Donovan Smith

Horror-On-Sea Film Festival 2020: The Truth Will Out 2020

Horror-On-Sea Film Festival 2020: The Truth Will Out 2020

The Truth Will Out is a 2020 horror film written and directed by Jessica Hunt and Sam Mason-Bell. It stars Kevin Cordell, Sam Mason-Bell, Jackson Batchelor, Jessica Hunt, Suki Jones, and Kayla Charlton. A documentary crew interviews a woman and her two daughters, who they suspect are witches. This was an awesome film, with fantastic acting and a really fun premise. It’s full of black magic and the dark arts and is a bit unsettling at times. I did feel like it tapered off a little towards the end, and that the climax could have been stronger, however, it was still gratifying nonetheless. The lighting was excellent and the music was great. And even though the gore was pretty much nonexistent, the film was very exciting and intriguing. Also, the story was really well written, and the pacing was perfect. Then there’s the phenomenal performance from Kevin Cordell that’s hard to shake. He brought the goods and totally nailed the role. The Truth Will Out is dark, menacing and engaging. It grabs you and doesn’t let go. It’s creepy good. If you’re a fan of the occult, you’re going to love this one. Give it a view if you get the chance, it’s extremely entertaining. 

Posted by Donovan Smith in EVENTS, FRIENDS OF THE HOUSE, MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
Horror-On-Sea Film Festival 2020: Bride of Violence 2018

Horror-On-Sea Film Festival 2020: Bride of Violence 2018

Bride of Violence is a 2018 horror thriller written and directed by Travis Mills. It stars Porsche Lynn, Mark Speno, Brooklyn Wilde, Craig Hensley, and Richard Anderson. An engaged Christian couple’s camping trip quickly turns violent as they’re kidnapped and terrorized by an escaped convict loose in the area. The film is based on a story by American crime writer Lawrence Block, called A Walk Among the Tombstones. The story was adapted to fit elements of horror, which originally were not included. It’s a truly beautiful looking film and a seriously chilling tale. The acting is terrific and special effects are excellent. Also, the music is fantastic and the framing is really great. Bride of Violence is a truly unnerving and disturbing film. It’s atmospheric and really builds the dread. It’s a terrifying psychological thriller, dealing with the subjects of religion and human nature. Not many people will be able to stomach this one, as it’s a slow burn and incredibly intense. If you think you have what it takes, give this one a spin. It’s for serious hardcore genre fans.

Posted by Donovan Smith in EVENTS, 0 comments
Horror-On-Sea Film Festival 2020: Live Or Let Die

Horror-On-Sea Film Festival 2020: Live Or Let Die

Live and Let Die is a german horror film written by Jan Bohlenschmidt and Manuel Urbaneck and directed by Manuel Urbaneck. It stars Jan Bohlenschmidt, Steven Mooers, Alona Hertha, Micheal Valentin, and Heiko Schulz. Two men struggle to find answers as they battle to survive in a world ravaged by the undead. When it comes to zombie films, the sub-genre has been badly beaten to death. We’ve seen nearly every type of film, from comedies to action, dramas to thrillers. We’ve seen sci-fi films, romantic films, supernatural films and pretty much anything and everything in between. However, despite it all, there’s never been a serious, heartfelt, poignant zombie flick that truly bleeds the feels, like Live Or Let Die. Not since the one that started it all, has there been a true zombie film quite like this. It’s the modern-day version of the 1968 George A. Romero classic, Night of the Living Dead. The film is visually stunning and beautifully shot. There were some seriously gorgeous landscapes and sincere, genuine acting by the two leads. The gore and makeup were fantastic and the music really pulled it all together nicely. There were some incredible choreographed fight sequences, along with some awesome costumes and makeup. Also, the human scum element was present and accounted for, making the film that much more realistic. The directing was phenomenal and you get the sense that the filmmakers really love the sub-genre and are well versed in the zombie subculture. They brilliantly showcase society’s deep-rooted fear of death. Live Or Let Die is an undead masterpiece. It’s compelling and insightful, and simply one of the best zombie films of all time. It’s gripping and captivating, with and ending that’s sure to shock and surprise fans. You do not miss this film. It’s currently making its rounds in the festival circuit and will soon be taking the world by storm. Keep an eye out for this one, it’s certainly one to watch for.

 

Posted by Donovan Smith in EVENTS, FRIENDS OF THE HOUSE, GORE OR EXTREME HORROR, MONSTERS AND CREATURES, MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, SCI-FI HORROR, SLASHERS AND BAD HUMANS, ZOMBIES, 0 comments
Horror-On-Sea Film Festival 2020: The Numbers 2018

Horror-On-Sea Film Festival 2020: The Numbers 2018

The Numbers is a 2018 horror film written and directed by Andrew Elias. It stars Peyvand Sadeghian, Lilly Driscoll, Jo Burke, Nicky Stephens, Howie Cobby, Jess Collett and Andrew Elias. Three terrifying tales of fate from three separate time periods, told by the numbers.  This was a very unusual and unorthodox style of film. It plays like an anthology, although there’s only one director and the run time is a rather short. Each story was well written and the special effects were excellent. However, I felt there was a lot of filler in each tale, and think the film would have benefited more as a short. The music was great and Peyvand Sadeghian was fantastic as the psychic, Madame Mimi. She really carried the film and fit the part perfectly. She was grim and eerie, and really embraced the dark role. The directing was very well done, and I was pleasantly surprised with the performances from all the actors involved in the film. The Numbers is odd, creepy and original. It’s entertaining and mysterious and does a stellar job of seizing your attention. It’s fresh and overall just a terrific film. If you’re looking for something different, do yourself a favor and go check this one out.

Posted by Donovan Smith in EVENTS, FRIENDS OF THE HOUSE, MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, SATANIC/DEMONIC, 0 comments
Horror-On-Sea Film Festival 2020: The Barge People 2018

Horror-On-Sea Film Festival 2020: The Barge People 2018

The Barge People is a 2018 horror film written by Christopher Lombard and directed by Charlie Steeds. It stars Kate Davies-Speak, Mark McKirdy, Makenna Guyper, Natalie Martins, Matt Swales, Emma Spurgin Hussey, Sam Lane, Carl Andersson, David Lenik and Kane Surry. A pair of couples vacationing on a barge find themselves in a fight for their lives as they battle a family of mutant fish people while traveling the beautiful British countryside.

This is what horror is all about. Its Wrong Turn meets Dagon in this gloriously grotesque masterpiece. I fucking loved everything about this film. The practical effects are top-notch and the makeup is excellent. The costumes are solid and the acting really helps sell the film. The directing is great and you get a sense that the filmmakers truly understand horror. Their use of angles and attention to detail is incredible.

The music is fantastic and really sets the tone of the film. It’s intense and impactful, and really amplifies the violence. Kate Davies-Speak is terrific as the final girl. Her performance proves she’s one to watch and definitely a scream queen on the rise. She navigated the film flawlessly, commanding the reins.

The Barge People is absolutely brilliant. It’s the perfect addition to the slasher sub genre. It’s a practical gore filled gem with franchise potential. Pure midnight movie madness, worthy of a slew of sequels. Do not miss this film. If there’s a screening anywhere near you, go see it.

Posted by Donovan Smith in Categories, EVENTS, FRIENDS OF THE HOUSE, GORE OR EXTREME HORROR, HORROR COMEDIES, MONSTERS AND CREATURES, MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, SCI-FI HORROR, SLASHERS AND BAD HUMANS, 0 comments
Horror-On-Sea Film Festival 2020: PandaMonium

Horror-On-Sea Film Festival 2020: PandaMonium

From the studio that brought you Slasher House, comes the newest and most terrifying edition in the ever-expanding “Mychoverse”. The 2020 film PandaMonium is the first-ever slice and dice em horror-comedy brought to you by the masters of slashers, Mycho Entertainment. It’s the ninth frightening feature from the company that shows no signs of slowing down.

PandaMonium is written and directed by MJ Dixon, and produced by Anna Dixon. It stars Oriana Charles, Dani Thompson, Will Jones, James Hammer-Morton, Lee Mark Jones, Chloe Badham, Derek Nelson, Tatiana Ibba, Martin W. Payne, Susan Lee Burton, Luna Wolf and David Hon Ma Chu as Jakob Jakushi, aka The Stripper Ripper. A raging office party spirals out of control when a serial killer in a Panda Mask begins picking off victims one by one.

Let me start out by saying that this isn’t the standard Mycho film that fans are used to. Instead of the more serious style of slasher movie we’ve grown accustomed too, PandaMonium attempts to splice comedy and hilarious one-liners with cutting edge horror in this chilling low budget slasher classic. It’s a genuinely slashtastic addition to the sub-genre.

There are so many brilliant performances, from a truly talented cast. Martin W. Payne, Chloe Badham, and Will Jones are all funny and fantastic and James Hammer-Morton and Lee Mark Jones really brought the laughs. Derek Nelson delivered a side-splitting rendition and scream queen Dani Thompson absolutely slayed as the head stripper in charge.

Oriana Charles was the perfect final girl – trying to escape an unshakable past as the bodies begin to pile up. But the best acting came from David Hon Ma Chu as Jakob Jakushi. The way he delivered his dialogue and gave such a dark and unsettling performance as the giant panda mask-wearing killer hell-bent on hacking up strippers, proves he’s one to keep an eye on. The Stripper Ripper is super creepy and definitely a slasher icon on the rise. 

There were a few areas in the film that I felt could’ve used some extra attention. The set dressing in the office building was rather plain and could have benefited from a little more color. Also, I feel that using different attire for the male actors would’ve helped each individual stand out more, therefore creating a stronger bond between the characters and the viewers. It would have made the deaths more personable.

The cinematography was gorgeous, and the angles were on point like usual. However, the lighting was a bit mucky and the music selection and placement seemed to go against the grade in a few areas. The sound levels and sound effects were fine, it just felt like there were a few missed opportunities that could have made it a lot darker and really intensified the mood. There was also an obvious lack of blood. 

PandaMonium is slick, stylish and sadistic. A cut above the rest. It’s booze, drugs, girls, and gore in this horrifying independent horror-comedy. Sick scares and grotesque fun. A superb slasher flick. This ain’t no Kung Fu Panda.

You can catch the latest film from Mycho Entertainment playing Saturday the 18th at the Horror-On-Sea Film Festival 2020. This is best iconic slasher villain in years, and a must see for serious slasher fans. It’s one office party you don’t want to miss.

Posted by Donovan Smith in Categories, EVENTS, FRIENDS OF THE HOUSE, HORROR COMEDIES, MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, SLASHERS AND BAD HUMANS, 0 comments
Horror-On-Sea Film Festival 2020: Bite Night

Horror-On-Sea Film Festival 2020: Bite Night

Bite Night is a fantasy horror film written and directed by Maria Lee Metheringham. It stars Dani Thompson, Mj Dixon, Anna Dixon, Rachel Brownstein, Marcella Edgecombe-Craig, Martha Niklas, Will Metheringham, and Maria Lee Metheringham. Things are not what they appear to be when a group of contest winners spends the night with a trio of sexy, seductive band members.

This was a strange, yet very intriguing film. It was a tad difficult to follow at times, and the sound levels aren’t of the best quality, however, it’s brimming with potential and there are some seriously memorable moments. There’s a truly disturbing dinner scene involving a severed head that’s worth the price of admission, not to mention some talented acting, graceful gore, and catchy tunes.

Bite Night, aka Party of Valice has all the fixings for an entertaining evening full of debauchery and desires. The film starts out going one way and ends up in a completely different tailspin by the time it’s over. The costumes could’ve used some attention, along with the storyline and character development. More meaningful characters provide a stronger bond with the audience. It has that drive-in movie appeal and is definitely worth checking out if you get the chance.

Posted by Donovan Smith in Categories, EVENTS, FRIENDS OF THE HOUSE, GORE OR EXTREME HORROR, MONSTERS AND CREATURES, MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, SCI-FI HORROR, SLASHERS AND BAD HUMANS, VAMPIRES, 0 comments
Horror-On-Sea Film Festival 2020: Day of the Stranger 2019

Horror-On-Sea Film Festival 2020: Day of the Stranger 2019

Day of the Stranger is a 2019 acid western written and directed by Thomas Lee Rutter. It stars Gary Shail, Gary Baxter, Richard Rowbotham, James Taylor, Dale Sheppard, Jim Heal, Maryam Forouhandeh, Bazz Hancher, Shelley Krasnowski and James Underwood. After narrowly escaping death’s grasp while dragging his bounty across the desert, Caine Farrowood (Sheppard) takes a job that might very well be his last. 

The spaghetti/acid western category has long been a thing of the past. So, when heard there would be a screening at the 2020 Horror-On-Sea Film Festival, I pounced on the chance to view it. Not only is the film an acid western, but it’s a British acid western. It’s unique and different, and definitely something you don’t see everyday.

This film was an absolute blast. It’s everything that an acid western should be. From bloody gunfights to cowboy hats and horse riding, to low raspy voices and cigars, it totally delivers. There were plenty of trippy, psychedelic scenes, accompanied by some seriously sick practical effects, although the gore is very minimal. The story was also lacking a bit, which is great though, because it parallels the films that originally pioneered the style back in the 70s.  Day of the Stranger is a modern day classic. The definition of an acid western. It’s one twisted and wicked adventure. If you get the chance, I highly urge you to check this one out. It’s badass and entertaining as hell, and definitely worth a watch.

Posted by Donovan Smith in EVENTS, FRIENDS OF THE HOUSE, MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
Horror-On-Sea Film Festival 2020: Awoken 2019

Horror-On-Sea Film Festival 2020: Awoken 2019

Awoken is a 2019 horror thriller written by Daniel J. Phillips and Alan Grace, and directed by Daniel J. Phillips. It stars Erik Thomson, Benson Jack Anthony, Sara West, Felicia Tassone and Adam Ovadia. A young woman battles for her brothers life as she tries desperately to cure him of his deadly sleep disorder.
This was an excellent film with a really in-depth story, although it does get a bit murky at times. Despite being predicated on the tired, old, worn out subgenre of demonic possession, the film is actually very well done. It’s similar to films like Truth or Dare and Wish Upon in how it looks and is shot, and it also showcases a phenomenal female lead in Sara West. She absolutely killed it as the concerned sister doing everything she can to save her sibling from the forces of evil.
It isn’t your normal possession film, as it deals with the rare, real life genetic degenerative brain disorder called Fatal Familial Insomnia. It’s a serious sleep condition that worsens over time and eventually leads to death. The film is the antithesis of the 1984 classic, The Nightmare on Elm Street. It doesn’t rely on blood and gore gimmicks to make it effective. Instead, it creates intense, anxiety filled sequences made to test your nerves and sanity.

Awoken is a powerhouse film designed to make your skin crawl. It’s extremely frightening and preys on your fears. There are some truly startling scenes that will scare the living crap out of you. If you can muster up the courage, definitely check this one out. Just beware, it’s bound to give some viewers nightmares. 

Posted by Donovan Smith in EVENTS, FRIENDS OF THE HOUSE, MOVIE REVIEWS, PARANORMAL, REVIEWS, SATANIC/DEMONIC, SCI-FI HORROR, THRILLER, 0 comments
Horror-On-Sea Film Festival 2020: Nefarious 2019

Horror-On-Sea Film Festival 2020: Nefarious 2019

Nefarious is a 2019 horror film written by Richard Rowntree and Matthew Davies, and directed by Richard Rowntree. It’s stars Jon Vangdal Aamaas, Aaron Thomas Ward, Gregory A. Smith, Toby Wynn-Davies, Richard Rowntree, Nadia Lamin and Tony Sands. A group of friends indebted to their local crime lord get more than they bargained for when they decide to rob a wealthy man and his disabled brother.

The film starts out slow, but ends with a bang. The screenplay is fantastic and things get pretty messy in the third act. There were some really great performances and it’s just a solid all around film. It’s ruthless, gory fun. A beautiful piece of indie filmmaking.

There were a few areas that could have been stronger, such as the lighting, especially in the interrogation room. Also, the music could have been darker and more intense in certain scenes, adding a greater sense of dread and unease to the madness. However, the potential and passion are there, the screws just need a little tightening.

Nefarious is brutal as hell. It goes straight for the jugular. It’s creepy, unnerving, and extremely entertaining. A terrifying good time. The film has already received a ton of awards, and I highly recommend checking it out if you get the opportunity. 

Posted by Donovan Smith in EVENTS, FRIENDS OF THE HOUSE, GORE OR EXTREME HORROR, IN THE SPOTLIGHT, MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, SLASHERS AND BAD HUMANS, THRILLER, 0 comments
Horror-On-Sea Film Festival 2020: Witch Tales/Cuentos de la Bruja

Horror-On-Sea Film Festival 2020: Witch Tales/Cuentos de la Bruja

Witch Tales/Cuentos de la Bruja is a comedy horror anthology film, written and directed by Mike Lyddon. It stars Mayella Lloclla, Hannah Hernandez, Fiorella Vergel, Juanjo Rodriguez, Magally Aramburu, Mario Maldonado, Carmen Cabrera, Oscar Babilonia, Erik Carrillo, Raul Chamorro, Erick Lopez and Renata Babilonia. Three frightening tales of terror told by a bruja with secrets of her own.

This was a really fun time and definitely one of the better horror anthologies as of recent. The stories were great and the gore was fantastic. The whole thing was filmed entirely in the country of Peru, and thanks to a bi-lingual cast, the filmmakers managed to produce both a Spanish and English version of the film.

The acting could have been better and the costumes needed a little work. Also, the set dressing wasn’t the best. However, aside from those minor details, the film was very entertaining and I can’t wait to see what they come up with next.

Witch Tales/Cuentos de la Bruja is a spooky and disgusting film. It digs under your skin and stabs at your fears. If you’re looking for a night of frights, do yourself a favor and check out this amazing horror anthology. You won’t be disappointed.

Posted by Donovan Smith in ANTHOLOGY, Categories, EVENTS, FRIENDS OF THE HOUSE, GORE OR EXTREME HORROR, MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, SATANIC/DEMONIC, 0 comments
Horror-On-Sea Film Festival 2020: I Scream on the Beach!

Horror-On-Sea Film Festival 2020: I Scream on the Beach!

I Scream on the Beach! is a horror comedy written and directed by Alexander Churchyard and Michael Holiday. It stars Hannah Paterson, Dani Thompson, Reis Daniel, Jamie Evans, Lloyd Kaufman, Leigh Trifari, Martin W. Payne, Rob Shaw, Tess Gustard, Mark Keegan, Andrea Sandell, Will Jones, Swaylee Loughnane and Michael Fausti. A psychotic killer stalks a small seaside town as a young woman investigates the disappearance of her father. 

Coming into this, I had no idea what to expect, aside from it being a slasher film of sorts. To my surprise, it was exceedingly engaging and entertaining. The lighting and coloring worked great, playing like a classic throwback slasher film, and the music was fantastic. There were some awesome performances from a truly talented cast, with some terrific costumes and makeup.

This film was a little light on the horror and gore, and leaned more towards the comedy aspect. The killer was badass and probably the best part about the film, overall. However, the ending is definitely noteworthy and something fans will not expect. When it comes to the most bizarre endings of all time, this is certainly up there. It’s so insane, you’ll either love it or hate it.

I Scream on the Beach! is dark and humorous. It’s super campy and will leave everyone screaming for more. It’s ridiculous and fun as hell. Everyone is going to be talking about this one, you don’t want to miss it. 

Posted by Donovan Smith in Categories, EVENTS, FRIENDS OF THE HOUSE, GORE OR EXTREME HORROR, HALLOWEEN, HORROR COMEDIES, MOVIE REVIEWS, SCI-FI HORROR, SLASHERS AND BAD HUMANS, 0 comments
Monster Interviews: MJ Dixon – Mycho Entertainment

Monster Interviews: MJ Dixon – Mycho Entertainment

Monster: When did you realize you wanted to be a filmmaker? Was there any defining moment when things just clicked and you knew it was something you wanted to do? 

MJ: I think it was when I was quite young. I always wanted to be involved in Filmmaking and Writing since I could remember and by the time I was 15 I had kind of come to terms with the fact that I wanted to be a Writer, a Horror Writer more specifically. It wasn’t until I left school and started helping out on a local short film that I realized that being a screenwriter was the quickest way to get what I actually wanted and that was seeing my own work on film.

I started off just trying to make stuff, which was difficult in the mid to late 90’s, as video equipment wasn’t widely available to working class families like it is now and any practice I could get was borrowing the Colleges old tv camera for an hour every Wednesday morning. I didn’t really get to start making my own stuff until 1999 when I was given the go ahead to book the camera over night. 

Instead I would borrow my friends old 8mm Camcorder and just practice with that. Filmmaking really didn’t come naturally to me and so it was an uphill struggle to figure out things like composition, lighting and narrative intent. My first films were garbage, but I just refused to quit. 

I saved my lunch money for 3 months and bought the cheapest DV Camcorder I could afford in 2002 and that led to several years of me just making as many films as I could, back then no-one cared about anything shot on Digital so if you were making shorts films, for the most part they were just for you. So I just kept making stuff and every so often would pull everything I had learned for one of University pieces. Two dozen terrible movies later I sat down and said “Right, why do these films suck?” 

It was in 2008 at that moment that I felt ready and I really knew “this is what I need to do with my life”.

Monster: Why do you make horror films? And more specifically, why slasher films? How do you continue to create such original and unique killers? 

MJ: I always loved horror films the most when I was younger. The thing with horror was that, even if it was bad, it was still good (mostly), but the horror section of the video store was the most magical and intriguing thing in world. I always gravitated toward the covers and the ideas hinted at by them and would sit and imagine just how scary these films could be. Of course, eventually I would be disappointed by some of them, but the fun was in the anticipation.

With that said, I always loved all kind of movies and I decided early on that I wanted to tackle every genre as a filmmaker at some point. I just realized that horror was the best genre to do that in, it’s a genre that you can marry with almost any other type of film. 

Slasher films, to me, are the perfection of the horror formula. The distillation of why we enjoy them and I noticed quickly that there were a great many interesting things you could do and stories you could tell by using Slasher movies as a short hand. Everyone knows them, they are the horror equivalent of a Romantic Comedy, you know the story already, so you can understand when we start fucking with the idea of that. 

Coming up with our own Slashers I always found quite easy. As I said the Horror genre, and the Slasher sub genre especially, has a wonderful short hand and so creating characters to fill that world really leans into that. Because there are so many Slasher movies, that means so many slasher villains and that leaves so many archetypes to draw from. 

Thorn is based on Hulking monsters like Jason and Myers, whilst Cleaver and Prankster are treated more like Freddy Krueger, but there are other nuances to the genre to take inspiration from like Nathan (Hollower), the reluctant psychopath or Corben (Slasher House 1 & 2) the intellectual killer and many MANY others. Strangely we also draw on other genres for our monsters and Jacob from PandaMonium takes a lot cues from James Bond, he’s smart, cool, collected and great at his job and I really liked making a slick, ‘professional’ slasher like that, that’s closer to a hitman than a disturbed individual with mummy issues or whatever.

Monster: Who are some of the filmmakers that inspire you to do what you do? Do you have any favorite indie horror directors or non-genre directors? 

MJ: In my early years I was really inspired by maverick Directors like Sam Raimi, Lloyd Kaufman, James Cameron, Robert Rodriguez and basically any filmmaker who just went out and did it. I took a lot of inspiration from Kevin Smith and the way his films interconnected, I loved comic books (as he obviously does) and it didn’t take long for me to conceive that Slasher movies being interconnected would be a great idea and it had worked before with the Classic Monsters, to me it felt like a no brainer.

These days I find myself inspired by almost every filmmaker that I encounter, at any level. I think you can learn a lot from bad films, good films and even mediocre films. One of my favorite things is working on other sets, and you get to watch people make mistakes that you definitely would have made yourself and you get to learn from that mistake before you even make it. More importantly though. You get to see what people are doing RIGHT and if you can recognize that and take it home with you, then that’s a very useful thing to realize. 

It’s hard to say who my favorites are. I love anything John Carpenter (Obviously) and I’m a big fan of Kevin Smith (as I said), but I’m inspired by so many filmmakers that I find it very hard to chose even a couple. 

I hugely admire so many indie filmmakers though and learn so much from them, I really enjoy working with people like Maria Lee Metheringham, Jason Impey, Eilleen Daly, Keiran Johnson to name a few and I love what filmmakers like Andrew Jones, Dominic Brunt and Ben Manning/Pablo Raybould are doing, really adding cool new stuff to the genre here in the UK.

Monster: You currently own and operate the company, Mycho Entertainment. Where did the name Mycho originate from, and what’s its significance to you? What does the company represent and where do you see it headed in the future? 

MJ: Haha people often ask me this and mispronounce it, but its pronounced “My” “Co”. I spent the summer of 2004 coming up with a name for a new production label that would give me a clear cut off from what I’d be doing before. I liked that ‘Troma’ was a word that they just made up and so I decided that I’d try and do the same kind of thing.

My first name is Mike and one of my all time favorite films is Psycho and so ‘Mycho’ was born and people really seemed to dig it, so it stuck. 

Also, The whole point of the new name and branding was that it was to represent a fresh start for me as a filmmaker. I had spent years trying to get projects of the ground and being told “it just won’t work” or “its just can’t happen” or “its just too stupid” and I wanted to just make stuff MY way and learn for myself. So the MY in that suddenly felt like it took on a new meaning for me, it was like saying these films are My Choices and it felt like a powerful name to carry that and it has. Mycho represents just getting up, going out and doing YOUR shit. YOUR way. It’s also somewhat satisfying to see that at the front of every movie we make, knowing that it was born from people telling me “I couldn’t do it”. 

I think into the future, it’s simply a case of making sure that we carry that ethos. Life throws all sorts of things at us and the first thing to die, usually, are our dreams and we aim to make sure that the people who want to keep their dreams alive, can. We have loads of stories left to tell and we equally want to be able to help others tell their stories whenever possible.

Monster: You’re recently coming off your most successful film campaign to date. After nearly doubling the funding, what can we expect from Slasher House 3; a movie boasting 25 Slashers – something that’s never been done before in the genre. 

MJ: Slasher House 3 is our tenth Mycho feature and so we really wanted to do something BIG and special for it, out of that Slasher House 3 was born. The idea to do 25 Slashers was newer than the concept itself. Early on I knew Slasher House (2012) would be a trilogy (because I’m a big Star Wars geek so everything is always trilogies with me) and that we’d start in the middle, but the details of part 3 really came together in 2010 on set when we joked about various ‘comedy’ endings for the film.

One of them, That is unfortunately now a spoiler so I can’t say what it was, was so daft that I really start to think “What if that was the actual ending” and whilst on set I started to figure out the logistics of how that could work as a serious story and I started designing a whole host of Slashers from there, some of which ended up in Slasher House 2 (2016) and some ended up in this, but for the most part, with one change the main Slashers have been prepped and ready to go for almost 10 years. 

Ultimately that led to needing 25 Slashers for the story to work and it kind of just went from there. There was a point when it almost become 30 and I realized that perhaps that was too many. 

The things about the film is that its so full of twists that its hard to say what its about with out spoiling a lot of the surprise and as well as balancing 30+ characters, your also trying to finish a story that you’ve been telling over 3 films in a way that answers questions and keeps people surprised, I think it does that in a unique way, but I’m sure ultimately the audience will let me know if it does or not.

Monster: You’ve invented your own movie universe, aka the Mychoverse, similar to what Stephen King and Kevin Smith have done. How did the idea of your own horror universe come to fruition and do you have any special plans for the Mychoverse down the road? 

MJ: Yeah, Smith especially was a HUGE inspiration to how all this started, I always like how comic books crossed over. Guest starring IronMan or Hulk vs The X-Men, stuff like that was a big draw for me as a kid, But I felt like movies just weren’t doing that and my adolescent brain just couldn’t understand why. The thing that really cemented it for me was “What If Michael Myers visited the Amityville house?” Like would they exist in the same world? Could Jason just wander into Haddonfield? It was just pure fanboy fantasy, but Obviously I didn’t have the rights to make those movies and Fan films always seemed like A LOT of work for something that you couldn’t do much with.

I liked the idea of building a world where all those Slasher movies that you watched in the 80’s all happened and what would our modern world look like now? It was fun and suddenly I found myself charged with making up a dozen or so serial killers and monsters of my own and it was just great fun. 

From the early 2000’s I started working on a plan what I called at the time the ‘Bottom Shelf Universe” the idea was to make low budget horror stuff that would be found on the bottom shelf of Blockbuster stores, the kind of stuff that you’d pick up with your big budget rentals because they had a cool cover, and quietly we’d be building it to a crossover movie that was eventually called The Slasher House, where they’d all meet and fight it out. Hollower, Thorn and even Corben all had their own movies planned with the ending being Slasher House

I wrote treatments for all of them out and Slasher House become the idea I was most excited about. I remember sitting one night in 2005 and just plowing through the first draft of it with a bottle of vodka next to me. I spent the next 4 years refining it with the plan to start with other movies first and adjusting it every time those ideas developed more. 

In 2009 I heard that two similar sounding projects were planned to go into production, they weren’t the same thing, but they featured upfront the element that was my twist ending. I panicked and said “Ok nows the time, if we’re quick we can get this done before those other guys”. Of course, being the first proper feature film I ever made, it took almost 2 and a half years, But, luckily. those other guys never even made it to production so we made it first and then those films never followed. 

Whilst writing Slasher House I started to plot out the larger world and suddenly it became part of a bigger idea, I connected the dots to a HUGE project I’d been working on since I was a teenager and before I knew it I had a whole world of movies planned. I think it was initially 12 films but as it developed and we added Cleavers story and a couple of others its now a 16 film storyline that ends everything we’ve worked on so far. I really can’t wait for people to see how it all pans out.

Monster: Out of all the characters you’ve ever created, do you have any personal favorites and why? And who is your favorite slasher or horror villain, outside of the Mychoverse?

MJ: Thorn has always been my favorite. I created him long before the Mychoverse even had a name. I have, hands down, spent the most time developing him out any of our characters and I just love everything about him and the world that he lives in and comes from. The movies have literally only scratched the very surface of whats going on there and If I ONLY got to make Thorn movies for the rest of my life I’d be a happy man.

Outside of our stuff, it’s gotta be Michael Myers. He was the first Horror villain that I really remember watching and he scared the crap out of me as a kid. I love the Halloween movies and Myers is the reason. I try and pour my love for those movies into everything I do. 

Monster: Do you have any upcoming releases fans should be on the lookout for, and where can they follow you and stay up to date with all that Mycho has going on at the moment? 

MJ: Our previous films CleaverS and Mask of Thorn just landed on wide DVD, which has been exciting, because it means so many more people can get hold of them. Our latest two PandaMonium and Bannister Dollhouse land in 2020 and I’m really excited to see how they are received, I think they represent our best work so far.

Pandamonium has its World Premiere at Horror-On-Sea Film Festival in January and we’re really excited for that and I can’t wait to see the cast and crew again. 

From there we have so much stuff planned. SH3 is just one of the movies we plan to make in 2020 and we really like to surprise our friends, fans and followers with what we’re gonna do next, but it’s a different direction for us again. 

Plus we’ll continue to make Patreon EXCLUSIVE shorts from http://patreon.com/mycho and course a few other surprises up our sleeves.

Posted by Donovan Smith in EXCLUSIVE, FRIENDS OF THE HOUSE, GORE OR EXTREME HORROR, INTERVIEWS, Monster Interviews, SLASHERS AND BAD HUMANS, 0 comments
Monster Exclusive: Interview with Ryan E. Francis – ThanksKilling (2009)

Monster Exclusive: Interview with Ryan E. Francis – ThanksKilling (2009)

This Thanksgiving, I had the honor of chatting with the talented performer, Ryan E. Francis, from the 2009 cult classic film, ThanksKilling. I had the chance to sit down with the actor, producer and musical artist, and ask him a few questions. We discussed life, his music career and his minor involvement in film. 

Ryan E. Francis was born on July 8th, 1986 in Columbus, Ohio.

Monster: How did you know at such a young age that acting and performing was in your blood? 

Ryan: My mom raised me on theater and music. I guess I was always kind of a spaz as a kid and enjoyed acting. My first theater play was a musical at church. And that’s really what kicked it off. It was my creative outlet. Making people laugh was something that I found enjoyable.

 Monster: According to IMDB, you “played the drums in a female-fronted political punk band called Overated.” Will you elaborate a little further about that part of your life and tell us what it was like being a member of the band? 

Ryan: Overated (spelled incorrectly on purpose haha) was a really fun point in my life. We were just a three-piece punk band, playing in basements and garages. As we got older, we had some pretty rad opportunities…from playing the Vans Warped Tour in ‘05 and ‘06, to performing at Riot Fest in Chicago and opening for some of the bigger names in punk (ranging from the Misfits, to The Unseen, A Global Threat, UK Subs, The Casualties, Strike Anywhere and even The Gaslight Anthem and The Loved Ones). This was back when MySpace was huge. We played our final show in 2008. It was a fantastic run and I’m blessed that I got to be a part of that.

 Monster: You own and operate your own record label in Columbus, Ohio, called  REF Records. You’re locally known and perform as your nerd-core hip hop alter ego, Huge Euge. How did Huge Euge originate and what was it like transitioning to hip hop after being in a punk band for nine years? 

Ryan: Hahaha, oh man. This IMDB page needs a facelift. I started Huge Euge after Overated broke up, simply because it was an artistic outlet that I could pursue without needing to start from scratch with a band. REF Records wasn’t a true label, more so a title I used when recording early hip hop on my laptop in a basement. I still perform to this day, currently competing in a national event called the Nerdcore VPC (Vocalist Producer Challenge). It is going on through January. I have paired up with a great friend of mine who does amazing graphic design work and beat production, Ax Stinnett (https://axmediallc.threadless.com/) and we’re just having a blast creating! I’m in my eighth year doing an annual charity event called The Huge Euge Holiday Show. We raise money for the local homeless shelter in Columbus, OH, and have a bunch of bands play. We also have stand up comedy and even a magician! This year, our special guest host is Lori Beth Denberg from Nickelodeon’s All That and Figure it Out! Past guests have included SAMWELL (What What in the Butt), Mega Ran, Schaffer the Darklord, Phil Moore (Nick Arcade), Virgil (WWE)…it’s just a killer time to let loose and have fun in the holiday season. It’s also one of the only shows I perform at each year.

 Monster: How did you land the role of Darren in the 2009 independent horror-comedy, ThanksKilling

Ryan: Back in high school, I grew up with director of ThanksKilling, Jordan Downey (Go watch The Head Hunter 2018 on demand, NOW!). He went away to school in California and came back a few years later for a college project (which was ThanksKilling). I read the script in a donut shop and he asked me to play Darren the Nerd. The rest is history!

 Monster: When you were cast in ThanksKilling, did you ever envision the film becoming the beloved holiday cult classic that it is today? What are your thoughts on the film? Have you watched it and do you enjoy it? 

Ryan: I never thought it’d see the light of day, honestly. Considered it more of a project for Jordan and Kevin Stewart (Producer and DP of ThanksKilling) for school. I wasn’t sure if I’d ever see a full feature or not, but didn’t care. It was so fun to help create on the front line. The film took off. Blew my mind. Still does to this day, completely unexpected. I’m proud of what the film has done, and proud of what Jordan and Kevin created. They worked super hard. 

I love the film. It’s been over 10 years since it was released, and people still talk about it. That’s pretty neat. The movie is horrible, but in a fun way. It really plays on the “bad horror movie” trope.

 Monster: During a scene in ThanksKilling, when the kids are all in the Jeep, a song from your band Overated can be heard playing. Can you tell us more about that, and the flashback dream scene where Darren runs through the cornfield  – which ended up being the only scene not used in the film? 

Ryan: Yeah, Jordan needed some music. Since Overated just cut an EP in the studio, he found a place for a song. 

Now this cornfield scene…I don’t even remember this! Lol do you have the clip?! My mind is blown right now haha. I don’t even recall.

 Monster: You’re an Executive Producer of two separate Small Town Monsters films, Boggy Creek Monster (2016) and The Mothman of Point Pleasant (2017). How did you become involved in producing and do you ever plan on making a return to movies yourself? 

Ryan: My friend Adam Whitton owns Cyfuno Ventures (https://www.cyfuno.com/), which is a company that acts as a middleman between filmmakers and distribution companies. I worked with Adam on both of these fantastic films, on the post production distribution elements. It really is a whole new element in the film industry that I had an opportunity to learn. 

There are no plans for film in my future. But the future is a weird place, so you never know.

 Monster: Where can fans follow you on social media and stay current with what you’re up too? 

Ryan: I’m on Instagram (thatguyintk1). https://instagram.com/thatguyintk1

Posted by Donovan Smith in Categories, EXCLUSIVE, FEATURED CONTENT, FRIENDS OF THE HOUSE, GORE OR EXTREME HORROR, HORROR COMEDIES, IN THE SPOTLIGHT, INTERVIEWS, Monster Exclusive, MONSTERS AND CREATURES, SLASHERS AND BAD HUMANS, STAFF PICKS, 0 comments
Monster Reviews: She Never Died (2019) – Phoenix Fear Con 2019

Monster Reviews: She Never Died (2019) – Phoenix Fear Con 2019

While attending the Phoenix FearCon VIII at Sun Studios of Arizona, I had the chance to check out the 2019 film, She Never Died. It’s a stylish, brooding, edge of your seat thriller that’s sure to be a hit. The film is currently making its way through the festival circuit, already racking up awards along the way. 

She Never Died is a dark fantasy thriller written by Jason Krawczyk and directed by Audrey Cummings. It stars Olunike Adeliyi, Peter MacNeill, Kiana Madeira, Michelle Nolden, Edsson Morales, and Noah Dalton Danby. When a girl goes missing, a woman with a mysterious past tracks down the people responsible.

This is a “sister” film, if you will, to the 2015 fantasy horror He Never Died, starring Henry Rollins. It’s not so much a sequel, but instead, the powerful flip side to the original cult hit. In this film, we see everything from the opposite perspective and follow a woman who suffers the same fate as Jack (Rollins). Not only is there a female lead this time around, but the character’s existence is the complete b-side to the protagonist from the original version.

Olunike Adeliyi is nothing short of magical in the lead role. There’s just something truly remarkable and inspiring about her subtle yet hangry performance. She’s a bit off-kilter, and while the character needs to kill for sustenance, she’s definitely not happy about it. Lacey (Adeliyi) does a tremendous job of displaying her disdain and disapproval of the ritual. 

Although Lacey is a creature with the need to feast, similar to her male counterpart, she gives us everything that was missing in the first film. Instead of trying to suppress urges, she indulges in them by taking down criminals and scum that infest the city. She’s homeless and keeps to herself while doing her best to escape the daily mundane. That is until human traffickers show up and kidnap a young woman she’s grown fond of, causing all hell to break loose.

The directing is excellent and the film is very fluent. There’s never a wasted moment, and every scene and transition is captivating and absorbing. The cinematography is impressive and there’s also some top-notch gore in there for the hounds, as well. She Never Died actually plays more like a horror film, despite being labeled to the contrary.

With strong performances from the entire cast and the perfect anti-hero, it’s hard not to fall in love with this amazing film. The element of human trafficking is a rather simple storyline, however, mixed with Lacey’s shrouded backstory, it’s intriguing enough to keep the film afloat atop all the glorious carnage. It’s a twisted tale that provides further insight into the ongoing war between good and evil in the initial film. 

She Never Died is a brutal, ferocious, gritty thriller that pulls no punches. It’s got heart, humor and without a doubt, will leave you bloodthirsty for more. If you get the chance, I highly urge you to go see this film. You don’t want to miss it.

Posted by Donovan Smith in COMING SOON, EVENTS, EXCLUSIVE, FEATURED CONTENT, FRIENDS OF THE HOUSE, Monster Reviews, MONSTERS AND CREATURES, MOVIE REVIEWS, MYTHS AND LEGENDS, PARANORMAL, REVIEWS, SATANIC/DEMONIC, SCI-FI HORROR, SLASHERS AND BAD HUMANS, STAFF PICKS, THRILLER, WOMEN IN HORROR, 0 comments
Phoenix Fearcon VIII 2019: Short Films/Local Short Films – Sun Studios – Tempe, Arizona

Phoenix Fearcon VIII 2019: Short Films/Local Short Films – Sun Studios – Tempe, Arizona

The 2019 Phoenix Fearcon VIII has come and gone, and amongst all the fun, I managed to catch some genuinely entertaining horror shorts. A handful of films really stood out, including a few from local filmmakers. They were campy, gory, and overall, creepy as hell. While there were a ton of talented films on display, four in particular captured my imagination. Each individual short brought something special and unique to the table, culminating in one scary good time. So, without further adieu, these films go as follows; 

Casulos/Cocoons from Outer Space: 

The 2018 Brazilian horror short is written and directed by Joel Caetano. It stars Mariana Zani and Joel Caetano. All she wanted to do was relax, but something crash lands from outer space and ruins her plans. Casulos/Cocoons from Outer Space was a quirky and enjoyable little low budget indie monster flick. The film had a heavy dark atmospheric vibe to it, and didn’t take itself seriously. It knew exactly what it was, with it’s over the top acting and oddly appealing b-movie special effects. This is what horror shorts are all about. 

Lion: 

Lion is a very impactful 2017 short horror film, written and directed by Davide Melini. It stars Pedro Sánchez, Michael Segal and Tania Mercader. A young boy dreams that his stuffed lion has come to life to protect him from his abusive father. This film was wonderfully done. It’s violent, imaginative and extremely touching. Lion tackles the taboo subject of child abuse and the struggles of growing up in a home with an abusive parent. The film is very effective and hits on a serious problem that many children suffer from. Also, the utilization of cgi worked brilliantly and overall it’s just a really fun and solid short film. 

Undead in the West: 

Undead in the West is a short horror film, written, produced and directed by musician and Arizona resident, Tony Noyes. It’s cowboys meet zombies, in the wild west. The dead arise and bullets fly in this fantastic blood and gunsmoke filled film. While there are other films based on the same subject matter, this is one that truly stands out. The costumes were great, along with the sets and acting, and while the film isn’t exactly the best, the passion comes through full force. A lot of heart and attention to detail give the film more power to its punch. The only thing off about the film, is that a few scenes are heavy on CGI, which seemed to drag the film down a it. The film would have benefited greatly had they used more practical effects. 

Static Kinship: 

The 2018 horror short is written and directed by Arizona local Adolpho Navarro. It stars Darya Gemmel and Shaphan David Seiders. A paranormal investigator awakens on a floor, only to find he’s paralyzed and trapped inside a house with the entity responsible. Static Kinship is a well rounded display of talent and hard work. The beginning of the film was actually it’s own short, titled Static, which they went back and added more to later, in order to make it a more cohesive project. The directing is what really stands out in this. The angles were very astute and the filmmaker did a wonderful job of creating and building a creepy, tension filled atmosphere. Overall, this was the most comprehensive film of the Con.

These films were my top favorites from FearCon VIII, and if you get a chance to check any of them out, I highly suggest you do so. They are extremely entertaining and simply loads of fun. Each is an excellent addition to the sub genre and definitely worthy of attention. So, keep it scary and always remember to support your local indie horror.

Posted by Donovan Smith in EVENT REVIEWS, EVENTS, EXCLUSIVE, FRIENDS OF THE HOUSE, Monster Exclusive, MOVIE REVIEWS, OPINION, PARANORMAL, SCI-FI HORROR, 0 comments
Monster Exclusive: Phoenix Fearcon VIII 2019 – Sun Studios, Tempe Arizona

Monster Exclusive: Phoenix Fearcon VIII 2019 – Sun Studios, Tempe Arizona

We were recently gifted the extreme pleasure of attending the 2019 Phoenix Fear at Sun Studios in Tempe, Arizona. With such a wide variety of options and amazing horror content, the Fearcon was an absolute blast. There were so many fantastic things to choose from including films, filmmakers, panels, celebrity guests, performers and much, much more.

The Phoenix Fearcon VIII was an incredibly energetic and immersive event. There was a stacked array of vendors, along with nearly every kind of horror-themed items you could ask for. Fans were likely to go broke, turning out their pockets for all the wonderful, worthy merchandise available. It was a really excellent spread – enough to keep you occupied the entire duration. 

There were some fantastic musical performances by Aurelio Voltaire and the heavy metal horror band Chiron. The legendary locals, The Phantoms of Phoenix, were also in attendance, delivering a truly awesome set. However, it was the band Agents of Lust who seemed to steal the spotlight. They gave two jaw-dropping live performances and a spontaneous parking lot show that seriously slayed.

Phoenix Fearcon VIII put on a very diverse screening of horror shorts, with a few local directors in attendance. A talented panel of filmmakers answered questions following the screenings and was very informative. They dished out some really sound advice for anyone looking to step into the indie business.

A handful of the short films were very well done, including Undead in the West, Static Kinship, Casulos/Cocoons of Outer Space, and Lion. The 2019 feature film She Never Died also made its Arizona debut, and trust us when we say that this film is going to take the independent horror scene by storm, just wait and see. There was even a screening of the infamous 1970 film I Drink Your Blood, and a rare reunion of four of the original cast members, including Rhonda Fultz, Elizabeth Manor-Brooks, Tyde Kierney, and scream queen Lynn Lowry (uncredited).

Film awards went as follows, 

Best Film: She Never Died,

Best Director: John Woodruff, Animal Among Us, 

Best Short: Athena, Christian Stahl,

Best Local Short: Static Kinship, Adolfo Navarro,

Audience Favorite: Undead in the West, Tony Noyes,

Best Venue: Sun Studios

Special guests also included the legendary former professional football player turned actor, Fred “The Hammer” Williamson, and beloved genre legend Ken Foree. Both gentlemen were charming and exceedingly inviting – I highly suggest meeting them if you get the chance. They even did a panel on the history of African American’s in Horror with indie filmmaker Dineta Willians-Trigg and Thomas A’mal. Listening to them tell stories from their past and watching them interact was absolutely priceless. It was, in my opinion, the highlight of Fearcon.

“An Intimate Evening with the Vampire of History” was a terrific and in-depth look at the history of vampires, by Brent R. Myers. Another great panel came from local author and filmmaker, Craig Chenery, focusing on his life and career in horror. The Zombie fashion show was quite exquisite and exciting, and the Uniporicorn Theater is something you just have to see to believe. 

The Phoenix Fearcon VIII was definitely a homely and horrific experience. With so many different options to choose from and cool things to do, it was impossible not to have a bloody good time. It had a little something for everyone and we’re biting our nails in anticipation of the next event. Thank you for having us. 

Posted by Donovan Smith in ART AND VENDORS, EVENT REVIEWS, EVENTS, EXCLUSIVE, FAMILY HORROR, FRIENDS OF THE HOUSE, GORE OR EXTREME HORROR, HALLOWEEN, HORROR HEROES, HORROR HISTORY, Horror Music, HORROR NEWS, Monster Exclusive, SATANIC/DEMONIC, SCI-FI HORROR, ZOMBIES, 0 comments
Monster Reviews: My Soul To Keep 2019

Monster Reviews: My Soul To Keep 2019

When you’re younger, life is full of wondrous mysteries and hidden magic. At times you feel as if you have a real connection with the universe. You believe you’re invincible, and the stories of monsters and the things lurking in the shadows are just a little less frightening.

My Soul to Keep is a 2019 horror film, written and directed by Ajmal Zaheer Ahmad. It stars Parker Smerek, Remington Gielniak, Arielle Olkhovsky, Brandon Matthew Layne, Maria Wasikowski and Emmanuelle Turco. Nine-year-old Eli Braverman believes that there’s a monster living in his basement, and it’s trying to steal his soul.

This film is absolutely brilliant. A beautifully stylized throwback to the classic monster movies of the ’80s. The filmmakers manage to expertly capture the essence of what it’s like to be a child. It’s scary, imaginative, pulse-pounding fun.

MSTK is one of those films that really stick with you. It elicits a strong emotional response and really tugs at the heartstrings. You’re immediately hooked and constantly on the edge of your seat – drawn like a moth to a flame. The performances are strong, captivating and truly incredible. 

The acting in this film is excellent. Parker Smerek is fantastic as the main character Eli. You build a bond with the kid and can’t help but root for him in his quest against the so-called Burgly Monster. Remington Gielniak is also great as Eli’s best friend Sam. Gielniak is charming and hilarious and keeps the film upbeat despite its grim, threatening tone. The two actors seem to have real chemistry which translates perfectly to film.

Another great performance came from Arielle Olkhovsky as Hillary, the girl in Eli’s class who has a crush on our main protagonist. She’s mesmerizing and engaging, regardless of her limited screen time. However, the best portrayals come in the form of Brandon Matthew Layne as Eli’s dad and Emmanuelle Turco as Eli’s evil older sister.

Turco is fantastic as the mean, wicked older sister. She plays the part well and really sells the sibling rivalry. The best though comes from Brandon Matthew Layne as Eli’s dad. He’s the perfect father figure and without a doubt binds the family together. He adds a believable and genuine appeal.

The sets are gorgeous and the exceptional use of angles and shadowing helps raise the creep factor. The editing is great and the costumes and makeup are terrific. However, the thing that escalates the tension is the score. It helps build the dark and menacing mood which seems to loom throughout, like a boogeyman stalking its prey. 

My Soul to Keep is an instant classic. A terrifying monster masterpiece. It’s original, spooky, nightmarish fun. It’ll scare the crap out of you. It’s an extraordinary, brilliant tale with one seriously shocking ending that you have to see to believe.

Posted by Donovan Smith in EVENTS, FRIENDS OF THE HOUSE, Monster Reviews, MONSTERS AND CREATURES, MOVIE REVIEWS, MYTHS AND LEGENDS, PARANORMAL, REVIEWS, SCI-FI HORROR, 0 comments
Monster Villains: Splinter 2008

Monster Villains: Splinter 2008

While creatures and killers come in a variety of shapes and forms, very few can be referred to as a true “Monster”. In this profile of Monster Villains, we’ll be discussing one of the top creatures ever created in all of film. We’re talking about the genius monstrosity from the 2008 horror masterpiece, Splinter.

Evil comes in all sizes. There are serial killers, slashers, abominations, extraterrestrials, various types of evil animals and so much more. Many of the diverse types are usually categorized and lumped together under one umbrella or another. The term “Monster” is often loosely tossed around with wild abandon.

When it comes to the real monsters, there are stiflingly less in the film universe than one would hope. Of course, there are the classics such as John Carpenter’s The Thing, the Earth-based amoebic lifeform from the 1998 film, Phantoms, or more currently the organism from the 2016 film, Life, starring Jake Gyllenhaal. Yet, aside from a dozen or so of the more well-known creatures, many aren’t really noteworthy or worth mentioning. However, thanks to its brilliant design, the parasitic Splinter has definitely earned its rightful spot in the monster manual.

Splinter is unlike any other monster, being it’s a parasitic organism that utilizes hosts to inflict damage. While there are a number of similar creatures within the genre, it’s exceptionally unique in its appearance and actions. The filmmakers brilliantly constructed a one of a kind nightmare. There’s absolutely nothing else like it in all of horror. 

What makes it so dangerous and scary, is that it’s ruthless and relentless in its pursuit. The Splinter can detach from the main mass and survive as separate, individual pieces. It can attack you in various ways, assuming your carcass as it searches for its next victim. The monster can possess any living creature in its pursuit of eradication. It’s fear at its finest.

The fact that the monster can kill whether it’s altogether or in individual rouge pieces, without question makes it one of the scariest creatures of all time. Add in the malevolent and malicious nature of the organism and you have one seriously sinister weapon that’s virtually unstoppable. It’s inherent evil in its purest form.

This gorgeously crafted Splinter can manipulate its physical characteristics and adapt to its surroundings with ease. It infects its enemies with just a single scrape or prick and is immune to almost everything. The monster is truly one deadly incarnation of pure evil, serving no other purpose than to annihilate everything in front of it. Splinter is quite possibly the greatest monster of all time; being the 1985 Thing was a remake of the 51’ film, which neither actually follow the monster from the 1938 book, Who Goes There, by John W. Campbell. However, the organism is definitely one of the meanest and nastiest ever brought to life. It’s brutal, scary and hell-bent on killing, yet also one of the most beautiful things to ever exist in film. 

If you haven’t seen the Splinter yet, prepare yourself for one intense, gut slicing thrill ride. The monster is absolutely brilliant and unlike any other in the genre. However, viewers beware, this film might cause you to lose your lunch if you’re not careful. It’s one sickening piece of cinema. 

Posted by Donovan Smith in Monster Villains, MONSTERS AND CREATURES, SCI-FI HORROR, 0 comments
Monster Villains: Sally Day – Demons 2 1986

Monster Villains: Sally Day – Demons 2 1986

In this month’s profile of Monster Villains, we’re taking a look at one of the worst and most evil villains of all time. While this character is technically an unwilling participant in the involvement of their dark ways, they’re still one of the most formidable opponents in the genre and a totally unstoppable killing machine. We’re talking about the character of Sally Day from the 1986 Lamberto Bava classic, Demons 2.

Sally Day (Coralina Cataldi-Tassoni) is excited to celebrate her 16th birthday, only this is a party she and everyone else in her high rise apartment building won’t soon forget. What’s supposed to be a milestone in her life, marking her ascent into womanhood, quickly spirals into a savage nightmare of murder and bloodshed. Will anyone survive Sally’s night of slaughter?

In the killer follow up to the original cult classic, we come to find out that Sally is essentially responsible for the outbreak in her building. She’s a nervous wreck and does her best to entertain the guests at her birthday party. However, after she hears someone inviting a guy over that she doesn’t like, she freaks and yells for everyone to leave and get out. 

Sally’s pouting in her bedroom when a documentary show catches her attention and she’s instantly transfixed to the screen. The next thing she knows, one of the demons comes straight through her television set and into the room, attacking her. Sally then mutates into one of the infected, aiming her murderous sights on the rest of the partygoers. From there, all hell breaks loose as the high rise building is transformed into a gruesome tower of blood and bodies.

While the birthday girl didn’t necessarily have a choice in becoming a demon, she inadvertently released the curse, creating her very own demonic army. Commanding leadership of such evil, without a doubt, lands her amongst the top villains of all time. Being possessed and having no self-control over her murderous impulses makes her a loaded and lethal weapon.

Not only is Sally one of the nastiest and most vicious villains ever, but she also manages to have one of the highest kill counts, as a female. Plus, how many other characters do you know that turn into a demon on their sweet sixteen and kill a building full of people? It’s one bloody birthday you don’t want to miss.

Teen angst also plays a huge role in Sally’s ascension of evil, as nothing seems to satisfy her need to be popular and perfect. She constantly complains and throws tantrums when things aren’t going her way. She’s your typical teenage killing machine, with a need to impress. A sixteen-year-old hormonal demon girl is truly something scary.

If you don’t know about Sally Day and her infamous birthday bash by now, do yourself a favor and check it out. It’s brutal, cruel and one party you absolutely don’t want to miss. There’s nothing like some demonic killing to brighten your day, and Sally’s here to offer a helping hand.

Posted by Donovan Smith in GORE OR EXTREME HORROR, HORROR HISTORY, Monster Villains, MONSTERS AND CREATURES, SCI-FI HORROR, SLASHERS AND BAD HUMANS, WOMEN IN HORROR, 0 comments