Spring Craft Fair to Benefit Food Shelf

The NEHW will be at the Spring Craft Fair this Saturday in Hanover, Massachusetts.

NEHW members Stacey Longo, David Price, Kristi Petersen Schoonover, and Rob Watts will be at the event selling and signing their books.

Fair organizers will be raffling off items donated from local businesses to help raise money for the Hanover Food Pantry. There will also be a silent auction for a three-month membership to the YMCA.

The fair runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and is at Riley Hall located at 17 Silver Street in Hanover.




By David L Tamarin

I’ve been busy with film work for the past few months, and for once it has not been as an actor or writer. I am the General Counsel for the film Profane Exhibit, and also the Associate Producer. The film is an international anthology featuring 11 films from notorious directors like Uwe Boll, Andrey Iskanov, Ryan Nicholson, Coffin Joe, Michael Todd Schneider, Richard Stanley, and more.

I was lucky enough to attend two of the film shoots, and can definitely say they were among the most memorable experiences of my life. I got an extra role in the short film, Manna, from director Michael Todd Schendier, a.k.a. Mikey Maggot, who directed and acted in arguably the most disturbing film ever made, August Underground’s Mordum. I was nervous about meeting him. If you’ve seen Mordum, you will understand why, as his psychotic performance and his vile acts of necrophilia and torture really push the envelope in terms of what is acceptable even in an extreme pseudo-snuff movie. I have no problem acknowledging the film disturbed me and affected me in a profound way. I would have been better off not watching it at all. But I was happy to meet a man whom I considered to be one of the most powerful directors in the history of film, and to see him at work. So I flew from Boston to Pittsburg for the Manna shoot.

I believe the gruesome castration will be the most memorable moment of Manna. I just found out some great news from my friend, who did the gory make up effects – she has been accepted into the next season of that reality show where they do horror makeup! She deserves to be on that show – the fake cock and balls she made were so realistic that I was shivering.

She worked on creating a set of testicles that were as real looking as possible, and then a penis to go with it. There were fake testicles all over the place and they looked pretty real. There is a slight possibility she was involved in black market penis because of the large collection of severed male genitalia laying around. But I doubt that. I’m not an expert in makeup effects so I am not sure what material she used, but the balls had a squishy texture that was oddly realistic and it really pained me to see the simulated castration. It was done well, and it hurt to watch! Had I been considering a sex change I believe I would have changed my mind.

Uwe Boll and David L. Tamarin

I can’t tell you all the behind-the-scenes details so I’ll fast forward about a month. Next up is the Los Angeles shoot, Basement, to be directed by Uwe Boll, who is responsible for some of my favorite films ever made about the nature of violence and its place in society – Rampage, Stoic, and Attack on Darfur in particular are three incredibly powerful examinations of violence that cannot be easily forgotten or ignored. Boll is on board with Profane Exhibit as director of a particularly disturbing sequence called Basement about a man who lives a normal family life, except for the sexually abused daughter locked up in one room in the basement she has not left in years. It is a story of hypocrisy, and a tale of people with public personalities that don’t match the horribly deviant behaviors that they commit behind closed doors. Clint Howard plays the father and Tara Cardinal plays the tragic figure of his daughter in this story that unfortunately is completely based on fact.

In contrast to the serious subject matter was our shooting location, which was a cheesy commercial porn set.

I had been told what time to be at the studio, but not when, so I showed up early to the Canoga Park address. I saw a model-type and began asking her questions about the shoot. Did she know what time it was supposed to start, when the others would be here, etc? She answered my questions and responded with one of her own.

“So, are you one of the transsexuals?” she asked me in a sweet but innocent voice. I may not be very big, but at least I’ve got something, and I double checked my crotch before telling her that “No, I was not one of the transsexuals.”

I asked her, “are you here for the Uwe Boll shoot? He’s a German guy who looks like a boxer?” She answered in the negative, and someone from inside one of the studios came out at the moment to help us. I informed the kind grandmotherly woman who ran the sets that we were both there for different shoots, and she asked me if I was one of the transvestites before I had time to tell her I was not there for a porno – at least – as far as I knew, it wasn’t a porno. She told me which studios I needed to be at and what time to come back. I wished the nice ladies good luck and then walked back to my motel room, passing six Indian massage parlors on the way.

I showed up an hour later and a very nice make up effects girl gave me a tour. The building had lots of tiny rooms, mostly secluded, and most with little more than a bed. Then she showed me the bathroom. This was a cheap studio, but the bathroom was nice enough to a big heart-shaped hot-tub in it. At this point it became incredibly obvious this was a porn set. The hot-tub had a sinister feature – it locked you inside of it. A couple of people walked into it to give it a closer look and found themselves unable to escape. It took their screams to alert us to the problem so that we could free them. Throughout the day, we would find ourselves short one actress or one crew person, then hear screaming and find them locked in the bath room.

What the hell kind of a porn set was this? Did they do rape and snuff here and make it impossible for the girls to escape? More likely it was just in disrepair.

The porn couch

In the room we ate in during the break I saw something that absolutely confirmed that I was shooting in a porn house. The furniture consisted of these awful bright pink couches. As I sat on the couch, I could almost feel all the sexually transmitted diseases walking all around, sinking though my clothes and into my skin. If the number one way to catch AIDS was through casual sex I was convinced the number two way was to simply be in the same room as this couch.

For a moment I wondered what one of those CSI devices that indicate the presence of semen, blood, and other bodily fluids would find on that pink couch.

Next time you’re watching a porno and you see some people getting it on, on top of a bright pink couch you’ll be able to say you know someone who caught a disease from that very same couch.

Of course, this is nothing compared to the day I did a film shoot at the K2U strip club in Woonsocket, Rhode Island only to learn the day after the shoot that a notorious local serial killer used that exact same bar to pick out the victims he would take to their death. All in all, an asbestos filled shooting location in a condemned Buffalo building was definitely the worst.

But I work on horror films, and ones that tend to be very twisted horror films, so exposure to AIDS and asbestos is better than no exposure at all.

Job Fair this Friday in Mansfield


FRIDAY, MARCH 30, 10:30 A.M. – 12:30 P.M.

Courtney to speak at Mansfield Job Fair, provide information on federal resources and veterans hiring tax credits

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Joe Courtney on Friday, March 30, from 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. will participate in the Mansfield Job Fair, which he coordinated with the Eastern Workforce Investment Board (EWIB), CT Works, the Chronicle Newspaper, Quinebaug Valley Community College, the Northeastern Chamber of Commerce and the Windham Chamber of Commerce. Rep. Courtney’s office will have a booth at the fair. In addition to providing job seekers and businesses with information veterans hiring tax credits and federal resources, staffers from Congressman Courtney’s office will be on hand to help constituents with casework requests.

“In every sense, a job is the best social program of all. A job creates self-sufficiency and restores confidence people have in themselves, their family and their community,” said Congressman Courtney. “Growing jobs – whether by opening new markets and boosting exports or by providing incentives to hire veterans – is critical to our continued economic recovery. We have more work to do to restore the American Dream, but this event will be a good boost toward achieving that goal.”

The job fair will be held at the East Brook Mall, located at 95 Storrs Road, Mansfield, CT.

Author’s Stories Available on Amazon and Smashwords

Author and NEHW member John Grover’s sixth short story collection, Creatures and Crypts is available on Amazon or Smashwords as an e-book. It contains twenty short stories. The author states his collection “contains something for everyone from shambling zombies to vengeful ghosts, the Grim Reaper and monsters that only inhabit the author’s imagination.” It also includes the second place winner of the New Bedlam short story contest, “Unknowable.”

Grover also has a free story, “The Disembodied,” on Amazon. It’s part of Creatures and Crypts. To purchase this free story, click here.

Revenants, a digital chapbook co-written by Grover and R. Thomas Riley, is a sample of their collaborative stories all about the undead in their many forms. It contains a sneak peek of their upcoming novel, If God Doesn’t Show, coming this year by Permuted Press. Check out the chapbook here.

For more information about Grover, check out his website.

The Mocking Dead

This article originally appeared in the Journal Inquirer, a newspaper out of Manchester, Connecticut.

Local filmmaker to debut “Atomic Zombie” movie in Stafford

By Heather J. Linder

Torj (left), played by Ed Gasiorek, meets with his master, the evil scientist Dr. Harry Housen , played by Andrew Wrobel, in front of the atomic pile used to conduct Housen's experiements in the B-movie spoof Attack of the Atomic Zombies.

Zombies are taking over the Old Town Hall Saturday as local composer-turned-filmmaker Tony Diana hosts the debut of his first movie, Attack of the Atomic Zombies.

Diana, along with his two friends, created Butterfleye Films to pursue his passion for movie making. The trio developed the zombie movie as a spoof of black-and-white B-movies of the 1950s, he said.

The premiere starts at 6 p.m. at the Old Town Hall, located on Route 19 near Hydeville Road, and costs $5 to get in.

The cast and crew will be present to answer questions and sign autographs. DVD copies of the movie will be on sale for $10.

Attack of the Atomic Zombies was filmed exclusively in Stafford and features an almost entirely local cast of actors, including Diana’s wife and daughter.

The film’s plot centers around an evil scientist named Dr. Harry Housen who comes to town to conduct experiments and then dumps atomic waste into the Stafford water supply. When residents drink the water, they are transformed into atomic zombies.

Diana’s zombie’s don’t attack or bite, though. They loiter more than anything, he said, which was designed as a parody on small town life.

The film is a “love letter to the B-movie genre,” Diana said. “The acting is supposed to be stiff and wooden to make it work. It comes across really hilarious.”

The production company had a limited budget and all-volunteer talent, so Diana, who freelances full-time as a composer and digital editor, used his computer editing skills to enhance the film and make its ‘50s setting look more realistic.

In one scene, he superimposed a 1950s Chevrolet Bel Air in a parking lot, and in others he digitally removed cars or objects that looked too modern.

“The computer opens up a whole bunch of possibilities,” he said.

The movie’s dialogue is also unique, Diana said, because none of the lines were scripted. Rather, Diana wrote a synopsis of all 23 scenes and let the actors improvise.

“They knew what they had to do in the scene but not what to say,” he said.

Many of the actors were familiar with improvisation, but some were new to the craft.

When the cast viewed the film for the first time in November, they were relieved at how well the movie turned out and how hilarious the dialogue was, he said.

“The film has a good heart,” he said, “and it’s a lot of fun. People had a passion for making it.”

All three members of Butterfleye Films worked on the production. Diana wrote the film’s music and synopsis and did visual effects. Brian Thone made all of the props, including Dr. Housen’s nuclear reactor, and did zombie makeup. Steve Bednar helped create the film’s concept and plays Sheriff Ed Wood, the story’s hero, on screen.

The trio is already busy making their second film, which Diana said will be more dramatic and ambitious than the comical zombie spoof.

He hopes to someday make movies full-time and to work with a consistent group of friends and actors to pursue his “intense passion” for filmmaking.

“My hope as we go forward with this venture is to keep using the same people to develop a troupe,” he said. “People will get used to the actors in it and see them play different roles in different movies.”

The movie’s runtime is 71 minutes, including trailers. It was filmed in early September over three weekends, and Diana spent five weeks editing and adding special effects.

After the special Stafford showing Saturday, Attack of the Atomic Zombies will make an appearance at Boston Comic Con in April.

For upcoming event information, visit the film’s website, http://aotaz.necromare.net.

The NEHW will be at the 39th Heritage Craft Fair this Saturday (updated 3/21)

The NEHW will be at the 39th Heritage Craft Fair this Saturday.

There will be a number of members selling and signing their books. Come and meet Stacey Longo, David Price, Rob Watts, Morven Westfield, and K. Allen Wood.

The fair is held at the Keefe Technical School from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. It’s sponsored by the Heritage Chorale. According to the fair’s website, the fair “provides income to support our musical mission, from booth rental fees, sale of food and  beverages, and modest admission fees. This popular fair features more than 100 crafters selling their own creations including glassware, clothing, toys, jewelry, woodworking, leather goods, quilts, metalwork, paintings, and many other arts and crafts.”

According to the fair’s flyer, there will also be food at the event . The price of admission is $3 and $2.50 for seniors.

The fair’s location is 750 Winter St. in Framingham, Massachusetts.

An Author’s ‘Jumble’ of Stories

Author and NEHW member Dale T. Phillips has published Jumble Sale, a story collection containing 20 previously published tales. These stories are from different genres: science fiction, crime, fantasy, horror, humor, magic realism, and mainstream.

According to the book’s description on Smashwords, “there are fractured fairy tales, cautionary parables, peeks into disturbed minds, and amusing little romps. Everything from people with problems to giant lobsters, demonic creatures, small-time gangsters, and perverted dwarves.”

Phillips said his collection will “give you a shiver of frisson or a chuckle, or a chance to think about the world in a new way. Come take a sip from the dark myth pool of the human psyche, and taste a strange wine.”

Click here to order a copy.

A Vampire Tale Set in Boston

Author Jenna Moquin and NEHW member recently released her novel, Deluded Blood, a vampire story that takes place in Boston and centers around the friendship between a vampire and an aging priest. There is a battle between vampires and humans that grows so epic only one vampire survives. This vampire is left with the decision to either remain the last one, or continue the race by turning more humans into vampires.

The book is $12.99. To order a copy, click here.

‘Body Enhancements Gone Bad’ Anthology Available on Amazon

Author and NEHW member L.L. Soares’ story, “Sawbones,” appears in the anthology, Zippered Flesh: Tales of Body Enhancements Gone Bad! edited by Weldon Burge.

According to Amazon, this collection contains monstrous transplants, appalling amputations, bizarre implants and nightmarish forms of body enhancements. These “stories are not for those who are faint of heart or squeamish, or who are easily offended by nasty language, bloody violence, and freakish body augmentations.”

This collection also includes stories by Graham Masterton, John Shirley, Scott Nicholson, Lisa Mannetti and Burge.

Burge’s collection is available in paperback for $14.95 and in e-book for $2.99 on Amazon.

Your Cover Art Sucks

This entry originally appeared on author and NEHW member, K. Allen Wood’s website.

Your Cover Art Sucks

by K. Allen Wood

Let’s talk about cover art.

There has been a self-publishing boom as of late. Once a surefire way to garner scorn from so-called professional writers, now even those dingleberries of the upper crust are self-publishing their work. With its rapidly growing popularity, there are those in the industry whom suggest there is a bubble…and that it’s about to burst. But I disagree. I think things are just getting started.

And that means more self-published books flooding the market.

There is an oft-used quote out there, which goes like this: “Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.”

A few years ago, when I started Shock Totem, a well-known author told me that cover art “isn’t that important.” The argument being that it’s the content that matters more. It’s hard to argue with that. However, I think, in a certain regard cover art matters more. The expression “never judge a book by its cover” exists because everyone judges a book by its cover.

First impressions matter. That initial connection between cover art and potential reader is intimate, and it matters more than you and the masterpiece you think is a page turn away.

I won’t buy your book if the cover art sucks. I won’t download it for free. I won’t do more than laugh derisively like a too-cool uptowner and walk on. Haughtily.

I fully understand that the majority of writers doing this sort of thing are, to put it bluntly, bad writers; but many are quite good, in fact. And to them I say this: If you truly care about your work, seek out the work of professionals in areas where you are not King Dingaling. Dig deep. It doesn’t cost much.

In other words, don’t do this…

[ click any photo to enlarge ]

Above are four actual book covers not designed by a 4-year-old.

Trapped inside the social-media matrix, I am bombarded daily with similar fruits of so many would-be writers’ half-assed labor. You, as well, I imagine.

I see authors posting bad cover art all the time, constantly asking for opinions (which people freely give but which equates to little more than smoke up the ass), often readily admitting that he or she has little skill in Photoshop or design, of any sort.

Thus, I question: If you are that person, why the fuck are you creating cover art?