Shock Value – Rare Horrors Come to Light!

Ever wonder what the early filmmaking days were like for your favorite directors? Now you can take a look for yourself with the new flick, Shock Value! Read on for details.

From the Press Release

The USC School of Cinematic Arts (SCA) will host the premiere of “Shock Value: The Movie – How Dan O’Bannon and Some USC Outsiders Helped Invent Modern Horror” on October 17th as part of USC’s Visions and Voices program, it was announced by USC Hugh M. Hefner Moving Image Archive archivist Dino Everett. The evening event is free and open to the public, but requires an RSVP. For more information, click here.

Dino Everett produced the feature anthology which is inspired by New York Times writer Jason Zinoman’s book, “Shock Value: How a Few Eccentric Outsiders Gave Us Nightmares, Conquered Hollywood and Invented Modern Horror,” published in 2012 by Penguin Books.

For the anthology, Everett culled vignettes and scenes from numerous SCA student films from the late 1960s and 1970s which evidence USC films students’ role in redefining the horror movie genre during that time. Included in the anthology are John Carpenter’s (“Halloween,” “Escape from New York”) 1969 “Captain Voyeur,” a dark comedy which provided inspiration for his later feature length horror films, as well as screenwriter O’Bannon’s (“Alien,” “Total Recall”) and Carpenter’s 1968 “Good Morning Dan!”, among many others.

Also included are films from USC classmates of O’Bannon and Carpenter’s, such as Terence Winkless (“Nightmare City 2035,” “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers”), Charles Adair (“Bleeders”) and Oscar-nominated documentary producer Alec Lorimore (“Dolphins,” “The Living Sea”).

Another short featured in the anthology, “Judson’s Release,” by Winkless and Lorimore starring O’Bannon, is considered the blueprint for classic horror films such as “Halloween,” “Black Christmas,” “He Knows You’re Not Alone” and countless others. Made in 1971, it is the “crown jewel of the program,” Everett says. O’Bannon’s portrayal of the killer in the film resembles that of Jason, Michael Myers, and other famous film killers who followed. The project turned into a study into O’Bannon’s life as well as that of his classmates at USC during the 1960s, where the work being done was quite advanced and ahead of its time.

A panel discussion with Dino Everett, Alec Lorimore, Terence Winkless, Jason Zinoman, Diane O’Bannon and Mary Burkin will follow the screening.

At this time “Captain Voyeur” is the only film that has been completely preserved, thanks to the funds granted from the National Film Preservation Foundation. The remaining films have been scanned for this project with the hope that funds acquired from the screenings will help to pay for proper photochemical preservation. 

Additional films featured in “Shock Value” include:

“Blood Bath” (1969, written and directed by Dan O’Bannon) B/W (original 16mm) 7 min

A slovenly young man commits suicide out of curiosity and boredom, as well as “Blood Bath” (1976 version, written and directed by Dan O’Bannon). O’Bannon revisited this short after Alejandro Jodorowsky’s aborted “Dune” project and while working on “Star Wars.

“The Demon” (1970, written and directed by Charles Adair) B/W (original 16mm) 19 min

A woman left alone in a desert home begins to feel she is being watched.


Shock Value



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Steve Barton

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