We Need A New Iconic Horror Villain!

ImageGrowing up in the 1980’s was awesome. We had great movies genre movies coming out constantly like The Thing and Aliens. But one thing that really made genre movies so special in the 80’s was the glut of iconic horror villains we had to fear. From the 1970’s on through the hayday of the 80’s we had the likes of Leatherface, Freddy, Jason, Michael, Chucky, Pinhead and so many more. To a lesser extent you can include the Predator and the Xenomorphs from the Alien franchise. These were characters we rooted for, feared and hated all at once. They were wiping out the sinners. They were sparing the pure while making them strong. This was something I still feel that churches should get behind. 


In most horror films from the 80’s you had a bunch of immoral types likes druggies, drinkers, fornicators and just all around undesirables, Then you had the heroine of the film – a girl filled with chastity and virtue. Who lived and who died? It’s pretty simple, really. The chaste girl always won out in the end. Why? Because she was pure of heart, mind and soul. This should be something the church recognizes and backs. They should want these films made and should show them in Sunday school. After all, most churches try to instill fear into their children to keep them on the straight and narrow. Catholics, I’m talking to you!


But I got away from my original point. We don’t have iconic villains being created anymore. At best we get inferior remakes of A Nightmare On Elm Street and Halloween. But where are the new guys? Ghostface Killer from Scream? He doesn’t quite fit the bill but he’s close. Jigsaw from Saw? He’s been dead since the third movie. But he’s also a little closer in theme. He did go after sinners, people not living life to their full potential and attempted to purify them. What about the invisible demon from Paranormal Activity? Nope. Although there is the family connection there as there was with so many horror films in the 80’s. Death in Final Destination? Again we never see him. And I always felt they should refer to him as Rube for the elaborate Rube Goldberg style traps we see in each kill. 


The closest thing we have to 70’s and 80’s style icon is Victor Crawley from Hatchet. He’s one bad mammajamma. But, sadly, the Hatchet films barely get a theatrical release. It’s as if Hollywood doesn’t think we want a new crop of evil baddies…unless they’re remake versions of the originals.



But here’s my question – is it Hollywood or is it us? What do we want to see? More of the same watered down PG-13 ghost stories, torture porn, or do we want a return to old school horror? I vote for old school. I hope I’m not the only one. I also hope it’s not because I was raised on them.   

That’s all I have to say on the subject until Wednesday when the next edition of The Gorram Nerd Hour hits. You can follow me on Twitter here, here and here. Or find us on Facebook.


A Quick Update From Rapture Horror Expo

Things have been going well at Rapture Horror Expo this weekend. They could have been a little better. Unfortunately they ran into some snags and a few guests dropped out at the last minute prompting a rumor the show was being cancelled and so attendance was a bit low.

They still had a lot for people to do, though. Brian and I worked like crazy to provide you, the readers and listeners of the podcast, with some great stuff. First off we recorded yesterday morning with special guest Bill Oberst Jr. who told us up front we didn’t have to hold back when reviewing Abraham Lincoln Vs. Zombies on the show. He stayed and talked with us for the first half of the show. After that we talked with guys producing an upcoming web series called The Dead Inside. Then Randy Robinson who will be playing the coroner in Lepus popped in to say hello. Not only did we record audio for the podcast but also video. The audio will be up tomorrow. The video portion will be up later in the week.

Besides the podcast we also went around and talked to some very nice people in the horror community. Brooke Lewis, actress/motivational speaker/life coach was nice enough to talk to me for a while. I had a chance to interview Betsy Rue from Halloween 2, True Blood and My Bloody Valentine. She talked about being naked so much in Valentine without any prompting from me. Jessica Cameron, whom we spoke with in episode 3 of the podcast, was nice enough to a video interview with me. Ari Lehman, the very first Jason from the original Friday The 13th, talked to me about his experiences as well as his band called First Jason. I also got to see his band perform at Monsterland in Downtown Mesa.

Today I will be getting a few more interviews. Devinny Pinn will be talking to me about The Black Dahlia Haunting which had it’s southwestern premiere at the Expo last night. I’m also going to try and talk to Erik Marie Hogan from Paranormal Entity and hopefully Brian Pulido.

All our video interviews will be up hopefully by the end of the week. Check them out at http://gorramnerdhour.blogspot.com and don’t forget to like our Facebook page http://facebook.com/TheGorramNerdHour

Casting Lepus Part 1

We’re getting close, folks. Just a little over a week from now and we will hold the casting session for Lepus. What amazes me is the number of people who have an interest in playing a role in this film. I want to give a big shout out to Tyler Gallant who was so enthusiastic about the project after reading it that he has gotten some other actor friends to come along for this thing. I was both flattered and amazed when I read his his email. So thank you, Tyler.

It has been a nice stroke to our egos to see that so many people want to come out and support us as well support the local horror scene here in the valley. And, strangely, we have had a lot of professional people send us resumes and head shots after posting an ad on Craigslist about the audition. I figured we would get a few responses and they would be people who just thought it would be fun to make a movie. No, these people are professionals. I thought the talent page was usually skipped over on that site since it is usually filled with sleazy horny creepy scary untrustworthy ads for strippers and wannabe porn stars. I guess actors do look at that page. Hopefully they don’t answer those other ads. Not every porn star can be Jenna Jameson and become well known outside of porn circles.

Oops, got off track. Okay, so we are doing the auditions on 9/11. We didn’t pick that day because of of the date. It just worked out that way. We have a few roles to fill and plenty of people to audition. That’s the hard part – telling people they didn’t get the role.

The other thing that will be both funny and embarrassing is that I will most likely have each of the male actors dance for me as bad as they possibly can. I really want someone to dance like Crispin Glover did in Friday The 13th part 4. If you haven’t seen it you need to look it up on YouTube. It is as funny as it is disturbing. So I need a male dancer.

I’m really looking forward to the experience and getting a chance to meet in person some of the people I have been corresponding with in person. This is gonna be fun. Wish us here at Robot Vampire Productions the best of luck.

Lepus Update

We are slowly but surely making progress on getting Lepus ready to shoot by the third week of October. We’ve nearly settled on locations, most of the cast in place. Things are moving in the right direction. We may have found our Sheriff Cristos/Jesus. I don’t want to say anything yet but he sent me an email recently and is interested. He’s a local guy with a couple credits on iMDb and I think we’ve got him hooked. This character more than any other is the key. It needs to he cast just right. I think this guy may be it. The character would be the star of the trilogy we are planning with this short. Ded Moroz will be the second part. We have not come up with a title for part three yet. I like the idea of using other languages for the titles like Lepus being Latin for rabbit and Ded Moroz being Russian for Santa Claus. I want that to be a running theme with the trilogy. My niece Kelsee, who is playing the female lead, was forced to watch a few things that I told her would prep her for the movie. I showed her scenes from the season 2 premiere of Twin Peaks and the scene where Crispin Glover was dancing in the fourth Friday The 13th movie. She just gave me a weird look and said “Okay”. I don’t know if she fully understands the weirdness she’s in for. We shall know soon enough. Once we have a completed product I will post it here for all to see.

“Unhinged” – Our Slasher Movie

After months of talk and vigorous note taking my writing partner and I are prepared to sit down and write our little slasher film, “Unhinged”, about two brothers and a group of students caught in the woods on the five year anniversary of several brutal killings.

The movie is going be set up as a mystery slashed film, much like the original Friday The 13th or Sleepaway Camp where the killer’s face isn’t revealed until the final act. Aside from Scream, which did things a little differently, there hasn’t really been a mystery slasher film in quite a while.

We decided to use the title Unhinged as it plays into the schizophrenic nature of several characters in the film. We talked about using Schizopolis since our first script was Welcome To Deadsville. We thought it would be fun to make names that allude to characters or events as towns. But then I remembered Schizopolis was a film by Stephen Soderbergh in the 90’s.

I have already written about 10 pages of the script and we are planning on knocking out the rest very quickly. Hopefully we should have a first draft in the next few weeks.

Let Things Die, Hollywood!

There is a long history in Hollywood of beating that dead horse. Whether it is on television or in movies it’s always the same – milk it till it’s dry. Some things we loved very much have been tarnished by the studio’s refusal to let go.

When I was in high school I was immediately drawn to a new series on Fox. It looked to be dark and moody. It had people investigating monster, aliens and the paranormal. It was right up my alley. Nine years later I was angry with the series and Fox for keeping it going. That show was The X-Files, obviously. The show couldn’t survive without Mulder and Fox shouldn’t have tried.

In television and movies it is usually the genre work that gets beat into the ground. There are movie series like Halloween, Friday The 13th, Children Of The Corn, Hellraiser, The Prophecy, Highlander, and A Nightmare On Elm Street. But sometimes comedies and action movies overstay their welcome. Look at Police Academy. It had seven movies, a cartoon and a failed live action series. Die Hard is about to make its way back to the big screen with a fifth entry. Even throughout the 70’s and 80’s we had a number of movies in the Death Wish series and Dirty Harry.

There are too many times that studios and networks refuse to close the book on something when they should. Thankfully some people understand this. Christopher Nolan closed his Batman series with three. Kevin Smith decided to retire Jay & Silent Bob a little late but understood those characters were wearing out their welcome and moved on.

Going back to the well on a repeated basis is an easy thing to do, even for a filmmaker. Don Coscorelli has had a very hard time finding money to make anything other than Phantasm movies in his career. Rather than hand the franchise over to someone else he made four of them to keep from letting someone else ruin his creation. But he wants to make other things.

Don’t get me wrong, I always wish for more just like most people when they like something. The key is to know when to exit. Even know, as my writing partner and I are writing our slasher movie, we have more story than can fit into one film. Before we finish we will have enough material left to write a sequel. But if that is all there is as far as story goes for us we walk away. We certainly don’t want to have the movies become like Saw 3D or Freddy’s Dead. There needs to be an exit point. Hopefully Hollywood understands that at some point.

More About Slasher Movies

Over the last couple days I have lived on a steady diet of chicken, cereal, and slasher movies. Just today I watched 5 Friday The 13th films (I’m using the term film loosely here). I have also watched two of the Sleepaway Camp movies and the first Scream. What I have learned from this experience is very little. I was hoping to glean some sort of knowledge from them, some way of taking what I learned and using it to craft my own screenplay into something less predictable. Instead what I got was a muddled mess.

Let’s start with Sleepaway Camp. The first one, while being a slight rip off of Friday The 13th, managed to tread some new ground being about a socially awkward little girl who wasn’t really a girl at all dealing with the death of her dad, being abandoned by his gay lover, and sent to live with her crazy aunt who dressed her up in girls clothes and called her Angela. Can you really blame her for becoming a psycho killer? By the sequel she had had a sex change and was released from the mental hospital to kill at another summer camp. But she liked Renee Estevez enough to want to keep her alive. So the virginal girl, rather than have to fight too much was actually pittied by the killer who wanted to set her free but was conflicted because it meant she, the killer, would be caught.

Now onto Friday The 13th. I had watched the first two recently as I own them. Netflix is now offering them all but Jason X and Freddy Vs. Jason. So I have been catching up. One thing about Jason and his movies is that they’re very inconsistent. He didn’t get supernaturally powerful until the sixth film, didn’t get his mask till the fourth, was average sized in the third, and the rules were ignored through most of the series. It was just simply that if you got in his way he killed you. Period. This was never more evident than in the seventh film when he killed the good, virginal girl who dolled herself up to be more appealing to the guy she liked and Jason killed her for it. I thought these killers had a sort of sixth sense about who was good and who was a sinner. Are they also precogs? Did Jason see the future and decide to kill this girl before she could fornicate or do drugs to impress her would he suitor?

Now I’m more confused than ever when it comes to writing my slasher film.