A wax museum owner uses his horror exhibits to unleash evil on the world.
Velcome to the Vaxvork.- Hans
They’ll make a movie about anything nowadays. - Mr. Lincoln
I do what I want when I want. Dig it or fuck off. - China
Raw meat. You do like raw meat? - Dracula
There were three characters that were supposed to be displays in the Waxwork, but left out of the film for legal reasons: Jason Vorhees from Friday the 13th (1980), five children from Village of the Damned (1960), and the Thing.
Michael Gough. Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing and Donald Pleasence were all possibles for the cameo role of Sir Wilfrid.
18 wax horror exhibits are seen, including: - Count Dracula - the Phantom of the Opera - a witch - the Marquis De Sade - a werewolf - a mummy - a voodoo priest - a zombie - an urban legend killer (an axe murderer) - the Invisible Man - Frankenstein’s monster - an Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) pod - a demonic baby (from It’s Alive (1974) - an alien creature - a “cobra-man” circus freak - Jack the Ripper - Mr. Hyde - and a Golem.
Kane Hodder, who did stunt work for the movie, also had an uncredited role in the film as Frankenstein’s monster.
Zombies have been done to death. From The Walking Dead to World War Z, zombies are as popular as ever – and maybe even a bit too popular. But from Haitian voodoo to viral infections, the subgenre has had enormous staying power. Forget the zombies in movies and on TV right now – here’s a countdown of the top 11 films that every zombie aficionado must see.
White Zombie | 1932 | dir. Victor Halperin
Considered the first zombie film, and starring classic horror actor Bela Lugosi, White Zombie is often overlooked when discussing classic horror films (perhaps since it was an independent production). Inspired by the Haitian voodoo religion, the zombies resemble mindless slaves rather than flesh eaters. The film borrows sets from Universal’s Dracula, and makes good use of them, with a daring use of unorthodox camera angles and techniques (such as dutch angles, extreme closeups, and superimposed imagery). Critically panned on release, only now is the film beginning to receive the critical praise it deserves.
Let Sleeping Corpses Lie (a.k.a. The Living Dead at the Manchester Morgue, a.k.a. Don’t Open the Window) | 1974 | dir. Jorge Grau
While producers were aiming for a bigger budget, color knockoff of Night of the Living Dead, director Jorge Grau had loftier goals. Studying autopsy photographs, Grau managed to make the most realistic zombie film of the period, and set off the gory 1970s and 1980s European horror movement. But it’s not all just blood and guts. The film carries an environmentalist message, juxtaposing human consumption and waste with the zombies. (Fun Fact: The film doesn’t take place in Manchester.)
Zombi 2 (a.k.a. Zombie, a.k.a. Zombie Flesh Eaters, a.k.a Woodoo) | 1979 | dir. Lucio Fulci
Directed by “Godfather of Gore” Lucio Fulci, Zombi 2 was banned in Great Britain in its initial release due to violent content, released uncut only in 2005. Infamous for its eye gouging scene, perhaps more spectacular is a scene where a zombie fights a shark - daringly executed with a stuntman and a live shark - with the zombie getting a few good bites in before getting his own arm bitten off.
Braindead (a.k.a. Dead Alive) | 1992 | dir. Peter Jackson
Yes, it’s the same Peter Jackson you’re thinking of. Before Lord of the Rings, Jackson was busy making wacky and edgy cult films. A rabid zombie fan, Jackson’s entry into the subgenre ranks among the best. Braindead is, hands down, the goriest zombie movie of all time. It’s probably the goriest movie of all time, period. According to Zombie Movies: The Ultimate Guide by Glenn Kay (highly suggested reading for any zombie fan), the climax alone used “eight gallons [of blood] a minute.” Even Lucio Fulci claimed that Jackson’s effects were over the top. From mutations to lawn mowers to Sumatran rat-monkeys, this film has everything. Oh, and it’s also really funny.
Re-Animator | 1985 | dir. Stuart Gordon
Based on the H.P. Lovecraft short story “Hebert West-Reanimator," Re-Animator is as funny as it is gory. Along with Dawn of the Dead and Return of the Living Dead, Re-Animator was a major influence on Jackson’s Braindead. It’s also well received critically, holding a 93% on Rotten Tomatoes. Not bad for a film where a decapitated head gives a girl, err, head.
I Walked with a Zombie | 1943 | dir. Jacques Tourneur
Directed by Jacques Tourneur, I Walked with a Zombie is shot beautifully. Tourneur, a master at creating atmosphere, would later go on to direct the critically praised noir Out of the Past. More eerie than outright scary, the Haitian voodoo inspired film makes great use of low key lighting and shadows, and it features one of the most visually striking zombies of all time (played by the menacingly tall Darby Jones). Surprisingly, the film is actually a loose adaptation of Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre. Most interesting is the film’s treatment of the supernatural – the film hovers on the edge of the real and the unreal. Horror fans might be somewhat put off by the melodramatic story line, but classic film lovers won’t want to miss this.
Shaun of the Dead | 2004 | dir. Edgar Wright
Don’t let those taglines touting the film as a "romantic comedy” scare you. Shaun of the Dead is arguably the funniest and the wittiest zombie movie ever made. Reverent to the zombie films that came before, particularly Romero’s original Dead trilogy (a nod to ‘Bub’ from Day of the Dead can be seen above), the film is a great zombie film in its own right.
Featuring zombies, guns, motorcycles, and sex, this comedy/horror film is surprisingly deep and philosophical. An inversion of the classic zombie mythology, it doesn’t deal with the fear of death, but the fear of life. It’s cryptic, it’s philosophical, it’s unique, and admittedly, it’s not for everyone. But don’t let that dissuade you from watching it. It’s hailed by Martin Scorsese as one of the best Italian films of the 1990s.
Return of the Living Dead | 1985 | dir. Dan O’Bannon
The quintessential 1980s zombie film, Return of the Living Dead introduced the world to the zombies that craved brains. Eschewing the dark and somber tone of Romero’s Dead films in favor of a funnier, gorier, and over-the-top comic feel, the film features a killer soundtrack, memorable dialogue, and a number of iconic characters and zombies - such as the infamous Tarman. It also presents a rather cynical commentary on the military. Directed by Dan O’Bannon (the screenwriter for Alien), Return is one of the most entertaining zombie films of all time.
Night of the Living Dead | 1968 | dir. George A. Romero
Night of the Living Dead is the film that started it all, and it presented a paradigm shift not just in zombie films or horror films, but in film as a whole. Night is the film that turned the mindless voodoo slaves into zombie flesh eaters. The film also pushed boundaries outside of the realm of horror. Duane Jones, a relatively unknown black stage actor, was cast as the lead protagonist – controversial for the time. Additionally, the lack of a “happy ending” at the hands of trigger happy rednecks is sure to resonant with audiences today.
Dawn of the Dead | 1978 | dir. George A. Romero
Ask any hardcore zombie fan what the greatest zombie film of all time is, and 8 times out of 10, it’s Dawn of the Dead. (The other two fans will argue Romero’s other films.) Okay, slight exaggeration, but not by much. Dawn consistently ranks as one of the greatest zombie films of all time, often taking the number one spot. But it’s not without reason. Simply put, zombies as we know them today would not exist if not for Dawn of the Dead. As Bram Stoker’s Dracula defined the modern vampire, Dawn of the Dead defined the modern zombie (impressive when considering the fact that Romero has never used the word “zombie” in his films). Steeped in social commentary - the now almost cliche critique on consumerism - and featuring the shuffling zombies we’ve come to recognize today (with makeup and effects from the excellent Tom Savini), Dawn is the standard against which all zombie films are compared.
Honorable Mentions: The Walking Dead (1936), Sugar Hill (1974), The Fog (1980), The Beyond (1981) Dead and Buried (1981), Creepshow: “Father’s Day” (1982), Night of the Comet (1984), Day of the Dead (1985), Night of the Creeps (1986), Prince of Darkness (1987), The Serpent and the Rainbow (1988), Night of the Living Dead (1990), Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island (1998), Wild Zero (1999) 28 Days Later (2002), Dawn of the Dead (2004), Land of the Dead (2005), Fido (2006), Grindhouse: “Planet Terror” (2007), [REC] (2007), Pontypool (2008), Dead Snow (2009), Zombieland (2009)
Researching Afro-Caribbean Religions: Voodoo, Santeria, And More
Welcome to the first
part in a series on Afro-Caribbean religions, put together to answer some of
the questions we’ve had in the past about voodoo and related religions which
invariably end with “how do I research for this?!”
Why Did You Choose Voodoo?
sentences. It doesn’t matter how short, in-depth the answer is.
When I think of
voodoo, I think of ….”
Did you think of voodoo dolls/zombies/”black” magic ? You may have misinformed (and
potentially negative) intentions for it in your story from growing up on Hollywood
“Voodoo in my story
excites me because…”
Did you think it’d be perfect for your magical villain
and/or protagonist? Again, you may have Hollywood voodoo on the brain. If it’s for your villain, be advised that “evil
voodoo shaman” is yet another lash on a long-dead horse of negative stereotypes that has been around since 1932 gave us White Zombie. Now, nobody’s
denying you permission to write a voodoo villain, but please don’t let your
antagonist the ONLY representative of voodoo within the narrative.
Narrowing It Down
After completing those
sentences, you may realize you’re just looking for a magical element for your
story. If so, voodoo might not be for you because voodoo is a religion. If you want to do voodoo respectfully
and avoid stereotypes, then you need to take care not to write Hogwarts Of The
Caribbean. There are many magical traditions whicharen’t religions and can carry the exact same allure for your work’s
Of course, stripping
out the worship does not make research any easier or less potentially offensive.
Rather, it just makes your work and research more on topic. Regardless
of what is and isn’t popular among their respective, modern-day cultures,
indigenous and mixed belief systems are still peoples’ heritages, almost
invariably with a tempestuous history that should not be ignored or silenced.
So, decide for
yourself: Do you need a tradition which is religious,
magical, or both?
You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know
I challenge you to
choose an alternative to Voodoo because if you check out NGram
viewer and compare how ‘voodoo’ weighs in against any diasporic competitor in
English-language literature, the difference is enormous.
much more out there within and without the “voodoo”
category. For starters, the variants: Cuban, Puerto Rican and Dominican
Vudú to name a few. There are even Canadian Vodouisants, particularly in
Quebec, of Haitian heritage; the point here is you can go
You also may want to
set the Loa aside and give Santería, Umbanda and Candomblé a chance – they’re
distinct, but similar, have magical traditions inextricably blended within
them, and probably have the same thing you’re looking for. You could even
take it straight to Africa and look into the founding beliefs like Yoruba (The
In addition to African
groups, Mesoamerican beliefs of the Aztec, Maya, Zapotec, Mixtec and so
on may be strong contenders for your narrative even in a modern setting because
not only can they also feature ancestor worship, a robust spirit world, trance
states and a once-gods-now-saints, they can be witnessed today by
people who still believe in it. You just have to be willing to put
in a little more effort since these beliefs are labeled “Catholic” now: just
like Vodouisants tend to be, the followers of this Latino syncretism are
largely Catholics of indigenous heritage.
The most prevalent
example to look up is pan-Mayan syncretism and/or Maya Catholicism, which
features things like worry dolls (distinct from voodoo dolls) and San Simon
Maximón de Guatemala, “the Evil Saint” who accepts offerings of things like
tobacco and Coca Cola. Some belief systems have withstood the test of
time and others are just now being dusted off, such as with Mexicanidad or Mexicayotl (an
Aztec culture and philosophy revival movement started in the 50s which includes
breathing life back into Aztec beliefs).
Your research may not
be as direct because you’re not going to find “The Complete Field Guide To
Modern Mesoamerican Syncretism” but you’re also not going to find “Everything
You Need To Know About Voodoo To Write Your Book: An Annotated Guide,” either.
Research Starting Point: Keyword List
Here’s a list of
things that You Should Know Exist by
country (there is overlap and this is not an exhaustive list). This includes
religions and magical practices devoid of liturgical worship.
these I’ve chosen because they are from specifically West African belief
systems, but some of them I have chosen because they happen to have the
dynamics of offering spirits propitiation or magical traditions.
Each belief system, religion or not, is its
own iceberg with robust history and various amounts of representation.
Some are alive and well, others are the subject of controversy. The research
part is your job.
Barbudan: Obeah. Afro-Bahamian: Obeah Afro-Cuban: Abakuá, Santería, Palo Monte, Cuban Vudú, Palo (Las
Reglas De Congo). Afro-Dominican: Dominican Voodoo Afro-Haitian: Haitian Vodou
Afro-Brazilian: Candomblé, Umbanda, Quimbanda, Xangô de
Recife, Xangô do Nordeste, Tambor De Mina, Santo Daime, Lucumi. African-American: Hoodoo, Louisiana Voodoo, Spiritual
There is not a
convenient label to put on Mesoamerican traditions blending into Catholicism,
but awareness of the fact is worthwhile. You may wish to look up “Zapotec
religion,” “Mixtec religion,” and “Aztec religion” for leads. However, here are some labels:
Latin America in
General: Curanderismo, Brujeria,
Espritismo (which has African-inspired and Mesoamerican-inspired variations).
Incan Origin: União do Vegetal(Brazil), Vegetalismo
Guatemalan: Maya Catholicism, pan-Mayan syncretism
Even though my
personal answer “Where do I start with Haitian/Louisiana voodoo?” is “BY
LOOKING AT EVERYTHING BUT THAT” hopefully you will find it exciting that
Louisisana/Haitian Voodoo/Vodou is but a page in an entire book, a room in a
In my next post on
Afro-Caribbean Religions I will cover beliefs that are more-or-less consistent
among voodoo and religions like voodoo.
Warnings: Language (only a little) only a little Gabriel (very sorry, might do a part 2)
Pairing: Oh wow, on a GabrielxReader blog? I wonder…
Dark. It was dark. And cold. The only thing you could hear was your own breath. It smelled to. Like dirt. You couldn’t see. It was all black.
You tried moving your arms. There wasn’t much space wherever you were. Your hands hit something not to far away from your face. Wood. You grabbed a loose plank and pulled, only to be greeted with a mouthful of dirt.
It took what seemed like hours to crawl out of the hole. Why were you in a hole?
Oh. It wasn’t a hole. It was a grave. Your grave. The last thing you remember was…
“Let her go you creep!” You heard Dean say.
You chuckled. Well, not you you. The demon possessing you. “Dean, Dean, Dean. We all know that I’m not gonna do that.”
Sam splashed holy water in your face. It sizzled and burned on contact with your skin. Even if you weren’t in control it still hurt like hell.
You took that moment as a chance to take control. You fought as hard as you could against the demon inside you. “The…the knife.”
“Y/N?” Sam asked.
You stuttered “Kill it. Kill…me. Just-” You screamed. Your eyes flashed black and you smirked. “Go on. Kill the bitch.”
“Y/N we’re not gonna kill you-” Dean argued.
“DO IT! Please Dean it’s the only way!” You told him.
Dean picked up the knife and glanced at Sam.
“You kill me and I drag the bitch to Hell.” The demon spat.
“I’m so sorry Y/N.”
That was the last thing Dean Winchester said to you before the blade was pushed into your chest.
The demon kept its promise. You wound up in Hell. You could still remember the fire, the screams, the pain. After continuous torture you lost track of time.
You were alive. How? Did someone make a deal? Zombie voodoo or something? The cut on your chest had healed somehow.
You looked around. You were in a field. A few barren trees surrounded you but you weren’t far from the road. Snow? Wasn’t it June? How much time had passed since you’d been gone?
Ypu knew tagt the first thing you had to do was contact Sam and Dean. The only thing you had on you were the clothes on your back. You had to find a gas station or something. Shivering, you followed the road.
About half an hour later you stumbled upon a small Gas'n'Sip. You walked inside, the small bell on the door rang as you opened it.
“What happened to you? Ya look like you’ve been to Hell and back!” The man behind the counter commented.
Well, he wasn’t wrong. And you did look like shit. Your hair was strewn all over the place, your clothes covered in dirt. There was still dried blood on your shirt.
“Oh, i was in a car accident. Do you have a phone I could use?” You asked.
The guy pointed to a sign that read STAFF ONLY. “Back there miss. You want me to call the cops?”
“No, it’s okay.” You thanked the man and headed into the staff room.
You picked up the phone that was attached to the wall and dialed Dean’s number. No answer, just voice mail. “Dean it’s Y/N. Just pick up already!” You tried again but to no avail.
Then you tried Sam. He picked up on the fourth ring. “Hello? Who is this?” God, it was great to hear his voice.
“Sam? It’s Y/N. I need you to-” beeeeep. He’d hung up on you.
You called again. “Sam. It’s me. I don’t know how but-”
“Enough. You’re not my friend. Whatever sick prank you’re playing-”
“It’s not a prank Sam! I’m alive! I don’t know how but it’s me! It really is.” You pleaded.
He was quiet for a few seconds before he asked “What’s our code word?”
You smiled. You came up with a code word in case of demons or shifters so you could make sure that you were yourselves. “Tacocat. It’s a palindrome. T-A-C-O-”
“I can spell Y/N.” Sam replied.
You smiled. “So you finally believe it’s me?” You asked.
You heard Sam sigh. “Pray for Cas to pick you up. Might take a few minutes though.”
“Yeah. My being alive is surprising, even for me. See you soon Sam.”
You headed out to the store. “Thanks for everything. My friend is picking me up in a few minutes.”
You walked a few minutes to get away from the store. The air was cold. It had to be winter now.
“Castiel? It’s Y/N. I don’t know how, but I’m alive. Can you come to pick me up?” You prayed out loud.
“I’m here.” Castiel’s gruff voice made you jump.
You smiles and hugged the angel. “Cas buddy, it’s good to see you!”
He hesitated. “You too. It’s quite a shock though.”
“You’re telling me. Shall we head home?” You asked.
Cas touched your shoulder, sending you back to the bunker. It hadn’t changed a bit.
“Y/N?” A familiar voice asked.
“Dean, hey! I guessed Sam filled you in. On me…not being dead…” You smiled awkwardly.
“Missed you kiddo. Do you have any idea how you got back?” Dean asked.
You shrugged.“I really have no idea. You guys know?”
Sam walked into the room. “No. No demons would trade. No spells worked. Not even Cas could pull you out. You were in quite far.”
“Please. The last thing Y/N needs is questions. What she needs right now is a shower.” Cas spoke up.
“Thanks Cas. I’d be a bit offended if it wasn’t true. I’ve been in a grave for…”
“Six months.” Dean told you. “You’ve been dead for six months.”
You weren’t really sure what to say. Six months. “Wow. I really need a shower. Give me about two hours or so!” You joked.
The shower was great. All the dirt as dried blood gone. You walked into your room, which the Winchesters left untouched. It was also their idea to bury you instead of the usual hunter’s funeral. You threw on some sweatpants and a t-shirt.
You walked into the library to find the three of your friends researching a new case.
“Guys, when I was in the shower I found this on my arm.” You rolled up your sleeve to show them the bright red handprint that was seared into your upper arm.
“Angels.” Dean said instantly.
You raised your eyebrow at the boys. “Dean got a handprint when Cas ‘gripped him tight and raised him from perdition’.” Sam explained.
“But you said that I was to far in Hell to be pulled out.” You said to Cas.
“I did. You were. I’m not sure who pulled you out but I can try to find out.” He told you.
You groaned. “It’s gonna hurt, isn’t it?”
Cas nodded. He walked over to you and placed his hand on your shoulder. The handprint started to glow. A burning pain ran through your body. Then it faded.
Cas looked shocked. “It can’t be.”
“Cas? What’s wrong? Who did it?” You asked.
Cas turned away from you to face the boys. “He’s dead.”
“Will someone explain to me what’s going on? Who’s dead?” You persistently asked.
“That would be me.” A voice behind you said.
You spun around to find a man who wasn’t there a second ago, with blonde hair and golden eyes standing behind you.
Quick as a flash, Castiel pulled out his angel blade and held it to the intruder’s neck.
“Woah there bucko! You’ll take someone’s eye out with that!” The stranger told Cas.
Cas slowly lowered the blade. “Gabriel.”
Gabriel smiled. “Hello brother.” He said before turning to you. “We’ve got a lot to talk about.”
Marki Bey as Diana ‘Sugar’ Hill in Sugar Hill (1974)
Synopsis: When her boyfriend is brutally murdered, after refusing to be shaken
down by the local gangsters running their protection racket, Sugar Hill,
decides not to get mad, but BAD! Calling upon the help of aged voodoo
queen Mama Maitresse, Sugar entreats her to call upon Baron Zamedi, the
Lord of the Dead, for help in gaining a gruesome revenge. In exchange
for her soul, the Dark Master raises up a zombie army to do her bidding.
The bad guys who thought they were getting away clean are about to find
out that they’re DEAD wrong.