This Week in Macabre & Mysterious Media: Aug. 17 – 23, 2015.

Got a late start on this because my husband is the devil. I posted while it was still under construction, but I think it’s really done now.

~YOUR MUSICAL INTERLUDE~

Neko Case – Dirty Knife (crazy / werewolf song)

Case did an interesting interview over at avclub.com in which she says, about Dirty Knife:

“It’s a story my grandmother told me about a bunch of people in our family who all went crazy at the same time. People didn’t realize it ’til they went and found them in their house. They had just stopped leaving the house, and they were burning the furniture for heat. They were pretty nuts. I made the story on the record about one person, because I couldn’t quite figure out how to make the story work about several.”

My Ogre is home on a week’s vacation, so I expect I’m going to watch A LOT of movies.

I’m most eagerly looking forward to:

every secret thing

~THE MOVIES~

NEW ON NETFLIX & IN REDBOX:

Scooby-Doo Meets Kiss (2015) G?

Not Available on DVD from Netflix.
Not Available streaming on Netflix.
Available from Redbox.
This is NOT the Halloween episode from 2003, but a direct-to-video release from this year.  Don’t know if I can justify the cost in time and money, but I’m not ruling out an impulse rental.
Not On IMDb.

Strangerland (2015) R

Not Available on DVD from Netflix.
Not Available streaming on Netflix.
Available from Redbox.
A Sundance selection starring Nicole Kidman. Looks suspenseful.

A family finds their dull life in a rural outback town rocked after their two teenage children disappear into the desert, sparking disturbing rumors of their past. (From IMDb.)
On IMDb here.

Previously featured and available in Redbox this week:

IN THEATERS:

Z for Zachariah (2015) PG-13

I’m getting two different release dates for this: 21st & 28th.
My problem with this comes from the ridiculous idea that there would be “love triangles” in a post-apocalyptic world. Also, I fear it’s going to be hard to find in theaters.

In the wake of a disaster that wipes out most of civilization, two men and a young woman find themselves in an emotionally charged love triangle as the last known survivors.
On IMDb here. (linked)

~ON TV~

Steampunk’d | GSNTV | Wednesdays | 10/9c | August 19th.

Series premiere.
From the homepage:
Inspired by 19th century industrial steam-powered machinery, “Steampunk” is a retro-futuristic design movement seen in everything from fashion, to technology, to pop culture. In STEAMPUNK’D, the contestants (also known as “Makers”) work in teams and compete in a series of pressure-filled challenges designed to test their unique abilities to transform ordinary objects and fashion into creative masterpieces. Each week, one of the 10 Makers will be eliminated and the last one standing will take home the $100,000 grand prize.

Not one of my usual channels or topics, but I love my children very much, and they might find this to be of particular interest.

Ghost Adventures | Travel Channel | Saturdays | 9/8c | Aug. 22nd

11th Season.
From the homepage:
Join Zak Bagans and Aaron Goodwin as they investigate the scariest, most notorious, haunted places in the world.

I don’t watch it, though I’ve been known to leave an episode on if I stumble across one. I find the team’s approach to be too reckless, rude and confrontational too often.

~***~

Recent Macabre & Mysterious Media links here.

The color of the title is keyed as follows:
Black = Have not yet experienced. I’m interested … or I think you’ll be interested.
Red = Have experienced. Not recommended. Worse than the reviews or buzz indicated.
Orange = Have experienced. Recommended, with reservations or cautions.
Green = Have experienced. Recommended. A good movie that lives up to its reputation.

11 Weeks ’til Halloween: Love, Learn & Dance in the Graveyards

With eleven weeks still left until Halloween, we’re in the early part of the journey. I’ve shared a list of Halloween-themed movies to rent, and I’ve provided you with a printable checklist of season-appropriate activities to remind you to enjoy the time between now and then. This week, I’m encouraging you to explore your local graveyard(s).

halloween countdown 11 final

 

August 15th ~ 21st  UPDATED

With 11 weeks to go, I’ve assembled some information that will give you a reason to have an outing (or several) to your local burial grounds.

Read: Graveyards, churchyards and cemeteries ~ spending an afternoon with the dead.

To see more Halloween Countdown content, visit the homepage:

Countdown Main Saturdays


This Week in Macabre & Mysterious Media: Aug. 10 – 16, 2015

(sorry I’m a day late ~ technical difficulties)

~YOUR MUSICAL INTERLUDE~

Delta Rae – Scared

If you only watch one thing from this list, it should probably be:

ex machina

~THE MOVIES~

NEW ON NETFLIX & IN REDBOX:

Very quiet on the Netflix / Redbox front this week. You could try:

The Skeleton Twins (2014) R

Available on DVD from Netflix.
Available streaming on Netflix.
Might be Available from Redbox.
Just saw this one by accident :) Ogre was watching it behind me while I worked. It caught my attention, then drew me in. I watched with him to the end, then started it over so I could catch the beginning. It’s a drama with some great touches of comedy. Nothing supernatural about it at all. Good movie. It turns out the whole story is set right around Halloween, so now it’s an alternate on the 13 Movies set on or around Halloween list.

Having both coincidentally cheated death on the same day, estranged twins reunite with the possibility of mending their relationship. (From IMDb.)
On IMDb here.

Area 51 (2015) R

Available on DVD from Netflix.
Not yet Available streaming on Netflix.
Available from Redbox.
Two reasons why I’m not going to bother with this unless someone tells me it’s surprisingly great: 1) Found footage-style. 2) Teen conspiracy theorists. 

Three young conspiracy theorists attempt to uncover the mysteries of Area 51, the government’s secret location rumored to have hosted encounters with alien beings. What they find at this hidden facility exposes unimaginable secrets. (From IMDb.)
On IMDb here.

Previously featured & coming to Netflix streaming this week:

Previously featured and available in Redbox this week:

IN THEATERS:

Amnesiac (2015) R

In general release Aug. 14.
I don’t see it coming to any local theaters yet, but I’ll be keeping an eye out. I do love a good amnesia story.

The story of a man who wakes up in bed suffering from memory loss after being in an accident, only to begin to suspect that his wife may not be his real wife and that a web of lies and deceit deepen inside the house where he soon finds himself a prisoner. (From IMDb.)
On IMDb here.

Final Girl (2015) R

In general release Aug. 14
Huh. Well, the trailer puts me in the same state of mind I was in when I recently lost. my. mind. after watching Kingsman. (That’s a whole-nother story though, and I haven’t yet calmed down enough to write it.) So. Here’s what I will say about the trailer for Final Girl: It looks stylish. It looks cool. And it looks completely heartless. That can work … but I doubt this movie will pull it off. (Damn you, Tarantino, for spawning this genre.)

A man teaches a young woman how to become a complete weapon. 13 years later, at 18 she will approach a group of sadistic teens who killed blonde women for unknown reasons. The hunting season begins. (From IMDb.)
On IMDb here.

Phoenix (2015) PG-13

I’m assuming this is art house fare, supposedly in release now.
Certainly not paranormal, but the reviews and descriptions say it’s a great noir-ish mystery with touches of sci-fi. That, and the fact that it’s a period piece, intrigue me. (In German and English, with subtitles.)

A disfigured concentration-camp survivor (Nina Hoss), unrecognizable after facial reconstruction surgery, searches ravaged postwar Berlin for the husband (Ronald Zehrfeld) who might have betrayed her to the Nazis. (From IMDb.)
On IMDb here.

The Falling (2014) NR

Released to streaming services on Aug 7th.
From BBC Films. I’m betting I won’t get to see this until it comes to Netflix. I gotta say, it looks like a (slightly) updated Picnic at Hanging Rock. (Which IS one of my favorite films.)

It’s 1969 at a strict English girls’ school where charismatic Abbie and intense and troubled Lydia are best friends. After a tragedy occurs at the school, a mysterious fainting epidemic breaks out threatening the stability of all involved. (From IMDb.)
On IMDb here.

Harbinger Down (2015) R

Released to streaming services on Aug. 7th.
Another one I’ll have to wait for. Normally I don’t bother featuring these straight-to-streaming films, but both The Falling (above) and Harbinger Down are especially interesting to me. This one is a film funded via Kickstarter … and its intention is to take a stand for practical effects in a world of CGI. Starring Lance Hendricks, which is good for me too. 

Thawed from ice after three decades, mutated creatures terrorize a group of graduate students on a fishing trawler in the Bering Sea. (From MovieFone.)
On IMDb here.

~ON TV~

It’s summer. There are reality shows.

~***~

That does it for this week. Not a lot on offer, but recent weeks have been more productive. Most of those previous features are still around, so check out:

Recent Macabre & Mysterious Media links here.

The color of the title is keyed as follows:
Black = Have not yet experienced. I’m interested … or I think you’ll be interested.
Red = Have experienced. Not recommended. Worse than the reviews or buzz indicated.
Orange = Have experienced. Recommended, with reservations or cautions.
Green = Have experienced. Recommended. A good movie that lives up to its reputation.

Geese beneath my feet.

This week’s photo challenge prompt is ‘Beneath Your Feet.’ I’ve got some ideas about shots to take this week, but I’m not sure I can do better than to share a favorite set of photos from my digital scrapbook, of an exciting event that took place, over the course of weeks, right under my feet.

We have a deck overlooking a pond. From the front of the apartment building, we are on the first floor, but we are kind of built into a hill so our deck, at the back of the building, is almost a full story off the ground. In April, after we moved here, a commotion outside caught my attention. I went out to see this:

goose going to nest snow tracks

This guy was honking and calling, but he was only making about half the noise I heard. The other half of the conversation was coming from directly beneath me. I had to get down on my hands and knees to peer between the boards to see that his mate was huddled on the snowy rocks under our deck. (We’d had a significant late season snow storm just the day before.) Apparently, the pair had set up housekeeping in the semi-sheltered place  under our deck, and, by the looks of it, they were planning on staying put, despite the weather.

It was a rough spring. It stayed cold. We had several more snows in April. The geese held to their convictions. My husband and I were struggling too. Both of us were still looking for work, after almost three months of unemployment.

In between filling out applications, I became friends with the female goose, who did most of the sitting*. It’s not good to feed geese much bread, which has too much protein, but with the weather being so inhospitable, I did drop a bite or two down to her once in a while. She became accustomed to me laying flat on the deck and talking to her, and she seemed to look forward to the occasional treat … as long as it landed close enough to her. She would not stand up or move from the nest to get a piece that fell beyond the range of her long neck.

(*Research has informed me that the female does ALL the incubating, and the male just guards the nest area, but many times I saw the male come and take over the nest toward evening. It was hard to miss because the two of them had a lot to say about the switching process.)

Weeks passed. Finally real spring arrived. I had found a full time job working the night shift at the Paranormal Hotel. I was usually asleep during the day, so I didn’t get to spend much time chatting with the goose. One afternoon, before I headed out to work, I remembered to check on her. This is what I saw:

geese underneath one gosling

 

She totally know I was up there, and, I swear, she moved aside so I could see this:

geese underneath deck 2012

 

That last egg never hatched, though she stayed with it for another day and a half.

I have one more shot of the little family to share. Don’t fret, two of the goslings are just beyond the edges of the shot. I assure you that the couple successfully raised all five of their goslings into sleek adults.

Geese underneath half  grown

I'm part of Post A Week 2015

Click here to visit the Post a Week home.

Here are some of my favorite entries for the “beneath your feet” prompt  from others:

(I’ll add more as I have time to browse, so feel free to check back.)

| Dog greeting the sun | the ledge shot, especially | ‘Feet’ – just the feet | chickens | bike shadow | from a train | baseball base | giant bird tracksWhere the Ancients Trod Before Us | black squirrelKathmandu cremation ceremony | the Portland Airport’s carpet, with its story | dor beetle, especially | “The fish are swimming toward the front of the ship.” | first autumn leaves | the center of France | river rocks | art collage | an unexpected reflection |


12 weeks until Halloween! The seasonal activity checklist is ready for you.

Soon it will be time to start thinking about autumn and Halloween, but right now it’s high summer, and there’s much to celebrate about that.

Now is a GREAT time to think about what you still want to do, while the weather is hot and sultry, and while we’re still in that magical season that feels at least slightly less structured than the rest of the year. The days are still long. The nights are still warm. Stormy weather still comes in sprints of wind, lightning, and thunder that pass, instead of marathons of cold and ice and snow that strand us in our homes.

If summer is slipping by too quickly, and if you want to remember to do all the things that make each season memorable, click the following shareable countdown image, or the link below that, to go to the Halloween Countdown post where you’ll find a printable checklist of fun seasonal activities … activities that begin right now.

hallowen countdown 12 weeks final

August 8th ~ 14th UPDATED

With 12 weeks to go, I’ve prepared for you a printable, portable, Halloween Countdown checklist of activities that will remind you to enjoy the rest of this summer and autumn, and help you suck every delectable bit of marrow from Halloween’s bones … from now until the wee hours of November 1st.

Read: A Portable ‘Countdown to Halloween’ Checklist ~ timely reminders of things to do now and through autumn.

To see more Halloween Countdown content, visit the homepage:

Countdown Main Saturdays

 

 


The Paranormalist has become a Crow Scout (and you can too.)

“I pledge to believe,

and study,

and protect our monster friends.”

12x18_print_template

 

Yep. I’ve joined the Crow Scouts (or, as I prefer to think of them, the Monster Scouts … or the Monster-Nerd Scouts.) I won’t be a REAL card-carrying member, until December, when my equipment is expected to arrive. I know it’s coming though, because I just backed the organization.

Right now there is a Kickstarter running for an organization called the Steam Crow Scouts. It has already more than doubled its goal and it will be funded  on Fri, Aug 7 2015 9:00 PM CDT. By the time you read this, it will probably be in its last 24 hours, (if it’s not already over.)

View The Crow Scouts’ Kickstarter Page Here 

To learn more about the Crow Scouts visit scouts.steamcrow.com.

Even if you miss the Kickstarter, or choose not to fund them in that way, you can still join the program.

FULL DISCLOSURE:

For weeks, I’ve been dithering about whether or not to join the Crow Scouts. (In my mind, from the very beginning, joining would mean contributing to the kickstarter and getting goodies … though folks can join for free at scouts.steamcrow.com.)

When I dug into the details, however, I found a couple of little things I didn’t like about the origin and purpose of the group. There is a phrase in one place that hits me wrong: “They (the “Crows”) also conveniently love, support, and help our little company, Steam Crow.” Also, on the login screen for the scout homepage, the words “Steam Crow Fan Club” arc across the top.

As much as I do enjoy the talent and artistic sensibility on view at the Steam Crow shop, I didn’t want to join the Crow Scouts as a way to show my support for a retail business … I wanted to support the concept of this peculiar scouting program itself. This overt connection made me hesitate, even though I REALLY wanted to be involved.

Then I took a deep breath and got down off my high-horse. I admitted to myself that what I really wanted was to be able to carry that Satchel of Holding around with me. I wanted to be able to buy badges I feel I have “earned,” and sew them onto the bag. I wanted to put together a uniform (using pieces from the Goodwill and my own creativity) that looks a bit like the senior uniform I coveted back when I was a Brownie:

gs uniform

What I’m really doing here is buying some nostalgia and some cool monster-lover gear. I’m pretty sure that most of the others who have joined Crow Scouts (and/or backed the Kickstarter) did so for the same reasons. And THAT tells me there’s a real community of quirky, retro-minded, monster-lovers out there … and that they are now connected by Crow Scouts. I can get into that.

Besides, I can’t help but think, Wouldn’t it be grand fun to wear the uniform to a con and be greeted by a Caw Claw?

 


This Week in Macabre & Mysterious Media: Aug. 3rd – 9th, 2015.

~YOUR MUSICAL INTERLUDE~

Lauren Shera – Light & Dust (pretty witchy)

I think, this week, I’m most excited about:

the unwanted

~THE MOVIES~

NEW ON NETFLIX & IN REDBOX:

The Raven (2012) R

Available on DVD from Netflix.
LEAVING NETFLIX STREAMING ON AUG. 6TH.
Not Available from Redbox.
John Cusack. I can’t remember if I’ve seen this or not. Might try to make time before it’s gone. Anyone out there love it or hate it?
On IMDb here.

Maggie (2015) PG-13

Available on DVD from Netflix.
(Not yet Available streaming on Netflix, will update if I notice.)
Available from Redbox.
This zombie drama starring Arnold Schwarzenegger was never widely released in theaters. I did mention it when it came out but I want to feature it again, now that it is available to most of us. This is a sweet, sad, slow story. It’s well worth a watch, if you aren’t expecting a horror movie. The Ogre, especially, respected the ending.
On IMDb here.

What We Do in the Shadows (2014) R

Available on DVD from Netflix.
(Not yet Available streaming on Netflix, will update if I notice.)
Available from Redbox.
This mockumentary  from New Zealand isn’t as good as Spinal Tap, (what mockumentary is?) but it’s fun. I adore the character Stu, and I suspect you will too. I also have a special fondness for Peter, who can’t seem to stop himself from making new vampires.
On IMDb here.

The Guest (2014) R

Available on DVD from Netflix.
Available streaming on Netflix.
Available from Redbox.
I just Found this one for my 13 movies set on or around Halloween list. (Did you realize it’s only 13 weeks until Halloween?)  It’s a strange film. Half action flick, half … thriller? And there’s a fair bit of Halloween stuff scattered everywhere, including a high school haunted house. Not a bad watch.
On IMDb here.

The Unwanted (2014) NR

Not Available on DVD from Netflix.
Available streaming on Netflix.
Not Available from Redbox.
This one was brought to my attention by a review at the blog Danse Noir. Looks like it was made for me. Southern Gothic? Check. Vampire sensuality? Check. Airstream trailer? Check. It’s on my queue, and I might watch it tonight.
On IMDb here. (linked)

Snowpiercer (2013) R

Available on DVD from Netflix.
Available streaming on Netflix.
Available from Redbox.
I resisted this movie SO hard. The premise is just ridiculous. I watched it reluctantly with my menfolk. I hated it pretty much all the way through … though, I had to admit at the time, there WAS a lot to like about the film-making itself. Now I see that it’s streaming on Netflix. And I’m going to recommend it to you. I’m listing it as an orange, but I think — in my heart of hearts — it’s really a green. What I know for sure is that I can’t get some of the film’s imagery out of my head, and the story has stayed with me far longer than the plots of many movies I have liked from the get-go.
On IMDb here.

Reading Rainbow (1985) G

Some themed sets are Available on DVD from Netflix; search Reading Rainbow.
1985 season now Available streaming on Netflix.
Not Available from Redbox.
Here’s my major outlier for the week. Got little kids? Fire up Netflix.

~Movies that have come to Netflix streaming since I featured them~

| Nightcrawler (2014) R Monsters: The Dark Continent (2014) R | The Quiet Ones (2014) PG-13 |

(note: I’m cleaning up old M&M Media posts today, so I’m continuing to work on this ^ little section.

IN THEATERS:

The Gift (2015) R

In general release on Thursday, Aug. 6th
Oooh. I hadn’t seen any trailers for this yet, but I found it today, as I was checking new releases. I’m TOTALLY ready for a good thriller. Jason Bateman, huh? Ok. Could be interesting. 
On IMDb here. (linked)

Mr. Holmes (2015) PG

In general release right now. (Playing widely around me in the Twin Cites area.)
This looks entertaining. (And will probably be of particular interest to Tim Prasil: Inventor of Persons.) Starring Ian McKellen & Laura Linney — that’s a fine cast.
On IMDb here.

Cop Car (2015) R

In general release on Friday, Aug. 7th.
Speaking of fine casting: I’m intrigued by the opportunity to see my beloved Kevin Bacon portray a Very Bad Man.

We’re trying to save some money around here, and we plan to cut back on going to the theater, but I gotta say this looks like a GREAT flick for the drive-in … and we haven’t gone yet this year (even though a night at the drive-in is a MUST-HAPPEN event, at least once a summer.) Crossing my fingers that this will soon show up where I want it to be.
On IMDb here.

Dark Places (2015) R

In general release on … hmm. Supposedly Aug. 7th, but I’m getting the vibe that this might be hard to find.
Charlize Theron. Christina Hendricks. Oh my. Looks like this save-money thing might be more challenging than I thought. It seems this is based on a much-beloved book by Gillian Flynn. (And readers are saying the movie isn’t nearly as good as the book. Big shock.) Perhaps I can save myself by hitting the library to stave off the crave. (Sorry about all the rhymes there.)
On IMDb here.

The Vatican Tapes (2015) PG-13

In general release now.
I don’t know. This is one that looks like it can wait for renting. If you’ve seen it and loved it, send me a note, will ya?
On IMDb here. (linked)

~ON TV~

All quiet on the TV front this week.

~***~

Recent Macabre & Mysterious Media links here.

The color of the title is keyed as follows:
Black = Have not yet experienced. I’m interested … or I think you’ll be interested.
Red = Have experienced. Not recommended. Worse than the reviews or buzz indicated.
Orange = Have experienced. Recommended, with reservations or cautions.
Green = Have experienced. Recommended. A good movie that lives up to its reputation.

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