Archive | March, 2014

Fangoria #331 – Featuring Yours Truly!

29 Mar

I am pleased to announce that in this month’s issue of Fangoria magazine, you will find an interview with the phenomenal Leigh Whannell (writer, actor, SAW 1-3, INSIDIOUS 1, 2) by yours truly!


And Bill Moseley is on the cover!!!

It has been a whirlwind experience, being able to speak with one of my favourite filmmakers for one of my favourite magazines for one of my favourite genres!  

I was informed by the bots at WordPress that today marks the four year anniversary of Ashes and Rashes.  This blog has not only been an outlet for me but has also given me confidence in my writing and helped me gain connections and make friends with some pretty amazing people.  

Sappiness over.  But I am so excited for where this awesome adventure will take me next.

Stay scared,

CALL GIRL (2014) – Review

28 Mar

Back in December I posted a trailer for the upcoming film CALL GIRL, directed by Jill Sixx Gevargizian.  Since that time it has premiered at the HorrorHound Weekend Film Festival in Cincinnati and gained quite a bit of recognition, not only from the fans of Tristan Risk (AMERICAN MARY) and Laurence R. Harvey (THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2, and 3) but obviously for great filmmaking as well.

Call Girl, a short film starring Laurence R. Harvey (The Human Centipede II, The Human Centipede III) and Tristan Risk (American Mary, The Editor), just premiered at HorrorHound Weekend Film Festival in Cincinnati, Saturday, March 22nd, 2014. It will also screen in Kansas City at Screenland Armour on March 29th and Days of the Dead Indianapolis on June 27th.

Call Girl marks the directorial debut of Jill Sixx Gevargizian, who has made a name for herself and her advocacy for independent horror through Slaughter Movie House, a monthly screening series she started in 2012. Her passion for horror transitioned from supporter to creator when she read the Call Girl script by Eric Havens. She decided to step into the director chair herself. With a successfully funded Kickstarter campaign behind her, Jill submerged herself completely into the world of filmmaking, employed a talented crew, and came back with CALL GIRL.

CALL GIRL centers around a man (the fantastic Laurence R. Harvey) with a camera, an internet connection, and a hot date played by the stunning and charming Tristan Risk (of Canada, woohoo!).  Very quickly we learn that this date will be anything but ordinary.

Within a very short amount of time, CALL GIRL delivers great performances from both stars and twists and turns all while maintaining an air of forbidden voyeurism throughout that leaves the viewer feeling disturbed – yet – sated.  The script, written by Eric Havens, is an example of great horror-story-telling and fits the characters nicely.  Jill’s directorial debut is a definite strong starting off point, and will leave fans anticipating her next project.

It was a delight to have been able to watch it, and I know you’ll like it too, after all, don’t we all just love to watch?



Anthology Series vs. Regular Series

13 Mar

The anthology series.  We know it from shows like Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Mystery Science Theater, etc.  But correct me if I’m wrong, not on the level that we know American Horror Story which introduces a story over the period of an entire season (somewhat effectively) and then continues the next season with something completely different.

I just wrote an entire piece discounting this last season of American Horror Story: Coven based on the fact that the ending was rushed and that some things were never revisited (or were ended poorly).  But I think that after watching True Detective ( a GREAT example at effective anthology series), I need to maybe factor in a few things, go a little easier on AHS…  


Just a little…

I think that the difference between anthology series and regular series is very simple (beside the fact that one is longer… smartass).  In a regular series, take for instance my go-to for this kind of thing Supernatural, you have a seemingly unlimited amount of seasons ahead of you to dream up new characters, start a side story, introduce another back story, throw in five more curve balls that take away from the original plot, because you can always come back to them in another season.  The yellow-eyed-demon in Supernatural was finally dealt with in like season FOUR, but was introduced in season ONE.  The other stories introduced along the way (big-daddy-Winchester, hell, and all of the creatures introduced at the beginning of every episode) kind of took precedence over season spanning story arcs.  But they had the time to do so.


Big Daddy Winchester = Ratings = Drool

Looking now at anthology series, you only really have one story to tell.  This is the reason that your story only has one season, and not ten.  The first season of American Horror Story did this effectively in that yes, the show only had one story to tell, but every episode they introduced a new back story that was either solved in that episode or revisited to serve a greater purpose for the MAIN story, the one involving the “family that has moved into a haunted house” motif, but yet, still felt a little cramped.

Season two of AHS I think pulled the story line together in one season a little bit better, and season three kind of just exploded near the end…  All over my dreams.  What I find AHS is starting to do is bring a LOT of ideas into one story to keep attention but then by the end they lack  the time to tie everything together so they throw it into a ziploc bag with some shake-and-bake and serve it to us kiddies with canned peas and KD.  (The canned peas and KD being the extra story they’re trying to cover up with a delicious shake-and-bake cloak of deception.)  They could have (arguably) taken what happened in Coven and made it a five season TV show.

Now onto True Detective.  Phenomenal.  I absolutely loved it.  The story was driven in the very beginning with an end in mind and REALLY the only back story was involving the central characters.  There was one story to tell and they told it.  End of story.  Literally.  The thing that sets this show apart from Hannibal (amazing), CSI (Grissom or bust) or any of the other crime shows out there is that True Detective probably has a hell of a lot of stories to tell, but they’re going to do it one at a time, with different detectives at the center of the screen.  And I hope they keep the same momentum as they did with season one.


Mcconaughey without sleeves = Ratings

And now to give AHS some credit…  Because its what I said I would do at the beginning of this ramble.  

Like I said, shows like Supernatural have seasons upon seasons to revisit side/back-stories introduced in the first season, so no one gets upset about some things not getting tied together in a big neat bow at the end of every season.  If a season of Supernatural or LOST or The Walking Dead got tied up with a big stupid bow at the end of the first season, who would actually watch the second season?  There would be no point.  So take this into consideration: Shows like Supernatural are edgy and interesting and keep us on the edge of our seats BECAUSE of the twists and turns and new characters they introduce.  They draw us in from the very beginning with the promise of excitement.  So shows like American Horror Story have to try and pull us in somehow as well, while still maintaining the one season time-limit.  So the last episode is a little cramped.  I bet you’re still watching it.  

True Detective succeeded where American Horror Story failed in one aspect, TD was a slow-burn story from the beginning (fourth episode continuous shot of pants-crapping excitement excluded) and the only twists and turns were “Oh here’s more evidence for that ONE case we’re working on.” vs. American Horror Story’s “Oh this chick is actually that dead guy’s mother and she’s a witch with the power to throw dolls at creepy janitors with her mind.”

Because its supernatural.  

All bets are off.

I know its time to stop writing when I stop making sense…