#SDCC15: Director Tyler Shields Talks Final Girl - Dread Central
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#SDCC15: Director Tyler Shields Talks Final Girl

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Final Girls

Amidst a bustling crowd of rabid Comic-Con goers we were able to snag a little time with director Tyler Shields about his new film, Final Girl, starring Abigail Breslin. Read on, kids; this was a great one!

According to Shields, Final Girl is “a pretty crazy and hyper-realistic thriller. Abigail [Breslin] plays a young C.I.A. agent who’s trained to kill serial killers. The film is shot unlike anything you’ve seen before. All the effects are practical, there’s no CGI… the fights and the stunts are all real. It’s a very different and very unique movie. In this current film climate you get a lot of the same. There’s sequel after sequel after remake, and they’re all shot the same… they all look the same, and I’m really happy to say that [Final Girl] is very different.”

Tyler Shields

“I’m not afraid to take risks,” Shields continues. “When I shot this movie, I did so in a way that no matter what happened, no matter who came in and tried to edit it a certain way or tried to conform it to be something else… they just could not do it. You cannot change this movie. It’s so stylized. You can try and edit it into a romantic comedy if you wanted, and it STILL would be just fucking insane. Neither myself nor the actors wanted to risk the film being turned into something that it wasn’t. I was very lucky to have my cast and crew buy into my vision and embrace the way that I do things. It was amazing. Everyone would come in on their days off and at the end of the day would wait around in case I needed anything extra. No one was ever in a hurry to get off set; in fact, they were more in a hurry to get on set. Everyone wanted to do more and more, and that’s interesting because we were pushing them really hard. People would take their beatings, literally; dust themselves off; and ask, ‘Thank you, could I have another?’ We did this scene with Alexander Ludwig, and it was basically torture for 9 hours. Afterwards he came over to me and said, ‘That was so liberating. Thank you for allowing to have such a liberating experience in front of the camera.’ Everyone from top to bottom was really interested in doing something that we could all be proud of.

From there we moved on to the final girl herself, Abigail Breslin.

I fell in love with Abigail when she got the script and had agreed to do the movie within 45 minutes,” Tyler told us. “She was only 16 when we made this movie, and some of her people were like, ‘You should not make this movie. This is going to be pretty tough; you may not be able to handle this.’ She was like, ‘No, I am doing this movie,’ and that was it. That was so ballsy and I respect that. She was a trooper, man, because it was FREEZING COLD everywhere that we shot. She was in a dress and had the least clothes on of anyone. Bare-legged and chilled, she had to learn how to fight and so much more. She never really complained about it either. On the last day during the last shot that she was in, I broke her….”

Final Girl

Shields continues, “So we’re shooting this scene, and it’s a REALLY intense moment in the movie. All of a sudden it started to snow… but we said the hell with it. Let’s keep shooting until we get it. In the end filming the scene took about 20 minutes, and that’s a long time when you’re barefooted like her standing in the snow. Hell, under those circumstances 2 minutes feels like a long time. Everyone kept looking at me like, ‘My god, he’s insane!’ And I keep telling Abigail, ‘Do it again… do it again…’ This tension just kept on building, and everyone thought her mom, who was on set, was going to step in and say something. Finally there was this moment though in which Abigail performed the scene better than anyone could ever hope to imagine. It was an iconic moment. People were waiting for her to finish with blankets and other things to keep her warm… she couldn’t even feel her feet anymore. Once she was covered she just lost it. She started yelling at me… I mean really screaming. Later she confessed that this was the first time in her life that she’s ever yelled at anyone. She was yelling and yelling and yelling at me, and I just started smiling and even laughing. She said to me, really irritated, ‘What are you laughing about?’ And I said to her, ‘Yeah, you might hate me right now, but once you see that… that moment… you will love me for the rest of your life.’ Despite everything she looks so beautiful. It really is a perfect moment.”

“With Final Girl we had the opportunity here to try and point a new spin on something… and we have a way for the audience to see it, like they’ve never seen it before,” said Shields. “That’s what excited me about making this movie. I work in a very different kind of way than the usual filmmaker. For instance, we shot this scene with [Alexander] Ludwig… two pages of dialogue… and after we filmed it, I said to him, ‘You know, I don’t think we need all of that. It doesn’t make sense under the circumstances, and we don’t need it. You in this moment just being there says more than any of that dialogue.’ Ludwig loved that. He completely got it! We were constantly changing things up and going with things that were not necessarily planned. For instance, one time we got out into the woods and we came across this beautiful lake that we unfortunately had no shots devised to utilize it. It was gorgeous with these massive mountains, etc. I was like, ‘There’s nothing in the script for this! Somebody get me a fucking canoe.’ I would literally be writing new scenes on bar napkins as we went along. Once they were written, we’d go over them together and then we would do them. Then we’d film them, and then try an even different way to really kind of flesh out what works best. I wanted my actors to fully explore this world and play in it. I was shooting different things and trying different stuff that the general consensus on was, ‘There’s no way that’s making it into the movie,’ but you know what? Most of it did.”

Creepy Shields

Closing out, we asked what Tyler he would be working on next.

“I’m working on a new film now that was on the Black List called The Wild Ones that I’m doing with Atlas, who did Batman, Superman, etc. So I have that one and another that I’m currently writing. Not sure yet when production will commence on The Wild Ones, but right now it looks like the end of the year is a possibility. I also have a 500- to 600-page behemoth of a photography book coming out next year so keep an eye out for that, too.”

Final Girl Release Details:
Renowned photographer to some of Hollywood’s biggest stars, Tyler Shields will captivate audiences with his debut feature film, the “sardonic, smart, stylized thriller” (Dennis Dermody, PAPER) FINAL GIRL. Starring Oscar® nominee Abigail Breslin (Little Miss Sunshine, Zombieland), FINAL GIRL will debut in select theaters, on Digital HD, and on Video on Demand August 14, 2015, from Cinedigm and Nasser Entertainment.

Also starring BAFTA® Film Award nominee Wes Bentley (The Hunger Games, American Beauty), Alexander Ludwig (The Hunger Games, Lone Survivor), Francesca Eastwood (Jersey Boys), and Cameron Bright (The Twilight Saga), the terrifying, highly anticipated film will debut in select theaters in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Houston, and Phoenix.

Brought to life with Tyler Shields’ eerie, evocative vision, “the idea behind FINAL GIRL was no CGI, no fake effects. I wanted it to be as real as it could be,” he says. “The fights are real, the cold was real, and therefore, the performances are real. It was certainly a challenge, but I think everyone in the movie will agree it was worth it.”

FINAL GIRL follows a group of charismatic yet sadistic boys who every night trick a young, blonde girl into meeting them for a date with the intention to hunt and kill her. However, their horrifying ritual takes a turn when they select the beautiful Veronica (Breslin) as their next victim. When the hunt begins, the boys soon realize they messed with the wrong girl.

FINAL GIRL is co-written by Stephen Scarlata, Alejandro Seri, and Johnny Silver with a screenplay from Adam Prince. In celebration of the film’s release, one-of-a-kind images taken by Shields during the making of FINAL GIRL will also be available for a limited time from TylerShields.com.

Synopsis:
Loner Veronica is new to school, shy and vulnerable, the perfect target for a group of teenage boys who lure girls into the woods to hunt and kill them for sport. It’s only after they get her alone that she turns the tables on them, escaping and revealing she’s armed and knows how to defend herself. Little do they know, Veronica is an assassin-in-training, and she’s chosen killing these boys as her final test. When the dust clears, Veronica will find out if she can be the final girl these boys ever have a chance to hurt.

Final Girl Group shot

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Carnivore: Werewolf of London Howls on VOD

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Joining the ranks of The Curse of the Werewolf, An American Werewolf in London, The Company of Wolves, and Dog Soldiers, Carnivore: Werewolf of London is the latest in a long series of fantastic British werewolf movies. Directed by Knights of the Damned’s Simon Wells, the film focuses on a couple trying to save their relationship by taking a vacation in a remote cottage, but rekindling their old flame soon proves to be the least of their worries as they learn that something with lots of fur and lots of teeth is waiting for them in the surrounding woods.

Carnivore: Werewolf of London stars Ben Loyd-Holmes, Atlanta Johnson, Gregory Cox, Molly Ruskin, and Ethan Ruskin, and is available to purchase now on Google Play, Amazon Video, iTunes, and Vudu, although it doesn’t appear to have received a physical release as of yet.

More information about Carnivore: Werewolf of London is available on the film’s official Facebook account, along with a ton of production photos.

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John Carpenter … NOT DEAD!

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We currently live in a world of false alarms. Within the last several days we’ve suffered everything from warnings of doomsday to Rotten Tomatoes accidentally celebrating the passing(!) and career of the very much still alive John Carpenter.

That’s right, kids; earlier today RT tweeted, “John Carpenter would have been 70 years old today! We celebrate his birthday by looking back at his five favorite films.” The tweet… has since been deleted.

We are here to tell you… John is very much alive! Alive and well, even. Carpenter himself responded on Twitter by alerting the site that “despite how it appears, I’m actually not dead.

This is great news indeed. One of horror’s best and brightest is still bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. Now then, let’s take this time to celebrate the man’s birthday PROPERLY by talking about our favorite films of his. Speaking personally for myself…

Prince of Darkness is a movie that both unnerves and scares the hell out of me. One of Carpenter’s most thought-provoking works is just as frightening now as it was when we first received that grainy transmission as a dream from the year…

Tell us your favorite Carpenter movie in our comments section below.

…and HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JOHN!

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Amityville Arcade Does What Nintendon’t – Kills You!

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Oh, Amityville, is there nothing you cannot possess with your horror? Not even retro video games are immune from your evil for soon we shall experience the haunted coin-op horror that is Amityville Arcade.

The other day I told you about Amityville Cop and a slew of other forthcoming Amityville movies in the works. This prompted the makers of yet another that I somehow missed out on at the time to pass along info on their foray into this haunted horror subgenre: Amityville Arcade. Pay to get in! Pray to survive!

A down-on-his-luck arcade owner purchases an arcade cabinet from the legendary Amityville murder house. The plan is to turn it into a tacky roadside attraction to round up business in time for Halloween but it does not take long for them to realize they got more than they bargained for when the owner’s daughter is sucked into a Lovecraftian digital hellscape. And the arcade’s three half-wit employees are, sadly for the rest of us, the only thing standing between our world and whatever lays inside the game.

Who knew the Lutz family even owned an arcade cabinet?

Makes you wonder what other possessed objects from that house of horrors are still lurking out there waiting to be taken in by some unfortunate souls?

Amityville Bird Feeder?

Amityville Pet Rock?

Amityville Waterbed?

Amityville 8-Track?

Amityville Lava Lamp?

Amityville Stretch Armstrong?

Amityville Cuckoo Clock?

Oh, wait. I believe Amityville 1992: It’s About Time already did the cursed clock.

Anyway, unlike some of these other upcoming Amityville productions in development that I’ve written about, the writer of Amityville Arcade, Newt Wallen, assures me that in addition to being a horrific love letter to retro gaming his film will also carry a satirical edge poking fun at the glut of Amityville cash-in movies and the very notion of a long-running series out of fresh ideas.

Libby Chapman directs this retro gaming horror comedy that begins filming this February at TNT Amusements in Philadelphia. Look for special appearances by horror movie host Mr. Lobo and scream queen Crystal Quin and practical f/x and prop fabrication by Ryan Hickey and Joe La Scolla.

They’re hoping to deliver some top notch special effects on a small budget. Something tells me whatever they come up with for Amityville Arcade will still prove better than Full Moon’s disastrous Arcade from back in the day. The horror… The horror…

If the finished film is half as good as the promotional artwork I’m ready to plunk down a few quarters for it.

Now if you’ll excuse me I really need to get back to work on my screenplay for Amityville Mr. Microphone. You see, the Mr. Microphone came from the Amityville murder house and now after being discovered in an abandoned storage locker it finds its way into the hands of luddite who collect retro gadgets. But, being that the mic is possessed by evil, whenever he uses it, the voice coming through the radio speakers is that of an demonic entity that makes whoever hears its voice obey its evil commands, which, in turn, begins turning the lonely loser using it into a power-mad maniac. Only polyester clad priest Father Ronco can help– Oh, geez! Someone reading this is probably going to steal my million dollar idea. I better write faster.

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