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Monster Interviews: MJ Dixon – Mycho Entertainment

Monster Interviews: MJ Dixon – Mycho Entertainment

Monster: When did you realize you wanted to be a filmmaker? Was there any defining moment when things just clicked and you knew it was something you wanted to do? 

MJ: I think it was when I was quite young. I always wanted to be involved in Filmmaking and Writing since I could remember and by the time I was 15 I had kind of come to terms with the fact that I wanted to be a Writer, a Horror Writer more specifically. It wasn’t until I left school and started helping out on a local short film that I realized that being a screenwriter was the quickest way to get what I actually wanted and that was seeing my own work on film.

I started off just trying to make stuff, which was difficult in the mid to late 90’s, as video equipment wasn’t widely available to working class families like it is now and any practice I could get was borrowing the Colleges old tv camera for an hour every Wednesday morning. I didn’t really get to start making my own stuff until 1999 when I was given the go ahead to book the camera over night. 

Instead I would borrow my friends old 8mm Camcorder and just practice with that. Filmmaking really didn’t come naturally to me and so it was an uphill struggle to figure out things like composition, lighting and narrative intent. My first films were garbage, but I just refused to quit. 

I saved my lunch money for 3 months and bought the cheapest DV Camcorder I could afford in 2002 and that led to several years of me just making as many films as I could, back then no-one cared about anything shot on Digital so if you were making shorts films, for the most part they were just for you. So I just kept making stuff and every so often would pull everything I had learned for one of University pieces. Two dozen terrible movies later I sat down and said “Right, why do these films suck?” 

It was in 2008 at that moment that I felt ready and I really knew “this is what I need to do with my life”.

Monster: Why do you make horror films? And more specifically, why slasher films? How do you continue to create such original and unique killers? 

MJ: I always loved horror films the most when I was younger. The thing with horror was that, even if it was bad, it was still good (mostly), but the horror section of the video store was the most magical and intriguing thing in world. I always gravitated toward the covers and the ideas hinted at by them and would sit and imagine just how scary these films could be. Of course, eventually I would be disappointed by some of them, but the fun was in the anticipation.

With that said, I always loved all kind of movies and I decided early on that I wanted to tackle every genre as a filmmaker at some point. I just realized that horror was the best genre to do that in, it’s a genre that you can marry with almost any other type of film. 

Slasher films, to me, are the perfection of the horror formula. The distillation of why we enjoy them and I noticed quickly that there were a great many interesting things you could do and stories you could tell by using Slasher movies as a short hand. Everyone knows them, they are the horror equivalent of a Romantic Comedy, you know the story already, so you can understand when we start fucking with the idea of that. 

Coming up with our own Slashers I always found quite easy. As I said the Horror genre, and the Slasher sub genre especially, has a wonderful short hand and so creating characters to fill that world really leans into that. Because there are so many Slasher movies, that means so many slasher villains and that leaves so many archetypes to draw from. 

Thorn is based on Hulking monsters like Jason and Myers, whilst Cleaver and Prankster are treated more like Freddy Krueger, but there are other nuances to the genre to take inspiration from like Nathan (Hollower), the reluctant psychopath or Corben (Slasher House 1 & 2) the intellectual killer and many MANY others. Strangely we also draw on other genres for our monsters and Jacob from PandaMonium takes a lot cues from James Bond, he’s smart, cool, collected and great at his job and I really liked making a slick, ‘professional’ slasher like that, that’s closer to a hitman than a disturbed individual with mummy issues or whatever.

Monster: Who are some of the filmmakers that inspire you to do what you do? Do you have any favorite indie horror directors or non-genre directors? 

MJ: In my early years I was really inspired by maverick Directors like Sam Raimi, Lloyd Kaufman, James Cameron, Robert Rodriguez and basically any filmmaker who just went out and did it. I took a lot of inspiration from Kevin Smith and the way his films interconnected, I loved comic books (as he obviously does) and it didn’t take long for me to conceive that Slasher movies being interconnected would be a great idea and it had worked before with the Classic Monsters, to me it felt like a no brainer.

These days I find myself inspired by almost every filmmaker that I encounter, at any level. I think you can learn a lot from bad films, good films and even mediocre films. One of my favorite things is working on other sets, and you get to watch people make mistakes that you definitely would have made yourself and you get to learn from that mistake before you even make it. More importantly though. You get to see what people are doing RIGHT and if you can recognize that and take it home with you, then that’s a very useful thing to realize. 

It’s hard to say who my favorites are. I love anything John Carpenter (Obviously) and I’m a big fan of Kevin Smith (as I said), but I’m inspired by so many filmmakers that I find it very hard to chose even a couple. 

I hugely admire so many indie filmmakers though and learn so much from them, I really enjoy working with people like Maria Lee Metheringham, Jason Impey, Eilleen Daly, Keiran Johnson to name a few and I love what filmmakers like Andrew Jones, Dominic Brunt and Ben Manning/Pablo Raybould are doing, really adding cool new stuff to the genre here in the UK.

Monster: You currently own and operate the company, Mycho Entertainment. Where did the name Mycho originate from, and what’s its significance to you? What does the company represent and where do you see it headed in the future? 

MJ: Haha people often ask me this and mispronounce it, but its pronounced “My” “Co”. I spent the summer of 2004 coming up with a name for a new production label that would give me a clear cut off from what I’d be doing before. I liked that ‘Troma’ was a word that they just made up and so I decided that I’d try and do the same kind of thing.

My first name is Mike and one of my all time favorite films is Psycho and so ‘Mycho’ was born and people really seemed to dig it, so it stuck. 

Also, The whole point of the new name and branding was that it was to represent a fresh start for me as a filmmaker. I had spent years trying to get projects of the ground and being told “it just won’t work” or “its just can’t happen” or “its just too stupid” and I wanted to just make stuff MY way and learn for myself. So the MY in that suddenly felt like it took on a new meaning for me, it was like saying these films are My Choices and it felt like a powerful name to carry that and it has. Mycho represents just getting up, going out and doing YOUR shit. YOUR way. It’s also somewhat satisfying to see that at the front of every movie we make, knowing that it was born from people telling me “I couldn’t do it”. 

I think into the future, it’s simply a case of making sure that we carry that ethos. Life throws all sorts of things at us and the first thing to die, usually, are our dreams and we aim to make sure that the people who want to keep their dreams alive, can. We have loads of stories left to tell and we equally want to be able to help others tell their stories whenever possible.

Monster: You’re recently coming off your most successful film campaign to date. After nearly doubling the funding, what can we expect from Slasher House 3; a movie boasting 25 Slashers – something that’s never been done before in the genre. 

MJ: Slasher House 3 is our tenth Mycho feature and so we really wanted to do something BIG and special for it, out of that Slasher House 3 was born. The idea to do 25 Slashers was newer than the concept itself. Early on I knew Slasher House (2012) would be a trilogy (because I’m a big Star Wars geek so everything is always trilogies with me) and that we’d start in the middle, but the details of part 3 really came together in 2010 on set when we joked about various ‘comedy’ endings for the film.

One of them, That is unfortunately now a spoiler so I can’t say what it was, was so daft that I really start to think “What if that was the actual ending” and whilst on set I started to figure out the logistics of how that could work as a serious story and I started designing a whole host of Slashers from there, some of which ended up in Slasher House 2 (2016) and some ended up in this, but for the most part, with one change the main Slashers have been prepped and ready to go for almost 10 years. 

Ultimately that led to needing 25 Slashers for the story to work and it kind of just went from there. There was a point when it almost become 30 and I realized that perhaps that was too many. 

The things about the film is that its so full of twists that its hard to say what its about with out spoiling a lot of the surprise and as well as balancing 30+ characters, your also trying to finish a story that you’ve been telling over 3 films in a way that answers questions and keeps people surprised, I think it does that in a unique way, but I’m sure ultimately the audience will let me know if it does or not.

Monster: You’ve invented your own movie universe, aka the Mychoverse, similar to what Stephen King and Kevin Smith have done. How did the idea of your own horror universe come to fruition and do you have any special plans for the Mychoverse down the road? 

MJ: Yeah, Smith especially was a HUGE inspiration to how all this started, I always like how comic books crossed over. Guest starring IronMan or Hulk vs The X-Men, stuff like that was a big draw for me as a kid, But I felt like movies just weren’t doing that and my adolescent brain just couldn’t understand why. The thing that really cemented it for me was “What If Michael Myers visited the Amityville house?” Like would they exist in the same world? Could Jason just wander into Haddonfield? It was just pure fanboy fantasy, but Obviously I didn’t have the rights to make those movies and Fan films always seemed like A LOT of work for something that you couldn’t do much with.

I liked the idea of building a world where all those Slasher movies that you watched in the 80’s all happened and what would our modern world look like now? It was fun and suddenly I found myself charged with making up a dozen or so serial killers and monsters of my own and it was just great fun. 

From the early 2000’s I started working on a plan what I called at the time the ‘Bottom Shelf Universe” the idea was to make low budget horror stuff that would be found on the bottom shelf of Blockbuster stores, the kind of stuff that you’d pick up with your big budget rentals because they had a cool cover, and quietly we’d be building it to a crossover movie that was eventually called The Slasher House, where they’d all meet and fight it out. Hollower, Thorn and even Corben all had their own movies planned with the ending being Slasher House

I wrote treatments for all of them out and Slasher House become the idea I was most excited about. I remember sitting one night in 2005 and just plowing through the first draft of it with a bottle of vodka next to me. I spent the next 4 years refining it with the plan to start with other movies first and adjusting it every time those ideas developed more. 

In 2009 I heard that two similar sounding projects were planned to go into production, they weren’t the same thing, but they featured upfront the element that was my twist ending. I panicked and said “Ok nows the time, if we’re quick we can get this done before those other guys”. Of course, being the first proper feature film I ever made, it took almost 2 and a half years, But, luckily. those other guys never even made it to production so we made it first and then those films never followed. 

Whilst writing Slasher House I started to plot out the larger world and suddenly it became part of a bigger idea, I connected the dots to a HUGE project I’d been working on since I was a teenager and before I knew it I had a whole world of movies planned. I think it was initially 12 films but as it developed and we added Cleavers story and a couple of others its now a 16 film storyline that ends everything we’ve worked on so far. I really can’t wait for people to see how it all pans out.

Monster: Out of all the characters you’ve ever created, do you have any personal favorites and why? And who is your favorite slasher or horror villain, outside of the Mychoverse?

MJ: Thorn has always been my favorite. I created him long before the Mychoverse even had a name. I have, hands down, spent the most time developing him out any of our characters and I just love everything about him and the world that he lives in and comes from. The movies have literally only scratched the very surface of whats going on there and If I ONLY got to make Thorn movies for the rest of my life I’d be a happy man.

Outside of our stuff, it’s gotta be Michael Myers. He was the first Horror villain that I really remember watching and he scared the crap out of me as a kid. I love the Halloween movies and Myers is the reason. I try and pour my love for those movies into everything I do. 

Monster: Do you have any upcoming releases fans should be on the lookout for, and where can they follow you and stay up to date with all that Mycho has going on at the moment? 

MJ: Our previous films CleaverS and Mask of Thorn just landed on wide DVD, which has been exciting, because it means so many more people can get hold of them. Our latest two PandaMonium and Bannister Dollhouse land in 2020 and I’m really excited to see how they are received, I think they represent our best work so far.

Pandamonium has its World Premiere at Horror-On-Sea Film Festival in January and we’re really excited for that and I can’t wait to see the cast and crew again. 

From there we have so much stuff planned. SH3 is just one of the movies we plan to make in 2020 and we really like to surprise our friends, fans and followers with what we’re gonna do next, but it’s a different direction for us again. 

Plus we’ll continue to make Patreon EXCLUSIVE shorts from http://patreon.com/mycho and course a few other surprises up our sleeves.

Posted by Donovan Smith in EXCLUSIVE, FRIENDS OF THE HOUSE, GORE OR EXTREME HORROR, INTERVIEWS, Monster Interviews, SLASHERS AND BAD HUMANS, 0 comments

Ten Festive Films to Celebrate Thanksgiving!

Today almost everyone across the U.S.A is either celebrating Thanksgiving, or merely enjoying the break from work. So to celebrate in true horror style, we here at the House of Tortured Souls have compiled a list of Ten Festive Films to Celebrate Thanksgiving!

We encourage all horror fans to enjoy all seasons with horror panache, relax and settle in with some holiday horror. Whilst some of the films listed will be actually set on thanksgiving, there are a few that are merely Turkey or Chicken themed.

Either way, each film is sure to give you joy and blood, in either a horrific or comical manor.
Currently screening on Hulu, our first three films Thankskilling, Pilgrim and Flesh & Blood are each set at Thanksgiving. Both Flesh & Blood and Pilgrim are part of the ‘Into the Dark’ film series.


Thankskilling (2008)

Directed by Jordan Downey, Thankskilling also has a sequel called Thankskilling 3 (yes they skipped 2) which was released in 2013.
This film begins at Thanksgiving many centuries ago, with a topless pilgrim and the story of a Native American Shaman who creates a being called ‘Turkie’, who is sent to slaughter caucasians every 505 years. You can imagine the depths this films will go to and the humour required to enjoy this Troma like romp.

Pilgrim (2019)

This new holiday entry from director Marcus Dunstan features actor Kerr Smith (Final Destination, My Bloody Valentine remake). This story is about a woman who invites a group of  historic re-enactors to produce an authentic first Thanksgiving for her family and friends. However, things take an unexpected turn when the actors refuse to break character.


 Flesh & Blood (2018)

This films stars Dermot Mulroney (The Purge tv series, A.H.S and Insidious Chapter 3), and Diana Silvers (Glass) as a father and daughter duo.
Kimberly is a teen suffering from agoraphobia, that has not left the house since her mother’s unsolved murder. On the eve of thanksgiving, she begins to suspect that the safe harbour of home and her doting father may be a dangerous mirage.

Netflix have our fourth festive film offering Kristy featured in its horror section.


Kristy (2014)

Director Oliver Blackburn features actresses Hayley Bennett (The Haunting of Molly Hartley) and Ashley Greene (The Apparition, Burying the Ex) in his coed thriller.
When a college girl is alone on campus over the Thanksgiving break, she becomes targeted by a group of outcasts and must conquer her deepest fear and fight back.

Also featuring holiday horror in 2006 the world received both Thanksgiving and Thanxgiving.

Thanksgiving (2006)

Thanksgiving is only a ten minute short film but it features what most seek from a simple horror film for Turkey day. Director Scott Ennis focuses on a couple and their friends. The group are preparing for thanksgiving dinner and are suddenly disturbed by the arrival, of a seemingly helpless man.

Thanxgiving (2006)

Director Bobby Ray Akers Jr creates this seasonal slice of the horror pie. He enlists veteran actor Ari Lehman, yes the original Jason Voorhees In Friday the 13th (1980), in his film about a group of film students who travel deep into the woods to make a movie. Thinking they have found the perfect location in the form of an abandoned campground.

In the eighties, horror filmmakers enjoyed celebrating the holidays with fans through such films at Black Christmas, Silent Night Deadly Night, April Fools Day, and this continued through the nineties with films like Critters 3 (which had an Easter scenario) and Leprechaun (St Patrick’s Day) And so much more.
For Thanksgiving there are two more offerings to enjoy this year.


Blood Rage (1987)

Director John Grissmer’s story follows twin boys Todd and Jerry.
The dual roles of Todd and Jerry are played by Mark Super from Graveyard Shift 2.
As kids, Todd is institutionalised for a murder whilst his twin goes free. Ten years late, on Thanksgiving, Todd escapes and a killing spree begins in his neighbourhood.

Home Sweet Home (1981)

Also known as ‘Slasher in the House’ Director Nettie Pena’s  film is actually a former video nasty. Upon release in the UK, Home Sweet Home was seized and confiscated. This Film was also the debut role for actress Vinessa Shaw, who later starred in films such as Hocus Pocus and the remake of The Hills Have Eyes.
The plot features an escaped mental patient who steals a station wagon and makes his way to the Bradley’s thanksgiving celebration. Here he plans to make them a little less thankful.

These last two films will round out our ten, but neither are particularly thanksgiving themed. However both feature interesting takes on poultry creatures.


Blood Freak (1972) 

Director Brad.F.Ginter gives us a story about  biker who comes upon a girl with a flat tire and offers her a ride home. He winds up at a drug party with the girls sister and follows her to a turkey farm owned by their father, a mad scientist. The father turns the biker into a giant turkey monster, who then goes after drug dealers.

Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead (2006) 

From the mind of Lloyd Kaufman and Gabriel Friedman, comes this outrageously Troma offering. Jason Yachanin stars as our lead Arbie in a strange tale of zombified chickens, who attempt to kill the fast food workers that cook them in a restaurant built on an ancient burial ground.

Within these ten films you are bound to find something thrilling, disgusting or downright cheesy awesomeness. Whatever you are doing today the House of Tortured Souls wishes each of you a Happy Thanksgiving!

 

 

Posted by Michelle MIDI Peifer in MONSTERS AND CREATURES, SLASHERS AND BAD HUMANS, STAFF PICKS, 0 comments

Friday the 13th Vengeance-A Review

If there is any one given rule among fans of the long running Friday the 13th franchise, it is that Jason never dies. Yet for over a decade fans have languished, waiting for the Crystal Lake Killer to re-emerge from the murky depths of his watery grave to once again bring havoc upon unsuspecting, over-sexed victims.  But the fate of the film series remains stuck in limbo amidst legal disputes and a sheer lack of any truly promising scripts.

But out of this void has emerged a thriving community of productions by fans. Some cross Jason over with other horror franchises, serving as defacto successors to Freddy vs Jason. Others simply follow the hockey mask, machete toting monstrosity on his never ending quest to avenge his mother.  And some try to add new and different twists the mythos of Jason. And that is where Friday the 13th Vengeance delivers in spades.

After several long years of production, this long promised feature was unveiled on (fittingly) Friday, September 13th in Blairstown, New Jersey-the true home of Jason, as many scenes from the first film where recorded there, and the bulk of filming took place at nearby Camp Nobebosco, which is still an active Boy Scout camp that offers frequent tours of filming locations and even overnight stays. The feature was the cap off of a weekend of festivities to celebrate the unique event, as under the light of the first Harvest Moon of the season fans fathered amidst various figures of Friday the 13th past (including no less than Ari Lehman, the very first Jason) to celebrate their favorite slasher film franchise and just plain have fun.

The script, as written by Mike Meade and T.C. DeWitt, follows the standard formula for Jason, yet manages to insert plenty of new and unique elements to provide a satisfactory follow up to where the franchise left off (disregarding the 2009 remake) with a plot that sees the daughter of Tommy Jarvis unite with several other descendants of Jason’s many victims to try to clear their family legacies and put an end to Jason’s reign of terror once and for all.  But this time Jason has some back up of his own, as the character of Elias Vorhees (portrayed by CJ Graham, better known for playing Jason in part VI) makes his long awaited big screen debut to back his son up and even the odds, as well as provide further insight into the true story behind Jason’s dark origin. The film also packs in a final, somber appearance by Steve Dash, best known for playing Jason in most of Part II, as an aged Sheriff with some secrets of his own.  Dash had a very personal connection to this project, as he hosted the creators in his own home in order to film his scenes amidst his own failing health, before his death earlier this year. This provide a fitting tribute to “the REAL Jason.” Also included is a delightful appearance by Diana Prince, better known to a new generation of slasher fans as Darcy the Mail Girl from Joe Bob Briggs Last Drive In from the streaming service Shudder.

Although the direction of Jeremy Brown and Dustin Montierth certainly lives up to the legacy of all prior directors responsible for bringing Jason to life, it would be a lie to say this film is not without its flaws.  The story drags in certain areas, such as seemingly meaningless subplots about a crew of convicts, and hikers off on Camp Crystal Like terror tours that provide eye-rolling fodder for Jason’s rampage.  Yet this is more than compensated for in abundant death scenes that more than life up to the bigger budget, mainstream productions of the past.  Jason Brooks gives a Kane Hodder worthy performance as Jason, living up to the character’s trademark rage and thirst for mayhem.  There are no two kills that are alike in this film, much to the delight of the rowdy audience in Blairstown who whooped it up at all the best moments.

Friday the 13th Vengeance is not readily available online and via DVD/Blu Ray.  This film is easily the best successor to step forward from the dark wilderness of Camp Crystal Lake thus far.  If you enjoy blood, breasts, and laughs then this film is definitely worth your investment. Check it out, and as always-stay out of the woods!

Posted by Daniel Ryan in Categories, EVENT REVIEWS, EVENTS, EXCLUSIVE, GORE OR EXTREME HORROR, MOVIE REVIEWS, NEW RELEASES, PREQUELS AND SEQUELS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
HoTS Remembers Steve Dash

HoTS Remembers Steve Dash

Memorial pieces are never easy to write, but this one stings even harder.  We have learned this morning that iconic actor and stuntman, Steve Dash has passed away.  Steve was 74.  Steve, of course gained fame for playing the “Sack Head” version of Jason Voorhees in Friday The 13th Part 2.  And I am not going to get into a Steve vs Warrigton debate with anyone today, so just accept this as fact.  Over the years Steve obtained many acting and stunt roles (with one last film on the way), but to many he was and will always be Jason.

Throughout the last several years, Steve toured the country and made appearances at multiple conventions.  Usually posing with a machete and his trademark black button down shirt, Steve made many friends on the Con scene.  The reason?  Steve Dash was a genuinely nice guy who cared about his fans.  Steve posted on social media about 3 things.  His family, his fans and films.  These things were important to him.  His family always came first, but after that he loved his fans.  He hated missing shows because he never wanted to disappoint anyone.

At the beginning of this month Steve posted on his social media pages that he was undergoing surgery to have one of his legs amputated due to diabetes.  Steve was set to have a prosthetic in the leg’s place.  Steve of course maintained that his goal was to make it to Days of the Dead: Atlanta in January.

Monster Mania ConventionUpon waking up this morning, Monster Mania Convention (a show that Steve made it to a lot) had posted the terrible news that no one wanted to read.  Steve had passed away last night after his battle with diabetes.  Everyone at House of Tortured Souls is saddened by this news and wishes to express our sympathy to the family, friends and fans of Steve.

Posted by Crypt Keeper Clint in HORROR NEWS, 0 comments
Sharp Knives cuts deep into the veins for horror comic fans

Sharp Knives cuts deep into the veins for horror comic fans

It’s been a while since I read a comic book or even a horror comic book. Truth be told the last horror graphic novels I read were by Junji Ito and Steve Niles. I was very pleased to get a chance to read issue one of Sharp Knives written by Anthony Cotter and illustrated by Martin Trafford. Normally I’ll review a movie or tv show, but it was nice to get back to my roots of horror comics since that’s what I loved to read growing up. Right off the back this comic has a hopelessness cold feel to it with style of a 70’s, 80’s slasher movie. Not the hokey slasher movies with the one liner I’m talking stuff like New York Ripper and Maniac feel to it. Sharpe Knives is a dark and gritty story set in a fictional corner of the real world, free from supernatural elements. An exploration of what drives the worst kind of villains, and the choices they might make when confronted by forces as malevolent as they are themselves. Narrated by depraved serial killer, and master blade-smith Jeffery Sharpe, who’s waning self-control drives him down a path toward a formidable adversary the likes of which he likely never expected to encounter. It begins! The main character’s narration is written out almost as if you’re reading the journal of the serial Killer. At times me reading the comic felt as if I was reading a movie script envisioning the scenarios in my head. The story builds up to an interesting read where we follow the main character Jeffery Sharpe stalking his prey and nothing will get in his way to achieve his goal it’s almost as if times, we’re rooting for him to what degree though? Perhaps it’s just the fact that we’re not terrible people but just enjoying a horror comic that doesn’t hold back almost as if we’re watching Jason Voorhees kill for the first time and gives the audience what we want: Blood. The artwork is amazing showcasing the mentality of a killer where he brutally murders an innocent by stander just for talking to him to finally brutally killing the body guard of the victim he’s been chasing. As stated yes, I read issue one it’s not out yet although here’s the best part there’s an Indiegogo campaign going on with perks that are worth every penny. For more info please click here for the campaign. This is a horror comic you’ll be hooked on very early

Posted by Jai Alexis in BOOKS, COMICS, AND PUBLICATION REVIEWS, COMING SOON, EXCLUSIVE, FEATURED CONTENT, HORROR NEWS, NEW RELEASES, REVIEWS, SLASHERS AND BAD HUMANS, THRILLER, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Mandy (2018)

MOVIE REVIEW: Mandy (2018)

You came, I saw, and I love you

In Mandy, Nic Cage takes revenge on a crazy religious cult in the woods with a homemade battle ax. STOP DRILLING YOU HIT OIL! That’s pretty much what sold me on the plot for Mandy, the second film by director Panos Cosmatos whose first film was Beyond The Black Rainbow (2010). Set in 1983, Red Miller (Nicholas Cage) goes after a religious cult that brutally murdered his wife Mandy (Andrea Riseborough). If you have seen his first film, you know what to expect in this; if not, then fair warning — watch the movie with an open mind. Although the film plays out like an 80s-themed slasher movie, it’s almost far from it. Let’s examine this movie further.

Mandy (2018) / Fair use doctrine.

Although set in the 80s, it doesn’t have an 80s soundtrack with well-known music. There is a synthesizer, though, along with a Friday the 13th reference to Crystal Lake from Mandy (Andrea Riseborough of such works as Hidden (2015), Waco (2018) (TV mini-series), and Black Mirror (2017) (TV series)). Admittedly there is a real Crystal Lake, Nic Cage himself said that he drew inspiration for his character from Jason Voorhees, so perhaps he wants to give that nod since his character evolved in the woods.

Mandy (2018) / Fair use doctrine.As may be obvious, Mandy is not like any other Nicholas Cage film. From the picture of Cage all bloody and glimpses in the trailer, one would expect a cheesy B horror movie with over the top gore and one-liners. Not at all! The film plays out like a heavy metal live action movie, and at times, it just feels like a dream as Red goes through moments of despair, guilt, and regret. Cage is complemented by a host of character actors, from Richard Brake (31, Halloween II (2009)) to Linus Roache (Batman Begins) to Bill Duke (Payback, Predator), who definitely deliver. The scenes with the cult aren’t over the top, which is good because not once do the characters trail off and leave the idea of the movie on its own. The bikers, though, don’t dress or sound like bikers. Think something out of Mad Max with a distorted voice that almost sounds animalistic. This raises some interesting questions on the cult’s story because there’s really no back story – for anyone on anything.

Mandy (2018) / Fair use doctrine.I saw the movie at night, and it stuck with me — not in a bad way but almost as if I were dreaming too. This, by the way, got me thinking about the end when Nicholas Cage is driving away, caked in blood caked and looking out of his mind. This is not Hollywood Nic Cage but a genuinely insane Nicholas Cage.

Final thoughts: Watch the movie, and watch it at night with an open mind because this is without a doubt an interesting movie, and I sincerely hope we don’t have to wait another eight years for Panos Cosmatos’ third film.

Posted by Jai Alexis in MOVIE REVIEWS, NEW RELEASES, SLASHERS AND BAD HUMANS, 0 comments
THIS JUST IN: Texas Chainsaw Massacre TV Series and Film News

THIS JUST IN: Texas Chainsaw Massacre TV Series and Film News

Texas Chainsaw Massacre TV series / Fair use doctrine.Breaking news! The Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise may have a new home! Legendary Pictures/Legendary Entertainment is in TALKS to get the rights of the franchise. If this goes through, there are rumors of a Texas Chainsaw Massacre TV series AND film series.

Legendary also works with Warner Bros, the parent company of New Line Cinema – who owns A Nightmare on Elm Street. If all goes well, Friday the 13th could go back to New Line Cinema. This means that if everything goes well, we might finally see all three in a huge movie.

House of Tortured Souls will keep you up to date as more news comes available.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre TV series / Fair use doctrine.

Posted by Jai Alexis in COMING SOON, HORROR NEWS, SLASHERS AND BAD HUMANS, THRILLER, 0 comments
Adam Marcus To Host A Double Feature At Horror Hound

Adam Marcus To Host A Double Feature At Horror Hound

Horror fans attending Horror Hound Weekend this Friday in Indianapolis are in for a treat. Screenwriter and director Adam Marcus, who sent Jason to Hell 25 years ago, will be hosting a double feature. Marcus and Kane Hodder will introduce the Director’s Cut of Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday. This version has been seen by some, but never on the big screen in the US. Adam Marcus gives us a preview of what to expect this Friday night.

Adam Marcus

Jason Goes to Hell will be seen on the big screen in the cut that was only shown overseas in its initial release. This is the cut that Dean Lorey and I did the commentary on when the DVD was released. It’s the unrated version that existed before the MPAA neutered it. The gore is intact. Kane Hodder and I will be there to intro the film and Q & A with the fans! I’m so freakin’ excited to show this cut of the film, especially with the greatest actor to wear the mantle of Jason, Kane Hodder!!! Come on now!

Jason Goes To Hell

Many fans in the United States have not seen this version, however, and for 25 years have been screaming for it. Fans will have the opportunity to truly see Marcus’ vision and maybe discover a new favorite version of a kill by the iconic slasher. Jason Goes To Hell: The Final Friday screens at 7:00 this Friday night.

As if that weren’t enough, immediately following Jason Goes To Hell, Marcus will screen a second film. The film is Secret Santa and is the latest film from Adam Marcus. Marcus explains what the fans can expect with his holiday horror film.

Adam MarcusAs far as Secret Santa is concerned, here’s what horror fanatics can expect… “This is the most outrageous, offensive, in your face Christmas Horror movie I could come up with. It’s a horromedy that, trust me, does not skimp on the red stuff and will have you talking long after the lights come up. I will be there with a couple of the brilliant, gorgeous ladies from the cast. It’s going to be an amazing night with something to offend everyone… and that’s my gift to you! Happy Horrordays, Everyone!

Adam Marcus

Fans have been anticipating an unrated version of Jason Goes To Hell, but Secret Santa is new and I’m looking forward to it. I, however, am a huge fan of holiday horror and from what Marcus is promising, this looks to be a pre-holiday treat. Secret Santa will immediately follow Jason Goes To Hell. Marcus will introduce it at about 9:00. Fans are still able to purchase tickets to Horror Hound on their Horror Hound. They need to hurry, however, as the show kicks off on Friday night.

Secret Santa Facebook Page
Posted by Crypt Keeper Clint in COMING SOON, HORROR NEWS, 0 comments
Horror Remakes: Why They Are Not Bad

Horror Remakes: Why They Are Not Bad

Something that weighs on the minds of horror fans every time an announcement of a new movie is coming out, and that one thing is “Will this be a remake”? Now the words reboot, remake, re-imaging, or whatever the wordage may be. These are things that no one likes to hear when you’re a “True” horror fan; however, what makes you a true horror fan? Is it the way we view horror as an art form? Is it the attitude we take towards Michael Bay? Is it the "Robert Englund is the only Freddy" stance? Let’s take a trip through time and explain how re-visioning is how it all started and all the “elite” are not justified in their constant complaining of reboots. Yes, you can have an opinion, but you’re not always right. The fact of the matter is; none of us are right, it’s all perspective of our interests. So allow me if you will, to explain why remakes are essential and going to happen despite all the elitist’s basement dwellers best efforts and internet trolling to stop them.

Nosferatu (1922) / Fair use doctrine.The dawn of the horror age in movies was met with films such as Nosferatu and Phantom of the Opera, both of which were movie adaptations of tThe Phantom of the Opera (1925) / Fair use doctrine.he written word. I’m sure someone in 1929 set in their smoke-filled basement and stated via telegraph “Universal Studios. Stop. The books were better. Stop. Sincerely, Guy you’ll never see.” Then the 1930s come and bring us the Universal Monster films. Again, this was more than likely met with flak from people who read Dracula and Frankenstein and wondered why the movies were nothing like the books. Well, this is considered a re-imaging to adapt to film. Same idea, just a new perspective.

Horror of Dracula (1958) / Fair use doctrine.Throughout the 50s, 60s and 70s all the monsters we loved were re-imagined again in different forms, stories etc. Christopher Lee made Dracula famous again, Peter Cushing put a new twist on the Van Helsing character. We could carry this on but you get the idea. Were these movies met with disgruntled fans of the original Monster movies? Of course, however people of today still give love to Christopher Lee as a horror icon and why? HE WAS IN A REVISION OF FUCKING DRACULA! That is why. These same people complaining about the slasher remakes that were made famous in the 1980’s are the same that have not only the Universal Monsters box set, but the Hammer set right next to it. Have we learned a lesson in horror yet?

Probably not, or you’re looking at your collection thinking it’s a different scenario. It is not, it’s the same concept.

A Nightmare on Elm Street / Fair use doctrine.The slasher and horror remakes of today are no different than those of yesteryear. The remake is essentially laziness on Hollywood running out of ideas but what’s really going on is. They’re burrowing for ideas and then it hits them “Oh, man ya know if I were to make Nightmare on Elm Street, I’d add some backstory it would really help explain a lot of the movie that didn’t make any sense at all in the original”. Well look at that, that’s what, happened. Made more sense and got the story across with a more realistic burned person with boils and all that and not a cheeseless pizza. Not to mention, something that hits the scene “The new Freddy wasn’t funny”. No he wasn’t, and NEITHER WAS THE ORIGINAL! Also “His voice is too deep and creepy.” Ok..um..Horror..mov…ie. Now with that said also, homeboy was burnt up in a fire, his vocal chords probably were soot covered and damaged. I’m sure the writers would issue an apology for realism, but if I were them. I wouldn’t. So, with that said. Let’s take a peek at some other remakes.

Michael BayI’ve read a billion reviews on each, and seeing that Michael Bay was a part of most of them the common thing people say is “Michael Bay sucks, he just blows stuff up.” Ok. Shut up. Without saying that line that EV.ER.Y.ONE says, tell me why Michael Bay sucks. I’ll wait. His movies even Bad Boys were good movies, Transformers was good, as were the Ninja Turtles Movies. Sooo, there’s no justification when everyone says the one thing that does not matter at all on his remakes. I and some of my peers even that I’ve discussed this with have never heard any other reason for Michael Bay to be considered a bad movie maker other than “he blows stuff up”. Which again is all anyone says.

Clancy Brown, Sean Penn, and Robert Lee Rush in Bad Boys (1983) / Fair use doctrine.

Clancy Brown, Sean Penn, and Robert Lee Rush in Bad Boys (1983)

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003) / Fair use doctrine.Texas Chainsaw Massacre: This movie remake was by far the best of them all. It was not only a very well told story, it took out the cheese of the 70s and added a LOT more gore for today’s horror aficionado. It for sure added a lot better of a factor of scare and realism. There was literally nothing wrong with this movie. If you went into it thinking “the original was better” you’re insane because the original lacked in so many ways in comparison. For the time the original was made, yes it was brutal. Someone saw an idea later, and with less restriction, so they made a movie that should have been made in 1970 whatever.
Halloween (2007) / Fair use doctrine.Halloween/H2: Say what you will about Rob Zombie, his movies went from TCM loosely based films, to the remakes of Halloween and Halloween 2, then the not so great films of Lords of Salem and 31, so yes, his originals lack heavily in my opinion, others here love them, but hey we are still friends and it’s no big deal. However, here’s what’s up with Halloween. I hated Halloween by John Carpenter. Halloween II (2009) / Fair use doctrine.That’s right, I dare say such a thing. It was a boring ass movie. No story, just a lot of “oh there’s a guy and now he’s gone.” Rob Zombie added a lot of backstory, a reason for Michael to be the way he is which made a ton more sense to the movie. The rest are pretty much the same as the original except for bloody gore fests right from the beginning. Again, making it far better than the original ever was. Halloween 2 was just bloody which made it fun, other than that it was kind of like a bad dream the whole time. Rob Zombie, really did a bang-up job with his RE-VISION of Halloween probably the best there ever were or ever will be.
Friday the 13th (2009) / Fair use doctrine.Friday the 13th: This film was great, it wrapped the first 7 movies into one. Did we need 45 sequels before? Nope, not at all. So, this summed them all up awesomely. So, this remake was on point with the rest, gave the backstory briefly, burned through 1 and 2…3…4…5. 6..7 in like 2 hours. Killed a ton of people hilariously and boom. Done. This is what made the movie a great rendition to the Slasher remake series. Got to the point, showed some titties, and lots of senseless killing. Without having 8 sequels for no good reason.
Poltergeist (2015) / Fair use doctrine.Poltergeist: Sucked as a movie not because it’s a remake. It was just awful even as a standalone movie. It was, just no.
Evil Dead (2013) / Fair use doctrine.Evil Dead: Seriously, a fantastically remade movie, and it’s undeniable that this movie had some great storyline, the graphics were classic and disgusting. The blood, my lord Vincent Price, the blood was something to be glorious about. If you didn’t like this movie at all, then just take yo’ self out of horror fandom and go to the kiddie booth where you belong.
Bill Skarsgård and Jackson Robert Scott in It (2017) / Fair use doctrine.Okay, we’ll skip a few and move on to IT. With IT being released a lot of folks have stated it looks like crap. What the fuck movie are you watching? Because it was damn good, although the original was the original and Tim Curry blah blah blah. A true-blue horror fan will watch both back to back and be like “Ok the original was fairly boring and far too hokey”. The remake already is instilling pure terror into people. JUST FROM THE TRAILER! which was like “Fuck..this…shit..wow.” Who cares if Tim Curry or John Boy Walton aren’t in it. Who cares if it’s not made for TV and released on 4 VHS tapes. It is a great film, I wasn’t surprised it was great, I was surprised it was hilarious as well as scary.

Like it or not the remakes will continue as people sit around digging up ideas and say “I’d do this differently.” We can’t stop them, we don’t have to watch them. Over the years, I have seen only four remakes not worth a damn and honestly I’ve seen a lot that were really bad so bad I can’t remember them but the movies right off hand I’m speaking of: Poltergeist, Hellraiser, House of Wax and Carnival of Souls. Every other remake has been stupid good, more graphic, more story and a lot better than the original. A Little tidbit to add to this, Evil Dead and Evil Dead 2 *ahem* SAME FUCKING MOVIE! Yes, that’s right same damn movie, can you believe that people say they’re not? Then complain about the remake that was recently made. Look at yourself and wonder why you’re this type of person. Also My Soul to Take Nightmare on Elm Street revision BY WES CRAVEN. If you as a fan paid any amount of attention to Wes Craven’s reasoning and creation of Freddy Krueger you would know that My Soul To Take is taken straight from those interviews, straight from his mind.

So before judging the movie before it comes out. Realize you’re one person with an opinion. Watch the movie as a standalone film and let it fill your heart with joy. We are all horror fans. We all have preferences, and we all have the love of the genre. Dissing on remakes is counterproductive and hypocritical when you have a Bela Lugosi and Christopher Lee posters right next to each other. Vincent Price with the black cat and other Poe stories. I dare anyone to say he didn’t breathe new life into Edgar Allan Poe’s stories. So, all of us can climb off our high horses now and enjoy these damn movies that are more awesome than before. Then in 20 years talk shit about people remaking Insidious and The Conjuring.

Posted by Schock in EDITORIALS, 0 comments
INTERVIEW: Rick Styczynski of 13x Studios

INTERVIEW: Rick Styczynski of 13x Studios

Rick Styczynski of 13X Studios Talks Camp Blood Celebration 10/13/17

“His name was Jason. And today is his birthday.”
-Pamela Voorhees
Jason Voorhees has been a household name since the 1980s. From the moment he emerged from the lake and made Camp Crystal Lake his home, he has terrified us, and endeared himself into the hearts of every horror fan on the planet. We all know his signature hockey mask and weapon of choice: the machete. No matter your favorite film of the franchise, whether you prefer "walking Jason" or "running Jason", Jason on land, Jason in space, or Jason in New York City, it is guaranteed that this slasher will live on as a legend.
One of the greatest parts of his fandom is the unique, one of a kind art created by the people who know and love Jason best. Rick Styczynski is no exception. His company, 13X Studios, creates specialty one of a kind hockey masks celebrating our favorite force of nature. Whether the theme is sports, horror, music, and yes even serial killers, Rick can create just about any mask that you can think of. The sky is the limit.
For most of us Jason fanatics, Friday the 13th is just as a big a holiday as Thanksgiving or Christmas. Rick feels the same way. And with the help of Gods and Monsters, a fantastic shop filled with collectibles/comics/toys and even a bar, we will all be celebrating Friday the 13th Camp Blood Celebration in Orlando Florida! The event will have it all! Fan films, cosplay, trivia and celebrities. It will not only be a place to wish Jason a "Happy Birthday", but proceeds from the event will benefit both 13 Hearts and Give Kids The World charities.
13X Studios has teamed up with Matt Allen and me, owners of Freakshow Designs and Sideshow Sauces, to create a brand new hot sauce that will be making its debut at Camp Blood this October! We're calling it Hodder Than Hell. The greatest news is that Kane Hodder himself has personally given his permission to use his name on this heavenly concoction of scorpion pepper and pineapple. We are extremely thrilled and grateful to Kane for his support on the newest addition to our hot sauce collection.
I had the pleasure of speaking to Rick to find out about all of the incredible things that made his business flourish, and what we can all expect from the Friday the 13th event!
House of Tortured Souls: It's very obvious you're a "Jason Guy". Tell us how that fandom began and how it influenced you to start 13X Studios.
Rick Styczynski: After Halloween this past season, I put a few pictures of me cosplaying Jason on Instagram and someone contacted me about buying an outfit and guess a lightbulb went off.....13X Studios was born. I started messing around with masks and just went with it. It started with Jason and Friday the 13th but that also lead me into Pop Culture Custom hockey masks. In 10 months as a new business, I have sold over 1000 masks, sold out at 3 conventions, and have my masks in retail stores Gods & Monsters in Orlando, Florida, and Halloween Megastore across the US. The coolest thing that has happened is that my Silent Bob mask was noticed by Kevin Smith, and I got an exclusive deal at Jay and Silent Bob's Secret Stash. This is only the beginning of 13X Studios.
HoTS: What is your hottest seller?
RS: My biggest sellers are all the Jason and Friday the 13th masks. Because of the affordable price and great quality/detail, they hands down sell the most. Outside of the Jason world, My best sellers of pop culture are: Joker, Deadpool, Freddy, John Wayne Gacy, Charles Manson, and Punisher. I love making new styles as it changes everything up for me as a artist. One day I'll do Jason. Next day I'll do pop culture.
HoTS: Everyone is looking forward to the Camp Blood Celebration at Gods & Monsters. What can the attendees expect from the event?
RS: One day I went to visit Todd at Gods & Monsters and told him I wanted to do a Friday the 13th event. It took a pitch of 8 seconds for him to be part of it. I wanted to bring a celebration to the event where all of us horror fans can come together. I really have been just going with the flow and have been adding fun stuff daily. We will be having artists/vendors, contests, cosplay meet up, movie screenings, Friday the 13th themed bar and menu... Again, I'm just going with it. The buzz on this event is huge!! We just added Jeremy Palko from The Walking Dead for pictures and autographs. You don't want to miss this event. For more info just search: Friday the 13th Camp Blood Celebration on Facebook.
HoTS: You've recently partnered up with Matt Allen at Sideshow Sauces for your name to be on a Jason themed label. How were you inspired to reach out and how did you feel after hearing that Kane Hodderr himself gave his personal thumbs up to distribute the sauce using his name Hodder Than Hell?
RS: Back at Spooky Empire in April, I was across from Matt with Freakshow Designs. I know he has a sister company with Sideshow sauces. As my mind is always creating ideas, I came up with a cool hot sauce idea with Jason and 13X Studios on a label. I brought the idea to him and he said that Kane Hodder could be involved. So from there it just took off to bring you Hodder Than Hell sauce. Having your name and Kane Hodder's name on the same product is so cool. Kane Hodder is the biggest name in horror. He changed the game. And seeing how he is with fans is why you love this guy even more. I have known Kane for almost 16 years. As I said above, he changed the game. And very happy to be involved with Matt and Angie from Freakshow Designs. This is just the beginning. I'm sure we will come together many more times in future.
HoTS: What are your plans, future state, for 13X Studios?
RS: As I grow my business, I will start looking for more things to add. We just started a podcast called Spitting Blood. Our second episode already got 11,000 views, so I'm on the right track. Next episode will be Sept 6 at 9pm. Jeremy Palko from The Walking Dead will be a guest. We do a Facebook Live Podcast (you can add me Rick Styczynski). For my masks, my goal is to get into many more retail stores. What's cool is that most think this is more of a Halloween business. Actually it's a year round business with all the conventions. I wake up every day and smile knowing that this is my job now. I have no idea where this will bring me in life, But I will give my all no matter what. You can check my online store at www.13xstudios.com and my Etsy store.
13x Studios - Hodder Than Hell / Photo: Sideshow SaucesKane's Hodder Than Hell sauce, as well as many other handcrafted flavors can be found on Sideshowsauces.com. And as always, skull lamps, baby groots and other fun items can be found on our site Skulllamps.com. As Rick stated above, you can find his masks on www.13xstudios.com, and be sure to find him on Facebook and enjoy the Spitting Blood podcast! Stay tuned for my coverage of Friday the 13th Camp Blood: The Aftermath. For now, stay freaky! Much love from your Lamp Lady and I'll see you soon!
Posted by Alan Smithee in INTERVIEWS, 0 comments
COMING SOON: 2017 Horror Video Games, Part 1

COMING SOON: 2017 Horror Video Games, Part 1

2017: The Year That Horror Video Games Came Back With a Bite, Part 1

Horror is a genre that brings joy to many people – as is video gaming. Combine the two and you have a beautiful relationship that brings a mixture of happiness, excitement, and maybe even a little fear to countless fans. That said, there are some amazing horror video games coming out in 2017. Let's take a look at some of them.

1.) Game: Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
Release Date: January 24. 2017
Developer: Capcom
Platforms: Playstation 4, Xbox One, and PC


Resident Evil is a name that many horror fans and gamers alike know. For many of us, the first couple of Resident Evil games were our first forays into horror video games. Many were disappointed with the last Resident Evil game, Resident Evil 6, because it felt like a clunky, cheesy action movie instead of the survival horror game that we have all come to know and love. With Resident Evil 7, it looks like we are getting back to that horror atmosphere.


Resident Evil 7 takes place in Louisiana four years after what happened in RE6. You are playing as a new character to the series, Ethan Winters, who, while searching for his missing wife, comes upon a haunted plantation filled with psychotic individuals, and, of course, some haunting and frightening creatures. We are not sure how Ethan and the events in this game are connected to the other games in the series, but Capcom has said that they do tie together in some way.


2.) Game: Friday the 13th: The Game
Release Date: Early 2017
Developers: Gun Media, Illfonic
Platforms: Playstation 4, Xbox One, and PC


If there is one thing horror fans love, it’s a killer with a style that will make you fall in love with evil, such as Jason Voorhees, a mighty and ominous figure in the horror world, or as Jason Voorhees the man. The goal of the game, if you are a counselor, is to escape Jason and the camp. You can try the stealth route and hide and sneakily escape from him or team up with other counselors to take him on. If you play as Jason, the goal, of course, is to brutally kill all the counselors!

In this game, we are taken back to good ol’ Camp Crystal Lake, where you can play as a camp counselor or as the man himself, Jason Voorhees. The goal of the game, if you are a counselor, is to escape Jason and the camp. You can try the stealth route and hide and sneakily escape from him or team up with other counselors to take him on. If you play as Jason, the goal of course, is to brutally kill all the counselors!


If you are a Friday the 13th fan, whether you grew up watching the movies or just recently took a liking to Mr. Voorhees, this game will give you the biggest smile on your face. The setting is straight from the early movies, in all its 80s glory, the kills are brutal and gory, and you finally get to play as Jason Voorhees. What more could you ask for? Just remember, counselors, it doesn't matter how fast you run because Jason will always walk faster than you!

3.) Game: Agony
Release Date: June 2017
Developer: Madmind Studio
Platforms: Playstation 4, Xbox One, and PC


Probably one of the least talked about games on this list, Agony, is looking to be a great and gruesome addition to the horror video game catalog. You play a tortured soul who is stuck deep in the depths of Hell looking for an escape. By interacting with other souls stuck in in Hell, you soon learn that the only way to escape is to meet the one and only mystical Red Goddess. You have abilities, such as controlling other demons, that will aid you on this journey to escape.


Agony has some of the most hauntingly beautiful scenery that I have seen in a long time. Morbid and gruesome images play throughout the trailer, exactly what you would expect Hell to look like. The demons are nightmare -inducing, even if some of them have some really nice boobs to look at. Agony looks like it's going to be an Indie gem that will garner a cult following.

Well, there you have it – part one of my ongoing series of 2017 video game releases. Keep an eye out because part two will be coming soon.

Posted by Alan Smithee in HORROR NEWS, 1 comment
BOOK REVIEW: Unmasked: Kane Hodder

BOOK REVIEW: Unmasked: Kane Hodder

Kane Cover

Author: Michael Aloisi, as told by Kane Hodder ;  Publisher: AuthorMike Ink; ISBN: 978-0-9845801-3-2; ISBN-13: 9780985214609; Media: Hardcover, Paperback, Audio and ePub; Length: 352 pages; Genre: Non-fiction, Biography; Country: USA; Language: English; Year: 2012

In my personal opinion, Kane Hodder is  Horror Movie Royalty. He's up there with the likes of Robert Englund, Doug Bradley, and Gunnar Hansen. The man is always scary and intimidating, no matter what role he plays. It doesn't matter if it's Jason Voorhees, Victor Crowley or Jon RoyHodder is a badass.  After meeting him last year at Motor City Nightmares, I saw, quite quickly, that there is more to Hodder than the badass killing machine. But it wasn't until I read Unmasked that I saw just how much more there is to the man.

Throughout the book, Hodder describes learning the craft of Hollywood Stuntman and the sacrifices of body and mind that go along with it. He survived severe burns, an incompetent  doctor and the long painful road to recovery. And don't you think,  for even a second, that Hodder is another whiner looking for pity and attention. Far from. If anything, Hodder's recovery can be looked at as a source of inspiration for other burn victims.  He easily could have thrown in the towel and walked away from his dreams, but he didn't. Reading everything he went through just added to the extreme amount of respect I already had for Kane Hodder.

He shares with the reader, stories of his childhood. They aren't all happy hearts and flowers. He was repeatedly victimized by bullies until his family relocated to an island in the South Pacific, in his teen years. Again, Hodder isn't whining or playing the victim, but the experiences definitely had a profound impact on the man that he grew up to be. It isn't hard to get a real sense of the man behind the cinematic monsters.

Hodder isn't always Mr. Serious though. It's very apparent in the book that Kane is quite the prankster. And I can tell you from my own experience, the man is a smartass. It only adds to his charm. He shares some onset hijinks from the sets of many of his films. He and Aloisi are easily able to make you feel like you were right there.

He shares the extreme elation of being able to be Jason Voorhees, as well as the feeling of betrayal upon learning he would not be in Freddy vs Jason. You can almost feel the excitement of creating a new monster with Adam Green in Hatchet . You also get an idea of how much passion and  research Hodder put into roles like BTK and Ed Gein.

I could easily gush on about this book for days, but I'm not going to. I could tell you more of what he shares in the book, but I'm not going to do that either. What I will do is tell you to go read this book! You won't be sorry. You won't be able to put it down, either.

Final Score: 10 out of 10 Dead Camp Counselors.

 

 

 

Posted by Alan Smithee in BOOKS, COMICS, AND PUBLICATION REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 2 comments