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CON REVIEW: HorrorHound Weekend, Indianapolis, IN, 2018

CON REVIEW: HorrorHound Weekend, Indianapolis, IN, 2018

HorrorHound Weekend has come and gone once again. Last weekend their stop was Indianapolis. The guest list was highlighted by Bruce Campbell, Robert Englund, Shannen Doherty, Kane Hodder, Jason Patric, and Lou Diamond Phillips. Iconic director Joe Dante even made a surprise cameo. If that was not enough, Kiefer Sutherland headlined the group. The venue was new for HorrorHound as it had been moved to the JW Marriot for the first time. Fans from all over the country regardless of where they lived flocked to downtown Indianapolis to meet their favorite stars.

Celeb Photo Ops Clint Narramore

Let’s start with the negatives and get them out of the way. Do you hear that sound? Crickets… There were not very many if any negatives, so let me nitpick. I think there could have been a little better communication about where screenings of movies were going to be. The hotel had issues with keys to rooms not working (I am nitpicking with that and this no way reflects on the con, by the way). I had to find something to improve on for the show and there it is.

Sarah Gregory Sarah Gregory Sarah Gregory

Positives? Everything else. Friday night at 5:00 PM when the show opened for general admission, there was a huge line of goers trying to get in. There was also a Bruce Campbell photo op scheduled for 5:30 PM. The solution was simple and extremely effective. Allow those who had purchased a photo op for that time to enter in the VIP line. Problem solved. Celeb Photo Ops did an AMAZING job moving lines quickly through the photo ops and getting perfect shots. There are other great companies but they are in my opinion the bar when it comes to photo ops.

Celeb Photo Ops

Big guests draw big lines that can cause problems with fans. HorrorHound, however, KNEW that. Their solution was again, simple and effective. They issued time cues for people to come back and stand in line at certain times for these guests. For Shannen Doherty, they formed a line in the hall along the wall and allowed five people into her main line at a time. This avoided clutter and massive lines in the main room. These little things created a better environment for everyone involved. HorrorHound knew some complaints from other shows but instead of saying, “Oh well”, they sidestepped the landmines.

Celeb Photo Ops

HorrorHound ran one of the most effectively run conventions I have seen. They did a great job creating a smooth show however, they had time to see what problems to avoid. By setting this standard, they must now ensure all of their shows run this smooth. That is the goal of all shows, but HorrorHound proved it’s possible.

Overall Grade: A+


Posted by Crypt Keeper Clint in EVENTS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
Death House Announces DVD Release Date

Death House Announces DVD Release Date

This morning, co-writer (along with the late Gunnar Hansen) and director B. Harrison Smith, gave the news that fans have been anticipating. Death House finally has a release date for DVD. The DVD drops December 11, 2018Cleopatra Entertainment, will announce the VOD release on another date.

Released in select theaters this past winter, fans have been on edge waiting for this announcement. The film tells the tale of Agents Novak and Boone and their virtual tour of Death House, an experimental prison. The film stars Kane Hodder, Felissa Rose, Dee Wallace, Sean Whalen, Sid Haig and many more horror icons. I reviewed Death House in February.

Death House (2017) / Harrison Smith

The VOD release date is slated to drop before December, but that is also the norm for many films. Cleopatra Entertainment is expected to issue a press release in the next few days. Keep watching House of Tortured Souls for information on this. While December 11th cannot come soon enough, we are however excited we have the release date for at least the DVD and fans have begun the countdown!Death House (2017) / Harrison Smith

Pre-order from AMAZON here!

Posted by Crypt Keeper Clint in COMING SOON, HORROR NEWS, 0 comments
HoTS Review: Party Night (2017)

HoTS Review: Party Night (2017)

Party Night / Troy EscamillaThis week I sat down to watch Party Night, the debut film of filmmaker Troy Escamilla. Party Night tells the tale of a group of six high school students on prom night. The film runs just over an hour, so it is a feature but not a long one. Let’s jump into this one with a brief description.

As mentioned six high school students decide to have their own post-prom party, rather than attend the school’s. There have been reports of five girls that have gone missing, but this does not prevent the teens from going off to do their own thing. They head to a house owned by the uncle of Nelson, one of the six. While changing into more comfortable clothing, Amy sees someone looking in the window. Molly checks but sees nothing. The kids gather back in the living room and discuss watching one of the 80s slashers Nelson’s uncle has. Molly and Travis step outside and after an argument, Molly goes off by herself. One by one the killer picks off these unsuspecting teens until there is one final battle. The question is who survives and how do they escape, if at all?

Party Night / Troy EscamillaThat is the very brief plot with no spoilers. Let’s talk now about the film itself. First, let me begin with my critiques of the film. I will qualify this by saying that we are dealing with a low budget debut film. The camera work in the very beginning was slightly shaky. That does stop early in the film, however. The biggest nitpick for me was the killer and motivation for his/her deeds was not clearly identified. You will have to pay very close attention to get it.

Party Night / Troy EscamillaHaving said that, let me highlight some things that worked. This film had a very small cast, so there are not a lot of background people you have to pay attention to. Every character has a purpose. This also is a tribute to the lost art of the “80s slasher”. There are no CG effects, the blood looks like corn syrup, the dialogue has its cheesy moments and people die horrific deaths. That is a simple formula that has worked for over 40 years and will always have my attention. There are several 80s movie references. One character says, “this isn’t Camp Crystal Lake” and Slaughter High is mentioned. One character, Andrew, suggests they play “Strip Monopoly”. That works for me in a tribute film.

Troy Escamilla debuted this film last year, and it hits DVD/VOD platforms September 11, 2018. This movie won’t be a blockbuster, nor is it intended to be one. Party Night a fun slasher film that will make you realize these are dumb (but not stupid) teenagers. They will be in compromising situations. When you see Andrew and Olivia have sex, you try to figure out how they will die. That is not a spoiler, by the way. Having sex in a slasher, it becomes not an if, but when you get killed moment. Overall, this movie works for the audience intended. The film creates nostalgia. As mentioned, this film is the debut film for Escamilla. He follows this with Stirring. Party Night is fun and despite its small flaws, does make an entertaining movie to watch.

Overall Grade: B

Posted by Crypt Keeper Clint in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
Adam Marcus To Host A Double Feature At Horror Hound

Adam Marcus To Host A Double Feature At Horror Hound

Horror fans attending Horror Hound Weekend this Friday in Indianapolis are in for a treat. Screenwriter and director Adam Marcus, who sent Jason to Hell 25 years ago, will be hosting a double feature. Marcus and Kane Hodder will introduce the Director’s Cut of Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday. This version has been seen by some, but never on the big screen in the US. Adam Marcus gives us a preview of what to expect this Friday night.

Adam Marcus

Jason Goes to Hell will be seen on the big screen in the cut that was only shown overseas in its initial release. This is the cut that Dean Lorey and I did the commentary on when the DVD was released. It’s the unrated version that existed before the MPAA neutered it. The gore is intact. Kane Hodder and I will be there to intro the film and Q & A with the fans! I’m so freakin’ excited to show this cut of the film, especially with the greatest actor to wear the mantle of Jason, Kane Hodder!!! Come on now!

Jason Goes To Hell

Many fans in the United States have not seen this version, however, and for 25 years have been screaming for it. Fans will have the opportunity to truly see Marcus’ vision and maybe discover a new favorite version of a kill by the iconic slasher. Jason Goes To Hell: The Final Friday screens at 7:00 this Friday night.

As if that weren’t enough, immediately following Jason Goes To Hell, Marcus will screen a second film. The film is Secret Santa and is the latest film from Adam Marcus. Marcus explains what the fans can expect with his holiday horror film.

Adam MarcusAs far as Secret Santa is concerned, here’s what horror fanatics can expect… “This is the most outrageous, offensive, in your face Christmas Horror movie I could come up with. It’s a horromedy that, trust me, does not skimp on the red stuff and will have you talking long after the lights come up. I will be there with a couple of the brilliant, gorgeous ladies from the cast. It’s going to be an amazing night with something to offend everyone… and that’s my gift to you! Happy Horrordays, Everyone!

Adam Marcus

Fans have been anticipating an unrated version of Jason Goes To Hell, but Secret Santa is new and I’m looking forward to it. I, however, am a huge fan of holiday horror and from what Marcus is promising, this looks to be a pre-holiday treat. Secret Santa will immediately follow Jason Goes To Hell. Marcus will introduce it at about 9:00. Fans are still able to purchase tickets to Horror Hound on their Horror Hound. They need to hurry, however, as the show kicks off on Friday night.

Secret Santa Facebook Page
Posted by Crypt Keeper Clint in COMING SOON, HORROR NEWS, 0 comments
HoTS Review: Livescream (2018)

HoTS Review: Livescream (2018)

So this week I watched a different kind of film called Livescream. Imagine if you will, a movie that has 1 speaking actor and looks more like a live stream video than a movie. It may not sound exciting. Enter the exception to the rule, with Michelle Iannantuono’s 1-hour film, Livescream.

Livescream / Michelle Iaanantuono

Livescream opens with Scott, played by Gunner Willis. Scott is a popular online gamer, who plays new games on his live stream while his followers watch. He has, at the beginning of the film, 225 users online who comment in the chat box while he answers. Scott announces his upcoming gaming plans and introduces a new game suggested to him called Livescream. It is a horror game that supposedly interacts with his audience. Scott chooses the hardest level of the game called “Nightmare” and is warned he only has 5 lives. The game also refers to him by his name and Scott finds this weird.

Livescream / Michelle Iaanantuono

The game begins and looks like most first-person games. I got an old school vibe of Doom (the game, not the movie), while watching. Scott encounters a monster who kills his player for the first time. This is where the movie begins to twist. One of Scott’s viewers tells the room he hears the same monster in his house and then exits the chat room. Many of the viewers feel this is a prank, and Scott continues but is concerned.

Livescream (2018) / Michelle Iaanantuono

The next round has a feature where if Scott hits a button, he can see nine of his followers. Scott faces a clown and his character dies. The nine “players” appear again, and one is killed in front of the group.

Livescream / Michelle Iaanantuono

This has now taken a serious turn and Scott wants to quit. He receives a warning that quitting will make all of his viewers and him die in real life. All but 11 viewers exit the chat/stream. The game tells Scott to choose two people and let the rest leave. JumpingWolf (his moderator) and JohhnyDope (a viewer who logs on to troll everyone) volunteer.

Livescream / Michelle Iaanantuono

Everyone else leaves the chat. As expected, Scott dies 2 times in the game, which leads his followers to do so in real life. Scott does, in fact, beat the game, but must answer the fateful question, “Would you kill someone else to save your own life?” We get that question answered as the movie ends.

Livescream (2018) / Michelle Iaanantuono

There is the plot. Here are my thoughts. This movie is original and takes a huge risk, but has the potential for high reward. We have 1 person speaking for an hour, and we see one kill. This type of movie should not work according to every movie we have ever seen. However, it not only works, but it makes you watch in a different way. You do not feel like you are watching a movie. You feel like you are one of the viewers. This will make you care about Scott.

My only criticism of Livescream is I would have liked to see the viewers get killed to make it more emotional for Scott. Trust me, he does get emotional in this, but to give it a visual of losing his viewers would put it over the top. Do not let that fool you though. This still has a lot of things that may make you jump and does provide some scare because it feels like you are there.

Overall Grade: Solid A.

Posted by Crypt Keeper Clint in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
MOVIE Review: The Taxidermist

MOVIE Review: The Taxidermist

The Taxidermist/Luke RamerThis week I sat down to watch the Indie horror film The Taxidermist. The title alone intrigued me, as there are not a lot of films that tackle this premise. The Taxidermist is the story of Leo, a struggling artist in the taxidermy field. His wife Veronica works while Leo is a stay-at-home dad who picks up taxidermy jobs. One evening while working in his garage, Leo is paid a visit by a man named Kristoff who presents Leo (whom he calls the best in his field) with an unusual request. He wants Leo to stuff and mount his wife. Leo turns down the request, but Kristoff offers $30,000. Leo thinks but still denies the request. Kristoff leaves disappointed.

Leo and Veronica’s daughter Abigail receives a diagnosis of cancer, which causes friction between the couple as they cannot pay the bills. Faced with no options, Leo calls Kristoff and accepts his previous request to stuff and mount his wife. Leo begins his work and drinks while completing it. After he finishes, while in a drunken stupor, he envisions the mounted corpse coming to life and seducing him. This creates a masturbation scene with Leo and the corpse.

The Taxidermist/Luke RamerLeo astonishes Kristoff with the finished product and is paid the $30,000. Kristoff, of course, wants more work done and tells Leo there is an exhibit coming up. He offers Leo half a million dollars to produce 10-12 more “works of art”. Leo accepts the offer and gets to work on the bodies brought to him. Leo receives an invite to attend a masquerade event where his work is on display. During a Q and A, Leo explains his art where he explains his process and motivation.

The Taxidermist/Luke RamerDuring the exhibit, Leo discovers his work is being used for sexual purposes and becomes enraged. He burns the house down with everyone inside. Leo snaps. He goes home and in the morning shows Veronica all of his money and one example of the art he created.

There is the plot with no real spoilers. I loved the premise of the film because, as I mentioned before, there are not a lot of films that tackle taxidermy. The plot was solid, and it was fun to see which direction the film would go.

The Taxidermist/Luke RamerThere were, however, a few hiccups in the story and production. Let me qualify this by saying that this film is a low-budget Indie film and with a low budget come sacrifices. There are a couple scenes (one in particular with the couple arguing) where the audio fluctuates and does not keep to one level. There are some cracks in the audio as well. The ending of the film comes with little surprise, and I figured it out in the first 30 minutes. I find that difficult in horror because it leaves little to the imagination.

For the positives. The taxidermy scenes were done extremely well. The music complementing them added a nice touch as well. The premise made the film interesting to sit and watch also. The realism of the art of taxidermy made the story flow because it gave visuals. The real issues the couple faced added an accurate look at daily life.

Overall, this film showed several pros and cons. The original storyline is a major plus. It does move slowly in the first half hour which does not draw the viewer in, and that is a con. What filmmaker Luke Ramer achieved, though, was the creation of a character — Leo — that viewers will care about. He is not evil or twisted when the film begins, but he makes a choice out of necessity which leads him down this path of human taxidermy. All in all, The Taxidermist is not a great film, but it is passable. If given a larger budget, Ramer could have pieced together a knockout film based on his premise alone.

Overall Grade: C

Watch the trailer and let us know what you think.

Posted by Crypt Keeper Clint in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
HoTS Exclusive Review: Stirring (2018)

HoTS Exclusive Review: Stirring (2018)

This time of year people want to get into a holiday spirit. They celebrate “Christmas in July”. I felt the best way to jump into that pool by reviewing an upcoming film. The movie is Stirring, written and directed by Troy Escamilla. The alternative title can be found as Mrs. Claus. Escamilla had the 2017 slasher Party Night and follows it with this Christmas slasher. Stirring has a very 80s feel to it, and we will discuss that. Let’s jump into the non-spoiler plot.

Stirring (2018)

The film begins with a sorority during pledge week. The sisters convince pledge Angela to perform some tasks to obtain admittance into the sorority. The movie fast forwards to Christmas and the Delta Sigma Sigma house is hosting a party. Angela and Amber (the alpha female of the group) exchange gifts. Amber’s gift to Angela is a painful reminder of pledge week. This is merely a sorority prank. Angela in a rage that night kills Amber and then herself.

Stirring (2018)Stirring (2018)

 

 

 

 

 

Stirring now moves ten years into the future. Amber’s sister Danielle joins the same sorority and constantly gets questioned about it. The general consensus seems to favor that she may have made a bad choice in joining Delta Sigma Sigma. The sorority house plans for it’s annual Christmas party. What the sisters do not know is that someone claiming to be Mrs. Claus is against this and emails Danielle. The email, set to the poem the “A Vist From St. Nicholas”, appears to be a warning about celebrating Christmas in that house.

Stirring (2018)

The party goes off as planned, with one hiccup. Sophie has been reported missing by her mother. Sophie left the house the night before and was murdered in one of the most creative Christmas horror film kills to date. Mrs. Claus garroted Sophie with Christmas lights from the back seat of Sophie’s car.

Stirring (2018)

Danielle then receives an unexpected visit from Angela’s mother, Mrs. Werner and let’s just say she is not there to wish Danielle a Merry Christmas.

Stirring (2018)

Mrs. Claus goes on her killing spree, murdering several party goers with holiday flare. A campus police officer informs the party that Sophie is missing and to stay close by. From here, as a viewer, you will form ideas in your head as to who the killer is. However, like all great slashers, there is a twist or two.

Now that you have an idea of the plot, here are my thoughts. Stirring hits a home run for execution but does not go over the top with effects. Its critics will claim to have seen this before but need to pump the breaks. While Stirring does have some similarities to Silent Night, Deadly Night, it is not the same movie. In fact, Stirring references the 1984 classic in dialogue. Stirring pays homage to the classics but stands alone.

Stirring (2018) / Silent Night Deadly Night (1984)

The movie hits my three musts for a great slasher: gore, cheesy dialogue, and creative kills. It pays tribute without ripping off any films and has plot twists of its own. Two names horror fans will recognize immediately are icons Brinke Stevens and Helene Udy. They both deliver extremely memorable performances and will leave fans smiling. They prove why they have longevity in horror and deserve praise for their portrayals.

Writer and director Troy Escamilla also recently won Best Director at the Crimson Screen Horror Film Festival in May. The film debuts on November 13, 2018, but some fans can see it early. Stirring has been selected for the 2018 Scares That Care Weekend in Williamsburg, VA. The movie is available for pre-order through Amazon currently. All in all, this movie hits a home run and comes highly recommended.

Stirring (2018) / Image: Troy Escamilla

Overall Grade: A+

Posted by Crypt Keeper Clint in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, SLASHERS AND BAD HUMANS, 0 comments
HoTS Review: To Hell & Back: The Kane Hodder Story

HoTS Review: To Hell & Back: The Kane Hodder Story

The Kane Hodder StoryHorror fans know the name Kane Hodder. Many also know the story of his burning accident. This past Friday, the highly anticipated film on Hodder’s life was released. To Hell And Back tells the story of Hodder’s life.

The horror icon and author Michael Aloisi released Unmasked, an autobiography of Kane Hodder in 2011.  It was in that book that readers discovered how events unfolded on that fateful July 13th in 1977. For years, Hodder told those who asked several versions of the incident. The book and documentary reveal in detail the actual event and photos. It’s no coincidence that director Derek Dennis Herbert chose July 13, 2018, as the release date this year. A Friday The 13th on the anniversary of the accident that nearly took Kane Hodder’s life seemed appropriate.

To Hell And Back: The Kane Hodder Story

To Hell And Back: The Kane Hodder Story

On to the film itself, which is fantastic by the way. The film has interviews which include: Robert Englund, Bruce Campbell, Cassandra Peterson, Adam Green, Felissa Rose, Harrison Smith, Sid Haig, Bill Moseley, Michael Aloisi and Kane’s family, just to name a few.

Adam Green in To Hell and Back: The Kane Hodder Story  Kane Hodder and Robert Englund in Atlanta / Image: Derek Dennis Herbert

Kane then describes growing up and talks about the bullying he experienced as a child. He then speaks on how that incident led him to not believe in his own self-worth. Kane and close friend Steve Nappe discuss their 40 plus year friendship that began on the island known as Kwaj. Kane visits the hospital and doctor that he credits for saving his life after his accident. For the first time, fans see Kane Hodder become emotional when discussing aspects of his life. Viewers also hear friends in the industry speak at lengths how Kane Hodder became the ambassador for the horror movie with his appearances and sense of humor.

Kane Hodder / Image: Derek Dennis Herbert

The movie is a perfect compliment to those who have read the book, however, it explores deeper into the psyche of the man credited with more on-screen kills than anyone in history. Those who have met Kane will be reminded of their encounters. For those who still consider meeting the icon a bucket list item, the movie fuels that fire.

Kane Hodder / Image: Derek Dennis Herbert

Overall Grade: A+

Purchase To Hell and Back: The Kane Hodder Story from Epic Pictures
Posted by Crypt Keeper Clint in DOCUMENTARIES, EDITORIALS, MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, TRIBUTE, 0 comments
Joe Bob Briggs’ Last Drive In Mutants Crash Shudder

Joe Bob Briggs’ Last Drive In Mutants Crash Shudder

Ever since it was announced in June that Joe Bob Briggs would be on Shudder, the countdown was on. Briggs would be live on Shudder on June 13th for a 24-hour marathon. Fast forward to Friday the 13th, and the inevitable happened, The Last Drive-In crashed Shudder.

Joe Bob Briggs tells his social media followers they broke Shudder.

The event began Friday night and right off the bat, users were not able to see the opening film, Tourist Trap. Joe Bob’s social media team were quick to give updates on what was going on. Shudder and team Joe Bob worked tirelessly to fix the issues. The problem came with an easy diagnosis. Not even Shudder could anticipate how many Mutants (Joe Bob fans) still loved the drive-in host.

To Shudder’s credit, they developed a game plan. Initially, the thought process was that this event would be available to view only during the 1st showing. There was talk that if the viewership was high, Shudder would air it on demand. The mutants responded by crashing the site for well over an hour (and in some cases more). Shudder made some quick decisions to appease their viewers. Shudder sent the following Tweets:

So fans that missed out on Shudder, can see the marathon on other VOD platforms. The marathon ended on Saturday night, and Shudder wasted no time making the marathon available.

Last Drive-In with Joe Bob Briggs, Shudder Tweet #3The films are available to watch on Shudder right now in 13 episodes. Each episode is one of the 13 films with the commentary from Briggs during the breaks. The 13 films are as follows: Tourist Trap, Sleepaway Camp, Rabid, The Prowler, Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama, Daughters of Darkness, Blood Feast, Basket Case, Re-Animator, Demons, Legend of Boggy Creek, Hellraiser and Pieces.

As for how the event went…it was amazing, to say the least. I was able to watch a good amount of the marathon and flashed back to a time during the 80s and 90s. I was immediately in my living room from when I was a kid and relived many Saturday nights. Briggs’ commentary had me in tears from laughing. A favorite part of the marathon came with the second film. The film was Sleepaway Camp and during the breaks, Joe Bob was joined by none other than Felissa Rose. If Shudder wanted to find a comedy duo, they may have just done that.

Joe Bob introduced each film with his famous Drive-In Totals. He also gave background on the film, actors, and crew. It felt like a classic Joe Bob Briggs show and fans were excited to see the Drive-In Totals.

Job Bob Briggs gives the drive in totals before Rabid airs on Last Drive-In with Joe Bob Briggs.

Job Bob Briggs gives the Drive-In Totals before Rabid airs.

The last surprise from Shudder was that periodically, a promo video aired. Shudder mixed several testimonials from fans and aired the video.

If this was indeed the last drive-in show for Joe Bob Briggs, it was a fun ride. He delivered on the one-liners and informed as well as entertained. The lineup was solid, the mail girl was entertaining and “cosplayed” several movie characters.

Grades:

Execution by Shudder: B

Execution by Joe Bob: A+

Overall: A

Posted by Crypt Keeper Clint in HORROR NEWS, MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
Remembering George A Romero: One Year Later

Remembering George A Romero: One Year Later

It was a Sunday afternoon one year ago today and the news popped up on Social Media. George A Romero had passed away at the age of 77. Today we are remembering George A Romero: One Year Later.

George A. Romero as seen in the documentary "Birth of the Living Dead."

George A. Romero as seen in the documentary Birth of the Living Dead

Born in New York in 1940, Romero started out shooting short films and commercials after college in the early 1960s. In 1968, a film he made with John Russo would change a horror sub-genre as we knew it. With a budget of $114,000, Night of the Living Dead unleashed itself on October 1, 1968.It gave a new life and spin on the zombie film. The Godfather of Zombies would make several films over the years, but the —– of the Dead titles would always be what he would gain his fame for. There are six —– of the Dead films in total, with the last one, Survival of the Dead, released in 2009. Romero directed all 6 films.

georgeromero-zombielove / Fair use doctrine. George Romero and friends / Fair use doctrine.

Romero attended several horror cons starting in the early 2000s and continued until right before his passing. He would frequently talk about his films, give his thoughts on the state of the zombie film and share memories with the fans. Romero battled a brief battle with lung cancer, before passing away in his sleep last year on this day. Three months after his passing in front of the Hollywood Toys and Costume Store at 6604 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood honored him posthumously. On October 25th, he finally was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The bittersweet moment of the award is that many felt it should have come years earlier and while he was still alive. He was also honored this past March in the Oscar Memoriam presentation.

ZombieGurl with George A. RomeroCrypt Keeper Clint with George A Romero

Please join everyone at House of Tortured Souls in remembering the “Godfather of the Zombie Film”, George A Romero on the one year anniversary of his passing.

Mad Monster welcomes George Romero

Posted by Crypt Keeper Clint in EDITORIALS, STAFF PICKS, ZOMBIES, 0 comments
National Tattoo Month Salute: Chop Shop Tattoos

National Tattoo Month Salute: Chop Shop Tattoos

July is a spotlight month on tattoos, the people who proudly wear them and the artists. July 17th is National Tattoo Day and I would like to shine the spotlight on one artist. Tattoos a mere 30 years ago were looked at with such disregard that people were looked down on if they had any. Fast forward to now and more people have them than do not. In the home of one of the Army’s largest posts, Fort Bragg, is Chop Shop Tattoos.

Located in the Fayetteville Suburb of Hope Mills, NC, Chop has been a staple in the community for 16 years. One of his specialties is horror. Chop (a former member of the Army) is a proud horror fan. He also loves tattooing horror icons. He has over the last year completed “signature pieces”. These are the faces of the icons and their signatures that follow. Robert Englund’s website, this past spring, featured a piece by Chop of Freddy Krueger for a fan.


The Freddy piece complemented a Leatherface tattoo Chop finished in the winter.

Leatherface tattoo with Gunnar Hansen’s signature, done by Chop Shop Tattoos.

Chop says that he has been tattooing for 20 years and constantly looks for new challenges. He loves horror pieces and frequently discusses the movies of the icon he is tattooing. Some of his other iconic pieces have been portraits of Danny Trejo and Edgar Allen Poe.

So fellow horror fans (especially those with ink), please join me in saluting a horror ink master. Let’s all say Happy Tattoo Month to the man they call Chop!

Chop of Chop Shop Tattoos

Posted by Crypt Keeper Clint in EDITORIALS, STAFF PICKS, 0 comments
Shudder Announces The Return Of Joe Bob Briggs

Shudder Announces The Return Of Joe Bob Briggs

After several months of speculation and a strong social media campaign, the rumors are true.  Joe Bob Briggs, America’s favorite Drive-In host will return for his swan song.  Shudder announced this morning a 13 movie marathon event on Friday, July 13th (appropriate that its a Friday The 13th).  According to the press release, it will begin on Friday at 9 PM (EST).  It is being titled The Last Drive-In With Joe Bob Briggs, an indicator that this will be the last time Joe Bob will host a television event … for now.

Briggs began as a writer at Texas Monthly and the Dallas Times Herald.  From there he went on to do a one-man show debuting in Cleveland in 1985.  It was the following year that would make Joe Bob Briggs a household name for horror fans, however.  What started off as a guest host job on TMC’s Drive-In Theater, turned into a 10-year gig.

When TMC changed their format in 1996, Joe Bob was out of a job, but only for a brief period.  In June of 1996, TNT brought Joe Bob in to take over MonsterVision.  MonsterVision lasted until 2000.

In January of this year, Joe Bob Briggs announced that Shudder had an interest in having him return to TV.  Joe Bob had his fans submit video testimonials about what it would mean to make this a reality.

The date for the return would be Friday, June 22nd.  But, that would change (as most things in the industry do) and fans were left waiting.  Yesterday, however, Shudder made the announcement that The Last Drive-In with Joe Bob Briggs would air July 13th.  Shudder said the following:

Characterized by an outrageous worldview and trademark “Drive-in Totals” lists, Joe Bob’s film critiques amassed a loyal fan base through his long-running TV series Joe Bob’s Drive-In Theater and, later, MonsterVision. For 14 years between the two shows, Joe Bob was the ultimate fan, a voice of authority with an unconventional, affable approach. Ahead of his time then, Joe Bob is now a legendary voice within the horror community, and THE LAST DRIVE-IN WITH JOE BOB BRIGGS reminds audiences of the host’s singular perspective on the genre.
Joe Bob BriggsJoe Bob is a horror icon and raconteur whose signature wit and insightful commentary entertained viewers for 14 years on TV,” said Craig Engler, general manager of Shudder. “We’re delighted to bring him back for this exclusive Shudder event where new fans can discover him, and old fans can rediscover him, as he takes on some of the greatest low-budget horror movies ever made.

For the fans, there will be the elements that they have loved for years.  There will be the Drive-In totals for each movie.  Joe Bob will pop in during “commercial breaks with no commercials” and give his 2 cents.  The set looks just like it did when Joe Bob hosted MonsterVision.  There are 13 titles coming over the coming weeks, but here are the first three.

  • Tourist Trap (1979) — July 13: Five friends are hunted by a creepy killer after stopping to visit a roadside museum in this slasher that counts Stephen King as one of its biggest fans. After car trouble, the doomed group goes to visit an odd attraction filled with eerie mannequins that seem to be alive. Tourist Trap is an off-kilter thriller that will have you rethinking any stops on your next road trip.

  • Sleepaway Camp (1983) — July 13: Angela Baker, a traumatized and very shy young girl, is sent to summer camp with her cousin. Shortly after her arrival, campers and counselors meet their ends in a series of grisly murders. This bloody “who done it” features a shock ending that stands the test of time.
Felissa Rose and Jonathan Tiersten in Sleepaway Camp (1983)

  • Basket Case (1982) — July 14: In a tale of revenge with a demented twist, a young man and his basket-bound, hideously deformed twin brother seek vengeance on the doctors who separated them against their will.
0831_220px-Basketcaseposter

Whether this is, in fact, the final hurrah for Joe Bob Briggs, fans are happy he gets his send-off.  The ONLY way to see this is through Shudder, and it will be a live event.  That means to catch it all, you must tune in when it begins.

Joe Bob Briggs

Below is the official promo from Shudder you can view to get excited!  Now fellow mutants, join everyone at House of Tortured Souls and welcome back to TV, Mr. Joe Bob Briggs!

 

 

Posted by Crypt Keeper Clint in COMING SOON, HORROR NEWS, MONSTERS AND CREATURES, 0 comments
HoTS Exclusive Review: The Fear Footage (2018)

HoTS Exclusive Review: The Fear Footage (2018)

I had a chance to view a new film called The Fear Footage. The film starts off as footage found on the body camera of Deputy Cole. It says that on April 19, 2016, the Darkbluff County Sheriff’s Department received calls from residents on Hanmanor Road. One of the houses had been demolished a year prior. It has now reappeared mysteriously. Deputy Cole was sent and never seen from again. Viewers are urged to call the Sheriff’s Department if they have info on the footage or Deputy Cole’s whereabouts.

That is the lead-in for the film. The movie uses a lost art form of first person point of view (POV). We see the film from Deputy Cole’s vantage point as he goes into the house. He now has his gun drawn and is looking for anything suspicious.

Deputy Cole finds a VHS cassette title Fear Footage and puts it into the VCR. He plays the tape and views several segments from different people who are taping moments in their lives. One is a boy who is getting ready for his birthday party. The next is a group of storm chasers. The third and final is a man who is hearing strange sounds from the woods and is trying to document them. Not all shots are first person, but 90% of the film is presented in that manner.

There is a moment that is key. Between two of the segments, the Deputy finds a diary in the house with some disturbing entries. They revolve around the writer finding a tape and its effects on her.

What works in The Fear Footage is the effect for the VHS. You see the grainy “snow” effect that happens when you watch an old VHS cassette. Also, the film seems less like a movie and more like a found footage tape. With almost everything in first person, you can only see from one viewpoint. The advantage is you can’t see around corners and can’t see any potential surprises until they happen.

The knock on this film will be that it is a lot like The Blair Witch Project because it uses the first person, single camera POV. However, any film that uses that approach will draw a comparison to The Blair Witch Project. The main difference between the two is there is far less camera movement in The Fear Footage. For those who got motion sickness or migraines while watching The Blair Witch Project, you won’t feel that with this film.

One of the things I really enjoyed about this is that it uses little special effects. It gives you some good scare moments without using thousands of dollars on effects to do so. This makes it seem like it is more of a real footage tape than a movie.

There are slow parts to this film, but it is almost necessary. There are also some nice surprises and moments that, if watching in the dark, will give you a good jolt.

Viewers who watch The Fear Footage must decide if the house or the videotape is causing the things we see. Overall, this is a very entertaining film that will make you think. You will try to anticipate what may come… it’s not always the case. And what did happen to Deputy Cole? And how did the house mysteriously appear after its demolition? Those questions, you will have to answer on your own!

Posted by Crypt Keeper Clint in COMING SOON, MOVIE REVIEWS, 0 comments
The First Trailer For Halloween (2018) Is Here!

The First Trailer For Halloween (2018) Is Here!

While we are 4 months and 11 days (not that I am counting) from the premiere of the new Halloween film, the first trailer is finally here! October 19th (a week before my birthday) is a day fans of the franchise are waiting on, but today is also pretty special. It’s our first look at the trailer that puts the Halloween “Dream Team” together for the first time in decades. Jamie Lee Curtis and Nick Castle will be together for the first time since 1978, when Castle played The Shape.  John Carpenter who created all of the characters is also on board with the music.  Carpenter also serves as an Executive Producer.

Jamie Lee Curtis returns as Laurie Strode in the new Halloween.

 

John Carpenter will serve as an Executive Producer in the new film.

 

Nick Castle as Michael Myers in the new Halloween.

Halloween will pick up 40 years after the first film and will disregard any of the sequels (and remakes). This has upset some fans, while others are just thrilled to see “the band back together”. The trailer is below. Rest assured, I will be there opening night to see this final battle of Laurie vs Michael!

Posted by Crypt Keeper Clint in COMING SOON, HORROR NEWS, STAFF PICKS, 0 comments
Andrew Lincoln Set To Leave The Walking Dead

Andrew Lincoln Set To Leave The Walking Dead

Hold onto your seats fans of The Walking Dead because this is a big one. According to several sources this evening, Andrew Lincoln will leave the show before the end of Season 9. Lincoln, who plays Rick Grimes, has been the main protagonist of the show since it began in 2010.

Image: Entertainment Weekly

Several outlets including Collider (who was the first to report the story) are reporting that Lincoln will leave and do so early in the season. Entertainment Weekly is also reporting the story and according to the article, they have confirmed with a source. (Andrew Lincoln To Leave The Walking Dead In Season 9).

Neither Lincoln or AMC, the station that airs the program have commented publicly or are looking to do so anytime soon. However, if this story is true, there are rumors that Norman Reedus’ character, Daryl Dixon would take the place as leading protagonist. Those who saw the Season 8 Finale may remember that the season ended on a cliffhanger.

Jesus and Maggie - Will Rick (Andrew Lincoln) join Maggie

Maggie and Jesus were discussing Rick’s decision to keep Negan alive. They agreed that Rick was wrong and Daryl agreed. The feeling was that they would not allow him to get away with that move. This could mean a struggle from within as we begin Season 9 this fall.

In the above-mentioned article, Andrew Lincoln has been quoted as saying,

I can’t wait to see this next episode. It’s really interesting. It’s very different in a good way. In an exciting way. It’s more reminiscent of the pilot than any other season that we’ve embarked on, which makes me very happy. It’s a good time for it, a really exciting time for it. I feel like season 1. It’s a big year, and I’m excited for it.

Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and Daryl (Norman Reedus) have a talk.What does all this mean? Those who know the answer to that are not saying. What is interesting is that this story broke now and not closer to the fall. There is no hint as to what will happen to Rick Grimes. He may join Morgan on Fear The Walking Dead. However, the speculation is that Rick will be killed off.

The question I am sure many fans of the show will try to answer is by whom. Will Negan seek revenge? Will Rick become a liability by those he trusts? One thing is for certain. There has not been a question this pressing for TWD since fans waited to find out who Negan killed at the end of Season 6.

TWD, S08E05, Rick Grimes sees a helicopter / Fair use doctrine.

The other question is will the show survive without Rick Grimes? One thing we do know is come this fall, we may be forced to find out. Stay tuned, because I am sure this is only the beginning of this story!

Posted by Crypt Keeper Clint in CAST AND CREW NEWS, HORROR NEWS, 0 comments
CON REVIEW: Days of the Dead – Charlotte, NC – 2018

CON REVIEW: Days of the Dead – Charlotte, NC – 2018

For the first time, the Days of the Dead convention invaded Charlotte, NC this past weekend. They brought in a big lineup that included horror and rock icons. Some of those names are Heather Langenkamp, Cassandra Peterson (Elvira), Linda Blair, Tony Todd, Dee Snider, and Vinnie Vincent.

Friday night was night 1 of the event and at the end of the night was a Hall of Fame Induction. Days of the Dead honors a popular guest who has helped evolve the show and also an Indie Film Maker. The Charlotte show’s inductees were Heather Langenkamp and Tommy Faircloth. Langenkamp, of course, is known for her work in the Nightmare On Elm Street franchise. Faircloth is a Carolina native who has made films for years including Family Possessions. He is working on a new project called Nun’s Curse, which he has a crowdfunding campaign going. So congratulations to both Heather and Tommy!

 

This con was similar to most cons as there were panels, photo ops and chances to meet and get signatures from popular horror icons. The panel I found the most interesting was the Friday The 13th Part 6 panel. There were five cast members (CJ Graham, Thom Mathews, Darcy DeMoss, Tom Fridley, and Kerry Noonan) along with writer/director Tom McLoughlin. This had been the first convention appearance for Noonan, so this group has not been together since filming ended 32 years ago.

Now having traveled to several conventions just in this calendar year, I have seen a lot of great and some not so stellar moments. I have seen some things happen at shows that angered a lot of fans. Days of the Dead did not seem to have those issues this past weekend. Let me qualify this by saying that yes, I was a volunteer at this show. I have volunteered at several shows though. Does that mean that Days of the Dead has mastered how to put on a show? Not exactly.

They have put on 26 shows now in the last decade, so after a while, you learn what can and cannot work. I will also say they did have an advantage that some of the other conventions did not have. Timing. Days of the Dead came after some other shows that had problems. A lot of volunteers do work more than one show, and they post on social media about their experiences. Thus, the staff at Days of the Dead were able to see what problems other conventions experienced and had time to make sure they would not happen at their show. Again, this was their 26th show, and they have run in at least six states. They also hosted an open forum for fans to voice their ideas, issues, suggestions, complaints, etc. They wanted to ensure the fans knew they had a voice.

Let’s talk attendance. The attendance was not nearly what other shows have done. This has caused some people to say the show was unsuccessful. There have been shows in other cities where the crowds were so massive that the fire marshals were called. It’s a double-edged sword. Is there a perfect amount of people that is just right if this was too small and others were too big? I don’t have the answer to that.

What made this show work was that they secured a hotel big enough for fans to spread out. There was also a rhyme and reason for the celebrity layout. The celebrities all seemed to have a great time, including Kerry Noonan, who was often seen having fun with the fans.

What made this show seem to flow smoothly (at least from the perspective that I saw) was that Days of the Dead used a wash, rinse, repeat method. They booked a lot of celebrities that they have used at other shows, and they mixed them with some first-timers. They also used the same core volunteers and staff members that work most of, if not all of their shows.

Were there some hiccups? Sure. Tony Todd had an unexpected family issue come up and was not available for the show on Sunday. I was assured everything is okay, but it had to be taken care of. Life happens, and these celebrities are just like us. Were there some issues with the hotel? Yes. Was the crowd smaller than expected? Yes. But this was the first show Days of the Dead has run in North Carolina, and there are growing pains when you are dealing with a brand new venue and city.

There were some very creative fans that put their cosplay skills to use. There was an entertaining band called Elzig (a cross between Elvis and Danzig) that played the afterparty.

So final analysis. Was this a perfect show? Of course not. Has Days of the Dead found a formula that works for them? Yes. Were there things that could have gone better? I am sure that there are. Most of the fans that I spoke with were extremely happy and excited. Some fans voiced that there was not clear signage of where the panels were being held, but they were happy that team members on the floor were able to guide them in the right direction. Are there changes Days of the Dead can do make improve before their next show? Yes. That will always be the answer, though. This was overall a very successful show, especially for their first run in a new city.

Overall Grade: A

Posted by Crypt Keeper Clint in EVENT REVIEWS, REVIEWS, STAFF PICKS, 0 comments
Remembering Margot Kidder

Remembering Margot Kidder

Everyone at House of Tortured Souls is saddened to learn of the death of actress Margot Kidder. Kidder passed away at her home in Montana on Sunday. She was 69. Margot Kidder spent 50 years acting, with her first credit coming in an episode of Wojeck in 1968. She would gain her most notable role 10 years later. In 1978, Kidder wowed audiences opposite Christopher Reeve in Superman, playing Lois Lane.  She would keep that role in Superman’s 3 sequels.

Horror fans will remember Kidder from 1979’s The Amityville Horror where she played Kathy Lutz, opposite James Brolin. She continued acting all the way through 2017.

Kidder’s toughest role may have come in 1996 when she had a manic episode. The episode caused her to become homeless for a while, and she was reported missing for four days. She would be diagnosed with Bipolar disorder and be under doctor’s care. Years later, Kidder, who was open about her disorder would become an advocate for mental illness. She had stated that she had not any episodes in many years after being on medication.

Margot Kidder in Brian DePalma's Sisters (1973)

Kidder was scheduled to be at Motor City Comic-con this upcoming weekend in Detroit. Officials have not released a cause of death at this time. Our thoughts here at House of Tortured Souls are with Margot’s family.

Rest In Peace, Ms. Lois Lane.

Margot Kidder
1948-2018

Woofer's Paw Print icon microscopicEditor’s Note: If you know someone who is or might be suffering from mental illness, please reach out and be that friend.

Posted by Crypt Keeper Clint in HORROR NEWS, STAFF PICKS, 0 comments
Pirating Movies: A Dagger In The Heart For Filmmakers

Pirating Movies: A Dagger In The Heart For Filmmakers

So we all know Ash vs Evil Dead was canceled recently and that star Bruce Campbell lashed out against those who were illegally downloading the show. Unfortunately, pirating movies and TV shows has gone deeper than that, and it has made life for filmmakers even more challenging.

RIP Ash vs Evil Dead

Now let me start off by saying I am not here to get into an ethics battle with anyone. I would hope that anyone reading this can tell the difference between right and wrong and that pirating is stealing. What I have seen on social media recently, however, is a bit troubling.

Being in the infant stages of my own filmmaking career, I have faced the number one challenge that can stop many inspired writers and directors dead in their tracks…funding. Getting someone to believe in your project as much you as do is impossible, but getting them to believe in you can be done if you are passionate enough and have a great pitch.

The problem, however, is that investors want to see projections for how fast they will get their investment back and also a profit — especially with horror. So a good sales deck will show how similar titles fared in box office, VoD, and DVD sales. This is where filmmakers can face a battle against which they cannot properly defend themselves. Numbers in the sense of dollars can be deflated because advances in technology enable people with better and faster ways to steal movies and TV shows and, in some cases, profit from doing so.

I don’t know if the numbers are in fact true that Ash vs Evil Dead was the most illegally downloaded show of all time. I think it is very plausible. Here are couple examples of actual horror stories I’ve seen from people and tell you the effect it has had on them.

There is a filmmaker who made a zombie film starring Tony Todd that was released last year. DVD sales were not what was projected or even safely targeted. This filmmaker was informed that his movie was uploaded to YouTube and had been watched over 300,000 times. Even if he made no sales and had only VoD rentals, that still would have generated over $1,500,000 in those rentals. But that’s not what happened.

The general reaction when the filmmaker took to social media to express his frustration only added insult to injury. The reactions were almost as bad as the thefts themselves.

At least your film was watched 300,000 times.
Be glad people like your film enough to watch it.

Anyone who lives in a city larger than 100,000 people has some sort of outlet mall, flea market, dirt mall, etc. I have yet to see one where 3-4 “vendors” were not selling $3-$5 films they had downloaded and burned to DVD. These include films that had just been released in theaters. These people are profiting from someone else’s work. What’s worse is that the people buying them are enabling it to continue.

What’s the point of all of this? Indie filmmakers (especially in horror) clear enough hurdles just to get a film made. Many people who sell and watch these films may think that Hollywood has enough money and they’re not hurting anyone. But it’s the people who are trying to break into the business and the Indie filmmakers who want to make something a little different who are suffering.

What can you do? That’s a good question.

For starters, these thieves hocking illegally downloaded movies need to be shut down. The next thing you can do is show support for the movies you love. Attend a con and tell the stars how much you enjoyed the movie. Subscribe to a page or blog, follow House of Tortured Souls (cheap plug, but I saw my shot). Keep the horror voice alive.

Crypt Keeper Clint with Joe Bob Briggs

These little things can keep the shows we love on the air. They will also let the world know that we horror fans have a strong voice and WILL be heard. Want proof? Through a social media campaign, Joe Bob Briggs asked his supporters to send videos to Shudder. They asked Shudder to bring him back. Joe Bob returns June 22nd for a 24-hour marathon. That was due to all of those fan videos creating a demand that Shudder couldn’t ignore.

Never underestimate the power of your own voice and don’t hurt what you love by stealing to save $10-$20.

Posted by Crypt Keeper Clint in EDITORIALS, STAFF PICKS, 0 comments
CON REVIEW: Monster-Mania Con 39

CON REVIEW: Monster-Mania Con 39

Monster-Mania held its 39th show last week, this one in Cherry Hill, NJ. Their lineup, a dream list of who’s who in horror. Tim Curry, John Carpenter, Richard Dreyfuss, Sean Astin, and 6, yes count them 6 actors (Steve Dash, Ted White, Tom Morga, CJ Graham, Kane Hodder, and Ken Kirzinger) who have all played Jason Voorhees in some fashion were among the mega guest list for this show. Add in Kathleen Turner, Joe Pantoliano, Terry Kiser, Paul Reubens, and 5 of the new IT kids, and you are going to draw a crowd A notable absence was Randy Quaid, but we’ll get to that shortly.

Let’s address the hiccups first and there were a couple. When you bring in a lineup like the one described above, there are going to be a lot of people. If you have been to a convention, you know Friday night can be slow or at peak, steady with the crowds coming. That was not the case for Monster-Mania. The Friday night attendance rivaled a lot of shows’ Saturday crowds. Also, it can be tough and in some cases impossible to know what some guests will draw as far as fans.

A perfect example is the kids from the film IT (2017). In Atlanta for Days of the Dead, two of the young actors were there and had some eager fans wanting to meet them, but it was a good steady pace. In Cherry Hill when 3 more of their co-stars were added, young fans came in by the hundreds at a time.

Also, lets address kind of a big story from Friday night. I was there and heard at least 4 different versions of what happened, so let’s just clear the air on this. Kane Hodder and his co-star from Death House Steve Nappe were sitting next to each other. A fan gave Kane a machete to sign (as is normal with any Jason actor). Kane pretended to cut Steve’s arm. The blade was very real and very sharp and when Steve got distracted he moved, so he was cut in the forearm with it. He got stitches and was back later on. It was a freak accident and nothing more. Case closed.

Saturday, everyone knew the crowd would be massive. I do not believe anyone could have anticipated how massive. The Fire Marshall had to be brought in and did not allow anyone else in the hotel, fans in line for photo ops were lined up outside and ticket sales were cut off before Noon. That is what kind of numbers I am talking about here.

The photo op situation was its own monster. When there are a lot of photo ops all scheduled back to back in the same room and some of the guests have to get into costume, it will cause delays. Tim Curry was the only one (up until Saturday night) that had a specific area for just himself doing photo ops. Everyone else was in one area. The thinking behind this is that many fans buy several photo ops (I bought 4) and this gives them a chance to not miss any due to them being scheduled at the same time. Tim’s went all day because he was only doing photo ops, so you could go when you wanted.

Mix the delays with the fact the IT kids photo ops may have been oversold and delays are inevitable. How do you fix this in the future? Some cons limit the number of photo ops for each guest. The downside to that is you may limit who attends the show. There is no perfect answer for that. Credit the staff when the photo ops were going, they were moving. I did hear some cars in the parking lot were broken into. I don’t have any insight or any facts on this, so I won’t address it further.

What do you do if you are a guest and your scheduled photo op is delayed? If you are Sean Astin, you talk to the group of fans waiting for the op. Astin came into the room where all of the fans were waiting and to his credit, hosted a 7-10 minute impromptu Q & A. He talked about a live show he would be performing in the following night and gave his thoughts on his favorite characters that he has portrayed. First class, Sean…first class all the way.

Let’s talk Randy Quaid. He was scheduled for Friday and Saturday. I have yet to attend a show where no guest has canceled and this is no exception to the rule. On Friday, Monster-Mania posted on their Facebook page, that they had spoken to Randy and he was stuck in New York. Randy then canceled altogether on Saturday. To his credit, he offered to call or send a picture to any fan who was disappointed. All they had to do was send his Twitter a direct message. I can’t speak for every fan that reached out, but he did deliver when I did.

I will not end on any negative marks and so far this show seems like it was a giant disappointment…it really wasn’t. Were the lines insanely long? Yes. Were there way too many people? Yes, I mean the Fire Marshall enforced the rules. Does Monster-Mania have a few things they need to figure out before their 40th show this summer? Of course, they said that themselves. But let’s focus now on a lot (and there was a lot) of good that came from the show.

The guests were friendly and a lot of fun to talk to. There were a LOT of vendors to visit and choose from. There were some very creative fans that took their cosplay seriously and came up with some memorable costumes. They also had TNP – Philly’s Own Rocky Horror Cast, put on a whole performance of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, with prop bags for the viewers and the movie in the background and full partici……..pation from the audience. I will say here and now, that performance by that cast was nothing short of spectacular. It was truly an experience and if you live near Philadelphia, you should catch one of their show.

As a fan, I had no trouble meeting all of the people I wanted to meet and get the photo ops I wanted. I know it was very frustrating for a lot of fans. I know some people were angry, but I didn’t let some delays damper meeting some bucket list celebs. This was a very difficult show to put together, and was the space too small for a show of this magnitude? Probably. But the flip side is, “why don’t you guys get so and so as a guest?” So, let’s credit the organizers of Monster-Mania for bringing in guests that have never been to their show, are huge names and are people some of us will only meet once in a lifetime.

Conclusions. Was this show perfect? Of course not. Did they make people upset? Yes. Did they also gain some new fans? Probably. This was a swing for the fences. There are a lot of shows in New Jersey and 3 of them happen in a 6 week period of time. You have to try new things or the competition will eat you alive. It benefits the fans because we can take advantage of seeing a lot of our favorite horror stars and heroes. A great attempt will often result in speed bumps.

Overall Grade B-

Posted by Crypt Keeper Clint in REVIEWS, STAFF PICKS, 0 comments
CON REVIEW:  Mad Monster Party 2018 (Carolinas) Charlotte

CON REVIEW: Mad Monster Party 2018 (Carolinas) Charlotte

Last weekend Mad Monster returned to the Queen City of Charlotte, NC. Their lineup included Freddy Krueger himself, Robert Englund, Jen and Sylvia Soska, Felissa Rose, KISS Co-Founder Peter Criss, Alex Vincent, Christine Elise, Tuesday Knight, Amanda Wyss, R.A. Mihailoff, and many more. Thousands of fans from several States flocked to the Hilton to meet their favorite stars, take advantage of the photo ops (done with amazing backgrounds by Prints Charmn), watch movies in the 7th Annual Mad Monster Film Festival and get to see a 10 minute clip of the upcoming film Death House, introduced by co-writer and director Harrison Smith during the Death House Q&A with Smith, Felissa Rose, and R.A. Mihailoff.

Be sure to check out my interviews with Harrison Smith and Felissa Rose and my EXCLUSIVE pre-release review of Death House.

Okay, let’s get this out of the way. Like any event that attracts thousands of people into one venue, there are going to be speed bumps. Not everyone is going to be happy. There has yet to be a convention, sporting event or any large gathering where every single person went home completely satisfied. Robert Englund is a huge icon in this genre (easily top five over the last four decades) and him attending a show is not a common occurrence. He is a massive draw. Robert is also very gracious to his fans and enjoys sharing a few words and memories with them. He appreciates the fans coming to see him, so his line doesn’t move as if you were scanning two items in the express lane of the grocery store. It can take some time. Many fans were in line for quite some time.

Both Friday and Saturday, the line had more fans than could be accommodated and something had to be done. Credit the staff at Mad Monster for coming up with quick adjustments. They had a system where the fans that remained in line received a number based on where they were in line. Was it perfect? Of course not. Was it the best option? It was the only option. The staff knew that people were going to be upset but came up with a solution with their limited options. It could have been easy to say “that’s it for tonight, please try again tomorrow”. That was not what they did and they handled the issue the only way to make as many people as happy as possible.

Crypt Keeper Clint at Mad Monster Party

Sunday, a light rail (train) knocked out the power for everything in the vicinity of the venue, including the hotel itself. This caused a delay in allowing fans into the show. The power was eventually restored and the show went on, business as usual.

Now that the hiccups are out of the way, let’s talk about the positive aspects. The celebs engaged and enjoyed talking to the fans, there were plenty of vendors for fans to shop from and the panels were informative. For me, one of the highlights of the weekend was the R.I.P. (Mad Monster’s VIP) Party on Saturday night. It was more of a moderate social gathering than a party. The RIPs along with the celebs that attended all gathered to celebrate. Saturday was Tuesday Knight’s birthday and everyone sang and had cake. The RIPs, STIFFS (volunteers), and celebs at the party mingled and shared stories til past midnight. It was a relaxing way to spend the evening after a busy and packed house on Saturday.

The show ended on Sunday and despite the hiccups, the show went off with success. The staff at Mad Monster deserve commendation for how they pulled through. Despite being short-handed (the flu has been nasty and caused several volunteers to have to miss the show) several worked double and triple shifts to ensure there was enough coverage on the floor. They also had to deal with the power issues on Sunday, photo ops selling out in advance and long lines for Robert Englund and Peter Criss. The team was able to power through and make sure as many fans left with amazing memories.

Overall I grade this show a B+.

Next up for Mad Monster is their annual Phoenix, AZ, show July 13-15, 2018.

Posted by Crypt Keeper Clint in EVENT REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments