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The Castle of Dr. FettersteinHouse of Forbidden Secrets: Tampa Premiere
POSTED BY JASON FETTERS, February 25, 2014    Share

I first met Todd Sheets back when I was in middle school at Antioch in Gladstone, MO, a suburb of Kansas City. A good friend of mine and great artist, Daran Holt, introduced us and right off the bat, Todd became one of my good friends based on our mutual love of Iron Maiden. When other people would make fun of me because I wasnít listening to Motley Crue or Poison or any other crap hair metal band from the 80ís, Todd was the first dude who was totally into Iron Maiden fandom as much as I was. We are still Maiden fans today.

Thatís not all we were both Horror Movie junkies. I was raised on a steady diet of movies that played on Creature Feature, Lovecraft short stories, and anything related to werewolves. Todd was a true werewolf and horror movie fan and one of the few people Iíve met through the years who has a genuine love and respect for the horror genre that the average person just doesnít.

Daran got me away from the old 30ís through 50ís classic movies that I loved like Frankenstein and Dracula and he introduced me to Friday the 13th, Halloween, and 80ís slasher movies.

Todd Sheets was the guy who first showed me Dario Argentoís Suspiria and Clive Barkerís Hellraiser and Iíve never been the same since. Hellraiser caused a few nightmares and sleepless nights but I was young and recovered quicklyÖor did I?

Anyway, Todd, Daran, and a couple of others got together to make short indies horror movies on a zero budget that ranged from zombie movies to our homage to Creepshow called Shadows.
Then I moved back to Tampa and away from Kansas City. Todd continued to make great movies like his Zombie Bloodbath trilogy and Violent New Breed.

Fast forward 25-years and I had a big reunion with Todd, meeting up at the Barnes and Noble on N. Dale Mabry. Then we took a quick ride to Movie Stop to geek out on Horror movies on Blu-ray like Maniac Cop, Dracula: Prince of Darkness, Torso, and Fulciís New York Ripper.
Next, was a stop to Sound Exchange near USF for more hunting for horror movies and to spend quality time discussing favorite metal albums. Todd recommended a CD that contained two Loudness albums with the original Japanese singer. Loudness lost their touch when they foolishly hired an American lead singer. Lovers of guitar shred will love Akira Takasakiís playing.

Anyway, we arrived at the Tampa Pitcher Show and following an interesting Mexican meal at Vallartas, where the waiter forgot one of my tacos, it is was back to the theater to get ready for the 10:30pm showing of Toddís latest movie, House of Forbidden Secrets.
Right before the start time, I had a great conversation with Todd and was amazed to learn that he spent time with three of my heroes. He got to meet George Romero, screened a movie with Lucio Fulci who provided stories the whole time, and got to visit the house of the premiere horror critic, Chas Balun, editor of the Deep Red fanzine and numerous horror film books.

Soon after that we were greeted by Joel Wynkoop, one of the greatest horror actors in the Tampa Bay area. Joel was very funny.

We all stepped inside the Tampa Pitcher Show and I got to meet the owners. Todd explained that he was showing his latest movie for free to raise funds to help the owners pay for a video decoder. The owners were forced to go digital which is a shame to a guy like me who loves watching movies on 35mm and knowing if the film breaks, a good projectionist will be able to use scissors and tape to get it back up and running. Digital is too pristine and takes away from the grindhouse experience and it has no real character.

I introduced Todd to several of my friends including Terence, Irma, Joseph, and Kiyomi and it was so great that everyone decided to stop by.

Then we walked into the theater and sat down. Joel sang one of the songs from The Rocky Horror Picture Show and he sang it beautifully.
Todd introduced himself and then the movie started.

I remember how cheesy our short movies back in the 80ís had been so I wasnít expecting much. Boy was I wrong. This was a giant leap forward from Shadows and Blood of the Undead and it was even better than the beloved Zombie Bloodbath series. Todd keeps on learning from each film that he makes and it really does show. Especially if you have followed Sheets career as long as I have.

House of Forbidden Secrets begins with Jacob Hunt, a newly hired security officer at the ShadowView Manor. After being shown around, he is reluctant but is talked into participating in a sťance. Then his life changes.

Terrible creatures are roaming the halls of ShadowView Manor and it is anyoneís guess how to escape. The Manor has a horrible past that continues to plague the present. Will anyone survive the raging beasts that crave human flesh and blood? You will just have to watch House of Forbidden Secrets to find out. Iím not spoiling anything here.

I will say that Todd is a master of creating eerie atmospheres and building scenes drenched in tension and suspense. Also, his filming of the past is excellently done with a strange hue that separates the past from the present so the viewer is at no time confused between different time periods.

House of Forbidden Secrets is definitely worth your time and hard earned money. It will soon be available on DVD and Blu-ray.

If you missed seeing it, then by all means on any given Friday or Saturday night, if you happen to be in Tampa, drop by the Tampa Pitcher Show for weekly screenings of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Florida Underground Wrestling, Improv Comedy, Zombie makeup photo shoots, and my personal favorite, Cult Movies. Donít give in to the mega cineplexes that are overcharging you to see watered down Hollywood overhyped crap that isnít fit for human viewing. Take a chance on the Mom and Pop theaters that show you movies that you will fall in love with. The Tampa Pitcher Show is one of the few grindhouses left in the US that isnít afraid to show the good stuff and the only place that captures that good old fashioned grindhouse experience that made the 70ís so cool. I would hate to see them close their doors and be forced to watch the latest big budget dud. With that said, I know where Iíll be going to view my movies on any given Friday and Saturday nights.

My dream is to bring together my buddies from Kansas City like Shawn Hollis, Chris Rice, Daran Holt, and Todd and to get together in Tampa and do what we were all put on this earth to do, create a kiss ass horror movie and go back to the old days one more time. Iím already writing this script.

"The Castle of Dr. Fetterstein" is ©2014 by Jason Fetters. All contents of Crazed Fanboy are ©2014 by Nolan B. Canova and Terence Nuzum.

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