It is now November, which means another Halloween season comes to a close. I really didn’t celebrate my favorite holiday this year, for various reasons I’d rather not go into. But I still managed to check out or be involved with things that are related to the horror film genre.


At the beginning of this month, I went to SHRIEKFEST’s 10th Annual festivities, where my latest script 10/31 (a Halloween-themed spec I co-wrote with my buddy Jag Sandhanwalia), was a Semi-Finalist and garnered the attention of a literary agent who is interested in us as a writing team. Since the agent wants to see more writing samples, Jag and I are currently working on our 2nd horror script as a team. We both have our individual screenplays that we intend to direct in the future. But we’ll see where this spec route takes us.
10/31 poster A10/31 poster B

I was able to see an amazing sci-fi thriller from Germany, titled TRANSFER, which (to me) came across like a cross between GATTACA and Reminded me of GATTACA with a twist, dealing on issues of race, aging, class & slavery in a high-tech future. TRANSFER definitely was the most though-provoking film I had seen a very long time. The film won as bast Science Fiction film at Shriekfest. Here’s a cool review at Dread Central.com: http://www.dreadcentral.com/reviews/transfer-2010

Another cool Sci/Fi Horror film that I enjoyed in the festival is GREY SKIES…

…which is sort of a cross between THE EVIL DEAD and CABIN FEVER meets M. Night Shyamalan’s SIGNS (but with superior alien creatures created by Barney Burman). The film features a stand out dramatic performance from actress/producer Stacy Jorgensen and comic relief from Michael Cornacchia (whom clearly made an impression on the audience; they kept laughing at all the snarky comments his character made). GREY SKIES would go on to win Shriekfest’s Audience Award.
(Stacy will probably want to kill me for snapping her in mid speak! Ha!)

View the GREY SKIES trailer below:

Check out more info at the GREY SKIES website: http://www.greyskiesmovie.com/

Barney Burman’s PROTEUS MAKE-UP FX site: http://www.proteusfx.com/PROTEUS%20FX/The%20TITLE.html

Here’s a great interview with actress/producer Stacy Jorgensen:

A quick interview with Stacy’s screenwriter husband, Mark Reilly:

And a cool interview with the film’s Rock ‘n’ Roll guitar playing director, Kai Blackwood:

And here’s their Facebook pages:
STACY JORGENSEN: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=690665842&ref=sgm

MARK REILLY: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1013647926

BARNEY BURNAM’s Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/barney.burman?ref=sgm

KAI BLACKWOOD: http://www.facebook.com/kai.blackwood
KAI BLACKWOOD’S MYSPACE MUSIC PAGE: http://www.myspace.com/kaiblackwood

I also saw a cool zombie origin flick titled ASHES from director Elias Kostas that starred Brian Krause formally of the long-running WB witch series CHARMED, and Kadeem Hardison (formally of THE COSBY SHOW spin-off A DIFFERENT WORLD). The movie dealt more with the deadly virus that came from a sick jellyfish and how the infection quickly spread through a hospital. In most zombie films, this scenario would be the beginning of the opening act. What I found refreshing was that the whole film centered on how the disease was spreading. The actual zombie apocalypse would take up the last act of the film. ASHES took the top prize as best Horror.
ASHES poster

Here’s the ASHES Trailer:

ELIAS MATAR Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ashes/113349478722135?v=info#!/profile.php?id=832681520
(Director Elias Matar accepts his award)

In addition to the feature films showcased, the festival included a number of excellent short films. I didn’t see all of them. But out of the batch I saw, here’s the five that I enjoyed the most:

MIRACLE FISH – about a precocious young boy who awakens from a nap in the school’ sick room and realizes he’s the only one left on the campus. That is until he discovers, there’s someone else there with him. Someone very dangerous. In the midst of this scenario, a “miracle fish” toy will decide his fate.

This 18 minute Australian short has grade A feature film quality all over it from the performance of the little boy to the excellent scope widescreen cinematography. Seek this little film out whenever possible. It was nominated in the best live action short films category at the 82nd Academy Awards!

You can view the film below:

THE GUEST – a cool short concerning a woman who accepts questionable guest into her home one late evening, who seemingly is on the run from the police over some recent murders of women in the neighborhood. Though he pleads his innocence to her, tensions quickly rise for the both of them with deadly results.
the guest poster b

Here’s a 5 minute “making of THE GUEST” (don’t worry! no spoiler alerts needed)

DISPATCH – synopsis from Shriekfest program booklet – a woman wakes up to find herself barely hanging on to dear life. With evidence of bloody violence, she must figure out who or what is responsible if she is to make it through the night.

Check out the short on Vimeo

Tim Hyten website: http://transforensics.com/download/hyten/timhytenhomepage/index.html

BY A HAIR – will probably become the ultimate gross out ode to zit popping/in grown hair scenarios

You can check out the website here: http://www.byahairmovie.com/index.htm

fd poster

Not sure what to make of this cyberpunk/neo noir/sci-fi/slapstick comedy/thriller from director Andrew W. Jones. But it had everyone in stitches, especially when the female protagonist warns her boss to never underestimate “THE POWER OF MY FUCKING UTERUS!” You just have to watch it.

You can click on this link to view the short:

Here’s the filmmaker’s website, which includes a couple of animated shorts as well: http://www.aw-jones.com/

Lastly, I made a new friend in screenwriter Will Link, who was a Finalist this year in Shriekfest with his script VALENTINE’S NIGHT, and I met a logtime FB friend in person for the first time – the very cool (and very pretty) photo journalist Dana Davidson!

A special shout out goes to festival director, the ultra-sweet Denise Gossett, who was moved to tears by the support that Shriekfest has attained for the past decade. She’s a true champion of independent horror cinema, and just one of the kindest, endearing people you will ever have the pleasure to meet.
todd & denise
(here’s Denise with her husband/festival co-director Todd Beeson)


NIGHT OF DEMONS Screamfest/LA premiere & review

October 8th, 2010 – Twas the NIGHT OF THE DEMONS remake premiere at the 10th Annual SCREAMFEST LA, when all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse… okay, that’s just a bold face lie! Ha!

The screening was a lot of fun… I met up with my LA horror partner in crime Staci Layne Wilson (whom was working the red carpet) and other friends/acquaintances.
(me & Staci, photo taken by Enzo Giobbe)

(screenwriter Sean Keller & horror journalist Brian Collins)

T & R
(indie scream queen Devinny Pinn, me, Rob G and his fellow MASSIVE HYSTERIA scribe Aaron Pruner – photo taken by Dana Davidson)

(NOTD actress Monica Keena)


The filmmakers (writer/director Adam Gierasch and writer Jace Anderson) did a raffle gift giveaway to a packed house beforehand, and then the movie began.

Here’s my review of the flick: http://wp.me/pLllW-dV


New Beverly Horrorthon

Another cool event I checked out was the 12 hour Horrorthon at The New Beverly Theater, which was screening 7 flicks starting from 7:30pm and ending at 7:30am the following day.

I almost didn’t make it inside, as the show was Sold Out a couple days in advance. Still, some of us took a chance that a few tickets might be available at the door. Luckily, I (and 3 others, whom were also at the front of that long line) were chosen ones to get inside. Due to our common bond of being ticketless at the door (with no guarantee of ever getting inside), we ended up being our own group for the duration of the event.

The list of movies playing in order were Dario Argento’s TENEBRE (1982), Lucio Fulci’s THE GATES OF HELL (aka 1981’s CITY OF THE LIVING DEAD), THE EVIL (1978) , secret movie TRICK OR TREAT (1984), THE GIANT CLAW (1957), THE OUTING (1987) and BREEDERS (1986). I managed to stay awake for most of the movies (I wasn’t in the mood to watch THE GIANT CLAW, so I slept during that one, and I dozed off occasionally during THE OUTING and BREEDERS. I wished I slept through those entirely though. They were atrociously bad, and not in a “so bad, they’re good” kind of way; they were just plain bad that I never want to see them again. Not even BREEDERS’ gratuitous nudity could distract me from some of the most blatantly amateur acting I’ve seen in a long time.



Taking place at the Roosevelt Hotel on Hollywood & Highland, this was the last major horror event I participated in – this time as a photo journalist. Thanks to my aforementioned gal pal Staci Layne Wilson (of Horror.com), I was offered the chance to cover the REAPER AWARDS on her behalf. She was one of the judges.

The awards show basically showcases the best in home entertainment DVD releases within the horror genre.

You can click on my article link at Horror.com for details on what titles won and who I interviewed and snapped pictures of on the red carpet: http://www.horror.com/php/article-3384-1.html

You can view more of the red carpet I took (and some of myself taken by Staci Layne Wilson & Dana Davidson) in my Facebook album

(photo taken by @nnette Slomka)

In case some of you didn’t know, I like to take pictures occasionally of whatever catches my artistic eye. In this case, I took some photos of the interior décor and architecture of the Roosevelt Hotel. Here’s a sample.


The rest are in my picasaweb album


This pretty much covered my October festivities. Unfortunately, I didn’t get dressed up and go ot this year, so I instead I watched a two of my Italian Horror favorites – Lucio Fulci’s THE BEYOND and Dario Argento’s SUSPIRIA

Until next time… thank you very much for reading!!!


2 Responses to “OCTOBER RECAP”

  1. November 5, 2010 at 9:37 am

    Awesome report, as always, T.! I especially love (as you might guess) the interior arty shots of the Roosevelt. Gorgeous.

    Thanks for all your help in my busy season – you’re a keeper!


    • November 5, 2010 at 10:13 am

      THANK YOU VERY MUCH, STACI!!! Like I tell ya’ constantly, you are an amazing source of inspiration and a true friend! You’re an absolute keeper too!

      I’m always there help you whenever you need me! 🙂

      And since I caught your ‘attention’ on my Facebook page with today’s T.REX ROCKIN’ FRIDAY selection, here’s a pic for you of Marc Bolan and his muse (back-up singer) Gloria Jones!

      Rock On, 70’s style!

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