Monday, June 4, 2012

Ormsby The Official Film Emcee For The Macabre Faire Film Festival

The Macabre Faire Film Festival will be having our own Ormsby as its Official Film Emcee.  The festival is June 22nd through 24th at Best Western Mill River Manor, 173 Sunrise Hwy., Rockville Centre, NY 11570. 

Films being shown include: The Deadfather; Monster Brawl; Schism; Frankenstein: Day of the Beast; Tell Tale Heart; The Turnpike Killer and many, many more (click HERE for a list of films and show times).

Cleve (SyFy’s The Monster Man) Hall, Douglas Tait (stuntman and monster actor), Salvatore Rizzo (The Deadfather himself), Eileen Dietz (The Exorcist), Gene Snitsky (WWE Wrestler), and author/actor Michael Alonisi are the celebrity guests.  There are also some great live acts performing, like Baron Misuraca, Cello Mike, Nightmare Machine, and more!

Get your tickets before they sell out, and make sure to say hello to Ormsby if you go.  He’ll be the short green fellow.

Until Next Time,
Stay Insane!!!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Cinema Insane Presents The Ape Man (1943)

Here in one place are all four parts of Ormsby's Cinema Insane Presents The Ape Man (1943) starring Bela (Sexy Pants) Lugosi.

And don't forget to subscribe to our Bliptv channel (you can use your Facebook account to log in if you so choose).

Until Next Time,

Stay Insane!!!

Part One:

Part Two:

Part Three:

Part Four:

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Ormsby mentioned on The Game Station Podcast!!!

In the latest The Game Station Podcast #11, Jesse Cox mentioned us (as he drank out of his Ormsby Cinema Insane coffee mug, available at our Zazzle store).

He called us, "...the single worst Youtube channel ever".


(The part about me starts at about 1 minute and 30 seconds in)

Until Next Time,

Stay Insane!!!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Ormsby at The White House Correspondents Dinner

This is Ormsby's full speech from The White House Correspondents Dinner from Saturday. 

We hear that he will not be asked back.

Until Next Time,

Stay Insane!!!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Ormsby Interviews The Geek Girls

Ormsby got to interview the burlesque troop known as The Geek Girls ( at the recent Macabre Faire.  The interview happened in their hotel room inside of a pillow fort they had built.

Until Next Time,
Stay Insane

Monday, April 9, 2012

The Giant Rubber Monster Movie Special-LIMITED TIME ONLY

In honor of Thomas Berdinski's The Giant Rubber Monster Movie winning the 2012 Rondo for Best Short Film, we are re-showing our special from last year (with a new intro) FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY until May 6th.  So sit back, grab some stink beetles and popcorn and enjoy.

Until Next Time,

Stay Insane!!!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Giant Gila Monster Part Four

Here is part 4 of The Giant Gila Monster episode of Ormsby's Cinema Insane.

Until Next Time,

Stay Insane!!!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Monster Man - Monstrous Reality Show

I don’t like (un)reality TV, it just isn’t my cup of tana leaf tea. I don’t care about the people in the shows and it seems so blatantly staged that it grates on my nerves. Maybe it's because I like documentaries, that the scripted reality offends me in some way. I did like Making Monsters on the Travel Channel, about the people who work at Distortions Unlimited (the mask and Halloween people). Mainly I liked it because it stayed on making the masks and props, which interests me.

The SyFy Channel (I know, I can’t say or write it without laughing to this day), which seems to be a waste basket of cheap rip-off-direct-to-video movies and reality shows, has a new program that combines both. Monster Man is set around practical effects man Cleve Hall as he works with his family (ex-wife and two grown daughters) at SOTA Productions for Roy Knyrim.

On the surface this should be a show I would love. Monsters, practical (not CGI) effects, and a veteran makeup man to bring it all to life. After watching two episodes I’m a little less than thrilled.

Part of the problem with this show is it has all the reality show tropes that tick me off. Everything seems staged, to the family strife to the drama with making the monsters. In the first episode Cleve has to make a two headed shark for 2-Headed Shark Attack (2012). The client comes in with the shark’s heads stacked on top of one another (bunk sharks?), and Cleve shows him how having the heads side by side would be better. The whole scenario felt scripted to me. I could see a producer going to the client and saying “So come in and tell them you want bunk sharks, and Cleve will save the day by showing you a better design”. Maybe it wasn't, but that's how it felt to me.

So if I don’t like the reality show part of it, what do I think of the monsters?

The second episode they had to make a werewolf for Hallow Pointe. The werewolf head came off looking like a high school football mascot with a huge schnoz. I know effects are meant to be filmed, and don't look as cool in the harsh rays of daylight, but this head was almost comical. I'm a big fan of practical effects, and I applaud Hallow Pointe director Thomas J. Churchill for going that route instead of crappy CGI. Still he shot it in the best angels to make it scary, which is quick cuts where you hardly see it.

Another thing that annoyed me was that the titular Monster Man, Cleve, hardly did anything creative with this werewolf build. His daughter, Constance, designed it. The sculptor did the clay version, and the molder cast everything and did the foam. If he’s the Monster Man, would think he would do more than do painting and gluing fur (Don’t get me started on the visit to the guard dog school to get “inspiration” for the werewolf-staged, staged staged). If he's the monster man, I want to see him more hands on throughout the whole monster making process.

I think SyFy missed an opportunity here. They could have shown the episode of Monster Man where they create the effects, and follow it with the actual film they worked on. It could be a Saturday movie event each week. I'd tune in for that.

I did like the parts where they were fabricating the creatures and I wish they would concentrate more on that. I also like the backdrop of a struggling effects company trying to make it in a world where CGI has almost all but replaced them.

I really wanted to like this show, and I’ll probably watch the remaining episodes with the hope it gets better, but in the end it doesn't get this monster kiddo excited. Given SyFy’s track record I shouldn't be surprised that I’m let down.

Until Next Time,

Stay Insane!!!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Where Are The Monsters?

The Bryan Fuller(Dead Like Me, Pushing Daisies) and Bryan Singer (X-Men, House) Munsters reboot, which is now called Mockingbird Lane, has cast Eddie Izzard as Grandpa (read the article HERE). That means it’s moving forward and will likely start production soon.

I'm not looking forward to it.

I have to be frank; I haven’t liked what I’ve heard about this show so far. The show is an hour long dramedy (hour long drama with some comedy) and the characters will look normal as they try and fit in with the rest of the world. That means none of the iconic makeup that made the original show stand out.

The charm of The Munsters was that they did stand out against what was considered “normal” suburban Americans of the mid-1960s. Still, they didn’t conform and change themselves to fit in. What is a better social message, “be yourself” or “change yourself to fit in”?

(There are also people out there that say The Munsters was a commentary on racial discrimination in the 1960s, but that’s a blog post for another time.)

Another problem I have with the whole “monsters trying to fit in” concept is the BBC’s BEING HUMAN ALREADY DID IT, AND DID IT BETTER. We already have an Americanized Being Human on SYFY, we don’t need another one.

Network TV seems to like to keep their monsters in the closet. NBC’s Grimm, about a monster hunter, has the monsters in human form most of the time. When’s the last time you saw a monster, as a monster the whole time, on a TV show? The last ones I remember are Lorne and Illyria (who was only in part of the last season) on Angel, the Buffy The Vampire Slayer spin off. And that went off the air in 2004. Even in recent science fiction, aliens and monsters are few and far apart. Firefly and the rebooted Battlestar Galactica ditched all the aliens for all human universes. Sure Galactica had Cylons, but even most of the Cylons looked human.

As a genre fan, I want my monsters to be seen. I want to see fantastic creatures on the screen, not homogenized every day looking people. We all know the “monster hiding as a human” isn’t a clever metaphor devised by the writers to get across a point about society; it’s a cheap way to save money on production.

Until Next Time,

Stay Insane!!!

Are The Shadows Dark Enough (VIDEO)?

We took our blog post about the new Dark Shadows trailer and made a video of it (not word for word) that appeared in our latest episode (The Giant Gila Monster Part Three on BlipTV).

Until Next Time,

Stay Insane!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Are The Shadows Dark Enough? New Dark Shadows Movie

I first discovered Dark Shadows from old issues of Famous Monsters of Filmland magazines my mom had lying around in the 1970s. She was a fan when the show when it first aired in the 1960s, and sometimes would tell my older brother and me about how it had a vampire, a werewolf and witches.

In the early 1980s NBC (channel 4) in New York started showing Dark Shadows in the afternoons, and I got to experience the gothic soap opera for myself when I was about ten. After that channel 9 showed the two movies, House of Dark Shadows and Night of Dark Shadows (this one didn’t have Barnabas, but concentrated on the witches’ story line). Both my brother and I were hooked as fans. When the reruns were relegated to late-late night on NBC, we would sneak down stairs and watch it when we could. We got paperback novels and comic book collections of the Gold Key run. My family subscribed to the fan club newsletter (back in the day when you had to wait for the postman to deliver it by hand). My brother even had a large poster of Jonathan Frid as Barnabas snarling with cane that hung over his bed (he ordered out of the back of an issue of Famous Monsters before it died-the first time).

There were attemps at revivals over the years. The short lived night time drama in the early 1990s suffered from being pre-empted for the gulf war. An attempt by the late WB in 2004 network never made it to air. Still, fans like my brother and I hoped for someone bring us back to Collinwood.

Fans rejoiced when they heard Tim Burton and Johnny Depp were going to make a feature film of Dark Shadows. Although I was intrigued by the pairing of the quirky duo and the gothic soap, I was not as excited as others.

Why, you ask?

Look a list of their work together and pay attention to the types of films Burton makes and the characters Depp plays in them: Edward Scissorhands, a comedy with a weird outsider played by Depp; Ed Wood, a comedy with a weird outsider played by Depp; Sleepy Hollow, a comedy with a weird outsider played by Depp; Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, a comedy with a weird outsider played by Depp; Sweeney Todd, a comedy with a homicidal but weird outsider played by Depp.

Does anyone see a pattern here?

My fear was Burton and Depp would camp it up. And those fears intensified when I saw an early set photo of Depp in his Barnabas Collins makeup, looking like Michael Jackson’s ghost (what, too soon?). Fans kept their cool, for the most part. Waiting until they could see with their own eyes what kind of movie Burton would bring them.

And then the trailer came out.

Facebook and the Twitterverse blew up with negative reactions. Most hated the idea of their beloved Dark Shadows being made into a comedy. Many said it didn’t fit their memories of the soap opera they ran home from school to watch all those years ago. There were some positive voices out there. Mostly people too young to have seen Dark Shadows and knew little of its history.

My brother, just so you know, hates it. I think he took a sick day from work to recover.

So what is my take on the new Dark Shadows?

First, I’m not surprised at Burton’s slant on comedy for the new film, as I said before. That’s his strength and at this point in his career he knows what works for him as a director and what doesn’t (cough-Planet of the Apes remake-cough). Even with it being a comedy, Burton always manages to weave in pathos and drama. He knows how to manipulate emotions so you feel for the outcast.

Second, and don’t get angry at me for this, most of the population don’t know anything about the original Dark Shadows. They’re going to see it because it’s a Johnny Depp flick. Heck, there are people out there that don’t realize Pirates of The Caribbean was based on a Disney ride at their theme parks. Dark Shadows fans aren’t enough to make a movie a hit on opening weekend. They had to make the movie more mainstream, less cult following.

Also, I rather doubt film executives would throw millions at Burton and Depp to make a depressing horror film. As much as I love Sweeney Todd it is considered a box office failure.

This was never going to be the Dark Shadows we fans remember, nothing can ever be. Trying to recapture the lightning in a bottle would be a fool’s errand. I wanted it to be a faithful retelling of Collins saga. I wanted to feel the pain Barnabas goes through as he battles his vampire side. I also wanted werewolves and man-made men and an aged vampire in Dick Smith makeup. That can never be again. Just like there are different takes on Batman, Dracula, Frankenstein, Tom Cruise and other fictional characters, this is a different take on Dark Shadows.

With all that said, I’m going to give the new Dark Shadows a chance. I did like some of what I saw in the trailer. The 1970s is cool choice of a setting and appropriate. The vampire Barnabas is a gothic fanged monster that DOES NOT SPARKLE LIKE A DISCO BALL. Am I a little conflicted as a fan of the original? Yes. But I’m also a fan of Burton’s and I’m willing to give his vision a try. I might be disappointed, I might not be.

But I’ll always have Dark Shadows on DVD and Netflix to remind me of those nights I snuck downstairs when I was a kid.

Until Next Time,

Stay Insane.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Why Are There So Many Banner Ads?!?!

You go to a website to read something, but you can’t find the content because the top of the page is filled with banner ads and website branding. What you want to read isn’t even visible when you go to the page, you have to scroll half way down before you even see the top of the article you want to read.

This horrendous website design has been bothering me for a while now and it really came to a head when I went to Fangoria’s website today to read an article someone posted on Facebook (*Please Note: although other sites are guilty of the same crime, I’m going to use Fangoria as an example because it was their page that stoked my ire this morning).

I’ve seen a lot of bad websites, but most of them have been amateur efforts by people who think hundreds of dancing gopher gifs on a page is a hoot. On a professional website there is no excuse for this. It’s a kin to getting the New York Times, and the whole area "above the fold" (to use newspaper terms) is filled with print ads and no headlines or news.

On Fango’s site, there were four banner ads, one of which is for their Dead Time Stories pod cast; two of the same 545 by 250 slide show boxes, advertising the magazine or, again, Dead Time Stories; a 300 by 250 pixel box asking people to friend Fangoria on Facebook when they already have a 50 by 50 button; and that’s not counting the Fangoria masthead, user login bar (which has the above mentioned 50 by 50 Facebook button) and menu bar. All of that is above the fold, taking up every pixel of space when the page first loads. The real content is so far down you can’t see it, or "below the fold" to use newspaper speak again.

Such clutter makes it unattractive for readers to frequent such sites on a daily basis. I don’t go to Fangoria’s site for my horror related news and the site design is one reason. Don’t get me wrong, the overall design is nice and ties in with the magazine. And I’m sure the posts are informative, if I didn’t have to scroll and scroll and scroll all the way down to read them that is.

So why would a magazine, that’s had a web presence for over ten years, make you dig for your content like this?

I can only speculate, but here is my two cents on the issue. First, print magazines are becoming a dying industry. People have abandoned buying paper hard copies and go online for their information. Why buy a magazine who’s data is already a month to two months old when you can get up to the minute news on your favorite subjects with a click of a mouse? Many magazines that lasted for decades have closed up shop. The magazines that are surviving rely on their websites to generate extra money through ads.

I’m sure someone, maybe a marketing person at Fangoria, said, “Gee, if one banner ad generates X amount of cents every month then a whole bunch will make us even more money! And while we’re at it, we’ll put in a bunch of our ads to maximize the branding of our business. I’m a genius! Now where did I put that Red Bull?”

Here is the problem with that logic. If you top load your site with ads, even ads for your own stuff, people aren’t going to hit your site that often. If people don’t hit your site that often because of said ads blocking the content they want to read, they will to other sites to read that content. When people don’t go to your site, you don’t make money from the ads. I’m sure the only thing stopping the marketing person from filling the entire page with ads was those pesky little articles that bring people to the website in the first place.

And you don’t have to go over the top advertising your own stuff on your site, one little slide show box is fine. I like slide show boxes, they takes up less real estate on the page (that is, if you don’t put more than one on that page) and can still advertise your pod cast, magazine and anything else you want to let your readers know about.

If I was to redesign Fangoria’s website, I’d take out all the banner ads at the top except for one. I’d keep the masthead, then have the banner ad, followed by the login bar, and menu bar in that order. Then one (only one) slide show box. Also I’d make darn sure that the article or other content is prominently visible "above the fold".

Okay, that’s my rant for the day.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

John Carter of Marketing Fiascoes

Although I never read the Edgar Rice Burroughs' Barsoom novels about John Carter’s adventures on Mars, I was familiar with them through comics and the great paintings of the late Frank Frazetta. Most people don’t have even the minuscule knowledge that I did about the series, or know who the character of John Carter is. I found that out when I talked to some people about Disney’s upcoming John Carter film coming out March 9th. Ten out of ten people had no idea either about the novels or the character. One person I mentioned the movie to thought it was about Noah Wyle’s character from the T.V. series “ER”.

With the movie weeks away, people still don’t know that much about the novels or even the movie. Disney’s marketing department has dropped the ball big time with this movie. First, they changed the name of the film from A Princess of Mars (the name of the first book) to John Carter of Mars. They did this because they thought the word “princess” in the title would make men think it was a chick flick. Then they changed the title from John Carter of Mars to just plain John Carter. Apparently Disney had a film out called Mars Needs Moms a while back, and it bombed. They’re take away from that was “audiences don’t want to see movies with the word ‘Mars’ in the title”.

No, over paid and idiotic studio executives, that’s not it. Audiences don’t want to see crap on the screen. The word “Mars” had nothing to do with it.

Movie studios learn the wrong lesson from flops. I think part of this comes from when the studio head calls a meeting as to why a film bombed and everyone tries to save their job by making stupid excuses.

“Why did Cowboys & Aliens not make the millions we expected? Who do I fire over this?” the studio boss will scream at his frightened executives who cower in their Gucci shoes.

“Gee, sir, it wasn’t the marketing campaign or the fact the premise seemed like an Asylum cheapo T.V. movie made for the SyFy channel. The problem is…um…audiences don’t want to see cowboy movies.” The others nod their heads.

The studio boss sits back in his giant leather chair and bites on his cigar. “In that case cancel all movies with horses in them. We won’t make another western again.”

So studios in Hollywood canceled almost all the westerns they had in the planning stages. Really. Even Johnny Depp’s The Lone Ranger almost got the axe until the production agreed to cut the budget to the bone.

You should learn from failure, but if you disguise the real reason why you failed you have learned nothing.

Now back to Disney’s John Carter.

As I said, I asked some people (in a very unscientific and informal poll of regular movie goers, not fans of the novels) about the movie and they didn’t really know what it was about from the ads Disney’s marketing department put out. Some thought it took place in Egypt. Some thought it was a sequel to Prince of Persia. One person swore it was about Greek warriors. No one, even once, knew it took place on Mars. And when I asked if they wanted to see it, not one person said they were looking forward to watching it.

Not one.

At this point let me just point out this might be a good, or even a great film. The problem is if no one goes to see the film, it can be wonderful art but it will still be considered a flop by most people.

There was a great article on the problems the marketing is having with the film (and the problems Disney is having with their studio head, Rich Ross) at The Daily Beast by Chris Lee . Reading it saddened me, since this film would be given the shaft by movie goers because of bad marketing by Disney.

Then I saw this supposedly fan made trailer.


This is the trailer the movie deserved; this is the trailer the audience deserved. This tells a person who is not aware of ERB’s Mars novels everything they need to know to go see the film, and to want to go see it.

Now I don’t know if this is a real fan trailer. It could be a viral marketing campaign by Disney to lure the geek crowd to the film. I don’t know and I don’t care. All I know is this is the trailer that should have played during the Super Bowl. This is the trailer that people should be seeing. It made me excited to see this film for the first time.

If it was made by a fan then good job. If it was made by Disney’s marketing department as a viral campaign, then they did a little too little a little too late. As of February 23rd only 68 thousand views have been logged on the video. That’s not many when you want a movie to make back its 250 million budget plus some.

I don’t know. Maybe the film will come out on March 9th and do Star Wars like business. Maybe I’ll be made to eat this blog post.

Judging by what I saw in the fan trailer, I really hope so.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Ask Ormsby #8- Pick Up Artists

In the latest Ask Ormsby, Ormsby takes on a "Pick Up Artist".

Until Next Time,

Stay Insane!!!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

SH!# Horror Hosts Say...

Ormsby filmed this special video for all his horror host buddies out there.


Until Next Time,

Stay Insane!!!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Watchmen Returns...

On the one hand, I was left wanting more after the last issue of Watchmen; on the other, this is why Alan Moore wanted the rights back, so DC couldn't roll out sequels by other people that would dilute the original story and characters. Now I know Moore is legendarily extremely hard to work with in a corporate publishing structure (and getting him to play nice with DC is out of the question), but I'd rather have him write any sequels, prequels or whatever than other writers.

You thoughts?

Until Next Time,

Stay Insane!!!