The Tunnel

“Is this place getting the better of my senses?”

We here at Enigmatic Monster are fans of many things, though we especially have a penchant for horror. And when said horror comes out of nowhere in a series that’s known for comedy it’s all the more effective. This is exactly what the episode “The Tunnel” from Civil Protection by Accursed Farms is.
An odd left turn into almost semi-Lovecraftian/Poe ala The Raven horror.

Civil Protection is a (mostly) comedic, sci-fi machinima series along the lines of
Red Vs Blue by Roosterteeth, where you have characters in the military who stand around, not doing their jobs, arguing about anything. Civil Protection is set in the Half Life game universe, though even if you aren’t familiar with the game series it won’t matter.
The whole point is to follow these two characters, Mike and Dave, who work as Civil Protection officers.

The plot of the episode is as follows: Mike and Dave are doing their regular thing (nothing) on a particularly boring day at work when they notice that not only is the city totally deserted, it’s also incredibly foggy out. Then they are nearly killed by a hit and run driver. They survive the incident, report it, and hear odd noises coming from a tunnel.
They investigate, finding an abandoned construction area and a room with a massive, metal door that only opens from the inside and an unattended journal, which they read. What follows drags the episode from its oddly less funny path to unsettling horror and unease.

There are unanswered questions and an ambiguous ending that at grows on you the more you think about it. While not something incredibly scary, the odd tone-shift from comedy to horror is a great example of what can be done with Machinima and why every once and a while in a creative endeavour you should just do something totally different just to see what happens.

Also, if you enjoyed that, you should check out “Stranger In Need”, another Accursed Farms machinima film that is just straight up attempt at horror and an enjoyable one at that.

Enjoy the links.

Keep it monstrous, everybody.

The Miskatonic Game

The Miskatonic Game

Do you like Lovecraft? Do you like horrific, yet adorable art? Are you interested in those dang video games? Well we (actually, just me, Jon, filling in for Penny and Theo) here at EMP have got just the thing to make you salivate like a man/lady left brain-dead from seeing an Elder God and not being able to comprehend it!

tumblr_nbci3lsXZj1r2yncoo1_1280 It’s called The Miskatonic and its a game being developed by Jack Cayless, a webcomic artist known for various series, like Chimneyspeak (Victorian London tale featuring whores and murderers and the evolution of his art style) and New Kowloon (which is an  out there story that has yet to develop yet so I can’t give you much preview).

Now, before I give any links or tell you where to go or even tell you what kinda game it is,
I have to tell you something. It’s a warning. Hey, this Jack Cayless guy? He draws lots of naked people, sometimes. LOTS. And sex. Sometimes very graphic sex, in his stylized manner. And while I’m sure plenty of people are fine with that, being adults who understand that seeing sex or some genitals is not the end of the world, I know some just don’t like it.  SO THIS IS THE WARNING. NSFW. DO NOT LOOK AT THE LINKS IF YOU DO NOT LIKE THAT KIND OF THING. OKAY? GOOD. 

Now that we’ve got that warning out of the way, let me tell you people about
The Miskatonic game!

puzzle items! yay

Currently still in the design phase (but slowly but surely getting close to having a playable little demo, I’ve found out), the game will be a fun, side-scrolling jump ‘n’ shoot, visual novel/puzzle game where you walk around the Miskatonic University in the Lovecraft universe and interact with various characters/creatures made famous by good ol’ H.P. as well as some original characters Cayless made up, who all seem really interesting.

ooh, spooky

You’ll play as Charlotte LeStrange, Curator Of Rescue for the Miskatonic! A former member of the Chesuncook Coven, she’s not spooked by the horrifying things that drive most people insane, so the university gives her a gun and has her go save their scientists/defeat monsters. She’ll also get to hang around the university, talk to people/things and solve little puzzles.

Charlotte likes her job

Once again, unfortunately the game is still very much in development and to my knowledge there isn’t any site besides Cayless’s personal tumblr to follow for updates (which come at his pace, so sometimes constantly, sometimes not). But the concept and art of the thing is so fantastic it’s got me cravin’ it. I believe he’s said it’ll be available on Steam when it’s ready and won’t cost much, which is a plus for the thrifty Lovecraft/game enthusiast.

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Once again, before I give out the link should anyone want to look through the tumblr archive for more info on the game, there is sometimes nudity in the various things he posts. Sometimes. If you can’t take that, and that is very understandable, just don’t. Simply dream of how good it’ll be. And I have a conformation that once the pre-pre-pre-alpha build is ready for download (translation: incredibly rough demo of the game)  Cayless will start a dev blog for it, which will have less graphic, stylized pornography on it/none at all.

I’ll also apologize for the lack of info, as I mentioned, the game isn’t even at a stage where it has a playable demo, and because tumblr has an archive system (which’s not the greatest to navigate. let me tell you), finding all the info I could was a tad difficult and I honestly have to write this article mostly from memory because I’ve been following it’s development for months. But here’s what I could get. So I hope you like it, I hope you can stomach some nudity so you can follow the blog, and when it’s ready I hope you buy the game and enjoy it. I know I will.

Here is Jack Cayless’s tumblr, for the inquisitive, capable-of-handling-nudity person to check out. For those who do not like that sort of thing, here is a picture of bread.

And I’m out, have a great day and keep it monstrous, everybody!

– J. Kruschack

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How to Spend Your Free Time Wisely

How to Spend Your Free Time Wisely

We bring you another recommendation from the Lovecraft eZine! They’ve got some quality stuff there, but don’t just take our word for it. Observe these Lovecraftian movie recommendations, and then be entranced by these free Lovecraftian studio movies! Sit down and relax with a pumpkin-whatever while you’re at it (or your tea, or your coffee, or whatever else you mortals drink today)!

In another dimension, some of the team will be performing a reading tonight! More info to come on that . . .

Regards,
Theo Monster

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. . . And the Strongest Kind of Fear

 . . . And the Strongest Kind of Fear

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The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.

–HP Lovecraft

The King in Yellow, Part 2

Addendum:

I noticed something while going through The Repairer of Reputations for part two of The King in Yellow mini-series. I had named the main character incorrectly. The main character of that short story was named Hildred Castaigne. Hildred was, however, the son of Hastur.

It may be interesting to note though, that a certain author (and a few others), while reworking the entire Lovecraft universe, called the King in Yellow an avatar of Hastur, who in turn was one of the Great Old Ones. It will also be of interest that Lovecraft was in turn inspired by the work of R. W. Chambers, and included symbolism from the King in Yellow in some of his stories.

Continue reading

Unassuming

“They rose upwards in a continuous stream from earth to sky, vanishing utterly as soon as they reached the dark of the sky.”

-Excerpt from The Willows, by Algernon Black.

The triumph of The Terror turned into the trepidatious tale of The Willows.

Algernon Blackwood.

Say it slowly. Doesn’t his name just make you want to shout? Whether you shout in joy or in pain is up to you, however . . .

Allow me to take a few moments, just to compare Blackwood with Lovecraft. I’m no expert on either, I’ll be the first to admit, but I’m fairly certain I’m a good judge at feelings. The feeling I get when I read or even hear the name Algernon Blackwood is fear. Not an overwhelming fear. No. Just a hint. Less is more, as they always say. It’s the subtle type of fear, that insidious fear which worms its way into your mind, turning it against you.

When I hear HP Lovecraft I feel something close to romance. But a more philosophical kind. It’s also an enigmatic name all in itself. Because it’s an unassuming name. It’s like a whispered challenge at the back of your mind. Just when you think you’ve made up your mind about the man, when you’ve thought you’ve figured him out, he presents you with a silver plate.

The horrors of his mind are on that plate.

A little plate of dread that you never expected. Not even once.

What’s more is that in each story that plate has a nice cover; you can cover what you wish to ignore.

If you can already see something then you can readily hide it with relative ease. A small mercy.

When I began reading The Willows I had no idea what to expect. What strikes me now about the story is that it starts very innocently. A man is recounting his experience of a certain expedition made with a friend. The two are paddling down a European river in their Canadian canoe.

Why? I don’t know. Why not?

I was reminded strongly of the two friends in The Hound. However, whereas the two in The Hound were complete idiots, the two in The Willows were not. These men didn’t mess around with things they didn’t understand. They stuck to their guns.

In this trepidatious tale I was taken on a journey which suddenly took a rather unexpected turn. I was presented with things I never would have expected from Blackwood. I finished the story in two or three days. It both disturbed and satisfied me.

I saw much of myself in that story. Not from the characters themselves, but from their experience. As I read on I was presented with ideas not unlike my own. I was perturbed all the way through.

It was my ability to relate to the story which frightened me the most.

Algernon Blackwood has no mercy. The Willows had no convenient cover. He fixed up the plate and then kept it on the kitchen table for everyone to see.

It looked delightful and we took a bite.

Then the bite bit back. And it wouldn’t let go. As the pain grew and grew our eyes opened wider, and we began to see all that there was to see.

But only a little.

Because a little is a lot!

Our minds then completed the rest of his dangerous design.

We spun about, downward in a dreadful spiral, and we all knew . . . How could we be so unassuming?

“We’d better get off sharp in an hour,” I said presently, feeling for an opening that must bring him indirectly to a partial confession at any rate. And his answer puzzled me uncomfortably: “Rather! If they’ll let us.”

-The Willows, by Algernon Blackwood.

P.S: His design, or his aim, was to scare us.

Neurosis

Once, when I was eleven I got up from bed to get a glass of water. As I was walking to the light switch, a cloaked figure materialized right before my eyes. The two seconds it took for the event to happen was enough to scare me out my wits. It bore down on me, and as it did I jumped back. Continue reading

Facts and Matters

It’s amazing what a human will sense when they are afraid; the things which they would have normally ignored in their day-to-day lives come to the forefront. Due to ignorance they are seen as something other than what they really are. Continue reading

Monster?

July 27th marked the day I finished reading The Secret Glory by Arthur Machen. It is held to be one of his best works, and so far from what I have read, I concur. His characterization is some of the best I have ever come across, and let’s face it: the only reason I ever started to read his works was due to the promise of faeries. And yes, I was duped, but gladly. Continue reading