Halloween 2010

Kate - Halloween 2010

Halloween 2010 has drawn to a close, and this year’s annual October Bataan Death March of Fun Weekend included two costume changes and a minimum of controversy, all things considered. There *was* a moment when Baron XII and I pondered the wisdom of wandering the streets of Greenpoint, Brooklyn (a historically Polish neighborhood) while dressed in outfits that were rather sacrelicious, but we figured it could always be worse: we could show up to a venue named Warsaw in what we wore last year.

Kate - Halloween 2010

Of note: people had a really, REALLY hard time parsing the fact that I was dressed as a Weimar Berlin lesbian on Friday. Apparently a reasonably attractive woman wearing a painted-on moustache is something of an anomaly, since I got mistaken for a kitty cat and a secretary at different times of the evening. My fave moment came when someone asked me if the moustache was a tattoo. THAT is even more hardcore than *I* am willing to go.

Baron XII - Halloween 2010

Baron XIII would make a fantastic supervillain, I think. Tis one of the many reasons I dig him so damn much!

Baron XII - Halloween 2010

Images of Film: The Terror of Candlelight

Here comes a candle to light you to bed,
Here comes the chopper to chop off your head.

Candles. In film, you can mince around for forty-five minutes, exploring the darkest corners of the heretofore-unknown family crypt and ferreting out mysteries without the damn things snuffing out on you.
"Bloody Ceremony" Film Still
"Beyond Love and Evil" Film Still
There’s a sense of tension and mystery that’s created when a character wanders around an otherwise darkened environment by candlelight.
"Virgin of Nuremberg" Film Still
"The Horrible Dr Hichcock" Film Still
"The Awful Dr. Orlof" Still
"La Residencia"
Really, the only thing that’s certain is that the character is probably not going to like whatever she uncovers.
The Demon Lover
Or whatever chances upon her.
"Vampire Ecstasy" Film Still
Even stationary candles hold the promise of menace, or at the very least of Occult Shenanigans. Either one produces the stuff that horror film dreams are made of.
"Chemical Wedding"
"Horror Rises from the Tomb" Film Still
"Love Letters of a Portuguese Nun" Film Still
"The Abbess of Castro" Film Still
"Ring of Darkness" Film Still
Thank you to Uncle Lancifer of Kindertrauma and Neil of The Agitation of the Mind for tagging me for this particular meme! I think I am supposed to link to some other things and taint a bunch of you for participation, but I’m’a break that rule (not least of all because I think everyone on the web has already done this bit already).

Convent of Sinners [1986]

One of the things I enjoy the most about the nunsploitation subgenre is the fact that it presents itself as the “Masterpiece Theatre” of the skin flick world. There’s always that claim of a literary pedigree combined with a veneer of social commentary that kinda-sorta redeems the movie, in the same way one might argue that one’s weekly visits to the titty bar are a way of supporting single mothers in one’s community.
“Convent of Sinners” is a very late entry into the naughty nun canon, and there’s absolutely nothing about this 1986 film that separates it from its 1970s genre-mates. This is a movie that obeys the conventions of the genre to a tee. But let’s face it–we wouldn’t be fans of genre cinema if we didn’t have a love of tried and true tropes, yes?
"Convent of Sinners"

Now, while we’re being honest, let’s take a moment for frank admission (confession, even): we’re discussing a nunsploitation film directed by Joe D’Amato. This is the man born as Aristide Massaccesi who, under his infamous pseudonym, would make Laura Gemser an icon as Black Emanuelle, would sear the image of a pig-fetus-eating George Eastman into the collective brain of gore fiends in “Anthropophagus,” and would direct films with titles like“Porno Holocaust” and “Erotic Nights of the Living Dead.” It’s useless for me to pretend that I’m watching this movie because I’m expecting anything more than a sleazy diversion. One of the criticisms some trash cinema fans register against nunsploitation films is that they’ve got more melodrama than madness in them–and that’s a legit complaint! Women in prison films, which are the spiritual cousins of nunsploitation films, tend to offer more in terms of graphic violence, sex, and plot tension. Watching a nunsploiter without being really into the concept of naughty nuns is like viewing porn that’s not intended for your Special Interests–it can feel mildly weird, kinda distasteful and ultimately boring. That having been addressed: if you ARE a fan of nunsploitation, “Convent of Sinners” delivers what you’ve come to expect in the form of lesbonic interludes, flagellation (both self-imposed and punitive-to-others), questionable theology, and nudity, nudity, NUDITY!
Nominally based on Denis Diderot’s “La Religeuse,” a scathing indictment of the unnaturalness of cloistered life first published in 1796, “Convent of Sinners” tracks the story of a woman placed in a convent against her will, only to suffer abuse at the hands of the other nuns. Our expectations are lowered straight away since this title card, containing both a typo and a grammatical error, is the first thing we see in the film:
"Convent of Sinners"
When first we meet Susanna–our hapless heroine–she is being raped by her stepfather, after which incident she is banished to a convent by her mother. Susanna is at the convent for approximately thirty seconds before she is stripped and ogled by the typically-for-this-kinda-flick-repressed nuns. Now, I’m no Catholic, but I’m fairly certain that the “public disrobing and re-robing” is not, in fact, a part of the novitiate. Within about four minutes of screen time, it’s established that everybody wants a piece of Sister Susanna, whose acceptance of her chaste fate is reluctant at best. The lesbian Mother Superior trips all over herself to try to get near her, while shy Sister Ursula exhibits what might today be described as “A Girl Crush,” and confessor Father Don Morel seems to want to help her into his pants rather than out of the convent.
"Convent of Sinners"

The plot revolves entirely around the allure Sister Susanna’s innocence and unconscious sensuality, which might be more believable if ANYONE but Eva Grimaldi, star of such ultra-klassee fare as “Black Cobra” and “Ratman,” were playing this character. Grimaldi plays the character as a smoldering sexpot, pouting and posing her way around the period setting like she’s in a vintage Calvin Klein advertisement. There are several moments of unintentional hilarity when what’s clearly written to be an innocent exchange of glances is invested with downright pornographic intent. It’s easy to see why Susanna sets off a chain reaction of sexual madness in the convent if she’s going around undressing EVERYONE with her eyes like that!
"Convent of Sinners"

In fact, any success that this movie achieves is in terms of its unintended humor. There’s the prerequisite strapping young lad who tends to chores around the convent (he’s Nazareno, and he’s pretty much always shirtless), but of course since this is a Joe D’Amato film and it does NOT traffic in subtleties, there are plenty of great shots of nuns literally drooling open-mouthed at Nazareno’s batch. The relentlessly horny Mother Superior tries a consistent barrage of seduction techniques on Sister Susanna, ranging from the “let me tuck you into bed” thing to the “allow me to help you bathe” trick. It’s pretty much the Eighteenth Century Catholic equivalent of adolescent girls at sleep-overs who like to “practice kissing.” The copy I watched, from Exploitation Digital, employs pretty standard dubbing that does no favors for the performances, which are pretty un-nuanced to begin with. The exception here is the voice actor for Father Don Morel, who has a speech impediment that reminds one most hilariously of the Impressive Clergyman from “The Princess Bride.” If he had mentioned “mawwidge,” I would’ve lost it entirely.
"Convent of Sinners"

Of course, it can’t all be boob-touching and stolen kisses all the time (a pity indeed!), and once the Mother Superior falls ill, things take a turn for the terrible for our poor novice. Sister Teresa, the spurned lover of the Mother Superior who harbors a boiling jealousy towards Sister Susanna, starts running the prison–erm, convent. Then junk gets all “The Devils”-lite when Susanna is accused of being possessed and goes through a terrible series of travails at the hands of an Inquisition headed by D’Amato regular Gabriele Tinti (including a re-enactment of the infamous clyster scene) only to have her faith and innocence utterly destroyed in the end.
"Convent of Sinners"
The production values here are actually reasonably good! I have to tip my hat to the fact that the wimples stay ON for the majority of the film (seriously–without wimples, it’s just a dull WiP flick). I could make a “Devils in the Details” pun here, but I won’t–you’re welcome. The film is shot on location and the setting looks damn-near flawless as a result. The limited color palette, fancy costumes and period setting that are inherent to nunsploitation films are used to surprisingly immersive effect here. There’s always something surprising about a movie with such deeply sleazy content that manages to NOT go off the rails into Cheese Territory with regards to its mise-en-scene. Rounding out the background elements is a decent soundtrack by Guido Anelli and Stefano Mainetti that makes good use of classical organ themes and non-intrusive romantic music.
In a perfect world, a D’Amato-helmed nunsploiter would feature a little more insanity, but as the subgenre goes, this is a pretty amusing offering. The unintentional goofiness of the performances set against the backdrop of a well-executed period setting make it a lot more watchable than the more under-achieving entries.

Juan Lopez Moctezuma’s Vampire Visions: "Alucarda" [1978] and "Mary, Mary, Bloody Mary" [1975]

It’s simultaneously blessing and a curse to come to a horror movie with a thirst to unearth the filmmakers’ artistry. Sometimes, it’s a little like rooting through a box of Froot Loops to find the prize hidden inside, only to come up with multicolored dust caked under your fingernails and nothing but a two-stage lenticular card showing an image of a clown shifting from side to side. Just like the treat DOES exist in the cereal box, there IS a vision in a movie, but it’s nothing to get terribly excited about.

“Mary, Mary, Bloody Mary” isn’t a particularly interesting movie when viewed on its own merits. It’s a straightforward, competent-enough tale of modern-day vampirism that, much like its spiritual cousin “Martin” (directed by George A. Romero and superhighly recommended), downplays supernatural themes in favor of the concepts of madness, family legacy, and tragedy. Cristina Ferrare’s portrayal of Mary, a painter with a compulsion to drink human blood, is untouchably icy and the resulting effect is that the viewer never really empathizes with her struggle to hide her murderous activities from her loved ones.

What IS interesting about “Mary, Mary, Bloody Mary” is that it was directed by Mexican filmmaker Juan López Moctezuma, who created two of the greatest statements in surrealist horror filmmaking of all time: “Alucarda” and “The Mansion of Madness.” More interesting still, “Mary, Mary” was made between “Mansion” and “Alucarda.” “Mary, Mary’s” similarities to “Alucarda” are particularly striking, but ultimately the different choices made in the latter film make up a large portion of its success.
Where “Mary, Mary” might be seen as that lenticular clown card, “Alucarda” is a movie of another sort altogether. It’s like finding the Golden Ticket inside the Wonka Bar, to mix my metaphors entirely and inextricably. It tells the story of two adolescent girls (dark and dangerous Alucarda and naive Justine) who form a deep–almost obsessive–spiritual bond when they are brought to live at a convent orphanage. After their dabbling in occult rituals gets all-too-serious, the girls are possessed by demons, unleashing all manner of bad mojo on their keepers. Yes, friends–it’s pretty much Sheridan Le Fanu’s “Carmilla” car-crashed into Ken Russell’s “The Devils.” I geek about “Alucarda” with Classic-Horror.com’s Nate Yapp in a podcast linked here. I’m going to assume a general familiarity with this movie, so in the interests of time, I’ll link to more in-depth takes from my two of my fave blogs. For a wonderful and reverent review of “Alucarda,” check out this write-up at Killer Kittens from Beyond the Grave. Junk is gonna get fairly reverent fairly quickly, so if you want a palate-cleansing and very-silly-but-delighted-nonetheless review, check out Mad Mad Mad Mad Movies’ take on “Alucarda” here.
So who made these two seemingly disparate movies? Juan López Moctezuma is an interesting figure in Mexican cinema. His work exists in a sort of limbo between the mainstream seat-filling fare of monster mashes, vampire chillers, and masked wrestling films that characterized the country’s genre offerings well into the 1970s and the dreamscapes of Alejandro Jodorowsky (whose western-film-themed masterpiece “El Topo” was co-produced by Moctezuma). While Jodorowsky dove head-first into deeply symbolic stories that have genre elements, Moctezuma’s films are horror stories with symbolic elements.
All that brings us back to today’s vampirrific topics of discussion. Defining what makes two kinda-similar movies made by definitely-the-same guy so very different in terms of their effectiveness breaks down a little like this:
"Mary, Mary, Bloody Mary"

1. The destructive power of compulsion is front and center in both stories. Mary murders and exsanguinates her victims while in a trance-like state, seemingly powerless against the overwhelming need to consume blood. Alucarda and Justine are taken over by powers outside of their bodies and made to commit animalistic, violent, and antisocial acts. All of these women are operating on a level that’s unreasoning and primal, and this behavior causes chaos in their lives that spills into the lives of those around them.
"Mary, Mary, Bloody Mary"

2. A lesbian relationship is the turning point in both films. While the physicality of the relationship between Justine and Alucarda is largely implied, the moment when Mary allows Greta to take her home for a romantic interlude marks the point when Mary first preys on someone she knows. Her tearful admission of guilt before drugging, stabbing, and feeding off Greta is one of the few moments when Ferrare’s portrayal of the elusive vampiress is relatable. In “Alucarda,” the sealing of the girls’ relationship in a blood pact is the beginning of the events that will lead to both girls’ downfalls. It is this kind of curiosity that leads them directly to their dabbling in the occult and ultimately to their dealings with the Devil. There is a sense of mutual protection and shared affection in the depiction of the girls’ love, but there’s also an inverse sexuality and ultimately a destructive power to this love.
"Mary, Mary, Bloody Mary"

3. “Mary, Mary” deals with inheriting evil from one’s family: Mary is the daughter of a mysterious man who taught her the ways of blood-drinking. “Alucarda” takes this suggestion one step further, implying that the titular orphan was predestined to channel evil forces, and that abandonment by her family led to the unleashing of these forces on the innocent people trying to help her. Mary’s father casts his shadow over the entire film, from the presence of his eerie portrait (I love the fact that this is modeled on a publicity still of John Carradine, who plays Mary’s father here, as Dracula in “House of Dracula”) in Mary’s home to the suspicion that he might not be dead after all. In contrast, Alucarda is never aware of her mother’s legacy, and blindly stumbles into her diabolical activities.
"Mary, Mary, Bloody Mary"

4. “Alucarda” plays out in a well-defined, thoroughly realized setting with heaps of cultural texture, while such moments are rare in “Mary, Mary.” In spite of repeated mentions of Mexican locations via dialogue and the casting of Mexican genre vet actors in supporting roles, there’s very little in the way of local color in “Mary, Mary.” The notable exception is during a street fair that Mary and Ben attend, in which the masked revelers are used very effectively to heighten suspense. In comparison, every frame in “Alucarda” is infused with exoticism, from the bloodied bandages that make up the nuns’ habits, to the cave-like interiors of the convent, to the period costumes of the girls.
"Mary, Mary, Bloody Mary"

5. Science informs “Mary, Mary” while the supernatural is the focus of “Alucarda.” Mary is not a traditional vampire–she employs a knife to cut her victims, she goes out in daylight, and it is suggested that her condition is a genetic inheritance. While there are some clever moments that challenge notions of traditional vampirism, such as Mary’s murder of a fisherman on a sunny beach, there’s just not enough tension derived from this challenging of commonly-held folklore. “Alucarda,” on the other hand, directly states that science is weak in the face of overwhelming supernatural odds, setting up its well-meaning doctor for the shock of his life when he realizes that the increasingly gruesome exorcism efforts on the part of the nuns and priests tasked with taking care of Alucarda and Justine are actually the only appropriate means to fight their demonic possession.
"Mary, Mary, Bloody Mary"

6. “Mary, Mary” is a fairly restrained film–Mary spends much of her screen time in what approaches a fugue state, only showing emotion when she’s about to kill. Restraint is nowhere to be found in “Alucarda,” a movie whose Mondo Macabro DVD box art promises “more loud screaming than any [other] horror movie.” This is not hyperbole, folks–Alucarda and Justine spend a not-insignificant portion of the script blaspheming, howling, and cackling. Moctezuma evokes a medieval passion play, with its direct moral message, graphic depictions of violence, and literal religious interpretation. While underlying themes may be ambiguous (this isn’t a decrying of the girls’ love, nor is it an endorsement), the intent is to make the story itself as clear-cut as possible.
“Mary, Mary, Bloody Mary” is pretty much a case study in what happens when an auteur director doesn’t succeed in balancing a strong vision with a narrative that’s intended to appeal to a broader audience. The unrealized potential–the movie that could have been–lurks under the surface of the finished product. It’s to the benefit of all fans of subversive cinema that “Alucarda” exists as a testament to Moctezuma’s unbridled imagination.

Naughty Nuns in Art and Media

The holiday season is once again upon us, and in addition to thoughts of Krampus* and konsumerism, we should all take a moment to put the Christ back in Christmas and append the word “nun” with “sploitation.” Perhaps that last bit sounds dubious to you, but I’ll have you know that in the Tenebrous Empire, the X-Mess Nunsploitation is a time-honored tradition. You have your fruitcake; I’ll have mine.

*My encounter with Krampus got Tumbled (oo err) on the glee-inducingly excellent Santa, NO! Tumblr blog here, in point-o-fact-o.
Nun Pinup by Personality Posters
This fetching lass comes to us from Personality Posters, purveyors of the finest psychedelica and pinuppery. Printed in 1968 on a 42″ x 29″ sheet, the explanatory text tells us that “this poster satirizes the traditional celibacy of religious orders.” Good to know, oh helpful pin-up book!
Glenmont Popes "Naughty Nun" Poster Detail
This second stocking-flashing nun is from my personal collection–the full poster is hanging in my home even now! A detail from a poster illustrated by Liz Carroll for psychobilly band The Glenmont Popes, this nun reminds me a little of notorious Weimar Berlin entertainer and hedonist Anita Berber. It’s probably her green eyeshadow, unruly hair and saucy expression. OH! And the general air of decadent gorgeousness–that helps too.
Dragstrip Nuns
This image poses a quandary, doesn’t it? I really don’t know who to root for. Admittedly, dragstrip Jesus does look like he’s about to lay some serious smackdown on Old Nick, but I hesitate when judging whether I prefer Sexy Brides of Christ over a Sexy Bride of Frankenstein. Also, I imagine Satan has had more drag-racing experience than all three parts of the Trinity combined (who are actually one entity anyway–but surely you catch my drift).
The drawing above is the work of artist Drazen Kozjan, whose style has evolved into something yet-more-wonderful and unique since the 1998 date on that piece. I urge you to check out Kozjan’s gallery website here (the Illustrations Gallery 2 page has some totally relevant-to-spooky-interests and also SAFE FOR WORK [!!!] art to enjoy) and his blog containing some gorgeous recent sketches here.

The Abbess of Castro [1974]

Who doesn’t love a little naughty nun action first thing on a Monday morning? Traipse on over to Nunsploitation.net and check out my review of “The Abbess of Castro.” Gorgeous Barbara Bouchet dons the habit to play the feisty leader of a convent in 18th Century Italy, only to fall in love with a man of the cloth. Trust me when I say it’s melodramagasmic. Here are a few stills from this notable entry into the canon of Sexy Sisters of Sinema to whet your appetite:

The Erotic Bondage Art of Georges Pichard

Pichard - "Ulysse"
In the annals (hee) of kinky comix, there are a few artists who stand head and shoulders above the crowd. Milo Manara needs no introduction, and we’ve discussed my love of Guido Crepax and John Willie in posts past. An artist who I feel doesn’t get nearly the adoration and (in)famy he deserves is French artist Georges Pichard.

Pichard began his career in 1946 with illustrations in mainstream publications, eventually moving into comic strips and then producing his first erotic work, “Blanche Epiphanie,” in 1967, beginning what would be a 40-year career in naughty books. Late in his life, he taught at l’Ecole des Arts Appliques in Paris (where he had been a student). Pichard died in 2003, leaving the world with a tremendous legacy of erotic art.

Pichard - "Marie Gabrielle"
Pichard’s work is characterized by impossibly voluptuous, dark-eyed women who frequently find themselves in bondage ranging from the flirtatious to the gruesome. In my opinion, the artist is at his best when he’s at his most grotesque, eschewing the boundaries of what most would consider to be arousing.
Pichard - "Marie Gabrielle"
His technique is precise and beautiful, employing fluid line-work and pointillist shadows. His pages are often separated by clever forms of architecture, like the gothic arches and Valentine hearts found throughout “Marie-Gabrielle,” a story of bondage and discipline set largely within a convent of sadistic nuns.
Pichard - "The Countess in Red"
Pichard - "The Countess in Red"
Panels like the above, from his “Countess in Red” which details a sexually-charged retelling of the Countess Bathory legend, show his talent for juxtaposing extreme S&M imagery with more traditional sensuality.
A Series of Tubes That Leads to More Pichard:
If anybody was looking for a very fine birthday present for me (you have till October 5th), one of these original Pichard pages would make a suitable tribute. Just sayin’.

Classic-Horror.com Podcast #1: "Alucarda", Lugosi and Tenebrous ME

If Nate Yapp of Classic-Horror.com wasn’t such a goddamn charming sonofabitch, I, much like Admiral Ackbar, would have been able to identify a trap when I saw one. I guess it’s a good thing for you folks that my life continues to be Gullible’s Travels, because I was lured into an exploration of the frequently-analyzed and thoroughly-awesome Mexican horror film “Alucarda.” Leave it to the glossy allure of New Media to lull me into a sense of geeky hyp-mo-tism!

Take a listen, and be treated to thirty-three minutes brimming with morsels of excitement like:
  • Boris Karloff’s awesome haircut
  • Panty-moistening art deco architecture
  • Incestuous necrophilia
  • Subnormal is the NEW normal
  • Blood-drenched lesbonic hottness
  • Why “Alucarda” is not a nunsploitation film
  • Psychic battles with gypsies
Thanks again to Nate for inviting me to chit-chat, even knowing what an arrogant, long-winded bastard I can be. He’s good like that.

Behind Convent Walls [1978]

It is a TRUE FACT that I can’t turn down an invitation from the estimable Duke of DVD and the equally-estimable Vicar of VHS at Mad Mad Mad Mad Movies, so when they announced that they were preparing a tag-team review (not as dirty as it sounds, or exactly as dirty as it sounds, depending on what you read into that) of one of the finest entries into the nunsploitation subgenre and wanted me to lend my expertise to their discourse, the only answer I could offer was “But Of Course, Gentlemen.” Apparently this is a doozy of a review, so the boys have divided it up into three segments to be posted this week. Here are my thoughts on the film, and follow the link at the bottom of the page to be magically transported to a wonderland of filth.

Walerian Borowczyk’s 1978 film, “Behind Convent Walls,” walks a tightrope between earthy farce and tragedy that might seem more at home on a Sixteenth Century stage than captured on film. Unlike other titles in the nunsploitation canon, Borowczyk’s take on the Women In God’s Prison theme is a bawdy romp that is free from the depictions of Satanism and torture that texture other similar flicks. This is still a scathing indictment of the Catholic Church, but Borowczyk’s approach is to strip out the dark fantasy elements and force the viewer to confront the potential tragedy that results from the suppression of natural human sexual impulses. This vision is in contrast to the densely symbolic and dream-like world of a director like Jean Rollin, or the compulsive camera-eye of a Jess Franco.

"Behind Convent Walls" Film Still

Borowczyk’s literality infuses every aspect of the film. The cinematography by Luciano Tovoli (veteran of Dario Argento’s “Suspiria” and “Tenebre”) combines a hand-held camera with sensual soft-focus that creates haloes of light around the faces of the nuns. A restrained color palette provides a sense of visual unity—as the title suggests, the film takes place entirely in one nunnery, and the colors are almost entirely limited to white, black, red and a woody neutral. It’s a stunning film to look at that emphasizes the beauty of its main players—the experience of watching this film is like seeing a fabulously naughty image painted by Vermeer and then brought to life.

"Behind Convent Walls" Film Still

But back to those “natural human sexual impulses” that are the focus of this tale. This movie brims with sex and all natures of couplings are explored, sometimes in graphic detail. Softcore hetero and lesbian scenes abound, from furtive girl-on-girl breast-groping in a confessional (bonus points for the fourth-wall-busting “oh no we’re too shy” response of the ladies to the voyeuristic camera’s gaze) to a passionate outdoor deflowering to a rough-and-tumble quickie over a crate of chickens. A surprisingly explicit close-up scene of a nun masturbating with a homemade wooden dildo rounds out the “something for everyone” on-screen sex report. There’s an effort to make the sex in this film look real and erotic without verging onto the territory of plastickey pornography or a fetish fulfillment checklist. Elements like the hand-painted erotica that one nun uses to trade for forbidden food or the very sexual crush that another nun has developed on Jesus himself add a innocence and even sweetness to the proceedings.

"Behind Convent Walls" Film Still

This isn’t so much a work of the fantastique as it is one of magical realism. The story takes place in the real world, but there are inexplicable quirks throughout that one must accept rather than struggle to explain. It serves to reflect conditions and issues that exist in reality rather than to represent them directly.

In keeping with the bawdy nature of this film, I think it’s best if I get out from behind the lectern and turn this over to two gentlemen who can guide you through some of the weird and wonderful details of what goes on “Behind Convent Walls.” Duke and Vicar—have at!

Click here to read Part One of the Duke and the Vicar’s take on “Behind Convent Walls.” These dudes love the Meat Man (I am refraining from inserting any If You Know What I Mean content here–you’re welcome).

Click here to read Part Two of the Duke and the Vicar’s experiences “Behind Convent Walls.”

And the GRAND FINALE – Part Three of the Duke and the Vicar on “Behind Convent Walls” (wherein they lament the lack of Paul Naschy–yeah, I know, you lay a feast in front of these guys and all they want is beefy pectorals).

Social Networking, Thank Yous, and Hott Nun Link Action

Pal of the Tenebrous Empire and all-around super-blogger Darius Whiteplume of Adventures in Nerdliness recently mentioned that he found blogging to be the best form of social networking he’s found, and I’ve got to agree.  In the past year (February 15  was my one-year blogiversary!) that I’ve been updating here, I’ve encountered some marvelous writers who also happen to be great, supportive human beings.  It’s about time that I took a minute out to say THANK YOU to everyone who’s reading my blather and supporting me (or enabling me, depending on your perspective).  I’m honestly kind of astonished to have gained any visibility at all, and I owe particular debts of gratitude to Arbogast on Film, Frankensteinia, and the members of the League of Tana Tea Drinkers for their early and enthusiastic shout-outs in my direction.  I’m risking an all-out LOVE IN over here, but suffice to say my readers rule.  Thanks for making this a truly rewarding diversion for me!

Related to the glee of social networking, I’ve recently picked up the Twitter habit, as you might’ve noticed from the widget at Blog-Right.  I cannot tell a lie–I kind of love the format and I’d welcome new fellow nerds to add to my daily diet of tweeting!

Just so I’m not breaking my own self-imposed rule and adding a content-free post to this blog, I’ll share this interview with portrait painter Shawn Barber on FecalFace.com has 
some truly gorgeous images of Barber’s work, including the totally-NSFW version of the already fairly NSFW nun painting shown here.  Much like the most amazing thing about a Vargas painting is the painter’s ability to capture the look of the silk stocking on a woman’s leg, I’m REALLY impressed with Barber’s ability to paint tattooed skin.  This is good stuff people–check it out!