Morbid Meals – Irish Wake Cake

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 23, 2014 by Dan Shaurette
One of the traditions of attending an Irish wake is to take something to feed and comfort the family during their grief. Even if the family doesn’t practice “sitting up with the dead“, a potluck gathering often is held to remember the deceased. One such dish is an Irish Wake Cake.

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EXAMINATION
This recipe is adapted from another one of my odd cookbooks, DEATH WARMED OVER, by Lisa Rogak. It is an interesting collection of recipes and customs surrounding feasts for funerals and for the dead themselves from 75 different cultures and religions. As a taphophile, I am fascinated by the many various practices of mourning the dead. Sharing food is just one way to ease the burden of those survive the loss of loved ones. Another interesting fact, pointed out in this book, is that most people eat a lot more food at funerals than they do at weddings.
 
So rather than talk about catering, instead, we return to a simple wake and the idea of bringing a dish over to visit, reminisce, and share a life and a meal together. This “Irish Wake Cake” is a fine variation of an Irish cream cheese pound cake. It is is simple, rich, and delicious.
 
ANALYSIS
Serves: 10
3/4 cup unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
3 oz cream cheese
1 3/4 cups cake flour, sifted (roughly 6 oz by weight)
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

1 cup dried currants or raisins
2/3 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tsp lemon juice

Apparatus
Electric mixer with mixing bowl
9 inch loaf pan
Small bowl
Cooling rack
 
Procedure
  1. Preheat your oven to 325 F degrees.
  2. In the mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to cream the butter, sugar, and vanilla together.
  3. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then add the cream cheese, mixing until thoroughly combined.
  4. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt, mixing until thoroughly combined.
  5. Gradually add buttermilk and mix until you have a smooth batter with no lumps, then fold in the currants.
  6. Pour the batter into a greased 9-inch loaf pan.
  7. Place the pan on the center rack in your oven and bake for about 1 hour 20-25 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean for a test.
  8. Remove to a cooling rack and let the cake cool down for 15 minutes.
  9. In a small bowl, combine the powdered sugar and lemon juice, then drizzle that icing over the cake while it is still warm. Let the cake cool down however before serving it.
  10. Slice the cake and serve with a dollop of clotted cream or whipped cream.
 
DISSECTION
There is a lot of dairy and fat, but substitutions will probably not work as well. You may be able to use margarine instead of butter and soy milk instead of buttermilk. There’s even vegan “cream cheese”. The ratios for everything might need a little tweak here and there if you go that route.
 
If you can’t find cake flour, you could use all-purpose flour. The difference is that cake flour is milled to be finer and it also has less gluten, which means your cake will be light and fluffy, instead of dense like bread. If you are going the gluten-free route, use a 2:1 mix of flour to starch (like 4 oz superfine rice flour and 2 oz tapioca starch).
 
I did have trouble finding currants but I didn’t want to use raisins. Instead, I found these incredible blueberry-infused dried cranberries. Those were very tasty and worked well with the tangy, lemony glaze.
 
I discovered that other recipes for Irish pound cake use Irish cream liqueur instead of the buttermilk, also instead of the lemon juice for the icing. Depending on who you are baking the cake for, that might be a welcome change to the recipe.
 
POST-MORTEM
This recipe came together so fast, I didn’t really have time to take photos of the steps. That’s how easy it is to make this cake. The hardest part was waiting for it to bake.
 
I served it with a little homemade whipped cream. Clotted cream would have been better, but that stuff takes forever to make.
 
This cake is so good, trust me, you will be finding reasons to bake it. People die all the time, after all. Good food is a beautiful way to honor the dead and celebrate life.

Annual Wicked Women Writers Challenge

Posted in News on July 22, 2014 by Emerian Rich

Emerian Rich:

Don’t forget to vote!

Originally posted on Emz Newz:

There are few things harder than writing a story on demand, with difficult specifications, including an audio production, on a deadline. The Wicked Women Writers Challenge hosted by HorrorAddicts.net is one such contest. These gals have been narrowed down from tons of applicants as the best 5 podcasted horror stories for this year. Please show them your support by listening or reading each selection and then voting for your favorite. One of you lucky VOTERS will get a HorrorAddicts.net PRIZE PACK!

Send votes to: horroraddicts@gmail.com

Listen:

Read Story #1: Photo Finish by D.M. Slate

http://horroraddicts.wordpress.com/2014/06/29/www-challenge-story-1-photo-finish/

Read Story #2: An Appetite For Trouble by Chantal Boudreau

http://horroraddicts.wordpress.com/2014/06/30/www-challenge-story-2-an-appetite-for-trouble/

Read Story #3: The Gray Girl by Stephanie Lenz

http://horroraddicts.wordpress.com/2014/07/01/www-challenge-story-3-the-gray-girl/

Read Story #4: What Happens In Vegas by Lindsey Goddard

http://horroraddicts.wordpress.com/2014/07/02/www-challenge-story-4-what-happens-in-vegas/

Read Story #5: Merry Go When by Tonia Brown

http://horroraddicts.wordpress.com/2014/07/03/www-challenge-story-5-merry-go-when/

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Kbatz: The Visitation

Posted in News with tags , , , , on July 22, 2014 by kbattz

 

The Visitation Gave Me Nightmares

By Kristin Battestella

 

The cover looked cool and it was quasi religious-that’s how we came to purchase The Visitation.  Edward Furlong and Kelly Lynch star in the 2006 Independent thriller from director Robby Henson and novelist Frank Peretti.

 

Martin Donovan stars as Travis, a minister who has lost his faith since his wife’s murder.  Fellow minister Kyle (Randy Travis) encourages Travis to get involved when strange sightings around the quiet town of Antioch occur.  Mysterious prophetic men appear and disappear, and new veterinarian in town Morgan (Kelly Lynch) is healed.  Her rebellious son Michael (Noah Segan) quickly falls under this powerful spell after a freaky near fatal car accident.  When Brandon Nichols (Edward Furlong) finally arrives in Antioch, all the women in town fall into his group.  But to Travis and atheist Morgan, Brandon is not the messiah he appears to be.

 

It wasn’t Furlong’s ambiguous portrayal that spooked me, but his here and there again disciples are the freakiest things since Julian Sands in Warlock.  They kill Travis’ dog only to resurrect it; they give words of wisdom around town-not the help the people of Antioch, but to sway them in Brandon Nichols’ favor.  When the trio stake’s out Morgan’s home , the window apparitions are downright creepy.  My bed is currently next to my window, so the thought of sadistic long haired demonic angels pacing a foot away from my head definitely gave me a few bad dreams.  Well…okay nightmares so bad I woke up with my heart pounding.  Not a lot of films can do that!

 

Edward Furlong’s acting as the second coming in The Visitation, however, leaves much to be desired.  He’s good at being bad, but Furlong doesn’t sell the charismatic leader well.  He’s known as a Hollywood bad boy, so right from the start we know Brandon’s up to no good.  After his true intentions are revealed, Furlong does little to gain sympathy for his character.  His acting hasn’t grown much beyond Terminator 2: Judgment Day, but director Henson (Thr3e) smartly focuses elsewhere.  Furlong isn’t the star of the film, Travis Jordan is.  We relate to his story far better, and Donovan (Weeds) shows his angst well.  We know his vibe; because he thinks something is fishy, so do we.  Likewise, we understand Kelly Lynch and Morgan’s struggle and doubts.  Traditional fans or country enthusiasts might wish to tune in for Randy Travis.  The crooner’s portrayal of the Billy Graham like Pentecostal leader in town is steadfast as the voice of reason in Antioch.  His character is integral to the film, and perhaps there should be a touch more of him.

 

The convoluted story in The Visitation, however, does need some fine tuning.  We receive Nichols’ back story a little too late, but it’s double tied and redundant.  We are meant to sympathize with him, but the herky jerky abuse flashbacks don’t plant the seed well enough for us to imagine the horrors endured. It’s as if screenwriter Brian Godawa thought something on Nichols was needed, but I’m not so sure it was.

 

Initially I thought this was a horror movie, so I was surprised to find it online in a Christian catalogue.  Henson’s  movie is about the awesome, tempting, too good too be true power of the devil, the costs of said power, and the dark half of human nature that Satan needs.  Looking all bad and Warlocked on the outside, The Visitation is really a very serious religious film about faith.  The moral dilemmas in The Visitation  are swift and complex.  Morgan is the anti-Christian who is saved by the Bible given to her from Kyle Sherman.  When Travis is tempted by Nichols in his cultish revival tent, it’s incredibly easy to give in.  Everyone else has, but Travis holds fast to his supposedly lost faith.  Even when he discovers his wife’s murder is directly involved with Nichols’ plan, Travis does the right thing.  Brandon Nichols, unfortunately, puts his faith in Satan and his spooky angels.

 

I would also label The Exorcist as a quasi religious film like The Visitation.  As is the case here, we witness the deceiving power of the Prince of Darkness.  Both films are equal parts horror and religion.  Where The Exorcist scares you witless, The Visitation wins on what you can’t see.  Contemporary Christian teens will love the struggles in The Visitatio and perhaps its source novel. The mock crucifixions, however, are too frightening for kids or prudes.   The point here is your religious choice.  Could Nichols have chosen Christ over the Devil?  The Visitation makes the audience think on this also.  Can we?

 

With precious little effects and solid acting, Henson puts out a serious moral film just as much along the lines of Elmer Gantry and The Apostle as The Exorcist.  Henson could have easily created an effects laden gory, all the stops out, wow is the devil show.  Thankfully, he didn’t.  The Visitation is for horror fans, religious groups, devout young adults, and all the skeptics alike.  Regardless of where you’re coming from, The Visitation is worth the watch-and the nightmares.

 

Submission Call: Horror addict’s Guide To Life

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on July 21, 2014 by David Watson

Hey horror addicts, we are ready to start work on our third anthology which we are going to call: The Horror Addicts Guide To Life. The idea for this book is for it to be like a self-help book for people who are obsessed with all things horror. We think that horror fans look at the world in a certain way that is different from other people. Horror Addicts have a great sense of humor, they like to be scared, and they are fascinated by things that go bump in the night. To put it another way, normal people may look at an abandoned building and think nothing of it, while a horror fan would look at that same building and wonder what kind of supernatural beings live there? How did they get there? What do they do in there?

What we are looking for in this anthology is anything that Horror Addicts would need to make their lives better. This is meant to be a fun book that doesn’t take itself too seriously. We want some sections that could be strictly for laughs and some that are more DIY. This anthology would cover a broad range of topics and we are currently in a brain storming phase for what we want in it. All of us at HorrorAddicts.net look at horror as our passion. If horror is your passion also and you have some ideas for us, let us know.  Even if you don’t consider yourself a writer but you have a horror related hobby, send us an email at horroraddicts@gmail.com. We want to hear from you. Here are some subjects that we would like included in our anthology:

 Decorating your house for Halloween.

Creating a costume for Halloween.

Cooking up recipes for a horror themed party.

A Horror Addicts guide to dating.

Dating a non-Horror Addict.

How to turn a friend who isn’t into horror, into a horror fan.

Getting your kid to start reading horror.

Surviving the zombie apocalypse.

How to escape a vampire?

How do you stop a werewolf?

A list of bad horror movies that are good.

A list of great horror movies to watch on a
stormy night.

A list of good horror novels to read.

Horror Addicts guide to music.

Best Horror love songs.

How to write kick-ass horror fiction.

How to build a haunted house.

How to survive a haunted house.

How a Horror Addict would dress for a job
interview.

How a Horror Addict should dress for a date.

Non-horror movies that could pass for horror.

How to make a horror movie.

A list of great horror cartoons.

Anything else you can think of for, about, or to
assist a true Horror Addict in his/her daily lives.

****************************************

HorrorAddicts.net staff, contributors, featured authors and guests ARE eligible to submit.
Deadline: August 29th, 2014, or until filled

Length for fiction/non-fic/poetry: 500-5,000 words (if longer please query) We will be accepting a small number of fiction and poetry. This is mostly a non-fiction book.

Art: b/w line art only, email biggest, cleanest version of 300 dpi art in jpg or png format. No photography.
Reprints? Please query first about your piece, your rights to the work, and where it’s been printed before submitting work. We will consider a few reprints with permission.

Payment: Contributing authors will receive PDF copy and exposure/marketing through HorrorAddicts.net.
Submission Guidelines: Attach RTF or Doc to email, 12pt courier font, double spaced, pages numbered, with name/word count/contact info in 1st page header.

Send submission to: horroraddicts@gmail.com with the subject line reading: HAGTL, Submission
Published by HorrorAddicts.net

Dawn’s Dark Music Corner: My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult- Philadelphia PA and Seattle, WA 2014

Posted in News with tags , , , , on July 20, 2014 by elektronikadance
Groovie

Photo by Tony from Fierce Bad Rabbit

groovie_mars2

Photo by Tony from Fierce Bad Rabbit

My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult’s long-awaited new release was unleashed in May 2014, followed by a steady 6 week tour of the United States. I was fortunate to catch their show in Philadelphia and my band opened for them in Seattle. The last Thrill Kill show I caught was in Seattle in 2012 and this new tour was a bit scaled down, lighter and warmly funky. Their support tour opener, DJ Toxic Rainbow, sets the mood for a dancier version of TKK. (DJ Toxic Rainbow won the Beatport.com THRILL KILL KULT “Kooler Than Jesus” remix contest, and has since done various remix work for the band and Groovie’s side-project DARLING KANDIE.) Amongst old TKK favorites: a remixed version of “Swine and Roses”, a fun call and response to “My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult” and my personal favorite “After the Flesh” from “The Crow” Soundtrack.

mimistar

Photo by Tony from Fierce Bad Rabbit

The new CD is the band’s 13th certainly versatile enough to be played at any club. The influence of 70’s electro music and some spaghetti western-esque guitars grace the collection of music. My personal favorites being: “Neon Diva”, “Hell Kat Klub” and “The Way We Live Now”. The current lineup of My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult is: Groovie Mann, Buzz McCoy, Mimi Star, Justin Thyme and Westin Halvorson. The band has progressed with an assortment of members over the past 25 years. Taken directly from the biography on the Official Thrill KillKult Website:

westin3

Photo by Tony from Fierce Bad Rabbit

It was in the fall of 1987, in a neighborhood Chicago bar. Artist and performer Franke Nardiello met with newly transplanted Bostonian musician Marston Daley over drinks. They crafted a shocking and lurid film concept, MY LIFE WITH THE THRILL KILL KULT. Inspired by a shared love of tabloid tales of sex, kitschy horror and exploitation films in the style of Russ Myers, the concept came naturally. The name was ripped straight from a British headline Nardiello had noted while living in London. With limited experience and resources the film was scrapped, but work on its accompanying soundtrack continued. Legendary Chicago record label Wax Trax! Records were drawn by the hard beats, distorted vocals, rich instruments and bizarre film samples. They released a three song EP in 1988. The full–length album, I SEE GOOD SPIRITS AND I SEE BAD SPIRITS, followed the same year. People seemed to love it almost instantly, and so, their dreams of celluloid became a reality on vinyl.

In the spring of 1989, Nardiello and Daley took on the names Groovie Mann and Buzz McCoy (respectfully). They recruited band members from bar stools and created a back-up group of singers/dancers dubbed the BOMB GANG GIRLZ. They jammed the crew of nine into a van with musical and stage gear alike, and hit the road. The tour had a “Cabaret From Hell” vibe and it aroused the curiosity of the kids and media, establishing THRILL KILL KULT as one of America’s premier industrial/electro acts.

westin

Photo by Tony from Fierce Bad Rabbit

They continued to fuel the underground club dance floors with tracks like “The Days Of Swine And Roses”, “Kooler Than Jesus” and “A Daisy Chain 4 Satan”. The Parents Music Resource studio album entitled: “Spooky Tricks” It is fun, interesting and Center (PMRC) was appalled. It wasn’t long before Groovie and Buzz started experimenting, combining disco bass with wah-wah guitars and dabbling in big bad burlesque brass. The result was SEXPLOSION! (1991). It was lusty and dangerous, giving them their first taste of commercial success with “Sex On Wheelz” and attracting a whole new set of fans.

westin2

Photo by Tony from Fierce Bad Rabbit

The explosion of popularity found TKK on Interscope and in 1993 they released 13 ABOVE THE NIGHT. Like all of their releases, it had an overpowering cinematic quality so it wasn’t surprising when Hollywood took notice. The duo found themselves writing for an assortment of soundtracks like Paul Verhoeven’s “Showgirls” and Ralph Bakshi’s “Cool World.” They even stepped in front of the camera for a cameo in the cult classic “The Crow” to perform the song “After The Flesh”.

groovie_mars

Photo by Tony from Fierce Bad Rabbit

In 1998 MLWTTKK signed to Rykodisc, who reissued their Wax Trax! catalog. And later, GAY, BLACK & MARRIED (2005), an homage to the 70’s disco era, and the depraved strip-lounge-rock fest, FILTHIEST SHOW IN TOWN (2007).

They have released 2 albums on their own label, SLEAZEBOX MUSIC, as well as a BOMB GANG GIRLZ cd titled A TASTE 4 TROUBLE, written and produced by Buzz McCoy. It features the formidable long time vocalist and dancer Jacky Blacque, with a guest appearance by Groovie Mann.

Still a favorite among directors who are looking for sexy sleaze, their music is frequently in both major and independent films and television, most recently in Sexy Evil Genius (Lionsgate) But it doesn’t end in with the studio, film and tv, Groovie and Buzz still take the KULT out on tour extensively along with a rotating cast of depraved characters. In 2010 they re-created their role in the “Sextacy Ball” tour along with Belgium’s outrageous Lords of Acid. In 2011 they performed at the “Wax Trax! Retrospectacle” show in Chicago, with old label mates Front 242 and Revolting Cocks. And the fall of 2012, the KULT celecrates their milestone 25th anniversary with a 7 week tour of the States.

MY LIFE WITH THE THRILL KILL KULT continue to morph and stretch the fabric of music as we know it, always remaining true to the KULT and true innovators.

My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult on the interwebz:

www.facebook.com/thrillkillkult

http://mylifewiththethrillkillkult.com/

The new CD is a must have for your Thrill Kill collection:

http://mylifewiththethrillkillkult.com/store/

or

http://www.amazon.com/Spooky-Tricks-Life-With-Thrill/dp/B00JXCITVI

Check them out on Soundcloud, where you will also find some amazing remixes:

https://soundcloud.com/search?q=my%20life%20with%20the%20thrill%20kill%20kult

All photos courtesy of Tony from Fierce Bad Rabbit

Kbatz: Black Death

Posted in News with tags , , , , on July 19, 2014 by kbattz

 

Black Death Catchy and Good

By Kristin Battestella

 

 It took me awhile to watch the 2010 historical horror thriller Black Death after it finally arrived from Netflix.  Well, golly gee, I shouldn’t have waited!

 

English monk Osmond (Eddie Redmayne) watches the Plague come to his monastery’s doorstep and wonders if he can serve God just as well on the outside with his ladylove Averill (Kimberley Nixon).  When zealous knight Ulric (Sean Bean) comes to the monastery on a quest from the Bishop, Osmond takes the opportunity as a sign from God and leaves the Abbott (David Warner). Osmond volunteers to lead Ulric and his men on their mission to a village beyond the marsh.  The village, lead by Langiva (Carice van Houten) and Hob (Tim McInnerny) is strangely untouched by the Black Death.  Though Ulric insists something foul or unnatural must be at work, young Osmond is not so sure and comes to question his faith, life, death, and God.

 

 

Party like its 1348! Director Christopher Smith (Creep, Severance, Triangle) and writer Dario Poloni (Wilderness) get right to it with a non-intrusive opening narration, fear of the plague, and bodies lining the street.  The audience remains knee deep in the Dark Ages via emotional characters, lofty concepts, and deadly circumstances.  Devout and superstitious ideologies of the time regarding if plaques and pestilences are punishment from God or demonic doings are firmly and intelligently established in what we too simply label as just a little horror film.  Although Black Death is indeed styled like a scary quest film; a road trip movie with a rag tag group of warriors traveling far, duking it out, and dying in creative ways just to destroy the bad guys.  There’s a bit of humor, too- blaming the plague on the French or going out with some anachronistic defiance and curses.  Actually, the camaraderie among our not so merry band reminds me of Neil Marshall’s Centurion. And of course, some of Black Death’s themes can seem like a repeat now thanks to the similar but much maligned Season of the Witch (It’s 6% Rotten, that’s all I’m saying about that Nicholas Cage drivel!) Yes, Ulric and his boys run around and swordfight a lot. However, there’s a dang good story with spiritual depth, fine action and cinematography, and a stylishly spooky setting. What’s not to like? Black Death has some sweet battle faire and some nice shocks and scares. The intriguing spin here is more than the usual burn at the stake fair, which we don’t see all that much anymore anyway. The dialogue is delivered rhythmically and seriously despite talk of demons and necromancers being responsible for the plague.  Performance and plot are not at the mercy of the gore, which is the easy norm and quick routine horror trend today. 

 

Well, Sean Bean looks a little Boromir here thanks to our imprinted image of him from Lord of the Rings, sure, and his new stateside success with Game of Thrones certainly contributes. But he’s so dang good at riding in to save the day!  Ulric has a job to do and believes God is on his side, and he will do anything to get it done.  He tells someone to move out of his way, he moves.  Ulric is a great, godly menace, righteous yet unflinching in his gruesome ways.  He doesn’t think twice about a mercy killing or ordering the deaths of the ill that jeopardize his mission. Ulric also doesn’t reveal the details of the task at hand until absolutely necessary.  Why does he automatically think everything is evil or at the very least, the worst, first? On Ulric’s suspicion alone we think foul things are afoot at the Circle K- and it effing works.  But then… well, I can’t give it all away.  Suffice to say, I was gasping at the television and covering my mouth, shocked, I tell you, shocked!

 

 

 

Despite Bean’s top billing and prominence on the artwork, Eddie Redmayne’s (The Pillars of the Earth, The Other Boleyn Girl) monk Osmond is the character with which the audience identifies most. His relationship with Kimberley Nixon (Cherrybomb) is believable, yet Osmond also wants to faithfully serve God in any way possible. Redmayne is a pleasant antithesis to Bean- in both stature and philosophy.  However, how different are Osmond and Ulric really? Can each be both warrior and priest?  Can Ulric be an action man of God laying down his sword for his beliefs? Can Osmond take up violence to save what he believes in?  After all, isn’t killing in the name of the Lord still just killing? Is Ulric- believing himself to be sent by God- more religious than Osmond- who started the journey for his own desires? Is it better to hide away in a church and pray or be in the cruel world slaying evil?  This is not a religious movie per se, but the questions raised by both men’s ways add an emotional and intelligent dimension to Black Death.  

 

It may take half the movie to meet the supposed necromancer Langiva, but the budding build and fine mystery set off Carice van Houten’s (Valkyrie, Repo Men) eerie performance.  Why yes, what is so wrong with a monk loving a woman?  Maybe God’s divine love isn’t enough for a man after all.  Maybe the plague is punishment from God, not an evil curse like the ruling Christians say. But that is just like the trickery of a witchy woman, isn’t it? Are not these temptations exactly what the too good to be true promises of the devil offer? Do we really merely need miracles or someone in which to believe? Who is on the right side in Black Death?  Houten encapsulates all this juiciness perfectly.  Likewise, Tim McInnerny (Blackadder) is creepy as Langriva’s would be partner in crime, Hob. John Lynch (In the Name of the Father) also stands out as Wolfstan, the voice of reason among Ulric’s troupe. However, Andy Nyman (Death at a Funeral) as Dalywag, Dutch thespian Tygo Gernandt as Ivo, and Johnny Harris (Whitechapel) as Mold are not only stuck with some really weird names; but they are cut from a little too much of the same cloth. It’s the polite way of saying they are all the same and serve the usual purposes of good swordplay or dramatic death.  Does it hamper the film? Not at all- although I would have liked more from David Warner (Doctor Who, Hornblower) as the cranky Abbott instead.

 

 

Fortunately, Black Death’s design is almost a player unto itself.  The scoring is on form- properly action, but also old school with Latin chants. The music and sound effects know when to be silent just as much as they put the exclamation on the big moments. Though the photography is a little dark in some spots, the video style works as if we the viewers are reporters riding along with the recording equipment.  Black Death has a dirty realism- this is not the good old Knights of the Round Table shiny and spectacle fifties flair.  The robes, chainmail, cool medieval kirtles and gowns, sweet churches and monastery design go a long way in creating both the lovely medieval we expect and the poor desperation of the time.  Langiva is also wonderfully styled in rich red in a picture with an otherwise natural and devoid palette. The German locations- from mountains and forestry to snowscapes- look stunning. Despite its deadly subject matter, Black Death is a beautiful film. It’s both aesthetically pleasing to modern audiences who expect stylized visuals and realistically accurate enough for historical fans. 

 

Of course, there are the obligatory and ridiculous previews on the blu-ray rental copy; but due to some of the darker photography and stunning locations, I can’t imagine seeing this on DVD.   Naturally, subtitles are needed for all the wacky names and soft religious debates, too.  There are also plenty of features on the blu-ray set, including deleted scenes, cast interviews, making of shorts, and behind the scenes treats. The cut scenes aren’t even the kind that are bad and deleted for a reason.  They lengthen the journey and provide more detail about the beliefs and actions of our crack medieval team. At less than 5 minutes, I don’t know why they were excised from the film.  It’s also nice to hear the film was shot chronologically to up the tension as they went along.  You would think more films would do this and not go out of order- folks acting on meeting each other after they’ve already died and all that- but I digress.

 

 

 

Naturally, this is not a film for kids thanks to the violence, torture, blood, and subject matter.  Actually, big surprise, Black Death is kind of a morbid movie, even a little depressing. Slice and dice heavy horror fans might not like the seriousness and debates hereHowever, old school audiences longing for more truth, realism, and intelligence in their scares can find what they are looking for with Black Death.  In some ways, I don’t even want to call this a horror film.  This is a thrilling drama with horrific events, yes, but it has equal amounts of both- enough to appease even none horror or historical and mildly gothic fans.  Please please please do not let any bitter tastes left from Season of the Witch put you off here.  Once again, American theatrical audiences were instead given that p.o.s. when we could have gotten a little Black Death instead.  Catch it ASAP.

 

 

(On a side note, I wonder what would happen if one watched Black Death and Centurion together with picture in picture? It would almost be like having Sean Bean and Michael Fassbender in one movie!  Good God.)

Flash Fiction Friday: Jeremiah Donaldson

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on July 18, 2014 by Horror Addicts Guest

One Vote
By Jeremiah Donaldson

Marvin’s sweaty hand made the registration card soggy. He’d never voted. Anticipation twisted his gut. Soon, he’d help decide the country’s fate for the next several years or longer.

He forced himself towards the booth.

Christ. What party did I register with?

Just vote. It didn’t matter who he voted for. Besides, the politicians worked for the same corporations anyway.

He ducked into the booth, almost bowling over the touch screen sitting on a wooden pedestal. Sweat stung his eyes and his vision blurred, so he randomly reached out.

Huge letters flashed: ‘THANK YOU FOR VOTING’.

Done. He’d voted.

Marvin hurried out the front door.

He got in his truck and spun some gravel pulling out of the church lot. The static filled radio coming from one good speaker made him wish that the Eight Track player hadn’t died 25 years before.

“We interrupt normal broadcasts for a special weather alert…”

He frowned and changed the station.

“Cuba has joined NATO…”

He twisted the knob again.
“Wall Street brokers have started a fund to benefit low income…”

Again.

“We will start pulling troops out of the Middle East immediately…”

The radio died with a final blast of static and left him with the noisy muffler.

Black storm clouds had gathered by the time he pulled into his driveway. He got out and a gust blew the driver’s door shut so hard the window rattled. Trees lining his yard creaked while leaves swirled down.

Massive raindrops pelted him like stones. Something squishy landed on his shoulder and moved to his neck. Marvin shuddered, flicking at the rubbery thing crawling up the back of his head. It fell to the ground and hopped away.

He stomped on the weird blue frog, then looked up and shivered.

Must have fell from the tree.

A thud prompted him to turn. A red frog lay exploded in the middle of the bashed in truck hood.

Dots too large for rain fell from the sky. Something slammed into his forehead, knocking him backwards. He stumbled several steps before tripping to the ground with fluids running down his face. He blinked, wiping thick slime and cold blood off with his shirt while getting up.

A red frog smashed to the ground beside him as the truck windshield shattered.

A small blue one landed on his shoulder. It hopped away and joined other survivors among the bodies in the purple yard.

He made it to the porch before something surprisingly firm slammed into the center of his back. He stumbled, and caught himself with the handrail, stopping long enough to punt the huge blue frog into the yard. He pushed through the front door and leaned against it protectively, as though the amphibians could have turned the knob. His heart pounded so hard he feared a heart attack.

Pots banged against one another as his wife called out. “So, who did you vote for?”

———————————-

Jeremiah Donaldson lives in London, Ky with his daughter and pets. He’s currently working on multiple projects, including two that will be available later in 2014. He can be found at his home on the web at: www.ephiroll.com
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