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Vampires ^V^ The Black Arts ^V^ Utter Fucking Darkness

Updated: 2017-06-21T19:25:56.908-07:00


Well True Blood is halfway through its 3rd season...


What do you think so far?

Do you continue to enjoy the changes made to the books?

Who is your favourite characters, has it changed from the previous seasons?

Do you enjoy the inclusion of the werewolves, and what do you think of the portrayal of Alcide Herveaux?

What do you think of Alan Ball giving Sookie greater Faerie Powers?

And if you haven't seen the trailer for the second half of the season - here it is:

True Blood Season 3 Part 2 Trailer

Vampire/Horror Remakes and COUNT YORGA


In the lieu of old vampire/monster classics getting remade such as FRIGHT NIGHT and constant updates of DRACULA with Dracula: Year Zero, The Wolfman and so forth, what other vampire/monster movies from your past would you like to see remade (or not!) and how would you like them done?

Would you like the settings to be modernised or still set in the period? Would you like the cast to stay the same age or make them younger? And furthermore would you like the plot to be replicated or come up with an entirely new storyline or twist?

One film series I would like to see remade or a prequel to is COUNT YORGA. In the two Yorga films, the 2nd one Return of Count Yorga almost a remake of the original with a similar storyline, we see Yorga in a  in a small American town trying to increase his brood of zombified and creepy vampire brides. Out of all the vampire movies, I find these Brides to be the most frightening.

But what about Yorga before he came to America? We know from his history as Count Yorga explains it that he came from a small village in Bulgaria. What happened there? Who made him a vampire, and what were the events that led up to it? Was he always a Count or did he marry a Countess? Was he kind or evil before he was turned and was it the Countess that turned him? Who is his master? Why does Yorga have full mental function and appear as human while his Brides are shambling vampires? Was he similar before he became a Master Vampire if not why are they different? What were his reasons for leaving his homeland and coming to America, and finally just how old is Yorga?

These are the answers I would like to see in a modern updates of YORGA. Unfortunately the wonderful Robert Quarry has passed, and the YORGA films are 30 years old, but I believe if done right, this film could be a great return to classic Gothic Horror Vampire Cinema....

Other vampire films I'd like to see remade are DAUGHTERS OF DARKNESS, REQUIEM FOR A VAMPIRE, VAMPYROS LESBOS (still would have to have that disco soundtrack) and SCARS OF DRACULA.

What are your thoughts on a prequel to COUNT YORGA or do you have some other favourite you'd like to see updated? or do you believe that the era that they were made in with the fashion, music and culture made those films what they were back then?

True Blood Season 3: First Impressions


Firstly, I apologise for my long absence from this blog. Had some personal stuff to sort out, and also I have started a new martial art called KFM aka Kesyi Fighting Method (that has taken up a lot of my time), which was chosen as Batman's fighting style in Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. So life stuff has been sorted out and I'm back on track, and I've also had to spend a lot of time on KFM so I have it hard-wired in my brain I can give it my 100% and pass gradings and all that. Most readers probably won't know that besides my passion for Gothic Horror, my other life-long passion is martial arts which I've been doing almost all my life.Anyways onto True Blood Season 3 - beware spoilers within!Last we left Sookie and the other vampires of Bon Temp and Shreveport, Bill had proposed to Sookie and in panic she fled to the bathroom to sort through her feelings. While she was momentarily gone, a struggle ensued and Bill was kidnapped by persons unknown though Sookie suspects Eric.The human members of Bon Temp, as well as its resident shifter Sam Merlotte has their hands full taking out the Maenad Maryanne, who was tearing their town apart. Through some careful planning and Sam's unique power, they were able to tear the heart from the heartless bitch and save their town, only for Jason to save one of their own from Eggs, who after having been in control under Maryanne for sometime asks Sookie to use her telepathy to show him what he has done. When Eggs confronts Andy Bellefleur to arrest him for the murders, and pulls a knife to rush him, Jason kills Eggs with a headshot.Onto Season 3: Sookie is desperation calls the police who are ambivalent about a missing vampire, so she runs straight to suspect Number one: Eric. Eric guards his secret that he was after Bill to coerce him in keeping his secret that he is dealing V for the the Queen Sophie-Anne, when a group of werewolves controlled by the King of Mississippi kidnap Bill. Meanwhile Jessica deals horribly with the fact she killed her victim at the truck stop last episode of Season 2, (as well as a failed turning to save his life) and her guilt is affecting her relationship with Hoyt, when Sookie appears to confront Eric about the werewolves she uses this opportunity to consult Pam on feeding from humans and how to stop before the heart gives out, which is Pam gives in her usual cold detatched manner.After a stand-off against angry werewolves which Bill manages to take out three, he is about to take down a fourth when the werewolf is told to back down by the vampire King of Mississippi Russell Edgington. Now I cannot remember whether in Club Dead (the third book this series is based on) whether the werewolves were under the control of the King, but I think its a nice touch and harkens back to Dracula and Classical Vampires where Vampires had werewolves as their henchmen.Just like the books and classical folklore, the werewolves here take the form of true wolves, and not the Chronos/biped form you see in The Howling or the Wolf Man, but these wolves look very demonic and its fantastic. One of the best lines on the show when one werewolf named Cooter! standing off against Bill says "You're about to get deader! Dead-ass motherfucker!" I 'howled' from my couch at that!Bill discovers that the King wishes to bribe/coerce him into forming a partnership/marriage with Sophie-Anne, the Queen of Louisiana so he can then take her out and control both kingdoms. In exchange the King Russell offers to make Bill Sheriff of Area 2, which will give him the same power as Eric. Subsequently Russell threatens Sookie's health and reveals that his sire Lorena is staying there which angers Bill enough, that in reality or a daydream sequence he immolates her with a gas lamp!We have the usual Tara/Lafayette/Merlotte's crew storylines that are starting to bore me somewhat, though the Andy/Jason match-up with Andy covering for Jason's murder of Eggs leads to a goldmine when Andy takes Jason with him to Hotsh[...]

The Season Finales of Vampire Diaries and Supernatural Pt 1


WARNING: The following article contains spoilers if you have not watched either episode!The first in the two part article will discuss Vampire Diaries.Well the season finales of Vampire Diaries and Supernatural were upon us last night, so what did you think of them?Vampire Diaries:Anna: I was very surprised that they killed Anna's character, considering her popularity and also her relationship with Elena's brother Jeremy. Before she died, she gave Jeremy a vial of her blood so he had the choice to become a vampire if and when he wanted, but giving the overwhelming love for this character on internet forums, including myself, I was quite surprised they let John Gilbert kill her. I read the actress Malese Jow had signed on for season 2, so I assume it might just be for flashbacks.Damon: Wow. Almost from turning from an evil character to a love sick puppy for Elena, I can still say that Damon is my still my favourite character on this show. Of course there is always the link to Katherine due to the eerie resemblance between the two girls, but the love triangle was important in the books, as it is in the show, amping of the sexual tension to drive its fans crazy. This of course mirrors the way both Damon and Stefan fought for Katherine's heart back in the Civil War Era days, though what happened then with Damon the supposed favourite due to his dark heart is now flipped with Elena finding comfort in Stefan's 'pure' one. For me honestly, this 'shades of grey' for Damon makes his character even more interesting then when he was purely evil, and the fact that Elena and Stefan love him has brought him out of the Darkness that he was in for so long since he turned. In regards to him kissing Elena at the end on her balcony, and how that scene ended I think he is starting to figure out what's going on, even if it's in his unconscious mind at this time. Lastly, is Damon going to be blamed for turning Jeremy (if he does turn from drinking Anna's blood at the end), though I'm sure Jeremy will come straight out and say it was Anna's from the vial.Also his closing scenes with Jeremy and Bonnie were very well done. It goes to show you that in some way the people you surround yourself with is indicative to the person you will become. I'm not sure whether Damon offered to erase some of Jeremy's memory to further his chances with Elena, and how he also made amends with Bonnie, but his speech about changing from his original intent of wanting to destroy the town to saving it I believe is an honest choice, regardless of his feelings for Elena.Stefan: I try to like Stefan, I really do. I think he is a good character and the show's Knight in Shining Armour, a hero the town needs to save it from the darkness, and just like Angel I think when all the players are set (incl Matt and Tyler) I think he will take the lead for the final battle against Katherine. I don't think it will be Damon, though those who have read the books know how Katherine meets her fate. But this show is a way different creature to the books, so what could happen could change dramatically from canon. I think his faith in people is admirable, and he was even able to turn a vampire hunter like Alaric from someone willing to kill all vampires to knowing some are worth saving, and fighting along side.Of course Stefan's guilt that he was the partial genesis to all this, including his father's murder and Damon's full turning will cultivate into something more dramatic. Elena knows the truth of their vampire origins now, but due to this darkness inside him that he has to constantly control, I think Katherine will use that against him and for a while could even once more (with a gallon or two of human blood) sit on the right hand of Katherine as her Vampire King in Mystic Falls for a while. Something both Elena and Damon will have to resolve, while at the same time dealing with their growing attraction to one another.Elena: I was very surprised with the final scenes of this epis[...]

Aww Shucks!


The lovely Nicole Hadaway over at ALL THINGS SMART AND SCARY  granted me this award today, and I feel a little bit like Chewy in Star Wars when Luke and Han are up on the podium getting the award from the ever sexy Princess Leia, and I have to hang back even though I helped just as much. Just joking :)

Thanks Nicole! Now to think of seven truths, or are they lies (?) that goes along with the award.

1) I've spent the night in Dracula's Castle on the Borgo Pass in Transylvania a few years back
2) I used to be a member of a Witches Coven
3) I have sixteen tattoos
4) I have a child each to three different women
5) I've done martial arts since I was ten but never got a black belt
6) My name means "Strength of God Forever" in two old Languages
7) I named my first cat after a Vampire: The Masquerade Clan.

Now for the seven blogs, some new and some old, that I have a daily joy reading and keep me entertained in the cyber world:

1) Taliesin Meets The Vampires - Goes without saying this is my favourite Vampire blog and Andy was the person who got me into the blogosphere in the first place. Always a delight to read his reviews, and you'll always find something new (or old) you've never seen before to watch.
2) Vampire News - Everlost's blog is great because it's all the World's Entertainment news of the Vampire Genre in one handy blog, and you never have to go anywhere else for the latest fanged news. Very up-to-date information for the vampire aficionado.
3) Lady Lovecraft is one of the Lovecraftian blogs I follow, and always has very interesting articles on HPL and the Cthulhu Mythos, worth checking out!
4)  Propnomicon is a wondrous site that catalogues all the HPL and Cthulhu Merchandise from around the world, you'll discover some neat artefacts!
5) Scare Sarah - As far as I know, Sarah is relatively new to the blogosphere, but she is charging full steam ahead reviewing all kinds of movies in the Horror Genre including old favourites from the Exorcist to new Horror such as Halloween 2 and Orphan. Check her blog out!
6) Vamp Chix - A great lover of the Vampire Genre (with a dash of werewolf), might seemed geared towards Paranormal Romance, but you'll always discover a new book to read there to dig your nails into!
7) Preternatura - Suzanne Johnson writes a great Pop Culture blog, from High Fantasy to Urban Fantasy among other genres. Suzanne has some very interesting articles, most recently on why Gandalf never married and a discussion of the 'overuse' of Kick-Ass Heroines as opposed to heroes in today's urban fiction. Worth checking out.

Grave Reviews: Martin (1977)


Directed and Written By: George A. RomeroStarring: John Amplas, Lincoln Maazel, Christine Forrest.I first watched MARTIN about twenty years ago on VHS. I was 15 at the time, and had seen most vampire films back then such as Count Yorga Vampire and the Hammer Horror Films. I didn't know Rollin and Franco's work existed as of yet, and Martin was the one of the last vampire movies on the Horror shelf I had yet to watch, so after picking it up and putting it back a few times I finally rented it.To be honest as it was so long ago I couldn't really remember what happened. I think I remembered the train scene at the start and that's it, so when news of a remake was announced recently, I thought it was time to revisit this strange little film.Romero is mostly famous for his zombie movies, but I think this is his most underrated film and it's certainly his strangest. We first meet Martin Mathias boarding a train to go live with 'cousin' in Braddock, Pennsylvania (A modern Transylvania perhaps?). On the train Martin attacks an unwary fellow passenger with a needle pumped with narcotics and as she passes out he slices her arm with a razor blade and drinks his fill. As Martin does his clean up, the audience sees he is used to such a thing. He cleans most of the blood and changes into a fresh set of clothes, and scatters pills around the cabin to suggest the woman was depressed and attempted to commit suicide.At the end of the journey Martin disembarks scott-free and meets with his superstitious and fantatical cousin Cuda, who is dressed like Colonel Sanders and drops the word "Nosferatu" towards Martin as a foul-mouthed expletive. During his stay Martin lives under Cuda's roof subject to his superstitious rule, tries to avoid his neurotic Niece Christina, and while working at Cuda's Deli strikes up a sexual friendship with lonely housewife: Abbie Santini.Throughout the film we see Martin's struggle with his bloodlust, while putting up with the religious prattling of his cousin, who swears if one person goes missing or dies under suspicious circumstances, Cuda will blame Martin and destroy him before his soul is saved. Both Martin and Cuda claim that Martin is an 84-year old Vampire, and that the curse runs in his family from the Old World. It seems to be a recessive gene and has only afflicted perhaps five people in the last century.When Martin hunts for his blood throughout the film, the footage is interwoven with surreal black and white imagery that could be Martin from an earlier time, or his own delusions of his supposed nature. For instance when he comes in contact with his female prey, Martin imagines her willing to seduced by the vampire much like they are in vampire movies, complete with candlebras and flowing gowns. In reality the women flee for their lives before Martin stabs them with narcotics, subduing them till they pass out so he can feed.Martin does not possess the usual powers of the classical vampire. He isn't fast or strong, does not shapeshift nor has eye mojo, doesn't have vampire fangs, yet he claims he hasn't aged past the age of 18 or so. When Cuda attempts to repel him with a crucifix after Martin enters his bedroom, Martin chomps down on a garlic bud hanging from the door screaming "You see!" and holds Cuda's crucifix to his face lovingly, sighing that "their is no real magic, ever."So it is up to the viewer to decide whether Martin is the vampire he and his cousin claim him to be, or that since he is not a Catholic like the rest of his family, they have labelled him a Devil due to his 'ungodly' nature. In the middle of the film after delivering meat to Mrs Santini, he discovers she has become enamoured with him which unsettles Martin because before no other woman has been interested in performing the 'sexy stuff' with him. After a few encounters and curious to know what it's like to [...]



THE TRUE HISTORY OF THE FALLENThe latest release in the line of OLOGY books alongside Dragonology and Pirateology comes Vampireology, a wonderful little plush book whose style I am quite fond of.As a proud owner of the Vampire Hunter's Handbook and Demon Hunter's Handbook among others, I enjoy these books with a passion. Produced in the usual Journal Entry style of similar titles, Vampireology chronicles the creation of vampires from a line of Fallen Angels cum Demons named Moloch, Belial and Ba'al. Destroyed by Archangel Michael and rendered to ash, primitive man found the remains and worshipped them, causing these monstrosities to resurrect as the world's first vampires. From here they took control of the Earth and established the Rule of Three whereas a vampire could only create three progeny lest the world become overun by vampires, and the blood supply of humans placed in peril.The journal is filled with letters, news articles, pictures and personal items of the Last Protector, an Archibald Brooks who was a quasi-Van Helsing. He bequeaths his journal to his successor Joshua T. Kraik whom while reading this tome discovers the ghastly history of the vampires and his own need to take up the mantle of Protector to keep the world safe from The Fallen Ones.Brooks describes the strength and weaknesses of vampires, some attributed as more powerful to each bloodline such as immense strength, speed, enchanced senses, mesmerism and shape-shifting. Brooks explains that vampires can take many forms including other predators such as Snow Leopards, and even a Cloud of Bats or a Nest of Spiders, though seperating one's form for too long is uncomfortable.Vampires are daywalkers and their powers are not sapped by the light of the sun, though they are less compelled to kill in broad daylight preferring to kill from the shadows. Garlic annoys them, and religious objects are useless unless the bearer possesses immense Faith. The Fallen Ones do not require permission to enter a mortal dwelling, and their lack of reflection is relative to their stage of hunger. The more ravenous, the paler the reflection. Most vampires are motivated by Earthly greed so if you are pursued or wish to detect a vampire dropping such things as pearls or coins may reveal a vampire. Grains of rice are explained in this myth not as an obssessive compulsive trait, but for the fact that rice was once used as currency in times past. Vampires cannot eat food, so any person who regularly denies hospitality should fall under immediate suspicion.Vampires are difficult to destroy, only weakened by a stake through the heart, and must either be completely drained of blood, turned to ash or the head seperated from the body to insure destruction. Creating a vampire is a three-step process of draining a Chosen One, much like the old vampire stories/movies. Once the last bite has occured, the Chosen One must be completely drained of blood and ingests the vampire's own blood to turn.Throughout the book Kraik details a correspondence with one Countessa D'Amigliani of Venice who is aware of Brook's Journal and as she admits to knowledge of The Fallen Ones initiates a detailed correspondence with Kraik and eventually begs him to come to Venice with the book so together they may solve the mystery of The Fallen Ones.Mentioned in the book also are other allies in the war against these Demons. The Were-folk who are the natural enemies of the Vampires, men who aren't immortal or undead but outlive most humans and possess the strength to battle a vampire head on, and the Mysterious Slayer, a repentive Belial who has taken the form of a young girl. Together these three warrior types formed a Circle Of Protection that Kraik hopes once more to assemble.This was a lovely book and returns Vampires to their sinister blood-thirsty (and Gothic Horror) origins. In this book Vampire Romance does exist, inasmuch as V[...]

Vampire Dreams


From what I understand a lot of Horror/Vampire authors get their ideas from dreams they have, along with influences from their favourite vampire games/movies/tv shows.For the last 5+ years I've had the same recurring vampire dream that is set in the same town, and is very episodic in a fashion. I cannot control when I have these episodic dreams, but when I am having them I know they are another part of the same whole and when I wake up I can remember them better than most others in full vivid Gothic Horror colours. The dreams always start in an old video store in the same country town. I'm not sure what city it's in (It's obviously fictional) but it's surrounded by mountains and seems set in or around the late 1980s. The membership of this video store is exclusive invitation-only and seems to move around the town somehow. Sometimes it's at the end of an alley way, sometimes on the main street. So far I've only met one other member (though the store has other customers while I'm there) besides the store's owner and she helped me choose some titles during my first time there.I say 1980s because the video store is just stocked with VHS horror tapes and no dvds. The store is filled with vampire movies that don't exist, and most contain the same vampire protagonist. The films seems European in nature though have the same Gothic Aesthetic as Hammer Horror but 100 times darker. They are bleak and morbid and while the main vampire is the protagonist he is not a hero.So I rent a pile of these movies and go back to my house. When I insert the tape at the start I am on my couch watching them, and then suddenly for some of the film I am in the movie. Sometimes I am the Vampire, sometimes not. Most of the dreams seem to be set in the present with one so far set in the medieval past in the vampire's European castle. Sometimes I will be in a room with other vampires attending some kind of gathering but so far the dream has been 80% town/ 20% movie, though there is a blur between the two.The vampire VHS cases seem to have a magical quality about them as well. When you remove them from the shelf at the store and look at the back, besides the synopsis is a thick plastic card not too different from the ones used in 3D gimmicks where you can tip them on angles and see a different scene. The difference here is similar to Harry Potter where the card actually plays a trailer of the movie, similar to the moving photographs in HP, but there is no electronics in the VHS case to allow this. Vampires exist in this town in real life, and I am aware of them as they are of me, and I am also friends with one that owns a club but I am still human (I think). I'd say the town doesn't have more then 200-300 people in it, and when I think about it, the town resembles something out of a Stephen King story, similar to Salem's Lot but not as hilly.There is something about the VHS covers themselves. When you look at them, even if you are a horror fan they fill you with an immense feeling of dread mixed with excitement, but you are compelled to watch them. When I pick up a movie I am ecstatic that I finally got hold of said movie as if I knew it existed but it was hard to find and I am compelled to rent it. I also have to say none of these movies are low budget fare, and I am quite disgruntled that nothing like these movies exist in the real world. Even the Subspecies/Vampire Journals movies which are my favourites including the Yorga films do not match them!Anyways, this last Vampire film was titled LUST, whereas lust meant bloodLUST. The film was a continuation of the same vampire series (having the same vamp) and it wasn't pornographic in any fashion, and was set in an old Gothic house (probably in my dream's home town) where the vampire was visiting someone, a young girl and her family. He normally sleeps [...]

Grave Reviews #14



Director: Roger Corman

Starring: Vincent Price, Lon Chaney Jr and Debra Paget.

Based on a story The Case of Charles Dexter Ward by H.P Lovecraft (but strangely attributed to Edgar Allan Poe as one of Corman's Eight Poe Adaptations).

I love a love/hate relationship with Vincent Price. Actually it's mostly hate as he annoys me terribly. I can't see why he got so famous unless you knew a guy. I assume other than that, it was because of his stupid creepy voice that he got roles because he's a terrible hammy actor.

This is a bad rendering of the H.P Lovecraft tale The Case of Charles Dexter Ward and funnily enough is part of Corman's Eight Poe films. Even in the credits does POE get a writing credit. Besides mention of Lovecraft's Ward and the showing of The Necronomicon along with what I assume is an Old One in the well below Ward's Palace set in Arkham, this film doesn't really reflect the apocalyptic prose of Lovecraft's great work.

The setting isn't in the 1900s like Lovecraft's work either, and I found this movie to be a terrible adaptation and utter trash. The only reason it didn't get an F was due to the lovely gothic and creepy set design.

My Grade is E.

Grave Reviews #13


Hellbound: Hellraiser IIDirector: Tony RandelStarring: Ashley Laurence, Clare Higgins, Kenneth Cranham, Imogen Boorman, Sean Chapman, William Hope and Doug Bradley.A sequel to Hellraiser that was based on Clive Barker's novella The Hellbound Heart, this movie sees the return of the sadomasochistic Cenobities and the coveted Lament Configuration.Kirsty (Laurence) wakes up at the Channard Institute, a mental hospital run by Dr Philip Channard (Cranham). There she relates in desperation the events of the last film, the crimes of her Uncle Frank (Chapman) and her mother-in-law and Frank's lover Julia (Higgins) who using the Lament Configuration summon and betray the Cenobites of Hell lead by Pinhead (Bradley). Kirsty literally makes it out with her skin intact when she hands Frank to the Cenobites who had disguised himself using the skin of Kirsty's father. At the asylum also is Tiffany (Boorman), a girl who doesn't speak and has a penchant for solving puzzles. Channard learns of a bloody mattress that was found at Kirsty's house and she begs him to destroy it for otherwise Julia will just come back the same way as Frank did. The first night there she gets a visit from her skinless father begging for salvation from the torment of Hell.Channard has the mattress taken to his house and sacrifices an asylum inmate to ressurect Julia so he can use her and Tiffany to glimpse Hell. Meanwhile Channard's assistant Kyle witnesses Julia's ressurection and frees Kirsty to put a stop to the madness.Julia now wearing her own skin due to many bloody sacrifices tricks Kyle and kills him, and captures Kirsty. Channard uses Tiffany to solve the Lament Configuration, and the Cenobites appear ready to claim Tiffany, when Pinhead realises it wasn't her but Channard that ordered the box solved.Kirsty wakes to discover Channard's house merging with the realm of Hell and runs into the Labyrinth looking for her damned father. Tiffany walks her own path through Hell to face her own personal demons and past just as Kirsty is tormented by her own. Kirsty crosses paths with Pinhead and she is powerless to use the Lament Configuration because she is already in Hell and has nothing to bargain with this time. Pinhead explains that each Hell is different, a person's own personal Hell. Pinhead suggests Kirsty explore Hell for the time being because the Cenobites have eternity to know her flesh. Channard is led through the Labyrinth by Julia, and Kirsty begs Tiffany to help them get out of Hell since she solved the box. Julia and Channard make it to the centre of Hell to Leviathan, the God of the Cenobites and the Lord of the Labyrinth. It all becomes too much for Channard, who desires to leave. Julia reveals she was allowed to come back to Earth because Leviathan craves souls, and she will feed the doctor's to her God and forces him into the Chamber of the Engineer where he is painfully transformed into a Cenobite. Kirsty discovers a representation of her Father's house and enters it alone, to discover to her horror it's Frank's chamber and the person that met her in her hospital room was actually Frank pretending to be her father. Kirsty torches the room burning off Frank's precious skin in the process. Julia walks in with Tiffany, and Frank attempts to seduce her once more but it betrayed and murdered by Julia because she is now above him and has set her sights on becoming the Queen of Hell. Both Kirsty and Tiffany use this moment to escape.Channard resurrects as a Cenobite and ponders why he hesitated at the exquisite pain of it. Julia and the girls get caught up in the maelstrom of the labyrinth while escaping down a corridor, and as Tiffany tries to save Julia to Kirsty's protest, Julia's new skin is ripped from her flesh and she is hurtled screaming away from them. The girls f[...]

Grave Reviews #12


THE DUNWICH HORROR (1970)Director: Daniel HallerStarring: Dean Stockwell, Sandra Dee, Ed Begley, Sam Jaffe.Based on the story by H.P LovecraftThis film is one of the better Lovecraftian adaptations that happened to not be filmed by Stuart Gordon, Lovecraft's unsung cinematic hero.The movie is set in Lovecraft's fiction Massachusetts towns of Arkham and Dunwich. The film starts a few decades earlier in the Old Wheatley House in Dunwich with Lavinia Wheatley bed-ridden giving birth to twins whose father is unknown.At Miskatonic University in Arkham, Dr Henry Armitage (Begley) had just finished his lecture on the Necronomicon and ancient Cults, and asks one of his assistants Nancy Wagner (Dee) to return the Tome to the Library. She is followed there by Wilbur Wheatley who in a charming fashion asks if he can read the book. She relents, and Wilbur sits at a table with glee to read about Yog-Sothoth and his role as gate-keeper to R'lyeh that will release the Great Old Ones from their watery prison.Wilbur's investigations are interrupted by Armitage who demands the book back at first, and then is delighted to meet a decendant of the Wheatley family and asks him out for drinks so they can trade information. Wilbur asks to borrow the Necronomicon (the only one in existence) and Armitage refuses shaking hands and leaving. Using guile Wilbur tells Nancy he has missed his last bus back to Dunwich, tricking Nancy into driving him home. On the way there she experiences discrimination towards Wilbur and grows more sympathetic to him. While showing her his house, he disables her car and drugs her tea to make her stay the weekend, and she decides to continue her stay in his mysterious home when her friend Elizabeth and Armitage come check up on her. They all meet Wilbur's crazy grandfather who is shocked to learn Wilbur is seeking the Necronomicon, and while staying there Nancy hears strange alien sounds coming from upstairs that Wilbur explains as the creaking of an old house from ocean winds.Meanwhile, suspicious of the Wheatley family, Armitage discovers the Doctor responsible for delivering Wilbur, and after explaining about the Alien cult, Dr Cory professes that he didn't deliver Wilbur, it was Old Wheatley, and that Livinia gave birth to twins, one reputedly stillborn. She was damaged inside from the violent birth and later moved to Arkham Asylum.Wilbur and Nancy spend the weekend getting to know each other, and he shows her around the town and the tour finally ends on Sentinel Hill, an old ancient altar of worship to the Old Ones. Knowing she is a virgin, Wilburs uses chants and hypnosis and rapes her, while she has crazy visions of cultists and otherworldly horrors.Elizabeth comes back to The Wheatley House to check on Nancy, and rudely pushing past the grandfather, walks through the strange house of alien design, and entering the wrong room releases Wilbur's rumoured dead brother, who is a tentacled monstrosity. Elizabeth is quickly despatched with ravenous hunger, with Old Wheatley barely managing to trap it back in the room.Wibur and Nancy return to the house, noticed Elizabeth's car. Old Wheatley reprimands Wilbur after he explains Nancy's friend 'went up those stairs!' and blames him for what is about to happen. Wibur is sickened by his Grandfather's weakness in letting the town get to him with shunning his cultish heritage, and trying to attack his grandson in a rage falls down the stairs and dies. Wilbur holds an unsanctioned funeral for him using the old rituals of Yog-Sothoth, and as Nancy looks on the paranoid townsfolk rock up to put a stop to the intended blasphemy burying a cultist in a Christian cemetery. Armitage gets a phone call from Dr Cory explaining that Livinia is dying at the asylum. Meeting hi[...]

Grave Reviews #11


House Of Frankenstein (1944)Director: Erle C. KentonStarring: Boris Karloff, Lon Chaney Jr, John Carradine. Wow. I bought this about half a year ago because it was cheap, but had put it off till now partially due to my love/hate relationship with Karloff but I was mightily impressed. This is the middle film of a trilogy between Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman and House of Dracula.Dr. Gustav Niemann (Karloff) has spent the last 15 years in prison after his two assistants frame him to escape prisons sentences due to their graverobbing in a bid to re-enact Dr Frankenstein's creation of the Undying Monster. He manages to escape with a hunchback named Daniel, whom he promises that if he can find Dr Frankenstein's notes he will give Daniel a normal mortal body.Now Niemann is free to exact vengeance on his former assistants and a Burgomeister named Hussmann who sent him to prison. He murders a traveling showman named Lampini and takes his place as ringleader of a Horror show that boasts to include the staked remains of Dracula (Carradine). Arriving in the Hussmann's town, his granddaughter emotionally bribes him, her husband and the town's Police Inspector to see the Horror Show, and when Hussmann almost recognises Niemann he pulls the stake from Dracula's chest to revive him, and upon pain of re-staking commands him to assist in his revenge. Dracula seduces Hussmann's granddaughter via the magic of his crest ring, and succeeds in killing Hussmann, fleeing by coach back to his coffin in the Horror Show. Seeing Dracula persued by the local constablary, Niemann and Daniel flee, and in an effort to distract the police, toss Dracula's coffin, and his sanctuary from sunlight onto the road. Dracula rolls the coach and is too late to make it to his coffin reverting back into a skeleton as the sun's rays strike him down.Niemann travels to the town of Castle Frankenstein where Daniel spies a gypsy show, and subsequently falls in love with a gypsy dancer named Ilonka, whom he saves from a nasty brut, and takes her along to Castle Frankenstein where in the lower depths they find the frozen remains of The Undying Monster and the Wolfman. Niemann thaws them both out with fire, and he promises Lawrence Talbot now in his human form during the day a new body so he can be free of the mark of the pentagram. Much to Daniel's chagrin, Ilonka falls for a non-disfigured Talbot who proceeds to change at the next full moon and kills again, alerting the town to a werewolf and the Castle used once again for nefarious scientific experiments. Daniel reveals Talbot's curse to Illonka in desperation to win her love, but she spurns his lies and finally when she learns the truth vows to love and help Talbot with his curse.Talbot now sick of Niemann's procrastinations (and figuring out he only cared for the Undying Monster all along) attacks Niemann but relents when he realises the Doctor is his only hope to be free from the curse. Talbot changes once more at night, and attacks Illonka mortally wounding her, The gypsy girl manages to discharge her gun loaded with silver bullets into his heart, and they both die in a loving embrace (vomit).By now Daniel has had enough and attacks Niemann blaming him for all his misery. The Monster awakens during the experiment and tosses Daniel around like leaves on a windy day, and as the villagers attack to quell the evil from rising once again, the monster thinking it is saving Niemann drags him into the quicksand nearby where they both perish.***I found this movie quite enjoyable until it got to the part of Talbot and The Wolfman. I am not a fan of the original Wolfman movie with Chaney Jr as I find Talbot's character to be a whinging sook and can't really stand monsters who are big crybabies about their condi[...]

Grave Reviews #10


Requiem For A Vampire (1971)Director: Jean RollinStarring: Marie-Pierre Castel, Mireille Dargent, Philippe Gasté, Louise Dhour, Dominique Toussaint.This is my favourite Rollin film though not the first I'd seen. Lips of Blood takes that honour and coming in third is Fascination tied with Living Dead Girl.There is something about being a Rollin fan that you just can't explain to someone that isn't. Rollin isn't that accessible because his movies are quite surreal and don't really make that much sense for the most part. But as a fan you are drawn to the Gothic EuroHorror visuals of vampires, coffins, crypts, bats and haunted chateaus along with a slew of lovely French ladies who get in way over their heads when dealing with the supernatural, as the two protagonists of this film. Of course you need to watch these films in their original French Language with subtitles to get the full atmosphere of these lovely Eurohorrors. Dubbing is the root of all evil.***Marie and Michelle have just escaped their school party (apparently, perhaps it was juvenile hall), evading the guards for a friend waiting outside with a car. They are chased for quite a while through the French Countryside exchanging gunfire (dressed as clowns no less) until their driver is mortally wounded and tells them to head for the water tower with his dying breath. The two girls torch the car and the body, and head for the water tower to retrieve a motorcycle to continue on their way. Passing through a cemetery through a lovely montage of bats and graves (and almost 10 minutes of no dialogue) Michelle is almost buried alive, and they find their way to an abandoned chateau where they hope to spend the night. and hide from their pursuers.Alas the chateau is not abandoned but home to a Coven of Vampires and their evil servants who serve a Vampire Master, who is dying and needs fresh blood (read: virgins) to continue his bloodline and own immortality who is assisted by two half-vampires. The two girls are tormented throughout the night until they are finally cornered, controlled by bat-like parasites summoned by the Master and given the cursed bite. Now half vampires, the girls are compelled to do the Master's and the Coven's bidding. After a slew of gratuitous sex-scenes between the evil cultists and prisoners in the dungeon, the girls try to escape the chateau, but they are under the Master's power now and find themselves back at the chateau's gates everytime.The girls are told they are be initiated into the Coven of Vampirism to replenishitsr numbers as the Master is dying because he no longer gains sustenance from the dark malediction of human blood. Erica has developed her teeth and Louise is not far behind, still half-vampires but on their way to replacing their Master as head of the coven. The two girls are tasked with going out in the daylight and seducing men back to the chateau so the vampires can feed off them. A person cannot be a non-virgin and a vampire, and from what is explained you need to be a virgin to have vampirism passed onto you. (This lore was also used recently in Helsing). The girls use their sexuality to seduce men, but Marie goes all the way with a young man named Frederic, sacrificing her virginity because she doesn't want to become one of the Damned, while Michelle does her duty and keeps her innocence. This event is where the girls seperate in loyalty to the coven as Michelle falls into the darkness of the vampire, and captures and tortures her friend for betraying her (also Marie's mate is more attractive than the dirty old man Michelle seduces). Erica kills Michelle's mate and invites her to share his blood with her.Marie lies lies and says she saw no-one to seduce,&n[...]

Six new occult Tattoos (plus others)


Last Tuesday, while taking my wife to the tattoo parlour for her birthday to receive a much anticipated rose tattoo sleeve, I took the opportunity to add to my collection of occult tattoos. So without further ado here are the pictures (picture headings are clickable for more info):From left elbow to wrist:1. Unicursal Hexagram: Used in the Thelema tradition among others, this symbol denotes TRUE WILL.2. Monad: The symbol stands for Azoth, and used by Dr John Dee to symbolise the goal of Alchemy, the Philosopher's stone. This symbol is a mix of symbols including Aries, the Cross, the Sun and The Moon.3. Sulphur/Brimstone: The Leviathan Cross, A symbol for the alchemical element Sulfur, (Brimstone) which is spiritually analogous to the human soul.4. The Seal of Babalon: (Left inside forearm) The Scarlet Woman, The Great Mother, or the Mother of Abominations—is a goddess found in the mystical system of Thelema. In her most abstract form, she represents the female sexual impulse and the liberated woman; although she can also be identified with Mother Earth, in her most fertile sense. At the same time, Crowley believed that Babalon had an earthly aspect in the form of a spiritual office, which could be filled by actual women—usually as a counterpart to his own identification as "To Mega Therion" (The Great Beast)—whose duty was then to help manifest the energies of the current Aeon of Horus. Besides my right forearm sleeve this is my favourite tattoo, I was so happy with how it turned out5. The Seal of Astaroth: Aka Astarte, In demonology Astaroth (also Ashtaroth, Astarot, and Asteroth) is a Prince of Hell. He is a male figure named after the female Canaanite goddess Ashtoreth. He is referred to in The Lesser Key of Solomon as a very powerful demon. In art, in the Dictionnaire Infernal, Astaroth is depicted as a nude man with feathered wings, wearing a crown, holding a serpent in one hand, and riding a beast with dragon-like wings and a sepent-like tail. This tattoo is on the inside of my left bicep, and I love its lines and how it turned out. Astaroth was an important figure in my early occult years, hence the tattoo in his honour. 6. Witch's Knot: Finally found a symbol to go in the middle of my right bicep to complete the Celtic armband I got over 10 years ago. The Witch’s knot is a common symbol in folk magic. The witch’s knot is a symbolic representation of the knot magic practiced by witches in the middle ages, and was used as a sympathetic charm against witchcraft, and usually scratched over doorways of homes and stables. One aspect of its efficacy as a protective charm lay in the ability to draw the complicated symbol in one continuous motion.While the symbol appears to be made up of intertwined vesica pisces, it does not represent “feminine powers” as is sometimes claimed, but the inversion of those powers- the four radiating half circles symbolically reflect malefic winds. Ironically, this is a popular emblem of choice for modern witches.This is my Ode to Lovecraft (right forearm sleeve) which also includes the earlier tattoo of The Eye of Horus. I designed this tattoo myself with EIGHT tentacles bursting out of my body with three Cthuloid eyes growing out as well, symbolising a Deep One/Innsmouth Look feel. One day I plan to finish it, perhaps my tattooing sinew to fill in the flesh for a more alien look. I was so happy with the way this turned out and I get complimented on it often, especially by most of the populace who don't know who Lovecraft is. I'm hoping someday to get some of Lovecraft's Gods on my body somewhere, either the Great Cthulhu himself, or perhaps Nyarlathotep whom I am fond of, and works in with the eye of Horus I have[...]

Warlock's Library #5


I am on an Aleister Crowley mission at the moment, studying his system of Thelema at this time (among other systems) and I have just finished three books relating to him that I will review in due course, including this one.Sandy Robertson as a young lad one day asked his father who Crowley was. The look of horror on his father's face was enough for him to delve into Crowley's history and become a prolific collector of Crowleyana as it's called.Collected here are artworks, personal photographs, articles and newspaper clipping of the man who was to be dubbed "The Wickedest Man in the World" by the British Press. Crowley did everything in his power to become recognised by the world, partially as a Great Magickian but unfortunately his notoriety got the better of him, and he wasn't taken seriously by the British People much to his chagrin.Getting expelled from Sicily by Mussolini certainly didn't help, along with his reputation as a drug fiend, the deaths at his Sicily Thelema Abbey (including one of his own children) and his association with many Scarlet Women such as Leah Hirsig (The Ape of Thoth) with whom he sought to produce a mythical in-the-flesh Moonchild. This book doesn't go into the magickal rites of his system Thelema, but discusses his childhood raised into a family of strict (and wealthy) Plymouth Brethren, he was happy to discard as soon as he was able. It was his own mother that labelled him as "The Beast 666" for his chaotic ways, and that name stuck to him. Crowley wasn't a Satanist though, as he was a member of The Golden Dawn, O.T.O, his own society A∴A∴ (Arcanum Arcanorum), and finally his own system of Thelema that was a mixture of magickal systems including Qabala(Kabbalah), Enochian and Egyptian Mysteries.The book attempts to explain Aleister Crowley as a man, and also as a Magickian and gives evidence of differring degrees from picturing him as a leading figure in Occultism to a conniving con-man who used his influence to take money from his followers for his various schemes. Such 'evidence' is supplied in a letter titled "The Memoir of 666" by Alan Burnett-Rae who claims to have rented a flat to Crowley and explains his eccentric behaviour, wild stories and apparent lack of assets and money.Also described within is his various quarrels with other occult personalities such as the Head of the Golden Dawn MacGregor Mathers and the poet W.B Yeats who desired to see Crowley removed from the Golden Dawn. From Robertson's own collection of Crowleyana he provides pictures of the Thelema Abbey, poems, plays and stories written by Crowley, and discusses the influence Crowley had on horror fiction such as Dennis Wheatley's occult villain Mocata from The Devil Rides Out, who was portrayed by Charles Grey in the Hammer Film of the same name.Lastly Robertson briefly mentions a Lovecraft-Crowley connection, and finishes with discussing Crowley's influence in the modern world, from featuring on The Beatles album Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, to influencing Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page as well as Ozzy Ozbourne's song "Mr Crowley" and a mention in David Bowie's song "Quicksand" from his album Hunky Dory (Closer to the Golden Dawn/immersed in Crowley's uniform of imagery). More recently Crowley's influence found it's way into Carl McCoy's 80/90s Gothic Rock Band Fields of the Nephilim with such songs as Moonchild and Love Under Will.If you are interested in learning more about Crowley this is a good place to start, because to understand Crowley the Magickian, you also have to know and understand Crowley the man.[...]

Grave Reviews #9


DRACULA (1979)Director: John BadhamStarring: Frank Langella, Laurence Olivier, Donald Pleasance, Kate Nelligan, Trevor Eve and Jan Francis.A few days ago, starved for vampire movies to watch I perused Taliesin's A-Z list of vampire movies and came across this film which I hadn't seen since my twenties. I had first seen it back in the 80s as a young vampire-obsessed lad, and although there were many vampire movies still unseen on Taliesin's list my fond memory of this film made me choose it over the others, hence I found it first on my to-watch-list.After watching it again, this time after now seeing 100+ vampire movies, and probably 10+ Dracula adaptations (but back then I believe I'd only seen the Yorga films, Salem's Lot and a Lee Dracula or two) I believe that this film is one of the best Dracula adaptations produced. The film follows the plot of Stoker's original story close enough, but omits and changes plot points such as omitting Transylvania and the Brides altogether (a pity) as well as swapping the character histories of Lucy and Mina. Here Lucy Seward (Nelligan) is only not of the Westernra family, but the daughter of Dr Seward who runs The Whitby Asylum, from within his mansion no less. She is engaged to Johnathan Harker (Eve), and Mina is the daughter of Abraham Van Helsing (Olivier) and is also frail and sickly.Renfield is not a committed madman at the start of the film, but actually a labourer who delivers boxes of Transylvanian earth to Carfax Abbey, and gets more than he bargains for (including a taste for bugs) when he bad mouths Dracula at the abbey for having to shift the soil-filled crates.Dracula arrives aboard the Demeter during a storm as per the novel, and as it smashes on the rocks, Mina though sickly runs down the cliffs to the wreck and follows a wolf to the nearby cave. There she finds an 'unconscious' Count Dracula in a fur coat to whom he now regards as his saviour. The workers at the abbey lead by Doctor Seward unload the boxes to transport to the Abbey as Harker arrives by motorcar to inquire on the health and wherabouts of Dracula.The next night the Count attends the home of Seward to meet his new neighbours in a warm Whitby welcome and much to Harker's chagrin, Dracula and Lucy seem smitten with each other. Seeing Mina suffer from one of her fainting spells, Dracula insists on using hypnotism to calm and recouperate her as he believes the laudanam Seward usually administers her will make her blood impure. Lucy is rather sarcastic to the Count's beliefs and also his choice of lodgings, only for him to remark he prefers his women strongwilled and full of life and blood, and that as he is of an old family a new house will not do. The decrepid Carfax Abbey is just the home from one such as he. Harker grows jealous when Dracula and Lucy dance.That night while Lucy and Harker have a secret interlude, the Count descends the wall to Mina's bedroom and picking the frame from around the window enters the room to drink of her blood. The next morning Lucy awakes afright and summons her Father only to have both of them watch her die as she struggles for oxygen, not realising that vampiric blood is taking over her body and soul.Mina is buried, and Seward at a loss with the marks on her neck summons her father Abraham from Paris to tell him of the terrible news. Harker arrives at Carfax to give the Count his deed to the property and he insists Harker file it at his law firm in London at once. When he apologises due to Mina's upcoming funeral, Dracula uses this time to invite Seward and his daughter to dine at his house while Harker is away, and would he be so k[...]

Grave Reviews #8


CLASH OF THE TITANSDirector: Louis LeterrierStarring: Sam Worthington, Gemma Arterton, Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Mads Mikkelsen.During a storm, a fisherman finds an ornate coffin floating in the sea. Inside he finds a crying newborn lying on his dead mother. He raises the child as his own and names him Perseus, and while teaching him his trade, makes no secret of his origins though most of it is a mystery.About 20 years later the people of Greece, especially the people of Argos have grown weary of the God's ruling them and in an act of defiance destroy their towering statue of Zeus on their coast. Perseus and his family witness this, and Hades seeks revenge through Harpies and his own appearance, where Hades murders Perseus' family with a fireball sending their ship to the bottom of the sea.The surviving Praetorian Guard take Perseus back to Argos, where the King and Queen declare an end to the rule of the Gods, name themselves Gods on Earth and their own daughter Andromeda more beautiful than Aphrodite. On Hades request Zues sends his brother to make an example of the people of Argos, killing the rest of the soldiers, (and is surprised to see Perseus immune to his magics) damning the prideful Queen to old age and death, and threatens Argos with destruction on the coming solar eclipse with his Kraken if they do not sacrifice Andromeda to him.Now both the Gods and the people of Argos know a demi-god walks on the Earth in the form of Perseus, who is the son of Zeus (accidently) born to a Queen who was seduced by Zeus as punishment to King Acrisius for defying him in a futile war at the base of Mt Olympus. The King has the wife and bastard child murdered by Perseus survives due to his unique heritage. Later on he is gifted with dark power by Hades to destroy the bastard son of his dead wife in an effort to upset Zeus and also protect his own immortal skin from revenge.Along with Draco, the leader of the Praetorian Guard, Perseus leads a quest first to the Stygian Witches for information on defeating the Kraken, and then to the underworld, Charon and the River Styx to do battle with Medusa. Will the party survive Giant Scorpions, Medusa, and the Kraken to save Argos and Andromeda? Will Perseus accept his father's offer of sanctuary to live as a God in Olympus, and who is the ageless Io who watched over him since his birth and aids Perseus on his quest? Has mortal man bit the hand that feeds them too many times, and is Zeus justified in destroying the very beings he created and loved to make an example?I saw this movie in 3D* and let's get this part out of the way first. The 3D was good for the most part, though lifting my glassed occasionally to check the entire film didn't seem to be in 3D. There was a problem with Ghosting in the film especially with Hades, and one or two times with Zeus that I found rather annoying. A lot of critics are pulling the 3D version apart and also commented on the Ghosting problem, suggesting that you watch the film in regular 2D and I agree. I am afraid the AVATAR curse will plague other 3D films for some time, because if you've seen that film and you watch this and others in 3D format you'll find the others sorely lacking.I enjoyed the modern update to the story though, especially the new additons such as the Djinn, Arab Warriors who delve in black magic to expand their power and lifespan and weild an fantastic blue flame ability that can harm or heal. Their entire body seems to be of this fire as their eyes glow electric blue and their hearts burned with the same blue fire. They also replace their damag[...]

Grave Reviews #7


FRIGHT NIGHT (1985)Director: Tom Holland Starring: Chris Sarandon, William Ragsdale, Amanda Bearse, Roddy McDowall, Stephen Geoffreys, Johnathan Stark.At the start of the film, Charlie Brewster (Ragsdale) is watching a horror movie show hosted by Peter Vincent (McDowall) who is a Peter Cushingesque horror actor based on Vincent Price and Peter Cushing. For over a year he has been trying to sleep with his pretty, virginal girlfriend Amy (Bearse) only to grow constantly frustrated at her frigidity.When Amy finally relents, Charlie notices that the vacant house next to his bedroom has two new occupants, who for some reason are carrying a coffin into the basement. He becomes instantly obsessed and Amy storms out angry at Charlie ignoring her.That night, a prostitute asks Charlie if she has the right address, and he says she needs to go next door to the new neighbours. He mentions the neighbour to his mother who hopes that he isn't gay, and he retorts that he's not (due to the prostitute that he doesn't mention). In his room he hears a scream next door, and the lights next door go out.At school, Charlie tells his best friend Evil Ed (Geoffreys) about the neighbour and is embarrassed by Amy with a pie in the face when he ignores her once more talking about his mysterious neighbour. He is horrified to see that the woman he saw has turned up dead, and Evil mentions that latest murder victims have been decapitated. That night he sees a naked woman with one of the men about to do the deed when he freaks out at the long teeth the man has. The man notices Charlie watching him from a dark room, and he closes the window blind with a clawed hand. He sees the two men carry out the dismembered bodies in garbage bags later on, and goes to the police the next day telling them he knows who the serial killer is. A policeman goes to the house with Charlie and interviews the flatmate Billy Cole who says Jerry is out of town. Charlie notices an old painting that resembles Amy and growing frustrated at Billy lying tells the policeman to check the cellar because Jerry is there sleeping the sleep on the undead away from the burning sun.The policeman leaves threatening Charlie with imprisonment, and he flees to Evil's house and asks for advice (why is this he watches enough vampire films to know their weaknesses!)  Evil states the most important rule is that a vampire must be invited into a house by the rightful owner to gain entry.He comes home to find that his mother has invited Jerry over for tea to get to know each other, and Jerry asks for permission to visit anytime. (This is in reference to my last article: Jerry needs permission to enter into a mortal's dwelling, and in asking for repeated permission this could either mean that he needs permission every time, or just states this to torment Charlie who knows the truth).Later that night Charlie faces off with Jerry in his room barely surviving. Jerry trashs his car in retaliation for interferring with his life and staking his hand with a pencil.Charlie's next step in gaining help with destroying the vampire is to visit his idol Peter Vincent at the TV studio who has just been fired because of the growing popularity with slasher films compared to jaded vampire films. After hearing Charlie's story, Peter claims Charlie is deranged and leaves.In desperation to save their friend from commiting murder they visit Peter Vincent and pay him money to perform vampire tests on Jerry with Charlie present in two nights time. They all arrive, Peter hands Jerry tap water still not believing Charlie's claims, and Jerry becomes [...]

Sermons from The Bloody Pulpit #1


Vampires and Invitation into Private Dwellings

After the latest episode of Vampire Diaries last night, it got me thinking about the law of invitation for vampires. This law is not used in every vampire myth and story, lately it was used in Let The Right One In, along with movies such as movies Fright Night and The Lost Boys. Also this was a plot device on TV shows such as Buffy and Angel, and recently in True Blood 

From my knowledge, older stories such as Dracula and Carmilla didn't entertain this rule, and I wonder where it came from, and also which writers/filmakers were the first to use it in their stories?

In Dracula, there is some kind of mirrored law with invitation where Harker must "Enter Freely Of His Own Will" into Dracula's Castle though this could be a magical solution or trick to breaking the will of Harker, and dominating him as the Castle belonged to Dracula.

The first novel that I found to have an invitation revoked was Stephen King's Salem's Lot, while some other popular vampire series such as Rice's The Vampire Chronicles don't use this law at all, and from most of the modern vampire literature I've read over the years, this law seems to be as sparsely used as a vampire's reflection in mirrors.

So I'll put it out to my readers to test their knowledge. What do you know of The Law of Invitation, and what it's origins were, and what do you think of it as a plot device?

Grave Reviews #6


Premature Burial (1962)Director: Roger CormanStarring: Ray Milland, Hazel Court, Alan Napier, Heather AngelBased on a Tale by Edgar Allan Poe.This is the third Poe adaptation out of eight films by Roger Corman and the only one not to star Vincent Price.Guy Carrell (Milland) develops an increasing level of paranoia from the fear of getting buried alive, when at the start of the film he witnesses a corpse getting exhumed and along with bloody claw marks on the lid of the coffin, the man's features are frozen in torment.Guy writes a letter to his fiancee Emily (Court) telling her that the wedding is off for her own good. Not impressed with the letter Emily turns up to Guy's mansion unannounced and once getting past Guy's defensive sister Kate (Heather Angel) she learns of Guy's fears that are quickly growing into an obsession. She tells him she loves him unconditionally and will make sure his fear of inherited catalepsy (Guy's believes his father was buried alive in his tomb and heard him screaming the first night) will not get the better of him.After the wedding, Guy builds a special tomb for himself, with all sorts of failsafes in case his worst fears are realised. The coffin is rigged to open at the slightest movement, and the crypt can open by pullcords that also open secret doors and a ladder with a hatch. If all else fails, there is a cord attached to a bell, food in the pantry and as a last resort poison in a chalice behind the black curtain.Emily's old friend (and ex-lover) Miles stays in touch and rents a nearby house from Guy so he can work on his medical experiments along with Hazel's Doctor father where they can perform experiments on the body and mind. Miles is interested in the early stages of psychiatry and is intrigued by Guy's dilemma and attempts to help him find a solution.Guy's hallicinations get worse, from seeing gravediggers stalk him, to an eerie graveside tune whistled only he can hear, to finding a trapped cat behind the walls. Kate demands an ultimatum, his fancy tomb or her with which he chooses her and blows it up with the dynamite, one of the options he had to escape the tomb. Miles comes to his wit's end with Guy's obsession and demands to see the body of Guy's father to prove once and for all that not only was his father not buried alive, but that catelepsy is not an inherited trait.Upon seeing his father WAS buried alive he immediately falls into a cataleptic state. Emily struggles with her promise not to bury him in the crypt when Miles and her father declare him dead, and they bury him (alive) in the cemetery. Secretly a day later Emily's father has him dug up for medical research, and Guy begins to extract his revenge. He kills the graverobbers and Emily's father, and sneaks around his own house to listen in and discover who betrayed him.He discovers Emily was behind it all, not only to get to his money, but also to have Miles for herself again although this plan was unknown to Miles himself. Guy kidnaps Emily and takes her to his grave to be buried alive herself as punishment, and after Miles is alerted to the dead graverobbers and Emily's father he gives chase to the cemetery to stop Guy.Guy is compassionate to Miles, telling him to back off as he knows he played no part. Emily is dying under a foot of gravesoil in the grave, and as Guy gets the better of Miles he is shot dead by his own sister Kate who was aware of Emily's devious plan but was too hesistant to warn Guy because she would not be believed due to Emily's position to Guy. Miles retrieves Emily's suffocate[...]

Grave Reviews #5


The Masque of The Red Death (1964)Director: Roger CormanStarring: Vincent Price, Hazel Court and Jane AsherBased on the short story by Edgar Allan PoePrince Prospero (Price) is a right, royal bastard and also a cruel Satanist who rules with an Iron fist over a small medieval European village. At the beginning of the film, a elderly lady from a nearby village is called over by a holy man dressed in red leaning against a tree and gives her a white flower he turns red with a wave of his hand. He commands the woman to take the flower back to her village as a sign of deliverance from Prospero and his evil ways.Prospero travels to that village on the same night, to give gratitude to them for this years harvest and to invite them to a feast at his Abbey in several days time. He doesn't take kindly to some of the silly villagers giving him lip, so he orders them garrotted only to be pleaded by a village girl named Francesca (Asher) to spare their lives.Prospero is amused and offers the girl the choice of which one of the two shall survive his wrath, but this is interrupted by a moaning from a nearby hut where he discovers an elderly woman, the same who met the Holy Man, dying of the Red Death. He flees the tent and demands answers. The villagers tell him of a prophecy where they would be spared his tyranny, so in punishment (and also a way to prevent the Death spreading) he orders the village burnt to the ground, taking Francesca, her cheeky lover Gino along with her father Ludivico back to his Abbey.Back at the Abbey where he is safe from the Red Death, he entertains nearby nobles and grants them a Masquerade Ball in honour of their safety, but all are forbidden to wear red. Juliana (Court), Prospero's current lover is not amused that Francesca has usurped her room, along with her bath and proclaims to Prospero she is prepared to perform the final Satanic rites to ensure her place within the Abbey and at his side, a move Prospero mentions she was not so eager to undergo before the arrival of the peasant girl.Over the next few days Francesca witnesses Prospero's cruelty but also his realistic philosophy, comparing the black grace of his Dark Lord to Francesca's 'dead' god of 'love'. He states that Satan rules this Earth along with the universe, and that he is a God of Reality and Truth that opens the eyes to those shut by Blind Faith. He demonstrates this by showing her his Falcon kill a bird, and explaining that in the start a Falcon's eyes are sewn shut to give them loyalty and reliance on their master, much like her own dead God has done to her.Prospero shows Francesca six rooms off the main ballroom, each in a specific style: blue, purple, green, yellow, white, and violet. He explains his father imprisoned a friend in the yellow room for three years, and when he released him he couldn't bear the site of sunlight or daffodils. He stops her at the last room, telling her she is not ready to enter yet, but one day soon with his instruction she will be ready to view its dark secrets beyond.In the background Juliana is performing her own Black Rites, hoping to become Prospero's equal by becoming Satan's bride, and in the process removing Francesca from the competition. Unluckly for Juliana, Prospero has grown bored of her, and sees a better conquest in corrupting Francesca. Juliana 'helps' Francesca and her friends escape only to be captured by Prospero's who is onto his lover's treachery. He sets a Falcon onto Juliana's face, eviscerating her painfu[...]

Grave Reviews #4


The Devil Rides Out (1968) Director: Terence FisherScreenplay: Richard MathesonStarring: Christopher Lee, Charles GrayBased on the novel by author Dennis Wheatley.Set during the 1930s when the novel was written, The Devil Rides Out tells the tale of Duc de Richleau (Lee) and Rex Van Ryn, who upon Richleau's insistence they visit old friend Simon Aron to discover he is to miss their yearly reunion because he has joined an 'astronomical' society. Curious about the gathering, Richleau becomes startled when at first he realises the meeting is restricted to 13 members, and they are asked to leave. Wandering around the members' room beforehand, he overhears occult terms and philosophies. His suspicions are confirmed when he invites himself to Simon's observation tower to discover a mini-temple along with a black cockeral and white hen about to be sacrificed to some infernal deity that Simon is to be baptised to.Knocking Simon out, Richleau kidnaps him and in explaining to his friend Rex that he has studied the Black Arts all his life they begin a cat and mouse game for the very souls of Simon and fellow worshipper Tanith who Rex has fallen for, and leads them into a magical and spiritual battle with the charismatic and dreaded cult leader Mocota (Gray). This leads to various locales such as desecrated churches and haunted groves such as Salisbury Plain where Richleau and his small band catch site of The Angel of Death and The Goat of Mendes (Baphomet) himself. When Mocota fails in his bid to repossess Simon and Tanith to the circle, he at first summons The Angel of Death to take his enemies out, and only succeeds in killing his disciple Tanith. He kidnaps Peggy, Richleau's niece into using her in a diabolic sacrifice to locate the The Talisman of Set.Only Richleau's own knowledge of the Black Arts, and his own Faith in God will be enough to save them all from their souls burning in hellish torment as the Darkness desires to claim them all.I had read some of Wheatley's occult novels many years ago in my youth, namely this one, To the Devil A Daughter (also the film) and The Satanist. Apparently Wheatley's fascination with the occult began during a card game where he prayed to Satan that if he won the game/hand he would devote himself to darkness or something like that. Well he DID win the game, and it scared the bejesus out of him. Quick as spit, he renounced the Dark Master, named Jesus his saviour and then used his own fear, along with the growing fear of Black Magic in society due to Crowley, the O.T.O, the Golden Dawn and others (which weren't black magicians by the way). I wonder whether he kept the winnings to or gave it away? Anyways for the rest of his life, even though he made a fortune from writing about Black Magic, he always proclaimed that one shouldn't meddle in the Black Arts, for it would destroy your very soul.Christopher Lee is great in this, and he was the genesis of bringing this tale to Hammer, and as a consequence it was one of their greatest successes. I enjoyed it for two reasons. One you actually get to hear Lee speak more than 10 words compared to his normal role as Dracula, and secondly it still possessed the Hammer charm, and I actually found it quite terrifying in a way. I can imagine back then with the lack of horror films, and also a lack of knowledge of the Black Arts of the general public (compared to today) it would have had the same effect on the audience as The Omen and The Exorcist did ten or so years la[...]

Grave Reviews #3


Synopsis:Forever. That’s the response Ben Gongliewski receives, when he asks Miranda Dandridge how long she’s been a vampire. He doesn’t expect the word forever in her reply, but then again, Ben never imagined meeting vampires, let alone demons and werewolves, during his time as a Resistance worker in World War II Poland. Far from being horrified, Ben discovers that Miranda and her friends have very useful … talents … especially when it comes to saving children from concentration camps. After all, in these desperate times, while the line between good and evil is clear, the one between heroes and monsters is very, very blurred.  The last thing Miranda wants at this point in her immortal life is a human lover, but as she and Ben perform rescue after daring rescue, she can’t help but be drawn to his passion to save his fellow Jews. As the War draws to a close and Miranda must chose her love for Ben or her duty to her race, Ben is blindsided by a betrayal that no one sees coming. This leads to a danger in which all hell is about to break loose … literally…***If there is one supernatural topic I enjoy more than Vampires, it is Demons, Fallen Angels (Watchers, Grigori, Nephilim) and Black Magick (Occultism) and this book had bucketloads of the stuff. In RELEASE, Nicole Hadaway introduces us to three supernatural creatures: Miranda the Vampire, Rose The Werewolf and Vanessa The Demon/Nephilim Spirit/ex-Succubus. In helping Jewish children and their families across enemy lines to safety in WWII, the trio meet Ben Gongliewski, a Jew posing as a doctor who would diagnose Jewish children with typhus, leprosy or other horrible ailments so he could get them across enemy lines to surrogate families, and away from the evil Nazis and their concentration camps. He works with a German Priest named Father Ott who would take them to a shelter supposedly created to care for the children, and then would send them on their way to families who would protect and raise them.Initially Ben falls for Rose's heartshaped face, and while having a meal in a cafe frequented by SS solders, and discussing their plans to rescue more children during the early days of working together, the SS soldiers pick up on Rose's crap German and trap them in a tunnel while they fled, which they set alight.Lucky for Rose she has a demonic mark on her from Vanessa which leads to their rescue and Ben's introduction into the supernatural world. While falling for Miranda, the Vampire he learns of their specific traits and weaknesses, and how theirs is a secret history that exists alongside human history.Firstly for Vampires, they are an actual race as opposed to turned humans. The product of an unholy union between Lilith, the first woman, and Sammael, a Fallen Angel, Vampires are actually born, and grow till a certain age until their immortality kicks in. Besides eternal life, they possess shape-shifting, enchanced physical abilities and senses, eye mojo and preternatural healing. Miranda and her twin-brother Cray (vampires are usually born twins, perhaps in a twisted visage to Cain and Abel) prefer to take the shape of a crow, and can transport a passenger in the shape of a twig. They cannot turn humans into vampires, the result is more of a mindless zombie that kills without thought. To procreate and continue their race, they must marry another vampire with an ancient rite to bear children. If they do not perform the rite, ghastly things can [...]

Grave Reviews #2


"Even a man who is pure in heart and says his prayers by night, may become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms and the Autumn moon is bright"Haunted Estates, Family Curses, Victorian Gothic Landscapes and a Insatiable Monster. The perfect formula for a Horror movie and The Wolf Man is one such movie.***Contains Spoilers***The film begins with Ben Talbot getting attacked by the Werewolf on a full moon. Shortly after, Gwen Conliffe (Emily Blunt) writes to Lawrence Talbot (Benicio del Toro), the brother of her missing fiancee to give him the news of his brother's disappearance and to perhaps help in the search. Upon arrival to Talbot Hall in the town of Blackmoor, Lawrence's father Sir John (Anthony Hopkins) is surprised to see his oldest son return, remarking quite coldly that he always wondered what he looked like.Upon investigating the death of his brother and seeing the horrific state of his corpse, Lawrence is given his brother's effects at the morgue, which include a gyspy medallion that leads him to their camp. He goes there to speak to Maleva, a gypsy elder, though his father had warned him previously to stay inside this night as the moon was full, and it would perhaps influence the escaped lunatic held responsible for the ghastly murders. Also that night at the tavern Lawrence overhears suspicious townfolk talk of monsters and curses, which he initially dismisses.Soon enough at the camp the werewolf strikes, killing gypsy and villager alike and while hunting the beast with a rifle in the process of saving a gypsy boy, Lawrence is attacked and bitten but spared his life as gypsies scare it off with gunfire. Lawrence is taken back the gypsy camp where he wounds are tended and they argue over murdering him to spare him the Werewolf's curse. Maleva says to kill a man is a sin and the next morning he is returned to Talbot Hall to a shocked, but relieved Sir John.Gwen watches over Lawrence for a week and he makes a miraculous recovery. The bite on his shoulder has almost disappeared as has his arm healed. A doctor inspects him, and is surprised at his recovery, and soon after sees the arrival of Inspector Aberline (Hugo Weaving), who was in charge of the Ripper Case. He is aware of Lawrence's past, his time in a lunatic asylum soon after witnessing the suicide of his mother as a boy. He found his father cradling his mother in the courtyard, her throat slit with a razor, an apparent suicide. Furthermore, Lawrence and Gwen begin to grow close and develop feelings, much to the unamused Sir John watching from the distance.Aberline suspects that Lawrence is still deranged from seeing the murder of his mother, and adds that due to his skill of impersonating Shakespearean characters on stage, that other more malevolent personalities lurk beneath the surface, though all wear the same face. Lawrence counters that Aberline was in charge of the Ripper case, and since the Ripper was never found either Aberline is incompetent or was the Ripper himself.The full moon has come to Blackmoor and Talbot Hall, and Lawrence wanders the desolate halls, remembering his time as a boy, and the suicide of his mother. He sees his father walking to the family crypt where Sir John's wife is interred and follows him down to the lower levels. There Lawrence discovers a hidden room with a cell door attached, and inside the room a chair fit for a lunatic with straps and head brace. Sir John&[...]

Grave Reviews #1


Welcome to my new column GRAVE REVIEWS where I review fictional works in the Horror Genre. Please be aware that in reviewing these works I may offer possible spoilers from the story.Concilium Sanguinarius is Andrew M. Boylan's first full-length novel, and a great novel at that. Entirely about the dark, secretive and destructive world of vampires, this first book in a future series of novels tells the tale of two vampires: Ymochel of the Uriel Bloodline, a Nubian vampire granted the Velvet Kiss circa CE74 Pompeii, and Danaan, a vampire of the Shangi-Di bloodline brought across in 1067. In this work vampires are known among their kind as The Velvet, and the act of transforming a human to the vampire as the Velvet Kiss.These two vampires fates become crossed when Danaan in her role as the Concilium's Praetorian (vampire enforcer) she is ordered to kill Ymochel's Fledgling Radu Tepes in 1819, for crimes against the vampires. Ymochel swears vengeance on Danaan and spends 160 years plotting his revenge while he is held captive to Qutrub of the Flesh, a vampire who oversees torture, and prepares future Praetorians mentally and physically for their tasks ahead.Both vampires are tortured, yet powerful creatures. Danaan feels a great sadness due to her estrangement from her Sponsor Adrianne due to childish and arrogant actions, that almost across a period of a century cost both of them their unlives on several occasions. In an effort to make amends, Danaan takes the sash of a Praetorian to enforce the law of the Concilium, but for Danaan it may be a too little too late. So Danaan walks through the centuries, taking different guises in wondrous lands such as Kirkless, the Forest of Robin Hood in the 14th Century, and as Erzebet Bathory's cousin in 16th Century Transylvania at the haunting Castle Csejthe. This was the period where the insane Countess committed her most foul deeds of bathing in the blood of 600 women, a situation that Danaan feels responsible for. It's not until in the depths of loneliness and despair that Danaan crosses paths with Beatrice in 21st Century New York, and she seeks her as an eternal companion to bring comfort to her endless days. Ymochel stalking Danaan since his release from the Flesh sees this as a perfect opportunity to exact revenge of the injustice of destroying his Fledgling and interferring with his grand plan of revenge and dominance. Danaan is a vampire of the Shang-Di bloodline, vampires who are mentalists, can read and affect people's thoughts and influence their dreams. The enzyme in their bite also produces a pleasurable effect in mortals.Ymochel is a Nubian vampire that was brought into the Velvet by Uriel the Leech before the final days of Pompeii. As a member of the Uriel Bloodline, their blood contains an enzyme that produces lactic acid in the victim's bloodstream causing pain and discomfort similar to an ant's bite as they feed. They are more sensitive to the presence of other vampires and can sense them up to a mile away (with notable exceptions such as those from the Undjit Bloodline that can hide their presence in plain sight).In his service the Leech taught his servant many secrets, such as gorging oneself on blood so they may fight off the effects of stupor that causes a vampire to surrender to sleep as the sun rises above the horizon. In this Ymochel becomes guardian over his Sponsor's villa and sleeping [...]