in different directions until the head is the size you want it. You'll need a bit of patience, it's difficult in the beginning. It gets much easier as the ball increases in size. I advise putting some music on or the TV to help pass the time.
  2. I got a bit lazy here. I suppose you could make the body entirely out of string. I shaped a piece of clay into the body and then started wrapping the string around that until it was covered by a few layers. 
  3. For the arms I broke a toothpick into the right length and stuck it through the body. Then I wrapped string around both ends.
  4. The legs were done separately around clay like the body.
  5. Paint the parts any colors you'd like. This is only if you're unfortunate like me and could only find pink string when you needed white and black.
  6. Glue the individual parts together with hot glue.
  7. Paint on or stick pins in for the eyes. Paint any other features you'd like.
  8. Clothes and accessories! Not to mention, hair.  For this guy I cut a triangle of felt for the widow's peak. The cape is also felt and it was made in two parts. (The collar and bottom part.) I also added a little piece of black fabric around the neck to hide where some hot glue seeped through.
Here are some more I've started. I think I might have a new hobby...

Zombie bride
A Grim Reaper. I need to clean the hot glue off of him...
This one is my favorite. He's like a little deathrocker! ^^

I'm planning on doing a pirate, a cyclops-bat creature, a romantigoth (with a little top hat), Tahno, and The Joker. I'd like to attempt a lil' Robert Smith and a Jareth one but those are a little more difficult what with the hair. What I'd really like to do is an 80s era Dave Vanian doll, but I don't even know where to start with that hair. I mean, what would I use?

Thursday, July 26, 2012

30 Day Clothing Challenge~ Day 2: Your Favorite Shirt.

This one puzzled me. Favorite T-shirt? Or can dressy shirts be used too? But then where do you draw the line between a 'shirt' and a top'? Because although I can't really explain it some things are 'shirts' to me and others are 'tops'. Suffice to say, I thought way too hard about this and ended up going with a t-shirt anyway. I think the lack of brain activity caused by summer is starting to get to me.

I got this at last year's Halloween Horror Nights. It's kind of my go-to casual shirt on those days I don't feel like getting all dolled up. Plus, it's great for starting conversations with people. I get all sorts of comments from people that have either been there or are planning on going. Of course, the downside is that I get a little *ahem* overeager when speaking about HHN which tends to get some weird looks thrown my way.

The back of the shirt has the eight houses.

Anyway, I'm off to do my nails. I'm thinking some kind of fishnet design like this. What do you think?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

More Hannibal Lecter and Dracula Adaptions?

Well I think we've all realized people have long run out of ideas for movies and shows. I mean, count all of the horror movie/superhero remakes and *gasp* old content in 3D they've done in the past couple of years and it's clear they've run out of original material. Now NBC is helping to contribute to this seemingly never-ending pattern. They've latched on to both the Hannibal Lecter AND Dracula franchise once again. My initial reaction?

Frankly, I found it hilarious. Now I love Hannibal and adore Dracula, but how many adaptions can you squeeze out of a book before it runs dry? Obviously they're going to try again. Here's the general rundown of the two shows.


 There will be no twisted romance/whatever you want to call Starling and Lecter's bizarre relationship. The show is going to strictly focus on Hannibal's time as a free man while in the company of Will Graham. (The fanfiction slash writers are going to run away with this one. *facepalm*) Pretty much, it''s taking place when Dr. Lecter is still in the law enforcement's good books and is a well respected forensic psychiatrist.

This time, Lecter won't be promoted as the bad guy, but as Will's mentor of sorts. (And we all know how that turns out.) He'll be helping to profile and catch the serial killers the FBI are after. Brian Fuller, who wrote the script, claims "There is a cheery disposition to our Hannibal. He's not being telegraphed as a villain. If the audience didn't know who he was, they wouldn't see him coming," which has the potential to be either very pleasant or disastrous.

Directing the show is David Slade, who's also done 30 Days of Night (Good.) and Twilight: Eclipse (We're not even going to go there.) Playing the part of Will is British actor Hugh Dancy. (If anyone's seen Blood and Chocolate he played Aiden. Also, if you haven't seen Blood and Chocolate...don't. The book is much better.) Playing Hannibal is Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen.

Right now, the series is scheduled for thirteen episodes and if it's successful will renew for another thirteen.

Problems I foresee

  • Hannibal Lecter is a very complex person. There's all sorts of intricate quirks in his personality that are very hard to pull off. As amazing as Anthony Hopkins was in the movies I still don't think he managed to capture the essence of Hannibal in the books. (I think Brian Cox actually came a little closer in Manhunter.) The acting required to portray Hannibal has got to have the right amount of I'm-a-genius-with-a-little-crazy-thrown-in but has to capture his impeccable manners and unnerving calm at the same time.
  • There are already five films featuring Hannibal Lecter. I've seen them all and read the books. Sometimes enough is enough. Movies and shows tend to get worse and worse as you drag them out and even sequels are usually questionable. I would be so disappointed to find myself losing interest because I've seen too much. It's like listening to a favorite song so much that one day you wake up and realize you can't listen to it anymore despite how much it means to you.
  • If Fuller gets his way this show will go on for 7 seasons. I don't care how successful the show is. There is no way the plot is holding up that long. Look at Supernatural! Into the eighth season and it lost any semblance of a good plot three seasons ago. It's only stayed alive this long because people don't want to let go.
...Of course despite all my protests I'll be tuning in as soon as this thing is on. We'll see how it goes.


Another one? Well, here we go again....

Ladies and Gentlemen, our new Dracula.

The show was approved for ten episodes before a pilot was even shot. This means NBS was either very impressed or is just jumping on to the ever popular "Vampires are cool now" bandwagon. It has Jonathon Rhys Meyers (from the Tudors) playing Dracula, who's in London posing as an American Entrepreneur. (Obviously, he's worked hard to get rid of that accent of his...) In reality he's out for revenge and ends up falling in love... yada yada yada. Haven't we heard this somewhere before? Oh oh oh! and guess what? She happens to be a reincarnation of his dead wife. If you listen very carefully you can hear Bram Stoker banging on his coffin and begging to be let out so he can set a few things straight.

Problems I foresee

  • Yet another romantic twist on Dracula. Don't get me wrong, I swoon just as much as any girl when I see a handsome vamp seduce another lovely lady. I happen to enjoy romantic Dracula adaptions. It's just that I think the romance of the original Dracula comes from a darker place. It's the suspenseful atmosphere and actions of the evil count, who is in the end is really irredeemable. It's the way the book is written to horrify (Even if nowadays we're rather hard to horrify it's the idea that stands.) and I don't think you were ever really supposed to like the count. He was the monster. I'd like to see another adaption where Dracula is cruel and uncaring and just downright out for blood. No falling in love this time. (I'd probably end up liking him even better.)
  • I've already snarked about this, but talk about beating a dead horse. Unless you've got a revolutionary Dracula adaption that's going to blow our minds then get your greedy hands off of Bram Stoker's work! 
  • It's been said it'll be a "big, sweeping, international soap opera that's young, sexy, and supernatural". This scares me. We do not need another vampire show made only to enthrall unsuspecting teenagers. We have True Blood and The Vampire Diaries for that.

...Yes, I'll also be watching this one. I really hope it exceeds expectations. But if not, at least we get an attractive vampire in Victorian London to stare at. ^^

In other news, NBC is ALSO doing a remake of The Munsters (We just can't win can we? Leave our classics alone!) and have asked for a script for a modern take on Frankenstein. I just...can't even...we're doomed.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Etsy Feature~ Spooky Cute Shoes

I'm here with my latest Etsy discovery! Emandsprout has the most adorable little shoes ever! Instead of talking about them, let me just spam you with pictures.

I think we've all figured out I enjoy having bats on my feet.
Dracula flats anyone?
Or Frankenstein?
Or you could get both!
These felt me. What with the flowers and all.
All of the shoes are about $25. I can't tell you exactly how they fit because I blew all my money in Sweden, but if you really need to know you can always contact the shop. I absolutely love how friendly and helpful people are on Etsy. (Of course, they are trying to sell you something so they should be polite, but you'd be surprised at the number of rude people I've dealt with on Ebay.) I'm going to purchase at least one pair of these myself once I get a little bit of money.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Alternative Fashion in the Mainstream~ Project Runway

Ok, so I'm not usually a sucker for reality TV shows. They tend to grate on my nerves. However, Project Runway has remained one of my guilty pleasures since I was a kid. Being fashion oriented, the show is a great way for alternative fashion to creep into mainstream life without being 'taboo'. Seth Aaron even won his season and those clothes...well let's just say I've spent no small amount of time on the internet looking to buy things similar to his designs.

Normally the semi-alternative/designers with interesting ideas are thrown out around the half way point to make room for the 'marketable' ones, but it's nice to see them while they last. A new season just started up and I've picked out some of the designers that caught my eye, for better or worse.

Elena Slivnyak

I'm ah, not entirely sure about her. The first item she showed us was this amazing leather jacket that was a strange cross between armor and the creature in Alien. (To my disappointment, I can't find any pictures.) However, her work is futuristic to the point where I couldn't help but think 'Tron!' when I saw a few other pieces. I think she's got great inspiration, but some things might be a bit over-the-top. Futuristic looks are great. Personally, I'd rather not look like I popped out of Star Trek. On the other hand, I liked how she said she strives to create a sort of look that 'Isn't male, but isn't female'. I'm a huge fan of androgynous looks so maybe she'll pleasantly surprise me in the future.

Melissa Fleis

I'll admit I got a good laugh out of this one. Melissa walked in with this rack of black clothes which my eyes began to feast greedily on. Then she began to speak. Somewhere in describing who she is and where she gets her inspiration from she said something similar to this. "My clothes have a certain Gothic element to them, without being too Gothic."
*Snort* Oh dear. Again? Must we immediately shy away from the term Goth and be afraid to apply it to our clothes? How many bloggers have already written about their own opinions on Goth in the mainstream and how everyone does this exact thing? (Black Lipstick? That's edgy, not Goth.) It amuses me to no end. Not to mention, where exactly do you draw the line at being 'too Gothic'? I'd really love to know how she creates her 'Gothic' inspired clothes without crossing that dreadful taboo.

 Andrea Katz

Ooh, Victorian inspired clothing here we come! (hopefully). This lovely lady is 58, owns cats, and walks in to the audition with this jabot that threatens to consume her face because of how enormous it is. I'm already on her side. Ok, so she admitted to half of her clothing reminding her of her grandmother's tablecloths. But the other half was very promising indeed!

It seems I've been helplessly sucked into yet another season of melodramatic fights and people accusing others of stealing their ideas and so on. (Someone please get me some Advil. I'm going to need it.) Oh, how I suffer for fashion ^^

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Books with Bite~ Bloodline

The last post didn't end on such a cheery note so I'm back to make it up to you with a sappy vampire novel. A while back I read Bloodline and I believe I promised a review. If I didn't, well you're getting one anyway! An itty bitty one, because it's hard to not give anything away.

Overview: The book is kind of an 'unofficial' sequel to Dracula. It centers around a few of the descendants of the original people who faced the Count. Like Dracula, it's written through letters, journal entries, etc. In particular, the book focuses on John Shaw (Who's parentage you discover later) and Mary Seward, the daughter of Dr. John Seward.

John returns from WWI, injured and delirious. He has visions of his time in the trenches and the monstrous actions of his commanding officer Quincy Harker. He barely believes some of the things he faced in the war and confides in his nurse and love interest, Mary. When Harker shows up in town and begins to seduce his sister (Lily) John has to face his fears and Mary sets out to unravel the secrets surrounding Harker.

What happens next is reminiscent of a second Dracula, as the characters go through the trials their predecessors did. They'll have to sacrifice much to prevent to House of Dracula from rising again.

Characters: You're supposed to hate Quincy Harker, but you're not without sympathy for his plight. I honestly like him best out of anyone in the book. He has reasons for what he does and he's undoubtedly charming. John is supposed to be sweet, brave, and noble, but I saw through to the real cowardice far before it affects the events in the book. Lily is sweet, gentle, and generally brainless, the mental reincarnation of Lucy. (Which happens to be the reason I detest her in the original Dracula. Sorry.) Mary is logical and hard-headed, a nice break from novels set in older eras where the girls flounce about and swoon constantly. The other assorted villains and friends are a bit flat. But they do their job and move the plot along.

Plot: Normally, I can predict most of the events in a book, but this one honestly got me a couple of times. It gets rather complicated and there are plot twists a plenty, but I really enjoyed the end result. She certainly doesn't let the suspense drop for one second.

I'd give it an 8 out of 10 as far as vampire books go. It's fairly original, vividly descriptive, and the vampires aren't fluffy fangless wimps. I love how she stayed true to the original Dracula, but managed to create a unique twist that really made it her own. Seeing the different points of view of the characters creates a world that isn't black and white. The deal closer for me though, is the description of John's time in the trenches. That's definitely worth reading the book for.

The sequel, Bloodline: Reckoning, is even better than the first in my opinion. I might do a review for that eventually, but suffice to say if you like this one, and you end up liking Quincy Harker, then read the sequel. It actually made the romantic in me squeal a bit.

Can we get an enthusiastic cheer for real vampires?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Makeup and Animal Testing

I want to draw attention to a serious issue that a lot of people don't think about. It's more commonly known nowadays that animals bred for food are treated inhumanely. (Hence, while I could not become a vegetarian we only buy organic meat with the assurance that the animals lived free range and were well treated.) However, what about makeup?

Every year millions of animals are killed while testing cosmetic products. Companies use painful tests to determine the irritation level of the products on skin and the tissue of the eye. Commonly used are rabbits, who are caused so much pain you can actually hear them scream. Animals are forcibly made to inhale or ingest the product to determine toxicity levels. The creatures are poisoned, blinded, burned, and killed without regard.

Animal testing is not required of cosmetic companies. So why do they continue this atrocity? Simply reluctance to change the way they've done things. It's ridiculous considering the more accurate and cheaper tests that can be done using skin cultures.

How can you make a difference? Don't use their products. There are plenty of brands that don't animal test. Refuse to use the products of the companies that still continue this barbaric act. And please tell the people you know. Oftentimes people don't change because they don't know the reality of the issue. If people have knowledge they're more likely to act against it.

If you use products that animal test try your best to switch. I know those little $3 Maybelline eyeshadow compacts are convenient and right there, but really the quality is no good anyway. I'm not trying guilt trip anyone, (well, maybe a little) but I wouldn't want to put on my makeup every morning and wonder how many bunnies died so I could look pretty.

For more info click here. There's a list of all the companies that animal test and the ones that don't on the website.