Archive for surreal

CHAOS THEORY: Official Release

Posted in Updates with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 14, 2016 by smuckyproductions

The time has come… CHAOS THEORY is unleashed upon the world!

Smucky’s first feature film follows the tradition of surreal psychological horror. It follows a young woman who, in the wake of her best friend’s suicide, must combat violent premonitions as she wonders… what really killed her friend?

WATCH THE FULL FILM HERE:

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CHAOS THEORY Trailer #3: Have You Seen Them?

Posted in Updates with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 7, 2016 by smuckyproductions

Only eight days until the release of CHAOS THEORY!

Check out this new trailer – and uncover the secret of the Three Men on APRIL 14TH:

CLICK HERE to join the Facebook event and stay updated on trailers, behind-the-scenes photos, and more.

Films That Haunt Me: ANGEL HEART

Posted in Films That Haunt Me with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 25, 2016 by smuckyproductions

 

What happens when the director of “The Wall” takes a walk with Satan? Throw in voodoo motifs, grimy noir atmosphere and a strikingly subdued Robert DeNiro, and you have a small idea of what this film promises. Just a small one, though. Today we discuss one of horror’s unsung classics, Alan Parker’s ANGEL HEART.

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Set mainly in 50s New York, this nasty piece of work follows a private detective on his latest assignment – to track down a man who has evaded fulfilling a contract with the client, one Louie Cypher (think about it). As the detective follows the trail, he finds himself chasing corpses, all while assaulted by nightmarish images of gushing blood, desecrated churches and screaming people. Someone is murdering all of his leads. But as the danger increases and he goes further from home, he approaches a truth that he could not imagine – nor does he want to.

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The atmosphere and imagery of this film are masterful Its New York and New Orleans are equally visceral, with vivid color palettes and gorgeous production design. The world is gloomy, spooky, and dangerous. It seems perfectly plausible that Satan would be stalking behind the scenes. New York is filled with grey snow, brown steam and blue shadows; New Orleans with green jungle, dark skies and, naturally, bright blood.

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By contrasting the two locations so clearly, Parker creates almost two separate films – one a noir mystery, the other an experimental thriller with strong voodoo threads. But the surrealism remains present throughout both halves. The horror here is fantastical, dream-like, and the imagery reflects this. Parker creates a hybrid between Argento and Lynch, then fills it with Satanic undertones. (If only Lynch would make a movie with the devil, too.)

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This potent combination gives birth to a film that totally throws off expectations. You might see the ending come a mile away, but the way it unfolds, and the things you see in the process, are unbelievable. That is the greatness of this dark dream – the disparate elements congeal into something that has not been seen in horror since. It leaves one wishing that more directors were so bold with their vision, and so wide-reaching in their influences. There are issues with it, of course – mainly the questionable treatment of Lisa Bonet’s character, who is sexualized to a gross degree – but it is worth watching for its originality alone.

For those who want a fresh gust of graveyard air into their horror viewing routine, ANGEL HEART offers a great promise. Its mystery reaches deep into the psyche and comes back with an evil revelation. Follow the clues if you dare.

New MINUTE MORBIDITIES: CHICKEN

Posted in Updates with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 19, 2016 by smuckyproductions

It’s finally the weekend. You know what that means. Time for a new MINUTE MORBIDITIES.

Here we have an unusual dinner guest in CHICKEN:

Share the scare, and tune in next Friday for a new grotesque treat!

Short Story: DREAM-BLADE

Posted in Original Writing, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on February 18, 2016 by smuckyproductions

A piece of flash fiction that introduces an entity I mentioned in a few short stories. Intended as a player in the Red Door mythos. More on that soon…

DREAM-BLADE

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Above the blue sphere it could feel all. The dark pulse of sound and thought shred through it, washing over its invisible parts, the touch of strangers. It shuddered and began to whirl.

Mmmmvvvvvvvvvvvhhhhhhhhhhhh…

The blue sphere dimmed. It sensed infinite voices sigh in unison. Their thoughts muddled, confused with other things, and melted altogether. It trembled its blades and prepared. Yet, nothing rose from the sphere. There was no word for resistance in its vocabulary. It spun faster.

Mmmvvvvggggghhhgggg…

As always, some thoughts congealed and screamed. It had lost those minds. They would either wake and deem it a nightmare or self-destruct. The sleeping ones were its prize. It sensed their thoughts twitching, lifting, and responding. Their blue sphere turned grey. Humming with hunger, it quickened its vibrations and began to harvest.

The grey shape of their world faded, turned black, and then burst forth with a multitude of awful colors, spraying through the frequency, screaming with forms that deliquesced when the vibrations found them. Shapes emptied and thoughts became monsters as its frequency surrounded the sphere. Calling. Consuming. Whirring at a speed that destroyed.

Mmmmvvvvhhhhhh.

Mvh ghhhbbtyyyyyyg.

The last of the colors died out, and it was finished.

Some time later, perhaps in seconds or in eons, the blue sphere awoke. It would acknowledge its emptiness, but without thought, it could not despair. As the abandoned vessels wandered and wondered they would at times turn to the sky, the infinite blackness, where they could still hear the whirring of the dream-blade retreating in space.

Forbidden Tomes: SONGS OF A DEAD DREAMER by THOMAS LIGOTTI

Posted in Forbidden Tomes with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 18, 2016 by smuckyproductions

It’s a terrible shame that so many great genre authors active in the 70s and 80s – Ted Klein, Karl Edward Wagner, and Kathe Koja, to name a few – have gone out of print and are so difficult to find. This past year, Penguin rereleased a collection of cosmic horror stories that had beforehand been flying under the radar. These stories come from the warped, wicked, and brilliant mind of Thomas Ligotti – the first of which is called SONGS OF A DEAD DREAMER.

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I couldn’t think of a more appropriate title. These stories range in setting – from mundane suburbs to decaying side streets, and even surreal dreamscapes – but all touch on a deep nihilistic brand of horror that even Lovecraft doesn’t touch. Most of Ligotti’s characters are hyper-intelligent outcasts who long for a different existence, perhaps in another dimension. Their searches bring them to horrible truths that grant them their wish in the worst possible way.

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Placed in dark Expressionistic streets and warped buildings (perhaps echoing the decay of Ligotti’s hometown Detroit), populated by grotesque humans and not-unconscious puppets, Ligotti’s stories are uncanny from the first sentence. It is hard to recognize anything within them as worldly, though many of them feature elements that must have come from our present time. This removed reality is like a Tim Burton set left to its own rot-filled devices. It is the perfect environment for the transgressive horror that presents itself: horrors of the mind that force us to question our own perceptions.

Ligotti’s writing is dense and philosophical, much more so than your average horror story. At times this style can become hard to decipher; but for the most part, it elevates the terror to a mental level that makes it impossible to shake. The nightmares within these stories stem from world-bending theories – of alternate lives, killers who absorb their victims, and madness that takes physical form. And the protagonist never escapes the evil they encounter.

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There is a true sense of madness as well, embedded in the hyper-intelligent prose – a sense that Ligotti himself has witnessed these horrors himself. He transcends the influence of Lovecraft in this way. The protagonists are not only fighting a cosmic terror from another reality; they are battling their own deteriorating minds, which become the most fearsome villain. With corporeal traits – alcoholism and insomnia being the main two – to offset their intangible mental decline, these characters become close to home. It’s easy to imagine their breakdowns as our own.

Songs of a Dead Dreamer, (Jun 1991, Thomas Ligotti, publ. Carroll & Graf, 0-88184-721-6, $4.50, x+275pp, pb, coll)

With this unique brand of cosmic horror, Ligotti’s stories present a devastating and terrifying panorama of monsters. His imagery shocks and his ideas rattle. It is unlike any horror prose I’ve encountered before, and I am thrilled that I can recognize him now; and now that I know him, I cannot forget him. Like his protagonists, Ligotti opens mental doors into ideas that may be better left unseen. But to see them is incredible.

New MINUTE MORBIDITIES: GROWTH

Posted in Updates with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 15, 2016 by smuckyproductions

Happy Friday, horror fans! We’ve spent this week cultivating and harvesting a new morbidity for you.

Watch GROWTH here:

Share the scare!

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