Leatherface

July is a spotlight month on tattoos, the people who proudly wear them and the artists. July 17th is National Tattoo Day and I would like to shine the spotlight on one artist. Tattoos a mere 30 years ago were looked at with such disregard that people were looked down on if they had any. Fast forward to now and more people have them than do not. In the home of one of the Army’s largest posts, Fort Bragg, is Chop Shop Tattoos.

Located in the Fayetteville Suburb of Hope Mills, NC, Chop has been a staple in the community for 16 years. One of his specialties is horror. Chop (a former member of the Army) is a proud horror fan. He also loves tattooing horror icons. He has over the last year completed “signature pieces”. These are the faces of the icons and their signatures that follow. Robert Englund’s website, this past spring, featured a piece by Chop of Freddy Krueger for a fan.


The Freddy piece complemented a Leatherface tattoo Chop finished in the winter.

Leatherface tattoo with Gunnar Hansen’s signature, done by Chop Shop Tattoos.

Chop says that he has been tattooing for 20 years and constantly looks for new challenges. He loves horror pieces and frequently discusses the movies of the icon he is tattooing. Some of his other iconic pieces have been portraits of Danny Trejo and Edgar Allen Poe.

So fellow horror fans (especially those with ink), please join me in saluting a horror ink master. Let’s all say Happy Tattoo Month to the man they call Chop!

Chop of Chop Shop Tattoos

National Tattoo Month Salute: Chop Shop Tattoos

National Tattoo Month Salute: Chop Shop Tattoos

July is a spotlight month on tattoos, the people who proudly wear them and the artists. July 17th is National Tattoo Day and I would like to shine the spotlight on one artist. Tattoos a mere 30 years ago were looked at with such disregard that people were looked down on if they had any. Fast forward to now and more people have them than do not. In the home of one of the Army’s largest posts, Fort Bragg, is Chop Shop Tattoos.

Located in the Fayetteville Suburb of Hope Mills, NC, Chop has been a staple in the community for 16 years. One of his specialties is horror. Chop (a former member of the Army) is a proud horror fan. He also loves tattooing horror icons. He has over the last year completed “signature pieces”. These are the faces of the icons and their signatures that follow. Robert Englund’s website, this past spring, featured a piece by Chop of Freddy Krueger for a fan.


The Freddy piece complemented a Leatherface tattoo Chop finished in the winter.

Leatherface tattoo with Gunnar Hansen’s signature, done by Chop Shop Tattoos.

Chop says that he has been tattooing for 20 years and constantly looks for new challenges. He loves horror pieces and frequently discusses the movies of the icon he is tattooing. Some of his other iconic pieces have been portraits of Danny Trejo and Edgar Allen Poe.

So fellow horror fans (especially those with ink), please join me in saluting a horror ink master. Let’s all say Happy Tattoo Month to the man they call Chop!

Chop of Chop Shop Tattoos




Posted by Crypt Keeper Clint in EDITORIALS, STAFF PICKS, 0 comments
INTERVIEW: Original Pennywise Designer Bart Mixon

INTERVIEW: Original Pennywise Designer Bart Mixon

You may not know his name, but if you are a horror fan, you’ve seen his work. Bart Mixon is best known for creating the now iconic makeup for Tim Curry’s dancing clown Pennywise. Among the other movies to his credit are RoboCop, Killer Klowns from Outer Space, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, Rings, and the Netflix film Bright. Bart, along with Heather A. Wixson, Steve Johnson, Michele Burke, Gabe Bartalos, Tom Woodruff, Jr., Jennifer Aspinall, John Goodwin, and Rick Lazzarini, will be doing a book signing at Dark Delicacies this Saturday, and I was granted an exclusive interview with Bart Mixon about his epic career.
House of Tortured Souls: I read in an interview that the hardest part of the job is just getting it. With your amazing resume, does the work ever just come to you now?
Bart Mixon: When I did that interview, I owned my own shop so I was trying to bid on shows, and I think that was more in reference to that. Lately (in the past twenty years), I have been doing mainly set with application work for other guys, such as Rick Baker on The Grinch, Planet of the Apes (2001), and Men In Black 2 and 3, so I’m not key in the show as much anymore. But yeah, I get work from a lot of my friends these days. Like I was just doing Bright a year ago, but it just came out, and I got that job from a friend Chris Nelson whom I’ve known for twenty years. When he got that show, he was like, “Hey, wanna help me apply it?” So it does seem like a lot of it these days is more either contacts I’ve made or I guess I have enough of a reputation that the work comes to me. It’s not to say if something cool is going on that I won’t make a few phone calls or make a few suggestions, but yeah, it doesn’t seem like I have to beat the doors down like in the 80s or 90s.
HoTS: How much interaction with the directors do you have? For example, you just did Guardians of the Galaxy II by former Troma alumni James Gunn. I could see him being a fan of your past work.
BM: Actually I didn’t have much contact with him. Depending on the show I’m working on, for example on Men in Black 3, I was doing the main villain Boris for Rick Baker, so I was with Rick and Barry Sonnenfeld and others. But a show like Guardians, I was on it for about 12 weeks or so but pretty much I was just doing midground and background characters, so I really didn’t have a chance to interact with Gunn that much. I mean, Legacy was in charge of the prosthetics for part two, and they put the teams together for who was doing the Nebula or Drax. By the time I got on set, I was just doing mid ground characters. But no, I didn’t have much contact with Gunn. However, in that same vein, when the new IT came out, Chris Nelson (who I did Bright with) was doing a virtual reality promotional film for the film (IT), and he (Nelson) asked me to apply the Pennywise makeup. Then, when the director heard that one of us had done the original Pennywise, he was very interested in talking with me. He was a fan of the original and was like, ‘Oh cool you worked on the first one’, so I showed him my notebook with all my Pennywise photos – that sort of thing. So in that instant, he was a fan and that was flattering.
HoTS: Your first big project was A Nightmare on Elm Street 2. Where you did the Freddy coming out of Jesse’s body? Do you recall how long that sequence took to pull off?
BM: I think we had about 11 weeks from start to finish – when we did our first meetings and storyboards and what not to when we shot. Most of our effects were shot were on the last two days of filming the movie because it was all the Freddy bursting out of Jesse, and we had so much to build that we basically told him that it had to be the last stuff they shot because we needed every day that we could get. I recall staying up 40 hours straight getting everything ready for the first day of that two-day shoot.

HoTS: Did you work on anything else or just that scene?
BM: We also did the mechanical tongue that Jesse has when he’s making out with his girlfriend, so things like that we did earlier in the shoot, and there might have been one or two other little things that worked prior to that transformation, but 99% of what we built was that sequence.
HoTS: You’ve worked on bigger budget films and lower ones. Would you say having a bigger budget is easier or do you have more freedom in the small production?
BM: Defiantly on a small shows either time or money can certainly be more of an issue, but I guess you have to be a little more creative, like when I was doing stuff in Texas before I moved to LA, I might have known the right way to do something, but I maybe couldn’t either find the material or have the money to do it that way, so I would have to come up with an alternatives. I guess it forces you to be more inventive and resourceful, but sometimes too if they don’t have the time or money to do it, then it doesn’t get done at all and that can be frustrating. I think I’ve become a little spoiled working on the number of Rick Baker shows that I did because he always saw to getting things scheduled and having the time and budget to get do the project right. And, of course, after you get used to doing things the correct way and you get thrown into other situations where you don’t have that luxury, it can be frustrating. For example, the prosthetics that came out of Rick’s shop or other shops, like Vincent Van Dyke, they make beautiful prosthetics, and when you are on set applying their stuff, 99% of the time it’s going to be a nice piece, whereas, and I can’t name any names (laugh), but some other shows things might not be good such as the edges might not be what they should be or whatever and your kind of like, ‘Why is this made this way?’ And that can be frustrating – like being handed a pile of ‘whatever’ and trying to make it work. Like I said, I don’t want to name any names because a lot of these guys I’ve worked with are my friends and whatnot. But sometimes that’s due to budget and sometimes it’s just how things are designed, and you don’t always have input on how things go together. That was one of the nice things on Bright. You’ve seen Bright?

Bright (2017)

HoTS: Yeah. I really liked it.
BM: Oh good, I did too. Well, the initial test that they did on that, everybody wants to do everything in silicone these days. That’s just like the go-to material. But it would have been very impractical to do that movie with silicone, and when Chris did the first test, he made the prosthetics out of silicone and quickly realized that this was going to be more of a headache. Then whatever advantage you might have been getting from silicone, which I don’t know if there really was any. So after that first test, they decided that foam latex would be the better way to go, so thankfully the shop listened and that’s what we did. So when you get into a show early enough and where you can have input on the ways things should be executed, that’s always preferable. Again, some shows will afford you that luxury and other shows don’t, quite frankly. So, like on Bright, there was enough time to retool their thinking to go to foam latex and, again, when we did a couple of tests, for example, the way we were doing ears on Joel [Edgerton], we changed those after the second test just to make them more user friendly. They were very concerned about not getting the makeup applied in a certain amount of time, so we came up with suggests which would expedite it whereas the makeup might not have been originally designed that way. So some shows you know you have the schedule and budget to try things and rethink things and other shows you don’t.
But in general, yeah, it’s great to have a budget. Another example: I had the job of (the character) Vision on the new Avengers movie, and we had the time and the budget to rework the cowl that Paul Bettany wears because there were some comfort issues on Civil War that we were able to address in this new Avengers movie. But, then again, some of the most fun I’ve had, like A Nightmare on Elm Street 2, were smaller budgets – especially compared to things I’ve worked since then (laughs). Or the Rob Zombie movies with Wayne Toth. I had a pretty good time because I was working with friends.
HoTS: Speaking of iconic 80s films, you worked on The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2. How did you get hired for that job?
BM: I was part of Tom Savini’s crew and I was living in Houston at the time. I had been corresponding with Savini since before Creepshow, so I was trying to get on the show but wasn’t having much luck. But my brother was living in California at the time and knew some of the people on Tom’s crew, and they’d already been in Austin for a week or two setting up, and I believe it was John Vulich who suggested that, “Tom isn’t going to hire you over the phone, but if you go to Austin and have a meeting with him, he’ll hire you”.
HoTS: What specifically did you do for that job?
BM: By the time I came on, which was a week or two into it, the main characters like Chop Top had already been doled out to various artists, so I was doing lab work. I ran a lot of foam latex, made some molds. In the film, somebody gets their hand cut off. We did a prosthetic on an amputee, and we sculpted the pieces for that. The guy had recently lost his hand, so when John Vulich applied the severed stump to him, the guy freaked out and literally ran away so we weren’t able to shoot him for the movie. I also helped Shawn McEnroe  apply makeup to Chop Top, and I also did a lot of set work. Probably the most visible thing I did in the movie was on Leatherface, doing work above his eyes and mouth before we put the mask on him. I was mainly watching set, so I would do the day to day makeup like the sores on his lips. That was like an out of the kit makeup, this material which is like a scar plastic you can build up wounds and stuff.

Tobe Hooper on The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2

HoTS: This was the first and, I believe, only time you worked with Tobe Hooper. Any special memories of working with him?
BM: I remember he said I looked like Stephen King. I thought that was cute (laugh), and at the time, just the length of his hair and goatee, I thought he looked like Rick Baker. So we were like, “Hey, you look like Stephen King” and “Oh, you look like Rick Baker”. I remember I was removing the Chop Top makeup once, and I was working a brush under the prosthetic to loosen it, and Tobe was there, I guess talking to [Bill] Moseley and watching what I was doing. And I remember poking the brush through the prosthetic and it looked like it punched through the skin, and Tobe was kind of grossed out by that. I was like, “Really? Out of all the stuff we are doing in this movie (laugh), this seems odd that this would affect you.” I also remember there was this one shot where we were doing a scene where the girl (Caroline Williams) was tied to a chair at the end of the table and her makeup artist was coming in and giving her water in between takes because she was screaming so much. She left a cup of water on the table for one of the takes, and Tobe was really pissed off, understandably, about that. I remember him telling the script supervisor, “Make a note to the editor that his preferred take was the one with the cup in it” just to emphasize how displeased he was with it left in. I try to remember anything else, nothing more specific. I remember Dennis Hopper had a birthday on the set, and the little cake and a mini chainsaw that he was cutting the cake with was spitting oil all over the place, and nobody wanted to eat the cake because it had oil all over it. I think Dennis Hopper might have been a little high once and awhile. I remember the makeup girl trying to do his makeup, and she comes at him with the sponge and he flinches like kind of recoils, and he said “What are you doing?” and she was like “I’m doing your makeup”. He was like, “Oh, okay” and settles down. And she goes to do it again, and he flinches and again said, “What are ya doing?” and again she says, “I’m doing your makeup” (laughs), and he’s like, “Ohh, okay”, and this must have gone on for 15 minutes. (Laughs) I was thinking, ‘Yeah Dennis might be smoking something before he came to the trailer’ that day. But yeah, Tobe was a cool guy and seemed to know what he wanted. I was impressed with him and how he handled the set and whatnot, so it was defiantly a good experience.
HoTS: Now the thing you probably get asked about the most is designing Pennywise for the 90s miniseries. I read you started designs before Curry was cast?
BM: Yeah as much as I could. I mean, once I read the script, I started just kind of doing some doodles and some rough conceptual stuff. I know there are some pictures that showed up online of some of my early sketches. But I quickly found that without having the actor’s face that you are working on, it was kind of pointless at least in terms of specifics. I think I might have gotten some board strokes before Tim was cast, but a lot of that, especially a makeup like that, much is dictated by the actor’s face. So you can sit there and draw for weeks, but once you get your actor, you’d be like, “Okay, this isn’t going to work on him”. Again, I did a few just board strokes, concept type things, but luckily they cast Tim fairly early on, and I was able to focus my attention on making it work which is the features.
HoTS: And Curry wasn’t the first choice if I am remembering that correctly?
BM: Tommy doesn’t remember this, but maybe he wasn’t yet on board, but originally this was going to be a three-part six-hour miniseries, and at that time, I remember going [to] Fantasy 2 and asking who was going to be Pennywise. I remember at the time saying it was either going to be Tim Curry, Malcolm McDowell, or Roddy McDowall being considered. Tommy has since said in interviews he doesn’t recall that, but again it might have happened before he got on board. But certainly, I never did any design work for anybody but Tim Curry.

Bart Mixon concept art for Pennywise in 1990 IT miniseries

HoTS: Curry was not a big fan of prosthetics from what I read?
BM: He previously did the character Darkness (for Legend) and wore more prosthetics. I guess, yeah, he probably wanted to keep it as simple and as little as possible. I know at one point he was saying that he wouldn’t mind just having a rubber bald cap instead of the foam latex cranium that I had for him. I guess his whole concept of Pennywise was a little different than mine. For example, he was okay with the edges showing on the bald cap, like he was a guy wearing a clown makeup. But for me it was never a guy wearing a makeup; it was an illusion this creature was projecting, so it didn’t make sense to me to include flaws like that. The makeup that we used in the movie had a headpiece and a nose, and then, in additional tests there were cheekbones also. We tested both of those, and I could tell that Tim wasn’t too thrilled about wearing the cheeks, and again in hindsight I think it was the right decision, but I thought he looked good with them in the test. At the time, I sculpted the battery acid, he was going to be wearing those, but once we tested, we decided not to use them. And we didn’t have time to re-sculpt the makeup, and, for a while, they weren’t going to use it anyways. So yeah, he wanted to wear as little as possible. We had to have the headpiece on him, and plus I wanted the light bulb head, and Tommy Wallace wanted that, too. So we needed to build up his head a little bit. Also, to his credit, the whole battery acid look… we almost didn’t shoot that. When we did principal photography, we didn’t have time to put it on him, so we shot the scene without it and used the regular Pennywise look, and then Tim expressed some disappointment and said, “Well, you did this beautiful prosthetic. It’s a shame we aren’t going to be able to use it”, so they scheduled a day of additional photography at Fantasy II and Tim said if we could get it all in one day, that he would wear the battery acid look so we could do the inserts for that sequence. So it wasn’t that he was totally flat against prosthetics, otherwise he wouldn’t have volunteered to wear that, and the only reason that’s in the movie is because he graciously offered to wear it for that day. And I am forever grateful to him for that and, of course, that is a very memorable piece in the movie. Its almost as iconic as Pennywise himself, and that came very close to not being in the movie. Tim was a great guy, and I cannot say enough nice things about him. I’m glad they choose him.

Tim Curry as Pennywise in IT 1990 miniseries

HoTS: Had Curry not minded a lot of prosthetics, would you have gone another direction in the look?
BM: I did three designs, or what we call clay sketches, once we had Tim cast. Then we did a head cast of him, and I did three different designs. One was very heavy and almost covered his whole face. It was almost like one of those tramp or hobo clowns with the sculpted frown, and it had a lot more character in the face. The second was the one that we went with, and the third was somewhere in between, and just in conversations with the director, we choose the one we went with. Of the three looks, that’s the one that was picked, but it was originally supposed to have cheekbones to the chin. It was like a stylized Lon Chaney from The Phantom of the Opera, which is what I was going for. So had Tim been more open, we would have gone with the cheek and the chin, but we already eliminated the heavier makeup in the design process.

 

HoTS: King, I heard, wasn’t on set.
BM: I don’t know why he wasn’t on set. I’m not sure if nobody invited him or he didn’t want to go. And I know he was around The Stand and some of these other miniseries of some of his books, so I’m not really sure why he didn’t show up on ours. Maybe he was busy at that time. I don’t know.
HoTS: Did you meet him prior to IT?
BM: I never met him.
HoTS: So, I am dying to know what you thought of the new IT and the design of Pennywise.
BM: It was cool. I’m certainly fond of mine, but I thought they did a nice job. I did get to apply that one day for the promotional thing, and there were certainly some similarities to my makeup which probably couldn’t be avoided [with] it being a clown, but I thought it was different enough. I don’t envy [Bill] Skarsgård just having to follow Tim Curry. That must be a pretty daunting task for him, but yeah, I thought it was interesting as a makeup. I’m glad they did their own take on it, that they didn’t just copy mine even though I have friends that thought they copied it a little too much. I guess it has the bulbous head like mine, but that’s where the similarities end. Just as a movie, I thought they did a pretty good job. Mine was a TV movie from 1990; theirs is an R-rated feature in 2017, so obviously they can do stuff we weren’t allowed to do. For what I did, I think it was about three hours and five minutes long. By the time they do part two, it will probably come into about four and a half hours to cover the same territory, so I am kind of envious that they got another hour and a half to tell the same story and they are not restricted by the 1990 TV censorship as I was. But I’m really looking forward to part two. I got a lot of crap on mine for the spider at the end of ours, so I’m kind of curious to see what they do or if they are even going to do a spider, or if they are gonna chicken out and not do it at all. (Laughs) I have a feeling with all the references to the turtle in the first one, we are going to see the spider and turtle fight. That was in the book. So I wish them luck with that, but yeah, I’m looking forward to the second one. Actually, after the director met Chris and I, he said, “Oh maybe we should get you to do part two”, and I was like, “Hey you know where to find us”. So [we] will see, but I thought they did a good job. Some of the visuals in there I thought were really cool, like the scene with Georgie in the flooded basement and he’s standing in like ankle deep water and Pennywise comes up out of the water, which I thought made a nice supernatural element since obviously the water wasn’t deep enough for him to be completely submerged and yet he was. Or like when he was working Georgie like a hand puppet or when he ripped Georgie’s arm off – which is a scene we could only hint at. In our version, he is missing an arm but you can’t really tell.
HoTS: You’re doing a book signing at Dark Delicacies on Jan 13, 2018. The book is entitled Monster Squad about the art of monster makeup. Is this going to be a reunion for you with the other guests?
BM: Well, it depends. I’d have to look at the list to see who’s on there. Like I think Tom and Alex from ADI are going to be there, and I just saw them recently at Creature Features for a promotional thing. But most of these guys I’m certainly casual friends with but, unfortunately, with everybody’s schedule, we probably don’t see each other as much as we would like to. Certainly, there are some people that I’ve seen more recently than others.

Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

You can meet Mr. Bart Mixon at the Dark Delicacies book signing Jan 13, 2018.
Posted by Mike Vaughn in INTERVIEWS, MONSTERS AND CREATURES, 0 comments
Horror Remakes: Why They Are Not Bad

Horror Remakes: Why They Are Not Bad

Something that weighs on the minds of horror fans every time an announcement of a new movie is coming out, and that one thing is “Will this be a remake”? Now the words reboot, remake, re-imaging, or whatever the wordage may be. These are things that no one likes to hear when you’re a “True” horror fan; however, what makes you a true horror fan? Is it the way we view horror as an art form? Is it the attitude we take towards Michael Bay? Is it the "Robert Englund is the only Freddy" stance? Let’s take a trip through time and explain how re-visioning is how it all started and all the “elite” are not justified in their constant complaining of reboots. Yes, you can have an opinion, but you’re not always right. The fact of the matter is; none of us are right, it’s all perspective of our interests. So allow me if you will, to explain why remakes are essential and going to happen despite all the elitist’s basement dwellers best efforts and internet trolling to stop them.

Nosferatu (1922) / Fair use doctrine.The dawn of the horror age in movies was met with films such as Nosferatu and Phantom of the Opera, both of which were movie adaptations of tThe Phantom of the Opera (1925) / Fair use doctrine.he written word. I’m sure someone in 1929 set in their smoke-filled basement and stated via telegraph “Universal Studios. Stop. The books were better. Stop. Sincerely, Guy you’ll never see.” Then the 1930s come and bring us the Universal Monster films. Again, this was more than likely met with flak from people who read Dracula and Frankenstein and wondered why the movies were nothing like the books. Well, this is considered a re-imaging to adapt to film. Same idea, just a new perspective.

Horror of Dracula (1958) / Fair use doctrine.Throughout the 50s, 60s and 70s all the monsters we loved were re-imagined again in different forms, stories etc. Christopher Lee made Dracula famous again, Peter Cushing put a new twist on the Van Helsing character. We could carry this on but you get the idea. Were these movies met with disgruntled fans of the original Monster movies? Of course, however people of today still give love to Christopher Lee as a horror icon and why? HE WAS IN A REVISION OF FUCKING DRACULA! That is why. These same people complaining about the slasher remakes that were made famous in the 1980’s are the same that have not only the Universal Monsters box set, but the Hammer set right next to it. Have we learned a lesson in horror yet?

Probably not, or you’re looking at your collection thinking it’s a different scenario. It is not, it’s the same concept.

A Nightmare on Elm Street / Fair use doctrine.The slasher and horror remakes of today are no different than those of yesteryear. The remake is essentially laziness on Hollywood running out of ideas but what’s really going on is. They’re burrowing for ideas and then it hits them “Oh, man ya know if I were to make Nightmare on Elm Street, I’d add some backstory it would really help explain a lot of the movie that didn’t make any sense at all in the original”. Well look at that, that’s what, happened. Made more sense and got the story across with a more realistic burned person with boils and all that and not a cheeseless pizza. Not to mention, something that hits the scene “The new Freddy wasn’t funny”. No he wasn’t, and NEITHER WAS THE ORIGINAL! Also “His voice is too deep and creepy.” Ok..um..Horror..mov…ie. Now with that said also, homeboy was burnt up in a fire, his vocal chords probably were soot covered and damaged. I’m sure the writers would issue an apology for realism, but if I were them. I wouldn’t. So, with that said. Let’s take a peek at some other remakes.

Michael BayI’ve read a billion reviews on each, and seeing that Michael Bay was a part of most of them the common thing people say is “Michael Bay sucks, he just blows stuff up.” Ok. Shut up. Without saying that line that EV.ER.Y.ONE says, tell me why Michael Bay sucks. I’ll wait. His movies even Bad Boys were good movies, Transformers was good, as were the Ninja Turtles Movies. Sooo, there’s no justification when everyone says the one thing that does not matter at all on his remakes. I and some of my peers even that I’ve discussed this with have never heard any other reason for Michael Bay to be considered a bad movie maker other than “he blows stuff up”. Which again is all anyone says.

Clancy Brown, Sean Penn, and Robert Lee Rush in Bad Boys (1983) / Fair use doctrine.

Clancy Brown, Sean Penn, and Robert Lee Rush in Bad Boys (1983)

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003) / Fair use doctrine.Texas Chainsaw Massacre: This movie remake was by far the best of them all. It was not only a very well told story, it took out the cheese of the 70s and added a LOT more gore for today’s horror aficionado. It for sure added a lot better of a factor of scare and realism. There was literally nothing wrong with this movie. If you went into it thinking “the original was better” you’re insane because the original lacked in so many ways in comparison. For the time the original was made, yes it was brutal. Someone saw an idea later, and with less restriction, so they made a movie that should have been made in 1970 whatever.
Halloween (2007) / Fair use doctrine.Halloween/H2: Say what you will about Rob Zombie, his movies went from TCM loosely based films, to the remakes of Halloween and Halloween 2, then the not so great films of Lords of Salem and 31, so yes, his originals lack heavily in my opinion, others here love them, but hey we are still friends and it’s no big deal. However, here’s what’s up with Halloween. I hated Halloween by John Carpenter. Halloween II (2009) / Fair use doctrine.That’s right, I dare say such a thing. It was a boring ass movie. No story, just a lot of “oh there’s a guy and now he’s gone.” Rob Zombie added a lot of backstory, a reason for Michael to be the way he is which made a ton more sense to the movie. The rest are pretty much the same as the original except for bloody gore fests right from the beginning. Again, making it far better than the original ever was. Halloween 2 was just bloody which made it fun, other than that it was kind of like a bad dream the whole time. Rob Zombie, really did a bang-up job with his RE-VISION of Halloween probably the best there ever were or ever will be.
Friday the 13th (2009) / Fair use doctrine.Friday the 13th: This film was great, it wrapped the first 7 movies into one. Did we need 45 sequels before? Nope, not at all. So, this summed them all up awesomely. So, this remake was on point with the rest, gave the backstory briefly, burned through 1 and 2…3…4…5. 6..7 in like 2 hours. Killed a ton of people hilariously and boom. Done. This is what made the movie a great rendition to the Slasher remake series. Got to the point, showed some titties, and lots of senseless killing. Without having 8 sequels for no good reason.
Poltergeist (2015) / Fair use doctrine.Poltergeist: Sucked as a movie not because it’s a remake. It was just awful even as a standalone movie. It was, just no.
Evil Dead (2013) / Fair use doctrine.Evil Dead: Seriously, a fantastically remade movie, and it’s undeniable that this movie had some great storyline, the graphics were classic and disgusting. The blood, my lord Vincent Price, the blood was something to be glorious about. If you didn’t like this movie at all, then just take yo’ self out of horror fandom and go to the kiddie booth where you belong.
Bill Skarsgård and Jackson Robert Scott in It (2017) / Fair use doctrine.Okay, we’ll skip a few and move on to IT. With IT being released a lot of folks have stated it looks like crap. What the fuck movie are you watching? Because it was damn good, although the original was the original and Tim Curry blah blah blah. A true-blue horror fan will watch both back to back and be like “Ok the original was fairly boring and far too hokey”. The remake already is instilling pure terror into people. JUST FROM THE TRAILER! which was like “Fuck..this…shit..wow.” Who cares if Tim Curry or John Boy Walton aren’t in it. Who cares if it’s not made for TV and released on 4 VHS tapes. It is a great film, I wasn’t surprised it was great, I was surprised it was hilarious as well as scary.

Like it or not the remakes will continue as people sit around digging up ideas and say “I’d do this differently.” We can’t stop them, we don’t have to watch them. Over the years, I have seen only four remakes not worth a damn and honestly I’ve seen a lot that were really bad so bad I can’t remember them but the movies right off hand I’m speaking of: Poltergeist, Hellraiser, House of Wax and Carnival of Souls. Every other remake has been stupid good, more graphic, more story and a lot better than the original. A Little tidbit to add to this, Evil Dead and Evil Dead 2 *ahem* SAME FUCKING MOVIE! Yes, that’s right same damn movie, can you believe that people say they’re not? Then complain about the remake that was recently made. Look at yourself and wonder why you’re this type of person. Also My Soul to Take Nightmare on Elm Street revision BY WES CRAVEN. If you as a fan paid any amount of attention to Wes Craven’s reasoning and creation of Freddy Krueger you would know that My Soul To Take is taken straight from those interviews, straight from his mind.

So before judging the movie before it comes out. Realize you’re one person with an opinion. Watch the movie as a standalone film and let it fill your heart with joy. We are all horror fans. We all have preferences, and we all have the love of the genre. Dissing on remakes is counterproductive and hypocritical when you have a Bela Lugosi and Christopher Lee posters right next to each other. Vincent Price with the black cat and other Poe stories. I dare anyone to say he didn’t breathe new life into Edgar Allan Poe’s stories. So, all of us can climb off our high horses now and enjoy these damn movies that are more awesome than before. Then in 20 years talk shit about people remaking Insidious and The Conjuring.

Posted by Schock in EDITORIALS, 0 comments
EDITORIAL: Andrew Bryniarski: From Leatherface To Loser

EDITORIAL: Andrew Bryniarski: From Leatherface To Loser

By John Roisland

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“Suck his dead nuts.” “He was pretty much a dick.” “Boo hoo…” and my personal favorite, “I played the role twice without him.”

These are a few of the comments made by superstar actor Andrew Bryniarski about the passing of Gunnar Hansen. Now I say call him a superstar, and he must be... because what kind of degenerate, ungrateful washed up has been, never gonna be, piece of steroid shit meathead would bad mouth an icon AFTER HE IS DEAD”!

I'm not here to tell you Gunnar Hansen was a saint, I would most likely be lying to you if I did. But the one thing I do know is that he never bad mouthed a fellow actor, especially one who had passed. There's a certain level of professionalism, and just common courtesy that should have been present from a grown ass man.

“I played the role twice without him...” I applaud you sir...must have taken you forever to remember all those lines, especially in a REMAKE!! Do you realize sir, that you took a horror icon, and destroyed it by your comments? Do you realize that YOU could have saved Leatherface's name, by standing up and being a professional, by being a man... by being human, and just saying one thing nice in his passing. Something like that hits the media...and bam, you're next in line for the next production of another Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

Maybe the part was just a paycheck to you, but you single handedly disgraced it. I do hope you're happy with yourself. The character of Leatherface is my personal favorite horror icon... none have ever even came close. Gunnar Hansen, to me, was Leatherface, I don't say that in any disrespect to any of the other actors that played him, Bryniarski included, but Hansen was the original...and will always be the best to me. When Mr. Hansen passed, my beloved icon passed with him, and because of that, I felt a huge loss myself.

I've also never had the pleasure of meeting you at a convention, sir, but I've heard it's quite an experience, from you groping and saying obscenities to the female guests to the ever-present scent of you marinating in your own piss. Damn, sorry I missed that! But most likely not as sorry as you soon will be sir, maybe you didn't think this all the way through. Being jealous because you weren't the first to play this character, and bad mouth the man who did... I guess in your juiced up mind makes you feel better. My friend, horror fans are EXTREMELY loyal and don't soon forget things, so if you are fortunate enough to make the bill of another convention circuit, you might as well bring something to occupy your time with...I wouldn't expect your lines to be too long there, bud!

And this is coming from a man who gets arrested for animal cruelty due to the twenty-five Pomeranians that were heard and found crying and yelping in distress. The dogs were found covered in trash and piss in your RV, in lovely Santa Monica, California not so long ago. It made national news, remember that? We all do.

So I wish you the best, sir, I really do. You have played roles that I really enjoyed in the past. But if the repercussions of this bounce back, and you're stuck being a pizza delivery boy...well, don't cry that it’s raining cats and Pomeranians!

Just so all of you know, I battled on whether or not to put up a picture of our little boy scout...then figured yeah, I want to make sure you all know just who I'm talking about!

Stay classy, fucker!

Stay Evil

Posted by John Roisland in EDITORIALS, OPINION, 25 comments

COMING SOON: Leatherface (2016)

Leatherface Returns Again

By Dixielord

Leatherface poster
Are you ready for more Leatherface? Well, ready or not, Leatherface is coming back in 2016 for the eighth film in the Texas Chainsaw franchise. What eight films? Yep, this makes number eight in the franchise. Casual horror fans are possibly unaware of how many Chainsaw films there are as the series is a bit more disjointed than most horror franchises.

The new Leatherface is a prequel to the 2013 Texas Chainsaw 3D, making it the second prequel in the series. The new film's plot involves the events that lead young Jackson Sawyer (which is at least his third name) to eventually become the killer. Young Leatherface is being played by Sam Strike (Eastenders), making him the seventh actor to portray Leatherface (not counting Kane Hodder who did stunts in 3). Stephen Dorff (Blade) plays the Texas Ranger hot on his trail. Originally, Angela Bettis was attached to the film as Verna Sawyer, but scheduling conflicts necessitated her dropping out. Lilli Taylor was then tapped for the role.

One thing horror fans can get excited about is the directorial team of Julian Maury and Alexandre Bustillo who bring the Seth M. Sherwood penned script to life. The two directors were responsible for the acclaimed French horror films Inside (2007) and Livid (2011) neither short on blood and gore. This should guarantee that the new Leatherface wont be a film for the squeamish.

Texas Chainsaw 3D turned a profit but received mixed reactions from fans. One of the biggest complaints was the screwed up time and technology of the film, with it seemingly set in the early 80s and the 2010s at the same time. The new film is set in the 70s but only time will tell if they get it right this time and if fans will welcome back their favorite chainsaw killer. Lionsgate is scheduled to release Leatherface in 2016.

Posted by Allen Alberson in COMING SOON, HORROR NEWS, 0 comments

PRODUCT REVIEW: Leatherface Gets a ReAction

My Reaction to the Leatherface ReAction

By John Roisland

Letherface ReAction

For about the last six years or so, I have prided myself, and actually take quite seriously, on having a small, but growing collection of horror merchandise. I have been gathering items from movie posters to Halloween themed sodas, but one of my favorites collectibles has always been action figures. Some are popular, some are rare and hard to find, but there usually wasn't one I wouldn't happily add to my collection. Until now.

Funko, who I'm a fan of, has come out with a line of retro action figures called ReAction Figures. Their character base is rather impressive, ranging from The Goonies to Escape from New York and even Big Trouble in Little China. The over all packaging and figure itself reminds me of that of the mid late 70s Star Wars figures. The size is about the same, very limited movement and the packaging is simple flat cardboard with some sort of movie picture that portrays the character. Over all, they aren't bad; they're little retro collectibles and all very much resemble their own character. All but one. Leatherface. Of all characters to get wrong, it has to be my personal favorite!

The outfit is the typical Leatherface garb: pants, tie, and apron. But the outfit is not the issue; what IS the issue is the mask. Everyone knows that Freddy Krueger has his glove of finger knives, Pinhead has, well, pins in his head, and Leatherface has a stitched together mask made of human. When you make or build a model or representation of these huge horror icons, it's imperative to get the trademark right! Well, in this case, our friendly looking butcher of human flesh looks like he's having a facial at a day spa and is sporting a mud mask! I'm sorry; I really am, but even the small blood spots on his apron and the chainsaw that comes with the action figure can't (and don't) make up for this!! Yes, you know who he is supposed to be as you look at it, but its a very bad representation.

Retailing for $14.99, this collectible will be hitting the shelves on November 30th, 2015, just in time for the fat man to fill your stockings! Maybe I'll find one with my name on it... I wont be crushed it I don't though. Sorry Funko, but this is one of few I will be passing on.

Posted by John Roisland in PRODUCT REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments

PRODUCT REVIEW: Funko POP

By John Roisland

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Funko, created in 1998 by Mike Becker, was an idea conceived to bring nostalgic themed toys back to an era of never ending electronics! My focus in this review is the Fukno POP line. It seems if you walk into any toy store, book/magazine shop - and especially a comic book store - you are bound to find these little guys! From Disney to Marvel and Dragonball Z to Jay and Silent Bob, Funko POP figures are everywhere! The list is endless - hell, there are characters I've never even heard of!

For our beloved HORROR...I must say it's a pretty impressive display. Ranging from classic horror, such as Nosferatu, The Wolfman and The Munsters just to name a few, to more mainstream horror icons, such as Captain Spaulding, Michael Myers, and (let us not forget my favorite) Leatherface! And again the lists goes on....and on, and they seem to add new ones every time you turn around.

Each character comes in a nice window box that stands about 7 inches tall. The figures alone, stand about 5 inches tall and are adorable! Yes, I said adorable! The reason I say this is because I can picture any young girl playing with any of these little characters at her tea party. They are not scary, nor are the meant to be. The detail of the characters, while they may not be as realistic as a da Vinci, is such that you know exactly who they are as soon as you see them. Without a doubt. They all have short bodies and large heads, and they almost have a cartoonish feel too them.

These figures have been a huge success with fans and toy collectors of all ages and lovers of all genres. Personally speaking, we have 11 in our collection, with about 75 more on our wish list. My personal favorites are The Bride of Frankenstein and Jason Voorhees! And what's on the top of my wish list? The new Pinhead of course! With an average price of $11.99 - $14.99, how can anyone pass it by!?

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Posted by John Roisland in PRODUCT REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments

PRODUCT REVIEW: Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning Action Figure Box Set

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Leatherface Action Figure

By John Roisland

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Leatherface action figure

Leatherface at work.

BEHOLD!!! This is the amazing Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning Action Figure box set.

Made by Horror Neca Toys, item #42036.

The detail in this piece is absolutely incredible. It depicts a very gruesome scene from the 2006 movie directed by Jonathan Liebesman, who says, "I am absolutely in love with this piece, the scene tells a story, it isn't just a figure."

Includes 2 - 7 inch scale figures (1 Leatherface w/ tools & 1 victim) also includes butcher table base.

1.1 pound total weight

Average cost $145.00 + shipping

This is a beautiful piece that any horror fan with a toy collection would be proud to have on display!

Posted by John Roisland in PRODUCT REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments