Filmmaker Damien Leone Talks All Hallows' Eve and More - Dread Central
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Filmmaker Damien Leone Talks All Hallows’ Eve and More

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Filmmaker Damien Leone Talks All Hallows' Eve and MoreFor those familiar with the grindhouse-inspired horror short “Terrifier”, the name Damien Leone might mean something to you – but the face you probably remember is that of Art the Clown. First introduced in another short called “The 9th Circle”, Art the Clown has developed into a remarkably simple but absolutely devilish character…

…who is one of the first new icons of fright from the internet age. Leone has springboarded his efforts into an anthology of sorts, combining his existing shorts with an all-new alien entry and a babysitter wraparound for the DVD, All Hallows’ Eve, which is available for sale and rental now. Below, Leone talks about his road to success.

Dread Central: So, I know you’ve also got Frankenstein versus The Mummy coming out?

Damien Leone: Yes! Well, I’m leaving for New Mexico in a couple days, but it’s just a standalone Mummy film that I’m doing the make-up effects for. Then I come back from this one and go into pre-production on Frankenstein versus The Mummy, which I’m directing, writing, and doing the make-up effects for.

DC: It’s funny; when I got the request to interview you, I had already ordered All Hallows’ Eve on DVD just as a fan. I think within a minute or two of each other I got the delivery confirmation from Amazon and the request to interview you! I’d seen “Terrifier” and “The 9th Circle”, I guess, a couple of years ago. I know the whole project was all created online through YouTube and email. Would you have ever been able to get this off the ground without technology? It’s definitely a unique model, and this kind of thing happens pretty rarely.

DL: Yeah, I don’t think so, honestly. If Jesse Baget, the producer, hadn’t reached out to me and hadn’t found “Terrifier” on YouTube, I would have probably done a Kickstarter thing. My intention wasn’t to make an anthology film. We still intend on making a full-length stand alone Art the Clown movie. This was just a reason to get “Terrifier” onto DVD and whip it into a feature just to get it out there to get more people familiar with Art the Clown and hopefully get a little bit more of a fanbase. When people ask me what do I recommend on becoming film kids or film students, I really tell them just make something really crazy and throw it on to YouTube. If it’s good, people will start talking about it. I think that’s how I got lucky.

DC: In total, there were five DP’s on this, is that right?

DL: Five DP’s!

DC: That must be some kind of a record. Was it difficult to have All Hallows’ Eve have a consistent look because of that?

DL: I don’t think so. “9th Circle” was 2006 and we actually shot that, even though it does not look it, on 35mm. The rest of the movie was shot on the 5D and I think a little bit of the 7D, but it was my idea to put the grindhouse effect on “Terrifier”. I have a lot of input on how the movie looks so I don’t just tell the DP to just light it however they want. I think it was pretty easy to stay consistent. I don’t know if that helped us or not. I think people would have preferred if the entire thing looked like the grindhouse look from “Terrifier”.

DC: That look can wear out its welcome though. I’ve seen a lot of attempts at that sort of thing and it was really done well with “Terrifier”. I think that’s one of the reasons it caught on.

DL: Oh, thanks man. That’s definitely my favorite still. I think we did the best job with “Terrifer”. When we make this Art the Clown film, it’s going to be an hour-and-thirty-minute “Terrifier”. That’s what I’m going to try and do.

DC: To go back to “The 9th Circle” for a second, can you talk about some of the additional footage in it so they know there’s more to it now?

DL: Yeah, those two other captive girls when the girl wakes up in the tunnel… I cut that entire thing out because when I was editing it, it felt like it wanted to be a bigger movie but it just wasn’t going anywhere. That’s what I was thinking at the time, so I just cut them out and centered it around that one girl. When we were making All Hallows’ Eve, we just needed footage to beef it up. I thought they gave really good performances, those girls, and I was kind of ashamed that I cut it out in the first place. So I was happy to put it back in for them. I was able to track them down so they were really happy to see that they were getting their work out there.

DC: What actually got you into doing effects work in the first place? Was it a film or just doing different gags with your friends?

DL: It was definitely Tom Savini. He was my hero and still one of my biggest. He’s the reason why I’m into special effects and even filmmaking. I grew up watching Scream Greats, did you ever see that?

DC: Of course, yeah, Volume 1.

DL: Exactly. I grew up watching that, I was about twelve years old, I went to one of those horror conventions my mother took me to because [Savini] was gonna be there. So I actually met him and that was just insane, that was so surreal. At that horror convention, someone was selling those real machetes that were dulled down that had the semi-circle cut out that he would always use on Dawn of the Dead. My mother bought me one of those and my first bottle of mint-flavored blood and I think it was a Ben Nye hair and makeup kit. So I took all that stuff home and just started experimenting with latex and making cuts on my friends’ cheeks. I sent them all home to their parents and just watched the parents freak out and that just gave me such a rush to see that it worked. And it just never stopped and we’re still making movies.

All Hallows’ Eve is available now on DVD and definitely has our seal of approval.

All Hallows' Eve

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Exclusive: Rocky Gray Talks Halloween Horror Anthology 10/31

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The last time we gave you guys word on the upcoming Halloween horror anthology 10/31 was to bring you the knock-out exclusive official poster, which you can peep to your left (click for a higher-res version).

The new horror anthology in the vein of V/H/S and Creepshow joins an ensemble cast together to spin twisted tales of the macabre. The film is executive produced by P.J. Starks, creator of the critically acclaimed Volumes of Blood.

The film’s stories are directed by the likes of Justin M. Seaman (The Barn), Zane Hershberger (Devilution), John William Holt (The Dooms Chapel Horror), Brett DeJager (Bonejangles) and Rocky Gray making his directing debut.

This past weekend we were able to catch up with producer-director Rocky Gray and ask him a few choice questions about the anticipated upcoming anthology film.

You can check out our quick interview below and then make sure to hit us up and let us know how excited you are to check out 10/31 in the comments below!

Dread Central: How is the film coming along?

Rocky Gray: The film is now completed and we are getting the perks out to our Indiegogo backers. The backers and Death By Festival got to see the first cut of the film in October and they loved it so we’re very excited to get the film out to everyone else very soon.

DC: What can expect from this anthology?

RG: Expect to have a lot of Halloween themed fun. Each segment has its own flavor so the pacing and the look change throughout the film. With masked killers, vampires, scarecrows, tricksters and old hags there’s something for everyone.

DC: Will there be a sequel?

RG: If there was a demand for it we would make it happen!

Sounds good to us. Thanks for chatting with us, Rocky!

You can become a fan of the film on Facebook HERE.

SYNOPSIS:
A Halloween treat bag of all the things that go bump in the night. From masked killers to scarecrows, witches, and tricksters. There’s a scare for everyone in this anthology of horror and the macabre from the creators of The Barn and Volumes of Blood.

Red Letter Entertainment, Inc. brings you the directorial debut from Rocky Gray (composer of The Barn, Killing Floor 2), two-time Grammy-winning musician and former drummer for Evanescence. A new horror anthology in the vein of V/H/S/ and Creepshow brings an ensemble cast together to spin twisted tales of the macabre. The film is Executive Produced by P.J. Starks, creator of the critically acclaimed Volumes of Blood.

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The Duffer Brothers Have Begun Working on Stranger Things 3

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I wasn’t the world’s biggest fan of the first season of Netflix and The Duffer Brothers’ “Stranger Things” to tell you the truth. That said, I absolutely loved the second season (read our reviews HERE).

It is with this in mind that we are all looking forward to “Stranger Things 3”.

Recently Deadline reported that at Vulture Festival LA the Duffer Brothers, producer Shawn Levy, Finn Wolfhard, Paul Reiser, and Linnea Berthelsen talked about season two and teased season three.

“We are [in] very early days on season three, and we’re still figuring it out,” Ross Duffer said, before taking a beat, then adding: “I probably wasn’t supposed to say that. That’s not official; that wasn’t an official announcement — we’re just working on it, just for our own amusement… for fun!”

Whatever.

We all know at this point that there is going to be a “Stranger Things 3” and that The Duffer Brothers will one day begin working on it. Don’t worry so much, Ross Duffer.

After all, your brother already let us know that season three will begin after a time jump:

“Even if we wanted to hop into the action faster, we couldn’t,” says Matt Duffer. “Our kids are aging. We can only write and produce the show so fast. They’re going to be almost a year older by the time we start shooting season three. It provides certain challenges. You can’t start right after season two ended. It forces you to do a time jump. It’s a long way of saying that yeah, we’re going to do a time jump.”

What did you think of “Stranger Things 2”? Did you dig it more (or less) than season one? Make sure to hit us up and let us know in the comments below or on social media!

“Stranger Things 2” is currently streaming on Netflix.

Synopsis:
It’s 1984, and the citizens of Hawkins, Indiana, are still reeling from the horrors of the Demogorgon and the secrets of Hawkins Lab. Will Byers has been rescued from the Upside Down, but a bigger, sinister entity still threatens those who survived.

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James Cameron’s Terminator Reboot/Sequel Hires Screenwriter

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The last word we brought you guys on producer James Cameron and Deadpool-director Tim Miller’s new Terminator film was when we let you know that Paramount had set the film’s release date for July 26, 2019.

Today we have news via The Wrap that the studio is bringing in screenwriter Billy Ray (Captain Phillips) to pen the movie’s script based on a story crafted by Cameron.

You may remember that Cameron and Miller created a writers room a while back to plan out an all-new trilogy of films, but while that writer’s room included David Goyer, Charles Eglee, and Josh Friedman, it seems like Ray will be the first film’s sole writer. For now.

Story details are, of course, being kept under wraps, but Cameron and Miller are treating the new movie as a direct sequel to Cameron’s T2: Judgment Day.

“This is a continuation of the story from ‘Terminator 1’ and ‘Terminator 2.’ And we’re pretending the other films were a bad dream,” Cameron told THR. “Or an alternate timeline, which is permissible in our multi-verse.”

We also know that Cameron plans to center the new film/trilogy around a new group of younger characters, who will eventually carry on the baton as it were.

“A lot of this is handing off the baton to a new generation of characters,” Cameron said. “We’re starting a search for an 18-something young woman to essentially be the new centerpiece of these stories. And then a number of other characters around her and characters from the future. We still fold time in the story in intriguing ways. But we have Arnold’s character and Linda’s character to anchor it.”

How excited are you for James Cameron’s new Terminator flick? Make sure to hit us up and let us know in the comments below or on social mdeia!

The new Terminator film is produced by James Cameron and will be directed by Tim Miller (Deadpool). The film stars Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton.

Terminator 2.5 is expected to hit July 26, 2019.

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