George Romero

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Horror and the Oscars

Horror and the Oscars

Horror and the Oscars?

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

Daniel Kaluuya in Jordan Peele’s Get Out

he Shape of Water poster

Guillermo Del Toro’s The Shape of Water

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

Mad Monster welcomes George Romero

George Romero




Posted by Mike Vaughn in EVENT REVIEWS, HORROR NEWS, REVIEWS, STAFF PICKS, 0 comments
INTERVIEW: Land of the Dead & The Hills Have Eyes star Robert Joy

INTERVIEW: Land of the Dead & The Hills Have Eyes star Robert Joy

Robert Joy is a name that might not be instantly familiar to cult/horror fans but he has over 100 film and TV credits and has been in such classics as George Romero’s Land of the Dead, The Hills Have Eyes (2006).

Robert Joy

Currently fans can see Joy as Polonius in an excellent production of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet starring Michael Urie (Ugly Betty), Alan Cox, Madeleine Potter (Red Lights), Oyin Oladejo (Star Trek Discovery), Keith Baxter, Ryan Spahn, Kelsey Rainwater, Chris Genebach, Gregory Wooddell, Avery Glymph and directed by Michael Kahn at the Shakespeare Theatre Company DC. I saw it, and it was very impressive.
Joy has taken time out of his busy schedule to talk to me about his craft and the genre films he is beloved for as well as the play he is currently in and what he has in store film-wise.
House of Tortured Souls: You got your start on the stage, were you exposed to many theatre productions as a child?
Robert Joy: I didn’t have an opportunity to watch much theater. When I was older I saw a few things, I remember my mother took me to a musical of The King and I that was done really well. And when I was in my late teens, I worked at a canoeing summer camp for kids in Northern Ontario, and three of us from the staff went down to Stratford. We hitchhiked for adventure, and then after that summer, when I got back to St. Johns Newfoundland, I got involved with the amateur theatre scene which was really sophisticated. And I started doing Gilbert and Sullivan and Shakespeare and a wide range of other things.
HoTS: Your first huge break was starting out in the play The Diary of Anne Frank (1979) with heavy hitters like Eli Wallace. What was he like to work with?
RJ: That was an amazing experience I had admired his work on television and I had seen a movie of his called The Tiger Makes Out and it was Eli Wallace and his wife Anne Jackson. It (the film) was very funny but it was also very emotional; the comedy was mixed with heartbreak. And I was floored by their acting, and it was amazing years later I got to act with them in The Diary of Anne Frank. Its only because of him and his family that I’m in the United States at all, really, because he invited me down to New York when The Diary of Anne Frank came from Toronto to New York.

Robert Joy

HoTS: The film Ragtime was an early breakthrough role where you worked with the legendary Milos Forman (One Flew Over a Cuckoos Nest, Amadeus, People vs Larry Flynt) What was he like as a director?
RJ: He was an amazing guy, he’s not with us anymore is he?
HoTS: I believe so, yes.
RJ: He’s an amazing fellow; he’s very smart and very fun loving, so the atmosphere on this huge production, the logistics of which were daunting, the sense that it was all a big party was palpable (laughs). He had bought a puppy. I think it was a lab. The puppy was on the set the whole time, pooping and peeing (Both laugh). There was this atmosphere you were living in some very big-hearted fun-loving guys’ home (laughs) shooting this enormous movie. But yeah it was a lot of fun to work with Milos Forman. He wouldn’t hesitate to sort of indicate any way he could what he was looking for, and you had to be careful not to do exactly what he did because he would sort of act the scene for you. Like he’d say (in a Czech accent), “More eyes! More crrrazzy”. Stuff like that. It was almost like being directed by one of the Muppets and you had to take one he said and interrupt it into what you knew he wanted. He was a very wonderful and supportive director.
HoTS: It’s an incredible film with an incredible cast. What memories do you have of that shoot in regards to the cast?
RJ: James Cagney wasn’t in the best of health, and he couldn’t take airplanes. I can’t remember exactly why, but a friend of his came over on I think it was the Queen Mary from New York to London because he shot it in London. All my scenes are in London and Oxford that part of England. Donald O’ Conner, Pat O’ Brien, and Pat O’Brien’s wife, and what I remember most is how down to earth everybody was and friendly and approachable. It was very moving to see these old friends being old friends, and, you know, they were open-hearted about including a young actor like me. In the film, Pat O’Brien plays my lawyer, and I had admired him, his movie career was amazing. His wife, whose name I’m sorry I can’t recall (Eloise Taylor), she played my mother (laughs) in that movie. I couldn’t believe my luck.
HoTS: I watched an old interview with youon YouTube actually – it must have been mid-eighties – for TV, and you mentioned you turned down Amityville 2: The Posession on grounds of the violence. I’m guessing you’ve softened you’re stance since, with being in films such as The Hills Have Eyes and Land of the Dead?
RJ: Well that’s interesting I didn’t realize I had done that, I was in an Amityville film it was Amityville 3D.
HoTS: Yeah.
RJ: So had I turned down Amityville 2, I guess. I very rarely turn anything down so I might have had another job at the time. As an actor, especially early in your career, you can only really afford to be fussy about what you expect when you have income. It might have been I was disturbed by the excessive violence. I’m not a fan of really violent movies, and as you say The Hills Have Eyes was probably the most violent I’ve ever been in. I have mixed feelings about it, I think it’s very skillfully made and ultimately I think it makes a very interesting premise behind it and as a cautionary tale  about what happens when people are marginalized or when things go bad and human beings are so separate from each other that they almost mutate away from each other. It had that kind of parable element to it. I remember reading the script of The Hills Have Eyes, and when the father character is crucified on the flaming cross, I thought this was too much, but I did it. It was one of those things I did because my daughter was about to go to university, and I didn’t have the luxury of picking and choosing. But I’m proud of it. It wasn’t an easy part to play, and there were a lot of challenges in the making of it. I’m proud we all pulled together an made what turned out to be in its own way a high quality of example of that kind of movie. The director, Alexandre Aja, the principal director, would say, “It has to be brutal and uncompressing”. And that’s what it was.

Robert Joy

HoTS: You also have a great role in George Romero’s adaptation of The Dark Half. Had you read the book before filming?
RJ: No, I hadn’t read the book, but I feel like the opportunity to work with George Romero was one of the great opportunities in my life. The Dark Half has violence in it, but you have a mixture of Stephen King and George Romero, and the range of the material in it is wide and deep. And I was very happy to do it based on the screenplay, but, no, I did not read the novel.
HoTS: So safe to assume you were very familiar with his body of work?
RJ: Yeah. I was most familiar with Night of the Living Dead. It was one of those one-of-a-kind kinds of movies because at the time it hadn’t really spawned that much of a collection of movies by the time I did The Dark Half, at least not that I was aware of. It just seems like subsequently that zombie genre has exploded. But back then it was like he was a one of a kind artist and it was such an interesting role. Like that scene where I come in and basically come in and try to extort Tim Hutton’s character and it’s one of the most interesting scenes. The character on the surface is so playful but under the surface menacing, and the politics of the scene goes up and down. One person has the power, then you wonder maybe the other person has the power, and its really good screenplay writing. And, of course, it’s beautifully directed by George. And when I met George in Pittsburgh, I was struck by courtly he was; it made me think of this old-fashioned gentleman. And he was so welcoming. I didn’t feel like I was just being hired to be in a movie; I felt like I was being welcomed into a community. That’s very important in a profession that is very gypsy-like where often you’re just hired, and when the job is over you never see the people again, so it was very special to be a part of his team.
HoTS: The character of Fred is so wonderfully cocky. Is a role like that enjoyable because it seems like you’re having a ball playing him. Do you enjoy those types of roles?
RJ: Well, you know that was the first role of that kind I had ever played. The other thing based just on the audition I did, I guess I auditioned for him in New York, and I didn’t have the reputation for playing that kind of part. I was so appreciative of George for saying, “Oh yeah, he can do it”. Whereas a lot of other people try to keep you in a pigeonhole, so he’s an actor’s best friend.
HoTS: Was George a fan of rehearsing his actors?
RJ: Yes. It was very interesting. It started before rehearsal with George, and it happened again with Land of the Dead. It starts with the audition in a funny way. You start to get an idea what he’s after, and he’s very involved in the costume and makeup, the costumes, in particular. The costume becomes a kind of rehearsal even though you’re not doing the scene at all. But you get an impression of George’s input where every visual detail that you’re going to present to the camera goes through the filter of his vision. Take Land of the Dead for example. He thought that Charlie should have a cap – you know a wool watch cap they call them – and then when they put one on me, he said, “Ah, no, but it should have a hole in it. Here is where the hole should be” (laugh). So every visual detail had a significance – a storytelling significance, and then in the rehearsals he would have on the shooting day, I don’t think we had separate rehearsals like on other days, but he would rehearse on the day. And for the most part, what I appreciated was that he would respond to what the actors brought and support what the actors brought. Every now and then he would just have just one thing to say, a detail or one turning point in the scene, and he would give his one note that would be an enormous contribution. He wasn’t a control freak. He wasn’t a puppet master. He was wanting to know what you brought, and then he could help you take it a step further.
HoTS: So he gave you the freedom to find the character yourself?
RJ: You gotta remember that during the auditions he saw basically what he wanted, but then when he would see it on the shooting day, he could refine it, improve it, and enhance it. He was a real connoisseur of what the actors brought. He was one of those people who would be really encouraging. His contribution and his notes were in the middle of a kind of cheerleading capacity, like a great coach really.
HoTS: Speaking of Charlie from Land of the Dead you give the character of a real depth and pathos, I was wondering if you drew inspiration from anything specific?
RJ: Not really, no, but the character is written beautifully, and he has a backstory that was very easy to get behind. I mean it was painful, but the idea that to go through a trauma and then come out the other side with a loyalty to the person that saved you, I never had that kind of experience but it was easy to get behind it. It’s weird somebody asked… You saw Hamlet the other night, right?
HoTS: Yes.
RJ: So somebody asked the actor playing Hamlet, Michael Urie, how do you feel those feelings? He said, “Well, you know, it’s what we have to do as actors. I never killed a king or seen my father’s ghost or anything like that, but you have to imagine what it would be like”, and that’s how I feel about Charlie. He wrote a backstory and situation for Charlie that was so rich that it was so easy to get behind it. It’s what we do when we read a novel or see a movie. We, as an audience, as readers and viewers, we enter that situation. And as actors, it’s an extension of that same thing. We go there, and the material takes you there.
HoTS: You’ve done several make-up heavy movies. Do you feel like it informs your character similar to a costume?
RJ: Oh my god, yeah. Because the makeup alters your face, it’s even more significant than a costume. I remember when I’d be sitting in the chair for three or four hours with Chris Nelson who applied the prosthetics and painted them. What a genius. He’s an actor as well. He’s in Kill Bill. He plays The Groom in the wedding scene. While I was in that makeup chair watching it happen, it was incredible. It’s incredibly helpful to the actor’s imagination because you’re watching it [take shape] in the mirror. You are becoming something else, and it takes a lot of the burden off of the actor because the makeup is doing much of the work. I mean I certainly don’t have to ask my way into communicating Charlie’s history if half of his face is a burn scar. That trauma is there, and it’s enormously important. Same with The Hills Have Eyes. That mutation is present. There’s so much less effort required. It’s still a lot of work in the acting, but there is such a thing as bad effort as when a performance becomes effortful instead of natural, and what the makeup does is let the extraordinary be natural.
HoTS: How long did the makeup take on Land of the Dead, and can you walk us through the process?
RJ: It took about four hours. It was two large pieces on the right side of my face, and when they go on in a kind of an approximate pinkish flesh color. The application is very important and takes time. The first thing is you have to have your hair plastered back under a cap, but the painting is amazing. With the painting, he would paint red and blue first. Then cover it with the kind of skin tone and add layers of paint so that even though all you see is flesh color underneath, it is hints of veins and arteries and such. It took a long time.
Robert Joy and Tess Harper in Amityville 3D
HoTS: You are currently playing Polonius in the Shakespeare Theatre Company of DC’s amazing production. First of all, I saw you in this and thought you were incredible, as was the entire cast. What did you think of the modern re-imagining?
RJ: I am totally excited by this re-imagining because sometimes a modern re-imagining doesn’t fit a classic play but Michael Kahn has imagined this play. Not only does it fit, but it enhances the text. You know that scene where I enlist my daughter to spy on Hamlet. Classically that’s done where Polonius and the king are watching behind a curtain, but to have a listening device in the book she’s reading… I mean, Shakespeare put the book in the scene and somehow that book was going to be a clue I imagine. Because he doesn’t put props into his scenes very often, so 400 years ago that book would have been some kind of a clue to Hamlet that she is spying on him. But to have a listening device in it makes it relatable, and that is just one example. Some of in the play lends itself to this depiction of a surveillance state and authoritarian kind of East German State.
HoTS: Yes. I thought it was really interesting how they dealt with the politics which is rife in the play. Now you are, of course, no stranger to performing Shakespeare. In fact, I read you and Ruby, your daughter, acted in The Tempest together?
RJ: That’s right. That was really the highlight for both of us, I think. She had been auditioning in Canada and got the role of Miranda in The Tempest, and as they were talking to her after she was hired, they asked her about her last name and if, by chance, she was related to me because they knew me from CSI: New York. She said yeah he’s my dad, and they asked if it would be alright if we asked him to play Prospero. It was a miraculous turn of events because it turned out to be one of the most amazing things each of us ever did. And it’s so rich with implications for our current world as well. The weird thing is Ruby and I were just talking about it last night because she is working with a group of academics in Toronto. Even now they are doing this kind of symposium about The Tempest, and its implications on colonialism and immigration and the attitude having different cultures in the one place. Like Caliban, Ariel, and Prospero were like different species of humans. But it was a fascinating play and we had a great time doing it.
HoTS: Do you think you’ll ever do a film together?
RJ: We are always looking or possibilities. We keep imagining it will happen on stage maybe playing King Lear and she could play one of King Lear’s daughters or any combination where I get to play her dad again or just be in the same project. But you know, these things can happen, but they are hard to force. But we certainly both want to work with each other again.
HoTS: Great! Finally, I wanted to ask about your latest film, Crown and Anchor, and if you could tell us what it’s about and a bit about your character in it?
RJ: Yeah. I really like this film. You’re introduced to this a police officer in Toronto, and he has rage issues. He gets a call from his hometown that his mother has passed away, so he goes back to his hometown and you realize where all his rage issues come from. It’s a very complicated family with a father who’s in prison and a brother who is going down the wrong road and getting involved with drug dealers. My character is his uncle, the imprisoned brother’s father, who is trying to be a leader figure in the family but can’t quite manage it because he’s a drinker and has flaws of his own. It’s a fascinating character because on the one hand there are comedic elements. He’s a bit of a mischief maker and an eccentric character, but then it becomes clear he is really trying to save a very bad situation. It’s a complex and nuanced film, and I loved playing that part. I just got another part you might be interested to hear about. I don’t know if you know of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Gold Finch?
HoTS: Yes. This is filming now or in post-production?
RJ: Yes. It just started filming last week, and I am playing the part of Welty in that. Jeffery Wright plays the part of Hobie, a man who has an antique shop and antique restorer in Manhattan. I play his partner who goes through trauma at the beginning of the film. I don’t want to give too much away, but the part of Welty will involve a wound in makeup. I did the fitting, and when you were talking about prosthetic makeup, I thought about that because I had to do one of those life casts. It’s going to be a horrific head wound.
Asia Argento, Simon Baker, Joanne Boland, Robert Joy, Shawn Roberts, and Pedro Miguel Arce in Land of the Dead (2005)
I once again want to thank Mr. Joy for his time and sharing insights into his craft and touching on some of his amazing and varied body of work. Also a big thank you to the fine people at the Shakespeare Theatre Company DC.
If you are in the area its an incredible production with a brilliant cast and director. It runs now until March 6, 2018. Please visit the website below for more info.

Vinessa Shaw, Emilie de Ravin, and Robert Joy in The Hills Have Eyes (2006)

Posted by Mike Vaughn in INTERVIEWS, STAFF PICKS, 0 comments
TRIBUTE: George A. Romero (5 of ?)

TRIBUTE: George A. Romero (5 of ?)

Remembering George A. Romero

With the passing of George A. Romero this week many of us are mourning the loss of one of the true legends of the horror industry. Although he is viewed as the father of the modern zombie film, I feel that it's important to keep in mind some of the other influences he had both inside the horror industry as well as outside.
As we all know, he is almost single-handedly responsible for the modern zombie. Everything from The Walking Dead graphic novels and the TV series, the Resident Evil franchise (both the games and the films), and even books like The Zombie Survival Guide all owe a debt of gratitude to Mr. Romero, as his take on the undead have helped to shape all these.
His sphere of influence spreads far beyond zombies, though. Some of his best work was with the writing of Stephen King. Everyone knows that the works of King are notoriously difficult to translate to film. His take on King's The Dark Half made the story compelling and interesting while remaining very true to the source material. Many people consider it to be one of the most faithful King adaptations ever put to film.
His directing skill was always spot on and appropriate to the type of film he was making. His use of unique lighting and camera angles on Creepshow differed from most other films and made it feel like a comic book come to life. It also helped teach young impressionable fans such as myself that horror could be artistic, beautifully lit, ironic, and fun.
Although many people consider Bruiser to be his worst film, I believe that it proves that he wasn't just a great director but a masterful storyteller. Weaving a very bleak story with depth and heart about a man struggling with life and identity. Making the viewer feel compassion for the man and the monster while also creating a stark, uncomfortable world.
Don't even get me started on the genius and magic behind the film Martin. I could talk about that one for hours.
So much more than just the "Godfather of zombies", George A. Romero was a true visionary who will be missed but whose influence will live on for generations.
Posted by Richard Francis in EDITORIALS, TRIBUTE, 0 comments
TRIBUTE: GEORGE A. ROMERO (4 of ?)

TRIBUTE: GEORGE A. ROMERO (4 of ?)

Georgette Romero Meets George A. Romero

What can be said about George Romero that you have not already read. He is the Godfather of Zombies......he paved the way for others......he was brilliant. No, you have heard this I am sure and they are all true.
I want to share a personal moment I had with this kind man. For those who don’t know I love zombies. Have for 20+ years so it is no wonder that George Romero is my hero. Night of the Living Dead will always be my favorite zombie/ghoul movie. (FYI, George called them ghouls or flesh eaters back them) I had never cosplayed in my life but decided one year I wanted to get in on the fun. When I sat down to think of what I wanted to be, literally the first thing I thought of was my idol George Romero.
I had plans to meet him at Scarefest Convention in Lexington, KY, and thought "This is perfect!" When I looked online for ideas I found none. It was crazy. This man is a legend yet from what I could tell no one had done it. I swore right then that I would do it and by god I would do it right. I looked for the perfect frames, the perfect shirt, the perfect vest, perfect everything. I was happy with what I came up with and wore it with pride to meet him. I even wore a name tag that said "My name is Georgette Romero."
Fair use doctrine.
As I was standing in his line, awestruck to even be looking at him, his manager/agent pointed me out and couldn't tell me enough how great I looked. She had never seen it. When I got to him I was speechless and he was in awe of my cosplay. He said himself he had never seen anyone dress as him and it was amazing. He loved it. Can you believe it... My idol loved my cosplay of him? I could have died. He signed my VHS copy of Dawn of the Dead that Tom Savini had signed a few years earlier. After that, he insisted on pictures. His smile was genuine. It was his idea to even switch glasses for a few of the pictures. That's right, I wore George Romero's glasses.
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In my glasses
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After we switched glasses
It was amazing and I will forever miss him. He was one of a kind and can never be replaced.
Happy nightmares, Mr. Romero, may you be at peace or come back as one of your own kind.
Posted by ZombieGurl in EDITORIALS, TRIBUTE, 0 comments
TRIBUTE: GEORGE A. ROMERO (3 of ?)

TRIBUTE: GEORGE A. ROMERO (3 of ?)

RIP George A. Romero

“They're coming to get you, Barbara.”
It's maybe one of the most famous, and chilling lines in horror. From one of the most groundbreaking movies in the history of horror cinema, Night of the Living Dead by director George A. Romero. We lost George this week, and it's a loss that has shaken the world of horror. If you are a newer horror fan, maybe you don't know the name, but you should. Maybe you're a fan of The Walking Dead, but not really a horror fan, well you should know Mr. Romero's name. The modern zombie only exists because of George A. Romero.
Before Romero, zombies were basically lumbering, undead servants. Their menace was limited to lurching about, choking, and throwing their victims. They were creatures of Caribbean folklore that might strike fear into the superstitious locals but not so much on the big screen. George Romero changed all that; he took the shambling undead and instilled them with one of our great taboos: cannibalism. Now Romero has famously said he had no intention of making a zombie movie, no thoughts of forever changing horror history. Whatever his intentions, that's exactly what he did. Over the years zombies have evolved and changed, brain-eating, running zombies, rage zombies, virus zombies, but none of that would have been possible without Romero. Every zombie film, from 28 Days Later to Return of the Living Dead, every TV show from The Walking Dead to iZombie, every video game from Resident Evil to Lollipop Chainsaw, every damn one can trace its existence back to Mr. Romero.
Romero was more than just Night of the Living Dead. He followed this game changer with another classic, Dawn of the Dead. Years later he continued with Day of the Dead. Then, when everyone thought he was finished, he launched his big budget Land of the Dead and then came back with the much maligned (unfairly, in my opinion) Diary of the Dead. Outside the zombie subgenre, he created horror classics such as Creepshow, Martin, and The Dark Half, cult favorites like Knight Riders and The Crazies, and the occasional misfire like Season of the Witch and Survival of the Dead.
But that's all about his movies. There have probably been a thousand articles, blogs, and news stories about Romero's movies and his importance to horror. There could easily be 1,000 more, most of them better than anything I could write about his legacy. Nah, I really want to talk about the man and my encounters with him. Now I won't lie and insult the hard core fans of the dead series. That's not fair to them. As much as I love his zombie classics, I was never the biggest fan by any means, and he wasn't my favorite director. However, if Romero did a movie, I watched it, and usually I enjoyed it. So I passed up a chance to meet him at least once. Mostly because I absolutely hated waiting in line, and at conventions George Romero always had a line. I'm glad I overcame that to meet the man once.
The first time I saw him in real life was at the Horrorfind convention in Hunt Valley, Maryland. It was around 2006 or 2007. I was sitting by the pool with friends late in the evening just after dark. We were joking, chatting and drinking adult beverages and someone noticed him and poked me. I looked and there he was. He was so much taller than I had imagined from seeing him on television and in photos. He towered above the person he was talking too, wearing, as best I can remember a dark green or teal shirt and slacks, and the vest, and the coke bottle glasses. He didn't look like a man who had changed horror forever. He looked more like a hippie with his long, graying ponytail, but you felt his presence. It was only a brief passing moment, but you knew you were in the vicinity of horror royalty. This was someone who redefined the genre.
I didn't “officially” meet him that year. It was a year or two later, at the Full Moon Tattoo and Horror Festival in Nashville, TN. I went with the full intention of meeting him, but once again the line was unbelievable. Rightfully so. And I talked myself out of it. Luckily, I really wanted to meet him, so I kept popping by. Finally. I found the line had gotten shorter, so I jumped in. Only to find the line was short because George had went out to lunch and a lot of people had wandered off. Oh, ye of little patience, yeah I was impatient, too, but I made myself sit there on the floor in line until finally we got the word he was back. The line quickly refilled and started slowly moving. When we finally got to the table, we realized the line moved slow because the man, the master, the godfather of horror, didn't rush his fans.
Finally we got up to the table (me and my new line buddies), and there he was. The same vest, same glasses and ponytail, but he was smiling, laughing, and looking at his fans with genuine affection. It was the same when we introduced ourselves to him. He laughed at our jokes, smiled and asked where we were from. I had picked out a photo of him and Simon Pegg. He was about to sign, and he stopped, pointed at Simon and said, “That young man is going places”. We shook hands and got a photo with him at his table. This was back before they were called selfies, and when most celebs, including George, didn't charge for photos.
I met George a couple other times, always with friends. Every time was like the first time. George A. Romero, the father of the zombie movie, always smiling, usually laughing, always looking at his fans with a genuine love and appreciation. That's how I will always remember Mr. Romero. As wonderful as his films were, he was so much more. That's what I will take with me.
Posted by Allen Alberson in EDITORIALS, TRIBUTE, 0 comments
TRIBUTE: GEORGE A. ROMERO (2 of ?)

TRIBUTE: GEORGE A. ROMERO (2 of ?)

RIP - The Godfather of Zombies
George A. Romero

georgeromero-zombielove / Fair use doctrine.George Romero meant so much to me personally. He created my love, my obsession with zombies. I cannot tell you my exact age when I first watched Night of the Living Dead, but it sparked the fire that is my love for horror and, more importantly, zombie stories. George A. Romero opened the door for many to follow, pushed the limits of horror further than anyone dreamed, awakened future directors and storytellers, and educated the world on the zombies (how they move, groan, react, and how people would react in a zombie apocalypse).
I'm not sure if Romero went for black and white to blend in with the classic horrors or because makeup and prosthetics aren't what they are today. All I know that it was a genius move! Night of the Living Dead was meant to be b&w. When I first turned on the movie (in my foolish youth) I wanted to immediately change the channel, after all b&w movies are just boring (back in the 80s when everything was neon). I'm not even sure now what kept me watching, but I am ever so thankful! George Romero was such a creative intelligent fellow in his time.
Romero was one of my first articles for HoTS when a little over a year ago Mr. Romero finally received a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame. It blew my mind that only just now was he receiving a star! After all his movies and work?!?!? Night of the Living Dead had several sequels (almost all 10 years apart), and he made several other type of horror movies, directed much of Creepshow, and participated in many documentaries, and specials. Romero is so loved by so many that The Walking Dead has had many tribute Easter eggs to Romero.
Fair use doctrine.
Romero even had a part in the zombie mode on Call of Duty: Black Ops.

George Romero left his mark and 'infected' so many of us. I, personally, will truly miss him.
Posted by Alan Smithee in EDITORIALS, HORROR HEROES, HORROR NEWS, STAFF PICKS, TRIBUTE, 0 comments
VORTEXX SCHEDULE FOR NOVEMBER 13 – 20, 2016

VORTEXX SCHEDULE FOR NOVEMBER 13 – 20, 2016

By The Crimson Executioner
&
Woofer McWooferson

Welcome to The Vortexx where it's been ALL HOSTS ALL THE TIME FOR SIX YEARS!


Welcome to The Vortexx where it's been ALL HOSTS ALL THE TIME FOR SIX YEARS! We've got a great line-up of shows, hosts, and movies coming your way this week with TWO new movies making their Vortexx debut, along with several returning favorites. We also have a great line-up of stars with Bela Lugosi starting the week on Sunday and Monday, as well as Lon Chaney, Sr., John Carradine, George Zucco, Jackie (Uncle Fester) Coogan, George (Ro Man) Barrows, and musclemen Kirk Morris and Gordon Mitchell. Our hosts this week are Misty Brew, Ron Purtee (our newest host whom we welcome this Sunday), Freezer Mortis, Freakshow & the Bordello gang, Timber Wulff & co-hosts Mina and Lucy, Remo D. & co-hosts Dr. Montag and Kato, Dave Binkley & co-hosts Mike Novak and Ranger Jim, Danvers and special guests Penny & Garou, and Arachna & Deadly. Enjoy the shows and thanks for hanging out!

Sunday (11/13). 9:00 P.M. (ET)
MISTY BREW'S
CREATURE FEATURE

presents
WHITE ZOMBIE (1932)


MISTY BREW'S CREATURE FEATURE presents WHITE ZOMBIE (1932) starring Bela Lugosi. It's the first zombie movie ever -- and still arguably one of the best! Fresh from his success in Dracula, Lugosi plays the evil Murder Legendre, who can control people with a little white powder, a hand clench, and a nasty glare. In addition to great sets (borrowed from Universal) and lots of living dead (courtesy of master makeup man Jack Pierce), there's some pretty weird music, some of it by Xavier Cugat. [Bela Lugosi artwork courtesy of Bradley Beard.]


We welcome MOVIE HOUSE with Ron Purtee to The Vortexx!

Tonight's episode of Misty Brew will be preceded by The Vortexx premiere of MOVIE HOUSE hosted by Ron Purtee. Born at an early age in the town of Racine, Wisconsin, Ron is a stand-up comedian, former host of a cable access show, and the director, writer, and producer of numerous short films. Tonight Ron takes a few moments to talk about the new Marvel film DOCTOR STRANGE. You can find additional movie reviews and other cool stuff at Ron's YouTube channel and at his website: patreon.com/ronpurtee

Monday (11/14). 9:00 P.M. (ET)
FORMERLY CRAPPICS
presents
The Vortexx premiere of
VOODOO MAN (1944)


FORMERLY CRAPPICS with Freezer Mortis presents The Vortexx premiere of VOODOO MAN (1944). Only rarely does Freezer offer us a feature film with even one truly notable actor. VOODOO MAN has three (count 'em, three!) legends of horror -- Bela Lugosi, George Zucco, and John Carradine. Sporting a goatee and a sorcerer's robe decorated with stars and crescents, Lugosi plays Dr. Richard Marlowe -- a mad scientist who is attempting to revive his long-dead wife by kidnapping young girls and draining them of their life essence. Carradine is the dim-witted servant who takes care of the zombified gals while the Master is away. Zucco is the local gas station owner who lures the hapless victims to Bela's place. VOODOO MAN! We'll drink to that!

Tuesday (11/15). 9:00 P.M. (ET)
BORDELLO OF HORROR
presents
George Romero's NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (1968)


BORDELLO OF HORROR with Freakshow, Mistress Malicious, Sgt. Drizzlepuss, Ali Katt, and Marijohuana presents George Romero's NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (1968). This is a movie that needs no introduction, but we're going to give you one anyway. It's about six bickering humans and a sick little girl trapped in a farmhouse with an army of zombies outside. Ben wants to be boss of the upstairs. Cooper wants to be boss of the cellar. Sparks fly and assorted body parts get devoured before it all comes to a flesh-ripping gut-munching climax. In addition to the movie, Freaky will be entertaining us with special musical guests Eddie Ate Dynamite and more!

Wednesday (11/16). 9:00 P.M. (ET)
TOXIC TALES
WITH TIMBER WULFF

presents
VAMPYR (1932)


TOXIC TALES with Timber Wulff and co-hosts Mina Rowena the Vampire and Lucy Lovecraft the Ghoul presents Carl Theodor Dreyer's VAMPYR (1932). Released just one year after Tod Browning's Dracula, this German-French co-production, based loosely on Sheridan Le Fanu's Carmilla, is now regarded as a classic. Baron Nicolas de Gunzburg, a French-born Russian nobleman, financed the movie in return for the leading role of Allan Grey, a student of the occult who visits the village of Courtempierre, which is under the curse of a vampire. Meanwhile back at the Behead and Breakfast, Mina's sister comes to visit. Will Timber make it through VAMPYR? Or will he become lunch? Only one way to find out!

Thursday (11/17). 9:00 P.M. (ET)
REMO D.'S MANOR OF MAYHEM
presents
The Vortexx premiere of
STAR PILOT (1966)


REMO D.'S MANOR OF MAHEM with co-hosts Dr. Montag & Kato the Black Hornet and Ms. Atoz (who's seized dominion of the Manor) kicks off its 20th season with The Vortexx premiere of STAR PILOT (1966) aka 2+5: Mission Hydra. This Italian space opera, made on a shoestring budget with laughable special effects, was re-titled and released in the United States in 1977 to cash in on the Star Wars craze. Kirk Morris and Gordon Mitchell, both known for flexing their muscles in a series of sword-and-sandal epics, appear along with a cast of Italian unknowns in this tale of a spaceship from the constellation Hydra that crash lands in Rome. The aliens kidnap a prominent scientist, his daughter, several young technicians, and a pair of Asian spies and then take off with the earthlings for their home planet after their engine is repaired. Once in space, the pesky humans attempt to mutiny against their alien captors. Leontine May, who plays the scientist's sexy daughter Luisa, and Leonora Ruffo, who plays red-headed space-siren Kaena, provide the eye candy, wearing a variety of outfits so skimpy they could bring even a Vulcan out in a sweat.

Friday (11/18). 9:00 P.M. (ET)
THE WEIRDNESS REALLY BAD MOVIE
presents
Roger Corman's VOYAGE TO THE PLANET OF PREHISTORIC WOMEN (1968)


THE WEIRDNESS REALLY BAD (GUY) MOVIE with Dave Binkley and co-hosts Mike Novak and Ranger Jim (Vilk) presents Roger Corman's VOYAGE TO THE PLANET OF PREHISTORIC WOMEN (1968). Marilyn Monroe wannabe Mamie Van Doren stars as Moana, the leader of a tribe of Venusian women who wear clamshell bikinis, worship a pterodactyl god, and spend a lot of time lying around the beach. This movie uses the same footage from the Russian-made Planet of Storms that Corman used three years earlier in Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet. Acclaimed director Peter Bogdanovich directed the American scenes under the pseudonym Derek Thomas and also supplies the narration. In between segments of the movie, Dave and Mike go camping and fishing at Weirdnessville State Park, where they try to stay out of trouble with Ranger Jim.

Saturday (11/19). 9:00 P.M. (ET)
DEMENTED FEATURES
presents
PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (1925)


DEMENTED FEATURES returns to the Vortexx with a brand-new episode! Tonight Danvers will be welcoming special guests Penny Dreadful & Garou as he hosts the 1925 silent classic PHANTOM OF THE OPERA starring Lon Chaney, Sr., and Mary Philbin. This is the first -- and undoubtedly the best -- adaptation of the Gaston Leroux novel. No Phantom has ever looked scarier than Chaney, the sets created by Maurice Tourneur are fantastic, and tonight's version is further enhanced by a rousing new musical score by Kevin MacLeod. In addition to the movie, Danvers will be presenting the first chapter of VARNEY THE VAMPIRE, based on the serialized novel first published in 1845-47 as a series of weekly cheap pamphlets known as "penny dreadfuls." Tonight's show concludes with a tribute to the king of horror hosts, Zacherley! [Phantom artwork courtesy of Bradley Beard.]

Sunday (11/20). 9:00 P.M. (ET)
BEWARE THEATER
presents
THE MESA OF LOST WOMEN (1953)


BEWARE THEATER with Arachna of the Spider People and her friend Deadly presents another cinematic gem from the Golden Age of Black & White -- THE MESA OF LOST WOMEN (1953) starring Jackie (Uncle Fester) Coogan and George (Ro Man) Barrows in one of his rare non-gorilla roles. It's got mad scientists, gigantic spiders, voluptuous women, and dwarfs! How can any movie with a combination like that possibly go wrong? Join us tonight and you'll find out. [Movie poster by Sean Hartter courtesy of Saturday Fright Special.]














Posted by Alan Smithee in HOSTED HORROR, 0 comments
VORTEXX SCHEDULE FOR 9 – 16 OCTOBER 2016

VORTEXX SCHEDULE FOR 9 – 16 OCTOBER 2016

VORTEXX SCHEDULE FOR
9 - 16 OCTOBER 2016

By The Crimson Executioner
&
Woofer McWooferson

The Vortexx Hosts_02

THE VORTEXX where it's ALL HOSTS ALL THE TIME FOR SIX YEARS!

Welcome to The Vortexx where it's been ALL HOSTS ALL THE TIME FOR SIX YEARS! We've got another great line-up of shows, hosts, and movies for your viewing and chatting pleasure with an assortment of space aliens, zombies & other undead folk, vampires, and the Frankenstein Monster (or, at least, his cowboy cousin) coming your way this week to entertain you. Our hosts this week are Arachna & Deadly, Vincent Grimmly, Freakshow & the Bordello gang, Nigel Honeybone, Professor Gillman, Dr. Mortose, Lord Blood-Rah, and Misty Brew. Enjoy the shows and thanks for hanging out!

vortexx-night-of-the-living-dead-20161009_beware-theater

Sunday (10/9) @ 9:00 P.M. (ET)
BEWARE THEATER
presents
George Romero's NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (1968)

BEWARE THEATER with Arachna of the Spider People and her friend Deadly presents George Romero's NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (1968). This is a movie that needs no introduction, but we're going to give you one anyway. It's about six bickering humans and a sick little girl trapped in a farmhouse with an army of zombies outside. Ben wants to be boss of the upstairs. Cooper wants to be boss of the cellar. Sparks fly and assorted body parts get devoured before it all comes to a flesh-ripping gut-munching climax. We know you've seen this movie more than a few times before, but tonight Arachna will be breathing new life into this venerable old chestnut with frequent host inserts and biting humor.

vortexx-jesse-james-meets-frankensteins-daughter-20161010_night-chills

Monday (10/10) @ 9:00 P.M. (ET)
NIGHT CHILLS THEATRE
presents
JESSE JAMES MEETS FRANKENSTEIN'S DAUGHTER (1967)

NIGHT CHILLS THEATRE with Vincent Grimmly presents JESSE JAMES MEETS FRANKENSTEIN'S DAUGHTER (1967). The legendary outlaw, on the run from the law, hides out in the castle of Baron Frankenstein's granddaughter Maria. A chip off the old Frankenstein block, Maria performs a brain transplant on Jesse's wounded pal Hank and, for reasons known only to her, promptly re-names him Igor. Directed by the infamous William "One Shot" Beaudine, tonight's movie and its companion piece Billy the Kid Versus Dracula were One Shot's last theatrical films.

vortexx-i-bury-the-living-20161011_bordello

Tuesday (10/11) @ 9:00 P.M. (ET)
BORDELLO OF HORROR
presents
I BURY THE LIVING (1958)

BORDELLO OF HORROR with Freakshow, Mistress Malicious, Sgt. Drizzlepuss, Ali Katt and Marijohuana presents a Vortexx favorite -- I BURY THE LIVING (1958). A cemetery caretaker (Richard Boone) discovers that by switching white and black pins around on the map of the grounds, he can cause the death of future tenants -- and revive the current ones. Austrian-born Theodore Bikel plays Andy the caretaker with the thickest (and fakest) Scottish accent you're ever gonna hear. This creepy little thriller is said to be one of Stephen King's favorites, and it's one of ours as well. In addition to the movie, Freaky will be entertaining us with special musical guests Psycho Charger.

vortexx-contamination-20161012_schlocky-horror

Wednesday (10/12) @ 9:00 P.M. (ET)
THE SCHLOCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW
presents
ALIEN CONTAMINATION (1984)ALIEN CONTAMINATION (1984) aka Contamination

THE SCHLOCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW with Nigel Honeybone presents Luigi Cozzi's ALIEN CONTAMINATION (1984) aka Contamination. If you can imagine Alien without a special effects budget or a talented director and with actors saying ludicrous things like "Help! Let me out! There's an egg!" then you'll have a pretty good idea what to expect from tonight's movie. It's about a one-eyed alien (grown from a seed that an astronaut brought back from Mars) who's incubating hundreds of green, pulsating, acid-spewing alien eggs at a coffee plantation in Colombia. Ian McCulloch (of Zombi and Zombie Holocaustfame) heads a cast of mostly unknown Italians. The cult band Goblin lends a helping hand by providing an out-of-this-world soundtrack. This was one of the 72 films on the UK's infamous "Video Nasty" list.

vortexx-ufo-20161013_prof-gillman

Thursday (10/13) @ 9:00 P.M. (ET)
THE PROFESSOR GILLMAN SHOW
presents
The Vortexx premiere of
UFO: THE TRUE STORY OF FLYING SAUCERS (1956)

THE PROFESSOR GILLMAN SHOW presents the Vortexx premiere of UFO: THE TRUE STORY OF FLYING SAUCERS (1956). This semi-documentary, released to capitalize on the UFO craze that was sweeping the nation during the mid-50s, promises "actual color films of UFOs kept top secret until now." Tom Towers (the real-life aviation editor of The Los Angeles Examiner) stars as Al Chop, a reporter who begins to investigate several reports of UFOs and by the end of the movie is convinced that they are in fact real. The 10 minutes of poor-quality UFO footage at the end is mildly interesting, but before the movie finally gets to it you have to sit through 80 minutes of boring stock footage, interviews, and dramatic reenactments with some really annoying Dragnet-style narration. We're betting that long before the final credits, you'll be hoping to be abducted by a real spaceship just so you can get away from this turkey.

vortexx-horror-20161014_doc-mortose

Friday (10/14) @ 9:00 P.M. (ET)
DR. MORTOSE COMMANDS
presents
HORROR (1963) aka The Blancheville Monster

DR. MORTOSE COMMANDS presents HORROR (1963) aka The Blancheville Monster. Although generally known by the latter title, this Italian-Spanish Gothic thriller, based loosely on Edgar Allan Poe's “The Fall of The House of Usher” and “The Premature Burial”, was originally released in Italy, Spain, and the U.K. under the somewhat bland title “The House of Usher”. Intended to capitalize upon the success of Roger Corman's popular Edgar Allan Poe adaptations, this visually striking but talky film stars Ombretta Colli as Emily de Blancheville, the beautiful young daughter of a crazed count, who fears that she will fall victim to the family curse. The movie ambles along about as slowly as The Giant Gila Monster, but it does have a few things going for it, including a creepy castle, some great exterior shots of a crumbling abbey and eerie forest locales, two very attractive female leads, and a willowy nightgown that shows Emily's perky breasts.

vortexx-killers-from-space-20161015_lord-blood-rah

Saturday (10/15) @ 9:00 P.M. (ET)
LORD BLOOD-RAH'S
NERVE WRACKIN' THEATRE

presents
KILLERS FROM SPACE (1954)

LORD BLOOD-RAH'S NERVE WRACKIN' THEATRE presents KILLERS FROM SPACE (1954). Peter (Mission Impossible) Graves stars as a scientist abducted by bug-eyed aliens from Astron Delta in this low-budget thriller directed by W. Lee (Willie) Wilder, Oscar-winner Billy Wilder's less talented older brother. Tonight, you will have a chance to see Willie's ineptitude in full display as the aliens, wearing ridiculous Phantom rip-off suits, plan to conquer the earth with giant stock-footage insects and reptiles. As always, Lord Blood-Rah will be spicing up the mix with plenty of movie trailers and other cool extras, including (we hope) another cranial cavity search.

vortexx-grave-of-the-vampire-20161016_misty-brew

Sunday (10/16) @ 9:00 P.M. (ET)
MISTY BREW'S CREATURE FEATURE
presents
GRAVE OF THE VAMPIRE (1974)

MISTY BREW'S CREATURE FEATURE presents GRAVE OF THE VAMPIRE (1974). Michael Pataki stars as Caleb Croft, one of the creepiest bloodsuckers you're ever going to see. No sparkly vampires tonight, folks. This guy really means business. William Smith plays Caleb's half-vampire, half-human son twenty-four years before Wesley Snipes did it in Blade. Writer David Chase would later go on to bigger and better things with The Sopranos.

✿✿✿✿✿✿✿✿✿✿✿✿✿✿✿✿✿✿✿✿✿✿

Welcome to The Vortexx where it's ALL HOSTS ALL THE TIME!

The Vortexx - Swirling Storm"Every day is a good day that ends in The Vortexx." You can find us at horrorhost.net and livestream.com/allhorrorhosts. Remember folks, we're the Gooble Gobble Channel. We accept everyone. And we will keep the doors open as long as you keep coming around! If you're a horror host looking for an additional outlet for your show, email Sluggo at sluggo@horrorhost.net.

The Vortexx - Bloody Pit of Health Fitness Centers

If you don't get the results you're looking for within the eight weeks of the program, The Azure Executioner guarantees that he will personally throw you into his exclusive vat of acid!
Introducing our newest sponsor -- Bloody Pit of Health! Want to eliminate those things that interfere with the harmony of your perfect body? The Bloody Pit has all the latest fitness equipment -- weight room, Olympic-sized pool, and even a spider room. To find the location nearest you, visit their website www.clubdesade.com

The Vortexx - Mummy Fart

Available in three convenient sizes!
Mummy Fart! The perfect product to get those pleasant smells out of your tomb. Available in three convenient sizes!

The Vortexx - Kurt Pasakivi's Used Car Emporium

If you're interested, just e-mail us for Kurt's current location.
Kurt Pasakivi's Used Car Emporium! At Kurt's Emporium you can buy the car of your dreams for a deep discount. If you see a car on the street that you like, just send Kurt a photo of the car and the license plate, and he'll negotiate with the owner and sell it to you at a steal!

The Vortexx - Executioner's Ale

The Official Beers of The Vortexx!
Executioner's Ale! A bloody good red ale crafted in the torture chamber of the Crimson Executioner. Sock Stout! The sock with the hops. A thick and creamy head just for you. [Sock Stout is a trademark of Raen, used with permission.]

The Vortexx - Amazon Andy

Amazon Andy is the creation of Nick Polotta, a very gifted writer and comedian who, sadly, passed away on April 13, 2013.

Totino's Pizza Rolls, Crimson Royal Jelly, and Amazon Andy's Southern Fried Tarantula Legs! The original sponsors of The Vortexx!

The Vortexx Skull Cornbread

The Official Food of The Vortexx!
Skull Cornbread! The official food of The Vortexx, served piping hot from the oven of the Crimson Executioner.

The Vortexx - Chia Host

BORDELLO OF HORROR with Freakshow airs Tuesday at 9 (ET)

Chia Host! The latest sensation from Mushnick Florists. You can see him every Tuesday night in The Vortexx!

The Vortexx - Chilly Dilly

Two delicious pickle treats!

Chilly Dilly! A delicious pickle treat that's spiced just right for every bite. And now you can "pucker up" with the all-new Chilly Dilly Lip Balm!

The Vortexx - Egg Bleach

Jason "Egg" Brown was an integral part of The Vortexx as a staff member and long-time viewer until his passing on June 27, 2016. Jason may have departed this Earth, but he will live forever in The Vortexx.

"Now that's a product I can really GET BEHIND!" -- Egg.

Egg Bleach! The all-purpose antiseptic for treatment of cuts, scratches, and abrasions. And now you can touch up those "intimate" parts of your body with the all-new Egg Anal Bleach!

president-sluggo

SLUGGO!!! OUR DEAR LEADER AND FREELY ELECTED PRESIDENT OF THE VORTEXX!!!

Posted by Alan Smithee in HOSTED HORROR, 0 comments
VORTEXX SCHEDULE FOR 2 – 9 OCTOBER 2016

VORTEXX SCHEDULE FOR 2 – 9 OCTOBER 2016

VORTEXX SCHEDULE FOR
2 - 9 OCTOBER 2016

By The Crimson Executioner
&
Woofer McWooferson

The Vortexx Hosts_02

THE VORTEXX where it's ALL HOSTS ALL THE TIME FOR SIX YEARS!

Welcome to The Vortexx where it's been ALL HOSTS ALL THE TIME FOR SIX YEARS! We've got another great line-up of shows, hosts, and movies for your viewing and chatting pleasure including THREE new movies making their Vortexx debut along with several returning favorites. Our hosts this week are Misty Brew, Dr. Tarr & Prof. Fether, Freakshow & the Bordello gang, Bobby Gammonster, Remo D. & friends, Dave Binkley & Juli Majernik, Dr. Sigmund Zoid & Sluggo, and Arachna & Deadly. Enjoy the shows and thanks for hanging out!

vortexx-revenge-of-the-zombies-20161002_misty-brew

Sunday (10/2) @ 9:00 P.M. (ET)
MISTY BREW'S CREATURE FEATURE
presents
REVENGE OF THE ZOMBIES (1943)

MISTY BREW'S CREATURE FEATURE presents REVENGE OF THE ZOMBIES (1943). Since this movie was made in the midst of World War II, you might expect to see some Nazis in it. Trust us, you will not be disappointed. Horror movie veteran John Carradine stars as Dr. Max Heinrich von Altermann, a mad scientist (is there any other kind?) working at an old mansion in the bayous of Louisiana. Mad Max has plans to create a race of living dead warriors for the Third Reich. But his plans are complicated by his deceased wife (Veda Ann Borg) -- a zombie who, in most unzombie-like fashion, has developed a mind of her own. Mantan Moreland reprises his role of Jeff from King of the Zombies (1941). Gale Storm (of My Little Margie fame), future Batman Robert Lowery, and cowboy actor Bob Steele co-star.

vortexx-monster-of-party-beach-20161003_psychocinema

Monday (10/3) @ 9:00 P.M. (ET)
TARR AND FETHER'S
PSYCHO CINEMA

presents
The Vortexx premiere of
MONSTER OF PARTY BEACH (2014)

PSYCHO CINEMA with Dr. Tarr and Prof. Fether presents The Vortexx premiere of Mark Justice's MONSTER OF PARTY BEACH (2014). If the title sounds vaguely familiar, it's because this Indie film from Cyclops Pictures was intended to be an homage to those bikini beach movies of the 1960s such as Horror of Party Beach and Beach Girls and the Monster. It’s summer time in Harmony Point, and the teens are home for vacation. It's all fun and games on the beach until a monster begins to kill off the bikini-clad teens one by one. Can Harmony Point’s mayor and police force stop the monster before there are no more bikini-filling teens left? If you like your Indies with extra cheese, then this is the movie for you!

vortexx-voyage-planet-prehistoric-women-20161004_bordello

Tuesday (10/4) @ 9:00 P.M. (ET)
BORDELLO OF HORROR
presents
VOYAGE TO THE PLANET OF PREHISTORIC WOMEN (1968)

BORDELLO OF HORROR with Freakshow, Mistress Malicious, Sgt. Drizzlepuss, Ali Katt and Marijohuana presents VOYAGE TO THE PLANET OF PREHISTORIC WOMEN (1968). Marilyn Monroe wannabe Mamie Van Doren stars as Moana, the leader of a tribe of Venusian women who wear clamshell bikinis, worship a pterodactyl god, and spend a lot of time lying around the beach. This movie uses the same footage from the Russian-made Planet of Storms that Roger Corman used three years earlier in Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet. Acclaimed director Peter Bogdanovich (calling himself Derek Thomas) directed the American scenes and also supplies the narration. In addition to the movie, Freaky will be entertaining us with special musical guests Zombina and the Skeletons, a movie review by Mark Krawczyk from The Final Cut, and more!

vortexx-five-minutes-to-live-20161005_monster-movie-night

Wednesday (10/5) @ 9:00 P.M. (ET)
MONSTER MOVIE NIGHT
presents
FIVE MINUTES TO LIVE (1961)

MONSTER MOVIE NIGHT with Bobby Gammonster and Boris the Buzzard presents FIVE MINUTES TO LIVE (1961). Johnny Cash makes his movie debut in this energetic crime thriller as Johnny Cabot, a hard-up, guitar-strumming hood who's hired by crook Fred Dorella (Vic Tayback from TV's Alice) to pose as a door-to-door guitar instructor, kidnap the wife of the local bank president (Donald Woods from 13 Ghosts), and hold her for ransom. Seven-year-old Ron Howard plays the couple's son Bobby. Despite the low production values, Cash manages a strong menacing presence, and the script is surprisingly smart. Cash sings "I've Come to Kill" and the title song "Five Minutes to Live."

vortexx-chiller-20161006_manor-of-mahyem

Thursday (10/6) @ 9:00 P.M. (ET)
REMO D'S MANOR OF MAYHEM
presents
The Vortexx premiere of
Wes Craven's CHILLER (1985)

REMO D'S MANOR OF MAYHEM with Remo, Dr. Montag, and Kato the Black Hornet presents The Vortexx premiere of Wes Craven's CHILLER (1985). If you thought that none of Wes Craven's movies were in the public domain, you've got another think coming because Remo has found the only one that is! It's a Made-for-TV movie about a cryogenically frozen man (Michael Beck) who returns from the deep freeze after a sleep of ten years. Only problem is, he is without a soul and begins doing creepy things. Paul Sorvino, Jill Schoelen, and Beatrice Straight co-star. Meanwhile back at the Manor, Dr. Montag has his own cryogenic chamber -- and his own test subject.

vortexx-little-shop-of-horrors-20161007_weirdness

Friday (10/7) @ 9:00 P.M. (ET)
THE WEIRDNESS REALLY BAD MOVIE
presents
Roger Corman's LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS (1975)

THE WEIRDNESS REALLY BAD MOVIE with Dave Binkley and co-host Juli Majernik presents a Vortexx favorite -- Roger Corman's LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS (1960) starring Jonathan Haze as nebbish Seymour Krelborn, Jackie Joseph as his dim-witted girlfriend Audrey, Mel Welles as flower shop owner Gravis Mushnick, Dick Miller as plant-eating man Burson Fouch, and a very young Jack Nicholson as Wilbur Force -- a guy who just loves going to the dentist. In keeping with the horticultural theme of tonight's movie, the host segments were shot at Suncrest Gardens -- a retail garden center in Peninsula, Ohio, where Dave tries his best to cope with his pollen allergies.

vortexx-attack-of-the-puppet-people-20161008_alt-realities

Saturday (10/8) @ 9:00 P.M. (ET)
ALTERNATIVE REALITIES
presents
The Vortexx premiere of
Bert I. Gordon's ATTACK OF THE PUPPET PEOPLE (1958)

ALTERNATIVE REALITIES with Dr. Sigmund Zoid and Sluggo returns to The Vortexx with a brand-new episode! Tonight Zoid & Sluggo will be hosting The Vortexx premiere of Bert I. Gordon's ATTACK OF THE PUPPET PEOPLE (1958). Mr. B.I.G. goes small in this tale of a lonely dollmaker (veteran character actor John Hoyt) who lures unsuspecting folks into the back room of his shop and shrinks them for his amusement. It's all champagne parties and rock 'n' roll dancing on the table until one of his recently shrunk victims (veteran B-movie hero John Agar) decides to organize an escape. Bert's nine-year-old daughter Susan has a small role (get it? "small" role) as tiny girl with an even tinier cat.

vortexx-night-of-the-living-dead-20161009_beware-theater

Sunday (10/9) @ 9:00 P.M. (ET)
BEWARE THEATER
presents
George Romero's NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (1968)

BEWARE THEATER with Arachna of the Spider People and her friend Deadly presents George Romero's NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (1968). This is a movie that needs no introduction, but we're going to give you one anyway. It's about six bickering humans and a sick little girl trapped in a farmhouse with an army of zombies outside. Ben wants to be boss of the upstairs. Cooper wants to be boss of the cellar. Sparks fly and assorted body parts get devoured before it all comes to a flesh-ripping gut-munching climax. We know you've seen this movie more than a few times before, but tonight Arachna will be breathing new life into this venerable old chestnut with frequent host inserts and biting humor.

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Welcome to The Vortexx where it's ALL HOSTS ALL THE TIME!

The Vortexx cube"Every day is a good day that ends in The Vortexx." You can find us at horrorhost.net and livestream.com/allhorrorhosts. Remember folks, we're the Gooble Gobble Channel. We accept everyone. And we will keep the doors open as long as you keep coming around! If you're a horror host looking for an additional outlet for your show, email Sluggo at sluggo@horrorhost.net.

The Vortexx - Bloody Pit of Health Fitness Centers

If you don't get the results you're looking for within the eight weeks of the program, The Azure Executioner guarantees that he will personally throw you into his exclusive vat of acid!
Introducing our newest sponsor -- Bloody Pit of Health! Want to eliminate those things that interfere with the harmony of your perfect body? The Bloody Pit has all the latest fitness equipment -- weight room, Olympic-sized pool, and even a spider room. To find the location nearest you, visit their website www.clubdesade.com

The Vortexx - Mummy Fart

Available in three convenient sizes!
Mummy Fart! The perfect product to get those pleasant smells out of your tomb. Available in three convenient sizes!

The Vortexx - Kurt Pasakivi's Used Car Emporium

If you're interested, just e-mail us for Kurt's current location.
Kurt Pasakivi's Used Car Emporium! At Kurt's Emporium you can buy the car of your dreams for a deep discount. If you see a car on the street that you like, just send Kurt a photo of the car and the license plate, and he'll negotiate with the owner and sell it to you at a steal!

The Vortexx - Executioner's Ale

The Official Beers of The Vortexx!
Executioner's Ale! A bloody good red ale crafted in the torture chamber of the Crimson Executioner. Sock Stout! The sock with the hops. A thick and creamy head just for you. [Sock Stout is a trademark of Raen, used with permission.]

The Vortexx - Amazon Andy

Amazon Andy is the creation of Nick Polotta, a very gifted writer and comedian who, sadly, passed away on April 13, 2013.

Totino's Pizza Rolls, Crimson Royal Jelly, and Amazon Andy's Southern Fried Tarantula Legs! The original sponsors of The Vortexx!

The Vortexx Skull Cornbread

The Official Food of The Vortexx!
Skull Cornbread! The official food of The Vortexx, served piping hot from the oven of the Crimson Executioner.

The Vortexx - Chia Host

BORDELLO OF HORROR with Freakshow airs Tuesday at 9 (ET)

Chia Host! The latest sensation from Mushnick Florists. You can see him every Tuesday night in The Vortexx!

The Vortexx - Chilly Dilly

Two delicious pickle treats!

Chilly Dilly! A delicious pickle treat that's spiced just right for every bite. And now you can "pucker up" with the all-new Chilly Dilly Lip Balm!

The Vortexx - Egg Bleach

Jason "Egg" Brown was an integral part of The Vortexx as a staff member and long-time viewer until his passing on June 27, 2016. Jason may have departed this Earth, but he will live forever in The Vortexx.

"Now that's a product I can really GET BEHIND!" -- Egg.

Egg Bleach! The all-purpose antiseptic for treatment of cuts, scratches, and abrasions. And now you can touch up those "intimate" parts of your body with the all-new Egg Anal Bleach!

sluggo-presidential-seal

SLUGGO!!! OUR DEAR LEADER AND FREELY ELECTED PRESIDENT OF THE VORTEXX!!!

Posted by Alan Smithee in HOSTED HORROR, 0 comments
House of Tortured Souls LIVE, S01E01

House of Tortured Souls LIVE, S01E01

House of Tortured Souls LIVE

Sunday, 17 July 2016
Season 01, Episode 01

It's the very first episode of House of Tortured Souls LIVE! Join our hosts, John, Andrew, and Dixie as they talk horror. We are horror all the time. It's the first show and we are still working out the kinks. Did someone say kink? Okay, back to horror. In this first episode we do introductions, then we move on to talk about the new Ghostbusters movie. Who are you gonna call?

After that, we talk about the upcoming Scares That Care Weekend 3, and the Scares That Care charity itself. If you are anywhere near historic Williamsburg, Virginia on July 22-24, 2016, get your ass to the Double Tree Hilton for Scares That Care Weekend 3.

Finally, we send a special salute out to a living legend of horror. THE master of horror who finally gets some just recognition. Who is it? Listen to find out! Most of all keep coming back. The gang has great chemistry born of friendship and a mutual love of horror. Tune in, and turn it up!

Special thanks to Rocky Gray for our opening music and our artwork. You the man, man!

Posted by Allen Alberson in FEATURED CONTENT, PODCAST, 0 comments
My IDOL George Romero Finally Gets a Hollywood Star!

My IDOL George Romero Finally Gets a Hollywood Star!

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

Star of the Dead

By Tammie Parker

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

 

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

 

 

 George RomeroDay of the Dead (1985),

 

 

 

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

 

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

Zombies with George Romero

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

 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

George has also worked with Stephen King.

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

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

zombies-georgeromaro-creepyglow

 

 

Posted by Alan Smithee in HORROR HEROES, HORROR NEWS, IN THE SPOTLIGHT, 0 comments
New DIrector for Day of the Dead Remake

New DIrector for Day of the Dead Remake

By Dixielord

So OK, ready to get mad about another classic horror remake? Yep, Day of the Dead is set to be remade, yet again. The film was originally scheduled to start filming back in 2014, but now it has a new director and a tentative release date in 2017. Excited yet? Nah me either.

Bub from Day of the Dead

No this is Bub. What kind of stupid name is Bud?

If you are out there saying, “Wait didn't we just get a remake in 2008?”, well you would be right. But pretty much everyone is trying to forget that straight to DVD hunk of burning crap. The 2008 remake is generally regarded as one of the worst horror movies of recent years. If you haven't seen it, just trust me, it sucks. That movie starred Ving Rhames, Mena Suvari, Nick Canon, Christa Campbell, some dude playing a vegetarian zombie (named Bud), some people and some more people. I'm sure most of the actors would prefer I don't bother mentioning them.. It stunk.

Mena Suvari scared in Day of the Dead 2008

Mena Suvari is terrified that you will remember she was in Day of the Dead 2008.

The newest planned remake is produced by Christa Campbell with Millennium Films and Taurus Entertainment. If you want more reason to groan about it, yes that one actress and two companies associated with the 2008 remake. Doesn't speak a lot toward this being a sparkling piece of zombie entertainment.

Let's stay true to Romero's Day of the Dead by changing everything

Campbell did say early on that they wanted the new remake to stay close to the Romero original, no wall climbing zombies or other bullshit from the 2008 film. But talk is cheap in Hollywood. The original director attached to Day of the Dead (remake) was Mark Tonderai. Tonderai said his film would focus on a group of scientists and survivors desperately seeking a cure for the zombie plague. OK that's at least in the neighborhood of the Romero original, although I would argue that by the time of Day of the Dead, only the insane Rhodes had any hope for a cure. The original was about the final days of mankind. Humanity was still on life support, but God was about to pull the plug. But the synopsis still sounded better than the 2008. Did that movie even have a plot or synopsis?

But what did I say? Talk is cheap and directors come and go. Tonderai went and in came Hector Hernandez Vicens. All together now, “Who?” Hector's debut film was The Corpse of Anna Fritz, which I haven't seen, so I wont insult the film or the director. However taking on the remake f a beloved film, from an even more beloved franchise is a heavy load in the best of situations. Tackling it on your second film is a really risky career move. I'm sure it seems like a great break to a new director but it's a mine field.

A smiling zombie? Only in Day of the Dead 2008

A smiling zombie? Only in Day of the Dead 2008.

So what is the the story since Vicens took over? It's now a post apocalyptic tale about a medical student haunted by a figure from her past. Oh yeah, and that figure is a half zombie, half human something that wants to destroy her. Seriously. I didn't make this shit up. We went from staying true to Romero's vision to grabbing Romero's balls and slamming them against the wall while laughing. Seriously, does anyone involved in this project have any clue what the fuck was going on in any of the Romero classics? I'm waiting for the announcement that the half human zombie is named “Bub” or “Bud”. Hey Christa, I thought you wanted to keep the Romero fans happy?

Bub wants nothing to do with another Day of the Dead remake

Fuck this shit, I'm out

The story of a half human, half zombie might be halfway interesting, but it's not Day of the Dead. Don't leech off the name, and the loyalty of the originals fans. The only way to really remake Day is to do it close to shot for shot, with some updating. Even better, why not just leave it the hell alone? Re-release the original back into the theater. Sadly, that won't happen and complaining about remakes is a lot like spitting in the wind. The best we can hope for is it won't be a travesty like the last Day of the Dead remake.

Posted by Allen Alberson in HORROR NEWS, 0 comments
BOOK REVIEW: The Making of George A. Romero’s Day of the Dead (2014)

BOOK REVIEW: The Making of George A. Romero’s Day of the Dead (2014)

By Nick Durham

The Making of George A. Romero's Day of the Dead
We all know who George Romero is, and we all know about his Dead movies. While Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead are the films that everyone rightfully recognizes as the benchmarks of the genre, Day of the Dead has often been relegated as that red-headed stepchild of his initial Dead trilogy (that's right, I said trilogy...I don't count Land of the Dead, Diary of the Dead, or Survival of the Dead much). Despite its initial lack of success with critics and audiences during its original 1985 release, the film has underwent a bit of reclassification in recent years, and is now recognized as practically being a classic of the zombie genre.

With all that in mind, here comes this super enjoyable book from Romero super-fan Lee Karr, The Making of George A. Romero's Day of the Dead. This book begins with a foreword from effects icon Greg Nicotero (who got his start in the business with this film working under Tom Savini) and continues with plenty of behind the scenes stories, anecdotes, rarely-seen photos, and material from the film's cast and crew. We learn of the trials and tribulations that Romero went through making this film, having been forced to slash his original script when discovering just how low-budgeted the film would end up being. Not to mention the fact that filming in an actual mine and the rotting guts used for Savini's landmark effects work making Joe Pilato (Captain Rhodes) require some quick hits of oxygen during his infamous death scene, just goes to illustrate how making these kind of films is no picnic (no pun intended). Hell, the book is a good reflection on the trials and tribulations of filmmaking in general, regardless of the genre.

If there's any drawbacks to The Making of George A. Romero's Day of the Dead, it's that I wish the book was hardcover. This is mostly a personal thing with me I guess, because I just like the way hardcover books sit on my shelf more than paperback ones do. Then again, after reading this thing cover to cover and paging through it again afterwards, it becomes really apparent that the book's binding kind of sucks. That doesn't speak to the quality of what's in these pages, but when the spine starts cracking that fast, that's not really a good thing is it?

Anyway, I've always tended to enjoy Day of the Dead a little more than I probably should, so seeing all these candid photos and reading about all this is a true treat for me personally. If you enjoy Day of the Dead and/or any of Romero's films at all, you need to check this book out as soon as you can. If you can get past the cruddy book binding, you'll enjoy what all you get here. That being said, check this out as soon as you can.

Rating: 4.5/5

Posted by Alan Smithee in BOOKS, COMICS, AND PUBLICATION REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
HALLOWEEN HORRORS: Dawn of the Dead (1978)

HALLOWEEN HORRORS: Dawn of the Dead (1978)

By Nick Durham

DOTD

There isn't much I can say about the original Dawn of the Dead that hasn't been said plenty of times through the decades after it was released, but fuck it, I'm going to anyway. This was the first zombie movie I had seen in my youth that I had legitimately loved from the first time I'd seen it. All these years later, it's still my go-to zombie movie not just for Halloween, but for the whole month of October.

Now I know what you're thinking right now reading that opening paragraph...what about Night of the Living Dead? Well kids, I can't deny that the original Night of the Living Dead isn't essential Halloween viewing. I mean how can it not be? It's the movie that started it all. We wouldn't have anything modern zombie-related without it. So yeah, that is a classic film and absolutely iconic as well, there's no denying that one bit, but it's Dawn of the Dead that where George Romero really hit his mark with his zombie films. No Dead film that followed can touch this, and nothing that Romero could churn out now will ever come close either.

Talking about the film's story is pretty much a moot point, we all know it. Four people barricade themselves inside a shopping mall amidst the zombie epidemic. Things are good for a while and there's a lot of social commentary and knocks against consumerism. Then a Tom Savini-led biker gang starts some shit and everything proceeds to go to hell. It sounds simple on paper, but holy shit is it so effective, even to this day.

Believe it or not, what always made Dawn of the Dead so special to me is the film's acting and characters. You actually legitimately give a shit about our four heroes (yes even asshole Flyboy) and you, surprisingly, don't want to see them die. Romero's films have always had acting that was all over the map in terms of solid performances and over the top screen chewing (no pun intended), but here all four actors (Ken Foree, Gaylen Ross, David Emge, and Scott Reiniger) are wonderful. Savini's makeup effects and zombie makeup haven't aged all that well (Day of the Dead would be his crowning achievement in makeup and gore effects), but they still pack a punch when all the gut-munching commences towards the film's climax. And oh yeah, how could I forget that iconic music score by Goblin?

So yeah, Dawn of the Dead has a special place in my heart, and not just because it's my favorite zombie movie to watch this time of year either. It's my favorite horror film of all time, and one of my all time favorite films of any genre ever. I can watch this any day of the week, any week of the month, any month of the year. I never get tired of seeing it, and I never fucking will either.

Rating: 5/5

Posted by Alan Smithee in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
George Romero at Mad Monster Party!

George Romero at Mad Monster Party!

By Dixielord

MMPMad Monster Party returns to Charlotte, North Carolina, in 2016. It's still a long way out but they have announced their first guest and it should make a lot of people happy. Joining the fans next year will be none other than the man who redefined the zombie genre and changed horror forever. That's right, the one and only George Romero will be at Mad Monster Party Charlotte.

Now unless you are one of those people I have mentioned before, ya know that horror fan who has been buried under a boulder for 60 plus years, you know who George Romero is. For that guy though, way back in 1968, there was a little film called Night of the Living Dead, directed by George Romero. Before Romero, zombies were relegated to being minions of voodoo witch doctors. They basically shambled around with arms outstretch and, well didn’t do a lot more. Then, in Night, George Romero gave zombies some bite, pun intended, and changed the game forever.

Romero is no stranger to the con circuit, but his appearances had become rare for a few years amid concerns for his health. But the last two years he has been doing shows again, and next year he will be doing Mad Monster.

Mad Monster Party's main show is in Charlotte, North Carolina, although they have also done shows in Chicago, Phoenix, New Orleans, and a few other cities. The show will run March 25-27, 2016, at the Sheraton Charlotte Hotel. Tickets are on sale now, and rooms are available at a special convention rate. Tickets can be purchased from the Mad Monster Party website, and there is information there on booking a room as well.

The show is off to a great start with George Romero and there will be many more guests added before the show. Mad Monster Party is always a good time, and 2016 looks to continue that legacy. Hope to see you there!

Posted by Allen Alberson in EVENTS, HORROR NEWS, 0 comments