Monthly Archives: February 2012

Scolopendra gigantea: The Giant Centipede

Since the world of Halloween costumes and horror movies is so slow today, we’re turning to Mother Nature for a quick thrill. Similar to the mind-blowing information of the Immortal Jellyfish, we now present you with another of nature’s wild creatures: Scolopendra gigantea.

Scolopendra gigantea

Let’s do it:

Imagine yourself trudging through the darkness of a South American cave. Bats swoop back and forth from the ceiling, their echolocation screeches bouncing off stone walls. Beneath every step squirms a carpet of black beetles, thousands of them climbing over each other, in search of dropped food.

A red snake-like creature, about a foot long, slinks out of a crevice and up the cavern wall. Hundreds of little legs keep it attached to the cold stone, and when it reaches the ceiling, it hangs like a limp length of rope, legs squirming in the air. Its antennae scan the environment for vibrations. And the first bat unlucky enough to swoop by, that hanging rope comes to life as if it were made of lightening – snatches the bat right out of the air, pumps it full of poison, and devours the bat’s flesh over the next two to three hours.

This creature is Scolopendra gigantea, the largest centipede currently alive, measuring approximately 10 inches long, though it is known to exceed 12 inches. It is also known as the Peruvian giant yellowleg centipede and Amazonian giant centipede.

Here’s a video of Scolopendra gigantea:

The Caribbean Journal of Science published a study on Scolopendra gigantea and its effects on bat populations, titled Predation by Giant Centipedes, Scolopendra gigantea, on Three Species of Bats in a Venezuelan Cave. If you have some time and want to creep yourself out, give the study a read. For the purpose of this article, though, we’ll look only at what they said about the centipede’s eating habits:

During the 30 min of observations, the centipede fed without interruption, carving a wound in the bat’s lower abdomen. The bat also had a second and smaller wound on the upper back, which probably represented the initial bite of the centipede. The wings were lax, the exposed flesh was bloodstained, and the pelage (coat) was clean.

The creature delivers its venom via modified pincer-like appendages. Although not fatal to humans, the toxic venom can cause some nasty symptoms, including severe swelling, chills, fever, weakness, and, in some cases, necrosis (premature death of skin cells). Similar to other creatures who use toxic venom to catch prey (snakes, spiders, etc.), Scolopendra gigantea consumes nearly every bit of a caught meal, which can take up to three hours, depending on the body size of the prey.

Scolopendra

So, if you find yourself within a South American cave and see something dangling from the ceiling, don’t grab onto it. Your body will be pumped full of poison and you will fall onto a carpet of beetles.

PS Euphoberia, an extinct genus of myriapod, was about four times as large as Scolopendra gigantea. Most experts believe Euphoberia is a primitive centipede. Imagine that: a 4-foot centipede. Horrifying!

Mail Time: America Dies On Dunkin

As a company who loves its audience, we keep an open-door email policy. Got a favorite story or a goofy photo? Send it our way, for you may see it on the blog. It doesn’t matter what you have to say, we’ll happily give it a read.

For example, today we received an anonymous email from a throwaway account, which sent us the following picture:

As you can see, that is an overweight zombie wearing a shirt that says America Dies On Dunkin. Quite frankly, I got a good chuckle out of it, because I love anything that pokes fun of big-business advertising campaigns.

But then I thought to myself, How nutritionally bad is Dunkin Donuts And thats when my FrightCatalog productivity dropped and my Dunkin Donuts knowledge exploded.

First, let’s take a look at Dunkin Donuts DDSmart category, which claims to be Better-For-You Choices That Keep You Running. Within this category is the multigrain bagel, the only bagel included in the DDSmart category. Now, since it is part of the DDSmart category, you’d imagine this thing should be great for you, right?

Wrong.

Here are the nutritional facts of the multigrain bagel:

  • 390 calories
  • 8 grams of total fat
  • 0.5 grams of saturated fat
  • 0 grams of cholesterol
  • 560 milligrams of sodium
  • 65 grams of carbohydrates
  • 8 grams of fiber
  • 7 grams of sugar
  • 14 grams of protein

To give you a counter example, here’s a McDonalds hamburger (warning – PDF file):

  • 250 calories
  • 9 grams of fat
  • 3.5 grams of saturated fat
  • 28 milligrams of cholesterol
  • 520 milligrams of sodium
  • 31 grams of carbohydrates
  • 2 grams of fiber
  • 6 grams of sugar
  • 12 grams of protein

As you can see, the hamburger contains less fat and calories than the Dunkin Donuts bagel. Yes, you can argue the bagel needs the calories and carbohydrates to fuel an individual’s exercise, but who buys a bagel and doesn’t put cream cheese on it? For this example, we’ll continue along with Dunkin Donuts low-fat menu selection and use their lite cream cheese product.

In one packet (30 g) of Dunkin Donuts lite cream cheese:

  • 130 calories
  • 11 grams of fat
  • 7 grams of saturated fat
  • 30 milligrams of cholesterol
  • 250 milligrams of sodium
  • 3 grams of carbohydrates
  • 2 grams of sugars
  • 5 grams of protein

Here’s the combined nutritional information for both bagel and lite cream cheese:

  • 520 calories
  • 19 grams of fat
  • 7.5 grams of saturated fat
  • 30 milligrams of cholesterol
  • 810 milligrams of sodium
  • 68 grams of carbohydrates
  • 9 grams of sugar
  • 19 grams of protein

 

I dont know about you, but these numbers are horrifying. Two hamburgers are about the same as one multigrain bagel and a thing of lite cream cheese. If I ate two McDonalds hamburgers, I’m not running anywhere – I’m heaving like a beached whale under the San Diego sun.

So, anonymous FrightCatalog fan, thanks so much for sending us your photo, for I may have never been inspired to seek out this information. If anyone else has a story or photo they want to share, email me at dale@frightcatalog.com.

Release Date Moved for Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D

The boringly named sequel to the original 1974 Texas Chainsaw Massacre is simply called Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D. The plot focuses on a young woman traveling to Texas, accompanied by friends, to reclaim an inheritance, which happens to include Leatherface. Filming began in July 2011 and the film was expected to hit theaters on October 5th, right in time for Halloween.

Unfortunately, according to ERC, the films release date has shifted. The film is now expected to hit theaters on January 4th, 2013, far from the usual horror film season. This new date gives Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D a weekend all to itself, without any other large big-screen releases. The October 5th release date would have saw the film go against Taken 2 and Tim Burtons Frankenweenie.

Johnny Depp Sets Sights on Kolchak: The Night Stalker

Back in the early 1970s, Kolchak: The Night Stalker began as a novel, The Kolchak Papers, written by Jeff Rice. The novel revolved around Carl Kolchaks mission to track down a serial killer who turned out to be a vampire.

Darren McGavin, the original Carl Kolchak.

Before the novel was even published, though, the television station ABC approached Rice with a contract to turn the novel into a made-for-TV film, The Night Stalker. Rice agreed.

The success of The Night Stalker allowed ABC to make a second made-for-TV movie, The Night Strangler. But when time came to create a third one, ABC denied, for they wanted a whole TV series. And so, Kolchak: The Night Stalker, a short-lived 1974-1975 TV series, was born.

And now, for whatever reason, Johnny Depp is making a movie based off the original 1974-1975 Kolchak TV series. According to Blood-Disgusting, the idea was born last summer, when Depp and his friend Christi Dembrowski were sharing fond memories of their respective childhoods. Both had been fans of the original Kolchak series, so they decided to create a modern-day adaption, which will star Johnny Depp.

Johnny Depp, the new Carl Kolchak.

According to Carol Pinchefsky of Forbes.com, Johnny Depps production company, Infinitum Nihil, is expected to be the driving creative force behind the films adaption. In addition, as reported by Fangoria, Depp has recruited the help of Edgar Wright, the director behind Shaun of the Dead (2004), Hot Fuzz (2007), and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010).

However, Disney is the core financial backer of the film. While this may not seem like a big deal, Disney-backed films have to meet certain requirements. As Deadline wrote, The subject matter [of the film] will be tailored to fit Disney s family film mandate and likely a PG-13 rating.

Lastly, this is not the first time the series has seen a modern-day revival. In fact, the Night Stalker television series was remade back in 2005, though it was cancelled after only six episodes due to low ratings.

The 2005 series.

Will the big-budget adaption do better than all of its predecessors? It’s hard to tell, because there isn’t even a written script, and the team is still looking for a writer to pen that potential script. Depp has a lot of work ahead of him.

FrightCatalog.com Blow-Out Gore Sale: 42% Off!

So, Fright Fans, we may have possibly, maybe, accidentally ordered too many Torso On Hook props. Not a big deal, right? We thought so too.

But every morning we’re greeted by this guys eye lunging out of his head. We eat lunch and he’s watching us shovel mouthfuls of food. The last thing we see before we leave the office is, again, his bloody eye, right there on the hook, his face contorted in agony. We have whole hallways lined with these things, like a silent prop protest, and we just cant deal with it anymore.

torso on hook

To clear out the excess stock of Torso On Hook props, we’re initiating a FrightCatalog.com Blow-Out Gore Sale, which features a 42% price drop for this and only this prop!

Click here to place your order.


Product Description:

  • Measures approximately 4 tall
  • Rope attached to hook for easy hanging
  • Head, hands, and hook made of latex
  • White clothe covered in faux blood

 

Jane Levy and Bruce Campbell Talk Evil Dead Remake

Previously, we reported that Lily Collins was expected to star in the Evil Dead remake. However, according to HitFix.com, Lily Collins is out and Jane Levy, star of the TV series Suburgatory, is now taking over the role.

Introducing: Jane Levy.

In an article recently released on TheInsider, Jane Levy expressed her feelings on the project: I’m so excited, she said. I’m a big fan of the original. To me its the scariest movie, ever. But this one is really different. They’ve changed it a lot, but its still a pretty gory movie. My mom probably cant see it.

While Levys claim of gore may scare away her mother, diehard fans are still worried that the remake will tarnish the originals image. FrightCatalog.com fans have already openly shown their distaste through comments made on articles previously covering the films updates.

Levy (left); Campbell (right).

But hold on a minute. Before people continue whipping themselves into a foamy rage, look at who’s producing and lending their creative direction to the remake: Bruce Campbell (star of the original) and Sam Raimi (writer and director of the original), the two heavy hitters who made the original such an astonishing piece of work [citation]. There was no cloak-and-dagger plan to oust Bruce Campbell from the role as lead actor. Quite the contrary, in fact, for Bruce has been part of the project all along.

We are going to remake it. The first one,Bruce told BloodDisgusting, back in November of 2011. And people are a little iffy about that [but] we wanted to remake a movie with better effects and we’re better at telling stories now Theres no Ash character and that pisses people off [but] we didnt want to have the direct comparison. I wouldnt want to put an actor in that position.

Bruce Campbell

So we have a level-headed Bruce Campbell using his cinematic experience to guide the films direction and a star who is excited to take on the role of a new Evil Dead lead character. But can we really expect a thrilling remake of what is one of the most iconic cult classics of all time? Lets go back to Bruce:

You can expect to have a damn scary horror movie, said Bruce Campbell, to TheInsider. Theres no Ash character The Evil Book is going to torment a new set of kids, so its a remake, or a re-imagining or a re-whatever word you want to use. Its going to be re-scary.

Not everyone will agree, though, that the original was meant to be a frightening experience. Sure, Evil Dead was pitched as a horror film, but the low-budget backing of the film made for some hilarious moments. And according to what Jane Levy told TheInsider, she agrees:  I think the humor in the first one came from the special effects of the time. I dont know that they meant it to be funny this [remake] is not funny. Its definitely dark.

evil dead remake3

No one can deny that we live in an age of rehashed, recycled, and remade films. (There are 10 Halloween films. Nightmare on Elm Street was remade in 2010. The Thing saw a half-assed prequel emerge in 2011. The list goes on and on.) But, based on what Campbell and Levy said, the Evil Dead remake/re-imagining/re-whatever may be a closer-to-home telling of the original story, without the low-budget special effects hindering the film’s vision.

If Campbell and Raimi are seriously putting their necks on the line with this remake, all we can do is cheer them on and hope they don’t ruin their reputations. The film is rumored to hit theaters on April 12, 2013.

Good luck, guys.

The Sex Appeal of the Apocalypse

Surviving an apocalypse has never been this sexy. Andrew Tarusov, a Russian illustrator specializing in pin-up art, created the Apocalypse Tomorrow 2012 calendar, which combines sex appeal and apocalyptic scenarios.

Anyone familiar with the work of Gil Elvgren, the iconic American artist of pin-up girls, will see similarities in Tarusovs work. Unfortunately, the calendar is not available for purchase it is merely an experiment with styles and imagery. UPDATE: As commenter Austin pointed out, the calendars are for sale! “You have to email apocalyp2012@gmail.com if you live in the United States and tell them how many copies you want and the mailing address. They cost $25.00 + shipping!” (Thanks Austin.)

But the pictures definitely give some great ideas for new womens costumes.

NOTE: Some pictures may be NSFW.

apocalypse 2012 calendar1

The Saint Valentines Day Massacre – And Bricks

While most know Valentines Day as the holiday of love and affection, some remember it for a different reason: the Saint Valentines Day massacre.

Back during the prohibition era, the streets of Chicago were torn between two rival gangs, Al Capones South Side Italian gang and Bugs Morans North Side Irish gang. On the morning of February 14, 1929, Valentines Day, five members from Bugs Morans gang and two local gang collaborators were lined up against the back wall of the garage at 2122 North Clark Street and executed. The executioners were gangsters hired from outside Chicago by Al Capone, who wanted the attack to be a complete surprise.

The executing gangsters were dressed in varying styles of clothing; two dressed as police offers, while the rest wore suits, ties, and general businessman attire – not the usual gangster costumes. Two of the shooters used Thompson sub-machine guns, one equipped with a 50-round drum and the other a 20-round box magazine. The shooters sprayed round after round into the seven gangsters lined along the wall, even continuing to shoot after the victims fell to the floor. The coroners report claims some of the executed gangsters were literally torn apart by the volley of bullets.

Valentine's Day Massacre

An artistic representation of the massacre.

After the shooting stopped, the two false police officers led the fellow conspiring gang members out by gunpoint, so as to look like an arrest was taking place. The gang members then fled the scene.

But a local neighbor, Mrs. Landesman, sensed something was not quite right, so she sent one of her tenants to go look at the scene. The tenant became sick at the sight of seven bodies bleeding all over the garages floor, and he called for an ambulance.

valentine's day massacre

Model scene of massacre.

Frank Gusenberg, one of the men gunned down, was still breathing, and emergency medical staff immediately rushed him to a local hospital. After the doctors stabilized Frank, police asked him to describe who shot him. He replied, Nobody shot me, even though his body had clearly sustained fourteen bullet wounds. He died three hours later.

This event drew mass attention to the gang activities within Chicago, and some attribute the event with the eventual downfall of Capones mob.

But heres an interesting question: What happened to the garage where the massacre took place?

In 1967, the garage was demolished and is now a landscaped parking lot for a nursing home. As for the bricks that once comprised the wall where seven men were gunned down, those 414 bricks were purchased by George Patey, who painstakingly dismantled the wall, numbered the bricks, and then shipped them to his home in Canada.

valentine's day massacre

George Patey and the brick collection.

In 1971, Patey opened the Banjo Palace nightclub, where he installed the bricks in the mens restroom. Patey shielded the bricks with a Plexiglas shield, which he painted targets onto, so as to encourage men to use their urine to reenact the massacre. The nightclub closed in 1976.

In 1978, Time Magazine reported that Patey reassembled the wall and put it on display in a wax museum. The museum featured a scene of gangsters shooting each other in front of the wall. But the wax museum later went bankrupt.

valentine's day massacre

The wax museum scene.

The bricks were then placed in storage until 1997, when Patey tried to auction them off. A Las Vegas casino offered $175,000 for all of the bricks, but Patey refused. In 1999, Patey tried to sell off individual bricks and managed to get rid of approximately a hundred.

Patey passed away on December 26, 2004, with the brick collection going to his niece, who then sold the remaining bricks to a Las Vegas mob museum.

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter – The First Trailer

Today marks the first official trailer release for Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, a film directed by Timur Bekmambetov. If Bekmambetov’s name does not sound familiar, he’s the director behind such action-packed movies as Wanted (2008), Day Watch (2006), and Night Watch (2004). The film is currently scheduled for release on July 22, 2012.

Synopsis: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is a re-imagining of the 16th President’s life that depicts him as an axe-throwing, highly accomplished killer of vampires — an obsession of his since those bloodsuckers supposedly took the life of his mother. Lincoln eventually learns that the vampires have fled to the southern states of the U.S. and are concocting a plan to conquer and enslave the entire country — this in turn leads to the Civil War between the Union and the Confederacy, the latter of which the vampires are aligned with.

Now onto the good stuff!

Remake of Beauty and the Beast? By director of Silent Hill? Yes, please!

Christophe Gans, director behind Silent Hill and Brotherhood Of The Wolf, is scheduled to make his own version of the iconic classic Beauty and the Beast. The two stars of the film will be Vincent Cassel, who acted in Black Swan, Out Day Will Come, and Sheitan, and Lea Seydoux, best known from Inglorious Basterds.

Christophe-Gans

Christophe Gans.

Although there are no raw details of the plot currently available, Gans has said, Although I will keep to a form of storytelling of this timeless fairy tale that is in keeping with the same pace and characters as the original, I will surprise the audience by creating a completely new visual universe.

vincentcassel

Vincent Cassel.

Since the project is still in such early days of development, there is no news as to what genre the film will fall into, though one can expect to be horror. After all, Gan is the direction behind Silent Hill. Assuming Gans continues down the path his previous work has taken, this film will not be filled with Disney princesses singing songs and performing choreographed dances.