Gunnar Hansen

“The Only Way Out… Is Down”

I had the great privilege of interviewing the superb director Harrison Smith on his newest film Death House. Before I get into that, let me tell you a little bit about the film.

Death House poster.There is a Fed-Max subterranean government prison that holds humanities worst criminals known as the Death House. It serves as a medical, psychological, and parapsychological research center aimed at eradicating evil. Two federal agents are granted a tour of the center. While on the tour, the unthinkable happens. There is a power outage that releases all of the prisoners, and the agents must fight their way through all of the horror and violence to try to survive. They soon discover that they are being herded down to the lowest depths of the facility. In those depths are a group of supernatural evil beings known as The Five Evils and they may be the agents’ only chance at salvation.

Cody Longo in Death House.

Cody Longo in Death House.

The movie sounds and looks amazing but before I go on I just wanted to say that the media and many articles have labeled the movie, “The Horror Movie genre of The Expendables“. I have to disagree with that. If it were The Expendables we would have a movie with Freddy vs Jason vs Michael vs et. al. Which, to some, may sound interesting but it would lack any substance. The stars in this movie are so much more than their individual roles that they have portrayed, they are true actors who excel at their craft. Let me tell you some of them:

  • Adrienne Barbeau: Escape From N.Y., Creepshow, Swamp Thing, The Fog
  • Kane Hodder: Jason Voorhees in some of the Friday the 13th films and Victor Crowley from The Hatchet films
  • Dee Wallace: The Howling, Cujo, The Frighteners
  • Michael Berryman: The Hills Have Eyes, The Devils Rejects
  • Barbara Crampton: Re-Animator, From Beyond, You’re Next
  • Sid Haig: The Devils Rejects, House of 1000 Corpses, Kill Bill
  • Tony Todd: Candyman, Hatchet, Final Destination
  • Bill Moseley: The Devils Rejects, Rob Zombie’s Halloween
  • Vernon Wells: The Road Warrior, Weird Science
  • Lindsay Hartley: Nightmare Nurse
  • Cody Longo: Piranha 3D, Nashville
  • Cortney Palm: The Dark Tapes
  • Felissa Rose: Sleepaway Camp
  • Vincent Ward: The Walking Dead

Whew, that is a LOT of talent in one film!

Holmesburg Prison in Philadelphia, PA.

Holmesburg Prison in Philadelphia, PA. The place had a built-in horror film setting, full of dark history and eerie vibes. It really acts as a functioning character in the film.

IMDb provided a great quote:

This is a solid horror piece, dark, nasty and gore-soaked; not satire or tongue in cheek.

And like Harrison told me, he was writing in a local bar when the ad for Jurassic World came on and it hit him that this movie was “Assault on Precinct 13 meets Jurassic World without the dinosaurs”. So… great actors along with an exciting script and skilled direction. Then throw in stupefying makeup and effects by the Roy Knyrim (Sinister 2) and SOTA FX, and a soundtrack by John Avarese that sets the perfect ambiance. We will finally get what we paid for at the box office!

Death House - Cody Longo and Dee Wallace on set at Holmesburg Prison.

Death House – Cody Longo and Dee Wallace on set at Holmesburg Prison.

Cortney Palm in Death House.

Cortney Palm in Death House.

House of Tortured Souls: My first question for Harrison was why the horror genre?
Harrison Smith: My first film, The Fields, was based on what really happened to me when I lived and grew up with my grandparents on their farm. The farm came under attack for a short period of time by an unseen presence. We never understood what caused it and we never understood what ended it, so I had personal experience. But also my grandmother and I used to watch horror movies and the old horror TV show Dr. Shock who hosted Saturday morning shows like Scream-In, Horror Theater, and Mad Theater. The movies were captivating. I loved finding out there was a sequel to Frankenstein and that he didn’t die in the burning windmill. There were more like Frankenstein Meets The Wolf Man that continued on the story of Lon Chaney. Like when they killed Lon Chaney in the original Wolfman I was like, “Why? He was a nice man, he didn’t want to be The Wolf Man“. I loved it. They were like Saturday morning soap operas. I loved them as a kid, but that time is gone. That is why I like Tom Holland’s Fright Night. I was watching in the summer of ’85 and knew it was a Valentine to an era that was quickly fading and disappearing. At that time, the threat was coming from cable television and the home video revolution, so Peter Vincent was this aging icon of an era long gone trying to stay relevant. Tom Holland got it, and Fright Night works on many levels. So horror movies, for me, were a real escape from the actually really scary shit that happened to me.

Kane Hodder in Death House. Set piece by PCND/fx.

Kane Hodder in Death House. Set piece by PCND/fx.

HoTS: Then I asked him about the abundance of horror movies and shows seem to be throwing back to the ’80s. Movies like It Follows and The House of the Devil and shows like Stranger Things all reflect that age in horror, and Death House has many actors from that era. Why do you think it is a niche we all still enjoy?

Dee Wallace in Death House.

Dee Wallace in Death House.

HS: Director and actor Eli Roth said that the have-sex-and-die concept behind many of the ’80s slasher films was not as relevant today because millennials look at it and don’t get it. There was a study reported by the L.A. Times in an article by Melissa Batchelor Warnke saying that the millennial generation is the least sexually active, so that concept does not translate well. But at the time when Friday the 13th came around, it was a perfect storm of both liberal and conservative values. We had a very conservative administration with Reagan and yet, at the same time, we were known as the party generation. It was a weird flux of things coming together. So Friday the 13th had fun and parties with lots of boobs and tons of gore but with a moral lesson. See what happens when you fuck in the woods? Jason was like a walking STD. So the ’80s made us nostalgic for the ’50s, and now we look back to the ’80s. We are nostalgic for when we grew up. That is why, when making Death House, we always remembered that we were handling peoples memories and that is very important. The new generation gets to fall in love with it like we did. And with regards to the actors in Death House, they were all smart enough to choose great directors and projects that were just starting out, and their careers flourished from those collaborations so they are all still relevant today.

Death House - Kane Hodder arriving on set.

Kane Hodder arriving on the Death House set pictured with Harrison (dressed as an extra for the ward scene). The guy over his shoulder is producer Rick Finkelstein.

HoTS: I did some research on Holmesburg Prison, where you decided to film the movie. Some extremely monstrous things went on there. Any ghosts try to break into acting for the film?

HS: No, I did not experience anything myself. There were a few reports of the cameras acting wonky, but it was really cold there which probably contributed to that. The place itself was perfect for the mood though. There is a great book called Acres of Skin: Human Experiments At Holmesberg Prison 1998 by Allen Hornblum that tells all about the medical experiments and tortures that went on inside the prison. It really lent itself to what we were shooting. I remember when they gave us a tour and brought us into the warden’s office where he had his throat slit. Nothing paranormal happened but everyone was in tune with what had happened there. Dee Wallace said that it was sometimes overwhelming knowing that you were walking by cells where so much abject misery and torture had taken place. It is a building built on misery.

Harrison also wanted to make sure and give a shout out to the administration and the City of Philadelphia and especially the Philadelphia Police Department, who were more than gracious and just all-around wonderful people.

Death House set design by Joshua Reale.

Death House set design by Joshua Reale.

HoTS: My next question for Harrison was, as a director, what directors influence his work?

HS: Growing up, John Carpenter: Halloween, The Thing, They Live and Tommy Lee Wallace: IT, Halloween III, Fright Night II were major influences on me because they were accessible to me. I used to read Fangoria Magazine all the time and got a subscription to it. I used to read and devour the interviews and not just because of the pictures and oh! there making a sequel to Halloween and I want to see the blood and gore. They did an interview with John Carpenter and he talked about how he made movies and about finding a good crew and sticking with them. And I noticed for the first decade of John’s career he used a lot of the same people in front and behind the camera and that really made an impact on me because Carpenter was very much the founder of the guerilla film movement — that you get a camera, you go out there, and you shoot. That’s what you do, and that really inspired me as a filmmaker. I had a Super 8 silent Kodak camera, and I was learning. I was learning from those interviews in Fangoria and got a really strong base of knowledge. So if you look at my catalog of work so far, you will see many of the same faces. And if you read the credits, you will see a lot of the same names return time and time again. I bring them back because it is like putting the band back together, so to speak, which works for me because it becomes like production shorthand. I would also say Tom Holland of Fright Night and Psycho II fame was another influence because Psycho II made a big impact on me because of the script. I think it is one of the greatest sequels ever made and is very underrated. I wanted to hate it, but 30 minutes into the film I just fell in love with it. When it was over I walked out, called my family to let them know I would be late and went in to see it again. My film Camp Dread is a tip of the hat to Tom Holland. It was more like Psycho II than Friday the 13th.

Barbara Crampton in Death House.

Barbara Crampton in Death House.

HoTS: What is the theme for Death House?

HS: The whole pretext of Death House is evil is evil and good is good, but do they need each other? Because when you try to eradicate evil you are, at most, canceling out good as well. There is no need for good if there’s no need for evil. Bill Mosely has a great line in the film, “True evil is nothingness”. That is true hell. If we were to remove the Holocaust from history we would need a litmus test. Dee Wallace’s and Barbara Crampton’s characters think what they are doing is good. Look at the Nazis during the Holocaust. They didn’t think what they were doing was evil. Dee is like Nurse Ratched. One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest as a social horror film was a snake pit. Louise Fletcher played it so well because there are real nurses like that. That is the banality of evil. How a modicum of power gives rise to abuse of said power. Are The Five Evils in Death House really evil compared to Dee’s character or Nurse Ratched? They aren’t Cenobites they are regular people like you run into in everyday life. How many times in your own life might you have come into contact with real killers? The Five Evils are normal looking people.

Death House - The Five Evils

Death House – The Five Evils: Vincent Ward, Vernon Wells, Bill Moseley, Lindsay Hartley, Michael Berryman.

The original script for Death House was penned by the incredible Gunnar Hansen, who is best known for playing the mentally-impaired cannibal Leatherface in The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. Gunnar left us on November 7th, 2015, from pancreatic cancer. His agent, Michael Eisenstadt, brought producers Rick Finkelstein and Steven Chase of Entertainment Factory to the screening of Zombie Killers: Elephant’s Graveyard to meet Harrison. Another writer had taken a stab at rewriting the script, but it turned into Texas Chainsaw meets Friday the 13th meets Saw, but that was not what Gunnar wanted. He did not want torture porn but a high concept horror film. Gunnar liked what Harrison did with it, so Harrison finished writing and then directed it. The actors were all there for their friend Gunnar and with Harrison collaborating with Gunnar before his death, I like to think of this as a love letter to an amazing man and actor that we lost too soon.

Gunnar Hansen, 4 March 4, 1947 – 7 November 2015

I was extremely honored to speak with Harrison Smith and pick his brain. To read more on Death House, I have included some links that come straight from the horse’s mouth. Harrison Smith’s Road To Death House articles.

Harrison with stunt coordinator Jaye Greene and his team.

Harrison with stunt coordinator Jaye Greene and his team.

Sean Whalen and Felissa Rose on the Death House set in LA.

Sean Whalen and Felissa Rose on the Death House set in LA.

I cannot even begin to express how excited I am to see this film. It has already won the audience choice award along with best feature film from the Central Florida Film Festival (CENFLO). MPAA said it was gritty, claustrophobic and a hell of a lot of fun. Harrison said it is like a roller coaster ride through a funhouse, and Kane Hodder said it was his favorite film he has worked on. So horror fans get ready for the ride of your life!

I have also included a link to a petition if you want Death House to come to a Regal Cinema near you. It is going to major theaters but I would like to see it in all of them.

So, from myself and the family at House of Tortured Souls, thank you again to the great Harrison Smith and everyone involved with Death House! And just remember readers… “Hell isn’t a word…it’s a sentence.”

Death House - Harrison, Yan Birch and Lauren Compton after filming in LA.

Harrison, Yan Birch, and Lauren Compton after filming Death House in LA.

INTERVIEW: Death House (2018) Director Harrison Smith

INTERVIEW: Death House (2018) Director Harrison Smith

“The Only Way Out… Is Down”

I had the great privilege of interviewing the superb director Harrison Smith on his newest film Death House. Before I get into that, let me tell you a little bit about the film.

Death House poster.There is a Fed-Max subterranean government prison that holds humanities worst criminals known as the Death House. It serves as a medical, psychological, and parapsychological research center aimed at eradicating evil. Two federal agents are granted a tour of the center. While on the tour, the unthinkable happens. There is a power outage that releases all of the prisoners, and the agents must fight their way through all of the horror and violence to try to survive. They soon discover that they are being herded down to the lowest depths of the facility. In those depths are a group of supernatural evil beings known as The Five Evils and they may be the agents’ only chance at salvation.

Cody Longo in Death House.

Cody Longo in Death House.

The movie sounds and looks amazing but before I go on I just wanted to say that the media and many articles have labeled the movie, “The Horror Movie genre of The Expendables“. I have to disagree with that. If it were The Expendables we would have a movie with Freddy vs Jason vs Michael vs et. al. Which, to some, may sound interesting but it would lack any substance. The stars in this movie are so much more than their individual roles that they have portrayed, they are true actors who excel at their craft. Let me tell you some of them:

  • Adrienne Barbeau: Escape From N.Y., Creepshow, Swamp Thing, The Fog
  • Kane Hodder: Jason Voorhees in some of the Friday the 13th films and Victor Crowley from The Hatchet films
  • Dee Wallace: The Howling, Cujo, The Frighteners
  • Michael Berryman: The Hills Have Eyes, The Devils Rejects
  • Barbara Crampton: Re-Animator, From Beyond, You’re Next
  • Sid Haig: The Devils Rejects, House of 1000 Corpses, Kill Bill
  • Tony Todd: Candyman, Hatchet, Final Destination
  • Bill Moseley: The Devils Rejects, Rob Zombie’s Halloween
  • Vernon Wells: The Road Warrior, Weird Science
  • Lindsay Hartley: Nightmare Nurse
  • Cody Longo: Piranha 3D, Nashville
  • Cortney Palm: The Dark Tapes
  • Felissa Rose: Sleepaway Camp
  • Vincent Ward: The Walking Dead

Whew, that is a LOT of talent in one film!

Holmesburg Prison in Philadelphia, PA.

Holmesburg Prison in Philadelphia, PA. The place had a built-in horror film setting, full of dark history and eerie vibes. It really acts as a functioning character in the film.

IMDb provided a great quote:

This is a solid horror piece, dark, nasty and gore-soaked; not satire or tongue in cheek.

And like Harrison told me, he was writing in a local bar when the ad for Jurassic World came on and it hit him that this movie was “Assault on Precinct 13 meets Jurassic World without the dinosaurs”. So… great actors along with an exciting script and skilled direction. Then throw in stupefying makeup and effects by the Roy Knyrim (Sinister 2) and SOTA FX, and a soundtrack by John Avarese that sets the perfect ambiance. We will finally get what we paid for at the box office!

Death House - Cody Longo and Dee Wallace on set at Holmesburg Prison.

Death House – Cody Longo and Dee Wallace on set at Holmesburg Prison.

Cortney Palm in Death House.

Cortney Palm in Death House.

House of Tortured Souls: My first question for Harrison was why the horror genre?
Harrison Smith: My first film, The Fields, was based on what really happened to me when I lived and grew up with my grandparents on their farm. The farm came under attack for a short period of time by an unseen presence. We never understood what caused it and we never understood what ended it, so I had personal experience. But also my grandmother and I used to watch horror movies and the old horror TV show Dr. Shock who hosted Saturday morning shows like Scream-In, Horror Theater, and Mad Theater. The movies were captivating. I loved finding out there was a sequel to Frankenstein and that he didn’t die in the burning windmill. There were more like Frankenstein Meets The Wolf Man that continued on the story of Lon Chaney. Like when they killed Lon Chaney in the original Wolfman I was like, “Why? He was a nice man, he didn’t want to be The Wolf Man“. I loved it. They were like Saturday morning soap operas. I loved them as a kid, but that time is gone. That is why I like Tom Holland’s Fright Night. I was watching in the summer of ’85 and knew it was a Valentine to an era that was quickly fading and disappearing. At that time, the threat was coming from cable television and the home video revolution, so Peter Vincent was this aging icon of an era long gone trying to stay relevant. Tom Holland got it, and Fright Night works on many levels. So horror movies, for me, were a real escape from the actually really scary shit that happened to me.

Kane Hodder in Death House. Set piece by PCND/fx.

Kane Hodder in Death House. Set piece by PCND/fx.

HoTS: Then I asked him about the abundance of horror movies and shows seem to be throwing back to the ’80s. Movies like It Follows and The House of the Devil and shows like Stranger Things all reflect that age in horror, and Death House has many actors from that era. Why do you think it is a niche we all still enjoy?

Dee Wallace in Death House.

Dee Wallace in Death House.

HS: Director and actor Eli Roth said that the have-sex-and-die concept behind many of the ’80s slasher films was not as relevant today because millennials look at it and don’t get it. There was a study reported by the L.A. Times in an article by Melissa Batchelor Warnke saying that the millennial generation is the least sexually active, so that concept does not translate well. But at the time when Friday the 13th came around, it was a perfect storm of both liberal and conservative values. We had a very conservative administration with Reagan and yet, at the same time, we were known as the party generation. It was a weird flux of things coming together. So Friday the 13th had fun and parties with lots of boobs and tons of gore but with a moral lesson. See what happens when you fuck in the woods? Jason was like a walking STD. So the ’80s made us nostalgic for the ’50s, and now we look back to the ’80s. We are nostalgic for when we grew up. That is why, when making Death House, we always remembered that we were handling peoples memories and that is very important. The new generation gets to fall in love with it like we did. And with regards to the actors in Death House, they were all smart enough to choose great directors and projects that were just starting out, and their careers flourished from those collaborations so they are all still relevant today.

Death House - Kane Hodder arriving on set.

Kane Hodder arriving on the Death House set pictured with Harrison (dressed as an extra for the ward scene). The guy over his shoulder is producer Rick Finkelstein.

HoTS: I did some research on Holmesburg Prison, where you decided to film the movie. Some extremely monstrous things went on there. Any ghosts try to break into acting for the film?

HS: No, I did not experience anything myself. There were a few reports of the cameras acting wonky, but it was really cold there which probably contributed to that. The place itself was perfect for the mood though. There is a great book called Acres of Skin: Human Experiments At Holmesberg Prison 1998 by Allen Hornblum that tells all about the medical experiments and tortures that went on inside the prison. It really lent itself to what we were shooting. I remember when they gave us a tour and brought us into the warden’s office where he had his throat slit. Nothing paranormal happened but everyone was in tune with what had happened there. Dee Wallace said that it was sometimes overwhelming knowing that you were walking by cells where so much abject misery and torture had taken place. It is a building built on misery.

Harrison also wanted to make sure and give a shout out to the administration and the City of Philadelphia and especially the Philadelphia Police Department, who were more than gracious and just all-around wonderful people.

Death House set design by Joshua Reale.

Death House set design by Joshua Reale.

HoTS: My next question for Harrison was, as a director, what directors influence his work?

HS: Growing up, John Carpenter: Halloween, The Thing, They Live and Tommy Lee Wallace: IT, Halloween III, Fright Night II were major influences on me because they were accessible to me. I used to read Fangoria Magazine all the time and got a subscription to it. I used to read and devour the interviews and not just because of the pictures and oh! there making a sequel to Halloween and I want to see the blood and gore. They did an interview with John Carpenter and he talked about how he made movies and about finding a good crew and sticking with them. And I noticed for the first decade of John’s career he used a lot of the same people in front and behind the camera and that really made an impact on me because Carpenter was very much the founder of the guerilla film movement — that you get a camera, you go out there, and you shoot. That’s what you do, and that really inspired me as a filmmaker. I had a Super 8 silent Kodak camera, and I was learning. I was learning from those interviews in Fangoria and got a really strong base of knowledge. So if you look at my catalog of work so far, you will see many of the same faces. And if you read the credits, you will see a lot of the same names return time and time again. I bring them back because it is like putting the band back together, so to speak, which works for me because it becomes like production shorthand. I would also say Tom Holland of Fright Night and Psycho II fame was another influence because Psycho II made a big impact on me because of the script. I think it is one of the greatest sequels ever made and is very underrated. I wanted to hate it, but 30 minutes into the film I just fell in love with it. When it was over I walked out, called my family to let them know I would be late and went in to see it again. My film Camp Dread is a tip of the hat to Tom Holland. It was more like Psycho II than Friday the 13th.

Barbara Crampton in Death House.

Barbara Crampton in Death House.

HoTS: What is the theme for Death House?

HS: The whole pretext of Death House is evil is evil and good is good, but do they need each other? Because when you try to eradicate evil you are, at most, canceling out good as well. There is no need for good if there’s no need for evil. Bill Mosely has a great line in the film, “True evil is nothingness”. That is true hell. If we were to remove the Holocaust from history we would need a litmus test. Dee Wallace’s and Barbara Crampton’s characters think what they are doing is good. Look at the Nazis during the Holocaust. They didn’t think what they were doing was evil. Dee is like Nurse Ratched. One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest as a social horror film was a snake pit. Louise Fletcher played it so well because there are real nurses like that. That is the banality of evil. How a modicum of power gives rise to abuse of said power. Are The Five Evils in Death House really evil compared to Dee’s character or Nurse Ratched? They aren’t Cenobites they are regular people like you run into in everyday life. How many times in your own life might you have come into contact with real killers? The Five Evils are normal looking people.

Death House - The Five Evils

Death House – The Five Evils: Vincent Ward, Vernon Wells, Bill Moseley, Lindsay Hartley, Michael Berryman.

The original script for Death House was penned by the incredible Gunnar Hansen, who is best known for playing the mentally-impaired cannibal Leatherface in The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. Gunnar left us on November 7th, 2015, from pancreatic cancer. His agent, Michael Eisenstadt, brought producers Rick Finkelstein and Steven Chase of Entertainment Factory to the screening of Zombie Killers: Elephant’s Graveyard to meet Harrison. Another writer had taken a stab at rewriting the script, but it turned into Texas Chainsaw meets Friday the 13th meets Saw, but that was not what Gunnar wanted. He did not want torture porn but a high concept horror film. Gunnar liked what Harrison did with it, so Harrison finished writing and then directed it. The actors were all there for their friend Gunnar and with Harrison collaborating with Gunnar before his death, I like to think of this as a love letter to an amazing man and actor that we lost too soon.

Gunnar Hansen, 4 March 4, 1947 – 7 November 2015

I was extremely honored to speak with Harrison Smith and pick his brain. To read more on Death House, I have included some links that come straight from the horse’s mouth. Harrison Smith’s Road To Death House articles.

Harrison with stunt coordinator Jaye Greene and his team.

Harrison with stunt coordinator Jaye Greene and his team.

Sean Whalen and Felissa Rose on the Death House set in LA.

Sean Whalen and Felissa Rose on the Death House set in LA.

I cannot even begin to express how excited I am to see this film. It has already won the audience choice award along with best feature film from the Central Florida Film Festival (CENFLO). MPAA said it was gritty, claustrophobic and a hell of a lot of fun. Harrison said it is like a roller coaster ride through a funhouse, and Kane Hodder said it was his favorite film he has worked on. So horror fans get ready for the ride of your life!

I have also included a link to a petition if you want Death House to come to a Regal Cinema near you. It is going to major theaters but I would like to see it in all of them.

So, from myself and the family at House of Tortured Souls, thank you again to the great Harrison Smith and everyone involved with Death House! And just remember readers… “Hell isn’t a word…it’s a sentence.”

Death House - Harrison, Yan Birch and Lauren Compton after filming in LA.

Harrison, Yan Birch, and Lauren Compton after filming Death House in LA.




Posted by Horrormadam in COMING SOON, HORROR NEWS, INTERVIEWS, PARANORMAL, SLASHERS AND BAD HUMANS, 0 comments
VORTEXX SCHEDULE FOR 04 – 11 SEPTEMBER 2016

VORTEXX SCHEDULE FOR 04 – 11 SEPTEMBER 2016

VORTEXX SCHEDULE FOR
04 – 11 SEPTEMBER 2016

By The Crimson Executioner
&
Woofer McWooferson

The Vortexx Hosts_02

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

Welcome to The Vortexx where it's now been ALL HOSTS ALL THE TIME FOR SIX YEARS! On Labor Day Weekend 2010 we became the first Livestream channel to broadcast hosted B-movies 24/7, and this week we're celebrating our six-year anniversary with another great line-up of shows, hosts, and movies including FOUR movies and ONE great new host making their Vortexx debut. And be sure to come by on Saturday for our HorrorHound Weekend live show! Our hosts this week are Misty Brew, Freakshow & the Bordello gang, Remo D. & friends, Mortimer Van Creep, Dave Binkley & Shannon Steele, Arachna of the Spider People & Deadly, and (making his Vortexx debut on Monday) Vincent Grimmly. Check out the schedule for details about all the fine shows airing this week in The Vortexx. Enjoy the shows and thanks for hanging out!

Vortexx-Dark Road-20160904_Misty Brew

Sunday (8/21) @ 9:00 P.M. (ET)
MISTY BREW'S CREATURE FEATURE
presents
The Vortexx premiere of
DARK ROAD (2009)

MISTY BREW'S CREATURE FEATURE presents The Vortexx premiere of DARK ROAD aka The Devil Comes Home to Missouri. On a foggy night in the small southern town of Whitewater, Missouri, a local sheriff is called to the roadside scene of a violent execution-style murder. When the victim is identified as a mob-connected thug with local ties, the sheriff must determine if the murder is a message -- either to him or for him. However, the gathering storm of violence heading his way will leave no time for second guessing. This Indie movie by Patrick Bond and Steve E. Turner was filmed entirely in and around Cape Girardeau, Missouri (Misty's home base) and features local talent including members of The Tone Def Allstars (Darren Burgfeld) and Drivin Rain (Skully Shemwell) in lead roles.

Vortexx-Screaming Skull-20160905_Night Chills Theater

Monday (9/05) @ 9:00 P.M. (ET)
NIGHT CHILLS THEATRE
presents
THE SCREAMING SKULL (1958)

Tonight we celebrate Labor Day (and the 469th birthday of The Crimson Executioner) by welcoming NIGHT CHILLS THEATRE with Vincent Grimmly to The Vortexx! Hailing from The City of Sin, the hilarious and talented Mr. Grimmly follows in the rich tradition of Las Vegas vampire horror hosts, keeping us entertained with his collection of nutty schlock flicks that he broadcasts from his studio at Castle Pappdeckel. Vincent is assisted by his sidekick and co-host -- a pet raven named Phydeaux (pronounced "Fido"), who unfortunately clams up on camera during his debut appearance. Tonight Vincent and Phydeaux will be presenting THE SCREAMING SKULL (1958). It's about a newlywed couple whose marital bliss is spoiled by the ghost of the husband's previous wife. The producers of this movie offered free burial services to anyone who died of fright while watching the film, so we're gonna make the same offer. Join us tonight . . . if you dare!

Vortexx-Werewolf v Vampire Woman-20160906_Bordello

Tuesday (9/6) @ 9:00 P.M. (ET)
BORDELLO OF HORROR
presents
WEREWOLF VERSUS THE VAMPIRE WOMAN (1970) (1987)

Tonight Freakshow, Mistress Malicious, Sgt. Drizzlepuss, Ali Katt, and Mary Johuana presents WEREWOLF VERSUS THE VAMPIRE WOMAN (1970) starring Paul Naschy as Waldemar Daninsky the Werewolf and Patty Shepard as Countess Wandessa the Vampire Woman. Just imagine what would happen if a group of twelve-year-olds decided to make their own version of the old Universal monster movies. If you can picture that, then you have a pretty good idea of what this movie is all about. In addition to the movie, Freaky will be entertaining us with special musical guests John Masino Band - JMB, a movie review by Mark Krawczyk from The Final Cut, and more! [Movie poster by Sean Hartter courtesy of Saturday Fright Special.]

Vortexx-Demon Lover-20160907_Remo DWednesday (9/7) @ 9:00 P.M. (ET)
REMO D.'S MANOR OF MAYHEM
presents
The Vortexx premiere of
THE DEMON LOVER (1977)

Last week we watched Remo host Demon Lover Diary, a documentary about the making of Donald (Hell Comes to Frogtown) Jackson's first low-budget horror movie, The Demon Lover. Tonight, by popular demand, we're going to show you the movie itself. This little gem has everything that a B-movie fan could expect from a film of its kind -- bad acting, lousy writing, murky camera work, a little skin (not much), a little blood, characters named after comic-book artists and movie directors, and a surprisingly accurate look at what a lot of fringe-type folks were like during the late 1970s. It's got one big-name actor (Gunnar Hansen, best known as Leatherface in Texas Chain Saw Massacre) and one real comic-book artist (Val Mayerik, best known for Howard the Duck). The demon itself is not half bad, despite the low budget. With a larger budget, its creators Dennis and Robert Skotak would go on to bigger and better things with Aliens, Terminator 2, and Titanic.

Vortexx-Tavern Maudite-20160908_Skunky Cinema

Thursday (9/8) @ 9:00 P.M. (ET)
SKUNKY CINEMA
presents
The Vortexx premiere of
LA TAVERNE MAUDITE (1936)

SKUNKY CINEMA with Mortimer Van Creep presents The Vortexx premiere of LA TAVERNE MAUDITE (1936) aka The Rogues' Tavern. Tonight's film is an English-language movie made in the good ole USA and released as The Rogues' Tavern. However, we're using the French poster and title so as not to create the erroneous impression that there's any connection between Morty's show and a certain group of miscreants known as The Rogue Elements. Tonight’s movie is kind of a cross between The Old Dark House and Ten Little Indians. A group of people arrive at an old hotel called the Red Rock Tavern, all having been invited by telegrams sent by a mysterious stranger. One by one, they turn up dead with crushed throats and bite marks. A wolf-dog tethered outside the tavern is the initial suspect. But a couple of small-time store detectives (Wallace Ford and Barbara Pepper), who have come to the hotel to meet a justice of the peace and get married, begin to suspect that a human is involved. As for the Rogue Elements, Sluggo has beefed up security to avoid a repetition of that unpleasant incident of last March, and with Destroyah hosting the chat, we're certain that Morty's show will run tonight without a hitch.

Vortexx-Trapped By TV-20160909_Weirdness

Friday (9/9) @ 9:00 P.M. (ET)
THE WEIRDNESS REALLY BAD MOVIE
presents
The Vortexx premiere of
TRAPPED BY TELEVISION (1936)

THE WEIRDNESS REALLY BAD MOVIE with Dave Binkley and co-host Shannon Steele presents The Vortexx premiere of TRAPPED BY TELEVISION (1936). Released four months before television first became commercially available, tonight's movie is a sci-fi/comedy/mystery about a brilliant but penniless inventor (Lyle Talbot) who's working on his latest creation, a new form of television monitor and camera. His monetary problems are compounded by an aggressive bill collector looking for payments and competition from a rival scientist. When organized crime figures are added to the mix, the desperation level rises for our intrepid inventor. Tonight's show was hosted from the TV Dinner Club Museum in Akron, Ohio, where Shannon does her best to keep Dave out of trouble.

Vortexx-Live from Horrorhound Weekend-20160910_The Vortexx

Saturday (9/3) @ 9:00 P.M. (ET)
THE VORTEXX
We interrupt our regular programming to bring you . . .
LIVE FROM HORRORHOUND WEEKEND!

That's right, folks! The staff of The Vortexx are going to take a break from their partying to present a special live feed from HHW in Indianapolis. Sluggo and CJ the Werewolf will be hosting the festivities and there will be guest appearances by anyone we can round up, including we hope Dr. Lady and the Sasquatches. Instead of the usual gawd-awful movie, we will be showing cartoons and other stuff between the skits. That way, we won't have to worry about whether the segments of the movie are running in the correct order or whether we remembered to air the end of it. If you can't be in Indianapolis this weekend, this is the next best thing!

Vortexx-Bride of the Monster-20160911_Beware Theater

Sunday (9/11) @ 9:00 P.M. (ET)
BEWARE THEATER
presents
The Vortexx premiere of
Ed Wood's BRIDE OF THE MONSTER (1955)

BEWARE THEATER with Arachna of the Spider People and her friend Deadly presents another gem from the Golden Age of Black-and-White -- Ed Wood's BRIDE OF THE MONSTER (1955). In his last starring role, an emaciated Bela Lugosi plays an aging mad scientist with a plan to create a race of supermen with the help of Tor Johnson. Bela shows off his acting chops in his memorable "Home, I Have No Home" soliloquy, and the final scene where he wrestles with a rubber octopus must be seen in order to be believed.

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

The Vortexx escape reality"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!

Vortexx - Slugnado

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

Posted by Woofer McWooferson in HOSTED HORROR, 0 comments
EDITORIAL: Andrew Bryniarski: From Leatherface To Loser

EDITORIAL: Andrew Bryniarski: From Leatherface To Loser

By John Roisland

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“Suck his dead nuts.” “He was pretty much a dick.” “Boo hoo…” and my personal favorite, “I played the role twice without him.”

These are a few of the comments made by superstar actor Andrew Bryniarski about the passing of Gunnar Hansen. Now I say call him a superstar, and he must be... because what kind of degenerate, ungrateful washed up has been, never gonna be, piece of steroid shit meathead would bad mouth an icon AFTER HE IS DEAD”!

I'm not here to tell you Gunnar Hansen was a saint, I would most likely be lying to you if I did. But the one thing I do know is that he never bad mouthed a fellow actor, especially one who had passed. There's a certain level of professionalism, and just common courtesy that should have been present from a grown ass man.

“I played the role twice without him...” I applaud you sir...must have taken you forever to remember all those lines, especially in a REMAKE!! Do you realize sir, that you took a horror icon, and destroyed it by your comments? Do you realize that YOU could have saved Leatherface's name, by standing up and being a professional, by being a man... by being human, and just saying one thing nice in his passing. Something like that hits the media...and bam, you're next in line for the next production of another Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

Maybe the part was just a paycheck to you, but you single handedly disgraced it. I do hope you're happy with yourself. The character of Leatherface is my personal favorite horror icon... none have ever even came close. Gunnar Hansen, to me, was Leatherface, I don't say that in any disrespect to any of the other actors that played him, Bryniarski included, but Hansen was the original...and will always be the best to me. When Mr. Hansen passed, my beloved icon passed with him, and because of that, I felt a huge loss myself.

I've also never had the pleasure of meeting you at a convention, sir, but I've heard it's quite an experience, from you groping and saying obscenities to the female guests to the ever-present scent of you marinating in your own piss. Damn, sorry I missed that! But most likely not as sorry as you soon will be sir, maybe you didn't think this all the way through. Being jealous because you weren't the first to play this character, and bad mouth the man who did... I guess in your juiced up mind makes you feel better. My friend, horror fans are EXTREMELY loyal and don't soon forget things, so if you are fortunate enough to make the bill of another convention circuit, you might as well bring something to occupy your time with...I wouldn't expect your lines to be too long there, bud!

And this is coming from a man who gets arrested for animal cruelty due to the twenty-five Pomeranians that were heard and found crying and yelping in distress. The dogs were found covered in trash and piss in your RV, in lovely Santa Monica, California not so long ago. It made national news, remember that? We all do.

So I wish you the best, sir, I really do. You have played roles that I really enjoyed in the past. But if the repercussions of this bounce back, and you're stuck being a pizza delivery boy...well, don't cry that it’s raining cats and Pomeranians!

Just so all of you know, I battled on whether or not to put up a picture of our little boy scout...then figured yeah, I want to make sure you all know just who I'm talking about!

Stay classy, fucker!

Stay Evil

Posted by John Roisland in EDITORIALS, OPINION, 25 comments

OBITUARY: Gunnar Hansen

RIP Gunnar Hansen

By Woofer McWooferson

Gunnar Hansen

Actor Gunnar Hansen passed away from pancreatic cancer at his home in Maine on November 7, 2015. Hansen, who is best remembered as the original actor behind the human mask face of iconic killer Leatherface in Tobe Hooper's original The Texas Chain Saw Mssacre. Born in Reykjavik, Iceland, Gunnar moved with his parents to the US at age 5 with the Hansen family settling in Maine. At age 11, they moved to Texas, where Hansen attended high school at Austin High School and college at the University of Texas at Austin. In college Hansen doubled majored in English and mathematics, pursing graduate work in English and Scandinavian Studies.

Although he dabbled in theater in college, it wasn't until 1973 that he was interviewed by Tobe Hooper and Kim Henkel, eventually landing the role as Leatherface, the iconic chainsaw wielding cannibal in 1974's The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. This was followed by The Demon Lover in 1977 after which Hansen took a decade-long break from acting. During this break, Hansen worked as a magazine writer and a magazine and book editor. Hansen returned to film in the horror spoof Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers and has worked steadily in film since. Because of his imposing size (Hansen is 6' 4" or 1.93 m), he was usually cast as bad guys in horror movies, further endearing him to the horror fandom.

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In addition to The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974), The Demon Lover (1977), and Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers (1988), Hansen has starred in Campfire Tales (1991), Freakshow (1995), Mosquito (1995), Repligator (1996), Chainsaw Sally (2004), and Reykjavik Whale Watching Massacre (2009).

Freakshow

In 1993 Hansen published a nonfiction travel memoir, Islands at the Edge of Time: A journey to America's Barrier Islands. From the description:

Islands at the Edge of TimeWeaving in and out along the coastlines of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, South Carolina, and North Carolina, poet and naturalist Gunnar Hansen perceives barrier islands not as sand but as expressions in time of the processes that make them.

In 2013 he wrote the nonfiction book Chain Saw Confidential: How We Made the World’s Most Notorious Horror Movie, detailing the making, distribution, and reception of 1973's The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. From the description:

Chainsaw ConfidentialA critically acclaimed poet and author, Hansen tells the real story of the film, debunking myths, giving behind-the-scenes details, and offering insights on the film's reception and our enduring fascination with the horror genre today.

 

RIP, Mr. Hansen, you will be missed.

Posted by Woofer McWooferson in EDITORIALS, HORROR NEWS, OBITUARY, 0 comments