Clare de Lune’s Fave Horror Films, Part 1

Just in time for Halloween! I’ll be sharing some film gems over the next few days, so if you haven’t seen any of these, give them a view and let me know what you think. I *love* talking horror, so don’t be shy.

I’ll have a few more lists coming up: favorite gory movies, favorite B movies, favorite classic horror, and hopefully a lot more.

Now, I don’t want any of you to get all butt hurt and say things like “but that was so cheeeeesy” or “but that was so baaaaad”–I know, okay? This is just a matter of opinion. There are *so* many horror movies I love, but these hold a special place in my (dark) heart. Here they are, in no particular order:

Phantasm

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A very tall undertaker turns dead people into wild dwarf zombies so they can turn things EVIL.

This movie has a cool hearse and a ’71 Barracuda. What more do you want? Flying driller balls and tiny demonic humanoids? Okay.

I’ve seen this movie countless times and it never ceases to weird me out. It has many redeeming atmospheric qualities and the concept is interesting.

Hellraiser

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Frank is resurrected by the Cenobites from an alternate dimension you probably don’t want to visit, and the only thing that will make him whole again is more BLOOD!

I know it is cliche, but this movie still gives me the chills every time I watch it. I know it’s not one of Barker’s faves, but the story behind is it so good. Speaking of stories, you should definitely check out The Hellbound Heart, which is the basis for Hellraiser.

Candyman

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A graduate student investigates the urban legend of Candyman, but struggles to maintain her sanity. Quit looking in the mirror and saying his name, Helen. Damn you!

I just have a thing for Clive Barker, okay? The part that freaked me out the most was when the main character wakes up in the bathroom drenched in blood, and there is screaming in the background. How horrifying to think you’ve committed a crime you didn’t commit!

Basketcase

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It’s hard to come up with a tag line that doesn’t spoil the film…Kevin has an interesting secret in this basket he carries around, and it’s not laundry.

I think this ranks high up there in my all-time faves, just because the concept is so bizarre. You think you have siblings with problems? Think again.

The Brood

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I admit that I had not seen this film until about 10 years ago, when my father found it in the dollar bin at Wal-Mart and mailed it to me (along with The Howling 2, another guilty pleasure) as a Christmas present. And what a joyous Christmas that turned out to be.

Apparently, soon after she found out she was pregnant with me, my mother dragged my father to the theater when this gem was originally released, and he said he had nightmares about me becoming some hellion child.

Look what happened, dad.

***

What, you think I’m done? I have a lot more faves coming, so stay tuned. And Happy Halloween season!

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Dat Flood

If you follow my Twitter, you may have noticed that the Great Flood of 2016 hit my hometown of Port Vincent. It’s been an emotional week. It’s heartbreaking to see all these landmarks and homes underwater, completely ravished by Mother Nature. I have friends and family who have lost everything. This week has been filled with trips down to Port Vincent and Denham Springs to deliver supplies and to check on loved ones.

How anyone can say global warming is a myth after all this crazy weather is beyond me–if you still believe that, shame on you.

My dad lost power and his cell phone battery died. I wasn’t able to get in touch with him, so I used Facebook to contact people to ride down in boats to go check on him. I can’t say how thankful I am that those people took the time and effort to do so. Our community is amazing.

I have to say, though, that we were lucky. Even though I reside in New Orleans now, my childhood home is in Port Vincent, and my dad lives there. Lots of memories in that house. I am still in complete shock, but extremely grateful that the house did not get *any* water in it whatsoever. The Old Beer Box, a neighborhood bar that is situated in front of our house, had waist-deep water in it. I do not know how our house didn’t get flooded. Maybe my dad did some sort of voodoo ritual. Maybe the house is guarded by an angel. I don’t know. But I’m thankful.

I’ll try to post some pictures here soon. Right now, it’s still making me ill looking at flooded places around Port Vincent.

Needless to say, this has been the first time I’ve written anything other than an email in two weeks. But I’m determined to get back to it. There’s lots to write. And especially since Black Feathers Falling is set in Louisiana, I need to do the story and its setting some justice. Living here is bittersweet, and the story will reflect that.

Super duper news

I started What Lies Within years ago when I was working at a library on a college campus. I had a one-sided window, and one day, I witnessed a couple fighting. The guy stormed off and the girl watched him for a moment, then proceeded to follow him. She had the strangest look in her eye…

Well, that morphed into a vampire short story, then a novel about two serial killers falling in love. It has gone through several edits, LOTS of missing drafts (I managed to short circuit about four computers in five years), doubts and worry. I even threw up a couple of times while writing it. It’s not easy having those kinds of characters floating around in your head.

So, needless to say, I was pretty thrilled when I finally found a publisher! Caliburn Press picked it up, and I’m super excited because they’re under new ownership and everyone is working hard to make things happen. I’ve connected with a few other Caliburn authors on Twitter–a cool bunch of folks.

I’m expecting it to take a while with edits and such, but whatever. I have plenty of stuff to work on in the meantime. Black Feathers Falling will be completed and published by Crescent City Crypt Press very soon (hopefully by the end of the year) and I have a couple of short stories I’m shopping around.

Anyway, if you want to get a hint of what What Lies Within is all about, check out Five Little Deaths–the last death will tell you all about Sophia and Claude and their disturbing antics.

The Neon Demon: They Only Want you when you’re seventeen

When you’re 21, you’re no fun.

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Modeling, blood and jealousy, oh my! Los Angeles can be pretty damn cutthroat–it seems like everyone there is out to get you no matter what you do, and that’s certainly the case for Jesse, a teen who has just moved to the city to make it big in the modeling biz. She meets makeup artist Ruby, who introduces her to fembots Sarah and Gigi. The fembots are NOT happy about this angelic newcomer. She’s stealing all the gigs, damnit!

So what is a used-up fembot to do in a situation like this? Devour the competition, of course.

This flick has some slow spots, but they’re quite atmospheric and beautiful with a backdrop of vampy electronic music that will hypnotize you. This film has a little bit of everything: a creepy motel owner ready to prey on young girls, bloodthirsty blonde models, lesbian necrophilia, eyeball eating, and innocence lost.

It’s not your typical slasher flick. It will leave you thinking, “what the fuck?” And it may even make you think beyond that.

For me, this hit a personal nerve (you can read about my personal experience with modeling here) and it made me think about Second Skin quite a bit. I only made one real friend when I lived out in L.A. (and she’s AWESOME, by the way) and it certainly felt like  a dog eat dog–or model eat model–world out there. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not dogging on L.A., but I did feel like The Neon Demon encapsulated the landscape in a shockingly real way.

Check it out if you like your horror atmospheric and thought-provoking.

Venting time!

Keeping up with querying, writing my next novel and social media (and a real social life) has been exhausting. I haven’t been participating in Twitter and Goodreads as much as I usually do, but I’ve been getting a good deal of writing done. That will continue to be the goal this summer, so I don’t know how much tweeting or blogging I’ll be doing over the next few months.

I’ve also started Invisalign, another exhausting endeavor. I’m not experiencing as much pain as I expected, but I have to keep reminding myself that I have a strange pain threshold–I can go for days plodding along through pain before realizing what’s bothering me. Invisalign has also made me realize that basic human functioning is a TEDIOUS thing–there is so much we have to do to take care of our own physical bodies (eat, go to the gym, brush teeth, blah blah blah) and I am sick of it.

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I don’t know how else to explain it, but I feel like life on the physical plane is so annoying and tiring.

Anyway, I’m also preparing for an upcoming trip to Costa Rica, so I’m trying to ensure I’m in tip-top physical condition. I think for our trip to Paris, I was worn down and stressed over my grandfather’s death, so I fell ill in the middle of our trip. We still went out and did plenty of things, but I don’t feel like I got to enjoy them as much as I could have.

That trip made me realize that I need to slow down a little more. I’ve been sleeping A LOT lately, something that is rare for me, but very welcome at this point.

Until next time,

xx

Almost Mercy: Merciless, Bloody Revenge!

Almost Mercy is one I’m still processing. It’s one of those horror movies that makes you think–it’s not your typical ‘tormented teenager takes revenge’ a la Carrie, which made it pretty damn interesting to me. There’s also the case of nature vs. nurture–do people really inherit psycho traits, or are their behaviors shaped by society?

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Jackson and Emily are different, and that’s what helps them bond together like glue. Throughout the film, they’re both portrayed as total outcasts in a grim town in B.F.E. Throughout the film, we get glimpses into their tortured lives. And believe me, Jackson and Emily go through some really fucked up shit. If high school was hell for you, too, you’ll definitely be able to empathize with their characters.

Both Jackson and Emily reach their breaking points and seek out revenge in the most horrific way possible: by inflicting torture and pain on the ones who have hurt them the most. Without giving away the ending, I’ll just say this: Emily is…um…a damn good friend?

This film was visually striking and set in a bleak atmosphere, but there is something disturbingly beautiful about it. It made me think about why we never discuss the reasons behind school shootings. It made me think about what today’s kids face in school. And it made me reflect upon my own high school years (cringe).

I know it’s not well-reviewed so far, but I really enjoyed this one. If you’re a Netflixer, check it out and let me know what you think.

Second Skin: The Truth

I’m getting some questions here and there about whether or not there’s some truth to Second Skin, and I feel like I’m ready to talk about it now.

Yes, I was a model. Yes, I lived in L.A. and wrote articles and stories about sex. And yes, I was with a guy, someone I should have ended things with long ago, and I was very unhappy. And I had been unhappy for quite some time.

Let me give you a little bit of background. My mother became really ill, I got depressed, took a lot of drugs, struggled with an eating disorder, and I was in a haze for a long time after she died. I was also processing a few things that had happened in my childhood, but I kept everything bottled up inside.

Flash forward to a few years later, I moved with a guy to Los Angeles because things were not working out for us in Austin. When I told one of my friends, he warned me to be careful–a young socialite he’d heard of had been drowned in a bathtub at a party years ago. She was working her way up to be a model, an actress…anything to make it in Hollywood.

That story saddened me. I thought about it the entire time I was living there.

Those events inspired me to write the story, but Second Skin is basically the seed of my upcoming novel, “What Lies Within.” WLW is mostly from a female serial killer’s point of view, but SS is from a victim’s point of view.

‘Second skin’ is sort of a metaphorical term for me. It represents a mask that I had to put on every day–and truly, it felt like I got to hide behind all the makeup I’d often wear. It represents the strange kind of vanity people assume when they try to make it in the world, the things we do just to get by and make money, and how gritty and dark life can get.

I’m in a totally different place now. L.A. was not for me. I love my New Orleans life–being near friends, family, my wonderful partner and having a career as a librarian and author has been very fulfilling. But I will never let go of the dark. I believe it is one of life’s greatest teachers.