UPDATED: Andrew Divoff debuts new beer, raises funds for MFTAC

Andrew shows off his certificate of appreciation at the 8th Annual Lake Arrowhead Brewfest.

Once again, Wishmaster star Andrew Divoff poured his Djinn’s Hellabrew (read about last year’s pour here), and debuted a new beer, MYSTIC, which is a stout subtly flavored with Caribbean spices.

In the video below, Andrew and other brewers receive awards and special recognition for their participation in the Brewfest. Andrew also talks about his charity fundraiser, the Mountain Film and Theater Arts Committee, which provides scholarships to individuals who wish to pursue a career in the performing arts. Andrew’s work for charity over the years has been inspiring, with 100% of the proceeds from his beer and event merchandise supporting non-profits such as Smile Train and Operation Provider. We are happy to announce that Andrew met his fundraising goal for MFTAC this year!

Join the Horror Amino community!

I have a quick announcement and endorsement! For the past several months, I have been a member of Horror Amino. And I’m proud to announce that I have recently been added as a verified member representing My Horrific Life.

What is Horror Amino, you ask?

Horror Amino is a social media platform connecting over 100,000 horror fans from across the globe. If you want to connect with people who love horror, or read posts about horror without having to sift through a ton of unrelated material (as you would on Facebook, for instance), this is the place for you. Best yet, the admins do a great job at keeping the community troll free and DRAMA FREE.

What Horror Amino is not: It is no longer a place for roleplay and posts about Creepypasta. If you dig Creepypasta, there are other Amino communities for that. In fact, there seem to be Amino communities for everything under the sun.

It is not a dating app. It is definitely not a sexting app. I am beyond happy to say that there is a strict “no creep” policy in which people who send or request nude selfies , dick pics, etc. will have screenshots of their creepy messages posted for the whole community to see. After 24 hours of public shaming, they will be banned entirely from the community. Even though some idiot tried to argue with me about this policy (which I did not create), saying that it was a conspiracy on the part of the MAN HATERS and THE GAYS to keep straight people from finding “love,” Horror Amino members who want to engage in sexting can move that action to Snapchat. 

In short, the community is set up to limit discussions ONLY to horror. No B.S. attention-seeking. No selfie’s (except for FX work). No weed memes. No posts about depression or suicide. No illegal or just gross “dark web” images. And best yet, no political arguments. It’s like an oasis for horror lovers.

You can download the Horror Amino app on iTunes or Google Play.

Hanging out with suspension artists at the KC Villain Arts Tattoo Convention

The Enigma pulls off a blindfolded stunt with a live chainsaw. (Photo from http://www.theenigmalive.com).

I’m going to preface this post by saying that I normally would not have considered going to a tattoo convention. Although I enjoy well-executed tattoos on other people, I have zero tattoos and have no intention of getting any. Likewise, I am minimally pierced with no plans to get additional piercings. That said, I’m glad I went to the 3rd Annual Kansas City Tattoo Convention by Villain Arts.

A victim of the volcanic eruption at Pompeii: The Exhibit.

What made this trip great for me was the quality of live performances, along with local sightseeing. Because I seek out morbid attractions, I attended Pompeii: The Exhibition at the Union Station. Of course the fate of the the ancient city was gruesome, but the glimpse into the daily lives of Pompeii’s inhabitants was fascinating and more technologically advanced than one would expect. Although the exhibit is no longer in Kansas City, I highly recommend seeing it at its next location.

At the tattoo convention itself, it was very cool to meet The Enigma, whom I immediately recognized from a popular episode of The X-Files. The Enigma’s live performance combined stand-up comedy with gross-out stunts, along with sideshow staples such as sword-swallowing. He best describes his own act by observing that stage magicians make the audience ask “how?,” whereas sideshow artists like himself make audiences ask “why?'”. I should also mention that he is an utter sweetheart in person.

Burlesque artist Marlo Marquise. Photo by Gary Heller.

But the most shocking things happened during the late night performances, starting with burlesque artist Marlo Marquise, who combined a striptease act with stunts similar to those performed by The Enigma earlier in the day. But then she went a few steps beyond his performance by balancing on machetes and piercing her own skin with metal skewers. Her other acts include fire-eating,  a “burlesque on hooks” suspension act, and balancing on a staircase of machetes. You can watch clips of her performances at her website (NSFW).

After Marlo’s performance, there was a series of “suspension acts,” by three different women, one of whom had never tried it before. Although I had seen videos of suspension on TV, it was entirely different seeing such performances live. I’m not ordinarily a squeamish person. After all, I’ve assisted in dozens of autopsies, served victims of violent crime in emergency rooms, and once worked for a funeral home. But for some reason, I initially found seeing these women hanging from hooks in their skin to be disturbing. I feared their skin would rip, causing them to fall from a significant height. It also looked incredibly painful. Yet, the performers appeared to be having fun.

Marlo balances on a staircase of machetes, from her Youtube page.

The following day, I talked to some of the performers about what it is like to be suspended, and their answers made me more comfortable with the idea of trying it someday myself. But don’t take my word for it. I’m happy to announce that our next podcast guest will be Marlo Marquise herself! She will be discussing her unique stage performance and clearing up misconceptions about suspension art. In the meantime, read this article from The Atlantic to learn more about the 5,000-year-old art.

 

El Paso Comic Con with Camille Keaton, and horrific sight-seeing

I’m back from my weekend with Camille Keaton of I Spit On Your Grave at El Paso Comic Con, and what a fun trip it was! Camille is a true friend, and it was great to see her again after a three years.

I’m also pleased to announce that Camille will be our special guest on the next My Horrific Life Podcast, where she will discuss her early film career in Italy, behind-the-scenes info about I Spit on Your Grave, and everything she’s allowed to tell us about the official direct sequel, called I Spit on Your Grave: Deja Vu (now in post-production). Just the fact that an official sequel has been made, not to mention the existence of a remake and its franchise, is proof that the Law of Attraction and vision boards really work. Because I’ve been trying to manifest these movies through sheer mental energy for at least the last 15 years.

With Camille at her El Paso Comic Con booth

This was actually my first Comic Con. The comic book world is not exactly my forte, but I was pleased to see other horror genre guests, including Kevin Grevioux (Underworld) and Nicholas Brendon (Buffy), and some cool vendors such as a reptile rescue/mobile petting zoo called Island of Misfit Morphs.

The Island of Misfit Morphs offers “reptile parties.”

Of course, there’s no point in traveling if you can’t see local points of interest. On some level, I wanted to visit Juarez, Mexico, as I had studied the hundreds of femicides that had occurred there since the 1990s, but due to the explosion of violence in Juarez within the last decade, it simply wasn’t safe to go. I asked several El Paso locals what they thought of Trump’s proposed border wall, given that they share the border with Juarez. They all said that the wall simply isn’t necessary for El Paso due to the strong military presence nearby and the fact that virtually everyone has a concealed carry permit. Apparently the drug dealers and violent criminals from Juarez avoid causing trouble in El Paso, because they know that the people of El Paso won’t put up with their shit. In fact, El Paso was rated the safest city in the U.S. for the fourth year in a row.

The text on the mountain advises the residents of Juarez, “The Bible is the truth. Read it.”

The downtown area has a number of interesting art galleries and museum, including the El Paso Holocaust Museum, which ended up being my first stop. This museum is excellent, with interactive exhibits and mini-documentaries in each room. As expected it is also emotionally grueling, especially the death camp exhibits. The tour ends on an uplifting note, with a series of resistance and survivor stories. Visit their website for more images from their exhibits, as well as information about the museum founder, Henry Kellen, who was himself a Holocaust survivor.

Anti-Semitic propaganda published by the Nazi Party.

A Tree of Life sculpture in the Survivor Stories room

Other museums had moments of gruesomeness in otherwise benign exhibits. One example being the death mask of Pancho Villa on display at the El Paso History Museum.

The death mask of Pancho Villa

Special thanks to J’sin and Eva for their hospitality and for showing us around the town. I recommend visiting Deadbeach Brewery and shopping at Dreadful Things, a horror boutique, tattoo parlor, art gallery, and reading room.

A 1920s sideshow banner hand painted by Fred J. Johnson

One of several original art pieces on display at Dreadful Things
Dreadful Things has an element of visual overload
A few of the goodies available for purchase. I picked the Cheshire Cat purse.

That’s all for now! Be sure to come back soon for our podcast interview with Camille Keaton, and a special focus on Hammer films for the month of May.

 

 

 

 

Love is Dead, and so is 2016

After a mild illness and a whole lot of work, I’m back! We will be bringing you reviews of Christmas-themed horror films and novels (be sure to check out our recent podcast) as the holidays draw near. But also, since 2016 is almost dead, it seems fitting to feature discussion of all things related to necrophilia. OK, it’s a bit self-serving as the book to which I contributed, Understanding Necrophilia: A Global Multidisciplinary Approach, is now in print.

Come back tomorrow for a review of that book, but in the meantime, do you remember that time Alice Cooper and Ann Landers had an argument about his song “Cold Ethyl,” with Landers titling her column with the rebuke, “Necrophilia not funny, Alice”?

…Let’s agree to disagree, Ann.

Landers issues her complaint a few years after “Cold Ethyl” appeared on Cooper’s solo debut Welcome To My Nightmare. And it was not the first time Cooper recorded a song about necrophilia. “I Love the Dead” (performed live in the video below) was featured in the band’s 1973 album Billion Dollar Babies.

These American Horror Story-Themed Dresses Completed Me

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Meeting Piper Laurie at Horrorhound

For a long time, I sensed a void in my life. Everything thing seemed meaningless and without purpose. Just as I had given up hope, a ray of sunlight struck the window of the local Hot Topic and what I saw gave me a reason to live. There was a hole in my soul shaped like an American Horror Story-inspired party dress covered in surgical tool print.

As it turns out, Midnight Hour created five dresses for Hot Topic, each dress inspired by each season of American Horror Story. I nabbed the Asylum Doctor dress (above) and the Freak Show dress (below).

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Freak Show dress as shown on the Hot Topic website.

Other clothes in the series include a Murder House maid dress, a Hotel bellhop dress, and a Coven dress coat. All of these are still currently available on the Hot Topic website.

Review: The Beauty of Horror Coloring Book

Adult coloring books have been all the rage for some time now, with adherents claiming that coloring helps with stress relief, creativity, or reminds them of the simple nostalgia for childhood coloring activities. I’ve tried a few coloring books and found them more stress-inducing, because the tiny, intricate patterns are maddening, or because I’m not sure which colors to use.

But finally, I’ve found a coloring book that satisfies my aesthetic preferences AND takes the guesswork out of my color palette, because one only needs various hues of red, brown, and gray. Alan Robert’s The Beauty of Horror: A GOREgeous Coloring Book is definitely an adult coloring book given its intricate illustrations of decomposing corpses, sea monsters, homicidal clowns, torture, and labyrinths of entrails.

One of my colored pages is pictured below. There is something truly soothing about coloring in blood stains!

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