House of Tortured Souls

Happy Birthday Blacula Director William Crain

Happy Birthday Blacula Director William Crain

The name William Crain might not be familiar to a lot of horror or exploitation fans; however, his short but intense filmography has left a lasting mark on pop culture. Before Crain rolled an inch of celluloid, he broke ground on the small screen as the first African American to direct episodic television. The show in question was the ultra groovy hit The Mod Squad, then in its third season. Of course it wasn’t easy to break into a white dominated profession, but with hard work and grit, William made his dreams a reality. Shortly after his small screen debut, Sam Arkoff at American International Pictures came knocking with an idea – an African American twist on a classic movie monster. William wasn’t thrilled with the title, Count Brown is in Town, but with a title tweak and a stellar cast that included Shakespearian trained William Marshall in the title role, Blacula was set to go before in the cameras. With a blend of genuine horror, humor, and lots of seventies groove, Blacula thrilled audiences and AIP had an unexpected hit on their hands. After Blacula, surprisingly Crain returned to the small screen to do Starsky and Hutch, SWAT, and The Rookies. He finally returned to the big screen with yet another blaxploitation horror hybrid entitled Dr. Black, Mr. Hyde. To date it was his last feature film.
I had the extreme pleasure to do several interviews William for an upcoming book and I found him to be a witty, smart and interesting person. He shared many great stories about the making of his cult classic as well as hinted at a return to the big screen. While he only made two feature films, their lasting legacy in pop culture is undeniable, so I raise my glass of blood to you, Mr. William Crain, on your birthday!
Below is a complete filmography.

Director

  • 2016 Nothing as It Seems (Short)
  • 1990 Designing Women (TV Series) (1 episode)
  • 1984-1985 Matt Houston (TV Series) (2 episodes)
  • 1979 The Dukes of Hazzard (TV Series)
  • 1976 Dr. Black, Mr. Hyde
  • 1974-1975 The Rookies (TV Series) (3 episodes)
  • 1975 S.W.A.T. (TV Series) (1 episode)
  • 1975 Starsky and Hutch (TV Series) (2 episodes)
  • 1971 The Mod Squad (TV Series) (1 episode)

Second Unit Director or Assistant Director

  • 1971 Brother John (intern director – uncredited)

Producer

  • 1976 Dr. Black, Mr. Hyde (associate producer)
Posted by Mike Vaughn in CELEBRITY BIRTHDAYS, 0 comments
TRIBUTE: GEORGE A. ROMERO (2 of ?)

TRIBUTE: GEORGE A. ROMERO (2 of ?)

RIP – The Godfather of Zombies
George A. Romero

georgeromero-zombielove / Fair use doctrine.George Romero meant so much to me personally. He created my love, my obsession with zombies. I cannot tell you my exact age when I first watched Night of the Living Dead, but it sparked the fire that is my love for horror and, more importantly, zombie stories. George A. Romero opened the door for many to follow, pushed the limits of horror further than anyone dreamed, awakened future directors and storytellers, and educated the world on the zombies (how they move, groan, react, and how people would react in a zombie apocalypse).
I’m not sure if Romero went for black and white to blend in with the classic horrors or because makeup and prosthetics aren’t what they are today. All I know that it was a genius move! Night of the Living Dead was meant to be b&w. When I first turned on the movie (in my foolish youth) I wanted to immediately change the channel, after all b&w movies are just boring (back in the 80s when everything was neon). I’m not even sure now what kept me watching, but I am ever so thankful! George Romero was such a creative intelligent fellow in his time.
Romero was one of my first articles for HoTS when a little over a year ago Mr. Romero finally received a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame. It blew my mind that only just now was he receiving a star! After all his movies and work?!?!? Night of the Living Dead had several sequels (almost all 10 years apart), and he made several other type of horror movies, directed much of Creepshow, and participated in many documentaries, and specials. Romero is so loved by so many that The Walking Dead has had many tribute Easter eggs to Romero.
Fair use doctrine.
Romero even had a part in the zombie mode on Call of Duty: Black Ops.

George Romero left his mark and ‘infected’ so many of us. I, personally, will truly miss him.
Posted by Tammie Parker in EDITORIALS, FAMILY HORROR, FEATURED CONTENT, Historic Horror, HORROR HEROES, HORROR NEWS, IN THE SPOTLIGHT, OBITUARY, STAFF PICKS, TRIBUTE, 0 comments
TRIBUTE: GEORGE A. ROMERO (1 of ?)

TRIBUTE: GEORGE A. ROMERO (1 of ?)

Remembering George A. Romero

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

INTERVIEW: Mitch Hyman

My Interview With Satan!

Attention Hulu subscribers!
Bubba the Redneck Werewolf is now available to enjoy! In case anyone reading this is unfamiliar with the lovable hairy beast Bubba, I am here to enlighten you. He started out as a glimmer in the eye of Actor/Comedian/Writer and all around funny man Mr. Mitch Hyman. Back in the 90s Bubba was a very popular comic. In 2014, Cracker County was under attack by The Devil himself, and it was up to Dog Catcher Bubba Blanche to defeat the enemy, save the town, and win the heart of his love Bobby Jo. But, not before he made a deal with said devil and became Bubba, The Redneck Werewolf in the hit film now available on Hulu!
Bubba the Redneck Werewolf poster / Fair use doctrine.
The popularity of the film has been on the rise since its premier, and with over 11 million viewers on Hulu, ol’ Bubba has reached celebrity status! He even has his own souvenir caps (Mohawkcrew.com), hot sauce, (Sideshowsauces.com), and coffee (Coffeeshopofhorrors.com)! Another character that has made a pretty big name for himself is the Devil, played by Hyman. Since then, there have been many requests to see the fallen angel in his glory. This included an appearance in full make up at December’s Spooky Empire event at the Orange County Convention Center.
In May of 2017, Satan struck out solo on his very own YouTube show, Coffee Time With Satan! This is the epitome of irreverence and shock, and NOT for the faint of heart. Angie, your “Lamp Lady”, had the rare opportunity to discuss the show with Satan in his lair.
House of Tortured Souls: What was your inspiration for Bubba the Redneck Werewolf comics back in the day?
Mitch Hyman: Well, it all started on a week – long binge in Bangkok…Seriously, that did happen, but back to Bubba. I loved werewolves as a kid, and Halloween was my chance to be one. So, when I owned a bar many years ago, I wanted to go to my own party as a werewolf. Now, I knew some make up techniques, so, some latex and rubber mask grease made the face. The hair was tough. So, I put on a trucker hat, and then decided that Lon Chaney, Jr.’s wolfman had clothes, cause no one needs a naked lycan running around as we all learned in American Werewolf. At the time, overalls and flannel shirts were popular and so…Voilà! One cigar-chomping, booze-carrying redneck werewolf was born!
HoTS: Tell us about Satan. How did this lovable character come to life on screen?
MH: There is a horror con in Florida called Spooky Empire, and I have been part of it since the first year it was open, now about 11 years. Great show run by awesome folks. A real family feel too. I was a guest writer and another writer I knew, Kevin Ransom, wanted to do an Apocalypse panel and asked if I could do Satan as part of it around 2006. I first just got some horns from my buddy, make-up artist Michael Davy, who was Dick Smith’s personal protégé, and walked in with a briefcase and said I was the prosecuting attorney for humankind. Later, as the years went on, Mike put me in the red make-up and so there it was! Later, when the film was being put together, the writer I hired to do the low budget script, as my original idea would have cost at least a million to produce and I needed someone to do schlock as I just wasn’t that kind of writer was deathly afraid of my Satan character (and Satan in general), had seen the shows. My comic origin is much different, but I figured comics and movies always are. So, I wrote most of my own dialogue and ad-libbed the rest and wrote most of my scenes to my taste, like the devil montage and the final battle with Bubba. I had to as I was the guy who started this whole insanity fest. I love being him as I get away with the craziest stuff when I am in the red paint, and who would not want an alter ego so heinous and hilarious? People love the character and walk up to me now on the street and offer their souls to me. I turn them down, of course. Well, unless they want to throw in a beer too. LOL!
HoTS: The film has been getting a lot of hits on Hulu, and Bubba is even going to Cannes, you must be proud!
MH: Yep! So proud! We are now global, and for an Indie film of the budget I was able to work with, this is huge. I only had $25,000 to work with and some behind the scenes shenanigans from a few contractors I trusted took me to $19,000. But I have been running a comic for 21 years on very little and have been a stage tech, recording studio owner and performer for years, and knew the biz and how to make it work. Plus, I had so many good friends in the business who pitched in to help and just my actors, make-up, and longtime friends came in to see this dream come true as I said it would be good for all Indie film folks and [would] prove my theories I taught when a college scripting and writing instructor. It was up to me to lead by example. I was floored when Bubba made it to the most popular on Hulu. Thanks to MVD and Gravitas distribution! Also, One Eyed Jack distribution in Europe. After we were shown at Sitges Spain at the world’s biggest film fantasy fest as a featured guest item, the audience knew a winner when they saw one. Cracking the European market with a redneck American werewolf who was all about acceptance made me so damn proud! Then, to be vended at Cannes? Formidable!
HoTS: What do you think has made this film so popular?
MH: It’s just goofy fun like the comics have been all these years. Bubba is all about the little guy getting his chance to prove himself. We all know a Bubba in our lives or are one. We try and do the right thing, and it seems like the world never gives us a break. Friends turn on you, bosses are never seeing your potential, other people don’t see us as good mates or friends because they are all about appearances or all about dollar signs. But a true underdog, no pun, always fights for what is right and sacrifices his wants and needs to do the right thing. Sometimes, giving up your wants to help another can actually take you to the place in life or your heart that will get you even further because you gave of yourself. I wanted Bubba in the film to be like my comic version in one important respect…To be the quiet hero we all need in our lives. To be the person who at 4am will show up if the aliens have your cows, the zombies are in the house, a bully or scumbag is harming you or yours, or you just need someone to be there when all others ran off ‘cause you don’t have much. As long as you are a good person, Bubba will see this and show up. Plus, a few beers won’t hurt either. Just sayin’. LOL!
HoTS: Let’s talk about your new YouTube show, Coffee Time With Satan. Episode one is out there, with episode two on the editing floor. How did the idea come about?
MH: The character became so popular that people would just walk up to me at shows and on the street and tell me their problems and wants. I figured that Satan was easier to talk to about your troubles as he was probably to them the cause or someone who understood angst. Fallen Angel and so on. But I played him very snarky and like a used car salesman up to no good, and people felt at ease as they do with comedians. We get life in a way most don’t. We make fun of fear and those who instill it in us. You laugh at pain and bigotry and inhumanity and make it easier to take the steam out of that crap. Make fun of ourselves, too. Plus, we’re brave and crazy at the same time to societal rules. We’re like the kid in the fairy tale of The Emperor’s New Clothes; we tell you the straight truth of living. [That’s] why royalty always had the court jester to keep them humble. So, I wanted to do a talk and variety show that was like the stuff I saw in the 60s, 70s and 80s. Laugh In, SNL classic, National Lampoon and so on. Pryor, Carlin, Brooks… All my heroes. Since we now live in times like those, I thought we needed to go back and learn from history, not repeat it! I was also a freelance writer for CRACKED magazine and fires Donald Trump way back in 04. I think I am still on the enemies list. LOL! Now, I have an amazing ensemble cast of crazies who are brilliant and fearless. So, the show is not PC and meant to shock and amuse those with the courage to look within themselves and grow stronger and resilient to face a world on the brink and laugh at the all the damn “emperors” out there.
HoTS: What can your viewers expect from the show?
MH: Just this…Fun! It’s a great way to unwind and think a bit. We may be goofy, but we are being very intellectual. The show is a group effort and we all write bits and so on for it. A community for sure. But the ladies rule and rock this show! Myrtle, Momma Mary, Lilith, and now others coming on board. And this is girl power to me. I know how tough and strong women have to be in a misogynistic and prejudiced world and I turn them loose! I simply sit back, react, and applaud it all. I instigate lot of it. I want people to have a voice who are always told to shut up. A smart man knows that smarter women can multi task and get shit done!
HoTS: What was the inspiration for the characters that appear on Coffee Time?
MH: I have all these wonderful friends who are educated and have been doing either stand-up or other things that put them in the public eye, for one. The others are just those people at parties or at work who have the whole place laughing or are courageous to stand up for themselves. So, I just figured out ways to give them personas for the screen that celebrate who they are in real life. The ultimate cosplay as it were. I am a producer and we look and polish talent till they take off on their own like my crew has. Like being Den Mother and Father to a crazed troop of merry makers.
HoTS: How was Coffee Time cast?
MH: Again, by looking around my life and seeing those who have talent and want to try a risky idea. Brave souls, all! That’s show biz! And they are truly sweet people in real life.
HoTS: How did you decide who would be on your hellish team?
MH: I needed those who could put on costumes and make-up and become these personalities I needed for the show. Like I did for the casting of the Bubba movie. I spent months looking around my group of friends and seeing others at cons and shows who stepped out and could handle being in front of a camera. A lot of people think this is easy. Well, sorry, it’s not. Try it some time. Go to a store and just start being funny, REALLY funny, not just silly or stupid, to the crowd at the supermarket who are stuck behind the 80 year old with an expired coupon, or the twenty something who can’t get their apply pay to work, or the guy who is hitting on the check-out person and who doesn’t give a shit that you’re late for work or your kid is throwing up in the shopping cart ‘cause you have no one to watch them and you had to get their medicine, or you just pulled double and just want to get home before you pass the hell out. You help them to endure and they are happy you showed up, and then you, my friend, have just made the world a better place. Or at least the checkout line and may have prevented someone from going postal later. We all need a laugh and to be part of something. I was in a supermarket shooting once and after the police got the bastards, I walked around trying to calm and make folks smile ‘til the all clear was called and we could go. True story.
HoTS: What are your hopes, future state, for Coffee Time With Satan and Bubba?
MH: Well, to not get deported, even though I was born in the USA, or lynched mostly for either. LOL! Actually, I want to see Coffee Time evolve into an interview show for the first half as I talk to celebrities about their more decadent and evil side, you know, what we really all enjoy about living and doing something more than make money and ego. and then turn the ladies loose as a round table of REAL women, not a bunch of over privileged millionaire celebs who might have been from humble beginnings but have lost touch with the real day to day life. I have stood during production and heard them talk about clothes, movies, men, women motherhood, family and so on and was fascinated at how right and down to Earth they saw things. This show could teach men how to really understand women and others in the world around us. As for Bubba? I am scripting the second movie now and am going to be proposing it soon in California as having a studio or Hulu, Amazon, or Netflix on board would be a ticket for this one to go theatrical and even though we did great in DVD, VOD, streaming, and so on, and I am grateful as hell, I want to go further. I am wanting it to be filmed in Florida like the last one and I know that the LA crowd can be worked with and we Indies need to respect them not be adversarial. Hell, like anyone needs anymore enemies in life? LOL! Cooperation is key!
My state is diverse in culture and location. Plus as we proved to the world after the PULSE shooting, we get along and when family is needed we all are. Florida Man is a pain in my ass as most are transplants from elsewhere who just don’t get into our lifestyle. I was part of the film and TV scene here in the 1990s and it was greedy politicians and the fear from LA and NYC that we could be a threat that took it away. I am watching Atlanta closely and I got a vibe that it is just another Hollywood East that could implode or be used up fast as they are not as experienced as we down here. We down here have been there and done that. Our current governor does not like the entertainment biz from cutting state incentives. BUT! We are the makers of lifetime dreams come true. We have talent, techs, and support to not just take you into a fantasy world for two hours. We can take you to stories and places that you’ll tell your grandkids about. Plus, I and some others in film down here have gone county to county and city to city and found that being truly Florida friendly, as what we true locals call it, can do much! So sunshine is in our hearts and our handshake. I made Bubba happen because of just that. But, ya gotta be sincere, responsible and play fair, cause that phony smile and BS goes just so far if you are not a true believer.
If you’d love to see Satan and all his pals do their worst, check out Coffee Time With Satan, now on YouTube!
Posted by Angie Calabrese in Categories, 0 comments
COMING SOON: The Houses October Built 2 (2017)

COMING SOON: The Houses October Built 2 (2017)

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

the houses october built 2With the big news of a sequel to The Houses October Built, I thought it was time I wrote a nice little piece about this sometimes misunderstood film. I’m one of those horror fans that don’t automatic hate on the found footage sub-genre. The Houses October Built is one that actually nails it pretty well!
Bobby Roe (l), Zack Andrews (r)
Bobby Roe (l), Zack Andrews (r)
Now some hardcore fans seem to simply write this off as a lazy and a bit clichéd, and while I enjoy the film immensely, I have to agree that it is guilty of some horror pitfalls. Still, I think the film has an above interesting plot with some genuinely creepy moments and a decent ending (even though it sorta cribs the original The Vanishing). The very fact it’s already gaining a fast and loyal cult following with a sequel on its way means I must not be alone. Returning Houses writer/director/actor Bobby Roe uses the found footage not nearly as clunky or unrealistic as some in the genre, and in a lot of ways it amps the suspense and creep factor, which is how found footage should be utilized. The follow up, simply titled The Houses October Built 2 (for now, anyway), was penned by Roe and Zack Andrews and will, by all accounts, pick up from the last film and reunite Roe and Andrews with fellow cast members Brandy Schaefer, and Mikey Roe. I only hope that they build and expand the mythos of Blue Skeleton instead of simply remaking the first film, but the synopsis indicates it could go either way.
SYNOPSIS:
Five friends try to recover from the trauma of being kidnapped last Halloween by the Blue Skeleton – a group who takes “extreme haunt” to another level – by facing their fears in order to move on. As they go back out on the road to experience more haunted house attractions, signs of the Blue Skeleton start appearing and a new terror begins…
RLJE Films has picked up the North American rights to The Houses October Built 2 and plan to release the film in theaters and On Demand in September 2017.
Posted by Mike Vaughn in Categories, COMING SOON, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: The Dark Tapes (2017)

MOVIE REVIEW: The Dark Tapes (2017)

Face the Unknown with The Dark Tapes (2017)

The Dark Tapes (2017) / Fair use DoctrineAfter three long years of dedication and personal funding, Michael McQuown and fellow producers, are proud to present their film The Dark Tapes. This film blends genres with its interlocking story-lines covering horror, fantasy, sci-fi and more. With a crew comprised primarily of himself and four producers (who also served as the primary crew members), The Dark Tapes is Michael McQuown’s first film to direct. Fellow producer, Nicola Odeku gave him the original idea for the story. When asked what three words he would use to describe this film, Michael said, “Twists, Tension and Terror”. This film was 100% independent from any studio but that has not affected its achievements. Among the film festival circuit, The Dark Tapes has won or been nominated for 61 awards across 30 festivals. This includes a nomination for a Rondo Hatton Award for “Best Independent Feature”. You can also find it ranked in the top three highest rated films ever on FoundFootageCritic.com.
The Dark Tapes is a found footage horror anthology film comprised of four primary narratives. As you watch, you will find each story original and interweaving with some great surprises in store for you. The scares are not cheap and the fear is genuine. This film doesn’t rely on jump scares or gore to scare you. It will build the tension until you must turn your lights back on. It proves that you don’t need a big budget to put out a quality film. Dark imagery, good effects and sincere acting drives it to success.
It is now available for purchase on most VOD platforms, including Amazon, iTunes, VUDU, Google Play, Sling TV, Vimeo, Xbox, PlayStation, and more. Due to its popularity, Michael and his crew are already in pre-production working on a sequel titled The Darker Paths. I expect them to lead us even further into the nightmares with this follow-up.
Check out The Dark Tapes at the links below:
Happy Nightmares,
ZombieGurl
Posted by ZombieGurl in MOVIE REVIEWS, 0 comments
Netflix – Play or Pass: XX

Netflix – Play or Pass: XX

Directors: Roxanne Benjamin, Karyn Kusama, St. Vincent, Jovanka Vuckovic; Writers: Roxanne Benjamin, Karyn Kusama, St. Vincent, Jovanka Vuckovic; Stars: Natalie Brown, Ron Lea, Melanie Lynskey, Peter DaCunha, Shelia Vand, Seth Duhame, Michael Dyson, Sanai Victoria, Peyton Kennedy; Rating: R; Run Time: 80 min; Genre: Horror; Country: USA; Language: English; Year: 2017
I always been a huge champion for women in horror, a group I feel like is sorely underrated and sadly ignored. So when I heard about XX a female based horror anthology, I was pretty stoked to say the least. The film opens with a brilliantly creepy Jan Svankmajer inspired stop motion animation which perfectly fits this anthologiy’s tone, that of a beautiful and stylish yet off-putting bit of horror. XX opens strong with “The Box”, based on a Jack Ketchum story about a mysterious man with a box that leads to a disturbing chain reaction to one woman’s family. This is by far the best segment with a strong concept that doesn’t get too carried away and strikes a perfect less-is-more disturbing quality. Next is “The Birthday Party”, which I thought was one of the weaker entries. While I can totally get on board with the dark humor, the plot seemed a bit aimless and not as well developed as the others; however, I do give it bonus points for starring Melanie Lynskey. “Don’t Fall” is the next feature and, like “The Box”, had a simple yet effective concept highlighted by great moody cinematography and well done creature FX. Finally, there is “Her Only Living Son”, a kind of unofficial sequel to Rosemary’s Baby. I`m guessing it was changed just enough to avoid legal action, but true fans of the genre will put two and two together. I have mixed feelings about this segment; while the concept is great, the ending felt rushed.

Play Or Pass:

Play

Final Thoughts:

Overall, the film has its highlights and its weak points but altogether makes for an enjoyable watch. XX is stylish and spooky in equal measure and proves that women can dominate the horror landscape just as well as men. Play this one in the dark with a group of friends.
Posted by Mike Vaughn in Categories, MOVIE REVIEWS, 0 comments
Artist of the Month – July 2017:  Aya Jade

Artist of the Month – July 2017: Aya Jade

I could not have picked a better AotM for July then Miss Aya. Because she is a firecracker!!! Special effects makeup has been popular for years now. Especially for cosplay and with shows like Face/Off. And this female artist certainly has skill in that department! I mean to go from this TO THIS will certainly blow a few minds and drop some jaws!!! I have some face paint left over that I WAS going to dabble with one of these days. But well SHIT!
Here is a brief bio of our lovely monster, followed by our Q&A:horror-artistofthemonth-ayajade-nun
My name is Aya, I’m a fashion and special effects artist from Wellington, New Zealand.
I’m 22 years of age and have been doing beauty makeup professionally since the age of 17 but I’m very new to the special effects community!
House of Tortured Souls: This extent of face special effects painting is pretty new and mind blowing! How many years have you been in it to get these awesome?
Aya Jade: I’ve only been doing it for a year now, but I dabbled in body painting before becoming qualified!
HoTS: Do you go to an Art School? Or have a special teacher?
AJ: I went to the Special Effects Makeup Course in Wellington last year, it is a ‘Full-on’ for a few months, learning the basics of what we need to know to be in this career path. I would love to go on to learn sculpting and molding.
HoTS: Why horror?
AJ: Horror movies and games are a favorite genre of mine and I’ve always been fascinated by the creations and transformations in them. Seeing something so grotesque in a real world is setting is intriguing but terrifying.
HoTS: What is your favorite monster?
AJ: Silent Hill creatures, they’re all so insane looking.
HoTS: Is there a special makeup or body paint you use?
AJ: I use a lot of Kryolan, Ben Nye and Mehron! They’re amazing professional SFX brands. I also Paint with Fab paint and Snazaroo.
HoTS: Do you do comic cons or any art shows?
AJ: Unfortunately we don’t have much in New Zealand but I do go to our biggest event which is Armageddon. I’m either cosplaying or doing the zombie makeup!
HoTS: Do you do ‘How to’ videos?
AJ: Yes! I’m very amateur, though, haha.
HoTS: Do you have a fan page? Instagram? Twitter? Facebook? YouTube?
AJ: All of my social medias are under the name Aya Jade. I’m on Instagram, Facebook, and YouIube.
HoTS: Are you for hire? You would total rock a wedding!
AJ: Yes, I am actually!
HoTS: What do you like to do when you are not creeping people out?
AJ: I play video games, watch my favorite TV series and movies, I’m also super passionate about animals and love hanging out at my local shelters and sanctuaries if I’m not at home with my own!
I MEAN, WHO IS NOT IN LOVE WITH AYA NOW?!?!?
Posted by Tammie Parker in ARTIST OF THE MONTH, EXCLUSIVE, FEATURED ARTIST, IN THE SPOTLIGHT, MAKE UP AND EFFECTS, 0 comments
CONTEST: Bumper Sticker Giveaway

CONTEST: Bumper Sticker Giveaway

House of Tortured Souls wants to give back to our fans. That’s why we’re giving away 5 (FIVE!) House of Tortured Souls bumper stickers to our fans. Take a look at these babies.HoTS Bumper Stickers
To enter for a chance to win one, simply take a picture of yourself – or your little brother or parents or cat or dog or hamster or, well, you get the idea – holding a sign that reads I LOVE HOUSE OF TORTURED SOULS. Something like this…I love HoTS example med
Then slap that picture into an email and send it off to contests.houseoftorturedsouls@gmail.com with the subject BUMPER STICKER. That’s it. You’re entered.
The contest runs until 6:00 PM (ET) on Tuesday, July 4, 2017. Winners will be announced July 6, 2017. Don’t miss your chance to get a FREE House of Tortured Souls bumper sticker.
I mean, it costs you NOTHING to enter. Film for the picture – no problem, it’s digital. Postage to enter – no problem, it’s email. Shipping and handling – Are you kidding? It wouldn’t be FREE if we charged. So go ahead and enter. After all, what the hell have you got to lose?
Posted by Woofer McWooferson in Categories, CONTESTS, 0 comments
Cult of Chucky Trailer Hits the Web!

Cult of Chucky Trailer Hits the Web!

Red Brand rolls Out Cult of Chucky Trailer

Director (rumored)/Writer: Don Mancini; Stars: Jennifer Tilly, Brad Dourif, Fiona Dourif; Rating: Not rated; Run Time: Not listed; Genre: Horror, Thriller; Country: USA; Language: English; Year: 2017
Tiffany - Cult of Chucky / Fair use doctrine.Fright fans got a treat yesterday as the Red Band Trailer for Cult of Chucky was unleashed upon the Internet. The struggling horror franchise got a jolt of new life the surprise hit Curse of Chucky, which perfectly blended Gothic Old Dark House style with campy doll killing mayhem fans have come to expect. Considering this reunites not only series creator Don Mancini but also has appearances by Brad Dourif (Chucky), Jennifer Tilly (Tiffany), and Alex Vincent (Andy Barclay), it should be another slam dunk for the horror saga.
Cult Of Chucky slashes it way on DVD/Blu and On Demand just in time for the Halloween season on October 3, 2017.
Check out the Cult Of Chucky exclusive Red Band trailer below and then let House of Tortured Souls know what you think.
Summary (from IMDb):
Chucky returns to terrorize his human victim, Nica. Meanwhile, the killer doll has some scores to settle with his old enemies, with the help of his former wife.

Posted by Mike Vaughn in Categories, COMING SOON, 0 comments
EXCLUSIVE: A Few Minutes With Robert Mukes (Video Interview)

EXCLUSIVE: A Few Minutes With Robert Mukes (Video Interview)

So a few weeks ago I ran into Robert Mukes. Actually , if I had literally ran into Robert Mukers, I doubt I would have have got up off the floor yet… The man is a mountain! I had contacted Robert previously and had arranged an interview with him as he was a guest at the Baltimore tattoo convention a few weeks back. Since Robert was gracious enough to accept and grant me some time for the interview, I made sure I got there early.
Fair use doctrine.
Robert Mukes at the 2017 Baltimore Tattoo Arts Convention
Robert Mukes, aside from being a towering giant of a man (he stands 6’10”), is, by far, one of the nicest people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. He is very friendly, accommodating, professional, and just a great person over all. I do apologize for the back ground noise as the convention hall itself was made entirely of concrete, so everything echoed. A lot.
Regardless of the sound quality, I hope you enjoy this quick interview with Robert Mukes as much as I enjoyed interviewing him. If you’re a convention goer, Robert often frequents them as a guest, so be sure to stop by and say hello. And when you do, be sure to tell him that John from House of Tortured Souls sends his best! Thank you, again, Robert!
Keep it Evil…

Posted by John Roisland in Categories, INTERVIEWS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Heidi (2014)

MOVIE REVIEW: Heidi (2014)

Haunted doll movies are hit or miss. There are no mediocre horror movies about dolls. They’re either great or they suck. There’s not a lot of middle ground for creepy doll movies, and the same can be said about found footage films. Combining the two is a risky proposition. Heidi attempts both and succeeds in some areas while failing miserably in others.
First off, why do all possessed dolls need to look evil? Doesn’t that defeat the purpose of being evil? Evil works best when you don’t know it’s there. I’m about tired of these unsuspecting people coming across an obviously evil doll and then acting all surprised when it eats a dog and starts offing the neighbors.
As far as spooky doll movies go, Heidi is an excellent attempt although the story is mostly straightforward and predictable. The doll is creepy, but not over-the-top creepy. The characters are believable and annoying.
My biggest issue with Heidi isn’t the uninspired story or the questionable actions of the characters; it’s the acting. Terrible, terrible acting. Even by found footage film standards it’s bad, and that’s saying something. I love the found footage genre, but it’s not known for Oscar-worthy performances.
The movie starts by introducing two annoying teenage boys (is there any other kind?) who enjoy pranking people and being obnoxious. One of the boys ends up working for a neighbor, and while rooting through her house, finds the demon doll. As far as I’m concerned, they deserve whatever bad things happen since they went snooping where they shouldn’t have. It’s all downhill from there, with things slowly escalating from doll related hijinks to full blown pet murder, and beyond.
Heidi takes a bit to get going, and the end drags on a longer that it needs to, with a ham-handed scene that jumps between the beauty of life and the grisly details of death. The final scene is worth it though.
The movie is filmed very well, with very little of the “shaky cam” that one would expect from this type of film. There’s also a fair amount of tension with scares being well timed and spaced perfectly throughout the film. Also, there are almost no cheap jump scares, something so many lower budget movie rely on.
Ultimately, Heidi is one of those movies that has an amazing amount of potential but falls short due to an uninspired story and awful acting.
Heidi_scale / Fair use doctrine.
Posted by Richard Francis in MOVIE REVIEWS, 0 comments
Hail To The King: Happy Birthday, Bruce Campbell

Hail To The King: Happy Birthday, Bruce Campbell

What a groovy day it is to celebrate the day of birth of “El Hefe” himself: Bruce Campbell. Born on this day (June 22) in 1958 in Michigan, Bruce was an unconventional aspiring actor by the time he started high school.
If you are a horror fan and don’t know who Bruce Campbell is, you must be a “primitive screwhead” (lol). He is one of the most notable B-movie actors thanks to his portrayal as Ash Williams in The Evil Dead (1981) and the sequels that followed. Bruce didn’t audition for the part of Ashley “Ash” Williams, he’s actually was one of the main reasons the film got made at all. Raising money for production, working behind the camera as well as, of course starring in the role that was written specifically for him.. At the age of 20, while attending WMU, Campbell along with high school friend Sam Raimi wrote and filmed a short Super 8 version of Evil Dead called Within the Woods.
Within the Wood was intended to showcase what they were capable of as filmmakers and, they hoped, get them noticed by anyone willing to invest in them. The short film did get noticed, by none other than Stephen King who endorsed the film and helped get the names of these young film makers out there to colleagues in the movie biz. A couple of years later Campbell, Raimi and another friend Rob Tapert, having raised the money themselves, began shooting The Evil Dead.
With an endorsement from non other than Stephen King, the film began to get noticed and eventually became a cult classic and was followed by two sequels Evil Dead 2 (1987) and Army of Darkness (1992). Ash, for me, is his most memorable character, but he has worn many hats and worked on over 100 films and TV series as an actor, voice actor, writer, director, producer, and more. Bruce truly is a man of many faces. So many that, in fact, I’m only going mention some of my favorite roles: Police Officer Jack Forrest in Maniac Cop (1988) as well as the sequel Maniac Cop 2 (1990), a descendant of Van Helsing, Robert Van Helsing, in Sundown: The Vampire In Retreat (1989), and a lawyer turned bounty hunter in the the old west in the 1993 TV show The Adventures of Brisco County Jr.
He also played Autolycus, The King of Thieves, in both Hercules: the Legendary Journeys (1995-99) and Xena: Warrior Princess (1996-99). Heck, he even played The King himself, geriatric Elvis Presley, in Bubba Ho-Tep (2002). He played astronaut Dr. Ivan Hood in the Sci-Fi channel original movie Alien Apocalypse (2005), a business man turned mad science experiment William Cole in The Man With the Screaming Brain (2005) – which he also directed, the womanizing boozehound and former Navy Seal turned P.I. Sam Axe alias Chuck Finely in the 2007 TV series Burn Notice, and himself in the self-directed supernatural spoof on his career My Name Is Bruce (2007).
He even played Winkie the Gate Keeper in Oz The Great and Powerful (2013) and Santa Claus in an episode of The Librarians (2014). Then, in 2015, dreams came true for Bruce Campbell fans. Over 20 years after his last battle with evil, Bruce picked up his boomstick and modified chainsaw and hit the road to battle deadites once again in Ash vs Evil Dead.
Fair use doctrine.
Hail To The King, Baby,
and a Very Happy 59th Birthday, Sir!
Posted by Tabitha Harvey in Categories, TRIBUTE, 1 comment
In Memoriam: Simon Sayce

In Memoriam: Simon Sayce

The horror community was shocked and saddened yesterday at the news of Simon Sayce’s passing. Simon, as you know, was the creator of the Hellraiser puzzle box for Hellraiser (1987) and Hellbound: Hellraiser II (1988). Known as The Real Toymaker and The Lament Configuation Creator, Simon’s contribution to the films was pivotal in establishing the nature of the puzzle box. Each side was carefully designed to reflect some portion of the Hellraiser mythos, its stylized markings representing the box’s victims as well as displaying warnings against solving the puzzle. The 2015 documentary Leviathan: The Story of Hellraiser and Hellbound: Hellraiser II has an excellent section on the puzzle box with Simon Sayce explaining in detail the inspiration behind, research into, and design of the etchings on the puzzle box.
Fair use doctrine.
Catherine Oxenberg and Amanda Donohoe in The Lair of the While Worm

While Hellraiser and Hellbound: Hellraiser II were the most famous movies on which Simon worked, they were not the only ones. Simon also designed Old Button Eyes, the mask worn by Dr. Phillip K. Decker (David Cronenberg) in Nightbreed (1990) and is credited with special effects work for I Bought a Vampire Motorcycle (1990), The Unholy (1988), and The Lair of the White Worm (1988) – a personal favorite. The story revolves around the discovery of a giant snake skull on the site of a pagan temple where a convent was later erected and the disappearance of multiple locals. Packed with humor and plenty of excellent effects, The Lair of the White Worm is a cult favorite, and Simon Sayce helped make that happen, too.
Image: www.thepuzzleboxmaker.com - Larry Clark – Designer and Puzzle Box Maker, the builder of the replica puzzle boxes from the movie Hellraiser; Lisa Medley – Graphic design, project management, editor; Simon Sayce – Original Design of the Hellraiser Puzzle Boxes, Mentor to Larry Clark for historical reference and design of replicas. Signed by Simon Sayce.
House of Tortured Souls would like to extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Simon Sayce. His spirit will always live on in the work he did and in the hearts of the millions of fans who appreciate it.
Memorial candle
Simon Sayce
~ Rest in Peace ~
Signed puzzle box at www.thepuzzleboxmaker.com:
  • Larry Clark – Designer and Puzzle Box Maker, the builder of the replica puzzle boxes from the movie Hellraiser. Scribe of the historical documentation for the box design By/From Simon Sayce, Original designer of the box. Webmaster, designer and editor of www.thepuzzleboxmaker.com.
  • Lisa Medley – Graphic design, project management, editor of www.thepuzzleboxmaker.com.
  • Simon Sayce – Original Design of the Hellraiser Puzzle Boxes, Mentor to Larry Clark for historical reference and design of replicas.
Special thanks to Barbie Wilde for cluing me in on Simon’s work on Nightbreed. -Woofer McWooferson
Posted by Woofer McWooferson in TRIBUTE, 0 comments
COMING SOON: Eli Roth’s Death Wish (2017)

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

Director: Eli Roth; Writers: Joe Carnahan (screenplay), Brian Garfield (novel), Dean Georgaris (screenplay), Eli Roth (screenplay) ; Stars: Bruce Willis, Vincent D’Onofrio, Elisabeth Shue ; Rating: No info; Run Time: No info; Genre: Action/Horror; Country: USA; Language: English; Year: 2017
A mild-mannered father is transformed into a killing machine after his family is torn apart by a violent act.
Eli Roth / Image: Jeff Vespa courtesy WireImageHorror director Eli Roth (Cabin Fever, Hostel, The Green Inferno) has announced he has directed a remake of the 1974 revenge classic Death Wish. The film boasts a stellar casting including action star Bruce Willis (Die Hard, Looper) in the lead, character actor Vincent D’Onofrio (Full Metal Jacket, Jurassic World), and 80s mainstay Elizabeth Shue (Cocktail, Leaving Las Vegas) just to name a few. So far the film is slated to be released November 22nd of this year and will be released by MGM/Annapurna Pictures.
Charles Bronson - Death Wish / Fair use doctrine.As you might recall, the original 1974 film starred screen icon Charles Bronson playing a mild-mannered father pushed to his limits and out for revenge. Based on the 1972 novel by Brian Garfield, the film was a mega hit and spawned other successful sequels. I am very curious to see how Mr. Roth will tackle this subject but I think its safe to say it will be wall to wall blood and guts. The remake has been a long time coming, having been in development since the early 2000s. Originally, Taken star Liam Neeson was to star with Smokin’ Aces director Joe Carnahan at the helm. Only time will tell if the wait and hype will be worth it.
Eli Roth / Image: Jeff Vespa courtesy WireImage
Posted by Mike Vaughn in Categories, COMING SOON, 0 comments
SATURDAY NIGHT SHOCKER: The Amityville Horror, Part 2

SATURDAY NIGHT SHOCKER: The Amityville Horror, Part 2

Part two of a special two-part Saturday Night Shocker: The Amityville Horror

On November 13th, 1974, Butch DeFeo arrived Henry’s Bar, saying he was locked out of his house and couldn’t get back in or get in touch with anyone in his family. He and several friends went back to the house and Butch broke a window to get inside. He found his parents and younger brothers and sisters all shot to death in their beds.
The authorities arrived. The bodies were taken away and the police tried to console the distraught Butch. He said he would do anything he could to help and speculated that he thought a man named Louis Falini was responsible. Butch said Falini, who supposedly had ties to the mob, had a falling out with Ronald and was heard threatening the DeFeo family. Butch went to the police station, mostly for his own protection, while the police continued to analyze the crime scene. The longer Butch was questioned, the more inconsistencies crept up in his story. Finally, he confessed to killing his family.
Fair use doctrine.
Eric Walter (Inset: Danny Lutz)
Then Butch started changing his story. He said that Louis Falini and others came into the house and made him watch as they shot his family. After that, he said he and some friends, including Bobby Kelske, had been caught by Ronald searching for his stash of money. One of Butch’s friends shot his father and then killed the rest of the family to cover it up. Another version of the story had Butch and Dawn planning to kill the family together. Butch shot Ronald and Dawn shot Louise; Butch left the house, came back to find that Dawn had killed the children and he killed her in a fit of rage. Butch’s relatives also tried to intervene, saying the confession had been coerced by police brutality and that his rights had been violated when he was denied the legal counsel of a family friend who was a lawyer.
Butch DeFeo’s trial for the murder of his six family members began in October of 1975. His lawyer, William Weber, tenaciously pursued an insanity defense. He claimed Butch heard voices and that those voices eventually made him kill his family, even manifesting as a pair of black hands that gave him the gun. Howard Zolan, the psychiatrist who examined Butch, claimed that he had an antisocial personality disorder but did know what he was doing and was legally competent. There was also testimony from cellmates and guards where Butch was being held who heard him say he killed his family and say that he knew how to feign insanity well enough to be acquitted.
Ronald “Butch” DeFeo Jr. was found guilty of six counts of murder on November 21st, 1975. He was sentenced to life in prison.
After the loss in court, William Weber contacted acquaintances George and Kathy Lutz. They had a few glasses of wine and discussed things like the Lutz’s interest in the occult and transcendental meditation. They concocted a plan that started when the couple bought the DeFeo house and has never really ended.
After they fled the house, George and Kathy Lutz contacted Laura Didio, a reporter from a local news station, with their story and she put them in touch with paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren. The Warrens did a walk-through of the house with several people from a psychical research institute and claimed to feel negative supernatural energies due to the property’s history. They said the land had been used by the Shinnecock Indians as an asylum for their ill and insane. The house had also been owned by a man named John Ketchum, a practicing warlock who fled persecution in the Salem Witch Trials. The Warrens alleged that Butch practiced black magic, which may have turned him into a conduit for the spirits that possessed him and made him murder his family. Butch backs up the claims in his letters to Long Island-based medium Jackie Barrett, mentioning that he attended more than one black mass when he was a teenager.
George and Kathy contacted author Jay Anson, who turned their story into his book The Amityville Horror. The book and subsequent movie, starring Jame Brolin and Margot Kidder, were wildly successful. As William Weber had hoped, his plan did generate some attention for Butch but didn’t get his sentence reexamined and he couldn’t even profit from the media franchise. Instead of monetary compensation, Butch had notoriety inside prison as well as outside. He wrote to Jackie Barrett that he fought off an attack from the “Son of Sam” killer David Berkowitz when he and Berkowitz were in the same correctional facility and that he was also approached by people who bribed him to kill Berkowitz.
He was interviewed by renowned paranormal researcher Hans Holzer. Holzer reiterated the Warren’s story about possession and spirits of Native Americans tied to the property. He wrote a book based on the DeFeo family and their murder, the basis for the movie Amityville 2: The Possession. Holzer’s book was a fairly accurate portrayal of the malicious and domineering father and subservient mother who couldn’t remove her children from the abusive environment. He even included the incident where Butch pointed a rifle to his father’s head to make him stop beating his mother. Holzer took a huge liberty with the story, however, when he added the element of incest between the two oldest siblings. Butch has said his sister was his co-conspirator or that she committed some of the murders on her own but insists that they never had an incestuous relationship.
The Lutzes didn’t deny any of what they said happened to them in the house, despite William Weber’s claim that it was a story they fabricated together. The Lutzes sued Weber, as well as Paul Hoffman, who was originally going to write the book about the haunting, and others for invasion of privacy and mental distress. The claims were all dismissed for lack of evidence but George and Kathy never wavered in their accounts of things like unexplained loud noises and doors being ripped off the hinges. Neighbors report never hearing the noises George mentioned and the next owners of the house, the Cromartys, said that all of the doors had their original hardware and they never encountered anything supernatural. Nevertheless, George and Kathy Lutz believed their story so strongly they were able to take polygraph tests that showed no evidence of lying. Despite telling Laura Didio that he “didn’t want publicity,” George Lutz would introduce himself as “the Amityville guy.” George and Kathy went on a year-long promotional tour and left Danny in a monastery school where, in his 2012 documentary My Amityville Horror, Danny says the priests tried to perform exorcisms on him because they thought he was possessed by evil spirits.
Daniel Lutz comes off as abrasive and troubled. The documentary shows him going to therapy but being defensive when talking to his therapist. Her asks her about the most traumatic thing she’s ever experienced to gauge whether she can understand what he has been through. He insists that everything happened just as it did in his parents’ book.
Daniel’s dislike of George Lutz is evident whenever he mentions his stepfather. The strained family relationships didn’t withstand the publicity of the Amityville horror; Danny left home in his teens and George and Kathy divorced in the early 80s, which he says was the best thing his mother ever did. Daniel’s siblings declined to be interviewed and he doesn’t mention them. Despite the turbulence the claims of the haunting brought to his childhood, he interacts amiably with Laura Didio and Lorraine Warren when filmed with them in the documentary. Lorraine suggests leading Daniel and the film crew in a prayer over religious artifact she has on a necklace. Daniel beholds the article reverently but reacts with hostility upon finding out that one of the crew members present isn’t actually a believer. At the end of the documentary, the director asks if Daniel was ever approached about taking a lie detector test. He says, angrily and indignantly, that many people have suggested that but doesn’t say if he took one. The implication is that, unlike his parents, he doesn’t know if he would pass a polygraph.
The story of “America’s most famous haunting” is built on a foundation of lies and omissions of truth. The specters were abusive and selfish parents. The witnesses are people with reputations to protect. The restless spirits are the memories of the deceased and the troubled people still struggling with the legacy of 112 Ocean Avenue.
Fair use doctrine.
Ronald Joseph “Butch” DeFeo Jr.
Posted by Laura James in Categories, SATURDAY NIGHT SHOCKER, 0 comments
TV: Blood Drive (2017)

TV: Blood Drive (2017)

With their newest offering Blood Drive, the SyFy Channel makes the jump onto the horror series bandwagon by adding their own dark, twisted, and yet hip show to the mix.
Everyone who knows me also knows that I’m not much of a TV person. I’ve always been a movie kind of guy. Over the past few years, yes, I will admit there have been some very appealing shows. Bates Motel, The Exorcist, Ash vs Evil Dead, and Hellavator – very entertaining and I loved the concept of the show, and, most recently, American Gods.
Plus, I love seeing that more and more horror style shows are coming to the surface. It proves that horror is alive and well! When I first heard of Blood Drive and saw that it was a SyFy Channel series, I swore I heard taps playing far off in the distance. To me, the SyFy Channel (no offense to anyone), seems to put out the worst original shows ever made. They’re just pure low budget, badly acted piles of shit! Many people actually eat those kind of shows up, and more power to you, but they’re not for me.
Then I then saw the trailer for Blood Drive, and I have to admit that I was really taken by the quality of what I saw – good looking quality, great looking quality actually, high action, acting looking passable, and BLOOD…lots of blood!!!
The premise of Blood Drive is a race where people are forced to participate. Once the race has begun, it’s win or die. There’s a catch, you see, because the cars are fueled with human blood. So it is not only a race; it’s a race to stay alive as the blood that fuels your ride is that of your competitors.

The Blood Drive Facebook page calls it the “BLOODIEST SHOW ON EARTH” and welcomes all perverts, nymphos, freaks, and felons while also proclaiming , “finally a show for cannibals and psychopaths”!
I must admit that the show looks pretty damn good…kind of a Death Race, The Road Warrior, and The Fast and the Furious got together in an ugly threesome and the result was this bastard child. The show has a deliberate grindhouse feel to it as well. I like that! Who knows? Maybe this will be the SyFy show to win me over.
The show premiered Wednesday, June 14th, so check back Sunday for a review from Brenda Wilder Antlitz.
*Editor’s Note: We will have a review of Blood Drive soon and apologize for the misunderstanding.
-Woofer McWooferson, Editor-in-Chief
Keep It Evil
Blood Drive / Fair use doctrine.
Posted by John Roisland in TELEVISION REVIEWS, 0 comments
PREVIEW: Gremlin (2017)

PREVIEW: Gremlin (2017)

Director: Ryan Bellgardt; Writers: Ryan Bellgardt, Andy Swanson, Josh McKamie; Stars: Adam Hampton, Katie Burgess, Christian Bellgardt; Rating: Not rated; Run Time: 90 min; Genre: Horror; Country: USA; Language: English; Year: 2017
First off, let me say I was pretty excited to get a screener for Gremlin as I was a huge fan of Ryan’s previous film Army of Frankensteins, which was a balls to the wall action horror which played like old school Doom(and that is more than OK with me). But sometimes that excited joy can turn to disappointment. Gremlin, not to be confused with Joe Dante’s seminal horror comedy Gremlins is about a mysterious box hiding a nasty little surprise inside. If you are unlucky enough to receive it, you must pass it along to someone you truly love or it will destroy everyone in its path. As much as I hate to bash Bellgardt, I just have to be honest. Gremlin tries hard to be a family drama wrapped in a high concept monster movie but sadly it struggles to do it right. But to be far this is a tricky thing to pull off correctly but is possible, films like Stake Land and the more recent (and brilliant) The Monster (2016) really mesh the two genres seamlessly.
The film gets weighed down in poorly written dialogue, all over the place acting (and I’m using that term very loosely mind you), and plot holes and contrivances that boggle the mind. And then there is the creature… I mean elephant in the room – that being the really poor CGI (think made for SyFy movie) which takes the audience right out of the film. Part of what I loved about Ryan’s previous film was the fact that it for the most part he used practical effects (and damn well, I thought) so why he would choose to follow it up with a hacky CG film is beyond me. But I think what hampers this project the most is in the painfully earnest way it forgets to have a bit of fun with the monster genre and we, the viewers, are left to wade through tired melodrama. Again, as I mentioned above, marrying the drama and horror genre together really is a hard thing to do successfully, so if you know you can’t, why not have some fun with it?
I will give credit where credit is due and say the film is well shot and Bellgardt clearly knows the technical side of film and he frames and lights things to their upmost effectiveness. It also sports a great score. I so wanted this film to be as creative and enjoyable as Army of Frankensteins, but instead of maturing, Ryan traded in his steampunk Indie cred for something altogether unremarkable. I know I beat this film up, but I can see Mr. Bellgardt was really trying for something different and for that I give him huge props. I am still looking forward to his next film – a mash up of Jurassic Park and The Hunger Games as it seems like a return to Army of Frankensteins style madcap fun.
Posted by Mike Vaughn in Categories, MOVIE REVIEWS, 0 comments
MUSIC REVIEW: Redneck Nosferatu – Self-Titled (2017)

MUSIC REVIEW: Redneck Nosferatu – Self-Titled (2017)

Redneck Nosferatu — (Self-Titled)

Good Ass Studios

  • 1. Momma
  • 2. Love & A .45
  • 3. Papa Kills Babies
  • 4. Father Curtis
  • 5. Son Of 100 Maniacs
  • 6. Dead Girls
  • 7. Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things
  • 8. Silver Bullet
  • 9. Stalker
  • 10. Otis
A majority of the bands in my collection come from random purchases. Generally if a band pops up on my Facebook feed, and they have physical albums for sale, I’ll buy for the sake of collecting. I love supporting the small time bands and even if they don’t end up being an act I fall in love with, they earn a spot in my collection. Sometimes though, I find a band that completely floors me and that’s the case when I opened my copy of the Redneck Nosferatu self-titled debut album. Hailing from Tulsa, OK, this self-proclaimed “killbilly trash punk” quintet combines crusty punk rock with metal and layers it all under an air of backwoods horror. Consisting of guitarists and vocalists Clovis and Rowdy Riter, bassist and vocalist Lola and drummer D-Bone, they produced a 10 track album fit for hardcore and horror fans alike.
With the opening track, “Momma”, the listener is treated to an audio sample setting the mood and tone for the remainder of the disc. Edmund Kemper’s confession about beheading is mother is heard over a backing track of dripping water, muffled cries. and inhuman moans. The 83 second introduction lays the groundwork for the no-frills, in-your-face sludgefest that you’re about to endure during the next 23 minutes. The first song on the album, “Love & a .45” tears in and delivers in less than 2 minutes. What made this group immediately interesting was the gnarled female vocals that brought to mind groups like Circle Takes The Square. With the crack of a beer “Papa Kills Babies”, the album’s third track, kicks off. Distorted vocals shout “they don’t go in the woods at night” over an aggressive thrash rhythm. The vocals jump between belched barks and strained screams creating a sense of menace.
The album continues with “Father Curtis”, chugging along on a crust punk beat, breaking the cycle and adding another layer to the band and album. “Son Of 100 Maniacs” is one of the discs strongest offerings. With back and forth vocals, a fast beat and unsettling overall tone, the song pounds away and builds up to an ending of sporadic guitar squeals and static noise fading out pleasantly, all in 93 seconds time.
Starting the album’s second half is the album’s most easily digestible track for newcomers, “Dead Girls”. Starting on an acoustic guitar riff the band crafts a spooky atmosphere before kicking everything into gear. The lead vocals are delivered with less of a snarl but more than enough attitude. The bass, drum, and spoons breakdown in the track shows off that the groups roots and influences stand in other places besides punk and metal. “Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things” is easily my favorite song on the album. The guitar tone over such a driving riff with the vocals spewed out in a steady stream, this track plays like a theme song to a killing spree conducted by backwoods cannibals high on meth. This is a song coated in total chaos and energy and one of the album’s longest entries.
Silver Bullet” ramps up the energy considerably as the group delivers an anthem style head-banger primed to fire up any pit. The verses build up in intensity until chorus rushes in like a welcome release. Rounding out the album are the tracks “Stalker” and “Otis”. “Stalker” plays out as a sludgy metal track with an enticing vocal performance, which initially reminded me of Daniel Hell (Dr. Hell), and holds the title as the disc longest play at 3:10. Modest and moving, “Stalker” keeps the anxious and claustrophobic tone of the record moving along before “Otis” closes everything out. Starting out with a Black Sabbath intro and the “Frailty” movie quote, the album’s grimy metal ending continues. The chant of “I got bored with the Lord, now I’m skating for Satan” drives home where this band hails from and what they’re about, a preachy punk piece that wraps everything together.
Running about 23 minutes total, the album offers little to dislike though the high points sometimes feel rushed along. Overall, this is an incredible debut by a band that, perhaps literally, crawled out of the woodwork and I’m really looking forward to what follows. Dark, grimy and aggressive, Redneck Nosferatu have left their mark on the neck of the horror genre.
Follow Redneck Nosferatu on their Facebook.
Or pick up a copy of the self-titled album from their Website.
Redneck Nosferatu / Fair use doctrine.
Posted by Dom Calzola in Categories, MUSIC REVIEWS, STAFF PICKS, 0 comments
HoTS NEWS WITH JOHN – Season 1, Episode 1

HoTS NEWS WITH JOHN – Season 1, Episode 1

Image: Rocky Gray

WEBSITE ANNOUNCEMENT

EDITOR’S NOTE: Big News, fellow Tortured Souls, as your home away from home, House of Tortured Souls, will be undergoing maintenance beginning 5 June 2017. Please bear with us during this time, and thank you for understanding.
Woofer McWooferson

AND NOW THE NEWS

Hey, horror freaks. It’s me, John, bringing you the first edition video of HoTS NEWS! I will be putting my ugly mug in your face every damn week and bringing you updates, news, and all else that we find worthy of your time!
This is my first run at bringing you HoTS NEWS, so please bear with me as I get my feet wet in front of the camera. Each show will get better as I go along, this I promise you, so please take a few minutes and enjoy the news.
This week on HoTS NEWS, I touch base on Tobe Hooper’s alleged attack, the end to Tales from the Crypt, the return of House of Tortured Souls Live podcast where we proudly welcomed Joe Stauffer to the studio. I also talk about the release of the highly anticipated Friday the 13th video game and wish a handful celebrities a warm and wonderful birthday from all of us here at House of Tortured Souls.

Until next time…
Keep it Evil…
Posted by John Roisland in WEEKLY NEWS, 0 comments