Exclusive Interview: Actress Lauren McKnight Talks the Evolution of Skye Rotter and More for My Super Psycho Sweet 16: Part 3 - Dread Central
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Exclusive Interview: Actress Lauren McKnight Talks the Evolution of Skye Rotter and More for My Super Psycho Sweet 16: Part 3

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My Super Psycho Sweet 16 Part 3For director Jacob Gentry’s My Super Psycho Sweet 16: Part 3, franchise ‘final girl’ Skye Rotter (played by Lauren McKnight) is back for one last deadly party before she heads off to art school and to start a new life.

The third film in MTV’s widely popular series is set to premiere on the network this coming Tuesday, March 13th, at 10 pm EDT. Recently Dread Central had the opportunity to chat with McKnight about returning for the third installment in the My Super Psycho Sweet 16 series as well as some of the changes her character Skye has undergone throughout the films and whether or not she thinks Skye’s story is over now that the trilogy is wrapping up next week.

Check out the highlights from our interview with McKnight below, and make sure to tune in to MTV on Tuesday, March 13th, at 10 pm EDT for the premiere of My Super Psycho Sweet 16: Part 3.

Dread Central: Congrats on wrapping up the trilogy! Had you guys always envisioned that Skye’s story would be played out over three films?

Lauren McKnight: I think Jacob always hoped we’d get a trilogy, but we never knew from the start we’d ever get to do anything more than just one movie. It feels incredible that we’ve now made three of these movies and that everyone seems to really enjoy these stories, too; I’ve also survived to make it to the third movie, too, which is unusual because in slasher movies, usually by the second movie, I’d be gone. That longevity and getting to be a part of Skye’s journey has been amazing to be a part of.

DC: Let’s talk about that more because Skye has gone through some major changes since the beginning of the first film?

Lauren McKnight: Oh yeah! Skye has been an incredible character to play because she has so many levels to her; she’s not just a victim and she’s not just a hero either. She’s a normal girl who has had to deal with a lot of extraordinary circumstances over the years, and in this movie she finally has her shot to leave it all behind and begin a new life. Of course, that doesn’t go exactly to plan or we wouldn’t have a movie.

But since the first movie, Skye has really changed so much- she’s not the sensitive girl she was originally. Now she definitely doesn’t take any shit and doesn’t want to be the victim anymore. All she wants is to go to art school and live her life, and she’s not letting a killer or anyone else get in the way of that.

DC: Your performance as Skye has always felt pretty natural to me- I suspect there’s a bit of Skye in you and vice versa.

Lauren McKnight: Definitely! There is a lot of me in the character of Skye because I ‘was’ that girl- the alternative girl who only had like one or two close friends and didn’t really socialize much, and I think Jacob recognized how much I was like Skye when I was first signed on to the original movie. Actually, Skye was supposed to be way more Goth than she was, but I talked Jacob out of it- I mean, I already had the long black hair with straight bangs but I wanted her in normal clothes; putting her in all black and making her a caricature just didn’t feel right, and thankfully he agreed.

DC: How much fun was it reuniting with Kirsten (who plays her sister, Alex) again for Part Three?

Lauren McKnight: So much fun! Kirsten is absolutely amazing and we have such great energy when working together; we feed off of each other and I think that’s why there’s that chemistry that you see in these movies between us. And I love that this time around her character has some interesting turns- you know something isn’t right with Alex, but you just can’t put your finger on it; Kirsten’s subtlety is what sells that so well.

DC: Absolutely. You guys have such great chemistry together; actually, the whole cast really were great together during all the party scenes. Did that chemistry come from a lot of prep and rehearsal time before production?

Lauren McKnight: You know, I think you can really tell when you’re watching Part Three just how close we all were in real life because of the onscreen chemistry throughout the party scenes; Jacob had us rehearse ahead of time and we all spent a lot of time together off the set. We’d all go to dinner and hang out and stuff, and we really all bonded as a group. I will say that on the first two movies that didn’t really happen but with Part Three, something really clicked between all of us.

DC: I know the marketing for this one has been ‘The Party Ends Here’, which signals the end of the series? Do you feel like that’s how this will play out, or can fans hope for maybe another My Super Psycho Sweet 16 movie down the line?

Lauren McKnight: Well, no one has said anything to me either way about a Part Four, but honestly, I think My Super Psycho Sweet 16 Part 67 sounds just as great as Part Four does (laughs). But yeah, these movies have been so much fun and I know that I would always be game to play Skye again if they wanted me to. I’d love to see where her story goes now that she’s made that transition to adulthood, and I think that there is definitely some unresolved issues between her and Alex that would make great material for another movie. For sure.

Exclusive Interview: Actress Lauren McKnight Talks the Evolution of Skye Rotter and More for My Super Psycho Sweet 16: Part 3

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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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Desolation Review – The Joy of Being Rescued and All the Surprises That Come With It

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Starring Raymond J. Barry, Brock Kelly, Dominik Garcia-Lorido

Directed by David Moscow


It’s those random, once-in-a-lifetime encounters that only a select few get the chance to experience: when we as regular participants in this wonderful thing known as The Rat Race, stumble across a soul that we’ve only witnessed on the big screen. I’m talking about a celebrity encounter, and while some of the masses will chalk the experience up as nothing more than a passing moment, others hold it to a much larger interior scale…then you REALLY get to know the person, and that’s when things get interesting.

Director David Moscow’s thriller, Desolation follows shy hotel employee Katie (Lorido) and her “fortuitous” brush with Hollywood pretty-boy Jay (Kelly) during one of his stops – the two hit it off, and together they begin a sort of whirlwind-romance that takes her away from her job and drops her in the heart of Los Angeles at the apartment building he resides in. You can clearly see that she has been a woman who’s suffered some emotional trauma in her past, and this golden boy just happens to gallop in on his steed and sweep her off of her feet, essentially rescuing her from a life of mundane activity. She gets the full-blown treatment: a revamped wardrobe, plenty of lovin’, and generally the life she’s wanted for some time.

Things return to a bit of normalcy when Jay has to return to work, leaving Katie to spread out at his place, but something clearly isn’t kosher with this joint. With its odd inhabitants (a very creepy priest played by Raymond J. Barry), even more bizarre occurrences, and when one scared young woman cannot even rely on the protection from the local police, it all adds up to a series of red flags that would have even the strongest of psyches crying for their mothers. What Moscow does with this movie is give it just enough swerves so that it keeps your skull churning, but doesn’t overdo its potential to conclusively surprise you, and that’s what makes the film an entertaining watch.

While Lorido more than holds her ground with her portrayal of a woman who has been hurt in the past, and is attempting to place her faith in a new relationship, it’s Barry that comes out on top here. His performance as Father Bill is the kind of stuff that wouldn’t exactly chill you to the bone, but he’s definitely not a man of the cloth that you’d want to be stuck behind closed doors with – generally unsettling. As I mentioned earlier, the plot twists are well-placed, and keep things fresh just when you think you’ve got your junior private investigator badge all shined up. Desolation is well-worth a look, and really has kicked off 2018 in a promising fashion – let’s see what the other 11 months will feed us beasts.

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Got your eye on that shining movie star or starlet? Better make sure it’s what you really want in life – you know what they say about curiosity.

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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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