House of Tortured Souls

August Underground's Mordum (2003)In August Underground’s Mordum, Fred Vogel’s second film of the August Underground trilogy, the viewer is assaulted by some of the most grotesquely atrocious acts of violence and depravity known to man. A found footage film, we are first introduced to characters Peter, Crusty (his girlfriend), and her brother Maggot. The first scene certainly sets the tone with Peter running the camera and catching his girlfriend having sex with her brother. Enraged Peter erupts into a nonstop barrage of verbal abuse towards Crusty, who then quiets him down by taking a jagged piece of glass and carving into her stomach with it, which in turn arouses Peter. To say this is fucked up is an understatement as we are quickly taken to the next scene in a crack house where they proceed to murder the owner with a hammer, but it is when our group of sadomasochistic serial killers return home that things escalate to another level.

August Underground's Mordum (2003)I won’t bother to delve into every act of violence that is perpetrated on the screen, but I will say that it is certainly an extreme film up there with the likes of A Serbian Film and Guinea Pig 2: Flower of Flesh & Blood. The film includes everything imaginable and then some, some that I found to be rather creative in a sadistic sort of way. This includes forcing a man to perform a penectomy (never knew there was a word for removal of the penis) upon himself with a pair of cuticle scissors and disemboweling a woman alive and fucking the slash wound in her corpse. I guess with that being said, I should issue a strong warning that August Underground’s Mordum is not for the faint of heart. Being done as found footage, one feels as if they are truly there watching some snuff film that just happened to be lying on the street. The camera work is what one would expect from a pseudo snuff film: the camera moves erratically, the picture can be grainy at points, and you can see where they had to change “tapes” while filming their exploits.

Overall, I found August Underground’s Mordum to be rather entertaining and engrossing at points. However, I cannot emphasize enough that this film is not for everyone. One of my friends took it upon herself to watch it and made it about twenty minutes before having to stop because it disturbed her so much. I did find it disturbing at points, but not because of the brutality so much as the realism and the possibility that there are people out there who truly do commit these sorts of acts. That having been said, if you like extreme found footage films that are pseudo snuff, then give it a go!

3.8 out of 5 stars

August Underground Mordum (2003)Directors: Jerami Cruise (as Cruise), Killjoy, Michael Todd Schneider (as Maggot), Fred Vogel (as Fredenstein), Cristie Whiles (as Crusty); Writers: Killjoy, Cristie Whiles (as Crusty), Fred Vogel (as Fredenstein), Jerami Cruise (as Cruise), Michael Todd Schneider (as Maggot), Fred Vogel (film August Undergound), Allen Peters (film August Undergound); Stars: Cristie Whiles, Fred Vogel, Michael Todd Schneider (as Michael T Schneider), Jerami Cruise, Killjoy; Rating: Unrated; Run Time: 77 min; Genre: Horror; Language: English; Year: 2003
August Underground Trilogy, Part 2 of 3: Mordum (2003)

August Underground Trilogy, Part 2 of 3: Mordum (2003)

August Underground's Mordum (2003)In August Underground’s Mordum, Fred Vogel’s second film of the August Underground trilogy, the viewer is assaulted by some of the most grotesquely atrocious acts of violence and depravity known to man. A found footage film, we are first introduced to characters Peter, Crusty (his girlfriend), and her brother Maggot. The first scene certainly sets the tone with Peter running the camera and catching his girlfriend having sex with her brother. Enraged Peter erupts into a nonstop barrage of verbal abuse towards Crusty, who then quiets him down by taking a jagged piece of glass and carving into her stomach with it, which in turn arouses Peter. To say this is fucked up is an understatement as we are quickly taken to the next scene in a crack house where they proceed to murder the owner with a hammer, but it is when our group of sadomasochistic serial killers return home that things escalate to another level.

August Underground's Mordum (2003)I won’t bother to delve into every act of violence that is perpetrated on the screen, but I will say that it is certainly an extreme film up there with the likes of A Serbian Film and Guinea Pig 2: Flower of Flesh & Blood. The film includes everything imaginable and then some, some that I found to be rather creative in a sadistic sort of way. This includes forcing a man to perform a penectomy (never knew there was a word for removal of the penis) upon himself with a pair of cuticle scissors and disemboweling a woman alive and fucking the slash wound in her corpse. I guess with that being said, I should issue a strong warning that August Underground’s Mordum is not for the faint of heart. Being done as found footage, one feels as if they are truly there watching some snuff film that just happened to be lying on the street. The camera work is what one would expect from a pseudo snuff film: the camera moves erratically, the picture can be grainy at points, and you can see where they had to change “tapes” while filming their exploits.

Overall, I found August Underground’s Mordum to be rather entertaining and engrossing at points. However, I cannot emphasize enough that this film is not for everyone. One of my friends took it upon herself to watch it and made it about twenty minutes before having to stop because it disturbed her so much. I did find it disturbing at points, but not because of the brutality so much as the realism and the possibility that there are people out there who truly do commit these sorts of acts. That having been said, if you like extreme found footage films that are pseudo snuff, then give it a go!

3.8 out of 5 stars

August Underground Mordum (2003)Directors: Jerami Cruise (as Cruise), Killjoy, Michael Todd Schneider (as Maggot), Fred Vogel (as Fredenstein), Cristie Whiles (as Crusty); Writers: Killjoy, Cristie Whiles (as Crusty), Fred Vogel (as Fredenstein), Jerami Cruise (as Cruise), Michael Todd Schneider (as Maggot), Fred Vogel (film August Undergound), Allen Peters (film August Undergound); Stars: Cristie Whiles, Fred Vogel, Michael Todd Schneider (as Michael T Schneider), Jerami Cruise, Killjoy; Rating: Unrated; Run Time: 77 min; Genre: Horror; Language: English; Year: 2003



Posted by Spencer Evatt in BRUTAL REALITY, GORE, MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, SLASHERS AND BAD HUMANS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Fear Town, USA (2014)

MOVIE REVIEW: Fear Town, USA (2014)

I have a hard time trusting anything associated with Lloyd Kaufman or Troma Films since most are pure dreck. The ones that do succeed though are usually quite entertaining and have a certain trashy charm to them, and Fear Town, USA is one of the most entertaining Troma films that I’ve seen in quite a while.

Feartown, USA (2014) posterFear Town, USA. doesn’t have much to do with fear nor is there even really a town, but it does take place in the USA, so I guess that part of the title is accurate. The story doesn’t really center around any particular character. Instead, it covers a whole slew of stories that all drift and meander into and out of each other. There’s an escaped lunatic, a group of RPG playing “nerds” (who are probably the hunkiest guys in the movie) looking for some action, a girl with a ghostly secret, an obscure cult, a descendant of St. Blevins (You’ll learn more about St, Blevins and the ludicrous reason that they celebrate a day in his honor.) who happens to be hosting a St, Blevins day party, a group that was disinvited to the party, a woman looking for her blind date, an inept cop, a feuding couple, the Devil himself (You know your movie is slightly off the rails when the actual Devil is a secondary character), and a few other subplots that are never really resolved.

The acting is on par with most other Troma films, suffice to say, not very good, but better than some. The humor is lowbrow stoner humor, but well done for that sort of thing. A lot of the subplots and secondary stories are never wrapped up, but that doesn’t really detract from the overall experience simply because the ending is pure lunacy that I can almost guarantee you won’t see coming.

If you like Troma Films, you’ll probably love this one. If you don’t like Troma Films, but enjoy ridiculous humor, you’ll probably enjoy this. If you want a serious attempt at horror or sophisticated humor, you’d be better off looking someplace else.

Posted by Richard Francis in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
August Underground Trilogy, Part 1 of 3: August Underground (2001)

August Underground Trilogy, Part 1 of 3: August Underground (2001)

Being a fan of the more extreme horror films, when the opportunity presented itself for me to purchase copies of each August Underground film, I could not in good conscience turn it down. Hearing of the notoriety of the trilogy itself, especially Mordum, I wanted to watch and critique each film. This is the first part of my run critiquing this trilogy, so without further ado, here is August Underground.

Part of the found footage genre, August Underground revolves entirely around Peter (Fred Vogel) and his buddy as they go about a rape, torture and murder spree. Very early on, we are confronted with the sadistic violence that is what gave August Underground its question, “The sickest film ever made?” on the cover of the special edition DVD release. At the start, Peter invites his buddy manning the camera to follow him to the basement where a woman named Laura is tied naked to a chair. Quickly, it is revealed that Peter has already slaughtered and even castrated Laura’s boyfriend, whose remnants are in the bathtub in the adjacent room. The torture that we are given a front row seat that involves smearing feces over the poor woman, including over where her nipples had once been until Peter and company decided to slice them off her.

Following our introduction to Laura, Peter and his unnamed cameraman pick up a female hitchhiker whom Peter forces into performing oral sex upon him and even begins raping her before he beats her to death. The film then cuts back to the basement with Laura being tormented by Peter and his friend. During this scene, Peter decides that it would be funny, much to the horror of Laura and the viewers, to take a toe off her boyfriend’s corpse, force it into her mouth, and duct tape her mouth shut. Progressing from there, the pair go out for the evening and return to find that Laura has finally died, much to their rage and frustration.

Shortly thereafter, the duo go on a road trip, which ends at a tattoo parlor where they assault, kidnap and ultimately torture and kill the twin brothers who run the parlor. The last part of the film has our duo doing cocaine with two prostitutes. Fast forward and once the cameraman is through having sex with his prostitute, the two venture into the basement where Peter is beating the other prostitute to death with a hammer while sodomizing her. The film abruptly ends when the duo chase the other prostitute and the camera is dropped.

Overall, I found August Underground to have some shocking moments to it and certainly some grotesque moments, but to answer the question on the cover of the DVD case, I did not find it to be the sickest film ever made. It certainly reflected some elements similar to that of Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, but with a much lower budget. As an independent underground film, though, I must say that they do very well with the small budget that they have to use. I would have to give is 3.5 out of 5 stars.

August Underground (2001)Director: Fred Vogel; Writers: Allen Peters, Fred Vogel; Stars: Fred Vogel, Kyle Dealman, Casey Eganey, Dan Friedman; Rating: Unrated; Run Time: 70 min; Genre: Horror; Language: English; Year: 2001
Posted by Spencer Evatt in GORE, MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, SLASHERS AND BAD HUMANS, 0 comments
INTERVIEW: Kayla Stojek – Zombie Peepshow

INTERVIEW: Kayla Stojek – Zombie Peepshow

Hello, everyone Horrormadam here to show you the stunning creations of Kayla Stojek. She makes THE most incredible horror/goth/punk-themed shoes, boots, and hats that I have ever seen, each pair more astounding than the last. I reached out to Kayla to find out everything I could about this remarkable woman and her sensational designs:
House of Tortured Souls: How did you get into making these amazing creations?
Kayla Stojek: I was a chemistry major, with intentions of becoming a dentist. Making shoes and clothing was always something I did for fun, either for myself or friends. I made an extreme pair of heels for a Halloween costume in 2011. People loved them and began asking for pairs of their own. Shortly after I opened my Etsy store and the internet sort of ran with it!

Kayla Stojek Zombie Peepshow

HoTS: Why horror, and what are some of your favorite horror movies?
KS: I’ve loved horror since about age 6. I grew up on the ’70s and ’80s horror so the fascination was always there. Favorites would be The Shining, Black Christmas (original), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Exorcist, Halloween, most anything from the ’70s. I’m also a fan of Rob Zombie’s films.
Kayla Stojek Zombie Peepshow
HoTS: Saw that another of your influences is punk, what are some of your favorite bands?
KS: Misfits, Rancid, Dropkick are a few favorites. Outside of punk, I find heavy artistic influence from Marilyn Manson, Nine Inch Nails, Rob Zombie.

Kayla Stojek Zombie Peepshow

HoTS: What is it you like about Kawaii (in the context of Japanese popular culture: cute) culture?
KS: I’ve never really worn any Kawaii items personally. But it’s something I love to look at. I think it reminds me of youth and nostalgia from growing up in the ‘90s.
Kayla Stojek Zombie Peepshow
HoTS: How did you come up with the name Zombie Peepshow for your brand?
KS: I had a very brief run at roller derby in my early 20s, Zombie Peepshow was my derby name. I liked that it was a perfect dichotomy of gore and girly, which suits my designs.
Kayla Stojek Zombie Peepshow
HoTS: What materials do you use for the sculpture?
KS: We use all industrial-strength epoxies and materials to bond the shoes. I’m constantly experimenting with new compounds for sculpting. Lately, I’ve been using a lot of cosplay materials and mixtures I’ve created.
Kayla Stojek Zombie Peepshow
HoTS: Who are the celebrities wearing your work?
KS: We’ve been fortunate enough to make shoes for people all over the world. Whoopie Goldberg has purchased a few, along with YouTube star Trisha Paytas. Many models, musicians, and other artists have pairs as well.

Kayla Stojek Zombie Peepshow

HoTS: Did you have fine art/fashion training?
KS: I don’t have any formal artistic training. My background is mostly science and mathematics, so this venture was definitely something new. I quickly realized that this creative outlet was what I longed for. It’s what I’m supposed to do. 😊
Kayla Stojek Zombie Peepshow
HoTS: Do you have a favorite pair?
KS: Probably a few that I haven’t released yet. There is one in particular that I hope to launch Fall 2018 and I believe it’s my best design yet. If I had to choose one from my store I would say The Texas Chainsaw design. It was our first sound producing a pair, so that was exciting.
HoTS: How much does a commission cost? Any plans or is there already one of Sammy from Trick R Treat (my fave along with Carpenter’s Halloween-😉)
KS: Trick R Treat would be amazing! Custom pieces usually start around $175 and increase based on the level of detail (led lights, extreme pieces, etc.)

Kayla Stojek Zombie Peepshow

HoTS: And my boss wanted to ask about men’s boots and if so he is willing to model.
KS: We do make men’s items often! My husband has a tendency to hoard most of the men’s items I create, but we have orders for them every month.
HoTS: Any haunted houses? Our site is called the House of Tortured Souls. 😊
KS: We’re big fans of haunted houses. Good friends from our hometown in West Texas run a huge haunt called A Nightmare on 19th Street. One of them is also in the process of building the largest haunt Austin has seen. We love them!

Kayla Stojek Zombie Peepshow

I just want to thank Kayla so much for taking the time to answer my questions because I know how extremely busy she is with the success of her shoes! We here at the House of Tortured Souls are big fans of her work and because I am a huge cheeseball I am reminded of the lyrics from Megadeaths cover of the Nancy Sinatra classic:
These boots are made for walking
That’s just what they’ll do
And one of these days these boots
Are gonna stomp all over you
So get a pair of Kayla’s boots and get stomping and look fabulous doing it!
Posted by Horrormadam in ART AND VENDORS, EXCLUSIVE, FEATURED ARTIST, IN THE SPOTLIGHT, STAFF PICKS, WOMEN IN HORROR, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Back Woods (2001) and Back Woods 2 (2015)

MOVIE REVIEW: Back Woods (2001) and Back Woods 2 (2015)

My ‘trip’ to the Back Woods

The Underground Classic You’ve Probably Never Heard of…
But Should’ve

I am willing to bet a large percent of you have never even heard of the underground film entitled Back Woods — made with love and no money by a group of young people and released in 2001. I personally came to know this movie by finding it on eBay, and being a lover of the weird dime store oddities, I took a chance and bought a copy (which David later told me was a bootleg to my shock and embarrassment). Back Woods tells the simple and twisted story of Luther (David Hayes), a baby born fully grown with a beard. All is fine and dandy until Mama is killed in a hit and run by a bunch of reckless teens. Now Luther, guided by a woods spirit named Mangina (Joseph Patrick Buck), goes on a killing spree, making the teens pay the ultimate price. Even as the film’s unofficial #1 fan, I can admit it’s not a good movie by any means. But I am sure nobody making this thought they were making an epic. So, yeah, when I watch it, I see the flaws, but I also find it genuinely humorous, and it seems like everybody is having a blast making this ridiculous movie. At a scant runtime, the filmmakers throw enough sleaze, raunchy humor and blood to keep the whole demented family glued. Of course, David cross-dressing and dancing around covered in fake blood makes for good wholesome fun. After my first viddy, I was a fan. Yes, I drank the Kool-Aid and was praying to Mangina to smite my enemies.

Fun little trivia: I actually bought a screen used prop from it – which is either really awesome or sad depending on who you ask.

I got to know its star David Hayes, who is an extremely smart man who teaches and has a series of books under his belt despite looking like a redneck butcher. His acting credits include Bloody Bloody Bible Camp (which is a film that NEEDS to be seen by everybody), Werewolves in Heat, and Blown, the tender love story about a killer blow-up doll. When I asked David about a part 2 I got a firm hell no, but I still held out hope. To my delight, I got a message one day asking if I wanted to see a sequel that was filmed a while back but never released. Of course I jumped at the chance, and I was not disappointed. From the opening, Back Woods 2 takes a meta approach and, of course, has a lot of fun ripping on the first film. But it wisely doesn’t simply remake the first film, introducing a host of new characters and situations. In fact, part 2 can almost stand on its own. Like the first film, however, it retains its sick demented charms and throws plenty of blood and some nudity (mostly David’s ass) at viewers. A redneck cannibal Lego man and a porn star with daddy issues are just some of the insane treats viewers have in store for them.

Back Woods 2 (2015)

It’s a really exciting time for people who haven’t seen the original Back Woods as both part one and the sequel are being re-released in one set. With that said, I really hope this finds a loyal following. And who knows… It could be as widely loved as Plan 9 from Outer Space, Troll 2, and The Room.

Posted by Mike Vaughn in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
A Serbian Film (2010): It’s Fucking Art!

A Serbian Film (2010): It’s Fucking Art!

In a desensitized world when shock truly does have value, along comes A Serbian Film, and here we are 8 years later still discussing it and reeling from the controversy. It’s a film that has ruined a lot of other films for me, making them seem colorless by comparison.

A Serbian Film (2010)

If, like me, you’re a fan of A Serbian Film, then you know it’s not something you admit to just anyone or casually discuss at family dinner. I used to find myself constantly on the defense regarding my love of this film, but now I refuse to be. I no longer justify why I like it or why it’s my second favorite movie of all time; I defend the movie itself. Before I get into the reasons why, let’s just quickly go over the movie’s plot and content for those who may not have watched it yet.

Milos, a semi-retired porn star, is struggling to provide for his wife and young son. When Milos’ former co-star comes by and offers him a role in an “art film” being made by a visionary and promising new director, it seems like his troubles are over. So far everything sounds pretty tame, right? Let’s fast forward to after the shooting of the “art film” starts and watch as it begins a downward spiral into depravity that would make the Marquis de Sade blush.

A Serbian Film (2010)

The areas causing the most controversy are the film’s depiction of child abuse, forcing a minor to watch a sexual act, raping a newborn, and raping a child. There are many other graphic, sexually violent scenes, but the aforementioned really get the censors riled up. For these reasons, the film has been heavily edited and banned in many countries, making an uncut copy somewhat difficult to find. Fear not, however, as Unearthed is releasing an uncut version with tons of extras and a much-anticipated documentary on the film.

Now back to my defense of the movie. It’s often assumed that I will use the same political defense the director Srdjan Spasojevic claims. Spasojevic insists he spent years trying to perfectly put on film how it felt to grow up in the midst of a very chaotic time in Serbia. He states that the infant rape and necrophilia show how the government rapes its citizens from birth until after death. Spasojevic also states, “this is a diary of our own molestation by the Serbian government”. Although these are not the reasons why I support the film, they were successful in getting me to investigate a little further into Serbian politics.

A Serbian Film (2010)

I personally don’t use the political pretense to justify this movie, and quite frankly I call bullshit. I believe Spasojevic wanted to make a shocking movie and once the backlash came, he used his carefully prepared political statement as a defense. I defend this movie simply because it’s art. Art that makes you really feel something, be it shock, anger, disgust, or horror, forces you to put down the fucking phone and watch. It makes you feel genuine emotions, powerful ones. For that reason alone, A Serbian Film is worth defending and remains one of the most engaging cinematic experiences of my life. I applaud it for pushing boundaries I didn’t even know I had.

A Serbian Film (2010)

Posted by Candace Stone in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, SLASHERS AND BAD HUMANS, URBAN DECAY/DYSTOPIAN FUTURES, 0 comments
Happy Birthday Betty White!

Happy Birthday Betty White!

Hey, guys Horrormadam here just wanting to wish Betty White a Happy Birthday! Now I know you are thinking why is Betty White on a horror site? Because I love the movie Lake Placid and even though it had great actors like Bridget Fonda, Bill Pullman, Oliver Platt, and Brendan Gleeson, Betty White stole the movie with her crazy antics and saucy language. So for the nonagenarian, she was born on January 17, 1922, which is impressive on its own, we here at House of Tortured Souls say HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BETTY WHITE! May you live another 96 years because you make us smile.

Betty White in Lake Placid feeding the crocodile

Betty White - If I had a dick

Lake Placid

Posted by Horrormadam in CELEBRITY BIRTHDAYS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Clown (2014)

MOVIE REVIEW: Clown (2014)

I finally got a chance to view the highly anticipated 2014 Clown. First, let me clarify because too many people are under the wrong impression... THIS IS NOT AN ELI ROTH FILM!!! The film itself was written by Christopher Ford and Jon Watts and was directed by Jon Watts as well. Eli Roth was one of the producers for the film, along with three others and six executive producers... That does not make this an Eli Roth film. So many are saying this is one of his films, and it’s not! Why not just ask Jon Watts how it was to work under Roth during the making of Clown? Then kick him in the nuts as well!

Clown (2014) / Fair use doctrine.

Now that that's out of the way... I had been wanting to see Clown since first having read about and, of course, later having seen trailer for it. Well, God Bless America, but what do I happen to see on Netflix but Clown?! I was thrilled!!!!

The storyline of Clown is of a good dad trying to be the hero to his son’s birthday party when he finds an old clown outfit and wears it to the party after the hired clown cancels at last minute. Good dad to the rescue! Now for the bad part…

After the party is over, Dad can’t get the costume off. It literally is stuck on his body. One might almost say that it is becoming one with his body. After some research, he discovers that the outfit he put on is, for lack of better words, possessed by a once demonic clown who killed and fed off children. I'm not going to say much else about the film because I do hope many of you give it a chance. It is a solid film and deserves to be watched. My review isn't so much a bad movie review as it is a let down on how much potential I think it had. There is honestly a difference!

I don't think I've been so on the line with a film in a very long time! Clown holds so many high points, very dark, very disturbing high points. Clown also holds so many low, predictable, and almost generic points to it. Just when you think it’s great, it pulls some cheesy shit and, to me, it would just fall to hell.

I didn't expect much from the film even though I wanted to see it for so long, I still didn't have very high expectations, and I was wrong. It is a good solid film. I just think if they had stuck with their original dark thoughts and finished that way, it would have been even better.

I really wanted to like it a lot more than I did. Sadly, if I were to give Clown a numerical rating, it would probably be a 3 or maybe a 4, not because of how bad it was because, honestly, it wasn't...but because of how great it really could have been!!

I will say this, the dad, or Kent, played by Andy Powers was spot on. From the role of loving father through his changing ways, shall we say, he did a great job. And I MUST, MUST, MUST say this, let’s call it, the rainbow-colored splatter: GENIUS!!!

Clown is on Netflix. Give it a shot, and let House of Tortured Souls know what you think!

Keep It Evil...

Posted by John Roisland in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
INTERVIEW: Writer/Director Jared Cohn

INTERVIEW: Writer/Director Jared Cohn

Where we talk Dead AfterLife, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Serial Killers, and Mental Fitness

Jared Cohn We're All Animals - chilling / Image: Jared Cohn - Instagram

Horrormadam here, guys, and I had the privilege of interviewing actor/director Jared Cohn. Best known for 13/13/13, Hulk Blood Tapes, and Feed the Devil for acting and Hold Your Breath, The Horde (which got a 94% on Rotten Tomatoes), and Little Dead Rotting Hood for his directing.
For those who do not know yet, Dead AfterLife is a currently in development film written by Michael Joy. And Michael knows horror, he is the CEO of Marketing Macabre, CEO of Joyhorror Entertainment, Director of Marketing for Artsploitation Films (that just released Red Christmas starring Dee Wallace), and Operations Manager for Horrornews.net. I am really looking forward to Dead Afterlife because of its unique and interesting premise. Imagine watching your own funeral as a ghost and then the unthinkable happens, your undead body climbs out of your coffin and starts killing and eating your friends and family. Pharmaceutical Scientist, Donald Conlee faces this conundrum after he’s murdered and is administered his own “Awake”, super drug. His death was only the beginning of his problems. The Gatekeeper has given Donald a time limit to return his Zombie-self to the ground, or else his soul can never gain entrance into Heaven. To complicate matters, he finds out that his murderer is at the funeral and his girlfriend is in grave danger. How can a couple of disgruntled gravediggers and a hearse driver help Donald’s lost soul find the way? Or maybe the real question is how can the spirit world defeat the living dead?

Jared Cohn on Stepmother / Image: Jared Cohn - Instagram

House of Tortured Souls: Is that an amazing premise or what? I asked Director Jared Cohn about this budding horror film.
Jared Cohn: I am a big fan of Michael Joy and looking forward to working with him, he is plugged into the horror community. Look this is a really cool story we got ghosts vs zombies, we got amazing talent on board to act in this. This project is gonna be a bad ass horror movie, straight up. It’s ghosts and zombies fighting each other, it’s gore there’s lots of blood, there is death and a funeral, it can’t lose.

Jared Cohn working on set / Image: Jared Cohn - Instagram

And Jared wasn’t kidding about the amazing talent. They just signed on Dee Wallace (Cujo, The Howling), Michael Berryman (The Hills Have Eyes), Bill Moseley (The Devils Rejects, House of 1000 Corpses), Kane Hodder (Victor Crowley in Hatchet, and Jason Voorhees from some of the Friday the 13th films), Bill Oberst Jr. (Scream Queens, Priest), David Gere (Bleed For This), Andy Gates (Garden Party Massacre), David Vescio (Hick), Mindy Robinson (Lizzie Borden’s Revenge), WWE wrestling star Diamond Dallas Page( Devil’s Rejects), And first timer professional wrestling legend,The Universal Heartthrob, Austin Idol.
Jared Cohn with William Shatner / Image: Jared Cohn - Instagram

Jared Cohn with William Shatner

HoTS: I was really excited about the prospect of seeing ghosts fighting the living dead on film and asked Jared about that.
JC: I am a fan of practical effects and I would also love to incorporate some CGI to enhance the ghosts visually. Really want to do something cool and a little different if we really want it to be scary and to pay homage to some of the great classics. That would go a long way towards making it look cool, make it look good. But in order to do that, you have to rely on the resources that are available. Which some could consider a cop out answer but it’s true. I would love someone like Vincent Guastini (Under The Bed, Requiem For A Dream, V/H/S Viral, and The Dark Tapes), he does creature suits, ghosts, zombies, makeup. To get someone like him on board would be amazing, but he is not cheap. But he would make amazing looking ghosts and zombies, those are the kind of things you need obviously if you want that big budget look, you need those premium people. We are still waiting on the financing to go through though but it is getting a lot of press so it is just a hurry up and wait game, but I am extremely excited to get going.

Jared Cohn sunlight / Image: Jared Cohn - Instagram

HoTS: I then had to ask Jared about a film that I saw on IMDB that he is directing that is in post-production called Street Survivors: The True Story of the Lynyrd Skynyrd Plane Crash because I am a fan of the band and found this title so intriguing.

JC: I got the movie shot, there are just some legal difficulties going on. Kind of waiting until March to see whats going on with that one. I’m very proud of that movie so I am really hoping it can see the light of day. It happened because of Cleopatra Entertainment, I love those guys. They gave me great opportunities to make movies, big fan of that company. I am going to be doing some music videos for them that I am very excited about. I used to do a lot of music videos back in the day in New York. I like getting back to my roots. I used to do more cinematography, stunts, editing, and camera work and lately I have been focusing on acting and directing but it is so great to go back and relearn everything and expand.

Jared Cohn on set / Image: Jared Cohn - Instagram

When researching the film, I found that Jared wrote the film from a story by Skynyrd drummer Artimus Pyle. It depicts the band’s tragic history centering on Pyle and his experiences of the events surrounding the chartered-plane crash on October 20, 1977, that killed original band members Ronnie Van Zant, Steve Gaines, and backing vocalist Cassie Gaines, Steve’s sister. An assistant road manager and the two pilots also died in the crash after the plane ran out of fuel over Mississippi after the final show of the Street Survivors tour. Ian Shultis, Taylor Clift, Samuel Kay Forrest and Rich Dally III have been cast in the film and the legal battle continues.
HoTS: Next, I asked Jared about his film Death Pool starring Sara Malakul Lane (Jailbait, Kickboxer Vengeance), Randy Wayne (Hellraiser Judgement, Hold Your Breath), James Cullen Bressack (Bethany), and Shawn C. Phillips (WTF!, Cannibal Cop). I just loved how this film dealt with the whole cult of personality. The premise is this:
Johnny Taylor has a big problem: he LOVES to drown good-looking girls. When he sees water and attractive females together, something in his head begs him to kill – the psychological result of a traumatic near-drowning during his childhood at the hands of a twisted babysitter. Fighting the urge to act on his sinister thoughts most of his adult life, Johnny finally succumbs to his dark instincts when the only work he can find is around water, cleaning pools. Filled with colorful characters, beautiful women and set against the backdrop of the LA party scene, Death Pool encapsulates the desire for fame, the lust for desire, and the urge to kill.

JC: I think that was one of the more interesting movies that I have made, it had a message. Social media, fame, the upsides and the downsides, and the reactions of people to someone who is killing people. There are a lot of serial killer groupies. It’s nutty, but in a weird way it is understandable also. There are many people out there that are contemplating killing someone, not that they go out and do it but it’s the idea. To analyze the psyche behind those people who do these things, those that find that extreme violence is their only outlet is interesting.
Jared Cohn on set with William Shatner / Image: Jared Cohn - Instagram

Jared Cohn on set with William Shatner

HoTS: I also asked him about who his directing influences might be.
JC: I think that Alejandro Inarritu (Amores Perros, Birdman, The Revenant) and Damian Chazelle (La La Land, Whiplash) have really great style. There are so many great and talented people out there.
HoTS: We then talked about what he is doing for 2018:
JC: I am keeping positive, focusing on mental health, and spirituality. You can be the busiest and most successful person in the world, but if you are not feeling great mentally, physically, and spiritually, you cant get your best work done. So I am trying to raise awareness, you know, help people who feel like they could use a boost in life. I would like to give back rather than just make movies. I would like to help people. Many people are suffering quietly, and I want them to know that they are not alone. If I can do something in that regard, it makes me feel better. Not that this is about me, I just want to give back. I’ve made some mistakes. I have some regrets, so I understand the challenges. It is good to talk about, doing interviews, and talking about various movies and being able to bring awareness to the problem of people’s mental health.
Lastly but cool as hell is the fact that Jared became a licensed FAA 107 certified drone remote pilot for taking absolutely stunning aerial shots for filmmaking and commercial use. Check out Drone-Shots.net to find out what’s available. He is also a Pro-paintballer and a black belt in Shaolin Kempo Karate.

Jared Cohn with drone / Image: Jared Cohn - Instagram

Please check out more on him at:
Posted by Horrormadam in COMING SOON, EXCLUSIVE, FEATURED CONTENT, FRIENDS OF THE HOUSE, INTERVIEWS, MONSTERS AND CREATURES, SLASHERS AND BAD HUMANS, STAFF PICKS, ZOMBIES, 0 comments
Share You Love For The Strangers in the #StrangersFanArt Contest!

Share You Love For The Strangers in the #StrangersFanArt Contest!

Fans of THE STRANGERS are invited to share their love in the form of art for the #StrangersFanArtContest!

Submissions for The Strangers: Prey at Night fan art contest are being accepted on the film’s official social channels: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram from now until Friday, February 9, 2018. Submissions should be posted with the contest’s official hashtag: #StrangersFanArtContest. The winner will be announced on Friday, February 16, 2018, and will see their art unveiled in an installation in Los Angeles, CA, the week of March 5, 2018. They will also receive a $500 cash prize.

@j.dillustraion (original post: https://www.instagram.com/p/BdqOnOvHDPA/

Image: @j.dillustraion (original post: https://www.instagram.com/p/BdqOnOvHDPA/)

CONTEST TIMELINE

  • Monday, January 15, 2018: THE STRANGERS: PREY AT NIGHT Fan Art Contest launches
  • Friday, February 9, 2018: Submissions close
  • Friday, February 16, 2018: Winner is announced

PRIZING

  • Week of March 5, 2018: OOH installation is unveiled

Winner will receive a $500 cash prize and their art will be unveiled in an installation in Los Angeles, CA, the week of March 5, 2018.

Posted by Horrormadam in ART AND VENDORS, CONTESTS, EVENTS, HORROR NEWS, SLASHERS AND BAD HUMANS, STAFF PICKS, 0 comments
Winner – Funko Pop Leatherface Autographed by John “Grandpa” Dugan

Winner – Funko Pop Leatherface Autographed by John “Grandpa” Dugan

We Have A Winner!

House of Tortured Souls would like to congratulate YouTube subscriber JackChap1, the lucky winner of our contest. Up for grabs was a Leatherface Funko Pop autographed by Grandpa himself, John Dugan, who was kind enough to record this contest announcement for us:

Watch the winning announcement below:

House of Tortured Souls wants to thank all of our subscribers. Keep spreading the good horror word, and keep your eyes out for more fun contests and awesome videos.

JackChap1 - Winner Funko Pop Leatherface Autographed by John "Grandpa" Dugan

Congratulations, JackChap1!

Posted by Woofer McWooferson in CONTESTS, EVENTS, EXCLUSIVE, 0 comments
Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios

Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios

Correct me if I’m wrong, but is it just me or does everyone try to find the scariest, shocking, most sinister, hell of a good time, when it comes to haunted houses, hayrides, and mazes? Being a fan of all things horror, whether it’s movies, soundtracks, haunted houses or even shocking true stories of serial killers and their passion for killing (Call me crazy, call me sick, but without serial killers, it’s quite possible that most horror films would not have been made and there wouldn’t be much to scare the hell out of us when that’s all we want), I am always searching for the best and creepiest haunts around.

Universal Studios' Halloween Haunted Nights

Every year ads are spread across the television, magazine articles, and even the Internet to try and pull customers to haunted attractions throughout the world. As an avid fan of this, I can say only a handful of haunted attractions have surpassed my expectations and created fear throughout my body. Which brings me to talk about Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios.

Universal Studios' Halloween Haunted Nights

Having had quite a few conversations with people who have either worked there or visited the attraction, it’s on my bucket list of things to do before I meet my demise.

Universal Studios' Halloween Haunted NightsFor those of you out there who have no idea what I’m speaking of, Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios is a haunted attraction that delivers thrills around every corner and also offers their horror-loving customers the opportunity to walk through different locations and houses that are inspired by such films as The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Shining, Saw, Friday the 13th, Child’s Play, A Nightmare on Elm Street, American Horror Story, The Walking Dead, and many many others – too many to list here.

Halloween Horror Nights is for true lovers of these types of films as well as people who are curious to see what it would be like to feel like they are a part of one of their favorite horror films.

Whether you’re on the east or west side of the US, there’s a Halloween Horror Nights for you as Universal Studios has these attractions in Hollywood, CA, and Orlando, Florida.

Universal Studios' Halloween Haunted Nights

Here’s what others are saying about Halloween Horror Nights:

“Each year [Universal Studios Hollywood] selects the best of the best when it comes to horror genre characters and properties. They also work hand-in-hand with the directors, producers and even the actors of some of Hollywood®s most fright-filled feature films and television shows to really give theme park guests the most authentic scare and walk-on-set feel.”
— Kelli Fadroski, The Orange County Register
“For true fans of Halloween and I mean the actual scary stuff Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios is where you need to be to celebrate the season.”
— Hilary White, PopSugar
“Many people know the visceral thrills of being scared, over and over, in a well-themed environment. The annual Universal Studios Hollywood creep-tacular is a master of this macabre art form, and its movie-quality walk-through experiences are key.”
— Alysia Gray Painter, NBC Los Angeles

Universal Studios' Halloween Haunted NightsAfter reading all of this buzz, I am pretty stoked to visit this theme park in hopes of having the shit scared out of me as well as see some amazing sights and hear blood-curdling screams.

For more info regarding Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios, you can check out the Official Halloween Horror Nights website. It’s time to mark your calendars, book a trip, and get ready to be scared.

Universal Studios' Halloween Haunted Nights

Posted by Jonathan Hughes in ATTRACTIONS AND DESTINATIONS, EVENTS, HALLOWEEN, 0 comments
TRIBUTE: Maila Nurmi aka Vampira

TRIBUTE: Maila Nurmi aka Vampira

Maila Nurmi circa 1947Malia Nurmi, born Maila Elizabeth Syrjäniemi, is best known for her signature character Vampira, the first television horror host. Although her show only ran for one year, she was nominated for an Emmy Award in 1954 for “Most Outstanding Female Personality” and paved the way for every television (and now Internet) horror host that followed.

Malia was born December 11, 1922, in Petsamo, Finland, and found her way across the US from Massachusetts to Ohio and Oregon before moving to Hollywood in 1940 to break into acting. By 1944, she was in New York and performing in Spook Scandals on Broadway. Over the next few years, she had a variety of jobs before earning her first film role (uncredited) in If Winter Comes in 1947. After a couple of television and film roles, she attended a masquerade in a costume inspired by Morticia from Charles Addams’ New Yorker cartoons. Not only did her tight black dress, long dark fingernails, and heavy makeup win her best costume, it also got her noticed by producer Hunt Stromberg, who tracked her down and convinced her to become the beloved horror heroine we all know as Vampira.

Maila Nurmi as Vampira in Plan 9 from Outer SpaceIn spite of the favorable reception The Vampira Show received, it was canceled after one season, but Nurmi retained the rights to the character – a savvy move to say the least. Nevertheless, the public still wanted more, and she continued to appear on TV and in films as Vampira, most notably in Ed Wood’s 1959 sci-fi horror flick Plan 9 from Outer Space, and, rarely, as Malia Nurmi. By the early 60s, however, work became scarce, and she dropped off of the screen for two decades. In 1986, she appeared in Population: 1 and then disappeared for another decade before appearing on Horror Kung-Fu Theater. After this, she did but a handful of films before her death in 2008.

Maila Nurmi as Vampira

Though her film and television appearances are few, her influence on horror and horror hosting is undeniable and still evident to this day.

Thank you, Malia Nurmi aka Vampira, for everything.

Grave of Maila Nurmi "Vampira" / Image: Arthur Dark

11 December 1922 (Petsamo, Finland) – 10 January 2008 (Los Angeles, California, USA) / Image: Arthur Dark

Posted by Woofer McWooferson in EDITORIALS, HORROR HEROES, TRIBUTE, 0 comments
GAME REVIEW: Friday the 13th: The Game (2017)

GAME REVIEW: Friday the 13th: The Game (2017)

First Impressions
Friday the 13th: The Game (2017)

After spending around 6-7 hours on Friday the 13: The Game this weekend, I feel comfortable giving my initial thoughts. First, when you begin playing, you’re rather limited and begin with the Jason from the third film and you have five camp counselors to choose from. Including Chad Kensington, Jenny Myers, and Kenny Riedell. As you play the game you acquire experience points and level up, the leveling system is what unlocks other Jasons and camp counselors for you. In addition, you earn customization points (CP) that allow you to buy new grapple kills for Jason or perks for the counselors. I was very happy starting out that I got to select a couple of kills for Jason that included ripping someone’s head off with your bare hands, choking someone to death, and, of course, one of the many weapons kills as well. Each Jason has a weapon specifically chosen from whichever part of the franchise that your Jason comes from. So for Part 3, you get Jason’s trusty ax as well as his signature hockey mask that made its first appearance in Part 3. One of Jason’s signature kills with his ax is what I chose starting out – the crotch chop. If you get your hands on a counselor, you get to throw them down and take the ax to the crotch region a handful of times in a rather brutal manner.

Friday the 13th: The Game (2017)

For my first Friday the 13: The Game match, I decided to play offline so that I would get to play as Jason without worrying that some other person would be chosen as the beloved killer. Each match begins with a cinematic of Jason coming up behind the counselors as they have a party, and Jason slaughters one of them. Then, the player gets to place himself or herself in the shoes of Jason to slaughter the seven remaining counselors as you see fit. All seven maps play out rather similarly with the premise being that as Jason you slaughter the counselors, and as a counselor, you are trying to survive and escape Jason. Of course, if you’re audacious enough (or crazy as fuck) you can attempt to kill Jason, who I quickly noticed is exactly how he is in the films, a goddamn tank. Flare guns to the face, shotgun shells to the face, and even pocketknives to the neck when a counselor escapes are just a handful of the sort of punishment that Jason undergoes and shakes off without much of a grunt.

From my experiences so far on- and offline, Jason has the upper hand in every confrontation unless the counselors are coordinated and teamed up to defeat him. Granted, every time I have played as a counselor, cooperation amongst players, especially online, is rather lacking at points because after seeing Jason slaughter the first counselor, all you want to do is run like hell and hope you can get a car or boat working to get away from whoever is playing as the sadistic bastard (offline you only have the choice of playing as Jason, but I will address that at some other point).

Friday the 13th: The Game (2017)

So far, I have been thoroughly pleased with the gameplay and the intensity that the game provides as a homage to Friday the 13th. The music comes completely from the films with some of the more intense pieces, which start up when you play a counselor and Jason is close to you. I would be remiss if I didn’t say that playing as Jason made the little sadist in me jump with joy. And as a fan of the series, I couldn’t be happier with Friday the 13: The Game because they had Kane Hodder do the motion capture for the kills.

Friday the 13th: The Game (2017)

Posted by Spencer Evatt in GAME REVIEWS, SLASHERS AND BAD HUMANS, 0 comments
Trailer 2 for Victor Crowley Looks Bloody Amazing

Trailer 2 for Victor Crowley Looks Bloody Amazing

As a proud member of the Hatchet Army, I was beyond excited today to see the second official trailer for Victor Crowley come out. In a day of teen horror and enough paranormal movies to drown you, it is good to see a healthy dose of good ole campy slasher fun. You can never go wrong with that!!!

If you need a reminder, this is the fourth installment in the insane Hatchet series from director Adam Green. It picks up a decade later, lone survivor Andrew Yong’s (Parry Shen) claims that local legend Victor Crowley was responsible for the horrific massacre have been met with great controversy, but when a twist of fate puts him back at the scene of the tragedy, Crowley is mistakenly resurrected and Yong must face the bloodthirsty ghost from his past.

Victor Crowley

Just from the trailer alone, it looks to be the best sequel in my opinion. Reprising his role from the past movies is the indestructible Kane Hodder and new Hatchet Army recruits Felissa Rose (Sleepaway Camp) and Tiffany Shepis (Night of the Demons (2009)). I had a chance to talk to Felissa a bit about her experience with Adam and the Victor Crowley gang. In Felissa’s own words:

Victor Cowley is the best! It was magical, and Adam Green is my favorite and so grateful that he cast me. It’s a dream.

This film looks to give us all the best deaths and insane laughs you would expect from the series. It looks to be a great ride, and I cannot wait to do a full review when I get to watch it.

This blood-soaked party comes out on Blu-ray and VOD on February 6, 2018. Be sure to reserve yours now. Also, visit the official sites for more information.

Victor Crowley Blu-ray

Happy nightmares,
ZombieGurl

Posted by ZombieGurl in HORROR NEWS, NEW RELEASES, 0 comments
AHS Creator Ryan Murphy Hints at Next Season

AHS Creator Ryan Murphy Hints at Next Season

Fans of American Horror Story are speculating on a teaser announced by AHS creator and executive producer Ryan Murphy.

Ryan Murphy at PaleyFest 2013 / Image: iDominick

Ryan Murphy at PaleyFest 2013 / Image: iDominick

After the Television Critics Associations’ press tour on January 5, Murphy dropped this regarding the show’s upcoming season:

I pitched it to John Landgraf today right after his TCA panel, and he loved it, but he’s asked me not to say what it is,” said Murphy. “I told him and he fell out of his chair with joy. I think people will like it, it’s different from what we’ve done before, but I always try and do the opposite of what I’ve done on that show.

Declining to specify what the theme will be, Murphy did say that it would not be in space and:

All I’ll say about it is I want to go to the future – still topical, but the future, which I’ve never done.

Murphy further dropped a hint regarding the possibility of a crossover between American Horror Story “Murder House” and “Coven”, something fans have been speculating about for some time:

It’s not next season, it will likely be the one after that .

Are you excited about an American Horror Story set in the future? What about the crossover? Let us know in the comments, and stay tuned to House of Tortured Souls for more.

Posted by Woofer McWooferson in HORROR NEWS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: The Shape of Water (2017)

MOVIE REVIEW: The Shape of Water (2017)

One of the most talked about horror movies in 2017 was Universal’s attempted reboot of the Mummy. Sadly it was also one of the worst horror movies of 2017 and was a horror movie in name only, and pretty much slammed the coffin lid on Universal’s Dark Universe. So we get left with what if, and the biggest “what if” of all, what if Guillermo Del Toro had taken the reins of the horror universe. Well, The Shape of Water might give us some clue about what that lost universe might have looked like.

he Shape of Water poster

Movie poster from The Shape of Water

The Shape of Water, Del Toro’s ode to the Creature of the Black Lagoon (at least superficially and unofficially) isn’t exactly a horror movie itself. However, it is a beautiful, thought-provoking Gothic romance, with a few elements of horror thrown in for good measure. No, it may not be horror, but it does make us wonder how beautiful a Del Toro Creature From the Black Lagoon would look, or a Frankenstein, or yes, even a reboot of The Mummy, with or without Tom Cruise.

The Shape of Water stars Sally Hawkins (Godzilla, King of Monsters) as Eliza, a mute cleaning lady. She works at a government research center in Baltimore during the cold war. She lives a boring life until the Gillman (for lack of a better term) is dragged into the lab, and into her life by Colonel Richard Richard Strickland. Developing a rapport with the creature, she decides to save it from torture and death at the hands of Strickland and the scientists. And that’s where it gets groovy ladies and gents.

Just to cut through the BS, The Shape of Water is hands down the best horror movie of the year, even if it’s not that much of a horror movie. Hey, if Get Out is a comedy, then we can claim this as a horror movie. It’s been nominated for seven Golden Globes, and will almost definitely be an Oscar hit as well. The film has a stellar cast with Shannon, Richard Jenkins (Bone Tomahawk), Nick Searcy (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri), and Del Toro favorite Doug Jones (Hellboy, not the Senator) as the creature from the, umm, from this movie. They all do their usual great job, but Hawkins is the standout.

Without using words, for most of the movie anyway, she conveys all the pain, and unhappiness of being alone, of being an outcast. And this is a story about outcasts, Hawkins is an outcast, Spencer as her closeted gay roommate and friend is an outcast, her coworker (Octavia Spencer) is an outcast, the Russian spy is an outcast, the creature is an outcast, even the main villain Strickland is a bit of an outcast.

It’s also a movie about xenophobia, fear or hatred of the different (actual foreigners but close enough). The government fears the Russians, Strickland hates and fears the creature, the gay man fears, or at least is indifferent to, the civil rights struggle of black people and the one black character hates short people (although it’s played for laughs. The only person who appears not to suffer from this is Eliza (and Gillman to some extent). The heroes overcome their isolation and fear, Strickland cannot and is literally destroyed by it.

As with all GDT films, The Shape of Water is a visual treat. It’s beautiful, absolutely beautiful. Color plays an important part in the film, just as it did in Crimson Peak. In The Shape of Water it’s green, with red being used sparingly and in the background. I wish I was smart enough to tell you the exact symbolism of the color used in The Shape of Water, but I’m still working on it myself.

Gillman eyes an egg

Gillman eyes an egg

Right now, The Shape of Water is still not an extremely wide release, which is sad, especially since both showings I have been to have been packed, so you will have to search a bit, and maybe take a drive to see it. It’s worth the effort though. However, be warned, this probably isn’t a movie for the kids. Unless you want to have to explain the birds and the bees (and the lizards). There’s only a little violence and tiny amount of gore (the one scene might disturb kids or sensitive people, but there is a decent amount of nudity, including full frontal female nudity and some cross-species “relations”, though nothing explicit, it’s easy to know what’s going down. If you can find it, make the effort; you won’t be disappointed.

Posted by Allen Alberson in MONSTERS AND CREATURES, MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: 10/31 (2017)

MOVIE REVIEW: 10/31 (2017)

Some time back, actor/musician/producer/writer and now director Rocky Gray sent me a press release for a film he was working on called 10/31, he told me to always keep tabs with on it, because as he said, “I think you’re really gonna like it!” So for the past what seems to be eons now of awaited anticipation…and yes, bothering the hell outta Rocky (sorry bro, lol!), he sends me a screener of the film.

10/31

10/31 is an Indie horror anthology film that runs about 135 minutes and is pure enjoyment! First, as many of you know, I love Halloween- based movies. I mean I am a sucker for them! But that’s not to say that there hasn’t been a share of them that I also thought were pieces of shit! This, however, is not one of them!

10/31 is opened by the lovely and talented Jennifer Nangle who plays Malvolia the Queen of Screams, a horror host on a TV in a home on Halloween night, who sets you off on your journey of dark and twisted tales of Halloween.

10/31

This anthology film is full of horrific stories of terror brought to you by some of the newest and up and coming talent and features segments were directed by Brett Dejager – “Halloween Blizzard of ’91”, Rocky Gray – “The Samhain Slasher”, Zane Hershberger – “Trespassers”, John William Holt – “Killing the Dance”, Hunter Johnson – “Malvolia the Scream Queen”, and Justin M. Seaman (yes, who you all just recently saw on our live video podcast!) – “The Old Hag”.

Each story is different, original, and yet horrifying in their own ways, from stories of haunted homes, property owners, a new meaning of roller disco, and even Samhain!

The collaboration of these talented filmmakers really shines in this film. Each of them truly showing their own passion and twisted images of Halloween horror. Brought to life by some great acting which includes Jordan Phipps (Close Calls), Katie Wagrave (Bonejangles), Cindy Maples (Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories) and Chad Burns (Stargazer) to name just a few.

The amount of support and backing in the production, I must say, is very impressive with 20 producers on the film, some of them being a few of the segment directors as well as a handful of others including Nick Ford, Kirby Gocke, and P.J. Starks.

Was waiting for this release of 10/31 a pain in the ass? YES!! Was waiting for 10/31 worth the wait? HELL YES!!

10/31 is a fun, yet horrific downward spiral of tales darkness and horror of Halloween at is best!

Rocky, congrats my friend! 10/31, Rocky Gray

Keep it Evil!

Posted by John Roisland in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Bright (2017)

MOVIE REVIEW: Bright (2017)

After hearing such a negative buzz about the recently released $90 million Netflix film Bright, I decided to objectively view it for myself. A couple of days ago Netflix announced that Bright 2 is already in pre production – when in actual fact it was planned before the release of Bright itself on December 22, 2017. In the scarce time since Bright was released, the Internet has been awash with mixed reactions, from absolute adoration to complete and total loathing. Many were disappointed by director David Ayer’s recent comic book entry Suicide Squad and Max Landis‘ recent hurrah about rebooting his father’s infamous film An American Werewolf in London were skeptical that either were great filmmakers and questioned the choice of Will Smith in the lead alongside Joel Edgerton.

BrightBright is the story of our world, seen in an alternate universe in which Orcs, Fairies, and Elves inhabit alongside Humans. The Orcs are oafs who are all for a world free from the humans, who prejudge them all as criminals. The Fairies are annoying little cretins, who seemingly do no more than annoy humans. And the Elves are the highest rolling society. Wealthy, attractive and simply the royalty/ celebrities of this other world order.

Smith plays human police officer Daryl Ward. A man run down by his job and awaiting his retirement in the coming years with some annoyance. Ward has recently been partnered with Nick Jakoby (played by Joel Edgerton), a “non-blooded” Orc – meaning he belongs to no clan and is ostracised by his own- who is simple and still learning to understand humans. Smith is not difficult to watch, but like his prior roles in films like I Am Legend and Suicide Squad, it is basically regular old Smith performance on screen. Edgerton, on the other hand, is a goofy gem. His bumbling but well-meaning performance of Orc Officer Jakoby is easily as enjoyable as Mandy Patinkin in Alien Nation (a 1988 film that I feel is echoed in this movie through some of its sentiments). I did feel the duo bounced off one another well but that Smith’s delivery was a tad too dry at times.

Joel Edgerton, Lucy Fry, and Will Smith in Bright

Joel Edgerton, Lucy Fry, and Will Smith in Bright

Like Alien Nation, Bright finds its feet exploring a subplot of awkwardness between these two cops and a division unhelped by the corruption around them. Stumbling upon a young Elf called Tikka (amazingly portrayed by Lucy Fry – famous for her role in the first season of the Australian t series of Greg Mclean’s Wolf Creek), who is frail and afraid of her heroes. Tikka is a Bright, a magic Elf with powers to unlock both good and bad forces. Tikka is being pursued by the beautiful Leilah (portrayed by Noomi Rapace from The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo film series). Leilah is cold, ruthless and has a thirst for the darker side of magic, quite literally obliterating anyone in her path with her two Elvish goons. Also pursuing our troubled trio is a pair of Elf detectives also keen to learn about what the threesome are protecting.

With enough car chases, explosions and high octane injuries and deaths, this is definitely a film that only lets up when needed and keeps a steady pace through its nearly two-hour runtime. I won’t ruin the fun of this film with more details but will say the negativity it has received online is heavily unwarranted as it is a fun and interesting watch.

Noomi Rapace in Bright

Noomi Rapace in Bright

Fans of mythical beings or action films will enjoy those aspects of Bright. I can only hope Landis and Ayer can produce the same (or better) quality film the second time around. Smith and Edgerton have both already confirmed their return in Bright 2 and it is slated for release later this year on Netflix.

Posted by Michelle MIDI Sayles in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Insidious Chapter 4 (2018)

MOVIE REVIEW: Insidious Chapter 4 (2018)

Whenever we see the name James Wan appear, we already know that we are in for a special treat, considering that Mr. Wan makes quality flicks. Everything from Saw (2004) to the highly anticipated Aquaman heading to cinemas December 21, 2018. So, when a third sequel to the Insidious franchise was announced last year, hopes already started to rise sky high.

Writer Leigh Whannell, who wrote and co-starred in all the Insidious films takes us on yet, another dark trip into the further, and it was a lot of fun.

We open in New Mexico, 1953 and we are introduced to a young Elise Ranier (Ava Kolker) and her family. Her mother accepts the fact that she has an ultra-rare gift and can communicate with the dead, whilst her father seems to have a hard time and doesn’t believe in her ghosts stories, so he punishes her severely over and over again. This causes her to leave home to make a fresh start for herself and continue her life with her gift by becoming a paranormal investigator and solving undead puzzles.

One afternoon she receives a phone call from the property she once lived at and decides that she has to return home to face her fears and try to stop the ongoing evil that has been haunting the house for years. Oh, and we can’t forget about her two assistants, Specs (Leigh Whannell) and Tucker (Angus Sampson), who both deliver quick quirky one-liners that cause the audience to burst out with laughter ever so often. When Elise and her duo pals arrive, she already knows that the house is full of spirits and that’s when the heart-pounding moments being to increase heavily and they don’t stop until the last frame of the film.

Even though this is a prequel, there is a lot of fun to be had while watching this film. Lin Shaye is once again superb and it shows the very second she is in frame. You can tell that she put her blood, sweat, tears, and heartbeats into her character and also had fun doing so. Lin Shaye was most definitely the best part of the entire movie. I had more fun watching her act throughout the film then the film trying to make me jump and spill my popcorn.

With that being said, the film has some minor flaws and pacing issues here and there, but we are introduced to a new form of evil and he’s pretty bad ass to look at.

Insidious: The Last Key may not take home any awards or be the best horror film of the year, it certainly won’t be the worst. Insidious: The Last Key was what I expected, a dark adventure into the further with jump scares, funny moments, cool looking creatures and most importantly, the amazing Lin Shaye.

Do yourself a favor and checkout Insidious: The Last Key before it leaves cinemas.

Posted by Jonathan Hughes in Categories, MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments