HORROR TRIVIA TUESDAYS – MARCH 21, 2017

WES CRAVEN REGRETTED TEASING A SEQUEL IN A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET.

Craven was rather staunchly opposed to any sort of “sequel tease” finale, but the big boss (that’d be New Line’s Bob Shaye) insisted on one. “Bob wanted a hook for a sequel,” Craven told Vulture. “I felt that the film should end when Nancy turns her back on Freddy and his violence—that’s the one thing that kills him. Bob wanted to have Freddy pick up the kids in a car and drive off, which reversed everything I was trying to say—it suddenly presented Freddy as triumphant. I came up with a compromise, which was to have the kids get in the convertible, and when the roof comes down, we’d have Freddy’s red and green stripes on it. Do I regret changing the ending? I do, because it’s the one part of the film that isn’t me.”

(from Mentalfloss.com)

Fifteen-year-old Tina Gray is stalked through a boiler room and attacked by a disfigured man wearing a blade-fixed glove. She awakens from the nightmare, but her mother points out four mysterious slashes in her nightgown.

The following morning, Tina is consoled by her best friend Nancy Thompson and her boyfriend Glen Lantz. Later, Nancy and Glen sleep at Tina’s following her mother’s out-of-town departure; the sleepover is interrupted by Tina’s boyfriend Rod Lane. Falling asleep, Tina sees the man and runs. Awakened by Tina’s thrashing, Rod witnesses her being fatally slashed by an unseen force. He flees as Nancy and Glen find Tina, mistakenly blaming Rod. Nancy tells her father, Lieutenant Don Thompson, of Tina’s death.

The next day, Rod is arrested by Don, despite his pleas of innocence. At school, Nancy falls asleep in class and finds the man, calling himself Freddy Krueger, chasing her in the boiler room. Nancy burns her arm on a pipe and then awakens. She notices the burn mark on her arm and is concerned. At home, Nancy falls asleep in the bathtub and nearly gets drowned by Freddy. Nancy goes to Rod, who tells her what happened to Tina, and Nancy believes Freddy is responsible for Tina’s death.

Nancy has Glen watch over her as she falls asleep. She tries to find Freddy and sees him preparing to kill Rod. He turns his attention on her; she runs and wakes up when her alarm clock goes off. Nancy and Glen go to the jail and discover Rod dead in his cell in an apparent suicide. At Rod’s funeral, Nancy’s parents become worried when she describes the man in her dreams. Her mother Marge takes her to a dream clinic. In her dream, Nancy is attacked again and grabs Freddy’s hat. When the staff wake her up, she has a gash in her arm and Freddy’s hat in her possession.

At home, Marge bars the windows and begins drinking heavily. She tells Nancy that Freddy was a child murderer released on a technicality. In a form of vigilante justice, the parents in the neighborhood burned him alive. Realizing that Freddy desires revenge, Nancy convinces Glen to help her. She plans to take Freddy into the real world, and sets up booby traps in her house. Concerned over her influence, Glen’s parents prevent the two from meeting. Glen falls asleep at their appointed hour, and Freddy kills him and releases his blood in a large fountain in his room, which is witnessed by Glen’s mother.

Alone, Nancy puts Marge to bed and asks Don, who is across the street, to break into the house in twenty minutes. In her sleep, she locates Freddy at the last second and pulls him out of the dream. In the real world, Nancy runs from Freddy, who trips on the booby traps. She lights him on fire, locks him in the basement, and rushes to the door for help. The police arrive, and they realize Freddy has escaped the basement. In Marge’s bedroom, they see a still-burning Freddy smother her. After Don puts out the fire, Freddy and Marge have vanished. Despite her father’s words, Nancy believes she is still in danger.

Freddy attacks Nancy once again. Realizing he is powered by his victim’s fear, she calmly turns her back on him, reducing him to nothingness. She steps outside into a bright morning where all of her friends and mother are still alive. She gets into Glen’s car to go to school when the top comes down and suddenly locks them in. As the car is driven uncontrollably down the street, Marge is grabbed through the window of their front door by Freddy’s gloved hand and is dragged through it to her apparent death.

(from Wikipedia.com)

 

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HORROR TRIVIA TUESDAYS – MARCH 14, 2017

STEPHEN KING WASN’T A FAN OF THE SHINING.

In 1983, Stephen King told Playboy, “I’d admired [Stanley] Kubrick for a long time and had great expectations for the project, but I was deeply disappointed in the end result. Parts of the film are chilling, charged with a relentlessly claustrophobic terror, but others fell flat.”

King didn’t like the casting of Jack Nicholson either, claiming, “Jack Nicholson, though a fine actor, was all wrong for the part. His last big role had been in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, and between that and the manic grin, the audience automatically identified him as a loony from the first scene. But the book is about Jack Torrance’s gradual descent into madness through the malign influence of the Overlook—if the guy is nuts to begin with, then the entire tragedy of his downfall is wasted.”

(from Mentalfloss.com)

Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) arrives at the mountain-isolated Overlook Hotel, which is 25 miles from the closest town, to be interviewed for the position of winter caretaker. Once hired, Jack plans to use the hotel’s solitude to write. The hotel, built on the site of a Native American burial ground, becomes snowed-in during the winter; it is closed from October to May. Manager Stuart Ullman (Barry Nelson) warns Jack that a previous caretaker, Charles Grady, developed cabin fever and killed his family and himself. In Boulder, Jack’s son, Danny Torrance (Danny Lloyd), has a terrifying premonition about the hotel, viewing a cascade of blood emerging from an elevator door, and then falls into a trance. Jack’s wife, Wendy (Shelley Duvall), tells a doctor (Anne Jackson) that Danny has an imaginary friend named Tony, and that Jack has given up drinking because he dislocated Danny’s shoulder following a binge.

The family arrives at the hotel on closing day and is given a tour. The chef, Dick Hallorann (Scatman Crothers), surprises Danny by telepathically offering him ice cream. Dick explains to Danny that he and his grandmother shared this telepathic ability, which he calls “shining”. Danny asks if there is anything to be afraid of in the hotel, particularly room 237. Hallorann tells Danny that the hotel has a “shine” to it along with many memories, not all of which are good. He also tells Danny to stay away from room 237.

A month passes; while Jack’s writing goes nowhere, Danny and Wendy explore the hotel’s hedge maze, and Hallorann goes to Florida. Wendy learns that the phone lines are out due to the heavy snowfall, and Danny has frightening visions. Jack, increasingly frustrated, starts behaving strangely and becomes prone to violent outbursts. Danny’s curiosity about room 237 overcomes him when he sees the room’s door open. Later, Wendy finds Jack screaming during a nightmare while asleep at his typewriter. After she awakens him, Jack says he dreamed that he killed her and Danny. Danny arrives and is visibly traumatized with a bruise on his neck, causing Wendy to accuse Jack of abusing him. Jack wanders into the hotel’s Gold Room and meets a ghostly bartender named Lloyd (Joe Turkel). Lloyd serves him bourbon whiskey while Jack complains about his marriage. Wendy later tells Jack that Danny told her a “crazy woman in one of the rooms” attempted to strangle him. Jack investigates room 237, encountering the ghost of a dead woman, but tells Wendy that he saw nothing. Wendy and Jack argue over whether Danny should be removed from the hotel and a furious Jack returns to the Gold Room, now filled with ghosts attending a ball. He meets the ghost of Grady (Philip Stone) who tells Jack that he must “correct” his wife and child and that Danny has reached out to Hallorann using his “talent”. Meanwhile, Hallorann grows concerned about what’s going on at the hotel and flies back to Colorado. Danny starts calling out “redrum” and goes into a trance, referring to himself as “Tony”.

While searching for Jack, Wendy discovers he has been typing pages of a repetitive manuscript: “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”. She begs Jack to leave the hotel with Danny, but he threatens her before she knocks him unconscious with a baseball bat. She drags him into the kitchen and locks him in the pantry, but she and Danny are both trapped at the hotel: Jack has disabled the hotel’s two-way radio and snowcat. Later, Jack converses through the pantry door with Grady, who unlocks the door.

Danny writes “REDRUM” on the outside of the bathroom door in the family’s living quarters. When Wendy sees the word reversed in the bedroom mirror, the word is revealed to be “MURDER”. Jack begins hacking through the quarters’ main door with a firefighter’s axe. Wendy sends Danny through the bathroom window, but it will not open sufficiently for her to pass. Jack breaks through the bathroom door, shouting “Here’s Johnny!”, but retreats after Wendy slashes his hand with a butcher’s knife. Hearing Hallorann arriving in a snowcat he borrowed, Jack leaves the room. He murders Hallorann with the axe in the lobby and pursues Danny into the hedge maze. Wendy runs through the hotel looking for Danny, encountering ghosts and the cascade of blood Danny envisioned in Boulder. She also finds Hallorann’s corpse in the lobby. Danny lays a false trail to mislead Jack, who is following his footprints, before hiding behind a drift. Danny escapes from the maze and reunites with Wendy; they escape in Hallorann’s snowcat, while Jack freezes to death in the snow. In a photograph in the hotel hallway dated July 4, 1921, Jack Torrance smiles amid a crowd of party revelers.

(from Wikipedia.com)

 

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HORROR TRIVIA TUESDAYS – MARCH 7, 2017

JAMES CAMERON HAD TO QUASH A MUTINY ON THE SET OF ALIENS.

Aliens was shot at England’s historic Pinewood Studios, which provided its own unionized crew members for productions using the facilities. Some of these workers resented the 14-hour days and, having no idea what James Cameron was capable of (The Terminator hadn’t opened yet), thought he was in over his head. In particular, the first assistant director thought he should be directing Aliens. He mocked Cameron, called him “guv’nor,” rolled his eyes at him … and got himself fired for insubordination. The new first assistant director behaved respectfully, and things were better after that.

(from Mentalfloss.com)

Ellen Ripley is rescued after drifting through space in stasis for 57 years. She is debriefed by her employers at the Weyland-Yutani Corporation over the destruction of her ship, the USCSS Nostromo; they are skeptical of her claims that an Alien killed the ship’s crew and forced her to destroy the ship.

The exomoon LV-426, where the Nostromo encountered the alien eggs, is now home to the terraforming colony Hadleys Hope. When contact is lost with Hadleys Hope, Weyland-Yutani representative Carter Burke and Colonial Marine Lieutenant Gorman ask Ripley to accompany Burke and a Colonial Marine unit to investigate the disturbance. Traumatized by her encounter with the Alien, Ripley initially refuses, but she relents after experiencing recurring nightmares about the creature; she makes Burke promise to exterminate, and not capture, the Aliens. Aboard the spaceship USS Sulaco, she is introduced to the Colonial Marines, their commanding officer Lieutenant Gorman, and the android Bishop, toward whom Ripley is initially hostile following her experience with the traitorous android Ash aboard the Nostromo.

A dropship delivers the expedition to the surface of LV-426, where they find the colony deserted. Inside, they find makeshift barricades and signs of a struggle, but no bodies; two live facehuggers in containment tanks in the medical lab; and a survivor, a traumatized young girl nicknamed Newt who used the ventilation system to evade capture or death. The crew uses the colony’s computer to locate the colonists grouped beneath the fusion powered atmosphere processing station. They head to the location, descending into corridors covered in Alien secretions.

At the center of the station, the marines find the colonists cocooned, serving as incubators for the Aliens’ offspring. When the marines kill a newborn Alien, the Aliens are roused and ambush the marines, killing and capturing several. When the inexperienced Gorman panics, Ripley takes control of their vehicle and rams it through the nest to rescue marines Hicks, Hudson, and Vasquez. Hicks orders the dropship to recover the survivors, but a stowaway Alien kills the pilots, causing it to crash into the station. Ripley, Newt, Gorman, Burke and the remaining marines barricade themselves inside the colony command center.

Ripley discovers that Burke deliberately sent the colonists to investigate the derelict spaceship where the Nostromo crew first encountered the Alien eggs, believing he could become wealthy by recovering Alien specimens for use as biological weapons. She threatens to expose him, but Bishop informs the group of a greater danger: the power plant was damaged by the dropship crash, and will soon explode with the force of a 40-megaton thermonuclear weapon. He volunteers to crawl through several hundred meters of piping conduits to reach the colony’s transmitter and remotely pilot the Sulacos remaining dropship to the surface.

Ripley and Newt fall asleep in the medical laboratory, awakening to find themselves locked in the room with the two facehuggers, which have been released from their tanks. Ripley triggers a fire alarm to alert the marines, who rescue them and kill the creatures. Ripley accuses Burke of releasing the facehuggers so that they would impregnate her and Newt, allowing him to smuggle the Alien embryos past Earth’s quarantine, and of planning to kill the rest of the marines in hypersleep during the return trip so that no one could contradict his version of events. Before the marines can execute Burke in response to the accusation, the electricity is cut and Aliens assault through the ceiling. Hudson, Burke, Vasquez and Gorman are all killed and Newt is captured.

Ripley and an injured Hicks reach Bishop in the second dropship, but Ripley refuses to abandon Newt. The group arrives at the processing station, allowing a heavily armed Ripley to enter the hive and rescue Newt. As they escape, the two encounter the Alien queen in her egg chamber. Although the queen, seeing Ripley is heavily armed, signals guarding aliens to stand down to allow Ripley to leave, Ripley uses the opportunity to destroy the eggs, enraging the queen, who tears free from her ovipositor. Pursued by the queen, Ripley and Newt rendezvous with Bishop and Hicks on the dropship. All four escape moments before the station explodes with the colony consumed by the nuclear blast.

On the Sulaco, the group discover the Alien queen stowed away on the dropship’s landing gear. She emerges and tears Bishop in half. The queen advances on Newt, but Ripley clashes with her using an exosuit cargo-loader and expels it through an airlock into space. Ripley, Newt, Hicks and the badly damaged Bishop enter hypersleep for the return trip to Earth.

(from Wikipedia.com)

 

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HORROR TRIVIA TUESDAYS – FEBRUARY 28, 2017

FAY WRAY THOUGHT SHE’D BE STARRING OPPOSITE CARY GRANT IN KING KONG.

In his attempts to entice Fay Wray into starring in King Kong (1933), director Merian C. Cooper promised, “You’re going to have the tallest, darkest leading man in Hollywood.” “While my thoughts were flying toward the hope that Cooper might be waiting for Cary’s [Grant] arrival just as I was, Cooper went on to point at the giant ape and say, again, ‘The tallest, darkest leading man in Hollywood,’” recalled Wray.

(from Mentalfloss.com)

In New York Harbor, filmmaker Carl Denham, famous for making wildlife films in remote and exotic locations, charters Captain Englehorn’s ship Venture for his new project, but is unable to secure an actress for a female role he has reluctantly added to the script. Due to set sail that night, Denham searches the streets of New York for a suitable woman. He meets penniless Ann Darrow and convinces her to join him for what he proposes as the adventure of a lifetime. The Venture quickly gets underway and, during the voyage, the surly first mate, Jack Driscoll, gradually falls in love with Ann. After weeks of secrecy, Denham finally tells Englehorn and Driscoll that their destination is Skull Island, an uncharted land shown on a map in Denham’s possession. Denham also cryptically alludes to some monstrous creature rumored to dwell on the island, a legendary entity known only as “Kong”.

When they find the island and anchor offshore, they see a native village, separated from the rest of the island by an enormous ancient stone wall. A landing party, including the filming crew and Ann, witnesses a group of natives preparing to sacrifice a young maiden as the “bride of Kong”. The intruders are spotted and the native chief angrily stops the ceremony. When he sees the blonde Ann, he offers to trade six of his tribal women for the “golden woman”. They rebuff him and return to the Venture.

That night, a band of natives kidnap Ann from the ship and lead her through a huge wooden gate in the wall. Tied to an altar, she is offered to Kong, who turns out to be an enormous gorilla-like ape. Kong carries her off into the jungle as the Venture crew, alerted to Ann’s abduction, arrive. They open the gate and Denham, Driscoll and some volunteers enter the jungle in hopes of rescuing Ann. They soon discover that Kong is far from the only giant prehistoric creature on the island as they find dinosaurs, and other prehistoric creatures have resided and evolved isolated on the island for millions of years, when they are charged by a Stegosaurus, which they manage to kill. After constructing a raft in order to cross a swamp, a Brontosaurus capsizes their supplies, killing several of the men and chases them through the wetlands, killing a sailor, who hid on top of a tree. Fleeing through the jungle, they soon encounter a Styracosaurus which chases them through the jungle and kills some crew members. Meanwhile, kong puts Ann on top of a dead tree and he and the Styracosaurus corner the rescue party on both sides on a log bridge. Kong then shakes the sailors off the log, throwing the log down a ravine. The survivors soon meet gruesome demises from giant insects and lizards that dwell in the ravine. Jack hides in a cave below the log bridge as Kong tries to attack him, then saves himself from a two legged lizard which was climbing up a vine to attack, but manages to cut the vine with his dagger and sends the lizard down the pit.

A Tyrannosaurus threatens Ann, but Kong kills it by tearing its jaws apart after a colossal battle. Driscoll and Denham being the only ones alive go their opposite ways to get Ann back. Driscoll continues to shadow Kong and Ann while Denham returns to the village for more ammunition. Upon arriving in Kong’s lair in a mountain cave, Ann is menaced by a snake-like Elasmosaurus, which Kong wrestles and kills. While Kong is distracted killing a Pteranodon that tried to fly away with Ann, Driscoll reaches her and they climb down a vine dangling from a cliff ledge. When Kong notices and starts pulling them back up, they let go and fall unharmed into the water below. They run through the jungle and back to the village, where Denham, Englehorn and the surviving crewmen are waiting. Kong, following, breaks open the gate and murderously rampages through the village. On shore, Denham, now determined to bring Kong back alive, knocks him unconscious with a gas bomb.

Chained and shackled, Kong is presented to a Broadway theatre audience as “Kong, the Eighth Wonder of the World”. Ann and Jack are brought on stage to join him, followed by an invited group of press photographers. Kong, believing that the ensuing flash photography is an attack, breaks loose as the audience flees in terror. Ann is whisked away to a hotel room on a high floor, but Kong, scaling the building, soon finds her. Carrying her in his hand, he rampages through the city. Along the way, he dismantles an elevated railway and severely damages a crowded elevated train and ultimately climbs up the Empire State Building. At its top, he is met by four military airplanes. Kong sets Ann down and battles the planes, managing to down one of them, but he finally succumbs to their gunfire and falls to his death. Ann and Jack are reunited. Denham arrives and pushes through a crowd surrounding Kong’s body in the street. When a policeman remarks that the planes got him, Denham tells him, “Oh, no, it wasn’t the airplanes. It was Beauty killed the Beast.”

(from Wikipedia.com)

 

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HORROR TRIVIA TUESDAYS – FEBRUARY 21, 2017

A DOUBLE AMPUTEE WAS USED TO CREATE THE THING’S QUINTESSENTIAL SPECIAL EFFECT.

One of the most memorable scenes in John Carpenter’s The Thing (often referred to as the “chest chomp”) occurs when Dr. Copper (Richard Dysart) attempts to revive Norris (Charles Hallahan) with a defibrillator. As he presses the paddles to his patient’s skin, Norris’ chest opens up and Copper’s forearms disappear into the cavity, where they are severed below the elbow by a set of jaws inside Norris’ chest.

In order to pull this off, special makeup effects designer Rob Bottin (known for his work on RoboCop, Total Recall, Se7en, and Fight Club) found a man who had lost both of his arms below the elbow in an industrial accident. Bottin fit the man with two prosthetic forearms consisting of wax bones, rubber veins, and Jell-O. Then, for the wide-angle shot, he fit the man with a skin-like mask taken from a mold of Dysart’s face (à la Hannibal Lecter) and placed the ersatz arms into the chest cavity, where a set of mechanical jaws clamped down on them. As the actor pulled his arms away, the Jell-O arms severed below the elbows. The rest is practical effects history.

(from Mentalfloss.com)

John Carpenter’s The Thing is both a remake of Howard Hawks’ 1951 film of the same name and a re-adaptation of the John W. Campbell Jr. story “Who Goes There?” on which it was based. Carpenter’s film is more faithful to Campbell’s story than Hawks’ version and also substantially more reliant on special effects, provided in abundance by a team of over 40 technicians, including veteran creature-effects artists Rob Bottin and Stan Winston. The film opens enigmatically with a Siberian Husky running through the Antarctic tundra, chased by two men in a helicopter firing at it from above. Even after the dog finds shelter at an American research outpost, the men in the helicopter (Norwegians from an outpost nearby) land and keep shooting. One of the Norwegians drops a grenade and blows himself and the helicopter to pieces; the other is shot dead in the snow by Garry (Donald Moffat), the American outpost captain. American helicopter pilot MacReady (Kurt Russell, fresh from Carpenter’s Escape From New York) and camp doctor Copper (Richard Dysart) fly off to find the Norwegian base and discover some pretty strange goings-on. The base is in ruins, and the only occupants are a man frozen to a chair (having cut his own throat) and the burned remains of what could be one man or several men. In a side room, Copper and MacReady find a coffin-like block of ice from which something has been recently cut. That night at the American base, the Husky changes into the Thing, and the Americans learn first-hand that the creature has the ability to mutate into anything it kills. For the rest of the film the men fight a losing (and very gory) battle against it, never knowing if one of their own dwindling number is the Thing in disguise. Though resurrected as a cult favorite, The Thing failed at the box office during its initial run, possibly because of its release just two weeks after Steven Spielberg’s warmly received E.T.The Extra-Terrestrial. Along with Ridley Scott’s futuristic Alien, The Thing helped stimulate a new wave of sci-fi horror films in which action and special effects wizardry were often seen as ends in themselves.

(Synopsis by Anthony Reed from Allmovie.com)

 

 

 

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HORROR TRIVIA TUESDAYS – FEBRUARY 14, 2017

JOEL COEN GOT HIS FIRST BREAK AS AN ASSISTANT EDITOR ON THE EVIL DEAD.

Before becoming the Oscar-winning filmmaking duo he and his brother Ethan are today, Joel Coen got his start as an assistant editor on The Evil Dead. Inspired by Raimi’s DIY filmmaking, Joel and his brother created a pitch trailer (much like Raimi’s Within the Woods) to raise money for their first feature, Blood Simple. While Dan Hedaya stars in the final film, Bruce Campbell plays the lead in the two-minute trailer.

(from Mentalfloss.com)

This auspicious feature debut from Sam Raimi — shot on 16mm in the woods of Tennesse for around $350,000 — secured the young director’s cult status as a creative force to be reckoned with. The nominal plot involves five vacationing college kids — Ash (Bruce Campbell), his girlfriend Linda (Betsy Baker), and their classmates Cheryl (Ellen Sandweiss), Scott (Hal Delrich) and Shelly (Sarah York) — making an unplanned stopover in an abandoned mountain cabin surrounded by impenetrable woods. Before settling in for the night, they come across an ancient-looking occult tome filled with dense hieroglyphics and macabre illustrations, a dagger fashioned from human bones, and a reel-to-reel tape recorder. The taped message, dictated by a professor of archaeology, describes the contents of the Sumerian “Book of the Dead,” filled with incantations used to bring otherworldly demons to life, giving them license to possess the living. The message goes on to explain that those possessed by these demons can only be stopped by total bodily dismemberment. When played among the group later that evening, the professor’s recorded translations of the ritual chants traumatize the strangely prescient Shelly … and simultaneously release an ominous presence from the depths of the forest. The evil spirits take to their dirty work with gusto, first assuming control of Shelly and transforming her into a cackling, murderous hag with superhuman strength; the others imprison her in the fruit cellar and chain the trapdoor shut. The spirits then begin to possess the other women, including Linda — who immediately turns on Ash with a barrage of punches and sadistic taunts. Unable to bring himself to chop up his lover’s corpse, Ash gives her a more customary burial in the woods — which proves to be a big mistake. As the others succumb to demonic influence, Ash’s horrific predicament becomes increasingly grim until, when all hope seems lost, he stumbles upon a final, desperate solution to the ghoulish onslaught … well, maybe not. Despite the shoestring production values, Raimi has fashioned a tight, lightning-paced fever dream of a movie, filled with operatic overacting and outrageously gory effects that give the project a comic-book feel. Based on an earlier 8mm short titled Within the Woods, this feature version was fraught with distribution difficulties before finding its first audience overseas. After considerable word of mouth (and a glowing endorsement from horror author Stephen King), the film became a hit on home video, where it achieved further notoriety thanks to its highly-publicized banning in Britain amid the notorious “Video Nasties” censorship campaign. Raimi, along with producer Robert Tapert, writer Scott Spiegel and much of the same crew, cranked up the story’s comic aspects several dozen notches for the rollicking semi-remake, Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn.

(Synopsis by Cavett Binion from Allmovie.com)

 

Funnily enough, last week’s Horror Trivia Tuesdays was about Bruce Campbell and The Army of Darkness. Although I suppose you can’t write or post about horror pop culture without The Evil Dead or Bruce Campbell popping up. I’ve said it before, but it’s funny the connections the horror film world brings us. I grew up on The Evil Dead, but I also grew up on Blood Simple and Raising Arizona. May be the geek in me, but finding this out made me just as happy as learning that Rob Zombie once worked as a production assistant on Pee Wee’s Playhouse.
— Erik

 

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HORROR TRIVIA TUESDAYS – FEBRUARY 7, 2017

BRUCE CAMPBELL MADE $93,000 FOR ARMY OF DARKNESS.

To illustrate the plight of the working stiff actor, Bruce Campbell once provided a helpful breakdown of his salary for 1992’s second Evil Dead sequel, Army of Darkness. With a $500,000 salary nipped at by agents, managers, income taxes, and a now-ex wife, he figured he made roughly $93,000. But the film took two years to complete, meaning his net profit for portraying horror icon Ash in a major motion picture was less than $50,000 a year.

(from Mentalfloss.com)

The third in director Sam Raimi’s stylish, comic book-like horror trilogy that began with The Evil Dead (1982), this tongue-in-cheek sequel offers equal parts sword-and-sorcery-style action, gore, and comedy. Bruce Campbell returns as the one-armed Ash, now a supermarket employee (“Shop Smart…Shop S-Mart”) who is transported by the powers of a mysterious book back in time with his Oldsmobile ’88 to the 14th century medieval era. Armed only with a shotgun, his high school chemistry textbook, and a chainsaw that mounts where his missing appendage once resided, the square-jawed, brutally competent Ash quickly establishes himself as a besieged kingdom’s best hope against an “army of darkness” currently plaguing the land. Since the skeleton warriors have been resurrected with the aid of the Necronomicon (the same tome that can send Ash back to his own time) he agrees to face the enemy in battle. Ash also finds romance of a sort along the way with a beautiful damsel in distress, Sheila (Embeth Davidtz), and contends with his own doppelganger after mangling an important incantation.

(Synopsis by Karl Williams from Allmovie.com)

 

Bruce talked about a lot of these experiences in his book, If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a B Movie Actor. Honestly I think Bruce Campbell is one of the hardest working B-Movie actors out there. He gets work on his own merit and hustle. Sure, he’s lifelong friends with Sam Raimi, who is quick to give him a role, but that doesn’t stop the independent works and projects Bruce has landed on his own. Pretty shit that he didn’t make bank on Army of Darkness, but that’s the life of a B-Movie actor in a nutshell. Even if you’re Bruce Campbell.
— Erik

 

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HORROR TRIVIA TUESDAYS – JANUARY 31, 2017

STANLEY KUBRICK ALLEGEDLY TYPED ALL OF THOSE “ALL WORK” PAGES IN THE SHINING.

No one is quite sure whether Kubrick typed 500 pages of “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” Kubrick didn’t go to the prop department with this task, using his own typewriter to make the pages. It was a typewriter that had built-in memory, so it could have turned out the pages without an actual person. But the individual pages in the film contain different layouts and mistakes. Some claim that it would have been characteristic of the director to individually prepare each page. Alas, we’ll never know—Kubrick never addressed this question before he died.

(from Mentalfloss.com)

“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” — or, rather, a homicidal boy in Stanley Kubrick’s eerie 1980 adaptation of Stephen King’s horror novel. With wife Wendy (Shelley Duvall) and psychic son Danny (Danny Lloyd) in tow, frustrated writer Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) takes a job as the winter caretaker at the opulently ominous, mountain-locked Overlook Hotel so that he can write in peace. Before the Overlook is vacated for the Torrances, the manager (Barry Nelson) informs Jack that a previous caretaker went crazy and slaughtered his family; Jack thinks it’s no problem, but Danny’s “shining” hints otherwise. Settling into their routine, Danny cruises through the empty corridors on his Big Wheel and plays in the topiary maze with Wendy, while Jack sets up shop in a cavernous lounge with strict orders not to be disturbed. Danny’s alter ego, “Tony,” however, starts warning of “redrum” as Danny is plagued by more blood-soaked visions of the past, and a blocked Jack starts visiting the hotel bar for a few visions of his own. Frightened by her husband’s behavior and Danny’s visit to the forbidding Room 237, Wendy soon discovers what Jack has really been doing in his study all day, and what the hotel has done to Jack.

(Synopsis by Lucia Bozzola from Allmovie.com)

 

I can see that mad bastard, Kubrick, typing all those pages up. I love the stories about his manic, dictatorial ways as a director, but I feel bad for his actors too. Either way, I’ve never had any problems with Kubrick’s version of The Shining (even if Stephen King was less than pleased with it).
— Erik

 

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HORROR TRIVIA TUESDAYS – JANUARY 24, 2017

THE EXORCIST WAS THE FIRST HORROR FILM TO BE NOMINATED FOR A BEST PICTURE OSCAR.

The horror genre has never gotten much love from the Academy. Though there still seems to be a bias against scary movies during awards season, The Exorcist earned 10 Oscar nominations in 1974, including a Best Supporting Actress nod for Linda Blair, who was just 15 years old at the time.

(from Mentalfloss.com)

Novelist William Peter Blatty based his best-seller on the last known Catholic-sanctioned exorcism in the United States. Blatty transformed the little boy in the 1949 incident into a little girl named Regan, played by 14-year-old Linda Blair. Suddenly prone to fits and bizarre behavior, Regan proves quite a handful for her actress-mother, Chris MacNeil (played by Ellen Burstyn, although Blatty reportedly based the character on his next-door neighbor Shirley MacLaine). When Regan gets completely out of hand, Chris calls in young priest Father Karras (Jason Miller), who becomes convinced that the girl is possessed by the Devil and that they must call in an exorcist: namely, Father Merrin (Max von Sydow). His foe proves to be no run-of-the-mill demon, and both the priest and the girl suffer numerous horrors during their struggles. The Exorcist received a theatrical re-release in 2000, in a special edition that added 11 minutes of footage trimmed from the film’s original release and digitally enhanced Chris Newman’s Oscar-winning sound work.

(Synopsis by Hal Erickson from Allmovie.com)

 

I love bringing these bits of trivia to you all because I always learn something too. It’s absolutely true that the Academy has pissed on horror movies over the years, deeming them not worthy many awards by their biased clique. The Exorcist deserved every single one of those nominations, and Linda Blair killed it as the possessed ingénue, Regan. Keep in mind that Rosemary’s Baby was nominated for two Oscars years before for Best Screenplay and Best Supporting Actress. It won for Best Supporting Actress. But The Exorcist retains the title of being first nominated for Best Picture.
— Erik

 

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HORROR TRIVIA TUESDAYS – JANUARY 17, 2017

ROBERT ENGLUND WAS NOT THE FIRST CHOICE TO PLAY FREDDY KRUEGER.

Wes Craven reportedly planned to have a stuntman play the seemingly immortal youth-hater known as Freddy Krueger, but (wisely) opted to go with an accomplished actor for the role instead.

His first choice was the brilliant British character actor David Warner, who you’ll no doubt recognize from Time Bandits, Titanic, and various incarnations of Star Trek.

Warner had to pass on the project, which opened the door for the truly excellent Robert Englund.

(from Mentalfloss.com)

 

This is actually a cool bit of info I wasn’t aware of. I absolutely remember David Warner from Time Bandits (which I watched again and again as a kid…damn that’s a great little gem of a movie), TRON, Beastmaster III, and one of my favorite fucking shows ever, Twin Peaks. Love the man, but I can’t see anyone but Robert as Freddy. I didn’t hate Jackie Earle Haley as Freddy, but he’s no Robert Englund.
— Erik

 

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