Horror film

The Houses October Built and the recent follow up release, The Houses October Built 2, are two of my favorite films! Let’s face it. With the abundance of horror films being made either through Hollywood budgets or Indie fan-funded projects, there’s a shit ton of mediocre to bad horror being produced. Since October is the month for horror and scares and with Halloween just around the corner, the options for viewing are endless. During this season I try to stick with Halloween-themed films.
In 2014, I first viewed The Houses October Built. It instantly became part of my personal top five horror films! And, in keeping in with my Halloween-themed films, it’s about a group of friends who travel from haunt to haunt in search of the extreme. Now, I ask you: what can be more Halloween than haunts?
Then 2017 came, and the crew released the follow-up, The Houses October Built 2. This sequel answered questions that had left audiences pondering in the closing frames of the original, kept the viewer’s Halloween spirit engaged, and ended with an entirely new set of holy-shit-what-the-fuck questions.
After viewing The Houses October Built and launching House of Tortured Souls, I had been trying to get in touch with any or all staff for a written interview. However, once I tracked down the right people through social media, there were always scheduling conflicts. Time went on, and I had resigned myself to the fact that it wasn’t going to happen. Still, I proudly supported the films and helped out the best I could on social media by sharing their posts.
It was this past Thursday, October 19, 2017, at approximately 2:30 pm EST when I figured what the hell and sent an email to them in hopes of setting up an interview sometime within the next few years. With part 2 only having been out for a few weeks, I knew they would be busy, but I also figured why not give it a shot? Within an hour, I got a response asking if I was available that day. Long story short, within two hours, both writers/directors/stars of both The Houses October Built parts 1 and 2, Bobby Roe and Zack Andrews, were staring me in the face live through a House of Tortured Souls LIVE video podcast.
We had a great chat, and it was a thrill to have met them and an honor to have them on the show. The guys discuss the origins of the film, working together, haunts, and even dabble in what may be next! So join me as I bring you my afternoon with Bobby Roe and Zack Andrews of The Houses October Built!
Keep It Evil…

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: The Houses October Built on HoTS LIVE!!!

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: The Houses October Built on HoTS LIVE!!!

The Houses October Built and the recent follow up release, The Houses October Built 2, are two of my favorite films! Let's face it. With the abundance of horror films being made either through Hollywood budgets or Indie fan-funded projects, there's a shit ton of mediocre to bad horror being produced. Since October is the month for horror and scares and with Halloween just around the corner, the options for viewing are endless. During this season I try to stick with Halloween-themed films.
In 2014, I first viewed The Houses October Built. It instantly became part of my personal top five horror films! And, in keeping in with my Halloween-themed films, it's about a group of friends who travel from haunt to haunt in search of the extreme. Now, I ask you: what can be more Halloween than haunts?
Then 2017 came, and the crew released the follow-up, The Houses October Built 2. This sequel answered questions that had left audiences pondering in the closing frames of the original, kept the viewer's Halloween spirit engaged, and ended with an entirely new set of holy-shit-what-the-fuck questions.
After viewing The Houses October Built and launching House of Tortured Souls, I had been trying to get in touch with any or all staff for a written interview. However, once I tracked down the right people through social media, there were always scheduling conflicts. Time went on, and I had resigned myself to the fact that it wasn't going to happen. Still, I proudly supported the films and helped out the best I could on social media by sharing their posts.
It was this past Thursday, October 19, 2017, at approximately 2:30 pm EST when I figured what the hell and sent an email to them in hopes of setting up an interview sometime within the next few years. With part 2 only having been out for a few weeks, I knew they would be busy, but I also figured why not give it a shot? Within an hour, I got a response asking if I was available that day. Long story short, within two hours, both writers/directors/stars of both The Houses October Built parts 1 and 2, Bobby Roe and Zack Andrews, were staring me in the face live through a House of Tortured Souls LIVE video podcast.
We had a great chat, and it was a thrill to have met them and an honor to have them on the show. The guys discuss the origins of the film, working together, haunts, and even dabble in what may be next! So join me as I bring you my afternoon with Bobby Roe and Zack Andrews of The Houses October Built!
Keep It Evil...

Posted by John Roisland in EXCLUSIVE, INTERVIEWS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: The Devil’s Candy (2015)

MOVIE REVIEW: The Devil’s Candy (2015)

The Devil's Candy poster / Fair use doctrine.The Devil's Candy is a 2015 horror film both written and directed by Sean Byrne (The Loved Ones (2009)) and starring Ethan Embry, Pruitt Taylor Vince, Shiri Appleby, and Kiara Glasco. I must admit - if not for the recommendation from a friend regarding this film, I may never have seen it. I'm glad he told me about it! The Devil’s Candy seemed to be kind of a sleeper hit that really packs a punch!
The Devil's Candy is the story of a young family who purchase an old farmhouse in southern Texas and quickly realize that along with the mortgage comes a horrific history that threatens them all. Ethan Embry plays Jesse Hellman, a loving husband, father, metal head, and painter. After moving into the family's new home, Jesse becomes almost possessed through his painting. Pruitt Taylor Vince co-stars as Ray, a man who suffers from demonic voices in his head, has been on an ultra-violent killing spree of young children, saying he needs to feed them to him. But Ray is also having a homecoming – to the same home that Embry and family now inhabit.
As Jesse's paintings become more and more detailed and violent, Ray gets closer and closer to the home, as do his abductions and brutal murders. Ray suffered from violent tendencies as a child, even being hospitalized due to them, and now he wants to come home.
Ethan Embry, known for playing fun-loving, almost goofy, characters (Dutch, Empire Records, Can't Hardly Wait), may seem an odd choice. In my opinion, though, Embry needs more serious/darker roles because HE NAILED IT! Although he plays the good guy and proud father in The Devil's Candy, he displays a dark side through his character’s possession and is brilliant!
The Devil's Candy - Pruitt Taylor Vince 02 / Fair use doctrine.Co-star Pruitt Taylor Vince (Constantine, Monster, and Identity) is NEVER a letdown in his performances, and his stellar job as Ray Smilie is so believable that he gives you nightmares during the day.
The Devil's Candy - Ethan Embry / Fair use doctrine.The film moves quickly but doesn't skip ahead or leave any stone unturned in the storytelling. My only gripe with lies with the film’s lighting. While all normal shots are filmed fine, too many of the action scenes are near unwatchable. I've viewed the filmed a few times now (yes, I'm a fan of it), and it’s just too dark no matter how the lighting is in the room. I’ve even tried adjusting the contrast on my TV set. Still not helping. Don’t get me wrong; I don't mind when a film has off screenshots that make you use your own imagination. Oftentimes it’s more effective - and disturbing. But when a scene is shot on film for the audience to view but is too dark for viewers to make out anything, then I have a problem with it.
The Devil's Candy is currently playing on Netfilx, and I seriously can't stress enough that you should sit down and watch this it. Truly this is one of the best overall horror films I've seen in a while.The Devil's Candy title / Fair use doctrine.
Posted by John Roisland in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
EDITORIAL: In Defense of: Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 (2000)

EDITORIAL: In Defense of: Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 (2000)

Hello, horror fiends. In my new series “In Defense Of...”, I look at movies often loathed, you know, those fugly, redheaded, stepchildren in the genre. But are they really worth the hate? After all, a lot of now classic horror films were once looked down upon by other like-minded genre fans. Day of the Dead (1985) is a prime example. So all I ask is your time and open mind because you never know, you might just see a movie in a totally new light.
Oscar nominated director Joe Berlinger seemed like an interesting choice when it was announced he would helm the sequel to the mega hit The Blair Witch Project. Berlinger is known for award winning documentaries such as Brother's Keeper and the hugely successful Paradise Lost trilogy. He is currently directing a project about Ted Bundy (Zac Efron is slated to play Bundy).

Opening Statement or Sequels Don't Always Suck

For my first film, I want to look at the ill-fated sequel to the smash hit The Blair Witch Project (1999). Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 was looked at by many fans as a quickly slapped together film to keep the Blair Witch money train chugging along. But it's really not the cinematic turd we unfairly dismiss it as. I’m going to use the term ballsy a lot because that is exactly what the Joe Berlinger was when attempting to tackle the sequel to the huge runaway hit the first Blair Witch was. He could have taken the easy route and simply sent another batch of kids in the woods screaming and looking into the camera and sobbing etc., but he didn’t. Instead, he chose to take the template of the first film and do what a good sequel should do, which is expand the mythos and take the series in a different direction.

Studio Interference

When defending Blair Witch 2, you have to have some context. The director’s vision of Blair Witch 2 is totally different than what we see in the final product all thanks to studio interference. For example, key scenes were re-arranged along with additional violent scenes, etc. It was further confused by adding Book of Shadows to the title when, in fact, there is no book in the movie. That, my friends, was - you guessed it - the studio suits’ bright idea and not the director’s. On a side note, I’ve heard of fans making their own “director’s cut” versions using details from the shooting script and listening to the commentary. (SERIOUSLY, the commentary is amazing. You must listen to it. ), and (surprise, surprise) it's much better. Sadly, the odds of seeing an official director's cut is slim because Artisan (now Lions Gate) doesn’t really do a lot to cater to fans. Even The Blair Witch Project (1999), a film that put them on the map, didn’t get a tenth-anniversary release because I guess they figured why bother.

What Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 Got Right

After viewing last year’s stinkfest which was Blair Witch, it only reinforced the idea that Blair Witch 2, for all its flaws, at least attempted to explore interesting themes and ideas. Not only does it all but ditch the whole found footage concept, which is pretty ballsy in and of itself, it is a clever take on Luigi Pirandello’s Six Characters in Search of an Author. Each character in Book of Shadows represents an aspect of the film. Jeff is the opportunist cashing in on the film; Kim is the goth girl who was drawn into the film’s dark themes and subject matter; Tristine and her husband are the brainy skeptics; and Erica is the Wiccan who found the film to be offensive to the witch community. Again this is so much more interesting than simply another batch of kids going off into the woods... God, I hate Blair Witch (2016).
In short, Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 is much more lofty than the remake/rehash we got last year. With the filmmaker's background in documentary film, he explores blurring the lines between fiction and reality and the very real danger in doing so. Also, the cliché imagery throughout is purposefully placed because the young people are so steeped in media that it’s the only way they relate to things once shit gets weird. The fact that The Blair Witch Project exists (in the sequel’s context) as a work of fiction rather than a part of its own universe is another incredibly ballsy move and helps to further echo its core theme while also giving an interesting slice of meta. Its cast is solid and the pacing moves at nearly breakneck speed. It also has a pretty good soundtrack which is now nostalgic for people of my generation.

Closing Statement or Before You Pass Judgment

I'm the first person to admit Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 is flawed largely due to studio tampering, but it doesn’t deserve the 4.0 rating on IMDb! It attempted to give the audience something a little more challenging than simply a run of the mill cash grab remake (which, AGAIN, Blair Witch (2016) totally was) by introducing interesting themes and concepts. Thankfully, I’m not alone in my respect for this film, and it seems other fans are coming out of the woods and proudly reclaiming Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2. I still hold out hope that Lions Gate will release a director’s cut to allow fans to see the film as the filmmaker intended.
Michael Vaughn is a published genre writer and has appeared in Fangoria, Scream (UK) in print as well as sites like FilmsinReview.com. He also owns the blog “Gorehound Mike's Weird Cinema”. Currently, he has a book coming out entitled The Ultimate Guide to Strange Cinema, which compiles over 300 reviews spanning films from all over the globe and covering multiple genres.
Posted by Mike Vaughn in EDITORIALS, MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
TRIBUTE: GEORGE A. ROMERO (1 of ?)

TRIBUTE: GEORGE A. ROMERO (1 of ?)

Remembering George A. Romero

George A. Romero, as many of you know by now, passed on Sunday, July 16, asleep in his own bed. Romero had a small but aggressive bout with cancer, but that is said not to be the cause of his death. Romero was 77.
When one thinks of zombies these days, sadly, most think of The Walking Dead and believe this to be the greatest zombie representation in film (or TV). Not to take anything away from the abundance of talent that goes into making TWD, but if you were to ask its main man Greg Nicotero who he himself was inspired by (as well as any true horror and or zombie fan) and who is the master and father of the modern zombie, you'll get the same answer from them all. That name would be legendary filmmaker George A. Romero.
George A. Romero was born in New York City in 1940. After graduating school, George made many short film and did some commercial work as well. He and friends formed IMAGE TEN PRODUCTIONS where they all chipped in about $10,000.00 each to produce and direct a black and white horror film that became an instant horror classic and a legend among all zombie film to ever be made: Night of the Living Dead (1968).
Romero went on to write, direct, produce, and even act in more than a combined 78 films. Films titles such as The Crazies (2010/1972), Diary of the Dead (2007), Night of the Living Dead 3D (2006), Land of the Dead (2004), Creepshow (1982), Dawn of the Dead (1978), and many more.
George A. Romero was always known for his trademark thick rimmed black frame glasses and safari vest. But, more so, was always known for being a warmhearted man who always cared and took the time for his fans. I personally wasn't fortunate enough to have met Romero at any of the conventions that he had attended as a celebrity guest, but I always heard from those who did that he was a very personable and kind man.
The legendary horror/zombie films that Romero made in his lifetime were inspiring to future filmmakers and loved by audiences across the globe. Romero's Night of the Living Dead became the standard for all other zombie films. All, in some way, seemed to be compared to that of Romero, but none ever seem to make the same impact. While Romero's films were always full of great gore, blood, and BRAINS(!!!!), the films always had great stories. They were always driven by characters whose main goal was to survive among the dead for their life. And it always worked!
Mr. Romero, you have been inspiring, admired, respected, loved, and now, most of all, missed.
On behalf of myself, John Roisland, founder and CEO of House of Tortured Souls, thank you, sir, for all the memories you have given to all of us.
Keep It Evil.
Posted by John Roisland in EDITORIALS, 0 comments
COMING SOON: The Houses October Built 2 (2017)

COMING SOON: The Houses October Built 2 (2017)

The Houses October Built Retrospective
and The Houses October Built 2 Announcement

the houses october built 2With the big news of a sequel to The Houses October Built, I thought it was time I wrote a nice little piece about this sometimes misunderstood film. I’m one of those horror fans that don’t automatic hate on the found footage sub-genre. The Houses October Built is one that actually nails it pretty well!
Bobby Roe (l), Zack Andrews (r)
Bobby Roe (l), Zack Andrews (r)
Now some hardcore fans seem to simply write this off as a lazy and a bit clichéd, and while I enjoy the film immensely, I have to agree that it is guilty of some horror pitfalls. Still, I think the film has an above interesting plot with some genuinely creepy moments and a decent ending (even though it sorta cribs the original The Vanishing). The very fact it’s already gaining a fast and loyal cult following with a sequel on its way means I must not be alone. Returning Houses writer/director/actor Bobby Roe uses the found footage not nearly as clunky or unrealistic as some in the genre, and in a lot of ways it amps the suspense and creep factor, which is how found footage should be utilized. The follow up, simply titled The Houses October Built 2 (for now, anyway), was penned by Roe and Zack Andrews and will, by all accounts, pick up from the last film and reunite Roe and Andrews with fellow cast members Brandy Schaefer, and Mikey Roe. I only hope that they build and expand the mythos of Blue Skeleton instead of simply remaking the first film, but the synopsis indicates it could go either way.
SYNOPSIS:
Five friends try to recover from the trauma of being kidnapped last Halloween by the Blue Skeleton – a group who takes “extreme haunt” to another level – by facing their fears in order to move on. As they go back out on the road to experience more haunted house attractions, signs of the Blue Skeleton start appearing and a new terror begins…

RLJE Films has picked up the North American rights to The Houses October Built 2 and plan to release the film in theaters and On Demand in September 2017.

Posted by Mike Vaughn in COMING SOON, HORROR NEWS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: The Dark Tapes (2017)

MOVIE REVIEW: The Dark Tapes (2017)

Face the Unknown with The Dark Tapes (2017)

The Dark Tapes (2017) / Fair use DoctrineAfter three long years of dedication and personal funding, Michael McQuown and fellow producers, are proud to present their film The Dark Tapes. This film blends genres with its interlocking story-lines covering horror, fantasy, sci-fi and more. With a crew comprised primarily of himself and four producers (who also served as the primary crew members), The Dark Tapes is Michael McQuown's first film to direct. Fellow producer, Nicola Odeku gave him the original idea for the story. When asked what three words he would use to describe this film, Michael said, “Twists, Tension and Terror”. This film was 100% independent from any studio but that has not affected its achievements. Among the film festival circuit, The Dark Tapes has won or been nominated for 61 awards across 30 festivals. This includes a nomination for a Rondo Hatton Award for “Best Independent Feature”. You can also find it ranked in the top three highest rated films ever on FoundFootageCritic.com.
The Dark Tapes is a found footage horror anthology film comprised of four primary narratives. As you watch, you will find each story original and interweaving with some great surprises in store for you. The scares are not cheap and the fear is genuine. This film doesn't rely on jump scares or gore to scare you. It will build the tension until you must turn your lights back on. It proves that you don’t need a big budget to put out a quality film. Dark imagery, good effects and sincere acting drives it to success.
It is now available for purchase on most VOD platforms, including Amazon, iTunes, VUDU, Google Play, Sling TV, Vimeo, Xbox, PlayStation, and more. Due to its popularity, Michael and his crew are already in pre-production working on a sequel titled The Darker Paths. I expect them to lead us even further into the nightmares with this follow-up.
Check out The Dark Tapes at the links below:
Happy Nightmares,
ZombieGurl

Posted by ZombieGurl in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
COMING SOON: Eli Roth’s Death Wish (2017)

COMING SOON: Eli Roth’s Death Wish (2017)

Director: Eli Roth; Writers: Joe Carnahan (screenplay), Brian Garfield (novel), Dean Georgaris (screenplay), Eli Roth (screenplay) ; Stars: Bruce Willis, Vincent D'Onofrio, Elisabeth Shue ; Rating: No info; Run Time: No info; Genre: Action/Horror; Country: USA; Language: English; Year: 2017
A mild-mannered father is transformed into a killing machine after his family is torn apart by a violent act.
Eli Roth / Image: Jeff Vespa courtesy WireImageHorror director Eli Roth (Cabin Fever, Hostel, The Green Inferno) has announced he has directed a remake of the 1974 revenge classic Death Wish. The film boasts a stellar casting including action star Bruce Willis (Die Hard, Looper) in the lead, character actor Vincent D’Onofrio (Full Metal Jacket, Jurassic World), and 80s mainstay Elizabeth Shue (Cocktail, Leaving Las Vegas) just to name a few. So far the film is slated to be released November 22nd of this year and will be released by MGM/Annapurna Pictures.
Charles Bronson - Death Wish / Fair use doctrine.As you might recall, the original 1974 film starred screen icon Charles Bronson playing a mild-mannered father pushed to his limits and out for revenge. Based on the 1972 novel by Brian Garfield, the film was a mega hit and spawned other successful sequels. I am very curious to see how Mr. Roth will tackle this subject but I think its safe to say it will be wall to wall blood and guts. The remake has been a long time coming, having been in development since the early 2000s. Originally, Taken star Liam Neeson was to star with Smokin' Aces director Joe Carnahan at the helm. Only time will tell if the wait and hype will be worth it.
Eli Roth / Image: Jeff Vespa courtesy WireImage
Posted by Mike Vaughn in HORROR NEWS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: The Barn (2015)

MOVIE REVIEW: The Barn (2015)

The Barn, a 2015 Indie horror film written and directed by Justin Seaman and brought to you by the good people of Nevermore Film Productions, will definitely bring a nostalgic smile to your face!
The Barn tells the tale of three supernatural entities that are brought back to life by trick-or-treaters who knock on the doors of a small town barn that has a haunted past. The Barn opens on a town gathering where the local clergyman is kicking off the local annual Halloween hootenanny in 1959. A young boy and girl swap glances during the introduction and quickly take off for the taboo barn after the Hootenanny opening speech. They stand back from the barn door, daring each other to trick-or-treat. At last, paying no mind to the warnings of the clergyman, the young girl takes off her Halloween mask and knocks on the barn door, yelling, “Trick or treat!” only to swiftly meet her demise.
And so the story begins...30 years later.
We are quickly introduced to a group of high school seniors who loves Halloween, lead by Sam, in the group who lives and breathes for Halloween, as Halloween 1989 approaches. Sam truly believes in all of its glory, spirits, and the tradition of trick-or-treating. After reluctantly deciding this would be their final Halloween, the group elects to make their mark in an elaborate plan to collect record amounts of candy, trick all who offer no treats, and finish the night at the perfect Halloween concert. Ultimately they decide to test the local Halloween legend of the ritual that summons the spirits of Halloween. Will the Halloween spirits will be raised or will the group make the concert?
The Barn is a fun movie – a lot of fun! I've got to admit that I really didn't know what to expect at first. I love – actually, I absolutely adore – Halloween-based films so much so that I can be very hard to please with them. It’s a heavy cross that I bear to love something so much and yet be so judgmental. Pretty much from the get-go, however, I was sucked in with The Barn. It deals a lot with Halloween folklore and tradition, both of which utterly fascinate me, and the film immediately put me in the Halloween spirit. And that’s the true test of a Halloween-based film.
The movie itself is set in 1989, from the attire to the lingo used in the film. Hell, even down to the score/music for The Barn, offered up by musician, director (10/31/16) and co-producer of The Barn, Rocky Gray. Even the gratuitous topless girl during a make-out scene (the breasts got their own credit) to the special effects, blood, and gore used during the film is like taking a giant step back in time...but in a very good way! And, I must say, that adding two small roles in the film, played by Ari Lehman and Linnea Quigley, was a great enhancement to the 80s feel and a great touch overall to the film itself.
I must give props to director Justin Seaman for not only having directed The Barn but also having starred as the lead evil Halloween spirit. Justin puts you so in touch with his vision for the film, that you'll be humming the music to Miami Vice while looking for your parachute pants and “Frankie says Relax” t-shirt after the movie. I’ve seen a lot of retro films (mostly bad because they just cant seem to pull it off), and The Barn is one that succeeds on any level!
If you're looking for something that's fun, a good time, not too dark, and not too serious, but still a serious horror film, I highly suggest that you check out The Barn. Go ahead and do yourself a favor. Step on over to The Barn official website and pick up your own DVD ‘cause it is definitely worth it!
Keep it Evil…
Posted by John Roisland in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
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
MOVIE REVIEW: Afflicted (2013)

MOVIE REVIEW: Afflicted (2013)

By John Roisland
2013 brought Afflicted to us, a vampire film like I promise you've never seen before. The story is of two life long friends who embark on a journey of a lifetime when they fly to Europe and travel across the world, Afflicted follows the friends as they videotape and upload all experiences to the online world.
After what appears to be a night of would be romance gone wrong, with one of the friends bringing a young lady he meets in a European bar to his hotel room, he is found unconscious bloodied, and beaten. Soon our young friend finds himself starting to feel ill while simultaneously realizing that he has acquired almost superhuman powers. He is now incredibly strong and has the ability to run 40-50 miles per hour, scale the outside of buildings, and jump from rooftop to rooftop. The downside to this, as I mentioned, is that our friend is also becoming extremely ill and learning of certain things that he is now craving and desiring. Blood. The taste of blood. It is here where our character goes into his downward spiral both physically and mentally.
His journey to find the answers of what he has become, a vampire, which he can only trace back to his one night of pleasure with the woman he brought home from the bar, is compelling.
While Afflicted does bear more than a passing resemblance to American Werewolf in London (two Americans traveling across country while attacked by a monster of some sort), it is a darker and more serious film. Filmed on location in Europe, at moments Afflicted seems to drag a little bit, but it more than makes up for it with details and story line.
The two main actors, Derek Lee and Clif Prowse, are not only the leads in the movie but are also both writers and directors of the film. And Derek's acting is spot on, sorry Clif. I'm not going to give away any spoilers or the ending, but I will just leave you with... a person has to do what a person has to do to survive, right? SEE THIS MOVIE!
Keep it Evil...
Posted by John Roisland in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Satanic (2016)

MOVIE REVIEW: Satanic (2016)

EDITOR's NOTE: As I was reviewing some articles for publication, I noticed that both John Roisland and Dixielord had both reviewed the same Netflix movie: Satanic. What's more, both of them felt the same as I did. Therefore, House of Tortured Souls presents our first ever dual review. Enjoy!
By John Roisland
SATANIC is a 2016 film about four friends who get messed up with the devil. Or that would be the nice way of putting it.
First, I must say, I do enjoy movies about the occult and dark magic, so when i saw the title of this film, I thought, 'Wow, pretty balls move to go right for the throat' . You've gotta have a solid winner and know what you're doing to use a major or strong word for your title. For example, The Exorcist , Titanic, and, hell, even Gremlins used their bold titles, and they owned them. Sadly enough, Satanic did not.
The story begins with the four friends stopping into a occult store while in LA only to piss off an employee and get chased out. The four follow the store employee home after he gets off work and find the center of what appears to be a ritual killing of a young woman.
After being seen and chased away from the property, they run into the should have been sacrificed girl the next day at a coffee shop. They hang out and talk to her, eventually inviting her back to their hotel, where they drink some beers and talk occult until the girl apparently curses them after she paints a Penatgram on the wall and then slits her own throat.
With this now supposed Satanic curse on them, weird things start to happen around as well as to our four bumbling idiots. I'm sorry, I'm usually not one to tear up on a film, and I have seen much worse. The film from the get go has a made for television feel, almost like your watching a series. The movie itself really doesn't go anywhere, and its a shame because it really could have. It had a lot of potential.
There was at the very end one of those, "Oh yea, huh," moments and that was about it. The acting was god awful and had a few decent special F/X in it. It just felt like they were rushed almost. Like they had the ideas, but forgot to add a few.
So this, now playing on Netflix streaming, was unfortunately one that I had hoped would have been much better, but was merely something to kill time with. And this, from the producers of The Walking Dead, sorry guys.
Keep It Evil...
By Dixielord
Satanic Panic was all the rage when I was a teenager. It seemed there was always reports of mutilated pets, and graveyard gatherings. Now we know that for the most part the Satanic Panic was just urban legends blown out of proportion. Still, that's no reason we can't make films about them. Ti West delved into Satanic Panic with The House of the Devil, and just this year we went old school satanic with The Witch. Now the new film Satanic explores satanism as an evil force while using the panic years as a device to drive the film.
Be careful of looking for doors, you might find one - Satanic
Satanic, which stars Sarah Hyland (Modern Family) and is directed by Jeffrey Hunt (The Vampire Diaries) is the story of four friends on their way to Coachella, who decide to make a detour to visit sites involved in the Satanic Panic, including the Manson murders. Always looking for a new thrill the visit a magic store and follow the cashier home, hoping to witness a magic ceremony. They stumble upon what they believe to be a human sacrifice. They interrupt the ritual, which any good horror movie fan can tell you, isn't a smart thing to do. Attempting to help the young girl, they get more than they bargained for and the fun quickly turns into fear. They follow the girl down a path that leads straight to hell, or at least a reasonable facsimile.
I found myself enjoying the film throughout most of the early part of the movie. Alice, played by Sophie Dalah, is suitably creepy and any time shes on screen it's fun to watch. There isn't a whole lot new to the story but it is executed fairly well. There's only one real gory scene, but its very bloody and comes out of nowhere. The fact that up till then the film is pretty bloodless makes it more shocking and builds up expectations that the last half of the film will be a monster.
Satanic
Some Satanic spoilers ahead!
And that's where Satanic fumbles. Instead of building on the insanity of the hotel room scene it dials it back. There's still an intensity, but it always falls flat, and we go back to it being a bloodless film. Instead of seeing our four teens picked off one by one in a gruesome manner, they just disappear. It becomes repetitive, and well, you just know each time whats about to happen.
The scene in the hotel room held out such great promise, not just with the gore, but with the dialogue. With talk of doors, and the labyrinth beyond, you are almost expecting cenobites or at least something really esoteric and horrifying. Sadly Satanic doesn't deliver on this. Alice says “Hell is a beautiful confusion, and there's pain”. It's a great line, but I just felt let down with the final revelation of what hell actually was.
These teens don't take the Satanic Panic seriously
There's a lot wrong with Satanic, but it is still watchable. I think with a better ending it could have been a really good little film. But it is what it is, and what it is, is just meh.it's a good for a rental or a boring day, Netflix rental, but I wouldn't purchase it. A generous 5 out of 10 stars.
Posted by Woofer McWooferson in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Sweet Home (2015)

MOVIE REVIEW: Sweet Home (2015)

By John Roisland
Sweet Home is a 2015 release I caught on the endless wall on Netflix. One would think there's nothing more romantic than a quiet house to yourself, candlelit dinner for two, in order to celebrate one's birthday... or so one would think.
Sweet Home is a story of the young realtor who decides the old, abandoned, and soon to be condemned apartment building that she is inspecting would be the perfect spot for a romantic evening. She quickly plans to take her boyfriend to the building for a little alone time and birthday candlelight dinner since neither of them can get their roommates out for the evening.
Our young protagonist blindfolds her boyfriend, brings him to the secret location, and then removes the blindfold to reveal the area she has decorated with a throw rug, candles, and a feliz cumpleanos banner.
The evening goes well for the smiling and laughing couple until they exit their apartment and spot three thugs wearing ski masks walking down the hall. As it turns out, the masked figures had just murdered an elderly man who was holding out and refusing to leave the building. Scared, the young couple tries hiding and, of course, make noise and are found out. It then becomes a game of cat-and-mouse. Through accidents and slips during chasing, two of the thugs are eliminated. The third, while trying to punch a hole through a peep hole, gets his hand stuck. Thinking quickly, the young couple inside tie his wrist to a fixture in the apartment and take off.
The third, stuck in the door, uses his cell phone to contact someone obviously very very important. He apologizes profusely for having called and interrupted his evening and asks him to send help.
Moments later a car pulls up and out steps a large man wearing a hooded raincoat and rain boots who enters and chains the door locked from the inside. There is now no escaping from the cleaner! I am here till you this man is straight from Hell with a heart that is cold as ice. A true professional with all the tools of the trade, and not afraid to use them at all.
Watching the young couple from this point on became pretty exciting due to the fast-paced and downright gritty action. I have to admit that there were a couple of unexpected curve balls, and I was pleasantly surprised. Adding the deeply dark character of the cleaner really added an entirely new feel to the film.
I recommend Sweet Home as I was pleasantly surprised and really enjoyed it. The only thing that caught me was trying to figure out where the film was really taking place. The woman had a French accent, the old man that was murdered spoke Spanish, her boyfriend is British, and the three thugs sounded Canadian. Other than that, it was a good movie, , so check out.
Keep It Evil...
Posted by John Roisland in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: (S)AINT NICK (2016)

MOVIE REVIEW: (S)AINT NICK (2016)

By John Roisland
(S)AINT NICK, written and directed by Jonathan Patrick Hughes, newcomer Hughes brings you his own dark vision of holiday cheer. Yes, Halloween (sadly) enough is over. It's time to take down all the fake spider webs and pack up the Styrofoam tombstones till next October. Christmas season, like it or not, is now upon us, and Hughes's vision of welcoming it, well, it's one that has to be seen.
The story focuses on Ashley and her younger brother Billy, siblings who now live with their stepfather Horace after an untimely car accident took their mother's life, and Matthew's wish to Santa on Christmas Eve. This is (S)AINT NICK, though, so his wish isn't for a new Xbox or a new iPhone but something much more personal. Little Billy wants Horace's head under the Christmas tree.Horace, the stepfather, is a drunken, dirty, disgusting, pig of a man who mentally, emotionally and possibly, though it's never actually mentioned, physically abuses his stepchildren. But I have got to give credit where credit due. The actor playing Horace, John Seese tops any actors portrayed I've seen in many years when it comes to portraying his role. When I watched his acting I honestly compared it to David Hess's character Krug Stillo from The Last House on the Left, a performance which was near stomach-turning on the screen. He's definitely the guy you love to hate. Dirty, scummy and perverted all makes for a jolly good time.
Upon first watching (S)AINT NICK, I noticed the quality of the film and was pleasantly surprised. It was evident even from the opening credits that this wasn't a normal, run-of-the mill handheld camera filmed in someone's basement with bad, echoing sound and credits that somebody threw together with a cheap program from their computer. What Hughes does bring you is a full-fledged film, great quality in both audio and video. The sound is crystal clear - not muffled and no echo. The acting is surprisingly good, and even the special effect makeup were pretty much on point. Hell, even the score (music) in (S)AINT NICK was good.BASIC TEXT BLOCK
Did I mention that Hughes crammed all of this and more into a 28 minute movie that doesn't leave you feeling like it was rushed? (S)AINT NICK is a short film that is going to be included in a Christmas horror anthology called 12 SLAYS OF CHRISTMAS which is being produced by Tony Newton and will be a VOD and DVD release.
If this is a sample of what the Christmas season has to bring us, well, being a horror fan, all I can say is bring it! Jonathan Patrick Hughes, you did well, sir. I would easily rank (S)AINT NICK as a classic in the Christmas horror subgenre!
What Hughes gives you is far from a newcomer's final product. Be proud, Mr. Hughes, (S)AINT NICK is a winner.
Keep It Evil...
Posted by John Roisland in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Don’t Breathe (2016)

MOVIE REVIEW: Don’t Breathe (2016)

By Tracie Hill Prichard

Director: Fede Alvarez; Writers: Fede Alvarez, Rodo Sayagues; Stars: Stephen Lang, Jane Levy, Dylan Minnette, Daniel Ovatto; Rating: R; Run Time: 88 minutes; Genre: Horror/ Thriller; Country: USA; Language: English; Year: 2016

After seeing the trailer for Don't Breathe on television, I was very interested and highly anticipated the movie's release. I was fortunate enough to go see it opening night in my area. I took my husband with me, who is not a horror fan but who enjoys a good thriller. Neither of us were disappointed in this film.

Don't Breathe is about a trio of delinquents and friends, Alex, Rocky, and Money, who try to make a living for themselves by robbing the wealthy homes of the clients of Alex's father's security company and selling off the goods. Rocky's home life is less than ideal, and she dreams of taking her little sister away to California for a better life. Her boyfriend, Money, discovers a target (located in an otherwise abandoned neighborhood) with a large cash sum received from a settlement after his daughter was killed in a car crash. After casing the house, they discover the Army vet who lives there is blind and decide to go after the rumored money stash. What comes next is a suspenseful roller coaster ride. Stephen Lang, as the blind man, keeps you on the edge of your seat.

Stephen Lang in Don't Breathe Copyright Sony Pictures

Stephen Lang in
Don't Breathe

Copyright Sony Pictures

Don't Breathe definitely has some twists, turns, and surprises along the way. The cast is small and convincing throughout. There is not an over abundance of dialogue, but it is not needed. The film relies on tension and suspense to keep your interest.

Don't Breathe Copyright Sony Pictures

Daniel Zovatto, Jane Levy, and Dylan Minnette in a scene from Don't Breathe
Copyright Sony Pictures

Don't Breathe doesn't need gore to get its point across either, so if that's what you're looking for, you might be disappointed. As a horror fan, I really enjoyed the intensity of the film, but did come out considering it more of a thriller than horror. I highly recommend giving this a watch whether you are a fan of the horror genre or not.


(Sony Pictures image: Stephen Lang)

 

(Sony Pictures Image:  Daniel Zovatto, Jane Levy, and Dylan Minnette in a scene from Don't Breathe)

Don't Breathe definitely has some twists, turns, and surprises along the way. The cast is small and convincing throughout. There is not an over abundance of dialogue, but it is not needed. The film relies on tension and suspense to keep your interest. Don't Breathe doesn't need gore to get it's point across either, so if that's what you're looking for you might be disappointed. As a horror fan, I really enjoyed the intensity of the film, but did come out considering it more of a thriller than horror. I highly recommend giving this a watch whether you are a fan of the horror genre or not.

 

Posted by Tracie Prichard in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
HISTORY OF HORROR: AUGUST

HISTORY OF HORROR: AUGUST

By John Roisland & Woofer McWooferson

Join House of Tortured Souls as we celebrate significant dates in the history of horror in August. Click on thumbnails for full images.

August 1 - 7

 

08/01/1883
Lon Chaney, Sr. born
0801_800px-Lon_Chaney,_Sr._The_Miracle_Man
0801_The-Omega-Man-Poster
08/01/1971
The Omega Man released theatrically
08/01/1986
Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives released
theatrically
0801_Friday6
0801_Resident_Evil_1_cover
08/01/1996
Resident Evil released on the PlayStation in Europe

08/01/1999
Silent Hill released on the PlayStation in Europe
0801_Silent_Hill_video_game_cover

0802_Wes_Craven_2010
08/02/1939
Wes Craven (director of Scream, A Nightmare on Elm Street) born
08/02/1999
The Sixth Sense released theatrically
0802_The_sixth_sense
0802_TheOthers
08/02/2001
The Others released
theatrically
08/02/2002
Signs released theatrically
0802_The_Signs_movie
0803_PiranhaPosterA
08/03/1978
Piranha released
theatrically
08/04/1932
White Zombie released theatrically
0804_Poster_-_White_Zombie_01_Crisco_restoration
0805_John_Saxon_1975
08/05/1935
John Saxon born
08/06/1970
M. Night Shyamalan (director ) born
0806_M._Night_Shyamalan_by_Gage_Skidmore
0806_250px-Silent Hill 3_boxart
08/06/2003
Silent Hill 3 released on the PlayStation and PC in North America

August 8 - 14

08/09/2005
Matthew McGrory (Played Tiny in The Devils Rejects and House of 1000 Corpses) died
0809_Matthew_McGrory
0810_Chaos_(2005_film)_poster
08/10/2005
Chaos (2005) released theatrically
08/11/1947
Stuart Gordon (director of Re-Animator and Dagon) born
0811_800px-Gordon,_Stuart_(2007)

0811_Ein_Zombie_hing_am_Glockenseil_Poster
08/11/1980
City of the Living Dead released theatrically
08/11/1989
A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child released theatrically
0811_Nightmare5
0811_Systemshock2box
08/11/1999
System Shock 2 released on PC

08/12/1941
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941) released theatrically
0812_Jekyll-hyde_1941
0812_Castlevania_II_Belmont's_Revenge
08/12/1991
Castlevania II: Belmont's Revenge released on the Game Boy in Japan

08/13/1899
Sir Alfred Joseph Hitchcock, KBE, born
0813_800px-Hitchcock,_Alfred_02

0813_Film1953-TheWarOfTheWorlds-OriginalPoster
08/13/1953
The War of the Worlds (1953) released theatrically
08/13/1982
Friday the 13th Part 3 released theatrically
0813_Friday3
0813_Jason_goes_to_hell
08/13/1993
Jason Goes To Hell: The Final Friday released theatrically
08/13/2004
Alien vs. Predator released theatrically
0813_Avpmovie
0814_Original_Rocky_Horror_Picture_Show_poster
08/14/1975
The Rocky Horror Picture Show released theatrically

August 15 - 21

08/15/1986
The Fly (1986) released theatrically
0815_215px-Fly_poster
0815_Manhunter_michael_mann_film_poster
08/15/1986
Manhunter (1986) released theatrically
08/15/1997
Event Horizon released theatrically
0815_Event_horizon_ver1
0815_Event_horizon_ver1
08/15/2003
Freddy vs. Jason released theatrically
08/16/1956
Bela Lugosi died (born October 20, 1882)
0816_220px-Lugosi_Bela
0817_Robert_De_Niro_Cannes_2016
08/17/1943
Robert De Niro born
08/17/1969
Donnie Wahlberg (actor in The Sixth Sense, Dreamcatcher, and Saw II) born
0817_Donnie_Wahlberg_2010
0818_424px-Roman_Polanski_Cannes_2013
08/18/1933
Roman Polanski (director of The Fearless Vampire Killers, Rosemary's Baby, and The Ninth Gate) born
08/18/1969
Edward Norton (actor in Red Dragon) born
0818_437px-Edward_Norton_2012
0819_Nightmare4
08/19/1988
A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master released theatrically
08/19/2005
Dead & Breakfast released theatrically
0819_Dead&Breakfast2004
0820_H._P._Lovecraft,_June_1934
08/20/1890
H. P. Lovecraft born
08/21/1943
The Seventh Victim released theatrically
0821_220px-The-Seventh-Victim-poster
0821_220px-An_American_Werewolf_in_London_poster
08/21/1981
An American Werewolf in London released theatrically
08/21/1998
Blade released theatrically
0821_220px-Blade_movie

August 22 - 28

0822_390px-Nightofthecreepsposter
08/22/1986
Night of the Creeps released theatrically
08/22/1997
Mimic released theatrically
0822_220px-Mimic
0824_Takashi_Miike
08/24/1960
Takashi Miike (director of Ichi the Killer, Visitor Q, Audition) born
08/24/1990
Darkman released theatrically
0824_215px-Darkman_film_poster
0824_John_Carpenter's_Ghosts_of_Mars
08/24/2001
John Carpenter's Ghosts of Mars released theatrically
08/25/1979
Zombi 2 released theatrically
0825_Zombie_Flesh_eaters
0825_Castlevania_-_Dawn_of_Sorrow_Coverart
08/25/2005
Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow released on the Nintendo DS in Japan
08/26/2005
Resident Evil Outbreak File #2 released for the PlayStation 2 in Europe
0826_Resident_Evil_Outbreak_File_2

0827&28_Castlevania_II_Simon's_Quest
08/27/1992
Castlevania II: Simon's Quest released on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in Europe
08/27/1987
Castlevania II: Simon's Quest released on the Famicom Disk System in Japan
0827&28_Castlevania_II_Simon's_Quest

August 29 - 31

0829_IngridBergmanportrait
08/29/1915
Ingrid Bergman (actress in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941)) born
08/29/1935
William Friedkin (director of The Exorcist, Rampage, The Guardian, and Bug) born
0829_800px-William_Friedkin
0829_400px-Joel_Schumacher
08/29/1939
Joel Schumacher (director of The Lost Boys) born
08/30/2000
Resident Evil: Survivor released on PlayStation
0830_RE_Survivor_front
0831_220px-Basketcaseposter
08/31/1983
Basket Case released theatrically
08/31/2007
Halloween (2007) released theatrically
0831_Halloween2007

Keep it Evil

Posted by Woofer McWooferson in HORROR HISTORY, 0 comments
COMING SOON: RAPT 2016 (Indie short)

COMING SOON: RAPT 2016 (Indie short)

By John Roisland

RAPT-Poster-218x300

If there's one film you need to keep an eye out for, it's Rapt. More and more lately, the independent movie scene is on the move and growing larger everyday. There's so much hidden talent out there and, unfortunately, there're still a lot of movie and horror film fans that are leery about putting down their hard-earned cash for a DVD that doesn't have a major movie label on the DVD box, a huge name in the cast, or a great soundtrack.

Well, I'm here to introduce to you a short film that I think you will all enjoy. The film is called Rapt and is brought to you and filmed on location and by some great people in New Jersey. The story is that of a disgruntled, down on his luck, independent horror film director (Russell Hackett) giving his debut film a viewing at a small but extremely cool local film house where they do film testing. Sadly, the audience’s response to the director's film is less than comforting as not only do people criticize it, but many even walk out. This throws the filmmaker into a downward spiral, his depression now fueling his rage at rejection. One by one he hunts the movie goers who were less than kind to his film with an eye to make all of them the leads in his next horror film. No makeup or SFX are needed for the cast as he brutally slays all of them on camera.

When Rapt co-writer and star of the film Russell Hackett asked me a few weeks ago if I would consider viewing and giving my thoughts on the film, I responded that I'd be honored to do so. I’m very glad that I did as one highlight of the film for me was getting to see faces of online friends that I have not yet personally met, such as Deana Demko, Todd Staruch, and Russell Hackett, who gave a very impressive performance as Filmmaker.

12310536_10208014129297030_1832838868256629080_nThe film was co-written by Russell Hackett and Jerry Janda (Painkiller) and directed by Thomas Ryan (writer and executive producer Day 9). Keep an eye on Ryan because he is on the move and has an eye for the camera that really makes you feel his vision.

The film itself runs just under 40 minutes, but don't mistake a short run time for lack of quality. Rapt is a good, solid film that possesses everything you would want and expect from a quality film. It has realistic dialogue and believable acting, which are complemented by clever use of lighting and excellent sound. And, might I add, it has a great score to boot!

Rapt is a refreshing and original film brought to you by DocHack Productions and Theater of Terror (that director Thomas Ryan founded). I highly recommend you check out Rapt online and hop on over and give their Facebook page a like. Be a true horror fan, and help support the independent movie scene!

Russell, thank you for the opportunity!

Keep It Evil.

Posted by John Roisland in HORROR NEWS, 0 comments
COMING SOON: Blood Feast (2016) Remake

COMING SOON: Blood Feast (2016) Remake

There's No Feast Like a Blood Feast

Blood Feast Remake On the Horizon

By Woofer McWooferson

Blood Feast remake Fuad flips us off

In 1963 Herschell Gordon Lewis invented the splatter film with a little movie called Blood Feast which follows the actions of psychopatic Egyptian caterer Fuad Ramses as he attempts to bring the goddess Ishtar to life via the ancient Egyptian ritual known as a blood feast. In order to perform the ceremony, Ramses must harvest parts from young women and eventually sacrifice one to the goddess. Lewis' movie, though tame by today's standards, was quite the shocker in its day. Filled with blood and images of severed body parts, Blood Feast caused a bit of a stir with its explicit gore and extreme (for the time) violence, and Fuad Ramses eventually became known as the “original machete-wielding madman” as described in Christopher Wayne Curry's book A Taste of Blood: The films of Herschell Gordon Lewis.

This year Blood Feast is getting a makeover and Lewis himself has endorsed it - a good sign.

The remake expands the original script to include more information about Fuad Ramses, his descent into madness, and when and how he comes to the decision to enact the titular blood feast. The first of Lewis' blood trilogy (the other two being Two Thousand Maniacs! and Color Me Blood Red), the original Blood Feast lacked any attempt at backstory or character development. These aspects were irrelevant as the point of the 1963 was to shock and disturb audiences. Indeed, it was so effective in the shock and disturb angles that it is the oldest entry on the video nasty list a feat which, given the movie's goal, is the highest honor it could receive.

Will the Blood Feast remake be fit (or unfit) for a video nasty entry? Take a gander at this first look trailer and see what you think.

Funded in part by an IndieGoGo campaign (you can still donate for some neat items) and brought to the screen by Gundo Entertainment, the Blood Feast remake is scripted by Philip Lilienschwarz (Absolutio - Erlösung im Blut) and directed by Marcel Walz (James St. James Presents Avantgarde). The cast includes Robert Rusler (Tales of Halloween) as Fuad Ramses, Caroline Williams (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2) as Fuad's wife Louise, and Lewis himself as “The Professor”. IMDb also lists Sadie Katz (Wrong Turn 6: Last Resort) as The Goddess Ishtar, a role that was played only by a gilded statue in the original, so we have some goddess action to look forward to.

Blood Feast remake Ramses family

In an interview with Dread Central, Marcel Walz commented on making a remake in an era where the market is flooded with remakes:

I think presently nearly everything is getting a remake, even if the movie is less than 10 years old. This does not make sense at all to me, and I feel with our Blood Feast we’re doing something completely different. It’s the first splatter movie in movie history, from 1963, so it’s over 50 years old. That’s more than enough time to make a remake of a movie which was already far ahead of time.

To bring Blood Feast to the 21st century, with a great cast and an amazing screenplay, is a chance to use modern equipment and technique to honor this masterpiece of horror movie history.

He also commented on the SFX since those are critical to the original and will be for the remake as well:

Of course there well be a lot of bloody gore, made by our special effects team Twosome Gruesome, Ryan and Megan Nicholson, who are currently working on the new “X-Files” series.

We already worked together before, and they are great at making handmade special effects, the old-fashioned way while still looking realistic. You can expect great effects, and fans will not be disappointed.

Fans of Lewis' work will recognize the SFX team's homage to his 1967 splatterfest The Gruesome Twosome - another sign that this might, indeed, be a worthy remake. What do you think? Will the trailer be better than the movie? Will the remake be one that Lewis' fans can get behind? Let House of Tortured souls know, and, as always, we'll keep you updated as more information becomes available!

Posted by Woofer McWooferson in HORROR NEWS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Harvest Lake (2016)

MOVIE REVIEW: Harvest Lake (2016)

By Dixielord

Today it seems all too common to take the easy way out in horror films. Especially with low budget films. So many filmmakers go for the cookie cutter zombie or masked killer film. Sure, there are standouts, but mostly it seems it's just more of the same. Well, I can guarantee you wont feel that way about Harvest Lake. Love it or hate it, I think you will agree it is anything other than the usual.

Ellie Church from Harvest Lake
Ellie Church in Harvest Lake

Director Scott Schirmer took the masked serial killer in all new directions with his last film Found. With Harvest Lake, Schirmer and producer/ photographer Brian Williams take the creature feature where it's never been before, and along the way explores every orifice. It was billed as an “erotic creature feature”, and that's about as close to on point as you can get, although I would say it touches heavily on the body horror genre as well.

American Mary's Tristan Risk headlines the cast of Harvest Lake, along with Ellie Church (Headless), Jason Crowe, and Dan Nye.The plot concerns four friends who pack it off to a remote cabin to celebrate a birthday. The friends go out fully intending to drink and sex it up. Along the way they pick up a stranger and invite him back for festivities. Things start to go a bit strange when they encounter a mysterious plant. The plant, complete with pods (that look a lot like xenomorph eggs), tentacle like appendages, and fruit that look like misshapen breasts, exerts a strange pull over the campers, as one after another they fall under its spell. What few inhibitions the group had melt away, leading to more debauchery before finally discovering the alien (?) source of the infestation.

 

plant sex in Harvest Lake
This almost happened.

Harvest Lake is a highly sexually charged movie. When a film starts out with male and female full frontal nudity, you know you are in for a raunchy ride. And there is a lot of sex and nudity in Harvest Lake. A lot. There are at least four sex scenes in the film before the big finale, which of course involves sex. Get it? There's sex in this here film, so don't blame me if your prudish ass gets offended.

Some of the sex is fairly explicit, but it never feels gratuitous. It's an important part of the film, instrumental in the story being told. Harvest Lake also has one of the more explicit same gender love scenes between two men. It's brave of a film maker to go there, and I really hope we have grown enough as a culture to accept this and not be offended. There is also quite a bit of nudity from pretty much every member of the cast, male and female. But once again, none of it, with the possible exception of the opening scene, feels gratuitous. It's there for a reason.

In a recent coming soon article, I likened Harvest Lake to 80s science fiction films like Breeders and Inseminoid, due to the buzz I was hearing. After actually seeing the film, however, it's much closer to Cronenberg's Shivers with a little of the 70s Invasion of the Body Snatchers thrown in. There is a scene between Ellie Church and Tristan Risk that visually is very similar to one in Shivers between Barbara Steele and Susan Petrie. Besides the visual similarity, the whole concept of a parasite, for lack of a better word, invading you, by contact, kissing, or love making, and releasing your primal desires is the basic story line of Shivers. But unlike Shivers, this is a wholly alien force versus a scientifically created virus.

But Harvest Lake isn't just a carbon copy of Shivers. It's its own film, more of a true science fiction horror and without the obvious social commentary of Shivers. This is a film about a presumably alien force coming to earth, to basically get its pods off. There is no real gore and very little violence, which also sets it apart from Cronenberg's classic. The little critter here seems more interested in sex than violence or perversion. Although there are hints that he might have a more sinister fate awaiting our campers once he gets his jollies.

As I mentioned earlier, this isn't cookie cutter horror. I dare you to say you have ever seen anything quite like this, even a Cronenberg film. What other horror film are you going to see Tristan Risk in a bikini, on hands and knees, ass up in the air about to perform fellatio on an alien pod? Yeah that happened, and I'll never complain about Tristan with her ass in the air. Never. But it's a surreal scene, a situation that's echoed in different situations, and poses, by the other cast members. One by one the friends are seduced or outright raped by the creature in the lake. There's a scene between it and Ellie Church that will make Lovecraft fans quiver. I dont want to spoil it, but the weirdness doesn't stop, and neither does the sex, until the credits roll.

Tristan Risk from American Mary and Harvest Lake
Tristan Risk from American Mary and Harvest Lake

The surreal visuals are driven home and lent more power by the haunting, eerie and driving score. It's both beautiful and unnerving at the same time. Do yourself a favor and listen to this on good speakers with the sound up. It helps keep you on edge throughout the film.

And let's be competently honest, who the hell wouldn't enjoy watching Little Ms Risk and Ellie Church run around in very small bikinis for almost an entire movie? Not to be left out, there are some bare asses for the ladies and guys who prefer the guys. Special bonus points for being the only movie I have ever seen to reference the chimp raping a frog video...sharing that video made me lots of friends online...memories.

Harvest Lake orgy
And this totally happened in Harvest Lake.

There's really not a lot that I disliked about Harvest Lake. Gore fans may be turned off by its lack of bloody mayhem, but seriously you can catch that shit anywhere. And the same gender sex may turn off some folks, but really, 21st century y’all. Grow the fuck up. We have all drooled over naked ladies and lesbian scenes over the years, so chill. If all you want is masked killers, zombies or paranormal bumps in the night, Harvest Lake probably isn't for you. But if you want an erotic and trippy ass visual experience, then you NEED to see Harvest Lake. True story bro.

Posted by Allen Alberson in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 1 comment
MOVIE REVIEW: Pieces of Talent (2014)

MOVIE REVIEW: Pieces of Talent (2014)

pieces-of-talent-poster1

By: John Roisland

What should've been announced at the 2015 Oscars:

Best Movie: Pieces of Talent
Best Screenplay: David Long and Joe Stauffer
Best Director: Joe Stauffer
Best Actor: David Long
Best Actress: Kristi Ray

It was all there; all they had to do was announce it!

As you can tell, I'm a big fan of every aspect of this film. I first remember seeing a trailer for Pieces of Talent and thinking to myself, "Holy Fuck... I gotta see that!!" A few months later, my big-little brother Travis Love and his always adorable wife Megan got to meet the lovely Kristi Ray, who plays Charlotte in the film. Shortly after, they were nice enough to surprise me with an autographed copy of the DVD. I was ecstatic!

Since owning it, I've watched it repeatedly, and every time I do, it's like the first time all over again.

The story is of David Long, played by none other than, David Long, who is a fun loving, long haired, always smiling, southern hippy - with one small drawback: David is a brutal murderer.  One night, while getting his ass kicked by strip club bouncers for having a video camera on him, up walks Charlotte, one of the cocktail waitress, who rescues our long haired friend.

Charlotte is a free spirit trying her damnedest to become an actress in spite of having been dealt a shitty hand in life. She hates her job, and her worthless, dead beat mom puts her down all the time and steals from her. Still, Charlotte takes care of her.images

David and Charlotte become pretty good friends after he tells her that he's actually directing a movie of his own, and wants her for the lead role. Their relation quickly spirals downward as David becomes obsessed with Charlotte and brutally kills anyone who harms her or gets in her way of pursuing her dream.

This is one of the best independent horror films I've ever had the honor of viewing, and it is also in my top horror films! The quality of the film is beautifully shot, and the special f/x are phenomenal. The writing is superb, and the acting is... WOW!! Top notch jobs by  David Long and Kristi Ray! Both gave riveting performances and even made me want to hang out with them!

Director Joe Stauffer should be very proud, not only for the awesome job he did in his own role, but also for how well his vision came through!

The film grabs you, comforts you, flips you around, and then shakes the shit out of you!

If the follow up, A Missing Piece, is ANYTHING like Pieces of Talent, it will be something to see. It will be beautiful!

9/10

 Keep It Evil

Posted by John Roisland in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Autopsy (2008)

MOVIE REVIEW: Autopsy (2008)

Autopsy

Autopsy poster

By John Roisland

2008 After Dark Horrorfest III,  AUTOPSY, written and directed by Adam Gierasch who also brought you Fractured in 2013 and Night of the Demons in 2009.

The story is of a group of friends who leave Mardi Gras after partying,  have a car accident, and are picked up by an ambulance that takes them to a nearby hospital, that can examine their wounds... very carefully!

The problem is, this hospital has been closed for 3 years. It has been taken over by mental patients, the head physician included. The lead physician, played by Robert Patrick ( Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Walk the Line, Copland) has plans of his own, to help his dying wife, by any medical means possible.

The group is seen, one by one, and none return to the lobby to rejoin their friends. At this point things get chaotic as the group finds themselves at the hands of psychos. Unable to escape from the hospital, one by one they are put on the slab, and brutally taken apart...all in the name of science.

This is a really fun movie and was from a great time era of the After Dark releases. The film is full of guts and gore, and even has a few decent scare factors. One memorable scene I always liked is an autopsy with the entrails draped around the operating table like Christmas tree garland. The  film quality is also top rate, which definitely comes thru in the movie as the color and sound are perfect!

Autopsy in Autopsy

The films also stars Jessica Lowndes (Altitude, The Devils Carnival), Ross McCall (Green Street Hooligans , Serving Up Richard), Ashley Schneider ( Extreme Movie, Stupid Teenagers Must Die), Michael Bowen (Less Than Zero, Django Unchained, Kill Bill Vol. 1+2) and Mr. Robert LaSardo (Death Race, Anarchy Parlor, The Human Centipede III, Nip/Tuck, Strangeland), who I must say, was perfect in this role!

The film is now 8 years old, so really there is no reason why you haven't seen it. But if by some chance you WERE born yesterday and haven't, you need to put it on your list! For those of you who have, it's overdue for another good viewing!

7/10

Keep it Evil

Posted by John Roisland in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments