Category Archives: STAFF PICKS

Artist of the Month – May 2017: Maxwell H. Blackheart

Mother's Day is coming up. Get your mom and your baby's momma something special this year.
No? She's more of an 'I Love Lucy' kinda gal? Okay!
Or maybe clowns?
Giggles 😀 I, personally, would be thrilled to own any of those pieces. Then again, I am one twisted bitch!
Once again, a previous AotM sent me to this one. And BOY have I hit the MOTHERLOAD!!! Maxwell is flipping amazing!! There be a lot of talent in them fingers – and a lot of demented thoughts in that there brain! I love it!! Maxwell does have amazing skills and you will be thrilled to have been introduced to his work!
I'm in need of a Hall of Blackheart now!!
I was obnoxious enough to get some answers out of him! No really he was kind enough to take the time out to answer some questions and is a real down to earth fellow.
Firing away with the questions.
House of Tortured Souls: How old were you when you started to draw?
Maxwell H. Blackheart: I can remember watching my dad draw quick sketches of faces when I was about six or seven. I didn't know how he did this so I would just watch him draw these random faces. After awhile I got motivated to try it myself. I copied what he did and liked doing it. After many more drawings I started drawing Peanuts characters and just a few years later around eight years old I was drawing Kiss band members, snakes, spiders, and severed heads. It had begun.
HoTS: What was your first piece?
MHB: My first piece that I consider worth calling it a piece of art would have been a portrait of Gene Simmons from Kiss. I was starting to use colored pencils which I love to use to this day. It's really my favorite medium because it's quick and enjoyable for me.
HoTS: When and why did you fall in love with horror art?
MHB: I'm not exactly sure when I did. It was just kind of the path I took. It was the road that felt right and looked interesting to explore. I guess I'd say around eight years old. Godzilla, Frankenstein, and severed heads were always a fun subject for me.
HoTS: Do you draw in lead, charcoal, or the blood of innocent souls? 😉
MHB: I draw mostly with Prismacolor pencils and ink. I also like graphite. I've only produced about 9 or 10 acrylic paintings but I hope to do more in the future.
HoTS: Who is your favorite immortal creep?
MHB: My favorite Immortal creep is a hard question. For some reason Rawhead Rex comes to mind. Nothing like a heavy metal looking head chomping boogie man to torture your soul with fear.
HoTS: Do you do comic cons, art shows or anything?
MHB: I would love to. I wanna meet all the nice people I hear from every single day on social media. It's hard for me to travel at this time. For now you will have to come to me here in Spokane Washington or you can just visit my Instagram.
HoTS: Where can we find and purchase your work?
MHB: If you want to see what I have up or make a purchase, I sell originals and prints here http://www.maxblackheart.com and Etsy as well https://www.etsy.com/shop/MaxBlackHeart. T-shirts are a new item I have been selling also.
HoTS: Do you have any fan pages or twitter account so we can keep up with your work?
MHB: I mostly post my latest pieces on Instagram @maxblackheart. You can find me on Facebook and Etsy also.
HoTS: Are you working on anything right now?
MHB: I am currently working on a painting that is Alice Cooper themed, 'Cold Ethyl' from his song with the same title. If you love corpses or "love" corpses you'll love this piece. Also take a listen to this song if you haven't heard it. It's a real toe tapper.
HoTS: What are some of your pastimes outside of drawing?
MHB: I have lots of things I do outside of my art like spending time with my family. Riding motorcycles music and photography. I also like thinking and doing things my own way. Also really good at eating steak. Medium rare please.
Y'all be sure to go follow, like, poke, pinch, share, love, put your right foot in, put your right foot out... Oh no, wait, that's something else! Seriously go support as much as you can!

EDITORIAL: 6 Horror Movies That The New MST3K Crew Needs to Tackle

MST3K-Share-Image
Fans of bad cinema can rejoice because the new season of MST3K is upon us. Here is my list of movies Jonah and the bots can rip a new one. Also don’t take offense if we mention a movie you like; it’s all in good fun. In fact, a lot of these are favorites of mine (minus The Outing), and, as the theme song goes, “it’s just a show you should really just relax”.
We’ve got movie sign!

6. Blood Rage (1987)

06_MST3K_Blood Rage (1987) / Fair use doctrine.True, MST3K never really tackled the slasher genre in the past but couldn’t you picture the incredibly campy, sleazy and fun of late 80s Blood Rage as an episode? I mean actress Louise Lasser boozing it up, not to mention the scene in which she sits spread eagle by the fridge, binge eating would have the guys rolling! Drive-In Massacre is another film that would easily bridge the slasher-MST3K divide.

5. The Prey (1984)

05_MST3K_The Prey (1984) / Fair use doctrine.An older, low budget, slice and dice movie about six wide eyed campers getting picked off by a mysterious killer. Bad acting, bad production values, and a so-so story would equal MST3K gold.

4. Rock ‘n’ Roll Nightmare (1987)

04_MST3K_Rock ‘n’ Roll Nightmare (1987) / Fair use doctrine.Seeing how the original crew did Jon Mikl Thor’s Zombie Nightmare it only seems fitting that the new guys tackle Rock ‘n’ Roll Nightmare a wonderfully bad film that is enjoyable in its own right. Of course, the infamous shower scene will have to get axed, but it would be worth it to see how the guys react to Thor’s spiked underwear and glam rock makeup as well as a whole host of laughable monsters. Truly a classic episode in the making. Seeing how Thor himself is a fan of the show, a cameo might even be possible.

3. Creep (1995)

03_MST3K_Creep (1995) / Fair use doctrine.This shot on video “epic” by director Tim Ritter has all the elements for a great episode. Its amazingly awful in all departments yet it still retains enough “so bad its great” charm that would make this perfect for the riffed treatment. I could also see Ritter’s Killing Spree riffed, but, honestly, Creep just has something extra special. Maybe it’s the hacked together plot, the cringe worthy acting or random things like a close up of a fly…Whatever it is I`d love to see it featured.

2. The Outing aka The Lamp (1987)

]02_MST3K_The Outing (1987) / Fair use doctrine.I reviewed this PAINFULLY bad late 80s horror film for my upcoming film guide, and I couldn’t help but wish I had Mike or Joel or now Jonah and the bots could have helped me through the trauma. The Outing is a lame duck mishmash of horror and drama that fails on every level. Never heard of it? Well, neither had I until Scream Factory (Shout Factory) released it on DVD and later Blu.

1. Troll 2 (1990)

01_MST3K_Troll 2 / Fair use doctrine.The one, the only, the infamously bad Troll 2 should be, NO, needs to be featured on an episode. Sure we got a Rifftrax from Mike, Kevin, and Bill to slake our thirst, but truly this is a job for the good folks at the SOL. In fact, I think that with the right jokes, this could easily be the new crew’s Manos (Joel era) or Werewolf (Mike era). I can just imagine the epic skits that could go with it.
Honorable Mentions: The Giant Claw, Black Roses, Scalps, Troll, Ghostkeeper, and Robo Vampire (yes, that movie really exists).

MOVIE REVIEW: Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories (2016)

Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories / Fair use doctrine.
EDITOR’S NOTE: I had a great deal of difficulty figuring out how to approach this review – especially without giving away spoilers. So I watched it again. And again. And yet again. I liked it better each time, and each viewing brought new details out that made me appreciate all the effort and genuine love of horror that was evident in every scene. -Woofer
Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories, a meta horror comedy made for horror nerds and riffers, is a smart and thoroughly entertaining sequel to the 2015 Volumes of Blood. With films inside the film as well as a house with more stories than a Stephen King short story collection, the anthology works well on its on and hearkens back to such classic house renting/purchasing movies as The House That Dripped Blood and Terror Tract. Plus, it also connects back to the first in ways the viewer will appreciate if he has seen the first film, and, if he hasn’t, it’s good motivation to find the first, watch it, and then watch Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories again. It’s definitely worth it.

"Murder Death Killer"
Writer & Director: Nathan Thomas Milliner

Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories, 'Murder Death Killer' / Fair use doctrine.
"Murder Death Killer" is roughly the first 20 minutes of the movie and stars Thomas Dunbar, Warren Ray, and Barbie Clark in excellent performances as thieves come together to raid metals from a closing warehouse. Aric Stanish, who plays the legendary killer Atticus Crow, is a serial killer as effective and efficient as Michael Myers – and he is just as indestructible. The cinematography is on point, and there are several carefully blocked, highly memorable shots. And then there’s some good gore, too.

"Haters"
Director: P.J. Starks
Writers: Nathan Thomas Milliner and P.J. Stark
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Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories, 'Haters' / Fair use doctrine.
"Haters" follows horror nerd trolls Nate (Nathan Thomas Milliner) and Kev (Kevin Roach) as an usher (Gerrimy Keiffer) ejects them from the theater for causing a disturbance during the showing of the remake of Murder Death Killer. Returning to Nate’s place, the two continue their debate of 80s horror versus contemporary horror as Nate poses the question that many horror filmgoers often consider: why don’t they remake bad films? (Indeed, why don’t they? Seriously. And viewers: Don’t be afraid to check out the remake of a bad movie. What the hell you gotta lose?) When the usher shows up at Nate’s door, however, their plans for the evening change.

"Trick or Treat"
Director: Sean Blevins
Writers: P.J. Starks and Sean Blevins

Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories, 'Trick or Treat' / Fair use doctrine.
"Trick or Treat" focuses on a trick-or-treating killer (Chad Ray) roaming the streets on Halloween and dispensing his own version of tricks and treats. A rather short piece, it works to help tie the rest of the film together and flows into “A Killer House” segment, quite easily. Fans of the first Volumes of Blood will be glad to see Chad again. As with every segment, there is some wonderful cinematography employed. Watch for a particularly beautiful shot involving the most Halloween of all candies – candy corn.

"Feeding Time"
Director: John William Holt
Wruters P.J. Starks and Jason Turner

Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories, 'Feeding Time' / Fair use doctrine.
In "Feeding Time", Boone (Caleb Shore), an ineffectual insurance salesman, finds the solicitation table turned on him when he encounters a damsel in distress. Pressured to meet his sales quota on this day, the day before Thanksgiving, Boone nevertheless struggles with his desire to help Mallory (Shelby Taylor Mullins) and his utter disbelief regarding her problem. Caleb’s performance as the tempted salesman is one of the best in the movie and subtly but effectively underscored the horror of the situation.

"Blood Bath"
Director: Jon Maynard
Writer: P.J. Sparks

Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories, 'Blood Bath' / Fair use doctrine.
Before moving to the next room, Ash (Jacob Ewers) takes a bathroom break, revealing the next gruesome tale. "Blood Bath" takes place as a couple is moving into the house on Father’s Day. Their desire for a child is revealed when the wife invites husband to shower with her in order to become her “baby daddy” on Father’s Day. The rest of the story primarily takes place in the bathroom, and the cramped location of the events only heightens the horror. Some people just aren’t meant to be parents.

"Fear, For Sinners Here"
Writer and Director: Nathan Thomas Milliner

Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories, 'Fear, For Sinners Here' / Fair use doctrine.
It’s Christmas, and Carol (Jessica Schroeder) is spending a quiet evening drinking wine and wrapping presents until a group of carolers comes calling and changes everything. "Fear, For Sinners Here" is a very interesting piece with the entire first half having no dialogue at all. Jessica Schroeder carries it all with her quiet performance and does so quite admirably. The second half, however, lacks the deft touch of the first and changes the tone as soon as The Woman is introduced. This one will make you want to do all your shopping online.

"The Deathday Party"
Director: Justin M. Seaman
Writer: P.J. Starks

Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories, 'The Deathday Party' / Fair use doctrine.
It’s a milestone birthday for John (Jay Woolston), and neighbors Fred (Eric Huskisson) and Nancy (Anne Welsh) bring over a cake while his wife Almeda (Cindy Maples) is preparing John’s present in the cellar. This birthday John and Almeda learn firsthand that age-old age about the best laid plans going awry. “The Deathday Party” is the perfect story with which to end the tales in the tour – though the film itself doesn’t end just yet.
"A Killer House" loops back to the couple as they finish the tour and then... Well, I can’t tell you that, now can I?
Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories is a horror freak’s horror movie. There are countless nods to all things horror throughout the film, from names (Stu, Ash, Laurie) to props (Jason’s hockey mask) to posters for some great Indies horror, such as Plank Face, The Barn, Freezer Burn, and The Dooms Church Horror. Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories is also a movie that is perfect for group viewing and all the viewing games that go along with that. Check out the tailer below and see if you agree.

Vortexx Schedule for April 09-16, 2017

Welcome to The Vortexx where it's been ALL HOSTS ALL THE TIME FOR SIX YEARS!
THE VORTEXX! SIX YEARS STRONG!!!!!
Welcome to THE VORTEXX where it's ALL HOSTS ALL THE TIME! We've got a terrific line-up of hosts, shows, and movies coming up this week for your viewing and chatting pleasure, including two movies making their Vortexx debut along with several returning favorites.
But wait! There's more! This week marks the Vortexx debut of Orson Welles, playing a real-life 18th century magician and hypnotist known as Count Cagliostro. We've also got an eclectic assortment of aliens, including voluptuous moo n women and cheesy Neptune men, a moon beast who's not from the moon, and a movie called Alien Zone that has no aliens in it. Toss in Charlie Chan, Raymond Burr, Bela Lugosi, and the Bee Girls for good measure, and you've got the makings for a great week of entertainment.
Our hosts this week are Arachna & Deadly, Deadwood & friends from Screaming Soup, Dave Binkley & Holly Schilthelm, Lord Blood-Rah, Mr. Lobo, Uncle Pete & El Vato, Vincent Grimmly & Phydeaux, Dr. Sigmund Zoid, and Misty Brew. Enjoy our shows and thanks for hanging out.
BEWARE THEATER presents WHITE ZOMBIE (1932)
Sunday (04/09). 9:00 P.M. (ET) BEWARE THEATER with Arachna of the Spider People and her friend Deadly presents another classic from the golden age of black-and-white -- WHITE ZOMBIE (1932). It's the first zombie movie ever -- and arguably still one of the best! Fresh from his success in Dracula, Bela Lugosi plays the evil Murder Legendre, who can control people with a little white powder, a hand clench, and a nasty glare. [Artwork by Bradley Beard.] Note: Our show will be followed by an encore presentation of Wednesday's SCREAMING SOUP review of the 1988 horror-thriller SCARECROWS.
THE WEIRDNESS REALLY BAD MOVIE presents The Vortexx debut of CHARLIE CHAN'S SECRET (1936)
Monday (04/10). 9:00 P.M. (ET) THE WEIRDNESS REALLY BAD MOVIE with Dave Binkley and Holly Schilthelm presents The Vortexx debut of CHARLIE CHAN'S SECRET (1936). Swedish-born Warner Oland stars as everyone's favorite Chinese detective in this tale of a man presumably drowned in a shipwreck who may not be as dead as everyone thinks he is. You can be sure that Charlie will get to the bottom of it all before the closing credits. In keeping with the theme of tonight's movie, the movie breaks will be hosted from several "secret" locations.
LORD BLOOD-RAH'S NERVE WRACKIN' THEATRE presents HOUSE OF THE DEAD (1978)
Tuesday (04/11). 9:00 P.M. (ET) LORD BLOOD-RAH'S NERVE WRACKIN' THEATRE presents HOUSE OF THE DEAD (1978). Not to be confused with the Uwe Boll abomination of the same name, tonight's movie, also known as The Alien Zone, is an anthology of four tales told by a mortician about the lives of the recently and deservedly deceased. As always, Lord Blood-Rah will be spicing up the mix with plenty of movie trailers and a Cranial Cavity Search.
CINEMA INSOMNIA WITH MR. LOBO presents INVASION OF THE NEPTUNE MEN (1961)
Wednesday (04/12). 9:00 P.M. (ET) CINEMA INSOMNIA WITH MR. LOBO presents INVASION OF THE NEPTUNE MEN (1961). Sonny Chiba stars as a mysterious superhero called Space Chief, who flies around in a rocket-propelled car. The Neptune Men are a group of slow-moving aliens wearing nose-cone-shaped space helmets that look like suppositories, who are attempting to invade Earth in rocket ships that look like evil crab cakes. Can Space Chief and some annoying Japanese kids running around in short shorts thwart their nefarious plans?
SCREAMING SOUP reviews SATAN'S LITTLE HELPER (2004)
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Note: Our Wednesday show will be followed by a new episode of SCREAMING SOUP. Tonight Deadwood & friends are reviewing the 2004 horror-comedy SATAN'S LITTLE HELPER (2004).
THE DARK VAULT OF PUBLIC DOMAIN presents TRACK OF THE MOON BEAST (1976)
Thursday (04/13). 9:00 P.M. (ET) THE DARK VAULT OF PUBLIC DOMAIN with Uncle Pete and his sidekick El Vato presents TRACK OF THE MOON BEAST (1976). After a beefy young mineralogist (Chase Cordell) gets boinked in the head by a meteor fragment, he is transformed into a hideous lizard-like monster whenever the moon comes out. Badly paced and badly shot, with a badly constructed story and a mostly talentless cast playing cardboard characters, its one saving feature is that soon-to-be-famous Rick Baker designed the beast.
NIGHT CHILLS THEATRE presents MISSILE TO THE MOON (1958)
Friday (04/14). 9:00 P.M. (ET) NIGHT CHILLS THEATRE with Vincent Grimmly and Phydeaux presents MISSILE TO THE MOON (1958). This remake of the 1953 classic Cat-Women of the Moon is even cheesier than the original. It has everything that fans of bad B-movies could possibly ask for. Voluptuous moon women, ridiculous rock men, and a hairy spider puppet -- not to mention plywood sets and lunar footage shot at Vasquez Rocks in Los Angeles County (which also doubled for Tibet in Werewolf of London).
ALTERNATIVE REALITIES with Dr. Sigmund Zoid presents INVASION OF THE BEE GIRLS (1973)
Saturday (04/15). 9:00 P.M. (ET) ALTERNATIVE REALITIES returns to The Vortexx with a brand-new episode! Sluggo and Dwight are nowhere to be found, so Zoid decides to have a "guys night in" in this fun episode entitled The Man Show. The movie he is hosting is definitely one that will appeal to all manly men. It's INVASION OF THE BEE GIRLS (1973) and it's about a mad scientist (Anitra Ford) who creates an army of deadly beauties that seduce their hapless male victims to death. Beefy William Smith plays the government agent trying to get to the bottom of things, while Playboy playmate Victoria Vetri plays the sexy lab librarian who joins forces with him. We're not giving anything away by telling you that Victoria gets naked before the movie is over.
MISTY BREW'S CREATURE FEATURE presents The Vortexx premiere of BLACK MAGIC (1949)
Sunday (04/16). 9:00 P.M. (ET) MISTY BREW'S CREATURE FEATURE presents The Vortexx premiere of BLACK MAGIC (1949) aka Cagliostro. Orson Welles makes his Vortexx debut tonight as Cagliostro, a carnival magician and hypnotist in pre-Revolutionary France who uses his powers to gain wealth, fame, and prestige and to carry out a complicated revenge scheme. Based on a novel by Alexandre Dumas, the story is told in flashback by Alexandre to his son Alexandre Jr (Raymond Burr). Note: Our show will be followed by an encore presentation of Wednesday's SCREAMING SOUP review of the 2004 horror-comedy SATAN'S LITTLE HELPER.
"Every day is a good day that ends in the Vortexx." You can find us in our new no-lag chat room at horrorhost.net. Remember folks, we're the Gooble Gobble Channel. We accept everyone. And we will keep the doors open as long as you keep coming around! If you're a horror host looking for an additional outlet for your show, email Sluggo at sluggo@horrorhost.net.
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RECAP: TWD, S07 Finale: The Ones Who Live

HOLY MOLY!!!!!!!!! WHAT AN ENDING!!!!!!!
Okay, so, OH MY GOD!!! Sooooo much just happened! I hope y'all were buckled in! I mean, did I say WOW?!?!?!
Let's start off with Daryl and Dwight. What was it that stopped Daryl from stabbing Dwight right in that eye??? I mean the way he was shaking, and Tara coaching him on to do it! Why didn't he at least beat him unconscious? So Dwight tells them the Saviors are coming to Alexandria and that he will set up an ambush. Oh yeah? Interesting!
As Dwight is leaving, Daryl tells Rick that when it is all over he will kill Dwight anyway.
We keep seeing Sasha in the dark, sweating, listening to music, and mumbling. Soon we learn what she is mumbling was her last conversation with Abe. Now back to her in Daryl's cell and Negan compromising with her about how many of her team he will kill. He started with three but since Sasha has him 'wrapped around her finger', he agrees to only one. So Sasha agrees to climb into this coffin and head to Alexandria with the Saviors for an all out war. Sasha does take the suicide pill. SHIT we lost our sniper! But I understood her, she had lost so many people she loved.
Maggie has taken over! YES!!!! And she is going to take her crew to Alexandria for the war!! Hey there's Judith!! Look at her standing on her own.
OMG, LOOOOK AT CAROL. 😮 It's nice to see her in full Kingdom gear,and heading into war. AHA and here is Morgan (also in gear-Benjamin's gear). Ezekiel has him one hell of a speech, and Morgan joins the crowd and heads to Alexandria.
The Scavengers show up at Alexandria, in dump truck and on bicycles. LOL. Now Jadis knocks me off the couch when she tells Michonne that she will sleep with Rick after the battle is over. GIRL, LMAO!
Look who is leading in the Saviors - our one and only Eugene!! On a damn megaphone.
Eugene says he's trying one last time, before it is too late, for Rick and the crew to surrender. Rick nods to Tara for her to blow them (Eugene included) to smithereens. AHOH, problem there is the Scavengers double-crossed our team (unhooked the dynamite), and when the dynamite does not go off, the Scavengers turn their guns at our team while the Saviors come in.
When Negan pops open Sasha's coffin, of course she is a Walker, and goes for Negan. OH she was so close!!! Shit! She got him knocked off that trailer, though. That was pretty nice!
Carl takes the first shot!!! LOVE that kid!!! War begins! The whole time Jadis has her gun still pointed at Rick and standing statue still. They get in an argument, Jadis shoots Rick in the side and kicks him over the scaffolding. AGAIN she is pushing him down!! WTF is up with her pushing Rick down heights like these??
Now Michonne is in a fight with a dumbass on the roof of one of the houses. This blonde Scavenger has the audacity to bash Michonne's face into the floor of the balcony they are on and Michonne is looking pretty beat! They manage to get around so that Michonne is halfway over the railing, eye swollen shut, blood everywhere! Back to Jadis, taking Rick to Negan. Carl in on his knees again and many Saviors are standing there with Negan waiting for Rick to join them and the show begin. While Rick and Carl are knelt down, Negan tells Rick that he is going to kill Carl (even though he likes Carl) and off in the distance they hear a woman scream and see someone fall from the roof of a house. Negan finds this pleasurable, and enjoys teasing him about losing his woman. Rick tells Negan again that he will kill him. OMG, the nose to nose stare down. OMG, Rick once again, having balls as big as Negan's!!! That made my night!!!! I thought you could not get any better than. Then Negan prepares to take our Carl with Lucille. Negan pulls back to whack Carl and TADA SHHHIIIIIVVVVVAAAAAA !!!! Shiva suddenly appears and leaps and latches onto her first victim. I was screaming and clapping and jumped off the couch!! My dogs came in to check on me and make sure everything was alright. Couldn't be better!!!
Look who Shiva brought with her. 🙂 Carol is home!!! And so is Kung-Fu Morgan!! And look Ezekiel is also kicking ass! LOVE!!!! So much goodness happening at once! IT was so awesome!!!!
Maggie's speech was so touching! And look she has her father's watch. It's so sweet!!
Rick and Carl walk to the house Michonne was on. There is a lady on the ground but it's not Michonne. They find her in the house, pretty beat up. BUT SHE IS ALIVE!!!!! This episode gave me so many anxiety attacks!!!
As the finale ends, we see Daryl finds a wooden soldier at the gate. On the back of it reads 'Didn't Know'. WHO DIDN’T KNOW??? THEY DIDN'T KNOW WHAT???? Yeah, THANX, for yet another cliffhanger.
This has got to be the more exciting finale ever! It was so thrilling! I did not see the Scavengers double crossing the gang. I don't know why the hell Dwight even bothered to go to Alexandria anyway. It's not like he learned some big secret while he was there. And I also did not think the Saviors would retreat like that. Then again there was a damn tiger!!!! And a Carol!
So I will see ya (sort of) in October, folks.

RECAP TWD: S07E15, Something They Need

WELP, Tara's secret lasted like a week. LOL. Seriously, how long was she back in Alexandria? I have another question...with that many in the boat on their way to Oceanside, who is left guarding Alexandria? Who is watching Judith?
Speaking of watching, thank God Gregory was around to protect Maggie while she dug up the blueberry bush!! Right? ROFL!! Did anyone ever believe that Gregory could hold his own? That he ever killed a Walker? HA. Gregory went from having a complete Shane to complete Eugene! Hell at least Eugene has killed Walkers. He even managed to kill some in a completely bad-ass manner! Remember the firetruck hose? Gregory doesn't seemed to have taken the point of some of his residents pointing out they never believed he could handle a Walker. So he's going on a little trip huh? #ByeGregory
Okay, back to the Oceanside SeaWalkers!! Walkers covered in seaweed and barnacles, looking like they just step off the set of the new Pirates of the Caribbean!
HOLD UP! Check out Daryl speaking again! Well barking commands. And check out Enid with a gun. 😮
I'm now shipping LaTonya with Gregory!!! Where the hell is Heath? Why hasn't Tara explained the key card she picked up at where it appears Heath got in a vehicle – or was taken?
Sasha being held captive now. Who did not see this coming? This David guy sneaks into her cell and attempts to rape Sasha. Negan sneaks up and shut that shit down! Negan kills him because 'that shit ain't cool' Negan talks to Sasha about recruiting her, I mean come on, he just saved you from being raped right. Sasha calls Rick Negan's bitch DAYUM! (I saw that as her,protecting him, removing herself from that equation.)
Negan leaves the knife that he killed RapeyDavey with and mentions the choices she has: She can kill herself or she can kill the Walker. Sasha takes out David, in pitch darkness, because that's what badasses do! Sasha tells Negan she will join. (Again, I do not believe she has given up, and is plotting.) She asks Eugene to bring her a weapon so she can end herself. I believe she was hoping he would bring her something that he would have to open the door to hand her, and she would escape. Instead, he brings her the suicide pill. Is that even a real suicide pill? Remember when he made it, I said it probably just give you gas or something. But dammit it all to hell, Eugene!
Back at Alexandria the crew sees Rosita has made it back. And she brought a visitor. I KNEW IT WASN’T DARYL!!!
Daryl was ready to kick Dwight's ass.
I have known for a long ass time, probably the whole time, that Dwight would break away from Negan or plot against him to bring him down. I could tell in his body language and his story! Which makes it all the more interesting of a twist!! Can wait to see what he does first on this adventure.
Next week is the Season Finale folks! So, so sad!!

RECAP TWD: S07E14: The Other Side

Hey, did anyone miss Gregory? LOL And still another episode where he was not taken out! I'm starting to hope that it is Simon that does it! Also I'd like to note that it appears to me that Simon is just toying with him over this whole taste in booze. And I do hope this is some kind of trap: Simon giving Gregory a pass to the brothel?
I think what stood out to me the most in the episode was Jesus coming out. I was very interested that he chose to tell Maggie. He is working on a strong bond with her. I was wondering, though, if something is coming up where that information being told will be useful.
Sasha grabbed my feels more then once this episode. She was preparing to never see these guys again, as this mission would certainly seal her fate. The crew has became her family and she wanted to take in as much of them as possible before leaving out on the mission to kill Negan.
The Saviors come roaring up to The Hilltop. We have a lot of people hiding there. The Saviors have not come to look for Daryl, who does go hide but stays poised and ready to stab someone. The Saviours came to take their doctor, the brother of the one Negan just throw into the fire pit. And in return Simon gives Gregory a giant case of aspirin. Really?
Before Daryl and Maggie leave the storm cellar, Daryl breaks down and starts crying and apologizes to Maggie for getting Glenn killed. Maggie tells him it is not his fault and that she does not – did not – blame him. A huge weight is lifted from Daryl.
Sasha and Rosita get out of The Hilltop safely through a tunnel Sasha made.
On their journey, Rosita still has that chip on her shoulder. At one point while they are checking out a car to hotwire, the necklace Sasha now wears in dangling down, Rosita sees it and tells Sasha she made it for Abe. Finally, when they are set up in a building across from The Sanctuary, Rosita lets down her wall, and talks to Sasha about men (learning different lessons and from different men), and about loving Abe. Negan finally comes out of the compound but Eugene's big mullet keeps getting in the way, she cannot take the shot. When Negan goes back in, Eugene is heard over the walkie talkie that the girls have that Negan will be occupied for a while. Well, thanks for the heads up there, pal! Change of plans, they ARE going inside! But first let's save Eugene and get him out of here...maybe not! Now I am wondering about that! Is he, indeed, comfortable in his new role or is he intelling and working on his own plan, or is he still just doing what cowards do best? And then our girl Sasha prevents Rosita from coming with her. Interesting call!
Josh McDermitt as Dr. Eugene Porter - The Walking Dead / Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC
Did you guys spy Eugene's pal hanging out of his pocket? 🙂 I pondered something else right there at the end of the episode. It shows the silhouette of a man with a bow, everyone is shouting Daryl came to help the girls, but what if that is Dwight?? AND that leds me to wonder if he will turn her in or conspire with her???? And while we are on the topic of "I SPY", did anyone else notice that Daryl has washed his greasy hair and has on a fresh outfit, WITH SLEEVES. 😮 😮 😮
Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon - The Walking Dead / Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

MUSIC REVIEW: Ratbatspider – Night Of The Sharksquatch (2014)

  • 1. ...And I'm All Out Of Bubblegum
  • 2. Inward Skeleton
  • 3. Last One Out Close The Coffin Lid
  • 4. Dead Girls Don't Say No
  • 5. Night of the Sharksquatch
Sometime in the latter half of 2015, I was first introduced to the Martian rock monsters Ratbatspider. Hailing from the angry red planet but currently residing in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, this horror punk outfit blends the obvious standard scene influences of The Misfits, Glenn Danzig, etc., with a heavier, more metal-influenced style that’s rare to see with bands who identify as Horror Punk. The four piece machine features vocalist Ryan Remains, bassist Chris Rat, guitarist Jack Bat, and drummer Doug Spider. The first impression this band made on me was in form of their 2014 release, Night of the Sharksquatch. The album cover shows a hulking Sasquatch with a shark’s head superimposed on it. Between the cover art, album title, and band name, I had no idea what to expect from the group and went in with zero expectations.
From the start of the album, it was obvious this was a group willing to pave their own way in a genre over-saturated with copy artists trying to emulate groups that came before them. The first track “...And I'm All Out Of Bubblegum” opens with the Rodney Piper quip from They Live where he threatens the alien invaders and then tears right into the music. Front man, Ryan Remains’ aggressive vocal track soars to drummer Doug Spider’s blasting beat as he shouts about the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. The track ends with a shotgun blast before the album’s second song, “Inward Skeleton”, begins. The group slows down slightly for this track and falls into a tighter groove while Remains demonstrates his capable vocal abilities as he jumps back and forth between a croon and shouting.
The third track is the disc’s longest play, coming in at 3:13. “Last One Out Close The Coffin Lid” has the characters playing a game of Russian roulette. Chris Rat’s bass line prominently carries this track as Remains barks the lyrics like, “one is six chance I’ll wind up dead, paint the room with insides of my head”. Overall, this was my favorite listen on the album. The fourth track “Dead Girls Don’t Say No” starts with Jack Bat playing a thrash-style introduction before Doug Spider starts in with another breakneck pace drum beat. This track showcases the groups plethora of influences as collectively they sound like something straight out the late 80s thrash metal scene. The band works at double time as Remains’ vocals change shape again into a more powerful howl.
The album closes with the title track, “Night of the Sharksquatch” a powerful and heavy closer centered around a Kaiju-style beast created when toxic waste fuses the infamous Sasquatch and a shark together. The light-hearted song premise shows a band that can have fun and still write incredible, gripping, and powerful music. Ratbatspider has proven time and again on each of their more current releases that they are a band with confidence in the direction they are going and the raw talent to get them there.
Follow Ratbatspider on their Facebook page.
And check out more from them at their Bandcamp site.

RECAP TWD: S07E12, Say Yes

The couple that slays together stays together!! LOL A member of the Walking Dead group I run (J.R. Hamby) said that in chat during the episode! Our chats are always a riot! You fans should join the group anyway, because we are having a big giveaway in there right now! Check it out over at The Walking Dead Heads Unite.
Well, Rick and Michonne had a Honeymoon! Rick rose up several times! They were mixing Bisquick like they were Maggie and Glenn, and I KNEW when they fell through the roof, they would end up giggling and rolling around on the floor some more. Funny thing, though, that they dropped onto a mattress!Why didn't they think to throw that in the truck, too. I bet they will go back for it. But, HOLY MOLEY, they found the motherload of all food supplies. Chili Mac and Cheese TOGATHER!
Why were there so many soldiers at this carnival? Or was that a carnival sat up at a National Guard Post? Interesting, but however it were to be, they were so lucky to find this spot! This will feed the crew for a long time, and they were able to gather many weapons.
It was hilarious how Rick assigned eight Walkers to Michonne, while he takes out 1. LOL Well, he didn't see that Walker through the windshield... because he was camouflaged. OH, I'm so funny. LOL
The scenes of them getting behind the gates and killing Walkers were excellent. There have been lots of puns for that. Whack-A-Walker is my favorite. 🙂 As killer as that was, however, the Automatic Walker was fantastic! The Walker that walked right into the spikes and got stuck there, his gun, hanging on his side gets a spike through the trigger guard or something, and every move the Walker makes, the gun fires away. LOL Bullets every direction!
The deer makes it to the carnival. Who knew they liked ferris wheels? Rick climbs the ferris wheel, at first he was going to take out the deer, but Walkers were getting too close to the deer. If Rick shot the deer, the Walkers would get to it before he could. Then Rick falls AGAIN, only this time there’s no mattress to soften his fall, just that hard ground. Plus, he lost his grip on his pistol, and it landed a good bit away. So, by the time Rick crawls to it, Walkers are too close for comfort. Michonne saw the fall and ran over to help him. When Michonne gets there, however, what she sees is a gang of Walkers eating something. Michonne did not know the deer came in the carnival, but she could hear Rick shooting and the clicks of his gun as it dry fires.
Michonne stands there stunned, dropping her katana as her face registers shock and tears well up in her eyes. Then here comes Rick climbing out from underneath a downed ride.
Music-icon-editReunited, and it feels so good!Music-icon-edit
The thought of losing Rick really tore up Michonne.
Rick sees that, pulls over the van (did you catch the phoenix on the side of it? #RiseUp), and tells her that she COULD go on without him if he died and that she would make a great leader. And he goes on to say that all of them need to get to the point that they would be fine if their loved ones die; they are all disposable and must do whatever it takes to create future for their children.
Many scenes were like deja vu:
Walker-small-iconWalkers surrounding car, like Merle's and like Aaron and Daryl
Walker-small-iconFalling through the roof, like at the grocery store (Rick and Michonne falling head over heels for each other)
Walker-small-iconThe deer !!! CARL get back in the house!!
Aww, we finally get to see Judith again. Look at that hair! And she's still a quite baby. Tara asking Judith for advice was cute though. I imagine Judith is going to blow all of our hair back!
Well, that big ass chip on Rosita's shoulder is way out of proportion. She is a walking time bomb. And she is snapping at everyone. Most just blow her off, some tell her what time it really is, not that she pays them any mind! But Father Gabriel really know how to put someone in their place, in Rosita's case, make them roll their eyes. So Rosita heads off to the Hilltop. She finds Sasha at Abe's grave. Sasha, thinking Rosita came to spend some time at Abe's grave (me and most everyone did too), apologizes and goes to leave. Rosita is there to see her though. And she brought Sasha a big ole gift (:)) and a proposition. Sasha agrees! Well this should be interesting.
Hey, we get to see The Scavengers again. 🙂 Jadas is not happy. 'Not enough'. OH these people's form of speech. They are driving me nuts. And here we are with Jadas and Rick staring each other down again. These two love each other... in a pycho kinda way. But 60...well 40 guns in not enough. Rick and the crew must find more. I could have saved Rick the trip. I knew that wouldn't be enough. Jadas did say 'a lot'.
And at the end of the episode, Tara tells Rick she has something to tell him. It better be that Judith took her first step.

ARTIST OF THE MONTH – MAR 2017: Don England

I found out our next AotM by a previous AotM Cory Newman (you remember the badass tattooist) He actually pointed the finger to a few horror artists, many will be AotM in months to come. Don England does most of his sketches only with pencil and ink alone, and they turn out incredible! He has a truly amazing skill and horror is perfect for black and white sketches.
Here is our Q&A:
House of Tortured Souls: How old were you when you started to draw?
Don England: I've been drawing as long as I can remember. My mother was an artist and taught me many techniques in drawing when I was a little kid. Spider-Man was my favorite thing to draw when I was younger.
HoTS: Did you take art courses?
DE: I took basic art classes in school and then in my late 20s I took a few classes at a local art store to learn watercolor and a few other things. But that's about it.
HoTS: When and why did you fall in love with horror art?
DE: Well, I've loved horror films since I was a little kid. Back in grade school I would watch Sir Graves on the local station. He would play a variety of horror films ranging from the Universal monsters to the Hammer films. Eventually we got cable and then a VCR and they opened me up to an entirely new world of horror I had never seen. So for whatever reason horror became a passion for me either watching or talking about it. So it just became natural for me to start drawing what I would see on the screen.
HoTS: Who is your favorite immortal creep?
DE: Werewolves were always my favorite. Curse of the Werewolf was the first werewolf movie I had seen but An American Werewolf in London is the movie that blew my mind. l watched it when I was in 6th grade and I've never been the same since! I like the idea of the inner beast coming out.
HoTS: Tell us about your featured pieces.

DE: Nosferatu, a piece that took me awhile to finish because I didn't think it was looking correct. By the time I finished it I personally think it's one of the best I've done.
Artist of the Month, Mar 2017, Don England, Nosferatu
Artist of the Month, Mar 2017, Don England, Horror Collage
DE: Horror Montage, was a piece I worked on for a long time, a lot of erasing and rearranging. It's the piece that got me noticed.
DE: The Night Pieces cover is one of my personal favorites. Gary Reed, who was putting out the book, gave me a brief idea of what he wanted and this is what came of it. It's different for my usual stuff and I think that's why I like it.
Artist of the Month, Mar 2017, Don England, Night Pieces
Artist of the Month, Mar 2017, Don England, Pan's Labyrinth
DE: The Pale Man from Pan's Labyrinth is such a great looking character. I was really pleased with the way it come out.
DE: An American Werewolf In London, I had this piece planned for a long time.. I wanted to do something more that just a couple images from the movie. Once I finally got moving on it I was very happy with the final results.
Artist of the Month, Mar 2017, Don England, An American Werewolf in London
HoTS: Do you do comic cons or art shows anywhere?
DE: I've been setting up all comic and horror cons for nearly 25 years. When I started, it was to promote Lethal Lita, the comic I was working on at the time. After a few years of local comic cons I started setting up at horror cons and now I'm at 12-15 conventions a year, mostly in the mid-west. Cinema Wasteland, Monsterpalooza, Horror Hound, and Motor City Comic Con are a few of my regular shows.
HoTS: Where can we find and purchase your work?
DE: You can see me at the conventions but you can also go to donaldengland.com for prints, original art and shirts. I also post on Facebook and Instagram almost daily with sketches and finished pieces that are for sale. If interested in commissions you can message me with your request.
HoTS: Do you have a fanpage or twitter etc where we can keep up with your work?
DE: I'm on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. I post the most on Facebook where I have a personal page and a fan page. Both pages are open to anyone wanting to see my work.
HoTS: What was your first piece?
DE: Hmmm, I'm going to guess Batman or Spider-Man.
HoTS: What is your favorite pastime outside of drawing?
DE: Hanging out with the wife and kids!

TWD RECAP: S07E11, Hostiles and Calamities

GET THAT MAN SOME PICKLES!!!
We start off with Dwight panicking that Daryl is longer there. That means punishment. Dwight gets the beat down and thrown into Daryl's old room.
Eugene has arrived at The Sanctuary! I wonder if he was paying attention to turns, railroad tracks, brooks, streams, and birds chirping, so that when he escapes (HA) he can backtrack and find his way home. LOL
While Eugene eases into his room, still clinches ass cheeks, Laura asks him what he would like to ear. Well lobster of course! And pickles?!? So Laura leaves, Eugene roams around his new room checking everything out. Clicks play on the boombox. OMG "Easy Street" and here we have a head bopping Eugene AW shit! Moving forward, Laura is showing Eugene around the Commissary and explaining how their booking works. Tada!! Big ole jar of pickles!!! Laura leads Eugene outdoors to where Negan is pondering a problem. Well Eugene's spew of lies worked so well for him before, let's try again! This time he is a docto.r. 🙂 Negan is not impressed with Eugene's big words, he needed to find out how smart and useful Eugene was. So he had a little Walker quiz. Eugene came up with a genius idea to keep the walker in place while also keeping the Walker's head safe from stabs to the head. BRAVO EUGENE! You're getting a visit from some of Negan's wives! Wives? Yep 🙂
What do you do when you have wine and three lovely women all to yourself? Play video games OF COURSE!! While Eugene is smooth talking the ladies, it is brutally clear one is not a Happy Camper or perhaps really loves that wine! She's not impressed huh?! Let me blow up some surgical gloves! Still not impressed? Here's some giant columns of foam spewing out of lab test tubes and big bang when i set these glove balloon on fire!
The girls are now convinced Eugene knows a thing or two. So Brunette and Redhead come back to Eugene's room the next day with this sob story. Blondie is unhappy, and wants to die. Will Eugene make a pill to help her end her life? “Pump your brakes, Red.”' HA Eugene found some street. So he calls them out, and says they want pills to kill Negan. I personally do not think that is what they were planning. I think they did/do want to take out Blondie but for other reasons. The girls end up huffing and leaving his room, calling him a coward. That's nothing new, and Eugene agrees with them.
Next day however he is in the Commissary asking for cold pills. The lady in charge of the section, bit his head off and sent him to get in line. Eugene turns, makes a few steps to in fact get in line, then turns back around, steps back to the lady, and snaps her head off. Takes a ton of supplies, and a new friend that he names 'Grimly Gunk' YOU GO GIRL! He was pretty damn convincing too, this will be interesting indeed! Back in his room we see him putting together some new pills. They are probably fart pills. That would be fantastic.
Negan visits Dwight and, while door is closed, tells him Sherry is also missing. Dwight's head is spinning, wondering what it means. Negan opens the door, asks Dwight who he is, Dwight says Negan. Negan is pleased. So he sends Dwight off to fetch his wife! Dwight goes back to their old house. Sherry WAS there but left. She left Dwight a letter with her Wedding and Engagement Rings. While Dwight fumes over the letter, he compares the handwriting to the note that was shoved under the prison door while Daryl was in there. It was in fact Sherry that set Daryl free. Now Dwight is flaming mad! When he gets back to The Sanctuary he sees the Doc again. Dwight tells him he killed Sherry. The doctor goes on to tell him how some are have too much heart, and some are heartless. Hummm.
Oh boy, time for more fireworks. Laura drags Eugene down to the furnace room where there is a crowd. All get down on one knee until Negan gestures them to rise. We see Dwight holding the famous iron in the fire. But we have no clue who is in trouble...until Negan grabs the doctor and brings him forward. Negan shows him this note he found in the doctor's desk which looks suspiciously like the bottom of the letter Sherry left for Dwight! As Negan is about to burn the side of the doctor's face, the doctor 'fesses up and apologizes. Negan drops the iron, 'That's all you had to say, man' but as he is turning he catches sight of Eugene up a flight. Oh yeah, I have a new doctor! So nevermind. Negan pushes the doctor into the furnace! Dwight plotted on the doctor, and told everyone he killed Sherry to save her life. We don't know where she went, but there is hope she can get away.
So after the show, Eugene is outdoors running the smelting operation. Negan comes and before he can get the whole question (Who are you?) out of his mouth, Eugene is piping in, “I am Negan, I've always been Negan, I was Negan before I knew I was Negan”. Well damn!! He's such a card! Negan trots off happy. So now we have Dwight and Eugene leaning against the railing. 'Oh great! Now I have to apologize for biting this asshole in the junk!" So Eugene tell Dwight he's sorry and works on buddy'ing up with him. He leaves us with, 'I'm Eugene, you're Dwight, we are Negan' LUVIT!
~~Life is sweet...

WiHM: Leeana Hergenreder

To know her is to love her. and that is one of the many reasons why I have selected Leeana Hergenreder to be known as one of the women in horror as we celebrate Women in Horror Month.
In 2013, I had the pleasure of meeting Leeana while working at a local pizza shop, and right away we hit it off. We had many discussions about all different kinds of art and what makes us happy, including tattoos, piercings, music, movies, and setting goals to achieve. After about 3 months, I mentioned I was going to be making a movie in the summer and her response was, "Awesome, I'm gonna be in it", and that was a day that I'll never forget. Leeana's energy and excitement showed me that she was not only serious, but she was extremely dedicated to doing something special. And that was just the beginning.
Since our first film, Apartment 1109, we have worked on quite a few productions together including, All Hallows' Eve - The 11th Hour (which is still in post production hell) a Misfits music video, and, last but not least, my latest film, (S)aint Nick, which has been picked up by Body Bag Films and Troma. You can check out the film on Tromanow.com or wait until they release the DVD sometime this year.
Leeana Hergenreder 03Upon working with Leeana, we have become quite close and she is without a doubt my favorite person to work with. It's a great feeling to know that you can count on someone who is willing to go above and beyond to make not only her acting skills shine but also to make your film more enjoyable to watch. Those reasons alone are exactly why I'll never make a film without her being involved. We have so much fun creating, learning, and trying new things on set.
When Leeana isn't acting, she spends time being an amazing wife, to her husband Harry, a lovely mother to her fur babies, and inspiring people to exercise, stay healthy and live a long happy life.
My favorite thing about Leeana is not only is she so driven and dedicated to achieving the goals she sets in place, but it's the size of her heart. She wears that fucker on her sleeve and has done so much for so many people and still continues to do so. She is beautiful, intelligent and all around a very hard working person, and she deserves every ounce of recognition she can get.
Leeana Hergenreder 02Leeana just wrapped production on her latest film, The Chop, and it is currently in post production and should be released sometime this year.
To Leeana, I am so proud of you for all your hard work and dedication, you are one of my favorites and I couldn't be happier for you. You deserve all the recognition you get and hopefully within time, everyone will see how amazing, hardworking and truly dedicated you are. Keep on fighting, girl.
You will forever be my Johnny Depp, and I will forever be your Tim Burton.

WiHM: Jamie Lee Curtis

Jamie Lee Curtis was my first (and still my top go to) Scream Queen. She was 19 when she played the role of Laurie Strode in Halloween.
And boy did she play the hell out of the role!! The horrified faces she made, the shaky hand with the butcher knife, and that scream! She would later play that role three more times in Halloween II, Halloween H2O, and Halloween: Resurrection and had a voice role in Halloween III.
Jamie held on to the audience after Halloween with her banging body, which she took full advantage of in Trading Places, A Fish Called Wanda, and the infamous hotel scene from True Lies.
I mean isn't the perfect damsel in distress look?
Her ability to play any type of role amazed watchers and added even more to her fans list!!Jamie is one of the incredibly talented actresses that can go from horror to family movie (Freaky Friday), back to horror, and onto your 'typical housewife' in a dramatic adventure.
The show Scream Queens was conceived based on her, and she, of course, has a role in it to freak the audience once more. 🙂

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.

VORTEXX SCHEDULE FOR FEBRUARY 12 – 19, 2017

Welcome to The Vortexx where it's been ALL HOSTS ALL THE TIME FOR SIX YEARS!
THE VORTEXX! SIX YEARS STRONG!!!!!
Welcome to THE VORTEXX where it's ALL HOSTS ALL THE TIME! We've got a terrific line-up of hosts, shows, and movies this week, including one great new host making his Vortexx debut, one great movie making its debut, and a SLUGGO BIRTHDAY BASH to begin the week. Be sure to stick around Saturday night after our featured movie for VORTEXX FLASHBACK RADIO -- a tribute to the old-time radio shows of yesteryear. Our hosts this week are Sluggo & Sluggles, Deadwood & Co., Slash (making his debut on Monday), Arachna & Deadly, Edgar von Ghoul, Cnl. Graves & Smiley Bones, Karlos Borloff & the crazies at Monster Madhouse, Dr. Lady & the Usual Suspects, and Misty Brew. Enjoy our shows and thanks for hanging out!
SLUGGO'S STRANGE TAILS presents WILD GUITAR (1962) for SLUGGO BIRTHDAY BASH!
Sunday (2/12). 9:00 P.M. (ET) Join us tonight for our SLUGGO BIRTHDAY BASH! On February 12 each year our nation celebrates the birthday of two great presidents -- Abraham Lincoln, president of the United States, and Sluggo Gonzales, freely elected president of the Vortexx. It should come as no surprise that the movie our Dear Leader has decided to host on her birthday stars her favorite actor, singer, and musician -- Arch Hall, Jr. Be sure to come by tonight as SLUGGO'S STRANGE TAILS with co-host Sluggles and special guest Wolfie presents Sluggo's all-time favorite Arch Hall, Jr. movie -- and, believe us, folks, she loves them all! -- WILD GUITAR (1962). In tonight's movie, released just eight months after Eegah, Arch plays Bud Eagle, a young musician who comes under the influence of unscrupulous record producer Mike McCauley (Arch Hall, Sr.). Co-star Cash Flagg (who also directed under his birth name Ray Dennis Steckler) hams it up as McCauley's henchman Steak in what has to be the "meatiest" role of his career. Our show will be followed by an encore presentation of SCREAMING SOUP: HELLBOUND.
SLASH'S GRAVEYARD TALES presents Ed Wood's PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE (1959)
Monday (2/13). 9:00 P.M. (ET) Join us tonight as we welcome Indiana's newest horror host to The Vortexx with SLASH'S GRAVEYARD TALES. An artist, sculptor, pro wrestler, and haunter at the Harrodsburg Haunted House in his previous life, Slash is a Wolf Man who loves the old-time classic horror and sci-fi movies. And now that he's been bitten by the horror host bug, he's put together a show that he describes as "a cross between Pee-wee's Playhouse and Tales from the Crypt." Tonight Slash and his sidekicks Poe, Hoots, and Bones will be hosting Ed Wood's PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE (1959). This is a movie that needs no introduction, but we're going to give you one anyway. A couple of pompous aliens in silk pajamas (Dudley Manlove and Joanna Lee) and their leader The Ruler (Bunny Breckinridge) plan to resurrect Bela Lugosi, Vampira, and Tor Johnson as slow-moving zombies. Why? Because all you of Earth are Idiots!
BEWARE THEATER presents THE BRAIN THAT WOULDN'T DIE (1962)
Tuesday (2/14). 9:00 P.M. (ET) Happy Valentine's Day to all our friends in The Vortexx! Tonight we've picked a movie that we feel is suitable for the occasion. It's a lovely love story about a mad scientist who loves his girlfriend so much that he's willing to stalk and murder to get a new body for her." Join us tonight as BEWARE THEATER with Arachna of the Spider People and her friend Deadly presents THE BRAIN THAT WOULDN'T DIE (1962). Affectionately known to its many fans as "The Brain That Wouldn't Shuddup" and "Jan in the Pan," this film has everything that a B-movie fan could possibly ask for -- mutants, mad doctors, talking heads, cat fighting strippers, and some of the sleaziest, most infectious music you've ever heard.
MIDNIGHT CHILLERS presents THE EMBALMER (1965)
Wednesday (2/15). 9:00 P.M. (ET) MIDNIGHT CHILLERS with Edgar von Ghoul presents THE EMBALMER (1965) aka The Monster of Venice. A psycho in a monk's robe and skull mask dons a scuba suit and stalks the canals of Venice looking for victims (all beautiful women, of course) to kill and then bring to his secret underwater lair for the titular embalming. Unfortunately, the budget did not allow for any underwater photography, which might have improved the killing scenes. But the secret lair, revealed at the end of the movie, is something to be seen.
SCREAMING SOUP reviews Fred Olen Ray's EVIL TOONS (1992)
Wednesday (2/15). 11:15 P.M. (ET) Don't go away folks! Stick around after Midnight Chillers for another episode of SCREAMING SOUP! Now entering its fourth season, this animated horror host show specializes in raunchy movie reviews. In tonight's episode our host Deadwest reviews Fred Olen Ray's EVIL TOONS (1992) while being ambushed by Buzzkill, a competing horror host. A knock-off of Sam Raimi's The Evil Dead, tonight's movie stars David Carradine, Dick Miller, Arte Johnson, and scream queen Michelle Bauer. Please note: This episode contains nudity and gross-out raunchiness and is, therefore, recommended for immature adults only.
PUBLIC DOMAIN DRIVE-IN presents Roger Corman's QUEEN OF BLOOD (1966)
Thursday (2/16). 9:00 P.M. (ET) PUBLIC DOMAIN DRIVE-IN with Cnl. Graves and Smiley Bones presents Roger Corman’s QUEEN OF BLOOD (1966). Here we go again! Corman got his hands on some more Russian footage, hired someone to write a screenplay around it, brought in Basil Rathbone and a few other English-speaking actors, and finished the whole thing in little over a week at a cost of $65,000. But the really strange thing is . . . this is actually a very good movie! Florence Marley gives a deliciously creepy performance as a green-skinned, glowing-eyed alien woman who is rescued on Mars to be brought back to Earth and proceeds to drain the blood from assorted crew members on the way home. Keep an eye out for a delightful cameo appearance by Forrest J Ackerman at the end.
MONSTER MADHOUSE presents HORROR EXPRESS (1972)
Friday (2/17). 9:00 P.M. (ET) MONSTER MADHOUSE with Karlos Borloff, Slo Frank, and a cast of thousands presents HORROR EXPRESS (1972) starring Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, and Telly (Kojak) Savalas. Our three stars find themselves traveling on the Trans-Siberian Express, accompanied by the frozen remains of a primitive humanoid creature who, needless to say, doesn't stay frozen for long. As always, there will be plenty of insane hijinks by Borloff and the Madhouse crazies both during and in between segments of the movie. Truth be told, we lost count of the number of times Frank gets punched, poked, and slapped silly in tonight’s episode!
THE LATE DR LADY SHOW presents Jess Franco’s OASIS OF THE ZOMBIES (1981)
Saturday (2/18). 9:00 P.M. (ET) THE LATE DR LADY SHOW with Dr. Lady, the Usual Suspects, and special guest Sluggo presents our all-time favorite Dr. Lady episode -- Jess Franco’s OASIS OF THE ZOMBIES(1981) aka Skull on a Stick. The movie is about an expedition searching for gold hidden by Field Marshall Rommel that comes up against an army of Nazi Zombies. But what really makes tonight's show completely off-the-wall are its hilarious skits, several of which feature our own Pink Lady.
MISTY BREW'S CREATURE FEATURE presents The Vortexx premiere of THE HAUNTING OF JULIA (1977).
Sunday (2/189). 9:00 P.M. (ET) MISTY BREW'S CREATURE FEATURE presents The Vortexx premiere of THE HAUNTING OF JULIA (1977) aka Full Circle. Mia Farrow (sporting her Rosemary's Baby haircut) stars in this British-made thriller as a wealthy American woman named . . . you guessed it, Julia. She's living in London, trapped in an unhappy marriage, and haunted by the sadness of losing her child. Julia decides to ditch her hubby and move into a new house, which happens to be inhabited by the ghost of an obnoxious little girl who plans to use Julia as a pawn in her terrible revenge scheme. Unlike most of the foreign movies that sat on the shelf for years before being released in America, this one, based on the novel by Peter Straub who also wrote Ghost Story, is actually pretty good. And it's got a shocking and completely unexpected ending. Keir (2001: A Space Odyssey) Dullea costars. Note: Tonight's show will be followed by an encore presentation of Wednesday's SCREAMING SOUP: EVIL TOONS.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO SLUGGO!!! OUR DEAR LEADER AND FREELY RE-ELECTED PRESIDENT OF THE VORTEXX!!!

RECAP: TWD, S07E09, Mid-Season Premiere: Rock in the Road

AT LAST, my lonely days are over!
No? Don't sing, Tammie? Okay, how about... FINALLY! THE WALKING DEAD IS BACK!
And as soon as it comes on, we are all cussing! UGH. Why is Gregory still around? Stab him with those scissors on that outrageous desk! Actually, that would be a nice kill! Considering Maggie's younger sister Beth was killed while attempting to kill someone with scissors. It would feel like closure, right? 🙂 Nothing is getting in that thick skull of his. I'll say again how those scissors would be perfect. So what a relief. This good news is Enid rallied some Hilltopians to join their crew in their stance against Negan and brought them to our guys on their way out the door (with shoulders slumped). Way to go, Enid and Hilltopians! YES! Rise up! Now we have a crew growing in The Hilltop, and they have Maggie on their side, so they certainly will be just fine. 🙂
Since it did not go well with Gregory, Jesus was ready to introduce Rick's crew to King Ezekiel. I laughed out loud at the look on Rick’s face when Jesus said, “King Ezekiel”! I could not wait for them to see Shiva. LMAO. It was rich! Before Rick made it to Ezekiel, he found Morgan who faithfully did not tell Rick that Carol was right outside The Kingdom in her own little house. Morgan just told a side-ways truth by saying, “She left here”. Getting back to King Ezekiel, how touching it was to see him (the King) telling a young boy a bed-time story. How humble and how powerful. As much as I loved that, Ezekiel TigerDick did turn Rick down, not having any interest in joining to defeat Negan.
We did see a little of Carol. She almost shot our rising star Benjamin. Thank the Lort Carol did not tie this young man to a tree for the monsters to come along and eat him! That may mean that Carol will find another way to traumatize the poor fella.

The team now comes a roadblock. Crap. As they move all the vehicles over, Michonne, who has been on watch (But why? Is she pregnant, too, and cannot push heavy vehicles?!), spots a cable running across the road loaded with dynamite! HERE (and I hope she notices!) Rosita steps in. Here is her purpose! Rosita disarms the unit, and teaches them how to disassemble it. And our team has to work fast because Negan has sent a team to Alexandria (they know this from listening in on the walkie-talkie Jesus snatched while in The Sanctuary) and a horde of walkers are headed towards them. Of course they finish up just as the horde reaches them, but how in the hell did neither Michonne nor Rick get scratched up while they were playing patty cake with the walkers? BTW, aww snap, Rosita! Sasha speaks to her, and Rosita's claws come out. She lets Sasha know in a not so kind manner that she does not like her and to leave Rosita alone.
On to the most awesome scene we have had in a long ass time. All the dynamite has been removed from the cable – which is still attached to two cars. Who would not jump in these cars?! Bonnie and Clyde, I mean Rick and Michonne, hop in the cars and take off, making that cable one hell of a melee weapon! They go slicing through hundreds of walkers shuffling down the highway. Oh what a site! And then Rick looks over to Michonne, locking eyes and making sure she is fine and can keep up with him.

Rick's crew gets back to Alexandria just in time. As a matter of fact, Stanley and a gang of Saviors come revving up just before they get the gate shut. And, as they search the community with Rick in the lead, they go into the storage shed. Which is absolutely empty. Gabriel did not even leave a single cracker packet! They come up with a story to tell The Saviors because instantly Stanley thinks they have hidden all the food. When the Saviors leave and our crew are scratching their heads as to where their food went and why Gabe is missing, Rick goes through Gabriel's notebook. The last page says a single word, and one word was all the was needed. That word was 'Boat'. BINGO! I WAS RIGHT, Y'ALL. Those mysterious boots watching Rick and the crew were apparently worn by Leslie. As in the sign-maker aka SignDick aka the owner of the boat in the middle of the walker pond. I'm just trying to figure out if Leslie is good or bad. Did Leslie approach Gabe kindly and scheme up a genius plan, a plan involving hiding all of the food? OR is Leslie an evil asshole who threatened the place if Gabriel did not bring all of Alexandria's supplies back to his boat?
Rick and the crew head back to the boat, find boot prints, and follow the tracks. Suddenly, they are in a clearing. I must mention just how gorgeous and vivid all the greenery is here! Of course you can never walk out in the middle of a clearing in the zombie apocalypse without another crew popping out of the woodwork surrounding you. I couldn’t tell whether or not they were all female? Are these the folks from Oceanside? In the trailer on The Talking Dead, we see that the biggest smile imaginable spread across Rick’s face as they are surrounded and overrun. Maybe Gabriel comes out with this crew. That is the only thing that makes sense to me. Unless Heath comes out with them?
Naturally, they left us hanging. Until next time DeadHeads.

WiHM: Women in Horror Film Festival (WIHFF)

Happy Women in Horror Month! We continue our tribute to amazing women in horror with a look at the Women in Horror Film Festival (WIHFF).

Overview of Women in Horror

Women have played critical roles in horror films since horror films began. They began as objects of desire before evolving into damsels in distress. With Psycho, female nudity became part of the standard, eventually leading to the trend of "bad" girls having sex and being killed. With this came the final girl trope, wherein a female survives to the end, often killing the monster or slasher who had been the film's antagonist. The final girl was almost always the one who didn't do any drugs, drank little if at all, and did not engage in sex. Despite the evolution of the female to a strong survivor, there was quite a bit of underlying misogyny that really only began to be weeded out of horror in the 2000s with the current crop of strong women filmmakers. Indeed, the changing roles of women were defined by the changes in the genre itself, and, as any horror fan knows, there is no shortage of great women in horror. Moreover, not only have women moved beyond the stereotypes, they've also moved beyond simply acting in the films to becoming more active behind the camera in virtually every aspect of filmmaking. And that’s what the Women in Horror Film Festival (WIHFF) is all about.

The Women in Horror Film Festival

The WIHFF is a new horror film festival whose time has definitely come. According to the website, the festival showcases and celebrates not only female writers, directors, producers, and actors, but also cinematographers, make-up artists, and composers who have dedicated their craft to the horror genre. In order to be considered, submissions must be in no later than 15 July 2017, the extended deadline. A complete list of deadlines is available on the WIHFF official website.
The first rule for the WIHFF is that entries have women in key creative positions from the following roles: (Producer(s), Director(s), Writer(s), Cinematographer(s), Composer, SFX Artist, and lead talent). This is especially exciting for women behind the camera since those roles are often overlooked – particularly when staffed by women. Feature films (80-120 minutes) and short films (45 minutes) both are welcome as are feature screenplays (80 – 100 pages), short films (30 pages maximum), and TV pilots (45 pages maximum). Have a screenplay or TV pilot that hasn’t been produced? No worries there. As long as the script was written or co-written by a woman, it’s still eligible for submission. All items to be considered must be submitted no later than 15 July 2017 to allow sufficient time for the judges to evaluate all entries. To ensure impartial consideration, people who have worked on a festival submission are exempt from judging.
There are a total of 19 categories eligible for prizes that include, but aren’t limited to, custom WIHFF trophies, distribution consideration by Terror Films (feature only), and a 1-hour mentoring session with industry pro Mark Simon, who has over decades of experience in the camera department for major films (One Missed Call, Risky Business, Weird Science, A Nightmare on Elm Street 3, Predator 2, and Primal Fear). The 19 categories are:
  • Best Traditional Horror Film (short or feature)
    These films can encompass but are not limited to Slasher/Stalker/Supernatural
    /Creature Feature/Zombie/Folklore/Urban Legend
  • Best Non-Traditional Horror Film (short or feature)
    These films can encompass but are not limited to Animated/Comedy/Experimental,
    etc.
  • Best International Horror Film (short or feature)
  • Best Documentary Horror Film (short or feature)
  • Best Grindhouse Film (short or feature)
  • Best Sci-Fi Film (short or feature)
  • Best Local Horror (GA filmmakers) Film (short or feature)
  • Best Student Horror Film (short)
  • Best LGBTQ Horror Film (short or feature)
    These films must be made by persons who identify as LGBTQ or center around LGBTQ characters/stories/subject matter)
  • Best Overall Feature Audience Award
  • Best Overall Short Audience Award
  • Best Unproduced Feature Screenplay
  • Best Unproduced Short Screenplay
  • Best Unproduced TV Pilot
  • Best Director (short or feature)
  • Best Actress (short or feature)
  • Best Cinematography (short or feature)
  • Best Musical Score (short or feature)
  • Best Make up/Practical FX (short or feature)
Clearly there’s a lot to look forward to in this festival.

The Festival Directors

The WIHFF is being organized by festival directors Vanessa Ionta Wright and Samantha Kolesnik. When I learned of the WIHFF, I knew that I had to honor it during Women in Horror Month. I reached out to Vanessa and Samantha who were kind enough to answer a few questions for me. Without further ado, here's your chance to learn something about the strong women filmmakers who have organized this much-needed festival.
WIHFF - Vanessa Ionta WrightVanessa Ionta Wright is an award winning screenwriter. Her work has garnered recognition at film festivals & competitions around the globe. She graduated from Ohio University with a degree in Video Production & Film. She recently launched the Women in Horror Film Festival with fellow screenwriter, Samantha Kolesnik. She enjoys punctuality, scary movies, a quick wit, sandwiches, the music of Michael Jackson, Halloween & Bacon Jam. She does not enjoy bugs, clowns, perpetual lateness, mean people, oppression, laziness, running more than 3 miles or curved walls.
WIHFF - Samantha SkolesnikSamantha Kolesnik is a writer and independent film producer living in Pennsylvania. She co-directs the Women in Horror Film Festival with Vanessa Ionta Wright. Her screenplays have been recognized at various festivals nationwide, and her fiction has recently appeared in The Bitter Oleander and The William and Mary Review. Her short horror film, I Baked Him a Cake, is currently in post production, and stars actresses Fleece and Lillian Gray.
HoTS: Who are some of your inspirations?
Alfred Hitchcock and Rod Serling are two biggies. I love Hitchcock's approach to suspense and building fear around what cannot be seen. I think Serling was an absolute visionary and I can definitely see his influence in a lot of my more science fiction/thriller writing. I am also very inspired by anyone brave enough to take a risk and put their work out there for everyone to see. As an independent filmmaker, I understand the challenges and the risks involved and I am absolutely inspired by those who don't take no for an answer and power through.
Some of my recent inspirations include Jennifer Kent, Vladimir Nabokov, Shirley Jackson, The Great Medieval Heretics: Five Centuries of Religious Dissent by Michael Frassetto, the huge database of the Righteous Among Nations, the performances of Ralph Fiennes and Liam Neeson in the film, Schindler's List, and so much more. I was a tremendous introvert as a child, and relentlessly bullied, so 'horror' for me, both in film and literature, has a deeper meaning than a temporary adrenaline rush. I enjoy psychological horror, tales steeped in folklore, and statements (intelligent, subtle statements...) on culture, myth, and human nature. Horror is when the darkness threatens to overtake the light at any moment in time, but I am a huge believer in the power of light. You can always make a light brighter, but darkness only gets so dark. I guess, what I'm saying, is there's more to horror than blood and guts - it just depends on your lens.
HoTS: How did you get into horror?
I wrote by first horror novel at the age of 7. It was called The Witch's Castle and it was a best seller in my second grade class. 😉
I watched my first horror film at the age of 8, Poltergeist. It firmly sealed my fear of stuffed toys, especially stuffed clowns. It also got me completely hooked on horror and I started chasing that fear 'high'. While my parents thought I was asleep, I would sneak downstairs and sit quietly on the steps and spy while they watched movies like Cujo and The Amityville Horror. When I was a teen, you would find me and my friends huddled around the TV on a Friday night, binge watching everything horror that the local video store had to offer. I like to think horror is in my blood.
I was always "into horror". There's a great streak of hope and triumph that runs through classic horror, and I was always on the side of our horror heroines. I think I also always sensed, even as a young child, that humans don't always make the best decisions, that humans are fallible. Horror, in a way, takes that to the extreme and shows us the most monstrous manifestations of our darker natures, and then it allows us to prevail against it (or at least to try to). Early horror favorites for me were the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Scream, The Craft, the original Halloween Parts I and II, and the original Nightmare on Elm Street. I was also exposed to other kinds of 'horror' in film, though, that ended up impacting how I create within the genre... films like Sleepers, American History X, Citizen X... evil isn't confined to special effects and masks.
HoTS: Do you have a favorite monster?
My favorite monsters to create and write are the ones within us. Imagining the depths of evil that people are capable of. As far as iconic monsters, I've always really loved vampires. I know that's so clichè. What can I say, vampires are sexy.
Humans. The human is the most dangerous monster, and doesn't need any alterations or special powers to be utterly terrifying. Leatherface looks like a dandelion when you study human history.
HoTS: What's up next for you?
I always have a few irons in the fire. Up next will be taking the two short films I directed, I Baked Him a Cake and Rainy Season, to festivals. Both films allowed me to collaborate with Samantha Kolesnik who is always a pleasure to work with. She wrote and produced I Baked Him a Cake and came on board as the Executive Producer for Rainy Season. We also teamed up to launch the Women in Horror Film Fest. I also continuing to write, working on a few shorts, a feature and TV pilot. I sneak in a nap or two when I can. 😉
I'm working on finishing a collection of short stories, all which would probably fit into the category of either hyper-realism or 'dark fiction' (depends on how you see life), zealously working on making the Women in Horror Film Festival the best celebration of women filmmakers and writers that it can be, and I'm also wrapping up post on I Baked Him a Cake.
HoTS: What prompted you to start this much needed festival?
Sam and I are both very aware of the unbalanced representation of female filmmakers in the industry, especially within the horror genre. We really wanted to create a platform to showcase the amazing films and screenplays created by women. We are very grateful for the outpouring of support we have received for this festival. We are extremely proud to be doing something we love, supporting our sisters in the industry and scaring the hell of viewers.
Look at the last year's release of horror films. Look at the teams behind them. Very, very few have women directors, women composers, women writers, or women cinematographers. And trust me, that's not because they don't exist or aren't talented. Diversity works hand in hand with creativity. I could say 'I hope we see more recognition for women horror filmmakers in the future' but hope isn't a strategy, right? So, tons of women, like Hannah Neurotica, founder of Women in Horror Film Festival, and my colleague, Vanessa, are doing something about it.
HoTS: That’s fantastic. It really is long overdue, and I have great respect for you two organizing this.
I know it's early, but do you foresee this becoming an annual festival?
100% yes.
I know it will be.
HoTS: If money was no issue, what would your dream horror film be?
A $250,000,000 feature that starts with Jason Voorhees showing up in Haddonfield on Halloween night to battle Michael Myers. They end up in a chase that brings them to Texas where they pick up Leatherface. They start to realize they have a pretty cool little club here so they hop in a van headed to Springwood where they pick up Freddy Krueger. Horror ensues and they stumble upon the infamous puzzle box. Looks like someone forgot to invite the cenobites.  This upsets Pinhead so he drags them all to hell,after all he needed 4 more for poker night.
My dream horror film, should money be no issue, would be one that digs into the violence on women that is perpetrated by other women. It's something rarely explored or discussed, and I think it's a very important and relevant issue. That's vague, but that would be the concept at the heart of the film.
So there you have it - a look inside the minds of two women filmmakers whose impact on the genre has just begun!

Where and When

The WIHFF, which takes place September 22 – 24, 2017, is being held at the Crowne Plaza Atlanta in SW Peachtree City, Georgia. If you’re interested in submitting your work or just finding out more about the event, you can find the complete information at the Women in Horror Film Festival official website. You can also contact the directors at WIHFF@gmail.com.

TWD: Thoughts on the Mid-Season Premiere

My biggest obsession returns to me next Sunday. The Walking Dead returns from their break for season 7's second half. This half will be about our team preparing for war with Negan and The Saviours and is rightly titled, "Rise Up". The first half of season 7 showcased our team broken. Negan's effect hit our leader (Rick Grimes) the hardest. It was a real struggle seeing Rick in such a position. He has been broken, quite a few times come to think about it, but never have we seen this type of defeat in his eyes. Or this amount of fear. I kept thinking he's being this submissive because he has a plan in action. He needed Negan to see him as a weakling that will hold your weapon as your plunder his village. The last episode of the first half of the season however taught me Rick was just playing by ear. He did not want to lose his family so he abided... until Aaron's beating (the straw that broke the camel's back) and the conviction Michonne's speech had. Then I figured out that Rick was frightened because he saw Negan had so many followers. He saw Negan’s pull and came to the realization that no matter how badass he (Rick) was, no matter who he had on his side, he and his team were nowhere near ready to take on The Saviours. Plans needed to be drawn out, rehearsed, thought through and through. Teaming up with others needed to be done. Weapons and ammo needed to be collected and made. The damaged ones (members) needed repair and needed to "Rise Up". They all need to adapt and overcome, so I'm thrilled that the second half is about them getting up, dusting off, and moving on. And I seriously am looking forward to finding out who the hell is in those boots?! Is that 'Leslie'? Dammit, they sure love to leave us hanging for flipping months! I bet there will be hundreds tune in just to find out who the hell that is!
I honestly do not believe we will have a big death (meaning one of the main characters) in the second half. It will be focused on the crew meeting other crews, proposing a merger (and that may takes a few meetings of begging, I'll come back to that), coming up with a plan of action, training, and rehearsing. I'm sure it will also focus on supplies, since they are extremely critical at this stage. Getting back to the begging. We know the stance of two of the other groups - *Oceanside and *The Kingdom - neither are interested! And we know the convection of two of our members, Carol and Morgan. It appears Morgan is more torn than Carol. Carol actually doesn't appear conflicted at all; Carol is simply done with it all. She did not like the person she became, and I personally would love to see her in a new light. Carol is my favorite character by far! She did rise up, and she certainly is a phoenix, but she took a wrong turn in Alexandria and it turned her into this numb killing machine that she was not happy with. I believe Sam had a big part in that! Carol has one hell of a mind, though, and can become our Queen when she gets through being in the dumps. And Morgan is slowly (like molasses in the winter) coming around. He's been through a lot. Morgan lost what Rick is afraid of losing. Morgan, like 98% of our crew, snapped. Then came around and did a 180 when he meet the cheesemaker. I am waiting to hear him say, “All life is precious, but some need to end”. I see glimpses of him taking in the fact that there is this giant grey side instead of black or white, and the Kingdom is a perfect place for both of them to comes to terms.
I sooooo look forward to Maggie stepping up and taking her position. I mentioned before about her being a phoenix (just like Carol) so "Rise Up" is very appropriate! I also look forward to Rick persuading Ezekiel to stand and fight Negan. Ezekiel's role in the Kingdom is unique, and I am looking forward to how he will approach telling his followers to take a stand and fight as well. Will the choir be singing on the battlefield? LOL Shiva alone could take out a slew of Saviours with the swat of one paw! OH I want to see that so bad, now! And will it be Tara busting out about the team of women she came across, or will someone else (Carl isn't in the house again) stumble upon the village and run back to tell Rick? Wouldn't it be completely badass if the ladies from Oceanside team up with our ladies at the Hilltop?! :O
Now I mention Eugene possibility doing intel while in the Sanctuary. Now with the title "Rise Up" I'm feeling that he will also find his courage once and for all and fill in his spot as a team member.
Rosita surely is thrilled to death that they will now stand. I am wondering if she will fall into another relationship or go solo for awhile. I want to see her solo, want to see her learn her worth!
And what about Tobin? Will he go to Carol once he finds out where she is? There are questions to be answered. Apparently Carol and Ezekiel did not hit it off; well, she did say she was a fan of chocolate not fruit and he brought that pomegranate. I'm thinking Carol teams up with Ezekiel but not in a romantic way, but yet it's still over between her and Tobin.
And for the love of all that is holy, please give Gabe more kill scenes! I was floored when he gave that Savior a blessing then shot him! Completely boondocks man! And completely badass!! DO IT AGAIN!!! And I love the fact that Father Gabriel freaked Negan out! GOOD!! We have that in our pocket, then!
This whole second half of the season promises to be awesome. Andrew Lincoln is quoted as saying, "I promise you, there is one beat in 16, I dropped my script and started punching the air and did a little jig" (16 meaning the last episode of this season).
We (DeadHeads) always have group chat while the show is on to vent with like minded people. You are going to be screaming at the television anyway you might as well join us. 🙂

ARTIST OF THE MONTH – FEB 2017: Kevin Merck

Turkey Merck Mugs have my heart for so many reasons! For one, they are crafted with unbelievable attention to detail. Every mug is incredibly life-like - even to the point where you can hear them scream. Another reason I love Terkey Merck Mugs is, duh!, Kevin is a true horror craftsman, an exceptionally talented horror artist. This art is sure to creep out or flip out any house guests you may have and is a sure fire way to get your mother out of your house. 😉
We float in the same social circle, so it wasn't long before I stumbled across Terk via another Artist of the Month, Steve Turner, who has drawn 'The Screamer' and 'Joe' several times. (And I want each piece!) Then, one of the Walkers I have the pleasure of chatting with on Facebook posed with one of the cups for a shot. I MELTED! There was so much good stuff in the photo!
Check out the glossy, bloodshot eye. And look at how wet that blood appears! And all those wrinkles! What did I tell you about detail?
I was lucky enough to have the chance to interview Kevin Merck, the man behind these creations. Here is our Q+A.
House of Tortured Souls: What got you into designing coffee mugs?
Kevin Merk: Since 2001, my main focus has been to create interesting sculpts on traditional utilitarian ceramic ware. Sculpted character coffee mugs have always been a popular item, but they have become a really hot item over the past couple of years. I probably made my first mug around 2003.
HoTS: How long have you been a fan of horror?
KM: For as long as I can remember. I think the first horror/action movie that I watched was Predator… I was 5.
HoTS: Favorite monster?
KM: The Wolfman... or the Xenomorph... or the Predator... It’s a toss up.
HoTS: Do you mold each mug by hand, or have you created a mold for your different types?
KM: I create many original pieces, and then I choose which design I want to produce on a larger scale. From there I sculpt another model based on my original design and then make the molds and then begin castings. Even though my production pieces come from a mold, I actually sculpt certain areas on each cast while the clay is still damp. My goal is to make each piece look like it did not come from a ceramic mold. Each cast is also custom painted using ceramic glazes and fired in my kiln. I fire each piece at least three times and I apply a different layer of glaze before each firing. I only began casting my designs in 2016 so every piece up until 2016 was a one-off original.
HoTS: Do you own a kiln? And how many incidents have there been?
KM: I own two Olympic Kilns. Olympic makes a really dependable kiln, and they are located just 15 minutes from my house. If you mean exploding pottery when you say incidents, then, yes... but only once... and that was my fault because I rushed the firing. I had a two very good teachers, Wayne Hewell and Jeff Standridge, when I first starting firing my work so I have been able to avoid many possible mishaps due to their instruction.
HoTS: Do you do conventions or art shows?
KM: I have done local pottery shows in the past, but I had to give those up in 2016 due to my busy schedule. I would like to set up at the Atlanta Walker Stalker Con at some point. Having a booth at Monsterpalooza would also be pretty cool.
HoTS: Are you working on any new ones, or have plans down the road?
KM: I work on new designs quite often. Some of the designs make the cut for production and some of them remain on my shelf or are purchased by collectors. I have a couple of designs I would like to release next year. A Batman mug is pretty high on the list and I also have some designs based on The Walking Dead walkers that I would like to produce. I also have an original design, Mad Mike, that is due out in March or April.
HoTS: Did you take some courses or classes on how to create mugs?
KM: On the pottery side of things I studied under Master Potter Wayne Hewell and he taught me how to work with the clay, firing, glazing, etc. As far as sculpting goes, I supposed I would be considered a self-taught sculptor since I have never taken a class on sculpting…I just kind of wing it until it looks right. I have watched a ton of online demo videos by some of the world’s best sculptors.
HoTS: What activities do you do outside of creepy mug creations?
KM: I try to spend as much time with my lovely wife, Kayla, and my two awesome kids, Mara (2) and Grey (1). I am big into the outdoors…I love kayak fishing on the river and hunting…but that has been put on the back burner since I have been so busy this year with fulfilling orders. I am also active in my church, and I am very thankful that the Good Lord has allowed me to make a living doing something that I am very passionate about!
HoTS: Do you have a fan page, website, Twitter account, etc?
KM: You can find my work on my Instagram, Facebook and Twitter accounts. My website is primarily used for mug sales so to see most of my sculpts you will need to visit my social media accounts.
Thanks for the wonderful interview, Kevin Merck!

2017 Convention Dates and Locations

House of Tortured Souls has compiled a list of the conventions going on this year. If you know of others, please let us know so that we can add them to our list. Likewise, if you have any changes or corrections, please let us know. Thanks!