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Savage Australia – Three Films of Ozploitation Importance

Savage Australia – Three Films of Ozploitation Importance

Focusing on three entries in horror cinema from savage Australia and spanning 1978-87, this article is an exploration of the subject material of the great Australian Ozplotitation movement.

Ranging from the most notable of films, this article focuses on the three Australian Productions Long Weekend, Fortress, and Dark Age.

Each tells a unique and very Australian tale of heartache and disaster within the unforgiving harshness of this sun-kissed country.

Long Weekend (1978)

Savage Australia - Long Weekend (2008)Long Weekend was made in 1978 and featured the tale of two rather clueless city dwellers, who take a trip to the outback. Whilst there the duo foolishly harm Mother Nature and her creatures, causing a chain reaction of evil that is unleashed upon them.

Savage Australia - Long Weekend (2008)Starring Briony Behets and John Hargreaves, Long Weekend is a wonderous examination of how the world would fight back from our polluting, and careless behavior damaging it. The two leads also returned in 2008 as consultants on the remake of Long Weekend– which this time starred Jim Caviezel and Claudia Karvan, and was directed by Jamie Blanks. Both versions were based on the screenplay by Everett De Roche, who also was also responsible for adapting the screenplay for Fortress in 1985.

Directed by Colin Eggleston, Long Weekend is a harrowing cautionary tale for all. What goes around truly comes around.

Savage Australia - Long Weekend (2008)With the changes within the cinema by 1985, to Australian animal horror, in the years following the Azaria Chamberlain case (known as the infamous “dingo ate my baby” disappearance at Uluru) films shifted towards more animal attacks, especially with the 1984 universally adored Razorback.
Savage Australia - Long Weekend (2008)

Dark Age (1987)

Savage Australia - Dark Age (1987)This is where in 1987 the film Dark Age found its niche, within the world of Aussie animal horror.

Dark Age features a young John Jarratt in the lead role (popularly recognized as the devilish murderer Mick Taylor in Greg McLean’s Wolf Creek franchise), as a ranger named Steve Harris.

Savage Australia - Dark Age (1987)This film revolved around a massive killer saltwater crocodile who cannot be killed due to local Aborigines consideration that crocs harbored the spirit of others. Harris must fight to protect the local community but also show immense respect to his indigenous locals claim of the land and its inhabitants too.

Dark Age is a clever, well-conceived film and quite positively incorporates the previous times’ political unrest towards the government’s claims over indigenous landmarks (and an infamous movement in the 1970s and 80s down under known as MABO– named after its pioneer Eddie Mabo).

Featuring indigenous actors David Gulpilil and Burnam Burnam, and based on the novel Numunwari by Graham Webb, Dark Age is a true blue Aussie film through and through.

Savage Australia - Dark Age (1987)

Fortress (1985)

On a more serious note, two years earlier Fortress had been released.
Savage Australia - Fortress (1985)
Based on another novel (of the same name by Gabriel Lord) about the kidnapping of a school teacher and six pupils (aged 5-10 years of age) from the Faraday School in Victoria, Australia on October 6th, 1972, by Edwin John Eastwood and Robert Clyde Boland. Fortress focuses on a dramatic retelling of what happened and adds a somewhat Lord of the Flies edge to it.

Savage Australia - Fortress (1985)Again the screenplay was penned by Everett De Roche (also responsible for writing screenplays for hugely popular Australian films such as Patrick, Storm Warning, Road Games, and Razorback) and this film has a balanced blending of reality and horror.

Arch Nicholson (who also directed Dark Age) had directed Fortress prior and assisted in directing Razorback, but sadly passed away in 1990 with only 6 directorial credits at the time.

The film itself has savage moments and is an emotionally well told, strong re-enactment of the events with a few additions. Like Dark Age and Long Weekend, the Australian climate and factors pull you into the story and increase the experience.
Savage Australia - Fortress (1985)
With three powerful films slowly rising as cult classics of the Ozploitation era, one must ask the general public to watch out for the savage truth behind Australia. With worldwide releases on DVD and BLURAY, it is now creeping globally through popularly fearsome films like Rogue, and the soon to be released Boar, House of Tortured Souls wants to know… are YOU ready to fend off the Aussie invasion?


Posted by Michelle MIDI Sayles in EDITORIALS, MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, STAFF PICKS, 0 comments
The Best of Miike: Gozu (2003)

The Best of Miike: Gozu (2003)

For my Best of Takashi Miike series, I’m going to start with Gozu. I want to say it’s my favorite film of his, but I’m not sure that it’s even possible to have just one favorite with him. Every time I think I have it nailed down, I watch another one of his films and think, ‘no this is my favorite’. And then the next film I think the same thing.

Gozu’s original Japanese title Gokudo Kyofu dai-gekijo:Gozu translates to Yakuza Horror Theatre; Cows Head. There is no shortage of bizarre cow and milk-related scenarios in this one and as the cover of the film suggests, there is, in fact, a man in tightie whities with a gigantic cow head and a rather large and slimy tongue. I honestly could have watched an entire movie about the cow head dude but unfortunately, he only got about a minute of screen time. In that sense the film was misleading but it was bang on in the bizarre department.

Takasi Miike's Gozu (2003)

The film starts out by introducing us to Ozaki (Show Aikawa), a Yakuza member that has seemingly developed some sort of dementia, believing that small animals and inanimate objects etc. are trained Yakuza killers. Minami (Kimika Yoshino) is asked to take his Yakuza brother Ozaki on a little trip and kill him before he causes further embarrassment. During the trip, they hit a little bump in the road while driving and Ozaki is killed. A panicked Minami heads into a restaurant to seek help and when he returns to his car, Ozaki’s body is missing. After searching all day for the body and still coming up empty, Minami ends up at the Masakazu Inn, a sort of Japanese version of Motel Hell. The Inn is run by a brother and sister with a whole host of their own issues, and it’s from this point on that describing the film becomes an exercise in futility. The events that follow can’t be put into words. I will tell you that you can expect to see sexual misconduct involving a lactating old woman, a séance, a talking pussy, an awkward sex scene between brothers and the piece de resistance: the graphic birth of a grown man from a tiny 100-pound Japanese woman.

All of Miike’s films have an identifiable style and can tend to be on the slow side. Gozu is no exception, it requires patience and a love of film. Miike won’t be rushed while telling his story because perfection takes time.

Posted by Candace Stone in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, STAFF PICKS, TRIBUTE, 0 comments
Takashi Miike: An Introduction

Takashi Miike: An Introduction

Takashi MiikeOver the upcoming weeks, I’m going to try and attempt to cover what I feel are the best films by Takashi Miiike. For those of you who don’t know his work, you’re in for a real treat and for those of you who do you can just follow along and smile knowingly. With over 100 films to his name, it’s hard to pick just one to cover.

Miike is a Japanese filmmaker that really covers every genre and has something to offer every film enthusiast. He does everything from heartwarming family films like Zebraman (I recommend this even if you don’t have a family) to extremely violent films like Ichi the Killer and Yakuza Apocolypse. I personally love his extreme stuff and that will be my main focus. I will try and cover all his bigger titles except for two: his latest release Blade of the Immortal and Audition. Our own Spencer Evatt has you covered there, so watch for those in the near future. I will also try and cover a few of his lesser-known works that I think are noteworthy and deserve some love.

Takashi MiikeMiike tends to have a lot of controversy surrounding his films and he receives a lot of criticism for some of the ultra-violent content, graphic gore, and sexual “perversions”. He’s known for his dark sense of humor and bizarre themes. He started his career in 1991 with mostly straight to video releases, his first theatrical release The Third Gangster didn’t generate much interest. In 1995, his third theatrical release Shinjuku Triad Society finally started to catch the public’s attention and at last, in 1999, his film Audition (based on Ryu Murakami’s book of the same name) got him recognized internationally. Audition probably still remains his most well-known work worldwide. No one else on the market does it quite like Miike, and I’m excited to introduce him to new fans and maybe help old ones discover a film they don’t already know about.
Takashi Miike

Posted by Candace Stone in IN THE SPOTLIGHT, STAFF PICKS, TRIBUTE, 0 comments
WiHM: Lori Lethin

WiHM: Lori Lethin

Lori Lethin in Bloody Birthday (1981)Lori Lethin, I suspect, is not a name known to a lot of horror fans; however, I think it’s high time we celebrate her brief but interesting career. Like most actors, Lori got her start doing guest spots and in a short amount of time was on everything from Charlie’s Angels and The Dukes of Hazard as well as the infamous After School Special turned short film The Wave, based on a horrifying real-life experiment in an American High School. It was in The Wave were she began to flex her dramatic muscles, but it would be Bloody Birthday released at the height of the slasher craze which would provide her most memorable role. It’s clear from the start that Lethin exudes a natural charm and embodied the perfect girl next door, and the perfect final girl. It was this sweet, innocent demeanor that played well against the three murderous kids in Bloody Birthday and a deformed man in The Prey.

Lori Lethin in The Prey (1984)But her range wasn’t limited to just episodic television or horror and she turned in a great performance in the now cult classic The Day After, a highly unnerving depiction of nuclear fallout at the height of the Cold War. She continued to do guest spots throughout the 80s, and she once again went back to her queen scream roots in the meta-horror film Return to Horror High (1987), a film most notable for starring a relatively unknown George Clooney. Again Lethin stretches her talents by not only playing multiple characters in the film within a film by playing against heavyweights like Alex Rocco. She would only do one other film and a few more guest spots before retiring from acting.

Lori Lethin in The Day After (1983)After bowing out of the limelight, she worked hard to earn her degree in clinical psychology and works with recovering addicts. Though her filmography isn’t huge, the films she did appear in are better because of her and you can’t deny she had a way of lighting up a screen. So let’s raise a toast to this unsung scream queen and truly Lori Lethin can have her cake and this time eat it too!
Lori Lethin in Bloody Birthday (1981)

Posted by Mike Vaughn in EDITORIALS, TRIBUTE, WOMEN IN HORROR, 0 comments
Women in Horror Month: Women in Film

Women in Horror Month: Women in Film

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Question number four: What women in film influenced you?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Noomi: Anything they can do, we can do bleeding

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by Horrormadam in DOCUMENTARIES, EDITORIALS, FEATURED CONTENT, IN THE SPOTLIGHT, OPINION, TRIBUTE, WOMEN IN HORROR, 0 comments
WiHM: The Women of Martyrs (2008) [SPOILERS]

WiHM: The Women of Martyrs (2008) [SPOILERS]

Martyrs (2008)

House of Tortured Souls Salutes the women of Martyrs for WiHM

I wanted to write a piece on the women of Martyrs for Women in Horror Month. It’s my favorite movie, and I thought it would be really easy to write about but as it turns out, it wasn’t, because although I feel all the women deserve recognition there is one who is far more important to me than the others.

I’d like to point out a couple of quick things before we proceed, first of all this is intended for those who have already watched the film so if you haven’t yet (my god! Why the hell not? Please stop what you’re doing and watch it this instant!), this will definitely spoil it for you. Second, this is about Pascal Laugier’s 2008 version not the American abomination that came out in 2016. Last, I’m choosing to focus more on one character, but that is not to say that they all weren’t well acted and worthy of praise. Now, with that out of the way, let us continue.

Martyrs (2008)There are four main women of importance in this film, each with a different story to tell. All their stories are flawlessly woven together and one cannot exist without the other. Where the tendrils of each story latch onto the next, they also snuff out the previous story in succession. As Lucie’s (Mylène Jampanoï) story intersects with Anna’s (Morjana Alaoui), it ultimately leads to the untimely death of Anna. When Anna meets Sarah (Emilie Miskdjian), emaciated with metal bolted into her body, nothing more than a shell, her death too is imminent and it prompts the introduction of the Mademoiselle (Catherine Béginand the death of both Sarah and Anna. Finally, the death of Anna leads to the death of Mademoiselle. A perfect clockwork orange. Though each woman has a role, Mademoiselle is arguably the most important character and the bow that neatly ties it all together. Without her, we have nothing more than the polished Hollywood turd that is the American version. A bland, watered-down, meaningless piece of cinema intended to placate the plebs.

Catherine Bégin as Mademoiselle in Martyrs (2008)

Catherine Bégin as Mademoiselle in Martyrs (2008)Mademoiselle is the key to everything, without her you have a torture porn, with her, the suffering you just endured alongside Anna is given meaning. Her character leaves you questioning your entire existence and makes all the violence beautiful and poignant. Mademoiselle was pivotal to Anna’s transcendence into martyrdom and was privy to whatever it was that Anna whispered. Of course, you should hate Mademoiselle, but I’ll go on record to say that she is my favorite fictional character to ever grace the silver screen. No movie death was more traumatic or terrifying than hers. It was so final, and then we’re left in the dark wondering… what did she say? No monster or serial killer has stripped my life of its values and kept me awake at night wondering why.

So thank you, Catherine Begin, for your portrayal of Mademoiselle. Simply Brilliant. I humbly salute you for your contribution to horror.

Catherine Bégin

Posted by Candace Stone in BRUTAL REALITY, TRIBUTE, WOMEN IN HORROR, 0 comments
In Memoriam Jack Ketchum

In Memoriam Jack Ketchum

Jack Ketchum

(Dallas Mayr)

10 November 1946 – 24 January 24, 2018

More sad news in the world of horror as Pollyanna McIntosh broke the word of author and actor Jack Ketchum’s death at 71 of cancer:
Jack Ketchum Instagram Pollyanna McIntosh

Ketchum’s own Twitter account confirmed it:
Jack Ketchum Twitter JK

And Ketchum’s good friend and fellow writer Christopher Golden commented on his passing:
Jack Ketchum Twitter Christopher Golden

Ketchum, whose works The Lost, The Girl Next Door, Offspring, The Woman, Mail Order, Olivia, and “The Box”, have been adapted for film and video, had been battling cancer for a long time.

XX (2017) The Box-Jack Ketchum
The Woman (2011)-Jack Ketchum
The Lost (2006)-Jack Ketchum
The Girl Next Door (2007)-Jack Ketchum
Olivia (2013)-Jack Ketchum
Offspring (2009)-Jack Ketchum
Mail Order (2011)-Jack Ketchum

The Bram Stoker Award winner was an actor as well as an author, appearing in Offspring (2009) and Red (2008) under his given name Dallas Mayr and The Girl Next Door (2007), Header (2006), and The Lost (2006) under his best-known writing pseudonym Jack Ketchum.

Ketchum received a BA in English from Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts, and worked as a soda jerk, lumber salesman, high school teacher, and literary agent in addition to his work as an author and an actor. Like many in the horror industry, Ketchum found solace in horror during his childhood, even beginning to make up stories at a very young age and using his toys as characters in them.

[m]y interests [were] Books, comics, movies, rock ‘n roll, show tunes, TV, dinosaurs […] pretty much any activity that didn’t demand too much socializing, or where I could easily walk away from socializing.

As a teenager, Ketchum became friends with Psycho author Robert Bloch, who became his mentor, supporting Ketchum’s work in the same way H.P. Lovecraft supported his.

Ketchum primarily supported himself by selling his short stories and articles to magazines – many under the pen name Jerzy Livingston – before finally concentrating on his novels. Like Stephen King, Ketchum had the problem of too much at one time. Thus, to prevent flooding the market, he would submit under his own name and the pen name in case both pieces were accepted for publication.

Awards

  • “The Box” (1994) Bram Stoker Award for Best Short Story
  • “Gone” (2000) Bram Stoker Award for Best Short Fiction
  • Peaceable Kingdom (2003) Bram Stoker Award for Best Collection
  • Closing Time (2003) Bram Stoker Award for Best Long Fiction
  • World Horror Convention Grand Master Award (2011)

Nominations

  • Right to Life (1999) Bram Stoker Award nominee for Best Long Fiction
  • The Lost (2001) Bram Stoker Award nominee for Best Novel
  • The Haunt (2001) Bram Stoker Award nominee for Best Short Fiction
  • I’m Not Sam (2012) Bram Stoker Award nominee for Best Long Fiction (with Lucky McKee)
  • I’m Not Sam (2012) Shirley Jackson Award nominee for Best Novella (with Lucky McKee)

Jack Ketchum was a unique talent and, from all reports, a wonderful person. Rest in peace, sir.

Posted by Woofer McWooferson in EDITORIALS, HORROR NEWS, OBITUARY, 0 comments
Slayer…The Grand Finale!

Slayer…The Grand Finale!

For the last 37 years, the music world has changed dramatically in many aspects and it can be said without a doubt that there is one band that has touched all of us in the world. As a music fan of every sort, I have studied the likes of Chuck Berry, Alice Cooper, Tommy James and the Shondells, Black Sabbath, Motley Crue, Ramones, Sex Pistols and beyond. Music has always been important to me and something that keeps the world ticking. One band though that has changed the way we look at music in the metal, punk, and underground genres that everyone has pulled inspiration from is the almighty SLAYER.

Slayer Group

It was announced this morning that Slayer would be doing one last tour this year, which we announced earlier this month. With Anthrax, Testament, Behemoth and Lamb of God and then that is it for a band that for nearly 40 years has not only stayed true to their sound they have inspired many metal and punk acts across the world. Leaving a legacy that will be remembered throughout time.

Slayer Tour image

On May 2, 2013, original founding member and guitarist Jeff Hanneman passed away from cirrhosis of the liver. Jeff Hanneman For a lot of us in the metal world, this was it for Slayer. However, they pressed on with Gary Holt of Exodus fame.Gary Holt He was a worthy — stand-in  we will never say replacement due to Jeff Hanneman’s signature style of playing it could not be matched. Slayer has gone, now this will be the 5th year with Holt on guitar, releasing Repentless on September 11, 2015, Slayer showed the world that they still have what it takes to be the best thrash metal band of all time. Also, past drummer and original founder of the band, Dave Lombardo has gone on to do so many different projects such as Suicidal Tendencies, Dead Cross and of course taking the throne for the Misfits on these past 4 performances. Slayer’s legacy is something more than just who’s in the band now but the musical genius of Dave Lombardo and his influence from being in Slayer and beyond.

Repentless Album Cover

Touring non-stop and hardly ever taking a break, this album will sadly be their last as well as this tour being the last for the band. We are sad, yes, but here’s something to remember: although we see them as gods and heroes, they are after all humans with families and lives outside of the limelight. So let us rejoice and celebrate with a band that has changed our lives, a band that has set the standard for how not to sell out your sound.

Say what you want about Slayer, and about thrash metal, but we cannot deny the influence and the impact overall that this band has had on the world of music from thrash to punk to hardcore to death metal to speed metal… and the list goes on. Slayer will not only go out this year with one of the best lineups of any tour. They will go out as legends, with music that will withstand the test of time. In 60 years, people will look back on music history and see that Slayer was a force to be reckoned with. All of the fans, the bands they’ve influenced, and believe this or not..the lives they’ve saved. Yes, I said it. Slayer saves lives. We will miss the live performance and any future records. However, it’s all for the best, and that’s what matters here.

From all of us here at House of Tortured Souls, Slayer we will be seeing you on this final tour and bid you all the best for the remainder of your lives for you and your families.

Posted by Schock in EDITORIALS, OBITUARY, 0 comments
Help Out Frankenhooker Writer Bob Martin

Help Out Frankenhooker Writer Bob Martin

Who is Bob Martin?

All of us writers have somebody we look up to, and some of those writers worked tirelessly but sadly don’t get the kind of respect or attention that they deserve. Robert Martin, also known as Uncle Bob, is a legend in the horror and cult film industry. His writing credits include fan favorites such as: Frankenhooker, Basket Case 3, and of course, as the original editor of Fangoria magazine. He was even a zombie in George Romero’s seminal zombie film Day of the Dead (1985).

What Happened and Can I Help?

Sadly, a stroke has left this unsung genre hero in a tough spot, and with the government shut down, he is in need some funds to get by. The horror community is awesome, and I like to think we take care of our own. I took it upon myself to write this article and ask for other fans to share this and, if you can, give any little thing. It would be amazing. After all, for the hours of entertainment this man has helped to give, it’s really a small way to pay it forward.

Thanks for reading, and if you cannot give at this time, even sharing this link and getting the word out will be a huge help.

Thank you on behalf of Uncle Bob.

Below is the Paypal link.

Posted by Mike Vaughn in EDITORIALS, STAFF PICKS, 0 comments
The Rise of Australian Horror and How Hounds of Love Relates To It

The Rise of Australian Horror and How Hounds of Love Relates To It

In the last decade or so, we have seen a surge in Australian horror films (and the filmmakers themselves), gaining notoriety within the world of mainstream and independent horror.

So when throughout 2017 the film on many people’s lips was Australian filmmaker Ben Young’s Hounds of Love (2016), many were not surprised.

Hounds of Love (2016)With films like Wolf Creek (2005), Charlie’s Farm (2014), The Tunnel
(2011), Red Billabong (2016), Wyrmwood(2014), The Babadook (2014), The Loved Ones (2009), Rogue(2007), Dying Breed(2008), Black Water (2007), Lake Mungo (2008), Lemon Tree Passage (2014) , Storm Warning (2007) and much much more on people’s minds, it was no surprise as to how well received Hounds of Love would be.

We cannot forget the Australian equivalent of the video nasties of he by gone era, which are gaining a resurgence as cult status films since the releases to DVD and Blu-ray. In this genre, affectionately referred to down under as Ozploitation films, we see films like The Cars That Ate Paris (1974), Next of Kin (1982), Inn of the Damned (1975), Night of Fear (1972), Turkey Shoot (aka Escape 2000 – from 1982), Patrick (1978), and the most popularly known, Razorback (1984).

Australia has given the world filmmakers like Greg McLean, George Miller, Alex Proyas, James Wan and Leigh Whannell, and acting talents such as Ryan Kwanten, Cate Blanchett, Chris Hemsworth, Eric Bana, Rose Byrne, Ben Mendelsohn, Anthony LaPaglia, Radha Mitchell, Costas Mandylor, Joel Edgerton, Rod Taylor, Portia De Rossi, Nathan Jones, Emily Browning, or even Richard Roxburgh.

However, it is “the little Aussie battler” (a colloquial term Australians use for the underdog) that Australia itself adores.

Hounds of Love (2016)

In Hounds of Love, Ben Young has cast the phenomenally underrated but familiar actor Stephen Curry in the lead as John White. Curry has always been known for his dramatic and comedic roles but has also appeared in more popular genre films such as the prior mentioned Rogue and hilariously oddball film Cut (2000) with Molly Ringwald. Curry delivers an amazingly brutal and sublime performance as the twisted John White. He demonstrates an unnatural cruelty and contempt for those around him and a need to feel superior, through simple vocal inflections and body language.

His co-star Emma Booth, who plays his wife Evelyn White in the film, is known for her role in the Henry Cavill and Michael Fassbender film, directed by Joel Schumacher, Blood Creek (2009). Booth shows a kindness and fragility that is hidden behind a rougher, more brash exterior. At times we empathize with her characters, yet at others, you loathe her – especially when we see how cruel she truly can be.

The duo kidnap and hold Vicki Maloney, portrayed by actress Ashleigh Cummings, hostage. Cummings is known for her fleeting work on the popular Australian soap opera Home and Away and appearance in the apocalyptic young adult film Tomorrow When The War Began. In Hounds of Love, Cummings delivers a performance so wrought with emotions that you ultimately feel your heart sink for her plight on screen. We want to see Vicki escape her torturous captivity, but we want her to get justice for what the Whites have done to her. Cummings actually won the Fedeora Award for Best Actress in a Debut Film at the Venice Film Festival for her portrayal of Vicki Maloney.

Hounds of Love (2016)

Young’s direction of his three leads and the amazingly powerful script he had crafted for them creates an atmospheric thriller based loosely on the true story of Catherine and David Birnie (a couple from Western Australia who abducted, raped, tortured and murdered four women in 1986), with some startling likenesses. Hounds of Love relies on its three leads and will appeal anyone who has an interest in powerful thrillers.

Posted by Michelle MIDI Sayles in EDITORIALS, MOVIE REVIEWS, OPINION, REVIEWS, SLASHERS AND BAD HUMANS, 0 comments
The Horror Equity Fund

The Horror Equity Fund

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by Horrormadam in EDITORIALS, HORROR NEWS, 0 comments
Rumor: Ultimate in Metal Tour!

Rumor: Ultimate in Metal Tour!

When a lot of us think of metal music, we go instantly to Slayer, Megadeth, Anthrax…ya know, all the top dogs that got us into this shit. Now, let’s look at this dope mother fucking rumor flying around.

The guitarist of the almighty Testament leaked a li’l hint at a possible Spring/Summer tour featuring: Behemoth, Testament, Lamb of God, Anthrax, and Slayer. Boooooy, I don’t know about you, but that kind of news hit me hard. This is something of a throwback thrash fest like Clash of the Titans in the early 1990’s. However, we got the newer but well-respected Behemoth and Lamb of God, joining the thrash metal legends.
So far only one date is posted:

6/4 Reading, PA @ The Santander Arena

We will be checking every source to bring you all news on this tour, as it is truly a metal event that no one wants to miss. Yes, people talk their shit about all of the old bands Slayer, Testament, Anthrax yes are aged.

Let’s take a look, though, at the legacy they have left us over the years. Slayer has never slowed down, Anthrax had that one guy for while, we usually ignore that period, “ONLY” was a cool song though. Testament fell out for a while, but they’ve been back and damn good and faster than ever. So before judging the older cats take note they still got what a lot of other bands do not have and that is a dedication to the music that made them who they are and influenced metal thereafter that we have today. Giving us bands like Lamb of God, Behemoth… Adding these, also legendary acts to the bill really makes this kind of concert event something to be desired.

Well, that’s all we have, for now, so keep checking back as soon as all dates(if any) are posted and confirmed we will post it here for all you pretty li’l metalheads.

Posted by Schock in Categories, EDITORIALS, SATANIC/DEMONIC, STAFF PICKS, 0 comments
TRIBUTE: Maila Nurmi aka Vampira

TRIBUTE: Maila Nurmi aka Vampira

Maila Nurmi circa 1947Malia Nurmi, born Maila Elizabeth Syrjäniemi, is best known for her signature character Vampira, the first television horror host. Although her show only ran for one year, she was nominated for an Emmy Award in 1954 for “Most Outstanding Female Personality” and paved the way for every television (and now Internet) horror host that followed.

Malia was born December 11, 1922, in Petsamo, Finland, and found her way across the US from Massachusetts to Ohio and Oregon before moving to Hollywood in 1940 to break into acting. By 1944, she was in New York and performing in Spook Scandals on Broadway. Over the next few years, she had a variety of jobs before earning her first film role (uncredited) in If Winter Comes in 1947. After a couple of television and film roles, she attended a masquerade in a costume inspired by Morticia from Charles Addams’ New Yorker cartoons. Not only did her tight black dress, long dark fingernails, and heavy makeup win her best costume, it also got her noticed by producer Hunt Stromberg, who tracked her down and convinced her to become the beloved horror heroine we all know as Vampira.

Maila Nurmi as Vampira in Plan 9 from Outer SpaceIn spite of the favorable reception The Vampira Show received, it was canceled after one season, but Nurmi retained the rights to the character – a savvy move to say the least. Nevertheless, the public still wanted more, and she continued to appear on TV and in films as Vampira, most notably in Ed Wood’s 1959 sci-fi horror flick Plan 9 from Outer Space, and, rarely, as Malia Nurmi. By the early 60s, however, work became scarce, and she dropped off of the screen for two decades. In 1986, she appeared in Population: 1 and then disappeared for another decade before appearing on Horror Kung-Fu Theater. After this, she did but a handful of films before her death in 2008.

Maila Nurmi as Vampira

Though her film and television appearances are few, her influence on horror and horror hosting is undeniable and still evident to this day.

Thank you, Malia Nurmi aka Vampira, for everything.

Grave of Maila Nurmi "Vampira" / Image: Arthur Dark

11 December 1922 (Petsamo, Finland) – 10 January 2008 (Los Angeles, California, USA) / Image: Arthur Dark

Posted by Woofer McWooferson in EDITORIALS, HORROR HEROES, TRIBUTE, 0 comments
Strangers: Prey at Night (2018) Trailer Release!

Strangers: Prey at Night (2018) Trailer Release!

Horrormadam here with the exciting release of the highly anticipated new trailer for Strangers: Prey at Night!

Strangers 2 Official Poster

Strangers: Prey at Night is the new upcoming film sequel to the highly successful The Strangers (2008) starring Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman. So it has been 10 years coming and everyone is anxious to see what The Man in the Mask, Dollface, and Pin-up Girl have been up to. This time around we have a family on a road trip who end up at a sequestered mobile home park to visit family when they find it deserted. In the darkness and desolation surrounding them, they are visited by three psychopaths who will push them to the very limits of their sanity and make them fight for their lives.

The film’s release date is March 9, 2018, and this one is directed by Johannes Roberts of 47 Meters Down and Storage 24. The original screenplay was written by Bryan Bertino who directed and wrote the original The Strangers. The film’s screenplay itself was written by Ben Ketai who did Beneath and The Forrest.

The film stars Christina Hendricks from Mad Men and The Neon Demon, Bailee Madison from Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark and Bridge To Terabithia, Martin Henderson from The Ring and Smokin’ Aces. My favorite parts of the movie will be played by Damian Maffei as The Man in the Mask, Emma Bellomy as Dollface and Lea Enslin as Pin-up Girl!

So get excited everyone, enjoy the trailer, get ready to be scared out of your wits and always remember: Never Underestimate The Kindness of Strangers!

Posted by Horrormadam in COMING SOON, EDITORIALS, EXCLUSIVE, HORROR NEWS, NEW RELEASES, PREQUELS AND SEQUELS, 0 comments
Horror Remakes: Why They Are Not Bad

Horror Remakes: Why They Are Not Bad

Something that weighs on the minds of horror fans every time an announcement of a new movie is coming out, and that one thing is “Will this be a remake”? Now the words reboot, remake, re-imaging, or whatever the wordage may be. These are things that no one likes to hear when you’re a “True” horror fan; however, what makes you a true horror fan? Is it the way we view horror as an art form? Is it the attitude we take towards Michael Bay? Is it the "Robert Englund is the only Freddy" stance? Let’s take a trip through time and explain how re-visioning is how it all started and all the “elite” are not justified in their constant complaining of reboots. Yes, you can have an opinion, but you’re not always right. The fact of the matter is; none of us are right, it’s all perspective of our interests. So allow me if you will, to explain why remakes are essential and going to happen despite all the elitist’s basement dwellers best efforts and internet trolling to stop them.

Nosferatu (1922) / Fair use doctrine.The dawn of the horror age in movies was met with films such as Nosferatu and Phantom of the Opera, both of which were movie adaptations of tThe Phantom of the Opera (1925) / Fair use doctrine.he written word. I’m sure someone in 1929 set in their smoke-filled basement and stated via telegraph “Universal Studios. Stop. The books were better. Stop. Sincerely, Guy you’ll never see.” Then the 1930s come and bring us the Universal Monster films. Again, this was more than likely met with flak from people who read Dracula and Frankenstein and wondered why the movies were nothing like the books. Well, this is considered a re-imaging to adapt to film. Same idea, just a new perspective.

Horror of Dracula (1958) / Fair use doctrine.Throughout the 50s, 60s and 70s all the monsters we loved were re-imagined again in different forms, stories etc. Christopher Lee made Dracula famous again, Peter Cushing put a new twist on the Van Helsing character. We could carry this on but you get the idea. Were these movies met with disgruntled fans of the original Monster movies? Of course, however people of today still give love to Christopher Lee as a horror icon and why? HE WAS IN A REVISION OF FUCKING DRACULA! That is why. These same people complaining about the slasher remakes that were made famous in the 1980’s are the same that have not only the Universal Monsters box set, but the Hammer set right next to it. Have we learned a lesson in horror yet?

Probably not, or you’re looking at your collection thinking it’s a different scenario. It is not, it’s the same concept.

A Nightmare on Elm Street / Fair use doctrine.The slasher and horror remakes of today are no different than those of yesteryear. The remake is essentially laziness on Hollywood running out of ideas but what’s really going on is. They’re burrowing for ideas and then it hits them “Oh, man ya know if I were to make Nightmare on Elm Street, I’d add some backstory it would really help explain a lot of the movie that didn’t make any sense at all in the original”. Well look at that, that’s what, happened. Made more sense and got the story across with a more realistic burned person with boils and all that and not a cheeseless pizza. Not to mention, something that hits the scene “The new Freddy wasn’t funny”. No he wasn’t, and NEITHER WAS THE ORIGINAL! Also “His voice is too deep and creepy.” Ok..um..Horror..mov…ie. Now with that said also, homeboy was burnt up in a fire, his vocal chords probably were soot covered and damaged. I’m sure the writers would issue an apology for realism, but if I were them. I wouldn’t. So, with that said. Let’s take a peek at some other remakes.

Michael BayI’ve read a billion reviews on each, and seeing that Michael Bay was a part of most of them the common thing people say is “Michael Bay sucks, he just blows stuff up.” Ok. Shut up. Without saying that line that EV.ER.Y.ONE says, tell me why Michael Bay sucks. I’ll wait. His movies even Bad Boys were good movies, Transformers was good, as were the Ninja Turtles Movies. Sooo, there’s no justification when everyone says the one thing that does not matter at all on his remakes. I and some of my peers even that I’ve discussed this with have never heard any other reason for Michael Bay to be considered a bad movie maker other than “he blows stuff up”. Which again is all anyone says.

Clancy Brown, Sean Penn, and Robert Lee Rush in Bad Boys (1983) / Fair use doctrine.

Clancy Brown, Sean Penn, and Robert Lee Rush in Bad Boys (1983)

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003) / Fair use doctrine.Texas Chainsaw Massacre: This movie remake was by far the best of them all. It was not only a very well told story, it took out the cheese of the 70s and added a LOT more gore for today’s horror aficionado. It for sure added a lot better of a factor of scare and realism. There was literally nothing wrong with this movie. If you went into it thinking “the original was better” you’re insane because the original lacked in so many ways in comparison. For the time the original was made, yes it was brutal. Someone saw an idea later, and with less restriction, so they made a movie that should have been made in 1970 whatever.
Halloween (2007) / Fair use doctrine.Halloween/H2: Say what you will about Rob Zombie, his movies went from TCM loosely based films, to the remakes of Halloween and Halloween 2, then the not so great films of Lords of Salem and 31, so yes, his originals lack heavily in my opinion, others here love them, but hey we are still friends and it’s no big deal. However, here’s what’s up with Halloween. I hated Halloween by John Carpenter. Halloween II (2009) / Fair use doctrine.That’s right, I dare say such a thing. It was a boring ass movie. No story, just a lot of “oh there’s a guy and now he’s gone.” Rob Zombie added a lot of backstory, a reason for Michael to be the way he is which made a ton more sense to the movie. The rest are pretty much the same as the original except for bloody gore fests right from the beginning. Again, making it far better than the original ever was. Halloween 2 was just bloody which made it fun, other than that it was kind of like a bad dream the whole time. Rob Zombie, really did a bang-up job with his RE-VISION of Halloween probably the best there ever were or ever will be.
Friday the 13th (2009) / Fair use doctrine.Friday the 13th: This film was great, it wrapped the first 7 movies into one. Did we need 45 sequels before? Nope, not at all. So, this summed them all up awesomely. So, this remake was on point with the rest, gave the backstory briefly, burned through 1 and 2…3…4…5. 6..7 in like 2 hours. Killed a ton of people hilariously and boom. Done. This is what made the movie a great rendition to the Slasher remake series. Got to the point, showed some titties, and lots of senseless killing. Without having 8 sequels for no good reason.
Poltergeist (2015) / Fair use doctrine.Poltergeist: Sucked as a movie not because it’s a remake. It was just awful even as a standalone movie. It was, just no.
Evil Dead (2013) / Fair use doctrine.Evil Dead: Seriously, a fantastically remade movie, and it’s undeniable that this movie had some great storyline, the graphics were classic and disgusting. The blood, my lord Vincent Price, the blood was something to be glorious about. If you didn’t like this movie at all, then just take yo’ self out of horror fandom and go to the kiddie booth where you belong.
Bill Skarsgård and Jackson Robert Scott in It (2017) / Fair use doctrine.Okay, we’ll skip a few and move on to IT. With IT being released a lot of folks have stated it looks like crap. What the fuck movie are you watching? Because it was damn good, although the original was the original and Tim Curry blah blah blah. A true-blue horror fan will watch both back to back and be like “Ok the original was fairly boring and far too hokey”. The remake already is instilling pure terror into people. JUST FROM THE TRAILER! which was like “Fuck..this…shit..wow.” Who cares if Tim Curry or John Boy Walton aren’t in it. Who cares if it’s not made for TV and released on 4 VHS tapes. It is a great film, I wasn’t surprised it was great, I was surprised it was hilarious as well as scary.

Like it or not the remakes will continue as people sit around digging up ideas and say “I’d do this differently.” We can’t stop them, we don’t have to watch them. Over the years, I have seen only four remakes not worth a damn and honestly I’ve seen a lot that were really bad so bad I can’t remember them but the movies right off hand I’m speaking of: Poltergeist, Hellraiser, House of Wax and Carnival of Souls. Every other remake has been stupid good, more graphic, more story and a lot better than the original. A Little tidbit to add to this, Evil Dead and Evil Dead 2 *ahem* SAME FUCKING MOVIE! Yes, that’s right same damn movie, can you believe that people say they’re not? Then complain about the remake that was recently made. Look at yourself and wonder why you’re this type of person. Also My Soul to Take Nightmare on Elm Street revision BY WES CRAVEN. If you as a fan paid any amount of attention to Wes Craven’s reasoning and creation of Freddy Krueger you would know that My Soul To Take is taken straight from those interviews, straight from his mind.

So before judging the movie before it comes out. Realize you’re one person with an opinion. Watch the movie as a standalone film and let it fill your heart with joy. We are all horror fans. We all have preferences, and we all have the love of the genre. Dissing on remakes is counterproductive and hypocritical when you have a Bela Lugosi and Christopher Lee posters right next to each other. Vincent Price with the black cat and other Poe stories. I dare anyone to say he didn’t breathe new life into Edgar Allan Poe’s stories. So, all of us can climb off our high horses now and enjoy these damn movies that are more awesome than before. Then in 20 years talk shit about people remaking Insidious and The Conjuring.

Posted by Schock in EDITORIALS, 0 comments
Bassist Reverend Jim Forrester Murdered

Bassist Reverend Jim Forrester Murdered

Reverend Jim Forrester
1974 – 2017

Reverend Jim Forrester / Image: Decibel Magazine

Reverend Jim Forrester / Image: Decibel Magazine

On Monday, 18 December 2017, Reverend Jim Forrester was murdered around 7:00 pm in front of the Boston Tattoo Museum at 1534 Eastern Avenue in Baltimore, MD, where he worked as a body-piercing artist. According to reports, Reverend Jim was on the phone with his wife, who heard the struggle, at the time of the incident.

“She heard him say, ‘Get away from me. Get away from me’ a couple of times and heard some noise and commotion, the phone drop and then no more communication with him,” museum owner Chris Keaton told WJZ.

Watch the news report from WJZ CBS Baltimore, MD:

Though rushed to Johns Hopkins Hospital, Reverend Jim later succumbed to his wounds.

Police have no suspects in the case and no motive at this time and ask that anyone with tips call Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7-LOCKUP or text tips to (443) 902-4824.

Reverend Jim was well known for his work in the music scene, having played bass in Sixty Watt Shaman before joining Foghound and Serpents of Secrecy.

According to Invisible Oranges:

Over the past year, Forrester had fought through a myriad of health issues, including a blood clot in his liver that left him weakened. Despite this, he’d made a triumphant return to the stage in June at Maryland Doomfest.
Two benefit shows and a GoFundMe campaign have been established to help Jim’s family deal with his final expenses.

House of Tortured Souls encourages anyone who is able to attend the benefit concerts and/or donate to the Gofundme for the family.

Rev Jim Benefit Concert, 29 December 2017, Cafe 611 and Guido’s, Frederick, Maryland
Benefit For The Rev’s Family, 6 January 2018, The Depot Nightclub, Baltimore, Maryland

House of Tortured Souls extends our deepest condolences to Reverend Jim’s widow.

Rest in peace, Reverend Jim.

Posted by Woofer McWooferson in EDITORIALS, HORROR NEWS, OBITUARY, 2 comments
EDITORIAL: Six Things That Will Make the New Halloween Amazing

EDITORIAL: Six Things That Will Make the New Halloween Amazing

Horror fans all over lost their collective minds over the news that Jamie Lee Curtis will once again return as Laurie Strode in the new Halloween film, and while fans patiently wait I had my own ideas on what needs to happen for this to be awesome. In the extremely off chance a studio executive is reading this please take notes.
1. Make it a direct sequel to Halloween II
This is largely considered what will happen and indeed it makes the most sense. When I first heard this I thought, wait H20 was a very good follow up to Halloween II — and indeed when I watch the films I make it part of the Laurie trilogy (and I ignore Halloween: Resurrection because it's terrible). This also brings me to the number two entry…
2. Set the timeline in the early 80s NOT in modern times
There are conflicting reports about the timeline. Some are saying they are setting it in modern times while others are predicting it will literally pick up where Halloween II left off. I, for one, would love this movie to be set in the 80s, and with nostalgia filled projects like Stranger Things and It making huge waves, it just may. And as I mentioned above H20 basically already did the modern Laurie and her struggles — and brilliantly I might add. There really isn’t anything new to bring to that.
3. Ignore the other sequels
If, in fact, this picks up where Halloween II leaves off the problem of sequels disappears nicely. It also doesn’t ignore them (because they simply didn’t happen at this point) but it doesn’t highlight them either. In a way it’s a nice comprise for both lovers of the sequels and those who only liked the first two. Again it just makes things easier and makes more sense writing-wise.
4. Avoid gimmick casting
No LL Cool J, and no Busta Rhymes; keep it simple while casting it. This doesn’t mean you can’t throw in a familiar face or two but try and be classy about it. Since it might be set in the 80s maybe even shock rocker Alice Cooper in a fun cameo?
5. Handle Dr. Loomis carefully
Dr. Sam Loomis is such a beloved character that if this film indeed will pick up where Halloween II ended they want to pay close attention to exactly how the Loomis character is handled. After all, we saw Peter Cushing's Grand Moff Tarkin come back for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story with mixed results so, hopefully, they can bring Donald back with more success.
6. Be careful with fanservice
Fanservice for a popular film can both help and hurt — Cult of Chucky, to me, felt like it suffered from bad fan service, adding the Andy character which did nothing to help the already confused plot. However, in H20 fans were treated to some great moments that hearkened back to the series yet felt organic to the plot. Hopefully, this can be handled with some measure of restraint.
Posted by Mike Vaughn in EDITORIALS, HALLOWEEN, 0 comments
EDITORIAL: Due Process and Mob Justice

EDITORIAL: Due Process and Mob Justice

Sexual assault of any kind is a serious issue and always will be. Allegations of such should – nay, must – be taken seriously if we are to remain a civilized society. What is also serious, however, is adhering to our US judicial system and remembering at all times that due process is something we should all support. The moment we put law aside and pick up our pitchforks is the moment we cease being a fair and just society and move back toward a time of vigilante justice.
Dictionary.com defines due course of law as follows:
due course of law
noun
1.
due process of law.
due process of law
noun
1.
the regular administration of the law, according to which no citizen may be denied his or her legal rights and all laws must conform to fundamental, accepted legal principles, as the right of the accused to confront his or her accusers.
Also called due process, due course of law.
The Oxford online English dictionary supports this, and its definition of due process reads as follows:
due process (also due process of law)
NOUN
mass noun
Fair treatment through the normal judicial system, especially a citizen's entitlement to notice of a charge and a hearing before an impartial judge.
As almost everyone in the horror community knows, Harry Knowles, founder of Ain’t It Cool News, Fantastic Fest, and Butt-Numb-A-Thon, has recently been accused of sexual assault by an Austin-area woman named Jasmine Baker. The incidents, which are alleged to have happened back in 1999 – 2000, are just now coming to light because Baker says she can no longer remain silent and no longer wishes to remain silent. This is her right, and I support it 100%. If the things that she alleges happened, then Knowles must be held accountable.
But it is not the place of the public to make that decision. That’s why we have courts of law.
Recently, Lloyd Kaufman, co-founder of Troma Films, has come under intense fire for asserting that Knowles deserves due process. Kaufman has been condemned and accused of having something to hide for supporting Knowles when, in fact, he is supporting the justice system of which Americans are proud – and usually rightfully so. I use the qualifier usually because our justice system does not always get it right, but that doesn’t mean we should abandon it in favor of returning to lynch mobs and guilty-until-proven-innocent mentalities. And yet we often do – even within the justice system itself.
Here's Mr. Kaufman's original tweet:Lloyd Kaufman 01_crop - original tweet / Fair use doctrine.
As a survivor of sexual assault, I completely understand Baker’s initial reluctance to come forward and admire her courage in doing so later. The ordeal for her is just starting as it is common knowledge that sexual assault trials are extremely difficult for the victims. They are routinely taken to task, accused of encouraging it, leading on the perpetrator, not fighting against the perpetrator enough, keeping quiet because they “know” they were in the wrong, and having their sexual histories paraded out as evidence that they are “loose” and somehow complicit in the assault itself. They might even be forced to show exactly how they were dressed at the time of the assault as if that should have any bearing whatsoever on the crime. This is not only wrong; it is humiliating and emotionally devastating.
However, it’s troubling to see that so many are willing to call for the heads of not only the alleged perpetrators but also of anyone who believes we should let the courts do their job.
Perhaps this is because we often see the courts get it wrong. Time and again we’ve witnessed cases where the evidence clearly came out to support the assault allegations, but the court has allowed the evidence to slide in favor of the assailant. Yes, I’ve moved from alleged to assailant because when the evidence shows guilt, it is no longer an allegation.
We should fight against the courts getting it wrong, no doubt about that, and we should remove justices who ignore objectively guilty perpetrators and dismiss the punishments they deserve. But we must do this within the system. And we must also allow people to promote due process without going after them as if they have done something wrong. Condemning people who speak out against it is, in many ways, as bad as not condemning the act itself. If history has taught us anything, it is (or should be) that we are capable of critical thinking and creating great things, but we are also guilty of being the animals that we are and tossing our reasoning aside to be led by our emotions.
Humans are flawed. We get a lot wrong, but we also get a lot right. In the end, however, we must have a balance – neither being emotionless machines nor reasonless animals.
Read follow-up tweets by Mr. Kaufman:
Read Troma's official statement:Troma statement on Lloyd Kaufman and due process_scaled
EDITOR'S NOTE:
Details on the issue that prompted this can be found by performing an Internet search on "Harry Knowles sexual assault".
Posted by Woofer McWooferson in EDITORIALS, 0 comments
Happy 70th Birthday, Stephen King!

Happy 70th Birthday, Stephen King!

Buckle up, Constant Readers, because House of Tortured Souls is paying tribute to the father of contemporary horror - Stephen King. This post won't be as long as one of Mr. King's novels, but you might want to get a fresh beverage and a snack before continuing.
Comfy? Got your drink and snack? Good. Then follow us as we delve into a few of the memories Mr. King has given us. It's not dark here - certainly not as dark as Pet Sematary - but you might want to keep a lamp burning. Just in case.Simpsons Opening-Stephen King / Fair use doctrine.

I'm His Number One Fan! Wait...

By Woofer McWooferson

I honestly can’t remember the details of my first exposure to Stephen King’s work, but I do remember that it changed my life. As a horror fan, I read everything horror that came my way. When someone mentioned this new writer and his book Carrie, I gave it a shot and have never looked back. I tore into everything that he wrote like a werewolf starved for human flesh and finding the tastiest morsel around. My family and friends were thrilled as they now had a guaranteed gift for the freaky kid – anything King.
horror-novel-thestand / Fair use doctrine.When The Stand was released, I was a freshman in high school. I snapped it up fast and read it in record time even for me. Those of you who’ve read The Stand (or seen the mini-series) know about Captain Tripps. You can imagine, then, how freaky it was for me when I caught a cold while enjoying it. Strangely, every subsequent reading also resulted in a cold. That’s a bit trippy, don’t you think? Later, when the unabridged version was released, I also snapped it up – and yes, I got another cold – and enjoyed it even more than the heavily cut original. Many Constant Readers have said they don’t care for the unabridged version as they feel it adds nothing to the story, but I have to respectfully disagree. King is the master of detail, and I found all the extra bits particularly satisfying. The Stand remains my favorite standalone King work.
The Gunslinger trade paperback / Fair use doctrine.And then The Gunslinger was released. My then-boyfriend, Rich, got an advanced release, read it, and passed it along for me to read. We both fell in love with Roland Deschain. Rich was as much of a horror fan as I was, and we shared many glorious King novels before eventually parting as a couple but remaining friends. But it was his gift to me of The Gunslinger that will always be most special. He started me on the road to the Tower and even accompanied me about halfway there. We’ve fallen out of touch, but I still think of him fondly and wonder what he thought of the rest of Roland’s tale. Did he love it as much as I did? How could he not?
Although I’ve read everything King’s written thus far, none have had the impact on me that The Stand and The Dark Tower did. Indeed, King’s influence on me was such that I found myself speaking of him during the oral portion of my master’s exam. I didn’t exactly plan to bring up King, and I wasn’t sure what the panel would think of my comparisons even as I spoke. He wasn’t exactly taught in college back then (at least not much outside of the composition classes I taught), after all, and I nervously smoked outside as the panel discussed me and my answers. Apparently, they found my comments valid because I did receive my MA. Thanks, Mr. King.
Today, I raise a glass to you and wish you the best. May you continue to fuel our nightmares for many more years to come. Happy birthday!

By Scarlett O

I was a mere tot when the adaptation of Stephen King's The Shining came out in theaters in 1980; nevertheless, I was allowed to watch it before the age of ten. How times have changed! It was my very first horror movie, and I can honestly say without reservation that I've never been the same since. Both traumatized and intrigued, the level of terror that this particular movie held for me has set the standard for which I judge all horror movies. Needless to say, that's a pretty high bar that few other horror films have been able to come close to clearing. As an adult, I read the actual book from which the movie is based and like all other good books, Stephen King's The Shining reaches a level of impressive that I couldn't have imagined in my worst nightmares. To this day, large hotels with seemingly endless hallways or hearing “REDRUM” gives me chills. As it should.The Shining - Bloody Elevator / Fair use doctrine.
Though there were clear differences between King’s novel and Stanley Kubrick's direction of the film, such as the main character’s name (Jack vs John Daniel), physical appearances (blonde Wendy vs brunette), preference of cartoons by the boy Danny (Sesame Street vs the Road Runner), and even the hotel room number (217 vs 237), and perhaps the most interesting - that one ended in fire (the book) and the other in ice (the film), it's obvious that readers and viewers alike could appreciate the artistic thrill of them both. Still, it should not go without mention that none of this would have been possible if the one and only Stephen King had not written the infamous novel in the first place.

By Michelle MIDI Sayles

On this day in 1947 a King was literally born – Stephen King that is!
It wasn't until 42 years later that I discovered his literary world and my own thirst for horror grew in me, like a beast of its own.
I was 9 and at a slumber party with three other girls watching the VHS release of Pet Sematary. Unlike most girls, I didn't hide under the blankets during the "scary parts" or scream. I just watched with amazement as Gage’s, Church’s, and Louis' antics mesmerized me.Church-Pet Sematary_02 / Fair use doctrine.
I was so enamored with the film that I begged my parents for a month to buy me the novel for my 10th birthday, and I still have that battered and much loved copy to this day (after countless rereads).
From that moment, I was glued to all things King! I spent my teen years on a mere babysitter's budget (choosing that and my studies over flipping burgers part time like most kids here). I would frequent yard sales and second-hand markets to find older but cheaper copies of King's novels so I could stockpile all of his books (one day, when I retire, I will try and read any remaining that I have yet to tackle). I recorded each mini-series and film that came onto my screen to VHS, so I could watch it again and again (The Tommyknockers, The Stand, Children of the Corn -and sequels- etc). I clipped articles about my idol and more recently began collecting merchandise related to his works.
Through bad relationships, schooling, work life, having a family, and even suffering losses, King was my beacon. At any time, I could immerse myself in a book or film of his and just feel centered and at home.
Happy birthday, Mr King, I doubt you understand the impact you have had on many lives, but you'll always be special in mine.MIDI's King collection

By Schock

The horror world wouldn’t be the same if not for author Stephen King. His novels - that seem to multiply like gremlins - and movies that spawned from his narratives have become a staple in the world of horror, terror, and suspense. When we hear the name Stephen King, we think only of monsters and twists that ensue within the stories he’s penned as well as the rich east coast New England area of his mind.
My first encounter with anything Stephen King was Carrie - the movie based on the novel that we have all come to know as an ultimate in psychological (and psychic) terror. I discovered at a young age my love for the underdog, but my apparent blood fetish spawned way later in life. That’s another story altogether... Carrie introduced me to the world of King and I wanted to dig a little deeper. I then discovered other movies based on his novels – Cujo, Christine, Children of the Corn, Thinner, Needful Things, Cat’s Eye, The Shining, Stand By Me, Pet Semetary, IT… The list goes on and on and on. Then there are the King short stories translated to film. My absolute favorite of these is “Sometimes They Come Back”. Obviously, if you can’t tell, I didn’t read a lot as a child; I threw down on the movies, though, and when I got older I discovered that the novels were actually pretty easy to find. So I began the hunt for as many as possible in my area.
Christine was the first book I acquired, and reading the book, I could feel what he was writing more so than the movie portrayed. So I wanted more. I wanted to see how the stories could just put fear and terror into people. The directors of the movies really shined a light on the stories with their films. Some of the novels, though, like IT are thicker than every version of the bible put together. My friends and I use to have an ongoing joke when we would discuss Stephen King movie and book comparisons. He used three pages just to describe the treads on the tires in From a Buick 8. That brings me to something that King inadvertently taught to those of us who are creators of art – whether it be prose, poetry, music, or the visual arts: detail is KEY to making sure you give the audience every inch of what your mind wants to get out. This was a beautiful thing to learn from King’s legacy of horror and terrifying tales.From A Buick 8 / Fair use doctrine.
If anyone deserves to be awarded the title King of Horror or Master of the Macabre, it is none other than Stephen King himself. King’s not a man who walks around mopey and weird as you’d expect a horror writer to be. He’s a regular man, a visionary, and an inspiration – and not only to filmmakers and fans. He has inspired now for decades, generations even, and will continue to inspire for many years to come. When we are all long gone from this earth and some weird alien life goes digging around, they’ll find one (or thirty) of his novels and be terrified at what they read. Let’s hope that one day this happens and Stephen King will be known to these people thousands of years from now as a God.Stephen King-Pet Sematary / Fair use doctrine.

Happy Birthday to the *King* of Horror

By Tammie Parker

horror-novel-firestarter / Fair use doctrine.I read Firestarter when I was 8! That truly did raise the bar pretty high for all trying to scare me from then on out. I had a tough childhood, this was written for me! OH, to have the power to set shit on fire!
A truly odd fact is that we read IT in English 101 in my 8th grade class!! A bit of an odd book to use to teach all about grammar, huh? We even watched the original movie right there in class.   horror-movie-it-original / Fair use doctrine.Although the monster at the end disappointed me, I loved the story and the build-up. I loved the goosebumps, the hair-raising, eye-bulging, hanging onto the bed rail, it's-way-past-my-bedtime words!
After IT, (a few years down the road) I fall in love with Misery. horror-novel-misery / Fair use doctrine.The cockadoodie potty language definitely had me cracking up. Stephen King taught me how to find out when someone was going into my private stuff!
horror-novel-doloresclaiborne / Fair use doctrine.And then Dolores Claiborne. I truly loved the character Dolores! Having personally gone through 10 years of molestation, this novel was tough to read. However I wanted to read it through, I was certain I would be ecstatic with Dolores' settling this chaos. I love how simple it is to travel into the story, Stephen completely takes you there. There is never a question of the color of the sky, the scent in the air, especially the creepy thing lurking around the corner.
Then came The Stand, which very rapidly became my favorite book.
horror-novel-thestand / Fair use doctrine.Stephen is probably the source of my love for dystopian horror. The Stand opened my eyes to so much! Scenarios I had never thought of before. Human characteristics and how we would react, and what we would become if/when something happens.
After that (again a few years down the road) Dark Tower novels, WOWZA what a story!!
I have YET to see the movie, but I love the cast! And the trailers look absolutely amazing!

I have read Desperation, The Dead Zone, and, well, it is safe to say Mr. King is my most read author. During my research, I found out that Stephen and his wife Tabitha actually stayed in the real Stanley Hotel as he wrote the novel! I fell in love with him all over again. What a true badass! And what a wicked imagination 🙂
Happy 70th, Mr. Nightmare Maker!

What Stephen King Has Meant To Me

By Dixielord

Stephen King's Full DarkI discovered Stephen King sometime around the mid 80s. I don't remember exactly when, about my senior year in high school or maybe my first year in college. I remember a high school friend/acquaintance was reading Christine, and me, to my utter shame now, thought reading a book that big was the nerdiest thing in the world. How things change.
Christinebecame one of the first King novels, probably THE first novel, that I read. I think Night Shift was the first book, followed by Skeleton Crew, as I fell quickly in love with his short stories. I devoured his short stories rabidly, as quickly as I could get my hands on them. Then I started on the novels – Christine, Carrie, Firestarter, everything my college library had to offer, including the non-fiction Danse Macabre. It was through Danse Macabre that I became aware of H.P. Lovecraft.
Is it fair to say my life was changed? It was changed, dear readers. I had transformed from someone who laughed at readers to a voracious reader, from a man who had never heard of Lovecraft to a hardcore fan of the Cthulhu mythos and the unspeakable horrors from beyond.
Out of college I continued to follow him, buying his books when I could afford to, checking them out of the local library when I couldn't. I built up a nice collection of hardcover King over the years. After his near-fatal accident, his stories changed, and my life changed as well. I lost my mother to cancer, and his books started taking on a more depressing (at least to me) tone. The recurring theme of God demanding a sacrifice started to wear thin on me, and I just recently realized why. Don't get me wrong, his writing was still top notch, but I couldn't take the new stuff. I stopped reading King altogether after Desperation. I still cherished my King collection, though, and it nearly killed me when I had to sell them.
Sell your King collection? Blasphemy! Sadly, life doesn't always go as planned, and losing my job with no employment in sight meant I needed money. Of all the books I owned, I hated putting up my King collection for sale. But someone offered me too much money, and I needed money too much. I said goodbye with tears in my eyes.
I came back to King, and I'm still coming back, going back for the books I missed and grabbing the new ones as well. Now, new fans are discovering Stephen King, and old fans are rediscovering him. IT is in the theaters, reinvigorating horror in general, and putting the master's name back on the lips of everyone. The Dark Tower is just out of theaters. All of this has brought me back to my books, thinking about reacquiring the ones I had to sacrifice. King changed my life. Stephen King gave me a life, he gave me books and made me a reader. He opened worlds after worlds.

By Brenda Wilder Antlitz

Carrie-Sissy Spacek-John Travolta / Fair use doctrine.I was first introduced to the King, Stephen King that is, in the winter of 1976, the year that Carrie, came out. I was 12 at the time and in junior high school, which meant that 1) every girl was in love with John Travolta, and 2) I was too young to see it in the theater. So after hearing all of the cool kids telling us about the movie, especially the ending when the hand comes out of the ground, I knew I had to see it! But what was I going to do? And then I knew. I would do the next best thing: go to the bookstore.
The bookstore experience was just as exciting - walking down the aisle of the horror section, smelling the scent of new books under the incandescent lights, and looking for the name Stephen King. Even his name sounded grand! As I walked, I looked and looked, then and there it was: Carrie. I quickly opened it up, flipped through the pages, my hair flying back, as I watch the words fly past me, and I then floated to the register where I paid and become the proud owner of my very first (but certainly not last) Stephen King novel!
When I got home, I got a bottle of Coca-cola and went straight up to my bedroom (my safe haven), and I began to read Carrie. It was in the early afternoon when I began reading, and I only stopped to go to the bathroom, which I did with all lights on of course! LOL. But I simply could not stop reading it... I could relate Carrie White. Completely.
I felt as if Stephen King saw through me and wrote this character about me (except that I did not have special psychic abilities nor a crazy, religious fanatic for a mother). I was a very shy loner, misunderstood and bullied so bad that my only escape was through books, TV, music, and movies. And so, because of Carrie White, I became a horror lover and not just of the Friday the 13th kind but of the psychological kind. The kind that makes you think - and question - EVERYthing!!
After that, I was hooked on The King of Horror!
Stephen King became known not only for his novels and their adaptations to the big screen but also for the works that made it to the small screen, TV. You have to realize that back then we only had a handful of TV stations. Cable was new (we did not have it), and VCRs were just starting to come out although few could afford them, yet. So when there was a movie of the week, or better yet a mini-series, it was a big deal! An event, even.
'Salem's Lot / Fair use doctrine.The first major Stephen King-based mini-series was a two-night event, and it's still talked about to this day. 'Salems Lot, staring David Soul and Lance Kerwin, debuted on 11/17/1979, and it was something we’d never seen before. A second 'Salem's Lot mini-series (remake not sequel) debuted on 11/19/2015 and starred Rob Lowe, who played Nick Andros in the mini-series of The Stand. If you ask people what they remember about it, they will tell you that it scared the crap out of them.'Salem's Lot mini-series remake / Fair use doctrine.
I could go on and on with the list of books and movies, that Stephen King has written, but there is not enough time or room.
All I can say is this: there are writers who affect only a few, and Stephen King is not one of them. Stephen King has affected generations! He is the reason why most of us became fans of horror/thrillers, became writers – authors, even - readers, and film fans. For me, not only did he do all of the above, but he also was an influence on my becoming a paranormal investigator.
I guess all that is left to say, besides "Thank You", is happy birthday to The King of Horror, Mr. Stephen King!!
From House of Tortured Souls to you, Mr. King, fangs for everything.horror-stephenking / Fair use doctrine.
Posted by Woofer McWooferson in CELEBRITY BIRTHDAYS, EDITORIALS, HORROR HEROES, TRIBUTE, 0 comments
In Memoriam: Basil Gogos

In Memoriam: Basil Gogos

It is with a heavy heart that House of Tortured Souls announces the passing of another horror icon - acclaimed artist Basil Gogos. If you don’t know his name, you certainly know his work. Gogos was responsible for nearly 50 Famous Monsters of Filmland covers, with the first being the late, great Vincent Price in House of Usher on issue 9, November 1960. His work in and influence on horror and horror art ultimately led to a 2006 Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Award in Special Monster Kid Hall of Fame .Basil-Gogos-Famous Monsters of Filmland-November 1960-09 / Fair use doctrine.
Egyptian-born to Greek parents, Gogos and his family emigrated to America when he was only sixteen. Gogos attended several art and design schools and studied at the Art Students League of New York under acclaimed illustrator Frank J. Reilly. His professional career began when he won a Pocket Books competition to illustrate the cover for Pursuit, a paperback western, in 1959. Following this, Gogos worked on covers for men’s adventure magazines as well as Eerie, Creepy, and other horror comics. Gogos was drawn to horror art both because of the challenge in painting the unreal and also because it allowed him to experiment with a variety of techniques. He is most known for offering a unique view of his subjects, using bold, striking colors which seemed to bathe them in several lights. He also embraced his subjects, striving to render them sympathetic as well as horrifying. Because of this, he had the honor of painting many horror icons, such as Peter Cushing, Boris Karloff, Christopher Lee, Bela Lugosi, Lon Chaney, and, as mentioned earlier, Vincent Price.
Although he decided to focus on fine art in the 1970s, he continued to work occasionally as a photo retoucher and movie poster illustrator before moving into advertising for a while. Gogos returned to horror art in the 1990s, painting CD covers for The Misfits, Rob Zombie, and Electric Frankenstein.

A Small Gallery of the Art of Basil Gogos

If you would like to see more of the art of Basil Gogos, check out the 2005 Vanguard Productions publication entitled Famous Monster Movie Art of Basil Gogos on Amazon.com.
Basil Gogos died on September 14, 2017, at the age of 78, and the world became a little bit darker.Basil Gogos / Image: LuigiNovi

Thank you for everything, and rest in peace, Mr. Gogos.

Posted by Woofer McWooferson in ART AND VENDORS, EDITORIALS, HORROR HEROES, OBITUARY, TRIBUTE, 0 comments