Male Witch living in the Australian Capital Territory, practicing my own brand of Kitchen Witchcraft in the suburbs.

 

OK, so, I know I’m sort of shitty to you all at the moment, and I rarely post here and I’m all over the place, but I need to vent right now, so I apologise in advance for the toxic brain-spew I am about to have all over your dash.
Please feel free to skip past this post.
So, the boyfriend is currently overseas on holiday, and usually when he goes away there is one huge fuck-up at home. The internet dies for two weeks. One of our animals gets sick. I get sick. Etc. etc.
Our two canaries are, as much as it pains me to admit it, like our fucking kids. I dote on these two little princess-like bitches like an indulgent, entirely whipped father.
And of course, now that the boyfriend is away, Pasmo (the one in the front) is picking on Suica (the one in the back), to the point where I thought that she had injured her sister to the point of death. Suica was sitting on the bottom of the cage (not a good sign), not doing anything really. I put my hand in there to see if I could touch her (not a good sign), and she flew up to roost on a perch. two minutes later, her sister got up out of the nest and attacked her again.
I’ve now separated the two of them, and put Suica in her own cage, and she seems to be OK. I am trying to leave her alone for an hour to settle in, but it is so hard. I called my mum and started hysterically crying, which is just not a thing that I do. I react to most situations with vitriol, malice, and rage. The only times I have cried in the past 10 years that I can remember, I have been inebriated or violently ill.
I love having canaries, they’re incredibly beautiful birds with huge personalities and such beautiful little spirits… But it is also fucking stressful and devastating and makes me wish that I didn’t have them because there are no avian vets in my city, and regular vets are just like “Oh, I don’t really know…” and Googeling is possibly the worst thing I have ever done to myself…
To make the whoel situation more fun, I have the Boyfriend’s sister in-law and her two sons down this weekend. Both are under four and a total disaster. Our house is not kid friendly and they get into everything and the eldest is a spoiled shit-head and the mother is a total stress-head and I don’t think I am coping particularly well with having them in my space at all…
I want my boyfriend to be home already (he’s been gone a week out of four), I want to be selfish and kick his family out of my house, I want my birds to be OK, I want a BLT.
Most of all I just want to fucking man-up and stop crying.
-Stepford out

OK, so, I know I’m sort of shitty to you all at the moment, and I rarely post here and I’m all over the place, but I need to vent right now, so I apologise in advance for the toxic brain-spew I am about to have all over your dash.

Please feel free to skip past this post.

So, the boyfriend is currently overseas on holiday, and usually when he goes away there is one huge fuck-up at home. The internet dies for two weeks. One of our animals gets sick. I get sick. Etc. etc.

Our two canaries are, as much as it pains me to admit it, like our fucking kids. I dote on these two little princess-like bitches like an indulgent, entirely whipped father.

And of course, now that the boyfriend is away, Pasmo (the one in the front) is picking on Suica (the one in the back), to the point where I thought that she had injured her sister to the point of death. Suica was sitting on the bottom of the cage (not a good sign), not doing anything really. I put my hand in there to see if I could touch her (not a good sign), and she flew up to roost on a perch. two minutes later, her sister got up out of the nest and attacked her again.

I’ve now separated the two of them, and put Suica in her own cage, and she seems to be OK. I am trying to leave her alone for an hour to settle in, but it is so hard. I called my mum and started hysterically crying, which is just not a thing that I do. I react to most situations with vitriol, malice, and rage. The only times I have cried in the past 10 years that I can remember, I have been inebriated or violently ill.

I love having canaries, they’re incredibly beautiful birds with huge personalities and such beautiful little spirits… But it is also fucking stressful and devastating and makes me wish that I didn’t have them because there are no avian vets in my city, and regular vets are just like “Oh, I don’t really know…” and Googeling is possibly the worst thing I have ever done to myself…

To make the whoel situation more fun, I have the Boyfriend’s sister in-law and her two sons down this weekend. Both are under four and a total disaster. Our house is not kid friendly and they get into everything and the eldest is a spoiled shit-head and the mother is a total stress-head and I don’t think I am coping particularly well with having them in my space at all…

I want my boyfriend to be home already (he’s been gone a week out of four), I want to be selfish and kick his family out of my house, I want my birds to be OK, I want a BLT.

Most of all I just want to fucking man-up and stop crying.

-Stepford out

31 Nights of Horror – Night 6 – The Howling 6 – The Freaks:

 

OK, so, TH: TF was a direct-to-video movie, which really should have been the tipoff that it was going to be a piece of shit. I, however, greatly underestimated just how fucking terrible it would be. The film was equal parts boring and terribly acted, looking like it was shot by a bunch of hipster losers and their friends on iPads, and then edited in iMovie, with blurry filters provided by Instagram. 

I watched The Howling 6: The Freaks with my good friend Keir, and I think that this is the only reason I made it through the whole movie without stabbing the TV.

It is really strange, because this film receives fairly high praise from a lot of critics, and I don’t understand why at all.

I cannot for the life of me track down a trailer for this film, I assume because it was straight to video. No matter, you’re really not missing out on anything. Let me paint you a word picture…

Here is my half assed plot synopsis: Oh no, a girl carrying a teddy bear is (presumably) killed in an orchard by a mysterious blur. Now there’s a drifter walking along a desert highway carrying the bear to the twangy whine of a harmonica. He enters a small hick town and the sheriff tries to chase him off. The local preacher offers him a room and board for work. The drifter is British, and has the perpetual look of someone who has just been caught masturbating. A freak show comes to town. The owner of the freak show is what it would look like is Stephen Fry and Alan Rickman had a baby: pompous, aggravating and just a little bit sad. Turns out he is also a grape-flavoured vampire. Well, I assume he is grape flavoured because he is fucking purple. The drifter is a werewolf and gets put in the freak show. The preacher’s daughter is in love with him and tries to help him escape. some other shit happens. The end. 

FUCKING SNORE!

Following on from the theme of my review for  TH: TR, this movie has a really ugly cast. The sex scenes are incredibly insipid, and thankfully there is only one and a half of those!

The werewolf transformation is pretty standard, but the transformed werewolf is just fucking hilarious. It doesn’t even look like a werewolf, really, more like a cast member of fucking CATS whose gone off their meds and spent a weekend prowling about a public park. There isn’t any lore to speak of, really, except the vampire is able to cause the werewolf to transform at any time through the use of a crystal necklace off etsy and a fucking chant.

There is little worth watching this film for, even in a funny shit sort of way. One old man’s reaction to finding the sheriff dead was pretty funny, but otherwise the movie is a complete write-off and well worth avoiding.
The Howling 6 gets a dismal two out of ten werewolf howls. This movie was really shit.

31 Nights of Horror – Night 6 – The Howling 6 – The Freaks:

 

OK, so, TH: TF was a direct-to-video movie, which really should have been the tipoff that it was going to be a piece of shit. I, however, greatly underestimated just how fucking terrible it would be. The film was equal parts boring and terribly acted, looking like it was shot by a bunch of hipster losers and their friends on iPads, and then edited in iMovie, with blurry filters provided by Instagram.

I watched The Howling 6: The Freaks with my good friend Keir, and I think that this is the only reason I made it through the whole movie without stabbing the TV.

It is really strange, because this film receives fairly high praise from a lot of critics, and I don’t understand why at all.

I cannot for the life of me track down a trailer for this film, I assume because it was straight to video. No matter, you’re really not missing out on anything. Let me paint you a word picture…

Here is my half assed plot synopsis: Oh no, a girl carrying a teddy bear is (presumably) killed in an orchard by a mysterious blur. Now there’s a drifter walking along a desert highway carrying the bear to the twangy whine of a harmonica. He enters a small hick town and the sheriff tries to chase him off. The local preacher offers him a room and board for work. The drifter is British, and has the perpetual look of someone who has just been caught masturbating. A freak show comes to town. The owner of the freak show is what it would look like is Stephen Fry and Alan Rickman had a baby: pompous, aggravating and just a little bit sad. Turns out he is also a grape-flavoured vampire. Well, I assume he is grape flavoured because he is fucking purple. The drifter is a werewolf and gets put in the freak show. The preacher’s daughter is in love with him and tries to help him escape. some other shit happens. The end.

FUCKING SNORE!

Following on from the theme of my review for  TH: TR, this movie has a really ugly cast. The sex scenes are incredibly insipid, and thankfully there is only one and a half of those!

The werewolf transformation is pretty standard, but the transformed werewolf is just fucking hilarious. It doesn’t even look like a werewolf, really, more like a cast member of fucking CATS whose gone off their meds and spent a weekend prowling about a public park. There isn’t any lore to speak of, really, except the vampire is able to cause the werewolf to transform at any time through the use of a crystal necklace off etsy and a fucking chant.

There is little worth watching this film for, even in a funny shit sort of way. One old man’s reaction to finding the sheriff dead was pretty funny, but otherwise the movie is a complete write-off and well worth avoiding.

The Howling 6 gets a dismal two out of ten werewolf howls. This movie was really shit.

31 Nights of Horror – Night 5 – The Howling 5 – The Rebirth:

 

All good things clearly cannot last, and so after the enjoyable Howling 4 I was not really surprised to find myself back in the territory of bad special effects, poor plot, and awful acting.

The last of the films in the franchise that was shot in the 80s, The Howling 5: The Rebirth decides to usher the franchise into a new decade with a story that is immeasurably divorced from the original.

TH: TR takes place in a mysterious Hungarian castle, which has opened its doors after being shuttered for over 500 years following a horrific, intentionally staged family massacre; with the apparent intention of attracting tourist business. A diverse group of people from different parts of the globe is assembled at the eerie dwelling after having been chosen when they entered a ballot. But once they arrive some begin to wonder if there is more going on than meets the eye. First they hear terrible stories about savage packs of wolves that used to roam the area and then people begin to disappear, only some of whom are found later with their throats torn out. It soon becomes clear that a murderer is among them, and the culprit may be only partially human…

This is going to sound very conceited, but it needs to be said. The cast of TH: TR are all deeply ugly. Seriously, there is not one amongst them, and it is quite a large cast mind you, that I would fuck with your dick, let alone my own! The token blonde 80’s hunk wears dirty Nike sneakers, is not attractive, and doesn’t even show off any skin EVEN THOUGH he has a whole scene in a thermal spa! The casting director should be found and beaten.

The cinematography in this film is fairly appalling, and the musical score is atrocious. There’s one bit of music, much like TH: YSIAW, but instead of an insipid 80s mess, this is some sort of ‘classical’ piece that is very dramatic the first time it is used. The subsequent 20 times it is dragged out, for every single death, is not in the remotest sense dramatic. You could make a drinking game of it in fact. “Drink every time you hear the dramatic chant music”.

Your liver will not thank me.

I am a little confused on the werewolf front with this film, and I cannot decide if TH:TR has been clever or not. Like Alien, TH: TR relies on a lot of off-camera action to get you wound up and scared. However, you see the werewolf a fair bit in the film, it is just always really fucking dark in the castle, and the wolf is always blurred and in shadow. So, did they have a low budget and work to that as best they could? Or is it just a happy coincidence that their shitty werewolf is rarely seen? Who knows? TH: TR also introduces a ‘mark of the beast’ concept, where everyone present at the castle is somehow descended from the original, medieval werewolf; and as a result they all have a wolf’s head shaped birth mark on their upper forearm… This could have been brilliant, but it was executed poorly and just sort of tacked on at the end.

Sidenote: There is an Australian character in this film, Ray, who I hate. I really, really f**king hate Ray, and I feel cheated because his death was deeply unsatisfactory for me. Ray is the worst kind of caricature of Australians, the larrikin. His broad accent, easy-going attitude, colloquialisms and lank ponytail make me want to draw blood. FUCKING RAY!

Also, the werewolf turns out to be the young actress, whose name is Mary-Lou. Mary-Lou the werewolf… It has a really menacing ring to it, no?

I am giving The Howling 5 three out of ten werewolf howls. This movie was shit, but not soul crushingly so. You can watch it if you want, but I would advise you to skip it altogether.

31 Nights of Horror – Night 3 – The Howling 4 – The Original Nightmare:

 

After the brutal bullshit that was The Marsupials, I went into the fourth film in the franchise hoping just to escape with my sanity in check. As such, I was not in any way expecting to actually enjoy the film.

Despite the red herring that is the film’s incredibly stupid name, The Howling 4: The Original Nightmare was actually excellent.

OK, so excellent is probably too lofty praise for yet another 80’s instalment of the franchise, but at the end of the day I really fucking enjoyed this film. TH:ToN has a straight forward story line that I was actually interested in, the acting isn’t completely terrible, the effects are not completely awful, and I watched this one through to the end without wanting to harm myself in any way.

Also, there was not one, but two hot 80’s hunks in this film! The main character Marie’s husband Richard, and her literary agent Tom. Fun fact, Tom was played by Anthony Hamilton, and Australian dancer/model/actor. Hamilton continues my love of blonde 80’s horror movie hunks, and on top of this, he was a giant homo too! I say was because sadly he passed away in 1995 from AIDS-related complications. The guy playing Richard was very easy on the eye as well, and spent the majority of the film shirtless, which is a plus.

The basic plot for TH: ToN centres around writer Marie, who suffers a very sudden nervous breakdown while on-deadline for her latest book. Under doctor’s orders her husband Richard takes her away from LA for three-weeks of recuperation in a remote desert town. Her literary agent Tom drives her down there, and there’s a tense exchange between Tom and Richard. Marie has trouble settling in to the idyllic cottage in the woods, however, and every night she hears sinister howling coming from the woods. What’s more, her visions continue to get worse, and evidence starts to mount that the residents of Drago are not all that they seem to be…

I don’t want to give too much more away, because I think that people should bypass all the other Howling movies and just watch this one. It is actually a more faithful adaptation of the Novel that the franchise is based upon, it has better acting, and is just generally a better film.

I have to make mention that there seems to be a strong message of “keep your husband satisfied sexually or he will run off and have sex with a werewolf and get turned into a werewolf and then you will have to kill him” running through the franchise thus far.

On the werewolf front, TH:ToN doesn’t really add much, but I think that it does perfect a few elements. For a start, it really suggests that there is a partially-shifted stage to lycanthropy, which is mostly human with weird canine features, but goes a step further and introduces the concept that beta-werewolves can turn into actual wolves, while the alpha-werewolf is much more monstrous looking. TH: ToN also introduces a really amazing concept of a bitten person going through a truly horrifying initial transition, much like how turned-vampires have to ‘die’ and be reborn in the Anne Rice books. This transition is fucking brutal and fucking gross in the film, and so, so amazing. You need to see it.

I am giving The Howling 4 eight out of ten werewolf howls. Yes, this is probably too high a score, but the film was such a relief after its predecessor that I feel it deserves the high praise from yours truly. Plus, this film had everything I want from 80’s horror. Namely, 80’s hunks and gore.

31 Nights of Horror – Night 3 – The Howling 3 – The Marsupials:

 

I should preface this by saying that I have a huge axe to grind with Australian films in general, and so when I found out that the third film in this franchise was made here, I gave a loud groan and started wishing I hadn’t picked it.

Then I read the synopsis on Wikipedia, and wanted to kill myself.

The Howling 3: The Marsupials is a clusterfuck of terrible acting, sub-plot overkill, and all the other elements of Australian film that make our film industry the barren wasteland of bullshit that it is. The film “doesn’t take itself too seriously” which is to say that the cast and crew tried and failed to make a serious werewolf movie, and realising how much what they had sucked, they tried to pass their sad little fuck-up off as a parody of the genre. NO AUSTRALIA! NO!

The first thing you need to know before watching TH:TM is that you will see a marsupial werewolf give birth to what is essentially a werewolf foetus, which then crawls from her downy vagina to her pouch. Yes, the marsupial werewolves have fucking POUCHES! This scene is absurd and gross and horrifying.

TH:TM is so fucking bad that I only watched about 40 minutes of the 98 minute film. This was still enough time for me to actively consider tracking Barry Otto down and murdering him. Because I didn’t need to lose the space on my cerebral hard drive that this fucker takes up. I just didn’t.

The basic plot is that a professor saw some Indigenous Australians sacrifice a werewolf in the outback, and then disappeared after recording their ritual. Years later his grandson somehow got a hold of the footage and shows his anthropology class. Then the next day he flies to the USA to try and convince the President of the Untied States that werewolves are real. Also, there’s a bunch of marsupial werewolves living ‘in the outback’ and a young girl named Gerboa is going to get raped by her stepfather Thylo (like thylacine, get it?). She runs away from home, goes to Sydney, get’s discovered by a dweeby film guy and of course lands a role in a shape-shifter horror movie. Then they fall in love and have really sweaty sex (during which time he doesn’t notice that the girl has more body hair than I do), and so of course she gets instantly pregnant and…

I can’t even go on. A bunch of other pointless shit happens, including an awful Russian werewolf ballerina who has come to Australia to mate with Thylo and purrs a lot in a really terrible fashion; but at the end of the day this film is irredeemably shit and I strongly recommend that you do not watch it, ever.

On the werewolf front, TH:TM invents a whole lot of really pointless bits and pieces to suggest that Australia, being the land of fucked-up fauna that it is, evolved it’s very own marsupial werewolves that now live among the general public and in the outback and have pouches. It also suggests that pointing a strobe at a werewolf will cause it to transform.

I had no favourite moment of this film. It was all fucking terrible.

The Howling 3 gets zero werewolf howls. It doesn’t even get a marsupial yowl. It gets fucking nothing! Watch this film if you hate yourself. The end.

Request for links/referrals etc…

Hello lovely friends of the Stepford interwebs.

I’m currently on a bit of a werewolf/lycanthropy bender, and I am wondering if any of you have any reccomendations of anything Werewolf related.

I’m keen on books, blogs, scholarly articles, movies, documentaries; hell, even fucking art.

I’ve got a small pile of books to work my way through on top of my 31 Nights of Horror viewing list; but I’m more interested in finding material on contemporary occult theory/practice of lycanthropy/shape shifting etc.

I have every intention of diving into the scary rabbit hole that in the interwebs myself, but I figured I’d give you all a shout-out first.

Xx

The Witch of Stepford 

31 Nights of Horror – Night 2 – The Howling 2 – Your Sister is a Werewolf:

 

It is a given that with any movie franchise, the sequels generally tend to start sucking at around the third movie. The second movie is often able to keep the magic alive, however, and sometimes even surpasses the original.

This was not the case with the ridiculously titled The Howling 2: Your Sister is a Werewolf.

TH:YSIAW falls firmly into the category of movies that are so bad they are funny to watch.

The first thing you need to know before watching TH:YSIAW is that you will hear the theme song ‘The Howling’ by 80’s pop-nothings Babel, at least a hundred times. You will also see these ‘punk’ dweebs performing this gem several times throughout the movie. While these are supposed to be different concerts, it is exactly the same footage.

TH:YSIAW follows on from where the first film left off. Anchor woman Karen White is being buried, even though she is apparently still alive and a werewolf. Her grieving (and ridiculously hot) brother Ben (played by my future-past husband Reb Brown) is approached by an occult investigator Stephan (played, hilariously, by Christopher Lee) about the fact that his sister is not dead and is a werewolf. There’s also Karen’s fellow reporter Jenny, who introduces herself to Ben but he acts as if he already knows her. This is not a polt point, it is a mistake. There’s also two werewolves hanging out in the cemetery, waiting to run off with Karen’s body. Then there’s some gore when the female werewolf lures some punks from the super awesome Babel concert to an abandoned brick works, and then her and her wolfy friend eat them. Ben and Jenny visit with Stefan and learn about Striba, a 10,000 year-old werewolf queen who is going to destroy the world somehow, I think. This of course leads them to volunteer to go to Romania with Stefan to defeat Stirba, and a whole bunch of ridiculous hijinks transpire, including Jenny and Ben getting it on, and a whole lot of lycanthropic sex.

Really hairy, poorly acted, lycanthropic sex. It’s not even titillating, it’s just fucking weird and uncomfortable.

I don’t want to give too much away, because I think that this movie is in the ‘So bad it’s good/watch for a laugh’ category of horror. What I will say is that there’s a lot of fucking huge plot gaps in this film, and a lot of really bad occult CGI that I totally would have creamed my jeans over when I was a kid.

On the werewolf front, TH:YSIAW ‘adds’ to the lore of its predecessor, but not in any enjoyable sort of way. Stirba’s brood of werewolves are stronger for some reason, and you have to kill them with fire or titanium. The three main werewolves have a really strange shifted look that is much more in-line with people who suffer from that real-life werewolf disease where you’re just really hairy – they just look like they’ve been dipped in Vaseline and rolled around on the floor of a barber shop.

My favourite moments in this film were: Ben being shirtless (I’m consistent in my lechery), Stirba casting a spell that made a dwarf’s eyes explode, the incredibly bad acting, and Stefan’s hip youthful clothes that he wears to the Werewolf club.

Finally, fun trivia fact: The Howling 2: Your Sister is a Werewolf was banned in Finland. Why, who knows?

I’m giving The Howling 2 four out of a possible ten werewolf howls. Watch this film for some hilarious 80’s nostalgia, awful effects, and terrible acting. You’ve been warned about the song though!

31 Nights of Horror – Night 1 – The Howling:

 

Kicking my 2014 viewings off with The Howling was in my mind a fantastic idea, because I’d never seen it before, and it is THE 80’s cult classic werewolf film.

And, in a lot of ways this was a great idea, because the film was the right amounts of schlock and camp, and it was a good start to the genre of Werewolf films without peaking too early.

That said, it would have been nice to have something a little more titillating to kick the month off with. The Howling was strangely slow-paced (it takes 60 minutes for someone to die), really poorly acted (the anchor woman discovering the dead body of her best friend is GOLD!), and realistically a little boring for an 80’s horror movie (it takes 60 minutes for someone to die!).

The premise is actually really interesting in my opinion, and true to form I think that a contemporary remake could very well succeed where the original failed. A TV anchor woman gets stalked by local serial killer, goes to meet him for an interview/police sting, but suffers a mental breakdown after something happens during the meeting. The serial killer is killed by police. Her psychologist suggests that she spend a week or two recuperating at his holistic lifestyle retreat ‘The Colony’, essentially because she’s having nightmares and her husband is tired of not getting laid. At The Colony strange events begin to transpire and a shocking mystery waits lurking and howling…

Look. The Howling was not a cinematic masterpiece by any stretch of the imagination, but I think as with any film in the werewolf genre, you have to be willing to pick out parts to like and just let the rest wash over you. It’s about finding and celebrating the little things. For example:
I thought that the Anchor Woman’s husband was quite easy on the eye, even if he was a terrible actor, and I enjoyed the fireside lycanthropic sex more than I really should have.
There’s a particularly good piece of SFX work where a severed werewolf limb turns back into a human limb that I was genuinely impressed with.
It is intimated that a Mazda is a flashy, expensive car (I drive a Mazda, and as such find this hysterical).

On the werewolf front, this film is HUGELY inconsistent. I don’t know if it is intentional, but there are at least five different werewolf ‘looks’ throughout the film, and it’s a little jarring (the last example is the worst!). The transformation scenes are suitably gross, with audible bone-snapping and skin-stretching sound effects; but ultimately the werewolves themselves are pretty silly looking.

I’m giving The Howling six out of a possible 10 possible werewolf howls. The execution may have been poor, but there is still absolutely merit to watching this film.

virtualfetch asked
Would you be willing to share the name of your mandrake supplier?

Hi there :)

I bought two packets of ten seeds from All Rare Herbs, which is an Australian company. They only ship to eastern states of Australia, not WA or TAS, and not internationally.

If you’re a fellow antipodean, the website is: http://www.allrareherbs.com.au/