Novel Review: Kendare Blake's Anna Dressed in Blood (2011)

Posted on Tuesday, October 27, 2015 by

I put off reading Anna Dressed in Blood for at least a year simply because it kept getting advertised as a paranormal romance. Which, it is, but barely. It was constantly popping up on my recommendations (Twilight was a drunken one night stand years ago, Amazon.com, let it go.) and finally I decided to look over the reviews. I’m glad I made that choice because Anna Dressed in Blood is now one of my favorite finds of 2015. 

Author Kendare Blake is a female horror writer who was adopted from South Korea by U.S. parents. She earned her undergraduate degree from Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York and received her Master of Arts in Creative Writing from Middlesex University in London, England. This woman deserves a fist bump.

“Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.” Cas is a ghost hunter and he is the ghost hunter we all want to be, badass. He hunts down ghosts and uses a magic dagger to send them to wherever ghosts go when they die. This is how Cas Lowood’s life works. He listens out for ghost stories or receives tips from others in the occult world. Cas then moves with his mother and they create a new life for however long it takes to take down the ghost and then they repeat the process. Only this time the ghost he is set to kill, Anna Korlov, is a bit different because she isn’t trapped in a normal ghost mode. She knows she is dead and she isn’t trapped in a repeated sequence. Anna is aware of her surrounds and can speak with Cas. He must learn as much about her as possible and the events surrounding her death in order to figure out what it will take to kill her. This is where the romance starts to fall in.

What I like about Cas Lowood is that though he is a teenager, he is written as a realistic teenager. He is more mature than the average teen, but I would say losing your father to an unknown evil and the constant moving that comes with killing ghosts earns you a few pearls of wisdom. I can also say this about the rest of the characters, especially his Mom who is a witch. She isn’t overdone or out there dancing with green hair, she is as close to a real world Wiccan as you can find in a fictional novel. 

Anna Dressed in Blood is geared towards teens, but there are a few graphic descriptions of gory deaths and as with many horror themed stories involving women: a sexual assault story line. It’s minor and isn’t graphic by any means, but it is there. 

Blake’s telling of different ghosts and their stories and why they are trapped is beautifully told. Cas mentions several times he hasn’t wondered where ghosts go once he kills them, but I am hoping this is foreshadowing future novels. Anna Dressed in Blood is now a book series with a sequel titled Girl of Nightmares. I will eventually read Girl of Nightmares, but I am enjoying the surprise excitement I found in Anna Dressed in Blood. 

Review: Boom Boom Girls of Wrestling (2015)

Posted on Friday, October 23, 2015 by

The vision of two German women filmmakers, Carolin Von Petzholdt and Ursel Walldorf, The Boom Boom Girls of Wrestling is a low budget independent film that is listed on IMDB as drama, horror, mystery, and thriller. The film focuses on a small group of women actresses trying to make it to the big time by auditioning to be female ‘superhero’ themed wrestlers. On the way to their first show in Las Vegas, the girls find themselves stranded in a ghost town with a chicken masked killer on the loose. 

Carolin Von Petzholdt wrote, directed, and produced the movie, starred in it, and based this movie off of her real life experiences in the female wrestling industry, and it shows. I was so excited to watch this film! A mostly female cast portraying female wrestlers and somehow horror is incorporated into it?! Count me in because there is not enough ‘sports-horror’ in the genre, especially focused around female athletes, written and made by female filmmakers. In fact, this is the only movie that I know of that encompasses all of those elements, and I can see it becoming a cult classic because of its original plotline and uniqueness within the genre. All of that in and of itself is what makes this movie already a gem, but let me continue adding on to the reasons why I think this movie rocks.

The budget for this movie was five thousand dollars, and that becomes especially mind-blowing when you watch the film. The camera work, costumes, and set does not let on to this being a low budget film. The only telltale sign of the low budget, in my opinion, is some of the acting. The standout performances, by far, are that of Melissa Stubs and Crystal Santos, both of whom are badass stuntwomen and both of whom play the trainers for the Boom Boom Girls. Andrew Hamrick also does a great job as Richard Black, the sleazy, misogynistic assclown who is running the show.

The main reason I am impressed with this film is the absolute girl power and feminist undertones represented in all aspects of the film. There is dialogue around being a woman who enjoys sex and female sexuality, there are scenes that capture the unfairness and shallowness of the primarily male-led Hollywood industry, and there are representations of the passive and active female voices around changing the dynamics of patriarchy and oppression that often runs so rampant in society. The first hour of this movie captivates your attention in building the story and developing the characters.

However, it is the last half an hour of this movie that leaves me a little confused, and unfortunately the last half hour of the movie is when almost all of the horror bits happen. This movie either needed to omit the horror altogether or it needed to go way, way harder on the horror. The way it is now is almost like two different movies are playing and when the switch occurs from sports-drama to horror-thriller, it’s a little jolting and not entirely a smooth transition. However, I still really enjoyed this film and I really think it will be received well upon its release, although maybe not necessarily entirely as a horror movie. Look for its debut on October 30th, 2015!

Short Film Sunday: Corey Norman's Suffer The Little Children

Posted on Sunday, September 20, 2015 by

Another Sunday, another Corey Norman film review. This week, however, we have the Stephen King novella adaptation of Suffer The Little Children. I am just going to make a bold statement here, Corey (director) and Haley Norman (writer) are going to do really, really big things. Suffer The Little Children just won Best Actress and Best Short Film at HorrorHound, a big win for Bonfire Films. It's no surprise, because Suffer The Little Children is an excellent short film.

Ms. Sidley, an aging grade school teacher, suspects something terrifying about her students. Nonetheless, she pushes through her days in class, even though her peers question her ability to work. After her student Robert accurately predicts "tomorrow, something bad will happen," Ms. Sidley decides to take matters into her own hands as the viewer is forced to decide if what we're seeing is reality, or Ms. Sidley's descent into madness.

There is a lot to be said about the acting in this film. Anne Bobby's (Nightbreed) performance as Ms. Sidley is absolutely killer (pun intended,) and is the best acting I have seen in a short film this year. I can tell we're going to be seeing more of Andrew Lyndaker (Robert) who previously starred in Norman's Tickle. I really enjoyed seeing Lyndaker in a more malicious role and it really proves that even for such a young actor, he is truly multi-dimensional.

Suffer The Little Children used its screen time appropriately, at 22 minutes outside of credits. For a longer short film, it didn't drag on, and I felt that the entire story was told within its short run time. The two Bonfire Films shorts I've seen so far boast a high production value and visually, are absolutely stunning. This film, like Tickle, seems to have an eighties vibe with its subtle, eerie cinematography. Overall, Suffer The Little Children just might beat Tickle for the best short film I've been lucky enough to see this year.


See our review for Bonfire Films' Tickle, and visit Bonfire Films on their website and Facebook for more information.

Ladies of Horror Hangout: The Original

Posted on Saturday, September 19, 2015 by

In case you missed it, here is the full Ladies of Horror Hangout from August! These hangouts will happen every month with a new special guest. Make sure to tune in to the Girl Terror YouTube page October 4th at 7:00 PM CST when we hang out with film maker Izzy Lee!

Unboxing: Cryptocurium Parcel of Terror August 2015

Well guys, I am so behind on unboxings. Here is a peak at what was in last month's Parcel of Terror.


This month's box was equally as awesome. I especially loved The Haunter of The Dark wall plaque and the Ghostface slasher magnet. Extra rad. Check out my unboxing below!



Short Film Sunday: Gina Lee Ronhovde's Boudoir (2014)

Posted on Sunday, September 6, 2015 by

Before I get into just how amazing I thought this short was, lets get a few technical details and deserved accolades out the way. Boudoir was written and directed by Gina Lee Ronhovde, who is a graduate of the Los Angles Film School. Boudoir has won three awards: Best Dramatic Short - 2015 Hollywood Reel Independent Film Festival, Best Cinematography - 2015 Hollywood Reel Independent Film Festival, and the HRIFF Peoples Choice Award: Best Short Film - 2015 Hollywood Reel Independent Film Festival.

I tend to go into watching film shorts with a little bit of pessimism, so I was in a mind set of seeing something forgettable. I was more than pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this film and I will try to discuss it without giving any spoilers. (Which is hard; I just simply love this film so much that I want to talk about everything.)

Colette (Dominique Swain) is a boudoir photographer who works from home due to her apparent agoraphobia. Current client, Rachel (Deneen Melody) starts becoming aggressive in conversation with Colette during their session and things start to take a dark turn. 

Once removing credit time, this runs less than nine minutes and it just flew by. There weren’t any lulls in story telling and didn’t feel rushed, and in short, Boudoir was paced perfectly. Rachel is dark haired, glamorous and confident; she is the opposite of Colette in every way, which helps convey a change in the last third.  These two women portray their characters well and Swain’s acting subtleties show off Colette’s insecurities and make her feel like a real person and not someone found in a Lifetime movie.

I have only one complaint, which is minor. There is a moment where Colette moves in a creepy, somewhat jerky way. This is used in a plethora of horror movies and I feel something else could have been done to portray the same feeling. I don’t know what the budget was, but I will assume it wasn’t large. With that being said I was impressed by how well body doubling was done. I won’t say anymore than that because I don’t want to give anything away, but there are major television shows who don’t do as good of a job. Ronhovde at one point uses the technique of frame-by-frame to show a subtle change in Colette’s mental state. It looks similar to flipping through photos on your camera and while it may be an effect that lasts only two-seconds on screen; it was a unique way of connecting the character’s profession to changing mental state. 

If I had to describe Boudoir in one word it would be beautiful. Beautifully written, acted, lit; beautiful color palettes, and set, and most importantly, beautiful depiction of mental health.

Catch Boudoir at the Chicago Horror Film Festival September 26th and the Twin Peaks UK Festival October 4th.

Short Film Sunday: Corey Norman's Tickle

It's no secret that I'm a sucker for short films. I'm even more of a sucker for short films that incite nightmares, and Corey Norman's creature feature, Tickle (written by Haley Norman,) is grade A nightmare fuel.

Seven year old Charlie begs his babysitter, Trudy, to let him stay up and watch scary movies with her. Trudy declines, and instead tells him a campfire style story about a closet troll named Tick Tack. Tick Tack finds children's feet that haven't been tucked in and tickles them, and for children who aren't so ticklish, he "takes them clean off." Soon, the duo discover that Tick Tack isn't just an urban legend.

I loved so much about Tickle. Casey Turner's performance as Trudy was spot on. She was the classic kinda badass, kinda snotty babysitter from horror films past. After all, this is definitely an 80's-inspired flick. Her relationship with Charlie (Andrew Lyndaker) gave me serious nostalgia to some of the annoying kids I babysat in high school. There are some really great moments with Charlie, specifically when he gets a little spooked by the story and tells himself "you're such a scaredy cat, Charlie. Trolls aren't even real." Tick Tack was a little cheesy but it worked for me when looking at Tickle as a throwback film.

Tickle also throws in some excellent slasher nods, complete with practical effects and enough gore to satisfy your inner blood hound. (There's a particular fingernails against the floor shot that made me really happy.) In true 80's fashion, Tickle is accompanied by a very John Carpenter inspired, synth-y score that I loved. Great writing. Great acting. Great direction. All in all, Tickle is one of the best short films I've seen this year and I can't wait to see what Norman comes up with next.

Check out more from Corey Norman and Bonfire Films on Facebook.

Review: Jeff Lindsay's Darkly Dreaming Dexter

Posted on Friday, September 4, 2015 by

When I was approached to write for Girl Terror, I really was flattered. I've never been part of something as amazing as this, so I was not going to turn down the opportunity. However, I was stuck with the decision of what to write about. It didn’t take too long to figure out that I was going to review Jeff Lindsay’s novel, Darkly Dreaming Dexter. After all, if you have been following my YouTube Channel or my social network pages, I have been on a Dexter kick for a while now. I have been a dedicated fan to the Showtime Original Series Dexter, and I’ve always wanted to read the novels. It literally took me 9 years to hop on the bandwagon and I am very glad that I did. The novel and the TV show have a lot of common ground, but there are also many differences.

Jeff Lindsay has a perfect way of getting inside the mind of Dexter Morgan, a forensic blood splatter analyst who is also a serial killer. Dexter is directed by his "dark passenger," or an inner voice, that persuades him to kill. A good portion of this novel is parallel to the first season Showtime’s series so if you’re a fan of the show, you can easily follow the novel and it will read fast.  The biggest difference you will find in the novel are the characters themselves. There are slight name changes, job changes, and some character’s importance are minor compared to the TV series. I'm holding back some major spoilers because the character development is much different than the TV show, but boy, there are some differences that are pretty interesting.

One major difference to me is Dexter himself. In the novel, he seems a lot less human compared to the TV show. It appeared to me as if he was stuck more inside his head than he was in the show. Is this why there was more of a dreaming undertone? (Wait, this IS called Darkly Dreaming Dexter. Moving on…) I found that the conversations Dexter had with himself were more frequent. However, Jeff Lindsay’s version of Dexter is equally dark, psychological, and precise.  Additionally, Dexter's dialogue was spot on. I mentally pictured Michael C. Hall narrating the novel just as he did on the TV show. I think it will be very hard to disconnect yourself from the tone, inflection, and enunciation that Michael C. Hall provided in his portrayal of Dexter. Jeff Lindsay captured his emotions (or lack thereof) very clearly. I found that there were many times within the novel that I was sucked in just due to the writing and how easy it was to understand Dexter and his missions. 

The leading females in this novel also have their share of differences. Deb is still a stubborn, determined woman who yearns for respect and advancement within her career. Rita is still broken and frail, as she was seen during the TV show, even though she had some minor differences. LaGuerta’s role in the book is definitely different, and quite possibly dumbed down. I really found myself liking LaGuerta from the TV series better than the novel. In the TV series she appeared much stronger, but I really don’t want to talk too much about LaGuerta because the novel had a twist that I was not expecting at all.

Another difference that stood out to me was the development of the Ice Truck Killer. The TV series had room to develop and grow the reaction to the killer but in the novel, it seemed like there was a weaker connection. I think that the novel lacked some details and psychological bond to which affected Dexter, and the details of the true identity of the Ice Truck Killer. Also, some chain of events with the murders were out of order and when comparing the TV show to the novel, I sometimes forget that the novel came first. I do feel that the TV show gave better justice to the Ice Truck Killer and that major twist was more powerful during the TV series.

Jeff Lindsay made it really easy to love all the characters in this novel. The way he was able to throw in some sarcasm and wit, just made it that much easier to read. After I finished reading this novel, I had to sit down and think hard about this: "was the novel better than the TV series?" This novel is the only novel that is parallel to the TV series so when I begin to read the other novels, I am going to learn a whole different story about the characters I love so much from the TV show.  Again, I’m reading this after the TV series has come to an end, so I have to really disconnect myself from the show in order to really get the proper reaction to these novels.

In conclusion, I found that Darkly Dreaming Dexter was just as enjoyable as the TV show. I feel that Jeff Lindsay did a wonderful job introducing us to the world and mind of Dexter Morgan. I would highly recommend this novel to anyone who loves the TV series or someone who enjoys books about crime and murder. The novel is not very long (at a whopping 288 pages) and I found that I was able to sit down and read many chapters at once. It was hard to put it down. Plus, if it weren’t for Jeff Lindsay, we wouldn’t have had the TV show. So, thank you Mr. Lindsay for giving birth to Dexter. I look forward to reading the rest of his novels and growing another love for Dexter to satisfy my addiction to the TV show!

News: Saskatoon Fantastic Film Festival Lineup

The 6th annual Saskatoon Fantastic Film Festival runs from September 30th-October 3rd at the Broadway theatre and will feature some of the genre's most well known names. From the festival's official press release:

“This year's line-up of films really shows just how strong the last year has been for genre films. The festival was able to strike a great balance of crowd pleasers to the more challenging genre films that defy convention. On a personal note I really hope we can get a huge crowd out for the 2006 Korean cult animated movie AACHI & SSIPAK which we are showing in the original language with subtitles. It has taken us 8 years to program it and I hope Saskatoon is ready for it,” said festival founder and director John Allison.

COP CAR / U.S. (Director: Jon Watts) A small town sheriff sets out to find the two kids who have taken his car on a joy ride. As long as the kids have not opened the trunk everything should be alright.

GOODNIGHT MOMMY / Austria (Directors: Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz) Twin brothers wait for their mother to return home. When she comes home, bandaged after cosmetic surgery, nothing is like before. The children start to doubt that this woman is actually their mother.

YAKUZA APOCALYPSE / Japan (Director Takashi Miike) When a bout of Vampirism threatens a small town and the local Yakuza gang’s livelihood could it get any worse? When the modern monster Kaeru-Kun shows up it proves it can.


NINA FOREVER / UK (Ben Blaine and Chris Blaine) Rob falls in love with a coworker, Holly. Their relationship is complicated when his last girlfriend Nina, who dies in a car crash and unable to find rest in the afterlife, comes back to life to sarcastically torment them whenever they have sex.

III / Russia (Director: Pavel Khvaleev) When Ayia’s sister becomes ill to a mysterious illness she discovers that only by going into Mirra's sick subconscious mind will she discover the true cause of her disease. Ayia is ready to go through this terrifying ritual, dive into the depths of the subconscious mind, and face the demons residing there.

AACHI & SSIPAK / Korea (Director Jo Beom-jin) In a future where energy is made from fecal matter, the government rewards defecation with "juicybars". Small-time hustlers try to get rich while fending off the mutated Diaper Gang.

A HARD DAY / Korea (Director: Kim Seong-hoon) Detective Go Geon-soo is having a hard day. On the way to his mother’s funeral he hits someone with his car. He starts by hiding the body in his trunk and eventually will hide the body in his mother’s casket. But someone has been watching all along, and Geon-soo gets a mysterious call from a person claiming that he was the sole witness to the crime, who now begins to threaten him.

WE ARE STILL HERE / U.S. (Director Ted Geoghegan) In the cold, wintery fields of New England, a lonely old house wakes up every thirty years - and demands a sacrifice. A couple, grieving the loss of their son, move into a remote New England farmhouse. Not only does the house have a horrible past but the townsfolk are not all that nice either.

THE GREEN INFERNO / U.S. (Director: Eli Roth) A group of student activists travels to the Amazon to save the rainforest. In the wake of a terrible plane crash discover that they not only are they not alone, but they are also on the menu.

FELT / U.S. (Jason Banker) A woman creates an alter ego in hopes of overcoming the trauma inflicted by men in her life. When she gets into a relationship with a young man has she been able to put her past behind her?

COOTIES / U.S. (Directors: Jonathan Milott and Cary Murnion) A mysterious virus hits an isolated elementary school, transforming the kids into a feral swarm of mass savages. An unlikely hero must lead a motley band of teachers in the fight of their lives.

THE INTERIOR / Canada (Director: Trevor Juras) A listless young man, upon learning he is ill, leaves his job, girlfriend and city behind, and ventures alone into the British Columbia interior, bringing his fears and anxieties with him.

TURBO KID / Canada (Directors: RKSS aka. Fran├žois Simard, Anouk Whissell and Yoann-Karl Whissell) In a post-apocalyptic 1997, THE KID, a young solitary scavenger obsessed with comic books must face his fears and become a reluctant hero when he meets a mysterious girl named APPLE."

For the full schedule and ticket information, head over to www.skfilmfest.com!

Kickstarter: Carolin von Petzholdt's The Boom Boom Girls of Wrestling

Posted on Wednesday, July 15, 2015 by


It's a rare occasion that we see sports drama in horror or thrillers, so when I saw the Kickstarter campaign for award winning filmmaker Carolin von Petzholdt's The Boom Boom Girls of Wrestling, I was really excited (even as a hardcore non-sports fan.) The Boom Boom Girls of Wrestling boasts a cast/crew of 75% women, a female slasher, and WWE elements. 

"The Boom Boom Girls of Wrestling tells the tale of 6 women who are determined to become professional female wrestlers and perform in a huge show in Las Vegas. Through heartbreak and hardship, the girls hone their skills, but, as they are on their way to the culmination of their dreams: the Las Vegas show, they find themselves trapped in a ghost town in the middle of nowhere with a killer."


The film is completely finished and heading towards distribution but the crew needs your help to get there! Head over to the film's Kickstarter now to back the film! 

Review: TEN (2014)

Posted on Tuesday, July 14, 2015 by


Tonight I had the novel pleasure of watching a festival screener for a movie called Ten (2014), written and directed by Sophia Cacciola and Michael J. Epstein. The movie, without allowing for any spoilers, is essentially about ten drastically different women who show up on Spektor Island in the 1970’s for reasons unbeknownst to the viewer and they all end up stranded in a mansion together. As horror movies go, they start dying one by one as you’re getting to know the characters and get a feel for the bizarre situation, which involves a lot of pig decorations, pig masks, and a clown faced butcher running around. There’s an interesting spin on this movie at the end, and the movie itself pulls from many different genres, not just horror, making for a fun but puzzling watch.


I was super stoked to learn I would be reviewing this movie, as it has an all female cast and one of the writers/directors is also a woman. Obviously, here at Girl Terror, we dig that shit.  I was also excited for this opportunity to watch a low-budget, aspiring take on a movie because it has to be thought of in a different light in terms of critiquing. I think it’s really easy to make a judgment call on what is a “good” movie from a “bad” movie when it was made with a decent or high budget.  It’s often easy to watch a film that had a lot of money put into it fall flat on its ass and you’re just like, 'wow, what a fuckin’ waste of money that suck fest was, who let these people get away with writing and producing this movie?!' However, with a low-budget movie with aspiring writers and directors, you can’t be so callous; you have to take into account what the writers and directors had to work with in terms of actors, costumes, set, props, camera equipment, etc. It’s just nice to be able to honestly think critically about something that literally can’t persuade you with ostentatious distractions.

I’ll shut up now and get to the review:

Let me just start off by praising my favorite things about this movie. The animated opening with the credits and title was incredibly well done and fun, with some nice foreshadowing for what’s to come. I loved it. It also was a vegan set, and there was some dialogue around veganism and unethical animal treatment. There were also references to some psychological theories and experiments. As a vegetarian and as a counselor, I thought those were some pretty badass bits.

In terms of acting, I had to go into this movie expecting the acting and effects to not be the best, and I was pretty correct on that. Altogether not great acting, but a couple standouts including Molly Devon and Molly Carlisle. I also had to assume the worst about the setting and props, but unlike the acting, I was proven terribly wrong in this assumption. The setting and mansion that they used to film this movie in was beautiful and on point with the 70’s style they were going for. It was filmed in Rhode Island at a place called The Beach Mansion, and it was perfect. The props and styling, for the most part, also encompassed the feel of the 70’s very well. The camera work was also pretty good, with a couple of nods to some Hitchcock inspiration, which is always fun. 

As far as the writing, storyline, and general intent, which are of the most importance for a film like this, I had mixed feelings. On the film’s website it describes the movie as a “surrealistic, post-exploitation, Avant-mystery with an all female cast” and I kind of wish I had known all of that going into it, but alas, I didn’t. The writing is well done to the extent that the themes are easy to identify. However, I feel the film does fall a bit short with the writing in terms of the storyline, which is pretty hard to follow. There’s a lot of “what the fuck is happening?” and even when all is revealed in the end, it just lacks something. In watching the commentary of the film, I got more of a feel for what they were trying to do with this movie, and I honestly appreciated the messages behind it.  I can see how this movie would appeal to a certain kind of horror fan, and since the movie itself is a chameleon of genres, I could even see it appealing to those outside of the horror sphere. 

All in all, I found this movie very fun and only mildly confusing. The dialogue was pretty smart and politically driven, the themes were inspired and important in terms of identity and stereotypes, and the storyline is full of good intention. The execution just left something to be desired for me.

To find out more, head to http://tenthemovie.com/.

Unboxing: Parcel of Terror June 2015

Posted on Saturday, July 4, 2015 by


This month's Cryptocurium Parcel of Terror is HERE. Well, it's been here, for two weeks. I'm just really behind.  This box is full of EVERYTHING I LOVE. We've got some Hocus Pocus, The Exorcist, Child's Play, Dracula, Saw, and of course, an H.P. Lovecraft plaque!

Let's dig into it. Inside is a print from the inside of Winifred Sanderson's spell book, a Jigsaw pin, an exclusive Chucky slasher magnet, an "At The Mountains of Madness" elderthing plaque (one half of a two part series), a Bela Lugosi as Dracula sticker, and this month's mystery item, a Pazuzu cup! All of the sculptures are cast in resin and hand painted by Jason McKittrick. As always, the detail never ceases to amaze me. Every single item is so beautiful and I can't wait to get everything up in the apartment! Check out this month's unboxing below and tell me your favorite item from this month's box in the comments!

Update from the Editor

Posted on Friday, July 3, 2015 by

Hey pals! I hope you're well. It's been a little while so I just wanted to check in and fill you all in on what's going on with me and Girl Terror.

I moved to Chicago last month so the past few weeks have been quite an adjustment. I had a slow start to work, followed by a TON of freelance hours. It's been wild and consequently, I am a little behind. However, Chicago is crazy cool. I can walk pretty much anywhere (including the 24/7 Mexican restaurant down the street, hello trouble!) and there's so many cool places to check out. I can't wait to start compiling trade boxes and giveaway items from some of the local shops. You guys are in for a treat! Speaking of Chicago: I am planning for convention season. Leave a comment or shoot me an email if you plan to head to any Illinois horror conventions, tell me which ones are worth my while, and let's make meet up plans! (Also Northeast readers, I might be near you next month and there might be a meet up with exclusive horror merch. More info to come on that later.)

I also wanted to extend an open invitation to Girl Terror readers. I am seeking like minded women with an interest in writing about horror to guest blog on a volunteer basis. This is a perfect opportunity for ladies who want to network and connect with a larger audience, or build a writing portfolio. I'm open to any and all ideas (as long as they are pro-woman and keep in mind the importance of shine theory,) and want to work with you! Send me an email and let's collaborate!

Lastly, Girl Terror, Johnny Tellez the Hyper Geek, and Candy Corn Apocalypse's Anthony Rapino are planning our FIFTH Horror Hangout! Join us at 7:30PM CST on Friday, July 17th as we chat all things horror with our good friends Jason McKittrick (Cryptocurium and Parcel of Terror), Joseph Rogerson (Your Geeky Neighbor), and Mr. Tony of The Dead! There's usually a drinking game. There's usually drunk nerds. It's always a ton of fun. Come hang out! RSVP here!

There's a handful of unboxings to follow, and your regularly scheduled Girl Terror posts should be back to normal soon. As always, thank you all so much for your never ending support.

Review: Shudder Beta

Posted on Tuesday, June 23, 2015 by

Internet streaming and horror make a great pair. Over the last week, many interested horror fans received invitations to AMC's Shudder, a new internet streaming service exclusively for horror movies. The service is currently in beta, with a free 60 day trial. The service will then cost $4.99/month or $4.16/month with a 12 month subscription. As of now the service is only available via desktop, but will soon have apps for Apple, Android, and Roku.


First impressions: The design is absolutely stunning. On the front page are featured collections, new releases, and staff picks. Account navigation is simple, and if questions arise, FAQs can be found at the bottom of every page, accompanied by a creepy house vignette with a rotating horror quote.


The collections tab is my favorite Shudder feature. Here you'll find categories of horror movies broken down from slashers to creature features, perfect for locating the right flick for your mood. The only thing I thought was a little strange about the collections was that the images don't match up with the movies inside. For instance, the "Haunted Habitations" collection features an image of Elizabeth Olsen in the Silent House remake, however the Silent House remake is nowhere to be found on Shudder, "Slashics," (featuring an image of Michael Myers, but no Halloween films,) and "Gross Anatomy," (featuring an image from Contracted, but no Contracted anywhere on the site.) It's a little misleading, but it could be attributed to the fact that the site is in beta and may not have all of the movies online yet. Time will tell.


In addition to being able to view all of the movies by collection, you can also browse all movies A-Z. This is a handy feature for seeing all available films. There is no search feature available, though, so it does require a little digging to locate the movie you're looking for. Additionally, there is no queue feature. (Note to self: remember to watch Ganja & Hess and Tokyo Gore Police this week.)


Last but not least, Shudder features a great new service with Shudder.TV, a 24/7 random horror stream. I'm really excited about Shudder.TV and hope to be able to check out some movies I wouldn't normally watch. The only downside is that nowhere on the website does it list what movie is playing. I reached out to Shudder and suggested they use a Twitter account to announce what is playing and when. They replied that they have a couple of other programming features in mind.



All in all, I am so thrilled about Shudder and can't wait to see what else is in store. Did you guys receive your beta invitations? Tell me your thoughts below.

Thanks for reading! XOXO

Giveaway: Creepy Company

Posted on Friday, May 29, 2015 by


Hey guys! Earlier this month we wrote about the ultra rad Creepy Company in a link roundup. This new Chicago based company came in with a splash with their horror driven button packs and Divine lapel pin. I'm SO excited because the lovely folks at Creepy Co. are giving away one Divine lapel pin and a 12 pack of buttons (curated from their shop by yours truly!) to one lucky Girl Terror reader!

To enter, head over to the Creepy Co. website and look around, then come back here and leave a comment below with your favorite button from their shop! Use the Rafflecopter widget below to gain additional entries. You have until Friday, June 5th, at 11:59 CST to enter and the winner will be contacted privately. US residents only, please! Good luck!

Unboxing: Box of Dread: May 2015

Posted on Tuesday, May 19, 2015 by



This month's Box of Dread was super rad. I can't wait to dig into this Re-Animator comic and am really exited to start watching Hannibal! Check out my unboxing below and head over to the Box of Dread website to learn more! What did you think of this month's box?

Unboxing: Cryptocurium Creations 8-Bit Magnets

Posted on Monday, May 18, 2015 by


During the last Google Hangout, Jason of Cryptocurium Creations announced he was giving away a very special handmade 8-bit Freddy and Jason magnet set to a lucky viewer. Then, he made a limited run of them and I was lucky enough to get my hands on a set. These magnets are SO beautiful and I am so excited to add them to my slasher magnet collection! Check out my unboxing below, and make sure to head over to the Cryptocurium website to check out more rad handmade horror merch! 



Flashback Friday: Back To The Future Part II

Posted on Friday, May 15, 2015 by

"Roads? Where we're going, we don't need roads."
Hey pals! This week I'm continuing the Flashback Friday feature with fan favorite flick (say that five times fast!), Back To The Future Part II. This sci-fi comedy sequel really excited me. In fact, I have been begging my boyfriend to watch it with me every day for over a week. Back To The Future Part II (the second in the Flashback Friday feature from Taylor Swift's birth year, 1989) didn't disappoint.

Immediately after returning from 1955, Dr. Emmett Brown informs Marty McFly that they have to travel to the future (2015, to be exact) to prevent Marty and his girlfriend, Jennifer's, future son from going to jail. Everything goes as planned, until Marty tries to take a sports almanac back to 1985. Doc warns Marty of the consequences and reminds him that the DeLorean isn't to be used for financial gain, but an elderly Biff Tannen overhears and takes the almanac (and the DeLorean) to 1955 to deliver it to his younger self. Meanwhile in 1985A, millionaire Biff is married to Lorraine, and George McFly has been murdered. Doc and Marty must return to 1955 and retrieve the almanac to restore 1985 to its unaltered state.


My favorite thing about this sequel is that it was really made for fans of the original (although the first film was the top grossing film of 1985.) Director, Robert Zemeckis and writer, Bob Gale, received praise for the writing and casting decisions in Back To The Future Part II. After all, is there really a duo stronger than Christopher Lloyd and Michael J. Fox? (I'll leave that open for debate.) Crispin Glover (George McFly) and Claudia Wells (Jennifer) were both recast in the sequel.

The film was nominated for, and won, several awards including those for special effects from artist, Ken Ralston. The way the future is portrayed in the film is quite comical, especially seeing it in 2015. One of my few notes for the film was "lol sky cars," to which Gale previously commented, "we knew we weren't going to have flying cars by the year 2015, but god, we had to have those in our movie." The film did predict a handful of technological advances though, like picture-in-picture, flat panel television, internet video calling, and hands free gaming. A Nike designer did say that self lacing shoes would arrive in 2015, but I'm still waiting on my hoverboard (and Hologram Jaws 19.)

Not unlike last week's Ghostbusters II review, I liked Back To The Future Part II more than the original film. A lot of past reviewers felt that the plot was forced, but I didn't. In fact, I really enjoyed some of the future scenes (especially those with the future McFly family) and thought the physics and science between two sets of Martys and Docs was really fun. All in all, I fully recommend Back To The Future Part II and I can't wait to head to the Wild West in Part III next week!

ICYMI: Weekly Link Roundup

Posted on Tuesday, May 12, 2015 by

NEWS:

I want to believe. The X-Files reboot has a release date!

Etheria Film Night short film selections announced.

IT remake casts Will Poulter as Pennywise.

New teaser trailer for Jessica Cameron's Mania!


COOL STUFF:


I'm loving all of the pins from Creepy Co.! This Divine lapel pin retails $12 and they have a HUGE selection of pinback buttons of your favorite horror characters, vintage horror masks, and the filthiest person in the world, Divine! My favorite thing about Creepy Co. is that they're a lady duo based out of Illinois! Head over to their shop at www.creepycompany.com and like their Facebook page for giveaway information!

Horrordecor.net and Freddy in Space's John Squires are releasing a limited edition Ecto Cooler candle on Thursday, 5/14. You have two days to get your hands on one of these bad boys. There are two sizes to choose from and retail $9 and $15. Ecto Cooler brings back so much nostalgia. I love everything Horrordecor puts out and can't wait to order my candle on Thursday! (PS: Did you see my Ghostbusters II review last week?)

ETC:

I've just started reading H. P. Lovecraft for the first time and am really enjoying it. You can read all of Lovecraft's work for free here!

Speaking of H. P. Lovecraft, I've also been listening to the H. P. Lovecraft Literary Podcast. I love podcasts for my weekly commute to work. Every week, hosts Chris Lackey and Chad Fifer discuss a specific Lovecraft story, what it's about, why it was written, what it's influenced, etc. It's really helpful for those of us just digging into Lovecraft and it's really entertaining.

I had an AWESOME mail week. My BFF Johnny Tellez sent me a box of awesome and you can see my unboxing here. Also, my friend Caroline runs a record label called Headfirst Records and they printed some rad horror stickers to send out with orders. Caroline was kind enough to send me one of each!

Unboxing: Parcel of Terror: May 2015


If you've been following Girl Terror on Facebook, you've seen all of the crazy cool stuff Cryptocurium has been doing. This is my second Parcel of Terror and I was so thrilled about the Ladies of Horror theme. This month featured a wall plaque from H.P. Lovecraft's The Dreams In The Witch House (which I read over the weekend and LOVED), The Ring's Samara Morgan as part of the exclusive slasher magnet series, a Medusa linocut print, The Amulet of Coffin Rock from The Blair Witch Project, a Bride of Frankenstein sticker, and a dark chocolate anatomical heart. 


Sculpture details from this month's Parcel of Terror

Short Film Sunday: Kristoffer Aaron Morgan's No Way Out

Posted on Sunday, May 10, 2015 by


No Way Out is a nine minute psychological horror film from 2011 that hasn't left my mind since the first time I saw it. In fact, when I created the Short Film Sunday feature, I knew No Way Out would make its way into the early mix of spotlighted films. This is one gem of a short film.


No Way Out reads as a horror film from a seasoned filmmaker, however director Krisoffer Aaron Morgan, and writer Eric Vepse, are fairly new to the industry. In fact, together they've created just two short films with a full length that's only been announced. (Someone get on that.) No Way Out drops us into the middle of the action. We're given no back story, just a man in the dark running away from something and begging for help. As the pieces to the puzzle unfold, we find a monster and a man seeking a way out.

The sound design for No Way Out is beautiful. I kept asking myself "what's making those sounds?" and not "this sounds like a cheesy monster," which is something that doesn't happen often. I like that. There are also some real cringeworthy practical effects moments that really impressed me. It's clear that the film's crew really did their homework. No Way Out's cinematography is stunning. The way light is used to show the character's psychological downfall is effective and really stuck with me. It's no secret that I'm AJ Bowen's biggest fan. I love him. I love him a lot. I love him more than I should love him. Bowen is the sole actor in No Way Out and really delivers. Viewers feel every ounce of his character's panic and haste. AJ Bowen is modern horror's Vincent Price. I mean it. For new filmmakers, Morgan and Vespe have splashed into the genre with No Way Out and I can only hope their full length, The Home, is coming quickly because I can't wait to see more.

What did you think of No Way Out? What should I review this month?

Women in Horror Spotlight: The Bride of Frankenstein, Elsa Lanchester

Posted on Saturday, May 9, 2015 by



When you think of the classic Universal Monsters and the actors that portrayed them, who comes to mind? Usually it’s Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Lon Chaney, and Lon Chaney Jr. Your mind may possibly wander over to the Bride of Frankenstein, but do you know who played the iconic role? I didn’t either until I listened to a podcast about her early life roughly a year ago. Let me tell you guys, this is one kick-butt female. How her independent and funky spirit isn’t talked about much today, I do not understand. Before I dive into the interesting early life of this woman and how she became The Bride, lets get the boring facts out of the way. 

Young Elsa and Waldo Lanchester
Elsa Lanchester was born on October 28, 1902 in Lewisham, London to her mother Edith “Biddy” Lanchester and her father James “Shamus” Sullivan. She did have an older brother, Waldo Sullivan Lanchester, who went on to become a puppeteer, but that is a whole other article. You may have noticed her parents did not have the same last name. Well, the two never married as they didn’t believe in marriage, though they stayed together until Shamus’ death. Additionally, they were vegetarians, Socialists, and atheists. Yup, you read that correctly. This was a bold stance back in the early 1900’s in prim and proper England. Here is a little fun fact about Ms. Biddy Lanchester: her father was so angry with her for not marrying Shamus, that her father and brother kidnapped her in the middle of the night and had her committed under the terms of insanity. At the asylum she was interviewed and her education and ability to speak with reason showed that she was not insane so she was released. This very case is what started the reform of the lunacy laws in England. Maybe the history of her parents isn’t really all that boring. 

Allow me to get back on track. The London City Council had a law that stated all children must attend school starting at the age of 5 years. Biddy did not feel Elsa would get a worthy education in the public school system, so she moved around a bit with her family to avoid attending a Council approved public school. Eventually the Council caught up with the family but Elsa was able to attend an all boys school with her brother because the headmaster was a friend of the family. Around the time Elsa was 11 years old, she was hand picked to be one of the first students to attend the famed Isadora Duncan’s dance school in Paris, France. Elsa’s spunky and independent spirit sprang it’s head when she spoke against the kissing of Isadora Duncan’s ring each morning. She says she pretended to kiss it because it was just like the outdated policy of bowing to royalty. Sadly, World War I was impending and the majority of children were sent back home. After the assassination of the Archduke Ferdinand, the all boys school Elsa returned to was shut down. She then went to a co-ed boarding in London and taught a dance class for a short period of time. 


In 1920, Elsa co-founded the Children’s Theatre in London, where she taught for several years. The children received lessons for free and the theatre put on paid shows for the city. Eventually the Children’s Theatre’s plays and dances became so popular the program began making a profit, which oddly enough ended up becoming a bad thing for Elsa. The London City Counsel called Elsa in for questioning and accused her of exploiting the children under the Child Slave Act. The Counsel decided to close the final run of the current show, but she worked around this by having the show run in the practice room and said all proceeds were going to the Save the Children Fund.

The Children’s Theatre eventually closed and Elsa started working different odd jobs to make ends meet. She worked performing plays in a night club with her then partner, posed for painters and sculptures, house keeping, and helping out couples that wanted to get a divorce. I shall divulge on the divorce help, because this is somewhat odd. During this time period if the husband had an affair, the divorce would occur much quicker. Through a lawyer, Elsa would be contracted to meet the client wanting the divorce at a hotel and the next morning she had to make sure she was clearly seen by the maid. Usually the maid was in on the act and when called to the divorce hearing, the maid would say she saw the husband with a woman that was not his wife. Elsa was never called into court because the name of the woman having the affair was usually not revealed. Nothing sexual ever occurred with any of the clients; as Elsa stated “it was just acting.”

Elsa with husband, Charles Laughton
In 1927, Elsa was cast in an Arnold Bennett play titled Mr. Prohack and this is where she met actor, Charles Laughton. The duo dated for two years and after an abortion (which she was surprisingly open about during the time) and moving in together, she agreed to marry Laughton in 1929. After two years of marriage Laughton told Elsa that he, in his words, was “homosexual partly.” While she did not have an issue with his sexual orientation, she was understandably upset that he kept this secret from her. They never divorced. 

The couple moved to Hollywood to pursue acting further and in the 1930’s, MGM Studios offered Elsa a movie contract that started a busy decade for the actress. In 1935, friend and director, James Whale, offered the role of the Bride in The Bride of Frankenstein to Elsa directly. The role and set were grueling for the actress. Part of her hair was braided into rows circling her scalp and a cage covered in horse hair was sewn into the braids. The remaining unbraided hair was brushed up into the horse hair and the famous white streaks were hair strips added on at the end. Her make-up took three to four hours each day. The make-up artist did not like for chatter and did not like being spoken to unless he spoke first. Elsa did not drink much on set because it was too much of a hassle to use the restroom when she was in the bandages before the reveal. She was in great pain at the end of each filming day from having to keep her eyes popped open since her character didn’t blink. All of the hissing and screaming as the Bride caused her to blow out her voice and she had to be prescribed codeine for severe throat pain. Through all this, Elsa speaks fondly of her time on set.  
Elsa with Vincent Price

Eventually, Elsa went on to be nominated for two Oscars in supporting roles and stayed married to Charles Laughton until his death from cancer in 1962. In her later years to performed in many Disney productions and played Katie Nanna in the movie Mary Poppins. Elsa Lanchester passed away from bronchial pneumonia in 1986.