Monday, December 31, 2012

Top Search Engine Terms of the Year for 2012

I did one of these halfway through the year this time around and it doesn't feel like it was 6 months ago, but here we are at another year end and it's time to round up the thinks that freaks out there search for that land them on my blog.

Top Ten Search Engine Terms.

1. severed finger (along with a dozen or more variations)
2. s (I’m not really sure about this one)
3. fake axe (several variations on this as well)
4. fox henderson (seems logical)
5. monkey prosthetics (which is kind of funny since I would never make such a thing, but both words are relevant)
6. julie laforest (congratulation Julie, you are obviously the target of many a creepy internet stalkers) 7. vampire nose (nothing special there)
8. zombie photo shoot (seems reasonable)
9. monkey rodeo project (a name which hopefully no longer exists to cause confusion)
10.zombie prosthetic (perfectly reasonable as well)

So, those all seem like pretty straightforward search terms that would land someone on this blog. Now for the weird ones. A lot were misspelled or seemed to have odd grammar and whatnot, so what you’re seeing is how I actually saw them in the list.

retro bimbo – I get where this one would lead someone to me and I sort of get what they might be looking for, but it does seem a little bit of an odd phrase.

richard allen poppe – just by placing this here I will incur more hits. He’s the fellow who I had long ago purchased some Lovecraft inspired props from. While I had two more or less decent transactions with him, a lot of people seem to really rag on him on having ripped them off. I can’t say I’m surprised since it did take the better part of a year to get three book props out of him after repeated excuses – maybe they were legit, I don’t know. It’s too bad whatever the reason he’s vanished from the net, he made good stuff

cool forehead prosthetics – ah, that explains why I’m not selling enough, I label mine as “lame forehead prosthetics”. Really, this is kind of stupid

severed finger props – I can only assume the word “props” was added because they were seeing way too many real severed finger

real bone hammer - ? I actually had to look this one up myself to see if it was a real thing or someone out there was just a little creepy. It is a real thing, but also a video game thing

hookers for sale – as opposed to just for rent. I guess someone was hoping to find a Pimp “going out of business” sale

cad finger – I’m guessing a 3D thing or the finger of a roguish fellow

prostetic good - Because for a minute – not sure if there’s more to this or this wasn’t intended to be a search. Also, you spelled prosthetic wrong

things that are 10lbs – sure, why the hell not

troll foot – makes me thing I really need to remake my baby trolls feet for resale.

demons with horns face – nice grammar

male finger – uh, okay

pictures of severed fingers – Okay, there were definitely looking for real ones and that’s kinda messed up

brittleness object – the hell?

sweet hell – ah yes, sweet, sweet hell. ?

monkey head for sale – someone was watching Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom again, weren’t they?

5 piece ear spike project – that seems very specific and I’ve no idea what it is

horrible monster images – hey, I resent that, I make nice monster images, they’re not horrible. Can't tell if they were looking for images of horrible monsters or shitty images of monsters.

real severed silicone finger props –someone is very confused here, I only sell fake props – they don’t actually exist, if you want real props, go somewhere else. ?

how to make a troll in clay – I appreciate the fact people might be looking for “how to”s online, but do they really thing they’d find something this specific? I mean would they have accepted it if it was just a goblin made of clay?

thumbor – I got nothing

well done prosthetic horns – again, mine are all labeled as shitty and will most likely cause gingivitis. I really need to label my stuff better

a severed finger painting – amidst the literally dozens of variations on severed digits, this one actually seems original for a change. They don’t want to see a real or prop severed finger, and not a picture – but a painting of one. Very nice choice. I believe it was Monet who went through a severed finger period.

finger monkey for sale – really? I don’t want to know

hooker hell – I can only assume it would be filled with either gay men or men with only 2 cents in their pockets

men eater monkey movie – this is just an example of random words or bad grammar

double malefinger – I don’t know about this one and I don’t think I want to

best werewolf prosthetic – again, I knew I should’ve went with this instead of “worst werewolf prosthetic”

male to female silicone – this just creeps me out for some reason

It’s a gortch” - Nope, no idea either

hooker man – that just sounds funny. Man-whore is the preferred nomenclature however

movies about hookers – yup, plenty of classy stuff came out of this search to be sure

foamy axe – it probably won’t work well

Why do I have demon ears – I think I posted this one before, it’s awesome.

witch doctor monkeys – hell yeah, that sounds awesome.

brilliant uzukler - ?

As usual, nearly every female I’ve worked with was searched for at least once and sometimes with “PEI” or “Charlottetown” following it – so yeah, some of you have stalkers perhaps. Or you’re searching for yourselves.

Severed fingers and fake axes had, I’d say, a couple dozen variations each. It’s pretty impressive actually.

As well, several variations of prosthetics, types of prosthetics – ears, horns, noses and whatnot. They all seem pretty reasonable.

Overall it wasn’t too disturbing a year at least.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

10 Things I Hate About Movies - Part 3.

3. Unoriginal attempts at Zombie movies (and sort of Horror movies in general).

This is getting pretty bad these days. So long as there's something to kill off topless girls, most people are satisfied and they never think more beyond it than that. Joss Whedon's "Cabin in the Woods" was a pretty brilliant take on that aspect of the genre, although the ending I can't get into without spoiling I thought fell down a touch (which makes me think of #4).

Zombie movies are pretty much the worst. A group of people, some zombies, they try to survive and get picked off one by one. They hole up in some location that seems safe with the idea of getting to some more ideal safe area only to not make or find it's not as safe as they thought. Zombies shuffle along, or they leap around like fucking Howler Monkeys, whatever. I'd say nearly 90% of zombie movies do nothing more than this.

I like zombie movies, too many though don't even try anymore. Some might follow that outline perfectly but have a decent script with well written characters and at least they have that going for them. Some, if not most, really indie attempts usually have nothing but plodding nothingness with a dash of T&A to distract from the blandness (but this is usually more confined to Italian zombie movies or slasher flicks for the most part).

My thinking is, if you're not making it fun or bringing something new and creative to the table, don't make a zombie movie. Just admit you're not up to it and don't waste the fake blood. "Shaun of the Dead" was a typical zombie movie in every sense, but they had great comedic writing and added a twist on the genre by having it focus more on the characters and a silly love story (although all that makes it sound terrible actually now that I look at it) and it worked. Others have tried since and stumbled, sort of did okay while others just fell flat on their undead asses.

Even George Romero seems to have succumbed to the shitty zombie movie illness. "Land of the Dead" was alright but lacked even a single "oh, they're all so screwed" moment. It all felt too safe. And then came along "Diary of the Dead" which I really wished I'd never watched. I utterly fucking hated this movie, it was miserable and god-awful on every single level. Romero should be embarrassed to have made it. And I didn't even bother with "Survival of the Dead", I just couldn't bring myself to even care it existed, let alone watch it.

So if the guy who pretty much created the genre sucks at it now, is there any hope left? Hell yes there is. I'm not a remake fan, but Zak Snyder's "Dawn of the Dead" is probably my favourite zombie movie, if not one of my favourite movies in general. I credit James Gunn for a really great script that follows the tired old plot outline I first mentioned, but filled it will decent characters and some awesome moments. The cast was pretty good, I mean Ving Rhames and Sarah Polley? Seemed like an odd couple to star in a movie together, but both were brilliant.

 "The Walking Dead" while not a movie, it's still in the zombie genre, is really good. I credit Frank Darabont for setting the bar and while I've never read the source material, I'm pretty sure it's awesome. I've taken a number of FX cues from this series an hope to incorporate them into my zombie web series next summer.

"Cemetary Man", awesome movie. On the whole it doesn't seem like a zombie movie, but it's a sort of David Lynch, surreal comedy, love story, zombie movie. If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it. And for any faults it might have, you have to admit, it's not a typical zombie movie by any means.

I'm on the fence about "Dead Snow" I liked it and didn't at the same time, however I would at least recommend it and would praise it for stealing an idea I've had for a very long time (okay I know they didn't steal it, it's just an expression) about having zombies in a snow environment.

"Zombie Land" awesome. "Planet Terror" sort of a zombie movie, was awesome. "Fido" was enjoyable overall and very unique at the time, although it seems to have spawned a sub-genre of zombie movies where the zombies can either be harnessed, tamed or are aware somehow.

"Dead Alive" or "Brain Dead" was a great Peter Jackson entry. And while it's not a zombie movie, I don't care how much of an ignorant twunt you are "28 Days Later" isn't a zombie movie, it's a sort of new side genre, "Infected movies" that follow all the cues of a zombie movies, with some new twists, but are in some ways scarier since they're more realistic in the sense they could actually happen. So you could call this a new twist on the genre as well as I suppose. But it's not a god damned zombie movie you idiots.

I don't think I could possible count the number of zombie movies I've ever seen, I could guess it's probably well into the hundreds though - and really, only a handful I think really deserve any attention because they didn't just make a movie with some zombies that ate people, the end. They created either a unique scenario, or had unique characters, found ways to break out of the genre, had a decent cast or script - just something that showed they actually cared about the project.

Now here's where I'm going to perhaps sound like I'm bragging, or even make a boast I might fall on my ass for making, in the case of Bimbo Zombie Killers! (the first two being homage type movies I was experimenting with so I don't really think too much about them plot-wise) the web series. I'm making a list of all my issues with zombie movies, "dos" and "don'ts" so the speak.

Here's a few of them:

1 - If you can't be original, don't be boring. Move things along, don't waste time thinking you're a better writer than you are and that people want to hear your "witty" dialog. "Witty" dialog isn't character development and they shouldn't sound like shitty comedians, skip this and get straight to the red stuff.

2 - Don't make shitty zombies. This is a makeup/FX thing and falls very squarely on my shoulders alone with this project and one of the reasons I shut things down this summer. I'm since taking major steps to ensure the zombies will be not only awesome, but FUCKING AWESOME - at least in as so much as I can make them.

One way to test that you've made good zombies is this, stick them next to someone who is incredibly hungover - if the hungover person is scarier or makes a more realistic zombie, you need to redo it.

3 - Don't let smart characters do stupid things just to progress the plot. I've already ranted about this one and I guess it's a matter of context and opinion - which is why I've re-written some parts that maybe felt in direct violation to this and rule 1. And I will be attempting to get more than my own perspective on critical choices characters make in the story.

4 - Be original in the overall story. This one can be tricky for some folks who really aren't as good a writer as they believe they are and while I won't say I'm a great writer (not even for a second) I know for a fact I have a better imagination than about 90% of the people I know, no insult to anyone intended. It might not be a brilliant story in the end and there might be parts you could say seem like something you've seen somewhere else, but honestly you can say that about literally everything that exists so really you're not be insightful in saying it, you're just being obvious.

With all the random crap I've planned, I'm sure some of it somewhere might've been done in some fashion before - but that doesn't mean I've seen it or know what you're talking about. Hell, I've heard people say a show about a super hero family was original, long after "The Incredibles" and "No Ordinary Family" - just a matter of how well you know what you're talking about. So when I say be original, that also means you should know your genre extremely well before trying to impress people with what ultimately might be just your latest contrived ripoff.

5 - Make sure it's fun to watch. Subjective to be sure, but so long as things move along, you've got awesome zombies, your characters aren't complete idiots doing things no human would ever do and you're not rehashing the same tired zombie plot for the millionth time, you have a really great shot at making a fun movie.

The way I'm attempting to gauge this is like this, in the context of a single page of script, there has to be two things. You're either delivering some critical information or something amusing must be happening. If you can find a way to combine both, you're deep fried gold. And in the context of a zombie movie, if something horrifically bloody is happening as well, even better.

I'm going to cap this off, this was a long one that sort of went offtrack, if you're trying to write an original zombie movie, each time you make a choice in either character, their choices, settings or cause of the outbreak, don't rely on the limits of your own knowledge of the genre - ask around, especially to someone who knows the genre. If you've only seen half a dozen theatrically released zombie movies in the last 5 years, you're not an expert, you're the problem.

Ironically, there's a lot of life left in the zombie genre. Don't make the mistake in believing it's strictly a horror genre, that kind of thinking is exactly what's wrong with the state of zombie movies right now already. Although, I will say (and yes, apparently this has already been done) zombie porn is going too far.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

10 Things I Hate About Movies - Part 2.

2. Writers out of their depth or lacking in imagination.

This might be a little subjective as well (get ready for that word a lot), and I'm no expert, however it's pretty much all I do now so I think I'm pretty well versed in the overall field of horror/monster movies. If you can't stretch your imagination you shouldn't even venture into the genre (this also leads me to #3), it's already so saturated these days, with little indie studios and even more indie groups, thinking it's an easy style. It's not, really, it's not - so just stop thinking it is.

Specifically I want to use a movie called "Monster Brawl" to make this point. I'm not a wrestling fan, but this seemed, on paper, like a great idea for a fun little movie. A championship matchup and finally a fight to the death with monsters. Hardly brilliant, but the potential was really there for an amusing movie - especially when you have Dave Foley doing commentary and Lance Henriksen as the announcer. What a load of dull-assed crap it turned out to be.

With characters like "Lady Vampire" and "Zombie Man" I should’ve just stopped watching. So lazy, unimaginative and dull. And since when does a Cyclops fire lasers from his eye? That's not imaginative, that's just really dumb - a laser? Really? They couldn't think of something more interesting? They just settled on Laser Eye Vision? Was this written by a child? No, a child would’ve come up with something better.

And then when they carted out "Frankenstein" I watched to punch someone. I know idiots for ages have been referring to the Monster as Frankenstein, but that doesn't excuse it. And when they admitted their mistake and called anyone who would correct them a dick, I realized the level of intelligence I was dealing with. Just dull, lazy writers way out of their depth but still thinking they're clever. Scooby Doo had more complex monsters than this shit.

 Look, you don't write a political thriller or police drama without being well versed in those concepts - although I'm sure it does happens, just neither of those are genres I usually watch - than why does anyone find it acceptable to venture into the horror/fantasy/sci-fi world thinking they can just churn out some lame junk and expect anyone to buy it? I can only assume it's because of two (insulting) reasons, reason number 1, fans of those genres are just idiot fanboys (and fangirls) who have no real taste in movies and will watch anything and reason number 2, it's an easy style because you can just make shit up without having to back it up with anything logical.

Both those reasons are grotesquely insulting, if anything fans of these genres (real fans) are more discriminating. I think they only reason they get made is because maybe that powers that be think we're all idiots too and they themselves don't know any better so they think it's brilliant so why not do it. Just crank out the cheap crap for a quick buck.

It seems for every 100 low-budget genre movies, we'll see maybe 5 with a decent scripts. Until Horror Movies are officially considered A-List movies, we'll continue to get C-List writers churning out their crap scripts. It's a bit of a catch-22, the only way it's change is if something massive changes within the industry. For every Guillermo del Toro and Peter Jackson, there's about 1000 desperate writers just wanting to pay the rent and a producer who just wants another overly expensive car he doesn't really need.

*I also want to point out, I’m well aware that some of these issues I’m bringing up are not always directly related to the people I attribute them to. In some cases it’s a bad writer, or a bad director or a bad producer  - sometimes it’s not necessarily a “bad” anything other than circumstances. Making movies is a massive undertaking and is incredibly difficult, and sometimes, along the way, people lose sight of what they’re doing or creative differences arise and in the end there still has to be a final product. Sometimes that final product is just slapped together in order to meet a contractual obligation and that’s when crap movies happens.

And sometimes they just suck because they just suck.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Testing Latex Paints and Missing Fingers

Sometimes there's just so much I want to try to do that my brain can't process it all properly and I end up just doing nothing because I can't sort through everything. Sometimes. Lately my random thoughts have been trying to focus on the various things I want to do for the Bimbo Zombie Killers! web series next summer. I didn't ditch the project, just had to postpone it until certain things were worked out.

One thing I've been planning in regards to the new version of the web series is using more elaborate effects for the zombies - because sometimes zombies are missing parts.

I did a very quick and dirty sort of bluescreen test today, whatever colour I end up using all depends on the location we're shooting. This test was by no means intended as a perfect result of what things will look like in the movie, just to see how simply it can be done. I spent maybe 10 minutes on it, and most of that was painting my finger blue, filming and transferring the footage to the computer.

In the final version I'll be making a prosthetic that would cover that seam between my finger and the blue, to then make it look more rotted or bitten off. Should work just fine and be easy enough. I'm not looking at using it too much, just enough to get some good shots to fill things out.

There will definitely be more tests to come as we get closer to next summer.

And the other things I've been putting off for ages has been making a serious airbrushing attempt on some latex props/costume pieces. I did the Pax Paint thing a couple weeks ago but I have my doubts it'll hold up in the long run and be reliable enough to sell stuff that way so I tried some latex paint base, something I bought long ago and never got around to testing. It was rough and crude but I think with a little work it will be absolutely perfect.

I don't want to post an image of the piece I painted since I'm using the same design for a prosthetic for a photo shoot next week, but I'm going to attempt to paint up a latex mask version of the Dust Troll prosthetic tomorrow hopefully.

For anyone wondering, how the hell you paint latex masks, there's only a couple methods and most a unreliable and one is incredibly toxic (rubber cement method), I'd really recommend going with the latex paint base method. You can get it from Monster Makers and use regular acrylic to tint it and (while I've yet to use it, I will be soon and several sources recommend it) thinning it out with ammonia should you need to. You can stipple it on, brush it and airbrush it. Not sure of the ration, but that's something I think most folks can work out on their own and suss out whatever works best for them.

And I think, maybe this weekend, I'll be doing another shoot that will be themed rather well for this time of year.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Demons 2012 Calendar now for sale

So, I made a calendar.Turned out decent and now it's up for sale. $20 plus $5 flat rate shipping.

Not much more to say about it than that. It features 12 demons, makeup and photos all done my myself with some local models (not actual "models" per se, just some awesome folks who like getting all done up). If you're local (on PEI), no shipping we'll arrange a pickup and you can contact me at if you're interested in purchasing one. Payments can be made through PayPal or Email Interact (preferred in Canada).

A few outtake photos from the calendar.These are the actual images that appear in the calendar, just a couple extras that turned out really well.

Monday, December 17, 2012

New prosthetics!

First, a couple updated pieces:

The Dust Troll
G'Lorn Demon
Sylf Demon
And some new stuff:

The Baalmoor Demon
 Coshamis Demon
 Quexital Demon

And an experiemental piece, a Skullcap Prosthetic. These are hard to say if they'll work for everyone.  It's sculpted from a 21-1/2" head and John here has a 22-1/2" head and it fit really well on him. I'd say anything smaller wouldn't fit too well, but anything larger might work alright.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

10 Things I Hate About Movies - Part 1.

I originally intended to do all this in one post, but after I got to number 4 it was just too long. So I'm doing one a week, updating every Sunday, just to do it.

I kinda hate top10 lists, but what the hell.

I watch a lot of movie, I mean A LOT, mostly horror and odder fair though. I work at home and end up spending a lot of the time while I'm working watching movies - some I pay attention to more than others depending on how crappy they are. After a fashion I started seeing trends, sometimes just single, amazingly bad instances of sloppy, shitty film making.

One of the worst offenders for making stupid, lazy, unimaginative movies have to be a production company called The Asylum, from what I've seen most of their stuff ends up on the SyFy channel. They recently shat out another turd called Age of the Hobbits which right now is being tied up in court. They claim it has nothing to do with The Hobbit, even though it was intended to be released 3 days before the other. The fact they pretty much make nothing but ripoffs and repetitive killer mutant animal movies is one thing, but they thing is they really don't seem to give a shit about making movies.

I like bad movies, in fact I love bad movies - but theirs are so bad it's actually made me appreciate Uwe Boll as a film maker and actually enjoy Bloodrayne the 2nd time around. It's not hard to make a good, fun bad movie, for them however it just seems impossible. Their track record for shitty to decent movies so far is about 2-50 and even then it was just an okay movie because it didn't totally suck, it was just pretty unoffensive. I only vague remember the name, might've been A Haunting in Salem and the other, and I might actually be wrong about this being one of their movies, was called Mammoth.

So right you might ask, why the hell do I think my opinion is so important to call out shitty film making - because it's my opinion, that's why. If you don't like it or agree with me so far, keep reading. While I'm not going to call out their movies specifically, because I've seen others do the same lame-assed mistakes, I felt like compiling a list of things I see in movies that just ruin them in some way.

1. Stupidity progressing the plot.

This happens even in A-List movies and it annoys the shit out me. While it's also a little subjective, there are some instances where a character's actions are just so mind-blowingly dumb that you can't just sit and ignore it. Sure there are dumb people who do dumb things in the real world, but in a movie it feels more like lazy writing in order to progress the plot. It's like the writers wrote themselves into a corner and could find no other way out than to have one of their characters (in the worst cases a previously somewhat intelligent character) do something completely stupid so they can keep going.

You can say, "Well, there wouldn't be much of a movie if that didn't happen" but you're only making my point for me. In these cases, there isn't much a movie to begin with - the stupidity just keeps it going longer than it should.

It's lazy writing, no other excuse. If you write something you can't handle, then you're doing it wrong or you're just a shitty writer with all the imagination of one of the morons in your script. Stop doing it.

Now, there are rare cases where someone doing something stupid is actually the point and part of the plot - that's where it gets kind of subjective, but you can usually tell the difference even if you're only half-assed paying attention. I wish I could think of a example right now, but I can't - unless you want to cite Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil as something like that, the stupid thing in this case is the "college kids" constantly mistaking Tucker and Dale as the villains. But that's kind of a weak example as it's literally the whole plot - and an awesome move.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Demon Crown

I did this piece just recently since I started thinking again about doing more than just prosthetics. This is latex, but it's not foam latex - pretty much the same as regular latex pullover masks. Painting them is a tricky process so I've been avoiding it.

I thought I'd start out with a couple pair of horns then I got this idea into my head and went for it instead. I'm pretty happy with how it turned out, it was a quick turnaround so it's not as perfect as it could be.

Overall it does give the look I was hoping for. It's pretty lightweight, attaches with a clear elastic thread which can be resized - and is dirt cheap to replace should it break and relatively easy to find.

I guess I'd call it a Demon Crown of sorts, makes for a nice addition to a prosthetic.

I'm looking at producing a limited number for sale starting in January - after a little more testing, I want to make sure the paint I'm using will hold up in the long run. Normally you'd use a toxic concoction of rubber cement and naptha to paint this with but I tried homemade Pax paints, seems to have held up well and once I get some proper glossy finishing paint it should hold up well.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

"Things in Jars" again.

I thought I'd do up some images of the actual "Things" as they're not totally clear from the jar pictures, which is kind of the point, but from a selling point of view I think some folks might like to see what the "Things" look like.

Freeze Dried Two-Head Faerie
Haitian Bloodworm
Yeti Fetus

I've only made 8 of each for now, we'll see how well they sell and than they'll only be made in a limited quantity. They sell for $15 each, the jars a re pretty high quality 8oz. jars, all sealed shut and coated with wax. The liquid is just water with the smallest drop of acrylic paint to make it cloudy.