Stephen King

Alistair Cross - Sleep Savannah SleepAlistair Cross, acclaimed author of such works as The Crimson Corset and his newest novel Sleep Savannah Sleep and co-host of Haunted Nights Live! a radio program broadcast on the Authors On The Air Global Radio Network with the equally amazing author Tamara Thorne, was kind enough to do an interview with me for my home here at House of Tortured Souls. Before I get to the interview, though, I would like to tell you more about his works.
Alistair Cross - The Crimson CorsetAbout The Crimson Corset: Welcome to Crimson Cove a cozy village in California where Cade Coulter, our protagonist, moves to live with his brother hoping for a peaceful life. Everything is idyllic until the sun sets and the little tourist town begins to show more night death than nightlife. At the very edge of town sits The Crimson Corset known for its crazy soirees and licentiousness, where people can indulge their every fantasy no matter how depraved or unacceptable. The only thing is is that the place is owned and operated by a vampire.
The owner, Gretchen VanTreese, wants to take out the Old World Vampires that also exist in the town so that she can be free to create a new race of vampires that she will rule. And Cade Coulter will have to fight this wicked and enticing vampire, even give up his own humanity to save the town and everyone that he loves.
I loved this book. There is nothing better than a great story infused with blood, violence, and gore. Let me show you some of the reviews so you can get an even better idea:
Put Bram Stoker in a giant cocktail shaker, add a pinch of Laurell K. Hamilton, a shot of John Carpenter, and a healthy jigger of absinthe, and you’ll end up with Alistair Cross’s modern Gothic chiller, The Crimson Corset-a deliciously terrifying tale that will sink its teeth into you from page one.
—Jay Bonansinga, New York Times Bestselling author of The Walking Dead: Invasion and Lucid.
Alistair Cross’ new novel The Crimson Corset…is taut and elegantly written taking us into the realms where the erotic and the horrific meet. Reminiscent of the work of Sheridan Le Fanu (Carmilla, Uncle Silas) in its hothouse, almost Victorian intensity, it tells a multi-leveled story of misalliance and mixed motives. The language is darkly lyrical, and the tale is compelling. Read it; you’ll be glad you did.
—Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, author of Saint-Germaine Cycle and the Chesterton Holt Mysteries.
Very nice heavy hitters for a debut book!
Alistair Cross - The Angel AlejandroHe has also written The Book of Strange Persuasions, The Angel Alejandro, and the aforementioned Sleep Savanah Sleep. Alistair has also collaborated on many books with the sensational Tamara Thorne as Thorne&Cross. Some of their joint titles include The Cliffhouse Haunting, Mother, The Witches of Ravencrest, and The Ghosts of Ravencrest.
Which brings me to the next bit about him. Alistair Cross and Tamara Thorne started their own radio show called Haunted Nights Live! where they talk all things horror to some of the biggest names in the business. Featuring such guests as Chelsea Quinn Yarbro of the Saint-Germain vampire series, Charlaine Harris of the Southern Vampire Mysteries and basis of the HBO series True Blood, Jeff Lindsay, author of the Dexter novels that inspired the hit television series, Jay Bonansinga of the Walking Dead series, and Laurell K. Hamilton of the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter novels.
So, now that we have established his illustrious credentials, let’s ask him some questions.
House of Tortured Souls: So, Alistair, what would you like people to know about you?
Alistair Cross: I am not a morning person: no, I will not help your sister move…and I prefer cats to most people.
HoTS: When I was doing research for this interview, I noticed on his website that in 1987 – He saw Carrie and the Nightmare on Elm Street movies, wrote more stories (most of which featured an unmanageably extensive cast of talking cats). So sorry I missed that readers.
Next question Alistair: What are your horror influences?

AC: Stephen King, of course, who was my introduction to the genre back when I was barely 8 years old. I am also influenced by Anne Rice, Dean Koontz, John Saul, Ira Levin, and William Peter Blatty, just to name a few.
HoTS: What did you do with your very first advance for a book??
AC: I just stared at it. A lot.
HoTS: What was your first scary movie?
AC: The first movie I remember being absolutely terrified by was Cujo. It still makes me a little uneasy.
HoTS: How do you write what you want without worrying about how your subject matter will be taken?
AC: As a horror author, I consider it my duty to shock and offend. There are few subjects I won’t touch on, animal cruelty for example because it’s not necessary and it’s too easy. But I don’t think about reader reaction when I’m writing. I write the stories I want to read and figure it is likely others out there will want to read them too.
HoTS: What is your spirit animal?
AC: Stevie Nicks is my spirit animal.
HoTS: Has anything in your books ever happened to you?
AC: While I’ve certainly never been lured into an underground lair of a seductive blond vampire or found an amnesiac angel in my koi pond after a violent storm, some of the events in my writing do come from personal experience. All fiction is rooted in truth, but I never set out to chronicle my own experiences. It’s about the characters and their stories, not mine. The only exception is Five Nights In a Haunted Cabin, a real-life account of an experience I had with my collaborator, Tamara Thorne.
HoTS: How did you and Tamara become writing partners?
AC: It’s an unusual story that began in the late 1990s when I came across Tamara’s novel Moonfall. I liked it so much, I got all of her books and began stalking her website via AOL dial-up because in my day we had to practice patience when we stalked people online. Several years later, after my first book was published, I began a blog dedicated to interviews with authors. Tamara Thorne was one of the first people I asked to be on my blog. She said yes and we hit it off enough that she asked me if I’d like to write a short story with her. That short story became a full-length novel, and that led to the next one and the one after that, and the rest is history. Writing with Tamara is one of the easiest, most natural things I have ever done and, at the risk of sounding corny, I believe it was simply meant to be.
House of Tortured Souls: And readers I thought it was only fair to reach out to Tamara Thorne and gets some fun stuff on Alistair from her:
Tamara Thorne: I love collaborating with Alistair. We spend our days working on Skype and when our cats start climbing us, we turn on the cameras. Alistair’s kitty, Pawpurrazzi, truly abuses him. I love watching the way she gives him kisses, then shoves her butt in his face. Those two are madly in love.
We write together in the Cloud and rarely recall who wrote what. After each day’s work – or after completing the first draft – my job is to read our words aloud. When we’re in edit mode, reading for hours can be pretty grueling, but my collaborator knows how to keep things lively. He moves ahead in the manuscript and adds lines so outrageous and rude that I fall apart – so does he. We relish our giggle breaks more than I can say. Once in a while, we leave an obscenity in to amuse our editors. The reactions are varied but hysterical.
So I cannot recommend these authors enough and I also cannot thank them enough for taking their time to answer some questions and share a few laughs. Below are some links for you to get to know and experience more of Alistair Cross and his partner in crime Tamara Thorne. And definitely, check out their radio broadcast.
INTERVIEW: Alistair Cross

INTERVIEW: Alistair Cross

Alistair Cross - Sleep Savannah SleepAlistair Cross, acclaimed author of such works as The Crimson Corset and his newest novel Sleep Savannah Sleep and co-host of Haunted Nights Live! a radio program broadcast on the Authors On The Air Global Radio Network with the equally amazing author Tamara Thorne, was kind enough to do an interview with me for my home here at House of Tortured Souls. Before I get to the interview, though, I would like to tell you more about his works.
Alistair Cross - The Crimson CorsetAbout The Crimson Corset: Welcome to Crimson Cove a cozy village in California where Cade Coulter, our protagonist, moves to live with his brother hoping for a peaceful life. Everything is idyllic until the sun sets and the little tourist town begins to show more night death than nightlife. At the very edge of town sits The Crimson Corset known for its crazy soirees and licentiousness, where people can indulge their every fantasy no matter how depraved or unacceptable. The only thing is is that the place is owned and operated by a vampire.
The owner, Gretchen VanTreese, wants to take out the Old World Vampires that also exist in the town so that she can be free to create a new race of vampires that she will rule. And Cade Coulter will have to fight this wicked and enticing vampire, even give up his own humanity to save the town and everyone that he loves.
I loved this book. There is nothing better than a great story infused with blood, violence, and gore. Let me show you some of the reviews so you can get an even better idea:
Put Bram Stoker in a giant cocktail shaker, add a pinch of Laurell K. Hamilton, a shot of John Carpenter, and a healthy jigger of absinthe, and you’ll end up with Alistair Cross’s modern Gothic chiller, The Crimson Corset-a deliciously terrifying tale that will sink its teeth into you from page one.
—Jay Bonansinga, New York Times Bestselling author of The Walking Dead: Invasion and Lucid.
Alistair Cross’ new novel The Crimson Corset…is taut and elegantly written taking us into the realms where the erotic and the horrific meet. Reminiscent of the work of Sheridan Le Fanu (Carmilla, Uncle Silas) in its hothouse, almost Victorian intensity, it tells a multi-leveled story of misalliance and mixed motives. The language is darkly lyrical, and the tale is compelling. Read it; you’ll be glad you did.
—Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, author of Saint-Germaine Cycle and the Chesterton Holt Mysteries.
Very nice heavy hitters for a debut book!
Alistair Cross - The Angel AlejandroHe has also written The Book of Strange Persuasions, The Angel Alejandro, and the aforementioned Sleep Savanah Sleep. Alistair has also collaborated on many books with the sensational Tamara Thorne as Thorne&Cross. Some of their joint titles include The Cliffhouse Haunting, Mother, The Witches of Ravencrest, and The Ghosts of Ravencrest.
Which brings me to the next bit about him. Alistair Cross and Tamara Thorne started their own radio show called Haunted Nights Live! where they talk all things horror to some of the biggest names in the business. Featuring such guests as Chelsea Quinn Yarbro of the Saint-Germain vampire series, Charlaine Harris of the Southern Vampire Mysteries and basis of the HBO series True Blood, Jeff Lindsay, author of the Dexter novels that inspired the hit television series, Jay Bonansinga of the Walking Dead series, and Laurell K. Hamilton of the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter novels.
So, now that we have established his illustrious credentials, let’s ask him some questions.
House of Tortured Souls: So, Alistair, what would you like people to know about you?
Alistair Cross: I am not a morning person: no, I will not help your sister move…and I prefer cats to most people.
HoTS: When I was doing research for this interview, I noticed on his website that in 1987 – He saw Carrie and the Nightmare on Elm Street movies, wrote more stories (most of which featured an unmanageably extensive cast of talking cats). So sorry I missed that readers.
Next question Alistair: What are your horror influences?

AC: Stephen King, of course, who was my introduction to the genre back when I was barely 8 years old. I am also influenced by Anne Rice, Dean Koontz, John Saul, Ira Levin, and William Peter Blatty, just to name a few.
HoTS: What did you do with your very first advance for a book??
AC: I just stared at it. A lot.
HoTS: What was your first scary movie?
AC: The first movie I remember being absolutely terrified by was Cujo. It still makes me a little uneasy.
HoTS: How do you write what you want without worrying about how your subject matter will be taken?
AC: As a horror author, I consider it my duty to shock and offend. There are few subjects I won’t touch on, animal cruelty for example because it’s not necessary and it’s too easy. But I don’t think about reader reaction when I’m writing. I write the stories I want to read and figure it is likely others out there will want to read them too.
HoTS: What is your spirit animal?
AC: Stevie Nicks is my spirit animal.
HoTS: Has anything in your books ever happened to you?
AC: While I’ve certainly never been lured into an underground lair of a seductive blond vampire or found an amnesiac angel in my koi pond after a violent storm, some of the events in my writing do come from personal experience. All fiction is rooted in truth, but I never set out to chronicle my own experiences. It’s about the characters and their stories, not mine. The only exception is Five Nights In a Haunted Cabin, a real-life account of an experience I had with my collaborator, Tamara Thorne.
HoTS: How did you and Tamara become writing partners?
AC: It’s an unusual story that began in the late 1990s when I came across Tamara’s novel Moonfall. I liked it so much, I got all of her books and began stalking her website via AOL dial-up because in my day we had to practice patience when we stalked people online. Several years later, after my first book was published, I began a blog dedicated to interviews with authors. Tamara Thorne was one of the first people I asked to be on my blog. She said yes and we hit it off enough that she asked me if I’d like to write a short story with her. That short story became a full-length novel, and that led to the next one and the one after that, and the rest is history. Writing with Tamara is one of the easiest, most natural things I have ever done and, at the risk of sounding corny, I believe it was simply meant to be.
House of Tortured Souls: And readers I thought it was only fair to reach out to Tamara Thorne and gets some fun stuff on Alistair from her:
Tamara Thorne: I love collaborating with Alistair. We spend our days working on Skype and when our cats start climbing us, we turn on the cameras. Alistair’s kitty, Pawpurrazzi, truly abuses him. I love watching the way she gives him kisses, then shoves her butt in his face. Those two are madly in love.
We write together in the Cloud and rarely recall who wrote what. After each day’s work – or after completing the first draft – my job is to read our words aloud. When we’re in edit mode, reading for hours can be pretty grueling, but my collaborator knows how to keep things lively. He moves ahead in the manuscript and adds lines so outrageous and rude that I fall apart – so does he. We relish our giggle breaks more than I can say. Once in a while, we leave an obscenity in to amuse our editors. The reactions are varied but hysterical.
So I cannot recommend these authors enough and I also cannot thank them enough for taking their time to answer some questions and share a few laughs. Below are some links for you to get to know and experience more of Alistair Cross and his partner in crime Tamara Thorne. And definitely, check out their radio broadcast.



Posted by Horrormadam in BOOKS, COMICS, AND PUBLICATION REVIEWS, FICTION AND POETRY, FRIENDS OF THE HOUSE, INTERVIEWS, MONSTERS AND CREATURES, PARANORMAL, PODCAST, THRILLER, VAMPIRES, 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
MOVIE REVIEW: IT (2017) (1 of…???)

MOVIE REVIEW: IT (2017) (1 of…???)

When we are kids, we watch movies, read books, and hear stories that we carry with us throughout our lives. IT, the super long novel by Stephen King, is one that King’s Constant Readers, as well as most horror fans, have carried with us through our youth. The original adaptation, released in 1990, as a miniseries, started with the youth of Derry, Maine, and ended with the adults when Pennywise returned 27 years later. Of course, the time the film was made plays a large factor in how it was portrayed. So we have to look at it that way in regards to content and exactly what boundaries could be pushed and what couldn’t. Since it was a TV miniseries and the rules were different then, IT really was a different adaptation altogether.
Looking back on the original, I have always felt it to be rather boring and a little too much on the cheesy side. This opinion does not reflect on the actors themselves, but on the direction and the script. I do not speak for everyone, but for me, the story could have been told in a way that wasn’t so much like an after school special about talking to strangers and more like an actual horror film. In other words, the miniseries was like a Goosebumps version compared to what we are allowed to see now in films. IT was very kid friendly so to speak, and for the time it was made, it was definitely on the verge of causing concern for the people of the world. Tim Curry is a great actor and did very well putting that scare into the youth of the early 90s. As horror fans, we need to go into this re-envisioning of the story with fresh eyes and a fresh mind - regardless of who you are. Try to avoid comparing and contrasting both films. And now, on to how this new movie, which was not only a better portrayal but also much scarier.
When I walk into the theater, I was actually amazed that we had fancy seating, all recliner like and cozy. That was a bit weird to me as I’m used to the poor people theaters with sticky floors and immensely uncomfortable seating. Big kudos to United Artists theater in Fishers, Indiana for being awesome in that regard.
I am pretty sure there were 20 minutes of previews, and a couple of them looked really good. Saw 8, though, that horse has been beaten to death. Give it up already. Mother is, I’m pretty sure, a spin-off of Rosemary’s Baby. I can’t for the life of me remember the two that actually looked really good though. I’ll figure it out later. Ha!
Spoiler warning skull_smallRight from the start, the movie gets you all hyped up because it’s set in 1988-89 which, for many of the movie-going public, is when we were young and have some of our earliest memories of life. Those that are into that whole holding on to nostalgia, this is perfect for that. The soundtrack alone was fantastic, and the fashion, lingo, and settings definitely invoke the late 80s. The movie starts with Billy (Jaeden Lieberher) and Georgie Denbrough (Jackson Robert Scott) in a bedroom making a paper boat with Georgie super excited to get it going. Bill instructs Georgie to get some wax to waterproof the paper boat and allow it to float. The foreshadowing comes immediately upon Georgie entering the basement, scared but carrying a 1980s-era walkie talkie that squealed and made a lot of noise to communicate with Billy on the whereabouts of the wax. Yes, that’s important to the film.
Not five minutes later, Georgie is running down the street chasing the paper boat in the rain, but the boat is at the mercy of the water and quickly falls into the a sewer drain. Pennywise the clown (Bill Skarsgård) appears in the drain with his famously evil grin and gains the attention of Georgie, who doesn’t really find it odd that a clown is just hangin’ ‘round in the sewer. There was some struggle, some blood, and a lot of screaming. I’ll just say this: those who haven’t seen the original or read the book, that’s all you need to know; however, those who have seen or read the original know just how fast IT jumps the gun and gets bloody fast.
Flash forward to 1989, almost a year after Georgie goes missing, and the kids are all leaving school. Each one is focused on for character development, a really cool and quick way for the movie to get past all the rhetoric and get to the action on what is to come. The bully, Henry Bowers (Nicholas Hamilton), and his crew terrorize all of the “Losers Club” and just sets a tone that you may believe he is working with Pennywise to abduct kids so that he is safe from harm. There wasn’t a lot of storytelling in this film it was really straight on, get down to business. Pennywise shows up to each kid that was focused on in Derry, and presenting fears to them that could cause them to panic and freeze, enabling Pennywise to snatch them up. What he didn’t realize is that they’re stronger than that. As the stories cross together, the Losers Club all hang out and become closer enjoying some of their summer. It is finally opened up that these things are happening. Each kid giving a brief story of what they saw. Stan Uris (Wyatt Oleff) sees a creepy painting that frightens him, and the woman in it comes to life. Michael Hanlon (Chosen Jacobs), who is home schooled, sees Pennywise hanging in a meat locker. Beverly Marsh has the infamous drain incident where blood comes shooting out like – not unlike Johnny Depp’s death scene in A Nightmare on Elm Street. Eddie Kaspbrak, my favorite character, sees a leper, and Billy, of course, sees Georgie. Ben Hanscom (Jeremy Ray Taylor) also has an encounter. Richie Tozier (Finn Wolfhard) is the only one who (I think) had not seen Pennywise beforehand. Richie makes it a point to mention this as well. Is he funny and smart sassy? Very much so and way much more so than the Seth Green was in his portrayal. Richie really sets the comedic tone for the movie always cracking jokes about sex, penis size, and just generally making fun of everyone. I can relate to this guy pretty well. For example, when Ben gets cut up and beaten, Richie says something about him bleeding Hamburger Helper. HA! So this kept the lightheartedness pretty well throughout the movie even though there were dire things happening all around them.
After a few dozen jump scares and plot development, the kids come together and discover that the key to finding him is in the Well House, which we see is an abandoned and almost certainly condemned house that probably shouldn’t be standing. Eddie, Billy, and Richie man up and go inside to look around. With some fear tactics and an encounter with Pennywise, Bev comes in and stabs the clown in the head giving some wiggle room for the boys to get out of the there. I know I’m vaguely telling what’s up. But y’all don’t need too much info because this is where IT really takes off.
So, with all of that said, the movie from beginning to end was fantastic - and we actually see who and what floats and where “down here” is (which always bugged me about the miniseries). Finally, the Losers Club comes together and decides that if IT comes back, then they will return and fight it again, leaving room for a sequel of course. However, I don’t feel like it needs one. Still, ending like with a “just in case” situation was good after everything played out as it did and they got free. The ending was pretty solid and could be left standing as is. To me, this movie works a standalone film on its own accord. Not only was the direction solid, the script excellent, and the acting on point, but it was seriously a great scary movie. The way I see it is that the original was something thrown together because someone had an idea, and at the time was a good one. This film, though, had a lot of thought and time put in into it, which gave it a better quality story and made it much scarier, creating a fearfest that I believe ANY horror fan can appreciate.
Check out what some other attendees thought of IT in my video below.

EDITOR'S NOTE: As many staff members are attending IT, there will be more reviews to come. Please stand by.
-Woofer McWooferson, Editor-in-Chief
Posted by Schock in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 1 comment
MOVIE REVIEW (RETRO): Revisiting Creepshow (1982), Pt. 3

MOVIE REVIEW (RETRO): Revisiting Creepshow (1982), Pt. 3

REVISITING CREEPSHOW

Part 3: You Lunk Head!

Hello there kiddies! Thanks for stopping by and welcome to the third installment of my monstrous multi-part series! A repulsive and revolting retrospect to that fiendish fright-fest, Creepshow...
In the last two installments, I discussed the film's background, its impact upon its release, the intro of the film and the first story, "Father's Day". Now let's get into the second story, "The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill".Creepshow-Jordy Verrill-01 / Fair use doctrine.
This story begins with a crash. A meteor lands in a run down farm in rural Maine. The owner of the farm is Jordy Verrill, played by the writer of the film and horror master himself Stephen King. Jordy is portrayed as being quite unintelligent and makes terrible decisions. He comes to the conclusion that the meteor would be worth a pretty penny, which his small mind views as $200, at the local university. When Jordy touches the meteor, it burns his fingertips, so he decides to cool it off by pouring some water on it. This breaks the meteor in half, revealing a white liquid inside. Jordy thinks the meteor will be worth significantly less now that it is broken, but decides to try anyway. He picks up the meteor pieces after pouring the liquid that sat inside into the ground and places them in a bucket. Hours later, while watching TV and drinking beer, Jordy looks at the fingertips he had burnt on the meteor and sees a type of green moss growing from them. He runs to the phone to call the doctor, but imagines that the doctor will cut his fingers off and hangs up. He then realizes that he had been periodically sucking on those fingers all night. He sticks his tongue out at the bathroom mirror and sees it is covered in the same green moss. From here, things escalate quickly as the farm and Jordy himself are being overrun by foliage growing at an incredible rate.
Creepshow-Jordy Verrill-02 / Fair use doctrine.This story was adapted from the Stephen King short story "Weeds" published in Cavalier Magazine in 1976. Since then, it's been very difficult to find and has never been published in any of King's short story collection books. The short story is similar but does carry differences. One main difference is the tone. Jordy Verrill is not very intelligent, but it is played straight, whereas in the film it seems to be played at a goofy level, almost cartoonish. The short story shows that the weeds possess a form of sentience as Jordy begins hearing them communicate in his head and also make suggestions to him, like taking a cold bath to relieve his itching for example. He also doesn't imagine himself talking to his father in the mirror, I think this was the film's way of addressing the weeds talking in his head and his contrasting thoughts about the bath making it worse.
This story seems to be an homage to H. P. Lovecraft's "Colour Out of Space", in which a meteor of an unknown color lands on a remote farm and begins to change the foliage and the family living there. It can also be seen as a jab at the isolationist and lonely lifestyle of being a farmer as Jordy seems to have little exposure to life outside the farm. You may even see this as he struggles with the thought of calling the doctor for help. But, I don't think this was intentional. Another story that may have inspired King is a true one. In 1961, a man in North Carolina purchased a single square of linoleum from a neighbor to fill in a missing piece on his floor. Soon after, his wife began suffering from acute respiratory ailments. When he removed the piece of linoleum, he discovered a mass of mold had grown underneath. They cleaned it with all kinds of chemicals, but it wasn't long before the mold had grown on the walls and furniture. Eventually, most of the home was covered in gray, hairy mold. Although, this is similar to Weeds, there is no confirmation that King had ever heard of this.
This segment of the film definitely stands out for its goofy acting and cartoonish sound effects. It's the only story in the film played for laughs. This was on purpose. Romero had told King to play Jordy like Wile E. Coyote, the way he looks when he goes off a cliff. In this aspect, King doesn't disappoint. Some may call his acting hammy, but I think it suits the character perfectly. King also had an allergic reaction to the makeup he wore and had to take medication just to make it bearable. One can only imagine how difficult it would be for one to act under such circumstances.
Creepshow-Jordy Verrill-03 / Fair use doctrine.In conclusion, this is one of my favorite stories, mainly because it evokes the hopelessness of a Lovecraftian cosmic horror. From the second the meteor landed on Jordy's farm, he was doomed. It's also a very good example of Stephen King's earlier works, when he wore his inspirations on his sleeve. The end is also something I enjoy very much, we hear the news on the radio proclaim that serious rainfall is on the way and we see the foliage has reached the highway and is making its way towards Castle Rock, Portland, and Boston. Will the entire country eventually be covered in weeds? It would appear so.

Well, the weeds in my backyard are telling me to end part 3 of my retrospective. In any case, I hope you lunk heads can hold your breath a long time, at least until my next installment, where I take a look at the next creepy tale, "Something To Tide You Over"...
Posted by Alf Benny in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
TRIBUTE: George A. Romero (5 of ?)

TRIBUTE: George A. Romero (5 of ?)

Remembering George A. Romero

With the passing of George A. Romero this week many of us are mourning the loss of one of the true legends of the horror industry. Although he is viewed as the father of the modern zombie film, I feel that it's important to keep in mind some of the other influences he had both inside the horror industry as well as outside.
As we all know, he is almost single-handedly responsible for the modern zombie. Everything from The Walking Dead graphic novels and the TV series, the Resident Evil franchise (both the games and the films), and even books like The Zombie Survival Guide all owe a debt of gratitude to Mr. Romero, as his take on the undead have helped to shape all these.
His sphere of influence spreads far beyond zombies, though. Some of his best work was with the writing of Stephen King. Everyone knows that the works of King are notoriously difficult to translate to film. His take on King's The Dark Half made the story compelling and interesting while remaining very true to the source material. Many people consider it to be one of the most faithful King adaptations ever put to film.
His directing skill was always spot on and appropriate to the type of film he was making. His use of unique lighting and camera angles on Creepshow differed from most other films and made it feel like a comic book come to life. It also helped teach young impressionable fans such as myself that horror could be artistic, beautifully lit, ironic, and fun.
Although many people consider Bruiser to be his worst film, I believe that it proves that he wasn't just a great director but a masterful storyteller. Weaving a very bleak story with depth and heart about a man struggling with life and identity. Making the viewer feel compassion for the man and the monster while also creating a stark, uncomfortable world.
Don't even get me started on the genius and magic behind the film Martin. I could talk about that one for hours.
So much more than just the "Godfather of zombies", George A. Romero was a true visionary who will be missed but whose influence will live on for generations.
Posted by Richard Francis in EDITORIALS, TRIBUTE, 0 comments
SHORT REVIEW: Rainy Season (2017)

SHORT REVIEW: Rainy Season (2017)

"It's not a rock."
Fair use doctrine.
As regulars to HoTS can attest, back in October of 2016, I became aware of a short film titled Rainy Season when director Vanessa Ionta Wright reached out to HoTS. A quick look at the information confirmed my suspicion: Rainy Season is an adaptation of a Stephen King story of the same name. Since Rainy Season is one of my favorite stories, I jumped at the chance to cover this. Later, I found out that Wright and fellow Rainy Season executive producer Samantha Kolesnik had organized the first annual Women in Horror Film Festival which is being held September 22 – 24, 2017 - more great news!
Then I got the best news. The short film was finished, and I was offered a chance to view and review it. So, without further ado and with many thanks to Wright and everyone involved in the production (as well as apologies for the delay), here we go.
First, it’s important to note that rarely are Stephen King works solely one tone or another. King is known for the dark comedic streaks that are seamlessly integrated into otherwise horrific and terrifying tales. Second, while King often brings monsters into his stories (“Gray Matter”, “The Raft”, Cujo, IT, The Stand), the real focus is the humans and how they react in extreme situations. It’s well known that stressful situations often result in the worst of mankind being brought to light, but they can also bring out the best in mankind. This is something that King handles quite well and which draws us back time and again to see how things work out for his next victim. Finally, one of King’s greatest gifts is his ability to tell a story in a manner that makes the reader want – need – to finish it. It’s incredibly difficult to translate the words to images in a way that’s going satisfy all fans of the written word. That’s why so few of his works have been effectively adapted into the medium of film and video. It takes a director with a deft touch to bring a King story to life on film, and Vanessa Ionta Wright has that touch.
Rainy Season_Willow General Mercantile & Hardware / Fair use doctrine.Rainy Season follows John Graham (Brian Ashton Smith), a college English professor on a book-writing sabbatical, and his wife Elise (Anne Marie Kennedy) as they arrive in Willow, Maine, for the summer. Stopping in at the Willow Mercantile and Hardware, John and Elise are greeted by elderly local Henry Eden (Kermit Rollison) and his dog. Henry spooks the couple by knowing who they are and why they are there before reminding them of the speed at which news travels in a small town. Henry is soon joined by Laura Stanton (Jan Mary Nelson), another local, as he attempts to convince the Grahams to spend the night out of town. Laura backs up Henry, stressing that they’ve arrived on the exact day of the Rainy Season, but rather than convincing them, her words solidifies the Grahams’ view of the two as not quite right. After making their way to their rental cabin, John and Elise settle in for the night, unaware that they will soon find out the two locals may not be as crazy as they first thought.
Brian Ashton Smith and Anne Marie Kennedy are believable and sympathetic as the loving yet troubled couple who don’t seem entirely at ease with one another. Their chemistry is real, and we get the sense that both want things to be better but aren’t entirely sure how to make it so. The trip to Willow is supposed to help give them both new perspective. Their love is clear, but so is the tension affecting it. At the cabin, their shared looks and shy touches reinforce this.
Rainy Season / L – R: Jan Mary Nelson, Kermit Rollison, Anne Marie Kennedy, and Brian Ashton Smith / Fair use doctrine.
Kermit Rollison and Jan Mary Nelson do a great job portraying the locals whose unwilling duty it is to greet the couple. We get the sense that doing it more than every seven years would be too much. As reluctant emissaries of Willow, Eden and Stanton try to welcome the couple without being too welcoming, ultimately suggesting they spend their first night out of town even though they know the Grahams will not.
Technically the film is excellent. Sound and visuals are top notch, adding to the overall effectiveness. With a sometimes ironic soundtrack, Rainy Season definitely captures the feel of the source material – a little bit retro, a little bit modern, and all apropos. Together with the solid acting of the players as well as the impeccable direction, Rainy Season works. Wright makes some difficult choices for the adaptation, but they pay off. The climax made me groan and grin – though the grin may properly have been more of a grimace – simultaneously. She takes us to the edge of an eldritch chasm and leaves us laughing nervously at our escape.
Do yourself a favor. Watch it if you get a chance. It shows there are still directors in the industry who know how to adapt the written word. King fans will be especially happy to spot a few Kingian Easter eggs.
Catch Rainy Season at Attack of the 50ft Film Festival at 7:00pm on June 27, 2017, at The Plaza Theater in Atlanta, GA.
Don't forget to check out the official website.
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Posted by Woofer McWooferson in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
COMING SOON: The Mist (TV series) (2017)

COMING SOON: The Mist (TV series) (2017)

In 1980, Stephen King’s novella “The Mist” was published for all to experience.
In 2007, Frank Darabont brought this chilling tale to the big screen in the movie of the same title.
In 2017, Spike TV will adapt the novella for audiences all across the US to enjoy in the safety of their own home.
The first trailer for Spike TV’s adaptation of “The Mist”, has been released, and again audiences will have to ask themselves... what is scarier, the things in the mist or that which is in ourselves? The show is set up to have ten episodes and carries the tagline:
FEAR. HUMAN. NATURE.
Brief Synopsis: Small town that is engulfed by a mysterious dense mist containing monsters.
The TV show will expand on the 2007 movie release and take place over multiple locations in town, including a church and a mall. With multiple settings comes multiple personality types, all having to work together or tear each other apart in the chaos of their quiet town.
When asked if the series will establish a link to the original King novella or the 2007 Darabont movie, show creator, Christian Thorpe, told Entertainment Weekly, “It’s a weird cousin to the original material,” he says. “It has a constant ebb and flow communication with the novella. But who knows? Maybe some of the original characters will make a cameo at some point.”
Below are some of the actresses and actors that will bring this nightmare to the small screen:
  • Main character Eve Copeland is played by Alyssa Sutherland of Vikings.
  • Her husband and all around nice guy Kevin is Morgan Spector, better known for his role on Person of Interest.
  • Local sheriff Connor Heisel is brought to life by Mad Men’s Darren Pettie.
Be prepared... The Mist rolls in to your living room on Thursday, June 22, 2017, on SpikeTV.
FOLLOW THE MIST
Happy Nightmares!
ZombieGurl
Posted by ZombieGurl in HORROR NEWS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW (RETRO): Revisiting Creepshow (1982), Pt. 2

MOVIE REVIEW (RETRO): Revisiting Creepshow (1982), Pt. 2

REVISITING CREEPSHOW

Part 2: I Want My Cake

Hello there kiddies! Thanks for stopping by and welcome to the second installment of my monstrous multi-part series! A repulsive and revolting retrospect to that fiendish fright-fest, Creepshow...
In the last installment, I discussed the ins and outs of the film's background, its impact upon its release, and the intro of the film. Now, let us take a look at the first story in this anthology, aptly named, "Father's Day".
This tale centers around the affluent and boorish Grantham family as they gather at their patriarch's home on Father's Day seven years after his death. Aunt Sylvia (Carrie Nye (The Screaming Skull, Too Scared To Scream)), Richard (Warner Shook (Knightriders)), Cass (Elizabeth Regan), and Cass' husband Hank Blaine (Ed Harris (The Abyss, Needful Things)) are waiting for Sylvia's Aunt Bedelia (Viveca Lindfors (Exorcist III, The Hand)) to arrive. Creepshow-Father's Day-Father's Day cake / Fair use doctrine.In the meantime, they begin to tell Hank the story of how Aunt Bedelia killed her own father, Nathan, played by Jon Lormer (Twilight Zone, Star Trek), on Father's Day, years after he had her fiance murdered in a "hunting accident". Aunt Bedelia, now an alcoholic and consumed with guilt, arrives and visits her father's grave. After getting the event off of her chest, her father's decayed corpse rises from the grave to exact his revenge. He strangles Bedelia and shortly begins murdering the rest of the family, all the while asking for his Father's Day cake.
This story is one of the best examples of a Tales From The Crypt story. Usually, someone kills another person and that person will eventually rise from the grave to exact their revenge. Although, most of the times in these tales, the previously dead would have been killed for an unjust cause. In this story, that is debatable. The Grantham family is not seen as the shining example of morality, but the family patriarch, Nathan, is surely the worst of them all. After having Bedelia's fiance killed, he is left in her care. He nags and nags about his Father's day cake as she is seen to be emotionally distraught. It's difficult to blame her for her actions, but one can say that murdering him can not be justified. As pleasing as it is to see a bad person receive their comeuppance, in general, revenge leads to more revenge. Nathan's reanimated corpse also kills the maid, Mrs. Danvers. Where some may see her as being innocent in all of this, she was witness to his murder and did nothing about it. This could make her an accomplice in some people's eyes. The only character killed that one could say was wholly innocent was Hank. I guess a vengeful animated corpse cares not for the innocent. In the end, this is a shining example of karma.
I've seen many reviews say that it is the weakest story and others say that it should have been left out. I personally feel it is a great way to start the film and give us a taste of what is in store for us. Some of the imagery is outstanding. Who could forget the scene of Sylvia's head on a platter, topped with icing and candles, and Nathan proudly proclaiming, "It's Father's Day and I got my cake. Happy Father's Day!", while Richard and Cass look on in stark terror? Hell, someone even made an action figure of this scene recently. Nathan's reanimated corpse, played by John Amplas (Day of The Dead) looks amazing. The make-up effects were done by the legendary Tom Savini (Dawn of The Dead, Maniac). One other thing that sticks out to me about Nathan's reanimated corpse is his voice. I can never get tired of hearing that ghoulish sound, it's quite terrifying. All of the actors do a great job as well, especially Viveca Lindfors. Despite her strong Swedish accent, she delivers a powerful monologue. She asked George A. Romero if she could improvise the scene. She channeled her anger over her rocky relationships with her own father and her ex-husband. The product is a realistic and emotionally-charged performance. One more thing I truly love in this story is small, but has stuck with me since I was a child. When Richard and Cass encounter Nathan at the end, Richard let's out a gasping "Oh my god!" which is quite unique. We're used to hearing people scream or just gasp in horror films, but Warner Shook decided to recite his line while inhaling. This strikes me as a very authentic reaction to seeing something so horrifying.
Creepshow-Father's Day-Aunt Bedelia / Fair use doctrine.This isn't to say this story doesn't have its downfalls. The flashback scene of Nathan nagging Bedelia for his cake is quite hammy and goofy. This could have been on purpose, perhaps Romero felt that this is how the family sees the event as they are relating it to Hank. It does retract a bit from the overall feel of the story and otherwise great performances. Another scene that isn't very good is Hank's death. He falls into the hole that was Nathan's grave and sees Bedelia's corpse. Nathan's obelisk-like tomb then slowly starts inching fotward, threatening to fall onto Hank. It seems like Hank has no sense of urgency here and just lays there staring at the tomb for seconds on end. Nothing is holding him in place. In the comic book, we see that Bedelia's lifeless corpse has rolled on top of him and he struggles to get it off of him. This slows his escape long enough for the tomb to fall onto him and crush him. Why Romero chose to portray it the way he did in the film is beyond me. Since the comic book was based on the original script, I feel King had written this into the screenplay. It's very odd and a bit comical, you just end up screaming at the screen, "Get up, you fool!"
Stephen King wrote this story specifically for this film and as I stated before, I think he wrote this as a pastiche of the general Tales From The Crypt story. He may have had some inspiration from James Joyce's book, Finnegan's Wake. In this story, the titular character falls from a ladder and dies. He is then revived when someone accidentally spills whiskey on his corpse. In Father's Day, Nathan is revived directly after Bedelia accidentally spills her whiskey at Nathan's grave. This idea originally came from an old Dublin street ballad and the Gaelic word for whiskey translates to "water of life".
This was Ed Harris' fourth role. The year before this film, Ed Harris had the starring role in Romero's previous film, Knightriders. Later in 1993, he went on to play the main character, Alan Pangborn, in the film adaptation of the novel, Needful Things. But, beyond these connections, I don't think I need to tell you how well his career has gone since his appearance in Creepshow.
Ed Harris in Creepshow / Fair use doctrine.
One more thing of note to mention is the murder weapon. Creepshow-Father's Day-ashtray / Fair use doctrine.In the flashback sequence, we see that Bedelia kills Nathan by bashing him over the head with a marble ashtray. This ashtray can be seen in every story in this film, even in the wraparound story. Maybe, you can watch the film again and make a game out of spotting each of its appearances. No, I'm not going to spoil it for you! Where's the fun in that?
Well, that concludes part 2 of my retrospect and I've suddenly got myself a hankering for some cake. How about you? In any case, don't be a nunk head and join me next time as I take a look at the next spooky story, "The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verril..."
Posted by Alf Benny in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
COMING SOON: IT (2017) Teaser Trailer

COMING SOON: IT (2017) Teaser Trailer

Well, the long-awaited trailer for the theatrical adaptation of Stephen King’s IT is here and boy does it look good. In case you’re not aware, this is one of two IT movies that are planned. This one is considered IT: Part 1: The Loser’s Club.
Before I get into any discussion of this, let me clarify by saying that I’m a huge fan of the book and a pretty big fan of the original TV miniseries. Thus, when I heard they were remaking it, I was less than pleased with the idea. Who, after all, will be able to give Pennywise the personality that Tim Curry did? Then you look at the rest of the cast: John Ritter, Annette O’Toole, Jonathan Brandis, Dennis Christopher, Harry Anderson, Tim Reid, and even Richard Thomas. What great jobs they all did bringing these characters to life. Sure, parts of the book were missing, but there are parts that will never be seen on screen, and that’s all I’ll say about those.
The first name I heard was Bill Skarsgård (Hemlock Grove, Allegiant). I wasn’t sure since it was attached to Pennywise and, as I said before, Tim Curry is Pennywise. The next name was Finn Wolfhard (Stranger Things) who would be taking on the Seth Green role as Richie Tozier (Beep, beep, Richie!) and found myself a little bit more interested. I’d assumed that Finn would be playing Bill Denbrough, the role played by Jonathan Brandis (as a kid and Richard Thomas as an adult), so I was surprised to learn that part would be played by Jaeden Lieberher (Masters of Sex). The rest of The Losers Club are Sophia Lillis (A Midsummer Night’s Dream) as Beverly Marsh, Wyatt Oleff (Guardians of the Galaxy) as Stan Uris, Jeremy Ray Taylor (The History of Us) as Ben Hanscom, Jack Dylan Grazer (Tales of Halloween) as Eddie Kaspbrak, and Chosen Jacobs (Hawaii Five-0) as Mike Hanlon.
IT_The Losers Club / Fair use doctrine.
I’m afraid I’m not familiar with most of their work, but I liked what I saw in the first teaser trailer, which is now out. And I find myself very interested. Take a look for yourself and let us know what you think.

Posted by Woofer McWooferson in HORROR NEWS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW (RETRO): Revisiting Creepshow (1982), Pt. 1

MOVIE REVIEW (RETRO): Revisiting Creepshow (1982), Pt. 1

REVISITING CREEPSHOW

Part I: That's Why God Made Fathers

Hello there, kiddies! Thanks for stopping by and welcome to my monstrous multi-part series! A repulsive and revolting retrospect to that fiendish fright-fest, Creepshow...
When I was a kid, Saturdays were a special day relegated to staring at my television all day long. The mornings were full of cartoons. Late morning to early afternoon, we watched wrestling, 70s kung-fu, or giant monster films. But, later in the day came the horror movies. This was the best time to be glued to that screen. One of my favorite films, which they ran quite often, was Creepshow. I was too young to remember this film’s theatrical release, but I can imagine that the combination of George A. Romero and Stephen King was enough to make most horror fans' hearts thump erratically. In fact, this was one of the first horror films I can remember watching, along with Psycho and Night of The Living Dead. It was also one of the films that jump started my love for Stephen King and soon afterwards I was begging my mother to buy me one of his books. She purchased Night Shift (an anthology of short stories) from a flea market for 50 cents.
As an obsessive fan of horror and comic books, this was the perfect film for me. It brought together two of my favorite things that, at the time, was not easy for a young boy to find. To Romero and King, it was an homage to the comic books they loved as kids, EC horror comics like Tales From The Crypt, The Vault of Horror, and The Haunt of Fear. Comic books were all but exclusively about superheroes by the time I was old enough to enjoy them and I didn't even know that horror-themed comic books had ever existed. In fact, by the time the Tales From The Crypt television series first aired, I thought they were ripping off Creepshow! Boy was I wrong.
The year was 1982 and Warner Brothers was trying to decide when was the best time to release this strangely-toned R-rated film. Summer is usually the time most people go to the movies, but horror films do better closer to Halloween. They knew they couldn't release it before October 31st as the Halloween film series was dominating ticket sales for their last two releases. Michael Myers was becoming a household name and Creepshow would definitely be overshadowed by it. In an unusual move, they decided to give it a limited summer release in the Boston area. They gave it a four-week trial run, and it was met with great sales and high praise. Upon hearing that Halloween III: Season of The Witch would not feature Michael Myers, much to the lament of the fans of the series, they predicted that tickets sales for the film would dry up quickly. They were correct. Creepshow was released in theaters worldwide on November 12, 1982. It grossed well over $5 million in its opening weekend and knocked First Blood off of the number one spot. The first and only George A. Romero film to open at number one at the weekend box office. By the end of its run, the film grossed over $21 million in the US, becoming Warner Brothers’ biggest horror hit of the year.
Creepshow consists of five terrifying tales written by Stephen King. This is the only time George A. Romero directed a film that he didn't write. Three stories were written specifically for the film, while the other two were adaptations of short stories previously released in magazines. Most of the tales follow the stereotypical Tales of The Crypt formula. Someone commits a horrific act and it eventually comes back to haunt them, usually in the form of a murdered individual returning from the dead with a horrifying visage. Karma...
The film begins with a wraparound story about a boy who loves to read horror comics, but his father sees it as trash and refuses to allow his son to read it. I think this is an ever relevant topic, especially to 80s kids who listened to Heavy Metal and played Dungeons & Dragons. There was a huge push back against them at the time as they were thought to be teaching kids Satanism. To Romero and King, this was a callback to the similar attack on comic books in the 50s, which led to the self-regulating organization, Comics Code Authority and eventually the fall of horror comics.
The Creepshow comic book props and artwork seen in this story and the rest of the film were drawn and inked by Jack Kamen, a legendary artist in a variety of genres for EC Comics. He also drew the comic book cover-style movie poster. Originally, King wanted Graham Ingels (famous for his work on The Haunt of Fear and Tales from The Crypt) for the artwork. If you've ever read King’s non-fiction book about horror in film, radio, print, and comics, Danse Macabre, or the short story, The Boogeyman, then you know Stephen King thinks highly of Ingels' artwork. Unfortunately, Ingels was not interested. So, William M. Gaines (publisher and co-editor of EC Comics) recommended Kamen.
Playing the father Stan in this story is a non-mustachioed Tom Atkins (The Fog, Escape From New York, Night of the Creeps), who also starred in Halloween III which was released two weeks prior and was in direct competition. He also worked with Romero later on in Two Evil Eyes and Bruiser. Playing the horror comic reading son, Billy, is Stephen King's eldest son, Joseph King, who eventually grew up to become a best-selling author in his own right, under the pseudonym, Joe Hill (Horns, The Fireman). During a break, Stephen took Joe out to McDonald's, he had the make-up crew put scars and cuts and bruises on Joe as a joke. After leaving the drive-thru, the girl working the register called the police. Stephen had to explain to the police that they were making a movie and it was all a gag.
The scene ends with Stan smacking Billy for talking back and then throwing the comic in the trash. Afterwards, Billy is visited by The Creep, hovering outside his window heralding the upcoming horrors. Billy smiles at The Creep, knowing full-well that his revenge against his strict father is at hand. Although it is quite an evil notion, and should not be seen as good, this is an emotion most children have felt at one point. A concept that we can all relate to. This is followed by an animated intro with drawn images of all of the stories encompassing the film. I also loved this as a kid and I would be lying if I said, I didn't love it now.
Well, that concludes part one of my retrospect. I hope you enjoyed it. Join me next time kiddies, when we take a look at the first terrifying tale of the bunch — Father's Day...
Posted by Alf Benny in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 1 comment
HISTORY OF HORROR: SEPTEMBER

HISTORY OF HORROR: SEPTEMBER

By Woofer McWooferson

Join House of Tortured Souls as we celebrate significant dates in the history of horror in September. Click on thumbnails for full images.

September 1 - 7

09/01/1939 – The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939) released
theatrically
Poster The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939) Copyright RKO Radio Pictures
Poster Universal Pictures
09/02/1923 – The Hunchback of Notre Dame released
theatrically
09/02/1978 – Dawn of the Dead released
theatrically
Fair use doctrine.
Image credit erinc salor
09/05/1942 – Werner Herzog (director of Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht) born
09/06/1879 – Max Schreck (actor who portrayed Count Orlok in Nosferatu) born
Public domain
Image Universal Pictures
09/06/1925 – The Phantom of the Opera (1925) released theatrically
09/07/1940 – Dario Argento (director, producer, and screenwriter of Suspira and other horror films) born
Photo by Ian Gavan - © 2012 Getty Images - Image courtesy gettyimages.com
Photo by Bobby Bank - © 2010 Bobby Bank - Image courtesy gettyimages.com
09/07/1954 – Doug Bradley (best known as Pinhead in the Hellraiser film series) born
09/07/2004 – Silent Hill 4: The Room released on the PlayStation, Xbox, and PC in North America
Image Konami

September 8 - 14

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09/08/1990 – Bride of Re-Animator released theatrically
09/09/1954 – Jeffrey Combs (actor in many horror films) born
© Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Fair use doctrine.
09/09/1997 – Cube released theatrically
09/09/2004 – Resident Evil Outbreak File #2 released for the PlayStation 2 in Japan
Image Capcom
Copyright 2005 Sony Pictures
09/09/2005 – The Exorcism of Emily Rose released theatrically
09/10/1993 – The X-Files premieres on television
Fair use doctrine.
Fair use doctrine.
09/10/2004 – Resident Evil: Apocalypse released theatrically
09/11/1987 – Hellraiser released theatrically
Fair use doctrine.
Fair use doctrine.
09/11/1992 – Candyman released theatrically
09/12/1958 – The Blob (1958) released theatrically
Fair use doctrine.
Photo by Apger - © MPTV - Image courtesy mptvimages.com.
09/12/1992 – Anthony Perkins (actor who portrayed Norman Bates in the Psycho films) dies (b. 1932)
09/13/1913 – Paul Wegener (director of The Golem: How He Came Into the World) dies (b. 1874)
Photo by A7A08A39_023.jpg - © Archives du 7e Art/Deutsche Bioscop - Image courtesy photo12.com.
Fair use doctrine.
09/13/1991 – Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare released theatrically
09/13/2005 – Supernatural premieres on television
Fair use doctrine.
Fair use doctrine.
09/14/1960 – The Little Shop of Horrors (1960) released theatrically

September 15 - 21

09/15/1974 – The Ghost Galleon released theatrically
© Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. All Rights Reserved.
09/16/1963 – The Outer Limits premiered on television
09/16/2002 – Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance released on the Game Boy Advance in the US
Box art. Fair use doctrine.
Movie poster. Fair use doctrine.
09/16/2005 – Cry_Wolf released theatrically
09/17/2004 – Silent Hill 4: The Room released on the PlayStation, Xbox, and PC in Europe
Image: Konami.
Fair use doctrine.
09/17/2004 – Resident Evil Outbreak released on the PlayStation 2 in Europe
09/18/1963 – The Haunting (1963) released theatrically
Movie poster. Fair use doctrine.
Movie poster. Fair use doctrine.
09/18/1998 – The Dentist 2: Brace Yourself released theatrically
09/20/1940 – The Mummy's Hand released theatrically
Movie poster. Fair use doctrine.
Fair use doctrine.
09/20/1975 – Asia Argento (actress in many horror films, daughter of Dario Argento and Daria Nicolodi) born
09/21/1947 – Stephen King born
Fair use doctrine.
Movie poster. Fair use doctrine.
09/21/1984 – The Company of Wolves released theatrically in the UK

September 22 - 28

09/22/1986 – Castlevania released for the Nintendo Entertainment System
Box art. Fair use doctrine.
Movie poster. Fair use doctrine.
09/22/1995 – Se7en released theatrically
09/22/1999 – Resident Evil 3: Nemesis released for the PlayStation in Japan
Box art. Fair use doctrine.
Movie poster. Fair use doctrine.
09/23/1988 – Dead Ringers released theatrically
09/24/2001 – Silent Hill 2 released on the PlayStation, Xbox, and PC in the US
Fair use doctrine.
Movie poster. Fair use doctrine.
09/24/2002 – Vampires: Los Muertos released on video in the US
09/24/2004 – Shaun of the Dead released theatrically in the US
Movie poster. Fair use doctrine.
Movie poster. Fair use doctrine.
09/25/1959 – The Mummy (1959) released theatrically
09/25/1994 – Alone in the Dark 2 released on PC
Box art. Fair use doctrine.
Movie poster. Fair use doctrine.
09/25/1998 – Urban Legend released theatrically
09/26/1962 – Carnival of Souls released theatrically
Movie poster. Fair use doctrine.
Fair use doctrine.
09/26/1970 – Sheri Moon (actress in House of 1000 Corpses, The Devil's Rejects, Toolbox Murders) born
09/27/1985 – The New Twilight Zone premiered on television
Fair use doctrine.
Box art. Fair use doctrine.
09/27/2001 – Silent Hill 2 released on the PlayStation, Xbox, and PC in Japan
09/28/1987 – Friday the 13th: The Series premiered on television
Title card. Fair use doctrine.
Fair use doctrine.
09/28/2007 – Moonlight premiered on television
09/29/1955 – The Night of the Hunter released theatrically
Movie poster. Fair use doctrine.
Movie poster. Fair use doctrine.
09/29/1995 – Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers released theatrically

September 30

09/30/1984 – Tales from the Darkside premiered on television
Title card. Fair use doctrine.
Movie poster. Fair use doctrine.
09/30/1988 – Elvira, Mistress of the Dark released theatrically
09/30/2005 – Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow released on the Nintendo DS in the European Union
Box art. Fair use doctrine.
Posted by Woofer McWooferson in HORROR HISTORY, 0 comments
VORTEXX SCHEDULE FOR 14 – 21 AUGUST 2016

VORTEXX SCHEDULE FOR 14 – 21 AUGUST 2016

VORTEXX SCHEDULE FOR
14 - 21 AUGUST 2016

By The Crimson Executioner
&
Woofer McWooferson

The Vortexx Hosts_02

Welcome to THE VORTEXX where it's ALL HOSTS ALL THE TIME!

We've got a great line-up of shows, hosts, and movies this week for your viewing and chatting pleasure with two new movies -- and one great host -- making their Vortexx debut. Our hosts this week are Arachna of the Spider People & Deadly, Bobby Gammonster & Boris The Buzzard plus special guest Danvers, Freakshow & the Bordello gang, Dr. Tarr & Prof. Fether, Dr. Lady & the Usual Suspects, Master Vyle, Misty Brew, and (making his Vortexx debut) Sicko Psychotic. Check out the schedule for details about all the fine shows airing this week in The Vortexx. Enjoy the shows and thanks for hanging out!

Vortexx-Cat Women of the Moon-20160814_Beware Theater

Sunday (8/14) @ 9:00 P.M. (ET)
BEWARE THEATER
presents
The Vortexx premiere of
CAT WOMEN OF THE MOON (1953)

Arachna of the Spider People and her friend Deadly present another gem from the Golden Age of Black & White -- CAT WOMEN OF THE MOON (1953). A group of astronauts, led by Sonny Tufts, travel to the moon where they discover it is inhabited by attractive young women in black tights and heavy eye makeup with names like Alpha, Beta, and Lambda. Little do they know that these catty gals are up to no good -- they plan to hijack the space ship! And for those who just didn't enough arachnid action last week, there's also a giant spider. Veteran bad-guy Victor Jory plays one of the astronauts. Marie Windsor, who is miscast as the sole female astronaut, reportedly said that that this was the only film she was ashamed of. Soon-to-be-famous composer Elmer Bernstein, who did the score, is misspelled in the title credits as "Elmer Bernstien."
Vortexx-Awful Allan-20160815_Gammonster

Monday (8/15) @ 9:00 P.M. (ET)
MONSTER MOVIE NIGHT
presents
HOW AWFUL ABOUT ALLAN (1970)

MONSTER MOVIE NIGHT with Bobby Gammonster, Boris The Buzzard and special guest Danvers from Demented Features presents HOW AWFUL ABOUT ALLAN (1970). Anthony Perkins (not known for playing stable types) stars as a guilt-ridden, semi-blind mental patient who is released from the hospital to stay with his equally whacked-out sister (Julie Harris from The Haunting), who proceeds to torment him. Also starring Joan Hackett and veteran B-movie actor Kent Smith.

Vortexx-Ninja Death II-20160809_Bordello

Tuesday (8/16) @ 9:00 P.M. (ET)
BORDELLO OF HORROR'S
NINJULY IN AUGUST

presents
NINJA DEATH 2 (1987)

Welcome to BORDELLO OF HORROR'S NINJULY IN AUGUST! Tonight Freakshow & friends will be presenting the second installment of their month-long series of martial arts films -- NINJA DEATH 2 (1987). Tonight's movie chronicles the continuing adventures of Tiger and "Master," as they battle the evil forces of The Grand Master. "Master" has been training Tiger long and hard for the fight against the invaders from Japan and has finally revealed the secrets behind his origin and his ties to the Grand Master. Armed with this knowledge and his new-found skills, Tiger must set out to defeat the forces of The Grand Master once and for all. Of course, we know that ain't gonna happen because there's a Ninja Death 3 coming our way next week. In addition to the movie, Freaky will be entertaining us with special musical guests Winning Ugly, and more! [Rescheduled from last week.]

Vortexx-Carnival Souls-201608017_Tarr & FetherWednesday (8/17) @ 9:00 P.M. (ET)
TARR & FETHER'S PSYCHO CINEMA
presents
CARNIVAL OF SOULS (1962)

TARR & FETHER'S PSYCHO CINEMA presents Herk Harvey's CARNIVAL OF SOULS (1962). Shot on a budget of $33,000 and largely ignored at the time of its release, this film has since become a cult classic. Reminiscent in many ways of an elongated Twilight Zone episode, it relies more on atmosphere than on special effects to create a mood of unease and foreboding. Candace Hilligoss stars as Mary Henry, a young lady who survives a car accident and becomes drawn to a mysterious abandoned carnival. Director Harvey appears (uncredited) as the pale man who is stalking Mary.

Vortexx-Horror Hotel-201608018_Master Vyle

Thursday (8/18) @ 9:00 P.M. (ET)
HOUSE OF MASTER VYLE
presents
HORROR HOTEL (1960)

HOUSE OF MASTER VYLE PRESENTS with Master Vyle, Queman, and a cast of thousands presents HORROR HOTEL (1960) aka City of the Dead. A 300-year-old witch needs annual virgin sacrifices in order sustain her immortality, and virgins are getting harder and harder to find! Starring Christopher Lee and directed by John Llewellyn Moxey (Night Stalker), this chilling tale about witchcraft in a small New England town was released in the same year as Psycho and has been compared to that film in several ways.

Vortexx-Snowbeast-201608019_Dr Lady

Friday (8/19) @ 9:00 P.M. (ET)
THE LATE DR LADY SHOW
presents
SNOWBEAST (1977)

It's back by popular demand! Tonight we celebrate the birthday of one of our longtime chatters (and longtime president of The Crimson Executioner Fan Club) with her favorite movie. Join us tonight as THE LATE DR LADY SHOW with Dr. Lady and the Usual Suspects presents SNOWBEAST (1977) starring Bo Svenson, Clint Walker, Yvette Mimieux, and Sylvia Sidney. Big bad Bigfoot (well, actually his distant cousin) terrorizes a ski resort during a winter carnival, killing all of those folks who aren't wearing ugly hats and completely disrupting the Snow Queen ceremony. In addition to the movie, we will also be watching photos & videos of our chatters in their favorite ugly hats. [Movie poster by Sean Hartter courtesy of Saturday Fright Special.]

Vortexx-Bloody Pit of Horror-201608020_Sicko Psychotic

Saturday (8/20) @ 9:00 P.M. (ET)
SICKO-PSYCHOTIC
presents
BLOODY PIT OF HORROR (1965)

Join us tonight as we welcome SICKO-PSYCHOTIC to the Vortexx! Sadistically sinister and ostentatiously outrageous, Sicko-Psychotic, King of Ghoulz, is a horror host based in Las Vegas, Nevada. Accompanied by a lascivious pet spider named Silky Harlot, the ol' ghoul presents schlock films on his freakish series, which is appropriately titled Sicko-Psychotic. Forced to project Sicko's favorite horror and trash flicks is a contemptuous talking camera obscura nicknamed "Cameo". During the movie breaks, the terrible threesome engage in wicked shenanigans which are further enhanced by loony relatives, bizarre acquaintances, and other colorful guests who drop into the Sick-Shack unexpectedly. Tonight Sicko and his co-hosts will be presenting a movie that needs no introduction -- BLOODY PIT OF HORROR (1965) starring Mickey Hargitay as The Crimson Executioner. Sicko promises that he will be lurking in the live chat room during the show. Perhaps some of our chatters can draw him out!

Vortexx-Cape & Shining-201608021_Misty Brew

Sunday (8/21) @ 9:00 P.M. (ET)
MISTY BREW'S CREATURE FEATURE DOUBLE FEATURE!
presents
The Vortexx premiere of
2015 CAPE-COMIC CON HIGHLIGHTS
and
MISTY BREW SPOOFS THE SHINING

Join us tonight for a MISTY BREW'S CREATURE FEATURE DOUBLE FEATURE! First up Misty will be entertaining us with highlights from the 2015 CAPE-COMIC CON in Cape Girardeau Mo. at which she was a featured guest. Held on April 17-19, 2015, the Cape-Comic Con featured three days of professional comic book artists, publishers, and over one hundred tables of comics, toys, and collectibles as well as a variety of gaming tournaments, a juried art show, and fans from all over the region who came in costume to celebrate the event. Then be sure to stick around for MISTY BREW SPOOFS THE SHINING as Misty and special guests and Sissy and Missy Brew have some fun with the classic Stephen King novel. Included is a generous serving of clips from Stanley Kubrick's 1980 movie starring Jack Nicholson and Shelley Duvall (screenplay by Kubrick) and the 1997 TV miniseries starring Steven Weber and Rebecca De Mornay (screenplay by King).

✿✿✿✿✿✿✿✿✿✿✿✿✿✿✿✿✿✿✿✿✿✿

Welcome to The Vortexx where it's ALL HOSTS ALL THE TIME!

The Vortexx - Swirling Storm"Every day is a good day that ends in The Vortexx." You can find us at horrorhost.net and livestream.com/allhorrorhosts. Remember folks, we're the Gooble Gobble Channel. We accept everyone. And we will keep the doors open as long as you keep coming around! If you're a horror host looking for an additional outlet for your show, email Sluggo at sluggo@horrorhost.net.

The Vortexx - Bloody Pit of Health Fitness Centers

If you don't get the results you're looking for within the eight weeks of the program, The Azure Executioner guarantees that he will personally throw you into his exclusive vat of acid!
Introducing our newest sponsor -- Bloody Pit of Health! Want to eliminate those things that interfere with the harmony of your perfect body? The Bloody Pit has all the latest fitness equipment -- weight room, Olympic-sized pool, and even a spider room. To find the location nearest you, visit their website www.clubdesade.com

The Vortexx - Mummy Fart

Available in three convenient sizes!
Mummy Fart! The perfect product to get those pleasant smells out of your tomb. Available in three convenient sizes!

The Vortexx - Kurt Pasakivi's Used Car Emporium

If you're interested, just e-mail us for Kurt's current location.
Kurt Pasakivi's Used Car Emporium! At Kurt's Emporium you can buy the car of your dreams for a deep discount. If you see a car on the street that you like, just send Kurt a photo of the car and the license plate, and he'll negotiate with the owner and sell it to you at a steal!

The Vortexx - Executioner's Ale

The Official Beers of The Vortexx!
Executioner's Ale! A bloody good red ale crafted in the torture chamber of the Crimson Executioner. Sock Stout! The sock with the hops. A thick and creamy head just for you. [Sock Stout is a trademark of Raen, used with permission.]

The Vortexx - Amazon Andy

Amazon Andy is the creation of Nick Polotta, a very gifted writer and comedian who, sadly, passed away on April 13, 2013.

Totino's Pizza Rolls, Crimson Royal Jelly, and Amazon Andy's Southern Fried Tarantula Legs! The original sponsors of The Vortexx!

The Vortexx Skull Cornbread

The Official Food of The Vortexx!
Skull Cornbread! The official food of The Vortexx, served piping hot from the oven of the Crimson Executioner.

The Vortexx - Chia Host

BORDELLO OF HORROR with Freakshow airs Tuesday at 9 (ET)

Chia Host! The latest sensation from Mushnick Florists. You can see him every Tuesday night in The Vortexx!

The Vortexx - Chilly Dilly

Two delicious pickle treats!

Chilly Dilly! A delicious pickle treat that's spiced just right for every bite. And now you can "pucker up" with the all-new Chilly Dilly Lip Balm!

The Vortexx - Egg Bleach

Jason "Egg" Brown was an integral part of The Vortexx as a staff member and long-time viewer until his passing on June 27, 2016. Jason may have departed this Earth, but he will live forever in The Vortexx.

"Now that's a product I can really GET BEHIND!" -- Egg.

Egg Bleach! The all-purpose antiseptic for treatment of cuts, scratches, and abrasions. And now you can touch up those "intimate" parts of your body with the all-new Egg Anal Bleach!

Vortexx - Slugnado

SLUGGO!!! OUR DEAR LEADER AND FREELY ELECTED PRESIDENT OF

Posted by Woofer McWooferson in HOSTED HORROR, 0 comments
Why The Stanley Hotel Is on Every Horror Fan’s Bucket List

Why The Stanley Hotel Is on Every Horror Fan’s Bucket List

By Tammie Parker

The Stanleys

Freelan Oscar Stanley had a twin brother, Francis Edgar, and together they had a few successful businesses. F.O. went on the invent Stanley Steamer.  By doctor's orders, F.O. and his wife Flora (WHAT THE F IS UP WITH THESE F NAMES???) traveled west to cure him. He had tuberculosis and was losing weight rapidly. The 'great frontier' had clean air, literally, since overcrowded cities had sick just floating around hopping from to victim to victim.

Stanley Hotel -fostanley+wife-automoble

F.O. and Flora Stanley

Birth of the Hotel

F.O. loved the area and healed completely eventually living to be 91 years old. He would return to the area every summer, and it soon dawned on him the potential to create a luxury hotel out in the middle of nowhere where guest could experience the frontier out the window of their post hotel room or from one of Stanley's automobiles. The hotel was a complete success.

Stanley Hotel -old

Freelan and Flora (hey, what happens when you say that 3 times in the mirror?) enjoyed running the hotel so much that they still do 😉

Birth of The Overlook

In the winter of 1973 (That was an awesome winter. I was born that December.), young Stephen King and his wife BEGGED to stay there the night ALONE. They stayed in the famous 217. It took just one night for the hotel to inspire Stephen to write his best seller The Shining.  Stanley (ARE YOU KIDDING ME!? His name is Stanley??) Kubrick would then turn that novel into a silver scene nightmare in 1980.

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The hotel has become tourist attraction for the heebie jeebies!

You can take a ghost tour of the hotel for $25 a person. Call 970-577-4111 or go to http://www.stanleyhotel.com/tours for booking information.

Stanley Hotel -room217

Room 217

To stay in one of the haunted rooms call 1-800-976-1377. Although guests have reported experience in every single room, the most popular room being 217.  In 1911 a chambermaid was stuck by lightning in the room. She did not die, and was given a job there for the rest of her life now the room has been a hot spot for activity. During filming of Dumb and Dumber, Jim Carrey was supposed to spend the night in the room Stephen King stayed in, but Carrey ran out after an hour. The famous room even appeared in the video game Life is Strange.

Stanley Hotel -lifeisstrangevideogame

Don't bother unpacking - it's said that is the chambermaid's favorite past-time.

Stanley Hotel -murderbydeathband

Murder By Death Music Festival

In October, they have The Shining Ball. Attendees dorn ball attire, or creative costumes for the ball and costume contest.

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Also in October is the Writers Retreat - a pretty good idea since it worked so well for Mr. King! The hotel is in a nice spot to be guaranteed quiet time (can't promise the ghost will let you enjoy peace for very long, though.)

The Stanley Hotel has become The Place for horror lovers to get married. Can you think of a better hotel?!? OMG I need lots of red(rum) flowers!

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All of the famous ghost seekers have come here to capture their own experiences. Ghost Hunters has investigated 9 times!

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Ghost Adventures has investigated the haunt as well.

Stanley Hotel -ghostadventures-hall

Here's an entire 44 minute episode of a ghost hunt inside the hotel:

The hotel was granted $46 millions back in 2014. It is for film center, gym and wellness center, amphitheater. They plan to open an $8 million Pavilion Events Center with 18,000 square feet of conference space and a 250-seat indoor-outdoor amphitheater in September! Guaranteed to draw in a huge crowd!

Posted by Tammie Parker in ATTRACTIONS AND DESTINATIONS, HORROR NEWS, PARANORMAL, 0 comments
My IDOL George Romero Finally Gets a Hollywood Star!

My IDOL George Romero Finally Gets a Hollywood Star!

They're Coming for You, George...
(And it's about time!)

Star of the Dead

By Tammie Parker

George Romero - Night of the Living DeadGeorge Romero made zombies famous in Night of the Living Dead and redefined the genre while doing so. But not only did he direct the movie, he also helped write it. The man is a zombie genius! Almost all of us learned how zombies walk, move, moan, and what they look like (Hint: Not so good.)  from this movie. How real the movie looked (especially for the time period) made it truly disturbing to many viewers, and the concept of using radio broadcasting to report on what was happening was beyond creative. Lest we forget, Romero also encouraged the actors to perform with conviction, to bring realism to the drama, as evidenced with Barbara's nervousness and getting the shakes and Ben's slap to bring her back to reality, or the doomed family in the basement who, nevertheless, remain steadfast in their resolve to remain n the basement and to keep the others out, He made us feel for these people, and that made it all the more frightening.

 

Dawn George RomeroGeorge later blessed us with more to the story - Dawn of the Dead (1978),

 

 

 George RomeroDay of the Dead (1985),

 

 

 

zombies-georgeromaro-landofthedeadLand of the Dead (2005), Diary of the Dead (2007), Survival of the Dead (2009), and a work in progress Origins (a prequel). Thanks, George!

 

This, of course, has made so many zombie fans (myself included) obsessed with Mr. Romero!

Zombies with George Romero

 George RomeroHell, look here! Even the zombies love him!

 

 

 

zombies-georgeromaro-blackopsSome big fans include the creators of Call of Duty: Black Ops- Zombie map, Call of the Dead

 

horrormovies-silenceofthelambs-georgeromarocameoAnd director Jonathon Demme gave him a cameo in Silence of the Lambs!!Did you notice him?

 

Crazies George RomeroBy no means is Romero just for the zombie lover of course, He loves horror in general. He directed the original The Crazies, and the cult vampire movie Martin, and how about the Monkey Shines, huh? Pretty weird stuff, George! He even directed the commercial for the video game Resident Evil 2

George has also worked with Stephen King.

Stephen King and George RomeroThey created the comic book throwback movie Creepshow.

 

 

 

horrormovie-thedarkhalfAnd Romero also directed The Dark Half - boy, were the sparrows flying.

 

 

 

 

 

 

During his 50 years in the film industry, he has written, produced, and directed many films and even had a television show called Tales from the Darkside (Rumor has it that Joe Hill, Stephen King's son, will be working on a new version of Tales... yet another King tie). So why did it take so long for him to get a star?

zombies-georgeromaro-creepyglow

 

 

Posted by Tammie Parker in HORROR HEROES, HORROR NEWS, IN THE SPOTLIGHT, 0 comments
HISTORY OF HORROR: JULY

HISTORY OF HORROR: JULY

By John Roisland & Woofer McWooferson

Join House of Tortured Souls as we celebrate significant dates in the history of horror in July. Click on thumbnails for full images.

July 1 - 7

 

July - Trilogy of Terror-1975 Karen Black07/01/1942
Karen Black (actress in many horror films) born

 

July - Grace Kelly and James Stewart in Rear Window (1954)07/02/1997
James Stewart (actor in Rear Window (1954), The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956), and Vertigo (1958)), (b. 1908)

 

July - Day of the Dead07/03/1985
Day of the Dead released theatrically

 

July - Silent Hill 3 video game07/03/2003
Silent Hill 3 released on the PlayStation and PC in Japan

 

July - Adam Brooks07/03/????
Adam Brooks, known for Astron-6, Manborg, and Father's Day, born

 

July - Scary Movie 207/04/2001
Scary Movie 2 released theatrically

 

July - Battle Royale II07/05/2003
Battle Royale II: Requiem released theatrically

 

July - Janet Leigh07/06/1927
Janet Leigh, actress in Psycho, born

 

July - Blood Feast07/06/1963
Blood Feast released theatrically

 

July - The Descent07/06/2005
The Descent released theatrically

 

July - The Mummy's Ghost07/07/1944
The Mummy's Ghost released theatrically

 

July - Scary Movie07/07/2000
Scary Movie released theatrically

July 8 - 14

July - The Raven07/08/ 1935
The Raven released
theatrically

 

July - Phantasm 207/08/1988
Phantasm 2 released
theatrically

 

July - Dark Water 200507/08/2005
Dark Water released
theatrically

 

July - Dean Koontz07/09/1945
Dean Koontz (writer Phantoms (1989), Odd Thomas (2013)) born

 

 

July - Fred Gwynne07/10/1926
Fred Gwynne (actor in The Munsters (1964) and Pet Sematary (1989)) born (d. 1993)

 

 

July - Michael Rosenbaum07/11/1972
Michael Rosenbaum (actor in Urban Legend (1998) and Cursed (2005)) born

 

July - Tod Browning07/12/1880
Tod Browning (director of Dracula (1931) and Freaks (1931)) born (d. 1962)

 

July - Lon Chaney, Jr07/12/1973
Lon Chaney, Jr. (actor in Dracula vs. Frankenstein (1971) and The Wolfman (1941)) dies (b. 1906)

 
July - Michelle Rodriguez07/12/1978
Michelle Rodriguez (actress in Resident Evil (2002) and The Breed (2006)) born
 

July - Halloween: Resurrection07/12/2002
Halloween: Resurrection released theatrically

 

July - Stellan Skarsgard

Image courtesy WireImage.com

07/13/1968
Stellan Skarsgård (actor in Exorcist: The Beginning (2004) and Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist (2005)) born

 

July - Sid Haig07/14/1939
Sid Haig (actor in The Brotherhood of Blood(2007), The Devils Rejects (2005),
House of 1000 Corpses (2003)) born is born

 

July - The Chronicle07/14/2001
The Chronicle premieres on television

July 15 - 21

 

July - Larry Cohen07/15/1941
Larry Cohen (writer, director, producer known for of Phone Booth (2002), A Return to Salem's Lot (1987), The Stuff (1985)) born

 

July - Kingdom Hospital07/15/2004
Stephen King's Kingdom Hospital ends its run on television

 

July - The Fly07/16/1958
The Fly released theatrically

 

 

July - Jaws: The Revenge07/17/1987
Jaws: The Revenge released theatrically

 

 

July - Eight Legged Freaks07/17/2002
Eight Legged Freaks released
theatrically

 

 

July - Prom Night07/18/1980
Prom Night released theatrically

 

July - Aliens

07/18/1986
Aliens released theatrically

 

July - Arachnophobia07/18/1990
Arachnophobia released theatrically

 

 

July - Hideo Nakata07/19/1961
Hideo Nakata (director of Ringu (1998), Ringu 2 (1999), and Dark Water (2002)) born

 

June - Tales from the Crypt (original)07/19/1996
Tales from the Crypt ends its run on television

 

July - The Frighteners07/19/1996
The Frighteners released theatrically

 

July - The Breed07/19/2001
The Breed released theatrically

 

July - The Conjuring07/19/1964
The Conjuring released theatrically

 

July - The Devil Rides Out07/20/1968
The Devil Rides Out released theatrically

 

July - Dracula07/20/1979
Dracula released theatrically

 

July - Castlevania Dracula X07/20/1995
Castlevania: Dracula X released on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in North America

 

July - The Haunting07/20/1999
The Haunting released theatrically

 

July - Jeepers Creepers07/20/2001
Jeepers Creepers released theatrically

 

 

July - Castlevania Dracula X07/21/1972
Castlevania: Dracula X released
on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in Japan

 

 

July 22 - 28

 

July - James Whale07/22/1889
James Whale (director of The Invisible Man (1931), Frankenstein (1931), and The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)) born (d. 1957)

 

July - The Hills Have Eyes07/22/1977
The Hills Have Eyes released theatrically

July - Orca07/22/1977
Orca released theatrically

 

July - Jaws 3-D07/22/1983
Jaws 3-D released theatrically

July - The Devil's Rejects07/22/2005
Rob Zombie's The Devil's Rejects released theatrically

 

 

July - Castlevania Chronicles - Japan07/23/1993
Castlevania Chronicles released on the X68000 in Japan

 

 

July - Chris Sarandon07/24/1942
Chris Sarandon (actor in The Sentinel (1977), Fright Night (1985), and Bordello of Blood (1996)) born

 

 

July - Ileana Douglas07/25/1965
Illeana Douglas (actress in Cape Fear (1991) and Stir of Echoes (1999)) born

 

 

July - Michael C. Williams07/25/1973
Michael C. Williams (actor in The Blair Witch Project) born

 

July - Night of the Seagulls07/26/1976
Night of the Seagulls released theatrically

 

 

July - The Amityville Horror07/27/1979
The Amityville Horror released theatrically

 

 

July - Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan07/28/1989
Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan released theatrically

 

July - Deep Blue Sea07/28/1999
Deep Blue Sea released theatrically

 

July 29 - 31

 

July - Zombi 307/29/1987
Zombi 3 released theatrically

 

July - Cherry Falls07/29/2000
Cherry Falls released theatrically

 

July - The Blair Witch Project07/30/1999
The Blair Witch Project released theatrically

 

 

July - Mario Bava07/31/1914
Mario Bava (director of Black Sunday and The Girl Who Knew Too Much) born (d. 1980)

 

July - Invisible Agent07/31/1942
Invisible Agent released theatrically

 

July - Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man07/31/1951
Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man released theatrically

 

July - The Lost Boys07/31/1987
The Lost Boys released theatrically

 

July - Buffy the Vampire Slayer07/31/1992
Buffy the Vampire Slayer released theatrically

Keep it Evil

Posted by John Roisland in HORROR HISTORY, 0 comments
WOMEN IN HORROR MONTH: P.J. SOLES

WOMEN IN HORROR MONTH: P.J. SOLES

P.J. Soles

P.J. Soles

By John Roisland

Before the month gets away from us, I must take a moment to cast my vote for Women  in Horror Month: the lovely P.J. Soles. This hasn't been an easy choice with so much great talent in the industry!

From Scream Queen legends Jamie Lee Curtis and Danielle Harris to academy award winning make up  artist Vee Neill to the twisted minds behind the camera -Sylvia and Jen Soska, there are legions of talented women in horror. In fact, there are too many names to list here, but P.J., for me, comes with a personal reason.

P.J. Soles, born in 1950 in Frankfurt, Germany, got her first major part in the 1976 Brian De Palma film Carrie, an adaptation of the Stephen King novel of the same name. As Norma, the ballcap wearing and wisecracking pigtailed cutie, P.J. won the hearts of many...I was 4. Since then, P.J. went on to many other roles, such as John Carpenter's Halloween and Stripes, and all with her trademark pigtails. She was at the convention supporting her role in Rob Zombie's The Devils Rejects, and as I mentioned, mine comes with a story.

P.J. as Lynda van der Klok in the 1978 classic John Carpenter's Halloween.

P.J. as Lynda van der Klok in the 1978 classic John Carpenter's Halloween.

A few years ago, my wife Stephanie and I were living in Florida and attended Spooky Empire, an incredible horror convention in Orlando. P.J. was on the celebrity guest list. After wandering around and taking everything in, we headed into the celebrity room on a mission to meet P.J. Just as we got thru the threshold of the ballroom door, I literally bump into her, look at her, and say "Oh hi. You're leaving?" She gave me a worried, almost brokenhearted look, like a mom whose kid wanted to hang out with her as she was leaving for work, and said, "Honey, I'm just running out to grab a sandwich for lunch. Come see me in an hour...PROMISE ME?!" She laughed, gave me a hug, and off she went, disappearing in the ocean of fans that filled the halls.

P.J. as Susan with Sid Haig as Captain Spaulding in Rob Zombie's The Devil's Rejects.

P.J. as Susan with Sid Haig as Captain Spaulding in Rob Zombie's The Devil's Rejects.

We wander around for a while, and about an hour or so later we made our way back to P.J.'s table. As we did, she saw us, stood up and said "IT'S ABOUT TIME!!" With a big smile on her face, she came around the table and gave us huge hugs. We talked for a good 40 minutes, the room at this time wasn't busy, or I wouldn't have taken up so much time. But since we were the only ones there at the moment, and we were all really enjoying ourselves, why not?!

She talked with excitement in her eyes. We talked about her family, John Carpenter, Bill Murray, Rob Zombie and sandwiches...she likes a good sandwich. We took a few pictures, hugged, shook hands, thanked her for her time, and asked kindly how much we owed her for her time. She smiled and simply said, "Go enjoy the show, and stop by or wave if you come back through." And that we did. Every time we were in the area, and she just smiled and waved as if we were family.

Not charging us is not the reason that I put P.J Soles at the top of my list. I put her there because of her heart, how she treated us, and how she made us feel. She took the time to make a difference with the fans.

I've met a good number of celebrities, some nicer than others, but none have ever treated me quite like this - like a person, not rushing through with a fake smile and quick to collect your money. P.J. was genuinely appreciative. Let me just add that John Carpenter was the headlining guest at this show and his table was also next to P.J.'s table. Those of you who know me know that Carpenter is my favorite. He was a bucket list for me.

We went and met with the legendary John Carpenter, but we went back to the always lovely, P.J. Soles.

Congratulations P.J. Soles, on this well deserved recognition for Women In Horror Month.

Keep it Evil.

Posted by John Roisland in WOMEN IN HORROR, 0 comments

BOOK REVIEW: Dreams & Awakenings (2014)

Dreamscapes for Avid Readers

By Woofer McWooferson

D&A Cover
Author: Claus Holm; Editors: Melinda B. Bowman, Ellen Taylor, and Woofer McWooferson; Publisher: CreateSpace; ISBN-10: 1500510106 | ISBM-13: 978-1500510107; Media: Paperback and ePub; Length: 294 pages; Genre: Horror | Fantasy; Country: USA; Language: English; Year: 2014

Dreams and Awakenings is a 2014 short story collection by Danish author Claus Holm. Inspired by such shows as The Twilight Zone and its ilk as well as authors such as Stephen King, Claus has penned stories worthy to be made into episodes of The Twilight Zone itself. Stories range from slightly fantastic to science fiction to downright spooky. In all cases, however, they flow with an ease that enables the reader to sail through the stories, eager to reach the end and what it will reveal. Starting with The App, a story that focuses on death and loss, and ending with To Share Like Brothers, a story that focuses on life and acquisition, Dreams and Awakenings runs the gamut of emotions. Indeed, it is like meeting with an old friend with many new stories to tell.

Claus's ability to easily convey things that are as well as life in the US is laudable. He has his finger on the pulse of the US life, and it is clear in his stories. Not only can he paint a picture of life in the US through his prose, his grasp of American dialogue is uncanny. He weaves story narrative and dialogue seamlessly, and his stories are accessible to all readers.

As is evident from the editors listed above, I am one of the lucky folks who had the pleasure of reading some of these stories before they went to publication. It was a great pleasure for me to work with Claus, and I am eager to do so again in the future.

You can find out more about Claus on his Facebook page, and you can purchase his books through Amazon.com. Through Monday, his ebooks are free at Amazon.com. You can also hear Claus read some of the stories on his YouTube channel.

10/10 claws – Worthy of multiple readings!

Posted by Woofer McWooferson in BOOKS, COMICS, AND PUBLICATION REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments

THIS JUST IN: The Mist Coming to the Small Screen

By John Roisland

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Once and once only in my life have I ever yelled out loud in pure anger at the ending of a film, and that film was The Mist. From the many people I have spoken to over the years about movies, they always the same reaction soon as The Mist is mentioned - "That DAMN ending!"

Overall, The Mist was a great film, and I really enjoyed it, but I have only seen once. The impact of that viewing - the way the story was told, the acting, and, of course, the special FX - honestly left such a vivid imprint on me that I've never had to watch it again. And it's not because I didn't like it. As I mentioned previously, it's a strange film, one of those movies that you (or I) only have to watch once. It's hard to explain to someone who hasn't seen it, but those of you who have seen it know damn well what it is that I am talking about when I mention yelling at the end.

Without giving anything away to those who haven't, I'll just say it's not a huge cliffhanger of an ending... Not by far.

The Mist, based on a Stephen King novella of the same name, was brought to the big screen in 2007 by Frank Darabont, who had previously directed The Green Mile and The Shawshank Redemption, also by Stephen King, and I commend the job he did. That being said, for some reason Dimension Television will be bring The Mist to the small screen in an ongoing series being penned by Christian Torpe (Rita, Park Road).

There is no news on who will star, when to expect it, or even what network will pick it up. We will keep you up to date as further developments surface. I'm not much of a TV person, but I think that I just might have to check out this series,and see how Mr. Torpe carries the torch. Or even if he can.

Posted by John Roisland in HORROR NEWS, 0 comments
Welcome Back Boo-Berry!

Welcome Back Boo-Berry!

By Dixielord

BooBerry

Yeah, it's that time of the year when horror fans and cereal fans unite to welcome back the Monster cereals. Many of us grew up with Boo-Berry, Count Chocula, or Franken Berry part of our breakfast ritual. But, wait, maybe some of you reading this have been living under a giant boulder for the last 40 years or so and have never heard of monster cereal. The monster cereals collectively refer to a group of cereals first created way back in 1971 by General Mills. The cereals all had a monster theme featuring a somewhat friendlier version of well known cinematic monsters.

The first two cereals released back in 1971 were Count Chocula and Franken Berry. Count Cholcula featured a chocolate loving vampire named Count Chocula, whose catchphrase was, “I want to eat your cereal”. The cereal was chocolate flavored frosted bites with chocolate flavored marshmallows. The Count was voiced on television commercials by Larry Kenny impersonating Bela Lugosi as Dracula. Kenney is also known for being the voice of Sonny the Cuckoo Bird (He's Cuckoo for Coco Puffs!) and Lion-O from the classic Thundercats cartoon. As a trivia note, Larry is also the father of Kerri Kenney-Silver, who portrayed Deputy Trudy Weigel on Reno 911.

Also debuting in 1971 was Franken Berry, based on the Frankenstein Monster from Universal Pictures. The monster represents a more kid friendly and pink version of Karloff's monster. On commercials, Franken Berry was voiced by Bob McFadden impersonating Boris Karloff. The cereal itself was a strawberry flavored frosted cereal with strawberry flavored marshmallows. McFadden had a long career of voice acting before he sadly passed away on January 7, 2000.

Then, in 1972, the two monsters were joined by Boo-Berry, the friendliest ghost since Casper. Boo-Berry was a blueberry loving ghost who bore a resemblance to horror icon Peter Lorre. Boo-Berry cereal is a blueberry flavored cereal with marshmallows. It is believed to be the first blueberry flavored cereal ever produced. Boo-Berry was voiced in television commercials by Paul Frees. Frees did Boo-Berry's voice in the style of his lookalike Peter Lorre.

Outside of the monster cereal gig, Frees had an interesting career in voice acting. He provided the voice of Boris Badenov in the popular Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoons. He also provided English dubbing for the legendary Toshiro Mifune in the film Midway. Frees also dubbed Tony Curtis in Some Like it Hot (his female voice), and Humphrey Bogart in The Harder They Fall. Bogart was suffering from throat cancer and had to be redubbed to be heard. Off screen, Frees also provided may voices for the attractions as Disney theme parks such as Pirates of the Caribbean and The Haunted Mansion.

monster cereal

Everyone remembers the original three monsters (well maybe not that guy under the boulder), but not so many remember the fourth monster. “What? There was another monster cereal?” Well yes, actually two more. In 1974, buoyed by the popularity of Boo-Berry, Franken Berry, and Count Cocula, General Mills added Fruit Brute to the pack. Fruit Brute's mascot was a child friendly version of a werewolf. Fruit Brute was a mixture of fruit flavored corn cereal, and lime flavored marshmallows. Yes, lime flavored marshmallows. Honestly, I'm not sure how I feel about this. Lime belongs in mixed drinks, not kid cereals. Kids may have felt the same way as Fruit Brute was the first of the monster line to be discontinued in 1982. It was briefly reintroduced in 2013 for a Halloween special, but is not available now. Original boxes of Fruit Brute cereal are considered collectibles.

General Mills tried again in 1987, introducing Fruity Yummy Mummy. Yummy Mummy was basically a reintroduction of Fruit Brute cereal with vanilla marshmallows instead of lime and an Egyptian mummy as the mascot. Sadly for fans of the Egyptian undead, Yummy Mummy soon went the way of Fruit Brute and was discontinued in 1992. It, along with Fruit Brute, received a short curtain call in 2013, but, alas, it is no longer available.

Over the years since their introduction, they have faced some controversy but they have survived. It kind of makes sense that parents might complain about a kids cereal based on movie monsters. However, the controversies were stranger than you might imagine. Apparently the original run of Franken Berry had a food coloring that wasn't digestible by the human body. The dye was harmless, but passing though a kid's intestine had the unfortunate side effect of causing the stool to turn bright pink. It looked a little too much like the kids were passing blood for the comfort of parents. The dye was quickly replaced.

To add to the controversy, it's possible this whole event was just an urban legend. The Internet is mixed on whether this really happened or not. It's wide spread enough that Stephen King referenced it in his book Cujo and its movie adaptation. If you remember your parents freaking out, or perhaps a rushed visit to the Emergency Room after a diet of Franken Berry back in the early 70s, please let me know. It would be nice to confirm it.

The Count had a bit of controversy himself. It wasn't, as far as we know stool-related, although there's no proof it doesn't turn your stool brown. Instead, there were concerns about the sugar content of the cereal. Parents, under the misguided belief that health was more important than sugary fun, complained. Thus, Count Chocula was briefly pulled and the caloric content was slightly reduced.

Through all this, Boo-Berry has remained pretty much controversy free. While supposedly eating too much Boo-Berry, or any berry cereal can discolor your poo, it has never caused hysteria. Seeing blue or green in the toilet apparently isn't quite as fright inducing as red or pink.

The three originals - Boo-Berry, Count Chocula, and Franken Berry - are still going strong. They are still produced and sold though only during the Halloween season. They might be a bit harder to find, but they are available. The boxes have been redesigned with new artwork, but the three monsters are still out there haunting our breakfasts.

So go out while the season is right, and grab yourself a box or a dozen. Whatever your favorite, Boo-Berry, Count Chocula, or Franken Berry, they are available now. Enjoy the hell out of them because once Halloween is gone, so are the monster cereals. And while we enjoy our monster cereal and the Halloween season, let's all have a moment of silence for those monsters no longer with us. Fruit Brute and Yummy Mummy, you are gone but not forgotten. Okay, maybe outside of us horror nerds, you are forgotten, but hopefully you will make another Halloween appearance in the future.

Lastly, I'd like to give a shout out to my friend Stevie, who is no longer with us but truly will never be forgotten, and he loved his monster cereal. RIP my friend.

Posted by Allen Alberson in FOOD AND DRINK, IN THE SPOTLIGHT, PRODUCT REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments

BOOK REVIEW: The Dark Tower: The Drawing of the Three (1987)

The Dark Tower II:
The Drawing of the Three

By Woofer McWooferson

The Dark Tower II: The Drawing Of The Three

The Dark Tower II: The Drawing Of The Three

Author: Stephen King; Publisher: Grant; ISBN: 978-0-937986-90-5; Media: Print (Hardcover); Length: 400 pages; Genre: Fantasy, Horror, Science fiction, Western; Country: USA; Language: English; Year: 1987

The Drawing of the Three, book 2 in Stephen King's magnum opus, the Dark Tower series, finds Roland sitting on a beach where book one ended. Roland's pursuit of the man in black has placed him in a position of vulnerability, and when this threatens his guns, he snaps out of a dream and back into reality. His guns, he has been taught, are everything to a gunslinger. Well, of course! How could one be a gunslinger with no guns? you might ask, but know that question will be answered in good time.

So worried about his guns (and rightfully so), he fails to comprehend the danger to himself from creatures that come out of the waves. After a brief encounter with the creatures, lobstrosities he calls them, he recovers himself and tends to his guns before beginning his journey up the beach. As he continues, he finds doors to New York City in various decades. Each door has a label (The Prisoner, The Lady of Shadows, and The Pusher), and it is through two of these doors that he meets those who will become part of his ka-tet. The other reveals a new foe in a new world. On the surface, the chosen two are unlikely candidates for companionship with Roland, but Roland can see what we cannot. Roland can see the steel in them.

The Drawing of the Three gives us more insight into Roland and his quest, through his actions alone as well as his interactions with his new companions. Where The Gunslinger was sparse like the desert Roland crossed, The Drawing of the Three is as relentless as his trek up the beach and as full and rich and varied as the city which he visits in our world. He leaves his mark on everything he touches, intentionally and unintentionally, and he eventually brings out the best in his companions. Filled with the rich descriptive narrative that Constant Readers have come to expect from Sai King, The Drawing of the Three is worthy follow up to The Gunslinger and segue into book 3, The Waste Lands.

10/10 claws – Make sure you have snacks, a drink, and a comfy seat because you will not want to put this down.

Posted by Woofer McWooferson in BOOKS, COMICS, AND PUBLICATION REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments