Halloween on the Small Screen?

Halloween on the Small Screen?

Michael's World - Slaughter On! Excellent!

By Woofer McWooferson

Michael Myers staring downstairs.

Michael Myers staring downstairs.

Michael Myers, one of the most recognized and beloved horror icons, may be moving to the small screen if rumors are true. Since Dimension Films lost control of the Halloween franchise, there has been much speculation as to what will be next for the iconic character. Halloween Returns, which was to be the next step in the Halloween franchise, has been shelved indefinitely and it its place come rumors of a limited series on television. (A limited series is one with a planned number of episodes rather than being open to continuing until nobody watches any longer.)

Michael Myers in the Closet

A closet won't stop Michael Myers.

According to Fangoria, who quote a European filmmaker who wishes to remain anonymous, the European Film Market may have been passed over to allow a limited series to be produced. Rumors are that it would be a three to five season series and would enable much more to be added to the Halloween story. The Fangoria article goes on to state:

“...as budget horror becomes a more and more of a rarity in Hollywood, Halloween's studio search might not have gone as smoothly as planned as Malek Akkad & Trancas still aim to keep up the franchise's costly, old-school production value; in other words, a micro-budget, day-and-date Halloween film might be off-the-table, which could give way to a Halloween series that could carry that cinematic production value."

Everything is still unconfirmed, but speculation abounds. Will it be a backstory? Will it be in between stories? There is a lot of room in the Halloween universe for Michael to maneuver, and we hope he takes full advantage of this.

Michael Myers looks down on everyone.

Michael Myers looks down on everyone.

Still, rumors of a Halloween television series is great news for fans of the 1978 classic (and its sequels, reboots, and retoolings). Despite not saying a word in the original Halloween, Michael Myers is one of the most well known horror and respected icons, and Halloween remains one of the most watched franchises in horror movie history.

House of Tortured Souls is ready for more Michael Myers on any screen. Are you? Let us know what you think. Is the small screen big enough for Michael Myers?

Posted by Alan Smithee in HORROR NEWS, 0 comments
RECAP: TWD, S06E10, The Next World

RECAP: TWD, S06E10, The Next World

By Nicole Robinson

Sunday’s episode of the The Walking Dead took a little time leap forward to a community in recovery and normalizing of daily routines in “The Next World”.  After a brutal opening to the second half of season 6, Rick and friends have spent the last couple of months (so it seems), rebuilding the walls of Alexandria and settling in to the comforts of having a place to call home. While one could superficially see this episode as somewhat slow and boring up until the end when every Richonne fan wept with joy, this episode highlighted the important fact that our beloved Rick Grimes and friends have become comfortable in their new home. The mundane details of daily life that have been lacking from the lives of our group of survivors have become so routine that have the ability to become happy. It seems the looming threat of Negan has been forgotten.

After a conversation between Rick, Michonne, and Carl about a need for toothpaste, a short scene between Maggie and Enid provides another clue to the developing relationship between these two much in the fashion that Maggie and Tara bonded during season 4. Maggie offer Enid the ability to talk to her and no doubt after the incident in the Woods with Carl, she will be taking her up on that. Perhaps these two will bond even further?

Comic Fans Rejoice! Jesus Walks…….

Jesus

In a world where zombies roam and people are few and far between, the idea of literally bumping into another breathing human seems almost comical but Daryl Dixon managed to do just that. A Jordan Catalano look-a-like for the apocalypse going by the name of Jesus, aka Paul Rovia, bumps into Mr. Dixon while running from walkers at a local gas station after liberating a truck full of food from a storage shed.  Played by British actor, Tom Payne, Jesus, introduces himself by pulling down his mask to reveal a man bearing a set of striking blue eyes even a Daryl Dixon lover would swoon for.  Unarmed and seemingly unafraid of our Rick and Daryl, he warns them of walkers coming, bids them good luck in the New World, and takes off despite Rick’s attempts to engage him in conversation against Daryl’s wishes.

Jesus tricks our favorite duo into being distracted by firecrackers and successfully steals the booty leading Rick and Daryl on a wild goose chase. Chasing down the truck to find Jesus changing a flat tire, they ambush him, tie him up loosely enough so he can wiggle out once they are long gone, the two drive off smiling and happy believing to be rid of the nuisance they call Jesus….. Or so they thought.

we have ammo

A little ways down the road in an almost conveniently open field with a few walkers, Jesus bangs on the roof revealing he has not given up just yet. Rick slams the breaks causing him to fly off the roof and he runs off into the field to escape after Rick guns it after him. Daryl jumps out of the moving truck and starts a laughable cat and mouse game with Jesus, chasing him all over the field. Rick gets out of the truck to kill the walkers, leaving it wide open for Jesus to jump in the cab.

As funny as this entire scene is, it shows the audience that this guy is crafty and despite causing the truck to sink, he may be a likeable guy. After all, he did not try to kill Rick or Daryl and never pulled a weapon. There is something respectable about a guy who prefers hand to hand combat even in a world full of walkers. He did get a pretty decent knock to the head as a result which can be considered punishment enough and he did save Daryl from being bitten.

Rick brings Jesus back to Alexandria despite Daryl’s objections and locks him in the cell. Time to clock out and head home for the twosome leading us to the highlight of the episode, overshadowing the appearance of comic fan favorite Jesus. As Rick relaxes on his couch, Michonne returns home from a long day of Deanna hunting with Spencer in the woods and joins him. Small talking by firelight sets the romantic stage for the two’s first kiss after Rick wins the samurai’s heart with breath mints. The little things…….

This week’s cliffhanger left us feeling almost as awkward as our two lovebirds. They found themselves standing naked in front of Jesus after he wakes them up while in bed together. A bit of a rude awakening after some deep Ricking for Michonne and one can imagine she is feeling a little vulnerable at the moment. But none the less, the two are armed and ready after discovering Jesus is in the room, having jumped to their feet with sword and gun in hand respectively. Considering that he was supposed to be in a cell and somehow is not anymore, Jesus clearly has a message to bring to Rick and friends. Whatever that message may be, one thing is certainly clear, Alexandria is not alone in the New World.

Posted by Alan Smithee in MONSTERS AND CREATURES, REVIEWS, SERIES REVIEWS, ZOMBIES, 1 comment

Interview: Lou Avilleira: The Mind Behind FATHER EVIL

By John Roisland

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Many of you have come to him as Father Evil, the lone evil priest who wanders the conventions in search of sinners. Now we take a few moments to meet the man behind the character , Lou Avilleria.

For years now, people have been going to movie and comic conventions and dressing up as their favorite character. Many of the cosplay (as its called) artists, often enjoy many different characters. That wasn't the case for Lou, he found and created Father Evil, and the world has quickly come to know his name!

I first met Lou online, and we quickly became good friends. I think it was a little over a year later that I then met Father Evil in person at Monster Mania in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. It was a thrill! What a showman! I look forward to see both Lou and Father Evil soon at upcoming events, ...but I must be honest, of all the celebrities that may be in attendance,...Lou is actually more exciting to meet.

Lou is a loving husband and very proud father. He hails from the Garden State of New Jersey, where he balances his family life, and the life he created as Father Evil. Doing many guest appearances in local events, Lou has also be seen doing the tri-state area conventions. Well he has spread those evil wings and has been seen in conventions as far as Texas and most recently Atlanta, GA.

 

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Lou took a few minutes to give me a short interview to catch us up.

 

House of Tortured Souls: First, Lou, thank you so much for taking the time out of what must a very hectic schedule you are growing into to spend a few moments with House of Tortured Souls.

LA: You're most welcome!

 

HoTS: At what point did you realize that you wanted to join in the cosplay world?

LA: It was around 2010. I went to Chiller Theater with a character I made up over 20 years ago through one of my sketches. It was supposed to be a one time thing...a "goof" but as soon as I showed up, people lost their shit and wanted pics. What really floored me was when a featured guest and Italian director (his name escapes me) flipped his shit and wanted pics as well. He actually excused himself from his fans to take pics of me. I figured if I got his attention I may have something here... and the rest is history. (Mind you it was just a $20 costume from Party City when I first appeared.)

 

HoTS: Upon creating what the world is quickly knowing as Father Evil, how long has it taken you to get to the point of his outfit, look at it, and say "Now, its perfect!"?

LA: Two years. To where I was like okay, this is authentic... But I'm never or will never be done "evolving". It will never be "perfect" in my eyes.

 

HoTS: What other, if any, other cosplay characters had you tried before deciding on Father Evil ?

LA: Never tried any other...I was going to do a vampire, but by that time people we're too engrossed with Father Evil. I even mentioned about cosplaying another character, but one guy said, "No dude, you can't be anything else. You are Father Evil & Father Evil is you."

 

HoTS: Father Evil has become what it seems to be an almost over night sensation. I know you've worked hard, put in lots of hours, and done numerous events to support his character. Did you ever think that he would have gotten such a huge following?

LA: No… nowhere near to what he is now, not at least this fast. I mean I knew that, hey, I got something here but never believed it would be this big, this fast. Never.

 

HoTS: From autographs, to fan photos, to celebrity photos - at their request, what is the one thing that a fan has done that has just put you over the top, to where you can't really believe it just happened?

LA: When a fan got a tattoo of Father Evil. I was like, “I don't even have a movie or comic, yet. Did this really just happen?” I was BLOWN away to be at that status.

 

HoTS: On the same note of dealing with fans, at the end of the day, when you're out of costume, do you ever just sit and think, "Is this really happening to me?"

LA: Yes, every other day.

 

HoTS: I've seen people swarm to Father Evil, I've seen them run scared from you, with your outfit being that of an evil priest. My question is have you ever encountered any, let's say, religious fanatics scolding you or, on the flip side, any individuals, from, let's say, the dark church approach you?

LA: No… nothing negative, nasty stares but nothing verbal. Maybe they're too scared. Who knows? I have met three Baptist pastors, and all wanted a pic. One said I was "grotesquely beautiful ".

 

HoTS: So I hear there is really big news in the work for Father Evil. Care to fill us in?

LA: Graphic novel. That's all I'm going to say... for now.

 

HoTS: Lou, you are a hard working man. You have a gorgeous family. How do you balance time between Lou and Father Evil?

LA: When I'm on vacation, Father Evil stays home. When I'm not doing something in the convention scene or hosting, I'm just a dad who loves to play with his kid.

 

HoTS: In closing, Lou, thank you so much for your time. We all wish you the absolute best with Father Evil and hope to see you soon. Is there anything you like to say to the readers of House of Tortured Souls?

LA: If you have an idea for something, do it. No matter how crazy it may sound, do it. I read a quote by Henry Rollins that really spoke to me and basically it speaks for itself here it goes… "There is no such thing as downtime, spare time, or part time all you have is lifetime. GO !!!"

Keep It Evil.

Posted by John Roisland in INTERVIEWS, 0 comments
Movie Review: The Witch

Movie Review: The Witch

By Dixielord

I don't think any horror movie in recent years has gotten the amount of buzz that The Witch from director Robert Eggers has received. From praise at Sundance to a ringing endorsement from The Church of Satan, the praise has had horror fans chomping at the bit for The Witch. But this week saw it tested with a wide release at the theater. Did it live up to its buzz or fall flat?

The Witch title card

The Witch

The Witch, billed as a New England Folketale, is the story of a pious Christian family, who leaves the comforts of society for banishment in the wilderness. Everything seems idyllic at first, the family works hard, prays hard, and tries to be as penitent as possible. It isn't long, however, before the serpent intrudes on paradise. The baby, Samuel, disappears, taken by a wolf, or so the father tries to convince his family. Other evil portents follow: the crops fail, small accidents happen, and the family's goat, Black Phillip, starts to whisper to the children.

Creepy kids from The Witch

The creepy kids from The Witch

The Witch is sure to be a hotly debated topic among horror fans. It's certainly not a film that will appeal to everyone. The pace is slow and deliberate, there aren’t many jump scares or gory effects, and the language, authentic to Puritan New England can be hard, even near impossible, to understand at times.

But The Witch is a work of art. It's beautifully shot in stark Puritan tones, almost completely devoid of colors. So that the one scene we do see color it is glaring and shocking in its own right. When we see that color, we know it is a transgression, a sin. We know shit is going to get real.

Naked Thomasin in The Witch

The Bewitching of Thomasin in The Witch

The film's score took a similar tact. Throughout a large part of the film there was no score, no music, no sound at all except what was made by the characters. The silence kept a tension building, kept me on my toes waiting for the next sound. So when there was a bump on the roof, you heard it along with the characters. Lots of movies are noisy, but The Witch found the horror of silence. Not that the score, when it played wasn't beautiful, but it was used sparingly.

The Witch is painstakingly authentic, from the look to the language. It is probably the most faithful and beautiful period piece you will ever see. They also stay true to the folklore and legends of New England witchcraft. Not only are are there the common tales we might be familiar with, like black cats and broomsticks, but there is more obscure lore, such as like witches using hares as familiars, witches writing their name in the devil's book, and Satan appearing as a black goat, Black Phillip.

 

Black Phillip from The Witch

Black Phillip, Black Phillip=The Witch

Black Phillip was a hit of the pre release buzz, and he is a integral part of the film. However, for me, he was upstaged by the twins Mercy and Jonas. They are the creepiest kids I have ever seen in film. Every time they were on screen they captured my attention. Their singing of “Black Phillip” while they chased the evil goat around the hose still echoes in my head. Young kids aren't always the most believable actors, but these two did a phenomenal job with a role that had to be difficult at their age.

Not that there was any weak acting. Ralph Ineson, who played William, was perfect in the role. Ineson is sorely under used as an actor and hopefully this will lead to more good roles in the future. In The Witch, he is a devout man, struggling to work hard and bring up his family. Yet as strong as he is, he makes mistakes, and his fear of admitting those mistakes helps destroy his family.

Thomasin in The Witch

Thomasin in The Witch

Then there is Thomasin, played by Anya Taylor Joy, who most of the film revolves around. Thomasin is a young girl living in a male dominated society and family, but with a domineering mother. She is just reaching womanhood, and her budding sexuality doesn't go unnoticed by her mother or her younger brother. She overhears her mother's plan to marry her off to get her out of the house. Obviously, Thomasin isn't content to be a child bride or to suffer a Puritan lifestyle. There is a theme of rebellion and feminism as she revolts against her mother, and father. We go through the movie cheering for her, hoping for her to survive and somehow prevail.

Which leads to the major question in The Witch. Was there ever a witch? Was the entire film simply Thomasin's descent into insanity? Was she the witch? Or was it all exactly as we saw it. Was there an evil presence in the woods? An evil so dark that even the most devout, strict, and puritanical family had no chance of salvation? Regardless of what actually happens, it makes The Witch a dark, subversive, hopeless film. It's an outstanding feature debut for director Robert Eggers, and hopefully we see more from him in the future.

As I said to begin, I know a lot of filmgoers wont like The Witch. A lot wont get it, I'm not sure I totally get it, but I can still appreciate it. It's not a gory film, where masked killers jump out at you or zombies eat you alive. There are a few incredibly disturbing scenes, one near the beginning that I wont spoil, and another one later on involving a raven. But don't expect a constant barrage of visceral horror; instead, expect to immerse yourself totally in The Witch and to be transported back to a time when witchcraft was all too real.

I give The Witch 9 out of 10 pentagrams

Posted by Allen Alberson in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, SATANIC/DEMONIC, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW (RETRO): God Told Me To (1976)

MOVIE REVIEW (RETRO): God Told Me To (1976)

God Told Me To
By Woofer McWooferson

God Told Me To movie poster

God Told Me To

Writer and Director: Larry Cohen; Stars: Tony Lo Bianco, Deborah Raffin, Sandy Dennis; Rating: R; Run Time: 91 min; Genre: Crime, Horror, Sci-Fi; Country: USA; Language: English; Year: 1976

God Told Me To is one of those hidden gems that bring great joy to fans of the horror-science fiction crossover films. Writer/director Larry Cohen, best known for the It's Alive franchise, Q: The Winged Serpent, the Maniac Cop franchise, and The Stuff, creates a film that manages to move from crime drama to science fiction to horror and back again and makes it seem easy in spite of an erratic and changing theme. Detective Peter Nicholas is a deeply religious man who finds himself faced with a series of seemingly unrelated killings by multiple killers whose only connection is that all say they are acting on instruction from God, e.g. “God told me to.” His investigation leads him to a group of people who were brought together by a message from God. From there he goes on to meet this “God” and finds a young man who resembles Jesus bathed in golden light. It is here where the story gets truly weird.

Tony Lo Bianco in God Told Me To

Sammy Williams and Tony Lo Bianco in God Told Me To

While the production value is low, particularly by today's standards, it fits the feel of a gritty police procedural and adds a flavor of realism to the more fantastic science fiction and horror aspects of the story. Solid performances by Tony Lo Bianco (The Honeymoon Killers, Police Story), Sandy Dennis (Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?), and Deborah Raffin (The Sentinal) in the lead roles elevate the film from standard B fare into the realm of must-see cult classic. Lo Bianco really nails the complicated and conflicted detective in a nuanced performance that has never received the praise it should. Sandy Dennis as the detective's estranged wife is almost zen in her perfect peace and acceptance of her husband's desire to leave her for another woman. Deborah Raffin as the other woman manages to come off likeable in spite of – or perhaps because of – her curious mixture of innocence and experience. Horror genre regulars Richard Lynch (Werewolf) and Mike Kellin (Sleepaway Camp) appear in supporting roles - Lynch as the Jesus figure and Kellin as the Deputy Commissioner, and Mason Adams (F/X) has a cameo as an obstetrician. Thus, Cohen manages to create a movie with both depth and believability in the face of an incredible plot.

Richard Lynch in God Told Me To

Richard Lynch in God Told Me To

God Told Me To is definitely not for the casual fan and could even be considered blasphemous by the most rigid of Christians as it weaves in and out of the philosophy of religion. Thanks to a resurgence in popularity of older films, viewers no longer have to search for an old VHS as it is now available on DVD, Blu-ray, and Amazon video. Fans of the odd and obscure, however, will be glad they took the time to watch it.

Andy Kaufman in God Told Me To

Andy Kaufman in God Told Me To

8/10 claws - .5 just for Andy Kaufman in his first film role.

Posted by Alan Smithee in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
COMIC REVIEW: The Wake

COMIC REVIEW: The Wake

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By Nick Durham

It's not every day you read something like The Wake. I'm dead fucking serious: this comic is fucking nuts. Published by DC Comics' mature-readers imprint Vertigo (home of classic horror comic titles like Sandman, Preacher, and Hellblazer) over the course of ten issues, The Wake is written by Scott Snyder (known for his current prolific run on Batman) and drawn by Sean Murphy (Punk Rock Jesus). If you're familiar with either Snyder or Murphy's work, you already know you're going to be in for something special.

The story of The Wake fuses science fiction and horror through the course of three time periods. The main element of the story involves a team being assembled and sent to investigate something very mysterious (and monstrous) and strange that has ben discovered at the bottom of the ocean. In terms of the comic's story, that's all I really want to spill. Believe me when I say that you have to read this to believe it. All I will say is that by the time you get halfway through this series, it catapults into an unforeseen direction of manic madness that you will not see coming...and yet somehow, it still manages to work as a glorious amalgamation of the best elements of sci-fi and horror.

Scott Snyder's twist script is only accentuated by the artwork of industry vet Sean Murphy. Murphy's line-work ranges from quiet and stark to wonderfully over the top and nigh-cinematic. When the The Wake presents big action set-pieces, it's Murphy who brings them to life, and they are a sight to behold. Throughout his work over the years, Murphy's work has usually always been dynamic, and here he goes above and beyond.

If there's any drawbacks to The Wake, it's that it feels too short. Snyder tells an epic horror story and turns it into something else entirely, but it often feels like there's bits missing that shouldn't be. It's nothing major in the least though, and it doesn't detract from the overall product thankfully.

So yeah, if you're into horror/sci-fi comics, you have to read The Wake. It's unlikely you'll read anything like it in modern, mainstream comics today, and this is without a doubt the best thing I've read from Vertigo in the past few years. There's a reason this book won an Eisner Award (basically the Oscar's of comic books) and has become revered within the comic community. Do yourself a favor and go pick up the trade paperback. You'll be glad that you did.

Rating: 5/5

 

Posted by Alan Smithee in BOOKS, COMICS, AND PUBLICATION REVIEWS, REVIEWS, STAFF PICKS, 0 comments

SERIES REVIEW: 20 Seconds To Live

20-seconds to live logo

20 Seconds to Live is a horror/comedy web series created by director Ben Rock (Alien Raiders), writer Bob DeRosa (Killers) and produced by Cat Pasciak (Atari: Game Over), that I had no idea existed until a chance followback on Twitter. Apparently I was living under a rock? Do yourself a favor, if you are a fellow under rock dweller, head over to Adam Green's arieScope Pictures official website right now and start watching this great web series. It's like Tales From the Crypt and SNL got hammered and made a baby. And don't worry about doing the show binge zombie thang (you know what I mean, you give up sleep, showering and food because you can't stop watching a show), there are only 8 episodes, at just under 3 minutes per episode. It's perfect for that I'm bored at the office and need a twisted laugh moment or lunch break entertainment.

Beginning with a rather unique anniversary gift from a husband to his wife, each episode shows viewers the last 20 seconds of a character's life and the moments leading up to the inevitable countdown to death. I have to admit, in Episode 2: Astaroth, I laughed so hard at Derek Mears' portrayal of a first time demon summoner, I almost shot Dr. Pepper out of my nose! Always know the name of the demon you are summoning, folks. It ends badly when you don't. And yes, the series has a Christmas episode. I don't want to give anything away, but take my word for it, TOTALLY WORTH WATCHING!

Bravo to all involved with this project. I'm definitely looking forward to more. I've been told Season 2 is in the works and may rely on crowdsourcing. I will add any links I receive for said crowdsourcing efforts as I get them.

Final verdict: 9.5 out of 10 giggling corpses. It would be a 10 if they were just a bit longer. 

Posted by Alan Smithee in SERIES REVIEWS, 0 comments
A WORD FROM PINHEAD HIMSELF : DOUG BRADLEY

A WORD FROM PINHEAD HIMSELF : DOUG BRADLEY

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By  John Roisland

As per the ongoing discussion of the Hellraiser saga, Doug Bradley, best known as Pinhead to the world, posted this yesterday to the public on Facebook, February 17, 2016 . Here's what he had to say:

"Ladies, Gentlemen and Others,

I gather word is beginning to spread about the new Hellraiser movie which is, apparently, already shooting.
First, a point of clarification. This is the first time I have said anything about this. Anything else you have heard me say about any proposed Hellraiser film refers to the constantly rumored remake. And, for the record, I still know nothing about that.

First I heard about this new film was around Christmas in a phone call from Gary Tunnicliffe, who was my make-up artist on Bloodline through Hellworld. Gary, you may recall, also wrote the screenplay for Revelations. He has written and is directing this new effort. I can also assert, contrary to some rumours I've already seen, that Clive Barker is not involved with this in any way, shape or form.

Gary said he would send me a copy of the script when he had completed a second draft, but before I could be allowed to set eyes on the precious document, I was required to sign a gagging order. This was a three page document preventing me from talking about the script 'in restrooms', 'on elevators', 'in restaurants' or 'in cellular telephone conversations which may be overheard'. There was also dark reference to 'people talking out of turn at conventions'. I read this thing in disbelief, and informed Gary I would not be signing it.

And that's that. Clearly, I am deemed too much of a security risk to be allowed to read a Hellraiser script. People are starving to death in Syria and they're worried about me talking about a Hellraiser movie? Get a fucking grip. Can you say 'sense of proportion'?

Anyway, story short: a new movie is happening and I have nothing do with it. I was unable to make a decision about it because I was not allowed to read the script, unlike Revelations where I made a conscious decision not to do the movie based on the motives for making it and the poor quality of the script.

And that's everything."

Peace and Pain
Doug

This is what Doug posted openly yesterday, and personally speaking , I support him 100% , and most certainly don't have much hope for the series without him.

Keep It Evil.

Posted by John Roisland in HORROR NEWS, 1 comment
Is STRANGELAND 2 headed our way??

Is STRANGELAND 2 headed our way??

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By : John Roisland

 

Big news today for both horror and metal fans. Legendary front man Dee Snider of hard rock metal group, Twisted Sister announced today that Strangeland 2, is in the works!

Back in 1998 Dee Snider  released  Strangeland , that he wrote and co starred in along with other such stars as Robert Englund, Kevin Gage, Elizabeth Pena, and a young Amy Smart. It was the story of a internet predator, who enjoyed performing different kinds of sadomasochistic torture on his victims. And a detective to find his daughter, who has fallen victim to his trap.

As of this morning  Snider re-tweeted an Instagram photo  from Christopher Petzel, the president and CEO of Strangeland rights owners Emaji Entertainment, which was captioned with the words “We’re going to Strangeland!“. Snider of course , added  his own caption along with the tweet , confirming that “the Strangeland sequel team begins to be built…“.

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Obviously, there is no further information given as it was just announced this morning, but bet your ass we here at www.houseoftroturedsouls.com will be following this one very closely! I did a review on the original back in October, the movie, I absolutely love. I think it was a breath of fresh air that at the time, the horror industry needed!

The storyline I think was great, and give mad fist bumps to Mr. Snider who wrote the story. It was however , never given a real big push with the  release of the film. I must say, that I am very excited about this, and hope it gets a better backing by the studios for a bigger release.

Strangeland did go in to become a bit of a cult classic with a big following especially with the metal heads, as it had a great soundtrack, but also with those involved with tattoos and body modification, as the story deals a lot on the subject.

Either way, this is one I will be on the look out for!

Keep It Evil.

 

Posted by John Roisland in HORROR NEWS, PREQUELS AND SEQUELS, 0 comments
New Hellraiser Movie, But No Doug Bradley

New Hellraiser Movie, But No Doug Bradley

By Dixielord 

News has been hitting social media and the internet about a new Hellraiser movie. It appears the film is already in production. It also appears that scream queen Heather Langenkamp, aka Nancy, is attached in a cameo role. The news that Heather will be appearing in the movie obviously got fans a bit excited. But it seems the Hellraiser franchise giveth good news, and the Hellraiser franchise taketh it away.

Doug Bradley as Pinhead in Hellraiser

The one and only Pinhead, Doug Bradley. Accept no substitute

No sooner than the good news about Langenkamp hits the news, than rumors that Doug Bradley, once again,wont be cast as Pinhead. The rumors have been now been confirmed by Bradley himself on his verified Facebook page. Bradley originated the role in the original Hellraiser, and reprises the role in seven sequels before being replaced in the abomination Hellraiser:Revelations.

The new film, which so far as I know doesn't have a working title is being directed by Gary Tunnicliffe. Tunnicliffe is definitely no stranger to the Hellraiser series, having done Doug's make up in three of the previous films. Unfortunately he also wrote the script for Revelations. In the past I have laid most of the blame for the still birth that is Revelations on director Victor Garcia, and the studios, who rushed a shitty film out just to maintain the rights to the name Hellraiser, but the story was crap, and the writer has to take the blame for that.

To paraphrase Doug from his facebook, he turned down Revelations because it was a poor script and it was being rushed into production for the “wrong reasons”. With this new film, according to Bradley, he was not allowed to see the script without signing a gag order before hand. A gag order that would have prevented him from talking about the script anywhere he could be overheard, including fan conventions.

Faux Pinhead from Hellraiser:Revelations

Dis muh scway face, doooh. Hellraiser: Revelations

Maybe it's just me, but if you are that worried about someone knowing about your script, it must be a pretty weal script. Maybe there are other reason, but a good story, talked about at conventions, in my mind would only stoke interest in the film.

Along with word, that everyone's favorite cenobite wont be returning to the role he helped create, Bradley also says Clive Barker will in no way be associated with the new film. So any rumors of a Hellraiser reunion with Barker and Bradley are, for now at least, just that, rumors.

Hellraiser's cenobites

The cenobite family from Hellraiser

My personal two cents. If you are making a Hellraiser with Pinhead, you need Doug Bradley. Sorry but he means to much to fans of the series. Now if you want to make a Hellraiser film and Doug isn't interested, or can't commit to the part, just don’t use the Pinhead character. No offense to Heather Langenkamp, who is an awesome person, but I wont be rushing to see this new movie. Just too many negatives. No Barker, no Bradley, and too much of the creative force behind Revelations. Seriously, I had rather watch Uwe Boll pick his nose while screaming anti Semitic remarks for two hours than watch Revelations again.

You really want to excite Hellraiser fans? Give us The Scarlet Gospels with Doug Bradley as Hellraiser and Scot Bakula as Harry D'Amour! At least this Hellraiser fan gets wet thinking about that.

Clive Barker's The Scarlet Gospels

The Scarlet Gospels, end of Pinhead from Hellraiser

Posted by Allen Alberson in HORROR NEWS, 0 comments
GAME REVIEW: Dead Island

GAME REVIEW: Dead Island

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By : John Roisland

For a while there I was pretty big into video games. But time gets away from ya, kids take over your consoles, etc. Dead Island was one of the last games I picked up for myself during that time frame. This was a title I had been waiting for!

Brought to us by the folks over at Techland and released in September of 2011, Dead Island brought RPG (role playing game) to life using the dead....or in this case, the undead. The basis, well...they're all pretty much the same aren't they...an outbreak.

This time, you're on a beautiful tropical island at a paradise resort. At the beginning of the game, you are given the option to choose your character, all of course having different strengths and weaknesses. I personally always played as Sam B: a gangster wrapper who gave the title track to the game, Who Do Your Voodoo Bitch. At one point I liked the song so much (lyrically) that I used it for my ring tone for a while.

You play through the game, meeting up with other survivors who ask you to complete different missions earning you more personal points. During your missions you will obviously encounter zombies, so you must arm your self with whatever you can find.  I always enjoyed a broken ore, or using a rusty street sign post. You are also given the option during points of play to make and use make-shift weapons.Also, finding enough spare parts, or bartering for items at the black market, you can also get vehicles running. Now, running over these dead beach bums, I will admit, is fun as hell!

The gameplay is okay, movement over all wasn't bad, graphics were pretty good, and the background scenery was actually very impressive! If you're like me, and you take your time, you can loot through almost everything you find: desk drawers, other peoples luggage, finding anything from batteries, to deodorant, to money. You learn quickly what you can use, and what you can't use.

The game is HUGE!!! Honestly, probably the biggest make I've ever seen.  Now I'm sure some 13 year old who flies through GTA (Grand Theft Auto) could finish this game during a pep rally at school... but like I said, I like to take my time and explore, and there were a lot of options to do so in this game!

Zombies do attack you, but in all honesty, it can be a slow moving game at many points. If you're wanting to run a muck and blow the heads off zombies as you would in Left For Dead, you're in for a rude awakening.  The game isn't bad, but I actually put it in for a replay about a month ago after not having played it in over 4 years, and was almost put to sleep twenty minutes into gameplay.

It's not a bad game, and I commend them on their attempt at bringing us the next best thing in zombie/horror games...but it just lacked a certain excitement. Sorry guys.

4/10

Keep It Evil

Posted by John Roisland in GAME REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
COMIC REVIEW: The Other Dead

COMIC REVIEW: The Other Dead

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By Nick Durham

Zombies are fucking everywhere. Movies, books, comics, video games, TV...they are literally everyfuckingwhere that you can think of. Saying that the zombie genre is super oversaturated is saying it lightly, but every now and then, we get a little something special within the genre that breathes just a little bit of life back into it. The Other Dead does just that. Published by IDW Publishing (responsible for numerous comic adaptations of Clive Barker works among others), The Other Dead is a unique and interesting take on the zombie apocalypse.

Based on an unused film treatment by Digger T. Mesch and scripted by Joshua Ortega (along with crediting Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles co-creator Kevin Eastman as a consultant for some reason); The Other Dead revolves around a zombie outbreak...except these zombies are of the animal variety. That's right, dead animals are returning from the dead and wrecking havoc on the human race. In the midst of all this, a Katrina-sized hurricane is about to hit (the story takes place in Louisiana), just as President Obama is getting ready to make a visit (yes, you read that right).

It should be noted that among the many characters featured in The Other Dead, Barack Obama plays a prominent role alongside a dickhead redneck and some annoying teenagers. Hell, even Dick Cheney makes in appearance in the book's hilarious opening pages. Make of all that whatever you will.

Anyway, there's a lot going on within the pages of The Other Dead. Interesting premise aside, it's really easy to lose track of what's going on in terms of plot points, etc. In fact, most of the characters are so blankly-written that we care little about them. Add to that some inane dialogue, and we get what should be a relative snoozefest...yet somehow it isn't necessarily. This is mainly due to the fact that the artwork from Qing Ping Mui is simply amazing. The linework and detail are beautiful and wonderfully flowing and worth the price of admission here alone. No seriously, check this out just for the artwork if nothing else.

So yeah, while The Other Dead has an intriguing premise, it isn't anything too special in the least. That aside, the artwork provided by Qing Ping Mui is so damn good that it's worth tracking this down for alone. As for the rest of what this book has to offer...well, it isn't much, but for die hard zombie fans looking for something a little different, this might be worth a look.

Rating: 3/5

 

Posted by Alan Smithee in BOOKS, COMICS, AND PUBLICATION REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
NO WAY OUT: The Walking Dead Returns

NO WAY OUT: The Walking Dead Returns

By Nicole Robinson

Negan's crew

*****SPOILERS INSIDE*****

Last night saw the return of The Walking Dead to AMC with No Way Out and it did not disappoint. When we last left Rick and friends at the end of the mid-season finale, things were looking pretty desperate. Surrounded by walkers, Rick, Jessie, her two sons Ron and Sam, Michonne, Carl, Judith, and Father Gabriel costumed themselves in sheets drenched in walker guts to attempt to escape the herd by walking through them to safety. The last scene showed us a foreshadowing of Sam’s big mouth and we were left screaming “SHUT UP!!!” as the credits rolled...

As Rick and friends make their way through the herd, the vast numbers of walkers bring about a change of plans for Rick. He decides to lead the living to the quarry, to get access to their vehicles. Jessie makes a very good point when she says the trip would be too hard to make quietly with Judith along, and Father Gabriel offers to take the baby back to the church. Rick hesitates, as the priest has proven to be anything but reliable, but agrees. Jessie asks him to take big mouth Sam with him as well but Sam pleads to go with her. In the worst parenting decision of the entire show (yes worse than Lori, go figure), she allows him to tag along.

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“No Way Out” gave us our moment of satisfaction as we watched Sam become a walker snack after a PTSD moment of remembering the conversation with Carol in the amory during the first half. He freezes and starts freaking out. Jessie pleads with him quietly to come on but he refuses. As he is eaten, they took away the satisfaction, as we watched his mother and Rick’s new squeeze, refuse to let go of Sam as the walkers ate him. This choice would cost her her life. The walkers swarmed her as she watched Sam being eaten alive. As she also refuse to let go of Carl’s hand, Rick chops hers off with an axe.

Just when you thought Rick’s day couldn’t get any worse, it does. Jessie’s oldest son, Ron, watches all of this go down and reaches his breaking point, pulling a gun on Rick in the middle of a herd while his mom and brother are being eaten. Michonne wastes no time in using her katanna to stab Ron through the heart much like she did to the Governor in season 4. Seems Rick owes Michonne for saving his life a second time.

No Way Out : Jessie and Sam

The action did not stop there. Michonne’s stab did not come fast enough to stop Ron from pulling the trigger and Carl got caught in the crossfire. He turns around to a truly frightened Rick to show his eye has been shot out as the bullet grazed his face, says “Dad….” And collapses. A paniced Rick scoops him up and he and Michonne make a mad dash for infirmary.

Having been saved by the Wolf and then Carol from the wolf, Denise is in the infirmary with others and sees Rick running towards her. She fights the panic attack setting in and starts shouting out the group she with to get the supplies and room ready. No time panic when Rick Grimes is expecting you to save his son’s life.

Rick watches helplessly for a few minutes as he watches Denise and friends try to save Carl’s life. Michonne stays right there in the mix helping until she sees Rick decide to take the entire mega herd on alone as a cooping mechinicism. Once Denise gives her the green light, Michonne, Heath, Carol, Tara, Rosita, Morgan, and the other Alexandrians all join Rick in the fight against the herd.

This scene is a huge moment for The Walking Dead. Rick has faced large amounts of opposition from the people of the community since arrival. Last night’s episode saw Rick and his group join forces with the people of Alexandria to defeat the herd. This was the first time we saw these two groups come together as one community and fight for survival. By doing so, these two groups became a true community and Rick earned his place as leader. A bond was formed between Rick and the Alexandrians in “No Way Out” and they are now a part of his family.

Another important event happened last night. The beginning of the end of Daryl Dixon.

No Way Out: Daryl meets Negans crew

After being on a Daryl diet since the death of Beth in season 5, the knight in shiny redneck armor is back in full force. Not only did Daryl save the community by using the gas tank to set the lake on fire using his brand new toy, a rocket launcher (I see an action figure coming), but he also used that killer rocket launcher to blow up the biker gang that stopped him, Sasha and Abraham at the end of the mid season finale. Rocket Launchers are fun and Daryl really likes to blow things up, remember the tank?

On paper and in the moment, using a Rocket Launcher to defeat one’s enimies seems like a great idea. Sadly, there is one lesson that comes with watching a show like The Walking Dead, everything comes back to haunt you. This episode showed us just how much that theme is playing out in season 6. Carol’s threats to Sam. Jessie allowing Sam to tag along. Morgan coming face to face with the Wolf Walker. Daryl blowing up several members of Negan’s biker gang is bound to have consequences later.

No Way Out Daryl saves the day

We have not met the character of Negan yet on the show. Comic readers know that Negan is coming and they know that he is force to be reckoned with. There is no doubt that by the end of the season the audience will be meeting the infamous villian that weilds a barb wired covered baseball bat named Lucille. She is his one and only true love and Lucille is thirsty.

There is very little that can be said about Negan and upcoming events without giving spoilers. Comic readers understand why the rocket launcher will come back to haunt Daryl Dixon. Negan is not the type to just forget that his men were blown up and he will want revenge. Out of respect for those who do not read the comics, the rest will have to remain a mystery….. for now.

Last night’s No Way Out was by far one of the best episodes of the series and left viewers ready for more. The second half is going to be full of surprises. It is obvious the writer’s are building up to a big moment for finale and no doubt the introduction of Negan and the biker gang known as the Saviors. Stay tuned Dead Heads. Things are just getting started.

Posted by Alan Smithee in COMING SOON, HORROR NEWS, 0 comments
WOMEN IN HORROR MONTH : Author Nicolajayne Taylor

WOMEN IN HORROR MONTH : Author Nicolajayne Taylor

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By : John Roisland

 

In celebration of Women In Horror Month, I bring to you a national best selling author, Nicolajayne Taylor. The lovely and talent Taylor resides in  Lancashire, England, where  she brings to the world , dark erotic stories that will surely keep haunting  the back of your mind for some time after reading her work . I had the pleasure of speaking with Author Nicolajayne Taylor, who goes by Enjay, amongst family and friends, and this is what she had to say after being nominated one of our Women In Horror Month recipients ...

HoTS : Enjay , congrats on being selected as one of the "Women In Horror Month"  by House of Tortured Souls, what does something like this mean to you?

Enjay :  Women in Horror month, means a lot to me, being one of them. Carmilla Voiez, my friend, horror author, feminist and editor has educated me in all of these areas since getting into the industry. She is my idol on these subjects too. We are starting to appreciate that not all women want to wear pink, get their hair and nails done or read romance novels. That age, is gone and more women than ever are reading, writing, watching and game playing the genre. This is a great thing, it mean the conversations between the genders has widened and we are more on a level with one another than ever before.

HoTS :  AT what age did you pen your first story, that made you decide that this was your calling?

Enjay : I have been writing stories since I was a child. I didn’t take it seriously until my mother died and I felt at a complete loss as to what to do with myself. I poured my emotions on to the laptop and began writing The Curse of Mary. My friend and co-author Carmilla invited me to sub to an anthology and I did. Again not really taking it seriously, then my story The Fallen Ones was accepted and that was when it hit me, my mother always said I should be a writer and I was writing because of my mother and why shouldn’t I take her advice after death. It was then I subbed the novel, landing me with a three year contract with Vamptasy one of the leading US independent publishing houses. My debut sub was to become a debut success and The Curse of Mary hit bestsellers within the first 24 hours and stayed that way for over six weeks.

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HoTS :  Of all topics in the world to write about, why horror?

Enjay : I have a deep set interest in the paranormal side of life, death and of course horror. I also love history and you can’t do history without running into a ghost story. I think it add to the romance of what I write about because you can’t have the hardcore without having the softer elements in the mix. Otherwise the harder to swallow elements lose something.

HoTS :  What is it that inspires you, where does most of your thoughts, your creativity come from?

Enjay : I have already mention history, but most comes from years of reading, watching and playing the genre. I also find humanity can be more horrific than any horror creator can articulate, draw or film.   Look around you and the stories that don’t make the news should keep you awake a night, I write horror to make people think. The Curse of Mary is about greed and selfishness in its most pure form. It is also about having the strength to survive those atrocities too.

HoTS :  So tell us what we can expect in the future of Enjay Taylor?

Enjay : I am back with Vamptasy and three more books are in the process of being signed to the label. These are all horror with a smiting of erotica slid in there because it is the most natural way for me to write. You can’t write about graphic violence or supernatural forces wreaking havoc here and then play shy when it comes to your characters sex lives.

HoTS :  Who is your favorite horror character?

Enjay : Graham Masterton by far, his books, are my horror haven. I will send him the link to this in the hope he will appreciate the shout out.   Carmilla Voiez is another favorite , her books are like the darkest poetic script you will ever read. Starblood, Basement Beauty and her Halloween specials are to die for. Barbra Erskine for the perfect ghost story and history trip is another must read.

HoTS :  Lastly, what is your all time favorite horror story and movie?

Horror story, House of Echos by Barbra Erskine is fantastic but you can only read it once. After you know the ending, it blows you away and doesn’t make the same impact the second time around.

Graham Masterton’s Anthologies are always a pleasure to read. I love the one featuring Tengu, Devils of D day, Mirrors and Night Plague.

Movies, hmm… tough one I am going to say The Haunting, Poltergeist and any of the Freddie Nightmare on Elm Street movies.

Nicolajayne Taylor, Enjay, thank you so much for your time, it has been a true pleasure , and again, on behalf of House of Tortured Souls.com , congratulations on being a huge part of Women In Horror Month!

 

Keep It Evil

Posted by John Roisland in STAFF PICKS, WOMEN IN HORROR, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2016)

MOVIE REVIEW: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2016)

By Dixielord 

You can't deny how hot zombies are right now, but apparently they were a thing in 19th century England as well. At least according to the new film Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, or PP&Z for short is based on the novel of the same name written by Seth Grahame-Smith. This was, of course based on the classic novel by Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice. The movie, directed by Burr Stevens, is, like the book, considered a “mash up” of classic literature (that is in the public domain) and elements of horror.

The book was both a critical and commercial success, and with the popularity of zombies, spurred on in large part by The Walking Dead, a movie was inevitable. With all this the film was delayed, and many began to think I would never see the light of day. But it is here, in theaters, and I loved it!

 

The cast of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

The cast of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

I'll admit I was worried. The trailer looked good, the poster was stunning, but still I feared it might be cheapo fluff designed only to ride the coattails of the zombie wave. What I got instead was a fun, beautiful film that reminded me a lot of the classic Hammer films, shot with modern equipment and effects. I love period pieces, and this fit the bill. The costumes were stunning, and the dialogue was near perfect. You could have removed the zombies and still had a wonderful romantic movie, with intrigue and action..

Lilly James and Sam Riley in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

Lilly James and Sam Riley in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

Lilly James, as Elizabeth Bennett, and Sam Riley as Darcy were perfect. I especially loved the playful duel between the two. The fact that Elizabeth's top was torn partially open had no bearing on my enjoyment. OK it had a little (a lot) but it is what it is. Riley was sufficiently severe and hard as Darcy, and it was fun watching his resolve break as he fell hopelessly in love with Elizabeth. For Dr.Who fans, Matt Smith is hilarious as Mr. Collins (Parson Collins). Pride and Prejudice and Zombies has a great cast overall. Joining James, Riley and Matt Smith are Lena Heady and Charles Dance, both well known from Game of Thrones, and Jack Huston as the dastardly Mr. Wickham.

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You have the right to bear arms, and legs, in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

I guess if there's a down side, it will be that it's a bit lite in the actual “horror” element. Hard core horror fans might not like it, and a lot may not even give it a chance. But remember this was meant more as a comedy than hard core horror. And it's a romantic horror comedy, and it's fairly unique. Far less serious than the similarly themed Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, but more serious, mostly, than Shaun of the Dead.

That's not to say it's completely without horror. It's not as gut munchy as a Romero film, or even The Walking Dead, but it has it's moments of suspense. That and the zombie effects are decent at times. Once again not as “real” as the Walking Dead, and it appears most of the zombies are heavily CGI created, but some are effective. Especially the zombie mother and child. Yes it's been done before but it strikes a chilling, suspenseful tone in PP&Z.

Zombie mom and baby in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

It's a family affair in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

If anything Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is a great date movie for horror fans. Especially if your girl, or guy isn't really into hard core horror films, or maybe they are just a The Walking Dead fan. And hey, you can put some class in your act!

I really enjoyed Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. I enjoyed the comedic moments, I enjoyed the romance, and I enjoyed the 19th century setting. I give it an 8 out of 10 over all, with a special mention 10 out of 10 for Lilly James heaving cleavage in the dueling scene (Come on did you expect any more from me?) Give PP&Z a chance, and I think you might like it as well.

Posted by Allen Alberson in MONSTERS AND CREATURES, MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, ZOMBIES, 0 comments
INTERVIEW:  John Campbell – The Creature Feature

INTERVIEW: John Campbell – The Creature Feature

By Machete Von Kill
The Creature Feature John Campbell. Photo Credit: Kimm Buchmann

The Creature Feature John Campbell. Photo Credit: Kimm Buchmann

John Campbell, professional wrestler, Imperial Wrestling Entertainment owner, YouTube show host, horror fan, and all around crazy (in the fun way, not the restraining order, fear for your life way) guy, recently took some time out of his hectic schedule to sit down and tell me what he's up to. It's up to me to make you care. LOL!

I met this very interesting dude several years ago at an independent wrestling show, for a company I also ended up working for. My relationship with said company didn't last, but my friendship/fanship with John has continued. I've had the privilege to watch him develop and grow in the ring and out of the ring. We've gone on multi-state wrestling road trips, hung out with big names in the wrestling business, and we've shared some pretty intense moments on paranormal investigations. He continues to blow my mind with his massive horror knowledge, in ring and mic skill, determination in all areas of life, and the fact that no matter how big his hype gets, he's the same down to earth guy that he was when I met him years ago.

 

House of Tortured Souls: Okay, so first pretend we aren't friends in the real world and tell me about your wrestling career. When you started, highlights and so on.

John Campbell: Okay, that's fine. You know me, I'm not very formal. (laughs) My career. Well, where do I begin with that? Well I started in the summer of 2006. I always wanted to be a pro wrestler, ever since I was a little kid. One day I just decided to go for it. So I went out, found a wrestling school, and started training. That's how I started, now as far as things after that, well I've had plenty of ups and downs. I'll focus more on the ups. I have been fortunate to wrestle for some of the best independent promotions in the Midwest. I've been in the ring with legends like Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Road Dogg Jesse James, and Al Snow. I've also learned from many veterans, and now I try to help as many of the young guys as I can, like other people in my position helped me when I first started.

 

HoTS: I remember back in the Myspace days, you had a link for a horror movie that you were in. I just don't recall the specifics. Can you tell me about that?

JC: Yes. There was a local guy who liked to film horror movies. They weren't masterpieces or anything, but they were fun to watch. Anyway, the guy saw some of my wrestling stuff through a mutual friend and thought that I would be a good fit for one of the roles. I auditioned and beat out a few other candidates. The shoot was only a couple of days, and it was mostly sitting around while the make up artist applied the necessary gore, but it was a lot of fun and turned out not too shabby. It was called Haunted where myself and my on screen girlfriend go to a haunted house and I end up dying. It's a fun cheesefest. (*Note: I looked high and low for the video, but was unable to find it. If you happen to, please post a link in the comments)

 

HoTS: Would you do it again? Is acting something you'd like to get into? You already do a certain amount every time you walk out from behind the curtain.

JC: Yes, I'd love to do more acting. That would be a ton of fun.

 

HoTS: A modern day Rowdy Roddy Piper? (laughs)

JC: Maybe, although nobody could ever fill those shoes!

 

HoTS: No doubt. besides, your own shoes are pretty rad in their own right. What was the first horror movie you ever saw?

JC: I could actually use a new pair of shoes! As far as the first horror movie I remember seeing, it was either Frankenstein, or The Bride of Frankenstein. I was really young, but I remember my toddler brain thinking the monster was really cool looking!

 

HoTS: Ah the classics! I love those. Good times. Did it scare you at all or were just totally into the coolness of the monster?

JC: I don't think I was old enough to really comprehend that it was a horror movie. I was really young, I know it didn't scare me though. In fact, for a long time after I would watch the The Munsters thinking it was the same thing. I grew up with that family more than my own!

 

HoTS: Has there ever been one that has scared you? One that still scares you?

JC: I was probably way too young to be watching The Exorcist. That scared me as a youngster. As far as movies that scare me today, there aren't really many. I'll admit that lump scares get me once in awhile while I'm in the theater though!

 

HoTS: The theater is a totally different atmosphere to watch horror movies in than your living room though right? I mean you kind of feed off of, and are influenced by everyone else's energy/fear. Not to mention the sound system. (laughs) The volume alone has made me jump more than a few times.

JC: Definitely! It's 90% loud noise, which makes for an awesome theater experience, but a lousy watch later on DVD if that's all the movie relies on.

 

HoTS: Very true. Do you have a favorite horror movie or franchise? What about a least favorite?

JC: I'd say my favorite franchise would be the Friday the 13th series. Jason is my bro! As far as least favorite, does the Scary Movie series count? The only one of those I liked was the one with Leslie Nielsen, because you know... Leslie Nielsen.

 

HoTS: Which Friday the 13th is your favorite? And which Jason is your favorite?

JC: I can't pick just one. I enjoy the first four the best, just because you can watch them back to back continuously and keep pretty good continuity.

 

HoTS: What about actor behind the mask, do you have a preference to who is playing Jason?

JC: It's weird, my favorite Jason is Kane Hodder, but he isn't in my favorite movies of the series, if that makes any sense. Kane is good though. He plays Jason as a more brooding figure. Jason became a "zombie" in part six, but the actor in part six still played him as any other actor would. When Kane took over in part 7, he played him how he should. Slower, brooding, more methodical. Perfect for undead Jason.

 

HoTS: And he's my boyfriend. He just doesn't know it. LOL. Kane is amazing. The way he, as Jason, looks at a victim before he kills them is enough to make you terrified. Have you watched much of Kane's work outside of the Friday the 13th movies?

JC: Yes I have. I enjoyed Hatchet very much. I'm a slasher fan.

 

HoTS: Any other sub-genres that you like?

JC: Depends on my mood really, but I dig a lot of cheesy 80s slashers and zombie films the most.

 

HoTS: Any favorites from the new generation of horror?

JC: I liked Hatchet. I also saw a movie not too long ago called the The Taking of Deborah Logan that was really good, as well.

 

HoTS: I haven't seen that one yet. I will have to check it out. How do you feel about the found footage movies? Personally, I can't stand them, but they seem to be pretty popular.

JC: The Taking of Deborah Logan is a mockumentary/found footage film. I think when they're done right, they can be really good. As long as the camera doesn't look seizure-like and you can tell what's going on. I just saw The Visit and that was shot documentary style. I really enjoyed it. Not scary really, but just the right amount of atmosphere to make it good.

 

HoTS: How do you feel about reboots? Sacrilege, crap, or is it a movie by movie basis sort of thing?

JC: I don't like it, but if it can do the original movie justice or continue the story of the series, I don't see them necessarily being a bad thing. The only problem is that so far they've all been terrible.

 

HoTS: Is there one that in your opinion has been the worst reboot?

JC: Rob Zombie's Halloween II was pretty rotten. I also hated the Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street remakes.

 

HoTS: I have to agree with you on those. Though I still refuse to watch the Nightmare remake.

JC: Stay as far away from it as you can!

 

HoTS: Are there any that you would actually like to see rebooted?

JC: I'd like to see another legit sequel to The Re-Animator.

 

HoTS: Oooh!! That's actually a really good idea! How do you feel about the “vs” movies. There is some talk of doing another Freddy vs Jason, Freddy vs Jason vs Ash, etc.

JC: I think it's cool to see characters from different franchises together in the same movie. I'm all for it, if they have a competent director, who's well versed with the characters and the stories. Ronnie Yu, who directed Freddy Vs Jason wasn't a fan of either series, so that's why that movie fell flat in my opinion.

 

HoTS: It had the potential to be great. I think you nailed it though, the director needs to get it. With the similarities between pro wrestling and stunt work in movies, do you find yourself to be more of a fan of stuntmen rather than the leading man type of actor?

JC: You definitely have to have both. Without a charismatic character, you have no story to get into. It goes hand in hand in my opinion.

 

HoTS: Agreed. Tell me about your new gimmick.

JC: My new gimmick is me turned up to 100. Pro wrestling meets Punk Rock meets horror movie character. It's a lot of fun.

The Creature Feature in action. Don't try this at home, kids!

The Creature Feature in action. Don't try this at home, kids! Photo Credit: Kimm Buchmann

 

HoTS: The Creature Feature, right?

JC: Yes ma'am

 

HoTS: And how long have you been wrestling as that persona?

JC: I've been doing The Creature Feature persona since the beginning portion of this year. The fans have really taken to it.

 

HoTS: Now are you working as a heel or a face or does it really depend on the company you are working for?

JC: Face actually. Think of Cactus Jack when he was a face. Crazy as hell, but a fan favorite

 

HoTS: Yes! One of my personal faves. Now you've recently started doing a podcast, right? Can you tell me about that?

JC: I actually haven't been doing a podcast. I did a few years ago, but that's been defunct for awhile. I have started a YouTube show though. The Creature's Features. It's a throwback to the old horror host shows with pro wrestling thrown into the mix. I'm hoping to do it as a regular thing.

 

HoTS: Nice! That's cooler than a podcast anyway. How many episodes have you posted? Are you showing old movies too?

JC: The first episode debuted over Memorial Day weekend. Due to copyrights we can only show flicks in the public domain. There's a lot of great movies that have slipped through the cracks trough, and I believe they deserve to be highlighted.

 

HoTS: Glad to see you are respecting copyrights though. So many don't. They usually end up being sued, but still a little respect and research, you can avoid the mess and being labeled as a thief. Bravo.
JC: Absolutely. That and I wouldn't want my channel to get shut down. No thank you.

 

HoTS: Truth! What else are is in the works for John Campbell?
JC: More episodes of The Creature's Features, more wrestling, and only God, Satan, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster knows what else! I just wanna keep entertaining people with what I do.

 

HoTS: Okay, here's your just for fun question, cast your dream horror movie. Who's in it, where would you film it, and what's the storyline?

JC: Hmm. Maybe not a movie, but a series. I'd like to see Ash Williams, Tommy Jarvis, and Herbert West go on Scooby Doo type mysteries, all the while running into different villains from different franchises (Jason, Freddy, Michael Myers, etc).

 

HoTS: I'd watch that. Thanks for taking the time to sit down with me. Where can people reading this article check out IWE and your other projects?

JC: Thank you! We're on YouTube, numerous cable channels around the country, ROKU via the Indie Wrestling Channel and Facebook. We film our live shows in the MAC TV Studios in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan.

Posted by Alan Smithee in INTERVIEWS, 0 comments

NIGHT THINGS: Dracula VS. Frankenstein

By Tracy Crockett NIGHT THINGS

Let me get straight to the point I can't even begin to tell you how many tales I've read from author Terry M. West. I can say that I have yet to read something that I didn't enjoy. Sure some better than others and some stand out in such an over saturated field that is known as the horror authors world.

West is no stranger to the expectations laid upon himself as he's dabbled behind and in front of a camera. So it's safe to say he does his research. NIGHT THINGS is no exception.

Local independent horror smut film director Gary Hack has a unique job in a unique world. In a time where worlds and times collide you have 2 sides to choose from. But make sure you decide the right one.

On one hand you have, what are known as the Night Things led by the ultimate night thing, the one and only Dracula himself and the other by the mysterious New York crime boss, Johnny Stücke (the creation of Frankenstein) wants to keep the peace between the Night. Once as close as brothers but now sworn enemies the ultimate showdown below the streets of New York is at play.
 

Based off the famous stories of the two monsters you're also introduced to every creature of legend we've grown up reading about. Vampires, werewolves, zombies and ghouls are now the new inhabitants of these odd times. They have become part of the system.

Based off his Magic Now story West offers up one of the most fun reads I've had in years. While reading West helps paint a visual in your eyes. One as if you were watching Nightbreed or Monster Squad. Intertwining all these different stand alone characters is a precise exercise and he nailed it. His nods to the genre, most noted the additional of Dr. Herbert West. I found myself giggling like a school girl when i was introduced to that character.

As I've said this is such a perfect read. Terry's diversity shows he's a force to remember. I cannot recommend enough to go pre order NIGHT THINGS and prepare for something you'll fall in love with and revisit several times....I'm anxious to see where this leads.

Posted by Alan Smithee in BOOKS, COMICS, AND PUBLICATION REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
Urban Legend: Squidward’s Suicide

Urban Legend: Squidward’s Suicide

Squidwards Suicide

 

Squidward's Suicide and Red Mist

By Margeaux Lauren

Originally a Creepypasta story, Squidward's Suicide did not take long to reach urban legend status. For those of you who don't know, a Creepypasta is a horror story written online to strike fear into its readers. It is basically the new wave of campfire tales.

There are different types of Creepypastas like entities, paranormal, killers, locations, and lost episodes. Squidward's Suicide/Red Mist fall into the category of lost episodes.  Squidward's Suicide was the first of the two stories and was written from the point of view of an intern at Nickelodeon studios. Red Mist is sort of a sequel/retelling that cleans up the unknown part of the story. In my opinion the story is better without Red Mist.

The Urban Legend Squidward's Suicide

The story takes place in 2005 and is a story told by a former intern of Nickelodeon studios. He was working along side the editor one day when a video came in that would change his life. It was supposed to be an episode of Spongebob Squarepants, but what they got was a horror show. The begining of the episode starts off like a normal episode with Squidward trying to play clarinet while Spogebob and Patrick are running hijinks outside.  After Squidward asks them to knock it off things start to change. Characters in the audience at his concert are drawn with hyper realistic eyes, the audio cuts off and suddenly begins again with the sound of wind through a forest. Intense focused shots of Squidward have spliced in pictures of mutilated dead children. That's right, mutilated dead children. Read all the gritty story details here.

The Urban Legend Red Mist

The Red Mist story goes almost the same as the original Squidward's Suicide tale. Instead of Spongebob and Patrick interrupting Squidward's playing it is a Scottish sales-fish. Squidward slams the door in his face and the fish knocks again with an ominous warning that the red mist is coming. I believe the point of this Scottish sales-fish is to lend an answer to a tale that was better off without one. At the end of the retelling the writer of the Red Mist reports that a man named Andrew Skinner was the maker of the episode. Skinner is allegedly a disgruntled animator from Scotland who is also the one who killed the kids in the video. He is supposedly in jail for child murder. The end of the story also accuses the writer of Squidward's Suicide of making a copy of the tape and trying to distribute the film through online auction websites. --So whoever wrote the Red Mist hates loose ends that were designed to add to a stories mystery and has some jerk grudge against the original story teller? Honestly I hate the Red Mist.-- If you have the desire to read the retelling and bow tying you can find it here.

It's not hard to see how this Creepypasta became an urban legend, it  has all the great elements for a lasting story. Spongebob Squarepants has been on the air since 1999. As of this writing that is 16 years. That allows for a larger audience to be captured by the urban legend. The original story leaves off with a bunch of questions that could have been open to debate. --Again another reason why I hate Red Mist-- To those who say a Creepypasta can not be an urban legend I say this to you - what is so different once the story has been circulated enough that it has people asking if it is real or not.

Posted by Alan Smithee in ABNORMAL MUSINGS AND FREAKISH FACTS, 2 comments
Coming Soon: The Purge: Election Year

Coming Soon: The Purge: Election Year

Coming Soon
The Purge: Election Year
(aka The Purge 3)

the-purge-3

By Woofer McWooferson

Writer and Director: James DeMonaco; Stars: Elizabeth Mitchell, Frank Grillo, Mykelti Williamson; Rating: Unk; Run Time: Unk; Genre: Action, Horror, Sci-Fi; Country: USA; Language: English; Year: 2016

The third Purge film from Blumhouse Productions and Universal Pictures will hit theaters on July 1, 2016, and the new trailer has just been released. Written and directed by James DeMonaco, The Purge: Election Year is set two years after The Purge: Anarchy and finds Leo Barnes (Frank Grillo reprising his role from the second film) now working as security head for Senator Charlie Roan (Elizabeth Mitchell) the only member of her family to survive a purge when she was a child. When Leo and Senator Roan are stranded outside on the night of the annual purge (by someone who takes exception to the senator's run for president), Leo must keep Charlie alive for the 12 hour free for all that is The Purge.

The Purge franchise taps into very basic human urges – revenge, acquisition, and destruction – and has become wildly popular as a result. While the first film, The Purge, focused on one family attempting to survive the night and took place almost entirely inside their fortress-like home, the second film focused on showing The Purge at street level and one man's quest to purge someone from his life. This installment moves back and forth between a breached fortress and street survival.

The Purge

The Purge

All signs point to another fun romp as bullets fly, vehicles crash, and buildings burn, magnifying the action, tension, and horror of the first two films. The Purge: Election Year also stars Joseph Julian Soria (Do You Believe?), Mykelti Williamson (24), and Edwin Hodge (As Above So Below).

The Purge: Anarchy

The Purge: Anarchy

 

Check out the trailer and tell House of Tortured Souls what you think. Are you excited or is this one purge too many?

Posted by Alan Smithee in HORROR NEWS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Horsehead (2014)

MOVIE REVIEW: Horsehead (2014)

By Amy Mead

Horsehead movie poster

Directed by Romain Bassett

Starring Lily Fleur-Pointeaux, Catriona MacColl, and Murray Head

All her life Jessica has been plagued by strange and peculiar nightmares that terrify her. These unsettling nightmares have led her to study the science behind dreams in an effort to understand her own.

One night she receives a call from her mother who tells her that the grandmother she barely knew has passed away and asks her to come home for the funeral. Upon Jessica's arrival at the family home, it quickly becomes apparent that the relationship between the two woman is strained and distant. She is much closer to her stepfather, who seems genuinely happy to see her, much to her mother's chagrin.

After a long and restless first night in a room next to her dead grandmother's, Jessica suddenly becomes quite ill and wrestles with a raging fever. Jessica decides to use this to her advantage and attempts lucid dreaming for her studies. Using ether as an aid to go deeper into her dream state, Jessica is soon immersed in a bizarre world where there are different versions of the people in her family and before long a mystery presents itself...

Beautifully shot, bold, and extremely artsy, the real star of Horsehead is the cinematography and although it is very visually pleasing, the film will most likely not be remembered for much other than that. Even with repeated viewings, the film makes little sense and is more than slightly confusing.

I didn't hate the film, but I tried very desperately to like it. In spite of the appearance of one of my personal genre favorites, the lovely Catrionna MacColl (whose performance was of course thrilling to watch for a Fulci fan like myself), I was left wanting more out of this story. Much more. There was plenty more there, it just wasn't played out to its fullest. 

Although the creep factor is high and there are some definite nightmarish qualities, it just seemed incomplete and unfinished. Additionally, too much of the focus was placed on the visual aspects of the film, which harken back to days of Italian master Dario Argento, and not enough emphasis on the twisted story line, which actually had a great amount of potential. 

There are a few horror films already in existence involving nightmares but none like the potential Horsehead had going for it. HAD. Unfortunately it appears that all that potential was forced into the back seat by the intense visuals, and we are left with quite a literal narrative rather than being able to extract the films themes of shame, guilt, and regret for ourselves. 

While not one of my favorite recent horror films, I do recommend it, if only for the stunning visuals and the rather fitting soundtrack which seems as though it was made just for the film and works extremely well with it. However, if you are someone looking for a complete package in a film, you may want to sit this one out. Sadly, Horsehead is a film that prides itself on being much smarter than it really is and it disappoints in that aspect.  

 

Posted by Alan Smithee in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
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