Spooktober 2022, Day Thirty-Three?

Content Warning:  This could’ve, perhaps should’ve, gone atop every Spooktober entry.  Many horror genres are ableist at their core, some ageist or sexist, etc.  I’ll be less scrupulous about ableist language in this post than my blog’s usual rules.

Spooktober is a 31 day event of coming up with original horror ideas based on prompts my writing group argues over.  This should be last post on the topic this year.  The voting left a trail of bodies in its wake – prompts that did not win.  Ranked by the number of votes they received, with the most popular first, they were:  Psycho-Biddy, Devils & Demons, Ghosts, Killer Toys, Wintery / Snow, Home Invasion, Mad Scientist, Possession, Backwoods, Folklore, Mutants, Giant Monster, Noir, Psychological, Splatterpunk, Alien / Space, Dark Web / Technology, Killer Animal, Body Horror, Body Snatchers, Creepy Kid, Creepypasta / Urban Legend, Mummy, Psychic, Stephen King, The Swarm, Teen, Comedy Horror, Holiday, Kiddie Horror, J-Horror / Asian Horror, and Anime.  As I use the prompts below, you’ll see the name of it appear in parentheses.

SPOOKTOBER DAY #33? — Bonus Spooksfake VHS cover for "Weird Blade"

TITLE:  Weird Blade (ウイーアド ブレード)

PREMISE:  A three-part anime (Anime) OVA called “Weird Blade,” inspired by the structure of Cyber City Oedo 808, which had three main boys, and each had their own special episode.  The setting is a futuristic Japan (J-Horror) in a smaller city near a spooky forest.

Episode One:  Sukeko the Lady.  Sukeko is a purple-haired trans gal, hacker, and party girl.  (She’s the one in the pic with the high pony tail.)  In a club scene we meet her friends Chisaku and Kurochimaru.  Chisaku sleazes on her and every other lady in anime rake fashion, Kurochimaru just likes to play with his yo-yo and dance.

But that life is just her time outside the house.  At home she has to take care of a mean old grandma (Psycho-Biddy), and stay closeted to her.  She has a sense of obligation based on some childhood experiences, being cared for by the crone before she turned mean.  Little does she know Grandma is a mad scientist (Mad Scientist), a hacker in her own right, who has married the world-wide web to the underworld of ghosts (Ghosts) and devils (Devils & Demons).  Every time Sukeko leaves the house, Grandma slips on the VR goggles and gloves, and cyber-stalks her wayward grandchild.

Snow begins to fall on the city.  Grandma and Sukeko have a very tense conversation over food, like, “you’re poisoning me!” “you’re nuts, eat your porridge,” that kind of thing.

Grandma calls her Sukeko instead of the deadname, and Sukeko realizes she knows.  The conversation shifts to that, with Sukeko cautiously optimistic this will be a “I know you’re queer and accept you” situation.  It is not, and they stomp out of each other’s presence.  Grandma jacks in and runs “possess.dmn” file to hAx0r Sukeko’s brain (Possession).

Sukeko has to abandon her own VR rig and flee the house in a panic.  She runs up a snowy trail (Wintery / Snow) into the woods.  Close to dying of cold, she finds a cabin in the woods (Backwoods).

The cabin-dwellers are nice, but Grandma hacks their brains and makes them try to kill Sukeko.  She holes up in the computer core of the cabin, with the possessed trying to beat down the door.  In a cold-blooded and frosty state of mind, Sukeko jacks into the computer core, assuming the avatar of a yuki-onna (Folklore).  She sneaks past grandma’s home defense, riding the hack signal back to her house.

There she remote controls grandma’s doll collection to become murderous (Killer Toys) home invaders (Home Invasion).  Grandma tries to run and hide, but ultimately she gets got.

The yuki-onna melts into Sukeko and she has a little cry as a virtual projection into the crime scene.  But she has a weird vision – the doll that killed Grandma is a one-eyed girl from the club scene, Noriko, and she’s holding a weird blade.  The club girl flies away, leaving just the doll with the letter opener.

Episode Two:  Chisaku the Bullet.  Chisaku is an aqua-haired hard-boiled PI and typical anime perv.  He narrates his part of the story (Noir).  A sexy lady comes into his office and gives him a case.  Her dad, mom, and uncle were all killed by animals, but how?  Doesn’t make sense to her, though the police closed the case.

He investigates the scene of the crime – the cabin where Sukeko had fled.  Did she do the murder?  The audience has to wonder.  Chisaku finds a clue she was there and he calls her up.  She says to meet her on the Dark Web (Dark Web / Technology).  On his way out of the cabin, he is set upon by feral dogs (Killer Animal) that almost kill him, but he shoots ’em all.  He is a The Bullet.

At the cyber-den of a trusted ally, suspecting both his home and his office won’t be safe, he jacks in to do the meetup.  Sukeko is in yuki-onna mode in a virtual cafe, says she didn’t do that murder, leaving open the possibility she did others.  Chisaku doesn’t press the matter, but he begins to suspect this isn’t Sukeko.  “Are you really Sukeko?” “Are you really Chisaku?”

Oh shit, he thinks.  She hit him with an existential crisis virus, that makes you not know what’s real (Psychological).  “Nice try toots, but I don’t know what’s real on the best of days.”  He jacks off.  I mean out.  I mean logs off.  It was bravado, but there was some truth to it.  He knows the only way to fight the doubt is to take everything he sees at face value, and has the presence of mind to give that a go – at least until he can get the virus cleared.

The world is weird.  His friend is mutated into a techno-organic mess with his own computer core.  Outside he sees the dogs from before have come back from the dead as mutants (Mutants), and tracked him to the cyber-den.  He shoots them again, and hustles through the streets.  Since his friend can’t clear the EC virus, maybe actual Sukeko can.

The dogs come back again, mutated into a giant monster (Giant Monster), assisted by passers-by on the street, who seem to have become part of the menacing force that is loose in the world (Body Snatchers).  Old shop ladies twist their heads around and trip him as he runs, that kind of stuff.  At Sukeko’s house the gate is locked but he gets over the wall, leaving the snatched bodies outside.  But the giant dog-thing gets over the fence and he has to kill it with every gardening implement he can find (Splatterpunk).  Where the blood and gore splashed on his arm, he starts to mutate, the flesh merging with his gun so he can’t put it down (Body Horror).

Inside he finds Sukeko looking like a cosmic horror, but talking very calmly, trying to pretend everything is normal.  “Grandmother is upstairs, she is not feeling well.  You shouldn’t be here, Chisaku.”  He explains he got the virus and she helps hack it out of him, and the world goes back to normal.

They stand in the doorway looking at the lawn.  Was there a murdered dog, or worse, a murdered person?  Noriko is in an action hero crouch over a pile of dead dogs, a weird blade in her hand.  She does back flips high into the air, disappearing into a flying saucer that zips away (Alien / Space).

Episode Three:  Kurochimaru the Blade.  Kurochimaru is a dark-green-haired martial artist and dropout.  At the club, the girls all want to get with him because of his physique and his fun-loving nature, but none of them make the cut.  Noriko tries to make a pass at him and whiffs.  But before he leaves, she gets his attention with something.

“I found something I think you should have.  It’s the ghost of a ninja’s sword.  I’m a humble space alien, it should be in the hands of a real Japanese martial artist.”  He takes the weird blade, like, “Uh… thanks?,” and jets.

His home is on the waterfront, a community straight out of Stephen King, where folksy accent-having salt-of-the-earth types rub shoulders with generically named middle class people, and everyone has dark secrets or weird gross sex stuff they do behind closed doors probably (Stephen King).

The blade feels weird in his hand and he takes it to an antiquarian’s shop.  The weirdo there is a secret mummy (Mummy) who monsters out and tries to get him into suspension bondage, and he cuts the bandages to escape.  This is played for laughs, as is the whole of this episode.  When something horror happens, it’s mixed with pratfalls to keep the spirit light (Comedy).

Out on the street, he’s like, “Now how will I find out what’s up with the weird blade?,” then sees a sign outside the high school that says “occult club meeting tonite” (Teen).  He goes inside.  A spooky janitor points him to the art room where the weirdos meet.  The Occult Club kids are annoyed that he busts up the seance.  They have stereotypical high school interactions with each other about it.  Probably a secret hot girl is wearing glasses that camouflage her hotness, I don’t know.

The scoobies decide to take him to the neighborhood psychic kid (Psychic, Creepy Kid).  Guy has the Shining, perhaps.  The kid looks like a miniature version of a character from Mob Psycho, and after Laurel & Hardy-ish shenanigans, gets his hand on the blade, to do a psychometry.

When he touches the sword, he activates its power, and starts chasing Kurochimaru and the kids around with the sword and an army of bugs and frogs and such (The Swarm).  The teens are all killed in Goosebumps-esque ways (Kiddie Horror), until just the hot girl and Kurochimaru remain.  Then the kid appears, fully transformed into a Jeff-the-Killer-esque edgelord form, blood coming out of his eyes (Creepypasta / Urban Legend).

They get to a mall which is doing the Japanese version of crimbo festivities (Holiday).  Sukeko and Chisaku are there on a date, wearing santa hats, but looking haunted by previous events.  The mall is attacked by the swarm and the creepy kid, turning into a violent free-for-all.  Chisaku spots Noriko dressed like a sexy elf, and Sukeko uses hacker powers to run “exorcism.exe” on the weird blade.

With the magic of the ghost sword dispelled, the alien loses interest in the world and leaves again in her UFO.  The three heroes walk through the devastation in shock.  Kurochimaru starts playing with his yo-yo again.

HORROR ELEMENT:  The horror of shoehorning as many concepts as possible into as small a space as possible.  Wasn’t easy!

Posters by AI, modified with photoshop.  Here’s the unmodified BS I wrangled into the poster, tho I’m not including all the sources for elements I cobbled in.

some AI bullshit

Spooktober 2022, Days Thirty, Thirty-One, and Thirty-Two?

Spooktober is a 31 day event of coming up with original horror ideas based on prompts my writing group argues over.  Not quite my last entry on the topic for this year, but this is the last of the official prompts.

SPOOKTOBER DAY #30 — Historical

TITLE:  Drifting Bar Mitzvah

PREMISE:  In 1993 it happened.  Young Saul’s Bar Mitvah disappeared from this reality.  Was it related to his uncle Ira’s experiments with physics?  Probably.  The old lady who rented the brownstone afterward would occasionally find her VHS copies of Falcon Crest partially over-taped with images of an especially lost tribe of Israelites.

HORROR ELEMENT:  Saul’s family and friends are on some Lost in Space shit, but will they ever shift home? What if they shift into a toxic environment or the vacuum of space?

Posters by AI, modified with photoshop.

fake movie poster for "Drifting Bar MItzvah"

 

SPOOKTOBER DAY #31 — Small Creatures

TITLE:  Cathemeral

PREMISE:  OK, I know cats are not cathemeral, they’re crepuscular, but cathemeral has cat in the name.  It means something like “active or dormant at any time of day or night.”  Veronica’s sleep cycle is thrown to hell for unknown reasons, and she starts to hallucinate little movements out of the corner of her eyes.  Those ultimately turn into little cat-like abominations.

HORROR ELEMENT:  Unreality.  Maybe the cats do messed up shit and she’s blamed for it.

fake book cover for "Cathemeral"

 

SPOOKTOBER DAY #32? — Admin Choice, Retro Slasher & Giallo

TITLE:  The Prom Theme is Red

PREMISE:  Kids have a prom.  There’s a weird girl that managed to join the prom committee despite zero popularity.  Nobody likes her ideas and they ignore her.  But she won’t let them get away with it!

HORROR ELEMENT:  Blood, guts, a real horrorshow.

fake movie poster for "The Prom Theme is Red"

 

Spooktober 2022, Day Twenty-Nine

Spooktober is a 31 day event of coming up with original horror ideas based on prompts my writing group argues over.

SPOOKTOBER DAY #29 — Eco-Horror and Nature

TITLE:  Homo Sapiens Vs Hedgehogus Rex

PREMISE:  An aging showgirl is for some reason treated like the new hotness by everyone who knows her.  Ah, that’s why.  This is a straight to cable horror / skin flick from 1993, and she’s the “big name” in the cast.

Tiffany Exquisite is minding her own showgirl business when a sweaty patron with a crush gives her an exotic pet as a gift.  Incidentally, we have little idea what the animal actor was.  Not a hedgehog, perhaps an obscure species of tenrec?

She names him Hedgehogus Rex because he’s big and a little scary.  Somehow he reproduces by releasing quills like spores, each growing into a replica of himself, and the horde runs amok.

HORROR ELEMENT:  The folly of man, causing species to go invasive.  Leave those beasts alone.

Poster by AI, modified with photoshop.

fake movie poster for "Homo Sapiens Vs Hedgehogus Rex"

Spooktober 2022, Day Twenty-Eight

Spooktober is a 31 day event of coming up with original horror ideas based on prompts my writing group argues over.

SPOOKTOBER DAY #28 — Witches and Wizards

TITLE:  Doris on my Mind

PREMISE:  Imma keep it real with you chief, this was a random semi-stylish looking result out of a pile of trash old AI attempts, so I’m just using it because it is easier than fixing something else.  I have no idea.  Lessee…

Doris wanted Sandra to really get it, maaan.  She tried to teach her about what magic is – that transcendent feeling in psychedelic music, the way reality is an electric membrane and we’re all sexy lizards sliding across it in a cosmic dance.

Well, there’s always mind control.  Doris takes possession of the younger woman’s mind, prying it open like rose petals or some other kinda yonic imagery.  How can Sandra resist the occult and keep her very soule, when Doris is on her mind?

HORROR ELEMENT:  Loss of the self, mind bondage babey.

Poster by AI, modified with photoshop.

fake book cover for "Doris on my Mind"

Spooktober 2022, Day Twenty-Seven

Spooktober is a 31 day event of coming up with original horror ideas based on prompts my writing group argues over.

SPOOKTOBER DAY #27 — Lost Media

TITLE:  Vollesfeuer

PREMISE:  Director Leo Puller of “Dr. Philliplier” fame had a slew of straight to cable and straight to video movies of questionable quality before his career was derailed with a stint in a Bulgarian prison.  Vollesfeuer was an entry to the “bizarre plots that are excuses to cobble stock footage of military craft into ostensible entertainment” genre, featuring the return of actor Constantin Sikorskiy, who played the “lanky Lux Interior-looking one” in Dr. P.

Good luck finding this one.  Bad luck if it finds you.  Cursed facts about the movie:  ONE, The style of the movie is straight out of the ’80s, despite being shot in the mid ’90s, possibly owing to shooting in post-Iron Curtain Slovakia.  TWO, Constantin was being poisoned with dioxin by the Bulgarians for making a joke about Bulgaria during a media event in Poland.  He looks old and decrepit compared to Dr. P, which was shot only four years earlier.  THREE, “The Commander” is played by a guy who looks like a zombie version of Johnny Cash, as if he’d died somehow three years before filming, and been poorly preserved.  His skin looks like corned beef dusted with white mold, but nobody acknowledges this during the movie.  FOUR, if you make it to the love scene in the third act, when Maretzka Polizavy lights the first candle, you die or something.

HORROR ELEMENT:  You die or something.

Poster by AI, modified with photoshop.  Yeah, the image was from the same set of AI fooleries that spawned my entry for the clone prompt.

fake VHS tape cover for "Vollesfeuer"

Spooktober 2022, Day Twenty-Six

Spooktober is a 31 day event of coming up with original horror ideas based on prompts my writing group argues over.

SPOOKTOBER DAY #26 — Werecreatures

TITLE:  Straightup Heckin’

PREMISE:  Tilly saw a stray dog with a necklace and tried to save that heckin’ cute pupper from homelessness.  While initially a good boy, it bites her and runs away on the night of the full moon.

She starts erupting with werewolf sores and other deformities, like in my treatment of this prompt from last year, “Touch Me I’m Sick.”  It goes farther than we see in that story.  When the deformities become too wild to bear, the body erupts and a new version of her emerges – still part dog, but without all the extra mouths and twisted paws.

Upon her last eruption, she is finally a full-on wolf, and a heckin’ cute pupper.  The price of beauty, eh?  A flashback reveals the first pupper was a survivor of the events of “Touch Me I’m Sick.”

HORROR ELEMENT:  Body horror, a loss of control, the usual werewoofin’ deal.

Poster by AI, modified with photoshop.

fake movie poster for "Straightup Heckin'"

Spooktober 2022, Day Twenty-Five

Spooktober is a 31 day event of coming up with original horror ideas based on prompts my writing group argues over.

SPOOKTOBER DAY #25 — Dreams & Nightmares

TITLE:  Hell Within Heaven

PREMISE:  Nancy needs a retreat from the workaday world in 1960s Los Angeles.  She reads about a nunnery in the San Fernando valley that’s expanding their consciousness like hippies, but without drugs.  Vatican approved despite the radical sound of it.  She takes a little vacation.  The nuns are doing experiments with shared dreaming, ostensibly through the power of prayer and meditation.

Secretly, this is all being facilitated by a mentally ill young nun with psychic powers, being taken advantage of by the mother superior in an abusive situation.  Nancy spends time in the dream world getting a new perspective on reality, but finds a dark side to the paradise that leads to the shocking truth (whatever that is lol).

HORROR ELEMENT:  Dreams starting out just surreal and benign, turning creepy.  Having one’s continued existence at the mercy of somebody else’s imagination.

Poster by AI, modified with photoshop.  The word “Heaven” there came out of the AI that mangled but still somehow legible, so I kept it.

fake book cover for "Hell Within Heaven"

Spooktober 2022, Day Twenty-Four

Spooktober is a 31 day event of coming up with original horror ideas based on prompts my writing group argues over.

SPOOKTOBER DAY #24 — Vampire

TITLE:  Not Every Kiss Ends in Sweet Bliss

PREMISE:  Koe is pregnant while her husband is using distant work as an excuse to step out and cheat.  She takes a midwife to help, the mysterious manic pixie dream girl Ning.  Strange things are happening in her town.  Rabbling types make rabbling noises about women falling ill, some dying, infants as well.  It turns into a vampire hunt.

Ning can detach her upper body to fly around and steal life from mothers and their children, and use her dangling organs as weapons to hang the vampire hunters by the neck.  Most of her victims get the quick and dirty treatment, but Koe is special.  She’s getting the full Carmilla, babey.

HORROR ELEMENT:  Oh, you know.  Blood and guts, sex and death, that kinda stuff.  I hope the ambiguous Asian characters the AI put all over this image don’t spell anything too absurd.  I feel like ‘shopping them out woulda messed up the composition.

Poster by AI, modified with photoshop.

fake movie poster for "Not Every Kiss Ends in Sweet Bliss"

 

–I thought the way I changed the original was kind of interesting, so including that below.

 

Spooktober 2022, Day Twenty-Three

Spooktober is a 31 day event of coming up with original horror ideas based on prompts my writing group argues over.

SPOOKTOBER DAY #23 — Western

TITLE:  Blasted

PREMISE:  This is what I was planning to write for the upcoming NaNoWriMo, beginning in 8 days.  Plans have changed, whatever.  The idea was very poorly fleshed out anyway.  A young sexy dude dies in a shootout, “blasted into the next world.”  That world is basically a “Soulsborne” version of the Wild West.  There are very few people aside from phantom glimpses of the living world, everyone is mutating into a macabre mess, and the only useful and obvious thing to do is go kill the gods in a series of boss fights.  Think I’m gonna flex my pansexuality on this one, if I ever get around to writing it.  Why not?

HORROR ELEMENT:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_Souls#Gameplay

Poster by AI, modified with photoshop.

fake novel cover for "Blasted"

Spooktober 2022, Day Twenty-Two

Spooktober is a 31 day event of coming up with original horror ideas based on prompts my writing group argues over.  These are my entries.  Also don’t miss my big catch-up post for missed days.

SPOOKTOBER DAY #22 — Southern Gothic

TITLE:  Charleston Sweat

PREMISE:  In 1960s Charleston, racial disparity was still egregious, and violence against protesters had already been going on for years.  Lazy rich rock and roll boys Dusty and Jim took drugs and drifted between the yacht club scene of Dusty’s parents and the black night club scene, where they sometimes played in rock bands slightly hipper than the Sparkletones.

They met Paula at a yachting to-do, and she begged them to show the world outside her sheltered upbringing.  Love triangle ensues, with Paula favoring the less sexy, more soulful and sad-eyed Jim.  Dusty can’t be cruel to her about it, but does find himself tempted to murder his BFF.  Meanwhile, Paula gets into drugs and such.

HORROR ELEMENT:  A background radiation of the horrific violence of racist oppression creeps around the edges of otherwise limpid and bright places.  There’s blood on the decks, matey.  The foreground white people realize on some level that they’re in a fantasy world build on enslaved flesh, but the hard work of doing anything meaningful about it is unimaginable.  The poison gets to them.

Poster by AI, modified with photoshop.

fake book cover for "Charleston Sweat"