GoreMaster 100 Films Archives

Dawn of the Dead released May 24, 1979

Dawn of the Dead

Dawn of the Dead (also known as Zombi internationally) is a 1978 zombie film, written and directed by George A. Romero. It was the second film made in Romero’s Living Dead series, but contains no characters or settings from its predecessor, and shows in larger scale a zombie epidemic’s apocalyptic effects on society. In the film, a pandemic of unknown origin has caused the reanimation of the dead, who prey on human flesh, which subsequently causes mass hysteria. The cast features David Emge, Ken Foree, Scott H. Reiniger and Gaylen Ross as survivors of the outbreak who barricade themselves inside a suburban shopping mall.

Dawn of the Dead was shot over approximately four months, from late 1977 to early 1978, in the Pennsylvania cities of Pittsburgh and Monroeville. Its primary filming location was the Monroeville Mall. The film was made on a relatively modest budget estimated at $650,000 US, and was a significant box office success for its time, grossing an estimated $55 million worldwide. Since opening in theaters in 1978, and despite heavy gore content, reviews for the film have been nearly unanimously positive.

Cultural and film historians read significance into the film’s plot, linking it to critiques of large corporations as well as American consumerism and of the social decadence and the social and commercial excess present in America during the late 1970s.

In 2008, Dawn of the Dead was chosen by Empire magazine as one of The 500 Greatest Movies of All Time, along with its predecessor, Night of the Living Dead.

In addition to four official sequels, the film has spawned numerous parodies and pop culture references. A remake of the movie premiered in the United States on March 19, 2004. It was labeled a “re-imagining” of the original film’s concept. It retains several major themes of the original film along with the primary setting in a shopping mall.


Filmed in Monroeville Mall, Monroeville, PA.

A Behind The Scenes still from the Extended Version of the Ultimate DVD boxed set indicates George A. Romero had a third cameo in the picture. The still shows the director standing to the side of the camera, his sleeve rolled up, holding a pistol upwards. Behind him a part of the mall can clearly be seen, indicating it was shot on site. Near the end of the picture, a similar shot exists: a POV from a man holding a pistol firing up past a fenced in area on the upper floor where Peter is running across.

The weapons store featured in the film was never a part of the Monroeville Mall. George A. Romero shot those scenes in a gun shop in downtown Pittsburgh and edited the footage in to make it look like it was a shop in the mall.

Director Cameo: [George A. Romero] the director in the television studio.

Cameo: [Christine Forrest] (wife of George A. Romero) director’s assistant in the television studio.

Director Cameo: [George A. Romero] Santa Claus biker (briefly visible in biker raid).

Cameo: [Tom Savini] Zombie who breaks window of truck then is shot by Roger with revolver.

In the scene where Roger hits the zombie (played by Tom Savini) with the truck and it leaves a bloody smear on his windshield, the effect was created by Savini throwing himself on the non-moving truck and spitting a mouthful of blood on the windshield.

Tom Savini chose a friend to play the helicopter zombie because he was notorious for having a low forehead.

The airstrip used in the film, the Harold W. Brown Memorial Field (aka Monroeville Municipal Airport), is still in operation as of 2002. The privately run airfield is approximately 10 miles from the Monroeville Mall, where the bulk of the film was shot.

The two zombie children who attack Peter in the airport chart house are played by Donna Savini and Mike Savini, the real-life niece and nephew of Tom Savini. Incidently, these are the only zombies in all of Romero’s “Dead” films that spontaneously run and never do the trademark “Zombie shuffle”.

The voice of Christine Forrest (George A. Romero’s wife) can be heard on a pre-recorded announcement in the mall (“Attention all shoppers…”).

The skating rink shown in the film was part of the Monroeville Mall. It has since been replaced by a food court.

Much of the fake blood used in the blood packets was a mixture of food coloring, peanut butter and cane sugar syrup.

When the film was first released, the shooting budget was reported to be $1.5 million. On his commentary track on the “Ultimate” DVD release, producer Richard P. Rubinstein admitted that amount was inflated for foreign buyers, and the actual budget was around $500,000 (including deferred lab fees and Rubenstein and director George A. Romero deferring much of their salaries).

Many effects were thought of on the spot. Tom Savini created many effects (such as the arm in the blood pressure tester) with no preparations whatsoever.

There was originally a scene during the biker raid involving a zombie getting an arrow in the head from a crossbow. It was filmed but never featured in the final cut.

Tom Savini used the same dummy throughout the course of filming. During that time it was blown up, burnt, shot, and beaten, among other things.

In the Extended Edition (available on both laserdisc and Anchor Bay’s “Ultimate Edition”), the music that is heard when Peter and Stephen are closing the gates of the mall in an effort to keep the bikers out is taken directly from the opening credits of Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975).

Some of the zombies (notably one in the tenement scene) were actual amputees.

EASTER EGG: On disk 4 (Document of the Dead) of Anchor Bay’s “Ultimate Edition” DVD set, there is a hidden menu (shape of one of corpse on screen) item which can only be selected after seeing all items.

Filming at the Monroeville Mall took place during the winter of 1976-77, with a three week reprieve during the Christmas shopping season (during which other footage, e.g. the TV studio, was shot). Filming at the mall began around 10 p.m., shortly after the mall closed, and finished at 6 a.m. The mall didn’t open until 9, but at 6 the Muzak came on and no one knew how to turn it off.

Joseph Pilato, who played Captain Rhodes in Day of the Dead (1985), appears as a policeman at the boat dock.

Joseph Pilato auditioned for the role of Stephen.

The alarm company is named BIG BRUISER.

Tom Savini, head of makeup effects, was unhappy with how the blood mix (produced by 3M) photographed; it looked fluorescent. Director George A. Romero felt it was perfect for the film’s comic book style.

Much of the stock music used in this film was licensed from the Music De Wolfe Library, a much-used resource of stock music for motion pictures.

Shooting at the mall was suspended over the Christmas season because it would have been too costly to nightly remove and then later re-hang all the seasonal decorations.

Extras who appeared in this film were reportedly given $20 in cash, a box lunch, and a Dawn of the Dead T-shirt.

In order to save on production costs, director/editor George A. Romero had all the 35mm film stock developed into 16mm, and used that as his work reel. After choosing the scenes and takes he wanted, he had those alone developed into 35mm prints for the master reels.

The MPAA had threatened to impose the X rating if George A. Romero didn’t make cuts. Romero did not want to cut the film, and he was adamant against an X rating, due to its stigma of hard-core pornography. In the end, Romero was able to persuade his distributors to release the film with no rating, although on all advertising and trailers, there was a disclaimer that in effect read that while there was no explicit sex in the film, the movie was of such a violent nature that no one under 17 would be admitted.

The narration for the USA radio and TV commercials for this film was provided by Adolph Caesar.

While writing the script for Night of the Living Dead (1968), George A. Romero and John A. Russo contemplated how they should have the zombies destroyed. Co-star and makeup artist Marilyn Eastman joked that they could throw pies into their faces. This is undoubtedly the basis for the pie fight scene in this film.

Dario Argento was an admirer of George A. Romero’s work, and vice-versa. When Argento heard that Romero was contemplating a sequel to Night of the Living Dead (1968) he insisted that Romero come out to Argento’s native Rome to write the script without distractions. Romero knocked out the script in 3 weeks and, though Argento read the script as it came out, he left all the writing to Romero. Argento also provided most of the film’s soundtrack and, in return for the rights to edit the European version of the film, assisted in raising the necessary funds.

Tom Savini choose the gray color for the zombies’ skin, since Night of the Living Dead (1968) was in B&W and the zombie skin-tone was not depicted. He later said it was a mistake, because many of them ended up looking quite blue on film.

Some of the actors playing zombies in the movie would frequently get drunk at a late-night bar called the Brown Derby, which was in the Monroeville Mall. One night they stole a golf cart and crashed into a marble pillar, causing $7,000 worth of damage.

Zombie actors took photographs of themselves dressed up in full zombie makeup inside a photo booth on the second floor. They then replaced the sample pictures on the front of the booth with the ghoulish ones.

Many of the extras cast in the film (especially the zombies in close-up shots) were friends and relatives of the production crew.

The outdoor scene where hunters, emergency crew and soldiers are shooting at zombies was done through local volunteers. Several local hunters arrived on-scene with their own weapons, the local National Guard division showed up in full gear, and local emergency crew (police, fire and ambulance) were present, all voluntarily.

Several members of the marauding band of bikers were played by members of the local chapter of the Pagans Motorcycle Club. The elaborate motorcycles they drove were their own.

The scene between Roger and Peter in the trucks when they are kidding each other about their height was entirely improvised by the two actors.

The scenes between Stephen, Peter, Roger, and Frannie in the helicopter were filmed with the helicopter never running or leaving the ground. A shell was painted blue for the day scenes and black for the night scenes and interspersed with real helicopter footage.

In the original draft of the script, the TV station’s call sign was WJAS, the call sign of an actual radio station in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where the film was shot. The call sign was replaced with WGON, which was not issued to any station at that time (it had been issued to an AM radio station in Munsing, Michigan, but the station had gone dark some time before). WGON has now been issued to a licensed low power FM radio station (WGON-LP, 103.7) in Slidell, Louisiana.

The bit in the movie where Roger slides down between the escalators was Scott H. Reiniger’s idea.

The car driven in the mall is a 1977 Volkswagen Scirocco.

The helicopter used in the film was a Bell Jet Ranger II. The registration number was N90090.

Much of the fighting done by Fran was at the behest of Gaylen Ross, who refused to play a character who would not fight the zombies on her own.

Both parents of Christine Forrest make appearances as zombies in the film.

The living quarters where the four heroes shacked up in wasn’t located in the mall. It was a set built at George A. Romero’s then production company The Latent Image located in Pittsburgh. The elevator shaft was located there as well.

With such a shoestring budget, the film couldn’t afford professional stunt people outside of drivers, so makeup artist Tom Savini and assistant and friend Taso N. Stavrakis volunteered for the task. They are responsible for almost every stunt seen in the film, though not all went perfectly as planned. When filming a dive over the rail of the mall, Savini almost missed his pile of cardboard boxes, with his legs and back landing on the ground. He had to work from a golf cart for several days. The shot where Stavrakis swung down from a banner was poorly planned and he wound up continuing on and slamming into the ceiling.

Gaylen Ross said that the brief scene where she is skating in the ice rink was a near-disaster. She had stated on her resume that she could ice skate, but hadn’t done so in nearly 20 years. She admitted in an interview that she was being shouted instructions on how to skate by the rink manager (who was out of camera shot) and stayed on her feet barely long enough to complete a single loop.

Gaylen Ross refused to scream during the film. She felt that Fran was a strong female character, and if she screamed, the strength would be lost. She told this to George A. Romero once, when he told her to scream. He never asked her again.

Director George A. Romero has said several times that David Emge’s zombie walk is his favorite out of all the Dead movies. He has even gone on to go on to say that the performance is worthy of Lon Chaney.

There is great dispute over the film’s alternate ending, where Peter shoots himself in the head and Fran commits suicide by sticking her head up into the blades of the copter. Some, such as makeup artists Tom Savini and Taso N. Stavrakis, maintain that the scene was filmed, while director George A. Romero used to be adamant that it wasn’t. However, in the documentary Document of the Dead (1985) which was shot during the making of this film (and is included on some DVD copies), Romero clearly states to Frumkes, as they walk around the mall set, that they did indeed film the alternative ending, although he never filmed the effects shot. Gaylen Ross had a head mold made for the effects scene, and Savini did not want to see it go to waste, so he dressed the head up as a bearded African-American man, and that is the head that is blown off by a shotgun blast at the beginning of the film. To create the exploding head effect, Savini cleared the set and had the head shot at with an actual shotgun. Romero decided that this conclusion would be too depressing (after the horrors that have occurred) and, partially at the suggestion of his future wife, Christine Forrest, gave Peter and Fran a little bit of hope.

The German Dubbing of the Film (which features, among others, Christian Brückner who usually dubs Robert De Niro, as Ken Foree’s Voice) was written and directed by filmmaker Roland Klick.

Peter is the first person in the franchise to refer to the undead as “zombies”. The term is never used in Night of the Living Dead (1968).

The beer the hunters are seen drinking is Iron City Beer, a once-popular beer brewed in Pittsburgh in which ‘George A. Romero”s film company, The Latent Image, produced and filmed a number of Iron City Beer TV commercials during the late 1960s and early 1970s.

The Monroeville mall used as the site of much of the action was once the largest mall in America. Now it is almost a inconsequential mall compared to other larger sites.

Cameo: [John Amplas] In 3 roles: LBiker wearing a head pendant and holding an ax; Zombie thrown over the balcony by Peter; Zombie who gets arm pulled off.

Cameo: [Randy Kovitz] Biker (wearing blue beret)

Cameo: [Joe Shelby] Zombie in car.

Joe Shelby’s Biker Van Driver character is the one who wears the funny cowboy hat and glasses.

Noted rock and country music journalist Chet Flippo wrote about the making of this movie for Rolling Stone. His article “When There’s No More Room in Hell, the Dead Will Walk the Earth” was published in the March, 1978 #261 issue. Moreover, Flippo appears in the film in an uncredited bit role as the zombie with a nasty gash across his cheek who’s wearing a cowboy hat and a leather jacket with fringe hanging off the sleeves.

The Shining released May 23, 1980

The Shining 1980

The Shining is a 1980 psychological horror film directed by Stanley Kubrick, based on Stephen King’s novel of the same name. Director Stanley Kubrick co-wrote the screenplay with novelist Diane Johnson. The film stars Jack Nicholson as tormented writer Jack Torrance, Shelley Duvall as his wife Wendy, and Danny Lloyd as their son, Danny.

Unlike most Stanley Kubrick films which saw a slow graduated release building on word-of-mouth reputation, The Shining was released in a manner more like a mass-market film, opening at first in just two cities on Memorial Day, and then a month later seeing a nationwide release (including to drive-ins) after extensive television advertising. Nonetheless, initial response to the film was mixed and at first it performed moderately at the box office. The subsequent European release was almost half an hour shorter. Later critical assessment of the film has been more favorable and it is now viewed as a classic of the horror genre by critics such as Roger Ebert and other directors like Martin Scorsese. Its iconic and surreal imagery is now deeply embedded throughout popular culture.

The film tells the story of a writer, Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson), who accepts the job of the winter caretaker at a hotel that always gets snowed in during the winter. Jack’s son shares psychic abilities with the hotel’s chef who calls it “shining”. They can see things in the future or past, such as the ghosts of murdered people in the hotel. As the hotel becomes snowbound, Jack Torrance becomes influenced by the ghosts in the haunted hotel, descending into madness and trying to murder his wife and son.

The novel’s author Stephen King had very conflicted feelings about the film which have oscillated over time. A TV mini-series adaptation of the novel broadcast in 1997 saw King more actively involved.


During the making of the movie, Stanley Kubrick would occasionally call Stephen King at 3:00 a.m. and ask him questions like “Do you believe in God?”

Stephen King was first approached by Stanley Kubrick about making a film version of ‘The Shining’ via an early morning phone call (England is five hours ahead of Maine in time zones). King, suffering from a hangover, shaving and at first thinking one of his kids was injured, was shocked when his wife told him Kubrick was really on the phone. King recalled that the first thing Kubrick did was to immediately start talking about how optimistic ghost stories are, because they suggest that humans survive death. “What about hell?” King asked. Kubrick paused for several moments before finally replying, “I don’t believe in hell.”

The Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood in Oregon was used for the front exterior, but all the interiors as well as the back of the hotel were specially built at Elstree Studios in London, England. The management of the Timberline requested that Stanley Kubrick not use 217 for a room number (as specified in the book), fearing that nobody would want to stay in that room ever again. Kubrick changed the script to use the nonexistent room number 237.

The book that Jack was writing contained the one sentence (“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”) repeated over and over. Stanley Kubrick had each page individually typed. For the Italian version of the film, Kubrick used the phrase “Il mattino ha l’ oro in bocca” (“He who wakes up early meets a golden day”). For the German version, it was “Was Du heute kannst besorgen, das verschiebe nicht auf Morgen” (“Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today”). For the Spanish version, it was “No por mucho madrugar amanece más temprano” (“Rising early will not make dawn sooner.”). For the French version, it was “Un ‘Tiens’ vaut mieux que deux ‘Tu l’auras'” (“A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush”).

Stanley Kubrick decided that having the hedge animals come alive (as they do in the book) was unworkable due to restrictions in special effects, so he opted for a hedge maze instead.

There is a great deal of confusion regarding this film and the number of retakes of certain scenes. According to the Guinness Book of Records, the scene where Wendy is backing up the stairs swinging the baseball bat was shot 127 times, which is a record for the most takes of a single scene. However, both Steadicam operator Garrett Brown and assistant editor Gordon Stainforth say this is inaccurate – the scene was shot about 35-45 times. Brown does say however that the scene where Hallorann explains to Danny what shining is was shot 148 times, which is a world record.

Director Trademark: [Stanley Kubrick] [Bathroom] Jack speaks to the ghost of Delbert Grady in the men’s room.

When first released, the film had an alternate ending: after the shot of Jack’s body, the film dissolves to a scene of policemen outside the hotel. It then cuts to a scene in a hospital, where Wendy is resting in a bed and Danny is playing in a waiting room. Ullman arrives and tells her that they have been unable to locate her husband’s body anywhere on the property. On his way out, Ullman gives Danny a ball – the same one that mysteriously rolled into a hallway earlier in the film, before Danny was attacked in room 237. Ullman laughs and walks away and the film dissolves to the move through the corridors towards the photo. Stanley Kubrick had the scene removed a week after the film was released.

Director Trademark: [Stanley Kubrick] [three-way] Danny vs. the Overlook vs. Jack

Stanley Kubrick considered both Robert De Niro and Robin Williams for the role of Jack Torrance but decided against both of them. Kubrick didn’t think De Niro would suit the part after watching his performance in Taxi Driver (1976), as he deemed De Niro not psychotic enough for the role. He didn’t think Williams would suit the part after watching his performance in “Mork & Mindy” (1978), as he deemed him too psychotic for the role. According to Stephen King, Kubrick also briefly considered Harrison Ford.

Stephen King tried to talk Stanley Kubrick out of casting Jack Nicholson in the lead suggesting, instead, either Michael Moriarty or Jon Voight. King had felt that watching either of these normal-looking men gradually descend into madness, would have immensely improved the dramatic thrust of the storyline.

The scrapbook that Jack finds in the novel makes a brief appearance next to his typewriter in the scene when Jack tells Wendy never to bother him while he’s working.

Director Trademark: [Stanley Kubrick] [faces] Jack, as he chases his son through the maze.

Director Trademark: [Stanley Kubrick] [faces] Danny, when he sees the twins in the hallway.

Director Trademark: [Stanley Kubrick] [zoom] when Halloran is on his bed watching TV.

Jack Nicholson ad-libbed the line “Here’s Johnny!” in imitation of announcer Ed McMahon’s famous introduction of Johnny Carson on U.S. network NBC-TV’s long-running late night television program “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” (1962). Stanley Kubrick, who had been living in England since before Carson took over “The Tonight Show,” had no clue what “Here’s Johnny!” meant. Carson once used the clip of Nicholson as the introduction to one of his annual anniversary specials.

During the scene where Wendy brings Jack breakfast in bed, it can be seen in the reflection of the mirror that Jack’s T-shirt says “Stovington” on it. While not mentioned in the film, this is the name of the school that Jack used to teach at in the Stephen King novel.

Stanley Kubrick, known for his compulsiveness and numerous retakes, got the difficult shot of blood pouring from the elevators in only three takes. This would be remarkable if it weren’t for the fact that the shot took nine days to set up; every time the doors opened and the blood poured out, Kubrick would say, “It doesn’t look like blood.” In the end, the shot took approximately a year to get right.

During filming, Stanley Kubrick made the cast watch Eraserhead (1976), Rosemary’s Baby (1968) and The Exorcist (1973) to put them in the right frame of mind.

All of the interior rooms of The Overlook Hotel were filmed at Elstree Studios in England, including The Colorado Lounge, where Jack does his typing. Because of the intense heat generated from the lighting used to recreate window sunlight (the room took 700,000 watts of light per window to make it look like a snowy day outside), the lounge set caught fire. Fortunately all of the scenes had been completed there, so the set was rebuilt with a higher ceiling, and the same area was eventually used by Steven Spielberg as the snake-filled Well of the Souls tomb in Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981).

The Louisville Slugger baseball bat with which Wendy Torrance bludgeons Jack is signed by Carl Yastrzemski, Hall of Fame Red Sox player. Author Stephen King is a huge Red Sox fan.

Every time Jack talks to a “ghost”, there’s a mirror in the scene, except in the food locker scene. This is because in the food locker scene he only talks to Grady through the door. We never see Grady in this scene.

According to Stephen King, the title is inspired by the refrain in the Plastic Ono Band’s song, “Instant Karma” (by John Lennon), which features the chorus: “We all shine on.”

At the time of release, it was the policy of the MPAA to not allow the portrayal of blood in trailers that would be approved for all audiences. Bizarrely , the trailer for The Shining is comprised entirely of the shot of blood pouring out of the elevator. Stanley Kubrick had convinced the board the blood flooding out of the elevator was actually rusty water.

Because Danny Lloyd was so young and since it was his first acting job, Stanley Kubrick was highly protective of the child. During the shooting of the movie, Lloyd was under the impression that the film he was making was a drama, not a horror movie. He only realized the truth seven years later, when, aged 13, he was shown a heavily edited version of the film. He didn’t see the uncut version of the film until he was 17 – eleven years after he’d made it.

The throwing around of the tennis ball inside the overlook hotel was Jack Nicholson’s idea. The script originally only specified that, “Jack is not working”.

Outtakes of the shots of the Volkswagen traveling towards the Overlook at the start of the film were plundered by Ridley Scott (with Stanley Kubrick’s permission) when he was forced to add the ‘happy ending’ to the original release of Blade Runner (1982).

The “snowy” maze near the conclusion of the movie consisted of 900 tons of salt and crushed Styrofoam.

Stanley Kubrick’s first choice to play Danny Torrance was Cary Guffey, the young boy from Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977). Guffey’s parents apparently turned down the offer due to the film’s subject matter.

Billie Gibson, the old woman in the tub, has been falsely rumored to be Ann Gibson, Mel Gibson’s late mother.

Neither Lia Beldam (young woman in bath) nor Billie Gibson (old woman in bath) appeared in another movie before or after this one.

Cameo: [Norman Gay] The injured guest who frightens Wendy Torrance (Shelley Duvall) by saying “Great party, isn’t it?” was played by film editor Norman Gay.

There were so many changes to the script during shooting that Jack Nicholson claimed he stopped reading it. He would read only the new pages that were given to him each day.

Wendy Carlos and Rachel Elkind wrote and performed a full electronic score for the film, but Stanley Kubrick discarded most of it and used a soundtrack of mostly classical music. Only the adaptation of Hector Berlioz’s “Symphonie Fantastique” during the opening credits, the music during the family’s drive to the hotel, and a few other brief moments (such as Halloran’s plane trip) survive in the final version. Wendy Carlos once noted that she’d like to see the original score released on CD, but there were too many legal snags at the time. As of 2005, Carlos’ score for the film has been remastered, and is a part of “Rediscovering Lost Scores Volumes 1 and 2”.

For the scene in which Jack breaks down the bathroom door, the props department built a door that could be easily broken. However, Jack Nicholson had worked as a volunteer fire marshal and tore it apart far too easily. The props department were then forced to build a stronger door.

Anjelica Huston lived with Jack Nicholson during the time of the shooting. She recalled that, due to the long hours on the set and Stanley Kubrick’s trademark style of repetitive takes, Nicholson would often return from a day’s shooting, walk straight to the bed, collapse onto it and would immediately fall asleep.

Prior to hiring Diane Johnson as his writing partner, director/producer Stanley Kubrick rejected a screenplay written by Stephen King himself. King’s script was a much more literal adaptation of the novel, a much more traditional horror film than the film Kubrick would ultimately make. He was considering hiring Johnson because he admired her novel “The Shadow Knows,” but when he found out she was a Doctor of Gothic Studies, he became convinced she was the person for the job.

The making-of documentary shot by Vivian Kubrick shows that the hedge maze set, while nowhere near as large as the maze in the film (which was mostly a matte painting), was still large and complex enough to require a detailed map. In the commentary for her documentary, she notes that many crew members really got lost in the maze, dryly noting that it now reminds her of the lost-backstage scene in This Is Spinal Tap (1984).

There was no air conditioning on the sets, meaning it would often become very hot. The hedge maze set was stifling; actors and crew would often strip off as much of the heavy clothing they were wearing as quickly as they could once a shot was finished.

Tony Burton, who had a brief role as Larry Durkin the garage owner, arrived on set one day carrying a chess set in hopes of getting in a game with someone during a break from filming. Stanley Kubrick, an avid chess player who had in his youth played for money, noticed the chess set. Despite production being behind schedule, Kubrick proceeded to call off filming for the day and engage in a set of games with Burton. Burton only managed to win one game, but nevertheless the director thanked him, since it had been some time that he’d played against a challenging opponent.

Stanley Kubrick wanted to shoot the film in script order. This meant having all the relevant sets standing by at all times. In order to achieve this, every soundstage at Elstree was used, with all the sets built, pre-lit and ready to go during the entire shoot at the studios.

To construct the interiors of the Overlook, Stanley Kubrick and his production designer, Roy Walker purposely set out to make it look like an amalgamation of bits and pieces of real hotels, rather than giving it one single design ethic. Kubrick had sent many photographers around the country photographing hotel rooms and picking his favorite. For example, the red men’s bathroom was modeled on a men’s room in the Biltmore Hotel in Arizona designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, and the Colorado lounge was modeled on the lounge of the Ahwanee Hotel in the Yosemite Valley. Indeed, the chandeliers, windows and fireplace are nearly identical, so much so that people entering the Ahwahnee often ask if it’s “the Shining hotel”.

Steadicam operator Garrett Brown accomplished many of the ultra-low tracking corridor sequences from a wheelchair on which his invention was mounted. Grips would either pull backward or push forward the wheelchair, depending on the requirement of the shot

Cameo: [Vivian Kubrick] in the party scene. She wears a black dress and sits on the right side of the sofa closest to the bar.

In the party scene, Stanley Kubrick told the extras to mouth their words and not to nod their heads.

One of the shots in the part where Jack is bouncing a ball against a wall took several days to film. This was because the shot entailed the ball bouncing from the wall onto the camera lens as it filmed. As Stanley Kubrick was so determined to get this precise shot, the camera kept rolling while the ball was continually hit against the wall in the hope of it bouncing back and hitting the lens. It took everyone on the entire unit having a go at it in between other shots before the shot was finally achieved after several days.

The famous opening scene was shot in Glacier National Park in Montana just north of St. Mary’s Lake. The road seen in the scene, Going-to-the-Sun Road, does actually close down during winter and is only negotiable by snowcat. Kubrick initially sent a second unit to the Rockies in Colorado, but they reported back that the area wasn’t very interesting. When Stanley Kubrick saw the footage they had shot, he was furious, and fired the entire unit. He then sent Greg MacGillivray, a noted helicopter cameraman, to Montana and it was McGillivray who shot the scene.

This was voted the ninth scariest film of all time by Entertainment Weekly.

The movie’s line “Here’s Johnny!” was voted as the #68 movie quote by the American Film Institute (out of 100), and as the #36 of “The 100 Greatest Movie Lines” by Premiere in 2007.

Much like the casting of the “Jack” character, Stephen King also disliked the casting of Shelley Duvall as “Wendy.” King said that he envisioned Wendy as being a blond former cheerleader type who never had to deal with any true problems in her life making her experience in the Overlook all the more terrifying. He felt that Duvall was too emotionally vulnerable and appeared to have gone through a lot in her life, basically the exact opposite of how he pictured the character.

The film was released in the United States on star Scatman Crothers’ 70th birthday.

The role of Lloyd the Bartender was originally to have been played by Harry Dean Stanton, who was unable to take the part due to his commitment to Alien (1979).

Scatman Crothers was a friend of Jack Nicholson’s, and when he heard about the Halloran role, he asked Nicholson to talk to Kubrick about casting him.

The two tracked vehicles in the movie are the Activ Fischer VW Powered 4 Speed Snow-Trak (referred to and labeled on the vehicle as a “SnowCat”) and a Thiokol Imp Snow-Cat (this is the vehicle Wendy and Danny escape in).

During an interview for the UK’S The 100 Greatest Scary Moments (2003) (TV), Shelley Duvall revealed that due to her role requiring her to be in an almost constant state of hysteria, she eventually ran out of tears from crying so hard. To overcome this she kept bottles of water with her at all times on set to remain hydrated.

The image of the two girls in the hotel corridor was inspired by the photograph “Identical Twins, Roselle, New Jersey, 1967” by Diane Arbus.

First film of Manning Redwood.

Approximately 5000 people auditioned for the role of Danny over a six-month period. The interviews were carried out in Chicago, Denver and Cincinnati by Stanley Kubrick’s assistant Leon Vitali and his wife, Kersti. Aspiring actors were asked to send in photographs of themselves, and from the photographs, a list was made of the boys who looked right, who were then called in to interview. Vitali would then have the boys do some minor improvisation on camera, and Kubrick would review the footage, gradually narrowing the list down.

According to Variety magazine, the film took almost 200 days to shoot. However, according to assistant editor Gordon Stainforth, it took much more, nearly a year. The film was originally supposed to take 17 weeks, but it ultimately took 51. Because the film ran so long, Warren Beatty’s Reds (1981) and Steven Spielberg’s Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) were both delayed as they were both waiting to shoot in Elstree Studios.

When Steadicam inventor/operator Garrett Brown was hired to work on the picture, he was assured that there was no way the shoot would run over six months, as he had to be back in the US in six months time to shoot Rocky II (1979). Six months into the shoot, less than half the film had been shot, and for several months, Brown worked one week in London on “The Shining,” one week in Philadelphia on “Rocky,” commuting by Concorde every Sunday.

To achieve the smoothness of the opening shots, cameraman Greg MacGillivray secured a wide angle Arriflex camera to the front of a helicopter, then balanced the blades to remove any vibrations. Even the shot where the camera comes down behind the car, passes it out, and goes over the edge is done via the helicopter.

The idea for Danny Lloyd to move his finger when he was talking as Tony was his own; he did it spontaneously during his very first audition.

For the scenes when we can hear Jack typing but we cannot see what he is typing, Kubrick recorded the sound of a typist actually typing the words “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”. Some people argue that each key on a typewriter sounds slightly different, and Kubrick wanted to ensure authenticity, so he insisted that the actual words be typed.

The maze was constructed on an airfield near Elstree studios, by weaving branches to chicken wire mounted on empty plywood boxes. The maze was shot using an extremely long lens (a 9.8mm, which gives a horizontal viewing angle of 90 degrees) which was kept dead level at all times, to make the hedges seem much bigger and more imposing than they were in reality.

The only shot in the film not achieved in-camera was the slow zoom in on the model of the maze, with the tiny figures of Danny and Wendy walking around at the center. To achieve this shot, a model of the maze was shot from six feet above. Then the small central section of the maze was built to scale next to an apartment complex. Actors Shelley Duvall and Danny Lloyd then walked about in the central section whilst the camera crew filmed it from the roof of the apartment building. The two shots were then simply composited together.

The shot of the tennis ball rolling into Danny’s toys took 50 takes to get right.

The scene of Hallorann approaching the hotel in the snow-cat was shot in real snow approaching the real Timberline hotel in Oregon.

The scene towards the end of the film, where Wendy is running up the stairway carrying a knife, was shot 35 times; the equivalent of running up the Empire State Building.

The 1921 photograph at the end of the film was a genuine 1920s photo, with Jack Nicholson’s head airbrushed onto the body of another man. Stanley Kubrick originally planned to use extras and shoot the photo himself, but he realized he couldn’t make it look any better than the real thing.

Despite receiving generally unfavorable reviews upon its initial release, the film is today regarded as one of the best horror movies ever made. In 2001, it was ranked 29th on AFI’s ‘100 Years…100 Thrills’ list. In 2003, Jack Torrance was named the 25th greatest villain on the AFI’s ‘100 Years…100 Heroes and Villains’ list. The film was named the scariest film of all time by Channel 4 in 2003, and Total Film had it as the 5th greatest horror film in 2004. Bravo TV placed it 6th on their list of the 100 Scariest Movie Moments in 2005. In addition, film critics Kim Newman and Jonathan Romney both placed it in their all-time top ten lists for the 2002 Sight and Sound poll.

Grady (Philip Stone) never blinks once throughout the entire film. Lloyd (Joe Turkel) blinks twice: in his first scene, after telling Jack, “no sir, I’m not busy at all,” and in his second scene, when he tells Jack, “your money’s no good here.”

Jack mentions Portland, Maine to Lloyd in the bar. Portland, Maine is where Stephen King grew up.

Despite Stanley Kubrick’s fierce demands on everyone, Jack Nicholson admitted to having a good working relationship with him. It was with Shelley Duvall that he was a completely different director. He allegedly picked on her more than anyone else, as seen in the documentaries Making ‘The Shining’ (1980) (TV) and Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures (2001). He would really lose his temper with her, even going so far as to say that she was wasting the time of everyone on the set. She later reflected that he was probably pushing her to her limits to get the best out of her, and that she wouldn’t trade the experience for anything – but it was not something she ever wished to repeat.

James Mason can be seen visiting the set of Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining (1980) in Vivian Kubrick’s TV documentary Making ‘The Shining’ (1980) (TV). Stanley Kubrick did not usually allow visitors to his set, but made an exception for Mason, who had memorably played Humbert Humbert for him in Lolita (1962).

Stephen King didn’t know that ‘redrum’ spelled murder backwards until he actually typed it. He loved the various connotations of the word.

Wendy swings the baseball bat 41 times.

According to Shelley Duvall the infamous ‘Heere’s Johnny!’ scene took 3 days to film and the use of 60 doors.

On the DVD commentary track for Making ‘The Shining’ (1980) (TV), Vivian Kubrick reveals that Shelley Duvall received “no sympathy at all” from anyone on the set. This was apparently Stanley Kubrick’s tactic in making her feel utterly hopeless. This is most evident in the documentary when he tells Vivian, “Don’t sympathize with Shelley.” Kubrick then goes on to tell Duvall, “It doesn’t help you.”

Stanley Kubrick had envisioned Shelley Duvall as his more timid, dependent version of Wendy Torrance from the very beginning. However Jack Nicholson after reading the novel, wanted Jessica Lange for the part of Wendy, and even recommended her to Kubrick, as he felt she fit Stephen King’s version of the character. After explaining the changes he had made, Kubrick convinced him that Duvall was the correct choice, as she best suited the emotionally fragile Wendy he had in mind. Many years later, Nicholson told EMPIRE magazine he thought Duvall was fantastic and called her work in the film, “the toughest job that any actor that I’ve seen had.”

This film was shot in the same film studio that was used for Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980). In fact, much of the same fake snow used for this film was used for the Hoth scenes. Stephen King visited the set of both films, and met director Irvin Kershner. This later became the basis for part of his book “It.” Kirshner had been nicknamed “Kersh,” and was directing the first Star Wars film to feature Yoda. In the book, It, there is a character named Mrs. Kersh, who was are told sounds like Yoda when she talks.

The outtakes link between this movie and Blade Runner (1982) was not the only element that connected the two. Actor Joe Turkel who plays Lloyd (the bartender who serves Jack), also played Dr. Eldon Tyrell in Blade Runner (1982). Outtakes aside, Turkel is the only other common cast/crew link between both films.

The two Ray Noble and His Orchestra songs used were not actually from the 1920s: “Midnight, the Stars and You” (played in the ballroom) was recorded Feb 16, 1934, and “It’s All Forgotten Now” (heard faintly when Grady is talking to Jack in the bathroom) was recorded July 11, 1934.

Shelley Duvall is the only actor/actress playing a member of the Torrance family whose character name is not the same as his/her real life name – Jack Nicholson plays a character named Jack and Danny Lloyd plays a character named Danny.

For a TV commercial in 2010 for “Premier Inn” hotels (UK), British comedian Lenny Henry re-enacted Jack Nicholson’s “Heeere’s Johnny” scene (“Heeere’s Lenny”) in which he demolished a hotel bathroom door with an ax.

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Peeping Tom released May 15, 1962

Peeping Tom

Peeping Tom is a 1960 British psychological thriller/horror film directed by Michael Powell. The title derives from the slang expression ‘peeping Tom’ describing a voyeur. The film, which also contains the themes of serial murder and child abuse, revolves around a young man who murders women while using a portable movie camera to record their dying expressions of terror. The film was written by the World War II cryptographer and polymath Leo Marks.


Early choices for the role of Mark included Dirk Bogarde and Laurence Harvey.

The cameras in Mark Lewis’ room include director Michael Powell’s first film camera, a hand operated Eyemo, made by Bell and Howell, that he won in a competition.

Director Cameo: [Michael Powell] Peeping Tom’s father, seen in an old home movie he shows the girl.

In Mark Lewis’ “home movies,” Prof. A.N. Lewis is played by director Michael Powell, young Mark Lewis is played by Powell’s real-life son, Columba Powell, and Mark’s mother, seen lying lifelessly in bed, is played by Columba’s real-life mother, Frankie Reidy.

Premiere voted this movie as one of “The 25 Most Dangerous Movies”.

The scandal, which the movie aroused, destroyed the career of director Michael Powell.

The character of Don Jarvis the studio boss is a parody of notorious Rank mogul John Davis.

In his memoirs Michael Powell revealed his other candidates for the role of Vivian as being Joan Plowright (rejected as ‘too sympathetic’) and a young Julie Andrews (rejected as ‘too famous’). He eventually chose Moira Shearer despite initially describing her as ‘too glamorous’.

The Sentinel released May 12, 1977

The Sentinal

The Sentinel is a 1977 horror film starring Chris Sarandon and Cristina Raines.  It is based on the same-named novel by Jeffrey Konvitz who also co-wrote the screenplay with director Michael Winner. It is completely unrelated with the 2006 political thriller of the same name.


There was a bit of controversy surrounding this film upon its release when it was leaked that director Michael Winner used real human oddities for the Dead rising up from hell scene at the film’s conclusion.

Cameo: [Richard Dreyfuss] Man talking to girl in red sweater as Cristina Raines and Deborah Raffin are walking on the sidewalk.

Universal had hoped to sign on ‘Don Siegel (I)’ as director, but Siegel ultimately bowed out due to his discomfort with this particular movie genre.

Kate Jackson was asked to play Alison Parker, but turned down the part.

The book on Milton’s poems that Professor Ruzinsky hands to Lerman was edited by Maurice Kelley (1903-1996), an actual Milton authority.

Academy Award-winner John Williams was originally supposed to score the music. However, when Williams backed out to do a project by George Lucas, Michael Small was later supposed to be a replacement. Small eventually was unable to do the score which led to Golden Globe-nominee Gil Melle, who composed a chilling score which blends the the elements of Williams, Jerry Fielding, and James Horner.

Friday the 13th released May 9, 1980

friday the thirteenth, friday the 13th

Friday the 13th is a 1980 American slasher film directed by Sean S. Cunningham and written by Victor Miller. The film stars Betsy Palmer, Adrienne King, Harry Crosby and Kevin Bacon in one of his earliest roles. The film concerns a group of teenagers who re-open an abandoned camp site years after a young boy drowned in a nearby lake. One by one, the teens fall victim to a mysterious killer.

Friday the 13th, inspired by the success of John Carpenter’s Halloween, was made on an estimated budget of $550,000. Released by Paramount Pictures in the United States, and Warner Bros. internationally, the film received mixed reviews from film critics, but grossed over $39.7 million at the box office in the United States, and went on to become one of the most profitable slasher films in cinema history. It was also the first movie of its kind to secure distribution in the USA by a major studio, Paramount Pictures. The film’s box office success led to a long series of sequels, a crossover with Freddy Krueger and a series reboot released on February 13, 2009.


Body count: 10.

The first counsellor killed in the 1958 prologue is named “Barry” in the credits. The captions identify him as “Gary”.

Sally Field auditioned for the role of Alice Hardy.

Steve Christy is named after Steve Miner, Associate Producer for the film.

The film has been spoofed a number of times, most notably in Saturday the 14th (1981)

Sean S. Cunningham has been quoted as saying that the type of actors that he sought for the film were “good-looking kids who you might see in a Pepsi commercial.”

Estelle Parsons was originally signed on to play Mrs. Voorhees.

Adrienne King at first did not want to be in the film because of the graphic violence in it, but she changed her mind.

Betsy Palmer said that if it were not for the fact that she was in desperate need of a new car, she would never have taken the part of Pamela Voorhees. In fact, after she read the script she called the film “a piece of shit”.

One critic was so angry at Betsy Palmer’s role in the movie (which had angered many of her fans), that he published her address in his magazine, and encouraged people to write her and protest her. He published the wrong address.

Most of the location and set was already there, they only had to build the bathroom set.

The movie was filmed at Camp Nobebosco in New Jersey. The camp is still in operation to date, and they have a wall of Friday the 13th paraphernalia to honor the fact that the movie was set there.

Tom Savini was one of the first crew members on board for the film because the producers idolized his special makeup effects in Dawn of the Dead (1978).

The filmmakers never intended to make this the launching pad for the series that followed. According to Victor Miller, Jason was only meant as a plot device and not intended to continue on his mother’s grisly work.

Composer Harry Manfredini has said that contrary to popular belief, the famous “chi chi chi, ha ha ha” in the film’s score is actually “ki ki ki, ma ma ma”. It is meant to resemble Jason’s voice saying “kill kill kill, mom mom mom” in Mrs. Voorhees’ mind. It was inspired by the scene in which Mrs. Voorhees seems to be possessed by Jason and chants “Get her mommy….kill her!” Manfredini created the effect by speaking the syllables “Ki” and “Ma” into a microphone running through a delay effect.

While most of the cast and crew stayed at local hotels during the filming, some of the loyal cast and crew members, including Tom Savini, and Taso N. Stavrakis, stayed at the actual camp site. They had Savini’s Betamax VCR and only a couple of movies (Barbarella (1968) and Marathon Man (1976)) on videotape to keep themselves entertained, so each night they would watch one of these movies. To this day, Savini says he can recite those movies by heart.

The film made $39,754,601 and had a budget of $550,000.

Filming lasted 28 days.

The scene with the snake was not in the script and was an idea from Tom Savini after an experience in his own cabin during filming. The snake in the scene was real, including its on-screen death.

Willie Adams was a crew member for the film. Although he spent most his time working behind the camera, he played the male counsellor in the 1958 scene, and holds the unique distinction of being the first murder victim in the Friday the 13th film series.

Betsy Palmer worked on the film for ten days, for which she received $1000 per day.

In the script, Marcie’s death scene was originally meant to show an arrow hitting her chest in the archery area. Depsite popular belief, this was never filmed.

Victor Miller admitted that he was purposely riding off the success of John Carpenter’s Halloween (1978).

Victor Miller had originally given Jason the name of Josh. After deciding that it sounded too nice, he changed it to Jason after a school bully.

Victor Miller’s working title for the script was “Long Night at Camp Blood”.

Special Effects Supervisor, Tom Savini, performed the arrow shot that narrowly misses Brenda when she’s setting up the archery target.

In 1987, Warner Bros. released the film on home video in the UK. Shortly after, they realized they made a typo on the back cover in the film’s credits (“Harry Crosy” instead of “Harry Crosby”). They quickly rectified this mistake and released a slightly altered cover the next year.

The Black Cat released May 7, 1934

Black Cat

The Black Cat is a 1934 horror film that became Universal Pictures’ biggest box office hit of the year. It was the first of six movies to pair actors Béla Lugosi and Boris Karloff. Edgar G. Ulmer directed the film; Peter Ruric (better known as pulp writer “Paul Cain”) wrote the screenplay. The classical music soundtrack, compiled by Heinz Eric Roemheld, is unusual for its time, because there is an almost continuous background score throughout the entire film.




The satanic prayer Poelzig chants during the black mass scene consists of phrases in Latin, the most recognizable being “cum grano salis” (with a grain of salt).

Edgar G. Ulmer admitted in an interview that Edgar Allan Poe’s story was credited to draw public attention, despite the fact it had nothing to do with the story in the movie.

Censors in Italy, Finland and Austria banned the movie outright, while others required cuts of the more gruesome sequences.

This was Universal’s biggest hit of 1934.

The set of the main room in Poelzig’s house were built for $1,500.

The first of eight movies to pair Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi.

Among the unconventional elements of this film was the soundtrack. At a time (early 1930s) when movie music was usually limited to the titles and credits, Edgar G. Ulmer had an almost continuous background score throughout the entire film.

Boris Karloff’s character is named after Austrian architect and art director Hans Poelzig. Poelzig worked on Der Golem, wie er in die Welt kam (1920), on which director Edgar G. Ulmer was set designer.

Edgar G. Ulmer dubbed Boris Karloff’s line at the end of the chess match: “You lose, Vitus”.

Edgar G. Ulmer dubbed Bela Lugosi’s voice instructing his servant to “wait here” before accompanying Boris Karloff down to be shown his preserved dead wife.

The ill-fated bus driver is a direct homage to the doorman in Der letzte Mann (1924), on which Edgar G. Ulmer worked as Production Designer.

Director Edgar G. Ulmer, when writing this film, loosely based the villain Hjalmar Poelzig, played by Boris Karloff, on director Fritz Lang. Ulmer knew Lang from the German-Austrian film scene and, though he was a huge admirer of Lang’s films, felt Lang to be a sadist as a director.

The only Universal picture until The Wolf Man (1941) to introduce the major characters during the opening credits, and the actors playing them, with brief clips from the movie.

Part of the original SHOCK THEATER package of 52 Universal titles released to television in 1957, followed a year later with SON OF SHOCK, which added 21 more features.

House of Wax released April 25, 1953

House of Wax

House of Wax is a 1953 American horror film starring Vincent Price. It is a remake of 1933’s Mystery of the Wax Museum without the comic relief featured in the earlier film, and was directed by André de Toth. The 1953 House of Wax was an early example of the 3-D film craze of the early 1950s.

The film was the first 3-D color feature from a major American studio, and premiered just two days after Columbia Pictures’s Man in the Dark, the first 3-D feature released by a major studio. It followed the very successful premiere months earlier of the independent production, Bwana Devil, both sparking the 3-D film boom of the 1950s. House of Wax premiered nationwide on April 10, 1953 and went out for a general release on April 25, 1953.


Warner Bros.’ first 3-D movie, filmed by director André De Toth – who was blind in one eye and hence could not see the effect.

The scene where Paul Picerni is rescued from the guillotine by Frank Lovejoy seconds before the blade came down was filmed in one take, using a real guillotine blade. Picerni and director André De Toth got into a heated argument when Picerni, on advice from the film’s stuntmen, refused to do the scene as too dangerous (a prop man was to hold up the blade off camera and tell the actors when he dropped it so they could yank Picerni away). De Toth threw him off the picture, but several days later, on orders from studio head Jack L. Warner, De Toth recalled him, and had the prop department modify the guillotine to make it less dangerous. After examining the guillotine, Picerni said he would do one take and no more, which is exactly what happened.

Nedrick Young, who plays the alcoholic assistant Leon, was uncredited because he had been blacklisted during the McCarthy “Red scare” era in Hollywood.

According to the “Guinness Book of World Records”, while this film is far from being the first 3-D film, nor the first in sound or color, it IS the first 3-D film released with a stereophonic soundtrack.

This was reportedly Warner Brothers’ biggest success since Life with Father (1947).

When Vincent Price is showing the wax sculpture of his former business partner, he says, “Foul deeds will rise, though all the world o’erwhelm them, to men’s eyes.” This is a quote from “Hamlet”, Act I, Scene 2.

The name of Vincent Price’s character was changed to Henry Jarrod from Ivan Igor to avoid alienating Russian viewers.

The trailer was scored by Max Steiner.

Pet Sematary released April 21, 1989

Pet Sematary, Pet Cemetary

Pet Sematary (sometimes referred to as Stephen King’s Pet Sematary) is a 1989 horror film adaptation of the Stephen King novel of the same name. Directed by Mary Lambert, the film features Dale Midkiff as Louis Creed, Denise Crosby as Rachel Creed, Blaze Berdahl as Ellie Creed, Miko Hughes as Gage Creed, and Fred Gwynne as Jud Crandall. A man, Andrew Hubatsek, was chosen for Zelda’s role.

There was a sequel, Pet Sematary 2, which met with less financial and critical success.


When Rachel gets off the semi, the numbers “666” are on it.

Cameo: [Stephen King] minister at the funeral.

The idea for this story came about when Stephen King’s daughter’s cat, Smuckey, was killed on the highway outside their home.

The role of Zelda, Rachael’s dying sister, was played by a man. The role called for her to look emaciated, and apparently there were no women skinny enough.

7 cats were used to play the part of “Church.”

Stephen King required the movie to be filmed in Maine and his screenplay to be followed rigorously.

The picture at Rachel’s parents’ house is a painting of Zelda as a child, before her spinal meningitis. Gage is later seen wearing a similar outfit (as well as having her red hair) to signify that Zelda has come back through him, which was Rachel’s deepest fear.

The “factory” from which the truck that hits Gage (Miko Hughes) is leaving from, is the International Paper Factory (formerly Champion Paper Factory) in Bucksport, Maine.

George A. Romero was originally set to direct but when filming was delayed, he dropped out, and Mary Lambert stepped in.

Bruce Campbell was the first choice for the role of Louis Creed.

Tom Savini turned down the chance to direct the film.

During the film, the character played by Fred Gwynne mentions that he a had a pet named “Spot”. “Spot” was also the name of the family pet on the TV show _”The Munsters” (1964)_, also starring Gwynne.

The film was shot on location in the same rural Maine area that Stephen King set the novel “Pet Sematary.”

The story was inspired to Stephen King by actual events that occurred while he was living in Orington, Maine with his family. King recalled that while living there his daughter’s cat was killed in the highway. Much of Ellie Creed’s emotional outburst was taken directly from King’s own grief-stricken daughter. King also remembered that once his youngest son had nearly ran into the road while a truck was speeding down it, much like Gage does in film. The character of Judd Crandall was based on the elderly neighbor that lived across the road from King. Also there was an actual pet cemetery in the woods behind the King house, which became the basis for the one in the novel.

The Micmac burial ground in the film was constructed upon an actual mountain top. According to director Mary Lambert bulldozers were brought in to build the stone mounds.

Star Fred Gwynne dyed his hair white for the role of Judd Crandall.

Two twin actresses played the role of Ellie Creed, Blaze Berdahl however was mainly credited for the role.

The portrait of Zelda as a child also features a gray cat at the child’s feet, an obvious foreshadowing.

This was the debut film for young Miko Hughes who was only three years old during the making of the film.

Mary Lambert said Fred Gwynne was her first and only choice for the role of Judd Crandall.

In an interview with Brad Greenquist he said that while in his gruesome makeup for the role of Victor Pascow no one would sit near him while the cast and crew were having lunch.

Judd Crandall’s house for the film was actually a facade built upon a smaller preexisting house. For the finale where the house is burned a asbestos shield was constructed between the two houses so that while burning the facade no damaged would occur to the smaller house it was built upon.

Each of the seven cats used to play the role of Church was trained to do a specific action for the camera.

Stephen King was present on location for most of the shooting of the film. The area it was shot in was only 20 minutes from Kings home in Bangor, Maine.

This was the first filmed screenplay that Stephen King adapted from one of his own novels.

The original screenplay featured the ‘wendigo’ (a Native American demon) that was mentioned in the novel, but it was ultimately cut from the film. It’s presence is only implied once in the scene where Louis is walking through the woods at night and hears something large knock down a tree.

Stephen King is a big fan of The Ramones and referenced some of their songs in the novel Pet Sematary. In homage The Ramones wrote and performed the theme song “Pet Sematary”, which is featured in the films closing credits.

The DEvils Backbone

The Devil’s Backbone (Spanish: El espinazo del diablo, literally The Backbone of the Devil) is a 2001 Spanish gothic thriller film written by Guillermo del Toro, Antonio Trashorras and David Muñoz, and directed by Guillermo del Toro. It was independently produced by Pedro Almodóvar.

It is set in Spain, 1939 during the Spanish Civil War. During the director’s commentary in the DVD, del Toro stated that, along with Hellboy, this was his most personal project. The film was shot in Madrid.


Was strongly inspired by the director’s personal memories, especially his relationship with his uncle, who supposedly came back as a ghost.

The Spanish comic series “Paracuellos” by Carlos Giménez was an important source of inspiration. This semi-biographical work takes place in a Francoist orphanage during the early 50’s. Giménez worked as a storyboard artist on this film.

Guillermo del Toro has said that this is his favorite movie of his own (2003).

This labor of love for director Guillermo del Toro was sixteen years in development.

The film came together when Guillermo del Toro bumped into Pedro Almodóvar at the 1994 Miami Film Festival where he had just shown Cronos (1993). Almodovar told him that he had just seen his film and wanted to produce his next movie.

The design of the ghost was inspired by the white-faced spirits of Japanese horror films like Ring (1998).

The film’s title refers to the medical condition of spina bifida.

Guillermo del Toro wrote the film when he was in college.

Described by Guillermo del Toro as being a sibling film to Pan’s Labyrinth (2006) (this being the masculine “brother” film, and Pan’s as the feminine “sister” film).

The character of Jaime is heavily inspired by the famous Spanish comic writer Carlos Giménez.

Scream released December 20, 1996


Scream is a 1996 horror film directed by Wes Craven from a screenplay by Kevin Williamson, and the first of the Scream series. Filmed mostly in Santa Rosa, California, the film tells the story of the fictional town Woodsboro, California being terrorized by a masked killer who enjoys tormenting his victims with phone calls and movie references. The killer’s main target is Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell), a teenage girl whose mother Maureen fell victim to a brutal murder one year earlier. The film takes on a “whodunit” mystery, with many of her friends and townspeople being fellow targets and suspects.

Scream revitalized the slasher film genre in the late 1990s, similar to the impact Halloween (1978) had on late 1970s film, by using a standard concept with a tongue-in-cheek approach that combined straightforward scares with dialogue that satirized slasher film conventions.


Cameo: [Linda Blair] the reporter who says, “People want to know, they have a right to know.”

When Sidney comes out of the closet and stabs Billy with an umbrella, the stunt man was supposed to hit a pad on Skeet Ulrich’s chest. The first hit got the pad but the second one slipped and hit him in the chest (you can see it in his reaction). Wes Craven kept it in because of its authenticity.

To keep ‘Drew Barrymore’ looking scared and crying, director Wes Craven kept telling her real life stories about animal cruelty. She is a keen animal lover in real life.

William Faulkner’s novel “As I Lay Dying” (1930) features a character named Skeet McGowan (Scream features actors Skeet Ulrich and Rose McGowan) and a character named Dewey just as Scream does.

Wes Craven found the mask in a store while location-scouting in California.

When the killer smashes his head through a window and Casey hits him in the face with the phone, Wes Craven is actually wearing the costume and was really hit in the face.

When Bob Weinstein watched parts of the first scenes filmed (rough cuts), he said that the mask used was “idiotic”. He asked the producers to film one scene with seven different masks and let him choose the one he liked the most. Producers didn’t agree and threatened to shut down production. They told him to wait until the first sequence (‘Drew Barrymore’ ‘s) was completed and then he could decide. After watching it, he happily agreed to the mask used and didn’t make another complaint for the rest of the filming.

Rose McGowan discovered that she could actually fit through a pet flap.

Drew Barrymore was originally cast as Sidney Prescott (eventually played by Neve Campbell). But Drew Barrymore insisted that if she played Casey then it would make the audience think anything could happen.

Melissa Joan Hart auditioned for the role of Sidney Prescott.

The film was originally to be shot at a high school in Santa Rosa, CA, but after the school board read the script they objected to the violent nature and production was moved to Healdsburg, CA.

The special effects artists used about 50 gallons of blood.

Tatum’s house is right across the street from the house in Santa Rosa, California used in Pollyanna (1960). It is also across the street from the house used in Alfred Hitchcock’s Shadow of a Doubt (1943). The house in the opening scene was next door to the house used in Cujo (1983).

Billy’s surname, Loomis, is the same as that of Donald Pleasance’s character in Halloween (1978), which in turn was the name of Marion Crane’s lover in Psycho (1960).

The beginning of the movie is much like When a Stranger Calls (1979).

A poster of Jamie Lee Curtis (known as the ‘Scream Queen’ after Halloween (1978)) for the film Mother’s Boys (1994) is shown prominently at the video store. Another film of hers, Trading Places (1983) is mentioned.

Janeane Garofalo turned down the role of Gail Weathers.

On “The Directors” (2007), David Arquette revealed that he presumptuously turned down the role of “Billy” in favor for playing “Dewey”, which was originally written as a hunky, leading man part.

As revealed on “The Directors” (2007), Wes Craven originally turned down “Scream” because it was too violent, but reconsidered making one more gory movie for the hungry fans who continually told him that he last best movie was The Hills Have Eyes (1977).

Being a favorite of the writer Kevin Williamson, Molly Ringwald was offered the role of Sydney Prescott, but turned it down, saying she’d rather not be playing a high school student at the age of 27.

The song “Don’t Fear the Reaper” can be heard; in Halloween (1978), Annie and Laurie listen to it in the car.

When Sidney is going into her house, the killer comes out of the closet the same way Michael Myers comes out of the closet after Bob in Halloween (1978).

When Casey’s parents come home and see that something is wrong, her father says to her mother, “Go down the street to the Mackenzies’ house…” which is a quote from Halloween (1978).

When Billy (who looks like Johnny Depp) sneaks into Sidney’s room in a manner similar to a scene where Depp’s character does something similar in _Nightmare On Elm Street, A (1984)_.

Casey hanging from the tree looks like the opening of Suspiria (1977).

The school janitor Fred (played by Wes Craven) can be seen wearing Freddy Krueger’s outfit from A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984).

Tatum wears a jersey with the number 10 on it. This is the same thing Johnny Depp’s character wore in A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984).

Casey claims that all of the sequels to _Nightmare On Elm Street, A (1984)_ “sucked”. Wes Craven sold the rights to sequels before the film was released and became a success and disliked many of the sequels. See also: A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy’s Revenge (1985).

The mask is based on the painting “Scream” by Edvard Munch.

The cheerleader in the washroom scene was played by one of Skeet Ulrich’s girlfriends.

Matthew Lillard (Stu) add-libbed the line “Ah… Houston, we have a problem” when he discovered that the gun was gone.

David Arquette’s sister Patricia Arquette starred in A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987) written and produced by director Wes Craven.

The Jiffy Pop popcorn in the first scene acts as a clock. It goes from normal to out of control as does the scene

A videotape box of the film Clerks. (1994) is visible during the close-up of the miniature camera that Gale has left behind during the final party sequence. Having been released by Miramax, the parent company of Dimension Films (which released “Scream”), “Clerks” director Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes reprise their roles from the View Askewniverse as Silent Bob and Jay, respectively, for a cameo in Scream 3 (2000).

These are the horror film rules as stated in the movie:
– 1. You will not survive if you have sex
– 2. You will not survive if you drink or do drugs
– 3. You will not survive if you say “I’ll be right back”
– 4. Everyone is a suspect.
Two additional rules come from the killer:
– 5. You will not survive if you ask “Who’s there?”
– 6. You will not survive if you go out to investigate a strange noise.

Kevin Williamson’s screenplay caused a bidding war in Hollywood.

Kevin Patrick Walls, who plays Drew Barrymore’s ill-fated boyfriend, was given this small part as compensation for not getting the role of Billy.

The opening with Drew Barrymore lasts for 12 minutes.

Marco Beltrami landed scoring duties after Wes Craven”s assistant was on an Internet chat site, asking if anyone knew of any fresh musical talent.

The use of caller ID increased more than threefold after the release of this film.

When Casey is trying to answer the “Jason…It’s Jason” question in an attempt to save her boyfriend’s life, you can hear a light musical score homage to John Carpenter’s Halloween (1978) theme.

‘Drew Barrymore’ and Neve Campbell did not meet Roger Jackson, the actor who played “the Voice” before shooting commenced. Whenever they are talking on the phone to the killer, they are actually talking to him.

Two plugs for Kevin Smith’s Clerks. (1994). A poster for the film can be seen in the video store and the Video Box can be seen sitting on top of the VCR when everyone is watching John Carpenter’s Halloween (1978).

Rose McGowan dyed her hair blonde in order to contrast her black hair from Neve Campbell’s.

The MPAA wanted to cut out the graphic shot of the killer stabbing Casey Becker at the beginning, but director Craven claimed it was the only take of it they had filmed (which wasn’t true). The shot remained intact.

The bathroom that Sidney is attacked in is the same one used on the “Stab 3” set in Scream 3 (2000).

The production moved to the Sonoma Community Center in the City of Sonoma for the high school scenes. It was always scheduled to be shot in the Healdsburg area.

Originally titled “Scary Movie” which was later used for a parody of the Scream and other pop culture horror films like it.

Reese Witherspoon turned down the lead role.

The killer was based on a Florida serial killer, the “Gainesville Ripper”.

Joseph Whipp who played Deputy Burke, was also in the original _Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)_, where he played a cop named Sergeant Parker.

Melinda Clarke turned down the role of Tatum Riley.

Rebecca Gayheart auditioned for the role of Tatum Riley, but scheduling conflicts with her film Somebody Is Waiting (1996) prevented her from landing the role. She later turned up in Scream 2 (1997) playing a sorority sister.

Charlotte Ayanna was considered for the role of Tatum Riley.

The scene where the killer is sneaking up behind Randy is the only one where the person in the costume is actually one of the actors rather than a stunt man. Skeet Ulrich has specifically asked if he could wear the costume for once scene.

The idea of the pet door in the garage came from Williamson’s assistant. Originally, Tatum’s death scene was to be a fist fight with the killer, and having the door come down on her neck.

All the killer’s phone calls were really done by Roger Jackson on set with a cell phone. At one point, the crew were contacted by the police demanding to know who they were because they thought there was a real killer making the phone calls.

Tatum says that the situation is like a Wes Carpenter film. This is a reference to Wes Craven, who directed the movie, and John Carpenter, who directed Halloween (1978), which is featured in the movie.

Stu’s line “I always had a thing for ya, Sid!” and Sidney’s response “In your dreams!” were ad-libbed by Matthew Lillard and Neve Campbell.

Contains spoilers for Friday the 13th (1980/I).

Courteney Cox and David Arquette met and fell in love on the set of this movie. They eventually married.

Freddie Prinze Jr. auditioned for the role of Stu.

When the phone slips out of Billy’s hand and hits Stu’s head, it was completely unintentional. Wes Craven kept it in because of Stu’s realistic reaction.

Justin Shenkarow loved the screenplay so much that he elected to take a minor behind-the-scenes role. His name appears 25th from the bottom of the credits.

The death of Principal Himbry was added to the film after Bob Weinstein noticed that there was about 30 pages in the script where nobody died and told Kevin Williamson that “somebody must die”. Subsequently, the addition of the scene gave Kevin Williamson a good reason to have all the party guests leave the party near the climax.

In the scene where he is alone in his office, Henry Winkler, who plays the principal, looks in the mirror and strokes his hair to make it look right. This is play on his mannerisms from “Happy Days” (1974) in which Fonzie would look in a mirror, start to comb his hair only to realize his hair is already perfect.

On Tatum’s bedroom wall, there is a poster of “The Fonz” from “Happy Days” (1974). The Fonz was played by Henry Winkler, who has a cameo appearance in this Scream as the school principal.

The scene in which Casey is being chased outside with the killer directly behind her, the camera is positioned so that they are both running at the screen, in slower motion than normal, with the killer in the background appearing much larger and wielding a weapon directly above the victim’s head in the darkness, closely resembles the famous scene from The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974).


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