Conjuring Up Some Jersey Connections

Usually I wait for the crowds to die down before seeing a brand new movie while it’s in the theater. Ever since Insidious and Sinister boosted my confidence in the horror genre, The Conjuring trailer had me wanting to see the movie right away. I was anxiously waiting to see it, but I held off until the second weekend to avoid crowds. On purpose, as I usually do, I chose an odd time to see the film, thinking I would avoid obnoxious people. Turns out that my strategic planning didn’t make a difference, but it didn’t matter because the experience I had watching the film overwhelmingly outweighed the annoying people who surrounded me.

Judging by both box office receipts and reviews, I can tell you that The Conjuring is a superior horror film and it’s success is no fluke. It seems like behind every success story is some type of New Jersey connection. The Conjuring made me feel like I was part of the Perron family as they moved into an old, possibly haunted farmhouse in Rhode Island. Eventually the audience is just as mortified as the Perrons are, but they shouldn’t be shocked at what they see since they moved there from New Jersey – a minuscule bit of trivia that is only mentioned nonchalantly by Roger Perron, the man of the house, in all his ’70s glory, played perfectly by Ron Livingston (Office Space). Roger’s wife, Carolyn (Lili Taylor), enlists Ed and Lorraine Warren, a real life couple of paranormal investigators who also teach classes on demonology.

March 2013’s Garden State Playmate, and now well known for her incredible performance as Norma Bates on Bates Motel, the lovely Vera Farmiga, plays Lorraine Warren while Patrick Wilson, star of Watchmen, and Montclair, NJ resident, plays her husband Ed. Together they visit houses that may be haunted and try to get to the source of the issue by postulating realistic reasons for what caused their “bump in the night.” That isn’t all they do for the Perron family though. You’ll have to go see that for yourself.

The Conjuring is a throwback. It’s the type of creepy film that they just don’t seem to make anymore, and damn it was just plain fun. Director James Wan and his team mixed classic movie thrills with practical effects to create an extremely tense and scary atmosphere. Wilson and Farmiga carry the film, but Taylor, Livingston, as well as the actresses who played Perron’s daughters all give outstanding performances.

NJ T-Shirt Tuesday 106: KILL Tour T-Shirt from Fright Rags

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Often, when something “limited edition” comes down the pike I just have to own it. A prime example is the KILL tour t-shirt that was released as a special edition by Fright Rags recently. Fright Rags is known for printing up genius, one of a kind horror tees, and this may be one of the best they ever conceived. Check it out and you can be the judge of that.

The KILL Tour T-shirt is inspired by the Destroyer album cover art from my favorite band, KISS. Anytime the world of horror combines with KISS, it’s a win-win. The t-shirt art includes Freddy, Chucky, Jason Voorhees, and Leatherface taking the place of KISS. What knocks this baseball style tee right out of the old Roosevelt Stadium is KILL’s tour stops are listed on the back just like an old vintage concert t-shirt! On KILL’s Decades of Destruction Tour, in honor of the release of the original Friday the 13th film, the band’s May 9th, 1980 tour stop was at Crystal Lake…in NEW JERSAAAY!

Previous releases that I also HAD TO HAVE included G.I Jason (the GI Joe/Jason Voorhees mashup) and one of their beautiful Friday the 13th The Final Chapter tees. Artist Jason Edmiston was responsible for the artwork on both the GI Jason tee as well as this KILL tour shirt, but the new one may take the cake. It’s a dead heat for me. What do you think? If you own the regular black t-shirt version of “KILL,” it’s slightly more accurate to the Destroyer cover, but I opted for the larger KILL logo on the baseball tee.

You can now see why I felt so compelled to make this shirt part of my wardrobe. But surprisingly, this shirt wasn’t released without criticism since it’s hard to please everyone. The flack on this shirt was that Michael Myers should’ve been in the artwork instead of Chucky. I’m not sure why that happened, but if Myers was on the shirt instead it would indeed be perfect. I’m not complaining one bit though, I think it was an awesome idea and I’d like to see more cool ideas like this from Fright Rags.

Mary Horror Hysteria: Indie Horror In Bernardsville, NJ on Tuesday!

MARY HORROR is showing on Tuesday November 20th at 9 PM 
at Clearview Bernardsville Cinema – Admission is $5 Bucks!

All these lame horror clones that make it to theaters not cutting it for you? They’re all crap if you ask me. I haven’t been satisfied with mainstream horror output in years. Setting my sights on indie horror has yielded much more entertaining results. Indie horror out of New Jersey is even better, it must be something in the water, or better yet, the tomatoes! The most recent film out of Jersey that I had the chance to check out was Mary Horror, a Ryan Scott Weber production. For horror fans, this film literally has it all: murder, a psychiatric hospital, a witches spell book, and someone even loses and eyeball!

Synopsis from the Official Mary Horror website:
Mary Horror is a normal high school senior who has just moved from Salem, Massachusetts to a small corrupt town in New Jersey. Mary’s life has not been going the way she planned. Her grandmother has passed away, her best friend Kelly has been missing for almost two weeks, and she suspects her boyfriend of cheating on the eve of her homecoming dance. A distraught Mary comes home to witness her family being brutally murdered. Being the only one to survive, she is put in a psychiatric prison to be “protected.” As two years pass by, Mary realizes what really happened that night wasn’t what she thought. As the plot unravels, so does Mary. Her time in the ward has changed her into something evil, a member of the walking dead. She realizes the truth and takes revenge on the town and on everyone that wronged her. Follow the life of Mary Horowitz, as she becomes Mary Horror!

Mary Horror exhibits some of the most technically sound independent film work I’ve seen. Writer/Director Ryan Scott Weber and cinematographer Ryan Coyle soar when it comes to shot composition and incorporating the subtle lighting and Jersey exteriors. Since the movie was filled with interesting settings and the use of real locations such as a hospital and Bernards high school, it all contributed to the realism of the film. The filmmakers were able to build the viewers anticipation as they used their production techniques to suck us into a world that we all could relate to – high school. But that’s only the beginning before things spiral out of control for Mary Horowitz. Yes, I said Horowitz…you’ll see.


The actors took their jobs very seriously and it was clear that they were all in sync with Weber’s vision for the film. Susie Duecker, the actress who played Mary Horror herself, was quite good. It was fun to watch her become so involved in her character. Her transition from typical high school girl to an extremely unhinged one was ghastly and sublime. In my book she really understood the character which is a delicate balance since another actress may have gone on screen acting like a complete over the top psycho and that wasn’t the idea. Credit must also go to Ryan Coyle for the makeup as well as the crew in the costume and wardrobe department. Duecker was creepy as hell when she officially became Mary Horror. I only wish mainstream horror filmmakers could take the hint that simplicity can leave such an impression and we don’t need to see an hour and a half of lame CGI for the film to be unnerving.

The kickass makeup and practical effects were not used frivolously. The film has an old school horror flair, and although it doesn’t take itself too seriously in some scenes (like the one where Weber himself plays an EMT who beats up his co-worker while being interviewed on TV by a reporter) it still retains it’s spookiness. Without a huge budget, Weber managed to use subtle lightning and dutch angles to create the eerie atmosphere of the film. I especially dug a scene that utilized a strobe lighting effect as Mary was about to “interact” with 2 other characters. What tied it all together like The Dude’s rug was the cinematic quality of Scott Vincent’s score. Some parts were so triumphant and joyful, but still sent the message that all is not going to be well.

Without giving too much away, murders take place in the town of Bernardsville, NJ and it creates a hysteria all over town. I’ve always liked that aspect of horror movies when the whole town is petrified of a killer or going crazy acting like animals because all hell has broken loose. That’s captured and mentioned in Mary Horror and now life will imitate art as we have the chance to see a showing of Mary Horror in a Bernardsville movie theater as if we were actually IN THE FILM! The cast and crew will be there and so should you!

Mary Horror is filled with cool cameos. Some of the quick scenes were filmed at Monster Mania while others were full on roles! You’ll see Patricia Quinn, Troma’s Lloyd Kaufman, Jersey girl and Bernards H.S graduate Deanna Russo, as well as a hilarious cameo from Ghostbuster Ernie Hudson in the film.

Up next from Weber is the sequel to Mary Horror, Sheriff Tom vs. The Zombies. You can see the preview to this if you go to the showing in Bernardsville on 11/20!

Blood Lodge Is Quite A Trip…A Ski Trip

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Zombies and snow: two things I try to avoid at all costs. Actually, I even tend to stay away from zombie movies because they’ve gotten too popular. I liked them better when they didn’t have their own hit cable TV show. Snow on the other hand sucks at all times, unless it’s on Christmas or you just have a few days off and you don’t need to get off your couch for any reason. While I try to avoid both of these things, I enjoyed them very much as they merged together in Graffiti Playhouse Productions BLOOD LODGE, a super fun blast of indie horror done Jersey style.

It’s widely known amongst my friends and family that I have absolutely zero interest in skiing. Who wants to be out in the cold weather freezing your ass off? I even hate how the word skiing is spelled because it always feels like I’m spelling it wrong. Why don’t we throw another i in there for good measure? As silly as I think the whole concept is, it does make for a pretty damn cool horror movie backdrop as seen in 2012’s Blood Lodge. BL was produced, co-written, and directed by Jersey born Kevin Orosz.

After hearing about Pembrook and Terror at Ten Acres, I knew I couldn’t miss Blood Lodge. Ever since meeting their crew several Monster Mania’s ago, I’ve been trying to get my hands on some of the Graffiti Playhouse Productions. For some reason they weren’t selling DVD’s of their movies when I ran into them. It all came together when I crossed paths with the accomplished indie filmmaker Orosz on Facebook of all places. I probably bothered them enough about having a screening closer in proximity to me. That hasn’t happened yet, but how about a Graffitti Playhouse Productions marathon at the Loew’s Jersey or the Forum Theatre in Metuchen? C’mon, do it! OK, enough of my chit chat.

What I like about Blood Lodge is that it’s very simple to sink your teeth into it: a group of kids from New Jersey take a trip to a ski lodge in Vermont that’s overrun with zombies. The film isn’t necessarily a scare-me-to-death pulse pounding thriller, but more of a horror-comedy which combines the best of both worlds.

It’s hard to be absolutely original when creating a zombie film, but Orosz incorporates some original elements. Once all the people in the lodge realize the place is surrounded by zombies, there’s a power struggle to see who will become the leader. That sort of thing happens often in zombie movies, but here it comes down to an interesting, ethnically charged twist. The movie also raises the interesting question: would you feed your spouse to zombies if they pissed you off too much?

As with many indie horror films, I usually roll my eyes and count the seconds until they’re over, but not with Blood Lodge. I was surprised at how natural some of the actors were for an indie film. I attribute this to the fact that the cast seemed to have a lot of fun making the film and their enthusiasm was apparent while watching. Considering the crew of players have mostly acted in a handful of indie films, they did a pretty awesome job at helping to bring this story to life. The cast features Michael McFadden, Matthew Imparato, Julie Ann Hamolko, Ed McKeever, and many more. One of my favorites was Steven Buccarelli who made me laugh as the trivia spewing Marty, who was a little bit Jon Lovitz and a little bit Clark Duke.

There’s always a grading curve for indie horror, but I really only had a couple of minor complaints. The first thing that struck me was that I went in not knowing what to expect. The opening credits began to run and showing underneath the credits were posterized still and motion shots of the actual zombies from scenes in the film. I felt like this sort of spoiled the reveal of the zombies when they appear in the film. But as I continued to watch and see that there was a pretty decent amount of humor in the film, I reconsidered and felt that it wasn’t too much of a big deal since the foremost intent wasn’t exactly to scare viewers, but to show viewers what they are in for.

Blood Lodge had a very real vibe going. I’ve watched indie horror movies with a much higher budget that had really awful acting and terrible effects to the point where I just turn it off completely. The effects in this were actually done well for a low budget movie. So, if you’re a fan of indie horror and you like to support New Jersey stuff, try to track down a copy of any one of Graffiti Playhouse’s productions including Blood Lodge on DVD or wait until they show them at nearby theater or horror con and get in on it! Even if you’re like me and would never go on ski trip, you’ll still dig Blood Lodge!

*Blood Lodge was filmed on location in New Jersey, P.A, and Stowe, Vermont.

Christina Ricci Is October’s Garden State Playmate!

Christina Ricci is October’s Garden State Playmate. She was born in California, but moved to New Jersey with her family. She grew up in Montclair, NJ and starred in plays at a very young age. Ricci has played a wide variety of characters, but it’s the dark ones she’s best known for. I’ll use this month’s column to defend some of her macabre roles in honor of the Halloween countdown.


Most notably is Ricci’s wicked portrayal of Wednesday Addams in The Addams Family and it’s sequel, Addams Family Values. Coming off the success of those films, Ricci went on to 1995’s Casper. I’m not afraid to admit that I remember seeing this the night it opened with my cousin Danielle. When it came out it had a fairly big buzz surrounding it and the trailers looked awesome. It looked a few steps above a kids movie, but it only turned out to be decent, nothing extraordinary. IMDB reminded me that this was the first feature film with a fully computer animated title character – take that Phantom Menace! Oh yeah…and Ghostbuster Ray Stantz makes a funny cameo in this as well!

1999’s Sleepy Hollow is often criticized for being style over substance. Regardless, this interpretation of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, one of my favorite short stories by Washington Irving, is hard to beat. To say it’s definitive may not be the opinion of everyone, and I tend to go with the Disney animated version in Ichabod and Mr. Toad, but Christopher Walken was so damn terrifying in this movie! Previously known for her role in The Addams Family movies, this was a great opportunity for Ricci to show off her acting ability while also maintaining the gothic vibe. Directed by Tim Burton, and alongside Johnny Depp, Ricci was perfectly cast.

10 years after Casper, Ricci starred as Ellie, a girl who’s in love with a werewolf in 2005’s Cursed. This one gets such a bad rap. Surprisingly it’s one of Wes Craven’s later films that is not underwhelming. It took 7 years, but this fun horror film actually has gained a cult following. A film like this is relevant now more than ever thanks to the world’s obsession with the Twilight saga. Cursed beats that any day.

The effects are pretty damn good in Cursed. It was cool to see Derek Mears in an actual werewolf costume. Of course there was a fair share of CGI, but there was an equal amount of practical effects which was welcome. You’ll also see Jesse Eisenberg in an early role. Next time someone accuses him of being a poor man’s Michael Cera, tell them Jesse Eisenberg is an f’n WEREWOLF and he lived in East Brunswick, NJ for 20 years! Scott Baio actually plays himself, a total slimeball actor who tries to hit on Ellie as they discuss his appearance on…get this…The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn! (seriously)!

OK, so Cursed is dated in some aspects. The songs used in the soundtrack (not the score) are pretty lame by today’s standards and the Craig Kilborn thing is just atrocious. He’s just a dick. Does anyone even know what happened to that guy? He was good on SportsCenter and it pretty much ended there. Back on track though. Finally, the film has numerous scenes inside a club that has a Hollywood wax museum theme to it and lots of classic monster references too! Perfect movie for you and your significant other to enjoy during Halloween! Ricci is the star of the film and although it wasn’t her best performance, I still found myself rooting for her. I’d like to see Ricci get back to doing more films in the horror/thriller genre. What do you think?

Wednesday: “Please end this post…”
Morticia: “What do we say?”
Wednesday: “NOW!”

*I didn’t see 2003’s The Gathering, but if you did let me know how it is!

New Jersey’s Great Pop Culture Moments Vol.69: Alice Sweet Alice

Alice Sweet Alice is a Jersey horror movie that isn’t afraid to admit it. This independent film was certainly influential to the slasher genre, especially since it was released in 1976. Some horror fans swear by it, while others are luke warm. Either way, Alice has become a cult classic. Rather than go into a long, boring dissertation of the film, I’ve gathered comments on the film from several fellow bloggers on the Internet. After you read those, I’ll give you mine!

The film was a pioneer not because it was Brooke Shields first film, but mostly because of the killer’s creepy as hell mask and raincoat look. Jeff from Dinner with Max Jenke supports this claim: “Slasher icons like Freddy, Jason, Michael Myers, and Leatherface are celebrated for their iconic looks, but to my mind, none of them can hold a candle to the creepy countenance of Alice’s diminutive killer.”

What I loved about Dave Stewart’s review at Bloody Terror was that he pointed out the New Jersey aspect of the film. “In fact, the atmosphere is key to the flick’s effectiveness. Shot in the ’70s and set in the ’60s, Alice Sweet Alice has a terrific feel for its working class New Jersey backdrop.”

Aside from offending devout Catholics, Alice Sweet Alice didn’t leave a huge impression upon it’s release. It’s impact has been felt more in the decades that followed. Captain Cadaver points out at his Happy Horror Blog that Alice was shot in the summer of ’75, way before slasher movies really took off with Halloween in ’78, and goes on to praise the film: “As many shocks as Psycho, as much religious commentary as The Exorcist, with as much atmosphere as The Haunting, there’s no reason why this well written, acted and directed genre masterpiece shouldn’t be listed as a classic right beside all of the aforementioned.”

One aspect of the film that I only found a few bloggers mention is the feeling of being short changed by the resolution. I was let down by the film, but that’s not to say it’s without merit. The majority of horror films feature a swerve, and I was expecting it, even from an early slasher like this one. But I felt unfulfilled. Andre from Horror Digest also had a minor gripe with it as well, and I completely agree with her statement that “…I still think Alice still stabbed the aunt.” You should watch it and decide for yourself! Andre sums it up by saying that the film “…was suspenseful, surprising, and really kept you on edge.”

Being let down by horror movies seemed to be a trend, at least for me as I was growing up. I’d go to the video store and pick horror movies based on whether the VHS cover scared me or not. That turned out not to be such a successful system. Horror Movie a Day brings up a good point about this: “The only thing that really bummed me out was that nothing in the film was as creepy as the film’s poster which used to scare me at the video store as a kid.”

Considering that Psycho is the grandfather of all slasher films, Alice Sweet Alice has got to be looked at as the original niece of the slashers. The issue for many viewers is that we’ve seen so many incarnations of essentially the slasher same film since the ’70s that Alice doesn’t feel as original as it actually is. Perhaps if I saw it back in ’76 it might have been more disturbing. It’s still awesome to see Paterson, NJ in the mid ’70s, especially the scene at Great Falls waterfall. I’ll end with another quote from Jeff at Dinner with Max Jenke – in fact, the same quote he ended his review with – “If you want to know what scary is all about, go ask Alice.” I’ll let you determine that yourself, or you can wait for the remake!

Enhance Your Halloween Viewing With Blinky Productions Horror Prequels

Blinky Productions features can be seen at their YouTube site!

Living through numerous Halloweens has translated to me holding many solo horror movie marathons. I’m sure some of you can relate. But what should you do when you’ve exhausted all of your movie options? That is a question I’ve pondered for a while now, and I finally share my discovery with you. If you are looking to spice up your Halloween viewing, read on!

You’ve seen all the Nightmares, all the Fridays, and all the Halloweens, right? Well what if there were prequels that you never knew about? What if there were top quality extensions of those franchises to be seen? Based in New Jersey, Blinky Productions fills those voids! In addition to their original productions, they make independent short and feature length films that incorporate the characters we love. Some of their films revolve around superheroes, but many of them star horror icons. Usually their type of output would be considered “fan-film,” but the quality of their films is superior and sets them apart from most of the fan made stuff I’ve seen on YouTube.


Blinky Productions films have been on my radar for years now, but I never got around to watching some of them until last year. At a New Jersey Batman Convention that I went to, I finally got to meet the man behind Blinky, a friendly movie making mastermind and Jersey guy, Chris Notarile. I picked up a few of their DVDs including one I’ll be reviewing in the future, but for now I’ll tell you about the one that has become a part of my annual Halloween viewing.

I snatched up a great little trilogy of horror shorts to add to my collection. Delving further into the mythos of the Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th, and Halloween franchises, these shorts make me wonder why these franchises aren’t releasing good quality big budget installments when Chris does it with almost no budget in comparison. What’s great about these films is that you don’t have to lower your expectations before watching them as you do with many independent fan made shorts.

Out of the 3 shorts, the one I felt was the most interesting was KRUEGER: A TALE FROM ELM STREET. The short gives us a front row seat during one of Krueger’s interrogations, before he was “burnt up like a weenie” if I may quote the Fresh Prince. MYERS: RISE OF THE BOOGEYMAN adds a cool little twist to the Halloween lore and I enjoyed it. The only one that fell a little short for me was VOORHEES: BORN ON A FRIDAY. It deals with Mrs. Voorhees tracking down one of the very girls who was responsible for her son’s drowning. You can watch all of them rather quickly which works if you’re planning a mini-marathon. For instance, watching the Krueger short before watching your favorite Nightmare on Elm Street film will enhance your experience!

The Jersey based Blinky Productions’ motto is “High Quality Films…Without the Budget.” In addition to their horror inspired films, they’ve also created shorts featuring The Punisher, Batman, Flash, and Catwoman among so many others. Their original productions are badass as well (i.e METHODIC) so check them out! Up next I’m going to watch FRIDAY THE 31st: MICHAEL VS. JASON!! In the mean time though, go enjoy the wet-dream of horror fan films at their YouTube page, and by that I mean Freddy vs. Jason vs. Leatherface vs. Pinhead and many more!

Blinky Productions Official Website

New Jersey’s Great Pop Culture Moments Vol.68: Eerie, Indiana


“My name is Marshall Teller. Not long ago I was living in New Jersey just across the river from New York City. It was crowded, polluted, and full of crime…I loved it. But my parents wanted a better life for my sister and me, so we moved to a place so wholesome, so squeaky clean, you could only find it on TV. Unfortunately nothing could be further from the truth…”

Fellow horror fans were few and far between when I was a kid. Even in my teenage years I really only had one friend who was into horror like me. And nowadays all it takes is a Google search and you can see that the Internet is literally overrun with horror blogs. It doesn’t get any better than that. But let me go back to when I was a little kid. Those were some important years in the ’80s and ’90s for the genre of horror. On a much different scale, horror was marketed to the kids. There were movies, comics, and TV shows. Horror and Sci-Fi began to merge together to incorporate thrillers, the unexplained, spooky mysteries, and anything remotely…eerie. One of the first shows that successfully blended all this together for young kids in a neat package was Eerie, Indiana.

“…nobody believes me, but this is the center of weirdness for the entire planet…Eerie, Indiana, my home sweet home…”

Eerie premiered in September of 1991 and I began recording each episode as they aired without even knowing if I would like them or not. I just had a feeling that it exactly my type of show. The pilot turned out to be classic. The plot revolves around our main character Marshall’s (Omri Katz) neighbors, a set of twin boys whose mother preserves them in a type of human Tupperware called Foreverware when they go to sleep at night. It was directed by Jersey guy Joe Dante and it’s in line with all of his other superb genre work. From there, Marshall would investigate all kinds of weird stuff around his town. The show hit home for me since Marshall was constantly comparing his new whacked out hometown to his old neighborhood in New Jersey. Ironically, in the show he uses Jersey as his measuring stick for normal. Obviously we’re far from it!

“Normally I wouldn’t be afraid of pancakes, but back in Jersey, breakfast was always a serve yourself bowl of cereal. Mom had me worried.”

Predating Eerie, Indiana’s premiere by a couple of years, New Jersey had their very own magazine which was basically the same premise as Eerie called Weird NJ. I wonder if the shows producers did a little borrowing? It was quite a few years before the magazine blew up and became world renowned, but local Jersey folks were well aware of its existence. The publishers, Mark and Mark are local icons who eventually branched out into books and their own specials on the History Channel. You might say I was spoiled. Add this reading material into my TV watching routine and you can pick up on what kind of a kid I was and why I related to Marshall.

I had an insatiable appetite for anything I could devour with a creepy tone to it. Eerie, Indiana was my must-see TV for the season that it aired. When I was even younger I would watch Amazing Stories, The Goonies, The ‘Burbs, Monster Squad, The Explorers, The Gate, Haunted Honeymoon, Tomes and Talismans, Twilight Zone, and Tales From The Crypt. On stormy days in the summer my sister and I used to watch the video tape from the Clue video board game. Most times we didn’t even play the game, we just liked the mysterious video. Heck, after Eerie, Indiana was basically dead in the water I even watched Ghost Writer on PBS. That show rocked too. Are You Afraid of the Dark began in the same year as Eerie, Indiana and, a few years later, so did Goosebumps, so it just goes to show that there was a demand for that type of programming.

I would nearly wet myself when the promos would start airing for Shocktober on Channel 11 (WPIX here in the Tri-State area) as Halloween season neared. Friday and Saturday nights were spent staying up late and falling asleep on the recliner after being petrified by Werewolf, Tales from the Darkside, and Freddy’s Nightmares.

As I got older there seemed to be less and less of the types of genre movies and shows that I loved to watch as a kid. I was hooked on Buffy The Vampire Slayer when it first aired. Presently, with shows like True Blood, and Vampire Diaries, I prefer to watch Supernatural and My Babysitter’s a Vampire because they’re not as much adventure/horror as they are a blend of drama and romance. Those shows seem blatantly geared toward women. I’m not looking for comedy, but it’s a special feeling I get when watching the Monster Squad – nobody makes stuff like that anymore. The closest I’ve seen is the animated show Gravity Falls on Disney Channel that seems to be directly influenced by Eerie, Indiana. It’s the combination of fun and spooky adventure that appeals to me. If you were brought up watching Scooby Doo as a kid, you probably watched Eerie, Indiana when you were a little older! I want to see more shows like this, how about you?

Amityville House At Bargain Pricing!


If you’d like to live in The Amityville Horror house, all you need to do is scrounge up is $955,000 bucks! Your next paycheck will probably cover that price tag, right? An article by Gabriel Falcon at CNN Entertainment explains why this is actually a bargain price right now. It’s quite a drop since last year it was priced at $1.45 million! The house is located in Toms River, NJ and the couple selling the place swears it’s NOT haunted.

The events in The Amityville Horror took place in a house on Long Island, but when production of the 1979 film commenced, the movie company was denied permission to film there. A house in Toms River was then made up to look like the house on Long Island. What that means is the Toms River house is not haunted just as it’s inhabitants claim. Things change though. The couple who live in the house are in the middle of a divorce. Who knows what they’re liable to do to each other if they can’t unload this huge stressor off their back in the form of a legendary facade of horrors. The property is on the river, so it’s easy access for a couple who are at odds to attempt to pull a Norman Bates and drive the other into a watery grave. I doubt it would be the first body dumped in that water!

In addition to the iconic house in Toms River, The Amityville Horror also features scenes filmed in Ocean County, Scotch Plains, and a church in Point Pleasant, NJ. Not bad for a movie about a story that took place on Long Island!

The Barrens: A Direct To DVD Dud?


A film about a family camping in the Pine Barrens being stalked by The Jersey Devil? I’m in. I’m always in when it comes to that freak J.D!

The Barrens had a nice little buzz going for itself when it was first announced a while back. I’m not sure the path horror films take during their production, but the majority of them nowadays seem to go directly to dvd/blu-ray. I was under the impression that this one would actually get a theatrical release, especially with the nation’s bizarre love affair with everything New Jersey after the popularity of Jersey Shore.

As it turns out, there’s a very limited theatrical release going on, and as Bloody Disgusting reports, a site called TUGG is trying to get it played in more theaters. There’s a showing planned for the AMC/Loews in Cherry Hill, NJ, on 10/18. Read more about the limited release here. For the most part, this one is going straight to home video and V.O.D. It’s not a bad thing for me because then I can experience it for myself without hearing how terrible it might be and I won’t have it spoiled by articles or tweets. As it looks right now though, I won’t have to worry about negative feedback since reviews on IMDB are pretty positive at this point.

Hopefully this film will finally be a proper treatment of the Jersey Devil legend. It’s written and directed by Darren Bousman of the Saw films and Repo! The Genetic Opera so that’s encouraging I suppose. Judging by the early reviews it’s more of a psychological thriller than a true horror film, which appeals to me immensely. I prefer movies like The Shining and Psycho over those full of cheap effects and explicit, in your face gore.

As I mentioned previously here, The Barrens was filmed in Canada rather than in Jersey, most likely to keep production costs down. Such was the case with 2009’s Carny starring Lou Diamond Phillips. If you’re wondering if you should check that movie out, I give you my opinion at this linkThe Barrens stars’ Stephen Moyer of True Blood and Mia Kirshner and hits stores and On Demand on October 9th.