Black magic is an integral part of the culture in Vanuatu and is practiced widely by witch doctors across all of the islands, we are told. It can be used for all sorts of things, ranging from creating love potions to cursing an enemy to an untimely death. “People have been killed using black magic,” Vores tells us solemnly before explaining that often the witch doctor who is found responsible for a death using black magic can face severe punishment.
“Just last year someone had their arm chopped off for using black magic,” Vores adds. When asked how a witch doctor can be spotted, he replies that he’s witnessed people morph into cats, flying foxes and other animals during the night and this reveals that they are sure to be practitioners of black magic. He also casually tells us that these witches have even been accused of digging up graves to use babies’ bones for potions. All of this of course sounds highly implausible to me but he speaks as if it is a perfectly common occurrence. Traditionally, women are not allowed in the chief’s area where the magic takes place, but the rules have been relaxed to cater for tourists.
As I take my seat on a wooden bench I eagerly await the casting of voodoo spells or the spectacle of a man disappearing into thin air. However the so called custom magic is of a slightly different kind. Vores appears sans T-shirt and shorts, dressed in a traditional outfit of a small waist cloth with strategically placed palm leaves. He spits on the ground in front of him. “Spitting is very good. It’s very important for Vanuatu superstition,” he says matter of factly.
Two assisting men crush coconuts with their bare hands and start a fire by rubbing two sticks together. A branch is planted in a hole in the ground and everyone takes a turn of tugging on the branch, although none are successful in pulling it out. Despite these magic tricks that Vores seems rather proud of, I must admit I feel slightly underwhelmed by the performance. Vores then leads us toward a thatched hut with a sign above the door featuring a skull image and bearing the words “Cannibal House”. The little dark hut has walls lined with articles describing cannibalism horror stories.
Various fact sheets and images explained the way island communities once practiced cannibalism. Before I knew it I was staring into an old, rusted, cauldron-like pot the size of a small bathtub that was apparently once used to boil the bones of unfortunate individuals. The victims were often women and on some occasions when a man died his wife was buried alive beside him. Vores explains this in a relaxed manner as he must have done a thousand times before. “You know, these men are very jealous, they don’t want someone to have an affair with the wife so they just bury her alive.” If this wasn’t bad enough, we soon learn that cannibalism is still practiced today in some areas. Vores attempts to reassure us. “They have a specific reason for that. They don’t attack innocent people. They only attack their enemies,” he says. This does little to ease my now queasy stomach. It isn’t the best note to end the tour on, especially since it is followed shortly thereafter by a buffet style lunch.
We are provided with a few local dishes that are cooked in an underground oven. Fried bananas and fresh fruit were on offer but I couldn’t help but feel sceptical when the meat dish arrived. From this point onward cannibalism would come up in conversation frequently with the locals and they appear to have a unique sense of humour when it comes to the subject. “People from different villages were once scared of each other because of all the fighting. You never know, next minute you could be in the pudding,” laughed Brenda Andre, senior information officer at the Vanuatu Tourism Office. A tour of Lelapa Island (costing about $95) proves just the way to unwind after my skin-crawling experience in the Cannibal House. With no electricity or even fresh water, village life is quite primitive. Although, apparently the locals find ways to keep themselves occupied. “We don’t have access to TV on Lelapa so that’s why there are so many babies on the island,” says Albert Soloman Peter, founder of the tour. On our way to Lelapa the cannibal references continued at a rapid fire rate however.
“You will meet my grandfather on the island today. He is a good man and loves white people because their flesh is so tender. He told me to keep bringing tourists because the last bunch we had was so delicious,” he says with a smile. I laugh nervously as the boat chugs its way toward the island.
A dark past aside, Vanuatu reveals itself to be the perfect summer holiday destination thanks to its beaches, lush scenery and friendly people. There is so much to learn from their traditions and culture that will amaze and surprise you. The islands feel very welcoming and particularly safe… at least now that cannibalism appears to be a thing of the past.
MGM’s planned remake of Poltergeist, the 1982 horror film that was directed by Tobe Hooper and produced/co-written by Steven Spielberg.
The story of a suburban home built over an Indian burial ground and thus inhabited by a nasty spook earned further cult status when two of the child actors in the movie died after the film’s release. Two sequels were produced.
Poltergeist movie is said to come out in 2015.
It is interesting to note that many horror movies have several gothic fashion and gothic aesthetic in their films. Some are:
The Hunger - a vampire flick with David Bowie and Susan Sarandon. Its opening scene shows a view of a dance club with a caged Peter Murphy singing “Bela Lugosi’s Dead.”
Rocky Horror Picture Show - a cult classic musical with Tim Curry as a flamboyant transvestite. A little too strange to be described. Most small independent film theaters will have a Rocky Horror showing night now and again where people come dressed as the characters. There is a stage area where players mimic the movie as it plays. A caller leads the standard interjected addition of lines, and the audience participates in the scenes by throwing rice at the wedding scene, squirting squirtguns during the scene where it’s raining, dancing during the “Time Warp” song etc. Quite a fun event.
Hellraiser - Some horror flicks hit it big with Goths.
Dracula - from Bela Lugosi’s version to the Francis Ford Coppola version, it tends to be a big classic (as well as the book).
Edward Scissorhands - with Johnny Depp, a movie about a misfit with an unusual hedge-trimming genius who seems a bit out of place in the picture perfect suburbia.
The Nightmare Before Christmas - catchy tunes like “This Is Halloween” and classic characters like Jack the Pumpkin King and Sally make it a big hit with Goths.
Batman Returns - I think that the wintertime atmosphere and the sleek sexy fetish inspired catwoman costume make this movie gothic. It had a darker feel than all of the following sequels.
The Craft - 1996 film with Neve Campbell. This wasn’t that good of a movie, and it has more to do with witchcraft than gothic. However, it is one of the few movies that has a goth chick as a main character, not that she is portrayed in a realistically Goth way.
Gothic - not what you might first think, its true to the original gothic literature movement. It is a movie about the night that Mary Shelley first came up with the idea for Frankenstein. Full of ghost stories, hallucinations, horror and madness.
Last week Rob Zombie announced that his forthcoming new horror film will be titled 31 and released a NSFW teaser trailer for the movie, which you can see right here. Today (May 20) he released his latest film, the live concert DVD/Blu-ray The Zombie Horror Picture Show.
As any fan knows, Zombie is a discerning connoisseur of all things horror–as he demonstrates once again with the list below of what he considers to be the top five worst fright flicks of all time.
1. Dracula 2000 (2000)
“This may be the worst movie ever committed to film. I found every single thing about it to be offensive, from top to bottom. You just stare at it in shock. I especially hate the fact they drop a Virgin Megastore product placement in the film every 10 seconds. It’s just the most disgusting piece of shit I’ve ever seen. Dracula is a tough character to play, you’ve got to really bring something to the table, and I don’t even remember the guy in this movie. Everything about this movie is complete horseshit.”
2. The Mummy Returns (2001)
“This was a 10th generation crappy Raiders of the Lost Ark rip-off. But I can’t really pick it apart that closely because I couldn’t get all the way through it. That, to me, is a sign of a bad movie.”
3. Psycho (remake, 1998)
“I picked this not because it’s the worst film ever made, but because it’s the most pointless film ever made. To take a perfect movie made by a genius, and remake it–that’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard in my life.”
4. Scream 2 (1997)
“When I saw Scream 2 on TV, I just hated it. Though it could have been Scream 3, I can’t remember which one it was, and that’s never a good sign. So I just decided it was Scream 2.”
5. I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997)
“Once again, dopey teen actors being menaced by…what? The Morton’s Fisherman guy? That’s not a horror movie, that’s barely a Nancy Drew mystery. Jennifer Love Hewitt would have to be riding on a pony stark naked to make this worthwhile.”
Officers Rick Shaw and Lisa Willis are brought back onto a cold case after several more bodies turn up in Black Water Creek. Rick Shaw had been on administrative leave after the death of his partner in an undercover drug sting that went bad. Reports of Sasquatch and talk of Sasquatch killing people pushes RIck to the edge, but RIck will not give up pursuit to find the real killer.
Man is the only creature that hunts and kills it’s own kind for pleasure. Simply to satisfy bloodlust. The excuses vary, the so called “justification,” varies, but the truth is simply a desire for bloodshed with no regard or concern for anything but the “thrill of the kill.” That’s where you’re wrong. Sasquatch kill, because that is what they do. Sasquatch don’t exist, they are simply a legend. A legend is a narrative of human actions that are perceived both by teller and listeners to take place within human history and to possess certain qualities that give the tale verisimilitude. Legend, for its active and passive participants includes no happenings that are outside the realm of “possibility”, defined by a highly flexible set of parameters, which may include miracles that are perceived as actually having happened, within the specific tradition of indoctrination where the legend arises, and within which it may be transformed over time, in order to keep it fresh and vital, and realistic. A majority of legends operate within the realm of uncertainty, never being entirely believed by the participants, but also never being resolutely doubted. Some legends should never be passed down. Black Water Creek “The Legend of Sasquatch”
The Horror Movies Blog Review: “The cinematography is excellent, the pacing is strong, and the mood is atmospheric. This movie also has various twists”.
Hailed as the wickedest man alive and called the Great Beast 666 by his own mother, Aleister Crowley was also one of the most accomplished philosophers, poets, authors, mountain climbers, chess players and sensationalists of his or any other time. A man who dared to live by his own true will – explore Corwley’s amazing life and journey.
The Horror Movies Blog Review: “A movie to add to your watch list. The movie is based on Aleister Crowley’s life and gives us a perspective from his life”.
The Loch Ness Monster has been encountered by locals since the 7th Century, but no scientific investigation has fully explained the mystery until now. Prepare for a mind blowing revelation as experts reveal the Alien of Loch Ness.
The Horror Movies Blog Review: “A very interesting movie that makes the viewer wanna know more.”
Returning to her childhood home in Louisiana to recuperate from a horrific car accident, Jessabelle comes face to face with a long-tormented spirit that has been seeking her return — and has no intention of letting her escape.
The White Zombie Mid Ohio Valley Premiere will be July 12, 2014 at the Twin City Opera House in McConnelsville, Ohio. Come join the cast and RagNBone crew for their very first showing…for information on how to purchase advanced tickets visit www.ragnboneproductions.com
Fox Trail Productions announces two screenings of the controversial
film “Infliction” at The Historic Blairstown Theatre on Friday May 30th, 2014 at 7pm and 9pm at 30 Main Street, Blairstown, NJ. Produced by award-winning filmmaker Jack Thomas Smith, whose feature film “Disorder” was released by Universal/Vivendi and Warner Brothers, “Infliction” is a dark and disturbing assembled footage film that documents two brothers’ murder spree in NC and the horrific truth behind their actions.
“Working on ‘Infliction’ left me troubled and haunted,” says Jack Thomas Smith, who will be attending the screenings. “It left me thinking about people’s actions or lack thereof and the inevitable domino effect. We all walk our own path in life, which shapes and defines us. What happens to us today, good or bad, will affect generations to come.” Jack Thomas Smith will host a Q&A session after the screenings.
“Infliction” will screen in select theaters across the country in the spring and summer of 2014 with the nationwide DVD, PPV, VOD, and digital release scheduled for July 1st, 2014 by Virgil Films & Entertainment.
Jack Thomas Smith made his feature film-directing debut with the psychological thriller “Disorder.” He was also the writer and producer of that film. “Disorder” was released on DVD by Universal/Vivendi and New Light Entertainment. It was released on Pay-Per-View and Video-On-Demand by Warner Brothers. Overseas, it screened at the Cannes Film Festival and the Raindance Film Festival in London. Curb Entertainment represented “Disorder” for foreign sales and secured distribution deals around the world.
Born in 1969 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Smith lived there until he was eight when his family relocated to a quiet island community in Michigan, which would later serve as the inspiration for his upcoming film “In the Dark.” He began to write at a very young age after reading the Stephen King novels “Salem’s Lot” and “The Shining.” By the time he was eleven, he had written a 300-page novel and a number of short stories.
Smith’s family moved to Sparta, New Jersey when he was a teenager. It was there in that middle-class town that he discovered the films of George A. Romero, Stanley Kubrick, Brian DePalma, and John Carpenter. Inspired to make movies, he wrote and directed a handful of short films that were shot on Super 8mm and starred his brother and friends in all of the roles.
As a young adult, Smith produced films for noted horror directors Ted Bohus and John Russo, co-creator of “Night of the Living Dead.” From that point on, it was only a matter of time for his growth as a filmmaker to expand.
Smith’s current project he calls “Infliction” is a dark and disturbing assembled footage film that documents two brothers’ murder spree in NC and the horrific truth behind their actions. Smith’s production company, Fox Trail Productions, Inc., is currently developing the action/horror film “In the Dark”, the drama “Illegals”, and the comedy “Ties that Bind.”