Wednesday, September 7, 2011


it's true i'm obsessed with the NIGHTMARE-MODEL story (events spiral "bad to worse," "real to unreal,"). I considered this after watching a) another Nightmare-Modeled movie, and b) having woken up from a Nightmare.

If you're interested in Nightmare Movies, here's my Recommended List of Favorites [some I'll review IN-DEPTH later, WINK WINK] [summaries from]

1. Mulholland Drive, d. David Lynch (2001), w/ Naomi Watts
    "After a car wreck on the winding Mulholland Drive renders a woman amnesic, she and a perky Hollywood-hopeful search for clues and answers across Los Angeles in a twisting venture beyond dreams and reality."
2. Let's Scare Jessica to Death, d. John D Hancock (1971), w/ Zohra Lampert
    "A recently institutionalized woman has bizarre experiences after moving into a supposedly haunted country farmhouse and fears she may be losing her sanity once again."
3. The Tenant, d. Roman Polanski (1976), w/ Roman Polanski (YES< HE STARS IN IT<amazingly)
    "a man rents an apartment in France where the previous tenant committed suicide, and begins to suspect his landlord and neighbors are trying to subtly change him into the last tenant so that he too will kill himself"
4. Antichrist, d. Lars von Trier (2009), w/ Willem Dafoe, Charlotte Gainsbourg
   "A grieving couple retreats to their cabin in the woods, hoping to repair their broken hearts and troubled marriage. But nature takes its course and things go from bad to worse." [I'm particularly fond of the trailer]
5Possession, d. Andrez Zulaweski (1981), w/ Sam Neill
   "A young woman left her family for an unspecified reason. The husband determines to find out the truth and starts following his wife. At first, he suspects that a man is involved. But gradually, he finds out more and more strange behaviors and bizarre incidents that indicate something more than a possessed love affair."
6. The 4th Man, d. Paul Verhoeven (1983), w/ Jeroen Krabbe
    "A man who has been having visions of an impending danger begins an affair with a woman who may lead him to his doom."

and Nightmarish Works of Fiction...
1) The Face That Must Die by Ramsey Campbell (1979)
   [A disturbed man, furious with the injustices of modern England, becomes obsessed with an apartment complex where he believes he's identified a serial killer of male prostitutes. Campbell is the UK's most award-winning, living horror writer. And he's my personal favorite. In the 2006 afterword, Campbell says The Face That Must Die is "the first anti-homophobic horror novel." He also confesses the main character's modeled after his own paranoid-schizophrenic mother].
2) The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson (1959)
  [Guests are rewarded money for residing in a reportedly "haunted" house. The premise is now almost cliche, but Jackson's suspenseful prose terrifyingly asks"is it the house or is it their own psyches?" in one of the best modern, Gothic "nightmare" novels.
3) The Last Feast of Harlequin (novella) by Thomas Ligotti (1991)
  [A scholar fascinated by the anthropology of clowns, who also suffers from seasonal-affective-depression, uncovers the bizarre rituals of a small town's clown festival. Ligotti has been called the heir to Poe & Lovecraft, and "the best-kept secret in literary horror." His most-published & accessible collection, Teatro Grottesco, is also awesomely fantastic-- featuring stories called "The Clown Puppet," "Gas Station Carnivals," and "The Bungalow House." His work is highly existential, surreal, and bizarre.]
4) The Ruins of Contracoeur (novella) by Joyce Carol Oates (1999)
  [A family in political exile moves to an isolated forest, where their child witnesses a faceless man prowling the night; stranger events follow. Published in the 999 anthology of horror. Oates has written countless "Gothic" works, such as the stories collected in Haunted, Night-Side, and The Museum of Dr. Moses. One of the most prolific writers (1989 NYT says Oates "is synonymous with productivity"), she's won dozens of awards (Bram Stoker for Zombie, National Book Award for Them).
5) Occultation and Other Stories by Laird Barron (2010)
  [A collection of stories infused with the occult, drug abuse, hallucinations, nightmares, deadly performance artists, and "the unknown." One of the most interesting and promising of the new generation's horror writers. Barron's currently working on his first novel, (tentatively titled) In the Attic of the Damned.]

and some Nightmarish "True Stories"...
1) Ted Bundy - (pic above) [suicide hotline specialist, 1972 Chairman of Washington State Republican Party, "charming & handsome," murdered over 30 women with similar physical appearance, represented himself in court, escaped prison once for a "Florida sorority massacre"]
2) Ed Gein - [1940's grave-robber, built anatomy-furniture, wanted to make a female skin-suit]
3) H.H. Holmes and the "Murder Castle" [co-subject of bestselling book, Devil in the White City, Holmes built a hotel in 1880's Chicago, specifically designed to trap & murder guests, vagrants, and employees during (especially during the population-swelling anonymity of the 1893 Chicago World's Fair). His "hotel" included auto-locking rooms w/ poisonous gas, oddly angled hallways, stairways to nowhere, and trapdoors falling to Holmes' basement labratory. The basement included acid vats, where Holmes dissected corpses, selling their bones to med schools. He was a doctor and pharmacist.]

You can read about my own private nightmares later...


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