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Friday, August 14, 2015

6 YEAR ANNIVERSARY!



August 14, 2009 will always be a special day for me. It was when I went from being a just horror fan watching horror movies to a participant in the world of horror. It was when I created HorrO’s Gory Reviews, and formally introduced myself to the horror world as HorrO. Go figure my first review wasn’t even a horror movie, but a sci-fi one (District 9). Hey, I was a rookie, plus I got to see the movie before its official release. I’ve gone from being a rookie to creating HorrO’s House of Horror, and couldn’t be happier about it. Now if you will bear with me for a little self-promotion, and some “thank-you’s.”


I want to celebrate HorrO’s Gory Reviews’ 6-year anniversary by thanking all those who have taken the time to read at least one review. It means something to know someone has read your work. I certainly want to thank those who have been with me from the beginning because without you there might not have been even a second or third year anniversary.

  For those reading this at PromoteHorror.com and aren’t aware of my review blog, please take a minute and check it out. Besides reviews, it’s also a place for some other horror fun with pages like the ‘Horror on TV,’ ‘iPhone Horror Apps of the Month,’ and ‘Horror Item of the Week.’ Please feel free to follow me on Twitter under @Horrosreviews, and “Like” the Facebook page.



  Not celebrating an anniversary is my second site: The Dog Days in Zombieville. This is the story I wrote and decided to make a Twitter story. The story was tweeted first, and then posted on the site. The Dog Days in Zombieville is the journal of Max Wagner, as he has documented his fight for survival in Zombieville. Honestly, with my time spent on promoting horror, I haven’t been able to finish the story. Max isn’t dead, and the story will continue at some point. For those who want to check it out, there are links on the site so that you can start reading from the beginning. Also, there are some other zombie related pages such as, ‘Zombie Pics,’ ‘Zombie iPhone Apps,’ and ‘Star Wars Zombies.’ If you want to follow the story on Twitter, you can find it under @ddnzombieville, and “Like” the Facebook page.


And now for the big one: the 4-year anniversary of PromoteHorror.com. Yes, HorrO’s Gory Reviews is older, but I say big one here because of the overwhelming support for PromoteHorror.com. It has been more than I could have ever imagined. With that said, I have to thank everyone who has requested a promotion, or as I like to call you “creators of horror.” The site wouldn’t exist without those requests. I continue to be amazed at how many creators of horror there are out there. Every time I think I’ve seen it all, someone gives me the opportunity to promote something I would never have thought of.

  Secondly, I have to thank all of the horror fans out there. The creators of horror need an audience, and you have provided that in a big way. Someone has to enjoy the promotions after all. I hope you all have found something to your liking. It’s truly an honor to see so many of you repeatedly visit the site, follow along on Twitter under @PromoteHorror, “Like” the Facebook page, and follow on Instagram.

  I never thought I would be here 4 years later. I also never thought PromoteHorror.com would help so many people. I honestly feel that if I walked away from it now I know I had some impact in the horror world even if it was small one. I don’t say that to be arrogant, but to prove to myself that I haven’t wasted my time. I know I helped someone make a movie. I know I helped someone sell a book. I know I helped someone get their project funded. I know I helped someone get their artwork seen. I know I helped get short films noticed. I know I helped podcasts get heard. That’s what “Spread the Horror” means when I repeatedly mention it.

  With 6 years of reviews and 4 years of promotions down, I’m eager to continue reviewing, and spreading the horror. I’m not sure what the future holds, but I will continue to do this as long as I can, and as long as the horror world will have me. From a creator of horror and horror fan myself; I truly appreciate the support, and all of the compliments that I’ve received. Like I said, this wouldn’t be anything without all of you great creators of horror, and the passionate horror fans out there. The compliments really go to you!

Thank you!!!

HorrO

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

AMC'S "THE WALKING DEAD" RETURNS TO "HALLOWEEN HORROR NIGHTS"



The nation’s insatiable appetite for AMC’s “The Walking Dead” will continue to terrify Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando Resort when the most intense moments from season 5 of the critically-acclaimed, Emmy Award®-winning television series take a bite out of “Halloween Horror Nights,” beginning Friday, September 18, 2015. 

Attempts to evade the terror of the undead and the inhumane brutality of mankind will be the underlying theme of these mazes as guests navigate authentic three-dimensional recreations of one of television’s most talked about shows, “The Walking Dead.”

Following in the footsteps of “The Walking Dead” cast, guests will begin their journey at the Terminus safe-haven compound, where an unspeakable hunger has consumed the demented souls of those dwelling within. As the chaos ensues, guests will encounter even greater atrocities as they stumble upon dismembered “W” walkers, witness the horror of victims besieged by the living dead, and step onto the loading dock of the Del Arno Food warehouse to face hordes of “W” walkers. 

“I couldn't be more delighted to continue and expand 'The Walking Dead' universe with Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando than by having fans experience some of the most harrowing and suspenseful moments of our show," said Greg Nicotero, executive producer and special effects makeup supervisor for "The Walking Dead." "‘Halloween Horror Nights’ is the gold standard to which all other Halloween-themed events try to emulate, so to bring authentic walkers to this event, alongside other horror greats, is the ultimate thrill.” 

“We love giving fans of ‘The Walking Dead’ as many ways as possible to experience the series, so we’re thrilled to be collaborating once again with the teams at Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando on these mazes that really bring the intensity of the show to life,” said Theresa Beyer, senior vice president of promotion, activation and partnerships for AMC. “We’re excited to have fans come face to face with some of the most memorable and shocking scenes of season 5.”

This year, when Universal Studios Hollywood introduces the all-original “The Walking Dead: Wolves Not Far,” it will come to life as the biggest, longest, most gruesome maze ever built at the West Coast destination of “Halloween Horror Nights.” This all-new experience will feature twice as many, never-before-seen walkers and will be situated within an entirely new theme park location. 

“Just like the fans who wait anxiously for the next episode or season return of ‘The Walking Dead,’ this phenom of a show has become a ‘Halloween Horror Nights’ tradition and our guests look forward to a new ‘Walking Dead’ maze each year,” said John Murdy, Creative Director at Universal Studios Hollywood and Executive Producer of “Halloween Horror Nights.” “We’re fortunate to have the expertise of the show’s creative team working collaboratively with us to create an authentic living representation of the series, and for fans, our maze experience is the next best thing to living in the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse.” 

At Universal Orlando Resort, “The Walking Dead: The Living and the Dead” will feature hordes of walkers and eerily recreate the scenes, settings and terror that guests have seen on their TV screens. The twisted minds of Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights team are using first-ever tactics to bring the horror of season 5 to life in this year’s maze – even placing guests in the iconic flooded food bank scene where they’ll be surrounded by hundreds of gallons of water as flesh-hungry walkers attack. 

“We’ve been fortunate to recreate many horrific moments over the past few years, and as the series raises its own bar every season, so have we with our environments, said Michael Aiello, Director of Creative Development for Universal Orlando’s Entertainment team. “Faithfully representing season 5 has brought with it all-new elements, and we will literally place our guests in the lead role as they escape hordes of walkers.” Universal’s “Halloween Horror Nights” is the ultimate in extreme Halloween events. For more than 20 years, guests from around the world have visited “Halloween Horror Nights” in Orlando and Hollywood to become victims of their own horror movie. Multiple movie-quality haunted houses are constructed throughout the event, inspired by iconic slasher films, hit horror movies and television series or hauntingly real original stories. Numerous scare zones also infiltrate “Halloween Horror Nights,” designed to provoke an unrelenting sense of fear and terrorize guests as they navigate the darkness from one frightening maze to another. 

Additional details about Universal’s “Halloween Horror Nights” will be revealed soon. For more information about “Halloween Horror Nights” at Universal Studios Hollywood or Universal Orlando Resort, visit www.HalloweenHorrorNights.com

To learn more about the all-new “The Walking Dead” maze at “Halloween Horror Nights,” click here

About Universal Studios Hollywood: 
Universal Studios Hollywood, The Entertainment Capital of L.A.SM, includes a full-day, movie-based theme park and Studio Tour; the CityWalk entertainment, shopping and dining complex, the Universal CityWalk Cinemas and the “5 Towers” state-of-the-art outdoor concert venue. World-class rides and attractions include the renowned, behind-the-scenes Studio Tour featuring the intense “King Kong 360 3-D” attraction and the all-new “Fast & Furious—Supercharged” thrill ride as the Studio Tour’s grand finale. Other popular rides include the 3D-HD adventure, “Despicable Me Minion Mayhem” and immersive “Super Silly Fun Land,” the critically-acclaimed mega-attraction, “Transformers™: The Ride-3D,” “Revenge of the MummySM—The Ride,” “Jurassic Park® —The Ride,” “Springfield,” hometown of America’s favorite TV family, adjacent to the award-winning “The Simpsons RideTM” and the “Nighttime Studio Tour,” offering evening tours of the iconic movie backlot through labor day. 

Join the “Halloween Horror Nights” conversation using #UniversalHHN on Facebook at Halloween Horror Nights – Hollywood, Instagram @HorrorNights, Twitter and Periscope @HorrorNights. Add us on Snapchat, username HorrorNights for nightly live content and watch the terror come to life on Halloween Horror Nights YouTube. 

About Universal Orlando Resort: 
For 25 years, Universal Orlando Resort has been creating epic vacations for the entire family – incredible experiences that place guests in the heart of powerful stories and adventures. Guests can soar above Hogwarts with Harry Potter, swing above the streets with Spider-Man, grab a Krusty burger in Springfield, join the ranks of the Minions and so much more. 

Universal Orlando’s two theme parks, Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure, are home to some of the world’s most exciting and innovative attractions. Its on-site resort hotels, Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, the Hard Rock Hotel, Loews Royal Pacific Resort, and Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort are destinations unto themselves. Its entertainment complex, Universal CityWalk, offers dining and entertainment for every member of the family. And just minutes away is Wet ‘n Wild, a family water park. 

Universal Orlando Resort has unveiled 18 new guest experiences in the past five years – powerful attractions, incredible dining opportunities and a dramatically themed hotel. And more is on the way. Coming in 2016 is Universal Orlando’s fifth on-site hotel, Loews Sapphire Falls Resort; and Skull Island: Reign of Kong, a groundbreaking attraction in Islands of Adventure. And in 2017 will come Universal’s Volcano Bay, an entirely new water theme park experience. 

About “The Walking Dead”: 
Based on the comic book series written by Robert Kirkman and published by Image Comics, “The Walking Dead” reigns as television’s most watched show among adults 18-49 three years in a row. “The Walking Dead” tells the story of the months and years that follow after a zombie apocalypse, and follows a group of survivors, led by police officer Rick Grimes, who travel in search of a safe and secure home. The series, which has been heralded by critics as “an honest-to-God phenomenon” (Variety), “relentless and provocative” (Orlando Sentinel) and “brilliantly engaging” (TheHollywoodNews.com), stars Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes; Steven Yeun as Glenn; Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon; Chandler Riggs as Carl; Lauren Cohan as Maggie; Danai Gurira as Michonne; Melissa McBride as Carol; Sonequa-Martin Green as Sasha; and Michael Cudlitz as Abraham. The series is executive produced by Scott M. Gimple, Kirkman, Gale Anne Hurd, David Alpert, Greg Nicotero and Tom Luse. 

AMC’s “The Walking Dead” returns for Season 6 on Sunday, October 11 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT with an extended 90-minute premiere episode. 

About AMC: 
Whether commemorating favorite films from every genre and decade, or creating acclaimed original programming, AMC brings to its audience something deeper, something richer, Something More. The network reigns as the only cable network in history ever to win the Emmy® Award for Outstanding Drama Series four years in a row with “Mad Men,” and six of the last seven with current back-to-back honoree, “Breaking Bad.” The network boasts the most-watched drama series in basic cable history and the number one show on television among adults 18-49 for the last three years with “The Walking Dead.” AMC’s current original drama series include “Mad Men,” “The Walking Dead,” “Better Call Saul,” “Hell on Wheels,” “TURN: Washington’s Spies,” “Halt and Catch Fire,” “Humans,” and the forthcoming “Fear the Walking Dead,” “Into the Badlands” and “The Night Manager.” AMC also explores authentic worlds and discussion with original shows like “Talking Dead,” “The Making of The Mob: New York” and “Comic Book Men.” AMC is owned and operated by AMC Networks Inc. and its sister networks include IFC, SundanceTV, BBC America and WE tv. AMC is available across all platforms, including on-air, online, on demand and mobile. AMC: Something More.

Friday, August 7, 2015

TERMINATOR GENISYS REVIEW



John Connor sends Kyle Reese back in time to protect Sarah Connor, but when he arrives in 1984, nothing is as he expected it to be.

Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jason Clarke, Emilia Clarke 

Directed by: Alan Taylor

Written by: Laeta Kalogridis, and Patrick Lussier

  The franchise with one of the craziest story lines is the Matrix. However, the Terminator franchise might be catching up to that. For the Terminator franchise, they seem to continually want to go back to the where the technology for the robots is created. Yes, it's a good idea within the plots of the movies, but from a movie watching experience it seems to be getting old already. At this point, lets just move on from after Judgment Day. 
  A lot of the plot in "Terminator Genisys" centers around time travel, and the repercussions that has. First a terminator goes back in time, and then Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) follows. When he goes back it seriously seems like the audience is about to be thrown into a remake, but things are not like the 1984 audiences saw in "Terminator." They can get some credit for changing up 1984, but the story then gets too tied up in time travel. When the characters have to spend so much time explaining it, then it's probably gotten too complicated.
  One good thing that results from the time travel is the return of Arnold as a terminator. Having a Terminator movie without him isn’t a good idea. There's a pretty cool fight scene between a young and old Arnold, of course as a terminator. Things don't change too much, as he plays the heroic robot again willing to do anything to protect Sarah (Emilia Clarke). He takes on several terminators, and even jumps from one helicopter into another one. And as usual, he has a few small comedic robot moments.
  While the story is important, what really counts in this franchise is the action. There's plenty of it, including the aforementioned helicopter scene. Also, there's a good chase scene involving a bus. It seems like they always have a chase scene with a large vehicle. The action really picks up when Sarah, Kyle, and the terminator have to fight a surprising bad guy. Oh wait, the surprise is ruined if the audience pays attention to the movie poster. Oh well, it still isn’t a bad idea for the story.
  In the end, "Terminator Genisys" has a plot that gets a little too complicated with all the time traveling. If they do another movie, it should be set after Judgment Day, even if that's what they are trying to prevent from happening. A futuristic battle, featuring Arnold, might be a good way to go. While the story is too much, the action is explosive as usual so I give it 2.5 pools of blood.

  HorrO

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Scream Queens Character Posters

Check out the awesome character posters for the upcoming show “Scream Queens” courtesy of Entertainment Weekly, and FOX. A lot of bloody hands…















Tuesday, June 30, 2015

INSIDIOUS: CHAPTER 3 REVIEW



A prequel set before the haunting of the Lambert family that reveals how gifted psychic Elise Rainier reluctantly agrees to use her ability to contact the dead in order to help a teenage girl who has been targeted by a dangerous supernatural entity.

Starring: Dermot Mulroney, Stefanie Scott, Angus Sampson, and Lin Shaye

Written and directed by: Leigh Whannell

  "Insidious" introduced audiences to something very creepy, and extremely weird. "Insidious: Chapter 2" followed that up almost reaching that same level of creepiness, but really not explaining much more about 'the Further.' Enter "Insidious: Chapter 3," the prequel that supposedly will fill in some of those blanks. Yes, they went the prequel route to offer audiences something more, but did they really?
  Lets start with what many fans, including myself, want to know more about...'the Further.' Obviously there's some venturing into 'the Further,' as there is in the previous movies. However, it's a great disappointment because nothing new is learned about it. It's still creepy and weird, but that's it. For me, it's the one thing I really wanted out of this movie, and it failed to deliver.
  That doesn't mean it's a complete waste. If audience's like Elise (Lin Shaye), then they might enjoy the look at her character before what happens in the previous movies. They give her a little back-story that would have be nice to give to 'the Further.' Audiences will see her confronted by the strange woman in the dress, and how she meets the two ghost hunters who become her co-workers. The audience gets to see a little about where they come from as well.
  Since this is before the Lambert family, the attention is on the Brenner family, more specifically the teenaged daughter Quinn (Stefanie Scott). Her trouble starts when she tries to reach her mother, who's passed away. She visits Elise for help, but that only makes things worse. Something is out to get her, and Elise has to overcome her own struggles in order to save her. Stefanie does a decent job in her leading role, but Dermot Mulroney, who plays Sean Brenner, fails to show he’s a father that’s genuinely concerned about his daughter.
  As far as scares and creepiness, the entity that haunts Quinn is creepy in its own right. There are several unsettling scenes of Quinn along side of the entity. One of the best scenes comes when Quinn is possessed by the entity, and attacks the people who are trying to help her. There aren't many scares, except for something that comes out of nowhere to make quite an impact. It might get some of the audience off their seats. As mentioned, the woman in a dress makes her presence felt, but doesn't seem as scary this time around.
  While "Insidious: Chapter 3" isn't a bad movie, it just feels as if something is missing from it. Could that be James Wan? The movie is creepy, but not quite the same as the others. Could it be the back-story for 'the Further' that some people wanted to know? That is certainly a possibility. Did it feel as if this chapter is really necessary after watching it? While it does give some back-story, again it's missing the most important back-story. The most telling sign that it isn't necessary is the weak ending in their attempts to connect it to chapter 1. With that said, I give it 2.5 pools of blood.

HorrO

Saturday, May 30, 2015

POLTERGEIST REVIEW



A family whose suburban home is haunted by evil forces must come together to rescue their youngest daughter after the apparitions take her captive.

Starring: Sam Rockwell, Rosemarie DeWitt, and Kennedi Clements

Directed: Gil Kenan

Written by: David Lindsay-Abaire, and Steven Spielberg (story)

  As a horror fan, it continues to be a struggle to find a movie that truly scares me. At a much younger age, the original "Poltergeist" did plenty to scare me. While the remake didn't scare me, it was good to see it scare others in the theater. It apparently did for them what the original did for me, but was this "Poltergeist" remake a good movie?
  Knowing the story already, it's hard to find anything surprising. The family moves in, paranormal stuff starts happening to Madison (Kennedi Clements), all hell breaks loose when she disappears, the family brings in people to help, and then they try to rescue Madison. What is surprising is the continued need to inject some light comedy into the movie. Whether it's a comment from the dad, or something fun that happens to one of the kids, it really takes away any chance of sustaining any kind of tension.
  The story seems to move kind of fast, which is all right, but it didn't really let the audience get a connection with all of the family members. It feels like the audience gets to know the parents some, their son Griffin (Kyle Catlett) maybe a little more, but not so much with Madison. The problem here is that when the ghosts take Madison, the audience isn't going to be on the edge of their seats for her safe return. The only real reason they are going to want her back is because she's a cute little girl, and maybe they feel bad for the family.
  So what did some of the people in the theater find scary? Well, there's a tense scene where one of the ghost hunters is trying to set up equipment in a room, and gets his hand stuck in the wall. Too bad for him the ghosts are on the other side of the wall. The scene is ok, but probably ends with more hardcore horror fans wanting a bloodier ending. The best scene is probably when Griffin is flying a drone where all of the ghosts are. The audience gets to see them crawling all over themselves, and it looks pretty awesome. However, again it doesn't produce much in the way of scares.
  Overall, the best way to describe this "Poltergeist" remake is that it's a much much lighter version of the original. The story is pretty much the same. The family structure is the same. The ghosts try to do the same thing to Madison. The big difference is that the scares aren't scary enough, and they add too many comedic moments. However, I'm happy it did scare some people, but it's just not going to scare hardcore horror fans. The movie itself is ok, so I give this it 2 pools of blood.

  HorrO

(Note: I wrote this review trying not to get into many direct comparisons with the original because I'm sure there are plenty of those kind of reviews out there. You don't need to me to go compare each thing in the movie to the original, and complain about how it's not the same.)

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

MAD MAX: FURY ROAD REVIEW



In a stark desert landscape where humanity is broken, two rebels just might be able to restore order: Max, a man of action and of few words, and Furiosa, a woman of action who is looking to make it back to her childhood homeland.

Starring: Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, and Nicholas Hoult

Directed by: George Miller

Written by: George Miller, and Brendan McCarthy

  What an action packed adventure! "Mad Max: Fury Road" has everything an audience could want in a high-speed chase across an apocalyptic desert. Lets start with the vehicles. Furisoa (Charlize Theron) drives one mean War Rig. It looks like one of those typical trucks that carry oil, but it's fixed up to be a well defended, fast moving machine. It's a great choice because it has plenty of room for the characters to run up and down, fight on top of, and climb underneath.
  And what does it have to defend itself against? How about dune buggies covered in spikes? They almost look like porcupines on wheels. Of course there's a monster truck doing what monster trucks do. And then there's a biker gang speeding all around, and launching their motorcycles through the sky. Oh, and no one will forget the Doof Wagon carrying the guitarist with a flaming guitar. Where do they come up with these crazy things?
  Speaking of crazy things, the whole set up in the city before the chase begins is weird. There are all kinds of strange people including the leader Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne). He has woman connected to machines giving their breast milk, an army of guys who are as white as milk, and a hulked up right hand man. However, not everyone is ugly. Joe has several good-looking wives locked up for himself until Furisoa decides to do something about it.
  Then there's Mad Max (Tom Hardy). These crazy people capture him, and soon after chain him to the front of a car when the chase begins. The only reason he survives that chaotic scene is because he's the main character. Actually, it's kind of surprising that the story seems to be based more on Furisoa's actions than Max's. The audience also gets to know a lot more about her than Max. However, it's still a great story, and there seems to be plenty more to be told in another movie.
  But that's getting way ahead of ourselves. Lets talk about that ending chase through the desert. It's like all of the previous chase scenes times two! Cars are crashing, and people are dying left and right! It has Max jumping from car to car fending of bad guys. Hell, he's even grabbed and swung through the air by these guys on poles that are swinging back and forth over the cars. And then there's the moment the audience waited for the entire time… a close encounter with the guitarist!
  As for the acting, Charlize does an excellent job in her role as a strong rebellious woman. Whether it's her or a stunt double, her character is involved in plenty of action, and they are terrific. Tom doesn't seem to have many lines, but also handles the action scenes well. Nicholas Hoult, who fans might remember from "Warm Bodies", is almost unrecognizable in his strong supporting role as Nux.
  “Mad Max: Fury Road” is an action packed movie from start to finish. Just as the action dies down, another exciting scene is just about to start. It has all kinds of bizarre people driving vehicles hell bent on taking out their enemies. The story, and acting top it all off. It looks like this is just the beginning of an awesome trilogy, so I give it 4 pools of blood!

  HorrO

Friday, April 17, 2015

UNFRIENDED REVIEW



Ushering in a new era of horror, Universal Pictures’ Unfriended unfolds over a teenager’s computer screen as she and her friends are stalked by an unseen figure who seeks vengeance for a shaming video that led a vicious bully to kill herself a year earlier.

Starring: Heather Sossaman, Matthew Bohrer, Shelley Hennig

Directed by: Levan Gabriadze

Writer: Nelson Greaves

  Horror fans are continuing to be on the look out for something new in horror. Many are tired of remakes and found footage films. I've already seen a couple of films done by Skype, and know about some films shot entirely by iPhones. It seems as if that something new might be the different use of technology in horror, which brings us to "Unfriended."
  The audience views the movie as if they’re on Blaire's (Shelley Hennig) computer the entire time. One of the first things she does is watch the shocking YouTube video of her friend, Laura Barn's (Heather Sossaman), death. Quite a depressing way to begin! Then technology is on full display, as she does a ton of different things throughout the movie like using iTunes, texting, web searches, video chat, YouTube, and Facebook. As it became apparent that the entire movie would be her computer screen, it made me wonder if this would hold my attention the entire time, but surprisingly it did.
  It held my attention because of the completely chaotic video chat that ensues. Blaire, her boyfriend Mitch (Moses Jacob Storm), and several friends are video chatting, but an unwanted caller that they can’t get off the line joins them. They think it's all a prank until it becomes seriously deadly for one of them. Panic sets in as they try desperately to drop the caller, but still are unsuccessful. At times Blaire and Mitch are having their own talk via text about Laura's death. Blaire does some Googling about online ghosts, as she has a hard time believing that Laura might be back for revenge.
  Friendship is an important theme, as it's one of the main reasons for Laura's death. What's interesting is how Laura turns the supposed friends against each other before disposing of them. Just like Jigsaw, Laura wants them to play a game, which is called 'Never Have I Ever.' The game causes the friends to argue, call each other names, and turn against one another, as more and more secrets are revealed about each other. This might make you want to revisit your friendships!
  So what about the deaths? Well Laura possesses each of the friends causing them to do something that results in their own death. It isn't that bloody because during most of the deaths the video chat breaks up allowing the audience to only see part of the death. In fairness, the video chat breaks up many times, so it isn't only during the death scenes. Even though the audience doesn't get to clearly see them, the deaths aren't too bad with Ken's (Jacob Wysocki) death being the best one.
  For those who might not know, the original title for "Unfriended" was "Cybernatural” (good switch). This just shows how much they wanted to make the point that technology would play an important role in the movie. Hell, the ghost might have been more technologically advanced than I am! While it might take some time to get use to, watching the computer screen the entire time isn’t that bad. There’s enough tension and drama mixed in with a few laughs to keep the audience’s attention. The death scenes aren’t too bad, although it would have been nice to see them more clearly. I give them credit for trying something different so please don’t unfriend me if I give this movie 2.5 pools of blood.

  HorrO

Monday, March 30, 2015

THE WALKING DEAD SEASON 5 FINALE



  90 minutes is too much to talk about on Facebook so I'm posting my reaction to the season finale here. First I'll say that my predictions were wrong, and I'm glad! Michonne didn't die (bad guess). As we got closer to the show I had a late feeling it would be nice if no one died from the group after such a brutal season, and it turned out that way. Also just before the finale some people made some good guesses to what was going to happen, and I'm thinking those people knew from the comic. I'm glad I don't read it just so that the show is totally new to me. So let's get into the episode.
  We usually see Morgan at the end of episodes so it was nice to see him at the beginning for a change. Who knew he was as skilled with a stick as Donatello, and the actor is British? We finally got an explanation for the W's, but again I'm guessing comic readers knew that already. Those guys and the W thing are crazy!
  What a shot with Sasha sleeping in the zombie pit! Speaking of sleep, Rick needed some good rest after the brawl. I guess he needed to take some punches to calm down, and take a different approach. It was good to see Michonne prove her loyalty. Even better was seeing Carol give us another priceless moment, or two!
  With this being a finale, I was obsessed with who was going to die, and they did a great job playing off of that for people who were in the same boat as me. Several of our favorite characters were put in tough life or death situations. I was in a panic for Daryl! That was a ton of zombies! Then he wanted to play hero for Aaron! I thought he might just do it! When he goes, I could see him going out a hero. Thank you Morgan for the save! Good thing for Morgan that Daryl knew who he was.
  I honestly thought Glenn was dead! I've been waiting for that Glenn and Maggie moment to happen so one could die, and even though it wasn't a huge moment, that quick chat between the two left me fearing for one of their lives. I was cursing Nicholas, and just couldn't believe this loser would be the death of Glenn! Glenn needs more Rick and Carol in him. Nicholas should be dead!
  And so should the Father! What a nut job! Why does he keep wandering off? Why couldn't those zombies just kill him? In a way he did a good thing by leaving the gate open, but he's still annoying. I thought he was trying to get bit, and come back to Alexandria to become a zombie there. Then Sasha had to go and get in a fight with him. With that gun around, I was nervous even when Maggie was talking to him. Glad nothing happened, but I still don't trust him.
  Good to see them squeeze in a moment for Abraham and Eugene. So much has happened, and we never got to see what became of their relationship. It's good to see them clear the air. They are part of the group, and are only stronger together. Plus that scene was almost like the comic relief for the episode.
  It’s a good thing Rick was paying attention. If not, who knows who those zombies would have killed! Once again Rick’s face was covered in blood. I guess that’s why they wanted him to ditch the beard. That was a nice bloody kill. So do you think Deanna was really going to vote Rick out? It seemed close. Instead of dropping the mic Rick dropped the zombie. Did he really need to say anything else? “Here’s the danger, and I took care of it like I said I would.”
  It still seemed like that might not be enough until good old Pete had to make a scene. Once again, it was like we are so close to the end of the episode please don’t kill someone we love. No offense Reg, but thanks for taking one for the group. How quickly Deanna changes her mind. I like how Rick had no hesitation. Then top it off with Morgan returning right at that moment. You know he couldn’t have liked what he just saw. Rick has some explaining to do!
  I like how they left off with the Wolves. I was wondering how they got all of those zombies in the trucks. Interesting how music was used so much in the last few episodes. So the wolves are going to be the next threat. Bring it! I’m assuming there are more of them, or they are going to have to come up with an even better trap.
  One thing that happens time after time is someone letting a bad person live. Then that bad person comes back and does something to get someone else killed, or injured. It happened with the Terminus people. Glenn let Nicholas live after Noah died, and it almost cost him his life. Deanna didn’t let Rick kill Pete, and it cost Reg’s life. Morgan didn’t kill the Wolf guys, and who knows what they will come back, and do next season. If you’re bad you need to die…period!
  So looking ahead we have the danger of the Wolves. I still don’t trust the Father. Hopefully the group members that heard what Deanna said about him will keep an eye on him. It will be interesting to see what they do with Nicholas when Glenn brings him back. Hopefully some more of the Alexandria people step up so they have someone to kill off later. Yes, a terrible thing to say, but we are running out of group members that I would be ok with dying! I hope they pick up where they left off just to see what Rick and Morgan have to say. Unfortunately they always seem to skip ahead in time. And time is all we have until the October return! Hopefully the spin off will keep us entertained, and be better than the unoriginal title it has!

  HorrO

Thursday, March 19, 2015

INTERVIEW WITH "WOLFCOP" WRITER & DIRECTOR LOWELL DEAN



Shock Pop Comic Con took place in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida on February 14, 2015. Among the many great guests to meet and panels to attend, there were several movies screened that day. One of those movies was the Florida premiere of “WolfCop.” It was presented by Popcorn Nights, and included a Q&A with the movie's writer and director, Lowell Dean. Before the screening, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Lowell for an interview.

HorrO: "The first thing I always like to ask is why horror? How did you end up in the horror realm?

Lowell: "I think I got into horror because horror enlists a big emotion. It gets you on multiple fronts. If it's sometimes sillier or not as good horror you'll laugh and it will be a big laugh, and if it's really good horror it'll haunt you and it'll be in your brain for years to come. So I just love the big reactions that a horror film, a good horror film, sometimes even a bad horror film can get."

HorrO: "Oh yea! Definitely! They get different reactions. You mentioned comedy vs. horror and just thinking about it, when I looked up the movie it's listed as a comedy horror, but when I watched it I really didn't think it was one way or the other. I thought it was pretty much down the line. Do you view it that way, or which way were you viewing when you put it together?

Lowell: "Exactly what you said. Pretty much down the line, and even through shooting and through editing we were always, as I like to say, 'walking that tightrope of horror and comedy.' Sometimes we would even be shooting a scene and shoot it in a funny way and then we would say well maybe we should do that one completely straight to just have that option. Because even with the flow of the movie, as we started editing, we didn't want it to feel all over the place. We wanted it to be almost like a gradual build. In a weird way, the first half of the film is almost quite serious, and it's kind of as WolfCop grows the comedy grows and it starts getting more and more absurd, which was kind of our goal. I wanted it to have scare moments, but I knew calling anything “WolfCop” means you have to acknowledge it's going to be absurd, and people are going to laugh at it no matter what.”



HorrO: "Where did you come up with the idea for “WolfCop?”

Lowell: “The idea came about honestly by smashing two different ideas together. I was trying to prep for my first film. I wanted do something I could both write, and direct. So I kind of through all of my ideas on the table, and the ones that I was most passionate about were a werewolf script and a cop script. Kind of mentally developing the stories going down the road, and about half way through each I got frustrated and decided to smash them together. It actually solved a lot of the problems I was having with the storytelling, and I had never seen it before. I thought the idea of a werewolf cop was just super weird, and I thought would be super fun to make.”

HorrO: "Expanding on two things you just mentioned, why a werewolf as opposed to another creature?

Lowell: "I think I just love werewolves. I feel like werewolves have been overlooked a lot lately in horror cinema. I've grown up loving werewolves. I mean, I love every monster, but vampires I think are kind of over saturated. Zombies, which I love, and I've even written some zombie scripts, I feel like I've also seen a lot of. Also the complimentary nature of the werewolf and the cop just kind of work together because I wanted a guy investigating crime scenes that he might have been at the night before, and a zombie wouldn't forget. A vampire wouldn't forget. Only a werewolf could mirror a black out drunk."

HorrO: "'13 Eerie' you just directed it, but this one wrote and directed it, so what was the challenge like going from one to the other?"

Lowell: "It was a really unique challenge actually. '13 Eerie’ was a really good experience, but it did feel weird directing something that wasn't my story to an extent because I had to basically study the script. I probably treated that script more preciously than I did "WolfCop" because it was someone else's words, and I wanted to make sure that I did everything right by their script. But with "WolfCop" I had no respect for myself as the writer. Whenever we were shooting, if something didn't make sense or something wasn't working, we'd just throw it out. I would work with the cast because it's a completely different thing. It's an idealized romanticized version of the story when you’re a writer. I know from my own experience your imaging the perfect weather, and the perfect characters, and the perfect performances, but in the reality of an independent film you don't always have that. It can say 'exterior sunny day,' and then you walk outside and it's a blizzard so you have to adapt the story. So it was a big challenge, but I loved it."

HorrO: "And now kind of going into the character of Lou, there's the mention of 'Liquor Donuts' early in the film, and I've never heard of that so I found that amusing. I can see why you have cop and donuts, but liquor is an important thing in the film to both Lou and WolfCop. Why did you go with liquor, alcohol?"

Lowell: "I think a couple of reasons. One it was very good for his character because he is an alcoholic so it was appropriate to have a fast food chain that kind of feed that addiction. Obviously donuts also feed an addiction for the cop. Also, in some small towns in rural Canada, you will find places as absurd as Liquor Donuts. It feels like this really weird over the top fictional convenience store, but not only can you find a place like Liquor Donuts, in my research I found places that were like Liquor Donuts and Guns. Even though that's real, it felt a little too silly, so maybe that will be in the next movie. They need to branch out and expand their audience."

HorrO: "Now lets talk about the transformation scenes because those are always important in werewolf movies. The first one takes place in a bathroom, and kind of starts off in a very unique way. Talk about the idea behind that one."

Lowell: "The bathroom transformation was born out of wanting to be really creative, and do something unique, but also knowing we had limitations. The benchmark, in my opinion, for werewolf films transformations is "American Werewolf in London." It has the best transformations. We knew we wouldn't have days to shoot it, or a week to shoot it. We'd be lucky if we had a half-day to shoot our transformations, so when we did the mental math we had about six shoots. That's all we would be able afford to do for our transformations. It’s one of those things where you have six shoots make it count. What haven't we seen before in a werewolf? Well I haven't seen a werewolf penis. So we decided lets just go with something that hopefully grabs people."

HorrO: "And the second transformation is a little bit different, so what were you trying to get out of that one as opposed to the first one?

Lowell: "That was the one were we said this is the media transformation, and we have to actually show something. The first one we knew we could get away with just a hand full of shoots, but the second one we knew if we were a werewolf movie we had to have at least one scene where we showed as much as possible. We just wanted to make it really painful, and have a lot homage to the classic things like the transforming eyes, and the growing claws. Emersen Ziffle, the effects artist, wanted to make it super painful. We did a lot of things like obviously his back is ripping in pain. Because he's a superhero, I wanted to do a homage to like when Superman rips his shirt open and we see the S, so we have him do that with his chest. Just rips his chest skin off. So just wanting to do something we hadn't seen within our budget."



HorrO: "Not long after that there's a scene where WolfCop gets intimate with Jessica. Now was that awkward in any way for the actors shooting that scene?"

Lowell: "I think it was awkward in design, but once we started shooting it was just funny. Our only goal was to not laugh because as soon as we put them together any kind of romance or intimacy was just like a joke. We needed the music and the candles to make it feel like it was romantic."

HorrO: "And did you ever consider putting Lou in that position, or was it always WolfCop that was going to be the one?

Lowell: "It was always WolfCop, and that was something I fought for from the beginning because it's expected to have two humans. There was talk at one point that what if Jessica was a werewolf, and you have two werewolves. I love things that are slightly uncomfortable, and slightly weird. I've had people tweet at me 'this is bestiality'. It's not bestiality it's just really weird."

HorrO: "Besides the transformations, there's a lot of special effects in the movie. A lot of it on the gory side. Was there a certain amount of gore you were trying to achieve?"

Lowell: "Just as much as possible. Again, a lot of it was within our budget, and what our special effects team could create within the time, and budget we had. So Emersen would go, and create gags. We would storyboard it pretty tightly so we would know how many severed heads we'd need. He'd bold those guys’ heads, and hands, and things like that. We also just had kind of an all purpose bucket of guts, and body parts. Again, when you're making an independent movie time is your enemy. We would say we are going to do these five cool gags but if we ran out of time and we only had half that amount of time we'd go to plan B, which is just like 'ok now film the wall and lets throw a bunch of guts at it' cause that's what you have to do."



HorrO: "The movie ends with a pretty good action scene. What was the most difficult challenge in that scene with so many different things going on?"

Lowell: "Easily the biggest challenge for filming the end fight was fighting the weather. By weather I don't just mean how cold it was, but also we were shooting outside in winter and that meant our days were very short. We didn't even have 12 hours of sunlight. Sometimes we had 8 hours of sunlight. We had to be filming all these dialogue scenes, but also fight scenes and we never finished a single fight scene on time. Every day we'd be rushing through the dialogue to add a couple of hours of fight scene, and keep picking away at the pieces. Definitely losing sunlight was always our enemy."

HorrO: "I watched the film twice..."

Lowell: "Awesome!"

HorrO: "And one of the things you did really well was kind of hide what was going on in the town from the audience. You can kind of see it when you watch it a second time your like 'oh I see it now.' How hard was that to hide with your story? Giving a little bit away but not completely."

Lowell: "It was actually quite fun. Once we knew where we were going with which characters couldn't be in the same room at the same time and things like that and what the mystery was it kind of fell into place. It just became about trying to be as secretly obvious as possible. That's because I really wanted it to be the kind of movie that would reward repeat viewings. Actually you'll see things like certain characters are referencing other identities they have. Certain people are for example, there's a 'Vote Terry' button someone picks up, and in the next scene someone else has it. We tried to be as obvious as possible just to see if anyone would pick up on it. It was just fun."

HorrO: "Like I said I watched it twice, and picked up on some things the second time. You can enjoy it more picking up those things the second time around. Do you have any funny stories about filming behind the scenes stuff, in between shoots?"

Lowell: "It was just really fun. It was a punishing shoot for sure. Like I said, it was an independent film, so pretty tight budget. Really tight timeline. We shot the whole movie in 17 days. We shot about 6 pages a day, which was crazy because sometimes those 6 pages were fight scenes. I don't even know, it was just madness. You'd loose your mind, and at some point we'd have multiple cameras shooting multiple fight scenes. I guess one funny story is I strained my ankle, and had to walk with a cane. Towards the end when we were doing those outside fight scenes we'd be shooting a fight scene to the left, and a fight scene to the right. They would take turns prepping, and who ever was ready quick enough with either the lighting, the camera, the blocking, or coordination we'd shoot that one while the other was getting ready. Just running back and forth I slipped and felt pretty stupid. I mean, it was all fun. Everybody was great. The cast and crew was great. It was fun to work with people like Jonathan Cherry, and Amy Matysio, who were very funny and always throwing in new ad-libs and weird lines. It was just fun to torture Leo everyday, and he would always endure the most painful stuff, but he's a beast. He would take it and give it."



HorrO: "I read that there was an action figure..."

Lowell: "Yup!"

HorrO: "Who came up with that idea?"

Lowell: "That was something we wanted to do before... I don't know if your aware of how we got the movie made through the CineCoup campaign."

HorrO: "Yea I read a little bit about that."

Lowell: "So basically before we even made the movie we had to pitch CineCoup why our project should be the one that they made. We had to make a concept trailer, and a bunch of videos. One of the videos we did we said, '"WolfCop" is not just a movie, "WolfCop" is a franchise.' Even though it's kind of dark and messed up, we wanted to treat it like a comic book superhero, and do things like action figures, comic books, and video games. I think that's what excited them, and part of the reason they got behind "WolfCop." So we did a fundraiser through IndieGoGo, and now we have action figures being made. I don't know how many we made, like 500 or something. Very limited release. They'll be coming out in the next couple of months. Obviously the Blu-Ray and DVD, and we did limited comic books too. And our vinyl soundtrack, which I just saw someone downstairs had."

HorrO: "Wow! Cool! Obviously going forward, I also understand there's going to be a sequel. Is that still in the works?"

Lowell: "Yea. I've written the sequel. A few different drafts now, so it's pretty close. The producers are putting together the financing, and I'm hoping we are shooting this summer."

HorrO: "Cool. And is that your next project, or do you have other things going on?"

Lowell: "I'm developing some other kind of horror comedies right now in my down time from "WolfCop." Just based on the momentum it has I would be surprised if "WolfCop 2" isn't the next thing I do."

HorrO:"To wrap it up, why should fans see "WolfCop"

Lowell: "I think fans should see "WolfCop" if they're looking to just have a good time and feel the retro 80's throwback vibe. It's not going to give you nightmares so you can bring your friend if they say they're afraid of serious horror films, and have a drink and watch it at midnight!"

HorrO: “Thank you!”

Lowell: “Thank you!”



“WolfCop” will be released on Blu-Ray and DVD March 10th! It’s already available on Xbox Live. For more information about the film, please visit www.WolfCop.com.

Click here to read my review of the film. Also, click here to see our promotion for the film.

I would like to thank Lowell Dean again for taking the time to sit down with me for this interview. 
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