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11 December 2012

The real Vampira




Maila Nurmi (December 11, 1922 – January 10, 2008) was a Finnish-American actress who created the 1950s character Vampira. She portrayed Vampira as TV's first horror host and in the Ed Wood cult film Plan 9 from Outer Space.


Early Vampira

The idea for the Vampira character was born in 1953 when Nurmi attended choreographer Lester Horton's annual Bal Caribe Masquerade in a costume inspired by Morticia Addams in The New Yorker cartoons of Charles Addams. Her appearance with pale white skin and tight black dress caught the attention of television producer Hunt Stromberg, who wanted to hire her to host horror movies on the Los Angeles television station KABC-TV. 

The name Vampira was the invention of Nurmi's husband, Dean Riesner. Nurmi's characterization was influenced by the Dragon Lady from the comic strip Terry and the Pirates and the evil queen from Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

Happy Birthday Vampira (real name Maila Nurmi)! Born today December 11th 1922 (died January 10th 2008)


AFTER VAMPIRA:
In the early 1960s, Nurmi opened Vampira's Attic, an antiques boutique on Melrose Avenue. She also sold handmade jewelry and clothing.

In 1981, Nurmi was asked by KHJ-TV to revive her Vampira character for television. She worked closely with the producers of the new show and was to get an executive producer credit, but Nurmi eventually left the project over creative differences. 

VAMPIRA VS. ELVIRA:

Unable to continue using the name Vampira, the show was abruptly renamed Elvira's Movie Macabre with Cassandra Peterson (an actress she didn't accept to work with in the Vampira revival project) playing the titular host. Nurmi soon filed a lawsuit against her. The court eventually ruled in favor of Peterson, holding that "likeness means actual representation of another person's appearance, and not simply close resemblance." Peterson claimed that Elvira was nothing like Vampira aside from the basic design of the black dress and black hair. Nurmi claimed that the entire Elvira persona, which included comedic dialogue and intentionally bad graveyard puns, infringed on her creation's "distinctive dark dress, horror movie props, and...special personality." Nurmi herself claimed that Vampira's image was in part based on the Charles Addams The New Yorker cartoon character Morticia Addams, though she told  that she had intentionally deviated from Addams' mute and flat-chested creation, making her own TV character "campier and sexier" to avoid plagiarizing Addams' idea.


DEATH:
On January 10, 2008, Nurmi died of natural causes at her home in Hollywood, aged 85. She was buried in the Griffith Lawn section of the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Today 11th December would have been her 90th birthday.



10 December 2012

Dark macabre side of Disney

Does any of you remember this very dark and macabre video from Disney Fantasia?



I think this is terrific! This animated video would (and will!) always give me the creeps but at the same time I love it because it's such a work of art..!! It's actually very weird that Disney has done such a macabre video but isn't it even better when something is unexpected?

The music is very devilish and infernal. It really does make you think about death, about inferis, the lost souls and damned ones..



22 November 2012

Jill Tracy - The elegant side of the netherworld

I was reading Bella Morte's blog and she posted 2 of the songs she's listening at the moment. I didn't know about this artist and as soon as I clicked on the play button I became hypnotized by the wonderful music. Of course, Gothic Divine Mag couldn't avoid to make a post about this amazing dark cabaret composer.



Jill Tracy is an American singer, pianist, writer, composer, and performance artist known for her dark, evocative, cinematic style. Jill Tracy states that some of her biggest childhood influences were film score composers such as Bernard Herrmann, and classic suspense tales, including Alfred Hitchcock and Fritz Lang films, Ray Bradbury stories, and Rod Serling's The Twilight Zone.


Following her 1996 solo debut CD Quintessentially Unreal, Tracy released Diabolical Streak (1999), her first studio album featuring The Malcontent Orchestra.

"The Fine Art of Poisoning," also from Diabolical Streak, became an animated short film in 2003, a collaboration with Bay Area animator Bill Domonkos. "The Fine Art of Poisoning" has garnered film festival awards internationally, including Best Experimental Film in the 2003 New Orleans Film Festival as well as Best Music Video in both the 2003 Chicago and Seattle International Film Festivals.


Jill Tracy and The Malcontent Orchestra's original score to F.W. Murnau’s 1922 silent vampire classic Nosferatu debuted live at San Francisco’s Foreign Cinema in 1999 and toured Northern California theatres during Halloween season for five consecutive years. This led to the 2002 CD release Into the Land of Phantoms, selections from the Nosferatu score.


Jill Tracy released her fourth album, The Bittersweet Constrain, in 2008 produced by Alex Nahas. This album has a heavier sonic edge with the addition of exotic instruments such as the sarod, harmonium, and Chapman Stick. This first single and video from The Bittersweet Constrain is "Haunted by the Thought of You."




19 November 2012

NEMI - Comic strip for the dark side


Nemi is a Norwegian comic strip, written and drawn by Lise Myhre. It made its first appearance in 1997 under the title Den svarte siden ("the Black Side" or "the Black Page"). At that time, it was a very dark cartoon concerning heavy metalsubcultures. 

Myhre has also illustrated poems by Edgar Allan Poe and André Bjerke.



Who is Nemi?
Nemi Montoya is woman about 25 years old. She almost always wears black clothes (although does very rarely wear red scarves, gloves and has a red bathtowel), has very pale skin, and very little in common with most of the rest of the world. She shares her name with a lake in Italy, Lake Nemi though this was not known by the author when the character was created, and her surname from Iñigo Montoya, a character in Lise Myhre's favourite film, The Princess Bride. It underlines Nemi's "outsider" status within Norwegian society and suggests that she may not be naturally raven-haired. This is confirmed in one cartoon where a childhood friend fails to recognise her without her "blond curls" - implying her hair is not only dyed but also straightened, however, the several comics showing Nemi as a black haired child with her long hair in bunches also possibly suggest that she may have at least once tried to fit in with normal society.


Nemi is a "tough girl" with an attitude, is not afraid to speak her mind and more often than not in confrontational ways: blunt rejections of would-be one-night stands at the pub are not uncommon. At the same time, she can be very sensitive: a devoted animal activist, she is against killing anything, including spiders, of which she is very fond. Nemi is nominally vegetarian, she will occasionally indulge in seafood; her true passion is for chocolate and Coca Cola, and she finds fault with people who prefer Pepsi over Coke. She can also feel very alone at times. She is afraid of growing up, and loathes blonde bimbos (vis. cartoon in which she insinuates that Tim is nothing more than a replaceable penis for his new blonde-bimbo girlfriend). Her fear of growing up is reflected in her appeal to readers through her childlike qualities and innocence, as well as her sense of fun.
Nemi has great difficulty keeping down a job due to her inability to sleep at a decent hour and wake up in the morning; her most steady form of employment is babysitting for her responsible and grown up friends. Not surprisingly, childlike Nemi gets along very well with children but her dark sense of humour and grim fairy tales often traumatize them. Occasionally, she works in music stores at the counter but usually is fired pretty quickly after various altercations with customers over the corrupt morals of pop stars. In Nemi III it's revealed that Nemi grew up fairly poor and was bullied at school; this is where she gets most of her cynical and insecure traits from that would hinder her in adult life. Growing up poor also affected her ability to manage money as an adult as she would rather spend her money than save it or pay her bills.




She listens to heavy metal music, and has a number of friends in those subcultures who dress likewise. She is often unemployed or employed in temporary jobs, where she often gets fired for her temper (such as beating a customer who asked for a CD of Christina Aguilera for her daughter, instead of the Alice Cooper CD Nemi had suggested).
She is fond of holidays in warmer countries, but when at the beach she uses top-grade sunblock cream to avoid tanning, which would severely damage her carefully cultivated surface image. Nemi suffers from strong allergic reactions and has advocated exterminating birch trees, on the grounds that "we kill off thousands of species every day anyway".
She likes to visit the pub, often with her friend Cyan, where she often gets drunk. Alcoholism is however not a main theme of the comic. However, as a consequence Nemi has a lot of casual sex, and often wakes up beside complete strangers. In spring 2011 she became enamoured with a beefcake boyfriend whom she converted to vegetarianism with a single look. Her boyfriend, Grim, is now a huge part of Nemi's life and the two are regularly featured together in the (UK) strip, sharing and discussing off-beat topics. The strips in which they appear can be said to mirror the strips that only feature Cyan and Leo.
Nemi's room in the apartment is almost always a mess, and she has an uncontrollable passion for chocolate.




Nemi's heroes are Edgar Allan Poe, H. P. Lovecraft, André Bjerke, J. R. R. Tolkien, Alice Cooper, W.A.S.P., The Phantom Blot, Darth Vader and Batman. She also has a passion for dragons, and hates reality shows such as Big Brother, with the exception of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. She regards "modern art" as simply a manifestation of insecurity by would-be intellectuals, who secretly know they have nothing original to say (vis. cartoon in which Nemi visits a modern art exhibition with Cyan and Tim). Nemi has vehement opinions about art, especially music, and an enthusiastic willingness to destroy art she deems unworthy, as when she asks a bartender to lend her a CD by The Corrs, presumably to burn herself a copy of it, and then sets it on fire instead. She adores, among others, Dimmu Borgir, Laibach, Opeth, The Cure, Tori Amos, The Sisters of Mercy, Red Harvest, Nicole Blackman, Lamented Souls, Use Me, Warrior Soul, Metallica, Darkthrone, Slayer, and Alice Cooper (as mentioned above). She once met the "Showman" Alice Cooper character from The Last Temptation.


www.nemicomics.com (find link for the facebook page on this site)

06 November 2012

Halloween how-to: scary magical tree & more

This year instead of dedicating myself to the halloween costume, I prefered to focus on some DIY activity. I usually don't have the chance to unleash my creativity due to lack of time but for Halloween I made an effort. My boyfriend had the awesome idea to make a scary tree with our own hands. It's so easy to go to the nearest shop and buy one and creating it sounded so much more fun..and we decided to try!

We went out everyday looking for materials to build the tree. The idea was, the scariest, the better of course, so we even thought about putting a green lamp inside so that it would look scary also at night!


The skeleton of the tree was made with net. It was cut and shaped as a tree log first and then we cut the sides and fixed the branches (which were also created with the spare net) inside. My boyfriend also cut out the eyes and the mouth. He also prepared the wooden base and took care of the electric part. He had the great idea to put the bulb inside a glass jar covered with green transparent plastic.


Then we covered it all with pieces of newspapers soaked in water and glue. When it dried up completely we dyed it with acrilic color dark brown and added a little black to create the streaks and make it more real.





We used Burger King's cardboard drink holder to build the roots and the funny thing is that meanwhile,  I discovered how to make little bats using the drink holders! 


You just have to cut it in half and then in half again. You'll see the cut parts already look like bats! You just need to shape out the ears and the paws and paint it black! And this is the result:



 I also decided to decor a spare glass jar that I found in my kitchen cupboard. I used black and silver markers for glass to do it. :)






How did you spend your Halloween? Have you ever crafted something scary?

My gothic outfit for Halloween night ^_^


30 October 2012

Tips Tricks and Treats for Halloween - PART 2

A very quick post! Here in Halloween Tips Tricks and Treats Part 2 I would like to share with you some awesome make-up and dress-up ideas for tomorrow night! The internet is a full efficient source to get inspiration for awesome and incredible Halloween makeups!

Adora Batbrat prepared a terrific creepy clown make-up!




 Dia De Los Muertos skull mask makeup



Half-Monster Half-Human:

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Creepy Alice in Wonderland:

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Broken porcelain doll:

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Cheshire Cat Inspired :

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Multiple eyes monster makeup:

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And you? What Halloween makeup and costume will you show off this year? :)



10 October 2012

So you think Goth can't dance? - PART 2

Quick post with another example of Goths and dancing. These two goths take dancing to the next level. Outside in front of non-goth public.
 I could watch them for hours. Their dancing is hypnotic *-*




I love the funny reactions of the people in the background, taking pictures or staring in wonder..


The girl is called Mary Nine and you can take a look at her official Facebook page HERE
 and the boy is Tank9 and you can find information about him HERE


09 October 2012

Imago Mortis...Images of Death



..The last image you see when you are alive is the image of your death..



In 1600 even before the birth of photography, scientist Girolamo Fumagalli, lived with the obsession of capturing images. After specific studies he tried to take out the eye retina from an assassinated people convinced that the last image seen from the subjects was impressed in it and tried to reproduce the image in a photograph. This technique was called thanatography and Fumagalli murdered many people to study this phenomena before being captured and condemn to death.


This is the plot of italian horror movie called IMAGO MORTIS (2008) . It would actually be very interesting if this was true but unfortunately it isn't. It's all a nice work of fantasy. In fact 1600 it wouldn't have been possible to create such a technique. 

In the movie the instrument used to create the macabre images is called thanatoscope. In reality this name refers to a legal medical instrument that calculates how long someone has been dead through body temperature.



The word Thanatos comes from the omonymous Ancient Greek demon that was the personification of death. 

Other terms containing the word Thanatos are:

Thanatophobia is the fear of things associated with or reminiscent of death and mortality, such as corpses or graveyards. It is also known as necrophobia, although this term typically refers to a specific fear of dead bodies rather than a fear of death in general.

Thanatology is the academic and scientific study of death among human beings. It investigates the circumstances surrounding a person's death, the grief experienced by the deceased's loved ones, and larger social attitudes towards death such as ritual and memorialization. It is primarily an interdisciplinary study, frequently undertaken by professionals in nursing, psychology, sociology, psychiatry, social work and veterinary science. It also describes bodily changes that accompany death and the after-death period.



Also Dario Argento's thriller movie 4 Flies On Grey Velvet contains this same idea of Imago Mortis. In the movie the police tries to find out who's the murderer by examining the eye retina of the victim.

03 October 2012

Tips Tricks and Treats for Halloween - PART. 1


We are finally in October, and our favourite time of the year it's knocking on doors. You can already feel it in the air, the Pumpkin King is coming to town..! So it's time to look around for creepy things to decorate your house and for stuff to create the ultimate costume and have the greatest Halloween party! 

For those of you hosting an Halloween party at your house these in the pictures below are great ways to decorate the dining room! A black candelabra is definitely a must to have the ultimate macabre dining table. Also don't forget spiderwebs, skulls, skeletons and coffin ashtrays..!!
Use mostly color black and combine it with red, purple or orange to make it more halloweenish.




Another way to get your house in all hallow's eve mood could be to print out and hang up to the walls pictures of witches, black cats, evil fairies and of course lots of candles. You could buy black or wooden frames and you could add some black glitter on so that it creates a better effect with the candlelight. And about candles, don't forget to make your own pumpkin carved one!! It's the ultimate halloween symbol after all!

Lovely halloween fairy by Jasmine Beckett-Griffith
 Pumpkin pies, cinnamon rolls ,candy apples, candycorns are a must on Halloween. Also don't forget the candies and sweets for the children that will come trick or treating at your door, ..unless you want the trick!!

 On the internet you can find many recipes to make unique scary cakes. Headstone cookies, spiders, bloody cut off fingers...eh-ehm, well just unleash your fantasy!


Candy apples...yum!!!

Have you ever hosted an halloween party?
Do you have other tips to add for house decoring and food?


21 September 2012

Exploring the Music...Part 3


It's been a long time since I last shared with you my latest music updates. I've been searching for new tracks and as always I would like to share with you my findings. These time I'm more attracted by songs which would sound good during a goth night at a club and by songs with an 80s feeling..These as always are not necessarily goth songs. They just have that dark twist that I love..(PS. songs listed randomly!)

Cabaret Voltaire - I want you
Dali's Car - Judgement in the mirror
Clan Of Xymox - She's dangerous
Rosetta Stone - The Witch
Centhron -Dreckstuck
Nachtmahr - Madchen In Uniform
Rammstein - Ich Tuh Dir Weh
The Knife - Heartbeats
Ladytron - Black Cat
The Dresden Dolls - Necessarily Evil
Massive Attack - Sing what your soul sings
Grendel - Shortwired
Infected Mushroom - Pink Nightmares
Ego Likeness - Burn Witch Burn
Crystal Castles feat. Robert Smith - Not in love
Placebo - Protect Me
Ayria- Debris
Berlin Express - Die Russen kommen



If you have a playlist too that you would like to share, feel free to write it in the comment section! Thanks ;)

17 September 2012

Rosetta Stone....Pure 80's Goth rock






Rosetta Stone were a British goth band formed in the mid 1980s by Porl King (guitar/vocals/keyboards) and Karl North (bass), plus their drum machine and synthesizer rack nicknamed "Madame Razor".

The band was named after the Rosetta Stone, an Egyptian historical artifact, and the band used much ancient mythological imagery, especially in their earlier work.





Their early style and first album reflected the jangly-guitar sounds of 1980s gothic rock, and their first big break came after live gigs supporting the then already well-established band The Mission.







Album released:

An Eye for the Main Chance (1991)
The Tyranny of Inaction (1995)
Chemical Emissions (1998)
Unerotica (2000)


12 September 2012

Gas Masks..Intoxicating fashion


Gas masks, a symbol of the chemical war, of the fear of intoxication, contamination and consequently a symbol of death. This macabre accessory is a must-have in cyber gothic and industrial fashion. 

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HISTORY OF GAS MASKS: 

A gas mask, also known as a respirator, is designed to protect the wearer from harmful airborne substances, including viruses, poisons, bacteria and toxic chemicals. A filter on the mask strips the air of contaminants as they pass through it. In the 1850s, Scottish chemist John Stenhouse created a mask capable of removing toxic gases from the air. Stenhouse's mask used a powdered charcoal filter to clean the air. Workers in London chemical factories wore the Stenhouse mask. According to other font, James Bert Garner invented the modern gas mask in 1915. Garner was a U.S. chemist concerned about chemical attacks in World War I. He had done an experiment that showed wood charcoal could absorb toxic chemicals. After sharing his information with the British, the technology helped create masks for British soldiers during World War I. When U.S. soldiers entered the war, they wore the Garner mask as well. Stenhouse and Garner are only two of many people credited with creating the gas mask.



TYPES OF GAS MASKS AND RESPIRATORS:




  • This first kind of gas mask cover the whole face and has a big air filter on the front.

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    This girl has a modern design minimalistic respirator. Only covers nose and mouth.

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This kind of gas mask covers half the face and has two filters on the sides. 


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This last kind of mask provides full head coverage.

Of course then, there are other shapes. But these are the most common.

WHERE TO BUY GAS MASKS:

Usually real gas masks can be bought at flea, antique and stree markets. I got my full head gas mask for 10 euros at a street shop in Berlin, Germany.
 You can find fake gas masks and all the others kind of respirators with cool designs at alternative gothic shops in your country. Or you can either buy a real one and do the decor yourself!


Gas masks are also stylized as accessory like rings, pendants and even as bag.



There are many creepy pictures featuring gas mask that all of you lovers of the macabre will surely appreciate. Here are my favourites:

This photograph surely makes understand the level of terror for gas intoxication of that period (year 1938).

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