Since January, I have had the great fortune of teaching a 15 week course in Horror & Suspense Writing at Seton Hill University. As their final project, the students were asked to create a multimedia story. I am happy to share the great results below!
- Tyler Carter, “The Lost Man” (short film)
- Sarah Lago, “Eradicate” (short film)
- SarahTantlinger, “When the Sky Turns Red” (short film)
- Michael Ingram, “Grave” (short film)
- Calvin Yoder, “Stuck” (short film)
- Jeannie Bujdos, “Germs” (short film)
- Jessica Walker, “Indulgence” (short film)
- Ashley Samek, “An Unexpected Guest” (short film)
- Brendan Monahan, “Sea of Bones” (short film)
- Jered W. Johnston, “The Nightmare Man” (short film)
- Sarah Last, “Project” (short film)
- Felicia Domasky, “Herrington’s Tragedy” (short film)
- Stephen Ray, “The Voice that was Silenced” (short film)
- Jade Woodridge, “Children of the Night” (short film)
- Kayla Lent, “Decomposed” (short film)
- Holly Reid, “Meat” (story trailer/vid)
- Esther Spurlock, “Murder My Tears” (hypertext story)
- Shelly Decker, “Convening with the Spirits” (hypertext story)
- Allyssa Yanniello, “Choices” (hypertext story)
- Angie LaVelle, “Killing Fate” (downloadable game)
My class had a lot of fun all term, composing all sorts of terrifying and insane tales. You can also see their drawings of monsters online, too, such as their interpretations of the character “X” from Matheson’s “Born of Man and Woman,” or their fun contributions to the Cthulhu mythos, based on the spelling of their last names backwards. I suspect some of their tales will also be published in various magazines and books in the near future for you to read, as well!
666 Across: 4-letter word for nerd.
I’m just kidding… I’m only an occasional puzzler, but I fully approve of The Grid Reaper. Spotted it at Barnes and Noble the other day and felt it was required to take a snap shot, because I am compelled to catch publishers trying to cash in on goth and horror conventions that have absolutely nothing to do with the content of their books (such as Zombie Sudoku). But this one is actually legit. Its author, NY Times puzzle consructor David Kahn, thematizes the puzzles he writes for the NY Times and elsewhere in the form of tributes to celebrities after they die, among other things. (For example, here’s one he did for Dick Clark, reprinted in the neat NY Times in Gothic blog). He’s quite talented at this sort of thing — obituary games? — and deserves nothing but respect for it.
Besides, the reaper in that cover is a cool tribute to horror comics of the 50′s. But more importantly, I think I need that particular brand of scythe!
These “puzzles to die for” are available on amazon.com for around $7. If you die for them, though, then it’ll cost you more.
Of course, I also approve of the impossible-to-find book, Backpack Power’s In-CRUD-ible Gross-word Puzzles by “I. Seymour Crudd,” too — which at one point refers to a puzzle as a “pustule.” Gotta love that. Though I hate to depart with it, I will be tearing pages out of my recently discovered copy of this book and sending them at random to readers when I correspond with them by snail mail. If that’s you, enjoy!
Many see the Freaksicord as if it were a mirage when they first encounter it. It stands — astonishingly — like a walking stomach. Only as an afterthought does one notice the head, which dangles somewhere down below. Its head is so heavy with teeth, the neck can not bear its weight, and the head sometimes swings on its stalk like a pendulum between the beast’s stocky legs. Many presume that they might die between those muscular jaws, but what they don’t realize is that the neck, wings and head together function like a lever, lifting pray up into the air only to drop it back down onto the horns that protrude from a place near the bloated tic-like stomach. Blood is absorbed by the Freaksicord’s skin. It needs no mouth to consume you.
Thanks to Quinto Martin, who ran a teaching-with-technology training session this week at Seton Hill University on the subject of games in education. We installed Maxis’ free trial edition of the popular Spore Creature Creator. “You could have students make creatures and then write stories about them,” Martin suggested, pointing out the various character traits that can be manipulated in the software. He asked us to try it ourselves and submit what we came up with. The above was mine, which I thought I’d share here.
I think I was getting hungry when I wrote this. I also think the wings should be where ears might appear on the sides of the golf-club-shaped head.
Maybe I’ll try this activity next time I teach my undergraduate course in Horror and Suspense Writing.
Brought to you by [adult swim] games, so you know that it’s weird. In fact, they’ve got a LOT of crazy games even weirder and more deplorable than this one. Like 5 Minutes to Kill Yourself, a classic favorite.
Getting hungry? Time to partake in the Orphan Feast!
Scuttlebuggery is a stylishly steampunk online promotional game for the goth band Johnny Hollow, brought to you by the geniuses at My Pet Skeleton Productions (maker of “A Murder of Scarecrows” featured here awhile back).
In this game you play a scuttlebug — a round beetle who must figure out how to push bubbles of absinthe toward a drain, dodging beetles and fluttering moths along the way. It’s like soccer for scarabs. And though it sounds like child’s play, it is a Sisyphean challenge that will likely make you appreciate the vast labor of the insect world, scuttling all around us when we’re not paying much attention. Happy Halloween!
“Monster Evolution” is a clever online game from Nob Studio, in which you terrorize a city eating humans — and if you eat enough of them, you can “evolve” into creatures with special powers and take out the shooters and tanks that come after you.
It’s like Cloverfield meets John Carpenter’s The Thing. Almost.
Try “Monster Evolution” for yourself, and play God(zilla) for awhile: http://www.nobstudio.com/games.html?fid=&gid=18
Remember Telephone — the “pass it down” game of crazy miscommunication from your youth? Well you no longer have to get uncomfortably close to your neighbor to whisper into their ear. Broken Picture Telephone is an ingenious game of text and stick figure drawing that will have you laughing for hours. It involves responding to obscure messages by drawing what they say — and vice versa — until you get a very bizarre story reminiscent of David Lynch’s surrealism. For example, my first test of the game gave me the sticky note above (“a smiling bowl of meatballs with feet says hi to a tumble dryer”). This scenario is a description of a drawing I haven’t seen (using drawing tools conveniently available on the site). In response to the above, I had to depict said meatballs and dryer having a conversation using my lame pictionary-esque skills. I’m waiting to see how this gets misinterpreted, but I’m sure the resulting series will be HILARIOUS. Virtually every randomly visited game I’ve seen is pretty darned funny.
I’m signed up as ‘gorelets’ and already issued a note of my own: “A zombie falls in love with a brain.” I’ll post an update when the final storyboard is complete! In the mean time, come join the weirdness at Broken Picture Telephone.
I should be working, but how can I when there are maniac clowns on the loose?
The new “MySpace for Horror Fans Only” website, The Haunt, hosts a bounty of online “flash” games you can play online for free in their macabre Arcade section. I’m not too old to admit I thoroughly enjoyed the silly survivalist massacre known as Clown Killer 2. After a ten minute session, I became the champion player of CK2 with a new high score…which will surely be defeated soon by some John Wayne Gacy wannabe who has more time on his or her plastic-gloved hands.
But if you’re afraid of The Haunt, you can also play this game on the original programmer’s website at 2DPlay.com.
If shooting a frail little kittie out of a high-powered cannon is your idea of fun, then just wait until you try Dan Fleming’s “Kitten Cannon” game — where the aim is not only to watch the fuzzball fly, but to make that feline soar as far as possible by ricocheting its body off of trampolines, bombs, and TNT stockpiles…but look out for the Venus Fly Traps and metal spike pits!
I’m a cat lover and I can’t seem to stop playing this game long enough to finish my letter to the ASPCA. Ah well, maybe it isn’t so bad: this tortured tabby has wayyyy more than nine lives.
My best distance to date: 1182 ft.