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What Scares You?

Alien 1979Written by Tom Wood

What, who, why or even how did your fascination with Horror begin? I will give you a minute to think whilst I set the scene. The other day, I was driving my car to work; A journey that has been done a thousand times before and as a result, it has become so tedious; so pathetically boring; I could probably do it with my eyes closed and without thinking (not that I will of course, that would just be plain dangerous on so many levels); But my point is, whilst I was driving, a question, not just any old question, but that question popped and buried itself deep into the back of my head. A simple question of What made me interested in Horror? Had evolved and mutated like a diseased zombie into further questioning and so forth, that in the end, a whole day had gone by with many unanswered questions.

For me, I just love Ridley Scott’s ‘Alien’. I remember first watching the film as a teenager thinking how scary it must have been for Sigourney Weaver’s character to be trapped isolated somewhere, being hunted by a seven foot monster and having very little to defend yourself with. Since then, I've read any scary book, watched any scary film, even played any scary video game I could to get that same buzz of being scared; That paranoia of not knowing what’s about to happen is what started my fascination.

As simple as that may have sounded, I wasn’t fully satisfied. It’s easy enough to put on a mask and shout Boo whenever someone walks past. But, like a child walking past a sweet shop, I wanted to know what scares people. I could ask dozens of people what makes a Horror film scary and still get a dozen different answers. I was better off asking How long is a piece of string?

Since time began, Horror stories have been found in every culture around the world; From early recordings of folktales and myths of Were Wolves and superstitions to Victorian Gothic Fiction, such as ‘Dracula’ and ‘Frankenstein’; and even The Brothers Grimm with their versions of folktales - ‘Little Red Riding Hood’, ‘Rumpelstiltskin’. Even in the early days of silent film, Horror stories have been told such as ‘The Golem’ in 1915.

Alfred Hitchcock is to me, the master of suspense. Both ‘The Birds’ and ‘Psycho’ had me glued to the Television Set, and in my opinion set the bar very high for future horror filmmakers to compete with. This was back in the fifties and sixties where the film industry never had use of special effects or CGI, making use of what they had. Hitchcock knew how to make something work out of nothing, building suspense through music, sometimes through silence and often collaborated with the same actors so he knew how to get the best from his crew.

'Thicker Than Water' official selection of The FANtastic Horror Film Festival

Thicker Than Water PosterMore news coming out of this years The FANtastic Horror Film Festival.

The indie horror film Thicker Than Water has just been announced as an official selection. Read all the details below.

From The Press Release
The FANtastic Horror Film Festival chooses as its next Official Selection for their 2015 Season, Kevin R. Phipps’ Horror movie, from Rangelo Productions - THICKER THAN WATER.

SYNOPSIS After her husband is infected in the zombie apocalypse, a dedicated, loving wife to tries to keep her husband in her life, regardless of the consequences.

As his condition grows worse, she must find a way to end this madness before all is lost.

Tagline: A simple tale of two people's eternal love through sickness and in health, or is it?

Website: www.rangeloproductions.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Thicker-Than-Water-FilmShort/264570497075576

About the FANtastic Horror Film Festival
The FANtastic Horror Film Festival is dedicated to providing an outlet for Independent Horror Films with a focus on movie viewers and the filmmakers. For three days, San Diego will be the Horror Capital of the United States, and plans to own Halloween.

A couple dozen films and as many shorts will be presented to the fans of Horror in San Diego. Film Distributors are invited to review the best in Independent Horror, and more important, Horror Fans will have a Party!

The Ladies of the House (2014) review

The Ladies of The HouseReviewed by Jonathan Weichsel

The Ladies of the House
Starring: Farah White, Melodie Sisk, Brina Palencia, Belladonna, Gabriel Horn, Samrat Chakrabarti, Rj Hanson, and Frank Mosley
Directed by: John Stewart Wildman

When you're a film critic, your inbox and Facebook messenger can get clogged with so many requests to review films that it can be overwhelming. I get maybe five or six requests to review movies a day, coming from everybody from professional publicists, to teenage filmmakers making movies in their parent's backyards, and everybody in between. And the thing is, you have to say no to most of these movies, because you know that most of them are going to suck and you'd drive yourself crazy watching them, and also because you simply don't have the time.

Still, when director John Stewart Wildman sent me an unsolicited email to review his film (how these people find my email address is beyond me), I said yes, and the three reasons I said yes were 1) because his email was addressed to me personally as opposed to being a form email, 2) his email was professionally written, and 3) he knew enough about my reviews to know that I have an interest in horror films that deal with gender politics. Even so, I wasn't expecting much. I mean, here's a first-time director whose major IMDB credit is acting in a notoriously bad 1980's B movie.

Well sometimes life surprises you, and The Ladies of the House is a twisted little horror gem that works as a tense thriller, a satisfying revenge flick, a gory torture/cannibal film, and oddly enough, a convincing story of romantic obsession, and anybody who likes their horror weird, smart, and extreme should go watch like, right now.

Jared Masters 'Ballet of Blood' green band trailer releases

Ballet of Blood SmallJared Masters highly anticipated underground horror film Ballet of Blood is getting closer to releasing. The films green band trailer has been released. Watch it below the official details.

From The Press Release
Her mind was a forest of blood. She craved insanity. The motion picture that has been regarded as the most highly anticipated underground horror film of 2015 has poked its head out of the dark cinematic sea to release its first official trailer. Ballet of Blood is a film about deadly ballerinas. Its creator, Jared Masters, has always loved the ballet, and really got to express that in this picture. The million-dollar mermaid Sydney Raye stars as Nisa, the sick and sexy psychopath that sprays bullets and seduces her dance instructor, without even trying. Will she get away with her plans of murdering everybody at the company? Ballet of Blood, a psychedelic deluge in terror.

The film co-stars Jessica Knopf as the partner in crime. Laura Amelia as the dance teacher, Delphine, and Julia Faye West as company co-owner, Wren Heyward. The film also features Mindy Robinson as the prima ballerina, Sylvie, with Walter Hochbrueckner, Vera R. Taylor, Rubi Garcia, Marla Martinez, Jacqueline Marie Alberto, Dawna Lee Heising, Dallas Chandler, Krystall Schott, Georgie Borchardt, Sky Patterson, Christopher Arias, Kimberly Cohen, Marylyn Brooks, Tristan Alexander and Shelise Hufstetler.

Produced by Julia Faye West, Sydney Raye, Vera R. Taylor, Walter Hochbrueckner, John Gonatos, Mikko Tervonen, Michael Anthony and Bouvier. Production design by Mystic Marlow. Art Direction by Ryan Henneman. Sound by Jean-Paul Inesta, stills by Mark Rakocy, script supervision by Jonathan Weichsel, make-up by Maggie A. Ellis, assistant producer: publicity division Seth Metoyer, script editing by H. Raven Rose. Casting associates Mikhail Gabriel Curri and Sunny Vachher. Written and directed by Jared Masters.

Monster Dog (1984) review

Monster DogReviewed by Kevin Scott

Monster Dog (1984)
Written by: Claudio Fragrasso
Directed by: Claudio Fragrasso
Cast: Vince (Alice Cooper), Sandra (Victoria Vera), Angela (Pepita James), Pepa Sarsa (Marilou), Carlos Santurio (Frank), Ricardo Palacios (Sheriff Morrison), Barta Barri (Old Man),

Horror film anomalies are one of my favorite things ever. An occurrence of happenstance that is just so weird and off kilter, it could never occur or even be suggested again. Ironically, these strange and random acts of film kismet, hold a very important place in the legacy of horror films. Case in point would be Alice Cooper’s only (as far as I know) starring film role. He made a memorable turn in John Carpenter’s “Prince of Darkness” as a supporting character, but never as a leading man, other than “Monster Dog”. This is a 1984 film that I remember renting just because it had Alice Cooper in it.

I’m going to reveal my hand early and go ahead and put my biases about Alice Cooper on the table. I’m a diehard Alice fan, and have loved him ever since I saw him do “Welcome to my Nightmare” on the Muppet Show. He’s a consummate showman, and a master of how important stunning and shocking visuals are to any rock show experience. I saw him in 2011, and he hasn’t lost a thing. So I say that just so I can say this, a strange little horror anomaly like this is perfect to showcase what’s great about him. I’m going to do my best to point out what I wish this would have or could have been.

First teaser trailer for MASSACRE releases

MASSACREBy Seth Metoyer

The first teaser trailer from MASSACRE written by Pandie Suicide, featuring Billy Morrison (Billy Idol), London May (Samhain) and more with music and a cameo appearance by Jeordie White (Twiggy) of Marilyn Manson and Rob Patterson has released.

Find the teaser trailer below the official details.

From The Press Release
The first teaser trailer from DEATHAUS FILMS’ bloody horror short MASSACRE, has just been released via the film’s Youtube account today. The film features rockstar cameos galore, with the two male leads being played by LONDON MAY (Samhain) , and BILLY MORRISON (Billy Idol,The Cult). But if two rockstars wasn’t enough, the film also features a brief guest appearance by JEORDIE WHITE (Marilyn Manson) as a Street Detective, ROB PATTERSON (ex-Korn, Filter, Otep) as a police officer and JEFF HILLIARD (‘The Good life’) as a criminal. The music for the film was also composed by JEORDIE WHITE & ROB PATTERSON, and features a track from artist and musician SHANNON CRAWFORD.

Directed by award-winning director ERIK BOCCIO (Pussy Riot’s ‘Putin Lights Up the Fires’ video/ prolific funnyordie.com Director under the moniker ‘Weird Fellas’), produced by Damian Lea (Cemetery Gates) and New Zealand-born writer, actress and Suicide Girl, PANDIE SUICIDE (Ditch Day Massacre, David Lynch’s “Crazy Clown Time”), the film centers around Marianne James, a girl who wakes up at the site of a bloody mass murder and can’t remember what happened.

The Slumber Party Massacre (1987) review

Slumber Party MassacreReviewed By Chris Wright

The Slumber Party Massacre
Directed By: Amy Jones
Written By: Rita Mae Brown

Starring: Michele Michaels (Trish), Robin Stille (Valerie), Michael Villella (Russ), Debra De Liso (Kim), Andree Honore (Jackie), Gina Smika Hunter (Diana), Jennifer Meyers (Courtney), Joseph Alan Johnson (Neil), David Millbern (Jeff), Jim Boyce (John), Pamela Roylance (Coach Jana)

I sometimes get in the mood for fun summer B horror movies and this is certainly one of them type of flicks. I have seen this movie a few times in the past. It’s always a pleasant surprise on an overly tired genre by this point. Slasher films had peaked in the mid 80s and fizzled by the time this film made its debut.

A group of high school girls have a slumber party at a house while the parents are out. Unfortunately for them, an obsessed killer with power tools is on the prowl to kill them all off one by one. This is your typical run of the mill plot for a slasher. There are women half dressed with a stalker killer on the prowl. Thankfully these women aren’t entirely helpless but actually fight back; which is a very refreshing sight when many horror films, slasher or not, have portrayed many women as being weak unless a man helps them solve the crisis.

'Seeking Valentina' an official selection of FANtastic Horror Film Festival

Saving Valentina,The FANtastic Horror Film Festival has chosen SEEKING VALENTINA as its next Official Selection for their 2015 Season. SEEKING VALENTINA is a suspense short by Armin Nasseri’s from Polar Underworld Productions.

An Iranian-American writer, in the pangs of grief, takes in a mysterious tenant. When she mysteriously disappears, is she a ghost, a hallucination, a dream or a runaway?

Producer/star Kristin West, and Writer/Director Armin Nasseri point out that they committed to not only having an ethnically diverse cast but also a gender balanced cast and crew. Five of the ten crew members were female. Of the principal and supporting cast of nine, five were females and four were male.

Nasseri also made an atypical casting choice in West for the title role of Valentina. "I am not a size 0," says West, "I usually get supporting character parts, not the romantic lead in a film like this." West's past roles have included playing a diverse array of character roles such as a fortune teller, ghoul, duchess, crime scene investigator and almost everything in between.

Ouija (2014) Review

OuijaReviewed by Jesse Miller

OUIJA is a film based on the board game of the same name, which is in turn based on the OUIJA board itself. The film production companies Platinum Dunes and Blumhouse productions thought it was a good property to bring to the cinema and there you have it.

Now, the possibilities are endless when it comes to crafting a story around what can happen with an Ouija board and a bunch of teens. What’s the story behind the being that contacts you? Why is it communicating with you?

This movie, however, decides to go down a bland road, leading the audience to lackluster scares and a head-scratching story that doesn’t really make much sense at all.

Look into the film’s production history and you’ll find that it was quite troubled, with rewrites from different writers and re-shoots leading the film to be entirely remolded at the request of the film’s studio. With that in mind, it’s not hard to see why Ouija feels like such a mess at times – there’s a good story to be had somewhere in this but like the specters haunting the attractive bunch of kids, it’s just a ghost.

The film’s young cast do their absolute best with what they have to work with, but it’s simply not enough – the characters are thinly drawn and rather boring. They exist solely as lifeless beings moving the film from one scare set piece to another.

The true horror behind OUIJA is the film that never came to fruition. There was something here originally. Something so big and fantastical that the studio forced rewrites and re-shoots because the budget would’ve been astronomical.

We Are Still Here (2015) review

We Are Still HereReviewed by Jason Lees

Directed by Ted Geoghegan
Produced by Travis Stevens, Greg Newman, Malik B. Ali, Badie Ali, Hamza Ali
Cast: Barbara Crampton, Andrew Sensenig, Lisa Marie, Larry Fessenden, Monte Markham
Dark Sky Films

I'm old. I admit this. I sit back and look at Amazon for used DVDs and Blurays, knowing full well that I'm a dinosaur completely missing the streaming bus. I know full well that physical media is about as cutting edge as 8 track players, and that I'm the last person around who appreciates the art of the well worded outgoing answering machine message. I'm old. I already said that.

Part of accepting this is coming to terms with losing out on what I love most about those silly silly discs: the special features. I love the commentaries. I love the interviews. Hell, I even love the deleted scenes, even if I usually skip them. And the ones I love the most are those little films without the studio fingers stuck up them. I love the indie discs where the makers can actually talk about the movies, and not just try to give the flick another little PR push. I love the nuts and bolts talks. And that's something I've kind of come to accept will be gone soon. I'm going to cherish all my Scream Factory titles and I better stock pile back up BD players for the future. For now, I want to make one last plea for one last title.

Please, WE ARE STILL HERE, please find your way to my dvd shelf with a shit ton of extras.

I want to know how you came into this world full of remakes and sequels fully proud to be an homage to Fulci, without ripping off his good name. I want to know who gave screen time to another ill fated Joe in the basement. I want to hear all about the care that it took to time that splitting shot to the head at the end. I want to relish the fact that someone else out there knows to appreciate a well timed cranial shot. There was more to Fulci than just gore and maggots, and WE ARE STILL HERE reminds us all of that.

I want a Bluray on my shelf (hell, gimme a double disc DVD and I'll be happy) letting me know that someone else out there gets that more can be said with an actresses look than pages of dialogue. Tell the world that not every movie needs a cast of sexy idiots in their twenties. Barbara Crampton still walks on water, and has never been better. Larry Fessenden is film royalty. Canonize the man now. Today.


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