titanic

In Remembrance of Bill Paxton

In Remembrance of Bill Paxton

Bill Paxton was a tough loss… He will forever be a cinema icon.
I am honored to be given the opportunity to write about the life and career of Bill Paxton and to say some final words in remembrance of one of my favorite actor/directors.
Born on this day in 1955 and raised a good ol’ boy in Fort Worth, Texas, Bill first wanted to make movies but not necessarily star in them. His desire was reinforced by his father who supported his children’s imaginative and artistic spirit.
After graduating high school, he and a friend studied abroad at the private University of Richmond College in England. When they returned to Texas, they began making Super8 films with another friend they had met while away at school.
Fair use doctrine.
In 1974, Bill decided to make the move to Los Angeles and work his way into the film industry. With the help of a friend of his father, he got his first job as a production assistant. He later worked in the art department as a set dresser on super low-budget films for Roger Corman, which is where he first met and became friends with James Cameron.
At the age of 21, he moved to New York and enrolled at NYC in order to study under famous acting teacher Stella Adler. He completed 2 years, but never earned his degree. He returned to L.A. in the pursuit of putting all he had learned to work for him, and he has said that he didn’t think he needed a degree to do that.
In the 1980s, Bill was steadily getting small roles, some of which were in some important cult classic films, such as the blue haired punk in the opening of The Terminator (1984) and the biker vampire Severen in Near Dark (1987). In 1986, he met, fell in love with, and, less than a year later, married his wife and mother of his two children, Louise Newbury.
Regardless how small the role, Bill always left an impression. The first movie role he really stood out in for me was as the tyrant older brother with the goofy laugh, Chet Donnelly in Weird Science (1985). Even though we hated that guy, we still couldn’t help but like him. One of his most memorable character roles is the young and cocky marine with the witty one liners, PFC William L. Hudson, in Aliens (1986). He also played the role of Patrick Swayze’s brother, whose death is avenged in Next of Kin (1989).
Fair use doctrine.
In the 1990s, Paxton continued to steadily get acting roles. He teamed up with the other Bill, Bill Pullman, in the twisted horror sci-fi film Brain Dead (1990) and played LAPD detective Lambert in Predator 2 (1990). Another memorable character, though maybe not as well known as others is Graham Krakowski, the young up and coming professional who is framed for murder by a crazed squatter in the hilarious horror comedy The Vagrant (1992).
In 1993, Bill Paxton had finally risen to well deserved fame co-starring along side Sam Elliot, Kurt Russell, and Val Kilmer as Morgan, Wyatt Earp’s younger brother, in Tombstone.
Fair use doctrine.
Throughout the 1990s, he continued to work alongside some of the most iconic actors of our time and under the direction of some of the best in the business in films like True Lies (1994) opposite Jamie Lee Curtis and, once again, Arnold Schwarzenegger. And directed by longtime friend James Cameron. The Academy Award-nominated Ron Howard film Apollo 13 (1995) co-starring Tom Hanks and Kevin Bacon in which he was nominated and won a SAG award and One of my personal favorites, the natural disaster thriller Twister (1996) He worked again with friend James Cameron on Titanic (1997) and starred opposite Billy Bob Thorton in A Simple Plan (1998), with whom he also co-starred in his first starring role back in 1991s One False Move. Paxton received his first Golden Globe nomination in 1999 for his work in the HBO miniseries A Bright Shinning Lie (1998).
Fair use doctrine.
In 2001, Paxton directed his first feature film Frailty in which he co-starred with Matthew McConaughey and Powers Booth. Rightfully he was nominated and won the 2003 Filmmaker’s Showcase Award. A few years later he directed his second feature, Disney’s biographical film The Greatest Game Ever Played (2005) starring Shia Lebouf.
Between his two directorial debuts, Bill Paxton played the free loving musician/ resort owner, Coconut Pete in the Broken Lizard slasher comedy Club Dread (2004).
In the last decade of his life, Bill seemed to only take on more serious roles, starring in the HBO series Big Love in which he portrayed a Utahan polygamist and which explored his relationships with his multiple wives. He received three Golden Globe nominations for that role.
In 2012, Bill won a well-deserved, SAG award for his role as Randall McCoy in the History Channel’s miniseries Hatfields & McCoys. He continued to stay busy with several film projects throughout the next seven years, including the horror sci-fi The Colony (2013).
He had a substantial supporting role as crooked ex-black ops CIA agent Earl in the Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlburg action comedy 2 Guns (2013). Paxton always did play a good bad guy.
He had a recurring role on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.E.I.L.D. as a vengeful member of Hydra, John Garrett, and he played Joe Loder, Louis Blooms’ (Jake Gyllenhaal) main competitor in the pursuit of gruesome accident/crime scene footage, in Nightcrawler (2014).
Bill did a superb job of portraying Sam Houston in History Channel’s miniseries about the Texas revolution, Texas Rising, alongside Jeffery Dean Morgan, Chistopher McDonald, Ray Liotta, and many others.
Fair use doctrine.
In 2016, he co-starred as crooked cop Det. Keenan in Term Life opposite Vince Vaughn and Mike Epps as well as another crooked cop and abusive father Wayne Carraway in Mean Dreams.
At the time of his death, Paxton had completed filming 13 episodes of the CBS spinoff of the 2001 film Training Day. He even got to work alongside his son James in an episode of the series.
Looking back at his life and works actually makes saying farewell to this beloved actor even more bittersweet. Laughter and a few tears went into this article, and I think that’s fitting for a man like Bill Paxton who, by all accounts, was a friendly, and joyous person in life and seamlessly and fearlessly let that, as well as everything else he was or was just pretending to be, get absorbed by the cameras for his fans to enjoy. Thank you for the many years of entertainment that will continue.
RIP, sir.
Fair use doctrine.
May 17, 1955 – February 25, 2017
Posted by Tabitha Harvey in EDITORIALS, HORROR HEROES, OBITUARY, 2 comments
DUAL MOVIE REVIEW: Satanic (2016)

DUAL MOVIE REVIEW: Satanic (2016)

EDITOR’s NOTE: As I was reviewing some articles for publication, I noticed that both John Roisland and Dixielord had both reviewed the same Netflix movie: Satanic. What’s more, both of them felt the same as I did. Therefore, House of Tortured Souls presents our first ever dual review. Enjoy!
By John Roisland
SATANIC is a 2016 film about four friends who get messed up with the devil. Or that would be the nice way of putting it.
First, I must say, I do enjoy movies about the occult and dark magic, so when i saw the title of this film, I thought, ‘Wow, pretty balls move to go right for the throat’ . You’ve gotta have a solid winner and know what you’re doing to use a major or strong word for your title. For example, The Exorcist , Titanic, and, hell, even Gremlins used their bold titles, and they owned them. Sadly enough, Satanic did not.
The story begins with the four friends stopping into a occult store while in LA only to piss off an employee and get chased out. The four follow the store employee home after he gets off work and find the center of what appears to be a ritual killing of a young woman.
After being seen and chased away from the property, they run into the should have been sacrificed girl the next day at a coffee shop. They hang out and talk to her, eventually inviting her back to their hotel, where they drink some beers and talk occult until the girl apparently curses them after she paints a Penatgram on the wall and then slits her own throat.
With this now supposed Satanic curse on them, weird things start to happen around as well as to our four bumbling idiots. I’m sorry, I’m usually not one to tear up on a film, and I have seen much worse. The film from the get go has a made for television feel, almost like your watching a series. The movie itself really doesn’t go anywhere, and its a shame because it really could have. It had a lot of potential.
There was at the very end one of those, “Oh yea, huh,” moments and that was about it. The acting was god awful and had a few decent special F/X in it. It just felt like they were rushed almost. Like they had the ideas, but forgot to add a few.
So this, now playing on Netflix streaming, was unfortunately one that I had hoped would have been much better, but was merely something to kill time with. And this, from the producers of The Walking Dead, sorry guys.
Keep It Evil…
By Dixielord
Satanic Panic was all the rage when I was a teenager. It seemed there was always reports of mutilated pets, and graveyard gatherings. Now we know that for the most part the Satanic Panic was just urban legends blown out of proportion. Still, that’s no reason we can’t make films about them. Ti West delved into Satanic Panic with The House of the Devil, and just this year we went old school satanic with The Witch. Now the new film Satanic explores satanism as an evil force while using the panic years as a device to drive the film.
Be careful of looking for doors, you might find one – Satanic
Satanic, which stars Sarah Hyland (Modern Family) and is directed by Jeffrey Hunt (The Vampire Diaries) is the story of four friends on their way to Coachella, who decide to make a detour to visit sites involved in the Satanic Panic, including the Manson murders. Always looking for a new thrill the visit a magic store and follow the cashier home, hoping to witness a magic ceremony. They stumble upon what they believe to be a human sacrifice. They interrupt the ritual, which any good horror movie fan can tell you, isn’t a smart thing to do. Attempting to help the young girl, they get more than they bargained for and the fun quickly turns into fear. They follow the girl down a path that leads straight to hell, or at least a reasonable facsimile.
I found myself enjoying the film throughout most of the early part of the movie. Alice, played by Sophie Dalah, is suitably creepy and any time shes on screen it’s fun to watch. There isn’t a whole lot new to the story but it is executed fairly well. There’s only one real gory scene, but its very bloody and comes out of nowhere. The fact that up till then the film is pretty bloodless makes it more shocking and builds up expectations that the last half of the film will be a monster.
Satanic
Some Satanic spoilers ahead!
And that’s where Satanic fumbles. Instead of building on the insanity of the hotel room scene it dials it back. There’s still an intensity, but it always falls flat, and we go back to it being a bloodless film. Instead of seeing our four teens picked off one by one in a gruesome manner, they just disappear. It becomes repetitive, and well, you just know each time whats about to happen.
The scene in the hotel room held out such great promise, not just with the gore, but with the dialogue. With talk of doors, and the labyrinth beyond, you are almost expecting cenobites or at least something really esoteric and horrifying. Sadly Satanic doesn’t deliver on this. Alice says “Hell is a beautiful confusion, and there’s pain”. It’s a great line, but I just felt let down with the final revelation of what hell actually was.
These teens don’t take the Satanic Panic seriously
There’s a lot wrong with Satanic, but it is still watchable. I think with a better ending it could have been a really good little film. But it is what it is, and what it is, is just meh.it’s a good for a rental or a boring day, Netflix rental, but I wouldn’t purchase it. A generous 5 out of 10 stars.
Posted by Woofer McWooferson in DUAL REVIEW, MOVIE REVIEWS, 0 comments