The Walking Dead was the most anticipated show when it came out in 2010 next to Boardwalk Empire. In a nutshell, this show is based on Robert Kirkman’s popular comic books and was brought to life on the television screen by show creator Frank Darabont, who is most famous for his work on The Shawshank Redemption.
We think that many Zombie costumes will be inspired by the popularity of the show and that zombies will continue to grow in popularity for years to come.
The cast of The Walking Dead isn’t instantly recognizable, but is very strong nonetheless. Of course, it helps that the makeup effects are great, too, and that the combination of drama and horror in the show are unique and compelling at the same time.
Without a doubt, The Walking Dead has already added itself to the popular and critical roster of television programs on AMC, such as Breaking Bad and Mad Men – and that is definitely a feat that other zombie apocalypse television shows are not able to boast about just yet.
So, how great is The Walking Dead, really? Does it live up to its surrounding hype or is it just another decent achievement by AMC? Well, the answer to both questions is definitely a resounding “yes”. So, how is this show able to do that while other television shows in the same sub-genre aren’t succeeding at doing the same thing? Well, for starters, The Walking Dead isn’t just about monster madness. It also keeps a fine-tuned drama about humans going in the middle of it all.
In the pilot episode, officer Rick Grimes is introduced to the audience. He is a mild-mannered man from Georgia who ends up getting gunned down while on duty. When he wakes up at the hospital a few weeks later, he is alone and finds corpses lying around everywhere, some of which are dead and others of which are undead. He stumbles home just to find an empty house and his wife and son missing.
Soon after that, he runs into Morgan and Duane Jones, a father-and-son tandem who tell Rick about the zombie apocalypse that has been going on. Apparently, Atlanta is rallying survivors, so that is probably where Rick’s family has gone to hide out. As such, Rick decides to go to Atlanta, not knowing that the city is now filled with the undead, as well.
The pilot episode itself showed people exactly what they could expect from The Walking Dead: a good combination of both human drama and zombie horror. Even people who aren’t huge fans of the comic books approached the show with curiosity to check whether it was going to turn into a silly gore-filled show like all of the other stories on zombie apocalypse out there.
Well, since the pilot episode was so good, most people had complete confidence that The Walking Dead would easily turn into the show for zombie horror that The Wire was for cops and robbers and what The Sopranos was for mob drama: it would elevate it to whole new prestigious level that most people never would have imagined for this genre of television. This is why it is still ongoing and is still so popular today.
One of the most anticipated horror films coming up is The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D, which is scheduled for release in January of 2013. There have been several sequels to the 1974 horror classic The Texas Chainsaw Massacre but the new film is going to follow the original story of the murderous family torturing and killing people in rural Texas more closely than any of the other films. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is said to tell the story of what happened immediately after the end of the first film. Previous sequels all gave nods to the original story and incorporated the terrifying Leatherface but didn’t stick to closely to the original story. In the new film the main character will be traveling to Texas to pick up some kind of inheritance, which could well be Leatherface himself. Some sources say the inheritance is the property that the family inhabited and the site of all the murders, which is where Leatherface will be after surviving being knocked out at the end of the first film.
The image of Leatherface summons up some of the most deeply rooted fears in the human psyche, which is why he is so universally terrifying. He wears a mask made of human skin and a blood soaked apron, and he wields a terrifying chainsaw. The randomness of his killing, and the total silence in which he kills, raise an innate fear that everyone has that they will be the victim of some random violence. There is no reason or pattern to how Leather face kills. If you come across his path he will kill you. And that’s terrifying. Leatherface, like other slasher villains seems to survive everytime he is attacked which makes him an unstoppable force. Leatherface is one of the most popular, and most feared, movie villains of all time. Dressing up as Leatherface for Halloween is always popular because it’s an easy costume to make with a good mask and it’s always scary and instantly recognizable.
Supposedly the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, which tells the story of a family in Texas that gruesomely murders people, is based on true events. But in reality the film is based on the exploits of one of the most ghoulish killers of all time, Ed Gein. Ed only admitted to the murders of two women, although he was suspected of more. What was the most shocking was that in his house police found chairs covered in cushions made of human skin, masks made from human faces, bones used for furniture and other items, and a wide range of body parts used in everything from clothing to a “human female suit” that he was constructing from the tanned skins of women to create a suit of human skin he could put on to become a woman. Ed Gein is the inspiration for many famous movie killers including Jamey Gumb in the Silence of the Lambs and Leatherface. Gein committed his crimes in WI, not TX, but the idea that Leatherface is based on a real person is enough to scare an entirely new generation of Texas Chainsaw Massacre fans when the movie comes out in 2013.
Batman is one of the most beloved comic book heroes and also one of the most often featured in films. There is just something about the idea of the dashing Bruce Wayne and his tragic past that touches every generation, and the enduring story of his fight against evil is always popular with young and old audiences alike. Although past Batman films have all been successful the newest Batman film, The Dark Knight Rises, will end the most popular Batman film trilogy in history. The trilogy of films that include Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, and The Dark Knight Rises were written and directed by Christopher Nolan. Previously Christopher Nolan took the indie film scene by storm with his intelligent and dark brain teaser film Memento. His art house film style and gift for adding a dark and gritty lens to stories created a Batman trilogy that really brought out the dark undertones of the Batman story and took the film version of Batman from a cartoonish play on the graphic novel to an elegant and dark retelling of the original Batman story.
One of the reasons for the smash success of the Christopher Nolan Batman trilogy was the character of the Joker, expertly captured by Heath Ledger, who stole the show in The Dark Knight. The untimely death of Ledger during the last part of the filming of the movie shone a spotlight on his tour de force performance and generated a lot of buzz for the film. The audience for The Dark Knight included people who had never seen a Batman movie before but wanted to see Ledger’s final performance and that helped drive box office receipts for the film, and interest in the other two films, to epic levels.
Another reason why people are so entranced by Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy is that the casting of the films has largely remained the same throughout the trilogy. The films include Hollywood heavy hitters like Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Gary Oldman and Christian Bale as Batman. The combined star power in these films along with the dark under current that gives the movie a truly graphic novel feel appeals to many different types of audiences and gives people the type of movie experience that they have been craving for awhile. Because movie ticket prices are so high these days studios and directors really need to deliver a film experience in order to entice people to pay higher prices and the Batman trilogy does that very well. Advance tickets for the opening screenings of The Dark Knight Rises were selling out at $150 per ticket months before the film opened.
Typically the last film in a series of films is the most serious, the most dark, and ultimately the most triumphant as it wraps up the storyline for fans. The Dark Knight rises lives up to the hype and gives fans the last hurrah they have been waiting to see while retiring the Christopher Nolan interpretation of the Batman story.
There are very few stories that are as beloved by people of all ages the way that the Wizard of Oz is. There is something about Frank Baum’s timeless story that touches the imaginations of children and reminds older people what it feels like to visit an imaginary land of wonder and joy. Folklorists say that the story is universally appealing because it deals with the common themes of family and good triumphing over evil but there’s more to the story than just those elements. Most people think of the 1939 film adaptation of the story when they hear The Wizard of Oz and that particular film is the one that most people love. Audiences at the time the film was released didn’t love it as much as audiences today do. When the film was released it had the distinction of being the most expensive film that MGM had ever put out. Critics loved the film and it was nominated for six Academy Awards that year but audiences were largely unimpressed even with the special effects and use of color which were quite cutting edge for that time.
One of the reasons why people love this film version of the story of the Wizard of Oz is because they remember the film being played every year on TV. In 1956 the major networks began showing The Wizard of Oz, usually just once a year, which made it quite an event. Generations of people have grown up watching the story on TV and have shared the experience of finding Oz with their kids and their grandkids. Film critics routinely name The Wizard of Oz as one of the top 10 films of all time because of the huge impact that the film has had on popular culture as well for the quality of the film and the story. Last year a pair of Dorothy’s ruby slippers that were worn by Judy Garland in the film sold for over a million dollars and were donated to a museum of film and television history so that future generations of fans can see a little piece of the film for themselves.
No one is really sure why the story of Dorothy finding her way from Oz has touched so many millions of people so deeply. Perhaps it’s because people want to believe that it is possible to find happiness and a life of peace and contentment even when life seems dark and homeless. Perhaps it’s because everyone appreciates the story of an underdog who triumphs over adversity. Or maybe it’s just because everyone who sees the film is transported by the simple story and emotional music to a simpler time when life wasn’t so complicated, relationships were stronger, and there was a greater sense of family and contentment. Whatever the reasons why people respond so strongly to Dorothy and the inhabitants of Oz it’s clear that they have made an indelible mark on culture that will last forever.
The monsters of Monster High are bringing the message that it’s ok to be different to kids in a fun and unique way. Monster High is a wildly popular brand aimed at middle school and older kids. There is a website which is the central hub of the brand which debuted in 2010. The website has games, stories, interactive features and extra content for kids. There are also books, animated webisodes featuring the monsters from Monster High and information on the many Monster High products that are sold. The core of the brand though is the dolls of the monsters, and of course the story of the monsters that attend Monster High. At Monster High everyone is unique and has a unique story as the child of a well known monster, which sends a great message to kids about including people who are different by showing that everyone is different. Although the characters all have wildly different looks and styles their physical features make them instantly recognizable as the child of a monster from popular culture like Dracula, Frankenstein or the Wolf Man. The main characters in the Monster High universe are:
Frankie Stein – The daughter of Frankenstein has long black hair with white streaks and she also has randomly placed stitches and bolts like her famous father and mother. Throughout the adventures that she goes on with her friends her body parts tend to fly off randomly which the other kids accept without question.
Draculaura – The daughter of Dracula is more than a thousand years old and is a vegan vampire who faints at the sight of blood. She is very popular and is dating the werewolf brother of Clawdeen.
Clawdeen Wolf – Clawdeen is the child of the Wolf Man and is covered in fur and has piercings although she keeps her fur trimmed and stylish. Her older brother Clawd is dating Draculaura.
Cleo de Nile – the Mummy’s daughter has an older sibling who features prominently in many of the stories of Cleo. She is the most popular of all the Monster girls at Monster High and dates the star athlete, Deuce Gorgon. Deuce is the son of Medusa and has a Mohawk made up of snakes. He wears sunglasses at all times to avoid turning people to stone and is a star at Casketball.
Lagoona Blue – The only “foreign” Monster is Lagoona who is the daughter of the Sea Monster. Because she comes from “down under” the sea she has an Australian accent.
Ghoulia Yelps – Ghoulia is the best friend of Cleo, but she can only speak in grunts because she is the child of zombies. She is very intelligent but people often think she is not because of how she speaks.
Some critics have said that the Monster High stories and characters don’t do enough to promote tolerance and acceptance among kids because the Monsters still largely fall into stereotypical roles but some parents and child psychologists applaud the Monsters High creators for trying to get the message to kids that it’s ok to be different in a way that they can easily relate to.
Snow White is one of the most iconic fairy tale characters. The image of a beautiful girl with white skin, red lips and black hair is one that can be seen over and over in films, cartoons, graphic novels and of course in fairy tale collections. The Snow White who was featured in the story of the evil queen was not the only Snow White in fairy tale lore, but she is the one that most people recognize. There is an old German fairy tale featuring a girl named Snow White in the tale of Snow White and Rose Red and that Snow White also marries a prince although her story is quite different.
In the classic Snow White tale a queen who is embroidering at her window in the winter pricks her finger with the needle and a few drops of her blood fall into the snow. She is pregnant, and she wishes for a daughter with skin as white as snow, lips as red as blood, and hair black as the ebony embroidery frame. She gets her wish, but she dies from child birth soon after Snow White is born. Snow White’s father married a shallow and vain woman who is jealous of the little girl.
The new queen has a magic mirror that will answer questions and she asks it over and over again who is the most beautiful woman in the land. The mirror always answers Snow White, so the queen orders a huntsman to take the child Snow White into the forest and kill her. She demands proof of death as well. The huntsman can’t kill the child, so he tells her to run into the forest and never come back, and he takes the queen the liver and lungs of a boar as proof of death, which the evil queen eats. When she asks the mirror again who is prettiest the mirror still answers Snow White and the queen finds out the huntsman lied and Snow White is alive. The queen begins a campaign to kill Snow White so she can be the most beautiful woman. She fails, and Snow White marries a prince. This classic story has inspired many movies and TV shows but the quintessential Snow White film is the Disney animated feature Snow White and Seven Dwarves, which most people have seen dozens of times.
Until recently the story of Snow White remained largely unchanged and the Disney film remained the iconic representation of Snow White. But in 2012 two very different major studio films were released that re-imagined the story of the beautiful princess Snow White. Mirror, Mirror which featured Julia Roberts as the vain queen was a comedy and very kid friendly, softening some of the darker aspects of the story. The other film, Snow White and the Huntsman, was a huge hit at the box office, was a much darker retelling of the story with Charlize Theron playing the beautiful but evil queen and Kristin Stewart playing Snow White. In this action oriented dark telling of the story Snow White returns from the forest with an army to fight the evil queen and remove her from power.
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The Three Stooges was a comedy act that first took the stage in the late 1925 with another man, Ted Healy, performing as “Ted Healy and the Southern Gentlemen” or “Ted Healy and his Stooges”. Their acts was mainly slapstick comedy, which was as popular back then as it is now, and the act was offered a role in the movie Soup to Nuts in 1930. The movie was not well received but the Stooges performance was singled out for excellence so the movie studio offered the 3 Stooges a contract. Healy objected saying the Stooges were his employees and after a brief legal scuffle the 3 Stooges consisting of Moe, Larry and Shemp went to work for the movie studio. Shemp left the group after a couple of years to pursue other opportunities and Moe got his brother Curly Howard to take Shemp’s place. The lineup of Larry, Moe and Curly would go on to be the most famous and well received incarnation of the Stooges.
Together the Stooges appeared in over 200 films and shorts always using their unique signature slapstick comedy and farce routines. While they never received critical acclaim or any awards for their comedy they were beloved by fans who found them hysterically funny. In the 1980s there was a revival of interest in slapstick comedy and in the Stooges which led to re-releases of almost all of their films and shorts. VHS collections of their body of work sold briskly as new audiences discovered the comedic genius of the 3 Stooges. In the 90s interest in the Stooges waned again, but now a new generation of fans are discovering the comedy genius of the Stooges with a new 2012 film directed by the Farrelly brothers that highlights the Stooges unique style of comedy. his death. However Shemp insisted that his return be temporary because he enjoyed being on his own and had found success as a single player. After a couple short term replacements Joe DeRita permanently replaced Curly, adopting the stage name Curly Joe. Curly Joe, Larry and Moe continued as the 3 Stooges until public taste changed and slapstick comedy was no longer as popular as it had been. As the comedians grew older the slapstick that had become their signature became hard on them physically and so when their popularity began to dip they called it quits.The 2012 film stars nationally recognized comedians Sean Hayes, Will Sasso and Chris Diamantopolous as Larry, Curly and Moe. The film is divided into three episodes or shorts and each short showcases the classic comedy bits and slapstick style that audiences fell in love with when the original Stooges performed them. While the film didn’t get the kind of attention that other big name films got fans and critics alike were happy to pay homage to the comedians who kept audiences laughing for decades with their unique comedy.
Thor is the only Marvel superhero who is also a God. When Marvel character creators were looking for ways to renew interest in their superheroes and reach out to a new audience they discussed how they could make their newest superhero even stronger and more powerful than the others and settled on adding a God to the line up of superheroes fighting for the freedom of the world on the Avengers team. Thor is a Norse God who looks like a Viking with flowing blonde hair and a beard. He has superhuman strength and he fights with the Avengers to eliminate threats as well as fighting crime on his own.
Like other Marvel superheroes Thor started out his life as a normal man, Donald Blake, who was a medical student and had no idea he was really a God. While being pursued by aliens he finds Thor’s hammer, and when he bangs it he is transformed into his actual God self. Odin, his father, had placed him in the body of Donald Blake as a way to teach him some humility when he was getting out of control as a God. Once his true destiny was revealed he began fighting crime with the other Avengers. Like the other Avengers he has his own adventures as well.
Thor is one of the main characters in the Avengers movie because he enlists the help of the Avengers to help him battle Loki, a foe he has fought before. His ongoing battle with Loki and other gods as well as with aliens is one thing in his life that stays pretty constant. Unlike many of the other superheroes Thor is married and has a son, which also is a cause of friction and struggle for him at times. Writing a God into the Marvel universe was a bit difficult for the writers who had to blend existing characteristics of Thor with the characteristics he needed to have in order to fit into the Marvel universe.
The huge success of the Avengers movie has introduced a new generation to the Marvel superhero world. Thousands of people are going back to the original Marvel comics from the 60s and 70s and rediscovering the early history of the superheroes they have come to love from the movies. Some graphic novel fans don’t think too highly of people who are only now getting into the graphic novel world and are only doing so because of a film but the writers of the comics are thrilled to see new fans coming into shops and buying older comics so they can learn more about their favorite characters. The only way for graphic novels to continue to develop is if the genre is attracting new fans that will study the images and comics of the past and build upon the stories and the characters of the past to create newer superheroes and new stories. Fan favorite Thor is a character that is expected to continue to draw new fans for many years to come.
The Hellraiser movies have been one of the biggest influences on modern Halloween costumes. For anyone who has not seen the Hellraiser movies, the first film debuted in 1987, simply titled Hellraiser. The first film begins with the misadventure of Frank Cotton, who unravels the mystery behind a strange puzzle box purchased from an antiques dealer. His reward for solving the puzzle: flesh tearing pain and imprisonment by the demons named “Cenobites.” The Cenobites are lead by the infamous Pinhead.
Later, Frank’s brother Larry and Julia (Larry’s second wife) moves into Frank’s house. In the past, Julia had an affair with Frank. After accidentally cutting his hand on a nail Larry’s blood winds up nourishing his brother’s soul which leads the captive Frank to convince Julia to help him restore his physical form. In order to do this, she must lure men up into the attic where Frank is held so that he can use their blood to regenerate himself.
The film is very unsettling with heavy sadomasochistic themes. The original Hellraiser was followed up with many sequels, including:
- 1988’s Hellbound: Hellraiser II
- 1992’s Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth
- 1996’s Hellraiser: Bloodline
- 2000’s Hellraiser: Inferno
- 2002’s Hellraiser: Hellseeker
- 2005’s Hellraiser: Deader
- 2005’s Hellraiser Hellworld
- And an upcoming 2011 release titled Hellraiser: Revelations
Such a long list of sequels and dark themes has made the Hellraiser series of films a fast favorite during Halloween. Rather than simply watching the films, some people prefer to take it a step further.
Fans Love Hellraiser Halloween Costumes
Pinhead is hands down the most popular character from the Hellraiser series. His likeness has been recreated in costume form. Each year, retailers offer premade costumes that come with everything fans need to dress up like the infamous Pinhead demon. There are a handful of different styles available, even children’s sizes. Pinhead window clings are also available for easy decorating while deviating away from the typical pumpkins, witches and spiders.
Although Pinhead is the most popular choice for Hellraiser costumes, there are other styles available. The extremely creepy, hook wielding Chatterer costume is also available, complete with grotesque face mask and detailed body suit. Butterball is another option that is equally as unsettling, with a meaty gut complete with gaping wound and gory effects. Serious fans can put together a group theme with each Cenobite costume. It could become the most disturbing Halloween ever for those who encounter this trio of movie characters.
Get Into Character for Halloween
If you plan to show your love of the Hellraiser movies, then make sure you get into character for Halloween. Many authentic character costumes are available online, along with creepy accessories such as the Hellraiser weapons belt. Plan a fun evening of entertainment by getting your fellow Hellraiser fans together for a movie marathon before Halloween. There is no better way to get into the mood and pick up on the best way to act the part than by watching the films that inspired the horror.
It has taken a long time for the film version of the Green Hornet to make it to the screen but fans will be overjoyed to know that production is already in progress and the film adaptation of the Green Hornet will be hitting theaters soon. Unlike some other superhero franchises based on comics like X Men or Watchmen the story of the Green Hornet has taken decades to get to film even though there was a radio serial based on the Green Hornet and a TV show. The TV show, which was very popular in the 1960s, starred the venerable Bruce Lee as martial arts expert, the Green Hornet’s sidekick.
Comedic superhero Seth Rogan will be taking the role of newspaper publisher Britt Reid, who has a secret identity as the Green Hornet. The Green Hornet’s martial arts expert sidekick and valet Kato will be played by Jay Chou. The Green Hornet’s faithful assistant Lenore Case will be played by Cameron Diaz, although in the film adaptation Lenore will be more of a sleuth than an assistant although she never makes the connection that Reid is also the Green Hornet.
The Green Hornet is a superhero that is easily relatable to everyday people. Even though he is a descendent of the famous Lone Ranger he is not taken very seriously in either super hero or law enforcement circles and is friendlier with criminals than he should be. This causes some problems as he tries to use his powers to fight crime and makes the police suspicious of his activities so that more often than not he comes under as much suspicion as the criminals he’s trying to catch. The modern version of the Green Hornet promises to expand the story of Britt Reid and give viewers more insight into the character.
The first serious talk of making a Green Hornet movie was back in the early 1990s when George Clooney and Jason Lee were in talks to take on the primary roles. After that incarnation of the movie fell through it was rumored that Kevin Smith was writing a screenplay of the Green Hornet, but after years of speculation Kevin announced that he was not involved in the Green Hornet project in any way. Fans assumed the project would never make it to the big screen but in 2009 Sony Pictures announced that it was going to make and release the Green Hornet under the banner of one of its smaller movie imprints, Columbia.
Fans who have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of the film version of the Green Hornet won’t have to wait much longer. Some fans are very skeptical about the casting of the film and wonder if Seth Rogan will really do justice to the Green Hornet character but Jay Chou, who was in such hits as Curse of the Golden Flower and Shaolin Soccer, should bring enough action to balance out Rogan’s humor and make the movie a good blend of drama, action and humor.