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BREAKING NEWS: Scott Wilson Passes Away At 76

BREAKING NEWS: Scott Wilson Passes Away At 76

What was supposed to be a night of great news for fans of The Walking Dead, ends on a sad note. Hours after being announced that Scott Wilson would return in Season 9, we are learning of Wilson’s passing. The news was confirmed by The Walking Dead’s Official Twitter account.

The Waling Dead Official Twitter

Wilson joined The Walking Dead as Hershel Green in Season 2 and lasted until Season 4. With news of Andrew Lincoln leaving the show, several characters that have since left the show after being killed off on screen were announced as returning, including Wilson.Scott Wilson / IMDB

Scott Wilson was born on March 29, 1942 in Atlanta. Wilson began his career in 1967 as Harvey Oberst in the film, In The Heat of the Night. During his 51 year career, Wilson had roles in films such as Young Guns II and the acclaimed film Monster, the biographical film depicting serial killer, Aileen Wuornos. His most beloved role would come when he depicted Hershel. Season 9 of The Walking Dead premieres tomorrow.

Scott Wilson’s rep, Dominic Mancini told TMZ tonight that Wilson died due to complications from leukemia. Everyone at House of Tortured Souls wishes to express their sadness on the passing of Wilson and extends our condolences to his family, friends and fans.

Scott Wilson / IMDB

Scott Wilson 1942-2018




Posted by Crypt Keeper Clint in HORROR NEWS, 0 comments
Joe Becker-Monster

Joe Becker-Monster

Another artist of the underground world got with us and wanted us to hear what they have to offer. Remember in my last review I stated that the underground is home to me, so I love seeing new faces and hearing new and original works.

A fellow by the name of Joe Becker got with us here at House of Tortured Souls with an album Monster that he described as Death Rock. This is an honest description and I respect that, I’d call it something like mind fuckery rock…and here is why.

The album as a whole is well produced musically, not a lot of vocal singing, but plenty of vocal dialog and storytelling over an accompanying musical background like a narrative. Joe’s way of interpreting what he’s got going on is like listening to the thoughts of an asylum inmate’s thoughts or better yet, what this inmate did to get where he is.

Each track is like a tale of a different victim and how they either asked to be murdered or just how this absolute insane person took it upon themselves to give the victim a release from life. Going into this being told it was death rock. I was expecting something with a lot of synthesizer, deep Peter Steele style vocals and a lot of vampiric sex. However, I was surprised at what I did here. As I said, each track is slightly different from the next on the tales told within them.

A few pointers to note: where Mr. Becker does sing or attempt to do so, it was a bit off key from the music and that very well could have been the intent. If not the intent, then this did not work out as planned. I feel like this record is fine how it is with the narrative style of vocalizing the poetic, goth, yet murderous lyrics. However, if singing is something you want to achieve on a record..for anyone..find that note you’re on and match your voice to it. I am NO singing vocalist…I yell fast and violently. However, when I do make my attempts at singing I hit that first note on the guitar and find it in my voice before carrying on.

Overall this is a great album to listen to if you really want to fuck someone up…keep it low in the background while friends are over just to fuck with their heads a bit. They will hear music and be like, “okay, whatever”, then dude starts in on his vocal track and it will subliminally mess them up, probably cause a nightmare or three. Another option, any one of these tracks will be good to send as a single (oh..oh showing what time period I’m from, yo) to basically say “I hate you, and this will happen if you contact me again”.

I highly recommend listening to this record at least once even if just for curiosity. It’s not something I’d recommend for driving, jamming out to or if you’re suicidal or a sociopath. For fun and “horror on tape” kinda deal, then definitely have a go at it.

Posted by Schock in MUSIC REVIEWS, 1 comment
MOVIE REVIEW: The Devil’s Candy (2015)

MOVIE REVIEW: The Devil’s Candy (2015)

The Devil's Candy poster / Fair use doctrine.The Devil's Candy is a 2015 horror film both written and directed by Sean Byrne (The Loved Ones (2009)) and starring Ethan Embry, Pruitt Taylor Vince, Shiri Appleby, and Kiara Glasco. I must admit - if not for the recommendation from a friend regarding this film, I may never have seen it. I'm glad he told me about it! The Devil’s Candy seemed to be kind of a sleeper hit that really packs a punch!
The Devil's Candy is the story of a young family who purchase an old farmhouse in southern Texas and quickly realize that along with the mortgage comes a horrific history that threatens them all. Ethan Embry plays Jesse Hellman, a loving husband, father, metal head, and painter. After moving into the family's new home, Jesse becomes almost possessed through his painting. Pruitt Taylor Vince co-stars as Ray, a man who suffers from demonic voices in his head, has been on an ultra-violent killing spree of young children, saying he needs to feed them to him. But Ray is also having a homecoming – to the same home that Embry and family now inhabit.
As Jesse's paintings become more and more detailed and violent, Ray gets closer and closer to the home, as do his abductions and brutal murders. Ray suffered from violent tendencies as a child, even being hospitalized due to them, and now he wants to come home.
Ethan Embry, known for playing fun-loving, almost goofy, characters (Dutch, Empire Records, Can't Hardly Wait), may seem an odd choice. In my opinion, though, Embry needs more serious/darker roles because HE NAILED IT! Although he plays the good guy and proud father in The Devil's Candy, he displays a dark side through his character’s possession and is brilliant!
The Devil's Candy - Pruitt Taylor Vince 02 / Fair use doctrine.Co-star Pruitt Taylor Vince (Constantine, Monster, and Identity) is NEVER a letdown in his performances, and his stellar job as Ray Smilie is so believable that he gives you nightmares during the day.
The Devil's Candy - Ethan Embry / Fair use doctrine.The film moves quickly but doesn't skip ahead or leave any stone unturned in the storytelling. My only gripe with lies with the film’s lighting. While all normal shots are filmed fine, too many of the action scenes are near unwatchable. I've viewed the filmed a few times now (yes, I'm a fan of it), and it’s just too dark no matter how the lighting is in the room. I’ve even tried adjusting the contrast on my TV set. Still not helping. Don’t get me wrong; I don't mind when a film has off screenshots that make you use your own imagination. Oftentimes it’s more effective - and disturbing. But when a scene is shot on film for the audience to view but is too dark for viewers to make out anything, then I have a problem with it.
The Devil's Candy is currently playing on Netfilx, and I seriously can't stress enough that you should sit down and watch this it. Truly this is one of the best overall horror films I've seen in a while.The Devil's Candy title / Fair use doctrine.
Posted by John Roisland in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
Top Five Films to Watch in October (Part 5)

Top Five Films to Watch in October (Part 5)

Part of the House of Tortured Souls
Staff Pick October 2016

By Stephanie Roisland

May I start by saying that this idea and the person behind it (my husband John Roisland) fucking suck. This is way harder than anticipated. I enjoy greatly far too many films and could go on for days about my passion for them. So this gave me a headache and made my anxiety rise while trying to select my top five. I thought about posting the titles based off of my roots and what brought me to love horror - films such as Attack of the killer Tomatoes, The Hills Have Eyes, Halloween, Swamp Thing , and so on. I decided to post my go to movies, the ones I could watch over and over no matter the day. I hope you enjoy demons.

Feast l (2005), Feast ll (2008), and Feast lll (2009)

Fair use doctrine.I know this is kind of a cheat but if you watch one you go straight to the rest. Director John Gulager hit a home run with these beauties. If it was good enough for Jason Mewes, Henry Rollins, Carl Anthony, and Clu Gulager to sign on then you know it is a homerun. Made in 2005, 2008, and 2009, these fantastic B comedy horror films are about patrons of a bar and a local small town that must fight these horrible monsters, eating human flesh and multiplying like rabbits. So if you love sexy suicide girls, hungry monsters, and using a midget wrestlers' Spanish grandmother as monster bait, these movies are totally for you.

The Devils Rejects (2005)

 

Fair use doctrine.I absolutely love the twisted joy this film brings out in the characters. Rob Zombie hit a home run here with me. This family of demented murderers’ home was attacked by the police, headed by Sheriff Wydell (William Forsythe). You almost feel pity for these murderous, depraved folks as their family is shot down and separated. You soon learn that this group of deranged killers is strong and proud of their slaughtering ways and love to see others suffer. In the end, this is a Police vs. Murderers showdown that forever makes epic history in my mind. Free Bird will never be the same!

Frontier(s)(2007)

Fair use doctrine.

This beautifully directed film by Xavier Gens is set in Paris. A young girl, is trying to get away after she pulls a heist with her ex. Pregnant, scared, and blocked by the police from crossing the border, they find refuge at a small, quaint inn. Little do they know, they should have just took their chances with the cops. As her friends get murdered and start to be used for dinner, she realizes there is no way out. It is a good thing this cult family’s father becomes smitten with her beauty and her baby. She refused to be a breeding, human flesh eating, cult wife and must take them all out in order to survive. Stripped of her hair, the father of her child, her dignity and her emotional virginity, she finds the strength to take them all out in a (rain) of blood and gun fire but what she leaves behind could haunt her forever.

Martyrs (2008)

Fair use doctrine.In this emotionally stunning masterpiece by Pascal Laugier, presented by Richard Grandpierre, this foreign film blows your previous idea of horror right out the damn window. In this chilling tale, an anonymous group uses disposable people to achieve the ever seeking emotional state of a matyr. Never before had a woman let go, giving up all fight to the cause, until now. Two young friends, Hell-bent on finding revenge for the misdoings done to one of them as a child, find themselves in terror of no end. One is killed and the other is chosen to become the one - the one to tell, the one to see, the one to give up all hope in order to know what is on the other side. When you let go of hope, endure all pain beyond all other, give yourself to the end, a martyr you will be. Bloody brilliant and an unforgettable journey.

Trick 'r Treat (2007)

Fair use doctrine.

Any day of the week, I could watch this amazing movie. This exquisite little masterpiece by writer/director Michael Dougherty, sucks in the whole family. The trick’r’treating little demon in a cute burlap mask is just one of the four interwoven tales set on Halloween night. Werewolves, murderers, and tricksters, oh my. There’s a child's story of a bus murder come to life but the good girl becomes the bad girl and wins in the end. The bus driver, now an old man, becomes victim of the demon who wants candy, the heart of Halloween if you will. Another story tells of how the local principal, a mass murderer, passing on his wicked ways to his son becomes prey. And the tale of a beautiful girl who is becoming a woman and is making her first time a time to remember and a time he will wish he could forget. The film brings actors Anna Paquin, Dylan Baker, Brian Cox and so many more to life in this Halloween must have.
Fair use doctrine.

Posted by Stephanie Roisland in STAFF PICKS, 1 comment
MOVIE REVIEW: 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)

MOVIE REVIEW: 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)

Not Your Daddy’s Cloverfield

I enjoyed the original Cloverfield. While it didn’t quite live up to my expectations, I still really liked it. So when a “spiritual sequel” 10 Cloverfield Lane came out of no where I was intrigued. Probably one of the best kept secrets in Hollywood, the trailer was perfect to ramp up excitement while giving away almost nothing. It hooked me, but I was still worried there would be some half assed M. Night twist and this wouldn’t be a horror film at all. Well it was and I loved the hell out of it.

John Goodman and Mary Elizabeth Winstead

10 Cloverfield Lane

For those who hated the original, and I know a lot of people did, 10 Cloverfield has almost nothing in common with the original. Gone is the shaky cam, which seemed to piss off the most people. Gone was the urban setting with a large part of the film taking place in the underground bunker seen in the trailer. The cast was also streamlined with only three characters getting any amount of screen time, the trio anchored by John Goodman (Roseanne) and Mary Elizabeth Winstead (The Thing) and rounded out by John Gallagher Jr

Goodman gives his best performance in a long time. He is truly frightening to watch. Even when he is not talking, just sitting near motionless with a camera on his face he oozes intensity and insanity. I don’t want to give away any more spoilers than I want to, but you know almost right away, that he’s not a good guy, During the course of the movie he goes from creepy, to scary to psychotic and it all feels way real.

John Goodman

John Goodman is scary as shit in 10 Cloverfield Lane

10 Cloverfield Lane managed to hold it’s secrets during filming, and it holds them well even in the movie. Beyond Goodman’s insanity, you never know what strange roads the film is going to go down. All but maybe the last 15 minutes and opening 10 minutes are spent in the bunker, where the tension grows between the three cast members. And it keeps building, then it explodes. It explodes so quickly you are as much in shock as Winstead’s character. Then after a chase, and what we think is a wind down, it ramps up and changes the entire theme of the movie.

Mary Elizabeth Winstead and john Goodman

John Goodman has a captive audience in Mary Elizabeth Winstead in 10 Cloverfield Lane

One of my peeves about horror movies is that so many lock themselves into a situation where no matter the finish, you feel cheated and let down. I mentioned that let down in my review of The Boy. I was worried that would happen in 10 Cloverfield Lane. During the final chase/hide/escape scene I was worried that no ending would feel right. That I would walk out feeling cheated and duped. But director Dan Trachtenberg and writers Josh Campbell and Matthew Steucken pulled it off. The ending not only left me satisfied but made me want to stand up and cheer “Murica!”

I ended up enjoying it much better than the original (No offense JJ) and I’m giving it a solid 9 out of 10 stars. It’s a damn fine cinema experience, fun, suspenseful and great story telling, with a fine acting job from the three main characters. Now for a few spoilers for those worried about the Cloverfield. connection.

Spoiler alert and stuff

Yes there are monsters. No it is not the Cloverfield Monster although it is very easy to surmise they are connected and have the same origin. Supposedly it is set in the same Universe as Cloverfield. It’s not a true sequel though and possibly (likely) is happening at the same time as the original film. The entire film is not set in the bunker but most of it is. As I said no shaky cam, but there is a car crash that goes shaky, and happens so suddenly it physically shocked me. There isn’t a lot of gore, but some extremely out of the blue, shocking violence. There’s not a lot of objectionable content such as profanity, sex or nudity, but it will probably scare really small kids.

Now stop reading and go see 10 Cloverfield Lane

Posted by Allen Alberson in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Blood Glacier (2013)

MOVIE REVIEW: Blood Glacier (2013)

Terror Has Evolved

By Woofer McWooferson

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Director: Marvin Kren; Writers: Benjamin Hessler (screenplay), Marvin Kren (screenplay contributor), Claudia Kolland (dramatization); Stars: Gerhard Liebmann, Edita Malovcic, Santos, Hille Beseler, Peter Knaack, Felix Römer, Brigitte Kren; Rating: Not Rated; Run Time: 98 min; Genre: Horror; Country: Austria; Language: German | English; Year: 2013

Blood Glacier (or Blutgletscher in the original German) is a 2013 offering from director Marvin Kren (Rammbock) and Allegro Film. Set in a 2014 where climate change/global warming has progressed beyond man's ability to reverse the damage, Blood Glacier examines the possibility of something very old and very dangerous coming to light in a world that has moved so far beyond it as to consider it myth or legend. Scientists in the Austrian Alps studying geological and climatological changes are at odd ends when an alarm sounds, necessitating technician Janek (Gerhard Liebmann) check out the equipment. Janek, accompanied by his dog Tinni (Santos) and meteorologist Falk (Peter Knaack), discovers a glacier that appears to be leaking blood. Intrigued, Falk decides to collect a sample for analysis back at the camp.

hero_BloodGlacier-2014-1

The liquid from the glacier affects all who ingest it and nobody is immune to its affects. As the crew prepares for a visit from the Ministerin (Brigitte Kren) (Of what? We do not know.), they argue about just what should be revealed. Naturally, the majority vote is to keep it secret until they learn more about it. With the Ministerin and her entourage approaching and who knows what type of mutant animal hybrids on the loose, anything could happen.

Blood Glacier has all the elements of a fun horror movie – interesting plot, fun characters, no jump scares, and creatures straight out of an opium-induced hallucination. Additionally, there is a seemingly irrelevant love story that pays off at the end. There are strong performances all around, with the scientists believing themselves to be above technician Janek and vice versa. The Ministerin is an especially fun character who takes charge as soon as she is aware that something has gone very wrong. She also has the best line of dialogue in the entire movie. People die. Creatures die. But the mutation, by its very nature, adapts and survives.

The English language version suffers from bad voice acting for the main characters, specifically Janek, but is an otherwise enjoyable movie.

Posted by Alan Smithee in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
HALLOWEEN HORRORS: John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982)

HALLOWEEN HORRORS: John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982)

Man is the warmest place to hide.

By Woofer McWooferson

rpenter's The Thing movie poster

Director: John Carpenter; Writers: Bill Lancaster (screenplay), John W. Campbell Jr. (short story "Who Goes There?"); Stars: Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley, Keith David; Rating: R; Run Time: 109 min; Genre: Horror | Sci-Fi; Country: USA; Language: English; Year: 1982

As most horror fans already know, John Carpenter's The Thing received deeply mixed reactions at its theatrical release in 1982, but has amassed one of the largest cult followings in the decades since. Information on this can be found easily, so this review will not dwell on this aspect. However, it is worth noting that the creature was so groundbreaking that it was nearly impossible to describe without sounding silly – at least at the time. In fact, Rob Bottin's description of his vision for the creature, while intriguing to Carpenter, needed to be set down on storyboards before Carpenter was sold on the idea. For this reason, John Carpenter's The Thing needs another theatrical release to enable people to enjoy it on the big screen. Perhaps it should even be shown in theaters once a decade. Or year.

John Carpenter's The Thing is a watershed film for several reasons, not the least of which are the top notch effects by Rob Bottin. While Stan Winston's group made the dog Thing, he is adamant that all know the effects were Bottin's baby and he was just called in to help. This is remniscent of Howard Hawks insistence that The Thing From Another World was Christian Nyby's direction alone – an apt comparison since Carpenter's masterpiece is, itself, an homage to The Thing From Another World (as well as a more faithful yet modernized adaptation of John W. Campbell's “Who Goes There?”). In addition to the effects, the paranoia and claustrophobic nature of being at a camp in Antarctica in winter is so effective that the audience begins to experience it. We feel as if we are just as trapped and just as helpless as the people at US Outpost 31. We have nowhere to go except to ride this pony to the finish line as we watch pull ahead and watch the others fall away. Having an all male cast was also brilliant. It creates a feeling of pent up frustration. If the movie had smell-o-rama, we would undoubtedly smell exactly what is described in the opening of the original short story, which begins with the Thing already in camp:

The place stank. A queer, mingled stench that only the ice-buried cabins of an Antarctic camp know, compounded of reeking human sweat, and the heavy, fish-oil stench of melted seal blubber. An overtone of liniment combated the musty smell of sweat-and-snow-drenched furs. The acrid odor of burnt cooking fat, and the animal, not-unpleasant smell of dogs, diluted by time, hung in the air.

Lingering odors of machine oil contrasted sharply with the taint of harness dressing and leather. Yet, somehow, through all that reek of human beings and their associates—dogs, machines, and cooking—came another taint. It was a queer, neck-ruffling thing, a faintest suggestion of an odor alien among the smells of industry and life. And it was a life-smell. But it came from the thing that lay bound with cord and tarpaulin on the table, dripping slowly, methodically onto the heavy planks, dank and gaunt under the unshielded glare of the electric light.

Added to this, of course, would be the unmistakable smells of ejaculate and marijuana, for there is no way those men were stationed up there that long without masturbating. We see marijuana being smoked in the film, but the greenhouse that Childs (Keith David) and Palmer (David Clennon) tended was cut from the final release for a number of reasons.

John Carpenter's The Thing dog creature

The cast. It's difficult to convey just how perfect this ensemble is. Every character is perfectly cast, with each actor bringing pathos and realism to his role, thereby creating characters which feel thoroughly developed even though we only see them for a couple of days of their lives. R.J. MacReady (Kurt Russell) is a strong, no-nonsense, tough helicopter pilot with whom everyone wants to have a drink. Dr. Blair (Wilford Brimley) is the scientist able to put the good of Earth first. Dr. Copper (Richard Dysart), who is determined to help the Norweigans at the nearby camp, feels like a real doctor – and one that someone might actually want to visit. Skating cook Nauls (T.K. Carter) brings youth and freshness to a cast full of older men. Clark (Richard Masur), the dog handler, is more than sympathetic, and the audience truly feels his pain when the something happens to the dogs. Likewise Vance Norris (Charles Hallahan), George Bennings (Peter Maloney), Captain Garry (Donald Moffat), Fuchs (Joel Polis), and radio operator Windows (Thomas Waites) all seem like real people, people who might live next door or go to the same gym as you do.

The Siberian Huskies. Siberian Huskies are some of the most, if not the most, majestic and handsome dogs. While all of the Huskies in the film are well trained, Jed, who plays the lead Husky in the film, is the unequaled stand out. Jed was a wolf-dog hybrid, with the wolf side dominant, so his owner/trainer remained on set whenever Jed was being filmed. In fact, when Jed was acting, sets would be closed and this wolf intensity shows through as the Dog Thing, amping up the creep factor geometrically.

John Carpenter's The Thing Norweigan camp thing

John Carpenter's direction cannot be dismissed as it is what brought all these elements together to create the perfect horror movie. There is not a single note out of place, from Copper's nose ring and full frontal in the hall to Let's Make A Deal on videotape, from the Norwegians to the Huskies, and from MacReady to Garry to the Thing itself – this movie is a not only a phenomenal horror film, it's a damn good movie all the way around.

Man is the warmest place to hide.

By Woofer McWooferson

rpenter's The Thing movie poster

Director: John Carpenter; Writers: Bill Lancaster (screenplay), John W. Campbell Jr. (short story "Who Goes There?"); Stars: Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley, Keith David; Rating: R; Run Time: 109 min; Genre: Horror | Sci-Fi; Country: USA; Language: English; Year: 1982

As most horror fans already know, John Carpenter's The Thing received deeply mixed reactions at its theatrical release in 1982, but has amassed one of the largest cult followings in the decades since. Information on this can be found easily, so this review will not dwell on this aspect. However, it is worth noting that the creature was so groundbreaking that it was nearly impossible to describe without sounding silly – at least at the time. In fact, Rob Bottin's description of his vision for the creature, while intriguing to Carpenter, needed to be set down on storyboards before Carpenter was sold on the idea. For this reason, John Carpenter's The Thing needs another theatrical release to enable people to enjoy it on the big screen. Perhaps it should even be shown in theaters once a decade. Or year.

John Carpenter's The Thing is a watershed film for several reasons, not the least of which are the top notch effects by Rob Bottin. While Stan Winston's group made the dog Thing, he is adamant that all know the effects were Bottin's baby and he was just called in to help. This is remniscent of Howard Hawks insistence that The Thing From Another World was Christian Nyby's direction alone – an apt comparison since Carpenter's masterpiece is, itself, an homage to The Thing From Another World (as well as a more faithful yet modernized adaptation of John W. Campbell's “Who Goes There?”). In addition to the effects, the paranoia and claustrophobic nature of being at a camp in Antarctica in winter is so effective that the audience begins to experience it. We feel as if we are just as trapped and just as helpless as the people at US Outpost 31. We have nowhere to go except to ride this pony to the finish line as we watch pull ahead and watch the others fall away. Having an all male cast was also brilliant. It creates a feeling of pent up frustration. If the movie had smell-o-rama, we would undoubtedly smell exactly what is described in the opening of the original short story, which begins with the Thing already in camp:

The place stank. A queer, mingled stench that only the ice-buried cabins of an Antarctic camp know, compounded of reeking human sweat, and the heavy, fish-oil stench of melted seal blubber. An overtone of liniment combated the musty smell of sweat-and-snow-drenched furs. The acrid odor of burnt cooking fat, and the animal, not-unpleasant smell of dogs, diluted by time, hung in the air.

Lingering odors of machine oil contrasted sharply with the taint of harness dressing and leather. Yet, somehow, through all that reek of human beings and their associates—dogs, machines, and cooking—came another taint. It was a queer, neck-ruffling thing, a faintest suggestion of an odor alien among the smells of industry and life. And it was a life-smell. But it came from the thing that lay bound with cord and tarpaulin on the table, dripping slowly, methodically onto the heavy planks, dank and gaunt under the unshielded glare of the electric light.

Added to this, of course, would be the unmistakable smells of ejaculate and marijuana, for there is no way those men were stationed up there that long without masturbating. We see marijuana being smoked in the film, but the greenhouse that Childs (Keith David) and Palmer (David Clennon) tended was cut from the final release for a number of reasons.

John Carpenter's The Thing dog creature

The cast. It's difficult to convey just how perfect this ensemble is. Every character is perfectly cast, with each actor bringing pathos and realism to his role, thereby creating characters which feel thoroughly developed even though we only see them for a couple of days of their lives. R.J. MacReady (Kurt Russell) is a strong, no-nonsense, tough helicopter pilot with whom everyone wants to have a drink. Dr. Blair (Wilford Brimley) is the scientist able to put the good of Earth first. Dr. Copper (Richard Dysart), who is determined to help the Norweigans at the nearby camp, feels like a real doctor – and one that someone might actually want to visit. Skating cook Nauls (T.K. Carter) brings youth and freshness to a cast full of older men. Clark (Richard Masur), the dog handler, is more than sympathetic, and the audience truly feels his pain when the something happens to the dogs. Likewise Vance Norris (Charles Hallahan), George Bennings (Peter Maloney), Captain Garry (Donald Moffat), Fuchs (Joel Polis), and radio operator Windows (Thomas Waites) all seem like real people, people who might live next door or go to the same gym as you do.

The Siberian Huskies. Siberian Huskies are some of the most, if not the most, majestic and handsome dogs. While all of the Huskies in the film are well trained, Jed, who plays the lead Husky in the film, is the unequaled stand out. Jed was a wolf-dog hybrid, with the wolf side dominant, so his owner/trainer remained on set whenever Jed was being filmed. In fact, when Jed was acting, sets would be closed and this wolf intensity shows through as the Dog Thing, amping up the creep factor geometrically.

John Carpenter's The Thing Norweigan camp thing

John Carpenter's direction cannot be dismissed as it is what brought all these elements together to create the perfect horror movie. There is not a single note out of place, from Copper's nose ring and full frontal in the hall to Let's Make A Deal on videotape, from the Norwegians to the Huskies, and from MacReady to Garry to the Thing itself – this movie is a not only a phenomenal horror film, it's a damn good movie all the way around.

Over 9,000/10 claws – I don't even know how many times I have seen this movie. Stop reading right now and go watch John Carpenter's The Thing.

Over 9,000/10 claws – I don't even know how many times I have seen this movie. Stop reading right now and go watch John Carpenter's The Thing.

UPDATE: Looking over this months later, I realize that I paid no compliments to Rob Bottin's SFX in making John Carpenter's The Thing come to life. Bottin's efforts paid off and, in my book, are the measuring stick for creature SFX to many horror fans. Neither Carpenter nor Bottin received the credit they – and everyone involved in the production – deserved. The movie's status as cult favorite and must-have for fans of the genre or SFX in general has done little to erase the effects of the deeply mixed reactions of critics at release – at best it was dismissed and at worst it was panned. John Carpenter's The Thing was a film way ahead of its time.

Posted by Alan Smithee in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
HALLOWEEN HORRORS: Sleepy Hollow (1999)

HALLOWEEN HORRORS: Sleepy Hollow (1999)

By John Roisland

Sleepy Hollow poster

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is a story that I hold very true to my heart. People always ask, "What movie was it that got you into horror so much?" It wasn't a movie at all; it was a story that was read to me as a very young child at a public library at a fall festival, and yes it was in New York state, where our legend just happened to have taken place. I can still remember the tone and descriptions given by the reader, the sound of the wind blowing outside on a late fall afternoon, the smell of cinnamon and burning leaves as I was enthralled in this (new to me) classic tale of horror.

From that day forward, I, like every child, looked forward to Halloween, but even more, I looked forward to listening or even watching a cartoon movie short in school of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.

In 1999 filmmaker, Tim Burton brought to us on the big screen, his vision of this tale with Sleepy Hollow. Love him or hate him, Burton's work is always extremely imaginative , and dark to say the least. Burton's version is one that I do quite enjoy. Although parts of the tale have been changed. For example, our lead character "Ichabod Crane" in earlier versions, is portrayed as a school master who is trying to win the hand of a young lady, "Katrina Von Tassel", who is haunted and attacked on his way home from a town party. In Burton's adaptation of the classic tale, they are introduced as Crane's character first arrives in Von Tassels small town sent by New York City authorities to investigate a murder - a murder caused by an alleged headless horsemen who rides the stormy nights on his steed seeking revenge on those who killed him. One by one, the headless horsemen runs down his victims, beheading them, just as he is.

Burton's change of storyline slightly from the original American version of the folk lore and in my opinion works beautifully! The story flows and actually helps to make for interesting turn of events through the film. As mentioned, Burton's films always have a dark overtone to them, this time the cinematography is just as dark and is incredible! Set in the fall of the late 1700s, the scenes are dark, dismal, yet beautiful all at the same time! The settings, the props, the outfits, and especially the cloud covering for a northern fall season, are like none I've seen executed nearly as well.

 

The film's run time is 105 minutes and carries an R rating. The film stars:

Johnny Depp (Sweeny Todd, Edward Scissorhands, Tusk) as our hero Ichabod Crane, yes, yet another Depp /Burton film!

Christina Ricci (Monster, Black Snake Moan, The Addams Family)

Miranda Richardson (Empire of the Sun, The Phantom of the Opera (2004), The Crying Game)

Sir Michael Gambon (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Gosford Park)

Casper Van Dien (Starship Troopers)

Jeffrey Jones (The Hunt for Red October, Beetlejuice, Ferris Bueller's Day Off)

Christopher Lee (The Lord of the Rings trilogy, To the Devil a Daughter)

Christopher Walken (The Deer Hunter, Suicide Kings, The Prophecy, King of New York)

And let me tell you, Walken, who plays our dark horseback riding killer, is brilliant. Even though you only see Walken as the horsemen in the beginning and the ending because the rest of the story he has no damn head (could be anyone), but it was Walken, brilliant as always!

Headless Horseman

No matter how many times the story is altered or put the through the Hollywood shredder, this will always be my all time favorite horror story!

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

HALLOWEEN HORRORS: The Thing From Another World (1951)

The Film That Inspired John Carpenter's The Thing

By Woofer McWooferson

The Thing From Another World (1951) Title Screen

Directors: Christian Nyby, Howard Hawks (uncredited); Writers: Charles Lederer (screenplay), John W. Campbell Jr. (short story "Who Goes There?"); Stars: Kenneth Tobey, Margaret Sheridan, James Arness; Rating: U; Run Time: 87 min; Genre: Sci-Fi | Horror; Country: USA; Language: English; Year: 1951

The Thing From Another World (1951) is the first attempt to bring “Who Goes There?”, the John W. Campbell Jr. short story, to life. While very true to the story in some aspects, it is quite different as well – more different than the two adaptations that follow. The Thing From Another World follows Captain Patrick “Pat” Hendry (Kenneth Tobey), his crew, and reporter Ned “Scotty” Scott (Douglas Spencer) who accompanies them as they travel to assist a North Pole scientific outpost. According to Dr. Arthur Carrington (Robert Cornthwaite), a scientist who has won every accolade the scientific community has to offer, something has crashed about 80 miles away and the crashed object is sufficiently magnetic to throw off compass readings. Dr. Carrington then explains why they believe the item is very likely an alien craft, and the a group soon sets out to recover what they can. After a disastrous attempt to remove the ship with thermite, they busy themselves with manually recoving a frozen being that must have come from the craft. What follows is their struggle to deal with the being when it is accidentally thawed and it returns to life, attacking the gathered and their sled dogs (Siberian Huskies) with impunity. While the main plot involves the craft and creature, there is a subplot involving Pat and Nikki (Margaret Sheridan) Dr. Carrington's secretary. This may seem distracting at first, but it actually ties back into the main plot when Nikki passes important information to Pat.

The Thing From Another World (1951) Pacing Off the Craft

Directed by Christian Nyby, whose credits include many TV shows ranging from Perry Mason to Adam-12, The Thing From Another World has many hallmarks of a Howard Hawks (Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Scarface) film, such as multiple simultaneous conversations. Hawks was producer as well as Nyby's mentor, so it seems highly appropriate that it would be very Hawksesque. Nevertheless, the film received criticism and many accused it of being directed by Hawks who, they believed, allowed Nyby to put his name to it. The film is quick and crisp and trimmed of any possible fat. Even the scenes between Nikki and Pat do not feel forced or irrelevant. On the contrary, they help establish character as well as setting by showing the different ways they and others react to the situation as it escalates.

Kenneth Tobey (Hellraiser: Bloodline, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) is confident and charismatic as the captain who must consider and the safety of everyone with the regulations and orders from his higher ups, all while handling Dr. Carrington and his ego. Robert Cornthwaite's portrayal of Dr. Carrington, a scientist whose faith is rooted solely in the scientific community and whose reputation is impeccable is right on the nose. He is both intelligent and ignorant, blinded by the very science that he trusts with, quite literally, his life. Margaret Sheridan's Nikki and Douglas Spencer's Scotty add both humor and realism, while James Arness as the Thing manages to convey a sense of terror – both of us as well as to us.

The Thing From Another World is not just a great scifi/horror movie, it's an all around great film with a fine plot, top notch acting, and snappy dialogue. Although tame by today's standards, it is required viewing for fans of classic science fiction and horror.

9/10 claws

Posted by Alan Smithee in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 1 comment
MOVIE REVIEW: Spring (2014)

MOVIE REVIEW: Spring (2014)

By Nick Durham

Spring

Here’s something that came out of nowhere. No seriously,Spring seriously came out of nowhere, at least for me personally. I don’t remember seeing any promotional materials or anything in regards to this film, and totally went into it not knowing a damn thing at all. With all that in mind, I came out of this film very satisfied and overall surprised at just how this film is, and just exactly what this film is.

The film revolves around a Californian dude named Evan (Lou Taylor Pucci from Evil Dead (2013) remake) whose life is spiraling downward. Seeking a major change in his life, he leaves the States behind and ventures to Italy. There he comes across the sexy Louise (Nadia Hilker) and a love affair begins to blossom…and then we find out that Louise isn’t exactly normal. There’s some bloodshed along the way as Evan comes to grips with what exactly he’s gotten himself into, and just how far he is willing to go to make things work.

Billed as a mixture of a romance and monster movie, Spring is certainly all that and more. I can’t honestly remember the last time I saw a film like this, if I ever have really. It would have been incredibly easy for the film to descend itself into self-parody given the subject matter, but somehow, someway, it manages to be an earnest and surprisingly emotional amalgamation of creature feature and love story. No seriously, what the fuck am I watching here…and how is it so good?

The performances from everyone involved are more than solid. The chemistry between Pucci and Hilker is believable, and the creature effects and assorted minimalist visual effects are shockingly well done given the film’s low budget. Not to mention the fact that Spring boasts some gorgeous cinematography and camerawork. Directed by the pair of Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead (who also served as cinematographers, writers, and editors, and were also behind 2012’s excellent Resolution ), Spring is truly something unique. These two are going to be big names in the horror film world very, very soon.

If there’s any drawbacks to Spring , it’s that perhaps the film runs too long. Clocking in at 110 minutes, it definitely could have been trimmed down here and there to feel a bit overall tighter. That aside, it doesn’t hurt how unique the film ends up being. We really get to know our leads and actually get a surprising amount of emotion invested in their relationship, and how it turns out when things get revealed and blood starts to flow.

It goes without saying that Spring isn’t quite for everyone. That being said, go into this film with a clear state of mind, and you may come out surprised at just how good this damn thing ends up being. You won’t see many other films quite like Spring at all these days, and that in itself is a crying shame. Seriously, go check it out as soon as you can. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Rating: 4/5

Posted by Alan Smithee in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
Jeepers Creepers 3 May Actually Happen

Jeepers Creepers 3 May Actually Happen

By Dixielord

Creeper 2
It looks like it is finally happening. After years of speculation and back and forth, Jeepers Creepers 3 appears to be on track to filming. An announcement was made at the Toronto International Film Festival with a statement by Victor Salva, who returns to direct.

"Writing and directing a new Jeepers film, the first in over a decade, is incredibly exciting. For me and I believe for Jeepers fans all over the world that have been asking for more. What will go before cameras as Jeepers Creepers 3 is a new and terrifying chapter from the Jeepers universe. We are bringing back the Creeper's truck, and will be addressing the big questions about The Creeper: what it is, where it came from and why it does what it does. More exciting though, this will easily be the most frightening roller coaster ride of a Jeepers film that has been made to date.”

It's also reported that series star Jonathon Breck will return as the Creeper. The third series has long been rumored to have been titled Cathedral and would bring back Gina Phillips from the original, as well as Ray Wise from part two. There is no word yet if those two will indeed return for Jeepers Creepers 3. It was also announced that Brandon Smith would return playing his character, Sargent Davis Tubbs from the original. He will supposedly be the focus as he seeks to destroy the Creeper once and for all.

Beyond that and the other information released by Salva, we know little about the plot of Jeepers Creepers 3. In the past it was reported the third film would act, at least in part, as a prequel, delving into the history of the monster. It's not known if that will still happen.

What is known is that legions of Jeepers Creepers fans are extremely happy right now. Most had given up hope, and when this news hit, it was looked at with a lot of skepticism. It looks like it is the real deal though, and filming is set to start early next year in Canada,

But while thousands of fans of the series celebrated, there were others who weren't so happy to hear the news. A perhaps smaller, but no less vocal group of horror fans did not welcome the news. Ever since word of Victor Salva's past legal troubles have become more well know, many Jeepers Creepers fans have turned their back on the series. Horror fans in general are split over the subject of supporting the films of Victor Salva. I wont go into details here as I have blogged on the subject, and it is readily available on the Internet. The short story is that Salva, who created the Jeepers Creepers franchise was arrested and served time for sexual abuse of a child on the set of his film Clownhouse.

While some fans say he has served his time and want him to move on, others refuse to let him off so easy. It's believed that a lot of the trouble finding financing was due to these facts becoming more easily available to the general public.

However, it appears Jeepers Creepers 3 is coming our way, whether we want it or not. Personally I just wish the series, and Salva, would just go away. That's just my opinion and we know all about opinions, right? I won't attack or belittle anyone who chooses to see it. It's your choice, and not seeing it is mine.

So what's your opinion? Drop us a comment and let me know.

Posted by Allen Alberson in HORROR NEWS, 0 comments