Saturday, August 21

New Midnight Syndicate CD!!

MIDNIGHT SYNDICATE RELEASES BLOODLINES MINI-ALBUM, A PREQUEL TO THE 13TH HOUR 

 CLEVELAND, Ohio, August 20, 2021 – Midnight Syndicate has just released a mini-album entitled Bloodlines. Their 14th studio album, Bloodlines is a prequel to the duo’s best-selling, haunted mansion-themed, The 13th Hour. The new release draws listeners deeper into the world of the Haverghast family, a sinister clan whose dark secrets were first introduced on the 2001 asylum-themed album, Gates of Delirium. 

Bloodlines - Midnight Syndicate - CD Cover for mp3s.jpg

 “The events that occur in Bloodlines happen before The 13th Hour, although how long before is left up to the listener,” said Edward Douglas. Gavin Goszka added, “The selections on this album expand the story of the Haverghast family. We wanted this album to flow as seamlessly as possible into The 13th Hour, while still maintaining its own distinct stylistic identity.” 

 Bloodlines comes on the heels of the band’s first live album, Live Shadows, which was released in June of this year. Beginning in September, Midnight Syndicate will bring their critically-acclaimed concert experience, Midnight Syndicate Live! Conspiracy of Shadows, back to the world famous amusement park, Cedar Point. The horror-themed multimedia concerts blending live music, theatre, and film will run from September 17 through October 31 at the park’s HalloWeekends event. The band has hinted that another major announcement will be coming soon. 

Buy or listen to Bloodlines: https://midnightsyndicate.fanlink.to/bloodlines 
Watch the album trailer: https://midnightsyndicate.fanlink.to/f4xM 
Midnight Syndicate official website: www.MidnightSyndicate.com 

Bloodlines Band Photo.jpg

 Midnight Syndicate Midnight Syndicate is synonymous with haunting themes, gothic soundtracks and musical storytelling at its most evocative. If you’ve visited a haunted attraction or amusement park around the world during the Halloween season, or simply enjoyed a night of trick-or-treating in your neighborhood, chances are you’ve heard their music. Since 1997, dark music pioneers Edward Douglas and Gavin Goszka have been entertaining fans of Halloween, gothic music, haunted attractions, horror cinema, video games, and roleplaying games with their soundtracks to imaginary films. Featuring a signature blend of orchestral music and sound effects, Midnight Syndicate’s fourteen studio albums, along with their independent film, The Dead Matter, and several film scores, have earned them a worldwide following with combined sales now approaching 800,000 physical and digital units. In 2003, the band was approached to produce the first official soundtrack to the seminal roleplaying game, Dungeons & Dragons. Their success has led them to collaborations with Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights, Cedar Point’s HalloWeekends, and Grandin Road, along with being featured in television shows, HSN, SiriusXM’s Scream Radio, video games, King Diamond tours, a Misfits live album, releases by major horrorcore artists, and even Hugh Hefner’s Playboy Mansion private Halloween parties. In 2014, the band began producing Midnight Syndicate Live!, a series of horror-themed multimedia concerts which continue to enjoy successful runs at Cedar Point’s annual HalloWeekends event. The 13th Hour Released in 2005, 

The 13th Hour is one of Midnight Syndicate’s most popular and iconic albums. Set in the haunted Haverghast family mansion, The 13th Hour takes listeners on a musical journey into a sinister supernatural world which highlights the band’s unique orchestral stylings and sound effects. Used in haunted attractions and amusement parks worldwide, The 13th Hour was also the first album to receive an Origins Awar Award from the Academy of Adventure Game Art & Design, as well as the first to receive an ENnie from the popular fan-based awards show in the roleplaying game industry.

Monday, May 3

I am Honored!


 I just found out that my interview with Bruce Campbell in Scary Monsters Memories #116 won a Rondo Award for Best Interview! I am truly honored, and very surprised! I didn't campaign at all this year, just mentioned it once on the social media sites. It was a blast talking with Bruce - this one was actually the idea of the Scary Monsters editors, Don and Vicki Smeraldi, who asked me to try and interview him. It turned out really well and my favorite fact from the interview is that Sam Raimi once sent a short film to the horror host The Ghoul - which he played on the air!!

Again - Thank you to everyone who voted for this interview, thank you to Scary Monsters for the space to write it. Long live the Rondos.




Tuesday, February 16

Vengeance Cops

Not every movie I watch is a horror film, and that's certainly been true lately. I've been on an Italian crime binge lately. One of the recent ones I watched in that genre was Vengeance Cops (1971).  

Vengeance Cops is an Interesting little cop film with a great title and some suspenseful moments, including the car chases, one of which takes place in a drive-in movie theater! 




I love when drive-ins pop up in movies! IMDB lists the country of origin on this one as South Africa. Apparently drive-ins were big in South Africa at one point, so that makes sense. This particular one might have been a 5-screener too, as they pull into one lot with a big 5 at the sign of the lot entrance. There is also a blurry shot of what I think is the main marquee as they enter the drive-in, but I couldn't make it out. 



I'd love to know the name of this drive-in where this was shot. I doubt it's still around but would be good to know some more details about it. It was concreted and had the humps for cars to angle toward the screen as well as speakers on poles - they did it up right! Vengeance Cops was a fun little Saturday afternoon action flick. I watched it on Amazon Prime.

Wednesday, October 14

Monday, October 12

Nocturne (2020)

 

Nocturne is part of the Welcome to Blumhouse series of films from Blumhouse Studios, which features 8 films that will debut on Amazon streaming. The first four air this October, the rest in 2021. 

 

A pair of twin girls named Juliet and Vivian (Sydney Sweeney and Madison Iseman) are enrolled in a prestigious arts school. Vivian is outgoing and popular, while Juliet more reserved and withdrawn. Both are gifted at playing the piano, but Vivian has always been the more successful – and favorite of their parents. When they arrive at the school, they learn that the soloist in the school concerto – a girl named Moria (Ji Eun Hwang) – died a week prior, having committed suicide, and there will be an open competition to decide the new lead. Vivian is the assumed forerunner. One day Juliet stumbles upon a notebook that previously belonged to Moira, her theory book, containing strange drawings, musical notations and messages written backwards. She finds herself drawn to it, and into a world of the supernatural, using it to channel her own talents and try to win the lead in the concerto… 

  

Nocturne was written and directed by Zu Quirke, who is seriously channeling Suspiria with this tale of a musical academy with a supernatural secret lurking beneath its facade. However, unlike the 1977 Argento film (and its 2018 remake) this one doesn’t lean into the horror element fully, rather swerving at the last second to a more pedestrian ending that, while still good, falls short of the potential it was building toward. The acting is good across the board and Sydney Sweeney really shines in the role of the tormented Juliet. 

Nocturne is a stylish and well-made tale of jealousy, ambition and sibling rivalry. I just wish it had embraced the horror fully. Just before she goes onstage to perform Juliet’s principal tell her to, “Give them hell.” Unfortunately, it didn’t quite go there.

Available on Amazon starting October 13, 2020.

Evil Eye (2020)

Evil Eye is part of the Welcome to Blumhouse series of films from Blumhouse Studios, which features 8 films that will debut on Amazon streaming. The first four air this October, the rest in 2021.

Evil Eye is about a girl named Pallavi (Sunita Mani) who lives alone in the US while her parents live back home in India. Her mother Usha (Sarita Choudhury) worries about her daughter, especially as she’s almost 30 and hasn’t been married. She constantly tries fixing her daughter up and seems overly concerned with the topic, almost to the point of obsession. When Pallavi meets a handsome boy named Sandeep (Omar Maskati ) you’d think her mother would be thrilled, but quite the opposite. She becomes even more concerned, convinced that Sandeep is the reincarnation of the man who attempted to murder her 30 years prior, and who cursed her with the evil eye while she was pregnant.


Evil Eye was originally written by Madhuri Shekar as an audio play that debuted on Audible, where it was on the Best-Seller list. She also wrote the screenplay for the film, which was directed by Elan and Rajeev Dassani, twin brothers who were born right here in Nashville, TN. The story is as much a drama as a horror story, albeit one with supernatural overtones. Both Shekar and the Dassani brothers are of Indian descent, which shows through in the film. It feels authentic to the culture, even to a Westerner like me with little familiarity to it. It was interesting and engaging, even if the ending is a little heavy-handed with social messaging – although to be fair that is probably exactly what many viewers will like best about it. 


Sarita Choudhury was especially good as the matriarch of the family. I looked her up on IMDB and the only film I think I’ve previously seen her in is Lady in the Water, which I really don’t remember that well. I hope to see her in more movies though, she was great, as were all of the cast. Produced by Amazon Studios in conjunction with Blumhouse Productions. Available on Amazon starting October 13, 2020.



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