Exclusive: Malcolm McDowell Talks Silent Night, A Clockwork Orange and More - Dread Central
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Exclusive: Malcolm McDowell Talks Silent Night, A Clockwork Orange and More

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Just in time for Christmas comes Steven C. Miller’s supremely fun Silent Night (review), which is more of an homage than a straight remake of the 1984 cult classic Silent Night, Deadly Night. Get ready to deck those halls because we’ve got an exclusive interview with star Malcolm McDowell.

McDowell, a true cinematic legend with well over 200 credits to his name, tackles a new holiday menace in Miller’s latest as the small-town sheriff who must rise to the occasion when a murderer dressed like St. Nick terrorizes his community on Christmas Eve. Silent Night also stars genre badass Jaime King, Donal Logue, Ellen Wong and Lisa Marie.

During our chat with McDowell we heard more from the acclaimed actor about his experiences working on Silent Night; he also discussed his approach to the role of Sheriff Cooper and what costume item he just had to keep after he wrapped shooting. We also briefly spoke to McDowell about his iconic role in Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange and much more.

Check out our exclusive interview with McDowell below, and be sure to pick up your own copy of Silent Night available on Blu-ray and DVD courtesy of Anchor Bay.

Exclusive: Malcolm McDowell Talks Silent Night, A Clockwork Orange and More

Dread Central: So you’ve now tackled two holiday horror movies- are you hoping someone comes along with an Easter horror movie soon?

Malcolm McDowell: (Laughs). That would be brilliant!

Dread Central: I really had a lot of fun watching you in Silent Night– it seems like you guys had a lot of fun making this movie, too. What was the initial appeal of this character (Sheriff Cooper) that nabbed your attention before you signed on?

Malcolm McDowell: We did have fun, and I’m glad to hear that it shows. And when I read the script, I just really liked it. I met the director and the producers over breakfast, and I just loved Steven’s vision for the film; he really ‘gets’ it. I’m not a great fan of horror movies myself, but I always love when they work- and Silent Night works. Horror movies should scare you, yes, but they should make you smile, too, and I think Silent Night proves that you don’t have to have a huge budget to create great scares and kills but still leave people smiling, too.

Just that very idea – a killer Santa mixed up in a parade of a hundred different Santas – is enough to make me smile. So it really wasn’t hard to convince me to do this; it was also a role I’ve never really played before- the ‘good guy.’

Dread Central: He’s the good guy, but he’s still pretty tough on Jaime’s character, even though you can tell he cares about her…

Malcolm McDowell: Yes! That was so important to me- not to be too cartoonish with this character. You have to believe him and care about him; he’s a sheriff of a crimeless small town so he used to things running a certain way. When he puts on his uniform, he feels like he has a little bit more power than everyone else so when Jaime’s character is figuring things out that he hasn’t, he takes that as a real insult; she’s always right, and he can’t stand that even though he’s still fond of her.

Dread Central: I know that the turnaround on Silent Night was remarkably quick; did you guys get any sort of prep time at all before shooting? Did you do anything special to get in Cooper’s skin?/b>

Malcolm McDowell: No, no- we had no time for that; I think I only arrived on set just a few hours before I began shooting, but I’ve been doing this for 50 years now so I know what’s required of me as an actor. Of course I’m always willing to take direction, but you have to be prepared, too. And since I worked a lot with Jaime, it was incredibly easy for me because she’s such a pro.

And I just had a lot of fun with the character; a lot of Cooper’s one-liners were mine, and I just let my instincts take over in those moments. I also loved that silly hat I wore, too; it was just so silly and wonderful that I had to keep it when we were done. A character’s costume always comes down to the shoes and the hat I believe. I also thought that a small-town sheriff would have a beard. I think I read somewhere that a lot of law enforcement officers grow facial hair in the winter, and since I had just come off of doing Home Alone, I kept the beard because I thought Cooper would definitely have a beard. The hat and the beard really made that character (laughs).

Dread Central: Last year I had the distinct pleasure of being in the audience while you were speaking at Flashback Weekend in Chicago and just loved all the stories you shared about A Clockwork Orange and Caligula– of all movies (laughs). Is it still remarkable to you that a movie that’s now over 40 years old (A Clockwork Orange) resonates with new generations of audiences almost even stronger than perhaps it did when it came out?

Malcolm McDowell: Well, thank you; I just love Chicago so much! And yes, A Clockwork Orange was one of those moments where you have to step back and examine it with some distance. It has an incredible legacy, and it’s still a movie I speak about quite regularly like it’s a new movie that’s just been released.

And it’s remained timeless because it had such a great story; when it first was released, nobody could get past the look. This was before MTV, before any of that stuff- it was so revolutionary in that way. But really, it’s the film’s message that has made Clockwork Orange endure all these years; there’s so much that still pertains to society and government.

A lot of it also had to do with Anthony Burgess’ novel- I used that book as a bible. Kubrick too. I was really fortunate to get cast in that role, too; when you’re young, you just kind of ‘expect’ things so you don’t realize the enormity of it all until some time passes and you can gain some perspective on the experience.

I also think – and I could be wrong but this is something I’ve done a lot of thinking about over the years – but I think that Alex is the first amoral character in cinema that filmmakers wanted audiences to root for- not against. This was before Hannibal Lecter and many of the modern villains of course so I think that it was incredibly challenging for audiences at the time. How do you make a rapist and murderer redeemable in audiences’ eyes? It was a delicate balance, which is why we chose to do some of the more controversial scenes, like the rape scene, in such an unusual way…no one had ever featured an upbeat song like “Singing in the Rain” during such a brutal cinematic moment before so I think maybe people at first were caught off-guard by some of Stanley’s choices. Of course they were brilliant choices but very controversial.

And Stanley was a great friend; we became very close, and I think you can see that in my performance- an actor who was very secure with his director. There had to be a certain kind of love and trust between us, especially for that kind of a role. I also had total trust in my instincts, which may have led to a few disagreements with Stanley, but he always listened to me, and we would just talk out what would work best for a scene and come to an agreement after all that. It really was lightning in a bottle.

Dread Central: I believe I’m out of time now, Malcolm, but thank you so much for speaking with me today- it was really an honor.

Malcolm McDowell: Well, thank you. And Happy Holidays to you as well.

Silent Night

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Jamie Lee Curtis Says Blumhouse Halloween Will Make Us “Very Happy and VERY Scared”

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Bring. It. On.

It was only last week that we let you guys know that Jamie Lee Curtis had wrapped filming on Blumhouse’s upcoming sequel to John Carpenter’s Halloween.

And today we have another Instagram post from the legendary scream queen where she not only shows us a creepy-ass painting of Michael Myers, but she lets us know that Blumhouse’s Halloween is going to make us all “very happy, and VERY scared.”

Hoo-ray!

I don’t know about you, but I’m going to just go ahead and trust Jamie Lee Curtis on this one. She’s been around the Halloween block more than a few times and I trust her judgment… other than Halloween: Resurrection.

You can check out her post below and then let us know how excited you are for Laurie Strode’s return!

Halloween is directed by David Gordon Green based on a script he wrote with Danny McBride. Jamie Lee Curtis returns as Laurie Strode as does Nick Castle as Michael “The Shape” Myers. They are joined by Will Patton, Andi Matichak, and Judy Greer. Halloween creator John Carpenter is on board as executive producer of the film as well as the composer.

The anticipated release date is October 19, 2018.

Synopsis:

Jamie Lee Curtis returns to her iconic role as Laurie Strode, who comes to her final confrontation with Michael Myers, the masked figure who has haunted her since she narrowly escaped his killing spree on Halloween night four decades ago.

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Get a Behind-the-Scenes Peek at Pre-Production for Marcel Walz’s New Film

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The Blood Feast remake directed by Marcel Walz has been generating quite a buzz (read our review here) so we’ve been wondering what’s next for him, and over the weekend Walz provided us with an answer… sort of.

He sent over the following photos for us to share with our readers, some of which also appeared on his social media accounts.  Marcel is in pre-production on a new film that will start shooting in Los Angeles next month.

Right now the title and primary cast members are being kept under wraps, but you can expect an official announcement soon.

In the meantime check out the images, and let the guessing games begin!

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Death House Theatrical Release Delayed One Week Due to Black Panther Success

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Death House

If you were excited to see Death House this week, you’re going to have to pump your brakes as the film’s theatrical release has been postponed one week due to the success of Disney/Marvel’s Black Panther.

Eric Pakrinson, C.E.O. of Hannover House, who is distributing Death House in theaters, states, “Obviously, we are very disappointed to find such pressure from the exhibitors to hold-over multiple screens for ‘Black Panther’ but we are happy for the success that this film is providing to theatre owners, and we know that the slight delay we are implementing for ‘Death House’ will ultimately pay big dividends for the film.”

The plan is to now launch Death House on Friday, March 2nd, with a special media event and public opening at the Regency Plant 16 in Van Nuys, California, where 20 cast members, along with additional crew, will be present. From there, the film will spread to other markets on March 9th and March 16th. If performances are strong, additional markets will be added following those dates.

This shift in release also pushes back the home video and digital release dates to July, although no official date has been locked.

Director Harrison Smith recorded a video asking the horror community to turn out in droves when the film hits their market. You can see it below.

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