Happy October, My Freaky Darlings! It’s that time again! The joyous time of year where all of us freaks, madmen, monsters, and weirdos feel are just a little more accepted (Not that it really matters!) Well, a week ago we made our annual trip to Halloween Horror Nights. I have to say another great year down, was a shaky start at first with lack of website among other things. They really surprised me this year though. Not to say it was perfect, but definately some of my favorite houses. I will warn, this year I didn’t make it to the shows. Funds being what they were, we just couldn’t go Express (Something that will be remedied next year!) The last couple of years though I haven’t been too impressed with Bill and Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure anyway…so no big deal. Would have really enjoyed 20 Penny Circus, but alas it wasn’t in the cards. Let’s stop the dilly with the dally and jump into this thing huh?
No Escape…Halloween Horror Nights 22
7) Universal’s House of Horrors- I really wanted to like this house more. I loved the concept, I think there was a lot of room for good scares. I did receives at least two really good scares. I just think it could have been better. What made me have a bad taste about this one? Simple! The house scenes and everything were done in UV paint. I know what they were going for, trying to make you feel as if you were walking into the living film, it just could have been better. In fact, I really feel houses like this are lazy. To top it off, there was no facade. You just walked into the beginning scenes which were very much like the beginning to All Nite DIE-in: Take 2. What was the reason for this house being so thrown together? Again…Simple! Remember a couple of months back when I reported that the seventh house was going in SS44? I have no proof, but it’s my opinion that this house really was thrown together pretty quick. I never did find anybody who posted a building permit for that location. Also looking around, the floats that were supposed to be housed in that area were next to it in a rather temporary storage. Not bad if they did throw it together last minuet…but it had room for improvement.
6) Alice Cooper: Welcome to My Nightmare- This house was a lot better than people give it credit! I love Alice Cooper and his style of shock. This house displayed that nicely…Alice’s own personal brand of madness. Why so low on the list then? Well that’s just how good the other houses were! I managed to go through with a real energetic cast. You had twisted nurses, asylum patients, angst teens, and of course Steven and Alice. The theory was you walked through several of his greatest hits showing the personification of the songs themselves. My only real problem was I wanted more! I think the one in Hollywood was better. I know they wanted to make it different, but maybe they should have made it the same. At any rate, don’t miss it…Alice will know! (P.S…Keep an eye to the writing on the walls for a hint to what you are about to see next. If you’re an Alice Cooper Fan…you’ll know.)
5) Silent Hill- First house of the night and really set the pace. I love Silent Hill and I love this house. I was in total fanboy overload!! The nurses, the music, the other creepy tidbits…every Silent Hill fans dream. Even managed to catch Pyramid Head, which Seras tried to take home…I think she scared him. The best parts are the opening scene and facade, the janitor scene (which is very disturbing to say the least), and Pyramid Head. Really wish there would have been more of him. You did have a mess load of nurses though…I suppose that made up for it. Room for improvement? Maybe a little more energy on the scareactors part. As far as design wise, Universal possess tech to make it ten fold scarier. Maybe when they optioned the rights, they got a few more years out of it…and this won’t be the last we will see of good ol’ Silent Hill. One could hope! Either way…don’t miss it!
4) Penn & Teller New(Kd) Las Vegas- For a funny house this was higher on the list because A) it was trippy B) it had surprisingly good scares C) the interactive aspect D) Penn and Teller paid my $40 bucks to bump it up! LOL Just Kidding…they gave me $10 and thats why it’s #4! Anyway, this was the best of the typical fun houses I have been though. For years, Psychoscarapy: Home for the Holidays was my favorite…this house dethroned it. In this house you will find everything you love about sin city…everything you love horribly irradiated with nuclear waste. You see, Penn and Teller aren’t the kind of people to let a little thing like nuclear waste get them down…NO!! In fact the see the wonderful opportunity to turn a negative into a positive…and make some cash on the side. My favorite parts in this house is the kitchen scene and then the wedding scene. Both got me good…some more than others…Seras. Would have been higher on the list if we would have went the week before when Penn and Teller were actually there!!! Would have been number one!!!
3) Gothic- You know I almost skipped this house? We were running low on time, and so far all night I hadn’t heard any good things about this one. We ended up lucking out though and hit Gothic and Dead End last minuet…I would have been mad if I had missed it. I was taken away by how cool this house really was. You really felt like you walked onto the site of an old cathedral being renovated. So many good scares…I really lost count! Kudo’s to the Gargoyle that got into the Italian “Eh!” match with me…you made my night. I absolutely loved the candle scene, the catwalk scene, and the nice midnight stroll on the roof. You will be scared in this house and you will be taken away by the beauty at the same time (Pretty much how they get you! Bait and Switch!) This house again proving that Uni doesn’t require fancy movie and TV properties to scare the crap out of you…however…the next house sort of ruins what I just said…
2) The Walking Dead: Dead Inside- This is THE perfect zombie house…never will there be anything more accurate for a zombie house or scarezone. So many emotions felt in one house! Universal was able to bring to life The Walking Dead in a way I never though possible. The scenes that you walk through are every bit as iconic as they are in the show. You really never know when a walker is going to come at you. Could be here…could be there! The very end is my favorite part. Let’s say…i think they were lying when they said House of Horrors had more scareactors in a single scene…wait till you get to the end of this one. Without giving too much away…let’s say your personal bubble is greatly reduced and if you are afraid of zombies…your going to love this. Don’t miss it…as a matter of fact…go through it twice!!!
1) Dead End- Well we are at the end of the count down…may favorite house of the year. Another one I nearly didn’t get too. Boy I’m glad I went. Really wish I could have moved into this old house…it has a certain character…By character I mean it scares the piss right out of you at every turn. By far the most scares in one house all night. This is why it got number one!! Could tell whether it was all the things that weren’t what they seemed…or the glowy white ghost that get’s you at every turn…but this house just got me! And that’s rare!!! Do not…and I repeat…do not miss this house! It will become your White Buffalo. I can’t even peg down a favorite scene it was that good. I suppose the scenes with the glowy white ghost were the best…BEWARE OF THE GLOWY WHITE GHOST!!!
I will touch on this real quick. I wasn’t big fan of the idea of roaming hordes of scareactors. The no scarezone idea had been tried before in 07′ and failed horribly. This year made me a believer. You never know who is going to catch you and where they are just kept moving all night. What I thought was even cooler was the music queue was moving all night. They actually moved the sound track to fit who was in the area…nice touch. I also loved that fact that when I was amongst the vampires…I was mistaken as scareactor…like 20 times! Had three pictures taken of me…(I hope they caught my good side!) I really wish I would have gotten more pictures of them for you, but that night was hectic…little one was sick, no express passes, having to rush whilst being worried…pictures were just not on my mind this year. I will add what I have though to the Encyclopedia Psychotika Facebook page though if you want to have a look. I think my favorites ended up being the Vampires (Real surprise there!)
In closing, this was a good year to go. I definitely felt like it was money well spent. Can’t wait for next year, and wish I could go again this year! As I said i was not able to hit the shows. My dear friend Samhain however was able to hit Bill and Ted, so maybe she will be so kind as to send me a small review. Also!! I will be collecting some reviews from our fellow cast of weirdos that went with us, and post them as well…why just take my opinion on the night…right? (Hee Hee That rhymed) Stay tuned for more madness to come!
Until Next Time, My Freaky Darlings,
P.S I re-preposed to Seras under the archway to the cemetery….SHE SAID YES!! CONGRATS TO ME!!
Holy Shit on a carbuncle!! It has been ages since I have anything new to say about Halloween Horror Nights! A bit slow to the punchline they’ve been this year! Top that with massive amounts of depression, massive amounts of happiness, total loads of debauchery, and boat load of liquor and what you get is quite possibly the biggest bi-polar orgasm the world has ever seen!!! AT ANY RATE!!! We have some Halloween Horror Nights 22 business to get down to…let’s begin!
Theme and Icon:
This year really doesn’t have one. No icon…No theme. Well I suppose with the list of houses you could say the Theme is AWESOME!! One word with a shit load of exclamation points! What I’m taking from all of this is they are trying to strip the event down to the basics…haunted houses. Maybe they are trying to see if they can survive on the mazes alone. Maybe I’m over thinking it and they were a bit busy. Maybe they spent have the year pulling the pud and threw this stuff together at the last-minute! I DON’T KNOW!! What I do know is, they have a hell of a house line up and this is all I really have to say on this bullet point…moving on!
I look forward to this year in and year out. After one HHN falls I begin the wait for the next…the only thing that tides me over is the website coming active over the summer. So what do I think of the website this year? DAMN PATHETIC!!! No Games…No Extras…And they made us all wait until a month before the event to give us anything!!! Uni this is not your A-Game in this area. As craptastic as 19′s website was, it was still better than a hallow frame-work! Shame on you!!! The lack of website could be explained by the lack of theme…but still…a game or two wouldn’t have killed ya!
As you might have guessed I’m saving the best for last…the houses. However, I’m impressed with the shows (or rather the new show!) Yeah they only ever add one show, and I’m cool with that. As long as it’s not the bad 30 minuet mockery of Rocky Horror Picture Show…or freakin’ Brian Brushwood…I’m cool. The 20 Penny Circus looks like the perfect act to fit in with HHN. Bill and Ted has been hit and miss the last couple of year to be honest. Last year was good, but still not up to snuff from years like 05′-07′. Maybe they will pull out some stops this year. Just look at what has been in pop culture for 2012…and there you have it!
**If you would like to know more about 20 Penny Circus, check out their Facebook page HERE
Not to thrilled to say this but I will. there will be no set zones this year. Yep, all of the barriers are down! If someone wants to chase you from one end of the park to the other…they can! One thing that does have me excited is that supposedly there is going to be no personal space. They can touch you. Now in years past, I’ve had scareactors do this anyway…so I’m curious as to how this will all pan out. The only thing is they tried this back in 07′, and it didn’t work. Maybe this year will be different, It’s anyone’s guess. The different “hordes” of scareactors include: Vampires, Warriors, Prisoners, Traditionals, Beasts, and a new breed The Iniquitus. At least the scareactors sound interesting…
As I am writing this HHN Crypt posted on their Facebook page some photos of the street elements for this years event. I’m a little impressed. They are going to have some sort of set dressing. It appears that the Walking Dead: Dead Inside will spill out onto the street with a walker area. Other areas look to be taken over by cemetery. There was also some pictures of vampire posters posted. I’m a little more hopeful.
The meat an potatoes of this article…the moment you have been waiting for…my pre-ranking for this year’s event!! Now, yesterday was the media preview, and I’ve seen a bit. So far I’m impressed with what I have seen. Thank you to all the websites that were there and spread the word over the internet. So here we go…
7) Gothic- The only reason I’ve ranked this last is I don’t know much about it like I do the rest. The premise is there, to be honest I think it will be cool…I’m just not convinced it will be better than the other ones. I could be very wrong with this house, but hey I’m ready to be proved wrong. Just something doesn’t seem that scary about Gargoyles…not sure what it is.
6) Dead End- I’ve seen very interesting things about this house. However, I can’t rank it that high because this house was done two years ago. I think I will like it, because I liked that house! I love the real hidden scares. Sneaky is good…I just hope I don’t keep getting the feeling of Deja Vu.
5) Penn & Teller New(kd) Vegas- I only put this one here because I know it’s going to be a fun house. I can’t very well put a fun house in a pre-rank above some of the phenomenal looking ones. You never know though, Penn and Teller are who they are. The thought of it being a fun house could prove to be a load of…well…Bull Shit!
4) Alice Cooper- Welcome to My Nightmare- I have seen the walk through of Hollywood’s version of this last year. Damn impressive! HHN meshes so well with Alice Coopers particular brand of rock music. The godfather of shock rock’s HHN maze may prove to be quite…shocking! Alice Cooper said it best with his announcement, “Welcome to my nightmare…I think you’re gonna like it!”
3) The Walking Dead- I’m going out on a limb making this my number 3. I wanted to make it 2 or 1 but the other two have my attention more. At the core of it this house is still a zombie house. I’m not saying it won’t stand out against other zombie houses. Far from it! There are some pretty iconic scenes in this house. My problem is with the fact it’s going to be a walk through of those scenes instead of a linear house. I could be wrong, but that’s the fun of these things…
2) Universal’s House of Horrors- This one…this is one to watch. The news on this house is there will be two firsts. One is a scene in which you have to crawl on your hands and knees while scareactors loom over head. The second achievement comes in the final room of the house. Supposedly it will set a record for the most scareactors in a single scene. It would also appear that the house will be in Black and White, I’m not sure though. Why not number one you ask…well I’ll tell you!
1) Silent Hill- I have been hoping and dreaming for this house since the first time I ever went to a HHN back in 2005. Silent Hill offers so much to a haunted house…it’s like the game was practically made to be put in other mediums just to be awesome! I can wait to feel the ash, to see the foggy scenes, to be nearly sliced to death by a nurse, and have my skin taken off by Pyramid Head. This house just has so much going for it. They didn’t reveal a whole lot media night (and you could tell it!) This makes me one excited Psychopath!
Well this article has taken me a lot longer to write than usual. Lot’s of stuff has been going on lately and to be honest I’m still trying to get back into the routine. At any rate, we will be at Halloween Horror Nights 22 on Sept. 28th doing the Annual Passholder thing. The group will be there with our freak hats on, so you won’t miss us. Everyone from Myself, to Seras, to ArnieFreeze!! We even have some new comers going with! Good friend Samhain and Magic Bob!! So come on out, say hello, get scared, and get your mug posted on a website!
Until Next Time, My Freaky Darlings,
Special Thanks to all of those that went to the Media Preview night and provided everyone with the awesome video and photo thrills. You help make the wait go a lot less painfully. Encyclopedia Psychotika thanks the following Screamscape, Inside the Magic, HHN Nightmares, Behind the Thrills, Attractions Magazine, and HHN Crypt. You guys get the best info!
It’s not everyday that you see a totally original idea for a zombie film. Today I had that day! Vernon Mortensen is Director and Producer of Universal Dead. He is also a former U.S Navy SWCC. It is a real pleasure to sit down with an American Hero and one hell of a Director. With only three short webisodes, this film has me wanting more. So without delay, I present an interview on behalf of From Dusk Till Con preformed by yours truly…
Meet Vernon Mortensen…
Malice Psychotik: So today I have the honor of interviewing not only a phenomenal director, but a former member of our county’s Navy. We’re here to talk about his web series Universal Dead. We’ll get to that in a minute. First I want to talk about you. You were an US Navy SWCC, what is that exactly?
Vernon Mortensen: Navy Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewmen (or SWCC, pronounced “swick”) are organized into Special Boat Teams and usually work with US Navy SEALs and other special operation forces. We are experts in Special Operations but are masters of Maritime Special Operations and operate and maintain an inventory of state-of-the-art, high-performance assault boats used to conduct special operations missions. We are experts in covert mobility.
Navy SWCCs and SEALs go through separate but similar training. Navy SWCCs must pass a 22 week course in order to earn a spot in the Teams. Only about 20% of the students pass this unforgiving course to earn the coveted SWCC warfare badge. Most students quit because the training is just too mentally and physically difficult.
A Navy SWCC must become an expert in weapons, tactics, engineering, combat medicine, radio and satellite communications, land and sea navigation, air operations, water rescue, wilderness and ocean survival, and so much more!
It was the best job (next to filmmaking of course) that anyone can have!
Malice: What made you decide to do film? Was it something you decided while in the service, or had it always been in the back of your mind?
Vernon: When I was in High School, my father’s cousin was a Teamster at Universal Studios and he took me to work with him on the set of Back to the Future for two weeks. That’s when I decided I wanted to make movies. The Navy career came first, but I always knew I would make movies for a living sooner or later.
Malice: What kind of films do you like?
Vernon: I like them all! I always have a special place in my heart for sci-fi/horror, but I’m a filmmaker… I love them all. I have a boxing movie called The Kid: Chamaco starring Martin Sheen, that’s in theaters across the USA right now (http://sites.google.com/site/chamacofilm/). My film company, Unconventional Films, is also making a western called “The Sorrow” this year.
Malice: Do you have a preference when it comes to zombie films?
Vernon: The original Day of the Dead set the benchmark in my opinion.
Malice: Your theory of the zombocolypse it, uber original! Why Physics? Why that over infection?
Vernon: That comes from my business partner and the writer of Universal Dead, Kelly Parks. Kelly is the world’s only Ex-CIA/Rocket Scientist/Stand-up Comic/Screenwriter and is a very smart (like MENSA smart) aerospace engineer and all around science geek.
When Kelly and I were kicking around the idea for Universal Dead, he always had a problem with the whole “infection theory.” An infection doesn’t explain how a zombie can sustain a shotgun blast to the heart and keep coming at you. No, that really bothered Kelly, so like any good scientist; he sat down and developed a workable theory of physics that explained how zombies behave. It really is brilliant.
Malice: Universal Undead has a pretty original concept. Where did you draw some of your inspiration from?
Vernon: Kelly is a huge fan of the book “Flatland” by Edwin Abbott Abbott. There’s even a reference to it in the 3rd episode. The book inspired him to develop the theory that Dr. Vattaber (Doug Jones) gives us in Universal Dead.
Aside from that, the story is different from most zombie movies because it does not take place on “Day Zero” or the days soon after the apocalypse starts. Universal Dead takes place five years after “Day Zero” and these people are all that’s left of the human race. Tight-knit communities of survivors have formed and usually, but not always, under the supervision of the remaining military units, and these people don’t fall for the usual zombie non-sense (as you see in the “bite check” scene in episode 1).
These people are damaged! They have baggage we can’t even imagine and that makes for very interesting characters.
Malice: Are you planning on keeping this idea in a webisode format, or do you think you will move to something bigger?
Vernon: We have just signed contracts with one of the lot producers at Paramount Studios. We are going to be making Universal Dead as a 3D movie to be released by Paramount sometime in late 2011.
Malice: At any rate, you really have my anticipation up for the next webisode. Can we expect to see it soon?
Vernon: Sorry, our deal stipulates that we stop releasing episodes until the movie comes out… but hey, Universal Dead is gonna be a 3D movie… UD3D!
Malice: Let’s move to your production company, Unconventional Films. How did this idea come about?
Neil Trusso, one of the other partners in Unconventional Films and Producer of Universal Dead, is a former Navy SEAL. Neil and I were deployed together to the war-torn African nation of Somalia in 1994, as depicted in the movie “Black Hawk Down,” and while we were there, Neil and I started making comic books. I would write the stories and Neil would illustrate them. That was the beginning of our collaboration and the beginning of Unconventional Films.
And BTW, there are four real US Navy SEALs in Universal Dead who play our Navy SEALs; Craig Sawyer (History Channel’s Top Shot) Cade Courtley (Spike TV’s Surviving Disaster) Joe Baker (Afghan Knights) and Rob Guzzo (Transformers 3).
Kelly Parks and I met years later at a meeting of the professional organization, San Diego Filmmakers, and we really hit it off. While we were producing our first web series, The Crusader (www.watchthecrusader.com ), we made Kelly a partner. Kelly wrote and directed most of the episodes of The Crusader and really impressed us so we asked him to join our insane asylum.
Everything else is history…
Malice: What else can we expect to see from this company?
Vernon: We have more horror/sci-fi projects in the pipeline, and as I mentioned before, there’s our boxing movie, The Kid: Chamaco and our western, The Sorrow. We have a ton of co-productions in the pipeline with our sister company, Rogue Arts. They [Rogue Arts] are mainly an indie drama company, but with the boxing movie The Kid: Chamaco, they are venturing into the “genre” movie world with us and they now want to be a part of a few of our upcoming genre movies including our western.
Rogue Arts is quite a success story. The owner, Kirk Harris, is a great friend and has been running this company; successfully I might add, for over 15 years! That’s quite a track record for an indie company. Rogue Arts has a huge catalog of movies and is always making new movies.
Malice: Well it’s a trademark of mine to ask a round of off the wall questions. Are you game for some madness?
Malice: What are your feelings on a Zombie Apocalypse? Thinks it’s possible?
Vernon: Well the science is there, as Kelly Parks proved… but I think the closest thing we will probably ever experience, or have a real possibility of experiencing, is a pandemic scenario. In a pandemic, the rule of law eventually collapses as government succumbs to the same disease that’s killing everybody else. At this point, the people who are left, the survivors, revert to being animals and all humanity is lost. This is a scenario that I could see actually happening on a global scale… scary!
Malice: In a zombie crisis, what’s your weapon of choice?
Vernon: I’ve actually given this a lot of thought. Zombies are very different from the adversaries a military man like me is used to confronting. We don’t have issues like zombies wearing body armor, or using intelligent tactics against us. Wounding a zombie does no good and is a waste of ammo. Knocking a zombie down might save you some time, but guess what? The zombie will get back up and come after you. The only thing that matters is damaging the brain and impairing brain function.
I would choose a weapon with a military caliber and one of the lighter calibers so I could carry more. If you know where to look, the military has bunkers full of ammo all across the USA. Because I’d only need to focus on penetrating the skull and damaging the brain, bigger, heavier calibers like 7.62 or 12ga. are out. So, I’d probably settle on an M4 in the 5.56 caliber. I’d probably have a suppressor (most people call them silencers but there is no such thing as a silent gun) so that I could minimize the attention I’d call to myself if I did have to shoot a zombie. Maybe I’d even add a fast target acquisition system like an “Aimpoint” or an “EOTech.” For long distance I’ve always been partial to the ACOG (I had one on my M4 in the Navy). Availability of parts and simple operation and maintenance are also big considerations.
With the M4 the options are endless!
Malice: Do you like Predators or Aliens?
Vernon: I like it when Predators fight Aliens!
Malice: Lucio Fulci or George Romero?
Vernon: Fulci is good but Romero all the way… except for Land of the Dead. Hated that one!
Malice: This was a very enlightening conversation. Thank you for doing this interview. It was honor on so many levels! A great director and an honest to God Patriot. Is there anything else you would like to add before we finish?
Vernon: Just one thing…
Those of us who made Universal Dead are big zombie fans! We set out to make a movie/web series that would make us and the other fans out there very happy and it appears that we have succeeded so far. We are very, very humbled by the response we’ve gotten and would like to thank our fans and assure everyone that we will do our best to make UD3D into a kick ass movie (not like most 3D movies) and to take it somewhere interesting and new.
Thanks for watching!
Thank you very much for the interview Vernon! Now if anyone else wants to hunt down those juicy webisodes, feel free to look at THIS. There you can get a little history and view the original Webisodes. Trust me, it will be well received. Also, don’t forget to keep an eye out for this film in 2011. Universal Dead in 3-D off all things. I know I can’t wait!
Until Next Time, My Freaky Darlings,
This past week I had the privilege to interview a good friend of mine. He is also author of Z-Day is Here, the short story Recess, and soon to be Z-Day is Here: One Year Later, none other than Rob Fox! I can’t tell you what an honor it was, and how glad I am that he took the time to do this interview. I really think you are all in for a treat here. So, as they say in Celebrity Death Match, “Let’s get it on!”
Malice Psychotik: So Rob, you started your first book as a blog back in 07′. Did you ever think it was going to become a book?
Rob Fox: Not only did I have no idea it would one day make it to book format, but it wasn’t even going to make it past 5 days. I did it for a school project and only had to show five days worth of blog. Somewhere around day 3, I was getting emails from people telling me they really liked it and wanted to read more. There were many times I had thought about just stopping – when I would have a really crappy day or when I ran out of ideas, but I felt like I couldn’t let the fans down. I really think when you read the book, there is a definite moment where the story structure and plot really start coming together, and that moment is when I decided to get it published when I finished it.
Malice: What inspired you to start Z-Day?
Fox: Well, other than wanting a good grade, I just honestly didn’t want to write another boring celebrity blog or a “Hi, my name is Rob” type blog. I wanted something different. I believe I had watched a zombie movie the night before or had a zombie dream the night before. Whatever the case may be, I had zombies on the brain.
Malice: One of the things I think makes your work stand out so much is your use of real life people for the basis of your characters. What made you decide to do this?
Fox: I started out doing it because I saw the main character as being me and what would really happen to me on those first days. Then I realized I probably wouldn’t have made it past the first day, so I decided to bring my friends into it. More as my special “Thank You” to them for being a friend. Later on in the book and in other projects, it helps me in giving my characters a real personality.
Malice: Now I know Z-Day 2 has been in the works for some time now. How is it coming along?
Fox: Ahh the dreaded “Z Day 2″ question! I started Z Day 2, which will actually be called “Z Day is Here: One Year Later”, shortly after the first book was released. I wrote about 3/4 of the story then was asked to assist in writing a screenplay. I put Z Day 2 on the back burner to work on the screenplay, which took almost 6 months to complete. Once that screenplay was written and turned in, I had an idea for another screenplay that I wanted to get written. I finished that one in about 2 months. While I was doing some re-writes on the second screenplay, I went back and started reading Z Day 2. I was not pleased with where it was going, so I trashed everything I had written and started over. I am currently about 1/4 through rewriting the story, but I am much happier with this one and I believe whoever reads tis one will be happy I started over too. My goal is to have the second book finished by the end of the year. Ultimately I would love to see it out by October, but I think that is a little ambitious.
Malice: Since you’ve started down this road of being a writer, you’ve done a few con appearances. Which one has been your favorite?
Rob: Wow, that’s a hard question. I have had a complete blast at every single con I have attended, but I would have to say that “Spooky Empire” tops my list. I was a member of the forum when all this writing stuff began and I owe my success to everyone on that board, so when I was able to be a guest there, it was like being at home with all my friends. That convention will always have a special place in my heart
Malice: Of all the stories you have written thus far (Short or book) do you have any favorites?
Fox: As much as I LOVE “Z Day is Here”, and I do love that story, I would have to say that my all time favorite story I have written is called “Recess”. It is published in the anthology “Dead Set: A Zombie Anthology”. I wrote the story based off of a painting about a group of kids fighting off a playground full of zombie children. The painting is one of my favorites and being able to bring those pictures to life and using kids that I know in the story really helps make it my favorite.
Malice: Now, you mentioned that you were working on screenplays, have any of them been filmed yet?
Fox: I have two being filmed right now. One is “A.C.E. The Zombie” and the other is “American Undead”. I have a third screenplay that I am trying to sell now..and working on a secret script that I can’t talk about yet…but its gonna be HUGE.
Malice: Wow, I can’t wait you are going to have to tell me when you are allowed details. Now that we have talked about the writing, let’s talk about the man! Who is Rob Fox?
Fox: Hmmm, Rob Fox is a big geek. Anyone who really knows me knows how much I love Sci-fi, horror, and comic books. To me, Superman is hands down the best Super Hero. Also, I am a writer that doesn’t read. I mean I know how to read, I just can’t concentrate enough to read a full novel.
Malice: Well it has become obvious that you like horror movies! What are some of your favorites? Any recent movies tickle your fancy?
Fox: Well, my all time favorite is the 2004 Dawn of the Dead remake. I own the movie on Blue-ray and have worn it out. I am also a huge 80′s slasher fan. Freddy, Jason, Mike, and Leatherface were my friends growing up, so I still love them.
Malice: What about the music scene, anybody out there dazzle you? What are you into?
Fox: I love all types of music. On my MP3 player, you will find anything from Slipknot to Kenny Chesney and some Eminem throw in for good measure, though my favorites are Rob Zombie and Linkin Park. I find myself listening to them both while writing.
Malice: Now I have seen your personal pages, (and heard many a story from you as well) you have met a fair share of celebrities. Which one has been your favorite?
Fox: Meeting Rob Zombie was a dream come true for me, but all I could mutter was “You Rock, Rob”, but of all I have met, I would say Betsy Palmer. My wife, Darcy, and I met her outside of the Spooky Empire convention, after the zombie walk. We were covered in face blood and had contacts in. She gave us a big hug and talked with us the entire way to her room. Later, we went to see her at her table. She was extremely nice to us and very much down to Earth
Malice: Anybody who has met you knows you KNOW how to party! Do you have any real epic memories you would like to share?
Fox: I once passed out on a National Monument and got banned from the country I was in…that’s about all I can say about that!
Malice: Would you mind if I asked you some random nonsense?
Fox: Yes, I mind! What kind of a person do you think I am?! But go ahead!
Malice: Here we go! What is your opinion on Furries?
Fox: Opinion as in would I? Have I? Or should I? Yes, Yes, and Yes. I have thought about writing a story about furries…and if you read really carefully you will find a reference to a Furry in Z Day!
Malice: If you were forced with a decision; Eat 3 KFC Double Downs in one sitting OR Punch a midget named “Holis” in the face which would you do? Why?
Fox: Funny story behind that…I went to KFC to get a Double Down. I have been trying to watch my awesome figure, but I decided that I would throw caution to the wind, so I pull into KFC very excited, and realized they were closed!!! I was so pissed that I went and punched a midget hooker named “El Tomeka”. So, I guess I would rather eat KFC Double Downs….since I still have not had one
Malice: Jason Stackhouse or Lafayette Renyolds?
Fox: Wait, to do? Or which one am I more like? I am so confused.
Malice: Do you think we should raise awareness to Midget Biker Gangs that plague the south-east U.S.?
Fox: I think raising awareness to midgets in general is probably a good idea. Now please don’t think that I dislike midgets, because that couldn’t be further from the truth. But I also think that raising awareness to the biker midgets is especially important, I mean what is scarier than a group of midgets on their little mini-bikes riding around your car?? And don’t even get me started on walking into Midget biker bars. I have heard stories about people walking into those bars and limping out, with huge bruises on their shins.
Malice: Would you Describe yourself as a leopard, a wolf, a mongoose, or a llama?
Fox: I would call myself a lleapolfgoose. I am a great mix of them all.
Malice: Well that’s enough crazy!! Rob, I just want to tell you what a pleasure it was doing this interview. Is there anything you would like to add?
Fox: Just like to say that if you have not read it yet, check out “Z Day is Here”, you can get it on Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com , and other book stores. Also, thanks for chatting it up with me. It is always a pleasure.
Malice: One last thing, Where’s you number one stop for madness on the web?
Fox: WOW, that’s a tough one. It is a toss-up between http://www.nabainc.org and Encyclopedia Psychotika
Until Next Time, My Freaky Darlings,
OK I figured I would go ahead and hand my first review over to my buddy Rob Fox for his very first Book Z-Day is here.
I remember when Rob first started this blog back in 07′ . It was just soooo good! You would see people dogging him for days for more! I remember being one of those people because he left you hanging everyday with wanting more. Wondering what was going to happen next. Was this guy going to die? What else could go wrong? Is he ever going to find Darcy? So you could imagine how thrilled I was to see he was going to have this in print. I really think the film industry would have a lot to learn from Rob.
So the story stars out in the midst of all the chaos. The zomboclypse has started, and this guy is right in the middle of it. Stuck in his office he starts a blog describing the events as they come to pass. From there it goes on one mans adventure to reunite with his wife. The pace is very smooth, never dwelling in an area for too long, and always throwing the element of real-time into the story. The way the story is written, is what draws you in. He doesn’t take a whole paragraph to describe a small part of a scene. Instead, he only offers the detail necessary to give you a good feel for the action going on. Really that’s all you need. You don’t need four paragraphs describing how disgusting the zombies are and then another chapter describing one fight scene. Just quick to the point what’s going on.
Another part of the book I would love to mention is the characters. Fox did a wonderful thing in basing all of his characters off of people he knows. This shows in his writing as you can really feel the connection with these people. I feel this is lost on a lot of authors. The closer you are you your characters, the better the story will be. Whether its his supporting characters (Like Cole or Tonya) or his smaller characters (Like Dustin or Malice) you feel a real connection to the character. This connection is really important in any sort of zombie story. If you don’t feel for the characters, why do you care when they are torn to shreds by the zombie hordes? Character development is crucial in these types of stories! You don’t have a strong cast, your story fails.
Overall it a beautifully written story, that comes across very real. You really can see yourself right along for the ride. Smelling the stench of the zombies and hearing the moans at the door. I would really like to see this as say a mini-series or something to that effect. Maybe on SyFy or something like that. I would like to say I give Rob Fox’s Z Day is here 5 out of 5 Top Hats. It has nothing to do with the fact I’m in it. Shut up! That’s not bias! Seriously though, if you have never checked it out give it a look. It’s available on Amazon, and well worth it!
Until next time,