That’s Not Snow…

According to ABC News, the recent floods in Wagga Wagga, Australia, have caused approximately 8,000 individuals to evacuate their homes. James McTavish, the Murrumbidgee SES controller, told ABC News, In Wagga itself, we’re expecting at 10.6 metres to have very extensive flooding through North Wagga and surrounding areas.

And it is within those surrounding areas that a spider belonging to the Linyphiidae family is struggling to survive. Countless numbers of the spiders have taken to bushes, trees, tall grass anything that gets them up and away from the floodwater.

The spiders are called Sheet Weavers due to the shape of their web. Normally, the webs are rather thin, not as dense and observable as the ones surrounding Wagga Wagga. The condensing of the spider population has created a gigantic sprawl of a web.

Sheet Weavers travel by climbing to the highest point, casting a strand of silk into the air, and waiting for a strong gust to pull them to a new, unknown destination. The problem in Wagga Wagga, though, is that so many spiders are trying this at the same time, creating a spider congestion.

Graham Milledge, entomology collections manager at the Australian Museum, said, The behaviour is called ballooning that is how [the spiders] disperse. They often land in the same place and that is why you get this large mass of them.

Graham Milledge claims the spiders are harmless to humans.

Latest Pictures from Dark Shadows Set

After yesterday’s release about Alice Cooper joining the cast of Dark Shadows, today brings forth a new trio of photos from the set. As you can see, the film features the classic Tim Burton vibe, as if he combined Edward Scissorhands (1990) and Alice in Wonderland (2010).

With an all-star cast that includes Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Alice Cooper, Eva Green, and Jonny Lee Miller, this film is turning out to be one of the most anticipated releases of the year. May 11 cannot come fast enough.

The story focuses on Barnabas Collins (Johnny Depp), who was transformed into a vampire by a jilted lover (Eva Green’s witch Angelique) way back in the 1700s and buried. He’s just been dug up, and attempts to reintegrate with his descendants, led by Michelle Pfeiffer’s Elizabeth and Jonny Lee Miller’s Roger – despite the fact that Angelique is still around and still not in a forgiving mood.

Alice Cooper Joins the Cast of Dark Shadows

Images continue to leak from the set of Dark Shadows, the upcoming film adaptation of the original 1960s television series. In addition to showcasing Tim Burtons hair, the photos include the original Dark Shadows cast, who are showing their support for the upcoming film.

Also, Alice Cooper is said to have joined the cast of Dark Shadows, and he will be starring as himself in the film. According to The LA Times, Cooper plays himself in the film, which is set in 1972 Depps character, the recently revived vampire Barnabas Collins, hires the rock star to play a private ball at his seaside home in Maine.

The film is currently scheduled to hit theaters May 11, 2012. If you are surprised by the immediacy of that date, you should be the film releases in two months and it doesn’t even have a trailer yet.

Plot synopsis: The story focuses on Collins, who was transformed into a vampire by his jilted lover, Angelique, way back in the 1700s and buried. He’s just been dug up, and attempts to reintegrate with his descendants, led by Michelle Pfeiffer’s Elizabeth and Jonny Lee Miller’s Roger – despite the fact that Angelique is still around and still not in a forgiving mood.

dark shadows

Doomsday Vault Could Save World

Deep in the remote Arctic Svalbard archipelago, sitting roughly 810 miles away from the North Pole, a monolithic entrance juts out of the snow. And like the lair of some comic book super-villain, the entrance leads deep underground, to a place known as the Doomsday Vault.

doomsday vault

The Doomsday Vault entrance.

But you won’t find weapons of mass destruction within the vault’s belly. Quite the contrary, in fact, for the vault’s sole purpose is to house and preserve seeds, in case of a global catastrophe. If the world’s agricultural populous were to die, those seeds give mankind a second chance to rebuild.

The Doomsday Vault opened in February 2008, and it currently houses more than 740,000 different seeds, though it has room for 2.25 billion. The seeds range from tulips to tomatoes, perennials to papayas, and the hope is to include every single breed of seed. In fact, as reported by TODAY, there are more than 100 thousand different types of rice alone in storage. The Doomsday Vault is no joke.

To ensure the vault survives all global catastrophes, its built far from tectonic activity and 430 feet above sea level. Even if the polar icecaps melted, the vault would be above the expected waterline. Unless new seeds are being delivered, the vault remains unmanned, for the seeds are preserved by the natural underground chill. But if you were to venture out to the vault, somehow making it past the arctic, polar bear-ridden landscape, a robust security system would be happy to see you off.

doomsday vault2

Rendered image of the vault.

The Doomsday Vault is said to have the capability of surviving for 20,000 years without the assistance of humans. If you want to thank someone for funding the project, look no further than Bill and Melinda Gates, whose foundation provided a bulk of the finances.

Piranha 3DD: A Trailer Full of Double D’s

Released in 2010, Piranha 3D was the second remake of the original 1978 film Piranha. The 2010 remake featured loads of gore, violence, and partial nudity, all in eye-popping 3D effects. (So much gore, in fact, that the film is said to have used 75,000 gallons of fake blood per day of filming.) Directed by Alexandre Aja, Piranha 3D grossed over $83 million worldwide and was well received by critics.

Now the horror world is buzzing with talk of the next sequel in the series, Piranha 3DD. That’s right 3DD! Why the addition of a second D, you ask? Well, I could tell you why, or you could watch the trailer for yourself and figure it out:

My favorite part is the water-certified strippers. Hilarious. Anyway, here’s the plot breakdown:

There’s something in the water again. And this time no one is safe from the flesh-eating fish as they sink their razor sharp teeth into the visitors of the best summer attraction, The Big Wet Water Park.

The release date has yet to be released, so keep an eye out for future updates.

piranha 3dd

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