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Breck Eisner Talks The Crazies, Romero, and Casting Adults

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Breck Eisner Talks The Crazies, Romero, and Casting AdultsNow that the dust has settled and The Crazies remake is making its home video debut, we caught up with director Breck Eisner to talk about all of the horrors he faced while working on the project.

The first thing we discussed was what it was like to walk in Romero’s footsteps …

“Without Romero this movie wouldn’t have gotten made,” says Eisner. “About two months before it was getting released, I set up a screening just for him of The Crazies up in Toronto, and he watched it alone. I called him the next morning, and this was an incredibly nerve-wracking call as up until this point I had never really talked to the man. I didn’t know what to expect; all I knew was that I just remade his movie and he had sat alone at 9:00 AM in Toronto and watched it. So the time came, and I asked, “So what do you think?” and he was quite positive. It was a great experience to get that from him. Obviously he had things that he would have done differently, as we all do, I would hope, but yeah, that was the ultimate stamp of approval.”

“In 1973, when Romero made his movie, this idea was way out there,” Eisner continues. “The idea of water being infected and turning people into homicidal maniacs required a lot of exposition for the audience to really grasp what was going on. Cut to 2010, and that’s like everyday fare for audiences. Given that, I knew I could get rid of a lot of the explanatory exposition that George was saddled with because he was the one breaking new ground. Thanks to him and the people who have been inspired by him, people get it. With my movie I was able to let the audience take the ride with my heroes as they figured out what was going on. Horror fans are amongst the smartest fans out there. They don’t need their hands held anymore. These people know and love movies, and if you do wrong by them, you’re in trouble! *laughs* When you do right, though, they reward you! You gotta take both!

In terms of the look of the Crazies …

“It took a long time and wasn’t easy,” explains Eisner. “The very first thing I did was go through books and online research and medical libraries and just kind of pulled all of the potential diseases that it could really be. In going through that process, I actually came up with a whole bunch of interesting diseases that I hope I never come close to having. I was able to kind of pick and choose what we wanted. The idea was that I was bio-engineering a weapon that took the three best, or worst, infections out there and combined them into a cocktail of sorts. What would the results look like? So in the end we kind of mixed together the greatest hits of awful diseases and added an accelerant. With that kind of image book in mind, we went to Rob Hall and Almost Human. He then did his own research on top of that. The first pass on the design ended up looking too much like a zombie. No matter how we looked at it, it just was a zombie. So we threw that away and began from scratch. Then we threw that one away as well, but then on the third or fourth try we discovered that what we needed to do was avoid decaying colors and go for more red and bloodshot colors as if the blood was really pumping. There would be no facial decay because not enough time would have passed, so we turned to this kind of enhanced veining and a neck piece which was inspired by tetanus, which causes an extreme tightening of the muscles in the face, neck, and body. It’s really horrific looking stuff. Once we had all of these elements, it kind of cued the rage that that these characters were in. It was a lot of trial and error and a lot of different kinds of development to get to the final look of these things, but really it was Rob who was the one that brought it all together. He took all of these pieces and fused them together into this complex design of the Crazies. There were five different stages of the disease we had to deal with in terms of the look so our work was cut out for us.”


The Crazies – Three-Minute Sizzle Reel
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To go along with his creatures, Breck also needed a very believable cast to sell the horror in the flick.

“Timothy Olyphant was the first person that we cast. He was number one on my list. He was the guy who I really wanted to play the lead character. Since the ‘Deadwood’ days and even before, I’ve been a big fan of his. He has a real low-key honesty in his performances. He comes off as more of a real down to earth human being than a movie star, and that was important. Once we cast him, we went directly to Radha Mitchell, who is an expert in this genre, but she’s also an expert in regular dramas and roles that require a bit more heavy lifting from a performance standpoint. Together the two of them felt like a really natural and honest couple. The whole idea of the movie was to not create character types, but to try and create real characters and let the audience take part in their journey and relationship so that they feel like they’re real people. A lot of times horror movies kind of forget to pay attention to that. In the end a good movie is a good movie whether it’s horror, drama, or whatever. It all comes down to the writing and the actors who bring those words to life.

“We bounced between about three studios before we actually settled down to make this movie because a few of the bigger studios out there had decided that they needed this flick to be populated by young characters and this movie had to be about kids, and that just wasn’t acceptable,” continues Eisner. “At the risk of the movie falling apart, which it did and then came back together, we just wouldn’t go that way. Spooky stuff happens to adults, too, and when an adult sees these things going on, it’s even more intense because now we’re dealing with a character who’s lived life and has more life experience than a teenager.

Amen, Breck. Amen. Order a copy of The Crazies on DVD or Blu-ray below.

Uncle Creepy

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Alien: Covenant’s Carmen Ejogo Joins True Detective Season 3

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“From the dusty mesa her looming shadow grows…”

The first season of HBO’s “True Detective” was one of the best seasons ever put on a TV screen. Hands down. The second season was another story altogether. While not a complete waste of time (Colin Farrell owed) the season was basically merely ‘meh’.

But what about “True Detective” season 3?

Well, a few months back it was announced that the third season had been greenlit by HBO, with creator Nic Pizzolatto returning to pen the series and director Jeremy Saulnier (Green Room) taking the helm of the episodes.

Today we have news that Carmen Ejogo – who you may recognize Ejogo from such recent fright flicks as It Comes at Night, Alien: Covenant, and The Purge: Anarchy – will be joining the previously announced Mahershala Ali (Moonlight) for Season 3.

Ejogo will play the female lead, Amelia Reardon, who THR describes as “an Arkansas schoolteacher with a connection to two missing children in 1980.”

Nice Pizzolatto will serve as showrunner and direct alongside Jeremy Saulnier. Executive producers include Pizzolatto, Saulnier, Scott Stephens and season one stars Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey as well as original director Cary Joji Fukunaga. Steve Golin, Bard Dorros and Richard Brown are also credited as exec producers.

Synopsis:

A macabre crime in the heart of the Ozarks and a mystery that deepens over decades and plays out in three separate time periods.

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Danielle Harris Tried to Get Jamie Lloyd into New Halloween Movie

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One of the top films all of us are looking forward to the most here at Dread Central is Blumhouse’s upcoming sequel/reboot thing to John Carpenter’s Halloween.

The new Halloween (2018) film is written by Danny McBride and David Gordon Green and is all set to be directed by Green this year. Recently we learned that original Halloween star Jamie Lee Curtis was going to be returning to the new film.

Not only that, but Curtis’ classic character Laurie Strode would have a daughter… played by Judy Greer. But what about Danielle Harris?

After all, Harris was the star of Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers and Halloween 5: The Curse of Michael Myers. Let alone, she had a starring role in both Rob Zombie’s remake and it’s sequel. So how about the new film?

Turns out Harris tried to get her character Jamie Llyod (aka the daughter of Jamie Lee Curtis’ Laurie Strode) from Halloween 4 and 5 into the new film… but she was turned down by Blumhouse and the new creative team. That sucks.

Harris was pretty bummed about the whole deal and took to Facebook recently to clear the air. You can check out quotes from her video, along with the video itself, below.

After that make sure to hit us up and let us know how much you would have liked to see Harris return to Halloween in the comments below or on social media!

“What I am bummed about is… [Laurie] has a daughter,” Harris says. “I was okay with it when she had a son… but they’re saying it’s the last one and… she has a daughter. And it’s not Jamie. It’s just kind of a bummer, I guess. I think somebody had said, it wouldn’t have hurt the movie to have Jamie reunited with [Laurie]. But that didn’t happen.”

“We did put in a call, thought it’d be kinda cool even just to have a little flashback…” She continues. “They were not interested. So. I tried.”

Blumhouse’s Halloween hits theaters October 19, 2018.

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Posted by Danielle Harris on Monday, November 6, 2017

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Through the Cracks – Trick or Treat (1986) Review

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Starring Marc Price, Tony Fields, Lisa Orgolini, Glen Morgan, Gene Simmons, and Ozzy Osbourne

Directed by Charles Martin Smith


I have been a horror fan for more than half of my life at this point. Meaning I have seen most of the quality horror offerings under the sun. But that said, every once in awhile a classic sneaks past so we wanted to create this “Through the Cracks” review section for such films.

Case in point, I had never seen the Halloween horror flick Trick or Treat until last night. I know, right? How the hell did that happen? But these things do happen and so for everyone that has seen the flick a million times, this will be a review of the movie from a super horror fan that – at the age of 33 – is seeing Trick or Treat for the very first time.

Now let’s get to it.

First off you have to love the movie’s plot. Mixing horror and heavy metal seems like a given, yet preciously few films Frankenstein these two great tastes together.

Like many of you out there, I am a big metal fan as well as a big horror fan. The two seem to go together like chocolate and peanut butter. Or Jason and horny campers.

I dig bands like Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, and even those hair metal bands (Dokken forever!) and I’m well aware of the legends surrounding playing these records backward.

Off the top of my head, the only other flick that combines the two to this degree is the (relatively) recent horror-comedy Deathgasm. I say more horror-metal flicks! Or should we call it Metal-Horror? Yeah, that’s a much more metal title.

It only makes sense that someone, somewhere would take the idea of “What if Ozzy Osbourne really was evil and came back from the dead (you know, if he had passed away during his heyday) to torment a loner fan?” Great premise for a movie!

And Trick or Treat delivers on the promise of this premise in spades. Sammi Curr is an epic hybrid of the best of the best metal frontmen and his resurrection via speaker is one of the great horror birthing scenes I have seen in all my years.

Add to that the film feels like a lost entry in the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. More specifically the film feels like it would fit snugly in between two of my favorite entries in that series, Dream Warriors and The Dream Master.

This movie is 80’s as all f*ck and I loved every minute of it.

And speaking of how this film brought other minor classics to the forefront of my brain, let’s talk about the film’s central villain, Sammi Curr. This guy looks like he could share an epic horror band with the likes of Mary Lou from Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II and the Drill Killer rocker from Slumber Party Massacre Part II.

Picture that band for a moment and tell me they aren’t currently playing the most epic set in Hell as we speak. I say let’s see an Avengers-style series of films based on these minor horror icons sharing the stage and touring the country’s high school proms!

In the end Trick or Treat has more than it’s fair share of issues. Sammi Curr doesn’t enter the film until much too late and is dispatched way too easily. Water? Really? That’s it?

That said, the film is still a blast as director Charles Martin Smith keeps the movie rocking like an 80’s music video with highlights being Sammi’s rock show massacre at the prom and his final assault on our hero teens in the family bathroom.

Rockstar lighting for days.

Even though the film has issues (zero blood, a rushed ending) none of that mattered much to this horror hound as the film was filled to the brim with striking horror/metal imagery and a killer soundtrack via Fastway and composer Christopher Young.

Plus you’ve got to love the cameos by Gene Simmons (boy, his character just dropped right out of the movie, huh?) and Ozzy Osbourne as a mad-as-hell Preacher that isn’t going to take any more of this devil music. P.S. Watch for the post-credits tag.

More than a few of my closest horror buddies have this film placed high on their annual Halloween must-watch lists. And after (finally) viewing the film for myself, I think I just may have to add the film to mine as well. Preferably on VHS.

Trick or Treat is an 80’s horror classic. If you dig films like Popcornand if you put the film off like I did, remedy that tonight and slap a copy in the old VHS/DVD player.

Just don’t play it backward… God knows what could happen.

All said and done, I enjoyed the hell out of my first viewing of Trick or Treat. But what do YOU think of the film? Make sure to hit us up and let us know below or on social media!

Now bring on Trick or Treat 2: The Prom Band from Hell, featuring Sammi Curr, Mary Lou Maloney, and Atanas Ilitch’s Driller Killer from Slumber Party Massacre Part II!

  • Trick or Treat (1986) 3.5
3.5

Summary

Charles Martin Smith’s Trick or Treat is a sure-fire Halloween treat for fans of 80’s horror flicks, as well as fans of heavy metal music.

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