John Roisland

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.
Keep It Evil…
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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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.
Keep It Evil…
Posted by John Roisland in MOVIE REVIEWS, 0 comments
COMING SOON: 10/31/16 (2017)

COMING SOON: 10/31/16 (2017)

By John Roisland
Red Letter Entertainment, Inc. brings you the directorial debut from Rocky Gray (composer of The Barn, Killing Floor 2),two time Grammy winning musician and former drummer for Evanescence.
A new horror anthology in the vein of V/H/S/ and Creepshow
brings an ensemble cast together to spin twisted tales of the macabre. The film is Executive Produced by P.J. Starks, creator of the critically acclaimed Volumes of Blood franchise.

Story line:
A video tape given to a group of teens by a sinister trick or treater turns Halloween night into a living nightmare.
The film stars Jordan Phipps, Greg Fallon, Samantha Anderson, Taylor Aulbach, Darius White, Micah Patterson, Kirby Gocke, Star McCann, and Alivea Lafavor.
So when can we expect too see the finished project? Good question! 10/31/16 is set to be released around August 2017.
When Rocky and I first met, i knew he was the drummer for Evanescence, I also knew he was a huge horror fan, it was because that, that i pursued Rocky to join the staff of House of Tortured Souls. And what an addition he has been, graphics for the website, logo images, and last but by no means least – the opening and closing music for our podcast House of Tortured Souls Live. All of which we have had many compliments over, and we thank you, Rocky!!
I was in awe of the work Rocky had been doing with scores and soundtracks, but when he first mentioned to me about him making his own film, the upcoming 10/31/16, I’m pretty sure my reply text to him was, “FUUUCK YEA!!!!! Keep me posted. I’d be honored to support and help you out any way I can!”
When Rocky told me he had sent me the trailer and press release for 10/31/16, I was thrilled and couldn’t wait to get home and check it out ! As most of you know, I am a huge fan of horror anthologies, so when Rocky mentioned that’s what his film was, I was super stoked!
Be sure to check out 10/31/16 online:
Keep your eyes on 10/31/16 and on Houseoftorturedsouls.com for updates on the film and keep your ears open to House of Tortured Souls Live for the podcast with Rocky Gray.
A horror fan living the dream, give ’em hell, Rocky!
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Posted by John Roisland in COMING SOON, HORROR NEWS, 1 comment
MOVIE REVIEW: Afflicted (2013)

MOVIE REVIEW: Afflicted (2013)

By John Roisland
2013 brought Afflicted to us, a vampire film like I promise you’ve never seen before. The story is of two life long friends who embark on a journey of a lifetime when they fly to Europe and travel across the world, Afflicted follows the friends as they videotape and upload all experiences to the online world.
After what appears to be a night of would be romance gone wrong, with one of the friends bringing a young lady he meets in a European bar to his hotel room, he is found unconscious bloodied, and beaten. Soon our young friend finds himself starting to feel ill while simultaneously realizing that he has acquired almost superhuman powers. He is now incredibly strong and has the ability to run 40-50 miles per hour, scale the outside of buildings, and jump from rooftop to rooftop. The downside to this, as I mentioned, is that our friend is also becoming extremely ill and learning of certain things that he is now craving and desiring. Blood. The taste of blood. It is here where our character goes into his downward spiral both physically and mentally.
His journey to find the answers of what he has become, a vampire, which he can only trace back to his one night of pleasure with the woman he brought home from the bar, is compelling.
While Afflicted does bear more than a passing resemblance to American Werewolf in London (two Americans traveling across country while attacked by a monster of some sort), it is a darker and more serious film. Filmed on location in Europe, at moments Afflicted seems to drag a little bit, but it more than makes up for it with details and story line.
The two main actors, Derek Lee and Clif Prowse, are not only the leads in the movie but are also both writers and directors of the film. And Derek’s acting is spot on, sorry Clif. I’m not going to give away any spoilers or the ending, but I will just leave you with… a person has to do what a person has to do to survive, right? SEE THIS MOVIE!
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MOVIE REVIEW: Sweet Home (2015)

MOVIE REVIEW: Sweet Home (2015)

By John Roisland
Sweet Home is a 2015 release I caught on the endless wall on Netflix. One would think there’s nothing more romantic than a quiet house to yourself, candlelit dinner for two, in order to celebrate one’s birthday… or so one would think.
Sweet Home is a story of the young realtor who decides the old, abandoned, and soon to be condemned apartment building that she is inspecting would be the perfect spot for a romantic evening. She quickly plans to take her boyfriend to the building for a little alone time and birthday candlelight dinner since neither of them can get their roommates out for the evening.
Our young protagonist blindfolds her boyfriend, brings him to the secret location, and then removes the blindfold to reveal the area she has decorated with a throw rug, candles, and a feliz cumpleanos banner.
The evening goes well for the smiling and laughing couple until they exit their apartment and spot three thugs wearing ski masks walking down the hall. As it turns out, the masked figures had just murdered an elderly man who was holding out and refusing to leave the building. Scared, the young couple tries hiding and, of course, make noise and are found out. It then becomes a game of cat-and-mouse. Through accidents and slips during chasing, two of the thugs are eliminated. The third, while trying to punch a hole through a peep hole, gets his hand stuck. Thinking quickly, the young couple inside tie his wrist to a fixture in the apartment and take off.
The third, stuck in the door, uses his cell phone to contact someone obviously very very important. He apologizes profusely for having called and interrupted his evening and asks him to send help.
Moments later a car pulls up and out steps a large man wearing a hooded raincoat and rain boots who enters and chains the door locked from the inside. There is now no escaping from the cleaner! I am here till you this man is straight from Hell with a heart that is cold as ice. A true professional with all the tools of the trade, and not afraid to use them at all.
Watching the young couple from this point on became pretty exciting due to the fast-paced and downright gritty action. I have to admit that there were a couple of unexpected curve balls, and I was pleasantly surprised. Adding the deeply dark character of the cleaner really added an entirely new feel to the film.
I recommend Sweet Home as I was pleasantly surprised and really enjoyed it. The only thing that caught me was trying to figure out where the film was really taking place. The woman had a French accent, the old man that was murdered spoke Spanish, her boyfriend is British, and the three thugs sounded Canadian. Other than that, it was a good movie, , so check out.
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Posted by John Roisland in MOVIE REVIEWS, 0 comments
HOUSE OF TORTURED SOULS LIVE: ROBERT LaSARDO

HOUSE OF TORTURED SOULS LIVE: ROBERT LaSARDO

By JohnRoisland
This week on House of Tortured Souls Live, Robert LaSardo guests on our Black Friday Special!

Hey boys and girls, demons and demonettes and horror fans across the land! Welcome to the House of Tortured Souls Live Thanksgiving Black Friday Special! Allen and I had a very special guest in the HoTS Live studio, Mr. Robert Lasardo! Robert is of course known by everyone as being the actor with the body suit of tattoos, well did you know that Robert also has over 120 acting titles to his credits. Tiles ranging from China Girl to Dee Snyder’s Strange Land and from Nip/Tuck to The Human Centipede III and, most recently, Anarchy Parlor.
Robert talks remakes, special f/x, Elvis and Dee Snyder. We also discuss people as sheep in the entertainment industry and how people are labeled.
Robert LaSardo Photo by Justice Howard
I (John) was lucky enough to have met Robert LaSardo at Scares That Care Charity Weekend in 2015. I had a business card for House of Tortured Souls but hadn’t even launched the website yet. Robert took my card, told me he was filming out of country but was going to call when he got home… I figured the card was in the trash, and Robert was gone. I got a call at home one night as, sure enough, he made true on his word. Robert is one of the most sincere and passionate people I have ever met. The expression the strong silent type comes very close to being perfect when describing Robert LaSardo, and I absolutely love talking with him.
Robert LaSardo in Bleach
Now sit back and listen for the next hour or so as John Roisland and Allen Alberson bring you their Thanksgiving Black Friday Special! With that being said, we wish and hope everyone has and had a great and safe Turkey Day!
Don’t forget – (209) 600-EVIL…call, leave us a message, anything you’d like to talk about. JUST CALL US!
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MOVIE REVIEW: The Night Watchman (2016)

MOVIE REVIEW: The Night Watchman (2016)

By John Roisland
The Night Watchmen, starring Ken Arnold, Dan DeLuca, and Kevin Jiggetts and directed by Mitchell Altieri is a 2016 laugh out loud comedic horror tale of a late night delivery gone horribly wrong.
When two stoner delivery guys drop off a coffin late at night to the wrong address, The Night Watchmen agree to hang onto it overnight after the deliverymen promise they will return promptly first thing in the morning to pick up and re-deliver the package. Now the problem’s not so much that they accepted the wrong package from a courier the problem is what’s in the package.
The package is a large, shiny, brand new coffin. Yes. A coffin. As the package is being ever so carefully watched over by our fearless men, one office manager, played by the incomparable James Remar, feels the need to investigate the package while he and a handfull of other employees are pulling an all nighter. To his surprise, inside lies the body of world a famous circus clown who had recently passed away on a European tour – along with the rest of his clown staff – and all had been flown back to America for burial. Upon opening the casket, however, they discover that the recently departed has returned to life plans to terrorize the city streets with his gang of clown vampires. It’s now up to our fearless Night Watchmen to save the world – or at least their asses – until the sun comes up.

As I mentioned in my opening, The Night Watchmen is a horror comedy full of one-liners that will have you laughing out loud in your seats. From the music, jokes, and the sometimes quirkiness, the film has a slight John Carpenteresque feel to it, and, in this writer’s opinion, that’s a very high compliment!
The story, originally penned by stars Ken Arnold and Dan DeLuca, brings to life a fast-paced, laugh out loud, and extremely bloody good vampire hunting time. I also want to give credit where its due – the stunt team. During tue heavy action scenes, the stunt team was pretty damn spot on!
On a personal note, I was extremely fortunate enough to have been invited onto the set on the second to last day of filming The Night Watchmen. You see, before House of Tortured Souls.com was officially launched, I was just a horror fan, and when I read in the paper of a horror film being made in my town, I had to reach out to them. I did just that thru The Night Watchmen Facebook page and was in contact with Dan Deluca. I explained to him the future plans of House of Tortured Souls.com and asked if, by any chance, I could possibly stop by the set and maybe grab a picture or two. DeLuca saw no problems with it and set up a date for me.
When I first pulled up to the set on a cold, snowy day in February and parked next to a long, shiny, silver, somewhat customized hearse, I knew was going to be a good day. The hearse belonged to special effects makeup artist R. J. Haddy who was in charge of special effects for the movie. Turns out my quick visit and a few pictures was a planned full day on set – while they were filming! I was first introduced to the staff, actors, director Mitchell Altieri and all the behind-the-scenes people.
This one of the top thrills of my life. Not only was I on the set of a movie while it was actually being filmed, it was also two days before my birthday, so it was quite a birthday gift! I kept in touch with the guys via Facebook through post-production and became friends with them. It was because of this that I was personally invited by one of the producers to a showing of the movie in Annapolis, Maryland, for staff and family. I was extremely honored and touched by the invite, and my wife Stephanie and I had one of the best evenings that we have had in a long time.
I’m not one to laugh out loud in movies, I’m really not, but I’ve got to tell you – I can’t even keep count of how many times I laughed throughout this film. The on-screen chemistry between Arnold, DeLuca, and Jiggetts is perfect!
The cast and staff are amazing, and I wish them all the best with this film. The movie officially premiered in Atlanta on November 17th.
Do yourself a favor and keep an eye on the listings, watch out for vampire clowns, and, most importantly, keep an eye out for The Night Watchmen!
John Roisland with Ken Arnold, Dan Deluca, and Kevin Jiggetts
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Posted by John Roisland in MOVIE REVIEWS, 0 comments
HOUSE OF TORTURED SOULS LIVE: KEN ARNOLD & DAN DELUCA

HOUSE OF TORTURED SOULS LIVE: KEN ARNOLD & DAN DELUCA

 

 

By John Roisland
Hey, everyone, welcome! And thank you all for joining us once again as your hosts of House of Tortured Souls Live – the hosts with the most John and Allen bring you all the horror news!

We have a big show this week as John and Allen welcome writers and stars of THE NIGHT WATCHMEN, Ken Arnold and Dan Deluca and costars Donald Imm and Dan Franko. The guys took the time to break away from their hectic schedule while in Atlanta for the premier of their film THE NIGHT WATCHMEN to tell us a bit about how the film originally came to be, the audience response to the film, and, of course, the future of THE NIGHT WATCHMEN.
John and Allen go over news issues ranging from film remakes THE CROW to the most recent updates on film director Robert Eggers, who has signed on to remake horror classic Nosferatu.
House of Tortured Souls Live also makes mention of the upcoming KING KONG film Skull Island as well as the already in the works sequel to box office smash DON’T BREATHE.
We pay our respects to the huge loss of musician/poet Leonard Cohen. And, on the flip side of music, make mention of Slayer’s own, Kerry King as he is joining the horror convention circuit.

Allen also gives his very heart felt thoughts to actress Shelly Duvall as she makes a public cry out for medical help with many physical and mental issues she has been fighting with for years.
So stick around and fill your ears with the sounds of horror at the House of Tortured Souls Live.
Keep It Evil…

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MOVIE REVIEW: Baskin (2015)

MOVIE REVIEW: Baskin (2015)

By John Roisland
2015 brought us the Turkish horror film Baskin. From first hearing about Baskin – reading what little information was being given out – to finally trailers of the movie when first announced, I knew I had to see this film! Baskin had been talked about as the be-all end-all of all horror films. It was claiming to be as one of the scariest and the goriest films to have been made.
I was beyond thrilled when our little friends over at Netflix decided to actually put something worthwhile and relatively new to their horror section. Baskin begins with five Turkish police men who, after dining at a small, dark, and dismal cafe, drive their police van through what seems to be the darkest and creepiest of back roads. While traveling and singing (yes, I guess Turkish men sing love songs to each other), a call comes across the radio from another police vehicle in distress. The location is right up the road, so they respond and immediately hightail it to the location. While en route, they hit what they thought looked like a naked man who ran into the street causing them to run off the road and into a ravine. No one is seriously injured, so on foot they go back to the road where there’s no body and no visible evidence that anything was hit.
They soon run upon a family with a small campfire. The family eventually gives directions to the location that the police seek, but warns them not to go. Before leaving, the officers note that the family had buckets full of frogs… Hundreds of frogs.
The cops walk through the woods and make their way to the location, which is a rather large old decrepit building of some kind. They find the empty police car that had radioed for help, lights still flashing. As they slowly enter the building, friends, THIS is where things start to get good! Until this point, the movie was moving kind of slowly, but it still kept the viewer’s interest. The things that the police officers run into and witness inside are visions straight from Hell – tortured bodies, cannibalism, and blood everywhere.
It seems that the building is some sort of portal or or threshold, if you will, through one of the gates of Hell. When our five enforcers enter, things quickly get bloody for our law fighters. Unfortunately, it didn’t quite live up to my expectations. I did enjoy the film as it moved fairly quickly, yet I wish the build up had been stretched out a bit longer. It seems they took all that time and built it up, they would have rid it out a bit more.
The scenery/set they used for Hell i thought was perfectly designed, much of a dungeon feel to it. The film is subtitled, and I do not know if there is a dub version. I think dubbing takes away from the film. The special effects were good, the overall story was good, and it was an overall solid horror film. It is a dark and twisted film where the director’s vision is projected perfectly, but it falls short because of all the media hype that it got upon its release – particularly reports claiming it was the ultimate horror film. It’s not, by far, but it’s still an enjoyable flick. I’m always up for a good foreign horror film, so I do recommend you check it out and give it a shot. At least it was fairly original… and that alone to me is worth a watch!
Posted by John Roisland in Categories, MOVIE REVIEWS, 0 comments
HoTS LIVE : MITCHELL ALTIERI

HoTS LIVE : MITCHELL ALTIERI

By John Roisland/Allen Alberson

Hello, boys and girls, and welcome to yet another great addition of House of Tortured Souls Live with special guest Mitchell Altieri! That’s right. On this exciting pre-recorded episode, John and Allen welcome special guest writer-director Mitchell Altieri. Mitchell fills everyone in as he discusses the new upcoming horror comedy The Night Watchmen, starring Ken Arnold, Dan Deluca and Kevin Jiggetts that is holding its big screen premier next Thursday, 11/17/16. He also talks about his past movies such as The Hamiltons and The Violent Kind . Along with all this, Mitchell Altieri also talks with us about the pros and cons of independent vs high-end Hollywood production films.
Mitchell Altieri on House of Tortured Souls Live
On this week’s episode of House of Tortured Souls LIve, John and Allen also discuss the upcoming remake of legendary horror film An American Werewolf in London as Max Landis, son of the original director, is now behind the camera. Your horror-fic hosts give mention on our artist of the month Corey Newman as well as welcome our newest member to the staff of House of Tortured Souls, Laura James who will be bringing us true horror in American history.
House of Tortured Souls Live also takes a moment congratulate the winners of our first annual Scary Story Contest. We also touch base on House of tortured Souls own Rocky Gray with his upcoming horror anthology film 10/31/16, as well as give you a sneak peek at our upcoming guests on House of Tortured Souls Live.
So give a listen and as always,
Keep It Evil…
Posted by John Roisland in Podcast, 0 comments