Tag Archives: Horror

BIRTHDAY TRIBUTE: Scream Queen Linnea Quigley

"Do you ever wonder about all the different ways of dying? You know, violently? And wonder, like, what would be the most horrible way to die?"
All true horror fans know this quote by heart and the petite beauty who said it--------Trash from the 1985 cult classic Return of the Living Dead. This memorable role was played by the gorgeous Scream Queen Linnea Quigley.
Linnea was a small town girl from Idaho, but I imagine she always knew she was not quite your average Idahoan. After moving to LA with her family, she started modeling and had a few roles in B movies like Stone Cold Dead and Fairy Tales. In 1985, she was snagged up to play the role of Trash in ROTLD and cemented herself in horror history and secured her title of America's Scream Queen.
Since ROTLD, she has continued to act and even produce films such as Ceepoziods. Linnea is a devoted animal rights activist and can always be found with her beloved pets. One of the most popular celebrities on the convention circuit, you will always find her offering a smile and a hug. I had the great opportunity to meet and hang with her at the 2016 Days of the Dead festival in Louisville, KY. So sweet, petite, and full of life. I could have talked to her all day.
Let's wish a big happy birthday to Barbara Linnea Quigley! I hope all her day was a scream.
Happy Nightmares!
ZombieGurl

GAME REVIEW: Zombieopoly (2013)

Zombieopoly, is a horror-based board game that is a blast to play! Most of us grew up playing the the great board game Monopoly. Through the years, though, specialty versions with their own twists on the timeless classic have emerged. Monopoly variations are everywhere and are inspired by everything. One version is based on legendary rock band band KISS, another on fast food giant McDonald’s, and another on the great city of Chicago. You can even play Monopoly slots in casinos.
Well, the folks over at Late for The Sky have put their horror minded twist on it. In 2013, they released their adaptation for coffee tables and families everywhere ― ZOMBIEOPOLY! And it is a lot of fun!
The overall structure and layout of the game is the same as the original: pick your piece, buy properties, get rich, and rule the game! It’s the small details that make Zombieopoly so amusing to play.
For example, Chance and Community Chest cards have been replaced by Stagger and Crawl cards. Be careful while pulling a card. Most are harmless but some are interactive. My son, for example, had to crawl on the floor doing his best zombie impression and yelling for BRAAAAAAAAINS!
Zombieopoly at John Roisland's house.
Zombieopoly at John Roisland's house.
Properties are all there as well as the utilities but with a few small changes. All properties are now zombie-related and tailored to the type of zombie. I played this about three weeks ago with my kids, and we all had a lot of fun.
Zombieopoly board / Fair use doctrine.
All spaces now contain beautiful, detailed art work.
The object of Zombieopoly, just as the original, is to own as much property as possible and have the most money for the win. Now, as most of you know, you’ve never heard anyone say, “Let’s play a quick game” because there is no such thing! I know first hand that playing can go on in to the wee hours of the night and competition can bring out the worse in some players ― especially when playing with zombies, and Zombieopoly is no different! So, if you’re going to sit down and play with friends or even the kids, you’d better get comfy.
John Roisland and family enjoy a game of Zombieopoly..
John Roisland and family enjoy a game of Zombieopoly.
I’m thrilled to see more horror-related games available that don’t require an Internet connection and a remote. Zombieopoly is available at most retail stores and online, including Walmart, Amazon, and TOYS-R-US, and ranges in price from $19.99 ─ $38.99.
Fair use doctrine.
ZOMBIEOPOLY: A KILLER GAME WHERE THE FUN NEVER DIES!
Keep It Evil...

INTERVIEW: V.A. Bennett

I recently had the pleasure of previewing a horror short called I Love MacKenzie Reynolds, written by V.A. Bennett, directed by Brandon Prewitt, and produced by Studio 605. Of all the recent short films I've seen, this one is the one that got me... May your mouth be agape as you finally understand the epitome of the term "friendzone".
I chatted with up-and-coming writer and actor V.A. Bennett about the important things in life...
House of Tortured Souls: What influenced you to write I Love MacKenzie Reynolds?
V.A. Bennett: Honestly, I was late for a deadline for a one man "play" in college for a class in 2008. I had to shovel something out (haha, shovel), and it was just some things that were kinda on my mind from...forever, I guess. Not trying to make myself sound like a psychopath, but in a pinch, you write what you know.
HoTS: Do you prefer to be in front of the camera or behind the scenes?
VAB: I do stand up comedy mostly, so I guess the front of the camera is easy enough. I didn't do stand up yet when the short was written, but there's not a lot of funny stuff happening in ILMR. It was cool to step outside of my comfort realm for something that I really was sorta proud of. I'm just fortunate that Studio 605 made my shoulder shrug a visceral thing. Kinda opened up my process in an odd way.
HoTS: Do you have any pet peeves?
VAB: People chewing with their mouths open drives me insane.
HoTS: Toilet paper... Over or under?
VAB: If your toilet paper is hung under, you are a certified deviant.
HoTS: Due to the fact that there is a gun in said short, Ilo (he's 4 years old) wants to know what your favorite shooty-gun is.
VAB: As far as guns go, I think I like the ones that fire hot dogs at sporting events.
HoTS: What's next for you in film?
VAB: I'll be playing Nicholas in Cinematic Reality, the next feature length film from Studio 605. That starts filming in September. This film is short, sweet, and not-so-sweet due the perfect twist at the heart-wrenching end. Artistically done - integrity intact - perfect. Shout out to Studio 605, and the other talented cast members, Chelsea Skalski and Taylor Wilson, that made this short a complete success in my eyes.

Current Goodies:

Future Goodies:

MUSIC REVIEW: Danzig – Skeletons (2015)

We all know and love Mr. Glenn Danzig, the man behind the almighty Misfits, Samhain, and Danzig. What most suspected and read in past interviews is that he was heavily influenced by the likes of Elvis Presley and Jim Morrison. I mean, he’s like the evil version of both that’s wrapped into a ball of energy that, honestly, after seeing him live a couple of times, I think cannot be matched by a lot of people in his age bracket. So he brings us now Danzig Skeletons.
For many years we all waited for an album to come out in which Danzig would cover some of heaviest influences. Finally, as of 2015 he did, and it’s a glorious record. Listening to Glenn speak in interviews and with the unexpected reunion of the Misfits 2 Riotfest gigs, you can see he’s really getting nostalgic and so an album like this is pretty cool to have on his resume, paying homage to some things and introducing fans of his to music they may not have heard prior. A couple of tracks from some B film biker flicks really threw me off, but when you listen to the original versions, it makes sense as to why he would throw his particular style into it.
Danzig - Skeletons / Fair use doctrine.
So let’s get down to business:
Devil’s AngelsThis was taken from the theme song of an old biker movie. Straight up I had hopes that maybe he would revisit the O.G. punk rock sound of The Misfits with some of this, and this one did it. A very well done number with some throw back punk rock that made us all fall in love with Mr. Danzig.
SatanAnother number that has that old time biker film jive to it. I had never heard of this, so I researched the original and found it to be mega slow, and, I don’t know, I always thought bikers were supposed to be hard and mean, and this didn’t do it for me. However, good ol’ Glenn really threw in some of that bluesy metal vibe and smashed it. Definitely made it more convincing to the reader.
Let Yourself GoAn Elvis number that isn’t very well known unless you’re a die hard fan and not just a fair weather Presley fan. Really, there’s no difference. Danzig nailed this one PERFECTLY.
N.I.B.By far my favorite Black Sabbath song, and I’ve heard many people cover this one and even considered covering it myself. I can’t say it’s my favorite version, but it’s definitely in the top 3. It’s slowed down a bit, and Danzig puts his own spin on it, of course, and really turned it into a Danzig song. If you hadn’t known Sabbath was the original artist, you’d think it was a Danzig tune for sure.
Lord of the ThighsAerosmith... uh, yeah, you read that correctly. An older Aerosmith number that was great originally, and then Glenn gets a hold of it and adds that metal flair and really gave it some justice. I’m sure anyone who knows the original and then hears this will absolutely love it. Putting that Danzig twist to it really makes a difference in the song’s dynamic.
Action WomanAnother song I had never heard prior to this, originally recorded by some band called The Litter. I felt, after listening to the original, that if Danzig wasn’t in the punk scene, this would have been his band. No doubt about it, he took this song and again made it a tune of his own with the carried out notes and guitar squeals. It has Danzig 1 all over it.
Rough BoyWhat’s funny about this whole record is there are songs by bands that you’re not going to expect. This one is brought to us by ZZ Top. I was not expecting to hear this; again, though, it’s very well done and perfectly arranged, really paying great homage to the original. I don’t care for ZZ Top, but to see what’s up, I listened to it and found it a good representation.
With a Girl Like YouDanzig frequently can be incoherent in his lyrical projection. When I listened to this one, I thought that’s what was going on here, but nope, the original has the same vibe. I’m not so stoked about this one as the others, the distorted bass really throws off the vibe of the song and kind of gets annoying after 45 seconds.
Find SomebodyThis is another tune that sounds as if they were dying down towards the end of writing. Not very well arranged and sounds as if the whole band may be falling asleep. I’ve heard this one in original form a few dozen times, and it doesn’t really pay homage as well as they could have.
Crying in the RainOriginally recorded by The Everly Brothers, it was an amazing song then, and the way Danzig recorded it is fantastic. Light instruments and some echoed out vocals. It’s a fantastic way to end this album.
Overall, Danzig did a fantastic job with this record. A few songs could have been represented better, but who am I to say? They stayed true to a bluesy but metal style and picked songs that represented the Danzig sound.

SERIES OVERVIEW: Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Return (2017)

Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Return

This review might seem a bit out of nowhere for a horror site, but Mystery Science Theater 3000 is something near and dear to the hearts of many hardcore horror fans simply because we've all had to suffer through bad movies with our friends.
We've all been there, particularly if you lived through the video rental era. You'd wander the aisles for upwards of an hour, reading the backs of boxes, looking for the perfect movie to watch. You would grab a pizza and a few refreshing cold beverages, get home, pop in the movie and immediately be disappointed with your carefully selected choice of films. It happens, but you'd suffer through it anyway, because money was spent and you weren't about to let that crappy movie win.
I'm a bit shocked that some of the people I watched movies with back then are still my friends considering how many bad movies I made them watch. At this point I would like to formally apologize to my friend John for making him suffer through all those dreadful movies. Notice I said that I would LIKE to apologize; I'm not actually going to because those memories are some of the best of my formative years.
Which brings me to my point. Mystery Science Theater 3000 isn't just a movie watching experience; it's more like a bonding experience. You feel a kinship, not just with the host and his companions, but with everyone who has ever suffered through a bad movie.
I'll admit that when I first heard that Joel Hodgson was trying to reboot Mystery Science Theater 3000, I was skeptical. As much as I loved the show, I really didn't think it was still relevant in today's society of 140-character Twitter humor, Fail Army videos, and tasteless memes. That, and the fact that it's closing on 20 years since the show appeared on television.
Surprisingly, the new incarnation is every bit as good as the older version. Mind you, it's not the same show. It's the next step in the progression of the show. An evolution. Everything about it is new. It's much more polished with better visuals in some areas, and the old school, homemade feel in others.
Kinga Forrester and Max aka TV's Son of TV's Frank / Fair use doctrine.The story plays out the same way as the old one. Evil mad scientists Kinga Forrester (Felicia Day), and her assistant, TV's Son of TV's Frank, aka Max (Patton Oswalt), trap some poor, likable dope — Jonah Heston (Jonah Ray) — on the far side of the moon and force him to watch bad movies with his robot pals.
Even though Day and Oswalt do a great job as the new "Mads", I don't think their characters are fully developed at this point. They seem almost TOO competent compared to Clayton and Pearl Forrester. And while both are colorful and entertaining, they seem a bit generic. As a big fan of both, I'm hoping that both can embrace their respective roles and make them unique and interesting characters in future seasons.
Jonah and the bots / Fair use doctrine.Jonah Ray does a superb job filling the shoes of the hosts before him. No small feat. (Get it? Shoes, Feet. HaHaHaHa!) considering that Joel Hodgson and Mike Nelson had two distinctly different styles. He's not just filling the shoes in though, he's doing a great job of making the role his own. And although the voices of Crow and Tom Servo have changed slightly, Hampton Yount and Baron Vaughn pick up almost seamlessly from Bill Corbett and Kevin Murphy regarding the character and delivery of their respective robots.
The riffing in the theater segments is fast and concise right out of the gate, with lots of references to current events as well as throwbacks to some of the classic episodes. Just like the old show, the diverse range of topics give the new shows a great amount of re-watchability.
The host segments are lively and fun, although it's easy to tell that Ray, Yount, and Vaughn haven't quite mastered their on-screen chemistry. That sort of thing will come together over time, though.
Also, the addition of some big-name celebrities and a few familiar old faces dropping by on occasion gives the viewers an added treat. I'd tell you a few right now, but it's more fun to be surprised by it.
Overall, it's a faithful continuation of the series if you're an old fan of the show, and it's a great introduction if you're a newbie.

BLU-RAY REVIEW: Brain Damage (1988) from Arrow

Brain Damage

Arrow Limited Edition Blu Review


Frank Henenlotter's LSD-laced mind muncher Brain Damage (1988) savagely lampoons Nancy Reagan's "Just say No" while also belonging to that rare category of seriously weird horror films from the late 80s to early 90s. They were high energy, candy colored, whacky, splattery, nudity-filled romps with pretty damn good screenplays tying the madness all together. And unlike horror movies of today it's not depressing. What makes movies like Street Trash, Body Melt, and Peter Jackson's Bad Taste gems of the genre is that they are over the top and go for the gross out but still retain light entertainment status without getting too dark and bleak. Brian (Rick Hearst) finds a mysterious creature named Elmer (voiced by the late, great Zacherle) who gives him the ultimate high. The only catch is the little parasite feeds on brains and demands his new host provide them for him...or else.
  • Picture/Sound: The picture is presented in a 1:85:1 aspect ratio and restored from a master, meaning the print is crisp and clear and even slightly better than the previous release. Like always Arrow provides a Mono track along with a new 5.1 soundtrack. And like the picture it to is a improvement over Synpases DVD release.
  • Package: Unlike Donnie Darko and the House: Two Stories, Brain Damage has a simple slipcover, but it still looks great sporting brand new artwork (and of course reversible cover featuring original artwork for those purists among you) and a booklet. Simple and effective wins the day here.
  • Special Features: The real gem of this set is the almost hour long documentary titled Listen to the Light: The Making of Brain Damage. The interviews are solid and entertaining. It's odd that Frank himself isn't interviewed for it, but it's still worth checking out. The other highlight is the feature The Effects of Brain Damage, an in-depth chat with effects genius Gabe Bartalos on making the creature Elmer. If that weren't enough, you also have a featurette Animating Elmer, Karen Ogle: A Look Back, and Elmer's Turf which documents the shooting locations. But wait, I'm not finished. Tasty Memories: A Brain Damage Obsession is a fun mini doc about super fan Adam Skinner as well a director Q&A, trailers, and, for you Zacharely fans, a short film (and final onscreen credit) entitled Bygone Behemoth. Sadly Arrow was unable to bring over Synapses' commentary with Frank and writer/legend Bob Martin. I can't fault Arrow for this, however, as I'm sure it was a rights issue. But, fear not, because a brand new commentary by Frank was recorded just for the release.
  • Overall: I was excited to hear that Arrow was tagged to re-release the film because they always take great pains to bring fans a product that is really worth their hard earned cash. Not only is the package well done with some great new art work, but there's also a wealth of new features. And, of course, you get the film itself looking better than it ever has. This makes my short list of best release of 2017 (so far). Just Say Yes to this Blu!

COMING SOON: Nightmares in the Makeup Chair (2017)

Image credit: dreadcentral.com
In the 1980s, horror took on a whole new world with the advent of the slasher film. Halloween, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and Psycho predate the movie that truly brought the term slasher to life – the horror classic A Nightmare on Elm Street. Written and directed by legendary filmmaker Wes Craven, A Nightmare on Elm Street brought us the character we all have grown to know and love…and fear – the infamous child killer, the one and only Freddy Krueger, made both famous and infamous by Robert Englund, one hell of an actor.. His role immortalized the Springwood Slasher and introduced a new form of fear to the public and a
franchise that has made history in the nightmares of horror fans all over the world.
Many have gone through the franchise picking apart what they love and don’t love about each of them, and, of course, the remake. (I may be the only person on earth who thought the remake was a solid movie. I have my reasons for this, more scientific than anything else.) However, few can deny the appeal of Robert Englund’s O.G. Freddy Krueger with his quick remarks, creative and personalized kills, and the beautiful way he says “bitch” in every situation possible.
Now, a new documentary titled NIGHTMARES IN THE MAKEUP CHAIR, an exposé featuring Robert Englund donning the Freddy Krueger persona one last time will be happening at the Flashback Weekend in Chicago Aug 6-8, 2017. Mr. Englund will be sharing stories from behind the scenes of A Nightmare on Elm Street, some fun anecdotes of the experiences the cast and crew had on the set. All while having the makeup put on him, along with what looked like a standard Convention style Q&A session while wearing the Krueger gear. This is definitely a neat little concept that I’m sure every horror fan will just love to see. I, for one, being HUGE slasher, horror and especially Freddy Krueger fan will thoroughly enjoy this documentary.
So get ready to walk through memory Elm Street with the man himself in this unique little documentary of our favorite nightmare slasher. Oh, and check out the trailer below and let us know what you think.

MUSIC REVIEW: Wolfman Chuck and the Spookalele of Doom – Another Confession (2017)

Wolfman Chuck and the Spookalele of Doom / Fair use doctrine.
Another Confession / Company: Ukulele Horror Records
  1. 1. Dance With The Devil
  2. 2. Wolfman Chuck
  3. 3. They Pray, My Prey
  4. 4. When You Die
  5. 5. Another Confession
  6. 6. Gore To The Whore
  7. 7. Rotten Pumpkins
  8. 8. Lucille
  9. 9. Ballad Of Ronnie
  10. 10. Yup, It's Rape Again!!!
Promoter, host and musician are just some of the words used to describe the Massachusetts based Wolfman Chuck. Whether leading his band of Brimstone Boys or working solo, this genre staple has made a career out of crafting music based around his morbid sense of humor. Chuck has previously unleashed two full length albums and a slew of split EPs on his label Ukulele Horror Records. With the Brimstone Boys, Chuck focuses his sound on a heavy punk and metal feel, but with the “spookalele” he tends to stick closer to love songs filtered out through his twisted mind. Chuck spent most of 2016 working to unleash The Brimstone Boys, his full band project, with Dave Sage and Zack Zombie, to the world but managed to find time to write and record his best effort to date. Titled Another Confession, Wolfman Chuck and the Spookalele of Doom bring 10 haunting, dark tracks to the table in an album that entertains from start to finish.
The disc opens with “Dance With The Devil” a track that helps set the album’s overall darker tone. In a conversation regarding the writing process, Wolfman Chuck explained that this album would contain more personal tracks than in previous recordings and, from the start, there’s a noticeable difference. Continuing with the theme established on the previous song, Chuck segues into “Wolfman Chuck”. With a nod to the Brimstone Boys and boastful lyrics about his preference of women, alive or dead, Chuck portrays himself as a repulsive and diabolical deviant through a hauntingly mellow track ripe with his standard gore and violence.
Track three, “They Pray, My Prey” sticks out as a song that expresses Chuck’s ability to add depth and layers to music consisting only of a man, his beard, and his ukulele. A uniquely haunting and distant opening riff leads into a mid-tempo track about the sinister woodsman toying with his victims in lyrics like, “You can cry all you want, but you’re mine.” Track four is the most outright hostile track on the disc as the Wolfman barks lyrics like, “what you see is what you get, I’m not a fake motherfucker like you” and “I’ll be there when you die. No angels gonna cry." "When You Die" is a comfortable norm for longtime fans of Chuck, poppy, friendly riffs with aggressive punk vocals. Tracks like this prove the Wolfman can be a well versed artist while maintaining loyalty to what got him immediately recognized. The macabre mountain man is a master at his craft, successfully fusing the stark contrasts of violent lyrics over the top of a happy and upbeat ukulele. The album’s title track, “Another Confession” is the standout of the bunch. Packed with emotion and a long build up to an incredible chorus, this is the best Chuck has sounded all around in vocals, playing, and writing. On my one hundredth play through, I still get goosebumps as he segues into the songs hook “What was wrong with you is now right with me and your dead and buried.” If you know nothing of his extensive musical history, this track is a perfect starting point and the highlight of an album full of incredible songs. It's not uncommon to see fans of the genre bypass acoustic acts as nothing more then an artist doing less than others, but those with that elitist mentality generally miss the creative genius of artists like Chuck. The album’s title track alone would be perfect for showing what acoustic solo artists have to offer.
With “Another Confession” being as powerful and moving as it is, I would’ve been satisfied if the record ended there. Fortunately, the second half of the album is as equally enticing as the first. Track six, “Gore To The Whore”, shows Chuck flexing the romantic muscle he’s know for with a song of death, blood, and guts crooned sweetly over a track fit for any make-out point rendezvous. If I haven’t brought attention to it before, it’s important to note how well Chuck wrote these songs and fit them together to keep a mood flowing from track to track without breaking its hold. The next song, “Rotten Pumpkins”, features Brimstone Boys bassist Dave Sage lending a backing vocal track. While the majority of the disc is a more honest form of horror expressed in a way Chuck pulls off convincingly, "Rotten Pumpkins" is a return to a more fun form of horror. The track was originally released in 2016 as a single recorded with the Brimstone Boys and is, as the majority of the album, one of the strongest songs penned by the bearded butcher. Without breaking the streak, the album continues on to another recognizable track, “Lucille”. Yes, a track written about the blood drinking bat swung into the skulls of his victims by Negan in Robert Kirkman’s Walking Dead comic books and the AMC TV series of the same name. A fitting topic for a man destined to offend everyone to some extent, Chuck portrays the violence of the show in a spoiler-ridden track too good to skip. Just like “Rotten Pumpkins”, “Lucille” can be heard with The Brimstone Boys backing, but to garner the true essence and malice of the song, the version from this album is more fitting.
“Ballad Of Ronnie” is the ninth entry on the disc and another showcasing Wolfman’s ability to write a catchy hook. Most notable about this track is the almost western feel injected into the playing - a fresh turn if you found yourself of the minority needing a change of pace. Chuck croons about Ronnie, a street walking transgender meeting her demise at the hands of a violent John. The song strums along as Chuck delivers lyrics in the form of a tall-tale fit for the most macabre. Chuck has remained adamant that his music is written because he enjoys it and it's not penned for snowflakes, and "Ballad of Ronnie" is a strong example of just how little he cares about offending listeners. The disc closes with the song “Yup, It’s Rape Again”. Premise, title, and delivery of this track display what Chuck is most noted for bringing to the scene. He garners the ability to spew out violent offensive lyrics with no difficulty over riffs that, in the hands of anyone less sinister, would be coated in happy and uplifting words. As a finale, this song wraps up Another Confession in a neat bow. Complete with memorable hook and all, Another Confession ends on a strong note.
Clocking in at just short of 30 minutes and available with full color art for only $5 from the label’s Big Cartel page, the disc is worth the time and money spent. Described by Chuck as being “less campy but still fucked”, Another Confession is a audible splatter-fest that assaults the senses and calms the nerves. Aggressive, offensive, and fun as hell, Wolfman Chuck has been an artist I’ve enjoyed watching evolve. If you’re a fan of home grown and unique acoustic horror, this album is a must. This is entirely my take on the music this album has to offer. I wanted to briefly touch base with Chuck to see what his thought process was going into this and what he foresees himself doing next.
House of Tortured Souls: To start off, could you describe your music in general and what you would like your listeners to get from hearing you?
Wolfman Chuck: I play a ukulele. My play style sometimes sounds punk, rock & roll and a little traditional uke sound, this is all I've been told in feedback. I really don't know how to describe it... I just play what I feel. As for what I would like my listerners to get from my music... well, nothing. I make music as a release. If someone like it then... OK, right on, glad they dig it... if not, I don't really care. I make music for me. It's my therapy.
HoTS: I bring up The Brimstone Boys, could you describe that band? How does it differ from your work with the spookalele?
WC: With the Brimstone Boys I don't play my spookalele at all. I am the front man, throwing blood and tossing body parts and fetus's while singing my spookalele tunes as a well as originals to the band. Wolfman and the Brimstone Boys is another release but this time I share the stage with friends of like mind.
HoTS: As a solo artist and with a backing band, you've perfected the art of taboo themes. Have you ever worried that your content would scare away potential fans?
WC: I don't do what I do for fans, no, nope.
HoTS: I honestly hope it stays that way. Moving onto your new album, the record in total has a different vibe. The same content and the same old Wolfman. Could you explain the different approach, if any, you took in crafting this disc?
WC: Writing this album I was in a dark place for a while. I feel it tells with the lyrics and tone. I have also been listening more to some folkish bands lately. I'm sure that influence shows through as well. I feel it has more of a serious feel and is less campy, yet I still have my dark humor.
HoTS: Of the 10 songs on this album each one seems to show you writing at the top of your game. Do you have a favorite song from this record or at least one that you feel would be the most widely accepted by your fans?
WC: Nope, can't say that I do.
HoTS: We talked before about the use of different ukuleles on this record, can you explain how that benefited this disc?
WC: I have many ukuleles and they all have their different tone and personality. When I use a certain one to write a song it is created with that ukulele. Feel, tone and soul. So to use a different ukulele for a song that was written on another... you just lose the songs essence.
HoTS: Is that a technique you've used on your other albums?
WC: Yes. My other two albums, I use the one uke I wrote the songs with. It's just this time I used more then one uke.
HoTS: Do you have plans for what you're going to do next?
WC: I have been tossing the thought around about maybe forming a full band again. This time with me fronting ON the ukulele... Wolfman and the Hounds of Hell... we will see.
HoTS: And in conclusion, Chuck you've written an incredible record, easily one of my favorite releases. You've got plans for the future, anything else you'd like to say to the readers?
WC: Glad you dig it, and I would like to conclude with telling the readers to get out there to the local clubs and support local music. Don't just go to shows with national acts. So many good bands to be discovered. Get out there!!! Also check out Ukulele Horror Records, my label. It supports lots of great local acts.
If you found the foul-mouthed, ukulele-wielding mountain man to be entertaining, then be sure to follow him on Facebook and pick up a copy of his latest CD Another Confession at the Ukulele Horror Records web store.

RETRO REVIEW (MOVIE): Revisiting Creepshow (1982), Pt. 2

REVISITING CREEPSHOW

Part 2: I Want My Cake

Hello there kiddies! Thanks for stopping by and welcome to the second installment of my monstrous multi-part series! A repulsive and revolting retrospect to that fiendish fright-fest, Creepshow...
In the last installment, I discussed the ins and outs of the film's background, its impact upon its release, and the intro of the film. Now, let us take a look at the first story in this anthology, aptly named, "Father's Day".
This tale centers around the affluent and boorish Grantham family as they gather at their patriarch's home on Father's Day seven years after his death. Aunt Sylvia (Carrie Nye (The Screaming Skull, Too Scared To Scream)), Richard (Warner Shook (Knightriders)), Cass (Elizabeth Regan), and Cass' husband Hank Blaine (Ed Harris (The Abyss, Needful Things)) are waiting for Sylvia's Aunt Bedelia (Viveca Lindfors (Exorcist III, The Hand)) to arrive. Creepshow-Father's Day-Father's Day cake / Fair use doctrine.In the meantime, they begin to tell Hank the story of how Aunt Bedelia killed her own father, Nathan, played by Jon Lormer (Twilight Zone, Star Trek), on Father's Day, years after he had her fiance murdered in a "hunting accident". Aunt Bedelia, now an alcoholic and consumed with guilt, arrives and visits her father's grave. After getting the event off of her chest, her father's decayed corpse rises from the grave to exact his revenge. He strangles Bedelia and shortly begins murdering the rest of the family, all the while asking for his Father's Day cake.
This story is one of the best examples of a Tales From The Crypt story. Usually, someone kills another person and that person will eventually rise from the grave to exact their revenge. Although, most of the times in these tales, the previously dead would have been killed for an unjust cause. In this story, that is debatable. The Grantham family is not seen as the shining example of morality, but the family patriarch, Nathan, is surely the worst of them all. After having Bedelia's fiance killed, he is left in her care. He nags and nags about his Father's day cake as she is seen to be emotionally distraught. It's difficult to blame her for her actions, but one can say that murdering him can not be justified. As pleasing as it is to see a bad person receive their comeuppance, in general, revenge leads to more revenge. Nathan's reanimated corpse also kills the maid, Mrs. Danvers. Where some may see her as being innocent in all of this, she was witness to his murder and did nothing about it. This could make her an accomplice in some people's eyes. The only character killed that one could say was wholly innocent was Hank. I guess a vengeful animated corpse cares not for the innocent. In the end, this is a shining example of karma.
I've seen many reviews say that it is the weakest story and others say that it should have been left out. I personally feel it is a great way to start the film and give us a taste of what is in store for us. Some of the imagery is outstanding. Who could forget the scene of Sylvia's head on a platter, topped with icing and candles, and Nathan proudly proclaiming, "It's Father's Day and I got my cake. Happy Father's Day!", while Richard and Cass look on in stark terror? Hell, someone even made an action figure of this scene recently. Nathan's reanimated corpse, played by John Amplas (Day of The Dead) looks amazing. The make-up effects were done by the legendary Tom Savini (Dawn of The Dead, Maniac). One other thing that sticks out to me about Nathan's reanimated corpse is his voice. I can never get tired of hearing that ghoulish sound, it's quite terrifying. All of the actors do a great job as well, especially Viveca Lindfors. Despite her strong Swedish accent, she delivers a powerful monologue. She asked George A. Romero if she could improvise the scene. She channeled her anger over her rocky relationships with her own father and her ex-husband. The product is a realistic and emotionally-charged performance. One more thing I truly love in this story is small, but has stuck with me since I was a child. When Richard and Cass encounter Nathan at the end, Richard let's out a gasping "Oh my god!" which is quite unique. We're used to hearing people scream or just gasp in horror films, but Warner Shook decided to recite his line while inhaling. This strikes me as a very authentic reaction to seeing something so horrifying.
Creepshow-Father's Day-Aunt Bedelia / Fair use doctrine.This isn't to say this story doesn't have its downfalls. The flashback scene of Nathan nagging Bedelia for his cake is quite hammy and goofy. This could have been on purpose, perhaps Romero felt that this is how the family sees the event as they are relating it to Hank. It does retract a bit from the overall feel of the story and otherwise great performances. Another scene that isn't very good is Hank's death. He falls into the hole that was Nathan's grave and sees Bedelia's corpse. Nathan's obelisk-like tomb then slowly starts inching fotward, threatening to fall onto Hank. It seems like Hank has no sense of urgency here and just lays there staring at the tomb for seconds on end. Nothing is holding him in place. In the comic book, we see that Bedelia's lifeless corpse has rolled on top of him and he struggles to get it off of him. This slows his escape long enough for the tomb to fall onto him and crush him. Why Romero chose to portray it the way he did in the film is beyond me. Since the comic book was based on the original script, I feel King had written this into the screenplay. It's very odd and a bit comical, you just end up screaming at the screen, "Get up, you fool!"
Stephen King wrote this story specifically for this film and as I stated before, I think he wrote this as a pastiche of the general Tales From The Crypt story. He may have had some inspiration from James Joyce's book, Finnegan's Wake. In this story, the titular character falls from a ladder and dies. He is then revived when someone accidentally spills whiskey on his corpse. In Father's Day, Nathan is revived directly after Bedelia accidentally spills her whiskey at Nathan's grave. This idea originally came from an old Dublin street ballad and the Gaelic word for whiskey translates to "water of life".
This was Ed Harris' fourth role. The year before this film, Ed Harris had the starring role in Romero's previous film, Knightriders. Later in 1993, he went on to play the main character, Alan Pangborn, in the film adaptation of the novel, Needful Things. But, beyond these connections, I don't think I need to tell you how well his career has gone since his appearance in Creepshow.
Ed Harris in Creepshow / Fair use doctrine.
One more thing of note to mention is the murder weapon. Creepshow-Father's Day-ashtray / Fair use doctrine.In the flashback sequence, we see that Bedelia kills Nathan by bashing him over the head with a marble ashtray. This ashtray can be seen in every story in this film, even in the wraparound story. Maybe, you can watch the film again and make a game out of spotting each of its appearances. No, I'm not going to spoil it for you! Where's the fun in that?
Well, that concludes part 2 of my retrospect and I've suddenly got myself a hankering for some cake. How about you? In any case, don't be a nunk head and join me next time as I take a look at the next spooky story, "The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verril..."

MOVIE REVIEW: Observance (2015)

Picking random low-budget movies is risky. For every hidden gem that you find, you have to wade through dozens of awful movies. I've grown accustomed to wading through the dreck, though, as I can usually find some merit in even the worst of films. Even if it's just for the laugh factor. With that being said, I wasn't expecting much from Observance. All I knew about it was that it was extremely low budget and that it was filmed in Australia. Other than that, it was new to me.
Observance is an Australian horror/thriller directed by Joseph Sims-Dennett and released in 2015. The story follows a private investigator (Lindsay Farris) returning to work after the loss of his young son. He is tasked by an enigmatic client to observe a woman (Stephanie King) from an empty apartment across the street. He is never told why he is watching her, or what to watch for. Only to watch, and report back. He soon begins to have dreams and visions concerning this woman and his deceased son. As things progress it becomes apparent that his task is not what it seems.
The story moves along at the exact pace you'd expect from a movie where you're watching a guy sit in an empty apartment watching a woman. Suffice to say, very slow. Not boring though. His various actions and interactions with the appliances, windows, and a corded phone (seriously, do those things even still exist?) are enough to keep you wondering what is and isn't real. Also, the director's use of a handheld camera make it feel as though you're seeing real life events unfold as opposed to watching a movie.
The storytelling is tight and concise with limited dialogue and sparse music, which adds to the tedious nature of the investigator's job. The whole story has a very subtle, Lovecraftian feel to it. Not in the crazy monsters from the depths of your worst nightmare sense, but in the very real sense that there is a flipside to everyday normalcy that is so close to the surface that we can almost catch glimpses of it. Unfortunately, that also means that it has an ending that fits this type of narrative.
My only real issue with Observance is that it is a very green movie. Not green in the sense of environmentally friendly, but green in the sense that the director went a bit overboard with color correction software. I'm not opposed to a director using colors to establish mood and atmosphere, but it gets a bit tedious at times.
If you like glossy terror with lots of monsters and jump scares, you might want to pass on this one, but if you enjoy a slow burn with a conclusion that is a bit open ended you will probably enjoy Observance.
Observance poster / Fair use doctrine.

ARTIST OF THE MONTH – APR 2017: Mélanie Khoth

I spotted our next AotM on Instagram. It was right around the time the new Ring movie was out , so her 3D art really caught my attention! And the fact that this artist is a young female, even better!!! My favorite piece and what made me really go after her was her Samora piece. OMG it is flipping AWESOME!
Image: Melanie Khoth
Mélanie Khoth is 22, lives in Paris, France, and is a Graphic Designer at BeautEastSphere.com. She was kind enough to answer a little Q&A, so let's dive right in.
House of Tortured Souls: How old were you when you sgot into art?
Mélanie Khoth: I started drawing at a very early age, like every kid. Stickman family and my childhood heroes.
HoTS: Your talent at 3D is phenomenal! Did it take you years to get to this point?
MK: Oh merci! Less than 3 years ago (I was a physics student at this time), I first saw somewhere on Internet a post on 3D drawings, and I was like super impressed, I didn't know that kind of drawing was possible. And of course, I wanted to try. My first 3D drawing was an Eiffel Tower. (You can see it on my Instagram page, first post I think.) I really started drawing at this time, and posted my drawings on Instagram to see my progress.
HoTS: Who is your favorite monster?
MK: Hard to choose. I'm a big horror movie fan, I watched them all. But I will choose Chucky, cute and funny (I'm 3D drawing him, so don't miss it), or the Gremlins. Haha.
HoTS: Did you go to art school?
MK: Nope, self taught. Drawing is natural for me, I just take a pen and know what to do.
Image: Melanie Khoth
HoTS: Do you do art shows, comic cons, or sell your art anywhere?
MK: No, no, and no, but I would love to.
HoTS: Do you use pencil, charcoal, or graphite, or ink from nightmares?
MK: Colored pencils are my favorite. I also use markers and paint pens. I love colored drawings.
HoTS: Do you have a fan page, maybe on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram?
MK: You can stalk me on my Instagram page or Facebook, or Twitter, or YouTube. Just look for my name.
HoTS: Is there somewhere fans can go to purchase your art?
MK: No, sorry, not at the moment! But I'm planning to, so many people ask me for a portrait. I didn't stop my physics studies for nothing, haha.
HoTS: How many jars of peanut butter are in your kitchen?
MK: Zero! Peanut butter is not very popular in France. I'm a Nutella person.
HoTS: What do you love to do in your spare time other than drawing?
MK: I'm a yoga girl, I like to be in weird yoga pose. Reading and watching series or movies. I also love watching movie trailers, that's my thing. I think I watched more trailers than movie.
I will leave you guys with this cute 3D of a sweet clown. 🙂
Image: Melanie Khoth

RECAP: TWD, S07 Finale: The Ones Who Live

HOLY MOLY!!!!!!!!! WHAT AN ENDING!!!!!!!
Okay, so, OH MY GOD!!! Sooooo much just happened! I hope y'all were buckled in! I mean, did I say WOW?!?!?!
Let's start off with Daryl and Dwight. What was it that stopped Daryl from stabbing Dwight right in that eye??? I mean the way he was shaking, and Tara coaching him on to do it! Why didn't he at least beat him unconscious? So Dwight tells them the Saviors are coming to Alexandria and that he will set up an ambush. Oh yeah? Interesting!
As Dwight is leaving, Daryl tells Rick that when it is all over he will kill Dwight anyway.
We keep seeing Sasha in the dark, sweating, listening to music, and mumbling. Soon we learn what she is mumbling was her last conversation with Abe. Now back to her in Daryl's cell and Negan compromising with her about how many of her team he will kill. He started with three but since Sasha has him 'wrapped around her finger', he agrees to only one. So Sasha agrees to climb into this coffin and head to Alexandria with the Saviors for an all out war. Sasha does take the suicide pill. SHIT we lost our sniper! But I understood her, she had lost so many people she loved.
Maggie has taken over! YES!!!! And she is going to take her crew to Alexandria for the war!! Hey there's Judith!! Look at her standing on her own.
OMG, LOOOOK AT CAROL. 😮 It's nice to see her in full Kingdom gear,and heading into war. AHA and here is Morgan (also in gear-Benjamin's gear). Ezekiel has him one hell of a speech, and Morgan joins the crowd and heads to Alexandria.
The Scavengers show up at Alexandria, in dump truck and on bicycles. LOL. Now Jadis knocks me off the couch when she tells Michonne that she will sleep with Rick after the battle is over. GIRL, LMAO!
Look who is leading in the Saviors - our one and only Eugene!! On a damn megaphone.
Eugene says he's trying one last time, before it is too late, for Rick and the crew to surrender. Rick nods to Tara for her to blow them (Eugene included) to smithereens. AHOH, problem there is the Scavengers double-crossed our team (unhooked the dynamite), and when the dynamite does not go off, the Scavengers turn their guns at our team while the Saviors come in.
When Negan pops open Sasha's coffin, of course she is a Walker, and goes for Negan. OH she was so close!!! Shit! She got him knocked off that trailer, though. That was pretty nice!
Carl takes the first shot!!! LOVE that kid!!! War begins! The whole time Jadis has her gun still pointed at Rick and standing statue still. They get in an argument, Jadis shoots Rick in the side and kicks him over the scaffolding. AGAIN she is pushing him down!! WTF is up with her pushing Rick down heights like these??
Now Michonne is in a fight with a dumbass on the roof of one of the houses. This blonde Scavenger has the audacity to bash Michonne's face into the floor of the balcony they are on and Michonne is looking pretty beat! They manage to get around so that Michonne is halfway over the railing, eye swollen shut, blood everywhere! Back to Jadis, taking Rick to Negan. Carl in on his knees again and many Saviors are standing there with Negan waiting for Rick to join them and the show begin. While Rick and Carl are knelt down, Negan tells Rick that he is going to kill Carl (even though he likes Carl) and off in the distance they hear a woman scream and see someone fall from the roof of a house. Negan finds this pleasurable, and enjoys teasing him about losing his woman. Rick tells Negan again that he will kill him. OMG, the nose to nose stare down. OMG, Rick once again, having balls as big as Negan's!!! That made my night!!!! I thought you could not get any better than. Then Negan prepares to take our Carl with Lucille. Negan pulls back to whack Carl and TADA SHHHIIIIIVVVVVAAAAAA !!!! Shiva suddenly appears and leaps and latches onto her first victim. I was screaming and clapping and jumped off the couch!! My dogs came in to check on me and make sure everything was alright. Couldn't be better!!!
Look who Shiva brought with her. 🙂 Carol is home!!! And so is Kung-Fu Morgan!! And look Ezekiel is also kicking ass! LOVE!!!! So much goodness happening at once! IT was so awesome!!!!
Maggie's speech was so touching! And look she has her father's watch. It's so sweet!!
Rick and Carl walk to the house Michonne was on. There is a lady on the ground but it's not Michonne. They find her in the house, pretty beat up. BUT SHE IS ALIVE!!!!! This episode gave me so many anxiety attacks!!!
As the finale ends, we see Daryl finds a wooden soldier at the gate. On the back of it reads 'Didn't Know'. WHO DIDN’T KNOW??? THEY DIDN'T KNOW WHAT???? Yeah, THANX, for yet another cliffhanger.
This has got to be the more exciting finale ever! It was so thrilling! I did not see the Scavengers double crossing the gang. I don't know why the hell Dwight even bothered to go to Alexandria anyway. It's not like he learned some big secret while he was there. And I also did not think the Saviors would retreat like that. Then again there was a damn tiger!!!! And a Carol!
So I will see ya (sort of) in October, folks.

Charles Schmid – The Pied Piper of Tucson

Charles Schmid headshot / Fair use doctrine.
On May 15, 1964, in Tucson, Arizona, a 15-year-old girl named Alleen Rowe went for a drive with a guy known as “Smitty.” Smitty was older, in his early 20s, and Alleen couldn't believe her luck. She was invited on a date with the most popular guy in town. He had his own place and threw wild parties where he let high school kids drink as much as they wanted. He was sophisticated, wearing “stage make-up” like a movie star, and a little dangerous: he walked with a limp, which he said was the result of a run-in with Mafia thugs. She didn't even mind that his friends, John and Mary, were tagging along; she knew eventually she would be the center of Smitty's attention.
It was late when they stopped in the desert. Smitty beckoned Alleen out of the car and John came with them. Mary stayed behind, listening to the radio. Once outside, Smitty turned amorous and rough. His friend's presence didn't even bother him; John just faded into the background while Smitty went after Alleen, whether she wanted him or not. When he was done, when she thought he would take her back to the car and home from their “date,” he put his hands around her throat and squeezed hard. Alleen was the center of his attention until her last breath. She had been lured to her death by the Piped Piper of Tucson.
Charles Howard Schmid was born on July 8, 1942. He was the adopted son of Charles and Katherine Schmid, a wealthy couple who ran a nursing home. He had a rough relationship with his adoptive father, fighting often, but his parents still indulged and supported him financially. After he was kicked out of school for stealing, his parents gave him his own quarters on their property and a monthly allowance of several hundred dollars.
Charles was insecure about his appearance and height. He wore thick pancake make-up and applied a beauty mark, and sometimes pinched his lower lip to get a “pouty look” like his idol, Elvis Presley. He was only 5'3", so he stuffed crushed paper in his boots to make himself appear taller, though it only gave him an odd gait. He threw parties at his apartments, getting the attention and admiration he craved by providing underage kids a place where they could drink and do drugs without fear of being caught. Girls gave themselves to him eagerly.
One girl told her mother she had been invited to join a sex club and that if she didn't get in, she would be “a nobody.” That girl was Alleen Rowe, Schmid's first victim. He had one of his girlfriends, Mary French, lure Alleen away with them so he could satisfy his curiosity about what it felt like to kill a girl. He buried her in the desert but didn't bother to stay quiet about the murder in his social circle. Presumably, his admirers only kept his secret because they didn't want to risk losing their party spot. One of his girlfriends, 17-year-old Gretchen Fritz, the daughter of a prominent surgeon in Tucson, did threaten to tell the police about the murder, but only when Charles wanted to break up with her. He invited her to his place so they could talk things over. She brought her younger sister, 13-year-old Wendy. Schmid strangled both girls and buried them in the desert.
Having more victims didn't make him any more secretive or cautious. He bragged to his friend, Richard Bruns, about what he had done and took him to see the bodies. Richard was wracked with guilt, suffering nightmares and paranoia that his girlfriend would be Schmid's next victim. He went to the police and told them all he knew.
Charles Schmid was arrested on November 11th 1965. John Saunders and Mary French were also arrested for their participation in the murder of Alleen Rowe. Mary French got four years in prison and John Saunders was given a life sentence. Schmid received a death sentence but it was commuted to life imprisonment. He escaped with another murderer in 1972 but was recaptured after a few days.
He was stabbed by a fellow inmate in 1975 and died over a week later.
For a deeper exploration of a narcissistic sociopath who craves followers and followers so desperate for excitement they will be complicit in whatever he does, read Joyce Carol Oates' iconic short story “Where Are You Going? Where Have You Been” or Jack Ketchum's excellent novel, The Lost, or watch the 2006 film adaptation of The Lost directed by Chris Siverston, all based on the Charles Schmid case.
Charles Schmid police car / Fair use doctrine.

COMING SOON: IT (2017) Teaser Trailer

Well, the long-awaited trailer for the theatrical adaptation of Stephen King’s IT is here and boy does it look good. In case you’re not aware, this is one of two IT movies that are planned. This one is considered IT: Part 1: The Loser’s Club.
Before I get into any discussion of this, let me clarify by saying that I’m a huge fan of the book and a pretty big fan of the original TV miniseries. Thus, when I heard they were remaking it, I was less than pleased with the idea. Who, after all, will be able to give Pennywise the personality that Tim Curry did? Then you look at the rest of the cast: John Ritter, Annette O’Toole, Jonathan Brandis, Dennis Christopher, Harry Anderson, Tim Reid, and even Richard Thomas. What great jobs they all did bringing these characters to life. Sure, parts of the book were missing, but there are parts that will never be seen on screen, and that’s all I’ll say about those.
The first name I heard was Bill Skarsgård (Hemlock Grove, Allegiant). I wasn’t sure since it was attached to Pennywise and, as I said before, Tim Curry is Pennywise. The next name was Finn Wolfhard (Stranger Things) who would be taking on the Seth Green role as Richie Tozier (Beep, beep, Richie!) and found myself a little bit more interested. I’d assumed that Finn would be playing Bill Denbrough, the role played by Jonathan Brandis (as a kid and Richard Thomas as an adult), so I was surprised to learn that part would be played by Jaeden Lieberher (Masters of Sex). The rest of The Losers Club are Sophia Lillis (A Midsummer Night’s Dream) as Beverly Marsh, Wyatt Oleff (Guardians of the Galaxy) as Stan Uris, Jeremy Ray Taylor (The History of Us) as Ben Hanscom, Jack Dylan Grazer (Tales of Halloween) as Eddie Kaspbrak, and Chosen Jacobs (Hawaii Five-0) as Mike Hanlon.
IT_The Losers Club / Fair use doctrine.
I’m afraid I’m not familiar with most of their work, but I liked what I saw in the first teaser trailer, which is now out. And I find myself very interested. Take a look for yourself and let us know what you think.

RECAP TWD: S07E15, Something They Need

WELP, Tara's secret lasted like a week. LOL. Seriously, how long was she back in Alexandria? I have another question...with that many in the boat on their way to Oceanside, who is left guarding Alexandria? Who is watching Judith?
Speaking of watching, thank God Gregory was around to protect Maggie while she dug up the blueberry bush!! Right? ROFL!! Did anyone ever believe that Gregory could hold his own? That he ever killed a Walker? HA. Gregory went from having a complete Shane to complete Eugene! Hell at least Eugene has killed Walkers. He even managed to kill some in a completely bad-ass manner! Remember the firetruck hose? Gregory doesn't seemed to have taken the point of some of his residents pointing out they never believed he could handle a Walker. So he's going on a little trip huh? #ByeGregory
Okay, back to the Oceanside SeaWalkers!! Walkers covered in seaweed and barnacles, looking like they just step off the set of the new Pirates of the Caribbean!
HOLD UP! Check out Daryl speaking again! Well barking commands. And check out Enid with a gun. 😮
I'm now shipping LaTonya with Gregory!!! Where the hell is Heath? Why hasn't Tara explained the key card she picked up at where it appears Heath got in a vehicle – or was taken?
Sasha being held captive now. Who did not see this coming? This David guy sneaks into her cell and attempts to rape Sasha. Negan sneaks up and shut that shit down! Negan kills him because 'that shit ain't cool' Negan talks to Sasha about recruiting her, I mean come on, he just saved you from being raped right. Sasha calls Rick Negan's bitch DAYUM! (I saw that as her,protecting him, removing herself from that equation.)
Negan leaves the knife that he killed RapeyDavey with and mentions the choices she has: She can kill herself or she can kill the Walker. Sasha takes out David, in pitch darkness, because that's what badasses do! Sasha tells Negan she will join. (Again, I do not believe she has given up, and is plotting.) She asks Eugene to bring her a weapon so she can end herself. I believe she was hoping he would bring her something that he would have to open the door to hand her, and she would escape. Instead, he brings her the suicide pill. Is that even a real suicide pill? Remember when he made it, I said it probably just give you gas or something. But dammit it all to hell, Eugene!
Back at Alexandria the crew sees Rosita has made it back. And she brought a visitor. I KNEW IT WASN’T DARYL!!!
Daryl was ready to kick Dwight's ass.
I have known for a long ass time, probably the whole time, that Dwight would break away from Negan or plot against him to bring him down. I could tell in his body language and his story! Which makes it all the more interesting of a twist!! Can wait to see what he does first on this adventure.
Next week is the Season Finale folks! So, so sad!!

MUSIC REVIEW: Darkness Visible – Australian Horror Rock

Every once in a while I’ll stumble upon a band that differs from what’s out there in the midst of the horror rock community. Darkness Visible a band from Australia is really one of those bands that has shown they are far different from the rest of the horror rock bands that are circulating.
With a visually appealing musical act, the artistry is very well done, like a tamer version of Genitortures. Less sex than the Gen’s of course. Definitely a band that would be a lot of fun to see live. The musical aspect of Darkness Visible is eclectic as it is not just one set genre. They kind of jump all over the place as far as style goes and that’s not a bad thing. Simple people, want simple music: “If it’s not this one genre, I don’t want it”. So if you’re a simpleton don’t bother listening to Darkness Visible. I say that with the utmost respect because one minute it’s a slow death rock style song, and then you’re taken into a world of pianos and almost jazzy, swing-style forte, which I absolutely love.
The female vocals are KILLER on every song she sings on. If this were my band, I’d stick her on vocals and never touch a mic again. In the Horror Rock world, females always shine through, and this is no different.
With a new video out for “The Truth Hurts” set in a silent film kind of style, very unique and well put together. Musically it’s like if a Danzig meets Alice Cooper vibe. This particular song features male vocals. The darkness, and artistry really shows through on this video.
Let’s not stop there, I can’t seem to find any music online other than videos, and that’s really a good thing because the visual aspect of this band is pleasing to the eyes. The song “Flesh” and the video for it is quite the visual horror freak show. If you’re going to listen to a band with a different sound and different way of doing things, this is the band to check out. You can do so by visiting their Facebook page where you can find their videos and more information about them.
Darkness Visible star / Image: Darkness Visible
Darkness Visible star / Image: Darkness Visible
Stay tuned for more and, as always, keep it creepy! -Schock

MOVIE REVIEW: THE BARN (2015)

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

RECAP TWD: S07E14: The Other Side

Hey, did anyone miss Gregory? LOL And still another episode where he was not taken out! I'm starting to hope that it is Simon that does it! Also I'd like to note that it appears to me that Simon is just toying with him over this whole taste in booze. And I do hope this is some kind of trap: Simon giving Gregory a pass to the brothel?
I think what stood out to me the most in the episode was Jesus coming out. I was very interested that he chose to tell Maggie. He is working on a strong bond with her. I was wondering, though, if something is coming up where that information being told will be useful.
Sasha grabbed my feels more then once this episode. She was preparing to never see these guys again, as this mission would certainly seal her fate. The crew has became her family and she wanted to take in as much of them as possible before leaving out on the mission to kill Negan.
The Saviors come roaring up to The Hilltop. We have a lot of people hiding there. The Saviors have not come to look for Daryl, who does go hide but stays poised and ready to stab someone. The Saviours came to take their doctor, the brother of the one Negan just throw into the fire pit. And in return Simon gives Gregory a giant case of aspirin. Really?
Before Daryl and Maggie leave the storm cellar, Daryl breaks down and starts crying and apologizes to Maggie for getting Glenn killed. Maggie tells him it is not his fault and that she does not – did not – blame him. A huge weight is lifted from Daryl.
Sasha and Rosita get out of The Hilltop safely through a tunnel Sasha made.
On their journey, Rosita still has that chip on her shoulder. At one point while they are checking out a car to hotwire, the necklace Sasha now wears in dangling down, Rosita sees it and tells Sasha she made it for Abe. Finally, when they are set up in a building across from The Sanctuary, Rosita lets down her wall, and talks to Sasha about men (learning different lessons and from different men), and about loving Abe. Negan finally comes out of the compound but Eugene's big mullet keeps getting in the way, she cannot take the shot. When Negan goes back in, Eugene is heard over the walkie talkie that the girls have that Negan will be occupied for a while. Well, thanks for the heads up there, pal! Change of plans, they ARE going inside! But first let's save Eugene and get him out of here...maybe not! Now I am wondering about that! Is he, indeed, comfortable in his new role or is he intelling and working on his own plan, or is he still just doing what cowards do best? And then our girl Sasha prevents Rosita from coming with her. Interesting call!
Josh McDermitt as Dr. Eugene Porter - The Walking Dead / Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC
Did you guys spy Eugene's pal hanging out of his pocket? 🙂 I pondered something else right there at the end of the episode. It shows the silhouette of a man with a bow, everyone is shouting Daryl came to help the girls, but what if that is Dwight?? AND that leds me to wonder if he will turn her in or conspire with her???? And while we are on the topic of "I SPY", did anyone else notice that Daryl has washed his greasy hair and has on a fresh outfit, WITH SLEEVES. 😮 😮 😮
Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon - The Walking Dead / Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

MUSIC REVIEW: Ratbatspider – Night Of The Sharksquatch (2014)

  • 1. ...And I'm All Out Of Bubblegum
  • 2. Inward Skeleton
  • 3. Last One Out Close The Coffin Lid
  • 4. Dead Girls Don't Say No
  • 5. Night of the Sharksquatch
Sometime in the latter half of 2015, I was first introduced to the Martian rock monsters Ratbatspider. Hailing from the angry red planet but currently residing in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, this horror punk outfit blends the obvious standard scene influences of The Misfits, Glenn Danzig, etc., with a heavier, more metal-influenced style that’s rare to see with bands who identify as Horror Punk. The four piece machine features vocalist Ryan Remains, bassist Chris Rat, guitarist Jack Bat, and drummer Doug Spider. The first impression this band made on me was in form of their 2014 release, Night of the Sharksquatch. The album cover shows a hulking Sasquatch with a shark’s head superimposed on it. Between the cover art, album title, and band name, I had no idea what to expect from the group and went in with zero expectations.
From the start of the album, it was obvious this was a group willing to pave their own way in a genre over-saturated with copy artists trying to emulate groups that came before them. The first track “...And I'm All Out Of Bubblegum” opens with the Rodney Piper quip from They Live where he threatens the alien invaders and then tears right into the music. Front man, Ryan Remains’ aggressive vocal track soars to drummer Doug Spider’s blasting beat as he shouts about the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. The track ends with a shotgun blast before the album’s second song, “Inward Skeleton”, begins. The group slows down slightly for this track and falls into a tighter groove while Remains demonstrates his capable vocal abilities as he jumps back and forth between a croon and shouting.
The third track is the disc’s longest play, coming in at 3:13. “Last One Out Close The Coffin Lid” has the characters playing a game of Russian roulette. Chris Rat’s bass line prominently carries this track as Remains barks the lyrics like, “one is six chance I’ll wind up dead, paint the room with insides of my head”. Overall, this was my favorite listen on the album. The fourth track “Dead Girls Don’t Say No” starts with Jack Bat playing a thrash-style introduction before Doug Spider starts in with another breakneck pace drum beat. This track showcases the groups plethora of influences as collectively they sound like something straight out the late 80s thrash metal scene. The band works at double time as Remains’ vocals change shape again into a more powerful howl.
The album closes with the title track, “Night of the Sharksquatch” a powerful and heavy closer centered around a Kaiju-style beast created when toxic waste fuses the infamous Sasquatch and a shark together. The light-hearted song premise shows a band that can have fun and still write incredible, gripping, and powerful music. Ratbatspider has proven time and again on each of their more current releases that they are a band with confidence in the direction they are going and the raw talent to get them there.
Follow Ratbatspider on their Facebook page.
And check out more from them at their Bandcamp site.

VORTEXX SCHEDULE FOR MARCH 12 – 19, 2017

Welcome to The Vortexx where it's been ALL HOSTS ALL THE TIME FOR SIX YEARS!
THE VORTEXX! SIX YEARS STRONG!!!!!
Welcome to THE VORTEXX where it's ALL HOSTS ALL THE TIME! We've got a terrific line-up of hosts, shows, and movies this week for your viewing and chatting pleasure, with two new movies making their Vortexx debut, several returning favorites, and a live show from HorrorHound Weekend on Saturday.
But wait! There's more! We've got killer spiders, killer bees, killer apes, and even a Creature from the Black Lagoon wannabe, not to mention ghosts, misplaced corpses, the Frankenstein Monster, and a special appearance by Betty White and Ro-Man!
Our hosts this week are Arachna & Deadly, Deadwood & friends, Dave Binkley & Kathleen Walder, Karlos Borloff & the crazies at Monster Madhouse, Edgar von Ghoul, Mortimer Van Creep, Bobby Gammonster & Boris the Buzzard, Misty Brew, and live from HorrorHound Weekend on Saturday . . . Dr. Sigmund Zoid! Enjoy our shows and thanks for hanging out.
BEWARE THEATER presents HORRORS OF SPIDER ISLAND (1962)
Sunday (03/12). 9:00 P.M. (ET) BEWARE THEATER returns to The Vortexx with a brand new show and another gem from the Golden Age of Black & White! Tonight Arachna and Deadly will be presenting a Vortexx favorite -- HORRORS OF SPIDER ISLAND (1962). It's about a troupe of beautiful dancers who find themselves stranded on a deserted island with their square-shouldered manager Gary (Alex D'Arcy). Their skinny-dipping routine is disrupted when Gary gets bit by a spider and becomes . . . . Spider-Gaaaary. Oh, the horrors of it all! Note: Tonight's show will be followed by an encore presentation of Wednesday's SCREAMING SOUP review of Full Moon Entertainment's HEAD OF THE FAMILY.
THE WEIRDNESS REALLY BAD MOVIE presents The Vortexx premiere of THE MISSING CORPSE (1945)
Monday (03/13). 9:00 P.M. (ET) THE WEIRDNESS REALLY BAD MOVIE with Dave Binkley and Kathleen Walder and special guests Geauga Dog & Shamu presents The Vortexx premiere of THE MISSING CORPSE (1945). A feud between two rival newspapermen named McDonald and Kruger ends with Ronald being murdered and his corpse planted in the trunk of Freddie's car. Freddie hides the corpse to avoid being charged with murder while he tries to find the real killer, but Ronald refuses to remain hidden. It's all played for laughs in this fast paced and entertaining comedy-mystery from Poverty Row Cinema (PRC). In keeping with the theme of tonight's "amusing" movie, the host bits were filmed at the Geauga Lake Amusement Park in Aurora, Ohio.
MONSTER MADHOUSE presents THE MONSTER OF PIEDRAS BLANCAS (1959)
Tuesday (03/14). 9:00 P.M. (ET) MONSTER MADHOUSE with Karlos Borloff and a cast of thousands presents THE MONSTER OF PIEDRAS BLANCAS (1959). The titular monster, who looks like the Creature from the Black Lagoon on steroids, terrorizes a sleepy lighthouse town by ripping the heads off some of the locals. The Monster was created and played by Jack Kevan, who also produced this low-budget horror flick.
DEAD END DRIVE IN with Edgar von Ghoul presents LADY FRANKENSTEIN (1971)
Wednesday (03/15). 9:00 P.M. (ET) DEAD END DRIVE IN with Edgar von Ghoul presents a Vortexx favorite -- LADY FRANKENSTEIN (1971). It's a heart-warming, gut-churning story about a daughter's love for her dad. The daughter is Tania Frankenstein (Rosalba Neri aka Sara Bay), who takes up where dear old dad (Joseph Cotten) left off, after he is killed by his stripey-pants creation. It's two monsters for the price of one, as the doctor's horny daughter creates a handsome new creature for her sexual pleasure and then screws him on the operating table while the Universal mob storms the castle. Co-starring Mickey (Crimson Executioner) Hargitay and directed by Mel (Gravis Mushnik) Welles.
SCREAMING SOUP reviews RETURN TO HORROR HIGH (1987)
Note: Our Wednesday show will be followed by a new episode of SCREAMING SOUP. Tonight Deadwood & friends are reviewing the slasher comedy RETURN TO HORROR HIGH (1987).

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Thursday (03/16). 9:00 P.M. (ET) SKUNKY CINEMA with Mortimer Van Creep presents Ed Wood's THE BRIDE AND THE BEAST (1958). It's one of the strangest love triangles ever depicted on film involving a man, a woman, and a gorilla named Spanky. You may be thinking there's no way this love story can end happily, but oddly enough it does! As an added bonus we will be watching Betty White go up against George (Ro-Man) Barrows in a 1957 episode of Date with the Angels entitled "The Gorilla".
MONSTER MOVIE NIGHT Riccardo Freda's THE GHOST (1963)
Friday (03/17). 9:00 P.M. (ET) MONSTER MOVIE NIGHT with Bobby Gammonster and Boris the Buzzard presents Riccardo Freda's THE GHOST (1963). The ghost in this ghost story is not just any ordinary ghost. It's the ghost of Dr. John Hitchcock of Horrible Dr. Hitchcock fame. Barbara Steele stars as his unfaithful wife, who plots against the doctor, now a cripple, with the help of her lover, while the lover plots against Babs with the help of the housekeeper. This sequel to Freda's 1962 classic has lots of atmosphere, lots of Babs, and a terrific twist ending.
The Vortexx presents SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE FROM HORRORHOUND WEEKEND with Dr. Sigmund Zoid (2017)
Saturday (03/18). 9:00 P.M. (ET) We interrupt our regular programming to bring you . . . SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE FROM HORRORHOUND WEEKEND! Dr. Sigmund Zoid will be representing The Vortexx in Cincinnati this year, and he's going to take a break from the partying and schmoozing to present a special live show along with Dwight and some special guests. He's asking for suggestions about what public domain movie that you, the faithful viewers of The Vortexx, would like to see. You can respond to his post on The Vortexx FB page with your movie picks or contact him directly at drzoid@alternativerealities.tv. And, rest assured, if technical difficulties should arise, we will have a show and a movie as back up.
MISTY BREW'S CREATURE FEATURE presents The Vortexx premiere of TERROR OUT OF THE SKY (1978)
Sunday (03/19). 9:00 P.M. (ET) MISTY BREW'S CREATURE FEATURE presents The Vortexx premiere of TERROR OUT OF THE SKY (1978). Killer bees are terrorizing helpless humans, and Efrem (77 Sunset Strip, The F.B.I.) Zimbalist, Jr. and Dan (Grizzly Adams) Haggerty are the bee specialists who try to fight off the little stingers in this made-for-TV sequel to The Savage Bees. Note: Our movie will be followed by an encore presentation of Wednesday's SCREAMING SOUP review of RETURN TO HORROR HIGH (1987).
SLUGGO!!! OUR DEAR LEADER AND FREELY RE-ELECTED PRESIDENT OF THE VORTEXX! BE SURE TO TRY SLUGGO BRAND TEA -- THE NEWEST SPONSOR OF THE VORTEXX!