SOV Flashbacks Classics – A Night Of Total Terror

Welcome back to Rotten Ink. For this update, we will be taking a look at another Shot On Video Film of James Rolfe and his Cinemassacre Productions, and when looking at the DVDs I have of some of his movies I decided to choose his 1996 Silent Film “A Night Of Total Terror” as it’s one that seems to be a one he truly loved making and is a major influence of his creative life that followed. The film was made because of a mix of boredom and creativity and was inspired by “Night Of The Living Dead” and the silent film masterpiece “Nosferatu”! So what awaits you readers on this Night Of Total Terror? Well read on and find out as this SOV Flashback update is going to be a blast, and I hope will inspire some of you to pick up a camera and film your own backyard films.

James Rolfe was hooked on making movies at a very young age and armed with his family’s VHS camera he would write and direct his own fright flicks and would try his best to get his friends to act in them and allow his visions to come alive. In May 1996 James at the age of 15 was itching to make another movie and after two of the SNIX flicks and some shorts were in his past, he knew that getting his friends to be in another was not in the cards so he came up with a Silent Horror Film that he himself could play all the roles! You see James was a big fan of classic Horror with the Universal Monsters being some of his all time favorites and during this boring summer he knew he had to make this film and nothing was going to stand in his way and his dream to make this creepy classic style Silent Horror Film. And it was at that time while bored in his room hearing the lawnmowers of his neighbors going outside that he made the decision that this was the summer he was going to make another film and he was going to give it his all as he was going to be a one man cast and crew! And on that day the shot on video film “A Night Of Total Terror” was born and James’s creative life would forever be changed.

James spent a whole day filming and coming up with the film’s plot on the spot and putting the ideas that would come to his mind onto tape, and thanks to all the Halloween masks and props he had from the haunted house he held every year in the family basement he had all the tools he needed to create his monsters! James played all the parts in the film and would have to set his shots up change into another character then hit record and the camera had a three second delay and he would have to run and be in the spot in order to get his shot. When needed during this day of filming he would ask his younger sister to put on the outfit of one of the ghouls in order to get a certain shot, and once she filled in he would take the role back over. He of course shot the film during the day and knew that by turning the film black and white he could play it off that it was late night. And after a long day of filming and editing James had a very interesting short horror film that he could be proud of…but this first day was not the end of this film!

The second day of filming James ended up showing the first part of the film to some of the neighborhood kids and they loved it and wanted to help make the second part of the film, and this gave James the cast and crew he needed and was able to make the film a little easier for him to pull of shots and his ideas could get a little bigger! Plus he could add more monsters to his story, and that is always a good thing in the world of SOV Horror. And things started to move faster on set as he was able to shoot scenes faster and was able feel that rush of making a film at that age and being creative with his friends. He wanted to make a film that built a spooky atmosphere and for that level of filmmaking he pulled it off! James really was a one man production team as for the most part he not only was the story creator, actor, director, special effects guy he also was the film’s editor that he did all in camera…think about that he edited the film in camera and had to rewind the tape in order to take out bad and messed up takes. He also in order to get the silent and black and white look he wanted he had to play the tape on his VCR and turn the sound and color down on the TV and then use the camcorder to tape the TV Screen! And when this film was done James was proud of it, and this is the film that gave him the encouragement to prose a career in filmmaking.

A Night Of Total Terror is for James what “Werewolf Of Ohio 2: 10 Years Before” was for me that moment of picking up a camera and filing with your friends watching your story and characters come to live, the feeling of knowing you want to make films your life…it’s a feeling that is hard to describe but really does give you that bug to want to film more and get better at all aspects of creating a movie. James was so inspired by this film that he would go on to do a “Making Of Film” did a sequel he called “ An Evening Of Real Supernatural Horror”, at one point was working on a remake and even did a mini version for collage called “A New Night Of Total Terror” and even other films he made have taken elements from this film. So while SNIX and a few other films came before it truly his first film that brought him to the SOV dance was A Total Night Of Terror. The film was mostly seen only by his friends and family and would run around 30 minutes, and in 2006 he recut the film and released a shorten version on the internet…it’s a shame as I for one would have liked to see the original version of the film as to me that also shows the heart of the production as well as the skill of the director. But I must also say at least we get to see the film in some sort of way and for that thanks James for sharing your early creative film works with the world.

So I want to say that for this film I will write about its plot, my thoughts on the film and will in the end give it a Report Card Grade on the classic A-F scale. Now keep in mind it would not be fair to grade SOV films like you would a big budget Hollywood Movie or even a bigger budget Indie Feature, that’s why much like I do for “Fan Films” I will be grading them on its own scale on a scale of true to life backyard cinema the true shot on video warriors of the camcorder days. So grab a flashlight and lets take a spooky journey into a Night Of Total Terror!

A Night Of Total Terror
Starring – James Rolfe & Gina Rolfe       Directed by James Rolfe
1996     Not Rated     10min     Cinemassacre       DVD-R     Full Frame

Movie: A thief breaks into a tomb in order to steal a magic lamp, but unknown to him this has caused ghouls and creatures to track him down as they want back what is theirs! The enter his home and try to scare him with eye balls and hands that they leave around even a rat attacks him and bites his neck causing the thief pain…his defense is to throw it all out the window! But when a hockey mask wearing Creep with a top hat and cane enters his home all hope is lost as the Creep attacks him with his cane causing the thief to fight back and bash the Creep with his fists as well as taking the cane and beating him with it, but before he can truly escape or get help a ghoul as well enters the house and the Creep comes back for more causing him to have to flee his house and run into the near by woods at night and finding shelter with a young man who has a tent up as he is camping. The thief will not give up the lamp and has it with him as he sits in the tent and tells the man that he has it and that’s what they want! Meanwhile outside the monsters are gathering as besides the Creep and Ghoul such monsters as a Dinosaur Man, Vampire, black hooded man, the rat and Werewolf have joined in the stalking! The youngster in the tent takes out a gun opens fire on the ghouls and then the thief as well takes the gun and shoots the ghouls and they hurry back into the tent. Once inside the thief asks the kid if he believes in the curse of the lamp, and before he can fully answer the tent is attacked by the ghouls! When one finally gets in they remove their mask as does all the ghouls outside as they only dressed this way to scare them and take the lamp as they are thieves as well! But the joke is on them as the lamp curse is real and turns the original thief and the tent kid into monsters who kill them in the end.

Thoughts: A Night Of Total Terror is a fun backyard shot horror film that you can tell was very much thought up on the spot and props pulled out of the Halloween boxes from the basement, but because of this is why I think it has a charm of being a early work of a director that went onto bigger and better films and shorts. The film for the most part is a silent horror film all though very little title cards are used to explain the plot, but to be honest it’s very easy to follow. You can tell that James had his heart into the film even with the zero budget and at the start lack of help and you can also see his influences from classic black and white horror films throughout. He also had a nice twist ending that was very popular in classic horror that has not everything you see being what it seems. Plus in the end when the thief who is played by James Rolfe turns into a monster cause of the lamp he transforms into a gorilla creature and this makes me wonder if he does so cause of his love for the film King Kong or because Gorilla’s were super popular in classic horror to be the monster on film? The films effects are super backyard and charming with clearly store bought plastic limbs and eyes being used to pull off the “gore”. Also I am not sure but I think that the magical lamp is a Disney Aladdin toy and that is awesome as kids and teens in their backyard epics use what they have and that’s lots of toys, I mean in Werewolf Of Ohio I used a old Lone Ranger gun as the leads weapon! While A Night Of Total Terror is not super scary nor is it the best film James has made, I will say that holds lots of magic as you can tell it was made with the love of horror cinema and filmmaking. Check it out if you are a fan of silent horror and zero budget backyard films.

Grade: B+

After watching this chopped down version of this film I for one once more must stress that I would have liked to have seen the full 30 minute version and hope that one day James will stop chopping these down and allow us to also see the true original versions, no need to George Lucas these films as those who love SOV films enjoy them no matter how flawed they are. In fact I am hoping that someday a company like SOV Horror get the rights from James and put this film out in a collectors edition DVD as the world needs it! I am having such a great time doing these updates based on Shot On Video Horror Films and I hope you are enjoying reading them, and in 2022 I will be doing a few more so that is something for you to look forward to as one of them will be Werewolf Of Ohio the first film I ever made! But for my next update we are leaving the SOV films behind and will be once more looking at a Horror Host and a very awesome one at that as its time we take a look at Dayton, Ohio’s own Baron Von Porkchop! So until next time make sure to read an indie comic or three, watch a SOV film or two, and as always support your local Horror Host! See you next time for a Terrifying Tale Of The Macabre!

The Best Active MLB Mascot Countdown!

Baseball is America’s favorite past time and a sport that is embedded into our culture and has driven collectors markets for decades with trading cards and even autographs. Growing up in Waynesville, Ohio almost all my male classmates and even some of the females collected baseball cards, showing that the appeal of this sport in the 80’s and 90’s was strong. In town we had a place called Bill’s Baseball Den that had tons of classic ball cards as well as new packs from the industries top companies like Topps, Donruss and Fleer. I can remember going to a few Cincinnati Reds games back then along with my father, brother and my dad’s close friends and seeing the likes of Barry Larkin and Eric Davis doing their thing, as well as seeing Mr. Red their then-mascot…and at those Red’s games is where I discovered that baseball was fun to watch live…but also that Mascots for sports teams are amazing! And when planning updates for 2021 I knew that I had to cover MLB Mascots and then knowing how many of you readers love when I do a countdown this just seemed like a no brainer to do. To me, mascots are a major part of baseball just like hot dogs, peanuts and beer are part of the experience.

Now let me take a moment to say what rules I gave myself when ranking these mascots as it was both very easy and very hard all at the same time as I think each and every one of these mascots are great in their own ways. So here is what I used for my rankings: I took my time and watched videos of each mascot doing their thing from on field antics all the way to videos on their social media. I looked at how well loved they are by the fans, critics as well as the team they represent. I looked at how well their costumes look as well as their personality. I looked at if they had any limitations in their antics as well as slightly how well they fit the team they mascot for. I ruled out any sidekick mascots and only rated the team’s main mascot. I as well ruled out teams that try to use real animals (looking at you Angels) as well as fans as their mascots, because those are not true mascots, as we all know and love them. I ruled out my love for the team – just cause I love the team doesn’t mean they have a great mascot. And most importantly is, of course, my personal like for the mascot again not the team but the mascot themselves. And again remember this is all for fun and I must stress I feel all of them mean something to their fans just like Horror Hosts so they are all important in their own ways. So with that, let’s find our seats at Rotten Ink Stadium and order a drink and some junk food and let’s talk MLB Mascots as I give you my personal countdown from least favorite to my top pick. Oh and I want to also take a moment to say shame on the following teams for not having a Mascot at their ball park” New York Yankees, Los Angeles Angels and Los Angeles Dodgers, get it together and bring in a mascot.

# 27

Billy The Marlin
Team: Miami Marlins     Debut: 1993     POP: Yes     World Series Wins: 2

Poor old Billy finds himself in the last place spot.  Since he was introduced in 1993 all the way to this day, I have always found him to be the least interesting mascot in the MLB as his antics and style are just bland as is his over all appearance.  Whenever I watch a game, he never is one that makes me wonder what he is up to during halftime. But while Billy The Marlin might not be my favorite mascot, he does have a very big following in his home state of Florida and even has his own fan club for youths. But while Billy is a lovable mascot, he also has a “dark side” aka some silly mishaps that includes firing a t-shirt into the crowd and knocking out an older man when the shirt hit him in the eye or so the old man claims. Also during a 1997 parachute stunt his head was blown off by high winds and was found 2 months later near the highway. But even with those silly mishaps, Billy is well loved for sure, he just is not for me. Oh yes and he has also gotten his own baseball cards from Topps over the years. When USA Today did their countdown, Billy was ranked # 15.

# 26

Southpaw
Team: Chicago White Sox     Debut: 2004     POP: Yes     World Series Wins: 3

The White Sox is one of those iconic teams that started in 1900 and their original mascot was Andy The Clown who was later replaced by Ribbie & Roobarb who in turn were ousted by the animated White Sox Wolf…but his time as well was numbered by Southpaw who took over in 2004 and is the team’s mascot still to this day. Southpaw is a green furred monster who looks like a Muppet and cartoon character and is really solid at entertaining the fans during White Sox games and is a master of silly dances and silly pranks on players and fans.  But that’s kind of the thing about Southpaw, he just is kind of average all around and does not have a presence like the other mascots on this list and that’s why he ranks so low in my eyes. Southpaw has been on ball cards from companies like Topps and USA Today ranked him # 23 on their list.

# 25

Lou Seal
Team: San Francisco Giants     Debut: 1996     POP: No     World Series Wins: 8

While Forbes and Hulu will tell you that the iconic Lou Seal is one of the best mascots the MLB has to offer, I sadly disagree as his antics are fantastic but the character’s over all look is very bland and does not capture my attention nor imagination like the others that will be making up this list. But while I might not think the look of this sports mascot is the best thing going, those who go and see a Giants game are highly entertained by Lou who tries to appear at almost very home game and brings smiles to the young and young at heart. A fun little fact is that Lou Seal got his name from a contest that allowed fans to name the character before his debut in 1996 and a total of six fans all wrote in with the name “Lou Seal” and so the name was picked and all those fans got invited to the game when he made his on-field first appearance. Also Lou Seal and the man who wears the costume were one of the subjects followed on the Hulu show called “Behind The Mask”. And for those wondering, yes, this massive seal has graced some baseball cards. USA Today ranked him their # 6 best MLB Mascot.

# 24

Dinger
Team: Colorado Rockies     Debut: 1994     POP: No     World Series Wins: 0

Dinger is the Rockies # 1 fan and has warmed his way into the hearts of the fans that pack the ballpark to watch the game and see his antics, and he has became a icon in the minds of the kids who love watching the purple dinosaur do his thing to cheer on his team. Dinger is a purple triceratops and his name is slang term for home runs, and for those wondering why he is that type of dinosaur its cause many fossils were dug up in Colorado and this caused the ball club to choose a one to be their mascot. Dinger during a game can also be found in the stands interacting with his fans and even at times doing his best to distracting the opposing team in order to try and give his team an edge to win. Dinger is a fun mascot who is very much beloved by Rockies fans and while he is low on my list he is a great mascot for baseball and brings the smiles and joy to fans at the stadium. USA Today ranked him # 8 of their top MLB Mascots.

# 23

Clark
Team: Chicago Cubs     Debut: 2014     POP: No     World Series Wins: 3

The Chicago Cubs is a ball team that always seems like the underdogs that have you rooting for them, and crazy enough they always have great players they just never seem to get the wins they need…and for me their mascot Clark just does not bring the home runs when it comes to look and sideline antics, and over all has a very generic Party City rented suit look to him. But while I find Clark to be dull and boring in look he does bring the joy to fans of the Cubs and many younger fans look forward to seeing him and his silly ways and for that I have to give him respect. Plus Clark is a newbie in the baseball mascot world so he still has time to grow as a character and I am sure will become a major icon over time. I love that he was created when fans wanted more friendly things at Wrigley Field for kids to do and Clark was born to greet them before, during and after the games. Over all while Clark is just kind of silly looking and still green when it comes to being a thought about mascot, he is quickly building a fan base and helps add the fun times of attending a Cubs game. And yep, he has graced some baseball cards. Clark was rated # 22 on USA Today’s countdown.

# 22

T.C. Bear
Team: Minnesota Twins     Debut: 2000     POP: Yes     World Series Wins: 2

Another bear mascot with a very generic rental store look, but T.C. Bear has more history to his look as he is based on the old Hamm’s Beer Bear, mascot of Hamm’s Brewery that was on original sponsor for the Twins. And his name T.C. of course stands for Twin Cities and he stepped into the role of mascot when the original was sent to the Mascot Retirement Home in the sky the original was named Twinkie and was a Loon. One thing that sets T.C. apart from Clark is that he has a more classic mascot look to him, and while they both are great at entertaining on the sidelines and in the crowd I give T.C. the slight edge as I find him to turn it up when needed. Going on over 20 years as the teams mascot makes T.C. Bear a major part of the Twins game experience and like all other MLB mascots he has a major hometown following and has graced many baseball cards. And for his USA Today rating they gave him the # 26 spot.

# 21

Raymond
Team: Tampa Bay Rays     Debut: 1998     POP: No     World Series Wins: 0

So Raymond here is a strange looking creature that is said to be a “Seadog” that lives at the ball field and loves to show support for the Rays as well as entertain the fans during the game. Raymond is a very cool, cartoonish looking mascot who has a great act when it comes to entertaining the fans, and like all mascots not to mention helps bring the laughs to the crowd. Raymond over the years has gotten the respect from such sites as GameOps and USA Today who ranked him # 14 on their Mascot countdown. One thing that makes me enjoy Raymond as well is that he looks like a friend creature in some photos while others he kind of looks mean! Raymond is a great mascot and The Rays have done a fantastic job of bringing the laughs with him, and yep also got the baseball card treatment.

# 20

Ace
Team: Toronto Blue Jays     Debut: 2002     POP: Yes     World Series Wins: 2

Ace is a mascot for Canada’s only pro baseball team and he took over the role in 2002 from the teams original mascot named BJ Birdy who was forced into the Mascot Retirement Home by the ball club who wanted something new and fresh for fans to see while at home games, and this did not go over well with fans as Birdy was well loved and they did not want a new mascot as they were all very happy with the old one! And when the Blue Jays asked the fans to help name one the new replacement they got flooded with bad names as fans were not happy. But while at first fans where not happy Ace did what he does best and that’s entertain, bring the silly laughs and fill the fans with home team pride and has won their hearts over with time. Some fun facts about Ace is that he has graced baseball cards, his original name for a short time was Slider, his beak was changed from grey to blue, he wears team # 0 and his look was created by Sugar’s Mascot Costumes based in Toronto Canada. For me I see what Ace had to face in order to win his own towns respect and he does a great job of pulling off his antics and that’s why I respect the little feathered guy. USA Today ranked Ace at # 20 in their countdown.

# 19

Rangers Captain
Team: Texas Rangers     Debut: 2002     POP: Yes     World Series Wins: 0

Who don’t love a horse that attends baseball games in Texas and jumps around swinging flags and entertaining you during the slow parts of the game! Rangers Captain is truly one cool and total “American” style mascot who loves baseball and also bringing the laughs to fans in the bleachers. When watching moments on YouTube of Rangers Captain doing his bits its great to see the fans face light up with smiles as they see him, and that goes for young and old as its clear he is well loved by his hometown fans. For some reason many outside of Texas fans have a weird dislike for Rangers Captain as they say that he is silly looking, stuff of nightmares and even generic…but I for one when watching him do his thing have nothing but respect for him as he is great at what he does and that’s bring on the laughs during a Rangers ball game. Some fun facts about Rangers Captain is that the number he wears 72 is the year that the Rangers relocated to the Dallas Metroplex, and he has many change of jerseys that follows the teams change in uniforms. Rangers Captain has graced Topps baseball cards and ranked # 18 of mascots of Major League Baseball.

# 18

Slider
Team: Cleveland Indians     Debut: 1990     POP: No     World Series Wins: 2

When the Cleveland Indians showed their new mascot Slider to the fans in 1990 they seemed a little confused as they replaced Chief Wahoo and Tom E. Hawk with this strange bright colored Muppet looking creature that just seemed out of place. And like many new mascots that took the place of beloved ones it was a little rough for Slider to win the hearts of the fans…but like all good mascots put in this position Slider worked his butt off and used his silly and funny skills to win them over. Slider is known for his dance movies and while he is a part of the Ohio sports family he also seems to have a feud with Cincinnati Reds secondary mascot Gapper who is also a fuzzy Muppet like creature. While Slider here might look very silly he does have the moves to get the attention, and has become a staple for fans who attend Indian games. But while Slider is super goofy he did have a bad mishap in 1995 when he fell off the outfield wall during an American League Championship Series game and tore ligaments in his knee, ouch! Slider is loved here in Ohio now and has graced some baseball cards and was ranked a very low # 25 by USA Today on their countdown. Slider got the honor of being inducted into the Mascot Hall Of Fame in 2008.

# 17

Blooper
Team: Atlanta Braves     Debut: 2018     POP: No     World Series Wins: 3

What can be said about Blooper, the newest mascot on this list, besides I have not seen so much anger and confusion over a mascot in my life.  This poor guy has gotten so much hate from not only MLB fans but also the media! But what really matters is not what none Atlanta Braves fans think and what does is how the home team fans feel about him and they seem to have opened their arms and love him now! This cartoon character looking mascot has all types of ways to make fans laugh and pop that include driving go-carts around, covering players heads under his shirt, dancing around, using a toilet paper gun, taking fake falls and even given out free snacks to fans by stealing it from the venders! And again I think Blooper came at a time of high critical social media and like others on this list he had to fill the shoes of retired former Brave mascots Chief Noc-A-Homa and Homer The Brave and that is hard work to do for any mascot. Blooper has had a small amount of baseball cards made with his image and ranked a # 27 on USA Todays list making him in last place for them. While Blooper does seem like a cheap imitation of the Phillie Phanatic and seems to recycle many of the other mascots bits, I think Blooper over the years will grow into his own and will find the respect of MLB fans.

# 16

Stomper
Team: Oakland Athletics     Debut: 1997     POP: Yes     World Series Wins: 9

The Oakland A’s has always been a ball club that has had a tie to Elephants in their logos and in 1997 they unleashed Stomper into their fans and he quickly became a staple for those at the stadium. Stomper is a great mascot as he does all the classic bits from messing with the other team, dancing around, pulling fun pranks on players and fans and even has taken part in Mascot races and boxing matches. By all accounts Stomper is a top notch mascot that embodies the ball clubs spirit and legacy not to even mention he has all the hometown fans and mascot critics loving him. While I feel that he is an icon in MLB mascot history and has graced baseball cards over the decades…I shockingly do like and respect Stomper and his legacy and abilities, but I do find other mascots in baseball to be better and more fun for me and that’s why Stomper is only at # 16 for me. USA Today however gave him their # 10 spot.

# 15

Mr. Met
Team: New York Mets     Debut: 1963     POP: Yes     World Series Wins: 2

Okay I know many of you are ranting right now on how “low” I ranked Mr. Met on my list and I get it as Forbes placed him at # 1, USA Today had him ranked at # 2 and many sports fans say that he is truly the best mascot in baseball history…its just I disagree and that’s why he is only # 15 on my list! So let me first point out why Mr. Met is so iconic to fans and first is that he is a fun looking mascot with a friendly looking baseball for a head, he does a fantastic job of getting the crowd railed up and cheering The Mets on, he is great with the fans and is an attraction in his own right when fans attend a game they look forward to seeing him and lastly he truly is a pop culture icon and is in the Mascot Hall Of Fame (2007 class). Now for my reasons of not being super high on my list is that he is limited in his antics as the giant baseball head makes him unable to pull off normal mascot bits, while his look is fitting for the Mets I do feel that he lacks any real character in appearance as I do feel his actions do have lots of character and to be honest I also I have to say that he just is a clone of Mr. Redlegs (Cincinnati Reds) who was created 10 years before him. One funny Mr. Met moment is when in 2017 a fan recorded the beloved mascot given him the middle finger after a loss for the Mets, that’s right the three fingered icon figured out how to give a rival fan the bird…awesome! Mr. Met of course has graced baseball cards as well as has been on many TV Shows as well as commercials. Keep in mind while Mr. Met is only # 15 for me I still love this mascot and 100% think he is an icon of American culture.

# 14

D. Baxter The Bobcat
Team: Arizona Diamondbacks     Debut: 2000     POP: No     World Series Wins: 1

I feel that D. Baxter The Bobcat is a harshly judged mascot in MLB and for some reason people dislike the characters look and a few even use the word “creepy” when describing him and that word I feel is over used in the internet culture when talking about mascots in not only sports but also fast food. Baxter is great at what he does and his costume allows him to move around way more freely then many of his peers and pull off some great antics and goofy style stunts. His interaction with players and fans is great and he knows what to do to get a laugh, plus he also uses go-carts, costumes, props and other items to enhance his antics. Baxter also does classic dances and in my opinion has a great look for a mascot plus he is fitting for being Arizona’s mascot as bobcats are native to that state plus his name is a play on the teams name and old stadium’s name. Over all I think Baxter is a great mascot who does thinks that many of his fellow baseball mascots cannot do and that’s why he gets my respect. And yep if you are a fan you can get him on many baseball cards and USA Today ranked him a very low # 24 on their countdown.

# 13

Paws
Team: Detroit Tigers     Debut: 1995     POP: Yes     World Series Wins: 4

The Detroit Tigers when selecting a mascot new that Paws was the winner, well cause he himself is a tiger! Paws is a very classic looking mascot and while his costume does look a little cheesy and generic, its that simple look that in my opinion works so well as he comes off looking very friendly and also just fits the ball clubs family friendly nature. Paws brings to the table of antics silly dances, costume changes, and even does silly skits to get the laughs. Paws is also very well loved by his home town crowd as he always makes time for them to takes pictures or even give high fives and most important gets them fired up to cheer for The Tigers. Paws to be is a great traditional mascot who is fitting for his team and brings all the entertainment he needs to in order to put smiles on the faces of fans. Paws has of course been on baseball cards for collectors, and USA Today of course rated him really low on their list given him the # 19.

# 12

Mariner Moose
Team: Seattle Mariners     Debut: 1990     POP: Yes     World Series Wins: 0

Who don’t love watching a silly moose dance around and do goofy things for a laugh, well the people of Seattle do as their mascot Mariner Moose does just that. Mariner Moose is a mascot who does what he can to get the crowd to laugh and cheer for the home team and is well loved by the fans as they enjoy his antics and style of funny crowd hyping. The Mariner Moose character was created by a young boy when the Mariners wanted a mascot and held a contest, and he was selected from over 25,000 submissions! Mariner Moose’s trademark was roller skating while being pulled by an ATV in the outfield this lasted until 1999, and with a switch of fields Mariner Moose started himself to drive the ATV around to the delight of the fans. Mariner Moose has built himself up as being one of the most popular and well loved mascots in Baseball and fans even have their own ways for cheering him by using their hands as antlers to their heads and Mooing! But while this Moose has graced many of baseball cards over time he did have a bad accident while being pulled by the ATV the lead to him breaking his ankle! Mariner Moose is a true very cool mascot who makes appearances all around Seattle as well as even in Nike Commercial along side Ken Griffey Jr.! USA Today gave the # 11 spot on their MLB Mascot countdown.

# 11

Wally The Green Monster
Team: Boston Red Sox     Debut: 1997     POP: Yes     World Series Wins: 9

Wally The Green Monster is a mascot for one of the world’s most popular teams in baseball and he himself has climb to become one of the worlds most loved characters in the sport. Wally is named after the 37-Foot wall in left field at Fenway Park and he himself is said to live at the ballpark inside that very wall as you see Wally is a big mark when it comes to hits and ones that could have and should have been homeruns, but are not cause of his wall home. Wally The Green Monster is great at entertaining the fans and will do what he needs to do to get the laughs, and most important he his top notch to the fans and makes sure that they get that special moment with an interaction with him. Of course the kids in the stadium really love seeing Wally and over time even the adults have come to love him as he leads them in sing alongs and does silly things to entertain them during the seventh-inning stretch. Wally’s look is also great and will remind you of not only a Muppet but also just a classic style 80’s cartoon character and this helps his appeal to ball fans my age. Wally also wins extra points as he ties into the team as the Left-Wall that is painted green is one of the biggest legends of Fenway Park and Wally being the one who has lived inside it for over 50 years makes his legacy also apart of the teams history. Wally of course has graced ball cards and USA Today ranked him # 3 on their list and to be honest I can see why!

# 10

The Swinging Friar
Team: San Diego Padres     Debut: 1958     POP: Yes     World Series Wins: 0

For some reason The Swinging Friar has always captured by attention and sense I have been a kid I have been a fan of his look and style and love that his look fits in with the name of the team The Padres. And the cool part about him is over the years his look has changed but his style and name has stayed the same. The Swinging Friar has been a very super popular mascot for Padres fans and really has been with the team forever even starting when they were just a minor league team and followed them up to the pros! Swinging Friar is great with fans and everyone loves meeting him and getting a picture with him and his main attraction is when he swings a giant bat that pops the fans and is his trademark bit. He also at times will change his robe to fit a theme night held at the stadium, helping add to his community love. The Swinging Friar has of course graced baseball cards and ranked # 4 on USA Today’s baseball mascot rankings. Not sure why but I really do dig The Swinging Friar and have lots of respect for his legacy in baseball history.

# 9

Bernie Brewer
Team: Milwaukee Brewers     Debut: 1973     POP: Yes     World Series Wins: 0

For many Baseball fans things like hotdogs, peanuts, Cracker Jack and beer go hand and hand with a good time at the ballpark and one mascot really brings the bound of baseball and beer together and that’s Bernie Brewer who’s massive grinning face just screams let’s get drunk, do some silly stuff and have a good time while doing it! Bernie over the years besides being playful with the players and fans was known for sliding into a giant beer glass when a Brewer would hit a home run at a home game, and the fans just ate it up! But over time the giant beer mug slide turned into a slide to a giant home base plate. Bernie does a great job sitting in his own private dugout and getting the crowd to cheer on the Brewers and is one of the ballparks top attractions. Some fun quick facts about Bernie is that he has graced many baseball cards, was forced into retirement in 1984 but by 1993 the fans got their wish and he returned, he was based on a real life fan named Milt Mason who camped out on the scoreboard until at least 40,000 fans would attend a game and was up there for 40 days. Bernie is a fun mascot with a great history of entertaining fans and is an icon that I hope is around forever. USA Today ranked Bernie their # 13 spot.

# 8

Orbit
Team: Houston Astros     Debut: 1990     POP: Yes     World Series Wins: 1

Orbit is a master of being a funny, silly and entertaining mascot and knows just how to work the fans to get that laugh! Orbit was the team’s #2 mascot after Chester Charge but to me, he is the most fitting as he his a green alien that plays on the fact Houston was a main hub for NASA back in the day and why not have a baseball loving alien be your teams mascot…am I right? Orbit is super popular and well loved by Astros fans that when the tried to retire him in 2000 with Junction Jack and the fans were not pleased as they did not connect with Jack like they did Orbit, and by 2012 after fans outcries they brought him back home as the mascot where he belongs…now don’t get me wrong, Junction Jack also had his fans he just could not replace the love the fans had for Orbit. The thing that makes Orbit so special is the fact he knows what to do to entertain the fans and that could be silly pranks all the way to his famous silly dances and the fans just eat up his silliness.  Do yourself a favor and look up some of his bits on YouTube to see just how good he is at his job. One thing Orbit is also known for is being thrown out of a game in 1996 after making gestures at the umpire after some bad calls, showing that Orbit is a true fan of the team he represents. Orbit is a cool looking alien with green fur, baseball antennae and has of course been on baseball cards for collectors. USA Today on their countdown gave Orbit the # 17 spot and I feel that is way to low for this guy.

# 7

Fredbird
Team: St. Louis Cardinals     Debut: 1979     POP: No     World Series Wins: 11

Another bird mascot swoops in and takes the # 7 spot and what’s cool about this guy is that he was unleashed the same year I was born! Fredbird is a true icon of mascots and when it comes to antics he brings all the classic bits to the fans the Cardinals as he greets and entertains the kids and young at heart, gives out free t-shirts and merchandise, dances around the stadium and his classic move is called the “beak-ing” where he places his mouth on fans heads and that is the highlights for many fans in the stadium. He also is seen swinging the team’s flag on field during wins, has young women that help him in his antics that are called “Team Fredbird”, he has been a cohost on a kids show on local St. Louis TV, makes hundreds of public appearances at events and most important is one of Baseballs most known and iconic mascots. Fredbird is a true topnotch mascot who brings the fun to the field, and for me his cheesy look just adds to his awesome over nature. Has graced ball cards and USA Today ranked him # 16 on their list.

# 6

Sluggerrr
Team: Kansas City Royals     Debut: 1996     POP: Yes     World Series Wins: 2

Sluggerrr is a very cool looking mascot as he is a muscle bound lion who has a crown for the top of his head and for some reason has always caught by attention as I think he really is one of the coolest looking mascots in Baseball. Sluggerr is an attraction at the Royals games as he does what he can to entertain the crowd by swing around the teams flag, getting the crowds to cheer and even firing free hot dogs into the crowd via a cannon, and speaking of the Hot Dog Cannon at one point Sluggerrr was taken to court over hitting a fan in the eye with a hotdog…or so the guy claimed. Sluggerrr is a mascot who is slightly limited by his costume, but does a great job to work around its limitations and really does a great job of bounding with the fans. And I am sure you longtime baseball fans also get that his name is a reference to a powerful batter and to me that name fits for this characters look, and then his crown being Royal and the Lion is said to be the King Of The Jungle so Sluggerrr to be fits like a glove as the face of this ball club. Sluggerrr has made appearances on cards and USA Today placed him at # 12 on their countdown list. Not going to lie I am a fan of Sluggerrr and think he really is one of the best mascots in baseball based on his look and connection to the teams name. Oh and Sluggerrr was put into the Mascot Hall Of Fame in 2019 showing that he is truly a great sports mascot.

# 5

Mr. Redlegs
Team: Cincinnati Reds     Debut: 1953     POP: Yes     World Series Wins: 5

The Cincinnati Reds is not only my local team but are also my favorite team in baseball and over the years I have caught many live games, watched many on TV, listened to several on the radio and heck even one of my friends works for the team! And their mascot Mr. Redlegs is a true legend in our area and is well loved and truly is an attraction when heading to the stadium. Mr. Redlegs has a baseball for a head, has a thick mustache, dresses in the reds old style uniform and was the team’s original mascot and was so popular that he was reintroduced in 2007 after decades of being retired. Mr. Redlegs is great with fans with kids loving him and always wanting high fives and pictures with him, and to entertain and get the laughs he will have races, wave flags, fire water guns, dance and even drive around on a ATV. But while he really is a true icon in Ohio, I have to point out the flaws of Mr. Redlegs and the major flaw is the same thing that effects the likes of Mr. Met and that’s his costume is to top heavy and limits what he can do when it comes to antics! One other thing is that sometimes Mr. Redlegs gets lost in the shuffle at events, as he is joined on the field and stands by Mr. Red, Rosie Red and Gapper all who are as well Reds mascots. But even with his limitations I am a fan of Mr. Redlegs and he is one mascot that I have seen live many times and he has always delivered the fun entertainment. Mr. Redlegs has of course been on baseball cards for fans to collect and USA Today placed him at their # 7 spot for best baseball mascot. See this is proof that so much has went into this rankings as if I was going on just my love for the team the mascot is tied to would have put Mr. Redlegs at my # 1 spot. Ok I have to also tell a funny Mr. Redlegs accident story as in 2008 while driving around on a ATV he fell off the vehicle and the baseball head fell off exposing the actors real head, and a few days later Mr. Redlegs was seen wearing a neck brace to embrace the embarrassing moment and turn it into a funny joke…classic silly comedy stuff.

# 4

Screech
Team: Washington Nationals     Debut: 2005     POP: No     World Series Wins: 1

Call me crazy but for some reason I really like Screech who is the mascot for The Nationals and is so fitting as he is a bold eagle that is our nations bird and the team is out of Washington! Screech by all accounts is very generic looking in appearance and once more suffers from the rented suit from Party City look, but for some reason it just works for him and adds to his awesomeness for me. Screech is great with kids at home games and as well interacts with the fans making him a fan favorite of his hometown crowd. Screech is great with his antics to make the crowd pop and will dance around, does gags, pulls pranks including the classic pie to the face of a “fan”, waves the teams flag and is really great at what he does. And the thing is that fans seem to pop for his antics showing that he really is apart of the Nationals game experience. It’s crazy that such a cheesy mascot has become one of my favorites but he really has captured my attention and is one I hope sticks around for centuries to come. Many ball cards have features Screech and USA Today placed him very low at their # 21 spot, showing that for some reason people show him no respect as while writing this update and doing research I noticed many people seem to be hard on him, but to them I say he his my # 4 favorite!

# 3

Pirate Parrot
Team: Pittsburgh Pirates     Debut: 1979     POP: Yes     World Series Wins: 5

The Pirate Parrot is another MLB mascot that made his debut the same year I was born and this funny guy has been a fan favorite for decades now and is truly one of the best of the best when it comes to getting laughs from his antics. The Pirate Parrot is green in color and when he first was hatched, he was more mean in nature and wore sea pirate gear and hats and was leaner, but later he gained weight and traded the real pirate gear for team gear and became more of a goofball looking to get that laugh from fans. The Pirate Parrot is super popular among fans and is embraced by them as he has become one of the best in the business at messing with the other teams players as well as annoying game officials. The Pirate Parrot does all types of antics during a game from shooting free hotdogs into the crowd via a cannon, pulling classic and silly pranks, leading the crowd in cheers and songs, dancing around the dugout and field and just being a total goofball! No joke when watching the Pirate Parrot do his thing I crack a smile and he makes me laugh, and that’s why I think he really is one of the all time greats as his antics really are funny and its crazy that he is not in the Official Mascot Hall Of Fame yet! But while the Pirate Parrot is an icon in my eyes he has had his bad press as back in 1985 the man in the suit was using drugs while playing the character and even was a middle man for hooking up players with cocaine…he was fired and a new guy was hired to be the character. The Pirate Parrot of course has been on trading cards and USA Today put him at their # 9 spot on their countdown. No joke get this guy in the Mascot Hall Of Fame already!

# 2

Phillie Phanatic
Team: Philadelphia Phillies    Debut: 1978     POP: Yes     World Series Wins: 2

When people talk about the best arena/stadium mascots of all time, the top of almost everyone’s list is the Phillie Phanatic as he really is iconic and considered one of the best in all of sports. What sets the Phillie Phanatic apart form the rest of the mascots on this list is he was truly the first fuzzy creature to grace a ball field and brings pure joy and entertainment to everyone at the stadium from the cotton candy seller all the way to the first baseman. The Phillie Phanatic is a master of the art of entertaining the crowd and is no joke a true icon of Sport Mascot history and is one of the most loved in any sports! The people of Philadelphia love the Phanatic so much as he really is a major icon of the state and is well loved by young and old as his antics at the ballpark bring so much joy. But because he is so good at his job this has also lead to some drama for the Phillie Phanatic, who is the most sued mascot in sports history as some fans claim injuries from his antics as he also has also really angered players and managers of the teams the Phillies are playing as they find some of what he does to be disrespectful to them. But to be honest those who try and bring the drama are just sticks in the mud and will never bring The Phillie Phanatic down. The Phillie Phanatic was one of the first Sports Mascots to be inducted into The Mascot Hall Of Fame way back in 2005. And in USA Today’s ranking he took their # 1 spot and I can truly understand why as The Phillie Phanatic is awesome!

# 1

The Oriole Bird
Team: Baltimore Orioles     Debut: 1966/1979     POP: Yes     World Series Wins: 3

Hands down for me the best MLB Mascot is The Oriole Bird, and he has been my favorite since I was a kid as his look as always put a smile on my face and I loved that he has the colors of Halloween with black and orange. The Oriole Bird is a mascot who has as well mastered the craft of entertaining the fans and messing with the opposing team. The Oriole Bird brings lots of A-Game material to his antics as he not only dances around all over the ball field, he interacts with players and fans and does a great job with the youngsters, does funny skits that he as well can be the butt of the jokes, of course he does the “beak-ing” spot, hiding baseballs in his mouth, but he is also known for shaking his tail feathers at the crowd and players that always seems to get a pop from the fans. While the walk around mascot did not show up until 1979 (hey that’s the year I was born!) his smug smiling face has been on the teams cap sense 1966 making him a truly iconic and long lasting mascot of the sport. Another thing about The Oriole Bird is he looks like he is always having a blast wherever he is, be it at the stadium or at a public appearance, and it’s crazy as he also seems to always be able to show emotion with the face, and that’s hard to do for sure. Another thing I am going to point out is that The Oriole Bird also does it right when it comes to social media as he posts on his sites and keeps people laughing and builds that bound with his fans. USA Today ranked him at the # 5 spot on their countdown list and The Oriole Bird made it into the Mascot Hall Of Fame in 2020, and his induction was long overdue. And for me The Oriole Bird really is the best MLB Mascot and that’s why he has taken my # 1 spot on this countdown list!

This list was a blast to put together and was a great excuse to watch old YouTube videos of these mascots in action as well as gave me even more reasons to watch more Baseball games…as its crazy in my old age I am starting to become a full fledge baseball fan. And if you are wondering my top 4 favorite teams are the following in order Cincinnati Reds, Baltimore Orioles, Cleveland Indians and Toronto Blue Jays. Plus I have to be honest the Reds and Orioles are on the same level as I love the Reds cause they are my home team and I have history with them by attending games and collecting the team sets and the Orioles are a team I just enjoy watching. I also have to give a shout out to The Dayton Dragons, a Class A team that I use to live by their stadium and have caught games of from time to time. And because I had a great time writing this Mascot Countdown I may just do more on future updates as I could cover Retired MLB Mascots, NFL Mascots, NHL Mascots, College Football Mascots and even Fast Food Mascots…but we will see if you readers enjoy this one. For my next update we will be continuing our look at iconic Horror Hosts and for the next one we will be talking about Gorgon The Gruesome of Nightmare that aired in Texas. So until next time, read a comic or three, watch a sports game or two and as always support your local Horror Host. See you next time for a Gruesome Nightmare!

SOV Flashback Classics – Suicide 2

Welcome back to another SOV Flashback Classic update and another entry from the history of Independent B Movie’s video vault! We are on the fourth film in the history of this Dayton, Ohio shot-on-video company and marked the end of Fairmont Productions and the start of Independent B Movie and all its sub branches that include Acid X, Dark Soul Productions and Jive Turkey. And the film that is the topic today is the first sequel we ever made and one that for years was considered our most watched film as it always played at parties and gatherings and was considered our peak film for quite a while. I am talking about Suicide 2, the hit sequel to our first film Teen Suicide! I am very much looking forward to looking back on Suicide 2 as this film is the one that the likes of co-founder of Independent B Movie Brandon Womeldorff always looked at as the best film in the company’s long history of shot on video films only rivaled by 2002’s “Razor” in his eyes, and really was the film that kicked off years of films to follow as it was the bar that was set for them to reach. So if you are ready, let’s go back to 1999 when Matt returned to get his revenge on those who tormented him and forcing him to attempt to take his own life!

In 1999 after making the films Teen Suicide, Twisted Batman, Cask of Amontillado and The Things They Carried, I graduated High School and so ended my time at Fairmont and I also thought maybe could have ended our movie making days as a group of friends because we had always used the school’s cameras and editing systems to pull off them all besides Twisted Batman. While I was out of school, the rest of the guys Matt Hoffman, Brandon Womeldorff, Dan Salter, Dave Wean, Rion Neeley and Linda Webb were all still students starting their senior year, and we all stayed close friends as while they were at school, I was working a job at the grocery store Krogers as a bagger. And the thing that was killing me was the fact I knew that they could and would make more films that year and maybe if I was lucky I would be asked to act in them, and then the idea happened. One day while eating lunch at fast food restaurant Wendy’s Brandon pitched the idea of making a sequel to Teen Suicide and calling it Suicide 2…and during this talk many ideas were thrown around from it following another kid from the school who was being picked on by the same group of bullies, the idea of a unknown masked killer stalking the bullies was very briefly discussed and also the idea of having Matt survive the suicide attempt and going for revenge was chatted. And after everyone saying their ideas and which ones they liked, it was decided that Matt had to return as he needed his time to shine and fight back. Plus this time it was not going to be a silent film and would be more of an Action Horror flick with lots of supernatural elements.

The film was cast first before the script was even written and of course Matt Hoffman was back as Matt, Brandon Womeldorff once more played The Car Thief Bully with Scott Harman back as Bully 3 with a name change to Karate Killer Bully, and I was Bully 2 this time around called The Silent Predator! Dave Wean was the Crazy Man Bully, Dan Salter was Skate Boarder Bully with Rion Neeley being Roof Man Bully, who rounded out film’s baddies. We also added to the cast was Linda Webb as the Girlfriend and Jacquelyn Maxwell as a streetwalker. And once the names were in place, Brandon got hard at work on doing the script and also took ideas that both Hoffman and I added as I wanted to add a dark satanic element to the bullies and Hoffman picked the ways he would get revenge on the bullies. After only a week, the script was done and Suicide 2 was ready to film! And the film was shot on a Super-VHS camera for those wondering.

We started filming and tried to stay in order of the script as the film was made in the middle of the school year for them, and graduation was just around the corner so as we filmed it, Brandon was editing away on the Avid Editing Machine and I was asked to also run camera for many scenes as well as produce it, as I had a job at the time and could pay for some of the small amount of supplies. The first day of filming took place on a sunny day just after a night filled of thunderstorms, and we headed back to State Farm Park and the “Suicide Hill” location only after stopping at K-Mart once more and picking up some ketchup to use as blood. The first day of filming used a very small crew as it was Hoffman, Brandon, Dave and myself and with me getting the honor of squirting the “blood” on Hoffman’s head started the production of Suicide 2 and set the mood and tone of this second film. The production of this film took a few months as it had the biggest cast we ever worked with and they were lucky that they were able to film during the school day so Brandon and Hoffman were able to film with the likes of Dan Salter, Linda Webb and Scott Harman during the day, and in the evening and weekends I would join the film team again as well as play the part of the Silent Predator who was now the leader of the bullies as well was a Satanist who was using dark arts to help gain “powers” for myself as well as my bully crew, and man I had a blast playing this character as he was mean and just scummy and took joy in tormenting Matt who was just trying to live his re-given life and figure out a way to get revenge.

The film during production had many fight scenes and they are some of the worst we have ever filmed, but at the time we thought they looked great…but they were so bad with us looking super stiff and awkward doing fake style moves on each other…but of course because none of us were trained, accidents did happen as on one scene I gave Hoffman a running clothesline while he was sitting on a swing, and well I hit him a little too hard! On many of the Dave Wean and Hoffman fight scenes, things got a little rough and poor Hoffman was on the bad end of a move. In one scene Hoffman is getting beat up by Rion, Dave and myself and by accident I kicked him in the gut and knocked the wind out of him. We also thought that we could pull off many stunts and like with the fighting we were wrong and people ended up getting hurt like in one scene Rion Neeley was hit by a car by Hoffman and the car hit him a little harder then it should have and when he fell to the ground he screwed up his back. Another amazing thing about making this film is that we filmed part of it after the Columbine High School Massacre as were able to pull off fake guns in the schools parking lot as well as show fake bullying in their hallways. Plus the satanic elements of my character were based on my high school time at Fairmont and was a way to make fun of the label that school workers placed on me. Plus we also played with lighting in this film that was a first for us, and Brandon during editing found his love for the use of slow motion to draw out the drama and action of the movies he worked on in the future.

The final shots of the film took place in Hills & Dales Park in Kettering and then Waynesville, Ohio and it was Matt’s showdown revenge with The Silent Predator, and was filmed very late at night with the first part being shot at a shelter at the park with car headlights and a red light used to build the eerie feel, and the Silent Predator even spits out blood like a vampire (it was food coloring and it tasted gross) and after the final fight, we packed up and headed towards Waynesville and at the side of the road we filmed a scene of The Silent Predator with candles and chants bringing back the Car Thief from the dead…it was silly and was cut from the film in the end. Once done Brandon worked super hard to polish the film up and make it look just right and placed music throughout that was mostly just 90’s Techno and Alternative Rock tracks, and once he was done, we had a massive gathering at Linda Webb’s apartment that was complete with pizza, pops, chips and other drinks and we watched the film as a group and we all had a blast laughing and goofing on each others performances. And from then on at many house parties and gatherings Brandon would bust out Suicide 2, and I cannot even count how many times I have seen the film, and for the longest time it was considered the top of the line for our filmmaking group…but that would change a few years later. When Independent B Movie was finally created and we started selling our films Suicide 2 was released on VHS and sold pretty well and made its rounds also doing some small screenings at Conventions, and even played a handful of times on a local Public Access station. Later it would be paired with Teen Suicide on DVD and was our first DVD release that even included commentary and extras and was put together by a young filmmaker Henrique Couto.

Suicide 2 was the main film that kicked off our want to keep making movies as a group as we had a blast making it. I mean sure, at times Matt Hoffman and Brandon Womeldorff would get into drag out verbal fights and would be at odds with each other for days while filming it still was something that just felt very special that we all created together. Even now in 2021 when watching this film it holds a special place in my heart. So I want to say that for these I.B.M films I will write about its plot, my thoughts on the film and will in the end give it a Report Card Grade on the classic A-F scale and will only be judging it on a scale that is ONLY for Independent B Movie/Bloodline Video films. So if you are ready, let’s take a look at Matt’s second round of fighting for his life against bullies, and also his quest to find death.

Suicide 2
Starring – Matt Hoffman & Linda Webb     Directed by Brandon Womelforff
1999     Not Rated     54min     Independent B Movie     DVD-R     Full Frame

Movie: Matt awakens in the field with blood all over the side of his head five days after he put a gun into his mouth and pulled the trigger. He is confused and stumbles away from the scene. We then join the Car Thief as he picks up the Kung-Fu bully from school, he is still driving Matt’s car and the pair discuss the return of Matt after the suicide attempt and that they will make Matt pay for not dying. Once back at school Kung-Fu Bully has a run in with Matt and leaves him once more beaten up. The next day Matt is beat up by the High School Security Guard and the next day he is beat up by The Silent Predator and the Crazy Bully! Day after day Matt finds himself the victim of beat downs at the hands of all his tormenters including a new ones called the Roof Man Bully and Skateboard Bully as they all beat him up by themselves or in a groups. Matt’s girlfriend is cheating on him with the Car Thief Bully and even a Prostitute degrades him when he goes looking for love. Day after Day Matt is made fun of and bullied…and he snaps and this time suicide is not his first answer as revenge is on his mind! One by one Matt hunts down his tormentors armed with his gun, car and bare hands and makes them pay by dealing out death. In the end he has a showdown with the Silent Predator and after shooting him all his bullies are dead! Matt then returns home and makes a bomb and straps it to his chest and blows himself up…ending his torment as well as the lives of his bullies.

Thoughts: Watching Suicide 2 after all these years was very cool as so many great memories came back to me about filming this “epic” shot on video backyard film as it was a blast to be once more being creative with my friends from school. Plus I think the making of this film made us all even better friends as we all got to hang out all the time and not only film, but also plan more films as well as other creative outlets even forming a band and well as going on ghost hunts together. The film allowed many of us to also give our ideas and develop our own characters with poor Matt Hoffman being he one who ended up having to be the one who had to be the butt of all the on screen jokes and butt kicking’s. But I must say that Hoffman is the one who got to pick the way we killed off each of the characters that made his characters life miserable and I think he enjoyed that as he got to really build the films action climax. One thing that was also lots of fun was just traveling around town at all hours of the day and night armed with our trusty school borrowed camera setting up shots and situations. This was also the first time in a shot on video film that I used food coloring as blood, and learned that putting a bunch in your mouth to spit out does not look good when you do it way too fast. While this was the fifth film in the history of what would become Independent B Movie it was one that was a blast to make and was our biggest and boldest made for the time as we pushed the limits of what we could get away with while many of the creators and actors were in school. Is it my favorite film we made…not at all…but it is one that I say helped push us all into making the movies that followed that got us some attention in the world of backyard shot on video films.

Grade: B-

Suicide 2 was to also be the start of a series of Suicide films that would have starred Hoffman as the undying anti-hero Matt as he would face off with not only the bullies but later would have fought Asylum workers, demons and even The Devil himself, but this franchise was just not meant to be even though it started production many times and went through many of scripts over the years with Brandon, Hoffman, Wean and myself all have written a treatment at some point. But who knows, while I doubt if a third movie is ever made, I would not rule out Suicide 3 from one of the many scripts being made into a Blood Scream Comic one-shot issue. And also for those interested the character Matt from Teen Suicide and Suicide 2 does make a comic book appearance in the first issue of the Sparkle Comic anthology comic called “Weird Sci-Fi Tales” with the story and art being done by Bruce O’ Hughes. And a “technical” third film was made in 2003 that also acted as a remake called Teen Suicide and was directed by Henrique Couto and featured a female lead being bullied. Well I hope you enjoyed this look back at this SOV classic from not only my past but that of Independent B Movie, the little indie company that could and did. For our next update we are walking away from the shot on video world and entering the world of Puppet Master as we will be taking a look at the Deadly 10 Comic based on puppet Blade for a From Horror Movie To Horror Comic update! So until next time read an indie comic or three, watch a SOV film or two and as always support your local Horror Host. See you next time for a Full Moon Entertainment Comic good time.

Matt Goes To The Movies 2020

Hey readers and friends, welcome back to Rotten Ink and the first update of 2021. I am sure so many of you are, like me, and glad to have 2020 in the rearview mirror as the coronavirus crisis that has effected the whole world has people very scared and also shut down movie theaters to protect the public and slowdown the spread. And that while that was the right thing to do, it also made me very sad as going to the cinema has always been my time to unwind from stress of work and the world. Plus sadly many of the films that were set for release got pulled from the lineup with some getting new dates and others still waiting. But even with that major set back, 2020 still had its fair share of some amazing films released to the masses to enjoy when we could. And I was able to enjoy these movies at some great theaters like Cinemark and Englewood Cinema. So while many films slated for 2020 got pushed back a year or sadly went to the soulless streaming sites, the good old theater still brought me some amazing joys, and nothing, and I mean nothing, will take the place of watching a movie in the theater! So let’s find our seats, social distance from each other and talk movies here at the Rotten Ink Theater and please make sure in 2021 to support all the theaters in your town as well as drive-in’s as they are the true way of watching films. I want to also stress that this year the movie industry not only had to depend on the Box Office numbers of America but as well those of the Foreign Markets and the sales of physical and digital media to turn profits and bring money in.

Well I think we all needed a good laugh in 2020, so what better way to get a belly laugh than seeing a good old Comedy film in the theater…and well I saw one and it was really good but also very depressing much like 2020!

# 1

Cassie Thomas is a 30-year-old woman who dropped out of medical school and now works at a coffee shop and still lives with her parents. She has a life that no one knows about as at night she goes to bars and acts extremely drunk and has sleazy men try to take advantage of her in order to put them in their places. You see, she dropped out of medical school because her best friend Nina was raped and no one believed her…now when the boys of medical school are back enjoying their lives it’s time for Cassie to get her revenge. This is a fantastic dark comedy-drama-thriller with a dash of horror movie that will leave you laughing, happy, angry and sad all at the same time as it plays with your emotions. Actress Carey Mulligan, who plays Cassie Thomas, is fantastic as the revenge-seeking woman who is righting so many wrongs that were done to her friend, and I found myself cheering for her all the way. The film has an amazing cast with such names as Clancy Brown, Jennifer Coolidge, Molly Shannon and Alison Brie, all being perfect in their roles. The film was released on Christmas during the pandemic and brought in (as of the date of this posting) $1,094,640.00 for Focus Features at the American Box Office. And it’s a shame more people didn’t go and see this film as it really good and one I cannot wait to own on home media when released.

Seeing action films in the theater was a bust this year thanks to this cursed virus crisis, but I can at least say that I was able to see at least one action film in the cinema and best of all it starred an icon of action films, Jackie Chan! So let’s talk about this film.

# 1

A man and his wife are being kidnapped by a paid mercenary group lead by a man who wants answers about his father’s lost fortune, but unlucky for them security group Vanguard is on the case and save their lives! But when they go after the couple’s daughter, Vanguard must travel to other nations and stop them from finding the lost money as they want to buy a weapon of mass destruction to get revenge on the Americans that killed the man’s father. This is a fun fast Chinese action film that stars Jackie Chan, who is as fantastic as ever and shows that he still is an action superstar at his age. The film is filled with lots of over the top action and some great martial arts fighting. The only downside is some of the CGI looks a little bad and awkward in spots. The film came out during the pandemic and did okay for Gravitas Ventures at the American Box Office bringing in $793,525.00 on an unknown budget. If you like Jackie Chan films that feel like they could have been a direct to DVD release in the early 2000’s, give this one a watch. I really enjoyed this film, and it was a great film to see on the big screen on Thanksgiving week.

Let’s next go with the Sci-Fi and Fantasy films I saw this year at the theater, and again I must stress that sadly due to the pandemic, I did not get to see many films from these genres as most films have been yanked off the release schedule, but with that in mind, let’s take a look at the ones I did get to enjoy on the big screen.

# 3

Captain Natalie Artemis is an Army Ranger and is leading her team to investigate a missing convoy, but after a freak lighting storm they find themselves in another world that is filled with giant monsters who all want them dead! And dead they all become until only Natalie is left and alongside a warrior from that world who does not speak her language, they together must find a way to survive and return Natalie to her own world as well as save this one from the destruction of giant monsters. This film is based on the popular Capcom video game series and was even has ties to Toho the studio behind the Godzilla and other classic Kaiju films. Milla Jovovich plays Natalie and Tony Jaa plays Hunter, her newly made friend, and both do a great job and help bring this scifi-action-fantasy film alive. I really enjoyed this film on the big screen with my only major issue being the fast cut jerky fight scenes as the monsters and acting is well done for this type of film. The film has done pretty well at the USA Box Office during the virus time bringing in $4,216,000.00 on a budget of $60 million at this time of posting as the film is still in theaters. If you like movies about giant monsters and or enjoy the game series, check this one out. I will probably buy this one once out on home media.

# 2

The Protagonist is a member of the CIA who finds himself involved in a strange world altering plot that has events not only happening forward but also in rewind. One mad man plans on ending the world with this tech and he must find away to stop it, along the way making allies and trying to wrap his mind around what the hell is really going on! That is the quickest and easiest way to sum up the plot to this mega budget Christopher Nolen scifi-action-spy thriller film that was used to kick off the big movies are back in cinema campaign. And sadly, the film did not set the numbers the studio was looking for and this made it so many films planned for later in the year got moved from 2020 to 2021 and beyond…and that’s a shame as I also feel that this was the wrong choice to bank all that decisions on as the film was a fun popcorn movie, but was hardly the amazing mind mess flick that Nolan in known for and in fact at times the dialogue was just plan bad! Now I need to stress that I enjoyed this film and the acting was great as John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Dimple Kapadia and Elizabeth Debicki are all fantastic in their roles, it’s just the over all presentation was a little lacking to make it a major blockbuster, and keep in mind I did enjoy the film. The film did good considering the virus crisis at the US Box Office for Warner Brothers bringing in $57,909,000.00 on an over blown budget of $200 million. Please note, however, that Warner Brothers has been a bit deliberately vague about the numbers. Tenet is a fun watch but not the mega hit that I think he or Warner Brothers thought it would be.

# 1

Bill S. Preston and Theodore Logan are now middle aged men whose band Wyld Stallyns was supposed to change the world with their music, but thus far it has not happened and their music career has tumbled and they are playing at small dive bars and family weddings and their CDs are in discount bins! Then things get worse when they find out their marriages to the Princesses are on the rocks and they get a visit to the future and find out they have to write the perfect song that will save time and space as a massive rift in time has opened and is causing chaos and people to be placed out of time! And their biggest fans, their daughters, are trying to figure out a way to help their dads create the song that will bring the world together. This third film in the Bill & Ted series is a fantastic follow up that delivers the laughs and classic delivery that we all love about the characters. Also it brings classic characters like Death, Missy and Ted’s Father back as well as delivers new ones like Kelly who is Rufus’s Daughter, killer robot Dennis Caleb McCoy and Billie & Thea, the duo’s daughters! Hands down this was one of the films I had the most fun watching in a theater and delivered pure entertainment all the way through. The film was released to limited screens during the soft re-openings of theaters and did pretty well for Orion Pictures bringing in at the US Box Office $3,439,660.00 on a budget of $25 million. I for one hope that we get a fourth film in the series as Bill & Ted are two silly 80’s cinema icons we need more of in our lives. And of course I got this on DVD when released.

So we are going to take a look at super hero films now. It’s crazy as 2020 was supposed to have Black Widow, The Eternals, Morbius and Venom 2 all bringing action to the cinemas…now they are all slated for this year (2021) and 2022. But with that let’s talk the super hero films I saw this year at the cinema.

# 3

Max Lord is a man who wants it, all not just for himself but for all of you, as he is a TV salesman who is selling you oil and big dreams, but in reality he is a failure who, after conning his way into getting a wish stone, is now a evil wish granting power hungry business man who has made a big mistake as making himself and the stone become one. But before Max gets his hands on the stone, Diana Prince along with her co-worker Barbara Minerva at the museum make wishes on the stone as a joke that ends up turning Barbara into the Cheetah and Diana gets her love Steve Trevor back…but they all learn that making wishes comes with a price as to get what you want you lose something super important to you as well. With the world in chaos thanks to Max and his wishes, Diana must become Wonder Woman and try to set the world right again. If you readers remember back in 2017, the first Wonder Woman took my # 1 spot for superhero films, well sadly the sequel finds its self in last place. The film was a fun watch at the theater and was a total popcorn flick, but the downside to the film is Diana is barely Wonder Woman in the film as much of the film is spent on her and Steve and their love…and it has a long runtime and could have been cut by a good 20 minutes or so. The film has done well for the pandemic Box Office in the US as of the time of this posting it has brought in $16,700,000.00 on a budget of $200 million for Warner Brothers. Again, Warner Brothers has been a little vague about their numbers. While not a perfect superhero film, it was a fun theater watch and Gal Gadot is the perfect Wonder Woman and it as well has an amazing cast with names like Kristen Wiig, Pedro Pascal, Chris Pine, Connie Nielsen, Robin Wright and Lynda Carter.

# 2

Danni Moonstar finds herself in a hospital for mutants after her tribe was killed by a “tornado”, and Dr. Cecilia Reyes is there to try and help her learn what her powers are and how to control them. While in care, she meets the fellow patients Rahne Sinclair (Wolfsbane), Illyana Rasputin (Magik), Bobby da Costa (Sunspot) and Sam Guthrie (Cannonball) and even she finds love with Rahne….but things get bad when all the young mutants fears are used against them and what was supposed to be a place to help them is really a prison that keeps them inside! Can Danni and her new friends over come the darkness? Watch this final film in the Fox X-Men movies and find out! This was a fun superhero film that had lots of elements of horror in it and has a fantastic cast of young stars like Anya Taylor-Joy, Maisie Williams, Blu Hunt and Charlie Heaton to name a few. The film was released at the start of main theater chains limited capacity re-openings and did what it could for Disney at the US Box Office brining in $23,851,511.00 on a budget of $67 million, making it a good start for Disney and movies in general to return to the cinema. While not a perfect film, it really was an entertaining one that was a blast to see on the big screen.

# 1

Harley Quinn has split from The Joker and her life is going out of control, and worse her actions of the past are catching up with her and many people she has wronged want revenge including crime lord Black Mask. At one of Black Mask’s clubs, Black Canary sings and she ends ups working secretly with Gotham cop Renee Montoya who wants to bring a case against Black Mask….but also on the loose is Huntress, a woman who is going around killing a crime family with arrows! Not to even mention that crazed serial killer Victor Zsasz is on Black Mask’s payroll! And when a young pickpocket girl steals a diamond from Black Mask that is the key to a massive amount of money, the ladies have to stand their ground and fight for their lives as the crime lord is not happy and has an army ready to bring him their heads! This superhero comedy film was super well done and the humor throughout worked really well, not to even mention the acting being well done with Margot Robbie being amazing as Harley Quinn as always, and to me, Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Huntress steals the show as her awkwardness is charming. I grew up reading Batman comic and seeing Black Mask and Zsasz as the main bad guys in a movie was really cool. The film did oddly bad at the US Box Office for Warner Brothers only bringing in $84,158,461.00 on a budget of $84.5 million. And overseas it did another $117,700,000.00 showing that it did well for itself. This was a great superhero movie and once more in my opinion shows that DC is doing all the right things to get their movies back on track. Worth owning on home media, and one I did buy when released.

So as you long time readers know, horror is my favorite genre of films and in the short time the cinemas was open in 2020, I did get to see my fair share of them sitting in my reclining chair with some popcorn to munch on listening to the fear of those around me grow every second as the suspense on the big screen kept going along. So sit back in your chair and grab some more popcorn as it’s time to talk….

# 15

Kate Mandell takes the job of being the live-in nanny for the Fairchild children (Flora and Miles) who were orphaned at a young age but come from a family with money. At first she thinks she is going to love this job as she and 7-Year old Flora hit it off and the mansion is very lovely. But something is very odd as the maid of the family Mrs. Grose is very cold and Miles comes off as a psychopath…not to mention Kate begins to hear and see things! Now it’s up to Kate to figure out what’s real, what’s in her mind and if she herself is the true psychopath…or is it the ghosts of the mansion. This atmospheric horror movie is based on the novel “Turn Of The Screw” by Henry James and delivers a none explained and lackluster ending that will surely leave a bad taste in most viewers’ mouths, and the blah ending is why the film is ranking so low on my list. The acting in the film is fantastic with Mackenzie Davis as Kate being the true standout. The film dis so-so for Universal at the American Box Office bringing in $15,472,775.00 on a budget of $14 million. While this film is not for everyone, the slow burn horror, the creepy atmosphere and good acting are reason why you should check it out, but be prepared to be letdown by the film’s ending.

# 14

Lily is a young lady who along with her mother move in with Adam Harrison and his three sons and she has a hard time at school after an accident happens in class that leaves her the butt of many jokes. While feeling down and out, she meets three new friends Frankie, Lourdes and Tabby who invite her to join their witches’ coven, and the four become super close and even use their spells to try and better their town and school. But things turn bad when a jerky guy from school they used a spell on ends up dead, and her friends blame Lily who used her magic on him as she had a crush and the friends disband the coven and distance themselves from Lily…and worse Lily finds out that she is not who she thinks she is and some evil power wants her witchcraft abilities…what is a young witch to do…well call upon her friends of course! This sequel to the 1996 film The Craft was produced by Blumhouse and was scheduled for a full theatrical release before the virus shut down theaters, causing it to be VOD and shown at small theaters via private events (the latter is how I saw it). The film is well cast with Cailee Spaeny, Gideon Adlon, Lovie Simone and Zoey Luna all doing great as the new witches, and the only main complaint I have is that they drained the film of all horror and it feels more like a CW teen show. While not a great sequel to the cult classic, it was a fun watch in the theater the way it was meant to be seen…I am looking at you Sony and Blumhouse.

# 13

A small snowy mountain town is being rocked by terrible murders of females and it’s started talks among town people of a serial killer or a werewolf being on the loose! And worse officer John Marshall is on the case and is dealing with a ton of other issues that includes being a recovering alcoholic, a bad divorce, a strained relationship with his daughter, anger management issues and his father who is the Sheriff will not retire even though he is having bad heart issues! The bodies keep piling up as the victims keep getting more and more mutilated and the cops are clueless! And when John’s daughter is targeted as a victim for the killer, he sees that it’s a massive werewolf or is it? This horror comedy was a fun watch in the theater and the werewolf looks great as do the gore effects when used. Jim Cummings plays John Marshall as well as wrote and directed the film and does a pretty good job in all three roles and actors like Chloe East, Riki Lindhome and the late Robert Forster are all great in their roles. The downside of the film for me is the big reveal at the end of who the werewolf is as I felt it was a little flat, but did not fully drag the film down. I also was happy that this film was released in limited theaters in October as it was great to see a new horror flick in the theater just in time for Halloween. The film brought in $185,026.00 at the US Box Office for Orion Pictures on a small budget making it a win for them during this terrible time. This is one that I will pick up on DVD when released as I would like to see it again and see if I can pick up on clues that lead to whom the werewolf is.

# 12

Marquis Woods and his family take their plane to the funeral of his father that is in the Appalachia area, when a storm causes them to crash in the woods. When Marquis awakens, he finds himself with a terrible foot injury and in a bed in an attic being cared for by Ms. Eloise and her husband Earl and hulking farmhand Lewis all who seem to be keeping him not only as a patient but also as a prisoner! And when trying to escape Marquis soon finds these people are into dark magic and he must find a way to escape, find his family and escape the farm all before the red moon as these wicked people have major plans for him. This horror thriller was a fun watch at the cinema and had some good thrilling moments as well as some good effects with one of a massive nail in a character’s foot being really well done. Actor Omari Hardwick is great as Marquis, with actress Loretta Devine doing an amazing job at playing Ms. Eloise and Lorraine Burroughs who plays Veora Woods is beautiful. The film was released on VOD and shown at select theaters and did okay given when released for Paramount Pictures bring in $500,104.00 on an unknown budget. It’s worth a watch for horror fans who enjoy black magic and voodoo style films, and is one I bought when released on home media.

# 11

A house on Reyburn has been the site of many murders since a mother returning from Japan came home and killed her whole family and then herself! The real estate agent who tried to sell the house after the killings as well follows the same path, and lastly an older couple who moved in as well find themselves the victims of death. After her husband passed away from cancer, single mom and cop Detective Muldoon gets wrapped up in a town’s past case that had driven her new partner, Detective Goodman’s last partner, crazy…and she herself starts to lose her mind as the deeper she digs the more madness she uncovers and then she starts to see things including the evil spirit of Kayako Saeki who has marked her with the curse as she made the mistake of entering the home of murder. Now she must do what she can in order save her life and end this curse once and for all. This new reboot to The Grudge series takes place at the same time as the 2004 film and follows how the curse spreads, and is the first in the series to get a R rating. The film is filled with lots of mean spirited deaths and brings some good and solid special effects. This fright flick also brings some great actors like Lin Shaye, John Cho and William Sadler in roles of the damned. The film did pretty well for Sony at the US Box Office bringing in $21,221,803.00 on a budget of $10 million, showing that the series might have some legs left on it. Trashed by critics this super natural horror movie is one you should make your own mind up on. Worth owning on home media if you have the rest of the series already.

# 10

Five strangers have been selected to win a contest to stay on Fantasy Island, a place that is said to grant all your fantasies! Gwen Olsen is granted to have the family she always wanted, Melanie Cole wants revenge on her high school bully, Patrick Sullivan who wants to be a war hero like his father and stepbrothers JD and Brax who just want to live large and have it all! And they meet Mr. Roarke and his assistant Julia who welcome them and let them know their fantasies will start very soon. But when the fantasies start, they are pleasant and magical and then quickly take a sinister turn as murder and torment is on the minds of those in the fantasy. Now the five winners must come together and survive this twisted island and all its secrets…but whose fantasy are they really in as this horror thriller takes a few twists. This film, while flawed, was a fun watch at the theater and reminded me of the early 2000’s released horror movies. The acting is pretty well done with Maggie Q, Michael Pena and Lucy Hale being the standouts. The film did pretty well for Sony at the American Box Office bringing in $26,441,782.00 on a budget of $7 million. While not a perfect film and at times not a full horror movie, this is one silly Blumhouse release that’s good for a late night watch.

# 9

Liza is attacked and suffers a massive head injury during a random home invasion while her husband Sean is at work, all in front of her son Jude who stops speaking after witnessing it. So to try and help both of them heal, Sean rents a house in the woods on the old Heelshire’s estate and things start to look up when Jude finds the doll Brahms buried in the woods and takes him home as his new friend. But things get worse when Jude starts even acting more odd and strange thing happen at the home as the young man blames them on doll Brahms who he is becoming super attached to and even helps him to start talking again. But soon Liza and Sean find out that something is very wrong with Brahms and they must try and save their son’s soul as this evil doll wants a new vessel for evil. This follow up to the 2016 film does a pretty good job adding a new chapter to the story of the evil doll Brahms, but this time around there is no killer in the walls, it really is the doll calling all the shots…and it appears it has all along. The film is not that overly bloody or gory but does pack in a few scares making it a good PG-13 horror film experience. The film did not do well at all for STX Entertainment at the US box office only bringing in $12,611,536.00 on a budget of $10 million, and I am sure this sadly will mark the end of The Boy movies series.

# 8

Rachel Hunter’s life is falling apart as she is getting a divorce, her hair salon has closed and her son is doing his best to deal with all the drama that is going on around him, but while driving him to school, they have a road incident with Tom Cooper who is on the run after killing his ex-wife and her new boyfriend and now wants to show Rachel the meaning of having a bad day as well as teach her respect! So starts a game of life and death on the road as Rachel and all those she cares about are now in the sights of a manic who has a real bad case of road rage. This horror thriller is a great example of how a simple bad interaction or mistake on the road can lead to something bigger and deadlier as you never know who it is that is raging out. Russell Crowe is creepy and great as Tom Cooper a psychopath who has lost it all and now wants to ruin the lives of anyone who crosses him. Caren Pistorius is also great as Rachel, a mom who his pushed to the limits and finds away to fight back. The film was released at theaters right at the slow start of theater re-openings during the virus crisis and did okay for Solstice Studios bringing in $20,831,465.00 on a budget of $33 million. If you like movies set with murder on the roads that has lots of thriller moments, this one is a heck of a fun ride.

# 7

Amanda and her friends are on a bridge and try an urban legend she heard of to summon an entity called the Empty Man, and to their horror, it works! The “rules” of the legend are that you hear him on day one, on day two you see him and day three he gets you! Amanda goes missing and family friend and ex-cop James Lasombra goes looking for her and uncovers a trail of suicide, unknown people, a cult, a Himalayan creature and events of the past. The Empty Man is real and has followers and with Amanda missing and in danger, James must enter the darkness of our world to unravel the Empty Man and his meaning. This supernatural horror movie is based on the comic by Boom Studios and adds in elements of film noir and the X-Files. Actor James Badge Dale is great as James Lasombra. Sasha Frolova who plays Amanda is also great and has a Louise Brooks look to her. The film did well at the US box office for 20th Century during the virus times bring in $2,992,403.00 on an unknown budget. Worth watching if you like supernatural horror done a little different and has a cool looking monster, bought on media when released.

# 6

Oliver is a young autistic boy who uses his cell phone to communicate and spends most of his time watching episodes of SpongeBob SquarePants as he does not have any friends and the one he did have now picks on him at school. One night a storybook keeps appearing on his cellphone called “Misunderstood Monsters” about a monster named Larry who is looking for a friend and has been watching the boy from his phone screen, and after reading part of the book, the lights in the house go out and Larry comes looking for his new friend! Now Oliver’s mom and dad are up against a monster from another dimension that wants their son to come back to his world and become his friend for life. But what can they do to stop a creature that can travel via screens of electrical devices? This was a super fun PG-13 horror film that has a good storyline, interesting characters and a cool monster that, while bad, does what he does cause he is lonely. Plus it really holds an urban legend, storybook feel and you cant go wrong with a monster named Larry. The film did pretty well for Focus Features during the virus crisis at the American box office bringing in $9,505,540.00 on a budget of $9 million. This is one I hope gets a sequel or at least a comic book mini series and will buy when released on home media.

# 5

Charlie and Mina are business partners who decided to rent a massive house in the middle of nowhere that has a great view of the ocean. Josh is Mina’s boyfriend and Charlie’s brother while Michelle is Charlie’s wife and the house is perfect besides the creepy, racist caretaker of the place. But after a night of drinking and drugs, Mina and Charlie end up sleeping together and to make things worse they find a camera that taped the whole event and they think that the caretaker watched and has it on tape! After Mina confronts him about it, as she don’t want her boyfriend to find out, an accident happens and the group of friends must figure out what to do as someone else was responsible for the cameras that has way more sinister attentions then just being a pervert! This is a really good indie thriller film that is mixed with a slasher and is well cast as Sheila Vand is fantastic as Mina and Alison Brie is perfect as the wife Michelle who you find yourself cheering for to survive. The masked nameless killer is interesting and seems to pick who to murder by random as by the end it appears that he has his cameras set up in many different rental properties. The film did well for IFC at the US Box Office given it was an indie film being shown on limited screens and drive-ins as it brought in $1,635,175.00 on a small budget. The Rental was a fun summer release and was the first movie I saw in the theater after the shutdown and lockdowns due to the virus and is a film I own on DVD and is one you should check out if you enjoy a good slow burn Horror Movie.

# 4

Norah Price works for Titan Industries many miles underwater when her station blows up and causes major damage with very few survivors. And when all those who are left meet up, they soon have to make a very dangerous decision as the station is about to collapse on itself and they must suit up and walk the ocean floor to get to a nearby rig that has escape pods. But as they make their escape, they soon find they are not alone as humanoid man-eating creatures are hunting them down one by one, and in the end, the humanoid creatures are they least of her worries as something bigger and badder waits them! This underwater horror film delivers a creepy and hopeless feeling watching experience and all the characters are likable with Norah being the most likable. I have to say Kristen Stewart does a great job in the role. If you like giant underwater monsters, killer fish humanoids and grim moments of horror dread this one is for you! Sadly this film did not do great for 20th Century Fox bringing in the low number of $17,291,078.00 on a budget of around $80 million. If you like horror movies like DeepStar Six or Leviathan, then do yourself a favor and give it a watch, worth owning on home media.

# 3

Gretel and her young brother Hansel has been chased away by their mother as time in their small village is very rough, as it appears the land has been cursed. Gretel takes her brother and runs into the woods and tired, cold and hungry, they run into a Huntsman who feeds them and draws them a map to a family that could house them. Along the journey, they find a house with a table filled with tons of food and they are invited in by the owner a creepy old woman to eat and find shelter, but things are to good to be true and the kids start feeling odd as the old woman truly enters their lives. And when Gretel is taken under the old woman’s wing to become a witch of darkness, things go really bad when Gretel is told she must eat Hansel to become a true powerful witch and the young woman finds out the old lady is a witch who kills and eats children. Now its up to Gretel to save herself and her brother from evil and change the course of their lives forever! This creepy fairy tale movie is filled with creepy moments, great atmosphere and is a sold PG-13 Horror Movie watch that is filled with blood and even guts. The film is well acted and reminded me of a good 70’s style British horror movie. The film did okay at the American Box Office bringing in $15,347,654.00 on a budget of $5 million. This is one film I feel that is worth owning on home media and I hope this spawns a whole dark fairy tale horror universe. It’s one I bought on home media when released as I will watch again.

# 2

Teenager Millie Kessler is having a very rough time as her father passed away a year ago, her mother has been drinking, her older sister has wrapped herself up in her job as a cop and worse kids at school bully her! Well one day after a school football game as she waits for her passed out mother to pick her up she is killed by the town’s serial killer The Blissfield Butcher who is using a special knife that causes them to switch bodies the next morning! So now Millie is in the body of the Butcher who is being tracked down by the police and The Butcher is inside Millie and is killing kids and teachers at the school, and worse Millie has only until midnight to stab The Butcher to switch back into her body, and he doesn’t want to switch back. This horror comedy was done by the team behind the “Happy Death Day” series and is a funny and bloody good watch, not to mention the characters are fantastic and casting is well done with Kathryn Newton and Vince Vaughn being top notch. The film was way bloodier then I expected and I for one hope for a sequel or even a crossover with Happy Death Day. The film did well during the virus crisis at the US Box Office bringing in $8,702,060.00 on a budget of $6 million. I plan on buying this when released on home media and really enjoyed this one lots.

# 1

Cecilia Kass is in a very abusive relationship with scientist Adrian Griffin and with help of her sister Emily she is able to escape his mansion that is more like a compound! Free from his abuse, she lives with her cop friend James and his teenage daughter Sydney, but is paranoid that Adrian will find her…that is until she gets the news that he is dead by committing suicide and has left her tons of money as a way to say sorry for the bad years they spent together. But this money comes with a price as strange things start happening all around her, and while her friends think she is losing her mind, she knows that an invisible person is tormenting her and trying to drive her crazy and she thinks its Adrian who has faked his suicide and found a way to become an Invisible Man…now with crimes being committed and Cecilia being set up she must fight for her life and prove she is not crazy and that Adrian is not dead and is the true monster she knows he is. This modern take on the classic Universal Monster is a great start for the Blumhouse team up and does a fantastic job of bring The Invisible Man to a new generation of Monster Kids and moviegoers. The film is Rated R and has lots of scares and some shocking murders and delivers a great watch featuring a classic movie monster. Elisabeth Moss is great as our hero Cecilia, and Oliver Jackson is the right amount of crazy sleazy as Adrian Griffin and I for one cannot wait to see what’s next for the Universal Monsters at the cinema. The film did great for Universal at the American box office bringing in $70,410.00 on a budget of only $7 million. Well done shocker and one that I bought on home media when it was released, and proves that the classic Monsters can still bring people in if done right.

I think we all can agree 2020 was a very terrible year, but I do want to say a big Thank You to every Movie Theater, Filmmaker, Home Media Release Companies, Horror Host, Streaming Service and YouTube for bringing entertainment and joy to not just me but so many others during that time. And I want to also say that AT&T and their crappy day of release for Warner Brothers and New Line Cinema films to HBO Max can suck a big one as films like Wonder Woman 1984, Dune, Godzilla vs. Kong and Conjuring 3 are meant to be seen on the big screen and not used as a tool to save a terrible streaming service. And I for one will not be streaming these films and will be seeing them all in theater as I support cinema and theaters and not a soulless communication company’s terrible decision to cheapen their films by dumping them on a servers that is failing. I am very much looking forward to heading to all my local theaters this year and watching films on the silver screen and ranking them up for Matt Goes To The Movies 2021! So until next time be safe, watch a film of three at your local cinema and as always get yourself a popcorn. See you next update as I talk about Star Trek IV!

SOV Flashbacks Classics – Twisted Batman Theater

In 1998 coming off the short film Teen Suicide, another project was in the works that was being created by my brother Bryan called Twisted Batman Theater and this was so much different then Teen Suicide as this film did not have any live action actors, it was done completely with action figures with only two voice actors. But I am getting ahead of myself here so let’s take a look at the making of Twisted Batman Theater, the second film ever made in the world of Independent B Movie’s long and winding history!

In 1998 my brother Bryan was attending Sinclair Community Collage in Dayton, Ohio. He was taking a class about the works of William Shakespeare, and for one of his class projects he decided to do a video that would combine the Shakespeare stories Romeo & Juliet as well as Macbeth with DC Comic book characters Batman and Robin, more specifically the 1966 TV versions of the cape crusaders…and he decided to do the film using action figures and make it stop motion! So he spent a couple of weeks writing the script and taking elements from the plays and added in cheesy jokes filled with pop culture references as well as cameos from many super villains and actors. Before the script was done, he contacted our grandparents on my dad’s side and borrowed their VHS camcorder as it had some great built in effects and was perfect for what he needed. He also started digging through our old action figures using his Kenner Superpowers Batman and borrowing my Superpowers of Robin, The Joker and Penguin, my Catwoman figure from Kenner’s Batman Returns toyline not to mention my Toy Biz DC Superhero Figures of The Riddler and Mr. Freeze as well as many other figures from both of our old collections. And once the script was written, he asked me to run camera for him as well as voice a few of the characters and he created the production company Brass Bros, and with that, a second film was in my future.

My brother spent time building sets out of cardboard, construction paper, and we messed with the camera to make sure the angle and zoom was just right to pull off the effect of the figures moving, and of course like all good brothers we argued about many of the technical aspects as at the time of filming Twisted Batman I was also working with the Fairmont Production crew on a few ideas and we were talking about doing a sequel to Teen Suicide and was asked to help my fellow students on some class projects, that I was not fully involved in, but was happy to help on. And of course, this made me think I knew it all about making shot on video films…and of course I didn’t and this production helped me learn that as well as that when its’ someone else’s vision and film, you do what they ask to make it come alive for them. It’s not about me, it’s about them. My brother set up his “sets” in the basement and used the kitchen table we had down there as his base, and once the script was locked and figures selected to play the parts he needed, the true production started. It was a very time consuming production as it had to be done just right as the camera was not only for filming but was also his editing machine so I had to be on and fast moving on that record button. I remember that we did do some test filming, but I honestly do not remember what we shot or used to make sure that the stop motion movements would also be good for the film. Also to keep some figures in place my brother came up with the idea of using poster putty on the bottom of the figures’ feet.

It took several weeks to film it, and I had to film it between school and running around with my friends. What helped make the shoot smoother was that he needed it filmed in order so we started with the credits and with the lights off and a flashlight in hand we filmed the cast near printer paper that looked like brick walls while the classic Batman TV show theme played. It was a really cool opening credits and a great idea by Bryan. We next filmed Batman and Robin investigating the suicides of Romeo and Juliet, and they of course are bumbling around with cheesy dialogue as most of the characters around them were talking from lines from the Shakespeare writings, and best of all Bryan was also voicing the characters and even playing music cues from a boombox and all the while I had to man the record button to get it all just perfect. And even in the middle of this segment, we had to switch backgrounds to make gag that was tied into the 1997 film Titanic! After the case of Romeo and Juliet was “solved” Batman and Robin along with the Gotham Police head to investigate the murder of King Duncan and have to question Macbeth about it only to have run ins with Super Villains and even sinister witches. And after filming a shocking and cliffhanger ending, the principal photography was done and it was a wrap! And once done my brother took the footage and hooked up two VCR’s and editing started. It was a grueling process that took him a while to get just right, but finally the film was done, Bryan had me and my parents watch it as the test group, and it was lots of fun and even while stressful to make, as I have said we had lots of clashes that even had me quitting and coming back several times…the film was something I am proud of being a part of. Oh and on a very cool note, the end credits were written on paper and done INXS style from the music video for Mediate.

So Bryan then took the film to show his class at Sinclair, and it went over very well with his fellow classmates and his teacher really liking it and of course he got a good grade for it, showing that all his hard work was worth it. The crazy thing was that Sinclair even asked Bryan if they could show the film on TV Screens in their newly designed media building for other students to see, and as far as we know, they played it for a few years. Once the film was done, Bryan donated it to the growing Independent B Movie film library and it became apart of the Indie SOV history for us. Bryan after making the film toyed with the idea of making a sequel as the original film ended on a cliffhanger and he figured it would be fun to mix Batman with a few more Shakespeare stories, but sadly it never went past just talking about it that went on for a few years after. The film would make its way to VHS and sold pretty well at conventions for Independent B Movie, but was done in limited amounts as the same thing could be said for the DVD that was very limited in release. Bryan would go on to make a short film called “Nightmare” in 2001 and that year also started a film called “The Kenny Rogers Project” that had stuff filmed but never finished…but more about those on a future update. On another side note, some time around 2006 my friend Joe Grunenwald and I were developing a spin off movie of Twisted Batman that would have been based around Superman and would have had him doing 12 Labors like Hercules in order to save his friends from such super villains as Lex Luther, Brainiac, Doomsday and King Shark, but sadly this film did not make it too far into creative as both of us were short on time. So while Twisted Batman at this point is not available on home media, you can catch it from time to time on the show “Moraine Playhouse Theater” with host The Creeper has hosted it and it plays on Dayton Public Access stations DATV and MVCC and online station The Monster Channel, and for some years many moons back DATV did play the film on air un-hosted.

So I am sure you toy collectors out there reading this are wondering what toys were used in this film and because I am not cruel, I will do my best to let you know! From Kenner’s “Star Wars: Power Of The Force” line he used Lando Calrissian as Lt. Bando the head of Gotham Police. Also used from Star Wars were Stormtroopers as Gotham Cops, Luke Skywalker was Romeo, Grand Moff Tarkin & Luke Skywalker played Romeo and Juliet’s Dad’s. Dengar played the Friar, Jedi Ghost Of Obi-Wan Kenobi played the Ghost of Macbeth, and from Kenner Return Of The Jedi series Princess Leia played Juliet with The Emperor playing King Duncan. From “Pee-Wee’s Playhouse” figures from Matchbox, Pee-Wee played a Gotham Cop and from Kenner’s “Robin Hood Prince Of Thieves” line, Robin Hood played Macbeth. From Toy Biz line for “Hercules And The Legendary Journeys” he had Xena Warrior Princess play Lady Macbeth, Hercules played a dead guard and Iolaus played a cutthroat assassin. From the McFarlane Toys, KISS played the Witches from Macbeth. From the Toy Biz series “Spider-Man” he had Kraven The Hunter be another dead body for Macbeth’s segment. And he used the following Batman baddies from the following toylines: from Kenner’s “Batman The Animated Series” he used Bane, Kenner’s “Batman Returns” he used Catwoman, Kenner’s “Super Powers Collection” The Joker and Penguin, and from Toy Biz he used Mr. Freeze and The Riddler from “DC Super Heroes”. He also used a generic plastic boat that was bought from K-Mart to use for one small gag. So as you can see, many action figures made up the cast of this film!

In my long time in the world of shot-on-video filmmaking Twisted Batman theater has remained the only stop motion film I have ever made, and while I have said above Joe and I were working on a Superman idea and even at one point I had an epic Flash Gordon one in mind that would have had Flash Gordon mix with Star Wars, Star Trek, Wizard Of Oz, Saga Of Crystar, Buck Rogers, Battle Star Galactica and King Kong, they just never came to life. So I want to say that for these I.B.M films I will write about the plot, my thoughts on the film and will in the end give it a Report Card Grade on the classic A-F scale and will only be judging it on a scale that is ONLY for Independent B Movie/Bloodline Video films. Now it’s with great honor that I bring to you the 1998 short film masterpiece Twisted Batman Theater!

Twisted Batman Theater
Starring – Bryan Brassfield & Matt Brassfield     Directed by Bryan Brassfield
1998     Not Rated     38min     Independent B Movie     DVD-R     Full Frame

Movie: Detective Bando and the Gotham Police Force are at the site of a suicide of a young couple Romeo and Juliet, and they call in famed duo Batman and Robin to help solve the crime as it appears to be a suicide but Batman has his doubts as The Riddler and Bane are on the scene and he thinks they murdered the youths! And once the Friar shows up and alerts Bando that the youngsters killed themselves over their love, he is shot by The Riddler, and Batman and Robin take him and Bane down…but Batman also thinks he is still right and that The Riddler is the one who killed them. Bando gets a call that King Duncan has been murdered, and the Cops and Dynamic Duo rush to the castle to investigate the crime. While there, they meet Macbeth and Lady Macbeth who are acting strange and things get out of hand when The Joker is shown to be the Court Jester and the rock band Kiss are Witches who helped set the stage for why the King had to be killed! As Bando rushes Lady Macbeth to safety, she turns out to be Catwoman and knocks him out, as Batman and Robin are captured by The Joker who is joined by Catwoman, Mr. Freeze, Penguin and Kiss and are strapped to the big book of Shakespeare and when a gag trap goes off they will be crushed! And this is how this shot on video film ends.

Thoughts: This film is a true flashback of my early days of shot-on-video movies as it really was the first and only time I ever got to work on a stop motion film and is the only shot on video film that I worked directly with my brother on that was finished. When watching what Bryan and myself were able to pull off with a consumer VHS Camera and some old action figures is pretty great as while their movements are crude, they nonetheless are pulled off and it does make the toys feel like they are actors and not toys. Also I must say that Bryan did a great job of showcasing the stories of Shakespeare and while keeping true to the stories for the most part was also able to add a very cheesy 60’s Batman humor to them and have Batman being a goof and Robin and Bando being the true detectives doing the work to solve the crimes. The film’s backgrounds and “sets” are cheap looking yet charming and are clearly homemade but it really does add to the film’s charm. Over all this film is very dated in spots with dated jokes and lines, but it does do a great job of bring goofy laughs to viewers…not to even mention the classic music that he used was lots of fun and helped bring scenes to life, even if he had to rush and hit play on a boombox to make the cues happen. Also watching this made me laugh when I heard my voice doing Paul Stanley of Kiss as well as the laughs for Pee-Wee and The Joker…terrible! Also re-watching this made me remember how fun and stressful this film was to make and also made me really look back and think, man Bryan should have done a Twisted Batman 2 as I think he would have made it bigger, better and funnier!

Grade: B

While Twisted Batman Theater was going strong and wowing the people of Sinclair, at Fairmont High School two other films were being worked on by the Junior Media Class, and one would go on to be an adaptation of an Edgar Allan Poe story “Cask Of Amontialldo,” that by many of our original crew is considered one of the best films in our early productions and the other is a bit of a forgotten memory! You see many of my classmates were in other classes together and because most of Fairmont faculty hated me, I was only in a small amount of classes with them and spent most of my days in Media Class being a DJ and editing clips as well had many Study Halls. But for one of their classes, they all had they had to make short films and break into two groups to do so…and because my media teacher seen that deep inside my Metalhead Monster Kid attitude mind, there was an extremely creative person, he talked to that teacher and I was placed in a group to lend a helping hand. I was placed in the group alongside Matt Hoffman and Sarah McMurchy among others and I helped on a production that was based on a war story “Sweetheart Of The Song Tra Bong” that was written by Tim O’Brien, and I even played a dead body in the film killed in action and the worst part of it all is that the film is considered a “lost” film from us, but I am working on some leads to find a copy of the film and when I do, I will do a small update here on Rotten Ink about it. But while that one is gone, Cask Of Amontillado lives on so let’s talk briefly about this film from the early days of Independent B Movie.

Cask Of Amontillado was the second film made at that time and was done by the second group and was of course based on the classic 1846 short story written by Edgar Allen Poe. The film was directed by Rion Neeley, and the group cast Dave Wean as the drunken wine lover Fortunato and Dan Salter played the revenge driven Montressor with Brandon Womeldorff on camera as well as editor, graphics and co-producer. The rest of the crew was made up of Josh Razauskas, Linda Webb and Kelly Ramage, and they filmed many scenes at the Wright Patterson Air Force Base Carnival as well as Woodland Cemetery (that they snuck into at night) both places in, of course, Dayton, Ohio! The climatic end of Fortunato being bricked up was done in the basement of Rion’s home and pulled off with a handful of bricks and some cardboard boxes, and the effect looked great for a bunch of High School Media students. The film of course got the group a high grade in the class and the short film would be watched for years at gatherings and parties. I sadly was not involved at all with the making of this film besides releasing it on home media and allowing Horror Hosts to host it on their shows. The short film that was a Fairmont Production had a run on VHS and sold okay for Independent B Movie. It also was released as an extra feature for the DVD release of the 2002 Brandon Wolmeldorff film Razor. It also got the T-Shirt treatment when Independent B Movie decided to celebrate some of the films with shirts. This short film for me also proved that when Brandon Womelforff teamed with Dan Salter, Dave Wean and Rion Neeley, a team like that could not be beat in the world of shot on video films, oh and the film was shot on Super-VHS.

So just like before, for this I.B.M short film I will write about the plot, my thoughts on the film and will in the end give it a Report Card Grade on the classic A-F scale and will only be judging it on a scale that is ONLY for Independent B Movie/Bloodline Video films. Now it’s with great honor that I bring to you the 1998 short film Cask Of Amontillado!

Cask Of Amontillado
Starring – Dan Salter & Dave Wean       Directed by Rion Neeley
1998     Not Rated     14min     Independent B Movie     VHS     Full Frame

Movie: A carnival is going on and Fortunato is drunk on wine and is stumbling around when he runs into Montressor, a man who unknown to the drunken fool has a taste for revenge in his heart as he feels that Fortunato has disrespected him and his family name. Montressor tricks the drunken fool to follow him with the promise of tasting some wine that he is thinking about buying and the pair leave the carnival and start the journey to the wine cellar. Fortunato follows Montressor across a cemetery and finally they arrive at the wine cellar that is empty and Montressor chains his “friend” to the wall and then bricks him up leaving him to die…before blowing out the candle and ending the feud forever.

Thoughts: Edgar Allan Poe is a master of gothic style horror stories and it was a great choice for Rion Neeley and his crew to pick to do as I know that Rion along with Dave, Dan and Brandon all loved the work of Poe and this was one of his short stories that they could easily pull off with the no budget they had. Rion was also super smart to ask Brandon to step in and be the cameraman as Brandon always had a great eye for shots as well as using his surroundings and even slow motion to build up the tension. The fact that they were able to get night shots at Woodland Cemetery in Dayton, Ohio also in my opinion built up the foreboding gloomy fate of Fortunato. I also like how they were able to get Wright Patt Air Force Base Carnival to allow them to film as it added that mood of a festival and why Fortunato was so drunk when he meets his “friend” Montressor. They also did a great job casting as Dan Salter pulls off the moody and broody Montressor who has only revenge on his mind and Dave Wean did a great drunk Fortunato. While sadly I did not get to work on this film and only got to see the finished short film, it is a great little student shot on video film that pulls off an entertaining watch.

Grade: B+

1998 was a great year for Independent B Movie as not only was it the year of Teen Suicide but also Twisted Batman Theater, The Cask Of Amontillado and the The Things They Carried (the only lost finished film in our history) and this was only the start of our long legacy in the world of backyard cinema. When we next take a look at a film from I.B.M’s past, it will be Suicide 2 and good news for you readers that update will be coming later in 2021 so make sure to keep your eyes open for that! Our next update will bring us to our Christmas Eve update and will take us to the jungle to meet the Lord Of The Jungle the man named Tarzan! So until next time, read an indie comic or three, watch an indie film or two and as always support your local Horror Host. See you next update wait listen “Aaaaah-ah-ah-ah-aaaah-ah-ah-ah”!

SOV Flashback Classics – Teen Suicide

Way back in 1998 I was a senior at Kettering Fairmont High School, a place that I both loved and hated as my fellow students were great, but much of the facility disliked me as I was labeled a Satanist, a trouble maker, and a scumbag metalhead. They threatened to call the police on me  and they had no issues giving me detention, suspending me, kicking me out of classes, trying to expel me and even calling my parents and telling them that they should make me drop out of school! It’s crazy to think that in the late 90’s I was judged by the teachers and such based on the way I dressed as I wore horror movie shirts, 80’s hair bands and comic & TV characters. Plus I was always poorly judged on my artwork of monsters and demons and my writings of spooky stores about killers….they labeled me a threat to others and that’s how the Satanist label was branded on me, because of one terrible art teacher I had in the 9th grade. But because their small minded judgments I would be pulled from classes even if I was getting passing grades and forced into study halls or other classes that they could tuck me away in, and because of this I was placed in Media Class my senior year and that was the best thing for me, even though when they first placed me in the class they had two security guards and a principal escorted me in and sit me away from everyone. Great first impression, am I right? But because of this move I got to learn how to use Super VHS cameras, shoot live school broadcasts, learned how to deck to deck edit, learned Photoshop, how to edit on Avid and how to become a Radio DJ and even had my own shows one being called “Matt And Matt” that was me and Matt Hoffman, a guy that because of this class I became life long friends with. And that was one of the best things about them putting me in this class, I got to meet so many amazing people and friends like Brandon Womeldorff, Dave Wean, Linda Webb, Rion Neeley, Sarah McMurchy, Abigail Keyton, Scott Hunter and many more, all of whom are great people. And because of this class, the shot-on-video, no-budget backyard filmmaking bug that sparkled a creative part of my brain I did not have a means to let out and sparked the birth of Fairmont Productions that would later become Independent B Movie.

Over the years we shot goofy little skits, self-portraits and us just being goofs in the hallways, but it was because of Sociology Class that some of us got to make our first short film about subject that faced teens. This was called “Teen Suicide,” and it became a school cult classic and was a big part of our grade. Many of the Media Students were placed together in this class, and naturally we stuck together as Matt Hoffman, Brandon Womeldorff and myself became a group and took in Scott Harmon and a dude named Chris, and we started to brain storm the idea of what Teen Suicide the short film would be about. After many different ideas we landed on the idea that bullying can lead to youth suicide and we stuck with that idea. Because we were in media class, we also had a pass to leave school grounds to film it and that was a major help as we could take the bullying out of just the hallways and into our character’s normal day-to-day life as well. The “script” was really just ideas that all of us minus Chris came up with. We cast Hoffman as the young man being bullied as sadly he was bullied a lot in school, and Brandon, Scott, Chris and myself all played people that bullied him (I was “Bully 2″), aka we were the real scumbags. When it came down to who was going to direct plus edit the film we all landed on Brandon as he was the best editor of the class and it seemed right that he should also get the directing credit. When it came to camera work, all of us did our part behind the super bulky and heavy Super VHS Camera, and I was slated to also pick some of the music to be used along with Brandon…and of course my selections were W.A.S.P., Motley Crue and Pantera!

The filming took us all over the hallways of the school and we also used the houses of Hoffman and myself. We shot behind Mavericks Cards and Comics in Kettering as well as State Farm Park in Kettering for the film’s tragic ending. My big bullying scene took place behind Mavericks near a weird manmade concrete creek that had me trying to push Hoffman into the water as he hung on for dear life to a pole that was near by. The whole time I had a David Lee Roth type smile on my face with a flannel around my waist and rocking a Whitesnake T-Shirt. The scene went really well and Hoffman looked nervous and slightly scared in the scene, as he really did not want to go into the water…like the scene was planned out. So a few days later we went back to the creek to film him going into the water to maybe slice into the scene and he did so but wore swimming trunks and the add on scene was terrible and was never used and footage lost, so sadly him going into the water will never see the light of day. The film’s ending scene was our big day of production, and if memory serves me right, the only people on set that day was Hoffman, Brandon and myself. The climax had Hoffman shoot himself and fall backwards down a hill in State Farm Park, and I can remember Hoffman was nervous as the stunt was dangerous but after some coaching from Brandon and I, he did it and it looked pretty dang cool for the time. The “blood” we used for the end shot of Matt after he shot himself was ketchup that we bought from K-Mart that was right down the road from the park. Once done with filming that took about 2 weeks to complete, Brandon took the footage and worked his editing magic on the Avid Editing system and it was official Teen Suicide, our first film under the Fairmont Productions banner, was complete!

The day the film was to play in class, our group had to have two people go up and speak to the class about suicide and the film Teen Suicide and after the movie they would have to do a Q&A. After talking it over, it only made sense if Brandon and Hoffman went up as one was the director and the other the main star of the film. The pre-screening talk went well and Brandon and Hoffman gave facts and such about the topic and then it was showtime and man did the film go over well as our fellow students seemed to be drawn in by the film’s subject and the song by Pantera that was Suicide Death Note Part 1 got comments about being well used from them as well. But after the film was over and the Q&A started, things got a little awkward and sad as Hoffman dropped a bombshell on everyone and admitted he had tried to kill himself in the past and ran from the classroom after admitting it. Everyone was shocked and Brandon did his best to wrap up the presentation. The teacher then let me and Brandon go and find Hoffman and talk with him. I am glad she allowed us to do this, as it was something I think that was weighing on Hoffman for a long time and you could tell he felt really good after talking to his friends about it. When it came to it getting a grade, we all got an A for it and the film was considered a staple for watching among our friends at parties and get togethers, and remains one of the films that lived on with the crew of Independent B Movie with a sequel and a remake (but they are for another update). It has shown at Horror Conventions like Scary Camp and even played at local now sadly gone theater Paige Manor. While Teen Suicide was surpassed in quality and fanfare by other films we made over the years, it’s one that holds a special place in my heart and I am glad it lives on via DVD and screenings. One other interesting thing I should note about Teen Suicide is that for the most part it is a silent film with just music playing over the scenes from bands like Bush and The Offspring, but during the film climax Matt has the only bit of dialogue in the film as he reads his suicide note left behind for his parents.

I want to also say once we started up as a full indie production company Teen Suicide was released on VHS and later as a double feature with the second film in the series. The film sold just ok on VHS and did better on DVD and was reviewed on many websites and even in print magazines. The cover for the VHS release was done by Brandon and the DVD release cover was done by my brother Bryan and both for the time were well done and I really dig the cover for the DVD as I think it’s eye catching for a very cheaply made film series. Oh and for those wondering, Henrique Couto and his Freak Productions is who made the DVD for us way back when. It’s shocking that a film called Teen Suicide being sold at Horror Conventions in the early 2000’s didn’t sell like hot cakes. The film would also go on and get a limited long sleeve t-shirt released that was designed by students at Fairmont High School that had a white figure with a bullet hole in its head with the words Teen Suicide on him…yep, this was made around 2003/2004 and the teacher let a student make that for us…awesome and how the times changed from when I was a student. The shirts sold really well and sadly over the years I no longer have mine but my pal Josh Weinberg still has his and sent a pic of it so that I can share. So as you can see, Teen Suicide made its very tiny mark on SOV cinema here in the Dayton, Ohio area.

This was so much fun remembering back on the production of Teen Suicide and made me feel like I should go back to my roots so during the Stay At Home 2020 Order here in Ohio, Juliet and I decided to revisit one of the filming locations from the film, the site that was where my first scene ever was filmed in any SOV film…and that was behind Christopher’s Restaurant in Kettering Ohio was the opening to the creek that my character Bully 2 tried to push Matt into the water…and man the area like every thing has changed as the plants and weeds have grown taller and the concrete has became way more beaten up. While we barely visited the spot, it was very cool to take a moment and see it again. Take a look at the picture below as I took it on the day we visited that was May 7, 2020.

So let’s now take a look at Teen Suicide the film and characters that made up this universe, and what it was that drove the Matt character into wanting to end his life. So I want to say that for these I.B.M films I will write about the plot, my thoughts on the film and will in the end give it a Report Card Grade on the classic A-F scale and will only be judging it on a scale that is ONLY for Independent B Movie/Bloodline Video films. Now it’s with great honor that I bring to you the 1998 short film masterpiece Teen Suicide.

Teen Suicide
Starring – Matt Hoffman & Scott Harman     Directed by Brandon Womeldorff
1998     Not Rated     11min     Independent B Movie     DVD-R     Full Frame

Movie: The film takes place in the life of a high school student named Matt and follows him through a week of being bullied by his peers. Day 1 has Matt trying to get his locker open when Bully 1 walks by and shoves him hard into the metal lockers. Day 2 Matt is at school again this time Bully 1 shoves Matt’s face into a sink getting it all wet, and Matt is clearly getting more tired of the constant bullying. Day 3 that damn Bully 1 is at it again and this time in the hall way knocks Matt down making him drop all his books all over the hallway. Day 4 has Matt is outside of School driving to a creek to walk around only to run into Bully 2 who tries to shove Matt into the water, ruining his chance to find some peace with nature. Day 5 while driving around he is carjacked by a bully Car Thief, after walking home the Thief follows him home and fake apologizes in order to get into Matt’s house where he steals his CDs and Car again! Day 6 after losing his car and music Matt decides to visit a park and while looking at flowers Bully 3 appears and beats Matt down and leaves him in a field and Bully 3 jumps into Matt’s car still being driven around by the Car Thief Bully. Day 7 poor Matt has had enough of his torment and writes a suicide note that he reads aloud, he then grabs a hand gun and walks across a bridge and goes atop a hill and kneels and puts the gun into his mouth and pulls the trigger and falls down the hill, with the end shot being Matt with blood on his head and the camera fades out.

Thoughts: Watching this film over 20 years after we made it brought back a wave of nostalgia and makes me miss making these old shot on video films with my friends, as this is the film that really started it all for us. Plus to think I was only 17 years old when we made this film…crazy. The film’s plot is very simple as it just takes a week in the life of a kid who is being bullied and beaten up by his fellow classmates who all seem to just not like him for some reason, and finally on this final week of life all the bad stuff he has gone through piles up and with no help from his parents nor the school he does what he thinks he has to do to end the pain and that’s take his own life. The film is an odd mix of drama, action and even a touch of humor with the end of the film being very downbeat and got the impact we wanted from our fellow classmates. Plus I am a mark for Silent Films and this being a mostly silent film has always made me happy, as our group would not make another silent film until 2002 when we did the Horror Comedy Short “Last Man On Earth”. The “fight” scenes are so cheesy with Bully 3 played by Scott Harmon beating up Matt being one of the worst fight scenes any of us at Independent B Movie has ever been involved with or even shot in our company. I mean it’s super bad, and because it’s so bad, it is fun to laugh at. The true shinning star of this film was Matt Hoffman who plays Matt as he did a great job of allowing his fellow actors to knock him around and even put his heart into the suicide note in the film the he wrote himself, because of this role as well Hoffman would go on to be casted in lead roles in many of our films and would also go on to be a director and script writer. This also was the major jumping off point for Brandon Womeldorff as his editing skills for this time and for his first film edited are solid, and he also showed that he understood how to direct his goofy friends in a serious subject film. The downside is because of being edited on an Avid system and its age, the film is a little bleached out and the whites tend to take over some shots.

Grade: B+

The short film Teen Suicide and Fairmont Productions are two very important creative elements in my life and helped truly lead me down the path of picking up a camera and filming ideas that popped into my mind and lead to many amazing films, shows and skits that I have made over the years. It’s really crazy to think that all of this happened for me by chance as if not for being treated poorly by the school system and placed in the Media class, none of this would have been in my life. I would have never made Teen Suicide as a class project and I would have never met the creative minds and lifelong friends like Matt Hoffman and Brandon Wolmeldorff who both helped birth Independent B Movie along with me as well as Dave Wean, Josh Weinberg and Patrick Neeley. So when writing this update looking back at the short film Teen Suicide, I feel very nostalgic for it and all the creative hard work that little rag tag group of high school students put into it. Below I wanted to share the original VHS tape of this cult classic SOV film and one day soon I hope that Teen Suicide and Suicide 2 will see the light of day again in some home media.

I would like to tell you readers that this is not the last of the films of Independent B Movie that I will be breaking down here on Rotten Ink as sometime in the very near future we will also be talking about the second film I was apart of called “Twisted Batman Theater” as well as a Fairmount Production I helped on called “Cask Of Amontillado”, so make sure to keep your eyes and ears open for that update! And guess what, that Twisted Batman update is next!! So until next update read an indie comic or three, watch a SOV film or two and as always support your local Horror Host. See you next update for a fun time with Batman and Robin in the world of stop motion shot on video films!

SOV Flashbacks Classics – SNIX Series

Welcome back to Rotten Ink! For this update in our countdown to Halloween 2020, I decided to do something a little different and not cover a comic series or even a horror host. Instead, I’ll be covering a shot-on-video horror movie series from the 90’s that was made by James Rolfe, who is better known as The Angry Video Game Nerd!

This series was something James made with friends that ended up growing into something that is very slowly gaining its own cult following and could also be sparking a new generation of indie filmmakers into wanting to make their own films.

James Rolfe started out much like myself as he was a fan of classic old monster movies and enjoyed very much being creative and would do projects with friends or even solo to get it done. When I was a kid, I made my own comic books like Benny The Squirrel, Robo-Raccoon and Miss Freedom, to name a few. At the same time, armed with my tape recorder, I would do my own radio music and dramas as well as comedy skits, mostly about paranormal themes. But one of my biggest outlets for my creative mind was writing short stories, as I would spend so much of my time putting pen to paper and creating characters and the worlds they lived in.

And when I discovered movie making back in 1998, I was hooked on the creative outlet as the films “Teen Suicide” and a short time later “Suicide 2” and “Twisted Batman” were projects my family, friends and I created together and would lead to me making “Werewolf Of Ohio” and “Werewolf Of Ohio 2: 10 Years Before” that would spawn “The Wolf Hunter”, “One Second Too Late”, “Nightmare” and so on over the years! When thinking about Halloween time, I think of backyard shot horror movies that I grew up watching on TV and VHS, like “Trail Of The Werewolf” and “Frankenstein Stalks,” and that’s why I think it’s the perfect time of the year for me to cover the Snix film series and take the Snix Pack Challenge!

For each film, I will write about the plot, my thoughts on the film and will in the end give it a report card grade on the classic A-F scale. Now keep in mind, it would not be fair to grade SOV films like you would a big budget Hollywood Movie or even a bigger budget indie feature, that’s why ,much like I do for fan films, I will be grading these on their own scale — a scale of true to life backyard cinema, the true shot on video warriors of the camcorder days. I chose to start my SOV film reviews and topics with the SNIX films because to me it’s clear that James Rolfe had and has a love for making these movies like filmmakers Chris Seaver, Henrique Couto, Matt Hoffman and Dustin Austen, all of whom in my opinion are the godfathers of backyard films for my generation. So if you are ready, let’s see what this James Rolfe horror comedy short series has in store for us this Halloween season.

SNIX
Starring – James Rolfe & Philip Smith     Directed by James Rolfe
1993     Not Rated     12min     Cinemassacre       DVD-R     Letterbox

Movie: SNIX was killed 3,000 years ago. The evil ghosts he controls are held behind a door, and a young girl sets the spirits free by accident! Two friends Jim and Philip are in the house, and the evil ghosts are targeting Philip as they want him to put on the mask of SNIX so he can live again. The ghosts torment him all around the house to put the mask on…and he does! SNIX has now taken over Philip, and armed with a sword, he starts to stalk Jim all around the house! Jim is able to get the sword and comes up with a plan to take off the mask and try to save Philip, but he must take on the Ghosts who want to protect SNIX. After beating a ghost, he gets a delivery of a special box that takes away all the ghosts by using fear on them. Jim then comes face to mask with SNIX, and he uses the box once more that frees a creepy old man who brings down SNIX. The mask is burned to keep try and stop him once and for all. In the end, Jim cannot help himself and looks in the box himself and passes out from fright.

Thoughts: The first film in the SNIX series is a little rough to get through as it was clearly made by James when he was around 12 years old, and he cast himself and his friend in the lead roles and neither at the time were skilled actors. But to be fair, that cheesy acting is part of the charm of shot-on-video backyard films. The plot is simple: a young girl unleashes ghosts in a house by opening a closet door. The ghosts use their haunting powers along with the mask of SNIX to get one of the two young boys in the house to wear it, and when he does, he becomes SNIX and it’s up to the other to stop the evil again. SNIX spends most of the film as just the mask and demanding to be put on. Once he becomes whole again, he is defeated by the creepy old man (that is really just art pages from a kid’s book done with voice over) pretty quickly and his cursed masked is burnt up. SNIX is not a major threat nor are his ghost minions that are running wild through the house. Jim is our hero and armed with a sword and a magical box that just so happened to be delivered as he runs around his house kicking supernatural butt! Some of the fun parts of this film are when you can clearly see parents in the background and they are just going about their normal day as James and his friends are running around with a plastic sword and a mask made from construction paper. The film is bloodless, as to be expected from a film made by a 12 year old with a zero dollar budget, and of course the plot is not great but shows lots of creativity from James as the essential elements of a spooky story are there. Like everyone’s early films, it just sometimes gets jumbled. This is a good start for the series as it’s clear that it will only go up from here. One other thing about this first film is that it goes from Letterbox to Full Frame from scene to scene!

Grade: C-

SNIX: The Return
Starring – James Rolfe & Brian Genk     Directed by James Rolfe
1996     Not Rated     21min     Cinemassacre       DVD-R     Full Frame

Movie: Three years later, Jim is at his house telling his friend about the mask of SNIX and how Philip put the mask on and was brought down by the old man’s box of fear. SNIX’s mask has returned and is now trying to get Jim to put it on as he wants to be reborn again! Jim tries his best to get his friend to see the mask, but every time the friend looks, it disappears. When Jim is finally able to pick it up, he makes the mistake of putting it on and goes after his friend who tries to fight for his life….but the mask jumps to the friend as he wants his revenge on Jim for defeating him three years ago and chases him around the neighborhood. Jim uses a small stick to beat down SNIX and escapes, but once inside his locked basement the ghosts show back up as does the creepy old man who informs him that he cannot defeat SNIX alone and that they are related and together they can bring down SNIX with the Box of Fear and luck. He once more captures the ghosts and uses the sword on the mask and removes it from his friend, throwing the mask out the window. Then they bury it for good measure, this time hoping SNIX will stay dead.

Thoughts: The second film in the SNIX series plays up the comedy and has the mask playing mind games against Jim before taking over his new friend and trying to kill Jim. This time around, Jim is a little older and a tad wiser, and armed with his Box Of Fear, he once more captures the ghosts and uses the sword to bring down the evil of SNIX. Jim is a hero much like Ash from the Evil Dead series as he doesn’t want to be the hero of the day and thus far seems to fall backwards into defeating the evil mask and his ghost minions. Jim also seems at to be bad luck for anyone that he is friends with as two times now his friends get possessed by SNIX and they are lost to evil. They also add a new plot twist as The Old Man with the Box of Fear is related to Jim and in fact is the one who claims to have brought the evil SNIX down those thousands of years ago. SNIX in this one is just the mask for large parts of the movie demanding to be put on and then jumps from Jim to his friend with the goal being to kill Jim! In the host body, SNIX wanders around and tries his best to frighten and scare Jim at every turn. The ghosts are around, but as fast as they show up, they disappear as that weird old man and his box return to help. This sequel does have some blood in it as Jim is cut by his friend with a knife to the arm, showing that the budget must have been a tiny bit higher than zero. It’s also clear that this film is half spoof and half remake of the original film, and from what James has said, he even used the original paper mask for this one. SNIX: The Return is a fun silly watch and even though the picture quality on the DVD-R I have is not great, it was still fun to see how James was growing as a filmmaker and how the legend of SNIX was growing. And keep in mind James made this film when he was only 15 years old, so I have to give him props for pulling it off as it’s hard to make a solid horror comedy.

Grade: C-

SNIX: Again
Starring – James Rolfe & Brian Genk     Directed by James Rolfe
1997     Not Rated     22min     Cinemassacre       DVD-R     Full Frame

Movie: In 1693, SNIX was a powerful warlock who stole souls and was defeated by a master swordsman who left his body on an island to rot. But SNIX went after the swordsman and caused him to commit suicide in order to save his own soul. That swordsman was Xins, the Old Man with the box of fear, and he is also a spirit that is always in a fight with the evil of SNIX. Jim now understands the true nature of SNIX and the goodness of Xins, and now three months after he buried the mask, he and his friend go back and dig up the SNIX mask and take it back to Jim’s home. Once more the mask tries to force its way onto Jim’s head but fails as Jim places it into his fireplace and before he sets it ablaze, a creep headless body appears and saves it, knocking Jim out in the process. Jim calls his friend over and when he arrives, he is chased around the house by SNIX who is holding a plunger as a weapon. The young man fights for his life against the possessed Jim who was forced to wear the SNIX mask. In the end, the young man leads SNIX into the woods and is able to help Jim get the mask off, and this time around they flush the mask down the toilet….ending his rampage for now.

Thoughts: The third film in the shot-on-video cult classic series brings the true history of SNIX to light and highlights that three thousand years ago he was indeed a true force of evil and something to be truly feared and then goes into the fact that SNIX is back again only three months after we last saw him! This time around Jim understands the true evil nature of SNIX and is coming to grips that the Creepy Old Man named Xins, the keeper of the Box Of Fear, is one of his past relatives, but he still makes a dumb move when he digs up the mask with the idea to burn it again, only to find himself possessed by it and on a rampage to get his friend! The friend is the true hero of this story as he out smarts the possessed Jim and is able to get the mask off him, and together they flush the sucker. SNIX is now shown to also have a headless body wandering around who for some reason has a sock for a hand. It makes you wonder what will happen when, in a future sequel, the two will come back together. This sequel is clearly scripted, as James has stated. and this helps give the film a little structure and takes away some of the more odd moments the other films had. The downside to this sequel is that Jim’s motivation does not make sense at times, and while I can forgive it, I still have to point it out, as this is something that so many shot-on-video film heroes do…mine included. The film is bloodless and once more plays up some humor, much of which has a Scooby-Doo feel to it. This film has a cool animated opening, and I really do like that they dive deep into SNIX’s back story as up to this point it was kind of lost in the shuffle of the series as he had no real backstory. When this one was made, James was 16 years old showing that being creative really was in his blood. While not an amazing SOV film, it is a quick fun entertaining one that adds a little more legacy to SNIX and his cult character status.

Grade: C+

The Rotten Corpse Of SNIX
Starring – James Rolfe & Brian Genk     Directed by James Rolfe
1998     Not Rated     21min     Cinemassacre       DVD-R     Full Frame

Movie: Three days after being flushed down the toilet, SNIXS returns. His headless corpse is still wandering around preparing for something big and that’s to bring the mask back. Now SNIX is whole and looking for revenge! Jim is once again on the run as SNIX goes after his friend with murder on his mind. Jim goes to the Temple of Xins and chats with Xins and learns that the Box Of Fear has been stolen and that Jim is the chosen one to kill SNIX and is given a special sword to do so. All the while, SNIX chases Jim’s friend all around town and before he can kill him, Jim shows up with his new sword and has an epic sword fight with SNIX that leaves the warlock decapitated and his rotten body thrown from a window. Jim takes the mask, and this time places it on train tracks where its run over!

Thoughts: The fourth film is the SNIX series is lots of fun and has the evil warlock monster SNIX becoming whole and targeting Jim and his pal who have defeated him movie after movie! In this film Jim finally gets that he is in fact the only person that can bring SNIX dow, and he now has no fear of the evil warlock and uses his gifted sword to bring the monster down. That’s the one thing about the Jim character at this point, he really has grown from being a scared kid to a sword-swinging hero who is more annoyed that the evil mask keeps returning. His friend in this movie also gets a name, Brian, and this time around he is a major target of SNIX who seems to get enjoyment chasing him all around town with the goal being to catch him and choke the life out of him! Xins himself makes an appearance in the film and is no longer just pictures from a book, but is a costume that glows, and he sadly loses his Box Of Fear (that is used to bring the mask back from the toilet) and passes down his very own sword to Jim that was used to kill SNIX some three thousand years ago. I like the outfit for Xins way more than the pictures as the character now comes off more ghostly. Our ever-returning villain SNIX becomes whole in this film and is filled with mischief and rage as he once more targets Jim and Brian. This time around he even uses a sword with the goal to chop up Jim. But as always, he is defeated, and this time around his mask is run over by a train that shreds it into pieces. I like SNIX’s look in this film as he has a real video game island bad guy look to him. The film has a little blood that is used in the sword fight between Jim and SNIX, and James Rolfe said that at the time this was the longest film for him to make as it took 10 months due to actor schedules. The Rotten Corpse Of SNIX is a great cheesy shot-on-video film that really does capture the fun nature of backyard filmmaking and is one that I think fans of this micro genre of horror should check out. It’s the best in the series this far. I should note that James was 17 when he made this entry in the long running series.

Grade: B+

The Possessed Mask Of SNIX
Starring – James Rolfe      Directed by James Rolfe
1998     Not Rated     13min     Cinemassacre       DVD-R     Full Frame 

Movie: Only three hours after destroying the SNIX mask again, Jim returns home to find the mask of SNIX in his fridge wanting to be put on! He tapes the fridge shut, but the mask once more follows him around the house asking to be put on as Jim is quickly losing his cool and is getting mad as he wants to be done with this evil curse once and for all. The SNIX Mask tricks his way on to his head for a moment, but a quick fall from a chair knocks it loose and Jim this time throws it outside and looks at the mask via the basement window, that is until the mask returns inside again only to be washed in the washing machine. Xins appears and tells Jim that he needs to really stop SNIX once and for all and that the Box Of Fear is still in Jim’s bathroom. He warns him the scariest thing in the world is still in the box. Jim then comes face to mask with the mask of SNIX, and this time after a quick chase and lots of beating the heck out of the mask, Jim thinks he ends the terror burning him up in the fireplace. But as the mask burns, SNIX warns him that he does not need the mask; all he really needs is something to possess!

Thoughts: We are five movies into the SNIX series, and this time around it’s just a showdown between Jim and the mask of SNIX who really wants to be put on and restart his reign of stealing souls. But it’s clear by this fifth film that Jim has really had enough of SNIX and wants to figure out how to stop its curse once and for all, and does what he can to ignore the mask while thinking about what he can do to kill it or at least get it to leave him alone. The ghost of Xins is hanging out in Jim’s basement. He also seems like he wants the curse of SNIX to end and tells Jim that he is the key to stop him. I like how they say all the ghosts are taken care of as they got flushed down the toilet to get the mask back and then Xins captured them all again. One odd thing is they call The Box Of Fear the Box Of Horror in this sequel. The Mask of SNIX also comes off like he just wants to be such a pain in the ass to Jim and is taking pleasure annoying him throughout his life. I also think that when he is set on fire, he knows that this will not end him, and in fact I think this allows his evil spirit to travel beyond just the mask…just a vibe I was getting. The pacing of this film is super fast and is clearly just a sequel that is used to help build up to the final film in the series. This one has zero blood and showcases what James at age 17 could pull off just by himself with some assistance from his family. While not as good as the previous film in the series, this one is a good chapter to build up the world of SNIX and shows that he is angry and wants his revenge on Xins’ bloodline and the world.

Grade: B-

The Banishing Of Evil Spirit Of SNIX
Starring – James Rolfe & Brian Genk          Directed by James Rolfe
1998     Not Rated     14min     Cinemassacre       DVD-R     Widescreen

Movie: Only three minutes after being set on fire, SNIX is back again and Jim makes a quick phone call to Brian to get over to his house. He calls his pal Joe as well to come over to help bring down SNIX…you see Jim is calling in all his pals to help in this fight! But sadly as his friends rush to get to him, the evil spirit of SNIX starts to possess Jim who now becomes the one and only SNIX! Joe is being targeted as SNIX’s next victim as Brian runs home swearing to never visit Jim again.. With the voice of Xins guiding him, Joe gets the Box of Fear and uses it against the evil warlock to knock him away and then beats the possessed Jim with a gold club till he is out cold. As Joe sits on the couch tired from the battle, the spirit of SNIX enters the TV and threatens the world that he cannot be stopped! While SNIX is in the TV, the spirit of Xins appears and uses all his energy to take him and SNIX to the spirit world, ending the evil Warlock’s reign of terror. Jim wakes up, and he and Joe look into the Box Of Fear and find it to be empty as whatever terrible thing that was inside was flushed down the toilet by the body of SNIX when he used the ghosts inside the box to get the mask. In the end Jim walks down the road knowing that he and his friends stopped the evil right there in New Jersey and that the rest of the world will never know about the horrors that could have been unleashed on them all.

Thoughts: The sixth and final film in the SNIX series is a clear love letter to the character that James created when he was only 12 years old and was a way to tie all the movies together as well as finally bring it all to an end. This time around SNIX enters the body of Jim and turns him into SNIX himself. He wants to kill Joe who is a friend of Jim’s and sadly was in the wrong place at the wrong time. But as always, the power of good brings down evil as Xins’ ghost comes to the aid of the young men and rids the world of SNIX once and for all. In this movie Jim knows that SNIX will return in three minutes and does what he thinks is right and that’s bring in his friends to help, and then for most of the movie he himself becomes the snarling evil SNIX! That’s right, think Ash from Evil Dead II when he is possessed and that’s what happens to Jim until he is beaten down with a golf club and has his soul saved by Xins. Throughout this series Jim has faced the evil of SNIX six times and has been a hero and a victim as well has grown into the savior the world didn’t even know it needed. Philip, Brian and Joe are the friends who sadly get caught up in all this madness just because they are friends with Jim and each has changed in some ways with Philip getting the worst of it as once he is possessed, he disappears never to be seen again! Brian has battled, been chased and almost killed by SNIX, and by the end of the series it’s made clear that I think he is done hanging out with Jim ever again. And Joe is just a poor young man who got sucked into the madness after he saw Jim throw the body of SNIX out the window in the fourth movie, and he has to become a hero himself. The ghost of Xins is the story’s real main hero as over three thousand years ago he took SNIX for the first time, and in this final film he is the one that takes him away again. I have to stress I like the glow in the dark/black light costume better then the art from the book version of Xins. SNIX goes from just a haunted mask to possessing people to even finding his old rotten body and wanting to come back to rule the land so badly. The only thing in his way is kids that ruin his plans, resurrection after resurrection! And while he is a soul eating, master of ghosts, he still is a very playful and goofy villain who talks like a cartoon bad guy and even does weird little dances. When he takes his mask off, I love the fact he looks like a stranger version of B-Actor Tor Johnson, fun stuff. While the final film in the SNIX series is not prefect, it still was a great fitting ending to a film series that meant something to James and his friends when they made it.

Grade: B

The SNIX film series is a great look at the beginning days of James Rolfe and his Cinemassacre Productions and is a great tool for inspiring filmmakers to watch as each film shows how James grew as a filmmaker, from his camera angels to his scripts. And now he is one of the best YouTube celebrities going. It’s also a great time capsule of the golden days of home camcorders as well as New Jersey from the eyes of young kids during the 90’s. Plus each of these movies have vintage intros to them done by James that give you a little more insight to each film and the motivation of its creation. I love hearing how he used two VCR’s to edit the films as that was the same way my brother edited his first film, Twisted Batman. Plus hearing that he also used in-camera cuts to edit parts of the film reminds me of some of my early days making backyard films. As of this update, it’s been about 22 years since the final SNIX movie was made, and while I am sure James and his crew will never make another, I for one would love to see him make one last film in the series and use all the knowledge and resources he has now to make one last epic SNIX flick…I mean come on, James could play Jim again and imagine roles for Mike Matei, Justin Silverman, Kieran and Tony from Hack The Movies as they all run away from the evil SNIX…just saying, you know you all would watch it. Honestly, it would also be lots of fun to do a SNIX comic book mini series at Blood Scream Comics as the character should live on and entertain the masses again. Over all while the SNIX films are not prefect, I will say that they are entertaining and show that all creative minds started somewhere.

I hope you enjoyed this update about this shot-on-video movie series as I had lots of fun working on it. I have been thinking about covering more movies here on Rotten Ink, and I am looking at covering films from the following genres: martial arts, sword and sandal, fantasy, westerns, indie horror, Mexican horror as well as, of course, more shot-on-video. And don’t forget, I will still be also looking at fan-made horror films. Plus, I will also be taking a look at talk shows that I grew up watching when I was a kid as seen on my Talk Back update that was about Morton Downey Jr. talking about slasher films that will be joining the ranks of Made For TV Movies and Specials! And I will always have a place for horror hosts as they are some of my most favorite updates to write for my blog. And do not get worried as comic book reviews are still my bread and butter, and they are and will always be the main focus of Rotten Ink as they are what sparked the blog and have kept me writing this long!

So as you can see, lots of great write-ups are coming your way in the next few years, and I truly hope you enjoy reading these updates as much as I enjoy writing them. For our next update, we are walking away from the world of SOV Films and will be heading to The Colony, a nice resort in the middle of the woods and tonight it’s supposed to be a full moon….so you know that the werewolves will be Howling! That’s right, we will be taking a look at the 1981 film The Howling and the Space Goat comic mini series based around it. So until next time, read an indie comic or three, watch a shot-on-video flick or two and as always, support your local Horror Host. See you next update for some quality time with Marsha Quist.

Talk Back: The Morton Downey Jr. Show – Slasher Films

In the 1980’s talk shows, both daytime and nighttime, were all the rage as names like Phil Donahue, Sally Jessy Raphael, Geraldo Rivera, Arsenio Hall, David Letterman, Johnny Carson and Oprah Winfrey all hosted must-watch shows TV for viewers. Each covered topics that the masses cared about like celebrities, racism, devil worship, gay rights, wrestling, scandals, horror movies, heavy metal music, teens dressing weird, serial killers and everything in-between. While thinking of what kind of subjects I wanted to cover for my Made For TV updates, I knew that late night and day time talk show episodes had to be talked about as they were shows I grew up watching and have good memories of some of the over the top topics! When selecting the first talk show host and episode to showcase, many came to mind and Geraldo Rivera was always in the lead as his show was always my favorite and some of his episodes are ones that are blog worthy for sure! But I made the choice to cover an episode of The Morton Downey Jr. Show as I really think he was the true start of trash TV when it comes to talk shows and was Jerry Springer long before over the top antics and overly sleazy TV was cool. So for my first every “Talk Back” update here at Rotten Ink, I have decided to cover a Morton Downey Jr. Show that I feel captures the true nature of the show as well is a topic I am interested in back then and still am now and that’s Slasher Films! That’s right the topic, I will be covering is about the 80’s boom of Horror Films that not only flooded theaters but also the video store shelves. So this will not only be my first Talk Back update but will also be my first update in my countdown to Halloween! So let’s sit back and Zip It with this first update in my Talk Back theme.

Sean Morton Downey was born on December 9, 1932 in Los Angeles, California to parents Morton Downey who was a popular singer in the 1920’s-1930’s, who was given the nickname The Irish Nightingale, and mother Barbara Bennett who was an actress known for her roles in films like Black Jack from 1927 and Syncopation from 1929. Downey was raised rich and lived a good life even attending college at New York University. In the 1950’s he started work in radio, first as an announcer and program director and then became a disc jokey where he started perfecting his snarky attitude and take no prisoners rants. Around this time as well Downey tried his hand at becoming a singer songwriter and recorded such songs as Green Eyed Girl that charted on Billboard reaching # 95! While he was not a popular singer, he was a solid one that showed he did get some of his father’s talent.

Downey was a loose cannon, and by the mid 80’s he had been fired by and avoided by radio stations. Also in 1980 Downey made a bid for the President as a Democrat; he was not selected but he did stay active in politics for a short time hosting Pro Life rallies. In 1987, Downey decided to try his hand at TV and started a show called the “Morton Downey Jr. Show” that started on local New York/New Jersey station WWOR-TV and by 1988, the show went into syndication and became a very controversial late night talk show, and made the phrase “Zip It” popular in the vernacular of viewers.

His rise came fast and hard, as viewers seemed to not be able to get enough of his in your face style of talk show hosting and this lead to him getting appearances on TV Shows and even Movies…and even more crazy is the fact that his own peers in the world of Talk Shows seemed to be puzzled to why people enjoyed his show. On his show, Downey covered all types of taboo topics of the time, and he played two sides against each other and would be rude to everyone by playing devil’s advocate during most shows. But because of his type of hosting, many stations got worried about airing the show and sponsors as well were reluctant to advertise during it…and this was the beginning of the end for it! In 1989, Morton Downey Jr. also recorded another album this time based around his show, during that same year Downey was “attacked” in the bathroom at the San Francisco International Airport by neo-nazi’s who held him down tried to shave his head and painted a swastika on his face….this was looked at as a fake incident that Downey fabricated in order to help his falling ratings.

On September 15, 1989 the show came to an end and as fast as he rose to power, he just as fast crashed and burned. After the show was gone and his star fading, he filed for bankruptcy in 1990, but still took small roles in films like Revenge Of The Nerds III, Body Chemistry II and Meet Wally Sparks to name a few. Things got worse for Downey as in 1996 he was diagnosed with lung cancer from years of chain smoking, and this made the pro smoker change his stance on cigarettes and he spent years trying his best to warn others of its dangers. But sadly on March 12, 2001 Morton Downey Jr. passed away from pneumonia and lung cancer. While in modern times Morton Downey Jr. and his show are almost forgotten, his legacy of “take no crap” hosting style lives on with shows like Jerry Springer and Steve Wilkos. Plus for those readers who want to know more about Morton Downey Jr., there have been books written by him as well as a documentary movie made about his life, so check those out as well.

Growing up I can remember the craziness that was The Morton Downey Jr. Show as my parents disliked him lots. I can remember my Mom always saying that he was a jerk to his guests and that she didn’t understand why people watched his show…this of course made me and my brother more curious about it and even made us watch a few episodes from time to time. I can also remember him being parodied in MAD and Cracked Magazine. But for me the main reason I knew who Morton Downey Jr. was came from WWF WrestleMania V that took place in 1989 when the loud mouth Downey Jr. came face to face with Rowdy Roddy Piper on the set of Piper’s Pit! In this segment while Piper tried to interview Downey kept smarting off and blowing cigarette smoke into the face of the wrestler, and finally Piper asks for a cigarette of his own and when Downey is lighting it up, Piper gets a fire extinguisher and blasts Downey several times in the face with it! As Downey flops around on the mat, Piper seems to be enjoying himself. This was 100% classic old school WWF wrestling and showcased that Roddy Piper was the man when it came to putting celebrities in their places when they entered the squared circle. I also growing up enjoyed Morton Downey Jr. as Tony Pope a loud mouth journalist in the 1990 Sci-Fi/Horror Movie Predator 2, and this role was perfect for him!

One thing about Morton Downey Jr. is the fact he loved drama and pushing boundaries as well as pushing the buttons of guests and viewers. And many of these style episodes will be the ones we will cover here on my “Talk Back” update and the one I choose to start with is the episode were Morton Downey Jr. talks about Slasher Films and their impact on viewers. So I am not going to give this Talk Show a star rating nor a grade, but instead I am going to just break down the episode from commercial break to commercial break and discuss the topic and mood of the guests and audience on hand. I want to thank my brother Bryan for getting me this copy of the show for this update, and now I must Zip It so we can get to this classic episode of the Morton Downey Jr. Show.

Morton Downey Jr. Show: Slasher Films
With: Michael Berryman & Rick Sullivan       Topic: Movie Violence     1989

Morton Downey Jr. starts the episode off wearing a Freddy Kruger glove and mask and tells the viewers about how Horror Movies are super popular, and then asks the question if they know what kind of films their kids are renting from the local video store…he then says Slasher Horror Movies are the night’s topic and we are treated to his overly cheesy theme song as well as the amazing graphics of him that go along with it. The crowd already seems hot and ready for some arguments and extreme debates.

Morton starts off with his big white teethed grin and pulls out his pack of cigarettes and warns parents that in this episode they will be showing clips from slasher films, and warns that some of the weaker stomached viewers may puke! He then introduces us to his first two guests, John Anastasio, a film critic, and Rick Sullivan, who works for Gore Gazette and claims slasher films are “Cotton Candy For The Mind.” After asking Rick a question, Morton quickly cuts him off to show a clip of “Last House On The Left” by Wes Craven, and then asks Rick what he finds so sweet about the clip that showed a young woman being stabbed. Rick takes up for the film and says that most viewers go to see the state of the art effects, and to watch the villains get theirs in the end when John adds his two cents in claiming that all the viewers really go to these movies for is the blood and gore that rots the viewers’ minds and hearts, and the crowd goes crazy cheering him on.

Morton then asks the question that while kids cannot see these films in theaters, they can however rent them from Video Rental Stores, and both Rick and John agree that the same rules should be held at both to not allow kids to view these films without a parent’s permission, But then John turns it around to that no one should watch these films all the while Morton is making jokes about his ex-girlfriend and then asks Rick about Good beating Evil in these films. Rick says that everyone knows in the last reel good will win and that kids love these films because people like John tell them not to, and compares it to Rock N Roll Music.

Morton then brings out an issue of Rick’s magazine with a graphic image on the front and John spins it around to his other issue with Slasher films being the sex and degrading nature of women in the films. Morton stands up for the magazine and Horror when he claims there is nothing sexual about the image on the cover! Morton then asks if films like Cannibal Holocaust should be used to teach people about good and evil, and John says no movies like the Star Wars Trilogy and Universal Monster Movies Dracula and Frankenstein should be uses as it shows good beating evil without blood and extreme violence, Morton says to him in Frankenstein good did not prevail over evil as you are set as the viewer to feel bad for The Monster. And with that Morton brings in our first commercial break.

I must say that in this first segment I am shocked about how Morton does a great job of being down the middle for the most part, but does seem to be more on the side of the Slasher films as he points out more of what he dislikes about what John is saying as he comes off really bad as a snotty film critic who thinks his opinion is what matters. Meanwhile Rick Sullivan is pretty well spoken and is clearly a true fan of Horror Movies as he is ready to debate to stand up for the genre he loves. The crowd is also mixed, but so far seems to be more on the side of John thinking these films are trash cinema, with only a small amount cheering for the Slasher flicks…in fact, the crowd while cheering at times are pretty tame for now with only a few outburst of laughing at the guests. So far I would say the mood is pretty tame and Morton is doing a great job of keeping the topic fast paced and entertaining.

When back from the commercial the crowd is yelling and cheering as Morton next welcomes actor Michael Berryman to the show who is the star of films like The Hills Have Eyes, and they show a clip from the film. Also on stage is Feminist Paige Mellish who is against pornography and claims that Slasher Films have studies done about them that prove men want to attack women more after watching them. The crowd does not like her statements.

Michael comes back and says that if people find the sick actions of what happens in horror movies sexual then they are unbalanced people, and he does not make films that promote that kind of thoughts. The Crowd loves what Michael says and he gets a loud cheer and a few laughs at his jokes about dates jumping into your arms during Horror Movies in the theater. Paige then comes back and claims that all the violence in these films is sexualized and says a quote from serial killer Ted Bundy and the link of sex and violence before he was “killed” when Morton says he was not killed, he was executed and goes on to call Bundy a liar and slime!

Paige is un-phased and sticks by the statement that Horror Movies and violence toward women go hand and hand, Rick is asked if Slasher Films and his Magazine are pornographic and he says they are not, when John points out the Gore Gazette code that links some sex to the films…Rick claims it’s taken out of context. Because of this Rick and John start to go back and fourth over the topic, and Michael chimes in that even TV Shows have rotten moments and Morton once more cuts a joke acting like the actor was going to say his show, as Rick and John still go back and fourth with John saying his magazine is garbage!

Morton comes into the argument and says the magazine is sold to 17 and up, and they are adults and no one needs to be their censors, when Paige chimes in that its adult males that attack women when Morton brings up a case of a woman who was attacked an put into a coma by teenagers in New York. Paige agrees but goes back to saying men who watch horror attack women, and Morton cuts her off and takes us to our next commercial break.

Once more I will have to say Morton does a pretty good job of walking the line between the two sides, but it is clear he sides slightly more with the Slasher fans as he hates the fact John is talking censorship and Paige is on a role that all horror is porno! Plus I love how Morton gets worked up over Ted Bundy and runs the psycho’s name through he mud and back again. Michael Berryman comes of well spoken and funny, as Paige Mellish seems really hung up on the “facts” that horror and adult films and crime go hand and hand, and that’s crazy talk. I think Paige really chose the wrong talk show to get her message out as the crowd does not like what she is saying nor does the host. Watching Rick and John go back and fourth is lots of fun, and I almost wish it would have gone on longer as John clearly was getting annoyed as he sunk so low to trash another guests magazine. The crowd is having a blast with this topic as they seem to be laughing, cheering and booing all the while with grins on their faces, so far a solid episode for Morton as he is handling the topic at hand really well.

Morton comes back and welcomes guest Doug Harpool, a representative from Missouri who wants to pass a law that makes it illegal to rent rated R movies to minors and talks about how he heard about a 12 year old and his friends renting Slasher movies from the video store and his parents being so upset about it.

His next new guest is Tony Timpone of Fangoria Magazine who says to him the government should not be stepping in and saying what kids can and can’t watch as the video store should regulate themselves and not be forced by the government. Morton says that Video Stores will not do that as he compares it to the lewd acts that happen at adult video stores and says the regulation needs to happen with the people who make the movies, and Tony disagrees and says it should be up to the person if they want to watch the movie or not, and that parents should be the ones who step in with their own kids and decide if they should be watching the movie or not. Morton mocks him for this statement and acts like parents cannot be everywhere to look into everything that their kids like or want to do, and before Tony can respond, the crowd cheers for Morton’s snarky response.

Paige quickly jumps in with a law that was being drawn up that is about if victims of a terrible crime can prove that a film is what caused the crime, the company who put out the film can be sued. Morton laughs that off and says the it would never pass the Supreme Court, and many of the guest get riled up over this as both sides clash. Doug Harpool takes up for his bill and says the government has had to step in on many issues when it comes to what kids can read and watch and that times are hard as many families have both parents working, leaving kids alone to make decisions. As Paige talks more about adult males hurting women, Tony screams about kids liking Horror Movies! John chimes in after Morton asks him about if he caught his child watching “I Spit On Your Grave” about how he would react, and Michael Berryman chimes right in with you need to talk with your kid and about it!

John then admits he has never even watched a full Slasher film from start to finish, and Rick lets him have it.  Paige once more starts in on adult men watching these films and attacking women and her study facts, and Morton once more just goes past her claims. Doug Harpool talks about the laws on what type of films would be off the books for kids from the Horror genre and says his bill would not block kids from seeing Slasher films – they could with a parent renting it for them.

John does not like what he hears and starts to go after Morton for saying that parents cannot always see what their kids are watching, as Morton once more says how can they when many worth 10-12 hours a day and that both parents have to work now because of mistakes of the government. John says it’s a matter of money or being there to make sure your kids grow up right. Paige starts on adult males and Ted Bundy talk again when Rick screams “Oh come off it with The Ted Bundy…are you in love with him or something?” And Morton takes us to the next commercial break.

This part of the show is a little more heated as I think Rick and Tony are very much sick of the Slasher film bashing. John clearly has zero clue on what he is protesting and Doug Harpool and Michael Berryman chime in when needed as Paige just babbles about Ted Bundy and crimes done by adult males. At this point of the show it’s also more clear that Morton is stirring the pot and getting both sides worked up against each other and playing up to his audience. And it’s clear both sides of the argument are just ignoring the words of Paige who almost seems like a broken record at this point. The crowd was loving all the back and fourth, and this segment showcases the true nature of Talk Shows being trash TV, and it’s amazing.

Morton welcomes us back, and he has a new guest filmmaker Dave Juskow, who made the indie Cannibal Slasher Musical film “Splatter Girls.” They show a clip, but not before Morton takes a few shots at the film and its production. After the clip the crowd boos, as they clearly did not like what they saw and some shout that it was stupid as Paige enters the talk and brings up more violence against women as Dave looks annoyed.

Morton asks an audience member what she would do if her kid brought Splatter Girls home, and she responds she would throw it away and Morton once more pokes fun at the film. Tony tries to take up for the film saying its no more violent then a cartoon, as Paige again talks about adult male violence against women and Dave gets worked up and pushes Paige off the microphone. Morton asks why he has an upside down baby for an earring, as Dave and Paige go back and fourth about Horror films and if it pushes toward real life acts of violence against women. Morton once more corrects her and says teens also do bad crimes and Michael Berryman says that people who do these acts should be thrown in jail.

Morton asks would Splatter Girls fit in the bill that Doug Harpool wants to pass about video rentals and he says yes. Tony quickly tries to win the crowd back with a statement about what would you rather have your kids doing smoking crack or watching Horror Movies. The crowd as started to turn on some of the Pro Horror Guests as Dave has come off as a loud mouth wise guy punk. As he starts saying kids should be able to watch these movies with no restrictions, the crowd boos him loudly and Morton asks if kids should be able to watch snuff films or even a fake snuff film? Dave says they should not watch a real one but a fake one is okay. Morton then takes us to a commercial break.

Wow, while Michael Berryman, Tony Timpone and Rick Sullivan have done a good job defending Horror Movies and their fans, indie filmmaker Dave Juskow undid all their hard work by coming off as a cartoon parody of a punk rocker indie horror movie maker with his dumb responses and goofball faces. It feels that Dave’s whole function on being in this episode was so the producers could show a stereotype of what mainstream media and critics thought all horror fans was like. Morton again is clearly just stirring the pot and getting the guests and the crowd to feel more emotions from his questions and the answers given. Poor Paige really is this episode’s punching bag as she has a one-track mind and the crowd and the guests are sick of hearing it. A good segment this was even, if Dave made Splatter fans look like goofs.

With this part of the show, Morton opens up the microphones to his audience and lets them talk about their thoughts on the topic of Slasher Films being a bad influence on those who watch them and kids.

Paige gets into with a guy in the audience about males being the attackers in crimes against females as he points out most crimes against other males are done by males. As a female member of the audience goes off on Dave about him saying that kids should be able to watch any of these types of films. She said when she was twelve she was able to get into an R rated movie at the cinema and she thinks that it was wrong. Tony asks how it affected her and the crowd is getting worked up as all sides are trying to make points and counter points against each other with Morton playing devil’s advocate in the middle. One audience member who is against Slasher films starts to talk about Child’s Play and says that the killer is a little kid with a knife named “Charlie” once more proving that the haters of Horror have never really watched these films and just want to jump on the hater train, and they compare kids with guns to them renting Horror films. The sides are split as Morton goes to our final commercial break.

With the audience now joining the debate the tensions are growing as both sides are super passionate about why they hate or love Slasher films and as always Morton plays both sides as he takes up for them and also trashes them. Both sides make good points and both sides as well make some eye rolling points, with the young woman who was allowed to go into a theater to see an R rated film being very well spoken and a true New Yorker…I think they should have given her a talk show. A very quick portion of this Hot Topic of the 80’s themed show and helped both sides get their message out to home viewers.

Morton ends the show  asking why the side for Slasher films are for it, but before an audience lady answers, she takes a shot at Paige for saying these films are what causes attacks on women, with a gentleman from the none-fans speaking against them as he brings up that kids emulate and look up to what they see on the TV and that kids should not be watching Horror Movies, the Slasher fans saying parents need to teach their kids and make the judgment call on what their kids watch. The sides go back and fourth on kids watching Horror Films, and Morton once more clashes with Dave Juskow who still thinks kids should be able to watch all types of Horror Movies.

In the end Morton takes a shot at Tony Timpone for not wanting ratings on direct to video films and calls him “Uncle Barney” and implies that he would do things with kids before running off and ending the show as the crowd and guests clap and cheer and Tony looks annoyed.

This last segment is pure audience member arguing with audience member with the guests chiming in and Morton lurking around. For me the whole show the Horror Fans make more sense and are correct in that parents should be parents and that not all who enjoy and love these films are weirdos looking to commit crimes against young ladies. I do think Morton Downey Jr. does a great job of handling this topic and while he does take a few shots at the guests who are pro Horror, it’s clear he is more on their side even if its only by a little. The one thing that Morton did that was a cheap shot is the joke he makes about one time Fangoria Magazine worker Tony Timpone as it was uncalled for and then he runs off with the microphone not allowing him to respond as he had to stand their with an annoyed smile on his face as the show ends.

Over all a great episode and one that’s topic is something I am very interested in. Also I really want to say that I am not sure if Dave Juskow was a director and producer of Horror Movies as youcan not find anything about his film Splatter Girls and its very strange they let his clip go on for longer then the others, you almost get a feeling that he and the film could be fake or he maybe he was just a shot on video filmmaker who never made it.

I grew up on watching Horror Movies as the classic Universal Monsters, Godzilla and King Kong were films that I could not get enough of, and thanks to many Horror Hosts like Commander USA and Grampa Munster and shows like USA Up All Night and Saturday Nightmares, I was introduced to so many other types of Horror and Cult Cinema. And with rental stores, the doors to these films opened even wider and helped grow my love for the genre and introduced me to so many Slasher films. And while I have seen films like A Nightmare On Elm Steet, Halloween, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Friday The 13th and Trick Or Treat at a young age none edited, I have never had a notion to go out and do a terrible crime. I mean sure, I have had my fair share of fist fights and arguments, but I have never grabbed a rubber mask and a knife and stalk people in the night. And that’s because from a very young age I was taught by my parents that you can not do the things you see in movies or on wrestling to other people as that would hurt someone and was not right…you see, I have fantastic parents who took time with me to shape my creative mind and also really put me on a path to understand the difference between fantasy and reality, right from wrong and respect. I take the stand that if your kid was like me growing up and a monster kid who is into horror movies, let them watch them and teach them they are fantasy and that it’s not ok to mimic what they see in any film, TV or Sports Entertainment! Just my quick two cents on this topic as I for one loved Horror Movies as a kid and still love them to this day.

I hope you enjoyed this first “Talk Back” update as I had a blast writing it, and to be honest I as well hope you enjoyed this format for it as I think this is how these updates will end up looking on future update for Talk Back as well! Plus I feel that Slasher Films on Morton Downey Jr. Show was also a great way to kick off my countdown to Halloween 2020! And I should say with these Talk Back update, we will be covering some very fun stuff like Films, Music, Celebrities and Oddballs but we will also cover topics that are very serious like Murder, Racism, Religion and Politics, so please keep that in mind when our next one goes up in 2021. But for our next update we are walking away from Talk Shows and Slasher films and are heading to the forest that a witch roams around in…but she is not the topic the troll that wonders those woods named Irwin is! That’s right, we will be taking a look at Broom-Hilda’s Own Irwin Troll and the paperback comic made around him. So until next time read a comic or three, watch a Talk Show or two and as always support your local Horror Host. I cannot wait to chat about Irwin Troll, as he is a true icon of classic comic strips.

Fright Flicks Fan Films: Volume 2

Last year I had a blast covering some amazing Fan Made Horror Movies that are being released by some very talented directors and creators showing that the world of Horror is in good shape in the future as these guys try really hard to bring amazing stories and twists to classic horror icons of cinema. So when planning this year’s updates I knew I had to return to the world of Horror Fan Films as it also seemed you readers enjoyed the first update as well. For this update I searched high and low for a new batch of Fan Horror Films and tried to stay away from covering a ton of Friday The 13th or Halloween ones as they are popping up faster then weeds in the spring, but don’t worry some are being covered as I knew I had to cover at least a small amount as I am fans of both franchises. I also chose a few shorter Fan Films, ones as short as three minutes, as I feel that they as well should get their time to shine and to also alert you readers to them. Oh and keep in mind this update will have spoilers for the films, so you have been warned.

I got many of these short films from friends, family and even conventions, and many I have been looking forward to watching for the first time, while others are a re-watches for me. Just like before, I will write about the fan film’s plot, my thoughts on the film and will give it classic report card grade, meaning the highest a film could get is an A+ and the lowest is an F. I judge these films on a Fan Film level and not on what I would a Hollywood or even higher budget Indie Film. So if you are ready, let’s sit back and talk Horror Fan Films!

Belial
Starring – Matthew Stallings & Jesse Lasky       Directed by Eric Yoder
Released in 2020       Runtime: 24min     Not Rated

Plot: Duane Bradley carries his deformed and violent brother Belial around in a basket, and while on the subway train the basket is stolen and Belial brutally mangles the thief’s hand once the basket is open! Duane and Belial end up at a very sleazy hostel, and while inside they clearly see that everyone staying has issues from drugs to being thieves. When Duane’s money is stolen Belial goes on a killing rampage to get it back and one by one the people of the hostel die by a trail of carnage! In the end, the brothers escape into the night looking for another place to stay and find the peace they are looking for.

Thoughts: Once more Eric Yoder, who did the fan films “Night Of The Maniac” and “Who Goes There?” (that I covered last Fright Fan Film Update), delivers a fun and entertaining fan film this time based on the cult classic film Basket Case. This is an especially cool one to see as the world of Fan Films has not been flooded with new tales of Belial and his brother Duane. The film holds the gritty nature of the original film and even has elements of humor that made up the sequels and blends them together for this short that truly does feel like it belongs in the world of Basket Case. The acting is really great with Matthew Stallings as Duane stealing the show. He has the nice guy appeal mixed with the hint of sadness and madness. The effects done by Eric Yoder are great as blood splatters and body parts get mangled, and his effects and puppet for Belial are amazing and very much look like the one used in the original film! After watching the short fan film Belial, I would love to see Basket Case creator Frank Henenlotter allow Eric Yoder and his crew to make Basket Case 4 as the world needs a new sequel and Eric is the one to do it if Frank is not going to. So if you love Basket Case and the character Belial, make sure to give this one a watch as it’s up on YouTube, and you can also find it on an episode of Baron Von Porkchop’s Terrifying Tales Of The Macabre.

Grade: A-

Don’t Fall Asleep
Starring – Diandra Lazor & Chad Hewitt       Directed by Paige Troxell
Released in 2016       Runtime: 44min     Not Rated

Plot: Nancy Thompson is being locked up in an asylum after the events of the dream killer Freddy Kruger killing her friends and family, and her father thought this was what is best for her…but she is filled with anger as she feels her father is doing nothing to stop Freddy’s rampage on the teens in their sleep. Months pass, and Nancy is stuck in the asylum and even starts taking hypnocil in order to stop dreaming. She has group therapy with fellow teens having issues and they even talk about the killer Freddy Kruger as one of the young ladies’ brothers was killed by him before she was born. And then the nightmares return, and so does Freddy Kruger who starts to attack Nancy and some of the fellow teens who are now talking and working among themselves. But strangely enough, the hypnocil is not working to stop their dreams. And when the doctor takes the drug and all the teens fall asleep during a group session, the doctor and all the teens soon find out that Freddy Kruger is very much real and has murder on his mind! Now stuck in the dream world Nancy, the doctor and the teens must fight for their lives! In the end Nancy gets away from Freddy, and dates Joel a fellow asylum inmate. She becomes adjusted and studies ways to help kids as well as about dreams and the powers of the human mind. In the end Nancy takes a job at Westin Hills to help teens who are having bad dreams, but her happiness also has some sadness as her boyfriend Joel is murdered by Freddy in front of her eyes.

Thoughts: The film does a great job of showing the mental breakdown of Nancy Thompson as no one around her thinks that Freddy Kruger is real and that she has issues dealing with her mother’s death, and her father is lying to the staff about what he has seen and has returned to drinking. It also brings her mental state back up as she grows older and studies dreams and leads us into her becoming a psychiatrist that heads to Westin Hills Psychiatric Hospital aka the events of A Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors. The film is a little slower paced then many of the fan films I have seen based on Freddy, but it also works as I do find that the build to the fall and then rise of Nancy is well done and showcases that Nancy really is the badass we all know she is, and that even in death she still is the main force of bringing Freddy down. Actress Diandra Lazor plays Nancy and for the most part does a great job, though at times I think she turns up the anger level a little too high and makes her come off slightly cartoonish…but not bad as I think she is a solid actress over all. They even add the white strip in her hair adding that nice touch of Nancy from the film series. William Adams plays Freddy Krueger and while he is not in the short fan film much, when he is, he does a pretty good job of running around laughing and slashing. The film also does a good job of feeling like it fits into the events that take place between the first and third film in the series and follows what Nancy was doing during this time, and that’s pretty cool. The film has some blood, but not a lot, and the effects are pretty good but standard none-splatter type with many of the wounds not being shown at all. Freddy’s makeup looks pretty good and showcases that the people who made this film are skilled and that they love Freddy Kruger and his movie universe. Over all this is a good slower paced watch that delivers some scares and adds to the legend of Freddy and his battle with Nancy. Make sure to check out the film on YouTube.

Grade: B

Halloween: Fan Film
Starring – Bonnie Alvord & Lois K. Allen       Directed by Christopher S. Allen
Released in 2018     Runtime: 1hr 22min     Not Rated

Plot: In Haddonfield, Il Halloween is a bad time of the year and for Laurie Strode (Myers) and her son Stevie and even his love interest Trish, it’s even worse as they are being targeted by the sinister masked slasher killer Michael Myers as he has once more decided to return to his hometown and make some people dead! Sheriff Bracket meanwhile is trying to warn people about the murders of the Myers family and they want Michael to turn himself in to the police. While Stevie tries to win the heart of Trish, they with friends torment a crazy neighbor, his mother Monica spends sometime with her girlfriends and friends for a sleepover that is filled with booze, snacks and fun times. While Judith Myers shows up at Laurie’s house and spills the beans that they are both related to Michael Myers and this sparks the group to go to a bar and party down! Meanwhile Private Investigator Sam Loomis is on his way to town as he wants to speak to Sheriff Bracket about the murder rampage of Michael Myers all those years back. Meanwhile Michael Myers is killing people of the town one by one. The Sheriff and Loomis head to the old Myers house to look for Michael and tour around talking about the murders and come up with a plan to wait for Michael to return home so they can finally bring him down. In the end Michael enters the house of Laurie and starts to murder all her friends with his trusty knife and wants his sisters dead, finally in the end Judith Myers kills her sister Laurie as she is as well evil like Michael who had his head bashed in with a baseball bat.

Thoughts: This is a fan film where the creators hearts are in the right place and they try really hard to deliver an amazing fan film based around a Horror series that they love. Sadly they fall a little flat in the effort as the plot is weak and the film is packed with long drawn out filler scenes that are covered up by music cues and popular songs that play way too long. Plus in many scenes you can hear the director say action and give actors orders. The acting and gore effects are totally backyard style and some are downright laughable, not to mention how bad some of it is miscast as Michael Myers as a teen is an over weight teenager and could be one of the worst fan film Michael Myers in history with and without the iconic mask on. The twist of Judith being just as crazy as her brother is pretty silly, but it does also add its own flavor and touch to the series and the fact Michael’s mask does not fit the actor right and looks like a mask you buy from the local mall during Halloween also adds to the layers of cheese. While they do over use music montages to pad out the runtime, I will say I am a fan of them using the likes of Alice Cooper, Motley Crue and Poison songs. The film, as I have said, does have some blood, but its pure armature and backyard stuff with one scene it looks like taco sauce mixed with ketchup. The film also has nudity from actress Bonnie Alvord, who plays Laurie, and to be honest she is the best thing about this fan film as she does her best with what she is given with this script. The creators also tried to make this Halloween Fan Film different from all others as it’s clear that this is not set in the film universe as characters, attitudes and motivations are all changed up, and for that I will give them credit. Over all this is just a below average Halloween inspired fan film that, while not the greatest, is worth watching if you enjoy cheesy backyard horror flicks.

Grade: C –

Halloween: Night He Came Back
Starring – Leah Kellar & Bruce Dale       Directed by Dave McRae
Released in 2016     Runtime: 45min     Not Rated

Plot: It’s 2018 and in Haddonfield, Illinois it’s the 40th Anniversary of the babysitter and hospital murders of serial killer Michael Myers. B-Movie actress Lauren is trying out for a horror movie called The Red Room in Hollywood and she feels she botched her audition. Once back home in Haddonfield on Halloween she starts to be stalked and watched by Michael Myers as she walks around town, and worse she makes plans with her brother Bob to watch horror movies and carve a pumpkin for Halloween but he is killed by Michael before he can show up, and Michael is not stopping as he slaughters a few more people around the neighborhood before finally making his way to Lauren herself chasing her around a massive old house with the intent to murder her. You see Lauren is connected to him in some way and she is his target this Halloween night. If not for Tommy Doyle she would have been dead, but he is able to save her and Michael once more escapes into the night, ready to kill again.

Thoughts: This gets some great brownie points as they clearly filmed at many of the locations of the 1978 classic that inspired this fan film! The film takes place years after the events of Halloween II and wipes away all the other films in the series to follow a what would have happened 40 years after those tragic events that left so many dead. The story follows struggling actress Lauren as she tries out for a film role only to return home to be stalked by Michael Myers. They throw in her brother Bob as well as the town’s police force and you have this Halloween inspired Fan Film Fright Flick. The character of Lauren in likable as she loves her small town roots but also dreams of living in the big city of L.A. and becoming a well-known and working actress. She is played by actress Leah Kellar, who should be working more in mainstream indie Horror Movies by companies like Blumhouse or at the least Full Moon Entertainment as she is not a bad actress and has a beautiful look to her, making her perfect for roles in Horror. The film has a good amount of kills, but takes the route of the original film and keeps the gore to zero but delivers classic style kills, with cut always. Michael Myers in the film is played by Dave McRae, who was a man of many hats for this film as he also directed it, co-wrote the script, co-produced it, edited it and played other parts like the Sheriff and voice acting small parts. He does an alright job as The Shape, but could have stepped up his creepy factor and actions a little more. It’s clear that McRae is a massive fan of Halloween, and this film is a love letter to the first two films in the series as well as John Carpenter. The film also leaves itself wide open for a sequel and leaves some questions unanswered and motivations unclear, and I am okay with that as long as the film does get a sequel. Over all if you love Halloween and Fan Films make sure to give this one a watch as it’s a pretty great watch. This film can be found on YouTube!

Grade: A-

Hellraiser: Warehouse 1 & 2
Starring – Stephen Alexander & Josh Weinberg      Directed by Matt Brassfield
Released in 2007     Runtime: 25min     Not Rated

Plot: Hellraiser Warehouse 1 has a man named James who works for a second hand furniture store that hates his job as the people who shop there are strung out and weird, well after chasing one masked weirdo out he is cursed. And when locking up for the night the weirdo in the mask is back in the store and shoves James into a room where he must meet his fate with the famed Pinhead. Hellraiser Warehouse 2 follows Ronnie who is very much a bad person who is rude to everyone he meets has taken over the job at the furniture store, and when he crosses paths with the mask weirdo he as well finds himself paying the price as Pinhead and Chatter pay him a visit.

Thoughts: This short fan film series is about a used furniture warehouse that acts as the gateway to the world of Pinhead and the Cenobites who target the workers who are lazy, rude, crude, homophobic and just over all scumbags! The first low paid slacker is James, a man who spends his time at work bored with the customers, drinking beer and watching porn on the TVs and once he gets the attention of Pinhead he becomes a missing person. The next worker is James’ replacement named Ronnie, who is a total scumbag and is rude to customers and his a homophobic tool, and he as well gets the attention of Pinhead who as well makes him a missing person. Pinhead in these films is a messenger of delivering punishment and is joined in the second film by Chatter. The Creeper is a masked weird man who seems to be the link between the warehouse and the world of the cenobites, he is the true figure that chooses who shall face judgment. The films have no blood nor guts but do have deaths. Stephen Alexander played Pinhead and did a great job as he also played the character at a local haunted house attraction. Over all these films were a blast to make, and while a third film was talked about it never happened…but who knows maybe someday soon it will happen. The first film can be seen in an edited cut on an episode of Baron Von Porkchop’s Terrifying Tales Of The Macabre Halloween Special.

Grade: NA

Island Of The Blind Dead
Starring – Merlyn Roberts & Emma Dark         Directed by Emma Dark
Released in 2015       Runtime: 3 min     Not Rated

Plot: A young woman is on the beach all alone and starts to roll around in the sand and water, but the Blind Dead have returned and are looking for victims that include a young girl, a town drunk, a garage worker and a woman taking a shower.

Thoughts: This fan film for The Blind Dead plays like a trailer for a “Lost” fifth film in the series so it plays more like clips from a movie put together than an actual fan film with a plot from start to finish. What I gather from this trailer, this fifth film would have followed a woman on vacation who made the mistake of going where the Blind Dead have once more raised for the dead to cause death. The Templar Knight aka The Blind Dead looks great and like the films it’s based on. Emma Dark plays Jeannie, the young lady on the beach and shower, and it’s crazy that she has not been casted in indie Horror Films as she has a look that fans would love. Island Of The Blind Dead is silent and no dialogue is spoken as all clips are played over a score piece that is fitting, plus I should point out that there is no blood in this short fan film either. It’s very clear that this fan film trailer has lots of heart and love behind it as the creators Emma Dark and Merlyn Roberts (who also plays the Blind Dead) are true fans of the series. While I wish this would have been more than just a very short trailer and would have been an actual fan film, I am a sucker for all things Blind Dead and enjoyed this for what it is. Not much else to say besides this is filmed and scripted really well and Emma and Merlyn should make a full Blind Dead fan film for all of us to enjoy. Check out this Fan Film Trailer on YouTube!

Grade: B

Michael vs. Jason: Evil Emerges
Starring – Joshua Pedder & John Pedder         Directed by Luke Pedder
Released in 2019       Runtime: 29 min     Not Rated

Plot: Jason Voorhees rises from the dead once more as his mother’s voice echoes in his brain to kill for her. Meanwhile a group of military forces are watching over Michael Myers with a plan to kill him off the books and to end his reign of terror, and escort him into the woods to carry out the plan. The plan backfires as Michael slaughters the force and chases the commander into the woods and watches as Jason Voorhees kills his attended target…big mistake as the masked killers face off in the woods with only murder on their minds. At first Jason gets the upper hand and brutalizes Michael, but once back up Michael’s evil rage sets in and then Jason is on the receiving end of a beating. In the end, a gun caring property owner and his sons show up, and Michel and Jason team up to slaughter them before once more squaring off with each other with Jason removing one of Michael’s hands and appears to get the win…or does he?

Thoughts: I think one of the top Horror Clashes that people have always wanted to see Hollywood do was a Michael Myers vs. Jason Voorhees fight as both are unstoppable, quit masked killers with no remorse. And while rights and lack of Hollywood interest has never allowed this epic slasher battle to happen, but the world of Fan Films have been flooded with this showdown each having their own take and choice of who would win this showdown. Well in this one creator and Horror fan Luke Pedder takes a stab at the epic fight and delivers a bloody showdown that gives respect to both franchises and makes both Jason and Michael look unstoppable and on equal ground. The film is pretty fast paced and the pesky humans are killed off fast and brutal as to not take away from the fight that all the viewers want to see. The costumes of Michael and Jason are very solid as are the actors who play them, plus the gore effects are well done and come off as ones seen in Indie Horror Films. The film also ends on a “To Be Continued” screen marking that this film will have a sequel. Over all a really good Fan Film that does a great job of bringing you a solid Jason and Michel fight with blood splatter and dead humans to spice it up.

Grade: B+

The Mummy Princess
Starring – Yenna Black & Thomas Cruz         Directed by Sasha
Released in 2018       Runtime: 11 min     Rated XXX

Plot: Princess Ahmanet has been captured and chained up and she is not happy about it at all as she tries her best to break free, a guard enters and the pair have sex and in the end Princess Ahmanet lets out a scary scream and her mouth distorts and the sands around her come alive.

Thoughts: Well this is 100% an adult film and with that said, it’s really hard to break down as it’s a short film and almost all of it just consists of hardcore sex. The actress Yenna Black looks great as Princess Ahmanet and really captures her look from the film. Not much else to say about this one as while it is a parody Horror fan film it’s really hard to talk about an adult film on a blog about comic books. So the grade I will give it is low and not because of its production value or anything but because it’s lacking in story and let’s leave it at that. This short has zero blood, no kills and lots of nudity. Plus just think about the fact a Porn Parody of the 2017 film The Mummy was made…go on and let that soak in. Also keep in mind this “Fan Film” almost was left off as it really is plotless, but in the end I decided the heck with it some of you readers might get a kick out of it.

Grade: D

My Final Destination
Starring – Sven Kittel & Rico Kittel     Directed by Marco Rudolph
Released in 2012     Runtime: 42min     Not Rated

Plot: A group of friends have cheated death, and now the reaper has come to take what’s his and that’s their souls! One by one death is coming for them as one friend has an accident that leaves his face smashed in by a bowling ball. Another who plays in a band gets impaled on his own drum kit! Another has her car explode and cut her in half! Another friend meets his end when weights crush his skull in. One friend, while in a dark apartment, steps on a mouse and falls down stairs and impales himself. Finally the two remaining friends go to a man who can see the future for help, and he is on help. While leaving one friend gets his head knocked off by a falling sign! The last friend runs back to the fortuneteller and begs for help, and he is told that this will happen to him forever until he himself is dead. The friend and the Teller go to one of the victim’s house looking for clues and they get a clue to get out of the building that is starting to crumble and during the escape the Teller is killed and the friend runs for his life down the stairs and escapes. He wakes up the next morning and the major event that he saved everyone’s life from happens and all of them now die they way they were supposed to.

Thoughts: This German fan film based around the popular Final Destination series is packed with lots of deaths and a little loose on plot as it really is just about the deaths of all these friends who escaped death’s cold grip! The only plot you do get from this short film is that the friends don’t want to die and while bummed that their friends are dying of weird accidents, seem to just shrug it off and go about their days and lives, that is until only two are left alive and then they make a half ass attempt to get help from a teller who just talks in weird riddles about his life being saved. The film has lots of bloody deaths and are done well with computer effects, and the film while very much flawed you can tell is being done by fans of the series as they might not have put time in the plot they did however put thought into the weird ways for the group of friends to die. The version I watched was dubbed but there is also an original German version as well out in the world. While the deaths and the digital deaths were cool and well done, the plot was paper thin and I would say that if you are a die hard fan of the film that sparked this fan film you should check it out, or if you would like to see effects that could be done with After Effects give it a watch. This film can be found on YouTube if you want to check this out.

Grade: C-

Phantasm: Extinction
Starring – Joshua Rabdell & Phil Sawyer     Directed by Joshua Randell
Released in 2017    Runtime: 40min     Not Rated

Plot: In 1979 The Tall Man and his horde have started their invasion of Earth and the war with them is being fought. Mike and Reggie are the world’s only hope but they during the chaos have been separated and the world around this is dead and filled with dangers and Mike starts his quest to find his friend and ends up in the Tall Man dimension and fights off his evil dwarf minions with a trusty custom shotgun, once back in our dimension he meets a man who as well has had his run in with The Tall Man and his creatures, and they pair fix a car meanwhile Reggie stuck in the world of the Tall Man fights for his life as well. Mike and his new friend check out a small town and this is a big mistake as Mike and his friend go to face Tall Man and Mike blows up the gateway and he thinks he stopped Tall Man, but he also had to kill his own friend by doing so. In the end Mike once more comes face to face with the killer Dwarves and knows that the nightmare never ends.

Thoughts: Ok, I have to start by saying it’s clear that Joshua Randell is a huge fan of the Phantasm series and understands the films lore and characters, but on the other hand the acting is super cheesy, the effects are cheap and they use scenes from the films for most of the creature effects and appearances of Tall Man, the sound is bad and pacing at times crawls as characters go into long winded stories and recaps of events from the films. The effect of the Tall Man’s world is well done even if it’s not the barren wasteland we have seen in the film series, not to even mention that at times the Killer Dwarves are guys in cheap Halloween robes or even toys super imposed in the footage. Joshua Randell is not only the films director but also plays Mike and bless his heart as he tried really hard to make his mark on Phantasm history with his fan film idea, its just really way to wordy and clearly he did not have much money for the budget as for the most part the film is bloodless. One part that had me laugh out loud is when a clearly none tall person filled in as The Tall Man and is wearing a cheesy white wig and is also holding a plastic ball…so bad its good. Over all I give Joshua and his friends lots of credit for attempting to make a Fan Film of Phantasm as it really is a complex series that would be hard to do with zero budget, and while I was not a super fan of this fan flick I would like to see Joshua and his friends return and make another one as its clear they love what they made and enjoyed the series they made this love letter to.

Grade: D+

Phantom Of The Opera
Starring – Elisa Hansen & Katherine Becker     Directed by Elisa Hansen
Released in 2002     Runtime: 20min     Not Rated

Plot: In the Paris Opera House, young singer Christine returns to her dressing room to find gifts and a voice that sings with her, and when the voice is shown to be The Phantom of the Opera he promises her that with his help she could have the best voice in all of Paris! And thinking that her dead father has sent The Phantom she takes him up on his offer. Three months pass and Christine has a suitor named Raoul and The Phantom is not pleased as his heart belongs to the young singer as well and he makes a date with her at the Graveyard to play her music. At the graveyard The Phantom plays for Christine and Raoul begs her not to go with him, but she does into the belly of the Opera House. And while the Phantom plays the piano Christine removes The Phantom’s mask and set him into a rage and he forces her to wear a rings and claim they are married. Once back in her dressing room she sends for Raoul and she rushes him to the roof and tells him of The Phantom of the Opera, and he makes her a promise to save her and he as well gives her a ring and wants her hand in marriage, but they make a mistake as The Phantom sees this and is not happy. That night The Phantom takes her back down into the belly of the Opera House and Raoul goes down to get her, in the end Christine is saved and ends up with Raoul as The Phantom of the Opera is left heartbroken as he knows that she will never truly be his.

Thoughts: This is a fun little silent horror fan film that is inspired by all the different film versions of The Phantom Of The Opera as well as the novel with the main inspiration coming from the 1925 classic starring Lon Chaney Sr., and the cool thing also being this was pulled off by 4 young ladies who clearly loved all things Phantom Of The Opera and put time and thought into pulling this off with such a limited cast and crew. The story condenses down the classic story as it removes all the opera singing moments as well as the plot of the Opera owners and just sticks to the Christine, Raoul and Phantom plot that is the true highlight of the story anyways. The Phantom was played by Elisa Hansen and she does a great job of silent film acting and bringing out the sadness and anger of the character, she also plays the character Meg and she also co-directed and co-wrote this short film. That’s the one thing that does make this film work so well is that the actresses understood how to act in a silent film as they show the over emotions that sell the point of the plot. The film has no deaths or blood and being based on a classic movie monster that is ok, and the only real downside to the DVD copy I have is that it’s very low grade and pixels pretty bad in spots. Over all if you are a Phantom Of The Opera fan, love classic Silent Horror Hosts or just want to see a fan film made by a limited amount of friends and pulling it off…check this one out as it can be found on YouTube.

Grade: B

Psycho V
Starring – Justin Linville & Uriel Ramos     Directed by Justin Linville
Released in 2013     Runtime: 62min     Not Rated

Plot: Norman Bates has set fire to his old family home that looks over the Bates Motel and now years past and Norman Bates has died and had a son named Will that was been living with close friends of Norman who are raising him as their own. Will is now hearing the voice of Norma Bates and he is starting to also question his own sanity as his friends dig deeper into the Bates family killing legacy. Will under the direction of his Grandmother dresses in the infamous dress and wig and starts to kill off friends and classmates of his that are getting too close to the truth of what he is becoming. After many of the teens of town become missing the Police get involved as they are trying to find a link between them all. One by one Will kills his friends and classmates all in for a plan he has made with his Grandmother, he even kills his best friend and with all the deaths the cops figure it all out and leave a trap for him using some of his classmates. In the end after killing so many people Will is taken out by one of his would be victims who stabs him to death.

Thoughts: This Psycho V fan film was clearly made by teenagers and has weirdly placed cuts, poor edits and the quality is a little rough…but while flawed they clearly had heart and wanted to make a fan film based on the legacy of Norman Bates and his Mother. The acting is very backyard style and remind me of all the early stuff we filmed at Independent B Movie. The story is pretty good and has Norman Bates having a son who discovers he is a Bates after finding his fathers old keep box that is filled with a diary as well as the wig and knife and now driven insane is keeping up Norma’s body count alive. The voice for Norma Bates is terrible and she sounds nothing like Mother from the real film series and has an odd accent that’s distracting. Justin Linville plays Will and he does a good job of playing that mix of weird and nice and is one of the better actors of the movie. This film is bad and yet I think that is way it has charm as they did put effort in the story, tried really hard in acting and did their best backyard effects. Over all there is not much to really say about this one besides it’s a pretty silly backyard made fan film based on one of the worlds most iconic slasher films that the filmmakers tried really hard on and seemed like they had a blast filming it. The DVD copy I have of the film is pretty grainy and has some weird picture clichés from time to time. While not the best of Psycho Fan Films it is one that holds charm if you like movies like Werewolf Of Ohio, Dr. Freak Vamp Killa and Friday The 13th Halloween Night. This film can be watched on YouTube.

Grade: C+

Psycho V: Beginning Of The End
Starring – Horror455 & Patrick Ferguson     Directed by Horror455
Released in 2012    Runtime: 1hr 46min     Not Rated

Plot: Johnny is a Texas reporter who is being sent to Arizona to interview Nathan Bates the son of Norman Bates who had just passed away. When arriving Johnny finds that Nathan is very nice but a little odd and does his best to avoid the interview with distractions like playing video games and changing rooms in order to talk in, and when the interview starts Nathan starts talking about his fathers dark secrets and yet its clear he is very proud of his fathers life and thinks that his father was not crazy. The interview takes place over days and Nathan is very lonely and clearly is missing his father who was also his best friend in ways. Jonathan ends up becoming friends with Nathan and even quits his reporting job when his boss becomes a major jerk about what he thinks Nathan is and that’s a psycho. Over the friendship it becomes clear that Nathan is unstable as he claims he has talked with his Grandma Bates and that she was a sweet woman and even treats Johnny to a meal that has human remains in it, and it appears that Nathan has killed his own father Norman! In the end Nathan dresses like his dead Grandmother and attacks Johnny and tries to kill him, buts stops the attack and falls down stairs and is taken to the hospital for his major injury. In the end we find that Nathan killed Andrew Loomis the newspaper owner and that’s who was made into dinner as he was killed after he attacked Nathan in his own home that triggered his dark side, Johnny heals up and becomes a major book writer and remains close friends with Nathan after all this craziness is over.

Thoughts: The filmmaker that made this fan film was clearly a fan of the Psycho film series and his his best in shots to capture the eerie nature of the original with the use of shadows and angles. The plot is well thought out and I like the idea of Norman Bates having a son who is clearly as unstable as he was and trying just like his father to come off normal in a world around him he finds to be strange and unfriendly. But while the plot is fun and makes for a good fan film idea the major downside is that at times it drags causing it to be a little boring in spots as the run time is a very long 1hr and 46mi, and I should also state the film is filled with filler like Thunderstorm scenes and even clips from the movie American Psycho a part that has Nathan eating and reacting to it, and this part goes on way to long as do many of the moments of them showing how lonely Nathan is in his massive house. The films climax does show some blood and a kill that is done well as the film is shot in black and white and only one actor plays all the parts! Nathan Bates is a great character as he clearly is just like his father and is mentally unstable and thinks that Norma Bates is still alive and bullies him into doing bad things. The acting from Horror455 is great and he pulls off all parts really well and the fact that he was a one-man crew is pretty dang cool. I really enjoyed the film for the most part and enjoyed the twist and turn plot, and I would have given it higher if only it trimmed the fat of the drawn out parts. One odd thing is all the humor at the start of the film that goes away in spots, I want to also say that I enjoyed the end of Nathan becoming Mother as if felt like a classic style slasher film. Over all a nice little Psycho “sequel” done with a very tiny micro budget that was done by a man who clearly loved the source material.

Grade: B-

A Puppet Master Halloween
Starring – Nick Hill         Directed by Patrick Delaney
Released in 2019   Runtime: 20min     Not Rated

Plot: In the suburbs of Bodega Bay on Halloween Night a guy named Seth is preparing for the night complete with watching Night Of The Living Dead with a beer in hand, and also looking for a missing cat named Sparky. As the night goes on a weird orange and black package is delivered while out side the killer puppet Pinhead watches, as he is the one who placed the package there and knocked. As Seth opens it he finds that it’s a crate and inside the crate is Jester and he puts the creepy doll back and then goes to make himself some microwave popcorn, and while distracted Jester gets up and opens the garage door and lets in his fellow puppets that include Blade, Pinhead and Tunneler! As the night goes along Jester and his fellow puppets start to torment and scare Seth with him trying to run for his life to get away from them, and finally has to fight back armed with a baseball bat he strikes back at the puppets…but to no luck as by the end of Halloween night they knock out Seth and their mission is clear as they are looking for their missing friend Six-Shooter and files to were he is at as well as a crate that holds the elixir that gives them health. Later that night Seth is now injured and awake as his front door opens and Torch appears and sets him and the house on fire!

Thoughts: Growing up I have always been a huge fan of Full Moon flicks and when I heard that a fan film based on their Puppet Master series was in the works I was pretty dang happy to hear this as it was about time some one did a fan film based on this killer puppets! And when watching this film I was not disappointed as Patrick Delaney is clearly a fan of the series added lots of the folklore from the movies but also seemed to be building his own world around it as well. The plot has a guy named Seth all alone on Halloween Night who becomes the target of the killer puppets as they are looking for something in the house and he is just in their way. The Puppets we are treated to in this fan flick are Blade, Jester, Tunneler, Pinhead, Torch and a photo cameo from Six-Shooter the later who is missing and his friends want to get him back. As far as Seth goes I think he is just a guy in the wrong house at the wrong time and he ends up paying for it all with his life. I also loved that this film ties in Chucky from the Child’s Play films as well as well as the Spheres from the Phantasm series as they are all apart of something called the Omega Project. The film is pretty bloodless but does have violent acts and the Puppets are mean spirited like they are in Puppet Master and Puppet Master II. And while I wish they would have explained a little more on who Seth was and what the Omega Project is I did find myself really having a blast with this film and hope they make a second part this coming Halloween season (2020). If you enjoy Full Moon Movies, love Puppet Master and get a kick out of killer dolls this is a fan film with heart and is worth the watch. Do yourself a favor and check this one out on YouTube.

Grade: A-

The Purge 2024
Starring – Lec Zorn & Gabrielle Bousum     Directed by Ashton Gleckman
Released in 2017   Runtime: 14min     Not Rated

Plot: The year is 2024, and it’s Purge Night and two friends have broken down and are being hunted by a mask wearing Preacher and his carload of mask wearing psychos who want them dead and have the weapons to do so! With one friend being killed when the pair take shelter in an abandon home the remaining man must hide, run and try his best to outsmart these coldblooded killers and take them out before they get him and he does get some of them, but in the end the Purge ends and the man surrounded by killers holds one hostage and as they drop their weapons he kills them all breaking the rules of the Purge.

Thoughts: The Purge series is one of those film series that I think very much lends it’s self to the world of fan films as I also think it would make for a great comic book series as well as a video game…but now I am off topic. This short fan film does a fantastic job of capturing what it must be like to be hunted during The Purge as the two men are out numbered and in some cases out gunned. The two men seem like they are scared for their lives but are willing to fight back if they can save their hides, and don’t mind taking lives if they have to. Our final survivor turns out to be just as cold and evil as those who are hunting him as he takes their lives even after the event is over. The Masked hunters are pretty bang cool as you have The Preacher, Nun, Pig, Bunny, Bride and Zombie all running around with knives, guns and chainsaw to end some lives with. The film is pretty bloody and is fast paced for the short runtime. Over all I say if you like The Purge movies this little short fan film is worth checking out as you can tell Ashton Gleckman is a fan of the source material. If you enjoy the Purge series and want to check this one out look it out on YouTube.

Grade: A-

Scream: Generations
Starring – Lindsay McEwan & Lee Bloomfield     Directed by Jared Vollmann
Released in 2012     Runtime: 1hr 30min     Not Rated

Plot: Someone is taking their love for the Scream movie series to the extreme as Howell High School kids are being butchered and the killer is mimicking Ghostface is his appearance and style. Natalie is apart of a film class and she and her friends after a pair of school mates are murdered they decide to have a party that weekend to spend time together and be safe. In one-night Ghostface targets and kills the teens Film Teacher as well as April killed and her boyfriend injured and this sparks fear in Natalie and her friends stick together, but do have some inner fighting on who has done this and their pal Jason is blamed. The group of friends end up getting together to stay safe and spend time together after the tragic events that have rocked their lives, and spend the night watching Horror Movies in the backyard…but this is a big mistake as Ghostface appears to crash the party and rise his body count! In the end Natalie must come face to face with the slasher behind the mask and fight for her life.

Thoughts: This fan film takes the Scream formula and adds a new touch to it by acting as if the film series has sparked a psychopath into a killing spree that has them acting like Ghostface! The film does a good job of building the group of friends and Natalie and Gwen’s friendship being the standout as actresses Lindsay McEwan and Claire Tsiporukha do a good job in the roles. Creator and Director Jared Vollmann does a great job of capturing the mood and kills of the Scream movies and does his best to add in red herrings and keeping you guessing to who or whom is behind the slayings, Jared also plays the part of Ian in the film and its crystal clear he loves the Scream series and had passion behind making this fan film as the script and acting is solid. The one downside to Scream: Generations for me was the fact who put the mask on and slaughtered was pretty easy to predict, and while not everyone who watches this fan film will be able to predict those who know the series will spot who or whom the killer(s) are pretty easy. The motivation behind the slayings is cheesy and yet also pretty well thought out, and not making it just a solid fan film set in the Scream universe makes more of the film work. The film does have blood and the effects for the kills are pretty well done and while limited they do not stay on them long enough to spot the flaws. And I must also point out that actress Lindsay McEwan who plays Natalie should be in more Indie Horror movies! Over all Scream: Generations is a fun fan flick that delivers all the scares and entertainment that the series that sparked it always brought to the big screen. You can watch this film on YouTube, and oddly enough it films well in the world of Scream so if you ever have a marathon of Scream you should add this to the list.

Grade: B+

She Burns In Hell
Starring – Brittany Blanton & Josh Miller     Directed by Ryan Stacy
Released in 2018     Runtime: 10min     Not Rated

Plot: Carrie White set her high school on fire and killed many of the students after a prank of dropping pigs blood on her head sets off her paranormal abilities. They then talk to some people who watched as Carrie walked from the school and the witnessed her power first hand. We also witness what went on in Carries mind as she was dying in her front yard after destroying her house and fighting with her crazy mother. In the end when an eyewitness is asked where Carrie White is in the after life she says “She Burns In Hell”.

Thoughts: Carrie White is one of those Horror icons I think gets over looked when it comes to fan films as most tend to do films about slasher characters like Jason, Michael, Freddy and Leatherface so it was cool to see someone decide to do this and of course is had to be those talented people of Concept Media based here in Ohio. I like that the plot circled around those who seen her after her rampage in the school as she walked home covered in pigs blood as her classmates burned alive in the high school. Brittany Blanton was well casted as Carrie White and while she has very little speaking in the role she says all she needs to with her eyes as she strolls down the street and later dies in her yard. The acting is well done from the rest of the cast and really makes you think what you would do if you witnessed her special powers first hand, and how could you explain it to those who never witnessed it. This fan film also in its short time does a great job of highlighting the events of the film via dialogue played over scenes and in flashbacks. She Burns In Hell does a great job of adding to the cinematic world of Carrie and adds a new layer to the story done by Stephen King. If you are a Carrie fan make sure to check this fan film out as it’s a quick spooky watch that you will enjoy, my only real complaint is that I wish it was a little longer and we got more witnesses talking about her path home and the aftermath of her crimes. Watch this one on YouTube!

Grade: A-

TCM: New Blood
Starring – Dave R. Watkins & Ron McLellen     Directed by Ron McLellen
Released in 2010     Runtime: 25min     Not Rated

Plot: Lindsay and her brother Justin make the mistake of picking up a hitchhiker while lost in Texas as they are looking for their grandfathers house and also are running out of gas. The Hitchhiker offers them gas from his home and also says his brother can help give him directions, and sadly they accept. Justin follows the Hitchhiker to get the gas and meets Leatherface’s hammer, and then Lindsay is knocked out and when she wakes up she is tied down at the families dinner table and tormented by family members like Drayton, The Hitchhiker, Momma, Leatherface and a host of other Sawyer family members. Lindsay is happy to see that here brother Justin is still alive and is also forced to sit at the dinner table and watch the madness of the family unfold before them, before they are served chili for dinner, but also during dinner Justin is beaten to death with hammers in front of his sisters eyes. Lindsay is able to escape when The Hitchhiker unties her and he gets in a pushing fight with his brother Leatherface as the brothers chase her down and she meets her end at the blade of Leatherfaces’s chainsaw, in the end Leatherface does the chainsaw dance as the sun is coming up.

Thoughts: This fan film set after the events of the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre and places siblings in the wrong place, as they become the next victims and meals for the crazed Sawyer Family. Justin and Lindsey are brother and sister and besides the fact they are looking for their grandfathers house in Texas we do not know much more about them, well besides they are lost and need gas. The Sawyer Family has all the original members around like Leatherface, The Cook and Hitchhiker but the other members like Momma, The Sheriff and so on just kind of seem out of place and take up screen time on a already short film that could have been given to the victims to flush out more of a backstory for them. The Hitchhiker who they also call Virgil and is played by Dave R. Watkins does his best to channel both Edwin Neal (The Hitchhiker) and Bill Moseley (Chop Top), with director Ron McLellen playing Leatherface and adding in both a spooky touch but also a little childlike humor. The film has two kills and they don’t shy away from using blood and the effects are good with the best is Justin getting bashed with the hammer is well done and cut together effective. I also feel that actress Morgan Mullis who plays Lindsay is solid as she screams her head off and has a true scream queen appeal to her. Over all this frightful fan film is a pretty fun watch and would have been better if they would have cut down the amount of Sawyer family members, maybe added a few more kills and would have not drawn out the cliché dinner table scene that is over done in all things connected to Texas Chainsaw. But with that said well done to the filmmakers and is worth a watch. Like many of the others on this update you can view this one on YouTube.

Grade: C+

Tiffany
Starring – Samuel Moya & Frances Nunez        Directed by Julian Romero
Released in 2018       Runtime: 20min     Not Rated

Plot: Samuel is a young man whose brother and friend where murdered by the killer dolls Chucky and Tiffany and now he must put this all behind him and deal with the mental breakdown of the crimes as well as the nightmares of Tiffany coming to get him. He also himself seen the killers dolls and just the thought of them and speaking to them freaks him out, and things get worse when a package arrives at his front door step one late night and inside the box is Tiffany and Chucky and she sets her sights and knife on ending Samuels life by putting the soul of Chucky into his body, but the young man fights back…but in the end while he defeats Tiffany by tricking Chucky into stabbing her, he then takes an axe and cuts off the head of Chucky…and it ends with Samuel keeping and torturing the still alive head of Chucky and finding that Tiffany’s body is missing.

Thoughts: This fan film takes place a few years after the events of Bride Of Chucky and tells the tale of a young man who is messed up mentally over the murders of his brother and friend at the hands of the killer doll duo, who end up showing up to his home to try and take over his body and end his life. This is a pretty fun little short fan film that uses sound bites from Jennifer Tilly for Tiffany and Brad Dourif for Chucky, and our two man killers are just consumer bought dolls from stores like Spencer’s Gifts in the malls across America, and they are used really well to pull off the killer doll moments. The films main star is Samuel Moya who plays the character of Samuel and he does an ok job of being the victim turned attacker, though him beating down both Tiffany and Chucky with ease is a little silly and he takes no real damage in the fights with them. The film is bloodless and the only “deaths” in the film is Chucky who’s head is cut off and then has his head stabbed and drilled. The music is interesting and while movie score moments are present so are covers of old songs done by female vocalist. While this is a very simple plotted fan film is clear that director, writer and producer Julian Romero was a fan of Bride Of Chucky and wanted to add his own touch to the story to show what happened after the film some time later. If you like Child’s Play movies and are looking for something short and fun give this one a watch, while it’s not the greatest it’s still a good effort from some young filmmakers. Watch it now on YouTube.

Grade: C+

A Wet Dream On Elm Street
Starring – Rachael Deacon           Directed by Andrew Shearer
Released in 2011       Runtime: 5min     Not Rated

Plot: A beautiful young woman is getting ready for bed at the same time Freddy Kruger is getting his glove ready to kill. At night a Freddy doll falls from her ceiling and starts to seduce the woman who in turn turns on her charm and the woman and the doll have kinky sex…and then she wakes up wearing Freddy’s sweater and it makes you wonder was it only a dream?

Thoughts: This extremely short “A Nightmare On Elm Street” fan parody film is mostly kinky with a dash of Horror thrown in. Rachael Deacon plays the young woman who has the dream and she has a real Lina Romay appeal to her, plus I have meet Rachel many times and she is a creative and great person. The short was also directed by the super talented Andrew Shearer who I feel is one of Americas most over looked master of indie cult films, as he has been making movies for decades and don’t get the respect and love he should from the masses…but then again I feel Shearer don’t mind as he makes movies to entertain not for the fame. The film is mostly silent with a score playing in the back ground with the only line being the woman saying “Whatever You Do, Don’t Fall Asleep” as she is having fun with the evil Freddy as a doll. The film does not have full nudity but does show backside and gets close, so this one is really not for the youngsters. Over all this is a super short and fun film that lets Deacon shine as a cult actress and shows the filming talent of Shearer…Oh and I have to say the lighting is great in my opinion with a blue hue through out the dream. This short film has zero blood, no kills and partial nudity.

Grade: B-

Within The Woods
Starring – Maria Saldeno & Ashley Sanchez       Directed by Brandon Medina
Released in 2014     Runtime: 1hr 13min     Not Rated

Plot: A pair of cops head to the cabin in the woods and find a young woman who warns them that they all need to leave now as the deadites start to appear and torment the group and in the end take them out. The make of the group wakes up in the woods and is chased back into the cabin were he finds the Necronomicon and fights off being possessed himself as the deadites all around him want his soul. Meanwhile a group of friends as well are going to make the mistake of their lives as they are heading to a get away in the woods themselves to help a friend out who is battling pill addiction and depression, when one of the friends reads from the Necronomicon they start to as well become the target of the evil dead! One by one the friends become possessed and turn on each other, with the survivors being confused by what is really going on. In the end can any of the friends or unknown male survivor live through the attack of the Evil Dead?

Thoughts: The heart and spirit is present in this Evil Dead fan film as they capture the darkness, the mean and trickster spirits of the deadites and even the use of the woods and fog. They do a good job with masking the fact its clear they had a very low budget to work with and the effects are pretty well done and have a shot on video backyard charm, but one thing they could not mask is that some of the acting is really bad and its clear Brandon hired his friends for the parts with some of them almost appearing as if they are reading the lines off screen. The film also starts off with the scares and by the middle slows down to a snail pace with the friends in the cabin talking about issues and drama. The original The Evil Dead film was a great spooky film that had demons and dread throughout and while it had drama it brought some major scares, and sadly this fan film Within The Woods here did not do that for me, and don’t get me wrong they tried really hard to pull it off, it just fell a little flat for me as I do feel way to much time is spent on the friends who are at odds with each other and the addiction issue it’s self. Even by the time the friends start to turn into deadites I found myself already kind of checked out from the film. I will say the film does have blood and the possessions of the characters while nothing more than contacts and drooling blood does work for the most part. Over all I think that doing an Evil Dead fan film is hard to pull off and I do give Brandon Medina credit for trying to pull it off, not the best nor worst fan film I have ever seen and I would say if you love all things Evil Dead check it out as the heart is here even if I was not a super fan.

Grade: C

What I really love about covering Fan Made Horror Films based on popular Hollywood Movies is that it brings me back to my days as a Shot On Video creator and director and has sparked my interest in maybe returning to do so and do one last fan film that will be based on a classic Hammer Horror film and character…so who knows maybe I will do so and if I do you can bet your last dollar that I will be covering here on Rotten Ink with a making of update! And keep in mind I will only be able to make this Fan Film if I have the time inbetween working on new episodes of Baron Von Porkchop and The Creeper, work at Rockstar Pro Wrestling and Englewood Cinema, wrapping some Wolf Hunter projects, the comic work for Sparkle and Blood Scream Comics as well as all the updates here on Rotten Ink…so as you can see I have lots of stuff going on. For our next update we will be leaving the world of Fan Films behind and will be back into the world of Horror Hosting as we take a look at the extremely short lived host Captain Jolly Rogers of Hell’s Drive-In out of Indiana. So until next time read a indie comic or three, watch a Fan Film or two and as always support you local Horror Host! See you next update for a buried treasure of Horror Hosting.

Best Fried Food Chicken – Dayton, Ohio Edition

Welcome back to Rotten Ink. For this update I am going to do something a little weird and yet so fitting for my tiny slice of the world-wide-web. I am sure you are wondering just what I am up to, right? Well alongside my cousin Stephen and my pal Josh, we are going to decide who has the best fast food fried chicken in the Dayton, Ohio area! You see originally a few years back we were going to do this for signature fast food hamburgers, but unlucky me cannot eat red meat anymore…so we all decided to do this with ranking fried chicken instead! We decided that Saturday nights would be our Fried Chicken eating time, we would have to eat a three-piece meal after work and we would base our voting on these things:

Presentation: How well the chicken looks as well as the over all look of how the restaurant put our meal together.

Breading: How the breading tastes with how much flavor it packs.

Tenderness: How juicy the chicken meat is.

Taste: The over all taste of the Fried Chicken, how well do all these elements blend together.

Each of these things are graded on a scale of ½ – 5 points each with a perfect score being 20 and the lowest being 2 points. So if you are ready, let’s talk Fast Food Chicken for this silly update that could be the start of Rotten Ink’s food reviews! So pack some extra napkins as this one is going to get a little greasy. Oh and let’s start our list from worst to best. We ate a total of six restaurants, and “Thank You” to all these Fried Chicken places for making this update possible. Also we only based this on one meal and keep in mind all fried chicken is good fried chicken so just sick back and have fun with this update.

# 6

Lee’s 3pc Chicken was one we ate around 8:35pm, and the presentation for me was very low as I found my chicken not too appealing and very dry looking and my wing was thrown in with my green beans. So I gave it a 2.5 as again the presentation was not that appealing at all. Next up was the breading that was lacking in flavor and had just a black pepper taste earning a score of 2. The tenderness was not present for most of the chicken in this meal, and because the leg was pretty dang tender I gave it a 2.5…and I am not sure why I gave it that high. And lastly is taste, and over all I gave it 2.5 as well as the Presentation and Tenderness was not top notch and the Breading was what kept the meal very tasty. I should also note that after I ate the chicken I had green beans, mashed potatoes with gravy and a Pepsi to drink. Lee’s is the second most popular fast food chicken restaurant here in Ohio, and while I’ve had good meals from them before, this was not one of them, and that’s why here on Rotten Ink it made it to the #6 spot. I should also say that both Stephen and Josh rated their 3pc chicken about the same as mine which helped it lock this spot. Total Score for Lee’s is 24.5 out of 60.

# 5

Church’s 3pc Chicken was one we ate around 9:00pm, and the presentation for me was standard as I found my chicken to appealing but nothing special. So I gave it a 2.5 as again the presentation was average. Next up was the breading that was lacking in flavor and was very bland. I mean the breading to me had no flavor at all so that earned it the score of 2 from me. The tenderness for Churches was very surprising as I found the meat to be tender and juicy, and this was a solid 3 from me! And lastly is taste, and over all I gave it 2.5 as the Presentation and Breading was average and the tenderness was what kept the meal really good thanks to the Chicken leg. I should also note that after I ate the chicken, I had mashed potatoes with gravy that was just okay and a tasty honey biscuit. Church’s Chicken was a fast food place I ate lots when I worked near one, and I find it to be a good cheap chicken restaurant that, while not at the top, it did lock the # 5 spot! And this was one 3-piece meal that we all gave almost the same scores! Good old Church’s brought in a total score of 31.5 out of 60.

# 4

The KFC 3pc Chicken was one we ate around 8:30pm, and the presentation for me was very low as I found my chicken not too appealing and also I felt was very small compared to other chicken I have had from them in the past. So I gave it a 1 as again the presentation was not that appealing. Next up, the classic 11 herb and spices for the breading is legendary and there is a reason so many other fried chicken places have tried to mimic the recipe, so I gave it a very solid 4! Now for tenderness I would say that the three pieces I ate was good but was lacking in juice and tasted more like store bought oven baked fried chicken…so in other words, it was middle of the road hence I gave it the score of 2.5 as it was very average. And lastly is taste, and over all I gave it 2.5 as well as the Presentation and Tenderness was not top notch and the Breading was what kept the meal very tasty. After I ate the chicken, I had green beans, mashed potatoes with gravy and a Pepsi to drink. Over all KFC is the most popular Fast Food Fried Chicken Restaurants and here on Rotten Ink it made it to the # 4 spot, showing that not all popular things are the best! Keep in mind, I do like KFC and respect what Colonel Harland Sanders did for the world of Fried Chicken it’s just a shame that the meal this time for me was just so-so. I should also say that both Stephen and Josh rated their 3pc chicken slightly better then I did which helped it lock this spot. The 11 Herb and Spices brought in a total score of 36.5 out of 60.

# 3

Popeyes was eaten on October 5, 2019 at around 9:45pm and was our dinner for the evening. When getting this three piece meal, it came in a box with the companies logo on it and once opened the fried chicken was covered in Caujun Fries and the chicken itself looked really good and that’s why I ended up giving it a score of 3 for presentation! I moved on to tasting the breading that was on my chicken and after taking bites of it I found that it was really good and had its own style of flavor unique to Popeyes and that’s why I as well gave it the score of 4! The Tenderness of the chicken was good with the leg being juicy and the wing being kind of dry, and that’s why I decided to give it a score of 3.5. The taste of the chicken, the great presentation and the tasty breading made for a top notch meal, and that’s why it got a 4 and was a solid meal with a great tasting biscuit, flavorful fries and a cold Coke to drink. I have yet to have a bad meal from Popeyes and after adding up the scores from Josh, Steve and I they got 40 out of 50 locking the 3rd spot easily.

# 2

On October 11, 2019 we had Sharks Fish & Chicken for lunch, and as always we all got a three-piece meal and we ate it around 1pm. The meal came in a Styrofoam container and the three pieces of chicken sat on top of a mountain of french fries, two pieces of white bread and came with coleslaw and hot sauce, and when looking at this I was impressed and it reminded me of a good home cooked meal so that’s why for presentation I gave it a very solid 3 ½. Next up was the breading and after taking a few bites off one piece that tasted slightly over cooked, I decided to take some off another piece, and wow it was very good and had a salty and yet kind of sweet taste and I gave it 4 points. When eating my first piece as I stated before it was slightly over cooked and the meat was a little dry, but good gosh the next two piece was so juicy my mouth is watering just thinking about it and that’s why for tenderness I gave it a 4. And lastly, the taste over all was great and the breading and the juicy meat is what locked 4 more points from me! I would say that this was a really good meal and very tasty and after adding up all out points Sharks got a score of 43.5 out of 50 showing that Sharks knows how to do friend chicken right!

# 1

Krispy Krunchy Chicken was eaten on September 28, 2019 at around 2:30pm and instead of dinner, we had them for lunch! When getting this three piece meal it came in a nice white bag that had the companies logo on it and once out of the bag, the friend chicken and sides looked very tasty and that’s why I ended up given it a score of 3.5 for presentation! I moved on to tasting the breading that was on my chicken and after taking several bites of just the breading, I found that it was amazing and rivaled the 11 Herb and Spices of KFC and that’s why I as well gave it the score of 4! Like the breading the tenderness of the chicken was on point and was very juicy and very tender and that’s why I gave it a 4.5 as it was very close to being perfect. The taste of the juicy tender chicken and the flavorful breading made for a fantastic meal that was top notch and that’s why it got a 4.5 and was again almost perfect. I want to also note that I had Mashed Potatoes and a biscuit with my meal, and they as well were really good. Stephen and I rated Krispy Krunchy very similar as Josh was a little more rough with them and gave lower points. And after adding our scores together Krispy Krunchy brought in 45 out of 60!

So there you have it, in Dayton, Ohio a group of three friends have awarded the Best Fast Food Chicken Award to Krispy Krunchy Chicken as the meal we all had was pretty dang fantastic! But I am sure you are wondering what each person’s top three chicken places were. Well, let me break that down for you as well and will list starting with the top ones on each person’s list.

Stephen: Krispy Krunchy, Sharks and Popeyes
Josh: KFC, Sharks and Popeyes
Matt: Krispy Krunchy, Sharks, Popeyes

Well I hope you enjoyed this silly update and who knows maybe next time we will cover some other weird food and let you the readers know what is the best of the best in our books. I am also working on the design for these Food Review updates so bear with me as I know this one is not that visual appealing, and I hope for the next one it will be amazing! So for my next update I am walking out on Fast Food and will diving into another of our American Hero updates, just in time for the Fourth of July.  Our hero this time? Super Green Beret! So until next time, read a comic of three, eat a friend chicken meal or two and as always support your local Horror Host. See you next time for the adventures of the Super Green Beret.

Bill Fugate's Super Green Beret