Monthly Archives: November 2015

Film Review: The Funhouse Massacre

kFJcc5-XsxfWiqtfWsI-j22WF3cndBTbnF08EFxfxXgThe Funhouse Massacre
is a fun watch. It’s got a lot to offer horror fans – gore, laughs, murderous maniacs, inventive kills, boobs, and clowns. It also has something for haunt fans and in particular Greater Cincinnati haunt fans as our area’s Land of Illusion is featured prominently.  The film begins at the Statesville Asylum, where the warden (Robert Englund) is attempting to convince a journalist that she shouldn’t write about this place and it’s five very horrifying inmates. He reasons that society is better off without these freaks, and if you can’t kill ‘em, you might as well lock them up. These homicidal maniacs – a wicked wrestler, cannibal chef, deranged dentist, twisted taxidermist (Clint Howard), and a charismatic cult leader (Jere Burns) – manage to break free thanks to our cult leader’s equally monstrous daughter. They head to the Land of Illusion Haunted Scream Park, where the haunted mazes are inspired by the legends of their crimes and atrocities. It’s Halloween night, and the crowds come in droves for scares…that end up being all too real.

DSC_3461Our protagonists are friends and co-workers from a local diner that head to the haunt after work. There’s a side plot that intersects our main set of characters featuring the local sheriff and her stereotypically bumbling deputy. The actors do a solid job with the comedy and the horror, balancing some really ridiculous moments. And when I say ridiculous, I mean ridiculously funny or not very anatomically correct, but it’s all good. The cameos are great and exciting for genre fans, or fans of Reno 911.

My only problem with the movie was the Stitch Face Killer. How in the hell did her make-up stay put in that one scene I won’t describe because I don’t want to spoil… Continue reading

Film Review: Condemned

As someone who once briefly contemplated moving into a condemned building to live in Manhattan the recent straight to DVD release Condemned was already ahead of the game based on the premise alone. That combined with a robust cast of “oh yeah! That guy!” I was primed to love this movie. Unfortunately I did not. Fortunately, I also did not hate it. Let’s take a deeper look.

Ronen Rubinstein as Dante in the horror film “CONDEMNED” an RLJ Entertainment release. Photo credit: Paul Sarkis.

Ronen Rubinstein as Dante in the horror film “CONDEMNED” an RLJ Entertainment release. Photo credit: Paul Sarkis.

The story begins when a beautiful slacker, played by the up and coming teen heart throb Ronen Rubinstein, invites his equally beautiful girlfriend, played by an amalgam of all the brothers from the 90s pop band Hansen, to flee her abusive parents and come stay with him and all of his junky friends in an abandoned building in the West Village in Manhattan. I know you’re thinking “but, Fozzie. That sounds like the start of every successful power couple I’ve ever heard of. What could possibly go wrong?” As it turns out, a lot. For starters everyone who lives in the building has their personal demons and they insist on flushing those problems down the drain. In one apartment an abusive Rabbi flushes his transsexual hooker/girlfriend’s pills down the drain while in another a drug dealer/restaurateur spills his leftover Junk in the bathtub. One resident on the ground floor is the first recipient of this vile concoction and does nothing but sit on the toilet and cry while listening to Christmas music. Think Martha Stewart on New Year’s Day. It seems the combination of all the various flotsam and jetsam flushed down the drain has coalesced into a powerful drug that not only causes violent delusions but also causes really gross boils to break… Continue reading

Flash Fiction: Settling A Debt

















Lewis Marlowe avoided the Sunset Saloon whenever he could.

For one thing, he wasn’t entirely wild about the idea of there being a “saloon” in his town, given that it was already something of a relic of the Old West. Several years ago, Glandon, Wyo. had been on the list of abandoned ghost towns of the semi-mythical “Old West,” and the attention it gained as a result led to its rebirth as a functional town. Lewis had moved there because, as it happened, he owned some old family land on the outskirts. But living in a former ghost town was trouble enough without its saloon re-opening. It was basically a tourist attraction.

Lewis also disliked the Sunset Saloon because of its namesake. The back of the building was positioned facing a wide open plain that stretched out to the west. There was also a small graveyard in the back of the saloon, and it was said that the place got its name from the effect that the setting sun had on the stones. Rumor had it the light of the sunset at dusk would be blocked by the gravestones, casting little figures of shadows against the back wall of the saloon. Those who fancied the label “ghost town” more literally believed that as the shadows were cast, the spirits of those buried populated the saloon. Needless to say, this only added to the tourism appeal of the establishment. Lewis had never bothered to see how the shadows actually looked before dark.

Another reason to steer clear of the saloon was that Lewis just didn’t really see the point of it. Anyone who attended and wasn’t just a passing tourist usually did so for… Continue reading

Flash Fiction: Lily’s Prayers

Dan found the diary with little flowers and butterflies on the cover under Lily’s pillow. He felt a twinge of guilt as he sat on her bed and flipped through the pages but he wanted to know what she found important enough to write down and hide. It couldn’t be that exciting, she was only eight years old.

He stopped at a random page and read.

lily quote 1-01-01
Dan smiled. The next several entries were all similar. He was ready to slip the notebook back where he’d found it when he came across something quite different.

It was a drawing. A mad cluster of red scribbles. Long stick-like arms reached out from the edges and at its center  a yawning  black mouth  filled with long, sharp teeth that spiraled endlessly inward. She had drawn herself into the picture, smiling, wearing her striped shirt and purple shorts. She was holding one of the thing’s crooked hands. Beneath it she’d written:

lily quote 2-01

Dan looked out into the living room. All was quiet. He looked back at the drawing and frowned. Something about the dark crawls of wax made him uneasy. It was like a scab come to life. Kids drew all sorts of strange things; monsters, fairies, unicorns. They carried on conversations with imaginary friends. Had parties with stuffed animals and held funerals for dead birds. They were weird and you couldn’t take anything they did too seriously. Still, the reference to God was new. They weren’t a religious family. They didn’t even own a bible. He knew that she’d picked up the habit of saying her prayers at night from her cousins, but he’d always thought it was just so she could keep the lights on a little longer. He’d never stopped to wonder who she was praying to.… Continue reading

Freddy’s Favorite Things: Bleeding Critic

Freddy's Favorite Things sq

Just in case you’ve never heard of it, “Oprah’s Favorite Things was an annual segment that appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show from the 1990s to 2010, with a one-year hiatus in 2009. In the segment, which was typically aired during the holiday season and inspired by the song “My Favorite Things” from The Sound of Music, Winfrey shared products with her audience that she felt were noteworthy or that would make a great gift. In addition, the audience members that were present during the taping of the episode receive items from that year’s list for free.” (source: Wikipedia…cut and paste because I’m too lazy to type out an explanation of OFT).

Well, I have some Favorite Things too! There’re so many of them in fact, that I could fill a book. I don’t have a book to fill, but I do have this blog so I’m going to start sharing my favorite things with you. Some will be lifelong favorites; while others will be great stuff that I’m just discovering. And while, unlike Oprah, I don’t have the means to place all of my tangible favorites beneath your seat for you to rapturously discover after reading, I hope that you will seek out Freddy’s Favorite Things.

My newest Favorite Thing is a website unlike anything I’ve seen. I’ve been feeling social, so I’ve been reaching out to like-minded folks and horror fans on Twitter. One of the people that I’ve met is Bleeding Critic. He’s a mysterious character. He presents an anonymous presence, his face hidden beneath a very unsettling clown mask. I’m not scared or intimidated by clowns, but Bleeding Critic has a frightening onscreen countenance.

Podcast Series Theme: Horror Westerns

horror western“The funeral procession made their way out of town and up the slight incline towards the boneyard. The boy’s father, older brother, uncle and two cousins lugged his casket, faces cast downward. The preacher clutched his bible and hummed Amazing Grace. The womenfolk wept and the menfolk clutched their hats tightly against their chests . Dusk fell, turning the sky a deep, dark blue. Wooden crosses and name markers rose up to greet them as they made their way to the open grave, dug that very afternoon. The wasting-away disease that took the boy had worked fast, bringing him down in less than two days.

The pallbearers set the coffin down beside the grave and began tying on the lowering ropes. The boy’s mother wailed with anguish and was answered by the lonely screech of a nightbird. The preacher began his holy rolling, spinning yarns about pearly gates, still waters and eternal life in heaven. He told them the boy would be reborn in the blood of Christ and would rise to claim his unending reward.

He wasn’t wrong either. It just happened a lot quicker than anyone expected.

With shadows sweeping across the low hill, a knocking sound came from inside the coffin. It was faint at first but quickly became a frantic pounding.

“Oh dear Jesus we’re buryin’ my Henry alive!” The boy’s father fumbled at the latches on the casket while the townsfolk moaned and muttered, closing in around him. He couldn’t get them open so one of the boy’s brother’s grabbed up a rock and bludgeoned the latches till they broke. The moment the latches fell off the coffin lid flew open and the tiny figure of the boy sprang up from his silk-lined repose like a wildcat. He seemed very spry for someone who’d been shut up in a… Continue reading