Never Sleep Again: Dan Farrands, Andrew Kasch and Thommy Hutson Speak! - Dread Central
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Never Sleep Again: Dan Farrands, Andrew Kasch and Thommy Hutson Speak!

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Having been bent over the proverbial barrel by Platinum Dunes’ groan-inducing desecration of the classic A Nightmare on Elm Street, we can at least turn our attention to tomorrow’s release of Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy to wash the foul taste of failure from our mouths.

I recently had the pleasure of talking to some of the folks involved with this documentary – directors Daniel Farrands and Andrew Kasch, and writer Thommy Hutson – and while we all wait patiently for the epic documentary’s release on May 4th, this little conversation should help tide you over while subsequently whetting your Freddy infused palate.


Dread Central: Never Sleep Again was a big labor of love for everyone involved. Where did your love of A Nightmare on Elm Street begin?

Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy on DVD (click for larger image)Thommy: I loved NOES from the first time I saw it. It was a movie I couldn’t go to, but I begged my father to take me. When he finally did take me, I was so terrified that I wanted to leave but he forced me to stay because I was making him watch it. From then on, it was the first movie that had such an impact on me in terms of going to a movie and feeling such fear. I fell in love with the idea that a movie could do that to me and it stayed with me from then on. It was also during the dawn of the video age and it became a right of passage to get together with your friends and rent these films.

Dan: For me, it was just part of that generation of films from Halloween to Friday the 13th to A Nightmare on Elm Street. And Nightmare was the smartest of the three series both in terms of having a franchise killer with this personality and an unforgettable feel to it. My friends ran to me saying, “there’s a movie you have to go see…” and I became a big fan. I love these films. 1, 3 and 7 are particular favorites, but I think each one of them has their own charm.

Andrew: When I saw the first Nightmare, what stuck out to me was that there was no downtime for the characters. Everything was intense all the time. Even when Freddy isn’t running around on the screen, you have these characters stuck in this uncomfortable predicament and everyone around them is trying to get them to go to sleep. It gives you no time to rest, and that’s what sticks with me about that film.

DC: What makes Never Sleep Again different from the other franchise documentaries that are out there?

Dan: The scope of it is unlike anything that’s ever been done before. Four hours, well over one hundred interviewees and filmed over three or four counties at least. We follow the evolution of the series from the humble beginnings of New Line, to Wes Craven being an out of work college professor, all the way to the premier of Freddy vs. Jason, which was a huge, star-studded premiere. To go in depth with each one of these films, I think we really gave the series its due.

Andrew: We make it personal with a lot of these stories. Everybody talks about how these films impacted their lives and you get to see how each one of these films changed people’s lives. And also how the character of Freddy evolved from movie to movie. When you see it all laid out for you like that, it’s really amazing, immersive stuff.

Thommy: A Nightmare on Elm Street is a franchise, but the series tells one story. Each sequel leads into the next to tell one story and our documentary follows that same progression from Nancy and Freddy, all the way to when Wes turned it on its head with New Nightmare, and then to when the fans finally got what they wanted by pitting him against Jason. There’s an overarching story to the series and the documentary tells that story well.

DC: How do you write a documentary of this scope before filming interviews? Was there a clear approach to how it should be done?

Never Sleep Again: Dan Farrands, Andrew Kasch and Thommy Hutson Speak!

Thommy: There was a vision that Dan and Andrew wanted and I kept that in mind when writing out the questions that I thought would help them tell the story that they wanted to tell. We pulled it all together to get as close to a story as possible. And a lot of it did come together in the editing, too. I give credit to Dan and Andrew for talking the clay we got, in terms of the interviews, and shaping them into something that was cohesive and could go from point A to B to C in a highly entertaining way.

Dan: It was Tommy’s structure that helped bring life to that. He spent hours creating outlines and structural pieces for us to follow. Tommy wrote the narration and tens of thousands of questions for the interviewees. Also, finding and locating over one hundred interviewees was quite a challenge. This certainly wasn’t done for money; rather we all wanted to tell the story.

Andrew: Our crew worked tirelessly at all hours of the night just to help this thing be the best it could be.

DC: What is the process like when you’re trying to put together a hundred hours of footage into a documentary.

Dan: It’s like taking an unformed lump of clay and just taking away everything that’s not your show. Eventually you have something that looks like what you want and you keep chiseling and refining from there until you get those little exacting details. I have to turn to Andrew, who edited the show brilliantly, along with Michael Benni Pierce whose an absolutely amazing right-hand guy. He was there morning, noon and night. Between the two of them, it was a great partnership.

Andrew: Most of us had all worked together on other documentary projects. Dan and I did the special features for the Friday the 13th Deluxe Editions, as well as the bonus material on the Haunting in Connecticut DVD, so, for about a year, we were working together pretty steadily and it prepared us for this.

Dan: It’s like going from grammar school to grad school. We knew that fans were disappointed with His Name Was Jason – as was I, being the director. It just didn’t play. We didn’t want to shortchange the running time. We really put everything into this one to make it as complete and fulfilling to fans. There wasn’t a stone we left unturned.

DC: Is there anyone in particular who was difficult to track down?

Never Sleep Again Crew T-shirt made once Mark Patton was found. (click for larger image)Dan: We were bound and determine to find Mark Patton – star of A Nightmare on Elm Street part 2 – who literally had seemed to disappear off the face of the earth. I think we could’ve made a film about our attempts to find Mark. Fortunately, we found him living a humble existence in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. He couldn’t have been happier and friendlier to get on board and to talk to us. He was so excited about it and continues to be. That was an achievement and it was really great to meet him and to talk about some of the interesting layers of Nightmare 2 that have often been hinted at but never fully discussed and, boy, do we discuss them.

Thommy: Obviously, the elephant in the room is that we don’t have Johnny Depp or Patricia Arquette. However, it wasn’t due to either of them saying no. We were extremely close to going to the set of Medium to talk to Patricia, but it ultimately didn’t work out. Same thing with Johnny Depp. His people were extremely gracious and they listened to us, but it didn’t work out.

DC: Was there anybody apprehensive to revisit their Elm Street roots?

Dan: Fran Bennett.

Thommy: Dan and I were adamant that Fran Bennett – Dr. Heffner from New Nightmare – had to be in the doc. I found her and she was really difficult to get that yes out of because she just didn’t think she had anything to say. She ended up being a joy and brought a ton of life to her interview.

DC: With NSA behind you, what was the biggest highlight?

Andrew: Getting the chance to meet each and every person involved and getting the chance to ask any question that you ever wanted to ask about this franchise.

Thommy: We all had worked together and I think that level of comfort really helped make our interviews comfortable as well. It enabled us to bring out the stories that we brought out … to make everyone go back in time and relive what they did when they made the movies.

Dan: For me, it was getting to work with this team – not to sound too sappy or sentimental. This worked out so well for us, we had our highs and lows but all had a drive to tell this story. And also, getting to meet and interview Wes Craven, and him turning to me in a very personal way and asking me, “how are you doing this?” And I said were doing it on our own, there’s was no studio behind us. He seemed genuinely touched and impressed by that. And that made it all worthwhile. In the end there were some people that were great, some were more difficult to work with but we got what we wanted: the most complete set of interviews ever done on A Nightmare on Elm Street. I hope this lives as a time capsule of the original Elm Street franchise. That was the aim and I think we got it.


For more on this project check out the official Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy website, the official Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy Facebook page and the official Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy MySpace page. To join in on the live fun as it happens, simply follow @ElmStreetLegacy on Twitter!

If you haven’t already done so, pre-order Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy (available May 4th) to get a FREE poster signed by actress Heather Langenkamp with your purchase. Or for you Amazon shoppers — just click the artwork below!

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Michael Bay Adapting Duke Nukem with John Cena in Talks For Lead Role

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I think we can all agree that this may very well be one of those times when we see an announcement and go, “Huh… That actually makes 100% sense and I’m completely behind it!”

It’s been announced that the classic FPS shooter series Duke Nukem is getting a film adaptation out of Paramount with Platinum Dunes, the company owned by Michael Bay, Andrew Form, and Brad Fuller, producing the movie. As of now, there is no script but the plan is to have WWE superstar John Cena taking on the lead role. As of now, it’s still in early stages but this is actually very exciting news as this combination seems like a match made in heaven.

Just think about some of Bay’s films, like Transformers, Bad Boys, The Rock, The Island, etc… Now imagine that kind of gleeful explosive action as the backdrop for Cena to kick untold amounts of alien ass. For those who worry that Bay won’t go hard enough in terms of violence or offensive language, don’t forget that both Bad Boys films as well as Pain & Gain were rated R for very good reasons.

Duke Nukem was originally released back in 1991 in the self-titled game made by Apogee Software. The character has since been in multiple sequels, although there are only four titles to the main storyline, and spin-offs as well as appearing in cameos in other games such as Death Rally, Blood, Serious Sam 2, Balls of Steel and can be seen in the trailer for Ready Player One. Nukem’s last video game appearance was 2011’s Duke Nuke Forever, a game that went through countless delays only to be met with critical panning upon release.

Horror fans who have played Duke Nukem will recognize many of the character’s iconic one-liners as being lifted from several horror films. Quotes from They Live, Army of Darkness, Aliens, Predator, Jaws, Full Metal Jacket, Evil Dead 2, and many more. The references were littered throughout and many delighted in their homages. However, Bruce Campbell wasn’t a fan when asked about the game back in 1999. He told IGN, “…they’re rip-off artists. Let them get their own damn material. It’s called hiring a writer.” [Source].

That being said, how cool would it be if Campbell made an appearance in the film to put Cena’s Duke Nukem in his place should he use one of those quotes? Apart from being a treat for fans of the games, it’d be a great moment in a film that’s meant to be chock full of bravado, machismo, and strong chins!

Coming back to Platinum Dunes’ adaptation, we’ll be keeping a very close eye on this project! In the meanwhile, why not tell us your favorite Duke Nukem moment in the comments!

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Ellen Page and The Cured Come Home to VOD

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We’ve been talking about the new zombie flick starring Ellen Page entitled The Cured for quite some time now, and we’ll soon be able to sink our teeth into it courtesy of IFC Films.

The flick stars Page (Juno, Hard Candy), Sam Keeley (Anthropoid, In the Heart of the Sea), Tom Vaughan-Lawlor (Avengers: Infinity War, The Infiltrator), and Paula Malcomson (The Hunger Games trilogy, “Ray Donovan”) and is directed and written by David Freyne in his first feature film. Look for it in theaters and On Demand on February 23, 2018​.

Synopsis:
What happens when the undead return to life? In a world ravaged for years by a virus that turns the infected into zombie-like cannibals, a cure is at last found and the wrenching process of reintegrating the survivors back into society begins. Among the formerly afflicted is Senan (Sam Keeley), a young man haunted by the horrific acts he committed while infected. Welcomed back into the family of his widowed sister-in-law (Ellen Page), Senan attempts to restart his life—but is society ready to forgive him and those like him? Or will fear and prejudice once again tear the world apart? 

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#Brainwaves Episode 74 Guest Announcement: Creature Designer Mike Hill – The Shape of Water and More!

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We’re getting monstrous on Episode 74 of Brainwaves Horror and Paranormal Talk Radio as joining us will be award-winning artist, filmmaker, and creature designer Mike Hill, whose work you can see right now in a little film called The Shape of Water.

Join us this coming Wednesday, January 24th, at 8:00PM PT/11:00PM ET for all the shenanigans fit to be had!

It’s radio without a safety net, kids. It’s Brainwaves: Horror and Paranormal Talk Radio.

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Brainwaves: Horror and Paranormal Talk Radio is available to subscribe to on iTunes and Stitcher.

Spooky, funny, touching, honest, offensive, and at times completely random, Brainwaves airs live every Wednesday evening beginning at 8:00 PM Pacific Time (11:00 midnight Eastern Time) and runs about 3 hours per episode.

Knetter and Creepy will be taking your calls LIVE and unscreened via Skype, so let your freak flags fly! Feel free to add BrainWavesTalk to your Skype account so you can reach us, or call in from a landline or cellphone – 858 480 7789. The duo also take questions via Twitter; you can reach us at @BrainwavesRadio or @UncleCreepy, @JoeKnetter, or @MrDarkDC using the hashtag #BrainWaves. You can also check us out on our Brainwaves Discord channel!

Have a ghost story or a paranormal story but can’t call in? Feel free to email it to me directly at UncleCreepy@dreadcentral.com with “Brainwaves Story” in your subject line. You can now become a fan of the show via the official… BRAINWAVES FACEBOOK PAGE!

Brainwaves: Horror and Paranormal Talk Radio is hosted live (with shows to be archived as they progress) right here on Dread Central. You can tune in and listen via the FREE TuneIn Radio app or listen to TuneIn right through the website!

For more information and to listen live independent of TuneIn, visit the Deep Talk Radio Network website, “like” Deep Talk Radio on Facebook, and follow Deep Talk Radio on Twitter. And don’t forget to subscribe to Brainwaves on iTunes.

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