EXCLUSIVE Pre-Release Review: Death House (2018)

EXCLUSIVE Pre-Release Review: Death House (2018)

Who prays for Satan, the original sinner?

This is the opening line to the highly anticipated film Death House. Originally written by the late, great Gunnar Hansen (co-written by B Harrison Smith, who also directs the film), Death House has been called by some “The Expendables of Horror”. In reality, it is a 90-minute cross-genre, mixing horror and action. So sit back, buckle up and let’s take a ride through Death House.

Death House is a virtual who’s who in the horror world. It is easier to tell you which horror icon is NOT in this film. Kane Hodder leads the pack on this all-star lineup. He is joined by Tony Todd, Bill Moseley, Dee Wallace, Sid Haig, Felissa Rose, Tiffany Shepis, Sean Whalen, Vernon Wells, RA Mihailoff and I can go on.

Bill Moseley and Michael Berryman in Death House (2018)

The story follows Agents Boone (Cortney Palm) and Novak (Cody Longo) as they prepare to take an in-depth journey into “Death House”, a federal maximum security prison that does experimental testing on its inmates. The Prisoners experience virtual environments and studies are run in their natural environments prior to confinement. There are 9 levels of the Death House, with the 9th level holding “the 5 Evils”. This is going to be a key thing to pay attention to in the film. The agents take a virtual reality tour of the prison, its history, and are “introduced” to some of the prisoners.Satans in Death House (2018)

As the agents are touring the prison, the electricity goes out and all hell breaks loose, as do the prisoners. The prison runs on auxiliary power (it will be explained why they cannot restore power right away). The prisoners are able to leave their cells and begin to roam the prison, leaving dead guards in their wake. Like any great film where an escape is needed for survival, there is only one way to escape…get to the 9th level.

That is the general plot of the movie, without giving any key plot spoilers away. Time for my thoughts on this film. When I said that it is a roller coaster, I meant it. This movie takes you on a ride for 90 minutes and when you are done watching it, you have to ask yourself if you just watched or experienced your very own virtual reality tour. You will want to applaud when you see all of your favorite icons appear on screen and there are a few surprise cameos that are sure not to disappoint.

Speaking of things not disappointing, let’s talk about Kane Hodder. His performance in this film is nothing short of award-winning. In an ensemble cast of mega icons, he stands out. Following a private screening at Scare-A-Con, this past June,

Kane Hodder in Death House (2018)Caroline Williams said, “no one will ever call Kane just a stuntman again”. This has been referred to as “Kane Hodder’s movie” and I have no argument against that. Kane will always be known for his voiceless monsters (Jason Voorhees and Victor Crowley especially), but in this particular performance, he kills any rumors that he cannot be a leading ACTOR. He is absolutely brilliant in this movie.

I will admit, this movie will take watching more than once to truly grasp. Let’s be honest though, how many of us got the concept of Fight Club the first time through (put your hands down because you know just like me, you went back and watched it again after you figured it out)? Does this make Death House a bad film because you may have to go back and re-watch it? Of course not. Maybe you were in awe of the cameo to come on screen and missed something. There could be a lot of reasons why this may take seeing 2-3 times before you grasp everything. Guess what? That is by design and WHY this movie works as well as it does.

Let’s now address the white elephant in the room. This is NOT Freddy vs Jason vs Leatherface or any combination. Death House is a stand-alone movie that does pay homage to a lot of the classics that made us fall in love with horror. But it is not a retread, a reboot or anything like that. It has its own identity. It mixes the gore that the diehard slasher fans love, with the action the adrenaline junkies crave and also throws in a strong psychological plot that the thinkers lust after. This truly has something for EVERY horror fan.

Tony Todd in Death House (2018)

I’ve heard some people complain that the lighting was terrible, and the movie was too dark. I have 2 comments on that. Number 1, there was a power failure and all anyone has are flashlights, so how much light can there realistically be and give this movie the feel it is going for? And second, how many of us walk through a GREAT haunted house with little light? That type of haunted house where there was a new surprise at every turn. That one great haunted house where, when you are done, you want to go back! That is exactly what you feel while you experience Death House. I no longer say watch Death House, I say experience it.

Final thoughts

There are a few things I want you to take away from this before you Barbara Crampton, Cody Longo, Dee Wallace, Cortney Palm in Death House (2018)go and experience Death House. Dee Wallace is a living legend and her portrayal of Dr. Fletcher stands toe to toe with her performance as Donna Trenton in Cujo (and I am not kidding). Kane Hodder is a legit actor and no longer “just a stuntman” or “just great on-screen monster.” As I have mentioned time and again, this is a 90-minute roller coaster ride that will leave you wanting more. This movie was Gunnar Hansen’s dream and his baby. Go see this for Gunnar and view his vision. I wish he could be here to see this come to fruition. He, however, left it in great hands. You can see what Gunnar wanted, through the eyes of B. Harrison Smith.

And last, this movie is not your typical good vs evil. It was never intended for that. This shows that good is dependent on evil and evil dependent on good. The two cannot exist without the other. If you ever have an opportunity to meet and talk with B. Harrison Smith at a convention, he talks about this very thing.  This is actually the oldest storyline in existence. Was Lucifer not a fallen angel? The very opening line of the movie which I will remind you of is, “Who prays for Satan, the original sinner?” That line narrated over the opening credits is not just a cool way to open a movie. This film is the ultimate example of you cannot have evil without good and good without evil.

Death House was scheduled to open this weekend, but unforeseen circumstances created a delay. Next weekend it will open in LA and the following week it will expand to more markets including Philadelphia, (wherein the suburb of Cherry Hill, NJ, Monster Mania Con is going on that weekend and will have at least 2 stars from Death House, including Kane Hodder).

Overall Grade on Death House:

A+ and I wish I had a 3rd hand so I could give it 3 thumbs up.

For more on Death House and all updates on where and when you can experience this thrill ride, visit their official social media sites:




Posted by Crypt Keeper Clint in EXCLUSIVE, MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, STAFF PICKS, 0 comments
EXCLUSIVE Pre-Release Review: Death House (2018)

EXCLUSIVE Pre-Release Review: Death House (2018)

 

Death House (2018)

This is the opening line to the highly anticipated film Death House. Originally written by the late, great Gunnar Hansen (co-written by B Harrison Smith, who also directs the film), Death House has been called by some “The Expendables of Horror”. In reality, it is a 90-minute cross-genre, mixing horror and action. So sit back, buckle up and let’s take a ride through Death House.

Death House is a virtual who’s who in the horror world. It is easier to tell you which horror icon is NOT in this film. Kane Hodder leads the pack on this all-star lineup. He is joined by Tony Todd, Bill Moseley, Dee Wallace, Sid Haig, Felissa Rose, Tiffany Shepis, Sean Whalen, Vernon Wells, RA Mihailoff and I can go on.

Bill Moseley and Michael Berryman in Death House (2018)

The story follows Agents Boone (Cortney Palm) and Novak (Cody Longo) as they prepare to take an in-depth journey into “Death House”, a federal maximum security prison that does experimental testing on its inmates. The Prisoners experience virtual environments and studies are run in their natural environments prior to confinement. There are 9 levels of the Death House, with the 9th level holding “the 5 Evils”. This is going to be a key thing to pay attention to in the film. The agents take a virtual reality tour of the prison, its history, and are “introduced” to some of the prisoners.Satans in Death House (2018)

As the agents are touring the prison, the electricity goes out and all hell breaks loose, as do the prisoners. The prison runs on auxiliary power (it will be explained why they cannot restore power right away). The prisoners are able to leave their cells and begin to roam the prison, leaving dead guards in their wake. Like any great film where an escape is needed for survival, there is only one way to escape…get to the 9th level.

 

That is the general plot of the movie, without giving any key plot spoilers away. Time for my thoughts on this film. When I said that it is a roller coaster, I meant it. This movie takes you on a ride for 90 minutes and when you are done watching it, you have to ask yourself if you just watched or experienced your very own virtual reality tour. You will want to applaud when you see all of your favorite icons appear on screen and there are a few surprise cameos that are sure not to disappoint.

Speaking of things not disappointing, let’s talk about Kane Hodder. His performance in this film is nothing short of award-winning. In an ensemble cast of mega icons, he stands out. Following a private screening at Scare-A-Con, this past June,

Kane Hodder in Death House (2018)Caroline Williams said, “no one will ever call Kane just a stuntman again”. This has been referred to as “Kane Hodder’s movie” and I have no argument against that. Kane will always be known for his voiceless monsters (Jason Voorhees and Victor Crowley especially), but in this particular performance, he kills any rumors that he cannot be a leading ACTOR. He is absolutely brilliant in this movie.

I will admit, this movie will take watching more than once to truly grasp. Let’s be honest though, how many of us got the concept of Fight Club the first time through (put your hands down because you know just like me, you went back and watched it again after you figured it out)? Does this make Death House a bad film because you may have to go back and re-watch it? Of course not. Maybe you were in awe of the cameo to come on screen and missed something. There could be a lot of reasons why this may take seeing 2-3 times before you grasp everything. Guess what? That is by design and WHY this movie works as well as it does.

Let’s now address the white elephant in the room. This is NOT Freddy vs Jason vs Leatherface or any combination. Death House is a stand-alone movie that does pay homage to a lot of the classics that made us fall in love with horror. But it is not a retread, a reboot or anything like that. It has its own identity. It mixes the gore that the diehard slasher fans love, with the action the adrenaline junkies crave and also throws in a strong psychological plot that the thinkers lust after. This truly has something for EVERY horror fan.

Tony Todd in Death House (2018)

I’ve heard some people complain that the lighting was terrible, and the movie was too dark. I have 2 comments on that. Number 1, there was a power failure and all anyone has are flashlights, so how much light can there realistically be and give this movie the feel it is going for? And second, how many of us walk through a GREAT haunted house with little light? That type of haunted house where there was a new surprise at every turn. That one great haunted house where, when you are done, you want to go back! That is exactly what you feel while you experience Death House. I no longer say watch Death House, I say experience it.

Final thoughts

There are a few things I want you to take away from this before you Barbara Crampton, Cody Longo, Dee Wallace, Cortney Palm in Death House (2018)go and experience Death House. Dee Wallace is a living legend and her portrayal of Dr. Fletcher stands toe to toe with her performance as Donna Trenton in Cujo (and I am not kidding). Kane Hodder is a legit actor and no longer “just a stuntman” or “just great on-screen monster.” As I have mentioned time and again, this is a 90-minute roller coaster ride that will leave you wanting more. This movie was Gunnar Hansen’s dream and his baby. Go see this for Gunnar and view his vision. I wish he could be here to see this come to fruition. He, however, left it in great hands. You can see what Gunnar wanted, through the eyes of B. Harrison Smith.

And last, this movie is not your typical good vs evil. It was never intended for that. This shows that good is dependent on evil and evil dependent on good. The two cannot exist without the other. If you ever have an opportunity to meet and talk with B. Harrison Smith at a convention, he talks about this very thing.  This is actually the oldest storyline in existence. Was Lucifer not a fallen angel? The very opening line of the movie which I will remind you of is, “Who prays for Satan, the original sinner?” That line narrated over the opening credits is not just a cool way to open a movie. This film is the ultimate example of you cannot have evil without good and good without evil.

Death House was scheduled to open this weekend, but unforeseen circumstances created a delay. Next weekend it will open in LA and the following week it will expand to more markets including Philadelphia, (wherein the suburb of Cherry Hill, NJ, Monster Mania Con is going on that weekend and will have at least 2 stars from Death House, including Kane Hodder).

Overall Grade on Death House:

A+ and I wish I had a 3rd hand so I could give it 3 thumbs up.

For more on Death House and all updates on where and when you can experience this thrill ride, visit their official social media sites:

Posted by Crypt Keeper Clint in EXCLUSIVE, MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
WiHM Blood Drive, PSA #20 is Here!

WiHM Blood Drive, PSA #20 is Here!

Early morning, Souls! It’s the twenty-second day of Women in Horror Month, and House of Tortured Souls is proud to present the twentieth entry in this year’s Women in Horror Month Blood Drive.

I’d like apologize personally for the delay on this release to Tonjia Atomic & Mi Chelle Nessk. I am having technical difficulties as well as issues with one of my fangs…
—Woofer McWooferson Source: Internet / Fair use doctrine.

From the Official Press Release comes this introduction:

I’ve known Tonjia Atomic for many years and I am very happy to announce her and Mi Chelle Nessk’s next instalment for the Women in Horror Month Massive Blood Drive PSAs.
These two are incredibly talented directors, multi-talented artists, and astonishingly hard-working professionals. I don’t want to give away anything about their PSA, so just keep an eye out for cameos and lots of other fun (I guess grown up) stuff. Not 18A, but it gets pretty murdery.

Obligatory disclaimer (not that we need it, right Souls?):

DISCLAIMER: This IS Horror, boys and grrls, so SOME of these do have VERY naughty content. Blood. Gore. EXTREME gore. Disturbing situations. Nudity. Sexual situations. Violence. Language.
If you are SENSITIVE to this kind of content, be a mature human being and just don’t watch. No need to spoil the fun for us fellow weirdos. We’re not hurting anyone. It just REALLY looks like we are 😉

Without further ado, behold the powerful twentieth Blood Drive PSA of Women in Horror Month:

Just A Prick

By Tonjia Atomic & Mi Chelle Nessk

Cast:

Westin Halvorson – Christopher James Phillips
Tristan Risk – Hailey Vesper
Michelle Nessk – Zee Monsta
Jackey Raye Neyman Jones – Pamela Knickknacks
James Grixoni – Johnathan the Lonely
Tonija Atomic – Cam Date Blair
Rachel Jackson – Audrey Swinging Electra
Hiromi Cota – Gurgling Man
Benjamin Barton – Bear Double
Ygal Kaufman – Zee Monsta’s Victim

Extras:

Christina Lynn Hendricks
Benjamin Barton
Ygal Kaufman
Heather Geer
Britt Byrtus
James Mahoney
Evan Christopher

Writers/Directors

Michelle Nessk
Tonjia Atomic

Producers

Gloomy Sunday Productions
Roux-ga-roux

Executive Producers

D Kirkness
James Mahoney
@ThuNiCo

Associate Producers

Vicki Woods
Angie Faro
Jimmy Weinholz
Charity Becker
Linda Kay
Gary Washington
Shannon Devine
Chrystal Doucette

Sound

Jeff Morales

DP

Conn Buckley

Editor, 2nd AD

James Mahoney

1st AD

Nadine L’Esperance




3rd AD

Angie Faro

1st AC

Britt Byrtus

Audio Editor

Ken Webster

Score

Bryce Kain & Michelle Nessk

Color Correction

Dave Patterson

MUA

Christina Pezzo

Grip

Ygal Kaufman

Key MUA, Wardrobe, Styling, SFX, Assistant Editor, Casting Producer, Art Director

Michelle Nessk

Wardrobe Assistant, Casting Producer, 2nd Art Director

Tonija Atomic

Lighting

Nick Shargas

Hair

Heather Geer

Art Poster Illustrators

Mark McKenna
Cesar Feliciano

Blood Logo Graphic Designer

Christal VanEtten

Production Assistants

Christopher Barnes
Rachel Jackson
Benjamin Barton
Heather Geer
Evan Christopher

SPECIAL THANKS

Kevin Van Walk
Chrystal Doucette
Joshua Phenicie
Joe Sherlock
Women in Horror
Twisted Twins Productions
Blue Mouse Theatre
Crypticon Seattle
PromoteHorror.com

Sponsors

Digital Soaps
Shannon Devine’s Illustrated Stories
Value Village
Sinful Audio

TONJIA ATIMIC’S BIO:

Tonjia Atomic is an award-winning filmmaker, actress, musician, and writer. Her films include Plain Devil and Walking to Linas. Her writing has been featured in several online and print magazines. She’s in the bands Duet To-It, Huh-Uh, and Filthy Issue. Her most recent film, Manos Returns, is the sequel to the 1965 cult film Manos: The Hands of Fate.

TONJIA ATOMIC’S STATEMENT:

It means a lot to me to be a part of the Women in Horror Month blood drive PSAs. As an anemic I am unable to give blood. Participating in the PSAs is a way for me to be able to contribute something by encouraging others to donate blood. I’m proud to be a part of this group of talented filmmakers. What better way than horror to remind us that we all bleed? After all, it’s in you to give.

MICHELLE NESSKS’ BIO:

Michelle Nessk is an award-winning indie horror filmmaker, dancer, musician, and artist out of the Pacific Northwest. Best known for their well-regarded & controversial first full feature film: O. Unilateralis, as well as the annual showcase series Horrors of the PNW. The showcase has premiered at Crypticon Seattle every year for the last five years, where Michelle plays horror host Zee Monsta. Much of Michelle’s work is laced with social commentary regarding rape culture and is often connected to charities and non-profits that focus on domestic abuse survivor advocacy. Their band ANU performs at various horror and sci-fi festivals in the Pacific Northwest. Michelle is the owner of production company Gloomy Sunday Productions and the horror publication The Blood Shed.

MICHELLE NESSKS’ STATEMENT:

I’m so grateful to have gotten to participate in the 2018 Women in Horror Massive Blood Drive PSA. I don’t give blood, I take it. Because I’m severely anemic, I depend upon the generosity of others to give in order to survive. This project has not only given me the opportunity to work with the incredible Tonjia Atomic (who also happens to be anemic), but to truly show my gratitude to all the heroes who open their veins to save lives. Thank you so much for letting us be part of this.

Remember, Souls, there’ll be a new PSA every day up to and including 1 March 2018, and please check out the official WiHM website for more on Women in Horror Month.

Check out the other PSAs:

Posted by Woofer McWooferson in STAFF PICKS, WOMEN IN HORROR, 0 comments
WiHM – The Soska Sisters

WiHM – The Soska Sisters

Dead Hooker in a Trunk (2009) from the Soska SIstersOn April 29, 1983, the horror and comic worlds were blessed by not one but TWO women. Identical twins Jen and Sylvia Soska, collectively known as the Twisted Twins were born in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada on their mother’s birthday. As young girls, after watching the film, Poltergeist, they were hooked. They decided they wanted to work in films and went into acting. In 2009 while in school, the Soska Sisters wrote and directed a film for a project. They made the movie for less than $3,000. Despite critics bashing the film, Dead Hooker In A Trunk has since drawn a huge cult following on DVD. It has also recently been released on Blu Ray. From Dead Hooker In A Trunk, the Twins went to make American Mary, starring Katharine Isabelle in 2012. They then directed See No Evil 2 starring WWE Superstar Kane, Danielle Harris, and Katharine Isabelle.

In 2015, the Soskas hosted the popular show Hellavator for two seasons, and in 2016, the Soska Sisters began taking the reigns of directing the reimagining of David Cronenberg’s 1977 classic, Rabid. Recently, it was announced the film will be distributed by Shout! Studios.

American Mary (2012) from the Soska SIstersIf that was all we knew of the Twisted Twins, that would be enough for them to be saluted this month. However, these two ladies are so much more than just talented filmmakers. They organize the Women In Horror Month Massive Blood Drive PSA Film Fest (Check out our coverage here). They also write daily inspirational messages and thought-provoking posts.

The Twisted Twins have become fan favorites due to their extremely caring personalities, their love for all people regardless of race, religion, orientation, etc. They love their fans and have become so beloved that not one but two t-shirt companies have produced Soska Brand T-Shirts. It has to be two; everything is always doubled with these amazing women. Fans can buy these various shirts from Fright Rags and also Atomic Cotton. Both companies feature a Dead Hooker In A Trunk shirt (not bad for a movie that was bashed and for which the Twisted Twins took a LOT of nasty criticism by alleged experts).

See No Evil 2 (2014) from the Soska SIstersThis past weekend the Soska Sisters attended Mad Monster Party (watch for my con review) in Charlotte, NC, and also made an appearance on Good Day Charlotte on the local Fox affiliate. All weekend, both Jen and Sylvia met with their fans, signed autographs and showed everyone their love and appreciation for the fans coming out and supporting them.

These women show that we should all go “follow our stupid f—ing dreams” and to show love and respect. They are advocates for equality and have been outspoken with scandals that have been an embarrassment in the entertainment industry. They have not just sat back, but they have informed their fans and followers about the stories that have emerged. The Twins have also spoken out against hate daily.

So please join me as I salute Jen and Sylvia Soska and wish them a Happy Women In Horror Month!
Hellavator (2012) from the Soska SIsters

Posted by Crypt Keeper Clint in STAFF PICKS, WOMEN IN HORROR, 0 comments
American Guinea Pig: The Song of Solomon

American Guinea Pig: The Song of Solomon

The Song of SolomonRecently, I was given the honor and pleasure of being given a screening copy for Stephen Biro’s much-anticipated film The Song of Solomon. Another film in the American Guinea Pig series, I would say that it is Biro’s best film yet, and it is one of the best films that Unearthed Films has made to this date. Written, directed, and produced by Biro, he has given us an intensely dark, realistic, and thoroughly researched exorcism film.

The film begins with Mary Catan’s father waving a knife around and talking at her. It turns out that Mary has been spreading rumors that her father molested her and murdered his own father, even though neither of these statements is true. However, regardless of their validity, her father takes the knife and slashes his throat wide open and then pulls his tongue out through the gash. All of this happens within the first few minutes of the film so very quickly you will realize that Biro isn’t messing around. With that first scene, he has encapsulated the intensity and brutality to come throughout the rest of the film, but I won’t be sharing many gory details because spoilers piss me off.The Song of Solomon
Portraying Mary, the demon-possessed girl, and also portraying the demon, Jessica Cameron has brought the character to life in a very real way. It certainly helps that Biro wrote a fantastic script and screenplay as well. As the film progresses, we get to watch as different priests encounter the demon, and this certainly doesn’t end well for any of them. Interestingly, Biro has given each priest some fatal flaw/sin that distinguishes them from the others. From a child molester to an ex-soldier to even a priest who lost an exorcism and therefore lost his soul, we get to see a variety of people confront and attempt to banish the demon.

One scene that certainly stuck out to me involved the demon causing Mary to regurgitate her intestines up onto the bed in front of Father Corbin (Gene Palubicki) and then consuming them all shortly thereafter. With the cinematography, we are given a complete view of the grotesquery and also see the visceral reaction that such an act draws from Father Corbin. Certainly, not the most brutal or disturbing scene of the film, but it was rather memorable and some scenes are more prone to spoiling some of the plot’s surprises and twists.The Song of Solomon
As I said before, I think The Song of Solomon is Biro’s best film to date. I’ve already watched it a couple of times because there are so many levels to it that one viewing cannot do the film justice. In fact, as I watch it over and over, I’ve developed an even greater appreciation for the film and what Biro has achieved in an exorcism film that I would say is up there with The Exorcist, and in this critic’s opinion better than The Exorcist. There is no word on a release date yet for the hard copy, but I will certainly be purchasing it to add to my collection so that I might enjoy it in future years. Not to mention that I have gone through the largely coveted screener many times, watching it just on a computer monitor! When Unearthed Films makes The Song of Solomon available to purchase, I cannot recommend enough that it is one to buy, and if you’re lucky enough to see it on the big screen somewhere, then I envy you!

The Song of Solomon

Posted by Spencer Evatt in GORE, MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, SATANIC/DEMONIC, STAFF PICKS, 0 comments
Death House (2018) New Release Date

Death House (2018) New Release Date

Hey, horror fans just got a heads up from Rick Finkelstein, CEO of Entertainment Factory LLC and producer of the highly anticipated Death House, that the release has been pushed back just a bit to further strengthen its debut. Hannover House Distributors has now rescheduled the release for March 2nd, 2018. They also plan to expand the reach of Death House to approximately 20 additional markets on March 9th and March 16th. Home video and digital releases are anticipated for July.

On March 2nd the lucky people that will get to enjoy Death House first will be Los Angeles and Van Nuys California, along with Stroudsburg Pennsylvania which is the birthplace of the amazing Director Harrison Smith. The next lucky people will be able to go on March 9th and they are located in New York, N.Y., Chicago, IL., Philadelphia, PA., Dallas-Ft. Worth TX., Washington D.C., Atlanta, GA., Tampa-St. Petersberg FL., Phoenix AZ., Miami-Ft. Lauderdale FL., Orlando-Daytona Beach FL., Sacramento CA., Charlotte, N.C., Kansas City KS./MO., Oklahoma City OK., Jacksonville FL., Memphis TN., and N.W. AK.

With a running time of 93 minutes, we will have a little over an hour and a half of gore-filled strong horror violence, naughty language and nudity with its “R” rating. We have waited this long, and I know from talking to the director Harrison Smith, it will be WELL worth the wait! So better start planning for your sojourn into the bowels of the Hell.

Posted by Horrormadam in COMING SOON, EVENTS, FRIENDS OF THE HOUSE, HORROR NEWS, INTERVIEWS, NEW RELEASES, PRESS RELEASE, PRESS RELEASE, 0 comments
INTERVIEW: No Solicitors (2015)

INTERVIEW: No Solicitors (2015)

Let’s be honest, we all hate them. We hear that knock on the door or the doorbell rings and we get that feeling in our gut and think, “Oh great, solicitors”. The recent film from director/writer John Callas, titled No Solicitors is a bit extreme for what I would do to them, but hey, to each their own.
Available now on DVD and VOD, No Solicitors has all the necessary ingredients for the genre: nudity, cussing, gore. Add to that a damn good-looking cast with veteran names like Eric Roberts, Beverly Randolph, and Felissa Rose. This was a crazy ride, the actors are all very likable even if they are batshit crazy. You really can’t stop watching because you have to see how it is going to end.
Let me give you an idea of what you are getting into, meet the Cutterman family. The father, Lewis Cutterman (portrayed by Roberts) is the country’s top brain surgeon. Rachel Cutterman (portrayed by Randolph, known for her pivotal role as Tina in Return of the Living Dead) plays dear old Mom. Rounding out the family is their beautiful daughter Nicole (Kim Poirier of the 2007 Dawn of the Dead remake) and handsome, All-American son Scott (Jason Maxim from Jurassic City) who take being part of the family business very seriously. That business happens to be harvesting organs to sell on the black market. They see it as doing a great justice to society since one person could save many peoples’ lives… And the extra meat is theirs to keep. Wait, did I mention they are cannibals, too?!

The Cutterman family from No Solicitors (2015)

Living in a beautiful home with a very prominent NO SOLICITORS sign by the door, they wait for them to come and ring the bell. Their latest victim is a lovely but bit insufferable realtor named Mindy (Lucy Walsh), who gets more than she bargains for when she stays for dinner to discuss selling their home. The cops snoop around, as always, along with a nosy neighbor. By the end though, you actually start to feel sorry for the damn solicitors, and just when you think it’s about to be over, a twist. I love twists.
House of Tortured Souls: I was able to interview some of the cast, they were all wonderful. My first question to all of them was do you have any funny true stories about an encounter you had with a solicitor?
Director/writer John Callas: In truth, I have chased a few away with a baseball bat – One guy said to me, “You’re crazy,” to which I replied, “Tell all your workers.” He never returned, nor was he eaten! – LOL
Beverly Randolph: I have stories every day with phone solicitors but they aren’t funny! Kidding.
Jason Maxim: It’s hard enough for UPS & FedEx to deliver packages to my apartment when I order from Amazon so I don’t really deal with unwanted solicitors. However, when I first moved to California, I delivered pizzas and a girl answered the door in lingerie. I’m pretty sure she did it on purpose. Does that count?

HoTS: As I delved deeper into the nuances of this film, I asked John how he came up with this idea.
JC: I was having lunch with a friend from Warner Bros., and he asked why I seemed upset. I explained that over my doorbell is a sign “No Soliciting”, but they keep on ringing my doorbell. They read the sign but chose to ignore the warning. He sits back and then says, “Why not write a story and kill them?” I liked that idea and took it from there.
HoTS: Upon talking with Beverly, I found out her favorite on-set moment, behind the scenes that is.
BR: The bedroom scene when Eric and I are in bed…. (NO, not the end of the sentence, haha!) and John Callas, the director, sees the bottom of my feet through the camera. He has someone get washing towels and washes the bottom of my feet! He could have told me that the bottom of my feet were dirty, and I would have gone and washed them. I am sure it was to save time but what chivalry. P.S. My feet were dirty because it was a bedroom scene, and I was running around without shoes on that day.

Beverly Randolph in No Solicitors (2015)

HoTS: I was also curious as to how she reacted to the script. Beverly is the most down-to-earth, sweetest lady and hard to picture as a cannibal.
BR: Loved the script. I was more focused on the dialogue and the story not the gore so much. The dialogue and story were intelligent, well thought out. When I saw the gore, that was different! Oh boy…lots of nervous giggling at that point. (Gotta love Beverly giggles, they are adorable.)
HoTS: I also got some time with Jason Maxim, the onset stud of the movie. I was wondering what it was like going from a movie such as Jurassic City to No Solicitors.
JM: Well, unfortunately, dinosaurs are extinct, so I went from shooting CGI bad guys to playing a bad guy, but I don’t think Scott is bad. I think, if anything, the scope and energy changed. I had a much larger role in No Solicitors and *spoiler alert* I don’t die in this movie. I really enjoy the science fiction genre because I’m kind of a nerd and I also really enjoy playing a soldier, so working on Jurassic City was a blast! [No Solicitors] felt like I took the energy home at times. I also swear one of our filming locations was haunted – that’s where I filmed the scene with Lucy and had to chop up body parts.
HoTS: Though he has never considered himself a model since he is under six feet tall, he was scouted when he was younger in both Boston and NYC. While he enjoys fashion and shooting print campaigns, like the one for Indian Motorcycles, he was always drawn to film. Perhaps his coolest gig though, he said, was to do pre-lighting for Matt Damon on the most recent Bourne installment..
JM: That job was a lot of fun because I got to pretend I was Jason Bourne and do these cool action poses on a treadmill etc.. If I was Matt Damon I would be worried, Jason definitely has him beat in the looks department.
HoTS: When I asked Felissa her thoughts on working on this film.
FR: With No Solicitors, I thought the script was a wild ride! Very unique in nature, and the cast is fantastic! I loved my character since playing victim can be awesomely delicious and fun to play that emotion. Since I was the producer on this I welcomed the time that I got to lie down! Lol! Most days I was running around like crazy!!!
HoTS: Also, she talked about how the crew and cast were all good friends. All the moments on set were really enjoyable.
Again, you can tell that the crew had a great time. This comes through in each scene. Check this film out and have some fun, just maybe don’t eat dinner while watching. Also, the book is available on Amazon as well. It has grittier details than the movie.
House of Tortured Souls would like to join Felissa and the rest of crew in dedicating this movie and review to Blake Heron. He played the intruder/rapist but many will remember him as Marty Preston from the 1996 kids film, Shiloh. Blake passed away in September of 2017. He was a beautiful person and an amazing actor. He will be missed.

Blake Heron
1982 – September

Blake Heron of No Solicitors (2015)

Happy Nightmares
ZombieGurl
Posted by ZombieGurl in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, SLASHERS AND BAD HUMANS, 0 comments
WiHM Blood Drive, PSA #19 is here!

WiHM Blood Drive, PSA #19 is here!

Hallo, hallo, hallo, Souls! It’s the nineteenth day of Women in Horror Month, and House of Tortured Souls is proud to present the nineteenth entry in this year’s Women in Horror Month Blood Drive.

Today’s PSA comes to us from Michelle Romano.

Obligatory disclaimer (not that we need it, right Souls?):

DISCLAIMER: This IS Horror, boys and grrls, so SOME of these do have VERY naughty content. Blood. Gore. EXTREME gore. Disturbing situations. Nudity. Sexual situations. Violence. Language.
If you are SENSITIVE to this kind of content, be a mature human being and just don’t watch. No need to spoil the fun for us fellow weirdos. We’re not hurting anyone. It just REALLY looks like we are 😉

Without further ado, behold the incredible nineteenth Blood Drive PSA of Women in Horror Month:

Blood Bride

By Michelle Romano

RESUME HERE

MINI BIO:

Originally from Boston, Massachusetts, Michelle Romano is an award-winning Actress and Producer. Making her Directorial debut with this year’s Massive Blood Drive Campaign, “BLOOD BRIDE” stars Jennifer Jostyn (“House of 1000 Corpses”), Robert Catrini (“Jack Reacher: Never Go Back”), Heather Grace Hancock (“Wicked City”), Sarah French (“The Night Watchmen”), Renee Dorian (“The Funhouse Massacre”), Alice Ko (“Exposed”), and Corey Tourigny (“My Uncle John is a Zombie”). In the past, Romano joined forces with Patricia Chica in producing two of her PSA blood drive segments. She is thrilled to have this opportunity to direct her own this year!
Romano and Tourigny (writer of “BLOOD BRIDE”) produced this film in Los Angeles. “I am beyond humbled and thankful to all of the people who donated their time to this project, and to everyone who trusted me to direct them in this film. This whole process has been a dream come true for me, and I hope that there will be many more to come!”
Romano serves as an honorary board member for several Women Empowerment campaigns and strives to motivate and empower women in any way that she can. Her annual Roman Media Hollywood event (February), champions Women in Film and Diversity in Entertainment.
Romano is currently in pre-production on several feature film projects with her company, Roman Media.

ARTIST’S STATEMENT:

It is an absolute honor to be a part of the Women in Horror Massive Blood Drive Campaign. We are raising awareness for such an important cause, and what better way to spread this message, than by doing it while making horror movies!?” In the words of Jen and Sylvia Soska, “If we can inspire even a few people to start donating, what a difference that would make in the World.”

Remember, Souls, there’ll be a new PSA every day up to and including 1 March 2018, and please check out the official WiHM website for more on Women in Horror Month.

Check out the other PSAs:

Posted by Woofer McWooferson in STAFF PICKS, WOMEN IN HORROR, 0 comments
WiHM: Celebrating Women In Horror Month with Katt Shea

WiHM: Celebrating Women In Horror Month with Katt Shea

With a career as long as your arm and a keen investment in varied genres, Katt Shea has been a popular female actress and filmmaker to film fans for nearly forty years.

Her first acting job on screen was as Rita in the TV movie The Asphalt Cowboy in 1980, and from then on, she acted in films like My Tutor, Scarface, Preppies, and Psycho III.

Stripped to Kill (1987) Written and directed by Katt SheaIn 1987, Shea then stepped behind the camera and became the writer (alongside Andy Reuben) and director on her first film Stripped To Kill (which got a sequel two years later with Stripped To Kill 2: Live Girls). Stripped To Kill was a dramatic crime horror focused on the investigation of the death of a girl in a strip club and one detective’s need to go undercover as a stripper to solve the crime. It has an oddly beautiful mix of stripping and crime solving for the fans of 80s films.

She continued her directing career with another film about the world of strippers with the vampiric romp, Dance of the Damned and Streets (a film about runaways in Venice being hunted by a psychotic cop).

Dance of the Damned (1989) Written and directed by Katt SheaIn 1992, Shea would become an even bigger name worldwide, with the release of her popular sexual thriller Poison Ivy. The film starred Hollywood child darling Drew Barrymore (now nearly a young woman) alongside the likes of Tom Skerritt, Sara Gilbert, and Cheryl Ladd. The film focused on a sexually alluring femme fatale, her friendship with another confused young woman, and the lengths she will go to to have anything she desired.

Poison Ivy was so popular with audiences, it spawned three sequels with heavy female influences on either the script or direction each time.

Following the success of Poison Ivy, Shea’s next project was co-writing and directing the low budget Roger Corman produced made-for-television film Last Exit To Earth. This was a film, amidst their formidable friendship and filmmaking career and Corman has even stated in the past when interviewed regarding Shea:

She is a talented director. She’s particularly good with actors, having been an actress herself. She’s taught herself about the camera and has gotten better with each picture.

Streets (1990) Written and directed by Katt SheaThree years later, however, horror fans were treated to the fun and meaningful film Carrie 2: The Rage.

Shea directed this enjoyable teen follow up to De Palma’s 1976 adaptation of Stephen King’s Carrie. The film even starred Amy Irving, who returned as Sue Snell for the second time and introduced the impressive Emily Bergl in her first film role.

Though Carrie 2: The Rage received mixed reviews, personally (as a fan of adaptations of King’s books) I can appreciate this film more than the 2002 remake with Angela Bettis.

Since beginning her career, Shea has always impressed others with her kindness and care. This has led to her career as an acting coach and has made a lucrative career as such by helping prepare new as well as established actors for roles within the industry. She has continued to sometimes make and act in films over the years and never regrets a moment of it.

The Rage: Carrie 2 (1999) / Kate Shea as the Deputy DA

I like every single film I’ve ever made , I really do. Other people call them exploitation films, but to me what I was doing was never exploitative. I always had a strong point of view about my intention; it was never just to make money or to titillate or to horrify. I always had my purpose and I made those movies myself. I can’t imagine sitting around and trying to piece together elements that I think other people want to see. That would be so boring!
—Katt Shea

Katt Shea

Posted by Michelle MIDI Sayles in STAFF PICKS, WOMEN IN HORROR, 0 comments
WiHM Blood Drive, PSA #18 is here!

WiHM Blood Drive, PSA #18 is here!

Howling good evening, Souls! It’s the eighteenth day of Women in Horror Month, and House of Tortured Souls is proud to present the eighteenth entry in this year’s Women in Horror Month Blood Drive.

Today’s PSA comes to us from Mary Rangel.

Obligatory disclaimer (not that we need it, right Souls?):

DISCLAIMER: This IS Horror, boys and grrls, so SOME of these do have VERY naughty content. Blood. Gore. EXTREME gore. Disturbing situations. Nudity. Sexual situations. Violence. Language.
If you are SENSITIVE to this kind of content, be a mature human being and just don’t watch. No need to spoil the fun for us fellow weirdos. We’re not hurting anyone. It just REALLY looks like we are 😉

Without further ado, behold the wicked eighteenth Blood Drive PSA of Women in Horror Month:

The Red Death

By Mary Rangel

MINI BIO:

Mary Rangel is a young filmmaker from Southern California whose passion for the Horror genre spans throughout her work in the Haunt and Film industries. Alongside her team of amazing friends and boyfriend who share the same passion for the genre and to bring scary stories to life, she has written and directed a total of five short Horror films, including the latest, The Red Death, for WIHM Blood Drive PSA’s 2018. She is involved in many Horror/Sci-Fi projects in many roles including Hellevator Seasons 1 & 2, John Carpenter’s Utopian Façade Music Video, Into The Black short film, Mystic Cosmic Patrol, amongst many others.
The Red Death is a short horror film inspired by The Masque of the Red Death by Edgar Allan Poe. This is Mary’s favorite Poe tale and The Red Death is one of her favorite symbols in the genre. With that, it seems a perfect match to UNLEASH a tale of The Red Death imbued with witchcraft, cults, an Elizabeth Bathory inspired villain named Theda played by Sara Raftery and Rachael Tucker, terror, Love for the Horror genre and with the message to encourage people to donate blood. It is truly a wonderfully Sanguine Nightmare. The main team of production for the project consists of Mary Rangel (Writer/Director), Timothy Dennison (Producer), Natalie Molina (Script Supervisor/1st AD), Jenn Langley (Key Makeup/SPFX Artist), and Christopher Blake Hannan (Melodies of the Macabre Composer).
With an amazing cast including but not limited to Olivia Grace Morales as the lead/protagonist Pamela and Daisy Hydar as The Red Death, together they conquer the evil that is Theda. Hope you enjoy the story this team created together with the passion for the genre, have a wonderfully spooky time. Thank you and be sure to donate blood this month and save lives.

ARTIST’S STATEMENT:

There’s a certain magic that binds us Horror Fans together. Women in Horror Month is not only the time to appreciate the Scream Queens, Monster Makers, Haunters, and Filmmakers who contribute so much to our favorite Films, TV shows, Haunts, and much more within our favorite Genre. They do it with Passion, Skill, and Love for Horror and for the Things that Go Bump in the Night. Also, during Women In Horror Month, is the time we band together to bring light in our dark world the way we know best… by creating art within the Horror genre.
That is why my team and I am proud, excited and beyond grateful to be apart of The Twisted Twins’ Women in Horror Month Blood Drive PSAs as a Director for 2018. Blood is NECESSARY for us to live. Hospitals are always in need for blood, ESPECIALLY, during time of crisis. I was taught growing up, that donating blood is important to help others in need and save lives. With that, I have always loved the Saw Franchise’s campaign for blood donations in the past; Horror is such a perfect platform to encourage people to donate. There are SO MANY creative ways to do so. The Soskas have their amazing annual Blood Drive PSAs, bringing the Horror Community together, inspiring people to save lives by donating blood. Every year, they are always wonderfully sanguine and spooky.
This year we join the Soskas for the WIHM Blood Drive PSAs by creating The Red Death, which is inspired by The Masque of the Red Death by Edgar Allan Poe, the film by Roger Corman, and Lon Chaney’s portrayal of Erik as The Red Death in Phantom of the Opera. We give the tale a sanguine and wicked twist by bringing The Red Death plague to our time period and the story revolves around how people react and the choices they make with the pressure of death looming all around them. With the theme of, “Be a Hero”, for this year’s PSAs, even though there is ‘darkness and decay’ surrounding the characters… one can still rise above the evil that is festering out of desperation. I am beyond happy for you to watch our interpretation of the story and having The Red Death to be apart of the message to encourage Horror fans and viewers to donate blood. To have the amazing opportunity to create this PSA with friends who share the love and passion for the genre made the experience even better. It would not exist without the hard work and talent of the amazing people of the cast and crew. Be sure to Donate Blood TODAY, because Sara Raftery as Theda informs us in the PSA, ‘blood will save us all.’ Thank you for reading and watching. And have a wonderfully spooky day.

Remember, Souls, there’ll be a new PSA every day up to and including 1 March 2018, and please check out the official WiHM website for more on Women in Horror Month.

Check out the other PSAs:

Posted by Woofer McWooferson in STAFF PICKS, WOMEN IN HORROR, 0 comments
WiHM: Dana Scully

WiHM: Dana Scully

I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge this next woman’s contribution to the horror/sci-fi genre. Gillian Anderson’s portrayal of Dana Scully simply has to be honored or else I have to turn in my license to practice horror.

Gillian Anderson as Dana Scully in The X-Files

If you see Ripley as the mother of the strong female character in horror/sci-fi film (as I do) then it follows that Scully is the continuation and growth of that same standard. The X-Files was already groundbreaking television but Dana Scully kicked the shit out of the way we view women in the law enforcement field.

Gillian Anderson as Dana Scully in The X-FilesThe pilot episode of The X-Files aired in September of 1993. I was 11 years old and still remember a young fresh-faced Dana Scully arriving at the FBI. An immediate difference that I noticed as a kid was the amount of respect she commanded from her peers and even superiors. She was a highly intelligent, well-educated doctor and undergraduate of physics – a no-nonsense scientist that wasn’t a second banana or a sidekick to a male lead. Scully always held her own and in many ways was made to look superior to Mulder (David Duchovny). She was sent to essentially babysit him and disprove his work. Although she was never fully convinced and was always the female Spock of logic, she handled the situation with grace. She respected Mulder and acknowledged his intelligence and ideas even though they were counter to her own beliefs. She didn’t scoff or belittle and even grew to have affection for him.

Gillian Anderson as Dana Scully in The X-FilesI believe in some ways that Chris Carter the creator of the show went out of his way to make Scully’s importance stand out. At times I almost feel it was reverse sexism and Mulder was made to seem a bit of a mimbo (male bimbo). I’m not complaining because it was successful in shattering previous notions of “the boys club” and that women could only be secretaries and were too delicate to be out in the field. Scully excelled in the field and never shied away from getting her hands dirty – not to mention she was a great shot. Both roles did an excellent job of highlighting a healthy partnership. Mulder was always able to give Scully credit and admit when she was right, and Scully would do the same even if she couldn’t always get on board with his crazy. The other thing I felt was so important to the purity of the Scully character was the fact that she and Mulder refrained from “extracurricular activities” if you know what I’m saying. In case you don’t I mean, they kept it professional instead of getting to sexy time by the end of season one as a lot of other shows did. It created a new formula that is still popular on television today, the “will they won’t they” phenomenon. It makes every touch and every subtle glance all the more exciting for the viewer.

If you loved Scully and can’t get enough Gillian Anderson then I highly recommend checking out some of her other work. Some of my favorites were Bleak House, The Fall, and American Gods. Gillian Anderson is also an accomplished writer having written a trilogy: A Vision of Fire, A Dream of Ice, and The Sound of the Seas. Most recently she co-wrote We: A Manifesto for Modern Women and co-starred in Season 11 of The X-Files.

Gillian Anderson as Dana Scully in The X-Files

Posted by Candace Stone in STAFF PICKS, WOMEN IN HORROR, 0 comments
WiHM Blood Drive, PSA #17 is Here!

WiHM Blood Drive, PSA #17 is Here!

Good evening, Souls! It’s the seventeenth day of Women in Horror Month, and House of Tortured Souls is proud to present the seventeenth entry in this year’s Women in Horror Month Blood Drive.

Today’s PSA comes to us from Paddy Murphy.

Obligatory disclaimer (not that we need it, right Souls?):

DISCLAIMER: This IS Horror, boys and grrls, so SOME of these do have VERY naughty content. Blood. Gore. EXTREME gore. Disturbing situations. Nudity. Sexual situations. Violence. Language.
If you are SENSITIVE to this kind of content, be a mature human being and just don’t watch. No need to spoil the fun for us fellow weirdos. We’re not hurting anyone. It just REALLY looks like we are 😉

Without further ado, behold the killer seventeenth Blood Drive PSA of Women in Horror Month:

Saviour

By Paddy Murphy

MINI BIO:

Paddy Murphy is an Irish film-maker known for his short films Cuppa, Retribution and The Sad Ones as well as the feature film, The Three Don’ts. Paddy comes to film with a background in video game development having spent years as the CEO of Ireland’s largest independent indigenous development company, Open Emotion Studios. Paddy is currently developing shorts for a variety of anthology feature films including Hex Media’s For We Are Many anthology, as well as starting work on his second feature film. Paddy co founded Celtic Badger Media with Barry Fahy, Aaron Walsh and Brian Clancy in 2016 and has been developing projects there ever since.

ARTIST’S STATEMENT:

When I required surgery in 2010 for the removal of an anomaly in my body, one of my biggest concerns was that my blood type was rare… AB Positive to be precise. So if anything happened to me, there may not be sufficient blood available. Due to this, I made a commitment to give blood whenever I could, to ensure that others with my blood type would never be stuck for a bit of plasma. Whether your blood type is rare or normal, please donate regularly to ensure that people will always have a fighting chance of surviving the worst. Thank you. And massive thanks to the Soska Sisters for this fantastic movement, which encourages the bloodletting in a fun, artistic way!
The other reason this event is so important is that it supports and empowers women in horror. This movement is super important, especially in the wake of the numerous assaults against women in the industry continue to come to light.
Highlighting powerful female directors, actors and crew is essential in making the environment more tolerant and less toxic and is the only way this industry can progress forward.

CAST & CREW:

Writer/Director: Paddy Murphy
Producers: Paddy Murphy, Barry Fahy.
Editor & DOP: Barry Fahy.
Music: Evan Murphy.
Production Designer: Kathy Murphy
Assistant Director & Casting: Courtney Mckeon.
BTS Stills: Stephen Tubridy.
BTS Video & DIT: Aaron Walsh.
SFX Makeup & Creature Design: Bekki Tubridy.
SFX Assistant: Shona McMahon.
Sound Op: Luke O Doherty.
Sound Mix: Paddy Murphy.
Assistant Camera: Andrew Moore.
Colour Grade: Barry Fahy

Starring:
Noelle Clarke
Aoife Meade
Rob Moran

Special Thanks: Jen and Sylvia Soska

Remember, Souls, there’ll be a new PSA every day up to and including 1 March 2018, and please check out the official WiHM website for more on Women in Horror Month.

Check out the other PSAs:

Posted by Woofer McWooferson in STAFF PICKS, WOMEN IN HORROR, 0 comments
WiHM & Black History Month: R. Shanae Williams

WiHM & Black History Month: R. Shanae Williams

For Women in Horror Month and Black History Month, I’ll be taking a look at black women in the horror genre. First up is the amazingly talented filmmaker R. Shanea Williams. A Richmond, VA, native, Williams holds a BA in English from the University of Virginia and an MFA in dramatic writing, focusing on screenwriting, from NYU. Williams, who now lives in Queens, New York, has produced two haunting short films, one about mental illness and the other about sleep paralysis, that pull no punches, and both are available at the Vimeo links below.

The first, Contamination, is a 2013 film about Jade a (expertly played by Cherise Boothe), a young woman in self-imposed exile in her apartment because of crippling germophobia – the pathological fear of contamination and germs. As with most germophobes, Jade has developed obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and allows only her aunt into her home to bring food and other necessities. The film relies heavily on the believability of Boothe’s performance, and she makes it more than believable. She also makes it real, and the viewer suffers alongside her as she deals with the possibility of contamination from the outside world. Contamination is beautifully shot although everything takes place in Jade’s apartment by necessity; it’s her entire universe. In addition, the use of a heartbeat overlay to reflect Jade’s terror is extremely effective as are the visual effects that depict her perception of things as altered by her fear. Indeed, I found myself holding my breath a few times as Jade’s fear was palpable. I would love to see Contamination made into a feature-length film.

Cherie Boothe in Contamination (2013) from R. Shanea Williams

Cherie Boothe in Contamination (2013) from R. Shanea Williams

As with Contamination, Paralysis is shot almost entirely in one setting – the protagonist’s apartment, but unlike Contamination, there are signs that what is happening to Jessica may be real. Recently divorced Jessica (superbly played by Nia Fairweather) has moved into a new apartment. Her father worries about her and her sleep patterns as she has been having issues since her mother died when Jessica was only 10. We later learn that her sleep issues are so intense that she stayed married to avoid sleeping alone. As Paralysis progresses, we are given hints that what we see happening may have paranormal underpinnings, but the end is ambiguous and leaves one wanting to see it again to look for clues.

Nia Fairweather in Paralysis (2015) from R. Shanea Williams

Nia Fairweather in Paralysis (2015) from R. Shanea Williams

Williams, who was a quarterfinalist in the 2007 Slamdance Screenwriting Competition and one of top five screenplay finalists in the Urbanworld Film Festival Screenwriting Competition in 2011, has just been named a recipient of the Tribeca CHANEL Women’s Program THROUGH HER LENS along with Nikyatu Jusu. They will receive a full production grant for a film they co-wrote entitled Suicide by Sunlight, the tale of a day-walking Black vampire who is protected by her melanin from the sunlight but finds it difficult to control her bloodlust when a new woman is brought around her estranged twin daughters.

Paula Weinstein, R. Shanea Williams, Nikyatu Jusu, Mira Nair, and Rachel Weisz at THROUGH HER LENS / Image: Tribeca

Paula Weinstein, R. Shanea Williams, Nikyatu Jusu, Mira Nair, and Rachel Weisz at THROUGH HER LENS / Image: Tribeca

From TribecaFilm.com:

Jusu is an award-winning Sierra Leonean-American filmmaker. Her screenplay Free the Town participated in the Sundance Institute’s inaugural Diverse Writers Workshop and was selected for both the 2013 Durban Film Mart and Film Independent’s Fast Track. Her short film Flowers won the HBO short film award and is her third film acquired by HBO.
Williams attended NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts Dramatic Writing Program and earned her MFA in 2008. Upon graduation, she was honored with the Venable Herndon Graduate Screenwriting Award for Excellence. Partnering with producer Anthony Davis, she wrote and directed two award-winning short films Contamination (2013) and Paralysis (2015). Williams currently resides in Queens, New York.
R. Shanea Williams and Nikyatu Jusu / Image: Tribeca

R. Shanea Williams and Nikyatu Jusu at THROUGH HER LENS / Image: Tribeca

Posted by Woofer McWooferson in STAFF PICKS, WOMEN IN HORROR, 0 comments
WiHM Blood Drive, PSA #16 is Here!

WiHM Blood Drive, PSA #16 is Here!

Good evening, Souls! It’s the sixteenth day of Women in Horror Month, and House of Tortured Souls is proud to present the sixteenth entry in this year’s Women in Horror Month Blood Drive.

Today’s PSA comes to us from Gata Muerta, Jena Jaworski, and Stitch Mays.

Obligatory disclaimer (not that we need it, right Souls?):

DISCLAIMER: This IS Horror, boys and grrls, so SOME of these do have VERY naughty content. Blood. Gore. EXTREME gore. Disturbing situations. Nudity. Sexual situations. Violence. Language.
If you are SENSITIVE to this kind of content, be a mature human being and just don’t watch. No need to spoil the fun for us fellow weirdos. We’re not hurting anyone. It just REALLY looks like we are 😉

Without further ado, behold the sweet sixteenth Blood Drive PSA of Women in Horror Month:

Blood Hero

By Gata Muerta, Jena Jaworski, & Stitch Mays

MINI BIO, TWINNABLEZILLA PRODUCTIONS:

After having met through the Soska sisters’ fandom and
inseparable ever since, Stitch Mays and Jena Jaworski joined together to form Twinnablezilla Productions. Later they welcomed Gata Muerta to their team. With a mutual love and appreciation for the genre, Twinnablezilla Productions aims to make a scream and create horror to bring people together.
At the heart of Twinnablezilla Productions is Stitch, born May 20th, 2000 and a resident of Greenville, Texas, and Jena, born August 30th, 1988, and a resident of Buffalo, NY. Inspired to break the molds and explore horror in his own way, Stitch tributes his inspiration to be a filmmaker to the Soska Sisters and their films.
The first recruit Stitch and Jena brought to Twinnablezilla Productions was Gata, born August 13, 1967, and a resident of California. Gata has a long-lived history of writing and playing music,started when she was fifteen years old.
From Nowich,Connecticut, Lauren Pearce was born March 16, 1999. It’s a mixture between cinematography and paranormal investigations she is trying to make a career out of.

CAST & CREW:

Jena Jaworski
Gata Muerta
Kayla Miller
Lauren Pearce
Stitch Mays

Editor: Lauren Pearce
Directors: Gata Muerta, Jena Jaworski, and Stitch Mays
Producers: Stitch Mays, Gata Muerta and Jena Jaworski
Writers: Jena Jaworski and Stitch Mays

Remember, Souls, there’ll be a new PSA every day up to and including 1 March 2018, and please check out the official WiHM website for more on Women in Horror Month.

Check out the other PSAs:

Posted by Woofer McWooferson in STAFF PICKS, WOMEN IN HORROR, 0 comments
INTERVIEW: Land of the Dead & The Hills Have Eyes star Robert Joy

INTERVIEW: Land of the Dead & The Hills Have Eyes star Robert Joy

Robert Joy is a name that might not be instantly familiar to cult/horror fans but he has over 100 film and TV credits and has been in such classics as George Romero’s Land of the Dead, The Hills Have Eyes (2006).

Robert Joy

Currently fans can see Joy as Polonius in an excellent production of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet starring Michael Urie (Ugly Betty), Alan Cox, Madeleine Potter (Red Lights), Oyin Oladejo (Star Trek Discovery), Keith Baxter, Ryan Spahn, Kelsey Rainwater, Chris Genebach, Gregory Wooddell, Avery Glymph and directed by Michael Kahn at the Shakespeare Theatre Company DC. I saw it, and it was very impressive.
Joy has taken time out of his busy schedule to talk to me about his craft and the genre films he is beloved for as well as the play he is currently in and what he has in store film-wise.
House of Tortured Souls: You got your start on the stage, were you exposed to many theatre productions as a child?
Robert Joy: I didn’t have an opportunity to watch much theater. When I was older I saw a few things, I remember my mother took me to a musical of The King and I that was done really well. And when I was in my late teens, I worked at a canoeing summer camp for kids in Northern Ontario, and three of us from the staff went down to Stratford. We hitchhiked for adventure, and then after that summer, when I got back to St. Johns Newfoundland, I got involved with the amateur theatre scene which was really sophisticated. And I started doing Gilbert and Sullivan and Shakespeare and a wide range of other things.
HoTS: Your first huge break was starting out in the play The Diary of Anne Frank (1979) with heavy hitters like Eli Wallace. What was he like to work with?
RJ: That was an amazing experience I had admired his work on television and I had seen a movie of his called The Tiger Makes Out and it was Eli Wallace and his wife Anne Jackson. It (the film) was very funny but it was also very emotional; the comedy was mixed with heartbreak. And I was floored by their acting, and it was amazing years later I got to act with them in The Diary of Anne Frank. Its only because of him and his family that I’m in the United States at all, really, because he invited me down to New York when The Diary of Anne Frank came from Toronto to New York.

Robert Joy

HoTS: The film Ragtime was an early breakthrough role where you worked with the legendary Milos Forman (One Flew Over a Cuckoos Nest, Amadeus, People vs Larry Flynt) What was he like as a director?
RJ: He was an amazing guy, he’s not with us anymore is he?
HoTS: I believe so, yes.
RJ: He’s an amazing fellow; he’s very smart and very fun loving, so the atmosphere on this huge production, the logistics of which were daunting, the sense that it was all a big party was palpable (laughs). He had bought a puppy. I think it was a lab. The puppy was on the set the whole time, pooping and peeing (Both laugh). There was this atmosphere you were living in some very big-hearted fun-loving guys’ home (laughs) shooting this enormous movie. But yeah it was a lot of fun to work with Milos Forman. He wouldn’t hesitate to sort of indicate any way he could what he was looking for, and you had to be careful not to do exactly what he did because he would sort of act the scene for you. Like he’d say (in a Czech accent), “More eyes! More crrrazzy”. Stuff like that. It was almost like being directed by one of the Muppets and you had to take one he said and interrupt it into what you knew he wanted. He was a very wonderful and supportive director.
HoTS: It’s an incredible film with an incredible cast. What memories do you have of that shoot in regards to the cast?
RJ: James Cagney wasn’t in the best of health, and he couldn’t take airplanes. I can’t remember exactly why, but a friend of his came over on I think it was the Queen Mary from New York to London because he shot it in London. All my scenes are in London and Oxford that part of England. Donald O’ Conner, Pat O’ Brien, and Pat O’Brien’s wife, and what I remember most is how down to earth everybody was and friendly and approachable. It was very moving to see these old friends being old friends, and, you know, they were open-hearted about including a young actor like me. In the film, Pat O’Brien plays my lawyer, and I had admired him, his movie career was amazing. His wife, whose name I’m sorry I can’t recall (Eloise Taylor), she played my mother (laughs) in that movie. I couldn’t believe my luck.
HoTS: I watched an old interview with youon YouTube actually – it must have been mid-eighties – for TV, and you mentioned you turned down Amityville 2: The Posession on grounds of the violence. I’m guessing you’ve softened you’re stance since, with being in films such as The Hills Have Eyes and Land of the Dead?
RJ: Well that’s interesting I didn’t realize I had done that, I was in an Amityville film it was Amityville 3D.
HoTS: Yeah.
RJ: So had I turned down Amityville 2, I guess. I very rarely turn anything down so I might have had another job at the time. As an actor, especially early in your career, you can only really afford to be fussy about what you expect when you have income. It might have been I was disturbed by the excessive violence. I’m not a fan of really violent movies, and as you say The Hills Have Eyes was probably the most violent I’ve ever been in. I have mixed feelings about it, I think it’s very skillfully made and ultimately I think it makes a very interesting premise behind it and as a cautionary tale  about what happens when people are marginalized or when things go bad and human beings are so separate from each other that they almost mutate away from each other. It had that kind of parable element to it. I remember reading the script of The Hills Have Eyes, and when the father character is crucified on the flaming cross, I thought this was too much, but I did it. It was one of those things I did because my daughter was about to go to university, and I didn’t have the luxury of picking and choosing. But I’m proud of it. It wasn’t an easy part to play, and there were a lot of challenges in the making of it. I’m proud we all pulled together an made what turned out to be in its own way a high quality of example of that kind of movie. The director, Alexandre Aja, the principal director, would say, “It has to be brutal and uncompressing”. And that’s what it was.

Robert Joy

HoTS: You also have a great role in George Romero’s adaptation of The Dark Half. Had you read the book before filming?
RJ: No, I hadn’t read the book, but I feel like the opportunity to work with George Romero was one of the great opportunities in my life. The Dark Half has violence in it, but you have a mixture of Stephen King and George Romero, and the range of the material in it is wide and deep. And I was very happy to do it based on the screenplay, but, no, I did not read the novel.
HoTS: So safe to assume you were very familiar with his body of work?
RJ: Yeah. I was most familiar with Night of the Living Dead. It was one of those one-of-a-kind kinds of movies because at the time it hadn’t really spawned that much of a collection of movies by the time I did The Dark Half, at least not that I was aware of. It just seems like subsequently that zombie genre has exploded. But back then it was like he was a one of a kind artist and it was such an interesting role. Like that scene where I come in and basically come in and try to extort Tim Hutton’s character and it’s one of the most interesting scenes. The character on the surface is so playful but under the surface menacing, and the politics of the scene goes up and down. One person has the power, then you wonder maybe the other person has the power, and its really good screenplay writing. And, of course, it’s beautifully directed by George. And when I met George in Pittsburgh, I was struck by courtly he was; it made me think of this old-fashioned gentleman. And he was so welcoming. I didn’t feel like I was just being hired to be in a movie; I felt like I was being welcomed into a community. That’s very important in a profession that is very gypsy-like where often you’re just hired, and when the job is over you never see the people again, so it was very special to be a part of his team.
HoTS: The character of Fred is so wonderfully cocky. Is a role like that enjoyable because it seems like you’re having a ball playing him. Do you enjoy those types of roles?
RJ: Well, you know that was the first role of that kind I had ever played. The other thing based just on the audition I did, I guess I auditioned for him in New York, and I didn’t have the reputation for playing that kind of part. I was so appreciative of George for saying, “Oh yeah, he can do it”. Whereas a lot of other people try to keep you in a pigeonhole, so he’s an actor’s best friend.
HoTS: Was George a fan of rehearsing his actors?
RJ: Yes. It was very interesting. It started before rehearsal with George, and it happened again with Land of the Dead. It starts with the audition in a funny way. You start to get an idea what he’s after, and he’s very involved in the costume and makeup, the costumes, in particular. The costume becomes a kind of rehearsal even though you’re not doing the scene at all. But you get an impression of George’s input where every visual detail that you’re going to present to the camera goes through the filter of his vision. Take Land of the Dead for example. He thought that Charlie should have a cap – you know a wool watch cap they call them – and then when they put one on me, he said, “Ah, no, but it should have a hole in it. Here is where the hole should be” (laugh). So every visual detail had a significance – a storytelling significance, and then in the rehearsals he would have on the shooting day, I don’t think we had separate rehearsals like on other days, but he would rehearse on the day. And for the most part, what I appreciated was that he would respond to what the actors brought and support what the actors brought. Every now and then he would just have just one thing to say, a detail or one turning point in the scene, and he would give his one note that would be an enormous contribution. He wasn’t a control freak. He wasn’t a puppet master. He was wanting to know what you brought, and then he could help you take it a step further.
HoTS: So he gave you the freedom to find the character yourself?
RJ: You gotta remember that during the auditions he saw basically what he wanted, but then when he would see it on the shooting day, he could refine it, improve it, and enhance it. He was a real connoisseur of what the actors brought. He was one of those people who would be really encouraging. His contribution and his notes were in the middle of a kind of cheerleading capacity, like a great coach really.
HoTS: Speaking of Charlie from Land of the Dead you give the character of a real depth and pathos, I was wondering if you drew inspiration from anything specific?
RJ: Not really, no, but the character is written beautifully, and he has a backstory that was very easy to get behind. I mean it was painful, but the idea that to go through a trauma and then come out the other side with a loyalty to the person that saved you, I never had that kind of experience but it was easy to get behind it. It’s weird somebody asked… You saw Hamlet the other night, right?
HoTS: Yes.
RJ: So somebody asked the actor playing Hamlet, Michael Urie, how do you feel those feelings? He said, “Well, you know, it’s what we have to do as actors. I never killed a king or seen my father’s ghost or anything like that, but you have to imagine what it would be like”, and that’s how I feel about Charlie. He wrote a backstory and situation for Charlie that was so rich that it was so easy to get behind it. It’s what we do when we read a novel or see a movie. We, as an audience, as readers and viewers, we enter that situation. And as actors, it’s an extension of that same thing. We go there, and the material takes you there.
HoTS: You’ve done several make-up heavy movies. Do you feel like it informs your character similar to a costume?
RJ: Oh my god, yeah. Because the makeup alters your face, it’s even more significant than a costume. I remember when I’d be sitting in the chair for three or four hours with Chris Nelson who applied the prosthetics and painted them. What a genius. He’s an actor as well. He’s in Kill Bill. He plays The Groom in the wedding scene. While I was in that makeup chair watching it happen, it was incredible. It’s incredibly helpful to the actor’s imagination because you’re watching it [take shape] in the mirror. You are becoming something else, and it takes a lot of the burden off of the actor because the makeup is doing much of the work. I mean I certainly don’t have to ask my way into communicating Charlie’s history if half of his face is a burn scar. That trauma is there, and it’s enormously important. Same with The Hills Have Eyes. That mutation is present. There’s so much less effort required. It’s still a lot of work in the acting, but there is such a thing as bad effort as when a performance becomes effortful instead of natural, and what the makeup does is let the extraordinary be natural.
HoTS: How long did the makeup take on Land of the Dead, and can you walk us through the process?
RJ: It took about four hours. It was two large pieces on the right side of my face, and when they go on in a kind of an approximate pinkish flesh color. The application is very important and takes time. The first thing is you have to have your hair plastered back under a cap, but the painting is amazing. With the painting, he would paint red and blue first. Then cover it with the kind of skin tone and add layers of paint so that even though all you see is flesh color underneath, it is hints of veins and arteries and such. It took a long time.
Robert Joy and Tess Harper in Amityville 3D
HoTS: You are currently playing Polonius in the Shakespeare Theatre Company of DC’s amazing production. First of all, I saw you in this and thought you were incredible, as was the entire cast. What did you think of the modern re-imagining?
RJ: I am totally excited by this re-imagining because sometimes a modern re-imagining doesn’t fit a classic play but Michael Kahn has imagined this play. Not only does it fit, but it enhances the text. You know that scene where I enlist my daughter to spy on Hamlet. Classically that’s done where Polonius and the king are watching behind a curtain, but to have a listening device in the book she’s reading… I mean, Shakespeare put the book in the scene and somehow that book was going to be a clue I imagine. Because he doesn’t put props into his scenes very often, so 400 years ago that book would have been some kind of a clue to Hamlet that she is spying on him. But to have a listening device in it makes it relatable, and that is just one example. Some of in the play lends itself to this depiction of a surveillance state and authoritarian kind of East German State.
HoTS: Yes. I thought it was really interesting how they dealt with the politics which is rife in the play. Now you are, of course, no stranger to performing Shakespeare. In fact, I read you and Ruby, your daughter, acted in The Tempest together?
RJ: That’s right. That was really the highlight for both of us, I think. She had been auditioning in Canada and got the role of Miranda in The Tempest, and as they were talking to her after she was hired, they asked her about her last name and if, by chance, she was related to me because they knew me from CSI: New York. She said yeah he’s my dad, and they asked if it would be alright if we asked him to play Prospero. It was a miraculous turn of events because it turned out to be one of the most amazing things each of us ever did. And it’s so rich with implications for our current world as well. The weird thing is Ruby and I were just talking about it last night because she is working with a group of academics in Toronto. Even now they are doing this kind of symposium about The Tempest, and its implications on colonialism and immigration and the attitude having different cultures in the one place. Like Caliban, Ariel, and Prospero were like different species of humans. But it was a fascinating play and we had a great time doing it.
HoTS: Do you think you’ll ever do a film together?
RJ: We are always looking or possibilities. We keep imagining it will happen on stage maybe playing King Lear and she could play one of King Lear’s daughters or any combination where I get to play her dad again or just be in the same project. But you know, these things can happen, but they are hard to force. But we certainly both want to work with each other again.
HoTS: Great! Finally, I wanted to ask about your latest film, Crown and Anchor, and if you could tell us what it’s about and a bit about your character in it?
RJ: Yeah. I really like this film. You’re introduced to this a police officer in Toronto, and he has rage issues. He gets a call from his hometown that his mother has passed away, so he goes back to his hometown and you realize where all his rage issues come from. It’s a very complicated family with a father who’s in prison and a brother who is going down the wrong road and getting involved with drug dealers. My character is his uncle, the imprisoned brother’s father, who is trying to be a leader figure in the family but can’t quite manage it because he’s a drinker and has flaws of his own. It’s a fascinating character because on the one hand there are comedic elements. He’s a bit of a mischief maker and an eccentric character, but then it becomes clear he is really trying to save a very bad situation. It’s a complex and nuanced film, and I loved playing that part. I just got another part you might be interested to hear about. I don’t know if you know of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Gold Finch?
HoTS: Yes. This is filming now or in post-production?
RJ: Yes. It just started filming last week, and I am playing the part of Welty in that. Jeffery Wright plays the part of Hobie, a man who has an antique shop and antique restorer in Manhattan. I play his partner who goes through trauma at the beginning of the film. I don’t want to give too much away, but the part of Welty will involve a wound in makeup. I did the fitting, and when you were talking about prosthetic makeup, I thought about that because I had to do one of those life casts. It’s going to be a horrific head wound.
Asia Argento, Simon Baker, Joanne Boland, Robert Joy, Shawn Roberts, and Pedro Miguel Arce in Land of the Dead (2005)
I once again want to thank Mr. Joy for his time and sharing insights into his craft and touching on some of his amazing and varied body of work. Also a big thank you to the fine people at the Shakespeare Theatre Company DC.
If you are in the area its an incredible production with a brilliant cast and director. It runs now until March 6, 2018. Please visit the website below for more info.

Vinessa Shaw, Emilie de Ravin, and Robert Joy in The Hills Have Eyes (2006)

Posted by Mike Vaughn in INTERVIEWS, STAFF PICKS, 0 comments
An Interview with Filmmaker Chase Dudley

An Interview with Filmmaker Chase Dudley

Recently it has been my pleasure to discuss the work of filmmaker Chase Dudley through the House of Tortured Souls pre-production press release for his latest project, Between the Living and the Dead.Photos By : Kim Greenidge
Readers will already be aware of some of the cast members such as Lisa Wilcox, Ashley Mary Nunes, John Dugan, and even Robert Allen Mukes.
Additional to the four principal cast, Dudley has also cast Bishop Stevens and Trevor Murdoch, infamous and impressively skilled wrestlers who had been a part of the WWE world since 1999. Stevens currently can also be seen in films such as Mom and Dad, Payday, and No Good Heroes.

Bishop Stevens - Interview with Chase Dudley

Trevor Murdoch - Interview with Chase Dudley

I took some time ahead of the filming schedule for Between the Living and the Dead, to speak with the director Chase Dudley.
House of Tortured Souls: Between your films Marvellous Mandy, Payday, and the upcoming production of Between the Living and the Dead, it’s clear that filmmaking is a passion for you. What inspired your desire to become a filmmaker?
Chase Dudley: Yes, my passion for filmmaking has always been very strong, ever since I was a kid. I think I always knew that I wanted to be in the movie business, but it was mostly at a young age that it revolved more around acting. My directing passion came later in life when I started actually making movies, it was to the point for me to find other people making movies. I started making movies for myself and I was always doing more of the directing and finding people. Being in movies, somebody always had to put everything together and it ended up being me doing these things and I just learned to love doing that more than acting. I love telling stories of all kinds, whether it is horror, drama, or action. I like doing a little bit of everything and I started really just making movies six years ago. So I have a lot of time to make up for. From my twenties, social media was so much less and it was really hard to find other people that were interested in the things that I was. Sometimes it really sucks and I feel like I’ve been born in the wrong decade, but it is a great time to be a filmmaker now.
HoTS: I find it inspiring that your business partner is also your amazing wife Samantha Dudley. What is it like working together at Cut 2 The Chase Productions and balancing that with your family commitments?
CD: Me working with my business partner and wife Samantha has been, honestly, the greatest treat in the world. People I’d dated in the past always never really fully accepted what I wanted to do or what I wanted to be. It came to the same ultimatums, a lot of times in relationships. It was either them or my dream. And of course, if I gave up my dream it’d be like a slow suicide ‘cos you know how it goes with a lot of relationships in the movie business. It was always so awkward and weird, ‘cos it’s hard for me to not think about movies at all. Thinking movies and being with someone who loves me and wants me to achieve my goals is very special.
HoTS: Between the Living and The Dead will feature two powerful women within horror — Lisa Wilcox and Ashley Mary Nunes — what was it like meeting with either of them ? And why did you choose them for their roles?
CD: Watching the A Nightmare on Elm Street films when I was a kid and seeing Lisa Wilcox, she was always my favorite character of the franchise, and I always thought she was quite badass. So growing up and then making movies, I hadn’t heard from her in a while and saw she was raising her kids and getting back into acting and she was really on my list to work with (‘cos she’s such a strong actress). Recently watching her get into all kinds of other great projects I felt I had to work with her. And Ashley Nunes I had met in 2015 at the Ripped Film Festival. I was screening my movie Retribution and she was in a film with her brother Todd, well her brother directed it, called All Through The House. She was such a professional person and a terrific actress and so down to earth. I knew that’s someone I wanted to work with, and we had been trying for a few years. Finally, I sent her the script (for Between the Living and the Dead) and she was so eager to be a part of it.
HoTS: How does it feel also to know you’ll get to work with the legendary John Dugan and genre star Robert Allen Mukes?
CD: I never in a million years thought I’d be working with Robert Allen Mukes or John Dugan. Growing up some of my favorite horror films were the House of 1000 Corpses and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre films, alongside A Nightmare on Elm Street. Those were some of the most memorable and inspiring horror films of all time. They’re all such down to earth people and the roles they’re gonna be playing in the film are so iconic and badass. The horror fans are really gonna love what we’re gonna do with this and it is such an honor to be directing them all.
HoTS: Not ignoring the rest of the cast who will be equally amazing on screen, and I notice some come from wrestling backgrounds, how did you select the right actors for each role?
CD: Firstly, Bishop Stevens and Trevor Murdoch are great additions to this project. As a director whenever I’m reading a script or in the process of creating, I already have in mind who I want to work with. It’s one of those things where I visually see people, that I feel fit the roles, and when creating a script I always hope they like it and most of the times they do. So its one of those things I guess, every director is different. Some directors love going to casting calls and posting for and having casting auditions. I like, personally, handpicking them before we start. It’s more exciting.
HoTS: Of course you frequently collaborate with writer Brett Slabchuck, including on Payday and Marvellous Mandy, what is your take on his writing style and what process do you use to create these films based on his scripts?
CD: Martin Scorsese once said ‘you have to find filmmakers who like you or who is you’. Most of the years I’ve been trying to get movies off the ground, I’ve always worked with people with a differing opinion. They didn’t get my style (so to say). My wife Samantha and my screenwriter Brett Slabchuck are some of those few special people I collaborate with, that truly get what I’m trying to do. When you have people like that, it makes filmmaking so much easier. Brett Slabchuck and I have been doing business for the last four years and this film will be our fourth creative process. We just seem to get more comfortable and understand each other.
HoTS: Between the Living and the Dead will be filming this year and is slated for a 2019 release. Any ideas if you’ll aim for a festival release? And perhaps cinematic??
CD: For Between the Living and the Dead, our goal is I’m really big on Netflix original films, but I am also looking for this film to be released theatrically. The following for Halloween and the way they filmed it seemed really really smart. They shot the movie and that year released it on Halloween of course. We were gonna try take six or seven months in pre-production and try to get and try and get the film out by the next Halloween. This type of film, I think, would do really well theatrically.
HoTS: Is there anything else you’d like film fans to know about Cut 2 The Chase Productions or your films?
CD: At Cut 2 The Chase Productions, we want to be versatile and we want to tell amazing stories. I plan on doing all kinds of different genres and all different kinds of films. We are also going to grow into music too, as my wife is a musician and once we get the movie off the ground we intend on going into the music genre too. That’s one thing I’d like everyone one to know about for Cut 2 The Chase Productions.
Interview with Chase Dudley

Posted by Michelle MIDI Sayles in INTERVIEWS, STAFF PICKS, 0 comments
WiHM Blood Drive, PSA #15 is Here!

WiHM Blood Drive, PSA #15 is Here!

Greetings, Souls! It’s the fifteenth day of Women in Horror Month, and House of Tortured Souls is proud to present the fifteenth entry in this year’s Women in Horror Month Blood Drive.

Today’s PSA comes to us from Vicky Tori Ella and Jasmine Martinez.

Obligatory disclaimer (not that we need it, right Souls?):

DISCLAIMER: This IS Horror, boys and grrls, so SOME of these do have VERY naughty content. Blood. Gore. EXTREME gore. Disturbing situations. Nudity. Sexual situations. Violence. Language.
If you are SENSITIVE to this kind of content, be a mature human being and just don’t watch. No need to spoil the fun for us fellow weirdos. We’re not hurting anyone. It just REALLY looks like we are 😉

And without further ado, behold the wicked fifteenth Blood Drive PSA of Women in Horror Month:

Inner Turmoil

By Vicky Tori Ella & Jasmine Martinez

MINI BIO, VICKY TORI ELLA:

Vicky has been a writer since the age of 5, she watched her first horror movie at 6 and fell in love with Freddy Krueger. She had her mid-life crisis at 18, she doesn’t have any children and she’s not married. She believes that deep down we are all writers, as we are all storytellers. We’re all currently writing our own stories, adding to those blank pages.
Together with her film partner, Jasmine Martinez, she runs the production company Rare Deviant Productions.

MINI BIO, JASMINE MARTINEZ:

Jasmine is a crazy Puerto Rican Swedish girl straight out of New Jersey who loves all things horror. She has a soft spot for Splatter and occult movies. She is the co-host of Bitches of Horror and also the proof reader for the independent underground gore magazine, “Goregasmic”. Also a huge fan of games, music and movies in general.

ARTIST’S STATEMENT, VICKY TORI ELLA:

Helping others has always been a priority of mine, even if that forces me to go out of my comfort zone. For example, I’m terrified of needles, but when you know you could help save a life by donating your blood, the outcome is so much greater than your fears.
Here’s the thing, you get what you put out, therefore it’s important to just be a decent fucking human being, which sounds easy enough, yet the world lacks kindness. It lacks people who put out good energy. And by doing good to others, you automatically bring out the best in yourself. Never unscrew other people’s lightbulbs in order for you to shine. Always pay it forward. You may not be thanked with words, but regardless, you will feel it in your heart. However you decide to make a change in this world, whatever your passion may be and wherever on our planet you leave your footprints, do so with kindness and pride and your head held high.

ARTIST’S STATEMENT, JASMINE MARTINEZ:

I’ve been terrible at donating blood because of my phobia for needles. But when I was pregnant I learned not only that my blood-type was super important to people but I learned how to stand up to my fear and take those goddamn needles anyways. Now is the time that I and everyone else who’s had some sort of bad excuse stand up and go Donate blood.

Remember, Souls, there’ll be a new PSA every day up to and including 1 March 2018, and please check out the official WiHM website for more on Women in Horror Month.

Check out the other PSAs:

Posted by Woofer McWooferson in STAFF PICKS, WOMEN IN HORROR, 0 comments
WIHM: Rodleen Getsic’s tortured performance in The Bunny Game

WIHM: Rodleen Getsic’s tortured performance in The Bunny Game

An extreme cinema actress I feel is worthy of much praise is Rodleen Getsic and her phenomenal portrayal in The Bunny Game.

Rodleen Getsic in The Bunny Game

While the film itself seems to get nothing but hate amongst both the horror and extreme cinema communities alike (I don’t share this view personally), Rodleen’s performance still gets mostly praise.
Rodleen Getsic in The Bunny Game
The reason I choose her and why I think her role was special is due to the immense physical and emotional abuse she willingly endured during the making of the film. Her dedication to the role is apparent, and she stated that she dug deep within herself and drew upon past abuses to bring authenticity to the role.Rodleen Getsic in The Bunny Game The director (Adam Rehmeier) of the film stated that other than drug and alcohol abuse nothing in the film was staged. So what does that mean? What all was portrayed in the film?

It means that Rodleen agreed to endure some pretty vile acts of torture for the making of this film. She describes her participation as “more art than film”. She wanted “to use the production as a cathartic process, to really purge some of the traumas she had”. She would fast before shooting and be in a meditative state during scenes. For the more physical demands she drew strength from a rape and other sexual abuses from her youth. Rodleen Getsic in The Bunny Game She stated, “I’ve had some intense experiences that most people might not have lived through” and “The reasons why I made this film keep emerging. But really I wanted to move through the what-ifs and show I could make it through”. She finally goes on to say, “Part of my soul did die in making this film”.

So just what all did she endure for the making of the film? Rodleen Getsic in The Bunny Game I can only assume that if nothing was staged, she was beaten, raped, spit and urinated on, had her head violently shaved, suffocated and even branded (she has the scars to prove this).

Getsic is a method actress and artist of the highest quality and she deserves proper recognition and praise. Her dedication to the role makes this movie so much more than just “torture porn” it adds layers of depth and allows us to share in someone else’s life changing experience. I found it both moving and profound and I commend her for her impressive contribution to extreme cinema.

Rodleen Getsic

Posted by Candace Stone in WOMEN IN HORROR, 0 comments
Movie Review: Red Krokodil

Movie Review: Red Krokodil

In Domiziano Cristopharo’s film Red Krokodil, the viewer observes a man (played by Brock Madson) wrestle with an addiction to the incredibly detrimental drug krokodil. Now, krokodil is a desomorphine and is made through a process similar to the process to make meth and is made up of codeine, hydrochloric acid, and red phosphorus to name a few. It received the name krokodil for the effects that it has upon the user, particularly at the injection sites where one’s skin turns green and takes on a scaly hue. Add to that an effect similar to necrotizing of the flesh and severe internal damage, and krokodil is one of the more lethal drugs in the world.

With these facts in mind, I shall dive into the beautiful and haunting world of Red Krokodil. Set in a post-nuclear city in Russia, the viewer is introduced to Madson’s character from the outset and the first impression of him is rather tragic because you find him with his hands, elbows, and knees wrapped in bandages and he is dressed in some rather ratty underwear. Long unkempt hair and what is certainly rather questionable hygiene and we are introduced to someone in the brutal throes of drug addiction. As the film progresses, we get to experience this man’s hallucinations and at points his personal self-loathing. The entire film undergoes a constant narration with Madson’s voice talking about why he does what he does, even though he even comments at one point that he wishes that he would stop with the injections of krokodil.

Madson lying in bed in Red Krokodil (2012)One thing to take note of in this film is Domiziano Cristopharo’s phenomenal direction and cinematography in showing both the visual damage that krokodil has done to this man and in how through the cinematography, Cristopharo shows the internal damage that this drug exacts upon the mind. From hallucinations to even a lucid scene where Madson has a very intimate interaction with himself whilst in bed, we see his mind deteriorate at a pace that is both equal and even worse than his physical deterioration. The physical damage that krokodil did to the body is shown in an unflinchingly fearless manner. As the film progresses and this deterioration becomes more and more obvious, the man unwraps the bandages from his body and picks away at the flesh as it just falls off. Even skin peels away as if it was just an extra layer of clothing.

Madson prepping for the Injection in Red Krokodil (2012)Just like those layers of skin and flesh, this is a very full-bodied film with a multiplicity of layers that demand one give the film multiple viewings. I am still processing everything I saw in the film and I am doing my best to avoid spoilers so that readers might go and see the film without knowing how the story unfolds. I can happily say that I will rewatch this film again and again. Gratefully, I’ve had the pleasure to converse with Domiziano Cristopharo directly concerning Red Krokodil and how it came to be! Discussing the film directly with Cristopharo he informed me that at the time, he was not happy in life and decided to quit filmmaking. Instead, he harnessed those feelings and began a trilogy signifying a journey from light to sadness and solitude. Red Krokodil is the purgatory aspect of his trilogy with Dark Waves being the paradise and Doll Syndrome being the hell. In addition, he informed me of how instead of quitting filming, he just needed a change in how he made films. For 8 months, Cristopharo couldn’t find an actor until Brock Madson came along, who after one sees the film can recognize is the perfect choice for the role.

In addition, it turned out that Madson had wrestled with drug addiction in the form of meth. So for them both, along with this being a journey, as Cristopharo put it, it was a way for them to exorcise their demons. Overall, I highly recommend this film, and give it 5 out of 5 stars!

Red Krokodil can be purchased on Blu-Ray and DVD from Unearthed Films!

Brock Madson in Red Krokodil (2012)

Posted by Spencer Evatt in BRUTAL REALITY, MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, STAFF PICKS, URBAN DECAY/DYSTOPIAN FUTURES, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Hellraiser: Judgment (2018) [SPOILERS]

MOVIE REVIEW: Hellraiser: Judgment (2018) [SPOILERS]

Writer/Director: Gary J. Tunnicliffe; Stars: Damon Carney, Randy Wayne, Alexandra Harris, Heather Langenkamp, Paul T. Taylor, Gary J. Tunnicliffe; Rating: N/A; Run Time: 81 min; Genre: Horror; Country: USA; Language: English; Year: 2018

The Butcher from Hellraiser: Judgment (2018)When I first heard rumors of Hellraiser: Judgment, I was excited. Then I learned that Doug Bradley wouldn’t be in it. Again. My expectations dropped. While better than the ninth installment, it still falls short of what Hellraiser fans want and doesn’t even come close to capturing the feel of the first three. That said, it might have been a decent movie had it not tried to shoehorn itself into the Hellraiser universe.

Warning: Spoilers Ahead

Gary J. Tunnicliffe and Paul T. Taylor in Hellraiser: Judgment (2018)Despite a faux Pinhead, the opening scene is intriguing and hints of a new approach to the Cenobites and how they interact with humans. The box, it seems, is no longer sufficient to lure in pleasure- and pain-seekers and they are attempting to find new ways to attract the immoral to them. The addition of a bureaucracy to Hell (more like the Christian Hell rather than The Labyrinth) is not a new concept, but the execution is interesting if a bit hackneyed at times. However, it quickly goes downhill and begins employing gimmicks and jump scares in place of real horror. Once again we are presented with a detective story, but this time the murderer kills according to the ten commandments. How very Seven of it. Once the tale plays out and the murderer is revealed, no one is surprised. Indeed, it is telegraphed throughout and not the bombshell it should be.

Mike J. Regan in Hellraiser: Judgment (2018)The one aspect that is interesting is the depiction of Hell, God, and the afterlife, but these do not necessarily align with the actual Hellraiser universe. In this movie, we learn that God is “in on it” in that He allows evil to exist for without it, man cannot know true evil. This has long been speculated regarding both the Christian God as well as other “creators”, but the Hell of the Hellraiser universe is widely accepted as being an extra dimension rather than the biblical Hell, making this something outside of the mythology. While it is an admirable attempt to expand the universe, it ultimately doesn’t work because it goes too far astray from Clive Barker’s original universe. I would like to see this in an original, non-Hellraiser film, but such a film would definitely be compared to the Hellraiser series without radical changes.

The Surgeon from Hellraiser: Judgment (2018)The effects in Hellraiser: Judgment are solid, which is to be expected from someone who worked as closely with Hellraiser as Gary Tunnicliffe did, but effects alone do not make a good movie. Moreover, they tried far too hard to cram in the Hellraiser universe, even going so far as to repeat lines and duplicate items from previous Hellraiser movies. This, more than anything, felt forced rather than natural. The acting is competent but not spectacular, and Pinhead has little to do with the movie beyond tying it to the franchise. All in all, Hellraiser: Judgment is not a bad movie, but it’s also not a good movie. To be fair, Barker set the bar pretty high, and I applaud the attempt to bring something new to the mythology, but I wish Tunnicliffe had stayed closer to the source material and brought back the original (and only) Pinhead – Doug Bradley.

Final verdict: 4/10 claw marks, worth a watch but, as Mom used to say, nothing to write home about

Gary J. Tunnicliffe and Damon Carney in Hellraiser: Judgment (2018)

Posted by Woofer McWooferson in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, SATANIC/DEMONIC, 0 comments
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