Tabitha Harvey

Hail To The King: Happy Birthday, Bruce Campbell

Hail To The King: Happy Birthday, Bruce Campbell

What a groovy day it is to celebrate the day of birth of “El Hefe” himself: Bruce Campbell. Born on this day (June 22) in 1958 in Michigan, Bruce was an unconventional aspiring actor by the time he started high school.
If you are a horror fan and don’t know who Bruce Campbell is, you must be a “primitive screwhead” (lol). He is one of the most notable B-movie actors thanks to his portrayal as Ash Williams in The Evil Dead (1981) and the sequels that followed. Bruce didn’t audition for the part of Ashley “Ash” Williams, he’s actually was one of the main reasons the film got made at all. Raising money for production, working behind the camera as well as, of course starring in the role that was written specifically for him.. At the age of 20, while attending WMU, Campbell along with high school friend Sam Raimi wrote and filmed a short Super 8 version of Evil Dead called Within the Woods.
Within the Wood was intended to showcase what they were capable of as filmmakers and, they hoped, get them noticed by anyone willing to invest in them. The short film did get noticed, by none other than Stephen King who endorsed the film and helped get the names of these young film makers out there to colleagues in the movie biz. A couple of years later Campbell, Raimi and another friend Rob Tapert, having raised the money themselves, began shooting The Evil Dead.
With an endorsement from non other than Stephen King, the film began to get noticed and eventually became a cult classic and was followed by two sequels Evil Dead 2 (1987) and Army of Darkness (1992). Ash, for me, is his most memorable character, but he has worn many hats and worked on over 100 films and TV series as an actor, voice actor, writer, director, producer, and more. Bruce truly is a man of many faces. So many that, in fact, I’m only going mention some of my favorite roles: Police Officer Jack Forrest in Maniac Cop (1988) as well as the sequel Maniac Cop 2 (1990), a descendant of Van Helsing, Robert Van Helsing, in Sundown: The Vampire In Retreat (1989), and a lawyer turned bounty hunter in the the old west in the 1993 TV show The Adventures of Brisco County Jr.
He also played Autolycus, The King of Thieves, in both Hercules: the Legendary Journeys (1995-99) and Xena: Warrior Princess (1996-99). Heck, he even played The King himself, geriatric Elvis Presley, in Bubba Ho-Tep (2002). He played astronaut Dr. Ivan Hood in the Sci-Fi channel original movie Alien Apocalypse (2005), a business man turned mad science experiment William Cole in The Man With the Screaming Brain (2005) – which he also directed, the womanizing boozehound and former Navy Seal turned P.I. Sam Axe alias Chuck Finely in the 2007 TV series Burn Notice, and himself in the self-directed supernatural spoof on his career My Name Is Bruce (2007).
He even played Winkie the Gate Keeper in Oz The Great and Powerful (2013) and Santa Claus in an episode of The Librarians (2014). Then, in 2015, dreams came true for Bruce Campbell fans. Over 20 years after his last battle with evil, Bruce picked up his boomstick and modified chainsaw and hit the road to battle deadites once again in Ash vs Evil Dead.
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Hail To The King, Baby,
and a Very Happy 59th Birthday, Sir!
Posted by Tabitha Harvey in Categories, TRIBUTE, 0 comments
In Remembrance of Bill Paxton

In Remembrance of Bill Paxton

Bill Paxton was a tough loss… He will forever be a cinema icon.
I am honored to be given the opportunity to write about the life and career of Bill Paxton and to say some final words in remembrance of one of my favorite actor/directors.
Born on this day in 1955 and raised a good ol’ boy in Fort Worth, Texas, Bill first wanted to make movies but not necessarily star in them. His desire was reinforced by his father who supported his children’s imaginative and artistic spirit.
After graduating high school, he and a friend studied abroad at the private University of Richmond College in England. When they returned to Texas, they began making Super8 films with another friend they had met while away at school.
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In 1974, Bill decided to make the move to Los Angeles and work his way into the film industry. With the help of a friend of his father, he got his first job as a production assistant. He later worked in the art department as a set dresser on super low-budget films for Roger Corman, which is where he first met and became friends with James Cameron.
At the age of 21, he moved to New York and enrolled at NYC in order to study under famous acting teacher Stella Adler. He completed 2 years, but never earned his degree. He returned to L.A. in the pursuit of putting all he had learned to work for him, and he has said that he didn’t think he needed a degree to do that.
In the 1980s, Bill was steadily getting small roles, some of which were in some important cult classic films, such as the blue haired punk in the opening of The Terminator (1984) and the biker vampire Severen in Near Dark (1987). In 1986, he met, fell in love with, and, less than a year later, married his wife and mother of his two children, Louise Newbury.
Regardless how small the role, Bill always left an impression. The first movie role he really stood out in for me was as the tyrant older brother with the goofy laugh, Chet Donnelly in Weird Science (1985). Even though we hated that guy, we still couldn’t help but like him. One of his most memorable character roles is the young and cocky marine with the witty one liners, PFC William L. Hudson, in Aliens (1986). He also played the role of Patrick Swayze’s brother, whose death is avenged in Next of Kin (1989).
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In the 1990s, Paxton continued to steadily get acting roles. He teamed up with the other Bill, Bill Pullman, in the twisted horror sci-fi film Brain Dead (1990) and played LAPD detective Lambert in Predator 2 (1990). Another memorable character, though maybe not as well known as others is Graham Krakowski, the young up and coming professional who is framed for murder by a crazed squatter in the hilarious horror comedy The Vagrant (1992).
In 1993, Bill Paxton had finally risen to well deserved fame co-starring along side Sam Elliot, Kurt Russell, and Val Kilmer as Morgan, Wyatt Earp’s younger brother, in Tombstone.
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Throughout the 1990s, he continued to work alongside some of the most iconic actors of our time and under the direction of some of the best in the business in films like True Lies (1994) opposite Jamie Lee Curtis and, once again, Arnold Schwarzenegger. And directed by longtime friend James Cameron. The Academy Award-nominated Ron Howard film Apollo 13 (1995) co-starring Tom Hanks and Kevin Bacon in which he was nominated and won a SAG award and One of my personal favorites, the natural disaster thriller Twister (1996) He worked again with friend James Cameron on Titanic (1997) and starred opposite Billy Bob Thorton in A Simple Plan (1998), with whom he also co-starred in his first starring role back in 1991s One False Move. Paxton received his first Golden Globe nomination in 1999 for his work in the HBO miniseries A Bright Shinning Lie (1998).
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In 2001, Paxton directed his first feature film Frailty in which he co-starred with Matthew McConaughey and Powers Booth. Rightfully he was nominated and won the 2003 Filmmaker’s Showcase Award. A few years later he directed his second feature, Disney’s biographical film The Greatest Game Ever Played (2005) starring Shia Lebouf.
Between his two directorial debuts, Bill Paxton played the free loving musician/ resort owner, Coconut Pete in the Broken Lizard slasher comedy Club Dread (2004).
In the last decade of his life, Bill seemed to only take on more serious roles, starring in the HBO series Big Love in which he portrayed a Utahan polygamist and which explored his relationships with his multiple wives. He received three Golden Globe nominations for that role.
In 2012, Bill won a well-deserved, SAG award for his role as Randall McCoy in the History Channel’s miniseries Hatfields & McCoys. He continued to stay busy with several film projects throughout the next seven years, including the horror sci-fi The Colony (2013).
He had a substantial supporting role as crooked ex-black ops CIA agent Earl in the Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlburg action comedy 2 Guns (2013). Paxton always did play a good bad guy.
He had a recurring role on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.E.I.L.D. as a vengeful member of Hydra, John Garrett, and he played Joe Loder, Louis Blooms’ (Jake Gyllenhaal) main competitor in the pursuit of gruesome accident/crime scene footage, in Nightcrawler (2014).
Bill did a superb job of portraying Sam Houston in History Channel’s miniseries about the Texas revolution, Texas Rising, alongside Jeffery Dean Morgan, Chistopher McDonald, Ray Liotta, and many others.
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In 2016, he co-starred as crooked cop Det. Keenan in Term Life opposite Vince Vaughn and Mike Epps as well as another crooked cop and abusive father Wayne Carraway in Mean Dreams.
At the time of his death, Paxton had completed filming 13 episodes of the CBS spinoff of the 2001 film Training Day. He even got to work alongside his son James in an episode of the series.
Looking back at his life and works actually makes saying farewell to this beloved actor even more bittersweet. Laughter and a few tears went into this article, and I think that’s fitting for a man like Bill Paxton who, by all accounts, was a friendly, and joyous person in life and seamlessly and fearlessly let that, as well as everything else he was or was just pretending to be, get absorbed by the cameras for his fans to enjoy. Thank you for the many years of entertainment that will continue.
RIP, sir.
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May 17, 1955 – February 25, 2017
Posted by Tabitha Harvey in EDITORIALS, HORROR HEROES, OBITUARY, 2 comments
WiHM: Dee Wallace

WiHM: Dee Wallace

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Growing up in the 80s, I noticed that the same blonde lady seemed to always be popping up in the movies that I watched – Dee Wallace.
Dee Wallace was born in December of 1948 in Kansas City, KS. She loved dance, particularly ballet, but after an instructor told her that she didn’t have what it takes to be a professional dancer, she focused on school and harnessing her acting abilities. She attended The University of Kansas, where she earned a degree in education. She taught high school drama for a short time while pursuing a professional career in acting. And we see how that worked out for her.
Dee has been in over 200 films and TV shows throughout the past 40 years encompassing just about every genre — from cult classic horror films like Wes Craven’s The Hills Have Eyes (1977) to the Steven Spielberg family friendly science fiction film E.T.: The Extraterrestrial (1982).
Dee Wallace 03 - The Howling / Fair use doctrine.Her 1980s horror movie credits alone earn her the title of horror movie heroine. Dee Wallace 04 - Cujo / Fair use doctrine.She was stalked by a serial killer who turns out to be a vicious werewolf in The Howling (1981), trapped in a car with her young son and tormented by a rabid dog in Cujo (1983), and held hostage by weird creepy, yet humorous little space creatures in Critters(1986).
For the last decade, she’s kept steady work, appearing on several hit TV shows like the NBC series Grimm and The CW’s Supernatural. She is currently a show regular on the kid friendly Amazon Series Just Add Magic. In 2015 Dee was cast as Luke and Bobbie Spencer’s long lost older sister Patricia Spencer on the soap opera General Hospital and was nominated in 2016 for a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Special Guest Performer in a Drama Series.
Dee Wallace 05 - Lords of Salem / Fair use doctrine.Dee is never short of acting opportunities. Rob Zombie has made sure she was a part of three of his films over the past ten years. As Laurie Strode’s adoptive mom in his revision of Halloween (2007), the voice of animated vixen Trixie,Dee Wallace 08 / Fair use doctrine. in The Haunted World of El Superbeasto (2009). She even got to switch things up from her typical role as the victim, with her role as Sonny the murdering satanist in The Lords of Salem as well.
Dee Wallace 06 / Fair use doctrine.This lady keeps busy. Dee will appear in several upcoming films, like Witchula (2018) and, due to be released this year, Death House (2017) written by the late, great Gunnar Hansen, in which she portrays prison doctor Dr. Eileen Fletcher, and stars along side other horror royalty like Kane Hoddar, Tony Todd, and Michael Berryman who was one of the first maniacs to terrorize Dee in The Hills Have Eyes (1977) as well as Sid Haig and Bill Moseley, and I, for one, am super excited about this one!
Aside from her exciting acting career, Dee Wallace has also become a successful public speaker, self help author, and host of her very own online talk-radio show called Conscious Creation. Certainly we could all gain something from her knowledge. With the life she has lived, raising a daughter, surviving and thriving after the loss of her husband Christopher Stone in 1995 and having to deal with a stalker in her real life, who stalked her at many public speaking engagements and personal appearances before being caught. The woman might occasionally scream like a girl, but she’s proven that she has balls!
Posted by Tabitha Harvey in WOMEN IN HORROR MONTH, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Abattoir (2016)

MOVIE REVIEW: Abattoir (2016)

The title of the new Darren Lynn Bousman film Abattoir literally translates as “slaughterhouse” and is based on the 2010 Radical Publishings six issue comic miniseries by the same name, also written, in part, by Bousman. So, of course, I was pumped to hear about this new haunted house film, helmed by the director of Saw II, Saw III, and Saw IV, which was released Friday December 9th 2016.
If the director and title of the film aren’t intriguing enough, Abattoir was written by Christopher Monfette whose writing on the 12 Monkey’s TV series is outstanding, in my opinion, and the cast of the movie totally speaks for itself. Leading the cast are Jessica Lowndes (The Devil’s Carnival, 90210 (2008 TV series)), Joe Anderson (The Crazies, Hannibal (2013 TV series), Outsiders (2016 TV series)), Lin Shaye (Insidious (1-3)), and Dayton Callie (Deadwood, Sons of Anarchy).
Dayton Callie as Jebediah Crone in Abattoir
Callie plays creepy, mysterious, crime scene and real-estate enthusiast Jebediah Crone whose intentions are solely to purchase the spaces in which grotesque deaths have occurred. He is not interested in the entire house or building per se, only the rooms where the bloody incidents happened. He literally only has the four walls, ceiling and flooring moved to another location. Julia Talben is an investigative reporter hell-bent on uncovering why Jedediah Crone has purchased the home her sister was murdered in. Not only does he seek out brutal places such as her sister’s murder location, but he also longs to make them his property. What, exactly, is he doing with these rooms? She digs deep into this Jebediah Crone and his, many years long, patterns of purchases, and possibly digs too deep. Without giving away too many spoilers, Julia finds herself in the very place she seeks to find, the place where Jedediah moves these rooms to, a haunted house of his own making built by the blood stained rooms of victims seemingly unknown, and she is shocked to find out that she is more involved in his sick carpentry than she could have ever imagined.

Abattoir is certainly worth a watch and, as a prequel to the comics, it’s a great start to the tour into the twisted world of Jebediah Crone! The film focuses a lot on the character of Jebediah and takes a look into his background leading into the comics. Thus, I highly recommend it to any horror comic fan, and if you enjoy the movie, definitely check out the comic series!
Abattoir comic, issue 1 cover
Posted by Tabitha Harvey in MOVIE REVIEWS, STAFF PICKS, 1 comment
Top Five Films to Watch in October (Part 8)

Top Five Films to Watch in October (Part 8)

Part of the House of Tortured Souls
Staff Pick October 2016

By Tabitha Harvey

Forget Christmas, October is the most wonderful time of the year in my opinion. May I just say this was no easy task. I could talk for days about the horror films, especially those that I absolutely must watch during my favorite holiday season.. I love gore as much as any horror fiend, and I am also a huge fan of psychological horror and horror comedies, therefore, The films I choose for my five picks to watch in October list, are a mixed bag, and are in no particular order. It was hard enough narrowing it down to five, ranking them would be impossible.

House of 1000 Corpses (2003)

House of 1000 Corpses / Fair use doctrine.
Two young couples travel across the dusty back roads of Texas looking for cheap thrills at road side attractions. Along the way they hear the tale of “Dr Satan” a lunatic surgeon, who experimented on patients brains trying to create a “super race” in which case, he was put to death by hanging. The couples decide to search for the tree that he was said to have been hung. In pursuit of this urban legend, the couples meet the seriously twisted Firefly family, and experience some true horror they certainly had not planned on. A full hour and a half of Omg and WTF moments. How can you not love it?

I’m a huge fan of anything Rob Zombie, and this original story for his directorial debut is my favorite for many reasons. Great actors, sick characters and good gory fun.

The Monster Squad (1987)

The Monster Squad / Fair use doctrine.This is an exciting and fun movie about a group of young monster movie enthusiast, that call themselves The Monster Squad, who find themselves in a battle of monstrous proportions, to save their town from the monsters, believed only to exist in the monster movies they love. I cannot imagine celebrating my favorite holiday without The Monster Squad. This movie has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I love the re-imagined Universal monsters!


The Strangers (2008)

The Strangers / Fair use doctrine.James and Kristen are violently tormented and terrorized by three masked strangers, while at their secluded summer home, for no other reason than the simple fact that they were home. This one that made me fearful to answer my door after dark or to look out my windows into the shadows for fear that I would see one of those creepers looking back at me! I did not expect it to get in my head the way it did. Sure the sack and baby doll masks are totally creepy, but the eeriness of them lurking in the shadows is what is so unnerving. This movie is definitely not lacking psychological horror, and for me some of the best scares are the thoughts going through our minds after the movie is over.

Shaun of The Dead (2004)

Shaun of the Dead / Fair use doctrine.
Shaun is an ordinary, not exceptional, electronics store manager, who lives in a flat outside of London with his best friend Ed. After a late night of drinking at The Winchester, Shaun and Ed stumble towards their home, along the way encountering some seemingly fellow drunken citizens, but in fact they are the living dead. Shaun decides he must rescue his mother and keep her safe as well as his girlfriend Liz, so he and Ed devise a plan to make their rescues and then ride out the situation at their favorite pub, until it all blows over.
Easily one of my favorite movies of all time! Not your typical zombie flick, as which is what makes it great. Clever and funny. Shaun of the Dead will forever be on my Halloween season must watch list.

30 Days of Night (2007)

30 Days of Night / Fair use doctrine.Residents of the small isolated town of Barrow, Alaska prep for a month of darkness, unaware that a group of bloodthirsty vampires plan to rip through the secluded town during these thirty days of night. I really like this movie because its different from most vampire movies and the setting and situation and pretty scary in and of itself. Its one thing to survive a night in a town over ran with vicious vampires, it’s quite another to survive an entire month, in the seclusion and cold of an Alaska winter. This really is a great screen version of what Steve Niles created in the comic series. The vampires are creepy cool. Even if this movie never makes it on your list I promise that the vampire’s animalistic shrieks will not be soon forgotten.

Posted by Tabitha Harvey in HALLOWEEN, STAFF PICKS, 2 comments