Wes Craven

HELLABRATION DELUXE! Thirty-One Days of SHOCKTOBER: Day TWENTY – 10/20/18

10/20 – 2006: PAN’S LABYRINTH

“Hell Is For Children”, Pat Benatar told us, but nobody knows this better than one of my favorite filmmakers, GUILLERMO DEL TORO.  “War Is Hell” is a topic that’s never been up for debate, and at its hungriest, it’s a bloodthirsty beast that spares no one, especially kids. Del Toro chronicled its devastating effects on the little ones in not one, but two classic films: THE DEVIL’S BACKBONE and PAN’S LABYRINTH.

LABYRINTH is the harrowing story of young Ofelia (wonderfully played by IVANA BAQUERO), whose pregnant mother has recently married the cruel warmonger, Captain Vidal, (a stunning portrait of evil portrayed excellently by SERGI LOPEZ.) Vidal is part of the fascist Falangist army that was an integral part of Franco’s rule over Spain at the time, 1944.

Ofelia, a huge fan of fairy tales, finds herself living one, when a faerie leads her into a Labyrinth, where she meets the old Faun to whom it belongs, and vice versa.

The Faun tells her that she’s actually a princess, and that her real father, the King, has been waiting for her in the “make-believe” realm.  But in order to see him again and take her rightful place once more, she must pass three crucial tests.

 

One of those tests involves bringing back something from the lair of the fearsome “Pale Man”, a task that she barely accomplishes without losing her life.

As gruesome as some of the horrors are in the world of the Labyrinth, none of them holds a candle to the brutalities perpetrated by Ofelia’s vain, cruel stepfather, and that’s part of the point.

Ofelia’s brave quest to complete all of the tests and finally see her real father, leads to a violent and finally tragic collision of both worlds. Is the story destined for a “happily ever after” kind of conclusion? Maybe, but keep in mind that this is a Guillermo del Toro story…

Masterful character actor DOUG JONES added two more unforgettable entities to his ‘coterie of creatures’, with his stunning dual portrayals of the Faun and the Pale Man. Though he would continue to play creatures well after LABYRINTH, the next one to make such a powerful impression on audiences wouldn’t come about until del Toro’s latest breathtaking film, THE SHAPE OF WATER.

If you’ve never seen a Guillermo del Toro film, this would be an excellent place to start. If you have, especially this one, there’s no better way I can think of to revisit his brand of dark magic…

POST-MORTEM SCRYPT: 2006 also delivered unto horror-hungry fans such outstanding films as SLITHER, BEHIND THE MASK, THE HOST, FIDO, THEM, SEVERANCE, SILENT HILL, Aja and Levasseur’s shockingly good remake of Wes Craven’s THE HILLS HAVE EYES and THE BABY’S ROOM.

Posted by Samuel Glass in EDITORIALS, FAMILY HORROR, FEATURED CONTENT, GORE OR EXTREME HORROR, HALLOWEEN, MONSTERS AND CREATURES, MYTHS AND LEGENDS, OPINION, SLASHERS AND BAD HUMANS, THRILLER, TRIBUTE, 1 comment
HELLABRATION DELUXE! Thirty-One Days of SHOCKTOBER: Day Ten – 10/10/18

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

10/10 – 1996: SCREAM/FROM DUSK TILL DAWN

1996…It was a draw for me; too tough to narrow down the list of all the great flicks I had to choose from. I finally managed to whittle it down to two: SCREAM, and FROM DUSK TILL DAWN, and even then, I just couldn’t bring myself to choose between them. Both are as important and influential to the genre during this time, yet both are certainly unique: one redefined what fans had thought of the teen slasher genre, while the other took vampire lore to a whole new place unconsidered up to that point.

Legendary director WES CRAVEN had always been an innovator of modern horror, re-establishing himself in several sub-genres over the course of many decades. With LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT, THE HILLS HAVE EYES, A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET and THE SERPENT AND THE RAINBOW, he’d done things that most directors in the field never achieve over the course of their entire careers. So when he was looking for the next big thing, he wasn’t even considering sticking with horror, when he crossed paths with a brilliantly subversive script by DAWSON’S CREEK scribe KEVIN WILLIAMSON; a nicely-nasty little number called “SCARY MOVIE”, which was soon to beretitled…SCREAM.

Snarky, self-reverential, almost to the point of being a bit too “nudge-winky” at times, nevertheless, SCREAM never once forgot to bring the laughs, the scares AND the gore in ample supply.  A slasher of teens begins to decimate the youth population of the little bedroom community of Woodsboro, but if that wasn’t bad enough, said killer seems to be every bit as smart as the “Scooby Gang wanna-be” group of horror-loving kids, who soon realize that their stalker not only knows the ‘rules of horror’ as well as – if not  better than they do, and he’s not only using the playbook to take them out one-by-one, but he (or she?) is even bending and changing the rules! Much like Williamson’s TV creation, the cast couldn’t have been more suited as an ensemble, even though the standout was DREW BARRYMORE, if only for the mere fact that she pulls a “Janet-Leigh-in-PSYCHO” on the audience in the first few moments of the film – a shock that has since become legendary, even though people still remember where the idea came from!

NEVE CAMPBELL, SKEET ULRICH, ROSE MCGOWAN, JAMIE KENNEDY, MATTHEW LILLARD, W. EARL BROWN, LIEV SCHREIBER, COURTNEY COX and DAVID ARQUETTE (who married and divorced over the course of the franchise); JOSEPH WHIPP (who could’ve been playing the same character from A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET – and probably was!), plus unexpected cameos from LINDA BLAIR and HENRY WINKLER going way out-of-typecasting as an asshole of a principal…It didn’t get any better than this! Plus Craven’s direction, with tongue firmly-in-cheek the entire time, could have you rolling your eyes and chuckling one minute, and yes, SCREAMING the next! This film helped usher in a new age, where the movie and the characters were as smart – if not smarter than the audience that eagerly made SCREAM a box office smash!

Meanwhile, thanks to buddy and sometime collaborator QUENTIN TARANTINO, cinematic ‘one-man-band’ ROBERT RODRIGUEZ was having fun playing “Dr. Frankenstein”, by smashing two unexpected sub-genres together, if not three: serial killers, true crime…and vampires.  FROM DUSK TILL DAWN is the kind of film you never expect…until it bops you upside the head from seemingly out of nowhere!

The notorious Gecko brothers, handsome and sarcastic Seth (GEORGE CLOONEY) and ‘quiet, reserved’ Richard (no less than TARANTINO himself) are cutting a swath of robbery, assault and murder across the Southwest.  The “murder” part of their spree is owed mostly to Richard, who just can’t curb his impulses to kill and rape people. Well, to be a bit more specific, he kills and rapes womennot the men, let’s be clear on that (as Richard would probably say himself.)

Their antics – but especially Richard’s body count – has made it necessary to hotfoot it South of the Border, and maybe lay low somewhere in Mexico, until things die down…If they do. Along the way, as they change vehicles, they hijack an RV and the vacationing family inside it and skip town.

The intent was to just keep on going until they reached their objective, but all that changes when they make a fateful detour to a truck stop on the way.  But not just ANY truck stop: The “TITTY TWISTER.” A blood-and-guts dive that definitely lives up to its name…in more ways than one. And its hours of operation are…well, you know the title.

The bar has some of the most gorgeous dancing girls you ever saw, but they’re all woofers compared to the luscious, insanely beautiful main attraction, a hypnotic dancer who goes by the name of ‘SANTANICO PANDEMONIUM’.  No one into women could possibly resist her, and all men should, as Seth and Richard quickly discover, along with the rest of the hapless ‘Twister’ patrons, when the girls, the bouncers, the bartenders, everyone who ‘works’ there, finally reveal their true faces.  They’re all flesh-and-blood hungry vamps, and less the TWILIGHT variety than the FRIGHT NIGHT kind.

Rodriguez knew exactly what the fans wanted from Quentin’s script, and together, they sure gave it to us…stylish, sensual, sexy and soaked in red. And the Tarantino/Rodriguez combo attracted a cast that was instant boxoffice catnip, right down to the cameos: HARVEY KEITEL, JULIETTE LEWIS, FRED WILLIAMSON, TOM SAVINI; the stunning SALMA HAYEK as “SANTANICO”; everybody’s favorite badass, DANNY TREJO, plus CHEECH MARIN, MICHAEL PARKS, JOHN SAXON, KELLY PRESTON, MARC LAWRENCE; even a special appearance by Robert’s favorite “Hell House band”, TITO AND TARANTULA…Hell, you just knew that if he wasn’t already starring in it, Quentin would have probably directed this one, too!

The “Titty Twister” sequences – especially the gore-soaked fight scenes – are now a thing of legend, (check out Savini’s “special weapon” and the reason why his character’s nickname is “Sex Machine”!) and the closing shot is as breathtaking as any iconic final scene from the best and most unforgettable horror films, (I’d compare it for impact to the last shot of THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT; in fact, DAWN’S final shot is probably a tad better.)

But for thrills, chills and maximum blood spills, whether you’ve seen these movies a hundred times or not even once…you can’t go wrong with these choices for a monumentally successful Halloween Night of Frights!

Posted by Samuel Glass in EDITORIALS, FEATURED CONTENT, GORE OR EXTREME HORROR, HALLOWEEN, MONSTERS AND CREATURES, OPINION, SATANIC/DEMONIC, SLASHERS AND BAD HUMANS, THRILLER, TRIBUTE, VAMPIRES, 0 comments
DREW BARRYMORE: From Child Star to Cannibalistic Leading Lady

DREW BARRYMORE: From Child Star to Cannibalistic Leading Lady

Drew Barrymore with General from Cat's EyeDrew Barrymore has spent her life in front of the camera in a variety of roles but is especially known with genre fans in recent times for her portrayal of Sheila Hammond in two series the Netflix show The Santa Clarita Diet.

Barrymore’s first role was uncredited in a made for television movie Suddenly, Love in 1978 (when she was merely two years old and played a baby boy named Bobby).

Drew BarrymoreIt wouldn’t be until two more years late, in 1980, that Drew would play Margaret Jessup in Altered States, which was also the debut film for William Hurt. Altered States reflected a disturbingly surreal element of humanity and was more psychological than horrifying.

A year later Barrymore hit the big time, starring as the adorably lovable Gertie in Steven Spielberg’s E.T -The Extra-Terrestrial. E.T. was a huge success and grossed nearly half a billion dollars at the box office and was the highest-grossing film of 1982, cementing Barrymore as quite an in-demand child star.

Drew Barrymore in FirestarterIn 1984 Barrymore scored the coveted role of Charlene “Charlie” McGee in the big screen adaptation of Stephen King’s novel Firestarter, playing the film’s pyrokinetic lead. Starring alongside industry heavyweights George. C. Scott and Martin Sheen, Barrymore dominated her screen time and delivered a powerful performance of a young girl driven by her love for her father.

A year later Barrymore would star in yet another Stephen King adaptation, in the anthology film Cat’s Eye. King reportedly wrote the screenplay with Barrymore in mind for the role as she had impressed producer Dino De Laurentiis with her work a year earlier on Firestarter.

Drew BarrymoreThrough the rest of the 80s, Barrymore played parts in shows such as Amazing Stories, The Ray Bradbury Theatre, and CBS Schoolbreak Special. It wasn’t until 1989 when Barrymore was 14 that she returned to genre films with the serial killer thriller Far From Home, as Joleen  Cox. The film was a flop, despite the fact it featured some horror alumni such as Richard Massur (IT), Jennifer Tilly (Bride Of Chucky), and Matt Frewer (The Stand).

This seemed like a decline in Barrymore’s career until three years later when she would star in the seductive 1992 Katt Shea thriller Poison Ivy. As Ivy, Barrymore befriends Sylvie Cooper (played by Sarah Gilbert) and seduces Sylvie’s father Darryl (Tom Skerritt). Barrymore delivered a sultry and fragile performance as the film titles vixen and regained her hold on Hollywood, yet again being seen as a talented actress.

Drew BarrymoreFollowing the success of Poison Ivy (which would spawn three sequels since), Barrymore appeared in Waxwork II: Lost in Time, Sketch Artist, Guncrazy, and No Place To Hide in 1992.

In 1993 Doppelganger was released. Barrymore played Holly Gooding, a young woman with a strange double. It wasn’t as successful as hoped, but has since become popular with fans.

Later that year Barrymore would play Long Island teenager Amy Fisher, in The Amy Fisher Story – based on the true story of a teenager who shot her adult lover Joey Buttafuoco’s wife. The film was well received at the time, and Barrymore praised for her portrayal of the wayward teen and the crime that shocked the world.

For the following years, Barrymore took more romantic roles and in 1995 even appeared as Sugar in Batman Forever, one of the villain Two-Face’s (played by Tommy Lee Jones) girlfriends.

However in 1996 came a pivotal moment in Barrymore’s career, taking on a role as a victim called Casey Becker rather than the lead she was originally offered. In Wes Craven’s/David Williamson’s Scream, Barrymore’s role became as infamous as Janet Leigh’s in Hitchcock’s Psycho 36 years earlier and has since been part of one of Horror’s most memorable on-screen deaths for over two decades since.

Drew Barrymore in ScreamFrom Scream, Barrymore took more light-hearted roles – for which her fans adore her- in films such as The Wedding Singer, Ever After, and Home Fries.

It was in 1999 that Barrymore launched her production company Flower Films and their first film Never Been Kissed (which reunited her with former Doppelganger co-star Sean Whalen – known as Roach from The People Under the Stairs – and Scream co-star David Arquette) was released.

Drew BarrymoreIn 2001 she returned to the genre in Donnie Darko as Karen Pomeroy. The sci-fi/thriller film still has fans divided to this day over the interpretation of what it means.

Following commercial success with the Charlie’s Angels film reboots and a dramatic role in Driving in Cars With Boys, Barrymore has built her career for the last decade primarily in producing films and starring in romantic and dramatic roles.

Drew BarrymoreIn 2017 Netflix released the first series of The Santa Clarita Diet. The show is a horror comedy, about the strange death of Sheila Hammond. However Sheila isn’t quite dead, she’s undead and has a hankering for human flesh. It is up to her husband Joel (Timothy Olyphant), daughter Abby (Liv Hewson) and their young neighbor Eric (Skyler Gisondo) to help figure out how Sheila became what she now is and try and change her back to normal.

The show has run for two seasons already and confirmation for series three has been announced. Fans are enjoying the dark humor and balance between the comedy itself and grotesque gore. It has been an enjoyable and hilarious show to watch and personally a great reintroduction to genre fans for Barrymore’s skills as a comedienne and her abilities within the genre.

Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant in Santa Clarita Diet

Posted by Michelle MIDI Peifer in REVIEWS, STAFF PICKS, WOMEN IN HORROR, 0 comments
VORTEXX SCHEDULE FOR 2 – 9 OCTOBER 2016

VORTEXX SCHEDULE FOR 2 – 9 OCTOBER 2016

VORTEXX SCHEDULE FOR
2 - 9 OCTOBER 2016

By The Crimson Executioner
&
Woofer McWooferson

The Vortexx Hosts_02

THE VORTEXX where it's ALL HOSTS ALL THE TIME FOR SIX YEARS!

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 new movies making their Vortexx debut along with several returning favorites. Our hosts this week are Misty Brew, Dr. Tarr & Prof. Fether, Freakshow & the Bordello gang, Bobby Gammonster, Remo D. & friends, Dave Binkley & Juli Majernik, Dr. Sigmund Zoid & Sluggo, and Arachna & Deadly. Enjoy the shows and thanks for hanging out!

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Sunday (10/2) @ 9:00 P.M. (ET)
MISTY BREW'S CREATURE FEATURE
presents
REVENGE OF THE ZOMBIES (1943)

MISTY BREW'S CREATURE FEATURE presents REVENGE OF THE ZOMBIES (1943). Since this movie was made in the midst of World War II, you might expect to see some Nazis in it. Trust us, you will not be disappointed. Horror movie veteran John Carradine stars as Dr. Max Heinrich von Altermann, a mad scientist (is there any other kind?) working at an old mansion in the bayous of Louisiana. Mad Max has plans to create a race of living dead warriors for the Third Reich. But his plans are complicated by his deceased wife (Veda Ann Borg) -- a zombie who, in most unzombie-like fashion, has developed a mind of her own. Mantan Moreland reprises his role of Jeff from King of the Zombies (1941). Gale Storm (of My Little Margie fame), future Batman Robert Lowery, and cowboy actor Bob Steele co-star.

vortexx-monster-of-party-beach-20161003_psychocinema

Monday (10/3) @ 9:00 P.M. (ET)
TARR AND FETHER'S
PSYCHO CINEMA

presents
The Vortexx premiere of
MONSTER OF PARTY BEACH (2014)

PSYCHO CINEMA with Dr. Tarr and Prof. Fether presents The Vortexx premiere of Mark Justice's MONSTER OF PARTY BEACH (2014). If the title sounds vaguely familiar, it's because this Indie film from Cyclops Pictures was intended to be an homage to those bikini beach movies of the 1960s such as Horror of Party Beach and Beach Girls and the Monster. It’s summer time in Harmony Point, and the teens are home for vacation. It's all fun and games on the beach until a monster begins to kill off the bikini-clad teens one by one. Can Harmony Point’s mayor and police force stop the monster before there are no more bikini-filling teens left? If you like your Indies with extra cheese, then this is the movie for you!

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Tuesday (10/4) @ 9:00 P.M. (ET)
BORDELLO OF HORROR
presents
VOYAGE TO THE PLANET OF PREHISTORIC WOMEN (1968)

BORDELLO OF HORROR with Freakshow, Mistress Malicious, Sgt. Drizzlepuss, Ali Katt and Marijohuana presents VOYAGE TO THE PLANET OF PREHISTORIC WOMEN (1968). Marilyn Monroe wannabe Mamie Van Doren stars as Moana, the leader of a tribe of Venusian women who wear clamshell bikinis, worship a pterodactyl god, and spend a lot of time lying around the beach. This movie uses the same footage from the Russian-made Planet of Storms that Roger Corman used three years earlier in Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet. Acclaimed director Peter Bogdanovich (calling himself Derek Thomas) directed the American scenes and also supplies the narration. In addition to the movie, Freaky will be entertaining us with special musical guests Zombina and the Skeletons, a movie review by Mark Krawczyk from The Final Cut, and more!

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Wednesday (10/5) @ 9:00 P.M. (ET)
MONSTER MOVIE NIGHT
presents
FIVE MINUTES TO LIVE (1961)

MONSTER MOVIE NIGHT with Bobby Gammonster and Boris the Buzzard presents FIVE MINUTES TO LIVE (1961). Johnny Cash makes his movie debut in this energetic crime thriller as Johnny Cabot, a hard-up, guitar-strumming hood who's hired by crook Fred Dorella (Vic Tayback from TV's Alice) to pose as a door-to-door guitar instructor, kidnap the wife of the local bank president (Donald Woods from 13 Ghosts), and hold her for ransom. Seven-year-old Ron Howard plays the couple's son Bobby. Despite the low production values, Cash manages a strong menacing presence, and the script is surprisingly smart. Cash sings "I've Come to Kill" and the title song "Five Minutes to Live."

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Thursday (10/6) @ 9:00 P.M. (ET)
REMO D'S MANOR OF MAYHEM
presents
The Vortexx premiere of
Wes Craven's CHILLER (1985)

REMO D'S MANOR OF MAYHEM with Remo, Dr. Montag, and Kato the Black Hornet presents The Vortexx premiere of Wes Craven's CHILLER (1985). If you thought that none of Wes Craven's movies were in the public domain, you've got another think coming because Remo has found the only one that is! It's a Made-for-TV movie about a cryogenically frozen man (Michael Beck) who returns from the deep freeze after a sleep of ten years. Only problem is, he is without a soul and begins doing creepy things. Paul Sorvino, Jill Schoelen, and Beatrice Straight co-star. Meanwhile back at the Manor, Dr. Montag has his own cryogenic chamber -- and his own test subject.

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Friday (10/7) @ 9:00 P.M. (ET)
THE WEIRDNESS REALLY BAD MOVIE
presents
Roger Corman's LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS (1975)

THE WEIRDNESS REALLY BAD MOVIE with Dave Binkley and co-host Juli Majernik presents a Vortexx favorite -- Roger Corman's LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS (1960) starring Jonathan Haze as nebbish Seymour Krelborn, Jackie Joseph as his dim-witted girlfriend Audrey, Mel Welles as flower shop owner Gravis Mushnick, Dick Miller as plant-eating man Burson Fouch, and a very young Jack Nicholson as Wilbur Force -- a guy who just loves going to the dentist. In keeping with the horticultural theme of tonight's movie, the host segments were shot at Suncrest Gardens -- a retail garden center in Peninsula, Ohio, where Dave tries his best to cope with his pollen allergies.

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Saturday (10/8) @ 9:00 P.M. (ET)
ALTERNATIVE REALITIES
presents
The Vortexx premiere of
Bert I. Gordon's ATTACK OF THE PUPPET PEOPLE (1958)

ALTERNATIVE REALITIES with Dr. Sigmund Zoid and Sluggo returns to The Vortexx with a brand-new episode! Tonight Zoid & Sluggo will be hosting The Vortexx premiere of Bert I. Gordon's ATTACK OF THE PUPPET PEOPLE (1958). Mr. B.I.G. goes small in this tale of a lonely dollmaker (veteran character actor John Hoyt) who lures unsuspecting folks into the back room of his shop and shrinks them for his amusement. It's all champagne parties and rock 'n' roll dancing on the table until one of his recently shrunk victims (veteran B-movie hero John Agar) decides to organize an escape. Bert's nine-year-old daughter Susan has a small role (get it? "small" role) as tiny girl with an even tinier cat.

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Sunday (10/9) @ 9:00 P.M. (ET)
BEWARE THEATER
presents
George Romero's NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (1968)

BEWARE THEATER with Arachna of the Spider People and her friend Deadly presents George Romero's NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (1968). This is a movie that needs no introduction, but we're going to give you one anyway. It's about six bickering humans and a sick little girl trapped in a farmhouse with an army of zombies outside. Ben wants to be boss of the upstairs. Cooper wants to be boss of the cellar. Sparks fly and assorted body parts get devoured before it all comes to a flesh-ripping gut-munching climax. We know you've seen this movie more than a few times before, but tonight Arachna will be breathing new life into this venerable old chestnut with frequent host inserts and biting humor.

✿✿✿✿✿✿✿✿✿✿✿✿✿✿✿✿✿✿✿✿✿✿

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

The Vortexx cube"Every day is a good day that ends in The Vortexx." You can find us at horrorhost.net and livestream.com/allhorrorhosts. 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 sluggo@horrorhost.net.

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 www.clubdesade.com

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!

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SLUGGO!!! OUR DEAR LEADER AND FREELY ELECTED PRESIDENT OF THE VORTEXX!!!

Posted by Alan Smithee in HOSTED HORROR, 0 comments
THIS JUST IN: 1, 2, Freddy’s Coming for You… Again

THIS JUST IN: 1, 2, Freddy’s Coming for You… Again

By Jonathan Patrick Hughes

In 1984, writer/director Wes Craven and producer Robert Shay made everyone terrified to fall asleep with their hit film entitled A Nightmare on Elm Street. The film was about a child murderer who was killed by a bunch of parents to protect their children, but this horrible human being does not stay dead for long. The children, now teenagers, are finally beginning to understand the truth and to pay for their parents’ sins as they fall victim to this dream demon who has the power to invade their nightmares and kill them one by one. If he gets you in your sleep, you don't wake up at all. His name is Freddy Krueger, and he is coming back!

Heather Langenkamp in A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) Photo by Melissa Moseley - © 1984 - New Line Cinema Entertainment, Inc.

Heather Langenkamp in A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
Photo by Melissa Moseley - © 1984 - New Line Cinema Entertainment, Inc.

The franchise is a sacred and well-loved piece of cinema, and fans all over the world can tell you their favorite lines, kills, and sequel. For me, the original was the best; it was scary, fresh, and terrifying. My favorite sequel is either Dream Warriors or Dream Master. I can't pick one or the other because for me three was the last one that was scary and four was a turning point where Freddy became more of a fun cartoon. And I believe that was the film where fans started to adore him and want to love him. A Nightmare on Elm Street spawned six sequels as well as Freddy vs. Jason in 2003. After the FvJ installment, there were talks about bringing in Chucky, Michael Myers, Ash, and even Pinhead. Things didn't develop as fast as people wanted. So, lo and behold, MICHAEL FRIGGING BAY decides to take his horror production label, known as Platinum Dunes, and remake one of the best iconic horror films ever made and he fucked it up!

Robert Englund in A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) Photo by Zade Rosenthal - © 1984 - New Line Cinema Entertainment, Inc.

Robert Englund in A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
Photo by Zade Rosenthal - © 1984 - New Line Cinema Entertainment, Inc.

Warner Bros. Pictures/New Line Cinema and Michael Bay brought us a remake back in 2010, and, like most people, I only hope that one day I can forget about it. Looks like that won't be happening anytime soon, however, because Freddy is on his way back to the screen and a new actor will be putting on the dirty red and green sweater as well as the glove.

As a loyal fan of the franchise as well as Robert Englund himself, I, for one, do not see a point in this at all. The first remake did horrendous at the box office and I'm sorry, but when you have an iconic character played by the same person (Robert Englund) throughout the entire franchise, fans only see that person playing that character. Freddy isn't Freddy without Mr. Englund. The infamous outstanding one liners, the body language and the facial features were all created by him and no one will ever be able to pull that off no matter how hard they try. You cannot replace greatness. A script is being written as we speak and casting has yet to be announced as well as a director, but in the end this is going to be another remake that people will toss to the side unless Robert Englund himself puts the glove back on one more time. Only 184 billion people can hope!

Posted by Jonathan Hughes in HORROR NEWS, 0 comments
HISTORY OF HORROR: AUGUST

HISTORY OF HORROR: AUGUST

By John Roisland & Woofer McWooferson

Join House of Tortured Souls as we celebrate significant dates in the history of horror in August. Click on thumbnails for full images.

August 1 - 7

 


08/01/1883
Lon Chaney, Sr. born

0801_800px-Lon_Chaney,_Sr._The_Miracle_Man


0801_The-Omega-Man-Poster

08/01/1971
The Omega Man released theatrically


08/01/1986
Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives released
theatrically

0801_Friday6


0801_Resident_Evil_1_cover

08/01/1996
Resident Evil released on the PlayStation in Europe


08/01/1999
Silent Hill released on the PlayStation in Europe

0801_Silent_Hill_video_game_cover


0802_Wes_Craven_2010

08/02/1939
Wes Craven (director of Scream, A Nightmare on Elm Street) born


08/02/1999
The Sixth Sense released theatrically

0802_The_sixth_sense


0802_TheOthers

08/02/2001
The Others released
theatrically


08/02/2002
Signs released theatrically

0802_The_Signs_movie


0803_PiranhaPosterA

08/03/1978
Piranha released
theatrically


08/04/1932
White Zombie released theatrically

0804_Poster_-_White_Zombie_01_Crisco_restoration


0805_John_Saxon_1975

08/05/1935
John Saxon born


08/06/1970
M. Night Shyamalan (director ) born

0806_M._Night_Shyamalan_by_Gage_Skidmore

0806_250px-Silent Hill 3_boxart
08/06/2003
Silent Hill 3 released on the PlayStation and PC in North America

August 8 - 14


08/09/2005
Matthew McGrory (Played Tiny in The Devils Rejects and House of 1000 Corpses) died

0809_Matthew_McGrory


0810_Chaos_(2005_film)_poster

08/10/2005
Chaos (2005) released theatrically


08/11/1947
Stuart Gordon (director of Re-Animator and Dagon) born

0811_800px-Gordon,_Stuart_(2007)


0811_Ein_Zombie_hing_am_Glockenseil_Poster

08/11/1980
City of the Living Dead released theatrically


08/11/1989
A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child released theatrically

0811_Nightmare5


0811_Systemshock2box

08/11/1999
System Shock 2 released on PC


08/12/1941
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941) released theatrically

0812_Jekyll-hyde_1941


0812_Castlevania_II_Belmont's_Revenge

08/12/1991
Castlevania II: Belmont’s Revenge released on the Game Boy in Japan


08/13/1899
Sir Alfred Joseph Hitchcock, KBE, born

0813_800px-Hitchcock,_Alfred_02


0813_Film1953-TheWarOfTheWorlds-OriginalPoster

08/13/1953
The War of the Worlds (1953) released theatrically


08/13/1982
Friday the 13th Part 3 released theatrically

0813_Friday3


0813_Jason_goes_to_hell

08/13/1993
Jason Goes To Hell: The Final Friday released theatrically


08/13/2004
Alien vs. Predator released theatrically

0813_Avpmovie


0814_Original_Rocky_Horror_Picture_Show_poster

08/14/1975
The Rocky Horror Picture Show released theatrically

August 15 - 21


08/15/1986
The Fly (1986) released theatrically

0815_215px-Fly_poster


0815_Manhunter_michael_mann_film_poster

08/15/1986
Manhunter (1986) released theatrically


08/15/1997
Event Horizon released theatrically

0815_Event_horizon_ver1


0815_Event_horizon_ver1

08/15/2003
Freddy vs. Jason released theatrically


08/16/1956
Bela Lugosi died (born October 20, 1882)

0816_220px-Lugosi_Bela


0817_Robert_De_Niro_Cannes_2016

08/17/1943
Robert De Niro born


08/17/1969
Donnie Wahlberg (actor in The Sixth Sense, Dreamcatcher, and Saw II) born

0817_Donnie_Wahlberg_2010


0818_424px-Roman_Polanski_Cannes_2013

08/18/1933
Roman Polanski (director of The Fearless Vampire Killers, Rosemary’s Baby, and The Ninth Gate) born


08/18/1969
Edward Norton (actor in Red Dragon) born

0818_437px-Edward_Norton_2012


0819_Nightmare4

08/19/1988
A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master released theatrically


08/19/2005
Dead & Breakfast released theatrically

0819_Dead&Breakfast2004


0820_H._P._Lovecraft,_June_1934

08/20/1890
H. P. Lovecraft born


08/21/1943
The Seventh Victim released theatrically

0821_220px-The-Seventh-Victim-poster


0821_220px-An_American_Werewolf_in_London_poster

08/21/1981
An American Werewolf in London released theatrically


08/21/1998
Blade released theatrically

0821_220px-Blade_movie

August 22 - 28


0822_390px-Nightofthecreepsposter

08/22/1986
Night of the Creeps released theatrically


08/22/1997
Mimic released theatrically

0822_220px-Mimic


0824_Takashi_Miike

08/24/1960
Takashi Miike (director of Ichi the Killer, Visitor Q, Audition) born


08/24/1990
Darkman released theatrically

0824_215px-Darkman_film_poster


0824_John_Carpenter's_Ghosts_of_Mars

08/24/2001
John Carpenter’s Ghosts of Mars released theatrically


08/25/1979
Zombi 2 released theatrically

0825_Zombie_Flesh_eaters


0825_Castlevania_-_Dawn_of_Sorrow_Coverart

08/25/2005
Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow released on the Nintendo DS in Japan


08/26/2005
Resident Evil Outbreak File #2 released for the PlayStation 2 in Europe

0826_Resident_Evil_Outbreak_File_2


0827&28_Castlevania_II_Simon's_Quest

08/27/1992
Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest released on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in Europe


08/27/1987
Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest released on the Famicom Disk System in Japan

0827&28_Castlevania_II_Simon's_Quest

August 29 - 31


0829_IngridBergmanportrait

08/29/1915
Ingrid Bergman (actress in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941)) born


08/29/1935
William Friedkin (director of The Exorcist, Rampage, The Guardian, and Bug) born

0829_800px-William_Friedkin


0829_400px-Joel_Schumacher

08/29/1939
Joel Schumacher (director of The Lost Boys) born


08/30/2000
Resident Evil: Survivor released on PlayStation

0830_RE_Survivor_front


0831_220px-Basketcaseposter

08/31/1983
Basket Case released theatrically


08/31/2007
Halloween (2007) released theatrically

0831_Halloween2007

Keep it Evil

Posted by Alan Smithee in HORROR HISTORY, 0 comments
DOC REVIEW: Boogeymen 2: Masters of Horror

DOC REVIEW: Boogeymen 2: Masters of Horror

Boogeyman 2: Masters of Horror

By Woofer McWooferson

Boogeymen 2-1

 

Director: Mike Mendez, Dave Parker; Writers: Curtis Bowden, Mike Mendez, Dave Parker, Gary Shenk; Stars: Dario Argento, Bruce Campbell, John Carpenter, Wes Craven, Guillermo del Toro, Tobe Hooper, John Landis, George A. Romero; Rating: U; Run Time: 90 min; Genre: Documentary; Country: USA; Language: English; Year: 2002

“Their movies gave you nightmares. Now the most diabolical minds in horror are coming together in the ultimate Halloween horror special – Masters of Horror.”

The 2002 documentary Boogeymen 2: Masters of Horror is hosted by Bruce Campbell (Evil Dead, The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr.) and features some of the greatest names in horror movies, from Dario Argento to Guillermo del Toro. Divided into three parts, it asks the great questions all horror fans have:

Part 1: Why Do We Like to be Scared?
Part 2: What Scares Us?
Part 3: (Where Do They Get Their Ideas?)

Parts one and two are rather brief and hop from director to director as each answers why we like to be scared and what scares us. As to why we like to be scared, answers range from “why do some people like to ride roller coasters” to “preparation for our own deaths” and all are equally valid since why we like to be scared is as unique as each of us. When it comes to what scares us, however, most of our fears are the same, from death (of self or loved ones) to the dark (or what lies in it), and this is the bread and butter of these directors.

Wes Craven

Wes Craven

Part three, however, is much longer and divided into six sections with each section focusing on one director. These sections and the featured directors are:

The Reality of Horror (Wes Craven)
The Horror of Innocence (Guillermo del Toro)
The Rebel of Horror (John Carpenter)
The Horror of Society (George A. Romero)
Transforming Horror (John Landis & Rick Baker)
The Beauty of Horror (Dario Argento)
Living the Horror (Tobe Hooper)

Highlights of the documentary include:

• Craven discussing the making of The Serpent and the Rainbow and how The Last House on the Left managed an R rating.

• del Toro recounting his introduction to the supernatural while still in his crib, the influence of Universal monster movies on him, and how he established a special effects company in order to create Cronos.

• Carpenter talking about the change in audience sensibilities and the effect it had on the horror industry in the 70s and 80s.

• Romero revealing his fear of being typecast and his eventual return to the dead films.

• Landis and Rick Baker explaining how they created Schlock and why An American Werewolf in London is a watershed film in special effects work.

• Argento discussing his films as works of art where each shot is framed for both beauty and horror.

• Hooper recounting the horrors behind the scenes of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, including the effects that the gruelling shot had on the cast and crew.

Tobe Hooper

Tobe Hooper

Boogeymen 2: Masters of Horror also includes commentary from Gunnar Hanson, Tom Savini, and KNB Effects and is full of clips from the movies being discussed as well as movies that exemplify the topics being described.

Is this for everyone? No, but it is damn good fun and a must for horror lovers.

7/10 claws

Posted by Alan Smithee in DOCUMENTARY REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW (RETRO): Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984)

MOVIE REVIEW (RETRO): Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984)

By Kev B.

Silent Night Deadly Night poster

 

My favorite holiday horror flick is another one that brings me back to my awesome childhood, growing up in the 80’s with one of the coolest Moms on earth. Way back then, before the internet, we had a show with two opinionated douche nozzles who did movie reviews, called Sneak Previews and later At The Movies. A week before Halloween back in 1980, Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert had declared war on horror movies, and dedicated an entire episode of their show to a disturbing new trend in Hollywood, the slasher film. How douchey were they? Well, Siskels review of Friday the 13th for the Chicago Tribune included this gem of a quote "It has been suggested to me that a great way to keep people from seeing a truly awful movie is to tell them the ending" so he spoiled the reveal to discourage readers from seeing it. He also encouraged a letter campaign to harass the studio, producers, and even Betsy Palmer for taking part in the film.

Silent Night Deadly Night Controversy

In 1984 Siskel and Ebert reviewed Silent Night, Deadly Night. They said it was crude and mean spirited and that the profits made from the movie were blood money. They read the names of the film's production crew on air, shaming them and again encouraging viewers to send hate mail. Whenever they were outraged, Mom and I knew we had a winner and ran off to the theater to check it out. The more disgusted and repulsed they were, the more excited I would get. In fact, they’re the reason I write reviews today, as I had always wished I had a like minded critic whose opinion I could trust. And it really is all a matter of taste and opinion, including the debate on artistic merit. Ya ever heard the old saying: Opinions are like assholes, everybody’s got one… and most of them stink.

They say there is no such thing as bad publicity, but the shit storm that ensued and the protests at showings of the film caused the studio to pull it from theaters a week or so after its release. Had it not been for that TV commercial running at dinner time across America, the movie probably would’ve had a moderate run in theaters and went unnoticed. And despite Silent Night Deadly Night out-grossing Wes Cravens A Nightmare On Elm Street, also released on the same day, they listed the film as one of the worst of 1984. The major fatal flaw was that 30 second television commercial, not the movie itself, as most of the outraged protesting parents didn’t even see 30 seconds worth of the movie.

"My 3-year-old son saw the television commercial for Silent Night, Deadly Night last week and now refuses to sit on Santa's lap for our annual Christmas picture this year. How dare producer Ira Barmak rob my child and others like him of their fantasy. Make the splatter films, if you must, about adult subjects and leave our holidays alone. What next? A marauding turkey at Thanksgiving? Think of the children!!!"

The subject of the controversy is almost more interesting than the movie itself, and in the long run it’s helped more than it hurt this fun little slasher. It put the movie on peoples radar, and actually solidified and justified its mark in horror history. It wasn’t the first killer Santa movie, and it aint the last, but its my favorite and it’s become a holiday tradition for me and many others out there.

Silent Night Deadly Night protest

Poor Billy Chapman never had a chance, he had that perfect storm of consequences that effected his life and mind so deeply it would’ve been a miracle if he turned out a well adjusted young man. The movie begins, Christmas eve 1971, with Billy at 5 years old visiting his grandfather at the Utah mental facility with his parents and baby brother Ricky. Grandpa seems catatonic until poor Billy is left alone with him for a few minutes, he snaps out of it and tells the young boy “Santy Claus only brings presents to them that's been good all year. All the other ones, all the naughty ones, he punishes! What about you, boy? You been good all year?” “You scared, ain't ya? You should be! Christmas Eve is the scariest damn night of the year!”

With that still fresh in his young mind, the ride home is cut short by a chance meeting with a derelict on a crime spree dressed in a Santa suit. After witnessing his parents murdered at the hands of Santa, Billy and little brother Ricky are sent to St Mary's home for orphaned children and subjected to the strict disciplinary guidance of Mother Superior. Her sadistic abuse accompanied by noteworthy quotes like “Punishment is absolute, punishment is good!” and “When we do something naughty, we are always caught. Then we are punished!” Not the best place for a kid to grow up with a possible hereditary mental illness and extreme childhood trauma.

Billy gets a job at Ira’s Toy store as a stock boy, but when the holidays come around his attitude becomes a little erratic. Add to that the need for someone to fill in as the store Santa, and before we know it Billy is all dressed in red and white and looking a little stressed. The store closes and the bottle opens and the celebration begins, Christmas party at Ira’s. Turns out alcohol is the final trigger when Billy gets a few drinks in him, and before you know it holy holiday hell breaks loose. Billy goes into full on punish mode, and punish he does!

Maybe I give this movie extra credit for the nostalgia, but I still think it has a solid story, some interesting kills, and enough gratuitous sex and violence to get me thru most of the holiday season. He beheads a dude riding a sleigh. He strangles someone with a string of Christmas lights, He impales Linnea Quigley on the antlers of a taxidermied deer head, and if that don’t make you want to see it then disregard everything I’ve said and go watch Jim Carrey as the Grinch. I highly recommend you make Silent Night, Deadly Night part of your movie collection, and a holiday tradition in your home too. If you can find the double feature DVD it includes the sequel featuring Billys little brother Ricky, all grown up and crazy as hell. “Garbage Day!”

Depending on how much cheese you like with your horror there are 5 SNDN movies in the original franchise, and part 5 has Mickey Rooney in it too.

And remember… “You see Santa Claus tonight you better run boy, you better run for your life!”

Posted by Alan Smithee in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
TRIBUTE: Remembering Wes Craven

TRIBUTE: Remembering Wes Craven

We Honor Genre Legend
Wes Craven

2 August 1939 - 30 August 2015

Wes Craven
When we here at House of Tortured Souls heard the tragic news about Wes Craven losing his battle with brain cancer, we were stunned and instantly saddened. It made us all realize what an indelible mark he has made in the film industry and with his fans and ourselves. And like many other sites, we decided to honor this revered master of horror and suspense and all say a little something about what the man and his films meant to us...

JOHN ROISLAND: When I was very young, I remember hearing adults talking of this horrific film called The Last House on the Left. I recall pieces of TV and newspaper ads for it and still more and more discussion about how disturbing and gross the film was, yet these ads and talks never seemed to have gone away. The funny thing was that the film came out the same year I was born, so that should give you some idea as to how long the impact of this film was. This was my first introduction to Mr. Wes Craven.

Moving forward a few years, I was in the 6th grade and had a few friends of mine staying the night. We had stayed up late watching this new horror movie on VHS called A Nightmare on Elm Street. To this day I remember how vivid my dreams were that night. This guy with knives for fingers chased me through this huge maze. This guy became one of the horror genre's most popular horror icons, as well as Wes Craven's most notorious character - Freddy Krueger.

For years to follow, Craven's films became the blood that flowed through my veins. The Hills Have Eyes, Shocker, The People Under the Stairs, and let us not forget one film that I thought was absolute genius: Scream. Who else would have used a story about horror films, to create a horror film?

Many years later, I caught up with my past and finally watched The Last House On The Left. The movie was, by this time outdated, and the special FX that one has grown to expect in movies weren't there, and ya know what? It didn't matter. The film stands on its own and is one of a kind. I can honestly say that all the things I had heard all those adult voices saying when I was just a little kid were true. Love it or hate it, it is one of the most powerful and disturbing films I have seen to this day!

I'm not going to lie and tell you the Wes Craven was/is my favorite writer/director, because he isn't. What I will say is that this master of horror deserves a huge amount of credit for his hand in shaping the horror film genre into what it is today. He was an inspiration and set filmmaking standards that will take many, many years for anyone else to match.

Thank you, Mr. Craven, for the beautiful nightmares.

 

AMY LYNES: I was in the seventh grade when I saw A Nightmare on Elm Street in the theater, and I was beyond terrified. I had truly never been that scared in my life. There were parts of the film where I couldn't even breathe, and I think I jumped out of my seat at least five times. And the terror didn't end when the credits rolled either. I was unable to sleep right for WEEKS. All these years later, I can honestly say that I have never had a film scare me the way ANOES did. The only other horror film that came even remotely close was also one of his films - Scream.

At the time, I had no idea that the director for ANOES and one of my childhood favorites, Swamp Thing, were one and the same. Swamp Thing showed me that appearances aren't everything, and it made me the type of kid who always rooted for the underdog and stick up for the kids who were bullied. That is something that has stuck with me my entire life, and it's huge part with who I am today.

While Scream isn't one of my favorite films, it did genuinely scare me the first time I saw it. It was the kind of thing every girl who has ever been home alone or has been a babysitter in someone else's home fears. Not since ANOES had a film given me nightmares and Scream did just that.

In the late 80s/early 90s, horror got boring for me. Everything seemed to lack originality or a formula that worked, and everything seemed SO predictable. Sadly, I kinda gave up on the genre for a while. Then in '94, Wes Craven gave us New Nightmare and he gave Freddy back to the fans. He got rid of all the cheesy lines and he made Freddy scary again. He instantly reignited my love of horror with one film.

Wes Craven seemed to have a way of honing in on what scared me the most, and his films have had a huge impact on me becoming the horror fan that I am today. His passing was truly a loss to the horror community and its fans. He will be missed - by myself and countless others - for decades to come.

RIP Mr. Craven. You will live on through your countless masterpieces and in the hearts of your fans. Thank you for all the screams.

 

STEPHANIE ROISLAND: I was very young the first time I saw A Nightmare on Elm Street. My family was not into horror at all with the exception of my older brother. I always knew I was different. I wasn't afraid of Freddy, he made me giggle. I was scared of the The Wizard of Oz, but The Hills Have Eyes intrigued me.

Wes Craven helped open my eyes to a world where everything twisted was acceptable and nightmares can be made into a reality on film. I loved the independent thoughts and freedom of his writing and movies. He, along with a handful of other directors/writers, gave me insight into a world where I fit in.

When I heard of Mr. Craven's passing this is what I blogged and it is still how I feel: "The goal of life is not to live forever, but to create something that will". And he accomplished just that. He will be immortal, not in the flesh but in his works. He has created a legacy that will live on and on with each generation. We will show our grandchildren his cult classics just as we did our children and show them how true horror really should be.

Rest In Peace, my friend, and here is to the immorality of Gods and Monsters.

 

DIXIELORD: Like so many horror fans, I first discovered Wes Craven with A Nightmare on Elm Street. It was like nothing I had ever seen before. Freddy Krueger was no hulking, silent stalker, no shambling zombie, and no Gothic Victorian creature of the night. Freddy was something entirely new, a laughing, wise cracking demon from hell, and he was always waiting in your dreams. With him, Wes Craven had made my nightmares something to really fear. Those harmless nightmares might not really be so harmless. Over the years, Freddy became a pop culture icon as the films got more campy, and people knew that Freddy was really Robert Englund. Then, when Freddy was posing with babies, and riding on parade floats, Wes took him back, and made him scary again. In New Nightmare, Wes Craven crashed through the fourth wall at full speed, making Freddy more real and more terrifying than ever.

Thank you, Wes, for making my youth more fun and more exciting. Thank you for giving me nightmares and for inspiring my imagination, while reminding me it's all just a nightmare, and I can always wake up.

 

NICK DURHAM: Other than maybe John Carpenter, no other horror maestro's films have had the effect on me the way Wes Craven's had. Granted my feelings on The Last House on the Left are one thing, but that has its place in history and it set the stage for the greatness that would come. There was a time when nearly everything Craven touched turned to gold. Well...almost everything. Despite that though, a majority of his films have had quite an impact on me personally.

The Hills Have Eyes and, of course, the original A Nightmare on Elm Street are two of my all time favorite horror films in the history of ever. Not to mention the fact that he somehow managed to reinvigorate life into Freddy with New Nightmare and an extremely original and interesting premise that no other slasher franchise would dare take on. As much as I love John Carpenter to death, he's never gone down that road. That, in itself, really made me believe that anything could be possible in the horror genre besides the typical and tired tropes we see again and again.

Wes Craven breathed life and fresh air into so many different elements of the horror genre with his films. Granted his later work didn't do a whole lot to twist my knickers, but there's no denying the effect a majority of his work has had on me personally and how I view the horror genre in general. There's damn few other people in the genre that spoke to me like Wes Craven did, and all of us are worse off without his presence.

 

KIM RICKETTS: Early on in my journey into horror I was introduced to A Nightmare on Elm Street. I was young, probably first grade or so, and I remember sitting near my mom watching that gloved hand breach the water and get closer and closer to a dozing Nancy. I was terrified and captivated at the same time. I so badly wanted to look away but I couldn't. I was hooked.

The actual killings didn't scare me half as much as the psychological scares that Wes Craven put into his work. My whole life I've never been so much afraid of what I could see but what was lurking out there unseen and ready to get you at your most vulnerable time. The fact that you were less safe sound asleep and dreaming than when you were wide awake was a complete mind screw. I came to love the campy wit and pure genius that was Freddy Krueger. He became one of the bad guys that I wanted to win over and over.

The concept of New Nightmare was brilliant to me. To take Freddy from the screen and bring him into "real life" was frightening. Having Heather Langenkamp and Robert Englund as themselves rather than Nancy and Freddy and then interact with a much darker, scarier Freddy made it seem like it really could happen.

With the Scream series, Craven hooked me again. I was in high school when the first film came out. I could relate. Sidney and her friends weren't all that different from my friends and me. We felt invincible and didn't follow rules for nothing. The fact that these kids were following horror movie rules that were basically every typical horror cliché was genius. This could happen in my town, and to my friends and me, and that just wasn't cool. We were indestructible, after all, and too young to die. It made it even scarier.

And that's what Wes Craven did so well. He scared you with what was in your mind. Whether it was Scream or The Last House on the Left, it could happen.

His scares will transcend time and his works will continue to frighten people for generations.

 

Dyametric 13: Wes Craven will be missed so much, by me and many others. As a director he wowed me. The second horror film I saw was A Nightmare on Elm Street. This film sparked something big in my heart for horror. It kept me wanting more. The first horror film I ended up seeing in the theater was Freddy's Dead. I actually talked my mother into buying tickets for me and a friend, and it was amazing.

The People Under the Stairs was another big film for me. I can't even tell you how many times I've watched it. "Fool" was a true hero in this film and the way he got the name, always makes me smile. The reason is a past story of my own.

A little known movie by the name The Fear (1995) was a film Wes didn't direct, but acted in. My name (Dyametric 13) comes from that film. I already knew what diametric meant, but watching this film made me love the word more. Dyametric 13 (with a slight spelling change) just stuck with me from that point on.

Even the Scream franchise has had some impact on me as a horror fan. It's not one of my favorites, but every now and then, I will still give it a watch.

The Serpent and the Rainbow truly terrified me. This film still gives me chills. I imagine waking up in a coffin, buried alive, now a living zombie, and it freaks me out. Knowing that this kind of stuff happens in real life? It makes the whole film just a bit more terrifying.

In my eyes, this man will never truly die. He has earned his place in horror history, and he is a true legend.

R.I.P. Wes Craven, you will be missed.

 

MACHETE VON KILL: I thought it would be easy to sit down and write about what Wes Craven and his movies meant to me. I thought it would be easy to put his impact on my life into words. I was wrong on both accounts, but I’m trying…

The first thing that comes to mind when I hear the name Wes Craven is Freddy Krueger! I was 10 years old and at a slumber party the first time I saw A Nightmare on Elm Street. Freddy scared the shit out of me! I had nightmares for weeks! I had a rounded plastic bird cage in my bedroom window, and at night it cast a shadow on my ceiling. That shadow looked just like Freddy’s famous fedora. I was positive that Freddy was going to come out of that shadow and get me in my sleep! I don’t scare easily (other than a few embarrassing phobias). I never have. Freddy got me good and, in the long run, I liked it.

Over the years I've watched many of Craven’s films. The Serpent and The Rainbow, The People Under the Stairs, and the original The Hills Have Eyes are among my favorites.

I have to admit, by the mid 1990s I was bored with the horror genre. I didn’t have access to much in my small town, and what I did have access to was mostly CRAP. It was played out, lame, and had no story. I gave up on my beloved genre until Craven gave us the gift of Scream. That movie brought me back to the genre. Wes was able to remind me why I fell in love with horror movies in the first place. He brought back masterful storytelling, enhanced with gore, rather than gore just for the sake of gore. It was a love letter to the fans, and for that I can never thank him enough.

 

WOOFER McWOOFERSON: When I started this piece, I thought I would talk about the two Wes Craven movies that I like most. The more I think about it, though, the harder that has been. His impact on the horror industry is undeniable, so I decided the best course was to discuss 10 things Wes Craven taught us.

1) The Last House on the Left (1972) taught us that revenge isn't always a dish best served cold.

2) The Hills Have Eyes (1977) taught us that being on guard is never overrated.

3) Swamp Thing (1982) taught us that even plant monster men can love.

4) A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) taught us that sleep really can be a bad thing.

5) Invitation to Hell (1984) taught us that Susan Lucci plays evil like nobody else.

6) Deadly Friend (1986) taught us to fear basketballs.

7) The Serpent and the Rainbow (1988) taught us that Bill Pullman was more than a one trick pony.

8) Shocker (1989) taught us that the electric chair is not our friend.

9) The People Under the Stairs (1991) taught us that a lovely exterior can hide a hideous interior.

10) Scream (1996) taught us that there are rules to horror, and if you want to survive, you'd better know those rules and follow them.

Thank you, Mr. Craven. RIP.

 

KEV B.: We recently lost one of the brightest and most original minds in horror… Wes Craven who (among his other accomplishments) gave us Freddy Krueger and Ghostface. This is my posthumous praise for Mr Craven and his legacy. I was born in 1971 and raised in what I consider the greatest era of the horror genre. A time (in my opinion) of unparalleled awesomeness and the best time to be a young horror fan.

When I was about 12 years old my mom and I went to see A Nightmare on Elm Street on opening day, and I would venture to say it changed modern horror movies forever. I remember vividly, after the credits rolled, a man running out of the theater and projectile vomiting as Mom and I laughed.

It was unlike any other slasher of its time and gave us a new horror icon for the 80s... Freddy Krueger. Armed with a glove of knives for fingers and a killer wit, he slashed his way into our dreams and our hearts and established Wes Craven as a formidable force in the genre. After a few sequels, Freddy’s one liners became increasingly corny and he lost his initial menace, but the original is a true horror classic.

In the years to follow, Craven released The Serpent and the Rainbow and The People Under the Stairs, both of which are among my all time favorite movies and a departure from traditional horror. The Scream franchise was his big return to form, and he created a new icon for a new generation. Ghostface was a new kind of slasher with a whole new take on an old theme.

Wes Craven changed horror in my eyes, and with his passing horror will never quite be the same... Mr. Craven, you will be missed.

Wes Craven

Gone but never forgotten.

Posted by Alan Smithee in EDITORIALS, 0 comments

Who Will Be the Next Freddy Krueger?

By Kev B.

Freddy

With the announcement by New Line Cinema and Warner Brothers of yet another A Nightmare On Elm Street reboot or remake or re-imagining… An online petition is in place and has over 200 signatures in three days time. It’s not what you are thinking; they’re not trying to stop it from happening. The fans have taken to the Internet to see if they can exert some influence as to who will be wearing the infamous sweater and glove this time around.

Just who could or should try to fill the shoes of the irreplaceable Robert Englund in the role that saved New Line and pumped fresh blood into the slasher genre back in 1984? Roberto Lombardi is the people’s choice, having starred in several short films as Freddy Krueger (before the vigilante justice) in:

Krueger: The Legend of Elm Street (2016)
Krueger: The Slasher from Elm Street (2014)
Krueger: A Walk Through Elm Street (2014)
Krueger: Another Tale from Elm Street (2013)
The Nightmare Ends on Halloween II (2011)
Krueger: A Tale from Elm Street (2011)

The Krueger shorts and an appearance as Freddy Krueger in an episode of Deadpool titled “A Nightmare on Pool Street” have earned him rave reviews and a well deserved cult following. Check out Roberto Lombardi as Freddy Krueger in the Elm Street shorts here at and sign the petition.

Posted by Alan Smithee in HORROR NEWS, 2 comments

MOVIE REVIEW: Last House on The Left (1972)

By Nick Durham

the-last-house-on-the-left-1972-00-650-75
With the passing of Wes Craven, I've been going back through a number of his films that I haven't seen in a while. With that in mind, please know that I mean no disrespect to the man at all with the words you're about to read here about his infamous debut feature film. Anyone who knows me well knows my feelings about The Last House on the Left, and in retrospect, it's easy to see why, too, especially when you watch this movie again if you haven't seen it in a long time.

Keeping all that in mind, I'll say here and now (and again for anyone that actually knows me) that I fucking hate this movie so much. I really, truly do. I hate everything about it (almost). From the super out of place goofy interludes featuring bumbling Podunk cops, to the flat out atrocious dialogue, I despise this movie and I'm not afraid to say it. Not one fucking bit.

All that being said now, I will also say here and now that I respect Wes Craven's original The Last House on the Left, because despite how much I shit on it, it remains a powerful film that was a product of its time. It also set the beginning stage for one of the biggest and most revered directors in modern horror history. So yes, I respect this movie and loathe it all in the same breath.

You all know the film's synopsis by now, so there's no need for me to go through it again. What I will say is that this re-working of Ingmar Bergman's The Virgin Spring still manages to pack a punch all these years later believe it or not. That scene where Mari, knowing she's going to die after being brutalized by Krug and his crew, walks out into the lake and awaits being shot to death, is truly a powerful piece of filmmaking. The late David Hess, who would end up making a career out of playing sick fucks, is a terrifying villain. Other than those two pieces of the film, I can't stand the rest of it. To this very day, I still can't.

Now, as a die hard horror nut, I've seen much worse films that feature much more graphic cruelty and violence, but I have a hard time watching rape scenes in ANY film. I often get a lot of shit from fellow horror fans/friends of mine because I won't watch A Serbian Film or the August Underground flicks. I just can't do it and I fucking refuse to as well. With The Last House on the Left, the brutality on display here is relatively tame compared to what we've seen in the years to come since its 1972 release, but it's the way the film is shot that has always made it so disturbing to me. The film's low budget and Craven's ingenuity give it an almost pseudo-documentary feel, much like Tobe Hooper would do with The Texas Chainsaw Massacre just a couple of years later. That gritty sense of realism makes it all the more disturbing. I can mostly deal with that, but when you get the aforementioned scenes of bumbling idiot cops (complete with bumbling idiot music), the overall effect gets lost. You wind up thinking to yourself, "what the fuck am I watching? Is this a super dark comedy or some shit?"

So yeah, that's my thoughts on Wes Craven's The Last House on the Left. No matter my feelings towards it, I have the utmost respect for it, and I always will. Thankfully Craven would end up refining his style and churning out some genre classics that we all know and love, but everything began here with The Last House on the Left. That alone is reason enough for you to see it if you've never dived into it before, but don't expect to keep it around for repeat viewings.

My honest rating: 2/5

Legacy rating: 4/5

Posted by Alan Smithee in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
Wes Craven Dead at 76

Wes Craven Dead at 76

Wes Craven

2 August 2, 1939 - 30 August 2015

By John Roisland

Wes Craven

Today a legend has moved on; I bring you the very sad news that Wes Craven has passed away. Craven had been battling with brain cancer and died at his home in Los Angeles, California, today. He was 76.

Wes Craven was born Wesley Earl Craven on 2 August 1939 in Cleveland, Ohio. Craven's first film was the highly controversial The Last House on the Left (1972), a movie so shockingly brutal that he faked an MPAA approval to get it distributed. In 1984, he wrote and directed A Nightmare on Elm Street (featuring a young Johnny Depp), a film that was inspired by news reports of healthy young men who died in their sleep apparently without cause. After five sequels from other directors, Craven returned to Elm Street in 1994 with New Nightmare, bringing both Heather Langenkamp and John Saxon together with Robert Englund again.

Craven became synonymous with horror in 1996 when he directed the Kevin Williamson script for Scream – a movie that redefined the horror genre by looking at the genre from within. He went on to direct the three sequels, each building upon and expanding the original self-reflexive film, as well as produce the 2015 TV series created from the franchise. Other popular Wes Craven are Shocker, The Serpent and the Rainbow, The People Under the Stairs, Chiller, and The Hills Have Eyes.

Wes Craven's writing and directing has and will continue to scare, and inspire future horror fans for years to come.

Rest easy, sir...

Posted by John Roisland in HORROR NEWS, 0 comments

Another… Nightmare Reboot

nightmare-on-elm-street1

The first A Nightmare on Elm Street was released in 1984, and in 2010 Samuel Bayer made the first reboot of the movie. Here it is 5 years later and yet another A Nightmare on Elm Street reboot is in on its way.

The script is, as we speak, in the hands of David Leslie Johnson, known for his 2009 movie Orphan. As it stands there is no info regarding the details of the movie (i.e. cast, plot, or release date). We are all eager to hear more in the matter, and we at House of Tortured Souls will keep you updated on the details as they become available.

Posted by John Roisland in HORROR NEWS, 0 comments