Monday, May 25, 2020

CFF 2020 Review - Creepshow (TV Series) - Grey Matter - Commentary with Greg Nicotero and Philip DeBlasi


By The Rev Dan Wilson



     While they may not be for everyone I certainly love me a horror anthology (as you heard on the latest episode of Seeking Human Victims covering John Carpenter's Bodybags (1993), available now!)  and Creepshow as a brand would certainly be on the Mount Rushmore of great horror anthologies. Even better yet, Creepshow spawned an entire franchise. Creepshow 2 held it's own as a sequel that is equal to, and in the eyes of some greater than, the original. Ok, so we all got hit with the Men In Black memory wipe after we saw Creepshow 3 (Really a Creepshow film in name only), but oh have ya heard the good news? it has returned to glory in television series form thanks to the almighty Greg Nicotero, AMC Networks, and Shudder. The first season debuted over the fall of last year and at least in my opinion it completely rocked. I mean it hit me right in the nostalgia. I tuned in with wide eyes and a maniacal grin every week as soon as The Creep popped up on my TV.   Tom Savini is involved, Joe Hill is involved, of course Stephen King is involved. There are comic panels during the transitions, cameos by horror icons, plenty of references and shoutouts, and basically everything you could want in a Creepshow TV series. It was so popular that it actually got a re-airing on live TV via AMC during the current content drought and a 2nd Season is in the works.

So the fine folks at Chattanooga Film Festival teamed up with Shudder to bring us an Exclusive Preview of the Director's Commentary on the Gray Matter/House With The Head episodes that will be featured on thh Creepshow physical media release on Digital HD, DVD & Bluray coming out on June 2nd.  We're going to talk about the commentary on the "Grey Matter" portion.  Not really sure how you "review" a commentary but I can talk about some of the things I found interesting.

  The commentary was provided by Philip DeBlasi (co-writer along with Byron Willinger) along with Showrunner Greg Nicotero. Some of the highlights included Nicotero explaining that The Crate in the intro is the original "Crate" from the first movie. Greg got it from Tom Savini and wanted it to be the way we're introduced to the new chapter. He says the entire episode is full of Stephen King references and in-jokes up to and including the casting of Adrienne Barbeau. He goes through each of them but of course of we don't want to spoil them ahead of the Blu Ray release. Greg called in favors to get Esposito, Bell, and Barbeau.  We get a nice look at why certain camera angles were chose to help convey the story progression as it spirals out of control.  They talk in depth about each character's motivation and we got some insight into things that may not have necessarily been spelled out in the episode. We also got a lot of info about the locations they used to shoot, all in the metro Atlanta area. He explains how this episode had more digital effects than most of the other episodes, they actually got extra money to make it and they praised the Sound Design as being key to making the episode work.

 I know Greg is mainly known to mainstream America as "Walking Dead" guy now, and that's an amazing legacy to leave in it's own right but I'm not sure we as a horror community quite recognize the level of greatness we have still with us in him. In each of our podcast episodes when we're examining these all time classic horror films, time and time again it was Greg and K&B that did the effects work. Not only that, he went on to become a director and showrunner. He transitioned from an all time great special effects artist, to an all time great overall creator, leader and storyteller. These commentaries will be things that horror fans and aspiring filmmakers will be studying decades down the road.  I can not wait for Season 2. I've heard the names of a few of the filmmakers who are slated to do episodes and it is exciting stuff, so here's to holding out hope that it doesn't get delayed for too long. In the meantime you can stream it right now on Shudder, watch it on TV via AMC, or buy your own hard copy for your shelf on June 2nd with a boatload of bonus features including the commentaries featured here.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

CFF 2020 Review: FULCI FOR FAKE Humanizes A Horror Deity

FULCI FOR FAKE (2019) Directed by Simone Scafidi

Review by The Rev Dan Wilson



 I have been a fairly casual Fulci fan since I discovered Zombi 2 on VHS as a teen in the 90s but was never a fanatic. I was in awe of the visuals on display but the dubbed voice acting made it difficult for me to connect with it beyond the surface level. Italian gore movies were great to put on at a party full of metalheads, a few memorable scenes would be joked about (Zombie vs Shark, anyone?), but were largely forgotten afterward.

 It was in my mid to late 20s that I gained a greater appreciation for them as my buddy Robert Everett had been sharing a series of his favorite late 70s and early 80s horror films with me, and it hit me at just the right time. This is where I discovered films like Burnt Offerings, The Sentinel, The Car, etc and there was just something to me about the atmosphere, or the way those films were shot, I’m not even sure I can describe it but it awoke something in me and I went on a mad hunt for other films that made me feel the way those movies did. It was this period in my life that really most inspired me to want to make my own films at some point. That’s when I discovered The Gates Of Hell Trilogy (City Of The Living Dead, The Beyond, House By The Cemetary) and those films stuck with me in a significant way. I later saw New York Ripper and it’s eye peeling brutality and outrageousness didn’t evoke any warm fuzzy feelings, but the pure disgust and discomfort it made me feel let me know I was watching something truly special.

 Hey I don’t want cinema to just be moving pictures flashing around in the background, I need it to do something to me. Psychologically, emotionally, spiritually. I don’t care which, but that is generally the barometer upon which I gauge art. I found that Fulci movies at that point in my life did in fact make me feel lots of things, so that’s where I really became a fan but even so knew little about his personal life, or who Fulci was as a man. So now as a guy who hosts a podcast that examines the filmmaking process and has to research hours upon hours of material weekly about historic horror filmmakers I love and admire, I know I’m going to have to do a deep dive into learning about the life and times of Lucio Fulci at some point in the coming months or years.

 I’ve also been watching horror documentaries my entire life going back to “The Making Of Thriller” on laserdisc being one of my first memories. I can find a playlist on Youtube now of John Carpenter interviews and let the Master Of Horror lull me to sleep and subconsciously plant filmmaking knowledge into my brain for 8 hours straight but information about Fulci, particularly his private world or creative motivations isn’t exactly readily available, so I was excited to see that the long awaited bio-pic/documentary hybrid FULCI FOR FAKE was part of the Chattanooga Film Festival 2020 lineup.

Director Simone Scafidi’s 2019 film uses a fictional story about an actor who is playing Fulci in a biopic, who is going around interviewing people who were important to Fulci in his real life to get to know who he was a person in order to better prepare for the role. While I don’t know that the framing device was necessary given there isn’t really a current “definitive” Fulci documentary, I appreciate that the filmmaker had a vision and stuck with it and it does keep the pace of the film moving and keep us from just looking at interview segment after interview segment.

 I was personally fascinated to learn about the death of his wife and how that tragedy greatly impacted Fulci personally to the point most said he never recovered from it, not to mention his daughter Camilla’s horseback riding accident, which was basically salt in the wound at that point and would end up inspiring parts of New York Ripper and the various other triumphs and tragedies that made him who he was. The film paints the picture of Fulci as a layered, intelligent, sophisticated, sensitive, passionate man. His friends and family aren’t afraid to discuss him candidly including his flaws, and that’s really where the film succeeds.

I think to me and a lot of American horror fans Fulci was this great and wise horror deity from “long ago and a land far away” and this film makes him more human, more relatable, a shows a side of him beyond just the work that he left us, and a little more of the man that he truly was. Highly recommended!

Saturday, May 23, 2020

CFF 2020 Review: World Premiere - Skull: The Mask

Skull: The Mask
Directed by Armando Fonseca & Kapel Foreman. 

Review by The Great Muji
“Skull: The Mask” is a super gory movie about a crazy skull mask. That’s enough for this guy

In the first 5 minutes of Skull the Mask we see a guy in mask with chains on it hit two guys with an Attitude Adjustment, dropkick, and Rock Bottom (Google pro wrestling if you don’t know) who then proceeds to decapitate 2 more guys and cut another’s hand off. This is followed by a ritual that results in one guy’s heart being pulled out and another dude’s head exploding. Needless to say, I was immediately in. 
Skull: The Mask is a blood-soaked supernatural slasher. The film starts in 1944 in the World War 2 era Amazon jungle. A group, who appear to be Nazis, have gotten control of an ancient artifact called the Mask of Anhanga and conduct a ritual that goes horribly wrong. Anhanga was the executioner for an old god named T’Uxlu, who is a guardian of the underworld. The mask is gone until it is uncovered by archaeologists and brought to present day Sao Paulo, Brazil where it finds a new host and starts ripping hearts out again.


Now, there are times when the movie slows down a bit with it’s competing plot threads. There is a lot going on in this movie. We have Beatriz Obdias (Natallia Rodrigues), who is attempting to find the skull and some missing children both because she is attempting to make up for a checkered past and because she is being blackmailed. There is Munco Ramirez (Wilton Andrade), who is son a man who attempted to defend the skull back in 1944 and has anticipated the return of the artifact. There is a sword wielding priest, an evil museum curator, and some missing children. But the most important character is the man the skull has taken over who runs through downtown Sao Paulo reminiscent of Jason in Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan, ripping the hearts out of everyone he runs into.
Despite the somewhat convoluted plot directors Armanda Fonseca and Kapel Furman’s film really shines when there is blood and violence on the screen- lucky for us there is plenty. The stunning practical effects make this movie. There are exploding heads, hearts and intestines being ripped out, decapitations, a Stonecold Stunner, and a sword fight between the slasher in the skull mask and a priest. That’s right. I said there is a sword fight between a demonic slasher and a priest!


Skull: The Mask is most effective when it sticks to being an over the top gory slasher. When it dips into another genre it does not quite work as well. Luckily, there is a lot of slashing in this film. This is such a fun movie that my only regret is not getting to watch it with a live crowd. As much fun as I had it could have only been made better by watching this with 100 of my drunk friends. 

CFF2020 Report - Ice-T On "Surviving The Game"

By Rev. Dan Wilson



"PEOPLE DON'T PAY TO SEE NORMAL"



Legendary actor, rapper, heavy metal frontman, producer, author and pop culture icon Ice-T sat down with Cinepocalypse Founder Josh Goldbloom for a fascinating and candid conversation about the 1994 action thriller "Surviving The Game" and more at the first ever virtual edition of the Chattanooga Film Festival. 



This was originally slated to be T and director Ernest Dickerson (Juice, Bullet Proof, Demon Knight, Bones) but Dickerson didn't appear which was unfortunate and we hope everything is ok with him. (The CFF organizers have stated they will try to get Ernest back later in the weekend.)  Ice-T certainly made the most of now being the sole subject of the interview, however, as he dazzled us all with a number of tales from the set of the film, as well as his acting and music career and life in general.



Just a few of the highlights included:

-  Talking about his relationship with Gary Busey. He became friends with Gary when the cast went out to a local bar during country western night during the shoot. He said Busey loved him because T was the only person who would indulge his wild conspiracy stories about the CIA living inside our TV sets, etc. He said Busey actually rewrote the entire monologue his character in the film performs at the dinner table right before the hunt begins. T said there was a minor confrontation between Busey and Dickerson over it, who told him he couldn't just re-write the script. Gary persisted and got his way and wouldn't you know he ended up knocking it out of the park. 

- He said Rutger Hauer was a consummate professional but he never broke character the entire time they filmed and in fact he actually lived in the same cabin his character did during shooting, He also remarked that Hauer was a very large man and that he didn't quite realize that until he had to do fight scenes with him. 

- He said F Murray Abraham asked him if he'd ever had any acting classes and he said no. Abraham told him never to take one because it would interfere with his method. He told him he had "it" and that teachers would just make him question his amazing natural instincts. T said he followed that advice most of his career and it served him pretty well as he's now one of the longest running live action actors in a series on Law & Order. He did make sure to re-iterate that he only plays a cop on TV and is definitely not a cop. T said he doesn't even really have a "method" necessarily and that he really learned to act by having to go in front of a judge. 

- T cited Bruce Lee and Blacksploitation actors like Fred Williamson and Jim Kelly as some of his primary acting influences. 

- He talked briefly about Body Count, and said he got into heavy music at a young age thanks to the influence of a family member. Like most of us who love metal, he discovered Black Sabbath and it was over from there. 

- He talked a bit about working with Ice Cube in the film TRESPASS and praised that experience mentioning that he was already close with Cube and he got to work with the legendary Walter Hill as well as legendary actors like Bill Paxton and William Sadler. T went on to reflect about how much fun Bill Paxton was and how fond he was of him and that we still feel the pain of his loss today.

- T said he's accomplished most everything he set out to do in life so now it is about finding the balance of stopping to smell the roses and enjoying the fruits of his labor with trying to find new things that spark him creatively. He says he's working on the first ever animated blacksploitation film called Tech City and that Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg are involved. 

Honestly this was a certified hoot. I'm a big fan of Ernest Dickerson and while he was sorely missed, I couldn't imagine being more entertained than I was posting up and listening to Ice-T sit there and tell me stories like we were having a beer at the bar together. Experiences like that are what sets this festival apart. 

You can currently pick up the new Body Count album "Carnivore' available now from Century Media records. Available on Spotify, Apple Music and more and you can see him in future seasons of Law & Order:SVU when it returns to television in the fall. 



CFF2020 Review: ‘The Beach House’ is a familiar premise told with a modern twist in Jeffrey A. Brown’s directorial debut.

"THE BEACH HOUSE" (2019)
 Written & Directed by Jeffrey A Brown


Review by The Great Muji

A fog/mist rolls in off the ocean but this time it’s not filled with lepers looking for stolen treasure or monsters from another dimension. It’s filled with, well, something else. Trying to figure out what is in the fog and how to survive it is the basic problem that our central characters must deal with in Jeffrey A. Browns The Beach House. 

The film starts with couple Emily (Liana Liberato) and Randall (Noah Le Gros)  taking a vacation to the beach. When they show up to Randall’s families beach house they are in for a big surprise when they find that a strange couple has already taken up residence there for the weekend. The couple claims to be friends of Randall’s father and have permission to be there. This is a great set up, as your mind immediately races with all the possibilities of who these people may be. Are the strangers who they say they are? Are they crazy murderers? Are they pod people? Granted, the number of scenarios you think of is probably dependent on how many horror/sci-fi movies you’ve seen. If you are reading this, I’m guessing its likely a lot.  This set-up really sets the mood for what is to come. 

The constant tension that starts in the opening scenes is built upon by a lot of great story choices throughout the film. There is clearly a strange fog approaching but the couples have all eaten edibles, so they are not able to accurately assess the dangerous situation. They all feel sick the day after the fog has come but this could just be the aftereffects of a bad trip. Jane (Maryanne Nagel), part of the strange couple already at the house, seems particularly sick, but its already been clearly established that she was sick to start with. All the strange things happening seem to have plausible explanations that help to distract our characters from realizing that there is something very wrong until it’s too late.

The filmmakers use the setting of the beach to its maximum potential. The scenes on the beach are bright and beautiful, which really is a great contrast to the horror that is unfolding before our eyes. If you aren’t a fan of films that are more atmospheric than action oriented, then fear not. There is also a great body horror scene and some good-looking monster effects later in the film. 

The Beach House is also really carried by a couple of really good performances, particularly by lead Liana Liberato. Her portrayal of Emily is really central to the film’s success. Emily is smart and capable. Her background as a chemistry major gives her more insight into what is happening with the fog as she is the first character to realize the danger she is in. The movie does a great job of building up the characters before the shit really hits the fan.

Despite being a familiar premise, The Beach House is different enough that I found it very enjoyable. This atmospheric eco-horror/sci-fi film is one that I would recommend to anyone who loves their horror abstract and loves to leave a movie with more questions than answers.


Friday, May 22, 2020

CFF2020 Review: Attack Of The Demons Is An Unlikely But Earnest Love Letter to 80s Horror.

Attack Of The Demons
Directed by Eric Power
Written By Andreas Petersen


                                                   
                                         

Review by The Rev Dan Wilson

One of the biggest "talent acquisitions" so to speak for the 2020 Chattanooga Film Fest was the addition of Cinepocalypse founder Josh Goldbloom as Artistic Director.  The Chicago based festival has become a can't miss event in recent years and his eye for unique filmmakers is a perfect fit for CFF and adds a lot to the over all vibe.

2019's Attack Of The Demons from Director Eric Power made its debut at Cinepocalypse 2019 to a rousing response and it continues it's momentum right on into CFF. The animation style is very primitive, and done with such a unique flavor it has to be intentional. Of course I couldn't help but make comparisons to the early South Park episodes as many have. Hell it is even about a small Colorado town. I also had some Home Movies flashbacks. There is something beautiful about the simplicity of it, and the creators take full of advantage that. I almost hate to call the animation crude (though I can't think of a better word currently) because it was clearly done in painstaking detail, but that's also part of what makes it ....kind of incredible?

It takes place in the mid 90's, during Halloween, and there's demons and blood and gore a plenty, not to mention great music. While we've been conditioned to accept this kind of animation primarily in outrageous comedies, you will be shocked at how well it works played completely straight. It is as if a wildly creative group of individuals got together and wrote a balls to the wall 80s Evil Dead style demon-tusslin' flick and decided the only thing they had at their disposal to make it was a dude who was amazing at cardboard style animation. The results will leave you grinning from ear to ear. I didn't really know what to expect going into this one and I was just blown away by the creativity on display here and eagerly await what the future holds for these filmmakers.

CFF2020 Review: Eat, Brains Love A Smorgasbord Of Sex, Laughs & Gore

Eat, Brains, Love 
Directed by Rodman Flender
Written by Mike Herro and David Strauss

Review by Dreamboat Anni



WARNING: Spoliers Ahead!

The producers of One Tree Hill meetup with the director of Idle Hands to bring us another film about teenage sex, only this time, they're fuckin' zombies. And yes, that is the correct "they're."

Eat, Brains, Love is an 87 minute ZomRomCom about a stoner and a high school it-girl overcoming stereotypes, eating their friends and running from a mysterious government agency that's hunting them down using a fellow teen with psychic powers. The virus is, as expected, transmitted sexually, but don't expect any sexualized nudity, we are talking about high schoolers, here. Think CW sex scenes. The nudity is saved for a middle aged dude who gets his balls eaten off, but hey, the dick's all yours.
After engaging in *gasp* unprotected sex, but not with each other, both Jake (Jake Cannavale) and Amanda (Angelique Rivera) have unknowingly been infected with a virus that makes them hunger for human flesh. Following a feast of their classmates and finding themselves being hunted by the NCD, the Necrotic Control Division, and their psychic powered protege, Cass (Sarah Yarkin), the duo are saved by a couple of fellow z-bobs who let them know what's up. After snacking on vermin, the hippie/militant zombie power couple present Amanda and Jake with a Thanksgiving worthy meal: an unpunished rapist and child molester. When the meal is over and the flesh is down to bone, so are our gracious hosts, who waste no time getting to it on top of a bloody carcass.

The NCD, meanwhile, is using their mind-reading m├Ądchen to track them down. The only roadblock is Cass' growing fondness for Jake, the only Necro (and possibly teen boy) to ever be nice to her. The NCD Director, Alastaire (Patrick Fabian), uses this against her to get the location of our undead teens, but they've ready fled to Amanda's crazy brother who believes in zombies' house, because of course she has a brother who already believes there's zombies.
Cass can't mind her own business and when she spys Jake and Amanda doing the unskinny bop, she gives the go ahead to do them in. Daddy/Director Alastaire sends in Amanda's experimental attack zombie ex-boyfriend (where'd ya think she got it?) to do the dirty work, but it doesn't go to plan. Escaping out the back, Cass' partner Tom (Jim Titus) shoots Amanda and attempts to take out Jake, which prompts pleas for mercy from Cass... Amanda takes advantage of this distraction and rips out Tom's throat. Daddy Alastaire doesn't care about Tom, and Cass has had enough. She flees to the woods and finds Jake, who only wants to find Amanda, so she uses her abilities to lead them to the NCD labs, make a shout out to Star Wars, and rescue the zombabe. Oh, and release ALL the hangry "necros" they've had locked up for who knows how long. The final boss level was surprisingly easy, and Alastaire goes down in a bloody spray. Our trio hop in a car and head to Iowa, where there is a rumored cure, but all they find is the weird, fur-clothed girl named Mazzy (Xena Zeit-Geist) that Jake got freaky with, and all her friends.

The gore is aplenty, from a lunch room body buffet to the aforementioned old dude's castration, and the use of both practical and CG effects were well balanced. Cass, the psychic teen zombie hunter, gives off strong Eleven-Meets-Liv vibes, while Jake and Amanda are representing Bizarro World Zombieland with their Road Trip to Safety. If this sounds like a ridiculous mashup with a twist on every zombie movie you've ever seen... you'd be right, but it works somehow. 

Monday, May 18, 2020

SHV - S06E07 - Body Bags (1993)

The John Carpenter Terror Timeline continues as we cut in to this anthology film that was originally planned to be Showtime's answer to Tales From The Crypt. We'll learn about the numerous celebrity cameos, how many of these actors went on to work with Carpenter in the future, Tobe Hooper's involvement, and so much more. We'll also cover the period from 1988 to 1993 and what the horror master was up to during that time including Memoirs Of An Invisible Man. 

Monday, May 11, 2020

SHV - S06E06 - They Live (1988)

Part 6 of the John Carpenter Terror Timeline looks at one of  the director's most beloved films. This film has been dissected, examined, misinterpreted, and when you look around at the horrible state of the world today, like many of Carpenter's works it seems prophetic and ahead of it's time. Plus it has a pro wrestling connection in the legendary Roddy Piper, which always lends to an entertaining episode given Dan's background.  Now..."put on these glasses, or start eatin' that trash can. "

Monday, May 4, 2020

SHV - S06E05 - Prince Of Darkness (1987)

This week on Seeking Human Victims we take on one of John Carpenter's strangest and polarizing films, "Prince Of Darktness.". We learn how this film was born out of Carpenter's frustration with the studio system after his experiences on big Trouble In Little China and Star Man. WIth Prince of Darkness we get the masters true and uncompromising vision realized like never before. Join us smack dab in the middle of the battle between science and religion. 

Monday, April 27, 2020

SHV - S06E04 - Christine (1983)

Two of the greatest forces in horror ever combine with this 80's killer car classic as John Carpenter takes on Stephen King. On this episode we'll learn briefly what Carpenters involvement was in the early Halloween sequels, the fallout of The Thing,  what King property Carpenter was working on prior to this that didn't happen, and much more in Part 4 of the John Carpenter Terror Timeline!

Monday, April 20, 2020

SHV - S06E03 - The Thing (1982)

Part 3 of the John Carpenter terror timeline is here as we cover 1981 and 1982 in the life of JC, briefly covering Escape From New York and how he landed his first major studio directorial gig with Universal for a remake of one of his all time favorite movies. We'll learn about the lengthy development process of the film, the ground breaking effects of Rob Bottin, the stellar performances of Kurt Russell, Keith David, Wilford Brimley and more and deeply examine what lead to the bizarre critical and financial failure of a movie that is now considered one of the greatest horror films ever made. 

Monday, April 13, 2020

SHV - S06E2 - The Fog (1980)

Part 2 in the John Carpenter Terror Timeline is here! This week we're exploring the quiet coastal town of Antonio Bay where a deadly 100 year old secret has returned for vengeance. Find out how Carpenter himself hated the original cut of the film, but managed to find the movie he wanted via reshoots and post production, the full scoop on the greatness of Tom Atkins, how it was odd that Jamie Lee Curtis was cast in a supporting role but the marketing used her image to sell the film and so much more!)

Monday, April 6, 2020

SHV - S06E01 - Halloween (1978) Remastered

For season 6 we're diving into the life and career of the man we consider the greatest of all time, the legendary John Carpenter. Long time listeners may remember we broke down the movie Halloween back in season zero "The ABCs of Horror" which left us in a pickle. We couldn't examine the horror films of Carpenter in a full season without including Halloween, but we'd already done an episode on it! Our solution, over 30 minutes of brand new content AND the old episode combined into one brand new introduction to the John Carpenter season. Without further delay, the John Carpenter: Terror Timeline Season has begun!!!!  

Monday, March 16, 2020

SHV - S05E10 - The Creature From The Black Lagoon.

The season finale of Universal Monsters has arrived, but we're going out with a bang. Enjoy this giant sized episode examining all aspects of "The Creature From The Black Lagoon." We'll look at how the real life horror of WWII briefly killed off the horror film and made way for the Sci Fi genre and how this film is a bit of a bridge between those two eras. How director Jack Arnold was pretty much the father of 50's sci fi, how and why 2 different actors played the creature, the interesting story of the suit creation and design itself, how this film was an innovator in so many different ways and so much more. We'll also spend some time looking at the legacy of the Universal Monsters franchise as a whole. 

Monday, March 9, 2020

SHV - S05E09 - Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)

Universal Monsters season is almost over as they have finally descended into parody. This week we talk about one of the most polarizing of all of the Universal Monster movies - Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein. Find out how Bela Lugosi finally got to return to the role of Dracula, what studio changes lead to the Monsters going away again for an extended period, a dive into the argument of whether or not this film is canon and so much more

Monday, March 2, 2020

SHV - S05E08 - House Of Frankenstein (1944)

You liked 2 monsters eh? Here, have alllll the monsters. This week on Seeking Human Victims, we're getting to the end of the line of Universal Monsters season with House Of Frankenstein. Boris Karloff returns to the monsterverse, but this time playing the mad doctor and Glen Strange debuts as Frankenstein's monster under the wing of Karloff himself. Lon Chaney, Jr returns for his 3rd performance as Larry Talbot and John Carradine debuts as Count Dracula in what is the 3rd Wolf Man film, and also the 6th Frankenstein film, and the 4th Dracula film. 

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Wes Craven:Terror Timeline Returns on Patreon!

When we started the Seeking Human Victims podcast, I felt like it took us about a season and a half to truly find our footing. There is plenty of entertainment to be had from our short "Season Zero" that looks at the ABCs Of Horror (though those films have certainly been covered in far more detail elsewhere). We started finding ourselves a little bit more during our Season 1 - "Slashers" season, where rolled out a full 10 episode run. It is during season 2, IMO, where the podcast came into its own. We upgraded our equipment during this season as well so you can see a massive jump in audio quality as the season moves forward. This was also the first season where we really tried to tell one narrative story from beginning to end that ties all of the films we cover together. The timeline format of the showing exploring Wes Craven's entire life and filmography made this our first season to receive any sort of attention or accolades. It was on this season where we knew we actually had something special with SHV, and where we started to actually build a small following. We're still a long way from where we want to be but we have now have a loyal and dedicated audience that is always growing and we just can't thank you enough for supporting this passion project.

So we're excited to announce that as part of our $1 per month Patreon tier, the entire archived collection of the show is being reposted and we're now back to the Wes Craven: Terror Timeline. You can already get the Last House On The Left, and Hills Have Eyes episodes at Patreon.com/OGScare and a new episode is added to the archives weekly.



But that's not all!

We're also extremely excited to announce that Season 6 of Seeking Human Victims will premier on Monday, April the 6th and by popular demand will be a return to the "Terror Timeline" format as we explore the full life, career and filmography of the "Master Of Horror" himself, JOHN CARPENTER!!!!!!


Monday, February 24, 2020

SHV - S05E07 - Frankenstein Meets The Wolf Man (1943)

This week we look at the first ever cinematic universe crossover film as Frankenstein Meets The Wolf Man. The 2nd Wolf Man sequel and simultaneously the 5th sequel to Frankenstein sees Bela Lugosi fulfill his original destiny as Frankenstein's Monster, Lon Chaney, Jr return to the role that was exclusively his, and a gigantic editorial mess as the film bombs with test audiences and has to be recut into an almost completely different film. But with a great monster fight and gigantic historical importance, the film has its virtues. We'll give you the full scoop on the great grandfather of the MCU and other shared cinematic universes.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Review: Chattanooga Film Fesitval 2019


With CFF 2020 on the horizon and some of the first announcements being made, we wanted to share this article written by our own Dan Wilson on the 2019 event.

This was originally written for the now defunct website Cosmic-Rock.com for Dan's movie review column "Rev-Elations".
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I had the chance to visit my first ever Chattanooga Film Fest this past April 11th through the 14th. This was an event I’ve been aware of for a few years, even before I started trying to learn the art of filmmaking. I’d been dying to go since I heard of it, but it always seemed to conflict with my wrestling gigs or family vacations. This fact was embarrassing in and of itself because nobody has complained more about the lack of quality arts and entertainment in our fair city than me over the years. To my delight, however, Chattanooga is starting to get a reputation as a cool place to visit and over the last decade or so we’ve started actually getting some legit touring entertainment options visiting the town. Here was something right up my alley that had a heavy focus on horror, featuring relevant genre filmmakers, authors and podcasters in my own town and I hadn’t even patronized it. For shame.  Now that I’d retired from wrestling and had actually started trying to learn how to make films, I made it a point that 2019 would be the year I finally basked in the glory of the CFF and the stars finally aligned so I could do so... for the most part. (More on that to come.)

The first night I attended the Joe Bob Briggs live show, “How The Rednecks Save Hollywood.” This was a one man show that was part film history lesson, part stand up comedy, and 100% entertaining from start to finish.  It featured a variety of movie clips telling the origin story of Rednecks and their evolution in cinema. JBB (Real name John Bloom), if you are unfamiliar, is a legendary film critic, writer, actor and TV host of the shows Joe Bob’s Drive In Theater (1987-1996) on the Movie Channel, Monstervision (1996 to 2000) on TNT and now The Last Drive In (2018 - Present) on Shudder.  We also got to meet JBB prior to the event and get a picture with him. He told us a story about cutting the Ned Beatty rape scene out of his show because it deflated the room and he was as genuine and hilarious as one would expect. He’s also very tall. Insert cliche about Texas. I’ve spent countless hours over the years staying up past my bedtime to watch movies I wasn’t supposed to be watching with this dude and I admire him a lot so had the weekend ended here I’d have been fine with it but there was more to come. His show is currently touring and you’d be doing yourself a disservice if you didn’t go check it out if comes anywhere near you. You can also watch his weekly series “The Last Drive In” on Shudder Friday nights at 9pm through the end of May.

On Friday I caught a fantastic presentation and book signing by author and filmmaker Mallory O’Meara about her book “Lady From The Black Lagoon”. Her book tells the story of the lost legacy of Millicent Patrick, the original designer of the monster from Creature From The Black Lagoon (In addition to being a Disney animator, actor and more). O’Meara told an inspiring story of throwing caution to the wind in her own life to go west and personally research the life of this fascinating figure. She also saw it through to the end and made sure Patrick received the credit she was wrongfully denied over the years via a best selling book. The importance of her research to the history of horror and films in general can’t be overstated here. I got a chance to chat with Mallory for a brief moment afterwards and she was a delight. She also later hosted a live showing of Creature From The Black Lagoon at Miller Park on Saturday night (which I missed.) As a dad with a young daughter, I also recognize the importance of this story for young women. While it speaks to me as someone who loves film history and someone who has had to fight for credit on his own creative works it must speak to young women ten fold. Since my little one also happens to be a fan of the Universal Monsters, you can be sure I’ll be passing this book down to her when she hits the appropriate age. You can check out Mallory’s website for more info about her book and filmmaking endeavors at malloryomeara.com. Her latest film Yamasong (a wildly imaginative looking puppet film with an all star cast including Abigail Breslin, Whoopie Goldberg, Ed Asner, Nathan Fillion and more) is out now.

Friday Night we went to the Chattanooga Brewing Company for Shock Waves “Dead Right” Horror Trivia. Shock Waves is a popular horror podcast on the Blumhouse network and their hosts are all involved in the film industry at some level but the appeal of the show is that they are also horror super fans.  I’ve been a die hard horror fan for over 30 years and these guys make me feel like a total novice. Their show is a constant stream of great recommendations of stuff I’ve never heard of. Anni (whom I’m married to, and whom you’re familiar with if you listen to the Seeking Human Victims podcast) joined me for dinner, drinks and some friendly competition. This was supposed to be a team outing for said SHV podcast team but one by one the rest of the gang bailed (hey, life happens) leaving just us. And as loud and bold as we are, believe it or not, we both have pretty severe social anxiety and we hadn’t had enough drinks to overcome that, so we’re minding our business over on a couch in the corner when the Shockwaves crew arrives and sets up right beside us. On this night it consisted of Dr Rebekah McKendry, Rob Galuzzo and Elric Kane who were all very friendly but it was Bekah who struck up a conversation and helped us find some teammates to play with and we ended up bonding with these new team members about the festival, our favorite movies etc. Our team “The Abe Snakes” got clobbered by a room full of amazing horror peeps, but we had a kick ass time while it happened. I’m still laughing about “Which One Of These Is Not A Real Giallo Title?” They did a live show on Saturday with Poltergeist III, Dead & Buried, etc director Gary Sherman which I was also really bummed out to have to miss.

I was unable to attend the Saturday events because I found out just a few weeks prior I was being inducted into the Landmark Arena Hall Of Fame. This was the place I’d given the majority of my body of work to in pro wrestling, it was the place where I meant the most, so of course I agreed to do it and was honored to be there. I’ll go into more detail about the HOF in a future edition but it meant a lot to me to get inducted with Jeff G. Bailey, Iceberg, Tank and Bill Behrens (with surprise appearance by AJ Styles) as all 5 men were instrumental in my career and life for that matter..

I only saw a total of 3 films at the festival, first up was  “Sadistic Intentions” on Friday afternoon with a live Q&A with director Eric Pennycoff. I thought it had a really creative premise, great tension and told a really interesting and contained story. I also saw “Girl On The Third Floor” with a Q&A with director Travis Stevens and “I Trapped The Devil” with a Q&A with director Josh Lobo on Sunday. “GOTTF” was a haunted house movie that starred CM Punk (who delivers an excellent performance) of all people and may have been my favorite of the three films I saw. Go out of your way to see this, I thought it was one of the best “spookhouse” movies in years.  “I Trapped The Devil” was also just excellent. It gave me more of a Twilight Zone/Hitchock vibe and was all built around the payoff which delivered the goods. A wonderfully fucked up Christmas family reunion. I have a notoriously rotten history with running afoul of bad audiences at public movie viewings so this being my first festival I immediately embraced what a great experience it is to see a good movie with a quality audience. These people were horror fans, some were other filmmakers, writers, podcasters, etc. They were fully invested and it raised the energy level a good bit. All of the films I saw were presented by Shudder so I assume they will eventually make their way to the streaming service. I know some are getting limited theatrical releases also.

So that concludes my trip to the Chattanooga Film Festival. Had I not had travel commitments on Saturday I’d have attended much more of it but it was an awe inspiring experience regardless. Just being around so many creative people, many of whom’s work I admire, was motivating as hell if not a little intimidating. This year I just wanted to attend as a fan. I didn’t try to get anything submitted, I wasn’t trying to “network”(I think I’ve stated my distaste for that term previously.) I was just trying to soak in the experience and hopefully chat with some cool, creative people who like the same stuff I do.  I’m nobody in the film world. To put it in wrestling terms, I’m the green kid who just started here coming from another sport. I’ve made one short film that was released on Youtube. I’m a hobbyist. I look over at the table across from me and there’s C Robert Cargill who wrote Sinister and Dr Strange! Oh there’s famous director Gary Sherman. There’s Joe Bob Briggs. There’s Crispin Glover. Here are a dozen indie directors and producers from LA who are all making mind blowing shit right now. What could I say to them? I figured my best bet would be to keep my mouth shut, my ears open, make friends where I could and just have fun. Next year, I’ll be back for the whole weekend. Thanks to Chris Dortch, the head of the fest who brings this incredible event to our town. I can’t imagine the work that goes into pulling something like that off. Hat’s off to you and your amazing crew and congratulations on another successful CFF.

Monday, February 17, 2020

SHV - S05E06 - The Wolf Man (1941)

Even a man who is pure of heart and says his prayers by night, can enjoy our podcast when wolfsbane blooms and the autumn moon is bright. Or something like that. Our journey into Universal Monsters moves into the next decade as we meet the obvious heir apparent to be the face of this decade, Lon Chaney, Jr. His rise to this role wasn't exactly what you'd imagine when you normally think of hollywood nepotism, though and we'll learn the fascinating story of how he came to eclipse the shade of his legendary father even if he didn't realise he had done so.  We also learn how nothing you thought you knew about Werewolf lore is true and most all of it comes from writer Curt Siodmak and this film . Don't get bitten! Watch out for pentagrams magically appearing on your hand! And be sure to tune into this episode. 

Also we'll feature special musical guest "Poltergeist" of the HorrorCore Rap world and his song "Tall Man."

Monday, February 10, 2020

SHV - S05E05 - The Bride Of Frankenstein (1935)

On this week's episode, love hurts...especially if you "Belong dead." We celebrate Valentine's day with the first ever Universal Monster Sequel as we unearth The Bride Of Frankenstein. We'll look at how director James Whale butted heads with the studio throughout the process, Boris Karloff's objections with the monster speaking, the fascinating story of Elsa Lanchester, and how even though it was a seemingly cursed production and way over budget, Bride Of Frankenstein ended up being one of the most beloved films of all time. 

Monday, February 3, 2020

SHV - S05E04 - The Invisible Man (1933)

The Universal Monsters season continues with perhaps the most underrated of the bunch as Claude Raines stars in "The Invisible Man". We learn about the groundbreaking effects that created the invisibility, the literary origins and how this film differs from the book, how James Whale recruited writer RC Sheriff,  how this film has by far the largest body count of any of theses movies, and so much more. Get a little silly with us as we explore this 1933 classic. 

Monday, January 27, 2020

SHV - S05E03 - The Mummy (1932)

As "Universal Monsters" season continues we're opening the tomb of THE MUMMY (1932) starring Boris Karloff and Zita Johann. We'll discuss how the Howard Carter dig and Tut-mania lead to the first Universal Horror property not specifically based off a literary work, how this is the film that cements Karloff's legacy as the new "man of 1000 faces" as he endures another torturous yet masterful makeup design from Jack Pierce, we'll discuss the contentious relationship between Johann and director Karl Freund, and the vast legacy this film has left behind. Also, for a film as famous as this one is, we talk about how it is kind of surprising that it is often not the one people remember when discussing what they think is the original "mummy". 

Monday, January 20, 2020

SHV - S05E02 - Frankenstein (1931)

"It's Alive! It's allliiiiiiveee!!!" - Ok, so we've been waiting to do that since the season was announced. Season 5 continues our look at Universal Monsters with FRANKENSTEIN (1931). We'll look at how Universal found even greater success with another literary adaptation, compare the differences from the source material, find out what the film added to the Frankenstein lore that most people know today (Spoiler. Almost everything.) The punishment Karloff endured for the makeup. The launch of Jack Pierce as an icon himself and much, much more.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

The monster is alive! Tomorrow on SHV.


Tomorrow we release episode 2 of our journey into the story of Universal Monsters. I've been a fan of these movies since I was an adolescent, and I had a greater than average knowledge of the players involved thanks to some popular library books in the late 80's that talked about the early horror films and monsters in an encyclopedic format. I'd read Bram Stoker's Dracula and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, I've even combed through all of the various horror artifacts at the Universal Orlando Horror Makeup show display, sat through that show several times, gotten photo ops with the characters. I saw The Beetlejuice Graveyard Review on my honeymoon, I've ridden Revenge Of The Mummy about 500 times,  and I've taken a picture of literally every single prop in the Monster Cafe. So I was a big fan, but even with all of that knowledge and familiarity I've been flabbergasted at what truly fascinating stories went into the making of these movies, the lives of the people who did, and just how important these films were to inserting horror into the mainstream consciousness and ensuring that the genre lived on forever. Frankenstein may be my favorite of all of the monsters and a lot of time and care went into accurately telling the story of it's creation, reception and legacy. Please check it out when tomorrow's episode drops!

If you subscribe to our Patreon for just $1 a month at Pateron.com/OGScare You can get access to all new episodes 1 day early, plus the full archived SHV collection. For the $5 tier we're releasing extra video content related to Unviersal Monsters all month. So far we've done an unboxing of the HORRIFIED board game and an unboxing of the Essential Blu Ray Collection with more to come.

Monday, January 13, 2020

SHV - S05E01 - Dracula (1931)

Our journey into the world of horror history and Universal Horror continues full steam ahead  with the first full length episode about one of the most iconic fictional characters of all time, Dracula and the 1931 film starring Bela Lugosi. On this episode we'll learn how original author Bram Stoker didn't see the success of his novel during his lifetime, and how his widow sued the creators of Nosferatu for using the story without permission and how that all leads to Carl Laemmle Jr sweeping in to make the first legally authorized version of the story. 
We'll learn about how Bela Lugosi was NOT the studio's first choice to play the role despite his success playing the character on Broadway, the fascinating tale of director and silent film legend Tod Browning and the rumors around what his level of contribution actually was, the tragic tale of Bela Lugosi and so much more. Dan has gone over hours of material to compile the discussion topics for this season and we're confident Universal Monsters will be our crowning achievement. Tell your friends!!!

Available at:




and on all other major podcast providers!

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Dracula kicks off Universal Monsters season Monday!


We here at One Good Scare couldn't be more excited to be returning with another season of the "SEEKING HUMAN VICTIMS" podcast. We teased everyone last week with a 30 minute prologue episode, (numbered Episode 00), that covered the first horror films ever made and the groundbreaking films of the silent era that followed all the way up to the creation of Universal Studios, the impact of the legendary Lon Cheney and the arrival of "the talkie". Tomorrow, the first full length episode hits talking about the first official "Universal Monster", Dracula from 1931. Hours of research went into this one and we do hope you enjoy. We will also chart the timeline of every Universal Horror release in this season even if we don't cover the film, you'll find out what came out in between each release so we get a full picture of the catalog.  We appreciate the love we've gotten for previous seasons, (You've said some particularly nice things about ALSACB - A Friday The 13th Retrospective and Wes Craven Terror Timeline) but of everything we've put together thus far we feel "Universal Monsters" will be our crowning achievement. 

Available at:




and on all other major podcast providers!

You can also head over to Patreon.com/OGScare for some cool bonus content we're supplementing this season with. Currently available on the $1 a month tier, you can listen to the Dracula episode NOW, nearly 2 days early.

On the $5 a month tier we just uploaded an unboxing video for the Universal Monsters - Essential Collection Blu Ray set. Each week we'll have something new.



Monday, January 6, 2020

SHV - S05E00 - The Silent Age (1896-1930)

In this special episode zero, a prelude to Universal Monsters, we'll trace the roots of horror from the silent era, how Carl Laemmle built Universal Pictures and literally created the movie studio system in the process, and the rise of Lon Chaney and how the man of 1000 faces was the first true horror icon. We'll also talk about how the financial woes of the great depression set the company up for an unlikely savior as the new wave of horror films ushered in by Carl Laemmle, Jr, would help keep the studio afloat during the worst financial crisis in U.S. history.

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Seeking Human Victims Season 5 - Universal Monsters premiers on January 6th!

Don't miss our special prelude "Episode Zero" on 1/6/19 as we look at the silent film era of horror leading up to the creation of Universal Studios! This is a brief primer to help provide context on how important these films were to cinema.

The first full length episode drops on 1/13 covering the iconic performance of Bela Lugosi in 1931's DRACULA.

Available at all major podcast providers! (Spotify, itunes, Stitcher and all the rest, just search "Seeking Human Victims".

Don't forget to visit our Patreon and subscribe for tons of bonus perks and archived episodes!
Patreon.com/OGScare

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Friday, December 13, 2019

SHV - Bonus Episode 3 - Black Christmas (1974)




The holidays have come to the Seeking Human victims podcast as we unwrap the gruesome gift of 1974's Black Christmas directed by Bob Clark.

On this episode, we look at how a Canadian tax shelter movie from the man who later went on to direct A Christmas Story became one of the films credited for starting the slasher genre. 

This episode is hosted by Rev Dan Wilson, Anni Wilson and Jason Griswold. 


Subscribe on itunes tonight and this early Christmas gift from OGS will be waiting for you - 
Or use the direct feed for the provider of your choice.

Monday, December 9, 2019

SHV - S04E12 - Us (2019)



On the "Decade Of Death" season finale, we tackle Jordan Peele's sophmore directorial effort US in a film unanimously loved by the SHV crew. We dive deep into the many psychological themes of the film, the various layers, influences and details he included, the amazing performance of Lupita Nyongo. We'll look at the background and rise of Jordan Peele himself and his transition to horror from comedy, and how he has excelled at both. You don't want to miss this episode as we wrap this season up with a bang (or maybe a stab?). This episode is truly one of our finest hours.  

Thursday, December 5, 2019

SHV - Bonus Episode 4 - Krampus (2015)




MERRY KRAMPUSNACHT!! Hope you haven't been naughty this year. Our Christmas gift to you, a free sample of some of the great archived episodes you can find over on our Patreon -  Patreon.com/OGScare  Enjoy this replay of last year's Seeking Human Victims episode on the modern Christmas Horror Classic - Krampus.

The Seeking Human Victims podcast returns with our 4th Holiday Bonus Episode and final episode of 2018.
This one was voted on by YOU the listeners so we hope you didn't make the naughty list this year because KRAMPUS is coming to town!

We discuss how director Mike Dougherty came up with the idea for the film, the casting, the box office, the reception and we theorize where it will stand in the long term Christmas horror rankings. There is an all new "Burial Plot" segment, and each member of the podcast makes an entertaining argument for what Christmas classic this film is actually a horror version of. That and more, check it out!

Subscribe on itunes and this early Christmas gift from OGS will be waiting for you - 
Or use the direct feed for the provider of your choice.

CFF 2020 Review - Creepshow (TV Series) - Grey Matter - Commentary with Greg Nicotero and Philip DeBlasi

By The Rev Dan Wilson      While they may not be for everyone I certainly love me a horror anthology (as you heard on the latest epis...