Orlando

Danielle Harris : Women in Horror Scream Queen

Danielle Harris : Women in Horror Scream Queen

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

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

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

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

      

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Keep it Evil

 

Posted by John Roisland in Categories, EDITORIALS, WOMEN IN HORROR, 1 comment
Spooky Empire Convention Orlando, Florida- House Of Tortured Souls

Spooky Empire Convention Orlando, Florida- House Of Tortured Souls

Over Halloween weekend I had the priveledge to travel to my first Spooky Empire convention in Orlando, FL and after my experience, it will be my last. Normally I do my best to let small quirks of a convention be swept under the rug since all conventions can’t be perfect, but this time I feel like it could of been handled better. 

Lets start with day 1. To park, it was over a man built ramp and parking directly at a lake, I wish I was exaggerating. To get into the building, I personally ordered my tickets back in July, and to have to wait in a will call line for 2 hours (some convention goers waited longer than that) to get my wristband only to walk back out of the doors to wait in another line to get in, was pure ridiculous in my opinion. The convention had a start time of 12 for VIP attendees and 1pm for general admission. In the main room it had every vendor and every guest, to which you can cover the vendors in an hour and unfortunately could not meet any of the guests until 5pm (which on a Friday is exceptional since most start at 5pm).

While walking in the building, there was already a line full of attendees waiting on the exclusive Elvira funko pop which was a disaster in itself (as told in Crypt Keeper Clint’s article). The funko line ran into Cassandra Peterson’s (Elvira’s) photo op line which resulted in an over crowded hallway making it unsafe and unbearable to get through. My first night I spent almost 4 hours waiting on a photo op which usually runs smooth and takes about 5-10 mins per person. The staff members were no where to be seen and the ones we could find did not seem to know much on what was happening. Communication was not on point all weekend long. 

Now comes Day 2. Parking was still the same situation, parking long distances and being carted by a golf cart only to have to wait in a very long line to get into the building. The only thing that they did correctly, was allow the ones who had a photo op and signing at 11 (which is when it opened for general admission) for The X Files cast go to the front of the line. Having autograph tickets and photo ops for Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny sell prior to the show was very smart on their behalf, however it was still very crowded in the halls and in the main room with waits still last for hours, which means they over sold it. The Q&A panels were more organized by having those wanting to attend wait in a taped line and then had us go as soon as each panel cleared out. 

Day 3, the final day, I wish to say that it was finally organized with it coming to an end but it was not. The only thing that finally had order to it was the Elvira funko pop line. They kept it hush hush and limited to how many each person were to have (2 a person) and there were a few volunteers in place to keep the line from getting out of hand, a system which actually went smoothly. Upon leaving early, there was nothing else that could be covered on Sunday.

The highlight of the con for me personally would consist of  The Sleepaway Camp girls photo op and seeing The Soska Twins and their never-ending hugs and passionate outpour of their gratitude to their fans. Usually at conventions I never have a chance to attend many panels, so attending Kathy Najimy’s (Hocus Pocus, Sister Act) and The Sleepaway Camp girls panel really was a highlight for me. It was also amazing to see how the chemistry between the Sleepaway Camp girls were for not seeing each other in 35 years. Katherine Kamhi(Meg) made her first con appearance and hopefully this will not be her last. The guests were great and were very grateful to each of their fans who were local and not local.

I have heard from various Spooky attendees that this is not how every con has been in the years, while that maybe true, this will be a last for me. 

Overall Grade: D-

 

Posted by Sarah Gregory in Categories, REVIEWS, 0 comments
FREAKSHOW DESIGNS & SIDESHOW SAUCES

FREAKSHOW DESIGNS & SIDESHOW SAUCES

FREAKSHOW DESIGNS out of Orlando Florida. Take note. Why do I bring this name to your attention? Because you need to know and remember this name!


FREAKSHOW DESIGNS is the collaboration of the husband and wife team of Matt Allen and Angie Calabrese. About three years ago, I first met these two horror-loving love birds online, and we instantly hit off. I soon found out of their own contributions to the horror world and, as a matter of fact, discovered that I had been admiring their work online before I even knew it was theirs. The items I’m talking about are incredible hand-crafted lamps. Each lamp is unique, and they even make them to order. At first, Angie was known among friends of mine “The Lamp Lady”. Everyone knew who you meant when you said it.


I asked Angie Calabrese for a bit of background on FREAKSHOW DESIGNS, and this is what she had to say:

Freakshow Designs was born 3 years ago. Our first show was Spooky Empire in the spring of 2014. Starting out with 22 skull lamps, we really didn't know if people would be interested in our stuff. We ended up selling out, which prompted us to vend that following October. One week before our horror-themed wedding. Products include skull lamps, hand painted Xmas ornaments, replicas of Freddy gloves and the Audrey II. New ideas are constantly on the horizon and I'm sure we'll be doing more. Cons we've vended [at] include Walker Stalker and Spooky Empire. In the future, we plan on Bay of Blood in Tampa, and once we get our hearse on the road, any con that will have us! Our lamps are on display at Artegon mall inside Gods and Monsters Orlando as well as Coffee Shop of Horrors. Our website is now open! We can also be found on Facebook. It's our pleasure to do custom jobs as well. Inspiration comes from our love of horror. But mostly we feel there's not enough year-round decor for horror fans available in stores. We love our friends in the horror community and hope to branch out as far as we can.

Most recently, Matt “The Mad Scientist” Allen, has brought to life a new creature – or, to be exact, several new creatures: SIDESHOW SAUCES! That's right, Matt loaded his laboratory with the freshest of vegetables, spices, and a lot of HOT STUFF to bring his specialty horror-themed hot sauce flavors to the world.

As of now, they offer the following flavors:


Sideshow Sauces - Bearded Lady-500x500

Blended with fresh, organic, Georgia peaches, tangy and fresh grated ginger, and blazing hot Habanero peppers.



Sideshow Sauces - Bubba the Redneck Werewolf-500x500

Straight out of Cracker County! Bubba likes his wings HOT with a touch of the ole Bourbon. This sauce gives you all the flavor a fun loving werewolf could ever need! Check out everything Bubba at
www.bubbatheredneckwerewolf.com.



Sideshow Sauces - Java Lava-500x500

Infused with Coffee Shop of Horror’s “My Little Cuban Friend”. This mix of Chipotle, Habanero, and Coffee gives you the heat you want with a KICK! Say HELLO to my little friend!!! Check out www.coffeeshopofhorrors.com or some AWESOME COFFEE!!!



Sideshow Sauces - Key Lime-500x500

Her song will bring your taste buds to the depths of HELL! Fresh, organic Key Lime juice, blended with Serrano peppers and a couple Scotch Bonnets thrown in for a little extra HEAT. Give your taste buds some heat with the one of a kind tang of Key Lime.



Sideshow Sauces - Tom's Slaughterhouse-500x500

A secret family recipe available in hot, medium, and mild.



Sideshow Sauces - Vamp Slayer-500x500

A recipe from Van Helsing himself, used to defend
against vampires. Fresh Roasted Organic Garlic blended with Organic Red Chili Peppers. The perfect combination to keep those blood suckers away from your neck!


Last, but certainly no less delicious than the others, is Tortured Souls Jalapeno Hot Sauce. Yes, you read that right: Tortured Souls, a sauce named after your favorite horror website, House of Tortured Souls. And is it made with actual tortured souls? Only Matt knows for sure.

A blend of fresh, organic Jalapenos and organic Tomatillos. Just enough heat to torture any soul to its core. Visit our friends at www.houseoftorturedsouls.com for everything HORROR!

It was just a few short months ago Matt and Angie approached me about using House of Tortured Souls on one of their sauces, and last week I received the finished product – complete with killer label artwork – in the mail! It actually brought a small tear to this old man’s eyes. When they first asked if I’d care to join in, “HELL YEAH” was my response. I was honored. Then I found out that two weeks ago at their sauce-tasting event at Coffee Shop of Horror, the reviews were incredible! The favorite? Why House of Tortured Souls, the jalapeño and tomatillo sauce, of course! In case it’s not obvious, this is a huge personal source of pride for me – and for HOUSE OF TORTURED SOULS – and we thank FREAKSHOW DESIGNS for allowing us to be a part of something this special!

As I mentioned before, I have now known FREAKSHOW DESIGNS personally for three years, but what I didn’t mention is that we have never even met in person! We have tried making plans, but often times life gets in the way. Still, we have assured each other that one day it will happen! Perhaps we may even combine House of Tortured Souls and FREAKSHOW DESIGN somewhere on the road and vend together. Who knows what the future holds?

Matt and Angie bust their asses to bring us new and creative products to the horror world, and whatever is next, I assure you, will be more than worth the wait!


Now, get on over to WWW.FREAKSHOW-DESIGN.COM, order some hot sauces, feel the burn, and tell them I sent ya!!

Matt Allen, the Devil, and Angie Calabrese

Congratulations, Matt and Angie, we love you both!

Keep It Evil...

Posted by John Roisland in ART AND VENDORS, FOOD AND DRINK, 2 comments
DEADLIEST BREW:  The Coffee Shop of Horrors

DEADLIEST BREW: The Coffee Shop of Horrors

By John Roisland

So you're doing the family thing. You've packed your bermuda shorts and your newest Harley Davidson t-shirt, threw the kids into the family truckster, and headed down I-95 to Disney and or Universal Studios. You've made it into Orlando, O-town, the wife is nagging, the kids are already screaming they're bored, and all you want to do is wake up or kill someone cause you just spent the last 11-13 hours behind the wheel for a family vacation! Well, last I checked, murdering someone IS still illegal, but there is a way to wake you up!

Head on over to The Coffee Shop of Horrors. If you're looking for a good cup of joe to start your day or even just calm you down from the road, this is the place! Located at 16937 Lakeside Dr, in Montverde, Florida, since 2007, The Coffee Shop of Horrors offers you nothing but the best and freshest coffees - always ground fresh per order - and a wide variety of flavors. But why shouldn't you just go to "FourBucks", uh, Starbucks? That's easy to answer: The Coffee Shop of Horrors isn't corporate, they're an independent business, locally owned and putting their all into their dream! They make the kind of coffee they would want to buy. Shop local applies to food and COFFEE, too!

CSoH-logo

Not only do these fine baristas offer you a wide variety of only the freshest flavors, they also offer you delicious pastries and other snacks to enjoy with your coffee. Still not sold on why to go here? Hmmm... Did I mention The Coffee Shop of Horrors is also a horror-based establishment? The name, taken from The Little Shop of Horrors, does not lie - the establishment is a horror fan's dream.

From horror-themed decor to t-shirts, they also bag and sell their own brand of flavored coffees and all with horror related names, such as Burial Grounds, a dark roast named in honor of Cemetery Prints, a horror-themed photographer (Sid Graves) from Fort Lauderdale. At certain times of the year, even their pastries are horror-themed, and who wouldn't like a dozen little wolfman cupcakes?

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The atmosphere is comfortable, and there is plenty of space to unwind and relax. They even have a coffee table that looks like something out of a GWAR video. (I must have that table!) While you're there, be sure to check out the hand-crafted work from local artists/horror fans Freakshow Designs. Trust me when I say that you will be sorry if you miss out on their work!

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Matt Allen of FREAKSHOW DESIGN

The Coffee Shop of Horrors can also be found at charity events as well as a vendor at Spooky Empire, Florida's largest horror convention.

Now, don't worry if you live in BFE, and this is to much of a travel for you. This is the age of technology, so The Coffee Shop of Horrors is online and ready to ship their products to your door! After you place your order, head on over to their Facebook page and give 'em a like.

So the next time you're in family vacation hell... or just looking for a great cup of coffee, with fellow horror family, be sure stop in at The Coffee Shop of Horrors.

Keep It Evil.

Posted by John Roisland in PRODUCT REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 2 comments
WOMEN IN HORROR MONTH: P.J. SOLES

WOMEN IN HORROR MONTH: P.J. SOLES

P.J. Soles

P.J. Soles

By John Roisland

Before the month gets away from us, I must take a moment to cast my vote for Women  in Horror Month: the lovely P.J. Soles. This hasn't been an easy choice with so much great talent in the industry!

From Scream Queen legends Jamie Lee Curtis and Danielle Harris to academy award winning make up  artist Vee Neill to the twisted minds behind the camera -Sylvia and Jen Soska, there are legions of talented women in horror. In fact, there are too many names to list here, but P.J., for me, comes with a personal reason.

P.J. Soles, born in 1950 in Frankfurt, Germany, got her first major part in the 1976 Brian De Palma film Carrie, an adaptation of the Stephen King novel of the same name. As Norma, the ballcap wearing and wisecracking pigtailed cutie, P.J. won the hearts of many...I was 4. Since then, P.J. went on to many other roles, such as John Carpenter's Halloween and Stripes, and all with her trademark pigtails. She was at the convention supporting her role in Rob Zombie's The Devils Rejects, and as I mentioned, mine comes with a story.

P.J. as Lynda van der Klok in the 1978 classic John Carpenter's Halloween.

P.J. as Lynda van der Klok in the 1978 classic John Carpenter's Halloween.

A few years ago, my wife Stephanie and I were living in Florida and attended Spooky Empire, an incredible horror convention in Orlando. P.J. was on the celebrity guest list. After wandering around and taking everything in, we headed into the celebrity room on a mission to meet P.J. Just as we got thru the threshold of the ballroom door, I literally bump into her, look at her, and say "Oh hi. You're leaving?" She gave me a worried, almost brokenhearted look, like a mom whose kid wanted to hang out with her as she was leaving for work, and said, "Honey, I'm just running out to grab a sandwich for lunch. Come see me in an hour...PROMISE ME?!" She laughed, gave me a hug, and off she went, disappearing in the ocean of fans that filled the halls.

P.J. as Susan with Sid Haig as Captain Spaulding in Rob Zombie's The Devil's Rejects.

P.J. as Susan with Sid Haig as Captain Spaulding in Rob Zombie's The Devil's Rejects.

We wander around for a while, and about an hour or so later we made our way back to P.J.'s table. As we did, she saw us, stood up and said "IT'S ABOUT TIME!!" With a big smile on her face, she came around the table and gave us huge hugs. We talked for a good 40 minutes, the room at this time wasn't busy, or I wouldn't have taken up so much time. But since we were the only ones there at the moment, and we were all really enjoying ourselves, why not?!

She talked with excitement in her eyes. We talked about her family, John Carpenter, Bill Murray, Rob Zombie and sandwiches...she likes a good sandwich. We took a few pictures, hugged, shook hands, thanked her for her time, and asked kindly how much we owed her for her time. She smiled and simply said, "Go enjoy the show, and stop by or wave if you come back through." And that we did. Every time we were in the area, and she just smiled and waved as if we were family.

Not charging us is not the reason that I put P.J Soles at the top of my list. I put her there because of her heart, how she treated us, and how she made us feel. She took the time to make a difference with the fans.

I've met a good number of celebrities, some nicer than others, but none have ever treated me quite like this - like a person, not rushing through with a fake smile and quick to collect your money. P.J. was genuinely appreciative. Let me just add that John Carpenter was the headlining guest at this show and his table was also next to P.J.'s table. Those of you who know me know that Carpenter is my favorite. He was a bucket list for me.

We went and met with the legendary John Carpenter, but we went back to the always lovely, P.J. Soles.

Congratulations P.J. Soles, on this well deserved recognition for Women In Horror Month.

Keep it Evil.

Posted by John Roisland in WOMEN IN HORROR, 0 comments

EDITORIAL: Remembering Mr. Hansen

By John Roisland

images (5)

Early this morning, my wife Stephanie woke me up to tell me of the heart breaking news of the passing of Mr. Hansen. As most or many of you know, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is my personal favorite horror film, and at that, Leatherface is my favorite horror character. Mr. Hansen, to me, IS Leatherface. There are others who have played the role, but, I'm sorry, none compare to Mr. Hansen's portrayal.

Now, I, as many of you have, had the chance to meet him. Mine was at Spooky Empire in Orlando in 2007. I was there with a group of friends from Florida, and this was my very first convention. It's kind of funny. It was about six on a Friday evening, and the convention was rapidly filling up. I was getting tattooed by my good friend Kelly Rogers, who owns and works at Gearhead Tattoo out of Cape Coral and we were all taking a smoke break outside. While out in the hallway, here comes Mr. Hansen, a mountain of a man, headed my way. I can still remember yelling OH SHIIIIT!!!! as I ran back into the the tattoo room, literally diving over the vending table, knocking all kinds of shit over, digging through my backpack to get my camera. I made it back to the corridor just in time as he had just got to where I was.

Out of breath I said said his name, he stopped, turned and looked down at me, "Yes?" was all he said. I kindly explained what I had just done, and asked if I could trouble him for a moment of his time . He agreed, the photo was taken, I said, “Thank you, and it was an honor to meet you, sir”. He looked down and stared at me for a second with that deep look of his, and disappeared into the crowd.
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Was I a bit star struck? Yeah I guess I was, but also know that Mr. Hansen was the first celebrity that I had met at the convention...I also know that I could have honestly gone home after that. It couldn't have gotten any better. And yes, I did go and actually visit Mr.Hansen at his table later during the convention, spoke with him, and had apologized if I had made a spectacle of myself earlier. He just smiled and we shook hands. I don't think I will ever forget meeting him, nor will I ever forget Mr. Hansen.

Feeling broken by this news...

You are deeply missed, sir.

Stay Evil

Posted by John Roisland in EDITORIALS, TRIBUTE, 0 comments