Tag Archives: Behind the Scenes

Creature Features: The Beautiful Practical Effects of 1988’s “The Blob”

Nightmare Nostalgia Presents Creature Features: An ongoing tip of the hat to some of horror’s greatest monsters throughout the genre that don’t seem to get the recognition they wholeheartedly deserve.

I don’t care how stubborn, or pompous this may sound: Computer generate all the damn monsters you want with the world’s greatest CGI program and programmer running it. It still won’t look better than practical effects and I certainly can’t appreciate it as much. The perfect example of such splendid monster-movie-magic is of course, Chuck Russell’s vision of the 1950’s Sci-Fi B movie, The Blob jello-molding it’s way into 1988.

 Creature Features: The Beautiful Practical Effects of 1988's "The Blob"

Thinking back to my childhood years, I clearly remember my first interaction with this glorious film, that at the time, I had no idea was a remake. In a pre-internet era and films relying on physical media such as TV spots and the good old-fashioned newspaper to get the word out. The one other way to draw unsuspecting fans into a film post-theater release, was the almighty VHS box art that would stare at you from the lined-shelves of the horror section like a haunted painting. This film, like many others of that time, sold itself to a tiny Patti with the cover-art alone that both intrigued and terrified me as a child. The simple showcase of what I later learned to be Paul’s fate displayed on the front of the rental, initially scared the shit out of seven-year-old me. I’m not entirely sure why, as growing up in a horror-loving-household watching Halloween at the tender age of two, this piece of art gave me the skeevies. I can distinctly remember only a few VHS horror art covers having that sort of effect on me. For almost 2 years, that pink, gooey man screaming at me through the art cover taunted me every time the parental units and I made a family trip to our local Action Video for the weekend rentals. And it wasn’t until I was allowed to ride my bike across the busy street by my damn self I was cut loose to roam the horror shelves of that mom and pop video store and rent freely on my own. Whatever I wanted. So of course, I gravitated to that jerkoff blobby Paul who has been tormenting the hell out of me. I had to see what this was about just based on this one picture alone. And now, 30 years later, it has become one of my all-time favorites.

Creature Features: The Beautiful Practical Effects of 1988's "The Blob"

 

Which brings me to the point here: That one image from the film doused in practical effects reeled me in and like many films before this gem in the ’80s, was balls-deep with beautifully done man-made monster magic. From Paul’s tragic demise to Vicki being eaten from the inside-out, The Blob is filled to the brim with dazzling and believable imagery that STILL looks better than a lot of modern day effects. The team responsible for igniting a fear of jello-molds everywhere was that of Tony Gardner, Chet Zar, and Bill Sturgeon of Alterian Studios. Who have since released some REALLY FUCKIN’ COOL behind the scenes stills on making that “extraterrestrial” man-eating glob that every fan of the film should take a gander at.

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LONG LIVE PRACTICAL EFFECTS.

Celebrate Friday the 13th With These Behind The Scenes Offscreen Death Photos of Claudette!

Here we are friends, with another glorious Friday the 13th upon us. Well, that is unless you’re like me who has to work at a tattoo shop catering to hundreds of people looking for a $13 F13 tattoo. Seriously, tip your artist well on this day. They are tired and deserve it! So yeah, that being my situation, I don’t get to plop my fat-ass on the couch and (fully) watch the return of Joe Bob Briggs or the obvious Friday the 13th marathon. However, best believe I’ll be drowning the shop in the sweet sounds of Pseudo Echo, doing a wicked robotic dance on the floor in-between breaks. Try and stop me.

Celebrate Friday the 13th With These Behind The Scenes Offscreen Death Photos of Claudette!

Anyway, that will be my day. However, before the chaos, I wanted to celebrate the second to best day to Halloween here at Nightmare Nostalgia with a little trivia from the original 1980 film, and most importantly, rare photos (courtesy of Fridaythe13thFranchise.com) of some cool shots of what would have been, Claudette’s death!

You see, what we all know and love about the opening sequence of Friday the 13th- the tense feeling, the first time we heard the music, and the horrific face Claudette makes in her final moment before being murdered off camera was actually a last minute substitution for what was originally intended. The original scripted opening of Barry and Claudette was crafted as a more traditional stalk and murder scene with a lot more gore. And you guessed it, you get to actually see Claudette get nailed, (in the murderous sense perv). Instead of getting frisky in a barn, the scene was set as the pair of lover counselors taking a lovely moonlit walk around the lake after leaving their campfire setting. The killer stealthily stalks her victims and a chase ensues around a boathouse where the duo ultimately ends up being killed. This scene would later serve a purpose at the conclusion of the film and showcased in later sequels. But alas, that never came to pass.

Big thanks to Mother Nature for totally screwing us out of an action-packed opener for one of the greatest slasher franchises in horror history. The story goes, nasty weather is to blame along with Claudette’s death never being seen on camera. Why? No clue as they could have easily done something indoors but hey, I’m no movie maker. And I actually don’t mind the current opener for what it’s worth. It’s just that never REALLY seeing a victim’s fate with being left to guess can sometimes irk us horror fans. Don’t give me that, “use your imagination” bullshit. I want to see her throat slashed dammit. And apparently according to these photos, it looks to be just that.

Celebrate Friday the 13th With These Behind The Scenes Offscreen Death Photos of Claudette!

 

Celebrate Friday the 13th With These Behind The Scenes Offscreen Death Photos of Claudette!

According to the F13-Franchise website, these photos were taken as publicity shots in 1979, however, there’s been a shit ton of contradictory statements from people involved in the film, including Tom Savini and Sean Cunnigham who said the scene HAD been filmed and then later retracting it. So, are these actual still shots from Claudette’s unrealized death scene? Or really just test shots. Who the hell knows and maybe we’ll actually get a definitive answer one day. But for now, all we can do is speculate and enjoy these photos for what they are- CLASSIC HORROR TREASURES.

Happy Friday the 13th!

{Video} Behind the Scenes VHS Retail Promo For “Poltergeist III”!

In February of 1989, video shop owners were targeted with the promise of immense Poltergeist profits with the final installment of the trilogy ready to be consumed by movie aficionados looking for their perfect Friday night scare at the local video rental outlet. With today being the 30th anniversary, a monumental milestone for tragically Heather O’Rourke‘s final film, I figured let’s rewind back to the film’s initial era and take a look at the exclusive VHS promo given to multiple video store chains to get this film in their shops!

{Video} Behind the Scenes Video Store Promo For "Poltergeist III"!

Taken straight from a VHS copy belonging to the curator (unadjusted tracking and all) of Poltergeistiii.com, it truly is a beautiful vintage piece of history that unfortunately, makes me a little sad at the same time. Of course, all horror fans are aware of the untimely death of the genre’s favorite young demon attraction Heather O’ Rourke before the film was ultimately finished. So anytime I see the film, or promos regarding it, that’s always in the back of my mind. After the passing of O’Rourke, the director, cast, and crew didn’t even want to continue and the film was almost scrapped altogether. But, the powers that be pounded too much money in the project, and insisted the film be finished so here we are. While many consider the rounded out trifecta the weakest installment of the trilogy, I for one, appreciate the film for what it is, (and come on, it’s a fun popcorn flick) and have all the respect in the world for Heather’s final on-screen appearance.

Anyways I’m rambling. On to why you’re even here beloved VHS heads!

The seven-minute retailer promo offers some really cools facts, behind the scenes shots (not seen in other featurettes), interviews with the cast and crew, and of course details on the monster magic used to perform in the film! Including the infamous garage puddle scene! The retail price for the video was advertised to shop owners as $89.95 a piece, (and now you know what contributed to those pesky overdue fees) and purchases included a rad as hell 6-foot tall standee of Reverend Kane, an original theatrical poster to display, and a custom-made mobile counter display of the film to grab the attention of rental goers! What I wouldn’t give to own one of those retro rental artifacts!

Check out this national piece of VHS treasures below and give Poltergeist III a revisit today!