Category: Uncategorized

Let The Creep in the Corner wreck your holiday

Friend of the site and proprietor of Horrorgasm J.C. Cooksey recently sent me a nuisance in the mail. This nuisance has a name – Creep – and he will not stop destroying ornaments and eating the cat’s food. I’ve captured him in a closet full of wrapping paper, which should give me just enough time to finish writing this post.

Creep arrived as part of the Creep in the Corner plush and book bundle. Accompanying him is a charming and colourful book that describes his origin (he has a lot of werewolf DNA, hence his presence in my house) and an array of stickers and acrylic charms bearing his face. Despite now living in what I would call a “monster-positive environment”, he has an innate need to be the polar opposite of his conceptual nemesis. The book describes this in detail, and I wish I had read it before I turned him loose.

Cooksey is the sort of creator that I aspire to be. She’s an artist, a writer, she curates horror-themed events in California, and now she’s attempting to monster-ify the western world’s most inescapable holiday. She’s taken the phrase “just add werewolves” (or werewolf-related creatures) and weaponized it in a manner perfectly calculated to delight your impressionable 8-year-old niece or nephew.

Consider gifting this Creep to your friends and family this season, both as a nice thing to do, and as a form of cultural counter-programming. Cooksey did it to me, and I have made peace with the fact that her generosity means at least a month of chewed-up Christmas light strands and shredded eggnog cartons in the fridge.

28 were-creature tales in short fiction anthology “Mark of the Beast”

Can a book that was published five years ago be “news”? It can be if it’s news to me! Chaosium Inc.’s “Mark of the Beast” is a collection of 28 were-beast short stories edited by Scott David Aniolowski. It’s got good reviews on Goodreads, and Paul Mudie‘s cover art is the sort of gnarly lycanthrope I want on my bookshelf, digital or not.

Every civilization has some story or legend of creatures half man and half beast. Indigenous native peoples around the world held beliefs about shamans and witch doctors who could transform themselves into animals. The ancient Egyptians worshiped a whole pantheon of animal-headed gods. The superstitious folk of medieval Europe believed that a witch or a gypsy could curse a man to become a werewolf by night. Pacific islanders told tales of men changing into sharks. Certain African peoples feared leopard men.

Herein are gathered a number of tales portraying the glorious and bestial nature of the werewolf. There are horror, sci-fi, Gothic, cyber, fairy tale and fantasy stories and poems that embrace the essence of the beast, told by an assortment of scribes with diverse styles and voices.

“Mark of the Beast” is available as an e-book direct from Chaosium (at a discount as of this writing), and also from DriveThruFiction and Amazon.

Comic “Day of the Devourer” gives us a glimpse at the life of an impulsive monster

Artist Eli Bishop has created a comic that proposes a very elegant explanation for why some people just suck so, so bad. It’s called Day of the DevourerThe whole comic is readable online, but you can also buy a physical version for less than the price of a fancy coffee.

Why are werewolves so much angrier than regular wolves? Why is this very lazy man spending all his time on increasingly unpleasant compulsive behavior? This short comic may make you wonder about some of the people you run into online.

The twist in the comic isn’t hard to guess if you’ve been doing werewolf stuff online for one million years, like most people reading this site, but all the little details Eli includes kept me from rushing through to the end. I particularly like the nods to the financial practicalities that could keep such a scenario going.

Eli ran into me online and I think our exchange was much more pleasant than anything on display in the comic. I dig his art, and I have to say, I miss the days when the Internet was populated by more lovely bespoke web sites like his. I clicked around for a bit before writing this post, and I discovered that I am Mister Rogers.

See more of Eli’s work on his site, on Facebook, and on Etsy.

Joey Vigour’s upcoming board game “Growl” asks you to bite everyone you can

Growl is an upcoming board game where the point is to be a werewolf who infect as many villagers as possible. That’s the only win condition. At the end of the game you and every other player you’ve sufficiently bitten all literally growl to declare victory. Okay, yeah, you can also play as a human and try to rid your village of lycanthropy (and you can win by keeping at least one human alive until the end), but if you’re reading a site called Werewolf News, I think we all know which side you’re rooting for.

This card-based game was designed by Joey Vigour, features artwork by Rob Joseph, and comes out later this month. To get instant access to a printable version of the basic game system, you can sign up for a game release notification here. According to that page the first 500 copies of the game will be free, which seems too good to be true, but maybe get your email address in there just in case. I was never really a fan of the original Werewolf social game, so it’s nice to read positive reviews of this potential successor and see Joey playtesting it to a fine polish. I look forward to getting a copy of this whether it’s free or not!

Below is a summary of the gameplay mechanics from the BoardGameGeek page. If you want to follow the game’s development and release, you can also check out its Facebook page.

4-7 players (up to 10 with more cards) all claim to be innocent villagers, but one of you is Wolf Zero, the original werewolf that intends on turning the whole town wolfy….

The deck of cards sits face-up in the middle of the table. One by one you take turns picking up the top card and giving it to whichever player you want. The cards can be a Bite (which brings you closer to becoming a wolf) or a Wound (which brings you closer to dead), or cards that cancel other cards. When a NIGHT card is revealed, the full moon comes out and werewolves and villagers get to pass cards anonymously, which is how the infection spreads and turns villagers into wolves. 3 Wounds kills either a human or a werewolf. 3 Bites turns a human into a werewolf, and only wolves can pass Bites at night.

When the deck is exhausted at the end of the third night, Wolf Zero begins to GROWL and slowly other wolves (even dead wolves) join the growl! If any humans are left alive, all humans (even dead ones!) win. If all the players who are still alive are growling, all wolves win!

Is low budget found footage film “Wolf House” better than the sum of its parts?

I came across this 2016 found footage film from directors Matt D. Lord and Ken Cosentino while looking for recent werewolf films to add to the big list. I haven’t seen it yet and I wasn’t expecting to be interested, but after a little research, I’m intrigued.

The plot cooked up by writers Cosentino and Elizabeth Houlihan (synopsis below) sounds like a mashup of horror tropes way too ambitious for its purported $5,000 budget, and the trailer’s editing seems totally at odds with the vibe of the scenes it keeps interrupting, but the reviews tend to land in the “not bad” to “pretty good” range. The actors seem naturalistic and I’m pretty sure I can smell whatever’s in that blue tarp.

Wolf House is currently available on Amazon and Google Play. I’m not a fan of found footage movies (why are you filming your imminent death instead of RUNNING AWAY) but if this ever shows up on Netflix I might have to give it a shot.

Six friends on a camping trip think they have discovered, and killed, a sasquatch. But what they have actually unleashed is something more evil, more ancient and more deadly than they could ever imagine – an army of supernatural terrors that will hunt them until no one remains.

Lack of werewolf in “Rampage” trailer chomps my heart, just like this giant wolf chomps a helicopter

They made a movie about the video game Rampage. That’s right, the one where you take on the role of a giant 8-bit ape, lizard or werewolf and fuck up skyscrapers while tiny helicopters shoot at you. They put Rock “The Dwayne” Johnson in it, playing his usual charming self. They shot it in Vancouver, my home city, and pretended it’s Chicago. They asked Jeffrey Dean Morgan to come along and channel his Walking Dead character in a suit. They just released a trailer that features a Smashing Pumpkins song.

Friends, this whole thing is a casserole I can’t make heads or tails of. The one thing I knew for sure was that I was going to get to see a giant werewolf named Ralph crushing digitally composited office towers on the Vancouver waterfront, and that it was going to be a beautiful spectacle. Now my dreams have been dashed, just like a digitally composited office tower on the Vancouver waterfront. There is a wolf, and it is big, but it contains no “were”. He’s not Ralph, the canonical Rampage werewolf. It’s just a giant spiky CG wolf that really hates helicopters.

Oh well.

Thanks to @EvilViergacht for tweeting about this!