Richard Brake

You came, I saw, and I love you

In Mandy, Nic Cage takes revenge on a crazy religious cult in the woods with a homemade battle ax. STOP DRILLING YOU HIT OIL! That’s pretty much what sold me on the plot for Mandy, the second film by director Panos Cosmatos whose first film was Beyond The Black Rainbow (2010). Set in 1983, Red Miller (Nicholas Cage) goes after a religious cult that brutally murdered his wife Mandy (Andrea Riseborough). If you have seen his first film, you know what to expect in this; if not, then fair warning — watch the movie with an open mind. Although the film plays out like an 80s-themed slasher movie, it’s almost far from it. Let’s examine this movie further.

Mandy (2018) / Fair use doctrine.

Although set in the 80s, it doesn’t have an 80s soundtrack with well-known music. There is a synthesizer, though, along with a Friday the 13th reference to Crystal Lake from Mandy (Andrea Riseborough of such works as Hidden (2015), Waco (2018) (TV mini-series), and Black Mirror (2017) (TV series)). Admittedly there is a real Crystal Lake, Nic Cage himself said that he drew inspiration for his character from Jason Voorhees, so perhaps he wants to give that nod since his character evolved in the woods.

Mandy (2018) / Fair use doctrine.As may be obvious, Mandy is not like any other Nicholas Cage film. From the picture of Cage all bloody and glimpses in the trailer, one would expect a cheesy B horror movie with over the top gore and one-liners. Not at all! The film plays out like a heavy metal live action movie, and at times, it just feels like a dream as Red goes through moments of despair, guilt, and regret. Cage is complemented by a host of character actors, from Richard Brake (31, Halloween II (2009)) to Linus Roache (Batman Begins) to Bill Duke (Payback, Predator), who definitely deliver. The scenes with the cult aren’t over the top, which is good because not once do the characters trail off and leave the idea of the movie on its own. The bikers, though, don’t dress or sound like bikers. Think something out of Mad Max with a distorted voice that almost sounds animalistic. This raises some interesting questions on the cult’s story because there’s really no back story – for anyone on anything.

Mandy (2018) / Fair use doctrine.I saw the movie at night, and it stuck with me — not in a bad way but almost as if I were dreaming too. This, by the way, got me thinking about the end when Nicholas Cage is driving away, caked in blood caked and looking out of his mind. This is not Hollywood Nic Cage but a genuinely insane Nicholas Cage.

Final thoughts: Watch the movie, and watch it at night with an open mind because this is without a doubt an interesting movie, and I sincerely hope we don’t have to wait another eight years for Panos Cosmatos’ third film.

MOVIE REVIEW: Mandy (2018)

MOVIE REVIEW: Mandy (2018)

You came, I saw, and I love you

In Mandy, Nic Cage takes revenge on a crazy religious cult in the woods with a homemade battle ax. STOP DRILLING YOU HIT OIL! That’s pretty much what sold me on the plot for Mandy, the second film by director Panos Cosmatos whose first film was Beyond The Black Rainbow (2010). Set in 1983, Red Miller (Nicholas Cage) goes after a religious cult that brutally murdered his wife Mandy (Andrea Riseborough). If you have seen his first film, you know what to expect in this; if not, then fair warning — watch the movie with an open mind. Although the film plays out like an 80s-themed slasher movie, it’s almost far from it. Let’s examine this movie further.

Mandy (2018) / Fair use doctrine.

Although set in the 80s, it doesn’t have an 80s soundtrack with well-known music. There is a synthesizer, though, along with a Friday the 13th reference to Crystal Lake from Mandy (Andrea Riseborough of such works as Hidden (2015), Waco (2018) (TV mini-series), and Black Mirror (2017) (TV series)). Admittedly there is a real Crystal Lake, Nic Cage himself said that he drew inspiration for his character from Jason Voorhees, so perhaps he wants to give that nod since his character evolved in the woods.

Mandy (2018) / Fair use doctrine.As may be obvious, Mandy is not like any other Nicholas Cage film. From the picture of Cage all bloody and glimpses in the trailer, one would expect a cheesy B horror movie with over the top gore and one-liners. Not at all! The film plays out like a heavy metal live action movie, and at times, it just feels like a dream as Red goes through moments of despair, guilt, and regret. Cage is complemented by a host of character actors, from Richard Brake (31, Halloween II (2009)) to Linus Roache (Batman Begins) to Bill Duke (Payback, Predator), who definitely deliver. The scenes with the cult aren’t over the top, which is good because not once do the characters trail off and leave the idea of the movie on its own. The bikers, though, don’t dress or sound like bikers. Think something out of Mad Max with a distorted voice that almost sounds animalistic. This raises some interesting questions on the cult’s story because there’s really no back story – for anyone on anything.

Mandy (2018) / Fair use doctrine.I saw the movie at night, and it stuck with me — not in a bad way but almost as if I were dreaming too. This, by the way, got me thinking about the end when Nicholas Cage is driving away, caked in blood caked and looking out of his mind. This is not Hollywood Nic Cage but a genuinely insane Nicholas Cage.

Final thoughts: Watch the movie, and watch it at night with an open mind because this is without a doubt an interesting movie, and I sincerely hope we don’t have to wait another eight years for Panos Cosmatos’ third film.




Posted by Jai Alexis in MOVIE REVIEWS, NEW RELEASES, SLASHERS AND BAD HUMANS, 0 comments
House of Tortured Souls – 2016 Horror Awards

House of Tortured Souls – 2016 Horror Awards

We here at The House of Tortured Souls love horror. It’s kind of our jam. And we love to see good horror get recognition. It can be argued that horror is more popular than ever, there are more conventions, festivals, and awards than ever. However, one thing bugged us here at HoTS, and from responses online, we weren’t the only ones. Some awards, not to call names (message me), stretch out the word horror way to far. Seriously Deadpool? Captian America: Civil War? I love me some Cap, and who can talk smack about Ryan Reynolds’ red spandex covered ass, but it’s not FUCKING horror.

So we said “Screw it. Let’s do this”. So here we are with the first annual House of Tortured Souls Awards. Neato huh? We can’t promise we wont make mistakes, can’t promise we don’t stutter step and come in a bit late (I planned to have this April 1st), but we do promise to keep it horror. No super heroes, no Tarzan, and no funny South African robots! What we got? Serial killers, zombies, vampires, ghosts and demons, we got ’em. No there are films that straddle that line of horror/ thriller. We accept that, but repeat after me, no friggin superheros or Jedi.

We are still learning, but we decided to jump in with both feet and stomp the shit out of it. We asked our staff to pick their favorites in a group of categories. Rules are the films have to be originally released in a mass audience format. So feature films released to VoD, DVD, or theater, for the FIRST time in 2016 are eligible. Secondary release to DVD, does not qualify it for 2016. Thus, a film released to theater in 2016 will qualify for 2016. If it is released to DVD in 2017, it would not qualify for 2017.

There is a slight difference for independent films. Since most of them will not get a wide release theatrical release, and it might be years before a VoD or DVD release. For independent films, they may be considered, if they have had a major festival release, are currently (award year) touring the festival circuit, or have a release to VoD, DVD, or theater, AND have not been nominated in a previous year. There’s a logic there as many Indie may tour the festival circuit for a couple years, this allows them a chance to be seen, but not to win multiple years. The HoTS staff will select four nominees per category, in case of an unbreakable tie (which we had a couple of), we may select five nominees in some categories. It’s a work in progress, but we think this is fair.

So without the proverbial further ado, here are the nominees.

Best Horror Movie 2016*

  • Green Room
  • I Am Not A Serial Killer
  • The Witch
  • 10 Cloverfield Lane
  • 31

Best Horror Director 2016

  • Jeremy Saluner – Green Room
  • Andre Overdal – The Autopsy of Jane Doe
  • Roger Eggers – The Witch
  • Rob Zombie – 31

Best Actor Horror 2016

  • John Goodman – 10 Cloverfield Lane
  • Anton Yeltsin – Green Room
  • Patrick Wilson – The Conjuring
  • Richard Brake – 31

Best Actress Horror Movie 2016

  • Mary Elizabeth Winstead – 10 Cloverfield Lane
  • Vera Farmiga – The Conjuring
  • Anja Taylor Joy – The Witch
  • Blake Lively – The Shallows

Best Supporting Actor Horror 2016

  • Stephen Lang – Don’t Breathe
  • John Gallager Jr – 10 Cloverfield Lane
  • Christopher Lloyd – I Am Not A Serial Killer
  • Patrick Stewart – Green Room

Best Supporting Actress Horror 2016

  • Imogene Poots – Green Room
  • Kate Dickey – The Witch
  • Ella – The Monster
  • Madison Wolfe – The Conjuring 2

Best Television Horror

  • Stranger Things
  • Bates Motel
  • Ash versus Evil Dead
  • American Horror Story
  • The Exorcist

Best Actor TV Horror

  • Bruce Campbell – Ash versus Evil Dead
  • Freddie Highmore – Bates Motel
  • Andrew Lincoln – The Walking Dead
  • Alfonso Herrara – The Exorcist

Best actress TV Horror

  • Vera Farmiga – Bates Motel
  • Millie Bobbie Brown – Stranger Things
  • Sarah Paulson – American Horror Story
  • Hannah Kasulka – The Exorcist

Best Supporting Actor TV Horror

  • Jeffrey Dean Morgan – The Walking Dead
  • Ray Santiago – Ash versus Evil Dead
  • Max Theriot – Bates Motel
  • Gaten Matarazzo – Stranger Things

Best Supporting Actress TV Horror

  • Kathy Bates – American Horror Story
  • Lucy Lawless – Ash versus Evil Dead
  • Hannah Kasulka – The Exorcist
  • Olivia Cooke – Bates Motel

Best Indie Horror Movie

  • Circus of the Dead
  • The Barn
  • Plank Face
  • Family Possession

Best Indie Horror Director 2016

  • Billy Pon – Circus of the Dead
  • James Bickert – Frankenstein Created Bikers
  • Justin M Seaman – The Barn
  • Scott Schrimer – Plank Face

Best Indie Actor Horror 2016

  • Parrish Randal – Circus of the Dead
  • Nathan Barret – Plank Face
  • Mitchell Muselino – The Barn
  • Fred Lass – Bubba the Red Neck Werewolf

Best Indie Actress Horror 2016

  • Tristan Risk – Frankenstein Created Bikers
  • Chanel Ryan – Circus of the Dead
  • Susan M Martin – Plank Face
  • Lexi Dripps – The Barn

Best Supporting Actor Horror 2016

  • Bill Oberst – Circus of the Dead
  • Laurence Harvey – Frankenstein Created Bikers
  • Mitch Hyman – Bubba the Redneck Werewolf
  • Will Stout – The Barn

Best Supporting Actress Horror

  • Ellie Church – Frankenstein Created Bikers
  • Alyss Winkler – Plank Face
  • Lizzie Mears – Family Possessions
  • Brigid McCauley – Plank Face

(*Five nominees due to a tie.)

Posted by Allen Alberson in CONTESTS, MONSTERS AND CREATURES, PARANORMAL, SATANIC/DEMONIC, SCI-FI HORROR, SLASHERS AND BAD HUMANS, URBAN DECAY/DYSTOPIAN FUTURES, WOMEN IN HORROR, ZOMBIES, 0 comments
EXCLUSIVE MOVIE REVIEW: Rob Zombie’s 31

EXCLUSIVE MOVIE REVIEW: Rob Zombie’s 31

By Jonathan Patrick Hughes

Rob Zombie - Fair use doctrine.

Rob Zombie

Most films by Rob Zombie are like a mixed batch of coffee flavors. Some we love, some we loathe, and some are just okay. With that being said, I was highly eager to check out his new film to see if what he promised was delivered. 31_TheaterSpecial thanks goes out to Fathom Events for having this one night screening.

Love him or hate him, but we at least must appreciate the fact that Rob Zombie is one of the hardest working men in the industry. When he isn't behind the camera, he is recording an album and when he isn't recording an album, he is touring the world.

Rob Zombie's 31 poster 01 - Fair use doctrine.His latest film, 31, was the first film to raise money by using a crowdfunding site, which he got a bad rap for from people stating, "He is a sell out” and " His movies suck, which is why he needs to do it this way, rather than having a studio back him up because he is a horrible filmmaker”. Well, as you all can see, he was still very successful at achieving a nice sized budget to make the film he wanted to make for hardcore fans, and that's exactly what he did.

Rob Zombie's 31 04 - The 31 crew

The 31 crew
L-R: Harry, Jonathan, Sydney, Leeana

I was fortunate enough to be one of the few people to check out 31 with longtime friends/co workers, Leeana, Harry, and Sydney, and I am really glad I did.

The film takes place on Halloween, 1976, and we are introduced to five carnies who are traveling to their next stop. Let’s just say they don't make it as they planned. Instead, they are kidnapped and taken to a factory where they are forced to play a game of 31. The rules are simple. Survive the night for 12 hours and, if you have to kill by doing so, then that’s what needs to be done. We are treated to some of the most crazy lunatics I have ever witnessed on screen, and it made me want to see more of them. Some are more likeable than others, but they all did the job they were supposed to do.

From the opening segment I was hooked. We are introduced to Doom Head who is played by Richard Blake (Halloween II (2009)) He is a soulless human being with some of the most powerful dialogue ever written by Zombie himself. His opening monologue sets the mood and it sums up what Rob Zombie has in store for the audience.

Rob Zombie's 31 01 - Fair use doctrine.

Roscoe and Charly

The film delivers a very appealing cast, from the goodies to the baddies, and all the performances are on par which made the film even more enjoyable. I did not once feel that any character was lacking or overstepping their boundaries or their welcome. In every scene, each character, nails it, and you can’t help but enjoy them and are pleased by the things they say and do while they last.

This is very rare in a Rob Zombie film since he likes to come up with many characters that may or may not be needed in a given film. Some just seem to be there to fill up space even though they don't serve a purpose. Not here.

Rob Zombie's 31 - Schizo-Head and Psycho Head - Fair use doctrine.

Dueling clowns?

31 has some of the best editing in any Rob Zombie film. One scene in particular deals with two clowns with chainsaws in two different rooms, and the way that scene was cut may very well be my favorite scene in any Rob Zombie movie. The tension was high and the bloodletting is unstoppable.

Rob Zombie's 31 poster 02 - Fair use doctrine.31 is nothing more than a rusty chainsaw blade to the Adam's apple, and it delivers on every level. I was in awe from start to finish. With that being said, I felt like 31 was The Devil's Rejects meets a psycho twisted carnage circus of terror.

Posted by Alan Smithee in EXCLUSIVE, MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, SLASHERS AND BAD HUMANS, 0 comments
Rob Zombie’s 31 Trailer is Here

Rob Zombie’s 31 Trailer is Here

By Dixielord

So after what seems like an eternity, we are finally getting a first look at Rob Zombie's 31 with a recently released trailer. I know, I know, about half of you out there are cheering, the other half groaning. Rob's movie making ability is like the abortion or gun control of the horror world. He tears apart Facebook friends worse than the presidential election. I admit to being a fan, but I also admit he has underwhelmed me a few times. Halloween 2, yeah I'd like to forget that one.

Cast of Rob Zombie's 31

Cast of Rob Zombie's 31

Still love him, hate him, or somewhere in between, there are a couple things you can't argue. He likes to do things the way he wants, and he loves to make it bloody. From the trailer and all reports, 31 looks to cover both of these.

31 centers on a group of traveling carnies, who are kidnapped the night before Halloween. They wake to find themselves locked in a compound called Murder World. Here they are forced to play a sadistic version of last man (or woman) standing, as they are hunted by a sadistic group of killers called “The Heads”. If they can survive for twelve hours they just might get to live.

Richard Brake is Doom Head in Rob Zombie's 31

Richard Brake is Doom Head in Rob Zombie's 31

31 stars the not ready for zombie time players Sheri Moon Zombie, Jeff Daniel Phillips, Lew Temple, Malcolm McDowell, Elizabeth Daley, and Ginger Lynn among others (where the fuck is Sid Haig?). It also, and this really excites me stars Lawrence Hilton Jacobs from one of my favorite shows as a kid. From 1975-1979 Jacobs starred as Freddie “Boom Boom” Washington on Welcome Back Kotter. He's had a decent career since then, but it's great seeing him as a headliner, and especially seeing him in a horror film.

Lawrence Hilton Jacobs in Rob Zombie's 31

Lawrence Hilton Jacobs in Rob Zombie's 31

The trailer focuses heavily on Richard Brake (Game of Thrones) as the enigmatic and sadistic Doom Head. Brake is a relatively newcomer to the Zombie ensemble, he had a small role in Halloween 2 but remember, we're forgetting that one. It looks like he will be doing heavy duty in 31 though. It trailer also seems to show Zombie is getting back to the style that of Devils Rejects and House of 1000 Corpses. The dark and gritty, bloody style that first helped him gain a fan base in the horror community. But why am I running my mouth? Check out the damn trailer yourself.

Then get ready for a VOD and limited theatrical release just in time for Halloween from Saban films

Posted by Allen Alberson in HORROR NEWS, NEW RELEASES, SLASHERS AND BAD HUMANS, 0 comments