After seeing so many Ash with chainsaw tattoos over the years, i'm happy to see that someone out there is showing some love for other aspects of the trilogy!
Saturday, July 31, 2010
After seeing so many Ash with chainsaw tattoos over the years, i'm happy to see that someone out there is showing some love for other aspects of the trilogy!
***Be sure to enter the first two giveaways on the list ASAP, as they end very soon!***
Friday The 13th Films - Win a Crazy Ralph custom action figure! Deadline is August 1st.
The Moon Is a Dead World - Win the book The Werewolf's Guide To Life! Deadline is July 31st at midnight.
AMC TV - Win a walk on role as a zombie in The Walking Dead! Deadline is August 15th.
Spooky Brew - Win a Comic Con The Walking Dead mini poster! Deadline is August 13th.
Dollar Bin Horror - Win a 3D eyeball necklace! Deadline is August 7th.
Zombies & Toys - Win a zombie shooting target, a copy of the book World War Z, the novel The Reapers Are The Angels, a Zombie Survival Program sign, or a 976 Evil Fright Rags shirt! Deadlines vary.
Horrorview - Win Open House on DVD! Deadline is August 27th.
Remember, if you're hosting a giveaway on your blog/site, e-mail it to me at MORTIS45@AOL.COM so I can include it in a future post!
Friday, July 30, 2010
The boys over at Bloody Disgusting were just anonymously sent almost 10 minutes of gruesome footage that someone managed to sneakily capture on film at last weekend's Comic Con. Make sure you watch this before it gets taken down, because it is fucking awesome and totally proves my suspicions that Piranha 3D is gonna be the most fun and most brutal horror movie in recent years. It's so rare that us horror fans get EXACTLY what we want and it looks like Alexandre Aja is gonna once again deliver that to us on August 20th. Alex, based on this footage alone, I already totally forgive you for Mirrors.
Click the play button below to see piranha bursting out of mouths, naked girls getting cut in half, Eli Roth getting his head bashed in by a boat, Ving Rhames kicking some serious sharp toothed ass, Richard Dreyfuss reprising his role from Jaws, and much much more! It's almost too much awesomeness to even handle!!
This ambitious project hit DVD this past Tuesday and I was fortunate enough to get my hands on a copy of the 'bootleg screener' that Wild Eye released a couple months back to help whet the appetites of many an undead fan. This officially released bootleg was only made available in a couple different locations on the streets of New York City (and in a giveaway I proudly held a few months back!) and was cleverly made to look like the bootlegs that many a city DVD peddler makes his living off of. A camera was positioned at the screen at a showing of the film and the audience can be seen and heard, making it feel like you're watching the film with others. Obviously, the disc released this past Tuesday is the real deal and I know I didn't get exactly the best first experience of the movie, being that it was hard to see and hear what was going on at some points - in typical bootleg fashion - but I saw enough to form an opinion, which is why i'm here this morning. But first, a little bit about the project, for those who may be wondering what the hell i'm talking about.
When I described the project as ambitious, I think that was an understatement. Night of the Living Dead : Reanimated is the vision of almost 150 different artists working in a few dozen different forms of artistic expression, ranging from stop motion animation - with clay, action figures, sock puppets and even legos - to hand drawing, comic panels, and pretty much everything in between. The audio from Romero's Night of the Living Dead was plucked out, dialogue, musical cues and all, and the artists each used their skills to give their own artistic interpretations of their favorite scenes from the film. In essence, what you get is a totally unique recreation of the movie, which serves as a moving and still image gallery showing of the ultimate tribute to the genre classic.
In the several decades since Romero unleashed his vision to the world and cemented himself as a horror filmmaking icon, not to mention gave birth to the modern zombie, Night of the Living Dead has had many things done to it, thanks largely to the fact that it managed to slip into the public domain several years back. More than enough remakes have been made and the original has been colorized, put in 3D and even had new scenes filmed and added to it. So to say that Night of the Living Dead : Reanimated is the coolest, most creative, most original and perhaps even best thing - since Savini's remake - that has been done to Romero's classic would be quite a compliment ; and that's precisely what I am here to say. While many of the adaptations of the film that are out there come off merely as attempts to cash in on the success of what Romero created, NOTLD : R is clearly a true labor of love and a total testament to the collaborative powers of the horror community.
Though the film does admittedly have its moments where my patience wore a tiny bit thin with the all over the place concept and I kinda wanted to pull the disc out and pop in the original flick, it also has its moments of sheer brilliance - one artist distorts the look of the zombies Ben battles, to the point that they look like members of the KKK, in what is perhaps the highlight of the entire film from an artistic standpoint. Some artists really go for it and have fun with the project while others seem to get kinda lazy and uninspired with it, and that's to be expected when there's so many of them working on one film. Fortunately the good outweighs the bad and, all in all, NOTLD : R is a rewarding must watch for all hardcore fans of Night of the Living Dead who are looking for a breath of fresh air when it comes to the film we've all watched countless times over the years. You may think you have seen it all, but I can pretty much guarantee you've never seen the film with the actors replaced by Barbie dolls! I also bet you've never seen how it would look as a video game. Or what it would be like if Romero had decided to use his thumbs to depict his characters, in lieu of actors. I think you get the idea....
I suppose the biggest compliment a blogger can give a film he has been given a screener of is for him to say that even though he has a free copy of the movie, he is going to go out and shell out his hard earned dollars for the real DVD upon its release. I cannot say this often about the movies I usually get sent screeners for, but Night of the Living Dead : Reanimated is one DVD I will be picking up, both so that I can see it how it's meant to be seen and so I can own such a cool little piece of horror history. Job well done, Mike Schneider and all you talented artists.
If you want to show your support for the project, head over to Netflix and save the movie to your queue. If enough people do this, Netflix will make the movie available for rental. Supply and demand, my friends.
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Halloween themed bandz, which glow in the dark!
Cryptozoological bandz (Bigfoot, Nessie, Mothman, Jersey Devil, an alien & a ghost) - which Jen and I just ordered several packs of!
And last but most certaintly not least, Universal Monsters glow in the dark bandz!
The Wolf Man!
All of these can be found and purchased through simple eBay searches, with all of them currently available except for the Universal Monsters, which can be pre-ordered and will be shipping out real soon.
Is it just me or did these things just get way cooler?!
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
In any event, hundreds upon hundreds of different companies around the world have cropped up in the past couple months to take advantage of the trend. You'd be hard pressed to find any place of business in your area - be it a gas station, a convenience store, or even the ice cream man - who doesn't have some form of shaped rubber band for sale. Whether they're packaged under the moniker 'Fun Bands', 'Goofy Bands', 'Silly Bands' with an S, 'Silly Bandz' with a Z, or simply 'Shaped Rubber Bands', what lies inside the package is the same ; colored rubber bands in varying shapes, sometimes scented and sometimes even possessing glow in the dark capabilities, always grouped together as sets of similar shapes - musical instruments, pets, etc. While most of these companies are churning out kid friendly shapes, a company called Imperial Toy has a line out there that puts a more adult spin on the kid fad, channeling such gruesome flicks as Reservoir Dogs and Saw - perhaps in poor taste or perhaps in an attempt to appeal to a more mature audience. I know of these not because I have a child, but because I work at a convenience store that just got these bad boys in stock. Check out their line of 'Body Parts Googly Bands'!
Let's crack it open and see what's inside, shall we!
A ripped out tooth!
A severed ear!
A set of lungs!
Human skeletal remains!
Dr. Gordon's foot!
And my favorite, a dead body itself!
Naturally I picked up a package of these, as did a co-worker friend of mine - in fact together we bought out all of them. I would like to say we did this because we wanted to keep these things away from the kiddies, but truth be told, i've always kinda wanted to wear a dead body on my wrist. I truly never thought i'd be able to recreate the famous Zombi vs Shark scene with rubber bands, and i'm kinda overjoyed that I now can. Does that make me a sad human being?
If anybody is reading this who has Silly Band making capabilities, please make a horror pack, with such shapes as Freddy's glove, Jason's machete, and The Tall Man's ball of doom. Please?
God damnit, i've bought right into the trend...
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Last week, I made a post on an interesting little article I found in tabloid magazine The Globe, wherein a former associate of Linda Blair's made claims that Blair treated him like crap, owes him a ton of money, showers twice a week, and has an incredibly filthy home - among other allegations. The man, Jeramy Cleghorn, says he worked and lived at her animal shelter for a year and "if people knew what Linda Blair was really like, their heads would spin too." Putting on my little investigate reporter cap, I decided to track Mr. Cleghorn down on Facebook and see if I could find out some more information as well as attempt to determine whether or not he was in fact telling the truth. I ended up chatting back and forth with Cleghorn for nearly two hours this past weekend and he shared with me some incredibly juicy details that even The Globe did not uncover or report on.
Though I obviously cannot 100% say whether or not these allegations against the horror icon are true, I will say that Cleghorn sent me a brief video walkthrough that he filmed of Blair's home, including her bedroom, which backs up some of his claims. Due to obvious breach of privacy issues, I cannot share this video with you guys, but believe me when I say that it proves that not only did Cleghorn work for Blair and live at her home for a period of time, but that her home is in fact a complete pigsty, as he reported in the paper. Whether or not you believe Cleghorn's other claims is entirely up to you, though he seemed nothing but genuine and honest when I chatted with him.
Here's what I uncovered.
According to Cleghorn (seen above), one of Blair's volunteers posted an ad on Craigslist in December 2008, offering $10 an hour to work at the shelter, which he responded to. He told me that when he took the job, he "didn't even know who Linda Blair was" and that he had seen The Exorcist several years back, but "wasn't really impressed." When I asked him if he then went back and re-watched the movie upon getting hired for the job and realizing who the boss was or if he was totally unphased by his new boss' celebrity status, he had this to say - "I've met many celebrities in my life, been on T.V. myself a few times actually (he appeared in the background of a news report involving a man terrorizing a Burger King and was an extra on the set of Nash Bridges). It didn't really matter to me, my concern was working, getting paid, and taking care of my family - which the "job" failed to do."
I wondered what Jeramy's first encounter with Blair was like - if she was mean right off the bat or if she started off pleasant....
"Well my first day was busy - I was brought on because a winter storm was going to hit the area. The first time I remember talking to her was that night, she was talking about "her movie", and was aghast when I said I didn't know who she was. "I'M THE EXORCIST!" - her exact words."
In addition to the normal duties one would expect when taking on such a job - "Fed dogs, walked dogs, scooped the poop..." - Cleghorn revealed that Blair also used him as a personal assistant of sorts, having him fix her car and RV and even using him to scan and touch up photos for her various autograph appearances. Jeramy shared with me some of these photographs, which he says are "everywhere in her house, the mess that it is."
So was Blair ever nice to her employees? Jeramy says she had her moments...
"That's a touchy subject. If I was busting my ass getting things done for her, she was nice. When it came pay time or trying to get time to take care of my family, she was a real bitch. She's a decent person as long as she's getting what she wants, I guess. Try to find Helen Darras (Butch Patrick's ex fling) - she has an interesting story on how Linda tried to extort her for several thousand dollars AFTER she donated thousands and both a washer/dryer set that cost over a grand alone".
Things got even juicier when I asked Jeramy to tell me his most shocking encounter with The Exorcist's demonic child star...
"How most shocking?? Catching her in her skivvies? ("One time a dogfight broke out in her bedroom when she was taking her bi-weekly shower. Marvin (another co-worker) and I ran in to break it up at the same time she came out of the shower in nothing but a pink thong and red bra"). Scaring the dookie out of her? Having to deal with a stalker sending threatening email's to her? Watching one of her dogs get shot up by shotgun? Never a dull moment at Linda Blair Worldheart Foundation."
The interview then took a Howard Stern-esque turn, with Jeramy revealing that the thong Blair was wearing at the time of the "catching her in her skivvies" incident was emblazoned with her company's logo, as all of her undergarments are, and that "she don't look like she did in 1982 ..... She has NO figure, looks like Skelator or the Cryptkeeper or something." He then sent me a picture he took during his stay at the Blair residence, wherein he is wearing what he claims to be Blair's thong ("straight out of the wash!") as an eye patch. I couldn't make this stuff up, folks....
So, is Mr. Cleghorn going to sue Linda Blair for the almost $20,000 - almost double what's reported in the paper - that he claims she owes him?
"I've been looking into it, but the problem with that is she's dodging the IRS, refused to report my wages, and denies that I was an employee. She claims I was only a volunteer, but if so, why did she write me checks?? I haven't found an attorney that is willing to take the case, and I'm also trying to find an attorney to sue her for job-related injuries. I've been bit twice bad, and I've had three teeth broken out. The teeth thing is my biggest issue, but as I said, she didn't have insurance on the kennel (BIG NO-NO!)...."
"Her father died within three days of The Globe articles release, and with that, she has a trust fund she can access now, so there's more of a chance for me to get compensated now she has those funds, if she hasn't blown it all already. She's horrible managing her income."
Pretty interesting stuff, eh? So what do you make of all of it - is Jeramy Cleghorn telling the truth? Sure as hell seems like it to me....
Thank you Jeramy for taking the time to answer my questions and share your incredible stories. I hope you someday get the money that is rightfully owed to you. And for the sake of your future employers, I hope this wearing your boss' underwear on your head business doesn't become a trend with you!
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Notice anything that looks familiar? I didn't either until Dustin brought it to my attention. Now check out this very famous still photo of Jack Nicholson from The Shining.
Yep, that's a zombified and stylized version of Jack Nicholson atop the House By The Cemetery! Is it just me or does that make the poster infinitely cooler? If you're not convinced that that is indeed Jack, Dustin gradually overlaid the two in Photoshop to make it clear.
How cool is that? To the best of my knowledge, Dustin is the first one to notice this, as I can't find anyone else on the net talking about it. Considering many have compared House By The Cemetery to The Shining, the latter of which is believed to be an inspiration for the former, i'd have to say this was a clever little homage on the part of Fulci - so clever that it took a hell of a keen eye to discover it! Well done, Dustin, well done. Can't wait to see what you discover next!
Speaking of Mr. Sain, I featured his humble abode in the first installment of Horror Cribs, which you can see here.
Saturday, July 24, 2010
My girlfriend Jen, in addition to being a hell of a girlfriend, is also a pretty good little artist, which unfortunately is something she lost touch with over the years. As of late she's been getting back into painting and things of that nature and she can often be found sitting at her art desk while I sit at my computer desk blogging. I'm very proud of her for this and i'd like to show off some of the stuff she's done recently, starting with her very first sock puppet, which we've dubbed the Sock Ness Monster - the first in a line of cryptozoological sock creations!
It all started with us spotting a sock puppet how-to book at Michaels, which I purchased for her and convinced her to give it a go. A few short hours later, Sock Ness was born. Not bad for a first timer, eh?
She also loves to paint sugar skulls on cigar boxes as well as on canvases and just last night whipped up a pretty kickass black and white Frankenstein box. Check 'em out!
I leave you with one of my favorite things she's done, a drawing of me in Freddy attire, back in my long hair days.
THE FIRST EVER BILLY LOVES STU MEME FOR HORROR BLOGGERS
1: In Ten Words or Less, Describe Your Blog : A frequently updated collection of cool horror shit.
2: During What Cinematic Era Where you Born? G) The Slasher Era (mid to late 80's). I was born in 1986, a helluva year for horror.
3: The Carrie Compatibility Question :
B) For straight men and lesbians, who would you take to the prom ; Sue Snell or Chris Hargensen? Sue Snell - I prefer good girls and brunettes. Besides, i'm more of an Amy Irving kinda guy.
4: You have been given an ungodly amount of money, and total control of a major motion picture studio - what would your dream Horror project be? A more adult oriented Goosebumps anthology film, with four different directors taking on four different classic Goosebumps stories. Adam Green's The Haunted Mask - can you picture it? I sure as hell can. That'd be a total geek out film for me as a fan and to be involved with making it would be just about the coolest thing I could ever imagine.
5: What horror film "franchise" that others have embraced, left you cold? Out of the major franchises, I have the least amount of interest in Hellraiser. I will admit that I haven't seen many of the films, but I just never got into the whole thing too much.
6: Is Michael Bay the Antichrist? Yes and no. I'm not of the mind that everything he touches turns to shit and in fact I quite dug the Chainsaw, Amityville and Friday remakes. The yes portion of that answer is largely due to the fact that he was involved with the Elm Street abomination. With more hits than misses with me when it comes to horror remakes, I cannot however call him the Antichrist.
7: Dracula, The Wolf Man, The Frankenstein Monster - which one of these classic villains scares you, and why? The Wolf Man because no matter how close you are to the man behind the wolf, you will get your throat ripped out when a full moon emerges. And ya just never know who secretly is a Wolf Man....
8: Tell me about a scene from a NON HORROR Film that scares the crap out of you : Nicky Santoro and his brother getting beaten with aluminum bats in Casino. Bone chilling and hard to watch. Just thinking about it gives me the chills and makes me never want to leave the house again.
9: Baby Jane Hudson invites you over to her house for lunch. What do you bring? Never saw the movie so, uh, probably a copy of the DVD so I could watch it. And some beer.
10: So, between you and me, do you have any ulterior motives for blogging? Come, on you can tell me, it will be our little secret, I won't tell a soul. Na, I genuinely just like to get my viewpoints out there and help spread the word on cool movies, products, and things of that nature. I'm certaintly not doing any of this for the money, of which there is none.
11: What would you have brought to Rosemary Woodhouse's baby shower? A pair of the kickass Converse' I just bought for my unborn child.
12: Godzilla vs The Cloverfield Monster, who wins? That fishy thing from The Host.
13: If you found out that Rob Zombie was reading your blog, what would you post in hopes that he read it? An apology letter for bashing Halloween and H2 so much. Don't hate me, Rob =(
14: What is your favorite NON HORROR FILM, and why? Oldboy, because it is the greatest film ever made.
15: If blogging technology did not exist, what would you be doing? I'd be doing exactly what I was doing before I started blogging - watching tons of horror movies and craving an outlet to share my opinions on them. Blogging has been so good to me and has provided me with so many friendships with so many awesome people, and I really can't imagine going back to that place.
Friday, July 23, 2010
You can see a couple more pictures, including the whole crew as zombies (I admittedly make for a pretty bad one), over at the just posted recap of the weekend on the Fright Rags blog!
I'm sure many of you have pondered this same question over the years, but I decided to finally do something about it and seek some answers. After several Google searches turned up nothing but rumors - many claim the woman on the poster is actually a young Demi Moore, who was dating one of the producers at the time (Demi would've been quite young at this point, likely too young (16) to be taking such provocative pictures, not to mention too young to have that body) - I decided to go straight to the source ; I Spit On Your Grave star Camille Keaton. Chatting briefly back and forth with the lovely Keaton, the mystery has only been furthered. Here's what she said when I asked her if she knew who the woman was ....
"I really don't know John. I know it isn't mine. The director/husband* never cracked"
*Camille was married to I Spit director Meir Zarchi at the time*
I will admit that i'm a bit downtrodden over the fact that Zarchi never even told his wife/star of the movie who the woman was, but i'm not about to quit. Looking for any small piece of info that could aid in my search, I then asked Camille if there was any reason why it wasn't her on the cover, being that she was the star of the movie, to which she replied ....
"No, I wasn't asked! WELL! lol"
So it looks like all we know for sure is that woman is most definetly not Camille Keaton. Could the rumors be true - could it actually be Demi Moore? I posed this question to Ashton Kutcher on his Twitter account - as I expected, there was no response.
The hunt continues ....
If anyone has any further information, please contact me either through the blog or at my e-mail address, MORTIS45@AOL.COM.
The shirt will cost ya $18.99 and i'll let ya know once it becomes available.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
The article features an interview with an alleged former employee of Linda Blair's - Jeramy Cleghorn - who says she is a "tyrannical, potty mouthed boss who treats abandoned dogs like royalty and her help like dirt!" He also says that Blair doesn't shower, owes him $10,000, has a home that reeks of animal feces and urine, and that he once saw her kick an abandoned puppy (I thought she treated them like royalty?). The article goes on to state that Blair is "angry she never got an Oscar for The Exorcist after she was nominated" and that she gets a mere $17 a month in royalties from the film. Says Cleghorn, "if people knew what Linda Blair was really like, their heads would spin too". Get it?!
Who knows if any of this is true or not, but I got a kick out of it. And I totally just found and added Cleghorn as a friend on Facebook, with full intentions on digging deeper!
By the way, The Exorcist finally comes to Blu-ray on October 6th of this year, in DigiBook format and featuring both the Extended Director's Cut and Theatrical Edition!
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Now we have no plans to have a kid at any point in the even remotely near future, but we figured A) we're gonna have one eventually, B) when we do, we want him or her to be wearing these sneakers and C) they will most likely no longer be available by the time we do get around to it, so why not just pick 'em up now. Makes sense, no? Anyone?
If you find that a tad bit odd, then I guess I shouldn't tell you that we contemplated picking up the same pair of shoes in a couple different sizes - ya know, so our little monster never grows out of them. It was Jen's idea, I swear...
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
To say Dead Hooker In A Trunk is a demure title for a film would be an understatement, and a flat out lie. It's a supremely polarizing title. You can assume you will either love it or hate it just from the heading. The point to be made is, Dead Hooker In A Trunk is one of the best films this year. From start to finish it holds its own. There's no pithy Diablo Cody dialogue or half-ass attempts at moral constitutions. It is a full on assault of your senses, eviscerating any stereotypes that may have sprouted from those unenthused over the title, Dead Hooker In A Trunk.
The women who made the film, Jen and Sylvia Soska, star in the film as Geek and Badass, respectively. Their names are characteristic of, well, their character. That is clear from the start. Badass has a hard night of partying with her bff Junkie, played by Rikki Gagne, resulting in madcap escapades when they realize that they partied a little TOO hard the night before and there is a dead hooker in the trunk of their classic car. Along for the ride are Geek and her love interest Goody Two Shoes played pitch perfect by CJ Wallis. If you don't crack a smile every time he is on screen you're probably missing something.
One curse that you can find in a lot of low budget Indie horror films is a lack of acting talent. The story may be there, but you'll be damned if it can be delivered without stutters and hiccups from inexperienced actors called in when a friend needs to cash in a favor. Dead Hooker excels from the exact opposite. Even in the few moments when the story does slow, or gets choppy, the characters hold your attention. Any inconsistencies are few and far between as the Soska Sisters hit their first feature out of the park.
Watching Dead Hooker In A Trunk gets you ready to jump on the Soska Sisters trolley and eagerly await the next step they make. Eli Roth has been quoted as saying "You should check out the Soska Sisters who made a film called Dead Hooker In A Trunk. They're two Canadian twin sisters that made a feature that they wrote, produced, directed, and starred in. And it's fantastic." Having a big name in the Hollywood scene call you out like that is an automatic stamp of approval in some respects. But this is the kind of film that can stand on its own, big name nod or not.
Take a look at the trailer and demand this film come to your town. There are a lot of commercial films that get begged into a screening, this is one Independent venture that deserves your vote and your hard earned money, If you want to be entertained, this is your film.
Interested in getting a screening in your town? Contact the sisters through their website.
BACK ROW : Chris Tanski
2ND ROW : Jeff Konopka, Terry Callen, Kristy Jett, Myself, Jen, Eva Cox
FRONT ROW : Bill Adock, Zach Shildwachter
I'm still recovering from the almost surreal couple days I just experienced, thanks to the double night/double feature Fright Rags hosted at Rochester, NY's Dryden Theater this past weekend. Seeing movies like The Monster Squad and The Fog on the big screen was awesome and meeting Tom Atkins and Fred Dekker was perhaps even cooler, but the real highlight of the weekend for me was hanging out with so many talented people from the horror community that i've known through the internet for years, most of whom I got to meet for the very first time. Well, that and finally getting to taste my very first garbage plate. It was a weekend I will cherish memories of for the rest of my days on this planet and I cannot thank the Fright Rags crew (Ben Scrivens, Tim Kilmer and Kristy Jett) enough for making it happen. I will now attempt to relive this most awesome of weekends through the power of the typed word.
**CLICK ALL PICTURES TO SEE THEM FULL SIZE!**
Jen and I headed out to the city at 5 in the morning to pick up Zach Shildwachter and his girlfriend Eva Cox. Zach is the dude who runs Z For Zombies and also writes for The Blood Sprayer, the latter being the place he just posted about the weekend through his eyes. I had known Zach for a while through the internet but never met him in person, which honestly made me a wee bit nervous about spending seven hours in a car with him. I've talked with him enough in the past to be pretty certain that he was a better road trip partner than Rutger Hauer, but I was mostly worried that it would be a silent and awkward car ride, which thankfully turned out to be just another one of my stupid fears. The four of us got along incredibly well right from the get go and the fact that we had never met one another gave us all a ton of stuff to talk about. Zach works in the city on film sets, doing production assistant work and things of that nature, and I picked his brain for the majority of the ride up. He had a ton of cool stories to tell and made me pretty damn jealous of what he gets to do for a living, even if he sometimes gets stuck working more than half of any given day. Zach was 2nd 2nd assistant director/an uncredited body double for Larry Fessenden on I Sell The Dead (which he graciously gave me an original comic book draft of) and he recently worked on the Tom Savini flick Sea of Dust. Suffice to say, he's doing some pretty cool shit with his life and he's doing it with the full support of his awesome girlfriend Eva.
Proving that a road trip is just not a road trip without a little bit of trouble, our rental car got a flat tire when we were just about two hours outside of Rochester, which ended up being a fun little adventure. The car came equipped with a spare, a temporary one that should only be driven on for about an hour, and Zach flexed his manhood by putting it on while I sat back and watched, flexing my severe lack of manhood. Thanks to the trusty GPS my dad lent us, we found our way to a repair shop where we had the original tire fixed. I am proud to say that, with the coaching of Zach, I removed the spare tire and put the new one on all by myself, making up for my lack of initiative earlier. As Zach pointed out, this is the moment when the road trip became a field trip, with fun and education blending seamlessly.
Kristy hard at work
About two hours later we arrived in Rochester, at the Fright Rags offices, where we were greeted by one of my favorite people on this planet, Kristy Jett. Kristy and I have been friends and pseudo siblings for a while now and she was the one who really rallied all the troops together for this event - I don't call her the Queen of Networking for nothin'. Kristy is absolutely the nicest and sweetest gal around and she just recently started working full time for Fright Rags, a dream come true for her. As Zach and I discussed as we were watching her at work, sitting behind the coolest work space on the planet Earth, it's so rare that you see someone doing exactly what they want to be doing with their life, and Kristy is the personification of that. She's doing what she wants to be doing, she loves doing it, and she does it incredibly well. Watching her at work, you get the sense that she is right where she belongs and it's truly an inspiring thing to witness. Kristy, I don't say this often to people, but I love you and I am so happy for you and so proud of you for living the life you want to live. I'd say i'm jealous, but instead of sitting back and being jealous of what you're doing, I will instead choose to use it as an inspiration for myself to follow in your footsteps and do what it is I truly want to do. There is nothing more powerful than seeing someone living out their dreams and this is one girl who's going places in life.
When we arrived, Kristy was also with Terry Callen, the incredible artist who runs Screaming Brain Studio. Kristy put me in contact with Terry several months back about bringing to life an idea I had for a t-shirt, which I proceeded to never call Terry about to discuss. I'm not really much of a phone guy, as Kristy can attest to, which probably explains why I never called him. Turned out that Terry was one of the coolest and funniest dudes i've ever met and we ended up having a lot of fun together over the course of the weekend. We quickly became drinking buddies and i'm pretty sure he'll now be getting a call from me real soon. Terry often makes it out to the Monster Mania conventions and I can't wait to hang out with him again next month. Check out his shop for some kickass t-shirts and various different art pieces.
Zombie portraits of Tim, Ben, and Kristy
The Fright Rags VHS wall
The shirt warehouse
After touring around the Fright Rags offices for a little bit, Kristy took us out to one of her favorite eating spots for garbage plates, something Rochester is famous for. A Rochester garbage plate is essentially a mismash of various different treats, including hot dogs, hamburgers, mac & cheese, and home fries, all sloppily thrown together on one massive plate. It's the ultimate drunk food and proved to be pretty damn delicious even in my sober state, though I will admit it gave me a little bit of stomach pain later that night. As I believe Terry described it, the food basically sits in your stomach like an anchor, until your body finally decides to expel it out. Kristy had been telling me about garbage plates for a while and i'm happy to say I can finally cross one off the bucket list.
More than satiated from our meals, we headed back to the offices for a few more beers and then over to the Dryden, for the first night of double features - The Fog and Halloween 3 : Season of the Witch, with Tom Atkins in attendance. The Dryden is a beautiful theater and it was here that we joined up with Bill "Gummy" Adcock and Chris Tanski. I had previously met and hung out with Bill, master of trash cinema and owner of Radiation-Scarred Reviews, but this was my first time meeting Chris, a friend of Kristy's who i've chatted back and forth with many times on the net. Again, as with everyone from the horror community that I met during the weekend, these guys are awesome and I could honestly listen to Bill talk about bad movies for hours - his knowledge about them is astounding.
First up was The Fog, which was intro'ed by Atkins, who then did a Q&A following the film. I always seem to forget how awesome The Fog is and this viewing really made me realize that it just might be my favorite Carpenter flick of all time. After a brief Q&A session and a break, it was time for Halloween 3, a severely underrated film. I've said it before and i'll say it again - Halloween 3 is a hell of a movie and if it was just called Season of the Witch, without the Halloween moniker, a heck of a lot more people would be in agreement with me on that. People just can't seem to get over the fact that Myers isn't in it, but thankfully it seems like a lot of people are starting to realize how whacky and fun of a movie it is. It's got cult classic written all over it and listening to Tom Atkins talk about how silly and out there it is was a real blast. Though he seemed kinda reserved during the post Fog Q&A, Atkins really came alive during the Halloween 3 one, telling all kinds of hilarious stories that really got the audience worked up.
After the screenings, Kristy, Tanski, Sean (the owner of one of my favorite companies, VHSPS), Bill, Terry, Zach, Eva, Jen and myself went to local diner to grab some food. It was during this late night meal that I realized these guys have such an extensive collective knowledge of cult cinema (especially Sean) that even I felt quite a bit out of my element. After some tasty breakfast food, our ragtag group of horror fiends went back to Fright Rags Central and watched Return of the Living Dead, before finally getting some sleep, on the floors and various couches of casa de Fright Rags.
This sleep did not last long, as we had a big day ahead of us. We got up around 8 in the morning, after a brief nap, and went over to Jordan Garren's hotel room. Jordan runs B-Movie Film Vault and he and his girlfriend were kind enough to let all of us into their room for showers. After getting spruced up, we got some breakfast at Tim Horton's, a place we became quite familiar with over the course of the weekend, and then returned to Fright Rags to prepare for one of the most fun events of the weekend - the photoshoot.
The Fright Rags website is getting remodeled soon and Ben, owner of the company and the coolest boss ever, wants to have images of each of the shirts being worn. Realizing that this weekend was the perfect time to get these pictures, with so many figures from the horror community assembled in one place, he hired a professional photographer to do the job. I gotta admit, this was incredibly nerve wracking for both Jen and myself, being that we're naturally kinda shy and don't like being put on the spot, but after a few beers we came to have an incredibly fun time and totally relished in the once in a lifetime event. I have no idea how these pictures turned out or if they're even gonna be used, all I know is that the photoshoot gave us all a reason to party and it was one hell of a party, which most of us ended up paying for later that night. Somewhere out there, there are pictures of me wearing a Pennywise shirt, with a piece of red paper serving as a clown nose and red lipstick on my teeth serving as blood, as well as ones of me sprawled out on a couch, doing my best Elm Street kid impression, and i'm equally excited and terrified of seeing them. I am so glad I didn't chicken out and got involved in the photoshoot, because it ended up being one of the major highlights of the weekend. It was at this shoot that I met the precious Sara "DANGER" Micari, some of the dudes and gals from Rue Morgue, Jes Karakashian - the talented girl with incredible taste in men that painted the Fright Rags crew as zombies (seen above) - and Jason Edmiston, the genius behind the mind blowing Night of the Creeps/Monster Squad art you will see in a second. Coolest of all, we were allowed to keep all the shirts that we modeled, so i've got several new additions to my already Fright Rags heavy closet.
Trying to elicit a scared reaction out of Kristy, I pressed my crotch against her and told her I was naked behind her
Good and drunk, it was time to head back to the Dryden for night two of the event - a double feature of The Monster Squad and Night of the Creeps, with Tom Atkins ahd the director of both, Fred Dekker, in attendance.
Seeing Monster Squad on the big screen with a rowdy audience of fans was epic, being that it's such a fun movie, and seeing Night of the Creeps up there was also awesome for me, because this was actually my first viewing of the film. Needless to say, I now get where all the love for it comes from. Much like the first night, there were Q&A's after each film, with Dekker flying solo after Squad and then being joined by Atkins after Creeps. Again, these were a heck of a lot of fun, with both guys sharing some cool stories and Dekker voicing his honest opinions about the Monster Squad remake - he said that Universal Studios allowed him to use the likenesses of their monsters because they didn't really care back then, but he doesn't think they will ever allow that to fly these days. Dekker was a pleasure to listen to and I can't wait to see what he does next - he mentioned that he just wrote a sequel to Cliffhanger. Atkins is, of course, one of the coolest dudes out there - his various on screen personas do not lie. At this second night, I met the other two horror bloggers that came out, Jeff Konopka and James Sugrue of Fear of the Dark - Jeff, I think I need to drink with you sometime.
Atkins, Me, Jen & Dekker
After the movies I finally got to meet both Dekker and Atkins (my night was made even more epic when, upon leaving, Dekker passed by me and said "Thanks for coming out, John" - total Jingle All The Way 'He knows my name!' moment), and I had Tom sign the Jason Edmiston poster I picked up (it already came pre-signed by Dekker and I had Jason sign it earlier in the night). This is one poster that I will be getting a serious frame for and hanging high and proud in my home. If you were not at the events, you still have a chance to get both of the posters that were made up for the event, signed by Atkins and Dekker respectively, although they're in very limited quantity and are dissapearing at a rapid rate. Head over to Fright Rags to do so and also be sure to check out the Creeps vs Monster Squad shirt they just made available.
We were all pretty tired after this and returned to Fright Rags, ready for bed. However, it turned out that sleep was not in our immediate future. We returned to a building packed with pretty much every familiar face from the weekend and while I would normally have loved this, I was so tired and worn out from a lack of sleep that I honestly just wanted to go to bed. As much as we would've loved to drink and shoot the shit with all the awesome folks packed into the room, Jen and I ended up going out to the car for a while to catch up on some sleep. The party didn't last much longer, as everyone was totally beat, and I unfortunately did not get the opportunity to say bye to some people - mostly everyone had cleared out by the time we awoke from our power nap. Missing out on this little party is my only regret of the weekend, but when you're tired you're tired and you really can't force yourself to not be. I did my fair share of partying during the day so it was only natural that I couldn't hang with the big boys at night. To those who I missed saying bye to, I apologize and I hope that next time we get together i'm a little more well rested.
Eventually, we finally got some real sleep, which only lasted a few hours before we found ourselves waking up, saying our goodbyes, and heading back out on the road and back to our mundane daily lives. Not much to speak of regarding the drive back home - it consisted mostly of sleep and Howard Stern - so I guess this is just about the end of the virtual journey through one of the best weekends of my life. If you've made it all the way through this, I thank you for reading!
Ben, Kristy and Tim, I again say thank you for putting this all together, for giving us all a reason to come out and meet one another, and for making us feel so welcome and at home in your neck of the woods. And thank you Fred and Tom for coming out. I think I speak for everyone when I say that we all had the time of our lives. The horror community is where I belong and this past weekend was further confirmation of that fact.