john roisland

CONCERT REVIEW: Slayer (28 June 2017)

CONCERT REVIEW: Slayer (28 June 2017)

SLAYER…SLAYER…SLAYER…SLAYER…

Slayer 01 / Image: John RoislandDid I mention SLAYER? Anyone who has ever seen the band live knows this chant oh so well! Many, many months ago, I was fortunate enough to have interviewed BJ McDonnell on a House of Tortured Souls Live podcast. McDonnell, aside being a great guy, was also the director of Hatchet 3 and most recently helmed the Slayer trilogy of music videos, which are combined make a short story and are INCREDIBLE! Well, after the interview, I had mentioned that I wanted to try to interview Slayer for the website, and after a little pushing, he gave me a few names to try. So try and try I did – for months on end. At last, word of Slayer touring surfaced. Long story short, from one name to another name, from one email to a different phone number, I landed my first photo pass for Behemoth, Lamb of God, and FUCKING SLAYER!!!!!! The days couldn’t pass quickly enough!!
Friday, July 28, 2017, was the day of the show. Fortunately, I had a pretty decent day at work, so getting out on time was going to be no problem. All I would have to do is get home, get dressed, and head into downtown Baltimore. Just one small problem: FLASH FLOOD WARNINGS! The entire tri-state area got hit with downpours all day. Their promoter kept in touch with me all day, assuring me the show would continue. Guess I should have mentioned, the show was being held at a pavilion on the inner harbor, so weather could have had a huge impact on the show.
So after getting into downtown and saying FUCK YOU to the pavilion parking ($50.00! Ha!), I parked two blocks away in Little Italy (for $3.00). I then walked my ass through the now heavy mist of rain, got to will call, and there it was – my beautiful pass. I had seen Slayer many times growing up, but it was this show, at this moment, that my knees actually shook for a second.
Slayer 02 / Image: John RoislandBy the time I got in, Behemoth had already finished their set, so I pulled out my camera and lined up in between the stage and the barrier that surrounds the stage. Lamb of God came on and put on one HELL of a show!! I’ve always enjoyed them, but truth be known, I wasn’t really familiar with a lot of their work. The show they put on made a fan out of me! With photo passes, you’re allowed in a designated area for the first three songs, then out you go so the front row people can enjoy the show without folks in the way.Slayer 03 - Lamb of God / Image: John Roisland
About an hour later, Lamb of God was off the stage, and Slayer’s crew was setting up. The rain stopped, the darkness took over, a cool breeze whipped through the pavilion, and you could hear the chant – ”Slayer! Slayer! SLAYER! SLAYER!!” The other cameramen and myself all lined up to get into our photo op area. The house lights went out, the roar of the crowd grew louder, and the spotlights projected pentagrams on the ceiling. At last – SLAYER had taken the stage.
The entire time I was in the photo area, I had this smile plastered on my face that couldn’t have been beaten off my face with a baseball bat. There I was, standing in between Tom Araya and Kerry Fucking King, snapping pictures like a crazed tourist eager to document every moment! I was there…at the stage…closer than anyone else. The music blared, yet I heard nothing. As I mentioned, this was my first opportunity in a photo pass situation, and it was surreal. I’ve been up to – and even on – many stages for many bands through the years, but this was different. Only a few were allowed to go beyond the barrier, and I got the chance to be one of them.
After our songs were over and it was time for me to head out, I did stop and manage to take a selfie of me and Tom Araya as he was singing. I had to! I walked out and stood outside of the crowd on side stage and watched the show, walking around in awe of what I had just achieved – not only for House of Tortured Souls, but also for myself.Slayer 04 / Image: John Roisland
Slayer fucking killed it…as always. The light show was incredible, the sound was awesome, and the line up they played…well, you name it and they slayed it – from new to old. Man I couldn’t have been happier. The crowd sang along to all the happy little ditties about God, Satan, war, hatred, violence, and death. I watched over the crowd and saw heads banging, arms flying, and not a single ass in a seat. As I said before, I’ve seen Slayer many times over the years. I am a HUGE fan! Years back, I would have been down in the pit, crowd surfing, or you name it. This time I was glad to have my camera with me and had the chance to watch them for who they are. I was not let down at all.
In between songs as I watched alongside the stage, the crowd screamed, but the band just stood still. Then Tom walked to the mic, hands crossed over his bass, and waited for silence. Watching him stand there, it wasn’t a look of arrogance he wore but one of power. And everyone got quiet. It’s hard to explain the powerful presence the band has, but it’s truly amazing to see up close.Slayer 05 / Image: John Roisland
For over 30 years, Slayer has remained true to who they are, and it’s safe to say they ain’t never gonna change! Say what you will about other metal bands – bands who may have just tour, but Slayer still reigns. Indeed, they are still the best heavy metal band of all time.Slayer 06 / Image: John Roisland
Will I continue to go see Slayer if they come back around on another tour you ask…YOU BET YOUR ASS!!
Keep it Evil…
Posted by John Roisland in Categories, MUSIC REVIEWS, 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
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.
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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
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
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
HoTS LIVE and DIRECTOR JOE STAUFFER

HoTS LIVE and DIRECTOR JOE STAUFFER

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Joe Stauffer

Hey, everyone! Welcome back to HOUSE of TORTURED SOULS LIVE with very special guest MR. JOE STAUFFER!!! We apologize to all of you for our long hiatus, but John got lost in his beard and Allen is still looking for a damn Pepsi!! We have a great one on one interview sit down with writer/director Joe Stauffer. Joe, as you know or should, brought us the 2014 smash Indie horror film Pieces of Talent.
On a personal note, not only is this at the top of my Indie list, this film is at the top of my all time favorites list! I absolutely love this film as I feel it is a true work of art brought to life on the silver screen, all the more reason I was so excited and enjoyed getting to become friends with Joe Stauffer. And it was a great honor to have him on the House of Tortured Souls Live Podcast!
Joe sits and discusses the making of Pieces of Talent, Indie films, and a few possible things brewing for the future of Joe Stauffer and Shutter Blade Media.
So grab a seat, and a cold beer if you have one. Then sit back and enjoy the show! Joe, its always a pleasure talking to you, and we thank you for your time and everything you’ve done for us.
After the podcast, be sure to check out these sites:
More great podcasts from our library are available through iTunes, and be sure to stick around for more great shows to come in the near future!
Keep it Evil…
Posted by John Roisland in Podcast, 0 comments
GAME REVIEW: Zombieopoly (2013)

GAME REVIEW: Zombieopoly (2013)

Zombieopoly, is a horror-based board game that is a blast to play! Most of us grew up playing the the great board game Monopoly. Through the years, though, specialty versions with their own twists on the timeless classic have emerged. Monopoly variations are everywhere and are inspired by everything. One version is based on legendary rock band band KISS, another on fast food giant McDonald’s, and another on the great city of Chicago. You can even play Monopoly slots in casinos.
Well, the folks over at Late for The Sky have put their horror minded twist on it. In 2013, they released their adaptation for coffee tables and families everywhere ― ZOMBIEOPOLY! And it is a lot of fun!
The overall structure and layout of the game is the same as the original: pick your piece, buy properties, get rich, and rule the game! It’s the small details that make Zombieopoly so amusing to play.
For example, Chance and Community Chest cards have been replaced by Stagger and Crawl cards. Be careful while pulling a card. Most are harmless but some are interactive. My son, for example, had to crawl on the floor doing his best zombie impression and yelling for BRAAAAAAAAINS!
Zombieopoly at John Roisland's house.
Zombieopoly at John Roisland’s house.
Properties are all there as well as the utilities but with a few small changes. All properties are now zombie-related and tailored to the type of zombie. I played this about three weeks ago with my kids, and we all had a lot of fun.
Zombieopoly board / Fair use doctrine.
All spaces now contain beautiful, detailed art work.
The object of Zombieopoly, just as the original, is to own as much property as possible and have the most money for the win. Now, as most of you know, you’ve never heard anyone say, “Let’s play a quick game” because there is no such thing! I know first hand that playing can go on in to the wee hours of the night and competition can bring out the worse in some players ― especially when playing with zombies, and Zombieopoly is no different! So, if you’re going to sit down and play with friends or even the kids, you’d better get comfy.
John Roisland and family enjoy a game of Zombieopoly..
John Roisland and family enjoy a game of Zombieopoly.
I’m thrilled to see more horror-related games available that don’t require an Internet connection and a remote. Zombieopoly is available at most retail stores and online, including Walmart, Amazon, and TOYS-R-US, and ranges in price from $19.99 ─ $38.99.
Fair use doctrine.
ZOMBIEOPOLY: A KILLER GAME WHERE THE FUN NEVER DIES!
Keep It Evil…
Posted by John Roisland in GAME REVIEWS, 0 comments
REBOOT NEWS: Escape From New York

REBOOT NEWS: Escape From New York

In 1981 a movie hit the big screen that changed my life: John Carpenter’s Escape From New York. I was nine years old and living at the time in Woodstock, New York, and my dad took me to a drive-in theater showing Scanners, John Carpenter’s The Fog, and Carpenter’s Escape From New York. We arrived and parked with only a few minutes left in Scanners… Then I was introduced to a double feature of John Carpenter, who immediately became – and has remained – my all time favorite film director. The Fogscared the shit out of me, as it still does. After a brief intermission the main event hit the screen.
1997. New York City is a walled maximum security prison. Breaking out is impossible. Breaking in is insane.
This movie opened a part of my mind that I never new was there. Snake Plissken was my hero, and Adrienne Barbeau would never soon leave my mind!
A remake of Escape From New York has been in talks over the past few years. As always, the mere mention a remake sparks a seemingly endless series of debates on the pros and cons of remakes in general. I’m not getting into a giant battle over remakes or, as some are now called reboots. Some films that are remade are pretty damn good, some would have been better left as a thought, and nothing more. But certain films, certain iconic and classic films, need to be left alone, and Escape From New York is one of them.
It was first mentioned a few years back that Gerard Butler was to play the lead role of Snake Plissken originated by Kurt Russell… Nope, not gonna happen. Now, I’m not saying that I haven’t enjoyed some of Butler’s roles, but he is NOT Snake Plissken! The way Hollywood is, honestly, I’m surprised I haven’t heard The Rock’s or Vin Diesel’s name added to the mix to just glamorize (or, in my opinion, bastardize) a film, just for money, but the roles haven’t been filled yet, so I guess I should just shut the hell up.
Now, a few years later, we haven’t heard much more talk about this for a while, and out of the blue, I catch wind that Robert Rodriguez has signed on to sit in the director’s chair and that, apparently will be bringing us a prequel. It’s also rumored that John Carpenter himself is going to be lending a big hand and having quite a bit of say so on the film as executive producer. That makes me happy.
Rodriguez is a very talented director who has a style of his own and who has brought us a lot of great films that I have highly enjoyed, such as Sin City, Planet Terror, hell I even liked a few of the Spy Kids films. I don’t doubt the man’s talent, not at all. What I do question is his ability to draw you into a story like Carpenter did. The ability to actually make you feel as if you were in the streets of New York, running for your life, feeling your heart thundering as time runs out, and without any CGI. Can you deliver that, Mr. Rodriguez? I certainly hope so. You are stepping into HUGE shoes to fill, my friend.
I had originally wanted to write this and do nothing but cuss and point fingers. However, I do have high hopes for this film. The original is my personal second favorite film of all time. I guess I’m nervous as to what the new film may do to what I hold so dearly as I do the original. So I’ll save up all my cussing for remake of The American Werewolf in London.
Keep It Evil…
Posted by John Roisland in Categories, HORROR NEWS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Contracted: Phase II (2015)

MOVIE REVIEW: Contracted: Phase II (2015)

CONTRACTED: PHASE II (2015)

Director: Josh Forbes
Writer: Craig Walendziak
Stars: Matt Mercer, Marianna Palka
For those of you who have seen 2013’s Contracted and enjoyed the film which, I personally did, you’re in luck because Contracted: Phase II starts off at the exact minute that the original ended. I like that it picked up exactly where you left off – there are no holes, there are no gaps, and no wondering whatever happened to this person and that person… It’s a continuation and, in my opinion, one at its best. And considering that the films were both written and directed by completely different people from the original, I was pleasantly surprised at the outcome.
Some of the same cast for the most part are present, there are obviously some new faces thrown in there because a lot of the people from the first one are dead, but are referenced to periodically to keep the story consistent. The movie unfortunately does drag little bit here and there, but then again, the original film wasn’t exactly a fast-paced action horror film either.
Contracted: Phase II, definitely continues with the same feel and emotion. It does definitely stay true to itself and isn’t blown out of proportion as so many sequels sadly are. The thing that I like so much about these two movies is in my opinion its original as hell!! I mean seriously, where else have you seen zombies that are contracted from a necrophiliac!
Overall, Contracted: Phase II is a good movie. It’s got a couple of decent little gory almost squirmish kind of parts in the film but doesn’t feel the need to have to over do it, and I appreciated that quality. I felt for this movie because it was a perfect balance.
My only gripe with the film, and this is not a spoiler, but in the first one, the disease is originated by a perv in a morgue who is banging dead chicks. In the sequel, there was a purpose for that. I didn’t really care for it. I thought that just having a corpse fucker gave it a twisted edge on its own, but that’s not to say that it took away from the story either.
Contracted: Phase II is now on NETFLIX . If you’re in the mood for a horror movie that isn’t over the top , and not a splatter-fest or a extreme gore but is story-driven, then I think you’ll like this. I definitely think it’s worth a watch.
Keep It Evil…
Posted by John Roisland in MOVIE REVIEWS, 0 comments
WiHM: Leeana Hergenreder

WiHM: Leeana Hergenreder

To know her is to love her. and that is one of the many reasons why I have selected Leeana Hergenreder to be known as one of the women in horror as we celebrate Women in Horror Month.
In 2013, I had the pleasure of meeting Leeana while working at a local pizza shop, and right away we hit it off. We had many discussions about all different kinds of art and what makes us happy, including tattoos, piercings, music, movies, and setting goals to achieve. After about 3 months, I mentioned I was going to be making a movie in the summer and her response was, “Awesome, I’m gonna be in it”, and that was a day that I’ll never forget. Leeana’s energy and excitement showed me that she was not only serious, but she was extremely dedicated to doing something special. And that was just the beginning.
Since our first film, Apartment 1109, we have worked on quite a few productions together including, All Hallows’ Eve – The 11th Hour (which is still in post production hell) a Misfits music video, and, last but not least, my latest film, (S)aint Nick, which has been picked up by Body Bag Films and Troma. You can check out the film on Tromanow.com or wait until they release the DVD sometime this year.
Leeana Hergenreder 03Upon working with Leeana, we have become quite close and she is without a doubt my favorite person to work with. It’s a great feeling to know that you can count on someone who is willing to go above and beyond to make not only her acting skills shine but also to make your film more enjoyable to watch. Those reasons alone are exactly why I’ll never make a film without her being involved. We have so much fun creating, learning, and trying new things on set.
When Leeana isn’t acting, she spends time being an amazing wife, to her husband Harry, a lovely mother to her fur babies, and inspiring people to exercise, stay healthy and live a long happy life.
My favorite thing about Leeana is not only is she so driven and dedicated to achieving the goals she sets in place, but it’s the size of her heart. She wears that fucker on her sleeve and has done so much for so many people and still continues to do so. She is beautiful, intelligent and all around a very hard working person, and she deserves every ounce of recognition she can get.
Leeana Hergenreder 02Leeana just wrapped production on her latest film, The Chop, and it is currently in post production and should be released sometime this year.
To Leeana, I am so proud of you for all your hard work and dedication, you are one of my favorites and I couldn’t be happier for you. You deserve all the recognition you get and hopefully within time, everyone will see how amazing, hardworking and truly dedicated you are. Keep on fighting, girl.
You will forever be my Johnny Depp, and I will forever be your Tim Burton.
Posted by Jonathan Hughes in STAFF PICKS, WOMEN IN HORROR MONTH, 0 comments
WiHM: A Matter of Respect

WiHM: A Matter of Respect

February in my life is a pretty active month. Not only is it the shortest month of the year, we also get to celebrate my birthday, my sons birthday, and geographically this is supposed to be the month where we get the most snowfall and I happen to love snow! But this is also a very special time of year for horror fans as it is Women in Horror Month. As a writer for House of Tortured Souls, I could very easily pick one name of a well-deserved list of actresses and give you a couple of highlights of her career and a quick biography, but as the founder and CEO of House of Tortured Souls, I feel it is my responsibility – and my honor – to generalize the importance of the celebration of Women in Horror Month itself.
From the beginning of horror films women always played a much more important role that people actually give credit for. In the earlier days of horror cinema, the women usually portrayed poor and defenseless women who were attacked by a creature of the night. Usually helpless and seemingly brainless, they almost never spoke back or acted to defend themselves, reflecting society’s view of women at the time.
Through the years, however, the female role and presence on screen became larger as women’s roles in society changed. And as their roles changed, the characters (and even names of the actresses) became iconic, ultimately being being dubbed Screen Queens. At first, these roles were primarily in slasher films, where often attractive buxom young ladies let loose with glass shattering screams while being attacked and murdered – usually topless during a shower or bedroom scene. You always remembered the scene and the face.
As the popularity of the Scream Queens grew, so did the role of women in horror – on screen and off. Female leads became stronger on screen, and women who watched these films were inspired to go into horror. In fact, these immense changes in the way that women were portrayed in horror soon inspired women to branch into other areas of horror cinema. Women no longer went only for on screen roles but also for behind the scenes roles as writers, directors, producers, makeup artists, and virtually ever other aspect of horror filmmaking.
Now, in 2017, many Scream Queens who first started in the industry at a young age are being honored by lifetime achievement awards, and those who stay behind the camera are making groundbreaking films, shorts, and TV shows.
Scream Queens will always have a place in horror cinema, but there’s another change in the on screen female characters in the horror industry. Women have gone from solely being the victim to sometimes being the killer. Along with the other changes in the industry, horror films have again changed up the role of women characters. The tables have turned, and horror movies will never be the same. As for the women in the industry are concerned, from film to TV and all aspects involved, the female presence is very strong and very welcomed.
It’s nice to see these talented women getting their notoriety and respect.
As I sit back and reflect, many names cross my mind, names that helped lay the foundations for what has been built and for what is yet to come. Some of these names are:
These are but a few the iconic women in horror cinema! All of these women have, in one way or another, brought a part of them to the silver screen and made a huge impact on not only me, but also on the world of horror fans.
I’m very proud to be an avid horror fan, and I’m doubly proud to be a supporter of the Women in Horror Month.
You have a lot to be proud of, ladies! Much respect!!
Keep It Evil…
Posted by John Roisland in Categories, EDITORIALS, 0 comments
FREAKSHOW DESIGNS & SIDESHOW SAUCES

FREAKSHOW DESIGNS & SIDESHOW SAUCES

FREAKSHOW DESIGNS out of Orlando Florida. Take note. Why do I bring this name to your attention? Because you need to know and remember this name!
FREAKSHOW DESIGNS is the collaboration of the husband and wife team of Matt Allen and Angie Calabrese. About three years ago, I first met these two horror-loving love birds online, and we instantly hit off. I soon found out of their own contributions to the horror world and, as a matter of fact, discovered that I had been admiring their work online before I even knew it was theirs. The items I’m talking about are incredible hand-crafted lamps. Each lamp is unique, and they even make them to order. At first, Angie was known among friends of mine “The Lamp Lady”. Everyone knew who you meant when you said it.
I asked Angie Calabrese for a bit of background on FREAKSHOW DESIGNS, and this is what she had to say:
Freakshow Designs was born 3 years ago. Our first show was Spooky Empire in the spring of 2014. Starting out with 22 skull lamps, we really didn’t know if people would be interested in our stuff. We ended up selling out, which prompted us to vend that following October. One week before our horror-themed wedding. Products include skull lamps, hand painted Xmas ornaments, replicas of Freddy gloves and the Audrey II. New ideas are constantly on the horizon and I’m sure we’ll be doing more. Cons we’ve vended [at] include Walker Stalker and Spooky Empire. In the future, we plan on Bay of Blood in Tampa, and once we get our hearse on the road, any con that will have us! Our lamps are on display at Artegon mall inside Gods and Monsters Orlando as well as Coffee Shop of Horrors. Our website is now open! We can also be found on Facebook. It’s our pleasure to do custom jobs as well. Inspiration comes from our love of horror. But mostly we feel there’s not enough year-round decor for horror fans available in stores. We love our friends in the horror community and hope to branch out as far as we can.
Most recently, Matt “The Mad Scientist” Allen, has brought to life a new creature – or, to be exact, several new creatures: SIDESHOW SAUCES! That’s right, Matt loaded his laboratory with the freshest of vegetables, spices, and a lot of HOT STUFF to bring his specialty horror-themed hot sauce flavors to the world.
As of now, they offer the following flavors:
Sideshow Sauces - Bearded Lady-500x500
Blended with fresh, organic, Georgia peaches, tangy and fresh grated ginger, and blazing hot Habanero peppers.
Sideshow Sauces - Bubba the Redneck Werewolf-500x500
Straight out of Cracker County! Bubba likes his wings HOT with a touch of the ole Bourbon. This sauce gives you all the flavor a fun loving werewolf could ever need! Check out everything Bubba at
www.bubbatheredneckwerewolf.com.
Sideshow Sauces - Java Lava-500x500
Infused with Coffee Shop of Horror’s “My Little Cuban Friend”. This mix of Chipotle, Habanero, and Coffee gives you the heat you want with a KICK! Say HELLO to my little friend!!! Check out www.coffeeshopofhorrors.com or some AWESOME COFFEE!!!
Sideshow Sauces - Key Lime-500x500
Her song will bring your taste buds to the depths of HELL! Fresh, organic Key Lime juice, blended with Serrano peppers and a couple Scotch Bonnets thrown in for a little extra HEAT. Give your taste buds some heat with the one of a kind tang of Key Lime.
Sideshow Sauces - Tom's Slaughterhouse-500x500
A secret family recipe available in hot, medium, and mild.
Sideshow Sauces - Vamp Slayer-500x500
A recipe from Van Helsing himself, used to defend
against vampires. Fresh Roasted Organic Garlic blended with Organic Red Chili Peppers. The perfect combination to keep those blood suckers away from your neck!
Last, but certainly no less delicious than the others, is Tortured Souls Jalapeno Hot Sauce. Yes, you read that right: Tortured Souls, a sauce named after your favorite horror website, House of Tortured Souls. And is it made with actual tortured souls? Only Matt knows for sure.
A blend of fresh, organic Jalapenos and organic Tomatillos. Just enough heat to torture any soul to its core. Visit our friends at www.houseoftorturedsouls.com for everything HORROR!
It was just a few short months ago Matt and Angie approached me about using House of Tortured Souls on one of their sauces, and last week I received the finished product – complete with killer label artwork – in the mail! It actually brought a small tear to this old man’s eyes. When they first asked if I’d care to join in, “HELL YEAH” was my response. I was honored. Then I found out that two weeks ago at their sauce-tasting event at Coffee Shop of Horror, the reviews were incredible! The favorite? Why House of Tortured Souls, the jalapeño and tomatillo sauce, of course! In case it’s not obvious, this is a huge personal source of pride for me – and for HOUSE OF TORTURED SOULS – and we thank FREAKSHOW DESIGNS for allowing us to be a part of something this special!
As I mentioned before, I have now known FREAKSHOW DESIGNS personally for three years, but what I didn’t mention is that we have never even met in person! We have tried making plans, but often times life gets in the way. Still, we have assured each other that one day it will happen! Perhaps we may even combine House of Tortured Souls and FREAKSHOW DESIGN somewhere on the road and vend together. Who knows what the future holds?
Matt and Angie bust their asses to bring us new and creative products to the horror world, and whatever is next, I assure you, will be more than worth the wait!
Now, get on over to WWW.FREAKSHOW-DESIGN.COM, order some hot sauces, feel the burn, and tell them I sent ya!!
Matt Allen, the Devil, and Angie Calabrese
Congratulations, Matt and Angie, we love you both!
Keep It Evil…
Posted by John Roisland in ART AND VENDORS, Categories, 2 comments
THIS JUST IN: Halloween

THIS JUST IN: Halloween

John Carpenter has finally brought to our attention that Halloween is officially moving forward and the idea for the new film came from director David Gordon Green (Pineapple Express, Your Highness) and Danny McBride, who has appeared in comedies such as Pineapple Express, Your Highness, This is The End, and the TV series Eastbound and Down.
Last week, David and Danny, along with long time producer Jason Blum, met with Carpenter with a pitch so astounding that it even blew Carpenter away. He stated that these two understand the formula, that the film is in good hands, and he cant wait to release the film on October 18, 2018.
The only thing about the new movie that has been revealed at the present time is that the film will continue right after the events which took place on Halloween in 1978 after Dr. Loomis blew up himself and Michael Myers in the hospital. There is a solid decade between Halloween II and Halloween 4, which indicates that the film can go in any direction at this point. To a certain extent, it sounds like this new movie could possibly be the real Halloween 3.
Carpenter and his new team have promised to keep us updated on developments throughout the process. Hopefully we will have a better description on what the film is about and what we can expect by summer. All I know is that you can bet your ass that Michael Myers will return to stalk helpless victims in Haddonfield, Illinois once again.
Halloween has been scheduled to open theatrically on October, 18, 2018, which is one week shy of the 40th anniversary of the original (October 25, 1978) and 6 days after Michael’s birthday (October 12, 1957).
Mark your calendars!
Posted by Jonathan Hughes in COMING SOON, HORROR NEWS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Tales of Halloween (2015)

MOVIE REVIEW: Tales of Halloween (2015)

Tales From Halloween … I have so many mixed feelings on this film. Tales From Halloween is a compilation of ten short stories all woven into one Halloween night.
The film, at first watch, I must admit, was a huge disappointment. I have been wanting to see Tales From Halloween since I first heard of it, so my expectations were really hopeful. For some reason, it first felt like I was watching a made for TV movie. I thought the special effects were extremely low grade and the music was even quirky. I am the biggest fan of the Halloween season and always make it a point to watch any movie based around it. So, sorry to say, I wasn’t a happy trick-or-treater!
As the movie went on, I tried to put my disappointment aside and give it more of a shot. As I did, my frown became more of a smirk. I started to see the campy and almost comedic side to Tales From Halloween. In my opinion, the movie isn’t a horror/comedy, but it does have you a campy B movie horror feel.
The film opens with the narration of a local radio disk jockey as the camera pans over a small town. The DJ, who is talking about Halloween and the witching hour, is none other than the sultry voice of movie legend ADRIENNE BARBEAU, and it set the mood for the film. The short stories range from legends of sweet tooth killers, aliens, neighbors fighting over the best yard decorating, children’s revenge, and what would Halloween be without a killer jack-o-lantern.
The film does host a very impressive list of names to the cast, Barbeau, being one, obviously, the lovely Caroline Williams (Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, Contracted), Greg Grunberg (Heroes, Star Wars: The Force Awakens), Barry Bostwick (The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Spin City (TV series)), Tiffany Shepis (12 Monkeys (TV series), The Night Watchmen), Lin Shaye (Insidious 1+2, Theres Something About Mary), Barbara Crampton (Re-Animator, We Are Still Here, You’re Next), Pollyanna McIntosh (The Woman, Filth) Pat Healy (Compliance, Cheap Thrills, Carnage Park) and a small appearance by legendary director John Landis ( The Blues Brothers, An American Werewolf In London) Now with a list like this, you would be expecting one of the best horror films ever, but sadly it isn’t. To be honest, most of the names on this list have relatively small parts.
In keeping up with recent director compilation films (The ABCs of Death 1 and 2) and other Halloween films (Trick Or Treat), Tales From Halloween falls a bit short. Enjoyable for a non-serious horror film night – or a fun watch with friends.
Sorry, guys, but this is one where I loved the cover art for more than the film.
Keep It Evil…
Posted by John Roisland in MOVIE REVIEWS, 0 comments
COMING SOON (Fall): Cult of Chucky (2017)

COMING SOON (Fall): Cult of Chucky (2017)

Everyone’s favorite killer Good Guy doll is heading back in front of cameras with a new Child’s Play installment known as Cult of Chucky. Child’s Play creator, Don Mancini, who wrote the original as well as wrote and directed Seed of Chucky and Curse of Chucky, is back and at it again with Cult of Chucky. The new film will bring back Fiona Dourif, Alex Vincent, Jennifer Tilly and once again, Brad Dourif as the foul-mouthed voice of Chucky. The film started shooting in Canada at the beginning of the year with hopes to release it straight to DVD and On Demand just in time for Halloween.
The synopsis for Curse of Chucky is this.
Confined to an asylum for the criminally insane for the past four years, Nica Pierce (Fiona Dourif) is erroneously convinced that she, not Chucky, murdered her entire family. But when her psychiatrist introduces a new therapeutic “tool” to facilitate his patients’ group sessions – an all-too-familiar “Good Guy” doll with an innocently smiling face – a string of grisly deaths begins to plague the asylum, and Nica starts to wonder if maybe she isn’t crazy after all. Andy Barclay (Alex Vincent), Chucky’s now-grown-up nemesis from the original Child’s Play, races to Nica’s aid. But to save her he’ll have to get past Tiffany (Oscar-nominee Jennifer Tilly), Chucky’s long-ago bride, who will do anything, no matter how deadly or depraved, to help her beloved devil doll.
I, for one, am looking forward for a new Chucky movie and since the last one was a clever surprise, I am more than certain that this will be another enjoyable film in the Child’s Play franchise.
Posted by Jonathan Hughes in COMING SOON, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Ghost Team (2016)

MOVIE REVIEW: Ghost Team (2016)

Director: Oliver Irving; Writers: Oliver Irving, Peter Warren; Stars: Jon Heder, David Krumholtz, Justin Long, Melonie Diaz, Amy Sedaris, Paul W. Downs; Rating: PG-13; Run Time: 83 min; Genre: Horror Comedy; Country: USA; Language: English; Year: 2016
I first heard of Ghost Team from a friend of mine a few months ago. I remember he showed me a trailer for it on YouTube, and, I must admit, the trailer did make it look pretty damn funny. When you put John Heder and Justin Long together, your outcome will most likely be laugh out loud funny… Well, unfortunately, that’s not the result in Ghost Team.
Louis (Jon Heder) and Stan (David Kromholtz) are roommates living down-and-out lives going nowhere fast. The two are fans of a paranormal TV show that is running a contest where the winner gets to be the next member of the show. So, when they hear of a local barn that might be haunted, the light bulbs over their heads switch on with the ingenious idea to become ghost hunters and try to win a spot on the show.
The two team up with other friends who they think might be able to help them out by specializing in different departments of their investigation, such as Ross (Justin Long), a rather gung-ho night security guard for a department store who becomes head of security for the Ghost Team. With a now full paranormal investigation crew, they head to the supposed haunted barn in the middle of nowhere in a van full of equipment that was borrowed from a local electronics store where Louis’ nephew Zak (Paul W. Downs) just happens to work.
From the beginning of the movie, I kept waiting for all the one liners and the slapstick to happen, and it just never really did. There were a few chuckles at best. It did, however, start to turn into what I thought was going to become a decent and suspenseful ghost movie. Unfortunately, after about 15 minutes of build-up, the suspense ball was dropped when we discover the reality of what their ghosts really are.
The film itself reminded me of an episode from the old Scooby-Doo mystery cartoon. The kids are out for adventure, looking for ghosts, but it lacked the pull-off-the-rubber-mask-to-reveal-who-is-underneath. The ball was dropped, and in so many ways! In short, Ghost Team as an entire film is a big let-down on many levels.
With the cast that was acquired for this film, Ghost Team had the possibility of being a great comedic piece and, even better, a great horror comedy. I am a fan of Justin Long’s work, and I’m not saying that his or anyone else’s acting is bad, but the movie just did use the talent properly. This leads me to believe that the cast must have owed a lot of favors to whoever made this. Maybe with the right group of people or if I had been a little drunk, it would’ve worked for me, but I was neither. Sorry guys, but this one goes nowhere fast!
Ghost Team is currently playing on Netflix.
Keep It Evil…
Posted by John Roisland in Categories, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Carnage Park (2016)

MOVIE REVIEW: Carnage Park (2016)

CARNAGE PARK (2016)
Ashley Bell, Pat Healy, Alan Ruck
So it’s getting to be a late Saturday night and being the party animal that I am I flop on the couch, grab the remote, turn on Netflix, and start to waste time looking hopefully for a good movie. As always, I go straight to our beloved horror section, and I actually happen to stumble across Carnage Park. I knew was a relatively new release and figured why not, I don’t have much else to do.
The story is of young Vivian (Bell, The Day, The Last Exorcism) who is kidnapped by two bank robbers in a small town outside the California desert. The two outrun the cops by driving off into the desert hills on an old dirt road that they come across. Thinking that they have made the easy escape, the two criminals are shot and killed by a skilled marksman who’s watching them out in the hills. It is from this point on that Vivian is forced into a deadly game of cat-and-mouse.
So, hearing that, Carnage Park doesn’t sound that bad… well, it’s not great either.
Mickey Keating, director of Carnage Park, is trying for a late sixties feel. The beginning of the film was almost obnoxious the way it was done, then tried slipping into a near Tarantino hip feel, finally ending up trying to mock Rob Zombie in so many different ways.
And it must be pointed out that just because you’re able to find an old model Nova to use as a cop car, an old Chevy Impala for the getaway car, and put a tinted lens over your camera, it really doesn’t give a retro feel. The point that it was supposed to be dated is there, but, honestly, anyone could have picked up on it. It really had nothing to do with how it was shot.
Carnage Park is a borderline disappointment as the film had decent potential, and the star acting was pretty good and actually the one thing that held it together. Pat Healy (Compliance, Cheap Thrills) as the shooter was really good,…just wish there was actually more of him, and Alan Ruck as the sheriff looks the same as he did in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
Now I’m not saying that the movie is Godawful because it’s not although I did catch myself watching the clock and kind of wondering when is this ever going to be over.
It did have the potential to be a much grittier and bloodier film, and I really wanted to like this a lot more than I did. As many of you know, my love for Netflix is not a strong one anymore. Still, if you’re a crazy, wild, Saturday night party person like I am and you can’t find anything else worth watching either, sure go ahead and give Carnage Park a view… Hopefully you’ll like it more than I did.
Keep It Evil…
Posted by John Roisland in MOVIE REVIEWS, 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 COMING SOON, HORROR NEWS, 1 comment
MOVIE REVIEW: Afflicted (2013)

MOVIE REVIEW: Afflicted (2013)

By John Roisland
2013 brought Afflicted to us, a vampire film like I promise you’ve never seen before. The story is of two life long friends who embark on a journey of a lifetime when they fly to Europe and travel across the world, Afflicted follows the friends as they videotape and upload all experiences to the online world.
After what appears to be a night of would be romance gone wrong, with one of the friends bringing a young lady he meets in a European bar to his hotel room, he is found unconscious bloodied, and beaten. Soon our young friend finds himself starting to feel ill while simultaneously realizing that he has acquired almost superhuman powers. He is now incredibly strong and has the ability to run 40-50 miles per hour, scale the outside of buildings, and jump from rooftop to rooftop. The downside to this, as I mentioned, is that our friend is also becoming extremely ill and learning of certain things that he is now craving and desiring. Blood. The taste of blood. It is here where our character goes into his downward spiral both physically and mentally.
His journey to find the answers of what he has become, a vampire, which he can only trace back to his one night of pleasure with the woman he brought home from the bar, is compelling.
While Afflicted does bear more than a passing resemblance to American Werewolf in London (two Americans traveling across country while attacked by a monster of some sort), it is a darker and more serious film. Filmed on location in Europe, at moments Afflicted seems to drag a little bit, but it more than makes up for it with details and story line.
The two main actors, Derek Lee and Clif Prowse, are not only the leads in the movie but are also both writers and directors of the film. And Derek’s acting is spot on, sorry Clif. I’m not going to give away any spoilers or the ending, but I will just leave you with… a person has to do what a person has to do to survive, right? SEE THIS MOVIE!
Keep it Evil…
Posted by John Roisland in MOVIE REVIEWS, 0 comments

THIS JUST IN: Insidious: Chapter 4 Is On Its Way

By Jonathan Patrick Hughes
In 2010, writer Leigh Whannell and Director James Wan made an independent film entitled, Insidious which, to me, felt more like a modern day Poltergeist with pulse-pounding moments and a clever way to take a audience on a trip into the further. Since then, the franchise has exploded giving the audience a true scarathon. James Wan directed the first two films as well as The Conjuring and The Conjuring 2 and left the writer, Leigh Whannell in charge of directing the 3rd film in the franchise.
With 2017 just around the corner, a new chapter is gonna take us even further into the further. Once again, Leigh Whannell wrote the screenplay and the director of The Taking of Deborah Logan, Adam Robitel is sitting in the director’s chair ready to give us a continuation that is going to take on levels that we have yet to experience.
“It takes place right after the end of Insidious: Chapter 3, when she walks off with Specs and Tucker and they’re starting their company, Spectral Sightings, and they are now living at her home. They’re like her two sons, her two bad sons.
“So it starts out in a very jovial, happy place and then goes downhill from there,” she adds. “And downhill meaning uphill, though. It’s a fantastic story and it took me back into what made Elise who she is. You meet my family, my mother, my father—we go back to my hometown, which is in New Mexico. And so that’s where this takes place and her quest to find the bad guy that’s been haunting her. It’s a really wonderful story. I think the fans will really, really enjoy it. And it’s scary on levels they’re not going to expect.”
As a fan of the franchise, I, for one, am excited to see where this will take us. I have yet to be disappointed with any of the films and I welcome a fourth chapter of Insidious. 2017 is shaping up to be a solid year for horror films.
Posted by Jonathan Hughes in COMING SOON, 0 comments