Thursday, February 26, 2015

95 Years of Horror with Doctor Caligari

When I was about fourteen years old MTV was my gateway into music videos. That’s right, MTV used to play music videos and a ton of them at that. When I was a young teen, we did have the internet, but it took longer to download a video than it did to watch the damn thing, so channels like MTV and VH1were a godsend. One day I was at my Dad’s house and I was chatting on the phone with my friend, Hillary while I had a magazine in front of my and the tv blaring. Mid-sentence I stopped talking. A song I have never heard before was coming from the tv. It was unlike anything I had ever really heard and the music video that went with it was unlike anything I had ever seen, mainly because it was in black and white. The video was shot as if it were a silent film. It had everything I never knew I wanted in a music video. It had a great storyline, a pretty lady, and a little bit of horror. When the video ended I learned that song was called “Living Dead Girl” by Rob Zombie. That sparked my undying love for this Rob Zombie and his music. It wasn’t until I was in my early twenties that I discovered the inspiration for this specific music video was a 1920’s film called The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.

Rob and Sheri Moon Zombie in "Living Dead Girl"

On February 26, 1920, arguably, one of the most influential horror films was released for the world to see. That film is the Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. Now, I say arguably because I have heard and read opinions where people tear this film a new one. I have heard it called expressionism at it’s worst and that it is a reject zombie film. Personally, I find neither to be true. This film was revolutionary from the set and storyline to even the movements of the actors. It was impressive for 1920 and still influences pop culture today. But, before I get into specifics, it’s probably in my best interest to give you a little taste of the story this film tells. It seems kind of silly to expect everyone to know the details of a horror flick that has been out for 95 years just because I freaking love it!

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari begins with two men telling stories with a lady,  Jane, near by.  Francis, the main character, shares his tale of visiting of a carnival in a German mountain town with his friends Alan and Jane  This is where they first encounter Dr. Caligari and his somnambulist, Cesare. Somnambulist is a fancy word for sleepwalker. Dr. Caligari keeps Cesare in a coffin-like cabinet. When the show begins, he uses his sleepwalker to tell the future and reveal secrets through hypnotism. 

Alan decides to ask Cesare a question. He wants to know how long he will live. Cesare tells Alan that he will die at dawn and the prophecy is fulfilled. Alan dies a violent death at the hands of a shadowy figure. It is now brought to Francis and Jane’s attention that Alan was only the most recent in a series of unsolved murders at the hands of a shadowy figure.

Cesare, the somnambulist

Francis and Jane decide to investigate, Cesare and Dr. Caligari being the main suspects. When Dr. Calgari learns about this he orders Cesare to murder Jane. Luckily, Cesare thinks Janes is beautiful and refuses to kill her. However, he does kidnap her. This involves a crazy chase with angry villagers that you would think was ripped off from Frankenstein, but that film won’t be coming out for another twelve years. In the meantime, Francis goes searching for answers at a local psychiatric hospital to find out if Caligari was ever a patient only to discover that Caligari is the asylums director. The story gets even more strange with a huge twist that I won’t ruin for those of you who wish to watch this film. PS It is available to stream on Netflix until March 1st. 

This film has a great plot is absolutely stunning to watch. This was the first film in history to not only have a plot twist, but is also the earliest example of a frame story in film. A frame story is where one told through memories or flashbacks. It is also, arguably, the first true horror film ever made. Other aspects that make this film the true gem that it is are the visuals that come with he tale. You have actors moving in hypnotic, stiff manners that almost look like some sort of distorted dance. The sets also make this film what it is. They are so simple, yet so complex at the same time. The film used stylized sets, with abstract, jagged buildings painted on canvas backdrops and flats. This set paired with the jerky movements really made this silent film quite horrifying.

Cesare with Jane in The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari

As I mentioned earlier, this film is what inspired the music video for Rob Zombie’s “Living Dead Girl”. On top of that, it also inspired another music video that was made for specifically for a horror film, Queen of the Damned. In Queen of the Damn, Lestat gets his time in the limelight by starting a band that he fronts. Throughout the film, you can hear the music of Lestat and his band and even see some of their music videos. The opening credits feature a music video for the Lestat song called “Forsaken” that uses the story and set of the film for its theme just as Rob Zombie’s did, only slightly different. These are my most favorite references that used The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari for inspiration. However, music was not the only medium that was influenced by this film.

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari inspires much of German culture in terms of art, dark psychology in character development for films, and film. It also influenced film an art in other countries, but German works are more well known for this. Nosferatu, The Last Laugh, and Secrets of a Soul. In more recent times, even the popular show, Portlandia has taken a crack at the good doctors expense. 

Scene from Queen of the Damned, the "Forsaken" Music Video

Regardless of who this film has inspired, I think this will one will always have a special place in my dark little heart. 

Stay Sweet and Twisted,

Krystal Lake

Wednesday, February 25, 2015


    By Rebecca York Moll

 I am more than I know.
 I am more than you know.
 I am more than I was.
 I am more than society's definition of me.
 I am more than my body.
 I am more than my mind.
 I am...


Monday, February 23, 2015

Tread Lightly


The tiptoed walk...
Tread lightly.
I barely touch the ground as I drift past.
This street needs some rest,
from the perpetual march of the incriminated.
So I will float on by without worries.
Who says you need wings to fly?
My peers can wear cemented shoes
if they do not care to join me in oblivion.
For I reach to the sky, and flex my feet...
a bemused ballet effortlessly graces my gate,
because I will not slouch in sorrow-
nor stomp the ground as if it was ever the cause for mishaps.
I merely attempt to hang onto memories,
both hands full-
as I avoid walking on the eggshells,
sometimes landmines,
or broken glass,
 just so I can get to where I am going.
Wanna read more from this lovely lady?  Check out her personal blog here.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Let me introduce myself......

Hello, everyone!  Selena here, I'm the owner/creator of 13th Moon and founder of Sinister Rouge Pin Up & More.  Before I get into different topics with you, I thought it would be a good idea to introduce myself and tell you a little bit about why I do what I do so that the info I give later will make a little more sense to you.

Me after my first shoot with SR & sTOrM Photography 

I make skincare and cosmetics, what I study is considered Cosmetic Chemistry.  I am not a doctor and do not evaluate or treat anyone's conditions and cannot advise on diagnosis, etc.  However, as an asthmatic with severe allergies, I understand when you need some guidance and understanding of what my products are.  I am happy to break everything down for you as needed to make sure you get what you are looking for and not go home with something that you will be disappointed with once you start using it.

'TimberWolf' 3-in-1 Beer Soap
I believe in using what we have learned from the combination of science and nature.  I do not believe that essential oils are the be all, end all for any ailment any more than I believe that modern medicine is the answer for every issue.  I believe in using the best possible solution with all of the information that we have available to us.  Sometimes the oils and natural remedies work, sometimes they're not the right answer...When I'm having a major asthma attack, I will not try deep breathing or steam, it's beyond that, I reach for my albuterol in my nebulizer and Prednisone because I do not want to die and science/modern medicine has made it so that I can live with it's help.  That being said, I also don't reach for antibiotics or steroids light heartedly.  You have to choose your battles, but live to fight another day, right?

'Punch Drunk' Scented Nail Polish
I have heard more false information and fear mongering from fellow soapers attempting to make a buck, and it really makes me sick, so I choose to separate myself from that.  I will not lie to you about something's origin (I may bore you to death with the explanation of the ingredient, lol), but I will not use fear tactics to scare you into buying one of my products in the guise of trying to help.  I believe everyone deserves access to information and I am willing to give what I have learned the hard way to you freely, so if you have questions, please ask away, I'm happy to answer them, but I also suggest looking into reputable sources for your information, NOT marketing and sometimes it's hard to tell the difference.  (Send skincare questions to   Having said that, there are so many small skincare and soap companies that are so wonderful, helpful and honest and doing such an amazing job that I am happy to be a part of the community.  It's because of these amazing people that I have the knowledge I have, some of them have been so inviting and open, I love our community, that's why I get so upset at the fear mongers that make the good ones job that much more difficult.  Enough about that, though.

'Kiss, Kiss! Mint, Mint!' 2-in-1 Wine Soap
So, you already know I'm asthmatic, I also have skin and food allergies as well as having issues with airborne contact allergens.  What does this mean other than the fact that I probably should just live in a bubble to make it easier on all those around me?  Well, it means I'm really cautious about my ingredients and it means that I don't dismiss you or your special skincare needs.  I will be discussing skincare needs with you all here, I will include some product descriptions so you get an idea of what I'm all about and hopefully it can help someone else having issues with their skin.

'Sun God' Goat Milk Soap
'Cherry Pie' Scented Nail Polish
I started researching in 2001, determined to find a way to make products I could use and most importantly, I needed to find fragrances that didn't trigger my asthma or allergies.  I love fragrance and refused to use just the free & clear products for the rest of my life.  The power of scent is just too important to live without, if you have a choice.  I found that using high quality blends of fragrance and essential oils was a safe and effective way to make fragrances that didn't trigger an allergic reaction for me and many others.  I was disappointed with the rustic look that I was seeing from handmade soaps, my little punk rock heart wanted to do this because it was good and proper DIY and I wanted to put my stamp on it, my style had to come through or I didn't want to do it.  I started playing with colors and swirling my bars.  Once I started playing with color, I couldn't stop color blending.....that is what lead to the creation of our scented nail polishes, loose pigments, and lip colors.
'Sweet & Twisted' Scented Nail Polish
I hope that is a good enough intro for now, we'll talk more about things next time, but if you have any specific questions, again, please email  If you'd like to check out the products we currently have listed online,  There are currently about 70 items listed, There are over 500 handmade items (that I make) to list, so please bear with us during the revamp of the website. We do everything ourselves here and wouldn't change it for the world. :)


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

You are a Priority and Yes It’s Ok!!

By: Ceci Blu

Definition of Priority – “(1) the right to take precedence or to precede before others.”

                  “(2) the fact or condition of being regarded or treated as more important.”

  I preceded this post with the definition of priority for a reason. We as a society have many responsibilities, it may be things like family, work, or social etc. We are also a bit judgmental, and I don’t mean this in a way that is insensitive or mean. What I am saying is that we compare our priorities with the way another prioritizes and say, “well I would never do that over this”. I am guilty of this as much as the next person. As a society we tend to put ourselves at the end of our never ending list or not on it at all in my personal case. Looking at those that do prioritize themselves, sometimes we may judge them and say well don’t you think maybe this was more important than going to the salon. I say GOOD FOR YOU!!! We should learn a lesson from that person. How can we say that it is not important for them to do that?

    I am a wife, mom, and caretaker. I have an amazing family, but up until recently I have been so busy taking care of everyone else, and all of my other priorities that I forgot that sometimes I need to be taken care of too. I am here to tell you even as I am learning this myself.

Its Ok to be YOUR PRIORITY!!!

 We often get lost in our families, friends, work, and home life that when it comes time to make time for ourselves we are too tired or have no money and the excuses can be endless. Trust me I have used them all and I’m sure that there are more that I haven’t even thought of yet. I have an amazing husband who often gets upset with me because I forget to take care of myself. My general priority list looks like this:

  • Wife/ Mom/ Caretaker

  • Family (Parents, Siblings, Nieces, Nephews)

  • Work( Day job, and other Jobs I do in my spare time)

  • Bills (YUCK!!!!!)

  • House Chores

If yours looks similar to mine, let us make a change. I am trying to make this change in my life. The logic behind this is that if you aren’t happy how can you be at your best you. We all need a little bit of time to ourselves to get back to zero. Getting back to zero is basically centering yourself as if you are doing YOGA for your priorities. Even if that means you take a few minutes each day to sit and think by yourself, read a book, or just doing something you enjoy. It helps to remember that you enjoyed things before life got in the way. Making yourself a priority is healthy for your body, soul, and mind. It helps you to remember that you were once important and still are important to many people. Make yourself a priority list and see where you fall. I challenge you to move yourself up a space each time you think about rearranging your priorities soon you will be near the top ( let’s be honest most of us won’t make it to the top, but to be on it is the goal) of your list. Hopefully realize that it has made you a better person for yourself and in the end for your family and friends too. Don’t judge how someone sets their priorities who are we to say what their priorities should be?

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

40 Story Radio Tower - February

Hello beautiful people! My name is Marissa, and I'm a new member of Sinister Rouge. I'll try not to talk too much about myself, but I'll just give the lowdown. I'm a 23 year old actress, singer, writer, beauty lover, graduate student, mental health worker, barista. I am so infinitely excited to be a member of this wonderful group, and can't wait to truly immerse myself. I also have the tendency to babble, so I’m going to get straight to the point:
Since March of 2014, I’ve been a performer on 40 Story Radio: The Monthly Recorded Live for Podcast Radio Show, performed at the Mauch Chunk Opera house, in my hometown of Jim Thorpe, PA. I’ll tell you straight up, a lot of the factual stuff I’m going to spew at you right now will be pulled from the website. Like this summary of what our show is: “40-Story Radio Tower is a monthly show held at the Mauch Chunk Opera House in Jim Thorpe, PA. The show uses a ‘live reading’ format that is entertaining in its own right. You could compare it to attending a live concert—which it partially is—or a poetry slam—which it is as well, or a staged reading of unique and original work—every month. Because the Opera House is wired directly to Purple Audio Sound for first-rate live recording, the “episodes” are recorded and distributed as a podcast. Each show also features a different music group selected on their own merits to play between the spoken segments.” -
I’ve been with this group for almost an entire year, and it is some of the most fun I have ever had. The cast, crew, and audience members, have become my weird little family. There is an air of creativity and fun and absolute chaos that is insurmountable at every show. It features new and original pieces by people from all walks of life. It also has the vintage, retro-like feel (that I crave in my day to day life, obviously) of an old radio show. I’m going to save you all of the details, and ask that, if you really want to know more about how the show was formed and why, every single member of the cast, every writer, and all of our featured bands, you check out our website. However, Selena has given me the awesome opportunity to tell you a little about each month’s show (a teaser, if you will) in hopes that you will come and have a blast with us.
This month’s performance will be held On February 19 at 8:00 PM (doors open at seven) at the Mauch Chunk Opera House. You can call to reserve tickets, or simply buy them at the door. The featured band is the Coal Town Rounders: “..a hard driving four piece traditional bluegrass band from various parts of Northeastern Pennsylvania. Drawing influence from all types of old time string bands and bluegrass standards.’ -( Three of our featured skits include: Crosspital: A serial piece following the life of Mr. Crumbel, a man wrongly committed to a psychiatric ward that’s staff is more corrupt than their patients. Will Crumbel escape? Will Dee’s love help him overcome all obstacles? Shitmouthtown: A piece by Michael Newton. A young dentist is assigned to a town whose inhabitants’ teeth (and attitudes) are, well, shitty. Dither for a Dollar: We rejoin our forlorn radio host, Kelly, for his call in radio segment that gives listeners the chance to sell their items…..any items….. Let’s be real, there is a lot more happening, but I can’t give away all of the fun, can I? I encourage you all to check out, download, subscribe, and rate (hopefully well) our podcast, that can be easily found on ITunes. And I cannot wait to see you on the nineteenth! I can guarantee you will leave with a smile on your face and a slightly more twisted sense of humor and art. (Stay after too, its lots of fun!) ~ Marissa

February is Women In Horror Month!

February is Women In Horror Month!   

by Krystal Lake

 “What’s the point? They’re all the same. Some stupid killer stalking some big breasted girl who can’t act who is always running up the stairs when she should be running out the front door. It’s insulting.” - Sidney Prescott, Scream (1996)

Ohhh, Sidney. If she only knew what would happen to her just moments after uttering those words. These days women are more than just a dumb girl getting caught by a killer in the latest slasher flick. Women are portrayed in horror films in so many ways that it is hard to keep up. All too common is it to think of terms like: victim, whore, bitch, virgin, or pretty dumb girl when it comes to naming a females role in a horror movie. While women do take on these types of characters in horror movies they also take on stronger ones too. Women in horror films can also be the hero, badass, caregiver, monster, or villain. Heck! These days it isn’t uncommon to find that a female is the director of your new favorite gore fest! If you haven’t guessed, I am going to be talking about some of my favorite ladies in horror and with February being Women in Horror Month, I can’t think of a better horror topic to discuss!
From Elsa Lanchester (The Bride of Frankenstein) to The Soska Sisters (Twin sister horror film directors) and everything in between, women have really made some badass reputations for themselves in horror. While a lot of people think horror films are sexist towards women and victimizing, this is the one genre where there are more females taking on lead roles. Yeah, think about that for a second. I can name more female leads in horror than I can in comedies, drama, and action put together. You will always have those crazy rom coms, but that is one point I would like to give back half the time. Sorry Sandra Bullock and Katherine Heigl. 

One of the great things about horror films is that you don’t have to be the good guy or gal, in this case, to be the main character. Katherine Isabelle as Ginger in Ginger Snaps (2000) is a prime example. Not only is she a girl running around killing people, but she is also a werewolf! So right off the bat, you have a villain lead that you know will have to be killed and she is playing an unconventional supernatural role for a woman!?!!! My mind is already blown! Katherine Isabelle isn’t the first female to take on a villainous lead in a horror movie. No ma’am! That is how we ended up with movies like Species, Splice, Let the Right One in, and The Exorcist. Granted, some of these characters are more like victims of circumstance and are only playing into what scientists, a vampire, or a demon have created them to be they are still scary and evil as all hell! Linda Blair as young, possessed Reagan haunted my dreams as a child, but as I got older, I realized she was merely the victim of demonic possession. She isn’t really the “bad guy”, but man is she terrifying! Now, since there is no evil without some good, I bring you to my heroes category.

A hero can come in many shapes and sizes. They can come in the form of a mother protecting her child or a girl refusing to be another victim of a serial killer. They can be a lady who was treated as anything but and is getting her revenge or the only voice of reason when the body count starts to grow at a seemingly normal family dinner. This list can go on forever, but I am going to stick with two of my favorites that fall into this category. 

The first is a mom, Rose, who has an adopted daughter, Sharon, who suffers from night terrors about a little place called Silent Hill. To help Sharon cope with her fears and understand everything better, Rose decides to visit this town. Unfortunately, there is a really bad car accident that leaves Rose knocked out at the wheel of the car. When she awakes she is still in the car just on the edge of Silent Hill and her daughter is gone. Rose soon discovers the hidden secrets of Silent Hill and that a girl, Alessa, who looks identical to her daughter has an evil, supernatural grasp over the entire town. Rose very quickly comes to the realization that she not only has to find her daughter, but get her away from these people who want to murder her for looking like Alessa and finding her way to Silent Hill. I don’t want to spoil the bizarre ending so I will say this - Rose is a badass. She travels through hell and looks fear in the face more times than I can count. She is incredibly brave and not once does she second guess her decision to save her daughter. I freaking love her! 

The second is high school girl named Sarah in my favorite witch film, The Craft. Sarah is new to her school and meets  group of girls that she is a little leery of. After a bad date and rumors are spread about her by the popular kids, she turns to the very girls she was worried about. Things go from worrisome to fun in no time. Yes, these girls are witches. Yes, they formed a coven. Yes, they make bad things happen to and people. But, like ya know, we’re just 17. Anyways, the gals start getting a bit out of control and Sarah tries to speak her mind and before you know it, her head is on the chopping block. Mean jokes of a spell casting persuasion are played on Sarah and she has to confront her fears, find her inner strength, and kick some witchy butt! The way I talk about this film, it sounds like some cheesy, C rate horror flick, but it is far from it. The cast is perfect, the music is awesome, and the special effects aren’t bad at all. This film has two very strong female characters in it, one trying to be good and confront her fears and another who wants to watch the world burn if she can’t have it all! 

Now, while strong moms and teenagers make awesome female leads in horror films, nothing comes close to the legacy and power that comes with being a Final Girl. That’s right, I’m talking about Scream Queens! They are a favorite of mine when it comes to women in horror. They aren’t dumb enough to die early on, but they always have the worst of luck when it comes to crazed killers. Every major horror franchise has one. A Nightmare on Elm Street has Nancy, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre has Sally, Scream has Sidney, Halloween has Laurie, and Friday the 13th has Alice. Every single one of these franchises have some of the most memorable villains that are always paired with an epic Scream Queen. Not only do these girls go through hell, get harassed, and are almost murdered, they kick ass and, most importantly, they survive! They go from victim to last person standing in the span of one film and many of them comeback to fight their past again and again and again. They don’t give up and with god has their witnesses, they never will. 

Well, for a genre filled with blood, guts, and sexism, there sure seem to be a lot of strong ladies that help make up this business called horror. Whether you like a slasher filled with blood, a tale of witches, or a good ghost story; there is no shortage of women in horror. 

Happy Friday the 13th in this Women in Horror Month!