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iHorror Spotlight: Interview With Horror Film Producer & Director P.J. Starks



Born and raised in Owensboro, Kentucky PJ Starks became interested in film at an early age. With the success of Volumes of Blood and the constant buzz of the film’s sequel, Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories it should come to no surprise that Starks has his plate full nowadays, and it is stacked pretty damn high! We had the chance to check in with Starks and speak with him about his upcoming film projects and pick his brain a bit to find out what led him on this path to filmmaking. Be sure to also check out our review of Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories. 


Interview With Horror Film Producer & Director: P.J. Starks


Ryan T. Cusick: I have always been intrigued with a person’s story, the story of how their love for the horror genre began. Tell us your story P.J. how did your love for the genre begin?

PJS: My love for horror started when I was a little kid. Every weekend I’d go to my grandparent’s house to stay the weekend and my grandmother Almeda, we call her Gi-Gi, is an avid horror fan. Even now at 89 years old, she watches SyFy constantly. She just loves that stuff. Every Saturday night we’d stay up watching Monsters, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Hitchhiker and Twilight Zone. It became a ritual. We’d go rent movies and, of course, we’d rent whatever new horror movies came out. It’s because of her that I grew to appreciate films like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Night of the Demons, the Friday films, Halloween and so many others. She also loved the Trancers franchise, which of course led into watching all the other Charles Band movies. She even took me to see horror in the theater so I can remember watching stuff like Jason Takes Manhattan, From Dusk Till Dawn and a bunch more on the big screen. When writing the scripts for Volumes of Blood: Horror Stories I dedicated a character in ‘The Deathday Party’ sequence to her, because had she never allowed me to experience this genre first hand I may not have ever conceived the VOB films, so it just felt right.

RTC: How did you become involved in film production?

P.J. Starks: My first real effort was a horror comedy supernatural/slasher hybrid that I wrote/directed back in ’08 called Hallows Eve: Slaughter on Second Street. It was also an adult version of Scooby Doo. It’s one of those films where you can tell I was just starting to get serious but compared to my stuff now is nowhere near as polished. After that, I kept persevering and networking and now here I am with the Volumes of Blood franchise and producing multiple projects.

RTC: P.J. you are super busy right now, actually a more suited term would be, “You are on fire right now!” You have several projects in various stages of development. What can you tell us about –

PJS: First off, thank you so much for the kind words. My adult ADHD won’t allow me to be live a stagnant lifestyle for too long.

Butcher The Bakers?

PJS: It’s a hysterical horror comedy directed by Tyler Amm, about two losers who are chosen to fight a rogue Grim Reaper hell bent on stealing souls for his own sinister purposes. The film recently premiered in its hometown of Ottawa, IL. Now it’ll be hitting the festival circuit, so keep your eyes open for a screening near you.

Close Calls?

PJS: A suspense, thriller full of twists and weird characters. The film is a throwback and I think genre fans will definitely sink their teeth into this one.


PJS: Rocky Gray’s creation of a Halloween gone straight to hell. I’m a fan of anthologies, so producing this was an easy choice. It’s still in production, but their aiming for an October ’17 release and I couldn’t be more stoked about it. Tons of talented directors on this one from Justin M. Seaman who made The Barn and Brett DeJager who directed Bonjangles.


PJS: Created by Justin M. Seaman and Zane Hershberger, it’s creature feature anthology that I’m definitely giddy to be working on. It’s multiple twisted tales involving more obscure beasts of legend. That alone offers something completely different that genre fans haven’t seen. It too has a lot of talented people involved.


PJS: This project recently hit a major snag and had to reshoot, but it’s back on track and for fans of psychedelic demonic drug trips I think they’ll be down for this. The practical effects are fantastic. I’m looking forward to seeing the finished product.


PJS: Right now we’re in early development on the film, but I have the concept and story arch completely fleshed out. We’re still accepting pitches from horror fans for anyone who has a story that might make a potential sequence. They can email us at [email protected] for guidelines and rules for submission. We’ve partnered with Petri Entertainment who will help us produce the third and final outing. It’s going to be a lot of bloodshed and hopefully, fans of the previous two efforts will be excited to see where we go with this one.

RTC: I am a sucker for anthologies, so personally I am stoked that you are creating another Volumes Of Blood film! I heard that you are also exploring the idea of a role-playing card game based on the Volumes of Blood universe, can you tell us about that?

PJS: Absolutely. We’ve partnered with Mythmaker Games to create a unique gaming experience where you utilize characters, killers, locations, weapons, deaths and so on from the VOB films to create original scenes of carnage. Players are more like Directors and you’re trying to produce and wrap a scene, before your opponent does, in order to rack up the most kills. It’s called VOB: Body Count and the Kickstarter for the project will go live in June. It’s tested well so far and we’re excited to get it out there into people hands.

RTC: Do you see an even wider expansion of this VOB “Universe,” such as comic books? Graphic Novelizations?

PJS: Actually yes. I can’t say too much just yet, however, we are in talks with some artists now about the potential of this kind of venture.

How do you find the time to balance everything between your personal life and these wonderful projects that you are giving life to?

PJS: It can be a struggle for sure. Just when you think you might have a grasp you find out you don’t. The key is having people who support you. My wife Katrina, we actually just celebrated our 14th wedding anniversary together, is very supportive. She’s what I call a “normal” because she’s not an artistic individual and sometimes it’s hard for her understand why I think the way I do. Nevertheless, she’s stuck with me through all the failures and successes and I love her very much for that. As a matter of fact, she’s taken on a larger role with the VOB films as production manager. She’s also become great friends with our wardrobe designer Barbie Clark and special effects guru Cassandra Baker, which always makes things easier.

RTC: I gotta ask, what is your favorite scary movie?

PJS: That’s a loaded question. I own nearly 4,000 movies, the bulk of which are horror. I’m a slasher nut so a log of my repeat views are Hell Night, The Prowler, The Burning, Madman, My Bloody Valentine and Stage Fright. Some others I love are The Return of the Living Dead, 2004’s Dawn of the Dead, Murder Party, Phantasm; the list goes on and on.  Pretty much anything John Carpenter and Wes Craven are consumed regularly. I’ve just always been a big fan of horror. I can remember sitting in front of the television when I was around six years old watching the original Dawn and trying to eat spaghetti. The genre is just in my blood.

RTC: Have you ever come across a film and absolutely did not care for it, and then returned and felt the opposite?

PJS: I get a lot of flak for this from friends, but Eli Roth’s Cabin Fever is probably THAT movie for me. I like Roth’s other films and respect him a lot as a filmmaker, but I had such high hopes for CF. My grandmother is my scary movie buddy, so we went and saw it in theater together. She really got into it, but the over campy nature kept taking me out. I would have walked out if it weren’t for her. I recently saw the remake and I enjoyed it a lot. It was the version I wanted back in 2002. Mean spirited. That’s what I wanted and instead, I got, “squirrels are gay!” Anyway, because I enjoyed the remake so much I’ve decided to give the first one a second try since it’s been fifteen years since I saw it. I’ll let you know what I think when I finally devote the time.

RTC: What element is your absolute favorite in the creation of film? (Writing, Directing, Producing, Casting Process, etc). 

PJS: I’ve had my hand in many areas since my first film, but producing has been my favorite. I absolutely love collaborating with other artists and bringing something to life. There’s a real rush when you get to watch a final cut and know that you helped birth this into existence. Right now I dabble in various capacities of producing from advising and marketing, but being a part of something from script to screen like I have been with Volumes of Blood is where it’s at. You get to experience all aspects of filmmaking and help keep things on track or make sure that a film gets wider exposure. VOB opened a lot of doors for me to network. I’ve been given the opportunity to work on some awesome projects with some of the most creative people I’ve ever met. I’m always keeping an eye out for other talent and other solid projects. Plus, with Volumes of Blood 3 coming up around the corner we’ll get to work with more talented and passionate artists. I can’t wait.

RTC: Thank you so much for speaking with us, hopefully, we can do it again real soon! Keep kickin ass!

-About The Author-

Ryan T. Cusick is a writer for and very much enjoys conversation and writing about anything within the horror genre. Horror first sparked his interest after watching the original, The Amityville Horror when he was the tender age of three. Ryan lives in California with his wife and Eleven-year-old daughter, who is also expressing interest in the horror genre. Ryan recently received his Master’s Degree in Psychology and has aspirations to write a novel. Ryan can be followed on Twitter @Nytmare112

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Brad Dourif Says He’s Retiring Except For One Important Role



Brad Dourif has been doing movies for nearly 50 years. Now it seems he is walking away from the industry at 74 to enjoy his golden years. Except, there is a caveat.

Recently, digital entertainment publication JoBlo’s Tyler Nichols talked to some of the Chucky television series cast members. During the interview, Dourif made an announcement.

“Dourif said that he’s retired from acting,” says Nichols. “The only reason he came back for the show was because of his daughter Fiona and he considers Chucky creator Don Mancini to be family. But for non-Chucky stuff, he considers himself retired.”

Dourif has voiced the possessed doll since 1988 (minus the 2019 reboot). The original movie “Child’s Play” has become such a cult classic it’s at the top of some people’s best chillers of all time. Chucky himself is ingrained in pop culture history much like Frankenstein or Jason Voorhees.

While Dourif may be known for his famous voiceover, he is also an Oscar-nominated actor for his part in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Another famous horror role is The Gemini Killer in William Peter Blatty’s Exorcist III. And who can forget Betazoid Lon Suder in Star Trek: Voyager?

The good news is that Don Mancini is already pitching a concept for season four of Chucky which might also include a feature-length movie with a series tie-in. So, Although Dourif says he is retiring from the industry, ironically he is Chucky’s friend till the end.

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7 Great ‘Scream’ Fan Films & Shorts Worth a Watch



The Scream franchise is such an iconic series, that many budding filmmakers take inspiration from it and make their own sequels or, at least, build upon the original universe created by screenwriter Kevin Williamson. YouTube is the perfect medium to showcase these talents (and budgets) with fan-made homages with their own personal twists.

The great thing about Ghostface is that he can appear anywhere, in any town, he just needs the signature mask, knife, and unhinged motive. Thanks to Fair Use laws it’s possible to expand upon Wes Craven’s creation by simply getting a group of young adults together and killing them off one by one. Oh, and don’t forget the twist. You’ll notice that Roger Jackson’s famous Ghostface voice is uncanny valley, but you get the gist.

We have gathered five fan films/shorts related to Scream that we thought were pretty good. Although they can’t possibly match the beats of a $33 million blockbuster, they get by on what they have. But who needs money? If you’re talented and motivated anything is possible as proven by these filmmakers who are well on their way to the big leagues.

Take a look at the below films and let us know what you think. And while you’re at it, leave these young filmmakers a thumbs up, or leave them a comment to encourage them to create more films. Besides, where else are you going to see Ghostface vs. a Katana all set to a hip-hop soundtrack?

Scream Live (2023)

Scream Live

Ghostface (2021)


Ghost Face (2023)

Ghost Face

Don’t Scream (2022)

Don’t Scream

Scream: A Fan Film (2023)

Scream: A Fan Film

The Scream (2023)

The Scream

A Scream Fan Film (2023)

A Scream Fan Film
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Another Creepy Spider Movie Hits Shudder This Month



Good spider films are a theme this year. First, we had Sting and then there was Infested. The former is still in theaters and the latter is coming to Shudder starting April 26.

Infested has been getting some good reviews. People are saying that it’s not only a great creature feature but also a social commentary on racism in France.

According to IMDb: Writer/director Sébastien Vanicek was looking for ideas around the discrimination faced by black and Arab-looking people in France, and that led him to spiders, which are rarely welcome in homes; whenever they’re spotted, they’re swatted. As everyone in the story (people and spiders) is treated like vermin by society, the title came to him naturally.

Shudder has become the gold standard for streaming horror content. Since 2016, the service has been offering fans an expansive library of genre movies. in 2017, they began to stream exclusive content.

Since then Shudder has become a powerhouse in the film festival circuit, buying distribution rights to movies, or just producing some of their own. Just like Netflix, they give a film a short theatrical run before adding it to their library exclusively for subscribers.

Late Night With the Devil is a great example. It was released theatrically on March 22 and will begin streaming on the platform starting April 19.

While not getting the same buzz as Late Night, Infested is a festival favorite and many have said if you suffer from arachnophobia, you might want to take heed before watching it.


According to the synopsis, our main character, Kalib is turning 30 and dealing with some family issues. “He’s fighting with his sister over an inheritance and has cut ties with his best friend. Fascinated by exotic animals, he finds a venomous spider in a shop and brings it back to his apartment. It only takes a moment for the spider to escape and reproduce, turning the whole building into a dreadful web trap. The only option for Kaleb and his friends is to find a way out and survive.”

The film will be available to watch on Shudder starting April 26.

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