Friday, January 29, 2010

On The Evening of the 'Wolf Moon'

Cerberus, in Greek and Roman mythology, is a multi-headed hound which guards the gates of Hades, to prevent those who have crossed the river Styx from ever escaping. Cerberus featured in many works of ancient Greek and Roman literature and in works of both ancient and modern art and architecture, although, the depiction and background surrounding Cerberus often differed across various works by different authors of the era. The most notable difference is the number of its heads: Most sources describe or depict three heads; others show it with two or even just one; a smaller number of sources show a variable amount, sometimes as many as 50.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Kraken artwork

In 1830, possibly aware of Denys de Montfort's work, Alfred Tennyson published his popular poem "The Kraken" (essentially an irregular sonnet), which disseminated Kraken in English forever fixed with its superfluous the. Tennyson's description apparently influenced Jules Verne's imagined lair of the famous giant squid in Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea from 1870. In the novel, seven giant squid attack the submarine simultaneously; however, all film adaptations to date (excepting one depicting a giant manta ray-type creature) have opted for one, unrealistically massive squid instead. Verne also makes numerous references to Kraken and Erik Pontopiddan in the novel.

According to Philip A. Shreffer in The Lovecraft Companion, it is safe to suppose that Tennyson's portrayal of Kraken also influenced the 20th century horror writer H. P. Lovecraft in his description of the octopus-headed monster-god Cthulhu, which is currently trapped at the bottom of the ocean, until "strange ?ons" shall bring about its return to the surface; and which in his short story The Call of Cthulhu is encountered by a Norwegian sailor.[1]

The Kraken by Tennyson
Below the thunders of the upper deep;
Far far beneath in the abysmal sea,
His ancient, dreamless, uninvaded sleep
The Kraken sleepeth: faintest sunlights flee
About his shadowy sides; above him swell
Huge sponges of millennial growth and height;
And far away into the sickly light,
From many a wondrous grot and secret cell
Unnumber'd and enormous polypi
Winnow with giant arms the slumbering green.
There hath he lain for ages, and will lie
Battening upon huge seaworms in his sleep,
Until the latter fire shall heat the deep;
Then once by man and angels to be seen,
In roaring he shall rise and on the surface die.

In Richard Adams' novel The Girl in a Swing, the main female character, Kathe, is stalked by the Kraken to punish her for the crime of murder by drowning.

In the American tall tale, Captain Alfred Bulltop Stormalong was a literally larger than life seaman who grew to be one of the tallest seaman ever, and eventually built a gigantic ship to accommodate his own proportions. On a voyage to China at age 13, Stormalong's ship encountered a Kraken, which took hold of the ship's keel. Stormalong dove into the water and tied the creature's arms into knots. As Stormalong grew older, he eventually encountered the kraken again, this time successfully drawing the beast into a whirlpool from which it never escaped.

A Tolkien Bestiary by David Day proposes that the Watcher in the Water in J.R.R. Tolkien's The Fellowship of the Ring was based on Kraken, though it seems unlikely that Tolkien would have placed the Kraken in fresh water. This view has been further contested by those who note that the tentacles of Tolkien's monster are nowhere described as octopus-like, though "The Watcher" does suggest a single creature. In the 2001 film version by Peter Jackson, the Watcher is clearly more similar to our modern view of Kraken.

The book The Kraken Wakes by John Wyndham details an almost apocalyptic scenario in which the massive sea creature is the main cause. Although it is made clear in the book that the 'Kraken' of the story is actually a process of invasion by ocean-dwelling aliens, it is still clear that the Kraken is the basis for these aliens and Wyndham's fictional narrator quotes Tennyson's poem in the preface. Presumably for this reason Wyndham has been cited as having based the story on the poem.

In the series of books A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin, a golden Kraken on a black field is the coat of arms for the Greyjoy House.

In the children's book Monster Mission by the award-winning author Eva Ibbotson, the Kraken is a force for good who has the ability to clean and heal the oceans.

Kraken is mentioned in several of C.S. Lewis's The Chronicles of Narnia books, including The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

In Herman Melville's 1851 novel Moby-Dick the crew of the Pequod encounter a "vast pulpy mass, furlongs in length". Melville attributes this to Bishop Pontopiddan's "the great Kraken" and was assumed to be a giant squid.

The nonfiction Encyclopedia Horrifica explores the connection between the Kraken and the giant squid. The author cites the Kraken as his inspiration for writing the book. On the official website, the Kraken was the first-ever "Monster of the Month" in May 2007.

Kraken appear in Artemis Fowl: The Time Paradox as enormous, peaceful creatures that stay in the same spot for centuries feeding on algae, doubling as islands. They are described as being conical in shape, although there is a tubular shaped one on the coast of Ireland. In this book, kraken shed their shells explosively, igniting a layer of methane under the old one and sending it flying. A comparison is made between the Kraken, and a barnacle (albeit one big enough to be mistaken for an island)

In the fantasy novel Good Omens by N. Gaiman and T. Pratchett there is a brief mention of kraken rising from great depth and attacking a Japanese whaling ship.

In the science fiction novel, The Hive, by Chris Berman, The Kraken is the name given to the fusion powered spacecraft of the Earth's defense fleet, that was built with reverse engineered alien technology.

The Xanth fantasy series, by Piers Anthony, includes a tentacular plant monster called a kraken among its other fantastic monsters.

Kraken feature in the fantasy novel The Wishstone and the Wonderworkers (from Chronicles of an Age of Darkness), and appear on the cover. the real kraken could still be alive but ancient gods and mortals claim that poesiden the god of sea defeated the creature by capturing it when it was asleep and bringing it to the god of strength (hercules) to defeat it others say posedian got rid of the beast by him self.

In Michael Crichton's posthumous 2009 novel, Pirate Latitudes, a large sea creature terrorizes the protagonist's ship that the sailors called the kraken.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Movie Poster/Cover Art #4

Movie Poster/Cover Art #3

Movie Poster/Video Cover Art #2

Old Horror Movie Posters/Cover Art #1

Since I was a little kid I would go to the local mom and pop video store with my dad and rent movies. I would constantly be amazed and obsessed with cover art for horror movies. 9 times out of 10 the cover art is more amazing than the movie. This is a true art form and probably one of my all time favorites. Poster and dvd cover art is not the same anymore especially for horror movies (this goes for metal and punk covers today). Enjoy.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Nick Cave + related

For those of you who do not know me personally, I AM HUGE NICK CAVE FAN. For my 25th birthday a friend of mine made a calendar for me dedicated to the MAN. For those of you not familiar I will let you get some enlightenment on his three most famous endeavors. The Birthday Party, The Bad Seeds and Grinderman.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Sunday, January 3, 2010

THE THING + related

John Carpenter's "The Thing" aside from the first "Alien" movie is my favorite Sci-Fi/Horror film. I've been extremely interested in the story of "The Thing" since I found out that the original story was based heavily on H.P. Lovecraft's "At the Mountains of Madness". The idea of a monster that can change into any creature it has ever encountered completely intrigued me and scared me in more ways than ever in my youth.