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Meyersdale, Pennsylvania resident Ryan Shaffer is an independent artist who also runs his own business called Horror Express Studios. This one man operation recently created a very impressive (and heavy) 1:12 SCALE PET SEMATARY MODEL (measuring 40 x 30 inches and featuring light and sound), based on the classic scene from the 1989 adaptation. Shaffer spent three months researching and building this stunning creation and recently sat down with me to share his method with our readers. The graveyard measures 3 and a half feet long by 2 and a half feet wide, has blue LED lighting in the dead fall and Church’s eyes also light up lime green! A kid’s piano is also a feature and has a button that, when pressed, plays the entire 3 minute opening credit theme music.  “Some of the most difficult items made for this would have to be the large Styrofoam rocks along each side of the dead fall,” says Shaffer. “Also the white iron gate at the entry archway. I made that out of metal clothes hanger. I had to cut, bend and braze all the pieces together in order to make it and it actually swings open and shut just like it should. Of the 100 individual handmade, fabricated pieces, the artist says: “the only items that I purchased was a bird cage, metal wagon, glass fish bowl, small dollhouse shoe and the cat for church. I still had to make modifications to all of those bought items. Everything else, I made by hand out of various items like clothes hanger, craft sticks, abs plastic sheet, sheet metal, Styrofoam, etc.” To say a project like this is a huge endeavor is an understatement, and clearly no easy task. A stickler for detail, Shaffer felt the need to consult a crew member for guidance on the design. “I had reached out to Carlene Hirsch who was the Lead Greens on all exterior sets for the film and was a pleasure to work with,” he says. “She had sent me some of her personal photos she took back then of the set and it really helped with the reference. Often times when there was an object that I couldn’t make out what it was, she was kind enough to tell me. So I have to give her a special thank you for that! “ “Pet Sematary is one of those films where you are waiting for a happy ending that never comes,” adds Shaffer. “It’s a tale of loss and sadness. It has a way of dragging you into a dark place where you don’t want to be and it’s terrifying. When we visit the cemetery with Jud taking the Creed family there to show them where the path leads, I can feel the broken hearts of all the children that made it. So many key elements that show how much love they had for their pets. It’s just a powerful feeling when you actually stop and look around and think about what that place represented. I just wanted to show the appreciation that I have for it by recreating it as accurately as possible.” ***Segment #3*** Recreation of the opening credits using my Pet Sematary Layout. I do NOT own any rights or license to this. This video was put together as a fun project and nothing more. The editing software that I used was not the greatest. It was rather sketchy and glitchy, so I did the best that I could! I hope you guys enjoy it! –Ryan Posted by Ryan Shaffer on Tuesday, July 16, 2019 Ryan Shaffer is going to be recounting his build in a short documentary that he will be putting out at a later date. The future looks very bright for Ryan Shaffer, his passion for horror and ability to recreate his visions on large scale or small is more than evident. Look for his newly released JAWS Homage, “Amity Island Welcomes you” billboard sign dioramas, complete with a sandy beach base and Chrissie Watkins arm and watch for future killer collectibles from this here and now horror artist. Keep watching Ryan Shaffer’s Horror Express Studios Facebook account for all upcoming releases and projects, or to get in contact for commission work, and stay out of the Sematary! Horror Express Studios Facebook Pet Sematary (1989) Trailer #1 | Movieclips Classic Trailers - YouTube Carlene Hirsch Custom Horror Freddy Krueger Horror Artist John Carpenter Pet Sematary Ryan Shaffer Stephen King WES CRAVEN Chris Hammond The Curator of the Creepy collectibles. I've been an avid horror fan for over 3 decades. Meeting and writing about some of the finest artists from all over the world is a pure joy. I've written for multiple websites on the art and collectible front. The horror bug that lives inside me is well cared for and has been going strong since I watched my first introduction to horror through a grainy VHS copy of John Carpenter's 1978 classic film Halloween. ..read more
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By MICHAEL GINGOLD Writer/director Patrick Lussier, scripter Todd Farmer and genre legend Tom Atkins, who previously teamed on DRIVE ANGRY and the 3D MY BLOODY VALENTINE, are back together for TRICK. The release details and a couple of new photos have now been unveiled. RLJE Films has announced that it will release TRICK to select theaters, VOD and digital HD October 18. The film also stars Omar Epps, Kristina Reyes, Jamie Kennedy (SCREAM), Ellen Adair, Alex Breaux (DEPRAVED), plus Farmer and FX veteran/filmmaker Gary J. Tunnicliffe. The synopsis: “When a small town is visited every Halloween by a masked madman, Detective Mike Denver [Epps] will stop at nothing to discover who he is and how to stop him.” Omar Epps Patrick Lussier Todd Farmer Tom Atkins TRICK Michael Gingold Michael Gingold (RUE MORGUE's Head Writer) has been covering the world of horror cinema for over three decades, and spent 28 years as a writer and editor for FANGORIA magazine and its website. In addition to RUE MORGUE, he currently writes for BIRTH.MOVIES.DEATH, SCREAM, IndieWire.com, TIME OUT, DELIRIUM and others. His book THE FRIGHTFEST GUIDE TO MONSTER MOVIES (FAB Press) is out this fall, and he has contributed liner notes and featurettes to a number of Blu-ray and DVD releases. Among his screenplay credits are SHADOW: DEAD RIOT and LEECHES!, and he is currently working on THE DOLL with director Dante Tomaselli. ..read more
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Got an itch for extreme underground, taboo and cult horror movies? Scratch it till it bleeds exclusively at MIDNIGHT MOVIE SOCIETY, a curated Subscription Video on Demand (SVOD) service from RUE MORGUE and MVD ENTERTAINMENT GROUP! Genre fans with a taste for the weirdest and wildest reaches of genre cinema will gain access to a film library of shocking underground, outrageous gore, creature features, cult classics and much more.    “The bigger platforms are catering to the masses and have gone puritanical in many cases, making it very difficult for filmmakers to reach their audience,” says Ed Seaman, C.O.O. of MVD ENTERTAINMENT GROUP. “MVD has a great deal of this type of content and when it is live on major platforms, it performs really well. Maybe too well for some of the mainstream platforms.”   MIDNIGHT MOVIE SOCIETY will also cater to more traditional horror fare as well, pulling from the thousands of film hours from in MVD’s vast catalog. In addition, RUE MORGUE will also be finding and curating fresh and unusual content for the service.    “We’re thrilled to be partnering with MVD to give fans access to films that are becoming increasingly harder to come by,” commented Rodrigo Gudino, President of RUE MORGUE.    MIDNIGHT MOVIE SOCIETY will be available for $4.99 per month, or $47.88 per year subscription, and will launch on iOS, Roku and web on Friday the 13th, September 2019.   Stay tuned by signing up for MIDNIGHT MOVIE SOCIETY mailing list!   .Join the MIDNIGHT MOVIE SOCIETY mailing list! Midnight Movie Society MVD Entertainment Group Rue Morgue presents Rue Morgue Manor The Rue Morgue Manor is the Toronto headquarters of Rue Morgue magazine and its brand offshoots. ..read more
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By: Ariel Fisher On August 1st, Fantasia International Film Festival wrapped its 23rd year as one of the largest genre film festivals in North America. Spanning a gargantuan three weeks at the end of July, it’s like summer camp for the horror community, complete with networking events, panels, special presentations and, perhaps most importantly, Frontières.  The leading industry initiative for genre filmmakers, the Frontières Co-production Market is one of the best places to promote your upcoming project and lock down whatever your production may be missing, from funding to cast and crew and everything in between. Designed for projects in development and in the early stages of financing, you’ll be selling not just your idea, but also your brand and yourself.  While this may seem simple, it’s not as cut and dry as standing up in front of an audience and talking about your ideas. There’s a lot to keep in mind in order to pitch your project successfully and have it – and you – taken seriously. To make life easier for filmmakers hoping to attend Frontières in the future, we’ve put together a list of some of the most important things to focus on when prepping your pitch.  1. Know what you have and what you needThe whole point of these presentations is to ask potential financial backers and industry professionals for resources, so it’s important to outline precisely what you already have and what you still need. Are you just looking for extra funding? Do you have a crew and locations lined up but still need to find your principal cast? Are you looking for producers? Clearly stating what you’re looking for makes it easier for market attendees to identify if yours is the right project to get involved with while allowing you to get precisely what your team needs to bring your project to fruition.  2. The Devil – and the deals – are in the details Specificity will help save time in the long run, allowing producers, distributors, sales agents, and other industry professionals to determine right up front whether yours is the right project for them. Know what percentage of your budget you have, for instance, and what percentage you still need. What positions do you need to be filled within the crew? Where are you hoping to film and what locations have you scouted or locked down at this stage? Put the most important micro details into your slides and give the overview in your presentation. 3. Know Your Material With a pitch presentation, the basic rules of public speaking apply. Chief among them is knowing your material inside and out and presenting it in a way that makes it interesting and engaging. This may seem like an obvious note, but it can be trickier than you’d think. For some, having a script that the group can follow works, while for others this is too limiting. No matter how you approach your presentation, whether it’s scripted or not, the risk is having a dull presentation that loses its audience.  Pat Mills and Alysson Richard’s presentation for The Retreat, for instance, felt spontaneous and engaging. It was also hilarious. The film’s plot was presented simply in one slide as “lesbians in the woods killing Nazis.” The crowd actually started to cheer and applaud. The key is to find the right tone for your brand and to stick to it. Also, don’t be afraid to use humour. If it fits with the film, it can be an integral part of selling it.    4. Branding and marketing matter It may seem frivolous, and yes we know the focus should be on your film and not your brand. But you’re here to sell your project and yourself and no one wants to buy a product they don’t like the look of. As such, good branding matters. This means having a clear brand identity for your film, using mood boards for things like costumes, characters, locations, and even desired actors for different roles.  Visually compelling presentations are a great way to engage your audience and secure interest in financing and future distribution. Having a clearly defined brand can also help with marketing further down the line. Jacqueline Castel and Jae Matthews’ presentation for My Animal, for example, had an expertly crafted brand identity. From the font choices to background images and colour schemes, no detail was left unattended to.  5. Rehearse rehearse rehearse!Even if you’re not sticking to a script, rehearsing your presentation with your entire team is essential. You’re on the clock and you only have about 10 minutes to get through all of your material, from details about budgets and shooting locations to director’s intentions and mood boards. Clearly outline who gets to say what, and time each other. Make sure all of the necessary information is being communicated clearly and concisely, and in the most accessible way possible.  This means that, for the sake of efficiency and expediency, your presentation should be predominantly or exclusively in the dominant language spoken by the room. If you’re in an English-speaking audience but your filmmaker’s primary language is Spanish, it may be a more efficient option to have them record a video of their part of the presentation – say, director’s intentions, for instance – ahead of time and include subtitles. Unfortunately, time spent translating on the spot cuts your presentation time in half and is effectively time lost from other important information.   The Frontières Co-production Market is one of the best platforms to help round out your production needs and make your project visible to potential distributors. But making sure you don’t get lost in the shuffle can be difficult if you don’t know how to approach your presentation. So whether you’re a first-timer looking for guidelines to get you started or a seasoned pro who may have some blindspots, these tips should help steer your next pitch presentation in the right direction.   For more information visit www.frontieresmarket.com Fantasia International Film Festival Frontières Co-production Market ..read more
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Tune in for a rarity from HorrorBabble’s new “FORGOTTEN WEIRD TALES” reading series.  “The Gong Ringers” by the mysterious author, Hasan Vokine, first appeared in Weird Tales Magazine in January 1926. The story tells of a band of travellers, who unwittingly stumble upon a trap set by the most unlikely of suspects.   Chapters 00:15 – Introduction 01:09 – The Gong Ringers   Narrated by Ian Gordon for HorrorBabble Music and production by Ian Gordon & Jennifer Gill   "The Gong Ringers" by Hasan Vokine / Forgotten Weird Tales II (2/5) - YouTube . Tune in weekly for new tales of audio horror, exclusively on Rue-Morgue.com! audio horror classics FORGOTTEN WEIRD TALES HorrorBabble Rue Morgue Manor The Rue Morgue Manor is the Toronto headquarters of Rue Morgue magazine and its brand offshoots. ..read more
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By MICHAEL GINGOLD Starring Sophie Nélisse, Corinne Foxx and Brianne Tju Directed by Johannes Roberts Written by Johannes Roberts and Ernest Riera Entertainment Studios Two years ago, 47 METERS DOWN just barely escaped a direct-to-video fate and became a big-screen sleeper hit. Now comes the inevitable sequel, made for theaters but feeling like something produced for airing during Shark Week. 47 METERS DOWN: UNCAGED does boast some impressive production values, chiefly Mark Silk’s cinematography, which is handsome during the above-water introductory scenes set in Yucatán, Mexico (though filmed in the Dominican Republic) and properly gloomy and moody in the submerged settings where much of the action takes place. The dramaturgy is strictly low-rent, though; where the original film established the nightmarish situation its pair of heroines are plunged into and developed their reactions to it in plausible ways, UNCAGED presents four girls who keep finding themselves in danger because they do dumb things. Our heroines are students at the Modine International School for Girls (an odd name-check of the first film’s co-star Matthew), where Mia (Sophie Nélisse) is the odd girl out. She’s picked on by snooty classmates and treated as a nuisance by her stepsister Sasha (Corinne Foxx), who resents being forced to go on a shark-spotting tour with Mia when she just wants to hang out with her BFFs Alexa (Brianne Tju) and Nicole (Sistine Stallone). (Yes, Foxx and Stallone are the daughters of Jamie and Sylvester, though supporting actor Khylin Rhambo is no relation.) The quartet are, heh heh, fated to have far closer encounters with the killer fish after Sasha convinces Mia to ditch the outing and join Alexa and Nicole for a swim at a remote lake. As it turns out, this just happens to be an entrance to an ancient, flooded Mayan cave system that Mia’s archaeologist dad Grant (John Corbett) has been exploring, and his team has left some hi-tech scuba gear lying around. And so, after the requisite bikini-clad frolicking, Alexa convinces the others to take a quick dive to check out just the first cavern. What could possibly go wrong? Well, apparently Mia forgets that Grant has just given her a great white tooth he’s found on a recent jaunt into those depths, so down they go. Soon, one of them is spooked enough by an odd-looking fish that she causes a cave-in that forces them deeper into the underwater passageways. And then the sharks start showing up. Encoring director Johannes Roberts, who once again scripted with Ernest Riera, introduces the first of the predators in an offhand manner that sends a real chill up your spine, and here and there delivers a quick jolt as they suddenly appear or chomp on a hapless victim. Yet the terror would be more sustained if these shark-bait characters weren’t so obvious they should be wearing red scuba suits, and if the script didn’t force the girls to behave in foolish ways to send them deeper into danger (see: fish-scare cave-in above). Rather than focus on the kind of problem-solving that kept us engaged with the original movie’s heroines, UNCAGED is largely concerned with the girls making their way from one chamber to another in various levels of panic, punctuated by great white attacks. At some points, their struggles become frenzied to the point where it’s hard to tell them apart—not that these generically characterized girls were especially distinctive above water. The sharks are a little more unique, having bred in those caves for many years (though it’s not explained what they fed on; that scare-fish doesn’t appear to have any relatives) to the point of becoming albino and blind, dependent—albeit inconsistently—on sound to hunt. Roberts does elicit a claustrophobic mood, and one can be impressed that he pulled off what was no doubt a physically challenging shoot—more so than by what he fills those caves and passageways with, including bald-faced lifts of memorable scare scenes from JAWS and DEEP BLUE SEA. As it nears the climax, 47 METERS DOWN: UNCAGED takes a plot turn with a gruesomely amusing sense of irony, followed by action that, while thoroughly ridiculous, is played with such a straight face that it’s almost endearing. The movie could have used more of this over-the-top, what-the-hell bravado—especially since it can’t match the human survival drama that anchored its predecessor. 47 Meters Down: Uncaged | Final Trailer - In theaters Aug. 16 - YouTube 47 METERS DOWN: UNCAGED Ernest Riera Johannes Roberts Michael Gingold Michael Gingold (RUE MORGUE's Head Writer) has been covering the world of horror cinema for over three decades, and spent 28 years as a writer and editor for FANGORIA magazine and its website. In addition to RUE MORGUE, he currently writes for BIRTH.MOVIES.DEATH, SCREAM, IndieWire.com, TIME OUT, DELIRIUM and others. His book THE FRIGHTFEST GUIDE TO MONSTER MOVIES (FAB Press) is out this fall, and he has contributed liner notes and featurettes to a number of Blu-ray and DVD releases. Among his screenplay credits are SHADOW: DEAD RIOT and LEECHES!, and he is currently working on THE DOLL with director Dante Tomaselli. ..read more
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By: Ron McKenzie Writer/Director Micheal Dougherty knows monsters. Whether it’s his cult classic Halloween perennial, TRICK’R TREAT, or his “Anti-Claus” Christmas carol, KRAMPUS, Dougherty has long been a prominent and vocal cheerleader for all things monstrous. So when word got out that he would be expanding The Monsterverse (the ongoing collaboration between Toho, Legendary and Warner Brothers) with the sequel to Gareth Andrew’s GODZILLA (2014), there was little surprise but plenty of joy. GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS brought in Toho’s heavyweights (Rodan, Mothra and King Ghidorah) as well as continued to expand the presence of The Monarch Organization, the government-funded watchdogs observing and studying the return of the monstrous “Titans” to the world of man. Simply put, it’s a blast. A perfect tribute to the Toho legacy, while putting a new spin on these iconic monsters that reflects the times. (It also features a climactic showdown that had me grinning and clapping in my seat). In advance of the film’s release on DVD/Blu-Ray, I got the chance to talk with Dougherty about all things kaiju, as well as carrying the weight of the franchise (and its very heavy players) on his back. You’ve been brought onboard to steer The Monsterverse through its next course, and you’ve got the full Big Four (Godzilla, Rodan, Mothra and Ghidorah ) on deck. How do you walk that line between reverence for the source material & adding your own embellishments to this universe?Well, something I love about the source material is that it’s constantly evolving, much like the creatures themselves. Every Godzilla film is unique in its own way, from the monster designs, to the story, to the tone, so I think adding your own embellishments is part of a very long tradition. The fact that Godzilla’s design has changed in every film is proof of that. I like to think that he’s almost evolution in the flesh, which ties into the larger themes of the series, so I felt compelled to embellish where it felt needed. At the same time, you do have to honor what came before and respect the original intent of the character and his film series, which meant embracing certain aspects that have been established for decades: his roar, the theme music, and even a certain fantastical style of storytelling that I think is unique to Godzilla films. It’s like making a pizza. You can always add your own unique toppings, but without certain key base ingredients it’s just not pizza. On top of the Big Four, KOTM introduces new Titans created specifically for this film? What was the process in creating them & making them a fit for The Monsterverse? Were Toho Studios involved in the approval process at all?Toho was involved with the designs of the Big Four: Gozilla, Mothra, Rodan and King Ghidorah, but I had total freedom with the designs of the new titans. Originally I hoped to use other monsters from the Tohoverse, like Anguirus, Gigan, or Biollante, but every single Toho monster comes with a price tag — something we didn’t have the budget for. So instead of moping about it I decided to embrace the opportunity and add new titans to the gallery: Behemoth, a sort of wooly ice age titan; Scylla, an ancient armored cephalopod based on Greek myths; and Methuselah, a hybrid monster that is part animal, plant, and rock. I also brought back a female MUTO only because I loved Gareth’s designs from the previous film and like the idea that other members of that species might have survived. So as much as I would have loved to bring other Toho beasts into the curtain call, designing original monsters was a ton of fun. I spent months with our VFX crew looking at dozens of different sketches and coming up with backstories for each of the animals — talking about how they moved, what their natural environments might be, how they would hunt or fight etc. But the best part has to be seeing how much the fans embraced the new titans, creating posters for them, sharing fan art on social media, etc. I’m especially glad that Behemoth seems to be everyone’s favorite because he’s definitely mine. Mammalian kaiju are so rare! What can we expect to see on the impending blu-ray release, as far as features and scenes that didn’t make the theatrical cut?I think there are about fifteen to twenty minutes of deleted scenes. Not a lot but enough to spark some curiosity and conversation. There’s a commentary track with myself, my co-writer and producer Zach Shields, and O’Shea Jackson Jr — that was a ton of fun to record because O’Shea is a giant Godzilla nerd. They’ve also loaded it up with a ton of behind the scenes documentaries and galleries focused on different aspects — visual effects, creature design, the score, etc. As a lifelong Godzilla fan, why do you think the character’s endured for so long?I think he’s endured for a few different reasons. Obviously, there’s the basic primal love of seeing two giant monsters beating the crap out of each other, but chalking it up to that alone is overly simplistic and shallow. If that was true I think other giant monsters would be just as popular. More importantly I think Godzilla has become iconic because he’s actually surprisingly complicated and multi-layered — even subversive. He has something to say if you’re willing to listen. The Japanese weren’t just making a big dumb monster movie, they were creating an allegory about the dangers of mankind messing with Mother Nature after dropping two atomic bombs. Sure you might come for the fights and it’ll tickle your primitive lizard brain just fine, but hopefully some part of your smarter subconscious mind is digesting Godzilla’s message. He’s truly mythic in that sense. If you had to name one, which of the monsters in KOTM was your favourite to work with/develop?That’s a good question and I think my answer probably changes daily. They were all a ton of fun and challenging in their own unique way, but I’d have to say King Ghidorah was my favorite. Besides the fact that he’s Godzilla’s lifelong classic antagonist, I’m a huge fan of dragons in general so it was a thrill to be the first American director to translate such an iconic character for a modern Godzilla film. My team and I did everything we could to make sure he was terrifying, from his design and performance to his very particular roars and screeches, no stone was left unturned to make sure King Ghidorah lived up to what fans expect from the character. Okay, so you get another swing at bat with this universe. Warner Bros and Toho give you the greenlight to relaunch any of their as-yet untouched kaiju – who do you go with?The Gargantuas. Those boys are so weird and freaky yet strangely sympathetic. Other than Kong I’m not sure if there are any other giant primates with that special mix of frightening yet human. I still get the chills thinking about THAT ONE SCENE (kaiju fans know the one I’m talking about). Watching that as a kid messed me up in all the right ways. Right behind them would be Biollante, but for similar reasons. She’s such a tragic beast. A hybrid of Godzilla, human, and plant DNA created by a mad scientist grieving for his dead daughter. Biollante didn’t ask to be born and she reacts to our hostile world accordingly. She’s like a kaiju sized Frankenstein creature that serves as a living warning about screwing with monster DNA. With GODZILLA under your belt now, what’s next for you? First, a vacation. A long slow boring vacation with as little human interaction or internet access as possible. After that my dance card is already filled with more monsters. I can’t say much about them yet, but with any luck I’ll be bringing more monsters to life, both familiar and new, both big and small. GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS is now available on digital platforms. The Blu-Ray releases on August 27th, 2019. GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS Micheal Dougherty ..read more
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By: Amanda Tullos “People were puking everywhere.” I clung to my father’s words as he told me about his experience sneaking into a local drive-in to catch a glimpse of George A. Romero’s Dawn of the Dead when he was 14-years-old. Through wide eyes, he recalled standing between two cars, watching as shocked moviegoers began violently vomiting out of their car windows as a zombie sunk its teeth into the fleshy neck of its next victim on screen. My dad told me this story as he dangled a copy of Dawn of the Dead in front of my face. I was eight. The tale would lead me on a never-ending quest to experience the same visceral response to a horror film, whetting my appetite with titles like Deadly Friend, Poltergeist, Evil Dead II, and Pet Sematary. Nothing was off limits. While some may argue against that kind of exposure as child — “Horror films are damaging! They’ll cause nightmares! They’ll give you anxiety!” — I disagree. Horror films can teach young viewers invaluable life lessons, like addressing your fears and overcoming them. Horror films never scarred Trish W., who at age three, was already obsessed with the 1989 slasher movie Shocker. A self-proclaimed “Monster kid,” Trish’s childhood was filled with a healthy dose of horror movies and heavy metal. Now, as an adult with a child of her own, she’s passing her love of the genre on to her 9-year-old daughter, Jamie — named after Halloween series scream queen, Jamie Lee Curtis. “She came out of the womb exposed to horror. I always had [horror] movies playing in the background. When she was really young, about 4, she became infatuated with Jason Voorhees.” Horror films were the norm for then-4-year-old Jamie, who, at age 5, insisted on having a Friday the 13th themed birthday party. Over the years Jamie would watch films like Child’s Play and It, and she was even allowed to watch an edited-for-TV version of Friday the 13th. Jamie never expressed fear or anxiety over the horror movies she watched because Trish made it clear that it was all pretend. She explained, “If you’re putting it out there that its scary, then yeah, these kids are going to be afraid. But if you’re putting it out there that it’s just fun and silly or make believe, it’s definitely a lot less intimidating.” Jamie’s experiences with horror movies didn’t hinder her developmentally; in fact, horror films helped her flourish both socially and creatively. Fascinated with how movie monsters are made, the 9-year-old now shows interest in becoming a special effects makeup artist. “My daughter is not forced into liking horror. She was never forced into that life. It was always around, it was natural. And it was always up to her whether or not she wanted to be a part of watching movies like that. She was naturally drawn to it.” Similarly, Fright-Rags President and CEO Ben Scrivens has always presented horror movies as optional for his kids, ages 12 and 9. Constantly reinforcing the message that horror movies are fake, Scrivens explains, “If it’s a safe situation and you’re letting them know it’s fake, it’s entertainment, I really think it’s OK to push those boundaries a little bit.” While he has gradually introduced his kids to “gateway” movies like Gremlins, The Goonies, and Jaws, Scrivens stresses the importance of knowing your children and what kind of films they can handle — but, he thinks a little fear can be good. Scrivens said, “I feel like there’s something to watching something, getting scared, and having to deal with those emotions and those feelings, and I think that helps you grow a little bit. Scrivens’ first experience with horror came on Halloween night in 1981. The artist was just 4-years-old when he was left to entertain himself in front of an old console TV. He watched as a girl cowered in the corner of a closet, fighting off a knife-wielding man wearing a white mask. The film: John Carpenter’s Halloween. “I don’t remember being terrified. I remember specifically what jumped out at me was when he was in the closet…I remember being scared, but it was almost deeper than being scared…I don’t think I knew how to process it. Funny enough, as I watched [the film] as I grew older, I became scared of Michael Myers, for sure.” The picture catapulted Scrivens into a life and career surrounded by horror movies. Although he was allowed to watch whatever films he wanted while growing up — including Hellraiser when he was just 10 — Scrivens is much more wary of the films his kids can view now. While his 12-year-old daughter shows no interest in the films plastered all around her home, Scrivens’ 9-year-old son is just like his dad. Passing the horror torch down to his son, Scrivens introduced him to Halloween a year-and-a-half ago. While nightmares are always a possibility, Scrivens stated, “I don’t think having nightmares is inherently a bad thing. I’m not saying you should plague your children and make them have nightmares, but I think a little fear can be healthy.” Fear was a familiar feeling to Becki Reiner, whose experience watching The Lost Boys and Silver Bullet with her dad at the age of 3 molded her into the horror fan she is today. She explained, “That was probably my most traumatic experience in my entire life…but that experience was what really set me looking for the next fix, basically. It was horrifying and it gave me nightmares, but I was obsessed. There was just something about it that I couldn’t get enough of.” Now, Reiner and friend Tyler Blakslee are spreading the gospel of horror to kids as part of their film club, Teenage Werewolves Horror Film Fiend Club. Blakslee, a literature teacher at an inner city international baccalaureate school, started the club as an after school space to talk horror movies. Soon, the club soared in popularity, and has become a solace for young people to dissect horror movies through an educational lens. One of Blakslee’s earliest — and most terrifying — horror movie memories came after watching A Nightmare on Elm Street for the first time. After seeing the film, he developed an irrational fear that Freddy Krueger was hiding behind his shower curtain. Blakslee detailed, “It freaked me out, but…it’s that rollercoaster, that titillating fear. It’s scary, but you still look behind the curtain.” Blakslee continues peeking behind the curtain — and now he’s encouraging children and teenagers in his horror film club to do the same. For many horror fans — young and old — fear is what drives us. Being scared by a horror movie is only momentary, but the lessons learned and the experiences had while watching these films will last forever. My father’s chaotic Dawn of the Dead drive-in story has stayed with me for over 20 years, and I had the surreal experience of watching the movie with him at the drive-in for the film’s 40th anniversary. As we watched together, I remember looking around at the other cars. No one was puking. But, I spotted something that made me smile. A teenager standing in between two cars, watching the movie. children's horror horror for kids ..read more
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There’s a barrage of new figures announcements/releases coming down the pipe of interest to horror fans. Here are just a few of the wicked bunch: pre-order for $13.95 on popinabox.ca now ROB ZOMBIE FUNKO POP VINYL FIGURE Let the demented Rob Zombie spice up your horror collection later this year. The singer/filmmaker will be immortalized as a Funko Pop Rocks! figure, complete with dreaded hair and torn leather pants. Zombie finally gets his likeness molded into a soft vinyl collectible figure, hopefully this will be out in time for when his 3 From Hell debuts in theatres. $15 USD GHOST REACTION FIGURE- PAPA EMERITUS III FROM SUPER7- Although this Swedish rock band’s lead singer is known to change his look quite frequently, Papa Emeritus III is a great place to start off your horror/rock collection. Draped in anti-Catholic garb, this Satanic priest sings with angelic pipes. Standing 3.75 inch, this figure comes with microphone accessory and custom card back. “Rats”! Here’s hoping Super7 has a chance to bring the other Papa’s back from the beyond in the future! Standard Version $15 USD Black Magic version $15 USD  SLAYER REACTION FIGURE- MINOTAUR – Although Slayer are calling it quits, fans can commemorate the band with this collectible figure. This “demonic” Minotaur figure immortalizes the cover of Slayer’s 1983 debut album Show No Mercy which features. a Minotaur with cape and sword (which are the accessories included with this figure). Fans have the option of buying this edition or the “Black Magic” edition that are both available right now on Super7’s web store. Standard Edition $15 USD Black version $15 USD KING DIAMOND REACTION FIGURE- Danish musician Kim Bendix Petersen, better known as King Diamond, is known for being the lead singer of both Mercyful Fate and his own solo project. Bearing his trademark stage persona, with face painted with an upside down cross, this King Diamond 3.75 inch figure includes a cape and microphone stand consisting of a femur and tibia bones. The accompanying card back features artwork by legendary artist Ed Repka, Get the classic version or full black version available now at Super7’s web store. Horror Business version $15 USD Fiend Walk Among Us (Green) $15 USD Fiend Static Age $15 USD Keeping with the dark theme, Super7 has many different versions of (THE FIEND) MISFITS REACTION FIGURE- This was first covered here. Since first reported the company has made available different variants such as “Horror Business” (a yellow transparent figure with white and read hand and face colourings, Misfits ReAction Figure – Fiend Walk Among Us (available in green, pink and purple), Misfits ReAction Figure – Fiend Static Age, this 3.75 inch figure incorporates a silver flake (usually seen in nail polish) paint job which resembles a static television screen). All versions have appropriate accompanying card backs with illustrations of The Fiend himself. All of these versions are available now.  Iron Maiden Blind box $10 USD Iron Maiden ReAction Figure – Blind Box Flat (include 12 figures) $120 USD Finally, classic heavy metal act Iron Maiden’s Eddie gets the action figure treatment in IRON MAIDEN REACTION FIGURE BLINDBOXES. Straight out of classic album covers, Eddie comes alive in one of eight different figures, Maiden Japan Eddie, Sand Storm Powerslave, Japanese Single Aces High, or Battle’s End Trooper or one of the rarer chase figures: Clear Black Obsidion Powerslave, Blood Splatter Killers, Battle Damaged Aces High, and Glow In The Dark Blood Splatter Trooper.  These figures can be purchased now on Super7’s web store. These are available individually or in a box of 12 figures. Fans of horror, music, or both (past and present) will rejoice in all the killer collectibles out now, or making their ways to shelves soon. Find more information on both company’s websites and social media. Funko WebsiteFunko TwitterFunko Facebook Super7 WebsiteSuper7 TwitterSuper7 Facebook Custom Horror Figures Eddie Funko Funko Pop ghost Horror collectibles Iron Maiden King Diamond Mercyful Fate papa emeritus III ReAction Figures Rob Zombie Super7 The Fiend The Misfits Vinyl Figure Chris Hammond The Curator of the Creepy collectibles. I've been an avid horror fan for over 3 decades. Meeting and writing about some of the finest artists from all over the world is a pure joy. I've written for multiple websites on the art and collectible front. The horror bug that lives inside me is well cared for and has been going strong since I watched my first introduction to horror through a grainy VHS copy of John Carpenter's 1978 classic film Halloween. ..read more
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After the box-office bonanza of A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 3: DREAM WARRIORS (1987), every big studio wanted a horror movie franchise cash cow character. And, in particular, some were savvy enough to realize that Freddy Krueger’s basic concept as a character allowed for a certain plot/imagery flexibility (as opposed to a hulking mute like Michael Meyers or Jason Voorhees) , while also requiring a larger effects budget to assure the promise of that cinematic “wow!” That first factor meant there was also more opportunity to “target the demographic” (that is to say, youth culture, re: Freddy on MTV) and, that second factor? Well, while it might seem like a drawback, a mutable practical effects budget is an easy way to disguise some, shall we say, “creative bookkeeping”? So the race was on to magic-up another Krueger, and this series of articles, which I’ve called the KRUEGER ALSO-RANS, examines four 80’s horror films and their central characters through this lens – that is, attempts by various studies to copy the success of A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET by deliberately creating a franchise-ready character who eschewed the lumbering, silent slasher model and instead embraced the cinematic “rubber reality” approach used by our joking, twisted dream ghoul. None were successful. I’ll follow the examination with some thoughts on sequel and remake potential. Let’s start off with a film that was released *before* DREAM WARRIORS, 1986’s TRICK OR TREAT. Eddie Weinbauer (aka Ragman), played by Marc Price (aka “Skippy” from FAMILY TIES), is a nice-guy burnout/metalhead alienated from his peers (“airheads and braindeads are everywhere” he tells his journal) and a target for jock bullies. But when his hero, Alice-Cooperesque shock rock star Sammie Curr (Tony Fields) dies (at age 35!) in a hotel fire started while he was performing a Satanic ritual, Eddie is gifted a rare acetate of the star’s last recording (“Songs In The Key Of Death”, natch). Playing it backwards, he unwittingly releases the electrically charged, half-burned spirit of the demonic rocker, who now is able to “jump” into various devices, but with a weakness to water (he gets ignominiously trapped in a toilet at one point). As Curr wreaks havoc, and tries to seduce the teen into homicidal actions, the film builds to a “ticking clock” climax – can Eddie get to the radio station before midnight on Halloween, when they premiere the Curr recording for all the listeners (and, one presume, allowing Sammi to increase his power exponentially)? “Sammi seems a more natural fit for MTV than Freddy” This is a strange, uneven movie, alternating its horror plot with moments of goofiness: Curr mischievously possesses a car, which leads to explosions and chase/crashes; he also possess clean-cut New Wave band “The Kickers” to be his sidemen at the school dance massacre (so CARRIE gets referenced as well). The actual climax has no thematic resonance, just a slightly inventive way to defeat the menace. While Sammi manifests some “reality bending” by distorting morality preacher Ozzy Osbourne’s face on TV, and initially appears by emerging from a stereo speaker, the conceit isn’t exploited effectively. Price (who unfortunately resembles a youthful Jay Leno) is game enough, but the real problem is the concept that has its cake and eats it as well: the movie expresses outrage at parents and authority figures for condemning Heavy Metal music for Satanism and violence, then unleashes a demonic, homicidal Metal musician on its characters. COULD HAVE BEEN: TRICK OR TREAT (despite a bland and generic title that wrongfoots audience expectations) was not a bad concept for a franchise starter – one could see, for example, tie-ins to music videos released with each film (and the inclusion of a performance scene) and Sammi (note the trade-markable spelling) seems a more natural fit for MTV than Freddy. For sequels, more might have been made of Curr’s past… but along with that confused theme mentioned earlier is another hurdle: despite all his flash, Sammi Curr has almost no personality, panache, or even good lines. He’s a flat, hollow Xerox of a shock/glam rocker. Perhaps, with a deliberate contrast (satanic speed metal band find that dusty old acetate?) and better writing, Sammi could return… Sammi Curr TRICK OR TREAT Shawn Garrett Shawn M. Garrett is the co-editor of PSEUDOPOD, the premiere horror fiction podcast, and is either the dumbest smart man or the smartest dumb man you ever met. Thanks to a youth spent in the company of Richard Matheson, Vincent Price, Carl Kolchak & Jupiter Jones, he has pursued a life-long interest in the thrilling, the horrific and the mysterious – be it in print, film, art or audio. He has worked as a sewerage groundskeeper, audio transcription editor, pornography enabler, insurance letter writer – he was once paid by Marvel Comics to pastiche the voice of Stan Lee in promotional materials and he spends his days converting old pulp fiction into digital form for minimal pay. He now lives near the ocean in a small metal box and he hopes that becoming a Yuggothian brain-in-a-jar is a viable future, as there is NO WAY he will ever read all the books he has on his lists, or listen to all the music he wants to hear. Everything that he is he owes to his late sister Susan, a shining star in the pre-internet world of fan-fiction, who left this world unexpectedly in 2010. He spends an inordinate amount of time reading, writing and watching movies. ..read more

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