Don’t Miss It: DON’T BREATHE (2016) Review

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A trio of young burglars decide to break into the home of a blind war veteran after hearing he fell into a load of money. They think that this will be an easy task, and use it as an opportunity to escape their lives and move on. However, they soon find out that they may have broken into the wrong house.

Fede Alvarez, the director of the very well-praised remake of Evil Dead, returns to bring in more terror. I will be straightforward and say this movie genuinely scared the hell out of me and made me feel like I was on the verge of a heart attack. There were moments when I was putting my hands over my mouth, to my head, covering eyes/ears, etc. By the end of the movie I was shaking. This is the same sensation I felt when I viewed the aforementioned Evil Dead in the theater. Now, I won’t say this is scary to the point where I’ll have nightmares or never see a horror movie again, but in terms of experience. This is one film that NEEDS to be seen in the right environment. Especially in the theater if possible. The movie features so much intensity and doesn’t use cheap jump scares (well maybe once before the events even start), and not super loud music to scare you. It is the definition of suspense, it keeps you on edge, not knowing what is going to happen. You genuinely feel like you’re in the same position as the characters in certain scenarios, and you find yourself wanting to yell “NO! Don’t do that!” etc. A lot of the suspense is brought on by the fantastic direction by Fede Alvarez. He had such an amazing vision for the film, the camera shots, the lighting, and just the entire focus on the setting and the characters. The story itself is a wild ride. There are times where you think you know what’s going to happen and something happens completely out of left field, or just when you think all is over, you get pulled back in. In a sense, when things get going in the story, you can hardly ever catch your breath. On top of the strong script, we have some likable enough characters, considering their crimes. They work almost as different characters of our psyche. The id, the ego, and super-ego. We have the impulsive and deranged one who thinks he’s indestructible, the one who tries to find reason for their doings, and the one who tires to convince the other two to do the most sensible responses. Maybe I’m overthinking this last part, but it fits perfectly.

Finally we have our small cast in Jane Levy as Rocky (the “ego” and our leading lady) who delivers another terrific performance after her breakout role in Evil Dead. Levy shows just as much range as she did in Evil Dead, she shows fear brilliantly and provides genuine heart and care in the right moments. Fresh from the live-action Goosebumps film is Dylan Minnette as Alex (the “super ego” main guy) who is clearly in love with Rocky and is easily the major heart and logical one of the film. Minnette showed great potential in Goosebumps, and shows it even more than ever that he can definitely be an excellent leading male. He starts out as the shy character, but he does gradually rise into a strong character, but not in the sense of complete unrealistic change. Both sides he shows realistically and never makes it over-the-top. Daniel Zovatto (the “id”) plays the bad boy well to the point where you don’t know whether you like him or not. Finally we have Stephen Lang as the Blind Man. If you thought he was a great villain in Avatar, he is incredible in this. Much of his performance is just from a physical performance, with little dialogue until the final act. It’s a rare feat when someone can be terrifying by only being physical and no dialogue (without wearing a mask or disguise of some sort).

Don’t Breathe is evidence that Fede Alvarez is one hell of a horror director. He knows how to psychologically mess with your mind. While Evil Dead was more in your face, Don’t Breathe works the senses to its maximum potential. With his brilliant direction, as well as his strong well-structured script with Rodo Sayagues, and solid performances from its cast, Don’t Breathe is one horror film you don’t want to hold your breath on…at least until while viewing it.

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Slasher Studios Horror Podcast: The T’s of Horror

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On a brand new episode of Slasher Studios Horror Podcast, our hosts Kevin Sommerfield & Andrew Beirl discuss their favorite horror movies beginning with the letter T. It’s a gory good time so make sure to check it out and subscribe to our channel so you’ll never miss another episode.

Slasher Studios Horror Podcast: The T’s of Horror

Picking Favorites: Alex Aspin’s (Hossst) Top 10 Favorite “Lesser Known” Giallo Films

This top 10 favorite lesser know Giallo film list comes from our horror friend Alex Aspin. Make sure to follow him on instagram for more horror reviews and pics.

Disclaimer: I just want to clarify this right off the bat. This is a list of my personal favorite “lesser known” Giallo films. Meaning, you won’t find any Argento, Fulci, or Bava on this list. If this was an overall top 10 giallo film list, I would’ve included Argento, Bava, and Fulci.

1) “What Have You Done to Solange?” (1971) directed by Massimo Dellemano.
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A teacher (played by Fabio Testi) is having an affair with one of his students. While they’re on a “date” on a boat, she witnesses a brutal murder on shore. He then ends up becoming the main suspect because he refuses to tell the police why he was actually there. What follows are more brutal kills (teen girls being stabbed in the vagina), botched abortions, annoying teens, and plenty of murder scenes made all the more alarming by the incredibly haunting score.

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“Solange” is, and has been for a while my favorite Giallo film over all. Everything about this film flows so well, from start to finish. This movie is often called misogynistic, due to the nature of the murders, but It all ends up making sense, in a heartwarming, yet disturbing way.

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Highly recommended to anybody. Also check out Dallamano’s other giallo “What Have They Done to Your Daughters”.

2) “Death Walks on High Heels” (1971) directed by Luciano Ercoli.

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After her famous jewel thief father is stabbed to death on a train, a nightclub performer named Nicole (played by Nieves Navarro) starts being harassed by the police, and a masked man with “piercing blue eyes” about the location of her fathers diamonds. Next, people around her start being murdered.

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This film is a perfect example of why I love gialli. This has to be one of the most beautifully shot films I’ve ever seen, honestly up there on par with the work of Akira Kurosawa, Ingmar Bergman, and Federico Fellini. The plot itself is entertaining enough to keep you watching, and I’ve found with people who didn’t care for the story, have at least been kept watching by the beautiful camerawork.

Another one I highly recommend, but this one might not be one for the unseasoned giallo fan. But then again, if you don’t know anything about gialli as it is, you probably aren’t looking at a list of more obscure examples of the genre.

I’d also recommend checking out Ercoli’s other gialli “Forbidden Photos of a Lady Above Suspicion” and “Death Walks at Midnight”

3) “The Bloodstained Butterfly” (1971) directed by Duccio Tessari.

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After the body of a girl is found in a park, a man is arrested and is on trial for the murder, while everyone is convinced he is guilty. However, shortly after, the murders continue. Half courtroom drama, half giallo.

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This is a new one for me. The first time I ever saw it was actually just last night, (August 19th 2016) when I received this blu ray in the mail (6 days before the release date!!!) and I immediately fell in love with it. While most Giallo films substitute extreme levels of style, to make up for the logical inconsistencies, and plot holes, this film doesn’t have to. While it is just as wonderfully shot as you’d expect from a giallo film, it doesn’t have any of the plot holes, and is a much more “logic based” crime investigation type giallo. Also recommend checking out Tessari’s earlier giallo film “Death Occurred Last Night”.

4) “The Red Queen Kills Seven Times” (1972) directed by Emilio Miraglia.

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After two sisters inherit a castle front believe their grandfather, a murder spree committed by a dark haired women in a red cloak, and mask begins.

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This is a very entertaining gothic themed giallo film, shot very beautifully, and accompanied by a beautiful score.

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I think this is one the unseasoned giallo fan will still enjoy, so I highly recommend it. I also recommend Emilio Miraglia’s other giallo “The Night Evelyn Came Out of The Grave”.

5) “Short Night of Glass Dolls” (1971) directed by Aldo Lado.

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This is a hard one to explain without spoiling, so I won’t say much. But a mans body is found in a park, and is taken to the morgue. We then realize he is actually conscious, just unable to move, talk, or anything. So a lot of the film is from his point of view, while we listen to him trying to remember what happened.

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It’s a little bit of a strange watch, especially for a giallo, but it’s definitely well worth checking out. Also check out Aldo Lado’s other giallo “Who Saw Her Die”.

6) “Your Vice is a Locked Room and Only I Have the Key (1972) directed by Sergio Martino.

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Based on Edgar Allen Poe’s story “The Black Cat” this gothic style giallo is about an alcoholic author (played by Luigi Pistilli) who lives in his mansion with his wife, and maids who he sleeps with. Eventually he is visited by his niece (played by Edwige Fenech), and a series of murders begins.

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I absolutely love everything about this film. I honestly had to immediately watch it a second time after my first viewing. And even though I’m aware of how Poe’s “The Black Cat” ends, I was still surprised by the end of this film, and was honestly kind of anxious up until the credits started to roll. Also highly recommend Sergio Martino’s other gialli “Torso”, ” Strange Vice of Mrs. Wardh”, and “The Case of The Scorpions Tail”.

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7) “The Black Belly of The Tarantula” (1971) directed by Paolo Cavara.
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An inspector investigates a series of crimes where the victims are paralyzed, and then gutted. Much in the same way as a tarantula kills its prey.

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I don’t really have much to say about this one. I don’t want to accidentally spoil anything. Just check it out, because it’s awesome. Also check out Cavara’s other giallo “Plot of Fear”.

8) “Strip Nude For Your Killer” (1975) directed by Andre Bianchi.
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After a fashion model dies during an abortion, a series of murders begins, involving the rest of the models at the modeling agency she worked for.

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Another one I don’t really want to say much about. Generally considered an incredibly sleazy, and trashy film. Maybe I’m just super desensitized or something, but I don’t think it’s as sleazy as everyone seems to thing. While there is an absurd amount of nudity, none of it is really in an outright sleazy fashion. I can think of plenty of giallo films with just as much nudity, done way more trashy, like “The Sister of Ursula”, or “The Beast Kills in Cold Blood”. I really appreciate this film, and feel like it’s honestly one of the more classy examples of the sleazier gialli.

9) “Blue Eyes of The Broken Dolls” (1974) directed by Carlos Aured.
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After an ex-convict (played by Paul Naschy) who is haunted by nightmares of himself strangling women is hired as the caretaker of an estate owned by 3 women, a series of murders begins.

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One of the few non-Italian films I’ll acknowledge as being a “true giallo”, and probably being the best of the far more rare Spanish gialli, this film has everything you need out of a giallo. It’s a little slower than some people may like, but the characters are interesting enough to keep you watching. The first time I watch it, I was running on probably 3 hours of sleep after being awake for 36+ hours, and I was able to stay awake through the entire film. If you consider yourself to be a more seasoned giallo fan, whose seen all of the more common ones, this is definitely one worth seeking out.

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If you want another example of a Spanish giallo film, Mondo Macabro is releasing “The Fox with a Velvet Tail” on blu ray sometime in the near future.

10) “Eyeball” (1975) directed by Umberto Lenzi.
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A killer dressed in a red raincoat is killing American tourists by cutting out their eyes.

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Definitely one of the harder to find Giallo films out there. If you want to own this, you’ll have to import either the Italian, or German DVDs, or buy a bootleg, because no official blu ray (or even DVD) seem to be in the near future. If you are willing to track it down, (it is on YouTube, but looks really bad) it’s definitely one of the essential Giallo films.

Umberto Lenzi has lots of other giallo films worth checking out, including “Seven Blood-Stained Orchids” (which just barely missed the cut), “Knife of Ice”, “Spasmo”, and “Oasis of Fear”.

Now, I’d like to list some honorable mentions:
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“The House with Laughing Windows” (1976) directed by Pupi Avati.
Truly haunting film. Honestly the only giallo, and one of the only films in general to unnerve me in my adult life. If you’ve seen this film, and remember the recordings on the tape player, you know exactly what I mean.

“Eye In the Labyrinth” (1972) directed by Mario Caiano.
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“The Beast Kills in Cold Blood” aka “Slaughter Hotel” (1971) directed by Fernando de Leo.
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“Watch Me When I Kill” (1977) directed by Antonio Bido
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Indie Horror Movie Review: BLESSED ARE THE CHILDREN (2016)

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Abortion. It’s a hot-button issue, but hopefully one that wouldn’t determine whose side you take while watching Chris Moore’s familiar-but-startlingly-fresh indie chiller “Blessed are the Children.”

The madness begins when Traci (Kaley Ball), in a mess of a relationship and dealing with frequent harassment from her ex-fiancé, finds herself pregnant. Upon dealing with the shaming of her somewhat shrewish, but also somewhat sympathetic mother, Stephanie (Cheryl Abernathy), Traci starts to consider an abortion. Whether or not she has it, her being spotted at the clinic by some silent-but-spooky protesters sets off a chain reaction of strange occurrences for everyone around her, including her roommates: the quirky, virginal Erin (Arian Thigpen) and the zany, no-filter Mandy (Keni Bounds).

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To say anymore about the story would be an insult to the clever plotting and intriguing set-up laid out by Moore, whose disturbing low-fi no-budgeter “Perversion” was equal parts enticing and disturbing. That uncomfortable feeling follows him here. His flair for awkward comedy, seen in his web series “The American Dream” is also very much present as Traci, Erin, and Mandy go about their dysfunctional lives, completely unaware of the bizarre consequences of Traci’s actions. Ball is intriguing as Traci. She has a bit of a mouth on her, and her life choices are baffling and slap-worthy, but Ball brings a good balance of sympathy and snark to the character. As the lovable, mildly-raunchy Mandy, Bounds is a hilarious ray of sunshine. Nearly every word she utters is a knee-slapper, and the girl plays it well. And Thigpen is adorably awkward as the outgoing and protective Erin. She’s fun and quirky, yet has an intriguing pathos about her. All three girls have their own very strong qualities that dominate the film.

While his work has always been intriguing and well-done (yet incredibly discomforting), Moore’s directorial skills have only gotten better here. He uses the film’s 2.35:1 frame fairly nicely (one of many aesthetic elements of films such as Halloween and Dressed to Kill that populate the film), and there were a few moments that I found legitimately terrifying. Although the elements the film is comprised of are all familiar and even clichéd at times, the assembly itself is very fresh and spooky. See this one, guys. For all its indie-film constraints, “Blessed are the Children” manages to create a large, mysterious and chilling experience that Platinum Dunes and The Asylum couldn’t even dream of.

–Joshua Dean

Picking Favorites: Alex Aspin’s (Hossst) Top 10 Slasher Films

This top 10 slasher list comes from our horror friend Alex Aspin. Make sure to follow him on instagram for more horror reviews and pics.

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1) “My Bloody Valentine” (1981)
A small town is haunted by the memories of a massacre on Valentine’s Day, after an accident in a mine. 20 years later, they decide to organize their first Valentine’s Day dance since the massacre, and the killings start again.

This was one of the first movies I just had to re-watch immediately after my first time viewing, and to this day is one of the first horror films I show to people.

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2) “The Burning” (1981)
A summer camp groundskeeper is burned beyond recognition due to a prank gone wrong. 10 or so years later he is released from the hospital, he returns to the summer camp to stalk and kill the campers.

Another film I feel is necessary to show to everyone I know. This film, and My Bloody Valentine usually bounce back and forth as my #1, but for the sake of this list, i decided to make this one #2, but I love it just as much. I can’t say enough good things about it.

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3) “Blood Rage” (1987)
Filmed in 1983, but shelved until 1987 under the title “Nightmare at Shadow Woods”, Blood Rage brings everything necessary for being considered a top tier slasher.

In the beginning, we see twin brothers Terry, and Todd as children at the drive-in with their mother. 10 year Terry kills a man in his car, and blames it on Todd. Todd is then institutionalized. 10 years later on Thanksgiving, Todd escapes from the hospital, while at the same time a killing spree has started in the neighborhood. But has the real killer been among them the entire time? (Spoiler: Yes, he has)

I had never seen Blood Rage until Arrow Video released it on Blu ray, and it immediately became one of my favorites. I think I watched it 3 times the day I got it in the mail, once alone, once with my girlfriend, and once with the commentary on. If you want to check this one out, I recommend just buying the Arrow Video blu ray. It comes completely packed with extras, and 3 cuts of the film.

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4) “Intruder” (1988)
The night crew of a supermarket that’s going out of business find themselves being stalked and killed one
by one. Great atmosphere, score, and insane over the top kills. Out of all the films I love to show people, this is honestly probably my favorite, just because I love seeing how people react to the twist ending, and some of the incredible kills.

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5) “The Dorm that Dripped Blood” (1982)
A group of college students decide to stay on campus during Christmas break to help clean out their dorms, only to find themselves being stalked and killed.

I honestly didn’t care for this film the first few times I saw it, but after time with each viewing it continued to grow on me, and I’ve heard similar stories from others. I love literally everything about this film. From the score, to the kills, to the atmosphere and location. Not one I find my non-horror fan friends enjoying all that much, but I love it, and would recommend it to any slasher fan.

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6) “Nightmares in a Damaged Brain” (1981)
A man is haunted by, and literally driven to the point of insanity by constant nightmares of a traumatic (and extremely gory) experience as a child, and eventually embarks on a gore soaked killing spree. Among this, in what was one of the most notorious banned films on the UK’s Video Nasty list, we find; extreme gore, frothing mouths, annoying children, explicit nudity in 42nd Street sex shops, and all the screams from a grown man going insane you can handle. Highly recommend to anybody, slasher fan or not.

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7) “Stagefright” (1987)
A group of actors lock themselves in the theater they’re rehearsing their new play in, after one of the actresses is murdered, while the police keep watch outside, however the killer has already found himself into the theater and is locked in there with him.

Anyone who knows me knows that Euro horror, and especially Italian horror is my favorite type of horror. And Stagefright has to be one of the best Italian slasher films. There’s nothing about this film I don’t enjoy. If you want to see a great Italian slasher film, with a killer Owl, and some great kills, check it out.

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8) “Madman” (1982)
A small town with an urban legend about a farmer who murdered his family, and was hanged for his crimes, only to escape into the woods. The legend says if you say his name “Madman Marz” above a whisper, he’ll come and kill you. And of course the obnoxious teenagers in the woods ignore what they’re told, and yell his name in the woods, only to find themselves being killed off one by one

I first saw this film on a British imported Anchor Bay DVD. The PQ wasn’t the greatest, but I couldn’t get enough of the film. It’s not too overly gory, but all of the kills are memorable and fun. I highly recommend anyone pick up either the Arrow Video, or Vinegar Syndrome blu rays. Both use the same transfer, and the film looks amazing.

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9) “Slaughter High” (1986)
A prank gone wrong leaves a student horribly burned and disfigured. 10 years later, they’re all invited to a “high school reunion” where they find themselves alone in their abandoned high school, getting killed off one, by one. This is actually my girlfriends favorite slasher film. It’s a really fun, extremely 80’s slasher with some brutal kills. If you like 80’s punk rock, killers in Jester masks, exploding stomachs, and annoying teenage bullies, I highly recommend this film.

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10) “Curtains” (1983)
A group of actresses are brought to an isolated mansion in the middle of winter to audition for a new film, only to find themselves being killed off, naturally.
Curtains has an atmosphere like no other film. The location is amazing, and the winter setting makes it all the more haunting. The killers mask definitely adds to the creepiness as well. If you’ve never seen this one, check it out just for the ice skating murder scene alone.

And there you have it. My personal top 10 slasher films, as of right now.

Make sure to follow Alex on Instagram for more horror pics and reviews: https://www.instagram.com/hossst/

Summer of Slashers Sale: All Slasher Studios DVDs Just $10

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Summer might be coming to an end but the slashing never stops here at Slasher Studios! For a limited time only, all dvds are just $10 (regularly $15) and if you purchase all four dvds, you will save an additional $5 and receive two Slasher Studios posters absolutely free! This is a killer deal that won’t last long so support some indie horror and pick up yours today. International slasher fans..we ship worldwide and all dvds are region free!


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Slasher Studios Horror Podcast: The Q’s & R’s of Horror

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On a brand new episode of Slasher Studios Horror Podcast, our hosts Kevin Sommerfield & Andrew Beirl discuss their favorite horror movies beginning with the letters Q & R. It’s a gory good time so make sure to check out the archive below and subscribe to our channel so you’ll never miss another episode.

Slasher Studios Horror Podcast: The Q’s & R’s of Horror

Slasher Studios Horror Podcast: The O’s & P’s of Horror

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On a brand new episode of Slasher Studios Horror Podcast, our hosts Kevin Sommerfield & Andrew Beirl discuss their favorite horror movies beginning with the letters O & P. It’s a gory good time so make sure to check out the archive below and subscribe to our channel so you’ll never miss another episode.

Slasher Studios Horror Podcast: The O’s & P’s of Horror

FINAL DAY! FREE DISMEMBERING CHRISTMAS DVD With T-Shirt Purchase

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FINAL DAY!! We want to celebrate a Christmas in July with the slasher fans out there, so we now have a killer deal! Today is your last chance to purchase a Dismembering Christmas t-shirt and receive a FREE Dismembering Christmas DVD with your purchase (regularly $15). This special will only last until July 1st so make sure to get yours soon. Once these shirts are gone, so is the sale!

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DVD Extras include:
Audio commentary with Actor/Director Austin Bosley
Audio commentary with Writer/Producer Kevin Sommerfield
Cast/Crew Bloopers
Fly on the Set: Making Of Dismembering Christmas
Theatrical Trailer
Teaser Trailer


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Limited Run of 50: TEDDY/POPULARITY KILLER DVD Now Shipping

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Who doesn’t love a limited edition slasher double feature? Our first two slasher shorts, Teddy & Popularity Killer, are now available on a limited edition & hand numbered DVD including all new special features. Each dvd is hand numbered on the spine of the case out of a total of just 50. Once these 50 are gone, they are gone for good. Both films contain behind-the-scenes stills, commentary, trailers, and much more. See where Slasher Studios first began and cut into the slasher fun! Just $10 with free 11×17 poster with purchase, for a limited time only!


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