Sunday, December 24, 2006

Peter Lorre in The Beast With Five Fingers (1946)

Peter Lorre in The Beast With Five Fingers - click on the picture to view a 12-photo slide show on another page.

I don't know about you, but I get pretty bored waiting for slideshows to load - not everyone has broadband - so if you want to see the slideshow of 12 photos from the film, you can click on the picture above and view it on an independent web page. But if you don't want to view it, here's just one of the photos. Peter Lorre - great actor. And here in a role which he made his own as the mad man haunted by The Beast With Five Fingers.

Down at Anthology Hell a recent topic was William Fryer Harvey's classic horror short story, on which this film was based.

I looked in Google Images for stills from the film, but could only find two photos and some posters. Which wasn't good enough. So I decided to make my own. These pictures come from a tape I made from the BBC's screening of the film back in the mid-Seventies. I recently recorded it onto DVD and used KM Player to get these screen grabs.

With thanks to Demonik, moderator of Vault of Evil -Anthology Hell for advice about KM Player when all other screen grabbers had proved useless.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Filthy Creations Magazine is HERE!!!

Cover for Filthy Creations 1 by Ade Salmon and Rog Pile

You probably don't want to wait ages for a slideshow to load (which slows up everything else at the same time) - so if you want to see the slideshow of all the drawings and more from Filthy Creations 1 you can click on the pictures above or below view it on an independent web page.

The picture below is the version that wasn't used for Victoria J Dixon's Martyr's Window. The one above shows the cover drawing by Ade Salmon and me, minus its text.

Maryr's Window by Victoria J Dixon drawn by Rog Pile for Filthy Creations Magazine

Filthy Creations is a magazine of original horror fiction and art, spawned by the infamous VAULT OF EVIL - ANTHOLOGY HELL. The illustrations shown here are by Chrissie Demant, with magical cover art colouring by comic artist Adrian Salmon, who drew the Terry Sharp graphic novel The Faceless, mentioned on this blog; also sketches here by me, Rog' Pile. The fiction is by Charles Black, Victoria J Dixon, Stephen Goodwin, Franklin Marsh and myself. The magazine is edited by Steve Goodwin and with guest editorial by Vault of Evil's very own moderator and 'genius loci' Demonik.

To obtain a copy, please send a cheque for £2.50 (including P&P), made out to R Pile at the address below (I'm working on an Amazon link, honest...):

46 Trenoweth Estate
North Country
TR16 4AH

Or you can email me by clicking this link: Filthy Creations

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Barbara Steele - The Ultimate Horror Queen

Barbara Steele in Black Sunday

Horror is strange, as subjective a thing as humour or music. But when someone gets it right, it becomes an inspired thing. People say that Tod Browning saw beauty in horror. Mario Bava's La Maschera del demonio (also known as Black Sunday) was based upon Nicholai Gogol's short story, reworking the folk tale The Viy. And Bava was fortunate in having the most remarkable actress in Britain's almost unnaturally beautiful Barbara Steele to play the role of the witch Katia Vajda.

If Barbara Steele was not an actress of ability and presence, and Bava's film had not exuded mood and atmosphere, probably it would have disappeared after a time - it has to be admitted that the story lacks a little in pace, and perhaps the script didn't translate too well from the Italian. But the film had horror, opening with Steele's witch having a mask nailed to her face before being burned alive, and the atmosphere has rarely been equalled, with a mist-shrouded graveyard and a castle riddled with secret passages.

And most of all, it had Barbara Steele, who without question became instantly the Queen of all Scream Queens. One tagline read:

"STARE INTO THESE EYES... discover deep within them the unspeakable terrifying secret of BLACK SUNDAY... it will paralyze you with fright!

And no one ever had eyes that could fascinate like those of Barbara Steele.

And - which is perhaps more important - few others share her affinity with gothic horror and the power women's sexuality plays in it.

Roger B Pile

Visit Barbara Steele's MySpace blog.

Monday, July 10, 2006

The Faceless: A Terry Sharp Graphic Novel

The Faceless: A Terry Sharp Story© Copyright 2005 Robert Tinnell and Adrian Salmon

Click here to view a 20 page preview, one page at a time or as a Flash movie!

He's willing to go to Hell - so you won't have to!


By day, Terry Sharp is a hard-living, skirt-chasing, celebrated director of classic horror films. But by night, the horror turns real - Terry has discovered a shadowy group of Satanists hell-bent on taking control of the British government. This knowledge has made him a marked man. Black magic or bullets - the Faceless conspirators don't particularly care which - as long as the end result is Terry's death.

Too bad for them, Terry Sharp isn't ready to die just yet - not without taking a whole lot of bad guys with him.

THE FACELESS now scheduled to be in stores
September 28th!

The Faceless: A Terry Sharp Story available for Preorder June '05


Order today from or from New England Comics!

The Faceless at Amazon

I think these drawings suggest a bit of Hergé, as well as the usual DC and Marvel influence. Whatever or whoever inspired Adrian Salmon, it has to be something good, because I like the slightly retro feel these graphics have. This book looks exciting and moody, and I'm ordering mine!

Roger B Pile

Friday, April 28, 2006

The Victims by SU SO (from Skywald's Scream, 1974)

ugh! *bloody silly children*

I’m told that I’ve been guilty of good taste, recently, so in case this was catching, I decided the world should be reminded of The Victims. Drawn by SU SO, for Sywald’s Scream magazine, the frames shown here appeared in the August and September 1974 issues, providing proof if any were needed that the ‘70’s was indeed the decade good taste forgot.

The story featured two young ladies being put through episode after episode, in which they faced perils worse than any Pauline ever dreamed of. Who the victims were, or how their ordeal began, I don’t know. But previous to their being grabbed by this giant squid, the two young ladies had been captured by a crew of rotting zombie pirates; later, they were to find themselves imprisoned beneath the waves by a Nazi dwarf submarine captain at the helm of his giant squid robot.

But you probably guessed that.

And getting back to the accusation of ‘good taste’?

Well, I was working on a web page intended to provide an extra portal for Gruesome Cargoes from my other site. I showed the page - which is still unfinished - to site administrator Demonik, whose comment was that it was... ‘very tasteful’.

Hmph! Talk about damning with faint praise! No one ever accused Christine Campbell Thomson or Herbert van Thal of being tasteful!

I also heard from Charles Black, whose collection of horror stories, entitled Black Ceremonies, is to be published by Wicked Karnival and Grafika Press in 2007.

Finally, saving the best until last, I’ve also heard from Magnetic Mary! Yes, a birthday card from her dropped through my letterbox! You see, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know that really counts. The card was a little late, but Mary says that she would find it easier to remember my birthday if I would just grow up…


First Dem' and now Mary. They're ganging up on me! :(

So I need to cultivate tastelessness, dust off my old fiction, and be a little more mature.

All right, a lot more mature.

Just don’t hold your breath! :D

****blub****** gurgle*******

For completists who would like to view the frames as they appeared on the complete comic pages, you can view the first page here, and the second page here.

Find out will the Victims learn that "Death by drowning is perhaps an easier, kinder, faster death than death by utter suffocation"? They sure knew how to write this stuff!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Googled! - A Sinister Search

Today my site stats showed that someone had found this site by typing these searchwords into Google: vault, cellar, inquisition and hospital.

Hmm, and I thought I was weird!

In fact there is one reference to the inquisition here in Dem's synopsis of August Derleth's The Coffin of Lissa; and for good measure, the searcher might have found torture, if not specifically the inquisition, in my account of a seriously unpleasant dream I had, called The Torture Chamber (and I should add, if you're squeamish, don't go to that page, it's kinda yukky).

You don't have to look far to find 'vaults' here, of course. But 'hospital' is a little puzzling...

But what a sinister combination of words to type into a search engine. And it makes me wonder what sort of little site I've created here if those words find it!

Sunday, April 16, 2006

A Guest at the Haunted Dolls' House

The First Pan Book of Horror Stories

For some days I've been completing a new page in my main site including synopses of stories from The First Pan Book of Horror Stories, a fantastic treasure house of horror. The page just needs linking from the titles page now.

Another page needed correction. When I first put the review of Stephen King's short story The Revelations of 'Becka Paulson in my other site, I wrote that this story was taken from The Tommyknockers, but in fact I was wrong. Recently I found a private message in the guestbook. The message explains that:

'"Becka P." precedes The Tommyknockers and ran on its own in Rolling Stone in the '80s, where the editor encountered it. It's long ago and I'm not an SK scholar --- Stephen King reworked it into the novel later.'

Shudder does give a 1986 previous printing date for the story (no mention of Rolling Stone in my copy); The Tommyknockers came out in 1988. I should have noticed that. My apologies for the error, and thank you for the information!

The story tells how 'Becka Paulson starts getting messages from Jesus, in the shape of the 3D plastic picture of Jesus, on top of her TV set. One difference from the story's later appearance in the novel is the way 'Becka's revelations are initiated; there are no Tommyknockers here, just an accidental bullet in the head. Quietly hysterical stuff.

Meanwhile, the apparently tireless Dem' has been posting links to the Dolls House wherever he's used my review stuff in Gruesome Cargoes. Bless!

Lastly, I added a link to Dark Echo. Incredibly, this brilliant site was one of the first places to link to A Haunted Dolls House. I really had no idea who I was asking a link of. The shame! When they did it, I had a bloody animated bat gif flying on the first page! Happy Days!

Bite me!

I'll regret doing this tomorrow, I'll be hiding my head in a bag! :D

Friday, April 14, 2006


Chained!   Click to find more like this at A Haunted Dolls House.

The irony about the galleries that I put up on the net a few years back, was that I was so obsessed with learning how to site-build, I didn't use much judgement over the pictures I uploaded. But I don't suppose anyone really noticed.

Anyway, I'll point the picture link at one of the galleries - not sure which, yet!

'Chained?' Well, I did a few pictures of girl soldiers a while back; and there's a mildly fetishistic element about this one, I suppose. But it's late, and it's time I updated this blog again, so here it is. Hope you like it.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Some Not At Night Teasers

Deciding that I might as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb, I decided to grab some more of Demonik's synopses, this time from Vault of Evil. If he hadn't created this site, I would. I'm jealous of it, I admit. Without more ado then, I present:

Demonik's Not At Night Teasers

Don't you just love these covers!

'Nice snake, come to daddy... ' Still Not at Night at The Vault of Evil, Paperback Anthology Hell

... or, a few reasons why I love this stuff ...

Take it away, Dem',

"Michael Annesly - Rats: A Berkely barn is besieged by million upon million of them. The occupants, Sir Edward Fanshawe and his camping party, including a young mother and child, are soon fighting a losing battle in the dark. "Oh God, I'm up to my waist in rats. I'm being eaten alive!"

Guy Preston - The Inn: Frank Metheun, stranded on the mist shrouded Cumberland moors, chances upon an early theme pub with an extremely off-putting sign:
"This was in the nature of a coffin supported by six headless bearers goose-stepping towards a white headstone. Underneath ... with grim irony, the legend 'Ye Journey's End'".

Somewhat reluctantly, he decides to put up there for the night. At first, his main cause of concern is that the landlord is eyeless and reminds him of a slug, but there's also a beautiful girl hanging around and at least she must be harmless ...

On retiring to his room, he decides against taking a bath when he notices it is still "thick and slippery" with the blood of the previous guest. As darkness descends, the Landlord and his dishy daughter pay him a visit ...

One of my all time favourites of the "Not at Nights", and the climactic pursuit across the rooftop is genuinely exciting.

August Derleth - The Coffin Of Lissa: Gruesome tale of torture at the hands of the Spanish Inquisition. The narrator is placed in the titular contraption. Rats gnaw his hands. The lid slowly descends ...

Bassett Morgan - The Devils Of Po Sung: New Guinea. Captain MacTeague falls foul of a sadistic Chinese, Po Sung who (as usual) snuffs out his rivals by transplanting their brains into orang-utangs, crocodiles and co. It's unlikely MacTeague would have survived had he not rescued a native girl from a whipping when she was still human. Po Sung meets a suitably ghastly doom when his apes mutiny, and his assistants are stuffed into the bulbs of the obligatory vampire plants. They just don't write them like this any more.

Amelia Reynolds Long - The Thought Monster: A 'mental vampire', thought into existence by doomed scientist Dr. Walgate. It feeds upon the minds of its victims, whom it scares to death. Somebody saw enough worth in this ludicrous story to film it as B-classic "Fiend Without A Face."

Zita Inez Ponder - His Wife: Hampstead, turn of the century. The narrator, down on his luck, meets a kindly stranger who offers him shelter on a bitter February night. "Shelter" is a strange basement room that smells like a graveyard. When the homeless man remarks that he is a joiner, his host is delighted. Perhaps he could make him a box to "keep my wife's things together in?" Having prepared supper, the Good Samaritain introduces the lovely lady.

F. J. Stamper - Ti Michel: Porte Liberte. The death-bed confession of a liquor merchant who explains why he only serves the despised Gerdammes from the left hand barrel. Three years earlier, he'd returned home to find one of their number ravishing his daughter. Having bashed Corporal Bousset's brains out with a claw-hammer, the publican needed somewhere to conceal the body.

Oswell Blakestone - The Crack: The narrator has hideous dreams involving a weird antique dealer and his horrific statuettes of animals writhing in torment. It transpires that, at an unspecified date, such events did take place when Chiffonier, the propritor of 'Ye Olde Yew Tree Antique Shoppe', was "detected in a particularly repellent crime" and absconded, leaving a pig, mutilated and masked to resemble himself (!) to be hung in his place.

Three years pass before the narrator encounters the reincarnation of Chiffonier, a stage illusionist. During his performance, the magician suffers a brain siezure, runs one female assistant through with swords and sets about sawing a second in half."

Monday, April 03, 2006

Gruesome Cargoes

Be a devil, Visit Gruesome Cargoes today!!!

Bassett Morgan's Laocoon: "I believe it was a mistake to feed him flesh. Better to have left him to find sea food only ...."

Professor Denham, noted back home for his brain transplants on rats and an unshakable belief that sea-monsters exist, invites Willoughby out to Papau to assist him in his research. From the moment the boat docks, Willoughby realises something's up: the houseboy, Wi Wo, is clearly terrified, and he can't find hide or hair of Cheung Ching, Denham's devoted assistant.

It transpires that Cheung Ching, having contracted leprosy, begged the prof. to insert his brain into that of the giant sea-serpent so he can continue with the research. Denham reluctantly performs the operation, but lately the Laocoon in the creature seems to have established dominance over Cheung Ching: it has become surly, taken a "sweetie" and gobbles down his hens and chickens by the bucket-load. There's only one thing for it: Willoughby will have to transplant Denham's brain into another Laocoon ..."

The above was not my synopsis, but that of Demonic, long-suffering webmaster of Vault of Evil - Paperback Anthology Hell, which I find completely addictive, and now Gruesome Cargoes, a similar forum dedicated to his pet obsession, Christine Campell Thomson's amazing and truly wonderful Not At Night series (Britain's answer to Weird Tales, if you didn't know). I have very similar literary tastes, and was delighted to find Dem's spirited synopsis of Bassett Morgan's Laocoon, a story I have a particular fondness for - one you have to read to believe. :D

Way to go, Dem'!

Look, you just know that with cover art like that, the stories have got to be great!

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Cat With the Skeleton Tail

Emily the Queen

This is my cat Emily, in the flat where we used to live.

Recently she lost the tip of her tail in a disagreement with someone she met.

The first I noticed of it was a piece of black fur on the upstairs landing. Disturbingly, it was attached to a piece of skin. I couldn't figure out where it had come from. It was days before I realised that there was something quite odd about the tip of her tail. Nothing to see, but it felt strangely boney...

Well, I don't need go on. And she seems perfectly happy still, I'm relieved to say!

Maybe it'll teach her not to go starting so many fights!

Well, probably not, but I can hope.

Friday, March 31, 2006

Obsessions, fixations...

Macha's Acorn Crop - unfinished, I'm working on it!

Now that I've got your attention...

I simply cannot understand people who say they’re bored. They make me angry.

I start my day at 5:30 a.m., but I still can’t find time each day to attend to all my obsessions. And as someone who has an unhealthy fixation with death, and an unrealistic wish to live forever, I crash into bed each evening exhausted, straining to stay awake while I read another book – because reading every good book ever written is just one more obsession.

I did find one alternative to reading recently at Audio Books For Free, which really does provide free downloads (that is, if you can tolerate the poorer quality sound of the free downloads – if you want better, you have to pay them). So for a time that option allowed me to indulge my obsession for fiction aurally, while I did other things. But of course, it’s not the same as actively reading.

I already doubt the wisdom of putting my old dreams on the net. I dislike adding footnotes saying ‘Of course, it was a dream, I’m not really like that’, because (a) I like to think that people are intelligent enough to figure out the truth for themselves, and (b) the whole point of dreams is to bring to our attention those things we’re not consciously aware of, and sometimes they suck!

I was looking at my Spanish friend’s blog just now; her openness and obvious lust for life are probably her most endearing qualities, and make for a great blog. I'm never sure if it's going to make me laugh or break my heart. And this morning I learned that a mutual friend’s worst fears have been realized as surgery has confirmed that the cancer has returned to her mother’s belly.

Sometimes life sucks. And you find yourself thinking maybe you should take up praying, because, after all, just maybe there's something in it. Maybe it helps anyway.

There is so much to do, and that's what love of life is all about. Drawings, photos, music to make and listen to; gardens to plant (I bought a small tree this week, a ‘twisted hazel’). There are stories and letters to be written, pictures to paint, websites to build. And who really gives a damn if a dream gives away a little more than we are comfortable facing up to.

‘And what is the use of a book,’ thought Alice, ‘without pictures or conversations?’

Yes, it’s time for another picture. This one needs finishing, too. I keep telling myself there’ll be time. Trouble is, I don't believe it.

Lamia (3)