James J. Coker – Founder and Lead Content Writer
James J. Coker is a California native, a life long horror fan and an independent filmmaker, screenwriter and actor. There are four moments in his life that he credits as his gateway into the world of horror: First one is ample showings of “Tales from the Crypt” starting at the age of 5; Second is his Playskool “Big Frank” Frankenstein doll he had as a child; Third is his first viewing of the Universal monster classic “Creature from the Black Lagoon,” which inspired him to be a filmmaker; Last one is his father renting him countless ‘80s horror films on video tape starting at the age of 10.
His first feature as a director is the anthology horror film “Dsymorphia,” which he wrote and produced as well. It is set for release sometime in May. James also wrote, directed and acted in an episode of the web series “Oh, We Review!” He also acted in the feature films “Don’t Touch That Dial” and “Sadistic Eroticism.”
James loves to discuss horror films, particularly ones people may not be familiar with. This passion inspired him to create Hidden Horrors You Must See as a forum where he and fellow horror freaks can discuss and recommend the movies they love to fellow horror fans.
Some of his favorite filmmakers include Lucio Fulci, Dario Argento, Clive Barker, David Cronenberg and John Carpenter.
Justin Widerski- Editor/Contributing Writer
Justin Widerski is a time-traveling alien ginger with a penchant for sarcasm and a weakness for muffins. Into comics, horror, anime, video games, Star Trek, Doctor Who, etc… Justin is a jack of all trades when it comes to geek fandoms, but a master of none. He started doing film reviews as a way to appease the voices in his head, but after getting proper medication he just does them for fun and in the pitiful hopes of doing it professionally. Justin’s dabbled in podcasting, with a total 2 1/2 failed shows and used to be creative director on a local cable program called YRU-Up. He currently studies Film/TV at *redacted* and while not working for Hidden Horrors he is also the editor of Geek Juice News at Geek Juice Media.
Sterling “The Spork Guy” Anno- Contributing Writer
Born in Fullerton, CA and having inhabited every county neighboring it at one point in time, Sterling is a Southern Californian gypsy on a personal mission to challenge what the generalized definition of “Art” encompasses. An underground filmmaker, illustrator, film festival organizer, and music promoter; Sterling considers himself to be anything but an artist.
Sterling is currently Manager of Operations for the Oceanside International Film Festival and has a hand in aiding other quiet voices in the cinema world find their audience. He has had a stake in honoring various influential entities with lifetime achievement awards such as; animator Everett Peck, nonfiction filmmaker Jeffrey Durkin and iconic voice actor Jon St. John. Besides working for OIFF, Sterling has also lent his abilities to the Temecula Valley Film and Music Festival as well as Spike and Mike’s Sick and Twisted Festival of Animation.
A long time obsessor over low(er) budget entries into the genres of horror, experimental, and trash cinema, he far from unaccustomed to the ideas of hidden gems in the land of celluloid. This enthusiasm spans beyond yet includes the filmographies of Gaspar Noe, Ishiru Honda, Shinya Tsukamoto, Kenneth Anger, Harmony Korine and of course the great Lloyd Kaufman.
Dakota Bailey- Contributing Writer
Dakota Bailey is a life-long horror fan, a metalhead and an aspiring filmmaker. At the age of five he first saw the Universal Monster movies and that started his life long fascination with horror. Some of his favorite films include “Zombie,” “The Evil Dead,” “The House with Laughing Windows,” “Curse of the Demon,” “Nekromantik” and many many more.
He also loves heavy metal music, the more heavier the better. Some of his favorite bands include Slayer, Pantera and Venom.
Currently Dakota is writing a feature film that he will direct and star in. He hopes to have the film out on DVD sometime in the near future.
He lives in Denver, Colorado and previously wrote movie reviews for the Denver Public Library. When not watching horror movies he helps run an appliance store, where he is also the delivery man, with his father.
Matthew McPhee is an award-winning videographer, journalist, photographer and aspiring filmmaker currently living in the Greater Toronto Area. When he’s not busy producing media, Matthew can be found sitting in the dark watching the latest-praised horror blockbusters, silent classics, creature-features, cult classics, b-horrors, foreign films, exploitation, and anything in between, which makes him a great fit for Hidden Horrors You Must See.
Matthew grew up in the village of Brooklin, Ontario, and developed a love for horror from watching televised late-night silver screen classics via antenna transmissions, borrowing his older siblings’ R-rated VHS copies of then modern horror, or renting B-horror flicks from the local video store, the Video Image.
His writing experience spans over several years, through websites, blogs and publications, from reporting and photographing for his school paper, The Durham College Chronicle, to writing as a film critic for Indie Mind TV, reporting and photographing for Downtown Oshawa News, and acting as International Managing Editor for Bubble Blabber.
Matthew is currently contributing to Hidden Horrors You Must See, and most recently, writing for the popular horror film site Horror-Movies.ca.
Matthew also has a few short films under his belt, including an adaptation of the “killer in the window” urban legend Devil’s Night, an original ghost story called Housegeist, and the Ugly Horse band documentary, Domesticated Horses.
He is currently in preproduction of an apocalyptic psychological thriller called Forgotten Nature, described as “David Cronenberg meets George Romero” and currently in development of the first werewolf film with puppets called Infinite Phases.
When Matthew is not writing horror reviews and screenplays, he’s usually writing on his twitter feed.
His favorite popular horror films are Halloween (1978), Evil Dead (1981), The Exorcist, Alien, The Blair Witch Project, and most recently, V/H/S and V/H/S/2. His favorite hidden horrors are, well, stay tuned!
Ryan Laskodi is an award-winning journalist, freelance writer, editor, media critic and social media expert based out of Santa Fe Springs, California.
His experience with horror films is quite different than most. For many years Ryan dismissed the horror genre as cheap entertainment and had no interest in it. However that changed when he watched Cinemassacre’s Monster Madness, a horror movie review series created by internet personality James Rolfe. To hear James speak so passionately about horror convinced him that there was something to this genre he was missing.
At the recommendation of James Rolfe, Ryan watched “The Evil Dead” and that forever changed his opinion on horror. That movie taught him that horror can be as creative and fun as any other genre. Now, Ryan is an unapologetic fan of horror films.
Some of Ryan’s favorite horror films include: The Evil Dead Trilogy, Bubba Ho-Tep, Fright Night, Most of George Romero’s filmography, Re-Animator, From Dusk ‘Til Dawn, The Dr. Phibes Movies, Shaun of the Dead, Halloween III: Season of the Witch, Maniac Cop 2 & 3, Hatchet, Dead Alive, Bad Taste, Universal Monster Movies, movies Troma puts out and much much more. As a critic he enjoys all types of films and is willing to give anything a shot.