True crime

Halloween is a time where a lot of people allow themselves to feel secure, no matter what they are presented with, because tis the season to play out fantasies. For some, it’s time to throw off the cardigan and turn the most serious or mundane career outfits into a sexy view, like the naughty nurse, hot teacher, or insatiable housekeeper. For others, they get to celebrate the very things that make others take pause on any other day of the year. It could be as simple as wearing black lipstick or an incredible costume with complex zombie make up, which allows some of us to act outside our norm – or rather what we let everyone see – as our everyday norm.

Halloween also unleashes the inner beast that many of us hide the other 364 days of the week. Where you can be as hauntingly scary as you want, set up deliciously evil plans to scare the hell out of any and every one, and you get a free pass, because it’s HALLOWEEN!

Unfortunately, there have been times when the cover of Halloween has been a time for truly terrible things to happen. For those involved, or close to these terrible tragedies, Halloween has probably never been the same.

Check Your Candy!

In 1974, 8-year-old Timmy O’Bryan ate a pixie stick, and told his dad, Ronald, it tasted weird. Timmy was dead within the hour and trick or treating was cancelled for the surrounding areas in Pasadena, Texas. It turns out the pixie sticks were laced with cyanide, and luckily only 5 were given out. What makes this tale especially terrifying is that this was done by Timmy’s own father, who also gave one to his other son! Investigators later found out that Ronald O’Bryan had taken out insurance policies on his sons just a short time before the murder. He was executed by the state of Texas in 1984.

 

Don’t Eat My Candy

In 2011, 55-year-old Ledell Peoples lost his bag of Halloween candy. We are not sure if he was given the bag, bought it, or actually went trick or treating. However, we do know that he lost control of his tempter when accusing his friend Maria of taking the sweet treats. An argument ensued and escalated quickly, ending with Peoples stabbing Maria numerous times. Sadly, she later succumbed to her injuries and died. Ledell was arrested and charged with her murder.

Nothing Stops the Mailman

The morning after Halloween 2012, a busy mailman walked over a corpse decoration on the porch steps in order to deliver the mail. It was later discovered that what was thought to be an excellent decoration, was actually the deceased owner of the house, who died on his steps Halloween night.

The Decoration Looks So Real

In 2005, a Delaware woman lost her life to an apparent suicide. She hung herself from a tree that was alongside a popular road. Her body was suspended just 15 feet above the ground and was easy to see by passerby, who thought it was one of many Halloween decorations in the area. It wasn’t until after the morning rush hour had ended when state police identified that the hanging body was in fact a person and not a decoration. Local residents were shaken to learn that they had seen an actual body on their morning commute.

When You Get More Than You Paid For

An Oregon woman bought a graveyard kit at her local Kmart in 2012. Inside the kit she found a chilling note written by a Chinese factory worker that stated he and his co-workers were tortured and enslaved in a forced camp that made the kits and other toys. He also claimed he worked 15 hours a day with no pay or time off, and pleaded for the letter to be forwarded to the World Human Rights Organization. The woman did so, and the Chinese worker was freed months later, and the camp was exposed.

 

Holy Hell on Halloween

On Halloween night 1981, nuns in a Texas convent noticed a broken window in the community room and called authorities immediately. Police found the nude body of Sister Tadea Benz, who’d been stabbed, strangled, and raped. 9 days later, Johnny Frank Garrett, who happened to live across the street from the convent, was arrested for the brutal crime. Garrett was convicted and sentenced to death, which was carried out in 1992. His last words were “I’d like to thank my family for loving me and taking care of me. The rest of the world can kiss my ass.”

Searching for the Beast

David Stone was a well liked, successful stock market analyst, who lead a normal life, until a few days before Halloween in 1998. Stone was at a party where he got into an argument with another party guest, which turned violent, and he left the party. Friends say this behavior was completely out of character.

Witnesses say they saw Stone later that night, sitting next to his car on Highway 80, before heading into the desert on foot. A farmer saw him on his property and confronted him, noting that he was not dressed for the cold weather and although most of what Stone said was unintelligible, the farmer did hear him state he was ‘in search of the beast’. That was the last reported sighting of David Stone.

A search was formed, bloodhounds tracked Stone’s scent 13 miles north of his car, still parked on Highway 80, and the scent went cold from there. Searchers were puzzled by two pyramids formed by rocks and surrounded by a triangle with David’s Rolex watch lying next to one of them. Several miles further north they found a number pattern commonly used in stock analysis (David’s profession) etched into the soil. The last piece of strange evidence was a note found in his vehicle that read “They think the WORD is in the safe. Six knives in Rob’s room. Yous buys your tea and take your chances Halloween”. No other evidence or word from David was found again, until 2 hikers found his remains in the desert 4 years later in 1992. There was no evidence of foul play.

For the most part, Halloween is great fun. From sweet tots in adorable costumes, to your worst nightmare jumping out to scare you at a local haunt, it’s a great day and night of tricks and treats. This is the time of year to let your inner freak fly and just have fun, so get to it! The majority of people that are out there eliciting your screams of terror for haunting fun, are doing only that and nothing more. Just be sure to triple check the candy loot, stay aware of your surroundings, and enjoy the creativity of everyone on Halloween. After all, they don’t mean you any harm – or do they?

Horrifying Facts of Halloween Past

Horrifying Facts of Halloween Past

Halloween is a time where a lot of people allow themselves to feel secure, no matter what they are presented with, because tis the season to play out fantasies. For some, it’s time to throw off the cardigan and turn the most serious or mundane career outfits into a sexy view, like the naughty nurse, hot teacher, or insatiable housekeeper. For others, they get to celebrate the very things that make others take pause on any other day of the year. It could be as simple as wearing black lipstick or an incredible costume with complex zombie make up, which allows some of us to act outside our norm – or rather what we let everyone see – as our everyday norm.

Halloween also unleashes the inner beast that many of us hide the other 364 days of the week. Where you can be as hauntingly scary as you want, set up deliciously evil plans to scare the hell out of any and every one, and you get a free pass, because it’s HALLOWEEN!

Unfortunately, there have been times when the cover of Halloween has been a time for truly terrible things to happen. For those involved, or close to these terrible tragedies, Halloween has probably never been the same.

Check Your Candy!

In 1974, 8-year-old Timmy O’Bryan ate a pixie stick, and told his dad, Ronald, it tasted weird. Timmy was dead within the hour and trick or treating was cancelled for the surrounding areas in Pasadena, Texas. It turns out the pixie sticks were laced with cyanide, and luckily only 5 were given out. What makes this tale especially terrifying is that this was done by Timmy’s own father, who also gave one to his other son! Investigators later found out that Ronald O’Bryan had taken out insurance policies on his sons just a short time before the murder. He was executed by the state of Texas in 1984.

 

Don’t Eat My Candy

In 2011, 55-year-old Ledell Peoples lost his bag of Halloween candy. We are not sure if he was given the bag, bought it, or actually went trick or treating. However, we do know that he lost control of his tempter when accusing his friend Maria of taking the sweet treats. An argument ensued and escalated quickly, ending with Peoples stabbing Maria numerous times. Sadly, she later succumbed to her injuries and died. Ledell was arrested and charged with her murder.

Nothing Stops the Mailman

The morning after Halloween 2012, a busy mailman walked over a corpse decoration on the porch steps in order to deliver the mail. It was later discovered that what was thought to be an excellent decoration, was actually the deceased owner of the house, who died on his steps Halloween night.

The Decoration Looks So Real

In 2005, a Delaware woman lost her life to an apparent suicide. She hung herself from a tree that was alongside a popular road. Her body was suspended just 15 feet above the ground and was easy to see by passerby, who thought it was one of many Halloween decorations in the area. It wasn’t until after the morning rush hour had ended when state police identified that the hanging body was in fact a person and not a decoration. Local residents were shaken to learn that they had seen an actual body on their morning commute.

When You Get More Than You Paid For

An Oregon woman bought a graveyard kit at her local Kmart in 2012. Inside the kit she found a chilling note written by a Chinese factory worker that stated he and his co-workers were tortured and enslaved in a forced camp that made the kits and other toys. He also claimed he worked 15 hours a day with no pay or time off, and pleaded for the letter to be forwarded to the World Human Rights Organization. The woman did so, and the Chinese worker was freed months later, and the camp was exposed.

 

Holy Hell on Halloween

On Halloween night 1981, nuns in a Texas convent noticed a broken window in the community room and called authorities immediately. Police found the nude body of Sister Tadea Benz, who’d been stabbed, strangled, and raped. 9 days later, Johnny Frank Garrett, who happened to live across the street from the convent, was arrested for the brutal crime. Garrett was convicted and sentenced to death, which was carried out in 1992. His last words were “I’d like to thank my family for loving me and taking care of me. The rest of the world can kiss my ass.”

Searching for the Beast

David Stone was a well liked, successful stock market analyst, who lead a normal life, until a few days before Halloween in 1998. Stone was at a party where he got into an argument with another party guest, which turned violent, and he left the party. Friends say this behavior was completely out of character.

Witnesses say they saw Stone later that night, sitting next to his car on Highway 80, before heading into the desert on foot. A farmer saw him on his property and confronted him, noting that he was not dressed for the cold weather and although most of what Stone said was unintelligible, the farmer did hear him state he was ‘in search of the beast’. That was the last reported sighting of David Stone.

A search was formed, bloodhounds tracked Stone’s scent 13 miles north of his car, still parked on Highway 80, and the scent went cold from there. Searchers were puzzled by two pyramids formed by rocks and surrounded by a triangle with David’s Rolex watch lying next to one of them. Several miles further north they found a number pattern commonly used in stock analysis (David’s profession) etched into the soil. The last piece of strange evidence was a note found in his vehicle that read “They think the WORD is in the safe. Six knives in Rob’s room. Yous buys your tea and take your chances Halloween”. No other evidence or word from David was found again, until 2 hikers found his remains in the desert 4 years later in 1992. There was no evidence of foul play.

For the most part, Halloween is great fun. From sweet tots in adorable costumes, to your worst nightmare jumping out to scare you at a local haunt, it’s a great day and night of tricks and treats. This is the time of year to let your inner freak fly and just have fun, so get to it! The majority of people that are out there eliciting your screams of terror for haunting fun, are doing only that and nothing more. Just be sure to triple check the candy loot, stay aware of your surroundings, and enjoy the creativity of everyone on Halloween. After all, they don’t mean you any harm – or do they?


Posted by Andrea Lenora in BRUTAL REALITY, HALLOWEEN, 0 comments
The Official Albert Fish Tour

The Official Albert Fish Tour

Albert Fish was an American serial killer. He was a child rapist and a cannibal, boasting he had killed 100 children “one in every state”.  I’ll be taking a look at America’s only official Albert Fish tour and the man behind it, Michal Bajer. I first met Michal Bajer in my favourite and in my opinion the best group on Facebook The Holy Mountain: Dr. Caligari’s Cult Movie Utopia (join group here:  I was fascinated with his personal story and felt it was beautiful and important. I was also very curious to learn more about his tour. He agreed to give me the details of the tour and the reasons why he started it in a candid fashion.

 

        • HoTS: Thank you so much for agreeing to talk with me, I understand this interview will be somewhat personal in nature. Can you please tell us what the tour entails?
        • Michal: Of course! The tour entails 2 main stops: Wisteria Cottage in which Albert Fish committed his most infamous (though certainly not his most despicable crime) as well as his burial grounds at Flushing Cemetery. There are plans to expand to other areas in the NY area such as the former residence of the Budd’s, but this is permitting time allowance. During the tour, I tell the guests (since it is a long car ride) the detailed autobiography of Albert Fish, as well as allow them to view memorabilia related to Albert such as books, films, curio tidbits and actual case photographs from the time period.
        • HoTS: Why did you choose Albert Fish?
        • Michal:This is going to be a long answer, so please bear with me! My fascination, if you will, with Albert began in my earliest years. I was and am to this day a tremendous history buff. The less than savory aspects of history, especially American, intrigued and tantalized me to no end as I poured over countless stories of wicked men and women. It was a natural progression from the gunmen and outlaws of the West to the mobsters and gangsters of Chicago, to finally discover the world of serial killers. The first book I ever read on the matter was called “Serial Killer Encyclopedia” by Harold Schechter and it contained numerous criminal cases that I found both intriguing and tantalizing. However, the only case which piqued both my absolute revulsion and curiosity was that of Albert Fish. I thought at first it was an exercise in horror-writer one-upsmanship. Surely, no individual could have committed acts so vile and so close in my state? From there on, the ball eventually started rolling as I began to acquire more and more data on his life and deeds. No horror film, story or fictional piece of media ever, truly chilled me as much as his life did. Proving that life is the author of the most bizarre stories.
        • HoTS: How did you decide to start doing the tour?
        • Michal:This too has a tale. I grew up fascinated and an ardent reader of Weird NJ. Embarking on the road less traveled seemed to me almost a beckoning call, the proverbial moth to the flame if you will. Over time, I became interested in places that possessed an acute and uncanny history. I promised myself I would visit these places and if possible, spread the information and experience with others! Accumulating all this knowledge, while self fulfilling, isn’t nearly as gratifying as having the chance to share it with others. It took me a whole 6 months of planning, mapping out areas and fine tuning details to make sure it was, above all, an informative and dare I say educational experience. I looked at the way essentially people handled the Dahmer tour in Milwaukee and said “I want the complete opposite of that. Less theatrics, more history”. As of now, I charge nothing as it has mainly been what I consider a series of test runs. Next year, I plan to visit Wisconsin and hit up both Dahmer’s and Gein’s haunts. Then I will plan accordingly and charge. However, since this is a one man operation I have no intention of overcharging or fleecing the people who come. My intention is too make enough money to cover the costs of the current tour, and hopefully have a little left over that can go DIRECTLY into the very next one. This is a passion project, above all. My desire to share knowledge comes first, my capitalist ambitions come second, so I make a better tour guide and historian than businessman I’m afraid.
        • HoTS: How can people take the tour?
        • Michal:The beginning tours were personal invite only, but I am changing that very soon! A website will be open very soon and until then, it is best to contact me through my Facebook until I figure out exactly what social media I want to use in the future. I am a member of a few true crime groups on FB as well, so be on the lookout for posts from me in the meantime!
        • HoTS: At one point you were close to suicide, but you have stated that your love of extreme films and serial killer trivia saved your life. Can you share how?
        • Michal:It should come maybe as now small shock that I didn’t always have the most positive outlook on life and did attempt suicide a 2nd time over a year ago. A lot of personal turmoil was apparent in my life and I was very close to ending it all. Surprisingly, what offered me the most comfort and understanding was the film Melancholie Der Engel by Marian Dora, perhaps the only film that ever truly resonated with me and moved me to the nth degree. I owe Marian Dora a lot, and after I went voluntarily into therapy, I decided I needed to focus on a goal. Ironically enough, subjects dealing with death opened up a new avenue of life and inspiration for me.
        • Hots: Thank you again for your time, your story resonated with me he first time I heard it and I am excited to share it with others. Hopefully one day I’ll get to take the tour myself.
Posted by Candace Stone in ABNORMAL MUSINGS AND FREAKISH FACTS, ATTRACTIONS AND DESTINATIONS, BRUTAL REALITY, Categories, EXCLUSIVE, 0 comments
Peter Kurten: The Vampire of Dusseldorf

Peter Kurten: The Vampire of Dusseldorf

By Laura James


A 20 year-old girl named Maria takes a train from Cologne, Germany, to Dusseldorf in the Spring of 1930. She leaves the train station with her guard up; a fiend had been menacing the city for the past year, assaulting and murdering men, women, and children. He's even sent letters to the local paper with a map showing the location of the body of his latest victim, a five year-old girl. Maria tries not to think about the horrors of his crimes, as she has come to the city seeking work and needs to find a place to stay.

As she walks, she is brashly approached by a man asking her for directions somewhere and trying to lead her into a park. Panicked that this could be the maniac, she deflects his attention but he becomes argumentative. Just as quickly, another man intervenes. He is dressed respectably with neatly-combed hair. He sends the quarrelsome man off and asks Maria if she would like to come to his apartment for a drink and, charmed, she accepts.

He leads her down a street called Mettemannerstrasse, but pulls her into the woods and begins strangling her. The good Samaritan who came to her aid is "The Vampire of Dusseldorf."


The vampire's lust for violence came from a background as brutal as his crimes. Peter Kurten was born on May 26, 1883, in Cologne-Mulheim, Germany. He was the oldest of 13 children. His family was impoverished from his father spending his wages on booze, that they lived in a small apartment, with no escape from their father's physical or sexual abuse. He forced himself on his wife, beat her and their children, and was arrested in 1897 for attempting (or committing) incest with one of his daughters.

Peter's dark impulses manifested early. He is rumored to have caused (or at least aided in) the drowning of two playmates at the age of five. He lost his virginity at the age of 13 when he forced himself on a girl in the woods and almost strangled her to death. Sickeningly, women weren't the only recipients of his lust. He became apprentice to a dog-catcher when his family moved to Dusseldorf and engaged in bestiality with different kinds of animals, sometimes stabbing them and drinking their blood during the act. These were his first instances of vampirism and the start of his criminal history.

He was in and out of jail for burglary, assault, and arson. Watching the fires and imagining the harm and death they might cause was a form of sexual gratification for the pyromaniac. He hated the conditions of the prisons and the treatment he endured from the guards but that was never enough of a deterrent for his criminal activity. In 1913, he crept through the an open window at an inn owned by a man named Peter Klein. Kurten found Klein's 13 year-old daughter Christine and slit her throat. In his hurry to get away, Kurten dropped a handkerchief embroidered with his initials. The police who investigated the crime scene found it but, following the most obvious lead, focused on Peter Klein.

Even after eluding capture due to a stunning coincidence, Kurten was only linked to one other murder during that time. His impulses may have been calmed by marriage. He married in 1923, and neighbors and coworkers described him as quiet, timid, and responsible.

He didn't kill again until 1929, beginning his "year of terror."

In February of that year, he attacked a woman, but her distressed cries summoned people and Kurten fled. A few weeks later, he stabbed eight year-old Rosa Ohlinger to death with a pair of scissors and left her body around a construction site. He returned later that evening, soaked her body in kerosene, and set it ablaze, masturbating while he watched the fire.

Several weeks after that, a man named Rudolf Scheer drunkenly bumped into Kurten while on the way home from a beer hall. This so enraged Kurten that he stabbed Scheer with scissors and drank the blood that flowed from his wounds.

That August, he had sex with a domestic servant named Maria Hahn, stabbed her to death, and further satisfied himself by drinking her blood. Towards the end of the month, he encountered two young girls, 13 year-old Luise and five year-old Gertrude, on their way home from a fair. He lured them into a meadow, strangling and stabbing the older girl and slitting the younger one's throat.

In September, he attempted to murder another servant and succeeded in murdering other women, one that month and one in October, by beating them to death.

He committed what would be his final murder in November when he stabbed five year-old Gertrud Albermann to death with a pair of scissors.

Kurten greatly admired London's Jack the Ripper, researching the case and even sending a taunting letter to the German newspaper, Freedom. In his letter, he revealed the location of the bodies of Gertrud Albermann and Maria Hahn.

In May of the following year, he found a girl named Maria Budlies fighting with a man who approached her after she got off a train from Cologne. Kurten diffused the situation and offered to take her to his apartment. Instead, he tried to strangle her in the woods around his apartment but, inexplicably, stopped. Perhaps he was worried about the other man being able to identify him after seeing him walk away with Maria. He asked her if she would remember how to get to his place and she said she would not.

Maria didn't go to the police about the incident but did write about it to a friend a few days later. There was a mistake in the address so a clerk at the post office opened the envelope to see if she could figure out where it was supposed to be sent. The clerk read the contents of the letter and turned it over to police. The police went to Maria, and she led them to Peter Kurten's home.

He saw the police and was able to avoid them at the time but knew they were closing in on him. Kurten confessed everything to his wife, and the next day she turned him in to the police.

Peter Kurten plead insanity. He revealed fantasies of poisoning, injuring, or killing large crowds of people at once. He even claimed that his victims, mostly children or those subservient to him, were his revenge on society for the treatment he endured in prison. He did, however, express concern for one person: his wife. He said he hoped she would be taken care of with him gone and, at one point, claimed he was innocent of all charges and said he only admitted to the murders so his wife could collect the reward money.

His plea was rejected, and Peter Kurten was found guilty of nine counts of murder. His morbid lust followed him to the very end; he expressed excitement at the prospect of beheading and inquired if he would be conscious long enough to hear the blood gushing from his body.

Peter Kurten was executed on July 2, 1931.

Posted by Alan Smithee in BRUTAL REALITY, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: House of Manson (2014)

MOVIE REVIEW: House of Manson (2014)

By Dixielord

The story of Charlie Manson and America's most dysfunctional family is one with which most of America is familiar. With documentaries, pseudo documentaries, feature films, and interviews, it is well trod subject matter. For me, the gold standard has always been the 1976 television film Helter Skelter. Likewise every Charlie since then, even the real Charlie Manson, is measured against the performance of Steve Railsback. Now we have a new movie dealing with the Manson family and the Tate-Labianca murders. Brandon Slagle's House of Manson goes back to the beginning, and chronicles Manson's rise from rock star wannabe to murderer.

House of Manson poster
Photo credit Micro Bay Features and House of Manson

House of Manson, told mostly in flashbacks, introduces us to Charlie (Ryan Kiser) in jail awaiting trial for the Tate-Labianca murders. Under questioning from his lawyers, we see what lead him to this point. Kiser is one of the best things about House of Manson. He plays Charlie as a charismatic, likable young drifter. Yet we see touches, glimmers of his anger and insanity slip through every now and then. It's a different, more mellow Manson than the one familiar to us, but it makes it easier to believe he could become a leader - a leader that people would commit murder to please. He's far from the hectic, erratic real life Manson we have come to know from interviews and TV specials.

Because it deals with the early days long before the murders, the first part of the film moves at a slow pace, but it never gets boring. Kiser's charm and smile draws you in just like Manson drew in his followers in the late 60s. The slow pacing is a deadly trap, though, because when we get to the murders, it gets brutal really fast.

Things do get mean in House of Manson
Photo credit House of Manson

Slagle manages to make the murders brutal and horrific while limiting what we actually see. It's not a gory, graphic blood-fest, and it's more effective because of that. It's not easy to watch the murders, especially the stabbing death of pregnant Sharon Tate (Suzi Lorraine). For those who think gore is disturbing, watch the frenetic stabbing death of Tate as she begs for her life. This is disturbing - all the more so because it happened. The murders play out very close to the actual events, as told by witnesses, and crime reports.

This could have easily been a exploitative, gratuitous look at the Manson crimes. Kudos to Slagle for holding back, for taking a less sleazy, more serious look at Manson's life and crimes. The lack of gore will possibly be a turn off to horror fans, but it shouldn't. Some may even argue that House of Manson isn't a horror film. I disagree. The story of Charlie Manson is a horror story. It's no less a horror film than Silence of the Lambs just because it's not fiction. Kiser's performance and Slagle's direction make it all the more horrific because it feels real. This Manson could be someone we all know. He could be real. He could be our friend. That's scary.

House of Manson is directed by Brandon Slagle, and along with Kiser and Lorraine, stars Tristan Risk as Abigail Folger, Reid Warner as Tex Watson, Erin Marie Hogan as Linda Kasabian, and Devanny Pinn as Susan Atkins. House of Manson is available on Video on Demand now.

Posted by Allen Alberson in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments

MOVIE REVIEW: My Name Is ‘A’ by Anonymous (2012)

By Travis Love

My_Name_Is_A_By_Anonymous

Directed by Shane Ryan and released through Wild Eye Releasing, My Name is A by Anonymous is a film adaptation of the real-life events of thrill killer Alyssa Bustamante. For those not familiar with the case, Alyssa Bustamante was convicted for murdering her 9-year-old neighbor in 2009 – strangling, stabbing, and slitting her throat before burying her body in a shallow grave in the nearby woods. The background story is every bit as engrossing and disturbing as the film portraying it.

The film takes a less than straight ahead approach at telling the events that unfold, instead of focusing on one single facet of the story, the story is broken up and told through four individuals who represent Alyssa or parts of her personality (The Performer, The Angst, and The Sidekick). The scenes tend to skip between characters which makes it feel hard to get a grasp of the story at times, but knowing the metal instability of Bustamante it actually helps to place the viewer into her distraught and chaotic state of mind. Certain parts delve into the dark and depressing aspect of who Alyssa is while other parts (mainly The Performer) shows a need to be accepted and admired by others.

Imagery such as the Alyssa character sitting in a bathtub and slowly dragging a knife against her skin, leaving mark after bloody mark, opens a window for the viewer to peer into the twisted mindscape Bustamante was in. Moments where the father is seen in a molesting light as Alyssa screams in the background “Don’t touch me!! Leave me alone!” only help to solidify the downward spiral leading towards the upcoming events. The inevitable end is simply executed, no frills just the cold hard reality of what took place when Alyssa took Elizabeth Olten’s life as the manifestations each takes their turn at inflicting pain on their victim.

This film is a bleak, unconventional look into events that are unbelievably eerie and gut-wrenching. Watching someone’s mental stability and balance decay, knowing the severity of the real-life events that it lead to, makes this morally uncomfortable to watch. But with the style in which it is executed, it’s well worth watching to see things from the perspective of Alyssa Bustamante.

Rating: 6/10

Posted by Alan Smithee in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
DOC REVIEW: I Am No One (2013)

DOC REVIEW: I Am No One (2013)

By Travis Love

I AM NO ONE
Tonight's film is none other than JABB Pictures' I Am No One. This 2013 release was written and directed by Jason Hoover. The film is shot entirely documentary style in Chicago Illinois and follows the everyday life of Charles Lake, a man obsessed with gambling scratch offs and a gnawing need to engage in murderous endeavors by night.

The beginning narration sets the tone for the film, the short tale of how the Documentarian came to meet Charles Lake. With that tiny snippet of discussion that took place before filming, "If you think that's scary, you should follow me around for a while", you get that twinge of foreboding wash over you and the dark downward spiral of a journey begins.

During the film, you are witness to multiple series of interviews between the filmmaker and Charles Lake. The interviews are casual, relaxed, and normal. The subject matter of these interviews, however, finds Charles reminiscing over his past endeavors as far back as childhood. Morbid tales ranging from almost beating his childhood baseball team catcher to death with a baseball bat to murdering a middle school child 3 to 4 years prior to the interview. Morbid moments like this engross you in the story that much more.

During the journey, things quickly spiral out of control as you go from watching Charles disassemble random Barbie dolls to the first recorded confrontation of him engaging his victim. I don't want to spoil this scene. so let's just say the brutal moment that occurs is vicious and merciless - to say the least. When the filmmaker tries to capture the aftermath on film, things become immediately hostile and without warning the flood gates are opened as the filmmaker realizes that he's plunged into a darkness that is both terrifying and gruesome.

While I won't ruin the ending scene because it's best left to first time viewers to see with virgin eyes, I will say that the tension in the end scene is so thick that it makes you feel almost claustrophobic. This isn't a gore soaked film, but what it is, though, is a film that proves that you don't need buckets of blood if your story writing is this enthralling and immerses you in it completely.

7/10 for this amazing JABB Pictures feature.

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