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MOVIE REVIEW: Ghost Team (2016)

MOVIE REVIEW: Ghost Team (2016)

Director: Oliver Irving; Writers: Oliver Irving, Peter Warren; Stars: Jon Heder, David Krumholtz, Justin Long, Melonie Diaz, Amy Sedaris, Paul W. Downs; Rating: PG-13; Run Time: 83 min; Genre: Horror Comedy; Country: USA; Language: English; Year: 2016
I first heard of Ghost Team from a friend of mine a few months ago. I remember he showed me a trailer for it on YouTube, and, I must admit, the trailer did make it look pretty damn funny. When you put John Heder and Justin Long together, your outcome will most likely be laugh out loud funny... Well, unfortunately, that's not the result in Ghost Team.
Louis (Jon Heder) and Stan (David Kromholtz) are roommates living down-and-out lives going nowhere fast. The two are fans of a paranormal TV show that is running a contest where the winner gets to be the next member of the show. So, when they hear of a local barn that might be haunted, the light bulbs over their heads switch on with the ingenious idea to become ghost hunters and try to win a spot on the show.
The two team up with other friends who they think might be able to help them out by specializing in different departments of their investigation, such as Ross (Justin Long), a rather gung-ho night security guard for a department store who becomes head of security for the Ghost Team. With a now full paranormal investigation crew, they head to the supposed haunted barn in the middle of nowhere in a van full of equipment that was borrowed from a local electronics store where Louis’ nephew Zak (Paul W. Downs) just happens to work.
From the beginning of the movie, I kept waiting for all the one liners and the slapstick to happen, and it just never really did. There were a few chuckles at best. It did, however, start to turn into what I thought was going to become a decent and suspenseful ghost movie. Unfortunately, after about 15 minutes of build-up, the suspense ball was dropped when we discover the reality of what their ghosts really are.
The film itself reminded me of an episode from the old Scooby-Doo mystery cartoon. The kids are out for adventure, looking for ghosts, but it lacked the pull-off-the-rubber-mask-to-reveal-who-is-underneath. The ball was dropped, and in so many ways! In short, Ghost Team as an entire film is a big let-down on many levels.
With the cast that was acquired for this film, Ghost Team had the possibility of being a great comedic piece and, even better, a great horror comedy. I am a fan of Justin Long's work, and I’m not saying that his or anyone else’s acting is bad, but the movie just did use the talent properly. This leads me to believe that the cast must have owed a lot of favors to whoever made this. Maybe with the right group of people or if I had been a little drunk, it would’ve worked for me, but I was neither. Sorry guys, but this one goes nowhere fast!
Ghost Team is currently playing on Netflix.
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Posted by John Roisland in MOVIE REVIEWS, PARANORMAL, REVIEWS, 0 comments
Brian Dunn’s ALTER-EGO-DEZINES

Brian Dunn’s ALTER-EGO-DEZINES

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By John Roisland

I first met Brian Dunn last year in 2015 in Richmond, VA, at The Scares That Care Charity Weekend Event. I'm a state rep for STC and was a volunteer at the convention. Upon making rounds, saying hello to the vendors and so forth, I came across a young man with a very serious look on his face who was standing in front of an Lazy Susan and sculpting. I didn't want to break his concentration, so I handed my business card to the gentleman who was with him and just watched in amazement.

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Brian Dunn is creator/artist/sculptor and owner of ALTER-EGO-DEZINES. Brian is a sculptor who creates not only iconic and well known designs but creates amazing objects of art with his own creativity, imagination, and ideas hiding in the back of his mind. Brian started at a very young age and was influenced by horror movies and Halloween masks. Moving forward through the years, he studied many other artists' styles until he mastered his own.

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Brian does do commission pieces as well as his own creative work. I must admit that watching him, or any other artist, reproduce the image of a known work is really cool. But when they offer you their own original work (especially when it's so creative and really brings a life of its own to the world as Brian's does), it's a mind blowing experience. The sculpting alone will sell you on his work, but when he puts his final air-brushing details to a piece it's absolutely amazing!

 

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The young artist hails from the Philadelphia area and can be found vending at many conventions on the East Coast, as well as some in the Midwest. I most recently ran into Brian when he was set up as a live artist /vendor at Monster Mania in New Jersey this past March. Brian and I spoke for a few moments and he said the show was going pretty good for him, and apparently it was as I was quickly pushed out of the way by other onlookers who were all taken by the work of Brian Dunn and ALTER-EGO-DEZINES.

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Be sure to check out Brian on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest, and at his website.

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Posted by John Roisland in ART AND VENDORS, 0 comments
John Roisland on Deadworld Zombie Sodas

John Roisland on Deadworld Zombie Sodas

By John Roisland

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In need of a change from cola? Tired of doing the Dew? Do yourself a favor and check out Deadworld Zombie Soda. Coming to you from Caprice Brands in Livonia, MI, and manufactured by Intrastate Distributors in Detroit, MI, these mad soda scientists have created a delicious monster (several, actually). The kind hearts that they are sent me a care package of a few of their flavors for me to sample, and they are FUCKING AMAZING! Sure, every major soda brand has an orange, a root beer, and a grape, but not like these tasty treats.

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A small sample of Deadworld Zombie sodas.

In addition to the standard soda flavors, Deadworld Zombie Soda offers an expansive and creative menu with flavors such as:

Black Cherry

Vanilla Root Beer

Vanilla Cream

Green Apple

Cotton Candy

And those are just a few of the delicious options Deadworld offers.

So, I made a little video of the sampling (it's also on our House of Tortured Souls YouTube page).

Keep an eye out for Deadworld Zombie Soda, as they are ripping up the convention circuit where you can try samples and purchase soda directly from them!! Find them on their homepage, on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Contact them, place your order, and tell Janelle that Ii said, "Hello!"

Trust me when I say that you will NOT be let down by their product!

Oh, I haven't tried it yet, but keep an eye out for the new Deadworld Zombie potato chips brought to you by Caprice Brands and manufactured by premier chip maker Better Made Potato Chips in Detroit, MI. If they are half as good as the sodas, you'll still be thrilled.

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Posted by John Roisland in FOOD AND DRINK, PRODUCT REVIEWS, REVIEWS, VIDEOS, 0 comments

STAFF PICKS: FAMILY HORROR

By John Roisland

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Remember the old saying " it all starts in the home"? Well it's true, and what we teach our kids at home is what will shape them into the adult we hope they will become. Such simple life lessons as hygiene , manners, and horror!! Tired of seeing your little angels do nothing but take selfies, watch videos on YouTube, and play bad video games like Mindcrap? They are growing up so fast, and nothing you try to do with them ever works, because you're an adult...you're a parent...you're a giant nerd- bucket to them!

Well fear not! This Halloween season I've personally made a list of movies (my Family Horror list) that you can all sit down and enjoy together! Family safe, and will still help mold these little bastards into the horror loving freaks that we all are!! But parents...I know what you're thinking ...and no. I'm not going to make you watch Smurf's Halloween special or any shit like that. If I wouldn't sit through it, I'm not going to suggest you do either! To hell with that!

Now I've compiled  this list from my own viewing with my own kids. They're not really in order, but let's just say they would be my top 10 family Halloween movies.

GHOSTBUSTERS – Made in 1984 and starring Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, and Harold Ramis as three scientists who open a ghostbusting company in the heart of  New York. It's total chaos, and tons of fun!

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Casper – This 1995 film was inspired by the original 1930s cartoon series and stars Bill Pullman as a single father and a young Christina Ricci as his daughter. The two move into an old, abandoned house and soon learn that they are not alone.imagesRTSSF0GE

Monster House – 2006 film about three young kids who believe the house across the street from them is haunted. On Halloween night, the three decide to take matters into their own hands. Stars Steve Buscemi, Mitchel Musso, Catherine O'Hara, and Fred Willard.  This, by the way, is also one of my favorite films!

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The Addams Family – 1991 film based on the classic 1960s  TV series. In The Addams Family, the Addams family fortune is in danger of being taken by an Addams impostor. This film is awesome, an all around well done production! It stars Angelica Houston, Christopher Lloyd, and the late Raul Julia.

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Igor – This 2008 animated film focuses on Igor, the mad scientist's assistant, who aspires to be a scientist himself! Stars John Cusack , Molly Shannon, and Steve Buscemi .

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Hotel Transylvania – 2012 animated film of a castle turned into a hotel. A hotel for monsters! All is in jeopardy when a human boy  stolls through the door and falls for Dracula's daughter! Stars Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Andy Sandberg, and Selena Gomez.

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The Witches – 1990 Disney film that actually got a lot of bad press (I, for one, was fine with it. I hate Disney, but love this film... Hmmm) for being "too violent "and scaring kids in the theaters. I will admit The Witches isn't a typical happy-go-lucky Disney film; there actually is a dark feel to the film. It stars Angelica Houston as the Supreme Witch who is hosting a conference with other witches to rid the lands of all young boys and girls.

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The Monster Squad – 1987 film about a group of young middle school boys who join forces to rid the town of the monsters that have been taking over! Stars Andre Gower and Tom Noonan. "Wolfman's got 'nards!"

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ParaNorman – 2012 animated film about young Norman who has a gift to see the dead. This gift comes into play fast as the town soon becomes overrun by an evil that is bringing the dead back to life. Stars Kodi Smit-McPhee and Casey Affleck.

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It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown – No Halloween list of family favorites could be complete without this 1966 Charles M. Shultz classic. While Snoopy braves The War and the Peanuts gang go door-to-door trick-or-treating, Linus and Sally await the arrival of The Great Pumpkin in the middle of the most sincere pumpkin patch!

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So... grab some popcorn, plug the iPhones in to charge, and plant yourself next to your kids for a few hours of Halloween family entertainment! From our family to yours, Happy Halloween!!!

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Posted by John Roisland in STAFF PICKS, 0 comments