Telltale released a trailer earlier today for the imminent conclusion to the three-part miniseries The Walking Dead: Michonne. I hope you made all the right choices in the last two episodes, because it all ends with what could very well be one of the most intense episodes in the series so far. Even the title of the episode, ‘What We Deserve’, is an obvious tease of the very real possibility that it’s all going to come crashing down on Michonne next week.
What We Deserve releases April 26 for PC/Mac, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One and mobile.
Today marks the 27th anniversary of the release of Pet Sematary, the book-to-film adaptation of Stephen King’s 1983 horror novel. Starring Dale Midkiff, Denise Crosby, and Fred Gwynne, the Mary Lambert-directed picture performed strongly at the box office but was met with mixed reviews. It has since become a cult classic that draws in new viewers every year and still fascinates many.
Several years ago, filmmakers John Campopiano and Justin White decided to embark on a journey to create a documentary that went behind-the-scenes on Pet Sematary. And today, they’ve released a trailer, a poster, AND opened up pre-orders for the documentary, which has an official release currently set for October this year. The long-awaited documentary is finally going to be able to be seen by the masses.
Campopiano and White explain:
“When we first set out for Maine nearly six years ago we thought, at most, we would take some photographs of the filming locations from Stephen King’s Pet Sematary and post them to social media. But upon that very first visit we knew that we had stumbled upon something special — stories, people, and places that had been barely documented for the extensive, global horror fan community. We knew within that first year that we needed to go back to Maine and continue to dig, not just to satisfy our own curiosities but also to try and bring an in-depth making of story about Pet Sematary to others who also share a deep appreciation for the film. Terror Films has stepped up and showcased a similar love for Pet Sematary but, more importantly, the belief that the stories, people, and places we’ve documented have significance and ought to be shared with anyone who has an interest in Pet Sematary, Stephen King, the horror genre, or film in general.”
The documentary features, “…interviews with Director Mary Lambert and the entire cast; including Dale Midkiff, Denise Crosby, Miko Hughes, Brad Greenquist, Susan Blommaert, the Berdahl Twins and many more. The film also features never-before-seen footage from the sets in Maine, interviews with key crew, the town’s people and packed full of bonus features, including a fan appreciation sizzle reel, a personal interview with the documentary filmmakers and much, much more.”
If you want to order a copy, head on over to the Terror Films website to snag a copy.
Shocking news is hitting the internet as many sources are stating that Prince has passed away at age 57 at his home estate, just days after being released from the hospital for undisclosed health reasons, according to AP via BBC.
Born Prince Rogers Nelson, the musician/actor has sold over 100 million albums worldwide, making him one of the most successful recording artists of all time. He recorded the mega hit albums 1999 and Purple Rain, the latter of which was also released as a rock musical that won an Academy Aware for Best Original Song. Prince also put together the soundtrack for Tim Burton’s 1989 superhero film Batman.
Prince’s last releases were 2015’s HITnRUN Phase One and HITnRUN Phase Two, which were both released in fall and winter of 2015.
We are incredibly saddened by this news. Rest in peace, Prince and thank you for your music.
We’ve met their victims and explored their hunting ground, and now it’s time to get acquainted the killers with the third Dead by Daylight developer diary. Unlike Last Year and Friday the 13th: The Game, Behaviour Interactive’s asymmetrical multiplayer stab ’em up will feature more than one bad guy, because it’s always good to have options.
Keeping with the game’s focus on making each match unpredictable for both sides, each killer will have a special skill — the Rick Taylor looking guy lays bear traps, for example — in addition to four unique perks, the first-person perspective and the rather nifty ability to “see” noises, like Daredevil.
Behaviour has also shared profiles for the four aspiring survivors, which you can find in the gallery below. Dead By Daylight releases this fall for PC.
Last week New Line Cinema’s Gremlins ripoff Critters turned 30, and it got me reminiscing about the kooky franchise. After breaking into theaters in 1986, the film spawned one more theatrically released sequels and two direct-to-video sequels The last Critters film was released in 1992, and that’s a real shame, because the world could always use another Critters film. I thought we’d inform you about some facts you may not know about the film franchise (or maybe you do know them already, who knows?) to celebrate its 30th anniversary.*
*Don’t worry, “Leonardo Dicaprio’s film debut was in Critters 3” is not one of them. I assume you know that one already.1. Voice actor Corey Burton developed the language of the Krites by using a combination of French and Japanese.
Corey Burton has done a lot of voice work in his decades as a voice actor. Not only has he acted in Disney films like Aladdin and The Hunchback of Nortre Dame, but he also created the language and originated the vocals for the Krites in Critters and Critters 2: The Main Course! He combined elements of Japanese and French to get the little guys talking. You can hear what he has to say about coming up with the language right here (don’t worry, I cued up to the part where he talks about Critters). It’s actually quite fascinating!
2. The first film knew how similar it was to other films, and references several monster movies that were popular at the time, including Gremlins, Ghoulies and Ghostbusters.
Critters was fully aware that it had come after some pretty popular monster movies at the time, so rather than hide behind that fact, it embraced it! When the characters lift the lid of the toilet to see if a Krite is in there, that’s a nod to Ghoulies and the fact that they come out of toilets when summoned. Also, the logo on the back of the Grover’s Bend bowling shirts being a direct homage to Ghostbusters (you can catch a brief glimpse of the logo, which features a bowling pin behind the red sign right here). And of course, who could forget Critters’ not-so-subtle nod to E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial?3. The script was actually written before Gremlins came out, and had to undergo extensive rewrites to reduce the similarities present between the films
You know how I called Critters a Gremlins ripoff? Turns out, it wasn’t! Stephen Herek, the director of the first film, maintains that co-screenwriter Domonic Muir wrote the script for Critters long before Gremlins went into production. It just took the success of Gremlins to get New Line Cinema to make the damn thing.4. Sugar apples were use to make the “Easter Eggs’ in Critters 2: The Main Course.
Did any of you know that this fruit existed? If you live outside of the States you probably did, but I’m quite curious to try it. It would be difficult not to think that you were about to bite into a Krite egg though!5. Critters 2 was the screenwriting debut of David Twohy.
Twohy, as you may know, would go on to direct films like Pitch Black and (the extremely underrated) 2009 thriller A Perfect Getaway. Before those films, he wrote the screenplays for Waterworld and G.I. Jane. And before those films, he got his start writing the screenplay for Critters 2: The Main Course (with Mick Garris, no less). We’ve all got to start somewhere, right?6. Lin Shaye makes a cameo appearance in the film.
As many of you may already know, Lin Shaye is the sister of executive producer Robert Shaye, the founder of New Line Cinema. Robert gave his sister many bit parts in movies (including A Nightmare on Elm Street), but one of the more cartoonish ones was Sal in Critters 2. She’s a hoot!7. Cary Elwes passed on the role of Josh, which eventually went to Leonardo Dicaprio.
This one is just plain weird, as Elwes would have been 28 when Critters 3 was filming (compared to the 17 that Dicaprio was). Still, Elwes admits to this on the DVD commentary for Saw. Maybe Josh was originally meant to be an older character, but it’s not surprising that Elwes, who was already famous from The Princess Bride and fresh off of higher profile films like Glory, passed on the part.
I mean, imagine this:
Instead of this:8. In Critters 4, the footage of the cargo retrieval ship, and docking with the spaceship are from Android(1982) but the footage of Ug’s ship at the end are taken from Critters 2 (1988).
You can’t blame the movie for using old footage, especially since it probably didn’t have enough money for decent looking space effects (it was DTV and filmed back-to-back with Critters 3). Still, it’s a fun little bit of trivia!9. Warner Bros. announced plans to produce a web series reboot of the franchise
Let me temper your excitement on this one for a second. This web series was announced back in October of 2014 (along with plans for a Static Shock web series which….alright). If plans for this were serious, it would have premiered by now (or at least had a release date), but no further news has been announced on the project.10. Jordan Downey wrote and directed a totally awesome 6-minute short film “audition” for said web series reboot.
If you’re a regular reader of Bloody Disgusting then you probably already know this, but if you missed it back in December of 2014 (just two months after the web series was announced) then give it a watch! Jordan Downey was so in love with the Critters franchise that he wrote and directed this short film hoping that Warner Bros. would let him direct the web series! I’m surprised there hasn’t been any momentum on that, because Downey’s short film is awesome.
Share your Critters stories in the comments below and help celebrate the franchise’s 30th anniversary!
Taste is a totally subjective thing. What one person likes, another person can easily hate. But I think we can all agree that there are classics that must be respected for what they brought to the horror genre, whether it be advancements in technology (King Kong), notoriety (Cannibal Holocaust), or even the occasional critical acclaim (The Silence of the Lambs).
Throughout the years, horror has come to us in many different forms. From monsters to demonic entities, mental illnesses to vicious psychopathic murderers. But one thing is certain: Since movies started, there’s always been a fascination with horror and the macabre.
Imgur user ScreamingVegetable has compiled a list of the “Best Horror Films by Year” since 1920. As I mentioned above, taste is a subjective thing and ScreamingVegetable’s list doesn’t seem to be based on anything specific but more so on personal taste. While I don’t agree with every year, I do love the effort and obvious passion put here.
Check out the full list below and let us know which years and movies you’d swap out!
There’s a new video making the rounds that poses the question, are horror movie trailers getting scarier?
Vocativ showed ten people two horror film trailers, one classic and one modern. Using data from heart rate tracing wrist bands and facial emotion detection software, they analyzed the viewers reaction to see if they could tell which were scarier.
At the end of the above video they share their results: “On average, our viewers heart rate was higher at the end of the modern trailer.”
I think this is a really fun experiment, although the science behind it is flawed, and I hate that people are immediately piggy-backing these results as if they proved something. They didn’t.
First of all, older horror films and their trailers can feel dated, especially to younger viewers. The easiest point I can make here is to point you to this old article in which I ask, is the Lumiere Brothers’ silent short film, “Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat” (“The Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat Station”), the scariest movie ever made?
The 1896 French short black-and-white silent documentary film directed and produced by Auguste and Louis Lumière shows a train pulling into La Ciotat Station.
Over 100 years ago, this short film was so realistic that theatergoers would panic and run out of the theater because they legitimately thought the train was going to crash into them. To a modern audience, this looks like nothing more than stock footage. Does this mean that a shot of a train crashing in HD is scarier than this short?
The point is, this experiment is highly flawed, although it’s fun to see how trailers have changes over the years and how studios are forced to change how they sell a movie. Are modern trailers scarier than the ones we grew up on? You know, it’s quite possible. Back in the day, it was all about star power, while now you’ll see a lot more “jump scares” crammed into a 30-second spot.
What do you guys think? Are there any older horror trailers that you think are still terrifying? Remember the rarely seen trailer for The Exorcist that was once deemed too disturbing for audiences?
Here’s a surprising bit of news that comes courtesy of an interview with “Game of Thrones” star Emilia Clarke, who was the latest to play Sarah Connor in Paramount Pictures’ Terminator: Genisys.
It’s common knowledge that when an actor or actress sign on for a huge franchise role, they’re locked in for at least two sequels.
While Genisys was a huge flop here in the States ($90 million), it performed huge overseas, especially in China (it has topped $350 million overseas).
And with the international explosion came news that the franchise would continue on.
Paramount quickly announced plans for a sixth film to be released on May 19, 2017. Things went quiet until reports started to surface that the sequels were put on hold.
Back in October Skydance Media Chief Creative Officer Dana Goldberg responded to those reports: “I wouldn’t say on hold, so much as re-adjusting,” she explained in regards to the company’s plans to pursue a big-screen trilogy as well as a new TV series announced in late 2013.
Nobody really knows what’s going on behind-the-scenes, but one thing just became clear, they aren’t continuing forth with the “new trilogy” as we knew it. Emilia Clarke is out.
When asked if we’ll see her playing Sarah Connor in the future, she told Comingsoon, “No,” while adding, “Can I say that? It’s okay. No. Uh-uh. But I have some very different roles coming up.”
This news is slightly shocking in the sense that they had planned a new trilogy around her character, and her exit means that they truly are “re-adjusting.” I think it’s time they stop trying to live in-canon and find a way to side-step the franchise and do something that really furthers the sci-fi genre. They’re going to need some supremely talented screenwriters to pull it off, but I have faith in you Hollywood (is that a mistake?).
Victor Matellano’s Vampyres, starring Marta Flich (Omnivores) and Almudena Leon (Wax), as well as Christian Stamm in the role of Ted, Veronica Bacorn as Harriett and Caroline Munro (Maniac, The Spy Who Loved Me, The Golden Voyage of Sinbad), has been done for over two years – but it’s finally finding homes at the Cannes market.
According to ScreenDaily, the title has sold to Japan (New Select), the UK (Soda Pictures), South Korea (Alto Media), Taiwan (Moviecloud), Scandinavia (Njuta Films) and Munich-based Donau Films has acquired it for Germany and Austria.
The remake of Vampyres keeps its sensuality, its gruesomeness, its insolence and the twisted atmosphere, but includes more action, more horror and more gore, according to modern times. This is the story of two vamps that “live” in a dark manor where they bring men with the promise of sex orgies that finally become blood orgies.
The rest of the cast includes Anthony Rotsa, Victor Vidal, Luis Hacha, Alina Nastise and Remedios Darkin.
Matellano penned the film based on Joseph Larraz’s original 1974 movie.
Vampyres is being produced by Ángel Mora for Artistic Films.
Genre sales company Devilworks will introduce four titles to buyers at Cannes this year, one of which is visited by The Devil himself.
Sacred Heart, produced and directed by Kosta Nikas, which stars Chopper actor David Field in “The tale of a man who receives a visit from the devil after losing his wife and child.”
Dennis Ho’s feature debut A Better Place, pictured, “Tells the story of a young man who uses his abnormal regenerative powers to heal people, despite the cost to himself.”
The film has already picked up prizes at Hollywood Reel Independent Film Festival (best independent film, emerging actor for star Stephen Todt), and the Los Angeles Movie Awards (Best Narrative Feature).
Also on the slate is Jennifer Liao’s debut feature, the comic thriller End Of Days, Inc, which “Follows a group of laid-off employees who discover that processing the last of their inventory will lead to catastrophic consequences.”
Devilworks has also picked up world rights to Massimo Natale’s Double Crossing (Il Traduttore), which stars The Passion Of The Christ actor Claudia Gerini alongside Kamil Kula in, “The story of a young student who becomes entangled in a passionate affair with an older woman.”
Devilworks president Samantha Richardson said: ‘’These titles all display intelligence and captivating cinema; they really stand apart, which is predominant in a market as hungry as Cannes.”
Flash back to 2009, 30 Days of Night and Hard Candy director David Slade was attached to helm the adaptation of the Antarctic island horror/psychological thriller Cold Skin, based on a best-selling Spanish novel of the same title.
Then, in 2011, Xavier Gens (The Divide, Hitman, Frontiere(s)) was attached to take the reigns from a screenplay by Carriers writers Alex and David Pastor.
After years in development hell, filming is officially underway, which means Cold Skin is actually, finally, truly happening!
Who stars? Ray Stevenson (“Dexter,” Punisher, Big Game, Thor, the Divergent franchise) and David Oakes (The Borgias, The White Queen), says Variety.
Based on a best-seller of the same title by Albert Sanchez Piñol whose adaptation rights were said to have been pursued in their day by Focus Europe and Filmax, Cold Skin begins with a young man approaching a remote island on the edge of the Antarctic Circle to relieve a weather observer who has been stationed there in solitude. But all he finds is a deranged castaway who has witnessed a horror he refuses to name.
Cold Skin co-stars Spain’s double-Goya nominee Aura Garrido (Stockholm, The Department of Time).
Two-time Academy Award winner Gil Parrondo serves as production designer: award-winning Ranchito (“Games of Thrones,” The Impossible) supplies VFX.
Principal photography will move to the Canary Islands later this month and then a further part of the shoot is planned for Iceland exteriors, said Babieka’s Denis Pedregosa.
Here’s the synopsis from a few years back:
“In this grim, H.G. Wellsian fable, an unnamed European of unspecified nationality is hired to spend an unspecified mid-20th-century year logging wind conditions on a tiny Antarctic island. Anticipating solitude, the bookish young man soon discovers that he has a neighbor–the pathologically reclusive Gruner–and that each night, the island is overrun by humanoid killer amphibians. He and brutish Gruner–who has tamed a “toad” of his own–join forces, killing monsters by night and fornicating with Gruner’s pet by day. Inspired by the creature’s ability to laugh and cry–to say nothing of her perky breasts, knack for housework and wordless submissiveness–the narrator begins to think of the cold-blooded creatures as human. When he tries to befriend them and their children, his efforts pacify the humanoids, but not Gruner; the hopeful idyll ends when the older man launches a last suicidal effort to exterminate the “monsters.” Gruner’s death plunges our hero into a rut of battle, drunkenness and bestiality so complete that when his replacement arrives, he has become as feral as Gruner was before him.”
It sounds very Lovecraftian, like The Fog meets Dagon…
As we sit basking in the afterglow of another massively successful cinematic adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s classic tale, The Jungle Book, I figured it was time to take a look at some of the best versions to date. Is it a horror story? No, but an argument could be made that it falls under the “when animals attack subgenre” like Grizzly, Tintotera, Day of the Animals, Frogs, etc. After all, Mowgli’s parents do often get killed (if not eaten) at the start of each version.
I’m not going to push that angle, partly because I’d just be reaching, but mostly because not everything we run on this site is horror-oriented. Whether some like it or not, we have a sub-section of the site that covers the action, sci-fi, fantasy, and superhero genres. That section is called The Further and it is under this area that the fantasy/adventure likes of The Jungle Book (and this weekend’s The Huntsman: Winter’s War) falls. So, without further (hah!) adieu, here are my five favorite on-screen incarnations of Rudyard Kipling’s classic jungle stories…
MTV’s first season of “Scream” ended with the reveal that Sarah Koenig-wannabe Piper (Amelia Rose Blaire) was the killer.
It all came together when viewers learned that Piper was the daughter of Brandon James and Emma’s mother Maggie (Tracy Middendorf), and was after Emma (Willa Fitzgerald) because she was jealous of her half-sister’s perfect life.
But before the credits would roll, the finale insinuated that Audrey (Bex Taylor-Klaus) was her partner — and based on EW’s exclusive photos from the second season, it looks like that may be all but confirmed.
Now that we know Audrey is somehow in play, who is donning the Ghost Face mask and attacking Emma? There’s now a third person involved, which is the crux of this season’s underlying mystery.
“Scream” returns Monday, May 30 at 11 p.m. ET on MTV.
Thanks to Bloody reader ‘doodaderek’ for the tip.
Now that she’s out of “The Vampire Diaries”, Nina Dobrev is focusing her career on the big screen with films like XXX: The Return of Xander Cage and Crash Pad. However, it’s her leap into the world of genre films that interests us as it’s been confirmed that the star is in talks to join Sony’s reboot of Flatliners, the 1990 sci-fi supernatural thriller that starred Kiefer Sutherland, Julia Roberts, William Baldwin, and Kevin Bacon.
If she lands the role, Dobrev would be taking on the character of Marlo, an overachiever who aims to be at the top of her class, according to Deadline. However, it’s still uncertain if she’s going to commit to the production.
The remake is being directed by Niels Arden-Oplev (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) and is produced by Michael Douglas and Laurence mark off a script by Ben Ripley. Ellen Page and Diego Luna are already confirmed for the film.
A Chicago medical student persuades his fellow pupils to help him end his life, and then resuscitate him in the nick of time. His colleagues also journey into the unknown, looking for meaning in their own lives. As the experiments become more perilous, each is forced to contend with the paranormal consequences of trespassing on the other side.
You want to poke a bear? In this new clip from Jeremy Saulnier’s Green Room (read our review), a band dangerously screams the tune, “Nazi punks, Nazi punks, Nazi punks…FUCK ‘EM!” in front of a room filled with, you guessed it, Nazi punks.
Green Room is said to be a brilliantly crafted and wickedly fun horror-thriller starring Patrick Stewart as a diabolical club owner who squares off against an unsuspecting but resilient young punk band. It is expanding into more theaters on April 22nd before going Nationwide on April 29th, 2016.
IN FACT: WE HAVE MORE FREE TICKETS TO TOMORROW’S SCREENINGS ACROSS THE NATION! RSVP ASAP and get your tickets printed out.
Anton Yelchin, Imogen Poots, Alia Shawkat, Joe Cole, Callum Turner, Mark Webber, Eric Edelstein, Macon Blair, and Kai Lennox also star.
“Down on their luck punk rockers The Ain’t Rights are finishing up a long and unsuccessful tour, and are about to call it quits when they get an unexpected booking at an isolated, run-down club deep in the backwoods of Oregon. What seems merely to be a third-rate gig escalates into something much more sinister when they witness an act of violence backstage that they weren’t meant to see. Now trapped backstage, they must face off against the club’s depraved owner, Darcy Banker (Stewart), a man who will do anything to protect the secrets of his nefarious enterprise. But while Darcy and his henchmen think the band will be easy to get rid of, The Ain’t Rights prove themselves much more cunning and capable than anyone expected, turning the tables on their unsuspecting captors and setting the stage for the ultimate life-or-death showdown.
Intense, emotional, and ingeniously twisted, GREEN ROOM is genre filmmaking at its best and most original. Saulnier continues to build his reputation as one of the most exciting and distinctive directors working today, with a movie that’s completely different from his previous, highly acclaimed Blue Ruin, but which is just as risk-taking and even more full of twists. The entire cast deliver first-rate performances, but Patrick Stewart gives a transformative and brilliantly devious turn as Darcy—elegant yet lethal, droll yet terrifying, Stewart makes the film simply unforgettable.”
When originally announced, Ridley Scott’s Alien: Covenant was to open in October of 2017. It has since moved into the summer, leaving the slot wide open. What would fill it? How about another Scott sequel?!
Entertainment’s sequel to Ridley Scott’s 1982 masterpiece Blade Runner, starring Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Robin Wright and Dave Bautista, will now be released worldwide on October 6, 2017, it was announced by Alcon co-founders and co-CEO’s Broderick Johnson and Andrew Kosove.
The film, initially set for a January 12, 2018 North American release, will be directed by Denis Villeneuve (Sicario, Prisoners).
Principal photography is scheduled to begin July 2016.
The sequel, set several decades after the original, is written by Hampton Fancher and Michael Green, and succeeds the initial story by Fancher and David Peoples based on Philip K. Dick’s novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep. Story details are not being revealed.
Multi-Oscar nominated cinematographer Roger Deakins (Sicario, Prisoners) will reunite with Villeneuve on the project.
Warner Bros will release the film in North America and Sony Pictures Releasing International will distribute in all overseas territories in all media.
Alt-rock band Garbage are going to be releasing their sixth studio album Strange Little Birds on June 10th via their own record label STUNVOLUME. To give fans a taste of what’s to come, the band has released a stream of “Empty”, the album’s second track.
Vocalist Shirley Manson tersely explains, “Empty is just exactly what it says it is. A song about emptiness.”
It’s April 20th (aka 4/20), so if you think I’m unaware that some of you are partaking in some “recreational activities”, please think again. I’m not THAT naive, alright? But know that I’m not going to be that jerk who tries to put a damper on the situation. Rather, I’m going to give you a seriously trippy video in the form of Zsonic‘s “Intrustion Effect”, which is a phantasmagoric explosion of color and surreal visuals, none of which make 100% sense to my weak brain. You can check out the video above but be warned that you should probably do it when you’re feeling quite chill. I’m not responsible otherwise!
Zsonic will be playing a show at the Beauty Bar in Chicago on April 22nd. You can find more details here.
Nearly six years ago, I wrote about eight real places that’d make for some fantastically creepy settings for horror games. From Japan’s eerily silent “Suicide Forest” where hundreds of people have entered and never left, to an old Czechoslovakian cathedral decorated with the remains of tens of thousands of people, it became immediately clear the world we live in is strange and terrifying, and we’re all one GPS glitch away from accidentally venturing into a real-life Silent Hill, valley of rock knives, or an island run by indigenous cannibals, deadly snakes or evil dolls.
With that in mind, here are five more reasons why you should never ever leave the safety of your home, lest you risk losing your life, soul or sanity to one of the seemingly infinite number of abandoned asylums our society just left lying around over the years.
The Catacombe dei Cappuccini, or Capuchin Catacombs of Palermo, is the name that was given to a labyrinthine series of burial catacombs in Palermo, Italy, but don’t be fooled, this is absolutely a dead people jerky meat rack. It began at the end of the 16th century when the first corpse, a Capuchin monk named Fra Silvestro da Gubbio, was mummified inside the crypt alongside about four dozen other friars, who were all mummified so effectively that their faces were still identifiable hundreds of years later.
For centuries, the catacombs welcomed thousands of people into the ranks of the dead, including undergoing the extraordinarily effective mummification process — after a small donation, naturally — until its official closure in 1880. It’s only accepted two bodies since then, with the most recent being two year-old Rosalia Lombardo, who’s since claimed the unfortunate title of “world’s most beautiful mummy,” in case you’ve ever wondered if traveling the world playing Hot or Not with mummies was someone’s actual job description.
Suspended somewhere between life and death, the Capuchin Catacombs have become a popular, albeit delightfully macabre, tourist destination for a myriad curious artists, poets and philosophers, among them the famous Italian poet Ippolito Pindemonte who wrote of it in the Dei Sepolcri, “Death looks at them and it seems to have missed all shots.”
In addition to the otherworldly and decidedly sinister atmosphere the Ghost City of Fengdu always exudes, this place is proof that China is better than us. Even their ghost towns are superior to ours. Have you visited an American ghost town lately? They’re mostly trash and graffiti that form a general town-like structure, and not a single one of them are as photogenic as Fengdu, unless you fancy pictures of tumbleweeds, broken dreams and used heroin needles.
Woah, that got sad fast. Sorry about that.
What’s neat about Fengdu is how it’s both a tourist attraction and a spiritual hub the dead must travel to so they can endure an intense screening process that sounds more or less like a DMV for dead folks. The belief is the dead must pass through three tests before they can move on. The “Nothing-To-Be-Done-Bridge” tests their morality, the “Ghost Torturing Pass” has them present their sins for judgment, then they have to do the Flamingo outside the Tianzi Palace for three minutes or be sent to Hell.
“But Adam, I’m no ghost!” you say? Well, it’s not just a scenic spot the dead can gather at for strenuous exams or to shop for fresh meat bags to cling to so they can siphon their life essence, it’s also a strangely haunting lesson in morality for the living.
Scattered about the massive complex are statues depicting an impressive cast of wholesome characters, such as the man who got over-turnt, the oversexed man, and two boys who appear to be taking turns spanking each other’s bare bottoms. Are you motivated to do good yet?
All you really need to know about the Sanctuary of Tophet in Tunisia to understand why I felt I had to include it here is that it was once the spot where many drummers would come to make music, music that was used to drown out the dying screams of thousands of children the Carthaginians once brought there to be burned alive. It’s also the home of a Roman necropolis.
“Sanctuary” seems like an odd label for what was basically an enormous bonfire made of kids, for kids, and so does the erroneous belief that burning scores of living children before they’re old enough to be allowed to see a PG-13 movie — that wouldn’t be invented for a few thousand more years — is going to please any deity that’s worth pleasing.
‘Tophet’, I should mention, is Hebrew for ‘place of burning’, though a more accurate description would go something like ‘place of-FUCK ME THAT’S A LOT OF URNS’. Since this Sanctuary for Shitty Old Beliefs was discovered by archaeologists nearly a century ago, it’s produced more than 20,000 urns filled with the ashes of children.
“20,000 urns filled with the ashes of children” isn’t a particularly enjoyable sentence to have to read, and you’ve done it twice now. If life had achievements, you would’ve just earned the saddest one. Let’s celebrate that feat with a look at Kampung Monyet, or “Monkey Village”.
Don’t you dare laugh. Don’t even crack a smile. See, these aren’t ordinary monkeys, whatever that even means. No, these furry freak shows are the monkey equivalent of a modern failed circus performer, if that sad individual was also mentally unhinged and prone to wearing inordinately creepy baby doll mask. I wish I made that up. I didn’t. And if you think that’s frightening, wait until you see the gaggle of nightmare monkeys I’ve trained to wait for you in the gallery below.
These foul creatures once had a purpose in providing some much-needed entertainment to poor slum kids back in the 80s. It’s easy to picture the delight on a child’s face as they watch a costumed macaque dancing around — so easy, you can almost forget about the tens of thousands of kids from earlier. You know, the ones who died unimaginably painful deaths at the hands of extremely stupid adults. Remember them? Me neither! They probably deserved it, those rabble-rousers.
I think we can all agree those masked monkeys are right up there with Rick Astley and everything everyone ever wore on the list of things the 1980s can promptly take the fuck back.
Compared to the other places on this list, the ‘City of the Dead’ in Dargavs, Russia is like one of those fancy new playgrounds with the free salt water taffy dispensers that aren’t really a thing, even though they absolutely will be if you vote for me, Adam “Eh?” Dodd, as your new Mayor of Bloody Disgusting.
What’s interesting about Dargavs, aside from the creepy moniker its been given by the locals, is no one seems to know why it exists. The site is a necropolis — hence the name — with numerous tombs hidden beneath it, but there’s no record left to explain the significance of the nearly 100 huts that pepper the surface, or why they’re in such an isolated spot deep within the Caucasus mountains.
There’s more, but first, some bad jokes: I bet their HOA meetings are… lively. I’d move there, but I heard the rent is ghoulish (thanks Jon!) Or hey, what do City of the Deadites ask to borrow a cup of? Sugar? No, you dumb idiot! Salt! Get it – cause ghosts?
Locals have been burying their dead in Dragovs for hundreds of years, with the earliest mention of it dating back to the fourteenth century. The huts are void of any human life, obviously, with window-esque holes that weren’t for spying on neighbors, but rather, for dumping deceased loved ones along with any garbage they accumulated back when they still had hopes and dreams.
Another mystery that has yet to be solved is the purpose of the boats that house the dead in the tombs beneath Dragovs, or how they got there. The most likely answer is they believed their dead had to cross a river in the afterlife, similar to the river Styx in Greek mythology, the Sanzu River in Buddhism, or the Vaitarna River in Hinduism.
That’s it. A fifth list of freaky places to make you question whether it’s really worth leaving your house to get groceries when you can just order them online. It’s probably safe where you live, surely there’s no masked monkey waiting under your bed, or in your cabinet, closet, car, pants pocket, or waiting silently behind you.
Krillbite Studio’s next game, Mosaic, isn’t a horror game. It could be, if you find the often enormously repetitive daily grind of modern life horrifying, but unlike their fantastic 2014 horror game Among the Sleep, Mosaic is surreal and ambiguous, a beautifully styled video game adaptation of the life that so many of us currently live.
But this is more than just a reflection of the mundaneness of modern adulthood, it’s also a stunningly atmospheric story-driven adventure game with mysteries to unravel. And it’s so pretty.
Mosaic releases next year for PC, Mac and Linux.