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About Traditional Art / Professional Core Member Charlie ZacherlMale/United States Recent Activity
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Gren Dermane: Magicks honed to steel. by CEZacherl
Gren Dermane: Magicks honed to steel.
The third in a series of illustrations commissioned for an upcoming video game app in development by Eldritch Vision Games.  I'll be posting about one a week for the next little bit.

His name is Gren Dermane, he's a warrior/mage who's equally adept at both arts. So, I'm getting cheeky here. Exploiting the Conan-TSR-warrior stereotype in order to break the stereotype. The man looks like a physical beast of a specimen, so his being equally potent a wizard should be a shock to the system for his opponents. And really cool conceptually since I'm picturing him as a technopath of his age (i.e. a wizard using weapons as his focai).

Other works from this series;

Kira: Chaos in Flames. by CEZacherl A Wicked Turn by CEZacherl 
A Wicked Turn by CEZacherl
A Wicked Turn
The second character illustration commissioned for an upcoming video game App by Eldritch Vision Games.

His name is Manamven, a cursed elf (which immediately brought to mind images of Drizt and other now stereotypical Drow) so I wanted to take this fellah away from that, placing him in full armored regalia. Especially knowing how graceful/skillful a warrior he is, it only makes it more frightening that he's the masked (faceless) enemy, especially with the running theme of the importance of facial recognition. For this character I wanted to mix the archetypes of the Mountain and the Viper from Game of Thrones into one, truly lethal villain.

Here are some other works commissioned for the same project;

Kira: Chaos in Flames. by CEZacherl Gren Dermane: Magicks honed to steel. by CEZacherl 
Kira: Chaos in Flames. by CEZacherl
Kira: Chaos in Flames.
The first in a series of illustrations commissioned for an upcoming video game app in development by Eldritch Vision Games.  I'll be posting about one a week for the next little bit.

Her name is Kira. Straight off the bat, I liked that the paladin was female, instantly swerving the stereotype. I wanted to push that a little further and dress her more practically than most heavily armored D&D paladins. Also, you'll notice throughout this series that I'm playing w/ a theme of facial scarring & tattoos. My thought is that in this world these signifiers are of great cultural importance, being able to identify the devout of a certain faith (i.e. Kira's sunray tattoos over her eye) and other values (this'll make more sense as the series progresses).

In mah head playin' throughout the drawing;

"I took the ride, I'm still alive
Come back to let you know just what it's like
Not scared to live, not scared to die
I couldn't get there til I dropped inside
Chaos in flames, I'm not afraid
It's the god of light inside"

Huge thanks to Lizzy Kilgore for providing a slew of bad@$$ poses for this piece, couldn't have done it without you :)

Other works from this series;

A Wicked Turn by CEZacherl  Gren Dermane: Magicks honed to steel. by CEZacherl 

In true horror-addict fashion I've laid out my top (arbitrary ever-increasing number) horror flicks of all time. This'll likely be a living document so if you're interested, drop by now & again to see how it changes.

Prey. by CEZacherl




  1. Bram Stoker’s Dracula. {Watch the scene with Gary Oldman & Anthony Hopkins shouting at each other in fluent Romanian & try to tell me this isn’t the greatest movie ever made. This is the only adaptation of the book that makes the necessary character expansions to the tale without diminishing any critical points. Who could make a film better than Bram Stoker’s masterpiece? The same guy that made the fracking Godfather- duh. “Do not see me.” “See me.” “See me now.”}

  2. Jaws. {I debated even listing this, but although it’s powerful enough to transcend the genre; there’s no mistake that this amazing story is primarily one of terror. And, once the listing was decided, that it reigns above all the others (except for Bram Stoker’s).}

  3. In the Mouth of Madness. {“Have I ever told you that my favorite color is blue?}

  4. Pumpkinhead.         {Don’t let the piss-poor sequels detract from what was originally just a solid southern folk story and beautifully spun horrific tale of terror. The scene of the monster’s stride through a decrepit church is one of the most visually powerful of any film.}

  5. The Lost Boys.

  6. The Thing (John Carpenter’s). {My first introduction to Lovecraft was the cover illustrations to the old Chaosium texts but The Thing was the first time I actually lived amongst the horror of his stories, an immediate addiction. The score of this and the original Halloween stand strange aeons above any other for their ability to gut out your insides and replace them with dread.}

  7. Halloween (original) {Still the straight up scariest movie I’ve seen to date}

  8. The Howling.

  9. A Nightmare on Elm Street {It’s difficult to separate the series from its own mythology as I viewed these out of order. Dream Warriors (3) was my indoctrination, which was basically just a spooky blast of a flick that broke the ice. Little did I know how gloves-off scary the original was, with still that same amount of tongue-in-cheek love for the villain. Then the dreary sequel. 4 and 5 were fun but mostly forgettable. But Freddy’s Dead somehow managed to up the ante of slapstick to the nth degree while infusing the whole series with such a deep and haunting mythology that it enhanced the entire collection.}

  10. Gremlins. {If you do not like this movie, you have no soul.}

  11. Donnie Darko. {More science fiction than horror, but Richard Kelly injected such a bleakly foreboding mood into this retro mindf*ck of a film that it more than belongs on this list. “I think you’re the f**king anti-Christ.”}

  12.  Interview with a Vampire. {It’s just timing and personal taste that put Lost Boys ahead of this masterpiece. At first I discluded all the vampire films as they’re more a sensual poetry than what I’d personally define as “horror”. But they were my gateway drug into this genre in the first place, so I had to include them post-humanously.}

  13. Lord of Illusions. {The end of the film is a bit of a cop-out, especially when put against how full-sail innovative the lead-in. That said, the story is so uniquely told that the flaw can be overlooked. The narrative of Lord of Illusions has probably been the biggest influence on my own storytelling. You’ll be intrigued by the characters and the manner in which they’re told.}

  14. Sinister. {I’ve never looked away from a horror film in my life. And though this film brilliantly feeds off the theorem of keeping its violence off camera, the first screening (I had to go back and remedy my weakness) made me do just that. Two words: Lawnmower scene.}

  15. It Follows. {This reminded me of A Nightmare, mostly due to the point that I didn’t want to see the protagonists die. Which, for horror, is an accomplishment already. But where Nightmare turns a terrifying concept into self aware and cheesy (though still wonderfully effective) horror, It Follows turns a self aware and cheesy concept into one of the most harrowing experiences of truly serious horror you’re likely to find anywhere.}

  16. The Ring. {It feels strange putting something so commercial on this list (Yes, I realize that’s terribly “hipster” of me, I’ll shower off the hypocrisy later) but every frame of this flick threatened me to incontinence.}

  17. The Call of Cthulhu (HPLHS). {This love letter to the father of modern horror is simply put- perfect. Limiting themselves to aesthetics available in Lovecraft’s time and framing the film in a format popular in his era effectively cover up their fan-film limitations. Anything these folks have touched thus far has been golden. You can tell they love what they do and it’s ever infectious.}

  18. The Whisperer in the Darkness (HPLHS). {I foresee any movies past this point moving downward on the list as HPLHS spawns more films.}

  19. Fallen. {If you think Training Day is Denzel’s best film, you’re dead wrong.  Though Det. Alonzo is his best character (absolutely), his best movie is Fallen.}

  20. Nightbreed. {Don’t watch the piece of poop blasphemy that is the “Director’s Cut”. Just like with the film Legend, and the original Star Wars trilogies, retroactively “fixing” a classic film that’s stood strong for over two decades in the minds of its consumers is a guaranteed pisser. The original cut is a dismal, fast-paced fairytale adventure down the rabbit hole of theological horror.}

  21. Monster Squad. {I remember my parents looking at me like I was crazy the third time I picked this flick as my “one rental” from Blockbuster that week. I must’ve watched this at least 8.2 googolplex times before the age of ten. Why? “Wolfman’s got nards!” That’s why.”}

  22. Event Horizon. {Before HPLHS we had to rely on “Lovecraft Inspired” works to carry the torch of his writing. Both as a “Lovecraftian film” and as a brilliant in-world sequel to the bad@$$ery that was Disney’s ‘The Black Hole’, Horizon delivers.}

  23. Night of the Living Dead (original).

  24. The Haunting (original). {“Look, I know the supernatural is something that isn’t supposed to happen but it does happen.}

  25. The Evil Dead. {It is pure personal bias that places this before its predecessor…}

  26. The Exorcist.

  27. Poltergeist (original). {This has so much nostalgia attached to it I can’t speak w/out bias (not that any of this list is unbiased, it isn’t). This is the first movie to really scare the piss out of me, and will forever hold a place in my heart. To its credit, I shared this with my then 10 and 8 year old sons and they still a) adored it and b) were terrified of it.}

  28. 28 Days Later (U.K. Ending preferred).

  29. The Blair Witch Project. {My clan watched this in theaters when there was still the mystique of “Could this be real??”. So much so that my older brother wanted nothing to do with the viewing. Keep in mind that this launched an entire sub-genre (though most “found footage” past TBWP admittedly sucks hamster balls) and truly shook up the foundations of horror.}

  30. The Conjuring. {It isthe *perfect* straight-forward scary story. It suffers the same fate as The Ring in that it’s too modern to have the nostalgic attachment the other films on this list have gained. This one may see itself rising up the ranks as years pass though. The rare, truly terrifying film.}

  31. Pet Cemetery. {A warning: this was one of the scariest films I’d seen as a kid. But re-watching it recently as a father, it’s just sad. Like… Shakespearean sad. It’s not that the scares aren’t still there, they absolutely are. It’s just that the tragedies are so powerfully written that I couldn’t untangle the wreck of my intestines enough to allow my body to be frightened. The Ramones said it all.}

  32. Grindhouse. {Blasphemy to put Grindhouse before Alien? Probably. I adored how they made this feel like a seedy, guilty pleasure right from the get-go. And though Deathproof’s second half is weak compared to the first half. But Kurt Russel and the overwhelmingly AMAZING show of force that is Planet Terror more than make up for the lackluster finale.}

  33. Alien.

  34. The Ninth Gate.

  35. Frailty. {An absolutely unique concept, executed by some of the most capable actors in the business. A strange and enjoyable gem.}

  36. Mr. Jones. {The box makes this look like a standard slasher flick w/ a decent aesthetic gimmick. Don’t be fooled. If you enjoy subtly themed Lovecraftian horror of an extra-dimensional/psychological design, look no further than Mr. Jones.}

  37. The Mothman Prophecies. {The real scare here is the overwhelming amount of evidence and witness accounts towards the existence of the creature, and the actual tragedies that occurred in attachment to it. I’d go so far as to say that everyone knows *someone* that has a Mothman story. Their choice of casting actors known more for realistic dramatic films only enhanced this effect.}

  38. The Invisible. {I once told a friend that watching this film was like reading a well-written poem. I figure it hasn’t had the reception it deserves only because it’s not written for scares. It is a beautiful story of a haunting.}

  39. Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight. {One of the straight-up most fun horror flicks you’ll ever see. Combined with a soundtrack brimming with bad@$$ery, this is the flick that made me a lifelong fan of Billy Zane.}

  40. Scooby Doo on Zombie Island. {Animated or not; you take away the Scooby-gang and replace it with any other group of occult investigators and this story stands toe-to-toe with the eeriest of Call of Cthulhu campaigns. The fact that it’s the same artists as The Real Ghostbusters and has the voices of Mark Hammil and Tara Strong, plus the dude who voiced Kaneda… ‘nuff said.}

  41. Friday the 13th.

  42. Cabin in the Woods. {Although this is filmed and written leaps and bounds more skillfully than many others on this list, and is very much a more polished product; the reason this doesn’t sit higher on the list is that it is purposefully a wrapping of as many horror tropes as they could fit into the film. Basically, what I’m saying is to not let the ranking of this flick deter you from watching it, it wouldn’t be on the list if I didn’t think it was amazing. And this one is as good at equal parts laughs/scares as its predecessor The Evil Dead. Also, the scene with Jules and the wolf’s head… holy friggin wow.}

  43. Session 9. {This film was a harrowing surprise, striking horror through an emotionally unsettling & character-driven narrative. Don’t watch the deleted scenes; just thank God that the editors saved this movie from itself.}

  44. Behind the Mask: the Rise of Leslie Vernon.

  45. Lifeforce. {This flick gets a bad wrap from being “cluttered” or “convoluted”, I couldn’t feel more differently. I fell in love w/ how straight-forward easily they pulled in all the classic sci-fi-horror tropes and transcended a crazy zombie/vampire hybrid flick into something truly epic. Also, Patrick Stewart is phenomenal in this.}

  46. 30 Days of Night. {In spite of its thematic similarities with John Carpenter’s The Thing, and reproachably broadcasted finale (see: To Sleep with a Vampire), this flick is still *terrifying* in concept and execution. Plus, the way they have the vampires lurking like sharks in bloody water… potence.}

  47. Banshee Chapter {Endure the first act, this is the bastard child of S. Hunter Thompson and H.P. Lovecraft.}

  48. Pontypool. {The only reason this film isn’t way-the-heck-higher on this list is due to the lackluster finale. But in spite of its dropping the ball in the final act, this is truly the Reservoir Dogs of Horror and had me totally enraptured in its dialogue.}

  49. Witching and Bitching. {This horror-comedy took me absolutely by surprise. It was recommended by a friend I hadn’t spoken to in years and absolutely enjoyed. Go see it, I don’t want to spoil the fun!}

  50. The last exorcism. {My fellow watch-standers suckered me into this one. I was going to pass and go to the gym as it looked about as generic a possession story as you could possibly get. I’m so glad I didn’t. The primary character is well developed and the story takes some very Lovecraftian turns that bring it away from the norm and into someplace uniquely terrifying.}

  51. The Devil’s Pass. {This one was a surprise, it had one star on Netflix and the trailer looked horrendous. Still, the wife and I tried it out and were floored. Not only did they pay due respect to the true story it uses as its foundation (a rarity, since most “true” horror is anything but), but the insanity that they extrapolate from that story in order to connect the dots is nothing short of bad@$$.}

  52. Dreamscape. {Along with Lord of Illusions, this is one of the most formative muses of my early life. Unsettling concepts of dreams and their consequences, and scarring visuals like the serpent-man. Unfortunately, the effects (and science fiction) just don’t hold up with the passage of time. But if you can put on your 80’s cap and enjoy the film for what it was, this is a f*cking masterpiece.}

  53. Late Phases. {The creature effects here are… well, they’re frickin’ terrible. But even knowing that sad fact doesn’t diminish how spectacularly mood and character driven this film really is. Late Phases is the most original werewolf story since the original Howling. In fact, if you were to mix the Howling with Bubba Hotep you’d be somewhere close to where this movie treads with its storytelling.}

  54. The Legend of Hell House. {The end “twist” on why the haunt is happening is truly laughable, but everything leading up to that is pure horror gold.}

  55. They Live. {This is, for me, the convex of Lost Boys. Where the former is unrealistically high on this list due to my personal attachment to the film, this one is this low in the list in spite of my personal attachment to it. Rowdy Roddy Piper was my first ‘Favorite Wrestler’ and still holds up as one of the best. And this stands high as one of the best schlock films ever made. He’s here to kick @$$ and chew bubblegum folks, and he’s all outta bubblegum.}

  56. Near Dark.

  57. The Crazies. {Alright, so this is basically just a shameless mix of all the best elements of Justified, Donnie Darko, and Zack Snyder’s Dawn of the Dead remake. But add all that up and give it one smart original twist and you have a *scary* film that still feels fresh enough to thoroughly enjoy.}

  58. To Sleep with a Vampire (1993). {Watched now, this will come off as cliché and (potentially) redundant storytelling. But a lot of the tragic/romantic themes of this were ones not previously played out and are clearly the inspiration for vamp films of *much* higher production quality that have directly ripped off this films ending (I’m looking at you, 30 Days of Night).}

  59. Yellow Wallpaper.

  60. The Thing from Another World. {The predecessor to John Carpenter’s The Thing still holds up on its own, and plays a lot closer to the source material in all the right ways so that you could double-feature the two without suffering a nap. The only downside to having two wonderfully written adaptations of In the Mountains of Madness, is that all the plebeians will pan any direct adaptation of Lovecraft’s story for being a rip off of The Thing.}

  61. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.

  62. The Beast Must Die (1974). {Dude. Murder mystery style seventies werewolf horrorshow starring Peter Cushing. Brace yourself for superfun.}

  63. Dark Was The Night. {Another well told story diminished by piss-poor creature effects. In this case horrendously lighted CGI. Still, their not showing the monster ‘till the end is a blessing and they successfully weave tension and suspense as they put well-written, sympathetic characters in what ends up being a spooky story that’s gracefully told. The best hope is for a fan that’s CGI savvy to go in and replace the horrendous work at film’s end, barring that; it’s still worth the watch for content.)



Honorable Mentions in no particular order (meaning I've been too lazy to organize these in the list yet): Psycho (original), Creepshow, Zombieland,  The Fly (1986), The Others, Absentia, Night of the Comet, C.H.U.D, the Orphanage, Chronicle, Insidious, Rose Red,  The Diary of Ellen Rimbaur, Slither,  Grindhouse, Stir of Echoes,  Let me In, Shaun of the Dead, Hellraiser,  the Amityville Horror (original),  Dawn of the Dead (Zack Snyder’s remake),Bubba Hotep, My Name is Bruce,  The Nightmare, IT, Insideous, From Hell, Daybreakers, Tucker & Dale vs Evil, the Order, Shadow of the Vampire, Lifeforce, Fright Night (original, From Dusk till Dawn, Critters series, Killer Klowns from Outer Space., Creepshow

  • Mood: Horror
  • Listening to: The titular Mr. Cooper
  • Reading: The Modern Prometheus.
  • Watching: Gonzo.
  • Playing: with the idea of transparent realities.
  • Eating: Gramdaddy's Jumbalaya.
  • Drinking: 7 hour old coffee (it's night watch).
Message me to purchase an original illustration at a reasonable price, or fine art prints starting at $5.

Artists need your support this Holiday season *smiles*

nehw lla fo ruoy sehsiw era detnarg... by CEZacherl

 Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas - fella (Universe) 

Journal History


Charlie Zacherl
Artist | Professional | Traditional Art
United States
Open for commissions and collaborations.



Add a Comment:
Wolfie-1313 Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2015  New Deviant Hobbyist General Artist
:0 so cool!!!
CEZacherl Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2015  Professional Traditional Artist
Danke :)
DiggleDiggleDiggle Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2015
Hey...I'm waiting on that rush or anything
CEZacherl Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2015  Professional Traditional Artist

Roger that. If I haven't posted it by noon tomorrow just give me a kick in the hip :)
DiggleDiggleDiggle Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2015
I'll do more than that you sneaky bastard, I'll give you an arrow to the knee (Skyrim reference)
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