Friday, October 26, 2012

Talking about Blair Witch 2 - Book of Shadows.


By - Steve Mezo

I was going through the Netflix search and decided to watch
 Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2

I bought it years ago on VHS solved the hidden message and got my screen saver for all the work. I hadn't really thought about it in years and thought I'd watch it again. And after watching it I remembered why I like it. So I did a little research on the internet and had no idea that there were two distinct camps of "Like it" or "Hate it".

When allot of my friends hated it I think it was because they felt that they were tricked by the first Blair Witch Movie. I'm not making fun of them or saying they should have known, Hell I'm jealous of them for not being as jaded as me with horror sometimes. 
The others hate it because they expected more of a heavy storyline or they weren't crazy about the character development. Others hate it because they feel it should have been a stand alone (Like Halloween III). Or just not made period because it was a quick rush by "Artisan" that had the makings of a decent movie, but they made the director add stuff that wasn't needed. 

There's a site called "Film School Rejects" that did a great write up on it too. 
You can check it out here

I really liked Book of Shadows because it got me hooked on the the whole legend of "Elly Kedward" The Blair Witch. And "Rustin Parr" the child killing hermit who was executed, after he claimed he was forced to do it by an old woman's ghost. And then I was able to re-watch the first and enjoy it. 

I would have liked to have seen the version where they didn't have Jeffery in the insane asylum and he was just another victim of what was going on. And they could have left the lousy F/X attack on the other tour group out.


Other than that I really got into it,with the having to watch the video tape backwards to see what really happened the night before. 
And all of the hidden clues were cool too, I freaked when I accidentally saw the Rustin Parr reflection in the interigation room two way mirror.  

And then watching it backward to find the letters to spell out "Seek me no further or the children will again walk free". When you do the original searching for clues you only get the letters up to "or", then you had to go the website to figure out the rest and your reward was a "Blair Witch" screen saver

An IMDB member by the name of adam007 a great theory about the Blair Witch legend and Rustin Parr's involvement. Where Elly may have been a would be savior of her village done wrong. And even in death still tried to keep others safe.

You can check it out here
Other than that it's just a cool supernatural movie. Just seeing all of them trying to piece together what happened after a night of partying. And a very pissed off Sheriff doing the same thing. Add on top of that the police already having their answers from all of the video that was filmed by Jeffery's camp setup, and some of the hand held he used at his house.  

So if you read adam2007's theory you would have to wonder if the seven (possibly) possessed children won. Or was Elly a Dark Witch and put a hex on the seven kids, who turned on her once they were freed of the hex and hurt her. Then she retaliated from beyond by having seven of their decedents killed and was holding onto their souls. And anyone that visits her neck of the woods are going to be made sorry that they did.       

Thursday, October 25, 2012

An interview with Independent Mask Maker Ray Charland.


By - Steve Mezo

Hey it's October and I had to get the Abandoned Mom and Pop Video Store set up for a very special interview with fellow Metalhead, Horror Fan and Independent Monster Mask Maker "Ray Charland". So I visited a few places and turned the back room into something with a little bit of everything from favorite horror movies. 

Before I got started I was glad that to see that the place is still for rent due to various tricks I pull to keep it that way. 
Yup my autographed Goldie Fatale poster is still up, nobodies touched my "Meet The Klump's" standee and the horror section videos are all still there. 

Then I made my way to the very back of the store and made sure the water was still running and the power was on.  

Once that was done I got to work on the interview setting and a couple dumpster dives later I came up with the perfect setup.

The reason I invited Ray to the shop for the interview is I am all about Indie artist and filmmakers that are home based and still manage to get out there, get noticed and most importantly get paid.  
And when I say "Get Paid" I don't mean selling out which distances the creative from the marketed. I mean as far as covering the cost of materials and or production and possibly getting a little profit.

And Ray's doing a good job each season with selling his limited run  creations.

Ray is self taught does a great job with his sculpts and only uses high quality materials for each and every mask. Then once he's done he makes full armatures for the ones he creates and keeps for his own collection. 

Here's what Ray has created for the October, 2012 season.

   The witch sculpt

The Mummy sculpt in progress
 The Witch and Mummy Pulls after being poured

 The Witch (Green)

Deadite Witch paint scheme

 Witch Hag color scheme

 Mummy traditional

 Mummy sculpt with Zombie paint scheme

 The Witch armature with hands and arms sculpted and created by Ray

 The Mummy armature with hands and arms sculpted and created by Ray

Now that I've introduced you to some of his work, I thought I'd do a little Q and A with him here at The Abandoned Mom and Pop Video Store.  

1) What was the first horror movie you've ever seen?

The very first horror film I ever seen was called The Crawling hand. It scared me so bad that I cried for days. 

2) Which was your first latex mask purchase?

My first latex mask was a wolf man mask that I bought from a drugstore in the late 70s. It was awful looking it fit like crap but one look at it and I was in love.

3) What was the first Heavy Metal song you've ever heard?

The first Metal song I ever heard was Nativity in black by Black Sabbath. I was like 7. My babysitter's boyfriend brought it over. 

4) What was your favorite obscure or not widely known European Heavy Metal band. 

I liked Celtic Frost back in the day.

5) What was your first mask sculpt and pour?

My first mask sculpt was a clown mask. I have had a morbid fascination with clowns since I was a kid. My mother bought me a Bozo the clown ventriloquist doll in the mid 70's. I was terrified of him. 

6) What's your favorite Halloween Urban Legend? 

The razor blade apples had me going for quite a few years.

7) How many Michael Myers mask have you owned over the years?

I have had four all of them terrible with the exception of my Nemesis mask. I am about to pull the trigger on Trick or Treat studios new Halloween 2 mask. The blood tears version. Best Myers mask I have ever seen. To get a Myers mask that good would have cost a grand just months ago. They sell for like 60 bucks. 

8) How many designs (Yours and Movie Sculpts) have you done?

A LOT!  I try not to do things like Freddy and Myers. There are guys out there who are obsessed with the Myers mask. They know it from every angle down to the friggin eye cuts. Too hard to please those guys. 

9) What was your first Heavy Metal Concert?

My first Metal concert was Quiet Riot 

10) Favorite Horror/Monster themed Heavy Metal band?


11) You're stranded on a desert island with a DVD player that has an atomic battery. What five DVD'S do you have with you?

The Exorcist
John Carpenter's Halloween
The Shining
An American werewolf in London 

12) Zombies are running in your front door and you're running out the back. What three items do you take with you? And they don't have to be survival items.
My IPhone
My iPad 
My Koss portapro headphones 

13) Go on a weekend getaway with Frankenhooker in the cabin from Evil Dead or a weekend in The House on Haunted Hill (2002) with Trash from Return of The Living Dead?

Evil Dead cabin with Frankenhooker.

And as I asked this last question I heard that familiar sound of the cops busting in the front door, so I had to thank Ray quickly for his time as we ran out the back.

Monday, October 22, 2012

In Loving Memory of Halloween...

By - Steve Mezo

I'm not talking about a demise of Halloween, but more of the loss of the spirit of it...

As I drive around town at night it seems like less and less people celebrate it like they used too. Groups labeling it as "Satanic" and urban scares being upgraded and spread even faster through the internet don't help, but I think the fast forward of The Corporate Calender is what did the most damage.

I'm thankful that I'm part of The Horror Community where it's pretty much Halloween every day, and Conventions of every kind keep costuming alive and well. But it's just seeing this one great month of the year where everybody gets to enjoy it loosing it's shine.

To start with I'm seeing less and less of yards being decorated

A couple of years ago it was great, it was like just about every other house was competing with each other to be the creepiest or having the best theme. If people couldn't afford to go that far they would have those really cool cardboard decorations in just about every window. But now it's like most have scaled down to one of those inflatable lawn decorations or just orange string lights.

Even my beloved Monster Cereals took a hit

When I was a kid I started every morning with these monsters looking at me smiling from their boxes (Even Fruit Brute who later became Yummy Mummy). They tasted great and the marshmallows ruled. But now the taste is as strange to me as the new Photoshop artwork on the boxes (Maybe Illustrator) the point is I don't like it...
First you can only get them in October now, then the flavor of these last for less than a millisecond and then it's like your chewing on colored Styrofoam.

And it seems like even the Halloween stores are having a harder and harder time selling their wares too

Then it seems like there are allot less haunts around too. I remember when home owners would convert their homes and back yards into haunts every year, and you would hit as many seasonal ones as you could every Friday, Saturday and Sunday that were in the month of October. And that was after you got your fill from all of the great Amusement Park Dark Rides and Walk Throughs all Summer.

But now it's like every township whoever has their hand out when a haunt tries to open. They keep blaming the events of The Great Adventure Haunted Castle Fire and the fire that claimed the lives of concert goers during that Great White Show. But in reality it's just their own greed
Allot of the haunt owners had taken extra precautions to make haunts safer, I've even been to two that were walls only without ceilings or roofs. But they were still hit with raised fire insurance and liability rates as well as large fees for permits.
This is why established haunts that are still in business have to charge so much for tickets. They're not making a large profit, they're covering the huge cost of liability insurance now, plus the inflated cost of permits.

Even a local "Zombie Walk" may have walked it's last due to the coordinators being told it may be a security risk all of the sudden. And this would mean different permits and security being paid for.
These have gone on for a few years now and I've never heard of any problems at all at any of the walks. Be it from the media or attendees that I know personally not one single incident. I just kept hearing about how much fun it is and how everyone has a good time. But since it's grown in popularity (Because it's free) the township sees gold in them thar zombies!    

I'm not trying to be a downer here, I'm just sad that another cool holiday is being turned into another Corporate Calendar Date...            

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

My day in the Midnight Show trailer "Her Time of The Month"


By - Steve Mezo

I've been following the progress of the feature "Midnight Show" ever since I was first told about it by it's creator Newt Wallen.  
You may know newt from "Underbelly"
Another favorite of mine. 

And little did I know that not only would I get to be in one of the trailers in the movie Midnight Show, I would also get to meet and work with most of the creative team behind the Underbelly Show and it's talent. 

My adventure started when Newt had asked in a Facebook post if anyone had a wheelchair he could use in the "Her Time of The Month Shoot". I was lucky enough to have one nearby and made the offer to him. And that's when he offered me a part as an extra in "Her Time of The Month". All I had to do was dress up like a redneck and have the wheelchair with me. 

I made the drive to Liberty Lake Day Camp in Bordentown, New Jersey (The place is awesome!!!) and met up with the crew. I didn't know what to expect when I got there, I mean I only knew Newt through the internet and he's pretty much telling the crew (Who's worked together before) that a complete stranger with a wheelchair is showing up. But when I got there everyone was really nice. 

The first person I met was Shawn D. Caple (Another member of Underbelly) and the director of  the"Her Time of The Month" shoot. He had told me that Newt was getting some supplies and would be back shortly and introduced me to the rest of the group. 
          Photo credit: Penelope Pappas

From Top Left: (Lindsay Doert), (Newt Wallen), (Simchah Silverman), (Catherine Yetter) and (Justin Skyler Daniels). 
This was right before the girls were thrown out of the van a few times. 

As soon as Newt arrived we got right to work with getting the trailer filmed. And as Penelope was filming her opening scene with the other actresses I had time to talk with Justin D. We clicked right away and both of us were surprised to see we have the same exact skull tattooed on the top of our right hands with the only difference being his flames are bright green and mine are purple. The next thing I new were both making jokes that only we got most of the time, and really had fun with it.

After that we moved on to the scene where I played the part of the wheelchair pushing lackey with Justin Silverman
(Also of Underbelly).
 Photo Credit: Penelope Pappas

The next thing I knew they were getting ready to film the corn field chase scene and Newt asked me if I wanted to be a second redneck with Justin D. I was completely surprised and said YES!!!

 Justin Skyler Daniels running to get some
  Photo Credit: Penelope Pappas 

And me running right behind him!
 Photo Credit: Penelope Pappas

And from that point I went from being an extra to an actual character in the trailer. 

The shooting day went by smoothly because everyone involved had taken on double duty in front and behind the camera the whole time. This had taken allot of weight off of Shawn being the director and Newt as script supervisor because everything was being taken care of. 

And I was able to get my hands bloody again by doing some F/X work where needed.  
   Lauren Transue's character got even with mine for this.

 Same makeup F/X with the set lighting.
 Photo Credit: Penelope Pappas

See told You!
Photo Credit: Penelope Pappas  

Then it was on to spraying Newt with fake blood GWAR style after he had his junk ripped off by a van with a length of rope.
 Photo Credit: Penelope Pappas

Shawn D. Caple had done a great job with running a two camera shoot. 
 Photo Credit: Simchah Silverman

He already had everything mapped out in his head way before the set ups and everybody made sure to hit their marks, because we all knew we were racing Fall Daylight to get all of the exteriors done. 

And Penelope Pappas was great at getting her own scenes done one minute and then documenting the shoot with her own camera the next. 
  Photo Credit: Simchah Silverman
By the time nightfall had hit we had all of the exteriors finished and were able to get all of the interiors needed. 
 Photo Credit: Penelope Pappas

And I was able to cross "Being a bad guy in a horror movie" off of The Bucket List I wrote when I was six years old.
 Photo Credit: Simchah Silverman

When I got home that night I couldn't stop smiling. My hands were stained with fake blood and makeup, I was tired and needed a shower. Just like the good old days twenty years ago. 

Thank you Newt!