Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Guest Post: Call of Duty: World at War Review by James (Shane's newphew)

Call of Duty: World at War’s leisure game, Nazi Zombies, is one of the coolest zombie video games. There are a lot of maps and a lot of weapons. It takes a lot of effort to win a level and you can get money for killing zombies. It’s a very creepy game because sometimes you don’t even know the zombies are coming at you.
Nazi Zombies looks realistic—like you’re actually in the game which is what makes it scary. All of these things are coming at you, and I get scared playing it [and I know you will, too]. The zombie dogs are the scariest part mostly because they’re on fire. The dogs jump at you and start to attack. Then they rip open your back and you lay on the ground until someone repairs you.  
On a scale from one to five (one being the lowest and five being the highest), I would give Nazi Zombies a five because it’s cool and crazy. Out of the six Call of Duty games I would say this is a five out of a five, but Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is ultimate! Better than a five. The first three get a three out of five.
People should buy Call of Duty: World at War because even though a lot of [my friends] say it sucks, it's cool and has two games in one! When you put it in the game console it’s just Call of Duty, but then they have the option for Nazi Zombies.

James is in the third grade and the oldest of five kids. He loves video games, writing, reading, music and sports. When he grows up, James hopes to be an illustrator-writer-basketball player among other things. This is his first publication. 

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Kickass Trailers: "Emelia: The Five-Year-Old Goth Girl"

Purchase the short film on iTunes.

Here is a very short Edward Scissorhands fan-made, stop-motion video.

Monday, March 29, 2010

And the winners are...

The results are in for this years Bram Stoker Award winners which were held over the weekend at the World Horror Convention in Brighton, England. Below is a list of the 2009 winners:
Novel: Audrey's Door, Sarah Langan (Harper)
First Novel
: Damnable, Hank Schwaeble (Jove)
Long Fiction
: The Lucid Dreaming, Lisa Morton (Bad Moon Books)
Short Fiction
: In The Porches Of My Ears, Norman Prentiss (PS Publishing)
: He Is Legend: An Anthology Celebrating Richard Matheson, Christopher Conlon (ed.) (Gauntlet Press)
: A Taste of Tenderloin, Gene O'Neill (Apex Book Company)
: Writers Workshop of Horror, Michael Knost (Woodland Press)
: Chimeric Machines, Lucy A. Snyder (Creative Guy Publishing)

Lifetime Achievement Awards were given to Brian Lumley and William F. Nolan, Specialty Press Awards to Ray Russell and Rosalie Parker of Tartarus Press, the Silver Hammer Award for outstanding service to the Horror Writers Assoc. to Kathryn Ptacek and the President’s Richard Laymon Service Award to Vince A. Liaguno. 

"This was the first time we've presented the Stoker Awards outside of the North American continent," says co-organizer Lisa Morton. "and I hope it serves to continue to expand HWA's presence and membership outside of the U.S. and Canada. We're committed to serving the entire world of horror." 

According to Science Fiction Awards Watch, new categories will be added to presumably next years ballot, including graphic novel, screenplay and YA novel. For more information about the HWA, visit their Web site.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

"Tim Burton" at MoMA

It's like his head exploded and all his imagination matter has splattered against black and green walls, I thought while walking through the exhibit "Tim Burton" at MoMA.

In fact, we weren't too far from being in a head as we had to walk through "Creature's Mouth" to gawk at the over 700 pieces of original artwork, movie props and conceptual art.

What makes Burton's art so compelling is his humor, surrealistic approach and simplicity. He never strays into technical elements of art. That could be why when Burton worked for Disney, he quit after four years because he couldn't stand the idea of redundantly drawing foxes in The Fox and The Hound. And when he was an illustrator for The Black Cauldron he was told that his creatures were too scary.   

Burton's unconventional doodles, paintings and photographs are striking and unforgettable. His art is like his movies, vibrant yet bleak, Gothic and fairy tale-esque. At times I wished that they were more dark, but Burton has never been entirely macabre. Just an inverted band geek that needed an outlet for his questioning emotions. And although he is making films, deep down that band geek still shines through his art. 

Click here to download a PDF of the Tim Burton Family Activity Guide.

Click here to download  a PDF of the Checklist. (It has a bunch of the artwork!)

“Tim Burton” continues through April 26 at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Visit for more information.

"Never shoot a constipated poodle."


For more things macabre, check out this blog.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

"While working in the lab late one night..."

Okay, well I wasn't working in the lab, but I was in my garage during this amazing rainstorm looking for something for my nephews when I stumbled upon these:

No, not the books. The Burger King Universal Monsters toys. I was so happy. It's always fun finding fun things from my past. They bring me joy.

Because there was really no point to this blog except that these figures rock, let's write. I've always been a fan of toys coming to life, and with the non-horror film Toy Story 3 around the corner I want to write about what would happen if these Universal Monsters came to life. They don't grow or anything, just come to life. Do they all come alive at once? Only at night? Will the Creature from the Black Lagoon dry if he doesn't get into the toilet on time? Share with us.

"Take a look. It's in a book..."

Courtesy of Entertainment Weekly

One, two Freddy's coming for you...

TO DANCE! This is amazing!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Make a Tea Cup Out of String

With Kris Fossett!

And in other news, the Tainted Tea staff page is complete! See what our contributing staff looks like and read what they like to do here.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Kickass Trailers: "Legion"

We're taking a different route with this blog. Being the theatre geek that I am, I want to endorse Legion--a play based on William Peter Blatty's novel of the same name. Legion, a sequel to Blatty's highly successful novel The Exorcist, was adapted into the 1990 horror film The Exorcist III. Previews begin at the WildClaw Theatre in Chicago on March 12 with an opening on March 16.

From the looks of their Web site, WildClaw Theatre puts on some creepy-ass shows.

WildClaw Theatre Presents “Legion”
Based on the novel “Legion” written by William Peter Blatty.

Chicago – March 5, 2010 - WildClaw Theatre presents the world premiere stage adaptation of William Peter Blatty’s “Legion”. With previews March 13th and 14th, and opening Monday, March 15th, 2009, 7:30pm at Chicago’s Viaduct Theater, 3111 N. Western Ave. Running Thursday thru Sunday until April 18th, 2009. Performance times are Thursday thru Saturday at 7:30pm, and Sunday at 3pm.

Directed by WildClaw company member Anne Adams, and featuring company members Brian Amidei and Scott T. Barsotti, with Len Bajenski, Ariel Brenner, Casey Cunningham, Vic Doylida, Matt Engle, Sasha Gioppo, Lindsay Nance, Elaine Robinson, Cheryl Roy, Erika Schmidt, HB Ward and Josh Zagoren.

More than a decade after the death of Father Karras, Lieutenant Kinderman is faced with a series of grisly murders resembling the work of a dead serial killer. Kinderman’s investigation brings him face to face with the essence of true evil, and its origin. WildClaw is thrilled to present the World Premiere of William Peter Blatty’s “Legion”, the bestselling sequel to Blatty’s “The Exorcist.” This terrifying supernatural thriller continues WildClaw theatre’s quest of bringing intelligent and imaginative horror to the Chicago stage.

Anne Adams, who recently directed the critical and commercial hit Scott Barsotti’s “The Revenants,” has once again assembled a remarkable production team for “Legion.” Adapted by WildClaw Artistic Director Charley Sherman, with set design by Nic Dimond, costume design by Allison Greaves, lighting design by Paul Foster, sound design by Scott Tallarida and Mikhail Fiksel, movement design by Karen Tarjan, and special blood effects by Fraser Coffeen.

Tickets $10 - $20, with student discounts available. For more information, please visit

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

“All great things must first wear terrifying and monstrous masks in order to inscribe themselves on the hearts of humanity.” ~Friedrich Nietzsche

I always found masks alluring, macabre and, in a way, sensual.There's an almost-foreplay in the fact of talking to someone in a mask.

Carl Jung said that we all wear different masks, going through life switching our persona to match some type of social normalcy. But what if we could literally wear a different mask each day to show our true feelings or to hide from the IRS or an ex or to try something new, step out of our bubble without ever having to tell anyone? What would the world be like? Would we all get along? Would shit hit the fan? At least we'd know to steer clear from the guy with the Deviant Smile mask on...Write about it. Perhaps it goes swell. A little too swell. Stepford Wives swell. Or R.L. Stine's The Haunted Mask awry.

To challenge yourself even more, wear a Different Writer mask. Don't write the way you always write. Write in Olde English or if you're from the south, write like a yank. Have fun. Go schizo. Just get writing!   

Monday, March 8, 2010

Kickass Trailers: "Dread" + review by Jim Kennedy

Clive Barker has had an up and down relationship with Hollywood. Hollywood loves his work, but it is just very hard to bring to the screen. It started in 1987 when he decided to direct the horror classic Hellraiser, which was based on his novel The Hellbound Heart

The franchise has spawned eight sequels (most of which went straight to DVD).  In 1990, Barker directed the film adaptation of his novel Nightbreed and five years later Lord of Illusions, based off of his short story. While none of these films have taken off (besides the classic Hellraiser), Hollywood still loves his stories.

Barker has a book entitled Book of Blood which is a collection of short stories he has written, and in 2008 Hollywood began making them into feature films.  It started with the short story Book of Blood then came Midnight Meat Train then in 2009 director Anthony DiBlasi made Dread, which was then picked up by After Dark Films and added to the 2009 Horrorfest lineup (see the Winter 2010 issue of Tainted Tea for more information).

Dread’s story follows three college students that decide to make a documentary about peoples “dread” for a school project.  The three students, Stephen (Jackson Rathbone), Cheryl (Hanne Steen) and Quaid (Shaun Evans), meet and decide to make the film. It begins with the three being interested in what the people tell them on camera (most of it not “serious” fears minus a few stories), but something begins to be off about Quaid. He seems to be taking it far more seriously than the other two and begins to show psychopathic signs.

There are no spoilers here, it’s obvious there’s something off about Quaid, and DiBlasi doesn’t try to hide it from the audience; he divulges into the character and how he treats the project different from the other two. Shaun Evans, who plays Quaid, is a standout. I’ve never seen him in anything before (at least, don’t think I have), and his performance is just very surreal. 

Jackson Rathbone is also very good in the film. I really don’t know all of his work (not into the Twilight franchise), but I felt he really committed to the role and it came through on the screen.

This film is a very grim. There’s no real dark humor or gag jokes, it’s all very serious and, at times, disturbing.  After I saw seven of the eight films from Horrorfest, this ended up being my favorite one this year. 

Final Grade: A

Dread may be purchased individually or with the entire After Dark Horrorfest 4 series which will be released on DVD Tuesday, March 23.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Kickass Trailer: "Drive Thru" + review by editor Shane R. Toogood

How many times have you walked into fast food chains thinking: “This shit’ll kill me.” You know that the burger won’t literally sauté you like an onion, but what about those sinister mascots? The clown in the striped jumpsuit (quite reminiscent of a criminal’s) pied-piping kids to the Golden Arches or the polythene King smirking, silently slipping his way into your home unbeknownst to you. It’s the perfect foundation to any slasher flick.

Writer-director duo Brendan Cowles and Shane Kuhn (Twitch) slather all of the essential condiments (albeit lacking a few ingredients) for a great horror movie in their 2007 horror-comedy Drive Thru. There’s sex, drugs, an irrelevant Ouija board scene and one-liners such as “Fast food kills, Fucker” or the witty “Over Five-billion Killed.”

From the moment Drive Thru began—four delinquents passing a joint while cruising the streets of Blanca Carne trying to cure their munchies—I knew that it was intended to be not just a movie to frighten its audience, but a social commentary on America’s increasing obesity due to our enormous intake of fast-food cuisine woven with the up-rise of white gangs in residential neighborhoods.

Sarcasm aside…Subsequent to the brutal prologue of said teens scouting a cure for their empty, pot-filled pot-bellies (including one self-proclaimed “wigger’s” head being doused in the fryer), the film follows sassy-liberal Mackenzie Carpenter (Gossip Girl’s Leighton Meester): a 17-year-old high school senior whose friends are being slain one-by-one and Mackenzie is next on the menu.

With her 18th birthday just fingertips away, she too is being chased and taunted by the deviant clown named Horny from Hella-Burger, sending her messages via 70s kitsch toys. As the events unfold, Mackenzie begins to piece the puzzle, dusting off the the inglorious skeletons in the closet are laying them out to dry.

After watching the trailer, one cold see that the movie sprouts with potential to be scary: A harrowing demon-clown donning a Mighty Morphin’ Power Ranger’s suit with a drive-thru voice box for a mouth, offing teens and wreaking havoc in Orange County. But what makes a slasher film is the slashing, yet the executions—the pickles on the sandwich of horror movies—were missing.

When it was a character’s time to kick it, he was slashed and forgotten. There was no major conflict, no struggle and definitely no empathy. I didn’t want to cry when one of the supporting characters was axed, but I felt jipped when the death lasted no longer than it took Horny to muffle, “Employee of the Month's 'bout to fuck you up!” There was no element of surprise. It was obvious how the teen would be diced because the directors spent more time foreshadowing than having their actors put up a fight. To boot, the music was just ridiculous. Just because some people associate slashers with the goth crowd doesn’t mean that terminating a slew of teens gives the O.K. to play heavy metal on level 11.

Other than a few mistakes, which always makes good for a budding cult classic, the film was surprisingly likeable. (When watching the ending, please notice that the Horny the Clown doll is actually a Woody the Cowboy doll in a freckled flying suit from the Disney-Pixar franchise Toy Story.) We have dashes of the past for a smidge of character development thus unraveling the killer’s motif. Plus, documenter Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me) makes an ironic cameo as a Robbie the Hella-Burger Manager and is actually funny.

Drive Thru reeks of classic horror films like Child’s Play, making you salivate, crave for sequels (Drive Thru 2: The Nightmare Is Just Beginning due out in late 2010, according to and think only in puns. Drive Thru gets two thumbs up…SUPERSIZED!  

To submit your movie review, click here for the guidelines and submit them to

Kickass Trailers: "Student Bodies"

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Afternoon Shorts: The Faeries of Blackheath Woods"

Not too late...

Unlike that damn White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland, it's not too late to submit to Tainted Tea's flash fiction and bookmark contest! Go here for official rules. End April 1, 2010!

Thanks to the following Web sites that posted our contest!

Win Prizes Online!

Contest Alley Contest and Sweepstakes Directory

Friday, March 5, 2010

Afternoon Shorts: "The Machine"

"A stop motion macabre fairy tale about a robot who enjoys his power. It's awesome. And if you enjoy fairy tales, robots, animation, or just life itself, then you should watch this video.

Thank you, Channel Frederator!

I must remember to tell Shane R. Toogood.

And if you know a kid who might find this scary, then you should show it to him because March is Scare a Kid month, at least, according to R. L. Stine's Twitter.

Call for Submissions: Write On! Books

Calling all Young Writers:

We Want to Publish Your Work!
·         Are you a young writer in elementary school, middle school or high school?
·         Have you written a short story, personal essay, or poem?
·         Do you want to be a published author?

Write On! Books wants to read your writing!
We publish anthologies of work entirely by young writers!

Go to to submit today!
You can also e-mail submissions to

Don’t have access to Internet? You can mail your submissions to:

400 Roosevelt Ct.
Ventura, CA 93003

In your submission please be sure to
include your:
• Name
• E-mail address
• Mailing address
• Grade level

Compensation: If your submission is chosen:

• I will help you edit your short story, essay or poem to make it the best it can be.
• You will be a nationally published author!
• You will have the opportunity to do book signings in your community.

Don't delay! The submission period for our first
anthology ends March 23, 2010.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

"My job: to terrify kids." ~R.L. Stine

According to R.L. Stine's via Twitter, it is National Scare A Kid Month.

I've always like to be scared as a kid. When I was younger, I would go to my cousins' house in Jersey and we would rent scary movies, write scripts for potential movies that were never made and I would write scary stories (which were usually based on our scripts that we based on urban legends). My favorite was "The Hook." Here is one of the many versions of the story taken from

"A teenage boy drove his date to a dark and deserted Lovers' Lane for a make-out session. After turning on the radio for mood music, he leaned over and began kissing the girl. 

A short while later, the music suddenly stopped and an announcer's voice came on, warning in an urgent tone that a convicted murderer had just escaped from the state insane asylum — which happened to be located not far from Lovers' Lane — and that anyone who noticed a strange man lurking about with a hook in place of his right hand should immediately report his whereabouts to the police. 

The girl became frightened and asked to be taken home. The boy, feeling bold, locked all the doors instead and, assuring his date they would be safe, attempted to kiss her again. She became frantic and pushed him away, insisting that they leave. Relenting, the boy peevishly jerked the car into gear and spun its wheels as he pulled out of the parking space. 

When they arrived at the girl's house she got out of the car, and, reaching to close the door, began to scream uncontrollably. The boy ran to her side to see what was wrong and there, dangling from the door handle, was a bloody hook."

For more great horror stories that are probably aimed for younger kids (but I own and read repeatedly), check out:
Now, even though March is National A Scare Kid Month doesn't mean that you can't always incorporate terror in to kids' hearts all year round. After all, they're little terrors themselves.

Buy R.L. Stines Little Shop of Hamsters.


Did anyone else notice the hand (in the lightning)?!

Related Posts with Thumbnails