A Few Things You Might Not Know About “The Exorcist III”

I fondly remember the fateful night in 1990where my father, uncle, my cousin and an eight-year-old Patti made a Saturday night trip to our favorite local movie theater that stood as possibly, one of the last retro looking movie houses in all of Las Vegas. This might sound silly as of course, this was 1990, but I’m talking SUPER RETRO here. The entire building was made of brick, popcorn stands where mere popcorn and hot dog carts inside the lobby with a few cases of candy on the side, velvet red curtains covered the theater screens until showtime commenced, and the GIANT illuminated cinema marquee sign that displayed the featured films playing, could literally be seen from miles away. The place was absolutely beautiful inside and out, (as you can see pictured below of the inside lobby) and served as the place where I had seen most of the movies growing up until its demise and demolition over 15 years ago.

A Few Things You Might Not Know About "The Exorcist III"

*Shout out to ClassicLasVegas.com for this awesome photo!

It’s also the place where I first saw our movie of the day here, The Exorcist III. And yep. I remember peeing my pants a little as I was eight-goddamn-years-old in regards to that one scene. You know which one I’m talking about… And also, yes. The two grown men and older teenage male cousin laughed at the eight-year-old girl who produced a squirt of nature’s lemonade.

Dicks.

*MAJOR SPOILER HERE. DO NOT PROCEED IF YOU HAVEN’T LIVED AND HAVE DONE A DISSERVICE TO YOUR LIFE BY NOT WATCHING THIS FILM.

 

As fun as it is to reminisce about peeing the pants, let’s get to the real topic here. If you’re here and still reading, chances are you’re a fan of the HIGHLY UNDERRATED psychological-thriller based off William Peter Blatty’s fantastic novel, Legion; which of course, serves as the true direct sequel to The Exorcist. So, we’re going to skip all the captain obvious bullshit plot explanations and get right into some shit that you may or may not know about this film. And hell, if you watch it again with a new knowledge and some more appreciation, well stunning. I’ve done my job here.

 

1. The Exorcist III Was Jeffrey Dahmer’s Favorite Movie

A Few Things You Might Not Know About "The Exorcist III"

Well, a film that focuses on another serial killer doesn’t seem far-fetched as a favorite of one of America’s most notorious, eh? According to various old reports, Dahmer would watch the movie over, and over. And even watched portions of the film with some of his victims after bringing them back to his apartment. One of these men was one who had escaped- Tracy Edwards, who claims the film was on at the time he was guided around the apartment by Dahmer. Reports also claim that Dahmer had purchased contact lenses with yellow tint, to mimic The Gemini Killer.

 

2. They Snuck In A Reference To The Fly II

A Few Things You Might Not Know About "The Exorcist III"

As I may have stated in previous articles, my parents had no qualms about taking their young child to the theater for an extreme horror film. Becuase, hey, fuck 101 Dalmations. They didn’t have the patience for that watered down-Disney shit. So, watching this at the theater at the age of eight, I caught this one right away as I had seen The Fly II a year prior with my mother and I left the theater crying after the scene with the dog. Ugh. I still hate it. Anyway, Lee Richardson plays that asshole in that film that got his just desserts for hurting that animal and has a small part as the University President in The Exorcist III. When asked by Father Dyer what his favorite film, he replies coyly, “The Fly.”

*Also worth noting, Brad Dourif who brilliantly portrays the Gemini, references his cinematic alter-ego Chucky during one of his ramblings. In the film, he says, “It’s child’s play”, and we then cut to a scene to a young boy that resembles a Good Guy.

 

3. Both William Friedkin and John Carpenter Were Attached To Direct Before Blatty

john carpenter

Well, it certainly would have been iconic enough had OG Exorcist director William Friedkin at the helm once again, but John Carpenter?! That would have been something to see his vision of legion eh? Blatty originally collaborated with Friedkin and penned out The Exorcist III with Friedkin attached to direct. After Friedkin backed out, the project died and was turned into a novel- AKA Legion. After the success of the novel, Blatty offered out it on the market in the form of a screenplay and Morgan Creek bought the rights to make the film, whom brought on the legendary John Carpenter to direct. However, after seeing Blatty’s passion and visionary input regarding his adaptation, he stepped down to hand the reigns to the rightful owner.

 

4. A Plot Twist Was Suggested Involving Regan Macneil- And A Birth Of Possessed Twins….?!

Regan-MacNeil-From-Exorcist

This has to be the most WTF fact of them all…

Yes, this was suggested to William Peter Blatty as studios were in negotiations to adapt the screenplay by Carolco Pictures. The idea of a grown-up Regan giving birth to possessed twins completely undermines the whole idea of Legion and I don’t blame him a bit for laughing that off and settling with Morgan Creek Productions- even if they still haven’t given us a REAL directors cut of the film, at least that didn’t happen.

 

5. The Alternate Ending We Still Haven’t Seen

exorcist 3 ending

The ending we all know, and even in that Shout Factory edition, was not the intended final vision of Blatty. Reports claim it was scripted AND filmed, but we’ve still yet to see the dramatically different ending to The Exorcist III. But you know, Morgan Creek wanted that exorcism in there, so if moneybags wanted it, by God they were going to get it and the following was scrapped and reshot to their liking:

The novel Legion ends with the Gemini Killer summoning Kinderman to his cell for a final speech and then willingly dropping dead after his alcoholic Christian evangelist abusive father, finally dies from a heart attack. As his motive for killing was always to shame daddy, the Gemini’s reason for remaining on Earth ceases to exist. He then drops dead, thus freeing Karras. Albeit by death, but nevertheless releasing him from all the torture. In Blatty’s original screenplay adaptation, the ending is similar to the novel except that the Gemini’s death is not self-induced but forced supernaturally and suddenly by the death of his father.

 

The Exorcist III remains criminally underrated and if anything to the haters, (and really, who are you?) serves as a beautiful character analysis of different walks of life in the form of one chilling film. Aside from Silence f the Lambs, it stands as one of THE BEST psychological thrillers in cinematic history. Bold statement? Maybe. Perhaps you should schedule a rewatch and come back to comment to challenge me.

That’s me issuing a clear invitation to the dance. Pick up your copy from Amazon here!

 

Book Review: “AD NAUSEAM” Is The Holy Grail of 80’s Horror Newsprints

Once upon a time before the wild world of the interwebs, you had to turn to that black and white rolled up bunch of papers that magically appears in your driveway every morning to observe the latest movie premieres and listing showtimes. Plainly speaking, living in an advanced age of technology has spoiled us from giving in that extra effort as any and (almost) all information is literally at our fingertips. And with the entrance of Google, the exit of what is now considered a lost art occurred.

As with horror-based VHS art, newsprint graphics for film announcements became an entity in its own with not only promoting said picture but influencing audiences into seeing the movie with the alluring black and grey art attached to the information. Former Fangoria Editor-in-Chief and presently, one of Rue Morgue’s head-honchos’ Michael Gingold has taken this long-lost pastime and breathed new life into the forgotten advertisements with his new book, “AD NAUSEAM: NEWSPRINT NIGHTMARES FROM THE 1980s”.

I recently had the opportunity to gleefully gawk at the 245-page book and holy Nicolas National Treasure Cage- it is as glorious as the retro sunbeams beaming off a neon synthwave.

Book Review: "AD NAUSEAM" Is The Holy Grail of 80's Horror Newsprints

With all retro advertisements seen within, some extremely rare or never-before-seen all from Gingold’s personal collection, compiled into yearly chapters that range from 1980-1989, this truly is a must-have for not only lovers of 80’s horror, but ALL genre enthusiasts. From a historical standpoint, this nostalgic book certainly serves as an opened time capsule from a time where horror was both beloved and misunderstood by the general public- (If you’re questioning that last bit, check out this little diddy from 20/20). So whether you’re reliving that era or discovering it for the first time, the feeling you get as you flip the pages through these newsprint nightmares can easily be compared to watching your very first horror film. And that my friends, is such a rare experience to come across in the modern days of the interwebs.

Book Review: "AD NAUSEAM" Is The Holy Grail of 80's Horror Newsprints

In addition to the glorious spread of page after page of retro goodness, snippets of reviews are matched alongside select films. It goes without saying this was a time where Rotten Tomatoes and online reviews were years ahead in the future. That being said, in a time where horror didn’t harbor the respect it has accumulated from critics over the years, you’ll find a few of these snippets might just trigger your horror senses into a flight or fight reaction. As explained in the book, these reviews were posted at the time of release, and I’m just taking a shot in the dark here, from a few snooty film advisers.

However, I can overlook those very real reviews with an extensive introduction from Gingold explaining what had compelled him to save all these clippings to begin with. If you hadn’t already taken the hint or looked around at my website here, I kind of really love reminiscing about my journey in and around the horror genre and the influences it had on me as a child; but hearing it from the mouth of someone who is hugely respected here, and around the horror writing community is pure gold. And I highly urge everyone in this business that picks up this gem to resist the temptation and read what Gingold has to say before going balls deep into the ads. VERY IMPORTANT HERE.

Towards the end of the retro 80’s horror ad road, you’ll find an intriguing closing entitled “The Art of the Sell”- which includes conversations with Terry Levine (President of Aquarius Releasing), and longtime partner and artist Wayne S. Weil who dive into the drive of these ads and putting “asses in theater seats” via these said newsprints.

As you may have gathered already, this book is a definite must-have centerpiece for your house of macabre’s coffee table for any collector of physical horror media. It is both highly stimulating for your retro horror senses, and a wonderful journey of film history through the decade where horror shined like no other era. The book drops tomorrow on Amazon Prime and you can pre-order it here at a discounted price, or directly from 1984 Publishing to obtain a signed copy.

Upcoming Book "Ad Nauseam" Highlights Newsprint Nightmares from the 1980s

Check Out Midnight Movies and Hushaween FREE This October on COMET TV!

Midnight horror madness, spooky silent pictures, and retro gold TV all for free with no subscription needed over at COMET TV! As Halloween tends to be our Christmas around here, that just leaves more money for spooky activities!

And who doesn’t love that?

nosferatu

COMET TV, a free service to those who own Apple TV and ROKU devices, will be airing midnight showings of favorite cult classics every Monday through Friday in October for late-night spooky thrills to instill a little of the Samhain fuzzies. In addition to a two-time a day showing of retro Sci-Fy series Babylon 5, on Halloween night, the network is throwing down “HUSHAWEEN”; a silent movie marathon of the greats of the era featuring Nosferatu, The Cabinet of Dr. Calgari, and The Phantom of the Opera!

Midnight Madness airs weeknights at MIDNIGHT/11C

NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD
COCKNEY VS. ZOMBIES
THE FALLING AFTER MIDNIGHT
VAMPIRES ON BIKINI BEACH
WOLF
WITCHBOARD
BATS
GHOST TOWN
SCARECROWS
NIGHT OF THE CREEPS
UNSPEAKABLE
PALE BLOOD
SUGAR HILL
HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL
THE RAGE: CARRIE 2
AND MORE…
You can check the full spooky schedule over at COMET’s official site by clicking here.
comet october

October Streaming: Filmstruck Highlights Classic Frights and Early Century Halloween Cartoons!

From vampires, Japanese horror, to some of the oldest Halloween cartoon shorts and films to EVER grace the halls of the streaming library, Filmstruck is going vintage hard this Halloween and I’m loving them for it.

This year along with Filmstruck’s October lineup of monster movies, you’ll be transported back in time to the silent era with Halloween cartoons and comedies as early as 1907! And in case you need a reminder of just how creepy that decade was for Halloween, let me refresh that memory of yours…

 October Streaming: Filmstruck Highlights Classic Frights and Early Century Halloween Cartoons!

How’d you like that knocking on your door asking for candy, eh?

Select highlights in Filmstruck October also include director of the week Terence Fisher (The Curse of FrankensteinHorror of Dracula and 1959’s The Mummy), written by Robert Louis Stevenson (Dr. Jekyll and Mr. HydeThe Body Snatcher), and Japanese Horror Classics (KwaidanOnibaba and House).

Filmstruck in October: 

  • Star of the Week Lon Chaney – begins streaming Oct. 12: See 16 of Lon Chaney’s silent spooks including his classics The Phantom of the Opera and The Hunchback of Notre Dame as well as a FilmStruck Extra about his career, makeup, and prosthetics.

  • Director of the Week Terence Fisher – begins streaming Oct. 19: Check out the first full-color gothic horror films from British director Terence Fisher, featuring The Curse of Frankenstein, Horror of Dracula and 1959’s The Mummy.

  • Cartoon Roots: Halloween Haunts – begins streaming Oct. 19: Discover some of the earliest Halloween cartoons and comedies in this collection featuring the oldest films to hit FilmStruck, 1907’s The Pumpkin Race and 1908’s The Haunted Hotel.

  • Japanese Horror Classics – begins streaming Oct. 19: Fans can stream one of the most popular genres of scary movies including Kwaidan, Onibaba, and House.

  • Written by Robert Louis Stevenson – begins streaming Oct. 26: Indulge in three versions of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde as well as The Body Snatcher.

TCM Celebrates the 200th Anniversary of Frankenstein With New Documentary and Monster October Line-Up

200 years ago, an extraordinary teenage girl by the name of Mary Shelley changed the world of horror as we know it with her frightening tale of a madman’s attempts at playing God and creating life. Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein remains one of, if not THEE, greatest penmanships in telling the ultimate tale of grief and terror and has become the holy grail of sorts in the horror genre world. Imagine owning a first pressing of that beauty?

TCM Celebrates the 200th Anniversary of Frankenstein With New Documentary and Monster October Line-Up

The formidable Turner Classic Movies has always been known to pay homage to the classic Universal Monsters franchise, especially in October. Well, this year isn’t any different in regards to recognizing royalty as the premier broadcasting network celebrates the bunch with legends of horror such as Karloff and Lugosi being featured weekly, along with a brand new documentary in honor Mary Shelley airing exclusively on TCM, The Strange Life of Dr. Frankenstein. 

Also worth noting is the featured the Monster of the Month, The Mummy, which includes the grand-daddy collection of Mummy based films; perfect for the ultimate fan of the bandaged brute!

For the full schedule at TCM, visit their official website here.

  • Horror Star of the Week – every Wednesday in October: Celebrate films from some of the most genius classic horror stars including Christopher Lee, Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi and Vincent Price.

  • Monster of the Month: The Mummy – every Sunday in October: Enjoy 11 of the best mummy-themed films ranging from 1936’s Mummy’s Boys to 1971’s Blood From the Mummy’s Tomb.

  • 200 Years of Frankenstein – Oct. 22 and 29: Celebrate the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley’s enduring tale over two nights of programming, starting with the new documentary The Strange Life of Dr. Frankenstein.

  • Ghostly Encounters – Oct. 27: See Gene Tierney and Rex Harrison’s romantic film The Ghost and Mrs. Muir as well as a comedic play on the film, The Ghost and Mr. Chicken with Don Knotts.

  • Bowery Boys Horror – Oct. 30: Get some comic relief with five of the Bowery Boys’ horror comedies including Ghost Chasers (1951) and The Bowery Boys Meet the Monsters (1954).

 

TCM Celebrates the 200th Anniversary of Frankenstein With New Documentary and Monster October Line-Up

Images credit: TCM

 

 

Rocky and Drago Come Face To Face In Second Trailer For “Creed II”

33 years ago, Rocky Balboa single-handedly ended the Cold War with heart, a hell of a left hook, and a heartfelt speech about change that made Russia’s Prime Minister stand up and applaud.

Rocky and Drago Come Face To Face In Second Trailer For "Creed II"

Ok, maybe not a total truth but let me have my fantasy here.

Anyway, Rocky IV remains one of the most beloved sequels of the franchise with unarguably, some of the greatest montages that came straight out of the ’80s. So with Creed 2 coming full circle with the film that both broke the hearts of Apollo Creed fans everywhere and drove the fuzzy feelers of the Rocky franchise even further into our souls, it’s quite a gift for fans and something truly special not to go uncelebrated. Plus, I really want to see Rocky get one good punch in on that guy one more time. And with today’s trailer drop from MGM and Warner Bros that finally gives us a look at the pair giving each other eye daggers from hell along with an anticipated sneak peek at Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan) and Ivan’s son, Viktor Drago (Florian “The Big Nasty” Munteanu) in what looks like could be, the entire franchise’s greatest moment yet!

 

 

SYNOPSIS:

Life has become a balancing act for Adonis Creed. Between personal obligations and training for his next big fight, he is up against the challenge of his life. Facing an opponent with ties to his family’s past only intensifies his impending battle in the ring. Rocky Balboa is there by his side through it all and, together, Rocky and Adonis will confront their shared legacy, question what’s worth fighting for, and discover that nothing’s more important than family. Creed II is about going back to basics to rediscover what made you a champion in the first place, and remembering that, no matter where you go, you can’t escape your history.

“Death From Above”, and this time double the trouble, hits theaters Wednesday, November 21st, 2018 in the Rocky tradition of the week of Thanksgiving.

Director: Steven Caple Jr.
Cast: Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, Tessa Thompson, Phylicia Rashad, Wood Harris, Andre Ward, Florian “The Big Nasty” Munteanu, Dolph Lundgren, Russell Hornsby
Writer: Sylvester Stallone
Producers: Irwin Winkler, Charles Winkler, William Chartoff, David Winkler, Kevin King-Templeton, Sylvester Stallone
Executive Producers: Ryan Coogler, Michael B. Jordan, Guy Riedel
Distributor: MGM, Warner Bros. Pictures
Rocky and Drago Come Face To Face In Second Trailer For "Creed II"
Images provided by MGM/Warner Bros.

MONDO Slays With Limited Edition “Suspiria” Screen Print

Let Mother take care of you.

Image result for let mother take care of you suspiria remake gif

Mondo is excited to present a hauntingly beautiful, and extremely limited edition screen print for Amazon Studios’ highly anticipated horror film SUSPIRIA. Limited to only 275 prints and designed by Sara Deck, the 24″ x 36″ art piece will be available for a mere $50 next week at the company’s website.

MONDO Slays With Limited Edition "Suspiria" Screen Print

“I can’t think of anything more exciting than getting to provide artwork for a film that you were already eagerly anticipating seeing. I will admit to an extreme bout of nerves prior to finally sitting down to work out some concepts for the final print. In the end, Suspiria had ample disturbingly beautiful visuals to offer up, so it was less a struggle and more a pleasure to interpret. Of all of the concepts that I came up with, I am so happy that we went forward with this one. This image to me reflects the unsettling tension surrounding Mme. Blanc and her desire. With palms up imploring the viewer, and face veiled hiding her true intentions. This film is so much more than a remake.” – Sara Deck

Suspiria hits theaters just in time for Halloween, October 26th, 2018.

 

Upcoming Book “Ad Nauseam” Highlights Newsprint Nightmares from the 1980s

Ahh. The glory days of 1980’s horror film advertising!

Set for a time-appropriate release this October 9th, 2018, former Fangoria Editor-in-Chief and current contributor at Rue Morgue Magazine (among his many other ventures), Michael Gingold brings us a glorious 248-page, full-color, hardbound book that features more than 450 rare, vintage ads pulled from Gingold’s personal archive entitled Ad Nauseam: Newsprint Nightmares From The 1980s. 

Upcoming Book "Ad Nauseam" Highlights Newsprint Nightmares from the 1980s

Edited by former Rue Morgue editor-in-chief Dave Alexander and presented by Rue Morgue, 1984 Publishing title Ad Nauseam will highlight a golden age of horror movie ads, and really, is there anything more nostalgic than retro horror film advertisements?

Per the press release:

Growing up in the ’80s, the future Fangoria writer and editor would carefully cut out ads he saw in local newspapers, leaving him with a collection tracing horror movie history via both blockbusters and obscurities.

“I’ve wanted to assemble this collection of movie-advertising madness in book form for many years, so 1984 and Rue Morgue’s publication of Ad Nauseam is a long-time dream come true,” says Gingold, who’s also a contributor to Rue Morgue, Birth.Movies.Death, Time Out, New York, and Scream, and the author of The FrightFest Guide to Monster Movies and Shark Movie Mania.

“These are the horror films I grew up with, and this volume is a celebration of that classic era of the genre.”

Ad Nauseam: Newsprint Nightmares from the 1980s goes year-by-year through Gingold’s
archive, and includes rare alternate art for Gremlins, Child’s Play, The Blob remake, and the Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street franchises. Oddities covered include Psycho from Texas, Dracula Blows His Cool, Blood Hook, Zombie Island Massacre, and many more. He provides personal recollections, commentary and includes snippets of contemporary reviews, to reveal what critics really thought of these movies at the time. To get a better sense of horror’s business side, Gingold also interviews the men behind legendary exploitation distributor Aquarius Releasing to learn how they built buzz for shockers like Make Them Die Slowly and Doctor Butcher M.D.
The regular version of Ad Nauseam retails for $34.95 USD and will be available online via Amazon and local bookstores worldwide. Details on a combo pack from the iconic horror merch designer Fright-Rags, which will include a signed book and a specially-designed T-shirt, are forthcoming.

Make sure to grab this sucker to proudly display on your coffee table, just in time for Halloween! Pre-order your copy here at Amazon!

Livin’ the Dream: An Interview with Fright-Rags’ Ben Scrivens

If you’re a horror freak (hint: if you’re reading this, you are), there’s no doubt that you’re not only aware of Fright-Rags, but own at least one of their shirts. Our guess is that you’re just like us and have several. Probably some socks, too.

All thanks to a dream that founder Ben Scrivens made a reality a decade-and-a-half ago. Unable to find unique horror tees, Scrivens set out to design and print shirts that he would want to wear. And as it turned out, everyone else wanted to wear them, too.

Fright-Rags recently enjoyed its 15th anniversary, and Nightmare Nostalgia was lucky enough to catch Scrivens on the phone during some rare down time to talk about his excitement for the new Halloween film, upcoming design releases, and the memories he’s made with genre giants Joe Bob Briggs, P.J. Soles and Tom Atkins as a result of following his dream.

NIGHTMARE NOSTALGIA: Fright-Rags recently celebrated its 15th anniversary. How does it feel to have been living the dream for a decade and a half?

BEN SCRIVENS: (Laughs) I’ll start off by saying that it’s amazing and I wake up feeling incredibly blessed and lucky every single day, that’s for sure. We never take it for granted here at the office that we’re able to do what we do, and we’re just thankful for it. I mean, things get stressful, things get really crazy and busy, and sometimes to the point that you’re at your wits end, but we also know that the worst of days are better than being at some crappy job.

It’s so funny to think about it because when I first started out, my friend Tim, who eventually became my first employee, we were working at a job together and we’d go out to lunch and we would talk about the business—I was doing it on my own—but I was sharing with him some of the stuff that I was doing. I remember going to Subway and just dreaming about what it would be like to do this full-time. Imagine doing this full-time and sitting around and watching horror movies all day like the work was going to get done itself and we could just literally sit down and watch horror movie all day (laughs).

It’s so funny to think about that and then think about what the reality is to make this a full-time job or career, and it’s so different than that. There’s less time now to sit around and watch movies and do those things, but it’s incredibly rewarding and even though it’s so different than I could have ever imagined, it’s still pretty amazing.

NN: Tell us about your involvement with the IT fan film, Georgie.

BS: John [Campopiano] and Ryan [Grulich], who did the film, came to me and discussed wanting to do something for their Indiegogo campaign. I had recently watched Unearthed & Untold: The Path to Pet Sematary, and I really dug it and I know they’re going to be doing one for IT as well, and the idea of the short film Georgie and featuring the same actor who played Georgie in the original IT (Tony Dakota), I thought it was just really clever.

There really wasn’t any involvement, they did the work, they did the art, they did everything, they just wanted to know if we would kind of partner up with them to print the shirt for their campaign and help them get the word out. A lot of people ask us to print stuff for them or if we do partnerships or sponsorships, and we turn down a lot of them because I don’t have any personal feeling toward them. It’s not that I don’t like them, it’s just if I connect with something then I feel a lot better kind of pushing out to our audience because it feels a little bit more personal.

I love IT and I liked this idea and just thought it was an interesting thing that they were trying to do, and I thought it would be fun to help them out. So really, as far as our involvement, all the credit and work goes to them, we’re just printing some shirts for them and, of course, we’re helping blast it out to our audience.

H40 logoNN: It’s obvious that Halloween has a special place in your heart, being your first exposure to the genre at just four years old. Now there’s such an energy and anticipation for the new film, so what was you’re your initial reaction when HorrorHound and Tranacas International Films reached out and asked Fright-Rags to design the logo for H40: 40 Years of Terror?

BS: That was incredible. We work directly with Trancas for all of our Halloween stuff—I, 4, and 5—so we’ve had a great relationship with them over the past several years, and they also use an independent agency that licenses to a bunch of other companies, so a lot of other companies that license Halloween have to go through them which goes then to Trancas. I have a good relationship with that company as well, and that’s when they approached us about possibly doing something for Halloween’s 40th. I thought they were reaching out to everybody, and maybe they did, they made it sound almost like a contest type of thing, I don’t know, it was kind of odd the way that they positioned it.

So I got with my designer and I was like “Maybe we can put something together,” and at the time I really wanted to put something together myself, or at least try because I’m a designer myself and it would have been fun to try to poke around and do something, but I offered it to my designer because I just didn’t really have a chance to do anything. Our designer’s so great, and I’m like “Why don’t you come up with something? Maybe you can come up with some ideas.” It was a couple of days later and he turned out three or four ideas, and I saw that one, and personally, me and everybody at the office was like “Oh my God, that’s it. That’s perfect.” The four and the zero and the Ls, and I’m like “Oh my God!” I probably could have done a thousand sketches and maybe never have come up with that, and I just thought it was perfect. I think we submitted three of the four, maybe we submitted all four or maybe just that one, but I was like “Hey, check this out!”

Again, I don’t know if anybody else submitted or if we were the only ones asked, I don’t really know any other details other than when they saw it they were like “We want to use this.” That was a really cool moment and all credit goes to Joe [Guy Allard] our designer because he came up with it, but it really feels great to be a part of something like this. It’s forty years after the film, and as you said, that was the movie that got me into horror, and here we are, not only creating official merchandise for the film, but sort of putting a stamp on its anniversary. It’s pretty incredible.

NN: Blumhouse’s Halloween (2018) just enjoyed its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, and by all indications from those lucky enough to be there, they nailed it. Can you put into words your excitement and anticipation for that film?

BS: Oh, man. It’s funny, we were just talking about that in our weekly meeting today. We all gathered in my office, not only to watch the teaser trailer a few months ago, but the other trailer that came out [September 5] and we were talking about it again today, how we all just have chills. It’s funny, we have a little bit of a behind the scenes look into the film, we have some access to certain things like the script and images that we’ve had for a few months now that have helped shape what we were going to do (with merchandise), but even with that stuff, honestly, I get chills.

It sounds crazy to me, but we were tearing up watching the trailer last week, and it is hard to put into words, because this one feels different, and I think everybody else can agree, and not just because Jamie Lee [Curtis] is back. Even when she came back for H20, which I think was a solid film, the fervor, maybe it’s because the internet is more prominent, so you can have that connection a little more easily and freely now, but it just feels like this one, there’s an energy that I think we’re all feeling about it. And I love the fact the reviews are so positive because I think it’s just going to help this film and I think fans are just going to love it.

NN: Let’s talk about scoring a line for Ash vs Evil Dead, or the new Halloween. Do you seek that out, do they contact you, a bit of both? Walk us through that process.

BS: In general we seek it out, but there have been cases where we definitely get people that contact us. A good example is about maybe four months ago, we got a call from Paramount—we’ve been working with Paramount a little bit, we had signed licenses with them last year for The Warriors and Pet Sematary. We already started with Warriors, Pet Sematary will be out in a couple of months, and we’ve got much more for both of those coming next year because of their respective anniversaries—so we’d already been talking to them, but they called us and they said “Hey, would you like to do shirts for A Quiet Place?”

 And it’s funny because I hadn’t seen the movie yet, it was still in theatres at the time, it had been out for maybe a few weeks or a month and it had gotten some good buzz at that point. When I first heard about the movie it sounded interesting, but a lot of movies are like that and when they come out they kind of fizzle and maybe I’ll catch it on home video or something, but I had just started hearing some really good things about it and I said “Ooh, maybe I should check this out.” Everybody at the office except me and two other people had seen it and they really loved it, so I said “Maybe I need to see this.”

Anyway, they called and wanted to know if we’d like to do shirts for it, and I said “I need to see the movie first (laughs).” So the next day, me and two other people from the office went out during the day to go see it and when I got back I said “Yeah, this is a great film. I think we could do something with it, we just have to be really creative because, obviously, you don’t really see the monsters too much in it.”

That’s definitely a case of that happening, and there’s definitely been cases where people approach us, studios or people who have smaller properties that see if we’re interested. It really is a case-by-case basis. Again, something like A Quiet Place kind of fell into our lap, where other things we’ll see maybe just isn’t the right fit for us, but in many other cases it’s us having a relationship with a studio and asking them for rights, or sometimes the studios don’t even know they have rights for things, and we’re the ones saying we think you have the rights for this and they say “Let us check,” and then they come back and they say “Yes we do,” and I’m like “Okay, we want it.” That happens a lot, too.

Fright Rags logoNN: Fright-Rags is always great with sneak peeks at new collections, and offer coming attractions emails for customers, but do you have a teaser or two for things you might have on the horizon that’ll get peoples’ wheels spinnin’?

BS: We spend so much time going back and forth between what’s happening right now and then what’s happening down the road. We’ve already started planning 2019, almost the entire year, and it’s pretty crazy. I’m already living in October, basically (laughs). Something that’s a little bit closer on the horizon that I don’t think we’ve really done much announcing for—I think we may have teased something almost a year ago that we might be doing it—but we do have a Die Hard collection coming out in November.

Branching out into non-horror type movies, we got some licenses that will be rolling out over the next year or so that are not outright horror, but are also very popular with fans. I grew up with horror, but I also grew up with Die Hard and I grew up with other things, I don’t think it’s so far out of wheelhouse of fans’ love for certain popular movies. So Die Hard is one of them, and I can even say—granted, this isn’t going to be out for a while, but in keeping with that—we’ve also got properties like Edward Scissorhands and Home Alone, as well, that’s going way further out, because that’s not even action (laughs).

Edward Scissorhands you can make a case, where Home Alone is decidedly not horror. It’s horrific for the kid maybe, but we’ve done things like that in the past, we’ve done Garfield, but we did Garfield Halloween, and we’ve done E.T., but we’re trying to do properties here and there that I think can fit outside the horror genre, but fit within our site.

NN: What’s one film or franchise that you’ve been dyin’ to add to the roster that you just haven’t been able to seal the deal on as yet?

BS: I used to skirt this question a little bit because we’ve done shirts for it before but they were all unlicensed, and in recent years we’ve changed a lot in our company. When we first started out nothing was licensed and you have to get licenses for stuff, but we did a lot of unlicensed things for years and then we started finally being able to get licenses, and then we would still do things on a very limited basis here and there, but we’re not going to do unlicensed stuff anymore, period. Unless it’s something that’s so darn obscure or something where we can’t find the rights-holder where we might put something out there just to see if somebody turns up, which doesn’t happen very often but sometimes these movies, no one knows who owns them, so you try to put something out just to see.

Someone says “Oh, I own that,” like “Okay, we’ll pay you,” but my point is the ones I want the most, I’m going to have to say two because they’re kind of on the same level, but it’s Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street. We’ve done plenty of Jason shirts on Friday the 13th before, we’ve done parodies, and I don’t mind parodies so much—G.I. Jason’s a parody—we consult a lawyer for those things to make sure we’re not stepping over too many toes with those types of things, but we’ve done plenty of out-and-out Jason and Freddy shirts over the years, a lot of them, and they’ve sold really, really well.

Those are all done limited, and it just got to a point where I’m like, “Just because it’s Friday the 13th, I’m not gonna put out a Jason shirt like most people do,” nothing against anybody else, I’m just making a decision on my own on behalf of the company to not do that anymore unless it’s something like a parody. But I really, truly want to be able to come out and say, “Listen, we have the official rights for Friday the 13th, we have the official rights for Nightmare on Elm Street and we’re gonna do some really kick-ass shirts and not try to hide it, not try to pass it off as something that’s licensed.” I want to do it the right way. It’s weird because we’ve done so many great designs for them, but really it’s not going to feel true and right until we’ve signed that deal.

Scrivens Joe BobNN: As lifelong fan myself, does it feel real, even now, that you had Joe Bob Briggs present a film with you for Saturday Night Rewind at the Little Theatre in Rochester, New York a couple of years back?

BS: It was surreal. It was two years ago in October, and it’s funny because I had talked a lot to his manager, and just prior to that we had done our MonsterVision shirts with them, so I had dealt with his manager Tracy, who’s sweet and she’s great. I dealt a little bit with him, but just a tiny bit before he got here. I didn’t know what to expect, and you just never know with somebody, and he took a train here from New York [City], which is about a six or seven-hour train ride, and I am going to pick him up from the train station and I don’t know if he’s going to be too tired, I’m kind of rolling with it.

When he got off the train and got in the van and I took him to his hotel he’s like, “You want to go out to eat?” and I’m like, “Yep! Let’s go eat.” I mentioned there was a cigar bar across the street, we were talking about something like whisky or cigars—and I like cigars, and I think he likes smoking cigars—and I said there’s one across the street and he said “Let’s go.” We hung out till two in the morning that night just talking.

And the next day he had signed our posters at our office, and then we went to dinner and hung out, we had beers above the theatre and then he did this intro. I came out to the lobby when he was done with his intro, we were going to start the movie, and he said “Hey, let’s go back to that cigar bar.” It’s right down the street so I’m like “Alright,” so we went there during the movie—we were showing The Warriors—during the whole movie, he and I were drinking whisky and having cigars (laughs). And then after the movie was done, it was almost midnight and he’s like “Let’s go back there,” and we hung out until three in the morning.

Then the next day we had lunch and I took him back to the train station, but I’m telling you, he’s got stories for days, I didn’t even have to say a word, he’s just so engaging and nice. And I am so happy, I know it sounds weird to say this, but I’m incredibly proud to see this resurgence of love for him. I know it’s always been there, but I feel like with the Shudder (marathon), that’s what we wanted it to be when we bought the MonsterVision shirt a couple of years ago, and even though that sold well and we did really good with it, I really wanted people to be like “No, celebrate this guy,” and I feel like now with the Shudder thing, it’s just this renaissance. I’m just so happy for him, not to say that he was begging for it or looking for it or in some weird spot in his life and he needed it, I think he was doing just fine, but I just feel like in general it’s nice to see it. That was an incredible weekend and he’s an incredible person.

NN: Obviously,  you have a professional relationship, but it’s impossible to completely do away with fandom, so be it The Last Drive-In or Halloween 2018, give us those impressions when you step back for a moment and realize you’re working directly with these entities in preparation for events that the horror community is out of its collective mind for.

BS: That’s hard to put into words. A year ago for Saturday Rewind we had P.J. Soles come out here, which was another incredible, incredible weekend experience where I got to hang out with her and just talk, and really connect with her.

It’s funny, because she even told me “This is like being with my son.” She really felt like family, it was this crazy connection, it wasn’t just with me, it was with everybody at the office, but we filmed a short movie (November 1st) that we wanted her to cameo in and she agreed to be in it. I was playing Michael Myers and she was going to have this really quick cameo and we were debuting it that night, and I’m standing there in my Michael Myer mask—and listen,  I know this is just a little fan film, just something silly that we were doing as a fun thing—but I’m playing Michael Myers across from P.J. Soles and my inner freakin’ four-year old is just fucking going crazy.

I can’t put into words, but the cool thing about someone like her, and most people that we’ve worked with, they get it — they get the fandom part. They’re not weirded out when you want them to sign something or when you talk about the fandom part, so it’s very disarming in that sense because you feel more comfortable. But it’s weird because someone like her, and again I extend this not just to her but almost everybody we’ve ever worked with in this capacity, you get so friendly with them. There was a small balcony in the theatre that we showed at, and it was my wife and I and P.J. and her boyfriend, it was just us four up there watching Halloween. It was weird because we were watching this movie that I love, with her, it’s an original 35 mm print that I own, so it’s my print of the movie and all these layers of personal connection. She’s laughing at her lines, and I’m watching her watching the movie and there is that half of me that says “Holy shit, this is P.J. Soles!” but the other half of me is just like “This is just a wonderful person and we’re having a wonderful time,” and it was comforting. The nerves weren’t there anymore, it was just “This is cool, this is right, this is okay.”

But again it’s because of those people that make it that comfortable, or allowed me to be that comfortable, so it’s hard to put into words when you’re hanging out with P.J. Soles or when Tom Atkins and Fred Dekker were here and we were hangin’ out until two or three in the morning drinking at the hotel bar hearing stories that I would have never heard before. Yeah, there’s definitely a part of you that’s shaking your inner-self going “Holy shit! Do you see what’s happening right now?!” (Laughs) But it really doesn’t hit you until after, like literally after everything happens and you’re like “Oh, my God! Oh, my GOD! What just happened?!” (Laughs) It’s pretty wild.

Scrivens SolesNN: You’ve been drinking with Dr. Challis? Now we have to hear your best Tom Atkins story!

BS: Oh, my God. I don’t even know if I can say it (laughs).

NN: Now you have to!

BS: I’ll tell you the one thing I remember about him, the thing that stood out to me the most. We live by Lake Ontario, one of the Great Lakes, and we have a beach and it’s beautiful in the summer, it’s just great, and this was during the summer. I’d had some work to do during the day, so I took Tom out and we had lunch. We were sitting outside on the upper deck of an area overlooking the lake and it was a beautiful July day, and we were just talking about his childhood and how he grew up. We weren’t talking about movies, we weren’t talking about anything else, we were just talking about our upbringing and I just got to learn a lot more about him. It was just serene, this beautiful, perfect day and we spent a couple of hours just talking and getting to know each other. Again, it’s moments like that—the fandom brings you together—but after that connection happens, it deepens. It’s pretty awesome. It’s a pretty awesome feeling.

NN: So what’s on-deck for Fright-Rags releases?

BS: We’re looking ahead to October right now because every single week we’re doing a Halloween release, and we’re kicking it off the first week with the new movie. We just did our preorder, but that was really for people to kind of get ahead of the game primarily because when the movie comes out the 19th, we’re going to be shutting down between the 11th and the 16th because we’re going to be in L.A. at the Halloween 40th convention.

We really wanted people to get a chance to get at least one of the shirts if they wanted to wear one to the new film within time, so we held the preorders, but we’ve got more for that movie coming out on the 3rd as well as the ones that we released already.

Then the following week will be the original Halloween and we’ve got a ton of stuff for that, and then the week after is Halloween II and III, and the week after that is 4, 5 and 6. We’ve really packed the entire month full of just Halloween, Halloween, Halloween (chuckles).

We’re really moving full steam ahead, and there’s actually a few things that we’re putting out that we’ve never put out before, a really wicked Varsity-style hoodie that we’re doing that’s really cool, a couple new hats that we’ve never done—we’ve done hats before, but these are new ones—and a few other things that we’re really excited about.

It’s A BOY Video Retailers! The Rare 1990 VHS Retailer Promo For “The Dream Child”

Long live the days of Mom and Pop video rental stores and the VHS early screener promos that today, serve as a lost art of visual romance. Especially for us horror enthusiasts. Because hey, who DOESN’T want to see Chucky bust out an awful yet incredibly entertaining rap about how great the Child’s Play movie is?

In case you’re not hip to what the hell a VHS screener may be, basically, it’s an early release of a VHS tape sent to video store owners that will ultimately either sway them to stock the shelves with said movie or give it a hard pass. In addition, some of these screeners would be sent to the media for reviews. Hard to imagine a time where critics would have to actually wait on the postman to deliver physical media as opposed to a screener email that can be obtained in under 60 seconds, eh?

Oh, how the world has changed. And Freddy is hard at work here taunting a sleazy marketing rep in this delicious ball of cheese VHS promo for Dream Child.

nightmare 5.gif

In my humble opinion however, that’s what makes these clips so great and a must-see for any movie fan. While it seems as if Robert Englund may have skipped the on-screen promotions for this installment doubled with a not-so-great-look-alike, and it sort of comes across as a second-rate porno without the boner shots, the promo still gives some great info on the film. It also totally reminded me about that gem of a rap, Whodini’s “Anyway I Gotta Sing It” that included a special music video featuring clips from NOES 5- which you can watch here. Trust me, you don’t want to miss that national treasure.

So here it is! The unconventional, yet weirdly awesome VHS promo for A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child! Might want to watch it before Susan gets any ideas…

Special thanks to Youtuber Jason H. for uploading this diddy.

 

 

Vegas’ New Immersive Haunt “HorrorWood Video” Aims To Appease Retro Horror VHS Lovers

Halloween in Las Vegas can be quite overwhelming, and certainly different from the rest of the country. While “Sin City” can boast some of the wildest Halloween parties the world has to offer, locals and tourists alike who crave a real good ol’ fashioned scare in the form of the classic haunted house mostly have to venture off the Strip (and as a local I appreciate that) to get to the stuff that doesn’t involve an overcrowded club of endless sexy nurses. However, if you find yourself in the Downtown Arts District area that remains a popular spot but not in an anxiety-ridden way, you’ll stumble across an ambitious little theater- The Majestic Repertory Theater- that focuses primarily on the modern and yesteryear American canon, and gives emphasis on giving young theatre artists an opportunity to build their skills while showcasing unique and original theatrical programs that includes an original Krampus production coming in December. This 2018 Halloween season, artistic director Troy Heard has assembled a retro horror lover’s dream in the form of an interactive haunt that is meant to set off some serious nostalgic bells, and possibly terrify the hell out of you. For a limited few days only, the Majestic Repertory becomes HORRORWOOD VIDEO- Vegas’ first RETRO INTERACTIVE HAUNT!

BE STILL MY BLACK NOSTALGIC HEART..

Image result for retro horror video store gif

 

PER THE PRESS RELEASE:

The premise is every horror geek’s dream: Horrorwood Video is the last place in Vegas where you can find the best fright flicks. Tonight, however, insane clerk Leon has opened up a vortex. Once you step through it, you’ll find yourself stuck in the middle of your favorite 1980s horror films, including “The Hex,” “Gym Class of the Dead,” and “Slaughter House Massacre 5: Pig-Gut’s Revenge.” The question isn’t just whether you get out safely…but will you accrue enormous late fees while trying?

HORRORWOOD VIDEO is created by Majestic Rep’s Artistic Director Troy Heard, who also created the immersive experiences JONESTOWN, MOTEL and MEASURE FOR MEASURE. “I grew up watching all the classic slashers – Jason, Freddy and Michael – but I also came of age with movies such as THE MONSTER SQUAD, GREMLINS and THE GOONIES. Although they weren’t pure horror flicks, they had a sense of adventure that’s coming back into fashion with STRANGER THINGS,” says Heard. “This year, I wanted to create a very theatrical haunt that combines those genres and taps into that particular vein of scary fun. We’re creating scenes from these fictional movies that totally could’ve existed in 1988 and casting you in them when you enter Leon the Clerk’s vortex. You’ll actually go trick or treating, join a teenage witch’s coven and go camping with some unsavory types as you walk through the experience. And I promise there are plenty of scares around every corner.”

HORRORWOOD VIDEO will be open Thursday, October 25, through Sunday, October 28, from 7 p.m. to midnight each night. Admission is $15; VIP tickets are $20 and include a one-time-only front of the line pass and exclusive HORRORWOOD VIDEO swag. Majestic Repertory Theatre is located at 1217 S. Main Street. Tickets are on sale October 1st at www.horrorwoodvideo.com. Call 702-423-6366 for more details.

Vegas' New Immersive Haunt "HorrorWood Video" Aims To Appease Retro Horror VHS Lovers

%d bloggers like this: