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On Friday, 9/21, we hit the 2012 Eyegore Awards held at Universal Studios Hollywood, CA, and brought back some ocular candy from the carpet and interviews with several of the night’s principals.
Paying respect to some of horror’s most venerated players and notable newcomers, the event was hosted by Syfy’s ‘FaceOff’ host McKenzie Westmore and attended by celebrity presenter and rock legend Alice Cooper, who together bestowed Eyegore Awards to recipients Chad Michael Murray (House of Wax and the upcoming The Haunting in Georgia), Angelica Vale (and her mother Angélica María, who was unable to attend) for their series Mujeres Asesinas 2, Silas Weir Mitchell and Bitsie Tulloch of the television series “Grimm” and filmmaker Guillermo del Toro for, well, being Guillermo del Toro.
Also at the ceremony and on the carpet were Halloween Horror Nights Creative Director John Murdy, The Devil’s Carnival director Darren Lynn Bousman and wife, Laura, Tyler Mane (Rob Zombie’s Halloween films), Derek Mears (Friday the 13th remake), Bill Malone (House on Haunted Hill), filmmaker Dave Parker (The Hills Run Red), Michael Berryman (The Lords of Salem), Bill Moseley (Texas Chainsaw 3D), Michele Tomlinson (The Cellar Door), Christa Campbell (Texas Chainsaw 3D), Adelaide Clemens (Silent Hill: Revelation 3D), Emily Yetter (Safehouse), Hatchet producer Jason Miller, Lydia Hearst (Cabin Fever: Patient Zero) and more.
“It just gets bigger and bigger every year,” Halloween Horror Nights’ Creative Director John Murdy told us of the event, “and we try to raise the bar without exception. I was out here on the back lot until one on the morning last night, and all of my guys were still working in the mazes and continuing to push it to the next level.”
Of the mazes, which this year include “The Walking Dead: Dead Inside,” based on AMC’s Golden Globe®-nominated and Emmy® Award-winning TV series, “Welcome to Silent Hill,” based on the popular video games and film franchise, an encore performance by shock rocker Alice Cooper in the new “Alice Cooper Goes to Hell 3D,” “La Llorona: Cazadora de Niños,” based on the chilling Mexican and Latin American legend that has terrified children for centuries, the “Universal Monsters Remix,” featuring re-imagined classic horror icons and fused with electronica-inspired music, and the all-new “Terror Tram: Invaded by The Walking Dead,” also based on the hit AMC TV series, Murdy gushed on one in particular.
“I’m very excited about ‘The Texas Chain Saw Massacre: The Saw is the Law’ maze,” said Murdy, who was brandishing his signature wolf’s head cane from the Universal classic The Wolf Man. “I’m a big fan of the original 1974 Tobe Hooper film, and for years I have been wanting to do this one, and it’s really fun to walk into the maze’s dining room, and the whole family (from the film) is there. It’s great to get to work on movies that inspired you as a kid, and that one certainly inspired me. And yeah, I’m still rocking the cane! It’s the lucky totem of Halloween Horror Nights, so it’s got to come out on opening night!” (Writer’s note: Check out our sneak peek from the Texas Chain Saw Massacre maze here!)
Speaking with genre vet Michael Berryman (The Hills Have Eyes) on the carpet, the actor stated of the upcoming Rob Zombie film The Lords of Salem (in which he appears), “The opening sequence with Sid Haig and I is epic and is beautifully shot. Rob really knows how to fill the screen and feel the drama. We’ve become very good friends, and I noticed with our first go-around with The Devil’s Rejects that he’s a ‘go-to’ guy. He makes sure that all of his ducks are in a row, and it’s a joy to work with him.”
Riffing on the just-released horror feature Below Zero, in which he stars opposite Edward Furlong, Berryman said, “It’s really excellent. It’s sort of Hitchcock-esque, and I think every time you watch it, you get a little more out of it.”
As for his thoughts on the awards show, “I want to see the surprise on the faces of the recipients,” offered Berryman. “I had a lot of fun when I received mine, and it’s one of the most awesome statuettes. It could be a good device to pummel someone with.”
Speaking with genre vet Bill Moseley, whose projects Manson Girls, Dead Souls and The Devil’s Carnival are all soon poised for release, the actor said of his involvement with the upcoming January release Texas Chainsaw 3D, “What was strange is that I ended up playing the cook Drayton Sawyer because they got the rights to the original film but not to Chainsaw 2, so there is no ‘Chop-Top’ in (this universe), so for me it was like Moe coming back to play Curly in a remake of The Three Stooges. It’s just kind of weird. But as it turns out it was a lot of fun.”
Reflecting on his perception of his character of Drayton in Texas Chainsaw 3D, who was originally played by actor Jim Siedow in the original 1974 Hooper film and its follow-up, “The producer and I had an argument, because he thought that Jim was a paunchy guy, and I said, ‘No, it was just his posture, he’s a gaunt man,’ but the producer prevailed and I ended up wearing kind of a ‘fat shirt,’ and since we shot (Texas Chainsaw 3D) in Louisiana in the summer it was very hot,” offered Moseley.
“The problem with the fat shirt is that it just wicked up all of the sweat, and by the end of the day I’d be carrying around an extra twenty pounds,” he continued. “Tonight’s about the glamour or show business, but when you are actually down there, covered in blood and chicken feathers and it’s ninety-five percent humidity and they are stepping over you with cables and kicking you with steel-toed boots, you do wonder that rhetorical question, ‘Where’s the glamour?’ But after all, it’s a Chainsaw film, so what do you expect?”
Guillermo del Toro (the man behind such lauded films as Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy, and Blade 2) chatted with us briefly, and when questioned as to how post-production was coming along on his highly anticipated big-budget kaiju flick Pacific Rim, said, “It’s going great! We are about forty weeks away from opening, but nevertheless the pace is break-neck. So far, though, it’s the best experience I have ever had.”
On the 3D conversion of the film, he seemed very pleased. “ILM is doing the composite from the get-go, which is a huge deal!”
Actor and now writer Tyler Mane (Rob Zombie’s Halloween) along with co-writer Renae Geerlings took a moment to chat with us regarding their forthcoming feature (which they co-penned) Compound Fracture, which screens next week in Los Angeles.
“It’s finally done and it’s amazing,” said Mane of the Anthony J. Rickert-Epstein directed film. “We have three iconic serial killers in it; Derek Mears from Friday the 13th, Muse Watson from I Know What You Did Last Summer and this guy that played Michael Meyers in Halloween. Renee wrote it and produced it.”
“I’m a little nervous about it,” offered Geerlings of the screening. “I think I’ll have an empty-nest syndrome when it’s out there. It’s been really great though. We were really lucky with our casting!” (The film also stars Leslie Easterbrook and Daniel Roebuck).
Actress Lydia Hearst breezed by and offered of the upcoming Kaare Andrews-directed Cabin Fever: Patient Zero, in which she stars alongside Sean Astin, “It’s much more frightening and much more intense (then the first two), and this is how it all began. The story goes back to the beginning. I think people will be a little shocked and a little grossed out!”
As the carpet wound down, Eyegore Awards host McKenzie Westmore told us of her hosting duties (she took over the role from former Eyegores host Corey Feldman), “I’m so honored to get to continue to do what I love with ‘FaceOff’ and special effects makeup and host an awesome show, and now getting to host something like the Eyegore Awards is so fun for me! I’m going to scream like a baby through the mazes tonight too, and I’m going to love it. I think everyone loves to have that fear induced in them, to a degree.”
Halloween Horror Nights continues on select nights through Wednesday, October 31. Remaining dates are: September 28, and 29 and October 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 14, 18, 19, 20, 21, 25, 26, 27, 28 and 31.
Details on “Halloween Horror Nights” are available at Halloween Horror Nights.com. Updates from Creative Director John Murdy can be found on Twitter, as he reveals a running chronicle of exclusive information. “Halloween Horror Nights” maze announcement videos can be seen at Universal Studios Hollywood’s YouTube Channel.
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