Allen Alberson

Top Five Films to Watch in October (Part 3)

Top Five Films to Watch in October (Part 3)

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Staff Pick October 2016

By Dixielord

Halloween is upon us. Halloween a time of trick or treats, bright costumes, women dressed in sexy attire and of course, The Great Pumpkin. But Halloween is an ancient celebration, and it wasn't always so happy and cheerful. Halloween was the harvest festival. Leaves were falling, plants dying, the days were getting shorter and the nights longer. And there was something lurking in those nights. Death. As winter approached, so did hardships, cold, lack of food and always on the periphery, death waited for the weak.

Halloween was a time when the veil between living and dead was particularly weak. A time when the people appeased the spirits, or tricked them, in order to hopefully survive the coming winter. Winters no longer hold the same dread as they once did, thus Halloween has lost some of its power. But we still celebrate, and when the air first starts to chill, sometimes, we can feel a little of that old fear that’s imprinted in our souls.

So when I was asked to pick my five favorite films for Halloween viewing, I wanted my list to reflect those old fears. I wanted movies that held some fear, movies of the supernatural. Also I wanted movies that “felt” like Halloween, or at least the fall and encroaching winter. So I made some rules, for one, no zombies. Zombies, as we think of them now, are a modern creation, and honestly they aren't very scary anymore. So sorry Walking Dead and/or Romero fans, no zombies. No slashers. Slashers for the most part aren't supernatural or at least didn't start that way, and again, they aren't that scary. Rule three, I wanted films that were scary and supernatural. No comedies or serial killers (see the last rule). So, with that in mind, I bring you my picks for Halloween viewing.

The Legend of Hell House (1973)

Long before Paranormal Activity there was a movie about a supernatural investigation that was actually scary. That movie, The Legend of Hell House, is hands down the best haunted house movie of all time. It's a movie that has stood the test of time and, over 40 years later, it is still scary, creepy and a perfect movie for the Halloween season. The movie, based on the book Hell House by Richard Mattheson, revolves around four investigators paid to investigate the possibility of life after death. To do this they prepare to stay a week in the Belasco House, reputed to be the most haunted place on earth and referred to as Hell House. The house is indeed haunted and doesn't take well to the interlopers.

What you don't see is more frightening than what you do see in Hell House. There are no rotting demonic figures or floating CGI ghosts. But unlike Paranormal Activity, it isn't an hour of nothing but the occasional moving chair and table. There's real horror in Hell House, and we see that through the reactions of the cast. No silly CGI, no jump scares, just a creepy vibe, excellent acting, and disconcerting sound effects. That's what makes it such a great film for Halloween. There's a real sense of menace and doom throughout the movie. This isn't a tongue in cheek, laugh at itself movie. This is a horror movie, and you can almost feel that it's set in the Halloween season. The Legend of Hell House stars the legendary Roddy McDowall (Planet of the Apes), Pamela Franklin, Clive Revill, and Gayle Hunnicutt and was directed by John Hough (Twins of Evil).

The Wolf Man (1941)

With my second pick we go back to the Universal Classics and The Wolf Man. Long before vampires sparkled and werewolves were emo boy toys, there was Larry Talbot and his wolf. The moonlit, mist shrouded English moors are the perfect setting for a Halloween movie. And if you remember the poem, the werewolf transformed not under the full moon, but under the autumn moon. “Even a man who is pure at heart, and says his prayers by night, may become a wolf, when the wolfs-bane blooms, and the autumn moon is bright."

The Wolf Man may seem dated in a lot of ways, and, hey, it was only released in 1941. But watching it today, late at night, alone, with the lights low, that howl can still send a chill down your spine. The Wolf Man starred Claude Raines, Ralph Bellamy, Bela Lugosi and the legendary Lon Chaney Jr.

The Wicker Man (1973)

Okay, so there's no actual supernatural element in Robin Hardy's classic horror tale, but it still is a must see for Halloween viewing. The film stars Edward Woodward as Sgt. Howie, a stern, yet devout police officer and Christian. He answers a call for assistance to a small Island off the coast of Britain. There his investigation leads to paganism, murder and ritual sacrifice. It also stars the legendary Christopher Lee in a role he has called one of his favorites.

The Wicker man Bees, fair use polciy

Not the remake, Oh God, not the remake.

So why is this a film for Halloween? Especially since I mentioned wanted films dealing with the supernatural. Well for starters, The Wicker Man is all about the old traditions – sacrificing in hopes for a bountiful harvest. The movie is set on (and just before) May Day but you have a similar feel to harvest festivals and their traditional trappings. The biggest difference being May Day is more focused on rebirth where Harvest is on death. Plus the location, off the coast of Britain is very near where Halloween is thought to have originated. The end of the film is what horror movies should be, unrepentant, disturbing and brutal.

The Lords of Salem (2012)

Okay, time to send hate mail to Dixie. I'm not going to sit here and try and convince you this is a great movie. I wont even go so far as to say it's Rob Zombie's best movie. However, it is Rob's best film for the Halloween season. While I don't hate his take on the classic Halloween, his movie has little to do with the season other than surface trappings like masks and pumpkins. To me it never had a Halloween or even an autumn feel. Lords of Salem has that feel. Watching it I can almost feel the chill in the air.

The more I watch Lords of Salem the more I find I like it. Yes, it's slow and the plot can be confusing, but Rob tends to pay more attention to style and visual than to plot. Just listen to the eerie and unsettling musical score. It puts you into a state of unease early on and never lets you off till the ending crescendo. Plus it's about witches and witchcraft, with goats and weird creatures and nightmares and murder. It's Halloween for Gods sake.

Okay, yeah, just post your hate mail in the comments.

The Witch (2015)

I really had a hard time with the fifth choice. So many movies over so many years, so many choices before I finally settled on The Witch. It's the most recent film on my list, and possibly the second most controversial. It's a super slow burn, but really so is every film on my list with the possible exception of the The Wolf Man.

Black Phillip from The Witch Fair Use Policyh

Black Phillip from The Witch

Set somewhere in New England in Puritan times, The Witch details one family's fight against the forces of Satan. Or possibly insanity. The Witch definitely wont be for everyone with it's pace and at times almost indecipherable Puritan dialect. But it's a great film for adults on Halloween. The true star of the show, the goat Black Phillip, is near iconic already, and let's not even talk about those creepy ass kids. Like the other selections The Witch unsettles the viewers from the first images on the screen, and never lets up, even when the pace seems plodding.

So that's it. My list of five films for Halloween viewing. I hope you like them, or at least give them a chance.

Posted by Allen Alberson in STAFF PICKS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Plank Face (2016)

MOVIE REVIEW: Plank Face (2016)

By Dixielord

Plank Face is the story of Max (Nathan Barrett), a seemingly normal guy with a dark past. While out camping with his girlfriend Stacy (Ellie Church), he kills a rapist and is then captured by a feral family. He is tortured and sexually abused by the clan as they prepare him to be their new leader and provider. Forced to wear the wooden “plank face” of their dying leader, Max is given the choice to abandon his old life or die. And it's a choice that maybe isn't as hard to make as it seems.

Plank Face movie scene fair use doctrine

Plank Face

Bandit Motion Pictures has quickly gained a reputation for putting out original films. They also have the rep of making films that twist the normal horror tropes. That rep won't take a hit with Plank Face. It's a lot bloodier than their previous film Harvest Lake, which wasn't a shocker considering the story. However, I was a bit shocked to find it's a much more sexual film than Harvest Lake. Or at least the sex reaches out and grabs you harder than Harvest Lake.

Director Shirmer has never shied away from non traditional, uncomfortable and even transgressive sex in his films. Plank Face takes it to another plane. In a time and culture where the presence of rape in films is becoming more controversial, he takes rape and twists it, showcasing female on male rape. In doing so he twists the normal horror trope of the female captured for breeding on its head. Max is no damsel in distress, captured to bear young. He's a strong violent man with bloody tendencies, captured to sire a new generation of cannibals. That, in itself, is a fresh twist on the normal inbreed hillbilly horror.

There's very little dialogue in Plank Face other than grunts, and the cannibals’ twisted version of English. We learn whats up with the cannibals in much the same way as Max, by reading their gestures and body language. Not having everything spelled out or explained might seem annoying but it adds to the immersion, and by the end you find yourself understanding more and more of the feral words. Which isn't always comfortable.

I won't spoil the ending, but I will say, it's not what you usually expect. You will probably see the final “confrontation” coming from early on, but it's still shocking and bloody. Plank Face is a film that will please the fans of Bandit Motion Pictures, and it stands as a good example of an American cannibal movie. While it might not have been as good as Bone Tomahawk, I enjoyed it much more than the over hyped and much bigger budgeted The Green Inferno.

It's not a perfect film, but very few, if any, are. There are small things I didn't like, or didn't seem to work as well, but they were small and I think most can be contributed to budget concerns. While the acting of the leads was effective, especially considering the lack of dialogue (and clothes). Some of the extras came off as forced. But those scenes were a momentary distraction and wont hurt Plank Face overall. It's all compensated for by the main cast, performing with little speech, sometimes with their faces covered, really forcing them to act, and Plank Face is a film that forces them to act. With all it's gore, sex, violence and nudity there is still a story to convey.

While Plank Face will please a lot of fans, it's not a movie for everyone. It's got tons of nudity, full frontal, female and male (ripping another common horror gimmick of only having female nudity). There are multiple scenes of rape, male on female and female on male, as well as scenes of consensual sex (not considering it as a result of Stockholm Syndrome, which I think some scenes could be blamed on SS, others not, but I won't go into reasons here. Comment if you want to discuss it). Plank Face also features explicit scenes of violence, gore, and cannibalism. People who can't handle these images should stay far away. Especially those unable to deal with the depiction of sexual violence.

Plank Face / Screenshot / Fair use doctrine.

Plank Face brings home the bacon

Overall, Plank Face is another success for Bandit Motion Pictures. At first watch I wasn't sure if I liked it more than Harvest Lake but it's growing on me with every viewing. It's growing on me between viewings. It's a movie that merits multiple watches. It's an original and visceral take on the cannibal family and the legacy of Sawney Bean. Check it out if you have the balls (that will be funny after you watch it)

Plank Face is directed by Scott Schrimer, written by Schrimer and Brian Williams. It stars Nathan Barrett as Max/Plank Face, Ellie Church as Stacey, Susan Martin as Granny, Brigid McCauley as The Bride, Jason Hignite as Old Daddy, and Alyss Winkler as The Bunny Girl.

Posted by Allen Alberson in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
HoTS LIVE Welcomes BJ McDonnell

HoTS LIVE Welcomes BJ McDonnell

 

 

This week the House of Tortured Souls crew of Lord Dixie, aka Allen, and John Roisland bring you another action packed episode. Our special guest is director and cinematographer BJ McDonnell. BJ is perhaps best know as the director of the horror film Hatchet 3, where he took over the reins from series creator Adam Green. BJ is also the director of a violent trilogy of videos for metal band Slayer, as well as being involved in some of the biggest Hollywood movies ever. Can you say Antman and Avengers 2, children?

We will talk to BJ about the Slayer videos, Hatchet 3, and touch a little on the pros and cons of practical effects versus CGI.

John and Dixie will also bring you up to date on recent HotS activity. This includes the new Blair Witch movie and of course Rob Zombie’s 31, which was just released on VoD. Love him, hate him, or wish you were married to his wife, he is Rob Zombie and he makes his movies bloody. Plus find out if Lew Temple says, “Tits on a boar hog”. Pssst, he totally does.

Want to work for House of Tortured Souls? John will tell you how! Only on this episode of House of Tortured Souls LIVE. Which is, of course, pre-recorded. Ladies and gents, there’s only one way, yes one way to make sure the Creepy Clowns don’t get you, and that is by listening to House of Tortured Souls LIVE. That’s HoTS Live to all the cool kiddies. You got it – HoTS is cool!

 

As always we have to thank the awesome Rocky Grey for the opening music, and of course thanks to BJ McDonnell for coming on and putting up with us. Until next time, peace out! And somebody bring me a Pepsi!

And Keep It Evil!!

Posted by Allen Alberson in HORROR NEWS, PODCAST, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Blair Witch (2016)

MOVIE REVIEW: Blair Witch (2016)

The Blair Witch Is Back

By Dixielord

In 1999, movie making changed forever. A new subgenre of horror was born, the found footage shay cam film. It ushered in a wave of jiggly screens, bouncing videos and migraine headaches. It was a hit movie, and filmed in a way that way too many people believed it was real. It was The Blair Witch Project. Now, fifteen years later, a sequel is being made.

Okay, it's a second sequel if you count Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2, which didn’t follow the story line of the first film and may or may not be considered canon depending on which day of the week you ask the creators. But now we have a true sequel, following the storyline of the first film.

The plot of Blair Witch (2016) concerns the brother of Heather (Heather Donahue) from the original film. After scouring the Internet, he finally finds what he believes is evidence to the location of his missing sister.. Gathering a group of friends and video equipment, they trek into the woods in search of Heather. Instead of his sister they find, just like in 1999, the Blair Witch.

Sadly, however, the 2016 version doesn't have much of the magic of the original. Found footage and shaky cam is no longer a novel device but a pain in the ass. Plus, for a POV movie, there are times when you wonder just where the fuck the footage is coming from; there are some shots that are just not possible from one of their headsets. But that's a small nit picky point. I do think the film would have been better to just forget the shaky cam and go with a traditional steady-cam film. Too many times the quick spins were near nausea-inducing, and the dark scenes did little to build suspense.

Which is my biggest qualm with the film. For a movie like this to work, there has to be a build up of tension. The first film, at least for me, managed to build a sense of fear as Heather, Josh, and Mike wandered lost in the woods. When Josh disappeared, we had no clue what happened; in the new film, even with the black outs, we see way too much. We aren't left to wonder if Josh was taken by the witch? Did he just get lost?Kill himself? Here we see the victims dragged away. It's good for a quick jump, but nothing else.

There was also the decision to show the witch. And of course we have to make her creepy and inhuman looking so we can use the CGI budget. So they add to the back story, and now the witch has been hung from a rack so we have a witch that could give Slenderman a boner. To their credit, the witch does look creepy and inhuman and she's limited to a few quick views. So while it's somewhat effective the addition just seems cheap and unnecessary.

A haunting scene from Blair Witch

One of the more haunting scenes in Blair Witch
Photo credit Lionsgate films. Fair use doctrine.

But I wanted to try and review this on its own merits and haven't seen the original since it's first release. So I'm going to try and limit it to what I liked and disliked in this film. The main thing that killed my enjoyment was the pacing. The beginning was just too ungodly slow. Slow isn't always bad. If you are building tension or developing characters, slow can be good. But an hour in I still didn’t feel like I knew anything about these characters. Nothing beyond the stereotypical horror movie tropes anyway. Then once things become strange, they try to build that tension too fast - people disappearing, people reappearing, people getting lost - all in compressed time. Add to it headache inducing camera work and shifting perspectives that went on too long before the pay off.

The Blair Witch is back

The Blair Witch is back!
Photo credit Lionsgate films. Fair use doctrine.

There was also way too much time at the beginning showing the cast goofing off. There was no real reason for this, it didn’t tell us much about the characters and didn't advance the story, It seemed like nothing more than filler to pad out the length.

Once you get close to the end, the action, and tension does finally ramp up. The POV camera works to the films advantage during the chase and hunt through the cabin. The confusion and claustrophobia starts to make the viewer uneasy (and not just in the tummy), but only the cabin scenes had this effect. The filmmakers tried for a claustrophobia-inducing tunnel scene, but it failed pretty miserably for me. The camera shots, from wherever they came from, made the space look too open. Film is all about illusion and those shots broke the illusion. To see claustrophobia done right check out The Descent or Crawl or Die, where you literally feel suffocated.

I won’t spoil the ending, but I will say, even though it felt like a cheap rip of the end of the original Blair Witch, it did manage to build up my level of dread. There's also the hint that the entire film was some type of paradoxical time loop. Which doesn't really do anything for the film, but it doesn't really detract from it. It's more of an Easter egg than anything else. So let’s call it a push.

So my final verdict? The last 20 minutes or so is serviceable and even scary at times. Sadly it takes way too long to get there and very little tension is built up along the way. It copies a few of the more well known scenes from the original, which is good for a nostalgic “ha”. While casual horror fans might enjoy it, most horror fans will be bored to tears before the action starts. As slow and plodding as the original was, it held me. That's not the case here. I definitely don't see Blair Witch (2016) having anything like the cultural impact of the original. And they didn't even try to convince us it really happened.

The Blair Witch was directed by Adam Wingard (You're Next, The Guest) and stars Callie Hernandez (From Dusk til Dawn:The Series) and James Allen McCune (The Walking Dead). I really wanted to like it but unfortunately I just found it too slow, and the pay off, while not horrible, isn't worth the wait.

4/10 stars

Posted by Allen Alberson in MOVIE REVIEWS, PARANORMAL, REVIEWS, 1 comment
NEW FEATURE! CROWDFUNDING PICK: Baphomet

NEW FEATURE! CROWDFUNDING PICK: Baphomet

By Dixielord

Crowdsourcing is becoming a more and more popular way to finance films although it was once almost exclusively the territory of low budget and Indie films. Now, however, directors from the likes of Spike Lee to Rob Zombie have used the public to fund the budgets of their films. While there has been some outcry among fans concerning established filmmakers using this avenue, it, nonetheless, remains a lucrative way of funding a film. In addition to freeing filmmakers of studio restrictions, crowdfunding enables them to connect with the fans via special offers for different levels of donations.

With crowdfunding here to stay, House of Tortured Souls has decided to do a “Best of Crowdsourcing” series. It will have an irregular schedule to start, but we hope to grow into a monthly article. HoTS writers will scour the popular sourcing sites, Kickstarter and Indiegogo (and any others that may exist or come to exist), and find horror projects that look interesting to report back on for our followers. We also welcome suggestions from our followers. Just comment on this article as well as the upcoming articles and let us know what hidden gems you’ve found.

I'm going to kickstart this (Heh, heh, heh) with a little movie I found late one recent Friday night. The name of the film is Baphomet, and it drew me in right away. The story concept kept me there. It's still early in the crowdsourcing for Baphomet, so it’s still anybody’s guess on how it will come out. But I'm really hoping this one is successful. After all, I already put my money where my mouth is.

Baphomet the movie

Promotional poster for Baphomet
Art courtesy of Stu Schuckman

According to the Kickstarter page, Baphomet is

THE STORY OF HANNA, a beautiful and cold-blooded murderer, a born sociopath with no concern for societal expectations. While living as a drifter on the highways of the east coast, she meets a sensitive young musician and begins a relationship that will blur the line between victim and accomplice.

Director Alex Sinesi describes it as a Southern Gothic road movie, and he means Gothic in the traditional way, not the Hot Topic way.

The crucial lead role of Hanna will be played by Hannah Elizabeth Smith, an award winning film and theater actress. Apparently Hannah isn't afraid to get bloody with roles like Carrie (Carrie the Musical), and Lady MacBeth in her past. If that ain’t enough, just check out her photo on Kickstarter.

Hannah Elizabeth Smith as Carrie White, in Carrie the Musical from the Baphomet Kickstarter page

Hannah Elizabeth Smith as Carrie White, in Carrie the Musical

Along with Smith, Baphomet will star Nicholas Reed and Christopher Marino. All three members of the cast come from East Coast theater backgrounds.

There's a lot that drew me to Baphomet. While the idea of a female serial killer might not be new, it's far from common, and it's relatively fresh ground. Plus, the idea of a Gothic road movie is appealing. I grew up in the South, on Faulkner, and there was always a darkness in his stories. They always made me feel uncomfortable. I think Baphomet may strike that same chord in me, and that makes me excited.

Baphomet- Never Behave again courtesy Kickstarter

Baphomet- Never Behave Again
Courtesy Kickstarter

The director promises that it will be bloody, but it wont be cheap gore. Sinesi promises that we will see the effect the killing has, even on the killer. I'm trusting he will have the skill to follow through on those promises, and make Baphomet more than a cheap horror film. So give it a look, and if you agree that this is an interesting project consider giving them a hand. There's more information to be found on the movie's Facebook page or on the Kickstarter page If it looks interesting, consider chipping in and helping what could be a great Indie horror film get made. House of Tortured Souls, and I, personally, will be keeping our eye on Baphomet and updating everyone on any major happenings.

Posted by Allen Alberson in HORROR NEWS, STAFF PICKS, 0 comments
COMING SOON: Young Frankenstein on the big screen!

COMING SOON: Young Frankenstein on the big screen!

By Dixielord

In 1974 Young Frankenstein had horror fans singing “Putting on the Ritz”, and now Fathom Events is putting it back on the big screen. Yep for one, and only one special night, the Mel Brooks comedy classic will be back in theaters. On October 5th, 2016, for one night only Young Frankenstein will be back in theaters. The movie will screen on 500 screens nation wide, and there will be a live presentation before the film with director Mel Brooks.

Young Frankenstein credit Young Frankenstein

Teri Garr, Gene Wilder, and Marty Feldman in Young Frankenstein (1974)
TM and Copyright © 20th Century Fox Film Corp. All rights reserved. Courtesy: Everett Collection.

It's perfectly timed for fans of the film with Halloween just around the corner. Sadly Gene Wilder, star of Young Frankenstein and other Brooks classics, recently passed away from Alzheimer’s. Fans might be concerned about the timing, but director Brooks assured fans that this was not a move to cash in on Wilder's death. In fact, this had apparently been planned for some time before the star’s death, so there is no fear of disrespecting the memory of Wilder. Go out, enjoy it, and celebrate his life.

Now for you people who have never heard of Young Frankenstein, and I accept the possibility there might be some people who haven't, here's the down low. Young Frankenstein is a comedy based on Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley’s classic Frankenstein story. But calling it a comedy seems such an understatement. It's one of the funniest films by one of America’s funniest directors. Now full disclosure: Blazing Saddles (which also stars Wilder) is my favorite Mel Brooks film. Young Frankenstein is a close second.

Peter Boyle and Gene Hackman in Young Frankenstein Credit Young Frankenstein

Peter Boyle and Gene Hackman in Young Frankenstein (1974)
TM and Copyright © 20th Century Fox Film Corp. All rights reserved. Courtesy: Everett Collection.

Ready for a roll in ze hay

The plot involves the infamous Dr. Frankenstein's heir, Dr. Frederick Frankenstein, returning to his father's castle. There, in classic horror movie style, he discovers the mad doctor's journals At first reluctant, he eventually falls to the hubris that doomed Dr. Frankenstein and creates his own monster. Cue the pissed off villagers! Lust, mayhem, and even a song and dance soon ensue, along with much laughter from the audience.

YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN, Teri Garr, 1974. TM and Copyright © 20th Century Fox Film Corp. All rights reserved. Courtesy: Everett Collection.

Terri Garr in Young Frankenstein (1974)
TM and Copyright © 20th Century Fox Film Corp. All rights reserved. Courtesy: Everett Collection.

What is it that makes Young Frankenstein so popular with horror fans? It's not so much a horror comedy, in my opinion, as a comedic spoof. Yet as hilarious as it is, as irreverent as it is, it never seems disrespectful toward the source material. It's not like it is making fun of the horror genre or it's fans. It's like we're all sitting around, laughing together. With all it's absurdities, the characters are loveable, flawed, and sympathetic - just like the characters in the original Universal classic.

Besides the comedic genius of Gene Wilder, the Young Frankenstein cast includes Teri Garr, Madelyn Kahn, Cloris Leachman, Marty Feldman, Gene Hackman, and Peter Boyle as the Creature. If you haven't seen Young Frankenstein, what are you waiting for? October 5th, that's what. Young Frankenstein is available now on DVD, and the usual outlets, but if you have waited this long why not experience it on the big screen? Check the Fathom Events website to see if it's playing near you. I'll be there, and I hope to see you there too!

Posted by Allen Alberson in COMING SOON, EVENTS, HORROR NEWS, 0 comments
Bill Moseley Joins Crepitus

Bill Moseley Joins Crepitus

By Dixielord

Crepitus poster photo credit Crepitus

Crepitus poster
Photo credit Crepitus

Well it looks like Sid Haig isn't the only reject that can slap on the clown make up. It looks like his co-star from House of 1000 Corpses and The Devils Rejects, Bill Moseley has joined the cast of Crepitus, as the titular killer clown himself. Crepitus is the latest killer clown movie to surface, following Eli Roth's Clown and the remake of Stephen King's It.

The plot of Crepitus revolves around 17 year old Elizabeth and her brother Julien. Their mother is an abusive alcoholic. Things go from bad to worse after the family moves into the home of their deceased grandfather. They they learn the dark secrets of their family's history and come face to face with an ancient force, the cannibalistic clown Crepitus.

Creepitus Indiegogo photo of Bill Moseley, photo credit Creepitus Indiegogo

Creepitus Indiegogo photo of Bill Moseley
Photo credit Crepitus

The Indiegogo page for Crepitus describes him as an ancient demon who subsists by feeding on children. Devouring children allows him to remain immortal, and he dresses as a clown to lure children in. The description sounds very similar to the demon in Clown, although the story looks to be different. Now with the addition of Moseley to the cast, they have some star power. And Bill Moseley is definitely someone who can play a demonic clown.

The name Crepitus is real word with two different real world meanings, both of which are cleverly played off in the film. In medical terminology, crepitus is the popping and crackling sound made by joints and bones for various reasons. In the crowd sourcing comments, it is mentioned that Crepitus' (the character) bones pop and creak with every movement.

The other meaning of Crepitus refers to a being, an ancient Roman deity. Crepitus in the film will be a ancient force playing on this meaning if the word. However, this deity doesn't have the same regal standing as Apollo, Venus, or Vulcan. Reportedly, Crepitus was the Roman god of flatulence. That's farts for those not familiar with the terminology. Which could be a totally different explanation for why he pops when he moves... yeah. It's thought Crepitus wasn't actually a being worshiped but was possibly a product of Christian satire. So blame Christianity for the first fart jokes.

I love Bill, but hopefully he's not passing gas in the film. What the hey, I'll see it anyway. Clowns are creepy, clowns can be terrifying, and it seems they are all over the news right now - from Eli Roth's Clown to It to sightings of creepy clowns around the country. I don't think we have hit the saturation point yet, and this film could ride high on the clown craze.

Crepitus, directed by Haynze Whitmore, also stars Lance Paul, Raiden Moore, and Caitlin Williams. If you want to support the film, you can do it here. Crepitus is set for a 2017 release.

Posted by Allen Alberson in CAST AND CREW NEWS, HORROR NEWS, 0 comments
Croatoan?: American Horror Story season 6

Croatoan?: American Horror Story season 6

By Dixielord

The makers of American Horror Story have gone to great lengths to keep the theme of the upcoming season under wraps. We know about the cast. We know that American Horror Story season 6 will bring back Lady Gaga. We also know that Kathy Bates, Angela Bassett, Sarah Paulson, and Evan Peters have either been officially announced or have dropped hints they will return. On the flip side, we know series favorite Jessica Lange won't be returning for American Horror Story season 6. We even know that the start date has been pushed up to September from the usual October. But we still don't know the theme. Or do we?

"La

On set photos posted to TMZ seem to heavily point to American Horror Story season 6 focusing on one of America's greatest mysteries. Not the Bermuda Triangle (which is kind of American) and not Bigfoot (and why the hell not Bigfoot?), but the mystery of Roanoke. The most telling photo was of a tree with the word “Croatoan” carved into it. When the colony of Roanoke, with all 117 settlers, disappeared, the only clue left behind was the a similar carving.

"What

TMZ has also published pictures that seem to show a colonial era village, and their “spies” have reported cast members dressed in pilgrim garb. With all this, it seems guaranteed that American Horror Story season 6 with focus, at least partially on the lost colony. Add to that that in season one, Murder House, Sarah Paul son’s character told a fictionalized version of the Roanoke mystery. FX president John Langraf has stated that the upcoming season will be set in the present, but with echoes from the past. I'd be willing the past is set in or around Roanoke.

"Question

Other media released by the network heavily features a question mark motif. So could season 6 be titled American Horror Story Mysteries maybe? Who knows. Right now we have a lot of hints, some very defining hints, but just hints. September 14th is just two weeks away, so at least we wont have to wait long to find out!

Posted by Allen Alberson in HORROR NEWS, 0 comments
House of Tortured Souls LIVE episode 2

House of Tortured Souls LIVE episode 2

Episode 2 of the House of Tortured Souls LIVE, with your Hosts John and Allen (Lord Dixie). This week they discuss Horror news, what's new on the shelves including Clown produced by Eli Roth and Ash Vs Evil Dead Season 1. There's also a recap of the Scares That Care's weekend. Halloween is coming! And so are interviews, read all about them.Also get filled in on new movie premieres and more!

Posted by Allen Alberson in PODCAST, 0 comments
COMING SOON: Rob Zombie’s 31 One Night Showing

COMING SOON: Rob Zombie’s 31 One Night Showing

By Dixielord

Cast of Rob Zombie's 31

Cast of Rob Zombie's 31

If you are a fan of Rob Zombie, then you probably can't wait to see his new film 31. If you hate him, then you probably can't wait to tell everyone how much you hate Rob Zombie's 31. Whatever side of the great zombie war you fall on, we now have a release date. It is a one night limited release but at least we know we have that opportunity to see Rob Zombie's 31 on the big screen.

Rob Zombie's 31 will see a one night, limited theatrical release on September 1, 2016, courtesy of Saban Films and as part of Fathom Events. While most would like to see a full theatrical release, at least it will get a day on the big screen. Hopefully a DVD and VoD release will follow soon after.

New one sheet for Rpb Zombie's 31 Photo Credit Rob Zombie's 31

New one sheet for Rob Zombie's 31
Photo Credit Rob Zombie's 31

Rob Zombie's 31 revolves around a group of carnival workers who are kidnapped on Halloween in 1976. The unluky group is forced to play a game called 31. They have to survive twelve hours in the deadly murder world, while being hunted by a sadistic group of killers, the heads.

After its debut release at the 2016 Sundance film festival, Rob Zombie's 31 got mixed reviews and currently has a 50% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. And having a 50% Rotten Tomato rating is just perfect. It perfectly symbolizes the split in the horror community over a Zombie film.

I fall squarely on the side of Zombie fan, although I'm not a fan of every film (Halloween 2, gah), and will say some of the heat about him is justified. He does tend to throw Sheri Zombie into roles that might be handled better by more accomplished actresses. But his films are always (well almost, H2, again gah), and always bloody and uncompromising. Still there are those who simply love to throw hate at Rob, just to be hating.

In less than a month, the wait is over for all of us. At least those of us lucky enough to be within the limited release area. Fans will hopefully enjoy a bloody masterpiece in Rob Zombie's 31. For those who can’t stand it, September 1, 2016, will give them the chance to fulfill that not so old adage, “Haters gonna hate”.

Posted by Allen Alberson in COMING SOON, EVENTS, HORROR NEWS, SLASHERS AND BAD HUMANS, 0 comments
INTERVIEW: Mike Lombardo

INTERVIEW: Mike Lombardo

By Dixielord

 

Last week I has the pleasure of talking to Mike Lombardo, writer and director of the upcoming post apocalyptic holiday movie I'm Dreaming of a White Doomsday. It was a really fun talk more conversation than interview, and I hope you enjoy it.

 

 

House of Tortured Souls: Reel Splatter is known mostly for horror comedies, I have seen The Stall, but White Doomsday, seems to be a more serious film.

Mike Lombardo: Yes, it is a serious film. There's no comedy, well there's a few light moments, but it's not comedic at any point. We don’t play it for laughs ever.

 

HoTS: I was thinking it was completely humorous till I was just watching the trailer again and I caught the, “No food. No hope. Noel”. I don’t know how I missed that before.

ML: (laughs) It’s a little bit of grim humor in the trailer.

 

HoTS: It looks like it’s going to be a dark, grim movie.

ML: Yeah, I think that’s a pretty safe assumption. It’s pretty grim. Nihilistic is a good word for it.

 

HoTS: Nihilistic is a big word but I like that.

ML: (laughs)

 

HoTS: I see you have repeated the gas mask motif from Suburban Nightmare and The Stall.

ML: I have it tattooed on me as a matter of fact.

Poster art from I'm Dreaming of a White Doomsday by Director Mike Lombardo

Poster art from I'm Dreaming of a White Doomsday by director Mike Lombardo

 

HoTS: The gas mask is an unnerving, spooky look, where did that come from?

ML: The gas mask character that's all over the website, that's our logo, that's Dr. Chud. That was my character many years ago. Basically I've always been obsessed with gas masks and what they represent. It's very dehumanizing when you put a gas mask on someone. It almost instantly makes people uneasy. It speaks to paranoia, and I was just always obsessed with gas masks.

I found that actual mask, the reel splatter mascot at a flea market from a Viet Nam vet who owned a stall there. So I bought that and I had this character, trench coat, gas mask and a cardboard sign that said “The End is Near” and I started doing that in real life. Just wandering around town with that, just to fuck with people and see what would happen.

It's weird there’s never been a real mythology behind the character. We always talked about it, about different things he could be, but we never really did anything with it. He just started popping up in short stories, he's like an omen, he's always there, somewhere. Eventually as we moved into actual film stuff, making shorts, I picked that as the logo. Because I never considered Reel Splatter entirely horror, but it's also not entirely comedy . It's this weird, nasty surreal thing, and when people see the gas mask, their first reaction is “What the fuck?” and that’s exactly how I want them to react. I want them to say, “This is weird” and weird is the best way I can describe what I generally do.

Even the gas mask Santa, that was something I came up with in high school, so that's going way back. When I was in high school I had a project for graphics class, I forget exactly what it was supposed to be, I think it was some kind of instructional video or picture set. Which it turned into apocalyptic Christmas for some reason with me, because I had a real obsession with Santa Claus too. So I had this image of Santa in a gas mask that I plastered everywhere, and it just stayed with me for many, many years. Eventually the events surrounding this movie happened and it just worked. It was actually a short story I wrote in 2012, then the movie and it was a no brainer, we have to use that mask.

 

HoTS: It really caught my eye, it was kind of a “Holy Fuck” moment.

ML: (laughs) That's exactly what I was going for. Haha.

 

HoTS: That scene. I kept telling people this is going to be one fucked up movie.

ML: Well a lot of people think that character, that Santa is a slasher movie villain, but White Doomsday is not a slasher movie. So I'm curious what people think that character is associated with and is completely off base from what is really going on. I'm going to remain mum on the circumstances of those scenes, but it's not a slasher movie. So eliminate that from your minds. I'm not a fan of slasher movies.

 

HoTS: That's one of the things I have been pondering in my mind, and I wont ask you to divulge any secrets, but what is that Santa? Is it the mom dressing up to go out and kidnap babies.

ML: (Laughs)

 

HoTS: Or is it the actual Santa? I don't know, and I want to know so bad, but I don’t want anyone to tell me.

ML: Hopefully you won't be disappointed. A lot of people have been asking me what that is, because when Fangoria ran a story about our poster, that photograph, they plastered that all over the article. Everybody has been reposting that and asking what the fuck is this, and I'm just smiling to myself and it's like, “Just wait, you'll see”. (laughs)

 

HoTS: Do you think the slasher film is so ingrained in pop culture now, that when ever people see a mask, they automatically assume it's a slasher film?

ML: Absolutely, and when I was cutting the trailer, the producers were very hesitant, like, “Yeah, I don’t know if you want to use that, you're giving away too much, and people will get the wrong impression of the film”. I thought about it long and hard. I wanted the trailer to be as representative of this film as humanly possible. We had one version of the trailer that made it look like an apocalyptic action movie, and that's not this movie at all. I really thought it was important to show people that image, just to show, this isn’t a standard thing. I mean, I've been billing this to people as Miracle on 34th Street meets The Road, and I really don't know a better way to describe it than that. It's a slow burn, it's a depressing character piece. I feel it's more of a dark drama than a horror movie, but that's just me personally because I wrote the story. But I know people are going to think it's a slasher flick.

And we did kind of a retro style artwork for the poster. I wanted to do like an 80s horror paperback cover. Mark Schoenbach of Sadist Art Designs did that for us, he's the guy that did our The Stall poster as well. Those two things combined, people are definitely going to think it's a slasher film. You know what? Let them think that, hopefully when they watch the movie, they wont be disappointed that there's a story in there and not just a guy in a rubber mask hacking up teenagers.

 

HoTS: I see how people can make that leap from the poster, but to me, watching the trailer, I know you say The Road, but to me it reminds me of the last ten minutes or so of The Mist.

Spoiler
End of the world,there’s no fucking hope, three bullets left, but you don’t know what’s about to happen, what’s around the curve of the road.
I know a lot of people hated that ending, but to me it was perfect.

ML: Yeah, I think that was a great ending. I'm a big fan of the bleak stuff.

 

HoTS: Me, too, but I have to be in a good mood to watch those films.

ML: (laughs) That's understandable.

Mike Lombardo is dreaming of a White Doomsday

Noel and Merry Doomsday from Mike Lombardo
Photo courtesy off Mike Lombardo

 

HoTS: When I come in from a hard night's work and need to chill, I turn on Family Guy. But if I'm in the right mood, I go for the bleak, depressing, dark films like A Serbian Film and Martyrs.

ML: Two of my favorite films of the last ten years, and they're absolutely beautifully made. What I like about those two movies they are incredibly dark, and ugly movies, but they never get to the level of exploitation. Even A Serbian Film, they show you just enough, and then they move on, they never revel in it. There's this really disturbing imagery, but it never becomes undisciplined.

 

HoTS: It's an extremely powerful film.

ML: Absolutely.

 

HoTS: I remember sitting in silence after watching both of those films.

ML: (laughs) I was just about to say that.

 

HoTS: What did I just see, what did I experience. Especially with Martyrs, that ending was perfect.

Spoiler
What did she say? I’m still wondering.

ML: For me, I think Martyrs is a harder film to watch. I know a lot of people think A Serbian Film is the more shocking of the two. The thing with A Serbian Film, you are introduced to these characters, a genuinely loving family, genuinely good people, that happen to be put into a terrible circumstance. There's light hearted moments, and there’s a build up, and then everything just plummets to hell. Martyrs starts down here (gestures with his hand as if a low level) and it just goes, it's never not horrible, there's not a single moment of that movie where you're smiling. It's just terrible all the time.

 

HoTS: The one time, when you start to smile, then Boom!

ML: Yeah, there’s that family scene for like two minutes, then Boom, home invasion. And I'm sitting there watching, and what really struck me about Martyrs, I was sitting there watching with my roommates and when the movie turned, when they finished Lucy’s story, I remember looking at my roommate and saying, “I have no fucking idea where this movie is going”, and there's another hour left. I have zero idea what's gonna happen and that hasn't happened in a decade. Then they just come out of nowhere and sucker punch you in the stomach. Here's a girl getting punched in the face for ten minutes. Enjoy.

 

HoTS: That was so brutal because it was so real.

ML: I'm getting chills just thinking about it. That movie just wrecked me.

 

HoTS: I kept waiting for the Hollywood moment, for her to grab her chain and choke out her captor, waiting for her to somehow escape, and it didn't happen. I finished the movie and said, “I loved this, but I'll never watch it again”.

ML: That’s the way I felt about it and A Serbian Film, and I've watched both a dozen time since. I remember after watching Martyrs, I had to go for a walk, I just had to get outside, that movie was so rough, and A Serbian Film was, too, but with A Serbian Film at least it had character arcs and a more cinematic approach to it. It definitely wasn't a Hollywood movie but it was a little more standard, a little easier to swallow, but the bleakness of Martyrs. I don't know if I've ever seen that topped. The only other films that have affected me like that were Sâlo and Cannibal Holocaust. Just raw, unflinching brutality, and ugliness, and they were all influences on me when I was doing White Doomsday. I'd like to think we don't pull any punches. We go for the sad whenever possible.

 

HoTS: At the risk of sounding like a very sick individual, I hope you don't pull any punches, I'm looking for a very dark, bleak, hopeless film.

ML: It's all those things, we had a little bit of a test screening of the rough cut at Scares That Care, to some of the people who were involved in the movie. The first ten minutes we were all talking, getting settled in, joking a little bit, by fifteen minutes in everyone had stopped talking, by twenty minutes I noticed there was dead silence, then someone said, “Someone make a joke, please”.

 

HoTS: Oh, you had them then, sounds promising.

ML: The back story of the movie is a very personal film. I wrote the story, in 2012 my mother was diagnosed with kidney failure, she was in the hospital in critical condition for about nine months. She has recovered since then, but she had interstitial nephritis, which caused her kidneys to only function at like three percent. They did not think that she was going to make it, and I was the go between for the hospital and my family, who were all in different states at the time. Everyone was calling me for updates all the time, and I basically had to try and downplay how bad things were. I didn't want to break down in front of my mom, and my family, so I was taking the brunt of it, and passing along the bad news. To say sane I started writing the story, which essentially boils down to watching a someone you care about fading away and you being powerless to do anything about it. So the hopelessness came from that, the story is dedicated to my mom and the movie is too. The character of the mother was influenced by my mom, and a lot of what you see is these characters, trying to shield the little boy from the reality of the situation. So no, it's not a happy movie.

 

HoTS: I like to think that movies like this, allow me to get the darkness out, helps me stay sane. I don’t know if that’s true for other fans and filmmakers of depressing, disturbing films. People do ask me all the time how can you watch films like this, and especially when I watched A Serbian Film and The Human Centipede, which I didn't find disturbing at all.

ML: No, not at all. Actually I didn't like the first one when I first saw it, because I had heard so much about it and I was thinking “this isn't the movie I heard it was going to be”. Watching it since, I realize it's a very, very good movie. It's almost a body horror movie more than anything else. It's more about domination and slavery, I don’t want to say psychological, because it is pretty visceral, but it's not a gross out, exploitation movie at all. The disturbing part of that movie was this man, breaking three people down into dogs basically. That's what bothered me about it.

Then the second one, was what everyone expected the first one to be. I'm very one the fence about the second one. I love the concept of it, that some one had seen the original one and then tried to reenact it. The movie is basically a giant “Fuck you” to censorship and the media claiming that people are going to mimic movies, which I think is absolute horseshit. I heard the premise and I thought, “Wow, this is going to be really intelligent”, because I didn't know if Tom Six was a really smart guy, kind of doing something nasty, or if he was just a sleaze king. Then I watched that movie and, ahhhh he's kind of just a sleaze king. Which there's nothing wrong with that, but I think he had a great opportunity to make a powerful commentary on horror films, and censorship of art, and he kind of botched it. I haven't seen the third one, but I heard the third one was miserable.

 

HoTS: It solidifies him as a sleaze king. There are some incredibly funny moments, but it is just so offensive, so gross. It's basically every derogatory word and insult you can call another human being is used. Every racial, sexist insult is thrown out over and over.

Okay, to move away from the doom and gloom a bit, let's talk about The Stall. For some reason I had the idea that was a zombie film, but I saw it earlier, and it's not.

ML: Oh no.

 

HoTS: I didn't want to bring it up in case zombies pop up in White Doomsday, but I'm so tired of zombies.

ML: No, no, that's another thing - I know some people are going to think it’s a zombie film and it's not.

 

HoTS: I just think the zombie story has been told. Let's find a new story to tell.

ML: Exactly.

 

HoTS: I did like Maggie with Arnold, but other than that.

ML: I didn’t see that but actually heard a lot of good things about that.

 

HoTS: It was pretty good. It was more of a story of the relationship between a father and a dying child than a traditional zombie movie.

ML: See, that's something that I would definitely enjoy, being that I love dying children obviously.

 

HoTS: (laughs)

ML: I think zombie films work best when the zombies are window dressing, a background to a different story. That's how I enjoy them anyway. I would definitely watch that.

 

HoTS: Back to The Stall. For some reason, I had the idea this was the story of a guy trapped in a bathroom stall during the zombie apocalypse, but it's not.

ML: The thing with that movie, we were working on The Stall about 2-3 years though various technical difficulties, shooting on weekends. We had to re-shoot a lot because the effects weren't working with the tentacles. But we were just kind of doing our thing, you know, making this Lovecraft movie, which was also very personal, about my job. That was like a dry run for something more serious. It's funny, the poster and the premise make people think it's going to be this big serious, gross out, B-movie and it's not, at least I hope people don't take it that way. It's about half and half.

 

HoTS: Honestly I was expecting turds. I'm glad there were no turds.

ML: Exactly. That was the big joke for me. We were presenting this movie as though it's going to be like a Troma movie, and it's not at all. It's pretty much straight Lovecraftian. It has a bleakness I was feeling at the time. Working in food service for fifteen years, trying to be a filmmaker on the side, it kind of takes its toll on you. Dying at work is my biggest fear, like one day I will realize I wasted my life doing something that I don't enjoy, while trying to support my passion on the side. The idea that I’m terrified to leave my comfort zone - which equates to a two by two bathroom stall in the movie - because there’s some horrible thing out there, that I'm not aware of yet, some awful external force. That when I get out there, I'll realize that my dreams are not good enough, and that I wont make it. That's what the whole bit is about. Or it's just about a guy trapped in a bathroom with a bunch of tentacles, and that's pretty cool too. However you want to watch it, that's fine.

 

HoTS: It was the most Lovecraftian references crammed into twelve minutes I have ever seen. You even worked in Erich Zann which is still my favorite Lovecraft short story.

ML: We had more on the radio broadcast but it gets cut out. That was one of my favorite, I'm trying to remember the others, I know there was DJ Brown Jenkins and Erich Zann. That was a lot of fun. I'm a huge Lovecraft geek, obviously.

So, I was working on this movie for two years, we release it, and our poster art was originally a restroom sign, with tentacles coming out of the side. That was our first poster, we had that for about a year. Then we did the alternate poster that's on the DD, of the guy kind of shrinking away from the tentacles, that looks like a big 70s or 80s VHS cover. So we had all that stuff out for awhile, and then the movie comes out. It's getting watched, stories posted all over the place, and then I start getting calls, about four months later to go on Netflix and look up The Stall. And I look, and there’s a movie with the same fucking poster as us, but it's zombie hands. It's the same premise, and I was like, “Are you fucking kidding me?” (laughs) I was so annoyed. Then I watched it, and if it was a good movie, I'd be totally cool with it, but it's an awful movie.

 

HoTS: I think that was what confused me. When I met you I asked you if The Stall was on Netflix because I remembered seeing it.

ML: I got that from a lot of people. Which really aggravated me, not saying they stole it, because people do come up with the same ideas all the time but it really grinded my gears because they had the same poster art. Their other poster was the restroom sign with zombie arms coming in from the side, so basically both their posters were damn near identical to ours, and it's essentially the same premise. But whereas I recognize that that movie has about thirteen minutes in it, they stretched it for an hour and a half (laughs). So it became very tiresome very quickly. Although I am a big fan of their first movie, Freak Out. It's about a guy who escapes a mental asylum and a bunch of horror fans find him. He not a violent criminal but they try and train him to be a slasher killer. It's low budget, but it's very funny. It's very low budget, but it's a fun, dumb movie, they were trying to make a Troma style B movie, and it's got some very entertaining moments in it. But The Stall, I was not so much a fan of. Maybe I’m biased, I don’t know.

 

HoTS: That does explain my confusion because when I watched it earlier I knew I had seen that cover before, but I don't think I ever watched the zombie version of The Stall. Because like I said, I really don’t watch new zombie films unless I'm bored out of my head and there’s nothing else that catches my interest.

ML: Yeah, and it sucks because I grew up with Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead. When I was a kid, I wore out my VHS copy of Dawn of the Dead. I used to rent it every week and watch the head explosion scene from the beginning, over and over again. I was obsessed with zombies and there was nothing else out there other than the Italian stuff, a spat of movies in the 80s and the Romero trilogy, there wasn't really any other zombie stuff that was too exciting. Then back in what, 2003 when Brian Keene published The Rising, the Dawn of the Deadremake came out and things kind of blew up again for zombies. I was like, this is the best time to be alive, there is zombie stuff everywhere. Then after about a year of that, it's, “Okay, I'm done”. That was ten years ago and it's still going (laughs).

 

HoTS: It is still going, There are three themes, that if I am cruising Amazon Prime or Netflix, that I just scoot right past it: that's zombies, found footage, or four friends going anywhere. I just pass.

ML: Yep, yeah. (laughs) Actually I just watched the Cabin Fever remake, speaking of four friends going somewhere. It's like, “Why do I do this to myself”? Horrid, horrid stuff.

 

HoTS: Like me. I will shit talk a movie, know it's going to be bad, and still end up seeing it.

ML: Oh, absolutely.

 

HoTS: I saw The Omen remake in the theater.

ML: I was there opening night.

 

HoTS: I saw The Omen remake in the theater while running a fever and fell asleep. I tell people I love the movie because it's the best sleep I got all week.

ML: I had to go to the ER right after seeing that. I found out I had two hernias.. I was in the theater and ran to the bathroom vomiting profusely. Everyone said I had the antichrist growing inside me. So that was my experience with The Omen - as if the movie wasn't bad enough.

 

HoTS: I think it just made everyone sick.

ML: (laughs) It really did. The devil was definitely in that film because no one seeing it had a good time.

 

HoTS: So where are you going now with White Doomsday? Festival circuit?

ML: Yes. Currently we are in post-production. We are starting to work on visual effects now, sound design, um color grading, and then I'm hoping to have the movie finished by Christmas. It would be great to have it out by Christmas. The thing is, it doesn't mean it will play by Christmas, because we are at the mercy of the film festival schedules. You submit a film to the festivals four months in advance, and you don’t know if you get accepted for two to three months. So we have to figure out which festival we would like to premiere at, and what the submission deadlines are, and all that kind of stuff. But I would love to have it out for Christmas. Then the film festival circuit, and try to find a distributor, and see what happens. If we can find a company to put it out, then the DVD will hopefully be widely available. If not we will access our options, maybe press our own DVDs like we did with The Stall and Suburban Holocaust, then hit the circuit, the festival and convention circuit on foot and bring the film to you. So we'll see.

 

HoTS: I will be looking for it.

ML: Thank you.

 

HoTS: Hopefully on physical media.

ML: Physical media is a big thing for me. We will probably do a VOD release down the road, but I hate not having a physical disc. I'm a collector. I am a huge, huge collector and I love extra features. I refuse to go out and buy a disc that has no extra features on it. This movie was a year and a half in the making, and I'm going to have so much behind the scenes it's obnoxious. So many crazy stories about how we made this movie with just paper clips and chewing gum, you know. So I'm hoping to get a nice supplemental package out there that VOD doesn't have.

 

HoTS: There's very little worse than opening up a DVD and special features are scene selection.

ML: Yeah. Or theatrical trailer. It's like, “Oh wow, that’s great”.

 

HoTS: I just watched the movie; now I can watch the trailer.

ML: Thanks, this is phenomenal. Interactive menus, that's my favorite, and subtitles for the hearing impaired.

 

HoTS: I love VOD because of the convenience, but I hate it because of the inconvenience, if that makes sense. It's so easy, but I’m at the mercy of whatever Netflix or Amazon allows me to watch.

ML: Absolutely, and from a filmmakers standpoint there are a lot of pitfalls. People think, “Oh, there’s no overhead”, because you don’t have to make discs. But they find ways to gouge you with putting it out there and you are also opening yourself up to a huge amount of piracy very easily. This is my first feature so I'm very leery of all that, but I guess I will find out soon enough.

 

HoTS: Piracy yeah. I think it's so easy from a fan’s stand point to say, “This is a big Hollywood director. They aren’t losing any money”, but I have seen Indie directors, who are having thousands if not tens of thousands of downloads, but they aren't actually selling shit.

ML: I was talking to a friend about effects, and he was giving me the run down for distribution on his first feature. They did a Kickstarter campaign and sent out early DVDs to the Kickstarter backers. He said by the time the film was released, the day it actually premiered on DVD and VOD, there were over 700 websites that had it for download already. He said ,“Well, we lost our shirts on that one”. It's so easy to justify, you just click on that link and you’re like, “I'm not really stealing”, but when you’re a filmmaker at this level, you are literally counting every download, counting single sales... I'm not trying to make a movie so I can get a solid gold pool, I want to be able to make another film. I fund this stuff with the money I make at the pizza shop. It's very difficult when people are pirating stuff.

 

HoTS: And people are getting so open about it.

ML: I just the other day saw someone ask where he can get the Alien series for free, and I said, “Well, you can buy them, and you should support the artist that made them”. I know the 6.99 it costs at Wal-Mart to get them is too great but...

 

HoTS: And you can do a VOD rental for under 3 bucks, I know I just shit talked VOD, but there’s really no good reason to pirate movies. I know you maybe cant afford to watch every movie you want to, but I can't afford a Lamborghini. I feel your pain. I can't get a gold plated pool. That’s life, and it's not an excuse to steal, but it's just so easy and there are realistically zero consequences.

ML: Nope, they aren't knocking down anyone’s door for piracy. I think also people take for granted the ability to get everything instantly. In the old days when you had to go to a video store and scour around for hours to find that movie, it had more value for you. It meant something because you had to hunt for it. Even in Napstar days, it took three days to download a MP3 of a song. That was a fucking accomplishment. You had to really want that song, or that jpeg of Jenny McCarthy. You really needed it or it just wasn't worth it.

And this goes beyond piracy to film appreciation in general. People will just go online and do a search of ten most disturbing films of all time and do a mass download in, like ten minutes, and finish watching them and it's, “Yeah, whatever”. It's disposable to them because they didn't have to really work, hunt, or research it. It doesn't mean anything to them. It's like junk food, and that's a shame, because you really aren't experiencing those films. Because those articles, those lists, they aren't giving you any historical context, they aren't telling you why these films are important. I feel like it's the best time for being a film fan, and it's the worst time, for those reasons. It's never been more accessible, but it's so disposable to everyone. It’s a real shame.

 

HoTS: To me, part of the magic was always digging through those dusty shelves looking for that gem.

ML: Exactly, just looking at that crazy cover and knowing that cover or that poster was lying to me but damn if I don't want it.

 

 

I want to thank Mike Lombardo for allowing us the time to chat with him. We will keep our eyes on I'm Dreaming of a White Doomsday.

Posted by Allen Alberson in COMING SOON, HORROR NEWS, INTERVIEWS, 0 comments
COMING SOON: Family Possessions (2016)

COMING SOON: Family Possessions (2016)

By Dixielord

Mark Patton, star of A Nightmare on Elm Street 2, heads back to horror this year in the new film Family Possessions. Director Tommy Faircloth and his Horse Creek Productions have enlisted Patton and genre favorite Felissa Rose (Sleepaway Camp) to join the cast of his latest film. Faircloth most recently directed the film Dollface, that did the festival circuit under the name, Dorchester's Revenge: The Return of Crinoline, before being tagged with a shorter name for its DVD and VoD release. Before Dollface, Faircloth directed Generation Ax, and the prequel to Dollface, Crinolinehead.

Mark Patton from Nightmare on Elm Street 2 and Family Possessions

Joining the more familiar names in the cast will be a host of talented younger actors, many of whom have starred in other Horse Creek Productions projects. Jason Vail Starred in Dollface, as well as Abraham Lincoln versus Zombies and the upcoming Valley of the Sasquatch. Along with Jason, Lizzie Mears, Leah Wiseman, and Andrew Wickum from Dollface are cast in Family Possessions. Morgan Monnig from the Horse Creek short The Cabin rounds out the film as Jason Vail's wife Sarah.

Felissa Rose from Sleepaway camp

Felissa Rose from Sleepaway Camp

The official synopsis describes Family Possessions as a paranormal slasher. It is the story of Racheal (played by Wiseman), a young girl who inherits her grandmother’s mansion. Since her family is struggling financially she moves them into the house. Once there, she starts having paranormal encounters, and learns a secret that her parents have been keeping from her.

 

Leah Wiseman of Family Possessions

Leah Wiseman of Family Possessions

Family Possessions will be all practical effects, with no CGI, which is unusual for a modern paranormal type film, but it's very refreshing. Come on, who out there isn't tired of the thing black wispy CGI ghosts and demons? Tony Rosen is the man in charge of those practical effects. Tony is perhaps best known as the creator of the Annabelle doll from the films Annabelle and The Conjuring. Tony also did the effects in the popular Indie film Pieces of Talent.

 

Jason Vail from Dollman and Family Possessions

Jason Vail from Dollface and Family Possessions

I became a fan of Horse Creek Productions when I caught Dollface at a film festival. It's a fun, bloody horror movie with some great moments and great laughs and is one of my favorite Indie films in recent years. I'm excited to see this new project. With Family Possessions, Faircloth promises a more serious film with less comedy than Dollface, which is great for those who don't care for horror comedies.

 

 

Lizzie Mears from Dollface and Family Possessions

Lizzie Mears from Dollface and Family Possessions

Family Possessions is in post production now and director Faircloth is hoping for a release sometime around October. The Indidegogo fundraising campaign is still open if anyone wants to chip in and support independent horror.

Posted by Allen Alberson in COMING SOON, HORROR NEWS, 3 comments
I’m Dreaming of a White Doomsday

I’m Dreaming of a White Doomsday

By Dixielord

I try to keep up on all the new horror films coming up. Mostly for my viewing pleasure, but also to help keep you, my readers, informed. Sometimes I get lucky. For instance, last weekend I just happened upon a film in a convention vending room. Sometimes I get very lucky, and the film looks really good. This was one of those times. The place was Scares That Care Weekend, and the movie was I'm Dreaming of a White Doomsday.

I'm Dreaming of a White Doomsday scene

"When Suddenly there arose such a clatter"

White Doomsday, announced and filmed in 2015, slipped by my radar. Mea culpa! I stay pretty busy, dudes, so movies do slip by me from time to time. Now convention movies can be hit or miss. Cons can be the best way for a low-budget movie to get the word out to a lot of people, and some of the films are very low-budget. Repeat after me, very low-budget. Sadly, a lot of them really look low-budget.

Santa in a gas mask in I'm Dreaming of a White Doomsday

Santa doesn't look too jolly in I'm Dreaming of a White Doomsday

So whenever I hear, “Hi, would you like to watch our trailer for ….” there a mix of excitement and dread. I have learned not to expect much, just be nice, watch the video, and try to escape as painlessly as possible. However, I'm Dreaming of a White Doomsday pleasantly surprised me. I became a fan of this project not after watching the trailer but during the trailer. For one, it looked good, very good for a low to medium project and better than 80-90% of the horror films on Amazon Prime or other streaming services. It was very crisp and clean, and well photographed and the acting too looked above the average for a low-budget film. Granted this was just a short promotional trailer, but if the finished film stays near the quality of the trailer, we could have an awesome movie on the way.

Poster art from I'm Dreaming of a White Doomsday

Poster art from I'm Dreaming of a White Doomsday

The film is set during the holidays in a post apocalyptic world where hope and food are in short supply. White Doomsday follows a family in a shelter fighting to survive and shows just what lengths a mother will go to in order to protect her child. AND THERE'S A FUCKING SANTA IN A GAS MASK!!!! I don't know much more about the plot and honestly I don’t want to. I want to see this, and experience it as fresh and naïve as possible.

All I know is that it looks dark and desolate. It looks hard, brutal, and disturbing. I honestly don't think audiences will be smiling at the end of this film. I briefly chatted with the director Mark Lombardo (Long Pig) of Reel Splatter films. Reel Splatter has a rep for producing horror comedies, but this film is a straight horror film. A real horror film to mess with your head. A horror film set on Christmas. Most Christmas horror films manage to find some tongue in cheek humor no matter how dark that humor is. White Doomsday may break that mold.

I found out after the convention that horror author Brian Keene is producing I'm Dreaming of a White Doomsday. Keene is an awesome writer who breathed new breath into the zombie genre with The Rising and who has collaborated with Lombardo in the past. It looks like the collaboration has really borne some great fruit with this film. According to Brian's website, White Doomsday finished filming in November of 2015 and has a hoped for release in 2016. Maybe we can all be dreaming of a white doomsday by the holiday season.

Posted by Allen Alberson in HORROR NEWS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Ghostbusters (2016)

MOVIE REVIEW: Ghostbusters (2016)

By Dixielord

It's one of the most controversial films of the last couple years. It's not Last House on the Left, it's not A Serbian Film, it's not even every film Rob Zombie ever made. It's Ghostbusters. You either love it, or you're a misogynistic pig. You either hate it or you're a studio shill. Emotions run high and our childhoods are again being ripped apart, or a new generation is given a chance to experience the Ghostbusters magic.

The new Ghostbusters team

The new Ghostbusters team

So I went and saw the movie Trying to keep all my preconceived ideas at bay, and go in with an open palate. This is definitely not the Ghostbusters remember, it's a different cast, and different story.  and a different team, and yes and all female Ghostbusters.  Which seems  one of the most contentious things about the film, other than the fact it is being re-made at all.

Kate McKinnon in the new Ghostbusters

Kate McKinnon was a hit in the new Ghostbusters

Well I ended up liking the movie. The new cast was really fun, Kate McKinnon and Chris Hemsworth stole every scene they were in, and I wish McKinnon had a larger role. Melissa McCarthy is always a mixed bag, at times she annoys the shit out of me, at times I think she is funny as hell. She didn't annoy me in Ghostbusters, but I don't think she stood out as much as the presumptive co-leader of the group. Leslie Jones was also hilarious. Kristen Wiig is the lead Ghostbuster and I know a lot of people who are giving the film a shot just because of her. She's good, but Jones and McKinnon showed a better comedic touch than her and McCarthy.

Ghostbusters movie poster

Ghostbusters movie poster

The story, like the original, put NYC under attack by a legion of ghosts. The busters have to battle against the undead and city bureaucracy to save New York. The team once again sets out to trap the ghosts, but by the end they are more intent on shredding them and tossing them around. As a fan of the old film, I wasn't crazy about this change, but the young audience seemed to enjoy it, and the battles were fun. Yeah I admit it, it was fun. Beyond any and everything else it was a fun movie.

The end of the final battle disappointed me. It was one of those bonding moments that just seemed fake. I'll admit the scene may play out better to female fans than it did to me. Whatever, it didn't ruin the film for me, I just wish it hadn't have been tacked on. I had much rather have seen the ladies defeat the big baddie, high-five and be celebrated as heroes.

The film did throw in some great references to the original Ghostbusters. Not only did Murray, Akroyd, Ernie Hudson, Sigourney Weaver, and Annie Potts show up, but we had appearances from the Staypuff Marshmallow Man and Slimer as well. We even got to see a female slimer. No it's not the same as having the original team, but it's a fun nod.

Final verdict, no hate for me. It was a good, solid fun movie. I don't think it will have the cultural impact of the original. I do think it will help the originals legacy live on. The new Ghostbusters might even introduce a new generation to the original movie. We can hope can't we? And Kudos for the cameos from the original, surviving team.

Last thought, if you really have hate for the reboot, throw it at the people who got in the way of the third film. At those who kept it from  happening while Harold Ramis was still with us. I don't know all the reasons, but films are going to get remade and rebooted. It's a fact. I have spent years hating on remakes and it does no good. Yeah most of them are shit, but some are great, some are epic and a few, like Ghostbusters are just good, fun movies.

Chris Hemsworth is a hit in the new Ghostbusters

Chris Hemsworth is a hit in the new Ghostbusters

I laughed a lot during Ghostbusters. There were a few times I felt the comedy was forced or just didn't work, and as I said I wasn't crazy about the movie. Overall I enjoyed the experience, and I think if you toss aside your anger about the gender change and that it's a remake, you will probably like it too.  Kids are going to love it. It might be a bit scary to younger kids, but most should handle it.

7 out of 10 stars for a fun movie experience

Posted by Allen Alberson in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 1 comment
House of Tortured Souls LIVE, S01E01

House of Tortured Souls LIVE, S01E01

House of Tortured Souls LIVE

Sunday, 17 July 2016
Season 01, Episode 01

It's the very first episode of House of Tortured Souls LIVE! Join our hosts, John, Andrew, and Dixie as they talk horror. We are horror all the time. It's the first show and we are still working out the kinks. Did someone say kink? Okay, back to horror. In this first episode we do introductions, then we move on to talk about the new Ghostbusters movie. Who are you gonna call?

After that, we talk about the upcoming Scares That Care Weekend 3, and the Scares That Care charity itself. If you are anywhere near historic Williamsburg, Virginia on July 22-24, 2016, get your ass to the Double Tree Hilton for Scares That Care Weekend 3.

Finally, we send a special salute out to a living legend of horror. THE master of horror who finally gets some just recognition. Who is it? Listen to find out! Most of all keep coming back. The gang has great chemistry born of friendship and a mutual love of horror. Tune in, and turn it up!

Special thanks to Rocky Gray for our opening music and our artwork. You the man, man!

Posted by Allen Alberson in FEATURED CONTENT, PODCAST, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: The Shallows (2016)

MOVIE REVIEW: The Shallows (2016)

By Dixielord

Summer is here and it's time to get too scared to go back into the water. Ever since the little Kintner boy bit it (Narf) back in 1975, horror fans have loved the shark. But other than a couple of okay films (Jaws 2, Deep Blue Sea), it's mostly been cheap scifi movies, cheesy scifi movies, or the Discovery Channel. The films have run the gamut from mediocre like Bait and Shark Week) to bad Sharknado (I don’t care if you liked it, it was still bad!) to horribly bad like Sand Shark. But now it's time to get serious with the shark movie, and The Shallows does just that.

The Shallows stars the ultra lovely Mrs. Deadpool, Blake Lively. Lively stars as Nancy, a surfer girl in search of a private beach that her mom visited while she was pregnant with her. Her quest takes her to Mexico, where she does find the beach, but also finds she has invaded the feeding ground of a hungry and pissed off shark. Nancy ends up trapped, on a small island that is destined to be eaten by the tide, as the shark circles. She's hurt, and alone, a mere 200 yards from safety. It takes all of her skill to survive, both the shark and the elements, until she can find a way out.

Here's to swimmin with bowlegged wimmin in The Shallows

Here's to swimmin' with bowlegged wimmin in The Shallows.

Early on Lively shows she is more than a pretty face (and tush) by hanging with the male surfers wave after wave. We find out she is a medical student facing a crisis of faith and with no direction. Her medical skills come in handy, and she's driven by the spirit of her mother to fight on even when there is no hope.

Blake Lively in The Shallows

Buoy, does she take a risk being in the water with a shark.

The Shallows develops slowly, but I never found myself bored or losing interest. While mini jaws does take a while to show up, there are some great surfing scenes and, well Blake Lively, both of which are fun to watch. After the shark does show up, The Shallows becomes survival horror. Nancy is attacked, injured, and finds herself trapped, along with a wounded seagull on a small crop of rock. She's wounded and stuck as the tide goes out, and then as she weakens, the tide starts back in.

We're gonna need a bigger rock

We're gonna need a bigger rock.

The underwater scenes are gorgeous. Even before the shark attack, the below surface is expertly filmed and uses color brilliantly. Our first indicator that something is wrong is the slow addition of red to the water. A faint red that grows swiftly as we realize the shark has taken a decent bite.

Then there is the final battle between woman and shark. It's impressive and you're always in doubt of the outcome up to the very end. There are some scenes involving the buoy that will hearken back to Jaws and Quint's sinking boat.

We're gonna need a bigger buoy in The Shallows

We're gonna need a bigger buoy in The Shallows.

There wasn't a lot of gore, but quite a bit of blood. Most of the shark kills were just out of sight, with only one real jump scare attack. The Shallows is more about building the tension and the isolation of our heroine than a gotcha.

Bikini Blake Lively battles killer shark in The Shallows

Bikini Blake Lively battles killer shark in The Shallows.

I really loved The Shallows. It's easily the best shark movie since Jaws. It pays homage to the Jaws kind of shark movies, but it's its own film. The only thing I had any complaint about was a scene with the shark and a flare gun. The effects just didn't look real enough, but that's a small, tiny complaint. The Shallows is a classic film of man against nature, and just as much man (woman) against herself. Nancy has to overcome her own demons and find her will to survive before she can defeat the demon of the sea. Final thoughts, she didn't need a bigger boat, she didn't look bow legged when she was swimming. I give The Shallows 9 stars and a half chewed Quint out of 10.

Deadpool thumbs up Blake Lively

I'm hittin' that.

Posted by Allen Alberson in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
COMING SOON: Plank Face (2016)

COMING SOON: Plank Face (2016)

By Dixielord

I will be one of the first people to tell you that the horror genre is littered with far too many sub-par films. So it's really refreshing to see new filmmakers with a commitment to produce new horror films that are original, thought provoking, and dammit, just good, solid films. That's whats up with Bandit Motion Pictures, and they are readying their newest film Plank Face for release later this year.

Plank Face is coming from Bandit Motion Pictures

Plank Face is coming from Bandit Motion Pictures

Bandit Motion Pictures hasn't been around long, but it's quickly developing a great track record. The founders of Bandit, writer/director Scott Schrimer and producer/cinematographer Brian K. Williams, were already making waves before they formed their own production company. Schrimer's controversial Found was one of my favorite films of the last few years - and also one of the most disturbing – having been banned for a while in Australia and is still unavailable uncut in Britain. Williams has also developed a name and a following in Indie horror with films like Found, A Time to Kill (not the Sam Jackson one), Plank Face, and The Legend of Wasco.

The first film from Bandit Motion Pictures was the trippy, erotic Harvest Lake which starred the sexy Tristan Risk of Plank Face and American Mary fame. If you expected the duo to play it safe and release a conventional horror film as a follow up to Harvest Lake, Plank Face lays that fear to rest. There's not a lot out beyond the trailer and a couple of different posters, but that's all you need to know this will be another strange one.

From the official IMDb synopsis, Plank Face is the story of a man trapped by a feral family who are determined to transform him into one of their own. Once again eschewing the horror norm of having a female kidnapped as breeding stock. Still this film looks to be way more than that line reveals. Check out the trailer and judge for yourself. This isn't going to be your average slasher flick.

Found from Plank Face director Scott Schrimer

The creators of Plank Face don't do average horror as Found proved.

Plank Face is due to be released in toward the end of August, so it's not too long of a wait. You can even pre order now from the official pre -release crowd funding for Plank Face. It's the best way to guarantee that it's in your hands as soon as possible. It also helps the filmmakers because it takes money to make films. Seriously, and without big studio backing it can be a challenge. So do yourself a favor, check out Harvest Lake, check out Found or A Time to Kill, and then pre-order a copy of Plank Face.

Posted by Allen Alberson in COMING SOON, HORROR NEWS, 0 comments
Goodbye, Penny Dreadful

Goodbye, Penny Dreadful

Goodbye, Penny Dreadful

By Dixielord

Spoiler Warning

Fans of Penny Dreadful, including me, were shocked at the end of episode nine with the revelation that this was the end. The Showtime series starring Eva Green, Josh Hartnett, and Timothy Dalton, was in its third season. According to series creator John Logan, there was no pressure to cancel from Showtime. The show had simply ran its course, and with the end of the Vanessa Ives story line, it was time to say goodbye.

Goodbye John Clare and Goodbye Penny Dreadful

Rory Kinnear as The Creature in Penny Dreadful (season 3, episode 7)

The decision was apparently made during season two. It was also decided to keep the show's fate a secret, so as not to risk spoiling the ending to the show's loyal fans. It does feel like this was a deliberate attempt to go out while the series was in its prime. I'm sad that Penny Dreadful is no more, but I don't feel cheated. So many shows have died too soon, and just as many have gone on to become a pale shadow of what they were. How different would the legacy of Dexter have been if it had ended a few seasons earlier?

The Wolf of God in Penny Dreadful

Ethan wolfs out

Penny Dreadful was first and foremost the story of Vanessa Ives (Eva Green). True fans got to know and love those around her, her loves, and enemies, and even casual acquaintances, but this was Vanessa's story. Her struggle ended, at the hands of her love Ethan, and so Penny Dreadful ended.

What of the other characters? Ethan Chandler (Talbot), Sir Malcolm, Frankenstein and his monster, and Lilly? Their stories will most likely never be known to us. Call me a sucker, but I hold out faint hope that we might see some continuation of the characters in a special or mini series, but I know that's just wishful thinking. This was Vanessa's story. The other stories will forever be unknown to us. It's heartbreaking, but it's for the best.

So goodbye Ethan, Dorian, Dr. Seward, John Clare, and the rest, and most of all goodbye Ms. Ives. Thank you for three seasons of wonderful Victorian monster fun. Thank you for reinventing the creatures we knew too well, and for doing it in an imaginative and respectful way. And thank you Showtimeand John Logan, for having the strength and knowledge to end the show where it needed to end. Thank you for saying, “it's time to end” even while your fans are screaming “no”. I leave Penny Dreadful with no bad memories. It's been a fun ride, a beautiful experience, but like Vanessa said, “let it end”. Goodbye, Penny Dreadful.

Posted by Allen Alberson in HORROR NEWS, 0 comments
The Nun – The Conjuring 2 Spin-off Coming

The Nun – The Conjuring 2 Spin-off Coming

Conjuring Up A Spin-off

By Dixielord

The Conjuring 2 is still in the theaters and already a spin-off is officially in the works with The Nun. The will be the second movie spinning away from the series based (somewhat) on the real life (somewhat) adventures of Ed and Lorraine Warren. The original Conjuring film lead to the spin-off demon dolly film Annabelle and is itself is in line for a sequel.

The Nun is coming.

The Nun is coming

The Nun Is Coming

It's still very early in the process, but as of now Conjuring director James Wan is only aboard as a producer. David Leslie Johnson (The Conjuring 2) is attached to write the script, but that's pretty much it as no director or cast has been named this early. Bonnie Aarons (Drag Me to Hell) portrayed the nun in The Conjuring 2 but there is no word on whether she will reprise the role or not.

We do know that the story will follow the demonic nun from The Conjuring 2. We can only assume, and it's a fairly safe assumption, that it will delve into the back story of the demon Valak or the nun whose form he took. Most likely both.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the nun was actually a late addition to The Conjuring 2. Initially, Wan planned on a horned demon representing Valak. However, Lorraine Warren told him of an experience where she had encountered a swirling vortex with a hooded figure inside. Thus, Wan decided to combine the hooded nun figure with the demon Valac. The demonic nun was born, and the seeds were planted for The Nun spin-off.

Who Was Valak?

Valac looks nothing like The Nun

The Conjuring 2 demon Valac as he is pictured in demonology

The demon Valak was not a creation for the film but actually exists. At least in the world of demonology and The Lesser Key of Solomon if not in our reality. In the Lesser Key of Solomon, Valak, or Valac is a President of Hell. Now there are several presidents, Kings and other royalty among the 72, so apparently there was a lot of power sharing in Hell. In the grimoire, Valac is the diviner of great secrets and can be summoned by worthy magicians. His physical form resembles a small winged boy astride a two-headed dragon. There are no reports of him using shitty CGI, which was my main complaint with The Conjuring 2 (The Crooked Man).

The Nun from the Blues Brothers

What's more frightening than The Nun from Conjuring 2? The Penguin!!

The Nun actually has some material and potential. If they go at it hardcore and don't worry about trying to make a film for the masses. Give us an old school nun possessed by the devil with sleaze, sex, and abominations! We believe in you! Actually, nah, that's not likely to happen. It's probably going to follow the lines of Annabelle and play it fairly safe. While I enjoyed both Conjuring films, the first more than the second, Annabelle bored me. I hope The Nun is closer to its cinematic parents than its cousin.

Posted by Allen Alberson in HORROR NEWS, 0 comments
Rob Zombie’s 31 Trailer is Here

Rob Zombie’s 31 Trailer is Here

By Dixielord

So after what seems like an eternity, we are finally getting a first look at Rob Zombie's 31 with a recently released trailer. I know, I know, about half of you out there are cheering, the other half groaning. Rob's movie making ability is like the abortion or gun control of the horror world. He tears apart Facebook friends worse than the presidential election. I admit to being a fan, but I also admit he has underwhelmed me a few times. Halloween 2, yeah I'd like to forget that one.

Cast of Rob Zombie's 31

Cast of Rob Zombie's 31

Still love him, hate him, or somewhere in between, there are a couple things you can't argue. He likes to do things the way he wants, and he loves to make it bloody. From the trailer and all reports, 31 looks to cover both of these.

31 centers on a group of traveling carnies, who are kidnapped the night before Halloween. They wake to find themselves locked in a compound called Murder World. Here they are forced to play a sadistic version of last man (or woman) standing, as they are hunted by a sadistic group of killers called “The Heads”. If they can survive for twelve hours they just might get to live.

Richard Brake is Doom Head in Rob Zombie's 31

Richard Brake is Doom Head in Rob Zombie's 31

31 stars the not ready for zombie time players Sheri Moon Zombie, Jeff Daniel Phillips, Lew Temple, Malcolm McDowell, Elizabeth Daley, and Ginger Lynn among others (where the fuck is Sid Haig?). It also, and this really excites me stars Lawrence Hilton Jacobs from one of my favorite shows as a kid. From 1975-1979 Jacobs starred as Freddie “Boom Boom” Washington on Welcome Back Kotter. He's had a decent career since then, but it's great seeing him as a headliner, and especially seeing him in a horror film.

Lawrence Hilton Jacobs in Rob Zombie's 31

Lawrence Hilton Jacobs in Rob Zombie's 31

The trailer focuses heavily on Richard Brake (Game of Thrones) as the enigmatic and sadistic Doom Head. Brake is a relatively newcomer to the Zombie ensemble, he had a small role in Halloween 2 but remember, we're forgetting that one. It looks like he will be doing heavy duty in 31 though. It trailer also seems to show Zombie is getting back to the style that of Devils Rejects and House of 1000 Corpses. The dark and gritty, bloody style that first helped him gain a fan base in the horror community. But why am I running my mouth? Check out the damn trailer yourself.

Then get ready for a VOD and limited theatrical release just in time for Halloween from Saban films

Posted by Allen Alberson in HORROR NEWS, NEW RELEASES, SLASHERS AND BAD HUMANS, 0 comments