Reviews, articles, rants & ramblings on the darker side of the media fringe

Posts tagged “The Shining

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The Nightmare – Poster

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Tools – Poster Art

01-bigI love these simple designs for series titled ‘Tools’ featuring 4 classic films. Would have all of them on my wall. Check out more from the artist Javier Vera Lainez on his site HERE

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The United States of Horror

The United States of Horror updated by The Art of Horror. See more HERE

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Minimal Horror Posters – By Tommy St James

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Minimalist_Horror_Posters_2These minimalist movie posters are inspired by ten horror films. Each one features a pair of objects from a key moment in the movie, but it’s up to you to figure out the name of the film they represent. Check them out HERE


Halloween Themed Ikea Commercial

Late night shopping shouldn’t be like this… Out of Singapore comes a commercial for IKEA that echoes the size of the stores, while also delivering some scares. The ad is an absolutely brilliant homage to Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of Stephen King’s The Shining, as little Danny Torrance bikes through the store, as if it were the Overlook Hotel, and eventually runs into the infamous “twins”.


Horror Icons – By Barret Chapman

Love this fantastic montage of Horror Icons by Barret Chapman. The man has great taste. I want this on my wall..! See more of Barret’s work HERE

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Oh The Horror – Series 2

LEGO is the biggest retail toy in the world, bought by adults and kids alike… new versions of the Ghostbusters car and headquarters, batmobile and Simpsons house have pushed the little bricks to the top of workplace shelves worldwide. Minifigs have been creating specialist figures for some time now, they made Oh The Horror series 1 last year and are back with series 2. Featuring tributes to horror icons such as Freddy, Jason, Michael Myers, Jigsaw, Leatherface, Pinhead, Ghostface, Ash and Norman Bates among others. Get them HERE
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Kubrick Posters by Tracie Ching

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Staircases to Nowhere: Making Stanley Kubrick’s “The

The Elstree Project, an oral history project designed to record, preserve and share the memories of people who have worked at the studios of Elstree and Borehamwood.

A 55-minute documentary with contributions from nine crew members who worked on the film and Stanley Kubrick’s widow, Christiane. This is the most in-depth exploration into the making of “The Shining” on film, from the perspective of those who actually worked on the production. Additional content includes memories of the fire at Elstree, a more in-depth look at the Stages at Elstree and the Steadicam, the work of the Second Unit on the film and what it was like to work with Kubrick.

The interviews in this film were recorded over a period of three years, and with eight students getting the chance to gain live work experience as part of their undergraduate degree course in Film and Television in the School of Creative Arts at the University of Hertfordshire.


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LEGO – The Shining

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Martin Scorsese – Top 11 Horror Films

Martin Scorsese recently listed his 11 favorite scary movies, name-checking some less famous titles along with the usual classics. Scorsese penned his list of scary movies for The Daily Beast, which also has clips of each title listed below.

    1. The Haunting
    2. The Isle of the Dead
    3. The Uninvited
    4. The Entity
    5. Dead of Night
    6. The Changeling
    7. The Shining
    8. The Exorcist
    9. Night of the Demon
    10. The Innocents
    11. Psycho

His tastes strongly tilt toward classic horror. The ShiningThe Exorcist, and Psycho are perennials on these kind of lists, but some of the older movies may be less familiar to modern audiences. The Entity is the newest film on there, and it’s over 30 years old.


Doctor Sleep – Trailer

Learn more about Doctor Sleep at Simon and Schuster HERE. Check out the 30 second trailer for the new Stephen King novel, Doctor Sleep!


Colour Me Good Arrggghhhh!!

Colour Me ARRGGGHHHH!!UK retail giant Tesco has withdrawn from sale on its website a colouring book that depicts gory scenes from horror films. Colour Me Good Arrggghhhh!! features images from Psycho and Hellraiser, among other films, and was marketed online at children aged five to eight.

Tesco said the book had been placed in the wrong category when listed on its website by a third-party seller. Publisher I Love Mel said the book, which had been offered for sale by one of its stockists, was aimed at adults.

The 16-page colouring book features on its cover an image of actress Janet Leigh screaming as she is stabbed to death in Psycho’s infamous shower scene. There are pictures inside from The Silence of the Lambs, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Jaws, A Clockwork Orange, The Shining and Fatal Attraction.

East Sussex-based author Mel Elliott said: “My products are pop culture-inspired and aimed at playful grown-ups. They are not aimed at kids. “They are usually sold to grown-ups in fashion shops and book stores.” The Royal College of Art graduate said she had been unaware that the stockist of the book had placed it on sale through Tesco’s website.


Doctor Sleep – Trailer

Stephen King returns to the characters and territory of one of his most popular novels ever, The Shining, in this instantly riveting novel about the now middle-aged Dan Torrance (the boy protagonist of The Shining) and the very special twelve-year-old girl he must save from a tribe of murderous paranormals.

On highways across America, a tribe of people called The True Knot travel in search of sustenance. They look harmless—mostly old, lots of polyester, and married to their RVs. But as Dan Torrance knows, and tween Abra Stone learns, The True Knot are quasi-immortal, living off the “steam” that children with the “shining” produce when they are slowly tortured to death.

Haunted by the inhabitants of the Overlook Hotel where he spent one horrific childhood year, Dan has been drifting for decades, desperate to shed his father’s legacy of despair, alcoholism, and violence. Finally, he settles in a New Hampshire town, an AA community that sustains him, and a job at a nursing home where his remnant “shining” power provides the crucial final comfort to the dying. Aided by a prescient cat, he becomes “Doctor Sleep.”

Then Dan meets the evanescent Abra Stone, and it is her spectacular gift, the brightest shining ever seen, that reignites Dan’s own demons and summons him to a battle for Abra’s soul and survival. This is an epic war between good and evil, a gory, glorious story that will thrill the millions of hyper-devoted readers of The Shining and wildly satisfy anyone new to the territory of this icon in the King canon.


The Overlook Hotel – TV Series

Glen Mazzara, who ran AMC’s smash hit series The Walking Dead for the past several seasons, will now focus on ghosts. He’s in talks to write The Overlook Hotel, a prequel to the Stanley Kubrick-directed The Shining, based on the Stephen King novel. The film is being developed at Warner Bros to be produced by Mythology Entertainment’s Bradley Fischer, James Vanderbilt and Laeta Kalogridis.

While King wasn’t crazy about the Kubrick movie, there are so many iconic images in that movie, and an outsized performance by Jack Nicholson, that this will be a tough act to follow. Mazzara is an interesting choice. He succeeded Frank Darabont on The Walking Dead, and while it seemed he clashed with graphic novel creator Robert Kirkman — he was dropped as showrunner in December — he did a fabulous job in moving forward and giving context to what Darabont started. I’ve never seen a series quite like it, and there are plenty of ghostly nuggets from the formative days of that haunted hotel that were dropped in the book and the Kubrick movie that make me eager to see what Mazzara does with this prequel. King, of course, has completed Doctor Sleep, a sequel to his The Shining novel that focuses on an adult Danny Torrance (the Redrum kid).


Doctor Sleep – The Shining sequel by Stephen King

Stephen King_Doctor SleepStephen King returns to the characters and territory of one of his most popular novels ever, The Shining, in this instantly riveting novel about the now middle-aged Dan Torrance and the very special twelve-year-old girl he must save from a tribe of murderous paranormals.

On highways across America, a tribe of people called The True Knot travel in search of sustenance. They look harmless—mostly old, lots of polyester, and married to their RVs. But as Dan Torrance knows, and tween Abra Stone learns, The True Knot are quasi-immortal, living off the “steam” that children with the shining produce when they are slowly tortured to death.

Haunted by the inhabitants of the Overlook Hotel where he spent one horrific childhood year, Dan has been drifting for decades, desperate to shed his father’s legacy of despair, alcoholism, and violence. Finally, he settles in a New Hampshire town, an AA community that sustains him, and a job at a nursing home where his remnant “shining” power provides the crucial final comfort to the dying. Aided by a prescient cat, he becomes “Doctor Sleep.”

Doctor Sleep_Stephen KingThen Dan meets the evanescent Abra Stone, and it is her spectacular gift, the brightest shining ever seen, that reignites Dan’s own demons and summons him to a battle for Abra’s soul and survival. This is an epic war between good and evil, a gory, glorious story that will thrill the millions of hyper-devoted readers of The Shining and wildly satisfy anyone new to the territory of this icon in the King canon.

Cemetery Dance Publications will publish Deluxe Special Limited Editions of Stephen’s new novel, Doctor Sleep. The edition will be published this September in three states, all of them printed in two colours and bound in fine materials. Check them out HERE


Room 237 – Trailer

After its much talked about festival screenings, The Shining documentary, Room 237, will be released by IFC at the end of March.

“After the box office failure of Barry Lyndon, Stanley Kubrick decided to embark on a project that might have more commercial appeal. The Shining, Stephen King’s biggest critical and commercial success yet, seemed like a perfect vehicle. After an arduous production, Kubrick’s film received a wide release in the summer of 1980; the reviews were mixed, but the box office, after a slow start, eventually picked up. End of story? Hardly. In the 30 years since the film’s release, a considerable cult of Shining devotees has emerged, fans who claim to have decoded the film’s secret messages addressing everything from the genocide of Native Americans to a range of government conspiracies. Rodney Ascher’s wry and provocative Room 237 fuses fact and fiction through interviews with cultists and scholars, creating a kaleidoscopic deconstruction of Kubrick’s still-controversial classic.”

Room 237 was directed by Rodney Ascher and starts a number of limited theatrical engagements on March 29th. It will also be available on the same date at multiple Cable VOD services and digital outlets. A brand new trailer has just been released.


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Merry Christmas – “Heeeerre’s Santa!”

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Horror Die Cut Collection by Max Dalton

Check out this poster by Max Dalton entitled “Horror Die Cut Collection” You can purchase a limited edition print for only $50 from his web page on spoke-art HERE


Shawnee Smith

Shawnee Smith (born July 3, 1970) is an American film and television actress and singer. Smith is best known for her roles as Meg Penny in The Blob (1988), Amanda Young in the Saw films and Linda in the CBS sitcom Becker. Smith once fronted the metal band Fydolla Ho, with which she toured the United States and the United Kingdom, and is half of  Smith & Pyle, a desert country-rock band, with actress Missi Pyle. She also featured in an awesome MAXIM photoshoot.

Shawnee Smith was born in Orangeburg, South Carolina, however, the family relocated from South Carolina to Van Nuys, California, when she was one year old.  She attended North Hollywood High School where she graduated from in 1987.

Smith began acting as a child appearing on stage in A Christmas Carol repertory from ages 8 to 11 and starred in a stage play with Richard Dreyfuss at age 15. She joined the Screen Actors Guild at age nine and made her feature film debut in John Huston’s musical Annie, as one of the orphans. In 1985, Smith co-starred in two troubled-teen melodramas, Not My Kind and Crime of Innocence. In 1987, Smith co-starred in the hit comedy film Summer School as pregnant student Rhonda Altobello. The following year, she starred with Kevin Dillon in a 1988 remake of the Steve McQueen b-movie classic The Blob as Meg Penny.

Smith had roles in Who’s Harry Crumb (1989), Michael Cimino’s The Desperate Hours (1990) before taking a three-year break from acting in the early 1990s because she had outgrown teenage roles and had a hard time finding work. During that time she climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro and competed in a triathlon. When she was about to start attending classes she landed a small role in Leaving Las Vegas (1995), and has had steady work ever since in the likes of Dogtown (1997), Armageddon and Carnival of Souls (both 1998) .

Smith’s best-known television role was Linda, an air-headed nurse’s aide, in the CBS hit comedy series Becker with Ted Danson. She served as a regular cast member in all 129 episodes from 1998–2004. She also featured in the 1994 miniseries The Stand, based on the novel by Stephen King. She also appeared as a waitress in The Shining miniseries, which King adapted from his own novel.

Smith has become well known in recent years for her role as Amanda Young in the Saw films. Due mainly to that role she has been acknowledged as the pre-eminent ‘Scream Queen’ of the last decade. She was the main star of Saw II (2005), and Saw III (2006), and although she is briefly shown in Saw IV (2007), Saw V (2008), and Saw 3D (2010), she was never on set. Any scenes featuring her were dubbed from file footage. She filmed brand new flashback sequences for Saw VI (2009).

Smith has repeatedly admitted that she hates being scared and has a hard time watching the Saw films, or any horror movie. She originally turned the role of Amanda Young down because it was very upsetting to her. After turning the role down, she was shown the eight-minute short film by Leigh Whannell and James Wan and changed her mind after the role was offered to her a second time. Smith in the jaw trap became the image on the film poster. She also revealed at SawMania 2008 that her name was initially brought up for the role of Amanda because Saw director James Wan was a big fan of her films in the 1980s and had a longtime crush on her. Director Darren Bousman and Leigh Whannell have also talked about their crushes on Smith in the Saw DVD commentaries.

In 2006, Smith made an appearance in the ten-minute short film trailer Repo! The Genetic Opera by director Darren Lynn Bousmann. Smith’s character was Heather Sweet, the surgery addicted daughter of GeneCo president Rotti Largo. The trailer was filmed after completing Saw III to try to pitch the idea to film producers. Smith did not reprise her role as Heather Sweet when Lionsgate and Twisted Pictures picked up the film in 2007 and was replaced by Paris Hilton!

In 2008, Smith played Detective Gina Harcourt in the FEARnet original series 30 Days of Night: Dust to Dust. The series premiered on July 17, 2008 on FEARnet.com in six 4–6 minute webisodes along with behind the scenes clips. This series is a continuation of the first webisode series 30 Days of Night: Blood Trails. It is still available on FEARnet.com and can also be seen in its entirety (about 30 minutes straight through) on FEARnet On Demand. She also made her producing debut with this series.

Smith was the host and one of three mentors on the VH1 reality program Scream Queens which aired from October 20, 2008 to December 8, 2008. Smith did not return as host and mentor for Season 2 due to scheduling conflicts, she was replaced by Jaimie King.

In 2009, Smith played the role of Dr. Ann Sullivan, a child psychiatrist, the third installment of The Grudge series, The Grudge 3. The film was a direct to DVD release in May 2009. She was last seen in the Billy Bob Thornton directed Jayne Mansfield’s Car. 


Saul Bass

Saul Bass (May 8, 1920 – April 25, 1996) was a graphic designer and filmmaker, perhaps best known for his design of film posters and motion picture title sequences.

Saul Bass was born on May 8, 1920, in the Bronx, New York, to Eastern European Jewish immigrant parents. He graduated from James Monroe High School in the Bronx and studied part-time at the Art Students League in Manhattan until attending night classes with György Kepes at Brooklyn College. He began his time in Hollywood during the 1940s doing print work for film ads, until he collaborated with filmmaker Otto Preminger to design the film poster for his 1954 film Carmen Jones. Preminger was so impressed with Bass’s work that he asked him to produce the title sequence as well. This was when Bass first saw the opportunity to create something more than a title sequence, but to create something which would ultimately enhance the experience of the audience and contribute to the mood and the theme of the movie within the opening moments. Bass was one of the first to realize the creative potential of the opening and closing credits of a movie.

Bass became widely known in the film industry after creating the title sequence for Otto Preminger’s The Man with the Golden Arm (1955). The subject of the film was a jazz musician’s struggle to overcome his heroin addiction, a taboo subject in the mid-’50s. Bass decided to create a controversial title sequence to match the film’s controversial subject. He chose the arm as the central image, as the arm is a strong image relating to drug addiction. The titles featured an animated, white on black paper cut-out arm of a heroin addict. As he expected, it caused quite a sensation.

For Alfred Hitchcock, Bass provided effective, memorable title sequences, inventing a new type of kinetic typography, for North by Northwest (1959), Vertigo (1958), working with John Whitney, and Psycho (1960). It was this kind of innovative, revolutionary work that made Bass a revered graphic designer. Before the advent of Bass’s title sequences in the 1950s, titles were generally static, separate from the movie, and it was common for them to be projected onto the cinema curtains, the curtains only being raised right before the first scene of the movie.

Bass once described his main goal for his title sequences as being to ‘’try to reach for a simple, visual phrase that tells you what the picture is all about and evokes the essence of the story”. Another philosophy that Bass described as influencing his title sequences was the goal of getting the audience to see familiar parts of their world in an unfamiliar way.

He designed title sequences for more than 40 years, and employed diverse film making techniques, from cut-out animation for Anatomy of a Murder (1958), to fully animated mini-movies such as the epilogue for Around the World in 80 Days (1956), and live action sequences. His live action opening title sequences often served as prologues to their films and transitioned seamlessly into their opening scenes.

Toward the end of his career, he was rediscovered by Martin Scorsese who had grown up admiring his film work. For Scorsese, Saul Bass (in collaboration with his wife Elaine Bass) created title sequences for Goodfellas (1990), Cape Fear (1991), The Age of Innocence (1993), and Casino (1995), his last title sequence. His later work with Scorsese saw him move away from the optical techniques that he had pioneered and move into the use of computerized effects. Bass’s title sequences featured new and innovative methods of production and startling graphic design.

Saul Bass designed emblematic movie posters that transformed the visuals of film advertising. Before Bass’s seminal poster for The Man with the Golden Arm (1955), movie posters were dominated by depictions of key scenes or characters from the film, often both juxtaposed with each other. Bass’s posters, however, typically developed simplified, symbolic designs that visually communicated key essential elements of the film. For example, his poster for a Man with a Golden Arm, with a jagged arm and off-kilter typography, starkly communicates the protagonist’s struggle with heroin addition. Bass’s iconic Vertigo (1958) poster, with its stylized figures sucked down into the nucleus of a spiral vortex, captures the anxiety and disorientation central to the film. His poster for Anatomy of a Murder (1959), featuring the silhouette of a corpse jarringly dissected into seven pieces, makes both a pun on the film’s title and captures the moral ambiguities within which this court room drama is immersed.

He did great work for Stanley Kubrick, Hitchcock, Otto Preminger and Billy Wilder among other. His last commissioned film poster was created for Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s List (1993), but it was never distributed. His poster work spanned five decades and inspired numerous other poster and graphic designers. Bass’s film posters are characterized by a distinctive typography and minimalistic style.

In some sense, all modern opening title sequences that introduce the mood or theme of a film can be seen as a legacy of Saul Bass’s innovative work. In particular, though, title sequences for some recent movies and television series, especially those whose setting is during the 1960s, have purposely emulated the graphic style of his animated sequences from that era. Some examples of title sequences that pay homage to Bass’s graphics and animated title sequences are Catch Me If You Can (2002), X-Men: First Class (2011), and the opening to the AMC series Mad Men.

Check out some iconic Saul Bass opening titles HERE


Stephen King – Doctor Sleep

Stephen King has been talking about his sequel to The Shining while making book tour appearances. At the George Mason Awards ceremony he discussed the book and read a short excerpt. King was 64 last week. 

King briefly laid out his tentative plan for the novel, which would see the emotionally scarred Danny Torrance, now a 40-year-old orderly at a hospice for the terminally ill in upstate New York. But Danny’s real job is to “visit with patients who are just about to pass on to the other side, and to help them make that journey with the aid of his mysterious powers.” And on the side, Danny bets on the horse races, a trick he learned from his old friend Dick. The title of the book is “Doctor Sleep.”

His official website posted this news yesterday: “It’s now official–Stephen is working on Dr. Sleep, the sequel to The Shining.  This weekend Steve read an excerpt from this at his appearance at George Mason University.  They have given us permission to post their taping of the event here on Steve’s site which we will do as soon as we receive the file.  Dr. Sleep’s plot includes a traveling group of vampires called The Tribe which is part of the passage he read from.”


Stephen King

Stephen Edwin King (born September 21, 1947) is an American author of contemporary horror, suspense, fantasy and science fiction. is books have sold more than 350 million copies worldwide, which have been adapted into a number of feature films, television movies and comic books. As of 2011, King has written and published 49 novels, including seven under the pen name Richard Bachman, five non-fiction books, and nine collections of short stories. Many of his stories are set in his home state of Maine.

When King was two years old, his father left the family under the pretense of “going to buy a pack of cigarettes,” leaving his mother to raise King and his adopted older brother, David, by herself, sometimes under great financial strain. As a child, King apparently witnessed one of his friends being struck and killed by a train, though he has no memory of the event. His family told him that after leaving home to play with the boy, King returned, speechless and seemingly in shock. Only later did the family learn of the friend’s death. Some commentators have suggested that this event may have psychologically inspired some of King’s darker works, but King himself has dismissed the idea.

While browsing through an attic with his elder brother, King uncovered a paperback version of an H.P. Lovecraft collection of short stories that had belonged to his father. From 1966, King studied English at the University of Maine, graduating in 1970 with a bachelor of Arts in English. After leaving the university, King earned a certificate to teach high school but, being unable to find a teaching post immediately, initially supplemented his laboring wage by selling short stories to various mens magazines. Many of these early stories have been published in the collection Night Shift.

In 1973, King’s novel ‘Carrie’ was accepted by publishing house Doubleday. King actually threw an early draft of the novel in the trash after becoming discouraged with his progress writing about a teenage girl with psychic powers. His wife retrieved the manuscript and encouraged him to finish it.  His advance for Carrie was $2,500, with paperback rights earning $400,000 at a later date. King then began writing a book titled Second Coming, later titled Jerusalem’s Lot, before finally changing the title to ‘Salem’s Lot’ (published 1975). King has written of his severe drinking problem at this time, stating that he was drunk delivering the eulogy at his mother’s funeral.

After his mother’s death, King and his family moved to Boulder, Colorado, where King wrote ‘The Shining’ (published 1977). It would appear that Kings well documented issues with Stanley Kubrick’s version of the Shining stem from Kubrick removing most of Jack Torrance’s alcoholism that is prevalent in the novel. King produced his own TV version in 1997, it wasn’t as good as Kubrick’s classic.

The family returned to western Maine in 1975, where King completed his fourth novel, ‘The Stand’ (published 1978). By now King was well established as an international bestselling author. He has continued to publish novels at an exceptional rate of at least one every year since ‘The Shining’. Apart from those first 4 mentioned, my favourites have been ‘The Dead Zone'(1979), ‘Firestarter’ (1980), ‘Cujo’ (1981), ‘Pet Sematary (1983) and ‘Misery’ (1987). I have to confess that I became less interested in Kings books as my reading preferences became more varied.

There have been almost 40 filmed versions of his work, the best of which are, as with his novels, from his earlier work. ‘Carrie’, ‘The Shining’, ‘Creepshow’, ‘Cujo’, ‘The Dead Zone’, ‘Misery’, being the best of the them. There have also been some excellent movies from his short stories, ‘Stand by Me’, ”The Shawshank Redemption’, ‘Apt Pupil’, ‘1408’ and ‘The Mist’. The best filmed version of his later work is ‘The Green Mile’. There has been a long running bid to get his book series, ‘The Dark Tower’ into production, however the scale of the story has thus far prevented any real progress.

King has received Bram Stoker Awards, World Fantasy Awards, British Fantasy Society Awards, his novella ‘The Way Station’ was a Nebula Award novelette nominee, and in 2003, the National Book Foundation awarded him the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.