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TOM SAVINI TURNS 72 TODAY!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TOM!!!

TOM SAVINI TURNS 72 TODAY!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TOM!!!

 

Thomas Vincent Savini was born on November 3, 1946. He is known for his amazing talent as an actor in such films like From Dusk Till Dawn, Planet Terror Creepshow 2 and many many others. In 1990 he directed Night of The living Dead which was a remake of the 1968 classic that was directed by the late, great George A Romero. Tom recently directed a new episode of Flicker, which is a new web series created by Robert Tinnell, telling bite sized horror tales paying homage to silent horror films from the 1920’s.

‘Most of all, Tom Savini is known for his creativity in over the top special make up effects for such films like Friday The 13th, The Prowler, The Burning, Martin, Dawn of The Dead, Creepshow and many many others.

The Godfather of Gore was inspired by the 1957 film, a Thousand Faces. He became fascinated with the magic and illusion of film . While Tom was a combat photographer in Vietnam, he got his first taste of real carnage, which ended up being in his films later on.

Tom Savini has a special makeup effects program located in Monessen, Pa at Douglas Education Center.

In 2013, I had the pleasure of meeting this man at Douglas Education center and even though I knew he was busy at the open house, I was just in awe. Here is the guy that I looked up to my entire life. When I was a kid, I spent majority of my time watching horror films and his name often appeared in the credits under special make up effects.

As a lover of the 70’s and 80’s horror films, I was in shock at just how well the makeup was done, it looked real, it looked disgusting and it looked painful. If Tom’s name was on a film, you knew you were in for a treat of carnage.

One year as a Christmas Gift, I was given VHS tapes of Tom’s work. Scream Greats and Horror Effects and I would watch those back to back all the time. I was overly obsessed with film making and enjoyed seeing how all this magic comes to life on screen.

Say what you want about Tom Savini, but to me he is a legend, a mentor, a filmmaker and a friend.

SMOKE AND MIRRORS, which is a documentary on the life of Tom Savini, is in post production and will hopefully see the light of day very soon.  The film was written and directed by Jason Baker.

 

LET’S ALL WISH TOM A VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY, TODAY!!!!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, TOM!!!

 

 

 


Posted by Jonathan Hughes in Categories, CELEBRITY BIRTHDAYS, EDITORIALS, 0 comments
Exclusive Interview with Lex Ortega

Exclusive Interview with Lex Ortega

I’m a huge fan of the film Atroz by Lex Ortega. In my opinion it’s one of the best extreme horror films made in the last 10 years… maybe ever. It’s unrelenting and brutal beyond imagining.  I’m incredibly excited to have this opportunity to talk with Lex Ortega about it and his future plans to make films.

  • HoTS:  Before making Atroz you were the mastermind behind Mexico Barbaro what made you decide to make Mexico’s first horror anthology movie? How was it received?
  • Lex: Actually I was on the metro and I was thinking what shortfilm should I do next? Then I realized there were a lot of directors thinking the same thing, trying to get their films on festivals, paying fees, trying to finance themselves their production, etc. So I got the idea to unite efforts and make an anthology, in this case we could get distribution, promotion for us as directors, in overall a better projection than a single shorfilm, and maybe have an economic retribution for our job. It had a great reception from the audience all over the world, we got distribution around 8 counties and Netflix America (all continent), and we were in around 50 festivals all over the world.
  • HoTSAtroz was insanely brutal, in the opening it says 98% of the 27,500 murders per year in Mexico go unsolved. Did you make the film as a social commentary, meant to shed light on the level of violence there or did you just want to make an extreme film? Personally, I respect both.
  • Lex: It started weird, at the beginning I just wanted to shoot a torture sequence with no credits and release it on the internet as a supposed “Snuff film”, then I realized a lot of talent was getting involved, as well as my savings that I was going to invest on it so I decided to make it an actual shortfilm (the first video tape you see on the feature), after it was done, I was getting censorship and lots of comments on how brutal this short was. THAT WAS A PUMP OF GAS FOR ME! and I said, I want to scream louder about these topics, then making the documentary investigation to create the profile of the main character (Goyo) I got into these hard numbers you mention, and I turned the story into a social critique to the institutions, from our first social contract that we have as individuals such as family, to the state, and politics that are supposed to be there to protect us as a society.
  • HoTS:  Is your movie an accurate portrayal of violence in Mexico?
  • Lex: In certain ways yes, we don’t have a specific record on serial killers like the US, and in my personal opinion that is because a lot of murders that happen in Mexico are attributed to the Narco, and there is no investigation about it.
  • HoTS: I imagine Atroz might be bad for tourism, how did the Mexican people receive it?
  • Lex: I don’t make tourism promotions, I do horror films so I really don’t mind. When must people watch Atroz they’re shocked, and that makes me happy for 2 reasons, the first one is that for me cinema has to make you feel something, it doesn’t matter the genre, if not, it means it is not working. And second and most important is seeing people freaking out watching violence tells me that we haven’t normalized violence yet, by the time we watch graphic violence and we feel nothing it means that we don’t have empathy for each other, then we will be rotten as a society.
  • HoTS: As a Canadian I was excited to learn you came here to go to a very prestigious school in Montreal. What made you decide to attend the Trebas Institute? How did you like your stay here?
  • Lex: Oh man Canada is very important for me, it means a lot in my life. I was living in beatiful Montreal studying Sound Engineering, How I got there? It was weird, I was studying the second semester of Civil Engineering at UNAM (the biggest university in Latin America) in 1999 it went on strike for over a year and a half, so obviously I couldn’t keep studying there, my dad told me I had to start over in a new university because it seemed like the strike was going to take forever, so I told my old man that I was going to start over but this time I wanted to study what my real passion is, and he goes: Ok, so where and what are you studying? I told him Sound Engineering, but that career didn’t exist in Mexico at that time so I started looking for schools around the world and a good friend of mine went on vacation to Canada from coast to coast and I asked him what was the city he liked the most and he said Montreal, so I applied to Trebas in Montreal and I got it.
  • HoTS: Atroz is presented by extreme horror legend and director of Cannibal Holocaust Ruggero Deodato, how did you manage to score such an amazing endorsement?
  • Lex: I meet Ruggero back in 2004 in Bogota, Colombia, me and the producer Abigail Bonilla were presenting Mexico Barbaro in a fest called Zinema Zombie Fest and Ruggero was also a guest from the festival.  We were promoting the crowd funding at that time so Ruggero helped fund it, but further than the economic help he gave us I wanted him to endorse the film.  We asked him if we could use his name on the promotional advertisement for the movie, at that time he was like: Ok, but I would like to see what it is about. When we finished the film we sent it over and he loved it and he said yes to our request and became an associate producer of the film.
  • HoTS: Do you have future plans to make more extreme movies?
  • Lex: Of course hermano!!!, personally I don’t want to do the same thing over and over, I am not interested to make things other than horror.
    The horror genre is huge and I would love to dig deeper into it, to other topics and subgenres, but I definitely like to tell stories in a violent way, where antagonists are not just bad, I want them to be real sons of bitches.
  • HoTS: What are some of the movies and directors that inspired you to get into film?
  • Lex: If I had to pick a top 3 I would say, Roman Polanski’s Repulsion, Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Cannibal Holocaust.
  • HoTS: It’s my understanding that you are also a talented musician, what can you tell fans about your band?
  • Lex: I don’t know if I’m talented but I really love music, it’s very important in my life and career, that’s what made me start in the industry. It was music that made me decide to study Sound Engineering, then after working on a studio making sound design for films, that made me decide to grab a camera and shoot my first short film called “Devourment”.  I didn’t know how to direct a film at that time, all I knew was that my premise was: How do zombies hear us?, what if a human screams, sirens and helicopters are so loud and annoying for them, that they just want it to stop and attack to get it done?I started a band called “The Massacre Must Begin” with a couple of friends back in 2009 (Our album is on Atroz’s bluray that Unearthed Film released in the US), then we  broke up, some of them became parents, I guess our interests changed.Now, this week you will be able to hear my new band’s album on Spotify, Apple Music, Itunes and all the streaming platforms. We are called Belibette and we’re relasing our first LP calle 72 Huries, it’s a strong-in your face technical Grindcore. So go and listen to it!
  • Thank you very much for answering all my questions, I enjoyed your answers very much and look forward to watching the next disturbing film you make. I’d also like to thank John Roisland for setting up this interview and being our go between and just an all around good guy. Thank you both for the opportunity.
Posted by Candace Stone in BRUTAL REALITY, Categories, EXCLUSIVE, INTERVIEWS, 0 comments
Up Close and Personal with Stephen Biro

Up Close and Personal with Stephen Biro

In the world of horror there are many sub-genres ranging from the creature feature to the slasher. The hottest new trend on the rise caters to those who lust for gore and the extreme. The rise of extreme horror movies increases everyday with some attributes seeking to push the boundaries of sanity. House of Tortured Souls has the good fortune to sit down and chat with the man who has taken extreme horror by the reigns and made it his bitch, Mr. Stephen Biro! Join Candace Stone and John Roisland as we get the skinny from the godfather of extreme horror

  • 1. HoTS: First, thank you so much for taking the time to talk with us, we’re all huge fans of yours and Unearthed films. We know you’re a busy guy and appreciate you taking the time to answer our questions. This past weekend was your birthday or “The day of the Biro” an event fans were really excited to partake in. How did you spend your special day?
  • Biro: Well… I actually checked a menu design for a future film, packaged orders and worked. Didn’t go out, no parties or cake. Now… I think the only thing I really missed was NOT getting a birthday blowjob. I miss those, but alas… being single does that.
  • 2. HoTS: The American Guinea Pig series is a huge success and fans are thirsty for more, is there a possibility of an Alien themed installment? It would be difficult to make a good alien on a budget, but it would be a damn shame to miss an opportunity to make a film with an extreme alien anal probing scene (that we can only hope it will have).
  • Biro: Were in talks… with a director/fx man you all know and love. The trick would be the alien design. We couldn’t half ass it… but we’re trying to figure some things out. Also figuring a Frankenstein sort of laboratory sort of thing I was pitched recently as well. It all takes time. Can’t tell you who would be involved as well cause it is another director/fx person we all know and love. Lot of love for our fx people cause if we’re going to try to outdo or match Bouquet of Guts and Gore and the rest in AGP… that’s some serious special effects.
  • 3. HoTS:  Extreme gore films are becoming more and more popular, each director is going to try and out extreme the competition but where do you personally draw the line when it comes to gore?
  • Biro: Me personally? My films, I don’t want rape, pee, poo, semen, ejaculate, vomit or really sexuel violence. I mean, I could do a massive sexuel violence film. I’ve always wanted to do the orgy scene from a little ole comic book called Faust. The satanic orgy scene in issue 10 would be outrageous… would need porn actresses and actors in it to pull it off. But that’s in the stuff I want to make. Now when other filmmakers do it…. they can go wherever they want, unless it like glorifies rape. I won’t touch that stuff. It all depends really. We have released our share of films I would never make. But then again, I have turned down films with a lot of poo. LOL
  • 4. HoTS: You’ve mentioned your Christian faith before, how does it affect the movies you choose to release? Does it prevent you from taking on certain types of films or are there certain types you just won’t touch?
  • Biro: Not much at all… I’m forgiven of my sins.  I won’t do real death videos because they are out there by the dozens. Profiting off of the misery of others is evil. I don’t even like the true crime stuff cause someone is making money off the death of innocents. We did release Cannibal but that was someone who volunteered to be eaten. Texas Chainsaw is loosely based on Ed Gein but it wasn’t using his name to sell it. I’ve seen plenty of movies based on serial killers… but I think it’s a hack sort of thing to be honest. Make money off the deaths of others… not my style. Now, back before I found my faith I did sell real death videos… so I am guilty on that account. I can understand when you’re young, interested in death and want to watch it, study it and know what death can be like cause we are ALL going to die but… not my style anymore.
  • 5. HoTS: Do you get negative feedback from others in the Christian church? How do you handle that?
  • Biro: I haven’t been to church in a long time… I’ve tried some churches, went to one were they were speaking in tongues and that just pissed me off actually. Went to a Catholic church once and listened to the priest bitch for 20 minutes at the congregation for not giving them 10% of their money so they can make this mega church even bigger, so that pissed me off as well. As you can tell, some churches piss me off. They’re usually corrupted in some sort of way. I’d like to find a cool church… I’ve read the Holy Bible 3 and a half times… should probably read it a bit more but I have a hard time finding a KJV that is actually a real KJV version. So many are not, sort of crazy. I had one, gave it to my Mom and she gave it to someone else. hopefully, it found a good home
  • .6. HoTS: Can we expect to see more out of print Chinese films in the future? What’s the biggest challenge in releasing them?
  • Biro: We hope so… hardest part is getting your hands on a print of any film. They didn’t bother to store them correctly so a lot of mold and they usually just threw them out after the theatrical run in China, and everyone is about the 2k or 4k scans.
  • 7. HoTS: You’re also an accomplished author having written several books; do you have any plans to write more? Check out Hellucination: A Memoir here
  • Biro: If I ever get the time. Moving into producing films takes a lot of time as well as Unearthed Films swallowing up a lot of time. I do enjoy screenwriting, not as heavy as writing a novel so that’s what I have been doing lately.
  • 8. HoTS: Every director will face their share of negative feedback, you have been praised for how well you handle it. You share all reviews good and bad which is commendable, but how does it affect you personally?
  • Biro: Sometimes, it’s like… you stupid mother fucker. I enjoy them though. Some people just can’t wrap their mind around making an indie film and they all think a film should be so polished and expensive, it shines so bright but sometimes, you can only polish a turd so much and it still stinks. But then again, everyone’s a critic these days. Some people know what we do, others don’t and if someone shits all over us… they usually didn’t buy the film. The worst reviews are usually people who stole the film. IMDB is full of them. IF you go out of your way to buy an Unearthed Film… you know what you’re in store for and you’re going to enjoy it.
  • 9. HoTS: A lot of young hopefuls come to you looking for advice and you tell them not to get into film, why is that? Was it a difficult road for you?
  • Biro: Mmmm, because it is a total shitty business. I’m going to sound like a total dick here BUT… it’s better to know what you’re getting into than going in all bright eyed and bushy tailed just to get eaten alive. People rip you off, all the time. People lose their ass all the time. Look at it this way. 95% of all films lose their ass, can’t even make their budgets back and I am talking ALL films worldwide. Even the studios lose their asses.. Now… lets just say, you went to film school. Spent 70 grand in tuition and now, know how to make a film. Say you pull it off. You made a real good film. Now what? Now you got to step into the film festival trap. 40 bucks, 60 bucks and even up to 100 bucks just to submit and hope they pick it up. You and about 200 other filmmakers, or 300, 400… 1000 others. Did you know there is over 8500 film festivals in the world right now? Did you market the film? Did you know what you were doing? Marketing and promotion is another side of the battle. What? You made a free Facebook page… now the distribution trap. Do you know anything about contract negotiations? Do you know anything about IFTA? Arbitration? IFTA Arbitration? Assignment for the benefit of creditors? Do you even know what Force Majeure is? Royalty payments? Marketing cap? Return reserve? Well, you’re going to sign a contract with all of this in it so you better know it. What about international sales to other territories? Do you have reps you can trust? Can you even find a rep and sign a contract that your not going to get screwed over? Well, all of the above I mentioned in that contract you’re going to sign to a company in the US will be for sure, in the contracts, if you ever get a chance for international sales to other countries. Do you know how to negotiate a deal? Know what’s fair? Know what is too expensive? Do you know that the industry is flooded and it is very hard to get noticed. Do you know which companies rip people off? I do… I know all of this and a ton more and they don’t teach this in school and not even in film school. These are the pitfalls of the business and it’s filled with sharks, piranha’s, gators and vultures. I’m not going to get into torrents and piracy. It’s called show business… it’s a business. If you don’t know the business side of it… then why am I going to tell anyone to get into it.I’ve been in the horror business for over 20 years total. Getting traction now. I have a distribution company, I know how to do my own international sales. I even know what to do when I am getting fucked. I got screwed out 1.4 million dollars our 3rd year of business and my partner has been in it for 40 years… and we still got screwed. I’ve sued other companies and had people try to rip me off with screenplays. I’m in the middle of suing a company right now for another filmmaker as we speak. It’s been a very difficult road but it’s a difficult road for everyone that is going to last in this business. I got horror stories man… make the hair stand on end. Now you can say… I am doom and gloom and you’re fucking right. But… I am being honest here… wouldn’t you want to know the pitfalls and truth of what you’re getting into rather than me saying, “Go for it man! Your going to make millions!” Or would you rather hear a veteran of the industry say, “You’re going to get fucked, watch your ass and this is what you look out for.”
  • 10. HoTS: During your recent Live Facebook video you mentioned a podcast, when and where can fans expect to hear it? Who will you be doing it with?
  • Biro: I’m working with Brad Slaton of the Picking Brains Podcast that is now defunct but still available to hear past episodes. He’s a great interviewer and sort of crazy like me. Well, exactly as crazy as me… but not really since he has been podcasting for a lot longer than me It will be just us, chatting away, talking about everything really. You would figure it would be horror based and it will be, a bit but it will be more of a crazy sort of thing. I don’t think anyone will actually be ready for it. It’s a bit more entertainment but devious, fucked up that’s going to offend a lot of people. Well, normal people. Were going to see where it goes… It’s called… Stephen and Brad… The Podcast. Should be crazy interesting to say the least… it’s happening very soon, sooner than you think
  • HoTS: Thank you again Stephen, for this awesome interview. we appreciate your honesty and candor and enjoyed your answers immensely. Best wishes to you and everyone at the Unearthed family.
Posted by Candace Stone in Categories, EXCLUSIVE, GORE OR EXTREME HORROR, INTERVIEWS, 0 comments
TRICK OR TREATS!!!

TRICK OR TREATS!!!

 

 

 

The doorbell rings, slowly the door opens and you shout TRICK OR TREAT!!!!! Awaiting the home owners  hand to reach out  as they drop candy and other goodies into your Halloween Bag like it was Christmas morning. remembering theses times are such great memories that I hold dear and is also a huge part of  who I became today, a proud horror and Halloween junky! Tonight I am here to talk to you about the TREAT, yes, the Halloween Candy!

Halloween for me, before I really grew into it, was always a huge event for me. The decorations, the costumes, and lets face it, no matter how cheap of a costume you had, in your mind as a child you looked exactly like who you were dressed as.  Hearing the person at the door compliment you on how you looked, that made it even that much more exciting!

But lets face it, after the chilly autumn night of door to door festivities was thru and sat your butt on the floor of your living room still wearing part of your costume, it was time to count the loot! The bag gets dumped into a huge pile on the floor and your eyes glaze over as you wipe a drop of saliva now building in the corner of your mouth. There it was in all its glory…HALLOWEEN CANDY!!!

 

 

Back when I was a kid, the big scare of terrorist candy existed. Stories of razor blades and needles in apples and rat poison sprinkled over popcorn balls was all the scare. So because of this, mom and dad went thru and did a safety check. Nothing bad was ever found, but this is a safety precaution my wife and I still practice with our little ones today.

Now if you noticed, I mentioned apples and popcorn balls. Yes when I was a kid, homemade treats were an accepted treat for you to receive ….boy how times have changed. Now a days sadly if the sweet little old lady on the corner hands you something that isn’t sealed in a store-bought wrapper, it’s tossed.

The style of candy at Halloween has definitely gone with the times, and what I mean by that, is marketing! Major brands will release their Halloween brand and put a bat or a ghost on the label or even call it limited. Their are even those that you can order online that specialized in the molds they have, ie. coffins, skeletons and so forth.

But did you know after all the holiday special packaging and limited time sales, Halloween is second in candy sales to yes, you guessed it , Christmas.

But in case you were wondering since I  mentioned sales, here’s a look at how much is spent on our spooky holiday sweets:

1)Reese’s $509,000,000.00

2)M&M $500,000,000.00

3)Snicker’s $456,000,000.00

4)Hershey’s $324,000,000.00

5)Kit-Kat $306,000,000.00

That’s a lot of damn chocolate!

Now it says in polls online, that Skittle and Starburst are also little ghouls favorites as well. But Tootsie Rolls, Mary Janes , and Candy Corn are the least favorites.  And lets be honest if you got a pencil or tooth brush in your bag, the house got toilet papered or egged next year!

 

So as you’re having to get off your couch yet again as your doorbell is ringing on the 31st, think back to how much fun your night was as a kid. Have fun with the kids as they come to your house, trust me they will always remember you.

And by all means, sneak one or two of those  Halloween Candies your handing out for yourself, put a little smile on your face…after all it is Halloween.

 

 

 

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!

 

Keep it Evil

 

Posted by John Roisland in Categories, 0 comments
Life of Agony 9/30/18 Baltimore Soundstage

Life of Agony 9/30/18 Baltimore Soundstage

For Nearly 30 fuckin years……damn, I have been a fan of Brooklyn based hardcore band Life of Agony. When I heard they were coming to my town, and then found out it was on a Friday night…OH WE ARE GOIN!I spent many of my younger years, listening to , and going to as many shows that i could when ever the band came around, well its a few years later and I sure as hell didn’t want to miss it!

The show originally was slated for Friday September 13th, the same night we were supposed to get hit with a hurricane. Just my damn luck! Luckily the tour rescheduled for the 30th…a Sunday….SUNDAY, REALLY?!?! Fuck it, I’m still there!Baltimore Soundstage here we come!

The night started off being fortunate enough to have been able to schedule a video inter with bands bass player, Alan Robert, who talked with us about being on the road, meanings behind many of the lyrics, his artwork and him doing laundry! We spoke and hung out for close to 30 minutes. My wife Steff and I had such a great time talking with him, very hospitable, genuine good person! I must also admit, having been such a huge fan of the band, i was actually a bit shaky when he first entered the room with us.

As the show got under way, local Baltimore Hardcore band End It All kicked things with a short, but very powerful set! These guys are doing a few shows in the west coast soon so show support and get your ass to see them, they are so worth it!

Next on stage, and pretty much arriving and jumping on stage due to car issues, Silvertomb. Many of you were or like me still are fans of the once great goth rock band Type O Negative. Silvertomb is comprised of guitarist from Type O Negative Kenny Hickey and drummer Johnny Kelly as well as Joseph James from Agnostic Front. I knew of the band, but sadly hadn’t actually heard their work yet. I’m here to tell ya, after the somewhat short set, I am a fan! Kenny fronts Silvertomb so perfectly, and the band is just tight as hell!! Great emotionally strong sound and lyrics with a very strong stage presence made for a very memorable show. It was also great to see the guys playing again since TYPE O Negative was such a huge part of my life.

Then the time came for the moment we were all waiting for. Now mind you, this is now on a Sunday, the crowd about 1/3 its capacity , so that was kind of upsetting, but they were true fans and were just glad to see the band! The band came on stage and everyone went nuts, even the band. The band kick it right in to high gear from the get go. Playing such a perfect mix of old school, and all thru the years. We were up front for a while then slowly made our way back so we could just relax and take in the show it self.

The energy pouring out on stage is incredible! Many bands after this many years of playing just start slowing down. Not the case with Life of Agony! They were all over the stage, and totally giving love to the fans, and further most, to each other. You can easily see that after so many years together they are so much more than just a band, they are family and that made the show even that much more enjoyable! But still, when they played River Runs Red, the place still goes nuts!!

 

This was the last show of this leg of the tour, everyone was going home, then they were off to conquer Europe . So that made it kind of a special show. What really made it though, was when Silvertomb came out on stage while during ‘s. Life of Agony set with a birthday cake with lit candles and all to sing Happy Birthday to Alan. The entire crowd  joined in as we all wished Alan a Happy Birthday!

 

 

All and all do i wish there had been a larger crowd, only for the band’s sake. As far as I was concerned it was perfect, a more intimate show if you will, and the guys are just as good now if not even better live than they once were! They killed it!!!

Be sure to take a minute, actually 15, and check out the great video interview that Alan Robert did with us prior to the show! Thanks again Alan!!!

www.lifeofagony.com

 

John and Steff w/ Alan Robert of Life Of Agony

 

Keep It Evil

 

Posted by John Roisland in Categories, EVENT REVIEWS, INTERVIEWS, MUSIC REVIEWS, 1 comment
MOVIE REVIEW: Terrifier (2017)

MOVIE REVIEW: Terrifier (2017)

Terrifier has hit Redbox recently and is now streaming — and trending — on Netflix, and wow what waves it is making! Terrifier is an 80s style horror film directed by Damien Leone, who brought us such title as All Hallows Eve (2013), Frankenstein vs. The Mummy (2015), and The 9th Circle (2008). The Indie horror film has a small cast that is lead by a brilliant performance from newcomer David Howard Thornton as Art the Clown, a rather sadistic homicidal clown.

The basis of the story is that two young ladies (Jenna Kanell and Catherine Corcoran) who are out partying on Halloween night get stranded in an old building due to a flat tire. One girl calls her older sister (Samantha Scaffidi) to come to the rescue and pick them up. Waiting for them inside is Art the Clown, who they had a small run in with at a local pizza joint earlier.

To say Terrifier is an amazing film would be inaccurate, but it is definitely a fun horror film. At times it has almost a slow burn feel, but it’s not a boring film by any means. There is a great deal of blood and gore in the film and a few scenes which I was rather surprised by. Sadly in the mix of the kill scenes, some were beyond expected and fairly gruesome, while others made you wonder just what kind of film you’re in for because of the cheese factor with certain special FX. The cheese factor, however, adds to its 80s feel and is actually charming.

The film does such a good job of creating the feel of an 80s slasher film that if the film had been released at that time, Art the Clown would easily be an iconic horror character today. I really don’t know if it’s the character or the performance because Thornton really brings Art the Clown to life!

In light of the recent trend of clown-based films, from Stephen King’s IT and a new Pennywise to Billy Pons’ Circus of the Dead (awesome fucking film, by the way), Art the Clown finds a way to make your skin crawl like no other. From a look that he gives to the way a clown would walk, he’s comical in his own sense while downright brutal as hell!

Terrifier, overall, is a fun bloodbath of an Indie horror with a great new killer character. So get out and rent, steam, whatever you gotta do, but check out Terrifier. Support the Indie horror scene, and be on the lookout for David Howard Thornton on the convention circuit.

Keep it Evil…

Posted by John Roisland in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, SLASHERS AND BAD HUMANS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Hereditary (2018)

MOVIE REVIEW: Hereditary (2018)

Gabriel Byrne, Toni Collette, Alex Wolff, and Milly Shapiro in Hereditary (2018) / Fair use doctrine.Recently, the horror genre has been doing its very best by pushing its limits and finally scaring us again. As a die-hard and devoted fan to the genre, I can honestly say that it’s been a fun two years to watch horror films. Everything from Get Out to A Quiet Place has been up to higher standards, and it’s about time. It’s almost as if the industry stopped allowing repetitive ideas get greenlit, and it’s about time for that, too. Which brings me to the release of a new drama/horror film known as Hereditary.

Hereditary (2018) / Fair use doctrine.Hereditary tells a story of a grieving mother, Annie, played by Toni Collette (Krampus), who just lost her dear mother and is trying to get on with her life with her husband Steve, played by Gabriel Byrne (End of Days), her son, Peter played by Alex Wolff (Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle), and daughter Charlie, played by Milli Shapiro, who comes off as a weird, quiet child. Annie can’t seem to cope with the tragic loss of her dear mother. She attends meetings with others who also lost someone very close to them and meets Joan, played by Ann Dowd (Garden State), and forms a little friendship. Everything takes a devastating turn when another close family member dies, leaving Annie even more distraught than ever before. Joan, who also lost someone very close, invites her over for a visit to perform as a medium, showing her that she can very well talk to the dead. This is when the film really takes off and the tension builds higher and higher, leaving the audience pondering what will come of all of this.

Toni Collette in Hereditary (2018) / Fair use doctrine.First off, let me just say that Toni Collette really stole the show here. Her acting is nothing short of superb and surreal. The life she is now dealing with, the expressions, and the constant upbeat really pack a punch. She made this film more enjoyable to watch, and when we get to the last 20 minutes, all bets are off.

Milly Shapiro in Hereditary (2018) / Fair use doctrine.Some scenes may seem like they are never-ending, but I think that was done on purpose to build dread in the audience. Instead of jumping from cut to cut, the scenes are much longer and drawn out. It makes sense as the director really wants the audience to feel what Annie and her family are feeling throughout the film. Kudos to both the actors and director for pulling that off. Hereditary is a slow burn thriller, but when the film gets going after about an hour, it really starts to mess with your mind and constantly makes you consider where it is going and how is it going to end.

I absolutely loved Hereditary, I think it’s one of the best films to come out in 2018, it definitely leaves a mark and will stay with you long after the credits are finished rolling. Like I said before, Toni Collette really sells in this film, and she deserves to be nominated for best actress. Job well done!!!

Posted by Jonathan Hughes in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
DOOM ETERNAL: A Look Into the Future

DOOM ETERNAL: A Look Into the Future

vgr.com

Everyone in the gaming industry and gamers across the globe have been awaiting the arrival of the DOOM ETERNAL. This will be the sequel to the award-winning and best selling DOOM (2016). The game sadly isn’t slated for release until 12/31/19. Yet still, how’s that for a New Year’s Eve party?!? Fuck Ryan Seacrest, I’m playin’ DOOM ETERNAL!!

The folks at ID Software are back in with the development with of the upcoming game and will be published by Bethesda Softworks. The game that has influenced so many others over the years promises to pack a punch with new weapons, new creatures and of course new bosses. All of which I’m sure will be and from what I’ve seen, will be all over the top!

Doom Eternal also welcomes back, composer/sound designer, Mick Gordon whose sound effects and soundtrack really help bring the game to life! Mick’s work can also be found on such games as Dead Space 3, Medal of Honor “Warfighter”, a few of the Wolfenstein games, and Need for Speed World just to name a few. It is truly amazing the added touches that Mick Gordon adds to these games. So that alone really is something to look forward to with the release.

I grew up playing the DOOM games from back in the day on my original PlayStation. Of course, back then the graphics were, at best, like playing Minecraft (which I fucking hate). It wasn’t so much the graphics back then. Let’s face it – they all sucked. It was the game itself! What I mean is that when I first saw a burning pentagram in a video game, I knew I was going to be a fan!

As technology advanced through the years, so did the graphics on the game, and from what I’m seeing, they are on top of it because the imagery looks fucking sick!

The creators have said DOOM ETERNAL has got something for everyone. The older fans will appreciate that they’ve kept the gameplay the same (first person shooter), as will the younger generation of gamer, but they’ll also be digging the killer graphics. You play as the Doom Slayer and go through what looks like the future from The Terminator, i.e. the aftermath of an intense war, all around you is laid waste, and your mission is to kill and destroy EVERYTHING!

Have a peek!

DOOM ETERNAL will be released for Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, PS4, and Xbox One and costs $59.99 retail. DOOM ETERNAL is available for pre-order through GAMESTOP.COM.
Be sure to check back as I’ll keep you updated on any changes and will definitely be publishing a game review once it is released!

Keep it Evil…

Posted by John Roisland in GAME REVIEWS, HORROR NEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
Jessica Cameron’s Truth or Dare (2013)

Jessica Cameron’s Truth or Dare (2013)

Jessica Cameron’s Truth or Dare

Looking for something you may have missed over the past few years? Trying to find those lost titles to add to your DVD collection? Then have I got a film title for you…Truth or Dare. This wonderfully twisted and often gory Indie horror film was written by, directed by, and stars the always lovely Jessica Cameron.

Released through Ms. Cameron’s own Small Town Girl Productions, Truth or Dare focuses around a group of young adults who have found stardom and fame of its own kind by hosting a YouTube channel show called — you guessed it — Truth or DareTruth or Dare is an Internet-based reality show wherein each week the group plays the old game we all grew up playing but on a much more grown up and dangerous level. “How ?” you ask. Okay. For example, the film starts off with the group on a beach where actress Jessica Cameron picks dare and has to shoot fellow gamer Tony, played by Brandon Van Vilet, in the face with a handgun. Not quite how I played when I was young. Nevertheless, with stunts like this, the ratings for the show soar! Now you get the gist of how they play their rendition of Truth or Dare.

While interviewing on a local TV talk show, the group are confronted with questions by a member of the audience who seems to be a bit too eager and intense and is bounced out the door on his ass. But that’s not the last we see of our greasy little fanboy…

We next see our group in a basement getting ready to shoot another episode when in from behind the plastic tarps walks in our fanboy, played by Ryan Kiser who gives a stellar performance as Derik B. Smith. Smith, a fanboy stalker if you will, knows every -single- hidden inch of our new stars’ past and uses it against all of them to play his version of Truth or Dare, and of course, streams it all live on the web.

Smith’s version of Truth or Dare is basically the same as the group’s: You pick truth or dare, and you answer or act out whatever is asked of you 100%. The one small difference is that Smith’s dares are real! From the bullet in the gun to the blade on the knife to questions that can ruin or change lives, all of it is real. There’s no acting and no stunts, so many rounds end in death.

Jessica Cameron brought to the screen something that permeates today’s world — uploaded video, the more shocking and violent the better. Cameron brought plenty of that in Truth or Dare, including a few dares that are surprising if not shocking, to say the least!

If you haven’t seen this gem of an Indie horror film, you must. It will not disappoint! Jessica, great job all around with this one, and thank you for the screener. I can’t wait to see what you have in store for me next!

On a side note, be sure to keep an eye out for Jessica starring in Stephen Biro’s The Song of Solomon, an American Guinea Pig Film Series release from Unearthed Films, coming in March, 2018. You’re not going to want to miss it!

Happy early birthday, Jessica!!

Be sure to follow and support Jessica Cameron!

Keep It Evil…

Posted by John Roisland in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, SLASHERS AND BAD HUMANS, 0 comments
HoTS LIVE! with Writer/Director PJ Starks of Volumes of Blood

HoTS LIVE! with Writer/Director PJ Starks of Volumes of Blood

Woofer from House of Tortured Souls to introduce our first HoTS LIVE! of 2018. Tonight John Roisland interviews writer, director, producer, executive producer, husband, father, actor, and man about town, PJ Starks, whose 2015 horror anthology Volumes of Blood is a love letter to and about horror that resonated throughout the horror-loving community.

PJ Starks (director, Volumes of Blood) and Woofer McWooferson

PJ Starks (director, Volumes of Blood) and Woofer McWooferson

John and PJ talk about horror, the weather, life, the universe, and everything, so you won’t want to miss the answers to questions about these and other topics – questions you didn’t even know existed.

Without further ado, John and PJ.

Volumes of Blood (2015)

Watch the trailer for Volumes of Blood (2015):

Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories (2016)

Watch the trailer for Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories (2016):

Posted by Alan Smithee in EXCLUSIVE, INTERVIEWS, STAFF PICKS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Clown (2014)

MOVIE REVIEW: Clown (2014)

I finally got a chance to view the highly anticipated 2014 Clown. First, let me clarify because too many people are under the wrong impression... THIS IS NOT AN ELI ROTH FILM!!! The film itself was written by Christopher Ford and Jon Watts and was directed by Jon Watts as well. Eli Roth was one of the producers for the film, along with three others and six executive producers... That does not make this an Eli Roth film. So many are saying this is one of his films, and it’s not! Why not just ask Jon Watts how it was to work under Roth during the making of Clown? Then kick him in the nuts as well!

Clown (2014) / Fair use doctrine.

Now that that's out of the way... I had been wanting to see Clown since first having read about and, of course, later having seen trailer for it. Well, God Bless America, but what do I happen to see on Netflix but Clown?! I was thrilled!!!!

The storyline of Clown is of a good dad trying to be the hero to his son’s birthday party when he finds an old clown outfit and wears it to the party after the hired clown cancels at last minute. Good dad to the rescue! Now for the bad part…

After the party is over, Dad can’t get the costume off. It literally is stuck on his body. One might almost say that it is becoming one with his body. After some research, he discovers that the outfit he put on is, for lack of better words, possessed by a once demonic clown who killed and fed off children. I'm not going to say much else about the film because I do hope many of you give it a chance. It is a solid film and deserves to be watched. My review isn't so much a bad movie review as it is a let down on how much potential I think it had. There is honestly a difference!

I don't think I've been so on the line with a film in a very long time! Clown holds so many high points, very dark, very disturbing high points. Clown also holds so many low, predictable, and almost generic points to it. Just when you think it’s great, it pulls some cheesy shit and, to me, it would just fall to hell.

I didn't expect much from the film even though I wanted to see it for so long, I still didn't have very high expectations, and I was wrong. It is a good solid film. I just think if they had stuck with their original dark thoughts and finished that way, it would have been even better.

I really wanted to like it a lot more than I did. Sadly, if I were to give Clown a numerical rating, it would probably be a 3 or maybe a 4, not because of how bad it was because, honestly, it wasn't...but because of how great it really could have been!!

I will say this, the dad, or Kent, played by Andy Powers was spot on. From the role of loving father through his changing ways, shall we say, he did a great job. And I MUST, MUST, MUST say this, let’s call it, the rainbow-colored splatter: GENIUS!!!

Clown is on Netflix. Give it a shot, and let House of Tortured Souls know what you think!

Keep It Evil...

Posted by John Roisland in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: 10/31 (2017)

MOVIE REVIEW: 10/31 (2017)

Some time back, actor/musician/producer/writer and now director Rocky Gray sent me a press release for a film he was working on called 10/31, he told me to always keep tabs with on it, because as he said, “I think you’re really gonna like it!” So for the past what seems to be eons now of awaited anticipation…and yes, bothering the hell outta Rocky (sorry bro, lol!), he sends me a screener of the film.

10/31

10/31 is an Indie horror anthology film that runs about 135 minutes and is pure enjoyment! First, as many of you know, I love Halloween- based movies. I mean I am a sucker for them! But that’s not to say that there hasn’t been a share of them that I also thought were pieces of shit! This, however, is not one of them!

10/31 is opened by the lovely and talented Jennifer Nangle who plays Malvolia the Queen of Screams, a horror host on a TV in a home on Halloween night, who sets you off on your journey of dark and twisted tales of Halloween.

10/31

This anthology film is full of horrific stories of terror brought to you by some of the newest and up and coming talent and features segments were directed by Brett Dejager – “Halloween Blizzard of ’91”, Rocky Gray – “The Samhain Slasher”, Zane Hershberger – “Trespassers”, John William Holt – “Killing the Dance”, Hunter Johnson – “Malvolia the Scream Queen”, and Justin M. Seaman (yes, who you all just recently saw on our live video podcast!) – “The Old Hag”.

Each story is different, original, and yet horrifying in their own ways, from stories of haunted homes, property owners, a new meaning of roller disco, and even Samhain!

The collaboration of these talented filmmakers really shines in this film. Each of them truly showing their own passion and twisted images of Halloween horror. Brought to life by some great acting which includes Jordan Phipps (Close Calls), Katie Wagrave (Bonejangles), Cindy Maples (Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories) and Chad Burns (Stargazer) to name just a few.

The amount of support and backing in the production, I must say, is very impressive with 20 producers on the film, some of them being a few of the segment directors as well as a handful of others including Nick Ford, Kirby Gocke, and P.J. Starks.

Was waiting for this release of 10/31 a pain in the ass? YES!! Was waiting for 10/31 worth the wait? HELL YES!!

10/31 is a fun, yet horrific downward spiral of tales darkness and horror of Halloween at is best!

Rocky, congrats my friend! 10/31, Rocky Gray

Keep it Evil!

Posted by John Roisland in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Train to Busan (2016)

MOVIE REVIEW: Train to Busan (2016)

Train to Busan is a 2016 South Korean zombie flick that is a breath of fresh air!! The storyline... Well, like in any other zombie film: run and don't get eaten! Okay, that's the same here. Our story centers around a divorced father and young daughter who are traveling by train to get to... you guessed it, Busan. They are trying to get his daughter back to her mother. The father sadly is a workaholic and spends no time with his daughter, and that also plays an emotionally important part in the story.
While the father and daughter are travelling, an outbreak has begun and, yes, people are starting to turn into zombies. Only becoming aware of the situations via cell phones while en route, the crowded train learns the hard way at a scheduled stop that things are a lot worse than what they had expected - having been anticipating a military welcome in what was supposedly a safe area.

Without giving anything away from the film, you use your imagination as to what happens next...on its way to Busan.
What sets Train to Busan apart from other recent zombie films is how it's shot. The first thing that really hit me was how sharp and bright the colors in the film are. Most are dark and almost dingy, but this could have been used for a Clorox color-safe bleach commercial. The colors just seemed to pop and everything just seemed to be so damn clean!
The makeup and special FX used were spot on! No masks and no use of dirt and buckets of blood for decay value, all while still packing a punch and throwing a few holy shit moments at you. It was a near-perfect zombie film.
Lastly, one thing I’ve learned over the years with Asian horror films, they are either so far over-the-top-what-the-fuck-did-I-just-watch kind of film or they are extremely brutal and violent and usually very sexually oriented, often in a somewhat perverted way. I'm not saying that I don't enjoy all those qualities in a good wholesome Asian horror film, but Train to Busan possessed none of those stereotypical qualities. It is just a straight-ahead zombie film, with a great ending!

Train to Busan was directed by Sang-ho-Yeon, runs just under 2 hours long, is subtitled, and is currently on Netflix. I really can’t suggest Train to Busan enough!

Keep It Evil...

Posted by John Roisland in MONSTERS AND CREATURES, MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, ZOMBIES, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Dreaming Purple Neon (2016)

MOVIE REVIEW: Dreaming Purple Neon (2016)

Dreaming Purple Neon is a 2016 independent horror film by Extreme Entertainment and released by Unearthed Films. It was both written and directed by Todd Sheets, who has also brought us such goodies as Spirits (2014) and Bone Hill Road (2017).  Dreaming Purple Neon is a pure 100% Indie horror B flick at it finest!

The basis of the story is that Purple Neon, a beautiful glowing drug, turns its users into demonic creatures that follow the word of High Demoness, Abaddon. She, in turn, uses her now-demon slaves to brutally kill and take over the world.

 

When a drug dealer’s stash goes missing at the hands of his new office girl, he and his thug trace her down at a dentist office building where she’s meeting a friend to go out for the night. After the doors are locked, however, it’s more than just drug dealer revenge. The entire building is locked down and being taken over by the cult of Abaddon in order to use a young girl, one of the dentist’s patients, as a vessel to conjure Abaddon into the living. This is where things get fun — from a naked seance to a bitch with horns for nipples, shit just got real!

When Dreaming Purple Neon starts, it looks like it’s going to be a bad Indie film, but it turns into a bloodbath! Todd Sheets was able to physically take what I’m going to call the normal, the everyday life on film, and perfectly mesh it with what I will call the underworld. You are transported visually through the chaos as it spreads through the film till you are completely submerged into a world of blood-soaked violence. Sheets’ use of color schemes throughout the film is brilliant but yet not overdone.

From the start of the film, I really wasn’t expecting much out of the kill scenes. Boy, was I wrong! Todd Sheets gives audiences full-on, over-the-top, blood-spewing death! Cannibalism, murder, possession, power drills and Gene Simmons — what more could you want!

Dreaming Purple Neon delivered in many ways and is a mind trip of a great Indie horror film. I can’t wait to see what Todd Sheets brings us next!

 

Keep It Evil.

Posted by John Roisland in MOVIE REVIEWS, SATANIC/DEMONIC, 0 comments

CONCERT REVIEW: GHOUL/GWAR RAMS HEAD LIVE 10/26/17

GWAR has been one of my favorite bands for the past 30 years now. Known for playing on or around Halloween in Baltimore I took every opportunity to grab some passes to see them now that I’m back in Maryland after many years of being gone from the area. Rams Head Live in Baltimore was the venue on this Thursday night. A good sized club always brings in big acts and is a pretty cool venue with pretty much not a bad seat( all general admission) in the place. GWAR is one band that to see live is one that I would HAVE to cover for a story. My wife Steff had never seen GWAR before, that alone was almost reason enough to go.

By the time we got there GHOUL was just about to go on stage. GHOUL is a fun mix of GWAR, MENTORS, MISFITS with a touch of MOTORHEAD! Keeping in touch with the Halloween spirit with a horror punk sound. I don’t think Gwar could have found a better band to hit the road with. Both lyrically and their stage presence oozes horror. As for starters, if your not familiar with GHOUL, they all wear burlap sack, masks with bloody mouths, have stage actors that they behead and spray blood out on to the crowd and sing of death and graveyards while they have the look of just committed a nasty home invasion. GHOUL ARE  FUCKING AWESOME!! What a great live act and a great bunch of guys as I was fortunate enough to have run into a few of them after the show.

                                           

Finally,…after a bit of a wait from what seemed to have been some technical issues, GWAR makes their way to the stage. By this time the crowd had started to fill up, sadly it wasn’t to overly packed, but then again it was a Thursday ….and the general age of the crowd…well, we aren’t as young as we once were. GWAR come out on stage and its always something new, every tour. The stage show is creative, overwhelming at times, oh..and bloody violent. Kind of makes you feel like your mixing a Lloyd Kaufman film to shock rock extreme music, in one live nightmare!

This was my first time having seen GWAR since the passing of the late great ODERUS URUNGUS, it was hard waiting to hear some of the old classics, and yet only one was done, Black and Huge. It was actually kind of nice that the band left it alone. Regardless, the stage show over the top as always, and for the club only charging $20.00 tickets, makes you wonder how these guys are making a penny because they really do put a lot into it!

Of course, they always touch on a few big media items such as government and religion, that the boys are always more than welcome to slay and befoul on stage and spray gallons of blood and other bodily fluids on to the audience. From a decapitated priest to Blothar ejaculating on the crowd, it was a wet floor, to say the least!

   

 

It was the same day as the show that the heart-wrenching news surfaced about guitarist Michael Derks, best known to the world as Balsac the Jaws of Death. I had noticed from the get go that he wasn’t on stage. So, just kind of assumed that with the recent medical news that maybe he had decided to take the rest of the tour off…I was wrong. It must have been the third song that Balsac made his stage presence, and what a crowd response he was given, and seemed as if he really played his heart out that night.

                                                      
GWAR played for over an hour and a half. For these aging gentlemen, those costumes, props, lighting, stage theatrics and pure energy, I’ve got to give them credit cause most of the people in the crowd were winded. The last song came around, and how suiting, it was a cover of AC/DC’s If You Want Blood. Not only did they do a great job of the song, they also did a great job of making a complete mess of the venue and everyone that was in it! If you were one of the fortunate ones who hadn’t got spewed or gutted on, you were about to! I honestly don’t think there was a dry place in the club by the end of the song.

As I mentioned earlier, my wife had never seen GWAR before. When they came on stage she and I got split up, I went up to the stage to take photo’s and she went front and center stage in the crowd with old friend of mine who catches them every time they roll into town with his daughter no less. So the band exited the stage, house lights came on, ..and they were, the three of them, all blue and red and I do mean from head to toe soaked in stage spray! The smile on my wife’s face was priceless, she had been GWAR’d!!

GHOUL and GWAR thank you both for the passes and thank you both for such a great show, you guys are the goods!!

Visit Gwar on their website and see all the great things you’ve been missing: Gwar-Official Site of the Gods also check out the almighty and amazing GHOUL on their official site..I’m telling you this band is something to look out for. Ghoul-Official site!

                                                                    
Keep it Evil

Posted by John Roisland in EVENT REVIEWS, MUSIC REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
VIDEO PODCAST: HoTS LIVE at BloodShed Farms Fear Fest, 28 Oct 17

VIDEO PODCAST: HoTS LIVE at BloodShed Farms Fear Fest, 28 Oct 17

Last night House of Tortured Souls creators John and Stephanie Ann Roisland spent the evening at BloodShed Farms Fear Fest in Columbus, NJ, just off 295. For those who don't know, BloodShed Farms is a popular haunt in the Jersey horror scene and home of The Circus Rejects.
As John and Steph set the mood, a few folks stop by to say, "Hello".

Later, John tells of his visit to BloosShed farms after attending a Circus Rejects wedding and shows off some HoTS gear (most available at TeePublic).

Jim Reed,
co-owner of BloodShed Farms, speaks with John about haunts, haunting, and BloodShed Farms.

Isaac the Living Doll, one of the actors at BloodShed Farms, stops by the HoTS table.

Psych, a friend and special guest, stops by to impart some wisdom to all tortured souls out there.

House of Tortured Souls LIVE at BloodShed Farms Fear Fest concludes as John thanks everyone for inviting HoTS and allowing us to be part of the 2017 Halloween horror scene in Jersey.

Please head on over to our YouTube channel and subscribe. If we hit 100, we can properly name ourselves and more easily distribute the content you want to see.
If you like the merchandise you saw or want to see what else we have to offer, head on over to TeePublic and pick up some HoTS gear.
Posted by Alan Smithee in EXCLUSIVE, PODCAST, 0 comments
EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: The Houses October Built on HoTS LIVE!!!

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: The Houses October Built on HoTS LIVE!!!

The Houses October Built and the recent follow up release, The Houses October Built 2, are two of my favorite films! Let's face it. With the abundance of horror films being made either through Hollywood budgets or Indie fan-funded projects, there's a shit ton of mediocre to bad horror being produced. Since October is the month for horror and scares and with Halloween just around the corner, the options for viewing are endless. During this season I try to stick with Halloween-themed films.
In 2014, I first viewed The Houses October Built. It instantly became part of my personal top five horror films! And, in keeping in with my Halloween-themed films, it's about a group of friends who travel from haunt to haunt in search of the extreme. Now, I ask you: what can be more Halloween than haunts?
Then 2017 came, and the crew released the follow-up, The Houses October Built 2. This sequel answered questions that had left audiences pondering in the closing frames of the original, kept the viewer's Halloween spirit engaged, and ended with an entirely new set of holy-shit-what-the-fuck questions.
After viewing The Houses October Built and launching House of Tortured Souls, I had been trying to get in touch with any or all staff for a written interview. However, once I tracked down the right people through social media, there were always scheduling conflicts. Time went on, and I had resigned myself to the fact that it wasn't going to happen. Still, I proudly supported the films and helped out the best I could on social media by sharing their posts.
It was this past Thursday, October 19, 2017, at approximately 2:30 pm EST when I figured what the hell and sent an email to them in hopes of setting up an interview sometime within the next few years. With part 2 only having been out for a few weeks, I knew they would be busy, but I also figured why not give it a shot? Within an hour, I got a response asking if I was available that day. Long story short, within two hours, both writers/directors/stars of both The Houses October Built parts 1 and 2, Bobby Roe and Zack Andrews, were staring me in the face live through a House of Tortured Souls LIVE video podcast.
We had a great chat, and it was a thrill to have met them and an honor to have them on the show. The guys discuss the origins of the film, working together, haunts, and even dabble in what may be next! So join me as I bring you my afternoon with Bobby Roe and Zack Andrews of The Houses October Built!
Keep It Evil...

Posted by John Roisland in EXCLUSIVE, INTERVIEWS, 0 comments
HAUNTED ATTRACTION: BloodShed Farms

HAUNTED ATTRACTION: BloodShed Farms

Looking for more to do than just 31 days of horror? Front porch all decorated and waiting for trick or treaters? Then go to a local haunt! Chances are there's one close to where you live, and you don't even realize it. This past weekend I was fortunate enough to do just that in Columbus, New Jersey. Columbus brings BloodShed Farms to life!
The location is relatively convenient, and the setting is perfect! Once you have paid your admission, you walk through a small section of a cornfield trail that opens up into a grass-based clearing, almost like a park. There you have vendors, interactive events like pumpkin smashing, food vendors, and, hell, they even have a decapitated basketball throw. There are picnic tables for resting frightened bones and even a stage for the endless entertainment they offer, be it scary-okee or the likes of a special guest, like The Enigma who will be there on Friday and Saturday the 20th and 21st... Sorry I had to miss that! Their roaming characters that are great at interacting with guests and are always willing to do a photo opp.
From the central area called The Reapers Ball, you can easily be guided to one of the five attractions that they offer.

BloodShed Farms - Clown-O-Phobia / Fair use doctrine.

Clown-O-Phobia is an incredibly well-built walk-through that will keep you moving and always keep you guessing. Welcome to the mind of The Circus Rejects! From screams to laughs…and even bubbles, you won’t be let down!


The Trail of Terror is just that! Mix Deliverance and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre together with some amazing props and terrorizing actors that even the deepest South wouldn’t want to mess with, and you are on the right TRAIL!

BloodShed Farms - Trail of Terror / Fair use doctrine.


BloodShed Farms - Hellsgate Asylum / Fair use doctrine.

Hellsgate Asylum…WOW! This walk-through will quickly penetrate your deep psyche as you enter into this insane asylum gone…..INSANE! A number of hospital props and character acting in Hellsgate was truly amazing and blood-curdling!


The Last Ride was actually the first event that I ventured on. You are seated with approximately 20 other guests on a cornride – not a hayride but cornride – through a vast property (all cornfields) with creatures of the night lurking and leering at you and some even jumping on the ride to torment and scare. They even bring back the dead at the end of the ride. That made it a real thriller!!

BloodShed Farms - The Last Ride / Fair use doctrine.


BloodShed Farms 06 - The Camper

The Camper Escape Room is one attraction that, sadly, I did not venture through, but I really wish I had! It is exactly what it says it is: a full-size RV/camper that you enter and have 15 minutes to figure out how to escape!

My night spent at BloodShed Farms was one that I shall not soon forget and will most definitely make the two-hour drive back to experience again! The night was dark, lit with smoky skies, and it was as if I had walked through a cornfield and wandered into a nightmare of a Halloween carnival. I was introduced to many of the staff who actually told me they were sorry that we had come on that night because of some staffing/technical issues. If I could have punched them all in the dick for having said that I would have. devil-emoticon It was awesome, and I hope all the staff and owners of BloodShed Farms are proud of the job they are doing! I would be.
Be sure to check them out online, and check their calendar because the days of the month are going fast. Prices vary, but they are very reasonable for what BloodShed Farms offers. The haunt is child- and family-friendly....but it ain't Disney. Use some damn common sense. If you know your kid or spouse is a wimp, then leave them at home... Or bring them and torture their ass. Muhahaha! That works too! Lines may be long, so get there early or ask about the VIP program.
Any horror and haunt fans in the Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, or Maryland areas should get off your asses and get to BloodShed Farms. And tell them I sent you! My only disappointment is that I hardly took any pictures because I was having too much fun, but please take my word for it – you do NOT want to miss this.
Thank you, BloodShed Farms, for a great Halloween night of fun and terror. It was the most fun we have had in a long time!
KEEP IT EVIL...
Posted by John Roisland in ATTRACTIONS AND DESTINATIONS, 0 comments
John Roisland’s 2017 Top 5 Halloween Movies

John Roisland’s 2017 Top 5 Halloween Movies

Ah, yes. It's that time of year again! October is a truly magical time. Not only do we get to see the changes as Mother Nature transforms life to death, covering us in her cool, crisp air and the skeletal images of the now bare trees. We get to break out the long-awaited hoodies, pumpkins, and all things pumpkin spice (it truly IS a scary time of year), and we get to decorate houses for my personal favorite holiday - HALLOWEEN! For horror fans, Halloween isn't one day. It isn't JUST October 31st... Oh no, no, no! This is simply the day that you build up to. October 31st is the climatic orgasm of autumn. Aside from decorating, costumes and trick or treating, you must also enjoy masses amounts of horror movies!!
Many pride themselves on doing the 31 Days of Horror challenge where they watch at least one horror movie per day throughout the month of October ending on Halloween night itself! A fun challenge for all horror fans! The beauty with this is you pick it. Any style horror film is up for the challenge, be it classic monster movies such as Dracula and Frankenstein or slasher films like Halloween, Friday the 13th, and A Nightmare on Elm Street. Or maybe you prefer something from the paranormal - The Exorcist or Angel Heart - or perhaps some great Indie horror films like Circus of the Dead or Pieces of Talent. Whatever your flavor is, it's all good, and it's all up to you to decide.
There are a million and one different ways you can mix and match your Halloween viewing. I personally TRY to stick with the theme of Halloween in my choices. I've always enjoyed the holiday horror-themed films, so I figured it only made sense that my Top 5 Halloween Films are the same. Now please don't confuse this with my personal favorite horror movie... No, these are my HALLOWEEN go-to movies and are not ranked!

Hotel Transylvania (2012)

I adored this film as it brought back some classic monsters and threw them in to an animated film that adults and kids could both honestly enjoy together. It's important to teach the kids about horror at a young age. After all, isn't that where horror is home?

Trick 'r Treat (2007)

The first time I saw this sleeper hit I instantly fell in love with it! It brings many Halloween superstitions to life in one film that mixes a few stories and rolls them all together in one beautifully filmed trat. A new and true Halloween classic!

The Houses October Built (2014)

This is another sleeper hit that grew and has reached cult status. This film actually had a profound impact on me and climbed straight to the top of my all time favorite films list! It's hard for me to actually say enough about this film other than it's not just watched at Halloween in my house!

Halloween (1978)

John Carpenter's all time classic Halloween film about the Boogie Man himself introduced the world to Michael Myers. Halloween is one of the original slasher films that still keeps movie goers on the edge of their seats year after year.

Sleepy Hollow (1999)

For years Tim Burton has brought his dark beauty to the silver screen, and he captured my heart with this one. You see, the story of Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman is my all time favorite story and has been since I was a child. The Burton brought the imagery and dark scenery to life in ways that honestly I had only dreamt about. So this is a must for me!

I do have tons of personal go-to films that I would have loved to mention, but then it wouldn't be a top five would it..? Some have said my list is a bit on the childish side... Well, Halloween brings out the kid in me more than any other time of year, so I usually tell them to deal with it!Freddy Kruger-Deal with it / Fair use doctrine.
I hope you've enjoyed diving into a personal side of me, and if you're so inclined, please leave me your list in the comments. I'd love to hear them... Until then, HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!
Keep it Evil...
Posted by John Roisland in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 2 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Better Watch Out (2016)

MOVIE REVIEW: Better Watch Out (2016)

With the holidays approaching us at a rapid pace, it's time to break out timely classics to relive fond memories both old and new, and also welcome new breeds of terror and macabre based around our favorite holidays. Which brings me to a new film that I not only had the pleasure of viewing but also had the most fun while watching, too!!!
Better Watch Out is a film that takes place around the Christmas season. It opens with a clever Christmas text soaked in blood red over a gorgeous small suburban town covered by inches of the white stuff and beautifully decorated houses from top to bottom while a cheerful Christmas song plays to make you feel all gooey inside at first, even though you know that feeling won't stay calm for long and soon your bones will be shaking.
This is how most holiday horror films should start out.
Better Watch Out 3 / Fair use doctrine.Luke, played by Levi Miller (Pan), is a 12-year-old who has the hots for 17-year-old Ashley, played by Olivia DeJonge (The Visit, Scare Campaign) who is coming over to babysit while Luke's parents head off to a Christmas party. After talking over his plan with his best friend Garrett, played by Ed Oxenbould (The Visit, Paper Planes), about how tonight is the night he will finally score with his babysitter, Ashley arrives and Garrett says his goodbye and rushes home to leave the two alone. Within seconds after Garrett leaves, Luke quickly tries charming her by drinking wine, watching horror movies, and talking trash on guys she has dated in the past, making it known that he, in fact, has a crush on her.
Better Watch Out 1 / Fair use doctrine.While she spends the majority of the time on the phone with her present boyfriend, Luke spends his time alone sitting on the couch thinking of how he can impress the girl of his dreams. That all changes when there is a knock on the door and a pizza is delivered without anyone in the house calling for one. Could it have been Luke's parents or could it be the start of a night they will never forget? The two realize that someone or something is breaking in the house with a shotgun and from there the film takes a horrific wrong turn with surprises around every corner and laughs as well.
Better Watch Out 4 / Fair use doctrine.Better Watch Out was a fun romp from start to finish. It's 90 minutes of clever dialogue, tension build, and overall a bloody good time. I can't express how much fun I had while viewing this film. It keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout its running time, and it never falls short of anything. All questions are answered, and the pacing was highly acceptable. If I wasn't laughing, I was cringing and ready for the following minutes to unfold in front of my eyes. This will definitely be one to add the list of holiday favorites each year.
Better Watch Out6 / Fair use doctrine. / Fair use doctrine.If you're a fan of holiday horror, especially Christmas-themed horror, then you better give this a look. You won't regret it. At all.
Better Watch Out is now available in selected cinemas as well as VOD platforms.
Posted by Jonathan Hughes in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments