“Necrophilia is more erotic than that [censored!].”
-SWfan, Flayrah commenter
The ABCs of Death is the brainchild of producer Ant Timpson (an end credit suggests the whole thing was inspired by a nightmare of his): take 26 horror directors from around the world and give them a letter of the alphabet. They then pick a word with that letter, and direct a short film for $5,000 that depicts a death involving that word.
Pretty simple, and a great concept for a horror anthology, but why the review on a furry site? Well, there’s Thomas Malling’s “H is for Hydro-Electric Diffusion,” which is basically a live action Tex Avery cartoon. And there are plenty of animal-related shorts available, as well; some of the best shorts on the roster, including “D is for Dogfight,” “N is for Nuptials,” “P is for Pressure” and “Q is for Quack,” involve animals, if not always anthropomorphic.
But are these highlights worth the time for furries?
Freak's Amour, by Tom De Haven, is simply a masterpiece. This is some of the best weird literature that few seem to have heard of or remember. It's been out of print for 27 years. I started it once, long ago when I was just getting into science fiction and weird genre stuff. It was a bit arty and demanding for a teenage reader, and my interest wasn't up to the challenge at the time. Now, I have to give it very high recommendation after finding it again.
I suggest that anyone into classy lit as well as furries and pulp/pop culture go get it now, even if it takes your last two bucks. It's one of those obscurities that could be worth quite a lot if it was less available – and I say that as a professional book dealer – but it earned enough acclaim to get several printings, so it's cheap and easy to get secondhand. (In fact, I've just noticed a comic/graphic novel forthcoming: info below.)
It starts light-heartedly enough. Take your basic haunted house story, only do it with dogs investigating a haunted doghouse. And slowly, gradually, the stories get darker.
Burden Hill would appear to be your everyday, quiet suburb, except... things... are starting to happen, and while the local humans haven't noticed anything yet, the local dogs certainly have.
Beasts of Burden is basically a series of comic books about canine paranormal investigation. (Plus a couple of cats.) The writing by Evan Dorkin manages to be fun and ominous at the same time, and he gives the dogs distinct personalities in a way that feels very believable. The artwork by Jill Thompson is rendered in excellent watercolors, and generates just the right atmosphere.
Cartoon Brew has announced that Dark Horse’s Beasts of Burden comic book by Evan Dorkin (writer) and Jill Thompson (artist) is being developed into a CGI animated feature film by the Reel FX Creative Studios in Los Angeles and Dallas. The feature is to be written by Darren Lemke, directed by Shane Acker (director of darkly depressing post-Apocalypse animated feature 9), and co-produced by Reel FX’s Aron Warner and Dark Horse’s publisher Mike Richardson and Andrew Adamson of Strange Weather Films (director of the first two Shrek and first two Chronicles of Narnia movies).
While the history of animated feature films is replete with movies featuring talking dogs and other animals, there are relatively few starring four-legged “natural” dogs (Disney’s Lady and the Tramp and Amblimation’s Balto come to mind), and virtually none with serious suspense/horror plots.
Alright, I am caught up with my Pull List series; nothing old I need to catch up on. Pull List #8 (or even #9, if someone finally takes up my offer to contribute) will consist entirely of comic books released in 2013. The good news is that most of these comics are also pretty fresh.
The ABCs of Death is a horror anthology film which premiered at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival. Released as Video-on-Demand on January 31, it will screen in theatres from March 8 in the U.S.
The film is comprised of twenty-six different shorts – all themed around death – one for each letter of the alphabet. Spanning A is for Apocalypse to Z is for Zetsumetsu, each short has its own director and style.
H is for Hydro-Electric Diffusion (by Thomas Cappelen Malling) features two anthropomorphic animal characters. A World War 2 British fighter pilot depicted as a jowly British Bulldog is shown watching a striptease performed by a sultry red fox who is concealing a deadly secret.
A short clip of the anthro characters can be found here - viewer discretion is advised.
These are Books 2 and 3 in Jobling’s Wereworld saga. Book 1, Rise of the Wolf, was reviewed here last May. Viking has ignored my request for review copies, so I had to wait for the Glendale Public Library to get them. Sorry for the delay.
The Wereworld Young Adult series is set on the island-continent of Lyssia on a fantasy world, in which each of the kingdoms is ruled by a Werelord who can transform into an animal, including birds and fish. School Library Journal has called the series “Game of Thrones for the tween set”. In Wereworld: Rise of the Wolf, teen farmboy Drew Ferran learns that he is adopted and is really the werewolf son of the murdered Wolf King Wergar of Westland, Lyssia’s most powerful nation, which has been usurped by Lion King Leopold who has replaced the old wolf aristocracy with his own lion nobility.
Thrown into the Seven Realms’ therianthropic politics whether he wants to be or not, Drew finds friends and allies such as Princess Gretchen, a fox shapeshifter, and Hector the young Boarlord; enemies such as King Leopold and his sadistic son Prince Lucas, and the Ratlord Vankaskan; and those who may be friends or enemies like the dynamically charismatic but utterly untrustworthy Count Vega, the Sharklord.
BREMEN 130, a furry video production studio has released its first short film.
Draw of the Beast chronicles the ordeal of a frontiersman from a few centuries ago. A bestial call from the forest haunts him in his dreams and in the real world. Will he answer?
Update (2 Dec): Now available in shorter, music video form as "Welcome to the Werewolf":
Mind blowing visuals with the haunting techno music of TeknoAxe are incorporated into this visual feast of video production. (submission)
I can’t believe that nobody on Flayrah has mentioned Curtis Jobling’s Wereworld Young Adult books yet. Although only the first has been published in America in hardcover so far, they are up to Book 3 in Britain in Puffin UK paperbacks, with Book 4 due in June, and the next two announced for January and June 2013. The British edition of Wereworld: Rise of the Wolf was published in January 2011.
Werewolf novels have a spotty acceptance in Furry fandom, but the Wereworld series seems designed for us. Its shapeshifters are intelligent, not feral beasts, and live in the Seven Realms of Lyssia, each of which is ruled by a different Werelord: the Werefoxes, Wererats, and so on. The protagonist, sixteen-year-old Drew Ferran, is the last of the Werewolf dynasty of Lyssia, which has recently been “ethnically cleansed” of wolves by the Werelions led by tyrannical King Leopold.
This is a well-told but stereotypical “teenage farmboy in a mythical kingdom learns that he is really a disguised prince and raises a revolution to regain his throne from the cruel usurper who murdered his parents” adventure, with plenty of shapeshifting. Two of Drew’s first allies are the Wereboar Lord Hector and the Werefox Princess Gretchen.
My questions and comments are not to be taken seriously. For more on the anthology, see FurPlanet's submissions page.
Isiah Jacobs: Good evening, Mr. Hoch! Thank you so much for joining me tonight. As I understand it, you are the editor for an upcoming furry horror anthology themed around abandoned places. Why did you decide to do this?
You know the type of place. Your footsteps echo, you feel all alone. Why is everyone gone? Are there survivors? What happened?
Voice: I decided to do a furry horror anthology because I am a huge horror fan and love horror fiction. But when I looked around your average convention table, the genre was lacking within the furry fandom (only two books that I know about). So I made a mention on Twitter about wanting to do a horror anthology, and got a huge response from the furry writers, so I decided to helm the project. If this is successful, I would love to do it as an annual thing, a new horror theme each year.
To celebrate this month’s most monstrous of holidays, let’s take a look at monstrosity, and how something as seemingly innocuous as furry can have more connection to the horror genre than mere werewolf movies.
Since it’s the month of Halloween, now is a good time to review Clive Barker’s dark fantasy/horror novel Sacrament. Barker is a well-known horror novelist; perhaps not to Stephen King’s level, but if anything more respected by fans of the genre.
Sacrament is, like most horror stories, unusual. It deals with endangered animals and extinction, and I suppose it could be called a bit “green,” but that’s not why it’s of interest to furries. Lord Fox lurks in the pages of Sacrament, and he’s a different kind of furry fox, but strangely familiar.
On one hand, not exactly the greatest movie premise ever. On the other hand, it worked on me.
Right here it should be said Hyenas is a bad movie. Besides the obvious reasons a low budget, straight-to-DVD creature feature might not be worth your time, it manages to offend in ways it didn't mean to.
So here's fair warning for any other furry hyena fans hoping for at least a glimmer of decency: look elsewhere.
Black Sheep (2006) is certainly an interesting film. It comes from New Zealand and certainly doesn't seem to be trying to break any stereotypes as there are quite a few well-defined ones in here. It's a horror comedy and while I can't say it's a genre I am familiar with this film does have a few scary scenes as well as a bit of entertaining humour.
This film is a lot like Resident Evil but with sheep. A farmer is experimenting with genetic engineering and when some environmentalists spill some waste from the facility they cause the sheep to start eating meat and attacking people. In addition whoever is bitten by a sheep turns into one. This leads to a race to survive and contain the outbreak for the protagonists. The humour is mainly provided by one of the environmentalist who makes a variety of new-age quips about their chakra and provides scented candles.