John Roisland

HAUNTED ATTRACTION: BloodShed Farms

HAUNTED ATTRACTION: BloodShed Farms

Looking for more to do than just 31 days of horror? Front porch all decorated and waiting for trick or treaters? Then go to a local haunt! Chances are there’s one close to where you live, and you don’t even realize it. This past weekend I was fortunate enough to do just that in Columbus, New Jersey. Columbus brings BloodShed Farms to life!
The location is relatively convenient, and the setting is perfect! Once you have paid your admission, you walk through a small section of a cornfield trail that opens up into a grass-based clearing, almost like a park. There you have vendors, interactive events like pumpkin smashing, food vendors, and, hell, they even have a decapitated basketball throw. There are picnic tables for resting frightened bones and even a stage for the endless entertainment they offer, be it scary-okee or the likes of a special guest, like The Enigma who will be there on Friday and Saturday the 20th and 21st… Sorry I had to miss that! Their roaming characters that are great at interacting with guests and are always willing to do a photo opp.
From the central area called The Reapers Ball, you can easily be guided to one of the five attractions that they offer.
BloodShed Farms - Clown-O-Phobia / Fair use doctrine.
Clown-O-Phobia is an incredibly well-built walk-through that will keep you moving and always keep you guessing. Welcome to the mind of The Circus Rejects! From screams to laughs…and even bubbles, you won’t be let down!
The Trail of Terror is just that! Mix Deliverance and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre together with some amazing props and terrorizing actors that even the deepest South wouldn’t want to mess with, and you are on the right TRAIL!
BloodShed Farms - Trail of Terror / Fair use doctrine.
BloodShed Farms - Hellsgate Asylum / Fair use doctrine.
Hellsgate Asylum…WOW! This walk-through will quickly penetrate your deep psyche as you enter into this insane asylum gone…..INSANE! A number of hospital props and character acting in Hellsgate was truly amazing and blood-curdling!
The Last Ride was actually the first event that I ventured on. You are seated with approximately 20 other guests on a cornride – not a hayride but cornride – through a vast property (all cornfields) with creatures of the night lurking and leering at you and some even jumping on the ride to torment and scare. They even bring back the dead at the end of the ride. That made it a real thriller!!
BloodShed Farms - The Last Ride / Fair use doctrine.
BloodShed Farms 06 - The Camper
The Camper Escape Room is one attraction that, sadly, I did not venture through, but I really wish I had! It is exactly what it says it is: a full-size RV/camper that you enter and have 15 minutes to figure out how to escape!
My night spent at BloodShed Farms was one that I shall not soon forget and will most definitely make the two-hour drive back to experience again! The night was dark, lit with smoky skies, and it was as if I had walked through a cornfield and wandered into a nightmare of a Halloween carnival. I was introduced to many of the staff who actually told me they were sorry that we had come on that night because of some staffing/technical issues. If I could have punched them all in the dick for having said that I would have. devil-emoticon It was awesome, and I hope all the staff and owners of BloodShed Farms are proud of the job they are doing! I would be.
Be sure to check them out online, and check their calendar because the days of the month are going fast. Prices vary, but they are very reasonable for what BloodShed Farms offers. The haunt is child- and family-friendly….but it ain’t Disney. Use some damn common sense. If you know your kid or spouse is a wimp, then leave them at home… Or bring them and torture their ass. Muhahaha! That works too! Lines may be long, so get there early or ask about the VIP program.
Any horror and haunt fans in the Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, or Maryland areas should get off your asses and get to BloodShed Farms. And tell them I sent you! My only disappointment is that I hardly took any pictures because I was having too much fun, but please take my word for it – you do NOT want to miss this.
Thank you, BloodShed Farms, for a great Halloween night of fun and terror. It was the most fun we have had in a long time!
KEEP IT EVIL…
Posted by John Roisland in HALLOWEEN HAUNTS, STAFF PICKS, 0 comments
John Roisland’s 2017 Top 5 Halloween Movies

John Roisland’s 2017 Top 5 Halloween Movies

Ah, yes. It’s that time of year again! October is a truly magical time. Not only do we get to see the changes as Mother Nature transforms life to death, covering us in her cool, crisp air and the skeletal images of the now bare trees. We get to break out the long-awaited hoodies, pumpkins, and all things pumpkin spice (it truly IS a scary time of year), and we get to decorate houses for my personal favorite holiday – HALLOWEEN! For horror fans, Halloween isn’t one day. It isn’t JUST October 31st… Oh no, no, no! This is simply the day that you build up to. October 31st is the climatic orgasm of autumn. Aside from decorating, costumes and trick or treating, you must also enjoy masses amounts of horror movies!!
Many pride themselves on doing the 31 Days of Horror challenge where they watch at least one horror movie per day throughout the month of October ending on Halloween night itself! A fun challenge for all horror fans! The beauty with this is you pick it. Any style horror film is up for the challenge, be it classic monster movies such as Dracula and Frankenstein or slasher films like Halloween, Friday the 13th, and A Nightmare on Elm Street. Or maybe you prefer something from the paranormal – The Exorcist or Angel Heart – or perhaps some great Indie horror films like Circus of the Dead or Pieces of Talent. Whatever your flavor is, it’s all good, and it’s all up to you to decide.
There are a million and one different ways you can mix and match your Halloween viewing. I personally TRY to stick with the theme of Halloween in my choices. I’ve always enjoyed the holiday horror-themed films, so I figured it only made sense that my Top 5 Halloween Films are the same. Now please don’t confuse this with my personal favorite horror movie… No, these are my HALLOWEEN go-to movies and are not ranked!

Hotel Transylvania (2012)

I adored this film as it brought back some classic monsters and threw them in to an animated film that adults and kids could both honestly enjoy together. It’s important to teach the kids about horror at a young age. After all, isn’t that where horror is home?

Trick ‘r Treat (2007)

The first time I saw this sleeper hit I instantly fell in love with it! It brings many Halloween superstitions to life in one film that mixes a few stories and rolls them all together in one beautifully filmed trat. A new and true Halloween classic!

The Houses October Built (2014)

This is another sleeper hit that grew and has reached cult status. This film actually had a profound impact on me and climbed straight to the top of my all time favorite films list! It’s hard for me to actually say enough about this film other than it’s not just watched at Halloween in my house!

Halloween (1978)

John Carpenter’s all time classic Halloween film about the Boogie Man himself introduced the world to Michael Myers. Halloween is one of the original slasher films that still keeps movie goers on the edge of their seats year after year.

Sleepy Hollow (1999)

For years Tim Burton has brought his dark beauty to the silver screen, and he captured my heart with this one. You see, the story of Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman is my all time favorite story and has been since I was a child. The Burton brought the imagery and dark scenery to life in ways that honestly I had only dreamt about. So this is a must for me!

I do have tons of personal go-to films that I would have loved to mention, but then it wouldn’t be a top five would it..? Some have said my list is a bit on the childish side… Well, Halloween brings out the kid in me more than any other time of year, so I usually tell them to deal with it!Freddy Kruger-Deal with it / Fair use doctrine.
I hope you’ve enjoyed diving into a personal side of me, and if you’re so inclined, please leave me your list in the comments. I’d love to hear them… Until then, HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!
Keep it Evil…
Posted by John Roisland in Categories, STAFF PICKS, 2 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: The Devil’s Candy (2015)

MOVIE REVIEW: The Devil’s Candy (2015)

The Devil's Candy poster / Fair use doctrine.The Devil’s Candy is a 2015 horror film both written and directed by Sean Byrne (The Loved Ones (2009)) and starring Ethan Embry, Pruitt Taylor Vince, Shiri Appleby, and Kiara Glasco. I must admit – if not for the recommendation from a friend regarding this film, I may never have seen it. I’m glad he told me about it! The Devil’s Candy seemed to be kind of a sleeper hit that really packs a punch!
The Devil’s Candy is the story of a young family who purchase an old farmhouse in southern Texas and quickly realize that along with the mortgage comes a horrific history that threatens them all. Ethan Embry plays Jesse Hellman, a loving husband, father, metal head, and painter. After moving into the family’s new home, Jesse becomes almost possessed through his painting. Pruitt Taylor Vince co-stars as Ray, a man who suffers from demonic voices in his head, has been on an ultra-violent killing spree of young children, saying he needs to feed them to him. But Ray is also having a homecoming – to the same home that Embry and family now inhabit.
As Jesse’s paintings become more and more detailed and violent, Ray gets closer and closer to the home, as do his abductions and brutal murders. Ray suffered from violent tendencies as a child, even being hospitalized due to them, and now he wants to come home.
Ethan Embry, known for playing fun-loving, almost goofy, characters (Dutch, Empire Records, Can’t Hardly Wait), may seem an odd choice. In my opinion, though, Embry needs more serious/darker roles because HE NAILED IT! Although he plays the good guy and proud father in The Devil’s Candy, he displays a dark side through his character’s possession and is brilliant!
The Devil's Candy - Pruitt Taylor Vince 02 / Fair use doctrine.Co-star Pruitt Taylor Vince (Constantine, Monster, and Identity) is NEVER a letdown in his performances, and his stellar job as Ray Smilie is so believable that he gives you nightmares during the day.
The Devil's Candy - Ethan Embry / Fair use doctrine.The film moves quickly but doesn’t skip ahead or leave any stone unturned in the storytelling. My only gripe with lies with the film’s lighting. While all normal shots are filmed fine, too many of the action scenes are near unwatchable. I’ve viewed the filmed a few times now (yes, I’m a fan of it), and it’s just too dark no matter how the lighting is in the room. I’ve even tried adjusting the contrast on my TV set. Still not helping. Don’t get me wrong; I don’t mind when a film has off screenshots that make you use your own imagination. Oftentimes it’s more effective – and disturbing. But when a scene is shot on film for the audience to view but is too dark for viewers to make out anything, then I have a problem with it.
The Devil’s Candy is currently playing on Netfilx, and I seriously can’t stress enough that you should sit down and watch this it. Truly this is one of the best overall horror films I’ve seen in a while.The Devil's Candy title / Fair use doctrine.
Posted by John Roisland in MOVIE REVIEWS, 0 comments
EXCLUSIVE PRE-RELEASE REVIEW: THE HOUSES OCTOBER BUILT 2

EXCLUSIVE PRE-RELEASE REVIEW: THE HOUSES OCTOBER BUILT 2

Exclusive Look at The Houses October Built 2

Director: Bobby Roe; Writers: Zack Andrews, Bobby Roe; Stars: Brandy Schaefer, Zack Andrews, Bobby Roe, Mikey Roe, Jeff Larson; Genre: Horror; Rating: Unrated; Runtime: UNK; Release Date: 22 September 2017
The Houses October Built 2 is the highly anticipated follow-up to the sleeper hit The Houses October Built (2014). While the original kind of flew through under the radar, it has since gained a huge cult-like following of fans – myself being one of them!
To summarize the original for any one who may not have seen it, five friends in an RV tour parts of the southern states in search of the ultimate haunt. While on this quest, they catch wind of a strange and intriguing haunt called The Blue Skeleton. Sensing this is just the thing they’ve been searching for, they begin to pursue The Blue Skeleton. Through word of mouth and clues that are mysteriously given to them, they eventually find themselves in the middle of what quickly becomes a life or death haunt, ultimately bringing viewers to a satisfying cliffhanger. As the film ends, viewers are left wondering WHAT HAPPENED!?!
The Houses October Built 2 is the highly anticipated follow-up to the sleeper hit The Houses October Built (2014). While the original kind of snuck through under the radar, it has since gained a huge cult-like following of fans – myself being one of them! >The Houses October Built 2 picks up right where the original left off and answers all the questions generated at the end of the first film! Fast forward to one year later. The group is now both famous and infamous in the haunt industry from having survived their encounters with The Blue Skeleton – encounters which were live streamed – and are now sought after to make celebrity appearances at haunts nationwide. Instead of seeking unique and terrifying haunts, the tables have turned and the haunts are seeking out them. So back to the RV they go!

Through the group’s stops and travels, however, viewers are shown a blueish colored feed of the group as they are videotaped – one of the group in particular. Brandy, who has been nicknamed Coffin Girl, seems to be targeted. On their journey, the group stop at a few very cool haunts, including haunted hay rides, a Zombie Pub Crawl, and (for the physically fit) a Zombie-Run! One of the haunts, however, was a tad more extreme than the others – something Brandy is now totally against as her last trip has left a few mental scars.
As in the first film, lead Zack Andrews is still on the lookout for the extreme and eventually catches wind of one and off they go. Keep in mind that the further the group goes down the rabbit hole, the more intense and disturbing the secretive videotaping becomes.
I’m not going to go any further because I refuse to give away any spoilers away. I will say one thing, however, and that is that the first film really left viewers wondering. Hell, three days after I first watched The Houses October Built 2, I was still in my head asking myself, “WHAT THE FUCK?!?” LOL!!! Folks, the cast and crew did it again. And, as with the first film, when you think it’s over and you start to understand what happened, pondering it more deeply and questioning everything that has gone before, BAM!
The Houses October Built 2 stars the same great cast and continues showcasing great real life haunts and Halloween events. This haunt realism was a big part of the original film’s appeal, garnering a huge fan base with a very small character base. Filling the film with actual haunt actors, The Houses October Built gave complete credit to the hard-working haunt actors as well as both supporting and helping revive the life and spirits of haunts across the world!
I don’t know if The Houses October Built 2 can ever be any better than its original, as I adore the film, but it gives it one hell of a run! Zack and Bobby – you two are incredible! Great job!
SUPPORT THIS FILM, LIMITED CITY THEATER SHOWINGS,
VOD AMAZON PRIME, 9/22/17!
Keep it Evil…
Posted by John Roisland in Categories, EXCLUSIVE, 0 comments
CON REVIEW: Monster Mania 37

CON REVIEW: Monster Mania 37

Event: Monster Mania 37
Location: Cherry Hill, New Jersey
Date: Saturday, August, 19, 2017

It’s 10:15 am, and I have arrived for what will become my fourth time to Monster Mania horror convention. The guest list was actually pretty decent this time around, and I always look forward to seeing my horror family and friends who attend regularly. As I pull in front of the hotel, I’m automatically routed through the parking lot, past what was a free parking lot of a closed on the weekend business plaza but is now a $15.00 pay to park ripoff. Well, that shit ain’t going to fly with me, so I ended up about three blocks away. My choice, but honestly, I think having to pay to park now is a pretty shitty deal. Onward to the CON!!
Aside from honestly wanting to see the faces of old friends, I had an agenda. You see, House of Tortured Souls – after much waiting and pulling of hair – finally has merchandise. T-SHIRTS!!! I had one on (looking awfully dapper, I must add), and the three that I brought with me were spoken for. Two were for the Soska sisters, Jen and Sylvia. How could I present a shirt to only one of them? The final shirt was slotted for ANTHRAX guitarist Scott Ian. I was on a mission from God!
Monster Mania, I am here! The lobby held the usual handful of stragglers and lines already formed for certain celebrities. I made my way through the lobby to the ticket table to pay. Now I understand conventions and also understand a large percentage of the staff is comprised of volunteers. I could only hope the two not so pleasant ladies I encountered were volunteers and not representatives of the convention itself. No eye contact, no verbal greeting of any kind, didn’t even ask how many. As a matter of fact, I actually had to get their attention, not that they were busy, but they just didn’t care. It was as if I was placing a food order – although at least at a fast food joint, the employees would have acknowledged me. After I got my wrist band from Ms. Happy, off I went.
The layout is always the same, and in my opinion, is done quite nicely. Having to go from one end of the building and through the always crowded lobby to get to the main celebrity room can be a pain if you’re in a hurry – and especially so if the hallway leading to the celebrity rooms is packed with people waiting in lines that have been formed to keep the main room operable. So it works, no one to blame, it’s a busy place. And when it’s busy, and in the middle of August, it tends to get a bit warm and the air conditioners just can’t seem to handle the demand. Again, no one’s fault.
After getting my wrist band, I headed over to the main celebrity room to find where the lovely Soska sisters were. To my surprise, they hadn’t even shown up yet, and there were only about 10 people in line for them. So I became number 11. They didn’t show up for about 45 minutes, but I really didn’t mind because I waiting next to Ms. PJ Soles, who was already hard at it, working alone. An autograph and picture combination was only $20.00! I wish more were like that. She had a good, constant line going, and everyone – including her – seemed to be having a good time! For those of you who know me, I’ve always said that PJ Soles is the nicest lady you would ever want to meet.
At last the Soskas came out and were cheery and loving to everyone there! Of all the celebrities I have been fortunate enough to meet, I’ve got to say that the Soska sisters are by far the most energetic and appreciative of the people who come to see them. When it was my turn at bat, before I could even say hello, they were literally on the table giving me a hug. Everyone got a hug. I told them of the website and presented EACH of them (lol) with a t-shirt, sticker, and business card for House of Tortured Souls. Jen read off my phone number to me and said, “Halloween will be here and I will be pretty busy, as you can imagine, but don’t be surprised if I do call”. She gave me her email address and told me to reach out to her for the interview I had mentioned earlier. The two of them offered to do a video promo with the shirts I gave them, hugged me again, and I was gone. It was a pleasure and honor to have had the opportunity to meet them. So that’s one – or two! – down.
I made my way back through the now heavily crowded ticket area and lobby to get to one of other celebrity rooms on my way to meet Scott Ian!! I have been a big fan of Anthrax since….8th grade? I’ve seen them numerous times in concert but have never actually met any of them, so this was a really big deal to me – especially since Scott is a horror fan himself. I walked straight through the room and right up to his table where, to my surprise, there is not one person there to see him. I smiled, introduced myself, and explained the website and how he was part of my mission. I inquired about trying to set up an interview, and without even looking at me, he said simply, “Contact my label”. Nevertheless, I presented him with his shirt, also with card and sticker, and he quickly handed it to the person that was with him and it was out of sight. I had to think quickly as his attention wasn’t on me and he didn’t seem to even want to be there. I asked if I could grab a picture of him just holding up the t-shirt. Sadly, he gave me this look and said simply, “Yeah, I really don’t like to do that”. Before I could feel like any more of a loser (since I now felt completely destroyed), I shook his hand and thanked him for his time, turned, and casually walked away. Maybe he had a bad morning, maybe there was no hot water in his shower, or maybe his breakfast was cold. Who knows? There could have been a million different things that might have been wrong with Mr. Ian that morning. After talking to others about him later, they all said how much fun he was the night before. Well, he is a rock star, and they usually don’t do mornings. What was I thinking? What I was thinking was that he was there for his fans, and despite what issues may or may not have been, he was supposed to be there for his fans. I am still a fan, but I do wish things had been different. He was just very unreceptive. Oh well…
I then made my way through the now pretty damn crowded venue and skimmed through all the vendors. Sooooo many vendors… I truly wish I had a lot more money to spend on because I wanted it all – from t-shirts to action figures to DVDs and custom, handmade crafts! And yes, although you will find a lot of the same items at some vendor tables, there are still many unique items that you just don’t find anywhere other than at cons.
I especially loved these awesome shadowboxes from Curious Goods.Halloween and Trick 'r Treat shadowboxes
I did have the pleasure of running into a good handful of friends, and it was, as always, great to geek out with all of them. Then, I looked past them to see a dark figure in the distance, a man with a certain presence about him. It was the one and only Father Evil. Father is a good friend of mine personally and I always look forward to seeing him at the show. It’s a thrill to see just how far he has come and to know how far he’s headed! Lou, to you and Sarah, all our love and support!
Now, from the moment I stepped foot in the lobby, there was something not right…something was amiss. It actually took me a while to put my finger on it, but I suddenly realized what it was. There was next to no cosplay. There were, of course, fans dressed as their favorite horror characters, but there was really no cosplay to be found. This was something that always welcomed me to the con as clowns would at the entrance to the circus big top. And that’s what had been missing all day – the circus! If you’ve ever attended a con, you know that attendees take tons and TONS of pictures with those cosplaying. It really kind of warms you up and gets you in the festive spirit of the convention. Through trusting friends, I found out later that day that the promoters of the Monster Mania wanted all cosplay people to pay even if they were just hanging out in the lobby. Many cosplay people attended and staked out in the lobby, just to add to the party, free entertainment if you will. Were they causing issues? Not that I could tell. Now, for whatever reason is was – be it money alone or what, I really don’t know, sadly many have since sworn off returning. This was not just a shame; it was a damn shame. It really seemed to have taken away from the spirit of what I knew to be Monster Mania.
As 2:00 pm neared, I had done just about all there was to do. I hadn’t planned on staying late, or even till dark, but to be ready to go at 2:00 pm was just wrong. Something was seriously amiss. I made one last round through the building to say my goodbyes. I stopped and thanked the Soskas again and, while doing so, got to shake hands with Sid Haigas he was passing through. So there’s that.
Please, don’t get me wrong. I didn’t have a bad time at Monster Mania, and I’m not bashing it. I’ve seen tons of pictures from others who were there, and they all had a good time. I love horror conventions, and yes, I’m a big boy and understand that things are what you make of them. But there was a different feeling this time around. Here’s hoping next year it’s back to abnormal.Trick 'r Treat shadowbox
Keep It Evil.
Posted by John Roisland in Categories, 0 comments
CONCERT REVIEW: Slayer (28 June 2017)

CONCERT REVIEW: Slayer (28 June 2017)

SLAYER…SLAYER…SLAYER…SLAYER…

Slayer 01 / Image: John RoislandDid I mention SLAYER? Anyone who has ever seen the band live knows this chant oh so well! Many, many months ago, I was fortunate enough to have interviewed BJ McDonnell on a House of Tortured Souls Live podcast. McDonnell, aside being a great guy, was also the director of Hatchet 3 and most recently helmed the Slayer trilogy of music videos, which are combined make a short story and are INCREDIBLE! Well, after the interview, I had mentioned that I wanted to try to interview Slayer for the website, and after a little pushing, he gave me a few names to try. So try and try I did – for months on end. At last, word of Slayer touring surfaced. Long story short, from one name to another name, from one email to a different phone number, I landed my first photo pass for Behemoth, Lamb of God, and FUCKING SLAYER!!!!!! The days couldn’t pass quickly enough!!
Friday, July 28, 2017, was the day of the show. Fortunately, I had a pretty decent day at work, so getting out on time was going to be no problem. All I would have to do is get home, get dressed, and head into downtown Baltimore. Just one small problem: FLASH FLOOD WARNINGS! The entire tri-state area got hit with downpours all day. Their promoter kept in touch with me all day, assuring me the show would continue. Guess I should have mentioned, the show was being held at a pavilion on the inner harbor, so weather could have had a huge impact on the show.
So after getting into downtown and saying FUCK YOU to the pavilion parking ($50.00! Ha!), I parked two blocks away in Little Italy (for $3.00). I then walked my ass through the now heavy mist of rain, got to will call, and there it was – my beautiful pass. I had seen Slayer many times growing up, but it was this show, at this moment, that my knees actually shook for a second.
Slayer 02 / Image: John RoislandBy the time I got in, Behemoth had already finished their set, so I pulled out my camera and lined up in between the stage and the barrier that surrounds the stage. Lamb of God came on and put on one HELL of a show!! I’ve always enjoyed them, but truth be known, I wasn’t really familiar with a lot of their work. The show they put on made a fan out of me! With photo passes, you’re allowed in a designated area for the first three songs, then out you go so the front row people can enjoy the show without folks in the way.Slayer 03 - Lamb of God / Image: John Roisland
About an hour later, Lamb of God was off the stage, and Slayer’s crew was setting up. The rain stopped, the darkness took over, a cool breeze whipped through the pavilion, and you could hear the chant – ”Slayer! Slayer! SLAYER! SLAYER!!” The other cameramen and myself all lined up to get into our photo op area. The house lights went out, the roar of the crowd grew louder, and the spotlights projected pentagrams on the ceiling. At last – SLAYER had taken the stage.
The entire time I was in the photo area, I had this smile plastered on my face that couldn’t have been beaten off my face with a baseball bat. There I was, standing in between Tom Araya and Kerry Fucking King, snapping pictures like a crazed tourist eager to document every moment! I was there…at the stage…closer than anyone else. The music blared, yet I heard nothing. As I mentioned, this was my first opportunity in a photo pass situation, and it was surreal. I’ve been up to – and even on – many stages for many bands through the years, but this was different. Only a few were allowed to go beyond the barrier, and I got the chance to be one of them.
After our songs were over and it was time for me to head out, I did stop and manage to take a selfie of me and Tom Araya as he was singing. I had to! I walked out and stood outside of the crowd on side stage and watched the show, walking around in awe of what I had just achieved – not only for House of Tortured Souls, but also for myself.Slayer 04 / Image: John Roisland
Slayer fucking killed it…as always. The light show was incredible, the sound was awesome, and the line up they played…well, you name it and they slayed it – from new to old. Man I couldn’t have been happier. The crowd sang along to all the happy little ditties about God, Satan, war, hatred, violence, and death. I watched over the crowd and saw heads banging, arms flying, and not a single ass in a seat. As I said before, I’ve seen Slayer many times over the years. I am a HUGE fan! Years back, I would have been down in the pit, crowd surfing, or you name it. This time I was glad to have my camera with me and had the chance to watch them for who they are. I was not let down at all.
In between songs as I watched alongside the stage, the crowd screamed, but the band just stood still. Then Tom walked to the mic, hands crossed over his bass, and waited for silence. Watching him stand there, it wasn’t a look of arrogance he wore but one of power. And everyone got quiet. It’s hard to explain the powerful presence the band has, but it’s truly amazing to see up close.Slayer 05 / Image: John Roisland
For over 30 years, Slayer has remained true to who they are, and it’s safe to say they ain’t never gonna change! Say what you will about other metal bands – bands who may have just tour, but Slayer still reigns. Indeed, they are still the best heavy metal band of all time.Slayer 06 / Image: John Roisland
Will I continue to go see Slayer if they come back around on another tour you ask…YOU BET YOUR ASS!!
Keep it Evil…
Posted by John Roisland in Categories, MUSIC REVIEWS, 0 comments
TRIBUTE: GEORGE A. ROMERO (1 of ?)

TRIBUTE: GEORGE A. ROMERO (1 of ?)

Remembering George A. Romero

George A. Romero, as many of you know by now, passed on Sunday, July 16, asleep in his own bed. Romero had a small but aggressive bout with cancer, but that is said not to be the cause of his death. Romero was 77.
When one thinks of zombies these days, sadly, most think of The Walking Dead and believe this to be the greatest zombie representation in film (or TV). Not to take anything away from the abundance of talent that goes into making TWD, but if you were to ask its main man Greg Nicotero who he himself was inspired by (as well as any true horror and or zombie fan) and who is the master and father of the modern zombie, you’ll get the same answer from them all. That name would be legendary filmmaker George A. Romero.
George A. Romero was born in New York City in 1940. After graduating school, George made many short film and did some commercial work as well. He and friends formed IMAGE TEN PRODUCTIONS where they all chipped in about $10,000.00 each to produce and direct a black and white horror film that became an instant horror classic and a legend among all zombie film to ever be made: Night of the Living Dead (1968).
Romero went on to write, direct, produce, and even act in more than a combined 78 films. Films titles such as The Crazies (2010/1972), Diary of the Dead (2007), Night of the Living Dead 3D (2006), Land of the Dead (2004), Creepshow (1982), Dawn of the Dead (1978), and many more.
George A. Romero was always known for his trademark thick rimmed black frame glasses and safari vest. But, more so, was always known for being a warmhearted man who always cared and took the time for his fans. I personally wasn’t fortunate enough to have met Romero at any of the conventions that he had attended as a celebrity guest, but I always heard from those who did that he was a very personable and kind man.
The legendary horror/zombie films that Romero made in his lifetime were inspiring to future filmmakers and loved by audiences across the globe. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead became the standard for all other zombie films. All, in some way, seemed to be compared to that of Romero, but none ever seem to make the same impact. While Romero’s films were always full of great gore, blood, and BRAINS(!!!!), the films always had great stories. They were always driven by characters whose main goal was to survive among the dead for their life. And it always worked!
Mr. Romero, you have been inspiring, admired, respected, loved, and now, most of all, missed.
On behalf of myself, John Roisland, founder and CEO of House of Tortured Souls, thank you, sir, for all the memories you have given to all of us.
Keep It Evil.
Posted by John Roisland in EDITORIALS, 0 comments
EXCLUSIVE: A Few Minutes With Robert Mukes (Video Interview)

EXCLUSIVE: A Few Minutes With Robert Mukes (Video Interview)

So a few weeks ago I ran into Robert Mukes. Actually , if I had literally ran into Robert Mukers, I doubt I would have have got up off the floor yet… The man is a mountain! I had contacted Robert previously and had arranged an interview with him as he was a guest at the Baltimore tattoo convention a few weeks back. Since Robert was gracious enough to accept and grant me some time for the interview, I made sure I got there early.
Fair use doctrine.
Robert Mukes at the 2017 Baltimore Tattoo Arts Convention
Robert Mukes, aside from being a towering giant of a man (he stands 6’10”), is, by far, one of the nicest people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. He is very friendly, accommodating, professional, and just a great person over all. I do apologize for the back ground noise as the convention hall itself was made entirely of concrete, so everything echoed. A lot.
Regardless of the sound quality, I hope you enjoy this quick interview with Robert Mukes as much as I enjoyed interviewing him. If you’re a convention goer, Robert often frequents them as a guest, so be sure to stop by and say hello. And when you do, be sure to tell him that John from House of Tortured Souls sends his best! Thank you, again, Robert!
Keep it Evil…

Posted by John Roisland in Categories, INTERVIEWS, 0 comments
TV: Blood Drive (2017)

TV: Blood Drive (2017)

With their newest offering Blood Drive, the SyFy Channel makes the jump onto the horror series bandwagon by adding their own dark, twisted, and yet hip show to the mix.
Everyone who knows me also knows that I’m not much of a TV person. I’ve always been a movie kind of guy. Over the past few years, yes, I will admit there have been some very appealing shows. Bates Motel, The Exorcist, Ash vs Evil Dead, and Hellavator – very entertaining and I loved the concept of the show, and, most recently, American Gods.
Plus, I love seeing that more and more horror style shows are coming to the surface. It proves that horror is alive and well! When I first heard of Blood Drive and saw that it was a SyFy Channel series, I swore I heard taps playing far off in the distance. To me, the SyFy Channel (no offense to anyone), seems to put out the worst original shows ever made. They’re just pure low budget, badly acted piles of shit! Many people actually eat those kind of shows up, and more power to you, but they’re not for me.
Then I then saw the trailer for Blood Drive, and I have to admit that I was really taken by the quality of what I saw – good looking quality, great looking quality actually, high action, acting looking passable, and BLOOD…lots of blood!!!
The premise of Blood Drive is a race where people are forced to participate. Once the race has begun, it’s win or die. There’s a catch, you see, because the cars are fueled with human blood. So it is not only a race; it’s a race to stay alive as the blood that fuels your ride is that of your competitors.

The Blood Drive Facebook page calls it the “BLOODIEST SHOW ON EARTH” and welcomes all perverts, nymphos, freaks, and felons while also proclaiming , “finally a show for cannibals and psychopaths”!
I must admit that the show looks pretty damn good…kind of a Death Race, The Road Warrior, and The Fast and the Furious got together in an ugly threesome and the result was this bastard child. The show has a deliberate grindhouse feel to it as well. I like that! Who knows? Maybe this will be the SyFy show to win me over.
The show premiered Wednesday, June 14th, so check back Sunday for a review from Brenda Wilder Antlitz.
*Editor’s Note: We will have a review of Blood Drive soon and apologize for the misunderstanding.
-Woofer McWooferson, Editor-in-Chief
Keep It Evil
Blood Drive / Fair use doctrine.
Posted by John Roisland in TELEVISION REVIEWS, 0 comments
HoTS NEWS WITH JOHN – Season 1, Episode 1

HoTS NEWS WITH JOHN – Season 1, Episode 1

Image: Rocky Gray

WEBSITE ANNOUNCEMENT

EDITOR’S NOTE: Big News, fellow Tortured Souls, as your home away from home, House of Tortured Souls, will be undergoing maintenance beginning 5 June 2017. Please bear with us during this time, and thank you for understanding.
Woofer McWooferson

AND NOW THE NEWS

Hey, horror freaks. It’s me, John, bringing you the first edition video of HoTS NEWS! I will be putting my ugly mug in your face every damn week and bringing you updates, news, and all else that we find worthy of your time!
This is my first run at bringing you HoTS NEWS, so please bear with me as I get my feet wet in front of the camera. Each show will get better as I go along, this I promise you, so please take a few minutes and enjoy the news.
This week on HoTS NEWS, I touch base on Tobe Hooper’s alleged attack, the end to Tales from the Crypt, the return of House of Tortured Souls Live podcast where we proudly welcomed Joe Stauffer to the studio. I also talk about the release of the highly anticipated Friday the 13th video game and wish a handful celebrities a warm and wonderful birthday from all of us here at House of Tortured Souls.

Until next time…
Keep it Evil…
Posted by John Roisland in WEEKLY NEWS, 0 comments
HoTS LIVE and DIRECTOR JOE STAUFFER

HoTS LIVE and DIRECTOR JOE STAUFFER

Fair use doctrine.
Joe Stauffer

Hey, everyone! Welcome back to HOUSE of TORTURED SOULS LIVE with very special guest MR. JOE STAUFFER!!! We apologize to all of you for our long hiatus, but John got lost in his beard and Allen is still looking for a damn Pepsi!! We have a great one on one interview sit down with writer/director Joe Stauffer. Joe, as you know or should, brought us the 2014 smash Indie horror film Pieces of Talent.
On a personal note, not only is this at the top of my Indie list, this film is at the top of my all time favorites list! I absolutely love this film as I feel it is a true work of art brought to life on the silver screen, all the more reason I was so excited and enjoyed getting to become friends with Joe Stauffer. And it was a great honor to have him on the House of Tortured Souls Live Podcast!
Joe sits and discusses the making of Pieces of Talent, Indie films, and a few possible things brewing for the future of Joe Stauffer and Shutter Blade Media.
So grab a seat, and a cold beer if you have one. Then sit back and enjoy the show! Joe, its always a pleasure talking to you, and we thank you for your time and everything you’ve done for us.
After the podcast, be sure to check out these sites:
More great podcasts from our library are available through iTunes, and be sure to stick around for more great shows to come in the near future!
Keep it Evil…
Posted by John Roisland in Podcast, 0 comments
GAME REVIEW: Zombieopoly (2013)

GAME REVIEW: Zombieopoly (2013)

Zombieopoly, is a horror-based board game that is a blast to play! Most of us grew up playing the the great board game Monopoly. Through the years, though, specialty versions with their own twists on the timeless classic have emerged. Monopoly variations are everywhere and are inspired by everything. One version is based on legendary rock band band KISS, another on fast food giant McDonald’s, and another on the great city of Chicago. You can even play Monopoly slots in casinos.
Well, the folks over at Late for The Sky have put their horror minded twist on it. In 2013, they released their adaptation for coffee tables and families everywhere ― ZOMBIEOPOLY! And it is a lot of fun!
The overall structure and layout of the game is the same as the original: pick your piece, buy properties, get rich, and rule the game! It’s the small details that make Zombieopoly so amusing to play.
For example, Chance and Community Chest cards have been replaced by Stagger and Crawl cards. Be careful while pulling a card. Most are harmless but some are interactive. My son, for example, had to crawl on the floor doing his best zombie impression and yelling for BRAAAAAAAAINS!
Zombieopoly at John Roisland's house.
Zombieopoly at John Roisland’s house.
Properties are all there as well as the utilities but with a few small changes. All properties are now zombie-related and tailored to the type of zombie. I played this about three weeks ago with my kids, and we all had a lot of fun.
Zombieopoly board / Fair use doctrine.
All spaces now contain beautiful, detailed art work.
The object of Zombieopoly, just as the original, is to own as much property as possible and have the most money for the win. Now, as most of you know, you’ve never heard anyone say, “Let’s play a quick game” because there is no such thing! I know first hand that playing can go on in to the wee hours of the night and competition can bring out the worse in some players ― especially when playing with zombies, and Zombieopoly is no different! So, if you’re going to sit down and play with friends or even the kids, you’d better get comfy.
John Roisland and family enjoy a game of Zombieopoly..
John Roisland and family enjoy a game of Zombieopoly.
I’m thrilled to see more horror-related games available that don’t require an Internet connection and a remote. Zombieopoly is available at most retail stores and online, including Walmart, Amazon, and TOYS-R-US, and ranges in price from $19.99 ─ $38.99.
Fair use doctrine.
ZOMBIEOPOLY: A KILLER GAME WHERE THE FUN NEVER DIES!
Keep It Evil…
Posted by John Roisland in GAME REVIEWS, 0 comments
REBOOT NEWS: Escape From New York

REBOOT NEWS: Escape From New York

In 1981 a movie hit the big screen that changed my life: John Carpenter’s Escape From New York. I was nine years old and living at the time in Woodstock, New York, and my dad took me to a drive-in theater showing Scanners, John Carpenter’s The Fog, and Carpenter’s Escape From New York. We arrived and parked with only a few minutes left in Scanners… Then I was introduced to a double feature of John Carpenter, who immediately became – and has remained – my all time favorite film director. The Fogscared the shit out of me, as it still does. After a brief intermission the main event hit the screen.
1997. New York City is a walled maximum security prison. Breaking out is impossible. Breaking in is insane.
This movie opened a part of my mind that I never new was there. Snake Plissken was my hero, and Adrienne Barbeau would never soon leave my mind!
A remake of Escape From New York has been in talks over the past few years. As always, the mere mention a remake sparks a seemingly endless series of debates on the pros and cons of remakes in general. I’m not getting into a giant battle over remakes or, as some are now called reboots. Some films that are remade are pretty damn good, some would have been better left as a thought, and nothing more. But certain films, certain iconic and classic films, need to be left alone, and Escape From New York is one of them.
It was first mentioned a few years back that Gerard Butler was to play the lead role of Snake Plissken originated by Kurt Russell… Nope, not gonna happen. Now, I’m not saying that I haven’t enjoyed some of Butler’s roles, but he is NOT Snake Plissken! The way Hollywood is, honestly, I’m surprised I haven’t heard The Rock’s or Vin Diesel’s name added to the mix to just glamorize (or, in my opinion, bastardize) a film, just for money, but the roles haven’t been filled yet, so I guess I should just shut the hell up.
Now, a few years later, we haven’t heard much more talk about this for a while, and out of the blue, I catch wind that Robert Rodriguez has signed on to sit in the director’s chair and that, apparently will be bringing us a prequel. It’s also rumored that John Carpenter himself is going to be lending a big hand and having quite a bit of say so on the film as executive producer. That makes me happy.
Rodriguez is a very talented director who has a style of his own and who has brought us a lot of great films that I have highly enjoyed, such as Sin City, Planet Terror, hell I even liked a few of the Spy Kids films. I don’t doubt the man’s talent, not at all. What I do question is his ability to draw you into a story like Carpenter did. The ability to actually make you feel as if you were in the streets of New York, running for your life, feeling your heart thundering as time runs out, and without any CGI. Can you deliver that, Mr. Rodriguez? I certainly hope so. You are stepping into HUGE shoes to fill, my friend.
I had originally wanted to write this and do nothing but cuss and point fingers. However, I do have high hopes for this film. The original is my personal second favorite film of all time. I guess I’m nervous as to what the new film may do to what I hold so dearly as I do the original. So I’ll save up all my cussing for remake of The American Werewolf in London.
Keep It Evil…
Posted by John Roisland in Categories, HORROR NEWS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: THE BARN (2015)

MOVIE REVIEW: THE BARN (2015)

The Barn, a 2015 Indie horror film written and directed by Justin Seaman and brought to you by the good people of Nevermore Film Productions, will definitely bring a nostalgic smile to your face!
The Barn tells the tale of three supernatural entities that are brought back to life by trick-or-treaters who knock on the doors of a small town barn that has a haunted past. The Barn opens on a town gathering where the local clergyman is kicking off the local annual Halloween hootenanny in 1959. A young boy and girl swap glances during the introduction and quickly take off for the taboo barn after the Hootenanny opening speech. They stand back from the barn door, daring each other to trick-or-treat. At last, paying no mind to the warnings of the clergyman, the young girl takes off her Halloween mask and knocks on the barn door, yelling, “Trick or treat!” only to swiftly meet her demise.
And so the story begins…30 years later.
We are quickly introduced to a group of high school seniors who loves Halloween, lead by Sam, in the group who lives and breathes for Halloween, as Halloween 1989 approaches. Sam truly believes in all of its glory, spirits, and the tradition of trick-or-treating. After reluctantly deciding this would be their final Halloween, the group elects to make their mark in an elaborate plan to collect record amounts of candy, trick all who offer no treats, and finish the night at the perfect Halloween concert. Ultimately they decide to test the local Halloween legend of the ritual that summons the spirits of Halloween. Will the Halloween spirits will be raised or will the group make the concert?
The Barn is a fun movie – a lot of fun! I’ve got to admit that I really didn’t know what to expect at first. I love – actually, I absolutely adore – Halloween-based films so much so that I can be very hard to please with them. It’s a heavy cross that I bear to love something so much and yet be so judgmental. Pretty much from the get-go, however, I was sucked in with The Barn. It deals a lot with Halloween folklore and tradition, both of which utterly fascinate me, and the film immediately put me in the Halloween spirit. And that’s the true test of a Halloween-based film.
The movie itself is set in 1989, from the attire to the lingo used in the film. Hell, even down to the score/music for The Barn, offered up by musician, director (10/31/16) and co-producer of The Barn, Rocky Gray. Even the gratuitous topless girl during a make-out scene (the breasts got their own credit) to the special effects, blood, and gore used during the film is like taking a giant step back in time…but in a very good way! And, I must say, that adding two small roles in the film, played by Ari Lehman and Linnea Quigley, was a great enhancement to the 80s feel and a great touch overall to the film itself.
I must give props to director Justin Seaman for not only having directed The Barn but also having starred as the lead evil Halloween spirit. Justin puts you so in touch with his vision for the film, that you’ll be humming the music to Miami Vice while looking for your parachute pants and “Frankie says Relax” t-shirt after the movie. I’ve seen a lot of retro films (mostly bad because they just cant seem to pull it off), and The Barn is one that succeeds on any level!
If you’re looking for something that’s fun, a good time, not too dark, and not too serious, but still a serious horror film, I highly suggest that you check out The Barn. Go ahead and do yourself a favor. Step on over to The Barn official website and pick up your own DVD ‘cause it is definitely worth it!
Keep it Evil…
Posted by John Roisland in MOVIE REVIEWS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Contracted: Phase II (2015)

MOVIE REVIEW: Contracted: Phase II (2015)

CONTRACTED: PHASE II (2015)

Director: Josh Forbes
Writer: Craig Walendziak
Stars: Matt Mercer, Marianna Palka
For those of you who have seen 2013’s Contracted and enjoyed the film which, I personally did, you’re in luck because Contracted: Phase II starts off at the exact minute that the original ended. I like that it picked up exactly where you left off – there are no holes, there are no gaps, and no wondering whatever happened to this person and that person… It’s a continuation and, in my opinion, one at its best. And considering that the films were both written and directed by completely different people from the original, I was pleasantly surprised at the outcome.
Some of the same cast for the most part are present, there are obviously some new faces thrown in there because a lot of the people from the first one are dead, but are referenced to periodically to keep the story consistent. The movie unfortunately does drag little bit here and there, but then again, the original film wasn’t exactly a fast-paced action horror film either.
Contracted: Phase II, definitely continues with the same feel and emotion. It does definitely stay true to itself and isn’t blown out of proportion as so many sequels sadly are. The thing that I like so much about these two movies is in my opinion its original as hell!! I mean seriously, where else have you seen zombies that are contracted from a necrophiliac!
Overall, Contracted: Phase II is a good movie. It’s got a couple of decent little gory almost squirmish kind of parts in the film but doesn’t feel the need to have to over do it, and I appreciated that quality. I felt for this movie because it was a perfect balance.
My only gripe with the film, and this is not a spoiler, but in the first one, the disease is originated by a perv in a morgue who is banging dead chicks. In the sequel, there was a purpose for that. I didn’t really care for it. I thought that just having a corpse fucker gave it a twisted edge on its own, but that’s not to say that it took away from the story either.
Contracted: Phase II is now on NETFLIX . If you’re in the mood for a horror movie that isn’t over the top , and not a splatter-fest or a extreme gore but is story-driven, then I think you’ll like this. I definitely think it’s worth a watch.
Keep It Evil…
Posted by John Roisland in MOVIE REVIEWS, 0 comments
WiHM: A Matter of Respect

WiHM: A Matter of Respect

February in my life is a pretty active month. Not only is it the shortest month of the year, we also get to celebrate my birthday, my sons birthday, and geographically this is supposed to be the month where we get the most snowfall and I happen to love snow! But this is also a very special time of year for horror fans as it is Women in Horror Month. As a writer for House of Tortured Souls, I could very easily pick one name of a well-deserved list of actresses and give you a couple of highlights of her career and a quick biography, but as the founder and CEO of House of Tortured Souls, I feel it is my responsibility – and my honor – to generalize the importance of the celebration of Women in Horror Month itself.
From the beginning of horror films women always played a much more important role that people actually give credit for. In the earlier days of horror cinema, the women usually portrayed poor and defenseless women who were attacked by a creature of the night. Usually helpless and seemingly brainless, they almost never spoke back or acted to defend themselves, reflecting society’s view of women at the time.
Through the years, however, the female role and presence on screen became larger as women’s roles in society changed. And as their roles changed, the characters (and even names of the actresses) became iconic, ultimately being being dubbed Screen Queens. At first, these roles were primarily in slasher films, where often attractive buxom young ladies let loose with glass shattering screams while being attacked and murdered – usually topless during a shower or bedroom scene. You always remembered the scene and the face.
As the popularity of the Scream Queens grew, so did the role of women in horror – on screen and off. Female leads became stronger on screen, and women who watched these films were inspired to go into horror. In fact, these immense changes in the way that women were portrayed in horror soon inspired women to branch into other areas of horror cinema. Women no longer went only for on screen roles but also for behind the scenes roles as writers, directors, producers, makeup artists, and virtually ever other aspect of horror filmmaking.
Now, in 2017, many Scream Queens who first started in the industry at a young age are being honored by lifetime achievement awards, and those who stay behind the camera are making groundbreaking films, shorts, and TV shows.
Scream Queens will always have a place in horror cinema, but there’s another change in the on screen female characters in the horror industry. Women have gone from solely being the victim to sometimes being the killer. Along with the other changes in the industry, horror films have again changed up the role of women characters. The tables have turned, and horror movies will never be the same. As for the women in the industry are concerned, from film to TV and all aspects involved, the female presence is very strong and very welcomed.
It’s nice to see these talented women getting their notoriety and respect.
As I sit back and reflect, many names cross my mind, names that helped lay the foundations for what has been built and for what is yet to come. Some of these names are:
These are but a few the iconic women in horror cinema! All of these women have, in one way or another, brought a part of them to the silver screen and made a huge impact on not only me, but also on the world of horror fans.
I’m very proud to be an avid horror fan, and I’m doubly proud to be a supporter of the Women in Horror Month.
You have a lot to be proud of, ladies! Much respect!!
Keep It Evil…
Posted by John Roisland in Categories, EDITORIALS, 0 comments
FREAKSHOW DESIGNS & SIDESHOW SAUCES

FREAKSHOW DESIGNS & SIDESHOW SAUCES

FREAKSHOW DESIGNS out of Orlando Florida. Take note. Why do I bring this name to your attention? Because you need to know and remember this name!
FREAKSHOW DESIGNS is the collaboration of the husband and wife team of Matt Allen and Angie Calabrese. About three years ago, I first met these two horror-loving love birds online, and we instantly hit off. I soon found out of their own contributions to the horror world and, as a matter of fact, discovered that I had been admiring their work online before I even knew it was theirs. The items I’m talking about are incredible hand-crafted lamps. Each lamp is unique, and they even make them to order. At first, Angie was known among friends of mine “The Lamp Lady”. Everyone knew who you meant when you said it.
I asked Angie Calabrese for a bit of background on FREAKSHOW DESIGNS, and this is what she had to say:
Freakshow Designs was born 3 years ago. Our first show was Spooky Empire in the spring of 2014. Starting out with 22 skull lamps, we really didn’t know if people would be interested in our stuff. We ended up selling out, which prompted us to vend that following October. One week before our horror-themed wedding. Products include skull lamps, hand painted Xmas ornaments, replicas of Freddy gloves and the Audrey II. New ideas are constantly on the horizon and I’m sure we’ll be doing more. Cons we’ve vended [at] include Walker Stalker and Spooky Empire. In the future, we plan on Bay of Blood in Tampa, and once we get our hearse on the road, any con that will have us! Our lamps are on display at Artegon mall inside Gods and Monsters Orlando as well as Coffee Shop of Horrors. Our website is now open! We can also be found on Facebook. It’s our pleasure to do custom jobs as well. Inspiration comes from our love of horror. But mostly we feel there’s not enough year-round decor for horror fans available in stores. We love our friends in the horror community and hope to branch out as far as we can.
Most recently, Matt “The Mad Scientist” Allen, has brought to life a new creature – or, to be exact, several new creatures: SIDESHOW SAUCES! That’s right, Matt loaded his laboratory with the freshest of vegetables, spices, and a lot of HOT STUFF to bring his specialty horror-themed hot sauce flavors to the world.
As of now, they offer the following flavors:
Sideshow Sauces - Bearded Lady-500x500
Blended with fresh, organic, Georgia peaches, tangy and fresh grated ginger, and blazing hot Habanero peppers.
Sideshow Sauces - Bubba the Redneck Werewolf-500x500
Straight out of Cracker County! Bubba likes his wings HOT with a touch of the ole Bourbon. This sauce gives you all the flavor a fun loving werewolf could ever need! Check out everything Bubba at
www.bubbatheredneckwerewolf.com.
Sideshow Sauces - Java Lava-500x500
Infused with Coffee Shop of Horror’s “My Little Cuban Friend”. This mix of Chipotle, Habanero, and Coffee gives you the heat you want with a KICK! Say HELLO to my little friend!!! Check out www.coffeeshopofhorrors.com or some AWESOME COFFEE!!!
Sideshow Sauces - Key Lime-500x500
Her song will bring your taste buds to the depths of HELL! Fresh, organic Key Lime juice, blended with Serrano peppers and a couple Scotch Bonnets thrown in for a little extra HEAT. Give your taste buds some heat with the one of a kind tang of Key Lime.
Sideshow Sauces - Tom's Slaughterhouse-500x500
A secret family recipe available in hot, medium, and mild.
Sideshow Sauces - Vamp Slayer-500x500
A recipe from Van Helsing himself, used to defend
against vampires. Fresh Roasted Organic Garlic blended with Organic Red Chili Peppers. The perfect combination to keep those blood suckers away from your neck!
Last, but certainly no less delicious than the others, is Tortured Souls Jalapeno Hot Sauce. Yes, you read that right: Tortured Souls, a sauce named after your favorite horror website, House of Tortured Souls. And is it made with actual tortured souls? Only Matt knows for sure.
A blend of fresh, organic Jalapenos and organic Tomatillos. Just enough heat to torture any soul to its core. Visit our friends at www.houseoftorturedsouls.com for everything HORROR!
It was just a few short months ago Matt and Angie approached me about using House of Tortured Souls on one of their sauces, and last week I received the finished product – complete with killer label artwork – in the mail! It actually brought a small tear to this old man’s eyes. When they first asked if I’d care to join in, “HELL YEAH” was my response. I was honored. Then I found out that two weeks ago at their sauce-tasting event at Coffee Shop of Horror, the reviews were incredible! The favorite? Why House of Tortured Souls, the jalapeño and tomatillo sauce, of course! In case it’s not obvious, this is a huge personal source of pride for me – and for HOUSE OF TORTURED SOULS – and we thank FREAKSHOW DESIGNS for allowing us to be a part of something this special!
As I mentioned before, I have now known FREAKSHOW DESIGNS personally for three years, but what I didn’t mention is that we have never even met in person! We have tried making plans, but often times life gets in the way. Still, we have assured each other that one day it will happen! Perhaps we may even combine House of Tortured Souls and FREAKSHOW DESIGN somewhere on the road and vend together. Who knows what the future holds?
Matt and Angie bust their asses to bring us new and creative products to the horror world, and whatever is next, I assure you, will be more than worth the wait!
Now, get on over to WWW.FREAKSHOW-DESIGN.COM, order some hot sauces, feel the burn, and tell them I sent ya!!
Matt Allen, the Devil, and Angie Calabrese
Congratulations, Matt and Angie, we love you both!
Keep It Evil…
Posted by John Roisland in ART AND VENDORS, Categories, 2 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Tales of Halloween (2015)

MOVIE REVIEW: Tales of Halloween (2015)

Tales From Halloween … I have so many mixed feelings on this film. Tales From Halloween is a compilation of ten short stories all woven into one Halloween night.
The film, at first watch, I must admit, was a huge disappointment. I have been wanting to see Tales From Halloween since I first heard of it, so my expectations were really hopeful. For some reason, it first felt like I was watching a made for TV movie. I thought the special effects were extremely low grade and the music was even quirky. I am the biggest fan of the Halloween season and always make it a point to watch any movie based around it. So, sorry to say, I wasn’t a happy trick-or-treater!
As the movie went on, I tried to put my disappointment aside and give it more of a shot. As I did, my frown became more of a smirk. I started to see the campy and almost comedic side to Tales From Halloween. In my opinion, the movie isn’t a horror/comedy, but it does have you a campy B movie horror feel.
The film opens with the narration of a local radio disk jockey as the camera pans over a small town. The DJ, who is talking about Halloween and the witching hour, is none other than the sultry voice of movie legend ADRIENNE BARBEAU, and it set the mood for the film. The short stories range from legends of sweet tooth killers, aliens, neighbors fighting over the best yard decorating, children’s revenge, and what would Halloween be without a killer jack-o-lantern.
The film does host a very impressive list of names to the cast, Barbeau, being one, obviously, the lovely Caroline Williams (Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, Contracted), Greg Grunberg (Heroes, Star Wars: The Force Awakens), Barry Bostwick (The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Spin City (TV series)), Tiffany Shepis (12 Monkeys (TV series), The Night Watchmen), Lin Shaye (Insidious 1+2, Theres Something About Mary), Barbara Crampton (Re-Animator, We Are Still Here, You’re Next), Pollyanna McIntosh (The Woman, Filth) Pat Healy (Compliance, Cheap Thrills, Carnage Park) and a small appearance by legendary director John Landis ( The Blues Brothers, An American Werewolf In London) Now with a list like this, you would be expecting one of the best horror films ever, but sadly it isn’t. To be honest, most of the names on this list have relatively small parts.
In keeping up with recent director compilation films (The ABCs of Death 1 and 2) and other Halloween films (Trick Or Treat), Tales From Halloween falls a bit short. Enjoyable for a non-serious horror film night – or a fun watch with friends.
Sorry, guys, but this is one where I loved the cover art for more than the film.
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Posted by John Roisland in MOVIE REVIEWS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Ghost Team (2016)

MOVIE REVIEW: Ghost Team (2016)

Director: Oliver Irving; Writers: Oliver Irving, Peter Warren; Stars: Jon Heder, David Krumholtz, Justin Long, Melonie Diaz, Amy Sedaris, Paul W. Downs; Rating: PG-13; Run Time: 83 min; Genre: Horror Comedy; Country: USA; Language: English; Year: 2016
I first heard of Ghost Team from a friend of mine a few months ago. I remember he showed me a trailer for it on YouTube, and, I must admit, the trailer did make it look pretty damn funny. When you put John Heder and Justin Long together, your outcome will most likely be laugh out loud funny… Well, unfortunately, that’s not the result in Ghost Team.
Louis (Jon Heder) and Stan (David Kromholtz) are roommates living down-and-out lives going nowhere fast. The two are fans of a paranormal TV show that is running a contest where the winner gets to be the next member of the show. So, when they hear of a local barn that might be haunted, the light bulbs over their heads switch on with the ingenious idea to become ghost hunters and try to win a spot on the show.
The two team up with other friends who they think might be able to help them out by specializing in different departments of their investigation, such as Ross (Justin Long), a rather gung-ho night security guard for a department store who becomes head of security for the Ghost Team. With a now full paranormal investigation crew, they head to the supposed haunted barn in the middle of nowhere in a van full of equipment that was borrowed from a local electronics store where Louis’ nephew Zak (Paul W. Downs) just happens to work.
From the beginning of the movie, I kept waiting for all the one liners and the slapstick to happen, and it just never really did. There were a few chuckles at best. It did, however, start to turn into what I thought was going to become a decent and suspenseful ghost movie. Unfortunately, after about 15 minutes of build-up, the suspense ball was dropped when we discover the reality of what their ghosts really are.
The film itself reminded me of an episode from the old Scooby-Doo mystery cartoon. The kids are out for adventure, looking for ghosts, but it lacked the pull-off-the-rubber-mask-to-reveal-who-is-underneath. The ball was dropped, and in so many ways! In short, Ghost Team as an entire film is a big let-down on many levels.
With the cast that was acquired for this film, Ghost Team had the possibility of being a great comedic piece and, even better, a great horror comedy. I am a fan of Justin Long’s work, and I’m not saying that his or anyone else’s acting is bad, but the movie just did use the talent properly. This leads me to believe that the cast must have owed a lot of favors to whoever made this. Maybe with the right group of people or if I had been a little drunk, it would’ve worked for me, but I was neither. Sorry guys, but this one goes nowhere fast!
Ghost Team is currently playing on Netflix.
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Posted by John Roisland in Categories, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Carnage Park (2016)

MOVIE REVIEW: Carnage Park (2016)

CARNAGE PARK (2016)
Ashley Bell, Pat Healy, Alan Ruck
So it’s getting to be a late Saturday night and being the party animal that I am I flop on the couch, grab the remote, turn on Netflix, and start to waste time looking hopefully for a good movie. As always, I go straight to our beloved horror section, and I actually happen to stumble across Carnage Park. I knew was a relatively new release and figured why not, I don’t have much else to do.
The story is of young Vivian (Bell, The Day, The Last Exorcism) who is kidnapped by two bank robbers in a small town outside the California desert. The two outrun the cops by driving off into the desert hills on an old dirt road that they come across. Thinking that they have made the easy escape, the two criminals are shot and killed by a skilled marksman who’s watching them out in the hills. It is from this point on that Vivian is forced into a deadly game of cat-and-mouse.
So, hearing that, Carnage Park doesn’t sound that bad… well, it’s not great either.
Mickey Keating, director of Carnage Park, is trying for a late sixties feel. The beginning of the film was almost obnoxious the way it was done, then tried slipping into a near Tarantino hip feel, finally ending up trying to mock Rob Zombie in so many different ways.
And it must be pointed out that just because you’re able to find an old model Nova to use as a cop car, an old Chevy Impala for the getaway car, and put a tinted lens over your camera, it really doesn’t give a retro feel. The point that it was supposed to be dated is there, but, honestly, anyone could have picked up on it. It really had nothing to do with how it was shot.
Carnage Park is a borderline disappointment as the film had decent potential, and the star acting was pretty good and actually the one thing that held it together. Pat Healy (Compliance, Cheap Thrills) as the shooter was really good,…just wish there was actually more of him, and Alan Ruck as the sheriff looks the same as he did in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
Now I’m not saying that the movie is Godawful because it’s not although I did catch myself watching the clock and kind of wondering when is this ever going to be over.
It did have the potential to be a much grittier and bloodier film, and I really wanted to like this a lot more than I did. As many of you know, my love for Netflix is not a strong one anymore. Still, if you’re a crazy, wild, Saturday night party person like I am and you can’t find anything else worth watching either, sure go ahead and give Carnage Park a view… Hopefully you’ll like it more than I did.
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Posted by John Roisland in MOVIE REVIEWS, 0 comments