Thursday, June 30, 2011

Vote For The 'Shattered Hopes : True Story of the Amityville Murders' T-Shirt Design - A Freddy In Space Exclusive!

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During Amityville Week last month, I made a post about several upcoming film projects waiting to be unleashed upon us that are centered around the murders and subsequent hauntings that have become known the world over as The Amityville Horror. One of those films I covered was Shattered Hopes, an extensive multi-part documentary geared towards piecing together what actually happened on the night the DeFeo family was brutally slaughtered in their home. You can learn more about that project by following it on Facebook or checking out the official website.

Several weeks back, I found out through Facebook that director Ryan Katzenbach had a couple shirt designs he came up with to promote the film and he was planning on starting a poll on the official Facebook page to figure out which one the fans wanted to wear the most, which would be the first one he had printed up. Being a mega-Amityville nerd and a blogger who is pretty damn plugged into the whole horror t-shirt scene, I pitched the idea to Ryan of hosting the vote exclusively here on Freddy In Space. It just seemed right and I guess Ryan felt the same way, because he gave me the distinct honor of being the man to not only unveil the design, but also give my fellow Amityville fans the opportunity to pick and choose which shirt will hit the printing press.

So without further adieu, here are the three Shattered Hopes t-shirt designs that are up for your consideration. Right here on Freddy In Space is the only place to see these bad boys!

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#1

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#2

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#3

Myself and Ryan would very much appreciate it if you'd take one second of your time to vote for which design you dig the most, which you can do by heading over to the sidebar there on the right hand side of the blog. The voting box will remain there for the next week for you to do so. Thank you!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

New Release Review : Beneath Loch Ness

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RELEASED JUNE 28TH ON DVD!

When a renowned paleontologist is killed while attempting to prove his theories about Loch Ness, it's up to his protege, Case Howell, to lead a second expedition into the murky depths of the Loch. There, trapped amid a series of uncharted labyrinths, Case discovers a terrifying giant creature thought to be extinct for millions of years.

Must establish right off the bat that though this DVD was just released this past Tuesday, it's actually an Echo Bridge re-release of a film that originally hit DVD way back in 2002. This double dipping of Beneath Loch Ness, ten years after the fact, was presumably done to slap some fancy new cover art on the flick and capitalize on the fact that it was directed by a dude who has since gone on to do the special effects for Avatar, as a means to try and drain from it whatever money is left to be drained from it. Unfortunately, despite the exciting and deceptive cover art that's full of elements that don't actually appear anywhere in the movie (Nessie out of the water, scantily clad hot chicks), Beneath Loch Ness is far from exciting or even moderately entertaining, just as it wasn't back in '02. Though not made by or for Syfy, it's essentially a Syfy original picture, and a pretty shitty one at that.

What angers me more than anything is the fact that so many filmmakers take incredibly interesting and fascinating subjects like Nessie and manage to somehow make completely uninteresting and boring horror movies out of them. Cryptozoological creatures are perhaps the most perfect horror movie fodder there is and yet, the majority of horror movies made about them are piss poor pieces of garbage. Beneath Loch Ness is no exception and it just frustrates me so much because this is the kind of movie someone like myself should be having a blast with. I love cheesy Syfy type movies and I am endlessly fascinated by Nessie. In fact, I pretty much consider myself a credential-less spare time Cryptozoologist. Point being, this is my shit and there's absolutely no reason why I should be so bored by a movie such as this. Honestly, within the realm of a Nessie horror movie, it doesn't even take much to entertain me. Show me Nessie as much as possible and show me Nessie tearing up as many people as possible. That's all I want to see.

What'd I get with Beneath Loch Ness? Like so many sad attempts before it, I was treated to an hour and a half of boring dialogue spoken with bad Scottish accents and California landscapes doubling as Scotland, barely with even a sign of the beast at the center of the film. It's kept completely underwater, dark and murky water at that, and not much is ever seen of the thing other than quick flashes here and there until the final couple minutes. You literally don't even see the thing kill anyone. This aint Alien, show me the goddamn CGI Loch Ness Monster that I sat down to watch the movie to see!! A Loch Ness horror movie devoid of stunning Scottish landscapes and without many appearances by the titular monster is like a Friday The 13th movie set somewhere other than Crystal Lake and without much of Jason Voorhees in it ... you saw how well that worked out when some jackwagon decided to send Jason to Hell.

The monster effects aren't horrible but again, so little of the thing is ever seen to really even tell how it looked and the murky waters serve to mask the CGI a good deal. There's one scene in the film where the twist is revealed that the "Loch Ness Monster" does in fact live in that body of water but that the beast that's being hunted in the film is actually a creature much larger and much more terrifying. The characters find this out when they discover the dead body of the Loch Ness Monster, killed by the other monster prowling the same waters. Ya, it makes no sense. But anyway, they examine the corpse of Nessie on an operating table and the practical effects are pretty kickass and old school for this one particular scene, making you wish that at least a few shots of a non-CGI creature were worked in there somewhere. They obviously had the means to pull it off, but I guess they decided to not even bother. Hell, they didn't even bother to show the thing in all its CGI glory, so I guess it'd be far too much to ask to see some practical monster work.

Cool cover art, Echo Bridge, but you really shouldn't have bothered re-releasing this hunk of junk. There was no need to dip into this one back 10 years ago and there's certaintly no need to double dip into it this week.

To date the only watchable Nessie horror flick i've come across is LOCH NESS TERROR. It's total Syfy cheese, but it manages to actually show a whole lot of Nessie (a whole family of Nessies in fact) tearing shit up, thus making it a fun movie to watch. In terms of other Cryptids, the only other flicks worth mentioning are ABOMINABLE (a fun Bigfoot flick, a rare treat in that sub-genre), MOTHMAN PROPHECIES (which manages to be a totally serious and scary take on a mythical creature) and INCIDENT AT LOCH NESS (a Werner Herzog directed mockumentary within a mockumentary that isn't a horror flick, but is without question the best Nessie movie made to date).

When Horror Movies Meet Footwear!

It all started back in 2007. Nike announced that they were releasing three unique pairs of shoes as part of a "Horror Pack", just in time for Halloween. Inspired by Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday The 13th and Dawn of the Dead, the shoes never saw official release due to copyright issues (at least I know the Elm Street's never did even for a second), though many pairs of each have made their way on eBay in subsequent years, both HIGHLY expensive real ones and cheaper replicas. Take a peek at the three pairs below.

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The coolest and most relevant to the theme of the bunch are the Freddy Krueger Nike's, which feature the trademark green and red colors, blood splatter and even a silver Nike swoosh that looks like one of the finger blades on Freddy's glove. In addition, the insole is made to look like Freddy's burnt flesh. Jen actually picked me up a pair of these a long time ago, before they were selling for upwards of $1,000 online, and I literally wore them to the point that they can't even be worn anymore. Goddamn, I love these things. Will probably pick up a cheaper replica pair in the future, being that I don't really care if they're the real deal or not. The amount of compliments I got while wearing these things never ceased to amaze me.

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While they literally took the essence of Freddy and converted it into shoe form, Nike skimped pretty hardcore on the other two pairs in the set. Case in point, these Jason Voorhees inspired kicks, which I guess are supposed to look like his infamous hockey mask? Yaaa, kind of a stretch.

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Nike again gave this last pair in the 'Horror Pack' the relevant to the theme in color only treatment, by taking the main color scheme from the original Dawn of the Dead poster and slapping it on these shoes. Again, it's a stretch, but the insoles apparently have a decaying zombie on them, which I guess is cool even if nobody can see it once you slip your foot into the shoe.

While those three pairs are the only official horror movie themed shoes that were ever conceived, aside from Nike's various Halloween inspired designs over the years, a lot of incredibly talented shoe customizers have put their talents to use to create their own horror movie inspired kicks, either as one shot deals or for sale to anyone willing to shell out the dough for them. Here are a few of my favorites!

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These mind blowing creations were whipped up by Revive Customs and feature pretty much everything Hellraiser is all about; the puzzle box, chains, torture devices and even a healthy dose of skinned human texture. On the sides they read, "I am in Hell. Help Me", written in blood. You can pick these up for around $80 on various sites around the net.

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A few different pairs of custom Friday The 13th shoes have hit the net in recent years, presumably to make up for the lackluster ones Nike came up with. These ones done up by Sneak Fiend, which depict Jason Voorhees killing a hapless victim in comic book style, are definitely the coolest.

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Mizzee Customs gave Saw the shoe treatment with this custom pair that has the iconic Billy puppet on one shoe and Amanda in the reverse bear trap on the other. Bet ya wish you still had two feet, eh Dr. Gordon?

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Last but certaintly not least, from the holy fucking shit files comes these highly detailed Chucky sneakers from artist Diversitile. They're literally Chucky ... as a shoe. If these things weren't amazing enough by themselves, the mad genius behind them also whipped up shoe boxes for them modeled after the boxes the Good Guy dolls came in.

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I believe Diversitile only made a select few pairs of these and even at several hundred dollars a piece, they all completely sold out pretty quickly. Not hard to see why!

For some other horror inspired shoes of a different sort, check out a post I made a while back about the company Sink or Swim Custom Kicks!

An Early Birthday Gift!

Though my birthday isn't until tommorow, I got a nice little early gift in the mail from my buddy Thomas Bryce yesterday which i'd like to show off. Behold, the Monsters Magnetic Figures set, which Thomas wrote in an included note will allow me to turn my fridge into a Syfy creature movie of the week. In other words, my ultimate dream come true!

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The tin set comes with three sheets of magnetic monster parts along with four different backgrounds, which can be stuck to the fridge by placing your unique monster creations on top of them. Here is my debut Syfy creature feature monster of the week, which will be swapped out on a weekly basis provided I don't get lazy and/or completely forget. Then again, I look to my fridge a good hundred times a day in the hopes that the food I can't afford will magically appear and provide me nourishment, so I think it'd be more the former than anything else. In any event, i'm pretty sure my first magnetized monster is just minutes away from getting sued by the Roddenberry estate ...

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Something tells me the process I just went through is pretty similar to the one the Syfy crew goes through everytime they're planning a new Saturday night creature feature. Makes me wonder if they have this very same set in their offices.

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Thank you so much Thomas! I take comfort in the fact that 2/5's of The Monster Squad now guard my edible possessions at all times!!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

New Release Review : Dawning

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OUT TODAY ON DVD & BLU-RAY!

Dawning follows brother and sister Chris and Aurora as they travel to visit their father and stepmom at the family cabin. As the first night unfolds with uncomfortable small talk and tension, tragedy strikes when the beloved family dog is found mortally wounded. Almost immediately, a crazed, blood-soaked stranger barges into the cabin and tells the family that he has come to save them ... but from what? Though their unwanted guest may just be a lone maniac, menacing noises outside suggest the presence of something far more frightening. It's not long before the family realizes a dark force is at play - one that wants them all dead by the dawning of the day.

After hearing pretty much nothing but positive praise across the board from my fellow horror bloggers on this one, I was quite excited to sit down tonight and check it out, on the official day of its DVD release. I guess i'm in the minority here, because I just didn't get the appeal of the flick.

Dawning is a small and intimate film that explores the nature of fear and the tensions between a disjointed family moreso than it focuses on the horror elements that one might expect from it. That's all good and well and I actually love movies that look inwards rather than outwards for their scares and tension. In fact, I was fairly sucked into the movie for the first 45 minutes or so, intrigued by the family dynamic while wondering and waiting to find out what exactly was causing all the strange events in the film. Unfortunately, as was quickly becoming clear to me as it progressed, it just goes nowhere and ultimately amounts to nothing more than an eye roller by the time the end credits scroll across the screen, making you feel like you just wasted 80 minutes of your time. Don't get me wrong, I totally get what the filmmakers were going for with the whole thing, but I just didn't feel like the idea was fleshed out or really pulled off effectively. In fact, by around the halfway mark I was just hoping some flesh hungry monsters would jump out of the woods and brutally tear apart the entire cast, thus ending the whole pretentious mystery of an ordeal. Not exactly the kind of feeling a dramatically based film like this hopes its audience will feel, but I couldn't help but feel it.

To me, Dawning is one of those horror movies that almost comes off as thinking it's better than other horror movies. One that feels it's deep enough and with a strong enough message that it can rise above its small budget and limited space to be a more effective horror film than the higher budgeted ones that rely on things like gore, jump scares, action and oodles of musical cues that dictate when you should be scared and when you should feel certain emotions. Some films pull that whole less is more thing off incredibly well and I for one greatly respect and admire those movies that do or, in this case, even merely try to. So it's not that I didn't get it or that i'm only into movies with monsters and tons of bloodshed, it's simply that Dawning just didn't do anything for me. I hate to say it, but i'm kinda feeling like a lot of the love that's been thrown its way is largely from folks who just hate big studio horror and want desperately to love all things indie and different, thus making them heap over-inflated praise on films such as this one. I'm all about indie horror too, but it doesn't mean every little low budget indie flick is a diamond in the rough ...

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Oh well, at least I was highly amused throughout the 80 minute runtime over the fact that the lead actress, Najarra Townsend, bears quite a striking resemblance to Jen from certain angles, which provided for some laughs. It also got me off the hook for being sexually attracted to a chick from a horror movie for once!

Tweet of the Week!

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This week's Tweet of the Week is more like a Twitpic of the Week and it comes from Todd Farmer, co-writer of My Bloody Valentine 3D & Drive Angry as well as the two timing naked bald dude in both of those films. Farmer is one of my favorite people to follow on Twitter and this past weekend he had some real gems. I guess on Saturday night he was hanging out with Tyler Mane (who played Michael Myers in the Rob Zombie Halloween's) and they were drinking potato vodka together in California and looking for Derek Mears (Jason from the Friday remake). It seemed like they had plans to hang out with Mears but couldn't track him down and from what I gathered they finally showed up to his house late in the night and toilet paper'ed it. Around five in the morning, Farmer tweeted the amazing picture below along with the following caption ...

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Two killers and a dick - @todd_farmer

It's Tweets like these that make Twitter so goddamn addicting. Now if I can only figure out how to get invited to one of these drinking sessions ...

Upcoming Flicks I'm Looking Forward To : The Shrine

Back in 2007, filmmaker Jon Knautz released his first feature length film, a horror movie that I personally consider to be one of the more underappreciated genre pictures in recent years. It was called Jack Brooks : Monster Slayer and was a wild and gory good time, a fun and totally off the wall throwback to the style of horror seen more in the 80's, rife with kickass messy practical effects and totally devoid of any CGI. If you haven't yet seen it, do yourself a favor and go slay some monsters with Jack Brooks.

When I wrote up my review for that film back in 2008, I mentioned how it was Knautz's first and that "I for one hope we see a lot more of his work in the future." Three years later and it looks like that hope is about to come true in a big way.

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Though it hit the festival circuit late last year, Jon Knautz' second feature film The Shrine is set to be released On Demand July 15th of this year. While Jack Brooks was a throwback to the gooey and creature filled horror comedies of the 80's, it's looking like this one is more in the style of moody, atmospheric and satanic flicks like The Wicker Man and Black Sunday. I could give ya the brief plot rundown but i'd rather just turn you onto the full trailer, which looks pretty promising if you're askin' me.



An evil Pazuzu looking statue, an iron maiden mask and Jack Brooks himself reuniting with Knautz? Count me right the hell in! Looks like Knautz is out to prove that he's more than just a horror comedy guy and I hope like Eli Roth and Adam Green before him he hammers that into all of our faces come July 15th. Who's with me?!

Follow The Shrine on Facebook & the official website.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Dear Horror Fans, Leslie Vernon's Return Is In YOUR Hands

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In 2006, director Scott Glosserman unleashed Behind The Mask : The Rise of Leslie Vernon, a love letter to slasher flicks that has for the past several years been at the tippy top of many a genre fan's Top 10 list of the best horror movies in recent years. Though the film was a pretty big success in regards to the horror community, and though Leslie Vernon is primed and ready for a return, there is still for whatever reason a studio reluctancy to fund a second installment (uhh ... what?). Which is where us fans come into play. Folks, Leslie Vernon is relying on the extended family that is the horror community to bring him back to life. I could tell you all about it but i've decided instead to turn the floor over to my good friend Kristy Jett, who is able to speak more eloquently about the subject given that she spoke for several hours this past weekend to Glosserman, writer David Stieve and star Nathan Baesel about the whole ordeal. So I now turn the floor over to Kristy to fill you in on all the details and more importantly how you can help the film get made, in a call to arms she wrote from the heart exclusively for us here on Freddy In Space!
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When I first saw “Behind The Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon” I was so taken aback in the very best of ways. I felt like for a few years I had been drowning in a sea of mediocre Horror, and here came (forgive the cliché) a bright ray of sunlight to guide me back to the surface. Reminding me that Horror would always have life in it, especially when films like this could come along and blow me away.

A few days ago I caught wind of a Facebook fanpage called “Before The Mask: The Return of Leslie Vernon”…I nearly hyperventilated. A sequel? Yes! But wait, what’s this? No funding? WHAT?!

Yes, a successful, straight to DVD Horror film that sold 250,000 copies with no funding. They’re hoping to start shooting in the Fall, but it won’t happen without a budget in place. The world we live in kids, it’s a scary one isn’t it? Behind The Mask is for the most part beloved in our tight-knit Horror community and we are of those 250,000 copies sold. Yet so far no production company has stepped forward to offer to finance it.

The filmmakers and cast of Behind The Mask; Scott Glosserman, David Stieve, Angela Goethals and of course Leslie Vernon himself, Nathan Baesel have a script that is arguably better than the original. They want to make it. They want to treat all of the fans who supported the original so fervently.

They need us. This isn’t some huge Hollywood studio looking for a hand out. This is an Independent group of artists who want to give us what we deserve- a Horror film deserving of our money but even more importantly, deserving of our respect. Anybody can say “I’m a Horror fan, I can write a Horror movie!” But it takes a true fan to not only sit down and write something, but write something good, write something that honors the Horror community and genre without dumbing it down or disrespecting it. Behind The Mask is arguably the best deconstructionist Horror film of recent memory and why shouldn't it have a sequel?

Before The Mask: The Return of Leslie Vernon, in the words of star Nathan Baesel, “It’s a very different movie. They have skillfully managed to keep the tone familiar to the first film but also bring it to the next level. I thought ‘No way, they can’t top the first script,’ but then I read it. They did.”

Even screenwriter David Stieve says “Leslie Vernon is not going ANYWHERE. He is not giving up,” and adds that unlike other sequels this one “takes it to the next logical step.”

The sequel promises to explore Leslie’s origins further as he is pursued by Taylor, the SurvivorGirl from the original, using some convention from Horror history to flesh out the story of Leslie Vernon. However, this film promises to be a film all its own.

This is the time that we, as the Horror community have to stand up and put our money where our mouths are. We have to prove that we want to support Independent Horror.

How can we do this? We’re not millionaires! I know, I hear you. I am right there with you. But the best part is, the filmmakers are looking to raise the money for their film in the most honest of ways…by pre-selling you the finished DVD. That’s right, for $24 (the cost of the DVD with shipping) you will help finance Before The Mask: The Return of Leslie Vernon.

The hope is that after enough attention that a production company will step forward and agree to finance production, but in the meantime, and possibly until they raise the budget of $1 million, they’re looking to us to make this happen.

What are we waiting for?! If we sit around and just wait for Hollywood to make the kind of Horror films we want to see we may be sitting here til we turn all Chester Copperpot.

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Go "LIKE" THE FACEBOOK FANPAGE FOR BEFORE THE MASK and follow the instructions on how to pre-reserve your copy. You WILL NOT be charged until the project is fully funded and greenlit.

We all banded together to see Adam Green through on his quest to release Hatchet 2 in its uncut glory, why are we even hesitating to stick our necks out on this one? Let’s make it happen.

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Yep, you read right Behind The Mask fans. All you've gotta do is pre-order the sequel, which you'd likely buy when it hit DVD anyway, and you will help make the movie a reality. Other funding options are available including posters both signed and unsigned and it should be noted that the DVD you will get for pre-ordering now will be a "Limited Supports Edition". A million bucks might seem like a lot of money but if you do the math and multiply the pre-order cost by the number of units of the Behind The Mask DVD us fans bought, you'll realize how easy the goal can be reached if we all band together and support the independent horror we all crave. It's times like these when we either nut up or shut up ...

I Am Now A Card Carrying Kindertrauma Stream Warrior!

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One of my favorite horror blogs out there is and has always been KINDERTRAUMA, a site dedicated mostly to anything and everything that was scary to us as a child. Kindertrauma has always been a source of blogging inspiration to me and it is because of this fact that I was incredibly honored when one of the men behind it, Lance Vaughan (aka Uncle Lancifer) contacted me and asked if i'd like to sometime guest host their weekly brilliantly named Stream Warriors series, a series wherein the boys recommend flicks to check out on Netflix's Instant Streaming queue. I jumped at the opportunity to make a guest post for a site i've always been in love with (for proof, see THIS POST from way back in 2009!) and this past week I found myself doing some heavy browsing through the current batch of Instant Streaming flicks, with the goal to not only pick out three movies I highly recommend, but also three movies that neither I nor Kindertrauma have really talked much about, so that the list would be fresh to readers of both of our blogs. Even though I did briefly talk about one of the movies I chose, it was one I mentioned back when I first started the blog, so I think enough time has passed that most of you probably weren't prowling around these parts back then. In any event ....

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HEAD OVER TO KINDERTRAUMA AND READ MY STREAM WARRIORS POST!

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HEAD OVER TO KINDERTRAUMA AND READ MY STREAM WARRIORS POST!

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HEAD OVER TO KINDERTRAUMA AND READ MY STREAM WARRIORS POST!

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HEAD OVER TO KINDERTRAUMA AND READ MY STREAM WARRIORS POST!

Thanks again for asking me to do this, Aunt and Unk. See ya at Monster Mania!!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Freddy In Space Is One Year Closer To Being Able To Drink!

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*Thanks to Anthony Catanese for the art!*

I find it hard to believe that i'm actually typing this right now, but it is with utmost excitement and amazement that I inform you that today, June 25th, marks the third birthday of Freddy In Space. It was exactly three years ago now that I started this blog and i'm honestly shocked that i'm still chugging along and that I still have the same desire and enthusiasm to write up new posts as I did back then. I am not the kind of person that generally sticks with things and the fact that i've been doing this for so long really shows me that it's something I was always meant to do.

In the past three years, this blog has completely changed my life, introducing me to incredible new friends and providing an outlet to voice my opinions about the genre I have always loved as well as truly making me a part of the community I belong in. It never ceases to shock me when I get e-mail's from readers who tell me how much enjoyment they get out of the crap I write or to be recognized at conventions by people who dig what I do and I really can't believe that all of that love has come from the little decision to sit down at the computer three years ago and start a horror blog. In a blogging world so jam packed with horror blogs that it's pretty damn hard to stand out, I never in a million years would've thought that little old me could ever make my mark on the scene. Not to pat myself on the back, because i'm certaintly not one to do that, but I am head over heels proud of myself that it seems I indeed have. The hundreds upon hundreds of hits I get per day and over thousand fans that the Freddy In Space page on Facebook has, along with the e-mail's and comments I get on a daily basis prove this point to me. I cannot thank each and every one of you enough for sticking with me and for always reading and commenting on the stuff I am putting out there.

Though i've made less money doing this in the past three years than I make in just a couple days at my day job, the rewards this blog have afforded me over the years are far greater than monetary ones. So on this three year anniversary, at the risk of coming off like i'm praising myself for all my hard work, I wanted to take a look back at some of the coolest things that being a member of the horror blogging community has brought into my life over the past few years, whether it be experiences, friendships or opportunities. So come with me on this journey through the past and then we can all look forward to the future, which hopefully contains many more years of blogging to come!

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- THE FRIENDS I'VE MET

The most rewarding thing that has come from doing this are all the friends that have come into my life because of it. I don't want to list names (Kristy, Zach, Terry, Geof, Adam!) because I don't want to leave anyone out and also because there are far too many to list, but you guys and girls know who you are. If I had never started blogging I probably would've never gotten to know most of you and it's for this reason that i'm so glad I did. I love you all.

- BEING PIMPED ON IMDB ... THREE TIMES!

IMDb has a feature on the main page called the 'hit list', where they post a few articles each day from other sites that they deem worthy of reposting. On three seperate occasions, one being on Halloween weekend (hit list items added Friday stay all weekend), posts of mine were featured on there, which each bringing thousands upon thousands of hits to my neck of the woods. Even cooler than the hits though was just the fact that my little blog was even mentioned on a HUGE site like IMDb that I have always visited on a daily basis. I really felt like I 'made it' the first time I was linked to on there and I could never properly communicate how exciting it was for me to be featured on there for the entire duration of a Halloween weekend a couple years back (for my post on The Many Masks of Michael Myers).

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- BEING FEATURED AS A MODEL IN A FRIGHT RAGS AD

I always feel like a lot of people think i'm constantly pimping Fright Rags simply because i'm friends with the people that run it/work for it. While it is true that I am friendly with those guys and gal, that is not actually the whole story. I was a fan of Fright Rags wayyyy before I ever knew any of the people involved with it and it was through my constant blogging and pimping of their stuff that I actually became friends with them, starting with Kristy Jett, who is now one of my best friends in the world. Kristy was a reader of my blog and when she started working for Fright Rags, we ended up striking up a friendship through the convention circuit, which led to friendships with Fright Rags owner Ben and fellow worker Tim. So we actually became friends through mutually liking each other's stuff. That's something i've always wanted to clear up because I don't want anyone thinking i'm all over their shit just because i'm friends with them. I'm all over their shit because I love their shit, though the fact that they're all such awesome people certaintly doesn't hurt. The photoshoot for this ad that took place one weekend last year is one of the highlights of my life and my jaw crash landed on the floor when I saw that the picture of me as Pennywise (makeup effects by Jen!) ended up in an issue of Rue Morgue Magazine. One of the shots of Jen, channeling Shelley Duvall, later popped up in an issue of HorrorHound.

- BEING INVITED TO A PRESS SCREENING OF REC 2

This was my very first invite to a press screening and my excitement about it wasn't even so much due to the fact that i'm a huge fan of REC. I don't like to admit this, but when I first started blogging I was into the habit of illegally downloading movies every so often. I wasn't huge into it, and probably downloaded a grand total of less movies than I have fingers and toes, but I will admit that I did it from time to time. Usually it was done so that I could see movies before they were released onto DVD and thus, get a leg up on other bloggers by providing early reviews of movies most people weren't able to see yet. I know a lot of other bloggers these days still do that, but it's something I am strongly against and will never do again. In any event, I downloaded a copy of REC back in the day, being that there was no other way for me to see it at the time. So to be invited, a couple years later, to a press screening of the sequel really made me feel like I had finally become a legit blogger. From illegaly downloading a copy of a movie to being invited to an advanced screening of its sequel ... ya really can't beat that! Oh and by the way, once REC did come out on DVD, I immediately shelled out the money to buy a copy, so I want it to be known that I always made things right even when I was committing illegal and damaging acts to filmmakers!



- THIS VIDEO

Holy shit, I still can't believe this actually happened. I have been a HUGE fan of Adam Green, both as a person and a filmmaker, for years and when I saw this video I nearly shit my pants. As proof of what I said earlier about Kristy being one of my best friends, she met Green at a convention earlier this year and, knowing how much I dig him, asked him if he would film a video giving me and my blog a shoutout. Proving how much of an awesome guy he is, he actually took his time to do it which is way too awesome for words. I have to pinch myself everytime I watch this video. Another highlight of my blogging career, related to this, was my interview with Green back in 2008. It was because of this interview that this next awesome little moment came into my life ...

- JOE LYNCH READS MY BLOG!!

2008. I come home from voting for Sid Haig for President (yes, I really did) to find an e-mail in my inbox from Joe Lynch, one of Adam Green's best friends and another guy i've always been a huge supporter of. In the e-mail he thanks me for all my support and tells me that he loves reading my blog. Here's a little excerpt from the e-mail that still to this day serves as a great deal of inspiration to me ...

"I just wanted to say THANKS SOOO MUCH for the support on Freddy In Space! I love the blog since Green turned me onto your site."

So not only did Adam Green turn Lynch onto the blog but Lynch himself dug it? That put such a smile on my face. To find out that two people whose work I love also dig what I do meant so much to me. I e-mailed back and forth with Lynch for a bit that night and he went on to say, "I read FIS all the time...or whenever I get a moment to read anything other than a script or a TPS report. Please keep up the hard work; its great to read real responses from real people...our people, if you will." Whenever I get down on myself or lose the inspiration I need to continue plugging away at this, I think back to these e-mail's and am immediately refueled with healthy doses of inspiration. So thank you Adam and Joe both for everything you've done for me, no matter how small it may seem to you guys.

- TALKING TO THE DAD FROM TROLL 2 ON THE PHONE

I've interviewed a bunch of people whose work I love over the years but my very first phone interview came earlier this year courtesy of one of the nicest men on the planet, George Hardy. I was nervous as hell but Hardy instantly calmed me down with his laid back and friendly nature and I got such a kick out of chatting with him on the phone for a good 40 minutes. It all started by me Facebook'ing George after seeing Best Worst Movie for the first time (wherein I fully fell in love) and asking him if he'd be up for a little interview. He replied by giving me his cell phone number and telling me to call him sometime. Though my poor phone call recording skills at the time made the recording come out pretty poorly, I will never forget that 40 minute time span shooting the shit with the dad from Troll 2. Surreal doesn't even begin to describe it!

- THE RESPONSE MY FRIDAY THE 13TH MEMORIAL POST GOT

Back in 2009, hot on the heels of the Friday remake hitting theatres, I decided to do something special and different, which took form as a memorial tribute post to all of the Friday The 13th franchise stars who are no longer with us. I actually initially made the post on another site I was writing for at the time called Benevolent Street, but reposted it Friday the 13th of that year on here. The post garnered a ton of attention and was reposted on several sites, including FridayThe13thFilms.com, a site that is devoted entirely to the series. I've always considered the post to be one of my greatest contributions to the horror blogging scene, which is mostly due to the fact that it really seemed to put a smile on the faces of friends of the fallen stars and it truly felt like my writing skills in that moment were being put to good use. Here is one of the messages I received from a friend of the late Tom McBride, who appeared in Friday Part 2 as the wheelchair bound jock Mark. I believe this was left as a comment on the reposting of the article at FridayThe13thFilms.com ....

"I have always thought it would be a good idea, and a warm way of remembering “Friday The 13th” actors and actresses who have passed away. Being Tom McBride’s nursing assistant, he and I became friends. He would talk about being in commercials, modeling, and movies. I was a fan of the “Friday The 13th” series, and Tom would spend lots of time talking about the interview to land the role, the setting/scenes, and working with the other actors. When I went to take Tom’s vital signs one morning, there was a machete laying on the chair beside his bed with his signiture. Tom was funny, energetic, and always made a friend. I remember him telling me that his wish before dying is for people to remember him not from AIDS, but as someone who made someone smile, laugh, and made a friend. He told me that it would be neat to be remembered as “Machete-Face”. He laughed and said he should have been the one to come back and be a horror icon like “Jason” and “Leatherface”. So when I think of my friend, I can’t help but to think of ol’ “Machete-Face”." - Gary

Also got a comment from the aunt of another one of the deceased stars, which again really touched me. Don't know that i'll ever top this post and the impact that it had.

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- I SCOOPED THE SCOOPERS!

Last but not least we have the most recent little thing that gave me nerd excitement, which went down earlier this month. I caught wind of a Killer Klowns sequel over on Facebook and I dropped a line to the man behind it (and star of the original film) Grant Cramer, who scooped me on all kinds of details about the sequel that up until that point nobody else on the net knew about. The post I made about it ended up spreading all over the internet and giving the film a ton of support and notice thanks to the fact that all of the big horror news sites reported on it, crediting me for the scoop. Naturally it brought hits and attention back to me but the coolest thing about it was being the guy who was able to really kickstart all the horror community excitement about the impending sequel. Given that i've always been a HUGE Killer Klowns fan, I was incredibly happy that it was that movie that I was able to scoop the scoopers on. Definitely another 'i've made it' moment.

While there are tons of other awesome things that this blog has brought into my life, these are the major ones that I scooped right off the top of my head. Hope you had as much fun reading them as I did reliving them and I sure as hell hope you continue reading. If you promise to do that, I promise to keep on blogging!

New Release Review - Midnight Movie : The Killer Cut

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Way back in February of 2009, I watched and reviewed a flick called Midnight Movie. While the plot sounded right up my alley (a killer in a horror movie comes out of the movie and pulls people into the movie at a showing at a rundown movie house), I ended up not digging it at all. Here's what I had to say about it back then ...

"This movie pretty much represents everything that is bad about horror movies and completely lacks anything and everything that is good about them. A lame killer with a lame mask and a lame weapon. Repetitive and boring kills. Horrible acting and dialogue. Loud shitty metal music. Cliche unlikable characters. And on top of all that, there isn't even much gore and where there is gore, it's not even good gore! This movie sucks shit! Stay far away!"

Eeek. Truth be told, now that over two years have passed since I watched the movie, I really don't remember much of it, though I guess I must've hated it something fierce. That said, I always like to give horror movies a second chance and my second chance for this arrived last Tuesday on DVD, in the form of a new and hopefully improved 'Killer Cut'.

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RELEASED ON DVD JUNE 14TH!

I got an e-mail a couple weeks back from the director of the film, Jack Messitt, who informed me of this new release and asked if I wanted a screener copy of it to check out. I guess he didn't read my old review of the film but again, i'm all for giving movies second chances, especially when we're talking new cuts of the film. Put out by Bigfoot Entertainment, this new cut is boasted as having "new and enhanced visual effects, extended scenes (some shot specifically for this release) and never before seen footage." A letter from the director enclosed with the screener went on to say, "There are those out there that think they have already seen Midnight Movie ... I guarantee that they have not seen it like this", going on to say that it's "a better version of the film" and that a lot had been both cut and added to the movie to enhance the experience. This proclamation combined with the fact that it's pretty damn rare for a horror filmmaker to be given the opportunity to improve their little movie, which is pretty damn cool, made me want to go back and revisit the film through a fresh pair of eyes (both mine and the director's) ... which is exactly what I did earlier today.

So is this new cut any better than the previous one I saw back in '09? Again, I don't remember enough of that viewing experience to really comment on what's been changed or added but I will say this ... I don't know if I was more cynical back then or if I just wasn't in the right mood when I sat down to watch it, but I enjoyed Midnight Movie a heck of a lot more on this viewing than I did on the last. Given that I don't generally hate a movie and then mysteriously switch over to liking it on a second viewing, i'd have to say that this cut truly is, like the director states, a far better one. Then again I really can't see how my opinion could change so drastically based upon a few edits, so I suppose it's a combination of it being better and of me being more in the proper mindset today. Perhaps i'm just less of a hater than I was when I started this blog?

As much as i'd love for this review to be a thorough one that really dissects the differences between the two cuts to try and figure out why this cut was more enjoyable to watch for me, I simply can't thanks to my poor memory. That said, the gore is definitely amped up and more well executed in this cut and the killer, Radford, seems to be more menacing and effective. Those are the two main differences that I noted, and that's really all I can about that.

Midnight Movie : The Killer Cut is a fun little meta horror movie, one that's definitely made for slasher fans and even at times feels like a throwback to the days when horror was allowed to simply be fun without getting too much criticism for that being the main focus. Yes there are cliche characters and yes it's pretty corny at times, but when can't that be said for the slasher flicks of days past? Midnight Movie is not one that you're going to find me raving about and pimping to anyone within earshot, but I definitely had a good time watching the flick today, as I often do with horror movies that take place inside theatres and center around the world of ... horror movies. Bottom line being, it's a million times better than the majority of the direct to DVD horror flicks that get churned out each and every week and for that, it deserves a viewing from anyone who hasn't yet given it one.

This Killer Cut is pretty much the cinematic equivalent to Wendy's new natural cut fries for me. I can't really tell the difference between the new and the old, unless I were to consume them both back to back, but I just instinctively know that I like the change. If you've seen the original cut of the film you're surely going to check this one out but if you saw it back in the day and didn't dig on it so much, i'd encourage you to give it a second chance with this new and improved cut. Gotta give kudos to Messitt for going back to improve his directorial debut and to Bigfoot Entertainment for giving him the means to do so. Really cool that this is out there both for fans of the film and for those who maybe didn't care for it on the first pass.

If This One Doesn't Make You Whip Your Wallet Out, You're Already Dead!!

My man Christopher Ott is at it again, delivering another amazing piece of art to his site/shop London 1888. This time it's all about Phantasm, as Chris turns his attention to everyone's favorite tall dude who likes to play with balls. Check out his 9"x24" Phantasm print below, being held up by none other than Angus Scrimm!!

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For a better picture of the print itself, which is too wide for me to post on here without squishing it down a whole hell of a lot, and to purchase the print for $20, go back in time to London 1888.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Name That Movie : Now In Predator Vision!

Our beloved Predator is watching a bunch of horror movies tonight, but the poor chap doesn't know which ones they are. Take a peek through his eyes and help him identify all ten of them below!

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Leave a comment with your guesses!!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Four Grown Women ... One Possessed Little Girl

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Last night as part of a behind the scenes photos compilation, I included a picture from the set of The Exorcist that showed an actress who was not Linda Blair getting rigged up to spew split pea soup, briefly mentioning how Blair wasn't the only one who played Regan in the film. Tonight, I want to elaborate on that a bit and take a look at all of the women it took to bring the possessed MacNeil girl to life. While many believe that it was all Blair, which director William Friedkin wanted viewers to think and even went so far as to not include the other actresses names in the credits, it actually took four women in total to film everything that needed to be filmed to depict Blair's transformation from sweet little girl to demonic entity whose masturbation device of choice is a crucifix. It's time to give credit where credit is due!

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Obviously, the most recognizable face of Regan is that of Linda Blair, who played the character in her unpossessed form and during most scenes in her possessed form as well. Believe it or not, that actually was Blair who masturbated with a crucifix in the film, though she looks back on that scene and remembers that she barely had any idea what she was even doing at the time. So yes, Blair is in fact Regan throughout much of the runtime, but there are some scenes where it's an entirely different actress altogether.

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Most recognizable as the second face of Regan is actress Eileen Dietz, who was brought in to do a couple things that Blair apparently wasn't able to. There are varying reports from both the Blair and Dietz camps as to what exactly one did that the other didn't, but Blair herself admits that Dietz performed the scenes where the pea soup was being spewed about (which is evident when you watch the film back with this knowledge). Aside from that, Blair says there is less than 20 seconds total in the film where Dietz is actually playing Regan, though Dietz herself says she worked on the film for six months. She also claims that Blair had both a lighting double and a stunt double, which Blair denies. It is known for sure however that Dietz was the face of the demon Pazuzu, which is one of the most terrifying images from the film, so her involvement should not be discounted no matter how much of her as Regan actually made the final cut.

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One of the most iconic scenes from the film, and from horror film history for that matter, is the infamous 'crabwalk scene', which sees Regan walking backwards down the stairs of her home before spewing a mouthful of blood at the camera. This scene was pulled from the original release of the film, being that wires could be seen in the shot that couldn't be removed at the time, but was put back for the 2000 'Version You've Never Seen' release, as the technology existed by then to digitally remove the wires. A contortionist by the name of Linda R. Hager was hired to do the scene, which apparently ended on the first try with her crashing down the stairs before a better rig was devised. While the scene goes by so fast that it's hard to tell it's not Blair that at least spits the blood out, a slow-mo pass through makes it quite clear that it's not her, as the crappy image above shows. It's of such a low quality because I only own the film on Blu-ray (high class problem, eh?) and therefore couldn't pop it into my computer to take a screengrab. So I had to snap a picture of the TV with a digital camera while the scene was paused. Cause i'm all professional like that.

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And finally, what is Regan without that deep and demonic voice? Though Blair did in fact say all those horrible things when Regan was possessed, another voice was overlapped over hers to give it that extra demonic kick. This was the voice of radio personality Mercedes McCambridge. Though she was promised credit for her role, it wasn't until the Screen Actors Guild went to bat for her that she was finally properly credited. Sadly, McCambridge passed away back in 2004 at the age of 87.

So while Linda Blair, at the insistence of Friedkin, performed most of the stunts and did most of the acting in the film, it's undeniably the inclusion of the three other actresses that helped sell the feeling that the demon truly turned Regan into an entirely different being altogether once it got a hold of her. Thus, it quite frankly wouldn't be fair to give her and her alone credit for bringing one of the most iconic characters of all time to the screen. Again, just giving credit where it's due!