Category Archives: Blog

Movie Review: The Incantation

by  of Horror Fuel

Lucy (Sam Valentine) schleps to France for the funeral of an uncle she’s never even laid eyeballs upon. Once there she doesn’t meet any family, but rather the creepy-ass and pissy Vicar of Borley (Jude S. Walko) provides her “greeting”… and by “greeting” I really mean “list of strict as balls rules to follow during her stay”.

Speaking of family, after that funeral mentioned up yonder, our heroine starts gettin’ chumy with the local gravedigger, J.P. (Dylan Kellogg), who tells her of her family’s rather unsavory history which results in Sam beginning to loose her ever-lovin’ fucking mind as she experiences strange dreams and hallucinations. Now is this a growing evil presence, or has Sammy gone looney fuckin’ tunes. Dean Cain ensues.

The Incantation, if you haven’t guessed by now, has it’s essence entrenched in full on Gothic thriller territory; you get the secluded location populated by a young woman with no idea of the dark secrets that hide in the shadows of her family’s past, along with a supernatural contingent that may spell doom for our heroine… and it plays with these tropes well, if not in a new manner.

So atmosphere rather than over-the-top effects is the order of the day, and here writer/director Jude S. Walko (yup, the same dude that plays that aforementioned Vicar) succeeds admirably building a (mostly effective… more on that below) slow burn pace that leads to a great creeptastic resolution, with plenty of visual flair.

On the negative side, this film can get talky at times, and while serving the narrative and mythology it can get a tad monotonous at times… and Dean Cain’s character name is such a fuckin’ groaner I’m not even going to mention it here so you lot can experience it’s full cheesy glory for your damn selves.

All in all, The Incantation is an effective neo-Gothic thriller, well told and acted, and definitely worth slappin’ your eerie eyeballs upon if you are a fan of the genre!

Movie Review: Lake Artifact

by  of Horror Fuel

Four friends, Kip (Chris Cimperman), Megan (Anna Shields), Grace (Catharine Daddario) and Tommy (Thomas Brazzle), decide to get away from the ol’ rat race and hoof it to one of those secluded cabins (this one located in upstate New York) we all know and love, with the idea of guzzlin’ booze being of the upmost importance.But that plan goes to shit right quick as their car breaks down en route… but a chance meeting with a bizarre drifter named Thomas (Dylan Grunn) results in their car getting fixed, and the trip resumes with Thomas now in tow… and we are off to the races cats n’ creeps!

After some good ol’ drunken antics, a photo of the group turns up… but no one knows where it came from, or who took it as everyone present is in the picture… and soon more strange pictures of the group appear… as does an old man (John Willoughby Noble) who claims to be Kip, who went on a food run and never returned… and then normal-aged Kip arrives…

Lake Artifact is one hell of a surreal journey into a drunken Twilight Zone and while it isn’t perfect it nevertheless gives the viewer plenty to try and wrap their monstrous lil’ minds around!

One of the checks in the success column is the world building present in the narrative courtesy of writer/director Bruce Wemple. Under his eye, Lake Artifact becomes a wicked whirling dervish of cults, found footage interviews, malleable time and space, and even some splashes of full on comedy. It’s a decidedly heady hodge-podge, but man oh man does it offer plenty of mythology… but there are some sacrifices to be made to cram all of that craziness into a nintey six minute runtime.

One of the biggest flaws in this film is the fact that there are plenty of plot points that are never brought to anything remotely like a satisfying conclusion. Whether being intentionally vague to let the story have a lasting sense of mystery, or to set up a sequel, this failure to clarify things can be frustrating at times.

That being said; Lake Artifact is a fantastic horror/sci-fi hybrid and will surely appeal to lovers of the aforementioned Twilight Zone or The Outer Limits… just don’t skimp on the Genesee as you indulge in this surreal fright flick!

Movie Review: Devil’s Junction: Handy Dandy’s Revenge

Movie Review by  of Horror Fuel

Richie-rich Steffen (Jake Red) gets the shit-hot idea to take his pals Doc (Danni Spring), Abby (Cody Renee Cameron), Rosie (Kyle Anderson), Rick (Arhtur Marroquin), and Josie (KateLynn E. Newberry) on a whistle-stop tour tour through a junky A.F. TV studio his pappy, Richard (the legendary Bill Moseley of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 and Devil’s Rejects fame), has just bought lock, stock, and beastly barrel (with the idea of turning it into a fancy-ass nightclub).

As fate and horror biz tropes would have it, that studio has one of those dark pasts that are so popular with the kids these days, as it once was the home to ventriloquist Mr. Jolly (the equally legendary Bill Oberst Jr. who has starred in a literal shit-ton of fright flicks, and was recently seen in Rob Zombie’s 3 From Hell), his dummy Handy Dandy (Jake LaMarca on vocal duties), and their children’s program… a program who’s prepubescent studio audience keeps turning up missing.

Well, that shouldn’t be a problem for our heroes as Jolly is long dead, right? Fuckin’ wrong amigo; Jolly is in actuality a 200 year old magician who possessed a host of relics that give him power… and he’s back to rip Steffen and company some new assholes!

Man, Devil’s Junction could have been a by-the-numbers stalk n’ slay affair; and make no mistake, those notes are definitely hit throughout the flicks runtime; but unholy hell does it ever deliver a whole hell of a lot more.

For starters, the acting in this is fantastic with Oberst Jr. absolutely owning his role as the demonic Mr. Jolly, and Moseley turning in another strong performance. Also of note is the acting of our heroes… these folks do a fine job as well, and you actually give a flyin’ fuck if they live or die… and that’s a huge plus in a film such as this!

Also in the plus column is a fun story with a solid lil’ bit of world building with the whole magical relic angle, entertaining twists and turns, and plenty of the ghoulish good stuff us horror hounds crave! There’s also some delightfully goofy elements on display as well… as you’d expect in a film about an evil children’s show host!

If you’re in the mood for a slasher flick that delivers a tongue-in-cheek narrative that brings the laughs and lacerations give Devil’s Junction: Handy Dandy’s Revenge a wicked whirl… I think you’ll have yourself a gruesome good time!

Movie Review: The Grave Caller

Movie Review by  of Horror Fuel

A young writer named Sam Talbot (Nathaniel Grauwelman) and his wife Veronica (Vanessa Cuccia) head out to a cabin in the sticks where he hopes to learn a lil’ somethin’ about the family tree…or the dark roots from which it grew. Finding his uncle’s diary, Sam learns that his alcoholic ancestor (Jacob Crickenberger) went a bit screwy after he witnessed his wife murdered by a psycho in a bunny mask (I loved this visual by the by)…or did he…I don’t really know, and neither will you (which is a plus if you ask me). Anyway, how will the sins of the past effect the present?  I’m not telling…and I’m not even sure if I could!On the plus side, there are some beautiful visuals on display here (in particular in the surreal dream sequences), and the acting (in particular from Vanessa Cuccia as Veronica, and Jacob Crickenberger as the beleaguered Samuel were real stand outs) is mostly solid…

The Grave Caller is an interesting one, but there are some problems that seemingly keeps it from becoming a total fright flick success story…or so it appears upon first glance. For starters; the narrative unfolds unevenly due to the constant switching between the present and the events of thirty years prior. Both stories are interesting enough, and both play out as slow burns pace wise…but the transition every few minutes halts the momentum of each story, and lessens their initial impact….but read on dear readers, read on…

In a twist scarcely imaginable, those negatives up yonder don’t mean squat because as we enter the third act everything becomes topsy-turvy and nightmare logic rules the day (which as anyone that has slapped their putrid peepers on this column well knows I absolutely love). The story lines dovetail, nothing is as we were lead to believe, and maybe…just maybe, something supernatural is afoot.

As you can surmise from my rather scattershot review, The Grave Caller was a hard one to review; it started as an uneven psychological thriller and ended up an extremely well executed surrealist nightmare…so what can I say…this one pulled the rug out from under me and I loved every minute of it!

Movie Review: Wicked Witches (2018)

Wicked Witches; reviewed by  of Horror Fuel

Mark (Duncan Casey) you dumb ass…when will you ever learn? You got fucked up, cheated on your wife, and got your ass kicked to the curb. has a problem. After his most recent night of drugs and infidelity, his wife has kicked his ass out. You’d think that would definitely fill his dance card of stupidity, but you’d be wrong as he heads to his friend Ian’s (Justin Marosa) farm where he used to get his party on in days past. Wait, that doesn’t sound like too bad of a decision…and on the surface it isn’t…but just you wait…You see, ol’ Ian is acting like he has murder biz on his mind, and it seems Anton LaVey is his interior decorator, and a whole slew of dudes have gone missing in the surrounding area. And that’s where the “stupid” comes in, because Mark decides to stick around. Anyway, nothing stops his good times roll, and party is thrown…a party attended by beautiful flesh eating witches that are currently in control of Ian! Will Mark wisen up and escape with his soul intact?

Wicked Witches has it’s fair share of problems, chief among them is the narratives non-use of characterization. Mark is a rather unlikable protagonist, his friends show up only to be serve as a way to increase the film’s body count, and the titular witches themselves have nearly no backstory. This makes it incredibly hard to give a singular damn about anyone involved in these goings-on, so all tension is rendered pretty moot.

On the other hand, lack of relatable characters can be over looked if a fright flick delivers some solid effects work…at least for your’s cruelly anyway. On that front I’m happy to report that Wicked Witches excels as the film features a beastly bevy of eerie effects; all brought to life by good ol’ practical wizardry! Also of not, the climax of the film is handled really well, and is worth sticking around for.

While a decidedly mixed-bag of a fright flick, I’d say give Wicked Witches a ghoulish go if for nothing more than the fun as hell effects work on display…just don’t expect this one to become a creepy classic.

Grave Caller

Grave Caller
USA 2017
produced by
Old Man Winter Productions
directed by Joseph Anderson
starring Jacob CrickenbergerVanessa CucciaNathaniel GrauwelmanKate BryantAmanda MillerRay ZuppBill NallyAziza Al-TawilJoseph AndersonElizabeth LawsonRandy CummingsTalana HarrisTyler LucasMeghan MartinRachel StefurskyPauline DolleRandall LesterHope AliffDaniel Pritchard
writtten by Joseph Anderson, music by Steven RobertsSteve WishnewskiTodd K. Edwards

review by Mike Haberfelner

Sam (Nathaniel Grauwelman), a successful writer of YA novels, promises his wife Veronica (Vanessa Cuccia) a romantic trip to a country cottage where he spent part of his childhood – but fails to also tell her he actually plans to do some research for his next book on the trip, and when she finds out she’s understandably miffed.

Sam is actually researching the story of his uncle Samuel (Jackob Crickenberger), who lost everything to alcoholism, expecially his wife Claire (Kate Bryant), who meant the world to him. But not he’s managed to stay sober for two years, and he has come so far that he’s offered the job of preacher at his community. And even Claire comes back and wants to give it another try – but then, just as he wants to take her on their first romantic date since the split, he has a relapse. Claire is devastated, and jumps out of his car on their way to the restaurant he has made reservations at. Claire is then picked up by Peter (Ray Zupp), a friend of hers – who rapes and ultimately kills her. Sam has visions of her death, but without a body he lacks closure, and looking for such takes him down a dark path of murder …

Back in the here and now, Veronica feels neglected by Sam – to then die in a freak accident while Sam’s blissfully sleeping in the next room. Sam is of course devastated, and in his devastation gives in to someone who promises to bring Veronica back to life. And they do even, just, things aren’t right anymore …

Basically, Grave Caller is quite a fascinating puzzle, one that has the two temporal levels of the film intertwined in a morbid way. And the film is also cleverly built up in a way that it doesn’t give away too much too soon but is full of surprises that get more macabre the longer the film goes, up to the very eerie ending. And an atmosphere-heavy directorial effort really sees to it that the creepiness never lets up. And a solid cast sees to it that the characters remain relatable in all their fallability, all of which makes up for a strong genre movie.

If that at all has gotten you interested, you can find this movie on TerrorTV.


BRIEF ENCOUNTERS: The TerrorTV Short Film Festival

Terror TV and Acort International, leading names in the distribution and presentation of independent genre films, inaugurate BRIEF ENCOUNTERS: A Short Film Festival of Horror, Science Fiction, fantasy, mystery, suspense, and noir.

Terror TV, rapidly becoming the #1 Channel for independent horror films, takes this opportunity to connect with emerging short filmmakers with this festival.

More than a dozen awards are offered to winning filmmakers. Prizes include:
–Negotiation of a distribution contract
–Visibility on the television channel
–Interview and promotional opportunities
–Certificates for best film, director, technical (animation or special effects), cinematography, acting, screenplay, and many others.

Please read all rules and terms carefully.
You will receive a document for your signature before admission into the festival

–All films must be between 5 to 30 minutes in length.
–All films must be submitted as YouTube video or MP4
–All films must be indicative of the horror, sci-fi, mystery, suspense, fantasy, or noir genres
–You MUST have all proper permissions, clearances, rights, etc. to send in your project.
–You grant Terror TV permission to exhibit your film in any way the channel sees fit.

Whoever submits a project shall indemnify and hold harmless Terror TV, its judges and associates, associated companies and staff from and against any and all claims, liabilities, damages, losses, and expenses (including but not limited to attorney’s fees, and costs of the court) which may be incurred by reason of any claim involving copyright, credits, publicity, trademark, screening, and loss of or damage to any projects and/or materials submitted to our festival.

The individual(s) or company submitting the film hereby warrants that it is authorized to commit the film for screening, and understands and accepts these requirements and regulations.

Neither party makes (and each party hereby specifically disclaims) any, representations or warranties, express or implied, regarding the services contemplated by this agreement, including any implied warranty of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose, implied warranties arising from a course of dealing or course of performance or any warranties relating to title or non-infringement of intellectual property.

Neither party makes any representation, warranty or assurance concerning any minimum or maximum number of viewers or attendees or screenings or celebrities or special guests or events or seminars. No refunds. Specific comments on individual submissions will not be given.

Movie Review: Agramon’s Gate (2019)



Richie (Kris Reilly) and Cassidy’s (Kaiti Wallen) are having a lil’ shindig, and they’ve had the seemingly shit-hot idea of hiring a psychic named Vesna (Aphrodite Nikolovski) to tickle the ol’ preternatural pickle and hopefully conjure up some grins.

Well ol’ V-dawg suggests the group have themselves a lil’ seance action, which leaves Rich a tad lukewarm, seeing as how he’s a skeptical bastard at heart. Well, as fate, and horror movie goings-on would have it, his instincts are right, as during that spirit chat sesh, some eerie entity or another decides our world is looks waaay better than nay demonic digs it now inhabits and decides to cross the veil right quick… and bad news, said presence may actually be the spirit of richie’s long-dead Pappy, which would really place the terror turd well and truly in the ol’ punch bowl!

Now just why wouldn’t that be a welcome family reunion, well… said father, Carter (Yan Birch fromThe People Under The Stairs) by name, was a bit of an asshole in the world of the living, and tried to kill his wife before being offed by junior.

Soon the putrid presence begins a stalk n’ slay affair with the party guests, and it’s up to Rich, Vesna, and a demon hunter named Zeb (Harley Wallen) to try and put the kibosh on the evil shennanigans hopefully before the jalapeno poppers and frozen crab rangoons come out of the oven!

Now as you can surmise, Agramon’s Gate plays with some tried and true tropes of our beloved horror biz, and I’m happy to report, it does this well. You get seances, demons, dark family secrets… all paraded out to great effect by a cast that is well and truly up to the task of carrying us through this joltin’ journey.

Also of note are some moments of grizzly gore, in particular a sinister sequence involving a heart getting torn out that is aces, as well as some fun world building and mythology that makes the narrative seemingly that more expansive.

On the downside, the ending of this picture is mega-abrupt, and seems to function as a set-up to a sequel we may never get. This feels a tad like a cheat after following the story for two hours, and I wonder just what the filmmakers were thinking with that one boils n’ ghouls.

That being said, Agramon’s Gate is a solid supernatural romp with a few twists and turns along the way, and I’d tell ya to give it a wicked whirl!

by DanXIII on July 30, 2019 on Horror Fuel



Realtor Terror

Review by Bob Greene

Horror House is another in a new line of buy this house at your own risk [what can be called] Real estate Horror Films. The movie is worth the price of admission just for Lloyd Kaufman as the real estate agent telling you of the reasons (multiple terror tales) why you should (or should not) buy this house. Funny, ethnic, total non-horror host-like, Kaufman’s flip one-liners and slapstick countenance make you laugh until you realize its a horror movie and then they make you more scared that if he played it straight.

The tales of terror he shares are
Never Let Go – a psychological tackle of twins … at least we think so … one who passed away … at least we think so … and their pregnant mother … at least we … well… you get the point;
Be Careful What You Wish For, a predicable black magic romp that is alluring thanks to clever cinematography and classic style acting;
Lifelike, an imaginative tale involving demon dolls;
and the star piece, Hot Stuff. This Tales from the Crypt style tale is both funny and frightening with a moral that – OK – is predicable but oh, so, enjoyable.
And ending the quad of O’Henry or more likely Serling-esque tomes, is a well-made parable called the Leapling involving a demonic book and the demon that lives in it.

Horror anthologies are an enjoyable feast to the aficionado as they give you an a smorgasbord of terror tales. If you don’t like one, there are plenty more to excite you. Happily Horror House’s entries are all clever, well-made and acted, and supply a pungent twist.

Bob Greene, a former writer at Newsday, retired to a life of reviewing Off & Off-Off Broadway, but until they return he is feeding a secret passion for genre films.