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Hey gang!

Great news! The movie I was in and that was filmed in our home, “House of Ghosts,” is up for The Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards!

http://www.rondoaward.com/rondo/rondos.html

The awards are determined via online votes. You can visit the site above and votes for any or all categories OR if you wish to cut to the chase, just send an email to taraco@aol.com with this sentence cut and pasted into it:

8. Best Independent Feature of 2012 “House of Ghosts” by Christopher R. Mihm

hog_poster1-1

Here’s the movie trailer if you haven’t seen the film yet: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B3jBK2c0rJg

If that makes you want to see it (again), you can order the DVD at www.sainteuphoria.com. Also, please order your tickets to the May 22 premiere of “The Giant Spider” at that same site right away. It’s more than 3/4 sold out and the tickets only went on sale a week ago! You will lose if you snooze!

Voting ends in April, but why not get yours out of the way now, while you’re thinking of it.

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Many thanks to the fine folks who worked so tirelessly to bring visual arts to the Pine City, Minn., public in their 2nd Annual Highway 61 Film Festival. We were honored to have been present on Day 3 of the screenings to introduce writer/director Christopher R. Mihm’s B&W 1950s-drive-in-style B-movie homage to William Castle (The Tingler, House on Haunted Hill), House of Ghosts. We were even more pleased to be able to accept on his behalf the award for Best Action/Horror Feature Film! Mihm was unable to attend because he was busy filming his upcoming movie, The Giant Spider. From the cast and crew of House of Ghosts, we say THANK YOU!!

 

I’m also pleased to announce that I was awarded Best Actress award for the Murder Mystery Company’s production of “‘Til Death Do Us Part,” an interactive dinner-theater comdedy production at which I, an audience member, was “cast” as Anita Goodman (phonetically: I need a good man) the maid of honor. A delightful time was had by all, and I got this really cool certificate as a souvenir:

My hubby Anthony (“Reginald,” father of the bride) and me as the maid of honor.

Film Reviews: House of Ghosts (2012) – By Duane L. Martin
Posted on Thursday, June 07, 2012 @ 12:18:46 Mountain Daylight Time by DuaneAn eccentric couple, Leigh (Sid Korpi) and Isaac (Mark Scanlan), give a dinner party for some friends, and they’ve hired some entertainment for the evening as well, but when a severe snow storm sets in and traps them all in the house overnight, it’s uncertain as to whether or not whether their entertainment will show up at all. Fortunately for the rest of the film, he does.

The entertainment for the evening is a medium (J. Andrew Wilkins), who brings along a device that’s supposed to open a portal between our world and the land of the dead. The guests all gather around as the machine lights up and its parts spin around inside, but when it’s all over…nothing happened. The medium tells them that he’s opened the door to the other side, now it’s up to them to walk through it. Everyone is underwhelmed to say the least, and Isaac gets his money back after threatening him with legal action for fraud, but once the medium’s gone, things start getting a little creepy. Suddenly, Isaac has a horrible headache and needs to go lay down. Then the other guests start having creepy, ghostly encounters, and people start turning up dead. Will anyone survive this ghostly evening? You’ll have to watch the film to find out.

I had to really limit myself in the description of the film so as to not give away any of the good stuff, but that’s essentially what the film is about. So how was it? Well…

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the films of Christopher R. Mihm, he makes retro style, black and white b-movies. House of Ghosts is his latest film, and it’s a new genre for him. His previous films have revolved around mutants or outer space themes, and this one takes us into the William Castle style of ghost film.

Following in that style, Christopher himself introduces the film, much like William Castle would, and talks about a fear shield that’s given to people in the theater. William Castle was a master of theater gimmicks, and this totally pays homage to the days of the theater gimmick, which is awesome.

Now we get to the film, and immediately you’ll notice several things. First, he knows how to make his films look like classic films. Everything from the set design and props to the costumes all give his films a very classic look, and this one looks absolutely wonderful. Something else you’ll notice is the great selection of music that he uses in his films. He uses various selections of music from the period, so it not only adds to the whole vibe of the film, it also makes it a more fun and enjoyable experience.

Something else that’s a lot of fun in this film are the references to various things in his previous films. They’re done in a way where it doesn’t really matter if you get the references or not, but it’s more fun if you do.

The real fun in this film though comes from the encounters with the ghosts. There’s a skeleton in a dress and a wig (one of the guest’s dead mother). Another guest sees her dead son’s ghost, only…he’s changed into something she doesn’t recognize. Yet another guest is attacked by spiders (really fun and goofy looking fake spiders). Then there’s the Angel of Death. This is far and away the most creepy and impressive looking thing I’ve seen in any of Mihm’s films, and it’s used in such a way as to maximize the creep factor.

This film, like other of Christopher’s films, include both an English and an Esperanto dialogue track, as well as subtitles in both languages. I have no idea who speaks Esperanto, but hey, if there’s someone out there who does…there ya go. In any case, I’ve never made it any secret that I think that every movie should include optional subtitles, and all of Christopher’s films do, which is awesome. What makes it even more awesome, is that they’re more than just your normal run of the mill subtitles. He really has fun with them, including adding in little descptive things like “Star Trek close-up” and various sound effect noises and reaction descriptions that are both funny and entertaining. If you watch the film without subtitles, you’re really missing a fun aspect of the experience.

From a production standpoint, Mihm’s films started out great and just keep getting better and better. There are people out there who make retro films, but they’re usually just a one off. For Christopher Mihm, that’s his thing. It’s all he does, and when you watch one of his films, you can really see the love and appreciation he has for those great old classics from the 50’s, and he has a whole lot of fun with the genre in his own films. This particular film is perfectly paced, filled with great camera shots, makes use of some cool editing and effects, and is lit perfectly. I mention the lighting, because in a film of this nature, especially in black and white, it’s easy to end up with scenes that are too dark. The whole film is lit exactly as it needs to be, and makes really great use of shadow in a very expert way in various scenes.

The DVD of this film includes several special features, including a blooper reel, the trailer, “The Real House of Ghosts” featurette, an alternate ending, which will be particuarly funny if you’ve seen his previous films and get the reference, a photo gallery, previews, and a film introduction by horror host, Dr. Ivan Cryptosis. It also includes a behind the scenes commentary with Christopher Mihm, Mitch Gonzales and Cherie “Rhuby” Gallanti, and a separate director’s commentary with Christopher Mihm.

I’ve come to expect great films from Christopher R. Mihm, and I absolutely loved this one. I highly recommend picking yourself up a copy, and while you’re at it, get yourself copies of his previous films as well. Classic b-movie fans will probably get the most enjoyment from them, but they can be enjoyed by anyone who wants to just kick back, relax and have a great time with a film.

If you’d like to find out more about this film, you can check out its page here, and while you’re there, check out his other films as well. You won’t be sorry.

 

Info 101: At the movies 168: House of Ghosts-an eerie thriller

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Minneapolis Movies Examiner

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The newest film by local director/producer/writer Christopher R. Mihm has a flaw which is not shared by any recent Hollywood production.  It’s too good.  This opinion can be twisted sideways to mean it’s not cheesy enough for someone whose reputation is built on cheesiness.  “House of Ghosts” is intended to be a tribute to the films of Willim Castle (“The House on Haunted Hill”).  It is that and more, featuring the talents of several local actors with whom Mihm has worked in previous films.

In keeping with an established ‘NO SPOILERS’ policy, the film’s outline will be very basic.  Isaac (Mark Scanlan) and Leigh (Sid Korpi) are a wealthy couple who delight in throwing parties for their circle of friends.  On this particular evening, they have contracted a spiritual medium (Andrew Wilkins).  Although this idea is scoffed at, the medium proceeds to open a portal to the afterworld.  He warns his audience that there is no way to control who-or what-comes through.  His departure is almost heralded by the arrival of a massive winter storm that prevents anyone from leaving the house.

Things take a severe left turn from there as the guests are forced to confront their own demons and mortality.  This is where Mihm’s true talent as a director takes over.  He has worked with most of these actors so often he doesn’t have to direct so much as guide.  More than any other film, Mihm allows the action to dictate the story and the cast to dictate the action.  This allows the audience to feel like they’re watching it live and in person.

That is the essencer of what makes this film “too good”.  Mihm stays faithful to all of his signatures–a personal appearance, a “Star Wars” reference, backward hints to his previous films and music that is integral to the storyline.  Time cannot move quickly enough toward next Memorial Day and the release of his next project-“The Giant Spider”.  “House of Ghosts” can be purchased on DVD at www.sainteuphoria.com.

 
Film Reviews: House of Ghosts (2012) – By Duane L. Martin
Posted on Thursday, June 07, 2012 @ 12:18:46 Mountain Daylight Time by Duane


An eccentric couple, Leigh (Sid Korpi) and Isaac (Mark Scanlan), give a dinner party for some friends, and they’ve hired some entertainment for the evening as well, but when a severe snow storm sets in and traps them all in the house overnight, it’s uncertain as to whether or not whether their entertainment will show up at all. Fortunately for the rest of the film, he does.

The entertainment for the evening is a medium (J. Andrew Wilkins), who brings along a device that’s supposed to open a portal between our world and the land of the dead. The guests all gather around as the machine lights up and its parts spin around inside, but when it’s all over…nothing happened. The medium tells them that he’s opened the door to the other side, now it’s up to them to walk through it. Everyone is underwhelmed to say the least, and Isaac gets his money back after threatening him with legal action for fraud, but once the medium’s gone, things start getting a little creepy. Suddenly, Isaac has a horrible headache and needs to go lay down. Then the other guests start having creepy, ghostly encounters, and people start turning up dead. Will anyone survive this ghostly evening? You’ll have to watch the film to find out.

I had to really limit myself in the description of the film so as to not give away any of the good stuff, but that’s essentially what the film is about. So how was it? Well…

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the films of Christopher R. Mihm, he makes retro style, black and white b-movies. House of Ghosts is his latest film, and it’s a new genre for him. His previous films have revolved around mutants or outer space themes, and this one takes us into the William Castle style of ghost film.

Following in that style, Christopher himself introduces the film, much like William Castle would, and talks about a fear shield that’s given to people in the theater. William Castle was a master of theater gimmicks, and this totally pays homage to the days of the theater gimmick, which is awesome.

Now we get to the film, and immediately you’ll notice several things. First, he knows how to make his films look like classic films. Everything from the set design and props to the costumes all give his films a very classic look, and this one looks absolutely wonderful. Something else you’ll notice is the great selection of music that he uses in his films. He uses various selections of music from the period, so it not only adds to the whole vibe of the film, it also makes it a more fun and enjoyable experience.

Something else that’s a lot of fun in this film are the references to various things in his previous films. They’re done in a way where it doesn’t really matter if you get the references or not, but it’s more fun if you do.

The real fun in this film though comes from the encounters with the ghosts. There’s a skeleton in a dress and a wig (one of the guest’s dead mother). Another guest sees her dead son’s ghost, only…he’s changed into something she doesn’t recognize. Yet another guest is attacked by spiders (really fun and goofy looking fake spiders). Then there’s the Angel of Death. This is far and away the most creepy and impressive looking thing I’ve seen in any of Mihm’s films, and it’s used in such a way as to maximize the creep factor.

This film, like other of Christopher’s films, include both an English and an Esperanto dialogue track, as well as subtitles in both languages. I have no idea who speaks Esperanto, but hey, if there’s someone out there who does…there ya go. In any case, I’ve never made it any secret that I think that every movie should include optional subtitles, and all of Christopher’s films do, which is awesome. What makes it even more awesome, is that they’re more than just your normal run of the mill subtitles. He really has fun with them, including adding in little descptive things like “Star Trek close-up” and various sound effect noises and reaction descriptions that are both funny and entertaining. If you watch the film without subtitles, you’re really missing a fun aspect of the experience.

From a production standpoint, Mihm’s films started out great and just keep getting better and better. There are people out there who make retro films, but they’re usually just a one off. For Christopher Mihm, that’s his thing. It’s all he does, and when you watch one of his films, you can really see the love and appreciation he has for those great old classics from the 50’s, and he has a whole lot of fun with the genre in his own films. This particular film is perfectly paced, filled with great camera shots, makes use of some cool editing and effects, and is lit perfectly. I mention the lighting, because in a film of this nature, especially in black and white, it’s easy to end up with scenes that are too dark. The whole film is lit exactly as it needs to be, and makes really great use of shadow in a very expert way in various scenes.

The DVD of this film includes several special features, including a blooper reel, the trailer, “The Real House of Ghosts” featurette, an alternate ending, which will be particuarly funny if you’ve seen his previous films and get the reference, a photo gallery, previews, and a film introduction by horror host, Dr. Ivan Cryptosis. It also includes a behind the scenes commentary with Christopher Mihm, Mitch Gonzales and Cherie “Rhuby” Gallanti, and a separate director’s commentary with Christopher Mihm.

I’ve come to expect great films from Christopher R. Mihm, and I absolutely loved this one. I highly recommend picking yourself up a copy, and while you’re at it, get yourself copies of his previous films as well. Classic b-movie fans will probably get the most enjoyment from them, but they can be enjoyed by anyone who wants to just kick back, relax and have a great time with a film.

If you’d like to find out more about this film, you can check out its page here, and while you’re there, check out his other films as well. You won’t be sorry.


Thursday, June 07, 2012 @ 12:18:46 Mountain Daylight Time Film Review

Re: House of Ghosts!
At last! Today is the release date of House of Ghosts, the latest independent film by Chris Mihm. As many of you know, Chris has been producing these movies, which are loving homages to the B-Movies of the 50s, for several years and has been quite successful at it. He routinely racks up awards and the movies are frequently shown at film festivals, conventions and drive-ins all over the country and the world. He is an inspiration to all us independent creators out here in Internet-land.

This latest movie is a bit different from its predecessors, which all focused on the monster or sci-fi genres. This one is an homage to William Castle, master of the cinematic gimmick. My copy has been pre-ordered for a while, so I hope to have it by the long weekend. I’ll post a detailed review here as soon as I watch it.

____________________________________________________

Well, this thread sure got a lot of attention.

Okay, I have now seen House Of Ghosts and it has exceeded my expectations. Which is pretty amazing, because I had very high expectations. At this point, I’ve gotten used to them exceeding my expectations, but even when I allow for that, they still exceed my expectations.

This one, as I said, is an homage to the works of William Castle, and it is a labor of love for all concerned. Mihm does not produce parodies (like, for example, Larry Blamire [whose movies I love]), but fond pastiches of the old B-Movies that we remember from the Drive-Ins and Creature Double Features of our youth. Our younger youth. Whatever. His films are done for pocket money, but look like they cost the mortgage and are far more entertaining than studio efforts that cost hundreds of millions. They are like homemade cookies. They’re just better than store bought.

And the main reason this movie, like all the others, is so great– even beyond the lovingly recreated ambiance of 50s low-budget cinema– is that Mihm respects his characters. You’ll watch and smile at the nostalgia and the stylized storytelling, you’ll even be creeped out from time to time– and then, out of nowhere, you’ll be blindsided by moments of genuine sentiment, such as when you realize why one character is drinking herself to death or when you see how much another character cares for her pet. And there’s one relationship in the film that, in the context of a 50s horror movie, is just wonderful.

All of Mihm’s movies take place in the same universe and this one has a surprisingly strong tie to his first movie. And they are all made with the same integrity and respect for characters, and I recommend that you get them all. I strongly believe in supporting independent creators and nobody I’ve met to date deserves that support more than Chris Mihm.

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Please stop by my Gallery and YouTube Page for a visit. And read Trunkards!

House of Ghosts

by Tom Fowler on Sunday, May 27, 2012 at 8:52am ·

House of Ghosts is a great little homage to William Castle produced by Christopher and Stephanie Mihm of Minneapolis, Minnesota. The DVD is a delight. Besides the feature film, which borrowed heavily from the 1959 version of House on Haunted Hill, (which most of my friends and fans know is my all-time favorite film of any genre), the DVD contains a number of special features, including a tour of the home the story was filmed in. After a William Castle like prologue from Mr. Mihm, warning of the risk the viewer incurs when viewing such a frightening film, the story begins when several friends gather in a very atmospheric old house and a spiritual medium is hired to provide the evening’s entertainment. The partyers are quite disappointed when nothing happens during the séance. But, soon they experience more than their money’s worth when strange things begin to happen. House of Ghosts is part House on Haunted Hill, part Night of the Living Dead and all parts fun. A twist ending of sorts pays homage to the science fiction films of the 1950s.

More on House of Ghosts is available at www.houseofghosts.com The DVD includes something I have needed for many years. The Fear Shield  has already proved to be invaluable in protecting me from excessive fright when viewing horror and science fiction films. I am certain this free gift from Mr. Mihm will add 5-10 years to my life expectancy.

I first became aware of Christopher Mihm’s work through his advertisements in Scary Monsters magazine. Needless to say, he has a new fan. Great old school stuff for 62 year old kids like me!

Oh, did I mention House of Ghosts is filmed in glorious black and white? However, the tour of the wonderful old Victorian house, built in 1886 and owned by two of the actors in the movie, Sid Korpi and Anthony Kaczor, is beautifully done in color.

Order your tickets TODAY!!

Christopher R. Mihm’s latest B&W 1950s-drive-in-style B-movie, “House of Ghosts” will premiere at the historic Heights Theatre on May 23, 2012. This spooky film and the sure-to-be-remembered event itself are homages to the films of William Castle
House of Ghosts

PRLog (Press Release)Feb 22, 2012
In a singular event designed to re-create the once-thought-extinct cinematic experience of the 1950s, Christopher R. Mihm’s latest B&W 1950s-drive-in-style B-movie, “House of Ghosts” will premiere at the historic Heights Theatre on May 23, 2012, at 6:30 p.m. This film and the sure-to-be-remembered event itself are homages to the films of William Castle (“The Tingler,” “House on Haunted Hill”).

For only $10 (each), you can be guaranteed to be one of the first to see what is being billed as the spookiest Mihmiverse film yet!

Premiere attendees will enjoy a program complete with hand-picked, era-appropriate newsreels, classic trailers, appearances by most (if not all) of the cast and crew, free cake, autographs and photos with a ghost or two from the film (don’t forget to bring your camera), a merchandise raffle and organ music from the “WCCO Mighty Wurlitzer!” AND, with this being a tribute to the films of William Castle, you can expect some “otherworldly” shenanigans that will ONLY happen at this event! DVDs, posters and other merchandise will also be on sale!

Advance ticket holders will receive an individually numbered collector’s ticket (while supplies last) and, as in years past, an exclusive collector’s item (TBD)!

For more information and to order your advance tickets, visit the events section of the merchandise page at http://www.sainteuphoria.com! Last year’s “Attack of the Moon Zombies” premiere completely sold out and, with interest in “House of Ghosts” EXTREMELY HIGH, we expect this event to sell out as well. The premiere is open to the public, so the ONLY WAY to ensure admittance is to purchase an advance ticket RIGHT NOW!

ALSO, the official poster for “House of Ghosts” has arrived! Pictured here, the poster was designed by writer/director Christopher R. Mihm and is instantly reminiscent of classic haunted house films like “Terror in the Haunted House,” “The Amityville Horror” and, appropriately, William Castle’s original “House on Haunted Hill.”

We’re told the poster will be available for purchase soon. Stay tuned…

Hi, Today only, Halloween, you can view this scene from “House of Ghosts,” the Christopher R. Mihm movie that’s being filmed in our house. This scene stars Catherine Hanson and some otherworldly beings who shall remain nameless for the moment. This B&W 1950s-style B-movie is a loving homage to the works of director William Castle (of “The Tingler” and “House on Haunted Hill” w/Vincent Price fame).

Want to become an associate producer of an honest-to-goodness movie for next to nothing? Filmmaker Christopher R. Mihm, of “Attack of the Moon Zombies” fame offers associate producer-ships for his upcoming sure-fire B-movie hit, “House of Ghosts,” for a mere $50 investment. For that amount, you get two commemorative tickets to the premiere, five copies of the DVDs AND your name up on the silver screen for all time! You actually end up making money as soon as you invest because that package is worth at least $70! Go to www.sainteuphoria.com to sign up today.

But if $50 is a bit steep for your budget these days and you still wish to help Mihm make his seventh B&W ’50s-drive-in-style movie, you can invest as little as a dollar at this site, set up on Mihm’s behalf by producer Rylan Bachman: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1083936700/house-of-ghosts-a-retro-science-fiction-horror-fil. The more you can donate, the bigger and better your material rewards. A minimum of $333 is needed by September to put through the funding, and the pledges so far have accumulated almost half that. Spread the word and help get this project underway.

A synopsis of “House of Ghosts”

With “House of Ghosts,” his first supernatural thriller and seventh movie, writer/director Christopher R. Mihm pays tribute to the works of the master of classic horror, William Castle! Rich socialites Isaac and Leigh have a tradition of throwing exclusive dinner parties that include unique (and expensive) forms of entertainment. This time, they’ve booked a spiritual medium who promises to “open a portal to the great beyond” and allow the couple’s equally eccentric guests to contact the “afterworld.” But, before he begins his presentation, the occultist offers a warning: once the door has been opened, no human being can anticipate or control what might come through. Regardless, the group collectively agrees to go forward, only to find itself greatly disappointed by the results… at first. Trapped in the couple’s oversized house by a massive winter storm, the partygoers begin to experience unexplainable and increasingly frightening things. As these occurrences intensify, it becomes apparent that something evil is at work. Can the group survive the night or will ignoring the medium’s warning be the last thing they ever do?

NOTE: All of my dogs have been associate producers of Mihm movies in the past, and my cat, Giles and Xander, are slated to associate produce this latest awesome flick. (“House of Ghosts” will begin filming in MY house this August and will feature not only my husband and me, but our Westies, in pivotal roles!)

To get a feel for this cheesy, campy, hilarious genre, check out this trailer of “Attack of the Moon Zombies”

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