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INTERVIEW: Rick Styczynski of 13x Studios

INTERVIEW: Rick Styczynski of 13x Studios

Rick Styczynski of 13X Studios Talks Camp Blood Celebration 10/13/17

"His name was Jason. And today is his birthday."
-Pamela Voorhees
Jason Voorhees has been a household name since the 1980s. From the moment he emerged from the lake and made Camp Crystal Lake his home, he has terrified us, and endeared himself into the hearts of every horror fan on the planet. We all know his signature hockey mask and weapon of choice: the machete. No matter your favorite film of the franchise, whether you prefer "walking Jason" or "running Jason", Jason on land, Jason in space, or Jason in New York City, it is guaranteed that this slasher will live on as a legend.
One of the greatest parts of his fandom is the unique, one of a kind art created by the people who know and love Jason best. Rick Styczynski is no exception. His company, 13X Studios, creates specialty one of a kind hockey masks celebrating our favorite force of nature. Whether the theme is sports, horror, music, and yes even serial killers, Rick can create just about any mask that you can think of. The sky is the limit.
For most of us Jason fanatics, Friday the 13th is just as a big a holiday as Thanksgiving or Christmas. Rick feels the same way. And with the help of Gods and Monsters, a fantastic shop filled with collectibles/comics/toys and even a bar, we will all be celebrating Friday the 13th Camp Blood Celebration in Orlando Florida! The event will have it all! Fan films, cosplay, trivia and celebrities. It will not only be a place to wish Jason a "Happy Birthday", but proceeds from the event will benefit both 13 Hearts and Give Kids The World charities.
13X Studios has teamed up with Matt Allen and me, owners of Freakshow Designs and Sideshow Sauces, to create a brand new hot sauce that will be making its debut at Camp Blood this October! We're calling it Hodder Than Hell. The greatest news is that Kane Hodder himself has personally given his permission to use his name on this heavenly concoction of scorpion pepper and pineapple. We are extremely thrilled and grateful to Kane for his support on the newest addition to our hot sauce collection.
I had the pleasure of speaking to Rick to find out about all of the incredible things that made his business flourish, and what we can all expect from the Friday the 13th event!
House of Tortured Souls: It's very obvious you're a "Jason Guy". Tell us how that fandom began and how it influenced you to start 13X Studios.
Rick Styczynski: After Halloween this past season, I put a few pictures of me cosplaying Jason on Instagram and someone contacted me about buying an outfit and guess a lightbulb went off.....13X Studios was born. I started messing around with masks and just went with it. It started with Jason and Friday the 13th but that also lead me into Pop Culture Custom hockey masks. In 10 months as a new business, I have sold over 1000 masks, sold out at 3 conventions, and have my masks in retail stores Gods & Monsters in Orlando, Florida, and Halloween Megastore across the US. The coolest thing that has happened is that my Silent Bob mask was noticed by Kevin Smith, and I got an exclusive deal at Jay and Silent Bob's Secret Stash. This is only the beginning of 13X Studios.
HoTS: What is your hottest seller?
RS: My biggest sellers are all the Jason and Friday the 13th masks. Because of the affordable price and great quality/detail, they hands down sell the most. Outside of the Jason world, My best sellers of pop culture are: Joker, Deadpool, Freddy, John Wayne Gacy, Charles Manson, and Punisher. I love making new styles as it changes everything up for me as a artist. One day I'll do Jason. Next day I'll do pop culture.
HoTS: Everyone is looking forward to the Camp Blood Celebration at Gods & Monsters. What can the attendees expect from the event?
RS: One day I went to visit Todd at Gods & Monsters and told him I wanted to do a Friday the 13th event. It took a pitch of 8 seconds for him to be part of it. I wanted to bring a celebration to the event where all of us horror fans can come together. I really have been just going with the flow and have been adding fun stuff daily. We will be having artists/vendors, contests, cosplay meet up, movie screenings, Friday the 13th themed bar and menu... Again, I'm just going with it. The buzz on this event is huge!! We just added Jeremy Palko from The Walking Dead for pictures and autographs. You don't want to miss this event. For more info just search: Friday the 13th Camp Blood Celebration on Facebook.
HoTS: You've recently partnered up with Matt Allen at Sideshow Sauces for your name to be on a Jason themed label. How were you inspired to reach out and how did you feel after hearing that Kane Hodderr himself gave his personal thumbs up to distribute the sauce using his name Hodder Than Hell?
RS: Back at Spooky Empire in April, I was across from Matt with Freakshow Designs. I know he has a sister company with Sideshow sauces. As my mind is always creating ideas, I came up with a cool hot sauce idea with Jason and 13X Studios on a label. I brought the idea to him and he said that Kane Hodder could be involved. So from there it just took off to bring you Hodder Than Hell sauce. Having your name and Kane Hodder's name on the same product is so cool. Kane Hodder is the biggest name in horror. He changed the game. And seeing how he is with fans is why you love this guy even more. I have known Kane for almost 16 years. As I said above, he changed the game. And very happy to be involved with Matt and Angie from Freakshow Designs. This is just the beginning. I'm sure we will come together many more times in future.
HoTS: What are your plans, future state, for 13X Studios?
RS: As I grow my business, I will start looking for more things to add. We just started a podcast called Spitting Blood. Our second episode already got 11,000 views, so I'm on the right track. Next episode will be Sept 6 at 9pm. Jeremy Palko from The Walking Dead will be a guest. We do a Facebook Live Podcast (you can add me Rick Styczynski). For my masks, my goal is to get into many more retail stores. What's cool is that most think this is more of a Halloween business. Actually it's a year round business with all the conventions. I wake up every day and smile knowing that this is my job now. I have no idea where this will bring me in life, But I will give my all no matter what. You can check my online store at www.13xstudios.com and my Etsy store.
13x Studios - Hodder Than Hell / Photo: Sideshow SaucesKane's Hodder Than Hell sauce, as well as many other handcrafted flavors can be found on Sideshowsauces.com. And as always, skull lamps, baby groots and other fun items can be found on our site Skulllamps.com. As Rick stated above, you can find his masks on www.13xstudios.com, and be sure to find him on Facebook and enjoy the Spitting Blood podcast! Stay tuned for my coverage of Friday the 13th Camp Blood: The Aftermath. For now, stay freaky! Much love from your Lamp Lady and I'll see you soon!
Posted by Angie Calabrese in INTERVIEWS, 0 comments
COMING SOON: 2017 Horror Video Games, Part 1

COMING SOON: 2017 Horror Video Games, Part 1

2017: The Year That Horror Video Games Came Back With a Bite, Part 1

Horror is a genre that brings joy to many people – as is video gaming. Combine the two and you have a beautiful relationship that brings a mixture of happiness, excitement, and maybe even a little fear to countless fans. That said, there are some amazing horror video games coming out in 2017. Let's take a look at some of them.
1.) Game: Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
Release Date: January 24. 2017
Developer: Capcom
Platforms: Playstation 4, Xbox One, and PC

Resident Evil is a name that many horror fans and gamers alike know. For many of us, the first couple of Resident Evil games were our first forays into horror video games. Many were disappointed with the last Resident Evil game, Resident Evil 6, because it felt like a clunky, cheesy action movie instead of the survival horror game that we have all come to know and love. With Resident Evil 7, it looks like we are getting back to that horror atmosphere.
Resident Evil 7 takes place in Louisiana four years after what happened in RE6. You are playing as a new character to the series, Ethan Winters, who, while searching for his missing wife, comes upon a haunted plantation filled with psychotic individuals, and, of course, some haunting and frightening creatures. We are not sure how Ethan and the events in this game are connected to the other games in the series, but Capcom has said that they do tie together in some way.
2.) Game: Friday the 13th: The Game
Release Date: Early 2017
Developers: Gun Media, Illfonic
Platforms: Playstation 4, Xbox One, and PC

If there is one thing horror fans love, it’s a killer with a style that will make you fall in love with evil, such as Jason Voorhees, a mighty and ominous figure in the horror world, or as Jason Voorhees the man. The goal of the game, if you are a counselor, is to escape Jason and the camp. You can try the stealth route and hide and sneakily escape from him or team up with other counselors to take him on. If you play as Jason, the goal, of course, is to brutally kill all the counselors!
In this game, we are taken back to good ol’ Camp Crystal Lake, where you can play as a camp counselor or as the man himself, Jason Voorhees. The goal of the game, if you are a counselor, is to escape Jason and the camp. You can try the stealth route and hide and sneakily escape from him or team up with other counselors to take him on. If you play as Jason, the goal of course, is to brutally kill all the counselors!
If you are a Friday the 13th fan, whether you grew up watching the movies or just recently took a liking to Mr. Voorhees, this game will give you the biggest smile on your face. The setting is straight from the early movies, in all its 80s glory, the kills are brutal and gory, and you finally get to play as Jason Voorhees. What more could you ask for? Just remember, counselors, it doesn't matter how fast you run because Jason will always walk faster than you!
3.) Game: Agony
Release Date: June 2017
Developer: Madmind Studio
Platforms: Playstation 4, Xbox One, and PC

Probably one of the least talked about games on this list, Agony, is looking to be a great and gruesome addition to the horror video game catalog. You play a tortured soul who is stuck deep in the depths of Hell looking for an escape. By interacting with other souls stuck in in Hell, you soon learn that the only way to escape is to meet the one and only mystical Red Goddess. You have abilities, such as controlling other demons, that will aid you on this journey to escape.
Agony has some of the most hauntingly beautiful scenery that I have seen in a long time. Morbid and gruesome images play throughout the trailer, exactly what you would expect Hell to look like. The demons are nightmare -inducing, even if some of them have some really nice boobs to look at. Agony looks like it's going to be an Indie gem that will garner a cult following.
Well, there you have it – part one of my ongoing series of 2017 video game releases. Keep an eye out because part two will be coming soon.
Posted by Mandi Marcus in HORROR NEWS, 1 comment
BOOK REVIEW: Unmasked: Kane Hodder

BOOK REVIEW: Unmasked: Kane Hodder

Kane Cover

Author: Michael Aloisi, as told by Kane Hodder ;  Publisher: AuthorMike Ink; ISBN: 978-0-9845801-3-2; ISBN-13: 9780985214609; Media: Hardcover, Paperback, Audio and ePub; Length: 352 pages; Genre: Non-fiction, Biography; Country: USA; Language: English; Year: 2012

In my personal opinion, Kane Hodder is  Horror Movie Royalty. He's up there with the likes of Robert Englund, Doug Bradley, and Gunnar Hansen. The man is always scary and intimidating, no matter what role he plays. It doesn't matter if it's Jason Voorhees, Victor Crowley or Jon RoyHodder is a badass.  After meeting him last year at Motor City Nightmares, I saw, quite quickly, that there is more to Hodder than the badass killing machine. But it wasn't until I read Unmasked that I saw just how much more there is to the man.

Throughout the book, Hodder describes learning the craft of Hollywood Stuntman and the sacrifices of body and mind that go along with it. He survived severe burns, an incompetent  doctor and the long painful road to recovery. And don't you think,  for even a second, that Hodder is another whiner looking for pity and attention. Far from. If anything, Hodder's recovery can be looked at as a source of inspiration for other burn victims.  He easily could have thrown in the towel and walked away from his dreams, but he didn't. Reading everything he went through just added to the extreme amount of respect I already had for Kane Hodder.

He shares with the reader, stories of his childhood. They aren't all happy hearts and flowers. He was repeatedly victimized by bullies until his family relocated to an island in the South Pacific, in his teen years. Again, Hodder isn't whining or playing the victim, but the experiences definitely had a profound impact on the man that he grew up to be. It isn't hard to get a real sense of the man behind the cinematic monsters.

Hodder isn't always Mr. Serious though. It's very apparent in the book that Kane is quite the prankster. And I can tell you from my own experience, the man is a smartass. It only adds to his charm. He shares some onset hijinks from the sets of many of his films. He and Aloisi are easily able to make you feel like you were right there.

He shares the extreme elation of being able to be Jason Voorhees, as well as the feeling of betrayal upon learning he would not be in Freddy vs Jason. You can almost feel the excitement of creating a new monster with Adam Green in Hatchet . You also get an idea of how much passion and  research Hodder put into roles like BTK and Ed Gein.

I could easily gush on about this book for days, but I'm not going to. I could tell you more of what he shares in the book, but I'm not going to do that either. What I will do is tell you to go read this book! You won't be sorry. You won't be able to put it down, either.

Final Score: 10 out of 10 Dead Camp Counselors.

 

 

 

Posted by Machete Von Kill in BOOKS, COMICS, AND PUBLICATION REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 2 comments