Exclusive: Director John Luessenhop on Leatherface's Legacy and More for Texas Chainsaw 3D - Dread Central
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Exclusive: Director John Luessenhop on Leatherface’s Legacy and More for Texas Chainsaw 3D

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Faced with the daunting task of rebooting an entire franchise and following directly in the footsteps of Master of Horror Tobe Hooper is director John Luessenhop, who found himself at the helm of Texas Chainsaw 3D.

The sequel picks up only hours after we saw Leatherface dance in defeat with his trusty chainsaw at the conclusion of Hooper’s original flick back in 1974.

Because we missed chatting with him during our set visit to Shreveport for Texas Chainsaw 3D, Dread Central recently caught up with Luessenhop on the phone to speak with him about how he came aboard the sequel, his experiences shooting a 3D horror flick, the look of Leatherface this time around and more.

Check out what Luessenhop had to say about Texas Chainsaw 3D below, and look for more soon!

Dread Central: Great to speak to you today, John! I really enjoyed Takers so I admit that I’m really curious about your take on the horror genre and this world in particular considering the legacy of Tobe’s original movie. Was that daunting to consider, or did you have to put it out of your head somewhat and do your own thing? Were you a fan of the first Chainsaw?

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John Luessenhop: Oh yeah, I was a huge fan of the original, and when I went back to revisit it for this project, I wrote down about 10 things that I really thought were keystone moments in that film like the armadillo, the door, the freezer – that kind of stuff – and sprinkled them into this story to give it the flavor of the original. I knew how important that was going to be for fans, to give them something familiar but new, and yes, it was very intimidating to me because there are there are so many fans out there that really love this franchise, these characters and know every single little detail. At the end of the day I have to honor that but, at the same time, deliver a completely new story that can stand on its own feet, too.

But what I ultimately took away from Tobe’s film was just how grotesquely beautiful it was; there was something remarkable about how he would just frame a shot or how he filmed all the outdoor scenes, and I think that’s part of why that movie has endured. So for me I wanted to tell a real story much like Tobe did but still have all the fun and scares in there, too. After all, it IS a horror movie about a guy with a chainsaw (laughs).

And I had seen many of the seminal horror movies, but I admit that when I was hired for Chainsaw 3D, I really wasn’t totally versed in the horror world so I did a lot of research. I watched a lot of horror documentaries and tons and tons of movies just to get a feel of what had been done before so I could try and give this my own spin and not recreate someone else’s work. I really wanted to know as much as I could going in so I could deliver a great horror movie for fans, and hopefully I did just that. We’ll see (laughs).

Dread Central: I know the look of Leatherface is something fans are dying to know about- can you talk about kinds of masks you’re using for this? Are we going to see new masks, some of the masks from the original or maybe a bit of both?

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John Luessenhop: We’ve got three in this one; there’s one that we replicated from the original to a “t”. It’s the one that he’s wearing at the end, which makes sense since we pick up right after that. We also have two others that are new, and I think fans are going to love them; KNB really did a fantastic job. I think they look pretty great.

Dread Central: How was it working with some of the original cast members on Chainsaw 3D?

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John Luessenhop: It was great; John Dugan is back, and as for Marilyn (Burns), she was wonderful. She had such enthusiasm about this project that made it fun to have her back in this franchise again; she was instrumental in getting us in touch with the other cast, too.

The day Gunnar came to set for the first time is something I will never, ever forget. When he got out of the car after we pulled up to the driveway, he just stopped dead in his tracks as he was walking towards the farmhouse once he saw what we had recreated. Gunnar’s eyes glossed up and all he could say was, “It’s all coming back to me,” and it was remarkable to see that kind of raw emotion going through him. Just considering what they went through to make that movie in the 70’s and to see what it’s become since then, that has to be an overwhelming feeling.

Exclusive: Director John Luessenhop on Leatherface's Legacy and More for Texas Chainsaw 3D

Exclusive: Director John Luessenhop on Leatherface's Legacy and More for Texas Chainsaw 3D

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Blumhouse’s Happy Death Day Has Now Made $100 Million Worldwide

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Well, it looks like it will only be a matter of days at this point until we hear that Blumhouse will be producing a sequel to their recent hit Happy Death Day.

Deadline is reporting that the PG-13 slasher has just snatched up $100 million dollars worldwide. It breaks down to a total of $55.5M domestic and $44.6M international.

These are surprising numbers considering the film is a (fairly) bloodless slasher. But it does sport the twist/gimmick of being placed within a time-loop so it has my interest.

I haven’t seen the film yet myself, but I do plan on checking it out once it hits Blu-ray on January 16th, 2018. How about you? Let us know below!

Happy Death Day is directed by Christopher Landon from a screenplay he wrote with Scott Lobdell. The film stars Jessica Rothe, Israel Broussard, Ruby Modine, Charles Aitken, and Rachel Matthews.

The film hits Blu-ray, DVD and On Demand January 16, 2018.

Blu-ray Bonus features:

Alternate Ending

Deleted Scenes

Cupcakes & Killers

You’ve Killed Me!

Tree’s Final Walk of Shame

Worst Birthday Ever – Filmmakers and cast discuss the challenges of executing the time-loop concept at the center of the film, including how to make each day feel different despite the fact it’s being repeated.

Behind the Mask: The Suspects – At the heart of any great murder mystery is a list of possible suspects. In this featurette, we explore all the possible identities of Tree’s killer.

The Many Deaths of Tree – Director Christopher Landon, star Lena Rothe, and producer Jason Blum recap the various ways in which Tree is killed, but also explain why we never actually see her die.

Synopsis:

A college student who relives the day of her murder with both its unexceptional details and terrifying end until she discovers her killer’s identity.

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Whatever Happened to John Gulager’s Children of the Corn: Runaway?

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Sometimes a movie goes into production and then seemingly disappears from the world altogether. It doesn’t happen often, but it does happen. Usually, Dimension is involved.

Ouch. But true.

Such as Amityville: The Awakening which was filmed in 2014 but didn’t get released until recently this year (3 years). And All the Boys Love Mandy Lane which was completed in 2006 but didn’t see release until September of 2013 – a whopping 7 years!

Another such movie you may not have even heard about – or more specifically – may not remember hearing about is the lost Children of the Corn sequel from Feast-director John Gulager called Children of the Corn: Runaway.

What follows is the history of the film as best as we could piece together, along with a possible update on just when we might expect to see this missing sequel.

It’s worth noting right off the top that this film is closely linked to yet another Dimension film which still has yet to see the light of day, Hellraiser: Judgment. Both films were produced around the same time, in the same area, under producer Michael Leahy.

Anyhow, the first word we heard on the production of Children of the Corn: Runaway came on March 21, 2016, when it was merely rumored that there was a new Children of the Corn movie secretly being filmed in Oklahoma City, OK.

It was thought at the time (and most likely true) that Dimension was rushing out a sequel so they could keep the rights to the franchise, regardless if they had a release plan or not.

That same day we learned that the new film was directed by John Gulager and was going by the title Children of the Corn: Runaway. We also learned the film was currently shooting in Oklahoma City, OK and the surrounding area including Luther and Coyle and that filming would wrap on April 2nd of that year.

Joel Soisson was rumored as the screenwriter for the new film, and Gatlin Returns, Inc. (natch) was producing with Mike Leahy, Joel Soisson, and Sean Patrick Eaton.

At the time, the plot of the movie was rumored to be:
A young pregnant Ruth who escapes a murderous child cult in a small Midwestern town. She spends the next decade living anonymously in an attempt to spare her son the horrors that she experienced as a child. She lands in the small Oklahoma town, but something is following her. Now, she must confront this evil or lose her child.

Then all of this info was confirmed the very next day by press release.

A month later on April 13, 2016, we got a bevy of behind the scenes pics via News OK – all courtesy of Nathan Poppe – and you can check all of those out below.

After that? Nada. Total silence for 19 months. Children of the Corn: Runaway seemed to fall off the edge of the world. Just like Hellraiser: Judgment.

But unlike Judgment, which gets fairly regular updates via new Pinhead Paul T. Taylor and director Gary J. Tunnicliffe, no one seems to be talking about Runaway. At all.

What’s the deal?

Truthfully, we’re still not sure. In the researching of this article, we reached out to director John Gulager, writer Joel Soisson, producer Michael Leahy, and new Malachi actor Blaine Maye. But all of these leads came up fruitless.

That is until I attempted to contact lead actress Marci Miller.

While I was unable to contact her directly, I did take a look at her Instagram, where I was able to confirm that the film is currently doing some ADR and will be shooting for a February/March release date.

Here is her post:

Children of the Corn #ComingSoon

A post shared by Marci Miller (@_marcimiller_) on

And if you look closely, you can see that a fan asked (and I’m paraphrasing):

“When will the movie be released?”

And below you will see Miller’s reply:

“February/March.”

For now, that is all the new info we can find on Children of the Corn: Runaway.

That said, with Dimension and the Weinstein Company going under recently, maybe another top horror producer (You listening, Jason Blum?) will snatch up the rights to this and Hellraiser: Judgement and we will finally see the films released.

After all, in the above-mentioned set-visit from NEW OK, producer Michael Leahy said this about Children of the Corn: Runaway and Hellraiser: Judgment:

“We’ve had a lot of fun,” Leahy told the site back in 2016. “Blood has been flowing here in Oklahoma City. These are two horror films that are going to be seen by a core audience.”

Yeah, we’ll see about that…

We’re not trying to be pessimistic here, but really this is getting ridiculous at this point. Will we ever see Children of the Corn: Runaway and/or Hellraiser: Judgment? Your guess is, unfortunately, as good as mine.

Fingers crossed. We’ll let you know when we hear more.

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Synapse’s Suspiria 4K Restoration Gets a Release Date

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Earlier this year, we wrote about Synapse Films’ Suspiria 4K restoration and how it was available for pre-order. The weird catch was that there was no release date confirmed and that pre-orders would go out sometime in December 2017. Today that changes as we can confirm that the 3-disc special edition Blu-ray collection will come out December 19th, just in time for Christmas but a little late for Hanukkah. Any chance we can have one extra night this year?

Restored over three years, Synapse has been working tirelessly to create the ultimate version of Dario Argento’s 1977 classic supernatural horror film, which has since gone on to become one of the most recognized and lauded titles in the genre. This cut has been overseen and approved by Luciano Tovoli, the Director of Photography on the film.

Pre-orders are still available via Synapse Films’ website.

Special features:
*Limited edition of only 6000 units produced
*Exclusive Steelbook packaging and collector’s o-card sleeve, featuring artwork from Malleus, Van Orton Design, Juan José Saldarriaga & Chris MacGibbon
*Three disc [Two Blu-rays + One CD] limited collector’s edition (only 6000 units) containing a new 4K restoration of the original uncut, uncensored Italian 35mm camera negative exclusively done by Synapse Films, with color correction supervised and approved by SUSPIRIA Director of Photography, Luciano Tovoli
*Original 4.0 1977 English language LCRS sound mix not heard since the theatrical release in 1977, presented in high-resolution DTS-HD MA 96 Khz/24-bit audio
*Italian 5.1 surround sound mix
*Two audio commentaries by authors and Argento scholars, Derek Botelho, David Del Valle & Troy Howarth
*Do You Know Anything About Witches? – 30 minute SUSPIRIA visual essay written, edited and narrated by Michael Mackenzie
*Suzy in Nazi Germany – Featurette on the German locations from SUSPIRIA
*A Sigh from the Depths: 40 Years of SUSPIRIA – All-new anniversary retrospective on the making of the film and its influence on cinema
*Olga’s Story – Interview with star Barbara Magnolfi
*Original theatrical trailers, TV spots and radio spots
*Special Collector Edition Booklet containing an American Cinematographer interview with Luciano Tovoli, liner notes by Derek Botelho and restoration notes by Vincent Pereira & Don May, Jr. Cover artwork by Matthew Therrien Illustration
*“International Classics” English “Breathing Letters” opening credit sequence from U.S. release version
*Alternate All-English opening and closing credits sequences, playable via seamless branching
*Newly translated, removable English SDH subtitles for the English language version
*Newly translated, removable English subtitles for the Italian language version
*Exclusive CD remaster of Goblin’s SUSPIRIA motion picture soundtrack, containing additional tracks not included on the original 1977 soundtrack release

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