Sunday, February 28, 2010

Photoshop Fun With "The Devil's Nightmare"

Thought I'd share a little Photoshop fun. I did a few sample magazine covers to show to a potential client. Click on the image for a closer look. What do you think? The original photo is from 1971's The Devil's Nightmare, one of my all time favorite Euro-horror films.

I scanned from a black and white image in a book, so it was already half-toned which created a few challenges. I scanned at twice the size and resolution then reduced to the target size and applied gaussian blur to soften the image closer to an actual greyscale. The black areas consist of two bitmapped images combined with a mask. The hair was achieved using a threshold layer. I brightened the levels for the skin-tone then converted to lined half-tone. I'm especially fond of the lined effect because it reminds me of John Totleben's drawing style in the Swamp Thing and Miracleman comics of the 80s. Finally, I manually painted in color using a Wacom tablet.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Monster Fan Club Ad

Anybody else remember this? This ad ran in damn near every comic book in the U.S. in the early 1970s. This particular version ran in Eerie Publications' black and white magazines, though there was a more chromatic take on it in the color comics of the time. Click on the image for a closer look.

My brother and I fired off a dollar for this. The "life size reproduction of a Movie Monster" was actually a poster of the critter from the ad. Cool but, despite his resemblance to the beastie from Curse of the Demon this guy never actually appeared in a movie. The 4x5 glossy photos were not in the slightest bit glossy and the bonus monster masks were printed on paper. Still, it was a pretty exciting package for a young monster fan.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

WARNING! Avoid "Spirits of the Fall" Like it Was a Rabid Porcupine Telemarketer

Writing a negative review of a zero budget horror flick is kind of like punching a little kid. Sure it's easy and fun, but eventually your arm gets tired. Back when I was writing Killer B's on DVD over at, I reviewed some fun low budget flicks as well as some that were flat out excruciating. On a certain level you have to respect these auteurs for completing and distributing a film with next to no cash, so even with the worst of them I would strive to find something positive to say, even if I was panning the film.

I just finished reviewing Spirits of the Fall for The Phantom of the Movies Videoscope magazine, and the movie has stuck with me like a particularly tenacious intestinal parasite. Any sympathy for the small time film maker has evaporated. The film has zero interest in entertaining and consistently fails on every level both creative and technical. I won't review the movie again here, but I'm putting this out there as a warning: this movie does not deserve to exist. Please avoid at all costs.

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