Page 4: Nightmares In Dreamland Page 8: Serial Killers And Horror Films Page 12: 3 of The Best Freddy Krueger Kills Page 14: MA—She Throws A Killer Party Page 16: Femme Fatale Page 22: Friday The 13th—Best To Worst
Page 26: Directors Cut Page 28: Dream Warriors—Cravens First Draft Page 34: The Timeline of The Halloween Film Series Page 38: Maniac And His Mannequins Page 40: VHS Vault Page 46: Interview With Matt Cannon Page 48: Bibliophobia 2
About 15 minutes from where my house stands lies the ruins of Dreamland Park, an amusement park built in the 1930's known not only for its carousel but its rampant illegal gambling and mafia ties as well. It shut down in the 1950's and lay abandoned receiving little to no attention until the fall of 1969 when the bodies of Marilyin Sheckler (18) and Glenn Eckert (20) were found in the woods nearby.
Hello again fellow freaks and geeks! Welcome to issue 4 of Terror Connection. This time we're digging deep into the world of slashers.
About 3 months earlier, on August 12, the couple had stopped at the home of Sheckler's brother to introduce him to Eckert. The two then headed out on a romantic drive. It was the last time friends or family would see either of them alive.
The butchers, the scrapers, the beastly bone breakers. (See what I did there?) I suppose people gravitate so much towards slasher films because of their roots in reality. It's not so easy to leave the theatre and feel secure in the knowledge that "it's only a movie.". Unlike paranormal films, viewers can't comfort themselves by saying "Good movie! But I don't believe in serial killers.". Murder happens every day and popular culture has latched on to the public's fascination with it. Media is saturated with the blood of victims real and imaginary. We are both terrified and obsessed with the subject. Perhaps it makes us feel more alive by reminding us of our own mortality. There isn't a person on this earth who doesn't live in or near a town that has been tainted by an infamous slaughter of some kind. My town has it's fair share, but there's one in particular that I wanted to focus on for this issue. A double homicide not so lovingly dubbed the Dreamland Murders.
Eckert's father owned 3 restaurants in the area and he had gone to pick up the deposits at each location before taking Sheckler to see her brother. When Mr. Eckert discovered his son hadn't returned the following morning, he reported the couple missing. The car they were driving was found six days later abandoned except for the couple's shoes, a T-shirt, and the $489 in deposit money. There were no leads until October 23 when the decomposed body of an unidentified male was found about one mile from Dreamland Park by a group of state troopers. Within 24 hours a second body was discovered. Police knew they had found the missing couple and autopsies quickly confirmed the two had been murdered. 4
Interestingly enough, another violent crime had occurred on the same night Eckert and Sheckler were killed. A group of three young men were beaten and one was stabbed at Dreamland Park by a motorcycle gang. Police had initially found the proximity of the crimes to be coincidental. (Seriously?) According to reports, the Pagan motorcycle gang had begun setting up shop in town and community members were more than a little concerned. On October 29 two members of the gang were arrested for the murders of Marilyn Sheckler and Glenn Eckert. Robert "Juice" Martinolich (22), who was actually a member of the Thunderbolts gang, was accused of shooting Eckert. Leroy "Righteous Elroy" Stoltzfus (24) was accused of bashing Sheckler's skull with a rock. Several other gang members testified against the two at both trials including James Eways, the son of Dreamland Park owner Musa Eways. Those testimonies revealed that Sheckler had also been assaulted at some point before her death. How did these other men know so many damning details about the crime? Why, because they were there of course.
Neither of these men seemed to be stand up citizens by any stretch of the imagination and it's about 99% likely that they were involved in the crime in some way. I can't help but wonder if justice was really served. This was a terrible, vicious crime and both victims must have suffered greatly. But did Stoltzfus and Martinolich do the killing? None of the men who testified against the two, who also admitted to being involved in some way, were arrested for their part in the act. In fact, James Eways became a prominent business man in the area, although he was later convicted of involuntary manslaughter in 1995 for shooting and killing a 17 year old boy. The seedy underground of Dreamland Park and Eways being the owner's son is also highly suspect. And what of the deposit money? Was it part of the motive or just a coincidence? Either way, why was it left in the car? It seems highly unlikely that the murderers wouldn't have found it and taken it with them. Could this have been a hit? So many questions that will likely never be answered .
Despite the unreliable witnesses with a few holes in their stories, Martinolich was found guilty of first degree murder on June 13 of 1970 and Stoltzfus was handed the same verdict on October 13 of the same year. Both were sentenced to life without parole. Both men maintained their innocence long after their convictions and both died in prison, Stoltzfus in 2010 and Martinolich in 2018. 5
Deaditor's Note S.J. Carter So here's the thing folks. I am human, more or less, and therefore prone to making mistakes. When that happens, I make sure I own up to them. In issue 3 of Terror Connection, I definitely made a substantial booboo. In my Sleepaway Camp article I mentioned how sickly Mel (Mike Kellin) looked in a not so flattering light. First, let me say I certainly didn't mean this in an unkind way. I was in no way bashing Kellin. The character of Mel is sleazy and shady, which is what I was commenting on. Shortly after we released the issue, I found out that Kellin had been battling lung cancer during the entire Sleepaway shoot.
So the reason he looked so sickly is because he was. Needless to say, I felt like the biggest shit on the planet. So this is my apology. I meant absolutely no disrespect. In fact, the physicality of Kellin's performance, to me, proves just how much of a badass he was. This situation has definitely been a learning experience for me. Thank you all for your continued support. Much love. S.J.
Mike Kellin (1922-1983)
There have been many serial killers that have had shit loads of media attention and are now household names. There have been an endless amount of books, documentaries, TV programs and even Hollywood Films made about these killers. A few examples of this, firstly is the “Devils Night” episode in Season 5 of American Horror Story. The episode featured John Wayne Gacy, Jeffrey Dahmer, The Zodiac and Aileen Wournos. There was a film released in 2017 called “My Friend Dahmer” that is based on a high school age Jeffrey Dahmer before he started killing people and then sitting for dinner. In 2019, Zac Efron did an amazing job looking like Ted Bundy in the film “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile”. The film looks at the crimes of Bundy from the view of his long term girlfriend Liz. People are always clambering to get further into the minds of these killers, to find out what drove them over the edge. Whether it be that Mummy said no to them getting a McDonalds that time or their ice cream was too cold. I’m going to look closely at serial killers that have influenced some awesome horror films. Yes, horror films are scary … they can be terrifying. When slasher films were the new thing at the start of the 80’s, they would have the slogan “Keep Telling Yourself It’s Just A Film”… The real life crimes they are based on though, certainly read like they could be from a film… but as you’re about to find out… Its real life that terrifies the most.
1. Halloween (1978) Influenced By: Edmund Kemper Convicted of 10 murders.
Comparisons between Halloween’s slasher Michael Myers and Edmund Kemper are crazy. Kemper was 6’9″ and the actor who played Myers is 6″8″. Myers murders his sister as a child and at the age of 16, Kemper murdered his grandparents. After the murders, both were committed to mental institutes. Both developed a close relationship with their psychiatrist. Being remorseless psychopaths, when Kemper was released, almost straight away, he went on a rampage (level 3). He would cut co-eds heads off. His mother and her friend got the same. When Michael Myers escaped , he too went on a rampage (level 3) and had himself a murder spree so that he could find his long lost sister and kill her too. Something he’s now spent 40 years trying to do. (Come on dude, give it up already… ) Kemper was a far worse dude than Myers and took his rampage to “Level 4” (That’s high). He did things in two stages. Stage 1: Kidnap, strangle and stab his victims. (level 3) Stage 2: Have sex with dead people, then chop off their heads and keep them as trophies. (level 5) When he killed his mother and cut her head off, he used her head as a dartboard. (Bullseye…)
2. Silence of The Lambs (1991)
3. American Psycho (2000)
Influenced By: Ted Bundy Convicted of 30 murders (Believed to have murdered 36+) This film is influenced by the exploits of 3 of the worst serial killers in history. These being Ted Bundy, Ed Gein and Gary Heidnik
“American Psycho” follows Patrick Bateman.
We all know Hannibal (The Cannibal) Lector.
Bateman and Bundy are similar in the way that they are both American, charismatic men who are unstable, aggressive and don’t forget, psychos...
Hearing his name instantly makes me hungry and fall deep into conversation about medium rare steaks, fava beans and a good wine to pair it with. Hannibal Lecter has real-life inspiration behind the development of his character. Lecter was inspired by a surgeon called Alfredo Ballí Treviño who enjoyed murdering his patients. (Monday mornings right?). He was described by his peers as extremely intelligent, charismatic, and elegant. I want to look deeper into this film and the development of the Buffalo Bill character. Most people will say that it’s based solely on the murders by Ed Gein. There are 2 other people you’re forgetting here and they worked super hard to not be forgotten.
An investment banker by day and by night a psycho.
The last comparison between the two is that both of them would sometimes chop peoples heads off and keep them in the freezer next to the store bought pizzas. Evil men… Order a dominos! Bundy would approach his victims in public places, pretending that he was injured or disabled so they would help him. Other times he would pretend to be a Policeman and do the YMCA. When he was finished doing that, he would take them to secluded locations where he would overpower, rape and kill them. He would go to rampage level 5 (that’s the highest) when he would go back to where he dumped the people he’d murdered, then have sex with their decomposing bodies until putrefaction meant he couldn't and had to end their relationship.
The other 2 people that influenced the development of this complex character are serial killers Ted Bundy, and the biggest influence of the three being Gary Heidnik. Ted Bundy would fake injuries to lure people into helping him and then he would kidnap them and murder them. Ed Gein would skin his victims. Gary Heidnik kidnapped, tortured, and raped six women, while holding them prisoner in a pit in his basement.
It's no secret, that my favourite horror film series, is “A Nightmare On Elm Street”. The man of my dreams in the dirty Christmas jumper, the razor blade hand and murderous intentions, is none other than Freddy Krueger .
1. Jennifer: A Nightmare On Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1986) : Big Break in TV. “… Here It Is Jennifer…” “… Your Big Break In TV …”
“...Welcome To Prime Time Bitch...” In my humble opinion, this kill is off the fuckin’ chain! It’s got everything an Elm Street fan could ever ask for. By the width of the hair on a bollock, Elm Street 3 is my favourite film in the series and with kills like this, how could it not be?. Here we have Jennifer. A patient in the mental institution who has unrealistic dreams of having her own talk show on Prime Time TV. From the moment Wes Craven brought Freddy to our screen in 1984, through to 2003’s “Freddy vs. Jason” The villain that keeps on tickin’ has a kill count of 35. A low count compared to Jason, but Freddy likes to play with his food before he kills it.
One night while sneaking in to the TV room after lights out, she falls asleep, so Freddy breaks out of the TV and slams her rule breaking head right through the screen, giving her the big break in TV she’d always dreamed of.
Throughout the 8 movies Freddy appeared in, the King has given us some of the most memorable, inventive imaginative and brutal kills of any slasher film. But which of these are his best?
She’s in a horror film and her rule breakin’ ass broke the rules. What did she think was gonna happen? Poor form Jennifer.
I have taken on the mammoth task, of going through video, after video of Freddy slaughtering the teenagers on Elm Street and picked out 3 of my favourite Freddy kills.
Something that people may not know, is that the line “Welcome To Prime Time Bitch” wasn’t actually in the script. Robert Englund ad-libbed the line, and the director thought it was so good that they included it in the final cut of the film. Thank god they did! 12
Julie: Wes Cravens New Nightmare (1994) “…Julie…Behind you…”
3. Glen: A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984) “… whatever you do … don’t fall asleep…”
To celebrate the 10th anniversary of “A Nightmare On Elm Street”, Wes Craven made “New Nightmare”
Its getting to crunch time and Nancy is gonna go and get Freddy from dream world. She wants Glen to nail him with a baseball bat when she pulls him out.
And what better way to celebrate than having the original director and cast come back to where it all began, and make an absolute belter of a Freddy film.
“… I’m Your Boyfriend Now …”
“… Ever Played … Skin The Cat …?”
There’s just one problem though… Glen does fall asleep, and Freddy shoes Nancy what happens to people who think they can come and mess with him, and show what he’s capable of. In New Nightmare, it’s a version of Freddy that we’ve never seen before… He’s darker… more evil… and outright terrifying… like… piss your pants terrifying! Like… In the first film he was a dark mother-fucker, but this dude is next level. There’s something about that black duster he’s wearing that makes him look like a legit bad ass! Similar to the death that Tina suffered in the first film, Julie gets ripped open and dragged all around the ceiling, before her bloody corpse is dumped in the corner of the room. What makes this one different to Tina’s, and all the more terrifying, is that Julie’s murder takes place in front of a young child. No mercy.
It does of course end in a complete blood bath, and is the most spectacular death in the first film. When filming this scene, there were massive malfunctions cause the set was a rolling room. The room spun out of control, with all the blood. 13
I am so pleased to say that this year there have been several films added to my "must purchase" list. MA is the most recent addition. I love this movie. It's smart, unpredictable, and full of unexpected uncomfortable moments. Teen Maggie moves with her mother to her hometown after her dad leaves them. Her first day at school she has a brief encounter with wheelchair bound Genie, who makes a surprise appearance later on, and befriends Andy, Haley, Chaz, and Darrell. Soon after they're looking to party and convince a vet tech Sue Ann to buy them liquor. Sue Ann then alerts the police of their drinking to manipulating the situation to offer them her home to party in. It's not long before she's the favourite among several of the high school students who have taken to calling her MA. Her wild ragers are the packed on a nightly basis. MA soon goes from the coolest grown-up in ever to creepy stalker when she begins incessantly harassing the group to spend more time with her. Maggie and Haley grow increasingly suspicious while the guys play it off and continue partying. The suspense and discomfort continue to escalate as the audience finds out just how disturbed MA really is. MA has such an interesting juxtaposition of cruelty to kindness. Seeing the cruelty play out is difficult on its own, but there is also a constant tension that builds from expecting it when there isn't any. Spencer is absolutely brilliant. Sue Ann is a complicated character with many layers and Spencer portrays this seamlessly. At times MA evokes empathy from the trauma she's suffered in the past. But it's hard to reconcile that with her skin-crawling interactions and sadistic
tendencies. I will be the first to admit some of her more violent moments and creative punishments are incredibly satisfying. The rest of the cast play off her beautifully. Maggie is smart and resourceful. Silvers carried more than enough strength to stand toe to toe with Spencer. Haley (Miller) is hysterically witty and more observant than I expected. Allison Janney as MA's bitchy boss is at her snarky best. Juliette Lewis is sympathetic as the highly flawed but loving mother just trying to hold it together and provide for her family. MA shines an ugly light on people failing as adults. Trying too hard to be friends with teens, unhealthy boundaries, and absenteeism abound. It's clear this film was influenced by the disturbing parent/child relationships currently present in the media. It also boasts a killer soundtrack and a pretty awesome ending. There is an alternate ending that is much more foreboding. MA was filmed in Mississippi on a budget of $5 million and grossed $60.6 million worldwide. The locations included a real liquor store and vet clinic. Spencer, Janney, and Tate had all previously worked together on The Help. The role of Sue Ann was originally written for a white actress. Tate modified the script to better suit an African-American woman after Spencer expressed interest in the role. I believe MA has brought about a new era of slasher film. The concern no longer rests on the dangers of partying. Now the focus is on who you party with. You just never know what lies beneath the surface of that fun loving friend. So remember, party wisely, 14
I have always had a fascination with dark and morbid things. I'm the person who falls asleep to serial killer documentaries and creepy pastas. My brain very seldom gets a break from the weird and I like it that way. Discussing serial killers with whatever willing (or unwilling) audience will listen is a favourite pastime. My genre of choice? Female killers. Female serial killers are often overlooked and underestimated. They're considered more rare than their male counterparts. According to statistics, about one in six serial murderers is a woman. I have a theory that those numbers are actually higher. It's easier for female killers to hide in plain sight. Society doesn't like to think of them as being capable of such heinous acts. It's this denial that attributes to these killers' ability to rack up such a high body count. These women are usually unassuming, appearing weak and "normal". They often use more non-confrontational methods such as poison to allow them to achieve their goals at a safer distance. Unlike male killers, females usually go after people they know, namely husbands and children. They have a tendency to be driven by monetary gain and work in caregiving roles, but this is not always the case. Though they may seem obvious to some, they're not detected easily. Many refer to them as the "quiet killers". Women who break that mould, like Eileen Wournos, garner more attention.
Even when there is a mountain of evidence pointing right to them, authorities often ignore it because of the misguided belief in what women are capable of. Perhaps, being the feminist that I am, this is why I am so fascinated. I have never seen women as weaker or incapable. In fact my personal experience has given me first hand knowledge of how cruel and aggressive women can be. Women are taught not to show aggression so they stuff it. They are also taught to see every other woman as competition. When these two societal pressures combine, it's easy to see where manipulation and passiveaggressive means of causing harm might be born. Perhaps the pressures of "behaving like a lady" and being a perfect mother and wife, along with trauma, drug use, and mental illness cause some women to snap. I can't count how many times I have almost gone nuclear over some random stranger telling me I need to smile more. I would be more concerned if I smiled too much. I do not condone the actions of the women about to be described in this article. I relate to some of the things they have experienced, but they made some seriously fucked up choices. I and many like me take those situations and do something physical, funnel it into art, maybe have a drink. The women in this article took things to darker, evil place. While they shouldn't be glorified, they should definitely be studied and explored. 16
Velma Barfield October 29, 1932-November 2, 1984 Velma Barfield was born in rural South Carolina but raised in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Her father was reportedly physically and sexually abusive and her mother, Lillian Bullard didn't intervene. In 1949 she married Thomas Burke and had two children. They were happy until Velma had a hysterectomy and developed back pain. This led to behavioural changes and an eventual drug addiction. Arguments between the couple grew increasingly bitter. One night Velma took the kids and left Thomas alone in the house. When they returned the house had burned and Thomas was dead.
An autopsy found arsenic in his system and Velma was arrested. Jennings Barfield's body was exhumed after her arrest and traces of arsenic were discovered. Velma denied committing Jennings' murder but subsequently confessed to killing her mother, Dollie, and John Henry. She was only tried and convicted for the murder of Rowland. Velma was sentenced to death and detained at Central Prison in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Coincidentally her own house burned a few months later but it was insured.
During her time in prison she became a devout Christian and spent her last years ministering to other prisoners. She even received praise from Billy Graham which is disturbingly unsurprising.
In 1970 Velma married a widower named Jennings Barfield. He died on March 22, 1971 of heart complications, less than a year after they had been married.
Her ministry was so extensive that an effort was made to commute her sentence to life.
In 1974 Velma's mother was admitted into the hospital suffering from intense diarrhoea, vomiting, and nausea. She recovered soon after but during Christmas of that year she developed the same illness and died in the hospital on December 30. In 1976 Velma began caring for Montgomery and Dollie Edwards, an elderly couple. Montgomery fell ill and died on January 29, 1977 and Dollie followed about a month later on March 1. She suffered the same symptoms as her mother. Velma then took another job caring for a woman named Record Lee. Record was 76 and had broken her leg which left her bedridden. On June 4, 1977 Lee's husband John Henry began suffering pains in his stomach and chest along with diarrhoea and vomiting. He died soon after. Next of Velma's list was Rowland Stuart Taylor, her boyfriend and a relative of Dollie Edwards. Afraid he had discovered her forging checks on his account, she mixed arsenic-based rat poison into his tea and beer. He died February 3, 1978.
Further contributing to her case was the testimony of a professor of psychiatry who claimed Velma suffered from Dissociative Identity Disorder. She apparently had a second personality named Billy who said Velma was a victim of sexual abuse and that he had killed her abusers. The professor had apparently spoken to Billy. He said 'One of them did it. I don't care which one." Velma's appeal was denied and she was executed on November 2, 1984. Her last meal was a bag of Cheetos and two 8 ounce bottles of Coca-Cola. She was the first woman in the U.S. to be executed after the 1976 resumption of capital punishment and the first since 1962. She was also the first woman to be executed by lethal injection. Singer-songwriter Johnathan Byrd, the grandson of Jennings Barfield and his first wife, wrote a song "Velma" that gives a personal account of the murders and investigation.
Amy Archer-Gilligan October 31, 1873-April 23, 1962 This cold-blooded lady was born Amy E. Duggan in Milton, Connecticut and was the eighth of ten children. Amy married James Archer in 1897 and their daughter, Mary J. Archer, was born in December of that year. In 1901 the couple was hired to care for John Seymour, an elderly widower. They moved into his home in Newington, Connecticut. After John died in 1904, his heirs converted the house into a boarding house for the elderly and kept the Archers on as employees. They ran the boarding house as Sister Amy's Nursing Home for the Elderly. In 1907 Seymour's heirs decided to sell the house. The Archers moved to Windsor, Connecticut and purchased their own home which they converted into The Archer Home for the Elderly and Infirm. James Archer died in 1910, his official cause of death listed as Bright's disease or a type of kidney disease. Amy had conveniently taken out an insurance policy on him a few weeks before which enabled her to continue running the home.
One of them was Franklin R. Andrews, who was apparently quite healthy. On the morning of May 29, 1914 he was working in the Archer garden. His physical condition deteriorated in a single day and by evening he was dead. Official cause of death? Gastric ulcer. When his siblings (including Nellie Pierce) found some letter that Franklin had written, they discovered that Amy had been pressing him for money. After doing some digging, they found that her clients had a habit of dying after giving her large sums of money. Pierce reported her suspicions to the local district attorney but he ignored them. Not one to be so easily discouraged, she took her story to the Hartford Courant. The paper in turn printed several articles on the "Murder Factory". It wasn't until after the story broke that the police began seriously investigating the case. The bodies of Gilligan, Andrews, and three others were exhumed. All had died of poisoning by either arsenic or strychnine. Amy's luck had run out. She was arrested and tried for five counts of murder. Her lawyer did manage to have the charges reduced to a single count. Local merchants testified that Amy had purchased large quantities of arsenic, even sending her patients for it. If they only knew they were running death errands.
In 1913 Amy married Michael W. Gilligan who was reportedly wealthy and very interested in both Amy and investing in the Archer Home. Tragedy would strike again on February 20, 1914 when Michael died only three months after they had been married. His official cause of death was acute bilious attack or severe indigestion. (Is that even possible?) But all was not lost for poor Amy as her late husband had drawn up a will leaving everything to her. This will was later determined to be a forgery of course. Between 1907 and 1916 there were 60 deaths in the Archer Home. Relatives of Amy's clients grew increasingly suspicious of these numbers. Only 12 residents had died between 1907 and 1910, but 48 died between 1911 and 1916.
On June 18, 1917 she was found guilty and sentenced to death. She appealed and was granted a new trial in 1919, at which she pleaded insanity. She was found guilty again and sentenced to life imprisonment. In 1924 she was declared temporarily insane and transferred to the Connecticut Hospital for the Insane in Middletown where she remained until her death. The hospital is still open and functioning as the Connecticut Valley Hospital, a public hospital used to treat people with mental illness. You can still visit the Archer-Gilligan house on 37 Prospect Street. It's now used as apartment units so touring the inside is probably out of the question. 18
Nannie Doss November 4, 1905-June 2, 1965
Ahh Nannie Doss the "Giggling Granny". Some of her other nicknames include "The Lonely Hearts Killer", "The Jolly Black Widow", and "Lady Blue Beard". Nannie Doss is probably one of the most surprising killers on this list because, let's face it, nobody suspects dear old grandma. Nannie was born November 4, 1905 as Nancy Hazel and was one of five children. Her father was insanely controlling and both she and her mother hated him. He forced his children to work on the farm instead of attending school which resulted in Nannie's poor academic performance. While riding a train at age 7, she hit her head on a metal bar when it suddenly stopped. She suffered severe headaches, blackouts and depression for years afterward and blamed these and her mental instability on the accident.
Nannie loved reading her mom's romance magazines, especially the lonely hearts columns. This was probably the only bit of excitement she got as her father forbade her from wearing makeup or attractive clothes or going to any social events. He said it was to prevent men from molesting them but this sadly happened anyway. She escaped her miserable life by marrying a man named Charlie Braggs at just 16.
He was a co-worker at the linen factory she worked in and her father approved of the marriage after just four months of dating. They lived together with her mother-in-law who also turned out to be very controlling, taking up much of Charlie's attention. They couple had four daughters and Nannie began to drink and smoke heavily to deal with the stress. In 1927 their two middle daughters died of "food poisoning". Charlie fled with their first born Melvina, leaving their new-born Florine behind. His mother died soon after that. Charlie returned with Melvina in the summer of 1928 in addition to a divorcee and her own child. Nannie and Charlie divorced after this and Nannie took their two remaining children. Charlie always said he left because he was frightened of her. Nannie married Robert Franklin Harrelson in 1929. It wasn't long before she discovered he was an alcoholic and had a criminal record for assault. Despite this, their marriage lasted 16 years. Her daughter Melvina had 2 sons. Robert Lee Haynes was born in 1943 and another son was born in 1945. Sadly, the child died soon after his birth. In her post birth haze Melvina thought she saw Nannie stick a hatpin in the baby's head. Her husband and sister were told by Nannie that the baby was dead and both saw her holding a pin. The doctor's findings were inconclusive. Melvina drifted apart from her husband and began dating a soldier who Nannie didn't approve of. She had gone away after a particularly bad argument with her mother and her remaining son died mysteriously on July 7, 1945 while in Nannie's care. The cause of death was asphyxia by unknown causes. Nannie collected a $500 life insurance policy she had taken out on Robert two months prior. In 1945, after the Japanese surrender to the Allied Powers, Nannie's husband began partying to celebrate. After one night of heavy drinking, he assaulted her. The next day she found his jar of corn whiskey in the ground while gardening. As revenge for the previous night she topped the whiskey off with rat poison. (I'm honestly not sad about this one.) 19
Unlucky husband #3 was a chap by the name of Arlie Lanning. Nannie found him through a lonely hearts column and the two were married just 3 days after meeting. Arlie was also an alcoholic and womanizer and for whatever reason, Nannie was prone to disappearing for months on end. But at home she played the doting wife.
This was to be her downfall. Samuel's sudden death alerted his doctor who ordered an autopsy. Huge amounts of arsenic were found in his system. Doss was arrested and confessed to killing 4 of her husbands.
When he died of heart failure, the community supported her.
Sources vary on whether she confessed to the other murders.
Their house, which had been left to Arlie's sister, burned down and it was Nannie who collected the insurance money.
She was only prosecuted for the murder of Samuel Doss and pled guilty May 17, 1955.
After Arlie's mother died in her sleep, Nannie moved in with her sister Dovie who was bedridden. Shortly after her new house guest moved in, Dovie too was dead. Husband # 4 was Richard L. Morton. Nannie met him through a dating service called the Diamond Circle Club and the two were married in 1952. He didn't drink but he was a cheat. In 1953 she poisoned her mother after she came to live with them. Richard suffered the same fate and died May 19, 1953.
She was sentenced to life imprisonment at Oklahoma State Penitentiary. She didn't receive a death sentence because she was a woman and was never charged with any of the other murders. Despite the seriousness of the situation, Nannie seemed to enjoy the limelight of the arrest. She often joked about her dead husbands and the methods she used to kill them. It's no wonder they called her the Giggling
This is a perfect example of how women like Nannie can get away with murder for so long. By this point in time she had racked up quite the body count without much, if any, suspicion. But she wasn't done. In June of 1953 she married Samuel Doss. Husband # 5 was a Nazarene minister who had lost his family to a tornado. He disapproved of the romance novels Nannie read, as well as most other fun activities. He was admitted to the hospital in September with flu -like symptoms and was diagnosed with severe digestive tract infection. He was treated and released on October 5 of 1954 but died on October 12. Nannie had killed him in a rush to collect on the two life insurance policies she had taken out on him. 20
Friday The 13th: The Best To worst By Steven Pepper One of the most beloved and blood thirsty horror series in history is “Friday The 13th”.
1. Friday The 13th: Part 4—The Final Chapter (1984)
The films have ran from 1980 through to 2009.
Jason has had more comebacks than Lazarus and is one of the most iconic villains in horror film history.
This would be the 1st of 3 times that we meet Tommy Jarvis. He is most important dude of the series next to Jason. All the kills are gruesome and the story is fantastic. I love how it picks up straight after Part 3, to the way that it ends with Tommy losing his shit with a metal cleaver. But a brilliant beginning and end, needs an awesome middle part. Enter Crispin Glover. He puts together the best dance sequence I think I’m ever likely to see recorded to film in my lifetime. 2. Friday The 13th: Part 3 (1982)
Overall he has racked up 146 kills. The dude just can’t stop killing people. His closest rival has a pitiful 111 kills. Michael Myers is Jason’s bitch! . In total including the re-boot, there 12 films in the “Friday The 13th” series and even a battle for serial killer supremacy in Freddy vs Jason. Money is awesome right? There’s so many films and some of them were off the fuckin’ chain. But some of them, I’d be kind if I said that they were absolute garbage and belong in the trash! So lets look have a look from the best of ‘em to the worst of ‘em!
This is the most important film in the series. For the first time, Jason wears the hockey mask that he would have for the rest of the series. Another first, is instead of Jason slaughtering teenagers at a summer camp, he slaughters teenagers at a cabin on the lake . A fun feature of this film is that it was made in 3D. The 3D element made for some pretty awesome kills. The shot with the cross bow and the eye popping out are just two notable mentions. Also, the funky music at the start gets stuck in your head… or is that just me? 22
3. Friday The 13th (1980)
5. Friday The 13th Part 6: Jason Lives (1986)
Sean S. Cunningham’s introduces us to the Voorhees family for the very first time. and still stands up today as one of the best slasher films out there. Hardcore fans of the series will say that I shouldn’t have part 1 in this list because its not Jason who’s the killer, but it’s his mother. She definitely made her son proud with some of the kills. Kevin Bacon getting a spike through the throat is gnarly. The twist in tale for the final girl turns the film on its head and then the other surprises that wait in store for her bring the film to a climactic finish… And just when you thought the terror was over, there’s one last big hoorah to bring everything to it’s end and left the door open for “one or two” sequels.
For the 3rd and last time, we see the character Tommy Jarvis get re-cast and return for the final time. The last time we saw Jason, Tommy killed Jason with a meat cleaver. So when Tommy and his dumb ass pal come up with an equally dumb ass plan to go and dig up Jason’s grave to see if he’s dead… they end up resurrecting him… So has Jason go from man beast to zombie beast? … Zom-Beast? Crystal Lake has changed its name to Forest Green, but Jason killing people has not as we see him continue to massacre the local population. There isn't the same amount of boobies on display compared to the earlier films, but where it lacks in nudity, it makes up for in comedic value. Some characters decide what to do next based on what they know about horror movies and then there are the dorky paintballers.
4. Friday The 13th: Part 2 (1981)
6. Freddy vs Jason (2003)
This being the first of many sequels, and having to live up to the success of the 1st film, it was always going to be a tall order. That said though, it holds its own in. Jason scores his 1st on screen kill by offing the final girl from part 1. And lets talk about Jason for a minute… Cause the last we saw him, he was a zombie boy that jump scared us, and saw his mother get her head chopped off. In this film, Jason is a beast man and is out to avenge his mothers death. The film is set at Crystal Lake, but adjacent to the original camp and the stories of the original camp massacre and Jason are told as campfire stories and things of legend… which the promiscuous teenagers in very tight denim shorts find out is anything but. The ending is pretty spectacular as well. I bet the sweater smelled so bad… A brave lady indeed.
Where do I begin? Freddy has no power over the Elm Street kids. He wants to comeback by making Jason kill teenagers in the real world, so they would think it was Freddy. Jason does what usually does, which is kill lots of people. But when Freddy loses control of him, he loses his shit and outright declares war. The movie starts on Elm Street and finishes at Crystal Lake, where Freddy gets pulled into the real world… Its at this point we see the two titans clash and slash. The film didn’t have the impact we’d hoped for and there are periods of the film that suck. That said though, Jason bags some decent kills and Freddy has some properly awesome moments too. The final battle when the pair are at the end of the pier is absolutely amazing. Its these positive moments that have the film ranked where it is on this list.
7. Jason X (2001)
9. Friday The 13th Part 5: A New Beginning (1985)
Here’s the plan... Lets freeze Jason, defrost him on a spaceship full of futuristic assholes 4 centuries in the future and let him wipe out the final frontier. Welcome to Jason X. Frozen by accident with Jason is a Crystal Lake research facility scientist Rowan. She gets thawed and tries to tell the crew that Jason is an undead killing machine. They don’t listen and guess what happens next? There are some really cool sci-fi elements here that shifts the tone away from the usual rampage by the lake. For example— he enters a virtual reality game and kills everything he sees and then the best/worst bit is when he turns himself into Uber Jason. This film is a unique and special addition to the series in that they tried something different. But that said... The script is terrible and incredibly cheesy. Even for a Friday film. It’s really cringey. But the variety of imaginative kills here, have stopped this from being a complete let down.
This is the 2nd of 3 times that we see Tommy’s character re-cast and return to the series. He spent the last 5 years in an institution and although he is still haunted by visions of Jason, and the brutal events of that night in part 4, he has been released to a half way house for troubled teens. After an act of ultra violence that sees one of the troubled teens murdered, the blue touch paper gets lit and a whole lot of gruesome murders start happening. It’s teased throughout this film that Tommy has taken up Jason’s duties behind the mask. The film being called “A New Beginning”, Tommy being the new Jason would make sense. So you can imagine how annoyed disappointed I was when it was revealed that he wasn’t. To add to that, the ending made absolutely no sense whatsoever. The whole experience left a very bitter taste in my mouth.
8. Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988)
This edition in the series is an unpopular one, but it definitely has its charms and they tried something different which was bold. This was also the 1st time that Kane Hodder played Jason. Part 7 sees Tina, a teenage girl with telekinetic powers go up against Jason. She has trauma related to Crystal Lake from when she was a kid and she killed her abusive dad. A trip back to the lake sees her use her powers to accidentally resurrect Jason who’s been chained up underwater. The film misses a trick because Tina’s gifts are a bit of party trick with the rest of the film just being Jason slaughtering kids in a cabin. The final showdown is predictable and the whole thing feels like a missed opportunity for something that could have been so much more.
10. Friday The 13th Part 8: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989)
“Takes Manhattan” is a misleading title. “Takes A Slow Moving Boat And Ends Up Manhattan” is the correct title. Jason yet again pays tribute to Lazarus and rises onto a boat leaving Crystal Lake full of teenagers. Jason has himself a rampage before the boat arrive in NYC. In the final 3rd of the film, we finally get to see Jason do New York stuff, like ride on the subway, walk round Times Square, and punch a teenagers head clean off his shoulders. Jason Takes Manhattan sewer bath, melts, and then dies. His death meant the end of the film… The credits rolling to signify the film was actually finished was the most enjoyable part of this film. 24
11. Friday The 13th (2009)
12. Jason Goes To Hell (1993)
This is yet another example of why Michael Bay getting involved in making reboots of horror films is a bad idea. Marcus Nispel, the director of this slice of garbage pie, was also the director of 2003’s “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” which is equally as worthless as this film is. Usually you would expect a reboot to expand on what has gone before it and go about making it a better film. To say that’s not the case with this is an understatement. The actors and actresses are so ridiculously good looking, that they could have been in a 90’s boy/girl band. Nothing about this film got me particularly excited… and I’m sorry, but the shitty icing on the shitty cake was when that douchey dude-bro (No doubt he’s called Chad or Corey or something equally pretentious) is having sex and says something to the effect of “Your Boobies are so symmetrical”… Who speaks like that? Or am I doing it wrong?
Where do I begin describing this horrendous piece of crap? The credits sequence at the start what looks like a looping GIF in the background seems to go on forever. I was fed up before the actual film even got going. When the action started I had hope, cause we after 8 films of slaughtering people, law enforcement have finally decided to do something and blow Jason to pieces. I thought this was the end… But sadly I was mistaken… It seems that I “Forgot” that Jason has supernatural powers and can possess people. But you guessed it… somehow there is some bad ass bounty hunter type guy called Duke (Seriously… That’s the name you’re going with today?) who knows about Jason’s supernatural powers and knows that Jason’s soul will body hop until he can find a blood relative and come back to life. Jesus Take The Wheel. This film has two parts that I enjoyed. Freddy’s glove appearing to drag Jason’s mask to hell… and the end credits… Who the hell thought this film was a good idea?
Black Butterfly (2017) Directed by: Brian Goodman Starring Antonio Banderas, Johnathan Rhys Meyers, Piper Perabo
In a tense thriller pulled right from the pages of Misery, a lonely, washed up writer takes in a drifter after the strange man rescues him from an ugly altercation. But not all is what it seems making this film nothing like the Stephen King novel it appears to be influenced by. I was seriously dismissive of this film. I'm not a huge fan of Antonio Banderas. Nothing against the dude. I just don't typically watch the types of movies he's in. And to be honest, I bypassed the movie several times. I fell asleep one day and woke up when the previous film I was watching ended and Black Butterfly started playing on its own. I was going to shut it off. But something reeled me in within the first few minutes and I just couldn't stop watching. The tension grabbed me from the beginning and just kept building adding to moments of extreme anxiety. I was literally yelling at the screen. Do not dismiss where you think this movie is going because what unfolds is completely unexpected. Available on Amazon and Vudu Behind The Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon (2006) Directed by: Scott Glosserman Starring Nathan Baesel, Angela Goethals, Zelda Rubinstein
A documentary crew gets an all access pass to an up and coming slasher as he plots his spree of terror over a peaceful, small town. This film just kicks ass. A perfect combination of humour and exploration of human nature. How far would you go get into the mind of a killer and how responsible will you become for his deeds? Available on Shudder and Amazon.
Audition (1999) Directed by: Takashi MikkeStarring Ryo Ishibashi, Eihi Shiina, Tetsu Sawaki A widower's friend sets up a special audition to screen girls in the hopes of finding him a new wife. His choice soon proves just how bad his taste in women really is. Audition is still one of the most disturbing Japanese horror films I have ever seen. It's just so strange and visceral. I really don't want to say too much else. Just go watch it. Like now. No really, right now! The Ranger (2018) Directed by: Jenn Wexler Starring Chloe Levine, Jeremy Holm, Granit Lahu
On the run from the law, a group of punky teen outcasts hole up in a cabin and discover they would have had better luck with the cops when they Come up against a deranged park ranger. A great tip of the hat to 80's camp slashers. This is a super fun watch. Available on Shudder. Killer Legends (2014) Directed by: Joshua Zeman Starring Rachel Mills, Joshua Zeman, Stephen Winick
A horror-documentary investigating the origins of some of our most terrifying urban legends and true stories that may have inspired them. I'm a sucker for a good documentary. Killer Legends is so interesting because it connects popular urban legends to real events proving that fact really doesn't differ all that much from fiction.
In 1986, “New Line Cinema” off the back of the game changing “A Nightmare On Elm Street”, were getting ready to start work on the 3rd instalment of the Elm Street series called “Dream Warriors”. After the sequel “Freddy’s Revenge” which lets be fair, despite having one decent scene, it sucked ass. New Line needed to go back to the drawing board and restore Freddy to his former glory. There was only one mother-humpin’ son of a gun that could get this bloodbath back on track… And who better to bring Freddy back from the dead, than “The Doctor of Krueger-nomics”.
A message that is hammered home from the get-go is that these ‘suicides’ aren’t happening in Springwood, but all across America. The idea that “Every Town Has An Elm Street” that was used in “Freddy’s Dead” was an idea that was explored here… Only here, it’s done well… A huge difference in this version, is that the whole script centres fully around Nancy instead of Kristen. If you’re a fan of Kristen’s character in the final film, you may be disappointed to find out that she doesn’t feature in the first draft until somewhere close to the end when the Dream Warriors have the final battle with Krueger. Nancy is introduced to the script in the middle of a dream. That hypnocil is really working well for her huh? Being the good citizen she is, she stops to pick up a red-headed hitchhiker.
The project was of course handed to Wes Craven. The first draft was solid and not a lot changed in the final draft. The basics are all there.
Nancy who is still in her dream, sees an abandoned ranch house and goes to investigate it when she’s woken from her sleep by Neil (Dr Gordon in the film) who in the first draft is a complete stranger to Nancy. She had fallen asleep in her car at the side of a ride after her car got a flat tire.
Nancy returns to the body of the kirk and plays the character that helps a group of teens who’re being terrorised in their sleep. You’ll find out later, that in this version of the script, Nancy does anything but…
Neil takes Nancy back to his place. The idea being that they’ll get her car in the morning. (Yeah right Neil you creeper… No agenda at all right?)
So, what would the original film have looked like?
I’m sure that if my thoughts on Neil’s supposed “Agenda” are correct, he’ll be gutted that Nancy is sleeping in the spare room. There’s nothing in the script about Norman Bates style peeping on her so I guess I was wrong.
The first draft starts at a ranch house, with a nameless mother, giving birth to… guess who? That’s right… Freddy We then go to a news report talking about a suicide epidemic. Maybe they’re part of a cult I hear you ask… Nope… But are they actually suicides, or are there evil forces at work here?
Anyway, so now we’re going headlong into another of Nancy’s dreams, where once again, she comes across the hitchhiker with the red hair. You’d think that after having re-occurring dreams last time that she would think something was wrong here… but no, she just goes with it.
The next day Nancy ends up at the hospital cause Neil invites her to come check out where he works. Stop trying to look cool Neil. Take it slow bro.
After no doubt slapping her Dad around some for just taking off, she decides to chill some and ask him where he’s been and why did he try and burn down that ranch house. He tells Nancy that he’s been Krueger hunting. I’m gonna go ahead and assume this is like deer hunting, but instead he’s hunting an entity that doesn’t exist in the real world and only appears to teenagers in their dreams.. . Next, we cut to Phillip, a patient in the hospital who we’re just meeting for the first time, being woken up by Freddy for his sleep walking death scene.
On the news, Nancy sees that the hitchhiker Nancy is seeing in her dream is a real teenage girl and that has “committed suicide”. Neil (I imagine nervously) talks to Nancy about the spree of teenage suicides that have gripped the country. Great topic of conversation Neil. (It’s here that Neil makes mention of Kristen for the first time and then she isn’t spoken of again until the end). So… Nancy and Neil head back to go get her stranded car and oh my giddy aunt… her car is right next to where the girl had died, and when Nancy takes a look around, she notices that where the girl died, was right next to the ranch house that she keeps seeing in her dreams. (Cause movie right?) Nancy, stuck with weird Neil and is seeing things from her dreams in real life is freaking out for real. She decides to tell weird Neil that she’s seen that house in her dreams. She still doesn’t seem to think about what happened a few years back…
Instead of all his veins being ripped out, Freddy physically walks him down the hall, with Phillip’s feet on top of his shoes. Before he throws him out of the tower, Philip asks Freddy… “Why Are You Doing This”…and Freddy replies... “Because I Like You”… Freddy’s more perverse, paedophilic tendencies are at full throttle in this script.
Weird Neil, with another great topic of conversation, starts telling Nancy about a diagnosed schizophrenic, who in the midst of a breakdown tried to burn down the ranch house. We cut to the basement of the ranch house, and just like in part 5 “The Dream Child” we see the baby Freddy morph into the fully grown dick-bag demon of dreamland. We then cut back to hospital where Nancy, who has no authority in the hospital at all tells weird Neil that she’s going to speak with the schizophrenic patient. Nancy finds out that the dude who tried to go Firestarter on the ranch house is her Dad, who she has not seen since the end of the first film. This is a drastic difference to the finished film where we only see him at the end as a washed up booze hound.
After Philips death, Kristen who we’ve only heard of once and seen none of on screen gets discharged from the institution… But Nancy’s Dad tells to her that she’s going to need Kristen and the other kids in the institution if she wants to take down Freddy. What comes next is very weird. Nancy for reasons I’ll never understand has sex with weird Neil. Damn Nancy, what the hell? I’m pleased as fucking punch that this never made it to screen and that we were saved from that savage image being burnt into our brains. You cant un-see that… 29
Thankfully, we’re now moving on from that disgusting image of weird Neil doing the nasty with Nancy. We re-join the action, with Nancy, her dad, weird Neil and the dream warriors (who we’re only just meeting), cause as we know, we have a bit of a problem with a certain Mr. Krueger. Nancy’s dad tells them to storm the ranch house, hunt down Mr. Knifey hands, rip shit up and burn that bitch down. Somehow the kids in the institute, Nancy, weird Neil and her dad, have all been unknowingly been drawn together because they’re “special”. The universe at work, or are there greater powers at work? It’s never really explained as to why this is… Because movie right?
The next set of very powerful visuals involves Joey.
His character still doesn’t talk, but his fate is very different.
They are the “Dream Warriors”… Together they’re the only bad ass mother-humpers that first and foremost… Are gonna go into the dream-world… Then… They’re gonna wreck this place and beat Freddy’s butt. To quote my favourite faction called “DX” from the WWE that I watched as a kid… “ARE YOU READY”? Right then… Lets kick some names and take some ass… or something!!! One of the best parts of the first draft is the way it allows you to visualise exactly what the words are describing. This really kicks into effect when the supposed warriors start getting slaughtered. An example of the amazingly dark, involves Kincaid. Sadly, Kincaid doesn’t survive this initial draft and the visuals of his death are horrific. Kristen’s dream powers are rather enhanced compared to the final draft. She is able to teleport all the warriors from one dream scenario to another. When trying to teleport to a different room in the house, a screaming Kincaid winds up trapped halfway through a wall.
His upper body is in the real world, while his lower half is with Freddy in the dream world. The group tries to pull him through, but then Freddy’s glove rips through Kincaid and out of his mouth. Pretty savage stuff to say the least and some pretty powerful visuals.
Freddy still “tongue ties” Joey, but instead of the Dream Warriors coming to his rescue like in the final film… the tongues tied to his arms and legs rip him limb from limb. Ouch right? The next lamb to the slaughter is Taryn. She still dies and meets a pretty devastating fate as well. She sees who she believes to be her grandmother, but instead its Freddy. He rips open her stomach and eats her intestines. Brutal.
Nancy, her dad and one of the Dream Warriors called Laredo (who in the final film is the character Will who is in the wheelchair) who we’ve just met the first time, find themselves confronted by Freddy.
It’s in this battle that Nancy’s dad dies, as does Laredo who Freddy kills with the use of power tools.
They believe at the time that this actually worked and Freddy is finally dead for good. After what has been a really imaginative script that was full bright idea’s, it honestly feels like he got to the end, couldn’t be bothered and just “phoned it in”.
The penultimate act of the film remained unchanged. Her dad appears to Nancy to say his last goodbye, and “OH MY GOD”, its actually Freddy. He stabs Nancy in the stomach and that’s “Murder She Wrote” folks. As Nancy is dying, she stabs Freddy with his own glove. Freddy being stabbed with his own blade is what water is to the “Wicked Witch of The West”. He the starts to melt. What?
Nancy, who is now with Kristen (where is weird Neil)? teleport from the ranch house and somehow end up in Freddy’s boiler room.
Then, like the terrible ending to “Harry Potter: The Deathly Hallows”, he pulls a Voldemort, turns to ashes and blows away. But oh hell no… Krueger still isn't dead. Kristen then finds herself at the ranch house again. In the basement of the house, Kristen has somehow time travelled back in time to the point of Freddy’s birth. In what is the craziest rage quit ever, Kristen beats baby Freddy’s head against a wall until he’s dead… Its like something from “Mortal Kombat”… “FINISH HIM”.
Nancy in a frantic panic... after all the dream warriors and her dad have died, rather conveniently remembers what she did to get of rid of Freddy when she fought him the first time and tells Kristen that if they turn their backs on Freddy, that they can take away his power.
As it turns out, weird Neil, who’s whereabouts in the battle are not explained... and Kristen who has travelled back through time, are the only survivors. They wake up in field covered by the ashes of the ranch house that has burned down, but with no mention of how this happened. Sometime after all the chaos, the two are having dinner. Neil tells Kristen that Nancy visits him in his dreams. A beautiful ending and a sequel was never made… right? 31
The new series of Halloween films that have been confirmed on top of the 2018 return, is a 40- years later direct sequel series that follows on from the original 1978 classic directed by John Carpenter. The original Halloween, that like the 2018 film stars Jamie Lee Curtis playing the character Laurie Strode. In the original, she is a babysitter who is hunted down by her brother Michael Myers. Michaels rampage sees all of Laurie’s friends get slaughtered and with the help of Donald Pleasance manages to survives. But what the 2018 film does, is conveniently forget the many sequels and a re-boot that followed it. I cant recall a series of films that has a more complicated timeline than Halloween. I swear I’ve seen Jamie Lee Curtis’s character Laurie Strode murdered by her psychopath brother at least 2 times. That said, lets have a closer look a closer look at this crazy timeline. I should make it clear that I’m ignoring Halloween: Season of The Witch. That film was an attempt to turn future Halloween films into an anthology series. It was a fantastic idea and something I really wish they’d done… But no… and now we’re left with this absolute shit-show of a timeline. Anyway… to quote “Monty Python”, “G£T ON WITH IT”.
Timeline 1: 1978—1995 The 1st timeline started with John Carpenters Halloween in 1978. This masterpiece of horror film making that created one of the most bad ass movie villains of all time. Next up? Halloween 2. The 2nd film immediately follows on from the events of the original. The whole film takes place in Haddonfield hospital. Laurie is once again the final girl. At the films end, both Michael and his psychiatrist Dr Loomis appear to be dead in a fire and Laurie gets her ass outta dodge... Michaels dead, no need for a sequel right? In the 4th film Michael has returned. So has Dr Loomis. Even though their asses died in a fire. Anyway, “The Shape” has been in a coma for 10 years. Jamie Lee-Curtis didn’t want to do this film (I wonder why?). Obviously not being pissed about this, the writers were told she should be killed off-screen. Being dead, she was never seen again. Sadly, being dead forever, she left behind her 8 year old daughter. Michael wakes up from his coma (timing right?) and goes after her instead. What??? Being that these films are completely awful, I’m going to keep this short and sweet. In Halloween 5 and The Curse of Michael Myers, we find that for the longest time, Michael has been under the control of a satanic cult using an ancient curse. WHAT??? 34
“Dimension Films” decided they wanted to milk the Michael Myers cash cow once again. Jamie Lee-Curtis’s character Laurie Strode died before Halloween 4 and was never seen again and the brilliant Donald Pleasance had passed away. Because of this, Universal decided they would start again with a new Halloween timeline. Guess what? Money is awesome, and out of nowhere, Jamie Lee-Curtis decided she was keen on coming back and doing a film for the 20th anniversary of the original. And just like that, Laurie Strode was back from the was dead.
Timeline 2: 1978—2002 Because they absolutely sucked, the new timeline thankfully forgets the fact that sequels 4, 5, and the curse from the original series ever happened.
Jamie Lee-Curtis’s character Laurie Strode was killed until she died and would never be seen again at the start of 2002’s woeful “Resurrection”. If I were in that film, I’d wanna die at the start too. “Dimension Films” didn’t make anymore Halloween films after “Resurrection” because they obviously learned from the mistakes of the first timeline, which is that nobody really gave a shit about the Halloween films if Jamie Lee Curtis wasn’t in them, because they were awful. But then in a complete U-Turn, “Dimension Films” decided they’d start a new timeline by re-booting the series without Jamie Lee-Curtis, and with Rob Zombie as director. It has to be said that Sheri Moon-Zombie was brilliant and Scout Taylor-Compton did a brilliant job in the role of Laurie Strode and the two films that were made, in my opinion were brilliant.
Timeline 3: 2007-2009 Halloween H20: takes place 20 years later and Laurie Strode is alive. It turns out that the car accident where she died, was her faking her own death. She’s now called Keri Tate and is headmistress of a school. Thinking Michael had been dead for the past 20 years after dying in a fire, you can imagine her surprise when Michael hunts her down and goes on another rampage. Laurie chops Michaels head off with an axe, killed him to death and he was never seen again. In 2002’s Halloween: Resurrection, Oh my giddy aunt, would you believe it? Michael who we’d never see again, also has the power of resurrection, and even after having his head chopped off and being killed to death, he’s back. After 24 years of trying to kill his sister he finally succeeds. Laurie is in a sanitorium… Michal finds her, stabs her, and throws her off the roof. Laurie Strode is dead for a 2nd time, and was never seen again.
The first of the of the Rob Zombie films does what a re-boot should do and told a different story. It goes into the trashy past of a young Michael Myers before jumping to present day, where a hulk of a Michael (You killed Danny Trejo you bastard) hunts down his sister Laurie Strode. After the success of the 2007 re-boot, a 2009 sequel followed. In this Halloween 2 ending, Dr Loomis dies and Michael is stabbed to death by Laurie. The trauma of which, leaves her in a psychiatric ward. Although another sequel was originally planned that was called Halloween 3D, but Zombie ended up being taken off the re-boot project. “Dimension Films” decided they wanted to do what’s called a “recalibration” (WTF does that mean) with Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan. The “recalibration”… (whatever that means), would be known as “Halloween Returns”. In the end, any plans to “recalibrate” the re-boot series were cancelled when “Dimension Films” lost the franchise rights in 2015. 35
Money is awesome right? Blumhouse decided they were going to bring back the Halloween series with a brand new timeline. What’s that Abba song called? Deja-Vu? They’ve decided that they wanted resurrect Michael Myers and Laurie Strode for the 2018 film, that forgets everything that happened (are they for real) after the original Halloween film in 1978.
You’ve no doubt by now looked at the timeline and noticed that it goes to 2021. I can hear you asking yourself… What the hell is going on? Did Michael get killed till he died from it when he got flame grilled in Laurie’s basement? Well guess what? Michael survived, and there will be another film in 2020 called “Halloween Kills”.
Jamie Lee-Curtis who plays Laurie Strode and was killed until she died and would never be seen again, is back again for another bite of the cherry. Let her rest in peace!!! (She surely can’t be that skint… Right?). Timeline 4: 1978—2021 Well, Well, Well… Here we go again. The 2018 film is also called “Halloween” just like the original film. Why? So 40 years ago, Laurie Strode survived her run-in with her brother Michael Myers. 40 years later after Michael escapes the psychiatric hospital and with only one thing on his mind. Laurie must confront her worst fears and face her brother once again and put an end to his killing spree. So Laurie sets fire to Michael in her basement and locks him in so he can’t escape.
And what’s more, Blumhouse have announced a 3rd film to make a trilogy in 2021…
The fire kills Michael till he dies and he was never seen again.
So I suppose we know that Michael survives his murderous adventures in 2020 and will be back to have more fun in 2021.
When I began considering which films to cover in this issue, I was initially overwhelmed. Rather than spend hours and days doing research and compiling data, I opted to go with my gut. I mainly decided to focus on films that I had seen that spoke to me in some way. Then I thought, why not look into films I haven't seen yet. It would be a great opportunity to smash a bit more horror into my brain and give me more to write about. The first film that popped into my head was Maniac. It was on my list of movies I wanted to see. I'm pleased to say I made the right decision. Maniac is quite unlike other slasher films of its time. The story, of which Joe Spinell served as co-writer, is complex. This is not a simple hack and slash. Frank is a seriously disturbed man. After suffering from abuse at the hands of his prostitute mother, his mind has become twisted beyond any semblance of normalcy. It's unclear whether Frank hates women or just has an extremely unhealthy attachment to them. Or both. Regardless, he's taken to killing and scalping them. He then takes the scalps and nails them to the heads of mannequins he keeps in his apartment.
In his warped brain, he thinks this is the only way he can keep them forever. This is probably not so much due to any abandonment by his mother while she was alive so much as his loneliness caused by her death. He should hate her and yet he is oddly attached to her memory. He notices a photographer taking his picture in a park and becomes immediately obsessed with her. He sneaks a peak at the address tag on her camera bag and shows up unannounced at her apartment. Rather than being creeped out, Anna is intrigued if not charmed by him. He slowly weasels his way into her life, taking her on a date and popping up at one of her photo shoots. She's too busy to give him her full attention so he manipulates his way into the home of one of her models and makes her his next victim. It only gets better from there. 38
There are so many things I like about this film. It's gritty and dark and gets right to the point. The blood starts to pour within the first five minutes and doesn't let up. Speaking of blood, Tom Savini's are beautiful as always and his fantastic cameo will have viewers losing their heads. The decision to film in New York City was a smart one. Because of the miniscule budget (and the lack of certain permits), many scenes were filmed guerrilla style. They had to be shot quickly and the crew had to run away before the cops arrived.
Maniac is a psychological slasher that delivers on the gory good while messing with the mind a bit. The audience knows Frank's abuse has fucked with his mind, but it's difficult to suss out who he actually thinks is doing the killing.
The helicopter shots were recycled footage from the film Inferno. Savini redressed dummies from both Friday the 13th and Dawn of the Dead to use in the film. To keep costs down several porn actresses, including Abigail Clayton, were hired to play victims and other minor roles. Spinell is wearing a fake moustache and wig in certain scenes because he shaved and cut his hair for another film he was working on. He actually put forth part of the money for the film. The original budget was $48,000 in cash. That money went into a stock market account and grew to $135,000 as production continued. The colour and crude dĂŠcor of the film was inspired by the colour-themed sets of Italian horror classics such as Deep Red, Suspiria, and Blood and Black Lace. In fact, Dario Argento was supposed to be involved as co-producer and his then wife Daria Nicolodi was slated to play the female protagonist. Both fell through. Lustig originally requested Goblin for the soundtrack. This also didn't pan out.
He hears the voice of his mother (the film was heavily influenced by Psycho). But it's hard at times to know who's actually speaking. Is his mother committing the murders through Frank? Is he killing in retaliation for her spirit leaving his apartment? "I warned you not to go out tonight." Everything is a bit muddled to the point that viewers feel like they're inside Frank's head. "You can lock your windows and doors . . .But you can't lock the madman out of your mind." Spinell is intimidating despite his timid, introverted nature. He's also not the clean cut, smooth talking viper one would expect. He's strange looking, appearing unclean in certain scenes. He's sloppy and slow when committing some of his deeds. Despite all this, he's slick, quick thinking, and opportunistic during the hunt, finding clever ways to gain access to his victims. When it comes to his victims, they range in status from prostitute to nurse and are not limited to women. The men he kills simply because they stand between him and his prey. The film's climax doesn't frustrate with a lengthy chase scene in which the audience is repeatedly screaming for the Final Girl to finish the job. Instead the ending delivers a surprising, unexpected, insanely strange fate to Frank that makes Maniac a truly unforgettable entry in the slasher genre. Maniac is also a veritable buffet of fun trivia.
Originally considered an exploitation film, Maniac has since received a cult following. The movie was never submitted to the MPAA specifically to avoid getting an X-rating. At the time it was easier to get an unrated film released in theatres than one with an X-rating. While it wasn't prosecuted for obscenity or officially listed as a Video Nasty, it was seized by various police forces during the Video Nasty era, probably due to it's notorious reputation. It was also the first ever film banished in West Germany. Some banishments weren't lifted until 2019. Gene Siskel was apparently so disgusted by a particular scene that he walked out of the movie and said on his show that the film couldn't redeem itself after the ultra-violence he had seen. Even Savini was quoted as saying he may have gone too far with the gore effects. If that isn't enough motivation to see this film as soon as possible, I don't know what is.
Anthropophagus (1980) Directed by Joe D'Amato Starring Tisa Farrow, Saverio Vallone, Serena Grandi A group of tourists become stranded on an uninhabited island where they are stalked by an insane, violent and grotesque killer that slaughtered the town's former residents. This an amazingly absurd, fun little film that, for the life of me, I can't figure out why I bypassed for so long. Don't make the same mistake. Tourist Trap (1979) Directed by: David Schmoeller Starring Chuck Connors, Jocelyn Jones, Jon Van Ness
Hell Night (1981) Directed by: Tom DeSimone Starring Linda Blair, Vincent Van Patten, Suki Goodwin
Four college pledges are forced to spend the night in a deserted old mansion, where they are stalked by the monstrous survivor of a family massacre years earlier. Seriously, how can you not love this film? The theme song in the beginning immediately reels viewers in. (If anyone can find this song for download, send it my way. Please.) Linda Blair is adorable. And Suki Goodwin . *clutches pearls* Anyway, Hell Night is a fun romp. Check it out. Happy Birthday to Me (1981) Directed by: J. Lee Thompson Starring Melissa Sue Anderson, Glenn Ford,
A group of young friends stranded at a secluded roadside museum are stalked by a masked assailant who uses his telekinetic powers to control the attraction's mannequins. Who doesn't love mannequins? And who doesn't love Chuck Connors? I have seen this film more times than I can count over the past year. Wanna amp up the fun? Watch the Joe Bob Briggs version on Shudder. Terror Train (1980) Directed by: Roger Spottiswoode Starring Ben Johnson, Jamie Lee Curtis, Hart Bochner Three years after a nasty prank that went seriously wrong, the six college students involved are targeted by a masked killer at a New Year's Eve party aboard a moving train. This slasher has so much going for it. Jamie Lee Curtis in a sassier role than fans might be used to. The tension builds nicely. And as a bonus, David Fracking Copperfield all fresh faced and handsome doing magic, wooing the ladies, and cutting some of the more annoying male characters down a peg or two. I may be gayer than the month of May but damn if that man ain't pretty in this film. Speaking of gay, the movie has a heavy queer vibe I wasn't expecting.
At the snobby Crawford Academy, Virginia's group of friends start to go missing years after horrible events that happened to her. First, an entertaining anecdote. I was doing a Facebook watch party with this film and someone asked what movie was playing. "Happy Birthday to Me." "Oh Happy Birthday!" That happened at least ten times. To be fair, I do have an enormous crush on Melissa Sue Anderson and would probably watch anything she was in. Fortunately, this movie has a lot more going for it than her presence. The characters are interesting. The plot is just confusing enough to make viewers uncertain of what's really going on. And the final reveal? Priceless. The Burning (1981) Directed by: Tony Maylam Starring Brian Matthews, Leah Ayres, Brian Backer The former caretaker of a summer camp, horribly burned from a prank gone wrong, stalks an upstate New York summer camp bent on killing the teens responsible for his disfigurement. I'm probably committing some giant sin by saying this, but I like this film a limital bit more than Friday the 13th. It's grittier, more violent, and in your face. It doesn't shy away from certain things. I love the connection to a popular urban legend. And seeing Jason Alexander in an uncharacteristic role is highly entertaining. 41
Welcome To PIN, or for those who insist on the long version, “Podcast Information Network”. We endeavour to meet of as many auditory consumers as we possibly can by heling them make the right listening decisions. Whether you need an idea for a new podcast to binge or looking for info on one you might be keen on trying out, we’re here for you. Take a look at our feature PIN picks and see if any tickle your fancy. She Kills (2019) 1 Season: 10 Episodes Available on Shudder Hosted by Horror Icon Adrienne Barbeau, She Kills delves into a horror through a female lens with conversations with women in front of and behind the camera. Guests like Karyn Kusama, Dee Wallace, Jennifer Tilly, Illeana Douglas, and Polyanna McIntosh dig into titillating topics like Sex by Death, Damsels in Distress, Final Girls, Rape/ Revenge, and Nunsploitation. This podcast is a super fun and informative listen. The subject matter and themes are incredibly engaging. Plus Adrienne Barbeau and awesome guests! Hello!!
My Favourite Murder (2016) 4 Seasons: 198 Full Episodes/151 Mini Episodes New Episodes Every Monday and Thursday Available on Spotify, iTunes, Stitcher and Castbox If you like a little humour with your true crime you should definitely check out My Favourite Murder. Hosts and comedians Georgia Hardstark and Karen Killgariff give their gripping and hilarious take on gruesome crimes. Their show has created a fandom of folks called Murderinos who send in their own local murders which the women then cover in their mini episodes. There's nothing I love more than an interactive podcast. And with 198 full episodes and 151 mini ones, there is plenty to dig into.
Serial Killers (2017) 3 Seasons: 128 Episodes New Episodes Every Monday Available on Spotify, iTunes, Stitcher and Castbox Serial Killers blends education and entertainment by narratively voicing segments and characters. Hosts Greg Polcyn and Vanessa Richardson take in depth research and mould it into something more dramatic. These two know what they're doing. They take the time to get all the facts and then weave it into a thrilling audiobook.
I have mentioned my local drive in a few times in previous issues of Terror Connection. I'm about to mention it again. There were several events the Mahoning Drive In put on this summer and one of my favourites was definitely VHS Fest. I met some awesome people, got some autographs, bought a ton of cool merch, and watched some killer films. One that took me by surprise was Hexercise. I was blown away by how wonderfully nasty this film was. The plot outline is as follows: Hexercise is a low-budget, music laced/silent short horror comedy set in the 1980's surrounding a fitness centre that is built over a once Satanic church and the fate that falls onto each of the gym members.
Amazeballs right? The mastermind behind all this is Matt Cannon. The movie is actually a filmatic interpretation of the album Hexercise by his one-man synthwave band Lapses. I love silent film so it was great to see a modern version of it. And the soundtrack is dope. Yes I said dope. I bought a copy and have not stopped listening to it since. It's heavy on Carpenter with just a hint of Goblin. It's both foreboding and empowering. Humorous and scary. Let's get the blood pumping and those heart rates up. Hexercise is highly reminiscent of the 80's era workout slashers. The bright colours, ridiculous outfits and workout sequences, upbeat music, and Satanic bloodlettingâ€Ś What? That's right. The devil has come to get swole and his motto is "No Pain. No Gain.".
The lack of dialogue allows the audience to focus completely on the action and there is plenty of it. The films short running time means there's no time for questions let alone answers. The characters are being ripped to shreds and we're luckily just along for the ride. Buckle up buttercup! The gore effects are beautifully low budget and generously abundant. Cannon's own wife worked on them and they do not disappoint. The acting is fantastic. And I don't mean academy award fantastic. I mean 80's stereotype, perfectly cheesy fantastic. Not only do we get a high body count, but we also get some time hang with these gym bunnies before they're slaughtered. It's unclear if this was done intentionally, but Hexercise is also surprisingly body positive. There are folks of all shapes and sizes here and workinâ€™ it. So strap on that neon sweatband, pull up your leg warmers, and shove some holy water into your leotard because this is one hell of a workout. You can find more info about Hexercise and Matt at both facebook.com/hexercise and facebook.com/ lapseslapses. You can also order copies of the DVD, CD, and VHS for Hexercise on PayPal by sending your payments to email@example.com. The DVD/ CD combo is $8, and the VHS/CD combo is $10. They also have posters for $6 or $3 when added to a combo. My advice? Buy them all. Everything is super affordable plus the profits go towards future projects and the world needs to see more of what Matt can do. 44
Among the other amazing experiences I had at VHS Fest, I was fortunate enough to see Lapses play live. If you haven't yet had the chance to read the previous article, Lapses is Matt Cannon's one-man band. Matt is the creator of the short film Hexercise as well as the composer of it's soundtrack. After his performance, I had the chance to speak to him and he graciously agreed to make time in his busy schedule to answer some questions later.
It was like waking a dormant disease that I just let consume me and it's still eating at my flesh to this day.
TCM: Did making films come first or making music? Here's what my new favourite synthwave, slasher wizard had to say.
Or did those dreams always exist as one entity?
Matt: Music came first, but I did have the desire to TCM: Was a music a big part of life for you growing up? Were you a band geek?
make movies. I want to make movies like Bergman but I don't think I have the kind of social intelligence he had.
Matt: Oh, for sure! I remember seeing the music video when I was 10 or 11 for Soundgarden's "Black Hole Sun" and it blew the door wide open. Years later I started playing guitar when I was 13. I was terrible, and all I wanted to do was play like Tom Morello and a bunch of other guitar weirdos. I'm still terrible, hahaha. I ended up playing in a post-hardcore band in high school, it opened me to the music world yet again, I grew up with Korn, Deftones, Smashing Pumpkins, old Limp Bizkit that transitioned into Biohazard, Sepultura and Slipknot. I was a typical mallrat kind of character who never really hung out in malls hahaha.
TCM: How about horror films? Just meeting you, it seems like horror isn't something you just discovered yesterday. Did you watch them growing up? Did you have to sneak or were you allowed to watch them?
TCM: When I listen to your music I definitely get some Goblin and Carpenter, but everybody interprets art differently so what are your influences musically?
Matt: Carpenter more than Goblin, but I love Goblin, though. I love a lot of music and its so hard to pinpoint an influence. I listen to a lot of Italo-Disco like "SAVAGE" or early New wave, "The Comsat Angels", but with my compositions it's always been stuff like Carpenter, Tim Krog Walter/ Wendy Carlos and Kraftwerk, to name a few. I think Sinoa Caves who composed the soundtrack for Cosmatos' "Beyond the Black Rainbow" just threw my eyes in the back of my head, hugely influential.
TCM: What are your film influences? What drives you to make the films you do?
Matt: My dad is the reason for my love for horror.
Matt: As far as film influences, I really don't know.
He showed me John Carpenter's "Prince of Darkness" when I was probably 9. I was just as terrified as I was confused, but I was drawn in. I went through an art-house phase during my brief stint in college (Godard, Bresson, Wells) but I owe it to the VHS community that reopened my eyes to horror.
When I was writing Hexercise I was really influenced by Death Spa, Killer Workout, The Boogeyman, and Evilspeak. I just like trying to tell a crazy story, the weirder the better.
TCM: Talk to me about your choice in mediums as far as music goes. Are you more drawn to electronic synth?
Matt: It really depends on what mood I'm in. I love synth related music, and I do listen to it at least almost every day. Some days I don't even feel like listening to music, as crazy as it sounds. I know it sounds very anticlimatic, sorry. But I am definitely drawn to electronic for sure oh, I wouldn't be doing what I'm doing now if I wasn't.
it on YouTube, just make sure you type in, RICHARD CORY MATT CANNON) that was all done silently about a man who everybody or at least us watching the movie thought was perfect and in actuality he wasn't. To get back on track, it was really about music, especially the very first shot of the film where the needle drops on the record. Like turning on a projector, but it was all very complimentary.
TCM: What about your current project? How did that come about? Will it be similar to Hexercise or something completely different?
TCM: Does the story come first for you or the music? Matt: Oh man, I can't say too much except that it's Matt: With hexercise, it was actually the music. I wrote the soundtrack before actually getting an outline written. But this choice was something at the time I was a little unaware of, so the movie was kind of sort of written around the music. In fact the scenes in our outline were track titles from the soundtrack, which helped me immensely in the editing process. If I do something next time it's probably going to be music last, as a real filmmaker should do, hahaha.
going to be an anthology, I think it's going to be a little bit more crazier than Hex, stranger, with some more sci-fi horror influences. It's still in a very early phase. I'm not sure how similar it's going to be to hexercise, but I at least would hope to try and find a way to keep the dialog minimal and the visual storytelling more in the foreground.
TCM: How was Lapses born? Where does the name come from?
TCM: Hexercise has no dialogue. Was that a throwback to silent films or was there more going on behind that decision?
Matt: The movie is about music and how the characters come from the music. Going back to writing the music for the film, before we actually made it , I was trying to combine a workout style synth music with a horror movie soundtrack. The characters and the events pretty much mimic this relationship. So it was pretty much like the music personified. The silent part was actually always present in our initial approach. When I first had the idea I wanted to just release a VHS copy of a two-dimensional aerobics video where people are being killed one by one from the back row to the front. This would happen each track. So in a sense it is sort of supposed to be more of a parody of a workout video. It STILL is somewhat a poke at the culture, but wasn't my driving focus but not the focus as much as making something just cheesy and fun and closer to my idea of workout synth horror soundtrack assimilation. When I approached my co-writer Quinn Waters for help on a re-write, we worked together to actually create a solid narrative, but I decided that we should just leave it silent and at the time I had no idea it was something bold. I was really quite comfortable with this because I made a short film back in college based off of Edwin Arlington Robinson' Poem "Richard Cory" ( you can actually find
Matt: It's really going to sound boring but it was just a name I thought sounded cool. If anything, it weirdly means to have a temporary loss of memory.
TCM: Did you create Lapses for making films or would it exist even without the filmmaking?
Matt: Before. I rarely use my stage name when I work on other film scores. I usually just use my real name. Except for Hexercise where it just felt appropriate to use Lapses.
Our newest regular addition to Terror Connection, Bibliophobia is for those of you who like your horror on the page as well as the screen. We hope you find something to tuck in with on those cold, quiet nights. Feel free to use a nightlight. We won't judge you. Black Widow: The True Story of Giggling Granny Nannie Doss (2019) By: Ryan Green
The Devil's Rooming House (2011) By: M. William Phelps This is the first book about the life, times, and crimes of Amy Archer-Gilligan, who many call the most prolific female serial killer. Phelps paints a fascinating picture of early twentieth-century New England.
Death Sentence: The True Story of Velma Barfield's Life, Crimes, And Execution (1998) By: Jerry Bledsoe
Black Widow takes a dramatic and chilling look at one of the most shocking crimes in American history. The story of the Giggling Granny is something straight out of a dark urban legend. The fact that it actually happened makes many question reality. WARNING! This book contains descriptive accounts of abuse and violence.
Death Sentence describes tells the story of Velma Barfield and how becoming the #1 suspect in the murder of her husband, led authorities to the realization that she had killed before.
Welcome to the 4th edition of Terror Connection. This is our Slasher issue called "Guts and Glory".