Exclusive: Set Visit to Danny DeVito's Skin Deep; Frank Ippolito Talks FX and Addresses Syfy's Face Off - Dread Central
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Exclusive: Set Visit to Danny DeVito’s Skin Deep; Frank Ippolito Talks FX and Addresses Syfy’s Face Off

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Dread hit the set of actor Danny DeVito’s then-shooting horror short Skin Deep this past February 19th and spent some time chatting with filmmaker/FX artist and reality star Frank Ippolito, who was on hand to provide the makeup gags required of the supernatural flick.

At the time filming at the Lampoon Mansion in the Hollywood Hills, writer and director DeVito’s “Splattercut” short film (as he refers to them) is yet another addition to his growing library of horror shorts (yes, DeVito’s a horror fan and filmmaker), and eventually Skin Deep will be streamed at his website The Blood Factory (where you can currently view his other genre works).

Speaking with Ippolito – as DeVito guided Skin Deep’s leads, Erica Taylor (Night of the Little Dead) and David Margulies (Ghostbusters, “The Sopranos”), along with myriad extras through the Hollywood party scene being shot on the fourth floor of the manse – the effects artist and director (whose previous shorts include Dracula’s Daughter vs. Space Brains and the upcoming Night of the Little Dead) showed off the prosthetics for two of the short’s gags: the ‘face rip off’ appliance created for Taylor’s character and a mechanical devil’s tail, slated to be worn by Margulies.

It’s a little mechanical tail, which we made to look like a wiener,” chuckled Ippolito of the phallic creation that was utilized during the two-day shoot. “Danny wanted it to look like that. He wanted it to be that the devil is kind of mocking Erica’s character (with it). The story is that she had made a deal with him sixty-six years ago to keep her beauty, and now sixty-six years later he returns to take her beauty back, which is why he rips her face off.

As for the look of Margulies’ devil character makeup (who at the time was outfitted with convincing horns and contacts), “There’s a couple of different stages of the devil’s makeup,” said Ippolito. “He does different things. He shows up in a mirror, and he has three different sizes of horns and different contact lenses for different looks. We have yellow contacts that 9MM Effects made for us, a company that I’ve been using for all of the things that I’ve done in the past. I built another gag, too, which is a tongue with a bunch of warts on it.

Ippolito presents the referenced prosthetic appliance, which similar to a condom is designed to slip over the performer’s appendage, and which is indeed rather warty.

You can’t really glue things onto a tongue,” offers Ippolito.

Talk turns to Ippolito’s casting on the make-up effects reality competition show “Face Off” (which is currently airing on Syfy) and his subsequent being voting off of it and the producer’s interesting choice of editing, which seemed to present the artist as lazy, self-involved and careless (note: during this writer’s set visit – to Ippolito’s Night of the Little Dead, none of the above applied). Of course, a staple of reality television is the dramatic, and a villain is always inherent, whether legitimate or created during post production.

I actually think it’s kind of funny,” Ippolito reflected, more than likely relieved to have a platform via which to address his generally anonymous Internet detractors. “I just looked at my Twitter account, and someone had Tweeted, ‘Thank you Frank, for making Cleveland (from which he heralds) look like a bad city,’ like they are comparing me to LeBron James! I mean c’mon, “Face Off” is a reality show, and I think at the end of the day that it’s fun and that it’s funny. I went on there to have fun, and I had fun. I don’t really regret it.

I think it’s great that I’m getting all of this press,” he continued, “even if it’s negative, but whatever, people are talking about me and not about anyone else (on the show), and that makes it even funnier. You can’t take it seriously. I don’t think DeVito would keep me around for his shorts if I was the raging asshole or incompetent (as they edited me to be). I mean, Danny can get just about anyone he wants in town, and he’s gone through a lot of people on these shorts, and I’ve been around for over a year now (working with him on them). But the reaction (to my appearance on “Face Off”) doesn’t really bother me. I was upset about it at first, as anyone getting negative press would be, but I think it’s amusing now.

Stay tuned to Dread for our exclusive monster photos from the set of Ippolito’s Night of the Little Dead on March 15th, as well as a first look at that film’s trailer (Night of the Little Dead subsequently will be released to iTunes), and in the interim, you can visit the flick’s Facebook page here.

Exclusive: Set Visit to Danny DeVito’s Skin Deep; Frank Ippolito Talks FX and Addresses Syfy's Face Off

Sean Decker

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SOMA Sailing to Xbox One on December 1

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SOMA (review) will be heading to Xbox One on December 1st with the addition of a new safe mode, and we have all the details you need right here!

SOMA Coming to Xbox One with New “Safe Mode”
There’s no need to be concerned. You are always safe…

Isolated, submerged in the ocean’s darkness, chaos has overtaken the halls of PATHOS-II, and the boundaries of humanity strained beyond repair. From Frictional Games, creators of the critically acclaimed Amnesia series, SOMA is coming to Xbox One on December 1st with the addition of Safe Mode.

Safe Mode introduces an optional new way to play SOMA in the Xbox One and PC releases. Protected from the hostile creatures below, let yourself sink into the mystery and atmosphere of PATHOS-II as you uncover the truth and determine the fate of the station.

SOMA is coming to Xbox One on December 1st and is available to pre-order now. Safe Mode will launch simultaneously as a free update for PC and will be available for PS4 at a later date.

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Thelma Is Fantastic and Now You Can Watch the Opening Scene

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One of this year’s most beautiful and subdued horror films is Joachim Trier’s Thelma (review), which opens in Los Angeles tonight. To give you a bit of what the film is like, The Orchard have released the opening scene, which shows a man and his daughter hunting in the bleak Norwegian winter. When they come across a young deer, the true intentions of this trip become apparent…

Having seen Thelma, I can tell you that it’s truly something special. It’s a slow burn, to be certain, but it plays out gorgeously, resulting in a film that has yet to leave my mind.

Related Story: Exclusive Interview with Thelma’s Joachim Trier

Locations and tickets for Thelma can be found here.

Synopsis:
Thelma, a shy young student, has just left her religious family in a small town on the west coast of Norway to study at a university in Oslo. While at the library one day, she experiences a violent, unexpected seizure. Soon after, she finds herself intensely drawn toward Anja, a beautiful young student who reciprocates Thelma’s powerful attraction. As the semester continues, Thelma becomes increasingly overwhelmed by her intense feelings for Anja – feelings she doesn’t dare acknowledge, even to herself – while at the same time experiencing even more extreme seizures. As it becomes clearer that the seizures are a symptom of inexplicable, often dangerous, supernatural abilities, Thelma is confronted with tragic secrets of her past, and the terrifying implications of her powers.

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Award-Winning The Child Remains Playing Tomorrow at the Blood in the Snow Festival

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The award-winning supernatural thriller The Child Remains, which has been on the festival circuit, is returning to Canada to play tomorrow night at the Blood in the Snow Film Festival in Toronto. Tickets for the screening, which is at 9:30pm, can be found at the festival’s website.

The film has won awards in festivals across Canada as well as Best Foreign Feature at the Unrestricted View Horror Film Festival in London, UK.

Described as The Shining meets Rosemary’s Baby meets The Orphanage, the film stars Suzanne Clément, Allan Hawco, Shelley Thompson, and Geza Kovacs. Directed and written by Michael Melski, who co-produced the film alongside Craig Cameron and David Miller, The Child Remains is aiming for a Canadian theatrical release in Spring 2018 and a US theatrical release in October 2018.

Synopsis:
An expectant couple’s intimate weekend turns to terror when they discover their secluded country inn is a haunted maternity home where unwanted infants and young mothers were murdered. Inspired by the true story of the infamous ‘Butterbox Babies’ and their macabre chapter in Canadian history, The Child Remains is a twisting supernatural thriller that emphasizes story and suspense over shock and gore.

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