Michelle MIDI Peifer

Hailing from Sydney Australia and injecting a dose of Aussie Flavour to her reviews, Midi began her horror love in Birmingham England at a very young age and is always trying to find the next local or indie horror talent to share with the world.
COMING SOON: Between the Living and the Dead

COMING SOON: Between the Living and the Dead

This year director Chase Dudley is embarking on creating his feature length film Between the Living and the Dead, due out in 2019.

Between the Living and the Dead (2018)
The film will be released through Cut 2 The Chase Productions, which is run by Chase and his wife and business partner Samantha Dudley.
Dudley’s notable other directorial credits include the stalker dramatic thriller Marvellous Mandy and the action packed crime drama Payday, each showing his versatility as a filmmaker.

Marvelous Mandy (2016)
Payday (2018)

With an already impressive powerhouse cast line up including Lisa Wilcox (Alice in Nightmare on Elm Street parts 4 and 5), Ashley Mary Nunes (All Through The House), John Dugan (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre) and Robert Allen Mukes (House of 1000 Corpses), the buzz on Between the Living and The Dead has already begun to stir.

john Dugan
Ashley Nunes
Lisa Wilcox
Robert Allen Mukes

Dudley frequently collaborates with writer Brett Slabchuck on filming productions and together they intend on weaving an action filled horror story about the events that follow a decade of financial and agricultural meltdown. We will see a society brought to the edge of total collapse and starving migrants will begin to flee the major cities in search of work, on the last remaining farms throughout the country.

Chase Dudley

Posted by Michelle MIDI Peifer in COMING SOON, HORROR NEWS, PRESS RELEASES, 0 comments
Welcoming the Women in Horror with Alice Lowe

Welcoming the Women in Horror with Alice Lowe

Celebrating Women in Horror means so much more than just recognizing women who have been prevalent in the horror scene, it also means recognizing those who have stood out from the pack.

This month I would like to shine the light on some remarkable women and their contribution to the world of horror films. Some seem more prevalent with fans than others, so I am starting with British Comedienne, filmmaker and the all-around inspirational woman Alice Lowe.

Alice Lowe

In 2016, when Lowe was seven months pregnant, she decided to embark on a project which would not just allow her to star in a feature film that she wrote but direct it too. Within eleven days the film was wrapped and ready to be edited before it ventured into the horror community.

Prevenge is the story of a widow named Ruth, played by Lowe, who is seven months pregnant and learning to cope with the loss of her partner. All seems well until Ruth begins to believe that her unborn child is guiding her to commit murders. From that moment on she embarks on a homicidal rampage, dispatching anyone who stands in her way.

Lowe amazingly leads the way as Ruth, supported by an inspiring supporting female cast. We watch the story unfold of Ruth’s circumstances and immediately are empathetic. She has lost what we assume is the love of her life right when she discovered she was pregnant. She is coping, but life is naturally filled with reminders of what has happened and her growing baby is a constant source of anxiety to Ruth.

We know Lowe from her role in the genre film The Sightseers and her roles on television, but with Prevenge she truly emerges as a star.
Alice Lowe
The story comes together so well it is hard to fault, as it flows fantastically through each moment of calm and chaos so seamlessly. We see the peculiar and dramatic, as her bizarre cravings to feed the bloodlust of her baby unfold through some amazing moments. I admit this film will interest certain fans and be unappealing to others, but Lowes blending of the horrific and the humor with heart is endearing despite the insanity it leaves imprinted in your mind.

I didn’t find the deaths too hardcore or gory as such and they served well in developing the narrative pacing of Prevenge.

Alice LoweThe supporting female cast includes Gemma Whelan (from Game of Thrones and The Wolfman), Kate Dickie (from The Witch and Prometheus) and Jo Hartley (from This Is England 90 and Eddie the Eagle). Each of these strong female performers, provide a believable and well rounded natural portrayal of their characters, alongside Lowe and the male comedic talents throughout the film.

Alice LoweHis ability to move on causes her aggressive beginnings and her declining mental stability, causing her to feel as though the baby is ‘saying’ to enact her revenge.Ruth’s coping with her partner’s death in the film sees her hunting for the person she blames. His role as an instructor of the climbing accident in her partner’s death and the seemingly failed inquest sees Ruth triggered into taking matters into her own hands.

It was a joy watching the usually quiet and solitary Ruth become a homicidal maniac and oddly one of the most heartfelt conclusions possible.

Posted by Michelle MIDI Peifer in STAFF PICKS, WOMEN IN HORROR, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: KURTIS SPIELER’S THE DEVIL’S WELL (2017)

MOVIE REVIEW: KURTIS SPIELER’S THE DEVIL’S WELL (2017)

Bryan and Karla Marks are a husband and wife team of paranormal investigators. While conducting an investigation at an infamous area in Connecticut known as the Devil’s Well, Karla mysteriously vanishes. Nearly one year later, Bryan seeks the help of a local paranormal group known as SIGNS. The SIGNS team attempts to document the aftermath of Karla’s disappearance through interviews with her friends, family, and those involved in the case. Bryan and the SIGNS team then head back to the Devil’s Well in order to try an uncover the truth about Karla’s disappearance.

From the mind of Kurtis Spieler, we are given The Devil’s Well his feature length film exploring the creepy world of the found footage genre.

The Devil's Well (2017)

This film was originally slated for release, titled The Unexplained disappearance of Karla Marks in early in 2017, but Wild Eye Releasing (responsible for distrusting films such as Daniel Ray’s Heidi)picked up for distribution and now has an official release date of January 23rd, 2018. And deservingly so.

The Devil's Well (2017)The film unfolds in the style of a documentary, somewhat like The Poughkeepsie Tapes, telling us of the disappearance of a paranormal investigator named Karla Marks. We are also introduced to other elements of the case and what has transpired. Using what Spieler has powerfully written and teaming that with his artful direction, we are pulled into a web of paranormal confusion.

The narrative is very realistic and the film features a strong series of characters, but the film’s somber tones and enveloping style draw you in and make you swallow these concepts hook, line, and sinker.

The realism of this film is so questionable, in parts, that you immediately feel a need to research further (as the lines of fiction somewhat become blurred).

The cast is fantastic! Each playing their characters so genuinely that the believability factor is quite high.

We watch the narrative flip from authentically inventive interviews to police recordings and paranormal footage. The combined effect is that this film conveys a seemingly honest and believable reality of a terrible tragedy that has occurred.

The Devil's Well (2017)Actress Anne-Marie Mueschke plays the lead and though we ultimately see relatively little of her character Karla, we see enough to understand her role within the film.

Of course, the suspicions for her disappearance originally fall on Karla’s co-ghost hunter and husband Bryan. Bryan is played by Manley Davis. Known for a sequence of TV roles and short films, Davis is quite convincing in his plea for the truth of what has happened to his partner. We watch him being tormented by the questions still needing answers, and feeling berated when the blame is cast upon him. Through this performance I feel Davis‘ future is obviously bright. It is easy to see a natural honest demeanor on film within him, and he will be an asset to any other roles he will undertake.

The quirky and humorous cast of enjoyable paranormal investigators referred to as SIGNS all help keep the central theme of the film together and add at times a lightness, that is desired within the darkened content of the film. Within the investigations at the “Devil’s Well”, we see much of the action, thrills, and despair between the cast.

At the moments where it counts, they put on their characters proverbial game faces and take the case as serious as necessary.

The notion of something evil lurking in the shadows seems to grow as we watch on and so does their feeling of unease on screen.

I have to applaud the supporting performances of actors Chris Viemeister (as Lucas Baker), David Alexander (as Kris Manners), Kristen Seavey (as Riley Harper), Jon Gregory (as Dennis Howard), Lauren Sowa (as Lynn Baker), and Kurtis Spieler (yes, our writer/director plays Kurt Schafer).

The Devil's Well (2017)This film has sequences that genuinely play out like those on those paranormal ghost shows on cable TV. Visually we have the darkly lit rooms and each of their panicked faces as they race around trying to find the rational explanations accountable for what has happened with Karla. We hear the quivering in their voices as these normally composed analytical minds crumble under the uncertainty of what they have agreed to face. Ultimately, we watch their demise unfold uneasily.

In the quest for the truth of the “Devils Well”… will anyone survive?

You’ll need to watch it to find out.

Posted by Michelle MIDI Peifer in Categories, 0 comments
INTERVIEW: Ben Young, Writer/Director of Hounds of Love (2016)

INTERVIEW: Ben Young, Writer/Director of Hounds of Love (2016)

Following the huge international success of Australian writer and director Ben Young’s film Hounds of Love (2016), the House of Tortured Souls’ own Michelle MIDI Sayles had the opportunity to ask him some questions regarding his films, cast, changes in his life since the release of Hounds of Love, and the Australian Film Industry.
House of Tortured Souls: Recently you have gained a lot of success with your brilliant film Hounds of Love. How has that felt coming from such humble beginnings in Western Australia?
Ben Young: It’s truly is very surreal. At best I hoped perhaps the film would get in a festival or two. It was a real surprise and very humbling to have it premiere at Venice and receive the response it did. Less than a year after shooting, I was in Serbia making a US production with 20 times the budget and actors whose work is been admiring for years. Feels weird even to think about the crazy ride!
Hounds of Love (2016)

Emma Booth as Evelyn White and Stephen Curry as John White in Ben Young’s Hounds of Love (2016)

HoTS: The direction and plot of Hounds of Love echoes the infamous Birnie’s case and other profiles of killer couples, how much of an interest in the element of true crime do you have yourself?
BY: It’s not based on any particular crime/s. I read a book on woman serial murderers and found the psychology of female killers to be very different from that of males. In further research, I found 9 cases involving couples who killed together. It was a subject I hadn’t seen explored in film before so decided to give it a crack. I’m interested in realism on screen so for that reason and often drawn to true crime. For me, a story is all the more engaging if there is an element of truth to it.
HoTS: Your stars Stephen Curry, Emma Booth, and Ashleigh Cummings each have been very kind and praising towards your approach to them throughout the filming process, and it is very well reflected in their amazing performances. How did you find such phenomenal talent for Hounds of Love?
BY: I was lucky really. I wrote the film for Emma. We’ve been buds for 20 years and I truly believe her to be one of the greatest acting talents on the planet. She initially turned the role down but for one reason or another changed her mind at the last minute.
Steve was never [who] I thought of [for the part] but was suggested by our wonderful casting director Anousha. I right away loved the idea because he does not come across like your typical serial killer, which in reality most of them do not. He wanted to do the role and he and I had a long chat. He’s gracious and charming and agreed to audition. After his first take, it was pretty clear I was going to be lucky to have him.
Ashleigh was the last to come to the party. Strangely I’d used pictures of her from Puberty Blues (2012) in my pitch document but thought she was a little old for the character. When she came in and tested I was speechless. There’s something so artificial about the audition process, but somehow Ash was able to transform immediately and deliver a take worthy of the film in that bright little room in Sydney just minutes after meeting me. She was so good, I thought it worth changing the character a little for.
HoTS: Hounds of Love has received some impressive accolades so far already, especially for your leading ladies and yourself. Why do you think so far Stephen Curry (whose performance was equally beyond amazing) hasn’t received the same?
BY: All awards are a lottery! It depends on who you’re against, who’s judging and what kind of a mood they’re in. I think a film like this about women is not so common, so the female themes may have distracted from him. Also, it was a phenomenal year for Australian film with strong male performances in many bigger films that received much wider distribution. It’s hard for the little guy to be noticed!
Hounds of Love (2016)
HoTS: Do you plan to continue making films in Australia or will we see you moving to LA in the future?
BY: I’ve been in LA for the better half of a year working on the new film, BUT I’ll be back in Australia very soon to work on a film I’m very excited about.
HoTS: You’re currently working on your newest project Extinction, can you tell us a little bit about it?
BY: It’s a story about a dude who must reconnect with his family emotionally if he’s to save them from an otherworldly invasion. We shot in Serbia during the first half of 2017 and I’m just finishing it up now. I worked with Michael Pena, Lizzy Caplan, Emma Booth, Mike Colter, Israel Broussard and many other great actors on it. It was fun to try my hand at science fiction and together with the team, I’ve tried hard to make something a little different which I hope an audience appreciates.
Ben Young, writer/director, Hounds of Love (2016)

Ben Young, writer/director, Hounds of Love (2016)

HoTS: What do you think of the Australian movie scene itself, and its rise in popular culture within the last decade through filmmakers like Greg McLean, Leigh Whannell and James Wan and even the likes of Joel and Nash Edgerton?
BY: I think it’s really hard to make films in Australia. It’s really great to see filmmakers like those you’ve mentioned really making a name for themselves internationally. I hope it continues that way. In Australia, you’re very unlikely to get rich from film, so I feel like the filmmakers we have a driven by passion which comes across in their work ethic.
HoTS: What advice can you give to any filmmaker around the globe working on projects right now, within the independent film market?
BY: Be bold. Make choices that are risky and be true to your own vision. No one wants to see another version of Hounds of Love or anything else so find your own story and tell it in a way that only you could. To break through your film must have an element that makes it stand out amongst others in its genre. This will come from bold choices.
It might sound obvious, but cast good actors and pay them. Even if you don’t pay yourself. One off performance and the whole world you are creating will come tumbling down.
Posted by Michelle MIDI Peifer in INTERVIEWS, SLASHERS AND BAD HUMANS, STAFF PICKS, 0 comments
The Rise of Australian Horror and How Hounds of Love Relates To It

The Rise of Australian Horror and How Hounds of Love Relates To It

In the last decade or so, we have seen a surge in Australian horror films (and the filmmakers themselves), gaining notoriety within the world of mainstream and independent horror.

So when throughout 2017 the film on many people’s lips was Australian filmmaker Ben Young’s Hounds of Love (2016), many were not surprised.

Hounds of Love (2016)With films like Wolf Creek (2005), Charlie’s Farm (2014), The Tunnel
(2011), Red Billabong (2016), Wyrmwood(2014), The Babadook (2014), The Loved Ones (2009), Rogue(2007), Dying Breed(2008), Black Water (2007), Lake Mungo (2008), Lemon Tree Passage (2014) , Storm Warning (2007) and much much more on people’s minds, it was no surprise as to how well received Hounds of Love would be.

We cannot forget the Australian equivalent of the video nasties of he by gone era, which are gaining a resurgence as cult status films since the releases to DVD and Blu-ray. In this genre, affectionately referred to down under as Ozploitation films, we see films like The Cars That Ate Paris (1974), Next of Kin (1982), Inn of the Damned (1975), Night of Fear (1972), Turkey Shoot (aka Escape 2000 – from 1982), Patrick (1978), and the most popularly known, Razorback (1984).

Australia has given the world filmmakers like Greg McLean, George Miller, Alex Proyas, James Wan and Leigh Whannell, and acting talents such as Ryan Kwanten, Cate Blanchett, Chris Hemsworth, Eric Bana, Rose Byrne, Ben Mendelsohn, Anthony LaPaglia, Radha Mitchell, Costas Mandylor, Joel Edgerton, Rod Taylor, Portia De Rossi, Nathan Jones, Emily Browning, or even Richard Roxburgh.

However, it is “the little Aussie battler” (a colloquial term Australians use for the underdog) that Australia itself adores.

Hounds of Love (2016)

In Hounds of Love, Ben Young has cast the phenomenally underrated but familiar actor Stephen Curry in the lead as John White. Curry has always been known for his dramatic and comedic roles but has also appeared in more popular genre films such as the prior mentioned Rogue and hilariously oddball film Cut (2000) with Molly Ringwald. Curry delivers an amazingly brutal and sublime performance as the twisted John White. He demonstrates an unnatural cruelty and contempt for those around him and a need to feel superior, through simple vocal inflections and body language.

His co-star Emma Booth, who plays his wife Evelyn White in the film, is known for her role in the Henry Cavill and Michael Fassbender film, directed by Joel Schumacher, Blood Creek (2009). Booth shows a kindness and fragility that is hidden behind a rougher, more brash exterior. At times we empathize with her characters, yet at others, you loathe her – especially when we see how cruel she truly can be.

The duo kidnap and hold Vicki Maloney, portrayed by actress Ashleigh Cummings, hostage. Cummings is known for her fleeting work on the popular Australian soap opera Home and Away and appearance in the apocalyptic young adult film Tomorrow When The War Began. In Hounds of Love, Cummings delivers a performance so wrought with emotions that you ultimately feel your heart sink for her plight on screen. We want to see Vicki escape her torturous captivity, but we want her to get justice for what the Whites have done to her. Cummings actually won the Fedeora Award for Best Actress in a Debut Film at the Venice Film Festival for her portrayal of Vicki Maloney.

Hounds of Love (2016)

Young’s direction of his three leads and the amazingly powerful script he had crafted for them creates an atmospheric thriller based loosely on the true story of Catherine and David Birnie (a couple from Western Australia who abducted, raped, tortured and murdered four women in 1986), with some startling likenesses. Hounds of Love relies on its three leads and will appeal anyone who has an interest in powerful thrillers.

Posted by Michelle MIDI Peifer in EDITORIALS, MOVIE REVIEWS, OPINION, REVIEWS, SLASHERS AND BAD HUMANS, 0 comments
FIRST LOOK – Upcoming Release for Domiziano Christopharo’s Red Krokodil (2012)

FIRST LOOK – Upcoming Release for Domiziano Christopharo’s Red Krokodil (2012)

Set for January 23, 2018, Unearthed Films’ CEO Stephen Biro contacted House of Tortured Souls with a digital press kit for the DVD/Blu-ray release of Red Krokodil.

According to the press release, here’s what we can expect:

Red Krokodil is the story of one man (played by Brock Madson), addicted to the mind-numbing drug Krokodil. He finds himself alone in a post-nuclear city similar to Chernobyl. His physical decay, caused by the massive intake of drugs, is mirrored by his inner world, as reality mixes with hallucinations.
The decomposition of the flesh caused by Krokodil is severe in its graphic, yet slow destruction, madness, and desperation are rampant as one man’s addiction to the drug runs out of control.
Director, Domiziano Christopharo depicts a psychological condition that brings a total detachment from oneself and from the surrounding world, Red Krokodil is a dark trip, with no way out.

Domiziano Christopharo is an Italian independent film director known for having worked with various notable filmmakers in the past, including Ruggero Deodato (Cannibal Holocaust), Frank Laloggia (Lady In White), and Carlo De Mejo (City of Living Dead).

Christopharo is also known for his ongoing work to try and revive the erotic horror genre, familiar to many fans of the Giallo movement as well as fans of filmmakers such as Fellini and Argento – often having reviewers drawing comparisons with the two filmmakers and his own work.

Christopharo’s body of work includes House of Flesh Mannequins (2008), The Museum of Wonders (2009), Hyde’s Secret Nightmare (2010), Shock – My Abstraction of Death (2011), HP Lovecraft: Two Left Arms (2012), Doll Syndrome (2014), and much more.

Many have characterized Christopharo’s work as being pornographic in nature, but he prefers to respond with a quote from Picasso:

Art is never chaste and we should keep her away from pure ignorants. If it were chaste, it wouldn’t be art at all.

So far reviews have been favorable for the film’s release with Steven Paul from Beneath The Undergound calling it a film in which “you will know that you have truly experienced something special”, Barbara Tourette from Dark Veins saying “Brock Madson’s performance is a mirror of the psychic and physical consequences caused by Krokodil”, and Seth Poulin from Celluloid Terror defining it as having a “powerful message…that is open to personal interpretation and what you take the film for is exactly what it is”.

To nab your copy, visit the Unearthed Films Official Web Site.

Red Krokodil (2012)

Posted by Michelle MIDI Peifer in COMING SOON, EXCLUSIVE, HORROR NEWS, SLASHERS AND BAD HUMANS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Bright (2017)

MOVIE REVIEW: Bright (2017)

After hearing such a negative buzz about the recently released $90 million Netflix film Bright, I decided to objectively view it for myself. A couple of days ago Netflix announced that Bright 2 is already in pre production – when in actual fact it was planned before the release of Bright itself on December 22, 2017. In the scarce time since Bright was released, the Internet has been awash with mixed reactions, from absolute adoration to complete and total loathing. Many were disappointed by director David Ayer’s recent comic book entry Suicide Squad and Max Landis‘ recent hurrah about rebooting his father’s infamous film An American Werewolf in London were skeptical that either were great filmmakers and questioned the choice of Will Smith in the lead alongside Joel Edgerton.

BrightBright is the story of our world, seen in an alternate universe in which Orcs, Fairies, and Elves inhabit alongside Humans. The Orcs are oafs who are all for a world free from the humans, who prejudge them all as criminals. The Fairies are annoying little cretins, who seemingly do no more than annoy humans. And the Elves are the highest rolling society. Wealthy, attractive and simply the royalty/ celebrities of this other world order.

Smith plays human police officer Daryl Ward. A man run down by his job and awaiting his retirement in the coming years with some annoyance. Ward has recently been partnered with Nick Jakoby (played by Joel Edgerton), a “non-blooded” Orc – meaning he belongs to no clan and is ostracised by his own- who is simple and still learning to understand humans. Smith is not difficult to watch, but like his prior roles in films like I Am Legend and Suicide Squad, it is basically regular old Smith performance on screen. Edgerton, on the other hand, is a goofy gem. His bumbling but well-meaning performance of Orc Officer Jakoby is easily as enjoyable as Mandy Patinkin in Alien Nation (a 1988 film that I feel is echoed in this movie through some of its sentiments). I did feel the duo bounced off one another well but that Smith’s delivery was a tad too dry at times.

Joel Edgerton, Lucy Fry, and Will Smith in Bright

Joel Edgerton, Lucy Fry, and Will Smith in Bright

Like Alien Nation, Bright finds its feet exploring a subplot of awkwardness between these two cops and a division unhelped by the corruption around them. Stumbling upon a young Elf called Tikka (amazingly portrayed by Lucy Fry – famous for her role in the first season of the Australian t series of Greg Mclean’s Wolf Creek), who is frail and afraid of her heroes. Tikka is a Bright, a magic Elf with powers to unlock both good and bad forces. Tikka is being pursued by the beautiful Leilah (portrayed by Noomi Rapace from The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo film series). Leilah is cold, ruthless and has a thirst for the darker side of magic, quite literally obliterating anyone in her path with her two Elvish goons. Also pursuing our troubled trio is a pair of Elf detectives also keen to learn about what the threesome are protecting.

With enough car chases, explosions and high octane injuries and deaths, this is definitely a film that only lets up when needed and keeps a steady pace through its nearly two-hour runtime. I won’t ruin the fun of this film with more details but will say the negativity it has received online is heavily unwarranted as it is a fun and interesting watch.

Noomi Rapace in Bright

Noomi Rapace in Bright

Fans of mythical beings or action films will enjoy those aspects of Bright. I can only hope Landis and Ayer can produce the same (or better) quality film the second time around. Smith and Edgerton have both already confirmed their return in Bright 2 and it is slated for release later this year on Netflix.

Posted by Michelle MIDI Peifer in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
THE DARK SIDE OF CHRISTMAS

THE DARK SIDE OF CHRISTMAS

With Christmas upon us, we venture through the veritable treasure trove of dark stories of yuletide fair. Here is a short list of 9 Christmas tales and traditions used originally to promote the darker (and in some cases oddly comical) side of the holiday period. Whilst some are purely laughable by today’s standards, others are still used to scare children into being good all around the world.
Flashing colored Christmas lights

1. KRAMPUS:

Krampus / Fair use doctrine.The most obvious on the list and easiest to recognize, KRAMPUS has gained a notoriety with horror fans through various films in recent years.
KRAMPUS is a Christmas character from Austria, who on KRAMPUS Night (December 5th) each year appears to scare and maim. Some say he is Santa Claus’ evil twin brother and, like his brother, has a duty each year to perform. Unlike his kindly brother who delivers gifts to good girls and boys, KRAMPUS has the opposite job and will beat and punish all of the naughty children.
Flashing colored Christmas lights

2. CAGANER:

The Shitter / Fair use doctrine.This odd little custom is used in Spain, Portugal, and Italy.
As usual, a nativity is set up and decorated with the expected characters on display – Jesus, Mary, Joseph, three wise men and perhaps a shepherd. However, in these three countries, you may also add a character known as CAGANER.
CAGANER is literally translated as ‘the crapper’ or ‘the shitter’, and his figurine (which traditionally depicts a man, pooping with his pants around his knees and with a pile of poop at his heels) is usually placed in the corner of a traditional nativity scene. Children are encouraged to find him, as part of their Christmas ritual. The CAGANER is not a new custom, having been around for a few hundred years. It is a bit of a shitty custom, I know, but I will admit I was intrigued by the concept of a man crapping in my nativity scene.
Flashing colored Christmas lights

3. WITCHES:

Brooms - WitchesIn Norway each year, it is perceived that WITCHES and evil spirits will ascend on the towns in search of brooms to ride on to do their evil bidding on Christmas Eve. To thwart this evil, the Norwegians will hide all brooms on Christmas Eve and fire a warning shot outdoors with a shotgun.
Flashing colored Christmas lights

4. FRAU PERCHTA:

Frau Perchta / Fair use doctrine.Continuing on with our witch folklore, FRAU PERCHTA is another occult Christmas legend from Austria and Germany. It is known that FRAU PERCHTA visits children through the 12 days of Christmas, from December 25th until January 6th. She is seen as both good and bad.
Thought to have descended from an Alpine goddess of nature, FRAU PERCHTA will reward good children.
However, she is very well known for her gruesome punishments for the bad, including one fearful tale of ripping out internal organs and replacing them with garbage.
Flashing colored Christmas lights

5. HANS TRAPP:

Hans Trapp / Fair use doctrine.In certain regions of France, the tales of HANS TRAPP circulate as an anti-Santa.
Dressed like a raggedy scarecrow when he visits, HANS TRAPP was a wealthy man who worshiped Satan and became greedy and evil.
The stories say that HANS TRAPP was about to eat a small boy when he was punished by God and struck by lightning, killing him instantly. However, his dark soul still returns to scare children (looking like a scarecrow) each Christmas, as a reminder that they still have time to be good.
Flashing colored Christmas lights

6. PERE FOUETTARD:

Pere / Fair use doctrine.PERE FOUETTARD was an evil French butcher who many still fear today.
Said to be a ghoul whose name translates as ‘Father Whipper’, PERE FOUETTARD lured children to their deaths whipping and cutting them (primarily by slicing their throats).
A gruesome tale of 3 young boys he led into his butcher’s shop, was the one that cemented his fate as a part of Christmas’ evil side.
It was there that he murdered them, chopped them up and salted the remains.
St. Nicholas came to the boys’ aid and resurrected them, before enslaving PERE FOUETTARD as his dispenser of punishment, by whipping them naturally.
Flashing colored Christmas lights

7. WEREWOLVES:

Werewolf / Fair use doctrine.Yes …I said WEREWOLVES!
According to varied legends, Lycanthropy is very much included as part of some countries Christmas legends.
In The World Encyclopedia of Christmas, Olaus Magnus (a Swedish folklorist) wrote regarding werewolves gathering on Christmas night to “rage with wondrous ferocity against human beings, by attacking their homes and devouring the inhabitants”.
This was supposedly in Prussia, Livonia, and Lithuania.
However, that is not all of the Christmas-werewolf connection.
In modern times, it has since been reduced to merely being born on Christmas Day is cause enough to believe that person will become a werewolf.
It is seen that being born on December 25th is mocking Jesus Christ and so you must be punished.
Sorry to all you December 25th born children, perhaps steer “clear of the moors”?
Flashing colored Christmas lights

8. GRYLA:

Gryla / Fair use doctrine.GRYLA is an Icelandic legend of a woman with 13 sons (known as the YULE LADS) and her cat Jólakötturinn (see story available on this page about the YULE CAT).
In Iceland, it is customary to receive a gift of new clothes to wear on Christmas Eve. Usually, good workers receive clothes as a gift from employers, and children from their parents.
For those children considered naughty, who do not receive new clothes in time for the festive season, GRYLA comes out from her home and seeks them out -to devour them.
Flashing colored Christmas lights

9. THE YULE LADS:

Like their mother GRYLA, THE YULE LADS were not at all nice to encounter during the holidays. Tales of their numbers vary from five to thirteen, and their antics range from mere pranks to acts of cannibalism.
Either way, these ‘lads’ were to be feared and were usually seen as henchmen for their mother.
In more recent years each of their 13 characters has evolved (since a poem published in 1932 by Jóhannes úr Kötlum) and THE YULE LADS have been seen as more impish, mischievous and less aggressive. In fact with recent toys, stamps and images available they appear more like the seven dwarves than evildoers.

Posted by Michelle MIDI Peifer in FEATURED CONTENT, MONSTERS AND CREATURES, MYTHS AND LEGENDS, SATANIC/DEMONIC, STAFF PICKS, WEREWOLVES, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Cannibal Claus (2016)

MOVIE REVIEW: Cannibal Claus (2016)

Santa is a little bored this year and needs to get his Jolly’s . He’s looking for some fun , murderous escapades and a few Ho Ho Ho’s along the way.

A perfectly fitting synopsis for this particular little Christmas film! Cannibal Claus is DEFINITELY not for the kiddies (or any prudes). This 65-minute descent into sexually-fueled homicidal madness is, however, just the perfect film to enjoy cheesy goodness.

Early on we are introduced to our perverted but insatiable Kris Kringle and his escapades. Santa breaks into homes, kills people, dismembers, and eats them. “I think it’s time for some head” was one of my favorite lines as he then proceeds to face fuck the dismembered head of one particular blonde bimbo! Body parts begin to fly, and the amazing prosthetics and gore is such a thrill to watch.

Though it had a meager $1,200 budget, it’s easy to enjoy the blending of gore, cheesy gags, and (of course) the actual use of sex, sex, and more sex. Pure genius.

Although treated to images of a dealer snorting cocaine off a girl’s ass and other women in barely anything, I honestly didn’t find it sexist. It’s all in good Christmassy fun. I felt myself lighten up and even have a laugh as Santa said, “Ho ho ho, motherfucker!”

Bob Glazier is a devious delight as our Kris Kringle and is joined by an ensemble of actors and actresses who clearly enjoy the Sleaze Box world (like the sci-fi filmmakers’ Asylum casts). Glazier goes all out (quite literally in one scene) to impress us as the homicidal, people-eating, holiday favorite. This makes the movie Bad Santa look tame and is definitely going to be a new addition to my beloved laughs during the silly season. Santa surely is dreaming of a “White Christmas”, and with the film’s tagline, “You’re only as good as you taste”, I’ve no doubt that you’ll laugh as hard as I did while watching some scenes.

This was my introduction to the wild world of The Sleaze Box, and I admit I felt a combination of repulsion and hilarity. (I kid you not – I was wheezing I was laughing so hard!!) Now I must check out more in the future!! Sleaze Box here I come!!!

Cannibal Claus (2016) poster / Fair use doctrine.

Posted by Michelle MIDI Peifer in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, SLASHERS AND BAD HUMANS, 0 comments
INTERVIEW: The Blair Witch Legacy Creator Jason Hawkins

INTERVIEW: The Blair Witch Legacy Creator Jason Hawkins

This is a fan-made film and will not be available for purchase or digital viewing.
I had an opportunity to discuss some elements of The Blair Witch Legacy with Jason Hawkins. Hawkins also has aspirations to make his own Friday the 13th fan film and says he has it “if people got behind it…….I already worked out how it would go”. As The Blair Witch Legacy is a fan made film, Hawkins and his crew cannot gain financially from its release. However, as you see in my candid interview with Hawkins, he has plans for the film.

House of Tortured Souls: The Blair Witch Legacy is a ‘fan film’, are you a fan of the Blair Witch franchise (this would include all 3 films currently released) and/or the Blair Witch folklore?
Jason Hawkins: I am a fan of the Blair Witch films. I saw the first one in theatres when, like a lot of people, I wasn’t sure if what I was watching was legit or not. I suspected not, but the film was so well put together, and the marketing campaign so well thought out, that I was able to suspend disbelief enough to get caught up in the story and really enjoy it. As a child, I had seen a lot of the docu-films like The Legend of Boggy Creek and such, so I think I was ready for a film like this. I’ve revisited The Blair Witch Project multiple times over the years and find that it still holds up well. The second film Book Of Shadows my hopes were high. I think I’m one of the few people who thought the film was decent. It’s not excellent, and there’s a lot going on that misses the point, but I thought (when I was watching it as a stand-alone style film) that it holds up in a video store rental kinda way. The third film…I was curious. More than I was excited. I think the reaction to the second film really hurt the release of the new one. I didn’t enjoy the third film in the way I hoped I would. To me, they erred in making it a ‘Hollywood Movie’ filled with the same type of things horror fans complain about on a regular basis. The premise was solid, the idea was there, but the execution was not. I felt it was ‘Oh look, pretty teens go into the woods….oh look the cliché black best friend character…oh look” it was filled with things that took me out of the realism. There was never any doubt that we were watching a ‘Hollywood Film’ from the beginning. It was missing that ‘what if’ factor of the original film. It should have come off as a raw Indie. I think that’s the major differences between the original and the follow-up films. We love the original because of what it is- the underdog's story. The filmmakers were not Hollywood cookie-cutter characters. They looked, acted, felt like real people - because they were. In our film, we wanted to get back to basics, back to a film that feels like it could have been shot with regular people on consumer level equipment – because it was. We embraced that and worked to make it feel exactly like what it is …. a found footage film.

HoTS: Being a fan of the film, how did you produce the budget for the film? Was there an Indiegogo campaign? Investors?
JH: We actually worked with a pretty small budget, even by Indie standards. Being a fan film, we knew we couldn’t profit off of it, and we’ve done our best to be very respectful of the intellectual properties, which would have made going to an investor difficult. With limited options, we decided to make this film directly out of our own pockets and funded all aspects of it ourselves. There was talk of an Indiegogo, but we felt with the right people and the right approach we could pull this off ourselves. The money hunt, particularly for indie artists, is a constant struggle. It’s very, very difficult to get films made, even when you have a solid track record and I didn’t want to wait 5 years…… 10 ….maybe never making this film. I’ve seen too many filmmakers with great ideas wither on the vine and never get their made because they don’t have the budget. We worked with what we had, took advantage of our skills and decided to make the film with a budget we had.

HoTS: Where did you find your 3 lead actors – Samantha Marie Cook, Cody Epling, and Jason Reynolds- and what was it like working with them?
JH: We originally posted the project under a code name The March Project intending to cast and shoot in spring. Record rainfall flooded a lot of our locations and caused some conditions that we decided might be hazardous, so we delayed. We had begun the audition process by accepting video auditions. From those we culled the list down to the top 2-3 we wanted to see them in person for each character. We bought these actors in and really put them through their paces. They still didn’t know what they were auditioning for, what the film was about or anything. We narrowed down our choices and invited the actors to join the film, finally telling them what it was and what our goals were. Sam was our first choice and Cody had actually auditioned for a different character but came on as the character we see in the film. (In fact, most of the characters you see in the film had auditioned, didn’t get the role they were after but were offered a chance to come back and be in the film and its supporting character). Jason I had known for a while, having worked with him on a few other projects and training MMA with him. He’s a friend and I wanted somebody who was comfortable in the deep woods and also they were familiar with the way I work. Working with them was hell on earth – I’m kidding of course. We had multiple meetings before film dates, to get everybody comfortable around each other and to work on building the sense of camaraderie that you hopefully see and feel in the film. The characters came together well, and once the weather cleared we moved to shoot. The first few days didn’t go as smooth as we wanted, but it was a great bonding experience and we decided to start over, scrapping the first few days of footage. The trials and tribulations of filming a project like this brought them together in a stronger way, and when we started again, they were on point. It’s hard to believe now that none of them had ever met before we started casting, they seem like old friends.

HoTS: You shot on location in both Oregon and Maryland, was the Burkittsville location welcoming of another Blair Witch film?
JH: Soooooo…..we didn’t actually go to Maryland. We wanted to sell the illusion that we did, much as they sold the illusion of the ‘Black Hills’ in the original. We went to the airport, whole bit, but never actually went to Maryland. I had scouted locations for a few months and done my best to match them up with some of the towns woods in Maryland. We put that in the credits just for fun, and to see if anybody would know the difference. Is that a spoiler? I’m not sure, but it’s a factual statement that the people of Burkittsville have come out with negative responses to the Blair Witch films- in our movie when Sam says “I know, it’s all on the Thrillist website”, she’s telling the truth. The Thrillist website does cover the negative reactions of the people of Burkittsville about The Blair Witch Project. A lot of what we did was very meta –we heavily mixed in fact and fiction. In fact, sometimes you’d hear statements on set such as “wait, is this real real or film real?” and sometimes the answer was simply yes, yes it is.

HoTS: What other film projects can I observe your work in?
JH: I like to stay busy and am almost always working on something, or developing the next project. Over the years I’ve done multiple feature films, including All American Bully with Adrienne King (from the original Friday the 13th), 15:Inside The Mind of a Serial Killer (which is getting re-released soon), and The Devil Knows His Own with Eileen Dietz (from The Exorcist and many more), as well as several short films. Like a lot of indie artists, we’ve had ups and downs with distribution. My films can be found on Redbox, iTunes, Amazon, Walmart and many outlets around the world. Many would call that success, and I suppose it is, but getting distributors to actually pay you for your work is another story entirely. In fact, that’s an entire article unto itself…

HoTS: What is the plan for The Blair Witch Legacy? Will you be submitting it to festivals?
JH: This is actually a pretty complex question. We knew going into this that we couldn’t profit off of someone else’s intellectual property. We are not the copyright holders, and our film is able to exist through the grace of Lionsgate. They have allowed people to play with the Blair Witch universe in the past – these are dozens of fan shorts, fake documentaries, etc, much the same as fans have been allowed to play in other rich, layered, universes such as Star Wars, Star Trek, Lord of the Rings, and so on. So, knowing that, we made the film by fans, for fans. We have submitted to multiple festivals and conventions, where we’ll be showing exhibition screeners of our film. Currently, there are close to a dozen that will be showing it or trying to work it into their schedule. However, I try to make sure every move I make in regards to film and my career is with a reason. I like to say “No move without purpose” and try to make sure every move is to advance and with purpose. I didn’t just make a fan film. I made a fan film in a popular universe to draw more attention to what we do, and send up a flare in the direction of Lionsgate- “hey look at us. We love the franchise. There is hope for it. Let US make the next one.” How cool would it be to get their attention and have them look at our project? I’ve already worked out most of the details for a sequel, and I really believe the franchise can be given new life and reach new audiences worldwide. And I want to be the one to do it. No move without purpose.

Keep up to date on screenings and festivals showing The Blair Witch Legacy, through their Facebook page and watch for future projects from Jason Hawkins.
Posted by Michelle MIDI Peifer in INTERVIEWS, PARANORMAL, 0 comments
Dakota Bailey: A Retrospective Review of His Three Feature Films

Dakota Bailey: A Retrospective Review of His Three Feature Films

Dakota Bailey is a Colorado filmmaker who began with a simple goal: to create movies he himself would want to watch. Since 2015, Bailey has created some short films and has currently put the finishing touches on his third feature The Acid Sorcerer. This is a revisit of Bailey's films My Master Satan and American Scumbags. It also features a preview review for The Acid Sorcerer.

MY MASTER SATAN:
3 TALES OF DRUG FUELED VIOLENCE
(2016)

My Master Satan - DVD coverThis film was shot between March 2015 and April 2016. It is an independent product of R.A. Productions and primarily its writer, director, producer, and actor is Dakota Bailey.
This is an anthology horror film that features three interconnected tales revolving around serial killer/druggie Alister (Dakota Bailey) and his equally demented serial killer friends, Woody, Charlie, Bubba, and Dealin' Dick, which takes the viewer deep into a seedy underworld of crime, drugs, and murder.
In the first tale, Bubba (Matt Marshall) enlists Alister's help to exhume the corpse of his deceased unfaithful wife who he murdered. Afterward, the two of them decide to take some LSD resulting in an acid trip where they briefly see Satan.
In the second tale, Alister and his twisted friend Charlie (Brian Knapp) go out for a night of deviance and committing crimes, such as home invasions and murder.
Finally, in the third and final tale, Alister and Bubba go on a quest for more LSD, meeting their serial killer friend Woody and committing violent acts along the way, and finally having the ultimate ritualistic acid trip that once again brings them face to face with Satan himself.
Firstly, a big thank you to Dakota Bailey for sharing this film with me upon release. I was honoured when I was asked to review it and honestly getting an email from “MY MASTER SATAN” was quite surprising to say the least (at 9am on a Sunday morning).
As already stated, they are stories laced with drugs, violence, and ultimately murder. Each character has his own evil dance with the devil and wrestles with good and bad within the film. We see these men decline into drug induced madness, we watch as people die to feed their addictions and new lust for death, and we recoil when we witness the acid trips that guide them to Satan.
The biggest Satan scene, shot in a style reminiscent of an Andy Warhol crazed moment, was a truly inspiring choice. It felt like a bizarre and very maniacal acid trip. The deaths themselves were well filmed and clearly considerate of a technique I love – “Less is Best”. We didn’t need to see each piece of the deaths graphically. A simple blood splatter, a pillow on a face, or even a well used camera angle was much more effective.
I noticed the sound quality was sketchy in parts (and I must point out I had been warned prior to viewing). This did hinder some parts, where I felt the dialogue really drove the scene and is one thing perhaps the filmmakers can work on. There were some magnificently shot scenes throughout. Whether it was a simple shot of the cemetery or the pick axe being dragged. A shadowy silhouette digging, and primarily the driving/outdoor scenes.
The aggressively enjoyable thrash metal that interjects in between scenes fits in well with the gritty and unseemly atmosphere throughout the themes of this 70 minute film. We feel the harsh reality of an insane life on drugs and the desperation for escape from the depressing wheel of life (in a low socio-economic area).
These three stories seemed so well connected and the small passages, injected within the scenes, was very well thought out. I liked the stop start motion that was used to introduce each character, giving us a moment to process who we’re meeting within their first scene. This helped with following the story and characters (due to the sound issues).
All in all a great effort by all involved.

AMERICAN SCUMBAGS (2016)

American Scumbags - DVD CoverThis review is about the latest offering from My Master Satan: 3 Tales of Drug Fueled Violence creator Dakota Bailey for R.A. Productions. Yet again (like with My Master Satan), we are introduced to an interesting collective of characters, who each have their own story to tell within the intertwining plot.
This time our focus is on the stories of Johnny (Dakota Bailey) , Billy (Darien Fawkes), Chester (Fred Epstein) , Wheelin’ Deals (L.B.), Lucifer (Nick Benning), Angel (Bianca Valentino), The Ex (Katy Katzar), The Boyfriend (Bill Chafer), Teddy (V.B.), and Chester’s victim (Laura Ray).
This time around Dakota Bailey showcases some awesome punk songs from the Welsh Punk band Pizzatramp. Using their songs “Ciggy Butt Brain, Scumbag Boogie” and “Taxi Cunts Fuck Off”, Bailey uses them to help gel the scenes of American Scumbags together. I checked out a few more tidbits about Pizzatramp and will say their style, spirit, and attitude is indicative of the punk world and its legion of fans.
The stories within American Scumbags that jump out at the viewer are the dynamic drug dealings of Chester (a lowly dealer with axes to grind all over his patch), Johnny (an addict and Chester’s hired gun for drugs in payment), and Lucifer (a jovial prankster who is determined not to pay what he owes); the exploits of Billy (a violent man who is hell bent on punishing his ex), his ex, and her new boyfriend; and, lastly, the tale of homeless veteran Wheelin’ Deals and his strange interactions with pedophile Teddy.
The standout performance for me was Darien Fawkes as Billy. He was such a natural on screen that I despised and was repulsed by some of his aggression and actions. This is a great indication of Fawkes natural prowess on screen and an ability to be immersed in his character.
Bailey as Johnny omits his usual deep voiced, fearful rogue as he does what he must to satisfy his lust for Heroin. Chester was a fun character and you will either love or hate Epstein’s ability to switch from playful to ill-tempered with such ease. Lucifer had me chuckling with one rather fecal scene, but well done to Nick Benning for bringing that air of jovial disruption to the scumbags’ demises.
Each character was grounded in believable portrayals, and we feel like we are watching a story of love gone sour, drug fueled mayhem, and perversion at its prime. Congratulations on improving the sound quality this time around and making the majority of the film much more fluid and easy to hear. The shots again (yes, even those involving urination) were all well thought out and yet again the less is best approach was well used to produce some of the best violence on screen.
I will say if Cannibal Holocaust’s infamous turtle scene leaves one squeamish, perhaps avoid the scene involving the road kill bunny - I was extremely relieved to read “No animals or people were harmed in the making of this film” as I was taken off guard by that scene myself.
Congratulations, Dakota Bailey and his team, on a well-developed second film.

THE ACID SORCERER (2017)

The Acid Sorcerer - posterThe Acid Sorcerer is a dark and nihilistic horror film that borders between fiction and reality. The film introduces the viewer to a serial killer, a drug addicted couple, a sadistic drug dealer, a cross dressing snuff filmmaker and a prostitute who has HIV. The characters embrace their inner darkness, struggle with morality, come to terms with their mortality, and ultimately meet their demise.
This is Dakota Bailey's third feature film and it is evident that he is truly growing as an artist.
This time around we are treated visually to some kaleidoscopic imagery of drug addicts on benders at their most intense, characters both rich and raw, and a story laced with lost souls.
First up we meet Smoke, a serial killer guided by evil, played impressively by Dakota Bailey (who also wrote and directed the film). Bailey stumbles through convincingly and, as he is ultimately guided by the evil reaper like character called Loach, we take pity on his misdeeds.
We also meet Vermina (played by Natasha Morgan), a pregnant meth addict, and her concerned partner Crawdad (played by Darien Fawkes- who had a dual role as Loach as well). Each offers up a vulnerability, that keeps the film’s moral compass pointing throughout.
Eyevin is a cruel dealer (played very well by the ever enjoyable Brian Knapp) who convincingly is just all about business. And Ecstasy (played well by Selena Velveteen) is a HIV infected hooker, who meets a tragic demise. Nikki, is a cross dresser with darker desires (played brilliantly by Nick Benning). Nikki was sweet and convincing, yet still deranged and maniacal. I loved Benning's ability to switch between personas and immerse wholly in his character.
Shot gloriously in black and white, it helps accent the darkness within the shadows and pockets of light which our characters inhabit. The double exposed colourful imagery of the 'acid trips' is mind-blowing and offers insight into the madness and mayhem within each character’s life.

All of Dakota Bailey's films are available at R.A. Productions Store Envy site, except The Acid Sorcerer.
To order The Acid Sorcerer, Bailey has an Indiegogo campaign, with extras for fans to purchase with it ahead of its August 2017 release.
Posted by Michelle MIDI Peifer in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
INTERVIEW: Dakota Bailey

INTERVIEW: Dakota Bailey

Dakota Bailey is well known within the independent cinema circles for his gritty and often all too realistic take, on true identities of people within the chaotic worlds that he envisions. Drawing from the modern day epitome of drug sub-culture and with a penchant for horror since his childhood, Bailey has been building a following through his films and his name is steadily on the rise with R. A. Productions.
Since 2015 Bailey has progressed from short films into creating lengthier features. First we were introduced in 2016 to My Master Satan: 3 Tales of Drug Fueled Violence, a drug laden romp through three interlocking short tales of the macabre.
Then (also in 2016) Bailey released American Scumbags, a nastier tale told from varied angles, which is a more fluid film regarding some uncertain elements and their spiral into madness.
Now we sit on the edge awaiting Bailey's release of his long anticipated third film The Acid Sorcerer. In anticipation of his latest film creation, Dakota Bailey answered some questions for The House of Tortured Souls ahead of the official release in August this year.
House of Tortured Souls: As a fan of the horror genre, what are your influences and favourite horror films, icons and filmmakers?
Dakota Baley: I am influenced by everything from silent horror film like Noseferatu, The Golem, Haxan, and Faust, to classic films like The Exorcist, underground extreme films and SOV films like Black Devil Doll From Hell. As for my favorite filmmakers I would have to say Sam Raimi, Jose Monica Marins (Coffin Joe), Marian Dora, Jorg Buttgerit, Lucio Fulci, Chester Novell Turner, David Lynch, Mario Bava and many more. For horror icons, my favorites would be Reagan from The Exorcist or Michael Myers from Halloween.
HoTS: What inspired you to create My Master Satan, American Scumbags, and The Acid Sorcerer?
DB: The idea behind My Master Satan was to make an anti-film. Meaning, that I just wanted to make a film that was extremely unusual and had absolutely no mainstream appeal whatsoever. I purposefully degraded the footage and filmed it on VHS but at the same time I kind of wanted My Master Satan to be kind of like an evil heavy metal Cheech and Chong type film. After My Master Satan came out, I developed the characters for American Scumbags. My intentions were to make an epic sleaze/trash/crime film. I just drew inspiration from real life people I used to know or people I had seen on the streets. I think American Scumbags is an important film because not only does it show my growth as a filmmaker but the film also has some really good characters in it such as Billy and Wheelin' Deals. For The Acid Sorcerer I basically wanted to make an extremely dark, depressing and hateful film that was about a set of characters embracing their inner darkness. I wanted to make a film that was similar to David Lynch's Eraserhead but at the same time I wanted to make a film that was highly original and I think we accomplished that. The Acid Sorcerer is a very strong film in my opinion.
HoTS: It's clear to see your evolution as a filmmaker, how do you feel about your films new and old?
DB: I think the evolution of myself as a filmmaker is fascinating. Every time I work on a new film I sit down and watch all my older shorts such as Satan's Coming for You or My Master Satan and I study them and I still enjoy those films and the immature degenerate feel of them. But I think it's kind of strange that I made those films and went on to make a film like The Acid Sorcerer. With each film I kind of feel like we change our style and that our films may deal with similar subject matter but each film is its own entity and each film has its own style.
HoTS: What's next on the horizon? Anymore films? Will we see familiar faces?
DB: We are currently working on a film called The Life of an American Scumbag that is a sequel to American Scumbags. It will be out before the end of this year and it is being shot in color as opposed to black and white like our other films. And then I plan on making a sequel to The Acid Sorcerer. I can't say too much about it because I am still coming up ideas and new characters, but it is definitely going to be an extremely dark film. As a matter of fact, I think it will be darker than the first Acid Sorcerer. As for more familiar faces ― yes, you will continue to see all the main actors such as Darien Fawkes, Nick Benning and myself, but with each film we introduce a few new actors or actresses, so it's not always the exact same people in all of our films.
HoTS: Who has been your favourite character to create (in any of your films)? And why?
DB: I love all the character in my films but if I had to pick only a couple I'd have to say Smoke and Leach from The Acid Sorcerer. I play the main character Smoke who is a serial killer/drug addict with multiple personality disorder and he has his other half called Leach that is his darker and philosophical side that compels him to murder. It was a strange process to film scenes involving Smoke and Leach. Darien Fawkes (who plays Leach and Crawdad in The Acid Sorcerer) had this black hood he'd wear that concealed his face. He would recite the lines and monologues that I had wrote for Leach in his normal voice and I would then take the footage we did and slow it down making his voice deep and droning sounding. It was actually powerful to see the footage transform. Another character I really like in The Acid Sorcerer is Eyevin, a sadistic drug dealer played by my friend Brian Knapp. Eyevin is a drug dealer that enjoys toying with drug addicts and enjoys watching snuff films that he commissions. Brian did an excellent job portraying him and he really captured the essence of the Eyevin character and what I wanted to bring to the screen. What I enjoy most about Eyevin is that almost in every scene of him he is always doing or saying something hateful or in bad taste. As far as characters from other films I would definitely have to say that Billy from American Scumbags is one of the best characters I've created so far. Darien Fawkes really captured the essence of the character and brought exactly what I wanted to the screen, but I can't leave out Alister and Bubba from My Master Satan. I just really like how they are kind of like an evil heavy metal version of Cheech and Chong. I just really enjoy the degenerate and immature feel of the characters.
HoTS: What can fans expect from The Acid Sorcerer?
DB: They can expect something a little different, but like I mentioned previously with each film we kind of change our style and we continue to grow and get better. I think that if fans enjoyed our previous films then they will definitely enjoy The Acid Sorcerer ― I consider it our best film yet.
HoTS: Musically you always seem to have something fresh for the scores of your films, any favourites?
DB: Music in my films is extremely important and finding the right music is imperative to my films. Whenever we start working on a new film, the first thing that comes to my mind is the soundtrack. The Acid Sorcerer features a soundtrack by Ramesses ― the film has three songs off of their album Possessed by the Rise of Magik. The soundtrack is very powerful and gives The Acid Sorcerer a dark and almost spiritual feel. As far as what film soundtrack is my favorite, I would definitely have to say Ramesses. I am a fan of theirs and it was an honor to get to use their music in our film. However, I also enjoyed the sound track for My Master Satan that came from my friend Daren Peterson and his band Luciferian Insectus. I think in particular that 'Ode to Darkness' at the end of My Master Satan was very powerful.
HoTS: What has been the highlight of your film career so far?
DB: I would have to say our films getting played at festivals like Cinema Wasteland; Shock Stock is a highlight, but also getting to use three songs off of Ramesses' Possessed by the Rise of Magik album. Another highlight is that with each film we get new fans and more recognition.
HoTS: We all have to start somewhere - childhood, schools, relationships, etc - who is Dakota Bailey?
DB: I am from Denver, Colorado; I developed an interest in films at an early age and eventually started making films with a battered camcorder and eventually I progressed into what I am. I consider myself a film fan making the kind of films that I want to see, but at the same time I do consider myself an artist and I consider each film a serious artistic endeavor.
HoTS: Anyone you want to thank for making you who you are today?
DB: Yes, my mom and dad for all the support and for letting me do whatever I wanted to while I was growing up and for letting me pursue my interests whether it be films or music.
Dakota Bailey currently has three features available for pre order (The Acid Sorcerer) or purchase (My Master Satan and American Scumbags).
Posted by Michelle MIDI Peifer in INTERVIEWS, 2 comments