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.

From Horror Movie To Horror Comic: Waxwork

Welcome back to our 6th countdown to Halloween 2017 and another in our “From Horror Movie To Horror Comic” series.  This time around we are going to take a look at the underrated and one of my favorite late 80’s horror films Waxwork and the Blackthrone Comic based on it! This Horror film mixes scares and laughs and is packed to the brim with monsters from Dracula all the way to an ax murderer looking lumberjack! This film has so much going for it, and I truly think that it’s an underrated Horror film from the 80’s that has enough blood, guts and gore to make Gorehounds happy and enough humor to make people with dark sense of humors chuckle. So if you’re ready to take a tour of this WaxWorks on a day they are celebrating the theme of From Horror Movie To Horror Comics, then I am 100% ready to as this is an update I have been waiting to do for a very long time.

Before we go on we must first look at the main villain of the film and that’s David Lincoln and his sidekicks Hans and Junior. David Lincoln is an evil man who has not aged in decades due to black magic amulets that hold the spirits of some of the world’s most fearsome and murderous creatures and killers. His hideout is a wax museum in the middle of a neighborhood that he hides the amulets in with the displays of the killers.  His goal is to have innocent people stumble into the displays where they will be killed and their souls taken.  Once he meets his goal of 18 souls, the monsters and killers will once more be freed into our times! David seems to have supernatural powers as he is ageless, can appear and disappear and seems to have control over his butlers Hans and Junior as well as the killers whom he is trying to bring back. David also seems to want the world to be in chaos and wants it to end with humans being killed by monsters. He also can use guns really well and has the gift of talk as he is able to come off as a nice guy even though he has sinister intentions. He is pretty strong and has killed people with his bare hands, and his is very smart making him a very dangerous man. His weakness is the fact that while he does not age, he still can be killed like a normal man.  Hans is one of his butlers who is a little person and has the attitude of a bully while Junior is a very tall man who has the mind of a child.  Both are very loyal to David and his cause of world destruction. While he might not be as unstoppable as some Horror Movie bad guys, David Lincoln is just as dangerous as he has lots of evil talents and friends in very low places.

But while David Lincoln is our main villain, I feel like we should also briefly talk about the fact most of the killing and soul taking is being done by the monsters in the wax museum as they rule their own display and dispatch those silly enough to enter them. Among the madmen that are waiting to rule our world are The Phantom Of The Opera, Frankenstein’s Monster, Alien, Man Eating Planet, Evil Demon Baby, Invisible Man and Jack The Ripper to name a few. Our main killing machines after our cast of characters are the blood sucking Count Dracula and his vampire family, a crazed werewolf, a shuffling head crushing Mummy, flesh eating zombies and the master of erotic murder and torture Marquis de Sade all who take pleasure in killing their targets. Each of these killers and madmen have their own powers and methods of killing making them all very evil and very dangerous! So to sum it up, David’s team is filled with some of the top madmen in cinema.

So now that we are up to date on the villains of WaxWork, we should now dive into the film itself as well as its sequel and see what makes this series tick. As always our good friends at IMDB will supply us with the films write up and I will follow them up with some production notes, film facts as well as chat about my first time seeing them. So let’s take a stroll through this crazy WaxWork and see if we can give ourselves a scare or two…or at least learn a little something about this underrated film series.

Waxwork (1988)

“A waxwork museum comes to town, and a mysterious man invites some teens to come to a special showing at midnight. Once inside, while viewing different exhibits, the scenes come alive and the viewer is sucked into the story being portrayed.”

WaxWorks was limited released in theaters on June 18, 1988 by Vestron Pictures and was been said to be the first self-referential horror film way before Scream and its many clones. The film when released was not a huge Box Office hit in the USA only bringing in $808,114.00 on a $1.5 Million dollar budget and coming in at # 183 for the year. But while it was a limited release, it did however beat out some other cult classics like Maniac Cop, Prison, My Best Friend Is A Vampire and Ghost Town to name a few. Not to mention 1988 was a great year for Horror Movie fans as such films as A Nightmare On Elm Street 4: The Dream Master, Child’s Play, The Serpent And The Rainbow, Friday The 13th Part 7: The New Blood, Halloween 4: Return Of Michael Myers, Poltergeist III, They Live, Hellbound: Hellraiser II, Return On The Living Dead Part 2, Bad Dreams, The Blob and Phantasm II to name a very few all hit theaters! WaxWorks was met with mixed reviews with critics and fans being split on how much they enjoyed the film or didn’t. The film however did find success on the home video market as the sales for the VHS were solid and helped it get a sequel some years later. The film would also go on to be released on DVD and Blu-Ray and has gained a solid and loyal cult fan base. The film was directed by Anthony Hickox and stars Zach Galligan, Deborah Foreman, Michelle Johnson and Dana Ashbrook as the college kids with John Rhys-Davies, J. Kenneth Campbell and Miles O’Keeffe as the monsters! And David Warner plays the sinister David Lincoln and does a fantastic job at bringing this character to life.

I first saw this film back in my teen years when my brother Bryan and I rented it from K&L Video as it was one that we had heard of thanks to Fangoria Magazine and other horror related books. I can remember it was a day we rented a number of flicks and loaded up on junk food and soda and that night was a mini horror movie marathon.  I would say that WaxWorks was my favorite of the night as I don’t remember the other films we watched that day. After watching it, I ended up buying it on VHS and watched it from time to time as the film was one that was filled with classic monsters and gore and this made it up my ally. As VHS went away, I have gotten it on DVD and still find myself watching it at least once a year, sometimes even more. I also always recommend this film to Horror Movie fans whom have not seen it as it’s entertaining and always is a hit with them when they watch it.

Waxwork II: Lost In Time (1992)

“Mark and Sarah survive to the fire in the wax museum, but Sarah is followed by a severed hand that kills her father. Sarah becomes the prime suspect and goes to trial. Mark and Sarah search evidence to prove her innocence and they go to Sir Wilfred’s house. They find a footage prepared by Sir Wilfred with a puzzle based of the Alice and the Looking Glass. They solve the puzzle and find a compass that opens portals through time. They travel to the most different places in time seeking something to help Sarah in her trial in a dangerous journey.”

This sequel was direct to video and followed up right after the events of the first film. It was released by Electric Pictures on June 16, 1992 and was directed by Anthony Hickox again and starred Zach Galligan, Monika Schnarre and Patrick Macnee as this time around in cameos you have Martin Kemp, Drew Barrymore, Bruce Campbell, Buck Flower and David Carradine! Plus I should note that Godzilla is also in the film in a weird American kind of way. The film never captured the viewers like the first film, and while it’s entertaining, it is lacking a little in the gore and is missing a main villain as David Lincoln does not return. This one focuses way too much on a character called The Master. This was another film I saw via VHS from a rental at K&L Video, and while I enjoy it and it’s an okay sequel, it is lacking the charm on the first film for me. On a side note I want to also say that a clip of this film is used in the film Hellraiser III: Hell On Earth, another film directed by Hickox. This film in 1992 was joined by the following films for Horror Fans to enjoy Candyman, Dead Alive, Dr. Giggles, Army Of Darkness, Dust Devil, Demonic Toys, Stepfather III, Critters 4 and Night Of The Executioner to name a few. So if you enjoyed the first film, this one is worth a watch.

In 1988 when WaxWork was in theaters independent comic company Blackthorne Publishing was trying to lock its place in comic stories, and they did so by offering something different from the other guys and that included 3-D Comics and comics based on Horror, and with this came them doing a comic based on WaxWork! I originally got this comic way back when from Mavericks Cards And Comics and re-bought it years later from Bell Book And Comic so I want to thank them for having it in stock and for reuniting me with many of my comics from the past. So as we enter this WaxWork, I see some rules on the wall about not being late and only one person walking in each display but I also see one that wants me to remind you that I grade these on a star scale of 1 to 4 and am looking for how well the comic stays to the source material, its entertainment value and its art and story! So with that Hans has allowed us to go in and let’s see what horrors await us, shall we?

WaxWork # 1  **1/2
Released in 1988     Cover Price $2.00     Blackthrone     # 1 of 1

A homeless man is looking through the garbage outside of a Wax Muesum when he sneaks inside and is killed by Jason Voorhees! This traps his soul and allows owner David Lincoln to only need six more people in order to free the world’s worst killers and madmen! The next day Mark along with his friends are walking to school when they are greeted by David Lincoln who invites them all to visit the museum tonight for a private event, and they agree. Later that evening Mark and friends along with Professor Wilfred all attend, and soon many of them fall victim to the monsters in the displays as Dracula, Jack The Ripper, Zombies, The Mummy, a Werewolf and Marquis de Sade all claim victims and open the rift to allow them all to live again! Mark, Sarah and Professor Wilfred figure out what’s going on and set the place on fire all the while trying to defend themselves from the killers! Mark takes down Jason, while Sarah chops off Dracula’s head and before they can escape David Lincoln shoots Professor Wilfred as he stabs David and the WaxWorks falls down around them. In the end Sarah and Mark are greeted by the paramedics and are taken away as a lone Zombie Hand survives the fire.

When I was younger I really enjoyed this comic as it changed the plot and characters and made it a very loose adaptation of the film giving me as a reader and a fan something a little new.  Some of the changes that worked was adding a 80’s slasher killer like Jason Voorhees, but what didn’t work was how fast the story goes and that they take away any and all of the impact of the monsters as well as really downplay David Lincoln.  Also while Junior is around, he is very different and Hans is left out all together leaving grown up me thinking the comic was just okay. The plot is this: a group of college kids and their professor go to a wax museum, and some of the friends die inside the exhibits. After a brief time, they figure out that they have to burn the place down in order to stop the monsters from entering society. That’s the major issue with this comic adaptation, it all happens really quick and fast and besides the exhibit attacks all the horror and scares are gone as is the personalities of the characters, as Mark, China, Sarah and the others just come off as generic friends and villains who lack any real depth and charisma that made them cool characters in the films. Plus characters change roles as Sir Wilfred, who is the great grandfather of Mark in the films, is his professor in the comic, and he no longer leads an army of old timers that are trained to kill the monsters, but instead just figures out that they need to set the Wax Museum ablaze to stop the evil. David Lincoln is a minor role in this comic and barely gets to show off the characters evil side. The comic also cuts back on the gore and blood.  While it’s a little of a letdown, it still has some of the red stuff so it tried to at least please splatter fans. While it sounds like I am down on this comic with pointing out all its flaws and shortcomings, I do want to stress that I still enjoyed this comic after all these years.  I think lots of it has to do with that I am a sucker for Horror Comics based on cult films I love. The cover is pretty cool and is taken from the movie poster and has Hans opening the door to the WaxWorks with evil spirits all around. The interior art is done by Nigel Tully and is solid work.  While most of the characters look nothing like the actors who played them, it still holds a charm of its own. So I think if you enjoy the film and want to read almost a reimagining of the story then check this one out, but for those looking for the humor and gore of the film in these comic pages, I would say you might be disappointed. But while it’s not perfect I will say it’s a fun read and a comic that I enjoy having in my collection. Check out the artwork below to see what the art style is in this comic.

WaxWorks might not be a household name like many of the other 80’s Horror films, but it is one that I do truly think has been overlooked and deserves a cult statues. And it’s a film that mixes classic monsters and splatter effects wrapped around a horror comedy shell and is one of the better Horror Comedy films ever made. But with that we are going to leave the WaxWorks and head to out main attraction for this Countdown to Halloween as we will be playing a game and meeting the killer Jigsaw when we explore the world of SAW! So until then read a comic or three, watch a Horror Movie or two and as always support your local Horror Host! See you on Halloween, boils and ghouls!

Day Of The Monster Bash Vacation (2017)

Welcome back to Rotten Ink!  Once more, it’s time for Juliet and I to take a long overdue vacation, and once more we decided to spend it in Cranberry, PA to attend the best classic monster convention of all time, Monster Bash! It’s a special year as this is the 20th year of the convention and there are lots of great guests like Ricou Browning who played Gillman in Creature From The Black Lagoon, Larry Storch from The Ghostbusters and F-Troop as well as Hammer Horror actress Veronica Carlson to name a few. Plus I am pretty hyped to see what statues they have awaiting us attendees and whether there will be a fancy monster car up front besides The Munsters Drag-U-La! It will also be great to see David “The Rock” Nelson as well as Horror Hosts Son Of Ghoul, Mr. Lobo and Penny Dreadful as they are all great people and help add to this wonderful weekend getaway. I for one have been looking forward to this vacation for a while.  After moving and the stresses of work and the creative stuff I do, getting away and relaxing with classic monster fans sounded like bliss as well as just hanging out in the hotel and chatting with Juliet who is not only my girlfriend but also one of my best friends in the world as she is truly my soul mate. So on this update, we will also be taking a look at the third Romero film, Day Of The Dead as well as the one and only issue based on the film from Dead Dog Comics. So pack your bag and jump into the car as you friends and readers are going on a trip to Monster Bash!

Our quest for Monster Bash began on Thursday June 22, 2017 at around noon.  The weather was warm and muggy as Juliet and I climbed into the Mazda 3 and hit the highway. While driving we talked about Sparkle Comics and ideas for future issues that we would love to see be released by our comic family. We also chatted about Pro Wrestling from WWE all the way to Rockstar Pro and mostly chatted about wrestlers I remember watching when I was a youngster. For our listening pleasure, we listened to the podcast The Real Short Box that has three friends Kevin, Donald and Jarred talking about comic books with the best episode of the day being them talking about their favorite 80’s comic storylines with all three having good choices and all three so different.  If you have not listened to these guys and enjoy comics, you should check em out. For lunch we stopped at Ruby Tuesday’s on the Ohio and West Virginia border again where I enjoyed grilled salmon with rice and a baked potato, and Juliet dined on a crispy chicken cob salad. It was a very good meal, and this is the same one we ate at last trip to the Bash. Once in town we checked into the Comfort Inn in Cranberry and went to New Dimension Comics where I bought a stack of comics to read at night including issues of Action Comics, Avengers and Boris Karloff Tales Of Mystery.  We spent the rest of the night in and ate dinner at Eat N Park and went to bed with visions of monsters and horror films in our heads.

Friday, day one of Monster Bash kicked off with Juliet and I waiting for the convention to open at 3pm so we decided to get some brunch at Max & Erma’s and had a good and solid meal.  From there we decided to get some coffee in Mars at the Mars Brew House, a very cool family owned coffee house that serves very good variety of coffee. After getting our order and chatting with the owner about Monster Bash and Baron Von Porkchop, Juliet and I sat outside and enjoyed the cool and rainy weather under the porch while listening to the church bells and enjoying the feel of this small town. Also while there I had to get my picture with the UFO in my Space Monkey T-Shirt, and for you readers who don’t know who Space Monkey is shame on you as he is a very cool independent wrestler who is a monkey who was sent to space! After hanging in Mars for a little while, we decided that it was time to head back to the hotel and wait for the doors of Monster Bash to be open as we both love this convention! On a side note I also want to say that I really dig the small town feel of Mars as it reminds me of Mayberry as everyone is always so nice and train tracks run through downtown and churches are all around…just a very cool small town.

When 3pm hit Juliet and I made our way down to Monster Bash.  The Drag-U-La was out front, and I was happy to see it again! Once inside we noticed that this was the most busy we had ever seen Monster Bash since we began going, and it was great to see so many people at an event that is celebrating classic movie monsters. After waiting in line for a short time, we entered the convention and saw the statues that were all fantastic! This time they were Gillman from Creature Walks Among Us, The Monster from The Bride, Dracula from Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein and lastly the Hammer Horror version of The Phantom Of The Opera that was my clear cut favorite! We walked around and saw lots of amazing things and seen lots of great people. But after about an hour, the place was really hot and people started to forget manners so we decided to head to the hotel and relax and plan our Wing King and a movie night! As always this was a great first day, and we returned with some great items for our collections to fill our new home together.

So I am sure you’re wondering what my first day haul of goods from Monster Bash was, right? Well it was a good day even if it was over crowded and people kept bumping into and cutting in front of Juliet and I! So here is what I got comic book wise: Night Of The Living Dead: Back From The Grave # 1 comic for $2.50, El Toro Azul’s Monster Movie A Go-Go # 1- 2 for $10.00 and The Defenders # 70 for only $1.50! Paperback Book wise, I got Elvira: Camp Vamp for $3.75, King Kong for $4.75, Nosferatu The Vampire for $2.75 and Young Frankenstein for only $2.75! Music CD wise, I found a bootleg copy of The Cool Ghoul and his Phantasmagorical Funny Fonograf Record for $10.00, a true fun Horror Host release. And in DVD’s I got The Leech Woman for $20.00 and DVD-R’s of the films IT and Cry Of The Werewolf for $10.00 each! Over all a really great first day with lots of great items bought. The one I am most happy about finding is the paperback book of Young Frankenstein written by Gilbert Pearlman as I used to own this in my youth and am looking forward to reading it again. So check out the picture below for the cool haul from day 1.

For dinner the first night of Monster Bash we decided to eat Wing Kings and watch a movie on the old laptop.  The film we picked was Cry Of The Werewolf, a classic black and white film from 1944 as a classic monster movie seemed like the right choice for the evening. Cry Of The Werewolf stars Nina Foch, Stephen Crane and Osa Massen and was directed by Henry Levin who also did such films as “The Devil’s Mask” and “Honeymoon Hotel” and this would be my first time watching it! The plot of the movie is a princess who has the curse of the werewolf trying to keep quiet those she thinks are getting to close to her secret. And from Wing Kings I ordered 12 Garlic Wings and an order of Cheese Fries plus drank a small cup of Coke, and both the meal and the film were good and made for a perfect time for this evening. After dinner Juliet and I worked a little on some Sparkle Comics printing prep and later I read The Defenders # 70 that I bought from Monster Bash and watched some TV before going to bed and gearing up for the second day of one of my all time favorite conventions.

The second day of Monster Bash was way less busy and had less unaware people as Juliet and I were able to walk around and enjoy the world of classic movie monsters! Just being around fellow fans of classic monsters, comic books and vintage action figures is super relaxing plus seeing all the smiling faces as they are looking at DVD, VHS and comic books is really cool and feeds your inner nerd. Walking around I found a giant poster that show cased all the Marvel Comics Heroes and Villains from 1988, and I was having a blast finding all the characters and even found Man-Thing who was hiding and after talking to Juliet we decided to walk away from it, but if its still there on Day 3, it will be coming home with me as it was only $15.00 and would be amazing to hang up near my comic book collection. So after wandering around for a little while and saying hi to some of our horror host friends, we decided it was time to explore outside the convention.

After leaving the Bash, we headed to get some lunch at Moe’s and I had a really tasty chicken burrito with a lime coke to drink! Juliet and I sat in the restaurant and chatted about geeky stuff and decided from there to head back to New Dimension Comics who was having a store wide sale and we got 30% off our order! Juliet found a Star Trek: Next Generation issue she wanted to read, and I found handful of comics I wanted with such heroes as Wonder Woman, Thor and Lomax and after our brief shopping spree we decided to just drive around and check out the land and the local business in the area. After a nice and fun drive we decided to get some frozen yogurt from TCBY as Juliet cannot ever come to Cranberry and not eat there. After we had our nice midday snack we decided to go back to Monster Bash where I chatted with David “The Rock” Nelson and we once more soaked in the world of monsters, and once done headed back to the hotel to plan the night of Day 2 of Monster Bash.

Day 2’s haul at Monster Bash was also a good one as I found some really cool stuff! In comics I found Captain America Annual # 2 for only $2.00! I got a great Dr. Creep art print for free from the artist and it will be hung with pride in my editing room! I got two wood art plaques that will be hung in our horror movie room of Phantom Of The Opera and Waldemar Daninsky, and I must say having a Paul Naschy wood art piece for that room is pretty badass; they cost $25.00 each! I bought Devil Ant 1-3 on DVD-R from The Rock for $20.00 each, and I truly love supporting the world of shot on video directors. I also got the DVD of the zombie flick Sugar Hill for $20.00 and a DVD-R of the film The Dead Don’t Die for $10.00! And I got the paperback books of The Addams Family for $3.00 and Return Of The Living Dead signed by John Russo who chatted with me about finding the stock of this old book in the UK! So as you can see, I got some great stuff and I think my top purchase of the day had to be the Paul Naschy wood art…as it’s truly amazing!

For dinner, we decided to once more get some Eat N Park where I chomped down on some liver and onions with some rice, mashed potatoes & gravy as well as some hash browns and water to drink. The meal was good as always as Eat N Park has always delivered a good meal to Juliet and I when here in Cranberry! To finish off the meal, I ate a smile cookie, and I still really think it has a Monster Candy taste to them and for the rest of the night I read some comics and watched some TV before finally going to bed with the third and final day of Monster Bash to follow.

The third and final day of Monster Bash was on Sunday, and Juliet and I started our day getting breakfast at the Pig Iron right next door and I had an amazing dish called Chorizo Hash and a Pepsi to drink. Once done we walked around Monster Bash one last time and soaked in all the classic monsters and briefly chatted with vendors and said our goodbyes till next year. I must also note that the cool giant 1988 Marvel Comics character poster was gone so it just was not meant to be. After walking back to the hotel I really do think that Sparkle Comics and Baron Von Porkchop should vend one year at Monster Bash as I think that we would fit it so well and could spread our comics and Horror Host to the attendees. While we are still here in Cranberry, Pa for another two days, it’s very sad that another Monster Bash has come to an end and that I will have to wait another year to return! So as always I must praise Monster Bash for being one of the best Horror Cons that I attend and look forward to coming to it more in the future.

The third and final haul of goods from Monster Bash was pretty good as I picked up DVD’s of Monster Movie A Go-Go, a Horror Host show that has them hosting Plan 9 From Outer Space and Santa Claus Conquers The Martians as well as two independent horror films they made called Nail Biter and Children Of The Way plus a cool CD of a radio drama they made called Anton Rook The Mummy Express and I got all this for only $40.00! Plus I picked up a made for TV movie on DVD-R called Death Moon for $15.00! One cool thing about Death Moon is that it could be covered here on Rotten Ink as a “Made For TV” update! So as always another great day of cool stuff gotten and all stuff I am looking forward to watching.

After Monster Bash, it was time for Juliet and I to go on a little drive and go to The Snowman in Portersville as we love to get a cool snack and enjoy the farm land around us. On the drive over Juliet and I chatted about what is next for her to write in the world of Sparkle Comics, and while we did not lock a project many possibilities were discussed and by the end of our vacation I will have a project for her to work on! When we arrived at The Snowman, we noticed that it was the busiest it has been since we have been going, and this made me happy as I really love this little shaved ice shop. I ordered my Yeti Shake and Juliet got chocolate shaved ice and we chilled at a table and soaked in the sun and before leaving had to see the horses again with my favorite being Cookie who is the brown female horse who is 33 years old. Another great visit to The Snowman and if you’re in the Cranberry area make sure to stop by and enjoy a Yeti Shake or a shaved ice!

While leaving the Snowman and before hitting the highway again, I spotted a small cemetery near a church and had to stop and see it! The cemetery was behind Portersville Bible Church and was very tiny and surrounded by corn fields and sat on a hill with a great view! The parking lot had a very old a cool crypt that was turned into a shed and looked straight out of a classic black and white horror film and this was what really caught by eye as it was the perfect mix of classic and creepy. Many of the graves was very old and lots of the dates could not be read from wear, and the mood of the cemetery was very peaceful. As Juliet walked among the tombstones I stood on a patch of bare land and looked around the land around and breathed in the fresh air.  After a while we decided to leave and Juliet would not go to the abandon school across the street so we headed back out into the world of Pennsylvania!

After a great day of exploring and relaxing, we decided that we were once more going to have a night of Wing Kings and a movie! I was craving some wings and spending the evening watching a Horror Film and before bed reading Captain America Annual # 6 sounded like a perfect way to end the night. So I ordered 12 garlic wings and some cheese sticks and the film of the night was Devil Ant, the shot on video masterpiece from independent filmmaker pioneer David “The Rock” Nelson! The films that The Rock makes are so much fun and have so much heart and entertainment value to them and capture the true nature of shot on video backyard films. Plus The Devil Ant is packed with tons of cameos from such people as Roger Corman, Hilary Clinton, Son Of Ghoul and Svengoolie to name a few. Plus eating tasty chicken wings and watching a zero budget film is something I think every Horror movie fan should do on Sunday nights! So after dinner and the movie I climbed into bed and read the Captain America comic and went to bed ending the third and final day of Monster Bash.

Day five of being in Cranberry, Juliet and I decided to get some breakfast at Einstein Bros and after went to the Cranberry Cinema to see Transformers: The Last Knight on the big screen! We both really like the Cranberry Cinema as its a great independently owned first run theater with a great staff and on Mondays tickets are cheaper and they give you a free small popcorn! After the movie we hung out again at the hotel and I read some comics and took a nap, and once back up we ate lunch at Max And Erma’s and had desert at TCBY making it the second time we had frozen yogurt on this trip. After we had a good frozen treat, we went back to New Dimension Comics and loaded up on great $1.00 books where I found such cool comics like Night Of The Living Dead: Aftermath, Captain America and many more. Once back at the hotel and when evening came we watched WWE Monday Night Raw and had diner at Bob Evans via carry out. Before bed I read the first issue of Night Of The Living Dead: Aftermath and an issue of Action Comics. And so ended another great day of our vacation.

On the six and final day of our vacation in Cranberry we decided to head to Mars Brew House and get some coffee before we headed to what is always one of my must stops the place that for me helps get my creative juices flowing, Evans City Cemetery, the shooting location for one of the most iconic zombie and horror films of all time Night Of The Living Dead! I have been to this place many times and its charm and just beautiful atmosphere is refreshing to a guy like we who likes small town life, but has to live in the city as well as work in it. Juliet and I walked around for a long while chatting about Sparkle Comics, zombie films, graves and Monster Bash. One thing we noticed this year is that the cemetery was over run by chipmunks that darted around like little fuzzy wildmen.  This of course made us joke about doing a comic called “Night Of The Living Chipmunks”! Even at one point as we were walking the isles of tombstones we both had to dodge a crazed bird that was flying right toward us! This is such a peaceful place and if you find yourself in the area and just need a quite place to relax and maybe read a book or comic make sure to stop here and soak it all in.

While in Cranberry I sent a message to Wampum Underground to see if Juliet and I could take a tour of the main filming spot of my favorite zombie film of all time and the main topic of this update Day Of The Dead…but sadly they would not allow us, and while it was a letdown, I understand why they don’t let fans of the film in as it would be nonstop plus they store people’s personal items as well as companies. So while we could not go inside Juliet and I still decided to at least drive to it and see it from the outside, and man when we arrived I just imagined the whole area being swarmed with zombies and this made me smile. We drove past it a few times and I snapped a few pictures as we pulled over so that I could at least soak in the filming spot. Once done Juliet and I headed back home and chatted about comics, movies, life and wrestling while we listened to more Real Short Box Podcasts. I always hate when this vacation to Monster Bash comes to an end as I really do enjoy being there and just love the fact that classic monsters are being honored by the staff of the Bash as well as fans who attended the event. Once home I had a few more days off before I had to return to work and spent it working on the new house, working on Sparkle Comics and found some old movie scripts that might be finally shot for the possible rebirth of Independent B Movie. So that was the vacation part of this update and now its time for us to talk about…..DAY OF THE DEAD!

George A. Romero created the modern zombie film with his 1968 classic “Night Of The Living Dead” that I covered twice here on Rotten Ink.  One was the Prolougue & Aftermath and then I did the Adaptation of the film both done by Fantaco Comics. Then in 1978, he returned to the zombie world and made the masterpiece “Dawn Of The Dead” with last year me taking a look at the IDW Adaptation of the film, and now this year’s Monster Bash leads me to my favorite in the series hands down “Day Of The Dead”! So if you’re ready to go underground to hide from the living dead, we will start our journey into the third Romero film and enter the world of when the dead ruled the day and the dawn was over!

Let’s begin our trip to the underground world were the dead has taken over topside by breaking down the film itself. While I could babble on about this film for ever I will make it brief as I also think that those who want to really get the inside story of the film should buy the Scream Factory DVD or Blu-Ray and watch the fantastic extras that goes into the full history of the film.

Day Of The Dead was part of a three film deal that George A. Romero signed with Laurel Entertainment who wanted the third film in his dead series to be made and as part of the deal, both Creepshow and Knightriders were made and unleashed onto the horror watching masses. The idea for Day of The Dead started out big as the original budget was set at $7 million, and it was supposed to be the “Gone With The Wind” of zombie films! The original idea was to have it be high action with the army fighting zombies with boats and explosions in Florida with lots of the budget going into the effects. But after the budget was cut down to only $3.5 million, the big ideas had to be cut down to a more practical story.  The film ended up being mostly shot in Pennsylvania with some still being filmed in Florida, and they took lots of the action out of the script and added more drama. Casting was perfect and went as following Lori Cardille as Sarah Bowman, Terry Alexander as John, Jarlath Conroy as Bill, Joseph Pilato as Captain Rhodes, Gary Howard as Pvt. Steel and Sherman Horard as Bub to name a few. He hired Tom Savini and his crew to do the FX including Gregory Nicotero who would go on to do FX on the hit AMC show The Walking Dead. The film needed lots of zombies, and extras were brought in and did it for free or made a $1.00 and got a hat that said “I Was A Zombie In Day Of The Dead”. The production was grueling as they filmed under ground in Wampum, and the air down there made many actors and crew sick. When done Laurel Entertainment released it to limited theaters on July 19, 1985 and was meet with mix reviews by fans and critics and only brought in $5,000,000.00 at the US Box Office making the film not a major hit, but it did do better overseas bringing in $28 million to help the film become a minor hit. In 1985 Day of the Dead was # 115 at the box office and beat out such classic genre films as “Godzilla 1985”, “Rainbow Brite And The Star Stealer”, “The Bride”, “Re-Animator”, “Def-Con 4” and “The Company Of Wolves” to name a few. What hurt Day Of The Dead at the cinema was the fact it had a limited release and was up against other horror films like “A Nightmare On Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Dead”, “Fright Night”, “Friday The 13th V: A New Beginning”, “Silver Bullet” and “Return Of The Living Dead,” a film that updated the the zombie genre that Romero created with faster, smarter and more threatening undead. But while for the longest time it was viewed as the weaker of the Romero Dead Trilogy, it has gained the respect and fanfare that it has been due since it was released. Again while I love many zombie films like Zombi 2, Return Of The Living Dead, White Zombie, Night of The Living Dead and Dawn Of The Dead, it’s Day of The Dead that remains my favorite.

So as you can see hands down my favorite zombie film of all time is Day Of The Dead and many of you long time readers remember that I first saw this film on USA Network when I was a kid and it captured my imagination and was a hot talk topic at school when it first aired on that iconic network. I spent sometime as well drawing pictures of Bub and wondering if he would show up in the 4th Romero Dead film. Once we got a VCR and I found the VHS tape of the movie, I of course bought it and watched the hell out of it! When playing Resident Evil 3: Nemesis on the Sony Playstation and near death I would limp around and scream “Come On” just like Captain Rhodes did in the film as it always made me and others laugh. The home video market is what helped Day Of The Dead gain fans and would also be what helped it make more money to build it up to being profitable. I also really like the fact that in Walking Dead season 4 in the episode called Us, characters Glenn and Tara are in a tunnel and are being attacked by zombies and clearly one of the zombies is Bub!! I watch this film on DVD all the time and even watch the USA Network print that my pal Jason Young gave me that he recorded when he was a youngster! So do yourself a favor and make sure to watch this film this Halloween as it’s worth the view.

I also want to note that with a heavy heart as I was working on this update, George A. Romero passed away from lung cancer, and this was a major blow to me as I have been a longtime fan of his work and even visit his filming locations as his films mean that much to me. I want to dedicate this blog update to Mr. Romero and want to think him for all the scares he has delivered to all us Horror Fans and my thoughts are with his family, friends and fans during this very sad and hard time.

The score soundtrack for Day of The Dead is done by John Harrison and mixes eerie horror with an island sound delivering a very interesting and in my opinion very memorable score. That’s one thing that drives me crazy is when people try and compare the Harrison score for Day Of The Dead against the Goblin score for Dawn Of The Dead as they are two different styles for two different styles and mood of films and each do their respective film justice. Harrison’s score music is very moody and captures the dread as well as the hope that members of the underground group have, as the dark sounds really represent the zombies and the army both who are the the real threats to the group of scientist as the more island sound represents our heroes and John the pilot who has a thought that they should take over an island and restart mankind and leave the past behind us. I have played this soundtrack many times on Alpha Rhythms on WYSO, and my favorite track is “Breakdown” as I truly think its an amazing track and sums up the feel and mood of the film. This soundtrack has been released on Vinyl and CD, and the first time I owned it was on a CD called “Dead Trilogy” that had it paired with Night and Dawn and was made by Roger’s Basement a cool old website that use to offer hard to find and never released soundtracks to Horror and Science Fiction films that would also have dialogue from the films, very cool stuff and I wish Roger would comeback to the web and start this back up again. Now I also own the soundtrack on an official CD release put out by Taurus, and on the vinyl reissue from Waxwork. If you’re a lover of Horror Film score music, do yourself a favor and pick this one up as it’s really is a great listen.

Like “Night Of The Living Dead” and “Dawn Of The Dead” before it, “Day Of The Dead” has had its share of some amazing merchandise! Like a very cool Prism Sticker that was in vending machines back in the late 80’s. Movie posters for theaters and video stores that would also find their way to being reproductions for home décor. The soundtrack made its way to vinyl and CD and has been played many times on Alpha Rhythms on WYSO. Halloween masks based on the likeness of Bub and Dr. Tongue have been made for fans to dress as their favorite zombie of the film. Plus Amok Time has made some amazing action figures based on Day Of The Dead of Dr. Tongue and Bub and these figures are a must have for fans of the film. Also fan art, shirts and comics have been made as well at the film has been released on many home media like VHS and DVD. Also Day of The Dead has been released on Blu-Ray and in the Arrow limited edition release a cool mini comic book came inside called “Day of The Dead: Desertion” that was about everyone’s favorite zombie Bub…before he was a zombie! So if you are a fan of this film like me, I am sure you own many of these cool items and here is hoping for more items to be made as I will for sure buy them to add to my collection.

So while Bub and Dr. Tongue are the two zombies from the film that get most of the attention from horror fans, I want to focus on one who in my opinion is over looked but is all the same a very cool zombie, and I am talking about Beef Treats! I am sure some of you readers are asking yourself who is Beef Treats, and I am here to tell you he is the male zombie that is captured and refuses to eat the beef in a can that the doctors are trying to feed him that is supplied by the army. Beef Treats, while not a major zombie in the film, has built up a fan following and was played by actor Mark Tierno whom I have had the honor of going to dinner with along side my pal Geoff Burkman who played a zombie in Day Of The Dead, Juliet, my pal David J. Getz and fans of writers of this iconic third film in the Romero Dead series at a Brown Derby restaurant after the Cinema Wasteland Convention in Strongsville, Ohio area. The dinner was lots of fun as it was great to hear Mark talk about his time on set and the motivation behind playing Beef Treats, I also think it was humorous that during dinner he ordered brussel sprouts, and in my mind I pictured a zombie eating those vegetables and it made me chuckle. It was also great seeing the fans and such asking Geoff about his time as a zombie as he is very proud of the fact he was in that film, and as he should be. So while he is not as iconic as Bub, I must say Beef Treats is a great zombie who added his own blood stain in the world of Day Of The Dead! So here is to you Beef Treats and actor Mark Tierno, who made this zombie come undead on the silver screen.

On April 11, 2015 Juliet and I decided to take our pal Geoff Burkman to Cinema Wasteland Convention as they had a big Day Of The Dead reunion.  Geoff played a zombie in the film and wanted to chat with the star.  This is also my favorite zombie film of all time, and I wanted to meet such stars as Lori Cardille, Terry Alexander, Sherman Howard, Gary Howard and all the others attending.  The main person I wanted to meet was Joe Pilato who plays Captain Rhodes, one of the best characters in Horror Cinema! The drive up to Wasteland was lots of fun and we all chatted about movies, The Walking Dead and even ideas for a Babysitter Massacre 2! Once at the event Geoff went his separate way as did Juliet and I, and after walking around for a few minutes and catching up with the old Cinema Wasteland Family, I got the honor of meeting Joe Pilato, and man, was he one kick ass dude! He cracked me up as when coming up to his table he screamed out to the crowd “Oh My God It’s Billy Romero, George’s Son!” as he told me that I reminded him of a young George Romero and that was one heck of a great compliment coming from him. The people around all looked at me when he screamed this, and I think some of them really did think I was Romero’s son! While at the table I chatted with Joe for a short time and told him all the same things all fans do about how he played one of my favorite characters of all time and got his autograph as well as a photo with him. Before we left his table he asked Juliet and I if we were going to the Day Of The Dead Q & A that was happing later on in the day and we of course said yes! Lucky for us when the time came we all got good seats and listened to the cast and crew chat about the making of the film as well as shout out famous lines from the film….it was amazing to hear all this in person! As we left the convention was when we were able to go out to dinner with Beef Treats Zombie and chat with fellow lovers of this film. I must say that Cinema Wasteland does it right when it comes to showcasing amazing cult actors and directors and don’t fill their guest list with B-List cameo actors from mainstream modern cable TV series. So I want to thank Ken and Pam for making this convention rock as much as it does as they have the heart and soul of true Horror fans! Below is the pic of Joe and I from Wasteland.

My pal Geoff, as you know by now, was a zombie extra in Day of The Dead. I have known Geoff since I was five years old as he owned a record store called Renaissance Music that my dad would shop at and I would as well once as I got older. Geoff is a cool guy and has been in a ton of plays in and around the Dayton area as well as has been in lots of great locally made films like The Manson Family, The Wolf Hunter 1-2, Babysitter Massacre, Depression The Movie, Atrocity Circle and many more. So it’s my pleasure and honor to sit with Geoff Burkman, zombie extra for Day Of The Dead and ask him a few questions!

Matt: How Did You Hear About The Casting Of Zombie Extras For Day Of The Dead?

Geoff: I was friends with a WSU film student, Bill Laxson, who was a customer at the shop. A year or so after he graduated, I think, I got a call from him out of the blue, telling me he’d gotten a job as a PA on the film. Either he mentioned the possibility, or I geeked out, or whatever, but one thing led to another, and soon I was in touch with the ladies running extras casting, and the rest is history.

Matt: When Selected Who Picked That You Would Be The Baseball Catcher Zombie?

Geoff: He was an umpire, actually. That was likely the choice of costuming, based on my measurements. I had no idea what I would be until I got there.

Matt: What Was The Process Like Getting Into The Makeup? And Who Did Your Makeup?

Geoff: Day One was the umpire zombie, part of the assembly line. Sadly, I don’t recall the name of the lady who did mine. I want to say there were 4-6 stations for making up the extras that morning. Took maybe an hour or so, iirc. Overall, we were on site by 730am and fully costumed, made up and ready to rock by 10am. We didn’t get called to shoot until at least 10pm that night. So, a whole bunch of waiting around.

Day Two I played a different zombie, one of the collar gang, presumably from the depths of the walled-off cavern. For that one I’d been shown through Saviniland by Bill and intro’ed to Tom himself as a possible head-shot zombie. No such luck, my hair was deemed not thick enough to mask the squib. Still, it was either Tom or one of his assistants (not Nicotero that I can remember, although I did meet him) who did me up, complete with several facial wounds off the “Zombies’R’Us” prosthetic molds.

Matt: Tell Us About The Scenes You Were In And Did You Get To Share The Screen With The Stars?

Geoff: Nope, no screen-shares for me. Day One umpire zombie shot scenes of the devouring of Steele, which show up late in the film. Umpire dude appears in the back right of two quick floor level shots with action in center frame. Of course, a lot more takes and angles were shot than appear in the film, including a close-up of me trying to jam a bloody bone through my mask. Boy, I’d love to have the raw footage from that night’s shoot!

Day Two was scenes of the break-in to the complex after Steele shoots open the door, so my guy shows up in the panning shot of the horde swarming in. I also did background for the sequence with Rhodes slamming a zombie off his golf cart, but I’ve never found him onscreen, even with careful freeze-framing. I was there, nonetheless. I was also a part of the crowd entering Steele’s death room, but didn’t make the final cut, despite another close-up in which Romero directed me to create a momentary bottleneck in the doorway. Such is the fate of an extra, even dead ones. So, I never got to work with any of the leads, although I was privileged to watch Joe Pilato, Gary Klar, and Taso Stavrakis (as a stunt zombie) do their thing. I don’t recall seeing any of the other actors while I was there, though I could just be forgetting that, since it’s not like they go around being introduced to the extras, and I would have been far too reserved/shy to approach them.

Matt: What Do You See The Fate Of Your Zombie Being After The Events Of The Film?

Geoff: Ha, ha! Pretty sad for them, eh? Stuck in that underground facility with the only way out going up the ladder after the escaping humans. And given that umpire dude was busy chowing down while Sara’s group was busy escaping, it’s not likely he ever made his way back into the cavern and up that ladder. I figure he just ended up wandering around until maybe he found a baseball somewhere and then sat down and bounced it off a wall until he rotted away. Same fate for my collar zombie, too, minus the baseball entertainment. I’d have to say that most if not the entirety of that horde eventually just fell apart, likely in pitch black after the power went out. Good thing they were already dead; what a way to go!

Matt: Thanks Geoff for sharing your memories with me again and my readers!

Geoff Burkman is a class act and has and always will be a great friend to me. I also really like the fact that Geoff enjoys horror films as well as comic books and music, and this is why I think we get along so well. Looking at all my friends I must say I have some very creative people in my life from movie makers, Actors, Comic Artists, Pro Wrestlers, Musicians, Painters, Models, Freakshow Performers, Horror Hosts, Tattoo Artist, Radio DJs, Book Authors, Clothing Designers, Beard Competition Winners, Craft Makers, Store Owners, Photographers and so many others who all do creative things! And I must say I value each of my friendships as each person makes my life better. So thanks again Geoff for taking your time and to answer 5 Questions for my readers and me. Below is a picture of the icon George A. Romero and tons of zombie extras.

As a longtime comic book reader, I was super hyped when I discovered a cool comic book company called Dead Dog Comics in around 2004 that kept showing up at Cinema Wasteland when I was a vendor there with Independent B Movie and later Andy Copp as this company was making high quality horror comics that were original and others based on movies, I would buy first thing and read them once back at the hotel and after dinner. The first comic I got from them was Night Of The Living Dead: Barbara’s Zombie Chronicles # 1 and I was hooked and even when returning home added all their comics I could to my Mavericks Cards and Comics pull list. I would also chat with the creators and owners of Dead Dog Comics while at Wasteland, and they would tell me what was coming up and listen to my ideas of what horror films should be comics as they clearly loved what they made and created. Sadly they closed shop in roughly 2007 and the void they left would not be filled for me until 2016 when Eibon Press was unleashed on the comic reading market. One of Dead Dog’s final releases was the comic we are about to review based on Day Of The Dead. I can remember being so hyped when I picked up this copy from Cinema Wasteland and was not disappointed when I read it then and can’t wait to see if it holds up! The downside is that this series was supposed to be a 3 issue mini series but only had one issue released before they went under. So as we travel even deeper underground to get away from the zombies I can hear this echo “Remember I grade these on a standard 1-4 star rating and am looking at how well the comic keeps to the source material, its entertainment value, its art and story.” So with that, let’s see how well this comic holds up to my memories and how well it does justice to my favorite zombie film of all time.

Day Of The Dead: The Rising Of Bub # 1 ***
Released in 2007 Cover Price $4.95 Dead Dog Comics # 1 of 3

Joe, his wife Anne, and a whole apartment filled of survivors hear the call from army soldier Miguel in the streets of Florida and try to get everyone together quickly in order to be saved, but an accident leaves one of their members dead and the opportunity to be saved lost. The survivors’ morale is down as they all meet up and try and figure out where the helicopter came from and who is manning it. The survivors group is made up of all types of people from young to old and locals and vacationers all who give their ideas about where the base is that holds their saviors, but it’s Norman who looks beyond the big airfields and finds a location that he thinks is the perfect place for them to be at. The next morning the adults meet at Norman’s garage and find that his plan is to use a push car called The Phalanx to get to the local jeep dealership in order to hot wire them and get them to the target location, and before they can decide if the idea will work over breakfast they are interrupted by Kat and her boyfriend who inform Joe that Anne has killed herself. While all this is going on the zombies are gathering and Bub is now free and leading a group of the undead.

This is Walking Dead and Land Of The Dead mixed as this focuses on a group of survivors who are held up in a apartment building in Florida who want so badly to be saved and think that if they can get to the base that Rhodes and his men are at that, they can be saved and are doing all they can to come up with an idea to reach their safe zone that they are unaware has been overrun by zombies. Joe is the “leader” of the survivors as it’s clear he is the one with the level head and breaks up fights and tries his best to keep the peace among his people. He also tries his best to keep an eye on his lady Anne and his daughter Kat who are also suck in this world of the undead. Norman and the rest of the group are all good people that are trying not to snap in the bad situation that they are in and tempers do get short as they all think they know what’s good for an escape. The zombies are everywhere and are hungry for human flesh and even Dr. Tongue is on the prowl looking for a quick meal. Bub is around but only shown in one panel as he is leading a group of zombies around underground and makes you wonder how angry he is. This is a great issue as it builds up our survivors and shows that they are desperate to find help and are stuck in a bad way as the world around them is filled with the undead.  The only major downside is that while Bub and the zombies are around, they are very much second thoughts and are the cause of the whole drama but only really get to eat one person for the whole issue. I would have liked to have seen more of Bub and do realize that issues 2 and 3 would have shown him more, but still a little sad all we got is one panel in this issue. The cover is great and shows a mad looking Bub in the underground.  The interior art is done by Jeff Zornow and is fantastic stuff and captures a good zombie comic feel. Over all this very much held up for me, and I enjoyed reading it in 2017 just as much as I did in 2007…wow that’s been 10 years! Fans of the film will enjoy this issue even if it’s not as dark as the film, and I hope that Dead Dog Comics comes back and delivers more comics based on cool horror films.  All I can say is come on, Chazz DeMoss, make this happen! Check out this cool art below to see what style this comic delivers.

So the day has ended, and we have survived another zombie invasion as well as another Monster Bash vacation.  I for one can’t wait to go back to Cranberry again next year and do it all over again! So with this we are leaving zombies behind and once more stepping back into the world of Pro Wrestling as we take a look at Chyna and the Chaos! comics based on her. So until next time, enjoy the rest of this summer, read a comic or three, watch a Romero film or two and as always support your local Horror Host! So see you in the ring, my readers and friends!