schock

The last few years for the shock rock/metal band Gwar has not been all the best in the way of luck. However, we can say that Gwar though will keep on despite what’s been thrown at them making them, by far, the strongest band in the galaxy.
In 2011, Gwar guitarist Cory Smoot, known by his stage name Flattus Maximus, was found deceased of a heart attack while on tour. Then, in 2014, the greatest frontman to ever take the stage Dave Brockie, known to Gwar fans as Oderus Urungus was found dead in his room, due to a heroin overdose. None of this stopped Gwar from carrying on. One thing that they have always done, is kept going despite the odds. Flattus was replaced by Pustulus Maximus, and Oderus role was filled by Blothar which was the original Beefcake The Mighty. Gwar has been through a few changes over the 30+ years of their time on earth. Now, faced with not another change, but another medical issue within the band’s members.
Mike Derks aka Balsac the Jaws of Death is facing a disease called myelofibrosis which is a bone marrow disorder that causes the body’s blood cells to not produce properly. This may have come as a surprise to most people. I know for sure it did for me, I got to see Gwar perform on the warped tour, and Balsac was not on a few dates due to this disease causing him great pain and other physical issues. I was wondering why I didn’t see him on stage, and now I understand.
Over the next several months, Derks will be undergoing some major medical treatment, including blood transfusions, constant monitoring, and eventually a bone marrow transplant in which chemotherapy will be administered to rid the body of the diseased marrow, and then the good marrow put in. None of this monitoring and the transfusion of blood will stop Derks or Gwar, as he is still going on tour with the band this fall/winter and will be utilizing various hospital organizations across the country to monitor his condition.
I love music, I love playing music, but if this were me I’d say, “Fuck it”, and not play until it’s all taken care of. Then again, I’m not a bad ass like the guys in Gwar, and I don’t have fans either. HA! Derks has teamed up with Love Hope Strength to get people in the know, get people to donate and gain knowledge of this condition as well as other bone marrow diseases that people face. You can visit https://www.lovehopestrength.org/ and contribute any way you can.
From all of us at House of Tortured Souls as fans, and people with hearts that care about our fellow man, we wish Mike Derks/Balsac Jaws of Death a speedy recovery and issue a thank you for all you do, keeping the ball rolling and having such a positive outlook on the situation at hand.
HORROR NEWS: Balsac the Jaws of Death plagued with Myelofibrosis

HORROR NEWS: Balsac the Jaws of Death plagued with Myelofibrosis

The last few years for the shock rock/metal band Gwar has not been all the best in the way of luck. However, we can say that Gwar though will keep on despite what’s been thrown at them making them, by far, the strongest band in the galaxy.
In 2011, Gwar guitarist Cory Smoot, known by his stage name Flattus Maximus, was found deceased of a heart attack while on tour. Then, in 2014, the greatest frontman to ever take the stage Dave Brockie, known to Gwar fans as Oderus Urungus was found dead in his room, due to a heroin overdose. None of this stopped Gwar from carrying on. One thing that they have always done, is kept going despite the odds. Flattus was replaced by Pustulus Maximus, and Oderus role was filled by Blothar which was the original Beefcake The Mighty. Gwar has been through a few changes over the 30+ years of their time on earth. Now, faced with not another change, but another medical issue within the band's members.
Mike Derks aka Balsac the Jaws of Death is facing a disease called myelofibrosis which is a bone marrow disorder that causes the body’s blood cells to not produce properly. This may have come as a surprise to most people. I know for sure it did for me, I got to see Gwar perform on the warped tour, and Balsac was not on a few dates due to this disease causing him great pain and other physical issues. I was wondering why I didn’t see him on stage, and now I understand.
Over the next several months, Derks will be undergoing some major medical treatment, including blood transfusions, constant monitoring, and eventually a bone marrow transplant in which chemotherapy will be administered to rid the body of the diseased marrow, and then the good marrow put in. None of this monitoring and the transfusion of blood will stop Derks or Gwar, as he is still going on tour with the band this fall/winter and will be utilizing various hospital organizations across the country to monitor his condition.
I love music, I love playing music, but if this were me I’d say, “Fuck it”, and not play until it’s all taken care of. Then again, I’m not a bad ass like the guys in Gwar, and I don’t have fans either. HA! Derks has teamed up with Love Hope Strength to get people in the know, get people to donate and gain knowledge of this condition as well as other bone marrow diseases that people face. You can visit https://www.lovehopestrength.org/ and contribute any way you can.
From all of us at House of Tortured Souls as fans, and people with hearts that care about our fellow man, we wish Mike Derks/Balsac Jaws of Death a speedy recovery and issue a thank you for all you do, keeping the ball rolling and having such a positive outlook on the situation at hand.
Posted by Schock in EXCLUSIVE, 0 comments
SPOTLIGHT: Justin “Schock” Terrell

SPOTLIGHT: Justin “Schock” Terrell

It is a great honor for me to introduce next HoTS 'In the Spotlight' Artist: our own Justin Schock!
Justin has done a tremendous amount in the background for House of Tortured Souls this year, so he well deserves this title - and much more! As with many artists, his talent spills over in more than one genre. He records metal music!
Here is a brief bio of Justin "Schock" Terrell:
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Schock was a nickname given as a stage name in the early 2000s and kind of just stuck with me all these years... I was born in 1982. I was born and grew up in Anderson, IN. I still live nearby but try to disassociate with the town. Haha! I have one kid, a daughter, who is 9 years old and acts like she's 14. Kids... I'll tell ya. Currently, my normal day job is the Loss Prevention Supervisor for Kohl's in Anderson, IN.
And now for our Q&A:
House of Tortured Souls: When did you start drawing?
Justin “Schock” Terrell: I started drawing at a young age, like stupid young. I can remember drawing at 3 years old or so.
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HoTS: What was the first picture you remember doing?
Schock: When I was younger, I would draw comic strips like Garfield and Peanuts while attempting to mock the style. I then moved on around, 4 or 5 years old, drawing Spiderman and Wolverine mostly before developing my own techniques.
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HoTS: Who inspired you when you began?
Schock: I just started drawing things always utilizing pencil only. I use to not care for markers and such. The traditional look of pencil appealed to me. I honestly can't say if I had anyone influence. There were, of course, comic books and cartoons, but I never got the names of the artists. My uncle, Mike Ball is an amazing traditional artist. I mean he doesn't use computers. He was always showing me tricks as a kid, and I admired a lot of the work he did.
HoTS: Who do you follow now?
Schock: Now that I'm older and pay attention to things, some of my favorite artists are James Rowe, Alex Ross, Nikki Bruin, and Scott Anderson. Then there is this one dude, not sure of his real name, but his store is called Electric Zombie. And Ghoulish Gary is hands down amazing, as is Jason Edmiston. Really, there are a lot of insane artists out there.
HoTS: Do you have a favorite creep?
Schock: Favorite creep...hmm well I'm always all over the monsters. It's hard to pick, ya know? Ever go shopping and you see Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein stuff everywhere, but then there's that one off Leatherface item, so you're torn? Do I pick up the traditional monster thing? Or get the slasher? I'm a horror fan, and it's just too hard to pick.
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HoTS: What is your most prized piece?
Schock: I have a couple pieces that are prized. One is a full pencil/colored pencil piece I did of Reagen from The Exorcist, and the other is a non-horror pencil drawing of ballerina legs/shoes. Both of those are amazing to me because I didn't know I could produce such work.
HoTS: Do you do art shows, comic cons, or any vendor's markets?
Schock: I have never done any of the cons or markets namely because it takes a lot of money to get started and I totally don't have that kind of loot. But, one day, I will be all over it. I have never done an art show. The art world is a cruel mistress. Fun fact about my region of the world, er, the city: I was told by an artist collective here I was not allowed to join their little club of artists because of my work being mainly horror-influenced. And I went from traditional pencil and paint to almost all exclusively digital coloring, even using Wacom pens to draw without paper. Very snobby artists here. So art shows would only happen, again, if I had the money for it, and if I was more well known.
HoTS: Are you working on something now?
Schock: As of now, I am working on some watercolor paintings, the annual Drawlloween pictures which I'm doing all pencil this year, images for HoTS. As well as working on my next record. I make hardcore/metal music also. All written and recorded by myself called xSCHOCKx, which can be found here: xschockx.bandcamp.com I jump around mediums, drawing, painting, music and even writing. Working on a collection of short stories with a friend. No title yet, but its very X-rated and scary all at once.
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HoTS: Do you do commission work?
Schock: I do, indeed, do commission work. I'm always open to anything graphic design in advertising, drawings, logo design, the list goes on and on. A list of services and prices can be found on my site (listed below), and it does not have to be limited to horror works. That's just my thing. I've done stuff for the MS people, Diabetic Youth Foundation, and even random churches. A good artist doesn't limit his focus.
HoTS: Do you have a fan page? Twitter? Instagram?
Schock: I am all over the social media and Internet. Heres a list:
Damn that's a lot. Nah, but I do a lot of different things artistically and sometimes they blend together. I use my nickname for both my artistic and musical endeavors, so that it’s easy to promote both.
Folks, be on the lookout for more of Justin. He is amazing, and we here at HoTS plan on keeping him around for many moons to come.
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Posted by Tammie Parker in FEATURED ARTIST, IN THE SPOTLIGHT, 0 comments
MUSIC REVIEW: JasonXVoorhees – Horror Edge (2016)

MUSIC REVIEW: JasonXVoorhees – Horror Edge (2016)

These dudes really know how to bring forth a record that is HARDCORE! Extremely influenced by black metal, hardcore, punk rock, and pretty much everything bloody all the while being a straight edge band, these guys fucking hit it hard!
With an ominous intro dark and divine as you'd expect from any horror based band, it lays precedence to the album ahead. With an obvious metal and horror influence, they let it shine through. Some of the mixing with the gang vocals could have been mixed and maybe reverbed out to sound like there were 5,000,000 people instead of five, but whatever to that. It doesn't take away from the fact they get what they want to say out there and as hard and heavy as can be.
Track by track it kicks you in the face with the hardcore sound. "What's Your Favorite Scary Movie" is probably hands down my favorite song on the record. The punk rock vibe is definitely what I'm used to and what I listen to on a regular basis with the upbeat "skanking" style that you can easily dance to, or stand there like an emo and just bob your head while looking at your shoes. No matter what your secular division of life or who you are, it will get you moving. Then "Still Following" comes on, and it's the same ordeal — fast hard and punk rock...except with a break down that's heavy and catchy all at the same time. You can't beat this style of music they're going on with. The mixture of metal, punk, and hardcore is just fantastic with a perfect combination of all that gives you something for all walks of the underground world. Want them to play a punk show? No problem. Hardcore? Easy. Metal? For sure. They can achieve all and perform to every crowd with ease.
Like all horror punk or horror-influenced bands, song titles and references are there for the songs either in title or lyrics. The true sound of their influences shines through everything from AFI and Misfits to Leviathan, Slayer, Mayhem and even more punk style. It's clear that JXV knows what they want, and their sound all over the spectrum conveys what's what with this band. Working closely with Rikk and Cal of JxV on a few projects artistically and accompanying them on some comps put out by Optimist/Pessimist records which is run by Rikk, I can say they're amazing cats all around. Being a fellow straight edge myself, it's awesome to have a family like this in the horror world. The first time I saw their title "Horror Edge", I knew these guys were either going to be cock suckers and not worth befriending or they're going to be brothers. Lucky for me, the latter was the case. I highly recommend that you listen to Jason X Voorhees and support them in every way. Even if you're not into straight edge life, if you're a music fan, metal head, hardcore, punk...what the fuck ever. This band is for you.
JxV on Optimist/Pessimist Records - Bandcamp
Posted by Schock in HALLOWEEN, MUSIC REVIEWS, STAFF PICKS, 0 comments
Schock’s Top 5 Albums for the Halloween Mood

Schock’s Top 5 Albums for the Halloween Mood

I’m going to run through five albums to put you in the Halloween spirit. We all love music, and we all have stuff we are used to. I’m always on the hunt for something new and fresh, so let me help you out this Halloween season. You cannot go wrong with my Top 5 Albums That Scream HALLOWEEN when listened to any time of the year.
Misfits — Collection 2: This one in particular because A) It’s got the song “Halloween” on the album. It’s the original incarnation of the Misfits and a staple in any horror fans collection.Misfits_-_Collection_II_cover / Fair use doctrine.

Mister Monster — Over Your Dead Body: This album is so fucking good. The whole vibe of the record gives you a cold chill and makes you want to just sit by a campfire to warm up while crooning your way into your partner’s pants.Mister Monster-Over Your Dead Body / Fair use doctrine.
AFI — All Hallow’s EP and Black Sails in the Sunset EP: There was a time when AFI was absolutely amazing and these two albums... (I’m using two here because there are only 4 tracks on the All Hallow’s EP.) These two albums set a nice relaxed vibe that always, for some reason, get me thinking about walking around, kicking leaves, and enjoying the cool air. The song “Fall Children” on All Hallow’s EP is, by far, my favorite Halloween song ever written.AFI-AllHallow's and Black Sails / Fair use doctrine.
Silent Horror — Self Titled: This is a record that is from start to finish spooky and fun and screams horror and Halloween all the way through. I put this next to Mister Monster’s OYDB as one of the best horror punk records ever.Silent Horror - Self Titled / Fair use doctrine.
The Spook — Some Like It Dead: A band from the land of Germany. The Spook is another horror punk band that not only needs to be listened to, also needs to be understood. This album gives you the feeling of horror and Halloween – from the super scary factor right down to the whimsy and fun of Halloween. The Spook delivers this on this record.The Spook-Some Like It Dead / Fair use doctrine.
So there you have it the Schock TOP 5 Albums to put you in the mood for Halloween. Find them, listen and enjoy.
Posted by Schock in EDITORIALS, MUSIC REVIEWS, 0 comments
Happy 70th Birthday, Stephen King!

Happy 70th Birthday, Stephen King!

Buckle up, Constant Readers, because House of Tortured Souls is paying tribute to the father of contemporary horror - Stephen King. This post won't be as long as one of Mr. King's novels, but you might want to get a fresh beverage and a snack before continuing.
Comfy? Got your drink and snack? Good. Then follow us as we delve into a few of the memories Mr. King has given us. It's not dark here - certainly not as dark as Pet Sematary - but you might want to keep a lamp burning. Just in case.Simpsons Opening-Stephen King / Fair use doctrine.

I'm His Number One Fan! Wait...

By Woofer McWooferson

I honestly can’t remember the details of my first exposure to Stephen King’s work, but I do remember that it changed my life. As a horror fan, I read everything horror that came my way. When someone mentioned this new writer and his book Carrie, I gave it a shot and have never looked back. I tore into everything that he wrote like a werewolf starved for human flesh and finding the tastiest morsel around. My family and friends were thrilled as they now had a guaranteed gift for the freaky kid – anything King.
horror-novel-thestand / Fair use doctrine.When The Stand was released, I was a freshman in high school. I snapped it up fast and read it in record time even for me. Those of you who’ve read The Stand (or seen the mini-series) know about Captain Tripps. You can imagine, then, how freaky it was for me when I caught a cold while enjoying it. Strangely, every subsequent reading also resulted in a cold. That’s a bit trippy, don’t you think? Later, when the unabridged version was released, I also snapped it up – and yes, I got another cold – and enjoyed it even more than the heavily cut original. Many Constant Readers have said they don’t care for the unabridged version as they feel it adds nothing to the story, but I have to respectfully disagree. King is the master of detail, and I found all the extra bits particularly satisfying. The Stand remains my favorite standalone King work.
The Gunslinger trade paperback / Fair use doctrine.And then The Gunslinger was released. My then-boyfriend, Rich, got an advanced release, read it, and passed it along for me to read. We both fell in love with Roland Deschain. Rich was as much of a horror fan as I was, and we shared many glorious King novels before eventually parting as a couple but remaining friends. But it was his gift to me of The Gunslinger that will always be most special. He started me on the road to the Tower and even accompanied me about halfway there. We’ve fallen out of touch, but I still think of him fondly and wonder what he thought of the rest of Roland’s tale. Did he love it as much as I did? How could he not?
Although I’ve read everything King’s written thus far, none have had the impact on me that The Stand and The Dark Tower did. Indeed, King’s influence on me was such that I found myself speaking of him during the oral portion of my master’s exam. I didn’t exactly plan to bring up King, and I wasn’t sure what the panel would think of my comparisons even as I spoke. He wasn’t exactly taught in college back then (at least not much outside of the composition classes I taught), after all, and I nervously smoked outside as the panel discussed me and my answers. Apparently, they found my comments valid because I did receive my MA. Thanks, Mr. King.
Today, I raise a glass to you and wish you the best. May you continue to fuel our nightmares for many more years to come. Happy birthday!

By Scarlett O

I was a mere tot when the adaptation of Stephen King's The Shining came out in theaters in 1980; nevertheless, I was allowed to watch it before the age of ten. How times have changed! It was my very first horror movie, and I can honestly say without reservation that I've never been the same since. Both traumatized and intrigued, the level of terror that this particular movie held for me has set the standard for which I judge all horror movies. Needless to say, that's a pretty high bar that few other horror films have been able to come close to clearing. As an adult, I read the actual book from which the movie is based and like all other good books, Stephen King's The Shining reaches a level of impressive that I couldn't have imagined in my worst nightmares. To this day, large hotels with seemingly endless hallways or hearing “REDRUM” gives me chills. As it should.The Shining - Bloody Elevator / Fair use doctrine.
Though there were clear differences between King’s novel and Stanley Kubrick's direction of the film, such as the main character’s name (Jack vs John Daniel), physical appearances (blonde Wendy vs brunette), preference of cartoons by the boy Danny (Sesame Street vs the Road Runner), and even the hotel room number (217 vs 237), and perhaps the most interesting - that one ended in fire (the book) and the other in ice (the film), it's obvious that readers and viewers alike could appreciate the artistic thrill of them both. Still, it should not go without mention that none of this would have been possible if the one and only Stephen King had not written the infamous novel in the first place.

By Michelle MIDI Sayles

On this day in 1947 a King was literally born – Stephen King that is!
It wasn't until 42 years later that I discovered his literary world and my own thirst for horror grew in me, like a beast of its own.
I was 9 and at a slumber party with three other girls watching the VHS release of Pet Sematary. Unlike most girls, I didn't hide under the blankets during the "scary parts" or scream. I just watched with amazement as Gage’s, Church’s, and Louis' antics mesmerized me.Church-Pet Sematary_02 / Fair use doctrine.
I was so enamored with the film that I begged my parents for a month to buy me the novel for my 10th birthday, and I still have that battered and much loved copy to this day (after countless rereads).
From that moment, I was glued to all things King! I spent my teen years on a mere babysitter's budget (choosing that and my studies over flipping burgers part time like most kids here). I would frequent yard sales and second-hand markets to find older but cheaper copies of King's novels so I could stockpile all of his books (one day, when I retire, I will try and read any remaining that I have yet to tackle). I recorded each mini-series and film that came onto my screen to VHS, so I could watch it again and again (The Tommyknockers, The Stand, Children of the Corn -and sequels- etc). I clipped articles about my idol and more recently began collecting merchandise related to his works.
Through bad relationships, schooling, work life, having a family, and even suffering losses, King was my beacon. At any time, I could immerse myself in a book or film of his and just feel centered and at home.
Happy birthday, Mr King, I doubt you understand the impact you have had on many lives, but you'll always be special in mine.MIDI's King collection

By Schock

The horror world wouldn’t be the same if not for author Stephen King. His novels - that seem to multiply like gremlins - and movies that spawned from his narratives have become a staple in the world of horror, terror, and suspense. When we hear the name Stephen King, we think only of monsters and twists that ensue within the stories he’s penned as well as the rich east coast New England area of his mind.
My first encounter with anything Stephen King was Carrie - the movie based on the novel that we have all come to know as an ultimate in psychological (and psychic) terror. I discovered at a young age my love for the underdog, but my apparent blood fetish spawned way later in life. That’s another story altogether... Carrie introduced me to the world of King and I wanted to dig a little deeper. I then discovered other movies based on his novels – Cujo, Christine, Children of the Corn, Thinner, Needful Things, Cat’s Eye, The Shining, Stand By Me, Pet Semetary, IT… The list goes on and on and on. Then there are the King short stories translated to film. My absolute favorite of these is “Sometimes They Come Back”. Obviously, if you can’t tell, I didn’t read a lot as a child; I threw down on the movies, though, and when I got older I discovered that the novels were actually pretty easy to find. So I began the hunt for as many as possible in my area.
Christine was the first book I acquired, and reading the book, I could feel what he was writing more so than the movie portrayed. So I wanted more. I wanted to see how the stories could just put fear and terror into people. The directors of the movies really shined a light on the stories with their films. Some of the novels, though, like IT are thicker than every version of the bible put together. My friends and I use to have an ongoing joke when we would discuss Stephen King movie and book comparisons. He used three pages just to describe the treads on the tires in From a Buick 8. That brings me to something that King inadvertently taught to those of us who are creators of art – whether it be prose, poetry, music, or the visual arts: detail is KEY to making sure you give the audience every inch of what your mind wants to get out. This was a beautiful thing to learn from King’s legacy of horror and terrifying tales.From A Buick 8 / Fair use doctrine.
If anyone deserves to be awarded the title King of Horror or Master of the Macabre, it is none other than Stephen King himself. King’s not a man who walks around mopey and weird as you’d expect a horror writer to be. He’s a regular man, a visionary, and an inspiration – and not only to filmmakers and fans. He has inspired now for decades, generations even, and will continue to inspire for many years to come. When we are all long gone from this earth and some weird alien life goes digging around, they’ll find one (or thirty) of his novels and be terrified at what they read. Let’s hope that one day this happens and Stephen King will be known to these people thousands of years from now as a God.Stephen King-Pet Sematary / Fair use doctrine.

Happy Birthday to the *King* of Horror

By Tammie Parker

horror-novel-firestarter / Fair use doctrine.I read Firestarter when I was 8! That truly did raise the bar pretty high for all trying to scare me from then on out. I had a tough childhood, this was written for me! OH, to have the power to set shit on fire!
A truly odd fact is that we read IT in English 101 in my 8th grade class!! A bit of an odd book to use to teach all about grammar, huh? We even watched the original movie right there in class.   horror-movie-it-original / Fair use doctrine.Although the monster at the end disappointed me, I loved the story and the build-up. I loved the goosebumps, the hair-raising, eye-bulging, hanging onto the bed rail, it's-way-past-my-bedtime words!
After IT, (a few years down the road) I fall in love with Misery. horror-novel-misery / Fair use doctrine.The cockadoodie potty language definitely had me cracking up. Stephen King taught me how to find out when someone was going into my private stuff!
horror-novel-doloresclaiborne / Fair use doctrine.And then Dolores Claiborne. I truly loved the character Dolores! Having personally gone through 10 years of molestation, this novel was tough to read. However I wanted to read it through, I was certain I would be ecstatic with Dolores' settling this chaos. I love how simple it is to travel into the story, Stephen completely takes you there. There is never a question of the color of the sky, the scent in the air, especially the creepy thing lurking around the corner.
Then came The Stand, which very rapidly became my favorite book.
horror-novel-thestand / Fair use doctrine.Stephen is probably the source of my love for dystopian horror. The Stand opened my eyes to so much! Scenarios I had never thought of before. Human characteristics and how we would react, and what we would become if/when something happens.
After that (again a few years down the road) Dark Tower novels, WOWZA what a story!!
I have YET to see the movie, but I love the cast! And the trailers look absolutely amazing!

I have read Desperation, The Dead Zone, and, well, it is safe to say Mr. King is my most read author. During my research, I found out that Stephen and his wife Tabitha actually stayed in the real Stanley Hotel as he wrote the novel! I fell in love with him all over again. What a true badass! And what a wicked imagination 🙂
Happy 70th, Mr. Nightmare Maker!

What Stephen King Has Meant To Me

By Dixielord

Stephen King's Full DarkI discovered Stephen King sometime around the mid 80s. I don't remember exactly when, about my senior year in high school or maybe my first year in college. I remember a high school friend/acquaintance was reading Christine, and me, to my utter shame now, thought reading a book that big was the nerdiest thing in the world. How things change.
Christinebecame one of the first King novels, probably THE first novel, that I read. I think Night Shift was the first book, followed by Skeleton Crew, as I fell quickly in love with his short stories. I devoured his short stories rabidly, as quickly as I could get my hands on them. Then I started on the novels – Christine, Carrie, Firestarter, everything my college library had to offer, including the non-fiction Danse Macabre. It was through Danse Macabre that I became aware of H.P. Lovecraft.
Is it fair to say my life was changed? It was changed, dear readers. I had transformed from someone who laughed at readers to a voracious reader, from a man who had never heard of Lovecraft to a hardcore fan of the Cthulhu mythos and the unspeakable horrors from beyond.
Out of college I continued to follow him, buying his books when I could afford to, checking them out of the local library when I couldn't. I built up a nice collection of hardcover King over the years. After his near-fatal accident, his stories changed, and my life changed as well. I lost my mother to cancer, and his books started taking on a more depressing (at least to me) tone. The recurring theme of God demanding a sacrifice started to wear thin on me, and I just recently realized why. Don't get me wrong, his writing was still top notch, but I couldn't take the new stuff. I stopped reading King altogether after Desperation. I still cherished my King collection, though, and it nearly killed me when I had to sell them.
Sell your King collection? Blasphemy! Sadly, life doesn't always go as planned, and losing my job with no employment in sight meant I needed money. Of all the books I owned, I hated putting up my King collection for sale. But someone offered me too much money, and I needed money too much. I said goodbye with tears in my eyes.
I came back to King, and I'm still coming back, going back for the books I missed and grabbing the new ones as well. Now, new fans are discovering Stephen King, and old fans are rediscovering him. IT is in the theaters, reinvigorating horror in general, and putting the master's name back on the lips of everyone. The Dark Tower is just out of theaters. All of this has brought me back to my books, thinking about reacquiring the ones I had to sacrifice. King changed my life. Stephen King gave me a life, he gave me books and made me a reader. He opened worlds after worlds.

By Brenda Wilder Antlitz

Carrie-Sissy Spacek-John Travolta / Fair use doctrine.I was first introduced to the King, Stephen King that is, in the winter of 1976, the year that Carrie, came out. I was 12 at the time and in junior high school, which meant that 1) every girl was in love with John Travolta, and 2) I was too young to see it in the theater. So after hearing all of the cool kids telling us about the movie, especially the ending when the hand comes out of the ground, I knew I had to see it! But what was I going to do? And then I knew. I would do the next best thing: go to the bookstore.
The bookstore experience was just as exciting - walking down the aisle of the horror section, smelling the scent of new books under the incandescent lights, and looking for the name Stephen King. Even his name sounded grand! As I walked, I looked and looked, then and there it was: Carrie. I quickly opened it up, flipped through the pages, my hair flying back, as I watch the words fly past me, and I then floated to the register where I paid and become the proud owner of my very first (but certainly not last) Stephen King novel!
When I got home, I got a bottle of Coca-cola and went straight up to my bedroom (my safe haven), and I began to read Carrie. It was in the early afternoon when I began reading, and I only stopped to go to the bathroom, which I did with all lights on of course! LOL. But I simply could not stop reading it... I could relate Carrie White. Completely.
I felt as if Stephen King saw through me and wrote this character about me (except that I did not have special psychic abilities nor a crazy, religious fanatic for a mother). I was a very shy loner, misunderstood and bullied so bad that my only escape was through books, TV, music, and movies. And so, because of Carrie White, I became a horror lover and not just of the Friday the 13th kind but of the psychological kind. The kind that makes you think - and question - EVERYthing!!
After that, I was hooked on The King of Horror!
Stephen King became known not only for his novels and their adaptations to the big screen but also for the works that made it to the small screen, TV. You have to realize that back then we only had a handful of TV stations. Cable was new (we did not have it), and VCRs were just starting to come out although few could afford them, yet. So when there was a movie of the week, or better yet a mini-series, it was a big deal! An event, even.
'Salem's Lot / Fair use doctrine.The first major Stephen King-based mini-series was a two-night event, and it's still talked about to this day. 'Salems Lot, staring David Soul and Lance Kerwin, debuted on 11/17/1979, and it was something we’d never seen before. A second 'Salem's Lot mini-series (remake not sequel) debuted on 11/19/2015 and starred Rob Lowe, who played Nick Andros in the mini-series of The Stand. If you ask people what they remember about it, they will tell you that it scared the crap out of them.'Salem's Lot mini-series remake / Fair use doctrine.
I could go on and on with the list of books and movies, that Stephen King has written, but there is not enough time or room.
All I can say is this: there are writers who affect only a few, and Stephen King is not one of them. Stephen King has affected generations! He is the reason why most of us became fans of horror/thrillers, became writers – authors, even - readers, and film fans. For me, not only did he do all of the above, but he also was an influence on my becoming a paranormal investigator.
I guess all that is left to say, besides "Thank You", is happy birthday to The King of Horror, Mr. Stephen King!!
From House of Tortured Souls to you, Mr. King, fangs for everything.horror-stephenking / Fair use doctrine.
Posted by Woofer McWooferson in CELEBRITY BIRTHDAYS, EDITORIALS, HORROR HEROES, TRIBUTE, 0 comments
HoTS Explores Halloween Goodies 2017 – 1 of ???

HoTS Explores Halloween Goodies 2017 – 1 of ???

House of Tortured Souls is committed to bringing you all things horror, and Halloween is OUR holiday. As such, HoTS staff will be making videos throughout the Halloween season as we explore the decor and goodies out this year.
First up, ZombieGurl takes you through some of the items available at Michael's.

Next, ZombieGurl shows us what's up At Home (the store, not her home, but I imagine they're quite similar decor-wise).

John Roisland tours Spirit Halloween and outlines their goodies for 2017.

Schock visits Halloween City and reveals some interesting items.

Finally, John Roisland takes a tour of his local Target and shows us what they're offering.

Stay tuned for our second installment of 2017 Halloween goodies.
Until then, creep on.
-Woofer
Posted by Woofer McWooferson in HALLOWEEN, 0 comments
In Remembrance: Tobe Hooper

In Remembrance: Tobe Hooper

Tobe Hooper: Gone But Not Forgotten

It is with heavy heart that we report the passing of the ever so great Tobe Hooper - the man who brought us many, MANY great horror flicks, such as The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, Poltergeist, The Fun House, Lifeforce, Salem's Lot, and Toolbox Murders - among others. His legacy of horror films are what spawned fear and intrigue on several levels for all of us here at House of Tortured Souls. We will be paying tribute to him, so stay tuned to find out how his work has influenced our work and our lives.
Here's a list of his directorial credits alone:
  • Djinn (2013)
  • Destiny Express Redux (2009)
  • Masters of Horror (TV Series) - “The Damned Thing” (2006)
  • Masters of Horror (TV Series) - “Dance of the Dead” (2005)
  • Mortuary (2005)
  • Toolbox Murders (2004)
  • Taken (TV Mini-Series) (1 episode) - “Beyond the Sky” (2002)
  • Night Visions (TV Series) (2 episodes) - “Cargo” (2002)
  • Night Visions (TV Series) (2 episodes) - “The Maze” (2002)
  • Crocodile (Video) (2000)
  • The Others (TV Series) (1 episode) - “Souls on Board” (2000)
  • Dark Skies (TV Series) (1 episode) - “The Awakening” (1996)
  • Nowhere Man (TV Series) (2 episodes) - “Turnabout” (1995)
  • Nowhere Man (TV Series) (2 episodes) - “Absolute Zero” (1995)
  • The Apartment Complex (TV Movie) (1999)
  • Prey (TV Series) (1 episode) - “Hungry for Survival”: Unaired Pilot (1998)
  • Perversions of Science (TV Series) (1 episode) - “Panic” (1997)
  • The Mangler (1995)
  • Body Bags (TV Movie) (segment "Eye") (1993)
  • Night Terrors (1993)
  • Tales from the Crypt (TV Series) (1 episode) - “Dead Wait” (1991)
  • Haunted Lives: True Ghost Stories (TV Mini-Series documentary) (1 episode) - “Ghosts R Us/Legend of Kate Morgan/School Spirit” (1991)
  • I'm Dangerous Tonight (TV Movie) (1990)
  • Spontaneous Combustion (1990)
  • Freddy's Nightmares (TV Series) (1 episode) - “No More Mr. Nice Guy” (1988)
  • The Equalizer (TV Series) (1 episode) - “No Place Like Home” (1988)
  • Amazing Stories (TV Series) (1 episode) - “Miss Stardust” (1987)
  • The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986)
  • Invaders from Mars (1986)
  • Lifeforce (1985)
  • Billy Idol: Dancing with Myself (Video short) (1983)
  • Poltergeist (1982)
  • The Fun House (1981)
  • Salem's Lot (TV Movie) (1979)
  • The Dark (replaced by John Cardos, uncredited) (1979)
  • Eaten Alive (1976)
  • The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)
  • Eggshells (1969)
  • The Heisters (Short) (1964)
Now, pop in a classic, grab your favorite snack, and celebrate the scares that he gave us.

Poster Gallery of Some of Tobe Hooper's Films

Click for larger image.
Posted by Schock in TRIBUTE, 0 comments
MUSIC REVIEW: Calabrese – Lust for Sacrilege (2015)

MUSIC REVIEW: Calabrese – Lust for Sacrilege (2015)

Image: Rock Revolt Magazine
Over the years since I first started listening to Calabrese, I thought they couldn’t get any better. Their E.P. Midnight Spookshow (way back on MP3.com) made me fall in love with this band. They were campy, fun, and cartoonish with some hard-hitting yet almost poppy rhythms that really brought something different to the scene at the time. Then 13 Halloweens comes out with the same flavor, and you could tell it’s a great band that would – and has – just kept getting better. So, skipping past the rest of the albums to the latest, which I’m going to talk about here, I’ll say those first two defined them with some of us in the early 2000s punk rock scene.
The following Calabrese expressed a lot of growth and experience from this band of three brothers. I just finally had a chance to listen to the latest record, Lust for Sacrilege, and it is definitely a solid, one hundred percent different feel from where they were until now.
The talent in the music is very present in this album. It’s slower than the previous albums, however, as after 13 Halloweens they did kind of slow it down and evolve into more adult-themed with their brand of horror rock. Lust for Sacrilege is an album that I would put in a category with bands like Sisters of Mercy and The Cult - the super dark death rock that is great to listen to and just admire the marksmanship of the lyrics, harmonies, and music that really shows what kind of band can come from the land of campy cartoons to the big screen adulthood of rock n’ roll.
I would not classify this album as Horror Punk because, like horror, there are many subgenres. In the beginning, Calabrese got straight to the point with songs like “Blood in my Eyes”, “Midnight Spook Show”, and “Backseat of my Hearse”. Moving on to the albums III-Touch of Death and Born of the Scorpions Touch, we saw that their style was evolving – maturing. Lust for Sacrilege is the ultimate mature album for a truly talented band that is strong in everything they do that each song glides smoothly from one to the other.
The album opens with “The Dark Is Who I Am”, and, man, you CANNOT get a better opening song than this as it really sets the tone for the rest of the album. It’s a bit slow and different from the Calabrese signature sound they started with. It really sets the dark tone of the album. The following tracks are a little harder and faster as they move on to “Teenage Crimewave”, which showcases some of that old school Calabrese guitar riffs and driving tempo. Still, it’s not campy and is very lyrically pleasing, a solid song from start to finish that serves as a great throw back number for them musically. The rest of the album, like I said, has some really heavy vibes of The Cult, which is a fantastic band to be compared to. “Wanted Man” is probably one of my favorite songs on the album. When I first heard it, I could practically feel it actually resonating through the speakers. In short, the whole song gives off a vibe that is just amazing and needs to be felt not heard. Some slower songs on the album, such as “Serpent Flame” and “Drift into Dust, I couldn’t really get into. I don’t mind slow songs but these just didn’t do it for me, and I skip over them. On the other hand, you, the reader, may prefer such numbers. The beauty of music is there’s always something for everyone. This album exemplifies that.
For a band that came from some punk rock, campy, horror roots, Calabrese evolved and transformed their signature sound to create something marvelous with Lust for Sacrilege , a solid album with something for everyone and really keeps you listening. I highly recommend this album, and, while you’re at it, please show Calabrese some love and pick up their other albums as well. If you have a chance to see them live, let me assure you that you should. Calabrese is something you will want to experience live, and you will not be disappointed - I promise you that.
Don’t forget to check out the official Calabrese website.
Keep it Creepy
-Schock
Posted by Schock in MUSIC REVIEWS, 0 comments