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New Grinning Skull Studios Releases for July: Part Three

26 Jul

Now for something different, a new title in the LARP LAB series of printable props for LARP & RPGs.

LARP LAB: Fantasy Beer, Wine & Spirits Bottle Labels.

This book is designed to help create props from your old bottles and add some gaming flavour to your sessions. We present a selection of fantasy beverages from the “Grim’s Amazing D100 Tables” title: 100 Fantasy beverages for all fantasy RPGs and allow you to print them out to stick on your own stuff! Sized in three sizes and in full colour, we hope that it’ll bring a smile to your player’s faces!!

Available here from our RPGnow storefront: http://www.rpgnow.com/product/216748/LARP-LAB-Fantasy-Beer-Wine–Spirits-Bottle-Labels?src=hottest_filtered

Also from our DriveThruRPG storefront too (link below)

  

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Will the new “IT” Movie, see a new wave of Creepy Clown sightings?

13 Jun

A subject not talked about on here for ages is that of the Clown sightings of the past few years. The worldwide craze started by the Northampton Clown, caused much fear and loathing in the community in the UK and US and started a viral sensation that now is but a distant memory.

September sees the release of the new version of Stephen King’s seminal horror, “IT” which I’m sure that we are all familiar with. The movie looks like something most fans of the horror genre will be looking forward to, but maybe not if you’re caulrophobia (Phobic of clowns) but the whole thing has got me thinking that while the whole craze is old hat now, we might be seeing a resurgence of such antics again once the movie has been released.

If you haven’t seen the trailer for the new film yet, where have you been? No longer will we see the great Tim Curry don the guise of the infamous “Pennywise the dancing clown”, but now Bill Skarsgard will play the evil alien entity who disguises itself as a variety of head fucks to feast on the young residents of the town of Derry.

For those of you who haven’t seen the trailer, here it is before we carry on with the discourse.

Looks ok, but the proof of the pudding will be seeing the movie in its entirety. It does look as if the movie will deal with the first part of the story (when they were kids) with a sequel in the works probably to carry on the second part of the story (when they are adults) and have to face “IT” once more to stop its reign of terror.

This aside, I’m pretty sure we are going to get the onslaught of clown sightings as a response to the movie’s release. There will always be some joker (get it?!) ready to put on the clown suit and mask and start scaring people for a variety of reasons, be it for publicity, for viral hits or simply to spite those who live in fear of clowns. This is a big issue, seriously bigger than you’d realise, some people really do have a proper fear of all things clown. the last time I blogged about them, at one point I received 160,000 hits in a day just on one post about the subject and over 100 private messages and emails! A real boost for my humble site stats for sure, but a real eye-opener in terms of how much this subject affects people’s lives and psyches.

I recently took my kids to the circus, myself hoping that the clown/s there would be creepy enough to entertain me (well, I’m not scared of clowns if you’re wondering) but what I ended up finding is that “real career clowns” if I can call them that, are somewhat watered down compared to the traditional idea, which for me at least was a bit disappointing!

What I will do here, is monitor the subject in the media over the course of the movie release, and what I find, I will blog about. One thing is assured this time, is that if my own area sees the return of the Doncaster Clown (or other pretenders to the title) I will try my best to get an interview with the guy, in fact, if there are any other regional clowns, I’ll also try to start up a conversation with them, just to see what motivates these folks to do what they do!

Who knows, I might end up making some clown related PDFs, minis or similar type stuff to cash in on the craze (well, if it happens) and the very least should help me shift some books!

Whatever happens, mark my words. The clowns will return, and I’ll be here to keep you up to date with the associated craziness that comes along with it! Let me know your thoughts and comments on the subject!

A Tale of Two Bossk’s: Cleethorpes Geekabilia 2017

11 Jun

Back in April, I managed to get myself and most of the kids to Cleethorpes in North Lincolnshire (otherwise known as “Cleggy” to us here), not just for a week away with the family, but to attend a small Con they were holding there. I thought I’d share some pics of the event and some thoughts about it!

Now, me and the kids love any kind of attendable Con, so we were quite happy that while we were there enjoying the time away, we’d also get the chance to get to visit the event. Now, amongst the attending guests, I’d heard that Allan Harris, the actor who’d  played the bounty hunter Bossk in Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, was attending, so being that Bossk was always one of my fave character in Star Wars, it was an opportunity to maybe grab a selfie with the guy to add to my Bossk selfie collection!

He’s da Bossk!! My mate Bossk. My collection of Bossk Selfies caught so far!

Having arrived we caught a few selfies with the Cosplayers with the kids (and Bossk, who I’m pretty sure is the same guy from before) as the kids really love getting some photos with the various characters in costume!

 

As you can see in the above pic of the girls with Harley Quinn, the guy in the top left-hand side of the photo is Alan Harris. unfortunately, my plans for a selfie with him were scuppered when I found out that grabbing a selfie was going to cost me £5! I’m far too tight for that I’m afraid (having three kids with you intent on emptying your wallet does that for you!) Look, I know the guy has to make a living doing these gigs, but what really put me off was that he was so goddam miserable! It even put me off having a chat to him.

On the plus side, whilst outside, I did spot him having a crafty ciggie which gave me the chance to grab this excellent photo. The pic speaks a thousand words!

Q: Which one is the real Bossk? A: The one having a crafty fag outside!!

Anyway, I’m not going to lie, it was a good day out, we had a laugh, the kids enjoyed it and we got chance to stick some pics in the family album (and you also got to see my Blue hair Mk2, which is now Mk4 by the way!) Not the best of Cons (It was pretty small) but a good effort none the less. Plus, I did come out with a pretty sweet haul of Tees (Punisher & Walking Dead) so I’d say it was worth going!

I’ll be attending Sheffield Comic Con in a few months time, so I’ll take some pics there to hopefully share with you lot, so if you see me there, don’t be shy and come and have a chat with this blue-haired bastard!

5 reasons I F*%king love Hawk the Slayer!

3 Jun

I’m sure this movie needs no introductions. You can call this one of my guilty pleasure’s of the celluloid variety, as ever since I first saw it, I loved it ever since.

In an age growing up where fantasy media was limited to a handful of films on VHS, no one could ever understand why I liked this movie so much, no amount of me telling them would make them understand why. So with that in mind, I’m going to present five reasons I fucking love that film, even to this day!

1. THE SOUNDTRACK

The music and theme tune on the movie is brilliant, a weird mish mash of synth-pop, fantasy and nostalgia. It suits the film and themes perfectly (I think) A real curiosity of sorts, but cool none the less. Check it out:

2. THE CAST

What can I say about the cast ensemble for this low budget fantasy movie? Well, lets begin with the iconic stars in this film. Jack Palance as the older scarred and evil brother (and Hawk’s Nemesis) Voltan, The giant Gort played by “Carry on” mainstay Bernard Bresslaw, Shane Bryant as Drogo, Annette Crosby (Margret Meldrew from one foot in the grave), Patricia Quinn (Rocky Horror show)  as the witch, Harry Andrews, Roy Kinnear, Warren Clarke, and so many more decent well known British actors. There’s even Ferdy Mayne and the guy who was the original Jabba the Hutt in Star Wars IV (the cut out bit that was later CGI and put back in) Quite a decent cast for such a low budget.

3. THE ACTION

The frantic and sometimes comical nature of the action scenes is something I hold a soft spot for. Crow’s multiple cut and edited arrow shots were pure cinematic cheese,  as kids I remember my mates wanting to be him in games we played at school. Even though Crow the elf, was in my opinion the least developed of the party of heroes, he was bad ass due to this quick cheapo edit effect!

4. THE CHEESE

Hawk the Slayer is no masterpiece of cinema. I admit that it  was never going to win Oscars for any part of the movie, acting or script. What makes it good is that it is not good. Sure, it’s entertaining enough, but it’s no LOTR trilogy, but it has that feel of my childhood days playing red box D&D home brew adventures. This film is cheesy as hell, a little bit camp, and ropey SFX, but I still love it just for old times sake!

5. THE HERITAGE

When I speak of heritage, by that I refer back to the cheese,in which the plot and setup of the movie, is pretty much just that of probably many of our childhood D&D and RPG games. Beat for beat, these standard fantasy RPG tropes are in force. The party of heroes, the hero’s brother being the big bad, defend the Abbey mission, raid the enemy camp, the showdown etc. How many of us out there used this movie as direct inspiration for our own RPGs, wargames, and LARP (trust me, loads of LARPers has cited this movie as inspiration, it’s almost like one anyway!) Also this movie has a real Hammer films vibe too, now that’s real heritage!

If you haven’t seen it, go away and watch it NOW, if your into RPGs, fantasy or similar. If you have, go re watch it.

I now retreat to dig out my DVD copy of it from the vaults to become a starry eyed 80’s kid again and remember good old times….

Skulltaliser Update: WE DID IT!

26 May

Well, we’ve done it, funds raised and ready to go! I knew we’d do it before the month’s end.

Next, it’ll be monetisation time, an upgrade of the site. Please accept my thanks for all the encouragement and views for going along with my brainfarts, for once it’s given me some focus to get something done that I’d been wanting to do for a long time!

You’ll be seeing some big changes here over the next couple of months, so I hope you’ll go on this journey with me as I grow the site!!

Thanks!!!

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