fear

Halloween is a time where a lot of people allow themselves to feel secure, no matter what they are presented with, because tis the season to play out fantasies. For some, it’s time to throw off the cardigan and turn the most serious or mundane career outfits into a sexy view, like the naughty nurse, hot teacher, or insatiable housekeeper. For others, they get to celebrate the very things that make others take pause on any other day of the year. It could be as simple as wearing black lipstick or an incredible costume with complex zombie make up, which allows some of us to act outside our norm – or rather what we let everyone see – as our everyday norm.

Halloween also unleashes the inner beast that many of us hide the other 364 days of the week. Where you can be as hauntingly scary as you want, set up deliciously evil plans to scare the hell out of any and every one, and you get a free pass, because it’s HALLOWEEN!

Unfortunately, there have been times when the cover of Halloween has been a time for truly terrible things to happen. For those involved, or close to these terrible tragedies, Halloween has probably never been the same.

Check Your Candy!

In 1974, 8-year-old Timmy O’Bryan ate a pixie stick, and told his dad, Ronald, it tasted weird. Timmy was dead within the hour and trick or treating was cancelled for the surrounding areas in Pasadena, Texas. It turns out the pixie sticks were laced with cyanide, and luckily only 5 were given out. What makes this tale especially terrifying is that this was done by Timmy’s own father, who also gave one to his other son! Investigators later found out that Ronald O’Bryan had taken out insurance policies on his sons just a short time before the murder. He was executed by the state of Texas in 1984.

 

Don’t Eat My Candy

In 2011, 55-year-old Ledell Peoples lost his bag of Halloween candy. We are not sure if he was given the bag, bought it, or actually went trick or treating. However, we do know that he lost control of his tempter when accusing his friend Maria of taking the sweet treats. An argument ensued and escalated quickly, ending with Peoples stabbing Maria numerous times. Sadly, she later succumbed to her injuries and died. Ledell was arrested and charged with her murder.

Nothing Stops the Mailman

The morning after Halloween 2012, a busy mailman walked over a corpse decoration on the porch steps in order to deliver the mail. It was later discovered that what was thought to be an excellent decoration, was actually the deceased owner of the house, who died on his steps Halloween night.

The Decoration Looks So Real

In 2005, a Delaware woman lost her life to an apparent suicide. She hung herself from a tree that was alongside a popular road. Her body was suspended just 15 feet above the ground and was easy to see by passerby, who thought it was one of many Halloween decorations in the area. It wasn’t until after the morning rush hour had ended when state police identified that the hanging body was in fact a person and not a decoration. Local residents were shaken to learn that they had seen an actual body on their morning commute.

When You Get More Than You Paid For

An Oregon woman bought a graveyard kit at her local Kmart in 2012. Inside the kit she found a chilling note written by a Chinese factory worker that stated he and his co-workers were tortured and enslaved in a forced camp that made the kits and other toys. He also claimed he worked 15 hours a day with no pay or time off, and pleaded for the letter to be forwarded to the World Human Rights Organization. The woman did so, and the Chinese worker was freed months later, and the camp was exposed.

 

Holy Hell on Halloween

On Halloween night 1981, nuns in a Texas convent noticed a broken window in the community room and called authorities immediately. Police found the nude body of Sister Tadea Benz, who’d been stabbed, strangled, and raped. 9 days later, Johnny Frank Garrett, who happened to live across the street from the convent, was arrested for the brutal crime. Garrett was convicted and sentenced to death, which was carried out in 1992. His last words were “I’d like to thank my family for loving me and taking care of me. The rest of the world can kiss my ass.”

Searching for the Beast

David Stone was a well liked, successful stock market analyst, who lead a normal life, until a few days before Halloween in 1998. Stone was at a party where he got into an argument with another party guest, which turned violent, and he left the party. Friends say this behavior was completely out of character.

Witnesses say they saw Stone later that night, sitting next to his car on Highway 80, before heading into the desert on foot. A farmer saw him on his property and confronted him, noting that he was not dressed for the cold weather and although most of what Stone said was unintelligible, the farmer did hear him state he was ‘in search of the beast’. That was the last reported sighting of David Stone.

A search was formed, bloodhounds tracked Stone’s scent 13 miles north of his car, still parked on Highway 80, and the scent went cold from there. Searchers were puzzled by two pyramids formed by rocks and surrounded by a triangle with David’s Rolex watch lying next to one of them. Several miles further north they found a number pattern commonly used in stock analysis (David’s profession) etched into the soil. The last piece of strange evidence was a note found in his vehicle that read “They think the WORD is in the safe. Six knives in Rob’s room. Yous buys your tea and take your chances Halloween”. No other evidence or word from David was found again, until 2 hikers found his remains in the desert 4 years later in 1992. There was no evidence of foul play.

For the most part, Halloween is great fun. From sweet tots in adorable costumes, to your worst nightmare jumping out to scare you at a local haunt, it’s a great day and night of tricks and treats. This is the time of year to let your inner freak fly and just have fun, so get to it! The majority of people that are out there eliciting your screams of terror for haunting fun, are doing only that and nothing more. Just be sure to triple check the candy loot, stay aware of your surroundings, and enjoy the creativity of everyone on Halloween. After all, they don’t mean you any harm – or do they?

Horrifying Facts of Halloween Past

Horrifying Facts of Halloween Past

Halloween is a time where a lot of people allow themselves to feel secure, no matter what they are presented with, because tis the season to play out fantasies. For some, it’s time to throw off the cardigan and turn the most serious or mundane career outfits into a sexy view, like the naughty nurse, hot teacher, or insatiable housekeeper. For others, they get to celebrate the very things that make others take pause on any other day of the year. It could be as simple as wearing black lipstick or an incredible costume with complex zombie make up, which allows some of us to act outside our norm – or rather what we let everyone see – as our everyday norm.

Halloween also unleashes the inner beast that many of us hide the other 364 days of the week. Where you can be as hauntingly scary as you want, set up deliciously evil plans to scare the hell out of any and every one, and you get a free pass, because it’s HALLOWEEN!

Unfortunately, there have been times when the cover of Halloween has been a time for truly terrible things to happen. For those involved, or close to these terrible tragedies, Halloween has probably never been the same.

Check Your Candy!

In 1974, 8-year-old Timmy O’Bryan ate a pixie stick, and told his dad, Ronald, it tasted weird. Timmy was dead within the hour and trick or treating was cancelled for the surrounding areas in Pasadena, Texas. It turns out the pixie sticks were laced with cyanide, and luckily only 5 were given out. What makes this tale especially terrifying is that this was done by Timmy’s own father, who also gave one to his other son! Investigators later found out that Ronald O’Bryan had taken out insurance policies on his sons just a short time before the murder. He was executed by the state of Texas in 1984.

 

Don’t Eat My Candy

In 2011, 55-year-old Ledell Peoples lost his bag of Halloween candy. We are not sure if he was given the bag, bought it, or actually went trick or treating. However, we do know that he lost control of his tempter when accusing his friend Maria of taking the sweet treats. An argument ensued and escalated quickly, ending with Peoples stabbing Maria numerous times. Sadly, she later succumbed to her injuries and died. Ledell was arrested and charged with her murder.

Nothing Stops the Mailman

The morning after Halloween 2012, a busy mailman walked over a corpse decoration on the porch steps in order to deliver the mail. It was later discovered that what was thought to be an excellent decoration, was actually the deceased owner of the house, who died on his steps Halloween night.

The Decoration Looks So Real

In 2005, a Delaware woman lost her life to an apparent suicide. She hung herself from a tree that was alongside a popular road. Her body was suspended just 15 feet above the ground and was easy to see by passerby, who thought it was one of many Halloween decorations in the area. It wasn’t until after the morning rush hour had ended when state police identified that the hanging body was in fact a person and not a decoration. Local residents were shaken to learn that they had seen an actual body on their morning commute.

When You Get More Than You Paid For

An Oregon woman bought a graveyard kit at her local Kmart in 2012. Inside the kit she found a chilling note written by a Chinese factory worker that stated he and his co-workers were tortured and enslaved in a forced camp that made the kits and other toys. He also claimed he worked 15 hours a day with no pay or time off, and pleaded for the letter to be forwarded to the World Human Rights Organization. The woman did so, and the Chinese worker was freed months later, and the camp was exposed.

 

Holy Hell on Halloween

On Halloween night 1981, nuns in a Texas convent noticed a broken window in the community room and called authorities immediately. Police found the nude body of Sister Tadea Benz, who’d been stabbed, strangled, and raped. 9 days later, Johnny Frank Garrett, who happened to live across the street from the convent, was arrested for the brutal crime. Garrett was convicted and sentenced to death, which was carried out in 1992. His last words were “I’d like to thank my family for loving me and taking care of me. The rest of the world can kiss my ass.”

Searching for the Beast

David Stone was a well liked, successful stock market analyst, who lead a normal life, until a few days before Halloween in 1998. Stone was at a party where he got into an argument with another party guest, which turned violent, and he left the party. Friends say this behavior was completely out of character.

Witnesses say they saw Stone later that night, sitting next to his car on Highway 80, before heading into the desert on foot. A farmer saw him on his property and confronted him, noting that he was not dressed for the cold weather and although most of what Stone said was unintelligible, the farmer did hear him state he was ‘in search of the beast’. That was the last reported sighting of David Stone.

A search was formed, bloodhounds tracked Stone’s scent 13 miles north of his car, still parked on Highway 80, and the scent went cold from there. Searchers were puzzled by two pyramids formed by rocks and surrounded by a triangle with David’s Rolex watch lying next to one of them. Several miles further north they found a number pattern commonly used in stock analysis (David’s profession) etched into the soil. The last piece of strange evidence was a note found in his vehicle that read “They think the WORD is in the safe. Six knives in Rob’s room. Yous buys your tea and take your chances Halloween”. No other evidence or word from David was found again, until 2 hikers found his remains in the desert 4 years later in 1992. There was no evidence of foul play.

For the most part, Halloween is great fun. From sweet tots in adorable costumes, to your worst nightmare jumping out to scare you at a local haunt, it’s a great day and night of tricks and treats. This is the time of year to let your inner freak fly and just have fun, so get to it! The majority of people that are out there eliciting your screams of terror for haunting fun, are doing only that and nothing more. Just be sure to triple check the candy loot, stay aware of your surroundings, and enjoy the creativity of everyone on Halloween. After all, they don’t mean you any harm – or do they?


Posted by Andrea Lenora in BRUTAL REALITY, HALLOWEEN, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories (2016)

MOVIE REVIEW: Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories (2016)

Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories / Fair use doctrine.

EDITOR’S NOTE: I had a great deal of difficulty figuring out how to approach this review – especially without giving away spoilers. So I watched it again. And again. And yet again. I liked it better each time, and each viewing brought new details out that made me appreciate all the effort and genuine love of horror that was evident in every scene. -Woofer

Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories, a meta horror comedy made for horror nerds and riffers, is a smart and thoroughly entertaining sequel to the 2015 Volumes of Blood. With films inside the film as well as a house with more stories than a Stephen King short story collection, the anthology works well on its on and hearkens back to such classic house renting/purchasing movies as The House That Dripped Blood and Terror Tract. Plus, it also connects back to the first in ways the viewer will appreciate if he has seen the first film, and, if he hasn’t, it’s good motivation to find the first, watch it, and then watch Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories again. It’s definitely worth it.

"Murder Death Killer"
Writer & Director: Nathan Thomas Milliner

Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories, 'Murder Death Killer' / Fair use doctrine.
"Murder Death Killer" is roughly the first 20 minutes of the movie and stars Thomas Dunbar, Warren Ray, and Barbie Clark in excellent performances as thieves come together to raid metals from a closing warehouse. Aric Stanish, who plays the legendary killer Atticus Crow, is a serial killer as effective and efficient as Michael Myers – and he is just as indestructible. The cinematography is on point, and there are several carefully blocked, highly memorable shots. And then there’s some good gore, too.

"Haters"
Director: P.J. Starks
Writers: Nathan Thomas Milliner and P.J. Stark
s

Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories, 'Haters' / Fair use doctrine.
"Haters" follows horror nerd trolls Nate (Nathan Thomas Milliner) and Kev (Kevin Roach) as an usher (Gerrimy Keiffer) ejects them from the theater for causing a disturbance during the showing of the remake of Murder Death Killer. Returning to Nate’s place, the two continue their debate of 80s horror versus contemporary horror as Nate poses the question that many horror filmgoers often consider: why don’t they remake bad films? (Indeed, why don’t they? Seriously. And viewers: Don’t be afraid to check out the remake of a bad movie. What the hell you gotta lose?) When the usher shows up at Nate’s door, however, their plans for the evening change.

"Trick or Treat"
Director: Sean Blevins
Writers: P.J. Starks and Sean Blevins

Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories, 'Trick or Treat' / Fair use doctrine.
"Trick or Treat" focuses on a trick-or-treating killer (Chad Ray) roaming the streets on Halloween and dispensing his own version of tricks and treats. A rather short piece, it works to help tie the rest of the film together and flows into “A Killer House” segment, quite easily. Fans of the first Volumes of Blood will be glad to see Chad again. As with every segment, there is some wonderful cinematography employed. Watch for a particularly beautiful shot involving the most Halloween of all candies – candy corn.

"Feeding Time"
Director: John William Holt
Wruters P.J. Starks and Jason Turner

Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories, 'Feeding Time' / Fair use doctrine.
In "Feeding Time", Boone (Caleb Shore), an ineffectual insurance salesman, finds the solicitation table turned on him when he encounters a damsel in distress. Pressured to meet his sales quota on this day, the day before Thanksgiving, Boone nevertheless struggles with his desire to help Mallory (Shelby Taylor Mullins) and his utter disbelief regarding her problem. Caleb’s performance as the tempted salesman is one of the best in the movie and subtly but effectively underscored the horror of the situation.

"Blood Bath"
Director: Jon Maynard
Writer: P.J. Sparks

Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories, 'Blood Bath' / Fair use doctrine.
Before moving to the next room, Ash (Jacob Ewers) takes a bathroom break, revealing the next gruesome tale. "Blood Bath" takes place as a couple is moving into the house on Father’s Day. Their desire for a child is revealed when the wife invites husband to shower with her in order to become her “baby daddy” on Father’s Day. The rest of the story primarily takes place in the bathroom, and the cramped location of the events only heightens the horror. Some people just aren’t meant to be parents.

"Fear, For Sinners Here"
Writer and Director: Nathan Thomas Milliner

Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories, 'Fear, For Sinners Here' / Fair use doctrine.
It’s Christmas, and Carol (Jessica Schroeder) is spending a quiet evening drinking wine and wrapping presents until a group of carolers comes calling and changes everything. "Fear, For Sinners Here" is a very interesting piece with the entire first half having no dialogue at all. Jessica Schroeder carries it all with her quiet performance and does so quite admirably. The second half, however, lacks the deft touch of the first and changes the tone as soon as The Woman is introduced. This one will make you want to do all your shopping online.

"The Deathday Party"
Director: Justin M. Seaman
Writer: P.J. Starks

Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories, 'The Deathday Party' / Fair use doctrine.
It’s a milestone birthday for John (Jay Woolston), and neighbors Fred (Eric Huskisson) and Nancy (Anne Welsh) bring over a cake while his wife Almeda (Cindy Maples) is preparing John’s present in the cellar. This birthday John and Almeda learn firsthand that age-old age about the best laid plans going awry. “The Deathday Party” is the perfect story with which to end the tales in the tour – though the film itself doesn’t end just yet.
"A Killer House" loops back to the couple as they finish the tour and then... Well, I can’t tell you that, now can I?
Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories is a horror freak’s horror movie. There are countless nods to all things horror throughout the film, from names (Stu, Ash, Laurie) to props (Jason’s hockey mask) to posters for some great Indies horror, such as Plank Face, The Barn, Freezer Burn, and The Dooms Church Horror. Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories is also a movie that is perfect for group viewing and all the viewing games that go along with that. Check out the tailer below and see if you agree.

Posted by Alan Smithee in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, STAFF PICKS, 0 comments
The Walking Dead: Who is Negan?

The Walking Dead: Who is Negan?

By Nicole Robinson

Negan

Fans of The Walking Dead comic book series have long awaited to find out who was going to be playing the notorious villain Negan. It was recently announced that The Good Wife and Supernatural alum, Jeffery Dean Morgan, was cast, bringing about speculation that Negan will be appearing sometime during season 6. This was all but confirmed after that mid-season finale’s sneak peek of Daryl, Sasha, and Abraham’s encounter with The Saviors. For those fans that do not read the comic series, you are probably wondering to yourself “Who is Negan and why should I care?”

For those of you wondering this very question, here are some answers.

Negan is a very important comic character and first appears in the series during issue #100. He is the leader of the Saviors. The sneak peek gave us our first introduction to Negan’s group in a very accurate portrayal of their comic counterparts. This is not a small group, but in fact is an entire community like Alexandria and Negan is their leader. He uses fear and brutality to secure their loyalty with burning faces with an iron as example of one punishment for breaking the rules.

From the very beginning, it is very clear that Negan has a special type personality. In his first appearance, his introduces Rick and friends to Lucille, a baseball bat wrapped in barb wire which he uses to random choose his first victim. He knocks at the gates of Alexandria demanding HALF of everything. Half of all of the supplies, weapons, and ammo that the community has collected in exchange for protection. The protection they need is from The Saviors.

Negan randomly choose a victim from a subdued group which happens to be Glenn. While a pregnant Maggie, Rick, and Michonne watch, he beats Glenn to death with Lucille in one of the most memorable and graphic scene of the entire series. This also establishes a lot about the character that is Negan and his impact on the dynamic of the story.

The death of Glenn is one which strikes at the very hearts of Rick and Maggie as well as the rest of the survivors. We learn very quickly that Negan is very narcissistic and charming with absolutely no sense of remorse. He hears Glenn beg for his life and yet he still smashes Lucille into his skull and at one point even laughs and says “He is taking it like a champ”. Rick swears to avenge Glenn and kill Negan but this does not even phase him. He just laughs more and beats Rick with his bare hands before leaving.

Negan is a psychotic, witty, intelligent, and brutal. He occasionally will display a warped sense of sympathy but lacks empathy completely. And he is coming to the TV counterpart during the second half of season 6. Jeffery Dean Morgan was recently announced to have been casted as the iconic villain settling any questions as to whether or not Rick would come face to face with Negan before season 7. Does this spell the end for Glenn?

So far the television series has mixed up the death count to be different from the comic counterpart. Bob replaced Dale as tainted meat. Tyresse died at Shirewilt Estates last season in a reverse of sorts having first appeared at Wiltshire Estates previous to the prison in the comic. Sasha seems to be taking over the role of Andrea as the sniper. Chances are the writers will do the same for Glenn especially after the whole dumpster ordeal. One major theory that seems to hold the most weight is that Daryl will be the one to meet Lucille if and when Negan shows up this season.

Before you start getting out the riot gear, think about this a little. We have been seeing less and less of Daryl this season as if we are being weaned off of him. His story seems to have become very stale since Beth died. What more does Daryl Dixon really have to offer The Walking Dead? He has come to terms with his past and who he is. He trusts people a lot more now, even going out as a recruiter for Alexandria. He became a valued member of the group, really growing out of the whole racist redneck image we had of him in season 1.

Another aspect to consider is that Daryl is second only to Rick as the most popular Character on a show that claims “No One Is Safe”.  The moment that Negan arrives and brutal ends Glenn is one of the moment significant moments of the entire comic series. Glenn has played second fiddle to Daryl since the start, having has a much larger role in comic series as well as being a fan favorite. Whomever gets Lucille has to make a huge impact.

The major point about Glenn’s death is that is makes the readers really hate Negan. There is no one else besides that Daryl that could make the audience hate Negan on the level we need too for the TV series. The legions of fan screaming “If Daryl Dies We Riot” can only keep him safe for so long. The appearance of Negan brings about a new chapter for The Walking Dead and Lucille is thirsty.

It will a long wait for the 2nd half of season 6. The first 8 episodes started out strong and ended…. Well…. Good. When season 6 picks back on Valentine’s Day with the episode “No Way Out”, here is to hoping they make it up to us with a lot of death, especially for Sam. He really needs to die for speaking a syllable while walking through a herd in a walker gut covered bed sheet.

Posted by Alan Smithee in BOOKS, COMICS, AND PUBLICATION REVIEWS, EDITORIALS, REVIEWS, SERIES REVIEWS, 0 comments