The Map of the Dead, the CDC, and the Zombie-Proof House: Get Ready for the Zombie Apocalypse

It’s only a matter of time until the dead rise and consume the living, and zombie costumes are no longer fun. Maybe an evil biomedical corporation will be to blame, or a mosquito-borne pathogen that breeds inside human brains. Whatever the reason, a zombie apocalypse requires a plan and an appropriate amount of emergency supplies.

map of the dead

In 2011, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released their recommendations for how a family can prepare for a zombie apocalypse. These recommendations include 1) picking a meeting place for your family to regroup in case zombies invade your home, 2) keeping an emergency kit in your house, and 3) preparing an emergency plan, which includes where you would go and who you would call if zombies started appearing outside your door step.

Sure, those are all nice and dandy, but staying alive during a zombie apocalypse is harder said than done, which is why Polish architectural design company KWK Promes created the worlds first zombie-proof home, equipped with moving walls, a shifting security perimeter, and a retractable drawbridge entrance. Combine this beast of a house with the CDCs recommendations and you’ll be sitting well during the zombie apocalypse.

map of the dead

But, according to films and books, too many people panic during a zombie apocalypse, for they did not prepare ahead of time nor do they own a zombie-proof home. These individuals either cannot find food stores, or they wander into heavily residential areas and become lunch for the local zombies.

With the Map of the Dead, however, you never again have to worry about last-minute zombie apocalypse planning. This web-based piece of software uses the Google Places API to feature specific organizations and retailers that may be useful prior to or during a zombie apocalypse.

map of the dead

The Map of the Dead showcases the following places of interest: gun store, grocery store, convenience store, hardware, liquor store, shopping mall, outdoor store, military, police, radio tower, gas station, harbor, airport, hospital, doctor, pharmacy, dentist, cemetery, and campground.

Since it is likely that the Internet will crash during a zombie apocalypse, Map of the Dead even features a print option, so you can stick that trusty information right inside your emergency kit.

Will the zombie apocalypse happen? Probably not, but it’s better to not take any risks.

Rotoscoped Evil Dead 2 Trailer

The guys overs at Pretend for Real Studios specialize in all sorts of animation projects, including rotoscoping, a time-consuming process that is rare to find these days. Back in 2009, Pretend for Real decided to take their rotoscoping skills and apply it to the most wonderful of all trailers: Evil Dead 2. The outcome? It’s amazing – and I am ashamed for only now having found it.

Check out the exclusive interview with Pretend for Real Studios in next month’s Haunt Club.

As a bonus piece of horror art, I stumbled upon the following poster while searching the Internet for news. The poster was made for Monsterpalooza, an event held down in Burbank, California. If you’re attending Monsterpalooza, look out for this beast hanging on the walls.

A Documented Zombie: Clairvius Narcisse

Movies, books, and graphic novels depict zombies as undead abominations, hungry and carnivorous for human flesh. According to the tenets of Haitian Vodou, however, zombies are not dead, stalking husks that spread the zombie disease via biological contamination. Instead, zombies are revived by a bokor, or sorcerer, who controls and uses the zombies to complete tasks.

As strange and unbelievable as that may sound, there is an infamous medical case that delved into the reality of a bokor and its ability to turn people into zombies.

On April 30, 1962, Clairvius Narcisse, a Haitian man, checked himself into the Albert Schweitzer Hospital, complaining of body aches, fever, and a general malaise. Soon after checking himself in, though, Narcisse began coughing up blood. Physicians assigned to monitor Narcisse noted that he suffered from digestive disorders, pulmonary edema, hypothermia, respiratory difficulties, and hypotension. Over the next few days, his lips became cyanotic, or the color of blue, and he complained of tingling sensations all over his body.

Cyanosis of the left (observed) foot.

Come the morning of May 2, two physicians pronounced Narcisse dead. Marie Claire, Narcisse oldest sister, identified his body and signed off on the death certificate.

Narcisse was buried the next day.

Eighteen years later, Narcisse’s sister found him walking through a village marketplace, as healthy and vibrant as any other living individual. Narcisse explained that shortly before his death he felt a burning sensation all over his skin, like insects were crawling beneath it. He heard the doctors pronounce him dead and felt the sheet pulled up over his face, but he could not speak or move. He even had a scar from when one of the coffin nails was driven through the wood and into his face.

Buried alive, the ultimate nightmare.

Bleeding, motionless, Narcisse remained within the coffin, buried alive, until he heard digging and the coffin was lifted out of the ground. Men opened the top, grabbed Narcisse, beat him, gagged him, and dragged his lifeless body to a sugar plantation. There, Narcisse was introduced to the plantations owner, a bokor (sorcerer), who had poisoned Narcisse with a heavy combination of tetrodotoxin (pufferfish venom) and bufotoxin (toad venom). The alleged individual who administered the bokors poison was Narcisses brother, who had a grudge against Narcisse over land ownership.

Once Narcisse was in the bokors possession, the bokor gave him doses of Datura stramonium, a plant with effects that have been likened to sleepwalking, a fugue state or psychotic episodes (particularly in that the subject has minimal control over their actions and little to no recall of the experience).

Datura stramonium

Narcisse existed in this condition for two years, working on the bokors plantation, where others just like Narcisse were working, too. Each one had been poisoned, pronounced dead, buried, dug up, and then poisoned for prolonged periods of time, so as to function like that of a zombie. The workers toiled for hours, each and every day, until one of the zombie workers fought back and killed the bokor.

The zombie workers simply walked off the plantation, all of them free, including Narcisse, who wandered Haiti for the next sixteen years. He wrote letters to his family, but none of them believed they were real how do you believe a dead man to be alive after two years of silence? It was only after Narcisse’s brother died, the one who poisoned Narcisse, when he returned to his family’s village, which is when his sister found him walking through the market.

Skull Carved out of Books

Artists find strange and interesting ways to reveal themselves that’s why they’re artists and Maskull Lasserre, a Canadian-born visual artist, is no different. Using old computer manuals and a plaster mold of a human skull, Lasserre created a near perfect replica of a human skull. His purpose: exploring the unexpected happenings of everyday occurrences.

Computer manuals are meant to be opened, and unless you’re a computer programmer or technician, most individuals would expect the manuals to be boring. But imagine finding a human skull carved into the manuals, rather than a list of numbers and unpronounceable techno-babble. That’s unexpected. That’s Maskull Lasserre. (This guy needs to get into the Halloween props business.)

However, even the most unexpected events have expected traits. The computer manuals, for example, are designed to contain exact and accurate information, not subjective opinions. When carving the human skull within the manuals, Lasserre paid great attention to the skulls details. In fact, the carved skull has the exact proportions of the plaster skull used as the basis for the project. An exact and accurate human skull carved into books meant to hold exact and accurate information? That’s no coincidence.

Maskull Lasserre was born in Canada, in 1978, though he spent his childhood in South Africa. He later returned to Canada and received a BFA from Mount Allison University (Visual Art and Philosophy), and an MFA from Concordia University (Sculpture). His work has been exhibited across Canada and parts of the United States, and he recently participated in the Canadian Forces War Artist Program in Afghanistan.

Top 6 Greatest Signature Horror Weapons

#6 – The Tall Man’s Spheres

While not the most popular horror character, The Tall Man utilizes a unique method of killing victims: flying spheres. Each sphere contains the brains of a dead body, in addition to various lasers, drills, saws, and other surgical weapons. The spheres zip and fly through the air, and when they find a victim, they attach tools to the victims forehead, drilling into the victims brains, killing them.

The Tall Man also has several superhuman powers, including superhuman strength and telekinesis. All in all, The Tall Man is a devastating horror character, one that is under-appreciated and underrated.

#5 – Jigsaw’s Traps

Out of all the horror icons on this list, none match the intelligence of Jigsaw and his traps. No other character works so hard to kill their victims, while leaving them a chance for freedom/redemption. The morbid creativity of Jigsaw’s traps feature unique and complicated death machines, equipped with knives, acid, electricity, and other deadly items. Jigsaw specializes in instilling agonizing emotional misery, which involves broken limbs, shredded eyeballs, squashed heads, torn ribs, and even more painful experiences. Sure, some victims escape and continue to live their lives, but Jigsaw always leaves an impression, both on the victim and the audience.

#4 – Michael Myers Kitchen Knife

While not as glamorous as other killing utensils, the kitchen knife is a powerful weapon when wielded by Michael Myers. Right from his introduction in the 1978 film Halloween, Michael Myers is seen favoring the kitchen knife over all other brutal means of killing people. Film after film, Michael continues returning to that faithful instrument, and countless posters and movie stills feature Michael and his trusty knife. Some horror icons enjoy flashy, over-the-top Halloween weapons, but Michael is a down-to-earth killer who loves to be close enough to his victims to use a kitchen knife.

#3 – Jason Voorhees Machete

Appearing as a hallucination in the first Friday the 13th film, Jason Voorhees revolutionized the way people viewed the machete, his signature weapon. Longer than Michael Myers kitchen knife, the machete gives Voorhees the utility needed to hack through bodies, doors, and Amazonian jungles. Combine the machete with Voorhees eventual superhuman strength, regenerative powers, and near invulnerability, which were added in Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives, and this horror icon is an unstoppable killing machine.

#2 – Leatherfaces Chainsaw

Introduced in the original Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Leatherface is a mass-murdering psycho who wields a chainsaw. Gunnar Hansen, the man who portrayed Leatherface, stated that Leatherface is completely under the control of his family. He’ll do whatever they tell him to do. He’s a little bit afraid of them. After Leatherface takes the chainsaw to his victims body, he keeps the remnants and divvies them out to his family members. The bones are used to build the inside of their house, while the human meat is processed for barbecue and chili.

A roaring chainsaw is horrifying enough, but knowing the end result could see you made into minced chili is even worse.

#1 – Freddy Kreuger’s Bladed Glove

Wes Craven, the creator of Freddy Kreuger, said in an interview, Part of [the glove] was an objective goal to make the character memorable, since it seems that every character that has been successful has had some kind of unique weapon, whether it be a chain saw or a machete, etc. I was also looking for a primal fear which is embedded in the subconscious of people of all cultures. One of those is the fear of teeth being broken, which I used in my first film. Another is the claw of an animal, like a saber-toothed tiger reaching with its tremendous hooks. I transposed this into a human hand. The original script had the blades being fishing knives.

When Jim Doyle, the actual creator of the bladed glove, asked Craven what he wanted, Craven said, It’s kind of like really long fingernails, I want the glove to look like something that someone could make who has the skills of a boilermaker.

Add on Kreuger’s signature ability to kill victims in their dreams and this horror icon is far from being forgotten. The beauty of this weapon is its simple design: a glove with attached blades. It’s stranger than a mere knife, machete, or chainsaw, but it’s still frightening simple, unlike Jigsaw’s complicated puzzles. Portable and deadly, Kreuger’s bladed glove is the most memorable

The History of the Michael Myers Masks

(Update: This post incorrectly cited the source for the following information. The current citation is correct.)

SlipKnoT, a member over at, collected the history of each mask used in the Michael Myers films. This history ranges from Halloween 1 all the way up to Rob Zombies Halloween 2 remake. So, without further explanation, let’s showcase what they found:

HalloweeN: The mask used in HalloweeN 1 was a store bought mask the Captain Kirk mask. Sculpted from a life-cast of William Shatner in 1975, and sold in stores from 1976 to around 1979. The mask used was bought from a Halloween store, had its eyes cut larger, eyebrow and sideburn hair removed, the hair misted brown, and lastly, the mask was painted white by Tommy Lee Wallace. The mask was worn by Nick Castle, and was worn by Tony Moran in the unmasking scene. It was also worn by various crew members.

HalloweeN II: The mask in HalloweeN II was the same mask used in HalloweeN I. After filming H1, Debra Hill kept the mask very poorly under her bed. Because of the poor condition it was kept in, the mask discolored severely and that’s why it looks the way it does, aside from the fact that Dick Warlock (Myers, H2) had a shorter and wider face than Nick Castle (Myers, H1). Dick Warlock wore the mask.

HalloweeN IV: The mask used in H4s origin has been argued. There are many theories about the origin, most commonly that it is a recast/retool of the 1984 The Mask, made by Don Post Studios. This version of The Mask was never licensed or trademarked, making finding them next to impossible. It should also be noted that this mask didn’t have eyebrows sculpted on they were glued in place. The mask also had white hair placed on first, before it was misted black. The mask was worn by George P. Wilbur.

HalloweeN V: This mask strays from the original design because the director wanted Michael to have an angrier expression as opposed to the blank and featureless face we saw in previous films. When filming a scene, Pleasence (Dr. Loomis) accidentally hit Don Shanks (Myers, H5) in the nose, breaking it. As a result, they had to cut out the nose of the mask and add on a paper thin nose cut off of another H5 mask. The edges of the nose appliance can be seen clearly in a lot of the film. Don Shanks wore the mask.

HalloweeN VI: The HalloweeN VI mask had a very odd goblin type look to it. This mask was sculpted by John Carl Buechler. The mask used in H6 had chemicals rubbed inside and outside of the mask by a disgruntled effects artist, thus destroying most existing copies. This is what made the mask look different in the ending, and re-shot scenes. This is the second time the mask was worn by George P. Wilbur.

HalloweeN H20: There were a total of 4 masks used an H6 mask, retooled by Brad Hardin, used in the opening scenes and a KNB mask, used for most of the primary shooting. As they were wrapping up production it was decided that the KNB mask wasn’t adequate. They hired the Stan Winston FX company to sculpt a new mask which they used to reshoot a lot of the scenes. Lastly, due to time or budget restraints they had to CGI over the mask in a couple of scenes. Chris Durand wore the masks.

HalloweeN Resurrection: The HalloweeN Resurrection mask looked a lot more sinister than masks before it, and it featured painted eyebrows, human hair, and clear features. Brad Loree wore the mask in this film.

Rob Zombies HalloweeN: The mask was sculpted by Wayne Toth and worn by Tyler Mane. It was actually sculpted on a lifecast of Tyler Mane, giving the mask most of Manes features. Toth didn’t account for latex shrinkage so the mask was very tight. In the scene where Michael first puts on the mask you can see where he goes from having the long wig hair to his natural short hair. Because of this, Toth actually had to glue hair inside the neck of the mask, to make it seem like Mane still had long hair under the mask. This is the very first mask to stray beyond just a white face, as this mask has a lot of rot and deterioration combined with shades of black, gray, and green in various places.

Rob Zombies HalloweeN II: The mask was again sculpted by Wayne Toth and worn by Tyler Mane. It was again sculpted on Manes life-cast, making the mask have strong Mane features. Toth sculpted this mask bigger than the H9 sculpt, so the mask would fit Mane more comfortably. As the time goes on the mask deteriorates further, till the point it is just a dirty brownish mask. Michael gets slapped and it causes a part of the mask to rip off, which causes the Exposed look we’re all so familiar with. This is the first film to have Michael’s face exposed through most of the movie.

Ridley Scott Talks Prometheus Rating: PG-13?

Ridley Scott’s Prometheus is only months away, which means the film is entering the final weeks of post-production. The trailers are available, pictures are all over the Internet, and the hype is building.

But don’t get too excited. According to a recent interview with Empire Magazine, Ridley Scott is having issues with the film’s MPAA rating. Even though the entire Alien franchise has kept a steady R rating, Prometheus may see a theatrical release with a PG-13 rating.

“Right now I don’t know where we are,” Ridley Scott told Empire. “The question is, do you go for the PG-13, or do you go for what it should be, which is R? Financially it makes quite a difference, or the risk makes quite a difference, and yet you also have to apply the question — if you soften it, will you financially suffer? As opposed to just going for the throat and gambling. Essentially, it’s kinda R. The little bastards will still get in anyway, so what’s the difference? It’s not just about blood, it’s about ideas that are very stressful. I’m not an idiot, but I’ll do everything I can to get the most aggressive film I can.”

Before anyone gets all hot and bothered about the PG-13 and R rating difference, and that Ridley Scott seems to be selling out, let’s look at the official definitions and classifications for the ratings system. Ridley Scott may still be able to deliver an intense sci-fi thriller blood, guts, death, the whole works even with a PG-13 rating.

Taken from, here is the definitive classification for a PG-13 movie:

“Any drug use will initially require at least a PG-13 rating. More than brief nudity will require at least a PG-13 rating, but such nudity in a PG-13 rated motion picture generally will not be sexually oriented. There may be depictions of violence in a PG-13 movie, but generally not both realistic and extreme or persistent violence. A motion pictures single use of one of the harsher sexually-derived words, though only as an expletive, initially requires at least a PG-13 rating. More than one such expletive requires an R rating, as must even one of those words used in a sexual context.”

So you can swear, but only once, and not in a sexual context. You can show a nipple, but only in passing, and not in a sexual context. You can include violence, but it cannot be realistic and extreme or persistent violence. (Tell that to The Hunger Games.)

All right, let’s check out the R rating classification, again from

“An R-rated motion picture, in the view of the Rating Board, contains some adult material. An R-rated motion picture may include adult themes, adult activity, hard language, intense or persistent violence, sexually-oriented nudity, drug abuse or other elements, so that parents are counseled to take this rating very seriously. Children under 17 are not allowed to attend R-rated motion pictures unaccompanied by a parent or adult guardian. Parents are strongly urged to find out more about R-rated motion pictures in determining their suitability for their children. Generally, it is not appropriate for parents to bring their young children with them to R-rated motion pictures.”

As far as I can tell, that definition includes no restrictions. If your movie includes drug use, it’s cool. If you include a 10-minute murder scene, nice. If you want a sex scene that leads to a drug use scene and then finishes with a murder scene, more power to you!

Will Ridley Scott deliver a film as intense as Alien, even with a PG-13 rating? I don’t see why not. He’s an amazing director, and I have faith in his abilities. Am I disappointed that he may cut the rating down due to financial gains? Sure, but that’s his choice. I’ll see the movie regardless of its rating.

What about you?

The Hunger Games Breaks Hollywood Records

Audiences thirsted for teen death this past weekend and The Hunger Games satiated that thirst, pulling in approximately $155 million in US and Canadian box offices. Add on the global markets and the movies gain rounds out to around $214.3 million.

hunger games

Sound like a lot of money?

That’s because it is The Hunger Games now holds the record for third biggest opening weekend for a movie, behind Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 and The Dark Knight. Even more incredible, though, is that the movie had a solid Saturday night showing, totaling $51 million in sales, which ranks second all-time behind Spider-Man 3 ($51.3 million).

As you can see, though, the two movies beating The Hunger Games for all-time best opening weekend are sequels. That means The Hunger Games now holds the record for highest grossing opening weekend for a non-sequel film, beating out the previous champion, Alice in Wonderland ($116.1 million).

hunger games2

In addition, $10.6 million of the total sales came from people viewing the movie on an IMAX screen. As stated on Box Office Mojo, that’s a very impressive figure for a 2D movie that doesn’t include any footage shot in IMAX.

Plus, the film can still make money off toys, DVDs, Blue-ray discs, clothing, and royalty rights for Halloween costumes. For Lions Gate Entertainment Corporation, this cash cow is set to be milked for many years to come, especially since this is only the first film of the trilogy.

Upcoming Horror Movie: Chernobyl Diaries

Chernobyl Diaries, a soon-to-be-released horror film penned by Oren Peli, the writer behind Paranormal Activity, depicts American tourist exploring the abandoned area of Chernobyl. If you skipped history class, Chernobyl is home to one of the world’s worst nuclear disasters a reactor exploded and forced some 350,000 people to evacuate the surrounding areas.

Since the evacuation, the abandoned areas have been ransacked, vandalized, and then, in 2002, turned into an extreme tourist location for visitors. According to Alcon Entertainment co-Chief Executive Andrew Kosove, the extreme tourism trips taken to Chernobyl are what inspired the making of Chernobyl Diaries.

The film follows a gang of American tourists who take a day trip out to Prypiat, the closest abandoned city to the Chernobyl reactor. They take photos, laugh about being wild and crazy, and generally show off their American attitude toward historic monuments. But when the sun sets and it comes time to leave, their tour guides car doesn’t start and they’re stuck in the city, which happens to be filled with ravenous mutants.

Check out the trailer:

Chernobyl Diaries is scheduled to hit theaters on May 25, 2012.

Michael Bay Takes on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Get ready to bust out those Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles costumes, because after taking on the Transformers franchise, Michael Bay has set his sights on making a live-action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. But before you go hooting and hollering in celebration, lets take a look at Michael Bays official statement:

When you see this movie, kids are going to believe one day these turtles actually do exist when we are done with this movie. These turtles are from an alien race, and they are going to be tough, edgy, funny and completely loveable.


In response the Internet exploded into a disarray of arguments revolving around seven words within Bays statement: These turtles are from an alien race. The original story depicts turtles succumbing to alien goo, which mutates them into anthropomorphic warriors. Bays claim of the turtles stemming from an alien race would essentially rewrite 30 years of TMNT history, and TMNT fans made sure to let him know about their disapproval.

Michael Bay defended his statement by saying,  Fans need to take a breath, and chill. They have not read the script. Our team is working closely with one of the original creators of Ninja Turtles to help expand and give a more complex back story. Relax, we are including everything that made you become fans in the first place. We are just building a richer world.

But lets be honest Michael Bay is a pornographic director disguising as a film creator. The story and dialogue are only there to move the film onto the next money shot scene of explosions and big breasted women running in front of expensive cars. I doubt he cares whether the turtles are from space or from radioactive ooze. He sees a franchise worth turning into a pile of cash, and he knows people will see it regardless of the origin story.

The film is currently scheduled to hit theaters on December 25, 2013.