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TEXAS CHAINSAW 3D - The Pit Of Horror Review -- [Posted 26 January 2013]

For a franchise that has been sequelized, bastardized and reinvented all in the same sentence, not to mention several movies, seventh entry Texas Chainsaw 3D is surprisingly not-bad. In fact, it's quite good, at least up until the final reel, when the story takes a wonky turn. But give director John Luessenhop and the writers their just desserts: after the withering of the once-promising "re-imagined" Texas Chainsaw Massacre of the 2000's, they pull off a pretty decent new tale here. And the now-cliche 3D ain't too bad, either.

Texas Chainsaw 3D will please fans of the series by including not only actors, but also sly references to elements, from previous Chainsaw installments. The VW van? It's in there, although a later model. The slaughterhouse motif? Check. Indeed, this film might claim the rights to being a direct sequel to Tobe Hooper's original, had his 1986 film not gotten it so right the first time....READ MORE

[Posted By Petch Lucas]


During this past December, reports began surfacing on horror websites and Facebook pages that genre director Danny Steinmann had passed away. Fans and acquaintances did the same as I: scour every online search engine in hopes of repudiating the rumor, while many well-written odes to the man were already being published. And after a few days of hope that perhaps it was a mistaken report, Dread Central confirmed that Mr. Steinmann, aged 70, had died in his sleep at his home in Dover, Delaware, in mid-December of 2012.

I met him once, and it was at a horror convention about four years ago. The occasion was a cast/crew reunion for Friday The 13th, Part V: A New Beginning, which included cast members John Shepherd, Miguel Nunez, Jr., Shavar Ross, Deborah Voorhees, Ron Sloan, Carol Locatell, Dick Wieand and Tom Morga and composer Harry Manfredini. While Steinmann's resume included Savage Streets and The Unseen, it was clear that Friday The 13th fans had him pegged as a favorite. And rightfully so.

Danny Steinmann with Petch Lucas

My own experience at that time was "playing concierge" to the Friday folks (that's happy talk for running sandwiches and sodas), but I did get a chance to make friends with them. To a person, they were each very talkative, kind and wonderful to know. And director Danny Steinmann was not only a friendly fellow who afforded some clever anecdotes about directing within the 80's genre realm, but he also offered some down-to-earth commentary about current events. While bidding adieu to the director who'd had no idea how many fans he had made over the years, I simply offered my hand and said, "It was a pleasure meeting you, Mr. Steinmann."

"Danny," he corrected me, while meeting my eye and shaking my hand. A wonderful moment for me. I only wish I could have interviewed him properly.

God bless you, Danny, and thank you for your contribution to the genre.

[Posted By Petch Lucas]

SINISTER - The Pit Of Horror Review -- [Posted 3 November 2012]

Lately, my biological clock has been ticking away. Maybe itís the fact that I know too many young mothers. Maybe in my advancing age, the bitch cells are drying up and withering away. Maybe Iím bored. Maybe you feel the same way. Well fret not! Nothing will hit the snooze button like Scott Derricksonís Sinister. Hell, Iím leaning more in the pro-sterilization category. Fuck these ovaries.

Ethan Hawke stars as Ellison Oswalt, a frustrated has-been of a writer who moves his family into a house at which four gruesome murders have recently taken place. He discovers a mysterious box in the attic containing several super-8 film rolls with innocuous, generic labels (ďPool Party í66,Ē ďHanging with the Family í11,Ē etc). Each film depicts a grisly murder scene perpetrated by some unknown party....READ MORE.

[Posted By Katie Lucas]

GRAVE ENCOUNTERS 2 - The Pit Of Horror Review -- [Posted 29 October 2012]

On most Sunday afternoons, I engross myself in homework. Today, I decided to procrastinate. So I turned to Xfinity and paid the ridiculously high $6.99 for Grave Encounters 2, the next installment of a film series that is almost certain to continue producing sequels as long as idiots like me will still pay $6.99 to see them. This new sequel, brought to you by the aptly named Vicious Brothers, is directed by John Poliquin. As with most found footage films, the cast is comprised of fresh-faced actors whom no one has ever seen (Seriously, these people don?t even have Wikipedia pages).

Our film opens with a number of wannabe Roger Eberts reviewing the first film, the last of which introduces us to the cynical Alex Wright (Richard Harmon). Wright, an established Youtube reviewer, pans the film. He and his fellow students at Generic Party University aspire to create careers in the film business. Wright begins to receive eerie messages from the mysterious "Death Awaits." Curiosity gets the best of him and he resolves to create his own documentary to uncover the evil that lurks within the Asylum walls....READ MORE.

[Posted By Katie Lucas]

PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 4 - The Pit Of Horror Review -- [Posted 19 October 2012]

I hate sequels. I always have. Aside from The Devil's Rejects and The Lion King 2, I've yet to see a sequel that doesn'?t lazily play off of its predecessor in terms of originality. When one of my students mentioned in class that Paranormal Activity 4 was to be released this week, I knew not to expect much. By now, after having seen the previous three both sober and shit-faced, I was pretty familiar with the formula. Cynical as I am, I still wanted to see this atrocity. Why? Because I'm a masochist. And I'm kind of a whore for the whole ?found footage? genre. Now, sitting safely in my non-paranormaly house, I can'?t help but wonder: Jesus Jiminy Christ, what did I just watch? Because whatever it is, now that I've seen it, I can't unsee it.

Our story starts out five years after Katie (Katie Featherston) went bat-shit bananas sandwich and made off with her dead sister's son. Our protagonist, Alex (played by celluloid screen newcomer Kathryn Newton) records her little brother's soccer game. The audience is able to take notice of a strange little boy staring at the game....READ MORE.

[Posted By Katie Lucas]

'WALKING DEAD' SEASON 3 PREMIERE REVIEWED! -- [Posted 14 October 2012]

It's been seven months since we last saw Rick Grimes and his group of survivors from a zombie apocalypse, huddled around a fire with a very unsure future in a treacherous and decimated world. But with the premiere broadcast of "Seed," the inaugural episode in the third season of AMC's "The Walking Dead," the wait is over. Now online is Pit Of Horror's review of this new outing, which is projected to be the first in a weekly series of episode reviews for the Emmy-winning and celebrated genre series. Check out the review here.

The plan is to add a new section for "The Walking Dead" to the Pit main page, with new episode reviews regularly linked therein and not added as site updates to this news scroll.

[UPDATE 29 Oct 2012] The new section for "The Walking Dead" featuring episode reviews for Season Three can be accessed here.

[Posted By Petch Lucas]


Our longtime friend and contributor Royce Freeman does it again, by providing an exclusive rough cut of his upcoming feature Rapture for review. It's the tale of a group of young people who, due to car trouble in Florida, find themselves in a much larger world of hurt when they happen upon the wrong house. Sounds like a familiar premise? Perhaps, but the tale veers from the usual territory and brings a healthy injection of spiritual overtones and hopes of redemption. Clearly, this is not your father's Last House On The Left.

Organized crime in Florida gone awry!

The script was co-written by Royce with Kurt S. Poulin, who performs a leading role in the film, and is based upon a story by Thomas H. Wermke. The review can be read at this link. We will keep you posted on Rapture's official release date.

[Posted By Petch Lucas]

'WALKING DEAD' SEASON 3 TRAILER ONLINE! -- [Posted 13 July 2012]

For a nice little Friday The 13th update (which ironically has nothing to do with the celebrated Voorhees saga), the AMC network has posted a new four-minute trailer for the eagerly awaited third season of The Walking Dead. The highly-rated and critically-acclaimed cable series follows a group of survivors led by sheriff's deputy Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) in the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse. The trailer features tantalizing details, including the appearance of two popular characters from Robert Kirkman's original comic book series: Katana-wielding heroine Michonne (Danai Gurira) and the malevolent villain known simply as The Governor (David Morrissey), plus the return of a certain character thought to be dead and gone. Let's just say....he deserves a hand for his preserverence.

The new season premieres in October on AMC. Meanwhile, the trailer can be viewed here. Bon appetit!

[Posted By Petch Lucas]

NEW 'RAPTURE' TRAILER UNVEILED! -- [Posted 4 May 2012]

Independent filmmaker and Pit contributor Royce Freeman's new feature Rapture enjoys a brand new trailer, which is featured here. We thank Royce for his years of contributions to our site, look forward to more of them, and congratulate him on nearing the completion of Rapture, which is clearly his labor of love.

[Posted By Petch Lucas]

'FRIDAY THE 13TH' SOUNDTRACK BOX SET REVIEWED! -- [Posted 30 January 2012]

To be sitting here, thirteen years after I initially created my Friday The 13th fan site ?The Voorhees House," and now writing this review is eerie. Harry Manfredini was the first person from the Friday series that I interviewed for my site, and that has led to a long and meaningful friendship with Harry that has spanned through the last decade. Many friendships have been forged over the years as a result of my work on the Voorhees House and other interviews. Friendships that in retrospect, mean more to me than the series itself. Infact, it was Harry himself who encouraged me to hone my skills as a filmmaker and focus on my own projects. Since that initial interview with Harry years ago, I have since written many produced works and even directed my first feature recently. Though family and friends have been a source of encouragement over the years, it was Harry that first lit that spark in me, and I dedicate my career thus far to the maestro himself. That being said, I sit here honoring the man, the legend and his music.

Harry?s music for the original classic entry in the series, draws its inspiration from the great Bernard Hermann with its use of strings and horns, which at times makes me think of Psycho, which is ironic, since John Carpenter?s classic Halloween, which was the inspiration for Friday The 13th being made, was made as tribute to Psycho, so it all comes full circle. The film?s use of music only when the killer is present, to my knowledge, had never been done before and only contributes to the film?s strength and longevity....[READ FULL REVIEW]

[Posted By Royce Freeman]


Veteran animator Wes Sullivan's primal horror romp Nightbeasts, which took top honors of Best Feature Film and Best Director at the 2011 Independent Film Quarterly Festival, has received a foreign distribution deal with Wonderphil Productions. It will be distributed throughout the world theatrically, as well as on home video, VOD and television.

Zach Galligan Gremlins stars as a father determined to protect his family from menacing Bigfoot-type creatures while on a weekend hunting trip. The film also recently won the Best Of Genre award at the Midnight Black Festival of Darkness

Although the current deal excludes distribution within the US or Canada, efforts are underway to secure domestic rights. In the meantime, Nightbeasts can be streamed at this location, or if you'd like your appetite whetted, have a look at the trailer first.

Hats off to Brent Thomas for the heads-up!

[Posted By Petch Lucas]


Legendary horror scream queens Linnea Quigley, Brinke Stevens and Michelle Bauer are teaming up in David DeCouteau's high-voltage paranormal feature 1313: Cougar Cult.

In this scorching thriller, set to be released Feb. 7 on DVD and VOD, three young college hunks score the summer job of their dreams--working for three beautiful and powerful women--only to discover they've landed in a nightmare; the nightmare being that the three incredible "Cougars" they?ve met have this nasty habit of transforming into actual "Cougars"?painfully sharp teeth and all. The film marks the continuation of Rapid Heart?s thrilling 1313 series of sexy DVD suspense films; a series released through the company?s new DVD distribution company. Visit Rapid Heart Pictures Ltd. to learn more.

The three ?CougarĀ scream queens also will join director David DeCoteau for a DVD signing and reunion party 7 p.m. Feb. 9 at Dark Delicacies Book Store, 3512 West Magnolia Boulevard, Burbank, CA 91505 (818-556-6660). Advance DVDs will be on hand for sale. Many thanks to Megan Hussey for the information!

[Posted By Petch Lucas]


It turns out that the iTunes download package of Harry Manfredini's Friday The 13th: The Ultimate Compilation was but an appetizer of much more music to come, and in a collectible compact disc box set format, complete with an extensive forty-page booklet of liner notes plus a visually striking hardcover slipcase.

Harry Manfredini Scheduled for release on Friday, January 13, 2012 on La-La Land Records, the set is comprised of six discs which sequentially include virtually every cue from Friday The 13th, Parts I through VI. That comes out to one disc per film, with collectively over five hours of music. So if you've already downloaded the iTunes tracks, you've only tasted a smidgen of what's to come. Moreover, Brian Satterwhite of Nuance Music has compiled a vast and impressive historical account of the Friday The 13th movies and Harry's musical approach to each consecutive film as the series progressed. Included are quotes from Harry himself, series creator Sean Cunningham, screenwriter Victor Miller plus many more. Word around the campfire is that this limited edition package is currently planned to press only 1300 units.

"The cat is now out of the bag," Harry informed the Pit today, alluding to his tantalizing comments quoted in the below report. And for the release, Dark Delicacies is planning a meet-and-greet signing with the composer himself, plus a special screening. Details of location, special guests, times, prices as well as CD ordering information are still pending. Watch this space for more details, which we will publish as they become available.

[Posted By Petch Lucas]

-- [Posted 26 October 2011]

A project years in the making and the object of many a Voorhees fan's greatest hopes, Friday The 13th: The Ultimate Compilation is now available in digital download format. Composer Harry Manfredini has tirelessly assembled select cues from the first six Friday The 13th films and arranged them into seamless musical suites. This is the first time any music from Parts IV, V and VI have ever been commercially released; all new music for the seventh and eighth installments were composed by Fred Mollin, while Harry's scores for Jason Goes To Hell and Jason X have already been released on compact disc. The eleven tracks can be purchased individually for .99 cents, or the whole album for $9.99 at iTunes, where preview snippets can also be heard.

Made possible by Lionsgate Records and, the compilation includes cues from the first three films which do not appear on the Friday The 13th Grammavision record album released in 1982. Fans will now be able to hear digital-quality recordings of the gripping prologue music leading into the opening titles from the original film; the soothing piano/synthesizer "morning after" theme before an angry Young Jason interrupts the calm; the diabolical cue from Part III when Mrs. Voorhees herself rises from Crystal Lake to impossibly claim yet another victim; and as a special bonus, the full version of "Sail Away, Tiny Sparrow," which was the country song played in the diner scene from Part I; plus so much more! Further details plus an entertaining video clip featuring Harry plus series creator Sean Cunningham can be found at

"This download package is only the beginning," Harry teasingly told the Pit. "We've got way more surprises coming in the next few months, so stay tuned." Whether he alludes to a possible physical CD release or even additional music to come remains to be seen. In the meantime, feel free to drop Harry a line on his Guts & Gory Forum. Registration is required, but it's free.

[Posted By Petch Lucas]

THE THING - The Pit Of Horror Review! -- [Posted 16 October 2011]

In today's climate of endless remakes, reinventions and re-whatevers, it's refreshing to see a project which attempts to tell a few-days-before "prequel" to a classic horror film. And when the project does both of two prerequisites--a.) tie in the inter-movie consistencies and b.) manage to be damned entertaining on its own--you've got a winner. Thankfully, that's exactly what Matthijs van Heijningen Jr.'s The Thing brings to the table.

Antarctica in 1982 is the setting, the opening title card tells us. A group of Norwegian scientists riding in a Snowcat are travelling to an excavation dig. Just to humanize them, the script has one tell a sex joke (all the more humorous because it's subtitled) shortly before the vehicle breaks through the icy earth and plunges hundreds of feet into a vast cavern containing something which mesmerizes the occupants of the fallen Snowcat....[READ FULL REVIEW]

[Posted By Petch Lucas]

G.D. Spradlin 1920-2011 -- [Posted 28 July 2011]

Prolific and versatile character actor G.D. Spradlin (born Gervais Duan Spradlin), who often appeared as authority figures or corrupt men of power, has died of natural causes at his cattle ranch in San Luis Obispo, California. Genre fans will fondly remember him from Tim Burton's classic Ed Wood, as the preacher who baptises Johnny Depp's entourage in exchange for his church co-funding the infamous Plan Nine From Outer Space production. Spradlin also had memorable roles in The Godfather, Part II as a bigotted senator whose tables are turned on him; Apocalypse Now as an officer who briefs Martin Sheen and Harrison Ford's characters on their duties; and a particularly mean turn as the sinister and belt-slinging Sheriff Buelton in 1984's Tank. His last role before retirement was in the 1999 serio-comic film Dick, in which he played a major figure in President Richard Nixon's Watergate crisis.

A successful lawyer and businessman before he tried his hand at acting, he first dabbled in community theatre while in his mid-40's. One thing led to another, and next we was doing television. He finally broke into motion pictures in the 1970's, and the rest was history. At the time of his passing, G.D. Spradlin was 90 years old. The Pit salutes his work and wonderful characterizations over a rewarding career.

[Posted By Petch Lucas]

SUPER 8 - Why Did It Underperform? [A Pit Of Horror Commentary] -- [Posted 23 July 2011]

The movie had the markings of the summer 2011 runaway smash hit. A brilliantly vague months-early ad campaign that only hinted at what it was about; a Steven Spielberg production credit; script and direction by sci-fi "It Boy" J.J. Abrams; an eerie "hide the creature" trailer with an atmosphere that harkened back to old-school 1970s fare; and a remarkably inexpensive $50 million budget for a film of this stature, which seemed guaranteed to net a gargantuan final payday. Super 8 had it all going for it, even largely positive reviews at its opening. But at the six-week mark, it's had a swift pull from most cinemas with less than $124 million in box office receipt.

So what went wrong? READ MORE.

[Posted By Petch Lucas]

SCREAM 4 - The Pit Of Horror Review! -- [Posted 15 April 2011]

Who'd have thought a decade ago that Wes Craven's Scream franchise would one day elicit nostalgia? The highly successful horror satire trilogy was gobbled up by mainstream audiences, but many horror purists disdained its glossy, over-stylized approach and frequent casting of television stars and celebrity cameos. But the moment Scream 4 begins, with the Dimension logo and the telephone ring, the nostalgia's there, and suddenly it's Y2K again. And that literally is just the beginning.

The now-familiar scenario of teenaged girls being harassed by a menacing caller is given a clever "movie within a movie" twist, and the jaded eye which the original film had upon its own genre is now jaundiced. "Maybe you're over-thinking it," one character tells another in a conversation about Saw killer Jigsaw's motivations. "Maybe you're under-thinking it," comes the tart reply. By the time the title card slam-cuts onto the screen, we have two freshly sliced-and-diced teens on the tenth anniversary of the Woodsboro murders.... [READ FULL REVIEW]

[Posted By Petch Lucas]

FIRST LOOK AT ROYCE FREEMAN'S 'RAPTURE'! -- [Posted 15 March 2011]

Independent filmmaker Royce Freeman is ready to go with Rapture, his debut feature film. Directing for the first time and from a script he co-wrote with Kurt S. Poulin, Freeman tells a story of a vicious storm bringing together a group of characters whose lives have been destined to meet. A seemingly tranquil weekend getaway is the setting which spins their lives into a downward spiral. Each is set to a tribulation of sorts, put to their limits and tested, and after which is a Rapture from the hell they currently face.

Poulin, who had previously collaborated with Freeman on Blood Ties: The Legend Of Hammerhead, headlines the Rapture cast, which also includes David McKanna, Julianna Piechovski and Kristen Ballentine. Producer Thomas H. Wermke is fulfilling a life's ambition inspired by his mother, who recently passed away but always encouraged him to follow his dreams.

Freeman provided us with this description of the Rapture plot:

In the lives of many there are moments that define them. Moments that will forever change them. For Grace and her friends, a storm has come which has turned a peaceful weekend getaway into a nightmare. They will be faced with the darkest side of humanity and experience unspeakable horrors on the road to their salvation. Each put to the test, these lost souls will undergo a baptism of fire, of which not all will survive. And those who are raptured from this hell will be cleansed and given a new chance at life.

Rapture is currently in post-production, with release information to follow soon. [READ MORE.]

[Posted By Petch Lucas]

DRIVE ANGRY 3D - The Pit Of Horror Review! -- [Posted 6 March 2011]

It's impossible not to love the gratuitous "Shot In 3D" tag on the poster, presumably a flip-off to recent 3D cinematic fare where the effect was retrofitted as a gimmicky afterthought. Patrick Lussier's Drive Angry would work just as well in two dimensions as an engaging supernatural road movie with over-the-top violence and strikingly well characterized performances. The extra dimension merely adds more bang for buck visually, and does it very well.

Nicolas Cage stars as John Milton, a long-deceased sinner who manages to break out of Hell and returns to Earth with a personal mission. It seems that in Hell, burning isn't the worst part; the continual video feed of seeing your loved ones on Earth going through their own tribulations make your stay down under unbearable.... [READ FULL REVIEW]

[Posted By Petch Lucas]

BLACK SWAN - The Pit Of Horror Review! -- [Posted 20 December 2010]

A study of self-destructive patterns in the artist's quest for perfection on the stage, Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan is a superbly crafted psychological thriller featuring an outstanding cast. Themes of cyclical dysfunction, as well as obsession and jealousy, are the focus here, plus the jagged results of when they are carried to extreme conclusion.

Natalie Portman stars as Nina Sayers, a brilliantly talented but emotionally unstable ballet dancer. Her clinging, overbearing mother Erica (an unrecognizable Barbara Hershey) sacrificed her own ballet career years ago to raise Nina, hence her inability to treat her adult daughter as any more than a teenager. Nina belongs to the same prestigious New York City dance company as had her mother, and she is alarmed as a cherished colleague (Winona Ryder) is summarily dismissed from the company because of her advanced age.... [READ FULL REVIEW]

[Posted By Petch Lucas]

SAW 3D - The Pit Of Horror Review! -- [Posted 29 October 2010]

Seven years in the making, the Saw franchise has been built upon intricate plotting with overlapping story elements in between sequels, set against harsh and brutal industrial-type environments. The cruel and explicit nature of the series' violence helped to promulgate the absurd "torture porn" label which proselytizers tended to nance about throughout the better part of the 2000's. Saw 3D, the seventh and final installment, is not only a worthy successor to the films that have come before, but it serves as a highly satisfying coda to the high-mileage series.

Where 2009's Saw VI sought to quantify the motivations of John Kramer (Tobin Bell), aka Jigsaw, and bring his story to a full closure, Saw 3D's marching orders are to provide a denouement and tie up loose ends. And it does so with aplomb. In the space of the first five minutes, we find out that Dr. Lawrence Gordon (Cary Elwes), whom we hadn't seen since he sawed off his own foot to escape the perils of the first film.... [READ FULL REVIEW]

[Posted By Petch Lucas]

A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET - The Pit Of Horror Review -- [Posted 30 April 2010]

As the house lights came up and the end titles for Samuel Bayer's remake of 1984's A Nightmare On Elm Street began, the first thought that popped into my head was one I hadn't experienced since my first viewing of Inglourious Basterds last summer. That thought was, When's the next time I'm free to see this again on the big screen? Talk about not beating around the bush in the opening paragraph.

The recent "re-imaginings" or "reboots," if you will, of Halloween and Friday The 13th saw iconic 80's horror staples Michael Myers and Jason Voorhees upgraded for a new generation. Now the slasher triumvirate is complete as Freddy Krueger receives the same treatment in a film that, eschewing the "re-whatevers" of his peers, truly deserves to be called a "remake" proper. And this is because all of the pieces are in place to retell Wes Craven's original story with a few changes and flourishes so there are enough surprises and not so much predictability.... [READ FULL REVIEW]

[Posted By Petch Lucas]

SHUTTER ISLAND - The Pit Of Horror Review -- [Posted 20 February 2010]

The celebrated Oscar-winning director Martin Scorsese returns with Shutter Island, his first suspense thriller since 1991's Cape Fear remake. Adapted from the 2003 novel by Dennis Lehane, the film is a psychological rollercoaster ride with chilling insights into the depths the human mind will go in the art of denial. And it is exceptionally good.

It opens on a ferry boat traversing a foggy and overcast channel in 1954. Onboard are two federal marshals, the acutely seasick Teddy (Leonardo Di Caprio) and his new partner Chuck (Mark Ruffalo). Both have been assigned to investigate the inexplicable escape of a dangerous patient from the Ashecliffe Hospital for the Criminally Insane, a fortress-like compound on the remote Shutter Island.... [READ FULL REVIEW]

[Posted By Petch Lucas]

ROB ZOMBIE: HELLBILLY DELUXE 2 - The Pit Of Horror Review -- [Posted 6 February 2010]

Roaring out of the hellgates nearly four years after his previous studio album Educated Horses, Rob Zombie's Hellbilly Deluxe 2 would seem like a step backward from the matured and classic rock feel he had embraced in 2006. But for better or worse, this musical follow-up to his debut solo record from fourteen years ago instead takes the best of both worlds. Fast answer, it works in spite of itself....[READ FULL REVIEW]

[Posted By Petch Lucas]


Our mainstay Leatherface now has a permanent home on the internet! Witness the launch of, which chronicles Andrew's career up to the present--including his unforgettable appearances as Leatherface in the latter-day Texas Chainsaw Massacre films--and future projects. The talented Pit founder Rich Carlin is responsible for the impressive new design.

Many thanks to Andrew for his continued friendship and participation.

[Posted By Admin]

SAW VI - THE PIT OF HORROR REVIEW -- [Posted 23 October 2009]

Why make it a series finale when you cotton onto a plot development this rich? Despite the producers' earlier hinting that Saw VI would be the finale of the Jigsaw cycle, recent word of mouth suggests at least two more installments are on the drawing board. And with regular scripters Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton again tapping away, series film editor Kevin Greutert takes his first stab at directing. And the result? It's a smashing Saw VI that will make you forget the occasional shortcomings of some of the latter installments and make us look forward to next October again.

The cold open once again features two anonymous victims waking up in the midst of a Jigsaw-esque game, this time with mechanized devices on their heads that are poised to drive screws into their skulls for a most fatal effect. The nearby TV monitor is hosted by Billy the Puppet, who lays out the rules of this round. Shades of The Merchant Of Venice, each must carve off enough of their own flesh and pass it onto scale, which is wired into a program that will spell death for the one of them with the lesser yield within a sixty-second limit. With the overweight man carving bloody chunks out of his gut, he will almost assuredly be the survivor....that is, until the resourceful Simone (Tanedra Howard) uses a cleaver to chop off her left arm just below the elbow. The scale tilts to her favor, while the unfortunate Eddie (Marty Moreau) receives the ultimate Excedrin headache and untimely passing.... [READ FULL REVIEW]

[Posted By Petch Lucas]

ORPHAN - THE PIT OF HORROR REVIEW -- [Posted 24 July 2009]

Deceptively packaged like the quintessential contemporary and hated PG-13 horror flick--although it's actually rated R--Jaume Collet-Sera's Orphan is one sick little puppy. I mean that in the best sense where horror films are concerned. While the first hour tends to drag in places and largely relies on musical stingers and inconsequential jump scares, once the film gets cooking, it serves up a smorgasbord of psychological terror.

Kate (Vera Farmiga) and John (Peter Saarsgard) Coleman have lost a child a few years ago; in this case, her anticipated baby was stillborn. Kate's subsequent alcoholism has further strained the family, and a glimmer of hope to rebuild their lives is manifested in their resolve to adopt. At a nearby orphan home, they meet the Russian-accented Esther (Isabelle Furhman), an articulate and well-mannered nine-year-old immigrant who has lost her family in a tragic house fire. The beguiling Esther quickly wins their hearts, and once the paperwork is in place, they spirit her away to live as their daughter. [READ FULL REVIEW]

[Posted By Petch Lucas]


Drag Me To Hell has a lot going both for it and against it as it enters the horror ring. In its corner, it's directed and co-written by the celebrated Sam Raimi. It deals with issues of eternal damnation, lurking demons and decomposing old ladies, among other horrors. Elsewhere, it's branded by that hated PG-13 rating. On the heels of that, let's add that there's no nudity, and the violence is mostly bloodless. Did I mention that the hardest swearing in the film is a sparing use of "bitch" or "damn"? I personally find those "deficiencies" rather refreshing, and Drag Me To Hell, despite some theological absurdities, is one of the most original and jarring horror jaunts in many years.

Christine Brown (Alison Lohman), an ambitious young loan officer in a big city bank, is up for a promotion. Her boss, the officious Mr. Jacks (David Paymer), hints that "making tough decisions" is the key to upward mobility in this company, especially since there's a rival candidate working for the same promotion. Stu Rubin (Reggie Lee), a newcomer to the bank, but clearly a go-getter, suddenly gets private lunches with Mr. Jacks, and Christine feels a need to show her professional fortitude to Jacks. She finds it in an encounter with an enigmatic gypsy woman....[READ FULL REVIEW]

[Posted By Petch Lucas]


We've all seen Troll 2. Whether we rented the VHS at some point since its early 90's debut on home video, watched some midnight movie retrospective ten or fifteen years later, or even caught it for the first time at a horror convention in recent years. We're all in agreement....for being one of the worst films ever made, we love it unconditionally. Be it the hilariously bad acting, the incompetently written dialogue by non-English-speaking scribes, hideous storytelling, inept blocking and laughable special effects, it's a smorgasbord of every smidgen of badness that can be added to the kettle of a bad horror movie. And as such, it succeeds on the entertainment level like no other film deserves to.

Troll 2 actors George Ormsby, George Hardy and Michael Paul Richardson pose with enthusiastic fans!
Michael Paul Stephenson, who at eleven starred in this tainted opus, has turned his once-embarassing turn into a labor of love and constructed the documentary Best Worst Movie, which had been in production for a while now and even made a stop at our own Texas Fear Fest 2 last year, where a good bit of footage was filmed and which just might make it into the final cut. Fellow actor George Hardy, an Alabama dentist who has reason to enjoy his B-movie-star status at these events, was also onhand. And the fans, as usual, made no secret of their love for this unusual masterpiece. Indeed, double decker balogna sandwiches and the trademark green "NILBOG" milk were a mainstay at the event.

Best Worst Movie had its debut screening this past weekend at the South By Southwest 2009 convention in Austin, Texas. We enjoyed hosting them last year at Texas Fear Fest 2. Let's wish them the best of luck with their remarkable movie about a....well, remarkable movie which bears repeat viewing, again and again (preferably with friends, and with many beers!). Click HERE for more info on the documentary!

[Posted By Admin]


Masters of horror Wes Craven and Sean Cunningham revisit their landmark film that launched Craven?s directing career and influenced decades of horror films to follow: The Last House On The Left. Bringing one of the most notorious thrillers of all time to a new generation, they produce the story that explores how far two ordinary people will go to exact revenge on the sociopaths who harmed their child.

The night she arrives at the remote Collingwood lakehouse, Mari (Sara Paxton) and her friend are kidnapped by a prison escapee and his crew. Terrified and left for dead, Mari?s only hope is to make it back to parents John and Emma (Tony Goldwyn and Monica Potter). Unfortunately, her attackers unknowingly seek shelter at the one place she could be safe. And when her family learns the horrifying story, they will make three strangers curse the day they came to the Last House on the Left.

You're in the Dallas area and want to see an advance screening? We thought so. So here's how you do it. Simply show up at Hot Topic or Spencer's Gifts inside the Golden Triangle Mall in Denton, TX and mention Pit Of Horror. While supplies last, you'll get your golden ticket, good for admission at midnight at this time and location:

Thursday, 13 March 2009
7:30 pm
8687 N Central Expy
Dallas, TX 75225
(214) 265-7138

Click HERE for more info about the movie!

[Posted By John Gray]

PITCH IN AND HELP 'KILL FRANK'! -- [Posted 14 February 2009]

From the disturbed mind of horror mastermind Tom Holland, director of the original Child's Play and screenwriter of the classic Psycho II comes this new exercise in psychological terror. Billionaire Frank Reynolds has had an auto accident, turning him into a brain-dead paraplegic. His family and business associates gather at his mansion to have him declared legally incompetent, so they can divide up his fortune. Only someone else has other ideas, and starts killing them off. Trapped in the mansion, they quickly realize if they don't discover who the killer is, they will all become victims.

Here is your opportunity to be a part of horror movie history! Instead of being an idle spectator, YOU have the opportunity to get involved in the development and production of a real Hollywood horror film. Click HERE to find out more!

[Posted By Admin]

FRIDAY THE 13TH - THE PIT OF HORROR REVIEW -- [Posted 13 February 2009]

No point in beating around the bush here. All worries that this "re-boot" of the beloved Jason Voorhees cycle would repudiate the continuity of the old films can be laid to rest. Marcus Nispel's Friday The 13th can easily be slid--well, admittedly with some suspension of disbelief--alongside the old Paramount installments as just one of the crowd. And given that the six-years-ago box office bonanza Freddy Vs. Jason failed to usher in a new run of either character's series, if this will ring the machetes, then so be it.

With the opening credits showing quick flashbacks to Mrs. Voorhees' 1980 rampage and subsequent beheading, the story quickly shifts to present day, with a character named Whitney (Amanda Righetti) and four friends traipsing into the Crystal Lake area, looking for a rumored marijuana field. They quickly get more than they bargained for when a certain sack-headed slasher shows up and rains blood on their parade. At this point, perhaps fifteen minutes into the film, the title card Friday The 13th finally slam-cuts onto the screen....[READ FULL REVIEW]

[Posted By Petch Lucas]


The word "remake" has these days been modified, at least where cinema is concerned, to such lofty terms as "re-imagining" and "re-invention." Hell, come to think of it, I tried to coin "re-accomplishment" for Rob Zombie's Halloween feature from last year; it didn't catch on, incidentally. But Patrick Lussier's My Bloody Valentine 3D, a fresh take on the feisty 1981 Canadian slasher, is in a class of its own. And the stunning three-dimensional visuals are only a sidebar, not the mainstay of this winningly creepy horror romp.

The film moves at a strikingly rapid clip. For a moment, I wondered if the projectionist had mistakenly put on the last reel, and this was about five minutes into the screening. But he hadn't, because this film has a get-up-and-go agenda and wastes no time setting up a backstory and then engineering a fake-out second prologue. In the interest of exposition, the small mining township of Harmony, Pennsylvania suffers a terrible tragedy in which an inexperienced miner accidentally triggers a collapse which traps six miners. When the debris is finally cleared, only one miner is still alive. It is the comatose Harry Warden (Rich Walters), but it's quickly discovered that he used his pick-axe to murder the other five to conserve oxygen for himself....[READ FULL REVIEW]

[Posted By Petch Lucas]

CRAIG SINGER FILLS US IN ON 'PERKINS 14'! -- [Posted 10 January 2009]

Now in its third year of fantastic success, After Dark presents its latest onslaught of "Films To Die For," and thanks to a note from our good friend Dante Tomaselli, we've managed to land an interview with Craig Singer, the talented director who helmed last year's Dark Ride entry. This time, he's taken the reins of Perkins' 14, a chilling tale of regret, failed attempts at attonement, and then all-out horror and mayhem.

Singer took the time to participate in a Pit Of Horror interview which should be inspiring not only to the independent scribe, but also to the fledgling director who just needs a nudge in the right direction. The interview can be read here. Again, we appreciate Craig's input and insight.

[Posted By Petch Lucas]

PAT HINGLE: 1924-2009 -- [Posted 6 January 2009]

Hollywood has lost one its most endearing and beloved character actors. Veteran stage and screen star Pat Hingle has died from complications following a long battle with leukemia. He was 84 years old.

Hingle began working in television in the 1950's and later parlayed into motion pictures, including an acclaimed turn in 1978's Norma Rae with Sally Field. To genre fans he is best remembered as Commissioner James Gordon in all four original Batman films, as well as Mr. Hendershot from Stephen King's 1986 camp classic Maximum Overdrive. More recently he appeared opposite Betsy Palmer in the 2006 comedy/drama Waltzing Anna. [WATCH TRIBUTE CLIP]

[Posted By Petch Lucas]

SAW V - THE PIT OF HORROR REVIEW -- [Posted 24 October 2008]

You have to give it to the PR folks at Lionsgate. They chose a ballsy, pull-no-punches tagline for Saw V that matches the absence of subtlety in titling your movie Snakes On A Plane. The first time I read it, I laughed aloud. More about the tagline later.

Saw V is the second installment of the serrated series to be written by Patrick Melton and Mark Dunstan, who co-wrote the immediate predecessor and are now tasked with explaining just how FBI profiler Mark Hoffman (Costas Mandylor) wound up in the position of being a Jigsaw accomplice. The ending of their previous effort left many confused and feeling cheated by a cheap twist, but the backstory of Hoffman's gradual possession by the manipulating moralizer is telegraphed remarkably well, and Hoffman's motivations are surprisingly well-conceived..... [READ FULL REVIEW]

[Posted By Petch Lucas]


Wizard World Texas just got even bigger with the announcement today that the pop culture extravaganza will host the hottest horror show in Texas, Texas Fear Fest, as part of the festivities November 7-9 at the Arlington Convention Center.

On top of the impressive list of comic book talent already attending at this year?s Wizard World Texas convention, Corey Feldman (The Lost Boys, Friday the 13th 4 & 5), Danny Trejo (From Dusk Till Dawn, Rob Zombie's Halloween) and cast members from Friday the 13th: A New Beginning, Monster Squad and Halloween 4 will be on hand to meet and greet their fans. In addition to the guests, there will be special events, including screenings of Friday the 13th: A New Beginning and Monster Squad and Fear Jam, a concert featuring murder metal pioneers Macabre, Michale Graves, formerly of The Misfits, FirstJason, and The Horrifics with special guest Eerie Von of Danzig and Samhain.

"Wizard is thrilled to be able to play host to such a popular event and work with Texas FearFest partners John Gray and Sean Clark," said Wizard Senior VP/Operations Joe Yanarella. "This amazing opportunity allows us to bring in more guests and more excitement and grow our show larger than ever before."

"This really is a merger of powerhouses," said Fear Fest's John Gray. "What a fantastic opportunity for the fans of Fear Fest and Wizard! It also lets me combine my two great loves, horror and comics, so I am personally ecstatic!"

"Being able to join forces with an established and well respected company like Wizard World is truly a blessing for us," added Sean Clark.

For complete information on guests, events and tickets, visit Texas FearFest is sponsored by, and

Wizard World, the largest family-friendly comics and pop culture convention in the United States, returns to Texas November 7-9 at the Arlington Convention Center.


[Posted By Rich Carlin]


Big news from Halloween Comics! The second series, entitled "Halloween: The First Death Of Laurie Strode" and taking place in 1979 after the events of the first and second films in the series, begins in September and can be ordered and reserved in retail comic outlets, as well as online at Diamond Comic Distributors. The comic features illustrations by Jeff Zornow and is written by Stefan Hutchinson.

Moreover, "Halloween: Nightdance" was released in it's entirety as a trade paperback this week. The trade contains all four issues of the hit mini-series that brought the Shape back to comic books. It's available from all good comic shops, in addition to bigger retailers such as Amazon and bookstores. In addition to the four issues, there's a batch of bonus features, such as a cover gallery, press clippings dealing with the story's aftermath, and an original story entitled 'Charlie'.

[Posted By Admin]


Reviewing a film like this, given its critic-proof nature plus its nearly-guaranteed posthumous Oscar nomination, is somewhat irrelevant. But I'll give it a shot anyway. The Dark Knight is, despite a few caveats, a remarkably implicit morality tale with a multitude of awe-inspiring action sequences thrown in. Add in that the principle actors deliver commanding performances, and you've got that rare specimen: a comic strip film which just might ring some Oscar cherries... [READ FULL REVIEW]

[Posted By Rich Carlin]

LOST BOYS: THE TRIBE - SCREENING! -- [Posted 25 July 2008] and, in conjunction with Warnerbros will be theatrically screening Lost Boys: The Tribe and The Lost Boys on July 29th at the Studio Movie Grill in Dallas TX! As you know the 2009 Fear Fest will be a Lost Boys themed show. Click HERE for more details on this one-off blu-ray screening!

[Posted By Rich Carlin]

ALL THE BOYS LOVE MANDY LANE - REVIEWED -- [Posted 27th June 2008]

"All the Boys Love Mandy Lane" isn't your typical Ambercrombie catalogue list of CW rejects and cliched stalk and slash kills. It's a smart, well written, well directed film that could literally revive the slump that horror has been in as of late. But, with the troubled release of the film, my fear is that it will wind up on the video store shelf next to The "Grudge 3" and "Boogeyman 2". Lets hope not, because it is seriously one of the best horror films of the last ten years. [READ FULL REVIEW]

[Posted By Rich Carlin]

DAY OF THE DEAD (2008) - REVIEWED -- [Posted 27th June 2008]

A couple of years ago director Zack Snyder and writer James Gunn did the unthinkable and took on a new version of George A. Romero's classic zombie opus Dawn of the Dead. Despite fan backlash, the film turned out utterly amazing and won over the hearts and brains of most horror fans, originally opposed to the idea. It was smart, scary, and downright funny.. [READ FULL REVIEW] - Starring Mena Suvari (yum) and Ving Rhames.

[Posted By Rich Carlin]

THE RUINS - REVIEWED -- [Posted 27th June 2008]

It is something of a clichĀ amongst fans of horror that the genre had its heyday in the 1970s and early 1980s, and has been utterly rotten ever since, "The Ruins" is a minimal exception. It's neither great nor terrible. But it definitely has it's moments. Scott B. Smith adapts his own novel of tourism gone wrong with this horror film. In THE RUINS... [READ FULL REVIEW]

[Posted By Rich Carlin]

MOTHER OF TEARS - REVIEWED -- [Posted 27th June 2008]

An ancient urn is found in a cemetery outside Rome. Once opened, it triggers a series of violent incidents: robberies, rapes and murders increase dramatically, while several mysterious, evil-looking young women coming from all over the world are gathering in the city. All these events are caused by the return of Mater Lacrimarum, the last of three powerful witches who... [READ FULL REVIEW]

[Posted By Rich Carlin]

PROM NIGHT (2008) - REVIEWED -- [Posted 27th June 2008]

What do you call a slasher movie with no slashing? Prom Night... the remake that is. No disco, no Jamie Lee, and no heads rolling down the dance floor. The remake of the classic horror film from 1980, Prom Night is another film that only shares the title in common with the original... [READ FULL REVIEW]

[Posted By Rich Carlin]

FEAR FEST 3 - MORE UPDATES! -- [Posted 9 June 2008]

More updates of FF3! Tom Towles has just been reconfirmed to appear! Tom starred in Michael Mann's 'MIAMI VICE', Rob Zombie's 'House of 1000 Corpses' and the classic genre piece, 'HENRY: PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL KILLER'. Also confirmed for the show are Dominick Brascia and Ron Sloan, quite possibly making FF3 the largest ever FRIDAY THE 13TH PART V: A NEW BEGINNING reunion ever! It cant' be missed, stay tuned!

[Posted By Rich Carlin]

FEAR FEST 3 - ANNOUNCED FOR OCT 3RD, 4TH & 5TH (2008)! -- [Posted 14 April 2008]

FEAR FEST 3 has been announced, and it's a cracker for 80's horror fans! For the next event, being held this October 3rd, 4th and 5th, reunions for The Monster Squad, Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning and Halloween IV are in place. The event will take place at the Hyatt Regency hotel at DFW Airport. The reunions, Including Tom Noonan, Duncan Regehr, Danny Steinmann, Tom Morga, Danielle Harris and George Wilbur are to be complimented with screenings of each movie (see website for details)! Also appearing are Tom Towles,of 'Henry: Portrait of a serial killer', 'House of 1000 Corpses' and Michael Mann's 'Miami Vice' and Renny Harlin, director of Die Hard 2, A Nightmare on Elm Street 4 and Cliffhanger, among many other great guests! Check out the site for all the details, but it's set to be a great event already...

[Posted By Rich Carlin]

DEAD OR AMERICAN - SINGLE RELEASE -- [Posted 12 April 2008]

Dead or American (bio) have been at it for a while now. Taking influences from Fugazi, Helmet and Jesus Lizard, their debut album, "Ends", received some excellent reviews from UK magazines Rocksound and Powerplay among others. However they have recently recorded a new album, "Thaumaturgy", with Kurt Ballou of God City Studio (and Converge). This is easily their best material to date. Fresh back from a UK tour they've decided to release "SHIBBOLETH", from the new album, as a free download single, complete with artwork and a B-side cover. You can download the single here, alternatively, visit their myspace... c'mon, it won't cost you a cent...

[Posted By John Gray]

DOOMSDAY - THE PIT OF HORROR REVIEW -- [Posted 17 March 2008]

"Doomsday" is three equal parts of three different films. Grab your "Escape From New York" DVD , then your "Camelot" DVD, and finally your "The Road Warrior" DVD, hit pulse on your blender... and there you have "Doomsday". The new flick from "The Descent" director Neil Marshall. Fans will say it is a great sci fi movie, but really it's a straight-forward "action movie." Fans will also point to its satirical and irreverent tone, and yes, I will grant that it does have an edge, although not as sharp as I would have liked.

[Posted By John Gray]

FEAR FEST 2 -- [Posted 17 March 2008]

First of all, we'd like to thank all the fans who attended the show. We'd also like to thank all of our guests, vendors, staff and volunteers. The event was a huge success, granted we had a few kinks to work out. However, FEAR FEST 3 is already scheduled for next March and we have the experience to improve upon the most recent show to make sure things run much more smoothly. For a review of the show from a non-biased camp, check out ICONS OF FRIGHT's write up. [DISCUSS ON OUR FORUMS]

[Posted By Rich Carlin]

'RED VELVET,' IF YOU PLEASE! -- [Posted 29 February 2008]

Red Velvet is the stylish new horror effort from 3Mac Studios. First-time helmer Bruce Dickson, who had previously handled visual effects on Spider-Man 3, directs, and Henry Thomas (Masters Of Horror: Chocolate) and Kelli Garner (Bully) star. Thomas plays a self-described "storyteller," whose macabre yarns intrigue his neighbor (Garner) following a chance encounter. How these tales of terror correlate with real-life events which may be happening around them provides the story's arc and catalyst for suspense. Look for a cameo by the legendary Forrest J. Ackerman! Red Velvet's new trailer can be viewed here, while clicking the graphic to the above right will take you to the official website.

The Pit and Dread Central are grateful to 3Mac Studios for their generous sponsorship to FEAR FEST 2, and we are all too happy to feature a Red Velvet panel featuring both Thomas (in his first convention appearance) and Garner, plus a world-premiere screening of the film. As several new guests have been added to the docket (particularly a punch-up of our Fright Night reunion!), and as there have unfortunately been a few cancelations, you might want to check Fear Fest's guest page for the updated line-up. Hope to see you this weekend!

[Posted By Petch Lucas]

GEORGE ROMERO DROPS BY THE PIT! -- [Posted 20 February 2008]

The man responsible for the zombie genre--the great George A. Romero--has very kindly taken part in a short interview with the Pit, conducted by our own Paul Salfen. With his newly released Diary Of The Dead, Mr. Romero imparts some movie-making wisdom, and proves to be a great sport all the while.

The interview can be read here. Enjoy.

Many thanks to George Romero for the interview!

[Posted By Petch Lucas]

JESSICA ALBA COMPLETES A TWO-PUNCH.... -- [Posted 3 February 2008]

We've seen the commercial for The Eye, and it looks pretty damned good. But even better-looking is star Jessica Alba, who kindly gave our intrepid correspondent Paul Salfen an insightful interview about her preperations upon playing a blinded character and her thoughts on other possibly recurring genre roles (think, Fantastic Four, Sin City, etc.). The Eye has opened at the #2 spot domestically, but during a rather tepid box office weekend for the competition as well. Let's hope things pick up. Read Paul's interview here, or just click the above graphic to your right.

[Posted By Petch Lucas]

....INTERVIEW WITH DIANE LANE! -- [Posted 31 January 2008]

Veteran actress Diane Lane, who has graced the screen in countless motion pictures such as Murder At 1600, The Perfect Storm and Hollywoodland has kindly spoken to the Pit about her current role in the well-publicized Untraceable. The tale of a tech-savvy detective on the trail of a diabolical murderer who uses the internet as his thrill-show forum, her character takes on such a heroic mantle as Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) in Silence Of The Lambs.

The interview was conducted by Paul Salfen and can be read here. Great job!

[Posted By Petch Lucas]

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