Welcome to a ghoulish and wonderful time of year, Halloweentime, where the Fall Leaves are orange, the pumpkins are ripe and carved, and the blood is red and dripping from the walls!
Every year I like to celebrate by rolling out a blog series I like to call “Derek Easley’s 31 NIGHTS OF NIGHTMARES”!
What are the 31 Nights of Nightmares? Well, each night in the month of October, I screen and review a scary TV show, new movie, old movie, indie movie, webseries or short, read a horror-themed comic or graphic novel, interview someone who works in the horror industry, or even attend a spooky live event. I document each night for your gruesome eyeballs. And what a great month for the frightening–THE WALKING DEAD returns! There is a new BLAIR WITCH movie! People are dressing up and going to parties, and attending haunted mazes. And everyone on social media is arguing about some scandalous and cringe-worthy reality show on TV called “The US Presidential Election.”
What is my fascination with horror? I grew up with my father taking me to ancient places called video stores every weekend. I was obsessed with the VHS box art of horror films like “House” and “A Nightmare on Elm Street”. The images were scary, and captivating. Although I was a church-going boy scout who loved Superman, there was something about Dracula and other monsters that compelled me. Was it the struggle of good overcoming evil? The wonderment of the dangers of the darkness? Perhaps the adventure of high stakes confrontation, the heroes fighting to survive against certain death had a certain appeal that perhaps a PG family film lacked…
When I became and adult-creature myself, I wanted to be involved in the bone-chilling beyond what you’d get in a cadaverous corporate cubicle. I ended up working in film, television, and media, always gravitating to the macabre, from producing low budget horror shorts and features, and acting in indie films as a killer clown, a zombie, an infected scientist in outer space, and even as a convict and murderer in studio shows and films. So, I live in the horror world professionally, also operating as press at horror conventions and film festivals, which is pretty cool when I get to chat with the likes of Kane Hodder, Linda Blair, and the late-great Wes Craven. But first and foremost I will always be a fan of the scary genre, with incredible characters, deep allegories, impressive production and visual techniques which give us roller coasters of emotion.
So let’s get to the Nightmares!
Night 1, Watched #AHS6 #MyRoanokeNightmare #AHS Kathy Bates slays as The Butcher of the Lost Colony, and Lady Gaga appears as a mysterious villain…This docu-style show-within-a-show is off-putting at first, but things are really picking up. It keeps getting better with each episode, and episode 3 was the best thus far! American Horror Story continues to push the boundaries of conventional wisdom of television. THIS SHOW IS INSANE! Kudos to Ryan Murphy for setting-trends and doing strange things that shouldn’t work, but do. Sometimes, I yell at the characters on the screen, but that’s part of the fun!
Night 2, Watched the premiere of the new #HBO TV tentpole #Westworld on#HBOGo, a reimagining of the 1973 classic starring Yul Brynner (which was followed up by a sequel called #Futureworld and a short-lived show #BeyondWestworld). This sci-fi tale, epic in scope, is full of blood, nudity, and terrifying themes of existential reality and man playing God. This future wild west theme park, where guests are free to live out violent or sexual fantasies on android hosts, has thematic similarities to another theme park gone awry, #JurassicPark, and how fitting because both are from the mind of writer #MichaelCrichton. The current version is brought to us by #JonathanNolan and #JJAbrams, and the opening chapter is the perfect set up to a picturesque historic world (shot in Utah and California) full of the horrors of humanity filling out our basest desires. The mystery and dread are captured by stand out performances from #EvanRachelWood and #AnthonyHopkins, amongst many others. I highly recommend catching the train to Westworld, but beware the Man in Black! And the ending of this episode was so perfectly subtle, yet profound, making me verbally exclaim at the screen. Can’t wait for next week!
Night 3, watched the premiere of #AshVsEvilDead Season 2 on #Starz! Was a bloody orgy of fun! Season 1 started strong, and then slightly dragged in the middle, and ended in a classic and brilliantly executed gorefest in the infamous #EvilDead cabin. This new episode picked up right where Ash (aka “Ashy Slashy”) & his sidekicks left off, but of course the partying in Jacksonville, Florida is short-lived, and our heroes go right back into the chainsaw welding and boomstick shooting world of demon-fighting. #BruceCampbell chews up each scene, and #LucyLawless slays every role she takes on, so it’s a delight to see her back with an expanded storyline! But the real stars of this show are the masters of makeup, effects, and stunts. The series delivers for fans of over-the-top 80’s slasher scary scenes, glorious guts and all. #HailToTheKingBaby #Goovy
NIGHTS 4-6 COMING SOON!
Derek owns a teaching and networking studio called LBAFA that can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/LongBeachActingAndFilmAssociaton