In 2014, we raised the Living Dead. Now in 2015, We Honor Our King.
Rob Zombie ISSUE #6
ÂŠ2014 Alex Horley
Bela Lugosi Jr. Bill Moseley The Walking Dead Featured Artist Alex Horley & More!
but as the saying goes: it’s all fun & games ‘til you pop your eye out with a cork!
The Living Dead Girls were looking forward to a high class, quiet New Years Celebration. Although a mistake, Lisa was understandably pissed...
Eye For An Eye, Bitch!
As LIsa & Miss Mandible Fought, Lillie took the opportunity to get more drunk ...
After a little more fighting and slapping, the girls made ammends with the help of more booze. All’s Well that ends well.
Just some Poppers, Confetti, A little Arm Wrestling, Champagne, and maybe even a little kissing at midnight
ine was f which her t o e h t until ed iz l a e two r oing to g s she wa e their m consu eyes...
“Once you feel like you’re being dictated by other people’s expectations, it usually backfires.” –– Rob Zombie
When I was 6, my dad asked me what I thought I might want to be when I grew up. I said, “Bob Hope.” When I was 12, my answer was Indiana Jones, and then at 16 it was Rob Zombie. My strange responses weren’t based off of me wanting to become an actor, archaeologist or even a singer—I guess I just always wanted to become a leading man. Bob Hope commanded the stage every single time he stepped on to it. He had a confidence and charm that made everyone love him, and I immediately recognized as a child that I wanted everyone to love me as well. The character of Indiana Jones spent his life in exotic locations, hunting down rare artifacts, sexy women and adventures—the ultimate bachelor life. He symbolized for me a life of independence, travel and the promise to never let my world become mundane. In my teens, I got very deep into horror and devoured all the books and films I could get my hands on that dealt with the horror genre. At that point, horror was purely entertainment for me. I had no clue it could ever develop into an actual lifestyle. White Zombie and their electrifying front man, Rob Zombie, played a huge part in introducing me to a horror culture I never knew existed, and a community that would one day become my family. Flash forward 20 years and I am standing face-to-face with Rob Zombie and his bandmates. I talked with Rob about this magazine issue you are now holding and my plans for it while he flips through one of our past issues. I could have told him that my business, Living Dead, LLC, was not only named after him and his most popular song, “Living Dead Girl,” but that the entire notion of my brand, living a horror lifestyle, was inspired by him, but instead I just told him he was fabulous and ran away blushing. Some of your idols you should never meet—doing so may severely disappoint you and ruin any inspiration and joy having them as an idol used to give. This is not the case with Rob Zombie. I have never met a celebrity who is as accessible to their fans and press as Rob is, or as down-to-earth and at peace with himself. He knows who he is, loves his life, is thankful for the people he surrounds himself with, never stops dreaming and achieving his goals and after all these years, he still has a genuine awe and excitement for the horror genre. If that isn’t inspiring, I don’t know what is. Just a few weeks ago, a friend was asking everyone to name what they wanted to be when they grew up. My answer was still the same, “I want to be Rob Zombie when I grow up.” So from all of us here at Living Dead Magazine, “Welcome to the Living Dead Family! Where zombies are created from toxic waste, vampires only come out at night, women are pale skinned with big ta-tas squeezed into tiny black dresses, real men carry machetes, ghosts aren’t very friendly, and we always have someone…I mean something, cooking in the kitchen for when you arrive.”
Deanna Uutela Deanna Uutela Editor-in-Chief
Editor-in-Chief Deanna Uutela Sales & Marketing Director James R. Beach Creative Director Miss Mandible
Assistant to the Editor Lisa Burchell
Columnists Gary Castleberry Jeff Dean Jesus Figueroa Michael “Dedman” Jones Matt Majeski Robert Poole Nowal Massari (ZeeGee) Queenie Thayer Melissa Thomas Amanda Rebholz Jonathan Reitan
Living Dead Magazine Issue #6 would not have been possible without the generous contributions and support from our fans; the design and promotional assistance of Lisa Burchell; all of the amazing photographers and models who sent us their work; and our dead sexy models, The Living Dead Girls.
Macabre Theatre is Back in Business
16 The Horrors of Facebook
28 Bela Lugosi, JR talks white zombie & His famous father
42 An interview with dr. satan aka walter phelan
46 actor bill moseley reflects on his successful career 50 rob zombie loving life at 50
For Ad Info, Contact James R. Beach: firstname.lastname@example.org
58 talking with a walker
Printed In The United States By:
62 new zombie app & Video
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Send Letters To Living Dead Magazine 10055 NE Weidler St. Portland, OR 97220
20 Interview with producer michael Gornick
©2014 Alex Horley
Living Dead Magazine is published 5 times a year with schedule available on our website and accepts no responsibilities for unsolicited manuscripts, photos, art or other materials. Freelance submissions accompanied by S.A.S.E. will be seriously considered, and, if necessary, returned.
Entire contents copyright Living Dead Magazine 2015. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
14 Most Anticipated films of 2015
“Planet Zombie” by featured artist Alex Horley, model Stacy E. Walker
12 Death by VHS Review Can you Handle it?
Copy Editor Ashley Rask Contributors Erika Instead Chazlyn Lovely Kino McFarland
64 Reviews Comics, books & Music
columns 5 Horror Merch review 6 news of the dead 9 stalker’s corner 10 staff movie picks 11 gospel of gore 18 Monster Makers 32 Living Dead Bitchin’ Babe of the Month 35 Featured Artist Alex Horley 68 comics from the crypt 72 galleria macabre
We started Living Dead Magazine not only to showcase all of the amazing horror work and businesses being created every day, but because we are huge fan boys and girls who worship and respect horror actors and directors who have perfected their craft. So when these same celebs respond back with the same respect and love that we shower upon them, it is something to be proud of that we just have to share! And we want to hear from you too, got a fan photo of yourself with our merch or magazine? Please don’t be shy to send it our way and we will share the pic in our next issue:
livingdea dm a ga z ine@gm a il. co m
Living Dead staff writer Matt Majeski, aka The Horror Kid, was thrilled to get the chance to speak with actor Charles Herbert best known for his roles in the original films The Fly, 13 Ghosts, & The Twilight Zone. Director Billy Pon holds a copy of Living Dead Issue 5 featuring our interview with the talented director on the rise and a review of his murder clown hit Circus of the Dead.
Since 1975, Jaws has instilled fear into the hearts of swimmers and joy into the hearts of creature feature and horror fans. Who doesn't remember the iconic scene where Susan Backlinie stripped down as Chrissie and met a very bloody end? Now, thanks to Horrormerch, you can further immortalize this iconic scene with the Jaws - Distressed Poster t-shirt. This amazing piece of horror art is available in a men's t-shirt ($19.99), women's t-shirt ($20.99) and adult long sleeve ($24.99). I have the Jaws - Distressed Poster t-shirt in a women's t-shirt style. The shirt itself is made by Alstyle Apparel & Activewear. It is soft and very lightweight. This would be perfect for any season—wear it by itself for the warmer seasons and layer it with a camisole or jacket for cooler seasons. The shirt fits like a glove and holds shape during wear. The overall quality of this shirt is outstanding. There are no loose seams or threads, and absolutely no holes in the armpit area or side seam (this has happened to me before from another company.) Unlike other horror style t-shirts, the Jaws - Distressed Poster t-shirt has soft screen printing that moves with the t-shirt instead of sticking and bunching. Being a female horror fan, I know how difficult it is to find the perfect horror t-shirt that fits the lady parts without becoming distorted. The soft screen printing lends to the vintage feel of the shirt. There are no flaws in the printing—I would have to declare it perfect. This is a must-have for any horror fan, especially the Jaws fans of the world. Head over to the newly revamped horrormerchstore.com to pick up this incredible piece, and who knows, you may find something else that tickles your fancy.
The beautiful, graceful Julie Adams was nice enough to pose with our “Honoring Women in Horror” issue, which was one of our most popular issues due to the amazing interviews we had with original scream queens like Ms. Adams. 4
The guys from Friday Night Frights in Tacoma, Anthony Dluzak and Reverend Joe Duncan, give back to their horror community every month with a showing of a beloved horror film and horror giveaways. Living Dead is proud to be a sponsor of this fantastic event.
You can stalk Horrormerch at facebook.com/Horrormerch, twitter.com/ horrormerch, pinterest.com/horrormerch and Instagram (@horrormerch). LIVINGDEADMAGAZINE.COM 5
News of the Dead January 2015
Issue No. 6
The horribly written scripts, bizarre one-liners, cheesy props and amateur acting are precisely the reason horror fans love Ed Wood’s films. But we still can’t help but wonder what someone might be able to do with one of his films if given the chance. Well, it looks like we will be given that chance with the remake of Ed Wood’s cult classic Plan 9 from Outer Space. The remake, Plan 9, will be from Darkstone Entertainment and Monster Pictures and is set to be released on DVD in Canada on February 19, 2015. Shortly after, horror fans all over the world will get their chance to own it with a release set for later on in the year. According to the exclusive press release on Dread Central, “Plan 9 is the story of Nilbog, a small town with a big story: the beginning of an invasion! However, instead of lasers, spaceships, and epic force, these aliens have a different plan for the inhabitants of Earth: to resurrect the dead as their own army set with but one goal… to wipe out all mankind! On this Halloween night only the townsfolk stand in the way of total domination. From the police department to those trapped in a convenience store, and even those trying to stay alive in the streets, this night will decide the fates of all who walk the planet and thought they were the top of the food chain.” Plan 9 stars James Rolfe (The Angry Video Game Nerd), Brian Krause (Charmed) and Matthew Ewald (Galidor) plus horror actors Michael Christopher (Dawn of the Dead), Addy Miller (The Walking Dead) and Camille Keaton (I Spit on Your Grave).
This last summer, Rob Zombie announced the title and plotline to his new film. Fans were surprised to find out that the film would not be based off of the real life hockey team the Bullies, which was what Zombie had been working on for the past two years. Instead, the film would focus on a subject no less violent, but a hell of a lot scarier— clowns. The new film, titled 31, has been shrouded in mystery from the start—with Rob Zombie only providing a short synopsis and some art sketches. To add to the hype, for the first time ever, Zombie turned to crowdfunding instead of traditional investment routes in an attempt to make a film true to his vision without limitations from producers. 31, similar to his other films House of 1000 Corpses and Halloween, is set on Halloween night. According to IMDb, the premise is that “Five people are kidnapped on the days leading up to Halloween and held hostage in a place called Murder World. While trapped, they must play a violent game called 31 where the mission is to survive 12 hours against a gang of evil clowns.” Though the exact amount raised was not released, the crowdfunding for 31 ended appropriately on Halloween, and the film is set to start shooting this February 2015. Our fingers are crossed that it has a Halloween release.
make the moral decision of whether they should kill children or risk total annihilation.
The final installment of Pierre Boisserie and Malo Kerfriden’s zombie thriller series, The Rage, is available now in stores as of January 7, 2015. The Rage Volume 2: Kill or Cure introduces readers to a whole new virus, one that only children can catch. As the virus spreads throughout the world, citizens must
The official premise according to Titan Comics is: “It’s 2014. Two years have passed since a mysterious virus turned the world’s children into bloodthirsty monsters. Amina, a former nurse searching for her infected son Theo, manages to arrange a mission to the quarantine center where he’s kept. But instead of her son, she finds a little girl, Irina, who seems to be immune to the virus... Meanwhile, in the Herod’s Militia camp, Amina’s husband, Fred, is beginning to question the real motives of his organization’s leaders.”
This past October, Universal Monster movies and horror host Ivonna Cadaver joined forces to celebrate the return of Ivonna’s weekly show, Macabre Theatre, by giving horror fans one hell of a Halloween. Actress Natalie Popovich has been signed on to reprise her role of Ivonna Cadaver, the 21st century horror hostess, in the latest episodes of Macabre Theatre airing on Youtoo America TV. After producing and hosting more than 50 episodes of Macabre Theatre for a decade, Ivonna and her co-host Butch Patrick, best known for his role as Eddie Munster on The Munsters, are thrilled to be back in production and showing some of the best classic and new horror that Universal films has to offer. “I’m thrilled to pieces about our new network Youtoo America," Ivonna said in a press release from WireService.co. "It’s simply to die
for. Since the first airing on October 4th, the response from fans has been overwhelming.” So how does this successful crew celebrate their return? With giving the fans what they love of course—the gift of classic Universal Monster movies. Ivonna, along with Universal, has given away hundreds of Universal Classic Monster DVDs via social media and the Macabre Theatre website, making a lot of horror fans very happy. Besides giving back to their fans, Macabre Theatre’s goal is to also showcase new horror that normally would not get shown on a platform of this size. “I am excited about these new shows,” Popovich said in the press release. “We plan to spotlight the small independent directors and writers who are shooting the best indie horror films today. These talented artists will be tomorrow’s Roger Corman and Quentin Tarantino.” The weekly show includes a horror movie and hilarious comedy routines, giveaways, special features and trivia for all the horror lovers out there. You can watch Macabre Theatre every Saturday night at 10 p.m. on Youtoo America Network.
For more information, visit titan-comics.com/c/173-the-rage-kill-or-cure. LIVINGDEADMAGAZINE.COM 7
S TALKER'S C ORNER by Chazlyn Lovely
Welcome back to the Stalker’s Corner, where we openly creep out and obsess about what’s new with celebrities, artists, shows, body parts and anything else that makes our pants tight and our hearts stop. This issue we are dishing out the newest Walking Dead gossip like Terminus dishes out barbecue.
The Walking Dead
Cobalt? Things are beginning to heat up for The Walking Dead companion show, whose not-so-hidden working (read: temporary) title has been revealed to be Cobalt. Production is slated to begin in earnest in early 2015, but we’re still as much in the dark about the plot details as Dr. Jenner was about the status of life outside of the CDC. What we do know is this: casting has begun, with the announcement that British actor Frank Dillane (Tom Riddle in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince) will be joining Alycia Debnam Carey (Kaitlyn in Into the Storm) stateside to play Nick and Ashley Tompkins, the teenage children of female guidance counselor Nancy. Nick is described as a former druggie, while Ashley is pegged as simply “ambitious.” Lead character Cliff Curtis (Fire Lord Ozai in The Last Airbender, Porourangi in Whale Rider) will play Sean Cabrera, a teacher in his 40s described as “trying to do right by everyone.” His son Cody is described as “the angriest kid in town.” Joining them will be recently divorced exflower child Andrea Chapman. Co-created by Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman and Dave Erickson (Sons of Anarchy), the spin-off takes place in the same universe that Rick Grimes and company inhabit, albeit at a different location and possibly even at a different time. This different location has recently been confirmed to be located on the other side of the country—Los Angeles to be exact. While many current Walking Dead producers will be crossing over to the new show as well, current showrunner Scott Gimple is not involved, so the room for a crossover— even despite the thousands of miles of distance between locations—is doubtful.
spoiler alert! It’s not over yet Speaking of showrunner Scott Gimple, we’ve been promised that the back half of season five will be even darker and weirder. This is in addition to statements made before the start of the season promising that the path the group ends up taking will become more faithful to the comic than they’ve ever been before. This promise, plus additional comments made by Robert Kirkman on Talking Dead after the mid-season finale about an upcoming gay character from the comics, have fueled theories as to where the group will end up once the show resumes in February. Those involved with the show tease that Rick and company will be “in a very dark place when things start” and will again “be looking for a safe haven” because that’s their fallback mission when all else fails. One of the major upcoming themes our favorite walker killers will be struggling with will be an age-old question: “Who can you trust?” Maggie and Daryl will be dealing with the aftermath of the accidental loss of Beth at Grady Memorial Hospital. Morgan (who has been revealed in recent interviews to have been on his way to Terminus looking for community) will make an appearance. Also, according to Andrew Lincoln, Steven Yeun, who plays Glenn, will be one to keep an eye on. Lincoln has also stated that he’s particularly looking forward to episodes nine and ten, noting that episode nine is one of the best they’ve made yet, and that ten is the episode he’s always wanted to make. Sounds promising! Season five of The Walking Dead returns February 8.
Overkill Honestly, does anyone ever get tired of hacking and slashing their way through walker hordes? I didn’t think so. Robert Kirkman’s Skybound Entertainment is back again for yet another video game collaboration, this time with the Starbreeze Studios owned developer Overkill Software. The two companies are currently working on a firstperson shooter set within the comic book version of The Walking Dead universe. Set in Washington D.C., the game will feature all new characters, and for the first time will feature a co-op option—something The Walking Dead fans have been growling for. Overkill, creators of Payday: The Heist and Payday 2, have said that they love the horror aspect of The Walking Dead and can’t wait to combine that with gameplay elements that include action, role-playing, survival horror, stealth and world exploring. While not official, it can be assumed that the game will be available on all of the usual platforms—PlayStation, Xbox and PC— with a release date slated for sometime in 2016. Let’s hope the walkers don’t get to us before then! For more information on the game and to watch a delightfully morbid teaser trailer, visit starbreeze.com/games/overkills-the-walking-dead. 9
staff flick picks
GOSPEL OF GORE A Year of Fear A Guide to Becoming a Junkie Hello my sweet, filthy friends. I hope this new year finds you sexy and at least somewhat sloshed. I am going to deviate from my usual ramblings and use this space to help guide you on a journey—a righteous journey to the altar of horrific cinema that we should all be kneeling before.
James R Beach
Zombi 2 (1979)
28 Days Later (2002)
Return of the Living Dead (1985)
White Zombie (1932)
Directed by Lucio Fulci A woman’s father goes missing on a tropical island filled with the roaming undead.
Directed by Danny Boyle Chimps infected with “Rage” spread a virus 4 weeks later across the UK.
Directed by Dan O’Bannon Deadly gas is accidentally released into the air and the results bring the dead to life.
Directed by Victor Halperin A young man’s fiancee is turned into a zombie slave by a witch doctor.
I believe the new year is a grand opportunity to refocus your priorities and make what some people like to call “resolutions.” A resolution is basically a decree or goal you make to better yourself. Now, I’m not a resolution kind of guy. This is not to say that I’m against bettering myself. It’s more that I am wholly opposed to making resolutions for a bunch of crap I don’t really want to do—exercise regularly, quit smoking, cut down on kidnapping. These are all well and fine, but I prefer to make resolutions that I can get excited about.
FAVORITE Zombie Film
Directed by Robert Rodriguez A stripper with a machine gun leg, a sleazy mechanic, & zombies. What else do you need?
Planet Terror (2007)
Join Reverend Jeff Jugular as he praises the virtues of living a life filled with subversive cinema. He will help cleanse your soul of the boring megaplex madness by suggesting the very best and worst in horror/ cult cinema.
WITH THE REVEREND JEFF JUGULAR
1. Get one of those real life erotic escapade stories published in Boneyard Booty magazine.
My list this year is as follows:
Black Sheep (2006)
I Am Legend (2007)
Dawn of the Dead (1978)
Day of the Dead (1985)
Directed by Jonathan King Genetic experiments go wrong when innocent sheep are turned into killer zombie sheep.
Directed by Francis Lawrence Years after a virus has altered humanity, a scientist struggles to survive and find a cure.
Directed by George Romero S.W.A.T. members, a traffic reporter & TV Exec’s girlfriend seek refuge in a shopping mall.
Directed by George Romero Scientists and Military hide underground in a world run by brain-eating zombies.
3. Watch as many horror movies as inhumanly possible. I am here to help you with that last one, and we can do it together. I have laid out a plan that will hopefully turn you (or keep you) into a horror movie junkie. This is a 52-week plan for your terror film consumption. This plan is going to require some dedication—you may have to cut back on your Kardashian fix or miss a season of Dancing with the Washed Up Stars, but trust me, you’ll feel so much better about yourself. Your brain will be bursting with horrific goodness. Each week will be dedicated to a different subgenre within the horror/cult film world. Watch as many films as you can within that week for whatever the theme is.
Dead Weight (2012)
Night of the Living Dead (1968)
There are a number of weeks marked for catching up on new horror films and a few for revisiting your favorites as well. Basically, if you watch three films a week, your total after 52 weeks would be 156 films watched, five films a week is 260 films watched, and seven films a week, well, you just reached Jabba the Hutt status.
Directed by Adam Bartlett, John Pata A man looks for his girlfriend with other survivors after society is attacked by viral attacks.
Directed by Andrew Currie A space cloud radiates the planet and creates zombies that feed on human flesh.
Directed by Stuart Gordon A college student & his girlfriend begin doing experiments on dead tissue to create life.
Directed by George Romero Bloodthirsty zombies surround survivors inside of a rural farmhouse.
Be sure to check the Living Dead Magazine Facebook page at the start of each week, beginning on February 1, 2015, for a helpful list of films for that week’s topic.
2. Start building and stitching together a new girlfriend.
Week 1: Horror films of the silent era Week 2: Film versions of Dracula Week 3: Film versions of Frankenstein Week 4: Ghost stories Week 5: Catch up on new horror films Week 6: Films of Roger Corman Week 7: Psychos and madmen Week 8: Anthology films Week 9: Universal Horror films Week 10: Your choice (revisit favorites) Week 11: Films of Mario Bava Week 12: Nature runs amok Week 13: Hammer Horror films Week 14: Films of Boris Karloff Week 15: Giant monsters of the ‘50s Week 16: Films of David Cronenberg Week 17: Slasher films of the ‘80s Week 18: Catch up on new horror films Week 19: Hail Satan Week 20: TV terrors Week 21: Films of George A. Romero Week 22: Aquatic horrors Week 23: Films of Val Lewton Week 24: Gore, gory, goriest Week 25: Stephen King films Week 26: Films of Peter Cushing & Christopher Lee Week 27: Your choice (revisit favorites) Week 28: Foreign horror (Euro style) Week 29: Films of John Carpenter Week 30: Nunsploitation films Week 31: Films of Vincent Price Week 32: ‘80s Hong Kong horror Week 33: Films of William Castle Week 34: Films of the swinging ‘60s Week 35: Catch up on new horror films Week 36: Films of Wes Craven Week 37: Italian Giallo films Week 38: Horror from beyond the stars Week 39: Blaxploitation horror Week 40: Foreign horror (Mexican style) Week 41: T&A terrors Week 42: Medical malpractice Week 43: Films of Barbara Steele Week 44: Holiday horrors Week 45: Unleash the beast Week 46: Films of Dario Argento Week 47: Your choice (revisit favorites) Week 48: Horror films of the ‘90s Week 49: Catch up on new horror films Week 50: Foreign horror (Japanese schoolgirl style) Week 51: Poe and Lovecraft horrors Week 52: Do you have the balls to watch it? Have fun with it, my fellow sickos! LIVINGDEADMAGAZINE.COM
The Best of 2014
I've been busy scouring the best of horror lists that By Lady Terminator / Erika Instead 2014 keep popping up. I'm diligently taking notes and seeking out the movies that flew under my radar. It turns out I missed a lot. I definitely still have a ways to go, but so far in my attempt to catch up, I've found some fantastically entertaining films. This isn't necessarily my top ten list, but it is indeed a collection of the recent films I've enjoyed on some level.
Starry Eyes I love that this story asks the main character, “How far will you go to achieve your deepest desire?” Will this struggling actress change who she is to fit the part? Perhaps she’ll become the person she’s always been and find her true form. This film is about ambition, desperation and transformation, with a delicious dash of body horror. The stars in her eyes will either guide her or blind her.
Digital dismemberment: 'Death by VHS' DVD review By Michael ‘Dedman’ Jones
Director: Scarlet Fry, Jacob D. O'Neal and David Sabal Cast: Josiah Spargo, Hannah Ramirez, Anthony Tempesta, Tara Carlton, Rosario LaMontagne, Courtney Morgan, Tony Sabal and Brian Everet Smith Released By: Worldwide Multimedia Release Date: September 17, 2014 The Premise: According to the official movie synopsis of the new horror comedy released this past September, Death by VHS is the story of “a battered and mysterious VCR…A bevy of lethal video-tapes… These are the building blocks of horror in “DEATH BY VHS”. A mind blowing descent into madness and death. Five shocking vignettes, designed to take your sanity and devour your soul! Mild curiosity leads to severe consequences when a couple rents a supposedly cursed video cassette recorder. An urban legend renowned for leaving a trail of agonizing and torturous death. Unbelieving, they take the plunge… And another legend is horrifyingly born…Do you dare give fate a winning hand, and test yourself against the hellish consequences of the VHS machine? Insert Cassette Press Play…DIE!” [sic] The anthology style of horror films seems to be a dying breed, with an exception of the REC films. Upon first seeing Death by VHS, many might claim that it is a blatant rip-off of the REC series, but I would beg to differ. This is certainly a film that would fit the trash cinema niche—great to watch with buddies while drinking and altering your own state of mind. Filmed in Grind-O-Scope, Death by VHS is five different stories of the macabre (Lepus, Regenerate, Suburban She Freak, Christmas Krampus and an untitled zombie piece) that are sandwiched in-between the story of two tweakers who pick up a bag of VHS tapes and a VCR from their Jamaican drug dealer. While getting high and watching the films, they slowly begin to die from mysterious causes, but can't stop watching the tapes. The story is a bit ambiguous as to whether the drugs they bought or the actual VHS tapes are causing their degeneration, but it works as this is not the type of film to overanalyze the plot elements. If you want to argue the points, you could possibly say the film is talking about how drug abuse and mindless violence through our visual mediums are rotting us out from the inside, but I choose to believe this was just meant to be a raunchy, down and dirty roll in the genre—a guilty pleasure to just let yourself go. The film is shot in the lowest budget style possible, and while most people may overlook the acting, the directors do manage to cobble together little stories that have merits of their own (Regenerate and the untitled zombie piece in particular caught my attention.) The level of effects work throughout the project is the one thing that lets you know that you are not dealing with rank amateurs. While still done with the budget in mind, the concepts and the adaptability to match the camera style tie together very well. The sound and video quality, while scratchy and disorienting at times (and shot that way purposefully), add to the campy and quirky quality of the project. The most important part of the whole film is the fact that they went ahead and made it instead of talking about it. The acting is very cheeky during some parts; yet, the actors still manage to give the audience emotional twists. This film might not be the highest art, but it's a great popcorn movie to watch with your buddies. First time filmmakers can pull a few pieces of knowledge from it, and extra marks go towards some fun and bloody special effects. 14
Housebound This dark comic film from New Zealand begins as a haunted house tale, but thanks to a few twists and turns, ends up being something completely different. I can always appreciate a film that doesn’t take me down a predictable path. Plus, Housebound manages to be funny but in a way that doesn’t detract from the horror. That’s not always an easy balance to achieve.
Horns I’m a huge fan of the source material and I also think director Alexandre Aja has a lot of potential, even if his films aren’t always on target for me. It’s a story of love and loss, but to be honest, my favorite parts of this film are the scenes where a character is under the influence of the horns and they are compelled to reveal their most intimate and horrible secrets.
Boobs and bloodshed. A fun, modern day exploitation flick. If you’re into vengeance, sleaze and neo-grindhouse fare, Time to Kill is the perfect choice.
A ludicrous, vile, hilarious, low-budget rapey mutant monster movie. There are hillbillies, creature genitals and mustaches galore. These filmmakers seemed to think that if you can’t do it right, do it ridiculous. And you know what? In the end, it came out right.
Honeymoon I adore the contrast between the sweet, mushy honeymoon bliss at the film’s start and the fear, frustration and darkness that takes over the film’s tone as Bea’s behavior becomes stranger and stranger. To know something horrible is happening to a loved one and yet to feel powerless to help is a very relatable horror. Not to mention, this is another film with some very squirm-inducing body horror effects.
Time to Kill
Tusk I love the absurd, and as you may have noticed by now, I also love body horror. This flick hits both marks. It is precisely what you’d expect of a Kevin Smith horror film. It’s gross, weird, creepy and silly. I laughed uncontrollably at some of the scenes. This chick votes #walrusyes!
WolfCop Here comes the fuzz! This is a fun, campy werewolf film with an ‘80s feel and surprisingly good gore effects. The initial transformation scene is unlike any I’ve ever seen.
This one’s a short film but definitely worth seeking out. Not only is it based on the first chapter of Muerte Con Carne by Shane McKenzie (which I also highly recommend), but the filmmakers aren’t exaggerating when they claim it’s “the Texas Chainsaw Massacre with a crazy Mexican twist.” There’s talk of expanding this into a full-length feature film and I’ve got my fingers crossed that this happens. This girl is hungry for more.
Speaking of ridiculous, Zombeavers is the mother lode. The practical effects are fantastic fun and the dialogue is full of dirty beaver jokes. Don’t let this film fool you though, it’s much smarter than it may at first appear. It challenges the trope of the final girl and keeps you guessing as to who will survive those nasty little beavers..
7. The Boy
Directed by Craig MacNeill Release date: TBA A 9-year-old boy’s fascination with death increases and so do his sociopathic tendencies. The film promises to be an intimate portrait of a serial killer’s origin story. The Boy stars Rainn Wilson and Mike Vogel, and is produced by Elijah Wood, among others.
Here are our top ten horror films to see in 2015. Release dates may change as some of the films are still in production.
1. Crimson Peak
Directed by Guillermo del Toro Release date: October 16, 2015 Set in 19th century Cumbria, the film features a writer, Edith Cushing (played by Mia Wasikowska), who discovers that her husband, Sir Thomas Sharpe (Tom Hiddleston), is not who he seems. Guillermo del Toro has a history of telling beautiful, gothic tales such as Pan’s Labyrinth and The Devil’s Backbone. His films are built on interesting characters inside intriguing locations, so having another glimpse inside his imagination is something we are very much looking forward to doing. 14
2. It Follows
Directed by David Robert Mitchell Release date: TBA It Follows is one of the most anticipated horror films of 2015 because of an STD metaphor in a 19-year-old girl, Jay. After a sexual encounter, Jay experiences hallucinations and the feeling that someone is following her. She has to escape. The film has done fairly well on the festival circuit and won several awards, including Best Picture and Best Screenplay at the Austin Fantastic Fest. A wide release is expected in 2015.
Directed by Cameron Romero Release date: TBA George Cameron Romero is carrying on his father’s legacy of zombie films by telling the origin story of the modern zombie. The Indiegogo campaign touted the film as “not another zombie movie, it’s Romero’s answer to the zombie movie.” The film takes place in the 1960s, right before the first zombie rose from the grave. Cameron Romero said that with this film he wanted to reclaim the zombie in his family’s name and also make the film that his father could not in the ‘60s. Origins promises to be a brutal ride to remind us why we were terrified of zombies in the first place.
8. February 5. 31
Directed by Rob Zombie Release date: TBA Before Halloween, five people are kidnapped and held hostage in Murder World. There they are forced to play 31, a game in which they need to survive 12 hours against a gang of evil clowns. Rob Zombie’s films have a sense of realism matched with elements from a horrific fantasy that only a troubled person would find enjoyable, which automatically gives 31 the Living Dead Magazine seal of approval.
9. Knock Knock
Directed by Eli Roth Release date: January 23, 2015 Evan Webber, father of two, has to stay home from the Father’s Day weekend trip due to a shoulder injury. While his family is at the beach, two hot, young women knock on his door looking for the address of a party. Their phone battery is dead, so Evan invites them in to use his internet. In true femme fatale fashion, the girls seduce Evan and ruin his life. Eli Roth brings forth some of the most violent and controversial films in cinema, making us giddy with anticipation. Knock Knock will premiere at the Sundance Film Festival this year.
Directed by Sofia Carrillo, Mary Harron, Karyn Kusama, Jennifer Chambers Lynch and Jovanka Vuckovic Release date: TBA Male directors dominate the horror genre, but women are stepping up to the challenge to kick butt and scare the pants off you. XX is an all female-helmed anthology horror film to join the ranks of The ABCs of Death, V/H/S, Trick ‘r Treat, Tales from the Darkside and more. The lineup is packed with female genre leaders who guarantee this film to be an experience to die for.
Directed by Oz Perkins Release date: TBA The film follows Rose and Kat, whose parents have failed to pick them up for winter break at their all-girls boarding school. The two girls experience visions and a possession, while a third girl, Joan, comes to save them. Starring Emma Roberts (American Horror Story) and Kiernan Shipka (Mad Men), this coming of age horror tale has the potential to be ranked with Ginger Snaps.
6. Bone Tomahawk
Directed by S. Craig Zahler Release date: TBA With Kurt Russell, Sid Haig, Patrick Wilson and David Arquette, Director S. Craig Zahler has a recipe for a fun directorial debut. Set in the Wild West, four men are on a mission to save a group of captives from a pack of cave-dwelling cannibals. Horror Westerns are not released very often, which makes Bone Tomahawk a must-see.
Directed by Michael Dougherty Release date: December 4, 2014 Michael Dougherty gave us one of the most celebrated Halloween films of all time, Trick ‘r Treat, and this year he is back in a big way with a film based off of another popular holiday, Christmas. True to the German legend, the Christmas Devil seeks out naughty people to punish them in this comedy-horror that will be released in December.
The Horrors of Facebook
LDM: John, your group has over 1,500 members and is rapidly growing. What do you believe is attracting such numbers to the group? JR: The admins and myself put a lot of time and hard work into keeping the group active and updated. It's because of this we get so much participation that leads to word of mouth promo. Over the last year, I've met some incredible people who are active in the horror world. Some are artists, craftsmen, authors, actors, screenwriters and convention promoters. I have invited and encouraged them all to feel free to push their work in the group. If I can help support the horror genre by helping them get their word out there, then I'm a happy man. One thing that I think sets us apart is when a new member joins, I personally welcome each and every one. It' s the small personal touches that I like to think sets us apart. And on a side note, just in the time we started this interview, we've now got over 1,600 members, which makes me very proud.
by Gary Castleberry
Through the years, Facebook has become much more than just a platform for keeping in touch with old friends and family. This billion dollar social media site is the place of choice for like-minded people to join groups that share their same interests. You name it and there will be a group for whatever you are interested in—from fashion to firearms, there is something for everyone. For those of us who love horror, monsters and things that are under our beds and in our closets at night, Facebook offers many groups devoted to all sorts of horror topics. Unlike with a Facebook fan page, belonging to a group page means everyone is free to post whatever is allowed based on the guidelines of the administrator who started the group. It’s a great way to share your ideas, network, meet fellow enthusiasts and get inspiration. This brings us to our new column, Horror Group Meet & Greet. Here we spotlight a different horror, sci-fi, fantasy or paranormal group that we feel you may want to check out and/or join. From Jason Voorhees to Dracula to paranormal and werewolf lovers, we will try and cover them all. For our first group of horror fanatics, we welcome the group House of Tortured Souls and their administrator, John Roisland. Living Dead Magazine: Welcome to the Living Dead family, John. Can you tell our readers what inspired you to begin House of Tortured Souls?
Tortured Souls Creator John Roisland 16
John Roisland: Well, as far back as I can remember I've loved horror. From trying to sneak peeks of an old scary movie that I was "too young" for to drooling over Fangoria in the bookstores, I have always been hooked on horror. At the age of 9, my dad let me watch John Landis' 1981 classic [An] American Werewolf in London, and that film was a lifechanger for me and just fueled my desire for more. I would devour books, buy action figures, put on scary makeup, anything I could do to feed the need for horror. Then, about two years ago, I became good friends with some other fellow horror fans online who would soon become my horror family. These are people that shared my love for the industry and
Tortured Souls Creator John Roisland encouraged me to start my own group. If I may, I would really like to name some of them: Andrew Vallee, Steve Mezo, Travis Love, Amy Lynes and last but not least, Stephanie Roisland, my horror partner and wife, whose encouragement and help as an admin [of] the group has meant the world to me. Without all of these people, we may not be having this conversation. LDM: Why should a horror lover join this group? What and how can they contribute? JR: For those horror fans, new or old, who want to become a part of a horror community, a family—that includes horror movies, action figures, books, comics, artwork and basically anything that is horror related—then this, my friend, is where they want to be. As far as how a group member can contribute, well, I encourage all members to be as active as they can or want to be. Whether it’s by posting pics (many of our members are really big into Halloween and attending horror conventions and we get flooded with pics that they’ve taken to show us), to talking about or giving a review of a movie or book, or even just joining in on a healthy discussion of whatever topic it may be. I strive [to make] sure that the members are comfortable in the group. I have some that post every day, then I have some that once in awhile will "like" something posted, and it’s all fine with me—whatever makes them enjoy it most. I also ask the group frequently to help with ideas on things they'd like to see or even things they don’t. I honestly feel it's our group, not just mine.
LDM: In some of the horror groups, we see a lot of off-topic posts that are not related to horror, and some really rabid debates with language that would make Regan from The Exorcist blush. Do you have any strict rules concerning what a person can and can’t do within the group? If so, will you elaborate on that for potential members? JR: That’s a great question. I've actually known of a few groups that have been shut down due to lewd or vulgar [goings-on] in the group. We do have a pinned memo at the top of our group. The first thing you see under our group banner picture is our welcome board. It defines our rules, which are very politely stated and easily understandable. There have been a few times when tempers would flare on topics such as who played the best Jason, or maybe which Evil Dead is the best, but all in all it’s in fun, and at the end of the conversation, we are all still friends. Sadly, there are those who join the group for no other reason than to spam the page. I encourage posting for your horror related works, but not for Oakley sunglasses, Gucci handbags or "fill out this survey and get Burger King for life," because that won’t fly. The post is taken down and the person who posted it is deleted. [It's] rather upsetting when you do all this work, smile when new people join and you have to delete them because they have no interest in your group other than to advertise crap. LDM: In closing, what would you like to say to anyone interested in joining House of Tortured Souls? Is a tortured soul mandatory? JR: To anyone interested in joining House of Tortured Souls, they should be prepared for an active horror group with tons of great people, including a handful that are very well-known in the horror industry. Together we have a lot of fun sharing our love for the genre. And is having a tortured soul mandatory? Not upon joining, but you'll be begging for one before long. LDM: John, thank you for sailing with us on the virgin voyage of horror Facebook groups. Living Dead Magazine wishes you all the best and we applaud you for keeping horror alive and fun for everyone. LIVINGDEADMAGAZINE.COM 17
MONSTER MAKERS by by GARY CASTLEBERRY
Welcome to another installment of Monster Makers. Here we shine the spotlight on those gifted and talented individuals who actually make monsters. You will see everything from monster model kit builders and fx makeup artists to world famous sculptors and museum quality monster props. These skilled individuals make the monsters we know and love that scare us to death. In this zombie-themed issue, we welcome Jim Brown, operator of Eville J’s Creepy Closet. Believe me, when you see his works of art you will want to check your closet and under your bed before going to sleep tonight. Jim, welcome to the Living Dead family. You and your creations fit in quite nicely. Living Dead Magazine: Jim, how did you get started in making these awesome props, masks and other gruesome items, and what was the inspiration behind it? Also, where did you come up with the name Eville J’s? Jim Brown: We are based in Evansville, Indiana, and [the name is] a play on the name Evansville. However, I am considering changing [it] to Evil J’s because it's always been a little confusing. I have always loved Halloween and the stuff that goes along with the season, but I really got serious making stuff back in the mid ‘90s. My wife and I had a big Halloween party every year and the store-bought decorations just got cheaper and flimsier every year, so I started making my own stuff. First it was paper mache, duct tape and wires, but after a couple years I started learning about sculpting clay, making molds, and latex and foam. And what had started as just a couple of weeks to get ready for the party, was quickly turning into a full-time hobby. Then, once social media came along, I found there was a pretty good market for the stuff I was making. LDM: What goes into the process of making these works of art, and how long does one take to create? JB: I like to sketch first. I'll get an idea in my head and it helps me to try and draw it out first. Then comes the sculpture. Sometimes I can knock those out in a day or two, and others have taken weeks to finish. After the sculptures are done and it’s molded, the process to a finished piece is pretty fast—mostly it’s a lot of drying time. LDM: Jim, your zombie creations in particular really stand out and are some of the best we have seen. Has there been a resurgence of interest due to the multitude of zombie-related movies and television series that have been produced, such as The Walking Dead and Z Nation? JB: Oh yes, definitely. The demand for them is very high right now. Most of the requests I get are for either zombies or clowns, or in some cases, zombie clowns.
LDM: What is life like for you during the Halloween season? Are you super busy, or is this just another day in the life for an artist such as yourself? JB: Very busy—I stay busy all year. But yes, October has become pretty crazy. I think I'll sleep the whole month of November. LDM: I’m compelled to ask you a weird question. Throughout history, clowns have been funny and charming to both kids and adults alike. Ringling Brothers Circus still has a clown school. Now, in our current era, clowns are considered evil and creepy. Kids and adults are terrified of clowns. I can’t name one person I know that isn’t freaked out by clowns. How does it feel to contribute to this new era of evil clowns? JB: This summer I had a chance to get an actual opinion from a guy that is a local performing clown on this very subject. His take on the subject was, ”that’s what I do and it hurts what I do and I hate that small children see images of evil or scary clowns and equate that to all clowns.” I can understand his point, but I also see on my side how dark and scary clowns are almost a subgenre of horror because their fanbase is so loyal. Plus, they are just fun to make. They're colorful and twisted, and it's hard to tell what's going on in their minds. Jason, Michael, Freddy, Leatherface— with these guys, you know what you’re in for. But with clowns, they might shoot at you with a popcorn gun for all you know. LDM: Jim, please tell our readers about your salsa bowl creation for the zombie who loves to party. JB: The salsa bowl is a life-size head that has a cutaway in the top (where the brain would be) where you can sit a bowl of salsa, cheese ball or whatever. They make a nice party table centerpiece. I use one on Halloween to hand out candy to the trickor-treaters. LDM: I understand you have a website where our readers can observe your creations and purchase them. Do you also do custom creations for select clients? JB: Yes, customs and commissions, unless it's a very specific request like a logo or/ and mascot. I like to approach those the same way a tattoo artist works—you give me your idea and I put my twist on it. When I'm doing these kind of projects, I will send process pictures to the customer to make sure we are both on the same page and it helps to show why it takes so long on some things. I know if I hired someone for something and they disappeared for a month without giving me some sort of feedback, I'd be a little freaked out. I like to keep the lines of communication open. LDM: What’s the future looking like for Eville J’s Creepy Closet? Do you have any upcoming projects you would like to tell our readers about? JB: I hope to hit the road next year and get out to more shows. About upcoming projects, there are many I'm looking forward to and I hope there will be some that I don't know about yet. There is one that I feel pretty strong about and I hope to unveil it soon, but you'll have to follow our Facebook page to see how that one comes together. Jim, you are a master at creating props and masks of zombies, pig-faced slashers, evil and hideous clowns and other pieces I can’t even think of a name for. If you are easily terrified or have any heart condition, please consult your doctor before viewing the Eville J’s Creepy Closet website. It’s just that creepy.
You can check out Eville J's work on his website at evillejscreepycloset. com, Facebook page at facebook.com/evillejs and on Instagram, @ Evillejs. You can also email Jim directly at email@example.com. LIVINGDEADMAGAZINE.COM 19
MG: I think George was always influenced by the EC Comics of the 1950s, which led to his use of low angles, Dutch tilts and splashes of bright, primary colors. LDM: What were the challenges that you faced as a cinematographer on this shoot, such as locations that did not lend themselves to being photographed well, the lighting, the composition, etc.?
BY MATT MAJESKI When it comes to film, the actors, writers, directors and even makeup artists are always the ones who are given the praise for a job well done. And yet, there is one person on all films who is incredibly vital to the process but is often overlooked by the public: the cinematographer/director of photography. After all, what’s the most important part of watching a movie? Well, watching a movie, of course. That’s the job of a cinematographer. We view a film through their eyes essentially, and the look of a horror film is all too essential to its longevity. Michael Gornick, a Pittsburgh born cinematographer, is the man behind the look of several of George A. Romero’s most famous films, such as Martin, Knightriders, Creepshow and Day of the Dead. However, it was his work in the second chapter of Romero’s zombie trilogy, Dawn of the Dead, that gained him worldwide exposure and praise. We had the opportunity to talk to Gornick about his prominent role in one of the most famous zombie films of all time. Living Dead Magazine: First of all Mike, thank you for taking the time to talk to us about Dawn of the Dead. It’s very much appreciated. Michael Gornick: Oh, of course. LDM: How did you first meet George Romero? What was your first impression of him? MG: My first impression of George was not so dissimilar to my later, first meeting with Stephen King. They are both men of impressive physical stature, possessing contagious friendliness, charming in manner and bursting with creativity. Just in the way of background and circumstance, I first met George upon returning to Pennsylvania following my time in the Air Force in the early ‘70s. He was shooting The Crazies at the time and I stopped by just to meet him, having been a fan of his since Night of the Living Dead. He then invited me to work on The Crazies. I did sound work, and during post-production I did some of the sound and editing as well. 20
LDM: After your first break into cinematography with Martin, you went to work with George again on the next installment in his zombie trilogy, Dawn of the Dead. Because this film was larger in scope than Night of the Living Dead [and] Martin, how did you go about setting up the shots? Did you have a basis plan in mind while reading the script or visiting the locations to get a feel of them and where the camera would be placed? Also, was it nerve-wracking for you at first to handle this kind of a responsibility on this level and size? MG: Not at all. I was ready to begin some sort of career position in narrative filmmaking that I could view as a significant role in the creative process. This desire of mine aside, George was so democratic on set and had such a casual, disarming directorial style that the move to camera was most unpretentious. LDM: George said he wanted to make Dawn of the Dead like a comic book movie. What kind of camera techniques did you use to help create that comic book atmosphere for the film?
MG: The story of my career: locations that didn’t always lend themselves to shooting. Thank god for my film appreciation studies at UCLA where I studied the work of masters like Ingmar Bergman, whose approach was “I make all my decisions on intuition. I throw a spear into the darkness.” I would make a relaxed study of a location and look for a point of lighting motivation—be it a bank of overhead fluorescents in a department store setting or a single, naked globe in an underground storage facility. I would find that point of motivation and “throw a spear.” LDM: Can you tell us about a typical rundown of shooting during the winter of ‘77–‘78 at the Monroeville Mall from start to finish? If I’m not mistaken, you guys worked from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. each night. MG: A typical day often began at the Latent Image offices in Downtown Pittsburgh with a 10 a.m. screening of film dailies [and] silent print dailies (sorry, no time to sync sound with picture) that were from some stills shot two days earlier in the schedule. Following what often amounted to three to four hours of screening and discussion of the dailies, we would review and propose a shooting schedule for that evening. Moving off to the mall at about 4 p.m., we would begin casual setup and preparation with grip and lighting crews for that evening’s shoot. Dinner perhaps at 7 p.m., then promptly (and I mean promptly) at 10 p.m. we began using our precious little set time at the mall. Sleep? Hmm, rarely. LDM: While others got nauseated at the effects, you’ve said that the camera helped you through the shoot because it acted as a sort of barrier between you and the gore. Why do you think that was the case? Was it that it just appeared in your mind as a sort of magic trick rather than grotesque violence?
MG: Sorry, but back to Bergman [who said], “I don’t want to produce a work of art that the public can sit and suck aesthetically…I want to give them a blow in the small of the back. …” Yes, the camera was a kind of defense in these scenes, but it also acted as a tool whereby I could define, manipulate and deliver a filmic message to the audience. LDM: While this is something you might have been asked about a lot before, I understand that you got shot in the leg by Gaylen Ross with a blank during the scene where they’re driving the trucks over to the entrances to block the mall. Is that true? If so, what happened exactly?
LDM: Do you have a website of some kind that fans can check out? MG: No website at the moment, but join me at Facebook under Ronald Gorewood. LDM: Awesome. Thank you again, Mike. MG: Thank you!
MG: While blanks don’t have metal tips, they still have stiff paper wads as projectiles. That’s what happened (as it did throughout the shoot) and I took a hit. Years later, as you may know, [the Screen Actors Guild] prohibited any aiming of guns, blanks, whatever in a direct fashion at actors. Forget the cameraman. LDM: Have you seen all three cuts of Dawn of the Dead? If so, which, in your opinion, is the strongest one, cinematically speaking? Dario Argento’s cut seems to be more faster/action based with not that much room to breathe. I know that George prefers the original theatrical version above the others. MG: I guess I’m not with George on that one. The 2:17 version had an amazing extended play involving the invading bikers that rivaled the classic car chase in Bullitt. This exciting montage and increased visual references to zombies on the “outside” gave me a more satisfying viewing experience. LDM: I previously asked Tom Savini this, but I feel I must ask you this as well. I’ve heard that George’s style of filmmaking is very easygoing, in the sense that he gives free reign to cast and crew members to do their own thing, rather than having it set in stone and ordering them to do it as such. Since you’re privy to that directing style, do you speculate that that’s the secret to his longevity as a filmmaker? MG: Sure it is. Nonetheless, as maestro of the horror genre, why wouldn’t he deserve longevity and kudos as a filmmaker of paramount stature?
You can follow Mike at his aforementioned Facebook profile page. Also, Living Dead Magazine will be sure to keep you updated on his eventual website. For, as we know, when there’s no more room on a film person’s friends list, a website will be spawned. LIVINGDEADMAGAZINE.COM 21
white zombie the first zombie film a review by queenie thayer
The film White Zombie, released in 1932, is considered by many horror experts to be the first feature length zombie film. The film introduces the idea of zombies, who are people who die and come back to life changed. However, their change doesn’t come from any disease or chemical spill, no, the first zombies were spawns of voodoo. Despite it often being looked over by zombie fans who are more used to the Romero style of zombie, White Zombie went on to influence several horror films and even became the name of Rob Zombie’s first band. Zombie has said about the film,"[It's] a great film that not a lot of people know about...It amazes me that a film that is so readily available can be so lost." After watching the film myself, I can’t help but wonder what parts might have intrigued him enough to name his band after it. Was it the Haitian setting? The heart pounding drums that penetrate certain scenes? The story of a poor couple who get wrapped up in the darker side of voodoo? Maybe it's all these things and more. I certainly found many elements of White Zombie to be interesting, especially since I have done some research on actual Voudon practices that this movie takes liberties with. The movie starts with a young couple who traveled to Haiti and are being escorted by a native to the home of Charles Beaumont, a plantation owner. As they arrive, they cross a funeral procession in the middle of the road. Not understanding the culture, they ask the driver about it and he explains that burying someone in the middle of the road prevents them from being stolen, as people use the road often. This sets the ominous tone for things to come, like the brief encounter with Murder Legendre right after. The carriage driver tries to warn the couple, saying that Legendre uses zombies. They take it as superstitious nonsense and continue on to their destination, and soon get married. Little does the couple realize that the financier of their trip, Beaumont, covets the young bride and will do anything to make her his love slave, even turning her into a zombie. Luckily for them, they have a Van Helsing-esque priest friend who helps them. Yes, that is the whole plot at its core. 24
It is a true shame that this film is not given the same recognition as Romero's works. While it is a product of its time, White Zombie is an influential movie that helped shape more than just the genre of zombie horror. The film helped create the dark, foreboding atmospheric style of supernatural horror films that would blossom later, such as The Skeleton Key and The Serpent and the Rainbow. I think what might have made this movie spellbinding to Rob Zombie is the surroundings. The story is bare bones and pretty typical for the cheesy black and white horror films of the time period. They all had simple stories, or stories taken from fiction, and the thing that made them so great was more the acting and setting than the story. White Zombie is a movie rich in ambience. While Bela Lugosi is amazing in this film, I can see the direction being the most important thing to Rob Zombie, considering his music videos and films. He loves to film scenes with the same kind of drama that you see in White Zombie. The close-ups of people's faces, Bela Lugosi's eyes like ghosts
penetrating the frame at all times and those drum beats are really what make White Zombie a film worth watching. The zombies in this movie aren't falling apart—they aren't corpse-looking and barely even stand out as off or weird in appearance. They are buried alive, but part of what makes that a truly horrifying concept is that they are trapped inside themselves when this happens. They aren't truly dead, just under some sort of poison-induced coma, and they don't die the same way as today's undead do. The zombies look like normal people who have been hollowed out—completely devoid of their soul. Part of what makes them so unnerving is that they look like us. They sweat and breathe and walk around in an almost trancelike state. They don't stand out as unnatural, but their eyes tell volumes. A terrible pallor and a blank expression tells the audience that they no longer have free will and have become minions and slaves of a master known only as Murder Legendre. Before Romero, this is what zombies were—supernatural creations of potion masters, not the walking dead we know today. LIVINGDEADMAGAZINE.COM 25
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Now, I won't completely defend this movie. It does take liberties with the Haitian culture. It also is very much a product of a different era. As much as some things change, some things also stay the same. There is a lot of whitewashing in this film, and the only main character who is a woman is rendered either only worthy of being marriage material (thus beholden to a man) or made useless by voodoo magic. She is made into an object to be fought over in the film, which gives her no real agency of her own. Perhaps the director was trying to make a statement there, because even when she does have speaking time at the beginning and end, she is still kind of a shell. There aren't many prominent black characters either, even though the movie deals with a Haitian spiritual practice. A few side characters and background cast are black, but not much else. All the main characters are white, and you could say the title of the film was trying to hint at that. Perhaps an ironic nudge to the audience? The film, however, does try to show that the culture of voodoo has more than just a dark side, which pleased me. Vague references are made to one of the characters who is a priest as “a good magician,” which showed that there is a light verses dark aspect to the magic of this film. While actual practices are more complex than a simple black and white shading, it's good they make a distinction that not all voodoo practitioners are like our charismatic lead 26
bad guy, Murder Legendre, played by Bela Lugosi. The end of the film is totally jarring too because we get our final closing line from the priest, and it's a really bad joke. It completely threw the tone that the whole movie had going for it out the window. It just seemed so out of place considering the atmosphere that was being built up throughout the rest of the film. It was comedic, and I didn't feel the rest of the film had a sense of comedy at all about it. There was foreboding and dread, but not laughs. Movies of that era had to have happy endings though—it was actually mandatory. If you watch a lot of the black and white horror films of the ‘20s and ‘30s, you'll see a trend of happy endings in them. They weren't always of the silly variety, but definitely a sense of, “It's all okay. We overcame the monster!” Overall, I enjoyed this film. It gave me a lot to think about, took me back in time to another era of horror that I adore and it had Bela Lugosi being completely enthralling on screen, like always. The man knew how to act, no matter how big or small his role. When he comes on screen he commands you, and many times they used close-up shots of his face and eyes, trying to seduce you with his powerful, magical presence. His performance alone is worth the watch, and I can see why this film has influenced so many in the horror community. For that, the film has done more than it will likely ever get proper credit for.
Interview with a
Vampire(‘s Son) by gary castleberry artwork copyright of artist gary pullin. all rights reserved. photos courtsey of the Lugosi family. all rights reserved. Bela Lugosi is one of the most iconic actors of all time. He appeared in over 60 sound films, in over 25 silent films and on the stage over 200 times. Although, it was his role as Count Dracula in the 1931 Universal film that made him a household name. Unlike the vampires of today’s film and television, he didn't have fangs and he for damn sure didn’t sparkle. Instead he used his elegant accent, his hypnotic eyes and summoned his victims with the very distinctive way that he held his hand and fingers—acting at its absolute best. Bela Lugosi gave us so much more than just Dracula though. He also starred in some of the most incredible cult horror films ever made, such as Murders in the Rue Morgue, Island of Lost Souls, The Black Cat, The Raven, Son of Frankenstein and White Zombie. White Zombie was the first zombie movie ever made, and it was this movie that actually paved the way for Romero’s hit film Night of the Living Dead. White Zombie has had a significant impact on pop culture. In fact, Rob Zombie even named his first band after this influential film. To elaborate on his father’s career, we welcome Bela Lugosi Jr. to our own Living Dead family. We are honored to have him enlighten us more on his father’s life and some of his experiences growing up with the famous actor. We bid him welcome.
Living Dead Magazine: Before coming to America, your father had an extensive career performing on the stage and on screen in Hungary. Please tell us more about Bela Lugosi’s early years. Bela Lugosi Jr.: The story of my dad’s early years is so interesting that it would take more space to tell than we have here, but I can give you a brief overview. My dad left home when he was only 12 years old and worked in the mines and then on a railroad. Eventually, he found work in the back of a theater chorus and traveled around the country playing in small towns. He gained recognition and began getting more major roles in significant plays, including those of Shakespeare. Rising to the top ranks, he became a member of Hungary’s most prestigious theater, Budapest’s National Theatre. He volunteered to join the Hungarian Army, and after his service, returned to the stage and then went on to play characters in the early silent films in Hungary and Germany. LDM: Your father had quite an experience getting to America. Bela, please tell our readers about his journey, if you can. BLJ: My dad was very socially conscious and as result was caught in the political turmoil in Hungary after World War I. He found himself on the arrest list of the ruling party and fled to Vienna. He secured roles in Germany’s booming film industry, but still wanted to come to the United States. He traveled to Italy and became an assistant engineer on a ship bound for America. It was a horrible five-week trip—the seas were rough and the crew were his political enemies— but he arrived in New Orleans in 1920. He quickly made his way to New York City and found friends in the Hungarian community there, and was officially admitted through Ellis Island in 1921. LDM: Although he couldn’t have known it then, getting cast as the lead in Universal’s film Dracula was obviously a life-changing role. He went on to make many more films, but was typecast into the horror genre. Did your father ever comment to you about his role of Count Dracula and how it affected his acting career?
BLJ: My dad first created his version of Count Dracula on the stage in 1927, so when he was cast in Universal’s film, he brought his character to the role. The film, Dracula, was the beginning of Universal’s horror movie success and it brought my dad a lot of attention. He subsequently was cast in other Universal and other studios’ horror pictures, but did not make the switch to other genres. He mentioned to me and to others that for him, Dracula was both a blessing and a curse. Of course, he could never have imagined that every actor playing Count Dracula or a vampire after him would either mimic his characteristics or be compared to him. I know he would have liked to have achieved success in his lifetime by playing more varied roles, but he has become an icon and has left a mark on film history, and that is quite an amazing legacy. LDM: You were fortunate to actually see your father prepare for his roles and even got to visit him on set. Please tell us your impression of these experiences. BLJ: Yes, I saw my dad preparing for films and plays. He had an incredible work ethic and would go over every line again and again until it was perfect. When he walked on set, he was completely prepared and was able to do each scene in one take. Even though he portrayed Dracula so very many times on stage, in each production he became the count. He gave every performance his best. Although I was too young to remember being on other sets, I remember very well my experience on the set of Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein. Everyone was very nice to me and I even got to visit the commissary with Glenn Strange and Lon Chaney Jr. in their full monster and Wolf Man makeup. LDM: Bela, can you describe your home life? Did you realize that your father was a movie star? BLJ: My dad did not socialize with the Hollywood crowd. He enjoyed the company of artists, musicians and dancers, and would entertain in his own home. My parents were very involved with the Hungarian community in Los Angeles and we spent many weekends at the clubhouse. I had a pretty normal home life as a very young child and have nice memories of playing in our home in Los Angeles. I did have an unusual elementary school experience, as I attended a
Bela Lugosi, Jr. Holding an Iconic Image of his father as Dracula.
Baby Bela Jr. with Bela Sr. on the set of Son of Frankenstein
BLJ: Other than Dracula, I would have to say White Zombie, Son of Frankenstein and The Black Cat. LDM: Speaking of White Zombie, can you tell our readers more about your father’s role in the film and your thoughts on the film’s significance?
military school from kindergarten through sixth grade. To answer your next question, it was during this time at military school that I first realized that my dad was different. When my parents would visit me on Sundays, the attention of the whole school and other visitors was on their arrival. Later, when I would go to my father’s movies with friends, they would be scared, but to me it was just my dad on the screen. LDM: Did you ever want to follow in his footsteps and become an actor? BLJ: No, I really didn’t. But just in case, my dad preempted any thought of this with his advice to learn a profession, and he completely discouraged acting. He felt that agents and studios had too much power over an actor’s career and he didn’t want that kind of life for me. LDM: The role of Ygor was one of your father’s favorite roles (and mine too). What did he tell you about his portrayal of this character? BLJ: He told me that he really enjoyed his role as Ygor because he got to be creative with the part and was able to bring the element of comedy to his acting that he had not had the opportunity to do before. I understand that the part was very small as originally written in the script, but with the support of the director, who allowed my dad to develop the character himself, Ygor became the most important part of the movie. LDM: Of your father’s many films, what are your personal favorites?
BLJ: My dad’s performance of Murder Legendre in White Zombie was truly brilliant, creating one of the darkest roles in movie history. There is not much written about it, but he did tell me how pleased he was to also be able to direct a portion of the movie. At the time, the subject matter was quite controversial. But time has proven that it was truly groundbreaking and has become a film classic in its own right. Again, my dad could not have imagined that our culture would become obsessed with zombies and that the film White Zombie would be referenced as the first zombie film ever made—always with his eyes hovering over the title. LDM: I must ask your thoughts about Tim Burton’s 1994 film, Ed Wood. BLJ: This is a question I receive all the time. Martin Landau gave a wonderful performance as Bela Lugosi and did a nice job with the script that he was given. I find it disappointing that many biographers focus on the end of dad’s life. The Ed Wood film does not do justice to the man he actually was, and in fact, falsely depicts many aspects of his personality. Unlike the character in the Ed Wood film, Bela Lugosi was a gentleman. He was brave and he held on to his work ethic until his death in 1956. LDM: Bela, I understand that you are still practicing law. One of your first cases was one that you brought against Universal Studios. Please tell us about the case and the decision. BLJ: In 1963, while I was in law school, it was brought to my attention that Universal Studios embarked on a program to enter into licenses for use of dad’s image on various items of merchandise. I obtained one of those items—a model kit with his image on the box. I filed [a] suit against Universal. The case took almost 16 years before the California Supreme Court’s decision became final. The court held that if the celebrity did not merchandise his likeness while he was living, the right
to do so did not survive his death. Several years later, the California Legislature enacted the Celebrity Rights Act and thereby reversed the California Supreme Court decision, making the right to exploit the name and likeness of a celebrity a property right which survived his or her death. As a result, I control the commercial use of dad’s name and likeness and the trademarks associated with that use. LDM: So, you started Lugosi Enterprises. Please tell our readers about your company and its mission. BLJ: It has been my honor to preserve my dad’s legacy by protecting the use of his name and likeness. In order to honor Bela Lugosi’s place in history, and to celebrate the icon he has become, Lugosi Enterprises enters into selective licensing agreements in advertising and merchandising, publications and entertainment projects. It has been fun to be a part of a wide variety of products that commemorate my dad’s role as Dracula
and as other characters. I am especially excited about our separate wine company, Lugosi Wines, which I created as another way to pay tribute to Bela Lugosi, the man. Yes, he did drink wine! LDM: Bela, in closing, thank you so much for sharing these fabulous stories about your famous father and actor. Now that we know a little bit more about the man, I guess we can put away the garlic. We wish you all the best and may the name of Lugosi live forever. BLJ: Thank you, Gary. I am overwhelmed by how kind and appreciative fans of my dad are to me. It has been my pleasure to attend conventions and screenings where I can speak with people face to face. It is difficult to make it to shows across the country, so I appreciate the opportunity to share my thoughts with the readers of Living Dead Magazine.
bitchin'’babe of the month Living Dead Girl: Mortish Age: 24 Location: El Paso, TX Occupation: I am a body piercer and I’m going to school to become a cosmetologist. I am also working my way up to someday become a special effects makeup artist. How long have you been modeling? I’ve been modeling for seven years now. Do you feel like there is a lot more demand and a lot more opportunities for alternative models these days? Yes, there are definitely a lot more opportunities for alternative models these days, which is really awesome for those who are truly passionate about it. The alternative style is becoming more known and popular, which is cool in a way. But, at the same time, it’s also starting to become a huge trend to dress and look alternative just because that is what is the popular look right now, not always because the person even really likes the style. I remember when I was in high school, other people would tease me and call me a witch and say I did spells and sacrificed cats...They would yell “It’s not Halloween anymore!” To me, I thought their comments were very funny and almost a compliment because I loved being different and weird—that’s what makes me, me. But the way I look isn’t very different anymore.
You have some truly incredible tattoos all over your body from head to toe—most of them horror or Halloween related. How many tattoos do you have, and which was the most painful to get? I actually got my first tattoo when I was 17. I got this black widow on my chest, which to me means independence and strength. After that I was hooked and decided I would become a tattooed model. My goal is to cover 90 percent of my body, which, as of right now, I would say I’m about 60 percent covered. It’s kind of hard to count your tattoos once you have sleeves and big collaborative pieces. I would have to say the most painful tattoo I have ever gotten is the bat I got under my breast and below my diaphragm, spreading down my ribs—it’s a pretty large piece. Clearly based on your large Rob Zombie tattoo on your thigh, you are a fan of his. Yes, I am a huge Rob Zombie fan. I love his music and his films. He is such an amazing and talented being. He is a huge inspiration to me as an artist. His creativity and imagination is wild and Ireally love that. Rob Zombie is one of the first concerts I ever saw and he put on an amazing show. Every time I hear his music I just want to dance, and I love that it’s creepy and sexy. I actually listen to Rob Zombie while I’m doing my photo shoots—it just puts me in a mood and I feel sexier while modeling. Rob Zombie really helped bring to the world this idea of “living a horror lifestyle,” and he made horror sexy for the masses. How do you feel you live a horror lifestyle? I feel I live a horror lifestyle by the things I am into—horror movies, of course, the music I listen to, my looks and just my style of living...It all just makes me really happy. What do you think makes you a Living Dead Girl? My Sexy Creepiness, of course.
photos by Derek L Mims Photography 32
The Art of War featuring
By editor-in-chief, deanna uutela Whether you recognize his unmistakable style from the work he has done for Heavy Metal magazine, World of Warcraft, Marvel or for our highlighted horror guest Rob Zombie, there is no denying the incredible gift that our featured artist Alex Horley has as a storyteller and painter. We caught up with Alex while he was busy working on artwork for Rob Zombie’s new film, 31. Living Dead Magazine: Alex, the characters you create have an intense power that is so incredibly seductive and immediately gets you pumped up. One moment you transport us into an epic battle scene between dark creatures bulging with power and a supernatural godliness, and the next moment you take us on a ride with your model muse Stacy E. Walker as she commands the pages with her ability to bring a softness and strength to each image. The influence of artists like Robert E. Howard and Frank Frazetta is very evident in your work. What is it about their style that really drew you in? Alex Horley: I discovered [Robert] E. Howard’s work through Marvel’s Conan comics when I was around 8. Although I loved all their main titles (Fantastic Four, Thor, Hulk and Spider-Man), Conan was a whole different game. The violent action, masterfully portrayed by John Buscema, exotic places, impossibly beautiful girls and, of course, the monsters were the ingredients of a mix that hooked me right away and to this day I never get tired of. In my early teens, I started reading the Conan novels and became obsessed with every Robert E. Howard story. It was through the covers of those books that I discovered Frazetta’s paintings, which was a true epiphany for me as that’s why and when I started to try and paint. To explain what I love about Howard or Frazetta would take volumes, but in a nutshell, what I like about both are the dark, weird atmospheres, the raw, primordial power and the sensuality of the scenes they create.
©2014 Alex Horley. All Rights Reserved. “Albino Witch” featuring Stacy E. Walker LIVINGDEADMAGAZINE.COM 35
I studied almost every painter in the field (and outside), but Frazetta has been and still is the most influential and main inspiration for me. I even had the privilege and honor to meet him and spend a whole day with him, chatting in his studio and going over his paintings in the museum—a memory I’ll treasure forever. LDM: Alex, your story is a unique one in the sense that unlike many artists who might go their entire life and never really catch the break they need in order to sustain themselves through their art, you were able to find work immediately after your schooling and nabbed some big clients early on. Do you think your location helped push your career? Did you feel the crippling competitiveness that many artists experience trying to find work in the U.S.? AH: Actually, my location didn’t help at all. I was lucky enough to make some connections in Italy and England that eventually led to my work being noticed overseas. I also started going to conventions to show my portfolio around because there was no social networking like we have today. You had to physically show your work to editors and art directors. It also gave me the opportunity to meet other artists who gave me a lot of insight on how things worked in the field at the time. In ‘99, I met my now business partner/ friend Stacy Walker at San Diego’s ComicCon and she introduced me to many great artists she was working with. It was quite a bit of a challenge back then. I didn’t even have a computer in the early ‘90s and the Internet was just getting started. Everything was done over the phone and using that prehistoric device called the fax machine to submit concept sketches for approval, and then all final art was
physically shipped to the publishers as I had no scanner either. It was pretty overwhelming and exciting at the same time. It was not even that long ago and it is wild to see how much things have changed. I think competitiveness is everywhere, no matter where you put your efforts, especially now with access to the world right at your fingertips. I’ve never been a competitive person at all, so I really had to push myself to enter into the arena. I just want to sit and paint and forget about the rest. LDM: You are the only artist I know of that has been able to expand into so many different markets with your art. From Marvel to Heavy Metal magazine and World of Warcraft to Penthouse Comix, you have reached audiences in so many different ways. What is it about your style that allows it to transcend into different genres like this? Tell us a little about what your process is like when you work with a new client. AH: Since I was a kid, I knew that all I wanted to do was to work in comics. I grew up reading mostly Marvel comics from the ‘70s, and that’s what I built my taste on at first. Giants like Jack Kirby and John Buscema were my early masters. I tried to learn and steal everything I could from them—from how to draw figures,
make the characters act, to how to compose a page and tell a story in the most dramatic way possible, and eventually to adapt it into my own style. That was my background until I discovered Frazetta paintings when I was around 12 years old. That changed my plans quite a bit. I started teaching myself to paint and found that is where my heart is. I enjoy telling stories, whether with a single image or through sequential pages. When I wasn’t working on a full comic, I started to do a lot of painted cover art, which led me to start working on trading card games such as Magic: The Gathering, VS, featuring the characters from Marvel and DC and World of Warcraft. I think my forte has been the ability to adapt to different circumstances. I found ways to morph my style a little for what works best on the subject matter. The covers for Heavy Metal for instance were a collaboration with Stacy E.Walker. She posed for them all so they have a slightly more realistic style to them, as she already had an established relationship with [Heavy Metal]. She’s the only model I work with, as I prefer to work without references. She was crucially inspiring for these and many other of my paintings. The Lobo mini-series was slightly more cartoony than my usual style, but that worked well with the crazy stories and gags. It’s not really a conscious decision. I just go with what feels right for the
©2014 Alex Horley. All Rights Reserved. “Lobo : Issue 1 Cover”
subject I’m working on, and my ability to adapt my style has proven to be very beneficial to my work. LDM: Both the men and women in your art have huge biceps, contoured faces and bodies, and when not half naked wielding their swords both literally and figuratively, they are in armor on the fields of Hell, fighting the demons both alive and that live within them. Much like Rob Zombie’s
music and style—a mix of sex, darkness and violence—you both create a fantasy world for fans that allows them to escape through your art. What was your first interaction like with Rob Zombie? When did you two first meet? What was the first thing he commissioned you to work on with him? AH: I’ve been a true fan of Rob since the first White Zombie albums. I loved the sound and the stories in his songs. It was almost surreal when I got to work with him a few years later. The first piece I did was a cover for his own comic title Spookshow International. I believe it was El Superbeasto fighting some zombies along with Susie X. He liked it and actually bought the original art right after I finished it, which was beyond flattering. Stacy kept in touch with his assistant and was able to get a quote from Rob for my first sketchbook, which was a huge surprise for me and the coolest thing ever. Eventually, he asked me to work on a promotional piece for a movie he had in the works, Tyrannosaurus Rex. The movie never got made, but he did a lot of pre-promotion for it, including a billboard truck circling the streets during the San Diego ComicCon. It was great exposure for me. Since then, I have done several paintings for his last two albums, as well as concept art for several of his film projects. But it all started with that first comic book cover.
LDM: What have been some of your favorite pieces that you have done for Rob? I personally, as a Universal Monsters fan, can’t get enough of what you did with The Wolf Man and your piece “Jesus Frankenstein.” AH: I’m a huge Universal Monsters fan too, and I really enjoyed working on those sort of tributes to the classic Wolf Man and Frankenstein. Frankenstein is one of my all-time favorite characters… in literature and the movie and the comic book versions. When I did those paintings, Rob sent me a bunch of references, which turned out to be the covers from these trashy Italian novels that I knew very well and have a small collection of. But I think I got the best results with the pieces I created for the “Venomous Rat [Regeneration Vendor]” CD project. He gave me some general descriptions for the scenes and let me run with it. So from an artistic standpoint the “Planet Zombie” (as I call it), which has Rob himself in it, and the “Albino Witch” are much more “me” compared to what I did previously. Those are my favorite pieces so far that I painted for him. LDM: What is the collaboration experience like working on projects with Rob? Have you ever had to change a piece several times, or are you pretty much spot on with what he wants after knowing him for this long? Can you talk to us about this project and the experience contributing to a FanBacked film?
©2014 Alex Horley. All Rights Reserved. “Warlords” for World of Warcraft. 36
©2014 Alex Horley. All Rights Reserved. “Savage Queen” featuring model Stacy E. Walker
AH: Working with Rob is always a blast. He comes up with the craziest concepts sometimes, but he knows a lot about art and usually has a very specific vision that he is looking for. He sends all the references he can find to point me in the right direction, and I really appreciate that. It saves me a lot of time and stress. Other times he just gives me a one or two line description of the scene, or even just the title of a song, and lets me have total freedom. We have many things in common in our visual background, so that makes things easier too. I never had to change a piece several times. If he asked for any changes, they were minor fixes that I expect with every client. I always look forward to hearing his ideas because you can never predict what he is going to come up with next. Whether it’s gory and brutal or sexy and weird, it’s an exciting and fun challenge every time. LDM: You have been working on the new artwork for Rob’s new crowdfunded film 31. Can you talk to us about this project and the experience contributing to a FanBacked film? AH: When I did the art for this new project, Rob was still refining the script. I was getting descriptions only of what he wanted in that specific scene. I had no full outline of story or characters, so I didn’t know what to expect next. It was fun working on something so unpredictable. I personally think the FanBacked projects in general are amazing.
They really give everybody a chance to pitch their ideas, and if enough people like them, then they have the opportunity to produce them—something they may never have had the chance to do if these type of crowdfunding websites were not available. It’s very democratic and gives the creator total freedom and control over their property—perfect arena for a Rob Zombie project. I hope to take advantage of it myself in the near future. LDM: When you aren’t rocking the horror scene with clients like Rob Zombie, you are blowing the minds of geeks everywhere with the art you do for Magic: The Gathering and World of Warcraft. The gaming market is absolutely huge, and Magic and WoW have just blown up in the past few years. How did you get hooked up with Blizzard Entertainment, and are you yourself a fan and a gamer? AH: I have done a lot of work with—especially in the past—with Magic: The Gathering. But in recent years, I’ve been working mostly on World of Warcraft for Blizzard. Because of my experience with Magic: The Gathering, I was part of the first group of artists contacted to contribute to the then new WoW [trading card game]. I always loved the fantasy genre, but with Warcraft I felt in my natural element. There’s something about it visually that I immediately connected with. The over-thetop designs, the bold palette, the stories that
the game is built on were all right up my alley. Lucky for me, they noticed this connection, as I have been working on many Warcraft related projects steadily for almost ten years now. I even got to help redesign some characters and produce the key art for the new expansion and received my first in-game production credit. I played more frequently in the past, but since it can be so addictive I had to make a choice between play or paint and meet my deadlines. I still play video games at times, but for me it is far more entertaining and gratifying to come up with all those characters and stories and paint them. LDM: What new things should we be watching out for when it comes to your work? Can we expect to see you at more conventions in the upcoming years? AH: There are a few projects of my own that I’ve been working on for awhile whenever my schedule allows me—something that is strictly my own and I can have fun with. I am determined to finish some of it in the near future. There will definitely be some horror elements in it, but also lots of action. I can’t say much about it. I’m still putting “the puzzle” together, but I’ll start throwing some sneak peeks on [Facebook] and DeviantArt in the next months. I don’t have time to do as many conventions as I used to do. I have a booth at the San Diego Comic-Con; however, I do miss the small ones, and especially the horrororiented ones. They were so much fun.
Going to Hell
A Dark Journey with Photographer Simon Wolak Models are Don Corbitt, Loretta Vampz, Mia Ronai
| All costumes designed & produced by Don Corbitt.
Simon Wolak started taking pictures when he was nine years old in his native country of Poland. His first camera was an old style Russian film camera. Simon immigrated to Chicago in 2001 and has upgraded his equipment to a Canon 5d Mark II and a 1DS. While his early work focuses mainly on landscape and nature shots, his current work can only be described as exploring the darker realms of his personality. Simon has been published in over 50 magazines and has been on the cover of 10 of those. His many fans have described his work as dark, gory and bloody with a focus on tattoos. His work has been displayed in a variety of galleries, and he also headlined a recent tattoo art show in Chicago for the second time--with his artwork being used for all the promotional work. His work beat out several worthy competitors to come in first place for the cover shot of Artistic Culture Magazine. A true artist in his own right, Simon understands that his achievements have only been made possible by the support of not only his closest friends and loving wife, but the many models who have posed in his studio and on location for him. He wants to give a special thanks to all the models who work with him and the people who have supported him because without them his life would be miserable. You can check out more of Simonâ€™s work on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and at http://www.TopShotPicture.com
LDM: What was your first job in makeup effects? It was on Tales from the Crypt, correct? WP: You're half right. I first worked on the film The Abyss in a model shop. From there, I got a job working with Todd Masters while he was on Tales from the Crypt. I only did some special makeup effects for one episode, "House of Horror". But, he was impressed with my work, so much so that he selected me to work on the Tales from the Crypt film, Demon Knight. So, that's how that happened. LDM: Interesting. How did you switch from working behind the scenes to in front of the camera? Was it just your physical appearance, being that you are very slender and have a strong jaw line, that made you perfect to play monsters under foam latex and such? WP: That was part of it, and how I was chosen to do the stunts as one of the demons in Demon Knight. Also, at the time, stunt men and dancers were doing a lot of the suit work because we thought to ourselves, why not use people that we know already love monsters and who could put some real acting behind these creatures? Keep in mind that acting behind this kind of makeup isn't easy. You have to work with the limitations you're given and create a character. Luckily, actors like Doug Jones are being credited for the work that only a select few can perform.
Traveling Through the Depths of Hell A Talk with Dr. Satan! Matt Majeski It's no surprise that in a lot of our favorite horror films, many of the monsters that we both fear and adore (probably more of the latter) are portrayed by people that aren't technically "actors" per say. Michael Myers, for example, was played by Nick Castle in the first Halloween, a film school buddy of John Carpenter's, who was looking to gain some experience as a filmmaker, and not as a regular actor. The alien in Alien was depicted by Nigerian native Bolaji Badejo, who was cast by Ridley Scott simply based on his height. And in most, if not all of the Friday the 13th movies, the role of Jason Voorhees was/is usually given to a professional stuntman, or someone that has the physical attributes necessary for the character. Nevertheless, this information should not detract from the tremendous impact that these men made as these monsters. One such person who fits into this boat is none other than Walter Phelan, a special effects artist and musician who went on to portray a minimal yet prominent monster: Dr. Satan in Rob Zombie's directorial debut, House of 1,000 Corpses! Luckily for us and you readers, we got the chance to interview Walt about his experiences both behind the scenes, and behind the makeup. 42
Living Dead Magazine: First of all Walt, thank you for taking the time to talk to us about working with Rob Zombie! It's very much appreciated! Walter Phelan: Oh, of course! Thanks for having me! LDM: Let's start things off from the beginning first. Where did your love of the horror genre first start? Was it the Universal horror films, the classic Ray Harryhausen flicks, or something else entirely that ignited that spark? WP: I was lucky growing up in the 60s because the Universal Monsters were everywhere: on TV every week late at night, in magazines like Famous Monsters and Castle of Frankenstein, as models you could build like the Aurora kits, and of course being spoofed in The Munsters! It was like a renaissance of classic horror! It was great! LDM: Sounds like a fun time. Now, did you want to get into makeup effects from the get-go? Or did you have another career in mind besides in movies? Didn't you want to become a musician? WP: Yes I did. I have played drums in the band RF7 since 1979, but I have always loved monster movies, and have always been playing around with makeup. I started working in film in 1992.
LDM: I definitely think that's credit that these men definitely deserve. When did you first meet Rob Zombie? If I'm not mistaken, it was through his concert special makeup artist, Wayne Toth. WP: Yes, Wayne and I first worked together on From Dusk Till Dawn where I played a monster and he did my makeup. Just the usual case of knowing/meeting the right people in show business. LDM: How exactly did you get cast as Dr. Satan? I assume the reasons were probably because of your look and your tolerance for the heavy makeup. WP: Pretty much. Essentially, Rob left it to Wayne to get who he thought would be right for the part. And luckily, that was me. LDM: What memories do you have of that time? I imagine that having that medical apparatus on with the makeup was the cherry on top of the cake of misery for you. Hahaha!
Makeup artist Wayne Toth with his creation Dr. Satan (aka Walter Phelan)
WP: The makeup itself was actually not too bad. I had to hang a long time in the arm rigs that were suspended from above, which was the most uncomfortable part. But other than that, it was a fun shoot, and it helped get me my ten seconds of fame. Hahaha! LDM: I believe you also played Albert Fish and Ed Gein in the documentary clips during Captain Spaulding's Murder Ride scene. Those were shot by Rob at his house on the weekends, right? WP: Yes! That was a fun kind of guerrilla filmmaking experience at Rob's house in L.A. Wayne of course did the makeup appliances, and Rob shot the scenes with a 16mm camera. Sheri Moon even made us a nice chicken dinner one night. It was a pretty good time!
Walter as Dr. Satan rocking it with House of 1000 Corpses director Rob Zombie
LDM: That sounds great! As many fans know, Dr. Satan was going to be in The Devil's Rejects, where he attacks a nurse played by Rosario Dawson. But ultimately, it ended up getting cut. What was your feeling on Rob not including that in the final product? Was it a mix of emotions for you, kind of saying to yourself, "I wish he had kept it in, but I understand why he did it."
WP: Yes, it definitely is! That is exactly why I always say yes to working with him. He's just an all around cool guy!
WP: I'm fine with what he decided because it didn't really fit in with the kind of film he was trying to make. And, in a way, because the scene was cut, it gave it a sort of infamy amongst fans, and made it even more popular than if it was left in the final cut.
WP: Well, we have a new record out called 101 that you can either get as a vinyl copy from Scare America Records or download from their website. So definitely be on the lookout for that.
LDM: Do you have any upcoming projects that you would like to promote, such as with RF7?
LDM: Awesome! Thank you again Walt! WP: Anytime! Thanks! Be sure to check out www.scareamericarecords. com for more information on Walt's band, RF7, and Facebook at Walter Phelan to keep up with his other projects on the horizon, unless you want to end up like those patients at Weeping Willows! Muhahaha!
Walter in makeup with Rosario Dawson from a scene that unfortunately got cut out of the film. LDM: You also were one of the priests in the background in The Lords of Salem. Was that job just kind of another lark for you? WP: Yeah. That was fun too! How can you not like masturbating with a red dildo while dressed as a satanic priest? Hahaha! LDM: I can't see many people saying no to that. Hahaha! I've heard Sid Haig say that Rob is a very relaxed, easy going type of a guy, who, as a director, makes his vision clear to you, and gets out of the way so you can do your job. Would that be a fairly accurate description? 44
Walter performing in his band.
'I'I am am the the Devil, Devil, and and II am am here here to to do do the the Devil's Devil's work' work' Bill Moseley as Otis Driftwood, doing the Devil’s work in House of 1000 Corpses.
Bill BillMoseley Moseleytalks talksRob RobZombie Zombieand andmore more
Interview Interviewby byMichael Michael‘Dedman’ ‘Dedman’Jones Jones with withintroduction introductionby byEditor-in-Chief Editor-in-ChiefDeanna DeannaUutela Uutela As a director, you know you have struck gold when you find an actor so good at their craft that they completely lose themselves in a character to the point that the character becomes the identity associated with that actor, and the actor themselves, sans makeup and wardrobe, is practically unrecognizable. For years, no one really knew the man behind the beloved Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 character Chop-Top or that the same actor was in Army of Darkness and the Night of the Living Dead remake. It wasn’t until director Rob Zombie cast actor Bill Moseley to play the part of Otis Driftwood in his first film, House of 1000 Corpses, that fans really started to get to know the actor behind all of these iconic characters. Today, Bill Moseley is one of the most requested guests at horror conventions and one of the most talented actors in the horror genre. We were thrilled to get him for this issue and hear his thoughts on working with Rob Zombie and his insight into the industry as a whole.
Living Dead Magazine: With hundreds of credits to
your name—the vast majority of them being in the horror genre—you have certainly become a celebrated face of horror. Though your career in no way started with House of 1000 Corpses, it definitely helped make you a household name. Rob Zombie first approached you in the year 2000 to play the character Otis Driftwood in his first film, House of 1000 Corpses. What did you think of the script and character when you first read it, and did he surpass your expectations as a first time film director?
Bill Moseley: I first met Rob Zombie at a little in-house horror awards show called the Eyegore Awards at Universal Studios in Burbank, Calif. back in October of 1999. I was the emcee of the show, and with Universal's encouragement, I came made up as Chop-Top, my head scratching character from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2. When I handed Rob his little demon statuette, he was shocked to realize that I was the real Chop-Top and not just some imitator. We talked after the show; I met his then-girlfriend, now wife Sheri Moon and his parents, and about a month later, his manager, Andy Gould, called to tell me Rob wanted me to play Otis Driftwood in his debut feature, House of 1000 Corpses. I loved Rob's HO1KC script, loved just being offered a job,
especially one of the leads in a Universal feature. Rob was loads of fun to work with—I mean, who wouldn't want to work with a rock star with a love of horror? Plus, he was a great director, really knew his way around the set having directed many of his own music videos.
LDM: House of 1000 Corpses certainly harks back to
exploitation films from the '70s and many of the cult classics from the genre (several of which you were a part of). I thought the film was a stroke of genius and that the amount of detail Rob put into the plot, and especially the characters that followed through into the sequel in 2005, The Devil's Rejects, was amazing. Having been a part of other films that are considered cult classics in the genre, were you surprised by the reactions of the fans and the critics when the film was released? Did it surprise you when Rob asked you to reprise the role in The Devil's Rejects (as well as voicing Otis in The Haunted World of El Superbeasto in 2009)?
BM: House of 1000 Corpses had a difficult path to the silver screen. It took close to three years and three different studios before HO1KC hit American theaters. Universal dropped us after their head of production found the movie repugnant for all manner of reasons (ironic considering that Universal was considered "the monster studio" because it
was built on the shoulders of Frankenstein, Dracula, The Mummy, The Wolf Man, etc.) We landed at MGM for a short while until one of the studio heads took offense at something Rob said in jest about them on MTV. At long last, my Lionsgate buddy Chela Johnson brought HO1KC to her boss, Peter Block, and Peter gobbled us up and released us in 2003. HO1KC was profitable enough to spawn a sequel, The Devil's Rejects, in 2005. I love The Devil's Rejects for a number of reasons. I had never before reprised a character, so it was magnificent playing Otis a second time. I thought the story was great, the cinematography was masterful, the soundtrack was phenomenal. But what really blew my mind was that instead of just shooting a typical horror sequel—basically the same movie a second time—Rob made Rejects radically different from HO1KC. Otis is no longer an albino, Sheri only does her laugh once, Captain Spaulding sheds his clown makeup for most of the movie and Rob even changed genres from old dark house horror to a violent crime road picture.
Bill continues his role as Otis Driftwood with onscreen sister Sheri Moon Zombie in Devil’s Rejects.
about taking a part in the re-imagining of a film that is so revered by fans?
BM: Rob gave me, Sid Haig, Tom Towles and Leslie Easterbrook cameos in his Halloween, and our scenes were shot after the main production had wrapped. I thought the movie rocked, by the way, and the food on set was terrific. Trick or treat, baby!
Sybil Danning with Bill in the movie trailer Rob Zombie made for Grindhouse. For me personally, Rejects was my biggest acting challenge and my most satisfying performance (whoops, Chop-Top and Luigi Largo from Repo! The Genetic Opera tug at my sleeve.) Making the movie was hard work (we shot it in 30 days,) but I loved everything about it. As Rob said to me, "Art is not safe."
LDM: You worked with Rob again in his prequel/ remake of Halloween in 2007 as the character Zach "Z-Man" Garrett. Rob went to great lengths to make the film his own, bringing in many prequel segments as well as the remake element. He even went as far as asking John Carpenter for his blessing before making it. As you know, as someone who has acted in many genre films that fans hold so close to their hearts (Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, Silent Night, Deadly Night III: You Better Watch Out!, Army of Darkness, to name a few), fans are very particular about how these films are re-imagined. Was there ever any concern on your end
LDM: Music is such a big part of any film and Rob took that to another level, in particular with the music he did for House of 1000 Corpses. You come from quite the musical background yourself. You were the lead singer of Cornbugs, which included guitarist Buckethead and Deli Creeps drummer Pinchface. You have also done a wealth of vocal appearances with other musicians. How does music affect your professional life as a musician and an actor? With Rob coming from his background, what was it like working with him when you both have those same creative avenues? BM: As Chop-Top says, "Music is my life!" When I shot [Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2], I put together a mix tape of blues and rock that really powered Chop-Top through his crazy trip. As part of my preparation for the different characters I play, I try to come up with the right music to set the rhythm for each personality. There's something orchestral about movie-making— every character has his or her own distinctive beat, and it's the actor's job to find it and bring it with them to the set. Working with Buckethead was a fantastic experience, and the music of the Cornbugs still sounds as fresh and crazy today as it did back in the ‘90s when we blasted it out, first take, only take. I've done voice work on the CDs of bands like Generichrist and Twiztid, and several years ago, I collaborated with Rani Sharone of Stolen Babies on a CD called Spider Mountain, "No Way Down." One of our songs, "Lord Let Me Help You [Decide]," played over the end credits of Tim Sullivan's "2001 Maniacs: Field of Screams." Funny, earlier today I had my Wednesday singing lesson—I have been taking them for 20-plus years. Even if you're not a Caruso, voice lessons are great for actors just to keep that "instrument" in shape.
Bill on the set of TCM 2 as Chop-Top.
Bill makes an appearance in a much newer TCM film-Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D
iconic genre veteran, and what projects should we be watching out for in the near future?
BM: I'm just glad to keep working. I never really had
grandiose career ambitions, so every time I get a new job it's still a happy surprise. I'm proudest of the fact that as a Screen Actors Guild actor, I've managed to earn a decent living, keep my union health benefits and grow my pension for 30 years straight. For all the glitz and glamour of being a film actor, I'm first and foremost a father of two expensive girls, so I'm glad I can keep buying them shoes and put them through school. As an artist, I love to work, whether it's a bigbudget extravaganza or a low-budget indie. I'm a horror fan too, and I'm grateful to the writers, directors, producers and fellow fans who like my work enough to keep hiring me and paying to see what I do. I have a bunch of films coming out sooner or later, including an Australian slasher called Charlie's Farm, written and directed by Chris Sun; The Church by Dom Franklin; Old 37, in which I team up with Kane Hodder; The Alcoholist; Sisters; The Possession Experiment; and Tommy DeNucci’s Almost Mercy. I've got a few more productions lined up for 2015 and a few convention appearances. As Chop-Top says, "Dog will hunt!"
LDM: Otis Driftwood and Chop-Top are arguably your
most popular characters to date. When you view the two characters side by side, you can see how people may see similar character traits. How did you channel the essence of Chop-Top's attitude and blend it with the manic and cold-blooded personality of Otis, while managing to keep them both separate?
Bill & Sherri Moon accepting the award for ‘Relationship From Hell’ at the fuse Fangoria Chainsaw Awards in 2006
BM: Chop-Top never impinged on my portrayal of
Otis. I channel a character based on story, and while the two characters are outwardly similar—backwoods, deranged, artists (fish boy versus "Music is my life") with a strong sense of humor—they were radically different. The best way to differentiate them is body parts. ChopTop is all up in the shoulders—skitching and scratching, coat hanger, hands, lighter, shrugs. Otis is all about the balls, baby—thumbs in his belt, big knife, bare chest—a real lady killer. When Rob first approached me about playing Otis, I thought he wanted another ChopTop. However, Rob gently but firmly pried my fingers off Chop-Top and led me to this sexy character I never knew I had in me. In real life, I'm a lot more ChopTop than Otis (at least in my mind), so I'll forever be indebted to Rob for showing me another way.
LDM: You have achieved so much in both music and film, becoming one of the truly legendary names in the horror genre. In turn, you have so many projects coming up. When you first started acting, did you ever think that you would still be here doing what you love as an
Bill as Captain of the Deadite army in Army of Darkness
Rob Zombie & band in their new video for their song "Dead City & The New Gods of Supertown"
King by E d i t or in-Chief
Deanna Uutela Artwork by
Living Dead Magazine: Rob, it was so great seeing you perform your new tracks at the venue in Eugene, Ore. a few days ago. I loved the set and ambiance. It was the best I have ever seen you. How is the rest of the tour going? Rob Zombie: Are you all bruised from that show? I saw you were up front against the fencing getting slammed. LDM: Yes, actually my assistant Lisa and I are most definitely bruised, but it was worth it. It was nice to know I can still hold my own amongst the youngsters. We had a blast.
There are not many horror icons out there who stir up as many emotions and opinions amongst horror fans as director and singer Rob Zombie does. From interviews with Shock Till You Drop, Yahoo Music, Inked magazine and many others, perhaps we all have such strong opinions about Zombie because he is so incredibly accessible to the press and fans alike. Whether you love his work, dislike it or something inbetween, Rob Zombie (or Bobby Z, which is what we endearingly call him in my house) seems to be on everyone’s lips and on every fan site.
RZ: The rest of the tour has been going fantastic. It seems like each show we play just gets better and better.
Anything you would want to learn about Zombie can be found in one of the countless interviews he does on an almost daily basis with a variety of publications. This is why when our turn came to speak to the man who everyone has an opinion on, we didn’t talk about his past or grill him about upcoming news. Instead, we took advantage of this opportunity to enjoy his company and have a conversation with a fellow horror fan and musician whom we respect very much. I caught up with Zombie after stalking him on tour at a meet and greet I attended, and boy am I glad that I did because I found out so much more about this kind, hardworking, talented man than even I knew was possible.
RZ: I don’t know how to judge that really. I mean, people say, “Hey, this is more like you,” and I’m like, “OK.” I don’t know what that means exactly, but I felt really good about this album. I felt really good while recording it and while we were doing it, and I feel even better about the next one. I think what happened in the past is I went through different phases, and sometimes the band really gels and you feel like, “OK, this is it. This is the best we are going to do.” And then band members come and go and it can be really hard to regroup and get that groove back. We had been firing on three cylinders in a sense for a while with our old drummer, and then when Ginger joined we sort of just had the fourth weirdo in the band and we all gelled and it all made sense again. It’s amazing how one odd man out can really affect the
LDM: The crowd was really digging your new songs and many commented on how this new album is very “traditional Zombie.” Do you feel like this new album, "Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor"—your fifth studio album as a solo artist—has more of that expected Zombie sound than your last couple albums?
dynamic of the whole thing. This new record we are doing right now—out of everything we have done—is actually my favorite. LDM: Well, Ginger is a fantastic addition. He is so entertaining to watch. I mean, he seriously seems so happy and has this strange smile the whole time he is performing. RZ: The funny thing is, he isn’t smiling because he is happy. He just always has that look on his face all of the time. From my point of view, if you look a little closer, he actually looks like he is in pain. He doesn’t even know he is doing it. It is so funny. LDM: How exactly did you acquire Ginger? RZ: Well, obviously John 5 and Ginger had been friends for a long time from being in Manson together, and after our temporary drummer Joey left, we were looking for a replacement. During that time, Ginger had quit Manson and was just hanging around, doing nothing, and John pointed out that Ginger was available. But at first I wasn’t sure because I thought it might be weird to get another musician from Manson, and truthfully I wasn’t sure about his playing, because with Manson I don’t think he was able to show how good he really was as a drummer. But I took John’s advice and trusted his opinion obviously, and so we all got together and played and it was just instantly a really good fit for us. He has been with us for three or four years now, and I think the four people we have now will stay in the band for the rest of the time we [have] a band. LDM: I listened to the commentary that is included on your newest album, "Venomous Rat," and in that you jokingly said (or maybe seriously, I couldn’t tell) that you thought your song “Teenage Nosferatu Pussy” would end up being the anthem for the summer. Where did this title come from? RZ: Sometimes you have those moments where words just pop into your head that you know are going to work and mean something big. Like “Living Dead Girl"—it didn’t mean anything to me personally, but I just knew there was something to it. With “Teenage Nosferatu Pussy,” I just thought, “All those young girls
in the front row who dye their hair black and love all that spooky shit—they will find meaning in those words.” I had the phrase for a long time and kept trying to fit it into songs and it never worked, and then finally it worked and I love that song. Of course management’s first thought was, “You’re not going to make that the lead track on the album, are you? You aren’t going to play it live, right?” Not only is it the lead track on the album, but we opened with it on tour all summer. Whenever we put the phrase on a T-shirt or anything, it is always the best-selling. LDM: I personally think it's empowering having all these women chanting the word “pussy,” which we as women have always been taught is not ladylike to say and we aren’t supposed to throw our sexuality out there in such a crude manner. RZ: I never really thought of it like that. I was just thinking of the old James Bond  movie with Pussy Galore in it. Pretty much every concept I come up with is somehow inspired by an old movie I saw. LDM: That’s something about you that I don’t think a lot of people pick up on. You are a very funny guy actually, and not everyone gets to see that side of you. Have you ever thought of doing a comedy film? RZ: I mean, in a way with Superbeasto I was doing that, and I like funny people and I like doing funny stuff. In fact, sometimes I have to control myself because even when we were doing something like Halloween  or [The] Devil’s Rejects with scenes that clearly didn’t call for comedy, I had some actors who are so good at comedy and I wanted to do something funny with them but couldn’t, and I almost didn’t know what to do with them. But yeah, I would like to do a comedy someday, but I don’t know if it will ever happen. I have always been as much a fan of comedies though as I have of anything else. LDM: Despite what people might think or speculate, you are only human, and like most people, you don’t just like horror—you are a fan of many genres. Because you have only dabbled in the horror genre, do you think that people pigeonhole you as only being a horror artist and director, and they don’t want to see anything else from you? Do you feel like you would get backlash if you were to try and do anything else? RZ: I think at this point I don’t really care, you know? And there is this new word that has kind of replaced pigeonholed and it’s called branding—that’s what people like to call it now. And it is what it is. I think one thing you learn over the years is that if you are known for anything, you should be happy about it. I’m going to do other things. I have other projects that aren’t horror projects happening, and the fact that people might not always get it sometimes is fine. I think anything you do that gets noticed is great nowadays. People in the past, like Leonard Nimoy, would get angry and say, “I’m not Mr. Spock! I’m Leonard Nimoy!” And Adam West didn’t want to be identified as Batman anymore. But the fact that anyone can recognize you worldwide for anything is a huge accomplishment in itself, and I think people have finally
realized that. There is a human trait—you see it all of the time— where someone like Jim Carrey, for instance, becomes one of the most celebrated comedic actors of all time, and then all he wants to make are dramas. It’s a funny thing.
LDM: What is your favorite horror rock film? RZ: [The Rocky Horror Picture Show] for sure. Rocky Horror is one of my favorite movies. I actually just watched it again two nights ago. I’ve seen it a thousand times. I can recite the whole movie, probably with my eyes closed. Patricia Quinn and Richard O’Brien in particular are just the best in this film. I have tried many times to put Richard in one of my films, but there [have] always been schedule conflicts. I even flew him out and met with Christopher Lee as well, which was awesome, and we had lunch, but the film we were going to work on never ended up happening. When I met with Patricia about her part in my film [The] Lords of Salem, she didn’t remember meeting me because she was so drunk, and when I showed her a polaroid of us together she was like, “Oh my god” in her fantastic accent. She is just so funny. The cast is so phenomenal. I also tried to put Tim Curry in El Superbeasto as the gorilla, but it didn’t end up working. I love everything about Rocky Horror. I think it is just one of those special films, and I think the main thing is that the music is really good in it. Most films for me, the music sucks, but in this film the music is so good, and they just struck gold with their cast—be it Susan Sarandon, Meat Loaf or Barry Bostwick—there are just so many talented people in that film.
LDM: There is a lot of buzz surrounding your new film 31, especially because you are crowdfunding it through a source called FanBacked. When celebrities use crowdfunding, we have often seen backlash from the public who think celebrities already have the connections and funds and they shouldn’t be asking for money from their fans. I personally think in your case it makes perfect sense because you have always been an artist who likes to involve your fans in your creative process, and you want to make a film true to yourself and the fans, not the production company. Have you experienced anything negative from doing the crowdfunding? RZ: I really haven’t. Maybe a few negative comments on Facebook here or there, but that is really just from people who don’t really know what’s going on and why I decided to do the campaign. The reality of it is, there is nothing about it that is like, “Hey, give me free money!” I thought to myself, “Well, we sell shirts at the shows and other merchandise already, and we take the money from that stuff and put it back into the tour and recording, so why not do that same thing for this film?” It’s almost like we made an online store for a movie that doesn’t exist yet, but all the money that is raised from it—from people buying a T-shirt or a bumper sticker or a set visit—just goes back into the movie to make a better film. I was even talking to Wayne, my special effects guy, and asked him if he would mind doing a meetup if someone would want to come and hang out with him on the set for the day and see how it is done, and whatever we raise from people doing this goes right into his effects budget. I mean, I never thought it was a negative thing to do—my thought
Rob with his versions of Michael Myers, both young and old.
LDM: The last question is more about something we all love around here—tattoos. Any new tattoos on the horizon for you?
was that if you don’t want to contribute, don’t contribute. No one is being forced, so if you want to contribute great, but if not, that is fine too. I guess I might have a different view than a lot of people about their fans though too. I used to go to comic cons and all of the actors and other people there would kind of freak out about all the fans bombarding them in one place and they thought comic con was so weird. But for me, this is like every day being on tour for me and no big deal at all. Most normal people aren’t surrounded by thousands and thousands of their fans every single day. I am so used to it that it doesn’t seem weird. LDM: With the time I have left to speak with you, let’s have some fun and entertain your fans by playing the “Favorite Game,” where I just ask you to choose your favorite things, like what is your favorite Stephen King novel? RZ: Probably IT. I haven’t read a Stephen King book in a long time, but I would have to say that was the one I always enjoyed the most.
RZ: I don’t even know how I have so many because I never really have time or make time to plan out my tattoos. I always just get them spur-of-the-moment. Even when I am going to get one, I still normally have no idea what I want. I am very last minute about my decision and even just draw what I want the night before or maybe even five minutes before I get it done. I mean, what the hell, it’s only going to be on my body forever, right? When I was on the show Ink Master, I was talking to one of the guys on the show and I was like, “Am I out of my mind or do tattoos hurt a lot more when you get older?” And the guy was like, “No, they absolutely do.” Which was good to hear because I thought I was going fucking crazy, because when I was 18 I could sit over seven hours and get a tattoo—no problem, it didn’t bother me. But now after 20 minutes it starts hurting and I want it to be done. I will probably get more if I ever get around to it.
Rob makes a guest appearance on Ink Masters.
LDM: Which is your favorite: The Munsters or The Addams Family? RZ: I really love both. I mean, I don’t really pick one over the other because both shows are phenomenal, but I think as a kid I leaned more towards The Munsters. But I think the reason [for that] was that it was on my local station and it was just on more than The Addams Family, so I was exposed to it more. But I also did connect with it more in the sense that it is based more off of the Universal Monsters, and it had a cool hot rod and a niece that looked like Marilyn Monroe. I think as a kid it just had more elements that I responded to. Both shows I love, but there is an extra special thing about The Munsters for me. LIVINGDEADMAGAZINE.COM 53
In a day and age when fans are constantly complaining about the bombardment of horribly made horror films and a lack of original characters, it's strange that many fans and critics alike have always dismissed two very inventive films that were made by a man whose entire artistic portfolio (both musically and theatrically) is steeped in horror. A horror fan through and through, Rob Zombie has always been extremely passionate about every genre of horror from Universal Classic Monsters to grindhouse films, holding a special place in his heart for '70s slashers and exploitation films in particular. All you have to do is view his music videos both as a solo artist and with his first band, White Zombie, to see the horror influence. It seemed like it was only a matter of time before he would be able to realize his dream of contributing to the genre of horror (on a larger scale) that had influenced so much of his music and style. Zombie very naturally transitioned to film in 2000, directing his first feature film, House of 1000 Corpses. Filming began in May 2000 and was shot on a 25-day shooting schedule. The film finished with a budget of around $7 million. Zombie's amazing eye brought together a group of actors both from the past and present that quickly became some of the most iconic horror characters of our time, including Captain Spaulding (Sid Haig), Otis B. Driftwood (Bill Moseley), Baby Firefly (Sheri Moon Zombie), Mother Firefly (Karen Black), Grampa Hugo (Dennis Fimple), Tiny Firefly (Matthew McGrory) and Rufus (Robert Mukes). Without Zombie's attention to detail and incredible creative intuition, we would never buy that this group of social misfits and malcontents were a family, no matter how twisted and blurred the lines of morality became. Taking it all a step further than other murderous families (including the Sawyers down in Texas), the horrific and demented violence that the family takes against a group of couples who “accidentally” find their way to the Firefly house is the stuff nightmares are made of. There is a fierce sense of tradition beneath their twisted veneer, and even whispers of passion. You get a sense that while they are all twisted and bent beyond comprehension, the fate of the young couples was not sealed until one of the girls gets into a verbal spat with Baby. From that point on, you see exactly how strong their family ties are, and though we as fans all understand that their actions are psychotic, we can’t help but relate to their loyalty and bond. While Mother Firefly, Otis and Baby seem to be the more “active” members of the group when it comes to the depravity, all play their part. The flash sequences in the film that show Otis having one of his political/ religious rants may remind some of Moseley's role as Chop-Top in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2. However, I feel there is more subtext to his character than that. His use of biblical references and priest-like clothing for the “hunting” scene also blends with his image as the family protector. Sheri Moon Zombie's portrayal of Baby is another stroke of genius. The true bad girl next door, Baby’s love for necrophilia and playing with her victims is a true nod to exploitation films of the past. While Otis teases his victims with religious and social points, Baby 54
uses sex appeal and her love of cinema to torment her victims. Zombie’s wife, Sheri Moon Zombie, has referred to her character Baby as the eye candy they use to lure their victims in. That is all tied together with the brilliant performance of veteran actress Karen Black (Easy Rider) as Mother Firefly. The love and pride she feels for her family, as uncomfortable as it makes the audience feel, is evident in every scene, and again, is something that makes these characters very relatable—the family that kills together, stays together. That does not even take into account the fantastic performance that the king of sleaze actor, Sid Haig, gave as Captain Spaulding. The opening sequence leaves you wanting more, and when he takes them on the murder ride, you can see and feel his showmanship shine through. His interactions with the police are hysterical, and his appearance at the end of the film fits perfectly. There is no question why this character, in a sense, brought Haig’s acting career back from the dead and made him the huge horror icon that he is today. While the Firefly family is clearly a nod to one of Zombie’s favorite slashers, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, the color and filming process really shows Zombie’s appreciation of grindhouse films as well. While not having that “scratched' quality many people associate with the grindhouse style of film, House of 1000 Corpses still has a grindhouse feel. There are small things in the film, like a creature feature show on the television, the wallpaper in the house, the furniture and even the telephones that all take you back to '70s horror. One of the arguments that could be made against the film is the use of Zombie's own music; however, I think it brings a whole
other dynamic to the film. The music will be playing in your head throughout the entire film, and it can bring the whole production to another level. What Zombie crafted for this film is taunt but just playful enough to ratchet up suspense in between the moments of gore. The location was critical as well, with the majority of the film being shot on the backlots of Universal, where many of the films that inspired Zombie were shot. The other critical component is the fact that Zombie wrote the script for the film as well. Many directors do not have the opportunity to flesh out characters that they have developed themselves, and I think the combination of writing, directing and supplying the majority of the soundtrack really led to a perfect synthesis when it came time for his vision to hit the screen. The nice twist to this film is unlike many other slashers—you feel yourself cheering not for the victims who enter the Firefly home, but for the Firefly family, whom despite everything are still a family unit, and no one wants to see the family unit torn apart, not even a fucked up one. Plus, no one has ever seen a family quite like this, and you can’t help but want to see what messed up thing they are going to do next. You actually want to see how depraved they can be and you want to know more about them and what makes them tick. Zombie left the film open-ended enough to have a sequel and make you wonder how he would tie loose ends together, but you also felt that if another chapter was never written, the film could stand on its own and be followed for years. The depth of the characters and how they are played is truly what should be taken away from House of 1000 Corpses, as it really sets up Zombie’s second film, The Devil's Rejects. LIVINGDEADMAGAZINE.COM 55
Even though Zombie doubled the money that it cost to make House of 1000 Corpses, and the characters grew a huge underground fan club, sadly the critical and initial fan response to the film was not good to say the least. Many critics blasted it, failing to see where Zombie got his inspiration and where he was taking the characters. Fans came away either loving or hating the film. Oddly enough over the years, the film is considered now to be a cult classic. Regardless of either stance, this is a film I think deserves it's just dues as many more exploitation films followed in its footsteps and take generously from the blueprint Zombie left behind. There is a timeless feel from this film that would translate to any generation and Zombie carries that over into the sequel. In July 2005, The Devil's Rejects, the sequel to House of 1000 Corpses, hit the screens. Zombie himself stated that he wanted to make the film less cartoonish than the original and more horrific—more like a violent Western. With a budget that was about the same as the original, Zombie managed to not only make the film have a bigger feel and scope, he managed to bring more emotional depth to his characters and their plight. Zombie brought back Sheri Moon Zombie, Bill Moseley and Sid Haig to play their original roles and made a few small cast changes and additions, such as Leslie Easterbrook taking over the role of Mother Firefly (due to budgetary reasons), the additions of Danny Trejo and “Diamond” Dallas Page as the amoral bounty hunters Rondo and Billy Ray Snapper, and the highly underrated performance of William Forsythe as Sheriff Wydell. Another nice touch was the addition of genre acting veterans Steve Railsback, Tyler Mane, Kane Hodder, P.J. Soles, Mary Woronov, Michael Berryman and Ken Foree. With the expansion of the characters 56
and the locations, the film took on an even more dangerous air as the murdering trio are no longer confined to their home, but are now on the run and spreading the carnage across the state with no regard for anyone but themselves and their escape. While Otis, Baby and Spaulding are continuing their reign of terror and are trying to escape, they have moments on the road that we can all relate to. There is a certain jocularity when Baby wants to stop for ice cream and Otis is dead set against it, acting like the big brother that just wants to be a pain in the ass. You start to feel a certain empathy with the characters as they continue to evolve, and you lose whatever compassion you had for the law and justice as the police involved continue to cross the line and become worse than the criminals they are hunting down. The technical quality of the film is improved from the first, but I feel that is more of an advent of better technology and a different style of filming (and that is not a knock on Zombie's growth and development as a director. There is a quantum leap in terms of his knowledge of filmmaking from Corpses to Rejects.) Zombie brought in Phil Parmet because he wanted the film to have a more hand-held camera/documentary look. The soundtrack has a much more Southern rock quality to it, and after seeing the ending of the film, "Freebird" will never hold the same meaning for me again. The film has a bit more of a timeless look to it, but you can certainly tell it still takes place in the late '70s by the clothing and vehicles. Zombie certainly hit all of the marks you would expect from an exploitation/genre film, but if you went into the film expecting a straight horror film, you would be pleasantly surprised. Combining the elements of Western, horror and road movie, the vision of the film is coated in ultra-violence
and underlying emotional content that makes the film watcher question his own morality and how far one would go for family. The Devil's Rejects got praise from critics and fans alike, with even Roger Ebert enjoying the film and stating, “There is actually some good writing and acting going on here, if you can step back from the [violent] material enough to see it,” He also said, “I admired two things about it: (1) It desired to entertain and not merely to sicken, and (2) its depraved killers were individuals with personalities, histories and motives." While not every critic gave it such glowing reviews, those are certainly powerful statements about the film. By being the writer and director again, Zombie managed to complete the vision of his characters and give you an emotional send off as they speed to their deaths, guns blazing the whole way. How he managed to turn a group of psychotic killers into people that you actually care about at the end is simply amazing and a credit to his skills. But, what is the lasting impression these two films leave on the genre and say about Rob Zombie the filmmaker? In my opinion, these two films alone clearly show that Zombie has a passion and talent for storytelling, especially in the horror genre. The films themselves certainly possess a quality and a charisma that is very seldom seen from films of this generation, and take us back to a time when things were simpler and not as convoluted as they are now. I personally think that Universal dropped the ball on not picking up House of 1000 Corpses, and to a lesser degree, Lionsgate for not releasing the films as NC-17, which is something the genre sorely needs. Nonetheless, I am happy Lionsgate took a chance on films as innovative and groundbreaking as Zombie’s first two films. While many people very unfairly turn their noses up at anything Zombie does simply because it's Zombie doing it, he will always have huge fans in myself and this magazine. I can’t wait to see what you do next, Mr. Zombie! 57
Screen Actors Guild. It was a perfect combination. LDM: What was it like working side by side with Greg Nicotero, a master makeup guru and co-executive producer of The Walking Dead? SP: It was a wonderful experience. Greg actually directed the episode that I first worked on, and it was great working with someone I’d been friends with for so long. It’s something I plan on doing again when my schedule permits. LDM: Did you have to attend Greg’s zombie school? You obviously passed, but the behind-the-scenes shots clearly show it’s not just a cakewalk to learn how to be an effective walker. Greg seems very precise about his zombies and their ways of walking. SP: No, I didn’t have to go to zombie school. I’ve been walking like a walker since I was 6 years old. Just kidding. But seriously though, in the episode I was in, my zombie didn’t really have to do much walking. My focus was on gnawing someone’s face off after they were already on the ground.
Stephen practices his zombie moves on set of The Walking Dead Another intense season of The Walking Dead has flashed before our eyes at bullet speed, leaving an empty spot in our hearts that can only be satisfied with more of The Walking Dead. People died, bonds were broken, Daryl’s hair got even greasier, Carl still looked ridiculous in his father’s hat and, surprise, surprise, a ton of zombies were killed in interesting ways. Throughout it all, we hung on to our seats and loved every minute of it. Why? Because no matter what you think of the comic book and no matter what you think of zombies, this show is done right. The Walking Dead is the perfect mix of suspense, drama, horror and action. Even the most cynical of viewers can’t find a reason to hate it, and everyone in the biz is dying to be a part of it—even if that means biting their way through the scenes. Hundreds of faceless zombies stumble their way through the set of The Walking Dead every season— some we speculate are main characters who have turned. But have you ever wondered who the people are behind the undead? They could be senators, nuns or even Brad Pitt for all we know. Today we get to talk to one of these walkers and find out exactly what it’s like to be a zombie on the set of The Walking Dead. We welcome Stephen Pisani, who has a recurring role as a walker on The Walking Dead, to Living Dead Magazine’s zombie special.
Living Dead Magazine: Stephen, you are no stranger to the film business. Can you talk to us about your association with so many show business personalities? Stephen Pisani: I grew up in a show business family. My mom and her sisters were the singing group The Five DeMarco Sisters. They were regulars on “The Fred Allen Show” and appeared on Ed Sullivan 27 times, more than any other act. My dad, Remo Pisani, was a character actor, stuntman and acting coach. He worked on Broadway with Jack Lemmon and Sammy Davis Jr. and had a long career in Hollywood, appearing in feature films and TV shows like The Dick Van Dyke Show, Batman and Bonanza, where he played Matty the Bartender for four seasons. As you can imagine, I met countless numbers of their friends and entertainment acquaintances. Daddy was good friends with Norman Lear, Norman Abbott and Larry Cohen, to name a few. Janet Leigh was the maid of honor at my parents’ wedding. Growing up in New Jersey, it wasn’t unusual for me to be awakened at night from the adults’ laughter and conversation, and go downstairs in my pajamas to find the likes of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis, Nat King Cole, Joey Bishop, Don Rickles and Jackie Gleason drinking and playing cards with my parents.
LDM: You obviously have a love for horror, monsters and anything creature related. Your house is more a horror museum with all the toys and props you collect. How did you get into collecting? SP: When I was a little kid visiting my dad in Hollywood—I think I was 6—he took me to meet my favorite horror star, Glenn Strange of Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein. He gave me an autographed photo and that became my very first horror-related collectible. I grew up loving the Universal monsters and always read Famous Monsters magazine. I collected a few horror masks here and there, but it wasn’t until I moved to Los Angeles in 1998 that my horror collecting really took root. Starting from that point, my first official additions to the collection were the Universal monster toys in the kids’ meals from Burger King, and I’ve come a long way since then. LDM: How did you land the role as a walker on The Walking Dead? SP: Greg Nicotero was actually the first friend I made in Hollywood. The day after I arrived in Hollywood, my first stop was to visit KNB EFX to indulge my horror fandom. Greg is a fellow collector and is a huge fan of Jaws, which my uncle starred in, so we had a lot to talk about. Sixteen years later, we’re still in touch, and he knows that I myself am a fan of zombies, as well as a card-carrying member of the
LDM: What was the most challenging thing you have done being a walker, and how was it working with the current cast? SP: Honestly, the most challenging part of being a walker is having the patience to sit in the makeup chair. There is a lot they need to do to not just your face, but your teeth too. Fortunately, I was playing what they call a “fresh kill,” which means my walker didn’t appear as decayed and disgusting as a lot of the ones you see, so I didn’t have to go through as extensive of a makeup application process.
The ultimate horror collector--Stephen’s assortment of figures is quite impressive Stephen with other Star Trek : Voyager cast members
The cast for the episode I was in was a lot of fun to work with. [Steven] Yuen was especially very nice and down-to-earth. However, as a longtime KNB devotee, the greatest fun I had was sitting in the chair of the KNB makeup trailer. That was really the dream come true for me. I got to spend a few hours having my makeup applied by the amazing Mike McCarty and got to talk shop with him and the other makeup artists about KNB’s past projects. A lot of them are musicians too, so for two and half hours we were talking music and effects. It was great! LDM: One last question. How do you find the time to be a recording artist, a stuntman, collector of monster toys and do film work, and somehow fit all that into your schedule? SP: You forgot, I’m also the daddy of three Great Danes and a mutt. It’s not easy, but in this town, you have to be a jack-ofall-trades. You have to diversify in order to stay working. I’ve been very fortunate to be able to blend my passions into the work I do.
To get in contact with Stephen, you can email him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. To see more photos of the projects he’s worked on and his collection, go to stephenpisani.net.
Hanging with Stephen Yuen from Walking Dead
? Find out with the Dixon brothers in ‘The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct’ Video game review by Melissa Thomas
If you are missing Merle Dixon, you can relive all of his foulmouthed glory in a single-player, first-person shooter game, The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct. Developed by Terminal Reality and published by Activision, this video game is a prequel to The Walking Dead TV series and was released on March 19, 2013. In The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct, you play as Daryl Dixon searching the Georgia countryside for supplies and for his brother, Merle, who has been locked up in jail somewhere in town. Norman Reedus and Michael Rooker both lend their voices to the characters from the AMC hit series.
ZOMBIES, RUN! 5K TRAINING APP Need a little motivation to get off the couch and get into shape? Personally, I find nothing more motivating than the zombie apocalypse, and now you can get the best of both worlds with the Zombies, Run! 5k Training app. The company Six to Start brings fitness fiends and zombiephiles this eightweek training program to prepare you for life on the run. Zombies, Run! is an interactive app where you take on the role of Runner 5, an important member of the Abel Township, which is one of the last remaining outposts of humanity. As opposed to other running/training apps, this one sends you on missions where you are trained to find supplies and protect the township from the “zoms,” and inevitably become the hero over the course of 25 workouts. This cool storyline was written by Naomi Alderman, with the training professionally designed by Shauna Reid and Julia Jones of Up and Running e-courses. This app is recommended for beginners and is available in the iTunes store for $1.99. If you fancy yourself a bit of a running pro, you can nab the original Zombies, Run! app, which includes 40 more missions, a base building game, zombie chase interval training and much more for only $3.99. I found myself in a winter slump recently and needed a new running app, as mine was getting pretty boring. Imagine my absolute glee when I read about this gem. I’ve always said that I needed to build my speed and endurance just in case I’m being chased by some chainsaw wielding maniac or a shambling horde of the undead. For $1.99, I figured I would give this a shot. I made a Pandora station inspired by AMC’s The Walking Dead, laced up my running shoes, leashed my dog and was off. My mission began with a helicopter crash and had me running from the wreckage to a nearby tower. I had radio assistance from members of the Abel Township guiding me to safety. The town’s sole doctor, Maxine Myers, came over the airwaves to 56 62
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inform me that I wouldn’t be allowed inside the gates if I didn’t stop at the nearby hospital and bring them some supplies. According to another town member, Sam Yao, this was what got the previous Runner 5 killed. The intensity of the story coupled with the realistic sounding zombie moans and whispers of “don’t turn around, she’s right behind you” absolutely make this app my new favorite thing to get me moving. You can also sync your runs from your phone to the Zombies, Run! site where you can track your progress, read full recaps of the story events during your run, review your speed and connect with over 800,000 players worldwide. This is a super fun and creative way to get in a daily workout and it’s available for the iPhone, iPod Touch and Android devices. So head to your app store and get this today, because you never know when you’re going to need to outrun a hungry horde of zombies—and sometimes they run too.
At the beginning of the game, you play as Daryl and Merle’s father. After a series of unfortunate events, you then begin to play as Daryl. Daryl’s signature crossbow is nowhere to be found until later in the game—combat is all hand-to-hand and melee. I personally enjoyed this. It adds to the challenge of the game. The graphics have been a problem for many people who have played the game. They could have been a little bit better, but I have seen much worse. The appearance of Daryl and Merle resemble that of the first run of The Walking Dead action figures, so they do not look exactly like them, but still a fairly accurate representation of the two. For the most part, finding weapons and supplies is fairly easy. There are a few occasions when you are met by a horde of walkers, but there is an easy way to dispatch all of them if you have the crossbow and a gun. If you don’t feel like sneaking around and you have nothing to distract them with, jump on top of a vehicle and shoot a round from the gun. Once all of the walkers have the car surrounded, start taking them out with the crossbow. My biggest complaint about The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct has to be the length of the game—it's very short. It’s a fantastic game, but could stand to be a bit longer. Since the game was so short, it would be great if they would consider a sequel with Daryl and Merle continuing their journey taking out walkers, or even a sequel that has them meeting up with Dale and company. I would have to say that The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct is a must play for any fan of Reedus, Rooker or The Walking Dead.
Safety Not Guaranteed: The Resistance photos and story by amanda rebholz
Seward Street is a dimly lit, small avenue in Hollywood, California, unremarkable in every way except that it plays host to a few understated restaurants and bars and is the home of ComedySportz LA. ComedySportz is primarily focused on developing improvisational skills among comedians and actors, and hosts dozens of workshops in addition to regular shows, oneoff performances and exciting competitions. Some of the greatest talents in show business have stepped through those doors, and most certainly some of the future greats are in there now, working on new routines. On Sunday nights just before 9 p.m., the lobby is packed with everyone from budding comedians to hipsters to pop culture nerds, all of them wielding tickets in their hands to the weekly show known as The Resistance. A group of six men have combined their love of genre film with their passion for entertaining and created an improvised comedy sketch show unlike any other. “We met through the Main Company at ComedySportz LA. While performing together, we discovered a level of trust and comfort on stage that was palpable. We’re all pretty physical guys and we knew we wanted to do a show where we could incorporate that. A show with stunt pads was proposed—no one was sure it would be a sustainable gimmick to place as the foundation of an action-themed show. However, the pads have proven to be more than a gimmick, rising to become part of the form itself, shaping and guiding the story and structure,” The Resistance said.
coming back week after week to see the shenanigans in store. The audience is ushered into the dark theater where a spiel is given about shedding the responsibilities of the outside world and joining The Resistance on their playground. “We want the audience to say, ‘How did they do that?’ ‘That was a really great…’ ‘I loved it when…’ ‘Oh my gosh, when he said…,’ etc. We really just want people to have a great time. Forget everything else on their life’s plate and just laugh,” the guys explained. An audience member is chosen to fire a Nerf gun at a whiteboard containing a handful of genres, and once the genre is sealed, suggestions from fans are used as building blocks for the skit. “We’ve performed fantasy plenty of times, as well as Western. Horror is always fun. It’s hard to pick one,” said The Resistance when asked their favorite category to perform. During October, each show was horror themed, with subgenres including ghost story, slashers, home invasion and the ever-popular possession. Seeing grown men run around the stage with sheets over their heads pretending to haunt each other never gets old.
Audiences are often shocked at the lengths to which the performers go to bring a joke home, whether it involves their own bodies or the use of the mats. The mats have served as everything from a ladder, moose, dragon, waterfalls and underwater effects, a pirate ship, the bridge and holo map of a spaceship to countless car chases, motorcycles, jet skis and helicopters. The troupe has literally seconds between scenes (during which the sound and lighting operators, also improvising every move as they go, dim the house lights and play atmospheric music on keyboards from the booth) to set up the pads and establish the situation for the rest of the group. Sometimes, though, the mats aren’t enough and the men have to get physical. Terry said, “I have a pretty healthy metabolism. I also drink. I’ve never been injured past a few bruises here and there.” As for the rest of the troupe, there have certainly been injuries sustained during the shows, which range from whacked heads and twisted knees to poked eyes, smacked mouths and exactly as many groin shots as you’d expect from six men wrestling around onstage.
The Resistance are constantly innovating and evolving their show’s framework, and in the time since its conception, the show has changed and grown quite a bit. Originally a small performance, it’s now common to find every seat in the theater filled by people lured in by the complimentary word of mouth and the unbeatably low cover charge. “We knew early on that we wanted to improvise an action movie from start to finish while incorporating the audience’s favorite moments from such movies. We are always in discussion on ways to spruce up the mundane, add new styles to our existing form and polish our opening, music and knowledge base. The Resistance is constantly in creative motion,” the guys stated. “We want each other to be successful. We’re constantly working towards that. But we will definitely never forget who we are, where we started or whom we perform for. This will always be for the audience, friends and family who made us who we are, and also for each other.” The Resistance performs Sundays at 9 p.m. PST at ComedySportz LA. They can be found at facebook.com/ resistancecmdy or on Instagram at @ resistancecomedy.
Incorporating fall pads (the kind used by stuntmen on film sets) instead of the usual chairs as their props and scenery for the performances is just one way The Resistance are set apart from their competitors. The troupe consists of Derek Mears (from the 2009 reboot of Friday the 13th and the 2010 Predators), who many fans are unaware has been doing comedy for a large portion of his life, as well as actors Ryan Marsico, Justin Michael Terry, Kurt Scholler, Kurt David Maloney and musician Chris Mathieu. The troupe is occasionally short a man or two if someone has a gig (most notably, Mears traveling out of town for horror conventions), but when all six of them are present, a kind of fraternal magic happens onstage. They are so in sync they ricochet seamlessly off one another, turning a mildly funny joke into an uproarious scenario with seemingly no effort at all. The men are also incredibly personable and kind, mingling with fans after the shows and even inviting them out for post-performance drinks. Several of the troupe perform in other comedy shows around the city and often show up in support of one another, and they love engaging with fans on social media. The Resistance truly feels more like a hilarious extended family more than a group of actors, and as a result, fans keep 64
The Family Tree
by Lucy Taylor Overlook Connection Press, 2014; 192 pgs. Review by Jonathan Reitan Lucy Taylor has been labeled the queen of erotic horror, and although many of the stories in her recent collection, Fatal Journeys, have an erotic theme, Taylor shows us just how diverse she can really be.
by John Everson Samhain Publishing, 2014 226 pgs. Review by Jonathan Reitan
Taylor's choice to use a theme throughout her collection of stories is unexpected and interesting to say the least. While many multi-author anthologies out there have themes like heavy metal horror stories, Christmas horror stories, humorous horror stories, zombie romance stories, etc., it’s very rare that a single author chooses a theme for a collection of stories. Taylor has chosen her love of traveling and exotic places to be the center of this book, her first collection in nearly 10 years.
Bram Stoker Award-winning author John Everson takes us to the backwoods of Virginia in his latest novel, The Family Tree, and as we know, nothing ever goes right in the backwoods. Scott Belvedere receives notice that his distant great-uncle has passed away and that he’s now the sole beneficiary of the family business, The Family Tree Inn located in Virginia. The inn, which has been in the Belvedere family for over a hundred years, has a deep and very dark history that Scott will soon become aware of. Hesitantly, Scott makes the trip from his home in Chicago to see what this inn is all about. Instantly he is met with hospitality from the innkeepers, the staff and the various residents of the inn and is transfixed with the mammoth tree that the inn is built around. Comfy rooms and homemade family meals make Scott wonder if his new found nirvana is too good to be true. It only gets better for Scott as he’s introduced to the deep, dark, intoxicating ale that, unbeknownst to Scott, is produced from the blood of the tree—the same blood that has kept the inn’s residents and Scott’s family alive for over a century. This mysterious ale makes everyone, especially the women of the inn, extremely horny. At first what seems like old-fashioned southern hospitality to Scott quickly turns into a mission for his seed to be carried on. John Everson is known for his use of eroticism with his horror, and in The Family Tree he proves once again that he is the master of dark and sexy. If you’re not turned on during one of the many
The collection opens up with the story “Summerland,” where readers are first taken to the Bahamas where a family wedding turns up ghosts from the past. The characters are enjoyable and the plot gets heavy in this one. In “Soul Eaters,” a cruise ship is in route from the icy glaciers of Alaska with a vixen on board who is about to unleash the apocalypse.
hot scenes, maybe you should check to see if you’re breathing. As Scott’s true purpose for being invited into the inn comes to light, the days get darker, violence ensues and his wicked deep-rooted family history with the tree and the inn consume him, almost literally. While The Family Tree had its moments of horror, the creepiness factor seemed to suffer with the large amounts of eroticism and backstory on the Belvedere family. However, that’s not to say that you shouldn’t pick this one up and give it a whirl. Everson doesn’t disappoint, and if you like your horror a little scandalous, then The Family Tree is for you.
In “The Butsudan,” we are brought to Japan during Obon, the festival of the dead, where a Westerner struggling with the native language and customs faces demons of her past in this horrifying tale. “How Real Men Die,” one of the longer stories in this collection, brings us to the dark and gritty streets of Thailand’s sex trafficking world. The horrors in this story lay in the minds of sick men and produces images that are hard to shake. It’s grueling, but memorable. In “Sanguma,” we are brought to the jungles of Papua New Guinea where a woman is introduced to the dark sorcery of the natives, which concludes in a nightmarish end. In “Tivar,” Taylor mixes an icy, haunting Icelandic expedition with a plot for murder and some dark fantasy Nordic happenings. This story is chilling (pardon my pun).
In “Nikishi,” a shipwreck off the coast of West Africa leads a diamond dealer to a deserted village where he happens across a shapeshifter. “Going North” brings us back stateside—Florida to be specific—in this tale of revenge involving a little girl who wants nothing more than to escape to the North Pole from the monsters in her life. The collection is capped off very solidly with a remarkable tale, “The High and Mighty Me,” in which a man travels the southern U.S. to locate a fireworks vendor who may be responsible for the killing of his childhood friend. The journeys Lucy Taylor takes us on in Fatal Journeys are often gritty, terrifying and always fatal. It’s what National Geographic is too afraid to show us, but Taylor doesn’t hold back. She’s a master storyteller, and if you need a good reason to not sleep at night, Fatal Journeys is for you.
Review by Jesus Figueroa
To continue the tie-in with the franchise, creator Naoki Serizawa brings in Chris Redfield and his team from the Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance who have taken control of another possible virus outbreak and are headed to the academy after losing communication with Wright. The pace quickens in the storyline as more infected come out, obstacles arise and strange occurrences happen that leave Wright speculating as to the validity of it being a T-virus outbreak. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Resident Evil franchise, it all started in 1996 with the first video game where players are taken through a biological incident where citizens of Raccoon City are being turned into zombies. It's up to S.T.A.R.S. task force members Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine to control the zombies. Director Paul W. S. Anderson brought the franchise to the big screen in 2002 with the first Resident Evil movie. The main character, Alice, is played by Milla Jovovich. In later films, other supporting characters are added, like Jill Valentine, Claire Redfield, Nemesis, Chris Redfield, Leon S. Kennedy, Ada Wong and Albert Wesker.
From a legendary video game came blockbuster movies and comic books. The Resident Evil franchise continues to push boundaries and entertain us with captivating stories like the one in the 2014 manga Resident Evil: The Marhawa Desire Vol. 1. The Marhawa Desire, which takes place between Resident Evil 5 and Resident Evil 6, was created by Naoki Serizawa who introduces readers to some new characters: Professor Doug Wright from the science and engineering department at Bennett University, Wright's nephew Ricky Tozawa and Headmaster Mother Gracia from Marhawa Academy. The characters are very well drawn, each with a distinct style and feel that is fitting of the characteristics that the story presents. While Wright is professional and collected, Tozawa is sloppy and sporadic. The two team up to go investigate the strange occurrences at Marhawa Academy. At the academy, the two meet Mother Gracia, the headmaster of the academy and Wright's ex. They also meet student council President Bindi Bergara and Vice President Alisa Lin. The majority of the students seem to be female, and the only male the team makes contact with is very aggressive towards them. As Wright and Tozawa get to the secluded academy, they come to realize that they are investigating a possible T-virus infection--the same virus that the Umbrella Corporation unleashed on Raccoon City. They quickly get to work and Mother Gracia gets to covering up any connection to the T-virus.
Both the story and art in Resident Evil: The Marhawa Desire are by Naoki Serizawa, who specifically designed this comic to include elements of the franchise. This makes it clear that this story is not just another zombie story, but a Resident Evil storyline. For a project that started off as a horror puzzle game for the original PlayStation, it is incredibly impressive to see how Resident Evil has grown to become a legendary franchise with video games that continue the storyline, a long running movie saga with five live-action films, book accompaniments and a new manga to fill in gaps in the story.
American Horror Story 2014
Saying Goodbye to our beloved freaks By Queenie Thayer It is no secret by now that we here at Living Dead Magazine are huge fans of American Horror Story. This season’s theme, freak show, even inspired our last issue. And the body count has been rising steadily this season, making us wonder who the next victim will be. We wanted to do a small tribute to the fallen freaks who have left such deep marks on our souls with their stories. There were a lot of deaths in 2014, but none more tragic to us than our sideshow darlings. So here is the body count as it stands thus far:
by Deanna Uutela It’s OK to be blown away by Toxic Zombie’s new album Live Toxic, Die Toxic. In fact, that is the appropriate response to have to an album that so perfectly demonstrates the growth and cohesiveness of a group of musicians who have completely come into their own as a horror rock band. With their first album, Poison the Airwaves, you can sense the fact that the band isn’t quite sure if they want to embrace their horror roots or minimize it in order to not be pigeonholed as an exclusively horror related band. The uncertainty showed in their sound and even the flow of their first album. The lyrics were there, the glam was there, but it just got lost in the way the songs were sung and performed. Now, with this new album, we experience a band who is embracing their horror side and showing a confidence and unity that I feel has put them on the right track to greatness. Offering more of a glam, metal twist on horror rock, Toxic Zombie (TZ) stands out with a style that is more reminiscent of Slayer and White Zombie than the horror pop sound we are used to hearing from bands like Nekromantix or the horror punk sound 70
we have become familiar with from bands like Mad Sin. I am sure that having White Zombie drummer Ivan de Prume as their producer really helped in developing and perfecting that sound. A Misfits influence is obvious as well, but more in talent and songwriting than an imitation of voice or style. From the introduction that sets up the feel for the entire album with a well-done homage to Frankenstein and Universal Monster movies, to fun tracks in-between, like “Freakshow” and “Someone’s Fetish” that belong on the soundtrack of a Troma film, to the catchy final track, “Coming Back to Life,” that pulls it all together in one final number that sends you off with a huge blow-yourbrains-out bang, Live Toxic, Die Toxic shows that the band has a change of pace in their step, some incredibly talented musicians up their sleeve, and that they are real contenders in 2015. This is your year, Toxic Zombie. I just hope I can get a front row ticket to the incredible show.
His talent: He is what is called a geek in the freak show circuit. They are kind of a mix of the playful jester at a royal court and a wild man. They will do strange things to get a rise out of the crowd, like eat live birds on stage. Why we love him: Meep was special because he was so innocent. There was something childlike about him. Meep took great joy in being a geek. To him, it was a badge of honor. His tragic demise: Our collective hearts broke the moment he was put in that police car and taken to jail. We knew deep down he was going to die in jail. That is a place that isn’t fun for even the common man to deal with, especially in the time period this show is set in. So it was no surprise that our gentle, but simple little wild man was going to be eaten alive by criminals, like the birds he eats the heads off of.
Name: Ma Petite
Name: Ethel Darling
His talent: He was a clown for children’s parties, then joined a freak show. Twisty said, “I was the special children’s clown to Rusty Westchester’s Traveling Carnival. I made ‘em laugh. I love the children. But not the freaks.”
Her talent: Jyoti Amge is quite literally a record holder for the smallest woman in the world. She plays the beautiful little person that is Ma Petite.
Her talent: She was not only the backbone that kept the freak show going, she was a bearded lady.
Why we love him: It’s true that Twisty lives up to his name— he’s one pretty disturbed clown. Stephen King’s It would likely find some kinship in Twisty’s murderous rampage, which caused a big chunk of the deaths in the first couple episodes of the season. But we love Twisty not because he is a crazy killer— we love him because we relate to why he broke and went on a killing spree. His tragic demise: When the terrifying ghost Edward Mordrake is summoned on Halloween by Elsa Mars, he eventually finds Twisty and takes his soul to join his army of depraved ghost freaks.
Why we love her: Elsa Mars claimed Ma Petite from an Indian dignitary who kept her as a pet. Ma Petite is so adored by everyone who comes across her. She brightens a room just by being present, and helped not only Elsa get through rough times, but helped Pepper deal with her maternal need to have a child.
Why we love her: Like many of our favorite freaks, Ethel has a profoundly sad backstory. She is the mother of Jimmy Darling (Lobster Boy), has a past with Dell and is the right hand to Elsa Mars. She helped keep many of Elsa’s secrets, as well as acted like the den mother of the entire freak show troupe., which makes her death all the more shameful.
Her tragic demise: When Stanley blackmails Dell, he cons the strongman into doing his dirty work. Dell does one of the most despicable things he’s done yet on the show—he kills Ma Petite.
Her tragic demise: In a shocking turn of events, Ethel tells Elsa she is going to expose her “dirty laundry.” Elsa responds by killing her, and then tries to cover up her crime with Stanley’s help.
These are the confirmed beloved dead in the show currently. There is a strong possibility Ethel’s son, Jimmy Darling, is also dead, but until that is revealed completely, all we have to go on is the hint left in the last episode of the show. For those we have lost, rest in peace. You brought us laughter, tears and horror. For that, we honor and remember you. LIVINGDEADMAGAZINE.COM 71
Galleria Macabre Horror for Presents the Holidays
Photography by Jerry Simpson of Fotoartworx Models : Lyrik Allure, Regan Rotten, Lillie Monster, and ZeeGee
Iâ€™m Dreaming of a Black Christmas
Photography by Jerry Simpson of Fotoartworx Models Lisa LeStrange Lillie Monster Bloody Bailey ZeeGee Regan Rotten
coming this april honoring horror pioneers
Elvira Lisa Marie Adrienne King Sheri Moon Zombie + More
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Published on Jan 13, 2015
Celebrate the New Year with one of the most influential names in horror "Rob Zombie"! Through his film, music, and popular brand, Rob Zombie...