Movie Review: The Lords of Salem (2013)

by  on Apr.30, 2013, under Movie Review, Rob Zombie

lords-of-salem-poster1I’ve been a fan of Rob Zombie since the early 90′s when I was still in high school. His music always kind of sounded evil and it scared parents and that’s all the reason I needed to like it. When he got into filmmaking I of course was excited! His first film “House of 1000 Corpses” is a fun movie and one I still rewatch from time to time. The follow up, The Devils Rejects, was meaner and more serious but ultimately probably a better film. Both films have a 1970′s kind of raw aesthetic that has become a staple of Zombie’s style and I dig it. But, Then Zombie did the Halloween remake and its sequel and he lost me. While those films both look good I just didn’t like anything about them and I could go into the reasons why but I’d just be echoing the sentiments that so many other horror fans have already made.

Now Rob Zombie is back with a low budget Satanic film that has very little in common with what he’s done before, in Fact The Lords of Salem is his best film to date. Heidi (Shari Moon Zombie) is a local radio DJ in Salem Massachusetts who receives a mysterious record from “The Lords”. Its played on her show and sets off a series of events that to fulfill a satanic prophecy. The record deeply effects Heidi who begins hallucinating horrific visions that range from insanely creative and laughable. (more…)

 

Horror Movie Review: Jacob (2011)

by  on Apr.17, 2013, under HDSLR Filmmaking, Movie Review, Slasher Movies

81k-vBQXpeL._SL1435_ Back in 2002 I was finally getting Rogues Hollow up and officially in the haunted house industry and my first Haunted House client was a man Named Larry Wade Carrell. He was a very sweet man with a big dream to open a haunted house in Houston called, The Nest. The website I created was my first big foray into all Flash website design and by todays standards its pretty low tech and outdated but it was pretty special at the time. Larry worked closely with me and we really built some fun and cool imagery that people to this day remember and comment on at tradeshows. The Haunt’s story was a pretty wordy one about a Jason-like character, named Jacob, that goes on a killing spree and is now haunting The Nest. Unfortunately it didn’t do too well that first year and Larry decided what he really wanted to do was make movies. Of course the Nest lives on today in Phoenix Arizona each October! But Larry never forgot about the story and finally last year he was able bring the story of Jacob Kell and The Nest to life in a full length feature! (more…)

 

Movie Review: Room 237

by  on Mar.30, 2013, under horror movies, Movie Review

room237smaller2__span__spanConspiracy Documentaries as a genre may have just jumped the shark. The Shining is considered one of the greatest horror films ever made and there’s tons of interesting real information out there about its making. I’ve been a fan of the film since watching it in high school and finally being able to comprehend what the movie was all about. There’s a lot that can be said about the movie and its content. I could debate the changes between the book and Kubrick’s vision and why he made them. Or we could discuss if what Jack is seeing is real or just a hallucination. We could discuss the behavior of the characters and why they make the decisions they make. Or a plethora of other subject the film raises. Like almost all of his films, Stanley Kubrick wanted there to be different interpretations and discussions. He wanted us to have to work to understand what he was trying to show us and in most of his films, he didn’t care if you got it or not. He made the film he wanted to make and The Shining is no different. (more…)

 

Retro Movie Review: Vamp (1986)

by  on Mar.21, 2013, under horror movies, Retro Horror Movies, reviews, vampires

vampVampire movies are a young persons game. Lonely emo vampires searching for meaning to their existence perfectly fits into the emotions of lonely teenagers. So I’m not really a fan of modern vampire movies because they’re just not something that I can relate to on any level anymore. But I still like revisiting some of the vampire flicks I grew up with and recently I picked up the blu-ray edition of “Vamp”, a film I remember liking as a 10 year old boy but does it still hold up?

Vamp is basically the “After Hours” with vampires. If you have seen After Hours, which is great, then you can see how that might work. Kevin and AJ are tasked with finding a stripper for their fraternity. Since Neither have a car they bring Asian stereotype #1003 Duncan (Gedde Watanabe) playing a horny nerdy loser who doesn’t have any friends. The three of them head to a seedy side of the city to find the sleaziest of stripper clubs.

They eventually end up at a club that only opens “After Dark”. AJ heads in alone first to try to chat up a stripper to take back to the fraternity. Duncan can’t stand waiting and says quite possibly the best line of the whole movie. Kevin gives in and heads inside with Duncan where they get to see a truly bizarre bit of “performance art”? If you don’t know who Grace Jones is then you didn’t grow up in the 80′s. She was a very tall Jamaican woman with very strong features that make her both very unusual and beautiful at the same time. (more…)

 

Pennhurst 2013 Official Trailer

by  on Mar.15, 2013, under Canon 5D Mark III, haunted house commercials, trailers

The Pennhurst Asylum trailer was shot last October one Saturday afternoon before the haunt opened.  We basically ran in, told them to get some actors ready and came up with a short commercial right there on the spot.  We also were able to go through the haunt with the Canon 5D Mark III and get some great low light video of the attraction in action!  Check it out below and let us know what you think of it!

 

2013 Show Reel!

by  on Mar.11, 2013, under Millennium, serial killer movies, trailers, video

We just premiered this video at Transworld in St. Louis and now we’re pleased to finally show it off to everyone! Our 2013 Show Reel features our best video from the last year.  It it you’ll find clips from Pennhurst, LA Hayride, The Bates Motel, Killer’s Haunted House along with clips from our short film work.

My favorite part though has to be the Opening piece we shot last November out at the Haunted Trail of Horror in Kenton Ohio.  Big thanks to all the participants from the Haunted trail and especially our dead female victim, Wendy Howard, who is trooper for putting up with all the cold disgusting places we’ve made her lay and crawl in over the last few years!  The opening shots were of course inspired by the show that set me on my current path way back in 1996, the underated and horrifying, Millennium (1996-1999).

So without further ado here’s our 2013 Show Reel

 

Retro VHS Review: Fright Night Part 2

by  on Feb.12, 2013, under horror movies, Retro Horror Movies, reviews, VHS

1287554498-mOddly enough there are still a lot of movies that haven’t made it to DVD or blu-ray or were ported to DVD for a short period and are almost impossible to find today. Fright Night Part 2 is one of those movies that had never been given a proper release. If you do find a DVD you can expect to pay upwards of $100 just to get it. My desire to own the movie wasn’t that high so I went the cheap route and purchased an old VHS rental of the film.

Fright Night Part 2 is one of those movies that I haven’t watched since it was originally released back in 88′. I was 11 years old and I thought it was pretty good at the time but then again I was 11 years old. So I was kind of excited to dust off the ol’ VCR and put in the flick! If you’ve seen the original Fright Night then you’d be excused to say that Part 2 is almost a remake of the first. It begins with Charlie Brewster, now a college student who has undergone years of therapy to expunge the delusion that he killed a vampire. Now he believes that it was a serial killer and his mind just made up that he was a vampire as a coping mechanism. Ok, so Charlie is now dating a much more attractive psych student named Alex, who can speed read. Peter Vincent (Roddy Mcdowell) is still hosting Fright Night on TV and Charlie still stays in touch with him though he hasn’t told Peter he no longer believes in Vampires. (more…)

 

Stop Stealing Art!

by  on Feb.10, 2013, under Uncategorized

thief
So last night I had a fellow designer alert me to a website that not only stole artwork from one of my client’s site but also video! The evil art stealing dbags are TopHamTerrors.com and you can see the artwork and video here: http://www.tophamterrors.com/intro.html
Which is theft from – http://www.bloodmanor.com/2012/index.html
The designer is a company I’ve never heard of and a quick perusal of their site I didn’t find any other sites they created that infringed on my artwork. But the facts is they went to blood manor stole the image background there then downloaded the video from youtube.com and slipped in a few additional video clips and decided to call it their own.

In addition to this they took video clips from Thornhillwoodshauntedhouse.com and peppered them throughout their site. This ones even worse since Thornhill Woods Haunted House is a Home haunt and they used their family and friends for the videos so its pretty obvious where they came from. Whats worse is TopHamTerrors.com is apparently in close proximity to Thornhill Woods haunted house and so it is bilwidering why the owner of TophamTerrors.com chose a local home haunt to steal from when people will quickly figure it out.

So since this happened I alerted my clients to it. My client in Thornhill woods told me the guy at TopHamTerrors isn’t taking anything down because the owner thinks its ok to steal and change things slightly then reuse them. Which brings me to a bigger issue. A year or so ago I had a heated argument with a young “designer” who argued he could take whatever image he wanted from another artist as long as he changed it a little and then claim it as his own. What scares me is there seems to be how a lot of people think. They believe a Google Image search means “Free Photos” they can take to use. Its a big problem with not only the haunt industry but also the design business in general.

The Blood Manor artwork uses a very famous house in California. This is a mansion that has been copied and done to death a thousand times in the industry and I’m certainly aware of that. But Blood Manor is the client and they wanted to use that house. While I tried to convince them otherwise they were set on using it and what they want is what I’m paid to do. So I went out of my way to find a photographer to purchase a photo of the house because that’s what you do. You don’t go out and take something that already exists. I then heavily modified the house’ porch and of course added all the other elements including the yard, trees, fence etc. There’s hours of work that go into a piece like that and for someone to just claim they can spend 5 minutes making some changes to it and they own it is like a punch in the face.

If you are a designer then you should know there are plenty of Stock photography websites you can go find photos and use for your haunt art. So do everyone a favor, especially your clients, and legally purchase photos or take photos yourself and Photoshop them yourself. Don’t steal. You may get away with it for awhile but it will catch up with you and when it does I hope you’re ready for the consequences.

UPDATE 2/11/13
I spoke with the owner of Topham Terror who admitted that the designer of this website, DarkNET Designs had nothing to do with the artwork from Blood Manor. Topham now claims they purchased the artwork and video from someone on Hauntworld but can’t remember the name apparently. Yeah, right. So anyway I want to make it clear that DarkNET did not knowingly use the copyrighted artwork from Blood Manor.com.