Wednesday, November 27, 2013

LEVIATHAN: THE STORY OF HELLRAISER & HELLBOUND: HELLRAISER 2 Is Underway!

 
I remember a huge turning point for me, when I went from being scared stiff to absolutely entranced by horror movies, was when I began to have this unexplainable feeling and desire to learn everything I could about the horror movies that I was beginning to love, as opposed to despise. I spent hours watching the special features and documentaries on films like The Omen and The Exorcist, and I can safely say that this is something that has never really changed with me. I still spend hours watching YouTube videos of behind the scenes footage, make up tests, camera tests, anything I can feast my eyes on. 


I was very excited to hear about this, K. John McDonagh has begun production on what will be the most in depth and prolific Hellraiser documentary ever released. Entitled Leviathan: The Story of Hellraiser & Hellbound: Hellraiser 2, the documentary will take you behind the scenes of the two greatest films of the franchise (as well as two of the greatest films in horror history) by bringing back key members of the cast and crew for interviews and stories. Simon Bamford, Barbie Wilde, Nicholas Vince, Oliver Parker, Christopher Figg, Geoff Portass, Roy Pudefoot, Cliff Wallace, Mark Coulier, John Midgley, and many more are set to make appearances. 



Leviathan: The Story of Hellraiser and Hellbound: Hellraiser II is a feature length documentary uncovering the history, making of and unknown details of the making of Clive Barker’s Hellraiser and Hellbound: Hellraiser II films.



With interviews and testimonies from those most closely involved, we hope to bring a comprehensive insight to these classic cult films.

Following the story of the films from their inception through production to release and the their subsequent lives and growing fan base, we aim to show fans and those less familiar with the films both the technical skills, the creative idea, the symbolism and the legacy of these movies.

Delving deep into the director’s vision and ambitions for the project we’ll be exploring where he came from, where his career had taken him and the inspiration for the story and world he created. We’ll be telling the story of his journey of making them and how close they came to his vision at the time and how he feels about them over 25 years later.


I'm surprised to see that Doug Bradley's name has not been attached yet, but I feel that it's pretty safe to say that we will see the man himself sharing plenty of stories from behind the pins. I can't wait to see how this comes along, and you too can keep up with the news at the film's website and Facebook page

HELLBENDERS Finally Receives Release Date! Blu-Ray and DVD on February 18th!


I love, love, love me a good horror/comedy. A lot of people hate them, but there's something special about laughing your ass off while people are mercilessly butchered that just warms the heart. If you've seen Tucker & Dale vs. Evil or The Cabin in the Woods then you can probably relate to what I'm saying, as I don't know anybody who disliked either of those films. 


You've probably seen me mention this one on here before, I have been very excited to get my hands on this one (same with Bad Milo, however I've been too lazy to rent the damn thing from Amazon), but Hellbenders is coming to 3D Blu-Ray and HD DVD on February 18th, 2014! I have loved everything I've seen about this movie thus far, it looks like an amazing mix between Bad Santa and The Exorcist



Directed by J.T. Petty and starring Clifton Collins Jr. (Pacific Rim), Clancy Brown (Cowboys and Aliens) and Andre Royo (HBO’s “The Wire”): “There are demons so terrible that no mortal man of God could successfully drive them back to Hell. The only option is for the exorcist himself to invite possession and then commit suicide, dragging along the demon to damnation – so the Augustine Interfaith Order of Hellbound Saints – or Hellbenders – was formed. A group of elite, highly-trained exorcists, they live in a constant state of debauchery so they will be ready to go to Hell at any moment. When an infernal Norse demon called BLACK SURTR escapes into New York City intent on cracking open the gates of Hell, the Hellbenders must use every ounce of their debauchery to battle the demon and save the planet from eternal damnation!


Jason Voorhees - Back From The Dead Again? New Reboot Coming in 2015


This news can be looked at in a variety of ways, but whichever way you look at it, it's happening. Paramount Pictures has announced yet another reboot to the infamous Friday the 13th franchise, slated for release on March 13, 2015 (the first Friday the 13th of 2015). 


Jason was last seen on the big screen in Marcus Nispel's reboot in 2009. While the critics largely lauded it (then again, who cares what they say), it still scraped in over $90 million world wide. While there is very little known about this new addition, what we do know is that it is not a sequel to the reboot but another reboot itself, and that Paramount is tossing around the idea of a found footage concept for the film. 



As always, we are stuck in the "wait and see" game. 


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Romero's DAY OF THE DEAD Gets Re-remade With The Help of Mark Tonderai



Well, remakes are not exactly the most uncommon thing in the world of horror, however, remakes of remakes, now that's... new? Some of you might remember back in 2008 when Millenium released the Steve Miner directed attempt at Romero's eponymous Day of the Dead (read my review of Romero's classic here). It didn't exactly go over so well. So I guess Millenium wants to take another stab at the film, as they've announced the green light on yet another attempt at remaking the film, this time with House at the End of the Street director Mark Tonderai. 


To be honest? This news is so subpar, I might just be lulled off to sleep by it. Mark Tonderai has done little to really contribute (or even come close to making his mark) in the world of horror, so to be taking on a film like this is quite the feat. His one film, House at the End of the Street is mediocre at best and I'm saying that while putting general dislike for Jennifer Lawrence aside. 



So, will Bub rise again? What are your thoughts on this? Mine are very mixed, as Day is literally one of the three or four zombie movies that I actually like.



Monday, November 25, 2013

10 Facts You May Not Have Known About THE SHINING



Back on October 30th, I had the opportunity to see my personal favorite film on the big screen for the first time, and what an experience it was. To experience The Exorcist in that fashion was a beautiful experience, but The Shining… that was borderline religious. I spent All Hallows Eve with a packed house of eager faced people, some who had never seen the film, others just as big a fan as I am, and the Torrance family. It could not have been more perfect. 

I had yet to see it in this format, it’s true format, and after seeing The Exorcist, I couldn’t wait. In honor of that, let’s take a look at the iconic film by Stanley Kubrick and some facts about the film that may surprise you.

Now, I’ve been wanting to write a series about King for a while. I’m sure a few of you may remember me discussing this a while back, but it’s been a daunting task. I mean, I have so many thoughts about his work, that’s it’s hard to express in a length that would be tolerable to read. You can absolutely expect a very in depth analysis of this film in the future, but for now, let’s celebrate it with this list of facts and trivia about the 1980 classic.


 1. Stephen King Hates Kubrick’s Film


Stephen King, who wrote the book in 1978, has gone on the record stating that his views on Kubrick’s adaptation of his beloved novel are far from favorable. This has been no secret, however he has continued through the years to state his distaste, even going on to call it a misogynistic film as recent as this past September. If you’ve read the book, you will understand why King feels this way (in addition to the fact that Kubrick either ignored or blatantly cut out pretty much all of King’s creative notes). It really is a piss-poor adaptation of the book; the film strips the story of almost all psychological terror, in favor of a more “horror-movie” based, psychotic terror. It’s a good thing that Kubrick still created such a vibrant and beautiful piece of art with his film, otherwise this article would be taking on a very different tone. 

King went on to create his own mini-series in the mid-90’s, which most people hate, however I find it to be enjoyable on the level that it is quite accurate to the book. If you want accuracy in your adaptations, go for the mini-series. 
 
2. There Is No Overlook Hotel


As obvious as this one should seem, I’m including because it seems that the general belief is that The Shining was filmed at an actual hotel. Some say it’s in Colorado, others say it’s in Oregon, and while they’re not completely wrong, they’re not completely right either. 

The infamous Overlook Hotel was inspired by The Stanley Hotel, in Estes Park, CO, which is where Stephen King and his wife vacationed when he came up with, as he calls it, “the bones of the book” in his mind. For the film however, the opening shot (the infamous aerial shot of The Overlook Hotel) is none other than The Timberline Lodge, which is located in Oregon. There is no hedge maze at the Timberline, so that explains the mysterious absence of the maze. The rest of the film though was shot on soundstages at EMI Elstree Studios in Hertfordshire, England. It was at the time the largest set built, including the entire exterior of the hotel, the hedge maze, and all interiors which were modeled after several hotels in America. 

3. Stanley Kubrick Literally Drove His Cast to Tears


Kubrick is known for being a meticulous director, so much so that The Shining is in the Guinness Book of World Records as having the most takes done for one scene (which included Shelley Duvall). He developed certain relationships with certain characters, believing that the way he treated them would affect their performance on screen, thus he had a cold and calloused relationship with Duvall (to foster her fear and anxiety on screen), while he treated Danny Lloyd (Danny Torrance) as his own son, often sheltering him from the violence and keeping the fact that they were making a horror film a secret. Kubrick’s manic tendencies got to a point that while they were filming a scene in Dick Halloran’s bedroom (where he receives Danny’s telepathic SOS), Scatman Crothers was brought to tears by the sheer amount of takes that they were doing. It was then that Jack Nicholson decided he would never work with Kubrick again.

4. Danny Lloyd Was Not Aware That The Shining Was A Horror Film Until His Late Teens


We all know Danny Lloyd as the sweet faced, mop topped Danny Torrance, the kid with the worst luck west of the Mississippi. Plucked from auditions by Kubrick, he was given special attention throughout the duration of the shoot, with the cast and crew all playing with him, nurturing him and shielding him from the horrors that were going on all around them. They were obviously quite successful, because it wasn’t until Lloyd was 16 and he watched the film with friends did he realize that he was not in some run-of-the-mill drama film, but one of the most iconic and classic horror films of all time. 

Lloyd now lives life as a pig farmer and high school teacher, but is open to the idea of revisiting the world of The Shining in a cameo if Doctor Sleep ever makes it to the big screen.

5. Jack’s Manuscript Was Changed to Fit Each Language the Film Was Shown In


“All work and no play, makes Jack a dull boy,” is such a common place term to us, but it would be strange to someone from, say Germany or France. Kubrick realized while filming that audiences in foreign countries would not understand the American idiom, so he filmed the iconic scene with Wendy discovering Jack’s work using drafts in several different languages. Here’s a rundown of the languages and translations that he used:


German: “Never put off ‘til tomorrow what may be done today”
Italian: “The morning has gold in its mouth”
French: “One ‘here you go’ is worth more than two ‘you’ll have its’”
Spanish: “No matter how early you get up, you can’t make the sun rise any sooner”

6. The Infamous Elevator Shot Took Over a Year of Continuous Takes to Get Right


Kubrick, in true perfectionist fashion, was extremely picky about this scene and this is definitely what caused the shoot to last over a year. The infamous shot of the tidal wave of blood pouring out of the elevator took over a year to shoot, simply because Kubrick was not satisfied with the way the blood looked. It would take 9 days to reset for the shoot, and it would be shot again, only for Kubrick to say “It doesn’t look enough like blood”. This was not the only scene like this, it took about 60 takes to get the shot of the tennis ball rolling into Danny’s toys just right. 

7. “You’ve always been the caretaker here.”   
  

The Shining has one of the most talked about endings of all time, with the photo of Jack fronting the group photo at the July 4th Ball in 1921.This was not a photo that was taken using extras though, it was an actual photo from 1921, with Jack Nicholson’s upper torso airbrushed into the photo by hand. What is written on the piece of paper that he is holding in his right hand has been speculated about for years. Not to mention the mere fact that he is in the photo himself. Has Jack always been a part of The Overlook? Was his whole life just a dream that he awoke from when he returned to The Overlook? It is one of the most theorized endings of any horror movie ever. 

8. The Shining Was The Only Kubrick Film (Of His Last 9) Not Nominated for an Oscar, But Was Nominated for 2 Razzies


The Razzies, short for the Golden Raspberry Awards, are awards presented in recognition of the worst in film. It’s no surprise that Shelley Duvall was nominated for “worst actress” but Kubrick too was nominated for “worst director”. They both “lost”. 

9. C-3PO Claims Danny to Have Followed in His Footsteps


Anthony Daniels, the lengthy individual who played C-3PO in the Star Wars franchise has a few stories of his own about visiting the set. The Empire Strikes Back was filming at Elstree studios and his dressing room was across the hall from the soundstages that housed the hedge maze. In an interview he talks about paying a visit to the set and went on to say that the ambience of the environment was very sinister, “especially because the whole place was draped in silent snow.” After walking around the hedge maze, he discovered that he was leaving foot prints in the freshly lain styrofoam/salt snow, so he retraced his steps and coyly takes credit for giving the idea to Kubrick to have Danny do the same in the heart attack inducing climax of the film. 

10. There Is An “Original Ending” That Was Shot and Later Cut From The Film


When the film was initially released in the summer of 1980, it played in select theaters across the nation before receiving a national roll out. During this limited screening, there was an alternate ending that showed Danny and Wendy recovering in a hospital after the traumatizing experience at The Overlook. Kubrick ultimately decided to cut it, but not soon enough before it was seen by a few audiences. Kubrick originally felt that at the end of a horror film, the audience needed to feel like things went back to normal and be reassured that Danny and Wendy would be alright. I am not sure why Kubrick ultimately decided to cut the scene, there are several conflicting stories, but it is uncertain as to whether or not that scene will ever be seen by the public. He supposedly had all copies of it (except for one) destroyed. You can read some scans of the script, which seemed like it would have made one hell of a scene. Even audience members who happened to catch a screening with the original ending don’t remember much about it, so that just leaves us fanatics with plenty of things to speculate about (as if we didn’t already have enough). 

Pages from the script can be seen below:


Seeing this film on the big screen, in such a grandiose fashion, was something that I will not soon forget. It was a beautiful reminder of what an amazing and awe inspiring film this is. To see the fear that was instilled in this audience of wide eyed faces, staring up at a screen in silent anticipation… that is the true magic of horror. Reminders like that are very nice every once in a while, especially when watching a scary movie is a daily occurrence for you, as opposed to an occasional treat.

For now, that is all. Expect more fun articles in the future!

Keep it spooky,
Rg Lovecraft

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Jeepers Creepers 3 Moves Forward! Will Creature Features Find Their Way Back to the Big Screen?


So, in the past few weeks since I've been gone there has been a flurry of news surrounding several different huge announcements. This is one of them. A couple weeks ago, rumors started making the rounds that there would be a third installment in the Jeepers Creepers franchise. I am all about this. Jeepers Creepers is a fun, creature feature inspired flick that has all the chills of a classic monster movie with the gritty, grotesque aesthetic of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre

Last week, STYD announced that there were some rumblings coming from the Victor Salva camp, who directed the first 2 films, claiming that a third film could be going before the cameras soon. Now, Bloody-Disgusting is stating that it is in fact happening, we'll see returning cast as well! 


Ray Wise is set to return, in addition to The Creeper himself (Jonathan Breck) and Gina Harris.


While it's shocking that such a distant franchise is being rebooted, I can't say that I'm not excited. I liked the first two, and I feel that they're largely overlooked as solid horror flicks.

- Rg Lovecraft

Bill Moseley is Slashing His Way Back Into the Spotlight in "The Summer I Died"



Bill Moseley. We all love him. From Choptop to Otis Driftwood, the man is a horror visionary and an absolute favorite of mine. While he hasn't done too much lately (aside from the ill-fated Manson Girls), word has just broke that he has been signed on in the lead role of Riothouse Entertainment's adaptation of Ryan C. Thomas' novel The Summer I Died


Moseley will be playing another psychopathic killer, only referred to as "Skinny Man" by the characters, in the film. What is described as visceral and extremely violent (so much so that it is considered one of the most violent and disturbing novels of all time), the novel “tells the story of Roger and Tooth: two lifelong friends who, while out on a day trip into the woods, find themselves at the mercy of a sadistic madman and his bloodthirsty dog when attempting to rescue a woman screaming for help.



Eric Pereira, who's film American Girls is currently making the festival rounds, will be heading up the project in directorial duties with casting to be complete by the end of the year and principal photography to begin in February. 


Who's excited to see the master back on the screen? Heaven knows I am. 

- Rg Lovecraft