HORROR GIFT GUIDE 2016

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Here ‘ya go horror fans, your very own gift guide for this unholy season. Use it to buy yourself some goodies or buy the right thing for that horror friend of yours. In fact, it might be a good idea to go ahead and share it with your family members so they know what gifts you really want this year. Happy giving!


HORROR IN AUSTIN

First off we’ll start with Texas’s belly of the beast, Austin. Since we live here, we know the best places for you horror fans to visit. We urge you to buy local and support small businesses when you can. So get that car revved up and get ready for a Austin shopping trip. (More businesses — that don’t have an actual walk-in store — are listed below)

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Cover yourself in horror with jewelry, accessories, horror shirts and cool clothes at Austin’s goth, alternative store, Secret Oktober. Murpho’s Boneyard Boutique also sells some cool rockabilly/psychobilly clothes and accessories. Have a comic book lover to buy for? Austin Books & ComicsTribe Comics & Games and Dragon’s Lair Comics & Fantasy are just a few here in Austin. Museum of The Weird sells lots of unique gifts and horror shirts. Most fans of horror like to dress the part at some point, so a gift certificate from Lucy in Disguise or The Bazaar are great gifts since they can use it to buy FX makeup, blood, masks, costumes, wigs, etc.  Guzu Gallery and Mondo Gallery both sell horror-themed posters and artist prints — Guzu also sells many collectible toys and fun stuff . End Of An Ear and Encore Records sell plenty of horror movie soundtracks on vinyl. Many older movie soundtracks have been re-released as high quality re-mastered editions on vinyl — plus many new horror movies are now releasing their soundtracks on vinyl. All are are great for a horror fan’s collection. Gift certificates to your local video store will always be used. Stop into Vulcan Video or I Luv Video to pick some up. Looking for local handmade art and general horror merch? The vendors that were a part of our recent event, the 3rd annual Horror For The Holidays Art & Gift Bazaar, have too much good stuff to list here. We suggest you check out the past EVENT PAGE. There is a full list of the vendors in the “About” area and you can scroll through the posts in the “discussion” area to see examples of their items and links to their pages. We highly recommend you check them out. Many of them vend at local events and most of them can make arrangements to get you your gifts before the holidays.


GIFTS FOR THE HORROR FIEND

YEAR OF FEAR CALENDAR 2017 Presented by photographer Ama Lea, get a  year’s full of horror hotties. The calendar features your favorite horror icons in their element — with weapons and muscles for days. Even a little Leatherface boo-tay. $20. MEOW


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DARK BATHBOMBS Bath bombs are all the rage right now and this company offers many “horror-style” bombs. Black As Your Soul (shown), Red Bathory Blood (shown), Hell Fury, Samhain and Nightmare are some of the bombs to choose from. Offered from a Belfast company, Bella Muerte Clothing and Accessories, you’ll need all of them to make your bathing experience complete. Gift sets available. Prices range and we’ll leave it to you to figure out the exchange rate. BOMB YOUR BATH


HELLRAISER: THE SCARLET BOX LIMITED EDITION UK distributor, Arrow Releasing, releases the US version this month. The set features re-mastered versions of the Hellraiser trilogy: Hellraiser, Hellbound: Hellraiser 2 and Hellraiser 3. Arguably the best movies of the franchise, the set includes all three re-mastered movies, a 200-page hardback book , 20-page booklet featuring never-before-seen original concept art, exclusive art cards, posters, commentaries, documentaries, interviews, bonus short films from Clive Barker, soundtrack and more. The ultimate gift for the ultimate Hellraiser fan. Scheduled for a Dec. 20 2016 release. The site recommends pre-ordering on Amazon but the pre-orders seem to be filling up fast, so you might want to search different sellers. Prices range depending on source, but it’s about $100. AMAZONARROW


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HORROR ON VINYL: Remember those re-releases of horror soundtracks — and new movies —on vinyl we were talking about? You can buy them at several record stores and businesses that sell horror collectibles, but you can also go straight to the source. Death Waltz (now distributed and manufactured by Mondo Tees) and Wax Work Records offer some amazing and collectible vinyl. Including really purdy designs on the vinyl too. Prices range.  DEATH WALTZWAXWORK


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HANDMADE OUIJA BOARDS Get your very own — no two are alike — Ouija board offered by The Night of the Necrosuit. Made from wood, with several different styles, all come with a Grave Digger Union planchette. Talk to the dead or adorn your walls. $40. IS ANYONE THERE?


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CRYSTAL LAKE WINES Friday the 13th-inspired fine wines presented by Adrienne King (the ultimate “last girl standing,” Alice, from Friday the 13th 1 & 2) and Valley View Winery. Many varietals are available; such as, Chiller White, Midnight Merlot, Moonlight Chardonnay,  Cabin A Sauvignon and Survivor’s Syrah. $27-30 per bottle.  3-bottle minimum order, free shipping and no sales tax. A perfect gift for the wine and horror lover. GET YOUR SLASHER WINE


bgphb_1024x1024PENTAGRAM PURSE: For the horror girl that has everything. This vintage-inspired pentagram handle purse from Kreepsville 666 is bound to turn some bodies in their graves. Embossed skull design and detachable chain strap. Also available in red. $62. GET KREEPY


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SLASH CARDS Test your knowledge of horror with this fun card game. 1,375 questions that cover over 400 horror movies. A great gift for any horror fiend. Buy one for a friend, or get one for yourself and start up a horror game night. $29.99 (now on sale on Amazon) TEST YOUR HORROR KNOWLEDGE


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COZY HORROR SWEATERS from Middle of Beyond. Pretty much everything on this site you’ll want. Lots of horror sweaters, scarves, blankets, pillows, rugs, T-shirts and super cool Xmas ornaments. From experience, the sweaters are high-quality and heavy. Perfect for the cool temps. Make sure you pick up a Krampus or Baphomet ornament while you’re there. Prices range. GO BEYOND


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LUCILLE A foam version of Negan’s bat, Lucille, from the show The Walking Dead. Since it’s foam and not the real thing, this would be a good gift for a cosplayer who wants to “Negan it up” and creep around at a horror convention or for a Halloween costume. Maybe even a display above the fireplace? Comes is no blood and bloody versions. There’s even a cool foam axe in this Etsy store. Creepy Twists Productions. Prices range. GRAB YOUR WEAPON


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“GHOULISH” GARY PULLIN If you’re not a fan of “Ghoulish” Gary yet, you will be. A true lover of the genre, illustrator and artist “Ghoulish Gary Pullin, has a distinct artistic style that horror fans love. His takes on classic horror movie posters have graced many a wall and he has become a very sought after horror artist in the industry. Gary was the original art director for the great horror mag, Rue Morgue, and has also created many album covers for Wax Work and Death Waltz. Make some space on those walls for your new favorite poster. Prices range. GET GHOULISH


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SKULL AND CROSS-UTENSILS PLATES The Etsy store Folded Pig offers many cool designs, including several anatomical designs, that are perfect for that “Mortisha” Stewart person. “Repurposed restaurant ware;” such as, plates, cups, bowls, etc., re-fired with these ghoulish designs are all dishwasher and microwave safe. Prices range. EAT FANCY STYLE


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BLACK CRAFT CULT: If you’re feeling a little evil, Black Craft Cult, offers clothing for men and women, accessories and home decor. If 666 is your way of life, this place has you covered. Heck they even have coffee to start your evil day. 666


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BRAIN COASTERS These are not your usual coasters. Each coaster features a different slice of the brain, and when stacked, they form a whole brain. We’re pretty sure this will make your drink smarter. An exclusive from Think Geek, you can also find tons of sci-fi gifts for that freaky sci-fi geek that we all know you know. Or you. GET A BRAIN


GIVE THE GIFT THAT KEEPS ON GIVING

boxesBOX SUBSCRIPTIONS: A surprise of horror toys, mags, shirts, movies, etc. are packed into a box and shipped directly to you.  Also, for the goth lover, we added Black Box box of goth goodies. All of them cost around $20 a month and you can buy a month at a time or get 3-month, 6-month, and year subsciptions. Check each website for more details: BOX OF DREAD • HORROR BLOCK • BLACK BOX SUBSCRIPTIONS


magsHORROR MAGS: All stellar horror mags, here are a few select titles to sign up for. Fangoria has been slinging horror on their bloody pages since 1979, Gore Noir Magazine — based out of Austin, Texas — covers many aspects of the horror genre and Rue Morgue is a great mag out of Canada. Visit their sites for more info: FANGORIAGORE NOIRRUE MORGUE


NEEDFUL THINGS: AS SEEN IN THE NEWSLETTER

In case you didn’t know, our Evil Overlord gives our members a “needful thing” to buy every month in our monthly member newsletter. Here are a few of her personal evil picks from 2016. Find out how to be a member and get that newsletter HERE.

SCARY COOL BLANKETS There’s nothing better than snuggling under a soft blanket while watching horror movies on a cold night. Available from Sourpuss. $20 WRAP YOURSELF IN HORROR


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HOMEMADE HORROR PROPS The U.K. based store on Etsy, Rabid Weasel Studio: Mask and Prop Studio, makes some awesome replica movie props from your favorite horror movies. There are several items in the Etsy store and opportunities for custom items. Prices range. GET PROPS


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HORROR COLORING BOOKS The popular trend of “adult coloring books” that the horror fan can appreciate. Color fancy mandala designs within zombie images in  Zombie Mandala, by Kingfisher Press. Sold on Amazon for only $5.95. MANDALA YOUR ZOMBIEThe Beauty of Horror: A Goregeous Coloring Book features creepy horror images from Alan Robert. Sold on Amazon for $10.79. COLOR SOME BEAUTIFUL HORROR


BUY LOCAL! HORROR GIFTS ABOUND

Artists, businesses and handmade crafters who specialize in horror. It’s really hard to pick a few, because there are so many great businesses to choose from, but here are some you must check out. Most sell from their websites, some through local stores, some at local vending events and on Etsy stores. Make sure to tell ’em Blood Over Texas sent ‘ya.

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PALLBEARER PRESS: Unique and one-of-a-kind horror shirts, collectibles, records, pillows, patches, koozies, pins and more.

 

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HEARSE PURSE: A crazy cool purse for the hearse lover.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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INBORN DESIGNS: T-shirts, tote bags, gifts, housewares, enamel pins and their special series, Terrier Cvlt — terriers have never been so terror-ific.

 

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LADYALCHEMY13: Original art (paintings & prints), photography (including abandoned spaces), accessories, coasters and more.

 

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KITTY KORVETTE presents PURR-FUME. Devilishly good scents for your horror body. With a huge selection of scents (with names like Dead & Buried, Cursed, and Vamp Tramp for example ). Purr-fume available in roller ball bottles and lotions. Custom blends available.

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GRIMSICAL: Spooky art in the form of original paintings, jewelry and hand sculpted creatures and dolls.

 

 

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DALE CARROLL ART: Original horror-inspired art.

 

 

 

 

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SINISTER GRIN PRESS: Local publisher offers books — “Horror That’ll Carve a Smile on Your Face.” Check out their list of authors and give the gift of literature.

 

 

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PUNK ROCK LOVE ILLUSTRATION & DESIGN: Original horror-inspired art.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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ATOM AGE VAMP: Creepy and cute horror-inspired jewelry.

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FAST CUSTOM SHIRTS: Unique horror shirts and special metal cut art (their Michael Myers metal-cut  knife is a must).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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THE GLASS COFFIN: Taxidermy, oddities, curiosities, antiques, dark decor and macabre adornments.

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THE CURIOSITEER: Oddities, wet specimens, jewelry and curiosities for the discerning weirdo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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GABRIELLE FAUST: Local author and best known for her Eternal Vigilance vampire series of novels. Check out all of her titles on her site.

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BOMBSHELL KITTY: Quirky and kitschy jewelry, accessories and special Xmas ornaments inspired by horror movies, monsters, zombies, the 80s, pinup girls and retro/vintage.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We hope you all have a safe and fun holiday season. Long live horror! 

 

—Bunny Voodoo

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TEXAS HORROR FILM SPOTLIGHT: LAST GIRL STANDING

last-girl-standing-01aLAST GIRL STANDING

AUSTIN-BASED INDIE GIVES A NEW TAKE ON SLASHER FILMS

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Get links and watch the trailer below.

She survived a brutal massacre, but lost her life. What happens to the final girl after the credits roll?

This year at Texas Frightmare Weekend in Dallas I got to check out Last Girl Standing, an interesting take on the slasher genre by local film making team Ben and Rachel Moody. I was immediately taken by the film and knew that the duo certainly had something on their hands. As first time feature film makers, I wanted to know what it was like getting something like this made, and I wanted to know a little about the two of them as well.

Ben and Rachel are married, and they divide up the film making duties as I am sure they divide up the other married people duties, or whatever it is that married people do. They also divided up the questions I asked of them as well, with Ben handling most of the directorial and writing aspects, while Rachel takes on more of the production elements.

I wanted to know first and foremost, I’d like to get some history about them as filmmakers, so I wondered what was the first thing they remembered watching and saying to yourself “I want to do THIS?” Ben answered, “As far as individual films I’d say seeing Tim Burton’s Batman opening night solidified my obsession with film at a young age. That was my first time in an actual movie theater and it blew my mind.” He started checking out the school’s VHS camcorder for projects, and then after seeing Soderberg’s Out of Sight, Ben was inspired to apply to film school, and follow his obsession.

Where I first became aware of Ben and Rachel was through their De-Pixilated shorts, which were live action video game vignettes. A friend of mine did stunt work on a few of these, and sent me links on YouTube, but it wasn’t until after I watched Last Girl Standing that I knew they were made by the same crew. I didn’t know a whole lot about where those shorts came from, so I asked Rachel to clear it up for me. “Ben had this idea for a video game-based series called BIT Parts that we started working on at the end of 2011.” She told me they had worked on a number of smaller projects in the past, but felt that this was where they started to gain steam. The cast and crew they met filming BIT Parts made such an impression on Ben and Rachel that they wanted to keep it going. “When we finished filming BIT Parts, we didn’t want another year to pass before working on something else and we wanted to keep working with these talented people.” They decided to make one short film a month with the same crew. “All said, we filmed for 15 months straight and really solidified most of the crew and cast that ended up working on Last Girl Standing.”

With the a crew in place, all they needed was an idea to get rolling on their first feature. Having just brought their first born screaming and crying into the world in October, they were mostly home bound to care for their spawn. Being Halloween season, they were doing what any of us would be doing: watching horror movies. They clicked on the television to just catch the end of an old school slasher, with the lone surviving girl escaping the killer, and Ben said to Rachel “I want to see what happens to her next.” Ben started outlining ideas, and had a basic story within about an hour. Rachel said “it felt right and being slasher fans, we also knew it was territory rarely covered, so we felt we could bring something new to the table with this movie.”images

One of the overall themes of Last Girl Standing is how one copes with PTSD. I asked Ben if he had any personal experience with PTSD, either his own or with friends and loved ones. “It felt like a natural area to explore with this character,” he said. “I don’t have any direct connections to PTSD itself, but I guess what inspired me to tackle it was how prevalent it is in our society now.” He also expressed frustration at how although it is widespread, we tend to downplay or outright ignore how it affects and continue to affect victims of trauma. “ When the dust settles, we as a culture leave the victims to put their lives back together alone.”

washPTSD can affect every aspect of a person’s life, and this is evident in the film’s main character, Camyrn. After she survives the brutal murder of her friends at the hands of a maniac, she is shoved back into the real world and expected to just “get over it” and slide back into everyday life as if it had never happened. “The great tragedy is that Camryn survived a massacre, but she’s barely living,” Rachel explained. Camryn’s job needed to be as solitary and mindless as possible, so she works at a dry cleaners. She works in the back, cleaning and folding, does not deal with customers and speaks very little to her coworkers. She drifts from her spartan, impersonal apartment to her solitary job, existing in the world rather than engaging with it. Her horrifying experience dominates every aspect of her life. Even when she meets new people and starts to just creep out into the world, her trauma shoves itself back into her life.

last-girl-standing_140702-19I like to know not only about the film itself, but about the filming as well. Especially when it comes to making movies on a small budget right here in Austin, I like to hear different experiences directors and actors have navigating a film shoot. “We love filming in Austin,” Rachel said. “Doing the shorts was really helpful because we had one month to do everything: script, location-scouting, cast, film, edit, etc. Every month, we’d have to find a new location to film and through that, I discovered just how helpful and open people in Austin are.” She went on to express how much she appreciated the network of friends and acquaintances that were willing to help even on little more than a few hours notice. Austin has always been a haven for artists and creators, and even business owners they had never met were willing to help out.

It’s not all hugs and high fives, film shoots always have their share of hardships, big and small. Ben told me they had to content with a tornado, dealt with being eaten alive by chiggers, but what made the biggest impression on him was an incident that involved another cuddle creature. “One actress on set was attacked by an opossum when going to the bathroom in the woods,” he said. “They tried to keep it from me that night so I wouldn’t freak out but I quickly found out what the commotion was and sent her to the hospital.” It all ended up okay, though. “She was fine and thankfully she is the most bad-ass person on the set. If that had happened to me I would have died on the spot.”

I am always so impressed when I see an aspiring filmmaker get something written, shot, edited, scored and finally put out there in the world, I like to know how they get it done. This question is asked mostly of veteran filmmakers, but I am of the opinion that there are lessons to be learned from someone who has just gotten it done. Ben was of course modest when I asked. “There’s so many more qualified people to get film making advice from,” he said. “The most tiresome advice, but still most valid for today’s generation, is just fucking do it. I personally know how annoying that is to hear, but it’s the truth.” However the ease with which a film can be made also comes with its drawbacks. If anybody can make movies, how do you get yours to stand out? “You do what you love and you do something original. You need to find your voice. That can take years, I know it did for me,” Ben told me. “But finding your voice is what will make you standout from the crowd.”maxresdefault

A horror filmmaker is a horror fan first, and Ben and Rachel are no exceptions. So I wanted to know, what were a few of their favorites. Ben answered, “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Descent, The Thing, Friday the 13th Part 6, American Werewolf in London, Q, Sleepaway Camp… How many do you want? I just saw and loved The Autopsy of Jane Doe!” I also wanted to know what is his sub genre? ie. Slasher, vampire, werewolf, haunting, etc. “If I had to pick a favorite I’d probably say creature features. I like monsters,” he said. And for no reason, I asked him who would win in a fight between a Bigfoot and a Yeti? “Yeti? For some reason they seem wilder to me in my head.” And while I was in no-reason land, I also asked them what was their favorite Halloween costume was, and Rachel answered that they usually do tandem costumes. “One year, we decided to do Sin City costumes where I was Miho and Ben was Elijah Wood’s character,” she said. “We painted our skin gray and did the whole black-and-white character thing. It was great, but the funniest thing was the no one recognized me… friends who had known me for years kept going up to Ben at the party and asking where I was. I’d call that a true success!”

I personally really enjoyed Last Girl Standing, so I am excited to see what Ben and Rachel have in store for down the line. Ben told me “I just finished a martial arts horror script I’m really jazzed about but I don’t know who the hell will fund that!” He also has another horror film with some tonal similarities to Last Girl Standing, but with more of a body horror aspect. Ben isn’t exclusively a horror filmmaker, though. “I also have a sci-fi horror chase movie that’s been in the pipeline for a few years now.”

Ben and Rachel have created something that I think is worth your while, and they are doing their part to continue the Texas horror tradition. So here you go. Right here. Click one of these links and check out Last Girl Standing! I couldn’t have possibly made this easier!

AMAZON: GET THE DVD or WATCH IT • iTUNES: WATCH IT

Check out the trailer below and LIKE ’em on Facebook.

— Eric Harrelson (Contributor, Blood Over Texas)

Eric also writes for The Movie Press and Other Worlds Austin. Contact him via email at Eric (at) bloodovertexas.com.

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BOT RADIO (EP. 020): “IT’S A HORROR ELECTION”

vote-leather-flatOUR NOVEMBER EPISODE OF

BLOOD OVER TEXAS RADIO IS LIVE NOW!

EP: 020: IT’S A HORROR ELECTION

LISTEN ABOVE!

Join Bunny Voodoo and the B.O.T. dis-membered cabinet — Shelly, Eric and Producer Bradley — on this post-election slump as we turn things horrific with our own horror election. We pick “ballots” during the show to determine how the show will flow. It’s our way of getting a little bit of choice back into our decrepit hands. We cast our votes on horror icons, themes and movies, appoint horror characters to the heads of our horror government and take a quick look at what goes wrong when you don’t treat people right. It just might turn out to be a horror show.

Guess the movie title in our “Scientists Gone Wild” episode of Name That Terror Game. Eric gives out a challenge in his Double Dog Dare You film challenge. Can you watch Hard Rock Zombies? Shelly’s Hammered Horror — a 3-minute drunk review of the horror movie, Night School, proves some head’s are gonna roll. Mr. Tingles is relentless in our podcast drinking game, Mr. Tingles Is A D*#@khead. When he laughs, you drink.

Songs featured in this episode:

“Fight For Your Right To Party” by Richard Cheese (re-make of Beastie Boys song) BUY

“Still Ballin’” by Tupac BUY

Buy these songs and albums on Amazon (links given above) or other fine retailers near you!

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BOT RADIO (Ep.019): “I REMEMBER HALLOWEEN”

The October episode of Blood Over Texas Radio is live now! LISTEN ABOVE

Ep.019: “I REMEMBER HALLOWEEN”

Links from the show are below

Join Bunny Voodoo and the B.O.T. team (Shelly, Eric, Brian and Producer Bradley) on our spooky good Halloween episode, “I Remember Halloween.” We look back at our childhoods and talk about why Halloween was better then than now. Mr. Tingles makes an appearance on prime time news, we pick our sexy costumes, review the new House of Torment and get sloshed as usual while geeking out about horror.

Think you are a true “fred head?” Play our Freddy Krueger edition of Name That Terror Game, get challenged with Eric’s, Double Dog Dare You film challenge of Gingerdead Man 2, party with Shelly on Hammered Horror — a 3-minute drunk review of the horror comedy, Murder Party, and drink with us on our podcast drinking game, Mr. Tingles Is A D*#@khead. When he laughs, you drink.

Songs featured in this episode:

“The Hearse Song” by Brillig       BUY THE SONG  •  VISIT BRILLIG

“Halloween Dance” by Reverend Horton Heat (album: Halloween Hootenanny)  BUY THE ALBUM • VISIT THE REVEREND

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BEHIND THE SCENES OF TERROR

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HOUSE OF TORMENT MOVES TO A NEW LOCATION AND KILLS IT

HALLOWEEN YOU GUYS!!!! October is the best time of the year. It is not up for debate. Halloween stores open, people decorate their houses with ghouls and guts, cable channels run horror marathons, and I can finally eat Boo Berry for breakfast. If you live in Austin there is something even cooler to celebrate, it’s time for House of Torment! We at Blood Over Texas had the privilege of getting to attend a press night at House of Torment at their brand spanking new location and were blown away. House of Torment is one of the premiere haunts in the world, and was just ranked number one by Haunt World Magazine, Haunted Houses.com and featured on Discovery/Travel, HuffPro and Buzzfeed. Not bad for a haunted house that started in a garage. Creators and Austinites, Jon Austin Love and Daniel McCullough, have come a long way (since 2003) to arrive at this new 40,000 sq. ft. location — that’s double the indoor space of the previous spot. Not far from the original Highland Mall location, the new House of Torment is located at 2632 Ridgepoint Drive in Austin (near the intersection of 183 and 290). HOT is officially bigger and better than ever.

Everything is under control in the control room

Everything is under control in the control room

While we were attending press night, we got a behind-the-scenes tour by HOT General Manager, Glenn Lenard. The glimpse behind the scenes was one of the coolest things I have ever done. The work that the crew has put in on this new location is incredible, and it really shows in the quality of the experience. House of Torment is three separate haunts, each with it’s own theme and feel. There is Dawn of Evil, wherein you must navigate a zombie infested derelict hospital. It makes you feel like you’re in an episode of The Walking Dead. Frenzy is a nightmarish experience, featuring huge creatures, evil clowns and my favorite gag, the Laser Swamp. It really is an amazing effect, and getting to see how they pull it off was one of my favorite parts of the tour. Finally there is Graveside Manor, which is kind of like if Disney’s Haunted Mansion were smashed together with Evil Dead 2 and the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I kind of just wanted to move in.

Us posing with Taylor.. and a random psycho nurse

Us posing with Taylor.. and a very nice psycho nurse

The painstaking detail of each set is truly incredible, from the distressed wallpaper in Graveside Manor to the flickering light effects on X-Ray trays in Dawn of Evil. Each room in each set is beautifully rendered, but what really brings everything to terrifying life are the actors. Blood Over Texas long time friend and accomplice Taylor Haggard is one of the make-up artists at House of Torment, and she let us have a peak into the costume rooms and the make-up process. While walking through we also had a rare spotting of our other fiendish friend, Michael Faust, haunting around in the costume room and wranglin’ creatures. You know Michael Faust — he’s one of the bad-asses that competed on SyFy’s FaceOff. Yeah. That’s how HOT roles. Great talent is key. Seeing just a small sample of what goes into creating just one of the creatures that inhabit these worlds gave me a whole new level of respect for the time and dedication that at House of Torment puts in to create a truly fantastic experience.

Shelly makin' friends

Shelly makin’ friends

In addition to the haunts themselves, House of Torment does their best to make even the experience of waiting in line fun and terrifying. There are zombie nurse dancers, elaborate horror “icons” prowling the lines, and even a food truck in case you’d like to fill your belly with something other than anxiety and horror. From the moment you enter the grounds to the moment you leave, House of Torment envelopes you in their world.

House of Torment’s new location also contains a separate attraction: Mindspark Adventure Games (a.k.a. Great Room Escape). Mindspark is an extension of House of Torment, featuring four different “escape the room” challenges. Mindspark’s general manager Alex Burgraff was on hand to give us the details. If you — like a few of us were — unfamiliar with an escape the room game, it is ostensibly a series of complicated puzzles and challenges that your group must complete in order to eventually unlock the door to escape the room, naturally. Mindspark has, as I mentioned, four separate games for your team to tackle. There is Zombie, wherein you are trapped in a room with a chained Zombie and a mysterious butler, and you are given one hour to solve the puzzles and escape, but every 10 minutes the Zombie’s chain gets longer, and if you are tagged, you become temporarily dead and have to take a time out. Bad player! Terminal is another game which takes place in a “moving” subway car, where you and your team have an hour to solve a series of puzzles to uncover the conspiracy and escape with your lives. The third game is Houdini, wherein you are trying to assist Houdini’s widow in making contact with her husband’s spirit. Finally there is a virtual reality experience, which you have to solve alone. You are trapped in the most haunted room of Geist Manor, and you must solve puzzles and find clues to escape, but you only have 10 minutes to do so. A complete virtual experience and one of the few of its kind in the entire world that uses this burgeoning technology.

Where the zombie lives

Where the zombie lives

The Blood Over Texas team took on the Zombie escape room, and with only a scant 4 players, we managed to escape with 6 minutes to spare! I may have gamed the game, though, because evidently my ingenuity broke one of the puzzles. I didn’t smash anything, so get that out of your head. I am just entirely too clever to be trapped by mere mortals. Or eaten by Zombies, I guess. We all had such a great time with the game, and I can say without hyperbole that this was the most exciting and amazing experience that has ever or will occur in the history of the entire universe from Big Bang to the eventual fade out of all physical existence.

Mindspark does require a bit of planning, as you have to get your team together and book the room in advance, but trust me, it is worth it in every sense of the term. And even better news is that Mindspark is available year round. It isn’t just a Halloween season attraction, you can book whenever you like. And I invite you to try, JUST TRY and beat the Blood Over Texas team and break out of the Zombie room with 6 minutes to spare. You won’t. And if you think you can COME AT ME IN THE COMMENTS!

This guy

This guy

We all had an incredible time with House of Torment, and we really hope you all get your horror loving butts to one of the many things that makes everyone want to live in our town. What’s the point of living here if you don’t take advantage? Do yourself a favor and book a game at Mindspark as well, you will not be disappointed.

The current HOT haunts, as described, are open through the rest of October and the 1st weekend of November. After that, HOT is putting on their special Black Out event and an upcoming TBA xmas holiday event. HOT is open though out the year with various special events so check their SITE for more info and LIKE ’em on FB. Sign up for an escape room at Mindspark on their SITE and LIKE ’em too.

JUST ANNOUNCED! We are giving away HOT tickets at our upcoming events! You can win tix to HOT in our Walking Dead Premiere Party‘s Zombie Costume Contest and at Helloween: Dance Of The Dead‘s Costume Contest. TWD is this Sunday the 23rd at North Door and Helloween is next Friday the 28th at Elysium. Get more info on these events, right here on OUR EVENTS page and our FB EVENTS page. Keep Things Bloody, Austin!

— Eric Harrelson 

 

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VISIT YOUR LOCAL HORROR HOUSE

TEXAS HAUNTS

It’s that time again fiends. Time to pack up your family and friends and keep the Halloween tradition alive with a visit to your local seasonal haunted attraction. These hard working and passionate folks work all year to create the creepiest and scariest haunted attractions to terrify the masses. So show your support by seeing what they have to offer. We dare you!

Here is your list of Texas Haunts. Visit one near you, or consider a fun trip to visit them all. Texas is a big state, but we believe in you. 

Note: Please visit their websites for dates, tickets and descriptions. You might also want to bookmark these sites, because some of them put on special attractions all year long. 

AustinHOUSE OF TORMENT  (Sept. – Nov.): WEBSITE

AustinSCARE FOR A CURE (Oct.): WEBSITE

Smithville (outside Austin)SCREAM HOLLOW (Sept. – Nov. ): WEBSITE

Bedford (Dallas area): MOXLEY MANOR

Midlothian (outside of Dallas)TAYMAN GRAVEYARD THEME PARK (Sept. – Oct.): WEBSITE (Sept. – Oct.): WEBSITE

Red Oak (Dallas area): REINDEER MANOR HALLOWEEN PARK (Sept. -Nov.): WEBSITE

Lake Dallas: DAN’S HAUNTED HOUSE (Sept. – Nov. ): WEBSITE

Waxahachie (Dallas area)SCREAMS HALLOWEEN PARK (Sept. – Oct.): WEBSITE

DentonDARK PATH HAUNT (Oct.): WEBSITE

DentonTHE PARKER HOUSE (Sept. – Oct.): WEBSITE

Ft. Worth/Dallas: CUTTING EDGE HAUNTED HOUSE (Sept. – Nov.): WEBSITE

GalvestonHAUNTED MAYFIELD MANOR (Oct. – Nov.): WEBSITE

HoustonHOUSTON TERROR DOME (Oct.): WEBSITE

HoustonSCREAMWORLD (Sept. -Nov.): WEBSITE

HoustonPHOBIA HAUNTED HOUSES (Sept. – Oct.) WEBSITE

HoustonNIGHTMARE ON THE BAYOU (Oct.): WEBSITE

Rosharon (Houston area): CREEPY HOLLOW HAUNTED HOUSE (Sept.  – Nov.): WEBSITE

Shepard (Houston area)3HAUNTS HAUNTED HOUSE : WEBSITE

PlanoDARK HOUR HAUNTED HOUSE (Oct.): WEBSITE 

San Antonio: 13th FLOOR (Sept. – Nov.): WEBSITE

San AntonioGREAT ROOM ESCAPE: ZOMBIE Seasonal horror-themed rooms. Located at 13th FLOORWEBSITE

Terrell: THRILLVANIA HAUNTED HOUSE PARK (Oct.): WEBSITE

Tyler: TERROR NIGHTS HAUNTED HOUSE (Sept. – Oct.): WEBSITE

WacoDEAD ZONE/CHAINSAW NIGHTMARE (Oct.): WEBSITE

Did we miss some? Please let us know of any other Texas haunted attractions by emailing us at: info (at) blood over texas (dot) com. (pic: Cutting Edge Haunted Houses)

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HORROR FOR THE HOLIDAYS: UPDATE!

HORROR FOR THE HOLIDAYS:

VENDOR SPACES ARE SOLD OUT!

hfth16-flyer-final-web

We are both saddened and elated that vendor spaces are sold out for this year’s upcoming Horror For The Holidays. We are sad to have to turn away vendors as we are full and at capacity but happy to know that horror is alive and well in Texas!

We sure do hope to see everyone out for this one day, not-to-be-missed event. Sunday, November 13th, Grizzly Hall, Austin. Get more info on our EVENTS page and our FB INVITE.

—Bunny Voodoo

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HELLOWEEN is coming for YOU! Mark your calendars

hell-poster-big3-webHELLOWEEN: Dance Of The Dead

Presented by Austin Horror SocietyAustin Witches Circle, Blood Over Texas, Gore Noir Magazine and Other Worlds Austin

Coming Friday, Oct. 28TH in Austin at Elysium

What happens when some of Austin’s most horror-minded groups unite to plan for the best time of year? They throw the best Halloween party in town of course. Join Austin Horror SocietyAustin Witches CircleBlood Over TexasGore Noir Magazine and Other Worlds Austin in celebrating the only holiday that drips with blood. A traditional Halloween dance party that will make the corpses roll over in their graves! DJs, costume contest with prizes, tarot card readers, horror movie visuals, Halloween photo booth and a hand-picked, horror-filled performance show that promises guts and gore and more!

Our two amazing DJs will rock your bones with infectious grooves — with a little bit of horror thrown in the mix: DJ Dren Pasht (W I T C H W A V E) and DJ Czech One will kill it.

A terror-fiic PERFORMANCE SHOW will delight the devil in you! MC’d by the magical magian John Maverick. Gore-geous burlesque by Ruby Lamb (from The Jigglewatts Burlesque Revue and Satan’s Cheerleaders) and Sabor Insanity (from Frisky Business Burlesque and The Hell Katz). Devious drag by Louisianna Purchase (Poo Poo Platter and Die Felicia), Zane Zena and Honey St. Claire (all stand outs and all dead-icated to horror). Sinful sideshow acts by Mister Hamilton and more. And if that’s not enough to get your “Black Phillip” goat going… we’ll be adding even more acts TBA soon.

Halloween wouldn’t be complete without disguising yourself from the dead — so bring out your best — and enter the COSTUME CONTEST at the strike of midnight: Best Couple, Scariest and Most Original. Winners will win an evil bag of tricks (prizes TBA).

TAROT card readings presented by Austin Witches Circle featuring mystical readers from ChosenEyes (Leah) and Mystic Starlight Tarot (Andrea).

Halloween-scene screen PHOTO BOOTH by Holland Photo Imaging presented by Other Worlds Austin.

A vicious mash-up of horror will invade the screens in the HORROR VISUAL SHOW presented by Austin Horror Society.

ANd MOre! We’re still brewing evil ideas so stay tuned here for constant updates. Please share this invite and let us know you are making a pledge to evil by “going”.

Only $5 21+ ($7 18+)

If there’s any event you go to this Halloween, make it HELLOWEEN and Dance with the Dead! JOIN THE FB INVITE FOR MORE INFO

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FINDING THE HORROR AT FANTASTIC FEST

screen-shot-2016-09-20-at-2-58-14-pmIt is that time of the year again! Fantastic Fest begins this upcoming Thursday, and for those of you who don’t know what Fantastic Fest is, who are you and why are you reading this? One of the biggest, if not THE biggest genre fest in all the land, Fantastic Fest is a full week’s worth of genre film programming, with panels, Q&A segments, boxing, trivia, machine guns, meat cannons, and all manner of ridiculous mostly film related chaos. The Festival runs the 22nd through the 29th at the Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar, and features films from all over the world, in all sorts of different genres, both features and short, from a Polish musical about Mermaids to butt munching Thai Dwarves. Yes, you read that correctly.

An example of the chaos at FF

An example of the chaos at FF

Now, where Fantastic Fest is an incredible experience and full of some of the best and weirdest cinema from around the globe, it can be a bit heavy on the wallet for us working class types. But they’re looking out for us and offer discounted second half badges and also individual tickets to each showing. You will have to allow for badge holders to seat before you, but these individual show tickets are the way to go if you don’t have the luxury of taking a week off of work and spending a ton to enjoy what is quite possibly the best film festival created by man. And that is where I come in. Horror fans, rejoice! For I have done the research (sort of) and the following are a few films that I think are a must watch for Horror fans. I haven’t seen any of these myself so maybe they will all be terrible and you can yell at me later or thank me with offerings of sacrificial beers.

HORROR HIGHLIGHTS

The Girl With All the Gifts (2016)

Director: Colm McCarthy. US UK

I read the novel by Mike Carey because it was recommended by Joss Whedon (no not personally, just online) and I quite enjoyed it. This one is tricky because I don’t want to give much away, but it’s a Dystopian road story where a young girl called Melanie is trying to make a trip cross country with a couple soldiers, a scientist and her teacher. Each of these characters has different ideas about what to do with Melanie, and there are of course shenanigans. The interesting twist on an old formula is what makes this story so good, so I am very excited to see how they handle it.

 

Dearest Sister (2016)

Director: Mattie Do. Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Estonia, France.

The plot of this film deals with a poor woman who finds out her recently blinded cousin can communicate with the dead. And this communication could help the two of them find the material wealth they lack. The premise is definitely interesting, but what is more intriguing is that this film comes from Laos. The director Mattie Do is Laos’s only Horror director AND only female director. Laos is a Marxist single party regime, with only one movie theater in the entire country, and no production companies or distribution companies. I am quite curious to see what Mattie Do has in store for us.

 

Jungle Trap (1990): Presented by Bleeding Skull

Director: James Bryan

This is a really strange one, and right in our Blood Over Texas sweet spot. So get this, James Bryan is (in)famous for making straight to video exploitation weirdness, such as Lady Street Fighter and Don’t Go in the Woods. He directed and shot Jungle Trap on video, just as the straight to video distribution was singing its swan song. Bryan couldn’t get anyone on board so he shelved Jungle Trap, unedited and unscored, and never directed again. So here comes Bleeding Skull, a straight to video trash-horror review site started in 2004 by Joseph A. Ziemba and with Bryan’s help, they hire Don Swaynos to put the film together, with Ziemba doing sound editing and mastering. A new score was recorded as well, and finally after 26 years in limbo, we get to see the madness that is Jungle Trap. I cannot wait.

 

Raw (2016)

Director: Julia Ducornau. France

A vegan entering into veterinarian school is forced to endure some hazing, you know, like vets always do, and is forced to eat animal for the first time. And wouldn’t you know it, she breaks out in a rash and then, well, I don’t know what, but evidently it is pretty amazing according to the programmers over at Fantastic Fest. This is Ducornau’s directorial debut, and the Fest is all a buzz about Raw being THE Horror offering to see this year. So see it we shall!

So these are just a few of the films that Fantastic Fest has to offer, the ones that I personally think will be the Horror Highlights of the festival. You may agree, you may disagree, but one thing is for sure, you need to experience Fantastic Fest if you never have before. Even if you only go to one screening, make the effort to head down to the Drafthouse and check this stuff out! A complete listing of the films and a much more thorough description of each is available at Fantastic Fest, and the following is a list of the more strictly Horror-type feature films that will run at the festival. (that list is intimidating, so I tried to narrow it down a bit for you.

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MORE HORROR*

Another Wolf Cop. Exactly what it sounds like.

Ash VS Evil Dead. Season 2 premiere.

Autopsy of Jane Doe. Mysterious body shows up in the morgue.

The Bad Batch. New film from Ana Lily Amirpour who did A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night.

Belief: The Possession of Janet Moses. Based on a true story of a Maori exorcism.

A Dark Song. Occult ritual that will take six months to complete.

Don’t Kill It. Dolph Lundgren: Demon Hunter.

High Frontier. Unexpected guest at a remote cabin turns father/son retreat into something sinister.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. Tim Burton’s new presumably stripe-covered thing.

Phantasm: Remastered. 4K Phantasm y’all.

Phantasm: Ravager. Fifth and final Phantasm.

Sadako vs. KayakoThe Ring vs. The Grudge.

Sweet Sweet Lonely Girl. Young woman befriends weirder young woman, part haunted house, part satanic stuff.

The Void. Murderous Madman traps small town sheriff.

We Are the Flesh. Ruined city, stranger gets help from siblings to build a strange room.

The Zodiac Killer. Odd not really a documentary from 1971, was supposed to catch the Zodiac Killer.

* Me’s thinks you need a badge to see the shorts, but there are a ton of ultra cool horror shorts to check out. Find those on the site. 

— Eric Harrelson

 

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OWA SHOWCASES HORROR

1469129769100Our friends over at Other Worlds Austin have done something wonderful for us. The festival has enjoyed quite a bit of success in just its first two years, and they have decided to add some purely Horror content, with their addition of Under Worlds Austin to the festival this year. We here at Blood Over Texas are of course incredibly excited about this, and I had the privilege to ask Other Worlds Austin Founder and Artistic Director Bears Fonté a few questions about his new venture, Under Worlds Austin.zzsf9cdg_200x200

“When I started OWA, as you know, I was really inspired by Corey Mitchell, who had founded Housecore Horror Festival the year before,” Bears told me. With Fantastic Fest bringing in so many big names in genre film, Housecore was more about retrospectives and smaller independent films along with the music. Bears thought he could fill a gap bringing more independent Sci-Fi to Austin with Other Worlds, and he has been more than successful in his endeavor.

Unfortunately, we lost Corey Mitchell in 2014, and the Housecore Horror Festival restructured and moved to San Antonio. “I would never even have thought of doing Under Worlds Austin if Housecore was still a thing in town,” Bears said. “However, every year we had horror filmmakers asking if their film might qualify as somewhat Sci-Fi enough to screen at Other Worlds, and every year we found great Sci-Fi Horror that we could play without thinking twice.” With the obvious crossover between Sci-Fi and Horror, the Other Worlds Austin team thought the time was right to bring in some purely horror programming and make it an official part of the festival.

I asked Bears if the inclusion of more Horror films would change the complexion of festival. “I don’t think so,” he said, “and I’ll tell you why. We are not programming just any Horror. We are looking for those same story-first films that we’ve programmed in Sci-Fi.” He went on to say the festival wouldn’t be programming gore-filled slasher/kill-focused type of films. “I am really excited to shine a spotlight on a sub-section of a genre that I feel gets too often over shadowed by flashy franchises and gore. True Horror is just as much a struggle for the mind as Science Fiction.”

alien_101460So what is it about Sci-Fi and Horror that make them such great bedfellows? There is so much crossover between the two genres, and so many thematic similarities not only with Sci-Fi and Horror but also genre film in general. I asked Bears if those similarities are what draw him these films. “I think both genres take us out of our everyday lives and ask us to imagine possibilities,” he said. Bears went on to explain that Science Fiction asks us to believe in fantastic technologies or extreme conditions, such as world wide drought or nuclear war. Horror asks us to accept something we fear as real and immediate, such as demons or ghosts. “ I think in both there is a sense that we are just a few steps removed from a world we understand and in which we feel safe.” There is a difference, though between the worlds of Science Fiction and Horror and the worlds of Fantasy, he points out. “I might be crucified for this but I find Alien to be a far more effective Sci-Fi film than Star Wars,” he says. He explains that in Alien, the audience is only asked to accept a couple small things that throw the world into chaos. A mining mission in space is easily accepted, the biggest leap is that the crew run across an alien life form, the Xenomorph. Whereas in Star Wars, there is a complex galactic government with a multitude of alien races, ancient religions and The Force, which is basically just magic. The Fantasy world of  Star Wars completely removes the audience from the world around them, whereas Sci-Fi and Horror are more grounded in real life. Bears explained, “a Sci-Fi film makes you look at your world, and wonder will it/could it become the world of the film. What can I do to prevent that (or make that happen)? A Horror film makes you look at your world and wonder is the world of the film already true. How can I possibly even get by another minute without fearing for me life?”

That lead me to wonder what was Bears’ favorite Horror sub-genre. “ I think my favorite films are always the ones where there is something to solve, like Saw or Cabin In The Woods,” he responded “rather than just something/one chasing the heroes and killing them off.” He explained that those themes can extend across any of the sub-genres. “I do find possession and supernatural stories a bit more frightening because I believe in all that stuff,” he added. “I believe there are ghosts, I saw one several times when I was a child. Vampires and werewolves seem a bit far-fetched; although, I’m down with becoming a werebear if such a thing exists!”

The film industry, and quite frankly the story-telling industry at large tend to move in cycles and trends, and I was curious about which trends he liked, those he disliked, and if there were any he would like to see make a return. He told me he was vehemently against remakes in all genres, but it seems to be more of a trend in Horror than elsewhere. “I think you have to do a totally new take to make it worthwhile. Reboot rather than revisit. Wes Craven’s New Nightmare is so much better than the entirely unnecessary 2010 Samuel Bayer remake of A Nightmare On Elm Street. There are so many things out there that frighten us, why play somewhere safe?” He went on to say that he really liked films such as Lights Out, which began its life as a short film. “There are so many original voices working in the short medium, I love when they get the chance to make the nightmares public in a feature form.” He went on to say that he would really like to see more Horror films as period pieces. “Unless it’s an adaptation of a Gothic novel, everything is full of teens and millennials or (and here is another thing I’m really tired of) some sort of nostalgia for the eighties. I love The Others, From Hell and Perfume: The Story Of A Murderer.

A078_C003_0828PMI was already incredibly excited to take part in Other Worlds Austin this year, and with the addition of Under Worlds Austin and more Horror content it’s going to be tough to wait until December. Which evidently Bears anticipated, and has programmed monthly screenings leading up to the festival! The next of which is Capsule which will screen at Flix Brewhouse this Wednesday — September 21st. So make sure you grab tickets to that, and keep up with Other Worlds Austin dot com for more screenings and festival info.

— Eric Harrelson

*Note: OWA is still accepting film submissions (shorts and full features) until September 30th for this year’s 2016 festival. The festival will take place in Austin on December 1-4th. Awards are given out for Audience Award and the Mary Shelly Award. Check the site for all of the details. In addition, badges are on sale now for the festival. GET YOUR BADGES

Listen to our interview with Jordan Brown and Dan Repp of OWA on our podcast episode, “Sci-Fi & Horror: Blood Brothers” HERE.

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