Is there a better place to watch a horror movie than a haunted Victorian mansion? We found out the answer to that last year when we, the Atlantic Highlands Historical Society, hosted three film screenings during the month of October. This year, we are doing three more—two of the same, and a new one fitting for the date we are showing it on.
As detailed earlier in the year, Don’t Go in the House is officially out on Blu-Ray via Scorpion Releasing. Things have been very cryptic lately with no news coming for months. Then Scorpion made a few posts on their Facebook page last week and voila, we have a release. Yesterday, December 5th is the official date. They are being kind enough to send me a free copy as well as one to keep on hand at the Strauss Mansion Museum, its filming location. We actually screened the film this past October and the event sold out. Like so sold out that we had people sitting on the floor and standing on the staircase in the foyer to catch a glimpse.
Just like last year, Reel to Real will feature a special series for the fall season. Titled “Halloween 2K16”, this will be where I blog about horror movies, share fall recipes, and also let you know what’s going on in my paranormal investigating adventures. October is going to be a busy month. My team, Ghosts on the Coast, is honored to be partnering up with our usual haunt (no pun intended) the Strauss Mansion Museum and Atlantic Highlands Historical Society. We have a full schedule of events on tap, including three movie screenings, a party, a paranormal investigation, and then two weekends of new-look ghost tours.
We do not have an exact date yet, but Scorpion will be releasing Don’t Go in the House to Blu-Ray at the end of July, according to their Facebook page. As readers of this blog know, I worked with one of their representatives this past January for a documentary which will be included on the disc as a special feature. While it was originally only going to be a “Then and Now” documentary where I gave a tour of Strauss Mansion matched up with scenes from the movie with some of my own personal ghost stories mixed in, I have now been informed that it will in fact be two separate features. My paranormal experiences will be a separate video. This is all very exciting for me, but more importantly, I hope the release will boost exposure to the museum which served as the film set back in 1979 when it was a private residence-turned-apartment-complex. The house was actually slated for demolition shortly after filming wrapped due to the severe disrepair it fell into. However, the local historical society of Atlantic Highlands stepped in and purchased the 1893 Victorian mansion and turned it into the museum it is today.
Yesterday I had the chance to work with the director and editor for the Don’t Go in the House: Then and Now documentary which will be featured on the upcoming Blu Ray disc of the film. After contacting Scorpion Releasing last week, I was told that they are aiming for a June release, but that could change. Having hosted paranormal videos for different groups over the years, I am used to speaking in front of a camera. Yesterday’s experience was a little bit different though, but in a good way. To me, it was interesting seeing how shots are set-up, and how much lighting has an effect on everything. I was also mic’d for sound, which is different from how we usually record videos. While I was there to host the video and give a tour and history of Strauss Mansion, I also took it as a learning experience. I asked a lot of questions, and Andrew (who was filming) was kind enough to answer. He told me this was one of his more “fun” assignments. Being a co-producer for a paranormal web-series, I can say that we are always looking for ways to improve our content. Watching Andrew, a veteran of film-making, work yesterday really taught me a lot.
Fans of old grindhouse cinema will be excited to learn that the cult classic exploitation horror flick Don’t Go in the House will be getting a Blu Ray release. While I do not yet have the exact date (UPDATE: they are shooting for June), I assume it will be sometime this year as work has already begun on it. I was recently contacted by a crew-member who works for the distributor and rights holder, the Seattle-based Scorpion Releasing. He asked if I would be willing to show him Strauss Mansion (the set from the movie and museum I currently work at) and also be filmed giving a tour for a “Then and Now” documentary. This will be included as a special feature on the disc. I said yes, of course, and noted to him the irony of the timing because it was just last week when I was discussing doing a similar project with our board president for the web-series I host. This, however, would be much more professional, and I am happy to be involved.
Its a movie still banned in some countries around the world…and it was filmed right in Atlantic Highlands…at the Strauss Mansion Museum I currently serve on the board of directors for. That’s the only reason why I sought out Don’t Go in the House, which is available in its entirety on YouTube. It has also been given a recent DVD release so that more people may see Joseph Ellison’s once-shocking exploitation horror flick. The reason why I use the word “once” is because while the film is indeed grisly, it no longer carries the same weight it once had. The 1970’s were a time for filmmakers to get sadistic. Projects such as Cannibal Holocaust were short on story and large on shock, awe, and disgust. There is one infamous scene in this one which led to its banning in certain parts of the world, but due to our increased desensitivity towards violence, the scene is no worse than anything else you might see in a horror movie nowadays.