Saturday, December 20, 2008

Horror Society presents B-Movie Madness

If you're in Chicago on Saturday January 17 you'll want to check out the Horror Society's B-Movie Madness.

They've done the indie film festival thing before, and they're doing it again. Bigger, badder, and bolder. Hey, it's a B-movie festival. I think a little alliteration is allowed. At least all the film titles don't start with a 'b'. That would be just too much fromage.

Anyway, here's what they have to say:

We are back with a new Indie Film Festival. This time it’s… B-Movie Madness!!

Our first festival was to shock and awe Chicago with some of the best underground, extreme horror you can imagine. Well I think we shocked a few people, but this time its a bit different. On Saturday, January 17th at the Portage Theater we will be showcasing some of the best Indie B-Movies and Horror Comedies around. Our lineup includes….

Better Off Undead
The Driller Killer
The Stalking Hand
It’s My Party, and I’ll Die If I Want To

Four of the best and most original horror comedies. Each with a little special something… The feature film, It’s My Party and I’ll Die If I Want To, will feature a “Choose your own adventure” version of the film in which you the audience will be able to participate and choose how you want the movie to play. Not just the ending, but the whole movie. Its truly an original idea for a horror movie, and hell any movie for that matter. We will be having giveaways and trailers throughout the festival!

Vendors and sponsors are invited to contact the Horror Society for details.

Sure to be a blast and a half. What better way to spend a frosty night in the windy city?

Horror Society's B-Movie Madness

Friday, December 19, 2008

Fiendly Contest Reminder

Just a fiendly reminder to enter Dead Harvey's DVD giveaway contest before the end of December.

The holidays and the weather are surely foremost on your mind, but take a quick second to visit Dead Harvey and enter the contest. Then you can enjoy the holidays and ignore the weather.

And, who knows, you might come away with a cool prize to kick start 2009. How swell would that be?

Beast of luck.

Dead Harvey

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Horror Society wants more AAAAAH!!

The Horror Society has just posted a review of "AAAAAH!! Indie Horror Hits, Volume 1" - and it's another severed thumb up!

In addition to talking about several of the films on the collection the reviewer writes:

I tell it like it is and I will say this, Miguel Gallego of Crypt Club Productions Inc. and producer of this compilation sure picked some winners! I watched all 7 shorts, varying in running times and themes, and was extremely satisfied with every one.

This compilation truly was enjoyable to watch, each film covering different themes and styles eloquently, and had me thirsting for more. I do hope that Crypt Club Productions Inc. continue this trend and put out more quality compilations and let these shorts see the light of day (or should I be saying the dark of night???) for fans of the horror genre to enjoy.

Gosh! I'm blushing crimson. Well, at least it helps to keep me in the holiday color scheme of things.

I'm happy they love the collection and that they're already looking forward to the next volume. Who am I to disappoint? Fortunately, we're already working on volume 2. If you haven't already sent in your short horror, thriller, or dark fantasy film... go to AAAAAH!! Indie Horror Hits for details.

In the mean time, pick up a copy of this great collection of short indie horror films to make the long cold winter nights just a bit... chillier.

And to all a good fright!

Horror Society site
AAAAAH!! Indie Horror Hits site

Monday, December 8, 2008

Three Severed Thumbs Up

When it rains it pours. And I'm thanking my personal deity for that.

Within a week I've received links to three top-knotch reviewers praising AAAAAH!! Indie Horror Hits, Volume 1. Each of these three worthwhile sites post some heavy duty articles about horror and the fantastic.

From the wilds of Utah, John Morehead at TheoFantastique gave AAAAAH!! a solid recommendation, and he touched the soft spot in my corroded heart by setting the review next to his remembrance of Forrest J Ackerman. Coming from a member of the venerable League of Tana Tea Drinkers his review carries a lot of Nile water for me.

Also today, Jill Cooper from in Chicago & Toronto posted her review of AAAAAH!! Indie Horror Hits, along with a trailer and links. I appreciate that she touched on each of the collection's seven films to demonstrate the variety of horror films that we're showcasing.

Dead Harvey from Vancouver weighed in last week with a review and a lengthy interview with yours cruelly. And they're running a contest giveaway with the answer found in the text of the interview. Check it out ASAP to get your entry in on time.

Happy reading.

TheoFantastique review
Killer-Works review
Dead Harvey review, interview, and contest

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Forrest J Ackerman - R.I.P. Monster Man

Although I'd known for a while that he wasn't well, it still came as a shock when I read on-line (thanks Joe Moe) that Forrest J Ackerman died at age 92 this past Thursday night.

For those who don't know, Forry (4e, Uncle Forry, Dr. Acula) was the ultimate horror/sci-fi fanboy collector, an inspiration to thousands, and an influence upon... millions(?). He claimed to have coined the term 'sci-fi', and, as a literary agent, represented some of the genres greats, including Ray Bradbury.

Probably Forry's greatest influence came as the amiable, enthusiastic, and pun-prone editor of Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine (1958-1983). That's where I got to know of him. His writing was direct and engaging. He knew that kids of all ages would be reading the magazine, and he never talked down to his readers. As noted in one of Forry's obituaries FM was the first serious but not solemn genre magazine. The punning made it charming and gave it an air of innocence - despite the illustrated monstrosities between the covers. And, oh what covers! Those Basil Gogos paintings have become icons themselves.

FM #101 was my first issue, the one with Captain Marvel on the cover. We were on a summer vacation driving to Northern Ontario. I was already a rabid fan of the Universal Studios' monsters, and here was a magazine that featured them. Horror heaven. Standing at the magazine rack, looking at the Fang Mail page with a photo of a kid in monster make-up under the banner "Wanted" More Readers Like (kid's name here)" I realized that I wasn't alone in my obsession. There were more of us out there. All of us united by our fascination with monsters and horror films, and linked together through this magazine, whose beating heart was Forrest J Ackerman.

Many years would pass, with FM threading its way in and out of my awareness. After Star Wars all the genre magazines focused on sci-fi much more than horror. Can't say that I blamed them, although I did resent it.

Many of Forry's fans got to meet him at a horror or science fiction convention, or at his home (the Ackermansion and, later, the Acker-mini-mansion). His house, filled with his immense collection of sci-fi & horror literature and memorabilia, was regularly open to the public for personal guided tours & Q&A sessions. I wish I had met Forry in person and experienced that fabled collection. I had several opportunities to visit him while I studied in L.A., just a few blocks from the Ackermansion, but Forry was never at home when I came calling. During several trips back to L.A. I would check in and learn that Uncle Forry was away at a convention. So, several near misses and no cigar. The best I could do was leave a note or card.

I do have an autographed 8x10 photo of Forry sporting his Dracula cape and ring. He mailed it to me on request. The inscription reads, "Here's lurking at you, Miguel!" It's framed next to a photo of me standing at his Ackermansion gate beside the sign: "4SJ of KARLOFFORNIA". That's as close as we ever got.

During one unsuccessful visit I left a DVD copy of The Crypt Club in a bag hanging from his front door knob. Tribute to a man who I never met, but whose contagious enthusiasm for the monsters affected the course of my life.

So, on one hand, I'm sad that I never got to ask Forry about Bela, Boris, or Vincent, or that I'll never see Forry's wondrous collection of film memorabilia. On the other hand, I'm glad that he and his collection will live vividly in my imagination. Can the dream of heaven ever measure up to the reality of heaven?

I thought it might be cool to post this missive in Esperanto, which Forry knew. I don't know Esperanto, so the translation would be a fair chunk of work. It could be our final private communication. But then I remembered how Forry's writing in FM made me feel part of a community, part of the joke being shared. So I'll limit my Esperanto salute to Forry by saying, "Dankon, Uncle 4e!" You'll be missed, but not forgotten.

Forrest J Ackerman on Wikipedia

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Dead Harvey Review, Interview & Contest

So, what does Dead Harvey have to say about AAAAAH!! Indie Horror Hits? (Do you honestly think I'd let you know about it if he hated it?) If you assume that because Harvey is dead he has nothing to say you're grievously mistaken. He's quite talkative. For example, here's what he has to say about himself:

"Dead Harvey is a resource for both independent horror filmmakers and fans. We hope to keep people informed of new developments in the industry, as well as bringing attention to new and worthy independent horror films and film festivals."

Not bad for a guy with severe rigor mortis. Hardly saw his lips move.

The Dead Harvey site is stuffed (STUFFED, I tell you) with information, articles, interviews, resources, reviews and more. I don't know when he sleeps. Harvey must have died of exhaustion.

Anyway, D.H. just posted an interview with me where we talk about stuff other than AAAAAH!! Indie Horror Hits. Sure we talk about the DVD (can't miss a chance to do that), but we also discuss the indie horror scene, indie filmmaking struggles, and more. Riveting reading to be sure.

And that leads us into the CONTEST! (Yay! Free stuff!)

In a bold move D.H. is running his first ever contest. The answer to the skill testing question is buried in the interview. Sneaky, eh? Well, the answer can be found not that far into the interview. We're cruel, not sadistic. Simply e-mail the answer to D.H. and his decaying hand will pick a winner at the end of December.

And what does the lucky contest winner get for his/her/its trouble? Visit Dead Harvey and see...

Dead Harvey blog site