Brad Dourif

Monster Villains: Dr. Death – Child’s Play 1988

Monster Villains: Dr. Death – Child’s Play 1988

When it comes to the horror genre, there are countless evil characters that go unnoticed and never get their full due. As a personal fan and an advocate of the so-called “bad guys,” I felt it was necessary to single out those who are truly worthy and highlight them in my new monthly segment.

In Monster Villains we are going to pick out and pay tribute to a new character every month, breaking down and discussing their individual levels of evil. We are going to talk about what constitutes true evil and why certain characters are more nefarious than others. We are going to cover a wide variety of topics and delve into each personality, in search of their true nature.

There are so many deserving evil figures and monsters to choose from – some more warranted than others. I will be dissecting some the most despicable and vile characters worthy of recognition, and explaining why some that are considered good guys, can also be villains, and vice versa. So, hold on tight and enjoy the ride as we explore some of the genres most interesting and virtually unknown characters.

To kick off our very first edition, I thought we would tackle a villain from the film who personifies everything the word evil has to offer. You might not remember him, but you will know his work. This character is one who is never been held responsible for what he is done and is one of the evilest and vile characters to exist. He has earned his rightful slot in the spotlight.

John Aelsop Bishop, better known as Dr. Death from the original 1987 classic Child’s Play, is responsible for the creation of one of the genres most infamous and iconic slashers. Had it not been for his actions, there would be no serial killer doll – no Chucky. Charles Lee Ray’s murderous region would have died when his human body did, and not have been transferred into the Good Guy doll.

Dr. Death is a forgotten character in horror. However, without him, the infamous serial killer The Lakeshore Strangler would never have been able to do what he did. Instead, Charles Lee Ray would have simply died from the gunshot wound he sustained during his original pursuit. Yet, thanks to Dr. Death, he was able to transfer his soul into the doll and since has continued his dastardly killing spree as Chucky.

Dr. Death did refuse to help Charles escape the doll in the original film, granted it was at his own peril. He is remorseful after learning of Charles’s actions, and is extremely regretful he ever taught the killer the voodoo ritual, to begin with. But that does not mean Dr. Death is any less evil because he was sorry for what he did, nor because he died at the hands of the killer doll. No, he is no less evil due to his remorse or regret. The fact that he was performing voodoo rituals and spells and practicing the dark arts in the first place, makes him actually more evil if you think about it. I mean, Bishop knew who Charles Lee Ray was when he started teaching him and did not care. He continued to teach his student anyway.

You see, we were not privy to the relationship shared between the two men before things ended up the way they did. We were only able to see the ending of the friendship when Chucky the doll kills John Bishop. We did not get to see the master at work, teaching the student. Therefore, we do not truly know his level of evil – beyond what we have seen in their brief interaction. However, we do know that Dr. Death had no good intentions, to begin with.

It has a known fact that voodoo has a bad connotation and is not all bad or evil. Although, with a name like Dr. Death, it has no surprise that John Bishop was up to no good. He was indeed evil. He was consorting with a serial killer and practicing voodoo, therefore he is guilty by association. However, you look at it, the simple facts are still. John Bishop, aka Dr. Death, was a practitioner of voodoo. He taught serial killer Charles Lee Ray how to perform the ritual of transferring his soul into something or someone. Therefore, he is personally responsible for the birth of the killer doll Chucky. He inadvertently caused the ripple that has still to this day, yet to fade out.

So, for the hardcore fans out there, all hail Dr. Death. He is one wicked character and a forgotten and unrecognized villain. I am happy he did what he did because Chucky has always been a personal favorite of mine. I am excited to see what the Legend Don Mancini’s new show has to offer. Oh, and do not get me started on the current rip off about to drop. Without Mancini, there would be no Dr. Death.

Posted by Donovan Smith in Categories, 0 comments
How Al Bundy is connected to Child’s Play

How Al Bundy is connected to Child’s Play

The other day I’m watching television eating cereal. Just a normal night off for me when I’m not working. Frankenberry in my bowl as Married with Children is playing. Which in my opinion is one of the best tv shows around! I’m watching a specific episode that comes to mind now this show has had some big amazing stars, Robert Englund, Anthrax, King Kong Bundy, Bubba Smith, but there’s one person who has a huge part in horror movies. I’m not talking about Ed O’Neil or Katey Sagel who in Sons of Anarchy has a scene with Henry Rollins wearing A Michael Myers Mask. No, I’m talking about a character that kind of shares a connection to the Child’s Play movies. I’m talking about the Al Bundy.

Now just hear me out. Basically, in this weird cosmic way the two are connected? Not officially, but it’s a cool way to reference the two. Both the show and Movie take place in Chicago. Ok so let’s talk about this because this isn’t so much click baits or just a bs story. It’s a tribute to one of my favorite Doll/Puppet movies now with controversy of the remake coming out most fans are honestly not for it. Sure, we’ll see it except this isn’t something we’re not looking forward to.

The movie for those who haven’t seen it Child’s Play is about a young boy Andy Barclay played by Alex Vincent who’s been with the series except for Bride and Seed. He gets a good guy who happens to be possessed by known serial killer Charles Lee Ray played by the greatest character actor today Brad Dourif. If you’re not familiar with his work by now, you’ll know him by his voice. The film is amazing with a great storyline directed by Tom Holland who is a master of horror starring and directing in horror it makes you think perhaps it’s the child behind everything only until the big reveal it is the doll and it gets terrifying. To this day I still get creeped out seeing Chucky walk down the hall burnt white milky eyes holding a knife. Now the film boasts a lot of actors. Including Chris Sarandon who was in Fright Night playing the lead character Jerry Danridge and he was also the voice of Jack Skellington in Nightmare Before Christmas.

Speaking of voices that’s the point of this. Watching the episode of Married with Children it was the episode where we see a young Al Bundy the name of the actor was Edan Gross who has starred in a couple of episodes along with a few horror movies and tv shows, but his biggest role would probably be being the voice of the Good Guy dolls. I looked up the name after the movie played to find the name of the actor. I then went to see that his roles on Married with Children ended in 1988 which was the same year Child’s Play came out. So, in the end of the day the iconic voice of the doll from Child’s Play was played by the most iconic tv character I can think of Al Bundy (Young Al Bundy mind you).

History of Horror in March

History of Horror in March

Join House of Tortured Souls as we celebrate significant dates in the history of horror in March. Click on thumbnails for full images.

March 1 - 7

03/01/1974 – Blood for Dracula released theatrically

19740301_Blood_for_Dracula-Italian-poster / Fair use doctrine.

19740301_Fleshforfrankensteinposter / Fair use doctrine.

03/01/1974 – Flesh for Frankenstein released theatrically

1933 – King Kong (1933) released theatrically

19330302_Kingkong33newposter / Fair use doctrine.

20000303_Castlevania_Legacy_of_Darkness / Fair use doctrine.

03/03/2000 – Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness released on the Nintendo 64 in Europe

03/03/2004 – Stephen King’s Kingdom Hospital premieres on television

20040303_Khospitalpic / Fair use doctrine.

19220304_Nosferatuposter / Fair use doctrine.

03/04/1922 – Nosferatu released theatrically

03/04/1965 – Paul W. S. Anderson (director of several horror films) born

19650304_800px-Paul_W._S._Anderson_by_Gage_Skidmore / Fair use doctrine.

19990304_Silent_Hill_video_game / Fair use doctrine.

03/04/1999 – Silent Hill released on the PlayStation in Japan

03/05/1943 – Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man released theatrically

19430305_298px-Frankenstein_Meets_the_Wolf_Man_movie_poster / Fair use doctrine.

19540305_800px-Creature_from_the_Black_Lagoon_poster / Fair use doctrine.

03/05/1954 – Creature from the Black Lagoon released theatrically

03/07/1946 – The Mask of Diijon released theatrically

19460307_Mask_of_diijon_poster_small / Fair use doctrine.

20030307_Rezerobox / Fair use doctrine.

03/07/2003 – Resident Evil 0 released on the Nintendo GameCube in Europeborn

March 8 - 14

03/08/1972 – Tales from the Crypt released theatrically

19720308_Tales_from_the_crypt_film_poster / Fair use doctrine.

20050308_Rings / Fair use doctrine.

03/08/2005 – Rings released on DVD

03/10/1997 – Buffy the Vampire Slayer begins its run on television

19970310_Buffy_the_Vampire_Slayer_title_card / Fair use doctrine.

20060310_The_Hills_Have_Eyes_2006-film / Fair use doctrine.

03/10/2006 – The Hills Have Eyes (2006) released theatrically

03/11/1931 – F.W. Murnau (director of Nosferatu) dies (b. 1888)

19310311_F._W._Murnau_circa_1920-1930 / Fair use doctrine.

19970311_Castlevania_Legends / Fair use doctrine.

03/11/1997 – Castlevania Legends released on the Game Boy in North America

03/11/1999 – Castlevania 64 released on the Nintendo 64 in Japan

19970311_Castlevania_Legends / Fair use doctrine.

19990312_RageCarrie2 / Fair use doctrine.

03/12/1999 – The Rage: Carrie 2 released theatrically

03/13/1942 – The Ghost of Frankenstein released theatrically

19420313_220px-The_Ghost_of_Frankenstein_movie_poster / Fair use doctrine.

19810313_The_howling / Fair use doctrine.

03/13/1981 – The Howling released theatrically

03/13/1987 – Evil Dead II released theatrically

19870313_Evil_Dead_II_poster / Fair use doctrine.

19960313_Lucio-Fulci / Fair use doctrine.

03/13/1996 – Lucio Fulci (director of several horror films) dies (b. 1927)

03/14/2003 – Willard (2003) released theatrically

20030314_Willard_2003movie / Fair use doctrine.

March 15 - 21

19430315_220px-David_Cronenberg_2012-03-08 / Fair use doctrine.

03/15/1943 – David Cronenberg (director of numerous horror films) born

03/15/2002 – Resident Evil released theatrically in the United States

20020315_Resident_evil_ver4 / Fair use doctrine.

19250316_Themonster1925poster / Fair use doctrine.

03/16/1925 – The Monster released theatrically

03/16/1995 – Alone in the Dark 3 released on PC and Mac

19950306_Alone_in_the_Dark_3_cover / Fair use doctrine.

19430317_Iwalkedwithazombie / Fair use doctrine.

03/17/1943 – I Walked with a Zombie released theatrically

03/17/1994 – Castlevania: Bloodlines released on the Sega Genesis in North America

19940317_Castlevania_Bloodlines / Fair use doctrine.

20000317_Finaldestination / Fair use doctrine.

03/17/2000 – Final Destination released theatrically

03/18/1950 – Brad Dourif (actor who portrays Chucky in the Child’s Play films) born

19500318_Brad_Dourif / Fair use doctrine.

19940318_250px-Castlevania_Bloodlines / Fair use doctrine.

03/18/1994 – Castlevania: Bloodlines released on the Sega Mega Drive in Japan

03/18/2005 – The Ring Two released theatrically

20050318_Ring_two_ver2 / Fair use doctrine.

20050318_Resi4-gc-cover / Fair use doctrine.

03/18/2005 – Resident Evil 4 released for the Nintendo GameCube in Europe

03/19/2004 – Dawn of the Dead (2004) released theatrically

20040319_Dawn_of_the_Dead_2004_movie / Fair use doctrine.

19640320_2000maniacs / Fair use doctrine.

03/20/1964 – Two Thousand Maniacs! released theatrically

03/20/1994 – Castlevania: Bloodlines released on the Sega Genesis in Europe

19940320_Castlevania_Bloodlines / Fair use doctrine.

19970320_Castlevania_SOTN_PAL / Fair use doctrine.

03/20/1997 – Castlevania: Symphony of the Night released on the PlayStation and Sega Saturn in Japan

03/21/2001 – Castlevania: Circle of the Moon released on the Game Boy Advance in Japan

20010321_Castlevania_CotM_boxart / Fair use doctrine.

19250316_Themonster1925poster / Fair use doctrine.

03/21/2006 – Stay Alive released theatrically

March 22 - 28

03/22/1985 – Friday the 13th: A New Beginning released theatrically

19850322_Friday_the_13th_part_V_a_new_beginning / Fair use doctrine.

19860322_Choppingmall / Fair use doctrine.

03/22/1986 – Chopping Mall released theatrically

03/22/1996 – Resident Evil released on the PlayStation in Japan

19960322_250px-Resident_Evil_1_cover / Fair use doctrine.

20020322_Blade_II_movie / Fair use doctrine.

03/22/2002 – Blade II released theatrically

03/22/2002 – The Chronicle ends its run on television

20020322_The Chronicle / Fair use doctrine.

19630323_PeterLorre / Fair use doctrine.

03/23/1964 – Peter Lorre (actor in several horror films) dies (b. 1904)

03/24/1939 – The Hound of the Baskervilles (1939) released theatrically

19390324_800px-Cover_(Hound_of_Baskervilles,_1902) / Fair use doctrine.

19740324_Rhs1974kingsrd / Fair use doctrine.

03/24/1974 – The Rocky Horror Show premieres at the Roxy

03/26/1994 – System Shock released on PC and Mac

19940326_Sysshock / Fair use doctrine.

19730327_Sisters_(1973) / Fair use doctrine.

03/27/1973 – Sisters released theatrically

03/27/1986 – April Fool’s Day released theatrically

19860327_Aprilfoolsday_poster / Fair use doctrine.

19910327_Ralph Bates / Fair use doctrine.

03/271991 – Ralph Bates (actor in several Hammer horror films) dies (d. 1940)

03/28/1920 – Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1920) released theatrically

19200328_220px-Dr_Jekyll_and_Mr_Hyde_1920_poster / Fair use doctrine.

19630328_The_Birds_original_poster / Fair use doctrine.

03/28/1963 – The Birds released theatrically

March 29 - 31

19960330_Resident_Evil_1_cover / Fair use doctrine.

03/29/1996 – Resident Evil released on the PlayStation in the United States

03/30/2000 – The Typing of the Dead released on Dreamcast and PC

20000330_TTOTD_Packshot / Fair use doctrine.

20000329_RECV_boxart / Fair use doctrine.

03/30/2000 – Resident Evil Code: Veronica released for the Dreamcast in North America

03/30/2001 – Alone in the Dark: The New Nightmare released on Game Boy Color

20010330_Alone_in_the_Dark_A_New_Nightmare / Fair use doctrine.

20060331_Slithermovieposter / Fair use doctrine.
03/31/2006 – Slither released theatrically

Posted by Alan Smithee in HORROR HISTORY, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW (RETRO): Spontaneous Combustion (1990)

MOVIE REVIEW (RETRO): Spontaneous Combustion (1990)

Spontaneous Combustion

By Woofer McWooferson

Director: Tobe Hooper; Writers: Tobe Hooper (story and screenplay), Howard Goldberg, Stars: Brad Dourif, Cynthia Bain, Jon Cypher; Rating: R; Run Time: 97 min; Genre: Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller; Country: USA; Language: English; Year: 1990

Spontaneous Combustion movie poster.

Spontaneous Combustion movie poster.

Best known for 1974's The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, writer/director Tobe Hooper decided to take a stab at the telekinetic phenomenon of pyrokinesis in 1990 with Spontaneous Combustion. The script was written in three weeks, or so says IMDb, but it plays like it only took three hours. Indeed, there is little to recommend this movie beyond Brad Dourif's performance for it has been done before and done better. Six years prior, Stephen King's Firestarter, hit the big screen with names such as Martin Sheen, Louise Fletcher, and George C. Scott attached, and Hooper's inevitably fell short of the admittedly mediocre King adaptation.

The spontaneous combustion begins.

The spontaneous combustion begins.

As with King's story, two young people allow themselves to be guinea pigs, resulting in a child born with pyrokinetic powers. In Spontaneous Combustion, they agree to be treated for radiation resistance and then are purposefully exposed to an atomic blast. Though they survive long enough for their child to be born, they are incinerated via spontaneous human combustion shortly after greeting their son. The movie then fast forwards twenty years to reveal their son Sam (Brad Dourif) has been raised by the man responsible for their deaths. Seemingly from nowhere he begins to exhibit the pyrokinesis that begins to burn him from inside. Eventually he finds out the truth about his family and exacts the revenge we all know is coming.

Brad Dourif Exacts Revenge in Spontaneous Combustion

Brad Dourif exacts revenge in Spontaneous Combustion.

Dourif pours everything into the role, but even his intensity is not enough to elevate this movie to repeated viewings. Fraught with bad dialogue, a predictable storyline, an unnecessary love triangle, and horrifically dated 80s fashion, Spontaneous Combustion leaves much to be desired. Although Tobe Hooper has been directing since the 1960s, his most acclaimed film, as noted earlier, remains the 1974 watershed of horror The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. Because of this groundbreaking film, Hooper's films tend to be more harshly judged than might be fair to the director. Still, I don't think it's too much to say that Tobe Hooper's Spontaneous Combustion probably should have spontaneously combusted before distribution.

5/10 claws – For hardcore fans of Hooper and Dourif only.

Posted by Alan Smithee in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 1 comment

TV REVIEW: Tales of the Unexpected (Overview)

Tales of the Unexpected
(aka Roald Dahl's Tales of the Unexpected)

Expect the Unexpected

By Woofer McWooferson

Tales_titles (1)

Director: Various; Writers: ; Rating: NR; Run Time: 30 min; Genre: Horror | Thriller; Country: England; Language: English; Year: 1979-88

Tales of the Unexpected, also known as Roald Dahl's Tales of the Unexpected, was a British television series in the vein of Ray Bradbury Theatre and airing from 1979 to 1988. Episodes were darkly comedic and often sarcastic, tinged with sinister undertones. Seasons 1 and 2 were called Roald Dahl's Tales of the Unexpected, but as it grew to include stories written by others, it became simply Tales of the Unexpected for season 3.

Keep tuned to House of Tortured Souls as we go through all nine seasons to find the best it has to offer. Check out Tales of the Unexpected on IMDb and Wikipedia.

Season (or Series, as the Brits call it) breakdown:

Season: One
Episodes: 9
Original Air Dates: 24 March 1979 to 19 May 1979

Season: Two
Episodes: 16
Original Air Dates: 1 March 1980 to 14 June 1980

Season: Three
Episodes: 9
Original Air Dates: Split season: 9 August 1980 to 30 August 1980 and 9 November 1980 to 19 December 1980

Season: Four
Episodes: 17
Original Air Dates: Split season: 5 April 1981 to 26 July 1981 and 26 December 1981

Season: Five
Episodes: 18
Original Air Dates: 25 April 1982 to 22 August 1982

Season: Six
Episodes: 14
Original Air Dates: 9 April 1983 to 16 July 1983

Season: Seven
Episodes: 15
Original Air Dates: 12 May 1984 to 21 October 1984

Season: Eight
Episodes: 4
Original Air Dates: Split season: 30 March 1985 and 14 to 28 July 1985

Season: Nine
Episodes: 10
Original Air Dates: Split season: 18 December 1987 to 29 January 1988 and 15 April to 13 May 1988

Check out this partial list of guest stars:

Brad Dourif

Brian Blessed

Bud Cort

Carol Lynley

Charles Hallahan

Darren McGavin

David Cassidy

Denholm Elliott

Dennis Christopher

Derek Jacobi

Dick Smothers

Don Johnson

Ed Begley Jr.

Edward Albert

Eli Wallach

Frank Sinatra Jr.

Fritz Weaver

George Peppard

Gloria Grahame

Hayley Mills

Ian Holm

Jack Weston

Janet Leigh

Jim Broadbent

Joan Collins

Joan Hackett

Joanna Pettet

John Beck

John Castle

John Gielgud

José Ferrer

Joseph Cotten

Julie Harris

Max Gail

Michael Gambon

Michael Ontkean

Patricia Quinn

Peter Cushing

Peter Davison

Richard Basehart

Robert Morse

Rod Taylor

Roger Rees

Roxanne Hart

Samantha Eggar

Sharon Gless

Shirley Knight

Sondra Locke

Stuart Whitman

Susan Strasberg

Telly Savalas

Terry O’Quinn

Tom Bosley

Tom Smothers

Tony Franciosa


Warren Oates

6/10 claws – Overall rating. It's not bad, just inconsistent.

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