Horror Archives

Blood Feast released July 6, 1963

Blood Feast 1963

Blood Feast (also known as Egyptian Blood Feast and Feast of Flesh) is a 1963 American horror film directed by Herschell Gordon Lewis, often considered the first “splatter film”. It was produced by David F. Friedman. The screenplay was written by Alison Louise Downe, who had previously appeared in several of Lewis’s other films. Lewis also wrote the film’s score.

Trivia:

Was filmed in Miami in only nine days and cost just under $25,000 (some sources say $60,000) and earned back millions for its creator and associates.


Prints issued at drive-ins in New York carried the advertising title “Egyptian Blood Feast”, though the title card remains the same.

 


This was the oldest film on the UK DPP 72 list of official video nasties.

 

How to Make a Monster 1958

How to Make a Monster is a 1958 American horror film released by American International Pictures. The film is a follow up to both I Was a Teenage Werewolf and I Was a Teenage Frankenstein. Filmed in black & white, with the last reel filmed in color.

Trivia:

This was advertised with the tagline “See the Ghastly Ghouls in Flaming Color!” However, most of the movie was in black and white with only the final two reels in color.


Samuel Z. Arkoff wanted Bela Lugosi for the lead in this film. Lugosi was an influence to Arkoff years before. Unfortunately, Lugosi had died in 1956.

 


Edward D. Wood Jr. claimed that the idea for this film was originally his.

 


In one scene the visitors to the studio are told that they are going to be taken to the set of Horrors of the Black Museum (1959). This was an advanced plug for what would be the next film to be produced and written by Herman Cohen.

 

The Mummy's Shroud

The Mummy’s Shroud is a 1967 horror film made in the UK by Hammer Film Productions. It was directed by Hammer veteran John Gilling.

It stars André Morell and David Buck as explorers who uncover the tomb of an ancient Egyptian mummy. It also starred John Phillips, Maggie Kimberly and Michael Ripper as Longbarrow, in one of his most celebrated roles for the studio. Stuntman Eddie Powell (Christopher Lee’s regular stunt double) played the Mummy, brought back to life to wreak revenge on his enemies.

The uncredited narrator in the prologue is sometimes assumed to be Peter Cushing, although no record exists.

It was the third of Hammer’s four Mummy films, a cycle which began in 1959 with The Mummy, continued with The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb (1964), and ended with Blood from the Mummy’s Tomb (1971). It was the last to feature a bandaged mummy – the final film contained no such character.

It was the final Hammer production to be made at Bray Studios, the company’s home until 1967, when its productions moved to Elstree Studios and occasionally Pinewood.

Trivia:

Peter Cushing is often credited as Narrator, but Hammer Films had no record of who the Narrator is.


David Buck was second choice for Paul Preston.

 


After more than fifteen years, this became the last Hammer production to be shot at Bray Studios.

 

Frankenstein Created Woman

Frankenstein Created Woman is a 1967 British Hammer Horror film directed by Terence Fisher. It stars Peter Cushing as Baron Frankenstein and Susan Denberg as his new creation. It is the fourth film in Hammer’s Frankenstein series.

Where Hammer’s previous Frankenstein films were concerned with the physical aspects of the Baron’s work, the interest here is in the metaphysical dimensions of life, such as the question of the soul, and its relationship to the body.

Trivia:

In an interview in the TV Times, Keith Barron says that he turned down a horror film, and from his description of the role and the film, it sounds like the Derek Fowlds part in this film.


Susan Denberg is dubbed.

 


We are never told in which Country the film is set, however the Coat of Arms on the coach is that of the Canton of Berne in Switzerland.

 


Last film of Philip Ray.

 

Jaws 2 released June 16, 1978

 

Jaws 2

Jaws 2 is a 1978 thriller film and the first sequel to Steven Spielberg’s Jaws (1975). Directed by Jeannot Szwarc and starring Roy Scheider as Police Chief Martin Brody who must deal with another Great White Shark terrorizing the waters of Amity Island, a fictional seaside resort.

Like the first film, the production of Jaws 2 was troubled. The original director, John D. Hancock, proved to be unsuitable for an action film and was replaced by Szwarc. Scheider, who only reprised his role to end a contractual issue with Universal, was also unhappy during production and had several heated exchanges with Szwarc.

Despite the production problems, Jaws 2 remained on Variety’s list of top ten box office hits of all time until the mid-1990s, and was the highest-grossing sequel in history until 1980. The film’s tagline, “Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water…,” has become one of the most famous in movie history and has been parodied and homaged several times.There are two further films in the series. Jaws 2 is generally regarded as the best of the Jaws sequels.

Trivia:

Original director John D. Hancock was fired and replaced by Jeannot Szwarc.


According to actor Joseph Mascolo (Len Peterson), scenes were filmed by original director John D. Hancock that fleshed out his character; in particular, Peterson’s mob connections, as mentioned in Carl Gottlieb/Dorothy Tristan’s original screenplay. Once Hancock was fired, those scenes were discarded and never used.

 


Steven Spielberg and Richard Dreyfuss were approached to direct and star in the sequel but production on Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) was running behind and they declined to participate.

 


On the Brodys’ front porch is a flower planter painted bright yellow. It is one of the barrels from the first Jaws (1975).

 


In one of the boat scenes a young man is seen reading a book: “Jaws” by Peter Benchley.

 


In the final draft of the script, Marge and the helicopter pilot both survive their shark attacks by hiding in the bubble of the upturned helicopter. They are last seen arriving at cable junction and presumably survive the film.

 


This marks the last film of Mark Gruner’s (Mike Brody) acting career.

 


When the crew had to go back to Martha’s Vineyard for re-shoots in the Fall of 1977, many of the trees had already lost their leaves. The crew actually put fake leaves on the trees to make it look like it was still Summer.

 


Due to difficulties with weather and environment, most of the movie was filmed in and around Fort Walton Beach, Florida on the Northwest Panhandle. Many ocean scenes were actually shot in the Choctawhatchee Bay. Cable Crossing Island was a floating set that was kept docked at the Shalimar Yacht Basin when not needed and could be seen from the Garniers Bayou Bridge with its faux beacon flashing at night. Interior shots of the teen hang-out where they play pinball were filmed in the original location of the Hog’s Breath Saloon on Okaloosa Island. This business relocated to a new facility in Destin, Florida in recent years after the first site proved very susceptible to hurricane damage. The original building was still vacant and derelict in January 2005.

 


The camera operator used a cowboy saddle to be on top of the shark in a few scenes.

 


The helicopter scene took four days to shoot.

 


The name of Eddie’s boat is “Tina’s Joy”.

 


The Cable Junction island set caused numerous problems during filming. The island was so slick, that it was difficult to traverse, and this resulted in numerous retakes having to be shot. Likewise, due to its not being anchored down properly, it once drifted away in the ocean, far away from the area where the crew was shooting.

 


Many scenes had to be shot in the fall/winter months. As such, the actors had to suck ice cubes prior to takes to avoid having their breath seen on camera.

 


Murray Hamilton’s scenes were shot hurriedly because his wife was in failing health during production of the film.

 


Ellen Brody tells her husband that Matt Hooper called to say he was on the Aurora. This is a reference to the first film. In the first film, Hooper turned down the opportunity to study on the Aurora in favor of studying the shark that was terrorizing the beach then.

 


Marc Gilpin (Sean Brody) claims that when they were shooting one of the scenes on the makeshift raft of wrecked yachts, they were being circled by a real hammerhead shark. All the actors were scared and began to scream and holler at the production crew who were filming that particular scene from a distance. The crew were oblivious to the danger and assumed the actors were simply ‘in character’ and gave them the thumbs up!

 


Dana Elcar was originally cast in the role of Len Peterson, which was much more darker than it eventually became. When Jeannot Szwarc took over the film and turned the character into a potential love interest for Ellen Brody, Elcar was let go and replaced with Joseph Mascolo, who had worked previously with Szwarc.

 


When shooting originally began (with John D. Hancock as director), Amity was envisioned as a near ghost-town, with boarded-up stores, crumbling facades on buildings and an economy in shambles after the events of Jaws (1975). Hancock quickly ran into problems: First, the residents of Martha’s Vineyard, where the film was being shot, refused to allow permission for their stores and houses to be boarded up. Secondly, his dailies were constantly being criticized by the studio for being “too contrasty and blue”, with perpetual requests to lighten up the tone of the film. According to Hancock, however, his eventual firing was the result of a power struggle between co-producer Richard Zanuck and MCA chairman Sid Sheinberg, in particular Sheinberg’s insistence that his wife Lorraine Gary (Ellen Brody) have a bigger role in the film. Zanuck adamantly refused, and Hancock’s wife and co-screenwriter Dorothy Tristan eventually submitted a screenplay that did not include Sheinberg’s requested changes. Moreover, Hancock ran into problems on the film with an unnamed female actress and had her fired; unbeknown to him, the actress was the girlfriend of an MCA executive. With a month of filming in the can, and 18 months in total already spent on the production, Hancock and Tristan were both fired, halting production on the film and leading to the eventual hiring of Jeannot Szwarc as director.

 

Horror of Dracula 1958

Dracula is a 1958 British horror film, and the first of a series of Hammer Horror films inspired by the Bram Stoker novel Dracula. It was directed by Terence Fisher, and stars Peter Cushing, Michael Gough, John Van Eyssen and Christopher Lee. In the United States, the film was retitled Horror of Dracula to avoid confusion with the Tod Browning-directed Dracula (1931) starring Bela Lugosi.

Production began at Bray Studios on the 17 November 1957 with an investment of £81,000.

Trivia:

In the United States the title was changed to “Horror of Dracula” to avoid confusion with the classic 1931 version (Dracula (1931)). This was a real concern since the Bela Lugosi version was still being booked into theaters (through Realart) until the Shock Theatre package of classic Universal horror films was released to television.


While shooting the scene in which Dracula buries Mina, Christopher Lee fell into the hole in the ground on top of the stunt woman.

 


On several occasions, Christopher Lee complained about the contact lenses he had to wear for the shock scenes. Not only they were quite painful, but he could not see a thing. While running towards the vampire woman for instance, he even ran too far past the camera on the first take.

 


Christopher Lee has only thirteen lines in this film.

 


Dracula was filmed between 11 November 1957 and 3 January 1958. The film premiered at the Warner Theater in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on 8 May 1958 and took in $1,682 on its first day. In Britain, the film opened at London’s Gaumont Theater 22 May 1958.

 


The cape worn by Christopher Lee was discovered in 2007 in a London costume shop during its annual inventory-taking. It had been missing for 30 years, and is believed to be worth around $50,000 (US$). Lee was contacted to verify its authenticity.

 


Apart from assorted snarls and hisses, Count Dracula never actually speaks to anyone other than Jonathan Harker throughout the entire film.

 


One of the most graphic scenes is when the stake is driven into Lucy’s heart and the blood spurts out. American producers did an identical shot in color and spliced it into the black and white prints of “Return of Dracula” (1958). “Return of Dracula” (1958) was in general release in the U.S. before this film, retitled “Horror of Dracula” (1958)

 


The film takes numerous liberties with the story of Bram Stoker’s novel, including (SPOILERS FOLLOW): In the novel Dracula can transform into a bat, a wolf, a horde of rats, and a mist, while in the film he does not have these abilities. * Dracula is an old man at the beginning of the story in the novel and becomes younger as he feeds on blood, while in the film he stays the same age throughout. * Dracula has only one bride in the film and is killed by Jonathan Harker, while in the novel Dracula has three brides and they are killed by Van Helsing. * In the film Mina is Arthur’s wife and Lucy is Arthur’s sister and Jonathan’s fiancée, while in the novel Mina is Jonathan’s fiancée and unrelated to Arthur, and Lucy is Arthur’s fiancée. * Dr. Seward, a major character in the novel, appears only briefly in the film. * Dracula is killed in the film by Van Helsing, who exposes him to sunlight, while in the novel Dracula is killed by Jonathan Harker and Quincey Morris (a character not included in the film), who cut his throat and impale his heart simultaneously with knives. * Sunlight is lethal to vampires in the film, while in the novel it merely reduces their supernatural powers. * In the novel Jonathan Harker visits Dracula’s castle to sell him real estate, unaware that he is a vampire, while in the film he visits Dracula’s castle with the knowledge of his vampire nature and the intention to kill him, posing as a librarian. * In the novel Jonathan Harker survives the events of the story, while in the film he is turned into a vampire and killed by Van Helsing. * In the novel Dracula’s castle is in Transylvania and Jonathan, Mina, Lucy, and Arthur live in England, while in the film Dracula’s castle is in Klausenburg and only a short distance from the city in which Jonathan, Mina, Lucy, and Arthur live. * In the novel Dracula hides in England in Carfax Abbey, a property he purchased from Jonathan Harker, while in the film he hides in the cellar of Arthur’s home. In the novel he transports a large number of crates of his native soil to England via ship, and in the film transports only a single coffin filled with his native soil to Arthur’s home via carriage.

 


The first time that Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee are top-billed (1-2) in any feature film (the last would be 1973′s “The Satanic Rites of Dracula”).

 

dracula-christopher-lee

Christopher Lee as Dracula

bud abbott lou costello meet frankenstein

Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (which has the onscreen title Bud Abbott Lou Costello Meet Frankenstein) is a 1948 American comedy horror film directed by Charles Barton and starring the comedy team of Abbott and Costello. It is the first of several films where the comedy duo meets classic characters from Universal’s horror film stable. In this film, they encounter Dracula, Frankenstein’s monster, and the Wolf Man, while subsequent films pair the duo with the Mummy, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and the Invisible Man. On a TV special in the early 1950s, the two did a sketch where they interacted with the latest original Universal Studios monster being promoted at the time, the Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954). The film is considered the swan song for the “Big Three” Universal horror monsters – Dracula, the Wolf Man and Frankenstein’s monster – although it does not appear to fit within the loose continuity of the earlier films.

abbott_and_costello_meet_frankenstein

Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)

The film was re-released in 1956 along with Abbott and Costello Meet the Killer, Boris Karloff. In 2001, the United States Library of Congress deemed this film “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” and selected it for preservation in the National Film Registry, and in September 2007, Readers Digest selected the movie as one of the top 100 funniest films of all time.

Trivia:

Originally titled “The Brain of Frankenstein”.


Ian Keith, the original choice for Count Dracula in Dracula (1931), was originally considered for Dracula in this film. Bela Lugosi wasn’t considered at first because the studio thought he was dead. When they learned Lugosi was alive, Lugosi’s agent shamed the head of the studio into getting him the role by saying, “He is Dracula! You owe this role to Lugosi!”


Boris Karloff was approached to play the Monster but he thought it was insulting to the character and it would not do well at the box-office. But as a favor to Universal, he did publicity work for this film. In several photos taken by Universal’s publicity department, he is seen standing in line purchasing a ticket at a theater in New York City where the film is playing, and in other stills, he is shown admiring the poster art for the film outside the theater lobby. Karloff later starred with Abbott & Costello in Abbott and Costello Meet the Killer, Boris Karloff (1949).


The animation sequences of Dracula-as-a-bat and Dracula-changing-from-bat-to-Dracula were done by Universal-International’s animator, Walter Lantz (of Woody Woodpecker fame).


This film was such a hit that it was reportedly Universal-International’s second highest grossing film of the year.


Although he would play similar vampires in other films since Dracula (1931), this would be only the second, and last, time that Bela Lugosi would play Dracula in a feature film.


This was the final Universal film to feature Frankenstein’s Monster, Dracula and the Wolfman, until Van Helsing (2004).


This film has been the subject of controversy for decades over whether it should be considered part of the official Universal Horror series (thus making it a sequel to House of Dracula (1945)) or a non-canon, standalone film.


Glenn Strange speaks for the first time as The Monster. This film marks the first time since The Ghost of Frankenstein (1942) that the character has spoken, though it does not explain how The Monster has regained his voice.


The opening scene of “London”, then “Big Ben” is followed by a constable on patrol. This shot was lifted from Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943) in the scene a constable finds the unconscious Lawrence Talbot after his “resurrection”, that same constable is murdered by the Wolf Man the following night. A filter was used to darken the shot for inclusion in this film.


Glenn Strange was playing the Frankenstein monster, but during shooting one day he tripped over a camera cable and broke his ankle. Lon Chaney Jr. (playing the Wolf Man) wasn’t working that day, so he put on the Frankenstein makeup/outfit and filled in for Strange in one scene where Dr. Mornay gets thrown through the window. So Chaney wound up playing two monsters in this movie.


Lou Costello did not want to film the movie, declaring, “No way I’ll do that crap. My little girl could write something better than this.” A $50,000 advance in salary and the signing of director Charles Barton, the team’s good friend and the man whom some call their best director, convinced him otherwise.


During the final chase scene, when Wilbur and Chick are standing in front of a door and the Frankenstein monster punches through it, Lou Costello deliberately went off his mark and got hit on the jaw. The director liked his reaction, so he decided to keep it in the film.


Marks the first time Universal-International stopped using the effective but lengthy application time of make-up artist Jack P. Pierce for the monster make-up, using Bud Westmore and Jack Kevan’s more cost-effective rubber appliances. The rubber head appliance that Glenn Strange wore to play the Frankenstein monster fitted him so tightly that, after a few hours under the hot lights, he could shake his head and hear the sweat rattling around inside it.


The scene in which Wilbur (Lou Costello) is unknowingly sitting on the Frankenstein Monster’s (Glenn Strange) lap required multiple takes. The scene allowed Costello to improvise wildly, which caused Strange to constantly break up laughing during the takes.


Jane Randolph replaced Ella Raines, who backed out at the last minute.


Three actors in this film had previously played the Frankenstein Monster. Aside from Glenn Strange who actually plays the role again, both Bela Lugosi and Lon Chaney Jr. had experience under the flat top as well. Boris Karloff was the original Monster.


Despite the title, nobody in the film ever meets Frankenstein. All the interaction involved is with the Frankenstein monster.

Gremlins released June 8, 1984

Gremlins

Gremlins is an American comedy horror film directed by Joe Dante and released in 1984 by Warner Bros. It is about a young man who receives a strange creature (called a mogwai) named Gizmo as a pet, which then spawns other creatures who transform into small, destructive, evil monsters. This story was continued with a sequel, Gremlins 2: The New Batch, released in 1990. Unlike the lighter sequel, the original Gremlins opts for more black comedy, which is balanced against a Christmas-time setting. Both films were the center of large merchandising campaigns.

Steven Spielberg was the film’s executive producer, with the screenplay written by Chris Columbus. The film stars Zach Galligan and Phoebe Cates, with Howie Mandel providing the voice of Gizmo. The actors had to work alongside numerous puppets, as puppetry was the main form of special effects used to portray Gizmo and the gremlins.

Gremlins was a commercial success and received positive reviews from critics. However, the film has also been heavily criticized for some of its more violent sequences. Critics alleged these scenes made the film inappropriate for younger audiences who could be admitted into theatres under its PG rating. In response to this and to similar complaints about other films, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) reformed its rating system within two months of its release.

In this film, the Amblin Entertainment logo makes its first on-screen appearance, displayed as “An Amblin Entertainment Presentation” as part of the end credits in place of the original logo.

Trivia:

The idea for these creatures was born in a loft in Manhattan’s garment district that was home to NYU Film School graduate screenwriter Chris Columbus. “By day, it was pleasant enough, but at night, what sounded like a platoon of mice would come out and to hear them skittering around in the blackness was really creepy.” Columbus recalls.


Unbeknownst to Joe Dante and Michael Finnell, Steven Spielberg was a big fan of The Howling (1981). After he came across Chris Columbus’ writing sample, he fell in love with it and bought it. Then he decided that Dante was the guy to make it into a movie, took the project to Warner Bros. and also produced it with his own company, Amblin Entertainment.

 


Originally planned and scheduled for a Christmas release, the film was rushed into production shortly after Warner Bros. found out that it had no major competition against Paramount’s Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) or Columbia’s Ghost Busters (1984) for the summer movie season.

 


Generally credited (along with Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)) to influence the MPAA to create the PG-13 rating, as many felt the scenes of violence in both movies were too much for a PG rating, but not enough for an R rating.

 


Chris Columbus’ script went through a few drafts before a shooting script was finalized. His original version had the creatures killing the dog and cutting off the mom’s head and tossing it down the stairs. These elements were never shot due to the fact that both, Joe Dante and Warner Bros. wanted the movie to be more family oriented.

 


In the original draft of the script, instead of Stripe being a Mogwai who becomes a Gremlin, there was no Stripe the Mogwai and Gizmo was supposed to turn into Stripe the Gremlin. Steven Spielberg overruled this plot element because he felt Gizmo was cute and audiences would want him to be present at all stages of the film. This became stressful for Chris Walas who had designed the Gizmo puppet only for the actions that happened in the first half of the movie.

 


In a deleted scene, Billy and Kate discover Gerald in the bank vault. This scene was added to the NBC TV showing.

 


Billy says he bought a comic at Dr. Fantasy’s. Dr. Fantasy is a nickname for executive producer Frank Marshall.

 


Like the Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz (1939), Mrs. Deagle has little tolerance for young people and dogs.

 


While Rand Peltzer is talking with his wife at the inventor’s convention, the machine from The Time Machine (1960) can be seen in the background winding up to full power. The scene cuts to the house, and when we cut back again, the machine has gone, leaving only a wisp of colored smoke.

 


Mrs. Deagle, the richest lady in town, has named her cats after different kinds of currency (including Kopeck, Drachma and Dollar Bill).

 


The “Rockin’ Ricky Rialto” billboard shows a man dressed like Indiana Jones, holding a microphone like a whip, and the “Rockin’ Ricky Rialto” logo in the Indiana Jones typeface.

 


This was the first movie in years to use Warner Bros’ “shield” logo

 


In Cantonese Chinese, mogwai means devil, demon or gremlin. The Mandarin pronunciation is mogui.

 


The film that the students are watching in Mr. Hanson’s class is Hemo the Magnificent (1957) (TV), actually an episode of a TV series called “Science” that aired in the late 1950s and was sponsored by the Bell Telephone System (broken up as of January 1984).

 


The movie that Lynn Peltzer is watching in the kitchen is It’s a Wonderful Life (1946).

 


Both Judd Nelson and Emilio Estevez were considered for the role of Billy.

 


There are several references to The Howling (1981), also directed by Joe Dante. The smiley face image on the refrigerator door, some lobby cards from that movie are displayed on the interior of the local theater and most notably the inclusion of the exact same character/actor, the television reporter Lew Landers as portrayed by Jim McKrell.

 


While watching Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) on the local cinema, one of the gremlins wears some Mickey Mouse’s ears.

 


Hoyt Axton was always the foremost choice for Rand Peltzer. Pat Harrington Jr. was also considered. Pat Hingle was said to have delivered the best screen test, but was passed on because it was feared Rand’s character would take over the picture as a result of Hingle’s excellent performance.

 


When the gremlins disrupt Mr. Futterman’s roof television antenna, he changes the channel, and it briefly lands on a scene from Jean Cocteau’s Orphée (1950).

 


Although it is not clearly visible, “Four Magic Moves to Winning Golf”, by Joe Dante (senior) is on Billy’s nightstand. Joe Dante said his father criticized him for not making the title more visible.

 


In Mrs. Deagle’s house, Edward Arnold is shown in a few photographs as Donald Deagle. The permission for their use was granted by his estate.

 


The movie on Billy’s TV when he feeds the mogwais after midnight is Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)

 


The set for Kingston Falls is the same one used for Back to the Future (1985). Both movies were filmed in the Universal Studios backlot.

 


In addition to restoring the classic Warner Brothers logo to the opening of the movie, it was hoped to release the film along with the classic Looney Tunes short, Falling Hare (1943), where Bugs Bunny is harassed by a plane gremlin during WW II. This fell through, but, highlights from the short do appear as part of the Behind the Scenes featurette, that has also been included on the Special Edition DVD.

 


The picture of Rockin’ Ricky Rialto is a picture of Don Steele.

 


Little to no actual dialogue for the Gremlins and Mogwai exists in the script in itself. In addition to several instances of on stage rewrites changing or adding to much of the script, the voiceovers were all mostly ad libs, repeating snippets of just performed dialogue or in reaction to other sound effects or environment. To this end, Howie Mandel recorded Gizmo’s lines phonetically for foreign dubs of the movie, where localized dialogue and in jokes helped make the picture successful with audiences world wide.

 


In the classroom the students are watching Hemo the Magnificent (1957) (TV). The character of Hemo the Magnificent was played by Marvin Miller, who also does the voice of Robby the Robot at the inventor’s convention (and in Forbidden Planet (1956)).

 


It was Frank Welker who suggested Howie Mandel perform in this film.

 


At Dorry’s Tavern, one of the gremlins is playing Star Wars (1983) (VG).

 


Though he followed the basic outline of the script, Hoyt Axton is said to have improvised nearly all his lines.

 


At least one of Phoebe Cates’s screams in the scene at Dorry’s Tavern is genuine. An enormous cockroach crawled out in front of her during one take.

 


During one night shoot, problems with the Gremlin puppets were so severe that the entire cast fell asleep on the set during the delay.

 


The footage of Santa on the roof that Mr. Futterman is watching in his home is of Red Skelton in a Christmas skit from one of his shows.

 


After watching his earlier short films, Steven Spielberg considered Tim Burton to direct the film. But decided against it because at the time Burton had never directed a full feature length film.

 


Jon Pertwee and Mako were both seriously considered for the role of Mr. Wing.

 


In one scene, Billy is trying to play Gizmo’s song on an electric keyboard. In the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), the humans try to communicate with the aliens by making music with their computers.

 


The theater that blows up was subsequently involved in another accident when Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) in Back to the Future (1985), smashes into the front entrance at the end of the film. The theater then burned down with the rest of the buildings in the fire that happened right after the filming of Back to the Future Part II (1989).

 


In the scene where Billy shows the newly-spawned batch of mogwais to his father, one of them is playing with a vintage tabletop Donkey Kong game (a toy released to cash in on the then-rampant popularity of the Donkey Kong arcade game).

 


Among others, the voices of the Gremlins were done by Michael Winslow.

 


Kenneth Tobey and Belinda Balaski also appeared in Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990), playing both a different character.

 


According to Joe Dante and Michael Finnell, the original rough cut of the film ran 2 hours and 40 minutes.

 


In this film, the Amblin Entertainment logo makes its first on-screen appearance.

 


The scene in the department store where Stripe attacks Billy with a chainsaw was not in the script. It was added by Joe Dante and Zach Galligan as a homage to The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974).

 


Edward Andrews, Judge Reinhold and William Schallert received roles that were reduced after the film was edited.

 


Within the story, Gizmo was capable of singing or humming. Jerry Goldsmith wrote Gizmo’s song as well, but Howie Mandel never sang it. A girl member of Goldsmith’s congregation was hired to sing Gizmo’s song, although she had never worked in films before.

 


The movie that Gizmo is watching in Billy’s bedroom is To Please a Lady (1950).

 


After Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983), this movie marked the second collaboration between Joe Dante and Michael Finnell with Steven Spielberg.

 


The last film project of Scott Brady and Edward Andrews.

 

Poltergeist released June 4, 1982

Poltergeist

Poltergeist is an American horror film, directed by Tobe Hooper, produced by Steven Spielberg, and released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer on June 4, 1982. It is the first and most successful of the Poltergeist film trilogy, and was nominated for three Academy Awards.

The franchise is often said to be cursed, because several people associated with it, including stars Dominique Dunne and Heather O’Rourke, died prematurely. “The Poltergeist Curse” has been the focus of an E! True Hollywood Story.

The film was ranked as #80 on Bravo’s 100 Scariest Movie Moments and the Chicago Film Critics Association named it the 20th scariest film ever made.The film also appeared on American Film Institute’s 100 Years… 100 Thrills, a list of America’s most heart-pounding movies.

Trivia:

The hands which pull the flesh off the investigator’s face in the bathroom mirror are Steven Spielberg’s.


The weird way the family members descend the stairs at the beginning of the film was created by having the actors walk backward up the stairs and playing the film in reverse. The same effect was used later in the movie during the scene showing video playback of the ghosts.

 


Steven Spielberg worked on Poltergeist (1982) and E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982) literally back to back. Principal photography on Poltergeist ended in August of 1981, then Spielberg took a few weeks off and began work on E.T. Spielberg also supervised the visual effects for both films simultaneously (which were produced at Industrial Light & Magic under the supervision of Richard Edlund and Dennis Muren). Once post production work on Poltergeist began in early 1982, Spielberg was in total control. He was responsible for the editing of the film (Spielberg’s usual editor Michael Khan edited this film while Carol Littleton edited E.T), the final sound mixes and loops, the supervision of the visual effects, and the selection of Jerry Goldsmith as the composer of the score. Poltergeist and E.T opened to theaters nationwide only a week between each other during the summer of 1982, Poltergeist on June 4th and E.T. one week later on June 11th. Spielberg later said “If E.T. was a whisper, Poltergeist was a scream”.

 


The sign at the Holiday Inn reads, Welcome Dr. Fantasy and Friends. Dr. Fantasy is a nickname for producer Frank Marshall.

 


Heather O’Rourke, who played the little girl Carol-Anne, and Dominique Dunne, who played the teenage daughter, are buried in the same cemetery: Westwood Memorial Park in Los Angeles. Dunne was strangled into brain-death by her boyfriend in 1982, the year of the film’s release. Six years later, O’Rourke died of intestinal stenosis.

 


The film was originally given a R rating, but the filmmakers protested successfully and got a PG rating (the PG-13 rating did not exist at the time).

 


When writers Michael Grais and Mark Victor first met with Steven Spielberg, they were being hired to write the film that eventually became Always (1989). When Spielberg happened to mention he also had an idea for a ghost story, Grais and Victor said they’d rather write the ghost story than Always and that’s how they got this job.

 


The crawling steak was done by using a real steak which was laid over a slot cut between the tiles in the counter top. Two wires were fastened to the bottom of the steak and a special effects operator, hidden under the counter, simply moved the wires to make the steak crawl like a caterpillar. A similar operation was done when Diane presents to Steven the chairs that move across the room by themselves. A wire was fastened to one of the chair’s legs under the set. An operator first wobbled the chair with the wire, then dragged the chair across to its destination.

 


Shirley MacLaine was offered a starring role in the film, but backed out in order to make Terms of Endearment (1983).

 


The shot of the chairs that position themselves in the amazing balancing act on the table was all done in one take. As the camera panned along with JoBeth Williams, who was getting some cleaning materials, several crew members quickly set an already organized pyramid of chairs on the table, then took the single chairs away before the camera scrolled back. See Goofs entry.

 


The Rams (then Los Angeles Rams) vs. Saints football game seen near the beginning of the film, is taken from a Monday Night Football game in 1980.

 


The scene in which Diane opens the bedroom door and is met with a fearsome scream was the first to be filmed.

 


The scene in which Marty hallucinates in the bathroom was the last to be filmed.

 


Both of the terrors that plague Robbie came from Steven Spielberg’s own fears as a child, a fear of clowns and a tree outside his window.

 


Steven Spielberg and Tobe Hooper wanted virtually unknown actors to play the Freelings because they wanted to add a realism to the family that would off-balance the ghost story. They felt that if the audience watched well-known stars, then it would take away from the realistic feel of the characters.

 


The swirling, flickering lights coming from the closet during the rescue scene were achieved using a very simple effect by having an aquarium full of water in front of a spotlight. Then a fan blew on the surface of the water to make it swirl.

 


The house used to film this movie is located in Simi Valley, California where it still stands today. The family who owned it when this movie was filmed still live there today.

 


In addition to the two times that the Beast appeared in the movie (the face that appeared in the closet and the creature that guarded the kid’s door), the script had it appearing during the scene where the family and investigators are looking at the tape of the manifestation. The giant ghost that they saw visually slowly resolved itself into the image of a face of a cruel old man: the man we know in the later films as ‘Reverend Henry Kane.’

 


A common translation of the German word “Poltergeist” is “rumbling spirit”.

 


During all the horrors that proceeded while filming Poltergeist (1982), only one scene really scared Heather O’Rourke: that in which she had to hold onto the headboard, while a wind machine blew toys into the closet behind her. She fell apart; Steven Spielberg stopped everything, took her in his arms, and said that she would not have to do that scene again.

 


The movie’s line “They’re here!” was voted as the #69 movie quote by the American Film Institute (out of 100).

 


Drew Barrymore was considered for the role of Carol Anne, but Steven Spielberg wanted someone more angelic. It was Barrymore’s audition for this role, however, that landed her a part in E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982).

 


In reality, Craig T. Nelson and JoBeth Williams are only 14 and 11 years older than Dominique Dunne, who plays their teen-aged daughter.

 


Stephen King was briefly approached to write the screenplay. It would have been the first written by King directly for the screen, but the parties could not agree on the terms.

 


Footage from this movie was used in a 2008 DirecTV commercial.

 


When Steve Freeling first meets with the university paranormal specialists, he states that his wife, Diane Freeling, was “32″ at the time, and their eldest daughter, Dana, was “16″. Thus, Diane was only sixteen years-old when she gave birth to Dana.

 


Though on-screen credit goes to Tobe Hooper, a wealth of evidence suggests that most of the directorial decisions were made by Steven Spielberg. In fact, Spielberg had wanted to direct the film himself, but a clause in his contract stated that while still working on E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982), Spielberg could not direct another film. Members of the cast and crew, including Executive Producer Frank Marshall and actress Zelda Rubinstein, have stated that Spielberg cast the film, directed the actors, and designed every single storyboard for the movie himself. Based on this evidence, the DGA opened a probe into the matter, but found no reason that co-director credit should go to Spielberg.

 


[WILHELM SCREAM] When the TV plays Go for Broke! (1951), one of the soldiers screams.

 


On top of the master bedroom television set sits an Atari Video Computer System console with its two joysticks; later known as the Atari 2600.

 

Vampire’s Kiss released June 2, 1989

 

Vampire's Kiss

Vampire’s Kiss is an American dark comedy/psychological horror film released in 1989. It was written by Joseph Minion, who also penned Martin Scorsese’s darkly humorous After Hours, and stars actors Nicolas Cage, Maria Conchita Alonso, Jennifer Beals and Elizabeth Ashley. 

 

Trivia:

Nicolas Cage ate a real cockroach for this film – it reportedly took three takes. He once said about the experience, “Every muscle in my body didn’t want to do it, but I did it anyway.”
 


Peter’s strange accent is supposed to be a fake accent used by the character because he thinks he sounds more “elegant” and “smarter” (hence the literary agent job). The accent comes and goes throughout the movie and is more prominent when trying to impress people, and less in scenes with people like the psychiatrist.
 


Judd Nelson was considered for the Peter Loew role.

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