Suspect Video

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Pixie’s Year 5!

Published October 17, 2017 by rmpixie

See what I did there? Five skulls for five years? Eh?… Eh? No?….

 

It’s year 5 for Rosemary’s Pixie! This year has been really different with fewer posts since I’ve been re-assessing my career choices, one of which involves seriously considering making outfits for my cats and taking them on the road in a crazy cat lady revue.

Programmer-wise, I had a great first year with BITS, and gotten to know my fellow BITS crew really well. We promoted the festival at Shock Stock  and Niagara Falls Comic Con, and had a great time hanging out with vendors, guests like Felissa Rose from Sleepaway Camp who is a gem of a person, The Monsters of Schlock who are seriously the coolest guys, and Goblin’s Maurizio Guarini who is very sweet and apparently needs no sleep.

The Toronto horror community suffered a big blow when Suspect Video closed down early this year. This rental store was not only a place where you could find current films but the rarest of the rare cult movies and superb conversation with the knowledgeable staff.  Founder Luis Ceriz and his staff were always ready to suggest or help with titles, books and other obscure info needed for general fun facts or important research. I owe a lot my blog content to them and the amazing films they had available. We were all heartbroken, and made our pilgrimage on the final day the shop was open. I’m happy to say that Luis is still operating Suspect as an online shop and if you’re in the Toronto or GTA area, follow the shop on Facebook as there are weekly posts of new films for purchase. He is also at the helm of Horror-Rama, Toronto’s only horror convention with his co-founder director/writer/musician Chris Alexander. Tickets are on sale now for the November 4-5th event and I can’t wait.

Some of you have noticed that I stopped doing recaps for Face Off this year. I was quite frankly bored of the show. I loved judges Neville Page, Ve Neill and Glenn Hetrick and host McKenzie Westmore, but I felt the show was mining people who have already been contestants and there is a serious lack of diversity. There have only been a handful of POC on the show, one POC winner, and after 11 seasons it seems like they’re perhaps running out of ideas. I’ll try tuning in at a later point, but I know there are a large number of POC’s out there creating wonderful makeups that would definitely hold up on the show.

The Rue Morgue library recently added a new volume to the collection, Women with Guts, a fantastic set of essays about famed women in horror written by women horror and genre writers. I attended the book launch and met the book’s author Alison Lang, as well as contributors Liisa Ladouceur, Monika S. Kuebler, executive editor to Rue Morgue Andrea Subissati, and Alexandra West. I was so thrilled that my friend and founder of Graveyard Shift Sisters Ashlee Blackwell was also a contributor. These women are stellar writers and wonderful people. You can get your own copy here. I also celebrated a personal milestone by contributing to Rue Morgue Magazine’s 20th anniversary edition. I was honoured to write a synopsis of Shock Values: How a Few Eccentric Outsiders Gave Us Nightmares, Conquered Hollywood and Invented Modern Horror  for the 25 Non-Fiction Genre Film Books That Every Horror Fan Should Own feature. Andrea Subissati really pulled out all the stops for this gorgeous issue and the articles are fantastic. Pick up a copy here.

More fantastic people I met this year were:  Monika Estrella Negra, founder of Audre’s Revenge Film Collective where her tireless efforts to create content and promote QTIPOC filmmakers should be noted and shared; Jamie Broadnax, founder of Black Girl Nerds and Lauren Warren, one of the hosts of Nerds of Prey and tweeter extraordinaire at the Black Girl Nerd TIFF brunch. It was wonderful to meet so many fellow writers and content creators just as passionate about film as I am.

I’ve recently ventured into the podcast world and was a guest on The Matinee a couple of times. Ryan McNeil, a blogger, reviewer and podcast host had me on to discuss a couple of films with him. You can check them out (episodes 172and 176) here. I had a great time, and I’ll be popping up on podcasts here and there, so stay tuned.

I’m also gearing up for festival season on the horror calendar. Toronto After Dark Film Festival is up with some great films and then Blood in the Snow from November 23-26th (of course). And I’ll be at those with the best horror boyfriend in the world (and my biggest cheerleader) on my arm.

As always, I want to give a shout out to my friends Laina Dawes, Ashlee Blackwell, and Courtney Small (www.cinemaaxis.com) who support my writing, and all of you readers who visit my blog. Thank you from the bottom of my horror heart!

 

Carolyn

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Horror-Rama 2014-Toronto’s First Annual Horror Convention

Published November 7, 2014 by rmpixie

horror-rama

Horror-Rama, Toronto Ontario, Canada, November 1-2, 2014

 

I wasn’t sure I would even get to Horror-Rama due to my work schedule, but a week before the event, I learned that I would be free for an afternoon, so I bought my one-day $25 ticket not sure what to expect.  After checking out the website, I was prepared to part with some of my hard-earned money to get some stuff.  Horror stuff.  Little did I know that stuff was just the gory icing on the horror cake!

Let me back track a little.  You might be wondering what Horror-Rama is.  Put on by Suspect Video owner Luis Ceriz (one of the nicest people I’ve ever met in Toronto who runs one of the coolest movie rental and rare finds stores around) and Fangoria Magazine’s editor-in-chief Chris Alexander, it is Toronto’s first ever horror only convention, and it was a blast!  Catering to the horror fan who loves rare finds and weird stuff, there were many vendors selling DVDs and rare VHS horror films, as well as gifts, t-shirts, and original poster art and illustrations, but I suspect the biggest draw was the celebrity line-up.  Boasting such stars as Barbie Wilde mostly know as the female Cenobite from Hellraiser, Michael Slade author of Headhunter and Ghoul, Nivek Ogre of Industrial band Skinny Puppy (who I listened to endlessly in high school), and Lisa Marie of Mars Attacks, it was a veritable wonderland for fans of all things dark and diabolical.  Tom Savini was also there.  From special effects, to directing and acting, this horror dynamo was a revered name in the line-up.

I at first wasn’t going to attempt meeting him, for one because I thought it would be rammed and kind of like FanExpo, and secondly because I am an introvert by nature with awkward bursts of nuttiness.  I don’t know what to say to celebrities because after all, they are people just like me, and I don’t want to sound like a dork.  What was pleasantly surprising was the celebrity meet and greet area.  It was quite intimate, and it wasn’t crowded when I arrived, so I gave it a shot.  I mean, he was right there. Like, right there!  So I took the plunge, got an autographed photo of Savini and Danny Trejo in Machete Kills, a handshake and a picture taken with him for $30.  Unfortunately, I had nothing witty to say; the nuttiness crawled away and hid, and I didn’t bother to hand him my Rosemary’s Pixie card, even though he does follow me on the twitter (just sayin’).  I just smiled and said thank you.  In my defense, some dude would not stop talking to Savini while I was there, so I think that chatty dude owes me at least $15 for my troubles.  And I will find him…anyway, here is my photo-op with Tom Savini, who was really nice and called me sweetheart, and my weird hair (I swear it looked better in person):

2014-11-01 15.13.20-1

Pixie and Savini, just hanging out…

As for any other pictures, I didn’t take any at the event because I was there to buy stuff, and kind of forgot in my shopping frenzy.  I can however show you all the loot I got, including a rare find of Henry:  A Portrait of a Serial Killer for $12, and some top-secret but awesome gifts for my salt-of-the-earth-and-weird-like-me friend T-Bone:

2014-11-07 10.47.34

My loot. For obvious reasons, the top-secret gifts are absent because my friend is one of the 3 people that reads my blog…bah ha ha ha! I kid, folks, I kid…

I also wanted to pick up my pass for The Blood In The Snow Film Festival, happening from November 28th-30th at the Carlton Cinemas here in Toronto.  It’s a 3 day festival of 100 % Canadian horror, and it is always a good time. There was an Anchor Bay Screaming Lounge where a preview of the festival was screened, as well as indie horror movies Avenged (2014) and The Devil Incarnate (2014).  Check out the films and tickets for this year’s BITS fest here.  The convention also had a Horror-Rama Hangout, where you could attend Q & A sessions with some of the headliner guests.

I also hit the Black Fawn Distribution booth where there was a bunch of great Canadian independent film for sale.  Better known for films like festival hits Silent Retreat and Discopath, they were promoting a new horror called The Door.  I picked it up and was treated to an autographed copy by one of the film’s stars, Alys Crocker.  I also got a photo-op with her and had a quick chat with the film’s director, Patrick McBrearty.  They were both lovely and I can’t wait to watch this creepy film which caught my eye a few weeks ago on my twitter feed.

I wrapped my visit up somewhat early because plain and simple, I ran out of ducats.  I didn’t want to sell the farm for more memorabilia and movies, so after tracking Luis down to thank him for a great event, I took myself and my horror horde home.  I will definitely go back next year.  Horror-Rama fills a void for those of us that want a more specialized type of convention with all things horror for the die-hard fan and collector.  Go Horror!

 

Canuck Style Horror At The Second Annual BITS Festival

Published December 3, 2013 by rmpixie

This past weekend, I attended the second annual Blood In The Snow Canadian Film Festival:  a 3 day showcase of all Canadian content, all horror, all weekend!  It was my first time attending and I had a great time, in fact, the festival renewed my faith in this city of mine.  Toronto can be cold at times, but at BITS, there were so many great fans and volunteers who were willing to chat about the films and were just as excited as I was to be there.  I really liked the venue, the Carlton Cinema, in the heart of downtown Toronto; and even though the theatre was a good size, it had a cozy feel and had great seating.  There was also a “vendor’s village” in the lobby where you could find unique horror-themed gifts, and dvds from independent distributors and my favourite rental shop Suspect Video.

The selection of films was pretty diverse.  From body horror to killer puppets; shorts and feature-length films alike, there was something for everyone.  After the last screening each night, movie-goers and festival organizers headed to local haunt The Marquis of Granby, where they could meet with cast and crew from the featured films for some tasty libations.  I was actually able to make the final pub night where I mingled with new friends and chatted with a couple of directors.  Did I mention how nice everyone was?  This made up for the schmoozing I missed during the Toronto After Dark Festival.

I’ve got lots to report, so over the next few days, I will be posting about my favourite films and ones that got fans talking!

Rosemary’s Pixie’s First Anniversary!

Published October 17, 2013 by rmpixie

It’s hard to believe, but Rosemary’s Pixie is one year old!  But before we raise a glass, I have a confession to make…

I started this blog because I was in distress.  Last year, life handed me a giant shit pie.  For a little over eight months, it was difficult to leave my apartment because I was consumed by either anxiety or crushing grief.  As I tried to regroup a la Howard Hughes,  I was comforted by the knowledge that I could always throw in a cheesy horror DVD from my vast collection, order a slasher movie on cable, or crack open a horror novel and lose myself for a couple of hours.  You see, horror was always my first love.  I know, it sounds counter-intuitive.  Heavens to Murgatroyd!  Horror as a therapeutic outlet for someone who was haunted by death and anxiety?! You’d be surprised…

Watching film after film got me thinking.  I  felt the writer I used to be wake up and started to see things that I wanted to comment on and point out.  Many of my wonderfully supportive friends didn’t shared my enthusiasm for the genre, so I started writing about my opinions and observations right here, on good ol’ WordPress.  It didn’t bother me that I didn’t have an audience.  I just liked writing.  A lot.  I would reward myself by watching a movie and writing a post after several hours of job searching.  I started to venture out to Suspect Video to get a couple of cheap rentals here and there, and to chat with the knowledgeable staff.  Typing away on my laptop, with my cats snuggled close by, I started to feel better.  I was able to focus on something other than my troubles, and I only now realize how much that helped me regain confidence in many areas of my life.

I was shocked when I got my first follower and called my friend, Laina D., a seasoned journalist/published author/blogger, who applauded my tiny triumph.  Someone liked what I had to say!  This fueled me to carry on, and here I am today.  I am in a much better place, and I am very glad I took the chance to do something creative again.  I am also very, very grateful for the support of my fabulous friends and sisters, and for all the followers, visitors, retweets, favourites, and likers I have gained through Twitter, Facebook and WordPress.  I thank every single one of you from the bottom of my twisted heart!  Who knew something I started as a distraction would bring me such joy, just by adding my voice to the internet throngs.

Some highlights from the past year:

My lovely friend L.F. (who wants to remain pretty much nameless), designed the gorgeous pixie logo for me.  I was thrilled with her talent and will love that pixie forever!

After writing my first book review on The Demonologist, author Andrew Pyper found and retweeted the link to the post.  I was floored, since I was too chicken to tag him in my tweet.

The indie film Hate Crime disturbed me so much that I reached out to the director, James Cullen Bressack, to answer some questions about his film.  He did so within a day, and became my first interview.  Still very grateful for his time, retweets and all the traffic that he brought to my blog.

The dashing Neville Page, Face Off judge and Hollywood creature and concept designer extraordinaire, started following me on Twitter. A judge from my favourite reality show!  Imagine that?!!  And he is super lovely too!

Interviewing The House of Haunt band members Fang and Skull.  Really fun guys who are passionate about their music and horror.

Meeting writer Steve Niles!!!  This was a big deal for me.  I totally nerded out, and you can read about that here.  I am not ashamed of my er, coffee fueled spaz attack, and he is the nicest man!

I love this blog, I write about what interests me, and I’m glad to be a part of the blogging community as I grow as a writer/reviewer.  I think it’s only fitting that I celebrate this anniversary today with my one true love.  I plan to start with something from my collection (maybe Horror Express), and end with a big finish.  Tonight is the opening night of the Toronto After Dark Film Festival, and since I missed the entire festival last year, I wouldn’t be anywhere else!   So now we can raise a glass, toast to pixie’s first anniversary and hope for many more here in the blogosphere!

102

Um, o.k….so I’m raising two glasses…yeah, one’s for you…er,yeah…that’s it…

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