Monthly Archives: October 2015

Carpe Scream: Last Day!

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So okay! This is the last day of my Carpe Scream blog marathon! I hope you’ve enjoyed my write-ups of these 31 Halloween Movies. Some were scary, some were not, some were old favorites, some were new favorites, some were shameful new discoveries to be hidden forever and never spoken of again.

I’m closing out this first year’s marathon with the movie that taught me to love Halloween, back when I was a little chicken scaredy-pants who was afraid of everything ghosty and ghoulie and three-leggy-beasty: Tim Burton’s Masterpiece featuring the music of Danny Elfman: The Nightmare Before Christmas.

Time Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas, 1993, Touchstone Pictures

This is a great transition from Halloween to the upcoming holiday season. I’m going to disappear for a while, getting back to writing and tuning up old pieces as I start a new journey to getting published again. Hopefully I’ll devise something fun for Christmas like last year’s Advent Calendar for you all (but perhaps less ambitious).

I hope you all have a fantastic Halloween, a good NaNoWriMo, and I’ll see you all around on the vast and glorious internet jungle.

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Inktober Final Day!

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Wow! Last day of Inktober and I’m finishing on a Tolkien-y bang. Here is the fab furry-footed four, Pippin, Merry, Frodo and Sam. This inktober wasn’t like last year where I tested technique and my inking limits. This one was more about finishing assignments and personal challenges. I only hope I can do another challenge month like this when I’m NOT already doing a horror-movie challenge. 2 in one go was a bit hard on me. That being said, I’m quite pleased with myself and I hope you enjoyed this challenge. Thanks for checking in with me!

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The Hobbits, Monica Marier, 2015, Faber-Castel Pen

Carpe Scream Day 30

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Today I watch a horror movie classic, in that it’s been widely lauded as one of the worst Science Fiction movies of all time: Ed Wood’s Plan 9 From Outer Space.

Plan 9 From Outer Space, 1959, Valiant Pictures

This movie has been a classic because of all the bad movies out there, it’s one of the most highly watchable bad films. It goes through bad and out the other end to where it’s ridiculously funny. Cheap sets, bad costumes and frankly weird directorial decisions and a nonsensical plot (space people raise 3 zombies for… reasons) line make this a drunken elementary school pageant of a production. Highlights include:

“My God, I’m SHINY!”

Gun Safety Poster Boy

Tor “Time For Go To Bed Now” Johnson

This is a great movie to watch with friends and a couple of beers. And for added fun, follow it up with The Lost Skeleton of Cadavera, which is a brilliantly funny parody movie that borrows all Ed Woodliness of this movie and hangs a lampshade on it.

Inktober Day 29

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Inktober Day 29 is another in the Lord of the Rings series I’ve been doing: Here’s Aragorn in his “Strider” guise. I left off shading since I wanted to do that with colour. I was also trying to avoid it being too Viggo, so it’s a cross between him and my childhood image of Aragorn (Michael Praed).

Strider, by Monica Marier 2015

Strider, by Monica Marier 2015

Carpe Scream Day 29

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Okay, I was putting off this movie, honestly because my friends all warned me it was intense, but today I watched The Babadook.

The Babadook, 2014, Causeway Films

Quick premise: a widowed mother of a (possibly special needs) little boy is haunted by an entity named “Mr. Babadook” after reading a sinister pop-up book that mysteriously appears in her boy’s bookshelf.

First off this book needs some major awards for the prop-master who made that pop-up book. I remember seeing some vague sillouettes in the movie promotions (like above) which all reminded me of the Hatbox Ghost from the Haunted Mansion

“‘Sup, dawg” (property of Walt Disney Company)

Instead, when I watch the movie, I get THIS nightmare fuel.

I think it sees us.

And reading up on it, I discovered that MOST of the money in the movie’s budget (which was raised via kickstarter btw!) went to the amazing artists who made this book. There was also a backer level where you could get one of 200 identical books with EXTRA pages (sadly no longer available). In addition, the set design, the Tim Burton-y interiors and very stylized color palettes bring a phenomenal level of heart to the film.

Okay, I’m done gushing over the artwork. Now I’m going to gush over Essie Davis. I recently became aware of Davis through the Miss Fisher Mysteries by ABC (AUS) and I absolutely loved her in it. She impressed me no less as Amelia in Babadook. And she made a great character for the audience to follow.

The movie makes no bones about it’s theme, which is about how grief, stress, and isolation can wreak havoc on our lives, and tarnish our souls until we’re staring in the face of madness and oblivion. Essie is a very real vessel for all of that emotion as she deals with her son’s violent and hysterical outbursts, as her friends and family start to cut her off, and she even starts to cut herself off from life by not going to work.

Anyone who’s dealt with loss, depression and/or parenthood will tap into all of these immediately, and at times the movie was a little too real, especially when the viewer is forced to confront dark truths and the voices we all keep pent up in the back of our minds.

I won’t spoil the ending, but I will go so far as to say I loved it, and I agree with others that it was actually really cathartic. Unlike a recent online article, I don’t think it’s fatalist or a sign of how hopeless our world has become. I think it’s quite the opposite.

I’ll close with a fun fact, the Director of this film, Jennifer Kent, based the design of the Babadook off of a character played by the tragic Lon Chaney Sr. in “London After Midnight.” I’ll post it down here so you can watch if you like.

Inktober Day 28

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Inktober today is another from the agenda. This is a clipping from an upcoming page of CRIT! It features Linus at age 17, 27, 37, and 52. I won’t spoil the joke, I’ll just say that yes, he’s getting more frustrated as we go. I also seem to have inadvertently done a 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s hairstyle in order.That McGuyver mullet is to die for.

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CRIT! panels by Monica Marier, tangentartists.com