Category Archives: blog

Regalia Dentata is on Etsy!

Having sold a bunch of my handmade clay cameos on the merch table at The Black Museum, I decided to reopen my old Etsy store! What do you think?

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The Black Museum Presents: Carnival of Souls

Paul and I are so pleased to announce the launch of The Black Museum’s 2014 curriculum at our new home, the Royal Cinema!

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We’re kicking off on February 12th with a free screening of Carnival of Souls, and Paul and I are going to be announcing our first few lectures!

Be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook for regular updates, or sign up for our newsletter!

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An incredible Faculty of Horror painting!

These incredible paintings were sent to the Faculty of Horror podcast by our friend and loyal listener, the Demon of Des Moines, Owen Garth!

Owen Patinging

He painted elements from the movies Alex and I picked for episode 4: the episode where we talk about our personal scariest movie moments. Alex is terrified of Zelda from Pet Sematary, and I chose Stephen King’s IT (that opening scene still makes me crap my pants). Owen did an amazing job and Alex and I are thrilled to have such thoughtful and talented listeners!

Check out the episode here: http://www.ladyhellbat.com/2013/04/07/the-faculty-of-horror-episode-4-do-you-like-scary-movies/

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The Black Museum Presents – Killer Portraits: Iconography of the Horror Film Poster

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Horror film posters have provide viewers with some of the most iconic images of the genre to date and, over the years, many have become collectible art pieces in their own right. But since the earliest entries in the Universal horror cycle, the primary purpose of the film poster has been to sell a film to the public. Herein lies the paradox of the film poster: marketing for the sake of selling versus marketing material as art. While a new insurgence of contemporary artists are renegotiating the purpose of the film poster with reimagined artwork for special screenings and festivals, moviegoers are always kept in mind during the poster’s creation, suggesting a greater connection between audience and poster than between poster and film. Through an examination of poster art from some of horror’s most revered, and not so revered films, a more complete portrait of horror, madness, and violence is born, one that is inextricably linked to the rise and fall of the Hollywood star system, the dissolution of the Hays Code in the late 1960s, and the rise of the Hollywood independent filmmakers of the 1970s and ’80s.

Films and posters to be discussed include early works like Frankenstein, Cat People, and Psycho to later offerings such as Kingdom of the Spiders, Don’t Go in the Woods Alone, Carrie, and Maniac. Posters for horror films from contemporary artists such as Ken Taylor, Jason Edmiston, Olly Moss, Gary Pullin, Justin Erickson, and Daniel Danger will be discussed, alongside the film’s original key art and its international counterparts.

May 16, 2013 at 8pm
Big Picture, 1035 Gerrard Steet East, Toronto
Cost: $12 advance, $15 at the door

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The Black Museum Presents – Raising Hell: Ken Russell and the Unmaking of The Devils

The-Devils

Based on historical fact, Ken Russell’s beautifully blasphemous film The Devils (1971) is about an oversexed priest and a group of sexually repressed nuns in 17th-century France and the ensuing trials and exorcisms that followed. Detailing the production and the personalities of two of cinema’s great eccentrics, director Ken Russell and star Oliver Reed, film critic Richard Crouse delves deeper to explore the aftermath of The Devils, based on his recent book about the film. This lecture will ask how can a movie by one of the most famous filmmakers in the world end up banned, edited, and ignored by the company that owns it?

May 2, 2013 at 8pm
Big Picture, 1035 Gerrard Steet East, Toronto
Cost: $12 advance, $15 at the door

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The Black Museum Presents – Ghosts in the Machine: The Evolution of Found Footage Horror

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From literary beginnings to its current status as a pop culture mainstay, found footage horror continues to make money and gain fans while  bewildered critics look on. After an initial burst of popularity in 1999, it would be the influence of the Asian horror film boom of the early 2000s that helped the fledgling genre find a voice and purpose. By examining Cannibal Holocaust, The Blair Witch Project, The Ring, REC, Paranormal Activity and The Last Exorcism, journalist and playwright Alexandra West will discuss how found footage horror grew from its grassroots origins to become a defining horror trope of a young millennium.

April 18, 2013 at 8pm Big Picture
1035 Gerrard Steet East, Toronto
Cost: $12 advance, $15 at the door

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The Black Museum Presents – Tourism in the 4th Dimension: Parallel Realities and Time Loops in Cinema

12monkeys

The concept of time travel has been a staple in literary Science Fiction since H.G. Wells, and naturally this interest has carried over to cinema. For this lecture, different theories of time travel will be presented and we will discuss two seminal papers on time travel – namely, David Lewis’ The Paradoxes of Time Travel and Theodore Sider’s Time Travel, Coincidences and Counterfactuals. Using these theories of time travel, we will analyze its use in films like Back to The Future (1985, Robert Zemeckis), 12 Monkeys (1995, Terry Gilliam), Donnie Darko (2001, Richard Kelly), Primer (2004, Shane Carruth), La Jetée (1962, Chris Marker) and, most recently, Looper (2012, Rian Johnson). In addition, we will discuss film and photography as a metaphor for time travel.

April 4, 2013 at 8pm
Big Picture, 1035 Gerrard Steet East, Toronto
Cost: $12 Advance, $15 at the door

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The Black Museum Presents – Primate Panic: Bigfoot on Film 1967 – 1980

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Rumours about a giant, hairy wild beast living in the forests of the Pacific Northwest and Canada have captured the imaginations of locals since the 1850s. However, it wasn’t until two outdoorsmen, Roger Patterson and Robert Gimlin, made an infamous 16mm short film of a strange, shaggy creature in 1967 that Bigfoot became a familiar face of fear across North America. Though experts and eyewitnesses continue to dispute the existence of such a creature, no one can deny that it has left its oversized footprints on pop culture and the history of horror film. This lecture will look at Bigfoot’s evolution on screen throughout the 1970s as a creature of both mystery and fright in films including The Mysterious Monsters, Legend of Boggy Creek, The Capture of Bigfoot and Night of the Demon. This lecture accompanies a screening of creepy cryptozoological classic Sasquatch: The Legend of Bigfoot (1977).

March 21, 2013 at 8pm
Big Picture, 1035 Gerrard Steet East, Toronto
Cost: $12 Advance, $15 at the door

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Recap of Blood in the Snow

Check out my article on the Blood in the Snow Canadian Horror Film Festival at Planet Fury!

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Last Call of Cthulhu: The Black Museum’s Semester-End Party

Come celebrate the successful end of the Black Museum’s initial run by raising a glass or two with the curators.

Nocturne Nightclub (550 Queen st W)
$5 entry (VIPs free)
19+ valid ID
Special guest appearance by The Futureless
Catering, music, and prizes courtesy of our sponsors!

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Unearthed: A Cultural History of the Zombie

I’m happy to report that my lecture went very well last Thursday! I had the good fortune of a very bright and engaged audience, who stuck around after the talk for an excellent discussion. They laughed at my jokes and some even said they learned a thing or two (Beer helps, especially when it’s ice-cold and affordable!).

Check out Scare Tactic’s review of my lecture and be sure to come check out Steve Kostanksi’s talk on stop-motion animation, Thursday October 26th at The Black Museum!

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Unearthed: A Cultural History of the Zombie

It seems like only yesterday, The Black Museum was just a twinkle in my eye. It took a long time to fully realize my vision of a horror lecture series running in Toronto, but with the right help from the right people, including my incredible partner (not that kind of partner) Paul Corupe, it’s finally become a reality.

Last week, The Black Museum kicked off our first lecture with our special guest instructor, Vincenzo Natali. His fascinating presentation on architecture in film had the crowd riveted, and he even treated us to some behind-the-scenes photos and sketches from his movies Cube and Splice.

 

On Thursday October 11th, it’s my turn! I’ll be presenting the research I did on zombies that earned me a Masters degree and my first publication: When There’s No More Room in Hell.

Tickets are available for $12 in advance on The Black Museum website. They’re $15 at the door, so save a couple of bucks and get on the guestlist. See you there…

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Introducing The Black Museum!

It’s finally happening! Co-curator Paul Corupe and I are proud to announce the launch of The Black Museum: Lurid Lectures for the Morbidly Curious!

Running every other Thursday starting September 27th, The Black Museum will offer Toronto horror fans the opportunity to share an evening of knowledge and expertise with some of the biggest names in the biz! Paul and I have been working on this project for months, and we’ve set up 5 fantastic evenings for the fall semester. For more information on the Black Museum and her curriculum, please visit our website and be sure to follow us via Twitter and our Facebook page!

 

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Have you met Dr. Gangrene?

Award-winning horror host and radio personality, Larry Underwood (aka “Dr Gangrene“) has been entertaining, enlightening and assaulting the eardrums of horror fans for years.

He recently took time to interview Stuart “Feedback” Andrews about the Rue Morgue Podcast and The Mortuary, and he had some nice things to say about a certain recurring podcast guest! The show is called 6′+ and in addition to the interview, this episode is packed with great international horrorbilly tunes, several of which will be on regular rotation on my playlist. Check it out here!

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The Dark Knight Rises

That was the second time this summer I’ve sat through a 2 and a half hour piece of overblown Hollywood crap, wishing to God it would just end already. The other was Prometheus, and both movies suffered the same hopeless flaw: they were both half-assed offerings from filmmakers who have done such great work in the past that fans will wait outside theatres with baited breath and rave about this new installment, happily ignoring the grievous travesty they’ve long awaited.

Part of the glory of the prior Dark Knight films were the wonderfully complex storylines that came together so seamlessly, they tied up loose ends you wouldn’t have even noticed, with a dark and complex antihero defeating incredibly sympathetic villains and even throwing in some nice moral messages about living in a corrupt and seemingly hopeless metropolis. From Bane’s muffled Sean Connery impression to Catwoman’s shallow petty thievery, the villains were as devoid of charisma as the title character and brilliant performances from Gary Oldman and newcomer to the series Joseph Gordon-Levitt couldn’t save this film.

Too cheesy and disappointing to be forgettable, I regret that the Dark Knight trilogy must end on this note but on the other hand, I’m just grateful it’s over.

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