August Underground Trilogy Part 3 of 3: Penance (2007)

August Underground Trilogy Part 3 of 3: Penance (2007)

In August Underground’s Penance, we are introduced to the final and, in my opinion, the weakest film of the trilogy. Following the found footage style of the first two films, we encounter Peter and Crusty on more of their sadistic ventures. Beginning with a man who attempted to escape Peter and Crusty’s clutches, he does not get very far before the couple kills him. Afterwards, Peter and Crusty go about town doing various normal activities including watching some fireworks. For a moment, it even seems that they have progressed past their serial killing phase. Of course, the film then cuts to the basement again with Peter harassing and torturing a man who they have hammered multiple nails into various parts of his body.
August Underground's Penance (2007)After this small stint of torture, Peter and Crusty find themselves under a bridge where they first harass and torment a homeless man, before cutting open a man to disembowel him whilst he is still alive. The juxtaposition between sadistic violence and “normal” behavior occurs again with Peter and Crusty at a party. The next scene occurs at Christmas time with Peter and Crusty invading a home of three where they proceed to celebrate Christmas their way. This first involves Peter bludgeoning the father with a hammer and then murdering and attempting to rape the mother, but is unable to get himself hard so he gives up. At this point, while he is attempting to rape the mother, the daughter of the couple comes down the stairs witnessing the atrocities unfold. Crusty, quickly tackles the girl and strangles her to death. She then opens up a few presents for herself and goes to sleep between the two corpses.

August Underground's Penance (2007)Fairly similar to the other films in that there is a number of murders through bludgeoning to death, Penance does not really stick out until near the end of the film when we first see Peter bludgeoning a man with Crusty drinking some of the blood as it pours from the man. Not terribly shocking with how these two are and with some of the acts that they perpetrated in Mordum (remember that penectomy scene where Crusty performs fellatio upon a severed penis?). The film then cuts to the next scene, which shows Peter carving open a pregnant woman and removing the fetus from her. This is where Peter and Crusty begin to break down and when Peter fails to comfort her, he rapes her.

The film ends rather quickly with Peter getting drunk, abusing a woman and passing out. Once he is asleep, Crusty takes the camera with her to the bathroom where she does her “penance” by killing herself, which is where the film concludes. Overall, as I said at the beginning it was the weakest of the trilogy, and after Mordum, it seems that Vogel had run out of sadistic ideas to bring his trilogy to a conclusion.

I have to give August Underground’s Penance a 2.5 out of 5 stars.

August Underground's Penance (2007)Director: Fred Vogel; Writers: Allen Peters (characters), Fred Vogel (characters), Cristie Whiles (as Cristie ‘Crusty’ Whiles), Fred Vogel; Stars: Cristie Whiles, Fred Vogel, Shelby Lyn Vogel; Rating: Unrated; Run Time: 84 min; Genre: Horror; Language: English; Year: 2007



Posted by Spencer Evatt in BRUTAL REALITY, GORE, MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, SLASHERS AND BAD HUMANS, 0 comments
The Rise of Australian Horror and How Hounds of Love Relates To It

The Rise of Australian Horror and How Hounds of Love Relates To It

In the last decade or so, we have seen a surge in Australian horror films (and the filmmakers themselves), gaining notoriety within the world of mainstream and independent horror.

So when throughout 2017 the film on many people’s lips was Australian filmmaker Ben Young’s Hounds of Love (2016), many were not surprised.

Hounds of Love (2016)With films like Wolf Creek (2005), Charlie’s Farm (2014), The Tunnel
(2011), Red Billabong (2016), Wyrmwood(2014), The Babadook (2014), The Loved Ones (2009), Rogue(2007), Dying Breed(2008), Black Water (2007), Lake Mungo (2008), Lemon Tree Passage (2014) , Storm Warning (2007) and much much more on people’s minds, it was no surprise as to how well received Hounds of Love would be.

We cannot forget the Australian equivalent of the video nasties of he by gone era, which are gaining a resurgence as cult status films since the releases to DVD and Blu-ray. In this genre, affectionately referred to down under as Ozploitation films, we see films like The Cars That Ate Paris (1974), Next of Kin (1982), Inn of the Damned (1975), Night of Fear (1972), Turkey Shoot (aka Escape 2000 – from 1982), Patrick (1978), and the most popularly known, Razorback (1984).

Australia has given the world filmmakers like Greg McLean, George Miller, Alex Proyas, James Wan and Leigh Whannell, and acting talents such as Ryan Kwanten, Cate Blanchett, Chris Hemsworth, Eric Bana, Rose Byrne, Ben Mendelsohn, Anthony LaPaglia, Radha Mitchell, Costas Mandylor, Joel Edgerton, Rod Taylor, Portia De Rossi, Nathan Jones, Emily Browning, or even Richard Roxburgh.

However, it is “the little Aussie battler” (a colloquial term Australians use for the underdog) that Australia itself adores.

Hounds of Love (2016)

In Hounds of Love, Ben Young has cast the phenomenally underrated but familiar actor Stephen Curry in the lead as John White. Curry has always been known for his dramatic and comedic roles but has also appeared in more popular genre films such as the prior mentioned Rogue and hilariously oddball film Cut (2000) with Molly Ringwald. Curry delivers an amazingly brutal and sublime performance as the twisted John White. He demonstrates an unnatural cruelty and contempt for those around him and a need to feel superior, through simple vocal inflections and body language.

His co-star Emma Booth, who plays his wife Evelyn White in the film, is known for her role in the Henry Cavill and Michael Fassbender film, directed by Joel Schumacher, Blood Creek (2009). Booth shows a kindness and fragility that is hidden behind a rougher, more brash exterior. At times we empathize with her characters, yet at others, you loathe her – especially when we see how cruel she truly can be.

The duo kidnap and hold Vicki Maloney, portrayed by actress Ashleigh Cummings, hostage. Cummings is known for her fleeting work on the popular Australian soap opera Home and Away and appearance in the apocalyptic young adult film Tomorrow When The War Began. In Hounds of Love, Cummings delivers a performance so wrought with emotions that you ultimately feel your heart sink for her plight on screen. We want to see Vicki escape her torturous captivity, but we want her to get justice for what the Whites have done to her. Cummings actually won the Fedeora Award for Best Actress in a Debut Film at the Venice Film Festival for her portrayal of Vicki Maloney.

Hounds of Love (2016)

Young’s direction of his three leads and the amazingly powerful script he had crafted for them creates an atmospheric thriller based loosely on the true story of Catherine and David Birnie (a couple from Western Australia who abducted, raped, tortured and murdered four women in 1986), with some startling likenesses. Hounds of Love relies on its three leads and will appeal anyone who has an interest in powerful thrillers.

Posted by Michelle MIDI Sayles in EDITORIALS, MOVIE REVIEWS, OPINION, REVIEWS, SLASHERS AND BAD HUMANS, 0 comments
August Underground Trilogy, Part 2 of 3: Mordum (2003)

August Underground Trilogy, Part 2 of 3: Mordum (2003)

August Underground's Mordum (2003)In August Underground’s Mordum, Fred Vogel’s second film of the August Underground trilogy, the viewer is assaulted by some of the most grotesquely atrocious acts of violence and depravity known to man. A found footage film, we are first introduced to characters Peter, Crusty (his girlfriend), and her brother Maggot. The first scene certainly sets the tone with Peter running the camera and catching his girlfriend having sex with her brother. Enraged Peter erupts into a nonstop barrage of verbal abuse towards Crusty, who then quiets him down by taking a jagged piece of glass and carving into her stomach with it, which in turn arouses Peter. To say this is fucked up is an understatement as we are quickly taken to the next scene in a crack house where they proceed to murder the owner with a hammer, but it is when our group of sadomasochistic serial killers return home that things escalate to another level.

August Underground's Mordum (2003)I won’t bother to delve into every act of violence that is perpetrated on the screen, but I will say that it is certainly an extreme film up there with the likes of A Serbian Film and Guinea Pig 2: Flower of Flesh & Blood. The film includes everything imaginable and then some, some that I found to be rather creative in a sadistic sort of way. This includes forcing a man to perform a penectomy (never knew there was a word for removal of the penis) upon himself with a pair of cuticle scissors and disemboweling a woman alive and fucking the slash wound in her corpse. I guess with that being said, I should issue a strong warning that August Underground’s Mordum is not for the faint of heart. Being done as found footage, one feels as if they are truly there watching some snuff film that just happened to be lying on the street. The camera work is what one would expect from a pseudo snuff film: the camera moves erratically, the picture can be grainy at points, and you can see where they had to change “tapes” while filming their exploits.

Overall, I found August Underground’s Mordum to be rather entertaining and engrossing at points. However, I cannot emphasize enough that this film is not for everyone. One of my friends took it upon herself to watch it and made it about twenty minutes before having to stop because it disturbed her so much. I did find it disturbing at points, but not because of the brutality so much as the realism and the possibility that there are people out there who truly do commit these sorts of acts. That having been said, if you like extreme found footage films that are pseudo snuff, then give it a go!

3.8 out of 5 stars

August Underground Mordum (2003)Directors: Jerami Cruise (as Cruise), Killjoy, Michael Todd Schneider (as Maggot), Fred Vogel (as Fredenstein), Cristie Whiles (as Crusty); Writers: Killjoy, Cristie Whiles (as Crusty), Fred Vogel (as Fredenstein), Jerami Cruise (as Cruise), Michael Todd Schneider (as Maggot), Fred Vogel (film August Undergound), Allen Peters (film August Undergound); Stars: Cristie Whiles, Fred Vogel, Michael Todd Schneider (as Michael T Schneider), Jerami Cruise, Killjoy; Rating: Unrated; Run Time: 77 min; Genre: Horror; Language: English; Year: 2003
Posted by Spencer Evatt in BRUTAL REALITY, GORE, MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, SLASHERS AND BAD HUMANS, 0 comments
Letranger Absurde: Interview With A Lego Builder Extraordinaire

Letranger Absurde: Interview With A Lego Builder Extraordinaire

You can find all the vignettes in this album –
Hey horror fans, Horrormadam here with an amazing artist! Letranger Absurde from Romania makes the most creative and innovative Lego displays of our favorite scenes from horror movies! I was so captivated by his work that I had to go on a search to find the man who crafted these true to form pieces. I found him fortunately when I found the Bricktastic Blog where he was in the Builder Spotlight. I reached out to him and he was extremely kind enough to answer my questions so that we here at House of Tortured Souls could take you on a behind the scenes look into the world of Lego building.
House of Tortured Souls: So you are from Romania I saw with rolug (Romanian LEGO® Users Group), is the Lego culture any different than in the US?
Andrei: I can only speak about the US culture from what I’ve noticed through online interactions, so I may be off the mark, but people seem to be more receptive to novelty and pop culture in general, so a hobby like this is easier to accept and get into. Around here they’re more… traditional, for the lack of a better word; the association Lego = toy makes many people frown at the idea and stops them from being able to take it seriously; it also makes adult fans buy them under the guise of buying for their children and keep their passion as a dirty little secret, but things seem to be changing lately – only in the last year our lug doubled it’s number of active members if I’m not mistaken. Another thing I noticed is that people around here (and Europe in general) tend to lean towards Lego technic more – the side of Lego dealing with functions with little care for the aesthetics (remote controlled cars, moving cranes and so on).
HoTS: Why did you choose to make scenes from horror films?
Andrei: I’ve been a horror fan for most of my life (since I was 8 or 9), so it would have happened one way or another. But the decision to make a series was due to the poor representation the genre had in the community. Aside from some builds here and there, mostly dealing with the mainstream, you could find mainly pictures of mini-figures (customs in general) with no focus on scenes and plenty of generic Halloween builds so I wanted to try and change that.
HoTS: How do you choose the scenes?
Andrei: I mostly build what I like, but there are other factors that come into play. I tried to keep a balance between popular and lesser-known movies to maintain the audience’s interest with the familiar ones and hopefully draw their attention to the ones they haven’t seen. Also, no matter how much I like a movie, it needs a scene that translates well both into the new medium and into a purely visual vignette, since horror tends to rely a lot on atmosphere, sounds, lights, music, camera angles and so on – remove all that and you’re left with something very bland and boring in many cases. For example, I wanted to add Halloween to the list, but I can’t find a scene that would make an interesting build. And finally, having close enough mini-figure parts to build the characters, especially the villain; it’s one of the main parts I wanted to get right.
HoTS: Do you custom design any of the pieces or are they all available from Lego?
Andrei: This is one of the bigger divides in the Lego community – altered parts or limiting your self to available ones. I chose to stick with available parts for a number of reasons: It’s the popular choice and the standard for any contests and such; it offers a great gauge to judge the quality of builds since everybody has access to the exact same tools of the trade. Actually, I can’t really give a good reason here, except that it just seems right, it’s Lego building after all and altering parts feels closer to sculpting. 🙂
Also, part use is something appreciated in the community in general, meaning using parts in interesting, unintended ways; let’s take Audition, for example, to stick with the horror theme:
Letranger Absurde Lego Audition
The couch pillows used in here are hats from this painter mini-figure:

And the tablecloth is the ruff from this fella:
Letranger Absurde Lego Shakespeare
Other examples from Evil Dead:
Letranger Absurde The Evil Dead
The Necronomicon is made from the printed eyes of the gorilla:
Letranger Absurde Unaussprechlichen Kulten
And the moose head is made from a brown frog and a helmet decoration:
Letranger Absurde Lego FrogLetranger Absurde Lego Moose Helmet
Not the most exciting or creative examples, but this wasn’t my focus in the horror series; hopefully they give a rough idea on what I’m trying to say; not sure how interesting this bit is for someone outside the hobby.
HoTS: What are some of your favorite horror films?
Andrei: I’ve always had a soft spot for Italian horror (Argento, Fulci, Bava); there’s so much creativity and they have a very distinctive style. Some of the most memorable soundtracks as well. I also love the lavish decors and atmosphere of Hammer films. Although despite my love for hammer, as far as vampires go, Subspecies is my favorite series, proof you don’t need doll vampires to make a proper vamp movie – and that’s coming from someone who likes doll vamps! I have to add The Wicker Man to the list as well, one of the most effective movies I’ve ever seen. As far as slashers go, one of my favorites is The Hills Run Red; sure, it’s got some problems, but it’s best moments are enough to get over the lows. And anything with Vincent Price in it. Won’t bother mentioning mainstream classics like Alien or Exorcist, sure, plenty of them on the list, but I see no point mentioning the ones pretty much everyone loves.
HoTS: What all horror themes have you done and any plans for new ones in the future?
Andrei: I have done other horror related builds over time (some were utter garbage unfortunately, I’ll throw in a few of the better ones) – the Necronomicon and Unaussprechlichen Kulten (Unaussprechliche Kulte would be the German for “unspeakable cults”) books (hoping to add Eibon (Soul Eater: Eibon is based directly based from the sorcerer of the same name from Clark Ashton Smith’s short story “The Door to Saturn“) to the list soon.
Letranger Absurde Necronomicon
Letranger Absurde Unaussprechlichen Kulten
– some Halloween builds, like the witch mosaic, the vampire couple, some busts
Letranger Absurde Boo Bitchcraft
Letranger Absurde Lego Come in for a bite

Letranger Absurde Lego Dracula Bust
Letranger Absurde Lego Frankenstein Monster Bust
– a larger scale build of the classic IT scene
Letranger Absurde IT

Andrei: Of course, I’ll continue building in the genre and I’m going to continue the vignette series soon. One of the things I’ve had on my list for a while is the lobby from Suspiria, but sourcing the parts in the right colors quite difficult and expensive. Plenty of movies from what I’ve mentioned in my favorites are on the list as well.
HoTS: Are they very hard to do, and are they time-consuming?
Andrei: In general neither, but it depends on what you’re trying to do and the complexity you aim for. Size is also a factor, but not necessarily the biggest one; you can spend more time shaping, reshaping and polishing a tiny part of a build than it takes building a castle, so it’s also up to you how much time you want to dedicate to each build. The vignettes I’ve done in the horror series were done in an afternoon/evening; at most spread over the course of 2 days; my aim here was to make them simple and accessible, yet recognizable. The biggest factor is the parts; if you don’t have what you want and have to order them, waiting for them to arrive can extend the project for weeks and is definitely the most annoying bit. But I suppose that’s true for every other hobby when it comes to sourcing the “materials”.
HoTS: I saw that your favorite one is Room With a View, what is your favorite horror one and why?
Andrei: I’m going to go with the crowd favorite here, The Exorcist. Not only was it the one that started it all, it just seemed to flow effortlessly into the new medium. Maybe I’m biased a bit towards the subject as well. Although in a way the series started a year or so before this one with the Predator vignette I’ve done back in 2015, I chose not to make it part of the series as it’s pretty mediocre and isn’t a scene directly from the movie. I’ll most likely redo this down the road.
Letranger Absurde Predator
This is one of the real benefits of working with Lego – you can always take apart a model and redo it – and the parts are there to reuse. You don’t have to deal with consumables. Or you can simply alter a few details. Maybe a new part is released that works better than what you used before, nothing stops you from replacing it. Or your skill grows with time and you figure out a better way to do things. I constantly do this with the models I have on display, I like the fact that it’s all pretty dynamic and keeps things fresh, instead of just shoving them on the shelf and let them gather dust.
HoTS: Legos are pretty pricey, how do you afford to make these?
Andrei: To some, it may seem like I’m keeping everything I do, but the opposite is true; I only have a few smaller pieces on display, the norm is built, dismantle, repeat. I only keep larger builds intact for a longer period if they’re made for exhibits.
Andrei: There are a couple of ways to get your hands on cheap parts, the easiest is buying multiples sets when they are heavily discounted and sell/trade the excess/useless bits, but this doesn’t get you exactly the parts you need. Being a part of a lug also has it benefits, allowing you to purchase cheap parts in large quantities directly from Lego, but you have little room for diversity and it happens only 2-3 times a year. It’s still a big help. The rare and specific parts I get from Bricklink. BrickLink is a venue where individuals and businesses from all around the world can buy and sell new, used, and vintage LEGO through fixed price services.
Andrei: There’s also the opportunity to get parts straight from brand stores, but I have no access to that in my area, unfortunately.
HoTS: Will you ever sell any of your pieces, or do you ever take commissions? Told my boss about you and he now wants a Lego Haunted House like on our logo. ?
Andrei: Neither, although I’ve been getting requests every now and then. I would be open to it, the issue is sourcing the parts; I don’t have the opportunity to get them locally for a decent price, so I have to get most of them from international sellers and the shipping costs alone are overkill on multiple orders. I may end up doing it someday, but for now, I’m happy with it being just a hobby. There are plenty of talented builders in the community taking commissions, so you can pretty much find the right person for any subject; although each of us has our own little touches and style so it’s a good idea to be familiar with their work beforehand.
So I want to give a huge thank you to Andrei for myself and everyone here at the House of Tortured Souls! His answers were very illuminating and insightful and they made me want to go out and start building my own Lego creations. I hope you enjoyed this, readers, and that you will go out and start making your own horror creations!
Posted by Horrormadam in EXCLUSIVE, FEATURED ARTIST, HALLOWEEN, IN THE SPOTLIGHT, INTERVIEWS, MONSTERS AND CREATURES, STAFF PICKS, VAMPIRES, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Fear Town, USA (2014)

MOVIE REVIEW: Fear Town, USA (2014)

I have a hard time trusting anything associated with Lloyd Kaufman or Troma Films since most are pure dreck. The ones that do succeed though are usually quite entertaining and have a certain trashy charm to them, and Fear Town, USA is one of the most entertaining Troma films that I’ve seen in quite a while.

Feartown, USA (2014) posterFear Town, USA. doesn’t have much to do with fear nor is there even really a town, but it does take place in the USA, so I guess that part of the title is accurate. The story doesn’t really center around any particular character. Instead, it covers a whole slew of stories that all drift and meander into and out of each other. There’s an escaped lunatic, a group of RPG playing “nerds” (who are probably the hunkiest guys in the movie) looking for some action, a girl with a ghostly secret, an obscure cult, a descendant of St. Blevins (You’ll learn more about St, Blevins and the ludicrous reason that they celebrate a day in his honor.) who happens to be hosting a St, Blevins day party, a group that was disinvited to the party, a woman looking for her blind date, an inept cop, a feuding couple, the Devil himself (You know your movie is slightly off the rails when the actual Devil is a secondary character), and a few other subplots that are never really resolved.

The acting is on par with most other Troma films, suffice to say, not very good, but better than some. The humor is lowbrow stoner humor, but well done for that sort of thing. A lot of the subplots and secondary stories are never wrapped up, but that doesn’t really detract from the overall experience simply because the ending is pure lunacy that I can almost guarantee you won’t see coming.

If you like Troma Films, you’ll probably love this one. If you don’t like Troma Films, but enjoy ridiculous humor, you’ll probably enjoy this. If you want a serious attempt at horror or sophisticated humor, you’d be better off looking someplace else.

Posted by Richard Francis in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
August Underground Trilogy, Part 1 of 3: August Underground (2001)

August Underground Trilogy, Part 1 of 3: August Underground (2001)

Being a fan of the more extreme horror films, when the opportunity presented itself for me to purchase copies of each August Underground film, I could not in good conscience turn it down. Hearing of the notoriety of the trilogy itself, especially Mordum, I wanted to watch and critique each film. This is the first part of my run critiquing this trilogy, so without further ado, here is August Underground.

Part of the found footage genre, August Underground revolves entirely around Peter (Fred Vogel) and his buddy as they go about a rape, torture and murder spree. Very early on, we are confronted with the sadistic violence that is what gave August Underground its question, “The sickest film ever made?” on the cover of the special edition DVD release. At the start, Peter invites his buddy manning the camera to follow him to the basement where a woman named Laura is tied naked to a chair. Quickly, it is revealed that Peter has already slaughtered and even castrated Laura’s boyfriend, whose remnants are in the bathtub in the adjacent room. The torture that we are given a front row seat that involves smearing feces over the poor woman, including over where her nipples had once been until Peter and company decided to slice them off her.

Following our introduction to Laura, Peter and his unnamed cameraman pick up a female hitchhiker whom Peter forces into performing oral sex upon him and even begins raping her before he beats her to death. The film then cuts back to the basement with Laura being tormented by Peter and his friend. During this scene, Peter decides that it would be funny, much to the horror of Laura and the viewers, to take a toe off her boyfriend’s corpse, force it into her mouth, and duct tape her mouth shut. Progressing from there, the pair go out for the evening and return to find that Laura has finally died, much to their rage and frustration.

Shortly thereafter, the duo go on a road trip, which ends at a tattoo parlor where they assault, kidnap and ultimately torture and kill the twin brothers who run the parlor. The last part of the film has our duo doing cocaine with two prostitutes. Fast forward and once the cameraman is through having sex with his prostitute, the two venture into the basement where Peter is beating the other prostitute to death with a hammer while sodomizing her. The film abruptly ends when the duo chase the other prostitute and the camera is dropped.

Overall, I found August Underground to have some shocking moments to it and certainly some grotesque moments, but to answer the question on the cover of the DVD case, I did not find it to be the sickest film ever made. It certainly reflected some elements similar to that of Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, but with a much lower budget. As an independent underground film, though, I must say that they do very well with the small budget that they have to use. I would have to give is 3.5 out of 5 stars.

August Underground Mordum (2003)Director: Fred Vogel; Writers: Allen Peters, Fred Vogel; Stars: Fred Vogel, Kyle Dealman, Casey Eganey, Dan Friedman; Rating: Unrated; Run Time: 70 min; Genre: Horror; Language: English; Year: 2001
Posted by Spencer Evatt in GORE, MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, SLASHERS AND BAD HUMANS, 0 comments
INTERVIEW: Kayla Stojek – Zombie Peepshow

INTERVIEW: Kayla Stojek – Zombie Peepshow

Hello, everyone Horrormadam here to show you the stunning creations of Kayla Stojek. She makes THE most incredible horror/goth/punk-themed shoes, boots, and hats that I have ever seen, each pair more astounding than the last. I reached out to Kayla to find out everything I could about this remarkable woman and her sensational designs:
House of Tortured Souls: How did you get into making these amazing creations?
Kayla Stojek: I was a chemistry major, with intentions of becoming a dentist. Making shoes and clothing was always something I did for fun, either for myself or friends. I made an extreme pair of heels for a Halloween costume in 2011. People loved them and began asking for pairs of their own. Shortly after I opened my Etsy store and the internet sort of ran with it!

Kayla Stojek Zombie Peepshow

HoTS: Why horror, and what are some of your favorite horror movies?
KS: I’ve loved horror since about age 6. I grew up on the ’70s and ’80s horror so the fascination was always there. Favorites would be The Shining, Black Christmas (original), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Exorcist, Halloween, most anything from the ’70s. I’m also a fan of Rob Zombie’s films.
Kayla Stojek Zombie Peepshow
HoTS: Saw that another of your influences is punk, what are some of your favorite bands?
KS: Misfits, Rancid, Dropkick are a few favorites. Outside of punk, I find heavy artistic influence from Marilyn Manson, Nine Inch Nails, Rob Zombie.

Kayla Stojek Zombie Peepshow

HoTS: What is it you like about Kawaii (in the context of Japanese popular culture: cute) culture?
KS: I’ve never really worn any Kawaii items personally. But it’s something I love to look at. I think it reminds me of youth and nostalgia from growing up in the ‘90s.
Kayla Stojek Zombie Peepshow
HoTS: How did you come up with the name Zombie Peepshow for your brand?
KS: I had a very brief run at roller derby in my early 20s, Zombie Peepshow was my derby name. I liked that it was a perfect dichotomy of gore and girly, which suits my designs.
Kayla Stojek Zombie Peepshow
HoTS: What materials do you use for the sculpture?
KS: We use all industrial-strength epoxies and materials to bond the shoes. I’m constantly experimenting with new compounds for sculpting. Lately, I’ve been using a lot of cosplay materials and mixtures I’ve created.
Kayla Stojek Zombie Peepshow
HoTS: Who are the celebrities wearing your work?
KS: We’ve been fortunate enough to make shoes for people all over the world. Whoopie Goldberg has purchased a few, along with YouTube star Trisha Paytas. Many models, musicians, and other artists have pairs as well.

Kayla Stojek Zombie Peepshow

HoTS: Did you have fine art/fashion training?
KS: I don’t have any formal artistic training. My background is mostly science and mathematics, so this venture was definitely something new. I quickly realized that this creative outlet was what I longed for. It’s what I’m supposed to do. 😊
Kayla Stojek Zombie Peepshow
HoTS: Do you have a favorite pair?
KS: Probably a few that I haven’t released yet. There is one in particular that I hope to launch Fall 2018 and I believe it’s my best design yet. If I had to choose one from my store I would say The Texas Chainsaw design. It was our first sound producing a pair, so that was exciting.
HoTS: How much does a commission cost? Any plans or is there already one of Sammy from Trick R Treat (my fave along with Carpenter’s Halloween-😉)
KS: Trick R Treat would be amazing! Custom pieces usually start around $175 and increase based on the level of detail (led lights, extreme pieces, etc.)

Kayla Stojek Zombie Peepshow

HoTS: And my boss wanted to ask about men’s boots and if so he is willing to model.
KS: We do make men’s items often! My husband has a tendency to hoard most of the men’s items I create, but we have orders for them every month.
HoTS: Any haunted houses? Our site is called the House of Tortured Souls. 😊
KS: We’re big fans of haunted houses. Good friends from our hometown in West Texas run a huge haunt called A Nightmare on 19th Street. One of them is also in the process of building the largest haunt Austin has seen. We love them!

Kayla Stojek Zombie Peepshow

I just want to thank Kayla so much for taking the time to answer my questions because I know how extremely busy she is with the success of her shoes! We here at the House of Tortured Souls are big fans of her work and because I am a huge cheeseball I am reminded of the lyrics from Megadeaths cover of the Nancy Sinatra classic:
These boots are made for walking
That’s just what they’ll do
And one of these days these boots
Are gonna stomp all over you
So get a pair of Kayla’s boots and get stomping and look fabulous doing it!
Posted by Horrormadam in ART AND VENDORS, EXCLUSIVE, FEATURED ARTIST, IN THE SPOTLIGHT, STAFF PICKS, WOMEN IN HORROR, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Back Woods (2001) and Back Woods 2 (2015)

MOVIE REVIEW: Back Woods (2001) and Back Woods 2 (2015)

My ‘trip’ to the Back Woods

The Underground Classic You’ve Probably Never Heard of…
But Should’ve

I am willing to bet a large percent of you have never even heard of the underground film entitled Back Woods — made with love and no money by a group of young people and released in 2001. I personally came to know this movie by finding it on eBay, and being a lover of the weird dime store oddities, I took a chance and bought a copy (which David later told me was a bootleg to my shock and embarrassment). Back Woods tells the simple and twisted story of Luther (David Hayes), a baby born fully grown with a beard. All is fine and dandy until Mama is killed in a hit and run by a bunch of reckless teens. Now Luther, guided by a woods spirit named Mangina (Joseph Patrick Buck), goes on a killing spree, making the teens pay the ultimate price. Even as the film’s unofficial #1 fan, I can admit it’s not a good movie by any means. But I am sure nobody making this thought they were making an epic. So, yeah, when I watch it, I see the flaws, but I also find it genuinely humorous, and it seems like everybody is having a blast making this ridiculous movie. At a scant runtime, the filmmakers throw enough sleaze, raunchy humor and blood to keep the whole demented family glued. Of course, David cross-dressing and dancing around covered in fake blood makes for good wholesome fun. After my first viddy, I was a fan. Yes, I drank the Kool-Aid and was praying to Mangina to smite my enemies.

Fun little trivia: I actually bought a screen used prop from it – which is either really awesome or sad depending on who you ask.

I got to know its star David Hayes, who is an extremely smart man who teaches and has a series of books under his belt despite looking like a redneck butcher. His acting credits include Bloody Bloody Bible Camp (which is a film that NEEDS to be seen by everybody), Werewolves in Heat, and Blown, the tender love story about a killer blow-up doll. When I asked David about a part 2 I got a firm hell no, but I still held out hope. To my delight, I got a message one day asking if I wanted to see a sequel that was filmed a while back but never released. Of course I jumped at the chance, and I was not disappointed. From the opening, Back Woods 2 takes a meta approach and, of course, has a lot of fun ripping on the first film. But it wisely doesn’t simply remake the first film, introducing a host of new characters and situations. In fact, part 2 can almost stand on its own. Like the first film, however, it retains its sick demented charms and throws plenty of blood and some nudity (mostly David’s ass) at viewers. A redneck cannibal Lego man and a porn star with daddy issues are just some of the insane treats viewers have in store for them.

Back Woods 2 (2015)

It’s a really exciting time for people who haven’t seen the original Back Woods as both part one and the sequel are being re-released in one set. With that said, I really hope this finds a loyal following. And who knows… It could be as widely loved as Plan 9 from Outer Space, Troll 2, and The Room.

Posted by Mike Vaughn in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
A Serbian Film (2010): It’s Fucking Art!

A Serbian Film (2010): It’s Fucking Art!

In a desensitized world when shock truly does have value, along comes A Serbian Film, and here we are 8 years later still discussing it and reeling from the controversy. It’s a film that has ruined a lot of other films for me, making them seem colorless by comparison.

A Serbian Film (2010)

If, like me, you’re a fan of A Serbian Film, then you know it’s not something you admit to just anyone or casually discuss at family dinner. I used to find myself constantly on the defense regarding my love of this film, but now I refuse to be. I no longer justify why I like it or why it’s my second favorite movie of all time; I defend the movie itself. Before I get into the reasons why, let’s just quickly go over the movie’s plot and content for those who may not have watched it yet.

Milos, a semi-retired porn star, is struggling to provide for his wife and young son. When Milos’ former co-star comes by and offers him a role in an “art film” being made by a visionary and promising new director, it seems like his troubles are over. So far everything sounds pretty tame, right? Let’s fast forward to after the shooting of the “art film” starts and watch as it begins a downward spiral into depravity that would make the Marquis de Sade blush.

A Serbian Film (2010)

The areas causing the most controversy are the film’s depiction of child abuse, forcing a minor to watch a sexual act, raping a newborn, and raping a child. There are many other graphic, sexually violent scenes, but the aforementioned really get the censors riled up. For these reasons, the film has been heavily edited and banned in many countries, making an uncut copy somewhat difficult to find. Fear not, however, as Unearthed is releasing an uncut version with tons of extras and a much-anticipated documentary on the film.

Now back to my defense of the movie. It’s often assumed that I will use the same political defense the director Srdjan Spasojevic claims. Spasojevic insists he spent years trying to perfectly put on film how it felt to grow up in the midst of a very chaotic time in Serbia. He states that the infant rape and necrophilia show how the government rapes its citizens from birth until after death. Spasojevic also states, “this is a diary of our own molestation by the Serbian government”. Although these are not the reasons why I support the film, they were successful in getting me to investigate a little further into Serbian politics.

A Serbian Film (2010)

I personally don’t use the political pretense to justify this movie, and quite frankly I call bullshit. I believe Spasojevic wanted to make a shocking movie and once the backlash came, he used his carefully prepared political statement as a defense. I defend this movie simply because it’s art. Art that makes you really feel something, be it shock, anger, disgust, or horror, forces you to put down the fucking phone and watch. It makes you feel genuine emotions, powerful ones. For that reason alone, A Serbian Film is worth defending and remains one of the most engaging cinematic experiences of my life. I applaud it for pushing boundaries I didn’t even know I had.

A Serbian Film (2010)

Posted by Candace Stone in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, SLASHERS AND BAD HUMANS, URBAN DECAY/DYSTOPIAN FUTURES, 0 comments
Happy Birthday Betty White!

Happy Birthday Betty White!

Hey, guys Horrormadam here just wanting to wish Betty White a Happy Birthday! Now I know you are thinking why is Betty White on a horror site? Because I love the movie Lake Placid and even though it had great actors like Bridget Fonda, Bill Pullman, Oliver Platt, and Brendan Gleeson, Betty White stole the movie with her crazy antics and saucy language. So for the nonagenarian, she was born on January 17, 1922, which is impressive on its own, we here at House of Tortured Souls say HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BETTY WHITE! May you live another 96 years because you make us smile.

Betty White in Lake Placid feeding the crocodile

Betty White - If I had a dick

Lake Placid

Posted by Horrormadam in CELEBRITY BIRTHDAYS, 0 comments
The Terror TV Series (2018- )

The Terror TV Series (2018- )

Hey everyone, Horrormadam here to tell you about a new TV series brought to us by Ridley Scott, The Terror an AMC original. The film is based on the fictionalized account of Captain Sir John Franklin’s lost expedition of HMS Erebus and HMS Terror to the Arctic, in 1845–1848 to open the Northwest Passage written by author Dan Simmons. In the novel, the captain and his brave crew fight the unforgiving elements, starvation, and sickness which leads them to cannibalism and attempts at mutiny. During their perilous journey, they also find out that they are being stalked by a monster. Set in the unforgiving arctic where they are trapped in the ice for over a year 28 miles north-northwest of King William Island they discover what terror really is.

The Terror is a 10 episode series that premieres a two-hour episode on March 26th, 2018. The Terror stars Jared Harris (Resident Evil: Apocolypse and The Final Chapter, Poltergeist, From Within and The Crown) stars as Captain Francis Crozier, Ciaran Hinds (The Woman in Black, The Rite, and Game of Thrones) stars as Sir John Franklin, Tobias Menzies (Underworld: Blood Wars, Outlander, and Game of Thrones) stars as Captain James Fitzjames, Christos Lawton (Hugo, Downton Abbey) stars as George Hodgson, Matthew McNulty (The Syndicate, Misfits) stars as Little, Adam Nagaitis (Commuter, The Man With the Iron Heart) stars as Cornelius Hickey, and Nive Nielsen (The New World) stars as Lady Silence.

IMDB provides us information on the first episode:

S1.E1 Go for Broke
Two ships, brave captains and their crews, royal marines, all battle the elements and unknown adventure while remembering home and mission beginnings.

Written by David Kajganich, Soo Hugh, Gina Welch, Andres Fischer-Centeno, Josh Parkinson, Vinnie Wilhelm, and even the author of the book Dan Simmons wrote one episode.

The show is produced by Scott Free, Emjag Productions, and Entertainment 360 in association with AMC Studios.

It was filmed on Island of Pag, Croatia.

Readers, I got to tell you, this show looks amazing. Not only the storyline, the incredible actors, the lush cinematography, the harrowing and terror-filled scenes but it is also a Scott Free production teaming up with AMC who has already brought us The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, and Mad Men. I am extremely excited for this series, and I certainly hope you will check it out also!

The Terror TV series / Image: Fair use doctrine.

Posted by Horrormadam in COMING SOON, EXCLUSIVE, MONSTERS AND CREATURES, NATURE STRIKES BACK, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Clown (2014)

MOVIE REVIEW: Clown (2014)

I finally got a chance to view the highly anticipated 2014 Clown. First, let me clarify because too many people are under the wrong impression... THIS IS NOT AN ELI ROTH FILM!!! The film itself was written by Christopher Ford and Jon Watts and was directed by Jon Watts as well. Eli Roth was one of the producers for the film, along with three others and six executive producers... That does not make this an Eli Roth film. So many are saying this is one of his films, and it’s not! Why not just ask Jon Watts how it was to work under Roth during the making of Clown? Then kick him in the nuts as well!

Clown (2014) / Fair use doctrine.

Now that that's out of the way... I had been wanting to see Clown since first having read about and, of course, later having seen trailer for it. Well, God Bless America, but what do I happen to see on Netflix but Clown?! I was thrilled!!!!

The storyline of Clown is of a good dad trying to be the hero to his son’s birthday party when he finds an old clown outfit and wears it to the party after the hired clown cancels at last minute. Good dad to the rescue! Now for the bad part…

After the party is over, Dad can’t get the costume off. It literally is stuck on his body. One might almost say that it is becoming one with his body. After some research, he discovers that the outfit he put on is, for lack of better words, possessed by a once demonic clown who killed and fed off children. I'm not going to say much else about the film because I do hope many of you give it a chance. It is a solid film and deserves to be watched. My review isn't so much a bad movie review as it is a let down on how much potential I think it had. There is honestly a difference!

I don't think I've been so on the line with a film in a very long time! Clown holds so many high points, very dark, very disturbing high points. Clown also holds so many low, predictable, and almost generic points to it. Just when you think it’s great, it pulls some cheesy shit and, to me, it would just fall to hell.

I didn't expect much from the film even though I wanted to see it for so long, I still didn't have very high expectations, and I was wrong. It is a good solid film. I just think if they had stuck with their original dark thoughts and finished that way, it would have been even better.

I really wanted to like it a lot more than I did. Sadly, if I were to give Clown a numerical rating, it would probably be a 3 or maybe a 4, not because of how bad it was because, honestly, it wasn't...but because of how great it really could have been!!

I will say this, the dad, or Kent, played by Andy Powers was spot on. From the role of loving father through his changing ways, shall we say, he did a great job. And I MUST, MUST, MUST say this, let’s call it, the rainbow-colored splatter: GENIUS!!!

Clown is on Netflix. Give it a shot, and let House of Tortured Souls know what you think!

Keep It Evil...

Posted by John Roisland in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
INTERVIEW: Writer/Director Jared Cohn

INTERVIEW: Writer/Director Jared Cohn

Where we talk Dead AfterLife, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Serial Killers, and Mental Fitness

Jared Cohn We're All Animals - chilling / Image: Jared Cohn - Instagram

Horrormadam here, guys, and I had the privilege of interviewing actor/director Jared Cohn. Best known for 13/13/13, Hulk Blood Tapes, and Feed the Devil for acting and Hold Your Breath, The Horde (which got a 94% on Rotten Tomatoes), and Little Dead Rotting Hood for his directing.
For those who do not know yet, Dead AfterLife is a currently in development film written by Michael Joy. And Michael knows horror, he is the CEO of Marketing Macabre, CEO of Joyhorror Entertainment, Director of Marketing for Artsploitation Films (that just released Red Christmas starring Dee Wallace), and Operations Manager for Horrornews.net. I am really looking forward to Dead Afterlife because of its unique and interesting premise. Imagine watching your own funeral as a ghost and then the unthinkable happens, your undead body climbs out of your coffin and starts killing and eating your friends and family. Pharmaceutical Scientist, Donald Conlee faces this conundrum after he’s murdered and is administered his own “Awake”, super drug. His death was only the beginning of his problems. The Gatekeeper has given Donald a time limit to return his Zombie-self to the ground, or else his soul can never gain entrance into Heaven. To complicate matters, he finds out that his murderer is at the funeral and his girlfriend is in grave danger. How can a couple of disgruntled gravediggers and a hearse driver help Donald’s lost soul find the way? Or maybe the real question is how can the spirit world defeat the living dead?

Jared Cohn on Stepmother / Image: Jared Cohn - Instagram

House of Tortured Souls: Is that an amazing premise or what? I asked Director Jared Cohn about this budding horror film.
Jared Cohn: I am a big fan of Michael Joy and looking forward to working with him, he is plugged into the horror community. Look this is a really cool story we got ghosts vs zombies, we got amazing talent on board to act in this. This project is gonna be a bad ass horror movie, straight up. It’s ghosts and zombies fighting each other, it’s gore there’s lots of blood, there is death and a funeral, it can’t lose.

Jared Cohn working on set / Image: Jared Cohn - Instagram

And Jared wasn’t kidding about the amazing talent. They just signed on Dee Wallace (Cujo, The Howling), Michael Berryman (The Hills Have Eyes), Bill Moseley (The Devils Rejects, House of 1000 Corpses), Kane Hodder (Victor Crowley in Hatchet, and Jason Voorhees from some of the Friday the 13th films), Bill Oberst Jr. (Scream Queens, Priest), David Gere (Bleed For This), Andy Gates (Garden Party Massacre), David Vescio (Hick), Mindy Robinson (Lizzie Borden’s Revenge), WWE wrestling star Diamond Dallas Page( Devil’s Rejects), And first timer professional wrestling legend,The Universal Heartthrob, Austin Idol.
Jared Cohn with William Shatner / Image: Jared Cohn - Instagram

Jared Cohn with William Shatner

HoTS: I was really excited about the prospect of seeing ghosts fighting the living dead on film and asked Jared about that.
JC: I am a fan of practical effects and I would also love to incorporate some CGI to enhance the ghosts visually. Really want to do something cool and a little different if we really want it to be scary and to pay homage to some of the great classics. That would go a long way towards making it look cool, make it look good. But in order to do that, you have to rely on the resources that are available. Which some could consider a cop out answer but it’s true. I would love someone like Vincent Guastini (Under The Bed, Requiem For A Dream, V/H/S Viral, and The Dark Tapes), he does creature suits, ghosts, zombies, makeup. To get someone like him on board would be amazing, but he is not cheap. But he would make amazing looking ghosts and zombies, those are the kind of things you need obviously if you want that big budget look, you need those premium people. We are still waiting on the financing to go through though but it is getting a lot of press so it is just a hurry up and wait game, but I am extremely excited to get going.

Jared Cohn sunlight / Image: Jared Cohn - Instagram

HoTS: I then had to ask Jared about a film that I saw on IMDB that he is directing that is in post-production called Street Survivors: The True Story of the Lynyrd Skynyrd Plane Crash because I am a fan of the band and found this title so intriguing.

JC: I got the movie shot, there are just some legal difficulties going on. Kind of waiting until March to see whats going on with that one. I’m very proud of that movie so I am really hoping it can see the light of day. It happened because of Cleopatra Entertainment, I love those guys. They gave me great opportunities to make movies, big fan of that company. I am going to be doing some music videos for them that I am very excited about. I used to do a lot of music videos back in the day in New York. I like getting back to my roots. I used to do more cinematography, stunts, editing, and camera work and lately I have been focusing on acting and directing but it is so great to go back and relearn everything and expand.

Jared Cohn on set / Image: Jared Cohn - Instagram

When researching the film, I found that Jared wrote the film from a story by Skynyrd drummer Artimus Pyle. It depicts the band’s tragic history centering on Pyle and his experiences of the events surrounding the chartered-plane crash on October 20, 1977, that killed original band members Ronnie Van Zant, Steve Gaines, and backing vocalist Cassie Gaines, Steve’s sister. An assistant road manager and the two pilots also died in the crash after the plane ran out of fuel over Mississippi after the final show of the Street Survivors tour. Ian Shultis, Taylor Clift, Samuel Kay Forrest and Rich Dally III have been cast in the film and the legal battle continues.
HoTS: Next, I asked Jared about his film Death Pool starring Sara Malakul Lane (Jailbait, Kickboxer Vengeance), Randy Wayne (Hellraiser Judgement, Hold Your Breath), James Cullen Bressack (Bethany), and Shawn C. Phillips (WTF!, Cannibal Cop). I just loved how this film dealt with the whole cult of personality. The premise is this:
Johnny Taylor has a big problem: he LOVES to drown good-looking girls. When he sees water and attractive females together, something in his head begs him to kill – the psychological result of a traumatic near-drowning during his childhood at the hands of a twisted babysitter. Fighting the urge to act on his sinister thoughts most of his adult life, Johnny finally succumbs to his dark instincts when the only work he can find is around water, cleaning pools. Filled with colorful characters, beautiful women and set against the backdrop of the LA party scene, Death Pool encapsulates the desire for fame, the lust for desire, and the urge to kill.

JC: I think that was one of the more interesting movies that I have made, it had a message. Social media, fame, the upsides and the downsides, and the reactions of people to someone who is killing people. There are a lot of serial killer groupies. It’s nutty, but in a weird way it is understandable also. There are many people out there that are contemplating killing someone, not that they go out and do it but it’s the idea. To analyze the psyche behind those people who do these things, those that find that extreme violence is their only outlet is interesting.
Jared Cohn on set with William Shatner / Image: Jared Cohn - Instagram

Jared Cohn on set with William Shatner

HoTS: I also asked him about who his directing influences might be.
JC: I think that Alejandro Inarritu (Amores Perros, Birdman, The Revenant) and Damian Chazelle (La La Land, Whiplash) have really great style. There are so many great and talented people out there.
HoTS: We then talked about what he is doing for 2018:
JC: I am keeping positive, focusing on mental health, and spirituality. You can be the busiest and most successful person in the world, but if you are not feeling great mentally, physically, and spiritually, you cant get your best work done. So I am trying to raise awareness, you know, help people who feel like they could use a boost in life. I would like to give back rather than just make movies. I would like to help people. Many people are suffering quietly, and I want them to know that they are not alone. If I can do something in that regard, it makes me feel better. Not that this is about me, I just want to give back. I’ve made some mistakes. I have some regrets, so I understand the challenges. It is good to talk about, doing interviews, and talking about various movies and being able to bring awareness to the problem of people’s mental health.
Lastly but cool as hell is the fact that Jared became a licensed FAA 107 certified drone remote pilot for taking absolutely stunning aerial shots for filmmaking and commercial use. Check out Drone-Shots.net to find out what’s available. He is also a Pro-paintballer and a black belt in Shaolin Kempo Karate.

Jared Cohn with drone / Image: Jared Cohn - Instagram

Please check out more on him at:
Posted by Horrormadam in COMING SOON, EXCLUSIVE, FEATURED CONTENT, FRIENDS OF THE HOUSE, INTERVIEWS, MONSTERS AND CREATURES, SLASHERS AND BAD HUMANS, STAFF PICKS, ZOMBIES, 0 comments
Share You Love For The Strangers in the #StrangersFanArt Contest!

Share You Love For The Strangers in the #StrangersFanArt Contest!

Fans of THE STRANGERS are invited to share their love in the form of art for the #StrangersFanArtContest!

Submissions for The Strangers: Prey at Night fan art contest are being accepted on the film’s official social channels: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram from now until Friday, February 9, 2018. Submissions should be posted with the contest’s official hashtag: #StrangersFanArtContest. The winner will be announced on Friday, February 16, 2018, and will see their art unveiled in an installation in Los Angeles, CA, the week of March 5, 2018. They will also receive a $500 cash prize.

@j.dillustraion (original post: https://www.instagram.com/p/BdqOnOvHDPA/

Image: @j.dillustraion (original post: https://www.instagram.com/p/BdqOnOvHDPA/)

CONTEST TIMELINE

  • Monday, January 15, 2018: THE STRANGERS: PREY AT NIGHT Fan Art Contest launches
  • Friday, February 9, 2018: Submissions close
  • Friday, February 16, 2018: Winner is announced

PRIZING

  • Week of March 5, 2018: OOH installation is unveiled

Winner will receive a $500 cash prize and their art will be unveiled in an installation in Los Angeles, CA, the week of March 5, 2018.

Posted by Horrormadam in ART AND VENDORS, CONTESTS, EVENTS, HORROR NEWS, SLASHERS AND BAD HUMANS, STAFF PICKS, 0 comments
Body Count – BloodLust (2017)

Body Count – BloodLust (2017)

The band Body Count, fronted by rapper and actor Ice-T, is a band that flies under the radar most of the time in the metal scene. I mean we always knew about the existence of this amazing band; however, we don’t hear much from them year after year like some metal bands. So when they do drop a record, it’s something to put on constant rotation.

The new album BloodLust, like the previous five albums they’ve released since 1992 hits HARD. Something that I’m sure when they came out people were confused “Ice T? Metal?” Pffffft, he took it and he owned it. I honestly put Body Count up there on a pedestal with many bands in metal and hardcore. Their message, their talent, and their image is what influences the people of the world to think and look at the actions of the government, ourselves, the world in general. The respect Body Count deserves in music needs to raise up, and this album will show you why.

Body Count - BloodLust / Image: Fair use doctrine.

Here’s a track by track view:

  • “Civil War”: Not only does it come out political from the get-go, the message in the song gives you a feeling that the current state of the country is real. The shit seen by blacks, whites, Latinos, by everyone in the world is real and here’s the response Body Count is speaking for US.
  • “The Ski Mask Way”: A nice little number, rhythmic, and keeps your head moving. Also shows that Ice T is true to where he came from. He may be a cop on tv but my dude is still more gangsta than anyone on the market today claiming they’re street.
  • “This Way We Ride”: Body Count, as I mentioned, gives us a view into street life, into the reality of the world that’s out there. This song does just that. The lyrical content and perfect flow of a rap style vocal pattern over the extreme talent of the band gives us a look into what’s out there. A harsh reality in song, that even in the short time it plays, if you just listen it’s like watching a 2-hour movie of the streets. This is a deep fucking song.*
  • “All Love is Lost” (with Max from SoulFly/Sepultura): Boy..let’s just say this is a heavy damn song. Get fucked over, you’re dropped. Period.
  • “Raining Blood/Postmortem”: Yep, these mother fuckers cover the almighty Slayer on this piece. There’s a little backstory at the beginning of the song on Body Count and how they got their sound. Slayer was a big part of that. This really took me by surprise and I must say I loved every second of this.
  • “God, Please Believe Me”: The guitar line….that’s all I’m gonna say. Sets the tone for the lyrics that are deep on a personal level for Ice-T, I’m sure. At only 1:25 seconds long, it’s one where the words touch you and make you look at things a little differently.
  • “Walk With Me” (with Randy from Lamb of God): You know this mother fucker is heavy with Randy on guest vocals. Just listen and let it fill you with fear.
  • “Here I Go Again”: No it is not a White Snake Cover..I was sad too. BC shows us what metal is all about with this song. A bloody image instantly crawls in your mind with a CLASSIC horrorcore vibe lyrically. Metal music behind the super dark lyrics. This is horror.
  • “No lives Matter”: A response to all the “lives matter” issues opening of the song explains what it’s all about. How everyone who says “All lives matter” really doesn’t care about anyone but themselves. Just listen, and you’ll understand.
  • “BloodLust”: A little history lesson in what’s wrong with the human race. We love murder apparently, vengeance, etc. This is a damn fine song and I love how they give it straight about who we are as people. Everyone wants to point to this or that as the issue. It’s all of us, it’s in us we are the problem.
  • “Black Hoodie”: We all remember the several stories of police officers shooting kids just rollin’ down the street just had a hoodie on, had his hood up. The police shoot without just cause, and then it became a trend. Body Count gives it to us, on what the issue is.
SIDE NOTE:
There’s racism all over the place, and I know there’re people out there in the metal world giving grief for a band like this. Let me say this: even the haters can learn from BLOODLUST, learn what other people outside of their race go through. IF it’s the music that speaks to you, then let this album speak to you. Let this album show you what’s out there that you may not be dealing with. Ice-T said once on stage:
You ain’t gonna make niggas listen, nobody listen, singin’ about how much money you got, singin’ about shakin’ yo ass. That’s bullshit. Hey, you do an album. Okay, one song, I’m rich. Now you got nine fucking songs to talk about some real shit. Music, fuck music, just leaders. Sisters. I’m talking about young white girls, young white boys, black… I don’t give a fuck. Open your motherfucking mouth and say something, man.

This whole album is a look into a life that a lot of us do not live, and really eye opening on a lyrical level. Musically, Body Count delivers something that metal music lost a long time ago. I’m really glad to see that this style and this sound is still in the veins of these guys. BloodLust is an amazing album, and I suggest it to everyone into music to buy this record and listen to every millisecond of it.

Body Count Official

Posted by Schock in MUSIC REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
Winner – Funko Pop Leatherface Autographed by John “Grandpa” Dugan

Winner – Funko Pop Leatherface Autographed by John “Grandpa” Dugan

We Have A Winner!

House of Tortured Souls would like to congratulate YouTube subscriber JackChap1, the lucky winner of our contest. Up for grabs was a Leatherface Funko Pop autographed by Grandpa himself, John Dugan, who was kind enough to record this contest announcement for us:

Watch the winning announcement below:

House of Tortured Souls wants to thank all of our subscribers. Keep spreading the good horror word, and keep your eyes out for more fun contests and awesome videos.

JackChap1 - Winner Funko Pop Leatherface Autographed by John "Grandpa" Dugan

Congratulations, JackChap1!

Posted by Woofer McWooferson in CONTESTS, EVENTS, EXCLUSIVE, 0 comments
Haunters: The Art of the Scare (2017)

Haunters: The Art of the Scare (2017)

Haunters: The Art of the Scare - skulls / Image: Fair use doctrine

Haunters: The Art of the Scare, or as many simply refer to it Haunters the Movie, is a 2017 documentary brought to you by Brain Factory Production. Where The American Scream first brought us a light hearted look at local family haunts and a few years later The Houses October Built dabbled into the search for the more extreme in home haunts, Haunters: The Art of the Scare brings you the absolute best of both!

Writer/producer/director Jon Schnitzer takes an in depth look at a wide variety of home haunts through the United States of America. From jump scare haunts to over the top, all out, full contact haunts, Schnitzer serves up a little bit everything for you to sample, a smorgasbord of selections to satisfy your personal palate.

As most of you by now know, I love Halloween and everything about it. Furthermore, I love (crave, even) Halloween-themed movies, so when I first caught wind of Haunters: The Art of the Scare, I was super stoked, to say the least! There is truly nothing I love more than a documentary film about one of my passions…HALLOWEEN!!

Haunters: The Art of the Scare not only examines the art of haunting, it also embraces the passion of legendary haunt actors and shows the history of the haunt and the progression and evolution of home haunts through the years to today’s now legendary the current most extreme haunt in the world – McKamey Manor. Not too shabby considering it’s all being run out of his own home!. It even illustrates how religious organizations actually utilized home haunts to help recruit for their churches.

In-depth behind the scene interviews with haunt owners, actors, builders, and, of course, haunt audience responses cast a light on the underappreciated art of home haunts. The thing I most admired is that not only did Schnitzer capture great behind the scenes footage (it’s always amazing to see what goes on behind the curtain so to speak), but he also captured the haunters’ family lives and how having a home haunt effects and takes its toll on family. Building and running a haunt is a second full-time job for these folks, and as much support as the family gives, sometimes they just run out of things to give…

Haunters: The Art of the Scare does focus a lot on McKamey Manor, but let’s face it, when a haunt requires you to be vetted through a screening process to find out if potential attendees are physically and mentally able of traveling across the world just to go through, you know it’s worth showing! The haunt has gained such huge notoriety that Schnitzer compiled a nice guest list of horror actors and others well-known names in horror (Jen and Sylvia Soska, Jason Blum, and Jessica Cameron to name a few) to add their own thoughts on extreme haunts.

Haunters: The Art of the Scare - Jen and Sylvia Soska / Image: Fair use doctrine

Haunters: The Art of the Scare is currently airing on Netflix and should be high on your to watch list! This documentary packs a punch while still showing the true lives of home haunters!

 

Keep It Evil…

Posted by John Roisland in DOCUMENTARIES, 0 comments
Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios

Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios

Correct me if I’m wrong, but is it just me or does everyone try to find the scariest, shocking, most sinister, hell of a good time, when it comes to haunted houses, hayrides, and mazes? Being a fan of all things horror, whether it’s movies, soundtracks, haunted houses or even shocking true stories of serial killers and their passion for killing (Call me crazy, call me sick, but without serial killers, it’s quite possible that most horror films would not have been made and there wouldn’t be much to scare the hell out of us when that’s all we want), I am always searching for the best and creepiest haunts around.

Universal Studios' Halloween Haunted Nights

Every year ads are spread across the television, magazine articles, and even the Internet to try and pull customers to haunted attractions throughout the world. As an avid fan of this, I can say only a handful of haunted attractions have surpassed my expectations and created fear throughout my body. Which brings me to talk about Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios.

Universal Studios' Halloween Haunted Nights

Having had quite a few conversations with people who have either worked there or visited the attraction, it’s on my bucket list of things to do before I meet my demise.

Universal Studios' Halloween Haunted NightsFor those of you out there who have no idea what I’m speaking of, Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios is a haunted attraction that delivers thrills around every corner and also offers their horror-loving customers the opportunity to walk through different locations and houses that are inspired by such films as The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Shining, Saw, Friday the 13th, Child’s Play, A Nightmare on Elm Street, American Horror Story, The Walking Dead, and many many others – too many to list here.

Halloween Horror Nights is for true lovers of these types of films as well as people who are curious to see what it would be like to feel like they are a part of one of their favorite horror films.

Whether you’re on the east or west side of the US, there’s a Halloween Horror Nights for you as Universal Studios has these attractions in Hollywood, CA, and Orlando, Florida.

Universal Studios' Halloween Haunted Nights

Here’s what others are saying about Halloween Horror Nights:

“Each year [Universal Studios Hollywood] selects the best of the best when it comes to horror genre characters and properties. They also work hand-in-hand with the directors, producers and even the actors of some of Hollywood®s most fright-filled feature films and television shows to really give theme park guests the most authentic scare and walk-on-set feel.”
— Kelli Fadroski, The Orange County Register
“For true fans of Halloween and I mean the actual scary stuff Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios is where you need to be to celebrate the season.”
— Hilary White, PopSugar
“Many people know the visceral thrills of being scared, over and over, in a well-themed environment. The annual Universal Studios Hollywood creep-tacular is a master of this macabre art form, and its movie-quality walk-through experiences are key.”
— Alysia Gray Painter, NBC Los Angeles

Universal Studios' Halloween Haunted NightsAfter reading all of this buzz, I am pretty stoked to visit this theme park in hopes of having the shit scared out of me as well as see some amazing sights and hear blood-curdling screams.

For more info regarding Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios, you can check out the Official Halloween Horror Nights website. It’s time to mark your calendars, book a trip, and get ready to be scared.

Universal Studios' Halloween Haunted Nights

Posted by Jonathan Hughes in ATTRACTIONS AND DESTINATIONS, EVENTS, HALLOWEEN, 0 comments
FIRST LOOK – Upcoming Release for Domiziano Christopharo’s Red Krokodil (2012)

FIRST LOOK – Upcoming Release for Domiziano Christopharo’s Red Krokodil (2012)

Set for January 23, 2018, Unearthed Films’ CEO Stephen Biro contacted House of Tortured Souls with a digital press kit for the DVD/Blu-ray release of Red Krokodil.

According to the press release, here’s what we can expect:

Red Krokodil is the story of one man (played by Brock Madson), addicted to the mind-numbing drug Krokodil. He finds himself alone in a post-nuclear city similar to Chernobyl. His physical decay, caused by the massive intake of drugs, is mirrored by his inner world, as reality mixes with hallucinations.
The decomposition of the flesh caused by Krokodil is severe in its graphic, yet slow destruction, madness, and desperation are rampant as one man’s addiction to the drug runs out of control.
Director, Domiziano Christopharo depicts a psychological condition that brings a total detachment from oneself and from the surrounding world, Red Krokodil is a dark trip, with no way out.

Domiziano Christopharo is an Italian independent film director known for having worked with various notable filmmakers in the past, including Ruggero Deodato (Cannibal Holocaust), Frank Laloggia (Lady In White), and Carlo De Mejo (City of Living Dead).

Christopharo is also known for his ongoing work to try and revive the erotic horror genre, familiar to many fans of the Giallo movement as well as fans of filmmakers such as Fellini and Argento – often having reviewers drawing comparisons with the two filmmakers and his own work.

Christopharo’s body of work includes House of Flesh Mannequins (2008), The Museum of Wonders (2009), Hyde’s Secret Nightmare (2010), Shock – My Abstraction of Death (2011), HP Lovecraft: Two Left Arms (2012), Doll Syndrome (2014), and much more.

Many have characterized Christopharo’s work as being pornographic in nature, but he prefers to respond with a quote from Picasso:

Art is never chaste and we should keep her away from pure ignorants. If it were chaste, it wouldn’t be art at all.

So far reviews have been favorable for the film’s release with Steven Paul from Beneath The Undergound calling it a film in which “you will know that you have truly experienced something special”, Barbara Tourette from Dark Veins saying “Brock Madson’s performance is a mirror of the psychic and physical consequences caused by Krokodil”, and Seth Poulin from Celluloid Terror defining it as having a “powerful message…that is open to personal interpretation and what you take the film for is exactly what it is”.

To nab your copy, visit the Unearthed Films Official Web Site.

Red Krokodil (2012)

Posted by Michelle MIDI Sayles in COMING SOON, EXCLUSIVE, HORROR NEWS, SLASHERS AND BAD HUMANS, 0 comments
Halloween (2018) Officially Filming!

Halloween (2018) Officially Filming!

Hey, horror fans, Horrormadam here bringing you the hottest update. Forty years later, the new Halloween movie has officially begun filming! If I were any more excited…hell, even I don’t know. Maybe I will explode — feels like it! My favorite horror film has always been John Carpenter’s 1978 masterpiece Halloween. To know that a new one is coming is like Christmas to a horror fan. Michael Myers will soon be scaring the hell out of us once again!

Halloween (2018) poster / Image: The Mad Butcher

This Halloween is being produced by Blumhouse Productions the people who have brought us Paranormal Activity, The Purge, Oculus, Get Out, and Split. To say that these people know horror would be a gross understatement. Hell, they are slowly becoming the first name in horror. The film is being directed by David Gordon Green (Our Brand is Crisis, Your Highness, and Pineapple Express). As a horror fan, I can only hope that he knows horror. This Halloween, fortunately, has John Carpenter doing the character writing along with the wonderful Debra Hill. Debra also wrote on the original Halloween and all of the other Halloween films and projects; she will also be doing the character writing. She and John worked together on the Halloweens, The Fog, and Escape From New York. The screenplay is written by David Gordon Green and Danny McBride who wrote Your Highness and Eastbound & Down.

This time around we have Judy Greer (Jurassic WorldCarrie) as Karen Laurie Strode’s daughter, Andi Matichak (666 Park Avenue, Orange is the New Black) as the granddaughter, and Nick Castle (the original shape from Halloween) as Michael Myers along with James Jude Courtney (Far and Away, Buffy The Vampire Slayer) also as Michael Myers. And, as the final and most exciting casting news, we have Jamie Lee Curtis — the greatest scream queen ever (Halloween, Prom Night, The Fog, and Terror Train) — returning to her role as Laurie Strode! Even though she was killed off in Halloween Resurrection in 2002, this film does not have the progression of the previous sequels (much to our delight).

Halloween (2018)

<em>Halloween</em> is being shot in South Carolina and has officially begun filming. The premise is short and sweet: Laurie Strode comes to her final confrontation with Michael Myers, the masked figure who has haunted her since she narrowly escaped his killing spree on Halloween night four decades ago.

Brother sister love-Halloween (2018)

I am so extremely excited for this new Halloween and revisiting some of my favorite characters ever put on celluloid! So we here at House of Tortured Souls will keep you informed of every new bit of news we can get our hands on in regards to the 2018 Halloween, so stay tuned and just remember: Halloween is the night he comes home, and you better trick or treat…or die.

Posted by Horrormadam in CAST AND CREW NEWS, COMING SOON, HALLOWEEN, HORROR NEWS, PARANORMAL, PREQUELS AND SEQUELS, SLASHERS AND BAD HUMANS, STAFF PICKS, 0 comments
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