Friday, March 30, 2012

Video: My interview with Mark Patton from Days of the Dead Atlanta.

One last post before i head off for my weekend of bloodshed. At Days of the Dead Atlanta, I got a chance to sit down with Mark Patton, who is best known to horror fans as Jesse in Nightmare on Elm Street 2. Mark is well known for being one of the most approachable and fan friendly celebrities on the convention circuit, and it's obvious why. He was very cool, and talked to be for almost 15 minutes about NOES 2, being a Scream Queen, his other flicks, and what he's been up to lately. It was a fun interview, check it out.

Carnage Cup 8 this weekend. Real life gore Son of Celluloid style.

Hi. My name is Nathan, and I’m a sick, sadistic bastard. This weekend, I’m going to get to have a hand in someone’s real life bodily mutilation with weapons I designed. I can vicariously live out my viscous splatter-flick fueled fantasies of bloodshed, and it’s 100% legal! What can I say, I have a fascination with the way flesh tears and blood flows. You can come witness the madness too. Allow me to explain.

First, let me tell you a little story. Throughout my life, I’ve had two obsessions, professional wrestling and horror movies. I’m not the only one with the twin addictions, there seems to be a lot of crossover between the two fandoms. I discovered wrestling when I was 7. I had to sneak to watch it. I was forbidden to do so because I would end up trying out moves on my little brothers. My wrestling fan stories are for another time and another place though. I discovered horror movies in my early teens. Then in 1995 I discovered ECW. It was more violent and bloody than mainstream wrestling, and I became a huge fan. While watching the likes of Terry Funk and Cactus Jack, I heard tales about matches that had participated in during their days in Japan. Matches involving barbed wire. Matches involving thumbtacks. Matches involving beds of nails, fire, and explosives. It was then that I discovered Japanese deathmatch wrestling. I was enthralled. It was the “best of both worlds.” Insane violence involving willing participants, all for the entertainment of the crowd. This is the ultimate form of entertainment. Some of these matches are just this side of throwing Christians to the lions. Ah, those wacky Japanese.

Then, in 1997, deathmatch tournaments made their way to America in promotions like XPW, CZW, and IWA-Mid South. Oh, I forgot to mention, these things are normally tournament style affairs., either taking place in one night or 2. I watched these matches on DVD and the internet, but they always took place somewhere like California or Philadelphia that I didn’t have the means to travel to. Then, in 2006, IWA Deep South’s Carnage Cup, an annual deathmatch tournament, started in Alabama. I didn’t discover it until 2008, and never got a chance to go until 2011. When I finally made the trek, and it was everything I’d dreamed it would be. I saw a man get stabbed. I saw a man almost get his ear ripped off. I got too close and was showered in glass and thumbtacks like it was a macabre f’n Gallagher concert. I watched people get assaulted with razor blades, needles, light tubes, barbed wire, and an amazing array of other weapons. Live, it’s a whole different experience. To watch someone’s flesh open up like that from mere feet away is a truly mesmerizing experience. Don’t give me that look. Most of you are just as sick as me. Here is the highlight reel from last year’s show.

One of the matches was a “Fans Bring the Weapons” match. I made a variety of items, and they were all used to cause tremendous pain and physical harm. To make a long story short, some of my weapons, particularly the barbed wire toilet seat, gained a little notoriety on the internet, and that has allowed me to live out the ultimate deathmatch fan’s dream come true. The 8th Annual Carnage cup is this weekend, and night one will feature a Nathan’s Sadistic Playground match. Yes, a match featuring all weapons designed and constructed by yours truly. I have been given carte blanche to bring to life perverse devices for two men to assault each other with. They gave me an excuse to be, and encouraged me to be, as sadistic as I can be. They just might regret doing that. Two men, Neil Diamond Cutter and American Kickboxer 2, will soon feel the wrath of the Son of Celluloid’s dark imagination.

If you follow my personal facebook page, you know I’ve been hard at work in the lab, creating some of the most brutal and psychotic weapons ever devised. I will be the architect of someone’s agony. That makes me way more excited than it probably should. I’ve come up with a grand total of 10 weapons. Some are small, hand held things. Some are large behemoths of torture. I’ve decided to give you guys a sneak peek at 5 of the weapons that will taste blood on Saturday…

  1. The Barbed Wire Toilet Seat

It was such a big hit last year that I had to do it again. It’s kinda become my trademark weapon.

  1. The Thumbtack Nunchucks

Ever stepped or sat on a thumbtack? Imagine someone swinging nunchucks covered in over a hundred of them at you full force.

  1. The Severed Leg

Your suffering will be LEG-endary, even in hell. Yeah, I know, that was bad. I got this around Halloween and thought “You know what, this needs to be covered in sharp shit and someone needs to get hit with it.” That would probably get me arrested, so I’ll let them do it for me.

4. The Fork Drill

Here’s some math for you. Mr. Pogo + Abdullah the Butcher divided by Nathan = FORK DRILL! What’s more fun than watching someone get stabbed with a fork? Watching someone get stabbed with a fork that’s spinning at over 1500 RPM!

5. The Cactus Flail

This one is brutal. After making this bad boy, it took me almost 2 hours to tweeze all the little needles out of myself, and I was fully covered and wearing gloves! The little ones hurt like a sonofabitch, so I thank my lucky stars that I didn’t run afoul of the big needles. I can’t imagine getting hit with this beast. This is the only weapon I might feel just a little bad about subjecting people to…NAH!

…and that’s the small stuff. They’re the lesser of the evils when compared to my take on the classic Roman Scourge, The Glass Ladder, and a couple of other surprises, including “The Deathbed.” It’s gonna be a massacre folks. The crazy part is, that’s only one of the matches. Listen to the names of some of the bouts going down…

- Barbed Wire Spider web/Circus net death match (The object, knock your opponent off of a scaffold onto a barbed wire net.)

- Carpet strip house of pain

- Deep Sea Death Match (We’re talkin’ fish hooks here folks!)

- Barbed Wire Massacre

- SAW Deathmatch (Inspired by the movie. They had one of these last year and it was insane!)

- Fans Brings the Weapons Deathmatch

- Pits of Hell, Barbed Wire Tables Deathmatch

- 250 Lightubes, No ropes Barbed Wire, 4 Corners of Carnage, 30 minutes Iron Man Deathmatch (!!!)

-and, of course, Nathan’s Sadistic Playground (The 10 most vile weapons I could come up with.)

You know you want to see this folks. The good news is, YOU CAN! Go to THIS PAGE for the details. It’s going down in Elkmont, Alabama Saturday and Sunday. If you are within driving distance and you miss this, you’ll never forgive yourself. There are people driving in from Philadelphia for the event, so anything less than 15 hours is considered reasonable driving distance. Shut up, it is too. Why do I do this, you may ask? Well, in addition to just enjoying the bloodshed, I have a dream. Sometimes, in a deathmatch, someone does something particularly twisted, and the crowd will chant "You sick f**k!" If one day I could make weapons disturbing enough to elicit my very own "You sick fuck" chant, I could die a happy man. Come out and experience the 8th annual IWA Deep South Carnage Cup. I’d love to see some of my Cellmates there. After all, it’s the bloodiest, most violent thing you will ever witness that you won’t have to testify about later. Nathan says check it out.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The winner of the Girls and Corpses Giveaway is...

Time to give away a copy of one of the most badass magazines on the planet. I'd like to send a special thanks to Robert "Corpsey" Rhine for giving me a copy to share with the Cellmates. Check the magazine out HERE. Trust me, you won't be disappointed. With a title like Girls and Corpses, how can you not be irresistibly drawn to it? The lucky winner of a signed copy of the Spring 2012 issue is...

Chris Striegel

Congratulations Chris. Thank you to everyone who entered, and keep your beady little eyes on Son of Celluloid. I've got a lot more giveaway madness coming up.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Review: Sloppy the Psychotic

For a variety of reasons, I did a really bad job of making it to movie screenings at Days of the Dead. I mean really bad. Maybe it was the booze, maybe it was drunken friends, maybe it was doing interviews, maybe it was all of the above, but I missed a lot of movies I wanted to see, including Sloppy the Psychotic. Luckily, Mike O'Mahony, the director, writer, producer, star, god only knows what else, was cool enough to hook me up with copies of Maniac Films’ two releases, Deadly Detour (which I will be reviewing in the near future) and Sloppy, to review. I’m glad he did too, because this flick is awesome. I knew absolutely nothing about it before hand, and it turned out to be everything I look for in a low budget horror flick. Pleasant surprises like this are why, no matter how many times I get burned by a great poster or synopsis for a crappy movie, I will always love indie horror.
This movie is the story of Mike. He lives at home with his parents. He drives a ridiculous looking car. None of that matters to Mike though, because he loves his job. Mike is a children’s birthday clown named Sloppy. One day, after a mix up over a girl’s clown drawing at a party, Mike gets fired. He goes into business for himself, and his string of bad luck continues when he ends up being humiliated at a pool party. With nothing left and his life in a shambles, Mike turns to the bottle. Bad things happen when Mike drinks. Really bad things. Sloppy the Clown becomes Sloppy the Psychotic, and no one in his path is having any more birthdays.
The movie looks damn good. In fact, it might have done a disservice to other movies. Far too often with low budget flicks, the most rudimentary of movie making skills can be too much to ask. Many a time I’ve seen bad lighting, crappy camera work, shoddy sound, or awful effects and thought “Well, it’s an indie horror flick, I’ll give it a break.” These guys know what they’re doing. It features some imaginative camera work in places, it’s edited well, and there are no sound issues. Hell, I feel weird even considering things like the camera being in focus and the action being well lit, but these are the kinds of things less competent indie filmmakers overlook. I’ve seen a lot of it recently. A disturbing amount. That’s why it’s nice to see a flick by a skilled filmmaker like Mike who seems to get how important the basics are. It reminded me that a low budget is not an excuse for bad filmmaking. Well done.
The acting is pretty good. Mike does an excellent job as Mike/Sloppy. There’s just enough psycho Sloppy bubbling below the surface of nice guy Mike and just enough of the broken Mike left in his psycho Sloppy to make it work. The supporting cast ranges from excellent (particularly Fred Ficke as the bum) to actually pretty bad from a couple of party (pool and birthday) attendees, but overall everyone is on point. The soundtrack is good, plus it’s used well in the movie. It’s mostly metal, ranging from some thrashy stuff to some that’s more grindcore-ish, and there’s a sufficiently creepy rendition of “pop goes the weasel” that will give the coulrophobes nightmares.
Now that the technical stuff is out of the way, let’s get to the stuff we watch these movies for…the carnage. Folks, this movie goes there. Yes, there. There are unwritten rules even in horror movies about what’s “off limits.” Well, this flick takes a long look at those lines, flips them off, and steps over them laughing like a maniac. Hell, then it turns around and snorts those lines. Age, gender, mental and physical capabilities, social class, good/bad, it doesn’t matter to Sloppy. He’s an equal opportunity destroyer. About the time you see a bum get drowned in a puddle of piss, you know it’s gonna be a wild ride. Candy cane ass to mouth impalement? Yep, it’s in there. We even get a brilliant climactic birthday massacre (not the shitty electro dance goth band) that will leave you slack jawed. It stays lighthearted and a little cheesy (the good kind of cheesy),but never strays into self-parody territory. The bloody and funny are in perfect balance. It’s a lot of fun watching just how far this movie will go. Then again, a couple of the places that it goes might freak some people out, maybe even offend those with more delicate sensibilities. If you’re one of those people, however, you probably don’t watch indie horror flicks, or read Son of Celluloid for that matter. The twisted ones among us will laugh their asses off at the taboo breaking violence. The gore effects, which O’Mahoney also did, look fantastic too. I was quite impressed, especially with a particularly meaty scene in the kitchen.
My only one issue, and it’s a small one, was with the ending. There is a final twist, which is handled very well. It’s subtly set up near the beginning, alluded to throughout the flick, and then left alone just long enough for us to kinda forget about it before the reveal. The twist works beautifully. M. Night Suckoff, take notes. Then, after the twist, there is a short scene. I would have cut the last shot out of the movie. It would have left things ambiguous, but I personally think it would have worked better. That’s just where I would have gone and, like I said, it’s my only small quibble with a killer flick.
I personally have never understood the whole “terrified of clowns” thing. They don’t freak me out, and I don’t get why they freak you out. Those of you who panic at the sight of red noses, big floppy shoes, and greasepaint, however, have a new painted face to fear. For the rest of us, we have a new psycho to cheer. Sloppy the Psychotic is everything you could ask for in a homegrown splatter flick and more. You will see things in this movie that you won’t see other filmmakers have the balls to do. It’s entertaining as all hell. Mike O’Mahoney, Erich Fricke (co-writer and actor), Rob Nawrocki (editor), and everyone else involved in the making of this flick are a bunch of sick, demented freaks, and I mean that in the most complimentary way possible. One and a half severed thumbs up. Nathan says check it out. Check out the facebook page HERE to find out where you can see it.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Dear God No Prop Giveaway Winners Are...

Well, folks, the big day is here. This incredible prize package is about to be given away. Before I announce the lucky bastard I’ll be reluctantly (‘cause I wanna keep it) sending all this cool swag out to, I have a couple of items of business to get to. First of all, read the contest directions guys. It said follow the blog, like the facebook, and leave a comment to be eligible. I was nice this time and threw everyone’s name into the cauldron anyway, but next time I ain’t gonna be so generous. I’m not a big proponent of reading the directions normally, but from here on out, if you haven’t at least liked the FB or followed the blog, you’re disqualified. Most rules are made to be broken, but not mine. Don’t be a Todd.
Now that that’s out of the way, I
have a very exciting announcement. If I’m not mistaken, I think I may be the first media outlet to break the news. SOC exclusive bitches! No, facebook isn’t a media outlet. Shut up. Anyway, you guys ready? Here goes…

Dear God No! is finally coming to Limited Edition DVD and 1080p HD Blu-ray June 5th! That’s right. Straight from the directors mouth. You’v
e heard the hype, now you can see it for yourself. It’s packed with special features too. Here are the details James Bickert told me to tell the Cellmates…
-Anamorphic Widescreen transfer from original Super 16mm film.
- Director & Composer commentary.

-Actor commentary.

-Behind the scenes gag reel.

-Vlog the Magnificent at the world Premiere.

-Torture Porn promo.

-Zombie Promo.
-Art & Still slideshow.

-Chapter menu.

-6 Easter Eggs!

Do you hear that? That’s the earth shaking! If you’re not ridiculously excited at this moment, check your pulse. Pre-order details haven’t been released
quite yet, so stay tuned to the DEAR GOD NO website and DEAR GOD NO FACEBOOK to find out how to get your grubby little mitts on a copy.
Ok, now it’s time for the big announcement. Who is taking home all of these actual screen used props from the flick?

The winner of the Dear God No Screen Used Prop Giveaway is (drumroll)…

Eric Martin

Congratulations Eric. He writes the Guts and Grog blog, which I highly recommend you go check out. I’m gonna be honest folks, I don’t play favorites and I love all of my Cellmates the same, but I was kinda hoping the drawing would go his way. I know he wanted it so bad he could freakin’ taste it. Way to go Groggy! I also drew 3 additional names, and these folks will be receiving a copy of the AWESOME poster featuring artwork by The Dude Design’s Tom Hodge. The posters go to…

Dr. Jimmy Terror (of Dr. Terror’s Blog of Horrors)
Jacob Klingele (of Toys Can’t Hurt You)
Rob Emery
(of the band Coffin Syrup)

Congratulations to all of the winners. I’ll be getting in touch with you in the next few days to get your info so I can send those prizes out. Thank you to all of you who entered. Spread the word, giveaway madness is continuing here at Son of Celluloid. I’ll be giving away a signed copy of Girls & Corpses magazine on Thursday, so get those last minute entries in HERE. I’ve also got a lot more cool stuff to give away in the next few weeks, so stay tuned and, like I said, spread the disease...I mean word.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Review: The FP

Ok folks, we’re going to do something a little different here at SOC. Today I’m going to give the horror a rest for a moment and review a comedy. Woah, woah, woah, calm down. No, the world isn’t ending yet. I just saw the funniest movie I’ve seen in ages and I wanna tell you about it. What? Yes this is still Nathan, mister “all horror all the time/picky as hell about his comedy.” I do watch other things occasionally you know. Anyway, The FP is…huh? Oh for the love of… look people, it’s got Roach from People Under the Stairs and freakin Chromeskull in it, ok? Can I continue now Cellmates? Thank you. Jeez people.

Anyway, The FP is the latest offering from Drafthouse Films. The story goes a little something like this; In a dysopian future, two rival gangs, the 248 (the good guys) and the 245 (the bad guys) are competing for control of The FP; aka Frazier Park. Battles of this magnitude can only be settled one way; a Beat Beat Revelation (think Dance Dance Revolution) match. When 248 hero BTRO dies during a match with the dastardly L Dubba E, leader of the 245, his little brother JTRO goes into exile and swears never to Beat again. One year later, JTRO is a lumberjack, but KCDC, his 245 homie and MC of the Beat matches, finds him and tells him that The FP is in dire straits since L Dubba E and the 245 seized control. L Dubba E has also seized JTRO’s main squeeze, Stacey. KCDC convinces him to train with Beat guru BLT to become the greatest Beat Beat NIGGA (Never Ignorant at Getting Goals Acomplished) who ever lived. Now Jtro must earn his shot at redemption in the form of a Beat Off against L Dubba E, with vengeance for his brother, Stacy, and control of the FP on the line.

First off, the flick looks great. It was reportedly made for less than $100,00, and the only way you can tell is by the relatively small scale of the sets. Much of that is due to the talents of the Trost family. Jason Trost, who plays JTRO, also co wrote and directed the movie with his brother Brandon Trost. Hey, wait a minute, I just noticed that the names of BTRO and his brother JTRO are shortened versions of the real life names of the directors. Huh. Anyway, having Brandon on board was a definite asset, as he is a talented cinematographer. You might know his work from Halloween 2. He also did Crank: High Voltage and the new Ghostrider flick. Don’t hold that against him though. The FP proves that he can shoot a movie beautifully when the director isn’t making him shake the camera like he’s got the dopesick twitches. Well, for the most part, but I’ll get into that later. Not enough credit can be given to their sister Sarah Trost, who designed the wardrobe. The insane outfits set the tone of the flick perfectly. Their dad, Ron Trost, even got in on the act as one of the executive producers and the special effects coordinator. I’ve seen films that cost millions that don’t have the production values these guys wrung out of $100,000. Proof once again that low budget is never an excuse for poor quality.

Second of all, The FP is fun as hell and freakin’ hilarious! Not only did I laugh through the entire movie, I laughed through the entire hour-long ride home. It’s comedy of the ridiculous and ironic. Everything is just so ludicrous that when it’s treated as normal it’s funny. A lot of the comedy also comes from its skewering/honoring/raping of the conventions of all of those 80’s underdog flicks. It has shades of First Blood, The Wizard, Kickboxer, Karate Kid, Rocky, Over the Top, and even 8 Mile. It’s a futuristic retro mashup with nonstop straight-faced goofiness done in a smart yet dumb way. Did that make any sense at all? Basically, if you find stuff like Robot Chicken amusing, you will dig this. I know I did.

With the absurd setting, dialog, costumes, and premise, this flick is in constant danger of tipping over the edge and becoming stupid. Wait…what the hell am I talking about? This movie is stupid. It’s nothing but stupid. The thing is, it’s played so completely straight that the stupidity is hilarious without becoming annoying. If it had done that wink-wink, elbow in the ribs, “see, that’s funny isn’t it?” crap that so many comedies these days are guilty of, it would have ruined any silly charm this flick has. It’s the earnestness of the story and the performances that sell it. The fact that all of the actors play it completely straight is the one thing that makes this movie work, and man does it work. Remember when I reviewed Hobo with a Shotgun and I said that the sincere seriousness and dedication to the premise with which Rutger Hauer delivered absolutely preposterous dialog held the movie together? It’s the same deal here. I give nothing but the utmost respect to the cast, because even though I like to fancy myself a pretty decent actor, I don’t know if I could have maintained a straight face while saying a lot of those lines. I can only imagine the delivery of a line like JTRO emotionally challenging L-Dubba-E to a “Beat off” took quite a few takes.

Speaking of the acting, the cast does a great job. Jason Trost is pitch perfect as the brooding, man of few words, man-on-a-mission underdog hero. Lee Valmassy is a riot as L Dubba E...wait, L Dubba E played by LEE, I see what they did there. Anywho, he’s got a great delivery, basically yelling every word he says. He’s one of the best “funny-idiotic thug” villains of all time. Caitlyn Foley is excellent as Stacy, JTRO’s love interest. She plays strung out but sweet well, and she looks a lot like a prettier Courtney Love. As good as those three leads are, in my opinion the movie belongs to two supporting players. Nick Principe, who you know as Chromeskull, plays BLT, JTRO’s Mr. Miagi. He’s reluctant and standoffish at first, more Senzo Tanaka from Bloodsport than Yoda. Eventually JTRO earns his respect, and he trains our hero in the art of Balance, Expeditiousness, Attitude, and Tempo (BEAT). It turns out Nick isn’t just good as a masked killer, he’s actually got some acting chops. No, nitpickers, I haven’t seen None Can Cool yet. Give me a break here. Anyway, he plays the wise tough-guy, which probably isn’t much of a stretch from some of his other roles, but the dude has serious screen presence and is dead on with the character. He also has some of the best lines in the flick. I interviewed him at Days of the Dead, and we talked about The FP, so watch for that video coming up on the blog. Yes, that was a shameless plug. The other true standout was Art Hsu as KCDC. He basically plays the role of Mekhi Phifer’s character in 8-Mile, the MC/hero’s homey, but far more entertaining. The funniest of the funny moments are his. The duck speech had me literally laughing until I cried, and he delivers my favorite rendition of the Star Spangled Banner EVER. This guy absolutely needs to do more comedy, as his timing is great. He acts as both sidekick and Greek chorus, and was probably the single most important performance as far as anchoring the movie. In a perfect world, it’s Best Supporting Actor nomination worthy work. Sean Whalen also has an awesome cameo, but I’m not saying anything more. It’s better when you don’t know its coming.

The dialog in this movie deserves special mention. I’ve subsequently added some lines from the flick to my regular rotation lexicon. It’s a hyper fast mix of pseudo gangsta slang, idiotic white kid gamer talk, creative, non-stop profanity, and sheer “what the hell did he just say” madness. I’d hate to be the guy trying to bleep this to show on TV. Lines like “Don’t let this shit put your brain on flips yo, you gotta think about Beat Beat like it’s the civil war. Four score and a couple years ago Ma and Pa fought for some serious shit, ya heard” are bound to be quoted for years to come. The amazing one-liners and wacky insults (did he just call him Clam Chowder?) come so fast that you’re never not laughing.

In fact, this movie is incredibly dense. Not in the sense that it’s dumb, but there is a lot going on. The laughs are tightly packed, the bizarre language is flying fast and furious, the sets are incredibly busy, and you spend a lot of the time playing spot the homage. You’ll notice nods to Commando, The Warriors, Rocky 3, Rambo, Blade Runner, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Mortal Kombat, Streets of Fire, and a whole lot of others. You also get carried away picking out the 80’s movie clich├ęs, like the training montages, shootouts with revolvers that seemingly have infinite ammo, and some of the most random gratuitous tits ever. I can’t wait until it comes out on DVD, because I have a feeling that repeated viewings will reveal things you didn’t have time to notice before. While this is partially a good thing in that the pace remains brisk and never really settles down for too long, at times it’s a little too fast. I’m sure there were great lines and funny background details that I completely missed because by the time you’re done laughing at one thing, three more have gone by. At times I wished they had slowed down a little bit, particularly the auctioneer level speed delivery of the lines. My only other issue with this film is the final confrontation between JTRO and L Dubba E. That had to be the worst 3rd person shaky cam I’ve seen since, well, Crank: High Voltage. Why did Brandon have to bring in the one worst thing he could have possibly picked up from working with Neveldine and Taylor? It doesn’t even remotely go with the action, it just looks like the cameraman hit an oil slick and was flailing. The rest of the movie looked so good, but this one scene looked damn awful.

There are so many other things I want to say about the movie, but I won’t spoil it. The FP is packed with enough great moments for multiple flicks. Oh. And the ending. The last scene of the flick fits the movie so well that it just couldn’t have ended any other way. In fact, every “prodigal underdog makes good” flick should end that way. The FP is downright sidesplitting. Its quirky humor is wielded skillfilly by the cast and filmmakers, and I can see this becoming a true cult classic. It sounds idiotic, but trust me, seeing is believing. Let me put it this way, I’ve told a lot of people about the movie, and they look at me like “You want me to watch WHAT?” Then I show them the first 10 minutes, and they change their tune to “Oh my god, I have to see it.” I’ll post those 10 glorious minutes at the end of the article. The FP is in limited release right now. If you find a screening near you, go. This is a movie that is meant to be experienced in a theater with preferably either a tipsy or stoned crowd. I anxiously await the inevitable midnight screenings. Two severed thumbs up. Nathan says check it out. Actually, in the vernacular of the movie, Nathan says ”Check a peep at this flick yo, no matter what smacks you upside the c**ksucker.”

Friday, March 23, 2012

Video: My interview with Sid Haig from Days of the Dead Atlanta.

I've finally got all of the camera connectivity issues solved, so its time to start sharing the interviews from Days of the Dead Atlanta. On Sunday, when everyone was half dead following the drunken debauchery of Friday and Saturday night, Leah and I set off to interview everyone we could, and we started off with a bang. I'm not easily starstruck, but I'll admit, I was a little nervous for my first celebrity interview on camera to be with one of my idols, the one and only muthaf'n Sid Haig! He was really cool though. People kept running into my camerawoman, someone kept screwing around with the lights, everyone was hungover, but it was one of the greatest moments of my life. We chatted for almost 15 minutes about his career, his characters, and his upcoming flicks. They say you never forget your first time, and I know I certainly won't. Hell, it's on youtube if I do. Check it out...

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Review: Where the Dead Go to Die

I’ve said for many years that there was a lot of potential in the world of animated horror, but that no one had done it right yet. Anything is possible with animation, and you can go places and do things you couldn’t in a live action movie. What? What the hell did you just say to me? Oh for the love of…shut up about your beloved anime! Why can I never talk about animated horror without someone bringing anime up? Jeez. Ok, Vampire Hunter D had its moments. That’s about all you anime freaks are gonna get out of me. Maybe a little Wicked City. Anyway, what I’ve always held up as the best animated horror ever created was the B-17 segment of Heavy Metal. It had the atmosphere, but it didn’t go far enough and it was too short. I’ve seen some good stuff over the years like City of Rott or El Superbeasto, but that was horror comedy. Peurs Du Noir was cool, but lacked punch. I wanted a real, visceral, dark animated flick with that authentic horror atmosphere. I wanted something more extreme. Animation would seem to lend itself naturally to extreme horror as there are no limitations. Well folks, I can finally say that I have seen a film that serves up exactly what I’ve always wanted from an animated horror flick. Where the Dead Go to Die is trippy, demented, gory, and downright brilliant.

The movie was made by musician/filmmaker Jimmy Sceamerclauz. I say he made it because the voice acting is about the only thing he didn’t do himself here. This is his sick baby. To get academic for a moment, Where the Dead Go to Die is probably the best argument for “auteur film theory” I’ve seen in a long time. It is one man’s vision, and it is completely unlike anything else I’ve ever seen. The name of Screamerclauz is not unknown to me. As those of you who know me in real life already know all too well, every year I make twisted and inappropriate XXX-mas CD’s as gifts for my friends. A couple of years back, Screamerclauz’s AMAZING rendition of the 12 Days of Axe-mess was on it and has become a perennial holiday favorite of mine. I’m not familiar with most of his other work, as speed/noise-core isn’t my thing, but when I saw that this was his flick I was very intrigued.

I don’t want to give away any more of what happens than necessary, so I’ll just go with the “back of the box” synopsis: “Where the Dead Go To Die revolves around a troubled group of children living on the same block. They are haunted by a talking dog named Labby who brings them on surreal hell-rides between different dimensions and time periods. On the night of a lunar eclipse he informs Tommy about the devil fetus living inside his mother. The same night he attempts to help Ralph court the girl across the street, who is an unwilling participant in her father's child porn tape trading ring. Add in a memory stealing junkie living inside an abandoned church and you have 90 minutes of pure mind melting insanity.”

Let me tell you Cellmates, that synopsis doesn’t do the flick justice at all. While the movie is split into three parts, as it was originally three short films, they flow together well and the transitions don’t feel disjointed at all. The first one, Tainted Milk, involves Labby telling Tommy about the demon child in his mother’s womb. Some of the stuff that goes on in this opening segment puts stuff like Serbian Film and Salo to shame. The fact that a lot of the sex and violence involves children adds a whole new dimension of depravity. The second segment, Liquid Memories, delivers quite possibly the most hallucinogenic visuals I’ve ever seen. The story of the serial killing memory junkie wraps and weaves around these visual manifestations of insanity until your mind gives up on trying to make sense of it and agrees to just go along for the ride. The Masks That the Monsters Wear, the final segment, continues with the surreal hellishness and graphic atrocities of the first two, but adds in a completely unexpected element, an engrossing story with empathetic characters and genuinely emotionally effecting scenes. The story of sexual abuse, physical deformity, and the hopeful helplessness of youth manages to be heartbreaking, fascinating, and absolutely riveting. The overall tone of the movie is hard to nail down. The over the top sickness, pervasive sadness of some scenes, threads of pitch black comedy, and the “whoa, that was cool” aspect blend to keep the tone of the film constantly in flux and keep the viewer from ever really knowing what to make of it. In other words, you don’t so much watch this flick as you experience it.

A lot of “mind f**k” style movies tend to rely on either bizarre visuals or a sick story for their power. This movie perfectly melds both. Neither is in service of the other, they work in tandem. The word “nightmarish” is thrown around a lot in the horror world, but this might be the best cinematic representation of a nightmare ever made. You have the feeling of being in an otherworldly place that you have no control over. It’s that feeling that anything can happen in that place, and you don’t know what rules apply. Everything seems not quite real, but real enough to hurt. It’s all intriguing, vivid, and strangely beautiful, but the loss of control and macabre nature of these visions threaten to make them turn on you any minute. After the film, you have the feeling of waking up from a nightmare that you remember in every detail; a combination of “what the hell was that,” “what does it mean,” and “holy mother of shit, that was intense.” It’s either a nightmare or a really strong trip that’s constantly on the edge of turning bad.

A couple of other reviewers have taken aim at the animation style, pointing out clipping and synching issues and calling it “amateur” and “glitchy.” You know what? They’re right. What they’re dead wrong about is thinking that the animation is a detriment to the movie. In fact, it works to the flick’s advantage. It’s a very unique style. Just like the movie itself is an amalgam of the profound and the perverse, visually the movie is primitive and picturesque at the same time. The computer animation itself sometimes reminds me of lesser examples of early PC or Playstation 1 era video games. Nevertheless, the lushness of the colors, the sheer freakishness of what we’re seeing, and the knack Jimmy has for shot composition all come together to create an enthralling world for the film to take place in. Sometimes there are issues with objects passing through other objects when they shouldn’t. Sometimes hair or clothing or liquids just don’t move the way they’re supposed to. Yes it’s jarring and doesn’t look right, but I think this actually adds to the other-worldliness of the film and ends up being an asset. Had this movie had Pixar level animation quality and Hollywood polish, it would have lost its unique edge and that nightmarish quality would have been ruined. On a technical level, the only thing I didn’t dig was that the characters voices were very low in the audio mix at times. With the exception of Labby, who always whispers, I’m not sure if the low voices were an artistic choice or not, but I found straining to catch what they were saying distracting and aggravating at times.

As usual, Unearthed Films brought the awesome as far as special features go. There’s an audio commentary with Jimmy Screamerclauz where he discusses pot cookies, how he was learning to animate as the movie went on and, most interestingly, how he originally envisioned the film as a comedy. He also says that for a lot of the film he didn’t have anything deep in mind, he just wanted it to be weird. If that’s true, then his mind truly works in wondrously mysterious ways. In addition to the commentary, there’s a featurette showing them doing motion capture with an X-box Kinect, a featurette showing the recording of the voices for Liquid Memories (including a great conversation with Linnea Quigley about selling toenail clippings on ebay), an additional short called “Ice Cream Sunday,” deleted scenes, trailers, and more goodies that I have yet to delve into. I’m always impressed at the amount of TLC that Unearthed gives to these underground and obscure flicks. No barebones release here. It’s currently available HERE in a numbered limited edition DVD, Blu-ray, or VHS. Yes, I said VHS. How cool is that?

Random Thought 1: My mom has a black Labrador that looks just like Labby. Now when he sits, pants, and looks at me, I get a little creeped out.

Random Thought 2: Joe was kinda pissed that I didn’t save this one for EC3.

Random Thought 3: I have a feeling that if this film had come out during my acid days, it REALLY would have messed with my head.

Where the Dead Go to Die is a movie that walks that fine line between the gorgeous and the grotesque. This flick will make you recoil, make you think, make you feel…and might make you vomit. At times it reminded me of a mix of Fantastic Planet, Cannibal Holocaust, Holy Mountain, Peanuts, Gozu, and a 90’s Tool video. It’s also the most original piece of film I’ve seen in a long long time. This is not for everyone. If your tastes run more towards the mainstream, this might be too much. If you need big budget gloss on your flicks, you probably won’t like it. If, however, you are the type that appreciates eccentric artistry and strange, unique, beautifully made, effectively realized, and challenging movie fringe experiences, I can’t recommend this highly enough. I’ve watched it about 5 times in the last week, and it still blows my nearly unblowable mind every time. I'll post a trailer to it below. You'll be able to tell if it's something you'd be into. Warning, the trailer is NSFW. Hell, it's probably not safe for human consumption. The top of the 2012 class so far. Two severed thumbs up. Nathan says check it out.

Where The Dead Go To Die Trailer from screamerclauz on Vimeo.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Dear God NO! Screen used prop contest extended one week!

Alright folks, today was supposed to be the big day when I would announce the winner of the Dear God No prop giveaway. That’s not happening. Why? Because I’m extending the contest until next week, that’s why! First of all, let’s go back over these killer prizes. Here's what we've got...

If you read my interview with Bickert (HERE) ...what am I talking about? OF COURSE you read it. In that case you remember us talking about the hilarious homages to his favorite filmmakers throughout the film. Well, you can now own some of them. In the "bait shop scene," Quint's Hushpuppy mix, Jess Franc-O's, and Uncle Bruno's Country Style Peas & A.I.D.S. can be seen stocking the shelves.

Later, Dr. Marco's daughter brings the Impalers wine spiked with...well, you'll have to see the flick to see what wicked concoction she serves. All you need to know is that when you want to serve the bikers murdering and raping your family the very best, you serve deOssario. 1918 to be exact. A great vintage. Well, here's one of the bottles that appeared in the flick. Don't worry, it's empty. No bigfoot juice. Just "La noche del terror" goodness.

In addition to one of each of these kick ass rare and highly sought after collectibles, the winner will also receive a copy of the insanely awesome poster featuring art by the insanely awesome Tom Hodge. That's it at the top of the post. That pic is the censored version, the poster I send out will be the original nipple baring version. It will even be autographed by the director. If I'm feeling generous, I might pick a couple of runners up to give posters to.

It’s easy as hell to enter too. All you have to do is…

1. If you haven't already, become a follower of the blog.

2. If you haven't already, go HERE and like the facebook page.
3. Leave a comment either on this post or the original contest post HERE (If you already did it there, don't bother doing it here. Once is enough.) with your name, email, and the answer to this question: All of these items are references to a film or filmmaker. Tell me what/who at least one of the items is a reference to.

See, it's that easy. The winner will be chosen at random on March 27. That’s next Tuesday folks. So why did I decide to extend the contest? Well, the last couple of weeks have been very busy and I haven’t had the time to promote this thing like it deserves. If someone missed out on the chance at a prize THAT epic because they didn’t know about the contest I could never forgive myself. That, dear Cellmates, is where you come in.

Tell your friends, family, loved ones, acquaintances, readers, co-workers, and enemies about the contest. If a cop pulls you over, make sure he knows. When you go to put that dollar in that stripper’s g-string, tell her about it. That annoying lady with the thousand coupons in line at the grocery store? Tell her. Actually, scream it at her at the top of your voice. You’ll feel better. Call your mom and tell her. I’m sure she’d love to hear from you. Telemarketers, Jehovah Witnesses, the mailman, hell, tell EVERYBODY. In particular, post on facebook/twitter/your blog about it. Why should you do that? Well, if you don’t then you obviously don’t care about your fellow man. That means you’re a sucky friend. Nobody wants to be known as a sucky friend. In fact, you’re probably lousy in bed too. That’s right, I said it. If you don’t tell everyone you know about this contest, you’re most likely lousy in bed. If someone comes up to me in the future and asks why they never got the chance to win awesome Dear God No props, I’ll tell them it was your fault for not telling them. Then they’ll say “(YOUR NAME HERE)? I know him/her. He/she’s a sucky friend. I hear they’re lousy in bed too.” That will be your legacy, all because you didn’t spread the word. You don’t want that, now do you? Of course not. Now go spread the word, enter the contest, and good luck.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Win a signed copy of Girls & Corpses Magazine

If you're a bit sick and twisted like me, and let's face it, if you're here reading this you probably are, then a title like Girls & Corpses will definitely pique your interest. I had heard the name, seen Robert "Corpsey" Rhine's posts all over facebook, and seen it called the world's most bizarre (, ridiculous (Huffington Post), and stolen (Like it or Lump it TV) magazine. Needless to say, I was intrigued, but I didn't get a chance to check the mag out until this weekend at Days of the Dead. I finally got to peruse the current issue and it's truly awesome. The best part is, Corpsey and I both know that the Cellmates are gonna want to check it out to, so he was cool enough to hook me up with a signed copy of the Spring Issue of Girls and Corpses to give away to one of you lucky devils. See, here it is...

I love this magazine. I mean hell, what's not to love about pictures of beautiful women posing with dessicated cadavers? That's not all though, in this issue they've got...
- articles exploring the death of Poe and the NJ Zombie Walk

- Interviews with horrorcore rapper Necro, embalming hottie Rose Arkham, incredibly talented painter of nubile young women Ben Newman, zombie researcher Matt Mogk, and Blake Anderson from Comedy Central's Workaholics

- the killer cemetery photography of Sid Graves

- comics that are actually funny

- video game reviews

- looks at films like Summer of Massacre, Night of the Living Dead 3D: Re-Animation, and The Dead Want Women

- and a whole lot more

So by now you're chomping at the bit saying "Nathan, what do I have to do to win this?" Well, it's simple, leave me a comment below with your name and email address (no comment no entry) and do one of the following things...
1. Become a follower of the blog.

2. Click HERE and go like the facebook page.

Do one of those things and you'll be entered in the drawing once. Do both and you're entered in the drawing twice. If you've already done them, just tell me in the comment. It's that simple. Just don't forget to leave a comment. I'll randomly select a winner on Thursday, March 29. That's just under two weeks, so hurry up and enter folks! Also, go check out Girls & Corpses website HERE, meet up with the crew at Mad Monster Party in Charlotte March 23-25, and stay tuned to their facebook page for updates on where they'll show up next. Leave those comments and good luck folks.

How I Lost My Horror Convention Virginity: Thoughts on Days of the Dead Atlanta

This past weekend was an awakening for the Son of Celluloid. Ever since I was just a budding horror geek, a geeklet if you will, I had heard of a magical place where the horror geeks run free among their own kind. A place where the stars we’ve only seen on the bloody screen become real people that exist on the same plane as the fans. A place where everything you could ever want to buy is available. A place where drunken ramblings and impassioned debates about the most obscure b movies are the norm. Basically, there existed a natural habitat for me and the rest of the gorehounds; a place known as a horror convention. I had seen them advertised and seen glimpses of them on the Fangoria Weekend of Horrors video from long ago, but I had never experienced it. This weekend Days of the Dead finally brought a horror con to Atlanta (well, Peachtree City if you want to get technical about it), and let me tell you folks, it was everything I had dreamed it would be. Paradise really does exist. If you’ve never been to one of these, trust me, you have to.

I warn you, some of my recollections are pretty fuzzy, as there was a LOT of drinking going on, and I’m not going to bore you with my entire itinerary, but here are some of the highlights and random cool memories and thoughts…

-On the way to the room from checking in I ran into Amelia Kincaid from Night of the Demons and chatted with her for a few minutes. She was really cool, even though she kinda blew me off for an interview later in the weekend. That's ok, she was busy and I still love me some Angela.

-The weekend really got off to a killer start on Thursday night when First Jason, fronted by Ari Lehman, played at the pre-party. I’ve never seen someone shred like that on a keytar before. Well, it’s not actually a keytar, it’s a keyboard mounted on a giant machete. They played songs like “Jason is Watching” “Living Hell,” “Jason Never Dies,” and ended with a cool Edgar Allan Poe piece. After the show, I ended up out back getting stoned with a boy in a lake and a boy with a doll (I’ll let you figure that one out). Now THAT’S how you kick off a party!

-The weekend was all about networking and I made some great connections. I converted some new Cellmates and discovered that I already have a lot more Cellmates than I would have imagined. The filmmakers in attendance gave me some cool flicks I’ll be reviewing soon. I was also given some great items to give to you, so there will be giveaways galore coming up. I’d like to especially thank Stephen Biro of Unearthed Films. He hooked me up with some awesome DVDs and a copy of his book, Hellucination. It sounds intriguing as hell and it will be SOC’s first book review. Go check out THE UNEARTHED FILMS WEBSITE and peruse all of the cool stuff they have to offer. You won’t be disappointed.

-It seemed that every other time I stepped outside for a smoke, Laurence Harvey from Human Centipede 2 was out there too. He’s a great guy, and absolutely NOTHING like you might expect him to be. Someone else I kept running into out there was Neal and Troy from Without Your Head/In Your Head radio. I’ve been listening to both of those shows for a long time, and it was cool talking to those guys in person. Although, that footage Neal showed me was sorta disturbing…

-When I first got my press pass, the one thing I told everyone is that my main goal of the weekend was to interview Sid Haig. I’ve been going on about that for months. Well folks, I managed to do it. My first huge celebrity interview EVER was Captain Spaulding himself (no offense to anyone I've interviewed before). It was Sunday morning, we were both exhausted, hung over, and barely functioning, the lights kept going out, and people kept bumping into my camera woman, but I got my Sid Haig interview dammit. It’ll be on youtube as soon as I work out a couple of camera issues.

- I also interviewed Laurence Harvey, Mark Patton, Taaffe O’Connell, Nick Principe, and Sean Whalen. Everyone was cool as hell and very down to earth.

- I got my old, beat to hell, been-watched-god-knows-how-many-times VHS copy of Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowlorama signed by Linnea Quigley. She was very sweet. Another dream come true meeting.

- While I never support heckling at comedy shows, especially if you're hammered, Daniel (of EC3 fame) did get Rowdy Roddy Piper to say his classic line "It's always been my ass" from Immortal Combat. Yet another classic moment.

- The panels were great. I enjoyed the Scream Queens panel (What was the question?) and the Sid Haig/Bill Moseley panel (especially Sid’s story about being forced to drink blood laced with hallucinogens in a headhunter village in the Philippines), but my favorite had to be the Men Behind the Mask. These guys were funny as hell. Here’s a video of almost the entire panel. What you won’t see is at the end when I asked Tyler Mane what the craziest thing he saw backstage in WCW was. He sat for a full minute in stunned silence before turning backwards and saying “Tyler Mane isn’t here any more.” It was hilarious.

- At night, the whole thing becomes a killer party. Drunken madness reigns supreme. Imagine the biggest, craziest party you’ve ever gone to. Now imagine that everyone there is a horror freak, half of them in costume. Words can’t do it justice; you just have to be there.

- The Dear God No screening was packed and raucous as expected.

- PJ Soles is a sweet lady, but she kinda looked terrified when Nicole and I charged drunkenly (yeah, that’s an understatement) at her in the hallway screaming “PJ!”

- Um, what were the Trekkie, Stormtrooper, & Darth Vader cosplayers and a Steampunk booth doing at a horror con? Eh, whatever.

- I only had 30 bucks for merchandise, but I managed to get a Hellraiser puzzle cube, a Gold Key Boris Karloff’s Tales of Mystery comic from 1968, a piece of the chapel from Night of the Living Dead, and a cool Bates Motel keychain. Score! My dream item: an autograph dealer had Vincent Price’s signature for $175.

- Did I mention that the stack of screeners I walked away with is absolutely sick?

- The favored past time of the weekend quickly became trading stories about your encounters with the one and only Gary Busey. That's Daniel with his Buseyness. People asked me about this story a few times at the Splatter Cinema screening of The Beyond last night, so here it is once and for all; my Gary Busey story. On Friday, while my friends were getting their pictures with Sir Psycho of Busey, I pointed to his 8x10s and this exchange took place…

Me: “You ought to have a picture of you and that bad ass truck you drove in Succubus: Hell Bent.”

GB: “ I wasn’t in that picture.”

Me: “Sure you were. Remember, you played the Sentinel and you had that truck with the skulls…

GB: “No. That wasn’t me.”

Me: “I watched it three days ago.”

GD: (Glaring with the Busey death stare) “I’ll take your word for it.”

I decided at that point that I’d leave it alone and walk away. Also, in the dealer’s room we saw a guy selling some really cool knives he had made from railroad spikes. That will be important later. Anyway, I had just gotten my Linnea autograph and was taking it up to the room. When the elevator opened, there stood Gary Busey, holding one of the railroad spike knives. After a moment of debate, I entered the elevator with a knife wielding Gary Busey. I only had two floors to go. He turned his head and looked at me and our eyes locked. Now, I’ve always wondered if the whole “crazy” thing was an act that he played up for TV. I can say with the utmost certainty that it isn’t an act. In that moment when I looked into the eyes of Busey, I saw true madness. That man is off his damn rocker. He stared at me for a long moment, knife still clutched in hand, until the door opened. I, hoping he hadn’t remembered me, said “have a nice night Mr. Busey” and walked away. He just gave the slightest nod and silently watched me exit the elevator. Then the door closed and he was gone. It was by far the creepiest thing I’ve ever seen. I had to have momentarily stepped into a movie, or maybe the Twilight Zone, as that was just too perfectly random to have happened in real life. I went back to the room, took a big shot of whiskey, and considered just how close to death I may have just been.

In other words, Days of the Dead Atlanta was the time of my life. Considering this was my first horror con, I really don’t have a frame of reference, but from what the vets I talked to told me, Days of the Dead was one of the best. I enjoyed it more than DragonCon, which is the closest thing I’ve experienced. If you’ve never been to one of these, you absolutely must see it for yourself. If you’ve been doing it for years, then you know what I’m talking about. I’d like to officially thank Adolfo and the rest of the staff for putting on a great show and allowing me to cover it. I’d also like to thank Leah, my personal assistant/camera woman/brain for the weekend. That's her with Sid Haig. Without her following me around with that ever present notebook, my drunken schmoozing would have been lost in the ether and no progress would have been made. I seriously owe you. Well Cellmates, there you have it, the story of when I lost my horror con virginity; which is an apt analogy because I’ll never forget my first time and now I’m obsessed with finding a way to do it as often as possible. Next year it will be March 1-3 at the Downtown Atlanta Sheraton. Trust me, you don’t want to miss it.

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