Horrifying Cosplay As Good As Anything In The Movies

(Image Via kashikosa)

Most online news sources use the term “cosplay” to mean simply the act of wearing a costume, meaning cosplayers, who craft their own costumes and accessories, are unfairly lumped in with models wearing professionally made costumes. 

(Image Via Ilja Hubalek)

It's just one of those things you have to accept when reading articles online, like the overuse of Steampunk or calling anything pixelated 8-Bit, and we cannot forget that the costumes are the point of these articles after all. 

This collection of creepy cosplay features a few professionally costumed models and a bunch of cosplayers, and it's a good source of inspiration for those who like their Halloween costumes horrifying, or a cosplayer trying to decide what to wear to the next convention.

(Image Via Judith Stevens)

See more Creepy Cosplay That's As Horrifying As Anything We See In The Movies at io9

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The Ice Bucket Challenge Is Now a Halloween Costume

Will the ALS's Ice Bucket Challenge still be popular by Halloween? The online store Brands on Sale is counting on it. It sells a costume that looks like you're constantly under the bucket--as long as you have the strength to hold it over your head.

The costume comes with a plastic bucket, an ice cube tray, and a plastic film that vaguely resembles water pouring over your body.

Brands on Sale says that it will donate $10 for every purchase of this $39.99 costume.

Bonus Item: Star Trek actor Patrick Stewart offers this elegant, dignified response to the ice bucket challenge.

(Video Link)

-via Huffington Post

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Guys Create Their Own Makeup Transformations With A Comedic Twist

Guys don’t usually wear makeup, although some are partial to wearing eyeliner or a bit of concealer, but the allure was simply too strong for these guys to resist, so they started their own makeup transformation movement on Instagram and Twitter using #makeuptransformation. 

The trick is to apply makeup to an ordinary face to make it look more like a famous face, like _rizzo_'s smoldering transformation into reality TV star Chris Jenner:

Sometimes the transformations are complete, like shaquiiii’s full coverage metamorphosis into singer/model Ciara:

Other times the photos are more like a walkthrough of what must be done to become the celeb, like bigfansofginuwine’s steps to becoming R&B singer Tyrese:

And then there are the simply hilarious, ridiculous, broad humor takes on movie characters like Mary Lee Johnson (mother of Precious) and Loc Dog from Don’t Be A Menace…, as portrayed by _tonid and @_taesteezy respectively:

Where will this hilarious trend go from here? Hopefully deeper down the internet rabbit hole, because some of these guys would make perfect LOLCats!

-Via Distractify

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27 Photos That Show The Transformative Power Of Makeup

(Image Via Imgur)

Using makeup seems like a ridiculous habit to some, a must before leaving the house to others, and although everyone can agree that Halloween/special effects style makeup is really cool looking, not everyone sees eye-to-eye on the idea of covering your true face with a bunch of cosmetics.

(Image Via Dailymail)

Makeup is a powerful tool for visually altering or enhancing facial features, and The San Francisco Globe's article 27 Photos That Demonstrate The Power Of Makeup clearly shows how makeup artists earn their artist title- by creating some rather incredible facial transformations.

(Image Via Tina Yong)

So, whether you think wearing makeup is fun and necessary, or a total waste of time and effort, these photos clearly demonstrate why so many people still wear makeup every day, and why some feel naked leaving home without it.

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Scooby-Doo Baddies Replaced With Famous Movie Slashers

Those creeps and ghouls who chased Scooby-Doo and the gang around weren’t all that scary, because the adventures had to stay kid friendly, but what if some of horror’s most infamous slashers had co-starred in those Scooby Doo mysteries?

Scenes from the show might have looked an awful lot like these ghoulishly great artworks by illustrator Travis Falligrant, aka IB Trav, and the little viewers at home would've had nightmares for the rest of their lives.

Trav clearly wasn't impressed by the original Scooby-Doo baddies, so he raised the stakes by adding actual slashers like Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees to the classic cartoon mystery, careful to keep that signature Hanna-Barbera style in each character design.

It's a good thing real horror movie slashers weren't included in the original show, or the gang probably wouldn't have made it past the first season!

-Via Bloody Disgusting

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The Monster - Frankenstein, You Are The Father!

The Monster by Marinasinger Designs

First he came alive in Doctor Frankenstein's laboratory, then he came to life on the big screen and filled audiences full of wonder and dread. Now The Monster has come alive on this classically styled t-shirt, will the masses be able to handle your monstrous fashion sense, or will they run screaming in terror as you walk around town showing Frankenstein's Monster some love?

You don't have to be a monster to appreciate a good monster movie, and it's a sure bet that your fellow fiends will love this The Monster t-shirt by Marinasinger Designs, bring one home and scare up some smiles!

Visit Marinasinger Designs's Facebook fan page and official website, then head on over to his NeatoShop for more scary good designs:

Don't Panic I Can't Keep Calm, I'm Italian Pocket Princess Not The Messiah

View more designs by Marinasinger Designs | More Funny T-shirts | New T-Shirts

Are you a professional illustrator or T-shirt designer? Let's chat! Sell your designs on the NeatoShop and get featured in front of tons of potential new fans on Neatorama!

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A Brief History of the Ouija Board

No matter what you’ve been told, the original ouija boards were not ancient, nor were they based on an ancient tradition. They were a fortunetelling trick that grew out of the American spiritualism movement. They were first marketed as a fad that was a simple do-it-yourself project.

In 1886, the New York Daily Tribune reported on a new talking board being used in Ohio. It was 18 by 20 inches and featured the alphabet, numbers, and the words yes, no, good evening, and goodnight; the only other necessary object was a “little table three or four inches high … with four legs” that the spirits could use to identify letters. The brilliance of the board was that anyone could make it—the tools suggested in the article are “a jack-knife and a marking brush."

But of course, it didn’t take too long for someone to think of patenting the ouija board as a game of sorts. Read the story of where the ouija board came from, and how it ended up on toy store shelves, at mental_floss. 

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More Comic Con 2014 Cosplay

(YouTube link)

You saw our massive gallery of photographs from Comic Con this morning. Do you want to see more awesome costumes from Comic Con? Check out this video from Sneaky Zebra, which features photographs by Nick Acott. Acott also took the pictures in Geeks Are Sexy’s 2014 Comic Con galleries. See lots of photographs from Friday in part one, Saturday in part two, and Sunday in part three. Oh, and there’s a contest attached to this video. Find out more at the YouTube page, where you’ll also get a list of the identified cosplayers in the video.

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Some Of The Strange Things You Can Find On Etsy

Etsy is the online marketplace for all things handmade, and they don’t have many restrictions on what you can sell on their site, meaning lots of strange things can be found for sale on Etsy.

Have you been looking for a necklace and morbid conversation piece in one? Maybe you need this Large Intestine Necklace with Guts.

How about a mask to wear that will both conceal your identity and cause a public disturbance? Sad Rooster Sack Mask to the rescue. This is actually one of the less creepy masks on Etsy...

Looking for a gift for a loved one who really hates the holidays? Merry Christmas, here’s your Alaskan Moose Nugget Christmas Ornament! Believe it or not, there are quite a few pieces of moose poop jewelry for sale on Etsy.

Check out the rest of the strange Etsy items that made it into The Soup's Whatsy? collection

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LEGO Boba Fett Costume

A member of The Dented Helmet forum made his 6-year-old son a Boba Fett LEGO minifig costume! He says,

I recently (semi) completed a Lego Boba Fett (Lego set 9496 - Desert Skiff) costume for my 6 year old son. We took the costume for a trial run at a local toycon this past Sunday. I still have to finish building the arms and blaster, as well as tweaking a few things such as the cape fabric. I approached the components of this project as if they were actual Lego elements. In doing so, I created the jetpack to be removable as it appears in the actual minifigure as well as the range finder stalk. The entire costume is built from scratch using photo references and scans I took myself. The costume is built primarily out of sintra with pink insulation foam used to carve the helmet dome and a small amount of plastazote foam used on the tips and base of the jetpack rockets. Torso and leg graphics are printed on adhesive vinyl while a custom green was used to colour match the helmet and jetpack. I would be happy to post progress photos of the build if anyone is interested in seeing the journey. Oh!, and there may soon be a certain someone, frozen in a certain something being pushed around by Lego Fett ; )

You can see plenty of pictures, including many taken during the build process at the forum thread. -via Laughing Squid

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Sixteen Hot New Eye Make-Up Looks

Looking to get potential love interests to actually look you in the eyes?

Then you should consult this handy illustrated chart featuring 16 Hot New Eye Make-Up Looks, created by Gemma Correll for the sake of those poor souls who keep leaving the house without some totally eye catching eye make-up slathered around their eyes.

With hot new looks like the Stormy Eye, Smoky Bacon eye, and (my personal fave) the Eye of Nietzsche you can knock ‘em dead with a wink, and the person you’ve got your eye on won’t be able to keep their eyes off of your eyes!

Grab some bacon, and a Sharpie, and a copy of the Necronomicon, and start applying your eye make-up the Gemma way today!

-Via Pleated Jeans

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Lowcost Cosplay Is Back, And Just As Budget Conscious As Ever

Anucha "Cha" Saengchart has created his own unique version of cosplay, which doesn't involve fancy costumes, super realistic accessories created out of Worbla, or incredibly detailed make-up. In fact, Cha's Lowcost Cosplay is created with supplies he typically finds around the house:

Cha's vision of cosplaying means turning anything and everything into a cosplay element, such as this fancy Jason Voorhees mask fashioned out of a plastic spoon, or this "amazingly realistic" Mystique cosplay created with some sort of blue tape and a shower cap:

Now that's the kind of cosplay people who are too broke to buy supplies, or unskilled in the ways of the sewing machine and friendly plastics, can get behind- cosplay for the sake of your own amusement!

And the best part is- nobody has to see your creation when you're done, unless you're brave enough to post your own version(s) of Lowcost Cosplay to the net, in which case please share it with us in the comment section!

-Via Fashionably Geek

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This Is A Really Crappy Look

It’s unclear whether the guy in this photo was trying to be ironic by wearing a necklace adorned with fake doggy doo to some (I’m guessing) fashionable event, or if he’s simply the proud owner of a novelty company that specializes in realistic looking dog mess.

Hopefully he’s just the proud owner of a gag gifts company, happily displaying his wares so the world can see how versatile rubber poop can be, but he's probably just some fashionable fop who thought he was being "edgy" by slinging rubber crap around his neck.

Well, if you see a new line of clothing called Crapay (or something equally odious) you’ll know who’s behind the label!

-Via Cheezburger

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Six Facts You Might Not Know About Bruce Campbell And The Evil Dead

Well before Ash worked at S-Mart, donned a chainsaw arm, and shared the value of owning a good Boomstick, he was just a guy hanging out with his friends in a cabin in the woods, trying to score with a girlfriend he was ultimately forced to decapitate with a shovel.

Sam Raimi’s seminal horror flick The Evil Dead changed the way many viewers saw the horror genre- it added a much needed dose of humor, successfully launched a franchise still wildly popular with fans to this day, and helped kickstart the career of Bruce Campbell, which is an amazing contribution in itself!

Celebrate Bruce’s belated birthday with 6 Things You Probably Don’t Know About Bruce Campbell And The Evil Dead, it's a fun way to say "Hail to the King!" as he turns 56 years young.

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Nosferatu Condensed Into Four Minutes

(YouTube link)

The 1922 German expressionist movie Nosferatu is a classic horror film, but it’s an hour and a half long. Of course, everyone should see it all the way through at least once, but if you’ve seen it before, you can relive the experience by watching this four-minute version. And, sadly, if your busy schedule and/or attention span is too short to ever get around to watching the original, this may be the closest you’ll ever get.

Mario Wienerroither condensed the whole movie using a few illustrative clips, and added some rather odd (and often comical) sound effects, which will be appealing to those folks, like my kids, who can hardly handle black-and-white, much less a silent film. Wienerroither calls this a “silentless film.” Don’t bother turning the lights off, as you’re more likely to laugh than to scream. -via Laughing Squid

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The Most Terrifying Teddy Bear Ever Created

(Video Link)

(WARNING- This video contains graphic imagery that may make it hard to sleep at night, especially if you're a fan of teddy bears! Viewer discretion is advised)

Toys are most definitely not just for kids anymore, haven’t been for quite some time really, but there’s a new teddy in town that has taken toys well into the realm of graphic horror and violence, a teddy more R-rated than the foulmouthed bear who starred in the movie Ted.

The Peek-A-Boo Bear is an animatronic teddy bear with a creepy voice and a dark secret, one which you can’t unsee, and if you invite this fuzzy little masochist to a party you’d better cover everything you own in plastic, 'cause things are about to get messy!

He was the 700th sinister teddy bear created bycustom horror toy company Undead Teds and hopefully the last one prone to committing acts of self mutilation, for the sake of the baby teddy bears out there who still have hope in their fluffy little hearts.

-Via io9

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Who's The Coolest Movie Monster Of All Time?

(Video Link)

Movie monsters started out huge, shrank down small enough to fit in your toilet then grew to massive proportions once again, yet no matter the size of the monster there are fans who will line up to see their latest on-screen appearance and continue to hail their choice for king of the monsters.

Screen Junkies host Hal Rudnick sat down with two guys who know a whole lot about movie monsters- Roger Barr, founder of I-Mockery, and horror filmmaker Eben McGarr, to discuss the coolest movie monsters of all time.

Check it out and see if any of your favorite big screen baddies made their list!

-Via Laughing Squid

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This Won't Hurt a Bit: A Painlessly Short (and Incomplete) Evolution of Execution.

As long as there have been criminals, there have been governments thinking up novel ways to execute 'em. We don't know which of the following gruesome methods the Founding Fathers had in mind with that whole ban on "cruel and unusual punishment," but we know they had plenty to choose from.

Method: Crushing by Elephant
Deadly Debut: India, 4,000 years ago. (It's probably older, but recorded history doesn't go back that far.)

A wood engraving of an execution by elephant published
in the 1868 issue of Le Tour Du Monde. (Image Credit: Wikipedia)

Pachyderms aren't natural-born killers. However, with a little training (often involving practice coconuts), they'll gladly stomp on the head of a criminal. The ancient ritual, which spread nearly everywhere elephants were found, was still in use as recently as the early years of British colonization. Crushings were usually public spectacles administered by abnormally large elephants - just in case the audience didn't find the sight of an angry Dumbo squashing a human head scary enough.

Method: Crucifixion
Deadly Debut: Nobody knows for sure. Somewhere in the Middle East, probably in the 7th century B.C.E.

"Crux simplex", a simple wooden torture stake, according De Cruce Libri Tres by Justus Lipsius (1547-1606) (Image Credit: Wikipedia)

Although forever associated with one particular execution, crucifixion was the capital punishment method of choice in much of the ancient world. Marcus Licinius Crassus probably set the all-time record for crucifixions when, after defeating Spartacus in 71 B.C.E., he had an estimated 6,000 of the gladiator's rebel slaves crucified along the Appian Way. Roman emperor Constantine the Great banned the practice in 337 C.E., but it cropped up again in the 16th century, in such places as Japan and Mexico. Today, Catholics in Iztapalapa, Mexico, crucify themselves annually as a devotional practice, removing the nails before the fatal damage is inflicted.

Method: The Brazen Bull
Deadly Debut: Siciliy, during the tryannical reign of Phalaris (570 - 554 B.C.E.)

An idea worthy of a Bond villain, the tactic involved shutting victims inside the belly of a hollow, life-size brass bull and lighting a fire below it, essentially turning the apparatus into an oven.

Legend has it that a reed-based acoustic mechanism made the victims' screams sound like a bull's bellow, while the smoke from inside blew out its nose. As for Phalaris, he eventually got an inside look at his own device when he was overthrown by Telemachus and became the bull's next meal. (Image Credit: Medievality)

Method: Ling Chi
Deadly Debut: China, around the beginning of the Song Dynasty (10th century C.E.)

Outlawed in 1905, the Chinese practice known as "death by a thousand cuts" involved binding a victim to a pole and carving into his or her arms, torso, and legs. Strangely enough, while "ling chi" translates to "degrading and slow," it's also the name of a fungus known as "the mushroom of immortality."

[Note: Image from a film by Taiwanese artist Chen Chiej-jen called Lingchi - Echoes of a Historical Photograph, interesting article in Taipei Times (warning: gruesome images)]

Method: Cave of Roses
Deadly Debut: Sweden, during the Middle Ages (circa the 13th century C.E.)

Snakes in a cave! Part execution, part nightmare, the Cave of Roses required locking victims in a dark cave filled with a smorgasbord of venomous creatures and other unpleasant creatures. With no way to escape and no way to see, the condemned knew it was only a matter of time before their movements provoked some creepy crawly to deliver a fatal bite. The Cave of Roses was finally abolished in 1772, and fortunately, Sweden grew a lot more enlightened with time. Exactly 200 years later, it became one of the first major European nations to ban the death penalty completely.

Method: Keelhauling
Deadly Debut: Holland, 1560 (when it became part of Dutch naval laws, though it was probably used earlier)

Keelhauling (Image Credit: Everyday Life in Tudor Times)

Man overboard! A punishment specific to sailors, keelhauling meant tying a man with rope, dropping him off the front of a ship, then dragging him "across the keel" from bow to stern. A long haul took several minutes, during which time the victim would drown (though being dragged along the barnacle-covered hull certainly facilitated things). Shorter hauls, conducted for less severe crimes, left sailors scarred but alive - a practice that became popular with pirates as well as government navies.

Method: Spanish Donkey (or Wooden Horse)
Deadly Debut: Spain, 17th century

Wooden horse (Image Credit: The Salacious Historian's Lair)

Used both for torture and execution, the donkey was a big hit in the Spanish military. A naked victim was forced to straddle the apparatus, which was basically a vertical wood board with a sharp V-shape wedge on top. Weights were attached to the offenders' ankles or feet, pulling them down onto the sturdy wedge until the victims split in two. Despite the name no (non-human) animals were harmed in the making of this device.

Method: Guillotine
Deadly Debut: France, 1792

Executioner assistants dismantling the guillotine inside the Santé prison after the execution of French mass-murderer Marcel Petiot in 1946 (Image Credit: The Guillotine Headquarters)

Believe it or not, this menacing machine was created as a way of making executions less painful.

Dr. Joseph Ignace Guillotin (who lent his name to, but didn't invent, the contraption) was actually an anti-death-penalty activist who suggested it as a more "humane" form of execution. And he was right - to a point. While it was France's last form of capital punishment, "last" didn't come until 1977.

The article above is reprinted with permission from mental_floss magazine (Jan-Feb 2007 issue).

Don't forget to feed your brain, subscribe to the magazine and visit mental_floss' extremely entertaining website and blog!

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Clive Cooper’s Watermelon Carvings

Vancouver sculptor and extreme pumpkin carver Clive Cooper of Sparksfly Design also carves watermelons in the off-season. Because most professionally-carved watermelons are for parties and special occasions, they tend to look “pretty.” Conversely, Cooper’s carvings are more like jack-o-lanterns: frightening, funny, and clever. See a gallery of watermelons at his site.  -via Metafilter

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The Curious Life and Times of Scarecrows

It’s probably been a few months since you thought about scarecrows, but those who use them for their stated purpose build them in the spring. You have to shoo away birds as soon as you plant seeds in the ground. An article at Modern Farmer tells us about the original business of scaring birds (and other animals) away from crops with effigies, from ancient times to today. Scarecrows also carried symbolic and even supernatural messages.

Through the ages their makers worldwide have fashioned the often maudlin-looking figure to reflect images of the occult, of customs, culture, mythology, superstitions or religion. A scarecrow hung with arms outstretched on a wooden cross echoes the crucifixion as portrayed in this etching by Jim Yarbrough. To a farmer they may simply be a symbol of the death and resurrection of the crops.

Some (such as the authors of website Occult View) suggest that the scarecrow, in addition to mirroring Christ on the cross may have originally been a severe warning, a “no trespassing” symbol, likening it to the deeds of Vlad the Impaler (so named for his reported propensity for impaling and displaying enemies) or sacrifice, an offering in turn for fertile fields. In more recent times, cartoonists have skewered politicians by depicting them as scarecrows. A British wheat farmer, hoping to scare off pigeons ravaging his crop, built a scarecrow of Lady Gaga as she appeared on the 2010 Brit Awards.

These days, you are more likely to see scarecrows as just Halloween decorations. A scarecrow can be pretty raggedy and scary by the time harvest is completed, just in time for All Hallows Eve. The overview of scarecrows concludes with an interview with contemporary scarecrow artist Pumpkin Rot. -via Digg

(Image credit: PumpkinRot)

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The Littlest Predator

(YouTube link)

Look how tiny this Predator cosplayer is! Those aliens are so cute at that age -what happens to make them so frightfully ugly when they mature? No matter, want another look?

(YouTube link)

It's difficult to hear what anyone is saying, but we found out this child was at WonderCon last month, and she is a girl.  

(Image credit: Mark Yturralde)

See a picture of the littlest Predator with her Mighty Morphin Power Ranger parents at Bleeding Cool.

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MCM Comic Con London

The spring edition of the MCM Comic Con was held in London last week, and photographer Nick Acott sought out the best cosplayers to show us. I’m not sure who this character is (help me out), but the costume is downright scary, and the attention to detail is impressive.

There were also comic book superheroes, video game characters, Disney cartoons (Frozen was big this year), and a large group of ancient warriors. See an entire gallery of the best costumes at Geeks Are Sexy.

(Image credit: Nick Acott)

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Happy The Happy Meal's Dark Past

Now that McDonalds has introduced us to their newest appetite suppressant marketing campaign mascot Happy the anthropomorphic Happy Meal the interwebs have responded in turn by revealing Happy’s sordid past.

This eye opening exposé shows the kind of company Happy used to keep, namely clowns who crave human flesh rather than burgers, bag headed slashers and dead girls who crawl out of wells.

It’s the kind of scandal large corporations like McDonalds hate to have exposed, and may spell disaster for the burger mongers when their young target audience can’t sleep at night because they're affraid Happy might be lurking under their bed!

-Via The Soup

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Woman Uses Self-Applied Makeup To Transform Into All Sorts Of Characters

Who needs a fancy costume and a latex mask when you've got a makeup kit and some incredible application skills? Makeup artist Elsa Rhae certainly doesn't seem to need much more than her kit, a reference photo and a vivid imagination, and her makeup transformations are truly spectacular!

If she walked into a room wearing her White Walker makeup people would nearly jump out of their skins, and her simple yet extremely effective makeup illusions prove becoming a terrifying creature, or eco-friendly superhero, doesn't take much more than a skillfully applied makeup and the proper attitude.

-Via 22 Words

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Afraid Of Clowns? You'll Love This Prank Video!

(Video Link)

Clowns are fun to have at a birthday party, maudlin when they’ve had too much to drink, and downright terrifying when they pop out from around the corner wielding a massive wooden mallet!

DM Pranks knows how to create a scenario that will scar people for life- start with a lonely parking structure late at night, add some unsuspecting people walking through said structure, a dummy body with an exploding head, and a clown willing to go the extra mile for a scare and you’ve got a recipe for big-top inspired terror!

(NSFW due to gore/graphic violence)

-Via SourceFed

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A House Of Horror Awaits You In "Vienna Waits For You"

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Horror movie baddies come in all shapes and sizes, but there’s one form of monster that nobody ever seems to see for what it really is, one unassuming structure that lies in wait for its next victim to move in.

The monster house is one of the most underrated villains in the horror genre, and movies like the House series and Monster House have used the spooky domicile with horrifically comedic effect, bringing the dark nature of horror home.

Vienna Waits For You is a horror comedy short by Glaciar Films, directed by Dominik Hartl, that shows why you should always have a priest on hand when you move into a new house!

-Via Laughing Squid

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The Creepiest Movie Ever Made

The following is an article from Bathroom Readers' Institute's 17th edition Uncle John's Slightly Irregular Bathroom Reader.

  Bruce Lee statue in Hong Kong (Image Credit: Inti [Flickr]) Can a dead person star in a movie? Well, if a star unexpectedly dies before film production is complete, what's the studio supposed to do - pass up a great opportunity for free publicity? Not a chance.

Big Time

In 1970 a filmmaker named Raymond Chow quit his job at Shaw Brothers Studio, Hong Kong's largest film studio at the time, and formed Golden Harvest Studios. Not long afterward he signed an up-and-coming young martial artist to play the lead in his first movie. The actor was Bruce Lee and the movie, The Big Boss, was his first feature-length kung fu film. The Big Boss shattered Hong Kong box-office records when it premiered in 1971. Lee's follow up film, Fist of Fury, was even more successful.

His third film, The Way of the Dragon, did better still when it was released in 1972. These three blockbusters put Golden Harvest on the map and helped introduce the Hong Kong film industry to the international market. In 1973 Golden Harvest became the first Hong Kong studio to partner with a major Hollywood studio when it collaborated with Warner Bros. on Lee's fourth and "final" film, Enter the Dragon. Today Golden Harvest is Hong Kong's largest and most successful movie studio. They owe much of their success to Bruce Lee.

The Clone Wars

When Lee died suddenly in July 1973, only four weeks before Enter the Dragon debuted on the silver screen, how did the studio honor him? By cashing in on the publicity surrounding his death, of course. And they weren't the only ones: Hong Kong studios flooded the market with Bruce Lee knock-off films as fast as they could make them - movies with titles like New Fist of Fury, Bruce Lee Fights Back from the Grave, Exit the Dragon, Re-Enter the Dragon, Enter Another Dragon, and Enter the Fat Dragon, starring kung fu copycats like Bruce Le, Bruce Li, Bruce Liang, and Dragon Lee.

Unfinished Business

Game of Death (1978)

But by far the strangest of these films was Game of Death, which Lee started but did not live to finish. The only parts that he completed were the fight scenes, including one with pro basketball player Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. There was no plot line in any of the finished scenes, but Golden Harvest plowed ahead anyway, taking just 11 minutes of the original fight footage and creating an entirely new movie around it, using a body double to play Bruce Lee's character Billy Lo, a movie star who refused to submit to gangsters who control the Hong Kong film industry.

Problem Solving

How do you make a movie using a dead actor? Golden Harvest tackled the problem in a number of different ways:

  • Lee's double was filmed in wide angle shots, from behind, or in the dark whenever possible.
  • Reaction shots of the real Bruce Lee, recycled from his earlier films, were spliced into the scenes with Lee's double.
  • In one scene they literally cut out a still photograph of Bruce Lee's head and pasted it on the screen over the double's head.
  • In scenes where the double does show his face, he wears a large pair of dark sunglasses and sometimes even a fake moustache and beard. In other scenes he wears a motorcycle helmet with the darkened visor pulled down.
  • The plot was written to explain the character's changed appearance: Early in the film a gangster tried to kill Billy Lo by shooting him in the face. Lo survives, but undergoes plastic surgery to repair the damage, and emerges from the hospital literally a new man.

Some Thanks

Had Golden Harvest left it at that, Game of Death would hardly be worth anyone's while. But they didn't. When Billy Lo gets shot and is rushed to the hospital, he decides to fake his own death and even arranges his funeral, so that his assailants won't know he's still alive and coming after them. Golden Harvest added this element to the plot to give them an excuse to incorporate footage of Bruce Lee's actual funeral, including close-up shots of the open casket as mourners file past. For a brief moment the camera even peeks inside the coffin, showing Lee's embalmed face - probably the only time in history that a movie star's cadaver appears in his own feature film.

Tragic Coincidence

When the gangster shoot Bruce Lee's character Billy Lo, they do it by sneaking onto the movie set where he's filming a gun battle and fill the gun with real bullets instead of blanks. Moments later, Billy is "accidentally" shot while filming the scene. Fifteen years after Game of Death premiered, in March 1993, Bruce Lee's only son, 28-year-old Brandon Lee, died on the set of the movie The Crow.

While filming a scene in which his character is shot and killed, the prop gun, supposed to be loaded only with blanks, was loaded with a real .44-caliber slug. Police concluded it was an accident resulting from the film crew's negligence: Sometimes "dummy" bullets - real bullets with the gunpowder and primer removed - are used to make it look like a gun contains real bullets. On this occasion one of the dummy bullets apparently came apart inside the gun, and a slug remained lodged in the barrel. Nobody bothered to make sure the barrel was clear before blanks were loaded into the gun. When the gun was fired at Lee, the slug shot out and struck him in the lower abdomen. He died in surgery 12 hours later.

Lesson Learned

Game of Death was unfinished when Bruce Lee died and was later finished without him. Similarly, The Crow was unfinished when Brandon Lee died and was later finished without him, using computer-generated special effects. This time the Lee family approved, believing that Brandon would have wanted the film to be completed. The footage of him being shot was left out. In fact, mindful of the way Bruce Lee's death had been exploited in Game of Death, the family had the footage destroyed. As a family spokesperson put it, "they didn't want it to fall into the wrong hands."

The grave site of Bruce and Brandon Lee in Lakeview Cemetery, Seattle, Washington. (Image Credit: dwyatt1 [Flickr]) "If you love life, don't waste time - for time is what life is made of" - Bruce Lee

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