Sassy Press Releases From BEYOND!

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This is the press release and info behind our next Flint Horror Con show. SASSY!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 17, 2012

 

CONTACT: Publicist Darlan Erlandson

(For interviews, bio, photos etc.)

                        (517) 214-4592

                        publicist2011@gmail.com

 

CASEY – 30 YEARS LATER!

Coming to Flint, Michigan for ONE NIGHT ONLY - Cult horror and off-beat Theater collide as the Flint Horror Convention presents – Casey – 30 Years Later, starring Chesaning native, Beverly Bonner.

For one special night the Flint Horror Convention presents a celebration of the film Basket Case during its 30th Anniversary.  On Saturday, April 7th fans will be able to relive the laughs, the shocks, and the gore of this cult classic film as it is screened locally for the first time ever. After this special screening Basket Case actress Beverly Bonner will present her show Casey – 30 Years Later!  Casey is a live epilogue to the film which serves as a perfect way to catch up with beloved character Casey. Join Casey and her ‘Ladies of the Night’ and other crazy fun characters for an evening you’ll never forget. After the show join Ms. Bonner for a Q/A session and find out more about her acting career, her comedy, and her life since Casey.

Ms. Bonner is excited to return to Michigan with her beloved character Casey for a celebration of the 30th Anniversary of cult horror classic Basket CaseBeverly has become a mainstay for Basket Case director Frank Henenlotter and has appeared in all of his films, the Basket Case trilogy, Frankenhooker, Brain Damage, and his most recent film, Bad Biology. She is a comedian, actress, playwright, producer, and director and has become a fan favorite at horror conventions and appearances over the years.

Consider yourself cordially invited to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of one of horror’s timeless classics and join Casey for a night of stories that would make Belial blush.

General Admission$12.50 in advance and $15 at the door.

VIP Admission – $25.

Tickets – https://www.ticketriver.com/event/2796

http://www.casey30.com

Casey – 30 Years Later!

Saturday, April 7, 2012, 7:00pm

Doors Open at 6:30pm

Flint Masonic Temple

755 S. Saginaw Street
Flint, Michigan 48502

Due to the film’s rating and evening’s tone, parental discretion is advised.

FLINT HORROR CONVENTION

Flint Horror Convention is a collective of friends who are driven to bring events, art shows, conventions, and film showings that showcase the horror genre to the Greater Flint Area.  With a dedication to low cost events for the people of this area the goal of the Flint Horror Convention is to create affordable fun for an area that has never had many offerings outside of the mainstream.

The Flint Horror Convention was created in 2011 with the intention of creating a local horror convention to celebrate the beloved films, actors, and artists that work in the horror industry.  While putting the convention together several other cultural events were created as well to help promote local artists, local filmmakers, and to highlight the many forms the horror genre can come in.  These events that lead up to the horror convention were Art Fear, a celebration of local artists and filmmakers, and It Came From The Kiva!, a night of free independent horror films show at the University of Michigan-Flint’s KIVA.  In October of 2011 was the first ever Flint Horror Convention, which brought fans together with the people that work in the horror industry.  Actors, filmmakers, artists, writers, vendors, and more came together to meet the fans and to showcase their talents in a first ever horror related show in the Flint area.  With a day full of independent horror films, question and answer sessions, and ample opportunity to meet some of the genre’s talented creators there was a lot to do for the 500 fans that came out for the convention.  As successful as things were for a first year it was only the beginning of what both organizers and fans hope becomes another Flint tradition.

The Flint Horror Convention

www.flinthorrorcon.com

http://www.facebook.com/flinthorrorcon

All About Tone

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If there is one thing that has been driving me batty of late it’s tone, and how many people don’t understand how to use it. As I write this I am watching a ridiculous film called Satan’s Little Helper which is utterly atrocious but what gets me is that this is supposed to be a comic horror film, only, well, it ain’t funny. The story is silly yet the tone is so weird because you don’t want to laugh when the pregnant lady is hit with a shopping cart or the main character’s father is eviscerated in front of the family. I suppose the intent is comedy but, like I said, the tone is all wrong – it isn’t played broad enough to be funny. The thing with comedy in a horror film is you have pretty much two ways to play it – over the top, or hardline. Over the top you get into the realm of farce, which can be great if done well, or you can go hardline and go for black comedy – something dark but so ridiculous that you can laugh at it. Something like The Human Centipede is black comedy, even if they didn’t intend it, though it’s hard to think they didn’t. The film is play so straight, and so serious that it becomes absurd at times. The problem, and the boon of the film, is that it also works as a very creepy thriller. It’s crazy to me though how many filmmakers don’t get something as simple as tone right.

There is a weird resurgence of films aping the ’70s nasties that have become so beloved by horror fans. These are movies that brought a sense of reality to their stories and which reflected an age where free love was dead and war and fear ruled the airwaves. The films of the seventies were good because they were so different than what had come before. They brought a dark sense of realism to a genre that had too often played dumb. This resurgence though has bred some movies that like the nastiness of the old favorites but which add some unneeded humor to things. I have seen far too many rape/revenge movies of late (for those not in the know, this was a type of horror film which dealt with a woman being attacked then getting her revenge on the perpetrators at the end of the film) that try to be funny when, really, there isn’t a lot funny about the subject. It’s all the worse that the filmmakers mix a scene of hardcore violence with aspects of broad humor, thus creating something that is actually more unsettling than seeing the scene played straight.

Tone is everything. With the right tone you can frighten, amuse, pull at the heartstrings, or enlighten people but done poorly, you mock the very things you are trying to portray. Ugh. It drives me nutty. Maybe they just don’t get subtlety. Maybe they don’t. Maybe because some people actually enjoy junk like Satan’s Little Helper (and trust me, it looks like people not only like but love this horrible film), a film that is too darn dark to be as funny and clever as it thinks it is. All I know is that tone, like I said, is everything. Go into a haunted house and even if it is cheesy, if it is played straight, is played to scare you, with people who care working it – then it has a good chance of scaring you. Give the same attraction a lot of money, a lot of corny actors, and a lot of corny effects that are too over the top and you lose your audience and fail at the core thing you were trying to do.

You have to know what you are doing, what you are trying to convey, and what you want people to walk away with when it’s over. In the end, someone out there will get a kick out of, whatever it is, but if you end up betraying what you were intending to do in the process then what good is what you made? And if you lessen that work by misrepresenting it then, again, what was the point?

And trust me, I am asking that a lot these days.

Hatchet II – review

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    It’s strange, this fascination we have right now with horror of the eighties. See, I lived through that era and have seen a lot of the movies and, for some reason, we really cling to the eighties slasher as an icon. On one hand I can appreciate it because that’s the era that gave us Jason, Freddy, Chucky, and the rest of the big boys (Leatherface came a tad earlier), so yeah, we haven’t had the same sort of iconic monsters since, so I can see the love for it. The thing is though that the eighties, while gory, are not known for a lot of quality. It’s like we forget that the Friday the 13th films and the Nightmare on Elm Street films were not really great. At all. To get a nasty slasher movie meant you had to dig a few layers deeper, where the rougher movies were, movies not as well made but a little nastier because of that. Director Adam Green is one of those that seems a little stuck in the ‘80s, and while that wasn’t such a good thing with the original Hatchet, with its sequel, you get a better feel for what he’s doing and why.

    Picking up almost exactly where the first film ended, Hatchet II follows survivor Mary Beth as she manages to be the only person to get away from Bayou killer Victor Crowley. She had entered the swamp looking for her brother and father, but knowing that they are dead, she only wants revenge and to bring their bodies home. After a run-in with a local who, once finding out who she is, forces her to leave the safety of his cabin, she seeks out the one man that may have the answer on how to stop the seemingly immortal Crowley – Rev. Zombie. What she finds is that she and Crowley’s family are forever tied in tragedy and that if she is to get her revenge, she’ll need help. A lot of help. What Mary  Beth doesn’t know is that Zombie has his own reasons for going back into the swamp, and it’s all about money – if he can clear out Crowley he can get his swamp tours back on track. So, rounding up some seasoned swamp hunters, Zombie and Mary Beth head into the swamp to find Crowley and end his reign of terror once and for all.

    First and foremost you have to give a nod to actress Danielle Harris who plays Mary Beth. She turns in a great performance and adds depth and real emotion to what could easily been a mindless damsel in distress role. With this and the two Halloween remakes she’s really showing her acting chops. And props go out to Green and Kane Hodder, who both gave Kane, who is known for his silent roles as horror movie monsters, a great opportunity to act, and he does a pretty good job. Overall, the acting is pretty fun, to match a freewheeling script. There are laughs and gore in equal parts here and more than a few loving homages to other horror classics. Released unrated so the fans could see the movie as it was meant to be seen, Hatchet II really embraces that ideal and is full of over the top gore and violence. Unlike so many of these films though the movie never gets dark, it is intense, and there are scares, but none of the movie is cruel – this is about making a fun, fast, slasher epic that remembers the past while reinvigorating the present. The direction is not flashy but is decent, the acting, as I said, is very good, and the story is fun. I appreciate that you can watch this and the first film and they fit together as one story. Pretty nice. Like the original Halloween and its sequel.

    The biggest knocks here is that this really does feel like an utter fan film. That is great for us fans, but to a degree, it makes me wonder if in five or ten years people will go back and discover it. It feels a bit like Madman, which is to say a second tier slasher. Not that this isn’t a fun, quality film, but that’s why it feels like Madman, because it is about having fun and not scaring you or freaking you out. I think the biggest knock is that Victor still doesn’t feel like a character. You only see him running or attacking and never get the slow burn that we had with Jason, where he is stalking someone. That’s what is really missing and is crucial for a slasher character. The movie moves a little too fast, and is pretty thin on plot but, wow, what an ending. It’s an epic, amazing ending and will definitely go down with some of the best slasher film endings in history.

    A very fun, over the top movie that is hard to overlook. Sure, I love the thoughtful, scary, dark horror films that really stick with you but you have to admire and love just as deeply the popcorn horror films that got so many of us into the genre in the first place. This is made with a lot of love, a lot of heart, and is all about having fun. While it’s not a modern classic, it’s a great ride and a wonderfully rare unrated film in theaters. If you liked the first you will love this sequel.

7.5 out of 10

Going Too Far…

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In my Tumblr blog I mentioned how some movies go too far, a subject I have mentioned here too, and I think it’s a subject worth exploring further. To see what I said there go here – Chris’s Tumbr.

For everyone there is a line, a sort of psychological place where we will not cross. It’s a mixture of morals and societal politeness, and it’s a place we rarely dare tread because we don’t like the look of the place. Now, it’s often things like dark horror that people color as the proverbial bad side of town, which is a shame. In horror we are able to face things that in normal fictions (art, literature, music, etc.) we cannot and dare not examine. With Freddy Krueger we can examine the idea of sins of the paste returning, the suburban fear of a child molester and kidnapper, and the fear of our children becoming teens then adults. There is so much richness in horror, even the awful stuff. In the other  blog I mention the ‘rape/revenge’ subgenre as one that has turned my stomach of late, and that’s true, because as little as I liked the movies to begin with, when you take the humanity out of the films then they lose their power altogether. Then it’s just a freak show and you’re just seeing how much you can take.

Humanity is key. Give people human characters, and give them consequence and you can get away with anything.

Case in point – the film Irreversible, a film both lauded and hated at once but not forgotten. The film is played backward and shows the effects of a night gone horribly wrong, beginning with the consequences of it all and ending with how it all began, an ‘ending’ that is far more shocking in the context of the film. Now this is film that is largely about a sexual assault but its the brutality of the assault, mixed with the wonderful characters, and then added to the horrible consequences of it all that makes it so powerful of a film. It is the actions that we are focused on, and the tragedy. The acts of violence have their impact because we care so much about the woman that they happen to. In lesser hands this is a lurid film that sensationalizes the violence and makes it (or attempts to) sexual. That is the difference to me in so many of the modern works that try to be so shocking – in trying so hard to shock you they forget that what is truly shocking is when awful things happen to people, not characters.

I saw George Carlin once and he said this, to paraphrase – rape isn’t funny, but if it’s Porky Pig raping Daffy Duck, that’s funny. He is saying that the act has no power until you add the details. The act is the setting for whatever you want it to be. Same goes for any story, visual or otherwise. The great Art that we love we love because we feel a connection. That’s the power of it.

Anyone can create tragedy and horror, but with nothing behind those acts, they are just that, acts. They are window dressing for an empty store. Too many works see the horrific act and have nothing to tie it to, so they emphasize the act at the cost of the rest of the work. A dog attacks a doll, big deal? A dog attacks a strong man, oh, yikes, but not terrible. A dog attacks an infirm old woman who is a survivor of a distant war? Terrifying. Why? Because the more we gave you to work with the more you personalized it. Why do we care about Harry Potter or the vampires and werewolves as much as we do? Because they are real to us, thus, their perils are real. Make something real and you can do anything.

I reached the age a while ago where I stopped being shocked at the images people can conjure up for people to gawk at. There’s a point where even if you haven’t seen it all, you have seen enough. Sure, you can shock me, but that doesn’t mean you got to me, or pried into my mind. It means you momentarily disrupted the norm. Heck, bad peas can do that. If you want to make an impact you have to see beyond the gore, beyond the shock, and to the core of what you are trying to say and say that. If you can say it through people and things that affect us then you have created Art. You have created power.

Otherwise you’re just peeing in the pool where everyone’s swimming. It’s gross. It’s inconvenient. But it’s something you get over. To be effective, you want to make US pee in the pool. Then ya won.

c

My Interview with Wolfman Mac

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Wolfman Mac and Boney Bob

An Interview With Wolfman Mac of Wolfman Mac’s Nightmare Sinema

Imagine a day when movies were not at your fingertips. A time when you couldn’t easily rent something, or find it on cable. Remember a time when you had to find the movies that would help to form the person you were to become. I want to take you back to a time when the airwaves were filled with horror hosts – local people with a passion for horror and science fiction films and a knack for showmanship. This was a time when these personalities would, portraying any number of spooky personalities, would present old movies to both the young and old with skits and jokes thrown in to add a touch of humor to what could be considered some terrible films.

The era of the horror host has long been thought dead, and with television channels turning to re-runs or infomercials to fill their late night slots, you would believe the form IS dead, I am here to tell you that the horror host is alive and well and, at least in Detroit, Michigan, is in very good hands.

Wolfman Mac’s Nightmare Sinema is the home of the titular Wolfman Mac, a friendly sort of werewolf that takes up residence in a spooky old drive in with his sidekick Boney Bob and a variety of friends and guests and each Saturday he shows another sci-fi or horror film that is often so bad it is good. Movies that may have been forgotten, but they haven’t been forgiven. Nightmare Sinema is all about paying homage to the spook shows and horror hosts of old and to provide a safe haven for families and fans to appreciate these genres anew with tongues firmly in cheek. With inspiration from Wolfman Jack, the Ghoul, and Sir Graves Ghastly, Mac Kelly and his fiends have created a unique throwback to a time when families could sit together and watch creepy films together without fear of the overt sex and violence of today’s film. With skits, cartoons, and personalized commercial breaks that are tailored to the advertiser, Nightmare Sinema has been strictly local for Detroit for the past two years but is on the verge of becoming something far bigger and more special.

At a recent convention in Flint, Michigan, I was able to sit down and interview the wolfman himself, Mac Kelly.

When did you get first involved in broadcasting?

I had my first radio job at 19. So, that was, gosh, ’85.

When did you first become interested in old horror and sci-fi movies?

Watching Sir Graves as a kid. I sent Sir Graves a picture when I was 11, the best I could draw, of Lon Chaney Jr., and he put it on television.

How did you first get started doing Wolfman Mac’s Nightmare Sinema?

Um, well, in late 2006, I had already been working for a few years as a radio DJ in Saginaw, I had been staying a few nights in Bay City, and on one of the channels a guy was showing old scary movies and I called him, Glen Kirkland, and I congratulated him on showing all those great movies and told him he needed a host. He told me that if I wanted to do it then I could but it wouldn’t pay so I went down, just me, in my radio

t-shirt, and we started hosting horror movies. One night after my radio shift I started thinking that I needed I could really do this and I needed a character, so I was at a big boy and started scribbling out ideas.

Nightmare Sinema got its start on public access airwaves – how did you move from there to broadcast television?

We started in July of 07 on public access. We did ten episodes for it.

I started shopping it around, I went to all of the stations actually, and I discovered the hard way that all of the stations charge you for the air time but Channel 20 {in Detroit} offered me a more reasonable rate and figured I could sell the advertising to make up for it and said lets do it.

What is the difference?

The difference is credibility, for one, which is not to say public access is bad but I think that when you are won real broadcast TV there is a certain expectation you have to rise to.

Did you have any inspiration to make you want to become a horror host?

{Detroit’s horror host from the seventies and eighties} Sir Graves Ghastly, and watching the Ghoul {from Ohio} and Mystery Science Theater 3000.

What does a typical shoot entail for Nightmare Sinema

Well, we have a writers meeting where we discuss the upcoming movie, and script ideas and then jut prior to shoot day we have a read through with the cast where we all sit around a table and read our lines and do blocking. And the day of the shoot we have people come in and do our set, and lighting. It takes about an hour and ten minutes to get my makeup done, and about fifteen to get it off. We start taping around seven and are done by one in the morning typically.

What is the perfect movie for Nightmare Sinema?

It has to have a mixture of spook show, and be terribly cheesy.

What’s it like meeting the fans and doing public appearances?

It is the absolutely best part of this. We all thrive on it and it’s the one thing I will say motivates us.

It s the greatest part of what we do. We’re very grateful for that.

What makes it special to be a horror host in Detroit?

Because there is as certain sort of… there’s something different in there air in Michigan, where there are people that just love scary movies and drive-ins and local television. People are just craving for local TV. And there are so many memories of Sir Graves and the Ghoul and Soupy Sales and Bozo the Clown; people are hungry to see someone bring this back.

Recently you had another host, Ormon Grimsbey from Raleigh, North Carolina, on the show, any other guests planned for appearance? Are there plans for you to visit other hosts and their programs?

I would love to have other horror hosts from other parts of the country on. I have been thinking of having them send me tapes introducing themselves and what they do so people can see that the horror host is alive and well out there.

How many people are involved in making Nightmare Sinema come together for each episode?

We have 35 cast and crew. All volunteers

What sorts of movies does Wolfman Mac show? How do you obtain them?

They are all public domain so no one owns them and we just get DVDs of them, and since there are no fees to pay, or concern over legality issues, it helps keep overhead down. We intend to break away a little bit in time but that is for the future.

How many characters are involved in the Nightmare Sinema?

About twelve characters, as well as our own version of Frankenstein’s monster

Do you have a preference for types of horror and science fiction films? Any era that you prefer?

No, because I love them all.

Any hopes that Nightmare Sinema will be picked up in areas outside of Detroit?

We are working on that right now. We are working on syndication on several different fronts.

I heard that you do commercials a little differently on Nightmare Sinema, care to elaborate on that?

Our commercials are a real throwback to how TV used to be where the characters would begin pitching a product in the middle of their skit. We build skits around someone’s product for them. So it isn’t the typical static commercial, we add something interesting to it. And we keep our prices affordable to help keep those mom and pop shops open.

The Nightmare Sinema is set in a drive-in, what do you miss about the fading drive-in culture?

Just the memories I have of going with my parents in a big station wagon – putting the back down, running back and forth to the concession stand, playing on the playground, and being in the warm night air and just watching these movies. There is an innocence there that is lost.

How did you meet the people who are involved with the show and appear as characters?

When I first started this I put out an ad on Craigslist and I said- I have an idea for a TV show but I have no equipment, I can’t pay, and have no place to film and said who is in – and I was flooded with emails. And I was introduced to people along the way, and so on and so on. And in a matter of three or four weeks I had an entire crew.

If someone had aspirations of becoming a horror host, what advice would you give them?

Be different.

Having seen a taping of your show, and how you interact with children, what do you hope kids who might watch Nightmare Sinema will get out of the show?

One of the reasons we keep the show family friendly is I don’t want the horror host genre to die with this generation. I want the generation that grew up with Sir Graves and the Ghoul to feel comfortable watching this with their kids. I know it is a lot more difficult to do something original than to copy from someone. It’s about bringing back the innocence of how things were back in the day.

How has the internet changed how you reach an audience? Do you feel it’s made the show more interactive?

Everything from our website to My Space and FaceBook and Linkd In that Sir Graves and the Ghoul never had access to. People can track me down and let me know if they loved or hated it, and it’s instant feedback.

What is your dream for Wolfman Mac and Nightmare Sinema?

I’d like to have the show in as many cities around the country as possible and I hope to be around ten to fifteen years from now, still being a wolfman.

What do you hope your legacy in broadcasting and as Wolfman Mac is?

I want people to say that I was a part of local television history

Anything else you’d like the good ghouls and boils to know about Wolfman Mac and the Nightmare Sinema?

Coming up on Nightmare Sinema – one Saturday per month we’re gonna be showcasing local horror filmmakers,’ cause no one is doing it and they are forced to show their movies to barely anyone and we will get them exposure to far more people on one night. Maybe someone will hit, you never know. There is a lot of good stuff out there. There are some limitations, but they can contact me through my emails for more information.

For much more info, and how to contact Wolfman Mac and the rest, you can head to http://www.nightmaresinema.com and get all the info you can use.

Bawooooooo

UPDATE

Wolfman Mac and  his gang can be found on RTV, the Retro Television Network that is syndicated nationwide.  The name of Mac’s show has also changed to Chiller Drive In though it is as wacky and wonderful as always.