Saturday, 30 September 2017

31 Days of Horror - The Winners

After no small amount of deliberation (and some pouting, it must be said), Jay and I have agreed (mostly) to 31 classic horror movies, to be featured throughout the month of October.


Here's the final list:
1930s: 
Dracula 1931
Bride of Frankenstein 1935 
1950s: 
The Thing from Another World 1951
Night of the Demon 1957 
1960s: 
Dracula Prince of Darkness 1966
The Plague of the Zombies 1966 
1970s: 
Horror Express 1972
The Exorcist 1973
The Wicker Man 1973
Jaws 1975
Carrie 1975
The Omen 1975
Invasion of the Body Snatchers 1978
Alien 1979
Zombie Flesh Eaters 1979 
1980s: 
The Fog 1980
An American Werewolf in London 1981
The Evil Dead 1981
Friday the 13th Part 2 1981
Halloween 2 1981
Creepshow 1982
Psycho 2 1983
A Nightmare on Elm Street 1984
Day of the Dead 1985
Fright Night 1985
The Lost Boys 1987
Prince of Darkness 1987
Child's Play 1988
Pumpkinhead 1988 
1990s: 
Sleepy Hollow 1999 
2000: 
Final Destination 2000
We've been busy ranking the list so, starting tomorrow, we can start counting up to the best classic horror movie, as decided by the good folks at Castle Vanian.

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Game Day Manicure Ideas

If, like me, you're a woman who loves football (Yes, they do exist.) you'll be looking for a way to show your support on game day. How about a football-themed manicure?


None of these ideas are mine, of course, but you can find links to the original posts - and even more designs - on my Pinterest board, Game Day Dream Manicure.

Monday, 11 September 2017

Monday's Meme of the Week

A funny meme or a horrifying indictment of the American educational system? You decide.


Sunday, 10 September 2017

A Song for Sunday: The Creepshow - Sticks & Stones

This week's Song for Sunday is "Sticks and Stones" by Canadian band, The Creepshow. Check it out:


Told you I'm feeling the rockabilly lately, didn't I? (Technically, I think The Creepshow are psychobilly, by hey.)

I'm very into The Creepshow right now. A lot of their songs are about horror movies and their music videos are a lot of fun. What do you think of them?

Friday, 8 September 2017

Wondra's Friday Night Double Feature: Back-to-School

Welcome to the very first edition of Wondra's Friday Night Double Feature!

Here at Castle Vanian, we're all about curling up together on the sofa and watching movies. We often try to think up movies that would go well with the one we're watching - and that's how this weekly spot came to be.

Every Friday night, I'll be posting a different pair of movies that make the perfect double feature. Since the kiddos are heading back to school, why not have a school-themed double feature?


Both Pretty in Pink and Some Kind of Wonderful have that poor-kid-falls-in-with-the-rich-crowd story line infused with the magic of first love. They both also give very good representations of Eighties fashion and music. (Yuppies and punks galore!)

It's basically James Spader versus Eric Stoltz, right? Which is your favourite Eighties hunk? I prefer the romance between Keith and Watts in Some Kind of Wonderful but Jon Cryer steals the show in Pretty in Pink.

I watched these two together earlier in the week and I have to say they work brilliantly together. Would you have paired either with a different movie?

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Game Review: Limbo (2010)


Uncertain of his sister's fate, a boy enters Limbo.

Limbo is a monochromatic platform game from independent studio Playdead. Over 39 seamless chapters, Limbo follows an unnamed boy through, well, Limbo as he searches for his sister.

Your character, The Boy, faces a series of puzzles that grow increasingly difficult as the game progresses. The puzzles are fairly easy for the first half of the game, which leaves you to focus on the stark beauty of Limbo's graphics.

This is one dark game, but in a creepy-cute way. It's all shillouette and misty shadow. The Boy's journey through Limbo begins when he wakes in the forest to makes his way across the spider infested land, ocassionally chased by Lord of the Flies-esque children in masks.


As the game moves from pastoral to industrial, the puzzles get more difficult. In some cases, too difficult. The last ten chapters or so infuriated me because your timing and spacing have to be exactly spot on solve the puzzles.

Exactly. Spot. On.


Knowing how to solve the puzzle means nothing if, say, you place a box a hair's breadth too far forward. I died at least twenty times in a row trying to complete the last few chapters. Limbo's deaths, I have to admit, are pretty cool. Very... inventive. Still, dying a bazillion times kind of sucks the joy out of the game.


Limbo was greeted with rave reviews when it came out in 2010. I don't necessarily agree with all of them because of how frustrated I was by the end. It starts a lot better than it ends. And, speaking of the end...

The payoff was not proportional to the effort required to get there. It was ambiguous at best and left many players, like myself, wondering WTF? Theories about Limbo's abrupt ending abounded on the internet but most of them agree that The Boy at least finds his sister. Everything after that is up to your imagination.


Although the second half of Limbo was too difficult to really enjoy, I have to recommend it if, you know, you live in a cave and haven't gotten around to it yet (Hey, I'm broke, y'all and I had to wait until I could get it cheap.) for the eerie atmosphere and creepy graphics.

Played Limbo? Let me know what you thought.

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Guest Post: Hello, September!

Happy fall! It's September, so you know what that means? Cozy knitting projects, comfort food, and pumpkin EVERYTHING! It's my favorite time of year, and I've been working on some things over at Twisted Stitches to bring in the season. My favorite thing is my science officer scarf.


It's mixed three of my favorite things into one: Star Trek, cozy scarves, and knitting.

This pattern is pretty basic. It's a simple knit two, purl two ribbing. Cast on an even number of stitches (this one is 46 sts with a worsted weight yarn on size 10 US needles), and knit two purl two.

Just an FYI: with 46 stitches, I have to alternate rows. For example, row 1 is knit two, purl two, and row two is purl two, knit two. If you want it to be completely mindless, and knit two, purl two every row, then cast on 44 stitches, and then you can knit two, purl two 'til the cows come home.

With this size yarn, and the amount of stitches I cast on, you'll be knitting for a while. (I started in the beginning of August, but haven't been consistant with my knitting...basically, I've maybe worked a grand total of one hour on it. It would probably be done by now if I were more disciplined!)

If you get easily distracted, or tend to like fast projects, you can use a larger yarn with larger needles. My friend used a bulky yarn with larger needles, and cast on 24 stitches, and in the half hour we knit together, she had finished half her scarf!


Happy knitting!



Guest Blogger

This post was brought to you by Drew of Twisted Stitches.

I am a thirty something single woman
striving to simplify my life.


Follow me on Instagram!

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Autumn Pinboards

Who's addicted to Pinterest? Oh, yeah... ME.

Here are some of my autumn-themed pin boards. Go on, get pinning, you.


Monday, 4 September 2017

Wondra's Back-to-School Playlist 2017

Music has always been the most important thing in my life. Always. Especially in school when there was so much, ya know, angst. (Blegh.)

Well, at least the music was awesome. Lol. Here are twenty of my favourite songs from those days.


It was difficult to narrow it down to just twenty!

Why not check it out on YouTube so you can listen along?


What's on your back-to-school list? Let me know.

Monday's Meme of the Week

Last week, August ended and September began. That can mean only one thing:

AUTUMN.


Oh, yeah. That's so me. 😁

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Autumn Manicure Ideas

When I was a teenager, I used to go to the salon every couple of weeks with my mother to get my nails done. You probably wouldn't guess, considering the state of my nails now, but I loved having my nails done. (Except that I had a bad habit of lighting them on fire when they got a bit long - but that's a different story.)

I've been toying with the idea of getting them done again. Here are a few of the designs I've got my eye on.


You can find links to these designs and more on my Autumn Dream Manicure board on Pinterest.

What do you think? Should I stay natural or get my butt into the salon?

Movie Review: Bornless Ones (2017)

In Bornless Ones (2017), Emily and her partner, Jesse, move to Ye Old Cabin in the Woods so that they'll be closer to her disabled brother, Zach, when he goes into a care facility. Their friends, Woodrow and Michelle, come along to help, apparently, though their major contributions are drinking and being obnoxious. They also manage to remove the boards concealing the sigils keeping a host of demons trapped inside the house.


Zach is a spastic quadroplegic with cerebral palsy, which was a little distracting for me because of the emphasis on a car accident that he and his mother suffered some time before. It wasn't really clear if his illnesses were related to one another or the accident or (until much later) how his illnesses affected him. Since the whole movie revolved around Zach, it was important to clear those things up early on.

The way that information was presented in Bornless Ones wasn't ideal. There was just way too much tell - one person explaining something to another in detail. Show over tell is even more important in movies but Bornless Ones fails to pull it off.

It does, however, excel in lighting, which is soft and well managed. The lighting in Bornless Ones contributes to the movie's eerie atmosphere, as does the film's grainy quality, which makes it feel older than it is. Scares come easily in this one - exactly where you expect them, though, unfortunately. The scene changes are seamless so Bornless Ones moves forward smoothly and has good pace.


The movie is gory, which my husband would count as a plus. Me, not so much. I'm the squeamish one. Bornless Ones doesn't pull any punches; it's quite visceral, starting with compound fractures in the first scene.

A couple of things about Bornless Ones irritated me. Firstly, the actress playing Emily could. Not. Act. She had one expression: gormless. So irritating. Then, there was Woodrow the jackass, who openly humiliated Zach but then was suddenly worried about fucking his girlfriend in case it hurt their unborn child. Character inconsistencies irritate me even more than bad acting. And, speaking of unborn children... Michelle throwing back the beers while pregnant didn't exactly make me care whether she lived or died.

Despite the things that annoyed me about Bornless Ones, it's a good, strong movie. Except, maybe the ending. They really shouldn't have gone for the happy ending. It didn't suit the movie. Still worth a watch, though.

A Song for Sunday: Sin Shake Sin - Can't Go To Hell

The song "Can't go to Hell" is from the album Lunatics and Slaves by the Sin Shake Sin. I first heard it on the soundtrack for Netflix's new movie, Little Evil.

I'm really into the rockabilly thing right now. What a great sound.


Divided by deception, but together we must rise
Deafened by the naive while we silence the wise
(lyrics from musicmatch)

So, what do you think? Like it? Dislike it? Let me know.

Saturday, 2 September 2017

31 Days of Horror: The Shortlist

Well, maybe not that short. (But it's shorter than the original list.)


After much deliberation - and a few strong words - Jay and I have come up with a list of 91 of the best classic horror movies. Too bad our final list only has 31 spots.

1920s:
Phantom of the Opera 1925

1930s:
Dracula 1931
The Mummy 1932
The Invisible Man 1933
Bride of Frankenstein 1935

1940s:
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde 1941

1950s:
The Thing from Another World 1951
Creature from the Black Lagoon 1954
The Curse of Frankenstein 1957
Night of the Demon 1957
(Horror of) Dracula 1958

1960s:
Psycho 1960
The Curse of the Werewolf 1961
The Pit and the Pendulum 1961
The Day of the Triffids 1962
The Birds 1963
Dr. Terror's House of Horrors 1965
Dracula Prince of Darkness 1966
The Plague of the Zombies 1966
Night of the Living Dead 1968
Rosemary's Baby 1968

1970s:
Let's Scare Jessica to Death 1971
Vampire Circus 1972
Horror Express 1972
The Crazies 1973
The Exorcist 1973
The Legend of Hell House 1973
The Wicker Man 1973
Black Christmas 1974
The Texas Chain Saw Massacre 1974
Jaws 1975
Carrie 1975
The Omen 1975
Dawn of the Dead 1978
Halloween 1978
Invasion of the Body Snatchers 1978
Alien 1979
Zombie Flesh Eaters 1979

1980s:
The Fog 1980
Friday the 13th 1980
The Monster Club 1980
The Shining 1980
An American Werewolf in London 1981
Dark Night of the Scarecrow 1981
The Evil Dead 1981
Friday the 13th Part 2 1981
Halloween 2 1981
The Howling 1981
My Bloody Valentine 1981
Halloween 3: Season of the Witch 1982
Creepshow 1982
Poltergeist 1982
The Thing 1982
Psycho 2 1983
Children of the Corn 1984
Gremlins 1984
A Nightmare on Elm Street 1984
Day of the Dead 1985
Fright Night 1985
The Return of the Living Dead 1985
Trick or Treat 1986
Angel Heart 1987
Hellraiser 1987
The Lost Boys 1987
Prince of Darkness 1987
Child's Play 1988
Phantasm 2 1988
Pumpkinhead 1988
Pet Sematary 1989

1990s:
Night of the Living Dead 1990
The Silence of the Lambs 1991
Bram Stoker's Dracula 1992
Wolf 1994
The Prophecy 1995
Seven 1995
Village of the Damned 1995
The Frighteners 1996
From Dusk Till Dawn 1996
Scream 1996
The Devil's Advocate 1997
I Know What You Did Last Summer 1997
Mimic 1997
Wishmaster 1997
Halloween H2O 1998
Urban Legend 1998
Deep Blue Sea 1999
End of Days 1999
House on Haunted Hill 1999
Sleepy Hollow 1999

2000s:
Final Destination 2000

Looks like we're going to need another round of cuts... I just don't know how we're going to choose between some of these movies. What do you think?

Thirteen O'Clock Press Call for Submissions: LONESOME TRAIN

Get your submissions in before it's too late!

Lonesome Train - Anything to do with trains, steam trains, diesel trains, deserted stations, abandoned sheds and engines, abandoned lines still walked by - who? What? Does anything hanker for the old days and still live there? Explore the whole scene of the Lonesome Train in any and every way you can.



Submission guidelines:
Please submit your manuscript as a *.rtf, *.doc or *.docx file.
The email subject line must read: “SUBMISSION – Lonesome  Train – ‘your story title’”.
No headers, footers or page numbers.
Reprints are OK as long as all rights have been reverted back to you.
Up to 5000 words preferred, no minimum. 
No extra lines between paragraphs and all new paragraphs and dialogue indented using the TAB key.

Rie Sheridan Rose will be presiding over this anthology.
Submit to: riethirteensubmissions@gmail.com
Deadline: until full
Payment: Exposure and Royalties
60% of profits received
50% off RP paperback contributor copies (cost)

Thirteen O'Clock Press is an imprint of Horrified Press.

Best Films for Autumn 2017

Two things I love most: autumn and movies. A perfect combination.

There are some movies that just scream, "Autumn is here!" These are my favourites.

Varsity Blues
I don't even want to say how many times I watch this movie every fall. It takes me to another place, another time. I can smell hot chocolate and hear the voices of the crowd. I can see the glare of the floodlights and feel the bite of cold on my nose. It's Friday night in the stadium and I'm years younger. Varsity Blues isn't just an awesome movie with some of my favourite actors, it's 100 minutes of pure nostalgia.
Dead Poets Society
Dead Poets Society is one of my favourite films, period. It also appears on almost everyone's list of favourite movies for the fall. Why? Because it's about learning, because it's about friendship, because it's about finding yourself, because the actors are amazing and the story is heartbreaking, that's why.
Good Will Hunting
Autumn is a magical time because it's about beginnings and endings at the same time. A new school year is starting, while all the plants are dying. Good Will Hunting captures that feeling perfectly. There's a sense of loss, balanced against the hope of brighter things to come.
Scream
This has got to be one of my favourite horror movies because its so damned funny. (I know, I have a weird definition of horror but, hey, I like my horror funny.) The actors really spark off one another and it manages to pull off some great scares too. And, since Scream centres around high schoolers, you've got that school time feeling that so quintessentially autumn.
The Others
The Others is one of those movies that captures the stark feeling of autumn as it draws to a close. The nights creep ever closer; the trees are bare; there's an oppressive air of worse things to come. The darkness, the isolation, and the suspense of The Others make it a perfect film for a late autumn frightfest.
You've Got Mail
Let me get this out of the way now: You'll never see When Harry Met Sally or Sleepless in Seattle on any of my movie lists. I think they're overrated. You've Got Mail is a much, much better love story for autumn. The autumn imagery was fantastic and, hey, how autumnal are books? Autumn is definitely a time for reading!
Persuasion
Persuasion isn't on this list solely because Ciarán Hinds is one sexy Wentworth (which he is) or because autumn is a time for classics (which it is). It's here because the movie's loss and grief is set beautifully against a backdrop of autumn's yearning for days gone by. And, oh yeah... because Ciarán Hinds is one sexy Wentworth.
Needful Things
If you want to know what autumn on the East Coast looks like, watch a Stephen King film. Needful Things has that going for it but also plays on the darker side of autumn: the decay, the uncertainty, the growing darkness. It peels away the sense of community that we show outsiders to reveal the seething hatred lurking beneath.
Children of the Corn
Ah, autumn. Time of the harvest... and freaky little kids killing their parents. Of course I'm talking about Children of the Corn. One of my favourite things about Michigan in the autumn is the sun rising over rows and rows of corn. It's a very autumnal image for me. If you don't think cornfields can be scary, you've never lived next to one.
October Kiss
Here we have one of the very few Hallmark movies that doesn't make me want to vomit. Sure, October Kiss is ultra cheesy, feel-good pulp, but you've gotta have some of that with all the horror on this list. It's got a kooky family that comes to rescue a floundering family and makes everyone - especially the father, of course, fall in love with her. It's also doused in Halloweeny goodness, which is a must this time of year.

What are your favourite movies for fall? Does your list look anything like mine?

Friday, 1 September 2017

Guest Post: Drew's Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer

It's September 1st, so I thought I would share my pumpkin spice coffee creamer recipe!

BRING ON THE PUMPKIN SPICE!!!

What you need: 
1 can coconut milk (vegan option)   
or 15-20 oz real diary cream
2 TBSP canned or roasted pumpkin 
Cinnamon 
Nutmeg (I shave my own) 
Vanilla 
Maple syrup

I didn't put amounts for the spices because I eyeball it but I'd say it's about 1-2 tsp each. Maple syrup will be about 2-3 tablespoons.

What to do: 

Blend all ingredients in the blender and enjoy in your morning coffee! 
Store in a glass jar with a  lid (or a ball jar) and store it in the fridge for about two weeks.



Guest Blogger

This post was brought to you by Drew of Twisted Stitches.

I am a thirty something single woman
striving to simplify my life.


Follow me on Instagram!

September 2017 Instagram Challenge

Hello, September!

The start of a new month is the perfect time for my very first Instagram challenge. Will you join me? If so, be sure to use #WWSeptDaily so I know you're playing along!


Share this graphic to Instagram (and Pinterest, etc.) and invite all your friends & followers to join us!

Thirteen O'Clock Press Call for Submissions: BLOOD

My short, "The Night He Came", will be part of this horror anthology.

Submissions are still open so come join me.


Blood - stories  featuring blood in all forms: stolen, drained from someone, thrown  around the place, fountaining out of wounds, etc. Blood, you name it, I want it. There are two  parts to this anthology, Hot Blood and Cold Blood.

Submission guidelines:
Please submit your manuscript as a *.rtf, *.doc or *.docx file.
The email subject line must read: “SUBMISSION – Blood – ‘your story title’”. Please specify if it is Hot or Cold. 
No headers, footers or page numbers.
Reprints are OK as long as all rights have been reverted back to you.
Up to 5000 words preferred, no minimum. 
No extra lines between paragraphs and all new paragraphs and dialogue indented using the TAB key.

Dorothy Davies will be presiding over this anthology.
Submit to: dorothystaticm@gmail.com
Deadline: until full
Payment: Exposure and Royalties
60% of profits received
50% off RP paperback contributor copies (cost)

Thirteen O'Clock Press is an imprint of Horrified Press.

Waiting For...