Euro-cult great Jess Franco has passed away after producing nearly 200 films. A unique filmmaker, Franco’s work fits in a category all its own, combining art, the erotic, and the macabre into titles like Lorna the Exorcist, The Awful Dr. Orloff, Succubus, Venus in Furs and of course, the eponymous Vampyros Lesbos. While Franco isn’t to everyone’s taste, he certainly stretched the definition of erotic horror cinema.
Tag Archives | Horror
Mental Floss has a nice rundown of supernatural monstrosities of traditional African folklore, including ghost apes, flying reptiles, and, at right, the one-eyed Popobawa bat and airborne vampiric pest the Adze:
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The Popobawa is a fairly recent manifestation reported in Zanzibar and Tanzania. The creature is a demon who appears as a normal human by day, and a one-eyed, bat-winged monster at night. The Popobawa attacks and sodomizes both men and women in the dark of night. Reports of attacks come every few years, with a large number in 1995 attributed to mass hysteria.
The Adze is a vampire in the legends of the Ewe people of Ghana and Togo. It takes the form of a firefly, but if you capture one, it will revert to human appearance. In the insect form, the adze will suck your blood while you sleep and spread disease, which is a possible explanation for malarial outbreaks.
The fictional vampire may have made his debut at the Algonquin Round Table, but he flourished alongside the cave-dwelling cannibals and homicidal maniacs who introduced the British working class to the magic of reading. The 1845-1847 penny dreadful Varney the Vampire was penned by none other than James Malcolm Rymer, who created the character Sweeney Todd. Victorian Gothic writes:
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James Malcolm Rymer’s Varney the Vampire has been described as the worst book of the 19th century. Introduced in 1845, the completed serial consists of over 600,000 words of tedious dialog, aimlessly meandering storylines, maddening repetition, and enough kernels of genius to consistently inspire horror fiction into the present day. Bram Stoker, Anne Rice, Stephen King, Russell T. Davies and Freidrich Wilhelm Murnau are just some of the writers and filmmakers who have been indebted to concepts originated in the pages of Varney, making it easily the most influential vampire story that nobody reads.
The first full-length work of vampire fiction, Varney appeared in the penny press some 36 years after the original short story sketches by Lord Byron and John William Polidori, and decades before J.
And this is a text that people use to teach their children morality? Via Cracked, eight bible stories that compete with the worst horror novels and slasher movies in terms of grotesque, over-the-top violence, including the impaling of Haman on a 75-foot spike, the serving of John the Baptist’s head on a platter at a banquet, Herod being eaten alive by worms as Godly punishment, a lake of blood filled by crushing masses of people inside a giant wine press, and the dismembering of a prostitute:
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“When her master got up in the morning and opened the door of the house and stepped out to continue on his way, there lay his concubine, fallen in the doorway of the house, with her hands on the threshold. He said to her, ‘Get up; let’s go.’ But there was no answer. Then the man put her on his donkey and set out for home.