Halloween

COMIC REVIEW: Trick ‘r Treat: Days Of The Dead

COMIC REVIEW: Trick ‘r Treat: Days Of The Dead

By Nick Durham

Trick or Treat Days of the dead

No one loves Trick ‘r Treat more than I do. The best horror anthology to see the light of day in well over a decade (and still is), Trick ‘r Treat is one of my all time favorite films of any genre in the history of ever. That’s right, I said it.

Anyway, in an effort to sate us Trick ‘r Treat fans until we finally get the long-awaited sequel, we get this comic which offers up four separate stories that revolve around different points in Halloween history. The stories themselves come from creator Michael Dougherty, as well as his Krampus cohorts Todd Casey and Zach Shields, along with some additional input from comic veteran Marc Andreyko. Opening tale Seed revolves around witches and magic in Ireland in the 1600s, Corn Maiden revolves around betrayal on the frontier between the evil white-man and Native Americans (and kind of, sort of gives a maybe-kind of origin to Sam), Echoes is a 1950s noir-style detective story, and the closing Monster Mash finds a closed-minded small town get their comeuppance when monsters attack on Halloween night.

The stories are basic, but mostly effective, even though they range in terms of quality. Seed is interesting, Corn Maiden is the best of the bunch, Echoes is a near-unintelligible mess, and Monster Mash is fun. The various artwork, featuring contributions from Saga‘s Fiona Staples, along with Stephen Byrne, and Zid is all well and great, but Stuart Sayger’s work on Echoes left me perplexed as to what the fuck is happening from panel to panel. I don’t mean to shit on the guy’s work so please don’t think I’m knocking him, I just think his style isn’t all that well-suited. That aside, the story itself didn’t make a lick of sense, so it’s not like the art hurts it that much to begin with.

So yeah, Trick ‘r Treat: Days of the Dead is a quick and relatively fun read. It’s contents are a mixed bag but it features enough interesting moments to whet your appetite until we finally get the sequel to Trick ‘r Treat that we’re still fucking waiting for. That being said, check it out and give it a whirl. It isn’t anything special in the least, but you can always do a lot worse in terms of horror comics than what this offers.

Rating: 3/5

Posted by Nick Durham in BOOKS, COMICS AND PUBLICATION REVIEWS, 0 comments
DOC REVIEW: The American Scream (2012)

DOC REVIEW: The American Scream (2012)

By John Roisland

American Scream

In 2012, a documentary was released that gets repeated viewing by this guy! The film, The American Scream, was directed by Michael Stephenson and released by Brainstorm Media and Chiller Films.

The film takes place in Fairhaven, Massachusetts, and surrounds the daily life preparations of three local families as they set up for Halloween. For most families, prepping for this holiday simply means hanging a cardboard cutout of a ghost or a black cat in the window, a bag of candy dumped in a bowl for trick-or-treaters, and call it a night! That’s not the case for our three families.

You see, our families – the Manny Souza family, the father and son team of Mathew and Richard Brodeur, and the Victor Bariteau family – have a certain love for the holiday that makes them stand out in the community.

Our films shows the in depth preparations they each take making their yards and homes into open haunts for Halloween trick-or-treaters to enjoy. Each of the three families do know of each others work thru the community, but each keeps to themselves while constructing their new haunt.

untitled (4)

imagesFZFAM7TQ

imagesTGJU0UHI

Manny Souza’s and the Brodeur’s approaches are both very similar in that they reuse a lot of previous props while constructing minor new attractions out of donated and found scrap to make for a pleasant time for all families to enjoy.

However, Mr. Victor Bariteau’s approach is much more passionate. His approach is that Halloween is a year round event, and he is constantly designing, constructing, and building new props all the time. His home, garage, attic, and basement are full of Halloween stuff. Victor is a bit of a perfectionist, and it shows in his work and his attitude with those who help him in the final few days of construction – including friends and family. You can see the amount of stress that builds up on Victor as he wants everything to be perfect! Victor’s family sacrifices a lot for his passion, as he openly admits, and they share and support him and his passion. They are all very active parts in this production, from helping with costumes to baking goods for staff members to munch on. They are all very important!

Finally, the big night has arrived, and each family lets loose with what they have all worked so hard for. The enjoyment spills over into the streets, literally, as thousands of combined family members visit the three homes and take in a good Halloween treat that has been selflessly given to them!

The end of our show offers us a glimpse into someone’s future. Victor took it upon himself to go professionally as a haunter. His ambition and desire is one that I personally admire, and has been a bit of an inspiration to me. Victor has since opened up Ghoulie Manor Haunted House in Taunton, MA.

I wish Victor all the best in the world in his venture, and hope to one day be able to visit him and see the world he has made! Please feel free to check out Victor’s work at WWW.GHOULIEMANOR.COM or visit their Facebook page as well.

untitled (5)

All in all, this is a fun 92 minutes that may not only get you more active on our beloved holiday but may also inspire you in other ways.

Posted by John Roisland in DOCUMENTARY REVIEWS, 0 comments
HALLOWEEN HORRORS: SATAN’S LITTLE HELPER

HALLOWEEN HORRORS: SATAN’S LITTLE HELPER

By Dixielord

Satan's Little Helper poster with Katheryn Winnick

Satan’s Little Helper with Katheryn Winnick

Satan’s Little Helper is a movie that should be regarded as a Halloween classic. Set on Halloween, mask wearing, trick or treating, and other Halloween traditions figure in heavily in the movie. It also stars the most annoying kid this side of The Babadook. Meet Dougie, and believe me he is one annoying little shit. But just like in The Babadook, it’s the child’s annoying habits and personality that help propel the movie along.

Directed by Jeff Lieberman (Squirm), Satan’s Little Helper stars Amanda Plummer (Pulp Fiction) and the gorgeous Katheryn Winnick (Vikings), along with Alexander Brickel as Dougie. Now little Dougie is obsessed with two things, going Trick or Treating with big sister Jenna (Winnick) and playing his favorite video game – Satan’s Little Helper.

Halloween for Dougie goes wrong almost from the start when Jenna comes home from college, bringing along boyfriend Alex. This spoils his plans for a night out alone with his sexy sister, and a big kibosh on his plans to someday marry her. OK maybe that’s a bit weird, but let’s roll with it. Dougie in a snit storms off. Then things seem to look up as he runs across a man in a demon mask positioning dead bodies to appear to be Halloween decorations. Dougie mistakes the man as Satan from his video game, but actually he’s an psychotic lunatic, and asks to tag along and be his helper for real. As Satan and Dougie wreck havoc across town, it’s all good Halloween fun in the kid’s eyes. Until he takes Satan home.

I really love Satan’s Little Helper. It’s a horror comedy that takes itself just seriously enough to work. It has it’s silly moments, and a couple of scenes that push your ability to suspend your belief. However, if you accept that little Dougie is a naive, annoying kid with horrible judgment and just go along for the ride, it works.

Even though it’s a horror comedy, all the actors play it straight and the comedy comes from Dougie’s horrible decisions and trust. But it does something that a lot of horror comedies don’t manage. It manages to actually be a horror movie. There are some scenes that are down right skin crawl creepy. And when Satan reveals just how evil he really is to little Dougie, the laughs stop.

Sexy Katheryn Winnick in Satan's Little Helper

Katheryn Winnick in Satan’s Little Helper

Amanda Plummer plays Dougie’s mom, and she’s awesome as usual. Her character seems to be supportive of Dougie’s love for Halloween, but really she’s just too wrapped up in herself to pay any attention to what he’s doing. Ninety percent of the mayhem in Satan’s Little Helper springs from the fact no one is really paying any attention to Dougie. Even when he starts palling around with a tall man in a Satan mask. Katheryn Winnick is stunning as big sister Jenna, and she shows some moments of true tenderness to her irritating little brother. If you are a fan of The History Channel’s Vikings, you wont want to miss the future Lagertha in this early role.

The star of the show, though, is Satan. He steals scenes over and over with his comedic gestures and sense of humor, even as he’s committing bloody murder. He’s just fun to watch. Not as fun as Winnick, but he’s a hoot.

Satan's Little Helper

Satan’s Little Helper

There are some gory and intense moments, so don’t let the horror comedy moniker catch you off guard. There are also some hilarious turns that will have you splitting your side. Note to the religious, there are some scenes that could be considered blasphemous or sacrilegious. This all leads up to an ending that you will probably see coming, but that doesn’t stop it from being effective.

So have a Happy Halloween everyone, enjoy the festivities, watch Satan’s Little Helper, and don’t let your son hang around with mysterious masked devils.

Posted by Allen Alberson in HoTS HALLOWED HALLOWEEN HORRORS, IN THE SPOTLIGHT, MOVIE REVIEWS, STAFF PICKS, 0 comments
HALLOWEEN HORRORS: Rosemary’s Baby (1968)

HALLOWEEN HORRORS: Rosemary’s Baby (1968)

Pregnancy is scary

By Margeaux DeMott

Rosemary's baby poster

Pregnancy is scary. There’s the whole body changing thing like you’re in some kind of body horror movie lite. Seriously, do a Google search of the things people don’t tell you about being pregnant. While your body is changing, it can also turn against you with a number of things – aches, pains, crazy hormones, acne and even extra saliva. It’s kind of like puberty on expert mode. Oh yeah and then there’s the fact that you have a HUMAN cultivating inside of you. It seems like a really weird time in a woman’s life.

Now if you have all of that insanity going on and you add in a bit of I think my neighbors want to sacrifice my baby to Satan, you’re going to have a bad time. Especially when your husband stops listening to you about your worries, and you slowly start to realize that everyone around you is in on it. Oh, and then you find out how insanely selfish and inconsiderate your husband is. Guy was trying so hard for the worst husband in horror award.

Rosemary’s Baby is one of my favorites because it’s so well done. The acting is amazing. Every time I watch it I always talk shit to the husband [Guy]. There’s a part in the movie when he’s trying to convince Rosemary that their neighbors were not doing Satan Coven things by saying, “Dr. Shand happens to play the recorder”. BULLSHIT, Guy! No adult plays the recorder unless specifically doing it for Satan. [The same reason children play the recorder.]

Rosemary

John Cassavetes [Guy] plays a smug, self-centered ass hat a little bit too well. Mia Farrow plays the timid house wife Rosemary perfectly. She portrays Rosemary’s worries and terror so well that you feel like you’re watching her actually going through it. Ruth Gordon plays the elderly neighbor, Minnie Castevet, and Sidney Blackmer plays her husband, Roman Castevet. Together they make the most inconspicuous elderly couple. You would never know they were Satanists. In the end when it finally comes out Minnie [Ruth Gordon] is so blasé about it that it is kind of comical. Roman [Sidney Blackmer] however, gets a little out of hand with his GOD IS DEAD, SATAN LIVES exclamation. Which are the exact two different ways I think a Satanist [devil worshipers not LaVey’s] would react to being discovered.

[Extra tidbit Mia Farrow was the one who cut her hair that short, not Vidal Sassoon.]

*I’m guessing, it seems scary to me.

Posted by Margeaux DeMott in Categories, 0 comments
The Walking Dead Recap S06E02 JSS

The Walking Dead Recap S06E02 JSS

Carol is Done Making Casseroles

By Nicole Robinson

The Walking Dead: JSS

Enid creates some carnage of her own
The Walking Dead pulled no punches with Sunday’s shocking and violent second episode JSS. Despite the absence of some of the group’s strongest members, Carol proved to us why is she considered one the most badass characters on this show. We also came face to face with the Wolves and were introduced to Pete’s replacement, Dr. Denise Cloyd, bringing Emmy winning actress Merritt Weaver, to the show.

***As Always Read At Your Own Risk.
Spoilers Ahead***

After last week’s action packed premiere, the expectation of another high adrenaline episode was low. Seemingly confirming a low key delivery this week, JSS started out very low key with a wordless opening showing a flashback of Enid (Katelyn Nacon) on the road with her parents only to be forced to watch as they are eaten by walkers. Enid devours a tortoise directly from the shell in true walker style before we return to a present day Carol (Melissa McBride) putting dinner in the oven and setting the timer to 60 minutes.

Carol warned her neighbor Shelly that smoking would kill her someday and she was right. While watching her smoking a cigarette, a machete wielding “Wolf” comes from out of nowhere and slashes her across the torso, then hacks open her skull. Sorry to say, but it looks like she is never going to get that pasta maker. Carol wastes no time heading to armory after telling Carl to stay in the house and protect his sister, proving that someone can actually make Carl stay in the house.

The “Wolves” are attacking Alexandria, brutally murdering every person that they find. Carol notices quickly there are no guns in their hands. Knives, axes, machetes, and spears is what these Wolves are armed with. She need to be armed, and fast. She lowers her head and kills whoever she can on the way, leaving a body count behind her.

Carol impersonates a Wolf

The absence of Rick, Daryl, and Michonne is felt stronger in this episode because of the carnage taking place inside the walls at the hands of the Wolves. At the end of last week’s episode, along with Sasha, Abraham, and Morgan who was told to go home by Rick. At last glance, a loud horn was blowing drawing the herd back towards ASZ presenting a bit of a problem.

We learned the source of the horn was the Wolves truck driver who took a nose dive onto the horn after being shot by Deanna’s son Spencer, despite being, much like the rest of Alexandria, unprepared to combat the invasion. We also learned that Aaron left his backpack behind last season, including the picture of ASZ, for the Wolves to find, making this pretty much all his fault. For now, let’s hope that stays between him and us.

Morgan dispatches the driver with his stick, leaving Spencer to guard his mom in the truck while the Wolves slaughter everyone else inside. Stepping inside, Morgan is welcomed home by a man with an axe. A disguised Carol in ninja style shooting his would be attacker saves him and Morgan tells Carol she doesn’t have to kill people. “You don’t like it,” he tells her.

Morgan faces off with a Wolf

Meanwhile Carl and Enid, who came to say goodbye, are protecting Judith. Enid’s opening scene for this week’s episode showed us a flashback of her watching her parents get eaten so it probably is no surprise when she oddly says, “They’re just people”, to Carl while they were sitting back to back. JSS turns out to be her motto, meaning Just Survive Somehow. There has been speculation that Enid could be a Wolf spy. Wolf spy or not, she has some serious issues to work out as a result of her time alone on the road.

Next door, Jessie and her youngest son are hiding from the wolves in a closet, using the bolt lock on the inside (could this be the hideout closet for when Pete would get drunk and hurt them?) Gun pointed at the door she worries about her oldest son Ron who is outside as she hears Wolves in the house. Outside Ron is chased by a Wolf that is shot by Carl before being attacked. He turns down Carl’s offer of protection and goes home.

Inside the house Jessie tells her son to lock the door and stay quiet so she can check the house. She finds Ron trying to get in and yells for him to not come in the house, exposing her location in the kitchen. Jessie, perhaps channeling all the retribution she never got to direct at Pete, dispatched her attacker with a handy pair of scissors while Ron looked on.

Jessie makes her first kill

Outside, Carol gets to the armory. The Wolves do not have guns. This is the critical weakness that is becomes their downfall the moment she opened the doors to the weapons. Now that Carol is armed and arming the Alexandrianites, the Wolves do not stand a chance.

As Carol racks up the kills, Morgan Jedi masters his way through the community using his magical stick, knocking out a few Wolves. He’s focused on psyching out the leader, convincing him there is a sniper rifle trained on him as they speak. “It’s gonna happen any second now, unless you get the hell out of here and you don’t ever come back,” Morgan says. “You keep choosing this life, you will die.” To which the head Wolf replies, “We didn’t choose”, and the remaining attackers run out the gate. One stops to pick up a gun off the ground on his way out. Bad move, Morgan. You shouldn’t have let that go. This gun in the hands of the Wolves is going to have consequences later. Morgan’s final face-off with the Wolf he met last season, was interesting because of its suggestion that there may be something more than mere decency behind Morgan’s mercy. Can Morgan actually kill anyone? Apparently with an apology he can as this Wolf found out.

The Wolves are defeated but it is not without loss. Dr. Denise Cloyd failed to save Holly even with the help of Tara and Eugene, and there were many other members of ASZ that died at the hands of the Wolves as well. As Morgan and Carol walked around the damaged safe zone, they find each other and walk in opposite directions without saying a word.

The timer goes off and Carl pulls dinner out of the oven. Thank goodness it was not burnt. You can’t fight the Mega Herd on an empty stomach.

Posted by Nicole Robinson in HORROR SERIES, IN THE SPOTLIGHT, TELEVISION REVIEWS, 0 comments
INTERVIEW: Alex Wer – The Man Who Carves Awesomeness

INTERVIEW: Alex Wer – The Man Who Carves Awesomeness

Alex Wer:
The Man Who Carves Awesomeness

By Machete Von Kill

The Pumpkin Geek carves awesomeness

Since 2009, Alex Wer, aka The Pumpkin Geek, has been carving far more complex jack-o-lanterns than then average carver. Then again, Wer is far from average. After carving a pumpkin for his wife’s office open house, Alex discovered he could make money with his pumpkin art.

He’s carved pumpkins for celebrities like Zachary Quinto (Star Trek, American Horror Story), Jeri Ryan (Star Trek: Voyager, Dracula 2000) and Ming-Na Wen (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Prom Night). Wer has carved everything from logos to an impressive battle scene between an Imperial Star Destroyer and X-Wing Starfighters. He’s been hired by Netflix for a social media campaign, by Legacy Entertainment for a few movie premiers, and, most recently, Wizard World Comic Con.

The Pumpkin Geek carves awesomeness Friday the 13th

I recently got the chance to interview The Pumpkin Geek. Having been a fan since seeing a Joe Mantegna pumpkin posted on the actor’s Twitter account a few years back, I was stoked to be able to speak to the 2014 Geekie Award winner. The following is that interview:

House of Tortured Souls: Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me! I know you started doing conventions 7 years ago, but when did you discover you had so much talent carving pumpkins?

Pumpkin Geek: I always enjoyed carving pumpkins & simply started getting more intricate over the years. Wanted to be the cool neighbor on the block! My wife asked me to carve her company logo for an Open House in October, so I decided to try carving on “craft” pumpkins sold at Michael’s. They last forever so I thought the office could use it each year. It was a simple design, but everyone was impressed & I got 35 orders that night, all by accident!

 

HoTS: Were you taught/trained by anyone or was it a series of trial and error?

PG: I was really into Comic Books as a kid and spent hours drawing & tracing Spider-Man…that’s pretty much the extent of my training. Simply came from a love from superheroes.

 

HoTS: How long did it take you to start getting exposure and making money with them?

PG: Well, the first night at the Open House, obviously. But, as I improved over the next year, I decided to try selling my work at a Star Trek Convention in Vegas. I was pretty nervous I wouldn’t sell anything, but realized, my main goal was to get exposure for what I did. Surprising, I did really well at the convention, and had several Trek actors, including Zachary Quinto, come to my booth to check out what I did. Some of the celebs actually ordered carves & starting posting about me…Talk about geeking out!

HoTS: Did you set out with the goal of making a profit or was it just a bonus that came along with the hobby?

PG: Originally, it was just for fun, but after doing my first convention, I realized that people were really into my work. Since I do everything custom orders, people were really able to celebrate their ultimate fandom at Halloween.

 

HoTS: How many pumpkins would you say you carve in an average October? Do you carve them year round or only in the fall?

PG: Between June and October, I carve about 175 or so, depending on my schedule. I do carve year round, but much less “off season”.

 

HoTS: How many would you guess you have carved over your lifetime?

The Pumpkin Geek carves awesomeness Freddy

PG: I would say over 1,000 in the last six plus years, for sure. Never gets old doing it…too much fun!

 

HoTS: Any favorites? Any that you’d really love to carve but haven’t been asked yet?

PG: Spider-Man, because he was a childhood hero & Heath Ledger’s Joker (which is on my business card), because his performance was so amazing. But there are many others. Anything new, that introduces me into a new fandom that I hadn’t discovered yet. The villains & horror carves are always fun, because they really stand out at Halloween.

 

HoTS: Do you get a little star struck with some of your more famous clients? Any favorite or stories you’d like to share?

PG: I have been VERY fortunate in meeting many celebrities because of what I do. I wouldn’t say I am star struck, but I am VERY humbled that they want to meet ME. Jeri Ryan & Ming-Na Wen have been the 2 kindest, and coolest, celebrities to me over the years. They post about my work, use their carves as avatars on Twitter, and have even requested meeting me.

 

HoTS: Any celebrities you’d really like to carve for?
PG: So many! I’m hoping to be the “carver to the stars” eventually!

 

HoTS: How much do you love Halloween? Would you say it is your favorite holiday?

PG: Halloween is certainly a favorite because of what I do. Mostly because I get to make a lot of people happy with my work. I guess I’m the Orange Santa in October. Although, I do love Christmas probably a bit more.

 

HoTS: Do you still carve pumpkins for your own Halloween decorations or do you skip that now?

PG: I try to carve a few for the family each year but have been getting too busy the past few years. I need to make time.
The Pumpkin Geek carves awesomeness Pinhead

 

HoTS: Favorite conventions you’ve been to? What’s your favorite part of the convention scene?

PG: Well, my favorite would have to be Wizard World Comic Con. I did their con last year in Portland and ended up getting HIRED by them to be their National Sales Manager! They loved the fact that I had been doing cons for several years, and I had a background in sales, so got hire that weekend. Not only did I have a great con selling my carves, back came back with a job where I get to find vendors & artists to do Comic Cons now.

 

HoTS: What are you working on now?

PG: I was hired by Rancho Obi-Wan (the largest Star Wars museum in the country), to do a large number of carves for their Gallaween event this year & they are actually having me as a guest of honor! Also, ESPN hired me to do the Sunday Night Countdown crew & World Series. Other than that, custom orders, including a few weddings and proposals!

 

HoTS: Where can people stay in touch with you, follow your work and commission you for custom jobs?

PG: I’m always on Twitter or can be reached via email at alex@thepumpkingeek.com.

 

HoTS: Anything you’d like to say to your fans?

PG: I really appreciate everyone that has admired my work over the years. I have a LOT of supporters on social media that have always cheered me on, encourage me, and been so excited with my success. It’s very flattering to know that people really enjoy what I do.

 

HoTS: And finally, since I ask everyone this and you are no exception, Freddy or Jason? Who’s the bigger horror badass?

PG: Freddy. Aside from being a badass, he’s got a great sense of humor.

 

Thanks again, Alex, for taking the time to speak to me! Happy carving and happy Halloween!

Posted by Machete Von Kill in ART AND VENDORS, HALLOWEEN HAUNTS, INTERVIEWS, WRETCHED FINDS AND ONE OF A KINDS, 0 comments
The Walking Dead Recap: S06E01 First Time Again

The Walking Dead Recap: S06E01 First Time Again

By Nicole Robinson

TWD herd

The Walking Dead returned to AMC on Sunday with an intense 90 minute premiere entitled “First Time Again” that still has fans talking. In the first 60 seconds of the start of the mega hit zombie drama, we found our fearless leader, Rick Grimes, played by Andrew Lincoln, standing in front of what can only be described as a mega herd trapped in a quarry not far from where our survivors our laying their heads at night. Surrounded by new and old faces, the group watches as one of the 18 wheeler trucks blocking the herd into the quarry falls off the side, leaving a path wide open for the herd to escape.

*WARNING: If you have not seen the Season 6 Premiere of The Walking Dead. STOP reading now. Spoilers ahead.

In an interesting twist on the storytelling, the season premiere used flashbacks in black and white to show us on what our survivors have been up to since we left them back in March after Rick shot Pete. Rick and his group have taken matters into their own hands to protect the Alexandria Safe Zone. With the new blessing of a grieving Deanna, (Tovah Feldshuh) the survivors have been given carte blanche over the future of the town and its inhabitants.

Not all of the residents of Alexandria are quick to allow Rick to start setting up shop as the leader of the Safe Zone. Carter (Ethan Embry), an outspoken resident, clearly does not trust Rick or his plans to lead the mega herd away. Carter quickly learns that screwing with Rick Grimes is a terrible idea after putting a gun in the face of everyone’s favorite mullet. Rick gladly offers him some friendly words of advice and everyone goes back to playing nicely. Carter was sparred… For now.

TWD Embry

The crap your pants moment arrives when Daryl slowly creeps his motorcycle as the massive horde of decaying flesh eaters trial behind him like a redneck pied piper. Even Daryl looks a little scared right then. Over the course of the seasons we have watch as the walkers slowly decay in front of our eyes. This mega horde of walkers puts in front and center just how disgusting they have gotten over 6 seasons and we cannot wait to see what else they have in store for us in the first half. And bravo at the ping pong walkers, bouncing off the steel walls. Seeing those exploding heads gave us all that warm and fuzzy feeling that we missed all summer.

After weeks on the rode out on a supply run, Heath returns quickly finds himself herding the dead with our group of survivors, showing his potential to be a valued member of the group in episodes to come. Teaming up with Glenn and Nicholas, who seems genuinely sorry for trying to kill Glenn last season, Heath takes out a store full of walkers successfully preventing the noise from drawing the mega herd off the chosen path. So far so good.

It wouldn’t be an episode of The Walking Dead if everything went as planned. First, after admitting Rick was right after all and making the mistake of redeeming himself during the apocalypse, Carter gets a kiss on the cheek from a walker. Screaming in terror as his face is being bitten off, he draws the mega herd off the road towards him. Thankfully Rick comes along and sticks a knife into his skull, allowing the group to redirect the herd back on track. Just when they thought the plan had worked, an obnoxiously loud horn starts going off from the direction of Alexandria turning the mega herd back where they came from.

TWD flares

We will have to wait until next week to find out how Alexandria handles itself against the massive walker horde. Most of the people living inside the walls have been there from the start and are not well equipped to defend themselves. Those steel fences are strong but not strong enough to keep a herd of that size from ripping it down.

Next week will also be exploring the even more of the relationship between Morgan and Rick. Morgan is clearly trying to get a read on the new Rick as well as dealing with everything he has been through on his own. He started as a man trying to protect his son Duane and grieving for his wife, then he slipped into madness after Duane’s death at her walker hands. Now, he’s a ninja warrior, with a six-foot long stick, the deadly use of which was taught to him “after”, he says. These are two men who have been profoundly changed since they first met, and need to completely rebuild their relationship. We assume that means Morgan’s going to be a big part of this season, which is great because Lennie James does a wonderful job with the character, and that stick…

Posted by Nicole Robinson in FEATURED CONTENT, IN THE SPOTLIGHT, TELEVISION REVIEWS, 0 comments
HALLOWEEN HORRORS: Near Dark (1987)

HALLOWEEN HORRORS: Near Dark (1987)

By Nick Durham

Near-Dark

One of the films that always finds its way on my TV is Near Dark. While most tend to think of The Lost Boys as an 80s vampire film classic, I, in all honesty, have never, ever liked that fucking movie. Call it blasphemy or what you will, but no, The Lost Boys doesn’t mean shit to me.

Near Dark does.

Released in 1987 and directed by Kathryn Bigelow before she became an Oscar winning, Hollywood darling with films like The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty (and even before she directed action favorites like Point Break and Strange Days), she directed this nasty little gem written by Eric Red (The Hitcher). Starring a variety of James Cameron vets (and Aliens stars) including Lance Henriksen, Bill Paxton, and Jeanette Goldstein, Near Dark tells the story of Caleb (Adrian Pasdar) whom, in the process of chasing a girl (Jenny Wright), falls in with her group of vampires. Yeah, it sounds almost exactly like the plot of The Lost Boys, but minus the Corey duo and ups the ante on blood and nastiness…and it also has ten times the heart.

Now I keep making the Lost Boys comparisons because while that film was a massive hit, Near Dark definitely was not. It had some time on VHS before disappearing to obscurity, only to be released on DVD for the first time ever a decade or so ago by Anchor Bay, and was thus rediscovered by many. Now recognized as a cult classic and unique to the vampire genre for a number of reasons (the V-word is never said once, there’s no typical vampire-lore stuff, and the blend of horror and western elements is just plain awesome), this is something I pop in every October like clockwork.

If you’ve never seen Near Dark, I can’t recommend it enough. Granted some elements of it haven’t aged all that well as the years have gone by, but this is my go-to vampire movie for the Halloween season year after year. You should make it yours too.

Rating: 5/5

Posted by Nick Durham in HoTS HALLOWED HALLOWEEN HORRORS, IN THE SPOTLIGHT, MOVIE REVIEWS, RETRO REVIEWS, STAFF PICKS, 0 comments

HALLOWEEN HORRORS: Angel Heart (1987)

By Dixielord

Angel Heart DVD cover

Angel Heart

My first selection for required Halloween viewing is Angel Heart, a supernatural detective story set mostly in my favorite city, New Orleans. It features Micky Rourke as Harold Angel, a sleazy, down and out New York private detective. Angel is approached by an attorney for a wealthy potential client, offering him a job he should probably refuse. The job, track down missing musician Johnny Favorite, who owes the client a debt of some sort. The client Lou Cypher, played by Robert DeNiro, sends Angel off to find Favorite, or find proof he is dead. The trail leads him deep into the world of New Orleans voodoo, into the arms of Lisa Bonet and maybe into insanity.

While Angel Heart is a detective story, it is heavily rooted in the supernatural. It also is one of the best horror movies dealing with voodoo. The fun is trying to figure out exactly what is going on, what’s the deal with Johnny Favorite, and why is everyone around Harold dying a gruesome death.

I love this movie and watch it almost every Halloween, and honestly every chance I get. When I’m asked to suggest a horror movie, this is high on the list. There is a heavy, dark foreboding that runs throughout the film. It feels hot and sweaty, just like New Orleans in the summer, or the fall for that matter. It’s never gets extremely gory, most of the deaths take place off screen, but it has a sense of dread, a sense that something bad is always just around the corner, and bad shit keeps happening. Every clue seems to lead to another corpse and dead end.

Angel Heart is also worth watching because of its 19 year old co-star, Lisa Bonet, known best as being one of the Huxtable clan from the Cosby show. In fact, it’s heavily rumored, and believed by most that her performance in Angel Heart cost her the job on Cosby. Long before the current Cosby rape allegations, this was the most controversial sex scandals involving the show. Bonet’s love scene with Rourke was one of the hottest, and most talked about sex scenes in a major film of the 80s. The love scene was also the bloodiest thing seen on screen in Angel Heart. The scene was so wild, that at least ten seconds of the sex had to be cut to keep the movie form getting an X rating.

There’s just so much I love about Angel Heart. A lot of people familiar with Rourke’s later movies might not realize he was once a handsome leading man. This was before his dalliance with the boxing ring lead to numerous facial injuries, and a botched plastic surgery left his face “a mess”. Then there is DeNiro, who comes across as a very subtle and sinister…..,well look at his name, Lou Cypher, I shouldn’t have to tell you who he is really playing. He plays it with a casual aplomb, that is way more frightening than the usual cackling prince of darkness.

Then there is Lisa Bonet. Wow. Bonet was at the prime of her beauty. She is smoking hot and her sexuality bleeds from her skin like sweat in the hot New Orleans sun, If you are a fan of the Huxtable’s and Denise, you might feel a little dirty every second she is on the screen. It’s okay, I wont tell, I felt that way when I first watched it.

The Cosby Show's Lisa Bonet in Angel Heart

Lisa Bonet in Angel Heart

Then there is the story itself. A detective film with a Faustian element, and dripping with the trappings of voodoo. There’s a bit of a twist, but it’s what’s makes Angel Heart special. I figured out what was up about five minutes before the reveal, and I spent those five minutes yelling “No” at the screen. It’s not a cheat or cheap move, and director Alan Parker littered clues throughout the movie. After it’s over you feel like you should have known all along. The ending is so dark, I was just left cold. And I felt that way the second, third, and fourth times I watched Angel Heart.

That’s my first selection for this Halloween. If you haven’t seen it, I urge you to check it out. It’s a great little detective horror film, and it’s a throwback to a different time. A time when Micky Rourke’s movies were scarier than his face, and most scandalous thing about The Cosby show was seeing Denise topless.

Angel Heart was directed by Alan Parker, based on the novel Falling Angel, written by William Hjortsberg. It stars Mickey Rourke, Robert DeNiro, Lisa Bonet and Charlotte Rampling. Now go watch it!

Posted by Allen Alberson in MOVIE REVIEWS, 0 comments
The Walking Dead Season 6 Returns Sunday!

The Walking Dead Season 6 Returns Sunday!

The Walking Dead
Season 6 Begins October 11, 2015

By Nicole Robinson

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

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

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

Walker 2

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by Nicole Robinson in BOOKS, COMICS AND PUBLICATION REVIEWS, Categories, COMING SOON, EDITORIALS, IN THE SPOTLIGHT, TELEVISION REVIEWS, 0 comments
HALLOWEEN HORRORS: The Rocky Horror Picture Show

HALLOWEEN HORRORS: The Rocky Horror Picture Show

By Machete Von Kill

rocky-horror
The Rocky Horror Picture Show

Director: Jim Sharman
Writers: Richard O’Brien (original musical play), Jim Sharman and Richard O’Brien (screenplay
Stars: Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon, Richard O’Brien, Barry Bostwick, Patricia Quinn, Nell Campbell
Rating: R; Run time: 100 min; Genre: Comedy, Musical; Country: UK; Language: English; Year: 1975

Sweethearts, and OH SO VANILLA, Brad (Bostwick) and Janet (Sarandon), newly engaged, are caught out in a storm when their car gets a flat tire. While looking for assistance, the straight laced couple discover the creepy mansion of Dr. Frank-N-Furter (Curry), a transvestite scientist from Transylvania, and a whole new (and FAR FROM VANILLA) world. As their innocence is lost, Brad and Janet meet a houseful of over the top characters, including Riff Raff (O’Brien), a creepy butler, Eddie (Meatloaf), a biker from the deep freeze, and Columbia (Campbell), a crazed groupie. During the Transylvanians’ celebration, Dr. Frank-N-Furter unveils his latest creation: a muscle man named Rocky.

 

It’s just a jump to the left, and a step to the right…My October just isn’t October without Rocky Horror. I honestly couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve seen the movie. I can say I have worn out one VHS and two DVD copies of this cult classic. I know every word and can do the Timewarp like nobody’s business. I’ve dressed up (and would gladly do it again) as Magenta (Quinn) and still find 1975 Tim Curry in drag to be the sexiest thing ever. The movie exposed sheltered, junior high me to kink, men in drag, and many more interesting things than I would see on an average day in my little town. (THANK YOU RICHARD O’BRIEN & JIM SHARMAN!!)

Rocky Horror

If the story and songs weren’t enough, the fact that the movie encourages audience participation makes it even more fun. If you haven’t attended a live performance or a viewing that allows fan partici…pation, YOU ARE MISSING OUT! Do it right now! You heard me, go Google it and find a showing or live performance, dress up, gather your props (you can use the fan participation script at the link above), and head up to the lab to see what’s on the slab.

And remember, don’t dream it, BE IT.

Posted by Machete Von Kill in HoTS HALLOWED HALLOWEEN HORRORS, IN THE SPOTLIGHT, MOVIE REVIEWS, RETRO REVIEWS, STAFF PICKS, 0 comments
HALLOWEEN HORRORS: Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)

HALLOWEEN HORRORS: Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)

31 days of Halloween:
Halloween III: Season of the Witch

By Dixielord

My second selection for my required Halloween viewing is Halloween III: Season of the Witch. Okay, calm down, stop throwing shit at me! Halloween III is probably the most maligned film of the Halloween series. At least until Rob Zombie directed the sequel to his remake of the original Halloween. Upon released it was pretty much universally hated by Halloween fans, myself included.

How dare they do a Halloween III film without Michael Myers? It was sacrilegious! And it was definitely bad business sense for a profitable horror franchise. Michael didn’t stay gone for long, returning in Halloween 4, and the popularity of the series returned with him.

But the once hated oddball of the Halloween III series how developed into a cult hit. It still isn’t loved and adored by everyone, but a lot of one time haters have converted to fans. I’m glad to say I’m one of those fans and Halloween III is now one of my favorite Halloween horror films.

Halloween III: Season of the Witch

Halloween III

For those not familiar the plot concerns Dr. Dan Challis, played by living legend Tom Atkins investigating a series of strange deaths. The deaths seem to lead to the manufacture of the most popular Halloween mask on the planet, the Silver Shamrock. The masks are more sinister than we would guess and soon Dr. Dan discovers a plot to bring back the old ways of Samhain. If he can’t stop it, Halloween will once again run red with the blood of children.

People may hate on me for including this on my list instead of the original, classic Halloween. I can understand that, the original is a classic in every sense. It is a great movie to watch during the Halloween season and I don’t want to take any thing from it. But Halloween III, like the original, perfectly exemplifies the Halloween season. Possibly as much or more than the original.

While it is easy to just see the original as a slasher set on Halloween, Season of the Witchlives and breathes the season. Halloween II, set on the days leading up to Halloween, and Halloween eve. Throughout the film we see kids happily getting ready for the big night. We also see and hear that Silver Shamrock commercial that gets stuck in out head.

Those sights and sounds, as well as the tales of what Halloween was, the blood rites and sacrifices of Samhain make this required watching. It’s got horror of its own too. Every parent’s fear about Halloween, candy laced with razor blades, gets a small but bloody showcase. People get their heads crushed by emotionless animated human like “toys” (or robots whatever), a woman dies by a “misfire” of Silver Shamrock mask.

Halloween III: Season of the Witch Silver Shamrock logo

Halloween III Silver Shamrock!

In the most disturbing kill scene, a boy wearing a Halloween mask is brutally killed. We, and his terrified parents, watch him squirm on the floor and then shudder in terror as insects, worms, and even snakes crawl out of the mask. A mask that is much too deflated and small to contain a human head any longer. The end of the film keeps you on the edge of your seat in suspense as the hero desperately fights and manages to save the day. Or does he? We get a real sense that on this most spooky day the demons have won, and the land will once again run red with the blood of children.

So if you are one of those people who have heard the negatives, but never seen the film for yourself, check it out. If you didn’t like it when you first saw it, give it another shot. If you have never heard of it, what the fuck man? Get on it.

Halloween III: Season of the Witch was directed by Tommy Lee Wallace and stars Tom Atkins, Stacey Nelken, and Dan O’Herlihy.

Posted by Allen Alberson in HoTS HALLOWED HALLOWEEN HORRORS, IN THE SPOTLIGHT, MOVIE REVIEWS, STAFF PICKS, 0 comments
HALLOWEEN HORRORS: The Fog (1980)

HALLOWEEN HORRORS: The Fog (1980)

By Nick Durham

the fog

John Carpenter is my fucking spirit animal. So many of his films have wormed their way into my heart since my youth, and around this time of year, I usually end up binge-watching quite a number of his films. Of course we all watch the original Halloween, because that’s just part of life during the season, but there’s others that usually fit the bill too: The Thing, They Live, Prince of Darkness, In the Mouth of Madness, and even Body Bags come to mind, at least for me that is. One film in particular of Carpenter’s that always manages to be the first one I pop in when October hits however, is his always dreadfully underrated The Fog. I swear, even though it received a great Blu-ray release from Scream Factory and an unbelievably shitty remake in 2005, it’s always seemed to me like this was one of the few Carpenter films from that early 80s era that never really gets the kind of recognition as his other work.

The story of The Fog revolves around the harbor town of Antonio Bay, which is getting ready to celebrate their centennial. Things start to go awry when some really spooky shit starts going down, and even a few bodies start piling up. There’s murderous ghosts afoot, and they want some serious fucking revenge…and trust me when I say that these guys do not fuck around either. Then again, neither would you if you were murdered and a whole town was founded on the blood money drawn from you, but I digress.

Featuring a wonderful cast of genre stalwarts and future Carpenter favorites (Adrienne Barbeau, Tom Atkins, Charles Cyphers, mother and daughter Janet Leigh and Jamie Lee Curtis, and legendary actors Hal Holbrook and John Houseman), the original The Fog is one of the absolute spookiest films of its era. The atmosphere alone is enough to creep you the fuck out. When the titular fog starts appearing and slowly rolls in, it’s like creeping death. Just the pacing of everything here is nearly pitch perfect in its delivery. If Halloween was what announced Carpenter to the world as a master of suspense and dread, The Fog perfects it. That’s right, I said that.

To close things up, I’ve always found it a damn shame that The Fog hasn’t gotten the widespread recognition that I feel it deserves. Maybe it’s just me, which very well could be. It’s rare that I’ve met anyone who has enjoyed this film as much as I have. That being said, every October I pop this sucker in like clockwork, and I still manage to enjoy the holy living hell out of it today as much as I did when I first discovered it in my youth. Go check it out and discover it all over again.
Rating: 5/5

Posted by Nick Durham in HoTS HALLOWED HALLOWEEN HORRORS, IN THE SPOTLIGHT, MOVIE REVIEWS, RETRO REVIEWS, 0 comments

Universal’s Dracula on the Big Screen for Halloween 2015

By Dixielord

Universal's Dracula back to the big screen

Turner Classic Movies is bringing Universal’s Dracula back to the big screen.

This Halloween looks to be a fun time for Horror fans. We have Kurt Russell returning to horror with Bone Tomahawk, The Green Inferno in theaters now, and next month will see the return of a classic horror movie to the big screen. When I say classic I mean it, not a recent hit, but a true classic of the genre. In October, just in time for Halloween, TMC and Fathom events are teaming up to bring Universal’s Dracula back to the big screen. This is the original 1931 Universal horror film starring Bela Lugosi and directed by Tod Browning.

In theaters for two days only, October 25 and 28, the Universal classic that made Bela Lugosi a horror icon will be in theaters nationwide. Now what could make this event even more special? It’s actually a double bill with the Spanish language version of the 1931 classic.

While the general public might not be familiar with the Spanish version, film buffs may know the story behind it. The Spanish version was shot alongside the better known Lugosi version, using the same sets. The English language version was shot during the day time, and the Spanish production took over at night. Almost all horror fans consider the Bela version to be a great film and horror classic, but a lot of critics consider the Spanish version to be just as good, if not better. The Spanish language version features Carlos Villaris as Count Dracula and Lupita Tovar as Eva.

Spanish Language Dracula

Spanish language version of Universal’s Dracula

This is a rare opportunity to see a legitimate horror classic on the big screen, and I urge horror fans to support it. For years horror fans have seen a lot of lackluster “horror” on the big screen. PG-13 films made for the masses, and not for the real horror fan. So when we get a good horror movie, or a re-release of a classic we need to turn out in droves. Fathom and TCM are doing us a great service in putting classic horror back on the big screen, with Dracula, and in their release of Psycho in September. We need to show them we support bringing back classic horror.

I still remember the first time I saw the original Dracula. do you? And I know where I will be on October 25, 2015. I’ll be sitting in a movie theater, popcorn and drink in hand, celebrating Halloween with the original Universal Dracula. And I encourage all of you to get out, buy your ticket and say “thank you” to TMC and Fathom for bringing Universal’s Dracula back to the big screen.

Posted by Allen Alberson in HORROR NEWS, 0 comments

COMING SOON: Rob Zombie’s 31 (2016)

Rob Zombie’s 31 Is Headed Our Way
in 2016

By Dixielord

killer clown from Rob Zombie's 31

One of the Heads from Rob Zombie’s 31

It’s almost that special time for horror fans again. Halloween? No. It’s that time to all gather together and argue over Rob Zombie movies. Is he a cinematic genius or a hack director??? It may be one of the biggest arguments in horror, right up there with fast zombies versus slow zombies. And that argument is about to shift back into high gear in 2016 when Rob releases his latest horror movie, Rob Zombie’s 31.

With 31, Zombie promises something brand new, most likely in reference to his remake of Halloween. I hear people constantly saying Rob should stop doing remakes and do originals and it looks like he is about to do just that. Even though that’s an unfair criticism since he has done only one real remake the aforementioned Halloween. Nevertheless, 31 is a brand new story, and it looks to be brutal as hell.

The plot of Rob Zombie’s 31 involves a group of carnival workers kidnapped five days before Halloween, and placed inside a closed down attraction known as Murder World. Here they will face off against a group of sadistic killers known as “The Heads”. There they must fight to survive, using anything they can. It’s kill or be killed and if you can survive twelve hours you might just make it out. Murder World is run by Father Murder, who is played by Malcolm McDowell.

Lawrence Hilton Jacobs in Rob Zombie's 31

Lawrence Hilton Jacobs in Rob Zombie’s 31

One thing that is always certain about a Rob Zombie movie, it’s going to have a hell of a cast, and 31 is no different. It’s also true that cast is always going to include his wife Sheri Moon. Well Sheri is here, love it or not, along with Rob Zombie veterans Malcolm McDowell, Elizabeth Dailey, Ginger Lynn Allen, Meg Foster and Lew Temple. Along with these Zombie regulars, one casting particularly interests me and that’s Lawerence Hilton Jacobs. I grew up a big fan of Welcome Back, Kotter and it’s great to see him getting a large part in a new movie. I’m really hoping this will lead him onto the convention circuit.

Rob has said that 31 is intended for the “hardcore fans who like it nasty and brutal”. All we have so far are movie stills but they seem to back up what he has said. The photos look dirty and raw harkening back to the glory days of exploitation cinema. Zombie has never shied away from violence in the past and there is no reason to think he will in 31.

Rob Zombie’s 31 is scheduled to be released some time early in 2016. While I am eager to see it, I wish it could have opened closer to Halloween. It’s a brutal film by a master of horror (depending on who you ask) set in the Halloween season. If released around Halloween it might become a seasonal favorite. Without any delays though, we should be seeing it early next year. Rob’s fans are eagerly awaiting it, while the rest of horror, as is usual with his films, are split right down the middle.

Posted by Allen Alberson in Categories, COMING SOON, 0 comments
ABC Family’s 13 Nights of Halloween

ABC Family’s 13 Nights of Halloween

13 Nights of Halloween

By Machete Von Kill

13-nights-of-halloween

For those of you looking for a perhaps tamer Halloween television experience than Syfy’s offerings, ABC Family has you covered with its 17th annual 13 Nights of Halloween, beginning Monday, October 19, 2015. ABC Family will be premiering a Halloween special from its new drama, Stitches. Tim Burton fans rejoice, ABC Family has you covered with the trifecta of The Corpse Bride, Frankenweenie, and The Nightmare Before Christmas. There seem to be a lot of repeats this year, and I’m not quite sure how Matilda or The Hunger Games fit with Halloween, but I can see how you would be limited while keeping that family image.

The whole family (well unless your family is like the Sawyer clan from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre) can enjoy seasonal staples like Hocus Pocus and Casper. Younger viewers should definitely tune in for Disney’s/ Pixar’s Toy Story OF TERROR! I watched it last year with my nephew and I can’t lie, we both enjoyed it. A lot.

Are you planning on tuning in? What are you looking forward to watching? What is this line-up missing? Let us know by leaving a comment.

Check out the full 2015 schedule for ABC Family’s 13 Nights of Halloween below:

Night 1 (Monday, October 19, 2015)

1:30 p.m. ET – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
5 p.m. ET – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
9 p.m. ET – Hocus Pocus
12 a.m. ET – Tim Burton’s The Corpse Bride

Night 2 (Tuesday, October 20, 2015)

4 p.m. ET – Tim Burton’s The Corpse Bride
6 p.m. ET – Hocus Pocus
9 p.m. ET – Stitchers 2015 Halloween Special
12 p.m. ET – Casper

Night 3 (Wednesday, October 21, 2015)

5 p.m. ET – Casper
7 p.m. ET – The Addams Family
9 p.m. ET – Addams Family Values
12 a.m. ET – I Know What You Did Last Summer

Night 4 (Thursday, October 22, 2015)

4 p.m. ET – The Addams Family
6 p.m. ET – Addams Family Values
8 p.m. ET – The Hunger Games
12 a.m. ET – I Still Know What You Did Last Summer

Night 5 (Friday, October 23, 2015)

5:30 p.m. ET – The Hunger Games
8:30 p.m. ET – Sleepy Hollow
12 a.m. ET – Matilda

Night 6 (Saturday, October 24, 2015)

7 a.m. ET – Matilda
9 a.m. ET – ParaNorman
11 a.m. ET – Tim Burton’s The Corpse Bride
1 p.m. ET – The Nightmare Before Christmas
2:30 p.m. ET – Casper
4:30 p.m. ET – The Addams Family
6:30 p.m. ET – Addams Family Values
8:30 p.m. ET – Disney/ Pixar’s Monsters University
11 p.m. ET – Disney/ Pixar’s Toy Story OF TERROR!
11:30 p.m. ET – Hocus Pocus

Night 7 (Sunday, October 25, 2015)

7 a.m. ET – ParaNorman
9 a.m. ET – Tim Burton’s The Corpse Bride
11 a.m. ET – Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas
12:30 p.m. ET – Casper
2:30 p.m. ET – The Addams Family
4:30 p.m. ET – Addams Family Values
6:30 p.m. ET – Disney/ Pixar’s Toy Story OF TERROR!
7 p.m. ET – Disney/ Pixar’s Monsters University
9:45 p.m. ET – Hocus Pocus

Night 8 (Monday, October 26, 2015)

5:30 p.m. ET – Sleepy Hollow
9 p.m. ET – Disney/ Pixar’s Toy Story OF TERROR!
9:30 p.m. ET – Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas
12 a.m. ET – Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie

Night 9 (Tuesday, October 27, 2015)

4:00 p.m. ET – Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie
6 p.m. ET – Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas
7:30 p.m. ET – Disney/ Pixar’s Toy Story OF TERROR!
9 p.m. ET – Hocus Pocus
12 a.m. ET – ParaNorman

Night 10 (Wednesday, October 28, 2015)

4 p.m. ET – ParaNorman
6 p.m. ET – Hocus Pocus
8:15 p.m. ET – Dark Shadows
12 a.m. ET – Casper

Night 11 (Thursday, October 29, 2015)

5 p.m. ET – Casper
7 p.m. ET – The Addams Family
9 p.m. ET – Addams Family Values
12 a.m. ET – Hocus Pocus

Night 12 (Friday, October 30, 2015)

2:30 p.m. ET – The Addams Family
4:30 p.m. ET – Addams Family Values
6:30 p.m. ET – Hocus Pocus
8:30 p.m. ET – Poltergeist
12 a.m. ET – Poltergeist II: The Other Side

Night 13
(Saturday, October 31, 2015
– HALLOWEEN!)

7 a.m. ET – Batman
10 a.m. ET – Batman Returns
12: 30 p.m. ET – Poltergeist
3 p.m. ET – Sleepy Hollow
5:30 p.m. ET – Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas
7 p.m. ET – Hocus Pocus
9:15 p.m. ET – Hocus Pocus
11:30 p.m. ET – Sleepy Hollow

Posted by Machete Von Kill in COMING SOON, 0 comments
Welcome Back Boo-Berry!

Welcome Back Boo-Berry!

By Dixielord

BooBerry

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.

Posted by Allen Alberson in HOME, IN THE SPOTLIGHT, WRETCHED FINDS AND ONE OF A KINDS, 0 comments
INTERVIEW: Jack Norman – The Bearded Badass

INTERVIEW: Jack Norman – The Bearded Badass

Attack of the Bearded Badass:
The Jack Norman Interview

By Stephanie Hensley

Jack Norman & Kane Hodder

There is a storm of cinematic badassery brewing on the Indie horror scene and the origin of this unforeseen force is Cincinnati… Colerain area to be exact. The storm that is going to knock you off your feet is Jack Norman. Jack is a 28 year Ohio native who served in the Marines for 8 years and now is serving up madness, mayhem, and occasionally a nice on screen beard shot. Jack got into filmmaking late in 2012 and already has a hell of a resume that is constantly growing.

While Jack is an avid horror fan, he enjoys all genres. His favorite non-horror film is the 2011 film Drive which happens to star one of his inspirations Ryan Gosling. As for the genre we all love and adore Jack is fond of the Halloween franchise. Primarily Rob Zombie’s Halloween and the original 1978 Halloween. This doesn’t shock me considering that Jack himself would make a hell of a Michael Meyers since he is 6’5”, and seeing him lumber around on scene is just as terrifying as the masked madman from one of my favorite franchises as well.

Now, I follow a lot of Indie films and try my best to support them all (when finances allow that is), and a while back Jack Norman caught my attention. I was following a project called The Wicked One, and Jack was cast as the titled slasher. As I watched the project and progress, I was drawn into this blooming actor. I am calling it now: Jack Norman will be a name that horror remembers.

Jack also works with Studio 605, which is located in Rising Sun, Indiana… Which is close enough to my hometown to be considered hometown. I have been a fan of their work for some time now, so when I witnessed the merge of this studio I appreciate and this actor who has a major on screen presence, I knew I had to strike now… Before anyone else, I wanted to score the Jack Norman interview.

Jack Norman in Halloween: The Babysitter Murders

 

House of Tortured Souls: What was your first film?

Jack Norman: First film I ever worked on was the original Indie film The Campground by Roman Jossart, who is now a partner of mine in Studio 605 along with Brandon Prewitt.

 

HoTS: What has been your favorite experience while filming?

JN: Best film experience was probably on James Franco’s The Long Home got to work with a load of A posters also met a new partner in Crime Garey Faulkner.

 

HoTS: Do you pull from real life to tackle your characters?

JN: Depends on what I’m writing at the moment. I have scripts I’m working on that are straight out of life experiences I have had and then there is a lot of fiction in some of my films or characters. I often say real life experiences make the best scripts.

 

HoTS: Do you have any real life heroes?

JN: My real life hero is kinda tough it would have to be one of the Marines Corps friends I lost who were deployed overseas or one of the many heroes who passed away in 911. But if you’re talking actors then probably Tyler Mane.

 

HoTS: What is the greatest moment of your life to date?

JN: Greatest moment was probably going to Pasedena for the 35th Halloween anniversary convention. After the convention Tyler and his wife who also played in Rob Zombie’s Halloween 2 invited me to dinner and I got to see all of Tyler’s Halloween wardrobe and props it was surreal.

 

HoTS: What is your favorite book?

JN: Drive

 

HoTS: What is your favorite color?

JN: Red.

 

HoTS: What is your go to make you feel good movie?

JN: Drive (2011)

 

HoTS: Who is your biggest celeb crush and why?

JN: Celeb crush would be between Parker Posey or Kristina Klebe I have always had a crush on Parker Posey since Dazed and Confused, and I have hung out with Kristina a few times and she’s super smart and very intellectual and to top it off she’s beautiful.

 

HoTS: I have friends who think you’re adorable… So A. Relationship status, and B. For the girls who swoon over you as an Indie slasher… How about a selfie exclusive for our site?

JN: Lol really? Who? JK.. JK.. um I’m single. I’m not very good at picking girls and juggling a full time job and making movies is tough on meeting them. I wish they had singles night at Horrorhound or something. LOL.

 

Jack Norman in The Wicked OneSo there you have it… To everyone who wants to get to know this up and coming Indie horror star… and to those gals I know who think he is adorable (and even though I am a lesbian, I must admit Jack is cute as hell) this is the most random and fun interview with the guy that we all need to keep an eye on.

You can catch up with Jack by watching him in The Curse of Jason from Studio 605 and Halloween: The Babysitter Murders. Also keep an eye out for The Wicked One and The Funhouse Masacre.

Keep an eye on Jack’s ever-growing IMdB.

Or Jack’s Actor’s Page on Facebook.

Posted by Stephanie Hensley in INTERVIEWS, 2 comments

MOVIE REVIEW: The Houses October Built (2014)

By John Roisland

Houses October Built
Remember growing up and going to haunts every Halloween season? Some were put on by local charities raising money for their organization, and some were actual production companies. Some were good, some were bad…some even chased you out the door screaming. For the most part, everyone had a good time and was satisfied with the adrenaline rush they had just received from being scared. There were always those, however, who wanted more. More screams, more scares, an extreme haunt…I call your attention to The Houses October Built.

This 2014 film from Room 101 and Foreboding Films takes us on a road trip in search of the extreme haunt. Equipped with a video camera, beer, and a full tank of gas, our investigative team hits the road in a large RV, stopping at Halloween attractions across the US.

During the trip, they encounter all walks of life while in pursuit of the most extreme haunt. They catch word during their travels about a mysterious extreme haunt that only happens on Halloween night and changes location every year. The more clues they find put them one step closer to their goal but also puts them in a dangerous position. What they are seeking in earnest, is now haunting and hunting them.

The film was written and directed by most of the starring cast. It was written by Zack Andrews, Jeff Larson, and Bobby Roe (who also directed), all of whom play themselves in the movie. The film also stars Brandy Schaefer, Mikey Roe, and Chloe Crampton, as well as actual haunt actors.

The Houses October Built, as many nowadays, is filmed in found footage style. The nice thing with this one is that there is little shaky cam so it wont make you dizzy or nauseated watching it. The usual shaking and cutting in and out is very limited for the most part.

On a personal note, I first saw this film a few months ago when it was first released on Netflix. I was anxious to see it because I had been looking forward to it since I first saw the previews. There is something compelling about this film. I can easily watch it repeatedly, but I cant really explain my near fascination with it.

The Houses October Built may not be the perfect horror film; I don’t know if one really exists. The feedback on this film seems to be a love/hate situation. I, for one, absolutely love it, and am looking forward to watching it many times over!

Check out their Facebook and official web pages.

Posted by John Roisland in MOVIE REVIEWS, 0 comments
Abnormal Musings and Freakish Facts #2

Abnormal Musings and Freakish Facts #2

Abnormal Musings and Freakish Facts #2

By Stephanie Roisland

1) Psycho was the first movie to show a toilet flush.

Halloween

2) The original title for Halloween was The Babysitter Murders. It was not chosen for the
official title because the story was to take place
in only one night for budget reasons.

scarymother-in-law

3) Pentheraphobia is the fear of a mother-in-law.

Ribbon_worm_-_Nemertea

4) Some ribbon worms will eat themselves if they cannot find food.

Five senses numbered

5) When a person dies, hearing is generally the last sense to go. First is sight, then taste, and touch.

Andrew Jackson and his parrot

6) In 1845, President Andrew Jackson’s pet parrot
was removed from his funeral; he was using
excessive swearing.

Edward Cruisehands

7) Tom Cruise was offered the role of the titular character in Edward Scissorhands; he turned it down because he wanted a happier ending.

alien-like-human-1

8) In 2003, the skeletal remains of a human that measured 6 inches was found in a Chilean ghost town. A definition of the size, mutations, and origin have not yet been found.

5401288692_cdc3790b4f_o

9) A human body decomposes four times faster in water than on land.


Texas Chain Saw skeleton

10) The human skeleton at the end of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre was, in fact, a real skeleton
bought from India.

Posted by Stephanie Roisland in ABNORMAL MUSINGS AND FREAKISH FACTS, 0 comments