2010: The Year I Brought Down Horror Blips, and Other Stuff...

2010 is almost a wrap, and here at BLS International it was an historical and rewarding year.

Probably one of the biggest thrills was the fact that for several weeks last Summer, BLS was The Number One Blog according to Horror Blips; but joy soon turned to sadness when, without any warning, Horror Blips vanished from the web.  While I don't know what happened, I like to think that I somehow had something to do with its untimely death.

Whatever the case, it's always nice to go out on top.

This was also the year that I rolled out the Union of Independent Horror Bloggers.

Inspired from postings by both B-Sol and Iloz Zoc, I felt it was time to put the money where the mouth is (so to speak), and set up some guidelines for those who are writing about horror in popular media.  Did it work?  I can't really say, but quite a few folks jumped on the bandwagon at the time.

April 1st saw the release of the most talked about horror film of the year, Manic Monday.

Needless to say, director Dex Baxter's mind-fuck of a film put the horror blogosphere into a tizzy as witnessed by the rave reviews that you can find HERE.

Unfortunately, due to legal disputes and some rather unsavory goings on, Baxter's film was pulled from distribution the very next day and has yet to go into wide release.

Last June, TMZ reported that the producers of Manic Monday, rounded up every print and had them destroyed amongst rumors of diabolical disturbances and the untimely deaths of the film's lead actors shortly after the film was completed.

Gay Pride Month was celebrated in style at BLS with terrific guest postings, rundowns of horror films every gay man should see, horror actors who have turned to porn, dead hunks, letters from camp, suburban witches of the 60's, Lauren Bacall croaking her way thorough a Broadway-based slasher film, Joan Crawford chewing the scenery, and the truth behind Peter and Roger's relationship in Dawn of the Dead.

In late July of this past year, I loosed upon the interwebs, The First Ever Billy Loves Stu Meme for Horror Bloggers,  and the response was overwhelming!  In fact we even had some non-horror bloggers join in on the fun.

Click Here to take a look at some of the fine folks who decided to take part in this little experiment.

All in all it's been a pretty good year - and every day, I count my blessings to be among such talented and twisted company (I'm talking about my fellow horror bloggers out there), the men and women who toil endlessly getting the word out on those things that go bump in the dark; the movies, books, plays and anything else that sends a shiver up their collective spine.   If you want to see some really good stuff, go to the right of this article and scroll on down to my list of favorite blogs (The Children of the Night), there you will find like-minded friends and fiends who will delight you, no doubt, with their wit, wisdom and way with words.


Grande Dame Guignol: Ruby Deagle

Name: Ruby Deagle

Location: Kingston Falls (somewhere in New England, or maybe the mid-west).

Modus Operandi: Mean spirited harpy ... skin flint... probably the love child of Mr. Potter and Miss Gulch as she's wealthy and greedy, as well as prone to threatening to kill dogs...though Scrooge-like in her relationship with Christmas, she does own an "imported Bavarian Snowman"... enjoys taunting the less fortunate and mocking their requests for a little more time to pay the rent or mortgage...something of a drama queen when confronted, she claims she has a "weak heart" and will feign chest pains or fainting...probably owns most of  downtown  Kingston Falls...only seems to like money and cats (both of which she seemingly has a lot of)...smells like mothballs and expensive perfume.

Camp Factor:
Delighfully wicked! A combination of several on-screen villains rolled into one nasty old hag, Mrs. Deagle was the kind of woman you loved to hate.  And when she's done in by a group of Christmas caroler gremlins by way of a jet propelled stair lift, it was pure over-the-top-camp-heaven!

mrs deagle about to meet her reward...
...thanks to these guys...
...we've got lift off!

Played by: Polly Holiday


How Can I Ignore The Boy Next Door: PERVERSION

Actor, writer, director, Chris Moore's  Perversion is an independent horror film that is both an homage as well as a re-imagining of the slasher genre, and a Hitchcock thriller, and a 70's Grindhouse feature with just a little bit of John Water's style gross out thrown in for good measure.

Ryan McNamara (Moore) is a survivor of a horrific incident that occurred to his family several years earlier.  These days he prefers the confines of his suburban home where he lives with an older brother, (Jack McCafferty).  Suffering from post-traumatic-syndrome, Ryan seems a rather tortured soul, and is constantly taking showers (which brings to mind that other celebrated tortured cinematic figure, Marion Crane of Psycho).  To add to his problems, it seems that his neighbor is a creep with a penchant for high-school aged boys.  If all this is not enough, strange phone calls taunt our hero as well as three masked stalkers who may, or may not, have been involved in the traumatic events earlier in Ryan's life.
Obviously shot on a shoe-string budget, Perversion has the feel of one of those early 70's horror films and that's what makes it so watchable.  Whether it was by choice or design, Perversion has such an authentic low-fi vibe to it, that were it not for the inclusion of cell phones and the clothing, one might swear that it was cobbled together sometime during the summer of 1972.

One of the more fascinating aspects of the film is how Moore manages to turn the iconic "final girl" into a "final boy".  Make no doubt, Ryan is really put upon, and he has to survive on his wits, his sex appeal, and his apparent incredibly deft use of sharp objects that will inflict the most damage on others at a moment's notice.  If the numerous shower scenes echo Psycho or Carrie, it's the moment when Ryan is trying to calm  down and he call's himself, "kid-o" that brings to mind Laurie Strode in Halloween.
True to form, a final boy or girl needs a BFF, and Brad Bauer ( Brad Mallette) fills the bill admirably.  With his somewhat goofy demeanor, and plain likable presence, Mallette really stands out ... I think this kid could give Jason Mewes a run for his money.  Actually the chemistry between Moore and Mallette feels real, and adds a lot to the story.  I could not help but wonder what their back-story might be.
 Now before I fall over my self praising this movie, be advised of a few things: firstly, there are a lot of technical flaws (lighting for instance - sometimes, characters faces seem to disappear and then reappear - and some times the audio seemed very muddled). Also, there are heavy homosexual overtones included, so if that sort of thing is not your cup of tea, you may want to seek out the latest piece of heterosexual approved crap playing at your multiplex;   the rest of you, come on in! 

All in all, Perversion is a promising start from  a young film maker, and despite a few flaws, has moments of fucking genius.  Furthermore, you'll either scream or laugh out loud at the final revenge scene depending on how sick your sense of humor is.  


I laughed so hard I had tears in my eyes. 


Pornography: A Thriller

Director David Kittredge's Pornography: A Thriller is a film that takes the viewer down a dark, disturbing road and then tosses him into a rabbit-hole where he finds an even darker version of Wonderland than Lewis Carroll (or David Lynch) might have ever imagined.

What starts as a cautionary tale about a former gay porn star named Mark Anton (Jared Grey), who, back in the 1990's agreed to do a private film for a secretive client, and then vanished; becomes a mystery when a present day author named Michael (Matthew Montgomery), who is researching a book on adult film stars of the past, becomes obsessed with Anton's case.   This premise alone would make for a fascinating story - but wait, there's more -   Just when you think you know what is going on, Kittredge pulls the rug out from under and delivers a third act that knocks the ball right out of the park, introducing the possibility that everything we have seen up to this point, has been nothing more than a dream...oh, and did I mention the hulking-monster-of-a-guy in the Leatherface mask brandishing a hypodermic needle? 
Not a film to be viewed casually, Pornography: A Thriller demands a lot from its audience. Owing much to such movies like, Mulholland Drive, Inland Empire, Vanilla Sky, and Eyes Wide Shut, this is a homo-erotic, psychotronic experience full of red herrings and twisted logic. It's all very beguiling and terribly fascinating. 
One can not help but consider that the filmmakers may have actually been saying something about  porn (gay or straight)  in general; the way millions watch "  dirty movies"  yet never admit to it; the way the performers are often viewed as nothing more than interchangeable slabs of meat; the way the video revolution of the mid eighties changed the game completely - no more were naked bodies watched in a communal setting, VHS changed all of that allowing the viewer to be alone with his or her object of fascination so that he or she could observe and obsess over and over.
Ultimately, Pornography: A Thriller , with it's obtuse denouement, may leave the viewer questioning what they have just seen.  A second viewing is definitely recommended.   However, don't do this thinking that you will have it all figured out, because you won't.  What you might come away with is a better understanding of what drives any of us to sit alone in the dark and watch strangers copulate - and then imagine if you could direct those strangers to do other things, maybe, unthinkable things.   Imagine what kind of monster you might turn out to be if you had that kind of  power. 

Scary, thought, ain't  it?


Horror Porn Rises Again

OK, I am gonna' give this one two thumbs up based on the poster alone...heck, it's got to be better than the film that inspired it!
Well, you have to admit that the poster looks legitimate.  If you didn't know better, you might think that this was an actual Friday the 13th film.  That said, why no play on words in the title?  Just the word "parody' after the title ... lame.

Here's another one.  Great poster, but no imagination in giving this Saw sex parody an original title. 
That comedy about three witches is given the X rated treatment - and no play on words in the title.  But I am gonna give 'em credit because the woman in the center does have Bette Midler-like hair.
Leave it to my gay brothers to come up with this one ... OK the title is sort of lame, but "One, Two, Freddy's Cumming in You" is genius - sick fucking genius.

I am going to give them an "E" for effort.
Brilliant! "I ain't afraid of no ho!"  Great poster, and Peter North (AKA Matt Ramsey) is in it!


Check out the promo for the Friday the 13th parody, it's actually pretty entertaining!