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Get Out Special Blu-ray Screening Event Report!

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Get Out Interview

Dread Central was honored to be among a select group of horror sites to get a glimpse of the special feature on the newly released Get Out (review) Blu-ray and view a Q&A with director Jordan Peele, producers Jason Blum and Sean McKittrick, and cast members Daniel Kaluuya (Chris Washington) and Allison Williams (Rose Armitage).

They showed us several clips from the film and discussed the stories behind them, and Peele even revealed a different, downbeat ending he had in mind for the film originally.

In case you’re not familiar with the story, here’s the gist: Now that Chris and his girlfriend, Rose, have reached the meet-the-parents milestone of dating, she invites him for a weekend getaway upstate to her parent’s house. At first, Chris reads the family’s overly accommodating behavior as nervous attempts to deal with their daughter’s interracial relationship, but as the weekend progresses, a series of increasingly disturbing discoveries lead him to a truth that he never could have imagined.

Get Out Event

Here’s some of what the Get Out folks had to say during the Q&A.

Jordan Peele: I think we knew what we had. We knew we had something cool and the whole process leading towards the release, our confidence only grew with it. The biggest surprise to me was the ability to get this thing made, so I just want to do multiple shout-outs and kudos to Sean McKittrick, Jason Blum, and Universal because this is a movie that takes an incredible amount of trust and foresight to be able to invest the type of energy that they did. I’m just so honored, the cast and crew as well… I’m just so honored that everyone went on this ride with me and trusted this vision. Obviously if it was a fail, it would have been an epic fail, so it was just nice to get this collaboration, this community of people, willing to go there. The first time we discussed it, it was actually a pitch. I talked to Sean before we even wrote it.

Sean McKittrick: Yeah, it was; you were writing back-to-back with “Key and Peele” when you were writing the first draft, and you knew it was something special right away. It was even in his initial pitch of what the movie was going to be that we had to get involved because this movie has never been made before. That’s one of the most exciting things; it’s never been done.

Jason Blum: Well, Jordan is the king. I mean, his first movie is a grand slam Forbes 500. I was very excited about the dailies, and I was very excited the first time I saw the movie. The movie business is a very crazy thing so for me, I probably shouldn’t even say this, but the screening felt like it was special, the response was really good. And the opening weekend was a very, very solid result. For me the moment that was ‘Oh my god, Jordan has made something that’s touched a nerve’ was the second weekend. Typically, genre movies drop off about fifty percent and the movie dropped off less than twenty percent – and that was the moment where, you know, other people and myself too, it was like, ‘Oh my god.’ Someone asked me today, ‘How much did you expect this to make?’ and for us, it did 3.5 times our best case scenario of what we thought it would do, and that really came on the second weekend. It got better and better as time went on, which is really very rare, and so much fun for what we do. I mean, it’s still in theaters. Yeah. It’s still in theaters.

Daniel Kaluuya: I was in Whole Foods shopping, and this guy goes, ‘Daniel.’ And I was thinking, ‘Well, why did you just say my first name like that?’

Allison Williams: Because they can’t pronounce your last name.

Kaluuya: Yeah. And so the Whole Foods employees wanted to take pictures with me, but they’d take their uniform off. It was really intense, people we’re following me around, it kind of felt like [my character in] Get Out. So yeah, I was in a bubble filming in Atlanta, I’d just do little shopping trips, and I thought, ‘This is different.’ So it was pretty surreal.

Williams: I changed my hair color right after the movie came out and so a lot of people look at me and go, ‘Oh my god, is she in another disguise? She’s just walking among us.’ So I get these people who love the movie but keep five feet between us while we have this interaction, which I totally get. I like hearing that people saw it and enjoyed it. From experience, most people want to deconstruct something with you, and they want to test a theory they had, a question they had about something, see if they were right about something to do with the plot, a little Easter egg or something like that. That’s what’s really fun. Rarely is there a drive-by comment, it’s like we’re in it, we’re having a conversation, and what could possibly be more rewarding than that?

Peele: The tone was the big challenge, a big balancing act, and we knew that even going into writing. The pitch was a cool pitch but you still can’t really picture this movie done right in a tasteful way so for me, the kind of due north was basically reality, allowing the whole premise, a pretty pulpy premise, a comedic side. There’s levity to it, so you really just have to make everything feel as real as you possibly can and then hope that through that you’ll have this sort of cohesion of tone, and that’s the way we did it. We took the horror moments as serious as the moments where Lil Rel Howery and Daniel were on the phone talking. With the character of Chris I was looking for somebody that not only could the audience relate to, but trust. I wanted to serve any horror movie audience that has ever wished the main character was smarter. So, I knew every step of the way the character Chris would never lose our trust, and that was very important. With Rose, I knew that entire story hinges on the nuances of how Rose was to be played, and I needed to be able to make the subtlest of adjustments to sort of protect that story. As a relationship, though, that was the big thing. We needed to not only believe in their love story, but root for their love story, for it to work.

Get Out Interview

When the deer gets hit by the car and moans its last breath, that’s actually Peele’s voice. “My other little cameo is ‘The mind is a terrible thing to waste’ from my ‘MADtv’/ Morgan Freeman days,” he added.

Peele: When it came to doing the music, I knew the energy of the score. I worked with a guy named Michael Abels. This is his first score in a film and he was game in trying to figure out this new kind of music, this thing that sounded decidedly black, that had these black voices. It felt like a sinister, sort of Bernard Herrmann score, so we were on the tip of making this new sound that was really fun. So I kind of knew where the energy was going.

Kaluuya: What was so amazing about the score was at the premiere, my mom is from Uganda, so in the beginning the music is Swahili. And she’s like, ‘Oh, they’re saying “get out.”’ I knew there was stuff in the score that was saying ‘run, run,’ and ‘run’ was in Swahili, and my mom is in the audience saying, ‘Oh good, they’re telling him to run.’ Like in the middle of the film, when you see what’s going on, and so it’s just like at every single level it influences our performances.

Williams: When it comes to Rose and how she keeps her secrets, I wanted to layer it so the second time you saw it, you saw someone that was on one mission the entire time, rather than someone who picks up the mission and the audience picks up on it. So hopefully the second time you see it, you see everything she does is to get him to that living room, so that her dad can give that spiel he insists on giving. Just literally everything she does the entire time, that’s her job, she’s a retriever. Rose is very convincing and has been doing this alter ego for four months. So she has been living this life, she’s been imbedded in a way, so it’s also been about someone who’s been so careful and is so precise and specific and particular. She is just at the very end of her mission, and everyone is constantly threatening to fuck it up for her and she is just so annoyed with everyone at every moment. Then I factored in: What kind of person is that, if you stop developing at a young age and start taking on characters all the time? You’ll probably be stunted or stalled in pre-adolescence, so you’d have a teddy bear, listening to ‘I’ve Had the Time of My Life,’ maybe your clothes are kind of androgynous, maybe you have no sexuality in any kind of discernible way. And maybe you have so little control that the rest of the time you’re incredibly militantly controlled, so there’s not a hair out of place, you have perfect posture, no creases in your clothes… so that stuff started to come together once I started thinking about what must that person be like.

Get Out Event

Get Out will be hitting On Demand, Blu-ray, and DVD on May 23rd (it arrived on digital HD on May 9th). The release will feature an alternate ending, deleted scenes, commentary from Peele, and more.

Synopsis:
Now that Chris (Daniel Kaluuya, Sicario), a young African-American man, and his girlfriend, Rose (Allison Williams, “Girls”), a young white woman, have been dating for several months, she invites him for a weekend getaway upstate at her family’s home with parents Missy (Catherine Keener, Captain Phillips) and Dean (Bradley Whitford, The Cabin in the Woods). At first Chris reads the family’s overly accommodating behavior as nervous attempts to deal with their daughter’s interracial relationship, but as the weekend progresses, a series of increasingly disturbing discoveries lead him to a truth that he could have never imagined.

Special Features:

  • Alternate Ending with Commentary by Writer/Director Jordan Peele
  • Deleted Scenes with Commentary by Writer/Director Jordan Peele
  • Unveiling the Horror of Get Out: Go behind the scenes for the making of Get Out
  • Q&A Discussion with Writer/Director Jordan Peele and the Cast: Director/Writer Jordan Peele sits down with the cast to answer fan questions on the film hosted by Chance the Rapper
  • Feature Commentary with Writer/Director Jordan Peele

BUY IT NOW!

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Fearsome Facts

Fearsome Facts – Dracula: Prince of Darkness (1966)

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Sir Christopher Lee returned to portray the charismatic count of Transylvania in Hammer’s Dracula: Prince of Darkness (1966) for the first time since taking on the iconic role in 1958’s Horror of Dracula – an eight year absence. 

And while Lee endured a love/hate relationship playing the Carpathian Count over the years, the actor reluctantly tackled the role a total of 10 times for the Silver Screen. Three of those performances came outside of the purview of Hammer Horror, but this list is dedicated to the first Hammer Dracula sequel to feature the return of Christopher Lee in the lead role.

Now, here are 5 Things You May Not Know About Dracula: Prince of Darkness.

5. Dracula: Speechless

Dialogue never played a crucial part in Christopher Lee’s portrayals as Count Dracula, but this film is the epitome of that contentious notion. Lee doesn’t utter a single word during Dracula: Prince of Darkness’ 90 minutes of run time. In interviews over the years, Lee said that he was so unhappy with his lines that he protested and refused to say them during the filming process. “Because I had read the script and refused to say any of the lines,” Lee said in an interview at the University College of Dublin.

However, screenwriter Jimmy Sangster insisted that the original script was written without any dialogue for Dracula. There was even a theory that circulated for a time which postulated that Hammer could not afford Lee’s growing salary, so the studio decided to limit the Count’s screen time. Did this lead to the demise of Dracula’s dialogue? Regardless of whom you want to believe, Dracula is the strong, silent type in Prince of Darkness. 

4. Double Duty for Drac

Hammer Film Productions doubled down, so to speak, on the production and post-production aspects of Dracula: Prince of Darkness. First, the studio filmed the vampire flick back-to-back with another project titled Rasputin: The Mad Monk (1966). In doing so, Hammer used many of the same sets, actors – including Francis Matthews and Suzan Farmer – and crew members to shoot both motion pictures.

Second, Dracula: Prince of Darkness was featured in a double billing alongside the film The Plague of the Zombies (1966) when it screened in London. Insert cheesy cliche: “Double your pleasure, double your fun with Doublemint Gum.” 

3. Stunt Double Nearly Drowned

Dracula: Prince of Darkness introduced a new weakness in the wicked baddie, but it nearly cost a stuntman his life. During the film, it was revealed that running water could destroy Dracula. Wait, what? Apparently, leaving the faucets on at night not only prevents frozen pipes, but blood-sucking vampires, too.

All kidding aside, it was during the climactic battle scene in which Christopher Lee’s stunt double almost succumb to the icy waters on set. Stuntman Eddie Powell stepped in as the Count during that pivotal moment, as Dracula slipped into the watery grave, but Powell was trapped under the water himself and almost died.

2. Lee Loathed What Hammer Did to Stoker’s Character

Christopher Lee’s return to Hammer’s Dracula franchise was a stroke of genius on the part of producers, but Lee was more than a little reticent when it came to initially voicing his dislike for playing the iconic role. As mentioned above, a lot of speculation swirled around the lack of dialogue given to Lee in the Prince of Darkness script. And if you don’t count the opening flashback sequence, which revisits the ending of Horror of Dracula (1958), Count Dracula doesn’t appear on screen until the 45-minute mark of the film.

Dracula’s lack of character, and presence, began to affect Lee particularly when it came to signing on to play the character in the three films following Prince of Darkness. Indeed, the lack of meaningful character development led to Lee initially turning down Dracula Has Risen From the Grave (1968), Taste the Blood of Dracula (1970) and Scars of Dracula (1970). Lee said in countless interviews that he never got to play the real version of Count Dracula created by Bram Stoker, at least via Hammer Studios. This was a true disappointment to the late actor.

But Hammer guilt Lee into taking on the role over and over again, because the studio claimed to have already sold the aforementioned films to the United States with Lee’s name attached to the projects. Hammer informed Lee that if he didn’t return the company would have to lay off many of their workers. The tactic worked, since Lee was friends with many of the Dracula crew members. Fortunately for fans, Lee kept coming back for blood.

1. Faux Pas

Outside of the character of Dracula only appearing on screen for the last half of the movie, Dracula: Prince of Darkness had even more pressing issues that unfortunately survived all the way to the final cut of the film. One of the most appalling of these occurrences happens during the picture’s climatic confrontation. Watch the skies above Dracula and you will see the trail of a jet-engine plane staining the sky.

Another faux pas occurs in this same sequence when Dracula succumbs to the icy waters. Watch closely as the camera’s long shot clearly reveals the pivots holding the ice up underneath Chris Lee. Finally, watch the dead girl who is being carried during the opening funeral sequence. She is clearly breathing and quite heavily at that.

***

Which Dracula: Prince of Darkness moments did you find the most interesting? Were there any obscure facts you would have enjoyed seeing make our list? Sound off on social media!

 

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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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