Exclusive: Director and FX Artist Gary J. Tunnicliffe Weighs in on The Pinhead Experience - Dread Central
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Exclusive: Director and FX Artist Gary J. Tunnicliffe Weighs in on The Pinhead Experience



Dog Bradley as Pinhead

It’s been twelve years since Pinhead-originating actor Doug Bradley has worn the costume and makeup he made so cinematically famous (initially in Clive Barker’s groundbreaking 1987 film Hellraiser and later in no less than six sequels). That is set to change, however, this Friday and Saturday at Scottsdale, Arizona’s Mad Monster Party, as FX legend Tom Savini has paired with the actor in order to provide convention goers the opportunity to get up close and personal with the Cenobite.

Tickets which will allow the purchaser a quick photo op with Bradley in his hellish regalia (Kyle Roberts and Steve Tolin of Tolin FX handled the makeup, with costume recreation by Allison and Sean Boyle) are $260.00 and have already sold out for the actor’s Saturday appearance.

Of the experience, “When fans and show organizers started to ask about the possibility of a Pinhead photo op with Doug a few years back,” states an official announcement made on Bradley’s Facebook page, “we dismissed it as an impossibility. Almost nothing relating to Pinhead existed anymore. No makeup. No costume. Not even a life cast. Besides, shaking hands and “posing” for a picture with Pinhead seemed like a silly idea. The more time went on, the more the questions persisted and the more we talked about it. An idea evolved. If Pinhead can’t enter the fans’ world, how can we bring you into his? We wanted to present an experience and not just a photograph, as close to stepping on set with Doug as Pinhead as we could make it.”

An exciting moment in fandom history, to be sure, as Bradley hasn’t appeared on screen as the character since the 2005 entry Hellraiser: Hellworld, for which FX artist-turned-director Gary J. Tunnicliffe provided the makeup (Tunnicliffe began his extensive Hellraiser effects journey in 1992 on Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth and continued throughout all of the subsequent sequels, the last two of which found Bradley’s character essayed by other actors, and the final, Hellraiser: Judgement, also directed by Tunnicliffe and currently awaiting release).

Related Story: Doug Bradley as Pinhead – More Details and Exclusive Pics!

So, what are Tunnicliffe’s thoughts on the Mad Monster Party return of Pinhead? He emailed us last night to convey them.

Several years ago, before Doug and I ‘fell out’ he bounced the idea of a ‘Pinhead makeup at Conventions scenario’ to me (inspired by Robert Englund, etc., doing similar ventures) and I thought then as I do now – that it was sure fire money maker and a wonderful opportunity for fans. So, I wasn’t surprised when I heard it was going ahead and obviously (since we are no longer on speaking terms) I wasn’t surprised he reached out to another makeup team to facilitate it. I’ve seen pictures and video, etc., and fielded hundreds of texts from people asking what I think of the makeup and costume, I’ve even been told some people have commented it’s the best he’s ever looked (since the original films) and it’s better than the various sequels… and so feel I have to throw my ‘two cents’ in on that.

Personally, whilst I am thrilled to see Doug wear the makeup again, I’m not impressed with the look of it nor the costume, and this is a 100% unbiased critique as an ex-makeup FX artist who created and applied this character over many years.

Post Hellseeker, we used lifts (small pieces of tape) to ‘pull up’ any sagging skin to essentially ‘youth’ Doug, and (to) take away the ‘tired’ or ‘aged’ look… looking at the life cast – that was not done – and I don’t think it’s being done in the application now… so you tend to get a ‘heavy’ look to the face.

The color seems VERY pale, we always painted the makeup a yellowy, autopsy tone and then let the lighting department add the blue color or pale him out… if you don’t do this he tends to wash out 100% which loses the depth of the cuts, etc., and we definitely strayed away from the eye shadow blue ‘racoon’ eyes. I always found a little of that goes a LONG way and you don’t want him looking like Captain Spaulding.

Doug bradley Pinhead

Regarding the costume, I’m assuming the images so far are unfinished. It looks very clean and in need of ‘age’ing down’ Ironically people always think the costume is black, (although) it’s actually a very dark brown-dark umber that reads black on camera… the arms do seem bulky (I’ve seen comments saying that) and the chest piece seems unfinished.

It’s been interesting to read some of the posts by the team involved, and I was interested to see SO many people working on the application… 99% of the time I always did it alone.

Regarding The Pinhead Experience itself, I am curious what the fans will get for their $260 (I know they get a photo and an encounter with him) – I know Doug was keen for this to NOT be just a photo op and wanted to give the people an ‘experience’ and I think that’s awesome. I mean, how cool to visit with Pinhead in his environment!?! Kudos to Doug, Steph and the team for producing that.

But if their estimate of four hours to deal with 100 ticket holders is legitimate, then (without any breaks) that’s 240 minutes – that’s 2.4 mins per ticket holder (1-4 people) and $1.62 per second?

Even a five-minute experience with him would break down as 86 cents per second – BUT that would take 8.33 hours (with NO breaks).

I’m not trying to belittle what they are doing, but ‘load in/load out’ times and ‘logistics’ are something I have had to deal with more and more designing attractions at Fright Dome in Las Vegas and it’s problematic… but I’m sure they’ll have it covered.

A note on budget, people might be quick dismiss my comments and comparisons based on our ‘huge film’ FX budgets….well, I would laugh heartily and say this:

We had $50,000.00 for ALL the effects and on set labor on Hellraiser: Inferno (that’s Pinhead, Wire Twins, Torso Chatterer, costumes, boxes and EVERYTHING else) … on HELLWORLD AND DEADER we had about $150,000.00 again for EVERYTHING – the entire FX build (labor, materials etc) and ON SET costs.

For Revelations, the FX budget was $20,000.00 to create all the effects (Pinhead, Cenobites, Boxes, Skinned FX and on set crew) …. at $260 per ticket X 100 over two days that’s $52,000.00 (total), so even just using a quarter of that is MORE than enough to deliver a movie quality character and costume.

No matter what, I’m sure it will be exciting for all involved and something new to talk about, and anything that gives the fans of this awesome film series a chance to meet with an ICON is cool! And I have no doubts it is something we will see MORE and MORE of in the coming years, and the fans are the ones who will benefit (as long as the prices and experiences are good value for money).

… so does that mean David Naughton with a werewolf body???

…Tony Todd with a mouth full of bees??

… or how about half a Joe Pilato??? (Get your photo holding his intestines??) Where do I buy my ticket?????

For more info on Bradley’s appearance, visit Mad Monster Party online.

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Exclusive: Sony Enters a House of Demons; Release Date, Box Art, and Trailer Inside



“Buffy the Vampire Slayer” fans, pay heed! We’ve got the exclusive reveal on a brand new film coming from Sony Entertainment by the name of House of Demons and it stars Amber Benson, who you may remember as Tara from “Buffy”. The film follows four friends who venture into a home that was once owned by a Manson-like cult only to have strange, supernatural events haunt their every waking moment.

House of Demons was written and directed by Patrick Meaney and stars Dove Meir, Chloe Dykstra, Morgan Peter Brown, Tiffany Smith, Taliesin Jaffe, Whitney Moore, Jeff Torres, and Kaytlin Borgen.

We can confirm that the movie will be coming out on DVD (check out that artwork) and digital platforms on February 6 and that it will include deleted scenes, a director’s commentary, and three behind-the-scenes featurettes. To give you a feel of what the movie will be like, we’ve also got an exclusive clip below!

Gwen, Matthew, Katrina, and Spencer were best friends for years, until a terrible tragedy tore them apart. Ten years later, they reunite in a rented house for a destination wedding. What they don’t know is that in the late ‘60s, the house was home to a Manson Family-like cult run by Frazer, a charismatic former scientist pushing the boundaries of human consciousness. His experiments echo through time and manifest everyone’s darkest fears and memories, blurring time as Frazer’s cult and the present day collide over the course of one long night, where everyone must confront their darkness or be destroyed by it.

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Go Behind the Scenes of Flatliners with This Exclusive Clip



The remake of Flatliners is on its way to your house from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment; and to celebrate its arrival, we have an exclusive behind-the-scenes clip for you featuring the film’s star, Ellen Page. Dig it!

Flatliners is available now on digital platforms and will hit December 26 on Blu-ray and DVD formats.

Directed by Niels Arden Oplev with a story by Peter Filardi and a screenplay by Ben Ripley, Flatliners was produced by Laurence Mark, Michael Douglas, and Peter Safran and executive produced by Michael Bederman, Robert Mitas, David Blackman, Brian Oliver, and Hassan Taher.

Five medical students, hoping to gain insight into the mystery of what lies beyond the confines of life, embark on a daring and dangerous experiment. By stopping their hearts for short periods of time, each triggers a near-death experience. As the investigation becomes more and more perilous, they are forced to confront the sins of their pasts, as well as contend with the supernatural consequences of trespassing to the other side.


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#Brainwaves Episode 70: A Very Brainwaves Christmas



It’s that special time of the year again, kids! Yep, Knetter, Creepy, and the gang are all set to jingle your balls with a special episode of Brainwaves: Horror and Paranormal Talk Radio… “A Very Brainwaves Christmas!” Expect surprises, call-ins, and all the stupidity that your brain can handle! Just be leery of where Joe hangs his mistletoe.

Join us this coming Wednesday, December 20th, 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.


Listen to Stitcher

Brainwaves: Horror and Paranormal Talk Radio is available to subscribe to on iTunes. Not an iTunes user?  You can also listen right here on the site.

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 and @JonathanBarkan using the hashtag #BrainWaves.

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.

Brainwaves Contact!

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