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Horror and the Oscars

Horror and the Oscars

Horror and the Oscars?

The history of genre cinema (horror, fantasy, science fiction) and the Oscars have been a spotty one at best. For example, in 1931 Fredric March took home the golden statue for his masterful duel role in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (and my personal favorite adaptation). It wouldn’t be until Anthony Hopkins portrayed the cannibal Hannibal in 1991’s Silence of the Lambs that another actor would win for a horror movie in that category. The Oscars have always looked down on genre films, most specifically horror and science fiction, with most of the awards going to dramas or indie darlings. However, it seems of late that maybe this is a trend that is slowly changing and voting members are finally taking the horror genre seriously. It’s not totally unheard of for the genre to get some love though. On the technical side, films like for example Alien and Aliens won both Oscars for visual effects. The Fly, An American Werewolf in London, and Bram Stoker’s Dracula and won Best Makeup (just to name a few). In addition, Sleepy Hollow won for Best Art Direction, and Ruth Gordon and Kathy Bates won Best Actress awards.

Daniel Kaluuya in Jordan Peele’s Get Out

he Shape of Water poster

Guillermo Del Toro’s The Shape of Water

However, when you realize The Exorcist never won Best Picture but did win for Best Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium. Get Out the psychological satire horror film kicked down some doors not only in its frank and sobering commentary on race relations but proves that a genre film can be smart, meaningful, and scary as hell. The 90th Oscars were very genre forward in many ways. Guillermo Del Toro mentioned The Creature from the Black Lagoon and Julie Adams, and on the red carpet, clips from various horror films were shown in a montage including most surprisingly a chainsaw swinging Leatherface from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. And of course, the break out horror hit Get Out from Blumhouse won for Best Screenplay. In addition, trailblazing filmmaker George A. Romero was paid tribute at the Oscars in Memoriam, though sadly Tobe Hooper was left off for some baffling reason. It’s no shock that a lot of people in the horror community don’t like the Oscars, and I totally get that. When I look back at the countless great horror films to get snubbed, it’s hard not to be bitter. But this year proved that a perhaps a new attitude is emerging within the Academy, after all, this year also saw a greatly diverse group of nominees and winners. Sure we are unlikely to see a Halloween film win any golden statues, but I really feel like Get Out and The Shape of Water are great starts in showcasing the importance of genre cinema.

Mad Monster welcomes George Romero

George Romero




Posted by Mike Vaughn in EVENT REVIEWS, HORROR NEWS, REVIEWS, STAFF PICKS, 0 comments
REBOOT NEWS: Escape From New York

REBOOT NEWS: Escape From New York

In 1981 a movie hit the big screen that changed my life: John Carpenter's Escape From New York. I was nine years old and living at the time in Woodstock, New York, and my dad took me to a drive-in theater showing Scanners, John Carpenter's The Fog, and Carpenter’s Escape From New York. We arrived and parked with only a few minutes left in Scanners... Then I was introduced to a double feature of John Carpenter, who immediately became – and has remained – my all time favorite film director. The Fogscared the shit out of me, as it still does. After a brief intermission the main event hit the screen.
1997. New York City is a walled maximum security prison. Breaking out is impossible. Breaking in is insane.
This movie opened a part of my mind that I never new was there. Snake Plissken was my hero, and Adrienne Barbeau would never soon leave my mind!
A remake of Escape From New York has been in talks over the past few years. As always, the mere mention a remake sparks a seemingly endless series of debates on the pros and cons of remakes in general. I'm not getting into a giant battle over remakes or, as some are now called reboots. Some films that are remade are pretty damn good, some would have been better left as a thought, and nothing more. But certain films, certain iconic and classic films, need to be left alone, and Escape From New York is one of them.
It was first mentioned a few years back that Gerard Butler was to play the lead role of Snake Plissken originated by Kurt Russell... Nope, not gonna happen. Now, I’m not saying that I haven't enjoyed some of Butler’s roles, but he is NOT Snake Plissken! The way Hollywood is, honestly, I'm surprised I haven't heard The Rock’s or Vin Diesel’s name added to the mix to just glamorize (or, in my opinion, bastardize) a film, just for money, but the roles haven't been filled yet, so I guess I should just shut the hell up.
Now, a few years later, we haven't heard much more talk about this for a while, and out of the blue, I catch wind that Robert Rodriguez has signed on to sit in the director’s chair and that, apparently will be bringing us a prequel. It’s also rumored that John Carpenter himself is going to be lending a big hand and having quite a bit of say so on the film as executive producer. That makes me happy.
Rodriguez is a very talented director who has a style of his own and who has brought us a lot of great films that I have highly enjoyed, such as Sin City, Planet Terror, hell I even liked a few of the Spy Kids films. I don't doubt the man’s talent, not at all. What I do question is his ability to draw you into a story like Carpenter did. The ability to actually make you feel as if you were in the streets of New York, running for your life, feeling your heart thundering as time runs out, and without any CGI. Can you deliver that, Mr. Rodriguez? I certainly hope so. You are stepping into HUGE shoes to fill, my friend.
I had originally wanted to write this and do nothing but cuss and point fingers. However, I do have high hopes for this film. The original is my personal second favorite film of all time. I guess I'm nervous as to what the new film may do to what I hold so dearly as I do the original. So I’ll save up all my cussing for remake of The American Werewolf in London.
Keep It Evil...
Posted by John Roisland in HORROR NEWS, REMAKES AND REBOOTS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Tales of Halloween (2015)

MOVIE REVIEW: Tales of Halloween (2015)


Tales From Halloween ... I have so many mixed feelings on this film. Tales From Halloween is a compilation of ten short stories all woven into one Halloween night.

The film, at first watch, I must admit, was a huge disappointment. I have been wanting to see Tales From Halloween since I first heard of it, so my expectations were really hopeful. For some reason, it first felt like I was watching a made for TV movie. I thought the special effects were extremely low grade and the music was even quirky. I am the biggest fan of the Halloween season and always make it a point to watch any movie based around it. So, sorry to say, I wasn't a happy trick-or-treater!

As the movie went on, I tried to put my disappointment aside and give it more of a shot. As I did, my frown became more of a smirk. I started to see the campy and almost comedic side to Tales From Halloween. In my opinion, the movie isn’t a horror/comedy, but it does have you a campy B movie horror feel.

The film opens with the narration of a local radio disk jockey as the camera pans over a small town. The DJ, who is talking about Halloween and the witching hour, is none other than the sultry voice of movie legend ADRIENNE BARBEAU, and it set the mood for the film. The short stories range from legends of sweet tooth killers, aliens, neighbors fighting over the best yard decorating, children's revenge, and what would Halloween be without a killer jack-o-lantern.

The film does host a very impressive list of names to the cast, Barbeau, being one, obviously, the lovely Caroline Williams (Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, Contracted), Greg Grunberg (Heroes, Star Wars: The Force Awakens), Barry Bostwick (The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Spin City (TV series)), Tiffany Shepis (12 Monkeys (TV series), The Night Watchmen), Lin Shaye (Insidious 1+2, Theres Something About Mary), Barbara Crampton (Re-Animator, We Are Still Here, You’re Next), Pollyanna McIntosh (The Woman, Filth) Pat Healy (Compliance, Cheap Thrills, Carnage Park) and a small appearance by legendary director John Landis ( The Blues Brothers, An American Werewolf In London) Now with a list like this, you would be expecting one of the best horror films ever, but sadly it isn't. To be honest, most of the names on this list have relatively small parts.

In keeping up with recent director compilation films (The ABCs of Death 1 and 2) and other Halloween films (Trick Or Treat), Tales From Halloween falls a bit short. Enjoyable for a non-serious horror film night - or a fun watch with friends.

Sorry, guys, but this is one where I loved the cover art for more than the film.

Keep It Evil...

Posted by John Roisland in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Afflicted (2013)

MOVIE REVIEW: Afflicted (2013)

By John Roisland


2013 brought Afflicted to us, a vampire film like I promise you've never seen before. The story is of two life long friends who embark on a journey of a lifetime when they fly to Europe and travel across the world, Afflicted follows the friends as they videotape and upload all experiences to the online world.

After what appears to be a night of would be romance gone wrong, with one of the friends bringing a young lady he meets in a European bar to his hotel room, he is found unconscious bloodied, and beaten. Soon our young friend finds himself starting to feel ill while simultaneously realizing that he has acquired almost superhuman powers. He is now incredibly strong and has the ability to run 40-50 miles per hour, scale the outside of buildings, and jump from rooftop to rooftop. The downside to this, as I mentioned, is that our friend is also becoming extremely ill and learning of certain things that he is now craving and desiring. Blood. The taste of blood. It is here where our character goes into his downward spiral both physically and mentally.

His journey to find the answers of what he has become, a vampire, which he can only trace back to his one night of pleasure with the woman he brought home from the bar, is compelling.


While Afflicted does bear more than a passing resemblance to American Werewolf in London (two Americans traveling across country while attacked by a monster of some sort), it is a darker and more serious film. Filmed on location in Europe, at moments Afflicted seems to drag a little bit, but it more than makes up for it with details and story line.

The two main actors, Derek Lee and Clif Prowse, are not only the leads in the movie but are also both writers and directors of the film. And Derek's acting is spot on, sorry Clif. I'm not going to give away any spoilers or the ending, but I will just leave you with... a person has to do what a person has to do to survive, right? SEE THIS MOVIE!

Keep it Evil...

Posted by John Roisland in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
HoTS LIVE : MITCHELL ALTIERI

HoTS LIVE : MITCHELL ALTIERI

By John Roisland/Allen Alberson


Hello, boys and girls, and welcome to yet another great addition of House of Tortured Souls Live with special guest Mitchell Altieri! That's right. On this exciting pre-recorded episode, John and Allen welcome special guest writer-director Mitchell Altieri. Mitchell fills everyone in as he discusses the new upcoming horror comedy The Night Watchmen, starring Ken Arnold, Dan Deluca and Kevin Jiggetts that is holding its big screen premier next Thursday, 11/17/16. He also talks about his past movies such as The Hamiltons and The Violent Kind . Along with all this, Mitchell Altieri also talks with us about the pros and cons of independent vs high-end Hollywood production films.

Mitchell Altieri on House of Tortured Souls Live

On this week's episode of House of Tortured Souls LIve, John and Allen also discuss the upcoming remake of legendary horror film An American Werewolf in London as Max Landis, son of the original director, is now behind the camera. Your horror-fic hosts give mention on our artist of the month Corey Newman as well as welcome our newest member to the staff of House of Tortured Souls, Laura James who will be bringing us true horror in American history.

House of Tortured Souls Live also takes a moment congratulate the winners of our first annual Scary Story Contest. We also touch base on House of tortured Souls own Rocky Gray with his upcoming horror anthology film 10/31/16, as well as give you a sneak peek at our upcoming guests on House of Tortured Souls Live.

So give a listen and as always,

Keep It Evil...

Posted by John Roisland in PODCAST, 0 comments
HISTORY OF HORROR: AUGUST

HISTORY OF HORROR: AUGUST

By John Roisland & Woofer McWooferson

Join House of Tortured Souls as we celebrate significant dates in the history of horror in August. Click on thumbnails for full images.

August 1 - 7

 


08/01/1883
Lon Chaney, Sr. born

0801_800px-Lon_Chaney,_Sr._The_Miracle_Man


0801_The-Omega-Man-Poster

08/01/1971
The Omega Man released theatrically


08/01/1986
Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives released
theatrically

0801_Friday6


0801_Resident_Evil_1_cover

08/01/1996
Resident Evil released on the PlayStation in Europe


08/01/1999
Silent Hill released on the PlayStation in Europe

0801_Silent_Hill_video_game_cover


0802_Wes_Craven_2010

08/02/1939
Wes Craven (director of Scream, A Nightmare on Elm Street) born


08/02/1999
The Sixth Sense released theatrically

0802_The_sixth_sense


0802_TheOthers

08/02/2001
The Others released
theatrically


08/02/2002
Signs released theatrically

0802_The_Signs_movie


0803_PiranhaPosterA

08/03/1978
Piranha released
theatrically


08/04/1932
White Zombie released theatrically

0804_Poster_-_White_Zombie_01_Crisco_restoration


0805_John_Saxon_1975

08/05/1935
John Saxon born


08/06/1970
M. Night Shyamalan (director ) born

0806_M._Night_Shyamalan_by_Gage_Skidmore

0806_250px-Silent Hill 3_boxart
08/06/2003
Silent Hill 3 released on the PlayStation and PC in North America

August 8 - 14


08/09/2005
Matthew McGrory (Played Tiny in The Devils Rejects and House of 1000 Corpses) died

0809_Matthew_McGrory


0810_Chaos_(2005_film)_poster

08/10/2005
Chaos (2005) released theatrically


08/11/1947
Stuart Gordon (director of Re-Animator and Dagon) born

0811_800px-Gordon,_Stuart_(2007)


0811_Ein_Zombie_hing_am_Glockenseil_Poster

08/11/1980
City of the Living Dead released theatrically


08/11/1989
A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child released theatrically

0811_Nightmare5


0811_Systemshock2box

08/11/1999
System Shock 2 released on PC


08/12/1941
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941) released theatrically

0812_Jekyll-hyde_1941


0812_Castlevania_II_Belmont's_Revenge

08/12/1991
Castlevania II: Belmont’s Revenge released on the Game Boy in Japan


08/13/1899
Sir Alfred Joseph Hitchcock, KBE, born

0813_800px-Hitchcock,_Alfred_02


0813_Film1953-TheWarOfTheWorlds-OriginalPoster

08/13/1953
The War of the Worlds (1953) released theatrically


08/13/1982
Friday the 13th Part 3 released theatrically

0813_Friday3


0813_Jason_goes_to_hell

08/13/1993
Jason Goes To Hell: The Final Friday released theatrically


08/13/2004
Alien vs. Predator released theatrically

0813_Avpmovie


0814_Original_Rocky_Horror_Picture_Show_poster

08/14/1975
The Rocky Horror Picture Show released theatrically

August 15 - 21


08/15/1986
The Fly (1986) released theatrically

0815_215px-Fly_poster


0815_Manhunter_michael_mann_film_poster

08/15/1986
Manhunter (1986) released theatrically


08/15/1997
Event Horizon released theatrically

0815_Event_horizon_ver1


0815_Event_horizon_ver1

08/15/2003
Freddy vs. Jason released theatrically


08/16/1956
Bela Lugosi died (born October 20, 1882)

0816_220px-Lugosi_Bela


0817_Robert_De_Niro_Cannes_2016

08/17/1943
Robert De Niro born


08/17/1969
Donnie Wahlberg (actor in The Sixth Sense, Dreamcatcher, and Saw II) born

0817_Donnie_Wahlberg_2010


0818_424px-Roman_Polanski_Cannes_2013

08/18/1933
Roman Polanski (director of The Fearless Vampire Killers, Rosemary’s Baby, and The Ninth Gate) born


08/18/1969
Edward Norton (actor in Red Dragon) born

0818_437px-Edward_Norton_2012


0819_Nightmare4

08/19/1988
A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master released theatrically


08/19/2005
Dead & Breakfast released theatrically

0819_Dead&Breakfast2004


0820_H._P._Lovecraft,_June_1934

08/20/1890
H. P. Lovecraft born


08/21/1943
The Seventh Victim released theatrically

0821_220px-The-Seventh-Victim-poster


0821_220px-An_American_Werewolf_in_London_poster

08/21/1981
An American Werewolf in London released theatrically


08/21/1998
Blade released theatrically

0821_220px-Blade_movie

August 22 - 28


0822_390px-Nightofthecreepsposter

08/22/1986
Night of the Creeps released theatrically


08/22/1997
Mimic released theatrically

0822_220px-Mimic


0824_Takashi_Miike

08/24/1960
Takashi Miike (director of Ichi the Killer, Visitor Q, Audition) born


08/24/1990
Darkman released theatrically

0824_215px-Darkman_film_poster


0824_John_Carpenter's_Ghosts_of_Mars

08/24/2001
John Carpenter’s Ghosts of Mars released theatrically


08/25/1979
Zombi 2 released theatrically

0825_Zombie_Flesh_eaters


0825_Castlevania_-_Dawn_of_Sorrow_Coverart

08/25/2005
Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow released on the Nintendo DS in Japan


08/26/2005
Resident Evil Outbreak File #2 released for the PlayStation 2 in Europe

0826_Resident_Evil_Outbreak_File_2


0827&28_Castlevania_II_Simon's_Quest

08/27/1992
Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest released on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in Europe


08/27/1987
Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest released on the Famicom Disk System in Japan

0827&28_Castlevania_II_Simon's_Quest

August 29 - 31


0829_IngridBergmanportrait

08/29/1915
Ingrid Bergman (actress in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941)) born


08/29/1935
William Friedkin (director of The Exorcist, Rampage, The Guardian, and Bug) born

0829_800px-William_Friedkin


0829_400px-Joel_Schumacher

08/29/1939
Joel Schumacher (director of The Lost Boys) born


08/30/2000
Resident Evil: Survivor released on PlayStation

0830_RE_Survivor_front


0831_220px-Basketcaseposter

08/31/1983
Basket Case released theatrically


08/31/2007
Halloween (2007) released theatrically

0831_Halloween2007

Keep it Evil

Posted by Alan Smithee in HORROR HISTORY, 0 comments
HALLOWEEN HORRORS: An American Werewolf in London (1981)

HALLOWEEN HORRORS: An American Werewolf in London (1981)

By John Roisland

The Slaughtered Lamb1981 brought to us a film classic, a movie that to this day still tops the charts of being one horror's most loved. I am referring to John Landis' An American Werewolf in London. Landis, who brought us Animal House and The Blues Brothers (two of my favorites), decided to give the horror industry a shot but adding his trademark flavor of humor. Combining these two elements, along with master special effects by genius Rick Baker (Men in Black, Star Wars (1977), Planet of the Apes (2001)) and a great storyline, took him straight to the top of the box office.

David Naughton (Hot Dog the Movie) plays David Kessler who is on a college trip backpacking across Europe with his long time friend Jack Goodman, played by Griffin Dunne (After Hours, My Girl). After being warned to “stick to the road” and “beware the moon” by country folk in the English farm lands, the two find themselves being attacked by a werewolf in the middle of an open field and under the light of the full moon.

 

David wakes some weeks later in a hospital in London, only to find out that Jack died in the attack but that he himself had survived only with scratches. During his brief hospital stay, Jack visits David to inform him that he was killed by the same werewolf that merely scratched David. Jack tells him that he will become a werewolf, too. David dismisses the visit and is released from the hospital to stay with Nurse Alex Price, played by Jenny Agutter (Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Logan's Run), who caught his eye at the hospital. While staying with her, David goes through changes, both physically and mentally. He thinks he's going mad and is sure that he is becoming like the monster that attacked him. The full moon is making him crazy, and he wakes naked in strange parts of the city with while David has no recollection of the night before. Later he learns of people who had been slaughtered and torn to pieces during the night on that night's evening news.

David is sure he's gone mad as he is again visited by his deceased friend Jack, now accompanied by the people that David has killed. They all warn him of the full moon and that he must take his life before hand or many others will be murdered by his hands.

On the night of the full moon, David as he transforms into the wild beast and sets out to hunt. His new-found love and flat mate is worried sick about him as she now believes in his obsession with and fear of becoming a monster and hurting people. Desperate, she notifies the police who are now on the look out for him.

David

The ending of the movie is filmed in busy Piccadilly Square and it is INCREDIBLE! From car crashes to cops getting their heads bitten off by the large werewolf... well, it's pretty fucking awesome! Since the movie has been out for 34 years, yeah, I'm going to drop a spoiler!

Spoiler Alert
David in werewolf form is now trapped at the end of an alley with no escape. Completely surrounded by cops with guns drawn. His new love runs through the line of officers and down the alley after David. She slows as she approaches the large beast, stares him softly in the eyes, and say “David”, the beast’s eyes,relax for a moment, and at that moment he tries lunging to attack her. Instantly a storm of gunfire is let out on the beast. Alex sees this, cries, and the camera pans down to the now dead, bullet-ridden body of David.
Music cues, and credits roll!

If, by chance, you have never seen this work of art, you need to... after I kick you in the throat! This film was — and, in my opinion, is STILL — ahead of its time! The work that Rick Baker alone did on this film has been tried by many others, and have all failed! The transformation scene is second to NONE!!

This is not my favorite horror film, but it is close. It is, however, one of my top choices even though it’s neither scary nor spooky, to watch during the 31 Days of Horror.

Posted by John Roisland in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments