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Trailer review: Escape Room is the big budget version of Cube

Trailer review: Escape Room is the big budget version of Cube

Well it was bound to happen. A horror movie about Escape rooms. Sure, Saw (2004) and Cube (1997) might be the most legendary horror movies to feature the subject. Spawning sequels and even a Saw theme escape room in Vegas, but there hasn’t been a film quite like this. Escape room is the new film coming soon in January to be. The film plot is simple but will eventually reveal the secrets behind everything shortly: Six strangers find themselves in circumstances beyond their control and must use their wits to survive. Now on paper this doesn’t really sound convincing or even worth a watch. However, while watching the trailer I am more than excited to see a movie that’s not only going to take place in a room or just one death trap, this movie has a wide range of traps, puzzles, clues and environments that would make any horror fan intrigue. There’s no rating for the movie yet, but I’m hoping for a Rated R and not just for language. A movie like this let’s pull all the stops because most likely this could be an interesting franchise. Plus, it has some great stars like Deborah Ann Woll who you’ll remember from True blood (2008-2014) and Tyler Labine Tucker and Dale vs Evil (2010) So let’s recap a movie about escape rooms where every item is a clue and every item could lead to their ultimate demise. Six strangers connected, and this is their “Hell” no time limit but no time to waste since the room will kill them with no second thought in a clever way. This is a big deal since next year we are getting a lot of great horror movies and what better way to start the new year than with a horror movie! Jan 2019 get ready to solve the puzzle of Escape Room.

 




Posted by Jai Alexis in Categories, 0 comments
Bounded by Evil is the newest supernatural movie coming soon

Bounded by Evil is the newest supernatural movie coming soon

When it comes to watching Indie horror movies it’s rare I get to see a supernatural film I was fortunate to watch the film BOUNDED BY EVIL (2018) written and directed by Eli Gray. The film is about “A seasoned writer working on his next novel while simultaneously facing a demonic force that’s lurking over his family.” I have to say the movie grabbed my attention with the lighting or set designs with its calm before the storm feel. The film feels like a lucid dream through where you as the audience member feel as if this is happening to you. Through out the film we see and hear pieces of a radio broadcast which plays a part for lead actor and producer JP DeStefano who plays the writer tormented by someone or something. Even though the film consists of others who are affected by the spirit we slowly begin to see him go insane from what’s going on. Now the main point is that yes it may take time to build up, but this is a lot of movies with character development which we find in the end what’s really going on. I won’t spoil the ending but say the film does have some interesting FX where we wonder if it was practical or computer generated. The movie doesn’t rely on over the top gore or anything to sell the film, but it does keep you entertained as there are several times you may jump including the ending which made wonder if they were going to do this, but ended up doing something else. I would say the best time to watch this film would be late at night like I did where I sat thinking, so how do I go to bed now? You can watch the trailer below

 

Posted by Jai Alexis in COMING SOON, HALLOWEEN, HORROR NEWS, MOVIE REVIEWS, NEW RELEASES, PARANORMAL, REVIEWS, 0 comments
Blessed are the children is a modern day story with an old school feel.

Blessed are the children is a modern day story with an old school feel.

Chris Moore has delivered a movie that uses today’s social commentary with an 80’s feel for a horror movie I saw “Blessed are the children” (2016) The film is about Traci Patterson (KALEY BALL) who decides to get an abortion after finding out she’s pregnant. After wards she seems to be haunted by someone or a group of people for her choice along with her friends Mandy Crane played (Keni Bounds) and Erin Peters (Arian Thigpen). From looking at the cover one would think this is a super natural film. Quite the contrary this is an old school slasher movie. While watching the movie I couldn’t help but feel, wow this is a good indie drama which for the first part plays out as it slowly builds up to the horror aspect that Chris quickly reminds you after all. When I talked to him about his film he stated “I like to ground my horror in a little reality” Chris has a deep-rooted passion for horror as you see the film with the opening credits which pays homage to the 80’s as well as the film itself which has a feel of old school slasher films. The killer has one intention punish the wicked for their sins. While watching the film there is one thing that caught me off where the film takes a turn. An interesting turn which I won’t spoil but kept me intrigued on how they were going to go forward and not be a typical Hollywood film of protagonist vs antagonist. At first the film has minimal gore to finally delivering more and more. I’m glad to see because with the film on such a shoe string budget Chris found a way to tell a great story with some clever fx, great acting as well where you enjoy the characters and see them as real friend’s vs actors pretending to be friends. The film does a great job of not really showcasing the killer’s face even at the end when you think we may see the person and find out more when we just know the basics, but then again should we really know more? Chris uses the simple formula of telling a great story. Cutting to the chase (no pun intended) without wasting the audience’s time. The movie comes out Tuesday to own or rent. Which if you are wanting to know where. Here is a link for the film

Posted by Jai Alexis in FEATURED CONTENT, HORROR NEWS, MOVIE REVIEWS, NEW RELEASES, SLASHERS AND BAD HUMANS, THRILLER, 0 comments
Essence is coming soon and you can help!

Essence is coming soon and you can help!

I had the pleasure to see the teaser trailer for the new film by Jeff KACMARYNSKI’SESSCENSE” the film has a real late 70’s vibe to it from what I saw and have to say I’m intrigued along with the grindhouse feel of the style of old film. The trailer gave a little bit of what to expect but didn’t reveal all too much which is good because seeing this I’m interested to see what will transpire and want to walk in  surprised on how it escalates. I was lucky enough to get a little more information from the Director on the plot and inspiration of the film “After the death of her son, Joanna discovers a hidden room in her home, with a power that could lead her back to him. However, the room instead, unleashes a malicious cosmic entity, that feeds on her fears and sanity, ultimately unleashing a terrible mind game. Our cast includes legendary Lynn Lowry, and veteran actress Maggie Wagner. We are doing a very psychedelic surreal horror film, influenced by Cronenberg, Lynch, Lovecraft , Argento and Fulci.” I have to wonder will we see body horror, over the top gore that will get under our skin? One thing is fore I myself can’t wait to see more. This will be his first feature film that he’s done since his shorts he did some time back DEAD THERAPY is featured in Wild Eye Releasing’s movie WELCOME TO HELL which all have won several awards. Right now there’s a indigo campaign so if you like to contribute by all means even a share helps! For more information here’s a direct link to the Indigogo campaign

 

 

Posted by Jai Alexis in COMING SOON, FEATURED ARTISTS, HORROR NEWS, NEW RELEASES, SCI-FI HORROR, SLASHERS AND BAD HUMANS, 0 comments
Extremity is the haunted attraction movie we need

Extremity is the haunted attraction movie we need

I recently did a trailer review for the movie Extremity. My anticipation and excitement grew for the film however there was that small bit of worry looming in the background thinking please don’t suck and please don’t end up being a run of the mill horror movie that fails on delivery. How wrong I was. Let’s breakdown how Extremity might be the horror movie you weren’t expecting with a subject that has been told before.

Extremity follows Dana Christina as she is still grieving over the tragic suicide of her sister. After countless sessions of therapy she still hasn’t gotten over anything and is still back to square one. With the newest haunt extreme attraction known as Perdition she ultimately signs over any freedom she has over to this attraction. The film takes place out in the middle of nowhere during winter and is being recorded by a Japanese film crew The people who go by Skulls, work for the attraction free range to do whatever, the movie relies on the participants fear what scares them including a list of things they don’t like or want to see which pretty much gives them an open door to do just that.

The film goes back and forth from present day to the past of Alison as each room unlocks a further piece of her troubled life whether it’s visits to her Therapist, arguments with her girlfriend to even going as far back as dealing with issues of her physical/sexual abusive Father. What I like about this film is that is not only uncovers the layers of the main character’s personal hell we also see the folds unwrap for the characters all around her. Such as the owner played by Chad E. Rook who’s dealing with financial burden and the custody of his child to even the Japanese reporter who is covering the whole show where she is only being used for her body by the camera  guy. It gives you a sense on just exactly what troubles not only the main character has but everyone else around thus creating tension for everyone which makes dispensing fear tactics a lot of more useful since they’re releasing their anger out on the participants. As stated what I love about this film is that it does a great job with character development where we actually worry for the character since there’s no time limit and there’s no safe words to stop the event. We begin to wonder what will happen to her at the end? Don’t expect to see a Saw or Rob Zombie kind of movie there isn’t a whole lot of gore or even that much torture porn, this film relies on psychological factors, but there some a few scenes that entice the audience for fans of Anthony Diblasi’s previous work such as Dread and Last Shift.  The film even had a satisfying ending that wrapped up everything for the character along with the characters in the film where we get what we want: Closure. I won’t spoil it for you but the ending song “Stripped” by Depeche Mode works perfectly. Over all this is the kind of horror film we want where underneath the mask we reveal our true selves and this is what this movie did for us. Revealed it’s true form: a horror film that isn’t afraid to go to the extreme and be different.

Posted by Jai Alexis in Categories, HORROR NEWS, MOVIE REVIEWS, NEW RELEASES, REVIEWS, SLASHERS AND BAD HUMANS, WOMEN IN HORROR, 0 comments
HoTS EXCLUSIVE: Nightmares Unleashed (2018) – A Short Film with Lots of Talent

HoTS EXCLUSIVE: Nightmares Unleashed (2018) – A Short Film with Lots of Talent

Creeper Film Fest: Nightmares Unleashed (2018) / Fair use doctrine.In high school, I took a communications class. Growing up, my concept of what filmmaking was was almost an Orson Welles level of perfection, not accepting anything less. We were just teens in high school writing goofy scripts and shooting films with expensive cameras and editing tools. Believe me, I wish I knew back then what I know now. It wasn’t easy at times sitting in the editing room hearing and watching the same footage repeatedly, but it was all worth it and, honestly, it’s such an adrenaline rush. Believe me. Therefore, most directors go to the premieres or screenings incognito focusing on the reactions of the audience instead of the premiere. They see what works, what doesn’t work, and who laughed at what part.

Creeper Film Fest: Nightmares Unleashed (2018) / Fair use doctrine.Creeper Film Fest: Nightmares Unleashed (2018) / Fair use doctrine.

Creeper Film Fest: Nightmares Unleashed (2018) / Fair use doctrine.I heard about an upcoming local film festival in my town called Creeper Film Fest. Working for House of Tortured Souls, I do my best to attend as many cons, expos, and film releases — even the local stuff — to get exclusive info, exclusive showings, or just meet some nice people. Recently, I talked to award-winning director Matthew Mark Hunter from MMH productions. We had a nice talk about his upcoming movie Nightmares Unleashed, and I explained that I’ll do my best to make it to the screening and review his movie. He was nice enough to send me a link to the movie, and I finally got time to watch it, so here’s my honest and fair review. After years of learning the craft and wearing others’ shoes, I learned to see their movie from their vision or their heart from their vision.

Creeper Film Fest: Nightmares Unleashed (2018) / Fair use doctrine.Nightmares Unleashed is a short film and runs just under 15 minutes. It doesn’t need a whole lot of time to get to the point, but it does a great job getting there. Some would say, “Oh, you used cheap FX and cheap tactics”, and, sure, you can say that if a film has a huge budget but cuts corners. Instead, Matthew uses some great practical and effective ways of getting shots and FX for his movie. The official plot is as follows:

A young girl loves watching horror films but always gets nightmares from them. She gets grabbed into the TV one night and must escape her worst nightmares through the movies.
As I stated before, Matthew didn’t have a big budget, doesn’t have movie stars, and doesn’t even have a huge crew. Nightmares Unleased is all guerilla filmmaking with a lot of heart from friends and family.

Creeper Film Fest: Nightmares Unleashed (2018) / Fair use doctrine.Another piece of info he was glad to share was that he tried to make the film as real as possible, so the worms from the worm zombie’s (Chris Wiggins) mouth, are real worms. That’s right. He had real worms put in his mouth. That’s hardcore! And that’s the level of dedication this movie gives to the audience.Matthew also revealed that all the tools on and around the workbench are real, so our corpse (John Polace) had real saws and knives hanging above him. Matthew further told me:

Creeper Film Fest: Nightmares Unleashed (2018) / Fair use doctrine.When the little actress (Autumn Johnson) first saw the Joseph makeup — she was always scared of — clowns, so when we did the scene of Joseph the Jester (Matthew Mark Hunter) jumping out of the closet the first time, she got really freaked out.

Creeper Film Fest: Nightmares Unleashed (2018) / Fair use doctrine.I didn’t see the movie as a cheap, low budget, amateur movie effort. Instead, I saw this as a film done by a director who’s going out and doing what he loves best: making movies. So, if you get a chance check out Nightmares Unleashed, do so. And check out other Indie films and filmmakers. Talk to them, and if they ever start a go fund me, donate. Believe it or not, even your favorite filmmakers were once like Matthew, out in his backyard and making a film with heart and soul and with friends and family.

Polace had real worms in his mouth. Worms. That’s hardcore and, honestly, that’s the level of dedication this movie gives to the audience!

Creeper Film Fest: Nightmares Unleashed (2018) / Fair use doctrine.

Posted by Jai Alexis in HORROR NEWS, MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Mandy (2018)

MOVIE REVIEW: Mandy (2018)

You came, I saw, and I love you

In Mandy, Nic Cage takes revenge on a crazy religious cult in the woods with a homemade battle ax. STOP DRILLING YOU HIT OIL! That’s pretty much what sold me on the plot for Mandy, the second film by director Panos Cosmatos whose first film was Beyond The Black Rainbow (2010). Set in 1983, Red Miller (Nicholas Cage) goes after a religious cult that brutally murdered his wife Mandy (Andrea Riseborough). If you have seen his first film, you know what to expect in this; if not, then fair warning — watch the movie with an open mind. Although the film plays out like an 80s-themed slasher movie, it’s almost far from it. Let’s examine this movie further.

Mandy (2018) / Fair use doctrine.

Although set in the 80s, it doesn’t have an 80s soundtrack with well-known music. There is a synthesizer, though, along with a Friday the 13th reference to Crystal Lake from Mandy (Andrea Riseborough of such works as Hidden (2015), Waco (2018) (TV mini-series), and Black Mirror (2017) (TV series)). Admittedly there is a real Crystal Lake, Nic Cage himself said that he drew inspiration for his character from Jason Voorhees, so perhaps he wants to give that nod since his character evolved in the woods.

Mandy (2018) / Fair use doctrine.As may be obvious, Mandy is not like any other Nicholas Cage film. From the picture of Cage all bloody and glimpses in the trailer, one would expect a cheesy B horror movie with over the top gore and one-liners. Not at all! The film plays out like a heavy metal live action movie, and at times, it just feels like a dream as Red goes through moments of despair, guilt, and regret. Cage is complemented by a host of character actors, from Richard Brake (31, Halloween II (2009)) to Linus Roache (Batman Begins) to Bill Duke (Payback, Predator), who definitely deliver. The scenes with the cult aren’t over the top, which is good because not once do the characters trail off and leave the idea of the movie on its own. The bikers, though, don’t dress or sound like bikers. Think something out of Mad Max with a distorted voice that almost sounds animalistic. This raises some interesting questions on the cult’s story because there’s really no back story – for anyone on anything.

Mandy (2018) / Fair use doctrine.I saw the movie at night, and it stuck with me — not in a bad way but almost as if I were dreaming too. This, by the way, got me thinking about the end when Nicholas Cage is driving away, caked in blood caked and looking out of his mind. This is not Hollywood Nic Cage but a genuinely insane Nicholas Cage.

Final thoughts: Watch the movie, and watch it at night with an open mind because this is without a doubt an interesting movie, and I sincerely hope we don’t have to wait another eight years for Panos Cosmatos’ third film.

Posted by Jai Alexis in MOVIE REVIEWS, NEW RELEASES, SLASHERS AND BAD HUMANS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: The Predator (2018)

MOVIE REVIEW: The Predator (2018)

The Predator: Hit or Miss

The Predator (2018) / Fair use doctrine.When I first heard that The Predator was coming back to the big screen I thought, ‘Well how are you going to top Predators?’ For my money, Predators is the best sequel to date and has the most legendary opening sequence in a movie ever. The news of Shane Black and Fred Dekker being on board, however, convinced me this was going to be top notch fun, gory, and worth the sequel.

I eagerly attended the first showing on Sunday, 16 September, only to find I was proven wrong – which is a major let down. Black and Dekker (haha) know their stuff and should’ve put together a great movie. With comedy, horror, and even family elements, The Predator struggles to find its focus. On the surface, The Predator is about a young boy who receives a gift of Predator items (WHY?) that eventually turn on a beacon which puts the Predator on a wanted list for being hunted {Or for hunting other creatures?}. The alert causes a problem for Earth since Predators aren’t friendly with anyone. A group of ragtag soldiers who suffer from PTSD ultimately are enlisted to do what’s right, help the kid, and…save the world?

The Predator (2018) / Fair use doctrine.As the film starts, there are actually some great action sequences, nice gore, and even a bit of a character development where you find yourself invested in the main character, Quinn McKenna (Boyd Holbrook, whom you’ll remember as Pierce, the villain, in Logan (2017)). After the spacecraft and presence of the aliens (Predators not Xenomorphs) are revealed, the government steps in and the movie takes a hard turn into Superficialville. Character development and, indeed, care of any characters steps out.

‘But,’ you may think to yourself, ‘This an action horror sci-fi movie. Does character development matter? We’re here for the blood and guts?’

The Predator (2018) / Fair use doctrine.

Well, kind of, yes. What I mean is this: When you attend a movie, you invest your time. In return, you expect to be entertained. You expect to see characters to whom you can relate or for whom you actually feel – especially when they die.

Hell, it took me a good while to realize that Thomas Jane was in the movie – not because of great method acting, but I just didn’t realize it was him. With an actor like Thomas Jane, you would expect that he would be front and center. At the very least, he should be cast in a better or more significant role. However, with this movie, you don’t get that. The deaths feel rushed, and the camera doesn’t exactly linger on the gore. It was almost blink-and-you-miss-it shots of the kills. Perhaps this was to avoid delays from the MPAA or maybe another unknown reason. We may never know.

The Predator (2018) / Fair use doctrine.Overall, The Predator doesn’t really hold up to the previous films in the franchise – gore- or action-wise. Sure, there are a few nods to the previous films but not enough to keep you entertained. From the sci-fi/horror aspect, it could have worked as any other alien movie, but as an entry in the Predator franchise, it doesn’t. Peppered with forced jokes as an attempt to engage the audience, it falls flat because they didn’t really fit the movie. At times, the movie felt overlong and drawn out – not good for film with a scant runtime of 107 minutes. My excitement swelled as the ending approached. Would there be a possible connection to the previous films? Or even something better?

I won’t spoil the movie, but it was almost a slap in the face to the fans of the franchise to see this. HINT: Think uber Jason from Jason X but with no delivery of any kind. It was just a big let down.

My advice: Wait until The Predator comes on Netflix or hits Redbox. It just barely made number one this weekend, so perhaps a sequel or another reboot will help the franchise.

The Predator (2018) / Fair use doctrine.

Posted by Jai Alexis in HORROR NEWS, MOVIE REVIEWS, NEW RELEASES, PREQUELS AND SEQUELS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich (2018)

MOVIE REVIEW: Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich (2018)

Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich (2018)Growing up, I always loved watching the Puppet Master movies. As I got older, I began to realize the movies didn’t make a whole lot of sense — then again, the movies are about killer puppets coming to life and Nazis wanting a secret formula to re-animate the dead.

Puppet Master: The Littlest ReichPuppet Master: The Littlest Reich

Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich is the latest film in the franchise and is a new branch to the storyline. The film is about a group of people meeting at a convention for the Andre Toulon Murders that took place in the late 80s. Naturally, the murders begin all over again. I was skeptical at first since I’m a huge Puppet Master fan and the pictures didn’t really convince me. I was especially disappointed in the new looks, but I sat down and watched the movie with an open mind.

Puppet Master: The Littlest ReichFirst, Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich is a great little flick and an excellent addition to the franchise with its new look and perfect balance of over-the-top gore. Yes, some of the original puppets are back some with new designs, and new puppets have been added to the group — including what appears to be a few toys. The story showcases a darker tone for not only the puppets that are clearly being controlled by Toulon but also for Toulon himself. Forget the loving, Nazi-fighting Toulon; this Toulon is much creepier. Udo Kier, who plays Toulon, has a very interesting take on the character, and Kier has definitely made his mark in the franchise.

Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich does have some humor but not enough to weaken the horror aspect or riddle the film with shock jokes. At first, it may seem like Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich didn’t cover all the ground, but from the looks of things, we may see a trilogy from this new branch of the Puppet Master storyline.

Overall, I say buy this movie if you’re a Puppet Master fan, and if you’re not, it’s a great movie to watch with friends and a good way to learn about what started this new direction.Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich (2018)

Posted by Jai Alexis in GORE OR EXTREME HORROR, NEW RELEASES, REMAKES AND REBOOTS, THRILLER, 0 comments
Tristan Takes Charge!

Tristan Takes Charge!

Parlour Tricks / Tristan Risk

Indie horror darling Tristan Risk is at it again, this time taking on the role of director for her very own short film entitled Parlour Tricks. Risky, as she is lovingly referred to, is a well-rounded artist, to say the least. She has starred in countless burlesques and sideshows, created insightful, personal pieces of writing on her website Little Miss Risk and portrayed some memorable characters on film both in and out of costumes and special makeup (American Mary, Harvest Lake, Frankenstein Created Bikers) I will go as far to say that Miss Risk is worthy of the title ‘Renaissance Woman’ as she continues to add to her list of accomplishments.
Parlour Tricks / Tristan RiskAs for her latest endeavor though, Parlour Tricks is delightful, fun, and quirky — much like Tristan is herself. It’s a tale of feuding relatives attempting to contact their departed Aunt in the afterlife, not for the need of closure or to relay how much she meant to each, but rather for selfish and greedy reasons. Sitting at seven and a half minutes, the short film is a quick and enjoyable watch that utilizes its black and white format beautifully. The cast and crew come together wonderfully in what is perhaps a passion project and quite possibly the first of many directorial efforts led by Tristan Risk out of her House Of Hiss, successfully throwing her hat in the ring for future features led by females.

Parlour Tricks / Tristan Risk

The High Priestess of Lowbrow took a few moments to answer some questions for us here at HoTS and we couldn’t be more pleased to share what she had to say!
House of Tortured Souls: What prompted you to dive into directing? Has it been something you always have thought of doing?
Tristan Risk: I had always had it at the back of my mind, but I think it mostly came from writing and wanting to see those stories come off of the page, and I had this idea to get someone else to direct. I am not technically trained, so I was worried I needed to know about lens and craft before diving in. Fortunately, I had really great support from my circle of Topher, Jordan, and Burns, who encouraged me to just do it, and so I went with majority rules.
 Tristan RiskHoTS: You are a ridiculously talented burlesque performer and can easily perfect some sideshow abilities such as fire eating and the ‘hair hang’. Do you happen to have a special place in your heart for the body horror sub-genre? Do you have any favorite horror films?
TR: Body horror is the most frightening of subgenres for me. Because I’ve always made my living off of my body, the ideas, and themes it. The idea that we don’t have autonomy over my body is frightening, and while as a woman we face this every day with not having access to health care that meets our needs with regards to our reproductive health. So rather than have an existential crisis over that, we watch Martyrs and Tetsuo: The Iron Man.
HoTS: How long was filming and post-production for Parlour Tricks?
TR: We shot Parlour Tricks in one day on a Saturday in March. The post took a little bit longer as everyone was donating their time to polish it off, but Jordan had us a working edit right away so we got it done quickly, and were able to start sending it to festivals quickly. I’m not sure how long it generally takes, but I’m happy to let people take their time and do the job to their satisfaction.
HoTS: Parlour Tricks is a very fun and offbeat short, rather lighthearted. What made you want to go this route with your film?
TR: I don’t think it’s any shock for anyone who has read my writing to know I can go to very dark and graphic places. I love comedy, and while I enjoy all things horror, I wanted to try something different and showcase a side of myself that I don’t often get to display when I’m in front of the camera. I think I also did it as a mild admonishment to people who are thinking I’d go the safe, shocking route, and that one should always expect the unexpected.

Parlour Tricks / Tristan Risk

HoTS: What can we expect to see from you in the future?
TR: I just wrapped with the Cronenberg remake of Rabid with the Soska sisters in Toronto, Canada. So when that comes to screens I’m very excited and proud to be part of that production. I’m planning on shooting three of my short films, and to work on some features in the future.
HoTS: How has your time on set of the Soska-led remake of Rabid been thus far? Anything you can share with us regarding your character?
TR: The production was full of challenges, but the amazing camera crew and delightful cast, it was an amazing display of tenacity and talent in equal measure. I was so impressed by the crew and in particular our director of photography, Kim Derko, and our camera operators Paula Tymchuk and Tamara Jones. They stood out for me and showed skill and grace, and everyone from all the departments put their blood and souls into this. I’m fiercely proud to be among all of these people’s number in helping contribute to the making of this film.
At this time I’m not sure I’m permitted to reveal the names of what I play at this time. However, I can share that I do play multiple roles in this film that showcases my skill set as well as a new batch of skills previously not used in any other film. I’m very excited to be able to pop up in a few unexpected places and in such a striking film.
 Tristan RiskHoTS: If YOU could remake any film, what would it be?
TR: Oddly enough, I’ve been tapped to contribute and collaborate on another remake, but I’m going to keep that in a quiet whisper for the time being. If I had my pick of films to recreate and reimagine, I’d be tempted to take on Splash. I’m dying to shoot underwater and feature mermaid myth and lore. I even swim in til myself and have worked as a professional mermaid. I’m wanting to feature all the deep diving babes I’ve met over the years who I think could sell the idea.
HoTS: You have toured in over a dozen different countries in various burlesque and sideshows, modeled, and of course acted. Now you can officially add writer and director to your resume. Out of all these creative hats you have worn, do you have a favorite at all? What drives your need to seek such artistic outlets?
TR: I think just a desire to create. So much of it is visual mediums, and I can translate the write to the visual so easily. I’ve always found release in using my ideas to shape my reality around me, and films give me access to a wider audience to do that. I love live shows and it’s frustrating to channel so much energy into a performance where only a handful of people can experience it. While the stage is my first love, I am always ready to have a long-time affair with the screen, and willing to switch between behind and in front of the camera.

Parlour Tricks / Tristan Risk

Posted by Alan Smithee in HORROR NEWS, REVIEWS, WOMEN IN HORROR, 0 comments

CONCERT REVIEW: GHOUL/GWAR RAMS HEAD LIVE 10/26/17

GWAR has been one of my favorite bands for the past 30 years now. Known for playing on or around Halloween in Baltimore I took every opportunity to grab some passes to see them now that I’m back in Maryland after many years of being gone from the area. Rams Head Live in Baltimore was the venue on this Thursday night. A good sized club always brings in big acts and is a pretty cool venue with pretty much not a bad seat( all general admission) in the place. GWAR is one band that to see live is one that I would HAVE to cover for a story. My wife Steff had never seen GWAR before, that alone was almost reason enough to go.

By the time we got there GHOUL was just about to go on stage. GHOUL is a fun mix of GWAR, MENTORS, MISFITS with a touch of MOTORHEAD! Keeping in touch with the Halloween spirit with a horror punk sound. I don’t think Gwar could have found a better band to hit the road with. Both lyrically and their stage presence oozes horror. As for starters, if your not familiar with GHOUL, they all wear burlap sack, masks with bloody mouths, have stage actors that they behead and spray blood out on to the crowd and sing of death and graveyards while they have the look of just committed a nasty home invasion. GHOUL ARE  FUCKING AWESOME!! What a great live act and a great bunch of guys as I was fortunate enough to have run into a few of them after the show.

                                           

Finally,…after a bit of a wait from what seemed to have been some technical issues, GWAR makes their way to the stage. By this time the crowd had started to fill up, sadly it wasn’t to overly packed, but then again it was a Thursday ….and the general age of the crowd…well, we aren’t as young as we once were. GWAR come out on stage and its always something new, every tour. The stage show is creative, overwhelming at times, oh..and bloody violent. Kind of makes you feel like your mixing a Lloyd Kaufman film to shock rock extreme music, in one live nightmare!

This was my first time having seen GWAR since the passing of the late great ODERUS URUNGUS, it was hard waiting to hear some of the old classics, and yet only one was done, Black and Huge. It was actually kind of nice that the band left it alone. Regardless, the stage show over the top as always, and for the club only charging $20.00 tickets, makes you wonder how these guys are making a penny because they really do put a lot into it!

Of course, they always touch on a few big media items such as government and religion, that the boys are always more than welcome to slay and befoul on stage and spray gallons of blood and other bodily fluids on to the audience. From a decapitated priest to Blothar ejaculating on the crowd, it was a wet floor, to say the least!

   

 

It was the same day as the show that the heart-wrenching news surfaced about guitarist Michael Derks, best known to the world as Balsac the Jaws of Death. I had noticed from the get go that he wasn’t on stage. So, just kind of assumed that with the recent medical news that maybe he had decided to take the rest of the tour off…I was wrong. It must have been the third song that Balsac made his stage presence, and what a crowd response he was given, and seemed as if he really played his heart out that night.

                                                      
GWAR played for over an hour and a half. For these aging gentlemen, those costumes, props, lighting, stage theatrics and pure energy, I’ve got to give them credit cause most of the people in the crowd were winded. The last song came around, and how suiting, it was a cover of AC/DC’s If You Want Blood. Not only did they do a great job of the song, they also did a great job of making a complete mess of the venue and everyone that was in it! If you were one of the fortunate ones who hadn’t got spewed or gutted on, you were about to! I honestly don’t think there was a dry place in the club by the end of the song.

As I mentioned earlier, my wife had never seen GWAR before. When they came on stage she and I got split up, I went up to the stage to take photo’s and she went front and center stage in the crowd with old friend of mine who catches them every time they roll into town with his daughter no less. So the band exited the stage, house lights came on, ..and they were, the three of them, all blue and red and I do mean from head to toe soaked in stage spray! The smile on my wife’s face was priceless, she had been GWAR’d!!

GHOUL and GWAR thank you both for the passes and thank you both for such a great show, you guys are the goods!!

Visit Gwar on their website and see all the great things you’ve been missing: Gwar-Official Site of the Gods also check out the almighty and amazing GHOUL on their official site..I’m telling you this band is something to look out for. Ghoul-Official site!

                                                                    
Keep it Evil

Posted by John Roisland in EVENT REVIEWS, MUSIC REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
TRIBUTE: GEORGE A. ROMERO (1 of ?)

TRIBUTE: GEORGE A. ROMERO (1 of ?)

Remembering George A. Romero

George A. Romero, as many of you know by now, passed on Sunday, July 16, asleep in his own bed. Romero had a small but aggressive bout with cancer, but that is said not to be the cause of his death. Romero was 77.
When one thinks of zombies these days, sadly, most think of The Walking Dead and believe this to be the greatest zombie representation in film (or TV). Not to take anything away from the abundance of talent that goes into making TWD, but if you were to ask its main man Greg Nicotero who he himself was inspired by (as well as any true horror and or zombie fan) and who is the master and father of the modern zombie, you'll get the same answer from them all. That name would be legendary filmmaker George A. Romero.
George A. Romero was born in New York City in 1940. After graduating school, George made many short film and did some commercial work as well. He and friends formed IMAGE TEN PRODUCTIONS where they all chipped in about $10,000.00 each to produce and direct a black and white horror film that became an instant horror classic and a legend among all zombie film to ever be made: Night of the Living Dead (1968).
Romero went on to write, direct, produce, and even act in more than a combined 78 films. Films titles such as The Crazies (2010/1972), Diary of the Dead (2007), Night of the Living Dead 3D (2006), Land of the Dead (2004), Creepshow (1982), Dawn of the Dead (1978), and many more.
George A. Romero was always known for his trademark thick rimmed black frame glasses and safari vest. But, more so, was always known for being a warmhearted man who always cared and took the time for his fans. I personally wasn't fortunate enough to have met Romero at any of the conventions that he had attended as a celebrity guest, but I always heard from those who did that he was a very personable and kind man.
The legendary horror/zombie films that Romero made in his lifetime were inspiring to future filmmakers and loved by audiences across the globe. Romero's Night of the Living Dead became the standard for all other zombie films. All, in some way, seemed to be compared to that of Romero, but none ever seem to make the same impact. While Romero's films were always full of great gore, blood, and BRAINS(!!!!), the films always had great stories. They were always driven by characters whose main goal was to survive among the dead for their life. And it always worked!
Mr. Romero, you have been inspiring, admired, respected, loved, and now, most of all, missed.
On behalf of myself, John Roisland, founder and CEO of House of Tortured Souls, thank you, sir, for all the memories you have given to all of us.
Keep It Evil.
Posted by John Roisland in EDITORIALS, TRIBUTE, 0 comments
Mayhem Poster Promises a Bloody Good Time

Mayhem Poster Promises a Bloody Good Time

Mayhem, the upcoming horror movie from director Joe Lynch, just released a bloody, amazing poster. Mayhem stars Steven Yeun (The Walking Dead) and Samara Weaving (Ash vs Evil Dead). This movie follows Steven, who stars as Derek Sanders, as he not only has to find a new job after being fired for the law firm he works at, but also has to fight off his newly infected, impulsive co-workers, after a virus has infected the office.
Joe Lynch has also directed such movies as Wrong Turn 2: Dead End, Knights of Badassdom, and Everly. Judging on his past films, Mayhem looks to be like another fun, yet horrifying adventure. Mayhem premiered at the SXSW Film Festival.
Mayhem / Fair use doctrine.
Posted by Alan Smithee in HORROR NEWS, 0 comments
GAME REVIEW: Resident Evil 7: Biohazard

GAME REVIEW: Resident Evil 7: Biohazard

Resident Evil is back from the Dead!

Game: Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
Developer: Capcom
Score: 9/10
Resident Evil 7: Biohazard is the newest Resident Evil game from Capcom. Capcom had a lot of pressure on them to make fans fall in love with the Resident Evil series again, after many were disappointed with Resident Evil 6. After becoming lost in this new game for several hours, I can happily reassure fans everywhere that Capcom did not disappoint with RE7.
With all that said, Resident Evil 7 brings the franchise back to its survival horror roots, but it is a bit different than the older games. That's not a bad thing, because sometime you need to make some changes to revive something that's dying.
You play as Ethan Winters who, after receiving a mysteriously creepy video, heads out to a rundown and frightful looking plantation, to find his missing wife Mia. It is in this plantation where you come across the Baker family, and as soon as you meet them, you will wish you never came across them.
Thanks to the Baker family, and several mutilated and horrifying creatures, Resident Evil 7 will have you on the edge of your seat as you never know who or what is waiting for you around the corner. The scenery is gruesome and adds to the "I've walked into my worst nightmare" feeling.
Along with great characters and scenery, RE7 has great game play (a mixture of guns a blazing action and "Oh no I ran out of ammo again" stealth), an intriguing story, and hard yet awesome boss battles. This is also one of the most bloody and gory Resident Evil games in the series, and that's not a bad thing at all!
Another thing I love about this game is that I see so many elements of horror movies brought into this game. The Baker family seems like they could be straight out of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre or The Devil's Rejects. I see influences from Saw, as there are crazy tortuous puzzles involved in this game. You can also tell that Resident Evil 7 was took note of the success of the Silent Hill PT demo and brought elements of that into the game. This all helps make the game even more fun.
Now as much as I love this game, its not perfect. It was a bit on the short side, coming in at 8-10 hours of game play and the ending was a little lackluster. It had a lot of build up for an ending, but it didn't necessarily deliver. Overall though, Resident Evil 7 is a survival horror game that will scare you, excite you, and make you fall in love with Resident Evil all over again.
Posted by Alan Smithee in GAME REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
FILM REVIEW: Anarchy Parlor (2015)

FILM REVIEW: Anarchy Parlor (2015)

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By: John Roisland

Anarchy Parlor is the story  of a few friends on vacation in Vilnius, Lithuania. While out one night  partying, one of the guys runs into a long blonde haired heavily tattooed young lady by the name of  Uta, played by Sara Fabel (Gang Busters) who is  very aggressive with the guy, and mentions that she is an apprentice at a local tattoo shop. With this being said, immediately he and one of his friends goes with the girl back to the tattoo parlor, so he can try to put the moves on his new found love, and his friend…well she wants to get a tattoo to remember their trip by.

imagesJMSWEITE

When the three of them alive at the tattoo parlor the guy and Uta go downstairs for a quick little fuck fest while the girl Amy, played by Tiffany DeMarco (Raze, Its Dark Here) stays and waits for the artist, played by Robert LaSardo (Death Race, Human Centipede III, Strangeland , Nip/Tuck). LaSardo and Amy speak for a while getting to know each other, earning a trust amongst them, and decides on a small tattoo to get. Downstairs, Uta has now drugged our young friend and is passed out unconscious. As LaSardo finishes his tattoo on Amy, she passes out from the drug he put into her drink.

The morning after, the rest of the friends come looking for their now lost friends who were last seen going to this tattoo shop. When they get there, they are of course told that they were there, but had left in the wee hours of the night.  The group leaves, very upset and angered…they are sure their friends are in that shop!

Meanwhile, down in the basement better known as a dungeon if you will, we find LaSardo and our apprentice with our new victims tied to a slab strip down to their underwear lying on their stomachs. It is here that we find out the real meaning of Anarchy Parlor. LaSardo and his apprentice perform the art of cutting the skin from the backs of their victims claiming it to be the purest form of canvas. Meanwhile, our other friends have made their way back to the tattoo shop forcing their way in claiming that they know that their friends are here as they searched throughout the building they find a body hung in the basement, with Amy still on the slab.

It is explained by LaSardo’s character that he has been hired to do portraits, of all the members of the oldest and wealthiest family in Lithuania. But the portraits are to be done…on the purest form of canvas there is.  Hence the reason why LaSardo skins his victims.

The movie overall was highly entertaining! It sadly enough will not win any awards although I must say on a high point that Robert Lasardo’s  character I think was written for him. He absolutely nailed this performance. Having had the pleasure of meeting and personally speaking with Robert LaSardo a few times, I can tell you that many personality traits in his character are  very, very similar to Robert’s own mannerisms in real life, (and I say this with the utmost respect) Lasardo is a very well spoken gentleman, who chooses his words wisely…so did his character. He obviously put a lot into his role.  So I definitely must  give huge props to my friend Mr. LaSardo on his performance.

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There are some decent blood and gore scenes in the film,  watching somebody get skinned kinda makes you cringe a little bit. There is a small feel of Hostel during the film, but not one to make you say its a rip-off. I did enjoy the ending…I like where they went with it, that’s all I’m gonna  say about that!

The film was both written and directed by Devon Downs and Kenny Gage and brought to you from A Team Entertainment.

I recommend giving Anarchy Parlor a shot, and next time you’re in a tattoo shop…you might not want to go wandering around.

 

Keep It Evil.

 

Posted by John Roisland in GORE OR EXTREME HORROR, MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 1 comment
The Walking Dead: Who is Negan?

The Walking Dead: Who is Negan?

By Nicole Robinson

Negan

Fans of The Walking Dead comic book series have long awaited to find out who was going to be playing the notorious villain Negan. It was recently announced that The Good Wife and Supernatural alum, Jeffery Dean Morgan, was cast, bringing about speculation that Negan will be appearing sometime during season 6. This was all but confirmed after that mid-season finale’s sneak peek of Daryl, Sasha, and Abraham’s encounter with The Saviors. For those fans that do not read the comic series, you are probably wondering to yourself “Who is Negan and why should I care?”

For those of you wondering this very question, here are some answers.

Negan is a very important comic character and first appears in the series during issue #100. He is the leader of the Saviors. The sneak peek gave us our first introduction to Negan’s group in a very accurate portrayal of their comic counterparts. This is not a small group, but in fact is an entire community like Alexandria and Negan is their leader. He uses fear and brutality to secure their loyalty with burning faces with an iron as example of one punishment for breaking the rules.

From the very beginning, it is very clear that Negan has a special type personality. In his first appearance, his introduces Rick and friends to Lucille, a baseball bat wrapped in barb wire which he uses to random choose his first victim. He knocks at the gates of Alexandria demanding HALF of everything. Half of all of the supplies, weapons, and ammo that the community has collected in exchange for protection. The protection they need is from The Saviors.

Negan randomly choose a victim from a subdued group which happens to be Glenn. While a pregnant Maggie, Rick, and Michonne watch, he beats Glenn to death with Lucille in one of the most memorable and graphic scene of the entire series. This also establishes a lot about the character that is Negan and his impact on the dynamic of the story.

The death of Glenn is one which strikes at the very hearts of Rick and Maggie as well as the rest of the survivors. We learn very quickly that Negan is very narcissistic and charming with absolutely no sense of remorse. He hears Glenn beg for his life and yet he still smashes Lucille into his skull and at one point even laughs and says “He is taking it like a champ”. Rick swears to avenge Glenn and kill Negan but this does not even phase him. He just laughs more and beats Rick with his bare hands before leaving.

Negan is a psychotic, witty, intelligent, and brutal. He occasionally will display a warped sense of sympathy but lacks empathy completely. And he is coming to the TV counterpart during the second half of season 6. Jeffery Dean Morgan was recently announced to have been casted as the iconic villain settling any questions as to whether or not Rick would come face to face with Negan before season 7. Does this spell the end for Glenn?

So far the television series has mixed up the death count to be different from the comic counterpart. Bob replaced Dale as tainted meat. Tyresse died at Shirewilt Estates last season in a reverse of sorts having first appeared at Wiltshire Estates previous to the prison in the comic. Sasha seems to be taking over the role of Andrea as the sniper. Chances are the writers will do the same for Glenn especially after the whole dumpster ordeal. One major theory that seems to hold the most weight is that Daryl will be the one to meet Lucille if and when Negan shows up this season.

Before you start getting out the riot gear, think about this a little. We have been seeing less and less of Daryl this season as if we are being weaned off of him. His story seems to have become very stale since Beth died. What more does Daryl Dixon really have to offer The Walking Dead? He has come to terms with his past and who he is. He trusts people a lot more now, even going out as a recruiter for Alexandria. He became a valued member of the group, really growing out of the whole racist redneck image we had of him in season 1.

Another aspect to consider is that Daryl is second only to Rick as the most popular Character on a show that claims “No One Is Safe”.  The moment that Negan arrives and brutal ends Glenn is one of the moment significant moments of the entire comic series. Glenn has played second fiddle to Daryl since the start, having has a much larger role in comic series as well as being a fan favorite. Whomever gets Lucille has to make a huge impact.

The major point about Glenn’s death is that is makes the readers really hate Negan. There is no one else besides that Daryl that could make the audience hate Negan on the level we need too for the TV series. The legions of fan screaming “If Daryl Dies We Riot” can only keep him safe for so long. The appearance of Negan brings about a new chapter for The Walking Dead and Lucille is thirsty.

It will a long wait for the 2nd half of season 6. The first 8 episodes started out strong and ended…. Well…. Good. When season 6 picks back on Valentine’s Day with the episode “No Way Out”, here is to hoping they make it up to us with a lot of death, especially for Sam. He really needs to die for speaking a syllable while walking through a herd in a walker gut covered bed sheet.

Posted by Alan Smithee in BOOKS, COMICS, AND PUBLICATION REVIEWS, EDITORIALS, REVIEWS, SERIES REVIEWS, 0 comments
RECAP: TWD, S06E04, Here’s Not Here

RECAP: TWD, S06E04, Here’s Not Here

HERE'S NOT HERE: MORGAN'S BACKSTORY

By Nicole Robinson

Morgan disposes of walkers

The Walking Dead slowed things down this week with the 90- minute fourth installment of the AMC zombie drama’s sixth season. Here’s Not Here changed the pace after the last three back to back intense blood bath episodes, focusing on the backstory of how Jedi-Zen master Morgan (Lennie James) and his magic walking made it to Alexandria to reunite with Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln). We were introduced to Morgan’s Yoda, Eastman played by the always outstanding John Carroll Lynch.

When we were first introduced to Morgan in season one’s pilot episode, he seemed to be a calm man, mourning over his zombie wife and protecting his son Dwayne. When he and Rick parted ways at the end of the episode, non-comic readers probably forgot all about Morgan and his son. As a major player in the comic series, readers knew he would pop back up eventually, which he did in the season three episode Clear.

In Clear we found Morgan had gone a little cray cray after watching his wife turn his son into a Walker snack. Despite being offered the chance to join Rick at the prison, he turned him down because he still needed to Clear. Here’s Not Here picks up right after the encounter. We find Morgan is continuing his self-destructive path, killing every Walker or man that he meets, even if he doesn't have to.

In the midst of this kill-everything-and-everyone adventure walk through the woods, Morgan happens upon an isolated, peaceful cabin with a goat out front and tries to steal it. Instead of getting away with the goat, he is captured by Eastman, who may be the only person in the apocalypse that wants to HELP other people instead of killing them.

Morgan and Eastman

Turns out Eastman is a former forensic psychologist who worked with some of the most deranged prison inmates, perhaps at the former home of Rick and friends. His goal is not to hurt Morgan, who is sitting in a cell in the cabin, but to rehabilitate him. The question remains…. Is Morgan too far gone?

Eventually Eastman opens the cell door—or rather reveals the door had never been locked. Morgan exits and of course attempts to kill Eastman but he just can’t allow that to happen. Eastman uses his Jedi powers to hand Morgan his a**, and the defeated, distraught Morgan slinks back to the cell of his own volition, closing the door that does not lock as if to lock himself in. At this point, Eastman goes about his business, although still trying to engage Morgan in conversation.

Most characters in The Walking Dead have come close to or already have succumbed to the dark side. Eastman’s characters is a refreshing change from the usual kill now question later attitude that comes with the apocalypse. He is the most unambiguously good character we’ve had on the show since Herschel (RIP) and holds on to the mindset most of humanity held dear before the world crashed and burned, All Life Is Precious, even the most evil of people . Life matters to him so much that he has his own Walker graveyard complete with names taken from ID cards etched onto wooden grave markers.

The amazing part about this respect for life that Eastman holds is that he not without his fair share of suffering. Over dinner he tells Morgan his own story about the man who killed his family before Walkers had eaten most of mankind. After ruining the man’s chance at parole, Eastman’s wife and children were violently murdered by him. The man broke out of prison just to kill the Eastman family and surrendered to the cops covered in their blood. Eastman built the cell for the man, taking him from his prison highway flower planting job and throwing him in to let him starve to death over 47 days, after which he swore to never take another life.

We Cannot Be Comfortable With Killing. They all heal, some more, some less.

After a bit of violence and lot of prodding from Eastman, Morgan eventually settles into a master/apprentice relationship with his new buddy, practicing Aikido, becoming a vegetarian and generally re-learning how to be a merciful person while tending to Tabitha, the goat. Eastman’s experience with violent criminals turns out to be a very handy skill during the process of bringing Morgan back from insanity, otherwise known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He is intelligent, kind, observant, and most importantly, patient. And while he seems to be a generally good-natured guy, there is a sense that the apocalypse is getting to him. He needs Morgan just as much as Morgan needs him. He needs a companion, and he needs a project. Morgan provides him with both.

Morgan and Eastman spar one final time

The first mistake Eastman made was trying to be the voice of wisdom on a post-apocalyptic TV show. He dies of course, having been bit during magic walking stick practice. This brings us to the moment when we find out the meaning behind some of the items Morgan had on his makeshift-alter at Father Gabe’s church in season 5. The lucky rabbit’s foot belonged to Eastman, given to him by his dead daughter, which he gives to Morgan as a parting gift. The Goo Goo Clusters were Eastman’s favorite, which he points out to Morgan during the episode.

Here’s Not Here gave a sense of calm that was much needed after the last three intensely violent episodes. Sometimes we need a break from chaos when more is on the way. Don’t forget the Mega Herd is STILL coming. This season has offered us some edge of our seat moments and more are on the way. The calm episodes will be few and far between, enjoy them when you can.

Sadly viewers are going to have to wait a little while longer to find out the fate of Glenn.....possibly longer than they expect. Did anyone else notice that Steven Yuen’s name was removed from the opening credits this week? The herd is still on its way to Alexandria and that means at least a few people are going to die. Morgan has a Wolf locked in cage. The RV won’t start. The death count is already high so far.

 

In lighter news, The Walking Dead and Talking Dead have both been renewed for season 7! AMC announced a new reality series starring Norman Reedus on a motorcycle currently titles, Ride With Norman Reedus. The show will feature Reedus traveling to places around the US, exploring exciting things like tattoo parlors and bike shops. Seems kind of hard to film both. Perhaps this is a clue to the demise of Daryl Dixon at some point this season? Stay Tuned.

Posted by Alan Smithee in MONSTERS AND CREATURES, REVIEWS, SERIES REVIEWS, ZOMBIES, 0 comments
HALLOWEEN HORRORS: The Collector (2009)

HALLOWEEN HORRORS: The Collector (2009)

By John Roisland

Collector 4

In 2009, Marcus Dunstan, who brought you such titles as Saw IV and Saw V, brought you his clever game of cat and mouse, The Collector. This 90 minute sleeper, released by Vivendi and Genius Entertainment, unfortunately didn't do much at the box office, but was a bit of a hit with the rental market and with me!

Josh Stewart (The Dark Knight Rises , The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) stars as Arkin, an ex-con turned handy man who is trying to make good in life as well as make good to the loan shark that his wife racked up some hefty bills with while trying to stay afloat while Arkin was in the joint. Arkin offers to settle up by doing a job in his wealthy client’s home since he and his family are preparing to leave for a family vacation.

Both parties agree, but unfortunately for our star, someone has laid claim to this house first. Only difference is, this guy’s not there to rob them of jewelry; he robs them of lives. The Collector, played by Juan Fernandez (A Man Apart), has already settled in and transformed the house into a giant booby-trap full of torturous devices making it nearly impossible to escape.

Arkin arrives at the house to steal his new wealth, when he comes across the homeowners who are being held captive...in a giant foot locker. They warn him of the intruder and try to sneak out only to find themselves encountering deadly trap after deadly trap. You see, our new found collector, collects bodies. Tortures, murders, keeps them for his...collection.

I will say that there is a feeling of the Saw series present in the film. Even though this may not be as over the top or action packed as Saw, and sometimes it gets kinda slow, they did a good job with it. The film and lighting captured the feel of desperate people caught in their own home transformed into traps as well as the feel of The Collector’s driving need to collect. Some of the torture scenes were pretty original and gory. I have got to give props when they are due. While having a good blood and gore level, the film still held a nice atmosphere of suspense for its audience.

The film I thought ended perfectly into the ending credits...yes, also leaving it open for a sequel, that I'd rather not even discuss!

This one is a great watch. It keeps your interest without overdoing it. The acting, while maybe not being spot on by all of the cast, most still give a worthy performance. I do certainly enjoy this film, and suggest that if you haven't checked it out, that you do so!

Posted by John Roisland in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
RECAP: TWD, S06E03, Thank You

RECAP: TWD, S06E03, Thank You

By Nicole Robinson

Last night’s Thank You, episode 3 in the sixth season of AMC’s The Walking Dead, had viewers screaming at the small screen and jaws dropped as they watched one the longest surviving members of Rick’s group possibly die in front of their very eyes. They warned us! No one is safe!

****SPOILER ALERT! If you have not watched the episode yet, why are you reading this?!****

Last night’s episode, Thank You, left most viewers either horrified or confused by the end, curious about the fate of our favorite pizza delivery guy. Most of us are sitting here wondering “Did he really just DIE?!”. It is possible that the blood and intestines we saw the walkers snacking on was not Glenn. It could have been Nicholas who knocked Glenn into the heard after shooting himself in the temple on top of the dumpster they were trapped on. Looks like Nick may have just killed Glenn after all.

Nick is trouble

But first, maybe we should go ahead and recap a little of the events from the rest of the episode so it looks like an honest review before we go through this whole Glenn dead or not dead thing...

This episode takes place during the events of last week’s blood bath. We catch up with Rick (Andrew Lincoln), Sasha, Daryl, Abraham, Glenn, Nicholas, and the rest of Alexandianites that are trying to deal with the giant mega herd that is STILL heading right for home. It has become really obvious to all of the viewers at this point that not everyone is going to survive this. Rick even says he knows this, and he seem to be totally cool with it. He pulls Michonne (Danai Gurira) and Glenn (Steven Yuen) aside, and flatly tells them, “Try to get the others back home, but not all of them [meaning the Alexandrians] are gonna make it.” Michonne and Glenn—who know how the zombie apocalypse works—are still kind of horrified to hear Rick say it out loud. But, Rick is still right.

Rick tells Michonne and Glenn to leave them behind

Sadly, it is obvious how bad the Alexandrites are at killing walkers. Even the wounded ones tell the others to go on without them. They already know.

Rick splits off from the group to go get the RV so he can use it to redirect the horde. Glenn and Michonne take the survivors and head towards Alexandria. Sasha, Daryl, and Abraham lead the part of the horde that was not distracted by the horn to the drop point. Rick’s hand is wounded on the way to RV while fighting some walkers. He pushes forward, killing more walkers and making it to the RV only to be attacked by wolves inside.

Attacking Rick Grimes is probably no a smart thing to do. These Wolves find out, dispatched as quickly as they attacked and Rick finds three more wolves sneaking up the side of the RV. The threat is short lived as he shoots them through the wall. Problem solved except now the RV won’t start. Anyone else miss Dale?

Glenn and Michonne’s group of Alexandrites with one bitten and one wounded, get trapped and Glenn’s idea to save the day is set a feed store on fire to distract the herd away. He takes Nicholas (Michael Traynor) with him and the two get cornered by the herd in an alleyway leading to being trapped on the dumpster.

Is Glenn Dead?

Considering that we did not actually see Glenn die and he was not on the “In Memorium” on Talking Dead, one could question if he really did get brutally eaten by the walkers. Yes we saw blood…. A lot of blood.

Glenn meets his demise

We saw walkers eating SOMEONE. It would take a miracle to get out of an insanely large group of walkers like that and if Glenn did survive the buffet, there better be a really good storyline as to how. Nicholas could have fallen on top of Glenn and shielded him from the herd. Maybe Glenn was able to shimmy under the dumpster to hide while they ate poor Nick. Or maybe Nick actually ended up being the one who kills Glenn after all. It appears we will be waiting awhile to find out. Next week’s Morgan centered backstory episode will finally be showing us how the Jedi master zen came to be with his magical stick. If Glenn is dead, chances are Maggie will turn up pregnant in the near future. This also leaves open other story lines from the comics that are highly anticipated to bring about the demise of other character’s in Glenn’s place. Or just good old fashioned great storytelling.

No matter what the case, this season started with an adrenaline rush that has not let up yet. Three back to back intense, gut wrenching episodes into season 6 have shown us that this is shaping up to be the best season yet of the zombie drama. We certainly do have something to fear this season…

Posted by Alan Smithee in MONSTERS AND CREATURES, REVIEWS, SERIES REVIEWS, ZOMBIES, 1 comment
The Walking Dead Season 6 Returns Sunday!

The Walking Dead Season 6 Returns Sunday!

The Walking Dead
Season 6 Begins October 11, 2015

By Nicole Robinson

Rick, Carol and DarylThe excitement is building as viewers wait for The Walking Dead to return this Sunday to AMC for its sixth season after a very long summer for fans. The premiere of the season 6 trailer at this year’s San Diego Comic Con panel left viewers on the edge of their seats. Many are curious how the high adrenaline zombie drama will play out after last season’s cliffhanger. That ending made the summer so hard for fans they had to provide a spin off show to get them through it.

*****Caution: Spoilers Ahead.
Read At Your Own Risk*****

After the intense season finale "Conquer", we left our favorite sheriff turned anti-hero Rick Grimes played, by English actor Andrew Lincoln, who had just come face to face with his past in the form of fan favorite Morgan, marking the return of actor Lennie James. Last time Morgan and Rick came face to face in the season 3 episode "Clear", Rick found Morgan, alone, with an arsenal of weapons.

Walker 2

Robert Kirkman, the driving creative force behind The Walking Dead universe, has stated the reunion “will be the spine of season 6”. Does this mean fans should be prepared for a showdown between Rick and Morgan? Or will we see these two combine forces to lead the Alexandria Safe Zone during what is sure to be an action packed season? It seems at the forefront of this season will be the inevitable conflict between these two characters and the effect it will have on the residents of the safe zone.

Last season and the later end of season 4 showed leader Rick Grimes move to sheer brutality to stay alive and protect his family. From ripping Joe's throat out to save Carl, Michonne, and Daryl to killing Pete without a second thought, Rick has evolved into a fearless leader willing to do whatever it takes to survive. Season 6 brings something more than survival. Rick will be fighting for his home and he will defend it at any cost, against any threat, even if that threat comes from within.

Scenes of a large herd at the gates of the Alexandria Safe Zone shown during the trailer lead us to believe that the new home of Rick and friends will be invaded. Considering the "No one is safe" theme behind the show along with the new found abundance of new characters to kill off, the possibilities are endless. This also brings in a new factor: characters are now replaceable.

New characters Denise, Heath and CarterWith the ability to now introduce new characters in the form of Alexandria Safe Zone residents, the “No one is safe” theme could very well find its way into the group. Last season’s death count was rather disappointing aside from the death of Emily Kinney’s Beth, which managed to divide viewers. Who were either happy she finally stopped singing or angry that Daryl’s heart was broken, and spawning petitions to bring her back, even though she was shot in the head. This could mean that we are in store for some gruesome deaths this season and possibly of characters that have been with us since the beginning. There is a chance could be the season that rioting begins...

The trailer spoiled a new character coming to the series in the form of Heath, played by actor Corey Hawkins, who recently played Dr. Dre in NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton. A well-known character from The Walking Dead comic (YES, there is a comic), Heath is a Washington D.C. survivor who goes on supply runs with his best friend Scott (who could be the other new character for Season 6). A familiar face found in the trailer was that of Ethan Embry, known for his role in films such as Empire Records and Can’t Hardly Wait, who will be playing Carter, according to showrunner Scott Gimple. Not much is known about the character or the role he will play in the Alexandria Safe Zone but it exciting none the less to see how he will fit in with Rick and friends is the upcoming episodes. Other characters that have recently been announced include, Paul “Jesus” Monroe, played by Tom Payne, and Dr. Denise Cloyd, played by Merrit Weaver, as well as a casting call for a brutal psychopath who is narcissistic, egotistical, quick to braggadocio and anger, his own skin is his principal concern... Hmmmm... should we worry?

WalkerSeason 6 is expected to pick up very soon after the events of the season 5 finale, no doubt showing viewers how strong personalities with a will to survive will mix inside the walls of the Alexandria Safe Zone. This will be a crazy and intense season for fans with lots of surprising events coming to shake up Rick and his crew. Tune in this Sunday at 9 PM EST on AMC to watch the 90 minute premiere of season 6 of The Walking Dead followed by our resident therapist Chris Hardwick for the season premiere of The Talking Dead immediately after the show.

Posted by Alan Smithee in MONSTERS AND CREATURES, REVIEWS, SERIES REVIEWS, ZOMBIES, 0 comments