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MOVIE REVIEW: Tales of Halloween (2015)

MOVIE REVIEW: Tales of Halloween (2015)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Keep It Evil...

Posted by John Roisland in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
Top Five Films to Watch in October (Part 6)

Top Five Films to Watch in October (Part 6)

Part of the House of Tortured Souls
Staff Pick October 2016

By John Roisland

To understand my top five, you must first close your eyes and think back to a night where the skies are the deepest darkest blue but are still crystal clear. The night is lit by a million stars and the glow of the moon as it dances in and out behind bare trees. It’s a cool crisp night where you hear the slight wind whispering through and rustling the leaves that have fallen and in the distance the sound of children giggling and laughing as they run from house to house yelling trick or treat as the doors. And the smell, the smell of burning leaves in someone's bonfire now fill the autumn air.

These are the memories that I have that sticks with me so vividly during the entire autumn and Halloween Season. This is still today after 44 years on this planet, my favorite time of year! Which is why it was so important for me to share with you my everlasting memories of Halloween night, as well as share with you my top five favorite movies to watch at Halloween.

Now when I first came up with this idea and I shared it to the staff I figured top five, it's going to be a piece of cake, and then I started taking some time and mulling over what my personal favorite movies are for Halloween. Keep in mind this isn't any of our top five horror movies, this is just the top five movies to watch at Halloween. It then dawned on me Wow, I'm a real ass because this is really hard to do! There are a million horror movies out there to watch, especially during the Halloween season, and to narrow it down to the top five has become quite a chore.

The movies that I have to present to you, I am somewhat basing around the Halloween season in the movie itself, not all of them but a few of them. As much of a horror buff as I am, I have actually always enjoyed movies that have taken place on Halloween.

So you might be surprised when don't see any of your top iconic Friday the 13th or A Nightmare on Elm Street installment - or anything of that nature.

I do thoroughly enjoy Halloween - all aspects - the sounds, the sights, even the smells! Nothing to me is more invigorating then walking outside at night and smelling burning leaves in the Autumn air. So, when picking my top five movies, I try to incorporate my love for Halloween with them.

My top five - not in any order, just my top!

Sleepy Hollow (1999)


The legend of The Headless Horseman has always been my all time favorite story ever since I was a child. Fist hearing it when i was young, the story stuck with me to this day and age. Tim Burton‘s rendition of it, in my opinion, did it proud. With its dark images and setting, it is a must watch for me!

John Carpenter's Halloween (1978)

How can you not?! Not only is Carpenter personally my favorite director, but this film raised the bar and set standards for horror films….and it’s at Halloween, so score!


Monster House (2006)


I first saw this film as a rental for my kids. The day it was returned to the store, I bought it! This animated kids Halloween film has a very dark overtone to it that I love, and brings out the Halloween spirit in me! Sad thing was that I enjoyed more than the kids…

The Houses October Built (2014)

Now, those of you who know me know that this movie had a profound impact on me. I love every aspect of this film, and it has become one of my top movies. The film is based at Halloween and centers around local haunts. Brought to you by Zach Andrew and Bobby Roe, this film is a must for the Halloween season.


The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)


Now, the last film I bring to you may not have anything to do with Halloween in any way, shape, or form, and as a matter of fact, it is not only my all time favorite horror movie, it’s my all time favorite movie – The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. This 1974 Tobe Hooper film blew the door off the horror film industry and has remained an all time classic. This gets a watch every Halloween!

I do hope you enjoyed my list and as founder and president of House of Tortured Souls , I do sincerely wish you and your entire family for all the generations to come, a very Happy Halloween!

Keep It Evil...

Posted by John Roisland in HALLOWEEN, STAFF PICKS, 0 comments
SCHEDULE: TCM Horror Classics 2016

SCHEDULE: TCM Horror Classics 2016

By John Roisland

TCM Logo / Fair use doctrine.

In keeping with the spirit of the Halloween Season, TCM (Turner Classic Movies) has brought forth a most impressive line-up for our viewing pleasure. TCM has truly gone into the vault and dug out some of the most obscure and brilliant classics.

Some of these rare gems date back as early as the 1920s! These films are where horror movies began. Please take the time not only to enjoy the films, but also to appreciate them.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Terror Classic Movies:
20s Horror

  • 8:00 PM – Nosferatu (1922)
  • 9:45 PM – The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)
  • 11:15 PM – Unholy Three (1925)
  • 1:00 AM – The Phantom of the Opera (1925)
  • 2:45 AM – Haxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages (1922)
  • 4:45 AM – The Penalty (1920)

Saturday, October 8, 2015

  • 7:30AM – Mad Love (1935)
  • 9:00 AM – Isle of the Dead (1945)
  • 2:00 AM – The Zodiac Killer (1971)
  • 3:30 AM – The Town that Dreaded Sundown (1977)

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Monster of the Month:

  • 8:00 PM – The Ghost of Frankenstein (1942)
  • 9:15 PM – Frankenstein Meets Wolf Man (1943)
  • 10:45 PM – House of Frankenstein (1944)
  • 12:15 AM – Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1920)
  • 2:00 AM – House (1977)
  • 3:30 AM – The Haunting (1963)

Monday, October 10, 2016

  • 8:00 PM – The Face of Fu Manchu (1965)
  • 1:30 AM – Nothing but the Night (1972)
  • 3:15 AM – Scream and Scream Again (1970)

Friday, October 14, 2016

Terror Classic Movies:
Horror Comedies

  • 8:00PM – The Cat and the Canary (1939)
  • 9:30 PM – The Fearless Vampires (1966)
  • 11:30 PM – Little Shop of Horrors (1960)
  • 1:00 AM – Young Frankenstein (1974)
  • 3:00 AM – Hillbillys in a Haunted House (1967)
  • 4:30 AM – Spooks Run Wild (1941)
  • 5:45 AM – Ghosts on the Loose (1943)

Saturday, October 15, 2016

  • 8:00 PM – The Innocents (1961)
  • 12:00 AM – Eye of the Devil (1966)

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Monster of the Month:

  • 8:00 PM – The Curse of Frankenstein (1957)
  • 9:45 PM – The Revenge of Frankenstein (1958)
  • 11:15 PM – Black Cats and Broomsticks (1955)
  • 2:00 AM – Goke, Body Snatcher from Hell (1968)
  • 3:30 AM – The X from Outer Space (1967)

Monday, October 17, 2016

Star of the Month:
Christopher Lee

  • 8:00 PM – Horror Hotel (1960)
  • 9:30 PM – Horror Express (1972)
  • 11:15 PM – The House That Dripped Blood (1970)
  • 1:15 AM – The Creeping Flesh (1972)
  • 3:00 AM – The Oblong Box (1969)

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

  • 6:15 PM – Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1932)

Friday, October 21, 2016

Terror Classic Movies:
Evil Scientists and Doctors

  • 8:00 PM – Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941)
  • 10:00 PM – Eyes Without a Face (1960)
  • 11:45 PM – The Body Snatcher (1945)
  • 1:15 AM – Phantom of the Rue Morgue (1954)
  • 2:45 AM – Macabre (1958)
  • 4:00 AM – The Corpse Vanishes (1942)
  • 5:15 AM – The Brain That Wouldn’t Die (1962)

Saturday, October 22, 2016

  • 6:45 AM – The Killer Shrews (1959)
  • 8:00 AM – The Devil Bat (1940)
  • 9:15 AM – The Seventh Victim (1943)
  • 8:00 PM – Jaws (1975)
  • 10:15 PM – Jaws 2 (1978)
  • 12:15 AM – Jaws 3 (1982)

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Monster of the Month:

  • 8:00 PM – Frankenstein Created Woman (1967)
  • 10:00 PM – Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed! (1970)
  • 12:00 AM – The Phantom Carriage (1922)
  • 2:00 AM – Epidemic (1987)

Monday, October 24, 2016

Star of the Month:
Christopher Lee

  • 3:15 PM – The Gorgon (1964)
  • 4:45 PM – The Curse of Frankenstein (1957)
  • 6:15 PM – Rasputin, the Mad Monk (1966)
  • 8:00 PM – Horror of Dracula (1958)
  • 9:30 PM – Dracula, Prince of Darkness (1965)
  • 11:15 PM – Dracula Has Risen From the Grave (1969)
  • 1:00 AM – Taste the Blood of Dracula (1970)
  • 2:45 AM – The Scars of Dracula (1970)
  • 4:30 AM – Dracula A.D. 1972 (1972)

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

  • 6:00 AM – Robot vs. the Aztec Mummy (1965)
  • 7:15 AM – The Time Machine (1960)
  • 9:00 AM – Time After Time (1979)
  • 1:00 PM – The Ice Pirates (1984)
  • 2:45 PM – Satellite in the Sky (1956)
  • 4:15 PM – Logan’s Run (1975)
  • 6:15 PM – Soylent Green (1973)

Friday, October 28, 2016

Terror Classic Movies:
Universal Horror

  • 8:00 PM – Dracula (1931)
  • 9:30 PM – The Mummy (1932)
  • 11:00 PM – The Invisible Man (1933)
  • 12:15 AM – The Wolf Man (1941)
  • 1:30 AM – The Black Cat (1934)
  • 2:45 AM – The Uninvited (1944)
  • 4:30 AM – Island of Lost Souls (1933)

Saturday, October 29, 2016

  • 6:00 AM – The Devil-Doll (1936)
  • 9:00 AM – Bedlam (1946)
  • 12:00 PM – The Black Scorpion (1957)
  • 1:45 PM – The Blob (1958)
  • 3:15 PM – Village of the Damned (1961)
  • 4:45 PM – The Thing From Another World (1951)
  • 6:30 PM – Earth vs. the Flying Saucers (1956)
  • 8:00 PM – Blood and Black Lace (1964)
  • 9:30 PM – Carnival of Souls (1962)
  • 11:00 PM – It’s Alive (1974)
  • 12:45 AM – The Baby (1973)

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Monster of the Month:

  • 12:00 PM – The Tingler (1959)
  • 1:30 PM – The Hinchback of Notre Dame (1939)
  • 6:00 PM – The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971)
  • 8:00 PM – Young Frankenstein (1974)
  • 10:00 PM – Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)
  • 12:00 AM – The Monster (1925)

Monday, October 31, 2016


  • 9:45 AM – Dementia 13 (1963)
  • 6:00 AM – Mark of the Vampire (1935)
  • 9:30 AM – I Walked With a Zombie (1943)
  • 12:45 PM – Black Sabbath (1964)
  • 11:15 AM – House of Wax (1953)
  • 2:30 PM – Dead of Night (1945)
  • 4:30 PM – House on Haunted Hill (1958)
  • 6:00 PM – The Haunting (1963)
  • 8:00 PM – The Devil’s Bride (1968)
  • 9:45 PM – The Mummy (1959)
  • 2:45 AM – The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll (1961)
  • 4:30 AM – To the Devil, a Daughter (1976)

Thank you, TCM, for reminding us of where it all began.

Happy Halloween, everyone!

Keep it Evil...

Posted by John Roisland in HORROR NEWS, 2 comments
Welcome Back Boo-Berry!

Welcome Back Boo-Berry!

By Dixielord


Yeah, it's that time of the year when horror fans and cereal fans unite to welcome back the Monster cereals. Many of us grew up with Boo-Berry, Count Chocula, or Franken Berry part of our breakfast ritual. But, wait, maybe some of you reading this have been living under a giant boulder for the last 40 years or so and have never heard of monster cereal. The monster cereals collectively refer to a group of cereals first created way back in 1971 by General Mills. The cereals all had a monster theme featuring a somewhat friendlier version of well known cinematic monsters.

The first two cereals released back in 1971 were Count Chocula and Franken Berry. Count Cholcula featured a chocolate loving vampire named Count Chocula, whose catchphrase was, “I want to eat your cereal”. The cereal was chocolate flavored frosted bites with chocolate flavored marshmallows. The Count was voiced on television commercials by Larry Kenny impersonating Bela Lugosi as Dracula. Kenney is also known for being the voice of Sonny the Cuckoo Bird (He's Cuckoo for Coco Puffs!) and Lion-O from the classic Thundercats cartoon. As a trivia note, Larry is also the father of Kerri Kenney-Silver, who portrayed Deputy Trudy Weigel on Reno 911.

Also debuting in 1971 was Franken Berry, based on the Frankenstein Monster from Universal Pictures. The monster represents a more kid friendly and pink version of Karloff's monster. On commercials, Franken Berry was voiced by Bob McFadden impersonating Boris Karloff. The cereal itself was a strawberry flavored frosted cereal with strawberry flavored marshmallows. McFadden had a long career of voice acting before he sadly passed away on January 7, 2000.

Then, in 1972, the two monsters were joined by Boo-Berry, the friendliest ghost since Casper. Boo-Berry was a blueberry loving ghost who bore a resemblance to horror icon Peter Lorre. Boo-Berry cereal is a blueberry flavored cereal with marshmallows. It is believed to be the first blueberry flavored cereal ever produced. Boo-Berry was voiced in television commercials by Paul Frees. Frees did Boo-Berry's voice in the style of his lookalike Peter Lorre.

Outside of the monster cereal gig, Frees had an interesting career in voice acting. He provided the voice of Boris Badenov in the popular Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoons. He also provided English dubbing for the legendary Toshiro Mifune in the film Midway. Frees also dubbed Tony Curtis in Some Like it Hot (his female voice), and Humphrey Bogart in The Harder They Fall. Bogart was suffering from throat cancer and had to be redubbed to be heard. Off screen, Frees also provided may voices for the attractions as Disney theme parks such as Pirates of the Caribbean and The Haunted Mansion.

monster cereal

Everyone remembers the original three monsters (well maybe not that guy under the boulder), but not so many remember the fourth monster. “What? There was another monster cereal?” Well yes, actually two more. In 1974, buoyed by the popularity of Boo-Berry, Franken Berry, and Count Cocula, General Mills added Fruit Brute to the pack. Fruit Brute's mascot was a child friendly version of a werewolf. Fruit Brute was a mixture of fruit flavored corn cereal, and lime flavored marshmallows. Yes, lime flavored marshmallows. Honestly, I'm not sure how I feel about this. Lime belongs in mixed drinks, not kid cereals. Kids may have felt the same way as Fruit Brute was the first of the monster line to be discontinued in 1982. It was briefly reintroduced in 2013 for a Halloween special, but is not available now. Original boxes of Fruit Brute cereal are considered collectibles.

General Mills tried again in 1987, introducing Fruity Yummy Mummy. Yummy Mummy was basically a reintroduction of Fruit Brute cereal with vanilla marshmallows instead of lime and an Egyptian mummy as the mascot. Sadly for fans of the Egyptian undead, Yummy Mummy soon went the way of Fruit Brute and was discontinued in 1992. It, along with Fruit Brute, received a short curtain call in 2013, but, alas, it is no longer available.

Over the years since their introduction, they have faced some controversy but they have survived. It kind of makes sense that parents might complain about a kids cereal based on movie monsters. However, the controversies were stranger than you might imagine. Apparently the original run of Franken Berry had a food coloring that wasn't digestible by the human body. The dye was harmless, but passing though a kid's intestine had the unfortunate side effect of causing the stool to turn bright pink. It looked a little too much like the kids were passing blood for the comfort of parents. The dye was quickly replaced.

To add to the controversy, it's possible this whole event was just an urban legend. The Internet is mixed on whether this really happened or not. It's wide spread enough that Stephen King referenced it in his book Cujo and its movie adaptation. If you remember your parents freaking out, or perhaps a rushed visit to the Emergency Room after a diet of Franken Berry back in the early 70s, please let me know. It would be nice to confirm it.

The Count had a bit of controversy himself. It wasn't, as far as we know stool-related, although there's no proof it doesn't turn your stool brown. Instead, there were concerns about the sugar content of the cereal. Parents, under the misguided belief that health was more important than sugary fun, complained. Thus, Count Chocula was briefly pulled and the caloric content was slightly reduced.

Through all this, Boo-Berry has remained pretty much controversy free. While supposedly eating too much Boo-Berry, or any berry cereal can discolor your poo, it has never caused hysteria. Seeing blue or green in the toilet apparently isn't quite as fright inducing as red or pink.

The three originals - Boo-Berry, Count Chocula, and Franken Berry - are still going strong. They are still produced and sold though only during the Halloween season. They might be a bit harder to find, but they are available. The boxes have been redesigned with new artwork, but the three monsters are still out there haunting our breakfasts.

So go out while the season is right, and grab yourself a box or a dozen. Whatever your favorite, Boo-Berry, Count Chocula, or Franken Berry, they are available now. Enjoy the hell out of them because once Halloween is gone, so are the monster cereals. And while we enjoy our monster cereal and the Halloween season, let's all have a moment of silence for those monsters no longer with us. Fruit Brute and Yummy Mummy, you are gone but not forgotten. Okay, maybe outside of us horror nerds, you are forgotten, but hopefully you will make another Halloween appearance in the future.

Lastly, I'd like to give a shout out to my friend Stevie, who is no longer with us but truly will never be forgotten, and he loved his monster cereal. RIP my friend.