Monday, November 21, 2011

"The good news is your dates are here. The bad news is... they're dead."

(Played around with adding some type!)

"Night of the Creeps". No other movie captures the same amount of nostalgia and fun that i had watching horror movies when i was a kid. It was one of the awesome covers i always glimpsed in the horror section of the local Wizard Video, or Jumbo Video. I saw it around the same time i discovered other horror films, like "Creepshow" or "The Thing", but it always stood out as being the most fun, if not the overall best. It's an absolute classic 80's b-movie, and it has everything you could ever want for a night of movies, pizza and beer. To this day, i feel it really holds up.

Directed by Fred Dekker, of "Monster Squad" fame, "Night of the Creeps" concerns J.C. and Chris, two nerdy college students who accidentally release brain-eating alien parasites while trying to get accepted into a fraternity to impress a girl. Really. Tom Atkins plays the bad-ass Detective Cameron (all the characters have horror or sci-fi movie director names), a man with a shady past, who is investigating the rash of murders. Before long, the surviving characters have to fend off hordes of alien slugs and frat-boy zombies. It's so great.

the film manages to combine tropes from 50's science fiction, zombie movies, wacky college movies, and even a little slasher movie goodness, all into one wonderful package. It just got released on dvd for the first time a couple years ago, so please, give it a watch!

Check out the trailer here!

Here's the poster without the type added!

Monday, November 14, 2011


(My apologies for the lack of updates, i've been working on a number of commisions lately.)

I thought i'd do something a little different this week, and start a mini-series of "Feature Creature" entries focusing on an interesting villain, creature or monster from the best of horror manga. This is an area that is ripe with under-appreciated stories and characters. Every once in a while i'll focus on a new manga monster to break up the numerous movie monsters and poster designs. I hope it brings some cool work to the attention it deserves.

This week's entry, and the first Manga Monster entry, is the character Cat-Eyed Boy from the manga series of the same name by Kazuo Umezu. The Cat-Eyed Boy series of books concerns various traditional Japanese demons and monsters, and their unfortunate victims. Cat-Eyed Boy is the son of a cat demon who happens to look too much like a human boy, thus disgracing himself from the world of demons. He wanders the world of mankind, hiding from humans, and living sporadically in peoples' attics.

He brings misfortune and disaster with him wherever he stays, and usually helps out if he can to stop whatever monster happens to be making trouble. He can see in the dark, talk to cats, and is well informed about the world of spirits and demons. He has all the agility of a cat, and his shadow sometimes tries to kill him. He also solves an alarming number of problems by pissing on people.

While not as good as some of the other series by Kazuo Umezu, ("The Drifting Classroom" is a masterpiece.) it's still a wonderful series filled with crazy monsters, definitely holding it's own against other creature protagonists such as Hellboy. Highly recommended!

Check out the beautiful editions released by Viz for Western distribution here!

(Thanks to Kazuo Umezu!)

Friday, October 21, 2011

"And you will face the sea of darkness, and all therein that may be explored. "

A couple weeks back, i painted an illustration for Lucio Fulci's "Zombie", an incredibly violent horror film that was Italy's answer to "Dawn of the Dead". While i love that film, my favourite film by the director, Lucio Fulci, is "The Beyond".

Part of the three films that make up Lucio Fulci's "Gates to Hell" trilogy*, "The Beyond" focuses on a woman who inherits a hotel built on one of the seven cursed gateways to hell. Pandemonium ensues, in the form of ghostly blind girls, flesh-eating spiders, acid baths, crucified painters and more horrible things happening to eyeballs than should ever be contained in one film.

This one, like a lot of Italian cinema of the time, is not really about plot, or even characters. It works hard to put together a compelling and unsettling mood through the use of incredibly gruesome set-pieces, and iconic imagery. The vision of hell that is showcased towards the end of the film, and the character of Emily with her stark white eyes are most notable in this department. The score is one of my favourites, though the same composers' score for "City of the Living Dead" might barely beat it in my books.

If you haven't watched many Lucio Fulci films, this is a great place to start.

Check out the trailer here!

* The other two films in the "Gates to Hell" trilogy being "City of the Living Dead", and "House by the Cemetery", another couple favourites.

Monday, October 3, 2011

"The fly with the head of a man...! And the man with the head of a fly!"

Scientist Andre Delambre runs into some unfortunate circumstances when his latest experiment, a matter transporter, accidentally fuses his atoms with that of a common housefly. Andre ends up with the head and left hand of a fly, with his corresponding limbs on the insect.

While his frantic wife desperately searches for the fly with her husband's head and hand, Andre battles his new insect instincts to murder, and presumably eat, his wife.

"The Fly" is a classic! It has a great performance by Vincent Price as Francois Delambre, and unsettling effects. Most notably the final scene of the fly with the human head screaming for help, as it's menaced by a spider.

Here's the trailer!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

"...The Dead Are Among Us!"

One of the high-water marks of ultra-violent Italian horror films, and arguably director Lucio Fulci's best film, "Zombie" is great stuff. Originally released as "Zombi 2" to cash in on George Romero's "Dawn of the Dead" being released as "Zombi", the film follows three intrepid investigators who end up stranded on the tropical island of Matul. There, they must survive a horrifying curse (disease?) that is turning the islanders into flesh-eating ghouls.

Mainly, "Zombie" is notorious among horror fans for a one-two punch of crazy set-pieces, those being the scene wherein a zombie fights a shark, and a later scene where a woman has her eye gouged out with a wooden splinter. Otherwise, the soundtrack is wonderful, with backing element sounding vaguely like a heart-beat, and some voodoo-esque drums, the zombies are disgusting, and there's not an opportunity for a gouging or a bludgeoning wasted.

The poster you see below concludes a trifecta of "Feature Creature" entries celebrating my favourite zombies of all time, Bub, the Tar Man, and the poster zombie from..."Zombie". I wanted to experiment with title placement and areas of heavy, bold colour mixed with areas of intricate line-work.

Hope you like it, and thanks again for looking. Feel free to message me with monster requests, and i'll see you guys next Friday.

Check out the trailer here!

Monday, September 19, 2011

"They're Back From The Grave and Ready To Party!"

I apologize for the lack of updates, i've been attending the "Toronto International Film Festival" for the last two weeks, and it's left me little time for quality painting. But i plan on getting back on schedule, and to signify that, here's a painting of a zombie.

"Return of the Living Dead" is one of the best horror films the 80's spat out, with a killer punk soundtrack and a wicked sense of humour. It concerns a couple of medical supply warehouse employees who unwittingly release a government toxin, leading to a graveyard full of brain-eating, indestructible zombies. The coolest monster in the whole movie is the "Tar-man", a zombie that's skin has melted upon contact with the air, after being sealed in a government tank for many years. He has a wonderfully jangly way of lurching about, like he could fall apart at any second.

I tried to style this painting as a companion to my "Day of the Dead" Bub painting, with a third eventually being made of the poster zombie from Lucio Fulci's "Zombie". I'll have a new piece for Friday, let me know what you think, and thanks for following.

Here's the trailer!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

"The Tenant In Room 7 Is Very Small, Very Twisted And Very Mad!"

I saw Frank Henenlotter's "Basketcase" at a very young age, so a lot of it has stayed with me. It's a personal favourite, and there's something very comforting about it's grimy sets and low-budget special effects and puppets.

The story concerns a man named Duane Bradley, and his visit to New York City. He arrives with only one piece of luggage; a large wicker basket. It's eventually revealed that Duane carries around his deformed and angry formerly conjoined twin, Belial, hunting down the doctors that seperated them to exact bloody revenge! Of course, Duane meets a girl, Belial gets jealous of someone sharing his brotherly love, and it all goes to hell. It's great.

I tried to evoke some of that sleazy goodness with this poster. Hope you like it.

Here's the trailer!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

"The only thing more terrifying than the last five minutes of this film are the first 90!"

The illustration this week is for the classic film, "Suspiria". Directed by Dario Argento in 1977, The film tells the story of Suzy Bannion, a new arrival at a German ballet academy that may be a secret coven of witches. The story is really an excuse to revel in nightmarish imagery, a pounding and shrieking score by the Italian band "Goblin", and a hallucinatory wash of colours. Truly, one of my top five horror films of all time. It is necessary viewing for anyone seriously interested in film.

I tried to reflect on the strange and vibrant colours and horrifying atmosphere of the film, while including some nods to my favourite moments. I hope you enjoy it, and thanks for checking out my work.

Check out the trailer here!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

"It's A Headache From Hell!"

Today's Feature Creature is from the 1988 film, "Brain Damage", a strange and relatively unknown cult film about a guy named Brian living in New York who becomes host to a eel-like parasite named Aylmer. Aylmer needs human brains to live, so he injects Brian with a mysterious blue drug that induces euphoria. Brian becomes dependent on the drug, and is forced into helping Aylmer kill.

A sick and twisted metaphorical addiction story, "Brain Damage" is a greatly entertaining film. The acting and characterization are barely there, but it sports a fast pace, some wonderfully disgusting kills, and a wonderful villain in Aylmer. Singing, persuading and charming his way towards human brains, Aylmer is quite endearing. He's voiced by a famous tv horror host by the name of Zacherley, and he's the best part of the whole thing. Add some surreal drug trips, some gritty New York locales, and old-school stop motion effects, and you got a winner.

Check out the trailer here!

Listen to Aylmer's song!

Friday, August 12, 2011

"Man is The Warmest Place to Hide."

This week's entry brings me to my absolute, #1, favourite monster movie of all time. John Carpenter's classic of science fiction horror, "The Thing".

Starring Kurt Russell at his best, "The Thing" takes place at an antarctic research facility. The crew of the station are thrown into a state of utter paranoia when they find out that one or more of the men are not what they appear to be. A shape-shifting alien entity has infiltrated their midst, and it can be anything, or anyone to defend itself and pick them off one by one.

If you haven't seen "The Thing", please go see "The Thing". It stands shoulder-to-shoulder with movies like "Alien", and it's a classic across the board, most notably special effects. The puppetry, prosthetic work and other practical effects in this film are untouchable. Some of the best monster effects ever put to screen. The writing and characters are great, the score is moody and memorable, and the suspense just ratchets up as the film progresses.

What i'm trying to say is that i enjoyed the film.

I tried to go all out for my illustration, and i hope you enjoy it.

Check out the trailer here!

Friday, July 29, 2011

"What happens when make-believe believes it's real?"

I got this week's illustration done just in time! I'm running to catch a bus to Montreal for the weekend, to see some horror movies at "Fantasia Fest". Should be good times. For this week's entry, i did one of the more memorable monster designs of the last ten years, the Pale Man from Pan's Labyrinth. Here's a plot synopsis taken from

"In 1944 fascist Spain, a girl, fascinated with fairy-tales, is sent along with her pregnant mother to live with her new stepfather, a ruthless captain of the Spanish army. During the night, she meets a fairy who takes her to an old faun in the center of the labyrinth. He tells her she's a princess, but must prove her royalty by surviving three gruesome tasks. If she fails, she will never prove herself to be the the true princess and will never see her real father, the king, again."

The pale man is the creepiest part of the film, and i was happy to do an illustration to help express that.

I'm off to Montreal, see you guys next week.

Friday, July 22, 2011

"Demons" (1985)

Sorry for the lateness of this update, my local Kinko's had a broken scanner. As promised, this week's entry is a tribute print for Lamberto Bava's splattery classic, "Demons". Those of you who live in Toronto, do yourself a favour and check out the double-feature screening of "Deep Red" and "Demons" at the "Toronto Underground Cinema"(186 Spadina Ave) tomorrow night. "Deep Red" screens at 7:30, and "Demons" is at 9:30. I'll be there selling select prints from previous "Feature Creature" entries, as well as the new "Demons" print, seen above. Thanks, and let me know what you think! See you next week with a new entry.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Retro Triple-Feature!

Hello all! Firstly, i'd like thank all the new followers who have joined up to the Tumblr version of this blog in the past week. It's really great to see people joining up over time.

Sadly, due to me being both under the weather and out of town for most of this past week, i don't have a brand-spanking new entry for you. But that doesn't mean i'm going to give you nothing to look at! Firstly, for those viewers living in Toronto, i'm working on a poster that should be done by early next week. It's for a great show on the 23rd at the "Toronto Underground Cinema" , a 35mm screening of Lamberto Bava's "Demons", and Dario Argento's "Deep Red". I'll be selling illustrations before and after the show, so come by if you can, and buy a print! Here's a sneak preview!

Look for the full image early next week!

Secondly, as this is the 10th entry in this weekly series, i thought i'd show you three pieces from my past that paid tribute to some of my favourite villains and monsters. These were, for obvious reasons, from an art show named "Villains", at a local gallery in Toronto.

"The Abominable Dr.Phibes"

Vincent Price plays the disfigured and mad Dr.Anton Phibes, obsessed with getting revenge on five prominent surgeons who failed to save his wife. The abominable Dr.Phibes utilizes the ten plagues of Egypt as his schematic for revenge, leading to some pretty inventive death sequences. Vincent Price gets the opportunity to chew the crap out of the scenery with some great villainous monologues, and always a tongue firmly in cheek. A wonderfully lavish take on the "Phantom of the Opera", with a darkly wry sense of humour. An absolute classic!

Watch the (amazing) trailer here!


A grimy, dusty, overall dirty take on a post-apocalyptic world, "Hardware" stretches the limitations of it's indie budget to create a fully-realized universe. Mo returns home from the nuclear wasteland with a present for his artist girlfriend; an abandoned robot head. Unbeknownst to him, it's the remains of a military-grade killer android, and it's still alive. The robot (The Mark-13, look up the bible passage.) is wonderfully realized, all flailing limbs and glowing-red eyes, with nasty needles for teeth, and saw-blade arms. Even more iconic, before the robot goes on a killing spree, Mo's girlfriend, Jill, paints an American flag on it's head as a statement. Fun stuff. Look for a cameo by Lemmy, and the angry voice of Iggy Pop!

Watch the trailer here!

"The Deadly Spawn"

Goofy monster with an amazing puppet. Shoe-string sci-fi horror at it's greatest, "The Deadly Spawn" depends entirely on it's creature. Luckily, it has a totally memorable monster to boast. A meteor crashes to Earth, bringing with it the spores of an ever-growing, ever-mutating eating machine. It hides out in the basement of a nearby house, eating anyone who ventures downstairs and birthing more of it's toothy, sperm-shaped brood. Eventually, it's up to a plucky horror-fanatic kid to kill the monster. Great fun.

Check out the trailer here!

Next Friday i'll be back with the full-reveal of the Demons poster for Saturday's show, and a bonus "Feature Creature" to boot! See you then.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

"Sci-Fi that Reaches Out and Grabs You!"

This week's entry is probably the most obscure monster yet, from a rarely seen Japanese monster movie called "Zeiram". The plot involves the titular bio-engineered killing machine landing on Earth, while a bounty hunter and her sassy computer take on the job of catching "Zeiram". They imprison the monster in a desolate alternate dimension that looks just like Japan, and set about catching the fiend. Unfortunately, two bumbling electricians get caught up in the trap, and hilarity ensues.

"Zeiram" is just plain entertaining. It's got some surprisingly great special effects, an interesting and iconic monster, and some decent action. You even get a little stop-motion animation for your money. The real draw here is "Zeiram" himself (herself?). Resembling a samurai from another dimension, he's a 9 foot tall humanoid creature with a head resembling a giant hat, a red slit for an eye, and a horrifying little face in his forehead that likes to shoot out on a tentacle and bite people. He also has the power to generate horrible fleshy minions with baby faces. Just some great and cheesy rubber-suited monster fun.

I wanted the illustration this week to evoke the idea of both old-school movie posters, and a "wanted" poster, as it's befitting the alien criminal from the film. Hope you enjoy!

Check out the trailer here!

Friday, July 1, 2011

"The darkest day of horror the world has ever known."

Sorry for the semi-late entry this week, the local print shop was closed early for Canada day. This week's entry is the third in a seminal horror trilogy, "Day of the Dead".

I chose the world's most sympathetic zombie, "Bub". In "Day of the Dead", the zombies have basically won. The last rag-tag group of surviving humans live in a bunker in Florida, arguing with each other and desperately trying to teach zombies not to eat us. Bub is the most successful example of training a dead person to not see human beings as food. He's able to recall some memories such as how to salute (he was in the army.), learning how to use a walkman, and mock-shaving with a razor.

Of course, this all proves to be for nothing when the facility is invaded by the living dead. "Day of the Dead" might be my favourite in the original trilogy of Romero zombie movies, but they're all pretty amazing. No Romero zombie movies exist after "Day of the Dead".

Click here to view the trailer!

Click here to say hello to aunt alicia!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

"Humans are such easy prey."

This week's entry is Stuart Gordon's follow-up to "Re-Animator"...

"From Beyond".

Starring the inimitable Jeffrey Combs, "From Beyond" concerns a parallel dimension filled with hostile and slimy creatures. Dr. Pretorius, and Dr. Tillinghast (Jeffrey Combs) create a device (the resonator) that stimulates the pineal gland in a person's brain. After Dr.Pretorius is eaten alive by a horrible something from another dimension, Tillinghast is driven mad. As a last-ditch bid to save his sanity, Tillinghast, bodyguard Bubba Brownlee (Ken Foree) and Dr. Katherine McMichaels (Barbara Crampton) drive back to the house. Their aim is to recreate the events of the murder, not counting on the fact that Dr.Pretorius is still alive and kicking in the mysterious beyond. Now insane and with the power to mutate his flesh like play-dough, non-stop hijinks ensue.

Made in 1986, "From Beyond is a practical effects showcase. All kinds of mutant freaks lurch onto the screen, including flesh-eating flies and horrible jelly-eels. Dr.Pretorius is the real show-stopper, with a new and horrible bodily mutation every time he appears on-screen. A wonderful double-bill with "Re-Animator", Stuart Gordon's other mad science goo-fest.

Check out the trailer here!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

"Your every fear - all in one deadly enemy."

Haunting the town of Derry, Maine, Pennywise the dancing clown lives in the sewers and abandoned places around town. He lures children in, murders and eats them. Pennywise is a great creature in both his television movie appearance (famously characterized by Tim Curry), and in the Stephen King novel, "IT". Though his most oft-seen form is that of a smiling clown, he is literally whatever you fear the most. This isn't explored very well in the movie, but in the Stephen King book, Pennywise changes into a number of horrifying shapes. His true form exists in another dimension, and is so vast and horrifying, you'd go insane just to see it. Lovecraft style.

I decided against modeling my illustration after the Tim Curry version, and instead tried to illustrate the version from the book. I almost went with a design that showed off the various monsters he becomes, but felt that the clown was the iconic image to go with. I hope you enjoy it!

Click here for the trailer!

For next week's "Feature Creature", i thought i'd ask you guys! I'll list three possible movies to turn into an entry, and you guys add a comment with which one you'd prefer. I'll count the votes and that'll be the next entry! As this blog is very new and i don't have very many followers, i have a back-up entry planned if people don't vote.

1. "From Beyond" - Dr.Pretorius
2. "Day of the Dead" - Bub
3. "Return of the Living Dead" - Tarman

Let me know in the comments section.

See you guys next week.

- Trevor

Thursday, June 9, 2011

"They eat so fast, you don't have time to scream."

In 1986, "Critters" introduced the Krites. All teeth and eyes and rolling fur, the Krites starred in a franchise spanning four entries, ranging in setting from small-town farms to outer space. The plot of the original film concerns the Brown family, whose farm is invaded by a group of alien criminal Krites on the run from a couple of shape-shifting bounty hunters. The action jumps back and forth between the Brown family fending off the Krites, and the alien bounty hunters busting ass in town while hunting the Krites.

The Krites have a pretty interesting combination of traits, with the ability to roll around like Samus from Metroid, the ability to shoot paralyzing spines from their back, and a nasty habit of clumping together into a gigantic rolling boulder of teeth and doom. They're pretty much just malevolent gopher freaks.

For my money, the second film is a little more entertaining, with the action expanding to encompass the entire town, rather than just the Browns' farm. But the first two entries are still both excellent fun. The third one has it's moments, (and Leonardo DiCaprio!), but the fourth entry in space, is a bore.

With the first two entries at least, you have a great trashy monster puppet double-bill. Just add beer.

View the trailer here!

Watch the best scene in "Critters 2".

Friday, June 3, 2011

"They're not staying down there, anymore!"

"...And that's when the CHUDS came at me..." - Homer Simpson

For this week's entry, i chose a bad movie with a great monster, "C.H.U.D." (1984). It's been referenced not once, but twice on "The Simpsons"! The plot concerns a number of disappearances around New York City, mostly homeless people and animals. A police officer, a photo journalist and his girlfriend, and a homeless man team up to find out what the hell is going on. Turns out it's CHUDS.

That's an acronym, by the way, which stands for cannibalistic humanoid underground dweller. And that's exactly what the movie delivers! Goopy, lantern-eyed mutant hobos irradiated by toxic waste! The movie suffers from a lack of scenes that showcase the monsters, but they look really great when they ARE on-screen.

Check out the trailer here!

And for a C.H.U.D. getting decapitated with a sword, click here!

Friday, May 27, 2011

"They Will Make Cemeteries Their Cathedrals And The Cities Will Be Your Tombs."

This week's entry is one of my favourite Italian horror films, Lamberto Bava's "Demons".

This movie is one of a few favourite films i watched over and over when i was younger, and as such, it holds a special place in my heart. It concerns a group of people trapped in a Berlin movie theater while an outbreak of demonic behaviour goes around, all set to an 80's metal soundtrack. The real draw here are the numerous scenes of splattery demon gore, and the cool monster effects, accomplished with puppets, impressive make-up, and lots of neon green puke.

A lot of thought seems to have been put into the titular demons, as they stand on their own seperate plateau away from other monsters, despite sharing numerous traits with zombies and vampires. Spread by a scratch from a demonic mask, the demons run rampant, mutilating and infecting everyone in their path.

Best scene: The two main characters ride a motorcycle through a deserted movie theatre auditorium, cutting down demons with a samurai sword while "Fast Like A Shark" by Accept plays on the soundtrack. Awesome.

View the trailer here!

Friday, May 20, 2011

"If you go down to the woods today... Watch out for Cropsy!"

For the very first entry, I chose one of my favourite slasher films from the 80's,..."The Burning".

This film does a wonderful job of being the quintessential slasher film, for better or worse. The story is of a camp caretaker who is horribly burned in a prank gone wrong, only to return years later as a melty-faced goon with a pair of gardening shears. Violence ensues, all centering around a massacre on a raft three-quarters through the film. the slasher make-up was designed by special effects master Tom Savini, and was designed and constructed in only two days. This may be why the killer, Cropsey, looks less like an actual burn victim, and more like a melted candle. All in all, a classic camp slasher film that can boast a really cool villain. Plus, it's got George Costanza (Jason Alexander) when he still had hair.

Click here for the theatrical trailer.