Tag Archives: Youtube Clips

Halloween Short Film Festival 2015

As promised last week, it’s time for this year’s Halloween short film festival!

My original plan was to make this a mega-festival, with every single horror short that I ever posted.  Unfortunately, it turns out that quite a number of my old favorites have been taken down or made private.  I’d downloaded most of them, but I’m not sure about the issues involved in uploading them to my own Youtube channel, so I decided to just put up a mix of old favorites and exciting new discoveries.

The first two are old favorites of mine from Bloody Cuts:

(Yeah, that one was one of the ones that was taken down.  But I found another copy, Italian subtitles and all.  Now watch it again.  See what he did with the pictures?)

The next probably should have been in the “Halloween Carols” post, but honestly, as far as I’m concerned, the song is just background music for the movie:

Then we come to the new discoveries.  The first is another from Bloody Cuts, and it is a dark one:

I’ve been checking back at their website for some time now, and not seen the continuation.  But believe me, I’ll let you know when I do.

Next, we have the kind of story that scared us all as children, with the kind of terror that gets forgotten and nerfed as we get older, because we tend to forget the darkness of our childhoods.

Then we have a man who is trapped in what at first seems to be haunted house or a Jigsaw-like trap, but which is in fact something much, much worse.

And here we have a different kind of darkness.

(Note: I think this may be a rather egregious example of what TVTropes might call Christianity Is Catholic.  There are other denominations where preachers wear the collar and are referred to as “Father”, but none of them are really popular in the Southwestern United States either, which is what our setting appears to be.)

And finally, this one is an old favorite, but I decided to save it for the end anyway, because I believe it fits the spirit of the holiday better than any of the rest.  After all, in the end, Halloween is about having fun (scary though it may be):

Special Bonus:

Saw this one going around Facebook.  It’s cute, but it also asks an interesting question: Halloween, Samhain, El Dia De Los Muertos…they’re supposedly times that The Dead walk the Earth.  Given who “The Dead” actually are, why should that necessarily be frightening?


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Halloween Carols 2015 – The Season of Dark Magic

And so, with last week’s celebration of the Slasher as prologue, I bring to you my full collection of Halloween Carols – the anthems of the season of dark magic:

Charlie Daniels tells us about the things that hide out in that real country dark:

Next is one of my old favorites, because this holiday is about laughter along with the fear:

Two by Lordi.  One that’s explicitly set on Halloween, apparently one where the Underworld breaks loose:

And the other just about the day when the monsters rise up and the jokers become kings:

The next two don’t have anything in their lyrics to suggest Halloween or horror, but the videos are just too perfect:

The next two are two classic rockers singing about one of the classic monsters (both brought to you by Red Molly):

Next we have the people of Halloween Town telling us about their world (second version has a higher quality picture, but includes more of the prologue):

And of course, as the grand finale, this year and every year, the greatest horror music video of all time:

Happy Halloween.  Watch next week for my Halloween Short Film Festival.


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Halloween Carols 2015 – Songs of the Slashers

As is tradition here at Dreams of the Shining Horizon, I’ve spent the last few days collecting Halloween Carols so I could celebrate my favorite month of the year with my readers.  This year, I’ve collected more songs than usual, to the point that I felt the need to divide them up into two posts.  Looking them over, I noticed that some of them fit…shall we say…a certain theme.  And that is how we now have this post, with its musical celebration of the great slashers of the past.

We begin by returning to the source – the soundtrack songs that honored these beautiful monsters directly:

Next, a song from the same era, with a somewhat more humorous attitude:

Next, a modern song with a bit more humorous attitude:

(I don’t know about you, but one in particular of those pictures on the wall jumped out at me.  Rest in peace, Mr. Craven, and thanks for everything.)

And finally, a glimpse of how the monsters themselves celebrate Halloween!

By the Great Pumpkin, that video was thick with references.  Did anyone catch that the snack he brought for their study session was The Stuff?  Red Molly was the one who caught that.

A quick thought – I don’t mean to start a nerds’ cafeteria-table argument from the Eighties here (or maybe I do), but while Jason (at least in his later movies) could disassemble Leatherface in seconds, and while he and Michael are probably equals (with whatever advantage Michael may take from being the archetype from which Jason was drawn), isn’t Pinhead far and away more powerful than every other character in this video put together?


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The Reality of Fantasy – Recommended Videos #2

About a month ago, I put up a post on “The Reality of Fantasy”, featuring videos by the redoubtable Skallagrim, where he shared with us his knowledge of medieval arms and armor, along with his assessment of which arms and armor from our favorite fantasy media are viable, and which…really, really aren’t.

I meant to follow up on that post much sooner, but life interfered, as life will do.  Still, we’re here now, and I have a whole new set of entertaining and educational videos to share with you.

The Youtube scholar we’ll be viewing today is the erudite Lindybeige.  Where Skallagrim is a weapons enthusiast, Lloyd is a historian, archaeologist and historical re-enactor.  This means that while he certainly does know a great deal about weapons and armor, he can also comment on things like what pre-modern wars actually involved:

Aspects of battle that we usually don’t think about:

Things that we’ve probably been imagining wrong for a long time:

(Including some that we’ll probably want to keep imagining wrong because honestly, the misconception is so much more awesome than the truth.)

And of course, the simple, humble things that we take completely for granted today.  Things we don’t even think about, but which could make a universe of difference in terms of verisimilitude in your writing:

Funny, isn’t it?  You never picture Arthur or Aragorn or Sturm Brightblade or Sparhawk pausing in the middle of battle to take a swig from their waterskin, do you?  It’s almost like we forget pre-modern people had the same needs we do.  Honestly, there’s no excuse for it, considering that there is a very famous poem on this very subject.

Sounds miserable, doesn’t it?  Not to mention a recipe for Trench Foot.  So grateful for my modern boots right now.

I must confess, I never thought of it that way.  It’s funny what little, overlooked things make civilization possible.

Oh.  And yeah, like Skallagrim, Lloyd tells us which fantasy weapons and strategies are viable, and which…really, really aren’t:


Filed under Fantasy, Fiction, Links, Writing Theory

Welcome to October!

The season of dark magic is upon us…

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Might Need To See This…

Well, this is certainly intriguing:

Am I the last one to hear about this?  *Checks the Wikipedia link*  Maybe not…why are so many interesting horror movies getting a limited release and then straight to Netflix these days?  I’d have gone to see Harbinger Down at the theatre if it had been at a theatre anywhere near here!


I must say, as much as I’m intrigued by this, I’m also a bit wary.  I usually like stories that take the “innocent virginal Final Girl survives the massacre” formula and try to turn it into something genuinely empowering – big fan of both Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Hack/Slash here – but Red Molly points out, and rightly, that this looks very much like it’s treading the same ground as Cabin In The Woods, and the chance that it can do so as expertly as Joss Whedon did is slim.  Besides, jokes lose impact quickly, especially sarcastic, deconstructionist ones.  Remember the whole self-aware slasher craze?  That burned out quickly, and for good reason.

Who am I kidding?  I’m going to see it anyway.  I’ll report back to y’all as soon as I can.

Meanwhile, take a look at this Youtube variation on the same theme:

And what do you know?  While I was searching Youtube for that, I also found this:

At least that one’s on Netflix already.  No promises, since it’s well down the queue, but here’s hoping…

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The Reality of Fantasy – Recommended Videos #1

Quite some time ago, I wrote a post that proved to be one of my most popular to date.  The post was titled “The Reality of Fantasy”, and it discussed the reality of weapons, armor and fighting techniques that are often depicted inaccurately in fantasy fiction because, well, most fantasy creators aren’t historians.

In the years since, my Internet wanderings have turned up several interesting individuals who’ve made YouTube careers of doing the same thing, in much greater detail.  The first one I’m going to introduce you to is a fellow who goes by the nom du Net of Skallagrim.

Now, while there are riches to be mined from Skallagrim’s entire channel, my favorite playlists (and the ones most relevant to this post) are the ones on weapons, armor, martial arts, and evaluating video games and movies.

You might notice that that last one is the most relevant of all to what we’re talking about here today.

Anyway.  Skallagrim answers reader questions on such topics as whether the swords shown in the Game of Thrones TV show are practical designs (short answer, yes):

And he lets us know why other weapons, such as the Kurgan’s sword from the original Highlander movie, would be complete disasters:

But for my money, my favorites among his videos are the ones where he discusses little-known martial arts techniques, such as half-swording:

And debunks such favorite fantasy/cinematic combat myths as the one-hit kill:

Of course, no writer of fantasy will want to miss his bread-and-butter videos, where he discusses what the weapons and armor that we so love to outfit our heroes with were really like:

So that’s one important source.  Highly recommended.  More to come…

PS – I wasn’t originally going to include this one, but I just have to ask – have any of you out there ever heard this one?  I had no idea that this was a thing:

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