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HoTS EXCLUSIVE: Nightmares Unleashed (2018) – A Short Film with Lots of Talent

HoTS EXCLUSIVE: Nightmares Unleashed (2018) – A Short Film with Lots of Talent

Creeper Film Fest: Nightmares Unleashed (2018) / Fair use doctrine.In high school, I took a communications class. Growing up, my concept of what filmmaking was was almost an Orson Welles level of perfection, not accepting anything less. We were just teens in high school writing goofy scripts and shooting films with expensive cameras and editing tools. Believe me, I wish I knew back then what I know now. It wasn’t easy at times sitting in the editing room hearing and watching the same footage repeatedly, but it was all worth it and, honestly, it’s such an adrenaline rush. Believe me. Therefore, most directors go to the premieres or screenings incognito focusing on the reactions of the audience instead of the premiere. They see what works, what doesn’t work, and who laughed at what part.

Creeper Film Fest: Nightmares Unleashed (2018) / Fair use doctrine.Creeper Film Fest: Nightmares Unleashed (2018) / Fair use doctrine.

Creeper Film Fest: Nightmares Unleashed (2018) / Fair use doctrine.I heard about an upcoming local film festival in my town called Creeper Film Fest. Working for House of Tortured Souls, I do my best to attend as many cons, expos, and film releases — even the local stuff — to get exclusive info, exclusive showings, or just meet some nice people. Recently, I talked to award-winning director Matthew Mark Hunter from MMH productions. We had a nice talk about his upcoming movie Nightmares Unleashed, and I explained that I’ll do my best to make it to the screening and review his movie. He was nice enough to send me a link to the movie, and I finally got time to watch it, so here’s my honest and fair review. After years of learning the craft and wearing others’ shoes, I learned to see their movie from their vision or their heart from their vision.

Creeper Film Fest: Nightmares Unleashed (2018) / Fair use doctrine.Nightmares Unleashed is a short film and runs just under 15 minutes. It doesn’t need a whole lot of time to get to the point, but it does a great job getting there. Some would say, “Oh, you used cheap FX and cheap tactics”, and, sure, you can say that if a film has a huge budget but cuts corners. Instead, Matthew uses some great practical and effective ways of getting shots and FX for his movie. The official plot is as follows:

A young girl loves watching horror films but always gets nightmares from them. She gets grabbed into the TV one night and must escape her worst nightmares through the movies.
As I stated before, Matthew didn’t have a big budget, doesn’t have movie stars, and doesn’t even have a huge crew. Nightmares Unleased is all guerilla filmmaking with a lot of heart from friends and family.

Creeper Film Fest: Nightmares Unleashed (2018) / Fair use doctrine.Another piece of info he was glad to share was that he tried to make the film as real as possible, so the worms from the worm zombie’s (Chris Wiggins) mouth, are real worms. That’s right. He had real worms put in his mouth. That’s hardcore! And that’s the level of dedication this movie gives to the audience.Matthew also revealed that all the tools on and around the workbench are real, so our corpse (John Polace) had real saws and knives hanging above him. Matthew further told me:

Creeper Film Fest: Nightmares Unleashed (2018) / Fair use doctrine.When the little actress (Autumn Johnson) first saw the Joseph makeup — she was always scared of — clowns, so when we did the scene of Joseph the Jester (Matthew Mark Hunter) jumping out of the closet the first time, she got really freaked out.

Creeper Film Fest: Nightmares Unleashed (2018) / Fair use doctrine.I didn’t see the movie as a cheap, low budget, amateur movie effort. Instead, I saw this as a film done by a director who’s going out and doing what he loves best: making movies. So, if you get a chance check out Nightmares Unleashed, do so. And check out other Indie films and filmmakers. Talk to them, and if they ever start a go fund me, donate. Believe it or not, even your favorite filmmakers were once like Matthew, out in his backyard and making a film with heart and soul and with friends and family.

Polace had real worms in his mouth. Worms. That’s hardcore and, honestly, that’s the level of dedication this movie gives to the audience!

Creeper Film Fest: Nightmares Unleashed (2018) / Fair use doctrine.


Posted by Jai Alexis in HORROR NEWS, MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
MOVIE Review: The Taxidermist

MOVIE Review: The Taxidermist

The Taxidermist/Luke RamerThis week I sat down to watch the Indie horror film The Taxidermist. The title alone intrigued me, as there are not a lot of films that tackle this premise. The Taxidermist is the story of Leo, a struggling artist in the taxidermy field. His wife Veronica works while Leo is a stay-at-home dad who picks up taxidermy jobs. One evening while working in his garage, Leo is paid a visit by a man named Kristoff who presents Leo (whom he calls the best in his field) with an unusual request. He wants Leo to stuff and mount his wife. Leo turns down the request, but Kristoff offers $30,000. Leo thinks but still denies the request. Kristoff leaves disappointed.

Leo and Veronica’s daughter Abigail receives a diagnosis of cancer, which causes friction between the couple as they cannot pay the bills. Faced with no options, Leo calls Kristoff and accepts his previous request to stuff and mount his wife. Leo begins his work and drinks while completing it. After he finishes, while in a drunken stupor, he envisions the mounted corpse coming to life and seducing him. This creates a masturbation scene with Leo and the corpse.

The Taxidermist/Luke RamerLeo astonishes Kristoff with the finished product and is paid the $30,000. Kristoff, of course, wants more work done and tells Leo there is an exhibit coming up. He offers Leo half a million dollars to produce 10-12 more “works of art”. Leo accepts the offer and gets to work on the bodies brought to him. Leo receives an invite to attend a masquerade event where his work is on display. During a Q and A, Leo explains his art where he explains his process and motivation.

The Taxidermist/Luke RamerDuring the exhibit, Leo discovers his work is being used for sexual purposes and becomes enraged. He burns the house down with everyone inside. Leo snaps. He goes home and in the morning shows Veronica all of his money and one example of the art he created.

There is the plot with no real spoilers. I loved the premise of the film because, as I mentioned before, there are not a lot of films that tackle taxidermy. The plot was solid, and it was fun to see which direction the film would go.

The Taxidermist/Luke RamerThere were, however, a few hiccups in the story and production. Let me qualify this by saying that this film is a low-budget Indie film and with a low budget come sacrifices. There are a couple scenes (one in particular with the couple arguing) where the audio fluctuates and does not keep to one level. There are some cracks in the audio as well. The ending of the film comes with little surprise, and I figured it out in the first 30 minutes. I find that difficult in horror because it leaves little to the imagination.

For the positives. The taxidermy scenes were done extremely well. The music complementing them added a nice touch as well. The premise made the film interesting to sit and watch also. The realism of the art of taxidermy made the story flow because it gave visuals. The real issues the couple faced added an accurate look at daily life.

Overall, this film showed several pros and cons. The original storyline is a major plus. It does move slowly in the first half hour which does not draw the viewer in, and that is a con. What filmmaker Luke Ramer achieved, though, was the creation of a character — Leo — that viewers will care about. He is not evil or twisted when the film begins, but he makes a choice out of necessity which leads him down this path of human taxidermy. All in all, The Taxidermist is not a great film, but it is passable. If given a larger budget, Ramer could have pieced together a knockout film based on his premise alone.

Overall Grade: C

Watch the trailer and let us know what you think.

Posted by Crypt Keeper Clint in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
International Screams: Birth of Venus Short film (2018)

International Screams: Birth of Venus Short film (2018)

International Screams: Birth of Venus (2018)
Directed By: Berk Büyükbingöl
Written By: Berk Büyükbingöl
Starring: Deniz Turku, Berfin Batir, Elfif Gonen
Country: Turkey

International Screams showcases shorts and features from around the globe and helps you discover exciting new talents. This month we have a short from up-and-coming writer/director Berk Büyükbingöl.

Birth of Venus (2018)Birth of Venus tells the story of two sisters who survive a horrific car crash and struggle with the psychological effects that come with it. But what bloody lengths are they willing to go for the sake of beauty?

Discovering a really solid short is always exciting and something that makes my job as a journalist fulfilling. Berk infuses his short with plenty of morbid nightmare-like images and some pretty palpable scares. He does this by focusing on the technical side of things, and it’s clear that he really knows how to not only fill his frame for maximum frightful effect but also to slyly misdirect, leading to some nice jump scares. He also really knows how to put together, and the editing is on point. This is most evident in the surgery scene.

Birth of Venus (2018)

Giving the film the bulk of its mood is the stark black and white photography. Believe it or not, this is not an easy medium to work in as one might think; however, he does it extremely well, and the end result is a dread-filled fever dream. Büyükbingöl isn’t afraid to go into the surreal; for example, the strange dance sequence is pure Lynchian at its finest. If I had to raise a complaint it would be that, even though this is a freer formed narrative, I feel like the story gets lost and certain plot elements could have been a bit clearer.

When asked what inspirations he drew for this project, Büyükbingöl had this to say:

Mainly the black and white French Horror film Eyes Without a Face inspired me to do it. I tried to mix [The] Texas Chainsaw Massacre with it as well. How far you can go to make your most beloved relative happy? This is the question I asked myself when making it.

Despite a few story issues, Birth of Venus is a creative and visually interesting horror short by a talented filmmaker which most certainly has a future in the industry.

Posted by Mike Vaughn in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, STAFF PICKS, 0 comments
COMING SOON: 10/31/16 (2017)

COMING SOON: 10/31/16 (2017)


By John Roisland


Red Letter Entertainment, Inc. brings you the directorial debut from Rocky Gray (composer of The Barn, Killing Floor 2),two time Grammy winning musician and former drummer for Evanescence.

A new horror anthology in the vein of V/H/S/ and Creepshow
brings an ensemble cast together to spin twisted tales of the macabre. The film is Executive Produced by P.J. Starks, creator of the critically acclaimed Volumes of Blood franchise.


Story line:
A video tape given to a group of teens by a sinister trick or treater turns Halloween night into a living nightmare.

The film stars Jordan Phipps, Greg Fallon, Samantha Anderson, Taylor Aulbach, Darius White, Micah Patterson, Kirby Gocke, Star McCann, and Alivea Lafavor.

So when can we expect too see the finished project? Good question! 10/31/16 is set to be released around August 2017.

When Rocky and I first met, i knew he was the drummer for Evanescence, I also knew he was a huge horror fan, it was because that, that i pursued Rocky to join the staff of House of Tortured Souls. And what an addition he has been, graphics for the website, logo images, and last but by no means least - the opening and closing music for our podcast House of Tortured Souls Live. All of which we have had many compliments over, and we thank you, Rocky!!

I was in awe of the work Rocky had been doing with scores and soundtracks, but when he first mentioned to me about him making his own film, the upcoming 10/31/16, I’m pretty sure my reply text to him was, “FUUUCK YEA!!!!! Keep me posted. I’d be honored to support and help you out any way I can!”

When Rocky told me he had sent me the trailer and press release for 10/31/16, I was thrilled and couldn't wait to get home and check it out ! As most of you know, I am a huge fan of horror anthologies, so when Rocky mentioned that's what his film was, I was super stoked!

Be sure to check out 10/31/16 online:



Keep your eyes on 10/31/16 and on Houseoftorturedsouls.com for updates on the film and keep your ears open to House of Tortured Souls Live for the podcast with Rocky Gray.

A horror fan living the dream, give 'em hell, Rocky!

Keep It Evil...

Posted by John Roisland in HORROR NEWS, 1 comment
MOVIE REVIEW: (S)AINT NICK (2016)

MOVIE REVIEW: (S)AINT NICK (2016)

By John Roisland


(S)AINT NICK, written and directed by Jonathan Patrick Hughes, newcomer Hughes brings you his own dark vision of holiday cheer. Yes, Halloween (sadly) enough is over. It's time to take down all the fake spider webs and pack up the Styrofoam tombstones till next October. Christmas season, like it or not, is now upon us, and Hughes's vision of welcoming it, well, it's one that has to be seen.

The story focuses on Ashley and her younger brother Billy, siblings who now live with their stepfather Horace after an untimely car accident took their mother's life, and Matthew's wish to Santa on Christmas Eve. This is (S)AINT NICK, though, so his wish isn't for a new Xbox or a new iPhone but something much more personal. Little Billy wants Horace's head under the Christmas tree.Horace, the stepfather, is a drunken, dirty, disgusting, pig of a man who mentally, emotionally and possibly, though it's never actually mentioned, physically abuses his stepchildren. But I have got to give credit where credit due. The actor playing Horace, John Seese tops any actors portrayed I've seen in many years when it comes to portraying his role. When I watched his acting I honestly compared it to David Hess's character Krug Stillo from The Last House on the Left, a performance which was near stomach-turning on the screen. He's definitely the guy you love to hate. Dirty, scummy and perverted all makes for a jolly good time.

Upon first watching (S)AINT NICK, I noticed the quality of the film and was pleasantly surprised. It was evident even from the opening credits that this wasn't a normal, run-of-the mill handheld camera filmed in someone's basement with bad, echoing sound and credits that somebody threw together with a cheap program from their computer. What Hughes does bring you is a full-fledged film, great quality in both audio and video. The sound is crystal clear - not muffled and no echo. The acting is surprisingly good, and even the special effect makeup were pretty much on point. Hell, even the score (music) in (S)AINT NICK was good.BASIC TEXT BLOCK

Did I mention that Hughes crammed all of this and more into a 28 minute movie that doesn't leave you feeling like it was rushed? (S)AINT NICK is a short film that is going to be included in a Christmas horror anthology called 12 SLAYS OF CHRISTMAS which is being produced by Tony Newton and will be a VOD and DVD release.

If this is a sample of what the Christmas season has to bring us, well, being a horror fan, all I can say is bring it! Jonathan Patrick Hughes, you did well, sir. I would easily rank (S)AINT NICK as a classic in the Christmas horror subgenre!

What Hughes gives you is far from a newcomer's final product. Be proud, Mr. Hughes, (S)AINT NICK is a winner.

Keep It Evil...

Posted by John Roisland in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
HOUSE SHARK INDIEGOGO CAMPAIGN

HOUSE SHARK INDIEGOGO CAMPAIGN

Posted by Alan Smithee in HORROR NEWS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Fangboner (2015)

MOVIE REVIEW: Fangboner (2015)

Nathan Rumler's Fangboner Is a Winner

By Amy Lynes

Fangboner artwork

Written and directed by: Nathan Rumler

Starring: Brian Papandrea, Emily Hilborn, Sadie Tate, James Bell, Sheri Darling and featuring an appearance by Angelina Leigh

Meet Dick. Dick is a guy with an active sex life and a very interesting theory on STD's. Dick likes to party, get totally wasted, pick up random slutty chicks at parties and have mindless sex, usually forgetting the girls name soon after.

Meet Suzy. Suzy is a bit of a slut and one of Dick's drunken one night conquests.

Dick has so much mindless sex that he winds up infected with a strange unknown virus after having yet another casual one nighter with someone he only refers to as "Sucky the Succubus".

The same day he is struck with the virus, Suzy calls wanting to see him and talks him into coming over to watch movies and "chill". He goes to the bathroom and realizes that maybe something isn't quite right below the waist and hilarity ensues. After the bathroom crisis is over, they wind up in bed together and by the next morning Suzy is also infected but neither of them can remember the events of the night before.

Soon after Suzy becomes infected, they discover that they no longer want food, now they want BLOOD, only blood and lots of it. Not only that, but they need to suck the blood from the crotches of their victims. The pair hatch a plan to find victims, drink their blood and have a chance at staying alive and more hilarity ensues.

To make everything worse, the alien beings who are responsible for the virus that is wreaking havoc on their bodies have realized that they are infected and what they are doing in order to survive. The "Master" makes "Sucky" return to Earth in an effort to find and eradicate Dick and Suzy before they infect the entire world.

From there on, watching Dick and Suzy fumble around while the virus slowly erases their memories just gets funnier and funnier and you find yourself routing for these two idiots while simultaneously laughing your ass off.

Fangboner is the directorial debut of Nathan Rumler. It's highly original and fun to watch. Its in the same outrageous vein as many Troma movies, so if you are a fan of those types of films, I'd say Fangboner might be a good recommendation for you. I laughed so hard that my abs literally hurt for most of the next day and I kept using quotes from the movie all day long and calling people "Crotch Suckers". Classy, eh?

All in all, it was an entertaining watch and I am glad I bought myself a copy. The acting was great and the sound was extremely well done. I did not have a low budget sound at all and Nathan did a phenomenal job with the soundtrack and the bonus features are a must see also.

You never know what you are going to get with these low budget indie films. It's usually hit or miss but I really think that for a first effort, Nathan Rumler hit it outta the park with this one. If tasteless humor is your thing, you'll love Fangboner and I can't recommend it enough.

I give it an 8/10

Click here to buy your own copy of Fangboner today!

Posted by Alan Smithee in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 2 comments