Thursday, June 30, 2011

Phantasmagoria Circus Side Show in Philadelphia

This is a cool group that has been performing first Fridays in a warehouse on Frankford Avenue.

It’s an edgy and envelope-pushing troupe of circus arts, aerial performances, and burlesque. Along with other groups in the city, it’s part of a growing underground circus world.

Check out the article courtesy of the Inquirer here, and more details on this week's show here.

Carter Beats the Devil back on track?

Almost one year after the last update on this project, there’s some new info about a cinematic version of this cool novel.

Warner Brothers Pictures has resurrected the project and now wants Johnny Depp to star. They are also reaching out trying to find the perfect director.

As I said in my original post, this is a great book and I would love to see a great film made. I think Depp would be a great fun choice for the role too, but let's keep Burton away from the director's reigns, ok?

The Midnite Spook Frolic Jukebox: Spectremen "72 Inches Down"

What up boils and ghouls! We featured and played this song on a past ep of Hauntcast, but I thought I would share this kick-ass live version with everyone. This is a great song and a great performance.

Again, thanks to my fellow cool ghoul Edwood Saucer for the hook up with his friend Jimmy from the band.

Dig it!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Monsters of the DCnU

This is a great interview done by CBR regarding DC's planned "relaunch" (they've back-peddled a bit away from the "reboot" tag) this September. As part of their diverse new #1s, they are publishing a bunch of genre comics in their mainstream superhero universe (Vertigo's titles are thankfully unaffected).

Among the new monter titles are "Swamp Thing," (newly returned to the DCU thanks to Johns' Brightest Day) "Demon Knights," "I, Vampire" and "Frankenstein: Agent of S.H.A.D.E." (hooray! for that info check out my previous post) and "Animal Man".

Check out the round table discussion here!

30 creepiest trees on Earth

Environmental Graffiti has put together this slideshow of some really weird and creepy lookin' trees.

Visually interesting and could be an inspiration for your haunt!

Larundel - haunted hospital photo tour

A tour of Larundel Hospital in Melbourne, which is said to be one of the "most haunted places in Australia."

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Midnite Spook Frolic Jukebox: The Ghastly Ones "Haulin' Hearse"

Check it out, cool ghouls!

I reached out to Norman from The Ghastly Ones and he agreed to give us an interview and feature on Hauntcast! Really a cool and talented guy, and a great band. We are really appreciative he took the time to be a part of our li'l haunted corner of the interwebs.

The interview and feature will run on the new Hauntcast out this Friday 7/1!

Scream out to my long time fellow fiend Edwood Saucer for the suggestion.

Stay scary!

Gary B's: This Week in Horror History (June 27-July 4)

Hello all, sorry for my tardiness, here is this weeks installment of..."this week in Horror History"

June 27:
1966: Dark Shadows premiers on television

June 28:
1967: Gil Bellows (actor in Snow White: A Tale of Terror) was born
2006: Blade: The Series premiers on television

June 29:
2005: War of the Worlds - released theatrically

June 30:
1959: Vincent D'Onofrio (actor in The Cell and The Thirteenth Floor) was born
1971: Monica Porter (actress in Saw and Along Came a Spider) was born

July 1:
1942: Karen Black (actress in many horror films) was born

July 2:
1997: James Stewart (actor in Vertigo, Read Window, The Man Who Knew Too Much) dies (b. 1908)

July 3:
1985: Day of the Dead - released theatrically

July 4:
2001: Scary Movie 2 - released theatrically

Blobfest 2011 July 8th, 9th & 10th -The Colonial Theatre in Phoenixville, PA

What up, boils and ghouls! Just a reminder for any monster kids in the area that the one and only Blobfest returns next weekend!

As in years past, there are screenings of The Blob and other classic 50s sci-fi films including Invaders From Mars and It Conquered the World, and be sure to check out Saturday’s street fair!

The fair will be hosted by Hot Rod Scott & Professor Ouch of The Roots Rockabilly Roadhouse on WPRB 103.3FM, plus classic cars from The Violators Motor Club and music by The Buzzards – of course there is also the Fire Extinguisher Parade, costume contest (This year’s theme is Creature Feature – so come out and showcase your favorite movie creature), food and plenty of cool vendors.

For all the details, check out the link.

The whole Thunder family will be there Saturday and having lunch at Molly Maguire's (great place to sit outside and chill with few brews). Check it out and say hi!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Pssst....c'mere.........Have ya heard?

What up boils and ghouls! Hauntcast 32 will be unleashed this Friday, July 1st and will feature the debut of not one but TWO new segments!

Sorry, I’m still on the show.

Be sure to check it out!

"Ghostbusters" from IDW

Thanks to CBR for the head's up!

Official Press Release

San Diego, CA (June 24, 2011) — IDW Publishing and Sony Pictures Consumer Products are thrilled to announce the launch of an all-new, ongoing GHOSTBUSTERS comic book series. Spinning out of IDW’s hit Infestation event, and featuring Ghostbusters: Infestation scribe Erik Burham, the ghost hunters from New York City are back with exciting new adventures starting in September. Helping Burnhambring this zany story of the dead to life will be fan-favorite artist Dan Schoening(Ghostbusters: What in Samhain Just Happened?!) and popular IDW Ghostbusters cover artist Nick Runge.

In this ongoing series, psychokinetic energy is on the rise again, and business is booming for the boys. Ray is troubled by what could be a prophetic dream—is this an ill omen of an upcoming apocaplypse, or just a little indigestion? These questions and more are raised in the first issue of the all-new GHOSTBUSTERScomic series. In addition, each issue will contain two pages of exclusive behind-the-scenes extras by creator Tristan Jones(Tales of the TMNT.)

IDW will offer special retailer incentive covers, including a “Who Ya Gonna call” cover by Schoening, and a glow-in-the-dark cover. Furthermore, as part of IDW’s “Be a Ghostbuster” promotion, retailers will have the opportunity to obtain a unique variant featuring up to four personalized Ghostbusters on their cover. Fans are encouraged to reach out to their retailers to learn more about these exclusive variant covers.

Look for the first issue, priced at $3.99 to available this September.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Fright Rags Texas Chainsaw Massacre T-shirts

Check out these kick-ass Ts from Fright Rags.

As part of their Texas Chainsaw Massacre: Extreme Edition release, they are offering these Ts plus poster, sticker, collector box and super duper surprise. In order to order, you have to sign up for their newsletter.

So head on over to their link now and check out all the details. Thanks to STYD for the scary head’s up!

Dark Horse special edition of Scary Godmother this Halloween

Definitely something to keep your spooky li'l eye out for this Halloween at your local shop!

Thanks to CBR and the official press release:

Dark Horse offers comics fans of all ages something special this Halloween that won’t rot your teeth! Sized perfectly for just about any trick-or-treat bag, this Halloween ashcan of Jill Thompson’s Scary Godmother is a perfect alternative to Halloween candy.

This special giveaway features the story “Tea for Orson,” from the Scary Godmother hardcover collection, released by Dark Horse last fall. Follow Harry and Orson on a fun eleven-page quest to sneak into a tea party, hosted by none other than Scary Godmother herself! As an added bonus, this Halloween treat features a two-page short, “Wild about Harry.”

Jill Thompson is a New York Times best-selling graphic novelist, as well as the winner of multiple Eisner Awards for her work on Scary Godmother (2001), The Dark Horse Book of Hauntings (2004), The Dark Horse Book of Witchcraft (2005), and The Dark Horse Book of Monsters (2007). Recently, she became the first female artist to win the highly coveted National Cartoonists Society Award, for her work on the Dark Horse series Beasts of Burden.

Retailers can order these special ashcans in packs of 25, as a great giveaway item on the spookiest holiday of the year!

The Midnite Spook Frolic Jukebox: “Bigfoot” by Don Jones

Dig it, boils and ghouls! Thanks to my bud Skullboy for the link!

Gene Colan (1926-2011) R.I.P.

Legendary comic book artist Gene Colan has passed away at the age of 84.

An icon in the industry who worked for some 70 years, genre fans will remember his amazing work on Marvel’s classic The Tomb of Dracula

and DC’s Night Force.


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Movie Poster Fun: The Boy Who Cried Werewolf (1973)

"Possible in this day and age? Those who didn't believe... are dead!"

Another of my guilty pleasure fright flicks from my childhood, The Boy Who Cried Werewolf scared the crap outta me when I was a kid. I recall only seeing it on TV once in the 70s, and with a few other films from that era, stuck with me as a scarefest.

Well, I watched the Svengoolie version last night and I gotta say it remains a nice big slice of 70s cheese but damn! That werewolf still creeps me out (almost as much as the hippie commune).

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

10 Questions with Hauntcast task master, Chris Baker

By Gary Berger
Founded in 2008, Hauntcast is a free radio-style podcast for Haunters and Halloween fanatics. G/Host Chris Baker and the Hauntcast Scream Team (Chris Baker, Johnny Thunder, Revenant, Shellhawk and DenHaunt) take you on a two-hour flaming death-skull roller coaster ride of haunting, Halloween and horror mayhem. Originally conceived with the adult home haunter in mind, the show has recently undergone minor changes making it, in effect, a show for ALL haunters. Young or old, novice or pro, Hauntcast has something for haunters and Halloween fanatics of every stripe. Hauntcast features haunt community news, horror news and reviews, home-made prop spotlights, haunt product reviews, haunt theory & tactics, interviews with the nation’s premier haunters, plus up-and-coming Halloween and horror bands. And we have even more new features in the works!

What was your inspiration for starting Hauntcast?

I was obviously drunk at the time and not thinking clearly. Actually, I was trying to expand my voice over business and stumbled across podcasting. I thought a podcast for Haunters would be a fun project, I put together a sample opening posted it on the forums, Revenant contacted me and Hauntcast was hatched.

How did you get a hold of your current Scream Team for this podcast?

I contacted Johnny Thunder on Halloween Forum because he had a ton of posts in the horror section and I wanted a horror segment. Revenant contacted me on Haunt Forum after I posted about starting a podcast. He tried to talk me out of doing the show. I wish he did. Just kidding, it's been a trip. Shellhawk stalked me until I submitted and let her join the brodeo. And I met Denny at a Massachusetts Make & Take. He was already a Hauntcast groupie and a talented prop maker, so when Morbius had to leave the show I convinced him to give it a shot.

Most of us who follow Hauntcast are aware of the trepidations you had with taking this podcast to a pay-per-episode format. Since you made that decision, what ramifications did it have and what do you see in the future as far as that goes?

As you know now the show is free again. A few people had an issue with the change to pay-per-play. Hey, I wanted to go commercial free and I thought it would work. If I could have sold the show on iTunes it probably would have, but with renewed interest from advertisers I decided to make it free again.

Who did the illustration for your logo and web site? They are friggin sick.

Felix Leflamme. From what I understand he's blown-up since doing our graphics. I don't think I can afford him anymore.

I know you do voice over work as well, how did you get into that & how long have you been doing it?

I used to work as a Production Assistant at a radio station in Boston. I had a wicked hahsh Boston accent, so they never used me for voice over projects. I lost most of my accent since then, yea right. A few years ago I stated doing free voice-overs for people on Halloween Forum and I discovered I had a talent in this particular area. I started a business the following year doing haunt greetings, haunt rules, props voices, 3-axis skull routines and commercials. Almost all of the voices used in the production of Hauntcast are done by me. Revenant has recently joined forces with me on a voice over business, name to be announced. We are going to market ourselves to pro haunts. People can contact us at

I know you are a home-haunter as well, tell us about your haunt…all the good stuff?

It's called the Village Mire. The back story is a genetic engineer has gone mad and is splicing human DNA with plants and animals creating many unspeakable abominations that roam the grounds. It's a mixture of static and animatronic props. I love pneumatics, so I have an air cannon, coffin sit-up, monster-in-the-box, rat spitter, barrel pop-up and a few new tricks being added this year. I'm trying to add a few actors into the mix and I am starting to act and be more physically involved.

You do a number of video cast’s in regards to your hand-crafted props, you seem like a natural in front of the camera…or is it that back-east beer? Only kidding…do you sell any of the props or do you upload for others to enjoy and to learn how to make them?

I don't want to get into a business of selling props. There are plenty of people doing that. I barely have enough time to build my own props. I do like to help others out, but I don't believe in giving people all the details. I like to give people directions and ideas, they need to be able to figure out some things for themselves.

I know most of the haunters conventions are finished for the season, but do you have plans on attending any others? If not, what kind of response have you received while attending the conventions this spring and which ones did you get a chance to go to?

I went to Transworld that's it. We met a lot of fans there. The entire Scream Team was in the Haunted hiz-ouse. It was great meeting people you chat with on-line and email. There was a lot of love even though most of the people weren't familiar with the show.

Without giving away too much, what is in the future for Hauntcast? Any new segments or ideas you have floating around?

We have two new segments airing on July 1st. I can't divulge what they are at this time. You'll have to wait. One segment is going to help expand our audience. I'm excited about it, very excited.

Last question…bottle or can and what brand?

Lately it's been all about the rum. Bacardi and Diet Coke. Zero carbs, zero calories. When I'm drinking beer it's Harpoon IPA all the way.

To check out Chris’s projects you can go to
YouTube. Do yourselves a favor and go to download a few shows, crack open a cold one and enjoy. I do every month.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Gary B's: This Week in Horror History (June 20-26)

Hello everyone, here is the latest installment...

June 20:
1975: Jaws - released theatrically

June 21:
1972: Frenzy - released theatrically
1985: Lifeforce - released theatrically

June 22:
1958: Bruce Campbell (Evil Dead trilogy, Bubba Ho-Tep) was born

June 23:
2001: Elvira's Haunted Hills - released theatrically

June 24:
2005: Land of the Dead - released theatrically

June 25:
1976: The Omen - released theatrically
1982: The Thing - released theatrically

June 26:
1904: Peter Lorre (The Raven, Tales of Terror, Casablanca) was born (d. 1964)

Friday, June 17, 2011

Fun with shrunken heads

Check out the full story in the link.

A remarkably well-preserved shrunken head has just been authenticated by DNA analysis, which provides strong evidence that anecdotal accounts of violent head-hunting in South America were true.

"The shrunken heads were made from enemies' heads cut on the battlefield," co-author Gila Kahila Bar-Gal told Discovery News. "Then, during spiritual ceremonies, enemies' heads were carefully reduced through boiling and heating, in the attempt to lock the enemy's spirit and protect the killers from spiritual revenge."

Thursday, June 16, 2011

10 Questions with former FaceOff contestant and SFX artist, Anthony Pepe

By Gary Berger

When did you know you wanted to be a SFX artist?

I originally planned on becoming a Walt Disney animator, and after one semester of college at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY, I decided that college wasn’t for me, so I went to Joe Blasco in Orlando in January of 1995. I did it as a goof, not seriously thinking that makeup effects would be a career decision.

What was your first gig in SFX and what did you learn from it?

My first film was “Rockabilly Vampire”, which I did for free, and learned how to do vampire teeth, pale makeups, bites, and basically understanding the idiosyncrasies of working on a low budget film. The experience was exciting and scary all at the same time, but from there on I learned something from every film I ever had the pleasure to work on.

Your FX house “Demonic Pumpkins FX” is based out of NYC, do you commute a lot for your job or are there plenty of opportunities around the area to keep you busy?

My work is predominantly based in New York City, but I have traveled extensively up and down the East Coast. As of today, I have worked in 16 states including Texas, Louisiana, Michigan and Ohio.

I know you have been asked this a lot lately, but what was it like being a contestant on FaceOff?

Absolutely awesome. Hands down. I am somewhat of a camera ham, and loved the idea of being myself on TV. The reason I had for applying for the show was that it was a pioneering showcase for makeup effects artists, and although my long term plan wasn’t about winning the grand prize, it was more about gaining exposure, being judged by my peers, and learning a lot about myself and my work. Everything I do now, I base off the judging on Face Off. I even have a picture of the three judges in my shop looking down at me, with a caption I put there stating “What Would They Think?”

What was the best advice you received from any of the judges in regards to moving forward with your career?
To never stop trying, to never give up, and to start looking at my characters from different viewpoints. Most of the time I would design characters based off of scripts handed to me, and these backgrounds for the characters were somewhat vague. I learned on Face Off to develop my characters from inception to application, and give a reason for every cut, bruise, boil, and appliance I would put on the actor.

Have you been in contact or worked on any projects with any of the former contestant since the show?

I saw most of the contestants at the last Monsterpalooza in Burbank back in April, and it was awesome to see everyone again after the show had aired. Unfortunately the show only aired certain aspects of the environment, and basically created a tension between the contestants that was not evident in real life. Seeing everyone again, we were all very nice to each other, and had a blast. I also had the pleasure of working with Tate Steinsiek on The Amazing Spider-Man in New York City, under Ve Neill’s guidance, and that experience was one for the history books.

I heard you have recently completed some FX work on a film titled “Ghoul” in New Orleans. How was it working down in the Deep South’s humidity?

The humidity is a makeup artist’s worst enemy. Telesis, ProsAide, nothing can stand up to 95 degree heat with 100 percent humidity. It was a constant battle to keep appliances on, but thank God for pros-aide transfers, which held up decently enough, but in the end still wanted to fall off. Louisiana is definitely the gateway to hell in terms of weather.

We all have that “one” legend we hope to one day work with or for. Are there any SFX legends or directors you hope to work with in the future?

I would love the opportunity to work with Rob Bottin, Rick Baker, Steve Johnson and John Caglione Jr.As far as directors, I would love to work with Tim Burton, Darren Aronofsky, and Robert Zemeckis.

What film or project was the most challenging, yet fun to work on and why?

Every job is challenging in some respect, and I consider every job fun, even if it is a miserable experience, because making monsters, killing people, and being on a film set is a hundred times better than sitting in a cubicle doing TPS reports.

What does the future hold for you and “Demonic Pumpkins FX?

As of this interview, I am branching out from Demonic Pumpkins FX, and recently set up the website I realized that after Face Off, nobody knows DPFX, but they know my name. I am considering making DemonicPumpkins a haunted attraction supplier, and make crazy monsters for sale, and keep as my makeup website. There are many options out there, and need to capitalize on it.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The evolution of Hauntcast's logo

If you check out the Past Shows tab on the newly revamped Hauntcast site, you will be treated to that season's logo at the top of the page.

Check out the logo for Seasons 1, 2 & 3.

Pretty cool.

Gulliver's Kingdom

Photos of an abandoned Gulliver's Travels amusement park in Japan.

Elvira talks Movie Macabre

Check out Dread Central's way cool interview with the Mistress of the Dark!

Gary B's: This Week in Horror History (June 13-19)

Here is this week's installment of..."This Week in Horror History"

June 13:
1946: Fictional mass murderer Jason Voorhees was born
1951: Stellen Skarsgard (actor) was born

June 14:
2005: The book The Historian was released in hardcover

June 15:
Hershell Goodwin Lawrence (splatter film maker) was born

1948: Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein - released theatrically
1990: Gremlins II: The New Batch - released theatrically

June 16:
1938: Robert Weine (director of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligan) dies (b. 1880)
1960: Psycho - released theatrically
1978: Jaws 2 - released theatrically
2002: The Dead Zone - premieres on television

June 17:
1927: Lucio Fulci (Italian horror film director) was born (d. 1996)
1977: Exorcist II: The Heretic - released theatrically

June 18:
1971: Willard - released theatrically
2003: Haute Tension - released theatrically in France

June 19:
1950: Daria Nicolodi (actress in many horror films) was born
1964: The Twilight Zone (original series) ends its run on television

Monday, June 13, 2011

"The Perfect House" - my review and interview with filmmaker Randy Kent now playing on Hauntcast

If you haven't already, be sure to check out the new episode of Hauntcast.

I discuss the indie horror flick The Perfect House, which I first covered in this post, and also do a cool short interview with producer and co-director Randy Kent. I would have loved to do a longer and in-depth piece, but given the time restraints of the segment that wasn't possible.

Check out the show and support the film!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Little Vampire 3D

OK, so I'll balance out the Human Centipede info with something a little more family friendly LOL.

Here's news of a 3D animated version of "Little Vampire Goes to School" from Joann Sfar and StudioCanal. It will be in English and won't just be for kids: "'Little Vampire' should be very funny for adults but also play for a broad range of kids," StudioCanal chairman-CEO Olivier Courson said."

The book is about "Little Vampire, lives in a house full of amiable but aged ghouls and monsters. Missing the company of other children, Little Vampire helps out a human child, Michel, an orphan, who is behind with his homework, and they become friends."

The Human Centipede II sounds like a party

I know this isn’t going to be everyone’s thing, so be warned you may find this pretty revolting and vile. Banned in the UK?.....

….and Tom Six responds.

What about a U.S. release?

Universal rebooting The Wolfman?

Here's an interesting piece of news for all classic horror fans -

The latest is that Universal has been considering a sequel to their Wolfman remake (which I actually dug, and that puts me in a very small minority apparently.....), but now it looks like they want to reboot yet again.

Apparently, the script submitted by Michael Tabb was in fact a sequel. The studio wants it "rewritten and reworked to be an original film – almost a reboot of the classic Universal monster movie series." They want this new version to share a link with the original flick from '41. No director has been hired yet, and there's no cast, but shooting is said to start this fall.

Another story suggests that it will go direct to DVD and not theaters.

Meh - not sure how I feel about this. I would love to see the studio do more with their classic characters but I'm not feeling this so far. I guess I will withhold judgment until we learn more about a director, actors and a theatrical release.

Wow, Frankenstein in a DC & Marvel comic on the same day?

How cool is this? Yesterday when I stopped at my local comic shop, I was treated to not just one comic and cover shot of Frankenstein (yes yes I know "Frankenstein's Monster" proper, but....) but TWO!

Yup, as part of the Flashpoint event (which I am skipping due to lack of interest), Morrison's Frankenstein character has been repositioned as a member of an updated and kick-ass new version of the Creature Commandos (one of my favorite comics growing up, as GrimGhost and I discussed at the NHC). This issue obviously tweaks the original concept, but it's a great read. And get this (nerd alert!) there's even an appearance by J.A.K.E. I even scored a promotional pin which is a highly stylized image of Franky. Sweet!

DC is also rebooting its entire universe as of September (why, DC, why?) and overall I'm not that interested, but guess what? Yup, the company has confirmed one of the newly relaunched 52 series will be Frankenstein, Agent of SHADE , written by Jeff Lemire and drawn by Alberto Ponticelli, described as: "taking the Frankenstein monster and turning him/it into an action hero alongside other fictional monsters in the service of a government organization: The Super Human Advanced Defense Executive." I'm soooooooo there!

The other comic was from Marvel and is the first issue of the Fearsome Four which I covered in this post. It was a fun read and always great to see them revive their version of the Monster along with my favorite Defender Nighthawk.

If you're a comics fan, definitely check 'em out. Later!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Walking Dead season 2 photos

Check it out, all you cool ghouls!

AMC just released "first look" photos from season two currently in production in the greater Atlanta area. As we know, the second season will be 13 episodes and is said to debut in October.

Executive Producer/Writer/Director Frank Darabont had this to say: "At this moment, I'm standing on a stretch of post-apocalypse interstate in Georgia, littered with abandoned cars and blessing my good luck to be reunited with our amazing cast, and our fantastic directors and crew. Across the board, there are none better. It's great to be shooting again. I think we've embarked on a great season."

Mass grave report leads to drama but no bodies

Nice goin’ there, “psychic”.......

Full story in the link.

King Kong Animated

Deadline is carrying a story about a new animated version of King Kong.

20th Century Fox is planning an animated "modern retelling" of the classic story. Fox Animation has hired Christian Magalhaes & Bob Snow to write a script based on a story by Mike Weber (who is also set to produce). The story is said to “tell the story from the vantage point of the ape.”

Obviously, no release date or any voice info yet.

Anyone interested in this? Does it sound like it will be more fodder for the toddler crowd or a mature and serious exploration of the Kong tale?

The Bates Motel & Haunted Hayride 2011 Trailer

Dig it, boils and ghouls!!

Also be sure to check out their newly redesigned official site.

Hauntcast is good for you!

Have you heard?

Hauntcast has been scientifically proven to increase your coolness by 128% with each listening. Side effects may include uncontrollable laughter, desire to build props 24/7, and feelings of euphoria.

Hauntcast: Always on. Slightly off. Hmmmm - well – Majorly off!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Drive-In Super Monster-Rama - Riverside Drive In Theatre - Vandergrift, PA 9/9 & 10

This way cool event is back in its 5th year!

What is Drive-In Super Monster Rama you ask, cool ghouls? Dig it!

The ultimate trip back in time to the grand old days of drive-in cinema is back! DRIVE-IN SUPER MONSTER-RAMA is two nights of classic horror and science fiction 35mm prints (including some new prints, and several in Technicolor and Scope) presented at an authentic, hospitable drive-in movie theater. There will be two big shows on two consecutive nights which will start at dusk and go on until really late into the night! This is the fifth year in a row that we are hosting such an event, so we encourage all East Coast (or wherever you are!) drive-in movie fanatics to attend and experience something you'll never forget! What could be better than a weekend getaway topped off with two nights of classic monster movies on the big outdoor screen?

We realize that everything is so expensive these days, but admission is (still) only $10 a person each night! Plus, children 12 and under are free with parent or adult guardian (parental guidance is of course suggested, but this is in case you want to put the little tykes to sleep in the backseat instead of hiring a babysitter). How can you beat that? The Riverside's concession stand is loaded with reasonably priced goodies that patrons continue to rave about, including hot foods, hot and cold drinks, candy, popcorn and much, much more! Their concession stand always gets compliments, and it's one of the things that keeps fans of this event wanting to come back for more.

We guarantee that this will most likely be your only chance to see so many of these type of films on the drive-in screen all in one big weekend, so make plans to attend. You won't be sorry! Where else are you going to see the likes of Vincent Price (Happy 100th Birthday Vinnie!), Boris Karloff, Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Barbara Steele, Robert Quarry and Cameron Mitchell at a real drive-in theater, all in one weekend? Nowhere else, that's where!

On Friday, September 9, the features will be BLACK SABBATH, THE LAST MAN ON EARTH, CASTLE OF BLOOD and ISLAND OF THE DOOMED.

On Saturday, September 10, the features will be THE ABOMINABLE DR. PHIBES, DR. PHIBES RISES AGAIN, COUNT YORGA, VAMPIRE and I, MONSTER.

Each night we will also present an array of vintage exploitation and monster movies trailers in between the features which we know you will just love! We'll also have cartoons, classic concession stand adverts, and a few surprise short subjects!

For all the ghoulishly groovy details, check out the official site.

Slice and Dice: The Slasher Film Forever

Here's news of a new Calum Waddell/Naomi Holwill collaboration. Called "Slice and Dice: The Slasher Film Forever", it is a feature length documentary covering slasher flicks.

Sounds like they're still looking for distribution, but looks like another cool doc on the subject. Thanks to DC and Fango for the info. Check out the links for all the info.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Gary B's: This Week in Horror History (June 6-12)

Hello me brethren, here is this weeks dose of "this week in Horror History"

June 6:
1943 - Robert Englund was born
2006 - The Omen - released theatrically (a collective BOOOOOO!!!!)

June 7:
1997 - Perversions of Science - premieres on television
2005 - Hellraiser: Deader - released on DVD

June 8:
2007 - Hostell: Part II - released theatrically

June 9:
1978 - Damien: Omen II - released theatrically

June 10:
1988 - Poltergeist III - released theatrically
1989 - Tales from the Crypt - premieres on television

June 11:
1924 - Franz Kafka buried in Prague-Žižkov

June 12:
1968 - Rosemary's Baby - released theatrically
1987 - Predator - released theatrically

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Hauntcast 31 Now Playing!

What up, boils and ghouls! Hauntcast 31 is now playing - once again free and better than ever!

This month, I chat with producer and co-director Randy Kent of The Perfect House and share my review of the film as well. I also cover The Troll Hunter, a post-NHC wrap up and upcoming movie news.

Chris chats up Matt Ford of The House on Haunted Hill, and the special musical guest is none other than Demon Boy! Rev explores the use of apocalyptic themes in a haunt, Shelley celebrates and honors horror legend Vicent Price, while Denny goes over some how-to’s and how-NOT-to’s in prop building. All this plus Mad Props for Props featuring Jim Transue's Gothic Gargoyle costume and the final (yup, you heard me) Hauntcast Top 10.

Spread the word - Hauntcast is once again free and here to stay!

Friday, June 3, 2011

James Arness (1923-2011) R.I.P.

Actor James Arness has died at the age of 88.

Well known to TV audiences for his “Gunsmoke” run, genre fans recall his roles in “The Thing From Another World” (1951)

and “Them!” (1954)


Thursday, June 2, 2011

Give Me A Hand

Check out this really cool illustration by Derek Eads. How many can you get correct?

It's coming.....

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

10 Questions with Zombie Manor’s Caretaker, Dean Jarnig

Part one of a three part series on Zombie Manor (part two to come later this summer)

ZOMBIE MANOR is one of Dallas-Fort Worth’s TOP RATED and the ONLY zombie experience in north Texas. Featured in Haunted Attraction Magazine, selected as a TOP ATTRACTION in Texas by Hauntworld and seen during the 2010 World Series on FOX, ZOMBIE MANOR’s highly detailed movie quality sets, interactive performers and special effects will place you in the middle of your own Hollywood horror movie. Chosen by Columbia Pictures and MOROCH Entertainment to provide the interactive performers and make-up for the Texas premieres on Zombieland thier talented team transformed over 300 VIP guests into the living dead for showings in Austin and Dallas, Texas.

I was able to ask “Caretaker” Dean Jarnig a few questions about his past present and future plans.

Most haunt owners I know started with humble beginnings as home-haunters. What inspired you to open this terrifying haunted house?
We’re not unlike many that have dreams of opening a commercial haunted attraction. For almost 10 years Janine (my much better half) along with several of our friends and neighbors would haunt the neighborhood. It really brought a sense of community to the neighborhood and through those combined collaborative efforts we were able to pull off some really great Halloween events covered by the local media every year. We’ve created 32’ Spanish Galleons (the year before Pirates of the Caribbean hit the big screen), created free standing haunted mansions in the front yard and even created a full scale circus one year complete with clowns, caged gorillas, barkers, sideshow freaks and more. After an initial unfulfilling journey onto the commercial haunt world we formed an acting troupe known as The Dark Night Players sought after by the best haunted attractions in town to provide their que line entertainment, host sponsor party entertainment, provide photo ops at film premieres and more.
As for what inspired ZOMBIE MANOR I really just have to say that the crew we have contributing to the production annually continually inspire me and are the driving force behind our desire to create a safe, professional, movie quality attraction that places our guests in the middle of their own Hollywood horror film. When we first built ZOMBIE MANOR it consisted of a very tight group consisting of the Greg Little family, Sammy Maxwell, Janine and my father Larry; however, the Zombie Nation very quickly took hold and took off from there. We train our actors, make-up artists, costumers, technicians and back stage crew on the importance of the total entertainment experience and we work hard every season to create a very unique and original Halloween destination in Dallas – Fort Worth.

You were recently named to the “Top 25 Haunted Attractions” by Haunted Attraction Magazine and selected by Hauntworld as one of the “Top 10 attractions in Texas”. What did these honors mean for you and your crew?
All the recognition, honors and support that ZOMBIE MANOR has received from leaders within the industry like Haunted Attraction Magazine, Hauntworld as well as the thousands of guests that visit our attraction every year are not taken lightly OR for granted. We were also extremely honored to be contacted by FOX Sports during the 2010 World Series when ZOMBIE MANOR was selected to be the featured Dallas – Fort Worth Haunted House. ZOMBIE MANOR was seen during game 4 Halloween night before, during and after the broadcast between the Texas Rangers and the San Francisco Giants!
The consumer is very sophisticated, short on time and money and extremely savvy about where they want to spend their discretionary income. Every year, as more haunted attractions open, a few will certainly close, and we all are reaching for a bigger slice of the Halloween pie, so to speak. At ZOMBIE MANOR, we’ve invested a great deal of time, energy and financial resources to ensure our customers are rewarded for honoring us with their ticket purchase. There are no endless black hallways, cheesy props or trailers on blocks (although that is certainly scary in itself) containing our attraction. ZOMBIE MANOR is updated with new sets, illusions and special effects EVERY season so our repeat customers keep coming back and help us to spread the word of who we are and what we are all about.

Most haunted houses have multi-scene haunts. For example…clown rooms, butcher shops, meat lockers, etc. What made you decide to solely base yours around zombies?
There are several great haunted houses in Dallas – Fort Worth and I’m personally a big fan of many of them; however, many throw everything and the kitchen sink at you which just doesn’t make sense to me. I’m a big fan of horror films and a good film has a central theme, a tight storyline, terrific set dressing, a driving soundtrack and top notch acting! The Haunt House in Caddo Mills and 13th Street Morgue in Red Oak are a couple fine examples of attractions taking a theme and storylines seriously. Two other iconic attractions in Texas not to be missed are The Cutting Edge in Fort Worth and Thrillvania in Terrell. I just think the customer is much more immersed in their surroundings if the production makes sense, the entertainment value is much more tangible and real; the ability to suspend disbelief much more plausible.
When we created ZOMBIE MANOR no one else in town was really playing the zombie element up as a cohesive and themed experience. We certainly did not invent the zombie creature or mythology BUT what we have created is an attraction unlike any other in the region and one our guests have really embraced enthusiastically! Our interior and exterior sets (although all of ZOMBIE MANOR resides within a commercial industrial park warehouse behind a looming façade) flow convincingly from scene to scene…YOU are actually IN a ZOMBIE MANOR. So if you’re looking for clowns, next to Freddy, next to aliens…then another long dark hallway…ending with a tiresome chainsaw running you out the door you may be a bit disappointed. You’re in store for something very different from ZOMBIE MANOR, DFW’s only real ZOMBIE EXPERIENCE!

The back-story for “Zombie Manor” is as chilling and detailed as any movie treatment I have ever read. Tell us how this came about and who conjured up this frightening tale?
When we sat down and decided to go with a zombie inspired haunted attraction we felt we needed a back story with interesting characters and a timeline. We also wanted to ensure that we followed through on that storyline for anyone that actually came to tour ZOMBIE MANOR. The script was a collaborative effort by several on our team led by Janine, Greg and Debi Little. Greg is actually currently working on an original screenplay that he plans to turn into a feature length film. While you don’t necessarily need to know the storyline to ZOMBIE MANOR many of the happenings at the attraction tie back to the story and vice versa. The Caretaker, his henchmen (the Zombie Wranglers), Bedula and the zombie horde infest the Manor on a nightly basis. While Bedula and her zombies provide the frights and startles, the Zombie Wranglers (Cooter, Dirty Ernie, Rufus and Cleetus) provide some of the comic relief and help to “keep the zombies in check”. Sadly Rufus is now hunting zombies in Florida and Cleetus has been bitten and turned into one of the Walking Dead. What will this year bring??? Stay tuned for more in the coming months…

The sheer attention to detail is amazing. Who is responsible for the upkeep and set design for the haunt?
ZOMBIE MANOR is extremely fortunate to have very passionate and talented volunteers that make the attraction one of the TOP RATED in Texas. Although stressing safety and building to code first, we pride ourselves on our realistic and highly detailed set designs. You really get the feeling you are in an old plantation home when you cross our threshold.
The Zombie Nation (as we call ourselves) consists of individuals from a very diverse background of skill sets. School teachers, sales reps, nurses, designers, painters, sculptors, students, fire fighters, electricians, film makers, IT professionals, students and more comprise the Zombie Nation.
Their tireless efforts show each and every night during the season and many of the crew devotes numerous hours off season creating the illusions and scare zones at ZOMBIE MANOR. I would be remiss not to call out the significant contributions made by Duane Mackey along with Stephanie and Joe Titus who have been there since the beginning and who Janine and I could not continue to do what we love if not for them and the continually growing Zombie Nation. In only our fourth year, ZOMBIE MANOR has already seen a second wave of volunteers really GET THEIR DEAD ON to make the production something special.

All haunters have that “one” scene or prop in their haunt which they are extremely proud of. What’s yours?
Well that’s a hard one…every year I think our set designers create bigger, better and more realistic environments. Our trophy room really turned out great last season and our swamp shack is a favorite but many of our subtle transitional areas and the off balance pacing of the floor plan throughout is something that I think set us apart from our competition. Many of our props are custom made by our in house property masters; however, we do attend the major industry tradeshows and can’t help from picking up a few items each year. For 2010, the “Zombie Attack” was a tremendous hit with our visitors. Not only was it a great effect with a lot of impact but it fit our storyline perfectly and all I can say is you’ve got to come see it to believe it! We’ve got several new tricks up our sleeve for 2011 that will stretch our walk through, create a sense of dread and extend your stay inside ZOMBIE MANOR…assuming that is you do make it out at all (kidding, of course).

How many actors do you have and how long do they take to get into to costume each night?
While our cast count can vary slightly depending on the time of the season and the day of the week we generally have a volunteer crew ranging from 40-75. And it takes EVERY one of them EVERY night to ensure the event runs smoothly, is safe and a great night out for your entertainment dollar. From parking lot attendants to ticket takers, back stage technicians to security all play a vital role in making the evening a success. The make-up artists, performers, wardrobe department and SPFX team take the production to a level unmatched by several of our nearby competitors. You will not see a bunch of young performers running around screaming in bloody tee shirts and Nikes. Each SCAREactor at ZOMBIE MANOR will convince you they were made to play their part! Generally, the operations manager, make-up team, SPFX and wardrobe crews arrive 3-4 hours before the first tickets of the night are sold at the box office. They run sound checks, ensure the security cameras, light board, special effects, etc. are all prepped for the evening’s production. Getting performers roles assigned then through make-up and wardrobe can be the most taxing and stressful portion of the evening but our crew works their magic every night as well as for the numerous fundraising events, media engagements and promotional appearances ZOMBIE MANOR participates in throughout the year. As far as actor assignments, we normally assign 25-50 roles for that evening’s performance for positions both inside as well as outside the attraction.

By design you sell a limited number of tickets each night. Can you give us the reason behind this decision and what is the limit for each night?
We are very strategic on how we approach the flow, group size and velocity of through put at ZOMBIE MANOR. While we are in business to sell tickets we will not sacrifice the integrity or the quality of the production to simply “push through a conga line”. Due to our size and the time we are open each night, we have a sophisticated A/B switching system working in conjunction with video surveillance and radio communications to increase or decrease both the size of the group as well as the spacing between groups within the attraction itself. We strive to keep groups at 2-3 (we’ve even let guests tour alone for the ultimate experience with the zombie nation) but will go as high as 6 if we have to on some of the nights closest to Halloween when the wait can be as long as 2.5 hours. The A/B switching system and bouncing the group size from 2s to 4s allow us to maximize throughput by the hour to maintain the integrity of the production. On top of this, excellent internal communications inside ZOMBIE MANOR by our show directors adjust the pacing as required on a nightly basis throughout the evening’s production. Like a movie’s director or the conductor of an orchestra, a haunted house operations manager’s total awareness of what everyone is doing at all times plays a vital role to ensure EVERY guest becomes a raving fan after visiting ZOMBIE MANOR.

I heard you have maxed out your current space. Any plans on moving to a larger facility in the future?
Our only criticism from our guests is that they wish the ZOMBIE MANOR experience was longer…they really want more of it and for that we are very thankful! If you check out our reviews from customers and the media alike ZOMBIE MANOR is quickly becoming one of Dallas – Fort Worth’s favorite Halloween destinations. We are in a leased space and as such very limited in scope to what we have already scripted and story boarded so, yes, we do have a plan and hope to move into a larger venue with 2-3 additional attractions (all within the zombie family, of course) but that may still be a season or two away. Until then, be sure to grab all your family, fiends and co-workers and get out to Arlington, Texas to see ZOMBIE MANOR and help us continue to SPREAD DEAD!

Without giving too much away, are there any new scares in store for your victims this year?
Once again, we will transform approximately 20-25% of ZOMBIE MANOR as we do annually with NEW scare zones, detailed sets, original illusions and special effects not seen anywhere else in Dallas – Fort Worth. We will also increase the length of the guests walk through experience by moving our que lines outside and being extremely creative with our floor plan making the most out of our space.
We are adding a highly detailed courtyard putting you in the crumbling ruins of the entry to ZOMBIE MANOR unlike anything in the Dallas – Fort Worth metroplex, incorporating sophisticated video elements creating a sensory overload in numerous areas and adding several new areas of misdirection that will have you guessing “where is the next zombie coming from”.
There will be more iconic characters, more twists and turns, and more to tell all your friends about on facebook this season SO DON’T MISS IT. The Caretaker, his Zombie Wranglers and the Walking Dead are dying to eat…er, I mean MEET you!

Visit them online at or on facebook at You can also see their 2010 World Series on FOX commercials along with several of our other videos at

Trash can trauma

Nothing to see here people, move along!

A California woman caught wheeling a trashcan full of body parts was arrested on Monday on charges of homicide.

Full story in the link.

The Walking Dead Season 2 Update

Pretty much everyone is looking forward to the sophomore season of this ghoulish series. For an idea of what the second season plot will entail (for non-comics readers), check out STYD's story here.

Of concern, however, are writer-producer Frank Darabont's comments about the budget cuts being discussed by AMC.

“Creatively I have no complaints thus far,” Darabont says. “But I believe if they do move ahead with what they’re talking about, it will affect the show creatively ... in a negative way. Which just strikes me as odd. If you have an asset, why would you punish it?”

Why indeed? For this full story, check out the link.