6. Blood Rage (1987)
5. The Prey (1984)
4. Rock ‘n’ Roll Nightmare (1987)
3. Creep (1995)
2. The Outing aka The Lamp (1987)
1. Troll 2 (1990)
Good-bye, and thank you.
I wasn't willing to give The Exorcist a shot at first
By Nicole Robinson
They are a few things in life that are better than a satisfying horror movie. Finding one has become much more difficult since the era of the comic book splashed onto the big screen. In times such as these, some horror fans choose to kick rocks and whine rather than turn to the straight to streaming gems that can be found. This is a mistake and if you need proof, go to Amazon. There you will find Jebediah, a story of a menacing, sickle wielding Amish man with a creative and expressive love of killing from director Joe Ripple and starring Brian Greenwell.
In the role of Jebediah, Greenwell portrays a silent and creepy Amish man with a presence that creates an intimidating persona instilling fear into the victims and the viewers. Greenwell manages to capture a spark of madness as a silent killer. This is no easy task. While a silent killer like Michael Myers can be seriously terrifying, it can also be comical if not portrayed properly. Greenwell almost makes it look easy, leaving the viewer wondering what dark place this actor had to go to in order to embody the role of this madman in the title role of Jebediah.
The main point that can be said about this flick is the violence leaves the viewer wanting nothing in the end. No one is safe and by the end, the carnage leaves no one unscathed. What starts out as a seemingly innocent camping trip among a small group of girlfriends, ends in a blood bath while leaving the audience trying to figure out who among them is going to make it out alive. Lacking predictability is an important feature for any horror movie, and Jebediah manages to make it look easy. Don't bother trying. Just sit back and enjoy the ride. And don't worry, the annoying blond one who is wearing the wedges while walking in the woods does die in the most glorious of ways. Writer Robert Ziegler held nothing back when he penned the deaths of Jebediah's victims. Spoilers withheld, this is not a film for the faint of heart.
From the moment Jebediah curb stomped an infant strapped to a car seat, the audience knows they are in for a treat. Jebediah is not just creepy, but disturbingly violent, providing a level of satisfaction for the viewers that has been seemingly lacking in recent years from the blockbuster films on the big screen. By the end of this slasher film, an uncomfortable, yet satisfying feeling of dread is left with the viewer, probably hoping there is a sequel (there is not sadly). One thing is for certain, this is a fine piece of horror.
Starring: Danielle Lozeau, Jessy Danner, Lauren Lakis, Jemma McDime, Sabrina Taylor-Smith, and Brian Greenwell
To find out more or get your own copy, CLICK HERE
By Nick Durham
Hear that sound? Listen carefully and closely? You hear it yet? That’s the sound of the FUCK VICTOR SALVA TRAIN. Don’t worry if you don’t hear it right away, that train’s never late. Anyway, before we hop on this train, I just want to say right here and now that the opinions I’m about to express do not constitute the opinions of my colleagues in The House of Tortured Souls as a whole. These are my own personal opinions, and I’m damn sure not afraid to voice them as loudly as I can in regards to this piece of trash.
With all that out of the way, let’s get right down to it: Victor Salva is a reprehensible human being that has no right to work in the film industry. Why is that you ask? Well, in case you didn’t know, Salva is a convicted pedophile. Dixielord touched on it a little bit already in his column discussing the troubles going on with the long-gestating Jeepers Creepers 3, but back in the late 80s during the filming of his debut Clownhouse, Salva molested his 12-year old star, and recorded the act. He was subsequently arrested, and convicted for the crime, as well as for the shitload of kiddie porn that was discovered in his possession. He would only go on to serve 15 months in prison.
Now how does a convicted pedophile continue to manage to make films? Well, Salva just so happens to be one of Francis Ford Coppola’s golden children. That’s right, Francis Ford motherfucking Coppola, the legendary director of The Godfather and Apocalypse Now was a sort of mentor to Salva, and even helped finance a few of his films, as well as put the good word around about him to various studios in Hollywood. That’s how Salva managed to secure the directing job for the mid-90s sentimental shit-fest Powder. Ironically enough, it was during the marketing push for that film that Salva’s victim had come out and news of Salva’s past became more widely known. Needless to say, people started to distance themselves from Salva.
Fast forward a few years later, Coppola would put the good word in for Salva again, and we got Jeepers Creepers. What wasn’t expected though is how much of a surprise hit the film became at the box-office. All of the sudden, Salva’s past wasn’t a big deal; the film made a shitload of money, and spawned a sequel a couple of years later. That made a shitload of money too, and it seemed like this was going to be the beginning of a never-ending franchise…birthed by a pederast. That however did not happen…yet.
The point I’m trying to make here is that Victor Salva should not be making films, he should be rotting in jail. There are few things I feel truly angry about, but this is one of them. He ruined a child’s life and only served a little over a year plus in prison for it? Get the fuck out of here. Pedophiles don’t change; there’s no rehabilitation program for them and there’s not a switch that just gets turned off and all of the sudden they’re not into kids anymore. He shouldn’t be walking the streets, let alone making films.
Now I know you’re probably thinking What about Roman Polanski and Woody Allen? They’re perverts too! Well, I don’t disagree with you one bit. Hell, Polanski can’t even set foot in America, but I digress. I’m not putting one over the other here, and I don’t support the work of Polanski or Allen either: all three of these guys are different scents of the same turd as far as I’m concerned.
To wrap things up, Salva and his work shouldn’t be supported. His crimes shouldn’t be forgotten or swept under the rug either. That kid sure can’t forget what happened to him can he? Why should Salva get to continue making movies? He shouldn’t at all, whether it be another Jeepers Creepers movie or anything else. And for anyone that looks past what he is and focuses on his film work and supports it with their wallets…well, you’re not much better than he is in my eyes.
But hey, this is all just my opinion and mine alone. You can agree with me or totally disagree with me, that’s all well and good. That being said, if you’re the kind of person that thinks Salva’s past should be swept under the rug…well, take this however you may, but fuck on right off.
By Amy Mead
Demons 3D?! Are we headed back to The Metropol? Well, much to the excitement of many horror fans, rumors of a remake of the classic Italian horror film, Demons have recently begun to surface. It seems as though the films original creators are discussing it. And not just a remake, but a remake in 3D at that.
Argento. Bava. Stivaletti. If you are an Italian horror fan like myself, these are names you've heard before and in all likelihood, have come to know and love. Since the rumors began, many fans seem to be of the mind that at least it's the original team taking on the project and that they are all for it. I am not so sure. I cannot wrap my head around Demons 3D. Like at all.
I was literally stunned into silence when I saw the headline pop up in my newsfeed last night. To put it simply, I was devastated. And when I was finally able to pick my jaw up of the floor, I also had to pick up the pieces of my broken heart. I know that sounds extreme, but those of you out there that know me, are well aware of how hard I nerd out when it comes to this film (and its sequel, Demons 2) and that it truly is one of my favorite films of all time. I love it so much that I have not one, but two tattoos to honor it. I am a dedicated fan and while it may seem like no big deal to most fans, (most likely due to the overwhelming amount of remakes that have become so common these days) I find it somewhat disheartening that the creators themselves feel as though this classic needs to be remade. Or that it can possibly be improved upon. Do they not see what a masterpiece it is?
Suffice it to say that I do not share what seems to be the popular opinion about the potential remake. I for one, am less than enthusiastic about one of my all time favorite films being remade. Especially in 3D, man. Demons 3D? Can you imagine it? All I can see is what were once awesomely over the top practical effects getting drastically cheesed out and undersold with bad CGI and hokey 3D effects. UGH. Visions of cheap jump scares relying heavily on the 3D aspect are literally dancing in my head as I write this. And it bums me out hard. My son on the other hand is all for it and thinks it will be amazing, much like many of you out there seem to.
I wish I could be as optimistic as the rest of you but I have seen the last few Argento films. They aren't good, and any true Argento fan knows it. Dracula 3D was so awful, not even a seasoned veteran such as Rutger Hauer or a topless Asia Argento could save it. I am a HUGE fan of the man's work, but sadly, the revered maestro has lost his touch and his last few offerings have left much to be desired.
Should this rumored Demons 3D project actually come to fruition, my only hope is that it will maybe garner a new audience for the many of the old school Italian horror films that so many of us love. The Italian horror sub-genre deserves wider recognition and respect so while I am not looking forward to remake, I am hopeful that it will possibly spark a renewed interest these forgotten treasures, as they truly are some of the best horror films out there.
I've never really been a remake snob but I do feel that there are some films that simply just don't need to be remade, re-imagined or regurgitated. For me personally, Lamberto Bava's Demons is one of those films. It's timeless, it's a classic, and it's a film that should stand alone. It does not need improvement by any stretch of the imagination.
Please tell me I'm not the only one who feels this way.
Twice As Far
By Nicole Robinson
The end of last night’s episode of The Walking Dead saw Daryl reunited with his crossbow at the cost of Denise when a burned Dwight returned and shot her through the eye during her pep talk to Daryl and Rosita. Denise, being one of the valuable assets that Alexandria had, will be sorely missed as the only doctor in the community. Her training as a psychologist also could have been helpful in the war against a Negan that is undoubtedly coming - something that her death will escalate once Rick finds out it was Dwight and The Saviors that are responsible.
Olivia counts the pantry stock, Father Gabriel patrols the grounds, and Eugene and Sasha stand watch at the gates while Morgan practices with his ninja stick. Carol smokes her cigarette. These day to day activities of Alexandria give the illusion that Rick and friends are safe in their community, safe behind the walls and closed doors that provide protection.
Daryl checks out his bike, stolen with his crossbow earlier this season by one of those strangers he tried to help in the burnt woods.
“I should have killed him,” he tells Carol over a smoke. He is right. He should have, and this mistake will come back to haunt him later.
Eugene’s intelligence has always been his best weapon, and this episode proved exactly why. Eugene knows how to make bullets, and bullets are more valuable than the guns that shoot them. After all, guns are no good without bullets. Out with Abraham, the two find a metal shop that will allow Eugene to get to work. A very proud Abraham sings Eugene’s praises before being interrupted by a metal head walker. Eugene calls dibs, and Abe steps back.
The walker has been coated in metal, so when Eugene tries to machete it, his knife just bounces off the walker's chrome dome. Eugene gets pinned and is unable to reach a weapon causing Abe to step in and save him. An insulted Eugene chastises Abraham, who reminds him that thinking, not killing, is his best skill. Eugene responds by dismissing Abraham, stating “your services are no longer required”, and Abraham storms out while telling Eugene he can find his own way home.
Denise drags Daryl and Rosita outside the safety of the walls to search an apothecary for medicines that could be useful to the community. If it’s more apothecary than boutique, she reasons, it’ll have drugs. Having to abandon the truck after running into a fallen tree blocking the road, Denise tries to convince Daryl to take the tracks because it is the most direct route. He refuses.
The pharmacy is still locked when the three arrive, so all the meds are still safe and sound. While Daryl and Rosita clean out the place, Denise find a baby shoe in a sink full of blood in the back and reflects that perhaps she was not as ready as she thought. On the way back she tells Daryl the story of her twin brother, older by six minutes. She describes him as brave and angry, reminding Daryl of his own brother, Merle.
At this point, the episode seems more like filler. Aside from the realization that Eugene is able to make bullets, this episode was fairly sleepy.
After Denise risks her life for a can of soda and vomits on her glasses, Daryl yells at her in a very big brother sort of way for doing so. She stands up to him, yelling “I have training in this sh**!” She brought him because he reminds her of her brother and makes her feel safe. She should have gone with Tara and told her she loves her. She brought Rosita because she is inspired by her strength. In short, she is tired of being afraid to survive. She is sick of the fact she is not out in the world trying to live, and to live you have to take chances.
Suddenly an arrow pierces Denise through the eye. A group of Saviors come out of the woods and they have Eugene. Daryl looks at the man who stole his bike and crossbow. His face is burnt now, and he introduces himself as Dwight. Daryl was right; he should have killed him when he had the chance. The arrow came from Daryl’s crossbow, but Denise wasn’t the one he was aiming for. Dwight wants to be let into Daryl’s complex, and wants to be allowed to take whatever and whoever they want. If his demands are not met, they will kill Eugene, then Rosita, and then Daryl.
Eugene takes one for the team, grabbing a mouthful of Dwight’s manhood after spotting Abraham hiding behind some barrels, apparently having been following Eugene. He surprises the group and starts shooting. Rosita gets the guns, and Daryl slashes a neck before he starts shooting. Gunfire erupts and walkers descend causing Dwight to call for the Saviors to fall back. Eugene is shot in the crossfire. The three carry him back to Alexandria. Luckily he was only grazed, and the antibiotics will likely save his life. Abraham apologizes for doubting his abilities and says, “You know how to bite a d*ck – and I mean that in the nicest way possible.”
Daryl retrieves Denise’s body, and buries her in their graveyard while holding a vanity keychain she took from the store. It reads "Dennis", which was her twin brother's name. Carol joins him and they dig mostly in silence. She sees what the audience sees as well. This one is going to have a lasting effect.
“You were right,” Carol says. “I knew it when you said it.”
In a last tragic twist, Carol leaves Alexandria, leaving behind only a letter for Tobin to find that says she can’t face another threat and she cannot kill anymore. This letter is addressed to the community as a whole:
I love you all, and I would have to kill for you. I can’t; I won’t. I can’t love anyone because I can’t kill for anyone anymore. I am going like I always should have. Don’t come after me, please.
This is not the last of Carol no doubt. Someone will go after her despite her request not too, likely Daryl. The death of Denise will have a resounding effect of Alexandria now that the only doctor is dead. When Tara returns from her supply run with Heath to find her having been killed, her reaction is going to reopen this wound for Daryl. She came to him for protection and she died as result of mistakes. Not killing Dwight has come back on him in the worst way possible, and that kind of guilt is hard to live with. It clouds judgment and leads to careless mistakes. Daryl may actually end up getting himself killed despite his good intentions.
By Nicole Robinson
The aftermath of the premature attack on the Saviors Compound resulted in the kidnapping of Carol and mom-to-be Maggie at the end of last week’s episode of The Walking Dead. This week found the two women with guns to their heads by a small group of Negan’s followers - a chain-smoking woman named Molly, a dark haired woman called Chelle, a man named Donnie, and a fiery redhead leader, Paula - while Rick and friends held hostage a member of their group named Primo. Guest star Alicia Witt (Urban Legend, Vanilla Sky) played Paula and went toe to toe with Carol this week in “The Same Boat”, revealing her to be the voice on the walkie at the end of last week’s high energy episode.
Carol and Maggie are held hostage after Carol shoots Donnie, a member of the Saviors, in the arm. The Saviors group tie-up and gag Carol and Maggie and hold them hostage in an old slaughter house while trying to decide if they will accept Rick’s offer to trade. Donnie claims that Primo could patch up his worsening gunshot wound courtesy of Carol. The Saviors split up to dispatch some walkers and one drops a of set rosary beads while being dragged out which Carol quickly grabs.
With the Saviors distracted, Maggie tries to free herself, not getting far before the captors return. In the past, Carol has been a master at being someone she is not in order to disguise herself, and this time was no different. She pretends to hyperventilate. Maggie gets their captors' attention and persuades them to take off the gags. Carol feels for the rosaries, and chain-smoking Molly helps her. "Oh, you're one of THOSE," she quips.
"How did you make it so far? Paula asks Carol with a clear disapproval of her “weakness”.
Carol weakly says, "Just don't hurt Maggie. Don't hurt the baby."
Donnie demands revenge against Carol as Paula insists no medical assistance is coming to help him. He suggests shooting her in the arm as she did him, and Paula disagrees citing “insurance”. He hits her and starts kicking Carol. Maggie kicks Donald; he knocks her back, then returns to kicking Carol. Paula pistol whips him and sends Chelle and Maggie to another room, to “see if she knows anything". The two do some bonding over pregnancy and Chelle’s severed finger which she got as result of stealing gas to look for her blown up boyfriend (thanks to Daryl).
Meanwhile on the kill floor, Carol thanks Molly and Paula for helping Maggie only to be shut up very quickly by Paula when she starts to talk about Ed. She knows that Carol is a pathetic, weak little bird and isn’t surprised that her husband abused her, but her relationship with Donald isn’t some domestic violence thing. He is just a “warm body for her bed” and she could kill him in his sleep without a second thought. Attempting some more sympathy points, Carol tells them that her faith got her through the death of her daughter. Paula and Molly are unaffected by her faith, instead showing annoyance at Carol’s weakness.
Rick’s voice comes over the walkie offering supplies to make the trade fairer. Paula rejects the offer despite Carol’s attempts to convince her that Rick can be trusted. Molly steps in and points out that Carol’s people have already blown up all of their people. Carol counters with the argument that they were ambushed. Paula says that it is fair because they were defending themselves but wonders why they did not just stop there. Carol claims that they said they were working for Negan, and he sounded like a maniac that had to be stopped. “We are all Negan,” says Molly.
This famous comic line makes very little sense to Carol but clearly this group has a strong loyalty to the yet-to-be-seen leader of The Saviors. Up until this point in the episode, it appeared Carol was faking her meek, little bird ways. Half expecting Carol to break out of her bonds and rain fire down on her captors, the viewers were left scratching their heads wondering what is going on inside Carol’s head. Why isn’t she fighting back?
She does eventually break free, using the metal crucifix to cut through the tape. Instead of going commando like she has in the past with Terminus and The Wolves, she sneaks around. She finds Maggie and tries to convince her just leave instead of killing them all, which is hormonal Maggie’s preference and probably the smarter choice. This season has been laced with humanity being a greater threat than the dead. Leaving others alive has come back to haunt Rick and friends since the beginning of the series, a lesson Carol should have learned by now.
Carol and Maggie return to the kill floor and quietly tie up Donnie who has died (kill count: 19) and is turning. The Zombie on the leash bites Molly when she returns and Maggie takes her down, bashing her head in with Donnie’s gun. They try to escape and hit a dead end of walkers on spikes set up to stop others both in and out of the slaughter house. Paula shows up shooting and runs out of ammo. Carol points her gun and tells her to run. Maggie tells her to shoot her and while she hesitates, a walker gets loose of the spike and lunges for Carol. Carol shoots Paula and Chelle shows up. Maggie ambushes her and the two fight until Chelle swipes a knife at Maggie’s belly. Carol shoots her point blank (kill count: 21) and Paula gets up. Finally answering Paula’s “what are you afraid of" question, Carol says, “I was afraid of this”.
In one last attempt to fight, Paula lunges and knocks the gun out of a shaky Carol’s hand. In the altercation, Carol impales her on a spike and her face becomes a walker snack. A special round of applause to Greg Nicotero’s special effects team for this scene. Among the noise of Paula gurgling death, Carol picks up the walkie and tells the other Saviors to meet them on the kill floor. There she uses a cigarette set the two ablaze Karen and David style bringing her kill count to 24 this week.
Maggie and Carol walk out to be met by Rick and the group. A visibly shaken Carol is comforted by Daryl while Rick questions Primo about Negan. He states that he is Negan, and Rick apologizes while shooting him. Roll credits. Clearly Primo is not Negan, and this is only the start of the war with the Saviors.
Carol appears to be breaking down in this new world. Spending a few months behind the safety of Alexandria’s walls have allowed for her to reflect on the time she spent on the road as a ruthless killer willing to do whatever it takes to stay alive. It seems that her kill count is getting to her and as it rises, she withdraws into her old defenseless and weak self we saw in the beginning of the series. Viewers are left to wonder if Carol is going to be able to handle the new world and its new rules of survival. Everyone has a breaking point and Carol has finally reached hers.
Interview: Jonathan Patrick Hughes
By Nicole Robinson
There is always a new crop of filmmakers, writers, actors, directors, and more working hard to become the next big thing in horror. As films like A Nightmare on Elm Street and Halloween start to be termed classic horror, a new generation of horror movies is emerging from Generation X.
It is not often we are given the unique opportunity to explore the mind of one these up and coming directors, but we have been given this chance to meet Jonathan Patrick Hughes. Upcoming screamfest (S)aint Nick is the fifth film from Hughes, and we sat down with him to discuss his new flick and why he stands out.
House of Tortured Souls: John, tell us about yourself…
Jonathan Patrick Hughes: Hello Horror Fiends.
My name is Jonathan Patrick Hughes and I just finished shooting my fifth short film entitled (S)aint Nick. I was born in Philadelphia, PA, on Aug. 7, 1979. My mother, Patricia Cullen, was a registered nurse and my father was a Philadelphia police officer. I got my first taste of horror when I was roughly 3-years-old and noticed my dad was watching Friday The 13th Part 2. I remember being highly afraid of the man in the potato sack stalking a woman with a pitchfork. When I was 4-years-old, my mother brought home a VHS copy of Michael Jackson's Thriller. The tape not only had the short film / music video but also the making of it. I found myself mesmerized by how it was made and realized (at the tender age of four!) that I wanted to do the very same thing.
When I was five, I started using my mother's video camera and recording everything in sight. As time went on, I became obsessed with the idea of making movies and hoped that one day that would happen. My two best childhood friends, Rob Montgomery and Alexis Polce, and I always had ideas for films. They were never captured on camera, but at least our minds were boiling with ideas. When I was 15, I started working at local video stores. Even if I wasn't making movies, I still found ways to be involved with them somehow. After many years of working at video stores and cinemas, I realized I wasn't getting any younger and began to think that I would never make movies, and that it was just a broken dream like most of us have. That all changed when I found out I was going to be a father.
In 2010 my fiancé at the time became pregnant with my son, and we moved our life to Pittsburgh. It took almost three years to adapt to a new area and new responsibilities. When I found out that Pittsburgh had a film school program, I researched for days and called many times before I decided to enroll. The scary part was thinking, 'I'm going to go to school. I'm going graduate, and I'm still not going be making movies'. I was accepted into the program with open arms in May of 2013. However, I was unable to start until October. That's when it hit me that I should make my first movie before school just to see what I can do before school as well as after. I wanted to test out my own progression, to see if this is something I truly can do. I was fortunate enough to raise close to $1,400 to make my first movie by using Kickstarter. That is how Apartment 1109 came about. The film was released on DVD on New Year's Eve of 2013.
At school I learned how to write, produce, edit, and (of course) direct films. I paid more attention to the writing/directing parts since that's what I wanted to do the most. The Factory Digital Film Program at Douglas Education Center, which is located in Monessen, PA, was one the most memorable experiences I have ever had. I was taught by filmmakers, not teachers. These professionals take their students through a boot camp crash course on how to make a movie and how hard it is to make a movie. My film father, Robert Tinnell, with whom I still keep in contact, is the director of the program, and I'll never forget him. I drove him nuts, but I never missed a single class. The program is something I recommend to anyone who wants to make movies, but I will say this: if you're gonna go to film school, you better have a passion and you better breathe this shit because you won't make it otherwise. One thing I noticed while attending the school is that the instructors care way too much about their students and will do whatever they have to to break them. Like I said, it's boot camp for film because we make movies and were taught how to survive the struggle and the stress as well as problem solving. At the end, a film is made and the victory is celebrated. I have been out of film school for almost a year and have worked on a few short films and music videos. I also directed a trailer for Alyssa and Rebecca Johnson and just recently finished shooting my newest horror film (S)aint Nick.
HoTS: Why do you want to work in the film industry and as a director?
JPH: There is nothing else for me to do. I feel that making movies is fun, creative, and a way to communicate with an audience. Writing and directing is the passion. I have a vision, and I want to express it through motion pictures.
HoTS: Why horror? And what do you feel is special about your work that you would like your audience to see?
JPH: Horror films have a special language, like French or Spanish. Only a few people in crowded room will understand what they are experiencing. Horror films have always spoken to me differently than any other genre. I do admire all genres but, for me, horror is where the heart is.
HoTS: Can you name two people who inspire you and tell us why?
JPH: John Carpenter and Marilyn Manson.
Two genius artists who have very dark yet colorful visions. John Carpenter can make any genre of film while Manson can entertain anyone with his over the top stage performances. When I listen to a Marilyn Manson record, it's almost as if I'm listening to a film he directed.
HoTS: What is your favorite horror movie and why?
JPH: John Carpenter's Halloween.
It is genius - a 90 minute film that captures every kind of feeling and emotion and that isn't afraid to be what it is. A classic film with a classic story, a classic theme, and a classic icon.
HoTS: What upcoming projects can we expect from you?
JPH: I'm in talks to direct three music videos for bands Kill the Stigmatic, White Trash Stars, and Post Mortal Possession. I'm also in talks to write and direct two sixty second horror films for 60 Seconds to Die 2. I'm currently writing my feature film that will be dedicated to my son Liam. It's a kids movie entitled Bedbugs. It's a nod to some of my childhood favorites like The Goonies meets Ghostbusters, Gremlins, and Little Monsters. I want to show my son how awesome it was growing up in the 80s. I hope he has the same experience that I had when I viewed these films that were so much fun and filled with both adventure and excitement.
HoTS: What was it like filming the soon-to-be-released (S)aint Nick?
JPH: Being on the set of (S)aint Nick was a bag of mixed treats. Some days were smooth, while others felt like a bumpy road leading to Hell. Everyone was under stress, and everyone was at each other's throats just trying to make this film. Some people even left set and dropped off because of the content as well as the vision I was trying to get across to an audience. In the end we were able to finish shooting the film, and now we're waiting on a locked edit so we can go forward with music and sound. I'd also like to add it was my first time directing a 9-year-old, and that was a little rough, but in the end he did a great job and I'm happy with his performance as Bill.
HoTS: What is one thing that got you through the rough times?
The disgusting man known as Horace Jones, played by the ever so funny and loveable John Seese, made the rough days better with his clever one liners and over the top acting skills. I salute you, John Seese, not just because you’re a friend or an actor, but because your presence can light up the darkest hour. And I'm proud of you as well as your magnificent performance. Last, but not least, to my number one cinematic sister: I absolutely adore you as well as your acting skills. Just know that I could never make a movie without you and will never. We been in this together since day one in August of 2013. Since then we both have grown, and we will continue to grow. You're my number one scream queen, and I love you!
HoTS: Where did the idea for the movie come from?
JPH: Death metal and hardcore sexxx. Hahahaha.
The idea first entered my mind right after we finished shooting Apartment 1109. I knew I wanted to attack the Christmas holiday and turn it into a disturbing tale that is sure to leave a foul taste in your mouth.
Christmas has always been a holiday I never really agreed with. After I learned the truth about Santa Claus, the magic went out of the window. Many years after, I started believing that this certain holiday is an uneven one. They feed us the same Christmas carol year after year, talking about how great the time of year is and how everyone is happy. Just because you drive down a street with 30 houses covered in 500 chasing lights does not mean the people behind those closed doors are happy. I thought it would be a good idea to take an audience inside a house where it's not about candy canes, smiles, and mistletoe. It's about two siblings who are now living with their stepfather who is a verbally abusive alcoholic and all around disgusting human being who will make you want to shower every time he appears on screen. Christmas is not the most wonderful time of the year at this house. I'm hoping that when people see this they will understand where I'm coming from.
HoTS: When is it going to be released?
JPH: Release date TBA. We're working out a deal with a production company as we speak. However, I will self-distribute a DVD with all 5 of my films including Apartment 1109, A Gamble With Death, Empty, All Hallows' Eve: Chapter 1 – The 11th Hour (which is still in post-production after a full year) and, of course, (S)aint Nick.
HoTS: What was your favorite experience while filming the movie?
JPH: My favorite experience would have to be either when I actually vomited on set during a very disgusting moment - I didn't expect that to happen. It's gross and I was thinking about cutting it out but everyone begged for it to stay in. It's in the film. The other experience would have to be directing the bloody goodness. This is the most disgusting film I have ever written and directed. It was kind of cool to see body parts being detached from the human body.
HoTS: Anything else you would like to share with us?
JPH: Everyone has a dream. Stop dreaming and start living. You have one life, so fucking live it. Making movies is like having sex: when you're done, you feel great, stress free, and relieved, and within minutes you're ready to go back and do it all over again.
I like to add that I'm really thankful for my cast and crew. They really helped so much making this nightmare a reality and I couldn't be happier with the job well done.
By John Roisland
TYPE O NEGATIVE
In honor of the late Peter Steele celebrating his birthday January 4th, I bring you my personal tribute two Type O Negative.
Formed in 1989, Type O Negative, out of Brooklyn, New York, hit the hard core/heavy metal scene with a sound that was of their own. Heavily influenced by The Beatles, Black Sabbath, and The Doors, the "Drab Four", as they were nicknamed, lyrically gave us songs about romance, depression, death loss, addiction, vampirism, and hate. The lyrics were often with a very dark sense of humor that lady over many of their songs.
When I was first introduced to the band, just after the 1991 release of their first album Slow, Deep and Hard, I thought to myself, "Okay, not bad". But at the time, I was into heavy thrash metal, so these guys weren't fast enough for me. But before I knew it, I was absolutely in love with them. They just made sense to me at that point in my life; the lyrics, spoke to me. I can remember putting their CD on repeat while I would be home and my old roommate getting very pissed after hearing about 4 hours of Christian Woman!
Over the years their creative style and dark imagery was burned into my heart, my mind, and my soul. It inspired me to the point that if I were an artist, Type O Negative would have easily been my muse. And the odd thing is that they have actually inspired me to do artwork every time I've listened to them in recent years. The Brooklyn New York music scene was known for its hardcore bands, Agnostic Front and Sick Of It All for example, and then some long haired guys come on stage with songs about vampires and a following of their own.
With the 1993 release Bloody Kisses, they took the world by storm! Type O Negative were now touring the world over and over again. A follow-up album in 1996, October Rust, earned them critical acclaim. From one album to the next as each followed, their level of maturity grew in their music, as lyrically they became darker, more emotional, and more personal. The last three albums, World Coming Down, Life Is Killing Me, and Dead Again, were both incredible and very sad, because you could hear him singing about his real life monsters: alcoholism and paranoia brought on from newest vice, cocaine.
Lead singer Pete Steele was a monster of a man who stood 6'8 and towered over everybody on stage. Though I am 6' tall, the few times I was fortunate enough to have met Mr. Steele, my neck was sore from looking up at him. He was an incredible person to talk to, and he spoke genuinely and honestly. He didn't hold back, which I appreciated, but he was also a very shy and depressed person. Steele suffered from being both bipolar and clinically depressed, which led him to drink before going on stage to get over his stage fright, and he sometimes consumed an entire bottle or two of red wine while on stage to continue.
Their shows were always phenomenal, no special effects, no fancy light show, just four guys performing great music. I think seeing them in DC on Halloween night was very suiting! Their songs are ones that you could dance to, throw down in a pit, work out, have on in the background while you were doing things around the house, or even have sex to, but their music to me was much more. Their music was never, ever turned off if ever their song was playing. I always allowed it to finish. I'm not trying to say that every song they wrote was masterpiece, but there was never one that I could say I didn't like either.
Listening to Peter Steele's voice always amazed me. This 6'8 mountain of muscle had a voice that could hit some of the lowest sounds I've ever heard. It was as if you were listening to Lurch from The Addams Family singing to you, and on the flip side has voice with so melodic and graceful. If you didn't know who he was, you may have thought to put a battle axe in his hands and throw him into a set of Conan the Barbarian, but you wouldn't think of him as a a singer.
Back in my day, every time Type O Negative came to town I always had my tickets and never missed a show. No matter how big or small it was, it was always a great show. It didn't matter who they were performing with , the likes of Danzig, Pantera. or taking a night off from a major tour and doing a small club show unannounced, they were always awesome!
Peter Steele died April 14th, 2010 from heart failure due to an aortic aneurysm at only 48 years old. I miss Type O Negative a lot, I still listen to it all the time. As a matter of fact, it's the most popular played Pandora station that I have. I listen to it at work, in the car, and any chance I get. The memories that I have of them are very strong though they weren't everybody's cup of tea. The friends that I hung with were all metal heads and hardcore music fans. I was the Type O fan of my group, and they all knew and respected that.
The untimely death of Peter Steele and the end of the band hurt. I was living in Florida at the time and had just got home from work. I turned the computer on and saw the headlines. I was crushed! Memories of their concerts, sounds of the music, and friends I was with as their music played thru out the years came rushing to me like a hail storm of bullets.
To this day , through me, their music lives on and always will. People always ask one another, "What's your favorite...?" Well, I don't know what my favorite food, or actor is. Not sure what my favorite movie is (unless its horror), but I do know what my favorite band is, ..... Type O Negative.
So to Peter Steele, Kenny Hickey, Josh Silver and Johnny Kelly, I thank you for the music and memories that were and will be made through it.
And to Peter, I hope you are no longer fighting with your monsters, and can nest rest easy. We miss you.
Keep It Evil.
By Nick Durham
Where do I begin?
I remember over a decade ago when I first heard about The Walking Dead. It was a new comic from Image that was in black and white and promised a never-ending zombie apocalypse survival story...and it delivered. It provided many memorable characters, genuine shocks, and a legitimate feeling of surprise because you never knew what the fuck was going to happen next. Fan favorite characters would get whacked out of nowhere, and it introduced one of the best villains in the history of modern comic books.
In the process of becoming a smash hit comic book (and this was right before the zombie craze really took off mind you), The Walking Dead also spawned a smash hit TV show (and an upcoming spin off of said TV show), hordes of merchandise, action figures, and all kinds of other shit too. Needless to say, Robert Kirkman's The Walking Dead has become a global phenomenon and sale juggernaut in just a little over a decade.
So why don't I give a shit about the property as a whole anymore?
Well, to put it bluntly, I got bored. Sad as it is to say, I just got bored. I don't mean just with the TV show either (THAT is a whole other story), but the whole damn property just bores the shit out of me. The same goes for the comics. We're well over a hundred issues (I think it's close to, or at this point more than, 125ish if I'm not mistaken?), and I tuned out long before that. I mean the idea of a never-ending zombie epic sounds good on paper, but after a while, what else can you really do with it? I mean we've had some sick fuck villains, but everything after The Governor just didn't feel as scary honestly (including Negan, that's right I said it). Same formula: we have to move, it's not safe...okay we moved we're safe...fuck, we're not safe, these people aren't who we thought they were...rinse, repeat. Not to mention the fact that we all know anyone can die at any moment...but we all know that Rick and Carl (to a lesser extent) are pretty much untouchable. The only time one (or both) of them bite the dust is when the series comes to an end...and that's probably not happening anytime soon.
Creator Robert Kirkman recently said in an interview that he (paraphrasing here) has a vision for where the series (meaning the TV show, not necessarily the comic) will conclude. Now it's easier to have a comic book run for hundreds of issues than for a TV show to run for ten seasons mind you, but it's just the point that this dead horse is going to keep getting beaten into oblivion. Like I said, after a while, how much more shit can you really pump out in this kind of thing that doesn't feel stale?
Now I know that this whole media juggernaut has a rabid fan base, and that's all well and good. The Walking Dead as a comic managed to help Image Comics really challenge Marvel and DC as a big time comic book company, the comic itself managed to re-invigorate the horror comic genre, and the TV show was the beginning of seeing more horror shows hit the TV airwaves. So yeah, it has its place in history without a doubt...
...but everything has to come to an end sooner or later. And maybe The Walking Dead should be laid to rest...finally.
By : John Roisland
For a few years now, more and more recently a huge topic has been a large debate amongst horror fans new and old, REMAKES! Now, I’m not hear to end any arguments, nor do I have the power to do so. But I am here to try to discuss this never ending battle between good and bad!
Such classic and iconic horror films have been remade:
Maniac, Psycho, The Omen, Evil Dead, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Thing, Mother’s Day, Last House On the Left, Halloween, Nightmare On Elm Street, Fright Night, Carrie, Dawn of the Dead, I Spit On Your Grave, The Hills Have Eyes, The Fly, The Town That Dreaded Sundown , My Bloody Valentine, The Fog and the list goes on, and on and on, not to mention foreign films that are becoming bastardized by American film makers with Old Boy, The Ring, and coming soon Martyrs (which has been label by many as the best horror film ever!
All these films listed above, are pretty much all house hold horror names, which is why everyone kept asking the same one worded question: WHY!?
Some argue that some remakes are better than the originals. Maybe some of them are…I personally don’t think so, although there are those that with newer technology, and possibly a larger budget, that are presented as a better film. But my issue is wheres the artistic value in remaking something that someone else has already put their name on.
Some directors claim they love the original film and wanted to share their vision of how they saw it. Case in point is Rob Zombie’s remake of John Carpenter’s classic Halloween; of which Zombie said he wouldn’t make the film without Carpenter’s blessing. Well he got it, and the film made boo-coo bucks at the box office, and has seemingly made its own new Halloween franchise. Some it seems to jump on to a known franchise just to make a few dollars off of a sure thing. Others sadly seem to be to afraid to show the world their own original visions of horror to the big screen, so they hide behind someone else’s work, and do a remake.
My own personal favorite The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, done and redone…supposedly done again. I’ve actually lost track of what was called a remake, and what was called a continuation. But some I’ve enjoyed…others I was ashamed and almost embarrassed to say it was part of the franchise. But that’s only my opinion.
I can’t say I welcome a remake with open arms, as I would much rather watch something original but some I have enjoyed and have appreciated their views and their concepts. A few I have thought were actually good enough to have stood as its own film, if not having been a remake. Which is a shame, because imagine what it could have been if it was an original. Others fall far from even crossing the finish line.
A Few remakes I have enjoyed and I have almost been ridiculed for some, such as A Nightmare On Elm Street. When the remake came out in 2010, I enjoyed a more serious approach to the film, and loved Jackie Earle Haley’s portrayal as Freddy Krueger, not saying anything bad against Robert Englund, Just thought Haley’s approach to the role was scarier and less comedic. Something I enjoyed…but again, that’s just my opinion, and I suffered greatly for it.
While with others, some have agreed with me. 2013 Evil Dead remake, while the original is a true cult classic, many have felt that the remake was an incredible horror film, one that could have been its own, and was also a huge success at the box office.
This is a discussion that will carry on for years. It’s like figuring out who has the better pizza: New York or Chicago. It will never end, and those who are putting their artistic vision in a remake… don’t. We want your original thoughts, your dreams, your NIGHTMARES!
A remake to me, is just about the money. No matter how many, and how big the names are that you get to star in them, it’s still a remake, its still someone else’s original work. It can be good or it can be bad, but the horror community is a very close, very tight knit family and are very loyal…make a bad movie, they will respect you more, because its yours!
…But this is just one guys opinion.
Keep it Evil
By: John Roisland
If you're anything like my family, we have Halloween/horror movie décor decorating our house year round. For years we always looked forward to finding all the new items covering the shelves come Halloween season . These items aren't so much items that we use for the front yard to scare and amuse local trick or treaters with, but more for personal use.
A talking, life-sized Pinhead standing in the corner, over sized coffee mugs that read poison or witches brew on them. Zombie playing cards, Frankenstein and Bride of salt and pepper shakers; the list goes on and on. Every room in our house, from bedrooms to living room, kitchen and bath included, all have something from our finds in our holiday haunt shopping.
Major name holiday stores would come into towns, and rent out buildings that once housed a semi large store, and set up a Halloween mega store. They hang a huge banner on the outside of the building , and it's business as usual. I used to leave work early to go I was so excited! I was like a kid in a candy store! I didn't need December 25, this was my Christmas!
The props, the outfits, the animatronics, and knick-knacks were overwhelming. We could and would spend hours in these stores that shall remain nameless.
Over the last few years, the shelves are less and less stocked, and the product is and has become a lot more lackluster. The quality has dropped and it just seems to be so...generic. The thrill was dwindling and our collecting started to slow down.
The quality of the products was becoming more and more cheaply made. The look of mass production definitely had seemed to take over. And the animatronics, granted some were cool...or could have been, just seem to be loud and annoying! Where they once had full size animatronics of horror icons, i.e. the headless horsemen, Frankenstein, Pinhead, Jason Voorhees, Michael Myers, Hannibal Lecter, Freddy Kruger...you're now given clowns or zombies...that seemingly wiggle and scream thru small very distorted speakers.
We did stop by one of these mega stores and took a look around. My hopes were high...but still didn't expect much, and good damn thing. The prices are honestly, ridiculous. I have no problem paying for good quality items, but when they are cheaply made, cheaply colored, and horribly packaged, then I have an issue with that. The economy is in the shitter as it folks, fuck corporate America, give the people a break and they will respond and support you a lot better! By the end of our trip, we had spent way too much on way too little. If not for a coupon that they had sent me via email, for $10 off our purchase, I would have been kinda pissed. Considering the best thing we bought was a Friday the 13th Jason pint glass for $10.00 .
Overall I walked away happy that I got to see all the Halloween stuff, but at the same time I was so disappointed at what they had. Even half of the items were the same things I had seen for the past few years. It doesn't really give me much hope for the future. Funny thing, is I had even contemplated doing this piece since Halloween, and had actually just deleted the pix and videos I had taken while visiting the store, really wish I had them to share with you so you could see my points.
Now, would running or working at one of these places seem like a dream job, YES...would I still love to have half of their inventory?? YESSS. Who in the mind wouldn't love to be surrounded by all of it, even if for just a few months out of the year!?! But from a consumer's stand point, especially one with kids, and one who respectfully collects this year round, I sure as hell hope they see this message and reconsider before ordering their mass produced shit to stock the shelves with, because to be honest, I'm finding better quality items at places like Walgreen's and even Dollar Tree!
These stores do bring many smiles and joy to many who believe that Halloween is but once year, as opposed to everyday like myself and so many others, it's just disappointing to see what the inventory was to what it has become.
Keep it Evil
By Nick Durham
I love comic books, always have and always will. That being said, there was a time in my adolescence where I had grown tired of the typical superhero fare to come from Marvel and DC. In all honesty, I had just grown plain old bored. At that time in my youth, I had mistakenly figured that that was all there was in terms of comics: dudes in spandex punching each other out...because reasons. Then something happened...I discovered Vertigo Comics.
Vertigo Comics is the mature-labeled imprint of DC Comics, specializing in much more graphic and nasty storytelling than their mainstream brethren would. Among my initial discoveries from Vertigo were classic titles like Neil Gaiman's Sandman and Garth Ennis' Preacher; both of which are legendary comics in their own right...but the very first Vertigo book I ever laid eyes on was something called Hellblazer. Hellblazer revolved around the chain-smoking, wise-cracking Brit, John Constantine. Constantine deals in black magic and bad luck by trade, often finding himself in the middle of plots involving demonic possession, serial killers, and other sorts of general nastiness. In his travels he has managed to cross (and literally flip off) Satan himself, gotten lung cancer, used his friends and loved ones as pawns in his various plots, and has managed to piss off nearly everyone that has come in his path...
...John Constantine is my fucking spirit animal.
Originally introduced in the pages of Alan Moore's legendary run on Swamp Thing in 1985, Constantine became an almost instantly loved character. He was given his own series with Hellblazer in the beginning of 1988, with writer Jamie Delano fleshing out the character's complicated backstory. Hellblazer would run for 300 issues before concluding in 2013 (and subsequently relaunched as just Constantine as part of DC Comics' company-wide relaunch of their shared universe). Throughout the decades, a variety of well-known and well-revered writers, including Grant Morrison, Garth Ennis, Paul Jenkins, Warren Ellis, Brian Azzarello, Mike Carey, Peter Milligan, and plenty more besides, have tackled the title and character, and have crafted some truly amazing and horrific stories.
If I could recommend any Hellblazer to check out, I'd recommend Original Sins first. This collects the first dozen or so issues of the series, and really crafts John's background and his nature of occasionally doing good deeds by doing bad things...and the fallout that follows. DC/Vertigo has started reprinting a number of the collected works and still releases them sporadically, so this is the easiest one to pick up first. After that, I recommend tracking down the Dangerous Habits (which was more or less the basis for that Keanu Reeves-starring abortion of an adaptation from 2005), Haunted, and Hard Time. These are all essential Hellblazer stories (at least to me) and deserve your time and attention.
So, whether you only know about the character of John Constantine from the aforementioned Keanu Reeves shitfest, or the dreadfully underrated TV show from last year, and you want more of him; please do yourself a favor and check out Hellblazer. It is without a doubt one of the greatest long-running series' ever put to paper, and remains one of the best horror comics of the modern era. Thank me later.
By John Roisland
“Suck his dead nuts.” “He was pretty much a dick.” “Boo hoo…” and my personal favorite, “I played the role twice without him.”
These are a few of the comments made by superstar actor Andrew Bryniarski about the passing of Gunnar Hansen. Now I say call him a superstar, and he must be... because what kind of degenerate, ungrateful washed up has been, never gonna be, piece of steroid shit meathead would bad mouth an icon AFTER HE IS DEAD”!
I'm not here to tell you Gunnar Hansen was a saint, I would most likely be lying to you if I did. But the one thing I do know is that he never bad mouthed a fellow actor, especially one who had passed. There's a certain level of professionalism, and just common courtesy that should have been present from a grown ass man.
“I played the role twice without him...” I applaud you sir...must have taken you forever to remember all those lines, especially in a REMAKE!! Do you realize sir, that you took a horror icon, and destroyed it by your comments? Do you realize that YOU could have saved Leatherface's name, by standing up and being a professional, by being a man... by being human, and just saying one thing nice in his passing. Something like that hits the media...and bam, you're next in line for the next production of another Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
Maybe the part was just a paycheck to you, but you single handedly disgraced it. I do hope you're happy with yourself. The character of Leatherface is my personal favorite horror icon... none have ever even came close. Gunnar Hansen, to me, was Leatherface, I don't say that in any disrespect to any of the other actors that played him, Bryniarski included, but Hansen was the original...and will always be the best to me. When Mr. Hansen passed, my beloved icon passed with him, and because of that, I felt a huge loss myself.
I've also never had the pleasure of meeting you at a convention, sir, but I've heard it's quite an experience, from you groping and saying obscenities to the female guests to the ever-present scent of you marinating in your own piss. Damn, sorry I missed that! But most likely not as sorry as you soon will be sir, maybe you didn't think this all the way through. Being jealous because you weren't the first to play this character, and bad mouth the man who did... I guess in your juiced up mind makes you feel better. My friend, horror fans are EXTREMELY loyal and don't soon forget things, so if you are fortunate enough to make the bill of another convention circuit, you might as well bring something to occupy your time with...I wouldn't expect your lines to be too long there, bud!
And this is coming from a man who gets arrested for animal cruelty due to the twenty-five Pomeranians that were heard and found crying and yelping in distress. The dogs were found covered in trash and piss in your RV, in lovely Santa Monica, California not so long ago. It made national news, remember that? We all do.
So I wish you the best, sir, I really do. You have played roles that I really enjoyed in the past. But if the repercussions of this bounce back, and you're stuck being a pizza delivery boy...well, don't cry that it’s raining cats and Pomeranians!
Just so all of you know, I battled on whether or not to put up a picture of our little boy scout...then figured yeah, I want to make sure you all know just who I'm talking about!
Stay classy, fucker!
By John Roisland
Early this morning, my wife Stephanie woke me up to tell me of the heart breaking news of the passing of Mr. Hansen. As most or many of you know, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is my personal favorite horror film, and at that, Leatherface is my favorite horror character. Mr. Hansen, to me, IS Leatherface. There are others who have played the role, but, I'm sorry, none compare to Mr. Hansen's portrayal.
Now, I, as many of you have, had the chance to meet him. Mine was at Spooky Empire in Orlando in 2007. I was there with a group of friends from Florida, and this was my very first convention. It's kind of funny. It was about six on a Friday evening, and the convention was rapidly filling up. I was getting tattooed by my good friend Kelly Rogers, who owns and works at Gearhead Tattoo out of Cape Coral and we were all taking a smoke break outside. While out in the hallway, here comes Mr. Hansen, a mountain of a man, headed my way. I can still remember yelling OH SHIIIIT!!!! as I ran back into the the tattoo room, literally diving over the vending table, knocking all kinds of shit over, digging through my backpack to get my camera. I made it back to the corridor just in time as he had just got to where I was.
Out of breath I said said his name, he stopped, turned and looked down at me, "Yes?" was all he said. I kindly explained what I had just done, and asked if I could trouble him for a moment of his time . He agreed, the photo was taken, I said, “Thank you, and it was an honor to meet you, sir”. He looked down and stared at me for a second with that deep look of his, and disappeared into the crowd.
Was I a bit star struck? Yeah I guess I was, but also know that Mr. Hansen was the first celebrity that I had met at the convention...I also know that I could have honestly gone home after that. It couldn't have gotten any better. And yes, I did go and actually visit Mr.Hansen at his table later during the convention, spoke with him, and had apologized if I had made a spectacle of myself earlier. He just smiled and we shook hands. I don't think I will ever forget meeting him, nor will I ever forget Mr. Hansen.
Feeling broken by this news...
You are deeply missed, sir.
THE BEST SURVIVAL HORROR GAME YOU'VE NEVER PLAYED
By Nick Durham
Most people tend to think of the original Alone in the Dark as being the first survival horror video game that they can really remember. Resident Evil would end up being the series that would more famously expose the genre of survival horror to mainstream gamers, but did you know that the original Resident Evil was actually originally supposed to be a remake of a game called Sweet Home? Well, it was.
Now you may be asking yourself, what the fuck is Sweet Home? Well kids, sit down, listen up, and crack open a beer or two and I'll tell you a tale: Sweet Home was a game for the Famicom. The Famicom was basically the Japanese version of the original Nintendo Entertainment System. That beloved grey box that we all fondly remember was a bright red and white console (with a disc-based add-on) in its native Japan, and even featured a few bells and whistles (hardwired controllers, a microphone built into the second controller, etc.) that we never got. Anyway, the Famicom had a shitload of games that never made it on our side of the pond, with Sweet Home being one of them.
Sweet Home is a survival horror role-playing game (that in turn is based on a film of the same name), in which you control a party of five characters that must traverse a spooky-ass mansion. You encounter all kinds of nasty beasts and ghosts in random battles (this is an RPG after all), and there's some majorly creepy shit that happens in the process. The mansion itself is like a giant maze, and also features one of the earliest examples of perma-death in a game; i.e. once a member of your party dies, they stay deader than shit. Yes, this game can be totally unforgiving when it wants to be...and can also be super rewarding too.
Now because of its horror nature and mature subject matter, Sweet Home wasn't deemed fit for American NES players, mainly because a majority of them were super young and enjoying the exploits of a certain stereotypical Italian plumber. So yeah, we missed out on a classic game...at least until the internet became a thing. Various playable ROMs of Sweet Home have been all over the place, thankfully with English fan translations. There's also websites you can find that offer up NES reproduction cartridges that feature the English translation of the game, although these will cost you. So with all that in mind, I wholeheartedly recommend checking Sweet Home out however you can. It's an early classic of the genre, and is every bit as good now as it was back then.
By Nick Durham
So this is happening...
We are getting an Americanized remake of Martyrs, whether we want it or not. Now if you've never heard of Martyrs in the first place, I'm going to break it down for you. It goes without saying that you should strap yourselves in because I'm going to tell you really all you need to know in just one sentence.
Martyrs is a 2008 French film that will break your fucking soul.
Written and directed by Pascal Laugier, the original Martyrs tells the story of Lucie, who along with her friend Anna, embark on a mission of revenge against those who kidnapped and tortured her as a child. Things, of course, don't go too well for either of our heroines, and it isn't long before the shit really hits the goddamn fan. There's much, much more to Martyrs than that brief description. I don't want to give much, if anything else, away for anyone who hasn't seen the original film because you really fucking should. All else that I will say is that this film is brutal, both physically and psychologically. I'm not exaggerating when I say that it will break your fucking soul into pieces. It garnered a shitload of acclaim from critics and audiences, and is recognized as one of the pioneering films of the French new wave of extreme horror.
So yeah, we're getting an Americanized remake from Blumhouse of this film, and it's going to be distributed by Anchor Bay (who has been behind the remakes and sequels to I Spit on Your Grave among many other films) and directed by Goetz Brothers. Apparently this remake was filmed rather quickly and is going to be unleashed upon us very soon as well. That's a good sign right? That a movie gets filmed that quickly for a fast release? Well, what do you guys think?
Anyway, I could bitch and moan all day about having another needless, Americanized remake of a startlingly original genre film that can never hold a candle to the original and will need to be dumbed down for mainstream American audiences (hello Oldboy), but here's the funny thing that most people don't know: we almost got a very different remake of Martyrs a couple years ago. The producers behind the Twilight movies (yes, you read that right) were looking to produce an American remake, with possibly Kristen Stewart (yes, you read that right, too) as one of the leads, and with a much "lighter" ending as well. This story has been passed around the horror doldrums for a while now, and it's only when the plug was pulled on the whole thing that Blumhouse and Anchor Bay jumped in instead, reducing the budget and (hopefully) turning away any kind of "lighter" shit as well.
So yeah, we could have had a Twilight-esque take on Martyrs...let that sink in guys.
The Martyrs remake premiered at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. Current release date is unknown. My hunch is that it gets released straight to VOD/DVD, etc.