If you’ve never seen it, this is a wonderful adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart.” Directed by Ted Parmelee and narrated by James Mason, 1953′s “The Tell-Tale Heart” was the first cartoon to earn an X rating (though it would probably warrant a PG-13 at most now). Though nominated for an Oscar for Best Animated Short Film, it lost to Disney’s “Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom.” The United State Library of Congress preserved it in the National Film Registry in 2001.
Bitten By Books is hosting an online release party for “The Jane Yellowrock World Companion,” written by series author Faith Hunter and personal friend of mine Carol Malcolm. I haven’t read any of the Jane Yellowrock books, though I’ve heard a lot of good about them. I am waaaaay over the “paranormal huntress” thing, but I have heard that this isn’t another “one of those” series. But most importantly, Carol is one of my favorite people around. This is a very cool thing for her, and I wish her continued success.
From the Bitten By Books website…
Join us on 12/11 with authors Faith Hunter and Carol Malcolm for a release party, chat and contest. This event post goes up at 12:00pm Central and runs into the evening. For those visiting from outside of the US, here is the time conversion link. We are in the Chicago time zone: http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/
She will be talking about her new book the “Jane Yellowrock World Companion.”
“Jane Yellowrock is a shapeshifting skinwalker who means bad news for the undead. Now, she’s back and better than ever, as USA Today bestselling author Faith Hunter gives readers an in-depth glimpse at Jane’s world…plus an all-new Jane Yellowrock novella!
The gritty, sexy, and thrilling New Orleans of the Jane Yellowrock novels is about to be exposed in a whole new way. Filled with brand new, original content, this guide is a must-have for any fan.
*Delve into the history of the characters in the series, including the vampire clans.
*Get better acquainted with Jane’s inner Beast with her in-depth guide to humanity.
*Relive all the action with an essential timeline of Jane’s exploits as a vampire slayer and a comprehensive glossary of terms.
*Experience Jane’s latest thrilling adventure in an all-new Jane Yellowrock novella.
Plus, includes an exclusive sneak peek of the next Jane Yellowrock novel”
for a chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card!
CONTEST INFO: Open to readers WORLDWIDE
Prize: $50.00 Amazon Gift Card
RSVP on the Bitten By Books website and get 25 entries to the prize portion of the contest when you show up on the day of the event. If you don’t show up and mention your RSVP your points won’t be entered into the contest. Be SURE to TWEET and FACEBOOK this link: http://bittenbybooks.com/?p=66672 so your friends can RSVP, too.
English author and philosopher Colin Wilson passed away earlier yesterday. Wilson wrote the novel “The Space Vampires,” which was adapted as the movie “Lifeforce” and may be getting a television reboot. While some of Wilson’s fiction has been incorporated under the “Cthulhu Mythos” umbrella, he initially rejected H.P. Lovecraft as “a bad writer.” Despite my love of cosmic horror, I’m actually more familiar with Wilson’s non-fiction. I’ve read a number of his works on true crime and the paranormal over the years.
(Photo via Wikipedia)
“I think if there’s any part I’ve played… the vital part is coordinating these talents, and encouraging these talents, and carrying them down a certain line. It’s like pulling together a big orchestra.” — Walt Disney
Walt Disney was born December 5, 1901. The Disney legacy has been a major part of my life since I can remember. Happy birthday, Walt — may you continue to inspire us.
(Photo via Wikipedia)
In Alpine countries, kids are told that good behavior will be rewarded by a visit from St. Nicholas. Bad behavior, on the other hand, could result in a visit from Krampus. At best, Krampus will swat children with a ruten branch; at worst, he’ll stuff ‘em in a sack and drag them… someplace. Krampus is said to be on the prowl on December 5, so be wary if you go out tonight.
While his appearance varies from region to region, Krampus typically has goat-like horns and is covered in dark hair. He often carries chains that are occasionally decorated with bells. Unsurprisingly, Krampus’ roots lie in pre-Christian customs. The early Catholic Church prohibited Krampus imagery; when that didn’t work out, he was teamed up with St. Nicholas. The Feast of St. Nicholas is held December 6, with Krampus holding sway the night before.
One of the traditions associated with this character is Krampuslauf, a celebration involving Krampus costumes and copious amounts of alcohol. Additionally, Krampuskarten — cards bearing the phrase “Gruß vom Krampus” (“Greetings from the Krampus”) — are sometimes exchanged.
While Krampus traditions started in Europe, they have grown increasingly popular in America. Christmastime is such a jolly time of year that seeing a freaky-looking devil-guy is jarring, but a lot of people — including yours truly — love it. Look at that image above and tell me that it wouldn’t make for a great stop-motion animated film. Laika, I’m looking at you.
A pretty cool Krampus website is located at www.krampus.com.
Here’s one that I didn’t see coming: earlier today, Deadline reported that NBC is eyeing a TV version of Universal’s “The Wolfman.” The website describes the series as “a supernatural thriller that explores what it means to be a man and to be human. It centers on Lawrence Talbot, who is afflicted by an ancient curse and jacks into the powerful, primordial soul of the alpha-predator.”
I’m not surprised that Universal would dig into their vaults for franchise-ready material — but I am surprised that this potential series will be based on the 2010 remake. I actually loved the remake, but facts are facts: it bombed. Rick Baker and Dave Elsey won the Oscar for Best Makeup for their work on it, but overall it was a critical disappointment.
It should go without saying, but I don’t expect any of the film’s stars to return. The article doesn’t specify if this series will retain the remake’s Victorian setting, but Daniel Knauf is one of the creative talents behind it. Knauf currently serves as executive producer and head writer for NBC’s “Dracula,” which gives me hope that this will be a period piece. Knauf will be joined by producers Scott Stuber (who produced the remake) and Quan Phung.
As with all such announcements, I’ll remain cautiously optimistic if this gets a series order.
While it’s titled “‘The Park’ After Dark,” there’s little doubt from the cover imagery which “Park” Richard Carradine’s book is about. Subtitled “An Unauthorized Guide to the Happiest (Haunted) Place on Earth,” this book collects a number of ghost stories and spooky legends about California’s Disneyland. It was briefly published under the name “Disneyland After Dark,” but it was quickly pulled for legal reasons. The book was reissued with a new name and “Censored” bars covering some of Lisa Mouse’s illustrations.
While I believe in ghosts “in general,” I will admit upfront that I don’t believe that Disneyland is haunted. If you’re extremely serious about the paranormal, and are only satisfied by verifiable accounts, this is not your book. “‘The Park’ After Dark” relies primarily on rumors and urban legends. Since I enjoy reading books like this as folklore as much as anything, it didn’t bother me. I’m fascinated that people are willing to believe in Disneyland ghosts; there’s an academic study just waiting to be written about that topic.
Carradine begins with a brief overview of his relationship with the Disney company before examining why this park could be haunted. The bulk of the book examines the various “lands” within Disneyland. In addition to alleged hauntings, Carradine discusses the darker underpinnings to some of the park’s imagery. Unsurprisingly, a number of pages are devoted to the Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean, two of Disneyland’s most blatantly supernatural-themed attractions. But the author also recounts ghostly tales centered around innocuous areas like Tomorrowland’s Star Traders store and the Main Street Train Station. While the book tends to go off on tangents, Carradine does a good job reining things in and keeping them relevant. Points off for misspelling “Marie Laveau,” though.
At just over 100 pages, “‘The Park’ After Dark” is a quick read. Carradine has a conversational writing style, which is well-suited for this book’s approach. There are no photographs, but Mouse provides plenty of illustrations. While some of the illustrations appear unrefined at first glance, the art style somehow enhances the book’s creepiness.
Fun fact: when he was younger, Richard Carradine portrayed “Tomorrow’s Child” in Epcot’s Spaceship Earth.
Many books have been written about the history, secrets, and design of Disneyland, but this guide looks at the California landmark from a different angle. It explores the little known ghost stories and strange folklore surrounding this famous tourist destination, and offers new insights into this beloved theme park.
Love it or hate it, Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland” made bank in 2010. A sequel was inevitable, but the real question for me was if Burton would return. It turns out that he won’t, and James Bobin, the director of the current “Muppets” films, will be stepping in for the next chapter. Johnny Depp and Mia Wasikowska are set to return as the Mad Hatter and Alice, respectively. Disney has set a release date of May 27, 2016.
I’m one of the few people I know who will admit to enjoying “Alice in Wonderland.” Admittedly, this was before “Dark Shadows,” so I was still drinking whatever Kool-Aid that Burton was serving. I will admit that the movie’s CGI overkill made things look less magical and more synthetic, but I was entertained. It was essentially a “Jabberwocky” movie, with Sir Christopher Lee voicing the monster. I’m curious to see what kind of narrative structure this new movie will apply to the material.