Thursday, June 26, 2014

House Of Ghosts

Dinner party guests are snowed in, and a medium uses a machine to contact the dead in this modern, extremely low budget black-and-white horror story that pays homage to gimmicky director William Castle. I'll discuss that in a minute. Since I have you here, I'm first going to tell you about my trip to Pittsburgh.

Oh, stop complaining. You'll be fine.

I hopped in the Volvo 1800 and drove to Pittsburgh for Monster Bash, which is a monster movie horror convention. Until very recently, I never attended horror conventions. I'm not certain why, I just never got around to it, I suppose. Now I'm a big fan.

While I was kind of hoping to hang out and chat with The Creature From The Black Lagoon, he wasn't there. This is just a statue.

I was also hoping to be able to chat with Dracula, Frankenstein's Monster, and the Wolfman. They couldn't make it, either. I took a photo of statues of them as well. While this was a major disappointment, I had to settle for talking with the director of Spider Baby, Jack Hill. It was fun talking to this legendary director, and by "fun" I mean "awkward and brief, and then I ran away". I'm not very good at talking to people. I'm better at talking to monsters.

There were several tables set up featuring the cast from Night Of The Living Dead, but unfortunately, there were no zombies signing autographs. Oh well. However, I did have a conversation with the sheriff from Night Of The Living Dead. It was fun talking to a human who was in a film, and by "fun" I really mean "awkward and brief, and then I ran away".

I somehow managed to make a little conversation with the director of House Of Ghosts. It was also awkward and brief, and then I ran away. Just before I fled I bought his film House Of Ghosts, and he gave me a free Fear Shield, which is to shield my eyes from the intense horror on screen. It was nice, but I think I can handle a little horror. I've seen it before. More on the movie after we look at some of my trip photos first.

Oh, stop complaining. You'll be fine. My photos aren't inane pictures of people doing inane vacation-y stuff because those kinds of pictures suck. I take pictures of eerie things that make people uneasy. Sometimes there are pictures of my dinner, but usually my dinner is eerie, too. It's fine.

Anyway, if you've never been to a monster movie convention, I highly recommend you go. Bear in mind though, admission is a little steep, and as I learned, many of the monsters from the films don't actually appear.

After the convention I headed over to The Center For PostNatural History, which is a museum dedicated to organisms which were altered through selective breeding or genetic engineering. It was dark, creepy, foreboding, and pretty darn awesome. Here is a picture of a flask filled with sea monkeys.

I then headed over to St Anthony's Chapel, which is a church that holds 5000 saintly relics. Solemn, silent, and heavy with the aroma of candle wax, St. Anthony's is a meditative place. There were life-sized, carved wooden statues of the Stations Of The Cross, and many reliquaries containing bones and other saintly body parts. They would not allow photography in the chapel, so here's a picture I pulled from Wikipedia of a box containing a veiled skull.

I ventured over to the Mattress Factory, which is a complex of Victorian row houses that have been converted to hold art installations in the Mexican War Streets area of Northside. One of the buildings is by artist Chiraru Shiota, who cocooned 3 floors of rooms in black yarn.

It was nearly dinner time, so I went to Double Wide Grill, where I had the vegetarian TV dinner. I had the Coconut Tofu, the Barbecued Seitan, the beans and rice, and fries. It was pretty darn good.

Ok, so my dinner isn't that eerie. Whatever.

Back to the movie. Filmed on a budget of $3000, House Of Ghosts has wooden acting, stilted dialogue, and unsteady camera movement. There's also rubber masks, rubber claws, rubber spiders, theremin, Mellotron, a levitating dog, and subliminal messages. I found House Of Ghosts to be funny, charming, well-done for the budget, and in the very much in the spirit of William Castle's films.

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