Halloween and Fall are coming oh yay

It feels like Fall already…I have been working on getting in the mood for Halloween, partly so I can plan and work on my new Jack O’Lantern painting but also just ’cause Fall and the weeks leading up to Halloween are my favorite times of the year. I love guzzling tea in the awesome Autumnal ambiance, scarfing down scones, making pumpkin stew, and creeping around graveyards while the leaves blow by and the smell of Fall is in the air.

In order to get in that proper spooky spirit, I have been listening to lots of Bauhaus, Danielle Dax, and other spooky stuff, and watching a bunch of Halloween-mood-inducing movies. Today I started watching the BBC version of Dracula, which features Mark Warren (aka Mr. Teatime!) and Stephanie Leonidas from Mirrormask. I haven’t finished watching it yet (I tend to watch movies in chunks) but it seems like a decent addition to the hearty feast of Dracula movies out there. A couple days ago I also watched Dracula: Prince of Darkness with the most excellent Christopher Lee…fun times. I also watched 3 of the Halloweentown TV-movies recently, which I had never heard of before…they are dorky family fare but still enjoyable cuz there are monsters and magic and jack-o-lanterns and they get you in the mood for Halloween 🙂

Oh yeah, and today I went to Michael’s craft store which is rather awesome for Halloween stuff! I was overjoyed with the little tombstones and medusa statues and animated light-up tombs and other zany stuff they had, I am gunna go back soon and stock up on more Halloween goodies since I like to have that stuff floating around my apartment and workplace year-round 🙂

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The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane

The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane movei posterOh boy is Martin Sheen creepy in this movie. I don’t want to give away much of the plot…how about I just tell you the tagline (from IMDB and the poster to the left):

She was only a little girl. She lived in a great big house… all alone. Where is her mother? Where is her father? Where are all the people who went to visit her? What is her unspeakable secret? Everyone who knows is dead.

Ooh…now that sounds interesting, doesn’t it? The first scene takes place on Halloween…I love that. Stuff set on Halloween automatically gets a bonus point from me…plus the titular character’s birthday is Halloween and she is a sinister 13 years old…spoooky (:B) !

Wikipedia says this fits in the genre of “psychological thriller drama with elements of romance and horror”…the romance and standard horror aspects are pretty minimal, it’s not a slasher or anything, it’s just a rather creepy movie that has a lonely, stage play-ish feel…only a couple locations and a few characters.

Some of the score/soundtrack is dated and almost messed up the vibe for me at one point, still overall it’s uber-creepy, just grit your teeth and the 70’s music will be over in a moment.  Pour a cuppa tea and break out the almond cookies for this one…it’s dark and creepy fun for the whole (deceased) family.

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Pigtail Gurl is creepy

I think my pigtail gurl painting is kinda kreepy, so here it is. I will have more creepies later, my next painting is a graveyard with a jack o lantern in it.

Creepy pigtail gurl painting by airn lebus:

creepy pigtail girl oil painting

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Zdzislaw Beksinski

zdzislaw beksinski paintingI don’t think art gets much darker than that of Zdzislaw Beksinski without being gratuitous…his art seems honest and real, and can be quite disturbing. I’ve seen his stuff around before on album covers and such, but didn’t know his name until recently, so I have only just started exploring his incredible works. I think I need to ingest it in small doses.

I don’t know if I can say I ‘like’ his art…perhaps I am astounded by it, and overwhelmed by it. I am especially impressed by his grim landscapes, endless fields of gravestones and monumental buildings.

Rather than attempt to describe his works, I present some links to view them for yourselves. Links open in a new window.

Online gallery with lots of pix: http://www.gnosis.art.pl/iluminatornia/sztuka_o_inspiracji/zdzislaw_beksinski/zdzislaw_beksinski.htm

Official site: http://www.beksinski.pl/

Wikipedia for more info on his life and tragic death:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zdzis%C5%82aw_Beksi%C5%84ski

It’s interesting to read about his own feelings on his art in the Wikipedia article…’humorous’ would not be a word I would personally use to describe his paintings 🙂

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Mirrormask

Mirrormask film More people need to know about Mirrormask, a surreal and partly creepy fantasy-type movie written by Dave McKean and Neil Gaiman. In an informal poll (i.e. me asking friends over the course of a weekend 🙂 ), only one out of 15 people had even heard of it. It’s really quite good, just the right amount of creepiness with a great dreamlike alice-in-wonderlandishness and unique artistic styling (Dave McKean was the Production Designer as well as the co-writer so if you are familiar with his art you have some idea of what to expect).

Mirrormask is reminiscent of films like Labyrinth and Legend, with perhaps a bit of The Wizard of Oz…visually it can feel like a fantasy version of Tron. I feel the need to mention City of Lost Children here too, perhaps just to say I think fans of that most excellent movie would most likely enjoy Mirrormask as well. It’s even readily available, so Netflix it up and watch out for those creepy sphinx cat-things! 😀

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Funland – a dark and creepy British miniseries

Mercy Woolf from Funland

Location: Blackpool, British fun-land vacation getaway. Occasion: Holiday with the wife to get the marital jooces flowin’. Unforeseen event: Big loss at the poker table…an indecent proposal is offered to pay the debt (“miscellaneous services and the like”). The plot thickens: A death or two in the family…a tragic chainsaw-related family incident. A mysterious key is given with an ominous warning.

A nerdy creep who never removes his latex gloves. A twitching freak lurking in a dark corner gibbering insanely. Shirley “The Wolf” Woolf, bad-ass gangster who cowers under the gaze of his even more bad-ass wheelchair-bound kingpin (queenpin?) mother, Mercy.

This is like David Lynch meets…no, I can’t think of anything to compare this to. It’s dark, it’s funny, shocking, mysterious…Funland. It’s billed as a “disturbingly funny thriller”…I have to concur. Put the kids to bed, grab a cuppa tea and a scone, lock the doors and prepare for a dark ride through the Funland.

(FYI – last I checked this was not on Amazon in the USA or Netflix…but I did find it on eBay)

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Paranoia squared – The Tenant and Kafka

The Tenant movie coverThe first time I saw the movie The Tenant I was in a state of hyper-paranoia for hours afterwards…I was ready for bizarre and terrible things to happen to me in real life at any moment 😀 Now that I’ve recovered, when I watch it I snicker with creepy glee…this movie is an all-time favorite of mine and if you like dark and creepy stuff, you can’t beat this bizarre trip through one man’s creeped-out craziness. A man moves into an old apartment building in France where the previous tenant has committed suicide. Strange occurrences plague his creepy stay there, and he becomes convinced the other occupants are conspiring against him in a bizarre fiendish plot.

Have you seen the Ninth Gate, also by Polanski? Remember that scene with the wheelchair and fire and stuff? In the Tenant, half the damn movie is psycho like that! Polanski, you rool.

Kafka movie cover
Kafka, the 1991 movie starring Jeremy Irons and directed by Steven Soderbergh, is waiting for you at the top of the elevator shaft if you crave more paranoia. Set in Prague in the 20’s, it’s the epitome of dark and creepy, with a bit o’ black comedy thrown in for good measure. I love the dialogue, setting, acting, and pretty much everything else about it. Walking over wet cobblestones in dark Prague, with the shadowy castle looming above…a conspiracy of black intentions hang around you as you wend your way through the old graveyard…that’s Kafka. The score is wonderful and perfectly complements and accentuates the dark and creepy feel of the movie. I don’t think the DVD is out in the U.S. yet even though it’s many years old (wtf), but I was able to score a copy of a Japan release on eBay that is in English and works on US DVD players (“region-free”). Watch this and then paint a twisted and shadowy city with unseen villains skulking through the maze-like streets.

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The Well – A dark and creepy Lovecraft-inspired song

The Well III oil painting

Dreams of darkness calling, falling through the stars…Lovecraftian, I reckon. This, my friends, is a spooky song called The Well. Inspired by Bauhaus, Lovecraft, Tiamat, Danielle Dax, 45 Grave, and Oingo Boingo 🙂

Link: The Well (MP3)

Yes, this song just so happens to be written and performed by yours truly. I did the painting for the song too…go to my painting blog for the full image and info about the painting.

Lyrics:

[creepy sounds of impending doom]

winter wind is blowing, throwing fallen leaves
through the graves it’s wending, lending chills to all

dreams of darkness calling, falling through the stars
lurking silence staring, glaring from the well

the night around is twisting, like water swirling round
now it’s reaching upwards, groping through the ground

[disturbing sounds of madness and chaos]

Written, performed, recorded etc by Airn LeBus (c) 2007.

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Halloween, tea, and scones

Halloween!? I know it’s May, but it’s never too early to start planning or it’s even better if every day is a little mini-Halloween…although it can be tough when it’s 91 degrees outside. You can’t bake scones and drink hott tea when it’s like that. Tea may not seem very creepy by itself, but it’s the preferred drink of creeps everywhere. I just wanted to remind you.

My favorite tea right now is Pickwick English Tea Blend…I also love their Perzik peach tea but it’s been difficult to find lately. For the scones I get Sticky Fingers Bakeries scone mix from Cost Plus World Market and bake up a scone right before I eat it, I love that stuff ’cause you just need to add water and they are delish. If you make em make sure you don’t add too much water, they are best with just a tiny bit of water so the dough is super thick…pop in the oven and about 15 minutes later you have a piping hot scone and can now enjoy Brother Cadfael or Sherlock Holmes with a scruptious scone and a perfect Pickwick tea. I like it when the scone is fully slathered with butter and covered in jam. I also was really into that clotted cream stuff for a while but the last few batches tasted a little funky so I am back to butter for a bit 🙂 If you’ve never had it, it’s like a cross between whipped cream and butter…yuuuuum!

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On Stranger Tides

On Stranger Tides

Oooh, pirates, zombies, and voodoo: On Stranger Tides by Tim Powers. Creepy? Sometimes. Inspirational? Yes, you may go out and commandeer a passing car in the name of Blackbeard, or turn your neighbor into a zombie to do your nefarious bidding. Overall it’s hard to completely explain how awesome this book is…if you have read other books by Tim Powers you probably understand. There’s voodoo, as mentioned, as well as zombie action, a bit of swashbuckling, creepy trips up strange rivers…wait a sec, some of the cover text will explain what you are in for far better than my ramblings:

A hunt for unearthly spirits with the aid of a mummified two-headed dog. A journey through the Florida swamps in search of the Fountain of Youth. A battle at sea with the Royal English Navy. An encounter with sunken ships crewed by zombies.

‘Nuff said.

All that pirate zombie stuff got me excited – and now I must link to The World Of Monkey Island! Say hi to LeChuck for me.

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