House of Torgured Souls

Marvel to plan new R-rated Blade movie?

Marvel to plan new R-rated Blade movie?

A source that is close to We Got This Covered says that Marvel is currently planning an R-rated BLADE movie, and it’s also said that Wesley Snipes is likely to be involved in this project. The studio evidently has a script which shows The Daywalker training his daughter Fallon Grey but this has not been confirmed yet. 

All of this should be taken as a rumor at this point, but it seems that all of these “rumors” regarding a new BLADE movie are really adding up to something. This is a quote from Snipes himself and what he has said about a possible new BLADE movie from a few months back:

There are a lot of conversations going around right now, and we’re very blessed to have the enthusiasm and interest in something coming from that world again. We’ve created two projects that fit perfectly into this world, and when people see them, I think they’re only going to have a problem with deciding which one they love the most.”

Here is Snipes’ view on Marvel’s involvement:

”All the main execs [at Marvel] and my team, we’ve been discussing for the past two years. Everyone’s enthusiastic about it, everybody gets it. But they got a business to run and they gotta figure out before they can get to it, I guess. In the meantime, we got a business to run and our own slate of things to do so…. But the next time you see something in [the Blade universe], mark my words: what we did before is child’s play compared to what we can do now. “

Hopefully, we will hear something more concrete soon. Until then, this is just a rumor but how cool would it be to see another R-rated BLADE movie with Wesley Snipes? I’m curious to see what Marvel could do with this, I saw previous comments and debates on numerous sites on how it should be left alone but I think Marvel could really run with this. 

Posted by Sarah Gregory in CAST AND CREW NEWS, COMING SOON, HORROR HEROES, HORROR NEWS, MONSTERS AND CREATURES, PREQUELS AND SEQUELS, PRESS RELEASES, REMAKES AND REBOOTS, SATANIC/DEMONIC, THRILLER, VAMPIRES, 0 comments
Jennifer Nangle: Women In Horror Interview

Jennifer Nangle: Women In Horror Interview

I had the pleasure to interview one of my favorites Jennifer Nangle also known as Malvolia:Queen Of Screams. She is a woman of many talents, acting, writing, producing— she does it all and is the real deal. She was kind enough to answer questions from what inspired her to get into the industry to upcoming projects that she is working on. 

SG-First, what inspired you to get into the industry, mainly within the horror genre?

JN : I’ve been acting in plays and musicals since I was 10 years old. So, naturally I went to college and majored in acting, the love of my life. After receiving my BFA in Theatre Studies, I became really enthralled with television. I thought, “I’ll just move to LA and be on T.V.!” Just like that! Well, it didn’t really work out that way and after auditions started to slow down, I was introduced to “self-producing.” I started out with a friend’s idea on a sci-fi comedy web series and then moved onto drama, but something was missing. I wasn’t “wowed.” I have always loved horror. I was raised on it. But I was intimidated to take on the genre because I didn’t think I would do it justice. However, I thought, now is the time! I wrote and put “Demonic Attachment “ into production. During post, I learned how to edit. Since then, I have been writing, filming, creating ever since! There is something about horror that has no limits. You can push boundaries and not have to be sorry for it

SGWhat and who are your inspirations for such projects, one in particular being Malvolia:Queen Of Screams?

JN : Most of the time, I’ll write a script around an idea that I thought was a little off or hit me the wrong way and I’ll twist it in weird directions until I feel it is right. “The Deal” happened because my co-star, Colton Wheeler, said he needed some footage with him holding a weapon for his reel. Originally I had it where I was tied up and my mouth was bound so I could direct it and not have to worry about acting. But then I thought, this could be a great role for me! I asked Hunter Johnson, who I’d been dying to work with, to direct and he said yes! So I elaborated the script more. Made it so Jade played the game with him knowing all along he was going to get screwed in the end. It was fun. Malvolia is a crazy story. A couple years ago I wrote a treatment for a film series I was dying to be a apart of. The creator hated it, but one of the producers thought I had something and encouraged me to move forward with it. Not being under the film’s restrictions, I knew I wanted to do something completely different and not something everyone was talking about. I went to Son of Monsterpalooza that year where they were honoring Elvira and I was in awe of how many people were in line for her. I immediately thought “YES! Horror Host!” So I started writing. I was really into The Blair Witch Project at the time and thought, “I should make her a real horror host! Generate a little buzz, build up a little fan base, shoot the feature, and then be done!” It didn’t work out that way… People liked her. Like, really liked her. I was not anticipating that at all! And,  in all honesty, I have a blast playing her. She is powerful, controlling, manipulative, has special powers, and is always covered in blood. I love it: so, here I am…thinking about Season 3!

SG-With you being a woman of many talents, superwoman if you will, with acting, writing, directing, producing.. which one do you prefer or did you feel you had to start branching off to do more?

JNActing. I love acting. I love creating a character from the ground up. Being in the moment- there is nothing like it. I do all the other stuff just to act. To tell the stories and play the characters I want to play. I feel like I had to really invest in more in script writing and coming up with creative stories to really do all this.

SG-What are some challenges that you would say women face in the horror genre?

JNI have said this for years and will always say it: A majority of male writers write for males. Even when they write women characters- they are still writing from a male perspective. That’s just how life is… So a lot of times I’ll read a script and think, “A majority of women wouldn’t say this or do that.” Also, most of the time the ratio in male characters versus female is insane. So, booking work and getting jobs is tough and competitive. Being a strong female in the genre can be challenging. I was told a couple months ago that I am”intimidating “ because I make my own movies and write my own scripts. That’s sad to me because, wouldn’t you want someone who is aware of how camera angles work, how lighting works, how dialogue is scripted to be apart of your team to help it be better? I do. I LOVE bringing on people who have ideas and who know more about things than I do. It makes me look better and it helps me grow.

SG: Any advice for someone, women in particular who are getting into acting, especially in the horror scene?

JNI’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Just Do It! People get so caught up in everything being perfect that they forget to even make the film. Or they make themselves crazy and just scrap it all together. JUST DO IT! We all carry cameras around with us (i.e. smart phones) and we all have stories we want to tell. Think outside the box. I made a video for Northern Frights Scream Queen Contest in my living room with one light above me and a camera on a stool with wheels. You can DO ANYTHING! JUST DO IT! Link to video:

SG: With your latest project That Night, what was inspiration behind that? Was this the hardest role that you have acted in?

JNUp until ProCo Production Company hIt me the idea of collaborating, I had been rejected from many projects because I wasn’t a “name”, or I didn’t have a certain look, or I didn’t know the right people, I was too strong, I wasn’t strong enough, I mean, the list can go on and on. PLUS, JN the beginning of 2018, I was “me too’d“ by a couple of indie directors who would want to meet up for a “meeting” to talk about a role and when I would get there, the project wouldn’t even be close to preproduction, or even written, and all of a sudden I found myself on a “date.” I was angry. I had spent so many years training in the craft, creating, learning different positions to make films, and then I was being treated like a piece of meat or not good enough. When ProCo said that we could do whatever I wanted, I would just have to write the script. I didn’t have to direct, I didn’t have to edit- all I had to do was focus on producing and acting. To me, that was cake and REALLY exciting. So, I took a horrendous story (I’m huge into 48 Hours, Dateline, Murder Mystery- murder fascinates me) and wrote it around the restrictions that we had. I wanted everyone to see me differently. Up until that point, I had always been a strong female character that fought through this intense journey but then was left with no choice, just exhausted from it all, and couldn’t go further? I am a method actress. I like to make things really real for myself as best I can. I secluded myself from the rest of the cast. I cried for four days straight. I barely slept since we had long days on set and I lived about an hour away from the location, plus, I was producing. Dieting because I was supposed to leave to film “Inverted” in a couple of weeks. Even though I slept for 2 days straight afterwards, I feel like it all worked to my benefit. I feel I showed exactly everything I wanted to show everyone that said: “You can’t Jenn.”

SG-Do you have any other upcoming projects you are working on that you are allowed to discuss?

JNFor about a year now I have casually writing two features. I’d really love to finish one and put that into production by the summer. Malvolia has her hands full with 10/31 Part 2 coming back where I will be showcased through the film AND Indie Director Dustin Furgeson has me hosting 5 indie horror features that we’ll be packaging up as a whole and putting that out. I’m attached to a couple features that are in the very early stages, but one, that I have been cast for over a year now and cannot wait to sink my teeth into is “Inverted”. We’re shooting it this summer, dates are locked, and I feel you’ll be seeing me very differently in this as well. Other than that? The sky is the limit!

Check out Jenn’s work below and here’s the link for her imdb page:

Posted by Sarah Gregory in INTERVIEWS, WOMEN IN HORROR, 0 comments
CON REVIEW: Monster-Mania Con 39

CON REVIEW: Monster-Mania Con 39

Monster-Mania held its 39th show last week, this one in Cherry Hill, NJ. Their lineup, a dream list of who’s who in horror. Tim Curry, John Carpenter, Richard Dreyfuss, Sean Astin, and 6, yes count them 6 actors (Steve Dash, Ted White, Tom Morga, CJ Graham, Kane Hodder, and Ken Kirzinger) who have all played Jason Voorhees in some fashion were among the mega guest list for this show. Add in Kathleen Turner, Joe Pantoliano, Terry Kiser, Paul Reubens, and 5 of the new IT kids, and you are going to draw a crowd A notable absence was Randy Quaid, but we’ll get to that shortly.

Let’s address the hiccups first and there were a couple. When you bring in a lineup like the one described above, there are going to be a lot of people. If you have been to a convention, you know Friday night can be slow or at peak, steady with the crowds coming. That was not the case for Monster-Mania. The Friday night attendance rivaled a lot of shows’ Saturday crowds. Also, it can be tough and in some cases impossible to know what some guests will draw as far as fans.

A perfect example is the kids from the film IT (2017). In Atlanta for Days of the Dead, two of the young actors were there and had some eager fans wanting to meet them, but it was a good steady pace. In Cherry Hill when 3 more of their co-stars were added, young fans came in by the hundreds at a time.

Also, lets address kind of a big story from Friday night. I was there and heard at least 4 different versions of what happened, so let’s just clear the air on this. Kane Hodder and his co-star from Death House Steve Nappe were sitting next to each other. A fan gave Kane a machete to sign (as is normal with any Jason actor). Kane pretended to cut Steve’s arm. The blade was very real and very sharp and when Steve got distracted he moved, so he was cut in the forearm with it. He got stitches and was back later on. It was a freak accident and nothing more. Case closed.

Saturday, everyone knew the crowd would be massive. I do not believe anyone could have anticipated how massive. The Fire Marshall had to be brought in and did not allow anyone else in the hotel, fans in line for photo ops were lined up outside and ticket sales were cut off before Noon. That is what kind of numbers I am talking about here.

The photo op situation was its own monster. When there are a lot of photo ops all scheduled back to back in the same room and some of the guests have to get into costume, it will cause delays. Tim Curry was the only one (up until Saturday night) that had a specific area for just himself doing photo ops. Everyone else was in one area. The thinking behind this is that many fans buy several photo ops (I bought 4) and this gives them a chance to not miss any due to them being scheduled at the same time. Tim’s went all day because he was only doing photo ops, so you could go when you wanted.

Mix the delays with the fact the IT kids photo ops may have been oversold and delays are inevitable. How do you fix this in the future? Some cons limit the number of photo ops for each guest. The downside to that is you may limit who attends the show. There is no perfect answer for that. Credit the staff when the photo ops were going, they were moving. I did hear some cars in the parking lot were broken into. I don’t have any insight or any facts on this, so I won’t address it further.

What do you do if you are a guest and your scheduled photo op is delayed? If you are Sean Astin, you talk to the group of fans waiting for the op. Astin came into the room where all of the fans were waiting and to his credit, hosted a 7-10 minute impromptu Q & A. He talked about a live show he would be performing in the following night and gave his thoughts on his favorite characters that he has portrayed. First class, Sean…first class all the way.

Let’s talk Randy Quaid. He was scheduled for Friday and Saturday. I have yet to attend a show where no guest has canceled and this is no exception to the rule. On Friday, Monster-Mania posted on their Facebook page, that they had spoken to Randy and he was stuck in New York. Randy then canceled altogether on Saturday. To his credit, he offered to call or send a picture to any fan who was disappointed. All they had to do was send his Twitter a direct message. I can’t speak for every fan that reached out, but he did deliver when I did.

I will not end on any negative marks and so far this show seems like it was a giant disappointment…it really wasn’t. Were the lines insanely long? Yes. Were there way too many people? Yes, I mean the Fire Marshall enforced the rules. Does Monster-Mania have a few things they need to figure out before their 40th show this summer? Of course, they said that themselves. But let’s focus now on a lot (and there was a lot) of good that came from the show.

The guests were friendly and a lot of fun to talk to. There were a LOT of vendors to visit and choose from. There were some very creative fans that took their cosplay seriously and came up with some memorable costumes. They also had TNP – Philly’s Own Rocky Horror Cast, put on a whole performance of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, with prop bags for the viewers and the movie in the background and full partici……..pation from the audience. I will say here and now, that performance by that cast was nothing short of spectacular. It was truly an experience and if you live near Philadelphia, you should catch one of their show.

As a fan, I had no trouble meeting all of the people I wanted to meet and get the photo ops I wanted. I know it was very frustrating for a lot of fans. I know some people were angry, but I didn’t let some delays damper meeting some bucket list celebs. This was a very difficult show to put together, and was the space too small for a show of this magnitude? Probably. But the flip side is, “why don’t you guys get so and so as a guest?” So, let’s credit the organizers of Monster-Mania for bringing in guests that have never been to their show, are huge names and are people some of us will only meet once in a lifetime.

Conclusions. Was this show perfect? Of course not. Did they make people upset? Yes. Did they also gain some new fans? Probably. This was a swing for the fences. There are a lot of shows in New Jersey and 3 of them happen in a 6 week period of time. You have to try new things or the competition will eat you alive. It benefits the fans because we can take advantage of seeing a lot of our favorite horror stars and heroes. A great attempt will often result in speed bumps.

Overall Grade B-

Posted by Crypt Keeper Clint in REVIEWS, STAFF PICKS, 0 comments
WiHM: Dyanne Thorne as Ilsa

WiHM: Dyanne Thorne as Ilsa

Dyanne Thorne as Ilsa She Wolf of the SSThis next lady’s contribution to horror may be a little controversial, but I still feel that Dyanne Thorne’s character Ilsa deserves some love during women in horror month.

I found myself struggling to write this to not sound like a Nazi sympathizer and to not glorify the atrocities committed during the Holocaust. I hope that before the social justice and keyboard warriors attack, they consider the reasons I choose to salute her.

Dyanne Thorne as Ilsa She Wolf of the SSIn case you aren’t familiar with the Ilsa character she starred in a triology of cult/Nazisploitation films called Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS, Ilsa, Harem Keeper of the Oil Sheiks, and Ilsa, the Wicked Warden. The first two films are directed by the Canadian (yay Canada!) director Don Edmunds and the third by popular Spanish cult director Jesus Franco. Thorne plays a tough female leader as Ilsa in all three and they’re all great movies, but She Wolf of the SS is my favorite and will be my focus in this tribute.

Dyanne Thorne as Ilsa She Wolf of the SSIlsa She Wolf of the SS is the only Nazisploitation film in the trilogy and is by far the best, but I’d argue that it’s more about feminism and female sexuality than Nazis. Ilsa is a Nazi Komandant, in charge of a “medical” camp. She is hell bent on proving that woman are inherently stronger than men and have a much higher threshold for pain. She works endlessly to prove this by inflicting all kinds of sadistic torture upon the women who enter her camp. It’s nearing the end of the war and Germany is in desperate need of reinforcements and she wants to demonstrate that women would make far greater soldiers than men. She finally proves this after subjecting the women to gangrene, whippings, gang rape, an electrified dildo (and I don’t mean it vibrates), genital mutilation, and syphilis. She’s gratified when she finds a star test subject who can withstand all of the above and still fight back.

While Ilsa works hard during the day she also works hard at night choosing a different male prisoner each night to sexually satisfy her. When they fail to meet her needs, she has them castrated until she finally comes across an American prisoner who is able to hold an erection indefinitely. Her sexual prowess leads to her unfortunate demise as the American ends up seducing her and killing her.

Dyanne Thorne as Ilsa She Wolf of the SSA couple of fun facts regarding Ilsa:

The set of She Wolf was actually the recycled set of Hogan’s Heroes and since the show had already been cancelled they were allowed to burn it to the ground for the final scene of Ilsa, saving them the cost of having it demolished.

Dyanne Thorne now performs weddings in Las Vegas and rumor has it that if you pay enough she will dress up as Ilsa.

I’ll always love Ilsa for her ability to command respect, her strength and indifference when it comes to her work and most importantly for her shameless sexual expression.

Posted by Candace Stone in STAFF PICKS, WOMEN IN HORROR, 0 comments
WiHM – The Soska Sisters

WiHM – The Soska Sisters

Dead Hooker in a Trunk (2009) from the Soska SIstersOn April 29, 1983, the horror and comic worlds were blessed by not one but TWO women. Identical twins Jen and Sylvia Soska, collectively known as the Twisted Twins were born in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada on their mother’s birthday. As young girls, after watching the film, Poltergeist, they were hooked. They decided they wanted to work in films and went into acting. In 2009 while in school, the Soska Sisters wrote and directed a film for a project. They made the movie for less than $3,000. Despite critics bashing the film, Dead Hooker In A Trunk has since drawn a huge cult following on DVD. It has also recently been released on Blu Ray. From Dead Hooker In A Trunk, the Twins went to make American Mary, starring Katharine Isabelle in 2012. They then directed See No Evil 2 starring WWE Superstar Kane, Danielle Harris, and Katharine Isabelle.

In 2015, the Soskas hosted the popular show Hellavator for two seasons, and in 2016, the Soska Sisters began taking the reigns of directing the reimagining of David Cronenberg’s 1977 classic, Rabid. Recently, it was announced the film will be distributed by Shout! Studios.

American Mary (2012) from the Soska SIstersIf that was all we knew of the Twisted Twins, that would be enough for them to be saluted this month. However, these two ladies are so much more than just talented filmmakers. They organize the Women In Horror Month Massive Blood Drive PSA Film Fest (Check out our coverage here). They also write daily inspirational messages and thought-provoking posts.

The Twisted Twins have become fan favorites due to their extremely caring personalities, their love for all people regardless of race, religion, orientation, etc. They love their fans and have become so beloved that not one but two t-shirt companies have produced Soska Brand T-Shirts. It has to be two; everything is always doubled with these amazing women. Fans can buy these various shirts from Fright Rags and also Atomic Cotton. Both companies feature a Dead Hooker In A Trunk shirt (not bad for a movie that was bashed and for which the Twisted Twins took a LOT of nasty criticism by alleged experts).

See No Evil 2 (2014) from the Soska SIstersThis past weekend the Soska Sisters attended Mad Monster Party (watch for my con review) in Charlotte, NC, and also made an appearance on Good Day Charlotte on the local Fox affiliate. All weekend, both Jen and Sylvia met with their fans, signed autographs and showed everyone their love and appreciation for the fans coming out and supporting them.

These women show that we should all go “follow our stupid f—ing dreams” and to show love and respect. They are advocates for equality and have been outspoken with scandals that have been an embarrassment in the entertainment industry. They have not just sat back, but they have informed their fans and followers about the stories that have emerged. The Twins have also spoken out against hate daily.

So please join me as I salute Jen and Sylvia Soska and wish them a Happy Women In Horror Month!
Hellavator (2012) from the Soska SIsters

Posted by Crypt Keeper Clint in STAFF PICKS, WOMEN IN HORROR, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: The Vault (2017)

MOVIE REVIEW: The Vault (2017)

Director: Dan Bush; Writers: Dan Bush, Conal Byrne; Stars: James Franco, Taryn Manning, Francesca Eastwood; Rating: Not Rated; Run Time: 91 min; Genre: Horror, Thriller; Country: USA; Language: English; Year: 2017

Jeff Gum in The Vault (2017)The Vault caught my attention for having James Franco starring and held my attention in spite of some clunky foreshadowing and a less than satisfying ending. While it’s nothing special and filled with tropes we’ve seen in other crime/horror crossovers, there’s just enough mix of weirdness and uncertainty to keep the viewer interested.

The story revolves around a bank and the gang of robbers whose reasons for hitting up the bank aren’t as clear-cut as they seem at first. Having carefully engineered a distraction that keeps the city’s attention directed elsewhere, the gang is surprised to find little money in the safe and that an unexpected tip-off to law enforcement made it through. Ed Maas (James Franco), assistant manager of the bank, tries to work with the robbers to minimize harm to the people held hostage, but the gang refuses to leave without finding the real money.

Francesca Eastwood in The Vault (2017)Most of The Vault focuses on the dynamics of the two groups, the hostages and the robbers, interspersed with the gang’s attempt to access the bank’s main vault below. Ultimately the gang’s primary motivation is for Michael Dillon (Scott Haze) to pay off a fatal debt, and Michael’s estranged sisters Vee (Taryn Manning) and Leah (Francesca Eastwood), have come together, along with a few others, to pull off the heist – both to help Michael and enrich themselves. The hostages’ motivation is, of course, to survive, and some of them are more successful at this than others.

Taryn Manning in The Vault (2017)Maas convinces the gang that he can help and successfully stops a post-closing hours failsafe alarm from triggering. Having won their reluctant trust, he then directs them to the location of the bank’s subterranean vault wherein lies a cool $6 million. As the heist moves forward to crack the vault and open their subterranean escape route, the group is split and odd things begin to happen. First, those who’ve ventured underground are affected, but it ultimately extends to all the robbers. Paranoia and uncertainty set in, making the situation more volatile and dangerous every moment.

Unfortunately for The Vault, uneven acting makes the first half somewhat less than satisfying while unnecessary foreshadowing completely undermines the second half and ruins the fim’s reveal. With an ending that left me more than a little pissed (seriously, my rating dropped 2.5 claw marks just because it pissed me off), The Vault is worth watching for Francophiles — those who want the total Franco experience — and those who must watch all things horror, but a skip for anyone seeking something new and different.

Final verdict: 5/10 claw marks — leave it closed

Posted by Alan Smithee in MOVIE REVIEWS, PARANORMAL, REVIEWS, SLASHERS AND BAD HUMANS, 0 comments
COMING SOON (Fall): Cult of Chucky (2017)

COMING SOON (Fall): Cult of Chucky (2017)

Everyone's favorite killer Good Guy doll is heading back in front of cameras with a new Child's Play installment known as Cult of Chucky. Child's Play creator, Don Mancini, who wrote the original as well as wrote and directed Seed of Chucky and Curse of Chucky, is back and at it again with Cult of Chucky. The new film will bring back Fiona Dourif, Alex Vincent, Jennifer Tilly and once again, Brad Dourif as the foul-mouthed voice of Chucky. The film started shooting in Canada at the beginning of the year with hopes to release it straight to DVD and On Demand just in time for Halloween.

The synopsis for Curse of Chucky is this.

Confined to an asylum for the criminally insane for the past four years, Nica Pierce (Fiona Dourif) is erroneously convinced that she, not Chucky, murdered her entire family. But when her psychiatrist introduces a new therapeutic "tool" to facilitate his patients' group sessions - an all-too-familiar "Good Guy" doll with an innocently smiling face - a string of grisly deaths begins to plague the asylum, and Nica starts to wonder if maybe she isn't crazy after all. Andy Barclay (Alex Vincent), Chucky's now-grown-up nemesis from the original Child's Play, races to Nica's aid. But to save her he'll have to get past Tiffany (Oscar-nominee Jennifer Tilly), Chucky's long-ago bride, who will do anything, no matter how deadly or depraved, to help her beloved devil doll.

I, for one, am looking forward for a new Chucky movie and since the last one was a clever surprise, I am more than certain that this will be another enjoyable film in the Child's Play franchise.

Posted by Jonathan Hughes in HORROR NEWS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: The Night Watchman (2016)

MOVIE REVIEW: The Night Watchman (2016)

By John Roisland

The Night Watchmen, starring Ken Arnold, Dan DeLuca, and Kevin Jiggetts and directed by Mitchell Altieri is a 2016 laugh out loud comedic horror tale of a late night delivery gone horribly wrong.

When two stoner delivery guys drop off a coffin late at night to the wrong address, The Night Watchmen agree to hang onto it overnight after the deliverymen promise they will return promptly first thing in the morning to pick up and re-deliver the package. Now the problem's not so much that they accepted the wrong package from a courier the problem is what's in the package.


The package is a large, shiny, brand new coffin. Yes. A coffin. As the package is being ever so carefully watched over by our fearless men, one office manager, played by the incomparable James Remar, feels the need to investigate the package while he and a handfull of other employees are pulling an all nighter. To his surprise, inside lies the body of world a famous circus clown who had recently passed away on a European tour - along with the rest of his clown staff - and all had been flown back to America for burial. Upon opening the casket, however, they discover that the recently departed has returned to life plans to terrorize the city streets with his gang of clown vampires. It's now up to our fearless Night Watchmen to save the world - or at least their asses - until the sun comes up.


As I mentioned in my opening, The Night Watchmen is a horror comedy full of one-liners that will have you laughing out loud in your seats. From the music, jokes, and the sometimes quirkiness, the film has a slight John Carpenteresque feel to it, and, in this writer's opinion, that's a very high compliment!

The story, originally penned by stars Ken Arnold and Dan DeLuca, brings to life a fast-paced, laugh out loud, and extremely bloody good vampire hunting time. I also want to give credit where its due - the stunt team. During tue heavy action scenes, the stunt team was pretty damn spot on!

On a personal note, I was extremely fortunate enough to have been invited onto the set on the second to last day of filming The Night Watchmen. You see, before House of Tortured Souls.com was officially launched, I was just a horror fan, and when I read in the paper of a horror film being made in my town, I had to reach out to them. I did just that thru The Night Watchmen Facebook page and was in contact with Dan Deluca. I explained to him the future plans of House of Tortured Souls.com and asked if, by any chance, I could possibly stop by the set and maybe grab a picture or two. DeLuca saw no problems with it and set up a date for me.

When I first pulled up to the set on a cold, snowy day in February and parked next to a long, shiny, silver, somewhat customized hearse, I knew was going to be a good day. The hearse belonged to special effects makeup artist R. J. Haddy who was in charge of special effects for the movie. Turns out my quick visit and a few pictures was a planned full day on set - while they were filming! I was first introduced to the staff, actors, director Mitchell Altieri and all the behind-the-scenes people.

This one of the top thrills of my life. Not only was I on the set of a movie while it was actually being filmed, it was also two days before my birthday, so it was quite a birthday gift! I kept in touch with the guys via Facebook through post-production and became friends with them. It was because of this that I was personally invited by one of the producers to a showing of the movie in Annapolis, Maryland, for staff and family. I was extremely honored and touched by the invite, and my wife Stephanie and I had one of the best evenings that we have had in a long time.

I'm not one to laugh out loud in movies, I'm really not, but I've got to tell you - I can't even keep count of how many times I laughed throughout this film. The on-screen chemistry between Arnold, DeLuca, and Jiggetts is perfect!

The cast and staff are amazing, and I wish them all the best with this film. The movie officially premiered in Atlanta on November 17th.

Do yourself a favor and keep an eye on the listings, watch out for vampire clowns, and, most importantly, keep an eye out for The Night Watchmen!

John Roisland with Ken Arnold, Dan Deluca, and Kevin Jiggetts

Keep It Evil...

Posted by John Roisland in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
CONTEST: Last Call for Scary Stories

CONTEST: Last Call for Scary Stories

LAST CHANCE TO ENTER!

By Woofer McWooferson

Image: Found on giphy.House of Tortured Souls wants to remind everyone that the deadline to submit stories for our scary story contest is tomorrow, 15 October 16, midnight in all time zones. This allows us to process the entries and communicate with the authors.

We are accepting both fiction and non-fiction – please label your story accordingly.

Image: openclipart.orgAll stories submitted for consideration will be published between October 24th and Halloween. Authors will, of course, be credited. Each story will start with the title, followed by the author’s name and any other introductory information the story requires.

Image: openclipart.org / Colorization: Woofer McWoofersonAll entrants will become automatic Friends of the House and will have their names and stories posted on our site. From the submissions, three two winners will be chosen based on creepiness (of the story, not the entrant). Winners will receive horror mystery bags.

To enter, email your scary story to us at admins@houseoftorturedsouls.com, subject: Scary Story Contest.

Winners to be announced on November 8, 2016.

*Editor’s Note: When originally published, we listed three prizes. This is because I can’t read my own notes. There will be two prizes – one for each category. My deepest apologies for the misunderstanding. -Woofer McWooferson, Editor-in-ChiefWoofer's Paw Print microscopic
Posted by Alan Smithee in HALLOWEEN, 5 comments
Bill Moseley Joins Crepitus

Bill Moseley Joins Crepitus

By Dixielord

Crepitus poster photo credit Crepitus

Crepitus poster
Photo credit Crepitus

Well it looks like Sid Haig isn't the only reject that can slap on the clown make up. It looks like his co-star from House of 1000 Corpses and The Devils Rejects, Bill Moseley has joined the cast of Crepitus, as the titular killer clown himself. Crepitus is the latest killer clown movie to surface, following Eli Roth's Clown and the remake of Stephen King's It.

The plot of Crepitus revolves around 17 year old Elizabeth and her brother Julien. Their mother is an abusive alcoholic. Things go from bad to worse after the family moves into the home of their deceased grandfather. They they learn the dark secrets of their family's history and come face to face with an ancient force, the cannibalistic clown Crepitus.

Creepitus Indiegogo photo of Bill Moseley, photo credit Creepitus Indiegogo

Creepitus Indiegogo photo of Bill Moseley
Photo credit Crepitus

The Indiegogo page for Crepitus describes him as an ancient demon who subsists by feeding on children. Devouring children allows him to remain immortal, and he dresses as a clown to lure children in. The description sounds very similar to the demon in Clown, although the story looks to be different. Now with the addition of Moseley to the cast, they have some star power. And Bill Moseley is definitely someone who can play a demonic clown.

The name Crepitus is real word with two different real world meanings, both of which are cleverly played off in the film. In medical terminology, crepitus is the popping and crackling sound made by joints and bones for various reasons. In the crowd sourcing comments, it is mentioned that Crepitus' (the character) bones pop and creak with every movement.

The other meaning of Crepitus refers to a being, an ancient Roman deity. Crepitus in the film will be a ancient force playing on this meaning if the word. However, this deity doesn't have the same regal standing as Apollo, Venus, or Vulcan. Reportedly, Crepitus was the Roman god of flatulence. That's farts for those not familiar with the terminology. Which could be a totally different explanation for why he pops when he moves... yeah. It's thought Crepitus wasn't actually a being worshiped but was possibly a product of Christian satire. So blame Christianity for the first fart jokes.

I love Bill, but hopefully he's not passing gas in the film. What the hey, I'll see it anyway. Clowns are creepy, clowns can be terrifying, and it seems they are all over the news right now - from Eli Roth's Clown to It to sightings of creepy clowns around the country. I don't think we have hit the saturation point yet, and this film could ride high on the clown craze.

Crepitus, directed by Haynze Whitmore, also stars Lance Paul, Raiden Moore, and Caitlin Williams. If you want to support the film, you can do it here. Crepitus is set for a 2017 release.

Posted by Allen Alberson in CAST AND CREW NEWS, HORROR NEWS, 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: Rob Zombie’s 31 One Night Showing

COMING SOON: Rob Zombie’s 31 One Night Showing

By Dixielord

Cast of Rob Zombie's 31

Cast of Rob Zombie's 31

If you are a fan of Rob Zombie, then you probably can't wait to see his new film 31. If you hate him, then you probably can't wait to tell everyone how much you hate Rob Zombie's 31. Whatever side of the great zombie war you fall on, we now have a release date. It is a one night limited release but at least we know we have that opportunity to see Rob Zombie's 31 on the big screen.

Rob Zombie's 31 will see a one night, limited theatrical release on September 1, 2016, courtesy of Saban Films and as part of Fathom Events. While most would like to see a full theatrical release, at least it will get a day on the big screen. Hopefully a DVD and VoD release will follow soon after.

New one sheet for Rpb Zombie's 31 Photo Credit Rob Zombie's 31

New one sheet for Rob Zombie's 31
Photo Credit Rob Zombie's 31

Rob Zombie's 31 revolves around a group of carnival workers who are kidnapped on Halloween in 1976. The unluky group is forced to play a game called 31. They have to survive twelve hours in the deadly murder world, while being hunted by a sadistic group of killers, the heads.

After its debut release at the 2016 Sundance film festival, Rob Zombie's 31 got mixed reviews and currently has a 50% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. And having a 50% Rotten Tomato rating is just perfect. It perfectly symbolizes the split in the horror community over a Zombie film.

I fall squarely on the side of Zombie fan, although I'm not a fan of every film (Halloween 2, gah), and will say some of the heat about him is justified. He does tend to throw Sheri Zombie into roles that might be handled better by more accomplished actresses. But his films are always (well almost, H2, again gah), and always bloody and uncompromising. Still there are those who simply love to throw hate at Rob, just to be hating.

In less than a month, the wait is over for all of us. At least those of us lucky enough to be within the limited release area. Fans will hopefully enjoy a bloody masterpiece in Rob Zombie's 31. For those who can’t stand it, September 1, 2016, will give them the chance to fulfill that not so old adage, “Haters gonna hate”.

Posted by Allen Alberson in COMING SOON, EVENTS, HORROR NEWS, SLASHERS AND BAD HUMANS, 0 comments
COMING SOON: Phantasm: Ravager (2016)

COMING SOON: Phantasm: Ravager (2016)

The Tall Man Is Coming
Just in Time for Halloween

Phantasm: Ravager

By Jonathan Patrick Hughes

Phantasm

Last weekend, news broke out like a bat out of hell. The latest and much anticipated sequel to Phantasm, known as Ravager will hit limited theaters on October 7, 2016  as well as VOD. The film was shot back in 2012 and 2013 and since had been going through difficulties trying to release the film, that is until Well Go USA decided to step up to the plate and help get this thing released to the fans that have been waiting for quite some time now. Phantasm: Ravager will once again star Michael Baldwin, Reggie Bannister, and, of course, The Tall Man himself, Angus Scrimm.

Phantasm - Angus Scrimm and the orb

Angus Scrimm as The Tall Man

Don Coscarelli who has been with the franchise since the dawn of Phantasm was quoted saying this In a recent interview:

The Phantasm films have been a guerrilla operation for decades now, totally outside of the studio system. We do them for the fans, and I think Ravager will definitely please them. In the past few years several studios have made offers to remake Phantasm with large budgets, but the fans were very vocal that they wanted the original cast to return and finish this iteration of the story with class. And for the first time there’s an extended sequence on the Tall Man’s home world. I know Phantasm fans will be as excited as I am to see it.

There are also some surprises thrown in that I promise will astonish long-time fans.

Being a long time fan of the series I am overly excited to finally witness the film with my own two eyes. However, with that being said, I don't have high hopes for the film considering it has been trying to get made since the late 90s and, since the film has ready since the middle of 2013, there has to be a reason why it took 3 years to release a film from a franchise every horror fan loves. We shall see.

Phantasm - Ravager posterIn other news, on September 24, 2016, the original Phantasm, which was made for $300 thousand and took in at the box office an amazing chunk of $12 million dollars, is coming back to cinemas meaning that we will be able to experience the film in a brand new restored version for the first time.

NOW THAT'S EXCITING AS BALLS!!!!!!!!!!

RIP Angus Scrimm, who passed away
at the age of 89 this past January.

Angus Scrimm and Reggie Bannister

Angus Scrimm and Reggie Bannister in Phantasm: Ravager

Posted by Jonathan Hughes in COMING SOON, HORROR NEWS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Ghostbusters (2016)

MOVIE REVIEW: Ghostbusters (2016)

By Dixielord

It's one of the most controversial films of the last couple years. It's not Last House on the Left, it's not A Serbian Film, it's not even every film Rob Zombie ever made. It's Ghostbusters. You either love it, or you're a misogynistic pig. You either hate it or you're a studio shill. Emotions run high and our childhoods are again being ripped apart, or a new generation is given a chance to experience the Ghostbusters magic.

The new Ghostbusters team

The new Ghostbusters team

So I went and saw the movie Trying to keep all my preconceived ideas at bay, and go in with an open palate. This is definitely not the Ghostbusters remember, it's a different cast, and different story.  and a different team, and yes and all female Ghostbusters.  Which seems  one of the most contentious things about the film, other than the fact it is being re-made at all.

Kate McKinnon in the new Ghostbusters

Kate McKinnon was a hit in the new Ghostbusters

Well I ended up liking the movie. The new cast was really fun, Kate McKinnon and Chris Hemsworth stole every scene they were in, and I wish McKinnon had a larger role. Melissa McCarthy is always a mixed bag, at times she annoys the shit out of me, at times I think she is funny as hell. She didn't annoy me in Ghostbusters, but I don't think she stood out as much as the presumptive co-leader of the group. Leslie Jones was also hilarious. Kristen Wiig is the lead Ghostbuster and I know a lot of people who are giving the film a shot just because of her. She's good, but Jones and McKinnon showed a better comedic touch than her and McCarthy.

Ghostbusters movie poster

Ghostbusters movie poster

The story, like the original, put NYC under attack by a legion of ghosts. The busters have to battle against the undead and city bureaucracy to save New York. The team once again sets out to trap the ghosts, but by the end they are more intent on shredding them and tossing them around. As a fan of the old film, I wasn't crazy about this change, but the young audience seemed to enjoy it, and the battles were fun. Yeah I admit it, it was fun. Beyond any and everything else it was a fun movie.

The end of the final battle disappointed me. It was one of those bonding moments that just seemed fake. I'll admit the scene may play out better to female fans than it did to me. Whatever, it didn't ruin the film for me, I just wish it hadn't have been tacked on. I had much rather have seen the ladies defeat the big baddie, high-five and be celebrated as heroes.

The film did throw in some great references to the original Ghostbusters. Not only did Murray, Akroyd, Ernie Hudson, Sigourney Weaver, and Annie Potts show up, but we had appearances from the Staypuff Marshmallow Man and Slimer as well. We even got to see a female slimer. No it's not the same as having the original team, but it's a fun nod.

Final verdict, no hate for me. It was a good, solid fun movie. I don't think it will have the cultural impact of the original. I do think it will help the originals legacy live on. The new Ghostbusters might even introduce a new generation to the original movie. We can hope can't we? And Kudos for the cameos from the original, surviving team.

Last thought, if you really have hate for the reboot, throw it at the people who got in the way of the third film. At those who kept it from  happening while Harold Ramis was still with us. I don't know all the reasons, but films are going to get remade and rebooted. It's a fact. I have spent years hating on remakes and it does no good. Yeah most of them are shit, but some are great, some are epic and a few, like Ghostbusters are just good, fun movies.

Chris Hemsworth is a hit in the new Ghostbusters

Chris Hemsworth is a hit in the new Ghostbusters

I laughed a lot during Ghostbusters. There were a few times I felt the comedy was forced or just didn't work, and as I said I wasn't crazy about the movie. Overall I enjoyed the experience, and I think if you toss aside your anger about the gender change and that it's a remake, you will probably like it too.  Kids are going to love it. It might be a bit scary to younger kids, but most should handle it.

7 out of 10 stars for a fun movie experience

Posted by Allen Alberson in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 1 comment

PROFILE: Bo Hons: Confections From Hell

By John Roisland

Bo Hons - Cake Chef

Back in the mid-nineties I became friends with a guy who you swear could have been the fifth member of Danzig. Sporting long, jet-black hair, black wristbands, and ripped jeans, Bo Hons looked like a rock star, and when I first met Bo, he was, in fact, a drummer in an Annapolis, MD-based heavy metal band called Vox Humana. I was introduced to Bo by other members in the band that I knew. Bo and i quickly became very good friends, and I'm proud to say we still are to this day!

Eventually, Bo left the music industry to pursue his other passions of photography and cooking. A few years later, Bo proudly graduated from the Baltimore Culinary Arts school. During his schooling, he was kind enough to prepare for me a multi-flavored multi-colored checkerboard chocolate mousse cake that was so far beyond mere deliciousness that to this day I still tell people about it!

Through many hard years of different culinary jobs, Bo ran for the northern border and ended up in Canada. Bo created and opened his bakery called Wolfbay Cafe. Bo started off small doing small cakes for friends and families for birthdays and holidays. Through word of mouth, the size of his orders grew and so did his notoriety.

Bo's talent and passion for his baking has landed him in many competitions and is now training his own courses and classes in airbrushing for cake decorating.
Bo Hons - Human liver cake Bo Hons - Jack-o-lantern

Now it's 20 years later and Bo has long since cut his hair (as matter of fact, he's completely bald), but he somehow still looks like a rock star - in his own way. Through many hard years of different culinary jobs, Bo ran for the northern border and ended up in Canada. Bo created and opened his bakery called Wolfbay Cafe. Bo started off small doing small cakes for friends and families for birthdays and holidays. Through word of mouth, the size of his orders grew and so did his notoriety. Bo is still a proud American but resides in Alberta, Canada, where he is appropriately a huge ice hockey fan as well as a very happy family man.

Don't get the wrong impression from the pictures that I'm sharing; these are his horror creations. In addition to horror-themed confections, Bo turns his vast talents to create custom orders as well as experiments with his own culinary treats, such as special flavor of the month cheesecakes. Aside from the cake he made me while he was still studying, I've not had the pleasure of tasting his creations. I've only seen pictures of Bo's work, but it is amazing! And believe me – if it is half as good as my cake, you will be satisfied.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I don't know how things work as far as being able to do shipping, but if by any means you ever find yourself north of the border, do yourself a favor and look up Wolfbay Cafe. In the mean time, you can email Bo at wolfbaycafe@gmail.com and check out his  Facebook page). Tell him that John-Boy is waiting for another chocolate mousse cake, as a matter of fact a nice House of Tortured Souls birthday cake is now in order,...just sayin'! Proud of all you have achieved Bo , you have earned the named CAKE CHEF!

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Bo Hons

Keep It Evil.

Posted by John Roisland in ART AND VENDORS, FEATURED ARTISTS, FOOD AND DRINK, 1 comment
COMING SOON: The 7th Annual GWAR-B-Q

COMING SOON: The 7th Annual GWAR-B-Q

Feast With Gwar

By John Roisland

7th Annual GWAR-B-Q banner

House of Tortured Souls prides our selves on bringing you horror - from our universe and all others. That's why we're thrilled to announce that on August 20, 2016, legendary shock rock band Gwar returns to Hadad's Lake in Richmond, Virginia, for the 7th annual GWAR-B-Q!!

Gwar first hit the music scene in 1985 and have been shocking audiences and appalling both parents and censors with their violent, sexual, and blood-filled stage shows ever since. (I, personally, have been a fan from the start.)

On top of having a powerful and unique sound, Gwar has a stage show that is like no other stage show you will ever see. Combine A Serbian Film, The Evil Dead, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and the Price Is Right into live stage theatrics with badass music and you have a show that has to be experienced to believed.

In addition to their extreme live shows, the band hosts what is appropriately called the GWAR-B-Q (as mentioned earlier). This will be the 7th year running of the mini festival and, just like the previous years, the festival has an all new line up, including Eye Hate God, Lamb of God, Against Me!, American Nightmare, Lagwagon, and many more still to be announced. Don't panic, though, because Gwar will be playing and torturing humans in the pit as usual.

Gwar logo - GWAR-B-Q

Gwar has been kind enough in these financially stressful times to help us out attendees by contacting Richmond hotels and securing the best rates possible. (I figure Gwar threatened to slay off if they didn't help out, but I can't confirm this.) So, for the hook-up, check out the GWAR-B-Q website.

Also, (and I found this to be extremely cool) the GWAR-B-Q website has a section where you sign up to help out at the event. It doesn't specify whether or not helping means you'll be hand feeding Beefcake the Mighty small children before his show or scrubbing his toilet after, but, hey, either way you'll get to say you were there!

If you're going to have a Gwar weekend in Richmond, VA, you must dine at GWARbar. (For those of you who don't know, Gwar have a restaurant/bar in Richmond at 217 W. Clay Street. GWARbar offers both meatfilled and meatless fare and all is inspired by the band! Michael Derks, AKA Balsak the Jaws of Death, has drawn upon his 30+ years of restaurant experience and is executive chef for the establishment. (This would be a must for me!)

John with Beefcake the Mighty and JiZMak da Gusha - GWAR-B-Q banner

Tickets for the GWAR-B-Q officially went on sale Friday, June 10, 2016. The gates open at 10:00 (yes, AM), and the first band goes on at 10:30, so get there early and prepare to become a slave to none other than Gwar!

Long Live Oderus!

Keep it Evil.

Posted by John Roisland in COMING SOON, EVENTS, HORROR NEWS, 0 comments
The Nun – The Conjuring 2 Spin-off Coming

The Nun – The Conjuring 2 Spin-off Coming

Conjuring Up A Spin-off

By Dixielord

The Conjuring 2 is still in the theaters and already a spin-off is officially in the works with The Nun. The will be the second movie spinning away from the series based (somewhat) on the real life (somewhat) adventures of Ed and Lorraine Warren. The original Conjuring film lead to the spin-off demon dolly film Annabelle and is itself is in line for a sequel.

The Nun is coming.

The Nun is coming

The Nun Is Coming

It's still very early in the process, but as of now Conjuring director James Wan is only aboard as a producer. David Leslie Johnson (The Conjuring 2) is attached to write the script, but that's pretty much it as no director or cast has been named this early. Bonnie Aarons (Drag Me to Hell) portrayed the nun in The Conjuring 2 but there is no word on whether she will reprise the role or not.

We do know that the story will follow the demonic nun from The Conjuring 2. We can only assume, and it's a fairly safe assumption, that it will delve into the back story of the demon Valak or the nun whose form he took. Most likely both.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the nun was actually a late addition to The Conjuring 2. Initially, Wan planned on a horned demon representing Valak. However, Lorraine Warren told him of an experience where she had encountered a swirling vortex with a hooded figure inside. Thus, Wan decided to combine the hooded nun figure with the demon Valac. The demonic nun was born, and the seeds were planted for The Nun spin-off.

Who Was Valak?

Valac looks nothing like The Nun

The Conjuring 2 demon Valac as he is pictured in demonology

The demon Valak was not a creation for the film but actually exists. At least in the world of demonology and The Lesser Key of Solomon if not in our reality. In the Lesser Key of Solomon, Valak, or Valac is a President of Hell. Now there are several presidents, Kings and other royalty among the 72, so apparently there was a lot of power sharing in Hell. In the grimoire, Valac is the diviner of great secrets and can be summoned by worthy magicians. His physical form resembles a small winged boy astride a two-headed dragon. There are no reports of him using shitty CGI, which was my main complaint with The Conjuring 2 (The Crooked Man).

The Nun from the Blues Brothers

What's more frightening than The Nun from Conjuring 2? The Penguin!!

The Nun actually has some material and potential. If they go at it hardcore and don't worry about trying to make a film for the masses. Give us an old school nun possessed by the devil with sleaze, sex, and abominations! We believe in you! Actually, nah, that's not likely to happen. It's probably going to follow the lines of Annabelle and play it fairly safe. While I enjoyed both Conjuring films, the first more than the second, Annabelle bored me. I hope The Nun is closer to its cinematic parents than its cousin.

Posted by Allen Alberson in HORROR NEWS, 0 comments
BOOK REVIEW: The Ruins (2006)

BOOK REVIEW: The Ruins (2006)

The Ruins

Ruins_Smith_Cover

By the author of A Simple Plan

 

Author: Scott Smith; Cover Artist: Peter Mendelsund; Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf; ISBN: 1-4000-4387-5; Media: Hardcover; Length: 319 pages; Genre: Horror; Country: USA; Language: English; Year: 2006

In 2006 Scott Smith quietly published The Ruins, an inconspicuous little horror novel that Stephen King called “The Book of the Summer”. King recommended it in his column for Entertainment Weekly with these words:

“...last heard from in 1993 (A Simple Plan, later filmed by Sam Raimi from Smith’s script). No quietly building, Ruth Rendell-style suspense here; Smith intends to scare the bejabbers out of you, and succeeds. There are no chapters and no cutaways — The Ruins is your basic long scream of horror. It does for Mexican vacations what Jaws did for New England beaches in 1975. It doesn’t succeed completely — it felt 30 pages too long — but it works well enough, I think, to be the book most people will be talking about this summer.”

And he's right. The Ruins is a compelling read, leading the reader breathlessly onward to find out what happens to the protagonists. And those protagonists are real. Smith paints them as people should be – in all their glory and faults – and this makes the reader feel for them and hunger to know their fates. The story, about vacationing Americans who run into trouble in a foreign country, has been done time and time again, but this Mexican vacation pits them against a different kind of antagonist. It's a refreshing change from the same old “vacationers from another country are tortured and killed by sadists” and a far cry from the usual “trouble in the woods” fare. Scott's villain is a breath of fresh air and takes the reader by surprise.

The Ruins begins with two couples on a final vacation before moving on after college. Jeff and Amy will be attending medical school in the fall, and Eric will be teaching school while Stacy will be studying to become a social worker. While scuba diving, they meet Matthias, a German tourist whose brother, Heinrich, has been missing a few days, and his three Greek friends who, for laughs, call themselves Pablo, Juan, and Don Quixote and swap the names around on a whim. As the end of his vacation approaches, Matthias decides to go searching for his brother at the ruins where he went with a pretty young archaeologist he'd met on her first day there. Jeff assures Matthias they will accompany him for a chance to see some of the authentic Mexico, and the following morning, they meet in the lobby where the couples are surprised to see Pablo has decided to come, too. After a long trip that goes first by bus, then by taxi, and finally on foot, the six friends arrive at the ruins, which are both breathtaking and eerily quiet.

As they mill about, Amy snaps some pictures of the group, and a Mayan from the village they passed through arrives on horseback. Unable to control his horse after he dismounts, the Mayan releases the reins and the horse bolts back the way they came. He seems neither surprised nor disturbed by this and concentrates on trying to convince the group to leave but they are unable to understand him. Frustrated, he pulls a gun and more emphatically yells at them as two more men, these armed with bows and arrows, arrive on horseback. As the Mayans talk and further try to persuade the tourists to leave, Amy steps backward to the base of the ruins to snap a picture of the encounter. Suddenly and seemingly without reason, the Mayans change their minds and order the group to climb the ruins. It is here that the group learns the reason for the Mayans' behavior.

Smith's strong characterizations and innovative antagonist make the story work. Smith takes us inside their minds for glimpses into their pasts as well as insight into how they are coping with with the situation as they slowly realize they are being stalked by a sentient, carnivorous vine. The idea of a sentient, carnivorous plant is not quite as far fetched as one might think – a quick look at David Attenborough's The Private Life of Plants will illustrate this – and Smith makes it work Better: he makes the reader believe it by not revealing all right away, instead the plant as antagonist unfolds like a flower unfurling its blossoms. And Smith holds no punches.

Watch for my upcoming review of The Ruins movie.

7.5/10 claws – Don't read this in the garden!

Posted by Alan Smithee in BOOKS, COMICS, AND PUBLICATION REVIEWS, NATURE STRIKES BACK, REVIEWS, 0 comments
COMING SOON: Martyrs Remake (2015)

COMING SOON: Martyrs Remake (2015)

By Nick Durham

martyrs_poster_large

So this is happening...

We are getting an Americanized remake of Martyrs, whether we want it or not. Now if you've never heard of Martyrs in the first place, I'm going to break it down for you. It goes without saying that you should strap yourselves in because I'm going to tell you really all you need to know in just one sentence.

Martyrs is a 2008 French film that will break your fucking soul.

Written and directed by Pascal Laugier, the original Martyrs tells the story of Lucie, who along with her friend Anna, embark on a mission of revenge against those who kidnapped and tortured her as a child. Things, of course, don't go too well for either of our heroines, and it isn't long before the shit really hits the goddamn fan. There's much, much more to Martyrs than that brief description. I don't want to give much, if anything else, away for anyone who hasn't seen the original film because you really fucking should. All else that I will say is that this film is brutal, both physically and psychologically. I'm not exaggerating when I say that it will break your fucking soul into pieces. It garnered a shitload of acclaim from critics and audiences, and is recognized as one of the pioneering films of the French new wave of extreme horror.

So yeah, we're getting an Americanized remake from Blumhouse of this film, and it's going to be distributed by Anchor Bay (who has been behind the remakes and sequels to I Spit on Your Grave among many other films) and directed by Goetz Brothers. Apparently this remake was filmed rather quickly and is going to be unleashed upon us very soon as well. That's a good sign right? That a movie gets filmed that quickly for a fast release? Well, what do you guys think?

Anyway, I could bitch and moan all day about having another needless, Americanized remake of a startlingly original genre film that can never hold a candle to the original and will need to be dumbed down for mainstream American audiences (hello Oldboy), but here's the funny thing that most people don't know: we almost got a very different remake of Martyrs a couple years ago. The producers behind the Twilight movies (yes, you read that right) were looking to produce an American remake, with possibly Kristen Stewart (yes, you read that right, too) as one of the leads, and with a much "lighter" ending as well. This story has been passed around the horror doldrums for a while now, and it's only when the plug was pulled on the whole thing that Blumhouse and Anchor Bay jumped in instead, reducing the budget and (hopefully) turning away any kind of "lighter" shit as well.

So yeah, we could have had a Twilight-esque take on Martyrs...let that sink in guys.

The Martyrs remake premiered at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. Current release date is unknown. My hunch is that it gets released straight to VOD/DVD, etc.

Stay tuned.

Posted by Alan Smithee in COMING SOON, HORROR NEWS, 0 comments