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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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.


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.



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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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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November, 13th — Spider House, Austin

1450151_1602399326647933_7991071820367318702_nA baZaar bazaar for the horror fan! The 3rd annual HORROR FOR THE HOLIDAYS ART & GIFT BAZAAR isn’t your usual xmas shopping market. This one features all horror and dark vendors for the fiend in YOU!

Every year hundreds of people come to check out the hororr spectacle and we’re looking forward to seeing you fiends out once again to carry on the tradition. We’re back at the awesome Spider House Cafe and Ballroomwhere you can grab a drink and get some food while you puruse the horror wares.Take a pic with Evil Santa and watch out for Krampus roaming around. Get a chance to win one of several raffles — including our traditional Turducken. FREE AND ALL AGES!

Hope to see you horror hounds there getting ready for the horrific holiday season!

HOW TO SIGN UP AND VENDOR DETAILS:13055023_1805668859654311_3415891942491805151_o


$50 for one 8’x6’ area. You may purchase more spots if needed.


ACCEPTANCE: This is an all-horror vendor show. We ask that all vendors offer items in the horror/dark/gore/creepy realm. If you haven’t vended with Horror For The Holidays before, we ask that you submit a few photos of the items you plan on vending when signing up.


Send us an email with the words “HORROR VENDOR” in the subject line and the following information filled out. Send the email to us at: info@bloodovertexas.com

1) Your name
2) Your contact info (phone and email)
3) Your booth/company name that will be used for advertising
4) How many spaces you need (each space is 8’x6′ and is $50 each)
5) Will you be bringing a backdrop?
6) Any specific booth requests (area, electricity needs, etc.)?
7) Your public sites for promotion purposes. We will list your links so the public can check out your stuff (website, FB, Etsy, etc.)
8) A description and a few images attached of your art or merchandise that you will be selling. If you are a returning vendor, no need to submit pictures unless you have new pics you’d like us to use when promoting.

Once we have a chance to get a look at your horror wares, we will send you an ACCEPTANCE EMAIL. **Please give us at least 24 hours to get back to you. We will answer emails in the order we received them so you won’t loose your “place in line” regarding your space. Payment instructions (PayPal) will be in the ACCEPTANCE EMAIL.


Each vendor space is 8ft x 6ft and is $50. Tables, chairs and tablecloths/skirts ARE NOT provided. In order to keep costs low — and the fact that most vendors already have their own set-up — we’re leaving it up to the vendors to fill their space. In other words you are purchasing an empty space that you will be responsible to fully stage. The space does leave plenty of room for a standard 6ft table and two chairs.

Load In/Set Up: Load in is set for 10:30am. Doors open at 12. Event is over at 7pm. Tear down is at 7 and we hope that only takes an hour — so we’re out by 8.

Acceptance: This is an all-horror vendor show. We ask that all vendors offer items in the horror/dark/gore/creepy realm and ask that you submit a few photos of the items you plan on selling.

Backdrops: If you will be using a backdrop, you must let us know before hand. This will determine where your space will be. You must provide your own (not to exceed over 8ft) and it must not get in the way of your neighbor vendor or venue structures. You may not adhere anything to the walls of the venue.

Power: Please tell us before hand if you need power since this will determine where your space will be. There is sufficient lightling in the venue but you may want to bring extra lighting for your table to provide optimal lighting. There are no phone or DSL lines available.

Weather: The event takes place inside and outside. We place vendors according to the needs of the vendors, as well as, what we feel is the best effort to spread out similar merchandise. We are at the mercy of the universe when it comes to weather. We will try our best to keep vendors placed outside warm and dry if we forsee inclement weather as the date gets closer.

Vendors are responsible for paying the tax man. Blood Over Texas will not be held responsible for a vendor’s failure to pay or report sales to the blood-suckers.

Vendor table fees are not refundable. If you signed up, paid and can’t make it, let us know immediately and we will sell your space to another vendor. If spaces sell out, we will have a vendor waiting list.

Don’t sell anything illegal. Don’t leave your table unattended. Be nice to your fellow vendors by not infringing on their vendor space. Don’t F up the venue in any way.

PROMOTE! We’ll need your help to promote the event and share the horror. We will have this information up on our website and will rely heavily on Facebook promotion. Please do not make a separate FB invite. Direct everyone to this one main invite. We can’t make you a “host” because of our page’s features, but once you say you’re Going, you can Invite away. We’re working on the flyer now and will be getting postcards and posters printed. Any help spreading the flyers and posters around town will be a great help for all of us.

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


With special guests from the AUSTIN WITCHING CIRCLE

Links from the show are below

Join Bunny Voodoo and the B.O.T. team (Shelly, Eric and Producer Bradley) on this bewitched episode, “The Witching Hour”, as we talk with our special guests, Jessica and Crystal from Austin Witches Circle. We talk about their group, their events, what it means to be a witch and do horror movies portray witches correctly. We delve into the wicked sounds of Witchwave/Witchhouse music to find out what it’s all about and how you find out about this genre. Things go off track as usual when the subject of vajays and WWE come up and we try and guess summer camp horror movies in our Name That Terror Game: Summer Camp edition. It’s pretty hard so we dare you to try. We also announce our next B.O.T. events and what we’re up to for the next few months as we creep into the witching season.

Also included are our usual features: Coming Out Of The Grave (horror movies coming out in Sept. & Oct.), Eric’s Double Dog Dare You Film Challenge of the movie Witchery, Shelly’s 3-minute drunk review of the movie, Black Roses and our podcast drinking game, Mr. Tingles Is A D*#@khead. When he laughs, you drink.

Songs featured in this episode:

“Red Lights” by SALEM (album: King Night) VISITFACEBOOK • YOUTUBE




Blair Witch Premiere Tickets (Sept. 6th)

Stranger Things Trivia Night (Aug. 31)

Frisky Business Burlesque’s Monster Mash BOOty Bash (Oct. 7th)

Blood Over Texas presents The Walking Dead Premiere Party (Oct. 23rd)

Horror For The Holidays **Keep an eye here on the site on Our Events page, and on our FB page for the announcement and info to come in early September)

Witchery Movie (Double Dog Dare You)

Black Roses Movie (Hammered Horror)


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SUNDAY, OCT. 23rd in Austin at The North Door

Have you been lost since Season 6 ended — like a bat to the head? Do you wonder how Season 7 wil pick back up — with our group in peril? Who will die? Who will meet Lucille — Negan’s death bat. The Walking Dead is coming back and we want to watch it all with you!

Now’s your chance to see both episodes in brutal fashion, back to back, on the amazing 25 foot screen at The North Door. Sit back and watch the final episode of Season 6 — the one that left Negan, bat in hand, playing eeny meeny miny moe. Then take in the long awaited premeire of Season 7 as you watch how it will unfold. Have a drink and eat some food while you watch this epic screening with your friends and family on the huge, ginormous screen!


ZOMBIE COSTUME CONTEST: Details to be announced. Prizes will be given.

who-dies-flyer2FUNERAL PHOTO BOOTH

DEATH POOL: The death pool will work like this. Think you know who will die? Put a dollar into the pool and write the dead character’s name on the card and yours. After the episode we will choose a card from the “death pool” until we get the correct name of the dead character. If your name is on that card, you win all of the money in the pool. So bring your friends to get that pool big! You can enter as many times as you want. Each card is a dollar.

Bring out your dead — otherwise known as your friends and family.

— Bunny Voodoo

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Director commentary. You know that extra feature when you pop in the DVD… the one you select on your favorite movies? The Director sits in a studio and talks about his/her own movie in real time. The perfect geek out experience for a film fan. It’s a good way to get more details on the movie such as insight into a particular scene, decisions that were made, how the cast reacted, and most often, what went on behind the scenes. The gossip or scoop on the movie you might say. That is the premise of Director’s Commentary: Terror Of Frankenstein. Sort ofShown in satire fashion, the film is an icy satire of the monsters onscreen, behind the camera and in the audience.

As part of their yearly screening program, Other Worlds Austin (Austin’s SciFi Film Festival) is bringing the Texas premier of Director’s Commentary: Terror of Frankenstein to Austin next Thursday on August 25th (9pm) at Flix Brewhouse (Round Rock).

OWA founder and Artistic Director, Bears Fonté, had this to say about Terror: “I cannot begin to explain how brilliant this set up is. Because as the writer and director discuss the film’s notoriety it becomes very clear that most people’s interest in the film stems not from what’s on screen, but from a series of gruesome murders and a lengthy public trial of one of the cast members. Bits of the story leak out as they watch the film together, as well as old grudges and hints of blame. But it all starts very subtly, which is why it works so well. The audience is left to try to piece together what happened as they are asked to follow the placement and heaviness of a certain piece of prop luggage, which we later learn had parts of a dead body shoved in it.” Sounds intriguing to me. You can read more about Terror on OWA‘s site HERE.

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Check out the MENU

Terror is brought to you by the makers of Room 237 and The Nightmare so you know it will be a quality film. The Director/Co-writer, Tim Kirk, will be doing a live Q&A via Skype right after the movie, so get your questions ready. And if you haven’t yet experienced Flix Brewhouse yet, you need to come enjoy the theater as well. Flix Brewhouse is the home to many of OWA’s yearly screenings and offers yummy food (trust me, I’ve tried it) and their own craft beers. Much like the Alamo Drafthouse, you can order during the movie, but at Flix you can pull the table up to you like a proper dining table and you get your own button to call your waiter. Embrace the power! (insert evil laughter here)

other_worlds_logo_2014Support one of our favorite local organizations, Other Worlds Austin, by buying a ticket today. Organizations like OWA really need local support to continue bringing you films that are often looked over. That means they need you to buy a ticket and come enjoy the screening. It means a lot to the venue (they’ve agreed to help by offering their space), the hard workers over at OWA (who do it all for the love of film) and the film makers (who’ve spent endless hours and moola to bring you their vision). It takes a village as they say. A few of us from B.O.T.  will be in attendance and so should you! Buy your tix here.

On a personal note, I’ve seen some great screenings courtesy of OWA, including Call Girl of Cthulhu and Listening (now on Netflix) so I’m looking forward to this one too.

— Bunny Voodoo

The trailer:

Terror of Frankenstein; Director’s Commentary (Trailer) from Rodney Ascher on Vimeo.

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MV5BNjA1MjcyODExMV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNTUxNDE3MDE@._V1_UY1200_CR99,0,630,1200_AL_A lot of people suffer from coulrophobia (the fear of clowns), and if you are one of those people, Circus of the Dead is not for you. A sort of Devil’s Rejects covered in greasepaint, Circus of the Dead let’s us into the dark world of Papa Corn. A Lotteria obsessed murder clown with his own gang of equally damaged morbid jokesters, Papa Corn and his crew do what any normal clowns do: entertain folks at a traveling circus, wear goofy big shoes and silly face paint, steal cars, rape and murder innocent people, and forcing good, normal people into acts of unspeakable horror. You know, for kids!

I had a chance to meet the co-writer and director of Circus of the Dead (CotD), “Bloody” Bill Pon, at Texas Frightmare this May, and he agreed to answer some questions about the film, Texas, clowns and a bunch of other horrific things.

A life long Texan, Pon was born in East Texas. He cultivated a love of film and horror early in his life, and remembers the first horror movie that had a real impact on him as a child. “It was The Shining I want to say I was 11ish? It’s when cable TV just started out in homes and they seemed to play the same films over and over. My parents watched it one night but I wasn’t allowed to so I waited till they were asleep and watched it all the way through. Scared the shit out of me!”

5_7_Doll_Boy_FlatIn 1998, Pon moved to West Texas to take a job at a local TV station. Intending to learn the craft of film making, he worked behind the camera in various capacities. When he was ready to venture out on his own in 2009, he filmed his first short: Doll Boy. “The following year I submitted to some film festivals.” Pon tells me. “Once we screened the short at Texas Frightmare Weekend in Dallas it really blew up!”

After the success of Doll Boy, Pon and co-writer Lee Ankrum began work on a sequel, which would eventually turn into CotD. I asked Pon what made him take the script down to clown town (sorry). What was it about a traveling circus with murder clowns that drew him in? “I don’t think it’s ever been done right, in my opinion,” he said. “It’s always either cheesy funny or cheesy gory. I wondered what would happen if I made a serious movie about clowns and only let the laughs be organic instead of being forced. They’re fucked up killers who’s day job just so happens to be a clown.” He told me he was reading a book about serial killers and a quote by John Wayne Gacy caught his attention. Gacy, the “Killer Clown of Chicago,” was quoted about his dressing and performing as a clown, saying “You know… A clown can get away with murder.” This quote stuck with Pon, and he decided to make his film about clowns. Pon said, “Lots of people are afraid of clowns. Why? Got me. But maybe it’s their agenda hidden behind their make up.” The traveling circus arose naturally after, Pon saying it made sense as a cover and an explanation as to why they had been able to elude authorities up until this point.

As the script for CotD began to take shape, Pon started looking for an actor to play the lead: Papa Corn.Unknown-1

“When I started writing I started researching online and making a short list of actors I liked. Somewhere Bill [Oberst Jr.] popped up on top 10 indie actors to watch.” Pon said he reached out to Oberst via Facebook and sent him a script. Oberst expressed interest in the project, and came on board as the lead. Oberst is absolutely one of the film’s strongest points, portraying a truly evil character in Papa Corn. Oberst is able to pair the outright violence and disgusting nature of the character with the menacing whimsy one may expect from a remorseless, killer clown. Oberst’s performance plants us firmly in Papa Corn’s world, and keeps us wondering horrible things Papa will do next.

“I’ll say this about Bill,” Pon told me. “I couldn’t have found a better person in the world to bring Papa Corn to life. He’s the real deal. Great actor, great guy, and really, really hard on his talents. I like that in a person. He’ll give the best performance you’ve ever seen and afterward he’ll tell you he can do it better. Pure perfectionist. He’d never take any credit and all of us had an important role with the film being successful but I feel like we all just jumped on Bill’s back and let him show us the way.”

Circus-Of-The-Dead_Mary-AnnetteWith the lead sorted and the script ready to go, Pon needed a place to film. Naturally, he chose West Texas. “Filming in West Texas is great as far as I’m concerned. I know everyone around town and they’re always willing to lend me a location. I’ve been here so long and made so many friends that everyone kind of knows everyone.”

It wasn’t all piggy back rides from Bill Oberst Jr. and high fives from the locals, however. Film shoots can be grueling as well, as Pon explained. “We filmed CotD in one month’s time. It was hell on Earth. No sleep, no rest and never enough time. But somehow in the midst of all that we made a great little movie with hardly any budget. It brought me, cast and crew very close as it felt we’ve been to war together.”cotd-q22

With CotD under his belt, I asked Pon if he had any advice for filmmakers out there who just getting started. “Quit making excuses and get out there and do it!” Pon said. As basic as that advice may sound, there’s more to it than that. Pon advises that instead of trying to raise money based on a script or an idea, show potential investors your work. Work on a short or trailer, get something out there with your name on it. Be open to criticism as well, and find some honesty among your crew. Your skills can always improve. Pon admits you need to know your weaknesses as well. “[F]ind the people that are better doing what you think you’re great at doing and let them do it. You’re not great at everything regardless to what your Mom says!” He doesn’t diminish the role of history in the process, either. The classic films are classic for a reason, and a novice filmmaker can learn a lot from studying the greats.

Speaking of the greats, I asked Pon what his favorites were. “My favorite horror movies would be Texas Chainsaw Massacre ‘74, Halloween ‘78 and The Exorcist.” Hard to argue with. I also wanted to know his favorite sub-genre in horror. “I’m pretty open to any sub-category of horror as long as it’s a good movie,” he responded. “I think it just needs to be a fun and thrilling ride for me as a viewer.” As the writer and director of CotD, I had to know what his favorite clown movie was. “It’s nothing like CotD but I’d have to say Killer Klowns from Outer Space! Saw it as a kid and it’s something I always watch if it’s on.”11831777_902134809859804_1125712214520828173_n

So what’s up next for CotD and “Bloody” Bill Pon? CotD has screened at festivals and conventions since its completion, and is awaiting distribution. Pon is excited for the film to reach a wider audience. “I can’t wait till the world gets hold of it and loves it as much as the fans we’ve made on the festival and convention circuit!” What’s next for Pon personally? “I’ve got something special up my sleeve. Something very near and dear to my heart movie wise. Stay tuned!”

Thanks for the insight Bloody Bill, and we will most assuredly stay tuned!

— Eric Harrelson

Check out the trailer of Circus Of The Dead:

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Join Bunny Voodoo and the entire B.O.T. team (Shelly, Fernie, Eric, Brian and Producer Bradley), on this bitchin’ episode that’s all about 80s horror. We talk about why the 80s is considered to be the heyday of horror and what’s up with the 80s-style creeping into today’s horror. We find a Austin tie in to the popular Stranger Things Netflix show, what everyone’s most embarrassing moment from the 80s is and we give major dibs to the new 80s throwback indie horror, The Barn, with an interview with the cast and a live Hammered Horror of this totally tubular movie. Watch the trailer below. And can you guess what some of your favorite horror stars from the 80s are up to today? Find out in our Where Are They Now segment. For total 80s terror, check out our B.O.T. Radio page on Facebook to see pics of the team from the 80s… if you dare. SHOW ME THE TERROR!

Also included are our usual features: Coming Out Of The Grave (a tease of horror movies coming out in August), Eric’s 80s-themed Double Dog Dare You Film Challenge of the movie Microwave Massacre, Shelly’s 3-minute drunk review of the movie, The Barn, and our podcast drinking game, Mr. Tingles Is A D*#@khead. When he laughs, you drink.

Songs featured in this episode:

“Atmosphere” (cover of Joy Division song) by Ola Podrida

Ola Padrida’s FACEBOOK • SITE

“Harvest” by Rebel Flesh (album: Up All Night)

Rebel Flesh’s FACEBOOK • SITE

Honorable mention: S U R V I V E  (Austin-based synth band featured in Stranger Things). Check ’em out! BANDCAMP • FACEBOOK

THE BARN Movie (by Nevermore Productions): FACEBOOKSITE


The Barn Official Trailer 2 from Nevermore Production Films on Vimeo.

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