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The Most Iconic Object In Horror Movies

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy

A lot of horror movie fans would’ve agree with me that the genre produced an abundance of objects we love to be associated with, such as Jason’s mask, Freddy’s glove and all sort of other cool horror stuffs. When we look back at the rich history of the genre, some of the objects that have appeared in the horror movies have become somewhat legendary and iconic, where (almost) anyone can readily identify it, and have a special place in some horror fan’s home, nicely displayed on a neatly decorated shelf or cabinet, and an object of enormous pride.

Weapons are, of course, a must-have object in any horror movies (with the exception of movies dealing with supernatural phenomenon). The writer’s would be compelled to think of the most gruesome arsenal of pain-inflicting object they can find, with the potential to stick in the minds of movie-goers for a very long time. As listed in the website Horror-Movies.ca 7 Iconic Horror Movie Weapons, amongst the most iconic horror movie weapons are the kitchen knife, the machete, a glove armed with razors (which I think is the most original weapon there is), the chainsaw (I would say that a chainsaw is a very popular item in workplace safety as well!), the Tall Man’s sphere armed with mechanical razors, the hook and chains; and the hook hand.

Apart from the weapons, I’m personally interested to list non-weapon objects that are considered equally iconic. After some quick search in the internet, I can’t find such a list but the object I’ve shortlisted in my mind, upon searching it by name, are littered with sites with lengthy explanation (and that goes to show me some idea of how iconic the object is).

Here’s a list of what I considered as some of the most iconic non-weapon object in horror movie history (and I won’t add any pictures to it as I would consider it as ‘disrespectful’):

  1. Hockey mask

    For hardcore horror movie fan/addict, they would associate this mask to a serial killer rather than the goaltender donning it in a ice hockey game! (Come to think of it, kinda ironic that the mask represent harm rather than protection it was supposed to provide)

  2. Red and dark green stripe sweater 

    It’s really silly to imagine Freddy Krueger wearing a ‘Peace No War’ t-shirt, isn’t it? Have you ever tried walking around with the same kind of sweater and people start asking ‘hey man, where’s your claw?’ (You’ll get double the response if your face is pretty much scarred).

  3. Necronomicon Ex-Mortis (The Book Of The Dead)

    If there is ever a university degree on horror subject matter, the Necronomicon Ex-Mortis would be the primary (or only) textbook. Would you ever consider yourself a horror movie fan if you can’t recognise THE BOOK!

  4. Hellraiser’s puzzle box (The Lemarchand’s box)

    Did you know there’s a couple of websites selling solely this item? and the moveable full size puzzle box will cost you like 439 bucks. These people know the high price won’t deter hardcore horror movie fans from buying it. It’s a must-have!

  5. Silver

    How would you kill a werewolf without a weapon that shoots bullet or arrow tainted with silver? Silver is notably known to all horror movie fans as the only metal that can kill them creatures. Go and try asking any hardcore horror movie fan about the real use of silver. I bet any response relating to economic value of silver is secondary.

 

I know some of you may dispute my list or think that the list should be expanded with more legendary objects. Why not you fill in the comments with items or objects that you think should make the list.

Ctulhu Who?

I am fan of Metallica and I used to listen to a song called ‘The Call of Ktulu’ when I was a teenager. I wasn’t bothered too much to find out what or who ‘Ktulu’ was since it’s quite normal for metal bands to name their songs with creepy names. The song itself was not much of a help neither since it’s an instrumental song, so no lyrics to give me any sort of idea. It took me 29 years for the curiosity to finally set in.

Who is Ktulu or Ctulhu? Cthulhu is a fictional cosmic entity who first appeared in the short story “The Call of Cthulhu”, published in the pulp magazine Weird Tales in 1928. The character was created by writer H. P. Lovecraft. More cool info follow this link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cthulhu

These are some awesome pics of Ctulhu:

Kraken-cthulhu

cthulhu_rising_by_somniturne1

Nightmarish creature indeed; a long way off of what I initially thought of Ctulhu as some dude coming from Africa. A perfect character for portrayal in horror movies but after some short research, to my amazement, there’s not that many movies having Ctulhu as the central character. The most endearing was this movie made in 2005 called ‘The Call Of Ctulhu’

And this one, in which Tori Spelling was part of the cast (that’s terrifying enough for me) and one that didn’t get that much TLC from the critics.

Honestly, in my opinion, a creature of this magnitude and rich history would command a sizeable audience of moviegoers if a big budget film is made by some big shot Hollywood producers. Wouldn’t you think? Look at the success of The Lord Of The Rings.

There are some monsters in Hollywood movies that looked (to me) a tad similar to Ctulhu namely, Ogdru Jahad from Hellboy

OgdruJahad

And this gruesome chap, Davy Jones from The Pirates Of The Caribbean (it does make sense to me now why on earth Davy Jones have octopus-like head, instead of a shark, a crab or other menacingly looking sea creatures)

Kraken_attacks_18_Davy_Jones

Do you have any idea of why Ctulhu is not made into a big budget Hollywood movie until this day?

The Mischievous Devil Child

No..it’s not Damien from The Omen.

Nope..not Rhoda from The Bad Seed either (if you’re so much into them, you can check out this link: http://www.ifc.com/fix/2012/04/ten-evil-children-in-movies)

Close enough..the ghostly kid in The Grudge is a bit similar in some ways.

What I’m going to write about is this…

toyol

This badass looking kid is a very popular creepy character in Malay folklore. Well, he’s not actually a living, breathing kid, more of like undead kid; summoned from dead foetus by black magic. He’s known as ‘Toyol’.

Why he’s green? Heck I don’t know why he chose to appear in green. Maybe the mother of the original dead foetus used for summoning was a fan of Hulk, Green Lantern or something. Very cool information on the origin of this badass ‘Toyol’ can be found here http://coolerwithkungfu.blogspot.com/2012/07/toyol.html

Although ‘Toyol’ is quite famous in the local horror fraternity but they are not that popular on the silver screen compared to other ghosts in Malay folklore. Movie producers were rather fond of portraying them in the horror/comedy genre maybe due to the fact that they are mischievous in nature and they are commonly used for stealing other people’s money and stuffs.

Some of the movies that portrayed Toyol in a creepy manner were:

1. Toyol (1981). This movie was the definitive guide for Toyol fan as it was the first movie with Toyol in it. You can watch the full movie in Youtube.

Toyol 1981

2. Janin (2010)

Janin

3. Ghost Child (2013). This is the most recent movie with Toyol in it. The difference is that both of the above movies were Malaysian movies while this movie were made by Singaporean (so it seems that Malaysia is not the only place for Toyol, in fact they are part of other Asian countries’ folklore as well).

pix_gal1

Ever watched a movie with a similar character like Toyol? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

 

Killer Appliances Hall Of Fame: The Refrigerator

This post starts off my Killer Appliances Hall Of Fame (this idea has been in the refrigerator for quite some time now, how ironic ;-)); which is a series of blog posts dedicated to household or industrial appliances (either electrical or manual) featured in horror movies with dual function: to make life easier as well as to end life.

The refrigerator can be an ideal killing machine, if you know how to use it for that purpose. If the fridge is possessed somehow with vengeful spirits or demons, the killing ability will increase two or threefold, in ways that we can never imagined.

Normal refrigerators have the potential to harm someone by:

  1. Crushing: A really big fridge can crush you if it fall over you. In real life, the risk of a refrigerator falling unto you is very,very low unless somebody (with murder in his mind) pushes it over forcefully. Even more so, the fridge have to be very big and heavy; or fall from significant height to land on top of you.
  2. Freezing: Put yourself in the fridge for one whole day and see how it goes (nobody in the right frame of mind would do this). Rapidly decreasing core body temperature can lead to hypothermia.
  3. Electrical shock: I don’t need to explain this unless your fridge runs on fuel/steam. The risk of electrical shock from a fridge is also very, very low.

It would be a very different story if the refrigerator in your kitchen is somehow possessed. Possessed refrigerator can create unimaginable horror by:

Creating other worldly dimension and suck you into it. 

A doorway for other dimension to cross over to earth. 

Biting with razor-sharp teeth.

Taking control of other appliances and turns them into murdering minions.

Forcing the door shut and creating a force strong enough to sever a man’s (or in this case, a woman) arm, and then devouring them. 

So folks, be very careful every time you open your fridge’s door. God knows what lurks behind ‘em. You may be cunning enough to evade a sudden attack  from monsters coming out of the fridge, but you may not be obvious to the fact that your fridge can actually kill you slowly and steadily with the abundance of junk food you store in them ;-)

The Art Of The Devil

Long Khong or Art Of The Devil 2 (2005)

aotd2_poster04

I watched this movie a long time ago with my other half at the local cinema and we were awestruck. We had to watch it (at the cinema!) twice just to indulge ourselves in the gore and crazy stuff that were in it. One other fact that compelled me to love this movie (apart from the gore) is that it highlighted Thai’s most notorious art: black magic! Local people believed that Thai’s black magic are so devilish and deadly that if you are struck with it, there’s no way back to health. If you really hate  someone or have some very serious issues with somebody to a point you want to inflict pain, suffering and humiliating death, go get help from the Thai shaman. This movie demonstrated the awesome wickedness of their power and ability.

The first victim (in order of appearances), a local school coach. He’s a pervert and a bully. Fish hooks came out from under his skin, toes and eye. Why he’s a victim? Well you gonna have to watch the movie to find out.

vlcsnap-2013-04-06-18h20m16s93

The second victim, Noot. She was part of the group of friends that went to a village to visit their teacher. She’s a cute and sexy girl, and fashionable too. Too bad all her accessories ended up in the stove. She was whacked to death, cooked and fed to her friends.

vlcsnap-2013-04-06-18h37m02s203

This is what she looked like before she’s turned into broth. What a waste *sigh*

noot

The third victim, tortured and eventually took his own life with a gunshot to his head to ease his suffering.

vlcsnap-2013-04-06-21h32m25s144

The fourth victim, Ko was part of the group of friends. He’s a loudmouth and a prankster. He was hexed to a point where small lizards came out from under his skin.

art-1

The fifth victim, Tair was also part of the group. Her sight hexed to a point where she can see all the ghosts sent to haunt her. She gouged her own eyes to stop her from seeing ghosts but she tripped and fell into boiling oil instead.

vlcsnap-2013-04-06-21h50m57s70

The sixth victim, the shaman himself, stabbed in the butt and then eaten alive so that his powers can be transferred to his murderer. His head decapitated, drilled on the forehead and impaled on a statue (he must’ve regretted big time for being forgetful to cast some sort of invincible charm unto himself). Casters of evil spells (in the movie) most often end up dead by having his/her spell turn back on him, but this time it’s different.

vlcsnap-2013-04-06-22h24m57s249

The seventh victim, Por suffered the worst fate. He was injected with some chemicals (some sort of concoction that paralyses but keeps him awake) at the neck, boiling hot water poured into his mouth, skin burned with torch and then his charred skin wiped with cloth. In the end, his forehead drilled to make way for a third eye. It’s kind of a ritual cleansing to appease the 3 eye god.

vlcsnap-2013-04-06-22h08m48s40

There you go. Actual body count was far more than what I mentioned here but I don’t want to reveal too much. You have to watch the movie if you want to satisfy your curiosity.

Do you think there’s other kind of black magic worth mentioning?

The Hopping Vampire

My last post presented a different breed of vampire coming from Asia, but did you know that apart from flying vampire head, we Asians have another variety of vampire in our camp, the hopping vampire! They are a popular horror character in Chinese horror movies.

jiangshi

They originate from China (known as ‘Jiangshi’) but also popular in Korea (known as ‘Gangshi’) and Japan (known as ‘Kyonshi’). The way I looked at them, I would classify them as a hybrid of vampire and zombie. Their appearance can range from pale-looking, like the recently deceased, to horrific, i.e. rotted flesh, rigor mortis, and various states of decay, and is usually noted by its greenish-white skin, possibly from a fungus or mold growing on the corpse. They can’t walk, they hop. Their limbs are mostly stiff (due to rigor mortis) so they hop with arms outstretched, growling in the chase for their prey. They have very long, sharp nails and so does their fangs. They usually wears the Qing dynasty’s palace official dress with necklace and hat. They kill people to suck their ‘chi’ (life essence). They are known to bite and eat their prey  (and they can spread their jiangshi virus as well, making their victim as one of their own), much like zombies. For an in-depth background history of this fearsome night creature, you can follow this link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jiangshi

The movies that made them popular initially was made during the 80’s titled Mr. Vampire (1985) and Encounters of The Spooky Kind (1980) but they were not made as horror movies but rather as a combination of action, comedy and horror (I guess it’s a recipe for box office success in the Hong Kong film industry at that time). Mr. Vampire spawned many sequels such as Mr. Vampire II (1986), III (1987) and IV (1988).

Both of these movies starred legendary actor Lam Ching Ying (1952-1997), regarded as Peter Cushing of Asia. He starred as Taoist priest in many Hong Kong horror flick, and battled with countless jiangshi. Jiangshi were also portrayed in movies released in the US such as The Jitters (1989) featured James Hong (of Balls Of Fury, Big Trouble in Little China) as part of the casts.

A comprehensive list of jiangshi movies can be found by following this link: http://www.imdb.com/list/2O2mC476sGQ/

I loved to watch jiangshi movies when I was a kid (especially when it starred stellar casts such as Sammo Hung, Yuen Biao, Wu Ma and Corey Yuen) and there were so many of these movies to choose from (I don’t mind trashy horror movies as long as it’s entertaining). I’m a bit disappointed that there are not many horror movies portraying jiangshi nowadays. I really hope somebody in the Hong Kong film industry would try to revive this fascinating creature in a new horror movie or at least a remake would do to satisfy a fan such as myself. Wouldn’t you agree?

Have You Seen A Vampire But Without A Body?

I can safely say that southeast Asia has some of the most hideous looking horror/supernatural creatures coming out of their folklore, and spawned bewildering variety of horror movies related to these creatures. This post will highlight one of its most popular creature with decades of portrayal at the silver screen, the legendary ‘flying witch/vampire head’ or popularly known on these part of the world as ‘penanggal’ (Malaysia), ‘Krasue’ (Thailand), ‘Kasu’ (Laos), ‘Arp’ (Cambodia) and ‘penanggalan/leyak’ (Indonesia).

 Penanggalan
Yeah..it really looked like something that came out from the very bowels of Hell and anyone with the right frame of mind will head for the hills of Himalayas at first sight of these foul creature. The most interesting part of their nature is that these flying vampire head are not classified as ‘undead’ or apparition. They are actual people (women mostly) who are able to detach their heads (together with the entrails) from their bodies with the help of some wicked curse. Human by day, horror creature by night. Much like werewolves. See Wikipedia for detailed information on their origin and behavior. To make matters worse, they suck blood and has the ability to fly! (a very fascinating aspect from the view of a horror film maker) and makes a real good ‘running and screaming’ type of movies.
Let’s look at some of the movies with mostly ‘penanggal’ as the lead role:
Mystics in Bali 1981

Mystics in Bali 1981 (Indonesia)

Ghost Of Guts Eater 1973 (Thailand)

Ghost Of Guts Eater 1973 (Thailand)

Bloody Krasue 1994 (Thailand)

Bloody Krasue 1994 (Thailand)

Krasue Kud Porb 1980 (Thailand)

Krasue Kud Porb 1980 (Thailand)

Demonic Beauty 2001 (Thailand)

Demonic Beauty 2001 (Thailand)

Nieng Arp 2004 (Cambodia)

Nieng Arp 2004 (Cambodia)

Fei taugh mo neuih 1977 (Hong Kong)

Fei taugh mo neuih 1977 (Hong Kong)

The Gluttonous Fear 2007 (Thailand)

The Gluttonous Fear 2007 (Thailand)

Konm Eak Madia Arb 1980 (Cambodia)

Konm Eak Madia Arb 1980 (Cambodia)

Fullmoon Devil 2011 (Thailand)

Fullmoon Devil 2011 (Thailand)

Itthirith Nam Man Phrai 1984   (Thailand)

Itthirith Nam Man Phrai 1984 (Thailand)

2011 Penanggal (Malaysia) telemovie

1967 Penanggalan (Indonesia)

2007 Tiyen Arp (Cambodia)

2009 Arb Kalum (Cambodia)

Do remember, that if you ever visit Southeast Asia in the future and wants to go wild with the local chick, make sure they don’t have any slit mark around their neck (women with ‘penanggal’ curse often cover their neck with clothes or shawl); or you’ll end up being chewed upon during the night.

I’m anxious to see if there is any film-maker out there brave enough to make a horror movie that pits both modern ‘Dracula’ type vampire against these flying vampire head, I’m sure it’s gonna be a fiery fight and interesting enough to drive people to the cinema.

Who do you think will win?

The Walking Dead #1 Digital Comic For Free

TheWalkingDead01_cover

As an avid fan of zombies and the hit TV show ‘The Walking Dead’, I just can’t resist picking this up at Comixology especially when it’s for free! There’s news that the first issue physical comic book was bought at the price of USD10,000 on Ebay, well that I can understand, and it’s definitely way out of my league. I’m perfectly happy with the digital one that I have now.

Too Early For An Award, Doncha Think?

I received a comment in my blog recently, saying that my blog was nominated for a Liebster Award. Upon closer examination, the comment was from gorewithsoul.com. My heart was pounding, could it be true? My blog has only 6 posts, some half-baked ideas on the shelf (and barely a month old); how can it be good enough for an Award?  Self-gloryfying part of me said ‘Hey, why not?’ while another part said ‘These people would do anything for a sale!’.  I clicked on the link and turned out it was just some sort of chain letter thingie to promote bloggers with less than 200 followers. Although there was no actual award nomination, I still feel proud that my blog was included in the loop. To top it up, I decided to join in the fun!

The rules state I have to:

  1. Thank the person that nominated me. (Easy)
  2. Answer their 11 questions.(Now where’s my thinking witch hat?)
  3. Nominate other 11 blogs, under 200 followers. (Tough, but for the greater good)
  4. Ask them 11 questions.(I’m thinking of solving the mystery of the universe)

So, here goes:

Thank you very much Gore with Soul! You make my day!

Answers to your questions:

  1. What’s your biggest fear? The world end up in a state of zombie apocalypse and I’m too old to run (Rule #1 in Zombieland: Cardio)
  2. Tell me your worst nightmare? Being chased by hideous looking ghosts (Blog posting deadlines is the cause of this I’m sure of it)
  3. Tell me your biggest hatred towards society? Apathy. It’s like zombie virus. People get easily infected.
  4. What do you love most about society? Favor. You can’t ask for favor if you’re alone.
  5. Name up to 5 unknown movies everyone should see. I will define unknown as local/regional horror movies from this side of the globe that everyone should see:
    1. Long Khong (Thai – 2005)
    2. Santau (Malaysia – 2012)
    3. Legenda Sundel Bolong (Indonesia – 2007)
    4. Nang Nak (Thai – 1999)
    5. Pontianak Harum Sundal Malam (Malaysia – 2004)
  6. Have you ever wished someone’s harm, and if you’re ok with it, why? No, it’s against my principles and my profession. If ever I wanted to inflict any harm, it would be to a zombie,
  7. What do you fear most hell, heaven, purgatory or no life after death? I would say Hell due to my religion.
  8. What do you love most about you? I always try to see everything in a positive way. Even in great difficulties.
  9. Why did you start your blog? I would say a lot of it comes from the need to express myself. I love to spend time on the Internet and FBing has turned into a bore, so why not be more productive.
  10. What’s your happy place? My home with the rest of my family members, and the internet, and a fully-stocked fridge.
  11. Do you have an impossible desire, and if so, what is it? To be imbued with teleportation powers like in ‘Jumper’, so to avoid my biggest fear (See Question #1). Super duper cool.

These are the blogs I nominate:

  1. Cheesy, Sleazy, Must See Movies @ http://z-portal.blogspot.com
  2. Two Gory Chicks @ http://twogorychicks.blogspot.com
  3. This Girl Digs Horror @ http://thisgirldigshorror.blogspot.com
  4. Tales From The Dorkside @ http://tlieso.blogspot.com
  5. Man Vs Horror @ http://manvshorror.wordpress.com
  6. Horror Movies I Love @ http://screamqueenarmy.blogspot.com
  7. Laughing Scared @ http://www.laughingscared.blogspot.com
  8. Mephisto’s Castle @ http://mephistoscastle.blogspot.com
  9. The Zombie Hunter @ http://the-zombie-hunter.blogspot.com
  10. Mermaid Heather @ http://mermaidheather.blogspot.com
  11. Island Of Terror @ http://islandofterror.blogspot.com

Here’s some eyeballs as a Liebster Award for all of you!

eyeballs

Now answer these questions:

  1. What is your favorite horror creature of modern times?
  2. Did you ever doze off while watching a horror movie at the cinema/home? If you did, name the movie.
  3. What is your idea of a perfect horror movie?
  4. If you can change something about yourself, what would it be?
  5. If you can contribute something to the community, what would it be?
  6. Chainsaw or shotgun?
  7. The most underrated movie in your opinion?
  8. Why did you start your blog?
  9. Have you ever disapprove a comment?
  10. List 5 things you never leave home without.
  11. The best car make and model you ever bought?

Werewolf Transformation Of The 80’s

Oh the glorious 80’s; the period in which we saw Pac-Man and Rubik’s cube became world famous, and E.T. makes his bow (and that sweet cuddly face of Drew Barrymore). The 80’s also gave birth to household horror names such as Jason Vorhees, Freddy Krueger, The Thing, Chucky, Critters and Pinhead. The 1980’s were a golden age of special effects, especially for horror movies. Groundbreaking techniques were introduced and used by film makers to create the horrors on screen and made us cringed under the blanket. If I were to show each and every special effects clip from the blockbusters movies of the 80’s, I would have to embed almost half of YouTube’s video inventory into this small blog post. I am truly proud to live (and grew up) during those days.

Werewolves, amongst countless horror movie creatures, were a subject of choice for many special effects wizards. Here are some notable (and award winning) werewolf transformation special effects of the 80’s.

An American Werewolf in London (1981)

This classic horror film contained a visceral transformation scene (that won an Academy Award for Best Makeup for Rick Baker), the first to win in the newly-established Oscar category during the 54th Academy Awards.

 

The Howling I (1981)

Rick Baker was supposedly the effect artist for this film but was replaced by his assistant Rob Bottin. Rob Bottin was responsible for most of the special effects in The Thing.

 

The Company of Wolves (1984)

The most notable difference from other transformation scene is the act of ripping off the skin in a bloody way. The movie was nominated for Best Special Visual Effect during 1985 BAFTA.

 

Silver Bullet (1985)

The special effects artist for this film was Carlo Rambaldi (3-time Oscar winner) and the man who created the Alien head in ALIEN and E.T.

 

Which one is your favourite?

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