RECAP: TWD, S08 E05, The Big Scary U

RECAP: TWD, S08 E05, The Big Scary U

Okay, this episode wasn't as intense as the past few weeks, which I'm happy about because I could not handle any more! Not to say it was not intense though - explosions, a mole, Gabriel left alone with Negan, Eugene's cucumbers!! :O

This episode starts off with a flashback of Father Gabriel praying that his death be not a fruitless death and that he goes out with a purpose. And when they are stuck in the hotbox and Negan asks him why did he leave the safety of that car and run back to save Gregory's cowardly ass. Gabe tells Negan that he does not want to die a fruitless death. Gabe also tells Negan he believes his purpose was to hear Negan's confession and to give him a pardon. Gabriel tells Negan of his downfalls, of his cowardly ways of not letting his congregation into the church when they needed in to escape the Walkers at the beginning of the apocalypse. It does work, and Negan loosens up. He tells Gabriel of his wife before the Z.A. He confesses to cheating on her, even when she got sick before the apocalypse, he was galavanting. Negan also mentions he worked with kids. Maybe a teacher or counselor at an alternative or intercity school. Father Gabriel's kind tone, and looking him in his face and not backing down saved him his life. Negan decides Gabe will be his new 'special project'. Not a big surprise there. Negan kept Eugene, he was going to keep Sasha, he even played cat-and-mouse with Carol. What better weapon against someone than one of their team

members? Negan is nothing more than a puppetmaster. And yet as he has his workers bow down when he comes in, and has multiple wives against their will (even killing people to take them wives) and punishing those who rebel by ironing their faces, Negan still thinks he is right and that all is justified. When Gabe was approaching Negan from the back and Negan raised his bat, did he whisper, "Lucille, give me strength"?

Gabe tells Negan he is forgiven, and Negan punches him in his face. I busted out laughing! Perfect.
It was good they did show us Gregory's meeting with Negan and his head Saviors (Negans of the Long Table).

Jayson Warner Smith as Gavin, Austin Amelio as Dwight, Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan - The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 5 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

I love seeing Gregory squirm.I hope Miss Celie fixed that glass of water Gregory was sipping on. When Negan started yelling and pounding the table with Lucille, I just know Gregory and Eugene both pissed their pants. LOL. Gregory's still as delusional as ever. Especially thinking HE could pull off any stunt. I do wonder what Maggie's purpose for letting him back into the Hilltop was. It is going to be interesting to see what Gregory tries.
Negan mentions Simon backsliding? What is Simon's history? Did Negan beat him into submission?

Now in Gregory's flashback, where Simon brought him breakfast, Simon mentioned something about having a meeting with Negan and brought up that he found out about the Hilltop's 'betrayal' while he was in Alexandria last time. How was it Simon found that out? Still a mole in Alexandria? Or one of the Saviors crept into Alexandria somehow and overheard their plans?
Chaos starts up in the Sanctuary because no one knows for sure if Negan is dead or not. Then generators shut off causing more problems. Everyone is frightened and do not know what they should or what will happen next, and now they are all hot and sweaty so the workers start demanding answers and come up to the second floor ready to fight. It takes a gunshot to get them to calm back down and as soon as they are all silent and still by the gunfire, here comes Negan's whistle from around the corner. All drop to their knees, including Gabriel. Negan assigns Gabe a cell, and Eugene is his 'welcoming committee', bringing him a pillow and other items and finding Gabe in a poor condition. Was Gabe bit? It looks as if his blood sugar dropped too low. Did he get too hot? Is it a stunt? Eugene wants to get him to a doctor ASAP, but Gabe tells him that is the reason he is there. That Maggie's doctor needs to get back to the Hilltop. Gabe may be dying, but he is still looking to serve a purpose.
Now let's get to Rick and Daryl, who got into a fistfight. I'm shocked that this had not happened before.

Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon, Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes - The Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 5 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Until now. Daryl has gone and done his own things numerous times before. This time Rick was right there to argue with him, and this time there was a ton on both of their backs. Daryl has always been more gung-ho than a thinker and planner. In the middle of this rumble and tumble, the truck carrying the guns, ammo, and dynamite explodes. Well, just great! Okay, the explosion breaks up the fight, but I am curious about the guns. Before the fight, we see Daryl pulling out a long crate, inside is both dynamite and some ammo but no guns. Did the other guns slide further down during the flip down the hill? I'm really not sure what Daryl, says but I can tell he goes off a different direction than Rick. Rick is on foot, I imagine, walking back to Alexandria. Suddenly, we hear a helicopter. A DAMN HELICOPTER!! The look on Rick's face says it all.

Remember that he saw a helicopter at the first of all of this when he got into Atlanta. T-dog told him that was impossible, and since Rick was hallucinating while they were in the prison, he is not sure if the helicopter is real or not. I suspect he follows the helicopter too see if he is delusional gain if for no other reason.

Now I'm like, "Forget this turkey! Show us who owns that damn helicopter!"

Posted by Tammie Parker in SERIES REVIEWS, 0 comments
RECAP: TWD, S08 E04: Some Guy

RECAP: TWD, S08 E04: Some Guy

OOOOH, MAN!!! What an episode!!! I do not recall an episode any more intense than the one Sunday night!!!
So now we come to King Ezekiel's mirror scene. LOL! We have seen one for so many of our other (some still with us) male characters. I was a bit set back because Ezekiel technically isn't on Rick's team, and he certainly is not a bad guy. I was hoping for a little bit more light in that room since the king was without his shirt and his hair was out of the way. 😉 I'm glad they showed us again how beloved Ezekiel is in The Kingdom and how obedient/loyal Shiva is to him.
Now back up to where we left off last week: the Kingdomians lying dead everywhere outside the warehouse where someone was sniping them off. Suddenly there is movement in the human pile we last saw the King being shoved into, The King is ALIVE!!! His leg is broken ( or perhaps that is a sprain), but other than that he is unscathed! Now comes the reality that all of his followers around him have perished, including Daniel (the red-headed knight) and that affects him deeply, so Ezekiel missed the timing on when he should have scooted to safer grounds. Instead, his shout awoke the dead. Now the King must escape his loved ones while his heart breaks and his leg aches.
Inside the warehouse, we catch up with Carol creeping down a spooky hallway (with a light flickering no less). More signs that the boogeyman has arrived. She discovers where the shots were coming from, and lo! and behold, the weapons that Rick and Daryl went after. Now what to do with all these silly Saviors. No problem for Carol, right?
Back to Ezekiel, who found one gun just in the nick of time to take out one Walker, then, ALAS out of bullets. Keep in mind that this is all happening as he a scooting around. He tries another gun and finds it completely out of bullets. The Walkers (his followers) are closing in on him... WOAH! Where did this guy come from? OH, thank goodness! Welp. that didn't last long. Hey, is that Weird Al? He cut his hair?!? :-O Okay, no... Well, at this angle, this Gunther fellow looks like Jim Carey. I dub him, 'Ace Ventura, Walker Detective'. As puny and pathetic as he may be, he certainly had no problems emotionally beating down the king. Gunther's words sunk Ezekiel into this pitiful pit, and you could actually see the light go out in his eyes.
YES, JERRY!!!!! Jerry is alive!!!Cooper Andrews as Jerry in The Walking Dead / Image: Gene Page.
There is hope!!! OOOOH, how we love Jerry! 😀 He loses his battle axe, but all of our heroes lose their weapons.
Now Carol is behind a vehicle getting gunned down yet again! You tense up and don’t even breathe as you watch. Not because you are frightened she will surely be gunned down, but because you want to see exactly how she works her way out of this situation. She didn't let us down. 🙂 OH, when she spotted Ezekiel and Jerry fighting off Walkers at the gate, though, her well-shit-what-do-I-do look appeared. Those weapons were of the utmost importance, yet the king and Jerry needed help. I was happy she chose to help her buddies but still shouted out, 'Damn!' And the truck drove off with the weapons. Then I heard the bike, even before they showed us that Carol heard the bike and her looked around to see where it was.
Finally, Daryl and Rick show up and take off after the truck.
The truck chase was intense! How do you protect yourself on a bike from gunfire? Luckily, baldy in the back of the truck with the weapons (while none of the Saviors at this point) cannot shoot worth a damn! Daryl does lose control and goes skidding to the shoulder, leaving Rick to get behind the truck for a chase. But wait!!! BOOYAH, fooled you! Rick swerves, and POW! There is Daryl back up on his bike and ready to take the shot. Hmm... Seems like he has no problems hitting his target. So we end up with Rick IN the truck and fighting the driver. I mean, DAMN! Rick gets the driver thrown out of the truck but swerves off the road and rolls down an embankment. Was all of that just for us to lose our hero??? As Daryl runs up to the guardrail and peers over at the truck below, we hear a voice say, 'hey', and see rustling in some weeds growing down the hill. Then out pops Rick - the man with 9 lives.
Speaking of which... 🙁 So back to Carol, Jerry, and Ezekiel trying to make it back on foot. Remember the King has injured his leg and is in agony. Carol leads them to a creek filled with Walkers, all looking like that melted face Walker we were wondering about.In the creek are rusty busted barrels of some type of toxic waste that has left these Walkers looking this way. The creek does not have much in the water department but certainly makes up for it in muddy goop, which makes it impossible for these poor Walkers to get out of the creek. And here it is where Ezekiel pleads for them to leave him and states that he is not worth saving. Jerry was close to tears as he yelled at Ezekiel that he is worth saving. Out of nowhere comes our furry hero to the rescue!! Shiva takes out walkers left and right and allows our pals to get across the creek bed. But it is here that we lose our darling little kitty. Shiva has troubles in the sludge and is easily taken down by a gang of Walkers. That truly was too much for Ezekiel. His whole character will be different now. The Kingdom will become something else as well.
RIP, Shiva.

Posted by Tammie Parker in SERIES REVIEWS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: The Babysitter (2017)

MOVIE REVIEW: The Babysitter (2017)

The Babysitter All Boys Wish For But Shouldn't

Hello, I am the Horror Madam, and I am honored to be joining all of the amazing writers at House of Tortured Souls!
I thought it would be nice to start out here with a lighter horror film to get my feet wet, so I’m going to talk about a new dark comedy horror film called The Babysitter. It is a Netflix original film released this past October 2017, and it is only available on Netflix at this time.
Emily Alyn Lind and Judah Lewis in The Babysitter (2017) / Fair use doctrine.When The Babysitter starts out, it is reminiscent of a John Hughes movie: a nerdy young boy in glasses with a cute girl just waiting for the bus in front of their nice school. You realize quickly that this is not a normal boy going through puberty while pining for the girl next door, and when the girl's father pulls up in his bitchin' mid-life crisis hot rod and gives our young protagonist grief, you start to get curious. But it’s certainly not horrific. Yet.
Next, we see the boy, Cole, played by Judah Lewis (who, according to IMDb was a finalist to play Spider-Man but lost out to Tom Holland), riding home on his bike. Like you would see in any coming of age tale, Cole is harassed by some neighborhood bullies. Unlike other movies of that ilk, Cole is saved by his extremely beautiful babysitter, Bee, played by Austrailian actress Samara Weaving (who appeared in Mayhem and the amazing Ash vs The Evil Dead). You may be asking yourself, where have I heard that last name? Samara is the niece of the very talented Hugo Weaving from such great films as The Matrix and V for Vendetta. Good genes in that family.
Bee shows up with the sun shining on her making her look like a guardian angel sent from above and the song "Boys Wanna Be Her" by Peaches playing in the background, setting the stage for her character's persona. But what you see is what she wants you to see, hiding her true intentions. More on that in a moment because The Babysitter uses enough of its own foreshadowing.
Samara Weaving in The Babysitter (2017) (bikini) crop / Fair use doctrine.Now we start to see the relationship between Bee and Cole which includes a great dance scene and a short slow motion presentation of their time together including a great homage To Fast Times At Ridgemont High with Bee coming out of the pool in the same bikini that Phoebe Cates wore in said film. We also see a game that Cole made up about what would your Intergalactic Dream Team be when facing The Big Bad. Bee's answer is great and on point showing further that she is a young boy's wet dream.
Cole wants to see what happens when he goes to sleep and Bee's boyfriend comes over, so he pretends to sleep and slips down to see what is going on. There is a group of people with Bee, and they are mixing spin the bottle with a truth or dare game. This involves some very hot girl-on-girl kissing and movie quotes. Notably, one particular line involving Fredo from The Godfather. But I digress. The boyfriend in question is a teenage nerd who is very uncomfortable at the party. He is afraid to kiss Bee, but when she finally calms him down and kisses him it looks like the young man has entered bliss but that is when the madness ensues.Robbie Amell and Bella Thorne in The Babysitter (2017) / Fair use doctrine.
From that moment on, we see so many fun and extremely bloody deaths. And I am not kidding about the amount of blood, at one point I remember thinking that it reminded me of old Monty Python skits where copious amounts of blood just spurt and spurt and spurt again.
Warning: Spoilers
The Babysitter was written by Brian Duffield, who also penned Insurgent and Jane Got a Gun, and Directed by McG (also from Michigan), who is best known for one of the longest-running shows on TV, Supernatural. The parents are played by Leslie Bibb from Talladega Nights and Ken Marino from We Are the Millers and Role Models, who provide even more comic relief.
I really enjoyed this movie for its clever wit, great lines, monstrously bloody scenes, and a killer soundtrack, especially a climax scene with Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen. I hope I gave you enough insight without spoiling too much, I hate when reviewers do that. So with that, I leave you with the tagline "That dream girls can be a nightmare". Or maybe they are just the Big Bad.
Posted by Horrormadam in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
MOVIE (SHORT) REVIEW: Megrim (2016) at Shriekfest

MOVIE (SHORT) REVIEW: Megrim (2016) at Shriekfest

Megrim (2016)

Venue: Shriekfest

Director: Stuart Valberg; Writer: Stuart Valberg; Stars: Max Physer, Pascal Yen-Pfister; Rating: UNK; Run Time: 13 min; Genre: Short, Comedy, Horror; Country: USA; Language: English; Year: 2016
Hello, this is your fiendish reporter reviewing the entries from the Shreikfest horror film festival, 5-8 October 2017. The next film is entitled Megrim written and directed by Stuart Valberg. An unnamed artist (Pascal Yen-Pfister) wants to create a masterpiece, but instead of using oil paints, he decides to choose an unknown man (Max Physer) to donate his blood. From frame one, it's clear that director Stuart Valberg has a nice visual flare, drenching the film with mood and tension. His use of tightly framed medium shots gives an almost unbearable feeling of dread and claustrophobia as does his use of atmospheric lighting. I really enjoyed the stripped down one room stage feel, and its simple and effective plot is clearly having a bit of fun with films like Saw (the artist's reasons seem very Jigsaw-like). This, indeed, is where this short shines, as it is eerie and moody yet has a dark sense of humor which makes it more interesting than a simple bloodbath. The film is just two actors, and both do a fantastic job. Actor Pascal Yen Pfister really shines in this film, and he plays with the razor-thin line of having fun with the role yet not going too hammy and he walks the line brilliantly. While I enjoyed Megrim, I really wished it would have pushed the black comedy just a little further while also providing a little more cat and mouse between the two very talented actors. However, this leads me to my next point, which is that (and I rarely say this with shorts) with some clever writing, I feel like this could easily be translated into a full feature. With a great sense of style and solid writing, Valberg provides an interesting darkly comic spin on the torture porn sub-genre and does it with skill and that will no doubt take him incredibly far as a writer-director.
Michael Vaughn is a cult film historian and has been featured in magazines such as Scream (UK) and Fangoria as well as websites like Films in Review. Currently, he has a book coming out entitled The Ultimate Guide to Strange Cinema due out in November, 2017.
Posted by Mike Vaughn in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
MOVIE (SHORT) REVIEW: Tethered (2017) at Shriekfest

MOVIE (SHORT) REVIEW: Tethered (2017) at Shriekfest

Tethered (2017)

Venue: Shriekfest

Director: Daniel Robinette; Writers: Daniel Robinette, Jeff Cox, Aaron Sorgius, Kayla Stuhr, Jeremy Tassone; Stars: Jared Cook, Grace Mumm, Kayla Stuhr; Rating: UNK; Run Time: 12 min; Genre: Short, Drama, Horror; Country: USA; Language: English; Year: 2017
Hello, again, your fiendish reporter here giving you the low down on the films from Shriekfest. This time we are looking at a short by Daniel Robinette entitled Tethered. A blind boy named Solomon (Jared Cook) is left by his mother in a harsh land. He is tethered to a rope and left a recording by mother explaining the rules on how to survive, the most important being to never ever go beyond the rope. Daniel Robinette turns out a wonderfully bleak yet beautiful horror short that takes a simple premise and milks it for everything its got and then some. He builds a world that is steeped in reality yet has an otherworldly feeling and features a finale that is oh so effective. Cinematographer and co-writer Aaron Sorgius paints an eerie and gorgeous picture with his camera and the location and sweeping camera shots really give this short a more epic and wider scope. Jared Cook does an incredible job and, with little to no dialogue, gives a stellar, almost silent star-like performance. Equally great is Kayla Stuhr in a short but unnerving role. I was really impressed with what Robinette was able to pull off with a paper-thin plot and modest budget. It just goes to prove my point that a scary movie can be made without flashy gimmicks or buckets of blood. And it's refreshing to see a crop of new horror filmmakers that are focusing on plot and visuals to tell a story instead of falling back on tired clichés. Tethered is a tension-filled harrowing and creepy short and I would love to see this expanded into a full feature film.
Michael Vaughn is a cult film historian and has been featured in magazines such as Scream (UK) and Fangoria as well as websites like Films in Review. Currently, he has a book coming out entitled The Ultimate Guide to Strange Cinema due out in November, 2017.
Posted by Mike Vaughn in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
RECAP: TWD, S08 E02: The Damned

RECAP: TWD, S08 E02: The Damned

Talking about coming out the gate swinging :O Well shooting, not so much swinging.Morgan, from The Walking Dead
Okay, so where the hell are both sides getting all this ammo?!?!?!? Good Lort, that gunfight went on forever!!!
Jesus, Tara, Morgan, and their team were incredible at being stealth. That procedure was awesome! I am thrilled to see them pull off more thought through operations, and they definitely have an advantage when it comes to brains.
Well, nice meeting you, Mara, oh, bye, Mara. That bite to the throat was some Walker foreplay y’all. And is Rick and Daryl at satellite building with Tara and the crew? Or another location? Did I miss something?
Morgan is incredible! He did have a point when he said he doesn't die. Mercy! When he was clearing the wing of the building!! I certainly need Morgan over next time I play COD. That brings back fond memories of meme I made that seems so long ago now. When Morgan came to Aaron and Daryl's rescue with nothing but a stick, I said, “Captain Morgan to the rescue!” Say how crazy he is all you want, he is still alive, he is still badass, he is still my Captain Morgan!!
Why was the Walker in the woods’ skin melting off? I mean that was skin dripped onto his shirt as well, right? His face certainly was melting off. And this slight grin Carol has when Ezekiel speaks - the King makes Carol's Shiva purr. 😉
OH, FOR THE LOVE OF JESUS!!! #Eyeroll Jesus is now too much Morgan with the all-life-is-precious attitude. Even when he is karate kicking the bad guy. Yeah, Morgan has moved too. That Dean definitely needed to be taken down. And how funny it is a savior who pisses his pants when Negan was asking if Rick and his team pissed their pants yet when meeting Negan? I don't ever recall agreeing with Tara before (certainly didn't with the handling of Oceanview) but she was definitely right when it came to taking down Dean right then and there.
Oh, hey, was anyone missing seeing Rick in a fistfight? That was a bunch of rolling, punching, slinging into furniture (speaking of which, I LOL at how that shelf broke) strangling, and sweat running into eyes. But, oh my heart, when Rick found little Gracie. OMG, what a stab to the heart! Gracie's daddy was just there to take care of his baby, that is a tough one to take in.
Oh, hey, there is Morales. :O In our group chat, all I could do was keep on typing, “OMG”. What has happened? WHHYYYYY is he there? Where is his family? Why is he on the wrong team man???? AAAAWWWWW will Eric make it? 🙁
Will Eric make it?
Season 8 is certainly going to be one hell of a ride. See y'all next week.Jerry, The Walking Dead
Posted by Tammie Parker in SERIES REVIEWS, 0 comments
VIDEO PODCAST: HoTS LIVE at BloodShed Farms Fear Fest, 28 Oct 17

VIDEO PODCAST: HoTS LIVE at BloodShed Farms Fear Fest, 28 Oct 17

Last night House of Tortured Souls creators John and Stephanie Ann Roisland spent the evening at BloodShed Farms Fear Fest in Columbus, NJ, just off 295. For those who don't know, BloodShed Farms is a popular haunt in the Jersey horror scene and home of The Circus Rejects.
As John and Steph set the mood, a few folks stop by to say, "Hello".

Later, John tells of his visit to BloosShed farms after attending a Circus Rejects wedding and shows off some HoTS gear (most available at TeePublic).

Jim Reed,
co-owner of BloodShed Farms, speaks with John about haunts, haunting, and BloodShed Farms.

Isaac the Living Doll, one of the actors at BloodShed Farms, stops by the HoTS table.

Psych, a friend and special guest, stops by to impart some wisdom to all tortured souls out there.

House of Tortured Souls LIVE at BloodShed Farms Fear Fest concludes as John thanks everyone for inviting HoTS and allowing us to be part of the 2017 Halloween horror scene in Jersey.

Please head on over to our YouTube channel and subscribe. If we hit 100, we can properly name ourselves and more easily distribute the content you want to see.
If you like the merchandise you saw or want to see what else we have to offer, head on over to TeePublic and pick up some HoTS gear.
Posted by Woofer McWooferson in EXCLUSIVE, PODCAST, 0 comments
HAUNTED LOCATIONS: Walking with Ghosts on the Dark Side of Durango, CO

HAUNTED LOCATIONS: Walking with Ghosts on the Dark Side of Durango, CO

What family vacation would be complete without a local ghost tour to attend? Not ours! While staying up in Purgatory Resort and visiting nearby Durango, Colorado, I researched the ghostly happenings of the area because that’s just how I roll. The amount of paranormal activity in this area is phenomenal; however, there were few true hosts of such a venture in Durango. In fact, there are quite a few experiences mentioned in reviews for places such as the haunted mines up in Silverton, which is a nearby town, or even the Strater Hotel, built in 1887 directly on railroad tracks, in downtown Durango where guests claim to have had more than their fill of ghostly encounters. Wanting to stick to the local Durango area, however, I was a bit disappointed when visiting the good ol’ Diamond Belle Saloon, a ragtime piano bar connected to this infamous Strater Hotel, where I asked the young waitress dressed as a nostalgic saloon girl if it is true that the Strater Hotel is haunted. I was told in no uncertain yet clearly rehearsed terms that, “The only spirits we serve are behind the bar.” Fortunately, I was given the explanation of this standard response plus plenty more when my family went on the Ghost Walk Durango tour led by Mr. Joe Nelson on the tour of all tours!
Just as the website (www.ghostwalkdurango.com) mentions, we began this guided walking tour through 140 years at the Old Durango High School, where we learned that a young man hung himself and continues to haunt the school, moving furniture around and even strategically arranging and stacking large buckets left unattended by custodians for mere minutes. Did I mention that this stacking of buckets had occurred only days before our tour? Many staff continue to hear the sounds of footsteps in this old school only to see no one upon investigation. This tour was already sounding promising.Durango High School, Durango, CO
My ultimate favorite stop of them all was at the original Day family house where all of the children suddenly died from the measles in the summer of 1888. Mrs. Day was so distraught that she hung herself after her children’s passing. Thereafter, her husband went crazy and was eventually admitted to a psychiatric ward. The house stood empty for years and the family who eventually restored it left after a few years. Since then, however, no family is known to have occupied that home for more than a few months. This is because Mrs. Day doesn’t appreciate newcomers to her home. She has been known to yell at children, “Get out of my house!” In the past, her own children often played with the children occupying the house, even getting them into trouble for leaving a mess. Our tour guide, Mr. Joe Nelson, has his own personal experiences with his children being visited as well. It seems Mr. and Mrs. Day’s children prefer to play with older more traditional toys over modern toys and have been known to knock them off the table and stack their favorite Lincoln Logs in their place. By far, the most fascinating stop on this tour, in my opinion.Day Family House, Durango, CO
Another ghastly stop was at Mrs. Amy’s home now known as Hood Mortuary. In 1883, this house was occupied by Mrs. Amy whose three children died from cholera and were then followed by their mother, who is said to have died from a broken heart. The upstairs ballroom was a special place for the family, and Mrs. Amy doesn’t like when furniture is moved around. Owners say any time something is repositioned within the room, crying can be heard as well as a rocking chair moving quickly as though in agitation. Though the actual Hood family no longer runs the mortuary business, the present business owners kept the Hood name and continue to do business right in the middle of the neighborhood. I’m sure it goes without saying what that means. Creepy stop, to say the least.Hood Mortuary
Hood Mortuary, signAnother eerie spot is at a home that was once a courtroom with a jail in the basement. This place is known for having three men running back into their cells before being caught chatting it up while playing a hand at poker on the back porch. Dark shadows and strong pungent smells of cigars are a norm for this location. Contractors are known for having all of their workers suddenly quit with no warning after finding tools inexplicably moved in various locations within the house or even missing entirely. Tile workers are said to have found all of their stacked tiles strategically placed in round patterns on the floor. Needless to say, jobs just never seem to be completed in that home, and owners tend to leave from fear and annoyance before long.Home that was a courtroom with a jail beneath, Durango, CO
Possibly the most intriguing story came from the Rochester Hotel. A naked lady apparently makes appearances here, even having visited a Mr. John Wayne, in and near room 204. You may have heard of him before. (Wink wink). He turned down the lady’s sultry advances and claims that her form, which was just as fleshy as you or I and dressed in lingerie, simply disintegrated into thin air. This is a popular destination spot, especially around Halloween time where guests book this room in advance, hoping to having their own paranormal experience, perhaps of a sensual persuasion.Rochester Hotel, Durango, CO
About that Strater Hotel, we had quite a delicious meal at the Diamond Belle Saloon while sitting on the upstairs balcony listening to the piano player. The gunfight reenactment was also quite entertaining, and Mr. Joe Nelson informed us that despite the many paranormal events experienced by people who visit this venue, upon being employed, the staff is believed to sign a contract specifically stating that no mention of any ghostly occurrences can be discussed with patrons. Nonetheless, that doesn’t make it true, but it certainly explains our waitress’ quick response to our inquiry with a gleam in her eye.Diamond Belle Saloon, Exterior
Diamond Belle Saloon, InteriorDespite the modern novelties, herbal venues, outdoor activities, and delicious breweries bustling in Durango, Colorado, a layer of historical nuance and paranormal allure adds an air of mystery that begs to be aroused. Definitely a wonderful vacation destination for the adventurous soul or any soul for that matter.
Posted by Scarlett O in ATTRACTIONS AND DESTINATIONS, PARANORMAL, 0 comments
HORROR NEWS: Balsac the Jaws of Death plagued with Myelofibrosis

HORROR NEWS: Balsac the Jaws of Death plagued with Myelofibrosis

The last few years for the shock rock/metal band Gwar has not been all the best in the way of luck. However, we can say that Gwar though will keep on despite what’s been thrown at them making them, by far, the strongest band in the galaxy.
In 2011, Gwar guitarist Cory Smoot, known by his stage name Flattus Maximus, was found deceased of a heart attack while on tour. Then, in 2014, the greatest frontman to ever take the stage Dave Brockie, known to Gwar fans as Oderus Urungus was found dead in his room, due to a heroin overdose. None of this stopped Gwar from carrying on. One thing that they have always done, is kept going despite the odds. Flattus was replaced by Pustulus Maximus, and Oderus role was filled by Blothar which was the original Beefcake The Mighty. Gwar has been through a few changes over the 30+ years of their time on earth. Now, faced with not another change, but another medical issue within the band's members.
Mike Derks aka Balsac the Jaws of Death is facing a disease called myelofibrosis which is a bone marrow disorder that causes the body’s blood cells to not produce properly. This may have come as a surprise to most people. I know for sure it did for me, I got to see Gwar perform on the warped tour, and Balsac was not on a few dates due to this disease causing him great pain and other physical issues. I was wondering why I didn’t see him on stage, and now I understand.
Over the next several months, Derks will be undergoing some major medical treatment, including blood transfusions, constant monitoring, and eventually a bone marrow transplant in which chemotherapy will be administered to rid the body of the diseased marrow, and then the good marrow put in. None of this monitoring and the transfusion of blood will stop Derks or Gwar, as he is still going on tour with the band this fall/winter and will be utilizing various hospital organizations across the country to monitor his condition.
I love music, I love playing music, but if this were me I’d say, “Fuck it”, and not play until it’s all taken care of. Then again, I’m not a bad ass like the guys in Gwar, and I don’t have fans either. HA! Derks has teamed up with Love Hope Strength to get people in the know, get people to donate and gain knowledge of this condition as well as other bone marrow diseases that people face. You can visit https://www.lovehopestrength.org/ and contribute any way you can.
From all of us at House of Tortured Souls as fans, and people with hearts that care about our fellow man, we wish Mike Derks/Balsac Jaws of Death a speedy recovery and issue a thank you for all you do, keeping the ball rolling and having such a positive outlook on the situation at hand.
Posted by Schock in EXCLUSIVE, 0 comments
Evillynn’s Top 5 Halloween Scares

Evillynn’s Top 5 Halloween Scares

Film has the uncanny ability to conjure about some rather magical and deep emotions. The sole essence behind these memorable films is a great story told by remarkable narrators, especially when one removes all the smoke and mirrors. We all have our very own top five favorite films that reawaken our love for the fall season so without any further ado, here are mine.

1. Trick ‘r Treat (2007)

EvilLynn - top 5 - Trick ;r Treat (2007) / Fair use doctrine.
How can one not love a horror anthology that has the ability to embrace such expert knowledge behind the Halloween lore? It does such a fantastic job of interlocking these horror shorts together to create a rare Halloween treat at the very end. This one is indeed a fun watch and guaranteed to rekindle the love for this wonderful holiday!

2. Trick or Treat (1986)

This fun and rather cheesy slasher does a magnificent job of blending together the worlds of rock and horror, completing it with guest cameos by Gene Simmons, Alice Cooper, and Ozzy Osbourne. The premise of this story is about a Satanic horror rock-star who dies mysteriously in a hotel fire. His biggest fan, a teen outcast named Eddie, scores a rare demo and unwittingly ends up bringing the musician back from the dead. All hell literally breaks loose when the demon musician wrecks bloody havoc upon the high school's Halloween dance, and Eddie is forced to make the ultimate sacrifice. I absolutely adore these over-the-top films that were made in this era, and this one doesn't disappoint. A rare gem indeed.
EvilLynn-2017-Top5-Trick or Treat (1986)-615x615

3. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (1949)

EvilLynn-2017-Top5-The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (1949)-615x615 / Fair use doctrine.
Yes, the old Disney short. This one is more about nostalgia than the actual film. Growing up, Halloween didn't truly start for me until my family made our annual trek down to the Headless Horseman at Conner Prairie. This historic park hosted several different mini-events such as painting pumpkins, ghost stories that were told by interactive storytellers around a huge bonfire, and many other delightful Fall activities. The main event consisted of a haunted hayride where they would reenact the famous chase scene of the Horseman. Whilst waiting in the long line, one could entertain themselves by watching this flick play on repeat via the outside projector. I truly believe that this festival is what started my obsession with this holiday and all things horror. This film, especially the last 10 minutes, has a deliciously wicked way of invoking my Halloween spirit that lies within.

4. Return to Oz (1985)

This horror film directly made for children is very loosely based on the second and third books of the Oz Series, written by L. Frank Baum. Return to Oz is during the Fall at the end of the 19th century, and this adaptation introduces some very twisted characters, such as the Wheelers, an evil princess who has 31 different interchangeable heads, and a gnome king who thoroughly enjoys turning all living creatures into stone. This may not be the traditional film that many would place in this category; however, I watched this film at a very impressionable young age. In fact, this film is one of the first of many that terrified me with delight and, therefore, ended up paving my way into the glorious world of horror.
EvilLynn-2017-Top5-Return to Oz (1985)-615x615 / Fair use doctrine.

5. Something Wicked This Way Comes (1983)

EvilLynn-2017-Top5-Something Wicked This Way Comes (1983)-615x615/ Fair use doctrine.
This is Ray Bradbury's marvelous tale of a dark carnival that sets up shop in a very small, stale mid-western town in the middle of the night. The owner, Mr. Dark, has some rather cynical attractions where the riders get much more than they bargained for. The two main characters are rather skeptical and elusive to these newcomers, seeing how most carnivals end up leaving before Labor Day. This film just screams Fall every step of the way, and it is a rather enjoyable and spooky enchantment that one can enjoy with the whole family.
And there you have it, folks, these are my absolute favorite flicks that are centered around the Autumn season. Some of these may be considered a bit "childlike" and that is quite okay if you agree with this sentiment. After all, doesn't the love of Halloween originate from the mystical world of childhood imagination?
Posted by EvilLynn in HALLOWEEN, 0 comments
MOVIE (SHORT) REVIEW: Play Day (2017) at Shriekfest

MOVIE (SHORT) REVIEW: Play Day (2017) at Shriekfest

Play Day (2017)

Venue: Shriekfest

Director: Greg Mazzola; Writer: Sophia Rose; Stars: Sophia Rose, Thomas Downey, Jim Nieb, Craig Tate, Harrison Samuels; Rating: UNK; Run Time: UNK min; Genre: Short, Horror; Country: USA; Language: English; Year: 2017
Your fiendish reporter bringing you another offering from the 2017 Shriekfest. In this short, a lonely man named Steve (Thomas Downey) is looking for that special somebody on the Internet. Nothing wrong with that except instead of a dating site he has chosen an online service called Play Day. Little does he know his payment for this might just be in blood. Writer Sophia Rose and director Greg Mazzola manage to take the premise of online love something terribly routine and totally turn it on its head and the end result is incredibly different. The core concept is explored just enough to give the audience a clear idea of what's going on without feeling the need to over-explain things. Also, it tapped into a psycho sexual-dark web theme which I did not expect and was impressed with. On the technical side, Mazzola gives the low budget film a professional gloss with nice visuals, good editing, and a nice score. My one complaint with this short was actor Thomas Downey. While I think he's a solid actor he defiantly went a little too campy which in a certain context is alright but it doesn't help when it somewhat undercuts the creepy vibes the film is building. When Downey starts to go really barking mental I thought the short totally went off the rails but thankfully a good ending helped save it. Play Day may have some issues however I couldn't hate it because it's really interesting and it takes a familiar troupe and completely remixes it, which is something I love to see. I very much hope that Greg Mazzola and writer Sophia Rose expand this into a feature even if it was just 80 mins or so. Overall, Play Day is great little film, and I look forward to seeing what else they have in store.
Michael Vaughn is a cult film historian and has been featured in magazines such as Scream (UK) and Fangoria as well as websites like Films in Review. Currently, he has a book coming out entitled The Ultimate Guide to Strange Cinema due out in November, 2017.
Posted by Mike Vaughn in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
MOVIE (SHORT) REVIEW: Conduit (2017) at Shriekfest

MOVIE (SHORT) REVIEW: Conduit (2017) at Shriekfest

Conduit (2017)

Venue: Shriekfest

Director: Tim Earnheart; Writer: Tim Earnheart; Stars: Corrie Fleming, Matt Dy, Tyler Totten, Ayuba Audu, Reeve Bareceloux, S Joe Downing; Rating: UNK; Run Time: UNK min; Genre: Short, Horror, Thriller; Country: USA; Language: English; Year: 2017
Hello, again! Your fiendish reporter coming at you with another short film presented at this year's Shriekfest. Conduit is written and directed by Tim Earnheart whose previous shorts include Working with Damien (2016) and 180 (2015). The FBI is set into an upscale cabin to rescue a little girl who was kidnapped. Little do they know that something far more sinister is waiting for them inside. Conduit is really a brilliant little horror film, and Earnheart takes the ghost film and turns it on its head, taking the tropes and tossing them right out the window. The added action of the FBI raid further gives this an altogether different spin on the supernatural subgenre. With strong and eerie imagery, slick professional editing and a great score, it struck all the right cords with this film critic. Thankfully the audience isn't hit over the head with backstory and I love how things are purposely left vague. In fact, I hope Conduit gets expanded into a feature film because I`d love to be filled in on the mysterious aspects. This feature is effects driven and thankfully the FX expert, HM Grandy, does a great job crafting some truly grisly and realistic make-up - especially when you consider this was done on what I am guessing was a modest budget. Supernatural films are tricky to make effectively and without clichés, but Tim Earnheart and company go into it with an above interesting premise and keeps it fresh with great visuals, gore, and a fantastic ending.
Michael Vaughn is a cult film historian and has been featured in magazines such as Scream (UK) and Fangoria as well as websites like Films in Review. Currently, he has a book coming out entitled The Ultimate Guide to Strange Cinema due out in November, 2017.
Posted by Mike Vaughn in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
PRESENTATION: Grady Hendrix – Paperbacks from Hell

PRESENTATION: Grady Hendrix – Paperbacks from Hell

The event was held in a mausoleum.
The venue was PhilaMOCA, the Mausoleum of Contemporary Arts, a former showroom for tombstones and mausoleums in Philadelphia, and we were there for a presentation of Paperbacks from Hell by Grady Hendrix, author of Horrorstor and My Best Friend's Exorcism.
Grady-Hendrix-rev-My Best Friend's Exorcism / Fair use doctrine.All the lights went out except one red spotlight glowing over a podium on the stage at the front of the room. Grady Hendrix walked onto the stage, stepped into the spooky red light and, without preamble, read an excerpt from a book about a town besieged by a rain of maggots. It began quietly, with the creeping dread of a family seeing maggots covering their doorstep, their walkway, their front yard, their fence, unfurling outward over the countryside. It picked up a humorous cadence as Hendrix emphasized the author's constant repetition of the phrase “covered... with maggots,” since, clearly, the reader needs a complete inventory of every single thing that was covered... with maggots.
Hendrix brings up an image on the pull-down screen behind him of a screaming face, missing an eyeball and some skin, crawling with repulsive little white things. It's the cover of the book he's been reading from. You guessed it: Maggots.
Hendrix then gave historical context for the time period leading up to that masterpiece of the written word. For the first half of the 20th century, the horror genre had almost no significance. It provided no answer to the call of social upheaval and cultural change of the 1960s. Horror in the movies was the Gothic fare of the Hammer studios and on television; it was whimsical family comedies. Horror was absent from bestseller lists dominated by literary blockbusters like Catch-22, In Cold Blood, and Valley of the Dolls. Genre fiction was westerns, Gothic romances, and reissues of Tarzan and Conan adventure pulps from decades prior.
In 1971, Ira Levin's Rosemary's Baby, William Peter Blatty's The Exorcist, and Thomas Tryon's The Other were all on bestseller lists and were all adapted into hugely successful movies. They generated multitudes of novels about Satan and the occult, branded with blurbs comparing them to one or more of the aforementioned three. Novels that weren't actually about Satanism were given descriptions, or at least covers, that hinted at something devilish. That trinity of novels had gotten horror taken seriously, and the ensuing imitations rode the wave of the trendy Satanic panic.
On the heels of that craze, the success of The Exorcist inspired David Seltzer to write the movie The Omen, and a novelization of the movie that spawned its own franchise and inspired scores of books about children who were possessed by demons, gifted with supernatural powers, or just generally evil. They didn't even have to be in existence to be menacing. The availability of birth control, the legalization of abortion, and the first “test tube baby” born through IVF led to misinformation, speculation, and, consequently, paranoia. There were books about evil embryos, mutant fetuses, and macabre advancements in any medical technology involving fertility.
Next were the things beyond man's law or control: animals. Peter Benchley's Jaws, Stephen King's Cujo, and James Herbert's The Rats were successful novels that took people's fears of sharks, rabid dogs, and rats and built upon them in ways that were somewhat plausible and wholly terrifying. After that, countless authors utilized every available mammal, amphibian, and insect in their plots. Hendrix displayed covers of horror novels about whales, jungle cats, farm animals, all manner of bugs and crustaceans, both normal-sized and mutated to gigantic proportions: a murderous menagerie dedicated solely to wiping out the human race.
Anne Rice-Vampire-Chronicles-the-wrap / Fair use doctrine.He crossed over to the 1980s and touched on horror subgenres like hackneyed haunted house novels and outlandish medical thrillers. Hendrix also focused on two of the best-selling authors of the 1980s: Anne Rice and VC Andrews. Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles explored the existential dread of the elegant, indulgent undead. VC Andrews only wrote a handful of novels in her lifetime: lurid and scandalous family dramas in sinister Gothic settings. The success of her first novel, Flowers in the Attic created a legacy that was carried on by Andrew Neiderman who has been “ghostwriting” novels under her name since her death in 1986.VC Andrews-Flowers in the Attic / Fair use doctrine.
Horror fiction's success continued uninhibited throughout the decade. Dozens of publishers flooded the market with books nonstop, publishing anything horror, particularly supernatural.
Then, in 1988, Thomas Harris’ The Silence of the Lambs came out and won the World Fantasy Award and the Bram Stoker Award, proclaiming itself the leader of the bloodthirsty pack. The novel and the film adaptation a few years later changed the readers' and publishers' demand from the improbable menace of the paranormal to the entirely possible threat of serial killers. Book covers and content became darker and more sadistic. Many writers didn't adapt to the changing climate or were dropped by publishers who wanted to thin the herd. The horror genre went dormant like a folkloric beast with no peasant population to feed on. “Horror” morphed to “thriller” if it wanted to sell.
The horror fiction of the 70s and 80s was not subtle. The book covers Hendrix showed in the PowerPoint presentation became indistinguishable, using and reusing things like occult imagery, skeletons, broken dolls, evil clowns, and spooky big-eyed children. Plots were derivative or outrageous to the point of self-parody. Hendrix read detailed synopses of several books whose plots and writing didn't just border on ludicrous, they smashed through the boundaries with convoluted storylines, outlandish events, bizarre deviances, clichéd characters, and bad dialogue. The unintentional hilarity wasn't just in the content of the books but in the fact that many of them even got published in the first place.
Ken Greenhall-Lenoir / Fair use doctrine.Despite that, the presentation was as much tribute as it was satire. He went into detail about the lives of some of the artists who painted the covers and the writers who persevered to remain relevant today as well as those who unfairly faded into obscurity. The biggest injustice, Hendrix stressed, was the underwhelming career of Ken Greenhall, whose skill as a writer was comparable to any big name, if not better. He wrote several stunning horror novels but was never considered distinguished from his contemporaries and was moved to smaller and smaller publishing houses. His final book was Lenoir, a historical novel inspired by the model for Peter Paul Rubens' Four Studies of the Head of a Negro. Greenhall's attempt to transcend genres was torn apart by critics and, according to Hendrix's interview with Greenhall's widow, that destroyed his confidence as a writer.Peter Paul Rubens-Four Studies of the Head of a Negro / Fair use doctrine.
Hendrix urged the audience to read books by Greenhall, as well as any other writer whose work he had featured in the presentation, in hopes that, even if the writer or cover artist is no longer living, their contribution to the history of horror fiction will not be forgotten and they will live on through their PAPERBACKS FROM HELL.Grady Hendrix-Paperbacks From Hell-cover / Fair use doctrine.
Posted by Laura D. James in BOOKS, COMICS, AND PUBLICATION REVIEWS, EVENTS, REVIEWS, STAFF PICKS, 0 comments
MOVIE (SHORT) REVIEW: Ghosted (2017) at Shriekfest

MOVIE (SHORT) REVIEW: Ghosted (2017) at Shriekfest

Ghosted (2017)

Venue: Shriekfest

Director: Sevgi Isabel Cacina; Writer: Sevgi Isabel Cacina; Stars: Asger Folmann, Shandel Love, Tony Nevada; Rating: UNK; Run Time: UNK min; Genre: Short, Comedy, Horror; Country: USA; Language: English; Year: 2017
Hello, again, from your creepy correspondent coming at you again with another short film review from LA's Shriekfest earlier this month. So far I've really enjoyed every short from this film festival -- which is pretty darn rare. However, all good things must come to an end, and that end here is with Ghosted. A woman named Sandy (Shandel Love) goes to a shrink with a strange problem, namely that she is haunted by a jealous ghost (Asger Folmann). Written and directed by Sevgi Isabel Cacina, Ghosted is definitely the first weak link I have come across (so far). The biggest issue is a sloppy plot which is not compelling and has aspects that seem needless and, in the case of the ending, confusing. This is labeled as a horror comedy and also a "Fable" (according to the Vimeo link), but, honestly, I didn't get any horror or comedy. And that's a shame because I think the set up is an interesting one. Sadly, the acting, while not terrible is not at the same level as the previous fest entries. It's not all bad as the film is very well shot, and it makes the most of a modest budget. It is also clear Cacina knows how to put together a film with a nice flow editing-wise. I really hate to dump on a movie because even short films take a great amount of time and energy to make, but this one just didn't have a strong, focused screenplay, and it greatly suffered for it. I still would like to see what else Sevgi Cacina has to offer in the future.
Michael Vaughn is a cult film historian and has been featured in magazines such as Scream (UK) and Fangoria as well as websites like Films in Review. Currently, he has a book coming out entitled The Ultimate Guide to Strange Cinema due out in November, 2017.
Posted by Mike Vaughn in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
MOVIE (SHORT) REVIEW: The Armoire (2017) at Shriekfest

MOVIE (SHORT) REVIEW: The Armoire (2017) at Shriekfest

The Armoire (2017)

Venue: Shriekfest

Director: Evan Cooper; Writers: Evan Cooper, Brodie Cooper; Stars: Hannah Barlow, Strange Dave, Evan Cooper, Bradley Rose; Rating: UNK; Run Time: UNK min; Genre: Short, Horror; Country: USA; Language: English; Year: 2017
Hello! Your fiendish reporter here kicking off my Shriekfest viewing with The Armoire, an impressive little gem by newcomers Evan Cooper and writer Brodie Cooper. I watched a lot of short films and, frankly, most of them are terrible. But, to be fair, it's much harder in some ways to make an effective short film because you have to perfectly nail the story theme and mood in a brief amount of time. So when I viewed Evan Cooper's debut The Armoire, I was pleasantly surprised. Emma (Hannah Barlow) is an aspiring actress who just moved into an apartment in LA and must find cheap furniture as she is on a shoestring budget. She seems to hit the jackpot when she finds a wonderful old armoire. Has she made the find of the century or does something sinister dwell within? Cooper skillfully avoids the pitfalls a lot of filmmakers make by telling a simple story yet allowing the true horror and suspense to slowly build and build like a tightrope until the frightening finale. His methods for creating this are equally simple, utilizing great camera work and creepy sound design rather than flashy gimmicks or MTV quick cuts -just pure old-fashioned storytelling. I also love the fact that Evan and writer Brodie Cooper didn't feel the need to overexplain things, giving it a kind of wonderful and scary simplicity. He also doesn't shy away from having some mystery and it leaves you thinking about it after the credits roll. The bulk of the film centers around one actor, Hannah Barlow and thankfully she has what it takes to carry the film. Her acting is solid and she has a natural ease that is both refreshing and also makes her relatable. The fact that this is the filmmakers' first short film is even more impressive, and I cannot wait to see what wonderful tricks they have up their cinematic sleeves. Watch this in the dark if you dare. I am okay with admitting it made me jump.
Michael Vaughn is a cult film historian and has been featured in magazines such as Scream (UK) and Fangoria as well as websites like Films in Review. Currently, he has a book coming out entitled The Ultimate Guide to Strange Cinema due out in November, 2017.
Posted by Mike Vaughn in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
CONCERT REVIEW: Michale Graves at The Irish Wolf Pub

CONCERT REVIEW: Michale Graves at The Irish Wolf Pub

What: Michale Graves - Live

Where: The Irish Wolf Pub
503 Linden St., Scranton, PA, 18503
When: October 8th, 2017

Michael-Graves-01 / Image: DCScranton, Pennsylvania, is known primarily for its association with the NBC TV show The Office and not much else. People from the area also remember the once booming coal industry that employed miners for generations. Scranton is not known for having a prominent musical scene, but Peter Kelly, owner of The Irish Wolf Pub, at 503 Linden St. Scranton, PA, has spent the last 7 years trying to change that by hosting traveling bands and local acts on a weekly basis and booking bands from the horror genre like The Independents, Cut Up Naked Teenagers, and Redneck Nosferatu. On December 3rd, 2016, Michale Graves graced the area with a stripped down acoustic set at Ale Mary’s (126 Franklin St. Scranton, PA) ,and on October 8th, 2017, The Irish Wolf Pub hosted Michale Graves as he returned with his full band.
The Irish Wolf Pub is a small venue across from the courthouse in downtown Scranton. This is the type of venue people remember visiting because the crowd is as much a part of the show as the band is. The small stage raises the artists only a few inches above the crowd, which keeps them in the center of the madness and creates an intense and intimate way to experience a concert. The friendly staff and open stage and bar area allow patrons to always be in the middle of what's going on. No backstage means the band walks through the mob of fans to reach the stage allowing everyone to interact on a level most venues don’t offer.

The show started around 8 o’clock and featured incredible performances by local acts Death Wish Birdie and Black Hole Heart, both definitely worth checking out. After a brief sound check, bassist Christopher Dean, guitarist Loki, drummer Tony Baptist and front-man Michale Graves work their way through the crowd towards the stage. Donning his skull paint Michale Graves kicked the show off with a powerful rendition of his track Bedlam, from the 2016 record When Worlds Collide, easily one of my favorite albums to date, before breaking out the expected Misfits classics.

Michael-Graves-02 / Image: DCListening to the Michale Graves band’s renditions of The Misfits' American Psycho / Famous Monsters era hits in this setting, pressed close to the stage with the mosh pit in full swing behind me, I felt more involved than I did standing in Douglas Park watching the original Misfits. This wasn’t a show for money or to sell out venues, this was strictly talented artists performing music they love for fans who couldn’t get enough. No one threw water at us for trying to get pictures, and Michale didn't break off the show to ramble about his hatred for the Kennedy family. (“It's 2017, Glenn, there's got to be, like, only one Kennedy left alive at this point and I doubt he cares what you think.”). The Michale Graves band covered the gambit of his musical career, performing songs from Punk Rock Is Dead (2005), Return To Earth (2006) and Illusions (2007) as well as the track “Seasons Of The Witch” (2003) from their Gotham Rd days. The highlight of the set list for me that night was watching the band perform “3 Days ‘til Dawn”, also from When Worlds Collide.
As the show began to wind down, Michale announced to the crowd they would play three more songs and end the show. He stated their egos didn’t need boosting from the walk back onstage and finish their set. The very real approach was refreshing and different from the typically portrayed rock star persona. The show came to a close with powerful versions of “Helena and Dig Up Her Bones”. and the band walked off stage to the back of the bar to sign autographs and meet the fans. Just like when I saw him in December, Michale Graves seemed genuinely interested to interact with his fans. The rest of the band hung around to bullshit with those of us who had attended. Michale Graves is an expert frontman and has crafted an incredible backing band and I, on behalf of Scranton, PA, would like to thank them for taking the time to give this area one hell of a show and let him know that we hope they come back through again.
Be sure to follow the band online:
And if you're ever in the area, stop by The Irish Wolf Pub for a killer time!Michael-Graves-03 / Image: DC
Posted by Dom Calzola in MUSIC REVIEWS, 0 comments
RECAP: TWD, S08E01: Mercy (100th Episode)

RECAP: TWD, S08E01: Mercy (100th Episode)

W O W! 😯 Just eye bulging WOW!!!!!!
You know, I was so thrilled to have my beloved The Walking Dead

The 100th episode could not have been more amazing, though. I was thrilled that the whole group was back together and organizing an entire operation together. And my, my, my, our crew sure can pull off some amazing stunts, huh! I'm always thinking to myself, 'OH, that is so genius! I'm going to add that to my notes on How to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse'. LOL! It is impressive how much thought goes into this show. I mean, will my geekiness ever become that strong?
Now, allow me to be all over the place with the remainder of this recap (just like the episode).
I did a little bit of a jump on the couch when Carl and Rick were leaving the gas station and a girl walker came shuffling into Rick's view. OMG, it's Summer (Teddy Bear Girl) – talk about coming full circle.
I KNEW Dwight and Daryl were communicating! 😮
Gregory was so pathetic wasn't he?!? The peeping at Negan to see if what Gregory was saying was ballsy enough, and Negan with his “go on'” gesturess. Why, why, why did Father Gabriel feel the need to leave the safety of the car, and risk his neck for Gregory? Gregory did just what I figured he would, and took off in the car without Gabe!
Who is this new kid? I cannot tell if he is sincere or not. Is he safe now? And Rick shooting over his ear. Okay, so you didn't kill the kid with a bullet, but that gunshot will sure as hell draw any nearby Walkers. So the kid is still at risk of dying - only now by Walkers.
OOOOH, the team made it at to where the Sanctuary would get overrun by Walkers. Smooth move indeed!!! But, dammit, Gabriel is stuck in there now! I'm not sure which is better: being outside with Walkers or being inside with Negan.
I'm glad to see Morgan back to work, and (for the moment) sane!
I really wanted to see Carol confront Tobin since she was in Alexandria.
I am so happy TWD is back on, I feel like I just found my favorite blanket again. Come join us on Facebook, we hold group chats during every episode, which is so good to have someone of like to vent with! https://www.facebook.com/groups/TheWalkingDeadHeadsUnite.
Seriously, though, who was the young man at the gas station?
Posted by Tammie Parker in SERIES REVIEWS, 0 comments
POETRY TRIBUTE: William Castle

POETRY TRIBUTE: William Castle

POETRY TRIBUTE: William Castle

House on Haunted Hill!

©Rich Orth

Ennis House from William Castle's House on Haunted Hill / Fair use doctrine.You are cordially invited
To the House on Haunted Hill
Hold tight to your seats
Await the thrills
Can you just spend the night
How hard can it be
Not such a fright
That you screamingly flee
An easy 10,000 bucks
Yours for the taking
A little tale of terror
Of William Castle's making
Another priceless performance
by Vincent
Frank Lloyd Wright's structure
breathes
And every time the skeleton
rises from the vat
Several in the audience jump up
to leave
So come have some cocktails
Remember doors lock come midnight
And when all seems said and done
The ghosts will come for you
That begins the true fun...............
Vincent Price House on Haunted Hill / Fair use doctrine.

From The Castle to the Grave!

©Rich Orth

William Castle for President / Fair use doctrine.From the Grave he writes
Invites you into his world.
Scribe that refuses to die
He is risen
As he rises to the occasion
Devises ways for all to succeed
Conceiving the anatomy
Of a story that lives
Awkakens our souls
Exclaims as it unfold
A phantom
living upon a hilltop
gripped by things he doesn’t understand
Death
What is it. Unknown to a dead man.
He ….scares it forward
Elicits the living,,, all onboard..
The tingler ..as it grips
your spine…
The sense of horror..as
it should be defined
Benign..never…
Clever to the end
Endeavor as we intend….
A full moon is love and death and destiny.
As it rises and as it sets
A full moon is love and death and destiny.
and not necessarily all it besets
A full moon is love and death and destiny
As it rises and as it sets
He Scares us forward without regret
William Castle's grave / Fair use doctrine.
Posted by Rich Orth in FICTION AND POETRY, 0 comments
EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: The Houses October Built on HoTS LIVE!!!

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: The Houses October Built on HoTS LIVE!!!

The Houses October Built and the recent follow up release, The Houses October Built 2, are two of my favorite films! Let's face it. With the abundance of horror films being made either through Hollywood budgets or Indie fan-funded projects, there's a shit ton of mediocre to bad horror being produced. Since October is the month for horror and scares and with Halloween just around the corner, the options for viewing are endless. During this season I try to stick with Halloween-themed films.
In 2014, I first viewed The Houses October Built. It instantly became part of my personal top five horror films! And, in keeping in with my Halloween-themed films, it's about a group of friends who travel from haunt to haunt in search of the extreme. Now, I ask you: what can be more Halloween than haunts?
Then 2017 came, and the crew released the follow-up, The Houses October Built 2. This sequel answered questions that had left audiences pondering in the closing frames of the original, kept the viewer's Halloween spirit engaged, and ended with an entirely new set of holy-shit-what-the-fuck questions.
After viewing The Houses October Built and launching House of Tortured Souls, I had been trying to get in touch with any or all staff for a written interview. However, once I tracked down the right people through social media, there were always scheduling conflicts. Time went on, and I had resigned myself to the fact that it wasn't going to happen. Still, I proudly supported the films and helped out the best I could on social media by sharing their posts.
It was this past Thursday, October 19, 2017, at approximately 2:30 pm EST when I figured what the hell and sent an email to them in hopes of setting up an interview sometime within the next few years. With part 2 only having been out for a few weeks, I knew they would be busy, but I also figured why not give it a shot? Within an hour, I got a response asking if I was available that day. Long story short, within two hours, both writers/directors/stars of both The Houses October Built parts 1 and 2, Bobby Roe and Zack Andrews, were staring me in the face live through a House of Tortured Souls LIVE video podcast.
We had a great chat, and it was a thrill to have met them and an honor to have them on the show. The guys discuss the origins of the film, working together, haunts, and even dabble in what may be next! So join me as I bring you my afternoon with Bobby Roe and Zack Andrews of The Houses October Built!
Keep It Evil...

Posted by John Roisland in EXCLUSIVE, INTERVIEWS, 0 comments
THE VORTEXX: COUNTDOWN TO HALLOWEEN

THE VORTEXX: COUNTDOWN TO HALLOWEEN

2. Vortexx Halloween theme (1) / The VortexxObviously, Halloween is a special time of the year for the denizens of The Vortexx, your home away from home for horror hosts, B-movies, and cult flicks. In celebration of the Season of the Witch, we've put together a great line-up of Halloween-themed shows starting on October 20 and continuing through All Hallows' Eve itself. Unless otherwise indicated, each show begins at 9 (ET). Please come on by, enjoy our shows, and if you are so inclined, join our friendly chatters in The Vortexx chat room. You can find us at horrorhost.net.
4. Oct 20. Night Chills Theatre / The VortexxOur Countdown to Halloween kicks off on Friday, October 20, with THE NIGHT CHILLS THEATRE HALLOWEEN SPECIAL. Host Vincent Grimmly and special guest Vlad give the deliciously cheesy Spanish horror thriller VENGEANCE OF THE ZOMBIES (1973) the MST3K treatment. Horror great Paul Naschy stars in a triple role. Some gratuitous nudity, a little gore, and an undeniably groovy free-form jazz and progressive-rock score add to the fun.
5. Oct 21. Sicko Psychotic / The VortexxThe Countdown continues on Saturday, October 21, with SICKO-PSYCHOTIC'S TWISTED HALLOWEEN SPECIAL! In a tribute to the Silent Screams of yesteryear, Sicko is presenting two rare and seldom-seen classics -- Georges Méliè’s THE HOUSE OF THE DEVIL (1896) and the earliest surviving version of DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE (1912) -- followed by Sicko's twisted and tasteless alteration of THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI (1920).
6. Oct 22. Sir Graveson Show / The VortexxThen come back on Sunday, October 22, at approx. 10:30 (ET) as THE SIR GRAVESON SHOW presents a SPECIAL HALLOWE'EN SPECIAL. Sir Graveson and his friends attempt to have a knock-out Halloween show, but a pesky casket salesman keeps interfering! In addition to some delightful host bits, this one-hour show will include movie trailers and clips, cartoons, vintage TV commercials, and musical guests The Petty Ghouls.
7. Oct 24. Vortexx Halloween Show 2016 / The VortexxThe Countdown continues on Tuesday, October 24, with a VORTEXX HALLOWEEN PARTY from 2016. Our Monster of Ceremonies will be Mortimer Van Creep, host of SKUNKY CINEMA, who will be presenting CARRY ON SCREAMING (1966), the twelfth installment of the long-running British "Carry On" series. It's a hilarious parody of the Hammer horror films of the 1960s starring Kenneth Williams and Fennella Fielding.
8. Oct 25. Mummy TV Halloween Show / The VortexxOn Wednesday, October 25, our ancient host Mr. Mummy continues our Halloween celebration with MUMMY TV HALLOWEEN TRICKS & TREATS. Mr. Mummy likes to keep the details of his upcoming shows under wraps (so to speak), but based on his previous holiday specials we're guessing that Mr. Mummy will be entertaining us with a plethora of Halloween-themed cartoons, trailers, retro TV commercials, and original song parodies -- some of which may well feature members of The Vortexx staff! There will be a spotlighted Vortexxian who will be revealed at the start of the show. Last time 'round it was The Crimson Executioner; who will it be tonight?
9. Oct 29. Vortexx Halloween Show 2015 / The VortexxThe Countdown swings into high gear on Sunday, October 29, with A VORTEXX HALLOWEEN, a re-broadcast of our 2015 Halloween show. Mortimer Van Creep will once again be our Monster of Ceremonies, and he has a couple of very creepy movies lined up for us tonight -- BLACK SABBATH (1964), a trilogy of terror from Mario Bava starring Boris Karloff, and Mary Roberts Rinehart's THE BAT (1959) starring Vincent Price and Agnes Moorehead. In addition, there will be special appearances by some of your favorite horror hosts and Vortexx denizens, along with numerous other extras and special features.
10. Oct 30-31. Morty's Monster Party (1) / The VortexxWe conclude our Halloween festivities with MORTY'S MONSTER PARTY! This brand-new Halloween show featuring a collection of Mort's Monster Shorts is so overwhelming that we're airing it in two parts on two successive nights -- Monday, October 30, and Tuesday, October 31. If you're not familiar with Mort's "shorts," they're 9-10 minute versions of classic horror movies from the '30s, '40s, and '50s originally released on 8mm and 16mm film by Castle Films. Although the originals are under copyright, these abbreviated home movies are not!
11. Oct 30-31. Morty's Monster Party (2) Movies / The VortexxAmong the "treats" in store for you are the Universal's original Frankenstein (1931), Dracula (1931), and The Mummy (1932), along with Universal classics from the 1940s such as The Wolf Man" (1941) and Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948) and classic sci-fi thrillers from the 1950s such as Earth Vs. the Flying Saucers (1956) and The Deadly Mantis (1957).
12. Oct 30-31. Morty's Monster Party (3) Hosts / The VortexxAnd if that isn't awesome enough, each movie will be presented by one of our horror hosts. The hosts who have signed up so far include Arachna of the Spider People, Bobby Gammonster, Charley Macorn, Master Vyle, PumpkinMan, Sicko-Psychotic, Uncle Edward, and Wolfie from the Late Dr Lady Show, as well as several hosts on the Vortexx staff -- Dr. Sigmund Zoid, Sluggo, Cerberus, and Destroyah.
3. Vortexx Halloween theme (2) / The VortexxWhether it be Halloween or any other day or night of the year, if you're in the mood for entertainment -- or just want to relax and unwind -- the Vortexx is here for you. Our movies run 24/7, our chat room is open day and night, and we have a featured movie and a moderated chat at 9 (ET) every night of the week. We’ve been around for seven years, and we'll keep the doors open as long as you keep coming around. Happy Halloween!
Posted by Crimson Executioner in HALLOWEEN, HOSTED HORROR, 0 comments
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