Thursday, October 17, 2013

31 LISTS OF HALLOWEEN: "KICKSTARTERS YOU SHOULD THROW MONEY AT"

This is a trick list, because right now, there is only ONE Kickstarter you should be throwing money to.

 

FROM THE PRESS RELEASE:

Master Horror director Stuart Gordon, brilliant actor Jeffrey Combs and inspired screenwriter Dennis Paoli - the team that brought you From Beyond and Re-Animator - team up again to bring you a brand new feature film - NEVERMORE 
The incredible Jeffrey Combs stars as Edgar Allan Poe, haunted by spirits of the dead and the imp of the perverse as he attempts one last  recitation of The Raven to save himself from a life of crushing poverty and soul destroying alcoholism. The screenplay is adapted from the script for the stage play Nevermore - which ran in Los Angeles and toured the country to sold out houses and great acclaim.
NEVERMORE is set in 1848, a year after the death of Poe's beloved wife Virginia (and a year before his own.) He had become internationally famous as the author of 'The Raven' and his 'Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque.' But his fame did not provide fortune and so he was constantly seeking financial security and respect from the literary establishment. 

 This is Poe in his own words. Our text is taken from his letters and essays and we have based our evening on reviews and reports of his actual appearances. Our goal is to present a sense of the fascinating man behind the poetry and brilliant tales, a man who could be his own worst enemy, and whose life was even more bizarre and tragic than his strangest story.

IT'S STUART FREAKIN' GORDON AND JEFFREY FRIGGIN' COMBS DOING EDGAR ALLAN POEIn other words...


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

31 LISTS OF HALLOWEEN: "20 MOST ICONIC VOICES IN HORROR HISTORY"

Have you missed me?  I've missed a handful of days here due to real life getting in the way of my e-life, so expect days to have double entries coming up. Horror films are often very, very dark, and we must rely on our sense of hearing to figure out just what is going on.  We've been very lucky to have actors dabble in the horror genre with very distinct and iconic voices.  As always, this is an opinion piece, but here are what I determine to be the 20 most iconic and recognizable voices in horror history.  (NOTE: I'm focusing on people who have voices that were used in many horror films and not necessarily just one iconic film. Yes, we all hear "HEEEERE'S JOHNNY!" and know it's Jack Nicholson, but he's more noted for other work as well.)  Same goes for Bette Davis.

20) Angus Scrimm
Raspy, old man voices are the stuff of nightmares.  Angus Scrimm may have one of the most metal sounding names in existence, but he's got a distinctly creepy voice that sounds like the voices you are told to look out for in dark alleys.  The Tall Man is creepy enough on his own, but adding Scrimm's voice to the character gives a haunting impression that resonates in all of our minds.

19) Ken Foree 
Smooth, suave, sexy, and scary all at the same time, Ken Foree's voice is one we cannot forget.  Delivering the most famous line in the entire canon of zombie films, Foree's voice is completely unique to himself.  There are moments when he sounds as smooth as warm butter and yet sounds completely strained when he's in panic mode like the infamous "Chicken Fucker" scene from THE DEVIL'S REJECTS.

18) Jamie Lee Curtis
The ultimate final girl, Jamie Lee Curtis is also blessed with a very distinct voice.  Capable of a wide range and with the ability to scream without sounding like a pre-teen at a One Direction concert, Jamie Lee Curtis has an extremely recognizable timbre to her voice. 

 17) Heather O'Rourke
Gone from this earth far too soon, Heather O'Rourke is the only child featured on this list.  Perfectly cast as Carol Anne Freeling in the POLTERGEIST franchise, her voice is forever immortalized as the ideal "little girl" voice.  Small and high pitched enough to be adorable but with enough strength to take command of a room, O'Rourke's voice will never be forgotten.

16) Michael Berryman
One of the nicest guys on the planet, Michael Berryman has made a career playing monsters and villains.  While he may tower above his fellow co-stars, giving off an incredibly intimidating demeanor, his voice somehow doesn't "match" his appearance.  Berryman looks like the type of guy who could knock you out with one punch, but he has such a warm and friendly sounding voice.  It is this combination that makes him such an interesting actor to watch.  We want to be scared of him but at the same time, we want to just talk to him and understand why his character is doing such terrible things.  At the same time, when he's "angry" this rough and bellowing sound comes out and he becomes absolutely horrifying. 

15) William H. Marshall
With a voice so deep you can feel it vibrate in your bones, William H. Marshall's voice as BLACULA cannot be replicated.  "Dracula's Soul Brotha" proved that he had soul oozing out of his vocal chords, with a smooth and guttural sound to his voice. 


14) Piper Laurie
Although Piper Laurie has been acting for a majority of her 81 years of life, it was after she made the transition from starlet to adult genre actress that made her an iconic figure.  An intimidating yet maternal sounding voice, Piper Laurie's speech in CARRIE paved the way for an extensive career in horror cinema and television.  Her voice is very distinct and the most comforting sound that makes us run for the covers at night.


13) Bill Moseley
It's difficult to describe ol' Chop Top's voice without simply describing it as, "Well...it sounds like Bill Moseley.  He sounds somewhat like everyone's Mom's cool brother, but at the same time sounds a bit like the guy who stands a little too close to you at the grocery store check out line.  All-American vocal chords with a handful of unsettling sarcasm, and you've got yourself Bill Moseley.

12) Tobin Bell
The voice of Tobin Bell jump-started its way into horror infamy with his portrayal of John Kramer, aka The Jigsaw Killer from the highly successful SAW franchise.  Even without using a voice modifier, Bell has a deep and brooding voice that sounds as if it's always about to deliver a message of impending doom.  
 11) Stephen Geoffreys
You can hear the laugh just looking at this picture, can't you?  Stephen Geoffreys' voice makes you simultaneously want to be his best friend and punch him in the face.  It doesn't matter if he's in a horror film or a gay porno, this voice cannot be escaped.  I personally LOVE Geoffreys' voice, but I can understand the annoyance factor many people attribute to his voice.  Whether you find it annoying or not, the second you hear it, you can immediately match the voice to the face.

10) Mercedes McCambridge
I know I said that I wouldn't focus on people who have only had one iconic role that made their voice famous, but considering there are too many people in this world who do not know who this woman is, she deserves the placement on this list.  Mercedes McCambridge was a movie star in the 40s, and an Academy award winning actress. Orson Welles even once called her "the world's greatest living radio actress."  She's also the voice of Pazuzu in THE EXORCIST.  Yep.

09) Sid Haig
If a mall Santa was smooth enough to pick up your mom but joyous enough to ensure that you were getting that Red Ryder BB gun, he'd probably sound (and look) a lot like Sid Haig.  Haig has this bellowing voice that can be heard for miles that always sounds like he's in a good mood, but the second his joyful glee turns into anger, the happiness sounds to be sucked out of the air and his voice sounds much more sinister.  Like Michael Berryman, Sid Haig is the nicest guy in the world, which makes the transition to "scary voice" all the more horrifying.


08) Bela Lugosi
Less noted for the sound of his voice, Bela Lugosi's speaking voice only became iconic for how often and successfully it was used.  Now, there may not be anything particularly special or unique about his voice, as Lugosi had a very similar 'acting voice' to the other popular men of his age, but Lugosi's speaking style included a thick accent which established the timbre of a villain for the rest of his career.  His foreign sounding accent combined with the familiar "acting style" made him accessible enough for audiences at the time, but foreign enough to feel terrifying.

07) Brad Dourif
One of the greatest character actors that has ever walked this earth, Brad Dourif will hopefully be remembered for more than just his voice.  Don't get me wrong, it's impressive that the voice of Charles Lee Ray aka Chucky has grown to be such a huge success, but Brad Dourif is a genuinely amazing actor and deserves accolade for far more than a possessed doll.  However, his ability to speak comfortably in strange pitches leads him to have one of the most memorable voices.


06) Tony Todd
There's William H. Marshall, and then there's Tony Todd.  A voice that both seduces and horrifies you, Tony Todd's deep voice is almost hypnotic in its delivery.  A sound so low it's impossible to imitate, but so smooth you wish that you could.


05) Christopher Lee
Actor, singer, veteran, and all around incredible man, Christopher Lee is one of the most prolific performers the world will ever know.  The golden-actor of Hammer Horror films, Christopher Lee has a strong and commanding voice with just a hint of high-class.  Even when he was hosting Saturday Night Live,  Christopher Lee was able to use the beautiful sound of his voice to play both fear as well as comedy.  If you had to image what a king would sound like, it would be Christopher Lee.

04) Jennifer Tilly
An actress and poker dynamo, Jennifer Tilly has a voice that can horrify, arouse, annoy, and trigger giggles.  Her famous voice has lent itself to a wide career of roles both horror and non, but her 1-900 operator voice sounds something like a porn-star child with a crash of gravel.  The Bride of Chucky herself, Jennifer Tilly's voice is unique to her and only her.


03) John Kassir
Another individual known for a character voice, John Kassir's voice is one of the creepiest characters in horror history.  When he speaks in his normal voice, the sound of The Crypt Keeper is very faint, but his Crypt Keeper voice and laugh are so notorious, it's impossible not to recognize. He's since done other voice work (my favorite being Deadpool) but none will ever be as noticeable or as prominent as The Crypt Keeper. 


02) Zelda Rubenstein
A voice so little you'd swear it was faked, Zelda Rubenstein is undoubtedly the most recognizable voice of any female actress.  Sweet like an old lady but shrill like a banshee, Zelda Rubenstein's voice can only be described as "eerily cute."  Well into her old age, Rubenstein's voice remained as tiny and endearing as possible, but her ability to make her cute voice sound intimidating gave her a wide range of characters to play throughout her career.


01) Vincent Price
Truly, the voice of horror is Vincent Price.  His distinct voice is next to impossible to faithfully impersonate but remains memorable for generations.  Regardless if someone grew up on his film career, his voice was forever immortalized in Michael Jackson's "Thriller" which was named the most influential music video of all time.  Price's career is dedicated in large part to his unique voice, which has become a staple in horror history.  It's polished, unsettling, unique, intriguing, beautiful, and haunting all at the same time. Vincent Price's voice IS horror.
 
Honorable Mentions: Bruce Campbell and Robert Englund.  These two men have voices that we all know and love, but they are far more noted for their delivery of one-liners and quick puns rather than the actual sound of their voice.  I will also give a shout out to John Larroquette who was the narrator for the original THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE and was specifically asked to come back and narrate for the reboot of the film.  If it ain't broke...

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

31 LISTS OF HALLOWEEN: "10 TYPES OF INDIE HORROR FILMMAKERS"

This next list was suggested to me by an independent filmmaker.  I've only recently begun to dabble in filmmaking from behind the camera, but over the last five years of blogging, I've encountered a lot of independent filmmakers that seem to be carbon copies of one another.  Of course no two filmmakers are the same, but many seem to fall into little "groups."  By request, I present to you the "10 Types of Indie Genre Filmmakers."
Here, let me just delete Suzette's dance recital footage and we're ready to take down Hollywood!
The Delusional Handycam Director
Found footage respawned in 2007 with PARANORMAL ACTIVITY.  Sweeping the nation into a fearful frenzy, PARANORMAL ACTIVITY was an independent film made on a very, very low budget of only about $15,000 but made about $200 MILLION.  Seeing such a huge success come out of such a simple concept sparked a flame under the ass of independent filmmakers everywhere.  You mean I can make a movie with the same camera I use to make home-made sex tapes and become a millionaire?!  Everyone is trying to milk the found footage cash cow, and indie directors are under the impression that just because they have a camera, they can make a movie...and expect the same results as PARANORMAL ACTIVITY or THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT.  I cannot tell you how many times I've gotten a press release from an indie director with the opening description of "If you liked PARANORMAL ACTIVITY you're going to love ____."  My suggestion?  Stop trying to make lightning strike twice, create your own storm.

Look at my movie of this kid. I'm the greatest thing you've ever seen. I'm a genius.
The Self-Proclaimed Visionary
There is a reason we consider people like Stanley Kubrick, Alfred Hitchcock, John Carpenter, Steven Spielberg, James Cameron, Ridley Scott, and Quentin Tarantino "visionaries."  It's because they earned that title with an extensive resume of films that go above and beyond expectations.  Emphasis on "extensive resume."  If you are making your debut film, do NOT call yourself a visionary.  If you are making your debut film, do NOT call yourself "groundbreaking."  I don't care how awesome your mom thinks your movie is, do not dilute the honorary title of "visionary" by slapping it on yourself without having anything to back it up.  The real visionaries don't even call themselves visionaries, they let the critics and fans say it for them.  If you have to keep telling yourself you're a visionary, chances are...you're not.

Why direct professional actors when I can just direct ME?

People-Hating Egomaniac
Everyone that isn't me sucks! I could hire an actual editor, or a sound designer, or a professional actor, an experienced key grip, and use a script that I didn't write in fifth grade, BUT WHY WOULD I WHEN I CAN DO EVERYTHING!?  It's one thing to see a film written/directed/edited/starring/scored/whatevered by someone because they legitimately didn't have the budget and just needed to create.  It's another thing when a filmmaker HAS the opportunity to allow people far more skilled in other aspects of production to work on their film, but chooses to wear all the hats because they're a people-hating egomaniac.  I get it, you think everyone is stupid.  I share this sentiment 90% of the time, but I'll be the first to admit I don't know dick about sound design or lighting and would much rather have someone proficient in these areas do it for me. A film is like your baby, and like most parents, you think you're the only one who can raise it properly.  I get that, but if your baby turns blue in the middle of the night, you take it to a doctor because they know better.  It's the same concept, people.  I know you're scared to let your film be handled by anyone other than you, but if you allow yourself to find a team that you trust with your vision, you'll have a much better product than if you force yourself to do everything alone.


If they didn't make such good sandwiches, maybe we'd give them a camera. AM I RIGHT, GUYS?!

The Woman-Hating Egomaniac
The Woman-Hating Egomaniac is much like the director mentioned previously, except they really, really hate women.  These people hate women to the point where they objectify them for no other reason than objectification.  To them, women are incapable of being behind a camera, and are only worth being in front of the camera if they're willing to do ridiculous things.  How am I going to get these women in less clothing? OOH! INSTEAD OF A BOOK CLUB, THEY'RE ALL STRIPPERS!  Uh, what? I mean if it makes sense for the story, by all means go for it.  However, it appears that a lot of filmmakers and writers are pulling these insta-slutty situations out of thin air just so they can objectify women.  I once saw an independent film where the lead character was wearing very revealing clothing throughout the entire film (that took place in the dead of winter.)  When I asked him why this costume was selected (he was also credited as the costume designer) he said "because why should I care about a woman in this movie if she's not giving me something to look at?"  *face palm*  This type of director may seem like a minority, but there are plenty of them that exist and continue to make movies.
MUST...GO...VIRAL
The Director Whose Self-Esteem Depends on 
"Likes" and Followers
I'm a proud internet junkie, and I admit my ego gets quite the stroking with all of your likes on Instagram, but there are some directors that take this a little bit too far.  I know filmmakers that spend hours of their day on some sort of high because their favorite filmmaker responded to them on twitter.  I know filmmakers who sink into a depressive state if their film's facebook page doesn't break 1,000 likes in the first 24 hours.  I know filmmakers who will sit obsessively on YouTube to watch the "hits" refresh when they release their movies.  It's ridiculous.  The internet is a very, very powerful tool, but it's not the only thing filmmakers have to their access to get the word out.  Enter in festivals, for crying out loud.  Your worth or talent is not determined by your viral status.
Seriously. Look at me.
The Master of Promotion
Much like the director previously mentioned, this person figured out how to ensure they received those likes and followers by the buttload.  These directors figured out how to work the viral system and used it to their advantage.  Without a doubt, the best example of this type of director is Jen and Sylvia Soska.  Those girls are promotion geniuses.  Your opinion of their films doesn't matter, because these girls found a way to market themselves and ensure that they were a household name in independent horror, whether you like their movies or not.  Everyone knows them, everyone knows what movies they've made, and everyone knows their face.  In terms of promotion, they're geniuses.  They could make the world's worst movie and it wouldn't matter, because they'll always find a way to make sure everyone and their brother has seen it (or at least heard of it.)


Thanks for the 10,000 likes. Here's my fifth teaser trailer!

The Empty Master of Promotion
You know those people you keep hearing about but still haven't seen a final product?  Those filmmakers who keep posting statuses online with vague descriptions like "big things coming ahead for NURSE SLAYERS 2: A SCALPEL A DAY KEEPS THE UNDEAD AWAY!" but you haven't seen anything outside of a half assed teaser trailer that's 80% black with some voice over?  This, my friend is the "Empty Master of Promotion."  This type of director is exactly like the director above, but without the final product.  They're the person we all end up following on twitter because we have 85 mutual followers and we assume whatever they're cookin' up must be impressive...but we never see it.


Let's sew some people together ass to mouth, BECAUSE I CAN.
The Shock for Shock's Sake
"Tom Six? Pfft. He's a wimp compared to what I've got coming.  Let's throw in a rape, some disembodiment, a guy getting his dick cut off and it shoved up his ass, and some DEAD ALIVE style blood coming out of this girl's nipples in the opening sequence. Yeah. That'll grab some attention."  I love gore, I really do, but can you give me some substance or reason for the excessive amount of gore?  There are so many directors hell-bent on making their film the grossest or nastiest horror film out there, and they completely forget to, I don't know, write a story that goes along with it?  The weird thing is that these people tend to be the most sensitive about their film as well.  The directors who attack bloggers and scream at them for bad reviews, I've found have been the directors who made a film for shock's sake.  I don't know. Weird pattern.

We're so marginalized, we're in our own category
The Female Director
I only included this as a category because female directors are never lumped into any categories previously mentioned, they're always lumped into the same category of "THEY HAVE VAGINAS."  Female horror directors are so hard to find that they're always promoted as "FEMALE DIRECTORS."  Don't get me wrong, gender inequality in the film industry is a deeply rooted problem, but female directors are far more than just female directors.  I'm so sick of people either giving us a break because "it's good for a female director," or giving undeserved slack because "it's from a female director."  No. It's a movie from a director.


The Actual Filmmakers Who Are Too Busy Getting Shit Done To Act Like The Other Piss-Poor Types
Luckily we have another group of individuals who direct and make films because it's what they need to do with every fiber of their being.  These are the people who only feel complete when they're making a movie.  These are the people who couldn't be bothered by the actions of the other "types."  These are the filmmakers who make the independent films that we actually get to see and love.  If you're making a horror film, strive to be YOU and not one of these categories.

Monday, October 7, 2013

31 LISTS OF HALLOWEEN: "THE 15 PEOPLE YOU MEET AT HORROR CONVENTIONS"

This past weekend was the one, the only, Cinema Wasteland.  A celebration of schlock, sci-fi, cult, and drive-in cinema, there is truly no other convention quite like Cinema Wasteland.  This year I was fortunate enough to catch the first reunion of the cast of The Hills Have Eyes.  It was one of the most wonderful panels I've ever witnessed, and the cast was elated to be there.  Highlights definitely included when Dee Wallace held my hand and called me wonderful, Michael Berryman wandering around the convention and asked if he and I could dance, and the legendary porn star Seka telling me I had "an incredible rack."  Needless to say, it was a fantastic weekend.  Many of you have been to your fair share of conventions, and I felt it necessary for today's list to be focused on those "stock characters" you always see at conventions.  I'm sure I'm going to miss some, but here's the 15 that in my opinion, always stick out. NOTE: I'm focusing solely on attendees/vendors and not celebrities.

Still from The Girl Who Knew Too Much
THE CLASSIC HORROR FAN: 
If it's not in black and white, it sucks.

Two awesome members of FEARnet's promotional team
THE WICKED HOT BOOTH BABES
Oh my god, I will buy anything you ask. Just smile at me again...

Matt Goodfriend and Wes Allen of The Blood Sprayer in all of their bearded glory.
MEN WITH INSANELY LARGE BEARDS
See Also: 68% of the male population at a horror convention

Linnea Quigley and Radiation-Scarred Reviews' Bill Adcock
THE IMPRESSIVE BATTLE VEST GUY
Where do you even find some of those buttons?!
Adam King: Days of the Dead's official Ash Williams
THE IMMACULATE COSPLAYER
Putting your Halloween costumes to shame since forever.

Still from the documentary FANTASM
THE ADORABLE CHILDREN IN COSTUME
Little kids in horror gear make me ovulate. THEY'RE SO CUTE.

Cameron Scott's western/revenge/horror flick.
THE GUY SELLING MOVIES YOU DIDN'T KNOW EXISTED
Wait, this is a thing?

The Warlock Home Video crew hanging out with some of THE GOONIES
PEOPLE WAY TOO EXCITED TO MEET CHILDHOOD HEROES
Sometimes they cry, sometimes they truffle shuffle.

THE COMIC BOOK/MAGAZINE GUY
He's got at least 40 copies of every Fangoria issue, but still charges $60 a piece.

Still from Holliston: S1E9
 ALT. FEMALE CRAFT VENDORS
Can be seen selling bows with skulls on them and black nailpolish in bat shaped bottles

There's probably a girl out there crying just looking at this photo.
NORMAN REEDUS FANGIRLS
Beatlemania be damned, Dixon fangirls are INSANE.

Someone needs to call the boner patrol.
THE MEN THAT SHOULDN'T BE ALLOWED AT FEMALE CELEBRITY GUEST TABLES
Don't tell Danielle Harris you masturbate to her...and learn to breathe out of your nose.

Icons of Fright, FEARnet, and Killer POV's Rob G getting the Kane Hodder treatment.
 KANE HODDER CHOKE VICTIMS
He chokes everyone. You're not special. Quit squealing.

KRISTY JETT
Seriously, how can you not know Kristy Jett?

Still from Holliston: S1E9
THE JUDGMENTAL KNOW IT ALL
It may be impressive that he/she learned Latin to be able to fluently write his/her own Necronomicon, but scoffing at anyone else unable to do it just makes him/her an asshole.

Friday, October 4, 2013

31 LISTS OF HALLOWEEN: "MOST INSANE PUMPKIN CARVINGS, EVER."

As I'm leaving for Cinema Wasteland today, I'm going to be horribly lazy and post a picture list.  It's time to forever feel inferior by the art kids, here's some insanely amazing pumpkin carvings.





















Dang. My triangle face looks very sad right about now.

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