Friday, March 20, 2009

Link proliferation: Very absorbent.

An All-Male Creative Team You Say?

"Intern Katy" at Jezebel gives this all the intro it needs.

An all-male creative team in Switzerland have created this vampire-themed ad for o.b.

Thanks to Heather for the tip.

"Demonic Interference Can Be Ruled Out."

The typically cocky New Scientist rules out "demonic interference" as the cause of an outbreak of grisi siknis, or "crazy sickness" in Nicaragua.

From the article Q&A with Elie Karam of St George Hospital University Medical Centre in Beirut, Lebanon, who studied an outbreak of mass hysteria in Lebanon during 2004:

What are the typical symptoms?

The first group can be summarised as anxiety symptoms: tremors, shaking, difficulty breathing and feelings of suffocation. The second type is referred to as a dissociative symptom: the person does not recognise where he or she is, seems to be in a trance, looks as if they are in a daze, etc.

Younger individuals, and females, are more likely to be affected.

So far only 43 cases are documented. Karam went on to discuss treatment and community response issues.

Is there a cure?

Not as such. Symptoms always abate within a few weeks. Reassuring the community to reduce fear is key, as is keeping publicity and media attention to a minimum.

The photo above is actually from a 2003 outbreak in Nicaragua that spread through a documented 60 victims.

Pole Position

Speaking of WTF medical stories, the young lad pictured above survived being run completely through by a metal pole. From the Telegraph:

Mihir Kumar was celebrating the Holi festival in Ranchi, India, when the accident occured.

He slipped off the roof of his family home and landed on a five foot-long iron rod that was left standing on a building site.

The pole punched through his rib cage and came out the other side.

His father said Mihir "endured terrible pain".

He was rushed to hospital where he underwent three-hour surgery at the Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences to remove the rod.

He is now recovering in hospital.

Dr Sandeep Agarwal, one of the three surgeons to operate on the boy, said he had miraculously escaped major internal injuries.

What Slashers Owe Torture Porn

The Atlantic has a puff piece on the slasher revival that contains an interesting claim about the role of Saw and Hostel in the revival of the slasher.

Saw and Hostel succeeded, above all, because they are serious slasher flicks. The extremity of their goriness reclaimed the splatter death from mainstream movies (where it’s become unremarkable to see a man fed screaming to a propeller, or run through with a drill bit). And the immersive nastiness of their aesthetic—decayed bathrooms, foul workshops, seeping industrial spaces, blades blotched with rust—distilled the slasher-flick elixir: atmosphere. No franchise thrives without it. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre had it: a choking, sunstruck intimacy, with madness pulsing in the eyeballs. Halloween was suburban-autumnal, a minor rhapsody of long shots and breezy streets and scuttling leaves, the whole effect tingling like wind chimes inside the empty psychosis of the slasher Michael Myers. Friday the 13th was strictly B-movie in its technique, but it succeeded in perforating an American idyll: summer camp was never the same after those nice guitar-strumming sing-along kids got slashed in their lakeside cabins.

Where the torture porn flicks adaptations in a Curtesian sense?

It's Alive! And Worth a Fortune!

Above is the "most valuable poster in the world." It's the Frankenstein six-sheet (nearly 7 x 7 feet). As far as anybody knows, there's only one in existence. It's currently the property of a New York. It hasn't been appraised in some time, but estimates put the value at more than $600,000. That sounds low to me as the highest earning one-sheet, for Universal's original The Mummy, fetched a little more than $535,000 at auction.


Phantom of Pulp said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Phantom of Pulp said...

What I've noticed recently and find troubling is that the definition of a "slasher" has broadened to the point where it is now applied to any horror film that has graphic content. The term also demeans the work somewhat.

"Slasher" grew out of late 70's/early 80's films like "Halloween", "Terror Train", "He Knows You're Alone", "Friday the 13th", "Savage Weekend", "New Year's Evil", "The Burning", "Prom Night" and "Madman". What these films all had in common was that they were ABOUT a killer (a "slasher") stabbing or cutting ("slashing") people to death.

I have heard "Texas Chainsaw" described as a slasher. It's not. Neither is "Saw" or "Hostel"; these films are not about a faceless killer slashing people to death.

Actual slasher films (by my definition) have not been that plentiful recently: we've had the "Prom Night" remake, which didn't ape the production design of "Saw" or "Hostel", "Friday the 13th" remake (which aped the production design of the "Texas Chainsaw 2"), and a couple of others.

I feel that "Saw" and "Hostel" borrowed their production design from the more obscure "Mute Witness", in addition to the original "Texas".

"Hills Have Eyes" is often described as a slasher these days. It's not.

Torture Porn? I hate the term. It seeks to totally demean graphic horror by combining two words that are universally indefensible.

CRwM said...


I'm somewhat in agreement about the torture porn term, but I must admit that it also has hint of the hopelessly transgressive that I actually kind of like. Like "impressionist" or "punk," it's an insult that carries a nice kick to it.

So, was the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise not a slasher series? Because I feel most fans think of it as one, but it definitely doesn't fit criteria you've laid out.