Horror Archives

Something Wicked This Way Comes

Something Wicked This Way Comes is a 1983 film based on the Ray Bradbury novel of the same name, starring Jason Robards and Jonathan Pryce. Directed by Jack Clayton from a screenplay written by Bradbury himself, the movie suffered from offscreen conflicts of vision.


A special-effects sequence that took place at the beginning of the film was cut shortly before the movie hit the theaters. In this sequence, the carnival materializes from the smoke of the train – the smoke from the engine “becomes ropes and canvas tents. Tree limbs grow together to form a ferris wheel and a spider web mutates into a wheel of fortune.” This sequence was the first time that computer animation was used to animate organic material, and it was combined with traditional animation. The scene was deemed not convincing enough and was cut from the film at the very last minute (according to an issue of “Twilight Zone Magazine” that was released the same month as the film, the scene was going to be in the final print).
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In the spider sequence, the boys are noticeably older, since the scene was re-shot after the rest of the production had been completed. This was used to replace a sequence with a large mechanical hand which, like the animated appearance of the carnival, was deemed too hokey and was subsequently cut from the film.
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Disney made many changes to the film that Ray Bradbury and director Jack Clayton did not intend. Many extra special effects scenes were shot, and other changes were made before its release. According to the laserdisc commentary by Bradbury, much of his original intentions for the movie were destroyed.
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In Anchor Bay’s DVD, the end of the theatrical trailer (which shows the film’s title) has been cropped. The rest of trailer is in 1.85:1, but that last shot is around 2.35:1, which has caused confusion among fans. This aspect ratio change in the trailer was done by Disney to mask off Disney/Buena Vista names. Disney did not allow its name anywhere on the DVD package.
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Steven Spielberg was considered to direct this movie.
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Ray Bradbury asked both David Lean and Steven Spielberg if they were interested in directing the film.
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“By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes” is from “Macbeth” by William Shakespeare, Scene IV, Act i, spoken by the second witch.
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The lines “And in despair I bowed my head / “There is no peace on earth,” I said, / “For hate is strong and mocks the song / Of peace on earth, good will to men.” / Then pealed the bells more loud and deep: / “God is not dead, nor doth He sleep; / The wrong shall fail, the right prevail / With peace on earth, good will to men” is from “I heard The Bells On Christmas Day” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
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Stephen King wrote a rejected adaptation.
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Mechanical effects designer Isidoro Raponi built fake tarantulas to augment the 200 live ones used in the spider attack sequence.
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The music for the film was originally composed by Georges Delerue, but it was rejected by Disney for a less somber score, and was replaced by James Horner’s more upbeat score. Portions of Delerue’s score can be heard in the film’s theatrical trailer.
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This was the last Disney movie to be released under the “Walt Disney Productions” banner. Later in 1983, the banner was replaced by “Walt Disney Pictures.”
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Sam Peckinpah briefly flirted with the idea of filming Ray Bradbury’s story but was unable to raise the necessary finance.
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After a poorly received test screening, Disney held back the release of the movie for a year to re-edit it, film additional and replacement scenes (including special effects sequences), add an opening narration, and hire James Horner to rewrite a completely new score, all of which added millions to the budget. It’s quite obvious when watching the film which scenes, such as the spider attack and the mirror maze climax, were filmed a year after production had initially wrapped. Reportedly Bradbury and the film makers were not pleased with the studio’s intervention nor the effects it had on the picture, which ended up being a flop when it was finally released in 1983 despite Disney’s attempts to make it more audience friendly.
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Ray Bradbury first wrote ‘Something Wicked This Way Comes’ as a screenplay in 1952, after watching Gene Kelly in Singin’ in the Rain (1952), which Bradbury thought the greatest musical ever made. Bradbury showed Kelly the screenplay, and Kelly was so impressed that he wanted to make it his next picture. When Kelly shopped the story around to potential backers, however, he was unable to raise any money for the project. It was only after this failure that Bradbury rewrote the story as a novel, which was published in 1962. Bradbury dedicated the novel to Kelly.


The Hunger released April 29, 1983

The Hunger 1983

The Hunger is a 1983 English language horror film. It is the story of a bizarre love triangle between a doctor (Susan Sarandon) who specializes in sleep and aging research, and a stylish vampire couple (Catherine Deneuve and David Bowie).

The film is a loose adaptation of the 1981 novel of the same name by Whitley Strieber, with a screenplay by Ivan Davis and Michael Thomas. The Hunger was director Tony Scott’s first feature film. The cinematography was by Stephen Goldblatt.

The Hunger was not particularly well-received on its release, and was attacked by many critics for being heavy on atmosphere and visuals but slow on pace and plot. Roger Ebert, for example, described it as “an agonizingly bad vampire movie”. However, the film soon found a cult following that responded to its dark, glamorous atmosphere. The Bauhaus song “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” plays over the introductory credits and beginning. The film is popular with some segments of the goth subculture, and spawned the short-lived TV anthology series of the same name.

The film was screened out of competition at the 1983 Cannes Film Festival.


David Bowie said that, in order to make his voice suitably hoarse for when he aged so drastically in the movie, he stood on the George Washington Bridge every night and screamed all the punk rock songs he knew.

Alan Parker was Richard Shepherd’s first choice to direct, but Parker convinced Shepherd to hire Tony Scott after seeing his commercials.


David Bowie actually learned to play the cello for his music scenes.


The last film of Bessie Love.


Tony Scott sighted [error] as a major influence on the visual style of the film.


The film Performance (1970), the first feature of director Nicolas Roeg, was a big influence on this movie, which was Tony Scott’s first feature.


While working in London on this film, Susan Sarandon first met Rupert Everett, Ian McKellen and Suzanne Bertish, people she stayed friends with for decades after. On the DVD commentary for the film, she also said she was still in contact with David Bowie and Catherine Deneuve.


One day during filming, costume designer Milena Canonero, who is famously dedicated to her craft, disappeared and was nowhere to be found. It was discovered eventually that she had flown to Rome to purchase fabric for a handkerchief David Bowie is supposed to wear. Unable to find fabric she liked in London, Canonero had flown to Rome at her own expense to find the fabric she needed instead.


Makeup artist Antony Clavet, who was famous within the fashion world for his work in Italian Vogue, was brought onto the project after he was introduced to the director by Milena Canonero.


Make Up Department
Antony Clavet … special makeup
Nick Dudman … prosthetic makeup artist
Carl Fullerton … makeup illusions
Peter Montagna … special makeup effects artist
Dick Smith … makeup illusions
Doug Drexler … special makeup effects artist (uncredited)

Mark of the Vampire Poster 1935

Mark of the Vampire (also known as Vampires of Prague) is a 1935 horror film, starring Lionel Barrymore, Elizabeth Allan, Béla Lugosi, Lionel Atwill, and Jean Hersholt and directed by Tod Browning. It is a talkie remake of Browning’s 1927 silent London After Midnight with the characters’ names and some circumstances changed.

Mark of the Vampire 1935

Mark of the Vampire was originally 75 minutes, but was cut back to 60 minutes by MGM. Reportedly this was due to incestuous overtones – then unacceptable by the standards of the Production Code – between Count Mora (played by Lugosi) and his daughter. However, the audio commentary on the DVD makes no mention of incest but suggests that much of what was cut was comic material, particularly surrounding the maid.


Large South American bats were imported for the picture.

Preview reviews list a running time of 80 minutes, indicating that considerable footage was cut prior to the film’s release. This would explain why many credited actors are not seen in the final print.


The film was banned in Poland, and censors in Hungary excised the screams, shots of bats and other gruesome scenes.


Throughout the film, Count Mora (Bela Lugosi) has an unexplained bullet wound on his temple. In the original script, Count Mora was supposed to have had an incestuous relationship with his daughter Luna, and to have committed suicide. After filming began, however, MGM deleted references to the crime (and any remaining references may have been deleted when 20 minutes of footage was removed after the film’s preview). Because director Tod Browning’s previous film, Freaks (1932), had been a box office disaster, Browning was unable to object to any changes made by the studio.


Edward Ward scored the trailer


The Hand released April 24, 1981

The Hand 1981 film

The Hand is a 1981 psychological horror film written and directed by Oliver Stone, based on the novel The Lizard’s Tail by Marc Brandell and a remake of the 1946 film The Beast with Five Fingers. The film stars Michael Caine and Andrea Marcovicci. Caine plays Jon Lansdale, a comic book artist who loses his hand, which in turn takes on a murderous life of its own. The original film score is by James Horner, in one of his earliest projects. Despite its lackluster release, it became a cult film due to its elements of psychological horror (which was later exercised in Jacob’s Ladder, The Uninvited and the Silent Hill games) as well as Caine’s only performance as a deranged amputee victim in contrast to his more heroic and sane roles in other films, which resulted Warner Bros. releasing the movie on DVD on September 25, 2007.


Oliver Stone initially wanted Jon Voight to play the lead role, but was turned down by him. Christopher Walken and Dustin Hoffman also declined the role.
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Michael Caine said in a TV interview that the only reason he did this film was to earn enough to put a down payment on a new garage he was having built.


bride of frankenstein movie poster

Bride of Frankenstein (advertised as The Bride of Frankenstein) is a 1935 American horror film, the first sequel to the influential Frankenstein (1931). Bride of Frankenstein was directed by James Whale and stars Boris Karloff as The Monster, Elsa Lanchester in the dual role of his mate and Mary Shelley, Colin Clive as Henry Frankenstein and Ernest Thesiger as Doctor Septimus Pretorius.

The film follows on immediately from the events of the first film, and is rooted in a subplot of the original novel, Frankenstein (1818). In the film, a chastened Henry Frankenstein abandons his plans to create life, only to be tempted and finally coerced by the Monster, encouraged by Henry’s old mentor Dr Pretorius, into constructing a mate for him.

Preparation began shortly after the first film premiered, but script problems delayed the project. Principal photography started in January 1935, with creative personnel from the original returning in front of and behind the camera. Bride of Frankenstein was released to critical and popular acclaim, although it encountered difficulties with some state and national censorship boards. Since its release the film’s reputation has grown, and it is hailed as Whale’s masterpiece. Modern film scholars, noting Whale’s homosexuality and that of others involved in the production, have found a gay sensibility in the film, although a number of Whale’s associates have dismissed the idea.


bride of frankenstein (1935)

Not long before filming began, Colin Clive broke a leg in a horse riding accident. Consequently, most of Dr. Frankenstein’s scenes were shot with him sitting.

When filming the scene where the monster emerges from the burnt windmill, Boris Karloff slipped and fell into the water-filled well. Upon being helped out, he realized he had broken a leg in the fall. The metal struts used to stiffen his legs (for the famous “monster lurch”) helped keep the bones in place until they could be properly set.


The musical soundtrack for this film proved so popular, it was used again in the Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers serials starring Buster Crabbe.


Editing after previews resulted in the loss of a subplot in which Karl imitates the Monster’s murderous modus operandi to eliminate his miserly aunt and uncle and direct the blame away from himself.


Shot in 46 days at a cost of approximately $400,000.


Boris Karloff sweated off 20 pounds laboring in the hot costume and makeup.


In the opening and closing credits the cast list says “The Monster’s Mate” followed by a question mark.


The “body count” in the original cut was 21. This was trimmed to 10 after pressure from the censors.


Director James Whale originally did not want to do a sequel to Frankenstein (1931). For a time, Universal considered producing a sequel without Whale’s involvement. One possible story included an educated monster continuing Henry’s research, while another chronicled Henry’s creation of a death ray on the eve of a world war. However, after 4 years of badgering by Universal, Whale agreed to do the film.


Director James Whale was once derided by a disgusted audience member for laughing during a screening.


Production of this sequel to the original Frankenstein (1931) was publicized as early as 1933 by both Universal Studio press releases and the trade paper “Daily Variety”, but director James Whale did not begin work on it until late 1934. With a budget under $300,000, it was originally entitled “The Return of Frankenstein”.


One of James Whale’s criteria for taking up the director’s reins on the film was that he would have complete artistic freedom. This was easily achieved, as Universal’s studio head Carl Laemmle Jr. was vacationing in Europe at the time.


As a result of audience reactions from the film’s preview screenings during the first week of April 1935, the film was extensively re-edited. Many scenes were deleted and trimmed, and at least one, the scene where the Monster stumbles into the Gypsy Camp, was added in. As a result of the editing, the original uncut film was approx. 15 minutes longer than its official release length of 75 minutes.


Valerie Hobson, who plays Dr. Frankenstein’s fiancé/bride in the film, was only 17 years old when she appeared in the film (Colin Clive, who portrayed Dr. Frankenstein, was 35.)


Elsa Lanchester was only 5’4″ but for the role was placed on stilts that made her 7′ tall. The bandages were placed so tightly on her that she was unable to move and had to be carried about the studio and fed through a straw.


Boris Karloff protested against the decision to make The Monster speak, but was overruled. Since he was required to speak in this film, Karloff was not able to remove his partial bridgework as he had done to help give the Monster his sunken cheek appearance in the first film. That’s why The Monster appears fuller of face in the sequel.


Marilyn Harris, who played Maria, the girl The Monster accidentally kills in the original Frankenstein, appears uncredited as another young girl.


It is considered inaccurate to refer to the Monster by the name “Frankenstein” rather than “Frankenstein’s Monster”, however in the prologue, Lord Byron actually does attach the name Frankenstein to the monster.


The original trailer promises “a lifetime of entertainment in two hours”. The final edit ran 75 minutes.


Though virtually all of Billy Barty’s scenes (as the little baby in the bottle) were deleted, he can still be briefly glimpsed in a wide shot of all the bottles on Dr. Pretorius’s table (as well as in still photographs).


Elsa Lanchester’s shock hairdo was held in place by a wired horsehair cage.


Elsa Lanchester said that her spitting, hissing performance was inspired by the swans in Regent’s Park, London. “They’re really very nasty creatures,” she said.


The role of the monster’s mate was originally offered to Brigitte Helm but she had recently married and refused to leave Germany. Louise Brooks was another actress considered by James Whale for the role.


“The Bride”, the most obscure of Universal Studios’ Classic Monsters, is on screen for less than five minutes and is the only “Classic Monster” never to have killed anyone.


2007: The movie’s line “We belong dead” was voted as the #63 of “The 100 Greatest Movie Lines” by Premiere magazine.


During the “bottle” sequence in Dr. Pretorius’ apartment, the Doctor, while showing Dr. Frankenstein the miniature “devil” character, makes a wry comment that he sees a “certain resemblance” between him and his tiny creation. In fact, the miniature devil in the bottle was played by Peter Shaw, who was actually actor Ernest Thesiger’s stand-in/film double in the picture.


The tiny mermaid in Dr. Pretorius’ bottle was Josephine McKim, a member of the 1924 and 1928 U.S. Women’s Olympic Swim Teams and one of the four members of that team to win the 1928 gold medal in the 400-Meter Freestyle Relay. McKim was also Maureen O’Sullivan’s body double in the infamous nude swimming scene of the previous year’s Tarzan and His Mate (1934).


Claude Rains was offered the role of Dr. Pretorius but he was unavailable due to filming Mystery of Edwin Drood (1935).


There was an epilogue to this movie featuring Elsa Lanchester as Mary Shelley, but it was cut from the final film.


Elsa Lanchester was not the only person to have a dual role in this film. In addition to her role as Minnie, Una O’Connor also appeared in the prologue, as Shelley’s maid who is holding the leash as the dogs go off screen.


Doctor Pretorious’ full name is “Septimus Pretorious”; this is actually Latin and means “royal seven”, a reference to the seven deadly sins – as well as an indicator of his true nature.


One of the cast cut from the film after the preview was Helen Parrish, who played a “Communion Girl.”


Part of the SON OF SHOCK package of 21 titles released to television in 1958, which followed the original SHOCK THEATER release of 52 features one year earlier.


Billy the Kid Versus Dracula

Billy the Kid vs. Dracula is a 1966 American low-budget horror/western film directed by William Beaudine. It was released as a part of a set, along with Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter.


This film, and its companion piece, Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter (1966), were the final films for William Beaudine. This marked the end of a career that included approximately 250 (known) films beginning in the silent period.

Shot in eight days.

Jack Lewis actually wrote the script for “Billy the Kid versus Dracula” (1966), but sold all rights to credited screenwriter Carl K. Hittleman for $250.

Despite the film’s title, Carradine doesn’t play Dracula. He plays a nameless American vampire in the old west, 1880 or so. The name “Dracula” is never mentioned in this movie.

The Toxic Avenger released April 11, 1986

The Toxic Avenger

The Toxic Avenger is an American cult classic comedy horror film first released in 1984 by Troma Entertainment, known for producing low budget B-movies with campy concepts. Virtually ignored upon its first release, The Toxic Avenger caught on with moviegoers after a long and successful midnight movie engagement at the famed Bleecker Street Cinemas in New York City in late 1985.

The film has generated three film sequels, a stage production, and a children’s TV cartoon.Two less successful sequels: The Toxic Avenger Part II and The Toxic Avenger Part III: The Last Temptation of Toxie were filmed as one movie. Director Lloyd Kaufman realized that he had shot far too much footage for one movie, and reedited it into two. A third independent sequel was also released, entitled Citizen Toxie: The Toxic Avenger IV, and a fourth sequel, The Toxic Avenger 5: The Toxic Twins, has been announced. An animated children’s TV series spin-off, Toxic Crusaders, featured Toxie as the leader of a team of mutated superheroes who fought against evil alien polluters. The cartoon series was short-lived and it was quickly cancelled. New Line Cinema had planned a live action movie based on the cartoon, but the deal fell through.


Jennifer Prichard and Robert Prichard fell in love on the set and got married.

Look for future Oscar-winner Marisa Tomei as an extra (coming out of a shower).

The violent-looking crushing of a child’s head in the movie was accomplished by injecting a melon with corn syrup and red food dye. A wig was placed on the melon and it was fitted onto a dummy. Though cheap, the effect is highly unsettling.

The scene where the seeing eye dog gets shot received the most complaints by Troma up to that time.

Patrick Kilpatrick who played Leroy (the face-painted criminal at the Mexican restaurant) quit the film after having to point a shotgun at a baby.

The fast food robber who has his arm ripped off actually only had one arm. In the scene one can see that his right arm is a prosthetic, as he never moves or uses this arm until Toxie rips it off.

The rollbar installed in the car that is wrecked off of a cliff malfunctioned, almost killing the stunt driver.

The crew reportedly ate the large sandwich that Pat Ryan lay on top of for his role as The Mayor.

Mark Torgl caught fire from the police officer’s flaming hands. You can see the fire drop on him during an overhead shot.

While shooting in Shinbone Alley, a homeless man stole a prop gun from one of the trailers and threatened the crew.

The spinning newspapers were simply newspapers placed on a spinning cheese rack.

Although Andree Maranda was dating one of the film’s main producers, she won her part through an audition.

It took four hours to get Mitch Cohen into the Toxic Avenger costume. While wearing it, he could only eat through a straw.

The head-crushing scene was based on a time when Lloyd Kaufman was backing a car out of his garage and accidentally hit his younger sister. Nobody was harmed, but the memory haunted him for years.

The seeing eye dog that was shot had been trained to glide across the floor on command and its “guts” were spaghetti covered in gray paint.

The sheep that Mark Torgl had to kiss was infested with lice, but he did not find that out until after the scene was shot.

A deleted scene, which is available on the DVD, shows Toxie throwing a Peanut Butter and Drano sandwich, smacking the face of Sara’s next door neighbor. Playing Sara’s next door neighbor is Mitch Cohen without his Toxic Avenger make-up.

The monster Melvin turns into was never actually referred to as the Toxic Avenger by any actor in the film besides the narrator. They did not have a name for the character as the film was being made. This is proved further by the kids in the film wearing t-shirts that say “I love the monster hero”.

After going behind the scenes on Rocky (1976), Lloyd Kaufman decided to make a movie in a health club with his friend Michael Herz. After reading a magazine article with the headline “Horror Film Is Dead”, Troma decided to change it into a horror movie. The film’s working title was “Health Club”, and lobby cards bearing this title can be viewed on Troma’s website.

Sleepwalkers released April 10, 1992


Sleepwalkers (also known as Stephen King’s Sleepwalkers) is a 1992 American horror film based on an unpublished Stephen King novel and adapted by Mick Garris.


The house of the Sleepwalkers is the same one used in the TV series “The Waltons” (1972).

The actors who play Tanya’s mom and dad, Cindy Pickett and Lyman Ward were also the mom and dad in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986); in real life they are married to each other.


Cameo: [Mark Hamill] One of the police officers who enters the house at the beginning.

Several different famous horror directors make cameo appearances in this movie:

Cameo: [John Landis] Lab technician.

Cameo: [Stephen King] The graveyard caretaker.

Cameo: [Joe Dante] Lab assistant.

Cameo: [Tobe Hooper] Forensic technician.

Cameo: [‘Clive Barker’] Forensic technician.

Based on an unpublished Stephen King story.

In the graveyard scene, one of the tombstones reads “Jenny Hicks”. Jenny Hicks was the assistant to the director of the movie.

Mephisto Waltz

The Mephisto Waltz is a 1971 American horror film about an occult-murder mystery. It was directed by Paul Wendkos and starred Alan Alda, Jacqueline Bisset, Barbara Parkins, Bradford Dillman and Curt Jürgens.


Has the singular distinction of being the only theatrical film produced by Twentieth Century-Fox during the entire calendar year of 1970, this due to financial reversals incurred by the studio when several of its recent films failed at the box office.

The mask worn by the black dog is that of William Shatner, the same style mask worn by Michael Myers in the original Halloween (1978).

I Vampiri

I Vampiri is a 1956 Italian horror film loosely based on the story of Elizabeth Báthory. Directed by Riccardo Freda and Mario Bava, the film stars Gianna Maria Canale as Giselle du Grand, Carlo D’Angelo as Inspector Chantal and Dario Michaelis as Pierre Lantin.

I Vampiri was the first sound era Italian horror film. Mid-way through production, director Riccardo Freda left the project, and was replaced by the films cinematographer Mario Bava.The film was released in the United States in 1963 under the title The Devil’s Commandment and has since been released under more titles including Lust of the Vampires and The Vampires.


  • This was the first Italian made horror film of the sound era.
  • Director Cameo: [Riccardo Freda] autopsy doctor
  • Italian censorship visa #23894, dated April 3rd 1957.

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