The Call of Charlie (2016) Short Film Review

rsz_cog1The Call of Charlie (Short 2016)

Director: Nick Spooner
Writers: Guy Benoit, John Simpson
Starring: Evan Arnold, Bradley Bundlie and Sven Holmberg
Runtime: 13min
Synopsis (from IMDb): “A trendy Los Angeles couple fixes up an Ancient Evil Deity From Beneath The Sea on a blind date.”

The Call of Charlie (TCoC) is an ambitious horror-comedy, namely because horror-comedies usually never seem to get the balance right. As a result I believe anybody attempting this is being ambitious from the outset. So before we go any further into the depths of TCoC don’t be alarmed, this tight rope has been walked across perfectly.

This suburban couple are awaiting their dinner guest Charlie (Sven Holmberg), sporting fantastic makeup effects. Charlie arrives and his striking physical features seem all but ignored by his hosts. Some old friends stumble on by and some awkward situational, visual humour ensues. More than just a one hit visual gag, the escalation of the antics is well paced and thought out, considering this very brief runtime, all the bases were covered. This made for a refreshing, light hearted yet still dark reimagining of H.P. Lovecraft’s The Call of Cthulhu. With a tight runtime, every gag is gracefully executed leading to a satisfying conclusion which leaves us itching for more.

rsz_cog3For a short film and horror debut for Spooner, this production oozes style, substance and quality. This combination is a rare feat for a short film, not to mention for a horror-comedy. I would hope the feedback for this project would encourage Spooner to continue down the path and we will all put our hands together and pray this wasn’t a one hit wonder. At 13min there is no excuse not to watch this if you’re even half curious about horror.

Verdict: A call worth answering

9.5/10

Listen to my chat with Nick Spooner about The Call of Charlie and lots more on The Bazaar Cast:
https://soundcloud.com/thefearmerchant/e012-nick-spooner

World Exclusive UK Horror Film THE FERRYMAN Teaser Trailer & New Stills

fmUK Horror Scene WORLD EXCLUSIVE

THEY’RE HERE PRODUCTIONS Presents…

THE FERRYMAN – FIRST OFFICIAL TEASER TRAILER & STILLS

“THE FERRYMAN”
After a failed suicide attempt, troubled and lonely teen MARA finds herself stalked by a malevolent entity.

From Elliott Maguire:

“As much a psychological drama as a horror film, The Ferryman explores important themes such as depression and alienation in the modern world, while also delivering a truly terrifying cinematic experience. In the writing process I took inspiration from classics such as Let The Right One In and Candyman, to create that deep sense of evil, while creating characters that the audience actually care about”.

“The Ferryman” began production in March 2017, with a fantastic cast that includes NICOLA HOLT as MARA; GARTH MAUNDERS as ROLAND; SHOBI RAE MCLEAN as JULIA; VELTON J. LISHKE as THE DETECTIVE; PAM ASHTON as THE NURSE; and PHILIP SCOTT-SHURETY as THE THERAPIST.

Shooting has been taking place in and around Manchester throughout March and April, with the production taking inspiration from Sundance hit “Tangerine” and shooting on the iPhone 7, allowing a level of intimacy rarely seen in the horror genre and pushing this advancing technology to its limits.

Below you can find the first official stills from the movie, as well as the new teaser trailer.

You can follow the production on Twitter @ferrymanmovie and Facebook @ferrymanmovie, for all other enquiries you can contact the team on [email protected]

Nicola Holt as MARAfm1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

fm2Garth Maunders as ROLAND

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

fm3Philip Scott-Shurety

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

fm4Nicola Holt as MARA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

fm5Pam Ashton as THE NURSE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

fm6Nicola Holt as MARA; Shobi Rae McLean as JULIA; and Frank Mathews as THE THERAPIST

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

fm7Nicola Holt as MARA; Azz Mohammed as THE DETECTIVE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

fm8Nicola Holt as MARA

 

 

Dead Awake (2016) Review

rsz_deadawake1DEAD AWAKE (2016)

Starring Jocelin Donahue, Lori Petty, Jesse Bradford, Brea Grant and Jesse Borrego

Directed by Phillip Guzman

Written by Jeffrey Reddick

Out NOW from Matchbox Films

“A young woman must save herself and her friends from an ancient evil that stalks its victims through the real-life phenomenon known as sleep-paralysis”.

Jeffrey Reddick struck gold when he created the original Final Destination. A smart, original and genuinely scary horror film, helped along greatly by the team of Glen Morgan and James Wong, Final Destination was a huge critical and commercial success that launched a pretty enjoyable franchise. But none of them involving Reddick. So what’s he been up to? Well, he wrote that really bizarre Day of the Dead remake, and a teen horror called Tamara that nobody remembers…And now he’s back again with Dead Awake. Is it as forgettable as those two?

Kate (Jocelin Donahue) is a social worker who begins to investigate the mysterious death of her twin sister Beth (also Donahue), who died in her sleep. Teaming with Beth’s partner Evan (Jesse Bradford), Kate delves into the dark world of sleep paralysis, and quickly discovers a mythical creature which is hell bent on using the horrifying condition to kill her friends.

rsz_deadawake2Imagine for a moment, if you will, if the villain in A Nightmare on Elm Street wasn’t the amazing Robert Englund as the horrifying Freddy Krueger, but a rickety crawling Samara from the Ring remake. Not only that, but the heroes weren’t teens who used their smarts to beat the villain, but a few thirty something mates who can’t move and just let the thing get them.

Well that’s Dead Awake in a nutshell. Sleep paralysis can be used to creepy effect, but not here. It robs the characters of any fight when the demonic entity known as “The Hag” comes crawling up in their faces. Reddick and director Guzman manage to make the sequence quite creepy the first few times it happens, but it becomes quite clear that’s the only trick up their sleeves.

The cast try hard, with Scream queen Donahue squeezing as much life and personality into her underwritten role, and Jesse’s Bradford and Borrego do great, auditions for Charles Manson, the former chilled and morose, the latter bug-eyed and edgy. But more often than not they appear bored when playing exhausted, and like the pace of the film, it can do the same to the viewer. Dead Awake takes itself very seriously, but the lack of fun is a real problem.

rsz_deadawake3Reddick had a great concept on his hands but the execution has no imagination. Every scene that showed the hazards of sleep deprivation just made me hope the Channel Zero crew get around to “The Russian Sleep Experiment”. Now that could be terrifying.

For now, we have this. A shuffling Elm Street retread without the wit and imagination of even it’s remake. If you’re looking for a visually pretty film with nice performances and one or two effective jump scares, check it out. If not, go with the awes Craven one.

5/10

Arrow Video’s August Releases – Shock Treatment, The Slayer and more!

rsz_shock_treatment_nation_edition_exploded_packThe summer really hots up in August, as Arrow Video releases a white-knuckle thriller, a cult comedy making its worldwide Blu-ray debut, two splatter horror classics, a giallo masterpiece and a rare Italian sword-and-sandal epic.

First up is the long awaited worldwide Blu-ray debut of Shock Treatment, the cult musical comedy written by and starring Richard O’Brien, the legendary creator of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. The lead characters from that film, Brad and Janet, here become involved in a devilishly deviant gameshow, in a film that bills itself as not a sequel… not a prequel… but an equal to Rocky Horror! With a host of fantastic extras, these limited edition ‘Nation’ and ‘Cosmo’ releases come with collector cards and a poster, in superb new packaging.

This month also sees the Dual Format release of the star-studded, action-packed crime thriller Ronin, from master director John Frankenheimer (Seconds, The Manchurian Candidate), starring Robert De Niro (Taxi Driver, Heat), Jean Reno (Léon: The Professional) and Sean Bean (Stormy Monday, Game of Thrones). A fantastically entertaining heist-gone-wrong crime caper, featuring one of the greatest car chases ever committed to film, Ronin is presented in a brand new, cinematographer-approved 4K restoration, along with a host of behind the scenes featurettes, with a reversible sleeve, and a collector’s booklet with the first pressing.

rsz_dont_torture_ducklings_flat_rtwfjr6Mid-August onwards sees horror fans spoiled for choice: starting with the Dual Format release of Lucio Fulci’s masterpiece giallo Don’t Torture a Duckling, starring Italian genre stalwarts Tomas Milian and Barbara Bouchet trying to find out who is responsible for a spate of mysterious murders in a sleepy village. Widely regarded as Fulci’s greatest film, the 1972 classic is presented in a High Definition Blu-ray, with a new commentary and interviews, and a collector’s booklet with the first pressing.

Then there is the Dual Format release of controversial splatter classic The Slayer, JS Cardone’s gruesome 80s chiller about a group of friends trapped on a remote island and stalked by a crazed killer. The infamous slasher film, previously only been available on home video in truncated or full screen versions, comes lovingly restored from the original negative, in a stunning transfer that will be a revelation to fans both old and new; and the first pressing includes a collector’s booklet with brand new writing on the film.

rsz_the_slayer_2d_bd_ukAnother splatterific offering coming out on Blu-ray is The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, Tobe Hooper’s extraordinary 1986 sequel to his seminal horror classic, mixing horror and comedy to splendid effect and featuring the unforgettable sight of Dennis Hopper (Speed, Easy Rider) wielding twin chainsaws. A cult classic in its own right, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 serves up a heady blend of gratuitous gore, socio-political critique and jet-black humour, and is presented in High Definition Blu-ray presentation, from a digital transfer supervised by director of photography Richard Kooris.

At the end of August comes the Dual Format release Erik the Conqueror, a 1961 sword-and-sandal epic from Italian supremo Mario Bava, a rare detour from the master director away from genre thrillers like Rabid Dogs and A Bay of Blood. Inspired by the Kirk Douglas hit The Vikings, this is a tale of treachery, heroism and forbidden love starring George Ardisson (Juliet of the Spirits) in the title role, and Hollywood legend Cameron Mitchell (Blood and Black Lace). Restored in high definition for the first time, and packed with extras, as well as a collector’s booklet with the first pressing, this is a must for Bava fans and lovers of spectacular swashbucklers.

Romeo’s Distress (2016) Review

rsz_romeo_official_poster_1_copy_copyRomeo’s Distress (2016)

Director: Jeff Frumess
Writer: Jeff Frumess
Stars: Nick Bohun, Alex Echevarria and Jeff Frumess
Runtime: 82min

Synopsis (from IMDb): “”Romeo’s Distress” is a Weird, Shakespearean, Gothic, Horror-Thriller that tells a story of a boy name James, his unrequited love for a girl named Jane, and her father’s sadistic (yet dutiful) response to it all.”

Heralded as zero budget film making, I just had to have a look at what a $2,500 can get you for a full feature film. Budget aside, we need to have a look at this film on its merits and not rest on the backstory and production to maybe give some leeway.

Romeo’s Distress follows the life of James (Anthony Malchar), a dorky young man, with an unhealthy obsession and a forbidden love for a girl named Jane (Kimberely A. Peterson). In comparison to James, Jane is knockout gorgeous and the problem here is she has no idea who James is. A clichéd plot no doubt but the presentation makes for an interesting watch.

The story is told in smatterings of flashbacks and panicked present day goings on. James’ time inside and outside his home is stressful to watch, his only relief is stalking the unsuspecting Jane and taking unsolicited candid photo’s. But this sort of carry on comes with a price! I don’t want to go into to much more detail as the plot unravels nicely and isn’t just another cookie cutter story about star-crossed lovers.

rsz_screen_shot_2014-09-08_at_102727_amTechnically, the whole thing is put together surprising well, acting is on point and performances are both engaging and entertaining. All considered, if you are fan of independent film then Romeo’s Distress is a master class in shoestring filmmaking. If you’d like to hear the whole story of how this was achieved, check out my chat with Jeff Frumess himself below.

Verdict: Success from Distress
7/10

Interview here with Jeff Frumess on The Bazaar | The Fear Merchant Podcast
https://soundcloud.com/thefearmerchant/e009-jeff-frumess

The Void (2016) Review

rsz_void1THE VOID (Dirs- Jeremy Gillespie, Steven Kostanski, CANADA, 2016)

Starring- Aaron Poole, Kathleen Munroe, Kenneth Welsh, Daniel Fathers, Art Hindle

Out now on Demand + DVD & Blu-Ray from Signature Entertainment.

After making an impression at a series of festival screenings, THE VOID arrives on blu ray and digital download after a very (almost non-existent) cinema release, in what will be a format where it can find a more appreciative audience, as the film harks back to memories of VHS horror flicks and those sort of films you found in the local rental store that had garish hand drawn covers and as a kid you immediately wanted to rent out. The memory of the 80’s genre cinema and creature prosthetics and even the looming influence of John Carpenter, is further emphasised since some of the films influences can be found in his classics THE THING and ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13.

rsz_void2Starting off with a bang the film opens with two people running from a farmhouse in terror one of whom is shot down and killed by two strangers who state that the other person “won’t get very far.” Said fleeing injured person runs out onto a road and encounters Sheriff Carter (Poole) who drives the guy to the nearest available hospital, which in turn is closing down after a fire gutted much of its basement and is surviving on a small skeleton crew of doctors and nurses including Carter’s wife Alison (Munroe) who has separated from him since the death of their child during birth. It’s not long before the hospital is under siege from mysterious hooded figures who are intent on not letting anyone escape from the hospital which comes under attack from all manner of messed up creatures. With tempers fraying between Carter and the two men from the start of the film who know more than the staff and become valuable allies, they soon start to realise that the hospital might be the basis for someone or something with a more darker purpose than they imagined.

rsz_void3Gillespie and Kostanski know how to kick off the film in the right way and they keep this energy up throughout the running time almost not letting go of the full throttle pace of the film. Managing to cram small bits of back story of the hospital and the characters, the film maintains its focus on the situation and is blessed with the perfect setting. PRECINCT 13 springs to mind in this aspect of the closing down hospital, a skeleton crew of mismatched individuals some of whom might be a threat, surrounded by a mostly silent enemy. However the extra level of tension is added in that what ever the hooded figures threatening the characters outside is also manifesting itself inside in a much more horrific way and its this concept that allows the true stars of the film to shine or rather spill its guts onto the screen, which is the effects. Both horrifying in an almost surrealist creation of disgust and innovative, the creature effects are superbly done and its a credit to the directors and the effects team to go along with the use of prosthetics. Its no surprise to know that the two directors have backgrounds in art and practical effects on some big budgeted films and that experience has allowed them to bring it to the full in their own picture.

rsz_void4Whilst there are a few cracks in the story and at times background detail seems to be missed, the film runs at a decent pace to almost allow you to forgive some minor plot holes as it’s main focus is on the action and some impressive set pieces. The cast handle the proceedings well, managing to portray convincing normal small town people trapped in an unbelievable situation, particularly Kenneth Welsh as Dr Powell whose brief part leads to a more significant and deciding character that changes and significantly influences the second half of the story. Cult film fans will also recognise Art Hindle star of the 70’s version of INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS and THE BROOD in a small role.

rsz_void5THE VOID is going to go down well with hardcore horror fans and it’s damn enjoyable. Admittedly you can spot the genre references through and through from Carpenter’s aforementioned classics mentioned before to HELLRAISER, with a splattering of THE BEYOND especially in the films final sequence as well. But as genre films go you cannot fault its ambition and drive and the directors have a love and an appreciation of the horror film. It will have any self respecting genre fan loving it’s use of traditional prosthetic effects and watching it with a huge smile on their face, since it has the hallmarks of a cult classic in the making.

8.5/10

Population Zero (2016) Review

rsz_pz1Population Zero (2016)

Directed by: Julian T Pinder, Adam Levins
Written by: Jeff Staranchuck
Starring: Julian T Pinder, Julian Robino

Out NOW on demand from Frightfest Presents

“In 2009 three young men were killed in a remote part of Yellowstone National Park. The only thing more shocking than the crime itself are the bizarre events that followed.”

I do not consider myself a gullible person. As the old joke goes, I can almost always tell when a dinosaur in a movie is real or not. And yet, when I got to the end Population Zero, I jumped onto Google to try and find out if I’d watched a movie or a documentary. And, even though I now know it was only a movie, I’m still unsettled by the truth that underpins the story.

Population Zero is presented as a documentary. The phrase mockumentary, although technically accurate, seems to suggest a light-hearted tone in the mode of This is Spinal Tap or The Office. However, rather than focusing on humour, Population Zero narrates a puzzling story that begins with a brutal and motiveless murder, goes on to expose a cruel legal loophole, and carries on with further twists and turns that never overstep the bounds of plausibility.

rsz_pz2According to Wikipedia, “the filmmakers were inspired to make the movie after learning of the existence of the “Zone of Death”, a small portion of Yellowstone National Park, that under the Sixth Amendment’s Vicinage Clause, would enable “The Perfect Crime”.” The perfect crime in this case is the unmotivated murder of three innocent young men. It’s a perfect crime because, thanks to a legal loophole, even though the murderer has confessed his guilt, he is able to walk free.

This sounds like a ridiculous notion but the idea is based on a hypothetical argument from American lawyers and it’s presented in a truly convincing way. The footage of TV reporters discussing the Yellowstone Murders, the in camera court drawings, the grainy still photographs and the crackly confession from a police station’s CCTV footage, all lend a sense of credibility and gravitas to the story’s not-that-fantastical premise. Also, since we’re discussing a country that has elected Trump as president, the idea that America contains a fifty-square mile strip of national park where motiveless murders can be committed without repercussion, does not seem so farfetched.

Julian T Pinder, who usually stays on the director’s side of the camera, carries himself well as the too-curious-for-his-own-good documentary maker at the heart of this story. Pinder was the director of the 2012 documentary, Trouble in the Peace, an exploration of the poisons and upsets that come with fracking. Cleverly, giving the storyworld a more focused sense of reality through intertextuality, Trouble in the Peace is mentioned as Pinder explains why he thinks he was contacted with information about the Yellowstone Murders.

rsz_pz3This was an intelligent film that suggested fear on so many levels. There are the fears that come from a system that fails the community it’s meant to protect; there are the fears that come from the potential brutality of the unknown and irrational amongst us; there are the fears we share of being abused by greedy and uncaring corporations; and the fear that any one of us could become a real victim to the boundless appetites of any of the above.

Well worth watching. 10/10

Cam-Girl (2016) Review

rsz_cam2CAM-GIRL (2016)

Starring Erin Nicole Cline, Joe Coffey and Bjorn Jiskoot Jr.

Directed by Curt Wiser

Written by Curt Wiser, adapted from his novel “Box Cutter Killer”

A thriller that revolves around Gessica, a 23 year old webcam stripper who is pushed to the limit when she is held hostage by an unknown gunman“.

Cam-Girl is the latest in a wave of webcam, chat room and adult performer themed horror thrillers, and it’s starting to seem strange why this isn’t being talked about among horror fans. Subgenres come in waves, and often reflect the political or social climate. So what does the rise in cam-girl horror say about society at the moment? Has this profession become more mainstream recently, or maybe social media has made it more accessible and caught the eye of young filmmakers.

rsz_cam3The idea is ripe for film treatment on a budget, automatically carrying a Hitchcockian, voyeuristic quality, with built in sex appeal. But why now? I reviewed the hypnotic BB recently, which was a visually stunning analysis of a cam-girl and the dangers of the job. But in being completely non-judgemental, it perhaps suggested that the job isn’t the problem, it’s the society that frowns upon a person making money doing something they enjoy that is disturbed.

Cam-Girl doesn’t answer the questions in the same way, instead delivering a slick, slasher type scenario. Think a cross between Scream, Saw and Phone Booth, and you wouldn’t be far off. But rather than offer senseless violence and torture, Cam-Girl is more about the psychological analysis of its lead character as Gessica is forced to hold a mirror up to herself and her past, or die.

While far from perfect, Cam-Girl is held together by the solid rock that is Erin Nicole Cline as Gessica. In what is for the most part a one woman show, Cline does wonders with the character, filling her with a naturalism that many would struggle with. And she makes a very flawed (I’m not talking about the cam stuff) character very likeable. In a similar yet less provocative way to BB, Cam-Girl subverts the typical victim character and then toughens them up.

rsz_cam1While it is great to see filmmaker Wiser go the road less traveled, the psychological rather than the visceral, it does leave a few drawback. The pace, particularly in the mid-section, hovers when it should soar, becoming just a little bit too talky. And the film as a whole is surprisingly conservative when it comes to nudity and the exploration of sexuality, especially considering the plot. A strength of BB was its raw realism and expression of female sexual empowerment.

However, upon reflection, Cam-Girl is more about the inner than the outer, and in that sense it’s a resounding success. Sure it has the usual micro-budget issues, dodgy sound and iffy camerawork and editing in places, but it is an entertaining Larry Cohen style thriller with a supremely engaging lead performance, and a few twists up its sleeve.

7/10

An American Terror (2014) Review

rsz_aat1An American Terror (2014)

Director: Haylar Garcia

Starring: Graham Emmons, Louise Macdonald, Brian Thompson

If there’s one thing the American educational institution has taught us, it’s to keep your wits about you.

Ever since the 18th Century American school shootings have sadly been a common occurrence across various states in the USA. A lot can be traced back to mental illness however within the subject matter we are going to look at today bullying is the perpetrator. Diving into his first creative output within our world of monsters Haylar Garcia makes his horror debut with An American Terror. Released back in 2014 An American Terror is the story of 3 outcasts battling their way through high school in an American suburb over run by popularity rather than morality.

The film opens with Protagonist Josh played by Graham Emmons making his feature film debut, awakening to the sound of a Harsh but relentless alarm. A narration of voices begging Josh to go back to sleep wash over the scene of Josh laying in a rickety bed. Giving the impression that this is routine the scene cuts to waist level shots of Josh’s parents arguing with josh sat at a table watching his childhood figureheads unfold in front of him. The way one scene cuts to the next is done in a very gritty style, this can be comparable to Rob Zombie’s House of 1000 Corpses.

rsz_aat2Arriving at high school that day with fellow misfits Ray and Sammy we soon run into a group of jocks that add fuel to the inevitable fire. After an altercation, the 3 misfits then make a pact to seek revenge on the jocks that had so effortlessly ripped them a new one.

The acting within the group of jocks is fairly tepid and unconvincing but then again, it’s sometimes hard to capture the essence of being a dumb jock unless you’re one of those twats from high school musical. The choice of soundtrack is very suited to what an outcast would be associated with, ranging from genres of Punk to Industrial. This really compliments the montage scene of 3 teenagers drinking and plotting out a massacre.

A plan is formulated for Josh and Ray to find some guns while Sammy is in charge of making explosives. In their search, Ray and Josh come across what looks to be a legitimately run junk yard but little do they know what they’ve stumble across. After a mild break in they soon discover an underground tunnel not long before the one and only owner of the establishment returns trapping them within said tunnel.

rsz_aat3From this point in the film it very soon develops into a traditional teenage slasher type ordeal with our characters trying to outrun a masked maniac within an underground torture chamber. A criticism can be found is the films lack of elaboration on the character known as The Junker. Although mystery can be a positive I feel that with all the unique torture instruments and cult like memorabilia scattered around a bit of back story would have helped the flow of the film and made for a more memorable character.

Although with its dark subject matter An American Terror is average at best. 5/10

A Life in Blood: Tales of a Horror Queen May 2017

genrossibannerA Life in Blood: Tales of a Horror Queen May 2017

Hunters and an interview with horror and mainstream actor Jason Vail

rsz_gr1While in South Carolina for Mad Monster Party I was able to catch up with Jason Vail and watch his new film Family Possessions. Jason and I recently worked together on Hunters, a film directed by Adam Ahlbrandt and starring legendary scream queen Linnea Quigley. I was fortunate enough to be acting on set for a few days in  Ahlbrandt’s crazy art house film, Hunters.. The cast also includes: Linnea Quigley, Tina Krause, SaunPaul Costello, Gordon Price, Jason Vail, Ellie Church, Haley Madison, Anthony Edward Curry, Tiffany Loretta Carroll, Melissa Heflin, Victor Bonacore, and many more talented actors and actresses of the horror genre. Horror fans that enjoy super disturbing horror can look for Hunter on Amazon.com, but it’s definitely not a film for the squeamish.

rsz_gr6It was a real pleasure to play the disturbing part of Edna in this sick, twisted film. It was great working with camera operator C. G. Noir and Ahlbrandt once again. Speaking of sick and twisted; look for me also in Ahlbrandt upcoming The Sadist, which also stars Linnea Quigley. Ahlbrandt explains Hunters, “In the year 1987 a group of film makers ventured into an abandoned coal mining town intending to scout the location… The depraved fates that they were to endure stand forever as a testament to the darkness within the hearts of men.”

I was really excited when I was offered the role of Edna. Horror fans will get to see me in my most disturbing, shocking, and challenging role to date! It was a really intense roller coaster ride of gore playing this character! I can’t wait for the horror fans to see Hunters! Prepare to be shocked and dazzled!
Some readers may also know Jason Vail from his work in Gut, Abraham Lincoln Versus Zombies, Hunting Grounds, The Cabin, and Family Possessions. In addition, Jason works on a lot of mainstream projects TAMMY with Melissa McCarthy, BOO A MADEA HALLOWEEN, AN ACTOR PREPARES with Jeremy Irons, ACRIMONY with Taraji P. Henson.

It was thrilling working with Jason on Hunters and seeing his performance in Family Possessions was so impressive that I decided to interview him for Ukhorrorscene!

rsz_gr2Genoveva: What are some of your memories of being on set of this brutal film called Hunters?

Jason: That it was a fun set, a lot of cool people to spend a day with in Long Island, NY. Got to drive an awesome car. I met and got to work with you (Genoveva Rossi) And thank god it wasn’t cold, because we were soaked in fake blood for most the night, lol. I think Adam is addicted to that stuff, after each take he would pour on twice as much as the time before, LOL. I was drenched down to my socks in it. A blast.

Genoveva: Can you tell us a bit about your experience working with Adam Ahlbrandt on his twisted artfilm Hunters?

Jason: Adam is a great guy, super chill but totally an artist in everything he does. He gives the actor lots of freedom to do their thing. Which is a gift. And his camera work is impeccable. The guy knows how to do so much with so very little. That is an artist.

rsz_gr3Genoveva: How did a clean cut guy like you come to get cast in a disturbing film like Hunters?

Jason: I knew Adam through some mutual friends in the horror community. We both respected each other’s work and heard great things about one another. I think it was just meant to happen.

Genoveva: What are some highlights of your work in horror? What films stand out most for you?

Jason: Abraham Lincoln Vs Zombies from the Asylum and indie thriller Gut (winner of the New York Horror Film Festival) came out at the exact same time back in 2012, both films were boot legged on the internet and were getting ten of thousands of downloads. My IMDB went from 80,000 to under 5,000 over night. It was crazy. I was getting fan mail from Russia, Northern Ireland, Michigan, Florida, you name it. It opened my eyes to the loyalty and love from the horror community, it was awesome to be accepted.

rsz_gr4Genoveva: What were your most challenging roles in horror?

Jason: Whom God Helps for sure, I was head to toe in special effects make up. Took between 5-7 hours some days. It covered everything. I could’t use the bathroom once it was on. So I started fasting 3 days before the shoot so I could go without peeing for 12-14 hours for 3 straight days of shooting. Mission accomplished. As far as acting goes…Gut is still one of the most emotionally demanding roles. To have to put your head in that place where my character went was not fun. It was brutal but an incredible challenge.

Genoveva: What was it like working with horror actor Bill Oberst Jr. on Abraham Lincoln Versus Zombies and Hunting Grounds?

Jason: Bill is just an all around stand up guy. He always makes you feel like you are the true star and artist…but really, no one can take that away from Bill, he is a horror icon through and through. And so damn talented. He’ll be a Horror National Treasure one day for sure if he already isn’t.

rsz_gr5Genoveva: Now you are also a very mainstream actor. What are some of you highlights from your nonhorror career? What was your favorite mainstream role?

Jason: Working with Melissa McCarthy and her husband Ben Falcone was a major treat. The film was Tammy. It was only one day of work and a rather short scene, but to this day, if anyone asks me that horrid question that every actor gets asked, “What have you been in?” I immediately say…TAMMY! And everyone knows the film and better yet, remembers that bar scene where I reject Melissa McCarthy’s offer to…”buy me a drink and take me back to my room and bang?” So much fun, such great people.

Genoveva: How can fans of your work stay abreast of what you are doing?

Jason: Go to jasonvail.com. My imdb or feel free to hit me up on Facebook, I’m the Jason Vail in Atlanta, GA.

rsz_gr7Genoveva: What are some of your most recent projects?

Jason: In horror…Family Possessions in festivals, Hunting Grounds just came out on DVD and streaming sites. Other films…An Actor Prepares and Acrimony come out later this year.

Jason: Thank you always for taking the time to have me apart of your horror column! You rock!

rsz_gr8Thanks for reading this month’s A Life In Blood: Tales of a Horror Queen! See you ghouls next month for more tales of horror.

Yours in screams, Genoveva Rossi
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