Reflections on October ’15 at DE



Business last month wasn’t business as usual at Death Ensemble, and now that the dust has settled on October, I figured it would be a nice time to reflect.  Without any further ado…



My Trip to NYCC


October at DE usually involves a con report on Chiller.  But I had a death in the family and three job interviews that week, so Chiller fell through.  Earlier in the month, though, I did make it to a con.  New York Comic Con hit the Javits Center, and I was there for two days.  If you want to watch my video report, give it a look.  You can get all my views on why a comic con isn’t for me.


Heather Elle jumps back in the mix, gets promoted


In the end days of my last gig, I was fortunate to find Heather Elle during a Call to Writers.  Since we rekindled our friendship back in July, she and I have challenged one another to take our writing to greater heights.  We excited one another about putting down our ideas on the net again, and the outcome benefited our readers.


Heather reviewed DYLAN DOG and FREDDY VS. JASON.  I loved both her reviews, even though she’s a much bigger supporter of the former than I am.  What I love most is that her voice and way of thinking is so much not mine.  And let’s face it, sometimes DE needs a lady’s touch.


Because of her awesome contributions and inspiration, she got a promotion to Editor.  It came with no raise in pay (she makes nothing), and no new office space (my apartment barely fits my laptop).  But it does come with as much distinction and honor as helping to run DE allows.


The Hell of Fame inducts three legends


Between October 2014 and this October, the Hell of Fame didn’t add anyone.  I acknowledge that we don’t hold stuffy annual ceremonies, and that we’re very selective, but even so, the HOF went a little too barren for way too long.  Alongside new DE contributor Brian Skutle, Heather and I opened the doors again.


Brian is a big fan of Wes Craven’s, and given the director’s passing I invited Brian to honor him with an induction.  Craven’s films affected many of us, and it’s nice to have him among the titans in the HOF.


Heather inducted Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” a video any child of the 80s will remember from its heyday on MTV.  It’s a classic, and serves as part of the inspiration for this month’s new category at DE, the Dead Man’s Party.


I inducted a long time favorite of mine, Peter Cushing.  I remember when Christopher Lee died over the summer, my first reaction was not to induct him just because he had recently passed on, and that would look tacky.  My second reaction was not to induct Cushing that week, because I would look like a dick.  So I held off til Halloween, and now my favorite Hammer actor has been rightly honored.


A review-heavy month, with lots of classics


Sometimes even I find my choices odd.  A long time ago, I reviewed GREMLINS 2, but I’d never reviewed GREMLINS.  I hadn’t reviewed a single David Cronenberg, yet I’d reviewed “Familiar,” a Canadian short with overtones of body horror.  I’d only reviewed FRIDAY THE 13TH from that franchise, and there are ten others.  And how is it I’ve reviewed the reviled Rob Zombie remake of HALLOWEEN, but not John Carpenter’s original masterpiece?


So early in October, I opened up the two huge boxes of DVDs I still haven’t unpacked in my new place, and pulled out 40 or so I figured necessitated reviews.  That was an ambitious number, one I didn’t come close to reaching.  But it get the ball rolling, and I’ve kept on the shelf those titles I didn’t get to review.


Here’s a list of the titles I got through.  Enjoy the reviews.






















I don’t know if being so review-heavy was good for DE or not, but it felt like the way to go.  I put aside the Opening the Vaults series, specifically because it would’ve been way too much for readers if I were to add an extra three older reviews to October.


And just a bit of business as usual


I was a bit more pissed off than usual when I did my Piece by Piece post on HALLOWEEN III’s Silver Shamrock song.  I took that attitude into October’s You Suck! piece, which was inspired by a debate on social media.  When I started Phase 2 at DE, I wanted to make sure these pieces got one entry per month.  Fortunately, there’s plenty to be pissed off about in this world.




So there you have it, October in a nutshell.  I hope you enjoyed our Halloween celebration at DE as much as we did.  Let’s see what next October looks like when we get there.


-Phil Fasso

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