Tag: horror

Eat, human / Eat human

Eat, human / Eat human

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Japan's food company Kagome employee Shigenori Suzuki tries to eat a tomato which is provided from the newly developed tomato dispenser for marathon runner "Tomachan" during a demonstration ahead of this weekend's Tokyo marathon in Tokyo on February 19, 2015. The hands free tomato eating machine was developed by Japanese artist Nobumichi Tosa and Tosa also developed a compact one "Mini-Tomachan".     AFP PHOTO / Yoshikazu TSUNO Hands free tomato eating machine by Japanese artist Nobumichi Tosa. AFP PHOTO / Yoshikazu Tsuno.

A Japanese vegetable juice company has made a backpack robot with a tomato-shaped head, designed to feed its wearer tomatoes… because of course they have. Another solution to a problem nobody in their right mind ever thought was a problem.

It is at least credited to an artist, so we’ll give him some leeway to not be entirely utilitarian, and possibly even satirical. In the picture above it looks disconcertingly like some kind of high tech kawaii BDSM ball gag get up, and even more disconcertingly like these mechanoid, fetor-powered parasites from the manga ギョGyo (Fish) by Junji Ito, who seems to have a boundless imagination for scatology, body horror and despair. Probably not the vibe that Kagome were going for.

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I hereby announce the blogging genre of Japanese misadventures with vegetables and/or…

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???est posts of 2014

???est posts of 2014

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Otherwise known as the now traditional lazy retrospective listicle

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We all know by now don’t we my little blackguards my pretty roadside fartflowers of the friggingfields my dearest filthy fuckbirds yes we know yes yes yes oh yes that the top pages on the site are invariably James Joyce’s paeans to using the tradesman’s entrance and the translation of Hokusai’s tentacle hentai. Tens of thousands of you, constantly, from all over the world, day and night. You must have massive right arms by now (if you’re right handed).

But there is so much more to explore, and some of it doesn’t even involve sexual fetishes. I know it’s hard to believe, but it’s true.

JANUARY

I have no idea what's going on in this picture.“What a shocking bad hat”, and other stupid 19th century memes.

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Dystopian Nostalgia

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It’s been bubbling up for a while, but until now I couldn’t put a name to it. I’m calling it Dystopian Nostalgia; the undeniable affection and nostalgia that people in their 20s and 30s have for tropes of their 80s and 90s (i.e. pre mass adoption of the internet) childhoods, deliberately and perversely spiked with adult animus. It finds particularly vivid expression in online videos, and frequently goes viral. There’s probably a book or a PhD paper in pulling apart the reasons for it. Possibly it’s television itself taking the sublimated flak for the parents who left so many children to be babysat by the CRT. If so, get ready for some really vicious dystopian nostalgia when the touch screen babies come of age. Or perhaps optimism and hope for the future have finally died and this is a generation’s revenge on the medium that seemed so intent upon instilling…

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The Babadook: an advertisement for contraception

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NB: I don’t care about spoilers, in fact I really don’t care hard about spoilers… but even if you do there aren’t any here that you won’t find in the trailers and publicity for The Babadook.

My alternative title for writer-director Jennifer Kent’s new low-budget Oz horror film is Parenthood: It’s a Fucking Nightmare That Never Ends. In The Babadook, widowed mother Amelia– suffering from unresolved grief and what could be construed as an open-ended form of postnatal depression– is either being driven mad by her son’s antisocial acting out, or perhaps vice versa and her descent into madness is destroying him. It’s this negative domestic energy that seems to open the door to the storybook character so unnervingly introduced in a Struwwelpeter-esque tome that shows up in their house in advance of Mister Babadook himself.

It’s quite an old school (and distinctly non-American) horror film in…

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Scarlett Johansson’s murder van

Scarlett Johansson’s murder van

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… and how she was punished for it.

It’s been out a while, but I only just got around to Jonathan Glazer’s Under the Skin, the enigmatic, glacial barely-horror film in which an alien (Scarlett Johansson) drives around in a white Transit van and preys upon lone men in Scotland. I’ve not read the novel by Michel Faber, upon which the film was based, so this discussion is purely about the latter. There’ll be spoilers, so if you haven’t seen the film and you’re one of those big babies there’s plenty of other things to read on this blog.

You know some bad news is coming, because I’ll start with the good. The film captures the bleak beauty and grey light of Scotland perfectly. It looks like the most grimly lush Radiohead video ever, if Radiohead singles were ever nearly two hours long. The score by Mica Levi puts…

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One, two, you’re coming for Freddy

One, two, you’re coming for Freddy

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freddykruegerIf you ever watched horror films in the 1980s or 1990s and thought to yourself “Freddy Krueger’s OK, but what this keloid-deformed, ultraviolent, serial killing child molester really needs is fishnet stockings and a massive rack”, then today you have finally hit the jackpot, my friend. A Japanese company is now offering this bishoujo Freddy statue, or “stuatue” as they have it on their site. I know by now it almost goes without saying that if we discover a highly inappropriate item has been sexualised, then somebody Japanese will probably be responsible. I take a glass-half-full attitude towards this fact, though. These figures are very, very wrong but bless your filthy, weird, perverted Japanese minds.

tnirn20000016wboBishoujo or bishōjo (美少女)means “beautiful young girl”, and is usually taken to mean a woman younger than university age. Given the obvious intent behind this item, it’s reasonable to translate the figure’s…

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Demons

Demons

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I recently renewed my acquaintance with Lamberto Bava’s deliriously silly 1985 gore film Demons/Demoni. It made me pine for the days in the late 1980s and early 1990s when me and my friends actively sought the worst VHS rental films to laugh at, be bewildered by, bitch about, quip at and get drunk with. For those who have missed out on this kind of wonderful experience– maybe you have mostly dullards for friends, or your partner affects only to enjoy good films or something, I don’t know– I recommend Red Letter Media’s Best of the Worst videos to give you an idea of how much fun you can have with a couple of atrocious films, a few (or a lot of) beers and some witty pals.

DemonsIf my memory serves me correctly, during that long ago session Demons may even have been part of a double bill…

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Anatomic bombs

Anatomic bombs

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As research for something I’m writing, I recently re-read Aldous Huxley’s book The Devils of Loudun (1952), which is a very thorough, sardonic account of the 1630s outbreak of mass nymphomaniac diabolical hysteria instigated by a bunch of “possessed” nuns to get back at an unpopular local clergyman. I hate it when that happens. Nowadays the book is primarily known as the source material for Ken Russell’s salacious 1970s nunsploitation version with Oliver Reed, The Devils. Why this pertains to what I’m writing is not important to relate right now, but among the excellent background material about France in the 17th century is the following section about the general filthiness of things:

“The most grotesque of avoidable mishaps would mar the most solemn occasions. Consider, for example, the case of La Grande Mademoiselle*, that pathetic figure of fun who was Louis XIV’s first cousin. After death, according to…

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Think of the children

Think of the children

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… but please don’t make them into lamps after poking their eyes out with scissors. Especially on a children’s TV show in Sweden, unless you want to cause a storm in a teacup. Via Metafilter, a Norwegian site reports (do I detect a hint of anti-Swedish glee?) that “Swedish children’s TV channel is forced to remove clip of doll murder.

Dukkemassaker_1090124iLuckily (for them) Sweden is so utopian that some people have nothing better to worry about than dolls being mutilated on a TV show for children, Philofix, complaining vociferously that it was “perverse”, “macabre” and “crazy”, and that the presenter should be dismissed. Clearly these people have never met a real child or they’re a very long way from their own childhoods, because otherwise they’d know that many children adore this kind of business and need no encouragement or instruction whatsoever in play-sadism with any vaguely…

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Lazy Halloween blog 2013

Lazy Halloween blog 2013

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album-cover-kyary-pamyu-pamyu-moshi-moshi-harajukuIt’s Samhain, so let’s throw some more Edward Woodward on the bonfire and look at some old horror and occult stuff from this blog’s archives. Highlights include:

Mr Shape and Mr Pipes are keeping an eye on your children

“It [Ghostwatch] was deemed particularly irresponsible not just for descending abruptly into a sadistic cavalcade of suburban child abuse and injury in its final act, but even more so for starting with a perfect simulation of a BBC factual OB’s usual jovial and bourgeois tone.”

What more recommendation do you need? Bonus: Sarah Greene’s lengthy, deadpan discussion of the “glory hole”. I have an appointment with Mr Pipes this evening and I shall be watching Ghostwatch on DVD, oh yes.

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“In the plane, you died, do you remember that?” Occult voices.

“The medium Leslie Flint– who insisted upon conducting his seances in the dark for reasons I cannot possibly…

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“A shock-fest for your scare endurance”

“A shock-fest for your scare endurance”

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theabominablesnowmanafifx7“DEMON-PROWLER OF MOUNTAIN SHADOWS… DREADED MAN-BEAST OF TIBET… THE TERROR OF ALL THAT IS HUMAN!!

A great poster for the 1957 Hammer film production ‘The Abominable Snowman of the Himalayas‘. I’ve not seen the film and I hadn’t heard of it before I found this poster, but look at the pedigree: directed by prolific Hammer hack Val Guest, written by Nigel Kneale of the Quatermass series, starring Peter Cushing. Apparently it was originally a BBC television play, which I should imagine was ineptly made for about £5 as was their wont.

It’s also fascinating how quaint warnings like “WE DARE YOU TO SEE IT ALONE!” are for things like this, half a century on. Most of these films wouldn’t frighten, shock or disturb anybody over the age of ten nowadays.

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IMAGINARY ARTISTS VI: MOORE

IMAGINARY ARTISTS VI: MOORE

CAREER SUICIDE

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Although horror comics and Tales from the Crypt were very American artefacts, 1973’s Vault of Horrors was a very British sub-Hammer luvvie-fest starring the likes of Denholm Elliott, Anna Massey and Terry-Thomas… and yes, in the picture above that’s a pre-Doctor Who but already bug-eyed bonkers Tom Baker playing a deranged artist called Moore in the segment called Drawn and Quartered. “Deranged artist”, he writes, as if there’s any other kind. OK, more deranged and irrational than usual. More deranged, irrational and dangerous even than Tracey Emin, because Moore has a special magic voodoo painting hand. Moore doesn’t seem to have a first name, so let’s call him Tom since Tom Baker blesses us with a fairly good dose of Tom Bakerness in this film.

Tom is cheated when his scumbag gallerist Diltant nicks his paintings and sells them off for a huge profit in cahoots with a…

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Kuchisake Onna

Kuchisake Onna

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Japan panic: the slit-mouthed woman

Stories of 口裂け女, the slit-mouthed woman, emerged from urban Japan in the late 1970s. At first they were particularly passed around between school children, then in the mass media. By the first half of 1979 Asahi Shinbun was highlighting kuchisake onna as a buzzword (hayari kotoba) of the year. In true, random Japanese style one of the others was “rabbit hutches”.

Occasionally Kuchisake onna was reported as a genuine physical threat, a criminal would-be kidnapper or murderer rather than a supernatural being. At times she was somehow both a real world abductor and a folkloric monster simultaneously. (See Hyaku-monogatari for the Edo origins of modern yōkai storytelling) Satoshi Kon’s extremely uneven but in places brilliant series 妄想代理人Mōsō Dairinin [Paranoia Agent] is obviously heavily inspired by the mass hysteria over Kuchisake onna. A woman with long hair and a white…

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