Category Archives: HORROR HEROES

In Remembrance of Bill Paxton

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

WiHM: Kathy Bates

Kathy Bates is the one and only Grand Dame of Horror.
Oh, if only Annie Wilkes (Misery) heard the cockadoodie filth coming out of Sunny Soke's (Bad Santa 2) mouth, what a scene that would be. Kathy's performance in Misery is talked about to this day! How did a normal looking, I dare say Plain Jane type, woman pull that off? I mean her performance was absolutely stunning! Then, she goes from dark horror to Fried Green Tomatoes and then back to another Stephen King adaption Dolores Claiborne. Holy Hell, woman!
Kathy has gone on to play roles in every genre andbalways stuns the crowd with her performance – usually as an evil bitch. 🙂 Have you seen her as the Queen of Hearts in Syfy's Alice?
Alice -- Pictured: Kathy Bates as The Queen of Hearts -- Syfy Photo: James Dittiger
It is for that fact that I was floored a few months ago at the announcement that she had received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. WTF do you mean? Just now? Shouldn't she have received that back in the early 90s?! Who is in charge of handing out these stars?
Now we can all enjoy hating her on American Horror Story, which she has been in many seasons. Of course, her performances are always spot on. She is equally amazing and comfortable in horror and/or dramatic roles. Each season of AHS she plays a completely different type of role than the last, and she nails it every time.
Kathy has turned evil stare downs into an art form. Her look alone could give a yeti sunburn, and, as I said before, looks like a completely normal person. This is why her performances so memorable.

WiHM: The Ladies of American Horror Story

Since it is Women in Horror Month, I saw it only fitting to do a piece on the women of American Horror Story. 🙂 There are several noteworthy, kickass women in the show that make it incredibly popular. I will not get to every single woman that has had a part in the show because that would be nearly impossible, but I will touch base on many of them.
Jessica Lange: http://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2015/11/american-horror-story-season-6-jessica-langeThe Queen of AHS. OOOH how I miss her! Jessica played a key role in the first four seasons, but now she says she's done. She played Constance Langdon in the first season (Tate's mother), The wicked Nun of the West - lol - Sister Jude Martin in the second season, The Head Witch Fiona Goode in the third, and Elsa Mars in the fourth. Her classy/sassy demeanor was highly entertaining, and her “better than you” attitude made it so satisfying when she was overthrown.
Lady Gaga: I'm not even a fan of Lady Gaga, but the commercials featuring her for season 5 “Hotel” had my eyes bulging, she looked sooooo right for the part! For that matter, I hadn't even watched AHS until Gaga. I went back and binged 🙂 Back to “Hotel”, Gaga really was perfect for that role. She is comfortable covered in blood, as well as comfortable in the role of 'Queen B'. “Hotel” caused me to start up a Facebook group for fans of AHS, and like in my TWD group, we have live chat while the show is on. (Click here to join) Lady Gaga returned for season 6, for a role you would not imagine a fan of fashion to be seen in. Yet again, she played it so well!
Emma Roberts: Well this girl certainly has 'bitch' down to a T. Emma played in two seasons back to back. She played in "Coven" as Madison Montgomery and in “Freak Show” as Maggie Esmerelda.
Kathy Bates: http://www.goldderby.com/article/2016/american-horror-story-6-roanoke-kathy-bates-emmy-awards/ I was SHOCKED when just a few months ago she received her star (and I will do an article on her next)!!! I mean, SHIT, have those fruit loops not seen Misery, Dolores Claiborne, Fried Green Tomatoes???? Those in Horror have a tough time getting the recognition they deserve. Kathy first came in the AHS world in "Coven" as Madame (yes indeed!) Delphine LaLaurie (she makes great leggings!!). Then she was the Bearded Lady in “Freak Show” (Ethel Darling), Iris in “Hotel”, and Agnes Mary Winstead in “Roanoke”. And I loved her in every single evil role. 🙂
Angela Basset: http://www.tvguide.com/news/american-horror-story-roanoke-chapter-2-recap/ Welp, Stella got her groove back.....again. Talk about spite-fire! Her picture is right next to the term 'Aw, hell naw!' I'm sure. She, too, did not join AHS until "Coven", and every since has been going back and forth with Kathy's character 😉 Next she played Desiree Depree in “Freak Show”, Romana Royale in “Hotel”, and Monet Tumusiime in “Roanoke”.
Taissa Farmiga: http://www.polyvore.com/taissa_farmiga/collection?id=3740022 She is so believable as the damsel in distress. It's those big puppy dog eyes. Taissa came in one the first season and stole all of our hearts. She did not play in “Asylum”, “Freak Show”, or “Hotel” but returned for a small part in “Roanoke” as Sophie Green.
Connie Britton: http://screencrush.com/american-crime-story-oj-simpson-connie-britton-fay-resnick/ Connie is a MUST mention. She played the wife in “Murder House”. She was a recognizable face also that helped with getting people to tune in for the first time. She did not disappoint!
Sarah Paulson: http://blogqpot.com/images/ahs%20season%206%20theories%20tumblrSarah is one of the cast that has been on every season. She also is an awesome performer, and I love Syringe Sally. 🙂 In “Murder House” she was Billy Dean Howard, in “Asylum” she was Lana Winters, in “Coven” she was Cordelia Foxx, in “Freak Show” she was Bette and Dot Tattler, in “Hotel” she was Syringe Sally McKenna and Billie Dean Howard, and in “Roanoke” she was Audrey Tindell and Lana Winters.
Lily Rabe: http://www.ign.com/articles/2014/10/30/lily-rabe-reprising-her-asylum-role-in-american-horror-story-freak-showAnother one that has been here through it all. In “Murder House” she was Nora Montgomery, in “Asylum” she was Sister Mary Eunice McKee, in "Coven" she was Misty Day, in “Freak Show” she was again Sister Mary Eunice, in “Hotel” she was Aileen Woumos, and in “Roanoke” she played Shelby Miller.
Frances Conroy: http://www.comingsoon.net/horror/news/732056-frances-conroy-on-american-horror-story-season-3-shell-have-a-larger-part-this-timeShe was born for Horror! She has the perfect look for it! Frances played in all but “Hotel” And boy did she nail it every time! She is such a convincing actress!
Jamie Brewer: http://www.globaldownsyndrome.org/global-to-honor-actress-and-model-jamie-brewer/Jamie is such a Super Woman!!! She has Downs Syndrome, and here she is playing in a horror show. Jamie is fantastic motivator, just paying attention to her movements! Remember to let nothing be in the way of your dream!!! She played in “Murder House” as Adelaide Langdon, in “Coven” as Nan, and in “Freak Show” as Marjorie.
Gabourey Sidibe: Gabby editYes the one and only Precious. 🙂 She played the witch Queenie in “Coven” and in “Hotel”, and in between she was Regina Ross in “Freak Show”.
Mare Winningham: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Characters/AmericanHorrorStoryHotel Mare joined us in “Coven” as Alicia Spencer (with some Bates Motel shit), in “Freak Show” as Rita Gayheart, and in “Hotel” as Hazel Evers. I soooo loved her in that part! talk to her if you need to get some blood out of the upholstery. No questions asked. 🙂
Naomi Campbell: http://www.etonline.com/news/173991_exclusive_naomi_campbell_dishes_on_her_american_horror_story_hotel_debut_i_m_quite_opinionated/Girl, WHAT!! How isn't she in this show at some point? But boy what a role!! She played Claudia Bankson in “Hotel”. Do check it out. 🙂
Naomi Grossman: https://stylenoir.com/pepper-american-horror-story-interview/Yep another Naomi. This one could not be farther from the spectrum as the latter one! She played Pepper on “Asylum” and on “Freak Show”. I salute her for performance!!
Grace Gummer: https://biffbampop.com/2014/12/04/american-horror-story-freak-show-s04-e08-bloodbath/avance-american-horror-story_-freak-show-4x08-blood-bath-grace-gummer-penny-the-candy-striper/Well, when you are Meryl Streep's daughter, you have one hell of set of shoes to fill!! And she is doing a mighty fine job at that. 🙂 She played Millie in “Coven” and Pennie in “Freak Show”.
These gals truly are Scream Queens!!

Top Five Films to Watch in October (Part 2)

Part of the House of Tortured Souls
Staff Pick October 2016

My Top 5 MUST WATCH for October

By Tammie Parker

#5: Halloween (1978) & (2007)

Okay. HOOOW can you NOT watch Halloween in October?

Halloween / Image: Compass International Pictures
And for me, I absolutely must watch both the original and Rob Zombie's revamp! Speaking of Rob, how many of y'all have House of 1,000 Corpses on your list? I mean, when I hear that piano I feel like I just made it home after a 5 year journey!! My cocoon bursts wide open when that music starts playing! HELL, I want to thank the landscape artist that kept that hedge trimmed so perfectly for Michael to peep around. I want to thank Mother Nature for blowing a few crunchy leaves around from time to time so that I mentally teleport to that street. Yes, it only takes one leaf for me to get the feel of the place. I can even hear that big ol' Ford LTD right now! And I have that long cleaver hanging on my kitchen wall, just waiting for a long lost brother that I didn't even know about to pop up. BRING IT ON, MICHAEL! See I'll know exactly when to run for it... I'd know that piano theme music if I was nearly deaf! (heehee)

#4 Friday the 13th (films) (1980-present)

Friday the 13th / Image: Paramount Pictures / Warner Bros.
My second MUST would be all of the Friday the 13th (films)! (Okay, not Manhattan.)

I mean, Jason just has a way with the women, right? And so many of the deaths were so damn unique for the time! And think about how Friday the 13th opened the gate for other horror movies, and how many soon-to-be horror directors learned so much from these movies! Horror authors were born by the dozens! Those deaths seeded — NO demanded — fresh new twists on freakish murder. How many stopped sending their kids to summer camp after this? How many had a sort of horrific epiphany because of these movies? How many 'Oh my God, we're not going camping, fishing, or hiking any more'? How many 'Welp, no more premarital sex for me'? No more, I'm not sleeping in another damn bed that has the possibility of some jackass crawling under! No more weed smoking for me! No more hanging the sheets outside! How many?

#3 Young Frankenstein (1974)

My third would be Young Frankenstein. This year more than usual!! Gene played the hell out of this role!

Young Frankenstein / Image: Gruskoff/Venture Films
"IT'S PRONOUNCED FRONK–EN–STEEEEEN! These one has so many YES! moments in it for me. The look of a classic Universal horror movie, humor, rolls in the hay, and the freshly dead. How eye drawing was the cinematography? And they must of have one hell of a choreographer? Did you see that tapping jig for 'Putting on the Ritz? This one just has such a nice feel!

#2 The Ring (2002)

The Ring / Image: DreamWorks SKG
Fourth? The Ring.

When this movie originally came out, it was soooo different than anything any of us had seen before. How many times did you ask yourself 'What was that?' when the video was rolling? It screwed with your mind! The music and sound effects were spot on and intensified every move. The suspense was like no other, and this new grey cinematography was so crisp! And the master-minds behind it. This was a pretty low budget film, and look at what it did. Just don't ever comb your hair around me if it's long...I am scarred forever, and whatever is nearby will be thrown at your head!

#1 The Exorcist (1973)

Last but not least-- The Exorcist! DUH! It's a classic for us Generation Xers.

The Exorcist / Image: Warner Bros.
It came out the year I was born, so I'm not talking I was at the theater when it was released lol. I first saw it when I was about 12 and I cannot believe — looking back now — how terrified I was of the special effects in this one! Good stuff.

With that being said, let the marathons begin!

COMING SOON: Phantasm: Ravager (2016)

The Tall Man Is Coming
Just in Time for Halloween

Phantasm: Ravager

By Jonathan Patrick Hughes

Phantasm

Last weekend, news broke out like a bat out of hell. The latest and much anticipated sequel to Phantasm, known as Ravager will hit limited theaters on October 7, 2016  as well as VOD. The film was shot back in 2012 and 2013 and since had been going through difficulties trying to release the film, that is until Well Go USA decided to step up to the plate and help get this thing released to the fans that have been waiting for quite some time now. Phantasm: Ravager will once again star Michael Baldwin, Reggie Bannister, and, of course, The Tall Man himself, Angus Scrimm.

Phantasm - Angus Scrimm and the orb
Angus Scrimm as The Tall Man

Don Coscarelli who has been with the franchise since the dawn of Phantasm was quoted saying this In a recent interview:

The Phantasm films have been a guerrilla operation for decades now, totally outside of the studio system. We do them for the fans, and I think Ravager will definitely please them. In the past few years several studios have made offers to remake Phantasm with large budgets, but the fans were very vocal that they wanted the original cast to return and finish this iteration of the story with class. And for the first time there’s an extended sequence on the Tall Man’s home world. I know Phantasm fans will be as excited as I am to see it.

There are also some surprises thrown in that I promise will astonish long-time fans.

Being a long time fan of the series I am overly excited to finally witness the film with my own two eyes. However, with that being said, I don't have high hopes for the film considering it has been trying to get made since the late 90s and, since the film has ready since the middle of 2013, there has to be a reason why it took 3 years to release a film from a franchise every horror fan loves. We shall see.

Phantasm - Ravager posterIn other news, on September 24, 2016, the original Phantasm, which was made for $300 thousand and took in at the box office an amazing chunk of $12 million dollars, is coming back to cinemas meaning that we will be able to experience the film in a brand new restored version for the first time.

NOW THAT'S EXCITING AS BALLS!!!!!!!!!!

RIP Angus Scrimm, who passed away
at the age of 89 this past January.

Angus Scrimm and Reggie Bannister
Angus Scrimm and Reggie Bannister in Phantasm: Ravager

SPOTLIGHT: Eli Roth – The Busiest Man in Hollywood

By Tammie Parker

Do you remember when Eli Roth appeared as The Stoner in his own movie Cabin Fever? OH? You didn't realize that was him? Yeah, insane, huh? And to go from this scrawny, Shaggy looking fellow in this bonfire scene from Cabin Fever...

...to this muscular giant with the appropriate title the Bear Jew in Inglorious Basterds...

...is quite the transformation!

Eli has his hands in so much at the moment, I don't know how he has time to sneeze!

Last year alone he produced:

  • Knock Knock
  • The Man with the Iron Fists 2
  • This Forgotten Day in Fright
  • Chainsaw
  • 33 episodes of Hemlock Grove
  • 15 episodes of #15SecondScare
  • 11 episodes of 1 Minute Horror
  • 8 episodes of South of Hell
  • 15 episodes of Real Scares

In addition, The Green Inferno was also (finally!) released.

Already this year he remade one of his first movies Cabin Fever, and just last month the USA was gifted with Clown.

Currently Eli is working on a big film with none other than Jim Carrey. This movie, Aleister Arcane, is based on the horror novel written by Steve Niles (which comic book geeks and horror fans alike know his work!). The story has an interesting twist, Aleister Green (a retired newsman) returns to his home town and hosts a TV horror show titled Aleister Arcane. The township doesn't like it, and puts an end to the show. Aleister soon passes after the end of his show. But he's not finished with this town.

Just recently Eli took a break from filming to play with sharks during Shark Week:

I fell in love with Eli Roth's mind when I watched Hostel and Hostel II.

Eli Roth - HostelEli Roth - Hostel

Eli Roth - Hostel 2I caught interest in Hostelwhen I saw his name and remembered him from Cabin Fever. I thought to myself "OH, this well be interesting!" Boy, was I in for a shock. Aside from pushing the limit with the level and intensity of the gore, the story itself was frighteningly plausible. It freaked me the frack out! I started thinking how possible this could be. I honestly enjoyed Hostel II even more than the first. GIRL POWER!

Eli Roth - Gorgeous
On top of everything else, he certainly is easy on the eyes!

Thanks, Eli Roth! We can’t wait for your next film.

THIS JUST IN: Kane Hodder Joins Witchula Cast

By Woofer McWooferson

Witchula - Publicity art for Kane's biography
Photo by Joel Robinson - © AuthorMike Ink/Joel Robinson

Witchula, an Indie horror film that is the latest project to be called The Expendables of horror, has added another cast member. Joining Bill Oberst, Jr. (Zombieworld) and Marilyn Ghigliotti (Alien Armageddon) is horror icon Kane Hodder. Best known as Jason Voorhees in Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood, Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan, Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday, and Jason X, has a long list of credits to his name, and his addition to the cast has created quite a stir. Hodder will be playing a character named Elias Lou Warren, which has sparked speculation that some of Jason’s backstory will be examined because Jason Goes to Hell revealed that Jason’s father was named Elias. In addition, Hodder will be Stunt Coordinator, something with which he is quite familiar.

Witchula - Hodder in Jason VIII

Written and directed by Marcus Bradford and Pat Kusnadi and based on a concept from Clifton Braddock Bradford, Witchula will follow a group of college exchange students who travel to a remote town on an exotic island and are subsequently hunted by a vampire-witch hybrid.

Here’s what the creators revealed in the Witchula Press Release:

Marcus Bradford has announced that his production company, MAB Studios’, new project, Witchula, has begun development. Bradford and fellow writer/producer Pat Kusnadi (The Id, The Ringing, Because We Care) have created a script that combines several sub-genres into a project that is sure to delight horror fans. Witches, werewolves, vampires, and more will be featured, with the title character, Witchula, being the first witch-vampire hybrid ever to hit the big screen. Other producers attached to the project include horror veterans Matt Chassin (Krampus the Christmas Devil, Seeking Valentina) and John Blythe (My Amityville Horror, One Day When the Rains Fell).

For his part, Bradford says Witchula has been a labor of love, “It’s been a little over 13 years (May 25, 2002) since the very first draft of Witchula was written. Conceived by a very unique ‘working title’ and a small idea/concept of how Witchula became to being from my father, Clifton Bradford… I was able to put something special together within a matter of a couple weeks.” Now here, all these years later, Marcus is about to see his labor transform from the paper to the camera to the screen.

Bradford, who is also set to direct, has tapped horror icon Maria Olsen (Lords of Salem, American Horror Story) as the title character. Olsen, who boasts over 200 credits, is well known to horror fans, not just for her diverse roles but as a staple at horror conventions as well.

“Scream king” Bill Oberst Jr. (Criminal Minds) is also set to star. Oberst, the star of the Emmy-winning film Take this Lollipop, is also one of the most familiar faces in the independent horror world and is the proud recipient of twelve acting awards, including the coveted Lon Chaney Award for excellence in horror from the FANtastic Horror Film Festival. Oberst said he is “proud and excited to be associated with such a groundbreaking film.”

Rounding out the preliminary cast members are Eileen Dietz and Marilyn Ghigliotti. Dietz, another horror staple, is best known for her portrayal of the demon in the classic film The Exorcist. Ghigliotti is also an icon, but not in the horror world: Marilyn is best known as Veronica, the estranged girlfriend in Kevin Smith’s Clerks. In recent years Ghigliotti has made her mark in independent sci-fi and horror as well, starring in films like Alien Armageddon, Starship Rising, and the soon-to-be-released Rogue Warrior.

Bradford says he is far from finished casting, and he plans to make WitchulaThe Expendables of horror.” He is also not done finding crew and production partners. As of yet, there are no exact dates set for production, but Bradford promises to begin shooting sometime in mid to late 2016. Until then, there will be many more exciting announcements from production. For his part, Marcus Bradford remains humble and optimistic, “I’d like to say thank you to those who’ve followed us throughout the last year and a half. My dedicated team and I promise to give you all an awesome, character-driven, scary-suspenseful, and enjoyable film you’ll never forget!”

Bradford's own production company MAB Studios is behind Witchula, which is set for release some time in 2018. With a release date well over a year away, we may yet see even more horror icons join the cast.

RELEASE UPDATE: Godzilla Resurgence (2016)

By Kev B.

Godzilla Resurgence Update 01Huge news about Godzilla Resurgence… But I’m gonna’ save the best for last! There was talk of a New World Cinemas distribution deal in the works, but it seems like that was a hoax to gain some free press off the name Godzilla. First they announced, or should I say alluded to the fact that they would be distributing Resurgence in American theaters in a post on their Facebook page that read:

“To all GODZILLA FANS! We are working hard to bring GODZILLA to every State! Patience my Friends... she is coming soon!”

They quickly backtracked when fans showed interest, with this post, calling it a misunderstanding:

"Hey Guys.

We want to clear something up for you as it is causing a lot of speculation.

New World Cinemas are NOT the distributors for the new Godzilla Film. The mistake was make because we said Godzilla coming soon. This was merely a post to promote Godzilla as we too are big fans.

We apologize for any confusion regarding this film.The Original post has been edited so it cannot cause anymore misunderstandings.

We accept that due to being busy in Cannes and preparing for out first annual Fright Fest Film Festival by NYCIFF we have neglected to notice the buzz on our Facebook page, however our admin team are back on track and will bring you all the latest news about New World Cinemas

We wish you all an amazing weekend.”

I’m not sure what part of “We are working hard to bring GODZILLA to every State!” I’m misunderstanding, but thanks for wasting our time and getting our hopes up New World. I hope you enjoyed your free press.

Godzilla Resurgence Update 02There is good news if you are a toy collector - there’s lots of good news. There is a lottery to get a new Resurgence figure from Banpresto. Bandai/Tamashii Nations, X-Plus, NECA, Diamond Select Toys, and Bandai America all have some cool new stuff coming out. But I hope your piggy bank is full because most of these new figures are not cheap! So, get your credit card ready and Google “Godzilla toys 2016”. And if you like Gojira's new look, the S.H. MonsterArts figure looks insane!

Godzilla Resurgence Update 03I’ve seen whole mess of complaints about how Toho is marketing the film and keeping us in suspense with only one trailer released in April to wet our appetites for the king of the monsters. I actually think they’ve kept us like salivating dogs in anticipation of any new images in a genius marketing plan that has us begging for more. Then, ten days before the theatrical release (in Japan) the Godzilla communities lit up with excitement… With 3 new 15 second T.V. spots and a full minute and a half trailer, we got another little tease at the awesomeness of the new Godzilla and the mind blowing effects this movie seems to be full of. And if you haven’t heard the rumors of a purple or violet colored nuclear/atomic breath, watch the new trailer to the very end . I guess we can say that those rumors are confirmed, for the most part.

In non Toho news, Legendary pictures' sequel to the 2014 American reboot Godzilla is on hold as Gareth Edwards is too busy with Star Wars and that seems to be pushing back all the other projects lined up for us here in the U.S.... Godzilla 2 (which is said to feature Rodan, Mothra, and King Ghidorah) is slated for release in March 2019, but that is subject to change. Kong: Skull Island has a tentative release date set for 2017, and Godzilla vs. Kong is expected for 2020.

Godzilla Resurgence Update 04Also sorta confirmed is the news that Godzilla Resurgence is a reboot to the Godzilla franchise, which makes sense as the definition of resurgence is: an increase or revival after a period of little activity, popularity, or occurrence. And now,the big breaking news! According to the most informed Godzilla blogger I know of - August Ragone: Toho announced their greatest global distribution of all time at a press conference on July 19, 2016. Resurgence has been sold to 100 territories, with more pending. The film will open in Taiwan on August 12, the Philippines on August 24, Hong Kong and Macao on August 25, and Thailand on September 8th. Asia, Africa, Europe, and North America may be announced shortly.

So it looks like we will get to see the king of the monsters on the big screen this summer after all (or at least this fall). Godzilla Resurgence opens in Japan July 29, 2016, written by Hideaki Anno, directed by Anno and Shinji Higuchi, and starring Hiroki Hasegawa, Yutaka Takenouchi, and Satomi Ishihara.

Godzilla Resurgence Update 05

My IDOL George Romero Finally Gets a Hollywood Star!

They're Coming for You, George...
(And it's about time!)

Star of the Dead

By Tammie Parker

George Romero - Night of the Living DeadGeorge Romero made zombies famous in Night of the Living Dead and redefined the genre while doing so. But not only did he direct the movie, he also helped write it. The man is a zombie genius! Almost all of us learned how zombies walk, move, moan, and what they look like (Hint: Not so good.)  from this movie. How real the movie looked (especially for the time period) made it truly disturbing to many viewers, and the concept of using radio broadcasting to report on what was happening was beyond creative. Lest we forget, Romero also encouraged the actors to perform with conviction, to bring realism to the drama, as evidenced with Barbara's nervousness and getting the shakes and Ben's slap to bring her back to reality, or the doomed family in the basement who, nevertheless, remain steadfast in their resolve to remain n the basement and to keep the others out, He made us feel for these people, and that made it all the more frightening.

 

Dawn George RomeroGeorge later blessed us with more to the story - Dawn of the Dead (1978),

 

 

 George RomeroDay of the Dead (1985),

 

 

 

zombies-georgeromaro-landofthedeadLand of the Dead (2005), Diary of the Dead (2007), Survival of the Dead (2009), and a work in progress Origins (a prequel). Thanks, George!

 

This, of course, has made so many zombie fans (myself included) obsessed with Mr. Romero!

Zombies with George Romero

 George RomeroHell, look here! Even the zombies love him!

 

 

 

zombies-georgeromaro-blackopsSome big fans include the creators of Call of Duty: Black Ops- Zombie map, Call of the Dead

 

horrormovies-silenceofthelambs-georgeromarocameoAnd director Jonathon Demme gave him a cameo in Silence of the Lambs!!Did you notice him?

 

Crazies George RomeroBy no means is Romero just for the zombie lover of course, He loves horror in general. He directed the original The Crazies, and the cult vampire movie Martin, and how about the Monkey Shines, huh? Pretty weird stuff, George! He even directed the commercial for the video game Resident Evil 2

George has also worked with Stephen King.

Stephen King and George RomeroThey created the comic book throwback movie Creepshow.

 

 

 

horrormovie-thedarkhalfAnd Romero also directed The Dark Half - boy, were the sparrows flying.

 

 

 

 

 

 

During his 50 years in the film industry, he has written, produced, and directed many films and even had a television show called Tales from the Darkside (Rumor has it that Joe Hill, Stephen King's son, will be working on a new version of Tales... yet another King tie). So why did it take so long for him to get a star?

zombies-georgeromaro-creepyglow

 

 

In Memoriam: Jason “Egg” Brown

Jason "Egg" Brown
Gone, But Never Forgotten


By The Crimson Executioner

Egg with Mod Ghoul, who left us in July of 2015.
Egg with Mod Ghoul, who left us in July of 2015

It is with the heaviest of hearts that I announce the passing of my good friend and fellow Vortexx staff member Jason "Egg" Brown, who died Monday morning just a few weeks short of his fortieth birthday. According to his Facebook page, Jason was born in Hell, Michigan, and was living in Hell, Norway at the time of his passing. Of course, his friends all know that was just a manifestation of Jason's unique sense of humor. In actuality, he grew up in the town of Anderson, Indiana, graduating from Madison Heights High School in 1995. A year earlier he met Erin Cross, the love of his life. They were married in 2001 and had two beautiful and charming children, Noah and Abbie. I had the pleasure of meeting Jason and his family for the first time at the Cincinnati HorrorHound Convention in March 2013. Jason was a devoted father, and it was obvious to me that his children (including his daughter Savannah from a previous relationship) were a major part of his life.

I had known Jason for about two years before we finally met face-to-face in Cincinnati. As with many of my friends, we met for the first time in the Vortexx chat room. As best I can remember, he began coming around in 2011 and soon became a "Vortexx regular." On February 15, 2012, he formerly joined the Vortexx staff as a chat host. In addition to his hosting duties, Jason was an all-around utility man for The Vortexx. Among other things, he was actively involved in the set-up and the manning of The Vortexx table at numerous HHW conventions. Although our backgrounds could not have been more different, I immediately "hit it off" with Jason when I finally met him in Cincinnati. In fact, I don't remember ever feeling so comfortable around someone I had never met in my life.

Jason lived life in the fast lane. He was a hard-drinking, hard-smoking kind of guy, and he had a reputation for being something of a "party animal" at conventions. Undoubtedly his finest moment was at the 2014 HHW convention in Cincinnati when he got drunk and did a striptease and dance to a video of Rod Stewart's "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?" Vortexxans still talk about it to this very day, and even now as I write, someone is furiously digging up a clip of Jason's "finest moment" to air as part of our tribute show.

Jason enjoyed a variety of music, especially heavy metal, with Black Sabbath and Megadeth probably being his favorite groups. Rumor has it that he once threw a drink at Glenn Danzig. In politics he was a staunch Libertarian, and he lost a number of Facebook friends because of his outspoken political views. As far as I'm concerned, it was their loss to let politics get in the way of friendship. Life dealt Jason some hard cards. He never had much money, he ran through a succession of jobs, he lost his house, and his marriage ultimately failed. But he never complained or asked anyone for sympathy. And he never pretended to be someone he wasn't. As he liked to say, "I am who I am, I don't know how to be anyone else."

We in The Vortexx will all miss Jason not only because he was a good friend, but also because he was part of our family. He was a good man. He was a kind man. He was a decent man. And he will be missed. We will be airing tributes to Jason in The Vortexx each night this week, so feel free to come by and pay your respects. You can find us at horrorhost.net and livestream.com/allhorrorhosts. Rest in peace, Jason "Egg" Brown.
inmemoriam

Salute: 50 Years of Dark Shadows

Welcome to Collinsport


Woofer McWooferson

This tribute is dedicated to Jason "Egg" Brown who is no longer with us. Jason was a smart, funny, and kind person, and he had a way with words as anyone in The Vortexx chat will tell you. Rest in peace.

Egg with Mod Ghoul, who left us in July of 2015.

Dark Shadows - Jonathan Frid as Barnabas Collins
Jonathan Frid as Barnabas Collins

Despite Dark Shadows airing between 1966 and 1971 when I was three- to eight-years-old, I have fond memories of rushing to watch it when it came on. How much of this is from the original airing and how much is from its syndication run I do not know. Memory is a tricky thing. Either way, Dark Shadows was a big deal for me and many other young horror fans. With witches, vampires, werewolves, gothic architecture, flashbacks to period piece episodes, and storylines inspired by the likes of Shelley, Poe, and Lovecraft, Dark Shadows was nothing like anything we'd seen on TV before. And we couldn't get enough of it.

Dark Shadows - Kathryn Leigh Scott as Magie Evans
Kathryn Leigh Scott as Magie Evans

Created by Dan Curtis after he dreamed of a mysterious young woman on a train, Dark Shadows began as a gothic soap opera following the lives of the Collins family of Collinsport, Maine (named for the family) and eventually morphed more into a supernatural soap opera. The show really took off in the second after the character of Barnabas Collins was introduced and Jonathan Frid joined the cast. Barnabas was eventually revealed to be a Collins ancestor who was cursed to be a vampire after he refused to return to the witch Angelique (Lara Parker), his former lover.

Dark Shadows - Joan Bennett as Elizabeth Stoddard Collins
Joan Bennett as Elizabeth Stoddard Collins

Barnabas was imprisoned by his own father in a chained coffin with a cross on the inside of the lid, but returns after his coffin is disturbed by contemporary Collins' looking for the family's alleged jewels. It doesn't take long for Barnabas to assume the role of a ladies man while feeding off the citizens of Collinsport at night. He is most taken by Maggie Evans (Kathryn Leigh Scott) because she resembles his long lost love Josette.

Dark Shadows - David Selby as Quentin Collins
David Selby as Quentin Collins

Interestingly, Barnabas was not supposed to be a regular, but his enormous popularity persuaded the producers to bring him on board completely. It even took quite a while before any character used the word vampire to describe Barnabas. Until that time, characters merely referred to him as one who “walks at night but...ain't alive” and “one of the undead”.

Dark Shadows - Nancy Barrett as Carolyn Stoddard
Nancy Barrett as Carolyn Stoddard

Other show regulars include Joan Bennett (who was on for the show's entire run) as Elizabeth Collins Stoddard, who had not ventured outside of her palatial home in over eighteen years, Alexandra Moltke Isles (for which producers received a great deal of criticism because of her age and lack of experience) as Victoria Winters, Nancy Barrett as Carolyn Stoddard (Elizabeth's daughter), Louis Edmonds (who also stayed for the show's full run) as Roger Collins (Elizabeth's brother), and David Selby as Quentin Collins.

Dark Shadows - Alexandra Isles as Victoria Winters
Alexandra Moltke Isles as Victoria Winters

Bennett, Barrett, and Edmonds were acting veterans who brought an air of legitimacy to the show and offset the perceived problem with having an unknown in a key role.

 

It's difficult to imagine now, but Dark Shadows was first and foremost a soap opera – a dark, gothic soap opera, but a soap opera nonetheless, and it originally aired on daytime television. With only a weekly budget of $70,000, they managed to create 1,125 episodes of one of the most beloved horror shows of the 20th century and spawn countless variations, including:

-House of Dark Shadows (1970) – feature length movie
-Night of Dark Shadows (1971) – feature length movie
-A television revival show in 1991 (featuring a very young Joseph Gordon-Levitt)
-Two book series of Dark Shadows, one consisting of 32 books and a novelization of House of Dark Shadows and the other a trilogy by Lara Parker, the actress who played Angelique
-Countless magazine articles and features
-A comic strip
-Comic books
-Two board games
-Coloring books
-Two jigsaw puzzles
-A View-Master reel
-A series of audio dramas with many members of the original cast

Yes, Dark Shadows was a seminal production that paved the way for many other horror television shows, and television was the better for it.

Dark Shadows cast
The cast of Dark Shadows

BREAKING NEWS: Tony Todd to Voice Count Dracula

Count Dracula Gets a Voiceover

Tony Todd Set to Voice
Dracula in Audio Play

By Woofer McWooferson

Tony Todd as Rev. Zombie in Hatchet
Tony Todd as Rev. Zombie in Hatchet

Exciting news from FANGORIA Musick and Bleak December Inc. - Tony Todd will be voicing Count Dracula in a new audio play. If you're a horror fan and don't know who Tony Todd is, then you need to get yourself to IMDb and YouTube for some serious horror education. The rest of you can keep reading.

Todd, whose role as the titular Candyman, is an icon in horror, having also appeared in the Hatchet, Final Destination, and Wishmaster franchises as well as the 1990 Night of the Living Dead remake. At 6'5”, Todd cuts an imposing figure in any role, but his voice is just as imposing - and recognizable - as his appearance. Deep and resonant, Todd's voice lends an ominous tone to even the most innocuous of personas, so it's no surprise that he secured the role that has been immortalized by such greats as Bela Lugosi, Christoper Lee, and Leslie Nielson (shut up). The Dracula audio play will star Anthony D.P. Mann, who is also executive producer, as Dr. Van Helsing, Dracula's nemesis.

Robert Englund, Kane Hodder, and Tony Todd in Wishmaster
The Three Faces of Evil - L to R: Robert Englund, Kane Hodder, and Tony Todd in Wishmaster

According to Mann, the production will focus on “a frightening Victorian-era Count Dracula in the classic mold featuring one of the greatest voices in the business. I’m not only a creator, but a fan of genre film - and Tony Todd is such a coup for us. I’m a long-time fan.”

For his part, Todd had this to say, “I’m honoured and thrilled to form a partnership with Bleak December Inc. and FANGORIA Musick, in presenting the first of hopefully many audio recordings of classic horror characters. First up perhaps most iconic of them all. Yes, I’m so proud to lend my voicing to Bram Stoker’s Dracula.”

Image credit Tony Todd Fan Club
Tony Todd in the studio
Image credit Tony Todd Fan Club

Bleak December Inc., Mann's own production company, will be producing the adaptation, and FANGORIA Musick will be releasing the finished piece. Mann has previously worked on Terror of Dracula and Edgar Allan Poe's The Raven, which also featured Goblin keyboardist Maurizio Guarini, for FANGORIA Musick.

Dracula is to be the first of many classic horror audio adaptations fans can expect from Bleak December Inc. and FANGORIA Musick.

Tony Todd on You and Me This Morning thinks cookies should have milk.

COMING SOON: Godzilla Resurgence

By Kev B.

So, if you haven’t heard yet, this summer Japan is getting attacked again in what appears to be a return to true form for Godzilla in Shin-Gojira (or Godzilla Resurgence to English speakers). It seems the new Godzilla movie may serve as a reboot of the original Toho studios series. If you know anything about the franchise, you know the series has never really been an ongoing saga. The sequels are sort of non-sequitur in nature - sometimes he destroys cities and kills innocent people, and other times he defends people from other irradiated monsters of unusual size and aliens. This summer's Godzilla Resurgence looks like he is back to his old self, angry and stomping on Tokyo with no conscience!
Godzilla Resurgence - movie poster
He’s got a new look, and it's mean and nasty. The trailer has been online for a few weeks and, though the details are purposely being kept from us, there is a lot of speculation as to what’s going on… Upon initial release of the trailer, the community of Godzilla geeks have been divided on his new look. Some like it, some hate it, and some are just glad to get a new giant monster movie. Yes, he is ugly and mean looking, and he seems to be mad at mankind again… But from the few details I have been able to find, his appearance in this misleading little teaser may just be one of many new looks.
Godzilla Resurgence - GodzillaIt seems as though he is in the process of metamorphosing and may have three or more new looks as the film goes on. The trailer looks promising, yet again purposely vague. There is a strong military presence as they attempt to defend Japan against the biggest incarnation of Godzilla we have seen yet, reportedly 389 feet tall. He has what appears to be red hot lava under his skin, multiple rows of sharp teeth, his tail looks gargantuan, and his arms are short and almost T. Rex-esque, but again, that may all change as the movie and the metamorphosis progresses.

Godzilla Resurgence - Godzilla on the move
Godzilla on the move.

Godzilla Resurgence is set for release in Japan on July 29, 2016, but an American release has not yet been confirmed. So, if we all cross our fingers, we might have a Blu-ray by Christmas, but we still don't know if we will get to see it in an Imax this summer. There is a glimmer of hope in a petition at change.org that reads in part:

As a diehard Godzilla fan, I ask on behalf on god knows how many [A]merican Godzilla fans wish to see the TOHO Godzilla once again on the big screen. … I ask the [A]merican film company New World Cinemas to bring the English version of the upcoming "Godzilla: Resurgence" film (AKA Shin Gojira) to American Theaters, as they are the official distributors.
I know foreign movies aren't real popular in [A]merica, but it only fits by tradition, as the first movie in every Godzilla series has come to theaters here in the states (The 1954 Godzilla film, Godzilla 1985, and Godzilla 2000), so it's only necessary that at least the first movie in this new series should have a premiere here.

So I ask you, New World Cinemas if you are reading this, please bring TOHO's newest interpretation of the beloved character to big screens.

Bring "Godzilla: Resurgence" to United States Theaters
But on May 8, good news came from New World Cinemas' Facebook page and their official site stating: "To all GODZILLA FANS! We are working hard to bring GODZILLA to every State! Patience my Friends... she is coming soon!

GODZILLA WAS HERE
GODZILLA WAS HERE

The Toho Company and co-drectors Hideaki Anno and Shinji Higuchi have gone back to Godzilla's roots and designed him to be more menacing, destructive, and more like the old Godzilla we knew and loved. Indeed, the trailer indicates they have been paying attention, both to Godzilla's heritage and public opinion. Godzilla Resurgence stars Shin'ya Tsukamoto, Satomi Ishihara, and Jun Kunimura and opens in Japan July 29th and (we hope) will be distributed through New World Cinemas some time after that.

Check out the trailer and let House of Tortured Souls know what you think.

Gia Nova- Women in Horror

By Dixielord

Women are making their mark in horror today. From directing and producing to acting virtually every step of the film making process has notable women representing and pushing the envelope. Not limited to film women are attacking every aspect of the genre, such as fiction, and bringing new elements like burlesque into horror.       So today I am focusing on a woman who has made her own path in horror and has walked it bravely. The House of Tortured Souls proudly salutes Gia Nove for her accomplishments in helping to bring dance and burlesque to horror fans.

Gia Nova is a model, actress, and stage performer, and more than that a wonderful person.

Gia Nova
Gia Nova autographed photo

Gia Nova has graced the pages of Playboy and took her modern horror burlesque act across the nation, from New Orleans to Las Vegas and beyond, as well as all points in between. She is the tattooed showgirl who swallows fire and walks on coals, wearing nothing more than a G-string, pasties and demon horns.

Gia Nova bends over backwards
Gia Nova bends over backwards for you
Copyright Corinne Barrios used with permission

She has also brought her horror burlesque act to the realm of horror conventions, appearing regularly at the Mad Monster Party show based out of Charlotte, North Carolina. She also was a guest at the Scares That Care II convention in Williamsburg, Virginia. At Scares That Care she performed her act to a packed audience, and brought the house down. Since the convention she has become an official celebrity representative of the charity.

Gia Nova at Mad Monster Party
Gia Nova at Mad Monster Party Copyright Corrine Barrios, used with permisssion

Her charity work shows that Gia is just as beautiful on the inside as the out. Besides her work with Scares That Care she has also worked to distribute warm clothing to the needy in Atlanta during the insane winter storm in 2014. And now she is adding actress to her resume as she stars in the upcoming independent film Frankenstein Created Bikers. The film shot in Atlanta also stars actress and permanence Tristan Risk, best known from American Mary.

Frankenstein Created Bikers with Gia Nova
See Gia Nova and Tristan Risk in Frankenstein Created Bikers

She is also costarring with adult superstar Christy Canyon on Vivid Radio, and has been featured in Heavy Metal Magazine (whew shes busy!). She was voted 2012 entertainer of the year at the Exotic Dancers Award Show in Las Vegas, Nevada. All this and she still takes her stage show on the road. I met Gia back in 2013 in New Orleans at a convention. Of course I went to meet her because she was a beautiful playboy model, I didn’t know what a big heart she had, but I found out quickly. I love this girl and an honored to call her friend. I could write a thousand words about how wonderful she is, and not scratch the surface. You need to get out and see her, and see for yourself. Follow the lady on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and other social media. Find out where she is performing and get yourself there.

RIP Angus Scrimm

RIP Angus Scrimm

By Dixielord

Sad news tonight as Entertainment Weekly is reporting that Angus Scrimm has passed away. Scrimm is best known to horror fans as The Tall Man, the imposing and enigmatic villain from the Phantasm film series directed by Don Coscarelli. In addition to the Phantasm series, he also had roles in Wishmaster (as the narrator), I Sell the Dead, John Dies at the End, an episode of Masters of Horror, and many others. But it was The Tall Man that made him an icon to horror fans around the world. Angus Scrimm took on the role of The Tall Man in five Phantasm films, although the fifth, Phantasm: Ravager, is awaiting released.

RIP Angus Scrimm
Angus Scrimm

As The Tall Man, Angus Scrimm was a heartless monster of a man, but off-screen he was one of the nicest people one could ever hope to meet. He loved his fans, loved to meet them, and happily chatted with them at conventions. He was still doing occasional appearances as late as last year.

RIP Angus Scrimm
Angus Scrimm

I met Angus several years ago at Texas Frightmare Weekend. Even though he had a long line, he took time to chat with everyone who came to meet him. During his question and answer session, Angus said the only thing he disliked about conventions was that he didn't have time to talk as long as he liked with everyone. If you ever met Angus, you would know that statement is true. Meeting him was an experience I will treasure forever.

Angus Scrimm was born August 19th in Kansas City, Missouri. He moved to California and studied drama under the brother of Cecil B. DeMille. In addition to acting, he also wrote liner notes for artists ranging from Frank Sinatra to The Beatles. Before he became The Tall Man, he won a Grammy under the name Rory Guy for his liner notes.

The Tall Man Angus Scrimm
Angus Scrimm as The Tall Man

From the bottom of my heart and from everyone at the House of Tortured Souls, we send our love to the family and friends of Angus Scrimm. You were a class act, and we will never forget you. Rest In Peace, Mr. Scrimm, you have earned it.

TRIBUTE: Lucio Fulci: The Godfather of Gore

By Amy Lynes

Master of the Macabre
There aren't many people that I idolize but Lucio Fulci is definitely one of them, and he's number one on my list.

I was seventeen and home alone when I watched my first Lucio Fulci film. It was The House By The Cemetery, and watching it alone was a big mistake. HUGE! I sat there for the next hour and a half mesmerized by what was unfolding on the screen in front of me, even though my heart was racing, I was scared out of my mind, and all alone in an old, creepy ass (haunted) house.

Never before had I seen so much blood and gore! I was excited, terrified and repulsed all at the same time. As soon as it ended, I instantly rewound it (yes, it was on VHS) and watched it again. I would watch this wonderfully intense and graphic film three more time before eventually returning it to the video store.

I wanted to see more of this man's work and soon began renting all the films I could get my eager hands on. Zombie (aka Zombi 2) came next and, once again, I was blown away. There were scenes where I actually found myself holding my breath, squirming in my seat and clenching my hands so tightly that my muscles hurt. The famous eyeball puncturing scene was incredibly hard to watch but at the same time I couldn't make myself look away (and found that I didn't really want to anyway). I absolutely loved the way the zombies looked, how it seemed as though they were crumbling right before my eyes, squirming with maggots and missing eyes and appendages. It was fantastic! Still to this day, I prefer the slow gait, movement and organic look of Fulci's zombies, as opposed to the fast movers of today's modern zombie films. There was (and still is) something inherently creepy about the way they shamble so goddamn slowly and cannot be deterred nor distracted. They just keep on coming for you. And the infamous 'Shark vs. Zombie' scene? Once again, I was blown away. I sat there, completely mystified by the skill and imagination that must have gone into the making of that awe inspiring scene. Hell, even all these years later, I still am.

House by the cemetery

I was now completely hooked on this man's amazing talent and there was no going back for me; I just couldn't get enough and I simply HAD to see more. I had to find out everything I could about this director who could bring such vision to the screen while simultaneously scaring the living shit out of me so effectively and see as many of his films as possible.

Next up was The Beyond (aka Seven Doors of Death) which was strong in vivid imagery and unbelievably creepy. I couldn't get it out of my head for days and to this very day, it is still one of my all time favorite horror films. My copy gets watched often, several times a year, and I still get creeped out. Every time.

Then there was The Gates of Hell (aka City of the Living Dead) with the famous drill through the head scene, and the vomiting up of one's intestines and I delighted in the grossness of it, even though it made me retch.

Next up was Demonia, in which a man was quartered. I was horrified but I was also really beginning to like all the gore. It was all so shocking to me, but I seriously just could not get enough. I was addicted to how these movies made me feel, and what they sparked in me.

City drill scene

I soon fell in love with Fulci's ability to use gore to the fullest extent, without it being the primary focus of his films. He had the ability to scare the hell out of me without overwhelming me with the gore, and I was all about it. The excitement became a sort of drug for me, and I became addicted to the adrenaline rush I invariably got from his films.

My parents, however, were less than thrilled with my choice in movies and the only one I could ever get Dad to watch with me was The Psychic. He just couldn't handle the gore Fulci was famous for. I, however, was growing to love it more and more with each film. Years later, I would pass that love on to my brother Clayton, and he eventually ended up just as addicted as I was.

Because I could find so few of his movies and having become utterly obsessed with his work, I tried doing some investigative work to find out all I could about this genius director that I was quickly coming to love. Sadly, this was before the Internet and the libraries had very little to offer, so there wasn't much I could find. It wasn't until many years later that I discovered Netflix and began using the Internet that I was able to get my hands on a number of films that I had only heard about – and even some that I had no clue existed. My first few months on Netflix were exciting ones; I had found hidden horror treasure. The Mother Lode.

Because I was so enamored with Fulci's films, I also then began seeking out films by people who had either inspired Fulci, or had been inspired by him - Mario and Lamberto Bava and Dario Argento. This would also eventually lead to some other obsessions of mine, Argento films and Italian horror in general. But Fulci would always be my favorite.

Fulci has done everything from horror to musicals and even some Spaghetti Westerns and comedies. He was responsible for sixty films and one hundred and twenty scripts. In addition to film making, Fulci also wrote two books Fulci Breaks The Looking Glass and My Lovely Monsters which, sadly, will probably never be translated into English.

Fulci's career hit a high point in 1971-72 with his two Giallos, A Lizard in a Woman's Skin and Don't Torture a Duckling which were both extremely controversial. However, he was briefly blacklisted after Don't Torture a Duckling because it painted an extremely vivid picture of perversity in Catholicism. He was also hauled into court and charged with cruelty to animals due to the very graphic depiction of dogs being mutilated in A Lizard in a Woman's Skin and actually had to show the judge the puppets they used and how they worked before being cleared of the charge.

Fulci Gore

It has been said that the films he made from 1979-83 were some of the most violent ever made. It is really no coincidence that the eighties were his most popular time in America. Sadly, in spite of that, he was never fully given the recognition he deserved. The horror world truly suffered a major loss with his untimely death in 1996.

It saddens me that there will never be another new Fulci film, but for this girl, this master of the macabre will always live on, both in his work, and in the work of many others.

For a complete list of Lucio Fulci's work, check out his IMDB page.