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Fangoria Announces 2019 Chainsaw Award Winners

Fangoria Announces 2019 Chainsaw Award Winners

This is not a normal post.  Let me qualify this by saying that this reflects mostly opinion but, facts as well.  Last night, Fangoria announced the 2019 Chainsaw Award winners.  The Chainsaw Awards are given to horror movies from the last year.  Think of this as an Oscars for horror.  Coincidence that the announcements happened the same time and night as the Academy Awards?  Probably not.

Let’s start with the winners.  Hereditary cleaned up, winning 5 of the 7 awards it received nominations for, then also grabbing the write in for Best Kill.   Let me clarify, this is not a knock on Hereditary.  It was a decent to good movie.  But of all the films, Hereditary worked with the highest budget and also marketed itself in such a way, to catere to the fans.  The argument on the other side of the coin is Halloween did the same thing.  Halloween was blanked last night.

Here is where I am a little annoyed.  Call me biased if you like, but this is the truth.  Hereditary was not (in my opinion) the best horror film of 2018 as the awards show.  Fangoria is not to blame here.  I love their concept, but the fans vote for their favorites.  People are creatures of habit.  When they do not know how to vote, they vote for what they know.  The consensus was a lot of people were annoyed with Halloween and Hereditary had originality.  I can live with that.  Where I have the issue is when you let the fans vote, they don’t vote for the best items, just the best of what they know.

Several Indie Films made the ballot but not paid attention to and in one case not in the correct category.  David Howard Thornton received a nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his role of Art The Clown in Terrifier.   In what universe does the lead actor of a film qualify as a supporting role?  The answer, none.  Also, with Netflix catching heat for their decisions to drop shows and Amazon dropping Indie Films from Prime how do Indie Films compete with major players?

Call me biased towards Terrifier, fine.  I can admit that.  I also challenge you to present an argument against its originality, gore and uniqueness of kills.  Spoiler alert, you wont.  Terrifier worked on a budget not even 1/10 the budget of Hereditary and for my money, entertained me more.  Terrifier is a better film.  The problem with Terrifier?  Not everyone knows of its existence.  Give Damien Leone the same budget and marketing as Hereditary and I guarantee the results flip.

Writer and Director Damien Leone announced a couple weeks ago an upcoming sequel to Terrifier.  Leone and David Howard Thornton also appeared at Mad Monster Party in Charlotte over the weekend.  Thornton appeared in photo ops as Art The Clown.  One thing can be assured.  With fan support of Terrifier 2, Indie films will no longer be silent at future award shows.  My best advice?  Support Indie Horror Films!


Posted by Crypt Keeper Clint in EDITORIALS, HORROR NEWS, STAFF PICKS, 0 comments
Danielle Harris : Women in Horror Scream Queen

Danielle Harris : Women in Horror Scream Queen

Danielle Andrea Harris, possibly the littlest of the scream queens, but one to be reckoned with as her résumé speaks for itself.

There are so many overly talented women in the horror industry, that it seems nearly impossible to pick one for me to spotlight. I always try to focus on and bring light to those behind the scenes , the writers, director, make up artist’s, and i usually  also to pick a new up and comer  from the independent film circuit. I thought long and hard about it, and realized I wanted to give credit to where credit is due as well.

My personal pick for Women in Horror Month(WIHM) this year, Danielle Harris. Born in Long Island New York in 1977 the talented young lady is so much more than meets the eye. With over 90 acting titles , she has also directed two films, ( Among Friends (2012) / Prank (2008) and is associate producer to Blood Night: The Legend of Mary Hatchet (2009). Harris has also made numerous appearances on many t.v. shows as well as doing voice overs The Rugrats cartoons.

Landing her first role, and a good-sized role it was as Jamie Loyd in  Halloween 4 : The Return of Micheal Myers (1988),and the very next year in Halloween 5: The Curse of Micheal Myers(1989)  Harris was only 11 years old and well on her way to make a name for herself. Funny, one of her smaller roles, Urban Legend, she played goth college room-mate Tosh Guaneri, is actually in fact one role that I always remember her for.

      

 

Harris has kept herself busy, but it was in 2007, when Rob Zombie’s Halloween was released and Harris was back home, this time as Annie Brackett. As fate would have it, two years later she follows up her role with Halloween II. Her performances in both were strong characters, and I think that’s why I liked them so much, and Harris nailed it.

While not playing the lead role, hers while even a short woman in height , made up for in it attitude and strength. Even while being thrown around the house like a small toy doll being butchered by the likes of Micheal Myers, she always had fight in her, and she portrayed it quite well!

From return roles in Hatchet 2 & 3 , to playing pregnant in StakelandSee No Evil 2, Havenhurst, Chrome-skull:laid to Rest 2 just to name a few the past few years have been very busy for Danielle Harris.

Having been fortunate enough to had met Danielle Harris about 12 years ago in Orlando at Spooky Empire Horror convention, I can first handedly  say that yes….she is all her 4’11, but is a giant at heart. Harris is a very down to earth woman who sincerely appreciates her fans.

And am I the only one that shows Harris love, no, most certainly not! Danielle Harris has not only been nominated for her work, her acting has also won her awards for Best Actress in 2012 at The Burbank International Film Festival for Shiver, as well as Best Actress at the Fear NYC 2017 for Inoperable. And my favorite, Fangoria Chainsaw Awards for the Fangoria Horror Hall of Fame ! All in my eye, well deserved.

So to you , Danielle Harris, congratulations as you have inspired me to nominate you, a true Horror Icon,  as a proud Women in Horror.

 

Keep it Evil

 

Posted by John Roisland in Categories, EDITORIALS, WOMEN IN HORROR, 1 comment
MOVIE REVIEW: Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich (2018)

MOVIE REVIEW: Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich (2018)

I had the opportunity to watch Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich and jumped at it. Those puppets hold a special place in my heart, much like the Cenobites do, and thus I will always watch the next installment in the franchise. After 2017’s dismal Puppet Master: Axis Termination, I didn’t hold much hope for the latest entry – especially after I saw the redesign of Blade and heard that Six Shooter would be entirely absent. But then I learned that Fangoria, Thomas Lennon, Barbara Crampton, and Udo Kier were involved, and my interest was once again piqued. Could this be a return to the kind of Puppet Master awesomeness that was the best parts of the previous entries?

Udo Kier as Andre Toulon in Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich (2018) / Fair use doctrine.

Udo Kier as Andre Toulon

If you’re unfamiliar with the timeline of the Puppet Master movies, that will not be a problem. Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich is a complete reboot of the series set in an alternate universe. Fans of the franchise need not fret either as the reboot retains several of our favorite puppets – Blade, Tunneler, Pinhead, and Torch (aka Kaiser) – while introducing some interesting new ones.

Nelson Franklin, Jenny Pellicer, and Thomas Lennon in Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich (2018) / Fair use doctrine.

Markowitz (Nelson Franklin), Ashley (Jenny Pellicer), and Edgar (Thomas Lennon)

The movie begins with a brief glimpse 30 years into the past when an evil Toulon (Udo Kier from Mark of the Devil) was found and killed by local police. From there it moves to the present and primarily follows Edgar (Thomas Lennon of Santa Clarita Diet), a recently divorced and struggling comic book artist who becomes mixed up in Toulon’s return on the 30th anniversary of the Toulon murders. Edgar, having moved into his parents’ house, also works as a comic store clerk and decides to auction off his dead brother’s Blade puppet at a Toulon convention. He invites Ashley (Jenny Pellicer of The Bridge TV series) along, his boss Markowitz (Nelson Franklin of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World) invites himself along, and the trio set out for what they hope will be a fun and somewhat profitable weekend.

Barbara Crampton as retired officer Carol Doreski in Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich (2018) / Fair use doctrine.

Barbara Crampton as retired officer Carol Doreski

Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich uses the convention to reveal Toulon’s past in this universe, primarily via the tour of Toulon Mansion as led by one of the officers from the original case 30 years earlier, retired officer Carol Doreski (Barbara Crampton), who outlines the details of the events surrounding the Toulon Massacre. Here’s what we learn of Toulon’s past on the tour: He was born in France in 1907 and eventually entered the family business of manufacturing, selling, and performing with puppets. At this point, Doreski points out that three of the museum’s puppets are missing – Kaiser aka Torch, Pinhead, and a new puppet called Amphibian. In this universe, Toulon fled to Germany after arrests in Paris, Norway, and Luxemborg and likewise fled to the US after the Third Reich surrendered. Toulon’s Nazi roots are underscored by his choice of victims as well as the paraphernalia and the remains of his library, a library that includes three books from Adolf Eichmann, author of the Reich’s “Final Solution”. After a pass through Toulon’s workshop, the tour concludes with an exterior shot of Toulon’s tomb, complete with spikes on top that do not go with the rest of the architecture.

Toulon's tomb in Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich (2018) / Fair use doctrine.

Andre Toulon’s tomb

And that’s the basic set up for the puppet mayhem.

Nelson Franklin and Charlyne Yi in Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich (2018) / Fair use doctrine.

Markowitz (Nelson Franklin) and Nerissa (Charlyne Yi )

Once the puppets are in town, they’re let loose on everyone. Primarily targeting people the Nazis did, the puppets do what they do best. I’ll not go into details about the kills, but I will say that they are a lot of fun. There are some creative kills with both the old puppets and the new additions, and the effects are a delight. Fear not, gorehounds, you will be satisfied. While I miss the older puppets that have been omitted, I’m pleased with the results of the new ones as well as the differences in how the traditional puppets are portrayed – something I honestly did not think I would like.

Alex Beh and Michael Pare in Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich (2018) / Fair use doctrine.

Hotel manager Howie (Alex Beh) and Det. Brown (Michael Paré)

The performances were top notch, and Udo Kier’s Toulon oozed skeeze and evil. Lennon, Pellicer, and Franklin are all excellent in their roles. Lennon’s performance is understated, but that works well for this story. Pellicer as the tough but sexy girl next door is both believable and likable, making the blossoming romance subplot less annoying than they usually are. Franklin holds his own with both and, to both Franklin’s and the movie’s credit, he’s not a caricature. Barbara Crampton (We Are Still Here ) is, as always, awesome and crushes every scene. Michael Paré (Village of the Damned (1995)) plays Detective Brown, the unlucky officer investigating the disappearance of multiple puppets brought to town for auction, and nails the role. In a delightful twist to the usual fare, when faced with puppets acting on their own, Paré’s detective goes with it. Rounding out the main cast are Alex Beh (Sugar) as hotel manager Howie, Charlyne Yi (House – TV series) as comic fan and waitress Nerissa, and Skeeta Jenkins (Summer of ’67) as bartender Cuddly Bear. All work well with this script and as an ensemble.

Skeeta Jenkins as Cuddly Bear in Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich (2018) / Fair use doctrine.

Skeeta Jenkins as Cuddly Bear

Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich was filmed at the same time as Puppet Master: Axis Termination, but the two could not be further apart in tone and execution. While Puppet Master: Axis Termination follows Toulon’s story as an opponent of the Nazis, Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich places Toulon in the Third Reich for this alternate universe. Written by S. Craig Zahler and directed by Sonny Laguna and Tommy Wiklund from characters created by Charles Band and Kenneth J. Hall, Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich is a worthy entry in the franchise. Indeed, given the last few movies in the original universe, this was a wise move and offers an entirely new storyline to explore. I’m looking forward to seeing what’s next.

Blade, Happy Amphibian, and Tunneler in Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich (2018) / Fair use doctrine.

Blade, Happy Amphibian, and Tunneler

8/10 claw scratches for this alternate universe Puppet Master reboot

BONUS: Puppet Gallery

Posted by Alan Smithee in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, SCI-FI HORROR, SLASHERS AND BAD HUMANS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich (2018)

MOVIE REVIEW: Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich (2018)

Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich (2018)Growing up, I always loved watching the Puppet Master movies. As I got older, I began to realize the movies didn’t make a whole lot of sense — then again, the movies are about killer puppets coming to life and Nazis wanting a secret formula to re-animate the dead.

Puppet Master: The Littlest ReichPuppet Master: The Littlest Reich

Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich is the latest film in the franchise and is a new branch to the storyline. The film is about a group of people meeting at a convention for the Andre Toulon Murders that took place in the late 80s. Naturally, the murders begin all over again. I was skeptical at first since I’m a huge Puppet Master fan and the pictures didn’t really convince me. I was especially disappointed in the new looks, but I sat down and watched the movie with an open mind.

Puppet Master: The Littlest ReichFirst, Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich is a great little flick and an excellent addition to the franchise with its new look and perfect balance of over-the-top gore. Yes, some of the original puppets are back some with new designs, and new puppets have been added to the group — including what appears to be a few toys. The story showcases a darker tone for not only the puppets that are clearly being controlled by Toulon but also for Toulon himself. Forget the loving, Nazi-fighting Toulon; this Toulon is much creepier. Udo Kier, who plays Toulon, has a very interesting take on the character, and Kier has definitely made his mark in the franchise.

Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich does have some humor but not enough to weaken the horror aspect or riddle the film with shock jokes. At first, it may seem like Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich didn’t cover all the ground, but from the looks of things, we may see a trilogy from this new branch of the Puppet Master storyline.

Overall, I say buy this movie if you’re a Puppet Master fan, and if you’re not, it’s a great movie to watch with friends and a good way to learn about what started this new direction.Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich (2018)

Posted by Jai Alexis in GORE OR EXTREME HORROR, NEW RELEASES, REMAKES AND REBOOTS, THRILLER, 0 comments

House of Tortured Souls Live Welcomes Billy Pon

With Special Guest Billy Pon

By John Roisland, Stephanie Roisland, and Allen (Dixielord) Alberson

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During the Billy Pon interview about a minute and a half of audio was garbled, and some bits lost. It was either cut the entire section, leave it or try and piece it together and possibly lose or misinterpret the questions and response so I decided to leave it as is. Apologies to Billy Pon.

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Hello and welcome to Episode III of House of Tortured Souls Live! This week we discuss the sneak preview release of what has become the most anticipated horror film of 2016. We could be talking about, the one and only, love him or hate him...Rob Zombie's 31. House of Tortured Souls own Jonathan Patrick Hughes was there to check out the release on the big screen as well as give you his thoughts in his written review online at www.houseoftorturedsouls.com. We discuss the return of American Horror Story 6 being brought back the Fox network September 14th, with the return of Lady Gaga. The Misfits reunion with confirmed legendary drummer (SLAYER/ SUICIDAL TENDENCIES) Dave Lombardo will begin at Riot Fest. House of Tortured Souls pays tribute to and remembers comedic actor Gene Wilder who starred in such great films as Mel Brooks' Young Frankenstien and Blazing Saddles, and who all know was the real Willy Wonka. . The House of Tortured Souls takes a moment to also celebrate the birthday of Asian horror Master Takashi Miike. In the studio for Episode III co-founder of House of tortured Souls Stephanie Roisland> joined us and gets you up to date on Fangoria Music release of The Horde mixtapes. House of tortured Souls is also proud to announce that one of our own, Rocky Gray is currently directing his own horror Anthology entitled 10/31/ 16 and Allen Alberson also gives us an in-depth look at the problems with distribution in film making as he discusses lost movies that have never made it. The House of Tortured Souls Live was also honored with our first in studio guest for Episode III, director of Dolll Boy and Circus of the Dead, Mr. Billy Pon aka Bloody Bill, who discusses the making of Circus of the Dead , problems with distribution companies, his own Haunted House in his home land of Texas all that while we try to get Allen a Pepsi!

Keep It Evil.

Posted by John Roisland in PODCAST, 0 comments
COMING SOON: Fangoria Musick – The Horde Mixtape

COMING SOON: Fangoria Musick – The Horde Mixtape

By John Roisland
musick

Growing up as a young horror fan, one of the first publications I remember seeing that covered the genre was, of course, Fangoria. After being around for all these years and still holding strong, they have expanded and have since opened a music department aptly named Fangoria Musick.

So when April Bedan, manager of Fangoria Musick emailed me and asked if I'd be interested in mentioning their upcoming release, I was honored.

Fangoria Musick held an open call for any interested horror themed musicians to send in the best they had. What they ended up with is going to shatter your soul!

Fangoria Musick - The Horde Mixtape Flyer

Fangoria Musick presents THE HORDE MIXTAPE. After a long list of submissions, Fangoria Musick narrowed it down to 11 very fortunate groups that I'm sure had to sell their soul and sign the deal with blood. Fangoria has said this album will cover all different genres of horror music, so whether its dark ominous or head banging thrash, I'm looking forward to it!

The musicians on THE HORDE MIXTAPE are as follows:

Fangoria Musick - Red arrow right20SIX HUNDRED

Fangoria Musick - Red arrow rightCEMETERY HIGH

Fangoria Musick - Red arrow rightSURGERY HEAD

Fangoria Musick - Red arrow rightKARDIAC

Fangoria Musick - Red arrow rightTHE CHURCH OF ZANN

Fangoria Musick - Red arrow rightGEOFF BALL

Fangoria Musick - Red arrow rightBASTARD CITY

Fangoria Musick - Red arrow rightMOJAVE PHONE BOOTH

Fangoria Musick - Red arrow rightDOWD

Fangoria Musick - Red arrow rightTHE CHOKE

Fangoria Musick - Red arrow rightBLOODSHOT

Artwork for the album cover was done by Corey Jennings of KARDIAC who is also signed to the Fangoria Musick label and who also produced and edited THE MIXTAPE video promo. Obviously a busy guy!

Set to release on July 29, 2016, Digital Downloads will be available at FANGORIA.com, while physical copies will be available at FangoriaMusick.bigcartel.com.

I'm sure this release is going to be one to add to your personal library. I, for one, cant wait to get my hands on a copy.

So stay true to the horror genre, support Fangoria and Fangoria Muisck, both online and on their Facebook and Twitter social pages. And don't forget to order your copy of THE HORDE MIXTAPE or you'll suffer eternally!

Keep It Evil.

Posted by John Roisland in COMING SOON, HORROR NEWS, 0 comments
Fangoria Fires Michael Gingold

Fangoria Fires Michael Gingold

Michael Gingold:
End of an Era

By Woofer McWooferson
Michael Gingold

Image: Lightanddark.net

Since 1979, Fangoria magazine has serving up horror news to fans of the genre, and since 1988, Michael Gingold has been part of the Fangoria team. In September 2015, Editor-in-Chief Chris Alexander chose to part ways in order to pursue his film career, and in October longtime Fangoria managing editor Michael Gingold was tapped to replace him. On May 25, 2016, however, Fangoria announced that it fired both Editor-in-Chief Michael Gingold and art director Bill Mohalley, leaving fans of the magazine scratching their heads and sending ripples throughout the horror community.

According to Ken W. Hanley, the new Editor-in-Chief:

I’m sad to say that Michael Gingold is no longer a part of FANGORIA Magazine. For many of you, this may not be news, as FANGORIA’s parting of ways with Mike became public yesterday, and to see the tremendous outpouring of support among the horror community assures this writer that Mike will move on to bigger, bolder, and brighter things. Honestly, I was hoping for Mike to say farewell personally, on his own terms, to the horror audience he served for decades, and that option is still available, should he choose to do so.

Furthermore, FANGORIA also parted ways with longtime art director, Bill Mohalley, whose designs and masterful work have lead to all the iconic covers, spreads and artwork that fright fans have come to know and love. This writer personally hopes for the best for both Mike and Bill during this time.

Hanley suggests that these firings were long in the making even though fans of Fangoria were blindsided. The backlash has been intense, and the move has drawn criticism from Guillermo del Toro and others in the horror industry.

Gingold - Guillermo del Toro

Translation: Without Michael Gingold, there would be no Geometria, and without Geometria, there would be no Guillermo del Toro catalogue of films.

Adrian Garcia Bogliano, writer/director, ABCs of Death:

Gingold - Adrian Garcia Bogliano

Glenn Kenny, writer/critic, New York Times:

Gingold - Glenn Kenny

Alex Winter, actor, writer, Freaked (1993):

Gingold - Alex Winter

Soska sisters, filmmakers, American Mary (2012), See No Evil 2 (2014):

Gingold - Soska Sisters

Ted Geoghegan, producer/writer, We Are Still Here (2015):

Gingold - Ted Geoghegan

Hanley continues, assuring Fangoria readers that the magazine will be both different and the same:

I would like to be clear about one thing, though: FANGORIA will never be the same without Mike’s presence and influence in the magazine. This writer will not try to mirror Mike’s accomplishments from his 28 years with FANGORIA, nor could I if I even wanted to. But what this writer does promise as Editor-in-Chief will be a different kind of FANGORIA altogether; something timeless, new, and unique yet building on the legacy of what made FANGORIA so notable in the past.

FANGORIA will still be dedicated to giving independent horror filmmakers, authors, game designers, and FX artists the showcase they deserve. In this next phase of FANGORIA, this writer hopes to revive the art of FX preview pieces, which has since been lost in the age of studio embargoes and CGI, and make them integral to each ensuing edition. And I want to hear more voices in the world of FANGORIA, print, web or otherwise, especially from the endless stream of brilliant female writers as well as writers of color, both of whom offer a perspective on the genre that I couldn’t possibly imagine.

It remains to be seen what type of job Hanley will do, but one thing is certain: With Gingold's departure, we have seen the end of an era.

Posted by Alan Smithee in HORROR NEWS, 1 comment
MOVIE REVIEW: Amnesiac (2014)

MOVIE REVIEW: Amnesiac (2014)

By Kev B.

Amnesiac poster

On August 10, 2015, I was given the opportunity to attend Fangoria’s screening of Amnesiac, starring Wes Bentley and Kate Bosworth. It’s not often I go out to a movie, and if I do it’s because I think it needs or deserves the big screen experience. I went into this one with no expectations, and though this little movie with a cast of eight actors could have been more comfortably viewed from the couch, I was pleasantly surprised and actually didn’t regret coming out from under my rock.

The film (directed by Bosworth’s husband Michael Polish) centers around Bentley’s character waking from days of unconsciousness with a cast on his leg, a head wound, no memory, and a strange feeling that all is not as it seems… Amnesiac starts off slowly and builds tension as the story unfolds. I can’t say much about the plot, for fear of spoiling any of the twists, and I also suggest not watching the trailer (it’s both misleading and gives away way too much). I felt like the less you know before viewing, the better off you are, and any preconceptions about this movie should be forgotten in order to fully enjoy it. It’s a stylish Hitchcockian neo-noir psychological thriller/mystery with characters that exhibit David Lynchish eccentricities. It’s a more cerebral film that leaves most of the gore up to your own imagination, with most (but not all) of the violence happening off screen.

I’ve seen some reviews that were unfavorable at best, but I really liked it and I give it a big dismembered thumbs up. It’s a well acted film (especially Bosworth’s icy Hitchcock blond), and Polish does a solid job in the director’s chair crafting a visually striking picture with the use of light and shadow… So much so that it almost appeared to be in black and white at times, and I would almost say it should have been.

If you are looking for a quirky little film with a little tension and some mystery (a little dark comedy), and an ending that I felt tied up most of the loose ends and gave a solid resolution, then I recommend this one for you. Amnesiac saw its wide release August 14, 2015, in theaters and VOD.

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