Horror

JXV Ritual Album Art, courtesy of JXV

I’m no stranger to the world of underground metal, punk and hardcore. When I listened to and reviewed the last JXV record (formerly known as Jason X Voorhees) record Horror Edge, I was excited by that album. You can view that review here: Jason X Voorhees: Horror Edge.

With the sophomore and, sad to say, final album for JXV, I was not only excited to hear it, but Rikk reached out during the recording process. I was honored to be able to throw out opinions and just hear what was going on during the production of the album.

This new record Ritual has really got me thinking that there is hope for the underground music world after all. There are some better-known acts out there touring and playing festivals, which is fine and ultra cool, but we can’t forget that some festivals are specific to particular areas. Those of us whom cannot get to them have to rely on the underground local scene to get us by. JXV, hailing from San Diego, California, is far from local for me, but for their area and for music lovers in general, they’re worth seeking out. This is a hardcore band that has 98 members…okay, six members, but they really complement each other perfectly with each vocal style betwixt the two vocalists as well as having two guitarists, bass, and drums. Each person compliments the other perfectly. Ritual, truly shows how they take from each other and throw it in the recipe for a perfect blend of every influence.

The album opens up with a title track “Ritual”, with a super ominous and creepy tone that sets the pace for the whole record, even some keys up in this to give that overall ultra horror sound. Track number two we get into “Trick x Treat”, which the band recently released as a single accompanied by a music video (see below). This song definitely is a perfect way to introduce everyone to what they’re getting into. This track alone gives us metal, hardcore, and horror punk. Literally, everything you need for a good song, right here. I’ve been telling everyone I come across; “This song, “Trick x Treat”, is the perfect song”. So if you’re going to get into this band, this song is out right now and the video below will give you the taste of perfection. Slide from this into “False Patriots”. My damn god this track also. I don’t know how to get into this except, if you’re a metal fan and like to slam hard, this is the shit right here.

The following track is “Devil’s Night”, a gang-style Hardcore/Horror Punk number with a lot of spooky to it but also gives us some upbeat vibe. The track features vxDEDxv, a fellow straight edge rapper. I think this track will make you all very happy as well. Then we have “Bath Salt Zombies”. I’m not sucking dick here because JXV and myself are in this horror edge game. I am actually truly passionate about this album. We all know, even if we are homies, I’ll tell you if it isn’t good, but this song is probably my favorite on this whole album. Punk as fuck and fast break your neck thrashin’ shit, another track featuring a straight edge rapper SE Frank. The last three songs are pretty awesome, too. “Living Dead” is pure PUNK ROCK with two minutes of circle pit action. “From the Plague We Come to an End” — solid black metal meshed with beatdown hardcore like goddamn..what are they doing? The mix of genres is insane yet put in these songs with perfection. Finally, the last track, “Noose”, is a great way to end the album. JXV gives us the hardcore breakdown for most of the song and signs off beautifully.

I know I said it four million times, but this record is solid from start to finish — heavy, fast, and diverse with the different genres that are portrayed in each song. I strongly believe if you’re more a fan of any metal, punk, or hardcore, this album will please you and may spawn some interest in whatever isn’t your main listening pleasure. Each member really shined through on this album, and the influence is there in each song.

Unfortunately, JXV has decided to call it quits after this record, life gets in the way of art sometimes, and unfortunately, that is the case here. I’ll say this though: this band has not only been great colleagues in the horror, straight edge and music areas of life for myself and many others. They have been great friends as well. We all share the same passions for music and life, and I’m honored that I’ve had the chance to befriend this group and hear their music — music that has PROVEN it’s not just, “Hey we’re a hardcore band”. No, this is a band that has taken every inch of what they love and placed it into this record and has shown that the underground still has acts out there that need to be heard. In true DIY fashion, this band has set out to prove something even if they didn’t know they were doing it. I wish them all the best of luck on future endeavors and I know if they each put the type of heart and soul that this record has then whatever they do it’ll be just as amazing.

RITUAL Will be released July 6, 2018, SO BE READY TO GET THIS ALBUM! YOU WILL NEED THIS IN YOUR COLLECTION! Please check out JXV on bandcamp as well as Optimist/Pessimist Records all of which can be found at the end of the interview with Rikk R’ Treat, drummer of JXV.

JXV Ritual Band Photo : Courtesy of JXV

House of Tortured Souls: When you guys started JXV what was the intent, or sound that you were going for with the band?
Rikk: When I originally came up with the idea for JXV, I had just discovered The Jasons, and although I enjoy them, at the moment I wanted to find something heavier in the horror scene. I also watched Freddy vs Jason that night and realized that JASONxVOORHEES would be a rad heavy straight edge band name…sometime after that I began writing our first song “Immortality Rates”. Oddly enough, at the time I wanted the band to sound like early Aiden, My Chemical Romance, and Atreyu — horror punk based but a bit more aggressive. Obviously, that didn’t exactly happen. After Drink Blood Not Booze came out, Callen, Devon, and I began looking for committed band members. Once Lalo joined/ we wrote the music for lyrics I had written for a song called “HxC” (“Human Centipede”) and then began to work on other songs off of our album Horror Edge. We had troubles with our original bassist but eventually got Jacob on bass, who has been involved in the band since before we released Horror Edge. After over a year of playing as a five-piece, we added out second guitarist, Yako, who helped us get to where we are now sonically. As a six-piece, we have been able to add more “beef” to our old songs and push ourselves to write heavier songs for the new record.
HoTS: Horror Edge was a great album. Did you find it hard trying to market the music and style within the horror punk scene?
Rikk: Thank you. I think overall JXV has been hard to market. Horror punks don’t always get the heavy vocals, and hardcore or metalcore kids don’t understand the horror part. Unfortunately, I’ve often heard about how incoherent we are, but I never understood that because to us it all makes sense together. Sure, surf and death metal don’t mix often, but why not experiment?
HoTS: Your influences are vast across the board. Does the rest of the band share these common influences?
Rikk: As you can hear in our music, our influences vary quite a bit. I think we all overlap in certain places but not in other spots. If you knew our specific influences you’d be able to tell which songs were written by whom on Ritual.
HoTS: This album Ritual is produced perfectly. How long did it take to record this album?
Rikk: We began recording drums in November and finished all mixing and mastering in early June. So quite a while. This was mainly because we hadn’t finished writing all tracks when we started recording, and we all had very different schedules to work around to get into the studio.
HoTS: Was there any clashing of ideas when writing/recording the record?
Rikk: I wouldn’t say there were major clashes while writing, however, it has been more difficult for us to write music off the cuff as a “jam”. A good portion of our music has usually been written and structured before we meet to hash it out with instruments. The songs that were more free-form usually took the longest but, regardless, still came out great.
HoTS: The collaborations with fellow straight edge rappers. How did this come to pass and did you feel this was a bold move within the genre of horror/hardcore?
Rikk: A number of us have always loved nu-metal bands like Linkin Park and Korn. A lot of us also really love hip-hop. I have a lot of respect and love for my edge brothers SE Frank and vxDEDxv, who have both been big supporters of JXV. I had been in talks with them about working on something together, so all it took was finding the right songs they could fit on. As far as the particular genre, I rarely hear rap involved in horror, but traditional hardcore and hip-hop seem to flow together often so it just made sense to us.
HoTS: The song “Trick x Treat” is the single you chose to release. Why is that?
Rikk: “Trick x Treat” was the second song written for this record. I was very inspired by it to draw some artwork, so it was in part because I put a lot of work into the cover art. Once the whole record was written, it ended up being the track that mixed both the heaviness that half the album has with the campy horror that the other half has. So it’s a good representation of the full record.
HoTS: How did you guys find the balance when writing? By this I mean, each track is blended perfectly with punk, hardcore, metal, even rap/hip-hop.
Rikk: We didn’t really think much about the balance of sounds; we just wrote and structured what made sense to us. One may likely argue that none of the album is balanced at all, but to each his own, right?
HoTS: What spawned the idea to call it quits after this final show in July?
Rikk: As mentioned earlier, it is hard to match schedules in a six-person band. For some of us, it also just seemed like time to shift focus on other things. It’s been great working together with my bandmates, and I love them all, but we have to be sensitive to the needs of each member – even if that means we aren’t going to be playing anymore.
HoTS: What’s on the plate for each of you after the finale?
Rikk: Most of us have projects in the works. Once they are finalized or official we’ll share more! From what I know Yako, Devon, and Jake are each hoping to start heavy bands, respectively. Lalo has plans to start an indie project and I will be continuing to play in The Writhers for the rest of the year. As of right now, Callen does not have any musical plans, but when he does we will be supportive of his goals.
HoTS: Anything you want to share with the readers? Words of wisdom?
Rikk: In the immortal words of Bill and Ted, “Be excellent to each other.” We in JXV have always appreciated all and any support we have been given and will continue to be grateful well after we’re done. Also please be on the lookout for our album Ritual to be released in July!
HoTS: Even as homies within the scene of edge, horror, hardcore. Being a musician myself we together have made our music with a heavier tone and yet still pimped hard to a scene that doesn’t really have a lot of bands that dare try D/C tuning or metal vocals, so sharing all this with you all and being hardgore/horror edge brothers has been a true honor. I want to say thank you for everything you have done with Optimist/Pessimist records, and for sharing JXV with the world. Believe it or not, you guys’ music has inspired me to just keep doing what I do, and I’m positive once people hear Ritual they’re going to want more, and if you’re not playing out. They’ll have to make their own music, so the inspiration is definitely there and going to spawn a new generation of horror music.
Rikk: Thanks, man, I really appreciate everything you’ve done for us. You have been a huge help and your support has been a motivation to keep going. I don’t mind if people don’t go out and spawn new horror music – however, I do really hope people will listen to the album and try to understand our vision.

“Trick x Treat” video:

EXCLUSIVE: Review of Ritual by JXV & Interview with Rikk R’Treat

EXCLUSIVE: Review of Ritual by JXV & Interview with Rikk R’Treat

JXV Ritual Album Art, courtesy of JXV

I’m no stranger to the world of underground metal, punk and hardcore. When I listened to and reviewed the last JXV record (formerly known as Jason X Voorhees) record Horror Edge, I was excited by that album. You can view that review here: Jason X Voorhees: Horror Edge.

With the sophomore and, sad to say, final album for JXV, I was not only excited to hear it, but Rikk reached out during the recording process. I was honored to be able to throw out opinions and just hear what was going on during the production of the album.

This new record Ritual has really got me thinking that there is hope for the underground music world after all. There are some better-known acts out there touring and playing festivals, which is fine and ultra cool, but we can’t forget that some festivals are specific to particular areas. Those of us whom cannot get to them have to rely on the underground local scene to get us by. JXV, hailing from San Diego, California, is far from local for me, but for their area and for music lovers in general, they’re worth seeking out. This is a hardcore band that has 98 members…okay, six members, but they really complement each other perfectly with each vocal style betwixt the two vocalists as well as having two guitarists, bass, and drums. Each person compliments the other perfectly. Ritual, truly shows how they take from each other and throw it in the recipe for a perfect blend of every influence.

The album opens up with a title track “Ritual”, with a super ominous and creepy tone that sets the pace for the whole record, even some keys up in this to give that overall ultra horror sound. Track number two we get into “Trick x Treat”, which the band recently released as a single accompanied by a music video (see below). This song definitely is a perfect way to introduce everyone to what they’re getting into. This track alone gives us metal, hardcore, and horror punk. Literally, everything you need for a good song, right here. I’ve been telling everyone I come across; “This song, “Trick x Treat”, is the perfect song”. So if you’re going to get into this band, this song is out right now and the video below will give you the taste of perfection. Slide from this into “False Patriots”. My damn god this track also. I don’t know how to get into this except, if you’re a metal fan and like to slam hard, this is the shit right here.

The following track is “Devil’s Night”, a gang-style Hardcore/Horror Punk number with a lot of spooky to it but also gives us some upbeat vibe. The track features vxDEDxv, a fellow straight edge rapper. I think this track will make you all very happy as well. Then we have “Bath Salt Zombies”. I’m not sucking dick here because JXV and myself are in this horror edge game. I am actually truly passionate about this album. We all know, even if we are homies, I’ll tell you if it isn’t good, but this song is probably my favorite on this whole album. Punk as fuck and fast break your neck thrashin’ shit, another track featuring a straight edge rapper SE Frank. The last three songs are pretty awesome, too. “Living Dead” is pure PUNK ROCK with two minutes of circle pit action. “From the Plague We Come to an End” — solid black metal meshed with beatdown hardcore like goddamn..what are they doing? The mix of genres is insane yet put in these songs with perfection. Finally, the last track, “Noose”, is a great way to end the album. JXV gives us the hardcore breakdown for most of the song and signs off beautifully.

I know I said it four million times, but this record is solid from start to finish — heavy, fast, and diverse with the different genres that are portrayed in each song. I strongly believe if you’re more a fan of any metal, punk, or hardcore, this album will please you and may spawn some interest in whatever isn’t your main listening pleasure. Each member really shined through on this album, and the influence is there in each song.

Unfortunately, JXV has decided to call it quits after this record, life gets in the way of art sometimes, and unfortunately, that is the case here. I’ll say this though: this band has not only been great colleagues in the horror, straight edge and music areas of life for myself and many others. They have been great friends as well. We all share the same passions for music and life, and I’m honored that I’ve had the chance to befriend this group and hear their music — music that has PROVEN it’s not just, “Hey we’re a hardcore band”. No, this is a band that has taken every inch of what they love and placed it into this record and has shown that the underground still has acts out there that need to be heard. In true DIY fashion, this band has set out to prove something even if they didn’t know they were doing it. I wish them all the best of luck on future endeavors and I know if they each put the type of heart and soul that this record has then whatever they do it’ll be just as amazing.

RITUAL Will be released July 6, 2018, SO BE READY TO GET THIS ALBUM! YOU WILL NEED THIS IN YOUR COLLECTION! Please check out JXV on bandcamp as well as Optimist/Pessimist Records all of which can be found at the end of the interview with Rikk R’ Treat, drummer of JXV.

JXV Ritual Band Photo : Courtesy of JXV

House of Tortured Souls: When you guys started JXV what was the intent, or sound that you were going for with the band?
Rikk: When I originally came up with the idea for JXV, I had just discovered The Jasons, and although I enjoy them, at the moment I wanted to find something heavier in the horror scene. I also watched Freddy vs Jason that night and realized that JASONxVOORHEES would be a rad heavy straight edge band name…sometime after that I began writing our first song “Immortality Rates”. Oddly enough, at the time I wanted the band to sound like early Aiden, My Chemical Romance, and Atreyu — horror punk based but a bit more aggressive. Obviously, that didn’t exactly happen. After Drink Blood Not Booze came out, Callen, Devon, and I began looking for committed band members. Once Lalo joined/ we wrote the music for lyrics I had written for a song called “HxC” (“Human Centipede”) and then began to work on other songs off of our album Horror Edge. We had troubles with our original bassist but eventually got Jacob on bass, who has been involved in the band since before we released Horror Edge. After over a year of playing as a five-piece, we added out second guitarist, Yako, who helped us get to where we are now sonically. As a six-piece, we have been able to add more “beef” to our old songs and push ourselves to write heavier songs for the new record.
HoTS: Horror Edge was a great album. Did you find it hard trying to market the music and style within the horror punk scene?
Rikk: Thank you. I think overall JXV has been hard to market. Horror punks don’t always get the heavy vocals, and hardcore or metalcore kids don’t understand the horror part. Unfortunately, I’ve often heard about how incoherent we are, but I never understood that because to us it all makes sense together. Sure, surf and death metal don’t mix often, but why not experiment?
HoTS: Your influences are vast across the board. Does the rest of the band share these common influences?
Rikk: As you can hear in our music, our influences vary quite a bit. I think we all overlap in certain places but not in other spots. If you knew our specific influences you’d be able to tell which songs were written by whom on Ritual.
HoTS: This album Ritual is produced perfectly. How long did it take to record this album?
Rikk: We began recording drums in November and finished all mixing and mastering in early June. So quite a while. This was mainly because we hadn’t finished writing all tracks when we started recording, and we all had very different schedules to work around to get into the studio.
HoTS: Was there any clashing of ideas when writing/recording the record?
Rikk: I wouldn’t say there were major clashes while writing, however, it has been more difficult for us to write music off the cuff as a “jam”. A good portion of our music has usually been written and structured before we meet to hash it out with instruments. The songs that were more free-form usually took the longest but, regardless, still came out great.
HoTS: The collaborations with fellow straight edge rappers. How did this come to pass and did you feel this was a bold move within the genre of horror/hardcore?
Rikk: A number of us have always loved nu-metal bands like Linkin Park and Korn. A lot of us also really love hip-hop. I have a lot of respect and love for my edge brothers SE Frank and vxDEDxv, who have both been big supporters of JXV. I had been in talks with them about working on something together, so all it took was finding the right songs they could fit on. As far as the particular genre, I rarely hear rap involved in horror, but traditional hardcore and hip-hop seem to flow together often so it just made sense to us.
HoTS: The song “Trick x Treat” is the single you chose to release. Why is that?
Rikk: “Trick x Treat” was the second song written for this record. I was very inspired by it to draw some artwork, so it was in part because I put a lot of work into the cover art. Once the whole record was written, it ended up being the track that mixed both the heaviness that half the album has with the campy horror that the other half has. So it’s a good representation of the full record.
HoTS: How did you guys find the balance when writing? By this I mean, each track is blended perfectly with punk, hardcore, metal, even rap/hip-hop.
Rikk: We didn’t really think much about the balance of sounds; we just wrote and structured what made sense to us. One may likely argue that none of the album is balanced at all, but to each his own, right?
HoTS: What spawned the idea to call it quits after this final show in July?
Rikk: As mentioned earlier, it is hard to match schedules in a six-person band. For some of us, it also just seemed like time to shift focus on other things. It’s been great working together with my bandmates, and I love them all, but we have to be sensitive to the needs of each member – even if that means we aren’t going to be playing anymore.
HoTS: What’s on the plate for each of you after the finale?
Rikk: Most of us have projects in the works. Once they are finalized or official we’ll share more! From what I know Yako, Devon, and Jake are each hoping to start heavy bands, respectively. Lalo has plans to start an indie project and I will be continuing to play in The Writhers for the rest of the year. As of right now, Callen does not have any musical plans, but when he does we will be supportive of his goals.
HoTS: Anything you want to share with the readers? Words of wisdom?
Rikk: In the immortal words of Bill and Ted, “Be excellent to each other.” We in JXV have always appreciated all and any support we have been given and will continue to be grateful well after we’re done. Also please be on the lookout for our album Ritual to be released in July!
HoTS: Even as homies within the scene of edge, horror, hardcore. Being a musician myself we together have made our music with a heavier tone and yet still pimped hard to a scene that doesn’t really have a lot of bands that dare try D/C tuning or metal vocals, so sharing all this with you all and being hardgore/horror edge brothers has been a true honor. I want to say thank you for everything you have done with Optimist/Pessimist records, and for sharing JXV with the world. Believe it or not, you guys’ music has inspired me to just keep doing what I do, and I’m positive once people hear Ritual they’re going to want more, and if you’re not playing out. They’ll have to make their own music, so the inspiration is definitely there and going to spawn a new generation of horror music.
Rikk: Thanks, man, I really appreciate everything you’ve done for us. You have been a huge help and your support has been a motivation to keep going. I don’t mind if people don’t go out and spawn new horror music – however, I do really hope people will listen to the album and try to understand our vision.

“Trick x Treat” video:



Posted by Schock in Categories, INTERVIEWS, MUSIC REVIEWS, REVIEWS, VIDEOS, 0 comments
HoTS Exclusive Review: The Fear Footage (2018)

HoTS Exclusive Review: The Fear Footage (2018)

I had a chance to view a new film called The Fear Footage. The film starts off as footage found on the body camera of Deputy Cole. It says that on April 19, 2016, the Darkbluff County Sheriff’s Department received calls from residents on Hanmanor Road. One of the houses had been demolished a year prior. It has now reappeared mysteriously. Deputy Cole was sent and never seen from again. Viewers are urged to call the Sheriff’s Department if they have info on the footage or Deputy Cole’s whereabouts.

That is the lead-in for the film. The movie uses a lost art form of first person point of view (POV). We see the film from Deputy Cole’s vantage point as he goes into the house. He now has his gun drawn and is looking for anything suspicious.

Deputy Cole finds a VHS cassette title Fear Footage and puts it into the VCR. He plays the tape and views several segments from different people who are taping moments in their lives. One is a boy who is getting ready for his birthday party. The next is a group of storm chasers. The third and final is a man who is hearing strange sounds from the woods and is trying to document them. Not all shots are first person, but 90% of the film is presented in that manner.

There is a moment that is key. Between two of the segments, the Deputy finds a diary in the house with some disturbing entries. They revolve around the writer finding a tape and its effects on her.

What works in The Fear Footage is the effect for the VHS. You see the grainy “snow” effect that happens when you watch an old VHS cassette. Also, the film seems less like a movie and more like a found footage tape. With almost everything in first person, you can only see from one viewpoint. The advantage is you can’t see around corners and can’t see any potential surprises until they happen.

The knock on this film will be that it is a lot like The Blair Witch Project because it uses the first person, single camera POV. However, any film that uses that approach will draw a comparison to The Blair Witch Project. The main difference between the two is there is far less camera movement in The Fear Footage. For those who got motion sickness or migraines while watching The Blair Witch Project, you won’t feel that with this film.

One of the things I really enjoyed about this is that it uses little special effects. It gives you some good scare moments without using thousands of dollars on effects to do so. This makes it seem like it is more of a real footage tape than a movie.

There are slow parts to this film, but it is almost necessary. There are also some nice surprises and moments that, if watching in the dark, will give you a good jolt.

Viewers who watch The Fear Footage must decide if the house or the videotape is causing the things we see. Overall, this is a very entertaining film that will make you think. You will try to anticipate what may come… it’s not always the case. And what did happen to Deputy Cole? And how did the house mysteriously appear after its demolition? Those questions, you will have to answer on your own!

Posted by Crypt Keeper Clint in COMING SOON, MOVIE REVIEWS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Incident in a Ghostland (2018) [SPOILERS]

MOVIE REVIEW: Incident in a Ghostland (2018) [SPOILERS]

I had the opportunity to watch Incident in a Ghostland by Pascal Laugier (Martyrs director) last night. It has been my most anticipated movie release of the year. I had to wait a full 24 hours before doing the review in hopes that my opinion would change, but it’s with a very heavy heart that I sadly report I didn’t like it.

Crystal Reed in Incident in a Ghostland (2018)
I suppose it’s important to point out several things before we get into it.

First, it’s not Martyrs, it’s not even on the same planet as Martyrs and if you’re expecting Martyrs quality you will be even more disappointed than I was. I went in with the expectation that it wouldn’t be Martyrs and still felt robbed. It’s hard to lower your expectations when you know what the director is capable of.

It’s not extreme, and it’s not French. It isn’t graphic enough to be extreme and the few words of French spoken are dismissed. Good news for those of you who hate subtitles.

It’s a good horror movie, it’s not great. It’s nothing fresh and nothing to write home about.

One thing I did really like was the tributes to H.P. Lovecraft and Canadian author Nick Cutter. There were a few fun literary Easter eggs hidden throughout the film that I enjoyed. I also enjoyed Mylene Farmer’s performance.

Mylène Farmer in Incident in a Ghostland (2018)

The movie is about two sisters Beth (Emilia Jones) and Vera (Taylor Hickson) and their mother (Mylene Farmer) who, after the death of their aunt, are moving into her country home. Beth is an aspiring writer who loves H.P. Lovecraft, and Vera is a bit jealous of her writing and her relationship with their mother.

A quick foreshadowing in the form of a newspaper article is given about a serial killer on the loose – a serial killer who murders parents and keeps the children. As the family is on their way to the new home, they encounter a candy truck on the road with menacing individuals inside, but they brush it off. Later that night, their home is invaded by the candy truck drivers, but the trio prevails and thwarts their attackers.

Fast forward to years later and we find Beth (Crystal Reed) in her home with her husband and child now a successful writer. She receives a distressing call from her sister Vera (Anastasia Phillips) and decides to head back to the country home where her mother and sister still live. Vera, unable to cope with the attack, has gone crazy and locks herself in the basement most of the time, and their mother has turned to drink. The big “twist’ is revealed shortly after making the movie marginally better and bearable until the predictable happy ending.

Emilia Jones and Taylor Hickson in Incident in a Ghostland (2018)

You can expect lots of jump scares, “scary” dolls, nods to Rob Zombie and other fanboy tributes and clichés in this one. You won’t, however, find anything truly original or up to the standard that Pascal Laugier is capable of. In my opinion, Laugier is brilliant and Martyrs is God tier filmmaking, and it’s my hope that this film is not what we can expect from him in the future.

2/5 disappointed shocks for this film

Posted by Candace Stone in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
EXTREME REVIEW: Doll Syndrome (2014) [Minor Spoilers]

EXTREME REVIEW: Doll Syndrome (2014) [Minor Spoilers]

Doll SyndromeIn Domiziano Cristopharo’s 2014 film Doll Syndrome, one gets the privilege to see Domiziano at his finest. Doll Syndrome is first and foremost a work of art superbly directed by Domiziano and beautifully written by Andrea Cavaletto. Telling the story of a loner who begins to become obsessed with a woman he encounters on the street, we watch this man become a dangerous and disturbing stalker. The way Domiziano directs this beautifully disturbing film the viewer is made privy to every twisted and even odd thought that crosses the loner’s mind.

Doll SyndromeI can confidently say that watching Doll Syndrome and the obsession grow, I felt a deep sense of foreboding as I watched this man follow this girl nearly everywhere and even as he just watches her from afar. A rather graphic film on multiple levels, each scene certainly adds to the feeling of unease you get watching the man progress. Beginning with some basic scenes of masturbation in front of the window in his apartment and building to his purchasing an inflatable sex doll for him to practice his fantasies on, we see his progression deeper and deeper into himself as well as in his obsession with this girl.

Doll SyndromeWhilst most of Doll Syndrome’s sexual scenes are not disturbing in the acts, they are incredibly graphic and progress to the inclusion of self-harm that do make them disturbing. Add the fact that with the sex doll, he is constantly fantasizing about this woman — even when he is using a fabric stapler on various parts of the doll — and it becomes quite disturbing. Not the most disturbing moments of the film by a long shot, but if I were to reveal everything, then where’s the fun in watching it? I will say that this film is not for the faint of heart, and it involves some extremely brutal scenes of torture and self-harm, but for those who are into the extreme side of film, I cannot recommend it enough.

In addition, Doll Syndrome will be available to purchase on 5/22 from Amazon and is up for preorder, and I encourage everyone to support Domiziano’s work!

Posted by Spencer Evatt in GORE, MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, STAFF PICKS, 0 comments
Pirating Movies: A Dagger In The Heart For Filmmakers

Pirating Movies: A Dagger In The Heart For Filmmakers

So we all know Ash vs Evil Dead was canceled recently and that star Bruce Campbell lashed out against those who were illegally downloading the show. Unfortunately, pirating movies and TV shows has gone deeper than that, and it has made life for filmmakers even more challenging.

RIP Ash vs Evil Dead

Now let me start off by saying I am not here to get into an ethics battle with anyone. I would hope that anyone reading this can tell the difference between right and wrong and that pirating is stealing. What I have seen on social media recently, however, is a bit troubling.

Being in the infant stages of my own filmmaking career, I have faced the number one challenge that can stop many inspired writers and directors dead in their tracks…funding. Getting someone to believe in your project as much you as do is impossible, but getting them to believe in you can be done if you are passionate enough and have a great pitch.

The problem, however, is that investors want to see projections for how fast they will get their investment back and also a profit — especially with horror. So a good sales deck will show how similar titles fared in box office, VoD, and DVD sales. This is where filmmakers can face a battle against which they cannot properly defend themselves. Numbers in the sense of dollars can be deflated because advances in technology enable people with better and faster ways to steal movies and TV shows and, in some cases, profit from doing so.

I don’t know if the numbers are in fact true that Ash vs Evil Dead was the most illegally downloaded show of all time. I think it is very plausible. Here are couple examples of actual horror stories I’ve seen from people and tell you the effect it has had on them.

There is a filmmaker who made a zombie film starring Tony Todd that was released last year. DVD sales were not what was projected or even safely targeted. This filmmaker was informed that his movie was uploaded to YouTube and had been watched over 300,000 times. Even if he made no sales and had only VoD rentals, that still would have generated over $1,500,000 in those rentals. But that’s not what happened.

The general reaction when the filmmaker took to social media to express his frustration only added insult to injury. The reactions were almost as bad as the thefts themselves.

At least your film was watched 300,000 times.
Be glad people like your film enough to watch it.

Anyone who lives in a city larger than 100,000 people has some sort of outlet mall, flea market, dirt mall, etc. I have yet to see one where 3-4 “vendors” were not selling $3-$5 films they had downloaded and burned to DVD. These include films that had just been released in theaters. These people are profiting from someone else’s work. What’s worse is that the people buying them are enabling it to continue.

What’s the point of all of this? Indie filmmakers (especially in horror) clear enough hurdles just to get a film made. Many people who sell and watch these films may think that Hollywood has enough money and they’re not hurting anyone. But it’s the people who are trying to break into the business and the Indie filmmakers who want to make something a little different who are suffering.

What can you do? That’s a good question.

For starters, these thieves hocking illegally downloaded movies need to be shut down. The next thing you can do is show support for the movies you love. Attend a con and tell the stars how much you enjoyed the movie. Subscribe to a page or blog, follow House of Tortured Souls (cheap plug, but I saw my shot). Keep the horror voice alive.

Crypt Keeper Clint with Joe Bob Briggs

These little things can keep the shows we love on the air. They will also let the world know that we horror fans have a strong voice and WILL be heard. Want proof? Through a social media campaign, Joe Bob Briggs asked his supporters to send videos to Shudder. They asked Shudder to bring him back. Joe Bob returns June 22nd for a 24-hour marathon. That was due to all of those fan videos creating a demand that Shudder couldn’t ignore.

Never underestimate the power of your own voice and don’t hurt what you love by stealing to save $10-$20.

Posted by Crypt Keeper Clint in EDITORIALS, STAFF PICKS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Death-Scort Service (2015)

MOVIE REVIEW: Death-Scort Service (2015)

In Death-Scort Service, written by Chris Woods and Sean Donohue, and directed by Donohue as well, we are introduced to a delightful exploitative horror flick with enough blood, guts, and boobs to make any viewer rather pleased. I know that I thoroughly enjoyed the entire film and all of its gory fun. Death-Scort Service is well-written with a rather surprising twist ending that I won’t spoil for anyone, but I can say that the ending itself took me by surprise. Filled with various brutal killings, each of which was rather ingenious in their sadism and brutality, Death-Scort Service really delivers.Death-Scort Service

Death-Scort Service tells the story of some prostitutes who begin to realize that there’s a “john” calling girls to meet — girls he then brutally murders before mutilating their corpses. To say that it is a gory film would be an understatement. The blood flows in a delightfully liberal way that makes any gorehound overjoyed. In addition, the extreme levels of nudity help to give a fantastic exploitative feeling that any fan of exploitation or grindhouse will love. There’s almost as much nudity as there is blood and gore. Woods and Donohue even incorporated some rather comical moments that drew some chuckles out of me.

Concerning the extreme brutality, one scene, in particular, was ingrained into my mind, a scene that I found to be delightfully sadistic. In fact, it made the little sadist in me very intrigued. Tying one of the victims down, the killer spread the woman naked legs and arms wide open. Going away for a moment, the killer returns with a baseball bat wrapped in barb wire. Taking brutality to another level, the killer proceeds to use this weapon as a dildo upon his victim. I’ll let everyone use their imaginations there and encourage you to watch the film if you love gory exploitation films full of nonstop nudity, sex, and gore.Death-Scort Service

While this film is not for the faint of heart, I will say that any gorehound would love it. Death-Scort Service is a fun, well-written piece of exploitative horror and if you’re a fan of that sort of film, then all I can say is watch it, you won’t be disappointed. I appreciate Chris Woods providing me with a screening copy of it and the sequel. I will be reviewing the second Death-Scort soon, and right now Chris Woods is working on getting funding together for Taste Me: Death-Scort Service Part 3. In fact, there is still time left to buy into the Indiegogo campaign, and I highly encourage you to support Chris and his team if you have some extra money. Don’t just watch his next Indie exploitation flick, be a part of bringing it to production!

Death-Scort Service

Posted by Spencer Evatt in GORE, MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, SLASHERS AND BAD HUMANS, STAFF PICKS, 0 comments
About Stephen Nemeth’s Black Friday

About Stephen Nemeth’s Black Friday

ESSEN-77 media releases the promo video/trailer for director Stephen Nemeth’s Black Friday.

The promo video/trailer is a prequel ultrashort that segues into a montage of images from the 17-minute short film. The film is already being celebrated by critics, journalists, film historians and those who look for cutting-edge experiences with teeth.

Stephen Nemeth (camera, American Guinea Pig: Bloodshock) wrote, produced, photographed, directed, composed/ performed the score and created the special effects. Nemeth also appears in a cameo as the Devil’s Advocate in the prequel ultrashort portion of the promo video/trailer. Black Friday promises to pose questions instead of answers and challenges the audiences to think for themselves about the extreme behaviors onscreen.

Stephen Nemeth was camera/second cinematographer for American Guinea Pig: Bloodshock, the second installment of the American reboot of the famous Japanese extreme horror franchise, the Guinea Pig series, and created the Behind the Scenes of Bloodshock feature-length documentary on the three-disc collectors’ edition release from Unearthed Films. In 2013, Nemeth directed the Locus series of metaphysical stalker thriller shorts and the home invading/domestic violence short Deathlust (2014). Recently he wrote, directed, and shot the music video for Chris Sullivan’s “By The Light Of Radio”, a nostalgic throwback to a simpler magical time where the radio tuner dial illuminated the bedrooms of youngsters exposing them to the sounds of 70s and 80s rock and roll artists like Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen.

He also currently appears onscreen with Ally Sheedy (The Breakfast Club) and Peter Hedges ( novelist/ screenwriter, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?) in Little Sister, streaming on Netflix and available on Blu-Ray from Kino/Lorber.

Keep an eye out for Stephen Nemeth’s Black Friday, and let House of Tortured Souls know what you think.

Stephen Nemeth's Black Friday (2018)

Posted by Michelle MIDI Sayles in HORROR NEWS, PRESS RELEASE, 0 comments
INTERVIEW – HoTS EXCLUSIVE: Phil Stevens

INTERVIEW – HoTS EXCLUSIVE: Phil Stevens

Phil Stevens' Flowers (2015) posterI recently had the pleasure of seeing Flowers by Phil Stevens. It was such an amazing and beautiful film that I decided to reach out to the director and tell him how much I enjoyed it. To my surprise, Phil Stevens turned out to be one of the nicest, coolest, down to earth guys. I was delighted to learn of his plans to make a sequel to Flowers, simply called Flowers 02. He also graciously agreed to do this interview and give us an exclusive look at his new project.

Phil Stevens Interview

House of Tortured Souls: First off, let me just say that I’m a huge fan of Flowers and really excited to talk to you about your latest project. What type of film can we expect? Do you think it will be more extreme or more artistic than the last?
Phil Stevens: Extreme is too broad a category, I mean of course yes it will be extreme but it’s more of a survival horror where everyone is being attacked by something. I actually didn’t think I was making an extreme film when I made Flowers. I thought the complete opposite. When Flowers came out, I thought people were going to be like, “Here’s this guy with his artsy movie called Flowers“. It turned out to be this surreal horror that people seemed to really enjoy. The last word I ever expected to read describing my film was “beautiful”, but it seems to come up in every single review about the movie.
PS: In Flowers, the house itself was the enemy almost. But in Flowers 02, not only is it the house, but there are entities in all the rooms –sometimes more than one. It’s all leading to this grand finale involving the killer and all his misdeeds. We’ll get a backstory and more of a look at his life. There will be new rooms with new themes and sort of a past, present, and future look at the killer. My favorite movie of all time is Day of the Dead, and I always wanted to make a zombie film, but I wanted to do it in my own way. Finally, in this we get to do that, and it’s so fun.

HoTS: That all sounds awesome! Why did you choose Indie and underground filmmaking rather than mainstream?
PS: I spent most of my life drawing and painting. I started drawing my own comics, and then I discovered the Beta-max camera and started making films for myself. Drawing is my first love, I don’t want a career in filmmaking; I see it as a hobby, a really expensive hobby. I’m a fan of Indie films myself and knew that it was only natural that I would go that route. I think that everyone who makes movies would like to think that one day they’ll go to Hollywood and make a big epic movie with a budget. That’s the real dream having a budget.

Phil Stevens' Flowers (2015) title card

HoTS: I understand that for an Indie director, getting funding is always an issue. You’ve started a crowdfunding campaign, correct? Maybe you could tell our readers a bit about that and how they can contribute.
PS: Crowdfunding is a big deal because you’re giving us the means to make a movie that we otherwise would not be able to make. It’s been tougher to get funding in the last few years because either fans don’t know about it or they’ve been screwed over in the past by other directors.
PS: My job is making and selling art. I’m actually on disability from an accident that happened when I was 10. I fell out of a tree, and now I have soft neurological brain damage so I can’t have a regular 9-5 job. I spend a lot of time drawing and painting and doing commissions. I grew up with severe agoraphobia, crowds give me severe anxiety, which is another reason making movies is so important to me because it gives me a chance to work in a group environment while doing something I love.
PS: Here is the link to the Flowers 02 crowdfunding campaign. Even a 5$ contribution will get you some really cool exclusive swag!
HoTS: So how does one get a piece of your artwork?
PS: My Facebook page Manomatul Art or my website Insomnia Collectibles, and I’m also on deviant art.
HoTS: All of the actors/actresses in Flowers were amazing. Will we see any familiar faces in the sequel?
PS: Yes! You actually will see some returning Flowers in a subplot of Flowers 02. Absolutely. You’re going to see some of them, but I can’t reveal who yet.
HoTS: It’s my understanding you used your home in the first film… what was that like?
PS: Using my own home to make Flowers was a blessing and an absolute nightmare. We scouted a lot of warehouses, and they were all in really bad neighborhoods. We just didn’t feel safe having our equipment there. We decided the next best thing and the safest thing was our house. I hated it, there was so much debris and equipment everywhere. My wife (Colette Kenny Mckenna) and I lived an entire summer in that. I actually spent my 30th birthday inside the dining room set, it was surreal. Some of my friends I hadn’t seen in a while would come over and a say, “This is absolutely insane. What are you doing?” My wife and I both ended up with really bad respiratory infections from the room with all the gouged out drywall. We were constantly breathing it in for three months, and we got really sick.

Phil Stevens' Flowers (2015) writing on the wall

HoTS: Do you do your own practical fx?
PS: Yes, I used to more but with Flowers, it was an all hands on deck kind of thing and my wife and I did months of fx testing. We found some great local talent. My wife, Krystle Fitch, and Anastasia Blue did the fx and also acted in the movie.
HoTS: Do you have a dream location if money were no object?
PS: Actually yeah, I don’t know where that location is but I know what it looks like. The whole reason I wanted to make Flowers 02 was it’s supposed to fund my next film, Paradise, which is the serial killer’s hell kind of. I want it to involve a lot of ocean and beach sequences, stuff you don’t tend to see in an underground film. I’ve been working on it for three years, and it’s probably going to be my swan song film. The first film is purgatory, the next is hell, and the last one is paradise. That will be the last movie I do, and Flowers 02 is the way to get there.
HoTS: Do you have any directors who inspire you?
PS: I’m inspired by Shin’ya Tsukamoto (Tetsuo: The Iron Man). I’m a huge, huge fan of Asian cinema in general, so Takashi Miike (Audition) obviously and Kim Ki-duk (The Isle). What inspires me about Kim Ki-duk is that he doesn’t use many words, and his main characters don’t talk but everyone around them always does. I love all things artistic, I loved Andrey Iskanovs’ Nails so much. I also like Akira Kurosawa, his movies are beautiful; the cinematography is incredible and his movies top movies that are made to this day. A lot of my inspiration comes from Asian cinema.
HoTS: I just want to take this opportunity again to thank you and say what a fun time I’ve had talking with you today. I wish you the best of luck with Flowers 02 and can’t wait to see it.
PS: Thank you. I had fun today, too!

Flowers 02 Crowdfunding on the Web

Check out the fundraiser video on contributing to Flowers 02. Then click the link below to donate!

Phil Stevens on the Web

Posted by Candace Stone in EXCLUSIVE, HORROR NEWS, INTERVIEWS, STAFF PICKS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Phil Stevens’ Lung II (2016) [SPOILERS]

MOVIE REVIEW: Phil Stevens’ Lung II (2016) [SPOILERS]

Lung II by Phil Stevens was one of the weirdest little indie films I’ve ever seen with a Lynch/Cronenberg vibe throughout. I really enjoyed it.

A follow up to Flowers, Lung II was a continuation of the same theme. Phil Stevens said that “after the trauma of making Flowers, it was something he needed to do for therapeutic reasons”. The film is in black and white (I’m hoping a color version exists somewhere in the underground) and like Flowers has no dialogue. It’s also a dreamy artistic vision except for a lot more bizarre. Flowers was a cathartic pilgrimage through purgatory for the female murder victims of a serial killer and Lung II was the killer’s slow journey into insanity.

Throughout the film, we follow a serial killer (played by Stevens himself) as he slowly awakens and comes to realize what he’s done through flashbacks and the discovery of a body trail. During his travels, he comes across no shortage of corpses and weird Freudian Lynch monsters.

Spoiler Alert Nosferatu

Lung II works its way backward going from body to body. It starts out in what appears to be a psych ward with a naked dude (Phil Stevens) on the floor. If you’ve ever had the urge to see Phil Stevens naked here’s your chance ladies and gentlemen! He sort of fumbles out into the woods where he comes across his future self, disposing of bodies. He continues to stumble along from gory crime scene to crime scene sometimes finding bodies sometimes finding these bizarre blobby sex monsters. My personal favorite is the half dick half vag monster that he finger-bangs until it sprays blood. In a few scenes, he pulls glass out of various cuts and you might be thinking what’s the deal with the glass? Don’t worry; all will become clear soon. I found the part where he was pulling glass out of his foot particularly uncomfortable, but I kind of have an anti-foot fetish and can’t stand foot injuries.

After a hard day of self-realization, the last stop or last flashback is at his own home. He arrives home after a long day at work (presumably) to find his wife in bed with another woman, he loses his shit and kills them both with a baseball bat before he has a chance to consider consequences. Something in him snaps while he’s sitting there sniffing their panties. He tries to commit suicide by dropping a tv on his head (this is where the glass comes from!) but fails and from this point on he loses his humanity piece by piece.

Posted by Candace Stone in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, STAFF PICKS, 0 comments
The Best of Miike: Gozu (2003)

The Best of Miike: Gozu (2003)

For my Best of Takashi Miike series, I’m going to start with Gozu. I want to say it’s my favorite film of his, but I’m not sure that it’s even possible to have just one favorite with him. Every time I think I have it nailed down, I watch another one of his films and think, ‘no this is my favorite’. And then the next film I think the same thing.

Gozu’s original Japanese title Gokudo Kyofu dai-gekijo:Gozu translates to Yakuza Horror Theatre; Cows Head. There is no shortage of bizarre cow and milk-related scenarios in this one and as the cover of the film suggests, there is, in fact, a man in tightie whities with a gigantic cow head and a rather large and slimy tongue. I honestly could have watched an entire movie about the cow head dude but unfortunately, he only got about a minute of screen time. In that sense the film was misleading but it was bang on in the bizarre department.

Takasi Miike's Gozu (2003)

The film starts out by introducing us to Ozaki (Show Aikawa), a Yakuza member that has seemingly developed some sort of dementia, believing that small animals and inanimate objects etc. are trained Yakuza killers. Minami (Kimika Yoshino) is asked to take his Yakuza brother Ozaki on a little trip and kill him before he causes further embarrassment. During the trip, they hit a little bump in the road while driving and Ozaki is killed. A panicked Minami heads into a restaurant to seek help and when he returns to his car, Ozaki’s body is missing. After searching all day for the body and still coming up empty, Minami ends up at the Masakazu Inn, a sort of Japanese version of Motel Hell. The Inn is run by a brother and sister with a whole host of their own issues, and it’s from this point on that describing the film becomes an exercise in futility. The events that follow can’t be put into words. I will tell you that you can expect to see sexual misconduct involving a lactating old woman, a séance, a talking pussy, an awkward sex scene between brothers and the piece de resistance: the graphic birth of a grown man from a tiny 100-pound Japanese woman.

All of Miike’s films have an identifiable style and can tend to be on the slow side. Gozu is no exception, it requires patience and a love of film. Miike won’t be rushed while telling his story because perfection takes time.

Posted by Candace Stone in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, STAFF PICKS, TRIBUTE, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Savageland (2015)

MOVIE REVIEW: Savageland (2015)

Zombie movies are never really about zombies. At least the good ones aren’t. There’s always some social or political message being conveyed, and Savageland is no exception. At its heart, it’s more of a social statement about immigration and bigotry than a horror film, but we’re going to overlook the message and focus on the horror.

Savageland presents itself as a documentary about a small southwestern town that is virtually wiped out overnight. The story follows a photographer accused of mass murder and is told and illustrated by the pictures he took on the night in question.

The use of still photography adds a certain creepy element to the film, which probably couldn’t have been achieved if they had gone with the found footage format. In addition, the pictures themselves are quite eerie and haunting. Another benefit of using photos as opposed to film is that there is no poorly done CGI that seems to be rampant in the lower budget horror films.

Savageland (2015)The documentary style leaves a bit to be desired as it feels a bit more polished than it probably should, and the story starts out a bit confusing. However, once it gets rolling, it’s a pretty solid film, and the still photos are not overused, which leaves the viewer wanting to see more.

My only real issue with Savageland is that several characters are over the top caricatures of Southern rednecks and “bleeding heart liberals”. Now, I’m sure that people like that really exist, but both of those tropes are vastly overused, in my opinion.

I recommend Savageland to anyone looking for something a little different in the horror genre. If you like the found footage films, you’ll probably find Savageland worth watching, as it falls along those lines. If you don’t like the found footage films, you might still enjoy it, as there isn’t much in the “shaky cam” department.

Posted by Richard Francis in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, ZOMBIES, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW (RETRO): Love me Deadly (1973)

MOVIE REVIEW (RETRO): Love me Deadly (1973)

Love Me Deadly (1972) / Fair use doctrine.Love Me Deadly is a bewildering film as I’m pretty sure it shouldn’t exist, but it does anyway. Lindsay Finch (Mary Charlotte Wilcox) has style, beauty, and money, but behind all that perfection lies a dark secret. Because instead of having any hot hunk she wants, she prefers them cold and dead. Soon she becomes mixed up with a crazy cult that is also interested in the loving dead. Take an early ’70s melodrama, mix in some hammy acting, throw in some half-baked horror elements and a light sprinkle of sleazy necrophilia and you have the makings of something…surprisingly unremarkable in every way.

Love Me Deadly (1972) / Fair use doctrine.

Love Me Deadly has everything an epic so-bad-it’s-good outing should have; however, not even the terrible credit music can prepare you for this incredibly unwatchable celluloid mish-mash. Basically what you have is a dime store soap opera that for some baffling reason makes a half-assed attempt at the sleaze/horror genre. It’s like all the pieces are right there, but they just do not fit together. The film, as suggested by the title, explores necrophilia, a subject that is guaranteed to make you squirm… Except, of course, for this movie, because the material is handled with kid gloves for whatever reason. And this is really where the film lost me because why even bother going that route if you can’t deliver something disturbing and edgy? And maybe worst of all, fellow bad cinema junkies, it’s so painfully dull it will have you bored stiff. (Sorry couldn’t resist the bad pun.) I will give the film some credit for having a few nice twisted touches, but sadly it’s not nearly enough to save the film from collapsing into itself. I’m not even sure who this film is supposed to be aimed towards as it’s too strange to be a straight-up drama, yet it lacks the punch to even really be considered a horror/exploitation film. I so wanted to like this movie, but it is really lacking in virtually every department — from the wooden acting to the lazy and often times overdrawn plot (which is also pretty predictable).

Love Me Deadly better left on the shelf along with your Stretch Armstrong doll and your bell-bottom pants. Truly for the brave hardcore trash fan, but you might as well just watch Nekromantik instead.

Love Me Deadly (1972) / Fair use doctrine.

For more help exploring some little-seen oddities, my fiends, check out my new book The Ultimate Guide to Strange Cinema, and let me know what you think.

The Ultimate Guide to Strange Cinema (2017) by Mike "Gorehound" Vaughn

Posted by Mike Vaughn in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
MUSIC: Sinister Fate – Blood Pact (2016)

MUSIC: Sinister Fate – Blood Pact (2016)

Horror rock is still kickin’ these days. For the longest time, it was all I ever knew and by far the most fun subgenre of punk and metal. Nothing was off limits in horror rock, and what made it more of a fun time than most other genres was the actual all-inclusiveness of everyone. Not saying other genres/subs don’t. You go to a hardcore, metal or OG punk show, you’ll see 90% white males…even though we don’t hate…that’s what’s there…the other 10% is scattered among women as well as other ethnicities so with horror rock/punk how it differs is a wide rainbow of a crowd as well as on stage. Did you know there are also Christian horror punk bands? That’s…odd. Yes, it is; however, it’s a testament (no pun intended) to how this particular subgenre is pretty open to anything. I guess no more odd than Christian black metal now that I think about it, but we’ll discuss that later.

The Chicago-area band Sinister Fate came to us with their album BLOOD PACT. I didn’t listen to the album at first; I did a little research on the band and watched some videos. My first impression was far from what I normally get from horror bands. Their videos are very reminiscent of the 90s style Gwar videos. Ya know, handheld shaky camera, choppy editing, Tromaesque splatter effects. So I instantly fell in love with this style. I also was impressed that there are female participants in the band. Again, this is rare for a lot of other genres but in horror rock, it’s very normal.

What really sealed this band for me was the guitarist. This chick really wails on this thing. Her playing is absolutely amazing, from just riffs down to solos. She really takes it and shows what’s up with guitar playing.

The music begins and this is definitely horror rock. BLOOD PACT is just an EP-style, 6-track short album. However, it gives you what you need to know about this band. The album as a whole is executed beautifully. I can say that if you’re a fan of any horror business, then this is a band to definitely check out.
Sinister Fate - Blood Pact
Track by Track (not in order as they appear on the album):

  • The Monster Within: This track is like a solid break down style track, a lot of palm muting and kind of a slower pace. However, it gets the point across on what the song’s feel is all about. Lyrically very dark, and a nice look into the writer’s head, that guitar solo though…Just listen and enjoy this.
  • Trust/Obey: Another slower, heavier/slow paced track. Vocally reminiscent of older Frankenstein Drag Queens, lyrically super intense and “demanding”…yeah we’ll say demanding. Very catchy and fun.
  • Decay: Starts out very spooky sounding musically, almost like they’re going for an epic battle in a back alley. Not like “Beat It” style, but more like A Clockwork Orange vs. The Warriors type of battle. Then carries on in the same fashion, maybe my imagination just sees images too much I don’t know, but this is what I get from it.
  • Kill the Pain: I don’t care, I love this guitarist. This track is pretty straightforward, I listen to lyrics and wonder if there’s more of a personal meaning behind them or if someone is just trying to fit the genre. However, it sounds very personal and has the same feeling through the music.
  • Six Feet Under the Big Top: Oh circus style and creepy on the intro, then some crunchy heavy stuff happening. A very cool number that, tells a fun story of murder and mayhem
  • Sympathy from the Devil: A more upbeat almost poppy tone with this song, and catchy as all hell, If you’re going to listen to this band then listen to this song first.

Overall, BLOOD PACT is great to listen to, the band as a whole are all talented and know their stuff very well. About the album: It runs together from track to track a lot of them being so similar it’s hard to tell them apart musically and vocally. By this I mean, musically it’s the same arrangement, not the same notes and so forth but the same blueprint for each track. Vocally flows the same way, same influx like before a chorus and so forth notes carried out, blah blah musical mumbo jumbo. This works well for some bands, and if it works don’t fix it, is the common consensus. However, I can see a lot more coming from this band maybe some faster tunes and a bit of a change in arrangement from track to track. This would really send this band into outer space and put them up there in the horror world.

Sinister Fate - band

Posted by Schock in MUSIC REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
EXTREME SCENE: Last House on Dead End Street (1977)

EXTREME SCENE: Last House on Dead End Street (1977)

Sometimes as horror lovers, especially extreme cinema fans, we have to dig deep and look to the past to find what we’re looking for. The 70s were a great decade for horror and exploitation movies, and I find a lot of hidden gems there.

Last House on Dead End Street (1977) is more of an exploitation film than anything else but it’s also subtly extreme cinema. It was made by film students who, after making it, were so ashamed they didn’t want their names attached to it. It really has something to offend everyone – I love that about it. The whole thing watches like a softcore porn combined with an arthouse and a grindhouse film.

Last House on Dead End Street is about Terry, a man newly released from prison for a drug charge, who wants to get back at society. He sets out to create a snuff film, “something really different”. At a party, Terry meets Jim Palmer, a pornography director, and his gay friend and film executive Steve, and they agree to team up to make a movie. During the party, Jim’s wife comes down donning blackface and gets whipped repeatedly while delighted partygoers watch and cheer, “Harder! Harder!” For some reason, Terry decides that the other two are taking credit for his masterpiece. After raping Jim’s wife, Terry Kidnaps her, another female porn star, Jim, and Steve to star in his snuff film.

The last 20 minutes or so is where it really breaks loose. The four victims are tied up and removed to be killed one by one. The whole sequence is a pulsing, whispering, echoing, eerie, flashing look into madness. The slowness of the kills and almost graceful movement alongside the pulsing music make it hauntingly beautiful as well as disturbing.

Jim’s wife gets the worst of it;, Terry and his film crew slowly slice her face, taunt her and remove her legs. By the end when they cut open her abdomen and remove her insides, she doesn’t flinch, unblinking and resigned to her fate, her silence far more disturbing than if she were screaming.

This movie makes an educated effort in offending by either showing or implying:

  • Animal slaughter
  • Beastiality
  • A graphic sex scene between horses
  • Blackface
  • Rape
  • Homophobia
  • Torture
  • Branding a human
  • Mutilation
and so much more…

I can’t claim that all extremists will love Last House on Dead End Street, but it’s worth their consideration.

Posted by Candace Stone in GORE, MOVIE REVIEWS, 0 comments
Joe Becker-Monster

Joe Becker-Monster

Another artist of the underground world got with us and wanted us to hear what they have to offer. Remember in my last review I stated that the underground is home to me, so I love seeing new faces and hearing new and original works.

A fellow by the name of Joe Becker got with us here at House of Tortured Souls with an album Monster that he described as Death Rock. This is an honest description and I respect that, I’d call it something like mind fuckery rock…and here is why.

The album as a whole is well produced musically, not a lot of vocal singing, but plenty of vocal dialog and storytelling over an accompanying musical background like a narrative. Joe’s way of interpreting what he’s got going on is like listening to the thoughts of an asylum inmate’s thoughts or better yet, what this inmate did to get where he is.

Each track is like a tale of a different victim and how they either asked to be murdered or just how this absolute insane person took it upon themselves to give the victim a release from life. Going into this being told it was death rock. I was expecting something with a lot of synthesizer, deep Peter Steele style vocals and a lot of vampiric sex. However, I was surprised at what I did here. As I said, each track is slightly different from the next on the tales told within them.

A few pointers to note: where Mr. Becker does sing or attempt to do so, it was a bit off key from the music and that very well could have been the intent. If not the intent, then this did not work out as planned. I feel like this record is fine how it is with the narrative style of vocalizing the poetic, goth, yet murderous lyrics. However, if singing is something you want to achieve on a record..for anyone..find that note you’re on and match your voice to it. I am NO singing vocalist…I yell fast and violently. However, when I do make my attempts at singing I hit that first note on the guitar and find it in my voice before carrying on.

Overall this is a great album to listen to if you really want to fuck someone up…keep it low in the background while friends are over just to fuck with their heads a bit. They will hear music and be like, “okay, whatever”, then dude starts in on his vocal track and it will subliminally mess them up, probably cause a nightmare or three. Another option, any one of these tracks will be good to send as a single (oh..oh showing what time period I’m from, yo) to basically say “I hate you, and this will happen if you contact me again”.

I highly recommend listening to this record at least once even if just for curiosity. It’s not something I’d recommend for driving, jamming out to or if you’re suicidal or a sociopath. For fun and “horror on tape” kinda deal, then definitely have a go at it.

Posted by Schock in MUSIC REVIEWS, 1 comment
WiHM: Lori Lethin

WiHM: Lori Lethin

Lori Lethin in Bloody Birthday (1981)Lori Lethin, I suspect, is not a name known to a lot of horror fans; however, I think it’s high time we celebrate her brief but interesting career. Like most actors, Lori got her start doing guest spots and in a short amount of time was on everything from Charlie’s Angels and The Dukes of Hazard as well as the infamous After School Special turned short film The Wave, based on a horrifying real-life experiment in an American High School. It was in The Wave were she began to flex her dramatic muscles, but it would be Bloody Birthday released at the height of the slasher craze which would provide her most memorable role. It’s clear from the start that Lethin exudes a natural charm and embodied the perfect girl next door, and the perfect final girl. It was this sweet, innocent demeanor that played well against the three murderous kids in Bloody Birthday and a deformed man in The Prey.

Lori Lethin in The Prey (1984)But her range wasn’t limited to just episodic television or horror and she turned in a great performance in the now cult classic The Day After, a highly unnerving depiction of nuclear fallout at the height of the Cold War. She continued to do guest spots throughout the 80s, and she once again went back to her queen scream roots in the meta-horror film Return to Horror High (1987), a film most notable for starring a relatively unknown George Clooney. Again Lethin stretches her talents by not only playing multiple characters in the film within a film by playing against heavyweights like Alex Rocco. She would only do one other film and a few more guest spots before retiring from acting.

Lori Lethin in The Day After (1983)After bowing out of the limelight, she worked hard to earn her degree in clinical psychology and works with recovering addicts. Though her filmography isn’t huge, the films she did appear in are better because of her and you can’t deny she had a way of lighting up a screen. So let’s raise a toast to this unsung scream queen and truly Lori Lethin can have her cake and this time eat it too!
Lori Lethin in Bloody Birthday (1981)

Posted by Mike Vaughn in EDITORIALS, TRIBUTE, WOMEN IN HORROR, 0 comments
WiHM9 Blood Drive, PSA #27 – The Love Swallows

WiHM9 Blood Drive, PSA #27 – The Love Swallows

Good evening and happy twenty-seventh PSA of Women in Horror Month, and House of Tortured Souls is proud to present the nxt entry in this year’s Women in Horror Month Blood Drive.

Tonight’s PSA comes from Nicole McClure.

Obligatory disclaimer (not that we need it, right Souls?):

DISCLAIMER: This IS Horror, boys and grrls, so SOME of these do have VERY naughty content. Blood. Gore. EXTREME gore. Disturbing situations. Nudity. Sexual situations. Violence. Language.
If you are SENSITIVE to this kind of content, be a mature human being and just don’t watch. No need to spoil the fun for us fellow weirdos. We’re not hurting anyone. It just REALLY looks like we are 😉

Without further ado, behold the awesome twenty-seventh Blood Drive PSA of Women in Horror Month:

The Love Swallows

By Nicole McClure

ABOUT THE ARTIST:

Nicole McClure is a writer, director, editor, colorist, and VFX artist. A woman of many talents, Nicole’s body of work is as diverse as she is. Regardless of what position she holds on a production, her work always elevates the pieces to a whole new level.
A two time WiHM Massive Blood drive director before this with her partner, Aramis Sartorio, the two have a hilarious, often shocking, and blood fantastic take on horror to get you in the mood to donate blood.

Cast:

Megan Duffy
Matt Mercer
Aramis Sartorio

Crew:

Production Design………George Hale
Gaffer………Miles Kittrege………
Photography by………Nate Liquor
Pony Gold
Nicole McClure

Special Thanks:

Matt Suchesi
Kaeli Quick
Michael Snyder
Sebastian Love
Mylissa Ftizsimmons
Blame Mercury
Jen & Sylvia Soska

Remember, Souls, there’ll be a new PSA every day, and please check out the official WiHM website for more on Women in Horror Month.

Check out the other PSAs:

Posted by Woofer McWooferson in STAFF PICKS, WOMEN IN HORROR, 0 comments
WiHM9 Blood Drive, PSA #26 – NerdGirls

WiHM9 Blood Drive, PSA #26 – NerdGirls

Tonight’s PSA comes from Adam Marcus, Debra Sullivan, and Bryan Sexton.

Obligatory disclaimer (not that we need it, right Souls?):

DISCLAIMER: This IS Horror, boys and grrls, so SOME of these do have VERY naughty content. Blood. Gore. EXTREME gore. Disturbing situations. Nudity. Sexual situations. Violence. Language.
If you are SENSITIVE to this kind of content, be a mature human being and just don’t watch. No need to spoil the fun for us fellow weirdos. We’re not hurting anyone. It just REALLY looks like we are 😉

Without further ado, behold the awesome twenty-sixth Blood Drive PSA of Women in Horror Month:

NerdGirls

By Adam Marcus, Debra Sullivan, & Bryan Sexton

ADAM MARCUS
TINKER, TAILOR, SOLDIER, SPY,
WRITER, DIRECTOR, CO-PRODUCER GUY:

A native of New York and Connecticut (a feat in itself), at 11, Adam was a PA on his first studio movie. At 13 he was apprentice editing for Columbia Pictures. At 15, he created the Westport Theatreworks Theatrical Company, directing and producing over 50 shows in 7 years. At NYU he won Best Picture in for his film, “…so you like this girl”. At 21, Adam set up his first feature film at Disney and less than a year later he had been hired to write and direct New Line Cinema’s “Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday”. At 23 he was the youngest director ever hired by a major studio to write and direct a feature film. He then turned his attention to writing and he and writing partner </ strong>Debra Sullivan, wrote scripts for Paramount (the adaptation of James Patterson’s “Virgin”), Fox (the original “Black Autumn”), and Lionsgate (the box office #1 “Texas Chainsaw 3D”).
In 1995 Adam created the Skeleton Crew TheatreWorks where to this day he trains some of the most talented actors in the industry. This troupe has been the backbone of Adam’s theatrical and cinematic casts.
In 1998 Adam directed the indie comedy, “Let It Snow” starring Bernadette Peters. The film was a critical and festival darling at AFI’s LAIFF (where it won several awards), Sundance, New York/Avignon, the Deauville festival in France among many others. At the same time Adam sold several TV series to Kevin Bright Productions, Imagine Television, NBC, Fox and The WB. Adam then directed the Sony Pictures feature film, “Conspiracy”, which he co-wrote with Sullivan. Starring Val Kilmer, Jennifer Esposito, and Gary Cole. The latest Marcus/Sullivan project written by the duo, is “Momentum”, starring Olga Kurylenko, James Purefoy and Morgan Freeman.
Recently episodes of Adam’s web series, Connected was the winner for best short subject at three separate festivals.
He and Sullivan have recently partnered with long time producer Bryan S. Sexton to form Skeleton Crew Productions. They already have several films slated for release next year and 2 new television series slated for mid- 2018.
As a director Adam has three new films in the pipeline, “The Plantation”, “The Harvest” and “Dread”.
“Secret Santa” is a return to the genre Adam loves dearly. He’s so thrilled to be back, knee deep in blood and madness!

ADAM MARCUS STATEMENT – WiHM BLOOD DRIVE

When I was in film school at NYU, there were two films that would change my idea of artful storytelling. The first was Katherine Bigalow’s “Near Dark”. It was a dark, scary, romantic adrenaline rush. As a young man I was not accustomed to seeing a film this kick-ass made by a woman. A woman who not only gave James Cameron a run for his money when it came to action but was far more interested in the connection between it’s characters than the average horror movie. It knocked my socks off. Then I saw Luc Besson’s “La Femme Nikita”. It was a mash-up of all the things I loved about French Cinema and American Movies. At it’s center was the story of a lost young woman who is as bad an anti-hero as you’ll find. But you love her. She is a murderer who is trained to use her pathological talents for the “government”. We’ve seen this story a thousand times and it’s always a bit ham-fisted. Why does this one work? Because it is the story of a woman and the complications of being a woman used by a world of men for their purposes, that’s why! She goes from being owned by the male-constructed system to owning herself. And it was written and directed by a man. It showed me that a man can tell stories about strong, kick-ass women that still get to be feminine. And that was it… I was hooked.
Since then, I have struggled to do the impossible in Hollywood… tell stories about strong women. For twenty-five years I have tirelessly written movies about women, in every genre. Many of those scripts have been bought, but only a few have even been made. Most sit on shelves in studio offices.
Before it was chic to make stories about women, I wanted to.
No, I yearned to. Every time I’d sit down with my brilliant partner, Debra, and come up with a new story, the response from our representatives was always, “For the love of all that’s holy, can’t you please write something with a male protagonist”? That’s something they don’t teach in film school, or in three day seminars on writing movies… if you want a movie to get made, write about men.
Well… fuck that! Seriously. Fuck that!
A couple of years ago, Debra and I wrote a project based on a wonderful novel our company optioned named, Nightspinners. It was the story of twin sisters who can speak to each other telepathically. Again, it’s about ownership of one’s identity. It’s about strong women. One heroic and one psychotic. But both will not and can not be ignored. When we went searching for our director, I said, “It has to be a woman. This is story that should be told by a woman”. We started making a list but our list got tossed out the window when we found out that Jen and Sylvia Soska were repped at our same agency. After much hemming and hawing (“they’ve seen every twin story out there”) they sent them the script. Twenty-four hours later we received a two line response, “Fuck yeah we’ll do Nightspinners! Cause it’s fucking awesome”! Thus began the beautiful friendship between the Twisted Twins and Skeleton Crew.
When the Soskas came to Debra and me to create something for WiHM, we could not have said, “YES” faster. We got to work immediately on hatching our PSA. Enter the NERDGIRLS!
NerdGirls is a film series that Debra and I created over a year ago. It’s about a young woman, Alex, who since childhood has been obsessed with what she was always told was “Boy Stuff”. Comics, Kung-Fu Movies, Superheroes. Her best friend in grade school, a super-serious tom boy, Maxine, even used to beat up the boys in school who taunted Alex for playing with Giant Robots rather than dolls. When Alex was eight, her father left the family and she blamed herself, thinking she was a bad daughter and not “girly” enough. So she abandoned and threw out everything she loved. Her comics and toys and worse of all… Maxine. 15 years later, Alex’s life is a mess. She’s forced herself to be what society thinks of as a “girl”, all the while still daydreaming of comic books and obsessively sketching on anything she can. On the day that she is robbed at her day job, finds her boyfriend in bed with another… man, and is kicked out of her apartment, she stumbles upon a shop selling the same GIANT ROBOT she abandoned years ago. She rushes into the store to find… Maxine is running the place! Rekindling their friendship, Alex finds a new home and the real adventure of her NerdGirl life is about to begin.
Our WiHM PSA is a horror episode of NerdGirls. It’s about the snakepit that is Blind Dating and the power of friendship and ass-kicking femininity! Oh, and did I mention there’s lot of blood?
I’m so excited to be a part of this year’s Blood Drive and WiHM! Not just as a man who loves stories about women, but as a human being who loves stories about all of us!

DEBRA SULLIVAN:

Debra is an actress/writer/producer. As an actress, over the years, she has appeared in countless plays, films, television shows and commercials. This 2nd generation Los Angelino has played lead roles in comedies, dramas and musicals. In television, she has had lead and/or recurring roles on “Criminal Minds”, “Private Practice”, “Big Love”, “ER”, “Days of Our Lives” and “Cold Case”, as well as many others. Some of her favorite films roles include, “Conspiracy” with Val Kilmer, “Let It Snow” (a Sundance Winner) with Bernadette Peters, “Bring It On, All or Nothing” with Hayden Panetierre, and “Brewster’s Millions” with the late Richard Pryor and John Candy. Recently, she starred opposite Steve Guttenberg in the film, “Lookin’ Up”.
When not acting, she and her husband/partner, Adam Marcus have written over 50 screenplays, including, “Conspiracy”, “Momentum”, “Texas Chainsaw 3D” and “The Plantation”. Their latest script, “Secret Santa” is a film she not only performs in but co-wrote and co-produced with Marcus and their producing partner, Bryan S. Sexton.
“Secret Santa”, a scathing “horromedy”, is burning up the festival circuit right now and is the first feature out of the gate for the trio’s newly formed production company, Skeleton Crew Productions.
Creating Skeleton Crew with Marcus and Sexton has been one of the most rewarding aspects of her career in the business. The company is committed to making entertainment, at all budget levels while giving opportunities to those who haven’t had their “breaks” yet or to work in the field of the business they’ve always wanted to. They currently have several films and television shows in the pipeline, the majority of which have strong female protagonists, something Marcus and Sullivan have always specialized in.
You can follow Debra on Twitter and Instagram @debsullivanm, and on Facebook as Debra Sullivan.

DEBRA SULLIVAN, ARTISTIC STATEMENT:

I am so excited to be a part of this year’s Women in Horror Month Blood Drive. As a woman in the industry and one who has done the majority of her work in the horror genre, I am honored to support the talented and ever amazing Soska Sisters in this annual event.
While we had a lot of fun making our film, our true heart was in the message we’re helping to send out to the world, the importance of donating blood. When you donate, you save lives, period. In these unpredictable times we live in, with more and more things happening, we have to stick together and be there for each other. The horror community has always been a source of people who care. So let’s care together. Go out and donate. You’ll be blessed that you did.
Let the blood-letting begin!!!

Cast & Crew:

The Nerd Girls
Anna Sondall………Alex Travalian
Paris Wise………Kit Kapinski
Michelle Allaire………Mickey Montgomery
Debra Sullivan………Mrs. Virginia Summerbottom
Mesa Kronhaus………Maxine Kotzwinkle
Kristin Wall………Georgia Washington
Ryan Leigh………Seaton Pickles

The Vampires
Scott Maguire………Cassian
Sassan Saffari………Derek
Rissa Kilar………Chantal The Vampire Queen
Nigel Lawes………Abatu The Gatekeeper
Darren Dupree Washington………Baka The Guardian
Jerusalem Girma………D.J. Cyrus
Joshua Kwak………Chiang-Shih
Erika Lane Enggren………Kali
Russ Ferri………Amon
Charlit Dae………Balam The Protector
Ed Nathan………Mecate Cacus The Protector
Pat Destro………Evanora The Vile
Petra Areskoug………Agate
Nick Barajas-Torres………Deumus
Gabriel Fiorindo Bellotti………Cherufe
Glennthomas Camba………Forneus
Melissa Corkern………Eris
Kate Enggren………Gatrea
Gilbert Feliciano………Kappas
CJ Feldbau………Azazel
Scott Fleetwood………Gremony
Troy Fromin………Halphas
Timothy D. Harris………Malphas
Mitch Narito………Marax
Breann Johnson………Hecate
Jeff Karr………Orobas
Gabi Mayorga………Salome
Daryn O’Patry………Moloch
Candace Quirk………Cerys
Jon Daniel Schwartz………Uvall
Anna Yosin………Onodine

Adam Marcus………Director/Co-Writer/Editor/Co-Producer
Debra Sullivan………Co-Writer/Co-Producer
Bryan S. Sexton………Producer
Fidencio Casas………D.P.
Freddy John James………Stunt Coordinator
Timothy D.G. Eilers………Composer/Vfx
Joshua Kwak………First A.D.
Chris Gonzaga………Gaffer
Gregg Furuoka………A.C.
Jorge Ramos………Key Grip
Kristy Munden………Wrangler

Remember, Souls, there’ll be a new PSA every day, and please check out the official WiHM website for more on Women in Horror Month.

Check out the other PSAs:

Posted by Woofer McWooferson in STAFF PICKS, WOMEN IN HORROR, 0 comments
WiHM9 Blood Drive, PSA #25 – Kirby, A Hero

WiHM9 Blood Drive, PSA #25 – Kirby, A Hero

Morning, Souls! It’s the twenty-fifth morning of Women in Horror Month, and House of Tortured Souls is proud to present the twenty-fourth entry in this year’s Women in Horror Month Blood Drive.

The twenty-fifth PSA comes from the devilicious mind of Nicholas Burman-Vince.

Obligatory disclaimer (not that we need it, right Souls?):

DISCLAIMER: This IS Horror, boys and grrls, so SOME of these do have VERY naughty content. Blood. Gore. EXTREME gore. Disturbing situations. Nudity. Sexual situations. Violence. Language.
If you are SENSITIVE to this kind of content, be a mature human being and just don’t watch. No need to spoil the fun for us fellow weirdos. We’re not hurting anyone. It just REALLY looks like we are 😉

Without further ado, behold the brilliant twenty-fifth Blood Drive PSA of Women in Horror Month:

Kirby, A Hero

By Nicholas Burman-Vince

DIRECTOR’S STATEMENT:

When I was 19, I had major reconstructive surgery on my face and during the operation half the blood in my body was replaced via transfusion. For years I thought that was an extraordinary amount, but through the my involvement with the Soskas Blood Drive PSA, I’ve learned this is common – which help put into perspective just how urgent the need for blood donations is. Particularly as surgery isn’t the main use for donated blood. In the UK 67% is used to treat medical conditions including anaemia, cancer and blood disorders. So, people regularly need blood to survive.
I particularly like the current promotion by blood.co.uk #Date2Donate, encouraging people to donate with a friend or family member. What could be more romantic. Getting to know if your partner has a phobia about needles and helping to save someone’s life?

Cast & Crew:

Nicholas Vince – Writer and Director

Nicholas Vince played The Chatterer Cenobite in Clive Barker’s Hellraiser & Hellbound: Hellraiser II and Kinski in Barker’s Nightbreed. In 2016 he was awarded the London Horror Society Award for Outstanding Contribution to UK Independent Horror. He is Patron of the London Horror Festival.

His first short film as writer and director, The Night Whispered, screened at festivals in the US, UK, and France and is now available on Reelhouse.org. His second film, Your Appraisal, is on its festival run and a third, Necessary Evils, will be part of the horror anthology feature film For We Are Many, from Hex Media.

He still acts and recently starred in The Offer, with others from the Hellraiser films. He also stars in the independent feature film, Hollower (dir. MJ Dixon), and numerous short films including the award-winning Mindless (dir. Katie Bonham).

He hosts the weekly YouTube show Chattering with Nicholas Vince, where he interviews independent film makers and actors.

His two collections of short stories, What Monsters Do (rated 5*) and Other People’s Darkness are both available on amazon sites. His short story ‘Prayers of Desire‘, a new origin story for The Chatterer was published in Hellraiser: Anthology – Volume 2 by Seraphim Inc.

Holly Boyden – Rebekah

Recent graduate of the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, Holly Boyden previously studies at Goldsmith’s College, University of London and the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain.

She is known for The Night Whispered, @MovieGeek and One In A Million.

She is a trained dancer, specialising in Classical Ballet and Ballroom and Latin American. She speaks fluent Spanish.

Dawson James – Kirby

Film maker, actor, cinematographer, performance capture artist and photographer Dawson James, is known for Scale Down, Ophelia, The Night Whispered and his science fiction short, HUD, which is on its festival run. Later this year he stars in Burying the Mother in Law

He is the creator of the young YouTube channel, Fluffy Dog.

Patrick E. Fagan – Composer

Patrick graduated from The University of West Scotland in 2002 with a BA Honours degree in Commercial Music. Since then, Patrick has worked in many roles within the music industry from music management to event organisation and is now currently working as a music teacher.

After many years performing in various bands, Patrick decided to move into creating music specifically aimed at film, TV and Media.

Remember, Souls, there’ll be a new PSA every day, and please check out the official WiHM website for more on Women in Horror Month.

Check out the other PSAs:

Posted by Woofer McWooferson in STAFF PICKS, WOMEN IN HORROR, 0 comments
WiHM9 Blood Drive, PSA #23 – Surprise Egg!

WiHM9 Blood Drive, PSA #23 – Surprise Egg!

Morning, Souls! It’s the twenty-third PSA of Women in Horror Month, and House of Tortured Souls is proud to present the next entry in this year’s Women in Horror Month Blood Drive.

This PSA comes from Hannah Neurotica.

From the official Press Release:

Nine years ago, this next artist decided to change February forever with the very first Women in Horror Month. The founder of WiHM, Hannah Forman, has been growing this event, this celebration, this unity for nine years before it was in vogue to support female artists in the industry.
Without WIHM, our first film wouldn’t have gotten its first two screenings which became life changing events for us. I’ve watched her work tirelessly every year to promote people’s work and raise awareness about artists across the globe in the past, present, and setting up for the future.
I’m over-joyed that she was able to be a part of these 9th Annual WiHM Massive Blood Drive PSAs. Bless you for everything you’ve done, Hannah. Love you to bits!

Obligatory disclaimer (not that we need it, right Souls?):

DISCLAIMER: This IS Horror, boys and grrls, so SOME of these do have VERY naughty content. Blood. Gore. EXTREME gore. Disturbing situations. Nudity. Sexual situations. Violence. Language.
If you are SENSITIVE to this kind of content, be a mature human being and just don’t watch. No need to spoil the fun for us fellow weirdos. We’re not hurting anyone. It just REALLY looks like we are 😉

Without further ado, behold the incredible twenty-third Blood Drive PSA of Women in Horror Month:

Surprise Egg

By Hannah Neurotica

Credits:

Claymation

Hannah Neurotica




Music

33 Music Boxes
Public Domain

MINI BIO:

Hannah Neurotica is the founder of Women in Horror Month, the Ax Wound Film Festival, and published the world’s first known print feminist horror publication, Ax Wound ‘Zine. She is a mixed media artist, writer, and experimental filmmaker whose appeared in Newsweek, The GuardianComplex.com, Rue Morgue, Bitch, NPR, CBC Radio, and other pop culture media. She has been invited to speak or moderate a panels at events such as Geek Girl Con, Horror Rama, and Horrible Imaginings.
From event organizing to creative projects, Hannah’s passion is rooted in educating and empowering women to share their stories in all artistic forms, while simultaneously creating new spaces/opportunities to amplify what they have to say.

ARTIST’S STATEMENT:

I am honored to be part of this massive blood drive undertaking. My father passed away right before the first WiHM in 2010 and it was especially meaningful when Jen and Sylvia Soska told me they wanted to start encouraging people to donate with horror/gore themed blood donation PSAs. I’d just watched my dad get bags of blood from people I will never be able to thank but whom I am grateful for everyday. All you have to do is make an appointment, sit in a chair, and then you get a cookie. Being a hero has never been easier! Please consider taking that brave step and share that good red stuff in your veins.

Remember, Souls, there’ll be a new PSA every day, and please check out the official WiHM website for more on Women in Horror Month.

Check out the other PSAs:

Posted by Woofer McWooferson in STAFF PICKS, WOMEN IN HORROR, 0 comments