An Interview With Grainne McDermott by Gary Hindley

FotorCreated - EditedAn Interview With Grainne McDermott by Gary Hindley

I have been lucky enough to catch up with Grainne McDermott, to talk about her latest film, ‘I Know You’re In There’.

UKHS: Firstly, welcome to the UK Horror Scene and congratulations on ‘I Know You’re in There’. It’s a fantastic film, and thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it.  How are you doing today? 

Grainne McDermott: Hi! I’m doing great, thank you!

UKHS: Since it’s release, there has been a lot of buzz around ‘I know you’re in there’. Here at ‘UK Horror Scene’, we absolutely love it. What has life been like since making the film? 

Grainne McDermott: Thank you, that’s so nice to hear!! Life has been pretty cool since the film has been released. I’ve had such a nice response from people online about the film, I love to hear that I’ve creep’d them out!

IMG_3261UKHS: For your character ‘Chloe’, I know you’re doing a lot of sitting still, but did you have to do any research into how to portray the condition (Catatonic Schizophrenia) that she has? 

Grainne McDermott: I did, yes. I looked into Chloe’s diagnosis in prep for my audition to get an idea of how to move or not move. When I got the role, I talked with Robert Gordon (our writer/director) about Chloe and how he wanted her diagnosis portrayed and we collaborated on how to make her the most unsettling.

UKHS: What was it like having to sit so completely still, for such long periods of time? 

Grainne McDermott: The sitting still wasn’t so bad. The not blinking on the other hand…. Anyone up for a staring contest?

IMG_3291 - EditedUKHS: I can imagine, that there would have been times, when the director would have wanted to do multiple takes of certain scenes. What was that experience like, and was it hard to stay in character? 

Grainne McDermott: The only scenes I dreaded multiple takes of were the feeding scenes. I HATED those scenes but I really like playing creepy, so staying in character wasn’t a problem. Occasionally, I would blink and then blink blink blink and we would have to do another take. I tried really hard not to, but after 4 or 5 takes of not blinking, sometimes it just couldn’t be helped.

UKHS: You, and your co-star Will Hurst (who in the film, portrays the character of your brother Tom), were in close proximity for long periods of the movie. What was it like working with Will? 

Grainne McDermott: Will is great! We very quickly developed a brother/sister relationship and had a lot of fun in between takes.We lived in the house that we filmed in during production. We had a small cast and crew so it was very much a family unit for those three weeks.

IMG_3472UKHS: Is the horror genre something you’ve enjoyed working in, and would look to do more of? 

Grainne McDermott: I absolutely love the horror genre! My dad introduced me to the 1930’s and 40’s Universal monster movies, and the Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing, Hammer Horror Dracula movies of the 60’s. The first film I worked on (Bloody Homecoming), was a throwback to 80’s slashers, so the horror genre holds a special place in my heart. I have to say, I adore being a creep fest! I would definitely work in the genre again and again.

13920162_1763059340618134_3308006064010099912_o - EditedUKHS: What can we look forward to catching you in next? 

Grainne McDermott: I play the younger version of Chloe Dykstra’s character in the movie “Diminuendo” directed by Bryn Pryor. I’ll also appear in an episode of the horror anthology “DARK/WEB”. Both projects are expected to be out this year!

Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us. It really sounds like you’re having a lot of fun, and really enjoying working in the horror genre. I’d really like to wish you all the best for the future, and in your upcoming projects, and hopefully speak to you again soon.  

Dark Web: Steven Hickey’s Essential Guide To Creepypasta Part 37: An Exclusive Interview With Creepypasta Wiki’s Mr Dupin

DARK WEB: STEVEN HICKEY’S ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO CREEPYPASTA

PART 37: AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH THE CREEPYPASTA WIKI’S MR DUPIN

creepypastaAlong with Creepypasta.com, Reddit and 4Chan, one of the best resources for quality Creepypasta stories is the Creepypasta Wiki. With strict quality guidelines that are rigorously enforced by a number of highly-respected admins, all of whom regularly write and contribute their own stories to the Wiki. One of the most esteemed of these is long-time contributor, MrDupin, a writer with a number of very, very good stories to his name. This week, rather than look at any one story, I thought I’d talk to a true expert in the field and, I’m so grateful that MrDupin was kind enough to talk to us.

UK HORROR SCENE: Thanks so much for agreeing to speak with me. First, can you tell my readers a little bit about yourself, the creepy pasta wiki and your role there?

MRDUPIN: I am MrDupin, I’m studying Computer Science and I love writing and reading stories (especially mystery and horror). I’m also an administrator on Creepypasta Wiki, a place where writers can contribute their own horror stories for others to read. As an admin, my main role is to make sure the stories posted on the wiki are of a certain quality. I’m also working on generally maintaining the wiki, editing stories, helping out users and stuff of that nature. All in all, my role is to make the wiki an enjoyable experience for readers and writers alike, helping people improve their writing and doing my best to get aspiring writers exposure.

UKHS: What is it that drew you to creepypastas?

MrD: I always loved writing, ever since I was very young. My problem was that there was no place where I could post stories for others to read. When I found out that people on the internet were writing and posting stories online, I wanted in. I wrote and posted a couple of stories on Creepypasta Wiki, gave some feedback to some other writers, edited some work and that’s when I decided this was a place worth spending my time on.

UKHS: Why do you think creepy pasta resonates with the fandom?

MrD: Horror in general appeals to a lot of people. For some reason, people like getting scared. Creepypasta managed to bring that horror in short, digestible bits. At first they started as really short stories you could easily share around the internet to scare your friends, but with time they evolved into a more serious form of literature. A lot of very good writers try their hand at the genre and that only elevates the material. So, people who come for the quick scare of the day stay for the quality of the stories.

UKHS: What are your personal favourites?

MrD: Oh, I have too many to list here. I’ve been reading stories for a very long time and I have compiled a whole list of my favourites. Currently the number of stories on my list sits at about 50. If anyone wants to read these stories, they can go at my profile page on Creepypasta wiki. They are some very good works that I highly recommend. (http://creepypasta.wikia.com/wiki/User:MrDupin) I will now try to give a quick overview of my absolute favourites.

Of the most well known stories, probably my favourite is Psychosis. The feeling of paranoia in the story was something very foreign to me when I first read the tale. A great writer that has contributed a lot to this wiki is Humboldt (http://creepypasta.wikia.com/wiki/User:HumboldtLycanthrope). He has written a ton of bone-chilling tales, but if I had to pick my favourite, it would be The Number of Darkness (http://creepypasta.wikia.com/wiki/The_Number_of_Darkness). That story, simply put, is hard hitting. It takes demonic possession to the next level.
Another phenomenal writer, who was also an admin on the wiki for a long while (and recently got his position back), is Empyre (http://creepypasta.wikia.com/wiki/User:EmpyrealInvective). He can write in a very wide range, from hair-raising horror to stories with melancholical undertones. Some of my favourites of his work are A Small Piece of Lead (http://creepypasta.wikia.com/wiki/A_Small_Piece_of_Lead), a very emotional piece, and It Breathes, It Bleeds, It Breeds, one of the greatest parasite stories on the internet (http://creepypasta.wikia.com/wiki/It_Breathes,_It_Bleeds,_It_Breeds).

For me though, the best writer on the wiki is WriterJosh (http://creepypasta.wikia.com/wiki/User:WriterJosh). I just can’t recommend his stories enough. His story, Shut That Damned Door (http://creepypasta.wikia.com/wiki/Shut_That_Damned_Door) is, for me, the best story on the site. It took a concept so simple and familiar, shutting a door closed, and twisted it into something purely terrifying.

_thumb_51a1cd2e-69d3-4c50-9c9a-b20145b3f6d3UKHS: I’ve covered a lot of classic creepypasta stories for these Dark Web features. Can I ask your opinion on some of those that I have covered here before?

MrD: Before I begin, I want to say that most of these stories are stories that stain the image of the creepypasta genre. Currently we have stories that are far superior to most on the list. It is very unfortunate that the garbage came before the silk, so now we are stuck with people thinking “Jeff the Killer” is any good.

Jeff the Killer (all versions, including JtK 2015)
The original is a terrible pasta, that unfortunately became the face of the genre, with thousands of angsty teens and pre-teens flocking around it with fan-fiction and countless spinoffs. We tried to remedy that a little by running a contest for a remake, which produced the JtK 2015 story. The new version is vastly better, even though it is dragged down by the plot. Banning (the winner) did a fantastic job with the material.

BEN Drowned
I remember when I first read it, I couldn’t sleep for days. Maybe it’s because I was young, but the video was terrifying. The story, not so much, but the video was very good horror.

Polybius
This one is one of the first creepypastas, and it shows clearly how the genre started out. Myths and conspiracy theories with a tint of horror. It is the realism of this pasta that made it stand out.

Mereana Mordegard Glesgorv
I never understood what the fuss was all about. The video in particular is plain boring, could never get through it.

Suicide Mouse
I never liked this one. I am not particularly fond of “Lost Episode” stories and the like, so this didn’t get to me. It is basically Squidward’s Suicide in a different skin. I guess people like seeing the dark side of innocent cartoon artists.

1999
This was a good enough story. The problem I had with it is that it dragged on for way too long. For some reason, the author is still adding to it. This is a prime example of a work the creator shot dead by overdoing it.

rake01The Rake
Humans have long loved cryptozoology. That’s why myths like the Loch Ness monster, Bigfoot, Unicorns etc. exist. “The Rake”, in an age of technology, managed to capture the imagination of the crowds not because of the plot itself, which is nothing special, but because of all the images that surfaced around it and spread like wildfire. This pasta is an internet mythos through and through.

The Holders Series
The most interesting thing about the series is the way the stories are written. They all have a certain tone that holds for all the parts (at least those I’ve read). As they are all pretty much the same though, it was no wonder their popularity fizzled out.

Expressionless
This is the definition of a story using the uncanny to its advantage. As a plot it’s nothing special, and it is the image that carries the whole story. I would go as far as to say the plot severely drags the image down. A more experienced writer could have written a short story that, coupled with the image, would have been a masterpiece for the ages. Instead we get this, which is good enough, I guess.

Jane the Killer (both versions)
Have not read it, didn’t even know there were two versions. I understand it’s a Jeff spinoff. If I were to take a guess, I would say it is garbage.

PENPAL
Have not read it, but I’ve heard it’s very, very good.

The Smiling Man
This is a very good story. It balances right down the line of weird and realistic, and that’s what makes it so scary and unsettling.

Bedtime (and sequels)
The first Bedtime is a very good pasta. I remember when I first read it I had trouble sleeping. Even though I was pretty young at the time, I still believe it is a very good read. The rest of the entries were unnecessary in my opinion. To me, it felt like the writer was simply riding on its success and wanted more. They are not badly written, but they are a massive letdown. Sequels very rarely work, not in movies, not in books and not in creepypasta. Especially for a story that has been told.

UKHS: Now I’d like to talk to you about some sub-genres and trends in the Creepypasta community. One of the largest and most popular Creepypasta trends has been Slenderman tie-ins. What are your thoughts on the whole Slendermania thing?

MrD: Slenderman itself is creepy, especially the first images of him that originated from the SomethingAwful forums. The Slenderman myth grew in popularity as the years passed, and that growth unfortunately and inevitably gathered a fanbase that derailed the myth with fanfiction, sexy drawings and their absurd addiction with anything Slenderman. Among these pieces there are bound to be some gems, but overall said work is below average, to say the least. So, even though Slenderman is creepy, the stuff that came with its popularity is garbage and stains this icon of creepypasta.

UKHS: We’ve briefly touched on Lost Episode pastas. What are your thoughts on these? Are there any that you feel are successful?

MrD: The main issue I have with said pastas is that they are focused too much on the cartoon/show itself. Usually what they do is take a cartoon, add a crazy/disgruntled artist, add gore/macabre/grotesque art by said artist and that’s it. That’s the formula for pretty much any Lost Episode pasta out there. Personally, I don’t find this format enjoyable. It is boring and stale, so I can’t say I have seen any that creeped me out or entertained me in any way.

What I would like to see in the genre is a new take, where the focus isn’t on the cartoon, with the gore and stuff, but on something else. An idea I had for a story in the genre is this: Somehow someone finds a taping of an episode that didn’t air. Watching the episode, the viewer finds something out of place. Maybe a message, or even spots something happening on the background. The viewer, who has their curiosity piqued, starts investigating and the spotlight shifts away from the episode and onto the investigation. This direction hasn’t been explored much in the genre and that’s a shame, since I believe it holds a lot of potential.

UKHS: The bane of most serious pasta fans is the still ongoing trend for videogame-pastas. Once again, can I ask for your thoughts on these? And are there any that you feel tell a compelling story?

MrD: Videogame-pastas are very similar to Lost Episodes. It’s just the medium that changes. One story that I enjoyed was the ever-so-popular BEN Drowned. I don’t know if it’s because I was younger, but the video and music were really creepy.

UKHS: It seems that (on DeviantArt) in particular, lots of creators are keen on producing a cool, iconic character. Some have become very popular among fans (Laughing Jack, Eyeless Jack, Jason the Toymaker, The Puppetmaster, BloodyPainter etc). What are your thoughts on this trend?

MrD: The lack of creativity in that area of the internet is astounding. Everything is a carbon copy of Jeff the Killer with only a few tweaks here and there. The creators of this kind of stories are usually very young and they want to express their angsty self on paper, but they can’t find a better way than coming up with an ultra-violent character. I don’t have much more to say on this. It’s a shame that the image of creepypasta has been spoiled by works like these.

UKHS: It seems to me that the latest recognisable trend is that of rituals or games, such as the Midnight Man, 11 Miles and Three Kings. It’s arguable that these could well have seen their genesis in the Holders series. Can I ask your opinion on that, plus the current resurgence in ritual/game pastas? Are there any that you enjoy?

MrD: I believe ritual pastas has been around since the beginning of the genre. It can even be traced back to the ‘share-this-message-100-times-or-Bloody-Mary-will-visit-you’ messages. Someone took this silly idea and turned it into a proper ritual guideline. Somehow they caught on. Probably because they are easy to read, with bulletpoints and instructions and stuff. The Holders series certainly played a part in shaping this genre. Especially the ritual pastas that are location centric. The problem with all the Holders-inspired stories though is that the series has a distinct “voice”. Most of them have a unique narration style which is what made them so popular. Other ritual pastas have tried to replicate that success, but it’s next to impossible to do without an identity. I can’t remember any ritual pasta that I enjoyed.

UKHS: What do you feel makes a good creepypasta?

MrD: It isn’t easy to define what makes a story good. What is undisputable, is that a creepypasta needs to scare/unsettle/creep out the reader. In some occasions, a creepypasta can be sad, but it has to have some unsettling element for it to be good as a creepypasta. The way for a story to be creepy differs from story to story. There is the horror of the unknown, the horror of the uncanny, suspense, mystery, madness and the list goes on.

Any route the writer goes, one way to enhance the horror is the characters in the story. Fleshing out the characters is very important and oftentimes a flat character can bring down a horrifying plot. The location is key too. Sometimes the setting alone can carry an otherwise mediocre story. All in all, reading about interesting characters and locations/scenery is a very important support to horror. Language and vocabulary is also extremely important. The right word at the right place can work wonders for a story, while a story with bland use of the language oftentimes falls flat. There are a ton of things that factor in the excellence of a creepypasta. It is the job of the writer to build his idea into a proper story that will hopefully be good.

UKHS: Which writers, horror or otherwise, do you consider yourself a fan of?

MrD: From horror, I love Edgar Allan Poe, HP Lovecraft and Ambrose Bierce. One of my favourite writers is Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The Sherlock Holmes tales have to be my absolute favourites. Recently I have taken a liking to Maurice Leblanc too, who wrote a series of short stories about an ingenious thief, who basically is Sherlock Holmes on the other side of the law.

When I was younger I loved the works of Valerio Massimo Manfredi, who has written some amazingly suspenseful work. From the wiki, I love the works of Humboldt (http://creepypasta.wikia.com/wiki/User:HumboldtLycanthrope), Banning (http://creepypasta.wikia.com/wiki/User:Banningk1979), Empyre (http://creepypasta.wikia.com/wiki/User:EmpyrealInvective) and WriterJosh (http://creepypasta.wikia.com/wiki/User:WriterJosh), to name a few. Outside of literature, I love the work of Michael Sipser in Computer Science and Gaston Bachelard in Science Philosophy.

Wiki-wordmarkUKHS: You’re very active at the Creepypasta Wikia. What is it like being a part of that community? What advice would you offer to other people who want to get involved over there?

MrD: The community of the Creepypasta Wiki is very dear to me. I love hanging around and having a laugh with the guys and gals. Also, because we are mainly a literature community, the advice and opinion sharing on horror and all things literature is a nice change in a world that doesn’t seem to stop anymore for the writing arts. If you want to get involved, just hop over and have fun. Engage in discussions, joke around and be yourself. You’d be surprised by how open we are to newcomers. People can slot right in, our common interest and love for horror making for a smooth entrance to the community. Also, as the place is a wikia where a lot relies on community help via volunteer work, you are more than welcome to help around by fixing mistakes in stories and stuff like that.

UKHS: You’ve also written some fantastic stories over at the wiki. Which stories of your own are you most proud of? What advice would you offer to other writers?

MrD: I love reading and writing micropastas, so basically I’m proud of any (barring a couple very bad stories) work of mine that is shorter than 500 words, even the ones I haven’t posted on the wiki. If I had to pick a single one, it would have to be Twitching and Convulsing (http://creepypasta.wikia.com/wiki/Twitching_and_Convulsing). For some reason I am very creeped out by people twitching and twisting their bodies in weird angles, and this story plays on exactly that fear. Granted, the whole story is one single scene, but I think for what it is it works very well.
The main advice I would give to new writers is be patient, read stories and practise. If you love reading and writing and you are willing to put in the work, you will improve in no time. We even have a Writer’s Workshop (http://creepypasta.wikia.com/wiki/Board:Writer%27s_Workshop) where you can post your work to receive feedback and we also have some blogs on Writing Advice (http://creepypasta.wikia.com/wiki/Creepypasta_Wiki:Writing_Advice). Basically if you want to become good, read and write as much as you can and eventually you’ll get there.

UKHS: Finally, with the likes of Channel Zero and the recent proposed Machinima Clive Barker’s Creepypasta show, it seems that Creepypasta is really becoming mainstream. What do you think the future holds for Creepypasta?

MrD: I believe the quality of the stories in the genre will continue improving and it will eventually become a proper part of mainstream literature, commanding more respect than it does now. More than anything, creepypasta is storytelling for and from the common folk and coupled with the increase in quality, creepypastas will be reaching more and more people as time goes on. I’m very thrilled for the future of this novel art form.

Come back next time when I’ll be speaking to another respected creator from another breeding ground for Creepypastas — DeviantArt.

Dark Web: Steven Hickey’s Essential Guide To Creepypasta – Part 36 NES Godzilla

creepypastaDARK WEB: STEVEN HICKEY’S ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO CREEPYPASTA
PART 36: NES GODZILLA

There can be few subgenres of Creepypasta that have fallen so far in the eyes of fans as Videogame Pastas.

When the first few such stories appeared on the Creepypasta landscape, they had a huge impact. Genuine hits such as BEN Drowned (covered here: http://www.ukhorrorscene.com/dark-web-steven-hickeys-essential-guide-to-creepypasta-part-3-ben-drowned/) saw dozens, then hundreds of imitators, of varying degrees of quality. Seen as cutting edge at the time, the genre soon became stale, with a number of derivative and poorly crafted stories directly contributing to their decline in popularity. However, there can be no denying that those stories forged during the early days of the Videogame Pasta boom were ground-breaking, and in some cases, technical and creative triumphs. Perhaps the most impressive of these is digital artist CosbyDaf’s NES Godzilla Creepypasta.

Posted to one of the early breeding grounds of Creepypasta, the Bogleech forums back on 23 April 2011(http://z3.invisionfree.com/bogleech/index.php?showtopic=1896), you can read the first part of the full (and VERY lengthy) story at the Creepypasta Wiki where it appeared on 11 April 2012: http://creepypasta.wikia.com/wiki/NES_Godzilla_Creepypasta/Chapter_1:_Earth_%26_Mars

rsz_godzilla_creepypasta_tribute_by_lucidstillnessIn it CosbyDaf tells the story of Zachary, a young boy who is a big fan of classic NES games and kaiju movies. Now a teen, he’s able to relive both of these childhood pleasures when his friend Billy locates a copy of the classic Nintendo beat ‘em up, Godzilla: Monster of Monsters.
Upon plugging the cartridge in, he soon starts to notice some odd glitches in the game — such as some different monster characters, ones that should not have been in the game. After defeating the boss character Titanosaurus, he then proceeds to the third level, however, rather than be named Jupiter as it was in the original game, it was renamed Pathos.

What makes the story truly astonishing is that CosbyDaf has created a series of convincing and exquisitely crafted ‘screenshots’ of the game.
Throughout the story we are presented with regular visual depictions of the game’s events that illustrate and clarify everything ‘Zach’ describes from the game. The sprites, the backgrounds, even some very basic animations, all of them are the creation of (or at least altered/doctored by) CosbyDaf. From a technical standpoint, it’s a tremendous achievement, and that’s before you even get into the later chapters where the work becomes more complex and intricate.

The story continues in Chapter 2: Pathos (which you can read here: http://creepypasta.wikia.com/wiki/NES_Godzilla_Creepypasta/Chapter_2:_Pathos).
Featuring yet another character that shouldn’t have been in the game, Biollante, this is even more unsettling when Zach realises that the first movie appearance of Biollante was actually a full year after the release of Monster of Monsters. However, if that was unsettling, the chase sequence at the end of the level during which we are first introduced to a nightmarish red creature is downright terrifying.
Following a narrow escape, Zach progresses to the next level — Trance (read the third chapter here: http://creepypasta.wikia.com/wiki/NES_Godzilla_Creepypasta/Chapter_3:_Trance).

whatthe-png-webpThis introduces a new element to the gameplay, a bizarre ‘quiz’ level in which a strange disembodied face asks a number of questions answerable with a ‘Yes’ or ‘No’. These vary from mind-numbingly mundane (‘Do you like dogs?’) to hugely inappropriate and upsetting (‘Have you been molested by a family member?’). The level continues to provide an assortment of bizarre enemies, strange locations and, ultimately, the return of the red demon.

This level is followed by Chapter 4: Dementia (http://creepypasta.wikia.com/wiki/NES_Godzilla_Creepypasta/Chapter_4:_Dementia ), then Chapter 5: Entropy (Part 1) and then Entropy (Part 2). You can read both chapters here: http://creepypasta.wikia.com/wiki/NES_Godzilla_Creepypasta/Chapter_5:_Entropy_(Part_1) and here: http://creepypasta.wikia.com/wiki/NES_Godzilla_Creepypasta/Chapter_5:_Entropy_(Part_2)

It is during these chapters that we are given an insight in Zach’s life, a tragedy that befell him in the past and the frightening notion that the monster within the game, Red, might be sentient… and aware of whom it is tormenting.

From here follows Chapter 6: Extus (http://creepypasta.wikia.com/wiki/NES_Godzilla_Creepypasta/Chapter_6:_Extus), Chapter 7: Zenith (http://creepypasta.wikia.com/wiki/NES_Godzilla_Creepypasta/Chapter_7:_Zenith), and Chapter 8: Finale — a two part climax to the tale in which Zach is forced to play for his very life against the malevolent Red (http://creepypasta.wikia.com/wiki/NES_Godzilla_Creepypasta/Chapter_8:_Finale_(Part_1) and (http://creepypasta.wikia.com/wiki/NES_Godzilla_Creepypasta/Chapter_8:_Finale_(Part_2)

The epic story concludes with a final Epilogue (http://creepypasta.wikia.com/wiki/NES_Godzilla_Creepypasta/Epilogue) in which Zach attempts to discover the origin of — and reveals the fate — of the titular game cartridge.

The story was subsequently posted to its own blog, which is sadly now defunct, and then to a mirror blog in March 2012 (http://nesgodzillacreepypasta.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/chapter-1-earth-mars.html).

Prior to this, CosbyDaf posted an image of all the sprites from his story to his DeviantArt page (http://cosbydaf.deviantart.com/art/The-Cast-272693251) back on 6 December 2011. This was very much welcomed by fans of the story, as it gave them all a chance to get a better look at the creatures/characters of NES Godzilla, not least of which the sinister (and immensely popular) Red.

rsz_thumbnail_solomon_matt_frankAs a design Red is especially effective, with his multiple forms encompassing several prime phobias (including a decidedly arachnid, ‘scuttling’ form). Reports claim CosbyDaf has admitted that the design of Red was heavily influenced by that of another Nintendo villain, Giygas, the primary antagonist of classic SNES titles EarthBound and EarthBound Beginnings. In many ways, Red (or the Hellbeast as the character is regularly referred to throughout the story) can be seen as a kaiju embodiment of Earthbound’s lead villain. However, it can also be claimed that Red is based on a mythical movie that never was, the rumoured 1978 flick Godzilla vs The Devil.

This story sprang up following a report by Ed Godziszewski which appeared in Japanese Giants #5. The report claimed the film would be a joint venture between Toho and UPA Productions., based on an American script, with a whopping budget of $4 million and a runtime of 110 minutes. It was also stated that Godzilla was to face off against a number of terrifying monsters that included a giant spider, a giant fish and a giant bird, culminating in a climactic brawl between Godzilla and Satan himself.

However, the following year in Japanese Giants #6 ran a follow-up report about a trip to Toho studios, where producer Tomoyuki Tanaka denied the existence of the project. Nevertheless, the news of this non-film spread quickly and is still in circulation to this day. Of particular note to fans of NES Godzilla Creepypasta are the reported forms of Godzilla’s adversaries: a scuttling spider, a gigantic fish and a swooping bird. All of which represent forms that the monstrous Red assumes, a being whose very appearance and ‘home’ level make it very easy to assume that he is the devil himself.

In fact, so impressive was Red that when Sunstone Games announced their intention to create a videogame AND playing card game entitled Colossal Kaiju Combat, after the company asked fans to nominate and vote for monsters to appear in the game, Red and fellow NES Godzilla Creepypasta creation Solomon were both accepted to appear in the title. CosbyDaf was quite delighted by this development, as was evidenced in his blog post of 6 January 2013 (http://nesgodzillacreepypasta.blog.com/2013/01/06/red-enters-kaiju-combat/).
Sadly developments with Sunstone’s project seem to have stalled since then, but we can all wait in hope that the game will see the light of day.

Colossal Kaiju Combat isn’t the only gaming property to embrace CosbyDaf’s creations. YouTuber and programmer, Iuri Nery has announced that he is creating a playable version of the game, even posting a gameplay video on 4 April 2015: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LQ6J_a1gDZo
Sadly, like Sunstones game, he has since announced that this project is also now on hiatus, leaving gamers to wonder about what could have been.

So why has there been such a strong reaction to the property? First, I think it cannot be stressed enough how much the excellent attention to detail appeals to fans of Godzilla, of which there are plenty. The character is iconic, and fans love to see stories with the big guy done right. There are multiple Toho characters included, giving fans of the franchise an opportunity to see what these kaiju could have looked like in a follow-up title to Monster of Monsters. Of course, the pasta gets by on more than just being good fan-fiction to Toho fans. It’s well-written, boasts those incredible graphics and SPOILER ALERT: even bucks the pasta trend by having a definite and very final climax in which good overcomes evil.

Or does it? For on 11 December 2013, CosbyDaf started to produce a sequel, Godzilla: Replay, in which another boy, Carl, tracks down the now legendary Monster of Monsters cartridge and proceeds to play through. However, this time the game is different, adapting to its new victim, and introducing a new, nightmarish adversary…

You can read the existing chapters here: http://allone-works.com/ngc/index.php/2016/05/03/prologue/, http://allone-works.com/ngc/index.php/2016/05/03/chapter-1-the-earth/, http://allone-works.com/ngc/index.php/2016/05/03/chapter-2-gelid/, http://allone-works.com/ngc/index.php/2016/08/26/chapter-2-5-passwords/, http://allone-works.com/ngc/index.php/2016/06/16/chapter-3-corona/, http://allone-works.com/ngc/index.php/2016/08/14/chapter-4-amorphis/, http://allone-works.com/ngc/index.php/2016/08/14/chapter-5-tempest/.

rsz_thumbnail_the_cast_by_cosbydaf-d4icrgjHowever, there has been a very long delay since that fifth chapter, and it seems that, like the aforementioned titles, it may be on an indefinite hiatus for now. But never fear, CosbyDaf has said that he still knows what he’d like to do with the story, so here’s hoping that one day we will see the end of Carl’s playthrough.

Rather than badger CosbyDaf to finish this sequel, it might be better for fans to show him some gratitude for the iconic pasta he produced? And create an iconic pasta he has indeed, as it is one that is still read, spread and commented on time and time again throughout the web.

CosbyDaf was kind enough to agree to answer a few quick questions about NES Godzilla Creepypasta for the readers of UK Horror Scene. The interview follows below:

UK HORROR SCENE: First, please allow me to extend my compliments to you, I really am a fan of your work. The most obvious question first – what served as your inspiration for the series?

COSBYDAF: The Super Mario 64 creepypasta and The Poltergeist movies — particularly the idea of creatures from other dimensions interacting with humans through technology. Video game creepypastas are notorious for being low quality but I’ve always thought there was some intriguing potential with it. I think back to earlier days in gaming, when it was mostly sitting along in a room, mentally escaping to this different world for a few hours, it could be a hypnotic experience. I liked the idea of trying to escape reality only to encounter a different one that’s worse.

UKHS: Are you a fan of Creepypasta? If so which authors/stories do you like?

CD: I used to spend a lot of time reading but not as often anymore. Although I’m always eager to view/read something that’s creepy. I don’t really keep track of specific authors. The best creepypasta I can recall reading was Willow Men (http://www.creepypasta.com/willow-men/).

UKHS: The sprites in your stories are really impressive. How did you create them? And what came first, the images or the story?

CD: The vast majority were drawn entirely in MS Paint XP. Over time I began to use Paint. XP for certain things, like making different color palettes and transparency for the water levels. The organic parts were made by pixelizing gory images with Irfanview and drawing body parts onto them.
The images were made first. and then the story chapters were written later, but there wasn’t a big time gap between them.

UKHS: The sequel story, Godzilla: Replay, has been placed on hold as of late. Will you return to the series in the future? What else can your fans look forward to from you in the days ahead?

CD: I’ve been focused on many different things since then. But I never cancelled it because a lot of people are still interested, and I still remember what I was going to do with it. But it’s a lot of work to be done and I’m trying to earn money. Right now I’m doing the sprite work for a video game, it is kaiju related and there is a level which will definitely give NGC vibes. So hopefully that will turn out well.

UKHS: The fans have really embraced the story. Why do you think it has been so successful?

CD: It owes a lot to the Godzilla franchise, of course. There also wasn’t a creepypasta with accompanying images throughout the story before. The surrealism and variety in the creature design got a lot of people’s interest.

rsz_thumbnail_red-heroUKHS: Are there any examples of fan art that have impressed you?

CD: This is my favorite, it was made by a friend of mine: http://lucidstillness.deviantart.com/art/Godzilla-Creepypasta-Tribute-410704657 . I’ve added a lot of fan art to my DA favorites (which you can find here: )

UKHS: Both Red and Solomon were to be included in the Colossal Kaiju Combat game. How did that make you feel? Have you had much interaction with the game’s creators?

CD: It was very exciting at the time. I really appreciate the fan’s support in allowing that possibility to happen. I had talked with the game’s creator, regarding their redesigns, basically I just wanted them to look as close to the originals as possible. They turned out good.
But it doesn’t look like the game will ever see completion. You might see those two appear in something else though…maybe.

UKHS: And finally, something a bit more fun. From reading NES Godzilla Creepypasta it’s obvious that you’re a big kaiju fan, so… what’s your favourite kaiju movie?

CD: Godzilla vs Destoroyah.

CosbyDaf has created a legitimately iconic creepypasta, one which is quite rightly held in high esteem by connoisseurs of Creepypasta.

Join me next time when I’ll be doing something a little different with this feature, and taking the time to speak with not just a prolific and talented Creepypasta author, but one of the most respected voices over at the Creepypasta Wikia.

Dark Web: Steven Hickey’s Essential Guide To Creepypasta Part 35: An Exclusive Interview With Vincent Vena Cava

creepypastaDARK WEB: STEVEN HICKEY’S ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO CREEPYPASTA
PART 35: AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH VINCENT VENA CAVA

Usually these Dark Web features focus on a single story, or a connected series, but this week I’m going to do something a little different. Instead I’m going to focus on the work of a single author, one of the most successful and popular writers of Creepypasta the genre has produced — Vincent Vena Cava.

With a wealth of work to his name, including iconic pastas such as The Pastel Man, A Favor For a Favor, Picture This and the ongoing (and fantastic) Wendall Lane Diaries, the LA-based author has caused quite a stir with his fiction, gaining recognition and approaches from several huge media companies, including 20th Century Fox (when he wrote The Eye of Ra, which was part of a viral marketing campaign for the movie The Pyramid) and Starz. He has also been published multiple times, including the inclusion of his stories Right On Time and Picture This in a new short story anthology, The Creepypasta Collection: Modern Urban Legends You Can’t Unread, that hit the shelves at Barnes & Noble (the last remaining major book franchise in the US) last month. (http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-creepypasta-collection-mr-creepypasta/1123556473)
All of this in just four short years since he first started publishing work on the web under the Vincent Cava name.

Recently he saw a project successfully funded on Kickstarter that combined his talents with those of genre YouTube heavyweight Mr Creepypasta and top artists Chris Oz Fulton, Maja Cornvall and Teo Gonzalez. The resulting Creepypasta Comicbook (of which I’m a backer) is a fantastic debut effort and fans are eagerly anticipating subsequent issues from the team.

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve had the tremendous pleasure of conversing with the amiable, humble and supremely talented Cava, asking him about his influences, storytelling processes, several of his most notable stories and what the future holds.
Our interview follows below.

vvc1

Vincent Vena Cava

UK HORROR SCENE: Hi Vincent, and thank you so much for agreeing to speak with me. First, I’d like to ask you some general questions about your influences, before asking specific questions about some of your stories, including The Pastel Man, Right On Time and your Wendall Lane Diaries series. I hope that’s OK?

VINCENT VENA CAVA: No problem, I’d be happy to answer your questions — and btw, you just named two of my worst stories! Haha! Is that what people know me for? Good God.

UKHS: Oh dear, you are too harsh on yourself, they’re all fine stories! May I ask which two you’re least happy with? As an aside, some of my favourites include The Hall Monitor, The Job, Selfie, The Ocean’s Cool Air and Little Black Bugs. I expect a few of those will be the subject of future features should you be happy to speak with me about them!

VVC: Thanks! The Pastel Man is the first thing people really noticed me for and I’m sure I’ll be tied to it forever, haha. I believe the story has weak stakes and the prose is pretty amateur. I’ve been working for years to hone my craft since I decided this was something I wanted to make money doing and I feel like I’ve gotten better since then. Right on Time is just fan service and if you aren’t familiar with Jeff The Killer then, in my opinion, the story is sort of weak (maybe even confusing?), but it is what it’s supposed to be. I am fond of Wendall Lane though.

UKHS: Here are my first few questions, they’re non-story specific, but should give my readers more of an idea about you as a writer. Which writers, horror or otherwise, do you consider yourself a fan of?

VVC: I’m a fan of so many authors! Some of my biggest influences are Vonnegut, Lovecraft, King, Heinlein, and Philip K. Dick.

UKHS: Do you consider yourself a fan of Creepypasta?

VVC: I’m a fan of anything that has to do with horror, but I’m not entirely sure what Creepypasta even is. It’s such a fluid word. It seems like everyone has their own definition of “creepypasta”. What makes something creepypasta? Is it only stories featuring certain characters? Is it only scary stories? Who says what’s scary? Does a story have to appear on specific websites like r/NoSleep or creepypasta.com to make the cut?

Last I checked, the author of The Martian, Andy Weir’s, short story The Egg is featured on creepypasta.com. I don’t think he posted it there, nor would I call it horror, but is it a creepypasta nonetheless? To me, are you a fan of creepypasta is a difficult question to answer because I don’t even know how to go about defining it.

UKHS: What work of your own are you most proud of?

VVC: I’m really happy how people reacted to A Favor for a Favor. I’ve since given it a little rewrite and I think it’s a better story now. Picture This was a really therapeutic story to write so I was happy when people responded well to it. I’m also pretty proud of the graphic novel I just took to Kickstarter.

UKHS: What is your favourite Creepypasta by an author other than yourself?

VVC: Hard to answer that question, so I’ll stick to writers who are generally known for online horror. Anything by Matt Dymerski, T.W. Grim, Michael Whitehouse, and IPostAtMidnight is usually great. I think they’re all really polished writers. Anything by them won’t disappoint.

vvc2UKHS: You’re a prolific writer, regularly releasing stories to the web. How do you keep the creative juices flowing? Is writing a process that you enjoy or is it more about getting your stories out there to an audience?

VVC: Keeping the creative juices flowing isn’t a problem. I have more stories in my head than I can write. The slowest part of my process comes from crafting my prose and trying to develop a unique and interesting narrative that will fit with what I’m writing. Writing isn’t just about telling people a story. It’s about HOW you tell them a story. A lot of young writers don’t realize that. When you do it correctly, your prose can be poetry.
And most importantly…
Read. Read. Read.

You have to read if you want to be a good writer. And you have to read great writers. I get people asking me what to read. Don’t just read horror. Read Hemingway, read Melville, read James Joyce, and Asimov, and Clarke. Read Oscar Wilde, read Doyle, and London. Read non-fiction too! Read, read, read. Great stories can inspire you….you get the picture.

UKHS: Why do you think Creepypasta resonates so much with the fandom?

VVC: I think a lot of the fans of these online, user generated horror stories are younger or at least became fans when they were younger. This…trend is like a gateway for a lot of young people. It can introduce them to the world of literature and I think that’s wonderful. Many times, these stories are not written for children so of course there’s always intrigue for kids when it comes to taboo subjects.

UKHS: These fans have flocked to some characters, who really have become iconic to the community, such as The Rake and Jeff the Killer, a character you incorporated into your story Right On Time (you can hear Mr Creepypasta’s narration of the story here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uu9NvCTJbHs ) What inspired you to write a story that contributes to the Jeff the killer mythos?

VVC: I just wanted to pay a little fan service. Jeff is a popular character and people are usually excited to hear a new Jeff story. I figured why not try my hand at a little fan-fiction. I don’t know if I’m actually contributing to the “Jeff mythos”. I don’t really consider any Jeff story to be canon. There are so many tales written by so many people. But that’s cool. It makes the character and his personality somewhat amorphous. He isn’t really defined by any set of rules and whoever is writing him can put their own spin on it.

UKHS: What drew you to the character?

VVC: The character’s popularity is what drew me to him. Haha!
People like reading Jeff stories, I like writing stories, so why not try writing a Jeff story?

UKHS: Your Jeff is less sympathetic than the version traditionally portrayed, he’s almost a force of remorseless destruction than a human, a lot like John Carpenter’s original idea for Michael Myers in Halloween. What inspired you to portray the character in this way?

VVC: To be honest, I never found the character to be very interesting and the broken emo kid thing isn’t all that scary. That’s the problem a lot of people have with Jeff, which is why I decided to write around him. He couldn’t be the protagonist in Right On Time. Protagonists don’t give you nightmares. I believe the character can be frightening, so long as you move away from the “woe is me” stuff. If you want him to be scary, don’t let the audience into his head. You have to strip away anything that makes him human. Make him a monster. That’s why Michael Myers works. And let’s face it, the Jeff character is basically an amalgam of slasher movie clichés. I just followed the trend.

UKHS: What do you think the attraction is to Jeff for Creepypasta fans?

VVC: I think most Jeff fans are pretty young. He’s an antihero, he’s counterculture. He plays by his own set of rules. If someone upsets him, he stabs them. I see why teenage girls and boys are into him.

vvc3-pngUKHS: Do you have any further plans to feature Jeff in your stories?

VVC: Not right now. I’d rather not write a ton of Jeff stuff, but maybe in a future comic book.

UKHS: Are you happy with Right On Time?

VVC: I think Right On Time is good fan-fiction. The problem with it is that you need to know who Jeff The Killer is for it to make a whole lot of sense. Otherwise, it’s just an interesting story with an “out of nowhere” twist. If you don’t know what Jeff The Killer is, you might read it and wonder what the hell just happened. What did he mean by “go to sleep”?

UKHS: Do you have any plans to write stories featuring any other existing Creepypasta characters? (Excluding the Rake — who Vincent covered as part of his Wendall Lane Diaries series AND for the Creepypasta comicbook)

VVC: Yeah sure. I’d love to write more stories based off some of the Internet’s more popular characters. It’s fun for me. I have no plans at this moment, but if it’s something people would be interested in then I’m game for it.

UKHS: I mentioned the Creepypasta comicbook just now. I recently received my PDF copy of the comic and I wanted to extend my most heartfelt congratulations on what is a really great read. You must be very, very proud of it! Any news on whether there’ll be an issue 2? I’d certainly be onboard if so!

VVC: Thanks for backing the comic! Glad you’re enjoying it. Unfortunately our distributor (backerkit) had some trouble with ios mobile devices, but I’m glad to hear you enjoyed it. We definitely want to put out a second comic, but first and foremost we want to focus on getting out all the rewards first. We’ll probably have a second comic up next year, hopefully twice as long.

UKHS: The Rake plays a major role in one of the stories in the Creepypasta comic that you have created with MrCreepypasta. I understand you spoke with Bryan Somerville (who I’ve interviewed for this Dark Web series before: http://www.ukhorrorscene.com/dark-web-steven-hickeys-essential-guide-to-creepypasta-part-28-the-rake-re-visited/) about adapting the character for the comic. How was it working with him?

VVC: I didn’t really work with Somerville on the comic. I just asked him for the OK and gave him a short summary of the story, then he signed a contract giving me permission.

UKHS: The Rake is one of the more recognisable Creepypasta beasties, and you created one of your own with monstrous Pastel Man. (Read the story here:  http://www.creepypasta.com/pastel-man/) His story is one that feels very much like an old-fashioned morality play. Was that your intention?

VVC: The Pastel Man is most definitely a morality play. All of my work fits those themes.
I very rarely write about good vs Evil . It is my belief that we all exist on a moral spectrum —  No black and white, just shades of grey. That’s why most of my characters are inherently flawed. I also believe that an antagonist with a more sympathetic reason for doing bad is much more compelling than one who just wants to eradicate all humanity or kill a protagonist  because he’s a bad guy. My protagonists also usually only act out of self-preservation rather than altruism. They aren’t heroes. But they are more relatable… in my opinion at least.

UKHS: It’s one of your earlier stories and earlier you stated that you weren’t entirely happy with it. Would you ever consider re-visiting the story either with a sequel or rewrite?

VVC: As for my dislike for the story, I believe that it’s prose is lacking compared to what I can do now and the protagonist could probably use a bit more motivation. He is, in my opinion, almost too ‘guilty’. I am heavily considering giving the story a rewrite. I am also considering revisiting The Pastel Man in the second Creepypasta comic.

UKHS: Speaking of comics, you have a great descriptive writing style that really lends itself to visuals. Do you have any more plans to explore graphic novels/comicbooks?

VVC: As for other comics, I’m working with an artist on a project called Nightmare Sketchbook that is supposed to be out first quarter 2017

vvc4UKHS: One of your more recent projects to draw considerable recognition from the fans was the Wendall Lane Diaries. In your own words, how would you describe the series?

VVC: The Wendall Lane Diaries are centred around a house where reality is broken. It’s a paranormal hot spot much in the same way the Bermuda Triangle is. One might encounter ghosts, monsters, reality warping paradoxes if they stay there long enough.  The occurrences are random. The only thing they have in common is that they’re confined to the house and the property it sits on. I recently worked with the cast of Ash Vs The Evil Dead to put out five new stories in the series, narrated by Bruce Campbell, Lucy Lawless, Ted Raimi and others.

UKHS: I’ve heard the stories via MrCreepypasta’s YouTube Channel (https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL3vq3HFjqkVkZabGSM02I8G960DBHu9xh) and just wanted to compliment you on how awesome they were. Bravo! I just wondered if you could give my readers a little insight into how the collaboration with Starz came about?

VVC: Starz was interested in promoting their show Ash Vs The Evil Dead so they contacted YouTube creator Mr. Creepypasta to read original stories. They wanted the stories to be loosely connected. Since he’s not a writer, he asked me if I’d be interested in writing them. The whole thing was really intense, I had about two weeks to crank out five stories for the series. In the end it was a fun opportunity to meet the great actors of the show and to speak with horror icons like Bruce Campbell.

UKHS: And finally, where is the best place for me to send my readers to get more news on your work? Are there any preferred links for me to send my readers to read your literature?

VVC: I’m so stupid, I don’t have a landing page haha. But I’m all over social media. Twitter, Facebook, youtube, snapchat, tumblr, Instagram, ect. Every account is @vincentvenacava . Hope that answers your questions!

UKHS: It really does, thanks so much.

As one of the more senior and respected members of the community, Vincent Vena Cava’s story shows that, if you’ve got the talent, Creepypasta really can lead to great things. Come back next time when I speak with another creative talent who’s been on the scene for a long time about one of the oldest, yet most recognisable and complex pastas ever.

Genoveva Rossi Interviews Elvira PLUS A Festive Holiday Photo Shoot!!

genrossibannerElvira Mistress of the Dark book review and interview. Plus a special holiday photo shoot with horror queen Genoveva Rossi

This horror queen braved the cold to head out to New York City to meet up with Elvira and get a signed copy of her book. Previously I had met and interviewed the Mistress of the Dark at Walker Stalker. I am a huge fan of Elvira and I am deeply inspired by her story.

gr4This book isn’t simply a book though; it’s a big, beautiful, and heavy coffin table book filled with wonderful pictures and some quick passages to tell the story of Elvira. We learn how it all began with applying to be a horror host and the rest is horror history!

This book is a must buy for any Elvira fan. The book opens with her first photoshoot as Elvira and the development of her costume and look. We see photos from some of the most memorable shoots of her career and through those pictures we learn a bit more about the woman under that black wig. You see Elvira sexy, silly, and fun, but you also see pregnant Elvira and her as a mother. We get to read some short, personal stories from her 35 year career. A truly beautiful book for any fan of the horror genre, but it wouldn’t be complete without Elvira’s autograph so I suggest you find a way to meet Elvira.

About This Book. Celebrating 35 years of a cultural icon, this large format photo retrospective contains 240 pages filled with hundreds of photos of Elvira, from the very beginning of her career through present day – some never before seen. This is the ultimate collector’s book for fans of the “Mistress of the Dark.”

An interview with Elvira: Mistress of the Dark and horror icon (aka. Cassandra Peterson).

Genoveva: I just want to say as a horror actress and genre fan, Elvira has always been a true inspiration for me; a unique and amazing woman in horror. Great meeting you and thank you for your time. Elvira or Cassandra Peterson? What do you prefer to be called?

Elvira: Well yesterday Elvira and today Cassandra. It depends on what color my hair is.

Genoveva: Depending on how you are dressed. Do you ever get tired of dressing as Elvira? Do you wish you could be yourself more?

Elvira: I like being Elvira because it makes people happy. They love the character. The only bad part is the two hours of make-up, clothes and wig and that can get a little old.

gr5Genoveva: How long have you been Elvira?

Elvira: This year it’s 35 years.

Genoveva: Where do you see Elvira going in the future?

Elvira: I see her going home to bed and eating dinner. (haha) I don’t mean to brag, but I see Elvira has reached this iconic status. That Elvira is a strong image that can carry on without me with merchandizing and such.

Genoveva: So what are the plans for Cassandra?

Elvira: Oh me! Like I said sleeping and eating; all those things. Going on lots of vacations. I imagine I will be doing this for a few more years. As long as I can fit in my dress.

Genoveva: Would you ever want to do a movie about your life or autobiography?

Elvira: I am in the middle of my autobiography. I have been writing it forever. It’s going to be as thick as the bible. Just to mention I have a coffee table book coming of 35 years of all my photographs. From the first day to present. Awesome book; like an autobiography in photos. This you can get now and my biography who knows when I get time to finish writing it.

gr6Genoveva: If there was a movie of your life who would play you?

Elvira: I want to play me even if I’m 95. I will just do that whole Joan Rivers thing and play myself from 14 years old on up. Me or Lady Bunny.

Genoveva: I am a big fan of your films both Elvira Mistress of the Dark and Haunted Hills. Any plans to do more films?

Elvira: Plans for an Elvira animated television show. Animation is the way to go; I don’t have to look good. Don’t gave to dress up and I read the dialogue; I love it!

Genoveva: What was it like making out with Bob in the movie Elvira Mistress Of The Dark?

Elvira: It was awesome! Daniel Greene is so hot and an ex football player. We had a lot of fun. Just don’t tell my husband at the time.

Genoveva: Tell us a a bit about Coors,, which isn’t covered in the book.

Elvira: There are many books on the Coors company out there you can get. A very religious company, which is why they sold beer. When the company was at the top and during there largest advertising campaign with me the owner decided he saw demons in my new Elvira standee. People thought he was kidding and asked if the demons were green or red ones, but he said “out out” and that was the end of my campaign.

gr1-pngGenoveva: You are known for your assets. Any tips for fans?

Elvira: My advice for making your boobs look more like Elvira’s is to stuff everything you can find into your bra. Toss it all in even gym socks. Sometimes they look bigger than other times because I find more to put in there and other times less gets stuffed in.

Genoveva: Tell us a bit about the birth of Elvira.

Elvira: My friend Robert Redding. It was the 1970s, I was in NYC in a band called the Mamas Boys with seven gay men playing disco music at club in the village. Robert was part of the show; in addition to being an amazing singer and dancer he was also a brilliant artist.

Once I got the part as a horror hostess he designed the makeup and hair. He was a big fan of Ronnie Spector and The Ronettes and he wanted me to have hair likes hers. So I got my knowledge bump in my hair and he designed my dress. Robert was my best friend and sadly passed away during the AIDS epidemic. In fact, 6 of the 7 guys in the band ended up dying of AIDS. Pretty bad, right? That was very sad.

Robert Redding changed my life; he created the look for the character. I had input, but he was the artist. In the beginning of the book, Elvira Mistress Of The Dark you will see his sketches for it. His quick sketches only.. He did art for Broadway, Katherine Hepburn, Lions in Winter and so much more. He did the Elvira makeup for the first time on himself then did it on me.

gr2Genoveva: When did you realize the character of Elvira was here to stay?

Elvira: Things took off pretty quickly although I was pretty sure when I started that the show wouldn’t last a week. I was like this is not working I’m acting like a goofy valley girl and they want me to wear this outfit. This so doesn’t go together.

The first week of the show I had everyone calling me because my name was in the phone book. Yeah some of your readers may be old enough to remember using a phone book. Back then that was what you did. I had to change my number and I was like this is crazy.

The next thing I know I get invited on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. That was like the only talk show then and I was like something is happening here. It was and I had an actual job paying $300 a week, but it was a job.

Genoveva: Any amazing story and a spooktacular book. Any final thoughts to leave us with?

Elvira: Well yeah go to Elvira.com and check out everything I am up to. And I have a lot of merchandizing. You can find out where I am, what I’m doing, be my friend on Facebook. Be awesome; at The Real Elvira. Also on Twitter and Instagram. That would be awesome.

gr3As a special treat this month I did a fun and festive holiday themed photoshoot with photographer Jennifer Maggio and horror acting pal Robert Jackson (left). I loved my red velvet Christmas dress with animal print trim! Meow! Hope you enjoy the photos and happy holidays ghouls!

Thank you all for reading another installment of A Life In Blood: Tales Of A Horror Queen! I hope you ghouls had as much fun as I did and stayed tuned for next month.

Yours in screams, Genoveva Rossi
Check out my website www.genovevarossi.com
Also follow me on Facebook: Genovevarossi810
Twitter: GenovevaRossi1
Instagram: Genoveva_Rossi
IMDb: http://www.imdb.me/genovevarossi

Christmas Special: The Jessica Messenger Interview by Dean Sills

jm5Christmas Special: The Jessica Messenger Interview by Dean Sills

It’s almost Christmas and we have another Christmas cracker of an interview for you. Please welcome the lovely Jessica Messenger to UKHS. I know yule all going to love this one!

UKHS – Welcome Jessica. How did you get into acting?

JM – I got into acting by circumstance is really the answer. I studied dance for most of my childhood and teenage years. It’s all the eggs I put in my basket. Until I got to about 18 years old and I basically realised I wasn’t good enough to pursue it professionally. It’s at that point I starting digging around to find out what else I loved, and movies was what came to the forefront. I took a giant leap of faith and went to university to study film & television. I loved it but felt something was missing from my life that I’d always been so accustomed to and that was the performing arts. I realised that I wanted to perform, I loved movies and wanted to make them but I didn’t want to become a filmmaker. And so, the girl you see today was born!

jm1UKHS – It was great meeting you this year at STARBURST Magazine film festival in Manchester. I know you were there representing the short film ‘Rats’ and it’s great you got to work alongside Laurence R Harvey and Nicholas Vince in this short horror flick. Can you please tell us a little about the film and as an actress why do you find horror films so appealing?

JM – Thanks Dean, it was a pleasure finally meeting you! I’d seen a lot of you online and it was long overdue. RATS is about a professor (Nicholas Vince) who goes to a castle to audit a ton of books in the library. Along the way he meets the castle Guard (Laurence Harvey) who appears a little off kilter. He isn’t there completely innocently however, since he has plotted to bring his student Jess (moi) to the castle in order to seduce her. Jess is a bit of a madam. You’ll see why. As you can imagine the castle stay isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

I love horror films because quite honestly I was terrified of anything remotely scary as a youngster. They really did have a profound effect on me, and it wasn’t until I studied film intrinsically that I realised how truly wonderful that is. Horror has the ability to make people go through a whole range of emotion in one film. And for me, being afraid, truly afraid, is one of the strongest emotions there is.

jm3UKHS – You play Mira in ‘Six Hot Chicks in a Warehouse.’ What can you tell us about your character and the film and how does this film compare to the other film you made with the director Simon P. Edwards?

JM – Mira is in essence everything 90s girl power you can think of. She strong minded, she’s independent and she’s one of a kind. I wanted to emulate all those 90s action / comedy / horror chicks that influenced me so much in my teen years and thus led me to want to do movies in the first place.

The film is homage to the grindhouse genre but with a truly British slant. It comes from the mind of a drama writer, so all the characters have been written in ways set apart from the horror genre status quo. While the film is given its own bizarre universe, there are elements that feel completely normal within it, which to me is exactly why is feels so odd. Simon labelled it a Neon soaked ultra-violent grindhouse movie, which I love. This film doesn’t compare at all to Beneath A Neon Tide. That was a family drama, this is leather clad chicks, brutal fight sequences and more butts than you can shake a stick at. My mother would be proud.

jm2UKHS – I recently watched the Christmas horror flick ‘Krampus’ which I really enjoyed. Do you have a favourite Christmas horror movie or do you prefer yuletide family movies like ‘Elf’ and ‘The Polar Express’ instead?

JM – I totally prefer Christmas family comedy or dramas. I have a few firm favourites but I think Love Actually wins for me. It’s typically British humour which I find hilarious. It’s all the awkwardness of Christmas. It doesn’t have a happy ending for everybody. It makes you laugh, cry, cringe. What more could you want! And, Alan Rickman. Need I say more?

UKHS – If you could have Christmas dinner with three guests (living or dead), who would you choose and why?

JM – Interesting. I would choose Marilyn Monroe. Because who wouldn’t wish to stare at that over the family table? Secondly, Will Smith. Absolute legend, could crack a few jokes. Lastly, David Attenborough. His voice could soothe me to sleep after a huge meal and a full tummy.

jm4UKHS – Finally, what new projects are you working on which we can all look forward to seeing you in during the new year?

JM – This year has been slower than average. Next year you’ll mainly see me promoting the hell out of Six Hot Chicks. I do have another feature due out but it’s a bit part, Dead Heading – directed by David Easton. I have a few scripts to read, and some decisions to make regarding zombies. That’s all I can really say!!

UKHS – Good luck with all those. Thank you for such an awesome interview. Merry Christmas and all the best for 2017!

website- www.jessicamessenger.com
Twitter- www.twitter.com/missjmessenger
Facebook- www.facebook.com/jessicamessengerofficial

Dark Web: Steven Hickey’s Essential Guide To Creepypasta – Part 34: Channel Zero – An Exclusive Interview With Nick Antosca

creepypastaDARK WEB: STEVEN HICKEY’S ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO CREEPYPASTA
PART 34: CHANNEL ZERO – AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH NICK ANTOSCA

In my last Dark Web feature I wrote about how Creepypasta is fast becoming a recognised sub-genre that, rather than cater to a fervent and enthusiastic minority, is starting to branch out into the mainstream. Since the runaway success of The Walking Dead blew open the doors for horror genre television, television producers have sought a ready supply of recognisable brands of dark fiction. Comics such as Outcast and Preacher have yielded results, but there is no denying that web publishing is a veritable goldmine for horror stories.

One of the first shows to recognise this fact is the superb Channel Zero. Having just wrapped up its first critically acclaimed season on Syfy, with a second confirmed for late 2017, the show is the brainchild of gifted author and screenwriter, Nick Antosca. In 2015 the station announced that it had greenlit two six episode seasons, both of which were to be based on popular creepypastas. The first would focus on Kris Straub’s excellent Candle Cove, a story I covered here back in February.

The second would cover Brian Russell’s equally popular NoEnd House. ‘We love the idea of doing seasons of TV like rich, character-driven horror novels, and for Channel Zero: Candle Cove we’ve expanded this great short story Candle Cove into something really nightmarish and haunting and surreal,’ Antosca and fellow executive producer Max Landis said in a joint statement. ‘We can’t wait to dig in deeper and bring this to life with Syfy and Universal Cable Productions.’

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Paul Schneider and Fiona Shaw

Casting notices followed, an on 20 June this year a Variety exclusive article announced that Paul Schneider and Fiona Shaw would star in the first season. This was followed by the reveal that Craig William Macneill (director of The Boy) would be behind the camera for all six episodes of the season. This was quite the coup for the show and interest intensified massively.

As the hype machine gathered more momentum, we finally started to learn more about the show’s storyline. It was revealed that Schneider would play Mike Painter, a child psychologist who returns to his childhood hometown of Iron Hill to investigate the mysterious disappearance of several children back in the 1980s, including his twin brother, Eddie (with child actor Luca Villacis portraying both of the young Painter boys). He has reason to believe that these unsolved crimes could be related to a mysterious and creepy children’s television show, the titular Candle Cove, but his return to the town kickstarts a new and terrifying chain of events. Aided by his reluctant mother, Marla (Shaw) and childhood sweetheart Jessica (Natalie Brown), Mike must solve the mystery before a new generation of children succumb to the evil that devastated his life 30 years ago.

Of course, using a well-known short story for inspiration is one thing — using it well is quite another. What works in literature does not always translate as well to the screen, while stretching a few hundred words to fill six hours of screen time is obviously a huge challenge. Luckily, it was one in which Macneill, Antosca, Landis and their crew were more than up to the task.

What he did was use the Candle Cove story as a jumping on point for a massively expanded tale which took in a large cast of characters and an even richer mythology. Yes, Kris Straub’s fictional nightmarish children’s show is present and depicted very faithfully indeed, but some of the show’s most chilling creations (such as the deeply disturbing Tooth Child) are brand new, original creations for Antosca’s story. The show gives Candle Cove’s fans everything they want, but it also gives the viewer new, compelling characters and situations optimised for visual storytelling.

Finally the show debuted on 11 October and, over the following five weeks it told a deeply compelling and legitimately unsettling story that won plenty of fans. Proving a resounding success with critics (the show boasts a solid 75/100 rating at Metacritic — http://www.metacritic.com/tv/channel-zero — and a whopping 92% at Rotten Tomatoes — https://www.rottentomatoes.com/tv/channel_zero/s01/ ) and with much buzz already surrounding a second season which is still nearly a full year away, Channel Zero proves what Creepypasta fans have known for years — the next wave of classic horror fiction is already here, just waiting to be discovered in the darkest recesses of the internet.

Of course, the show would never have proven such a triumph in the hands of a less talented show-runner, and it is for precisely this reason that we all owe Nick Antosca a debt of gratitude.

So what is next for Nick and his groundbreaking creation? Well, I was fortunate enough to be able to speak with him about Channel Zero and it gives me tremendous pleasure to present our interview below.

UK HORROR SCENE: Hi Nick, and thank you so much for agreeing to speak to UK Horror Scene about Channel Zero. First, why creepypasta? Translating bite-sized literature into serialised visual media isn’t the most obvious of steps, so what inspired you to do so?

NICK ANTOSCA: Great ideas can come from anywhere. Candle Cove was such an exciting story to adapt, and I just thought why not do more? I love that the best of these stories are a strong, terrifying concept that you can build on. They leave room for creativity.

UKHS: Why do you think Creepypasta has resonated so well with the fandom?

NA: There’s something about the “true story” quality of the best ones. Great creepypasta stories tend to capture a feeling of familiarity. You feel like they’re describing something that happened to a friend of yours one time.

UKHS: How did it feel to see the tremendous reception that Channel Zero received from critics and viewers alike? Why do you think it was so well-received by audiences?

NA: You don’t necessarily get a lot of chances to make a TV show, so I feel like if you get to do it, make sure it’s something you’d want to do watch and that you’ll be proud of later. Craig and I were really just trying to make the kind of horror we wanted to watch. So it was really gratifying that viewers and critics seemed to respond to it.

cz1UKHS: The choices of creepypasta of the first two seasons of the show suggest that the Channel Zero team are fans of the genre. It would have been easy to adapt more well-known and ‘trendy’ stories such as Slenderman, Jeff the Killer or the Rake, but instead with Candle Cove and NoEnd House, you’ve picked stories with serious fan cred. Are you guys pasta fans? If so, what are some of your favourites?

NA: Of course we’re fans!  Some other favorites (and this does not mean we’ll necessarily adapt any of these if we get another season, just that I personally like these stories) are Goatman, Search and Rescue Woods (aka “the staircase one”), Abandoned by Disney, Ted the Caver, and Psychosis.

UKHS: Why did you pick Candle Cove? And why NoEnd House?

NA: Those two stories are perfect examples of the kind of story we want to adapt — distinctive, iconic concepts that we can build worlds around. A mysterious kids’ TV show.  A sinister horror house. Plus a great sense of atmosphere and dread.

UKHS: What challenges came with adapting such well-loved stories?

NA: It was important to preserve the sense of eerie dread that’s baked into the stories.  We wanted to build worlds and mythologies out of these very short stories, but we had to make sure the spirit of the originals didn’t get lost. It’s easy to do jump scares but it’s harder to create six hours of slow-building nightmare.

UKHS: One of the first season’s biggest strengths was the manner in which you faithfully adapted a relatively small-scale story but built on this mythos to tell a bigger, yet more personal story. Is this the route you plan to go with subsequent seasons, taking a strong core premise and giving it your own unique spin?

NA: Yes, that’s a good way of putting it. That’s pretty much exactly what I hope to do.  Each season will have a different visual style and cinematic voice, though.

UKHS: I was fortunate enough to interview Kris Straub earlier this year and he was very excited about your vision for Candle Cove. What was it like working with him? And how were things with NoEnd House’s Brian Russell?

NA: I love Kris’s story and I’m really glad he’s into the show. I sent him the pilot script to approve before we got greenlit and we kept in touch throughout, but the actual writing process was pretty separate. Brian is actually working on The Exorcist on Fox right now, so we had lunch early in the NEH process and he’s read the first couple scripts.  Both writers are awesome and I’m grateful to them for letting us create elaborate fanfiction based on their stories.

UKHS: Channel Zero has assembled a tremendous cast for both seasons. How important was it to find the right actors rather than ‘flavour of the month’ names? Can we expect to see you work with any of the season one cast again?

NA: I can’t overstate the importance. Cast distinguishes something like this.  One of the advantages of being kind of an under-the-radar, low profile show when we were in production is that we were able to go after actors based purely on talent, rather than the casting department’s idea of a “get” or someone with a big social media following.

UKHS: While I understand that from a contract standpoint it’s very difficult to discuss future plans for Channel Zero, do you feel at liberty to tell us any more about plans you might have for the show? Are there any stories you’d be keen to cover in future seasons?

NA: I know what story I want to do if we get a third season. I can’t say what it is yet, though.

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Nick Antosca

UKHS: And finally, something a little more fun here, I’ve seen some wonderful examples of fan art on the web (including some awesome Toothchild images). Are there any pieces of art that have impressed you or the Channel Zero cast and crew?

NA: Fan art? Yeah, I’m impressed whenever anyone creates Channel Zero fan art, for sure.  I like everything I’ve seen!

If you want to find out more about Nick, Channel Zero and his other upcoming projects, be sure to follow him over at twitter: @NickAntosca

With touted movie adaptations of multiple Creepypasta properties, plus the second season of Channel Zero and Machinima’s proposed series of short films, Clive Barker’s Creepy Pasta on the way, now, more than ever, is an exciting fan to be a creepypasta fan.

Come back next time when I’ll sit down to talk to another of the genre’s most prestigious, recognised and lauded authors over his substantial body of work within the community.

Dark Web: Steven Hickey’s Essential Guide To Creepypasta – Part 33: Jason The Toymaker

creepypastaDARK WEB: STEVEN HICKEY’S ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO CREEPYPASTA – PART 33: JASON THE TOYMAKER

There are a number of sites online that have become breeding grounds for Creepypasta. As well as the obvious (creepypasta.com, the creepypasta wikia), there are some others that are regularly responsible for some of the most famous online horrors, such as the nosleep and creepypasta subreddits.

Another of these — one which offers the fantastic opportunity to incorporate detailed visuals into the storyteller’s products — is DeviantArt. There has been a real surge in the creation of original characters (referred to as OCs by the pasta community), with plenty of users trying to create the next web horror icon. With literally hundreds of fascinating monsters to choose from, this is an area that I’m sure I will return to again and again, but for now, I’m going to look at a character (and a story), that best encapsulates the good and the bad of DeviantArt fandom, Kristantyl’s Jason the Toy Maker.

jtt2The first image of Jason appeared on Kristantyl’s DeviantArt page back on 11 November 2014. Several other images of the striking Jason followed. Jason boasts a visually arresting design, with a decidedly Japanese/anime feel. Jason’s stylish and intimidating look quite closely resembles the sort of character that might play a boss role in one of SNK’s Fatal Fury, Art of Fighting or King of Fighters series of games. Kristantyl’s art is, putting it mildly, pretty damn brilliant and with each subsequent image she honed the feel of the character, plus added supporting characters, such as Jason’s toy sidekicks Liquirizia (a wind-up toy mouse that acts as Jason’s spy), Red Mouse (a dangerous weapon, an explosive wind-up mouse) and Mr Glutton (a gigantic stuffed toy snake). Of course, these characters all suggest a far deeper backstory, one which Kristantyl herself told over at her DeviantArt journal. You can read the story over at Melindiaden’s page here: http://melindiaden.deviantart.com/art/Creepypasta-Jason-The-Toy-Maker-619191603

It’s a fascinating and very well told story. The first thing to remember is that Kristantyl’s first language is NOT English, so it’s unfair to blame any clunkiness in the translation on her. Instead it is better to focus on the eerie, dream-like feel the story conjures up. The story follows a young adopted girl named Maggie and the curious phobia she feels towards her toys. Haunted by dreams with a mysterious and possessive entity, Maggie along with her close friend Daisy, comes to realise that her life has been inextricably bound to that of a mysterious and otherworldly entity — Jason. And Jason is not prepared to share her with anybody…

I’ve spoken before about how the subversion of the innocence of childhood is an effective and powerful horror tool. By bringing back the irrational fears we felt during our most vulnerable period, childhood horror is deeply disturbing. It is precisely this warping of the familiar and comforting memories of our youth into the terrors we all felt as children that explains the tremendous success of Disneypastas such as Abandoned By Disney and Suicide Mouse, as well as Lost Episodes such as Dead Bart, Squidward’s Suicide and even Candle Cove.

Like these Pastas before it, Jason soon became a very popular creation among the community… sadly, a little TOO popular. With his pretty-boy good-looks, Jason soon acquired more than his fair share of obsessive fan girls. Much like the Jeff the Killer fans who took their idol a little too seriously, they soon became aggressive towards anybody they felt misrepresented the character — including Jason’s own creator, Kristantyl. Fed up with the abuse from overzealous fans, and a little sickened by the slow metamorphosis of her creation from horror icon to teen pin-up, earlier this year Kristantyl removed all Jason related art from her profile and posted an announcement.
Read it here: http://krisantyl.deviantart.com/art/Announcement-603202232

She wrote that, since the disrespectful ‘fans’ of the character had caused her significant harassment and distress, she was taking a break from creating Jason-related art, instead entrusting the character to her good friends and fellow DeviantArt users Euphobea/Mayheem (http://mayheem.deviantart.com/?rnrd=198971) and Jesterca/Discordea (http://discordea.deviantart.com/?rnrd=198972) for the foreseeable future.

jtt1Of course, just because Kristantyl is no longer producing character art for her creation, that doesn’t mean that he’s fallen off the face of the earth. Creepypasta fans are still producing plenty of art (especially over at DeviantArt), including the now ubiquitous Mr Creepypasta reading (albeit a somewhat edited version), which he posted to his channel on 15 August 2015 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H9PUKfHPNR0). Jason the Toy Maker even has his own official Facebook page, and an official Ask.fm page where fans can get the diabolical Jason to answer their questions (http://ask.fm/Jason_the_Toy_Maker_). Furthermore more there are multiple unofficial sites, such as this blog over on Tumblr (http://jason-thetoymaker.tumblr.com).

However, none of these works, official or otherwise, could have existed without that initial image and story from Kristantyl, and it’s a real shame that she is currently no longer working on the character. Yet be that as it may, Kristantyl was kind enough to speak to UK Horror Scene about her creation.

Our interview follows below.

UK HORROR SCENE: The most obvious first — In your own words, tell us a little about Jason the Toy Maker?

KRISTANTYL: Jason Meyer is a toymaker who hides his true face behind the mask of the good guy. He deceives people with this, thereby earning the trust and affection of his chosen one. What makes him different from others is that he doesn’t kill for fun. Over time Jason makes the existence (of his victims) more oppressive. He wants total control over everything and leads the individual to isolate himself slowly from the rest of the world.

If there are people who ruin his plans it’s not a problem, Jason kills them without the chosen one knowing it. He can get rid of the parents without feeling any remorse. If you behave badly and you’re not a good friend, Jason will fix you and turn you into a beautiful wax doll. The old wax dolls, after a long time, end up inside Mr.Glutton’s mouth.

He is driven by his selfishness and every bad feeling that lurks in all of us. Jason reflects what we are inside, what we feel when we suffer, or when we are angry. He isn’t immortal, his weakness is a music box that he hides inside himself and, in contrast to what people think, Jason is a human being. I could create a ghost or another supernatural creature, but I think the only really scary monster on this earth is the human being. Everything that builds can take life. Something gave him his extraordinary ability to be a toy maker, but a beautiful dream can turn into a nightmare at any moment.

UKHS: What was your inspiration for the character?

K: I’m often inspired by my thoughts that later lead me to create a character. I spend my days drawing drafts, choosing the name and designing the personality. Sometimes I create the characters for satisfying my desires or to make them intended to have a story, like Jason.

With him, however, it was completely different because I had not only to create the design but also a story. When I was a child I loved my puppets but at the same time I was scared of them. I believed that they were alive and that stared at me with their eyes. I remember I was spying outside my room’s ajar door trying to see them while they were moving but, of course, I failed. The toys changing their appearance depending on the identity of Jason, becoming horrible, creepy and seeing everything, are based on my childhood’s memory. This is my favourite feature for the toymaker.

UKHS: Which idea came to you first, the image or the story?

K: This question is difficult to answer because it’s been a long time. I think the first thing that came to my mind was the image of this character. Jason has made many transformations because, in the vast world of creepypasta characters, I was looking for a role that had not already been taken. At first I imagined this ventriloquist in search of the perfect puppet, but not having enough inspiration for the story, I decided to choose the Toy maker.

jttm3UKHS: Are you a fan of Creepypasta? If so, what is your favourite Creepypasta by a creator other than yourself?

K: I really read many Creepypasta and I met a lot of characters but no one has been able to impress me as much as The Puppeteer by BleedingHeartworks! The sound of broken bones and their abnormal movements always bothered me. I believe that at least one Creepypasta character in your life can touch your weakness just as The Puppeteer did to me.

UKHS: Which writers, horror or otherwise, do you consider yourself a fan of?

K: I’m not really a fan, but I like reading Stephen King’s books. The last one I bought it’s titled Black House but I’m already planning to buy IT. Also, since we are talking about this topic, I really loved the book by Stefano Pastor, ‘Il Giocattolaio’ (The toy maker). He is an Italian writer who, in this book, was able to keep me glued to the pages filled with suspense and horror. Wonderful book.

UKHS: What work of your own are you most proud of?

K: I’m never proud of my works. I can be satisfied, but I use this word very rarely for my works. I think it is never enough, I have to give my best and I’m never satisfied. I’m the worst critic of myself.

UKHS: The fans are very passionate about the character. Are there any examples of fan art, such as images, films or readings, in particular that have impressed you?

K: Every time I am amazed that Jason fans create something and spend their precious time just to pay tribute. Cosplay, video tributes etc. I see it all. I don’t have a preference, each gift has the same value and ends in my folder dedicated to the gifts for him.

UKHS: Earlier this year you made an announcement in which you handed over ownership of the character to fellow DeviantArt users Euphobea and Jesterca, citing a part of the fanbase as the cause. Would you care to explain what happened?

K: Before I answer this question I would like to point out one important thing: I didn’t transfer the ownership of my character to Euphobea and Jesterca. I’ve just entrusted Jason to them, but I am still the owner. Meanwhile Jason started to become well-known and this caught reader attention in some naughty children. I witnessed many things: the insults, the meaningless comparisons and many other things but then my patience ran out. I think everyone agrees with me that it is quite EMBARRASSING and STUPID offending someone over a fictional character.

I spent too much time on this story and I didn’t realize that I was losing sight of my true goals. I’m sorry, but Jason is not my project and for this reason, I had to make a choice. I couldn’t keep up with the fans and the haters, I am no longer a 15-year-old girl with so much free time. Right now I have priorities. I want to publish the story of my comic and I can’t do it if I continue to waste my time.

This decision was very difficult, but it was also the right one. The haters weren’t important. What bothered me the most were the fanfictions written by people who had no respect for Jason or for me. Some stories made me angry, because they were ruining the toymaker by turning him into a heartthrob or into a gay who likes orgies. Roleplaying is worse!

I have said it many times that Jason was born to be only a creepypasta character and that his role had already been established, but it was useless. I don’t want to tell people what to write, but I ask just for a little respect and less arrogance. These people have no idea that by doing these things the real Jason’s intentions are misunderstood and that later I have to pay the consequences with the insults.

Someone admires Jason’s false beauty, just like a perfect prince, but all of this is wrong. Jason is horrible, he is a sadistic, selfish monster. I’ve seen everything. After the decision to entrust Jason, I have been insulted by some “fans” who have called me ‘bastard’ and I want to repeat once again how all of this is ridiculous for someone who doesn’t exist. I don’t live for Jason and I don’t live for others. I live for my own life and for my own dreams!
I want to say that Jason gave me a lot of satisfaction and he will continue to do it, but he’s not my real project. He is only a hobby. Jason is a proof that anyone can get to where I did and may even go further. The haters instead can just grumble. 🙂

UKHS: Your artwork is incredible. Where did you learn to create such evocative images? How do you get inspiration for the creative process?

K: I’ve always drawn because I like it. I never stopped and this has almost become my job. I haven’t been able to attend an art school because my parents never supported my abilities, this is something I will never forget for the suffering it has caused me … but it didn’t stop me. The inspiration is subjective, I can’t give a precise answer. What I can tell you is based on my point of view, as I said earlier, and my inspiration comes from my thoughts or the feelings.

jttm4UKHS: Will you ever return to the story of Jason in the future? And what else can your fans look forward to from you in the days ahead?

K: Of course I will! I’m writing Jason’s origin story lately because there are many things to tell and probably I will do other things with him.

UKHS: Finally, is there anywhere I should send my readers to see/read more about Jason?

K: The fans can follow Jason in his official Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/Jason-The-Toy-Maker-421157594698376/) or on DeviantArt into the profile of my dear friend Mayheem (http://mayheem.deviantart.com).

As sad as it is that the popularity of Jason has caused his creator anguish, much like both Mr Angrydog and PastaStalker64’s versions of Jane the Killer, there is a silver-lining to this creepypasta cloud. Pasta IS becoming more and more popular.

Sure, some fans may resent the fact that the artform they love is becoming more mainstream and accessible to the masses (as is often the case with indie music or film-making), but what this means is that creators of Creepypasta are given more exposure, more support and, dare I say it, even a financial incentive to continue to create the best possible web horror stories they can.

Nowhere is this more apparent than with the very special, very exciting exclusive interview I have lined up for you all next week…

A Life in Blood – Genoveva Rossi Interviews Robert Mukes

genrossibannerHorror Queen Genoveva Rossi interviews the Great Robert Mukes from House of 1000 Corpses and Westworld

This horror queen recently had the pleasure of being a guest with horror legend Robert Mukes at two spooktacular horror conventions: Scare-a-con and Monsters and Robots. While at these incredibly busy events we managed to find a few moments to sit down and discuss Robert Mukes’ exciting acting career both in horror and in the mainstream acting world.

rmGenoveva: 1. You are an actor with an impressive background, but fans know you the most for House of 1000 Corpses. How did you come to meet Rob Zombie and to work on the film?

Mukes: I booked the role Rufus Jr, of House of 1000 corpses through the auditioning process, after I got the role I met Rob Zombie during the wardrobe fitting.

rm1Genoveva: 2. What was it like working with Rob Zombie? Any interesting stories?

Mukes: It was awesome working with Rob Zombie on House of 1000 Corpses. First of all it was a Universal Studios movie. Rob Zombie picked an amazing cast and he was extremely laid-back and professional to work with.

Genoveva: 3. Recently you acted in an episode of the new TV series Westworld? Tell readers a bit about your character and your time on set.

Mukes: Westworld was an amazing experience! From the cast, crew, catering service, and the actual seen that I participated in was amazing! I played a Behemoth Robot and I’ve got my fingers crossed to return for next season.

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Robert Mukes panel moderated by Genoveva Rossi at Monsters and Robots. Pic by Todd Staruch

Genoveva: 4. In addition to Westworld you’ve acted in Weeds, Justified, and Bone Tomahawk. Tell us a bit about what it was like being in these spectacular projects.

Mukes: I’ve been very fortunate to have worked on some big budget projects, and I’ve done some smaller budget projects as well that were just as amazing.

I just really enjoy acting! The excitement of hearing the director say action and then cut, that is such a thrill for me.

Genoveva: 5. Horror fans know and love you. In fact you travel the world going to horror conventions. It was an honor to be a guest with you at four conventions so far. What appearances do you have coming up? Where can fans go to follow your work?

Mukes: It was a pleasure seeing you at the conventions as well Genoveva. It was also lots of fun having you moderate a panel with me at Monsters and Robots recently. I anticipate my popularity in the convention scene increasing. My website is very user-friendly and is always current. – robertmukes.com

rm2Genoveva: 6. What upcoming horror films can readers look for you in?

Mukes: Coffin 2 and Valentine DayZ, are the only two at the current moment, but I anticipate many more as I continue my journey with health, fitness, and professionalism.

Genoveva: 7. Any final words to leave our horror readers with on you amazing career and your status as a legend of horror?

Mukes: I really enjoy being a part of the horror scene and I’m looking forward to meeting more fans and adding to my resume. Happy holidays everyone, and thank you for your time!

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Robert Mukes panel moderated by Genoveva Rossi at Monsters and Robots. Pic by Todd Staruch

Genoveva: Thank you all for reading another installment of A Life In Blood: Tales Of A Horror Queen! I hope you ghouls had as much fun as I did and stayed tuned for next month. Happy holidays!

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Robert Mukes panel moderated by Genoveva Rossi at Monsters and Robots. Pic by Todd Staruch

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Scare-a-thon

Yours in screams, Genoveva Rossi
Check out my website: www.genovevarossi.com
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Dark Web: Steven Hickey’s Essential Guide To Creepypasta – Part 32: Sonic.Exe

creepypastaDARK WEB: STEVEN HICKEY’S ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO CREEPYPASTA – PART 32: SONIC.EXE

I’d actually planned to cover a different Creepypasta for Dark Web this week, but when I secured an interview with the creator of one of the most infamous pastas of all time, I knew I couldn’t pass it up.

Long-term readers of this series will be familiar with the various videogame pastas that have found an audience with the fandom. One of my earliest Dark Web features covered Jadusable’s phenomenal BEN Drowned, which is still chilling readers to this very day. Of course, the posting of the Majora’s Mask pasta to 4chan in 2010 prompted a flurry of game pastas. One of the most influential of these is undoubtedly JC-The-Hyena’s Sonic.exe, which was originally posted at the Creepypasta Wiki on 9 August 2011.

You can read the full story over at: http://trollpasta.wikia.com/wiki/Sonic.exe?page=8

sonic-exe-titleFor those of you who haven’t read the story, it is about a young Sonic the Hedgehog fan who receives a mysterious CD-R disc which contains a supposedly hacked version of a Sonic game. It also contains a hastily scrawled and desperate sounding message from his best-friend, Kyle, who pleads with the protagonist to destroy the disc. Needless to say, the narrator foolishly ignores this request and instead opts to play the bootleg game.

He immediately notices that the game is darker and more menacing, featuring a nightmarish image of the title character with bleeding, black eyes and red pupils, flashing a horrifying smile, against a sea of hyper-realistic blood. The game itself continues with this unsettling tone, featuring a number of disturbing sounds and visuals. In it, Sonic’s loveable sidekick Tails finds himself relentlessly pursued by the diabolical alternate Sonic. When the monstrous character catches Tails (complete with a distorted screeching sound), the game starts to communicate directly with the player, warning him that he is ‘too slow’. As the game goes on these messages become even scarier, talking about souls and directly naming Kyle and even our protagonist.

As the horrifying images and messages escalate in intensity, the game and the title are revealed to have a very real influence in the world beyond the computer screen…

It’s an interesting pasta and, while the prose can be a little amateur at times and some of the character decisions are decidedly patchy (choosing to continue to play the game after some truly frightening events occur seems a tad unrealistic), it’s imaginative and manages to evoke some genuinely unsettling imagery. As such, it proved immensely popular and soon spread throughout the web, including DeviantArt and other Creepypasta sites. In fact, a search of DeviantArt this week for work with the Sonic.exe tag yields more than 10,000 results!

In fact, the pasta was such a popular title that, in August the following year, Gamejolt user MY5TCrimson (AKA Crimson the Bat) actually released a playable version of the game: http://gamejolt.com/games/sonic-exe-the-game/16239 . It’s a truly astonishing piece of work that remains HUGELY faithful to the source material and, somehow, actually makes Sega’s mascot pretty creepy.

sonic_exe_by_pyc

sonic_exe_by_pyc

Shortly after the game was released, JC-The-Hyena returned to his creation and elaborated on what exactly the titular entity was with a post to his FurAffinity page The truth about Sonic.exe (http://www.furaffinity.net/journal/3947977/). Posted on 21 October 2012, the text explains that Sonic.exe is actually a formless entity composed of dark matter that adopted the guise of a demonic Sonic. It doesn’t truly exist in our reality, but the game acts as a bridge, allowing it to influence anybody with darkness in their heart. With this post it soon became clear that the author had plans for the character and its surrounding mythos.

In November of that same year the original pasta was also read by the always popular Mr Creepypasta over at his YouTube Channel. You can find part one here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-qxYzu7X0ec and part two here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bl_WZks4TWU . Mr Creepypasta has an exceptional YouTube following and his reading has been viewed more than 400,000 times.

Rapidly gathering momentum as it spread through the Creepypasta community, the game (and pasta) received a real surge in popularity when well-known YouTuber PewDiePie posted a Let’s Play walkthrough video to his channel on 5 May 2013, itself viewed nearly 9,000,000 times. (You can watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36smb94HGNo). This is an astonishing figure and demonstrates the formidable popularity of both the pasta and PewDiePie himself.

It was in that same year that JC-The-Hyena finally followed up on his original pasta with the official sequel, Round 2: The Sonic.exe Sequel. You can read the story here: http://sonic-exe-stories.deviantart.com/art/Round-2-the-Sonic-exe-Sequel-629625508

In this narrative the author expands on the story significantly, introducing an ongoing police investigation into a series of crimes dubbed ‘The Sonic.exe Murders’. Told from the point of view of a detective investigating the crimes, it also introduces the sinister Cult of X, a deranged group of individuals who worship Exe, plus looks more closely at the monster’s influence. This includes a reference to seven mysterious guardians in Exe’s realm and a human agent for Exe, one Shannon Goldman, his most devout follower. It’s certainly an ambitious piece and really hints that there is much much more of the Exe tail to come from JC-The-Hyena. Again, there are a couple of rough patches of prose, but it’s a fun read and had many readers eagerly anticipating the next chapter in the saga.

However, even as the pasta was finding new readers (and fans), JC-The-Hyena suffered a blow when, on 14 January 2014, the administrators over at the Creepypasta Wiki deleted the original post due to ‘quality standards’, claiming that it was “badly written” and “had too many cliches” and “was a bad example of what should be a creepypasta”.
This caused JC-The-Hyena some considerable upset, and he wrote a lengthy response to the news (http://archive.is/QmP5q#selection-351.120-351.218) in which he berated the Wiki’s admins for their decision and encouraged fans of his pasta to rally behind it. Sadly his efforts were for nought and the pasta remains on the trollpasta wiki, a site on which poor or deliberately sub-standard web horror stories are posted.

Be this as it may, Sonic.exe remains one of the most well-known and popular video game pastas, all thanks to the creative efforts of one person — JC-The-Hyena.

JC was kind enough to agree to speak with UK Horror Scene about his story and to answer my questions about the pasta. The full interview follows below.

UK HORROR SCENE: Thank you for talking to me. The most obvious question first – what served as your inspiration for the story?

JC-THE-HYENA: Well, I guess what inspired me to make Sonic.exe would be how I saw everyone else’s Creepypastas. They were all really good and really, well, creepy, to say the least, and I felt I should try my hand at making my own Creepypasta. It wasn’t really easy honestly.

It started out as a simple edited PNG image of the title screen from the first Sonic the Hedgehog game. But then I decided to take it a step further. I then wanted to try turning it into a .avi file, but I decided .exe was a better idea.
I know I was being a little unoriginal with the pasta — the hyper-realistic blood, the Sega 666 bit, and all that. But you gotta understand where I was coming from. This was my first creepypasta so I was kinda learning. I wanted to make something different. And when I made the story, I made the titular monster something that had no explanation on exactly what he is or where exactly he came from.

When the story became a hit, I decided to flesh him out and TRY to add some background to him. I actually never expected how popular my story became when I posted it, though I also never expected how many people would come to dislike it, Sonic.exe is pretty much split down the middle in the internet but I’m not COMPLETELY complaining about that, I’m just glad I’m getting some recognition for trying something out. XD

UKHS: In your own words, can you tell my readers about the story of Sonic.exe

JCTH: The story of Sonic.exe is a little hard to explain without like, trying to explain plot of the Creepypasta itself.
Basically this guy gets this game disc in the mail, he plays it, turns out it’s cursed, and that the monster haunting it is something mankind has never seen before. And in the sequel it turns out that this monster has a whole religion behind him and the cult that worships the monster is trying to help him take over the world, and this disgruntled detective explains, in his diary, that he’s coming close to cracking the conspiracy before the story ends with him becoming another one of the monster’s many many slaves.

That’s pretty much the whole gist of Sonic.exe rly. As for WHAT he is, I can tell you this. He’s not Satan. He’s not God (even though he says he is.), he’s actually this extra-dimensional being that can bend reality to his will… and is coincidentally a passionate fanboy for Sonic the Hedgehog. XDDD

sonic_exe_by_shadowninja

sonic_exe_by_shadowninja

UKHS: Why do you think Sonic.exe has resonated with readers?

JCTH: Well, for the reason why Sonic.exe is split down the middle, the answer is kinda obvious; It’s the internet, there’s always gonna be a buncha people that like something, and there’s gonna be a buncha people that don’t like something. That’s kinda how it works.

But as for how it affected readers. I think it’s one of two things: first is the idea of Sonic being this sadistic, all-powerful monster being quite the face-heel turn surprise for Sonic fans. Like, I remember watching reaction videos and let’s plays of people playing the fan game and them actually saying that Sonic would never do this or he wouldn’t do that. It always cracked me up. XD

As for reason two, it’s the common fear of the unknown. Sonic.exe (or “X” as I call him) is literally a creature that nobody has any idea on what he is or where he came from. And he has all this power to do whatever he wants and what he wants to do is torment and enslave humanity for his own sick amusement.
Try to imagine that in a real world perspective. It’s a pretty scary thought when you actually think about it right?

UKHS: Which writers, horror or otherwise, do you consider yourself a fan of?

JCTH: I guess I was always into the works of Stephen King and H.P. Lovecraft, their works on supernatural entities much larger and much more outside our understanding of the universe for the most part helped with the creation and fleshing out of the creature that is named “X”.

X is this nameless alien monstrosity in the form of everyone’s favorite blue blur, and he gets off on using his dimensional powers to torment his human slaves to the point of insanity. I personally think he and Pennywise should hang out together. XD

UKHS: Are you a fan of Creepypasta? If so what is your favourite Creepypasta by an author other than yourself?

JCTH: Yeah, I’m still a fan. I like many of the other Creepypastas that are still around today: Abandoned by Disney, Smile.Dog, BEN Drowned, Squidward’s Suicide (That one was the first Creepypasta I ever read), but if I hafta choose a number 1 favorite, iiiiiit’d be Suicidemouse.avi.

UKHS: Why do you think Creepypasta is so popular with the fandom?

JCTH: Well, alotta reasons actually, the first two being the ones I mentioned earlier, but other reasons I think it’s cuz the fans like seeing Sonic as a darker more edgier version of himself, you know like the Werehog or Dark Sonic from Sonic X.

Dark Sonic also kinda helped with the inspiration of Sonic.exe but not completely. I guess you could say I took the dark and edgy factor and tried cranking it up to 11. XD I like to think I succeeded. Other reasons I think for SOME fans that like Sonic.exe is how attractive he looks as a character. I think it’s his smile that wins them over in all honesty but I’m still debating.

UKHS: The fans are very passionate about the story. Are there any examples of fan art, such as films or readings, in particular that have impressed you?

JCTH: Yeah, alotta fans have impressed me with some of their work. The Sonic.exe fan game and all it’s versions by Crimson the bat, all the “.Exe” Fan characters, even the Sunky.mpeg parody game (http://gamejolt.com/games/sunky-mpeg/78243) got several laughs out of me. XD

I’ve even allowed some fans to try their hand on making their own version of the Sonic.exe story, y’know, just to see what they can do.

UKHS: I feel the story has been wrongfully maligned by some segments of Creepypasta fandom. Have you read any of these negative comments? How do you feel about them? Have the fans been as vocal in their support as the dissenters?

JCTH: Ehh, I’m not exactly happy with some people hating on Sonic.exe, but I TRY to keep a positive outlook on it. I mean everyone’s entitled to their opinions. I don’t even really look at the comments as HATE comments per se, they’re really more or less just criticism and opinions. I just read them, consider what they say and then move on.

Though if anybody’s being critical and is only doing so cuz they wanna help me in improving Sonic.exe, I’ll take it. After all Sonic.exe WAS my first story, I was still learning. I guess you could say I’m still learning now. As for the fans that support me, yes they’ve been vocal about their help and support, and I deeply value their concern for me.

Sonic-J.C.avatar.

Sonic-J.C.avatar.

UKHS: You were very outspoken about your disappointment at the decision of the mods at the Creepypasta wiki to delete Sonic.exe from the site. What happened there? How is your relationship with the Creepypasta Wikia team now?

JCTH: Yeeeeah, not gonna lie, my little outburst on the Admins deleting my Creepypasta off their wiki was quite stand-offish. I wasn’t in the best kinda moods that day and I deeply apologize for ever doing it. It wasn’t the smart way to go about with the situation and I wish I handled the news more carefully.

Though I still stand firm that the admins were being a little unreasonable about deleting it. I mean let’s not kid ourselves, originality doesn’t exactly EXIST in the internet nowadays. XD;

However, ONE admin who’s still a fan of my story and is still a good friend of mine backed me up during the feud… though she had to quit being an Admin when she saw how stubborn the others were being. And I respect her very much for sticking up for me. Furbearingbrick, if yer still out there on the Net: Thanx for helping me out when Exe got deleted. You’re an awesome friend. X3

UKHS: Do you have any other Creepypasta creations either in the pipeline or already out there that you’d like to share with our audience? And do you intend to return to/expand upon the Sonic.exe story in the future?

JCTH: Well, I made one other story. It’s called the Horror of Montyburg (you can read it here: http://someordinarygamers.wikia.com/wiki/The_Horror_of_Montyburg), and I kinda based it off of The Blair Witch Project.

You can see the appeal, guy in Mississippi gets burned for witchcraft long time ago, comes back in modern time as a goat-headed demon that kidnaps people and uses their body parts to make crude voodoo dolls designed to resemble the people he’s killed. It’s a neat story told like a campfire tale, I think it’s still somewhere on the internet but I don’t remember.

As for Sonic.exe I DO hope to add more to the universe of the story, get more sequels in, or maybe do a remake. Haven’t really decided. But I can promise you this, I’m still gonna be doing stuff with Sonic.exe for a really long time.

UKHS: And finally, where is the best place for my readers to check out your work?

JCTH: Well, if you ever want to check out more of my work, go on either Furaffinity.net or Deviantart.com, my fans have posted both the original Sonic.exe story and it’s sequel in both, so you don’t gotta worry about finding either one. However, if you ever want me to write or draw something for you, I do art commissions. If you wanna contact me about a purchase, my Furaffinity is JC-the-Hyena and my Skype is sirjc231.

What JC-The-Hyena and Sonic.exe show is that, even if the more traditional sources of Creepypasta don’t appreciate your work, there are still plenty of places on the worldwide web on which it is possible to post and share your output with a similar, like-minded community.

Come back next time when I’ll be covering another pasta which found a home at DeviantArt.