As we fast approach Halloween, it is time to dust off those dormant Horror movies, reserved especially for this spooky holiday! We all have our favourites - the classics. However, join Chris from Alltime Movies as he counts down the Top 10 Worst Horror Movies Ever! Including gangster Leprechauns and killer Gingerbread men - think so bad they're good...
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My very first F-Con (or Fantasy Convention for the uninitiated...). Where do you start with a report which encompasses all the emotion, all the events, and all the awesome? I suppose, like I did, you start at the beginning. For those that genuinely don't know, F-Con is a yearly event which takes place at various locations through the UK. It is an event which encompasses science fiction, fantasy and horror, and all the myriad and varied sub-genres and mash-ups that come under the speculative umbrella. Attracting some well-known names in writing and publishing, it is the event to attend for writers, publishers, editors and, of course, readers. There are panels, readings, launches, signings, impromptu classes taking place in the corridors, interviews and chances to meet and talk to your favourite authors. And here's the thing - even if you're socially awkward and self-conscious, it's not a problem; most creative people are. In fact, it's the place to be if you're like that, because everyone is open, engaging and inviting. This year, the event was held in Nottingham, so off I toddled for a relatively long drive...
Caveat: if I miss your name off this, I truly apologise. I have a terrible memory and was a wee bit overwhelmed by the whole experience. You can call me out in any comments.
Never let it be said that I am comfortable with travelling. I must have packed and repacked my two bags at least half a dozen times before going to bed on the Thursday night. Every single alarm in the house was set to go off at 4am, not that it mattered as I didn't sleep a wink. Which was rather handy as I managed to get a couple of reviews and news items posted on the website before I left the house to meet Chris Barnes for our flight down to Nottingham. So far everything had gone smoothly, my lift arrived 10 minutes earlier than planned which was great as it meant we had ten minutes more to get through security at Edinburgh airport. I had heard that they could be right arseholes ( I know pot calling the kettle black)....
Okay, horror folks - it's that time of the year again. On Saturday the 10th October, 2015, I attended what is rapidly becoming one of my favourite events, and something I hope to attend every time it takes place - the splendour of what is called All Night Horror Madness! Five classic horror films, many on their original 35mm prints, a bunch of classic, 'lost' trailers and a raffle with some excellent prizes, with a showing in both Glasgow and Edinburgh on different nights. Usually happening every six months, this was the big one, number 10, taking place in the horror month of October.
Due to a desire to go to another horror event - Bristol Horror Con - on the 17th, I couldn't make the Edinburgh event but as I didn't want to miss out, I made the journey over to Glasgow. Hosting the event was The Grosvenor cinema, a small but lovely little theatre which I hadn't been to in many years. All 100 seats had been sold out and this promised to be a great night.
As I stood outside, killing a bit of time, I bumped into organiser Matthew Palmer and had a quick chat, whetting my appetite for what was to come. And then, it was into the cinema for the showings. Matt gave a wee talk about the event and why the films that made the cut were chosen. And then it was on to the main event...
We all know the big ones; your Resident Evils, your Silent Hills, your Dead Spaces, Amnesias et al.
But there's more than you'd ever imagine when you pare beneath the surface of horror in video games, not only obscure independent titles (I'm Scared, SOMA, Slender etc) but also overlooked commercial releases: obscurities and curios that never made much of an impact on the market, but which, thanks to the internet, have begun to enjoy something of a cult status in recent years.
I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream, an adaptation of Harlan Ellison's short story of the same title, is a bizarre point and click adventure that takes the basic premise of the short story (super A.I. Murders all of humanity, becomes almost omnipotent, spends the next several centuries elaborately and ironically torturing the handful of humans it decided to spare) and expands it across a variety of strange psycho-scapes; environments which reflect the neuroses and apparent sins of the characters themselves, all of whom were broken long before AM (the self-christened A.I.) got to them.
As a game, it is no great shakes: a frustrating point and click role-playing piece whose puzzles are often oblique to the point of surrealism (much of what you have to do relates to symbolism that is pertinent to each character; the slightest misstep can make the entire game unbeatable).
However, what the game lacks in technical finesse it more than makes up for in atmosphere. This is not a game that you play to win; in which you rise up to conquer the pervasive malevolence of AM. Instead, the purpose of the game is to die; for the characters to find what peace they can in suicide, after first exploring enough of themselves in AM's twisted, tortuous mind games to get over their own demons. A pervasive sense of darkness and depression hangs over the entire game; an impermeable gloom that is sumptuous and wonderful to experience. It is also monstrously grim, taking cues from the original short story and expanding them into more developed arcs, many of which are absolutely horrendous. The characters you play are universally flawed, some of them having histories that are entirely monstrous. Nevertheless, by playing them, you gain a sense of empathy, of understanding: even the most flawed, the most wicked in their former lives, isn't worthy of the eternal and constant torment that AM provides.
As for AM himself, he is not only deliciously sadistic and endlessly inventive (as only a man-made God of pain can be), he is also contradictory and lunatic at times, presenting the characters with no-win situations, that no amount of struggle in their part can undo.
That is the deliciousness of the game:
there is no victory, no celebratory component: even if you “win,” you and all of humanity loses.
OWN A HOUSE IN H. P. LOVECRAFT’S INNSMOUTH?
Here at Gingernuts Of Horror, we’ve mad no secret of our admiration for the work of Jasper Bark - his horror fiction collection Stuck On You was a big smash, and regular columnist Kit Power was also lucky enough to snag a massive in-depth interview with him last year
Still, when we received a vellum envelope, wax sealed with the JB coat of arms, we’ll admit to a little trepidation. Contained within were sheets of parchment, with the following text inscribed in a legible, yet somehow fevered hand, the ink a suspicious rusty brown colour...
“Of all the locations created by H. P. Lovecraft, none strike such an ominous a note as the ancient town of Innsmouth.