Stephanie Roisland

Top Five Films to Watch in October (Part 5)

Top Five Films to Watch in October (Part 5)

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Staff Pick October 2016

By Stephanie Roisland

May I start by saying that this idea and the person behind it (my husband John Roisland) fucking suck. This is way harder than anticipated. I enjoy greatly far too many films and could go on for days about my passion for them. So this gave me a headache and made my anxiety rise while trying to select my top five. I thought about posting the titles based off of my roots and what brought me to love horror - films such as Attack of the killer Tomatoes, The Hills Have Eyes, Halloween, Swamp Thing , and so on. I decided to post my go to movies, the ones I could watch over and over no matter the day. I hope you enjoy demons.

Feast l (2005), Feast ll (2008), and Feast lll (2009)

Fair use doctrine.I know this is kind of a cheat but if you watch one you go straight to the rest. Director John Gulager hit a home run with these beauties. If it was good enough for Jason Mewes, Henry Rollins, Carl Anthony, and Clu Gulager to sign on then you know it is a homerun. Made in 2005, 2008, and 2009, these fantastic B comedy horror films are about patrons of a bar and a local small town that must fight these horrible monsters, eating human flesh and multiplying like rabbits. So if you love sexy suicide girls, hungry monsters, and using a midget wrestlers' Spanish grandmother as monster bait, these movies are totally for you.

The Devils Rejects (2005)

 

Fair use doctrine.I absolutely love the twisted joy this film brings out in the characters. Rob Zombie hit a home run here with me. This family of demented murderers’ home was attacked by the police, headed by Sheriff Wydell (William Forsythe). You almost feel pity for these murderous, depraved folks as their family is shot down and separated. You soon learn that this group of deranged killers is strong and proud of their slaughtering ways and love to see others suffer. In the end, this is a Police vs. Murderers showdown that forever makes epic history in my mind. Free Bird will never be the same!

Frontier(s)(2007)

Fair use doctrine.

This beautifully directed film by Xavier Gens is set in Paris. A young girl, is trying to get away after she pulls a heist with her ex. Pregnant, scared, and blocked by the police from crossing the border, they find refuge at a small, quaint inn. Little do they know, they should have just took their chances with the cops. As her friends get murdered and start to be used for dinner, she realizes there is no way out. It is a good thing this cult family’s father becomes smitten with her beauty and her baby. She refused to be a breeding, human flesh eating, cult wife and must take them all out in order to survive. Stripped of her hair, the father of her child, her dignity and her emotional virginity, she finds the strength to take them all out in a (rain) of blood and gun fire but what she leaves behind could haunt her forever.

Martyrs (2008)

Fair use doctrine.In this emotionally stunning masterpiece by Pascal Laugier, presented by Richard Grandpierre, this foreign film blows your previous idea of horror right out the damn window. In this chilling tale, an anonymous group uses disposable people to achieve the ever seeking emotional state of a matyr. Never before had a woman let go, giving up all fight to the cause, until now. Two young friends, Hell-bent on finding revenge for the misdoings done to one of them as a child, find themselves in terror of no end. One is killed and the other is chosen to become the one - the one to tell, the one to see, the one to give up all hope in order to know what is on the other side. When you let go of hope, endure all pain beyond all other, give yourself to the end, a martyr you will be. Bloody brilliant and an unforgettable journey.

Trick 'r Treat (2007)

Fair use doctrine.

Any day of the week, I could watch this amazing movie. This exquisite little masterpiece by writer/director Michael Dougherty, sucks in the whole family. The trick’r’treating little demon in a cute burlap mask is just one of the four interwoven tales set on Halloween night. Werewolves, murderers, and tricksters, oh my. There’s a child's story of a bus murder come to life but the good girl becomes the bad girl and wins in the end. The bus driver, now an old man, becomes victim of the demon who wants candy, the heart of Halloween if you will. Another story tells of how the local principal, a mass murderer, passing on his wicked ways to his son becomes prey. And the tale of a beautiful girl who is becoming a woman and is making her first time a time to remember and a time he will wish he could forget. The film brings actors Anna Paquin, Dylan Baker, Brian Cox and so many more to life in this Halloween must have.
Fair use doctrine.

Posted by Stephanie Roisland in STAFF PICKS, 1 comment
MOVIE REVIEW: Tales of Poe (2014)

MOVIE REVIEW: Tales of Poe (2014)

By: Stephanie Roisland

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Tales of Poe 2014

Directed by: Bart Mastronardi of MastroPiece Productions and Alan Rowe Kelly of SouthPaw Pictures

Produced by: Nicole Alexis, Robert Kuiper, Bart Mastronardi and Alan Rowe Kelly

Associate Production by: Amy Lynn Best, Mike Watt and Marcus A. DeCosta

Screenplay by: Bart Mastronardi, Alan Rowe Kelly and Michael Varrati

Music and sound design by: Tom Burns/ Really Horrible Music

Including a cast of: Adrienne King, Amy Steel, Caroline Williams, Randy Jones, Lesleh Donaldson, Desiree Gould, Alan Rowe Kelly, Debbie Rochon and Bette Cassatt

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I was personally looking forward to reviewing this film, as an Edgar Allen Poe fan myself, this was intriguing and anticipated.  The ambitious and twisted portrayal of these writings was a refreshing approach to these horror classics.

Over a great many years, Poe has spoken to the world of love, death and the struggles life pans out for those in the grasps of a dark cloud. We each in our minds have built a story, where the characters come alive, we tend to think towards the obvious and literal terms in which he writes. What if we didn't, what if we really analyzed the depth of his words and the embraced the darkness in his heart.  That's what Tales of Poe has done, made a film and characters to match the emotions spoken in his works. The characters reach out and grab you in this beautifully made reenactment of the dark and macabre.

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The Tell Tale Heart was amazingly preformed, a few of those actors being Desiree Gould, Adrienne King and Alan Rowe Kelly. Nurse Malliard was a sinister bitch with a true power trip, while the real murderous and scary presence was the quiet Private Nurse. I loved the feel of this segment of the film. Miss Lamarr was a terrorizing sight and that bell! I don't think ever in my life I will forget the sound of those repetitive chimes and the overwhelming echo they unleashed. The ending of this amused me to no other, I really enjoyed the bloody finish.

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The Cask was an abrupt entrance into a story that had been building for years. A celebration to a future, one thinks its forever, and the others' plan differs just a bit. This story has one twist and then another, never think at any time you have the upper hand because a set of stairs and some cement can fix that uneven karma real quick. I really enjoyed the setting of this and the underground catacombs were super creepy. The cast included Brewster McCall, Alan Rowe Kelly and Randy Jones. Mr. Kelly played Gogo Montresor and I must say did it brilliantly. His presence is exuberant and had me captivated from the first word spoken. I love how he takes center stage and holds your attention till the end.

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The last and final segment of this brilliant production is Dreams.  Supported by a cast composed of Brewster McCall, Caroline Williams, Adrienne King, Amy Steel and Bette Cassatt as" the Dreamer". This was a horrifying and yet gorgeously dark look into the world of dreams. The tapping of the umbrella foot sounds of a grandfather clock pendulum and Caroline Williams owned the Angel of Dreams character. Though she was good and had a sense of calming in her presence, the horror and murderous blood scenes were a nice treat. Some sad but some a little amusing and confusing all in one, exactly the way you feel in a vivid dream. Bette Cassatt was a wonderful addition to the feel of the film, her character was made for her. She has this delicate essence to her and she nailed it in my opinion.  The makeup in this film was dark but exuberant , some bloody and gruesome and others creepy and sinister. They all carried an Alice in Wonderland feel, which was a pleasant surprise in a silent film. The narration in the middle and towards the end was a welcomed treat but not needed to understand what was happening.

Tales of Poe is a great addition to the horror community and is welcomed by me. It has been screening at various film festivals across the United States and Canada including New York Horror Film Fest, LA Horror Fest and H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival. The film has received 16 awards and continuing press since its release and Alan Rowe Kelly has stating that they are "courting distributors for the right home".  Please checkout the trailer posted above or the website http://www.talesofpoefilm.com.

Posted by Stephanie Roisland in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
Freakish Facts

Freakish Facts

By: Stephanie Roisland

Abnormal Musings and Freakish Facts #3

1. In Evil Dead II, you can see Freddy Krueger’s glove from Nightmare on Elm Street. It’s hanging above the door in the tool shed.

2. Rather than risk breaking continuity, Sissy Spacek slept in bloody clothes for three days while filming the prom scene in Carrie.

3. In the original Scream, the high school janitor is named “Fred” and wears red and green shirt, an allusion to Nightmare on Elm Street, also directed by Wes Craven. The janitor is played by Craven himself.

4. Nutmeg is extremely poisonous if  injected intravenously, it can kill you.

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5. When Thomas Edison died in 1941, Henry Ford captured his last dying breath in a bottle.

6.  A ghost costume isn’t authentic unless there is poop in it. Since ghost wear the same clothes they died in and an unfortunate side affect of death is defecation this fact is true. So next time you plan on wearing a sheet to a party remember to sit on melted chocolate first.

7. George Romero started his career on Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. The episode where Mr. Rogers’ had to get a tonsillectomy was the inspiration for Romero’s 1968 zombie film, Night of the Living Dead.

8. Dan O’Bannon was the screenwriter for the Alien movie and got his idea from the braconid wasp. They inject their eggs into certain caterpillars or wood-boring beetle larvae, resulting in a chest bursting birth/death.

9. The vampire alter-ego of Count Orlok is only seen on screen for a total of 9 minutes in Nosferatu 1922.

10. When Mahatma Gandhi died the autopsy revealed that there were five gold krugerrand in his small intestine.

11. In Lucerne, Switzerland, you can hire an evil clown to follow and stock your child for a week before their birthday. Then on their special day it will smash a cake in your kids face.

12. Scientists say that a zombie apocalypse is very possible in the future due to the recent findings of a group of specific brain parasites.  Lucky for us, at the moment it only affects bugs.

Posted by Stephanie Roisland in ABNORMAL MUSINGS AND FREAKISH FACTS, 0 comments
COMING SOON: Hellevator (2015)

COMING SOON: Hellevator (2015)

By Stephanie Roisland

maxresdefault3Hellevator
From the twisted and warped minds that brought you the Paranormal Activity franchise, we present to you Hellevator. The show dares a team of three friends to ride a spooky, haunted type elevator into the deeps of an abandoned warehouse. At each floor the elevator stops and one friend must get off and conquer a fear filled challenge in order to earn money. The catch is if they do not return in time, the elevator moves on without them. So we will see in the end who makes it back to the top with the money (a potential $50,000) and who will be trapped in the warehouse of terror.

Hellevator is produced by Matador and Blumhouse Productions associated with Lionsgate Television. Executive producers are Jason Blum (Paranormal Activity, The Purge, Sinister, and Insidious) who won a 2014 Emmy Award for The Normal Heart, Jay Peterson and Todd Lubin of Matador (Lip Sync Battle) and Shye Sutherland (Wipeout, Bullseye).

hellevator-tv-show

This terrifying eight episode season is sure to fuel the passion of horror enthusiasts everywhere. Hosted by horror film screen writers, producers, directors and actors Jen and Sylvia Soska aka "Twisted Twins". These two beauties will be behind the scenes as the evil masterminds, pulling all the strings throughout the entire game. Jen and Sylvia will be represented by APA and Zero Gravity. Hellevator premiers Wednesday October 21, 2015, at 8E/7C on The Game Show Network (GSN).

elevator

Posted by Stephanie Roisland in HORROR NEWS, 0 comments
Super Blood Moon

Super Blood Moon

By Stephanie Roisland

Blood Moon

Whether you are a nerd who enjoys stargazing, a fan of all things dark, a night owl, or a dreamer who loves the sky, the upcoming full moon will be an amazing sight to see. On Sunday, September 27, 2015, we will be experiencing a "Super Blood Moon" as well as a full lunar eclipse.

According to NASA, this lunar combination (the first in 30 years) will be happening late Sunday night into early Monday morning. Our skies here in the US and much of the rest of the world will be lucky enough to get a glimpse of the blood moon, encapsulated in the total lunar eclipse.

This particular moon is the fourth and final moon in the phase of four spectacles called "blood moons", a term used to describe a series of four lunar eclipses between 2014 and 2015. Scientists refer to the blood moon quad as the "lunar tetrad". For more information on blood moons, check out this page at EarthSky.org.

In folklore, each full moon of the year has its own name, and these are divided between Northern Hemisphere full moons and Southern Hemisphere full moons.

Northern Month Southern
Old Moon, Moon After Yule January Hay Moon, Buck Moon, Thunder Moon, Mead Moon
Snow Moon, Hunger Moon, Wolf Moon February Grain Moon, Sturgeon Moon, Red Moon, Wyrt Moon, Corn Moon, Dog Moon, Barley Moon
Sap Moon, Crow Moon, Lenten Moon March Harvest Moon, Corn Moon
Grass Moon, Egg Moon, Pink Moon April Harvest Moon, Hunter’s Moon, Blood Moon
Planting Moon, Milk Moon May Hunter’s Moon, Beaver Moon, Frost Moon
Rose Moon, Flower Moon, Strawberry Moon June Oak Moon, Cold Moon, Long Night’s Moon
Thunder Moon, Hay Moon July Wolf Moon, Old Moon, Ice Moon
Fruit Moon, Harvest Moon September Worm Moon, Lenten Moon, Crow Moon, Sugar Moon, Chaste Moon, Sap Moon
Harvest Moon, Hunter’s Moon October Egg Moon, Fish Moon, Seed Moon, Pink Moon, Waking Moon
Hunter’s Moon, Frosty Moon, or Beaver Moon November Corn Moon, Milk Moon, Flower Moon, Hare Moon
Moon Before Yule, or Long Night Moon Garbers December Strawberry Moon, Honey Moon, Rose Moon

The total lunar eclipse will only last about an hour and twelve minutes according to NASA. The partial lunar eclipse will begin around 8pm ET for all of you stargazers and sky watchers making camp for the show.The full eclipse will be at its peak around 10pm ET, giving this super moon a red and copper colored hue, it should be complete just after midnight.

Be prepared to give this beauty a view tonight, as the next time this phenomenon will occur is in 2033.

Blood Moon

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MOVIE REVIEW: Exeter (2015)

By Stephanie Roisland

exeter

Producer: Vicarious Entertainment; Director: Marcus Nispel; Stars: Michael Ormsby, Gage Golightly, and Brett Dier

The movie begins with a huge party at an abandoned asylum for discarded children called Exeter. This all night booze and drug fest takes a twisted turn when a group of friends, drunk and stoned, have the idea to try out some occult magic. Amber (Gage Golightly) thinks she can make a person float in the air, just like the famous girl on YouTube. The group decides to use Rory (Michael Ormsby), their friend Brad's (Brett Dier) little brother, as the guinea pig.

I know all of you have heard of the game light as a feather, stiff as a board, right? (If not then Google it because I ain't explaining that shit.) The group tries to use the game for fun and something goes seriously wrong . Rory becomes violently possessed by a vengeful, evil force.

The teens try to seek help or find a way out and realize they are locked inside. With no means of help or communication, they decide to take the matter of saving Rory into their own hands. Once again using the Internet for reference, the friends attempt an exorcism. What the amateurs don't realize is that they have unleashed a spirit with no other intention or motive but to see them all dead. One by one, in almost comical ways, the friends die. I do have to say I did rather enjoy the gory slaughter scenes in this movie and the fact that it didn't seem like they were trying too hard to make it happen.

The group's only chance for survival is to uncover the asylum's deep mysteries and find a way to get out before they have all perished. Unfortunately for them, the search to uncover answers to Exeter's past reveal a dark and terrible history that will leave everyone baffled. What secrets are held there will blow your mind in a twist of the tables and an unholy union.

For a movie that did not receive a lot of exposure or theatre time, I am very please with it overall. The characters were fun, cheesy, and a tad freaky all at the same time. The plot was almost like a plot within a plot, but it was not confusing. There was enough B-movie and gore mixed with the suspense to make it interesting but not forced in any way. It is most definitely worth a watch and guaranteed to generate a few laughs. I think that the direction of the movie was fun and the writers/directors did an amazing job.

2 3/4 out of 5 stars

Exter Movie (5)

Posted by Stephanie Roisland in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
Abnormal Musings and Freakish Facts #2

Abnormal Musings and Freakish Facts #2

Abnormal Musings and Freakish Facts #2

By Stephanie Roisland

1) Psycho was the first movie to show a toilet flush.

Halloween

2) The original title for Halloween was The Babysitter Murders. It was not chosen for the
official title because the story was to take place
in only one night for budget reasons.

scarymother-in-law

3) Pentheraphobia is the fear of a mother-in-law.

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4) Some ribbon worms will eat themselves if they cannot find food.

Five senses numbered

5) When a person dies, hearing is generally the last sense to go. First is sight, then taste, and touch.

Andrew Jackson and his parrot

6) In 1845, President Andrew Jackson's pet parrot
was removed from his funeral; he was using
excessive swearing.

Edward Cruisehands

7) Tom Cruise was offered the role of the titular character in Edward Scissorhands; he turned it down because he wanted a happier ending.

alien-like-human-1

8) In 2003, the skeletal remains of a human that measured 6 inches was found in a Chilean ghost town. A definition of the size, mutations, and origin have not yet been found.

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9) A human body decomposes four times faster in water than on land.


Texas Chain Saw skeleton

10) The human skeleton at the end of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre was, in fact, a real skeleton
bought from India.

Posted by Stephanie Roisland in ABNORMAL MUSINGS AND FREAKISH FACTS, 0 comments

SERIES REVIEW: The Killer and I (2015)

The Killer and I:
A Reality Series

By Stephanie Roisland

the-killer-and-i

This DVD series follows Kane Hodder and Michael Aloisi (aka Author Mike), the author of the journal about the making of Hodder's biography on an array of excursions. They are on a four month long book tour promoting Kane's book Unmasked: The True Story of the World's Most Prolific Cinematic Killer and Mike's book The Killer and I. They frolic about two continents causing mayhem and recording their shenanigans on video. This DVD consists of 13 episodes, each between 10 and 13 minutes long, showing many different situations that Kane puts Mike into.

This duo is truly an odd couple - Mike being a man scared of his own shadow and not so much the adventure seeking type, and Kane a man who loves thrills and makes his living scaring the daylights out of people. Even more than thrills, though, Kane loves torturing Mike and making him scream and squirm! The episodes take you from mini golf, crashing Segways, and hand feeding lions to exploring abandoned castles, ghost hunting, and driving ATVs through the desert. One of my personal favorites is Mike's first time shooting a gun. His reaction absolutely cracks me up. He bet against Kane in shooting and lost (go figure), and he has yet to make good on the bet and get his nipple pierced.

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I enjoyed the insane interaction between these two friends and how much fun they have together. The punches to the nuts and baths together (shower caps and all) are hysterical. Mike falls for just about anything that Kane can conjure up, and even though he whines about it, he takes most of it like a champ. It is nice to see the fun loving, free spirited, easy going side of our beloved "Jason" in his natural habitat. Some parts are almost a horror-themed version of jackass and some, of course, are a little slow. The short run time of each episode can be kind of a drag because it feels like every time you begin getting into an episode, it is over.

All in all this is a great addition to your reality television regimen or just something different to watch on a Friday night. I thoroughly enjoyed the series, and the bonus material is awesome. There are over 200 photos to browse as well as some commentary from Kane and Author Mike. I give this "Horror can be hilarious!" composition a 6 out of 10.

Posted by Stephanie Roisland in REVIEWS, SERIES REVIEWS, 0 comments
Count Chocula Brew

Count Chocula Brew

By Stephanie Roisland

AMCE102_thecountTen months after its debut, Count Chocula cereal is fully stocked and ready to brew. Yes, that's right, brew. Black Bottle Brewery in Fort Collins, CO have turned this iconic Halloween cereal into a beer. Last year the brewery bought out every grocery store within reach when their new brew was in high demand, causing a shortage of the General Mills cereal in the Fort Collins area. Local lovers of the cereal were dismayed at the shortage and General Mills has gone above and beyond this year to ensure this will not happen again. According to Sean Nook, owner of Black Bottle Brewery, the makers at General Mills have sent their entire last batch directly to the brewery. He was quoted saying, "We are lucky to have gotten it over a month ago", to the Coloradoan and we couldn't agree more. Count Chocula has avoided another year of repeating his absence to his fans.

black_bottle_growlerThe chocolaty cereal beer will be available starting August 25, 2015 at Black Bottle Brewery before making its way to the Great American Beer Festival in Boulder this October. The Count Chocula brew should be available to the public in bottle form by October, in just enough time for Halloween. We cant wait to taste this chocolate and marshmallow cereal based brew and are happy the limited edition brew and beloved cereal will both be available this year to enjoy.

Posted by Stephanie Roisland in HORROR NEWS, 0 comments
The Rocky Horror Picture Show Turns 40

The Rocky Horror Picture Show Turns 40

By Stephanie Roisland

The Rocky Horror Picture show - Rocky' birthday party.

The Rocky Horror Picture show - Rocky's birthday party

On this day, August 15th, in 1975 (that's 40 years ago for you dumbasses), The Rocky Horror Picture Show was born. The screenplay was written by Jim Sharman and Richard O'Brien, it was based on a 1973 British- American musical and stage production. This horror comedy/ musical was directed by Sharman and he was joined by O'Brien who wrote the music, lyrics, and book. O'Brien also played Riff Raff" in the film and co-starred also side some of the Royal Court Theatre, Roxy Theatre, and Belasco Theatre cast members. It was shot in the U.K. at Bray Studios and also at an Estate named Oakley Court. Its estimated budget was between $1.2 and $1.4 million dollars, and its U.S. gross was $139.9 million.

In an era where sci-fi was booming, time warp had a whole new different meaning to us. We all remember dancing to that catchy tune with (Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon, Barry Bostwick, and Richard O'Brien). A musical classic that will always bring a smile to fans faces. I have never had the privilege of seeing it on Broadway, but I have heard that it is an amazing piece to watch in person. The dancing, the sass, and the B movie vibe have sent audiences into uncontrollable laughter.

To this day The Rocky Horror Picture Show is one of the only movies that still holds midnight showings - with full audience member participation. The participants show up dressed in character clothing and act out their favorite scenes in the film. It is becoming more and more rare that these shows are scheduled, so if you see one at your local theatre... attend! It is an experience that will knock your socks off.

As we celebrate this cult classic's last 40 years of memories, madness, and Dammit Janets, we are still truly amazed by the impact it has made on the world. From DVDs , music soundtracks, clothing and housewares, it has paved the way in more aspects than people may think. Costume designer Sue Blane has been heard stating "the costumes from the movie have directly affected the development of the punk trends. Ripped clothing, torn fish nets, and dyed hair". Dr. Frank-N-Furter's (Tim Curry) character has lessened the stigma behind transgenderism and transvestitism. This comedy/musical opened many of people's eyes to a world of just simply being comfortable in ones own skin.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show collectible colored vinyl.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show collectible colored vinyl

I know we all enjoyed "A Creation" (Peter Hinwood) and his magical part in this classic. The women melted over him, the men envied him and some just really enjoyed his amazing gold underwear. From Eddie, Magenta, Riff Raff and Columbia to Dr. Frank, Dr. Scott, the criminologist, Frank and Betty" these character shared in the making of history. One filled with fun, filth and Transylvanians.

This movie (as sad as it sounds) was the highlight of many actors careers. We are not saying that their other roles following The Rocky Horror Picture Show were less important, but these are the characters for which they will always be known. Just as Kane Hodder will always be Jason to the world, so, too, will Patricia Quinn, Nell Campbell, Susan Sarandon, Barry Bostwick, and Meatloaf be Magenta, Columbia, Janet, Brad and Eddie.

So here is to 40 more years of smiles and laughter. Long live The Rocky Horror Picture Show and the memories it brings you. May you awaken your children to cult- classic history and show them the meaning of making art, true art.

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BREAKING NEWS: The Exorcist Is Returning

By Stephanie Roisland

The Exorcist movie poster

It is confirmed, folks. The Exorcist is returning! Morgan Creek Studios and Warner Brothers will be pairing up in a modern version of The Exorcist. The 1973 horror classic remake will be a 10 part television miniseries, distributed internationally by Warner Brothers, and co-distributed domestically with Morgan Creek Studios. It seems that Morgan Creek is finally making good on their licensing of The Exorcist which expires in 4 years. With all the recent buzz and success of possession and exorcism movies, I can't say I blame the timing. This section of horror has been stagnant in the past years and now is the time to jump. Movies like The Last Exorcism, The Possession of Emily Rose, and The Taking of Deborah Logan have stirred a true spark in horror fans everywhere .

The man behind this truly frightening endeavor will be Sean Durkin, director of Martha Marcy May Marlene. The series will portray the events leading up to the possession and the effects it had on the McNeil Family during and after the young girl's experience.

A network has not been announced, we are all curious as to where the series will land. Cable would be the only option that I can see; Showtime or HBO would be ideal places for a series like this. With their recent success and numbers on other series, it would be beneficial for both parties involved.

I know this news brings a long list of questions to the table. Will we see the McNeil Father (even at a glimpse), will we get to see into the Vatican Corridors and how this hushed issue of possession is dealt with in the church? What will be the limitations for language and vulgar scenes, and the use of the sacred crucifix? Most of all we want to know, who will be our Reagan? Is she a new face to the acting world or is she a hidden actress whose full potential we have yet to see?

the-exorcist2We do know that we will be seeing the faces of Julia Roberts, Ian McKellen, Al Pacino, Mila Kunis, Dustin Hoffman, Henry Cavill, Bella Thorne, Christopher Nolan, Johnathan Nolan, and Hans Zimmer in the miniseries.

We will keep you informed as far as a network, release dates, and, of course, Reagan's casting as they become available.

Posted by Stephanie Roisland in HORROR NEWS, 0 comments

The Bloody Benders of Kansas

The Truth Behind
The Bloody Benders

By Stephanie Roisland

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I touched on the story of the this morbid family a bit in my movie review for Slaughter, rumored to be loosely based on The Benders, also known as "The Bloody Benders". After watching Slaughter, I had to do a piece on the family, and I really enjoyed researching and writing about them. In 1870, the same year the Ingalls family left the Labette county area to move back to Michigan, the Bender family moved in. A handful of families moved to Labette County that year, but two of them left that same year. The families that remained were quiet and stayed to themselves, except the Benders.

The family was of a foreign religion to the Kansas homesteaders living in the area as they were spiritualists, and they were making their mark in the community. They settled near the Great Osage Trail, a trail innumerable people traveled on their way to settle in the west. The family consisted of John Bender "Pa", he made a 160 acre claim in the area, his son John Jr., sometimes referred to as "Thomas", who made a claim on a smaller land parcel that adjoined the family's but he never worked it, (Some neighbors said he was a half-wit and others say it was just a ruse.), Elvira Bender "Ma", and daughter Kate Bender. Ma and Pa were, as far as anyone knew, of German decent and mostly spoke in German. They did in fact know English, but it was so accented that it was almost completely indecipherable.

The family built a one bedroom house for their residence and business. They opened an inn and general store. A curtain divided the home into two areas: the front was the public inn and store, and the back was the living quarters. Often, travelers on the Osage Trail would stop to refresh themselves with rest, food, and water. They were also able to resupply their wagons with water, liquor, tobacco, horse feed, black powder, and other supplies from the Bender store. More often than not, travelers would stay the night.

Daughter Kate was the most outgoing of the Bender family. She often referred to herself as a fortune teller and healer. It was also rumored that Kate was a prostitute. The community was often overheard talking about Kate and Ma being witches and studying witchcraft. An attractive young woman, Kate drew extra business to the Bender place when she was around. More often than not, she could found traveling to spiritualism lectures and holding her own healing services.

It was discovered some time later that none of the members of the family were actually named Bender. As a matter of fact, only two members were even related, Ma and Kate. Pa was born John Flickinger around 1810 in the Netherlands or Germany. John Jr.'s real name was John Gebhart. Ma was born Almira Meik, and her first husband was Mr. Griffith, with whom she bore 12 children. Kate was born as Ma's 5th child and was named Eliza. In fact, Ma was married several times prior to marrying Pa, and every husband Ma had died of a head wound (surprise, surprise). It was said that Ma murdered her oldest three children because they were witnesses to her murdering her husband. It was also stated that John Jr. and Kate may have been married, and neighbors recall them actually being common law to one another.

l15crop

Hundreds of men passed through Kansas seeking their fortunes in the west and were never heard from again. In those times it was quite common for adventurers and travelers to be out of reach for some time or to be found dead. So it took a great while for the many disappearances to draw attention to the Labette County area. Over the years, more and more travelers dropped off the radar after passing through the area. Some were found dead, murdered in the area, but no one knew who could be responsible. In 1872, George Loncher and his infant daughter left Independence, Kansas to settle in Iowa after his wife, the child's mother, had passed away. After some time passed and Mr. Loncher never arrived in Iowa, Dr. William York, a close friend of Loncher's, went to seek him out. He followed the Osage trail all the way to Fort Scott questioning people about Mr. Loncher and his daughter. On his way back to Independence, Dr. York himself disappeared.

bloody-benders-knife

That's when the story takes a sinister turn.

Dr. York had two very powerful brothers who were hell bent on finding him, Colonel Ed York and Kansas Senator Alexander York. Colonel York led an investigation to Labette County. They questioned the Bender family because of the accusations made against Ma wherein a women claimed that Mrs. Bender had threatened her with a knife. The investigators held a township meeting at the schoolhouse and voted to search each and every homestead for evidence or any sign of murder. Colonel York and both Bender men were in attendance at the meeting. That night the weather turned, and it was several days before the individual home searches could be done. In the meantime, a neighboring family mentioned that the inn looked empty. The Benders had fled. Two days later, several hundred volunteers went to perform the search, among them was the Colonel. The Benders' wagon was gone, and it looked like they left quickly, taking only a minimal amount of belongings, mostly clothes and food. What the searcher find on the property is chilling. A trap door was located on the families side of the dividing curtain in the inn. It revealed a horrid smelling cellar, empty but covered in human blood. Their cabin was moved from the spot, and the ground was excavated to no avail.

Neighbors recalled that the garden on the property always seemed to be freshly plowed. The investigators then turned their main focus to that garden, working through the night and into the next day. What the volunteers and township uncovered was a heinous act of hate and rage.

bendersyard1

The first body uncovered was that of Dr. York. Seven more bodies were found that night and one the next day. The heads were bashed in and the throats cut, with the exception on Mr. Loncher's infant daughter, who was said to have been buried alive under her dead father. Another child's body was unearthed, she was estimated to be about 8 years olds and was badly mutilated. While only ten bodies were found at the farm, 21 murders have been tied to the Benders. (Imagine how many we aren't aware of and never will be.)

From what investigators can piece together, guests of the inn were persuaded into sitting in the seat of honor, strategically placed against the separating curtain. While eating, the guest was bludgeoned in the head with a hammer from behind, throat slit, and then dropped into the cellar. A Mr. Wetzell recalls his visit once at the inn, he declined to sit in the honor seat at which point Ma became very angry and abusive to him. When he saw the two male Benders appear from behind the curtain, he and his traveling companion left the inn. Mr. William Pickering told an almost parallel story to the investigators.

In all, it is estimated that the Benders only collected about $4,600 from the victims they murdered, but they also acquired a few livestock. News of the crime sent shockwaves through the newspapers and media, drawing much attention from curious people. The Benders' wagon was recovered many miles away, but there was no sign of the family. Eventually, twelve men were arrested for the receiving and selling of the stolen items. Senator York put up a reward of $1,000, and the Governor added another $2,000 for the apprehension of the family. The reward was never claimed. Many vigilante groups laid claim to the murder of the Benders, but no evidence was ever presented to confirm that. A railroad worker testified to seeing the two older Benders boarding a train to Humboldt, and the two younger members board a train to Texas or New Mexico.

Nobody ever discovered what happened to the Benders, but it was rumored that Ma murdered Pa over stolen property not long after they fled. It was also rumored that Pa committed suicide in Lake Michigan in 1884. After 145 years, it is likely that we will never know what truly happened to the Bender family. Their home was disassembled piece by piece and kept as souvenirs by the curious. Nothing remains today of the homestead to show the exact location of the crime. However, people claim you would know if you were in the right location, as the land is haunted by the murdered... The victims of the Bloody Benders.

Bloody-Benders

Posted by Stephanie Roisland in BRUTAL REALITY, 2 comments

Abnormal Musings and Freakish Facts #1

By Stephanie Roisland

Human head

 

Fact #1: The human head remains conscious for about 15-20 seconds after it has been decapitated.

 

 

France Hung a Pig

 

 

Fact #2: In 1386, a pig in France was executed by public hanging. It was accused for the murder of a small child.

 

 

Triskaidekaphobia

 

Fact #3: Triskaidekaphobia is the intense fear of the number 13.

 

 

Guillotine

 

 

Fact #4: France still used guillotines for executions in 1977. That same year in The United States, Star Wars: Episode IV was released.

 

 

 

Friday the 13th

Fact #5: Fidel Castro and master of psychological thrillers Alfred Hitchcock share the same birthday, on Friday August 13th. Hitchcock's being 27 years earlier in 1899, and Castro's in 1926.

 

 

Posted by Stephanie Roisland in ABNORMAL MUSINGS AND FREAKISH FACTS, 0 comments

Terrence Evans aka Uncle Monty Dies at 81

By Stephanie Roisland

Terrence Evans as Uncle Monty

Terrence Evans as Uncle Monty

Terrence Evans aka Uncle Monty from the 2003 version of Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and the 2006 Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning, has died. He passed on August 7th, 2015 in Burbank at the age of 81. He was also well known for his roles in Star Trek: Voyager, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Terminator 2, and Clint Eastwood's Pale Rider.

Terrence Evans (Uncle Monty)

Born on June 20, 1934 in Los Angeles, California as Terrence Horace Evans, Evans stood 6'6" and began acting in 1970. His first role was as a postmaster in the TV movie The Young Country. Evans went on to act in such TV shows as Quincy, M.E., Hart to Hart, Little House on the Prairie, The Incredible Hulk, and The Greatest American Hero. To horror fans, however, Evans is best known for his role in the Texas Chainsaw films.

No known causes have yet been disclosed as to the reason he passed. He is survived by his wife Heidi, two children, two step-children and a grandson.

Terrence Evans was an icon to many and his talents will be missed by many, including the staff here at House of Tortured Souls.

Rest easy, Terrence.

Posted by Stephanie Roisland in HORROR NEWS, 0 comments

MOVIE REVIEW: Slaughter (2009)

8 Films To Die For: Slaughter

By Stephanie Roisland

Well, to start, here is a little history of the After Dark film series 8 Films to Die For for you. Hosted by After Dark Films, the Horror Fest was an annual horror film fest featuring eight independent horror films. It started on 11/17/2006 and completed its duration on 2/4/2011. In 2011 it was replaced with a series called After Dark Originals. This came as a true disappointment to fans. As bad and almost comical as some of the releases were, there were a handful of amazing creations that were brought into the daylight. The series is scheduled to return this Fall, in October, with a film called Re-Kill. It is to have a very limited theatrical release nationwide. The host After Dark Films has since established a partnership with Twentieth Century Fox, I look forward to seeing the future products of the new-found relationship. Now on to my first review...

Slaughter

After Dark Horrorfest III and Lionsgate released in 2009

Slaughter

This movie is rumored to be loosely based on a 145-year-old true story of the Bender family from Kansas. In all actuality, the Ingalls family lived in their home, in the same area as the Benders for about a year before heading back to Wisconsin. Their Kansas home later became the basis for Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House on the Prairie book series. I guess Laura left out the part about being neighbors with one of the first documented families of serial killers!

Amy Shields plays Faith, a battered woman looking to escape an abusive relationship. Her best friend Cathy (Antonia Bernath) helps her move to another town to start over. While celebrating her newly found independence at a club that night, she rescues a young girl from her abusive date. That's when she meets Lola (Lucy Holt). After exchanging numbers and getting together on Lola's family farm, Faith decides to take Lola up on her offer for a roommate. "You know, every young girl should move to a rural country home where you don't know anyone or their history"!

As the days pass by, the family's slaughter house becomes a point of interest to Faith. She believes there is more to the building than what meets the eye. (This is a typical thought process for a character in a horror movie. Some people don't get it. Stay the fuck away from the Slaughter house!)

Every night the girls go out on the town, Lola's older, wealthy one night stands seem to disappear. (Did I mention Lola's character is a whore in this movie?!) Faith suspects the abusive, creepy Father (David Sterne) is doing away with the men, but that just isn't the case.

What unravels next is a sadistic story of rage, abuse, seduction, and, my personal favorite. slaughter! Faith is really a psychotic murderer who kills the men she fucks. Then the family butchers them and feeds them to the pigs. (We all know... pigs eat anything!)

Faith is up next, but it's Daddy this time trying to keep Lola's dirty little secret. He finds Faith snooping around the slaughter house, so he drugs, knocks out, and binds Faith. He then rolls her into the lake on the farm. Down under the water she gets a glimpse of the story in full. The graveyard of cars at the bottom of the lake, believe it or not, is larger than the number of Saw movies released! All of a sudden, when it looks like the end, it's Lola to Faith's rescue... or so she thinks.

Lola wants to start a new life - no family, no ties, no molars to trace. Lola wants to be Faith; that means Faith, has to be Lola, when they find her body. Lola must take out any and everyone in her path, especially her family... baby brother included. The bitch makes getting away with murder a severe understatement!

In Lola's mind there is nothing happening that a little planning, a shotgun, and a fire can't fix. So the moral of the story here folks is a family that slaughters together... all fucking die.

For me, this movie was a good watch but a little slow, and lacked detail. If you kill, I want to see it, not just the aftermath or a quick screen pan over the scene. It honestly could have used more blood in my opinion, but all in all, not a bad flick.

The characters were well cast, and I really enjoyed David Sterne's role as the father. He was creepy, stern, and quiet. His character was a bit abusive, but that's just because he was trying to protect his children. I would recommend giving it a watch.

2 1/2 out of 5 stars from me.

Posted by Stephanie Roisland in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments

FEATURED ARTIST: Sid Graves Cemetery Prints

Sid Graves: Cemetery Prints

By Stephanie Roisland

Sid Graves Cemetary Prints 001

My husband John and I met the Graves (Sid Graves and his wife Becky) in 2009 at the Spooky Empire convention in Orlando, FL. We all became instant friends, enjoying each others company a few times a year at Florida conventions.

I cant say enough about Sid and his work. He is an amazing talent and has an eye to see things emerge in his mind, and then manipulate them into his breathtaking art. We personally own some of Sid's pieces; they are the focal point of our living space: radiating dark and saddening images, with just enough beauty to make them unforgettable.

Sid Graves Cemetary Prints 002Sid Graves is a 44-year-old self taught photographer. With no formal training, he has never let that slow his ambitions. His mother, who regrettably passed last year, was a free lance photographer and, when Sid was a child, his mentor.

Sid Graves Cemetary Prints 003When asked how long he had been doing photography he stated, "44 Years".

He is inspired by the unique and forgotten, and he is known for saying, "To find beauty within the morbid". That is his true calling. His favorite location to photograph is an old cemetery called Bonaventure, located in Savannah, GA.

Other than his photography, Sid also creates one of kind, custom, hand crafted frames in all shapes and sizes. Sid Graves Cemetary Prints 004All Sid's photography prints and frames are available for sale on his website.

You can also find him on Facebook at Cemetery Prints Inc. or email him directly at cemeteryprints@hotmail.com.

Posted by Stephanie Roisland in ART AND VENDORS, FEATURED ARTISTS, 3 comments