Welcome and, yes, we are still under construction.

This stemmed from the ideas of life imitating art imitating life (yes, a deep dive into the Scream franchise will be happening).

This is just the beginning of many ideas coming to life, many movies about to be discussed, and plenty of history and even some conspiracies.

At times, I will feature interviews from fellow creators, from podcast hosts to haunted attraction actors. Be sure to check those out and check out the podcasts tab here to listen to podcast episodes I’ve been featured on.

Be ready for zombies, slashers, serial killers, urban legends, killer clowns, music, just to name a few of the topics that will come up.

REVIEW: Werewolves Within- Cue Savage Garden!

“There are three ways to ultimate success: The first way is to be kind. The second way is to be kind. The third way is to be kind.”

Mr. Rogers

If you’re like me, you’ve never played the video game Werewolves Within but I’m confident that those who played the game and those that haven’t will have fun with this adaptation.

Believe the hype.

Directed by Scare Me’s Josh Ruben and written by Mishna Wolff, Werewolves Within features plenty of finger-pointing and incredibly clever writing that keeps you wondering up until the satisfactory final reveal. 

Plot Summary:

Newly re-assigned forest ranger Finn (Sam Richardson) tries to keep the peace and protect a small town from a mysterious beast that hides in plain sight among them. 

The grand ensemble cast also features Milana Vayntrub as Cecily, Catherine Curtain as Jeanine Sherman, Wayne Duvall as Sam Parker, Rebecca Henderson as Dr. Ellis, Cheyenne Jackson as Devon, and Harvey Guillén as Joaqium. 

If we got Clue cards for each character that would also be rad. 

Now, I’m a sucker for a good needle drop. As soon as Finn pointed out that the jukebox had “a lot of 90’s music”, I knew that whatever was coming was gonna be good. The score by Anna Drubich cannot be forgotten because it fits the environment and the points of tension ever so well. 

Werewolves Within pairs like wine and cheese with Wolf of Snow Hollow. Hell, get the whole charcuterie board and watch Knives Out or Clue, too.  

Content warning: the dog does die (out of frame)

Werewolves Within is now streaming VOD and you can bet your bottom I’ll be buying a physical copy once it gets released. 

Time To Be Perfectly Queer About The Horror Genre

As Pride month comes to an end and corporations wash out their temporary rainbow social media profile pictures, it’s important to remember that queer and trans people are still here for the other eleven months out of the year. Queer and trans podcasters are still going to be releasing and recording episodes. Queer and trans creators and writers are still going to be making movies and writing essays and articles. 

Earlier this month, I wrote a listicle entitled A Dimension of Sight, Sound, Mind, and Gender and Sexual Identity: LGBTQ+ Stories Inside The Twilight Zone where I listed off the episodes of Rod Serling’s classic sci-fi series The Twilight Zone that I felt reflected the queer or trans experience in some ways. It wasn’t a super long list but I felt the episodes included fit the criteria I was working with and it was fitting for it being Pride month. Through sharing it on social media, someone commented that it was good but they felt that I was “reaching” at points to make the episodes fit LGBTQ+ stories. Ignoring the fact that I had included links within the list where I could to provide further backing to the reasoning, I also let out a sigh and thought to myself, “You’re a cis straight dude for sure, aren’t ya?” It was a subtle backhand to invalidate the queer and trans experiences of horror and sci-fi fans and really the entire LGBTQ+ community in general. 

If you watch a movie or read a book and look at a character or a situation and find yourself as a queer or trans person relating to said character or situation or reading it a certain way then it’s queer or trans now. That’s it. That’s all it takes.

Claim them. 

They are your’s.

You’re not “reaching”. 

Some horror and sci-fi stories are more explicit about it, citing Brad Michael Elmore’s Bit and Don Mancini’s Chucky movies, while others are less direct but the stories are all around us. Queerness is engraved into the history of the genre. And this is me stopping myself before I write a college-level essay on the history of Frankenstein from Mary Shelley to James Whale. While we’re at it, ALL of the Universal Monster movies are queer or trans somehow. 

You think half of the punks in Return Of The Living Dead are pan? Then they are. Do you feel that Sidney Prescott or Laurie Strode could be ace? Then they very well could be. Most any werewolf story already reads as a trans allegory but do you feel that Ginger Fitzgerald was also bisexual? Well, she probably was. All of the werewolves in Trick ‘r Treat were definitely bi or pan or lesbians.  

Coming up soon, I’m going to be contributing to two horror essay anthology books, one of which specifically focuses on the connection between horror movies and the trans experience. My initial pitch was turned down because someone else had beaten me to the idea; not because it wasn’t trans enough. Not being queer enough or not being trans enough is not a thing. It is a toxic thing that your brain can tell you when you find yourself comparing yourself to others (hey, I’m guilty of it, too) but it’s not an actual thing. It’s especially easy to get knocked down by people who look at male/female or “straight passing” relationships and instantly shut them down as “not queer enough”.

There’s no bar you need to reach to be a valid queer or trans person or be a part of the community. You don’t need to explain your feelings to those who just shoot you down with ignorance. Just watch some horror movies and absorb the feelings and experiences and watch the blood and guts fly.

A Dimension of Sight, Sound, Mind, and Gender and Sexual Identity: LGBTQ+ Stories Inside The Twilight Zone

(Eye of the Beholder Photo courtesy of IMDb)

I’ll admit I was tardy to The Twilight Zone party but losing my job due to the pandemic led to it becoming one of my most-watched shows during the shutdown. I believe it’s still streaming as I’m typing this but I ended up buying the complete original series on DVD so I’d have it for good then. 

The classic science-fiction show ran from 1959-64 over five seasons. It was created and hosted by Army veteran/writer/actor Rod Serling. The Twilight Zone tackled subjects such as racism, beauty standards, and war with a degree of subtlety that ranged from minimal to non-existent. 

Before Serling created the classic show, he was working as a freelance script writer for radio plays and television shows and, even though he was a freelancer, he was still facing criticisms from studios about how direct some of his stories were and corporate censors came in to water down his stories. One such story was Noon On Doomsday where a Jewish pawnbroker is lynched in the southern States. During a radio interview, Serling stated that the story was based on the events that lead up to the lynching of Emmett Till and the network censors came down on him and forced the setting of the story to be changed to the New England area and the victim to be an “unknown foreigner”. A couple of years later, Serling wrote another story based on the Till lynching and CBS still made him alter his story and it made it set a century in the past and removed the racial dynamics of the story. 

Getting frustrated with censors constantly cutting his stories down and political statements and ethnic identities getting washed out, Serling decided to create his own show. Serling believed that using thematic sci-fi and even some elements of fantasy, the stories would make it past network sponsors and censors, no matter how blunt the story was or not. Serling wrote/co-wrote 92 episodes of The Twilight Zone, many times pulling from his own life experiences, but he entrusted sci-fi writers Richard Matherson and Charles Beaumont frequently to write episodes for the show, as well. 

With The Twilight Zone taking the more sci-fi approach, it also leaves the stories and ideas more open to the interpretation of the viewers. 

For this discussion/list, we’ll only be looking at episodes from the original run of the show. When it ended in 1964, the Stonewall Riots were still five years away and Harvey Milk was thirteen years away from being the first openly gay elected official in California. 

Eye of the Beholder (season 2, episode 6) written by Rod Serling

I caught this episode one morning on tv and it’s the spark behind this list. 

The master class in blocking and lighting leading up to the big reveal of the nurses and doctors with faces that resemble pig snouts helped to make this one of the most popular and memorable episodes of the show. 

The episode tells the story of Miss Janet Tyler, as she waits to remove the gauze covering her face after her ninth surgery in an attempt to make her look “normal”. Through tears, she pleads with the surgeon that she never wanted to be a picturesque beauty but she just, “wanted people not to scream when they looked at me”.

Gender dysphoria can affect those are trans or nonbinary and body dysmorphia can affect anyone, especially those in the LGBTQ+ community. As open minded as many people in the community may be, there’s still some who hold beauty standards for “cis white gay men” or “passing” trans people. 

The backdrop of this episode is very 1984 with the standards of beauty being set by the state and the Leader (“Big Brother”). As the surgeon begins to question what he’s been doing, asking the nurse, “Why shouldn’t people be allowed to be different?” she shushes him and he’s simply reminded of, “treason”.

If the surgery fails Janet, yet again, the surgeon tells her of a place where those who are “different” are sent to be congregated and she defiantly shouts, “Congregated? You mean segregated.” She might as well have had a pink triangle on her hospital gown or been locked inside of a room as part of conversion therapy.

The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street (season 1, episode 22) written by Serling and Will The Real Martian Please Stand Up? (season 2, episode 28) written by Serling 

I’m pairing these two together because at their core they are very much the same and, thus, very much the same story of the public trans experience. Both are stories of humans vs unseen “monsters” or aliens. Both can be seen when legislation came about that limited bathroom access for trans individuals. 

The transgender bathroom access discussion became a national debate when North Carolina prohibited people from using the bathrooms that matched their identity, rather forcing people to use the bathrooms with their assigned sex at birth. What followed was hysteria and violence aimed at people who were trans and nonbinary who may or may not have been using the “correct” bathroom either in schools or other public places. 

During Will The Real Martian Please Stand Up? as their eyes circle the diner, trying to decide who might be the alien, one man comments, “we’re all kids in a closet here,” And isn’t it ironic, don’t ya think? Everyone has their turn taking the brunt of the suspicion over these two episodes, being suspicious of the “oddball” ones, the quiet neighbor, or the eccentric old man. People can be suspicious of the woman with the deeper voice and stubble on her chin and it can lead to someone’s death. 

At the end of Will The Real Martian Please Stand Up? it’s revealed that there were really two aliens in the diner; not just one. One of the aliens hails from Mars, the other Venus. Looking at solar system symbols, the Venus symbol is the female symbol we see and the Mars symbol is the symbol for males. While it was common for sci-fi stories of the 1950s to talk about “invaders from Mars”, it’s quite the tale of Mars and Venus coming together when people become paranoid about the gender expressions of those around them. 

As we hit the climax of The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street, Charlie panics and shoots at a figure walking towards them, killing it. Turns out, it was Pete van Horn, the neighbor who went over to the next block to see if the strange happenings were going on over there, too. He pleads his case, ”how was I supposed to know he wasn’t a monster or something?” as he was defending himself. The gay/LGBTQ+ “panic” defense is a way to bolster a defense strategy in assault, manslaughter, or murder cases that, “asks a jury to find that a victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity/expression is to blame for a defendant’s violent reaction”.

The defense strategy has been banned in sixteen states, including the District of Columbia, with legislation to ban the bullshit defense having been introduced in ten more states but not passed at the time of this article. 

Serling’s closing monologue for The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street is really the blanket monologue for this list. It reads as such, 

“The tools of conquest do not necessarily come with bombs and explosions and fallout. There are weapons that are simply thoughts, attitudes, prejudices, to be found only in the minds of men. For the record, prejudices can kill and suspicion can destroy and a thoughtless, frightened search for a scapegoat has a fallout all of its own for the children and the children yet unborn. And the pity of it is that these things cannot be confined to the Twilight Zone.”

A Piano In The House (season 3, episode 22) written by Earl Hamner Jr. 

For the birthday of his young girlfriend, rich and arrogant Fitzgerald buys a player piano. He doesn’t know when he buys it, but the tunes the piano plays reveal peoples’ “true souls”. Once he realizes that people are very “susceptible to the power of music” when it plays, he lets the power of the knowledge go to his head to try and get people to be truthful about feelings that they may have been hiding. 

One party guest, Marge, a robust woman, reveals an alternate side to her named Tina who enjoys dancing and that she also finds herself a fair, slender, and lovely snowflake. After the piano stops, and the laughter at Marge’s expense stops, Fitzgerald admits he picked her because she’d be the butt of the joke, a spot that many fat people, LGBTQ+ people, and especially fat LGBTQ+ people have landed in fiction and reality. 

The Trade-Ins (season 3, episode 31) written by Serling

Elderly couple John and Marie Holt are in the market to buy fresh, young bodies for themselves in hopes to alleviate the physical pain of aging. The “New Life Corporation” offers them a chance at “rebirth”, for a price, of course. The salesman assures them though that, “instead of the end, it would be the beginning”.

There are many trans people don’t come out until later in life and it could be for a multitude of reasons. Seeing a violent world against the LGBTQ+ community, religious backgrounds, or maybe even fearing that their own children would reject them. 

It’s the cost that scares John and Marie the most and the New Life Corporation doesn’t offer credit. The couple only have enough money to pay for one of them to get the transference to the younger body and that’s after they’ve drained their entire savings. John tries to gamble to get the rest of the money so they can both get the transference and can be happy together. In 1972, John Wojtowicz attempted to rob a Chase Manhattan bank in Brooklyn, NY, to get money for his lover Liz Eden, to pay for gender affirming surgery. The story later inspired the 1975 film Dog Day Afternoon with Al Pacino starring as Wojtowicz.

The Masks (season 5, episode 25) written by Serling 

Just looking at the title of the episode, you can probably tell where this one is heading. An elderly man, Jason Foster, is on his deathbed. He arranges for his children and grandchildren to gather for a party for the reading of his will where he has arranged masks for all of them to wear. The rules are that, “one tries to select a mask that is the antithesis of what the wearer is,” and that they have to keep the mask on until the clock strikes midnight. The one who wins will win his entire estate. 

The traits on trial in this episode are greed, disrespect, bravery, cowardice, selflessness, vanity, civility, and, ultimately, life and death. In the most negative way, the masks that members of the LGBTQ+ wear are those of dishonesty. We’re back into corners and have to wear masks to protect ourselves. Masks that say we’re heterosexual or masks that line up with the sex we were assigned at birth with strictly masculine or feminine traits and nothing else. The masks that the LGBTQ+ wear are masks to protect us as much as possible from the violence and cruelty that can be targeted at us. 

At the end of this episode, none of the kids win and their faces become permanently grotesquely distorted, mirroring the look of the masks that they were wearing, damning them, “they now wear the faces of all that was inside them.” For those who are in the LGBTQ+ community, taking the mask off has the opposite effect where it can be a weight off of your shoulders and leads to expressions of beauty and happiness. 

A Year With Monsters, Blogs, and Lockdowns

I’ll have to start this with a bit of a prologue. 

I used to work at a movie theater. Specifically, I was a keyholder on the housekeeping crew- that was the better way of saying I was janitor. 

There were days when I truly did despise my job. It was thankless and began before dawn, but I didn’t have to deal with customers, I got free movie passes, and I could listen to my headphones while I worked. Depending on where I was working and what my mood was, I’d rotate between music, podcasts, and audiobooks. Searching for podcasts on serial killers then falling down the rabbit hole was how I found The Last Podcast On The Left, FriGay the 13th, Good Mourning, Nancy, and more. 

Yes, I did also take advantage of using the movie passes and getting my hands on some of those movie posters. I saw the showing of Saw for its 10th anniversary, I saw Furious 7 and IT Chapter 1 multiple times, Green Inferno, Annabelle: Creation, Ready Or Not, Hell Fest, and numerous Flashback Cinemas from Jaws to National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

Early in 2020, I was getting eager for the next Leigh Whannell movie- his modern take on The Invisible Man. I found the audiobook for H.G. Wells’ The Invisible Man and listened to it at work leading up to the February 28th release date. Yes, I knew going into it that Whannell wasn’t doing a direct take on the Wells’ novel but it felt like a classic horror novel that was still in my blindspot. 

At the end of February 2020, after I had been working there for over six years, I learned that the movie theater company I worked for had filed for bankruptcy while I was scrolling through Facebook and saw that a local news station had posted an article about it. Great way to find out, right? We moved to skeleton crews and bare-minimum usage of supplies for the next couple weeks to make it work, figuring it would be only temporary. 

Figuring I would also still take advantage of my employee pass while we still had them, I saw The Invisible Man opening week. I sat down with my pop, bucket of popcorn, and bag of M&Ms waiting for the movie to state. Once the movie started, all of my snacks remained untouched. I was sucked in. I’ve never had the sound of a dog bowl rattling make me jump so much. And, of course, that restaurant scene. I was worried there would be a “blink and you’ll miss him” moment but that was just part of Whannell’s directing brilliance with this story. It was beautifully done, accentuated by the score by Benjamin Wallfisch, and it rocked me to the core.

Backtracking just a bit, by time this was all happening, THIS website had already gone up. I was finding myself wanting to do something within the horror community in the way of expositions and commentary or whatever. This originally started as a podcast, still called Another One For The Fire, with a friend and we did get a couple of the episodes on Romero’s zombie movies recorded. Schedules and life happened and it fell through, no hard feelings whatsoever and hi again, Becca! 

But I still had that research and an extensive list of topic ideas. I was stuck in that cycle of going to submit a pitch for a website and when they got to the part asking for links to previous published works, I didn’t really have any because no place had ever responded to a pitch. It was the cycle of applying for jobs and they wanted you to have previous experience but you won’t have experience unless someone will hire you. I wanted something to be more presentable than just having a Tumblr page so I wandered around some more and found WordPress, bought what was probably the cheapest domain and layouts I could, and made the rest up as I went. There was a lot of, “Oh, what does this button do?” while I was setting things up and, shit, there still is. 

Back to the end February of 2020- Michigan’s Governor Big Gretch had begun making preparations for covid potentially hitting the state. 

On March 3rd, I saw The Invisible Man. On March 10th, Michigan confirmed its first cases of covid. On March 16th, Michigan ordered all indoor dining, gyms, bars, coffee shops, and banned indoor gatherings of 50 or more people. I was working that morning when we saw the news come in that all restaurants were closing by that afternoon and knew that we’d be next. Closing movie theaters seemed logical to bunch in with that group. We closed not long after. 

I was nervous and uncertain, as I’m sure we all were. I took the next few days to sleep in and not have my alarm set at 3:30AM and maybe catch up on some movies I wanted to watch and writing I wanted to do. I got a call from my manager a few days later that our theater closing for covid wasn’t temporary and that our building was done for good. I went online that night to apply for unemployment. 

If only I knew then what I know now

If only we knew then what we know now.

It was usually a fun way to get to know people by talking about what was your first concert or what was the first movie that you saw in a theater. That quickly shifted at the start of the pandemic to asking who was the last band you saw before lockdown or what was the last movie you saw in a theater. Now, we have the dare-say hopeful questions of what band do you want to see once it’s safe and what movie do you want to go see in a theater once they’re open. 

To answer for the last band I saw before lockdown- Ice Nine Kills with Awake At Last, Light The Torch, and Fit For A King outside of Pittsburgh in November 2020. The last movie- The Invisible Man

I had been wanting to write more on Whannell’s The Invisible Man since I walked out of that theater and I even did here but I was wanting to write something that felt more personal.

So here we are.

2021 rolled around and the quarantine anniversary is coming up for us in the States. 

I have listened to that audiobook of Wells’ novel several times since. I now own multiple copies of James Whale’s The Invisible Man. I was stoked when I saw that the latest issue of Horrorhound was going to have a retrospective on the Universal classic. I read through the article by Jon Kitley and was able to spot a handful of Invisible Man figures that I now own being shown alongside posters throughout the years. 

The Invisible Man won’t be able to overtake Frankenstein as my favorite Universal Monster, and that’s a conversation for a different day, but the stories have taken shape as some of my favorites and the comforting familiarity that so many of us have found in various TV shows and movies throughout the lockdowns. 

I’m one to hold onto movie ticket stubs, as I’m sure a lot of you are. Once I’d sit down in the theater I’d put my part of the ticket stub inside of my bi-fold wallet. I would also have the bad habit of not cleaning out my wallet often enough so by the time I would, there would be four or five ticket stubs in there. Looking in there now, the stub for The Invisible Man is still in there. Surprisingly, the ink hasn’t really worn off of it, as so many other ticket stubs have. It’s also not going to leave my wallet anytime soon.

Monster Mash-Up Playlist

“Haunted House” Teenage Bottlerocket

“Being here ain’t very nice, 

keep thinking we’ll see Vincent Price

Hidden rooms and creepy halls, 

blood starts dripping down the walls

Portraits hung with moving eyes 

and what’s with all these fucking flies

I hear the werewolf bark, 

eyes start glowing in the dark

I got to get out of this haunted house.”

One their 2015 album, Tales From Wyoming, pop-punkers Teenage Bottlerocket gave nods to the Vincent Price classic House On Haunted Hill, as well as a reference to the 1999 remake (“Almost twenty years ago, went someplace you shouldn’t go. In a house up on a hill, on a dare and for a thrill), to the Ghostbusters’ character Peter Venkman (played by Bill Murray), and subtle nods to Scooby Doo and The Amityville Horror

We Put The Fun in Funeral” Motionless In White

Frankenstein is about to wreck the gate.

A bat is about to eat his tea.

The fires scratching down in the movie soon.

Has Dracula spiked the punch with blood?”

Motionless In White’s debut EP The Whorror was released back on July 3, 2007, and it brought  spooky sounds to the middle of the summer. All of the songs were written by lead vocalist Chris Motionless and “We Put The Fun In Funeral” is the 2000s metalcore version of “The Monster Mash”. 

“Broadcasting From Beyond the Grave: Death Inc.” Motionless In White

“Can you hear the bell toll, little scarecrow?

Radio, burnin’ like a star in a black hole

Did you get the memo?

Pretty typo Romeo

Cutting you up like a Van Gogh”

Motionless In White’s 2019 album Disguise kept with their passionate and aggressive lyrical content with a more notable nu-metal sound. “Broadcasting From Beyond the Grave: Death Inc.” throws in almost every name minus the kitchen sink as part of a ghoulish radio show and samples a clip of Claude Rains in the 1933 Universal classic The Invisible Man, “I’ll show you who I am and WHAT I am.” 

“Monster Mash” Bobby ‘Boris’ Pickett

“The zombies were having fun,

the party had just begun

The guests included Wolfman, Dracula, and his son

The scene was rockin’,

all were digging the sounds

Igor on chains, backed by his baying hounds”

I mean, this one should go without saying.

The “novelty song” was released in 1962 by Bobby “Boris” Pickett first on a single then on the album The Original Monster Mash. The song reached #1 on the US Billboard Hot 100 in 1962 and even hit #9 on the US Billboard Hot R&B Sides. Believe it or not, the song was banned from airplay by the BBC in the U.K. for being “too morbid” but it was later released and even charted in 1973. 

The song has been covered numerous times, notably it was performed live by The Beach Boys, Vincent Price in 1977, a version performed by The Big O plays over the credits in Return of the Living Dead Part II, the Alvin & the Chipmunks as part of their 1994 Halloween special, and The Misfits as part of their Project 1950 cover album. 

“Dead Stars Drive-In” Stellar Corpses

“Bela Lugosi felt no pain.

Dracula has poisoned the blood in his veins.

Vampira never got what she deserved.

Hollywood has turned its back on her.

It’s not about who you are 

It’s who you know.”

The title track from their 2012 release, Stellar Corpses’ “Dead Star Drive-In” is an ode to the stars of Hollywood’s past that are either remembered fondly or, sadly, ignored in some cases. Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley are names that commonly come up but we can’t forget about our horror actors Bela Lugosi and Maila Nurmi, better known by her character name Vampira.  Hunter Burgan of the Bay Area band AFI lends his voice as part of backing vocals on the song. 

“She’s Fallen In Love With The Monster Man” Screaming Lord Sutch

“When it come to the scene

where the monster should die

My baby broke down and she started to cry

Said ‘this monster I love’

in a strange kinda whisper

‘He’s my kinda guy cuz I’m Dracula’s sister!’ ”

Screamin’ Jay Hawkins was the first “shock rocker” in the 1950s. Following him in the 1960s in the U.K. was Screaming Lord Sutch, who was known for dressing as Jack the Ripper and starting shows by emerging from a coffin on stage that was surrounded by daggers and bones. “She’s Fallen In Love With The Monster Man” appears on their self-titled album Screaming Lord Sutch and The Savages after it was released as a single in July 1964.

Pause- Another Update

So, I’ve been doing the music lists (“listicles”) for different Halloween and horror themes and I had a lineup going all the way to the day of Halloween planned.

Things have begun happening in my personal life that are making it impossible to sit at my computer and focus so I don’t think I’ll be finishing off that plan this year. Maybe next Halloween.

On top of that, I have two other contributing writing spots so I’m having to balance time for them, too.

But, until then, happy spooky season.

This is the Spotify playlist I had going with all of the songs/albums mentioned in the previous lists.

Another One For The Fire on Spotify

Songs for Friday the 13th

Artwork for the “Thank God It’s Friday” single
“Thank God It’s Friday” Ice Nine Kills

“A word of warning from beyond the grave that must be understood

Throat’s get slit in this neck of the woods

She raised him rise

And he’ll come out to play

When mother whispers, ‘Thank God it’s Friday’.”

Theatrical metalcore band Ice Nine Kills released the second single from their album The Silver Scream, “Thank God It’s Friday”, on July 13, 2018, one month after the character Jason Voorhees’ birthday (June 13th). The song also got one of their epic 9 minute music videos. As part of the Final Cut deluxe edition for the album, Ice Nine Kills recorded an acoustic version of the song with “first Jason” himself, Ari Lehman, who plays young Jason Voorhees emerging from the lake at the end of Friday the 13th and sings in a band called First Jason. 

For Mother’s Day 2020, the band socially distanced recorded “Jason’s Mom”, a parody of the Fountains of Wayne song “Stacy’s Mom” (RIP Adam Schlesinger) , and released a series of shirts and even baby onesies for the song. “Jason’s Mom” also features a shout out to other Mama’s Boy/Psychotic Mother duo, Norman and Norma Bates. 

Artwork for the “He’s Back The Man Behind The Mask)” single
“He’s Back (The Man Behind The Mask)” Alice Cooper

“But he’s back

He’s the man behind the mask

And he’s out of control

He’s back

The man behind the mask.”

Shock rocker Alice Cooper recorded “He’s Back (The Man Behind The Mask)” for his ninth album, Constrictor, and for Friday The 13th Part VI: Jason Lives, both released in 1986. Cooper’s songs “Teenage Frankenstein” and “Hard Rock Summer” also were featured in Jason Lives. Most recently, “He’s Back (The Man Behind The Mask)” is played during the credits of Friday the 13th: The Game. 

Horror punks Labadie House covered the song for Horrorhound Presents: It’s Only A Movie and it’s been covered live by Finnish metal band Lordi and Warmen, featuring the lead singer of Children of Bodom, Alexi Laiho. 

“Friday The 13” The Misfits

“Flashbacks in nightmare

Revenge his mother swears

Through a faceless hockey mask

The demons eyes they stare”

Friday the 13th is the sixth EP in the extensive catalog of The Misfits. Released in 2016, it features Jerry Only on bass and lead vocals, Jerry Other on guitar, and Eric “Chupacabra” Arce on drums. The cover art features the band’s infamous crimson ghost logo painted up like one of Jason’s masks, in particular the one from Part III.  

“Camp Crystal Lake” Bloodsucking Zombies From Outer Space

“Like a cold machine 

He marches on

He’s on the hunt for everyone

Who disturbs this peaceful place?

While partying or having sex”

Bloodsucking Zombies From Outer Space formed in 2002 in Vienna, Austria. To date, they have released nine albums, including an acoustic live album, a Christmas album, and a greatest hits compilation. Their 2014 release Toxic Terror Trax features this song about the behemoth killer stalking Camp Crystal Lake. 

“Welcome to Camp Nightmare” Dr Acula

“Run for your life my friend. 

Obvious this is wrong on all ends. 

It’s getting worse 

they’ve been dispersed. 

It’s a nightmare. 

This is not my idea of a getaway”. 

Opens with a sound clip from the Friday The 13th Part VI: Jason Lives where Lizabeth exclaims, “I’ve seen enough horror movies to know any weirdo wearing a mask is never friendly!”

The band Dr. Acula have a distinct party/deathcore/slam sound and sing about horror movies and Goosebumps books. The band broke up in 2012. However, the latest news on the band is from 2019, when the band’s original lineup performed a reunion show at the Amityville Music Hall in Long Island, NY and released a new single entitled “Egg Monsters From Mars”. 

A profile picture from the band’s Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/thejasonsband
the discography of The Jasons

The description of The Jasons from their Facebook page reads, “four mongoloid brothers pissing people off with their immature antics and playing pure Red-Blooded American Punk Rock from Crystal Lake!” 

The band consists of four members, all wearing a different era of Jason mask. They write songs with titles pertaining to moments throughout the entire Friday the 13th franchise such as “Crazy Ralph (Shut Your Mouth)”, “You Should Have Never Reopened That Camp”, “We’re Going To Manhattan”, “Don’t Send Me To Outer Space”, and even wrote a ballad to another camp killer, Angela Baker of Sleepaway Camp in the song “Camp Arawak”. 

In 2016, The Jasons released their song “I Wanna Be An Asshole” as a response to the band The Mezingers releasing a music video in 2014 for their song “I Don’t Wanna Be An Asshole Anymore”, featuring Jason Voorhees feeling remorse for chasing teens at camp and he tries to turn his life around, be more positive, get a job, and even get a date. 

Not shy about their influences from the Misfits and Ramones, their 2018 release Get Sued was made up entirely of the band performing “mash-ups” of the aforementioned bands (and it almost works too well). Their most recent release is the 2019 album, Blood in the Streets.

Creatures Rejoice- 10th Anniversary of Motionless In White’s Debut Album

Motionless In White’s debut studio album Creatures was released on October 12, 2010. 

10th anniversary and, damn, we metalcore kids got old. 

My first experience with Motionless In White was seeing the music video for “Abigail”, the first music video released for the album. Doing a music video that was a modernized telling of The Crucible/the Salem Witch Trials lured me right in. It was the fall of my senior year of high school and I was bit by bit getting into more and more metal, horror, and true crime. Learning about Lizzie Borden, Jeffrey Dahmer, and the Salem Witch Trials appealed to me then and still does. It caught my attention and kept it throughout the entire decade that has since passed.  

Personnel on the album recording were Chris Motionless on lead vocals, Ryan Sitowski on lead guitar, TJ Bell on rhythm guitar, Ricky “Horror” Olson on bass, Josh Balz on keyboard, and Angelo Parente on drums. The song “Abigail” also features Nick Brooks of metalcore band It Dies Today. Motionless, Sitowski, and Olson are the only members still in the line-up today. 

Parente, Sitowski, Motionless, Horror, and Balz photographed in 2011 during the Creatues-era by Jeremy Saffer

“.Com Pt. II” is part 2 of the song “Schitzophrenicannibalisticsexfest.com” from their debut EP The Whorror. “We Only Come Out at Night”  is the re-recorded version of a song originally on the band’s second EP When Love Met Destruction and “City Lights” is a re-recorded version of the song “Bananamontana” from the same EP.

Apart from “Abigail”, “Immaculate Misconception”, “Creatures”, and “Puppets (The First Snow)” were all released as single with accompanying music videos. “Puppets (The First Snow)” was a performance music video done with pieced together clips of various concerts. The video for “Immaculate Misconception” was directed by Cody Blue Snider, director and screenwriter and son of Twisted Sister’s Dee Snider, who also appears in the video. Dee Snider has been openly supportive of the young band, stating in an interview with AOL Noisecreep that, “”Bands like Motionless in White deal with the same misjudgment and ignorance that Twisted Sister dealt with when we were first starting out. In its own way, ‘Immaculate Misconception’ is the ‘We’re Not Gonna Take It’ for its generation.”

Motionless In White appeals to classic metalcore fans who also live and breathe Halloween. They’ve released merch with images of their pumpkin logo, crows, Christopher Lee’s portrayal of Dracula, Sam from Trick R Treat, A Nightmare Before Christmas, Beetlejuice, The Twilight Zone, and more. 

The album’s aggressive and purposeful opening track “Immaculate Misconception” is a crowd favorite and, for a period, was their concert closing song. It was their closing song both times I saw them at Warped Tour. “Abigail” still gets played as a treat for the fans that have been around for a while. 

The first time I saw Motionless In White live was on the All Stars Tour 2011, while they were still touring in support of Creatures. The stacked tour also featured Chelsea Grin, Iwrestledabearonce, In This Moment, and a handful of others, depending on your city’s stop. That was the first time I was in the middle of a mosh pit, and mind you I’m about 5’5”, and I still managed to get about two rows from the stage. I met Ryan Sitowski and Ricky Horror at the merch table after their set and they signed my ticket and I got pictures with both. I haven’t met any other members of the band but, hey, maybe one day that will change. I did order a signed poster that was released in promotion for Graveyard Shift, and while it’s very cool, it’s not the same. 

I saw Motionless In White perform on the Vans Warped Tour two times, 2014 and 2016, and both times they closed their set with “Immaculate Misconception”. During the 2016 tour, Ice Nine Kills vocalist Spencer Charnas came out to perform “Abigail” and seeing two of my favorite lead singers performing together was a personal Warped Tour highlight. 

All of their albums feature at least one song that is more than suitable for the spooky Halloween season but the entirety of Creatures fits the vibe. Maybe we can contribute that to the murder of crows on the album cover. Some of the songs from Creatures carried over in the form of sequels on following albums. Most recently, “Undead Ahead”, based on The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and the Headless Horseman, came back in the form of “Undead Ahead 2: The Tale of The Midnight Ride” on their 2019 release, Disguise. 

Creatures features some of the rawest emotions that the band has put out. With all of the lyrics written by Motionless, Olson, Balz, and Parente, with help from fans on the title song. “Puppets (The First Snow)” was also written by Jason Suecof, a sound engineer and songwriter known for his work with metal bands such as Trivium and The Black Dahlia Murder. 

“This is a love song, a threnody for these years of worthless waste

And now my hatred’s all I fucking have left

I’ve never had the words to say, but I can quote them all

I am human and I need to be loved just like everybody else does”

In a few years, I’ll be turning 30. My Motionless In White shirt that looks like a poster for The Lost Boys hasn’t fit me in years but I would be a liar if I said that “Abigail” didn’t make me automatically want to start headbanging with the same aggressive nature that Kittie’s “Brackish” hits with. 

On October 2nd, Motionless In White posted a teaser video on their social media pages with the lines, “Do we want this? Or do we need this?” growing in intensity, as heard in the beginning of the “Creatures” music video. The band has said they have a lot of big plans for October.

So let’s get ready to celebrate, Creatures.

Interview with Evan of I Love Movies U Should 2 Podcast

This week, I got to sit down via email with Evan, the host of the I Love Movies U Should 2 podcast. You can listen to Evan and guests as they discuss movies of all genres, industry news and trends, and some movies that deserve more credit than they’ve gotten. 

Be sure to check out the new episode featuring yours truly where we talk about the 2014 horror/thriller 13 Sins. 

You can find I Love Movies U Should 2 on Apple Podcasts and Spotify and there’s a link to the Patreon page and social media pages for the show at the bottom of this page.  

What inspired you to start a solo podcast? 

Evan: Years ago I wanted to start a podcast. I had so much film info to talk about that I wanted to share it. I tried my hand at it years ago. It was terrible. I couldn’t edit anything, so I had to write most of what I was going to say down. It only went about 10-15 minutes. I think I posted it on SoundCloud. It might even be still there. 

After that I was asked by someone on Facebook to be a guest on their show. I made one appearance on their superhero episode. Then a year ago my co-worker who is a film fan asked because we used to talk movies all the time if I might want to do a podcast. I was excited to get into it now. We even had a producer. It’s called The Voice Over Picture Show. It was fun. But we would only do an episode a month or two. 

It was hard to get people in person to record. When the pandemic hit, we couldn’t record in person. We tried to do it over zoom. But it didn’t work out. I waited about a month and half because I still wanted to do a podcast. I decided that I needed to do my own show where I could talk about the movies I wanted to talk about. I decided to start mine just for me and hopefully people who love the movies I love. And I’m happy to say I’m really enjoying it. It’s keeping me creative during this trying time.

How do you pick movies to talk about?

I don’t really have a system. I have a list of films that I made before I started the podcast. I pick and choose those sometimes. And sometimes I just get inspiration from sites like Twitter and Instagram. I try to choose films podcast I listen to haven’t covered yet. It is sometimes like a week to week thing unless I have a guest which I try to play in advance. 

I do have planned themed months coming up with spooky month in October being all horror films. I don’t have the list of films yet but I am working through choices. For November I’m doing Noir November. I’m a big fan of classic and neo-noir films. For my main show I want to cover some older films and some newer titles. For the Patreon exclusives I want to cover films that are recent releases only. It’s basically come for the films you haven’t heard much about, subscribe for those new films making the rounds.

What have been some of your experiences and observations as an openly queer horror fan?

There are a lot of us out there. Especially on Twitter. I have come in contact with some very wonderful people. I know there is a toxic side of the horror community that is very awful to queer people. But all the queer people of the horror community I’ve talked to have been open and inviting. It’s nice to be a part of it. Even though I’m not that popular, I feel more on the inside than on the outside looking. 

I definitely think there needs to be more representation. There are queer writers and podcasters. But there needs to be more queer people and queer people of color making decision, hiring others and trying to make sure the horror community stays inclusive. I know that it’s getting better on-screen. But it will be nice when I can see a gender fluid person, a pansexual person be the main character or have a significant role in horror films. 

What do you feel that the horror genre, between media and the fan base, need to do to be more accepting of the LGBTQ+ community moving forward?

We need to have those tough conversations about representation and people who are toxic in the community. And from those conversations actions need to be take to make sure the queer people get a fair shot. Queer people need to be hired from the top down from the talents to the crew. I think we have so many wonderful people talking about horror and writing about horror. Which is needed, we need queer perspective of these films.

When queer people and queer people of color are in significant roles in the community changes will come faster and easier. We need to make sure that we are promoting each other. Yes, many of us are doing the same things whether it be writing, media coverage or podcast but that doesn’t mean we can lift each other up. 

I want us as queer people to get out chance to create stories that are meaningful for us. I’m dying to see a “normal” slasher film or monster movie with a final boy who’s queer. I want the roles and positions that straight people get to be filled by queer people and queer people of color.

What movie trope can you never get enough of? What’s one that can go away forever?

Tropes that I very much enjoy are the constant evil. Giving a film this atmosphere of the unknown and there is just evil everywhere puts me on edge and I love it. It Follows did this well, The Conjuring and Insidious films do this well. Killer kids is another trope I don’t mind. It makes for something that is also unexpected. No one expects the child who is supposed to be good to turn out to be full of evil. When done well it’s really fun. 

There are so many tropes that can go away. The first I can think of sex equals death. This is a form of sex shaming which has to go away. It’s not evil to want or have sex. And it shouldn’t be someone’s downfall because they had it. We need to be more of a sex positive world. Another troupe that needs to go away is that the boyfriend/girlfriend/partner is the killer. It’s been done to death in the best slasher films. Now is the time to come up with something more creative, something inventive. 

The no cell phone signal is another one that has to go. It’s 2020, we can get technology to work almost anywhere. Writers need to incorporate that into their stories. I’m sure there is a way to be tender and suspenseful with characters being able to use their phones. For found footage films, why is it that all the male characters are such horrible people? Can’t we get some found footage characters who are likeable and interesting? I don’t think they all need to be horrible humans. It takes me out of the story when I really don’t like the characters. 

While we’re on movie tropes, it’s fairly lopsided when it comes to male vs female nudity in horror movies. Are you championing for more male nudity in horror?

I’m a huge champion of male nudity in horror. Being that I’m a nudist, I’m very much okay with nudity. And male nudity outside of butts has been so taboo in films. Being around males and identifying for the most part as a male, I know that males are way more prone to being naked and getting naked in general. 

I think there needs to be more male nudity in horror and also full front male nudity should not be taboo but the normal. It’s not equal not fair that women have been full naked so much in films and males have not. Nudity is a part of life. It happens and there should be proper representation in that area. I’ve also noticed that found footage films lack nudity, especially male nudity. If your film is R rated and utilize that rating. The only way to equality is to change the norms. 

Top 3 movie butts

Ewan McGregor is number one. He is my big film crush and he has a great butt. Matt Bomer would be my second because he’s a handsome queer man with a fantastic butt. He’s also a really talented actor. Carla Gugino is one of my favorite actresses and she has an excellent butt. I love her willingness to go all out for a role. 

I will say, being a kid and watching Carla Gugino in Spy Kids then growing up and discovering my own sexuality, she is goddamned gorgeous and always has been. 
Top 3 movies that deserve more recognition

Night of the Demons, it’s a great haunted house/demon horror film with fun moments, great gore and a very cool ending. I’ve covered it on my podcast and wrote about it. I think this film needs more love. 

The Prowler is one of my favorite slasher films. It had excellent gore effects by Tom Savini. The story has a decent history/mythology that you can get behind. And the kills are different and creative. I think the score does hurt the film. But it should be one of the staples of ‘80s slasher horror. 

Underwater is a really fun, tense monster movie with one of the best monster reveals in a long time. Kristen Stewart is my favorite actor and she is fantastic. The film also doesn’t ogle or fetishize women like a lot of films do in this sub genre. It’s thrilling, it’s at times gross and shocking. And it was all done as a PG-13. 

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To Midian and Back- Songs About The Works of Clive Barker

“Hellbound Heart” Stellar Corpses

“Drawn to danger in the Devil’s game

Deadly attraction that we can’t explain

Some call us angels

Some call us demons

But we’re not satisfied ‘til everybody’s screaming!”

“Hellbound Heart” is far from the only song in Stellar Corpses’ arsenal about staples in the horror genre. The 1987 film Hellraiser was based off of Clive Barker’s novella, The Hellbound Heart. 

“Hellbound Heart” is the title track from Stellar Corpses’ 2018 EP release. The song features a guest verse by bassist/vocalist Jimmy Calabrese of the horror punk band Calabrese. 

the Midian album by Cradle of Filth

The fourth album by blackened extreme metal band Cradle of Filth is set around the theme of Midian from the 1990 horror movie Nightbreed, which is based off of Clive Barker’s novella, Cabal. In a 2012 interview with Empire, lead vocalist Dani Filth spoke about the album saying that, “Midian kind of is and isn’t a concept album: as a title, it just made perfect sense. The central song, ‘Tortured Soul Asylum’, is about Midian, and the characters in the rest made up a sort of collective from this mythical place where the monsters live.” Doug Bradley, Pinhead himself, provided the narration on the track “Tortured Soul Asylum”

“Lament Configuration” Vatican Falling

“We have such sights to show you.” 

Do not sleep on the deathcore band from Las Vegas known as Vatican Falling. “Lament Configuration” appears on their third album, 2020’s War. With the title referencing the name for the puzzle box in Hellraiser, the song samples Kirsty (played by Ashley Laurence) shouting, “Go to Hell!” 

“Midian” Shadow Windhawk and The Morticians

“And there’s a place where monsters go 

When the world has crumbled 

When I have lost my soul 

I hear it whispered in my dreams

in the crypts of Midian, forever I’ll be free”

Singer/songwriter/guitarist Shadow Windhawk is backed by musicians known as The Morticians. The epic 8 minute song “Midian” appears on their 2014 release, Casket Spray. 

“Hellraiser” Blitzkid

“Resurrected from centuries gone by

Cenobites traveling through the portals of time…

Some Hell is gonna raise and we shall come with it,

Forbidden pleasures materialized

We’ll torture your body by proportions so mythic

The puzzle box opens and brings us new life.”

Led by bassist/vocalist Argyle Goolsby and guitarist/vocalist TB Monstrosity, Blitzkid formed in 1997 in West Virginia. Their song “Hellraiser” was originally recorded on 2001’s Let Flowers Die, the bands’ first full-length release, then re-recorded as a part of 2008’s Anatomy of Reanimation Volume #1.