New Year With The Millers

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Danzig Bound By Blood

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2015 is upon us Grueheads. Hasn’t it come round quick? It seems like forever since I made my expedition to Los Angeles to work on one of the most important slasher movies to emerge in the past few years; The Orphan Killer: Bound X Blood. Those who read my TOK Murder Crew journals will already be aware of how much the experience meant to me; it capped off a startling turnaround of fortunes for Keeper and I left a completely different person to the one that stepped off that plane without a dash of self-belief. Over the course of those seven weeks I was introduced to some truly wonderful souls and I formed friendships that I will take with me to the bitter end. It was hard graft and I loved every second of it. Funny really, I had never been a fan of over-exertion until recently. But then, I was never a part of something which I believed in so wholeheartedly as the cause of Matt Farnsworth and Diane Foster.

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Our relationship differs from most and the reason for this is that we started with honesty. When I first appraised The Orphan Killer and embellished it with deserving praise, they sat up and took notice immediately. The thing which stood out to them was my blatant honesty; the fact that I didn’t hold back from saying it exactly as I saw it. I was suitably blown away by three aspects in particular and the amalgamation of these three factors helped it stand head and bloody shoulders above any other slasher vying for our attention. Firstly, I got what Matt Farnsworth had intended; his passion spilled forth into his product and it was evident in every single frame. Here was a man whose career path could so easily have been entirely different had he chosen to follow the flock. He didn’t; instead he crafted something which nobody can ever take away from him no matter what transpires from hereon in. For the record, I am in absolutely no doubt what lies ahead.

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It was clear from the offset that his marvelous knack for branding would see him good going forward. This wasn’t to be an isolated experience; Marcus Miller wasn’t a one-trick pony but instead a villain with the distinct ability of becoming an icon to so many of us. Matt captured that to perfection and this is because, when all is said and done, he was every bit the man behind the mask that David Backus was. Every strike with Miller’s axe, machete, screwdriver, had his full force behind it. In many respects, it is just like every single word which leaves his mouth. He is exactly who he is and there was a refreshing honesty running through every frame of The Orphan Killer. I spotted this grit and determination and instantly it resonated. His heart was on his sleeve and many reviewers failed to realize such when casting negative judgement on a film which never deserved one scrap of the vilification it received.

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I watch a lot of horror movies and I always look out for something exclusive. On paper, the premise of The Orphan Killer would appear no better or worse than the countless other pretenders trying to gain a foothold. We no longer live in the eighties; back then we had Freddy, Jason, Michael, Leatherface and so many others plying their trade. Nowadays, despite the recent emergence of talented young film-makers, nobody seemed capable of picking up the baton. Victor Crowley could swing an axe and Chromeskull certainly looked the part but neither had come close to emulating their predecessors. The Hatchet trilogy remains a decent time waster and the Laid To Rest series has somewhat stumbled off the blocks. Where did that leave us? In precisely the same position we were before any false hope was instilled. That was until Marcus Miller decided to pick up where he left off with his estranged baby sister.

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What Farnsworth achieved was nothing short of spectacular and he utilized social media as his channel for all this passion and drive. He believed in what he was peddling, moreover, he identified that folk were crying out for more. Thus he facilitated such. This snappily-dressed assassin was more than a man behind the mask; he lived and breathed long after the cameras stopped rolling. People identified with him; feared him intensely, however also took him to their hearts. Matt wasn’t content with leaving his audience hanging for the three years it would inevitably take to continue telling his tale. Instead he provided; he took notice of the rapidly-growing fanbase and continued to supply credence to his claim. Marcus became a celebrity. It is a well publicized fact that it takes two to tango and this is where producer and star Diane Foster stole both our hearts and minds.

Chet Baker My Funny Valentine

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I make no secret of the fact that I regard Foster’s turn as Audrey Miller to be the single finest scream queen performance since the seventies. That’s an extraordinary claim when you consider the company she keeps. However, I have always backed that shit up with sound reasoning. Few have been forced to endure such suffering; have had their world torn asunder and their happy existence fragmented as much as Audrey. Yet, suffer as she does so exquisitely, there is more behind those delectable peepers than a simple wounded animal. Back a predator into a corner and it will invariably bare its teeth and sharpen its talons. She did exactly that; she more than hinted that the cruel blood which flowed through her sibling’s ventricles was present in her also. It wasn’t that she purely displayed both anguish and bitter resolve, but the manner in which she found her equilibrium. Effortlessly and this is where I believed her talents transcend horror. She can switch into character with such grace and ease that it calls to mind the great actresses of our times. I’m talking the Meryl Streeps and Cate Blanchetts. The first ladies of film.

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She deserves her place at the top table as she conveys every solitary emotion through the vaguest facial gesture or multifaceted look. It’s so balanced; take it from me, I shared the screen with Lady Die, as we dotingly refer to her, my fuse was sparked the moment cameras rolled and it afforded me the opportunity to give the performance I had no idea was inside of me all along. When you’re in that moment; inches away from a bona fide professional but, moreover, a true lady, you tend to bring your A-game. Couple that with such assured direction and understanding of how to maximize every last instance, and you have the recipe for something rather special. The entire experience from action to it’s a wrap was precious beyond words; heart and soul was ever-present and that’s not something you learn…it just is. Where Matt Farnsworth and Diane Foster are concerned…it just is.

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The Orphan Killer: Bound X Blood has taken a far different trajectory than what many will be expecting. A franchise is now officially underway as it has proved the courage of its convictions. The first film was a delicately unfurling rose which dared to reveal its thorns; Bound X Blood is a whole bed of roses; a complex careering pilgrimage into the depths of human depravity but so much more than just that. It represents a struggle between good and evil and knows exactly how to present both sides of the argument. There is a purity to proceedings tampering the torment and a contradiction to babysister’s endeavor which is beautifully and stunningly realized. This brings me rather tidily to Marcus. Marcus Miller, the industrious killer, callous blood spiller, never merely a filler. You see, while his sibling is undertaking a voyage of discovery; he is also embarking on a journey of his own. The mighty Matt Horwich is now the man behind the mask and his own soul is very much invested.

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The relationship between big brother and babysister was incalculable to witness; love and hate walk a fine line and combine to give an altogether more authentic dynamic. They are playful, competitive, argumentative, conflicted, bound. This sends The Orphan Killer into uncharted waters and the reason why they are this way is that nobody else has taken this path before now. The wonderful crew were an excitable bunch; we all knew the enormity of what was playing out before us and donated our own souls accordingly. An astonishingly small number of us proved that you don’t need a studio behind you to fashion excellence. We all deserve a pat on the back for making Bound X Blood a reality but it wouldn’t have ever come to this had it not been for Matt Farnsworth and Diane Foster. They made the set home; encouraged the TOK Murder Crew to become a family and bound us all in blood in the process. This new year, when nursing your hangover, spare a thought for what is coming. Keeper doesn’t lie; I shoot from the hip. That’s the only way I know how. It’s coming Grueheads. Soon the whole free world will know of the best kept secret in horror for decades. I raise a chalice to that.

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Two hearts beating
Beating in unison
Ventricles raging
Cruel blood coursing

 

Bound by blood
United perpetually
These family values
are what we’re endorsing

 

Brother and sister
Siblings and playmates
Taking communion
Swearing their oath

 

Committed in bloodlust
With pride in their heritage
Retreat not applicable
Black souls they betroth

 

It’s coming now Grueheads
The wheels are in motion
The wait’s almost over
Let carnage commence

 

It’s time to choose sides now
Pledge your allegiance
For barbed wire awaits
Those who sit on the fence

 

Join Marcus and Audrey
on the side of redemption
Follow their bloodline
Commit to their cause

 

For when it is over
They’ll hunt you and slay you
For suffering suits them
But they won’t suffer fools

 

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Read Walk of Life

 

To sins still to be committed…raise a chalice,

Sponsored by @TheOrphanKiller
Performances by @MattFarnsworth @DieannFoster
Cruel Art by @MattFarnsworth
Prose and scribing by @RiversofGrue
Copyright Full Fathom 5 Productions LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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