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HELLABRATION DELUXE! Thirty-One Days of SHOCKTOBER: Day Three – 10/03/18

HELLABRATION DELUXE! Thirty-One Days of SHOCKTOBER: Day Three – 10/03/18

10/03 – 1989: PET SEMATARY

It would become a trope that casual and die-hard Stephen King fans would get used to hearing in the years and decades to come: the “unfilmable” story or novel that Hollywood would be hot to splatter onto the big screen.  Novels that King himself said were either “too scary”, “too surreal” ortoo personal”for him to ever consider putting out there as movie fodder. PET SEMATARY was one of those many novels, but not only was it ‘filmable’, but it’s one of

the films that stuck the closest to the source material; maybe even a bit more than CARRIE and CHRISTINE did.

Avant-garde director MARY LAMBERT (SIESTA), working from a script by the Author Himself, (which didn’t hurt the quality one bit), ramped up the dread and the dead in this beloved, spooky tale of a family who moves to a house in Maine that comes with something extra…a backyard to the backyard that contains the local “pet sematary”, where all the furry family members go on their way to the “Rainbow Bridge.” Ah, but it’s what lies beyond that patch of ground, that’s a catalyst for the phantasmaGOREical horrors to come.

The way-too busy highway in front of the house is a guarantee that the ‘sematary’ will have plenty of occupants…but

so will the place where the dead go to…well, to quote the title of another famed King tale, “Sometimes They Come Back.” Only in this particular case, when

they do, they’re not your loved ones anymore, human or animal, and they’re always…hungry.


STAR TREK alumni DALE MIDKIFF and DENISE “Tasha Y’ar” CROSBY play parents Louis and Rachel Creed, who move to this picturesque but dangerous part of Maine with their kids, toddler Gage (everyone’s pick for “Best Weird Kid” MIKO HUGHES) and pre-teen Ellie (BLAZE BERDAHL).

A near-tragedy involving Gage (foreshadowing and then some) introduces the Creed family to their kindly old neighbor, Jud Crandall (the late, great FRED GWYNNE), who is the local ‘keeper of secrets’, and is also the link between Louis and the “pet sematary.”

Those who have seen it a thousand times (and at least a few more than that) knows where things are going from here. Those who don’t, and who haven’t read the book? The less you know going in, the better, because the scarier it’s guaranteed to be, if you’re “in the dark” about the finer details.

The cast is perfect; great performances from all concerned parties.  But the greatest nightmare fuel comes from two ‘unknown’ actors who play the apparitions that help give the story it’s scrotum-shriveling chills: BRAD GREENQUIST, who plays a hapless jogger that Louis encounters, and ANDREW HUBATSEK, who goes above and beyond, playing a terrifying figure from Rachel’s past.

As a fiercely sought-after video director who helmed concert and song clips for everyone from Madonna and Janet Jackson to Chris Isaac and Bobby Brown, the strong, at-times ethereal visual sense she has made her a perfect match for King’s script. SEMATARY gave her quite the cinematic ‘sandbox’ to play in, and she clearly took every advantage of it, creating set-pieces so beautifully creepy, that I still get goosebumps just thinking about them.

This is a choice you could never go wrong with for a cloudy, spooky Halloween night. And as the perfect companion piece, may I suggest UNEARTHED AND UNTOLD: THE PATH TO PET SEMATARY? It’s one of the most exhaustive and thorough docs about the ‘making of’ a movie that’s out there.

Oh, and “Post-MORTEM-SCRYPT”: Ready or not, asked for or not, a SEMATARY remake is in the works, with JASON CLARKE (WINCHESTER), AMY SEIMETZ (ALIEN: COVENANT) and JOHN LITHGOW (from a list too long to mention) will be taking over the roles of Louis and Rachel Creed and Jud Crandall, respectively…And before you roll your eyes outta your head at the very notion, check this: KEVIN KOLSCH and DENNIS WIDMEYER (STARRY EYES) are directing, from a script by DAVID KAJGANICH (the SUSPIRIA remake).  That certainly makes me want to give it a fighting chance…

What’s HoTs in Mainstream Horror?

What’s HoTs in Mainstream Horror?

This year has seen many exciting releases cinematically and on DVD / Bluray for horror fans, from the thrilling John Krasinski film A Quiet Place to the latest addition to the Children of the Corn franchise Runaway.

As usual, the genre is so varied and in the coming months, 2018 is set to provide us with even more variety to enjoy on both the big and small screen.

Here’s a sample of what’s to come.

Coming to Cinemas

Mainstream Horror: Slender Man (2018)Cinematically we begin with the release of the long-awaited film Slender Man, On August 24th. Based on the 2011 myth created as part of a competition, the film supposedly investigates that and the resulting case where two 12-year-old girls attempted to murder their friend in the woods, claiming it was because of Slender Man in 2014.
Mainstream Horror: The Little Stranger (2018)The next release will be The Little Stranger, which will hit cinemas on August 31st. Starring Domhall Gleeson, Ruth Wilson, and Charlotte Rampling, this release focuses on a ghost story and is being described as a stylistic thriller set in a big British country house.
Mainstream Horror: The Predator (2018)Many fans will be excited on September 14th, when The Predator is finally released. This newest installment of the franchise is co-written and directed by Shane Black (who actually played Hawkins in the original Predator film back in 1987) and will feature the Predator within suburbia.
Mainstream Horror: Mandy (2018)On September 14th the film Mandy will hit the big screen. Panos Cosmatos directs this film set in 1983 in the wilderness. The film stars Nic Cage and focuses on a supernatural revenge drama, sinister cultists, and demons on motorbikes.
Mainstream Horror: The House with a Clock in Its Walls (2018)The House With A Clock In Its Walls will arrive on September 21st. It is about a 10-year-old boy who awakens the dead, a sleepy town becomes filled with all kinds of interesting and dark creatures. This is Directed by Eli Roth and stars Jack Black, Cate Blanchett, and Kyle McLachlan.
Mainstream Horror: Halloween (2018)October wouldn’t be perfect without the release of the long-awaited return of John Carpenter with his beloved Halloween on October 17th. Following the original release (as a direct sequel), we will pick up 40 years later, with Laurie yet again having a face-off with Michael.
Mainstream Horror: Suspiria (2018)On November 2nd we will see the controversial release, of the long-awaited American remake of Dario Argento’s classic film Suspiria. The film focuses on the darkness that envelopes a dance troupe, focusing on an ambitious young dancer and a grieving psychotherapist. Will fans embrace this remake? Only time will tell.

Coming to DVD and Blu-ray
As for the big DVD and Blu-ray releases coming in the remainder of the year, most will help fans revisit some of the biggest releases of this year so far.

Mainstream Horror: Boar (2017)On August 15th, Australian filmmaker Chris Sun’s Boar is released on DVD and Blu-ray and on demand. For preorders, you can head to Sun’s website for Slaughter FX and secure a copy early. The film is centered on a large boar terrorizing a family and members of a small outback community. It stars Bill Moseley, Nathan Jones, and John Jarratt.
Mainstream Horror: Cargo (2017)On September 5th Cargo will be released.  Cargo features Martin Freeman in this story about the aftermath of a pandemic and one desperate infected father’s struggle to find his infant child and protect her, even from him.
Mainstream Horror: Hereditary (2018)Two weeks later on September 19th, fans will be able to get their own copy of the film Hereditary in stores. It stars Toni Collette in a chilling film about a mother dealing with grief while trying to understand her daughter’s strange behavior. With a mixed reaction at the box office, will fans flock to buy their copy?
Mainstream Horror: Mary Shelley (2017)And finally, on November 14th, we will get the Mary Shelley DVD and Blu-ray release. Starring Elle Fanning, this is a retelling of the story of Frankenstein author Mary Shelley that did quite well at the screenings it had in April and May at various film festivals.
Posted by Michelle MIDI Sayles in COMING SOON, HORROR NEWS, NEW RELEASES, 0 comments
WiHM: Suspiria (1975) 4k Restored

WiHM: Suspiria (1975) 4k Restored

Suspiria is without question ranks as one of my favorites not only in horror but films in general. And that is really saying a lot because I have seen thousands of films. Its mixture of pulse-pounding terror, beauty, gore, and fairytale-like rhythm instantly drew me in and had a huge impact on me upon viewing. So you can imagine how excited I was to hear that not only was the film finally getting a beautiful new 4k Blu but also that the print was touring the country. It was a huge undertaking for Synapse and it took a whopping four years to complete. But let me tell you it was well worth the wait. Twentieth Century Fox currently owns the theatrical rights and have allowed select theaters to exhibit it.

The film is about Susie (Jessica Harper) who is attending a famous dance academy but she soon discovers a terrifying secret lurking all around her.

Audio and Visuals: Argento’s films are known for their trademark color schemes of reds and blues and Suspiria is perhaps his most visual work of art and this is really where the 4k shines. The colors are masterfully handled and when the first bit of blood begins to flow you can really tell how it pops. There were also little details in the film that I completely missed which is a further testament to what a bang-up job Synapse did in bringing this classic back to life. It was really breathtaking especially when you consider this is a 40-year-old movie. Of course, the film is as famous for its ear-thumping and unnerving soundtrack by Goblin. In fact, many horror fans consider it the greatest soundtrack of all time and right out of the gate the score hits you. It was just incredible to hear the score which was crisp, clear and really gets under your skin.

Final Thoughts: If Suspiria ever plays anywhere near you or you have to drive a few hours it’s highly worth it. The film has never looked and sounded better and getting to see it up on the big screen is a true event.

Check out some of these comparison images from Synapse films, and let House of Tortured Souls know what you think.

Posted by Mike Vaughn in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
Suspiria (2018) A Remake I Can Get Behind

Suspiria (2018) A Remake I Can Get Behind

Hey, horror fans! We all love Suspiria and the works of all of the Argento’s and I know I am normally the one who boo hoo’s all remakes but this has so many great people attached and they all love and appreciate the project that I am actually encouraged! Actress Mia Goth I saw reported says that it is not a remake but an homage to the original film. Some of the characters do seem different but the premise seems the same so we shall see, but in the meantime lets just go with the original. Hopefully, you all know the original premise but if you do not, let me share. Plot summarist for IMDB Polly_Kat gives us this:

Susie Bannion, a young American woman who travels to the prestigious Markos Tanz Company in Berlin in 1977, arriving just as one of its members, Patricia, has disappeared under mysterious circumstances. As Susie makes extraordinary progress under the guidance of Madame Blanc, the Company’s revolutionary artistic director, she befriends another dancer, Sara, who shares her suspicions that the Matrons, and the Company itself, may be harboring a dark and menacing secret.

Known for its amazing writing, directing, acting, and lush colors, Suspiria was always considered an art house film, to me it is a horror fans’ horror film. And when I look at horror remakes I look for writers involved. In this case, they are Dario Argento who wrote the original characters. He is the firstborn son of famed producer Salvatore Argento. Daria Nicolodi is the mother of Asia Argento and wrote the original screenplay and also starred in Phenomena and Deep Red written and directed by Dario Argento. The screenplay was written by David Kajganich writer for the upcoming Ridley Scott production The Terror TV series, Blood Creek, and The Invasion. So many amazing people that will hold true to the filmmaking of the original Suspiria from 1977. The wonderful director is Luca Guadagnino, known for Call Me by Your Name (2017), I Am Love (2009) and A Bigger Splash (2015).

To add more fuel to the fire is the amazing cast. Chloe Grace Moretz (Let Me In, Carrie, Kick-Ass) as Patricia, Dakota Johnson (The Social Network, The 50 Shades Trilogy) as Suzie Bannion, the incomparable Tilda Swinton (Doctor Strange, Constantine, and was reported to be one of the choices for Pennywise in the new IT movie) as Madame Blanc, Jessica Harper (Suspiria original as Suzie Bannion, Minority Report) as Anke, Mia Goth (the new amazing film A Cure For Wellness, Everest) as Sara, and Angela Winkler ( Tin Drum, Clouds of Sils Maria) as Miss Tanner.

Another thing I was so excited to find out is that the film score is being done by Thom Yorke the singer for Radiohead who has done The Prestige, Vanilla Sky, and Children of Men. He knows exactly how to set the mood for this new foray into Suspiria 2018.

The film is in post-production and I can honestly say that I am very excited for this film. One last comment from the director that he gave to Criterion,

I have three months until I finish it. It’s a very special film, and I’m proud of it,” he told Criterion. “I wonder all the time how people will react to it, being that it is based on a masterpiece. I often find myself in the position of saying ‘Oh, it’s ridiculous!’ when I hear stories that they want to remake a movie like 8½, so I don’t know if I’m going to be served the same dish. But I can say that my Suspiria is a very personal film; it’s like oxygen to me. When I saw the original movie thirty-two years ago, the emotion I felt was so strong, so mind-blowing, and so important to my upbringing. I wanted to investigate the experience I had watching that film.

We here at House of Tortured Souls will keep you updated on its progress because we know that The Truth Hides Behind These Walls!

Letranger Absurde: Interview With A Lego Builder Extraordinaire

Letranger Absurde: Interview With A Lego Builder Extraordinaire

You can find all the vignettes in this album –
Hey horror fans, Horrormadam here with an amazing artist! Letranger Absurde from Romania makes the most creative and innovative Lego displays of our favorite scenes from horror movies! I was so captivated by his work that I had to go on a search to find the man who crafted these true to form pieces. I found him fortunately when I found the Bricktastic Blog where he was in the Builder Spotlight. I reached out to him and he was extremely kind enough to answer my questions so that we here at House of Tortured Souls could take you on a behind the scenes look into the world of Lego building.
House of Tortured Souls: So you are from Romania I saw with rolug (Romanian LEGO® Users Group), is the Lego culture any different than in the US?
Andrei: I can only speak about the US culture from what I’ve noticed through online interactions, so I may be off the mark, but people seem to be more receptive to novelty and pop culture in general, so a hobby like this is easier to accept and get into. Around here they’re more… traditional, for the lack of a better word; the association Lego = toy makes many people frown at the idea and stops them from being able to take it seriously; it also makes adult fans buy them under the guise of buying for their children and keep their passion as a dirty little secret, but things seem to be changing lately – only in the last year our lug doubled it’s number of active members if I’m not mistaken. Another thing I noticed is that people around here (and Europe in general) tend to lean towards Lego technic more – the side of Lego dealing with functions with little care for the aesthetics (remote controlled cars, moving cranes and so on).
HoTS: Why did you choose to make scenes from horror films?
Andrei: I’ve been a horror fan for most of my life (since I was 8 or 9), so it would have happened one way or another. But the decision to make a series was due to the poor representation the genre had in the community. Aside from some builds here and there, mostly dealing with the mainstream, you could find mainly pictures of mini-figures (customs in general) with no focus on scenes and plenty of generic Halloween builds so I wanted to try and change that.
HoTS: How do you choose the scenes?
Andrei: I mostly build what I like, but there are other factors that come into play. I tried to keep a balance between popular and lesser-known movies to maintain the audience’s interest with the familiar ones and hopefully draw their attention to the ones they haven’t seen. Also, no matter how much I like a movie, it needs a scene that translates well both into the new medium and into a purely visual vignette, since horror tends to rely a lot on atmosphere, sounds, lights, music, camera angles and so on – remove all that and you’re left with something very bland and boring in many cases. For example, I wanted to add Halloween to the list, but I can’t find a scene that would make an interesting build. And finally, having close enough mini-figure parts to build the characters, especially the villain; it’s one of the main parts I wanted to get right.
HoTS: Do you custom design any of the pieces or are they all available from Lego?
Andrei: This is one of the bigger divides in the Lego community – altered parts or limiting your self to available ones. I chose to stick with available parts for a number of reasons: It’s the popular choice and the standard for any contests and such; it offers a great gauge to judge the quality of builds since everybody has access to the exact same tools of the trade. Actually, I can’t really give a good reason here, except that it just seems right, it’s Lego building after all and altering parts feels closer to sculpting. 🙂
Also, part use is something appreciated in the community in general, meaning using parts in interesting, unintended ways; let’s take Audition, for example, to stick with the horror theme:
Letranger Absurde Lego Audition
The couch pillows used in here are hats from this painter mini-figure:

And the tablecloth is the ruff from this fella:
Letranger Absurde Lego Shakespeare
Other examples from The Evil Dead (1981):
Letranger Absurde The Evil Dead
The Necronomicon is made from the printed eyes of the gorilla:
Letranger Absurde Unaussprechlichen Kulten
And the moose head is made from a brown frog and a helmet decoration:
Letranger Absurde Lego FrogLetranger Absurde Lego Moose Helmet
Not the most exciting or creative examples, but this wasn’t my focus in the horror series; hopefully they give a rough idea on what I’m trying to say; not sure how interesting this bit is for someone outside the hobby.
HoTS: What are some of your favorite horror films?
Andrei: I’ve always had a soft spot for Italian horror (Argento, Fulci, Bava); there’s so much creativity and they have a very distinctive style. Some of the most memorable soundtracks as well. I also love the lavish decors and atmosphere of Hammer films. Although despite my love for hammer, as far as vampires go, Subspecies is my favorite series, proof you don’t need doll vampires to make a proper vamp movie – and that’s coming from someone who likes doll vamps! I have to add The Wicker Man to the list as well, one of the most effective movies I’ve ever seen. As far as slashers go, one of my favorites is The Hills Run Red; sure, it’s got some problems, but it’s best moments are enough to get over the lows. And anything with Vincent Price in it. Won’t bother mentioning mainstream classics like Alien or Exorcist, sure, plenty of them on the list, but I see no point mentioning the ones pretty much everyone loves.
HoTS: What all horror themes have you done and any plans for new ones in the future?
Andrei: I have done other horror related builds over time (some were utter garbage unfortunately, I’ll throw in a few of the better ones) – the Necronomicon and Unaussprechlichen Kulten (Unaussprechliche Kulte would be the German for “unspeakable cults”) books (hoping to add Eibon (Soul Eater: Eibon is based directly based from the sorcerer of the same name from Clark Ashton Smith’s short story “The Door to Saturn“) to the list soon.
Letranger Absurde Necronomicon
Letranger Absurde Unaussprechlichen Kulten
– some Halloween builds, like the witch mosaic, the vampire couple, some busts
Letranger Absurde Boo Bitchcraft
Letranger Absurde Lego Come in for a bite

Letranger Absurde Lego Dracula Bust
Letranger Absurde Lego Frankenstein Monster Bust
– a larger scale build of the classic IT scene
Letranger Absurde IT

Andrei: Of course, I’ll continue building in the genre and I’m going to continue the vignette series soon. One of the things I’ve had on my list for a while is the lobby from Suspiria, but sourcing the parts in the right colors quite difficult and expensive. Plenty of movies from what I’ve mentioned in my favorites are on the list as well.
HoTS: Are they very hard to do, and are they time-consuming?
Andrei: In general neither, but it depends on what you’re trying to do and the complexity you aim for. Size is also a factor, but not necessarily the biggest one; you can spend more time shaping, reshaping and polishing a tiny part of a build than it takes building a castle, so it’s also up to you how much time you want to dedicate to each build. The vignettes I’ve done in the horror series were done in an afternoon/evening; at most spread over the course of 2 days; my aim here was to make them simple and accessible, yet recognizable. The biggest factor is the parts; if you don’t have what you want and have to order them, waiting for them to arrive can extend the project for weeks and is definitely the most annoying bit. But I suppose that’s true for every other hobby when it comes to sourcing the “materials”.
HoTS: I saw that your favorite one is Room With a View, what is your favorite horror one and why?
Andrei: I’m going to go with the crowd favorite here, The Exorcist. Not only was it the one that started it all, it just seemed to flow effortlessly into the new medium. Maybe I’m biased a bit towards the subject as well. Although in a way the series started a year or so before this one with the Predator vignette I’ve done back in 2015, I chose not to make it part of the series as it’s pretty mediocre and isn’t a scene directly from the movie. I’ll most likely redo this down the road.
Letranger Absurde Predator
This is one of the real benefits of working with Lego – you can always take apart a model and redo it – and the parts are there to reuse. You don’t have to deal with consumables. Or you can simply alter a few details. Maybe a new part is released that works better than what you used before, nothing stops you from replacing it. Or your skill grows with time and you figure out a better way to do things. I constantly do this with the models I have on display, I like the fact that it’s all pretty dynamic and keeps things fresh, instead of just shoving them on the shelf and let them gather dust.
HoTS: Legos are pretty pricey, how do you afford to make these?
Andrei: To some, it may seem like I’m keeping everything I do, but the opposite is true; I only have a few smaller pieces on display, the norm is built, dismantle, repeat. I only keep larger builds intact for a longer period if they’re made for exhibits.
Andrei: There are a couple of ways to get your hands on cheap parts, the easiest is buying multiples sets when they are heavily discounted and sell/trade the excess/useless bits, but this doesn’t get you exactly the parts you need. Being a part of a lug also has it benefits, allowing you to purchase cheap parts in large quantities directly from Lego, but you have little room for diversity and it happens only 2-3 times a year. It’s still a big help. The rare and specific parts I get from Bricklink. BrickLink is a venue where individuals and businesses from all around the world can buy and sell new, used, and vintage LEGO through fixed price services.
Andrei: There’s also the opportunity to get parts straight from brand stores, but I have no access to that in my area, unfortunately.
HoTS: Will you ever sell any of your pieces, or do you ever take commissions? Told my boss about you and he now wants a Lego Haunted House like on our logo. ?
Andrei: Neither, although I’ve been getting requests every now and then. I would be open to it, the issue is sourcing the parts; I don’t have the opportunity to get them locally for a decent price, so I have to get most of them from international sellers and the shipping costs alone are overkill on multiple orders. I may end up doing it someday, but for now, I’m happy with it being just a hobby. There are plenty of talented builders in the community taking commissions, so you can pretty much find the right person for any subject; although each of us has our own little touches and style so it’s a good idea to be familiar with their work beforehand.
So I want to give a huge thank you to Andrei for myself and everyone here at the House of Tortured Souls! His answers were very illuminating and insightful and they made me want to go out and start building my own Lego creations. I hope you enjoyed this, readers, and that you will go out and start making your own horror creations!
Top Five Films to Watch in October (Part 9)

Top Five Films to Watch in October (Part 9)

Part of the House of Tortured Souls
Staff Pick October 2016

By Kev B.

So, this year for Halloween we were asked to list five films we feel are essential viewing for the season, and, as usual, I find a way to bend the rules. But really, how we gonna do just five?! First, my picks are family friendly, as my daughter turns one year old this month and we are on our way to creating our new family traditions. Second, a lot of my picks are Halloween episodes of television shows with a run time of 30 minutes minus commercials. And third, I’m not much for rules...

Since she was born, I’ve been straining my brain to remember the stuff I grew up on and loved. The shows, movies, and specials that I couldn’t wait for every year. We have been watching Scooby-Doo since day one, as I think that is probably where most of us horror addicts start out. I even enjoy the newer incarnation of Mystery Inc.: Be Cool, Scooby-Doo which first aired in 2015 and features the voice talents of Mathew Lillard (Scream, SLC Punk) as Shaggy, Frank Welker (The voice of Fred since the original episodes in 1969), and Kate Micucci (You would know her if you saw her) as Velma. Interesting side note: Velma has also been voiced by actress Mindy Kohn (Natalie from The Facts of Life), which leads me into my first movie pick.

The Worst Witch (1986)

The Worst Witch / Fair use doctrine.Speaking of The Facts of Life, remember Charlotte Rae (Mrs. Garrett). Back in 1986 she starred in The Worst Witch as the headmistress of a school for witches. Its like Suspiria for kids, not really, it’s a family horror fantasy musical. And ol’ Charlotte can sing! It also stars a young Fairuza Balk (The Craft, American History X) as the title character, Liz May Brice (the first to die in the laser scene from Resident Evil), and former Bond girl Diana Rigg. The only male actor in the cast is the immensely talented Tim Curry as the Grand Wizard. It’s rated G and should be appropriate for all audiences.

Boo for You Fridays

Elana of Avalor / Fair use doctrine.While I’m on the appropriate for all audiences vibe, I offer you Boo for You Fridays on Disney Jr. All of your favorite Disney Jr. shows Halloween episodes aired all day Fridays leading up to Halloween. Sophia the First, Doc McStuffins, Sheriff Callie and my daughter’s new favorite Elana of Avalor (the Latina princess) along with Tigger and Pooh, Mickey Mouse Club, and many others all have Halloween episodes… And Elana honors her loved ones who have passed on in a “Dia De La Muertos” episode.

The Book of Life (2014)

Speaking of the day of the dead, have you seen The Book of Life? It’s a Guillermo del Toro produced musical fantasy horror love story for the whole family featuring the voices of Channing Tatum and Zoe Saldana. It’s not the greatest children’s movie, but it does have del Toro’s visual flair, a cool story, and some good musical numbers.

Corpse Bride (2005) and A Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

The Nightmare Before Christmas / Fair use doctrine.Now before I go all old school on you, let me throw in some more stuff for the new generation. Without wasting too much time, what’s Halloween without Tim Burton? Corpse Bride and, of course, A Nightmare Before Christmas are essential viewing for kids of all ages. My daughter loves music (I think she will really love the almost operatic quality of this classic) and I can’t wait to sit down with her and watch the Pumpkin King hi-jack Christmas.

The Simpsons “Treehouse of Horror”

If you let your kids watch The Simpsons, the annual "Treehouse of Horror" episodes are always classics. I used to be a die-hard Simpsons fan, but I felt it lost something over the years, and now only occasionally visit Springfield on Halloween.

Ernest Scared Stupid (1991)

Do you remember Ernest P. Worrell? The yokel with the catch phrase “KnowhutImean?” I think he started out in commercials for 7-UP soda… Well, Jim Varney parlayed that character into a career spanning 10 films (some straight to video) and I doubt anyone born after the year 1995 has any clue what I’m talking about… But Ernest Scared Stupid is a fun little flick where Ernest battles trolls and defeats a family curse to save Halloween and the world.

The Halloween That Almost Wasn’t (1979)

The Halloween That Almost Wasn't / Fair use doctrine.And since I’m in the realm of movies so old nobody knows what I’m talking about, does anyone remember The Halloween That Almost Wasn’t aka The Night that Dracula Saved The World starring Judd Hirsch from Taxi as a surprisingly good Dracula? I’m not sure how easily available it is, but you can catch it on YouTube just to get some nostalgia on. Dracula, Frankenstein, and all the other famous monsters must convince the witch to fly over the moon to save Halloween. Sound familiar? It was 1979, so maybe not.

It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966)

It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown / Fair use doctrine.Okay. Last call, get the kids in their jammies and lets watch a solid gold Halloween classic. Originally aired in 1966 (before even I was born), It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown! The Halloween special is celebrating its 50th year.. Lucy spends the night in the pumpkin patch with Linus waiting on a legend he swears is real while the others go trick or treating and stock up on candy.

It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown / Fair use doctrine.

"I got a rock."

Except Charlie Brown, “I got a rock”!

Family Guy “Peternormal Activity” (2015)

Family Guy - Peternormal Activity / Fair use doctrine.So, are the kids ready for bed yet? Because my next recomendation is a little too much for the little ones. Back in 2015 Family Guy aired an episode called “Peternormal Activity” that I thought was instant classic material, that ranks right up there with the best “Treehouse of Horror” episodes.

Night of the Demons (1988)

Now that the kids are all asleep, lets crank up the Bauhaus, chug some brews, and party it up with Angela and Suzanne at Hull House! Its adults only, and shit gets crazy real quick on Halloween night when 10 horny teens hold a séance at the old abandoned funeral home… Night of the Demons is one of my favorite Halloween movies, but as I said, make sure your little monsters are in a deep sleep before you go there… And have a happy and safe Halloween!

Posted by Alan Smithee in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments


11 – 18 SEPTEMBER 2016

By The Crimson Executioner
Woofer McWooferson

The Vortexx Hosts_02


Welcome to The Vortexx where it's been ALL HOSTS ALL THE TIME FOR SIX YEARS! We've got another great line-up of shows, hosts, and movies for your viewing and chatting pleasure including THREE indie movies marking their Vortexx debut along with several returning favorites starring Bela Lugosi, Tor Johnson, and Spider-Gary. Our hosts this week are Arachna of the Spider People & Deadly, Vincent Grimmly, Freakshow & the Bordello gang, Dr. Lady & the Usual Suspects, Bobby Gammonster & Boris the Buzzard with guest host Vincent Grimmly, Mr. Lobo, Lord Blood-Rah, and Misty Brew. Enjoy the shows and thanks for hanging out!

Vortexx-Bride of the Monster-20160911_Beware Theater

Sunday (9/11) @ 9:00 P.M. (ET)
The Vortexx premiere of

BEWARE THEATER with Arachna of the Spider People and her friend Deadly presents another gem from the Golden Age of Black-and-White -- Ed Wood's BRIDE OF THE MONSTER (1955). In his last starring role, an emaciated Bela Lugosi plays an aging mad scientist with a plan to create a race of supermen with the help of Tor Johnson. Bela shows off his acting chops in his memorable "Home, I Have No Home" soliloquy, and the final scene where he wrestles with a rubber octopus must be seen in order to be believed.


Monday (9/12) @ 9:00 P.M. (ET)

Join us tonight as NIGHT CHILLS THEATRE with Vincent Grimmly returns to The Vortexx for its second appearance. Vincent and his pet raven Phydeaux will be hosting Coleman (Red Zone Cuba) Francis's masterpiece THE BEAST OF YUCCA FLATS (1961). Tor Johnson gets to show his acting range, playing a defecting Russian rocket scientist named Joseph Javorsky. Pursued by KGB agents, Javorsky stumbles onto a nuclear testing site in the Nevada wastelands, gets wasted, and becomes . . . you guessed it . . . Tor Johnson! Director Francis, who also narrates, provides plenty of unintended laughs with lines such as "once a brilliant scientist, now just fatty grease for the wheels of progress." Francis, who bears more than a passing resemblance to Curly of The 3 Stooges, also appears briefly as a gas station attendant and as a man buying a newspaper. We're hoping that Vincent's sidekick Phydeaux will be more talkative tonight than he was in last week's episode.


Tuesday (9/13) @ 9:00 P.M. (ET)
The Vortexx premiere of

BORDELLO OF HORROR with Freakshow, Mistress Malicious, Sgt. Drizzlepuss, Ali Katt, and Marijohuana presents The Vortexx premiere of MONSTROID: IT CAME FROM THE LAKE (1980). This low-budget indie, supposedly based on a true story, is about a rural Colombian village that is attacked by a sea serpent who's been aroused by the industrial pollution of a nearby lake. For an indie it's got a surprising number of "name" actors, including John Carradine playing a local priest who believes the monster is sent by God to punish sinners. Jim Mitchum (the spitting image of his more famous dad), Philip Carey (who played Texas tycoon Asa Buchanan for almost three decades on the popular soap opera One Life to Live), and veteran B-movie actor Anthony Eisley round out the cast. Carradine, whose contempt for this movie can be seen on his scowling face, reportedly said, "This is the worst piece of s--t I've ever worked on and I've worked on a lot of pieces of s--t." In addition to the movie, Freaky will be entertaining us with special musical guests The Malcolmexicans, a movie review by Mark Krawczyk from The Final Cut, and more!


Wednesday (9/14) @ 9:00 P.M. (ET)
Dario Argento's SUSPIRIA (1976)

THE LATE DR. LADY SHOW with Dr David Lady and the Usual Suspects presents Dario Argento's SUSPIRIA (1976). A young girl (Jessica Harper) arrives at a fancy ballet academy run by a coven of witches in this stylish Italian thriller. Joan Bennett and Alida Valli -- both major stars in their heyday -- co-star as the school's directress Madame Blanc and her Nazified assistant Miss Tanner. Cult actor Udo Kier, best known for his lead roles in Andy Warhol's Frankenstein and Andy Warhol's Dracula, appears in a small supporting role. The shocks are plentiful, including a room full of barbed wire and maggots falling from the ceiling. And we guarantee, the sound track by Goblin is the loudest you'll ever hear.


Thursday (9/15) @ 9:00 P.M. (ET)

MONSTER MOVIE NIGHT with Bobby Gammonster, Boris The Buzzard, and special guest host Vincent Grimmly presents a Vortexx favorite -- HORRORS OF SPIDER ISLAND (1962). It's about a troupe of beautiful dancers who find themselves stranded on a deserted island with their square-shouldered manager Gary (Alex D'Arcy). Their skinny-dipping routine is disrupted when Gary gets bit by a spider and becomes . . . . Spider-Gary! Oh, the horrors of it all! Vincent appears in tonight's episode, live from Castle Pappdeckel, via Bobby's video scream-o-phone.


Friday (9/16) @ 9:00 P.M. (ET)
The Vortexx premiere of

We're celebrating Halloween early tonight as CINEMA INSOMNIA WITH MR. LOBO presents the first part of a two-part Halloween Special from 2009. Mr. Lobo will be hosting The Vortexx premiere of Eric Miller's MARK OF THE DAMNED (2006). Miller's homegrown Midnight Movie masterpiece was made as an homage to the classic Santo movies such as Santo vs the Vampire Women (1962). It's set in a place called The Amplified World and it's filled with vampires, ghouls, robots, rocket men, masked heroes, and over-the-top villains like The Vampire Queen. In addition to the movie, Mr. Lobo will be spicing up the mix with off-beat humor, vintage TV ads, drive-in movie trailers, retro craziness, and informative interviews on location in Richmond, Virginia, detailing the making of the movie. In addition, there is a hilarious musical cooking segment with November Fire recording artist Slob Zombie and a taste of his hit single "40 Hour Weekend."


Saturday (9/17) @ 9:00 P.M. (ET)


LORD BLOOD-RAH'S NERVE WRACKIN' THEATRE presents DAUGHTER OF HORROR (1957). This "film noir" of a psychotic young woman's nightmarish experiences during one night on skid row was originally released in 1955 as Dementia with no dialogue whatsoever. It was re-released in 1957 with added narration by Johnny Carson's second banana, Ed McMahon. The cast includes Bruno (Fat Dave) VeSota, little person Angelo Rossitto, Jonathan (Seymour Krelborn) Haze, and comedian Shelley Berman. As always there will be plenty of movie trailers and other cool extras along with a Cranial Cavity Search.


Sunday (9/18) @ 9:00 P.M. (ET)
The Vortexx premiere of

MISTY BREW'S CREATURE FEATURE presents The Vortexx premiere of DARK GARDEN (2004), a cool indie film by Patrick Bond. It's a psychological thriller about a downtrodden man named Warren (Kyle Van Pool), who finds himself having to choose between good and evil when he moves into a new house and befriends Harry (J.W. McCrary), who soon recruits Warren to assist him in his wicked ways. In addition to the movie, Misty will be entertaining us with a special interview with Mr. McCrary and previews of Misty's Coming Attractions.


Welcome to The Vortexx where it's ALL HOSTS ALL THE TIME!

The Vortexx - heart"Every day is a good day that ends in The Vortexx." You can find us at and Remember folks, we're the Gooble Gobble Channel. We accept everyone. And we will keep the doors open as long as you keep coming around! If you're a horror host looking for an additional outlet for your show, email Sluggo at

The Vortexx - Bloody Pit of Health Fitness Centers

If you don't get the results you're looking for within the eight weeks of the program, The Azure Executioner guarantees that he will personally throw you into his exclusive vat of acid!
Introducing our newest sponsor -- Bloody Pit of Health! Want to eliminate those things that interfere with the harmony of your perfect body? The Bloody Pit has all the latest fitness equipment -- weight room, Olympic-sized pool, and even a spider room. To find the location nearest you, visit their website

The Vortexx - Mummy Fart

Available in three convenient sizes!
Mummy Fart! The perfect product to get those pleasant smells out of your tomb. Available in three convenient sizes!

The Vortexx - Kurt Pasakivi's Used Car Emporium

If you're interested, just e-mail us for Kurt's current location.
Kurt Pasakivi's Used Car Emporium! At Kurt's Emporium you can buy the car of your dreams for a deep discount. If you see a car on the street that you like, just send Kurt a photo of the car and the license plate, and he'll negotiate with the owner and sell it to you at a steal!

The Vortexx - Executioner's Ale

The Official Beers of The Vortexx!
Executioner's Ale! A bloody good red ale crafted in the torture chamber of the Crimson Executioner. Sock Stout! The sock with the hops. A thick and creamy head just for you. [Sock Stout is a trademark of Raen, used with permission.]

The Vortexx - Amazon Andy

Amazon Andy is the creation of Nick Polotta, a very gifted writer and comedian who, sadly, passed away on April 13, 2013.

Totino's Pizza Rolls, Crimson Royal Jelly, and Amazon Andy's Southern Fried Tarantula Legs! The original sponsors of The Vortexx!

The Vortexx Skull Cornbread

The Official Food of The Vortexx!
Skull Cornbread! The official food of The Vortexx, served piping hot from the oven of the Crimson Executioner.

The Vortexx - Chia Host

BORDELLO OF HORROR with Freakshow airs Tuesday at 9 (ET)

Chia Host! The latest sensation from Mushnick Florists. You can see him every Tuesday night in The Vortexx!

The Vortexx - Chilly Dilly

Two delicious pickle treats!

Chilly Dilly! A delicious pickle treat that's spiced just right for every bite. And now you can "pucker up" with the all-new Chilly Dilly Lip Balm!

The Vortexx - Egg Bleach

Jason "Egg" Brown was an integral part of The Vortexx as a staff member and long-time viewer until his passing on June 27, 2016. Jason may have departed this Earth, but he will live forever in The Vortexx.

"Now that's a product I can really GET BEHIND!" -- Egg.

Egg Bleach! The all-purpose antiseptic for treatment of cuts, scratches, and abrasions. And now you can touch up those "intimate" parts of your body with the all-new Egg Anal Bleach!

The Vortexx - President Sluggo


Posted by Alan Smithee in HOSTED HORROR, 0 comments
HALLOWEEN HORRORS: Suspiria (1977)

HALLOWEEN HORRORS: Suspiria (1977)


The Blue Iris Will Be The Death Of You

By Amy Mead

Suzy's arrival at the academy

Directed by Dario Argento
Written by Dario Argento and Daria Nicolodi
Starring: Jessica Harper, Stefania Casini, Joan Bennet, Barbara Magnolfi, Alida Valli and Udo Kier
and featuring a soundtrack by Goblin

If you call yourself a horror fan and have not seen the classic horror film Suspiria, I'd like to ask you what rock you've been living under and revoke your card immediately.

Suspiria is the first of the "Three Mothers" trilogy and while it is certainly not everyone's cup of tea, it is a film that I consider a requisite one to watch if you are indeed a true fan of horror. I myself am a HUGE fan of this film (and Dario Argento's work in general) but even if weren't, the cinematography and the soundtrack alone make the film worth watching. Suspiria truly is a technicolor dream come true.

There's a reason this film was, and still is considered some of Argento's best work. Though the trailer does not do the true vibrancy of the colors in the film any justice, it truly is a breathtaking sight that lends itself to the overall sense of creepiness and fear that is Suspiria. It is a nightmare brought to terrifying life. And the soundtrack? It's fucking unbelievable. The collaboration between Argento and Goblin in its creation is goddamn mind blowing and is synonymous with terror for many fans around the world.

Here's a brief rundown of the film: New student to prestigious Ballet school in Germany, Suzy Bannion, is an innocent and fresh faced young girl from America. She arrives at the school in the middle of a storm and right from the jump, things seem questionable. As she approaches the academy, she sees another girl fleeing the school, shouting over the wind and looking terrified. Suzy cannot gain access to the academy and is forced to spend the night in town.

Suzy's arrival at the academy

Soon after her arrival the next day, one strange thing after another begins to happen. At her first lesson, Suzy becomes ill and nearly faints after a weird run in with the cook. She is then "prescribed" a glass of wine with dinner every night (and let me tell you, this wine is some the nastiest wine I've ever fucking seen).

Shortly thereafter while preparing for dinner, the ceiling rains maggots upon all the girls, which is quickly explained away by rotten crates of food that were stored in the attic but it seems like something far more ominous (and disgusting) to Suzy and her friends. They are forced to sleep in the practice hall while the maggots are cleaned up and one of the girls hears and sees something she shouldn't have and soon after disappears.

Amidst a series of violent deaths and what appear to be sudden vanishings within the academy, Suzy soon become suspicious that there is something sinister behind it all. After her friend mysteriously "leaves" without warning, she begins to do some sleuthing on her own and she discovers that the academy was started by a suspected witch while talking to an acquaintance.

Suzy's discovery

She then has a series of flashbacks about the things the first victim was shouting over the wind and rain on the night she arrived. She recalls the girl shouting something about a secret and turning the blue Iris and she goes investigating, looking for it. She finds the Iris, turns it and a secret door opens, revealing the coven's secret lair. It damn near costs her her life. She hears the coven plotting her demise as she moves to another room. Here she discovers the coven's queen and is forced to kill her. Suzy narrowly escapes with her life as the academy begins to crumble from within and is seen bursting into flames...

As I stated earlier, Suspiria is not for everyone but it is definitely for me. There are many different reason I love this film. The first being that like many others, I consider it to be a freaking visual masterpiece and it still creeps me out to this day. Dark arts, witches and curses are kinda a phobia of sorts for me (be careful who you piss off!!).

The other is purely sentimental in that it gives me very fond memories of my younger brother, Clayton, who passed away eight years ago. I was the one that showed him his first Argento film and Suspiria scared the living shit out of that kid when he was just ten years old. That showing grew into a massive, mutual love of Argento and his body of work for both of us, but especially for my him. He was an even bigger fan than I am. Clayton's birthday was on Halloween, so watching it is a great way for me to remember and honor him now that he is gone.

If you have not yet seen, Suspiria (is this even possible?) I urge you to do so and see this technicolor masterpiece for yourself. Like right now. It is a must see and there's no better time for witches than the Halloween season and if you love it like I do, I recommend follow it up with Inferno and The Mother of Tears and complete the "The Three Mothers" trilogy!

I rate Suspiria 3/3 Mothers

Posted by Alan Smithee in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 2 comments