Horrormadam

Hey horror fans, Horrormadam here with a Women in Horror interview with the amazing stand-up comedienne, actor (Superbad, Just Go With It, and My Best Friend’s Girl), director (Girls on Girls), and writer (Jax in Love, Live) Rakefet Abergel. We are here to discuss the wonderful short film Jax in Love.
First, let me give you the premise:
A mysterious and lonely young woman, Jax (Rakefet Abergel) is traveling through the expansive desert of the American West, in search of some tangible connection, a kindred spirit or like-minded soul with whom she can bond. When her car breaks down in the middle of nowhere, her journey takes a dangerous turn, and we learn this seemingly sweet woman may not be who she seems at all. How far will she go for love? Will she make it out of the desert alive?
—Written by Nick Laskin
I really loved this film and apparently, I am not alone. The awards that are already pouring in are illuminating.
  • Best Actress in a Short — Nightmares Film Festival
  • Best Horror Short — Hollywood Reel Independent Film Festival
  • Award of Merit — Best Shorts Competition (Leading Actress)
  • Award of Merit — Best Shorts Competition (Women Filmmakers)
  • Award of Commendation — Canada Shorts Film Festival
  • Best Thriller Short Nominee — Women in Horror Film Festival
  • Best of Fest Nominee — Sick Chick Flicks Film Festival
  • Best Actress Nominee — Independent Horror Movie Awards
JAX IN LOVE was directed by Academy Award Nominee (Best Short Film, Live Action, Seraglio (2000)) Colin Campbell and produced by Jory Weitz, the executive producer of Napoleon Dynamite. It also stars John Gammon (Corey and Lucas for the Win, The Middle), Ben Kacsandi (Rio, Please Tell Me I’m Adopted), Devi Veysey (Breaking Fat), and Laura Wiggins (Rings, Shameless).
I certainly do not want to give too much away but one of my favorite things about the film is the role reversal over what we normally see in these kinds of thrillers. So well acted and engaging, this horror short grabs you from the beginning and leaves you wanting more. It is all-inclusive as a short but the action made me hope that not only would it become a feature but hopefully a series. We need more of the main character out there. So let’s get to it.
House of Tortured Souls: My first question for Rakefet, what was your motivation while writing Jax in Love?
Rakefet Abergel: The whole idea stemmed from the desire to write something for myself that was dark and dramatic versus the comedy roles I was used to booking. I also wanted to cast myself in a part I would never get cast in just because of my type. I want to change the way we look at what a “leading lady” is.
HoTS: Are you a big fan of horror and what made you want to do a horror film?
RA: I actually grew up hating horror films. Lol. Not because they’re bad but because they are so good at scaring the crap out of me. And I don’t like to be scared! Of course, that begs the question as to why I made one, for which the only answer I can give is that it wasn’t intended to be a horror film. I didn’t even know it would become one. But based on test audience reactions I quickly realized that I had the genre wrong. I still don’t necessarily consider it a horror film, it has so different tones to it. But attending all these horror festivals has allowed me to watch more horror films then I’ve seen in my entire life combined and I realized that I have a place in my heart for horror now. I kinda get it now. The allure. Especially with the quality of the genre really changing now more than ever.
HoTS: Do you have any favorite horror films?
RA: I actually do love some horror films. Identity was one of my favorite. And The Sixth Sense. Split. Teeth was really good too. I liked the message. Get Out was incredible. I really like psychological horror. Not so much into all of the blood. But a good mind-sc4.
HoTS: It is Women in Horror Month, who are some of your female real life/ fiction influences in horror or other?
RA: All of the women filmmakers I’ve met over the last few months are so inspiring to me! As far as influences, I don’t know. I suppose I’m influenced by everything I’ve ever seen!
HoTS: You have played a lot of diverse roles. Do you have a favorite?
RA: Jax is probably one of my favorites. If not the favorite. As far as comedy, I really enjoyed playing Jodi Flooger on iCarly. That was a fun role. And getting to work with Adam Sandler in Just Go With It and wear a prosthetic nose was pretty cool too.
HoTS: Have you faced any difficulties being a woman in film?
RA: Sometimes as a woman in our society it’s hard to be taken seriously. That’s been something I’ve come up against. That our stories maybe aren’t as important as the ones men want to tell. That we are too emotional or sappy or feminist or whatever. But I don’t generally care that much about what other people think. Or I try not to. I experienced an inappropriate comment on my own set by a crew member. That was shocking. I was his boss. Paying him. And he decided to make a comment about my body and considered it to be a compliment. Unfortunately, since I didn’t want to jeopardize my film and we were on location and I couldn’t lose a crew member, I couldn’t do anything about it. And that was very frustrating. Even when a woman is in power, she can still be harassed and have no real recourse. It’s very unfortunate.
HoTS: In the movie, can you tell me about the tattoo?
RA: Yes! It’s a heart with a set of car keys inside it. It symbolizes Jax’s love for the road and her quest for love and how she goes about it. We give out replicas at the screenings and people really love the idea, so that’s fun. It was designed by my former editor and forever friend Lindsay McKenna!
HoTS: Is this going to be made into a feature?
RA: Possibly. Or a series. I haven’t decided yet. But I don’t think we’ve seen the last of Jax.
HoTS: I love that a great stand up artist went so dark, any plans for more along the same lines?
RA: Thanks for the compliment! 🙂 Yes! I love dark. It’s why I wanted to act. I love the drama. Comedy is fun too, but this is a more satisfying genre for me. I’m writing two very, very dark screenplays at the moment that I hope to also star in, so I’m sure there will be more where Jax came from.
I really recommend that you check this film out. It was a lot of fun and I so enjoyed Rakefet’s performance in it. I want to thank her for taking the time to talk with me and to let her know the darker the better for us! And dear readers always keep this question in mind: How far would YOU go for love?

Rakefet Abergel's Jax in Love (2017)

From Detroit I love all things horror, movies, reading, writing, animals, activism, medieval weapons, classic cars, tattoos, and music of all sorts.
WiHM: Interview with Rakefet Abergel of Jax in Love (2017)

WiHM: Interview with Rakefet Abergel of Jax in Love (2017)

Hey horror fans, Horrormadam here with a Women in Horror interview with the amazing stand-up comedienne, actor (Superbad, Just Go With It, and My Best Friend’s Girl), director (Girls on Girls), and writer (Jax in Love, Live) Rakefet Abergel. We are here to discuss the wonderful short film Jax in Love.
First, let me give you the premise:
A mysterious and lonely young woman, Jax (Rakefet Abergel) is traveling through the expansive desert of the American West, in search of some tangible connection, a kindred spirit or like-minded soul with whom she can bond. When her car breaks down in the middle of nowhere, her journey takes a dangerous turn, and we learn this seemingly sweet woman may not be who she seems at all. How far will she go for love? Will she make it out of the desert alive?
—Written by Nick Laskin
I really loved this film and apparently, I am not alone. The awards that are already pouring in are illuminating.
  • Best Actress in a Short — Nightmares Film Festival
  • Best Horror Short — Hollywood Reel Independent Film Festival
  • Award of Merit — Best Shorts Competition (Leading Actress)
  • Award of Merit — Best Shorts Competition (Women Filmmakers)
  • Award of Commendation — Canada Shorts Film Festival
  • Best Thriller Short Nominee — Women in Horror Film Festival
  • Best of Fest Nominee — Sick Chick Flicks Film Festival
  • Best Actress Nominee — Independent Horror Movie Awards
JAX IN LOVE was directed by Academy Award Nominee (Best Short Film, Live Action, Seraglio (2000)) Colin Campbell and produced by Jory Weitz, the executive producer of Napoleon Dynamite. It also stars John Gammon (Corey and Lucas for the Win, The Middle), Ben Kacsandi (Rio, Please Tell Me I’m Adopted), Devi Veysey (Breaking Fat), and Laura Wiggins (Rings, Shameless).
I certainly do not want to give too much away but one of my favorite things about the film is the role reversal over what we normally see in these kinds of thrillers. So well acted and engaging, this horror short grabs you from the beginning and leaves you wanting more. It is all-inclusive as a short but the action made me hope that not only would it become a feature but hopefully a series. We need more of the main character out there. So let’s get to it.
House of Tortured Souls: My first question for Rakefet, what was your motivation while writing Jax in Love?
Rakefet Abergel: The whole idea stemmed from the desire to write something for myself that was dark and dramatic versus the comedy roles I was used to booking. I also wanted to cast myself in a part I would never get cast in just because of my type. I want to change the way we look at what a “leading lady” is.
HoTS: Are you a big fan of horror and what made you want to do a horror film?
RA: I actually grew up hating horror films. Lol. Not because they’re bad but because they are so good at scaring the crap out of me. And I don’t like to be scared! Of course, that begs the question as to why I made one, for which the only answer I can give is that it wasn’t intended to be a horror film. I didn’t even know it would become one. But based on test audience reactions I quickly realized that I had the genre wrong. I still don’t necessarily consider it a horror film, it has so different tones to it. But attending all these horror festivals has allowed me to watch more horror films then I’ve seen in my entire life combined and I realized that I have a place in my heart for horror now. I kinda get it now. The allure. Especially with the quality of the genre really changing now more than ever.
HoTS: Do you have any favorite horror films?
RA: I actually do love some horror films. Identity was one of my favorite. And The Sixth Sense. Split. Teeth was really good too. I liked the message. Get Out was incredible. I really like psychological horror. Not so much into all of the blood. But a good mind-sc4.
HoTS: It is Women in Horror Month, who are some of your female real life/ fiction influences in horror or other?
RA: All of the women filmmakers I’ve met over the last few months are so inspiring to me! As far as influences, I don’t know. I suppose I’m influenced by everything I’ve ever seen!
HoTS: You have played a lot of diverse roles. Do you have a favorite?
RA: Jax is probably one of my favorites. If not the favorite. As far as comedy, I really enjoyed playing Jodi Flooger on iCarly. That was a fun role. And getting to work with Adam Sandler in Just Go With It and wear a prosthetic nose was pretty cool too.
HoTS: Have you faced any difficulties being a woman in film?
RA: Sometimes as a woman in our society it’s hard to be taken seriously. That’s been something I’ve come up against. That our stories maybe aren’t as important as the ones men want to tell. That we are too emotional or sappy or feminist or whatever. But I don’t generally care that much about what other people think. Or I try not to. I experienced an inappropriate comment on my own set by a crew member. That was shocking. I was his boss. Paying him. And he decided to make a comment about my body and considered it to be a compliment. Unfortunately, since I didn’t want to jeopardize my film and we were on location and I couldn’t lose a crew member, I couldn’t do anything about it. And that was very frustrating. Even when a woman is in power, she can still be harassed and have no real recourse. It’s very unfortunate.
HoTS: In the movie, can you tell me about the tattoo?
RA: Yes! It’s a heart with a set of car keys inside it. It symbolizes Jax’s love for the road and her quest for love and how she goes about it. We give out replicas at the screenings and people really love the idea, so that’s fun. It was designed by my former editor and forever friend Lindsay McKenna!
HoTS: Is this going to be made into a feature?
RA: Possibly. Or a series. I haven’t decided yet. But I don’t think we’ve seen the last of Jax.
HoTS: I love that a great stand up artist went so dark, any plans for more along the same lines?
RA: Thanks for the compliment! 🙂 Yes! I love dark. It’s why I wanted to act. I love the drama. Comedy is fun too, but this is a more satisfying genre for me. I’m writing two very, very dark screenplays at the moment that I hope to also star in, so I’m sure there will be more where Jax came from.
I really recommend that you check this film out. It was a lot of fun and I so enjoyed Rakefet’s performance in it. I want to thank her for taking the time to talk with me and to let her know the darker the better for us! And dear readers always keep this question in mind: How far would YOU go for love?

Rakefet Abergel's Jax in Love (2017)


Posted by Horrormadam in IN THE SPOTLIGHT, MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, SLASHERS AND BAD HUMANS, STAFF PICKS, WOMEN IN HORROR, 0 comments
Women in Horror Month: Women in Film

Women in Horror Month: Women in Film

I have always been a huge cinephile and in so being have always tried to champion not only my favorite genre-horror but also women in film and independent filmmaking. So for Women in Horror Month, I wanted to reach out to some different women in the industry to get their feelings on the subject du jour. I was lucky enough to have been on Twitter when I came across a hashtag labeled #femalefilmmakerfriday. I just put up a tweet asking if any women in film would like to answer some questions for me, and I was so grateful to get many wondrous women volunteer to answer my inquiries. I do want to stipulate that I am not disparaging men in the business but celebrating women’s contributions to film which can oftentimes go unheralded. It shouldn’t need to be said that any actor, director, writer, etc…should be judged on the work that they put out, not on their gender, race, or sexual preference. But that is usually not the case. I heard a great quote this week from Danai Gurira from Black Panther this week, she said that “if you create excellence it will be responded to.” And I truly believe that should be true. So I will let you know my questions, and introduce you to the extremely talented women who answered them for me.

My first question: Do you approach directing/acting differently as a woman?

Katherine Filaseta Director: Black Panties Web series about women’s intuition and black girl magic, and mini-documentary The Loud, Proud Voices of the Women’s March on Washington. www.kayfilums.com

The main thing that makes my directing unique is that I never thought of film as a career choice growing up – and this is, indirectly, the result of me being a woman. Coming from an academic math-centered family, the only inspiration I had was whatever books, film, & TV I consumed, and unfortunately when I thought of film directors (or even just actors or authors) it didn’t even feel like an option for me because I only ever saw names like Scorcese or Tarantino or other white men in those positions. I was always a storyteller and played with writing stories and books, but I never thought about doing that professionally, even up through and beyond college. So I have a really varied background – I studied a lot of biology, math, chemistry, anthropology, history, music… I pretty much touched everything else before realizing that film was a thing. And all of that comes into my directing style. Even though it took a long time for me to figure it out, I’m really glad I had those experiences because I think if I had been a white man, or just been born into a different family, I would be viewing film from this “film school perspective” instead of just as an audience member and consumer, and I, of course, prefer my own perspective that I’ve figured out through trial and error and consumption over trying to emulate anyone else.

Noomi Spook-Independent producer/director of film, documentaries, and music videos. Nominated for Best New Media Entertainment. LTNT-Boss Lady, The Glowing Divide, Vodum-Spirits Past. www.noomispook.com

My gender influences the creative decisions I make as a director in so much as, I care about how women are represented on screen. I find it repulsive that most women characters are often defined exclusively by their relationship to the male characters (most likely the protagonist)- the wife, the mother, the love interest. They have no agency, and most of the time they have no brains and no personality either – they are functional plot devices. Therefore I chose to work on projects that show women as fully rounded, flawed, human beings. I thoroughly enjoy any opportunity I have to show a woman being badass – and that doesn’t always mean beating the shit out of someone or behaving in a stereotypically “masculine” way, to me being a badass woman means to constructively wield one’s own power, and to not take any shit for doing that.

My next question was “what challenges have you faced as a female director or actor?”

Nihil Noctem: Izzy Lee Director/Author.  My Monster, Rights of Vengeance, Innsmouth (on Shudder), The Lake Children in “Hydrophobia: A Charity Anthology Benefitting Victims of Hurricane Harvey and a new PSA for the Soska’s Blood Drive www.nihilnoctem.com

Getting a producer to want to go on a cinematic journey with me. Getting funding. Guys thinking that my husband is the director, not me.

Noomi: I’ve been told to wait to be hired by an ad agency to direct commercials because they didn’t have any girly adds, nothing with perfume or flowers etc. Fuck that. I want to do something with tanks in it! Another problem is navigating the sexual minefield. I’ve been inappropriately touched, propositioned and humiliated in business meetings, by powerful men who offered to finance my projects if I performed sexual favors on them. And as a result, now, I always have my guard up whenever I am meeting a man who could potentially support my career.

Third Question: Do you ever have trouble with the men you direct or act with as a woman?

Emily Sheskin Director Damon at 86th Street, There She Is, and Girl Boxer: Jesszilla about Jesselyn Silva a 10-year-old boxer hoping to win gold at the 2024 Olympics. http://www.emilysheskin.com/jesszilla

Once I had an actor mansplain calling action. He was a bit of a dumdum though and I laughed it off and noted as an actor in such a competitive market, correcting a director is not the best way to keep getting jobs. I’ve also experienced older, male DoPs sometimes talk down to me but that’s been rare since I choose to work with DoPs and crew members who I know and have a good history with. In those situations, it’s hard to know if it’s me being a woman, or me being “young” that has them speaking to me the way they initially do.

Question number four: What women in film influenced you?

Ariel Hansen Bad Cookie Pictures, Actor and Director specializing in Sci-Fi, Horror, and Grindhouse Nepenthes, Ready To Burst, Paint the Town Red https://twitter.com/BadCookiePics https://www.facebook.com/BadCookiePictures/

Living in Vancouver I’m very lucky because I get to rub shoulders with some really awesome women in the horror side of the industry who constantly inspire me like Jen & Sylvia Soska, Tristan Risk and my friend Gigi Saul Guerrero who taught me the basics of directing before we started shooting my first film. I’m also inspired by Karyn Kusama’s horror films, especially The Invitation, and Mary Lambert’s Pet Sematary really disturbed me as a kid

Katherine: I had the opportunity when I was first starting my career to attend the NYWIFT Muse awards where I got to hear Dawn Ostroff speak, so she has inspired me from the beginning of my career. What she did to grow CW into a network where young women could actually see stories that interested them on screen is basically what opened the doors to me being able to do what I do now. I also, through NYWIFT and very early on in my film career, heard Annetta Marion speak about her journey, and getting to know her – an incredibly kind, confident, beautiful woman who had a non-traditional path into the industry similar to mine and isn’t afraid to demand what she is worth – has been inspiring to me as well. Lastly, my favorite director of all time is Bollywood director Farah Khan, whose films all contain reverence for the Bollywood industry while also containing yet incredibly intelligent mockery of it. I also super respect how she always has her entire crew featured in a really fun credits sequence. I wish all directors had that much respect and admiration for every member of their crew, even the ones whose names would otherwise pass by in the credits totally unnoticed by the audience.

Nihil: Jennifer Lynch, Karyn Kusama, and my friend Jovanka Vuckovic. Other directors that made me think I could do this too: Maude Michaud and the Soskas. Another friend, Jill Gevargizian, is inspirational with the sheer amount of talent she has.

Noomi: My number one female filmmaking hero is Lynne Ramsay. I saw the Ratcatcher when I was in college and it broke my heart, I’ve never been more moved by a film, before or since. However, in terms of my personal style, I have always been more influenced by John Carpenter, David Lynch, and John Waters. They are all much bigger influences on my style and the kinds of films I aspire to make.

Emily: Amy HeckerlingClueless, words don’t express how much I love that film or how important it was to me growing up. Also, Penny Marshall who directed Big. Those two women managed to shelter me from the fact that not many women directed films. As a kid, I just knew that I loved these two movies and they both were by women…no big deal! It was only later that I realized how rare their existence was. Sailor Moon was also huge for me as a kid and it was created by Naoko Takeuchi (who I believe was a pharmacist before she found success with her manga). That show made me believe not only that women were great storytellers but that storytelling is universal. I figured if a show from Japan (an island I’d never been to or thought much about as an 11-year-old) could bring me such joy and impact my life in such a positive way, people are not so different and stories can bring us all together. That show made me want to do what she did for me for someone else.

Question number five was is there anything you have experienced as a female director/actor that is a great story?

Emma Dark, Award-winning filmmaker, actress, and model specializing in Horror and Sci-Fi Salient Minus Ten, Seize the Night, Island of the Blind Dead www.facebook.com/SalientMinusTen www.twitter.com/SalientMinusTen

As a female director, the fact that we have wonderful events and interviews for movements such as Women in Horror Month. We need more of this!

Nihil: I was onstage at a film festival where I was the only woman with about 8 or 9 guys. An actor who was repping the film he was in was the first to get the mic, and said, “I’m so happy to be up here with all these fine young men.” I mean, what?! When I got the mic as it was passed down, I wiggled my pinkie in front of crouch, and looked at my husband in the crowd and said, “Hey Steve, sorry, but I seem to have gotten a sex change while I’ve been up here.” You have to call people out when a situation is as egregious as that.

Question number six was “If you could direct a film about any famous woman, who would it be?”

Gemma Wilks, Actress, Alien Outbreak, Harvest of the Dead, Skullz  https://www.spotlight.com/2537-0194-7453

She’s not famous, but I am developing a story inspired by the life of my grandmother who has now passed away. My dream is to write and produce it as a feature film/tv series one day, perhaps Anne Mensah will come knocking! The themes are around my grandmother’s struggles growing up in the 20th Century when her youth was ripped away by the war. Being a WAF officer with a particular instance involving Churchill. Living through technology changes that were baffling. Watching people you cared about die as you age. There is more that I can’t go into but she was an inspiration and her tenacious spirit certainly contributed to make me the person I am.

Emma: Grace Jones was given a tough time in the 80s and treated with a degree of sexism, based on my understanding given the interviews with her that I’ve watched. Her avant-garde style and diverse creative skillset would have been something held in higher regard today. So maybe there’s a story to tell there!

Ariel: There are a few different women through history that I’d love to make films about, like the sniper Lyudmila Mikhailovna Pavlichenko from WW2, Boudica, or since they’re finding evidence of women being a part of Viking raiding parties, it would be so cool to make a film about female Vikings.

Nihil: Not sure, but a biopic about Sigourney Weaver or Charlize Theron before either made it as an actor would be cool. The story of the “radium girls” is horrific but compelling.

Emily: There’s a documentary on Bret the Hitman Hart (Hitman Hart: Wrestling with Shadows), and now that Ronda Rousey has signed a contract with the WWE I’d be very curious to document her transition out of MMA to WWE. I have been so curious how she feels about leaving a sport that she helped open up to other women in the way she left it, and how she feels about this next chapter.

Noomi: Rosa Luxemburg. That’s a no-brainer for me, her politics were so ahead of its time, she was a genius, a fighter, a real revolutionary. She was sexually free at a time when people didn’t do that, and she stood for something she believed in, even up the point when she was murdered for her beliefs. people were terrified of her. And she was only 4foot 10 with a limp. She was a total badass.

And my last question: What does a woman bring to the film industry that a man doesn’t?

Gemma: Men bring a huge amount to any industry, but I think from my experience women bring organizational skills which help things run smoothly. This then allows them to look beyond an issue and see a series of options available beyond the confusion of daily functioning. They have an empathy and understanding of individuals circumstances which they can take on board whilst making sure the job still gets done and standards aren’t compromised. Obviously, there are men that can do this too but this is in my experience. Oh, and women don’t generally take no for an answer, even if they pretend they have!

Emma: In terms of horror the audience is increasingly female. I believe having more of an equal balance of men and women in cast and crew will help bring more diverse themes, ideas, and creativity to the table.

Noomi: Anything they can do, we can do bleeding

Katherine: I recently got the opportunity to work with an all-female cast and crew through the Women’s Weekend Film Challenge, and it was such a wonderful experience. In general, I think women and other minorities have had to be exceptional at their jobs to be taken seriously at all, so everyone had an incredible work ethic and was amazing to work with. Also, I think a lot of the stories we see are repetitive and formulaic – which is not an issue, because formulas work and it’s so cool to see what different people do with those formulas. But most of the people we’ve seen play with those formulas are men, and it’s so cool to see what a female perspective brings to those formulas. Women have a ton of stories that simply haven’t been told without a male gaze on them, and it’s exciting that finally, we are getting the opportunity to tell those stories on our own. We’ve seen a million great coming of age stories, and yet Ladybird touched me in totally new ways and honestly told an entirely different story – just because I finally got to watch a coming of age story about myself, for literally the first time ever. Which is completely ridiculous given the number of coming of age novels that are required high school reading but ONLY ABOUT BOYS.

Ariel: Women bring our own diverse experiences and stories to the industry which has been very homogeneous in what you see on screen for far too long. Having those stories told on the big screen are crucial in creating an equal society and helping the next generation to know that women can be more than just “so and so’s love interest” not just in films, but in their own lives as well.

Nihil: I hate to generalize, but I would think that empathy and multitasking could be it.

Emily: I think being a woman just gives you a different experience. There are small things that we take for granted that men never think about. It’s the reality of living in this body and going through life socialized the way we are. I think women are trained to be more sensitive to the feelings of others and as a result, tend to make very thoughtful inclusive films. This is a sweeping generalization though and I have a hard time answering this when experience varies so greatly.

In preparing for this article and putting feelers out I got a response from the very talented actor Eddy Shore (Murrays Run, White) who had such an insightful comment on the subject that I wanted to include it here:

As we all know there shouldn’t be a differentiation between genders in job opportunities, pay, etc. But there is a huge difference in the emotional connections those two genders have. Women are much more in touch of certain (deep) emotions which men are often not (or often are not allowed to be in a stereotypical image) and this emotional connection brings a whole different point of few to stories. If we keep having dominantly white male directors, we will keep having white male points of few to the majority of stories. I’m to 100% certain that women will pay attention to different details, will focus on different statements they want to portray and this which will show in a film. In my opinion, there is a huge need for a fresh wind in the film industry.

So I want to thank everyone for their very valuable time and the thought that went into their answers. All of these amazing women answered all of the questions, but so this did not become a novella I have chosen to just feature a few from each. Hopefully, this has given you some insight and awareness into the world of women in film but always remember that they are, as far as the film industry should be concerned with, they are writers, directors, producers, actors, etc… first and foremost and their vast talents are paramount.

Posted by Horrormadam in DOCUMENTARIES, EDITORIALS, FEATURED CONTENT, IN THE SPOTLIGHT, OPINION, TRIBUTE, WOMEN IN HORROR, 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 RELEASES, 1 comment

Hell’s Kitty (2018) Today’s greatest horror icons unite for the purrfect scare!

Hey guys! Horrormadam her to let you know about a new horror film with some of the greats! And one of the best things for me about this film is not only do we get horror, not only do we have iconic horror actors, but we also have a film that brings altruism for cats. If the cat doesn’t scare you to death! Check out the fun!

Based on the web series and comic book of the same name, and inspired by writer-director Nicholas Tana’s experiences living with a professedly possessed cat, Hell’s Kitty tells of a covetous feline that acts possessed and possessive of his owner around women. The results are as funny as they are frightening!
Nick (Tana), a Hollywood screenwriter, discovers his cat has become murderously possessed and will stop at nothing to rid him of any women in his life. As his life unravels out of control, Nick must find a way to have his kitty exorcised of the demonic spirit haunting her and creating a body count.

Starring: Doug Jones (The Shape of Water), Dale Midkiff (Pet Sematary), Michael Berryman (The Hills Have Eyes), Courtney Gains (The Children of The Corn), Lynn Lowry (Cat People), Kelli Maroni (Night of The Comet), Ashley C. Williams (The Human Centipede), Barbara Nedeljakova (Hostel), Adrienne Barbeau (The Fog), John Franklin (The Addams Family) and a ‘Killer Klown’ team up for some Pawplay this March!

With characters named after classic horror movie characters (Jones plays Father Damien, Berryman is Detective Pluto, Nina Kate is Dr. Laurie Strodes, Barbeau is Mrs Carrie), and a tone reminiscent of some of the ‘80s greatest horror-comedies, Hell’s Kitty is undoubtedly the horror hiss of March!

Hell’s Kitty is written and directed by Nicholas Tana and produced by Denise Acosta.

To kick off the movie release and to share their love for cats, the creators behind the film teamed with HOLLYSHORTS MONTHLY SCREENINGS and the TLC CHINESE THEATER recently hosted a premiere at the legendary theatre to raise money for FixNation.org. FixNation provides a free, full-time spay/neuter clinic with two full-time veterinarians capable of sterilizing as many as 100 cats per day. They also help hundreds of cats find suitable homes. For more info on the cause click here. http://fixnation.org/

Hell’s Kitty is available on all VOD platforms March 13, 2018 and on DVD March 27th, 2018 via Wild Eye Releasing. 

Posted by Horrormadam in CAST AND CREW NEWS, COMING SOON, GORE OR EXTREME HORROR, HORROR NEWS, MONSTERS AND CREATURES, NEW RELEASES, PARANORMAL, PRESS RELEASES, 0 comments
Nick Younker – Interview With A Horror Author

Nick Younker – Interview With A Horror Author

Hello, horror fans! Horrormadam here to tell you about one of my favorite authors Nick Younker. His short stories and novellas run the gamut of themes from Native American curses, to sociopaths, vampires, unnatural chaos, and the Zombie Apocalypse. They are so intelligent and engaging and give you a complete story in a concise manner. I love them so much that after completing I am compelled to review on Amazon. Before we talk to Mr. Younker, I wanted to show you the synopsis for my favorite of his Don’t Bury Me:

Evan, an activist hell-bent on exposing corruption within the pharmaceutical industry, accepts an invitation to go on a daring mission to Croatia in search of an ancient corpse that fell victim to a 14th-century plague. The mission becomes a stunning success with the discovery of a femur bone, but it comes with a price when he takes it to Indiana University in Bloomington for independent research.

After it reanimates, the outbreak takes a supernatural turn and the government responds by quarantining five states in the Midwest. The terminal virus, also known as the Rip Tide, forces people to self-cannibalize near the end. Evan, who seems to be immune to the Rip Tide, travels up and down the deserted roads of Southern Indiana to help people die peacefully.

Aided by both FEMA and the CDC with a satellite phone and airdrops, Evan encounters a young girl who was abandoned by her parents. To make matters worse, a 14th Century witch appears to him as an apparition, taking the form of a dead Goth-Rock Star he admires to manipulate him into spreading her lethal spores. But Evan has other plans and he starts to break through her supernatural code, finding unique ways to keep the young girl alive.

If that doesn’t get you interested I don’t know what would!

House of Tortured Souls: When did you get the writing bug and what made you want to be a writer?

Nick Younker: I never got the “writing bug,” per say. But I did write some prose in college and found out that I had some skills inherent to people in the industry. Honestly, I only wanted to be a news writer when I was in college and that’s what I did after I finally got my BS. But the more time I spent in the television industry, the less I liked it. So soon after I started working for Turner in Atlanta, I also began doing small projects at home. Just a short story here or a screenplay there. Eventually, my flow began taking me in the direction of prose, which is a world apart from screenwriting, and I started producing stories one after the other. I did write a novel and a few novellas but found short stories to be the most fulfilling work. They contain less filler and I write in Grunge Narrative style, so that’s extremely attractive to me.

HoTS: Who were some of your early writing influences?

NY: I’m assuming you’re asking about novelists, but I have a long list of writers that have influenced me from different mediums. In the literary industry, novelists like Bukowski, Vonnegut (both used Grunge Narrative style), Ketchum, Blatty, Irving, Larsson and Algernon Blackwood were the most attractive scribes for me.

But my influences in movies and music include Alan Ball, the Coen Brothers, Cobain, Springsteen, Vedder, Cornell, Cantrell, Jett, Hetfield, Hendrix, Morrison and most importantly, Roky Erickson. The works of these fine names have exploded my ability to think critically, fourth dimensionally, and allowed me to pursue creative works that have far surpassed my expectations.

HoTS: Why the horror genre?

NY: Why not? I have frequently been asked that by my family and friends, who do not seem to share the same love of horror that I do but never miss an opportunity to download one of my works.

Horror entertains a reader the same way drama, literary fiction, romance, sci-fi, young adult (vomit), thrillers and human-interest stories do. I don’t think anyone sits down to read a book that they already know what happens at the summit. Everyone wants to be shocked, to see some originality. I would argue that horror is the premiere genre to achieve such goals. It is much broader and the freedom to shock a reader is virtually limitless.

HoTS: Who are some of your favorite authors and books?

NY: Well, I’m not a big fan of playing favorites, but The Willows by Algernon Blackwood did for me what The Blair Witch Project did for horror movie fans. I should also add that 1984 has been a big hit in my playbook. But my all-time favorite book(s) is the Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo).

HoTS: Have your influences changed as you’ve grown older?

NY: Not really. I rarely buy new books from mainstream authors, instead opting for indie writers who have a good following from people I know and trust. Even though I write primarily in horror, I like books that feature characters who struggle with poverty, especially poverty in the richest nation in the world. I suppose you could say that I identify with them, given my chosen “career.”

HoTS: What are some of your favorite horror movies?

NY: There’s a laundry list of those, but I will try to condense it. Let The Right One In, What We Do In The Shadows, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Rawhead Rex, Return of the Living Dead, Zombieland, An American Werewolf in London, The Howling, Candyman, Dawn of the Dead (1978), The Conjuring, Rosemary’s Baby, Demons, Demons 2, Spookies… oh shit, I got carried away.

HoTS: Tell us about some of your favorites that you have written?

NY: Out of all my stories, Don’t Bury Me is perhaps my best work to date. Although there is a special place in my heart for the others, that one really tugged at my heartstrings. I have a new one I’m working on right now that’s a passion project, titled The Birth of an American Vampire. It features a character who was turned by immaculate conception following the death of his mother and the extreme grief that left him vulnerable to the curse. He has no sire, just a victim of natural selection following a perfect storm of internal and external conflicts gone violently wrong.

HoTS: Are there any author’s quotes that keep you going?

NY: I wouldn’t say that the quotes keep me going, but there is one that I really admire from Rita Hayworth and The Shawshank Redemption:
“Get busy living, or get busy dying.” ~ Andy Dufresne as written by Stephen King.

HoTS: For young writers out there, what words do you have for them?

NY: Embrace poverty and love the poor because they’re going to be your brethren.

HoTS: Where do your ideas come from?

Nick Younker: Thick air… cause I find it hard to breathe or think, in thin air.

HoTS: When they make a film about your illustrious writing career, who do you think should play you?

Nick Younker: The late, great Chris Farley. I can’t say for certain, but I think he’d return from the grave for an opportunity like that.

HoTS: Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included?

NY: Not really, but I would like to take this opportunity to address the rise of Grunge Narrative writing style. Writers like myself use it and I find it to be the best way to read any great short story. I wrote an article about the many different tenets of the style that you can read here.

If anyone wants to check out my works in the horror genre, you can visit my Amazon page.

You can catch up with him on Twitter (@NYounker) where he publishes over 20 smart-ass tweets and horror images every day. You can also connect with him on his website, FogstowJamison.com, where he publishes articles on news in the horror, sci-fi and dark fantasy industry.

Thanks for speaking with me, Jaye! You rock girl!

And I want to thank Nick Younker so much for answering my questions and giving us such great reading material! Nick, you are an inspiration to me and my writing!

Posted by Horrormadam in BOOKS, COMICS, AND PUBLICATION REVIEWS, INTERVIEWS, PARANORMAL, SCI-FI HORROR, STAFF PICKS, THRILLER, VAMPIRES, WEREWOLVES, 0 comments
The Cloverfield Paradox (2018)

The Cloverfield Paradox (2018)

Hey, horror fans, whatever you’re doing STOP! Horrormadam here with the newest part of the Cloverfield Series, The Cloverfield Paradox premiering tonight 2/4/2018 on Netflix. This is the third installment of the J.J. Abrams fueled science fiction horror franchise!

The premise: After a scientific experiment aboard the space station involving a particle accelerator has unexpected results, the astronauts find themselves isolated. Following their horrible discovery, the space station crew must fight for survival.

Directed by Black filmmaker Julius Onah, and yes I am pointing out that he is black because this is an important distinction during Black History Month. On the wings of the success of Get Out, it is important to recognize all of the amazing contributions from people of color in film. Julius Onah was born on February 10, 1983 in Makurdi, Benue State, Nigeria. He is a producer and director, known for Don’t Look Back (2008), The Girl Is in Trouble (2015) and Luce (2018).

Also on board are writers Oren Uziel (Shimmer Lake, 22 Jump Street), and Doug Jung (Star Trek: Beyond, Banshee).

Actors David Oyelowo (Selma, /em>Nightingale), Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Concussion, Beauty & the Beast), Ziyi Zhang (Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, >House of Flying Daggers), Elizabeth Debicki (Great Gatsby, Guardians of the Galaxy 2, Man From U.N.C.L.E.), Daniel Buhl (Rush, Inglourious Basterds, Captain America Civil War), and Chris Odowd (Bridesmaids, Thor:The Dark World). Really great and diverse cast.

Ava DuVernay,director, producer, writer, marketer and film distributor, (Selma, Dreamgirls, Rollbounce, amongst so many other titles) said it best on Twitter and this is a direct quote:

Woman of color-led, sci-fi thriller released worldwide day + date w/ big Netflix muscle for black director, his super producer + POC cast. No advance press, ads, trailer. Straight to the people. Gamechanger. Congrats to helmer #JuliusOnah + my dears JJ, Gugu, David. #Cloverfield.

She is right, this is a game changer and very exciting. Really looking forward to it and we will have more on it after it airs.

Posted by Horrormadam in COMING SOON, EVENTS, EXCLUSIVE, HORROR NEWS, NEW RELEASES, PREQUELS AND SEQUELS, 0 comments
INTERVIEW: Cast and Crew of Dead Air (2018)

INTERVIEW: Cast and Crew of Dead Air (2018)

Dead Air (2018)

Gremlins on a Plane: More Fun Than Any Interviewer Should Be Allowed!

Dead Air (2018)

Hello guys, Horrormadam here to introduce you to a new film that I am really excited about called Dead Air that is still in post-production but will be released later this year. This film is something different and I had the great honor of learning about it from almost everyone involved! First, let’s tell you what it is about:
Set on a plane traveling to a final gig, Dead Air tells the story of Monster Kitten, an all-female punk rock band who end up on a flight with some nasty little creatures with all hell breaking loose at 30,000 feet.

Dead Air (2018)

Great name for a band and a great fresh premise! Let me introduce you to who will be answering my questions:
Geoff Harmer the Director (Overtime, Addict, Smile), Peter Hearn the Writer (Smile, Scrawl, Motto). Our Actresses Stacy Hart (Get Real, The Beach) as the drummer, Charlie Bond (Vendetta, Strippers vs Werewolves) as the singer, Johanna Stanton (Nightmare Box, Sinatra: All or Nothing at All) as the guitarist, and Kate Davies Speak (Horizon, Deadman Apocalypse) as the bassist. And our master puppeteers Andrew James Spooner (Muppets Most Wanted, Muppets Treasure Island), Tony Lymboura (Muppets Most Wanted, The Muppets Christmas Carol) and Nicola Buckmaster. And a special appearance by Dave (IMDb finds him to controversial to cover) as The Creature but he reminded me he is an actor, not a puppet.
Dead Air (2018)
House of Tortured Souls: Why are you guys fans of the horror genre?
Peter Hearn: I’m a fan of most genres, I like writing horror because I find it fun. I don’t take it too seriously even if others read my work and think it’s really dark. I think the other thing I like about the horror genre is the fans are a loyal bunch. Very supportive. Not saying fans of other film genres aren’t supportive, but I’ve never witnessed a more fan-friendly genre. I mean, look at the Internet and you find x amount of sites dedicated to horror. If you are lucky, you’ll find the odd website dedicated to a comedic film, or a drama or whatever, but not the same rabid fan base you get from the horror community. It always annoys me when people assume you are weird or macabre or sick if you like horror films or books or whatever it may be. I don’t buy into any of that.
Geoff Harmer: I’ve been a huge horror fan for years! I used to work in a video shop, we had all the video nasties behind the counter. I grew up watching stuff like Zombie Flesh Eaters, The Evil Dead, and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I then got a subscription to magazines like Fangoria and Gorezone. I can still remember seeing The Thing on pirate video back in 1982 when I was 10 years old! Scared the shit out of me! Haven’t looked back since!
Dead Air (2018)

HoTS: What are some of your favorite horror movies?
Charlie Bond: Not a lot of people know this about me, but I’m actually a massive Hammer Horror fan. I love to pop on a gorgeous, sleepy old classic like the beautiful, ethereal Twins Of Evil or one of their many Draculas, curl up under a blanket and lose myself in that dreamy fantasy world of Hammer land. Despite being predominantly a Horror genre actress, I try to watch as much modern horror as I can, too. My top favorites from the last few years are really fun, gory romps – off the top of my head, American Mary, The Babysitter, and The Love Witch have been my favorites for the past few years. That said, I saw Dead Love recently, which stars the monstrously talented James Hamer-Morton, who plays our co-pilot in Dead Air. I was absolutely blown away by both performance and the incredibly complex and sweet story that director Chris Gallagher had created, within a VERY gory horror with absolutely insane SFX. Really worth a watch if you can find it!
Kate Davies Speak: I adore so many horrors but I have my favorites, I actually really love the movie Scream which is more of a homage and parody of several classic horrors but it was such a wonderful blend of teen drama, black humor and some wicked jump scares. The cast was amazing too and big influences for me in my dreams of being an actor. I also love John Carpenter and Stephen King movies; The Thing, Christine, Cujo… Also, some of my favorites slightly more modern horrors are The Descent the all-female cast in that were amazing, Sinister was terrifying (mostly the soundtrack) and recently I’ve enjoyed Hush and Creep (on Netflix).
Johanna Stanton: My two favorites are Don’t Look Now and Rosemary’s Baby.
Stacy Hart: I go for more psychological stuff like Silence Of The Lambs or Eden Lake.

Dead Air (2018)

HoTS: I have series celebrating women in film and women in horror so wondering why you went with an all-female punk band?
PH: We didn’t initially – it started off as a mix, but the more we looked at it, the more we reworked the script we realized they had to all be female. As soon as we hit that point in the process we knew we had made the right decision. There were always characters that were female from the word go, others that got rewritten or replaced over time to fit the band. I just really wanted a film that had female characters that weren’t side characters to a hulking male out to save the day. Those days are gone.
Dead Air (2018)
HoTS: Why go to the 80s era for the puppets?
GH: It’s not really an 80s flick, but it does heavily influence the look and feel of the film. The puppets weren’t originally in the film to the extent that they are at the moment. They were originally only fleeting glimpses and glowing eyes in the darkness. But Pete twisted my arm with the idea of puppets… and the next thing I knew we were in Wimbledon chatting to these talented students about designing our creatures!
PH: There was no specific ‘this is an 80s movie’ woven into the script. When I first wrote the initial draft, the Creatures were just glowing eyes in a box and a conceit to get us from A – B, as we moved further down the road with it, I mentioned to Geoff that it would be cool if the creatures were actually Muppet-like puppets and he agreed. I had used a puppet in my previous film Scrawl and had always loved puppetry. I told him I knew some Henson puppeteers, well I knew of one as he had recently contacted me on twitter. That was Andrew James Spooner, although we wouldn’t properly speak to him for about a year after this point…not that we didn’t want to, we just felt we would never get someone of his caliber to join us.
Dead Air (2018)
HoTS: Writer influences?
PH: For this project? I had a bunch of films in my head: – American Werewolf in London, Deathgasm, Critters, Dead Snow 2, Empire Records, Josie and the Pussycats. Throw a TV ep in with Twilight Zone’s Nightmare at 20000 feet and you have my initial influences. Others came later, but that’s where I started…
Dead Air (2018)
HoTS: Director influences?
GH: For me as the Director, Dead Air is heavily influenced by films like From Beyond and Vamp, at least from an aesthetic point of view. I love the look of those films and they reek of 80s horror! I wanted Dead Air to have that same look and feel.
Dead Air (2018)
HoTS: Why did Mr. Spooner get into Puppetry and why Dead Air?
Andrew James Spooner: I got into Puppetry and voice work because I’m an introverted performer! I love acting but don’t like being seen on camera. So Puppetry and voice acting are perfect! I grew up in the 70s and was obsessed with Doctor Who, The Muppets and Star Wars. Specifically the puppets in The Muppet Show and the creatures and special effects in Doctor Who and Star Wars. Puppetry brings the worlds of performance and special effects together. In its essence, every shot of a puppet and creature on a TV show IS a special effect. We’re convincing you that this creature/character is alive and breathing.
Why Dead Air? It’s the kind of project that doesn’t come along that often. In an industry that’s so used to using CGI as the tool of choice for films like this, practical effects are seen less and less. So, it’s a chance to play with practical puppet creatures. It also harks back to Horror movies of the 80s, when practical effects were at their prime. Gremlins on a plane! Come on! Who WOULDN’T want to be involved in that!
Dead Air (2018)
HoTS: I was so honored to have Dave included in this interview. He is such a legend in the industry. How did Dave like working with everyone?
Dave: “I hated working with all of them! They showed me NO respect on set whatsoever! In between takes, they shoved me in a box that (get this!) HAD NO AIR HOLES! I nearly suffocated in that f**king thing! The girls were fine to work with. But you know what it’s like if you aren’t ‘conventionally’ good looking, they tend to just nod at you and then get back to texting or twittering or whatever the f*ck it is they do. Inspiration? I guess I’d have to say that my biggest influence is Leo Sayer.” “Why are you laughing?”
Dead Air (2018)
HoTS: How about Tony and Nicola?
Tony Lymboura: I don’t have an interesting quotable answer for the first part. As for the second part, …cos it looked like so much fun!
Nicola Buckmaster: I hadn’t thought about being a puppeteer at a young age, most likely as I thought they were real! I had a great imagination & believed in everything. I went to the theatre & Cinema a lot, loved sooty & sweep, Emu, the muppets & often saw old Punch & Judy in Covent Garden, so much that the puppeteer knew my name!
I trained as an actor & singer pretty much all my life, it wasn’t until I worked at a theme park that they asked if I would audition for the puppet show, I did, rehearsed for weeks & became a puppeteer! That was 12 years ago, I did 3 seasons there, absolutely loved it learned a lot & auditioned for more puppetry jobs after.
Puppetry has always been in my life. As a kid, I had some puppets & I would play with pens, household objects, give them characters, which I later learned is called object manipulation.
And Why Dead Air? Why not, it’s got everything I love: horror & puppets! And as Andrew said it’s gremlins on a plane (I love gremlins). For me too it was getting to work with like-minded people, learn a lot & work on a film with puppets. Meeting the Dave’s was great too, although one of the Daves tends to text when he’s had a few & I didn’t give him my number…
Dead Air (2018)
HoTS: Did you all like working with the puppet actors?
CB: One of the most interesting things about working with puppet actors, is how quickly they can pick up and drop their puppet persona – to the level where you yourself are struggling to keep up with them! One moment you’re chatting away to lovely Andrew James-Spooner with his hand up a fuzzy, toothy puppet and the next moment he’s gone and ‘Dave’ the grouchy, foul-mouthed little demon is in the room. By the end of the shoot, I’d developed close personal relationships with both and consider them both equally fabulous.
KDS: Working with the Dave puppets was a lot of fun for me, it was a first as well. I have worked using green screen and CGI in the past but often find that hard to ‘connect’ with, working with physical puppets was great, they were very cute too but don’t tell them I said that, they start swearing at you when you compliment them lol. Most of my interaction scenes with the puppets involved me smashing seven shades of s*** out of them with my bass guitar…
JS: Yes. The team was amazing. I’d worked with puppets before on the musical Casper the friendly Ghost years ago. So was used to acting alongside puppets.Basically, they are just another cast member. Although I was genuinely freaked out when they were biting my face….ugh..the sound of those teeth sends shivers down my spine.
SH: Working with the puppet team was awesome fun! I didn’t get quite as much chance to act opposite the creatures as a couple of the others; mainly I had furry balls flying at my face and hit them away. Make of that any double entendre you will.
Dead Air (2018)
HoTS: What inspired the monsters?
PH: The monsters (the little creatures) were inspired initially by Dark Crystal, Labyrinth, and the Sumatran Rat Monkey from Braindead (Dead Alive) with real creatures thrown in for good measure. While Critters and Gremlins were benchmarks for the use of practical puppets, they were never influences on the actual design of the creatures.
We still have our ‘Dave’s’ living in my garage (a bit like Fonzie from Happy Days). They were up on our crowdfunding as potential perks but nobody wanted to give them a home. So they are sleeping on my couch, for now, eating leftovers, playing poker.
Dead Air (2018)
HoTS: Saw the girls names were inspired by famous punk rockers. Got Nancy Spungen, Patty Smith, and Debbie Harry, but who is Eve? Possible Eva Destruction?
PH: They were and you are the first person to recognize that! The cast wanted their characters to have names, even if for this concept short they are just named on screen as the Singer, the Drummer etc (somewhere in the back of my mind, Two-Lane Blacktop was influencing this decision)
These will be the names in the feature, as there’s a broader canvas to play on.
Anyway, to circle back to your question, you got the 3 absolutely correct but Eve is actually Eve Libertine from the British punk band Crass from the late 70s.
Dead Air (2018)
HoTS: Are you fans of punk and if so what bands?
GH: I went with Punk more for the look than the music, to be honest… but I’m finding a love for the music!
PH: I love loads of different kinds of music. My brother was a massive influence on me growing up as he was into heavy metal and punk and all that stuff. Firstly playing in a band himself and then going to work for a major record retailer for 20 odd years. Punk bands that have always been there for me are ones like the Ramones, early Adam and the Ants, the Sex Pistols, the Misfits, the Runaways, the Clash etc. Mainly punk with a pop edge. Too many to mention.
SH: I do like punk. Being a 90s child, Nirvana was a first love of mine and I was into Green Day. I really like female-fronted stuff like Bikini Kill, and I adore The Distillers; Brody Dalle is a fucking goddess. Right now I’m enjoying some older stuff vicariously as my sons get into it. they have the Ramones and The Ruts on their playlists.
JS: I’m a fan of most styles of music. Having been signed to RCA in a pop group, then gigging around London in a rock band and also throwing a musical theater background in the mix. I’m basically a schizophrenic music fan.
KDS: I have an eclectic musical taste, I admit that I don’t listen to much rock but I would definitely be a fan of ‘Monster Kitten’ if they were a real group…
CB: I’ve definitely got eclectic music tastes. When I was in my teens, I was a little skater punk girl and was wild about quite poppy punk rock bands like Green Day, Less Than Jake, The Offspring, Alkaline Trio, Fenix TX, the Misfits etc. As I got older I actually became quite goth, got very into heavy metal, psychobilly and would jam to Cradle Of Filth, Nightwish, Kittie, Slipknot, Marilyn Manson, etc. My favorite band of all time is the now-split The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster – I followed them around for years in my teens!! I’m still a huge Punk Rock fan and have really been enjoying Spotify’s ‘Time Capsule’ feature of late – though it has thrown a few Britney tracks at me that I’ve enjoyed rediscovering, haha!
Dead Air (2018)
So horror fans I will keep you updated on this amazing new film and will let you know the moment it is released. Everyone involved in the making of this film is so lovely and generous and I will share more of their stories as we get closer to the release! So you heard it here first and start getting ready for what I think is going to be an amazing ride! I am just gonna sit here and start getting ready for a wicked game of Texas HoldEm with Dave and he better not welch this time!

Dead Air (2018)

Posted by Horrormadam in COMING SOON, EXCLUSIVE, FEATURED CONTENT, HORROR NEWS, INTERVIEWS, MONSTERS AND CREATURES, NEW RELEASES, STAFF PICKS, 0 comments
The Lullaby (2018)

The Lullaby (2018)

Hey guys, Horrormadam here to bring you a new film. The amazing people at Uncork’d Entertainment, the people who brought us Camera Obscura, Almost Dead, and Rebound were kind enough to send me a screener on their new film The Lullaby IN THEATERS AND ON DEMAND MARCH 2.

The film is directed by Darrell Roodt (Dracula 3000, and Dangerous Ground), and written by Tarryn-Tanille Prinsloo (Trouvoete), and stars Brandon Auret (Elysium, District 9, Blood Drive), Reine Swart (Z Nation, Dominion), Thandi Buren (Racing Stripes, Dead Easy), Deanre Reiners (The Tate Experiment), and Dorothy Ann Gould (Friend Request).

BURBANK, CA : You’ll wish you never brought your baby home.

The writer ,Tarryn-Tanille Prinsloo, gives us a description:

Returning to her hometown, Eden Rock, and overwhelmed by the birth of her firstborn, Chloe van Heerden (19) tries to come to terms with motherhood. Despite the support from her loving mother, Ruby (35), Chloe struggles with the demand of being a new mom. The incessant crying of her baby, the growing sense of guilt and paranoia sends Chloe into a dark depression. With a heightened urge to protect her son, Chloe sees danger in every situation. Distraught she pays a visit to family psychologist Dr. Timothy Reed (40s) who diagnoses her intrusive thoughts and feelings of anxiousness to a mild case of baby blues. Yet the thoughts grow worse and more violent. Chloe starts to hear voices and humming of a childhood lullaby and sees flashes of a strange entity around her child. Convinced that the entity is real, Chloe does everything in her power to protect her son. Her decline reaches fever pitch, and everybody seems to be moving against her. Desperate, Chloe finds solace in the arms of her childhood friend, Emile Hess (20s). The world around Chloe implodes and it becomes clear that she and her child are in imminent danger. But from what? Is Chloe haunted by evil or is it just the baby blues?

The film looks very creepy and I am really looking forward to it and I hope you will enjoy it also!

Posted by Horrormadam in COMING SOON, HORROR NEWS, NEW RELEASES, 0 comments
Jeremy Wanek: Editor and VFX Artist (Interview)

Jeremy Wanek: Editor and VFX Artist (Interview)

A discussion about hockey and zombies, corpses in tubs and getting hit with the hatchet for the fourth time!

House of Tortured Souls:Hey everyone! Horrormadam here to bring you a great conversation I had with Visual Effects and editing mastermind Jeremy Wanek. He is such a great person and we had a really fun talk and I wanted to let you guys in on the fun! Our first topic to discuss was some of the projects that he has been working on.
Jeremy Wanek: Victor Crowley coming out February 6, 2018. Worked on the VFX for the opening sequence, editing, and death sequences.Most people think the effects are 100% practical (a practical effect is a special effect produced physically, without computer-generated imagery or other post-production techniques) with a little CG (computer generated images) and some definitely are but with a few enhancements to make them a little bigger.Enhancements to practical effects happen more in horror films. It is great to shoot practical, but CG works best when you can use it to enhance. That’s what Adam Green (Frozen, Hatchet 1 and 2) does when he shoots his movies.

Victor Crowley, Jeremy Wanek, VFX artist

Victor Crowley, flare effect, Jeremy Wanek, VFX artist

It was my first time working with Kane Hodder and Adam Green. It’s interesting how it worked out. I am from Minneapolis and it’s always interesting trying to reach out to people in LA or NY, but a lot of the work I do is for people on the coasts. So I am a fan of Adam Greens podcast The Movie Crypt that he does with Joe Lynch(Wrong Turn 2, Mayhem), so I wanted to try to get a hold of Adam to see if I could possibly get work to do on his film.and I was on FB when I saw that he replies back to many people that ask him questions or comment on his stuff. So I just basically told him how much I love his work and thank you for all that he does on his podcast and that I would be willing to do a few shots for him on the project that he has upcoming for free. He replied back to me  and said that’s awesome and told me to get in touch with his .com contact page and message them to get on the books, and a few weeks later I got a message from the webpage saying that Adam would like to talk to me about an upcoming project that he was doing and we ended up having a Skype conversation for about half an hour where he unveiled that he was doing the 4th Hatchet movie. It was cool for it to be that because it was the most exciting thing that I could have worked on for him. It was gonna originally be 10 shots then it kept expanding to 15 then 25 to about 50 shots and then at the very end the opening sequence was kind of thrust at me and I finished that in about a week or two. For the first minute and a half of the film after the cold open, there’s a sequence, except he didn’t want to have an opening title he just wanted a sequence that basically gives you a summary of what happened in parts 1-3 and kind of a build-up to the 4th one. Like what happened to Victor Crowley up to that point. He was pretty open and let me be creative with what I wanted to do with it, which was cool especially since we only had about a week or two to do it. Finished it two days before the LA premiere which was pretty exciting.

The other project I am working on is a film about hockey and zombies, Ahockalypse. It is one of the weirdest and possibly funniest movies I have ever worked on and it does not take itself to seriously. It is basically about a zombie outbreak that happens during a championship hockey match. The team suddenly starts to realize what is happening kind of like Shaun of the Dead. But Ahockalypse takes it to a whole other level, Shaun of the Dead seems pretty tame in comparison. They get into some weird situations and you get to meet a lot of very interesting characters trying to survive the zombie hordes. It has an appearance by big-time hockey player Barry Melrose (NHL player for the Toronto Maple Leafs and former coach of the LA Kings). There’s kung-fu zombies and zombie kids in some really interesting scenes. Hopefully, it will be done in the next month or two and released by the end of the year. I did the editing and VFX on this one.

Another project is Corpse Tub that is being produced by Elijah Wood. His production company, Company X does some really interesting indie films. It also has MarVista Entertainment and Tamperclean Films. It has an amazing cast, Dan Harmon (Community, Arrested Development) is in it and Taika Waititi (What We Do In The Shadows, Thor: Ragnarok), Sam Huntington (Detroit Rock City, Fanboys) Kate Micucci (Will and Grace, The Big Bang Theory) and so many other great comedic actors. It’s about a small-town couple finds the perfect apartment in the big city, except there’s one catch: the apartment is home to the ritualistic suicides of a deranged cult that keep happening in the tub. I don’t know too much more on that one, only did about 25 shots but what I have seen is hilarious and I am really looking forward to that one.

BlackCreek_TapedUp, Jeremy Wanek, VFX artist

Black Creek, TapedUp, Jeremy Wanek, VFX artist

Also worked on Black Creek that was done by the same producer as AhockalypseCraig Patrick (Zombie Spring Breakers), but this one was done first. It is about a troubled young man and his brash sister are terrorized by signs that an ancient Native-American spirit, awakened by a ritual murder, has marked them for death.

BlackCreek_Possession, Jeremy Wanek, VFX artist

Black Creek, Possession, Jeremy Wanek, VFX artist

Like one of those films where the killer transfers from body to body so it is hard to identify the real killer. It is with Chris O’Flyng who created his own amazing YouTube channel. VFX and editing on this one.

Jeremy also worked on Dementia 13 which has the amazing Julia Campanelli (Walking Away, Pink Moon) about a vengeful ghost, a mysterious killer, and a family where everyone has a secret converge in one night of terror in this remake of Francis Ford Coppola’s first feature film. Jeremy was the lead compositor/lead visual effects artist for it.
Dementia13_01_BeforeVFX

Dementia13, BeforeVFX

Dementia13_01_AfterVFX, Jeremy Wanek, VFX artist

Dementia13, AfterVFX, Jeremy Wanek, VFX artist

Dementia13_02_BeforeVFX

Dementia13, BeforeVFX

Dementia13_02_AfterVFX, Jeremy Wanek, VFX artist

Dementia13, AfterVFX, Jeremy Wanek, VFX artist

HoTS: So then I asked Jeremy how he got into doing all of this amazing work.
JW: Since I was young I always wanted to tell stories in one way or another. I got my first video camera and I shot a lot of horror. I was always into violent things like Mortal Kombat and other similar video games. The fighting games kind of shaped my influences. I made a lot of fighting movies with my friends and I liked every part of it. Directing, writing, editing, and VFX came naturally because we couldn’t really afford anything and it was always just easier to do it in post, to manipulate it however I wanted.
HoTS: Then I wanted to know about what films influenced his work.
JW: Some of my favorite horror films are Jaws, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Hatchet, and Behind the Mask, which influenced me more than any other because it was so unique and it was super fun and playful. The John Carpenter version of The Thing, Hellraiser, and Final Destination. One of my favorite directors is M. Night Shyamalan. He always gets a bad rap which I think is because he made The Sixth Sense which was nominated for an Oscar and people expected so much from him. Maybe too much. Signs is one of my faves and he is definitely back on track with Split and the upcoming Glass. Jurassic Park really made me want to do FX. I remember being in a doctors office and I saw a magazine that had a picture of the T-Rex and I was so amazed at how good it looked and when I saw it on screen I was blown away. Some others are Terminator 2, Mrs. Doubtfire, Dumb & Dumber, and Pulp Fiction.

For editing, it would be Walter Murch (Apocalypse Now, The Godfather Series, Touch of Evil). His lessons, teachings, and his book In The Blink Of An Eye where he talks about how to cut from one shot to the next. He realized when he was editing one of his movies he noticed he wanted to cut close to when someone was about to blink and the reason for that is when someone is having a conversation and they blink, “And that blink will occur where a cut could have happened had the conversation been filmed. Not a frame earlier or later.” I also really like Kirk Baxter (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Gone Girl, The Social Network) that David Fincher uses. His workflow that he uses is the same one that I emulate. I have a lot of connection to his work. Also Alfred Hitchcock, and Mike Flanagan for (Oculus, Hush, and Ouija: Origin of Evil).

Jeremy Wanek, VFX artistI and the House of Tortured Souls really want to thank Jeremy for taking time out from his extremely busy schedule to talk with us and share the 411 on some amazing new films and shorts! Looking forward to seeing so more of his work in the future!
BlackCreek_Skulls, Jeremy Wanek, VFX artist

Black Creek, Jeremy Wanek, VFX artist

Posted by Horrormadam in COMING SOON, EXCLUSIVE, HORROR NEWS, INTERVIEWS, NEW RELEASES, PARANORMAL, PREQUELS AND SEQUELS, REMAKES AND REBOOTS, ZOMBIES, 0 comments
Suspiria (2018) A Remake I Can Get Behind

Suspiria (2018) A Remake I Can Get Behind

Hey, horror fans! We all love Suspiria and the works of all of the Argento’s and I know I am normally the one who boo hoo’s all remakes but this has so many great people attached and they all love and appreciate the project that I am actually encouraged! Actress Mia Goth I saw reported says that it is not a remake but an homage to the original film. Some of the characters do seem different but the premise seems the same so we shall see, but in the meantime lets just go with the original. Hopefully, you all know the original premise but if you do not, let me share. Plot summarist for IMDB Polly_Kat gives us this:

Susie Bannion, a young American woman who travels to the prestigious Markos Tanz Company in Berlin in 1977, arriving just as one of its members, Patricia, has disappeared under mysterious circumstances. As Susie makes extraordinary progress under the guidance of Madame Blanc, the Company’s revolutionary artistic director, she befriends another dancer, Sara, who shares her suspicions that the Matrons, and the Company itself, may be harboring a dark and menacing secret.

Known for its amazing writing, directing, acting, and lush colors, Suspiria was always considered an art house film, to me it is a horror fans’ horror film. And when I look at horror remakes I look for writers involved. In this case, they are Dario Argento who wrote the original characters. He is the firstborn son of famed producer Salvatore Argento. Daria Nicolodi is the mother of Asia Argento and wrote the original screenplay and also starred in Phenomena and Deep Red written and directed by Dario Argento. The screenplay was written by David Kajganich writer for the upcoming Ridley Scott production The Terror TV series, Blood Creek, and The Invasion. So many amazing people that will hold true to the filmmaking of the original Suspiria from 1977. The wonderful director is Luca Guadagnino, known for Call Me by Your Name (2017), I Am Love (2009) and A Bigger Splash (2015).

To add more fuel to the fire is the amazing cast. Chloe Grace Moretz (Let Me In, Carrie, Kick-Ass) as Patricia, Dakota Johnson (The Social Network, The 50 Shades Trilogy) as Suzie Bannion, the incomparable Tilda Swinton (Doctor Strange, Constantine, and was reported to be one of the choices for Pennywise in the new IT movie) as Madame Blanc, Jessica Harper (Suspiria original as Suzie Bannion, Minority Report) as Anke, Mia Goth (the new amazing film A Cure For Wellness, Everest) as Sara, and Angela Winkler ( Tin Drum, Clouds of Sils Maria) as Miss Tanner.

Another thing I was so excited to find out is that the film score is being done by Thom Yorke the singer for Radiohead who has done The Prestige, Vanilla Sky, and Children of Men. He knows exactly how to set the mood for this new foray into Suspiria 2018.

The film is in post-production and I can honestly say that I am very excited for this film. One last comment from the director that he gave to Criterion,

I have three months until I finish it. It’s a very special film, and I’m proud of it,” he told Criterion. “I wonder all the time how people will react to it, being that it is based on a masterpiece. I often find myself in the position of saying ‘Oh, it’s ridiculous!’ when I hear stories that they want to remake a movie like 8½, so I don’t know if I’m going to be served the same dish. But I can say that my Suspiria is a very personal film; it’s like oxygen to me. When I saw the original movie thirty-two years ago, the emotion I felt was so strong, so mind-blowing, and so important to my upbringing. I wanted to investigate the experience I had watching that film.

We here at House of Tortured Souls will keep you updated on its progress because we know that The Truth Hides Behind These Walls!

Posted by Horrormadam in CAST AND CREW NEWS, COMING SOON, HORROR NEWS, NEW RELEASES, REMAKES AND REBOOTS, SATANIC/DEMONIC, THRILLER, 0 comments
Happy Birthday to the Juggernaut Bitch! John DeSantis: Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday to the Juggernaut Bitch! John DeSantis: Happy Birthday

Horrormadam here to wish one of my favorite character actors John DeSantis a very Happy Birthday! Born in Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada, at 6’9″ John has starred in some of my favorite films as some of my favorite characters. He played Ragnar in The 13th Warrior (1999), Lurch in the New Addams Family (1999), and he played some of the greatest characters in the TV show Supernatural, as Moloch/Scarecrow/The Golem. He is one of the tallest actors out of Canada and also was in Aliens VS Predator: Requiem (2007). Known by his nickname Big John, I and everyone here at the House of Tortured Souls would love to wish him a very Happy Birthday and look forward to all of his new projects including his current series VanHelsing on SyFy.

Posted by Horrormadam in CELEBRITY BIRTHDAYS, 0 comments
Letranger Absurde: Interview With A Lego Builder Extraordinaire

Letranger Absurde: Interview With A Lego Builder Extraordinaire

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

And the tablecloth is the ruff from this fella:
Letranger Absurde Lego Shakespeare
Other examples from The Evil Dead (1981):
Letranger Absurde The Evil Dead
The Necronomicon is made from the printed eyes of the gorilla:
Letranger Absurde Unaussprechlichen Kulten
And the moose head is made from a brown frog and a helmet decoration:
Letranger Absurde Lego FrogLetranger Absurde Lego Moose Helmet
Not the most exciting or creative examples, but this wasn’t my focus in the horror series; hopefully they give a rough idea on what I’m trying to say; not sure how interesting this bit is for someone outside the hobby.
HoTS: What are some of your favorite horror films?
Andrei: I’ve always had a soft spot for Italian horror (Argento, Fulci, Bava); there’s so much creativity and they have a very distinctive style. Some of the most memorable soundtracks as well. I also love the lavish decors and atmosphere of Hammer films. Although despite my love for hammer, as far as vampires go, Subspecies is my favorite series, proof you don’t need doll vampires to make a proper vamp movie – and that’s coming from someone who likes doll vamps! I have to add The Wicker Man to the list as well, one of the most effective movies I’ve ever seen. As far as slashers go, one of my favorites is The Hills Run Red; sure, it’s got some problems, but it’s best moments are enough to get over the lows. And anything with Vincent Price in it. Won’t bother mentioning mainstream classics like Alien or Exorcist, sure, plenty of them on the list, but I see no point mentioning the ones pretty much everyone loves.
HoTS: What all horror themes have you done and any plans for new ones in the future?
Andrei: I have done other horror related builds over time (some were utter garbage unfortunately, I’ll throw in a few of the better ones) – the Necronomicon and Unaussprechlichen Kulten (Unaussprechliche Kulte would be the German for “unspeakable cults”) books (hoping to add Eibon (Soul Eater: Eibon is based directly based from the sorcerer of the same name from Clark Ashton Smith’s short story “The Door to Saturn“) to the list soon.
Letranger Absurde Necronomicon
Letranger Absurde Unaussprechlichen Kulten
– some Halloween builds, like the witch mosaic, the vampire couple, some busts
Letranger Absurde Boo Bitchcraft
Letranger Absurde Lego Come in for a bite

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

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

INTERVIEW: Kayla Stojek – Zombie Peepshow

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

Kayla Stojek Zombie Peepshow

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

Kayla Stojek Zombie Peepshow

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

Kayla Stojek Zombie Peepshow

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

Kayla Stojek Zombie Peepshow

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

Kayla Stojek Zombie Peepshow

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

Happy Birthday Betty White!

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

Betty White in Lake Placid feeding the crocodile

Betty White - If I had a dick

Lake Placid

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

The Terror TV Series (2018- )

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

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

IMDB provides us information on the first episode:

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

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

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

It was filmed on Island of Pag, Croatia.

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

The Terror TV series / Image: Fair use doctrine.

Posted by Horrormadam in COMING SOON, EXCLUSIVE, MONSTERS AND CREATURES, NATURE STRIKES BACK, 0 comments
INTERVIEW: Writer/Director Jared Cohn

INTERVIEW: Writer/Director Jared Cohn

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

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

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

Jared Cohn on Stepmother / Image: Jared Cohn - Instagram

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

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

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

Jared Cohn with William Shatner

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

Jared Cohn sunlight / Image: Jared Cohn - Instagram

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

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

Jared Cohn on set / Image: Jared Cohn - Instagram

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

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

Jared Cohn on set with William Shatner

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

Jared Cohn with drone / Image: Jared Cohn - Instagram

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

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

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

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

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

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

CONTEST TIMELINE

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

PRIZING

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

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

Posted by Horrormadam in ART AND VENDORS, CONTESTS, EVENTS, HORROR NEWS, SLASHERS AND BAD HUMANS, STAFF PICKS, 0 comments
Halloween (2018) Officially Filming!

Halloween (2018) Officially Filming!

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

Halloween (2018) poster / Image: The Mad Butcher

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

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

Halloween (2018)

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

Brother sister love-Halloween (2018)

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

Posted by Horrormadam in CAST AND CREW NEWS, COMING SOON, HALLOWEEN, HORROR NEWS, PARANORMAL, PREQUELS AND SEQUELS, SLASHERS AND BAD HUMANS, STAFF PICKS, 2 comments
The Horror Equity Fund

The Horror Equity Fund

Hello everyone! Horrormadam here wanting to introduce you to our new advertisers that have the greatest horror opportunity. I know it is really great when you see that one of your favorite actors is trying to get funding for his or her new movie, and you give them some money through a pledge system and they, in turn, will give you a tee shirt or some other token of their gratitude. The Horror Equity Fund (HEF) will actually let you invest and get a piece of the movie! Before I tell you more about them, take a look at what Sean Patrick Flannery (The Boondock Saints, Saw 3D: The Final Chapter) and Bill Oberst Jr. (Scary or Die and the highly anticipated Death House) had to say:

Horror Equity Fund was born of the necessity for a central place for professionals, fans, and investors to meet, offer services, find opportunities, discover content, and find funding for horror-centric projects. HEF is not a production company, but it offers investors, through direct investment into HEF, the opportunity, knowledge, and ability to participate and profit in this previously inaccessible world of entertainment. Projects include films, video games, AR/VR, live action entertainment, transmedia projects, board and card games, books, toys and other horror-centric entertainment properties.

Like I was telling you, readers, you actually get to invest in horror films not just watch them! Horror Equity Fund brings together the best forces that are needed to fund, create, market, and distribute all projects related to the profitable world of horror. Unlike those platforms that solicit donations or contributions in return for a poster, a broken download, or a pat on the back, projects presented through HEF offer real ownership, royalties, or profit participation. HEF melds the old with the new, as industry-savvy professionals guide the process of efficiently securing funds while keeping visions intact and costs as low as possible.

Projects are submitted for consideration through crowdsourcing on the Federation of Horror, or through professionally vetted sources (agents, managers, script contest winners etc…) What is the Federation of Horror you may ask. The Federation of Horror will gather fans, investors, and content creators in one centralized location. This aggregation will allow them to bring all kinds of horror/thriller related entertainment to the fans and allow the public to partake in the single highest ROI(return on investment)segment in entertainment.

I have always loved horror; it has been the major motivator in my life. One thing I did not know until I met the Horror Equity Fund is that since 2010, the Top Films Based on ROI Have ALL BEEN HORROR! So all of those people who thought I was weird or a little off for liking horror are now seeing what I saw: Horror is one of the greatest genres and the horror community is huge and welcoming! So to have a company like the Horror Equity Fund to invest in means the world to me, and I hope it will for you also. I want to especially thank Marlon Schulman, founder and CEO, and Brian Herskowitz, CCO, for joining the House of Tortured Souls in our pursuit of all things HORROR!

Please make sure to check out their two new projects Star Leaf — Hikers find a secret grove of extra-terrestrial marijuana growing in the Olympic Mountains, and must fight for their lives when they anger the other-worldly forces protecting the plants. And ZBurbs – A Zom-com about the triumph of love trapped in a Zombie apocalypse/government conspiracy that infects one suburban tract home, possibly right next door. “If you were dinner you’d be home by now.”

Posted by Horrormadam in EDITORIALS, HORROR NEWS, 0 comments
INTERVIEW: Clarissa Jacobson of Lunch Ladies (2017)

INTERVIEW: Clarissa Jacobson of Lunch Ladies (2017)

Short, Comedy, Horror:
Interview With Clarissa Jacobson

Hello everyone, this is the Horrormadam here with the second in my series celebrating the Gifted Heroines of Horror and Women In Film. I was honored to interview the brilliant Clarissa Jacobson on her new short film Lunch Ladies which she wrote and produced. To say I enjoyed this short would be a gross understatement, I loved it! So well written, so well acted, so well directed. The only thing I want out of it…is more! But before we get into that, a quick tease to wet your appetites!

Now that your interest is piqued, let me tell you the extraordinary premise in Clarissa’s own words.

Clarissa: For the past twenty years, obsessed Johnny Depp fans and fraternal twin sisters, Seretta and LouAnne Burr, have shared a miserable existence as high school lunch ladies serving up rubbery chicken parts, ammonia-treated government meat and whatever else the cash-strapped national lunch program sends their way. This year is going to be different: The twin’s Cheesy Burger Bites recipe is the Grand Prize Winner of Johnny Depp’s Cook for Kid’s Charity Event. Convinced this is their ticket out of high school hell town and that “The Depper” will hire them to be his very own Personal Chefs, their dreams are shattered after a snotty head cheerleader pushes them one step too far. This forces the Lunch Ladies to ask themselves – WWJD? What would Johnny do?

Bet you didn’t see that coming, did you? To all of those naysayers out there that say there are no new ideas, I say that you aren’t thinking outside the box. Clarissa’s clever story is outside the box, maybe even outside of leftfield and that is what makes it so surprising and refreshing.

Let’s see what else Clarissa had to say about Lunch Ladies and filmmaking:

Clarissa: When we first started out it was a bit disheartening, the first director said that no one would want to see this movie because no one wants to see two middle-aged female leads. Clarissa and I discussed this for a little while, especially how one of the nice things about the horror genre, is that horror does not discriminate. Young, old, beautiful, different looking, black, white, gay straight-in horror films we embrace them all.

Clarissa went on to discuss people thoughts on her influences:

Clarissa: I have heard John Waters (Serial Mom, Cecil B. Demented, Hairspray), John Hughes (The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, Home Alone), and Tim Burton (Edward Scissorhands, Corpse Bride) and I grew up on them and I love them. They’re saying that and its funny how it just seeps in and it is the biggest compliment.
Clarissa: This was my first time producing a movie and I had so much luck drawing the right people to me. The first set designer we had dropped out like one week before shooting and I was like don’t worry about it, just go with the flow. Then brought in this husband and wife couple, Ray and Alicia Ho that were one hundred times better. What happened is I just totally stepped out of the way and the most amazing people helped me and worked on it. They were all at the top of their game and everybody brought what they brought, everyone did their job and when we finished it was everything that I wanted. Exactly what I imagined in my head, even better.

I said to her how amazing that was that she was able to get what she wrote, everything that was in her head to fruition.

Clarissa: It really was magical. My writing mentor, he was a tap dancer on Broadway when he was younger. He came on as a producer also and he did the dancing scene in the cafeteria. What I had written was rhythmic and he said he had this crazy idea, how about we do a mash-up? We will have ballet dancers, hip-hop dancers, and tap dancers and I was like Joe, I have no idea what is inside your head but you are the most talented person I know so do what you want.

I was also honored to speak to Joe, who turns out to be Joe Bratcher who has been acting since 1976 in some really great shows like All In The Family, Laverne & Shirley, and The Rockford Files, and in films like The Howling and Coma. He also runs The Twin Bridges Screenwriting Salon, the longest running screenwriting classes in Los Angeles. He told me how hard Clarissa had been working and how much he loved working with her and what a great person she is. He also backed up the story Clarissa had just told me by saying that she really went to bat for him with the director. She really wanted him to create his vision for the cafeteria scene because she knew it would work.

Clarissa: The director was awesome, but that’s how everybody was, they all brought really creative shit to it. The director J.M. Logan is an award-winning filmmaker and who has filled nearly every position in the business over twenty-five years. Out of hundreds, credits include Kidnap, Manson Family Vacation, The Circle, The End Of The Tour, Stoker & Annabelle. He said his goal is to be as close to the script as possible. At one point he was like there is this scene at the beginning, it was gonna be expensive to do and I was concerned what might happen, it might not work. I was like you know we can just cut that and we can just do the scene in front of the school than we don’t need to get a car. And Josh was like NO! That is whats written in the script and that’s what we’re gonna do. And the car scene I mean the car scene is so great for starting out the movie, he was so adamant, he and everybody came up with great ideas, like the whole concept with the Russian posters, so inventive I just loved it.
Clarissa: I also had a hard time finding a location. I called like a hundred schools. This one place is like we read the script and we’ll never let you film your movie here! They acted like I had written a porn! But I wanted a John Hughes type of school kind of upper-class. Josh the director had a friend that was like call these two Catholic schools and I was freaking out because I couldn’t find a location. So I called these two schools and they both said I could film there. The only thing was that they had really big kitchens and we needed it to look run down so we just filled it with all this stuff. And then Josh had the idea to use these eastern block like posters which along with the lunch trays were the only real punches of color. We filmed over two weekends, four days with twenty thousand dollars. It was really great and everyone was really fun but the last day was the hardest, we didn’t get out of there till four a.m. We had one hundred and thirty people working on it and everyone is coming back to do the feature which is already written.

I asked her then, it is winning so many awards you would think someone would just jump on it? Atlanta Horror Film Festival 2017 (winner: Best writer/producer and Best Director), Nightmares Film Festival 2017 (best writer/producer, director), and the South African Horrorfest 2017 (Best writer/producer and director).

Clarissa: Well its still new so a lot could happen in the next couple of months. We started our run in August which went great and we had nothing in September, but we had a lot in October because it is Halloween. So we have only been on the film festival route for about four months and it goes on for a year and a half. The majority of competitions and stuff aren’t until next year. So we are just working our asses off to get it noticed. And I definitely want to give a shout out to the horror community. I LOVE the horror community, they are my kind of people! I didn’t start out writing horror, I thought it was a comedy. When I saw it on the screen I couldn’t believe that came out of my head! All I could think was, where did that come from and what was wrong with me? I have always been a closet horror fan, I love The Exorcist, Let The Right One In and The Shining. One time I was writing a Gothic horror story and as I went dark, I realized the dark side is the most creative place to be. In it, you can do anything.


I want to thank Clarissa Jacobson again for taking the time to talk to me at the
House of Tortured Souls and also thank her for writing such a unique horror/comedy short. I cannot recommend it to you highly enough readers. I don’t want to give any spoilers, but I know that you will not be disappointed when you see it. All I am waiting for now is the full-length feature to be made so I can enjoy the further escapades of the Lunch Ladies! And from now on I may even find myself asking as I go through life…WWJD?

Clarissa also wanted to say a big thank you to Fire The Animal who wrote and performed the song Bury My Body, courtesy of Couch Guys Records and Antoni M. March who did the score.

And, like I said before, I don’t want to give any spoilers but some fun trivia: Lunch Ladies used 10 gallons of blood, 10 gallons of slime/goo, 15 gallons of “food,” 40 pounds of potatoes (200 pounds brought to set) and 13 pounds of ground meat. And Clarissa told me the meat had been left out and smelled like hell and they had to have the school back together for when the kids came in on Monday and she had to Febreeze everything to death (pun intended).

Before I send you on to the link so you can check out some more fun information on the Lunch Ladies I wanted to tell you the name of said ladies who are more Gifted Heroines of Horror. Donna Pieroni at Seretta and Mary Manofsky as LouAnne. These women were so wonderful and entertaining, so looking forward to much more from them!

Posted by Horrormadam in FEATURED CONTENT, FRIENDS OF THE HOUSE, GORE OR EXTREME HORROR, HORROR COMEDIES, HORROR HEROES, IN THE SPOTLIGHT, MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, WOMEN IN HORROR, 0 comments