Archive for the ‘About Us’ Category

The Return of Jenny 2: This Time it’s Personal

Posted: March 10, 2014 by Jenny Dreadful in About Us
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Photo by Rae Winters

Hello again, horror friends. Jenny Dreadful here. It’s been a long time.

Although I was never as fast or competent with writing as I wanted to be, I used to be more active on the site and within my local horror community. I miss that. I’m an artist, a game designer, a hardcore horror fan, and now… as of August… I’m working a somewhat square office job too (after a decade of freelancing). Wow, I’m tired. I truly don’t know how so many of you keep the content coming, but I admire you and I’m working to achieve that elusive work-art-horror balance again.

For a little while, I think I was content with letting my parts of the blog go dark and allowing Jenny D to disappear. I saw the way so many local cinephiles treat each other, the way they talk about each other, and it was discouraging. What do they really think of me? What do they say when I’m not looking? I didn’t feel like I was good enough to keep up. I didn’t think I would be missed. I’m happy to say that I was wrong.

This past month, I’ve attended a few events and I’ve been lucky enough to spend time with wonderful people who care about the genre and social issues like I do. I’ve learned that the people who matter care about what I have to say and about sharing our passions for the genre whether I’m actively writing and getting involved or just watching movies and geeking out with friends on someone’s couch. Whether I’m cool enough, pretty enough or if I have the “right” opinions or not. Because love is what draws us all together. Love for fear, dread, shock, love for blood and screams, but love all the same.

The folks who care more about tearing each other down, about being better and smarter than everyone else, they’ve lost that love. I hope they get it back one day, but I can’t worry about what people like that think of me. It’s exhausting and a waste of time. I need to find those people who chase the experience of being scared the way that I do, who care about the causes that I do, who are genuine and kind, and hold on tight. Between the Philly Loves Women in Horror event, a visit to Monster Mania 27, and ongoing adventures with my girl Rae “StayFrosty” Winters, I think I’ve found what I’m looking for.

Want to talk about some horror movies? Awesome. Me too.

***Coverage of Monster Mania 27 coming this week!

Philly Loves Women in Horror – films and panel

Posted: February 26, 2014 by StayFrosty in About Us, Events, Film

frostyThis past weekend, JennyD and I were asked to take part in a panel for Philly Loves Women in Horror, an event of short films and film discussion created by Ashlee Blackwell.  The event was moderated by Hannah Neurotica (whom it was incredible to meet), the creator of Women in Horror month, and it was an incredible, inspiring and exciting event that we were thrilled to be a part of!  We got to meet some awesome and creative women, see some excellent shorts, and be on a panel with other lady horror lovers like us.  What’s not to love?

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Let’s start with the films.  We got to see 10 shorts, and there were some very strong offerings.  I really loved the opening short, “The Dump”, directed by Rebekah McKendry (2012) – she seamlessly blended horror and comedy in her story about two killers who run into each other at a dump site they both want to use.  Discussion and laughter ensues.  Looking forward to more from Ms. McKendry!

We found at this event that we had more fun with horror comedy shorts than the more serious ones, which for me at least is different from normal – horror and comedy can be very tough to combine, but many of these ladies handled it with ease.  “My Mom and Other Monsters” (dir. Kate Tsang, 2011) kept it creepy until the end, “Sheeties” (dir. Paula Haifley, 2012), a mockumentary about the lives and relationship trials of those who dare to embrace their love of wearing the classic ghost sheet, had me laughing the whole time, and “OowieWanna” (dir. Bridget Palardy, 2011), takes an adventure at a laundromat to a whole new (and musical!) level.  Out of all the shorts, I definitely enjoyed these the most, but all of the films had something interesting to offer.

We also got to see two trailers, one from Lil’ Filmmakers, an organization that helps youth and teens learn to make movies and explore their love of cinema.  Their upcoming film is called “Erudition”.  For information, including how to donate, please check out http://www.lilfilmmakersinc.com/

The other trailer was for a documentary entitled “My Final Girl” by Kristina Leath-Malin, who also joined us on the panel, about the role of American black women in the Blaxploitation and horror genre, something that I can’t wait to watch.  Check out the trailer here:  http://vimeo.com/62552635

From left: JennyD, Stay Frosty, Kristina Leath-Malin, Ashlee Blackwell, Hannah Neurotica

From left: JennyD, Stay Frosty, Kristina Leath-Malin, Ashlee Blackwell, Hannah Neurotica

After the films, JennyD and I got to speak on a panel alongside Kristina Leath-Malin and Ashlee Blackwell, moderated by Hannah Neurotica!  We discussed our first encounters with the word/understanding of the final girl, how our gender has affected our experiences within the genre community (both positively and negatively), and much more!

JennyD and StayFrosty on the panel!!!!

JennyD and StayFrosty on the panel!!!!

Jenny and I were honored to be part of an event for Women in Horror Month!  We hope next year we can do even more!  But February isn’t over yet, people – get out there and support ladies in the genre community!  In fact, who cares if it’s not February?  Celebrate women in horror all year round!

Philly Loves Women in Horror!

Posted: February 22, 2014 by Jenny Dreadful in About Us, Events, Film

Hey, Philly horror freaks! This is an important announcement!

PHILLY LOVES WOMEN IN HORROR kicks off at 3pm today at The Rotunda! See more details here:
https://www.facebook.com/events/380316498738942/
A selection of horror films from female directors will be on offer, as well as a panel featuring ladies active in the local genre scene.

PLOT TWIST:
Jenny Dreadful and Rae “StayFrosty” Winters and I are on the panel! Gasp! I bet you didn’t expect that! Come see us gush about horror. It is our favorite thing.

This will be a fantastic event, all thanks to Ashlee Blackwell, founder of Graveyard Shift Sisters; a site dedicated to celebrating the experiences and achievements of women of color in the horror community. Check it out here:
http://www.graveyardshiftsisters.com/p/mission.html

Exhumed Films 24 Hour Horrorthon 2011

Posted: October 25, 2012 by Jenny Dreadful in About Us, Events, Film, News, Reviews

Poster by Justin Miller

This post may exclude a number of our readers and I apologize, but the best time of the year is on its way and that means one thing here in the Philadelphia area; The Exhumed Films 24 Hour Horror-thon!

Yeah, you heard me. 24 hours. Noon Saturday to noon Sunday. Equal parts wild entertainment and grueling endurance test, the International House is definitely the place to be this weekend. It’s magic. Sweaty blood-splattered butt-numbing magic.

Now, the Horrorthon sells out fast. Faster every year. I do believe 2012 set a record at just six days and that was back in August. Why am I bothering to discuss the event if most of you can’t attend? If you’re attending for the first time or may attend in the future, I’m hoping to give  you a general idea of what to expect. Hell, if neither of those qualifiers apply, here are a bunch of micro-reviews.

 

The list of films seen last year, in the order they were shown, along with the dubious hints included in the program:

1. Psychomania

Hint: Fun 1970s British film that successfully combines two specific horror and exploitation genres.  Year: 1971

Jenny: Obnoxious biker teens become the living dead through ritualistic suicide. Horror elements are overwhelmed by unintentional silliness and that’s just fine. Lots of fun.

StayFrosty: This was a great choice to kick off the Horrorthon, because this movie is totally nuts.  And by nuts I mean hilarious.  Between asking for the secrets of the living dead while angrily eating a sandwich (where did it come from? Where????) or a graveyard makeout ending with a frog hidden in a coat pocket (you heard me), the audience was engaged and laughing pretty much throughout.

crowbait: The British films I’ve seen from this era are often so . . . bleak. Even while they are camp entertainment. The villains enjoy a reign of terror while the “heroes” are woefully ineffectual police officers, stuffy officials who are cut down by the gleeful satanists and monsters. Youth are revolutionary and evil and will not be stopped except by their own self-destruction! Yeah, sure it’s done for laughs here but with some better acting and less witchcraft, this could be A Clockwork Orange. Or not. 

 

2. Rodan

Hint: Giant monster movie classic.  Year: 1956

StayFrosty:  I’ll admit I slept through most of this.  I was trying to get my sleep in early.

crowbait: The Japanese dig too greedily and too deep and awaken the winged Godzilla-alike. The impressive destruction of model cities fills the second half of the film and makes up for the ponderous narration that weighs down the first half. Par for the course really with Toho features. I remember watching these movies as a kid, filling in the boring “talking” parts with my own dinosaur toys.

Jenny: No doubt a classic of Japanese monster flicks. I was so bored though. I’m so sorry, Japan! I want to love your giant rampaging kaiju. I just don’t have the strength.

 

3. Frightmare

Hint: Little seen supernatural shocker that marks the horror debut of a future genre icon.  Year: 1981

Jenny: The future genre icon in question here is legendery actor and reanimator, Jeffrey Combs, appearing in his first horror film role. I was thrilled to see him and the pissed-off undead horror star (in the tradition of Christopher Lee and Bela Lugosi) was an amusing choice for a villain. With a plot strangely similar to Weekend at Bernie’s and a goofy gothic aethsetic, Frightmare is campy slasher fun. It’s overlong, unfortunately, and gets surprisingly dark. Dark is fine, but it’s an odd change in mood after the setup. Despite criticisms, I enjoyed it and I’m glad I had a chance to see it.

StayFrosty: This started out pretty fun, and it’s a cool idea to have a Bela Lugosi-type actor be all evil with mind powers, but it just doesn’t deliver the goods.  Too many long shots of our villain touching his head and making big eyes, not enough stuff actually happening.

crowbait: Yeah. I thought with some tighter editing, this could have been one of my faves. Unfortunately, when you have 30 minutes to wait around for the villain to even start moving you have plenty of time to notice “hey, this movie isn’t as clever as it thinks it is.”

 

4. Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer

Hint: Just when you thought you were having fun, along comes Movie #4 to completely depress you with its stark brutality and nihilsim.   Year: 1986

StayFrosty: I’d seen Henry before – it’s an impactful, rough film.  I still felt this way watching it on the big screen, and I also realized I now know where Rob Zombie got his inspiration for every character in House of 1000 Corpses and The Devil’s Rejects (they’re pretty much all Otis, including Sid Haig, who plays a guy named Otis).  Michael Rooker does an amazing job here of showing us a dangerous, frightening man who is still trying desperately to do the right thing with the one woman he might be able to care about.  Watching the scenes where she wants to be close to him and he is so desperately trying to stay away to avoid hurting her still carry weight on the second viewing.  In fact, I think I appreciated those types of scenes more this time around.  This isn’t an easy movie to watch, but I think it’s one that should be seen.

Jenny: They’re not kidding with that hint. This is a really severe shift in tone after the last few flicks, but it’s a classic. Horror fans willing to explore such a hopeless and violent place should see at least once. However, viewers uncomfortable with sexual violence in film should use caution or skip it entirely.

 

5. The Dead

No hint needed. Film announced in advance.   Year: 2010

StayFrosty:  Much like everything filmed in Australia, Africa is a gorgeous place to shoot a film.  This movie has beautiful landscape shots and lovely natural colors.  I was very much looking forward to this, and while I enjoyed it, I think it lost its footing in the last third of the film.  However, there’s some excellent imagery and a few very creepy moments.

crowbait: It’s always really interesting to see a zombie movie play out in a foreign environment. The zombie has always been seen as a metaphor for disease and witnessing the destruction of Africa this way, as the white people flee, is poignant. The antidote for the Resident Evil 5 video game, which started with a similar premise and quickly lost its way.

Jenny: The only new release shown and the only title projected digitally; both very unusual for an Exhumed Films event. I was very excited to see The Dead because I’d heard lots of intriguing things. That it was dangerous to film, that the locations were both beautiful and breaking new ground… it sounded amazing. After seeing it, I do appreciate the choice of setting and its relevance to social issues, but was rather disappointed by the film itself. Just another zombie movie.

 

6. Trick or Treat

Hint: Totally stupid, totally awesome Satanic silliness.  Year: 1986 

crowbait: Yes! One of my favorites! I’d seen it before of course but I’m never going to complain about having a chance to see this rock and roll nightmare. What’s really great about this film is that you can tell real fans of shock rock were behind it. It never descends to the level of parody: Embracing it’s subject matter for laughs rather than abusing it. Even though it’s about a satanist rocker using back-masking to cast spells and resurrect himself from the dead to get some revenge, there’s never any preachy nonsense about devil music, except for a hilarious cameo by Ozzy Osbourne as an anti-smut reverend.

StayFrosty:  Crow is right on all counts.  I hadn’t seen this before, so it really was a great surprise.  I loved it.  And the facial expressions on our Satanist rocker – oh man, they are excellent.

Jenny: I’d seen this before and I was so happy to see it again. The Osbourne cameo is fantastic and the villain is hilarious. Best movie ever? Well… maybe not, but a must-watch if you don’t hate fun. Possibly my favorite film screened at the Horrorthon. 

 

7. Night Warning

Hint: Underappreciated, over-the-top slasher/psychosexual thriller.  Year: 1982

Jenny: I’m so confused about this one. I’ve seen a number of post-Horrorthon reports taut Night Warning (AKA Butcher, Baker, Nightmare Maker) as the pick of the event. There’s definitely some dialogue here, featuring over-the-top homophobia and incestuous professions, to shock and amuse slasher fans, but I don’t get it. I got bored and left, so I can’t give it a proper review. There’s plenty of love going around for this tale of serious family dysfunction, though, so folks into exploitation may want to check it out.

 

8. Frankenhooker

Hint: Unconventional adaptation of a literary horror classic #1.  Year: 1990

StayFrosty: This was my first time seeing Frankenhooker.  Very much in the vein of Re-Animator (except our mad scientist is from Jersey), it mixes humor and horror in equal measure.  Probably more humor than horror, but a very funny and clever take on the Frankenstein story.  The stuff with the super crack wasn’t really necessary, but what can you do.

crowbait: Once the actual monster awakens and the rampage begins, the movie’s entertainment value soars. Unfortunately, it’s a long slog to get there and it doesn’t last long. There’s some tacked on commentary on the sad state of women who fill a need that has always has been a part of society and who are abused and destroyed for doing so but that’s never allowed to get in the way of gratuitous, unattractive nudity, pimp-slapping and “super crack.”

Jenny: I have tried (Basketcase) and I have tried (Bad Biology), but I’m just not a Frank Henenlotter fan. With that said, I really enjoyed this sleazy little flick. I’m sure the party atmosphere of a tired giggling crowd contributed to the positive experience, but I do think it’s worlds better than the rest of Henenlotter’s catalogue. I’d recommend it if you’re looking for laughs and trashy fun.

 

9. Dr. Black, Mr. Hyde

Hint: Unconventional adaptation of a literary horror classic #2.  Year: 1976

crowbait: I have to wonder about the underlying message here about how black people shouldn’t try to “be white” by becoming well-educated medical professionals and scientists. Eh, maybe I’m reading too deeply into what is obviously an excuse to see pimps and cops destroyed by a black man with a bullet-proof layer of white skin. (That’s a whole other can of symbolic worms.)

Jenny: It’s getting late at this point and the audience is tiring. I suspect some of the weaker less engaging selections are placed in this slot where folks inevitably start zoning out. So many of these blaxploitation twists on classic monsters start out with promise, but turn out to be slow-paced disappointments that drag on and wear out their welcome before long. Especially hard to get into after the rude guilty pleasures of Frankenhooker, I was very bored.

 

10. The Legend of the Wolf Woman

Hint: Infamous, sleezy, and bizarre Euro-horror/sexploitation movie.  Year: 1976

Jenny:  Basically an Italian rape-revenge movie with gratuitous full-frontal and delusions of lycanthropy. I’d seen Wolf Woman before; found in one of those cheap and glorious 50-packs Mill Creek churns out constantly. I sort of half-watched it then and I fear that’s the best way to do it. Once again, it’s amazing how some of these films with bad dubbing, hilarious dialogue and silly effects can get boring so quickly if the pace is slow and the scenes are repetitive. Even viewers attracted to the female form will tire of seeing this lady dance naked in a circle of torches for eternity. Adding goofy werewolf prosthetics to the naked dancing can only help for so long. It might be fun to throw it on during a party, but it doesn’t deserve your full attention. I fought sleep so hard during this film and I’m certain I lost.

 

11. Blood Diner

Hint: This is a goofy gore/sleaze-fest that will probably make your brain hurt with its sheer stupidity. It’s 5:30 in the morning, what did you expect?    Year: 1987

Jenny: I’m afraid this isn’t a review at all. This is the inevitable movie I slept through. I didn’t want to. I’m so ashamed. Every time I woke up for a minute, something tacky and horrible was happening onscreen and then I was out again. I’ve been told by more than one source that what I’m describing is the best way to enjoy Blood Diner, so I’m fighting my desire to seek it out and rewatch while awake. Dare I ruin my delirious 5:30 in the morning memories? Uh… highly recommended as a movie to sleep to.

 

12. The Burning

Hint: Star-studded” slasher semi-classic.  Year: 1981

Jenny: After a nice breakfast break, I’d recovered from my Dr. Black, Mr. Hyde and Wolf Woman woes. The Burning, definitely a classic, was a great way to start a new day of film overload.

Regarding the hint, both Holly Hunter and Seinfield‘s Jason Alexander made their film debut in this campgrounds slasher. Based on the old “Cropsey” urban legend, a summer camp caretaker is horribly burned and disfigured by a group of campers when a prank goes terribly wrong. Years later, Cropsey returns to the camp for brutal revenge. Slasher fans should check out The Burning for creepy kills (many featuring that terrifying pair of shears), successful shocks, and a rare Final Boy.

 

13. Maximum Overdrive

Hint: Usually, this is the spot where we show an “animals attack” movie. Well, there are no animals here, but people definitely get attacked in this silly sci-fi/action/horror amalgam.  Year: 1986

crowbait: Ugh. I guess it’s a good thing this was made when Stephen King was frequently face down in a bucket of cocaine because then he at least has some excuse. Nonsensical plot inconsistencies, schizo characters, ill fitting music and overlong scenes.

Jenny: I am generally a fan of King, but I couldn’t do it. Just couldn’t. The man shouldn’t direct. I left.

 

14. Meet the Feebles

Hint: For the first time ever, the Horror-thon does not end with a zombie film. In fact, it technically doesn’t even end with a horror movie. Instead, we close with this jaw-droppingly ridiculous/offensive/just-plain-wrong cult film favorite.   Year: 1989

Jenny: Meet the Feebles. Where do I begin? It’s The Muppets gone horribly horribly wrong presented by madman Peter Jackson. A relic of his wonderful and disgusting pre-Hobbit years.

This was an amazing conclusion to over 20 hours of movie madness. In a sick twist on the Henson characters we all know and love, puppets running a variety show succumb to their many vices—greed, drugs, sex, violence—and circle the drain as we cringe and follow along. It’s childhood corrupted. It’s both awful and hilarious. Peter Jackson, what have you done?

And that’s the last movie!

___________________________

Despite the occasional misses, the Horror-thon is a great time. There’s something special about not knowing what comes next and sharing the bewildered experience with an enthusiastic crowd of fellow genre nerds. With our senses and backs throughly assaulted, we are victorious, and go blinking into the sunlight. The end.

Monster Mania Con 22

Posted: August 22, 2012 by Jenny Dreadful in About Us, Events, Film, News, Shopping

August is here and that means the ladies and gentleman of Final Girl Support Group were summoned to Cherry Hill, NJ yet again to attend Monster Mania, a semiannual celebration of all things horror. Any nerd gathering has its drawbacks, but Dave Hagan and company run a good show. We never miss it.

“Hey… Clive. Hey, Clive. Clive. Clive.”

As you may remember, last spring was a weekend-long tribute to Robert Englund and his slasher alter ego Freddy (see FGSG and Cinedelphia for more details). Although a number of guests were unrelated to a unifying theme this summer, the con could easily have been called “Barker Con.” That’s Clive Barker of course; the infamous British author, director, and artist responsible for Hellraiser, Nightbreed, Candyman, and other explorations of terrifying nightmare worlds and inconceivable pain. An impressive gathering of cast members from both Hellraiser and Nightbreed were in attendance. The buzz of the horror community for a time, the new “Cabal Cut” of Nightbreed, was onscreen daily. Just one hitch. The star of the show was missing. No Clive.

It was a huge disappointment when Barker, scheduled as the headliner since November, had to cancel his appearance in late July for health reasons. The fans, convention organizers, and Barker himself were clearly devastated that he was too sick to attend, but I’m impressed to say that Hagan and the outspoken community of attendees handled the unfortunate situation with class. The staff worked hard to satisfy disappointed ticket-holders and many fans expressed sympathies and encouragement to Clive rather than unfair outrage (though I’m sure some trolls lost their minds). Get better soon, Clive. Meanwhile… the show must go on.

There’s a great deal going on at these events including celebrity meet ‘n’ greets, vendors hawking all kinds of horror memorabilia, costumes, panels, and screenings of films highlighting the guests of honor. What are we there for? STUFF… and friends… maybe staring at actors and intriguing panels. But we must not lie to you, our precious readers. We’re there to fulfill our nerdly needs for hard-to-find films and classics to fill out our collections. Let’s not forget the ever-present quest for feminine horror apparel. May we fly our freak flags in flattering clothes? Must we be forever be banished to XXL t-shirts? More on that later. First… MOVIES MOVIES MOVIES.

The Loot! 

I would leave these events with enough films to warrant renting a truck if I could. Sadly, I’m the starving artist type and must settle for a satisfying but reasonable armful. I left the convention with these finds:

  • The Deadly Spawn- One needs a cheesy monster movie now and then.
  • Evidence- Interesting found-footage title. Never heard of it before the con. Pleasantly surprised. More on this below.
  • F- Hoodie Horror. A British school invasion in the tradition of Ils, The Strangers and Eden Lake.
  • Hierro- All signs lead toward a flawed but visually stunning psychological horror flick.
  • Iron Sky- Nazis on the moon. Udo Kier as the Moon Fuhrer. I shouldn’t have to say more. Amazing.
  • Kill List- One of the best horror films of 2011. Worth picking up if you’re not squeamish. Proud to have mine on Blu.
  • The Life and Death of a Porno Gang- Another shocker from Serbia. Although I’ve read a few things about the film, I have a feeling we’re in for some uncomfortable surprises. Bring it on.

In addition to my sweet pile of movies, I scored some pretty lady clothes. I’ll be the belle of the ball in my hot new Texas Chainsaw Massacre dress. Thanks, KittyVamp Designs!

Let’s hear from StayFrosty.

StayFrosty:  As usual, I started at the Diabolik DVD table.  They always have high quality, hard to find stuff, and they know their shit, so it’s fun talking to them in their few seconds of free time.  This year I picked up the blu-ray of Halloween 4 & 5 (yeah I know, they’re not great, but I’m completing a collection.  Don’t judge me.), the Arrow version of Fulci’s House by the Cemetary, and the blu-ray of Livide.  I’m super excited to see Livide, the follow up film from Inside directors Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury.  FGSG loved Inside, so I can’t wait to see what they do next.

At every convention, if I have the money, I grab a few movies I’ve never heard of that look interesting, and it’s exciting to hope I’ll find a gem in the lottery.  This year JennyD and I chose a bunch together – some known (Iron Sky!) and some completely unknown.  And we found a little film called Evidence.  We got it for free with the purchase of other movies, or we wouldn’t have picked it up (the description didn’t make it seem very interesting, found footage is a little played out, etc).  And when we sat down to watch it, our guess seemed to be correct – we were bored within the first ten minutes.  We contemplated turning it off, but decided to give it 15 more minutes.  And am I glad we did, because once the movie got going (about the 15 minute mark), it kept the quality going right through until the end of the closing credits.  There were some genuinely creepy moments, and while the film does change gears, it never feels forced.  I don’t want to give to much away, but this is well worth a watch.

Jeannet Mendez of KittyVamp Designs

We’ve often discussed the lack of horror clothing for ladies at these conventions (let’s get this straight – youth sizes don’t mean girl shirts, and men’s smalls don’t count either), but this year we had a very pleasant surprise.  In the corner of the smaller dealers’ room we found KittyVamp Designs (www.kittyvamp.com), run by a young lady who takes giant men’s shirts and remakes them into hot female dresses and shirts.  Needless to say, we had to get some of these and if I had the money, I know I would have bought a ton of stuff.  As it is, I’m now a proud owner of Dracula and Friday the 13th dresses – can’t wait to wear them!  These dresses were well made, flattering to the body, and comfortable.  This lady knows her stuff.  And whenever I checked, her booth was absolutely packed with women.  Take this as a hint, other clothing dealers – there are lots of ladies who want to look fabulous in horror clothing, and KittyVamp Designs is doing it right.  Definitely the best non-film find of the convention.

Friends, Fiends, Costumes and Creeps

Takes all kinds to put on a horror show. Takes all kinds. Although your usual suspects (Pyramid Head, Stilt Clowns, Jasons-o-plenty) were present as always and looking good, Monster Mania 22 wasn’t the explosion of costume excitement and creativity inspired by Freddy Con in March. We do enjoy the parade of fake blood and slasher masks all the same.

Speaking of Freddy… some con-goers were pretty obnoxious this year. StayFrosty has promised us a powerful rant on creepers, the issues a woman faces at an event like this, and con etiquette in general. We look forward to it, lady.

Other than a few bad apples, however, we find the event is becoming a more female-friendly space every year. Although the environment has hardly been hostile, it’s safe to say that most genre conventions have been guilty of gender exclusion–addressing and selling solely to a male audience, mistaking women in the community for booth babes, dismissing the knowledge or integrity of female fans–and we’re seeing some significant progress. In 2012, we found slim-fit women’s tees featuring posters for The Thing, Silent Night Deadly Night, A Serbian Film, and more. We bought flattering dresses crafted from men’s horror tees. We met kick-ass women holding down booths who are knowledgeable, eager to talk cinema, and happy to share recommendations. And, in an encouraging turn, less men appear to be surprised by the concept of our blog and the assertion that the hardcore female fanbase is very real. We feel good about where this is going.

Now, a few shout-outs to some of our favorite familiar faces…

Joseph and Jesse of Diabolik DVD and Exhumed Films at Monster Mania 21.

Joseph Gervasi and Jesse Nelson of Diabolik DVD

StayFrosty: We say it a lot, but it’s worth repeating – the Diabolik boys know their shit.  And without doubt, they have the best selection at the con (probably because they know their shit).  It’s a terrific mix of all types of horror (and some that skirt the line into other genres): gory, creepy, exploitation, atmospheric, cult, wild and just plain weird, all from a variety of countries (which means you’ve got to check the region on your purchases, but they’re pretty good about letting you know when something isn’t going to play in American players).  What more could a horror-loving blog team ask for?  Aside from their awesome selection, Jesse and Joseph are cool guys that are fun to talk to – they know and love movies, and it shows.  While we don’t like to interrupt them during vendor hours (their booth is almost always packed), we do love to see them and talk to them, however briefly, about the latest in carnage and weirdness.

Jenny adds: Check Diabolik DVD often for the newest in strange cinema and keep an eye on their sister site Exhumed Films to stay informed about the best damn horror and exploitation events in the Philly area.

Dan and Scott at the PhilaMOCA Mausoleum Art Show of Horrors in June (curated by your humble narrator). Photo by Arin Sang-urai.

Dan Tabor and Scott Cole

Jenny: After burning through our con money and staying up all night for a little horrorthon on Friday, our plan for Saturday was fairly relaxed. We ended up spending the bulk of the day with these fine gentlemen. Intense movie discussion and fun were had by all.

Dan Tabor, super fan and serious movie fiend, writes for local geek guide Geekadelphia. He’s also got some adorable dogs. You’re jealous. Get news, reviews, and even chances to win screening passes and prizes from Dan over here.

Scott Cole is an author, artist, confirmed horrorphile, and occasional guest contributor here on FGSG. (See his review of Saint Nick here.) Visit 13Visions to learn more about Scott’s artwork and writing.

If you’re in the Philly area and you’re sitting down for a screening of some bizarre or obscure horror flick, don’t panic… They’re probably right behind you… Seriously, these guys can be found at most local genre events. They’re good sorts. Say hello.

Coming Soon…

That’s all for now. We didn’t catch panels or take many photos, but we had a good time.

As briefly mentioned, Clive Barker’s new Nightbreed: The Cabal Cut was screening daily and it was a huge draw for horror fans eager to see the new partially-restored version of the film. We did catch the screening Friday night, but a proper writeup requires a post of its own. Look for a review of the new cut, coming soon, here on FGSG.

The Mausoleum Art Show of Horrors and Convention

Posted: May 21, 2012 by Jenny Dreadful in About Us, Art, Events, Film

Good morning, readers. The blog has been quiet lately, but I assure you; our crew has been keeping quite busy. A ridiculous amount of horror and fun is on the way. Where to begin? That’s easy. I’m curating an upcoming art show.

In collaboration with Eric Bresler of Cinedelphia and PhilaMOCA, I’ll be showcasing fantastic work from Philly locals in The Mausoleum Art Show of Horrors in June. The official press release is in. All details about the art show and accompanying film program and convention are below.

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The Philadelphia Mausoleum of Contemporary Art embarks on its most ambitious project yet:  a two-day celebration of all things horror!

Friday, June 15 : The Mausoleum Art Show of Horrors

Saturday, June 16 : The Mausoleum Horror Convention

On Friday, June 15, PhilaMOCA will host The Mausoleum Art Show of Horrors curated by Jenny Dreadful.  But the night isn’t completely dedicated to masterpieces of the macabre as we’ll also be hosting the North American Tour of Terror, a program of current short horror films curated by local filmmaker Matt Garrett (Beating Hearts), followed by local horror maestro Isaac Williams’ feature documentary MAYBE WE CAN GO TO HOLLYWOOD starring the late Philly punk legend Mikey Wild.

Event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/410031079020038/

6:00 PM : ART SHOW RECEPTION
9:00 PM : NORTH AMERICAN TOUR OF TERROR
11:00 PM : MAYBE WE CAN GO TO HOLLYWOOD

Refreshments courtesy Narragansett Beer Co. and Red Bull.

Admission: $7; All ages.

NORTH AMERICAN TOUR OF TERROR LINEUP
Curated by Matt Garrett
1. Martian Precursor, Dir: Brian Lonano, USA, 1 minute
2. Sinkhole, Dir: Greg Hanson, USA, 2 minutes (Director will be in attendance)
3. T is for Toothpick, Dir: Maude Michaud, Canada, 4 minutes
4. Criticized, Dir: Richard Gale, USA, 18 minutes
5. Doll Parts, Dir: Karen Lam, Canada, 9 minutes
6. God’s Little Girl, Dir: Mitch Davis, Canada, 17 minutes
7. Elko, Dir: Alexander Yan, USA, 14 minutes
(Philadelphia Sneak Preview; Director & Co-star will be in attendance)
8. A Safe Distance Away, Dir: Alexander Yan, USA, 3 minutes
(Philadelphia Premiere; Director will be in attendance)
9. Awake, Dir: Francisco Sonic Kim, USA, 9 minutes
(Philadelphia Sneak Preview, Crew in attendance)

Short film synopses: http://www.philamoca.org/2012/05/the-mausoleum-art-show-of-horrors/

MAYBE WE CAN GO TO HOLLYWOOD: In the tradition of AMERICAN MOVIE, MAYBE WE CAN GO TO HOLLYWOOD tells the tale of Philly punk legend Mikey Wild & local filmmaker Isaac Williams as they set out to pay cinematic tribute to classic horror films. Fighting illness & armed with a budget of $178, these two mavericks do their damnedest to make it “scary”.

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And then on Saturday, June 16, PhilaMOCA will naturally host the Mausoleum Horror Convention, a celebration of the wild and weird presented byCinedelphia.com.

Event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/406661756023093/

11 AM – 6 PM : Vendors will be setup throughout the day; daytime entertainment will include short films, a trivia contest, a drawing workshop, and more!
6:30 PM : Funerary violin performance/presentation from Monique Canniere and Mano Divina (of the Divine Hand Ensemble)
8:00 PM : Screw Smart (Philly-based comedic sex education performance group) live performance
8:30 PM : Mr. Deadguy (the un-dead puppeteer/performer) hosts a horror-themed burlesque show produced by Miss Rose featuring Miss RoseAnja KeisterIris Explosion, and Dangrrr Doll
10:00 PM : Philadelphia Premiere of a highly-anticipated horror film (TBA)

Refreshments courtesy of Narragansett Beer Co. and Red Bull

General admission: $12; Movie-only admission: $7

Confirmed vendors:

Coroner’s Creations (silkscreens/paintings/illustrations)
Diabolik DVD (domestic/import DVDs and Blu-rays)
House of Mysterious Secrets (horror merchandise of all sorts)
Merchants of Menace (horror keychains/magnets)
RTG Movies and More (posters/shirts/figures)

Satanic Pandemonium (zines)
VHSPS (VHS Preservation Society)

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Should be a fun and strange weekend. Will we see you there?

Monster Mania 21 Part 1 – Con Overview

Posted: March 15, 2012 by StayFrosty in About Us, Events

This past weekend, FGSG went to Monster Mania Con 21 in Cherry Hill, NJ.  Created by Dave Hagan, Monster Mania has grown to become the biggest convention of its kind on the East Coast.  Thanks to the hard work of Dave and his team, it continues to grow and bring in excellent vendors and guests twice a year.  We spent so much time there, and have so much to say, that we’re dividing our review into four parts.  Starting with the basics:  what fun was had, what people were met, and THE LOOT!

StayFrosty, Crowbait and Jenny at Monster Mania

Okay, let’s start with the basics – this place was PACKED!  Robert Englund was the VIP guest and lines to meet him stretched around the building the entire weekend (word on the convention floor was a four-hour wait). And it wasn’t warm out there – those people were devoted.  On Friday, the dealers room was crowded, but Saturday was near claustrophobic.  Even Sunday, usually pretty calm, was well-attended.  I’m thrilled for Mr. Hagan and hope MM continues to be a success.

This shows only a fraction of the crowds at MM. Trust me, there were so many more people.

Among many others, the guest list also featured Tuesday Knight (Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master), Gunnar Hansen (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre), Kane Hodder (The Friday the 13th series), Kim Darby (Don’t be Afraid of the Dark), Michael Rooker (Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer), and the Dark Lord of the Sith himself, David Prowse (Darth Vader)!  Crowbait took a minute to sit down with Prowse and get some advice on the power of the Dark Side:

Getting tips on the Dark Side from the Sith Lord.

The most surprising guests of this con was the original cast of The Blair Witch Project – Heather Donahue, Joshua Leonard and Michael C. Williams – in their first ever convention appearance together.  More on them when we discuss panels.

Now, our general thoughts and THE LOOT!

StayFrosty

Like every other time I’ve attended Monster Mania (which is numerous), I had an awesome time, made even better by getting to spend it with my FGSG cohorts.  I found that this year there was more variety in the dealers room – more independent films, books and games were represented, and much more handmade items, especially jewelry.  I guess the message that ladies like horror is starting to sink in.  That message still hasn’t reached most of the clothing dealers though (looking at you, Fright Rags!), with one excellent exception this year (more on that shortly)!  While I purchased a good amount of movies, I found the selection of films a little limited this year.  Not that there wasn’t anything there; I think I’ve just gotten used to a huge variety of foreign, indie and just plain strange films at MM.  It’s one of my favorite moments to find that wacky gem I’ve been looking for (or one I’ve never heard of), but I still put down plenty of money.  So let’s get to the loot:

Movies – Most of my movies came from the boys at Diabolik DVD, and they certainly did not disappoint.  Some favs were the blu-ray of Suspiria, Kill List (both Region B, because the US hates awesome things), Absentia (hooray!!!), and a four movie Argento set from Arrow Releasing.  We also all learned that Arrow Releasing can put a naked ass on any DVD cover, even City of the Living Dead.  Seriously, it’s kind of like a gift…sort of…  Other fun finds included Four Flies on Grey Velvet blu-ray (apparently this was an Argento year), Martyrs blu-ray, The Hole, REC 1&2 blu-ray and The Dead blu-ray.  So really, upon reflection, I bought tons of movies, just from one place.  From various other movie vendors I got Whisperer in the Darkness (from the same people who brought you the silent Call of Cthulu) and the Corman/Price Lovecraft collaboration The Haunted Palace.

Other loot – my non-film favorites were a radio KAB Antonio Bay bumper sticker, 2 magnets – one of Silver Shamrock (putting the song immediately into my head) and one simply stating “Do You Read Sutter Cane?”, and a girl’s shirt featuring The Thing!  I can’t tell you how long I’ve been waiting for a shirt from that movie to make an appearance.  I mean, one that actually fit me.  In fact, as far as non-films go, it was almost entirely a Carpenter-filled weekend.  And I’ve got no problem with that.

Christine!!! Like I said, it was a Carpenter kind of weekend...

In short, I had a wonderful time.  Now, to watch all those movies…

Jenny Dreadful

Pyramid Head and Sam posing together. Because that makes sense. (Awesome)

Before addressing the con itself, I want to talk a little about pre-event preparation. If you’re a lady genuinely into film who wants to attend a horror convention and look hot doing it, we strongly recommend what we call “The $5 DVD Test.” Put on your sassy dress, stockings, shoes, etc… and, with a trusted friend, perform the test. Imagine there is a huge stack of $5 DVDs on the floor under someone’s table. Bend down to rummage through them and find that hidden gem. This important test examines issues with shoes, ass-coverage and more. Please use accordingly and have fun.

At Monster Mania 21, I had a great time enjoying a delightful assortment of costumes. Well… except for the stilt-clowns. Sorry, stilt-clowns. I’m not into it… From silly to disturbing, every horror movie monster was there. And the Freddies. Oh the Freddies! To honor Englund’s presence, there was a Freddy in every size, shape and color. In addition to your standard-issue models, we witnessed a retro female Freddy complete with giant red beehive and sassy walk, cute girls in long striped sweater dresses, a chef Freddy, Freddy children and even an infant Freddy. Complete with tiny hat. Uhhhh… kiddy Freddies. That’s kind of awkward, right? Anyway, the worship wasn’t limited to full Krueger regalia. There were enough striped sweaters at this convention to clothe a nation. Other standout costumes included a Pyramid Head (Silent Hill), Sam  from Trick ‘r Treat, members of S.T.A.R.S. and Umbrella (Resident Evil series), and a Jason complete with both mask and deformed face underneath. Amazing. I also heard rumors of a Jedi Jason, but I can neither confirm nor deny.

My Loot: Even though I’m a visual artist who has done her time vending at cons (including Monster Mania), I have to tell the truth. I’m there to get movies. Although I usually spend some time perusing the… shadier… film dealers, this con’s movie buys were purchased almost exclusively from Diabolik DVD. Always my first stop. After more than one (maybe many) trips to their busy booth, I left with copies of low-budget creepfest ABSENTIA, fascinating documentary RESURRECT DEAD: THE MYSTERY OF THE TOYNBEE TILES, bizarre THE REFLECTING SKIN, Joe Dante’s THE HOLE, and the Arrow edition of SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT. Elsewhere, I also scored SAUNA, an obscure Finnish horror film, for $5!

Otherwise, we found a vendor actually selling female apparel (Girls want horror shirts? Yeah right.) and I got myself a couple great tops picturing the posters from SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT and THE THING. Yeah, Frosty and I are gonna be “twinsies.” We’re ok with that. Anything else? Ah. I also left with HALLOWEEN III magnets and yes, every time I see my fridge, I sing the previously mentioned song.

Crowbait and Jenny with THE HOLE and SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT.

Overall: Since attendance was great, I must admit to more than a little crowd-phobia while wandering the con floor. So many sweaty horror fans packed into one space. So many humans. (Must. Escape.) However, fun panels, good friends, and great finds were worth it.

crowbait 
Darth Vader (Prowse) makes his first entrance ...

Don't act so surprised.

I was really pleased to finally get an autograph from David Prowse. I think that man is singlehandedly responsible for my love of science fiction. There was nothing more amazing to me than the imposing, black caped and helmeted figure sweeping through the door into the captured rebel ship.It’s always good to “check in” with the convention regulars and I feel over the past few years we’ve had increasingly friendly crowds and dealers and celebrity guests. Everything points toward a convention that is on the rise and I recommend that if you can attend the next gathering in August, you do it!

My Loot: An opportunity presented itself for me to own a copy of Silent Night, Deadly Night 2. I did not miss this opportunity. I too got myself a copy of the HPLovecraft Society’s The Whisperer in Darkness, because I love supporting these truly independent, labor-of-love projects that they have put together.

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Coming up next: Vendor spotlights, guests, panels and more!