Eli Roth and CryptTV Unleash Restaurant Dogs; Exclusive Comments and Images - Dread Central
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Eli Roth and CryptTV Unleash Restaurant Dogs; Exclusive Comments and Images

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Restaurant Dogs

“So,” you may be asking yourself, “what the hell is Eli Roth’s Restaurant Dogs, and why have I never head of it?” Truth be told, it was never really supposed to see the light of day, but we live in an interesting time. Now, thanks to CryptTV you can witness the historic beginnings of an amazing career to come.

To answer the above question, though, we’ll let Eli himself take it from here. Enjoy!

Photo credits: Eli Roth for Dread Central.

I shot this in December of 1993 in New York City. We had a great time shooting it; it stars my Cabin Fever co-writer Randy Pearlstein and the late Sam Brown as Ronald McDonald. Sam was a very, very funny writer and comedian whom I worked with as a counselor at a summer camp outside Boston, so we’d known each other for years, and we just had a blast. My Dairy Queen, Ilissa Wood, was someone I’ve known since she was a baby, and she’s probably horrified this video resurfaced. I think she gave an amazing performance as a girl-cow.

Restaurant Dogs

I remember we had to pitch our ideas to the class to get chosen; this was for your senior thesis film. Only 10 films got picked, and my pitch was so insane I think people chose me just to see if I could pull it off. Half the scenes didn’t turn out the way I wanted, so my friend Doug McDermott (who’s in the Burger King at the end; he’s also Harmonica Man in Cabin Fever) said, “I think you need an animated Vietnam flashback.” And that was the solution – any scenes I didn’t have the money to shoot, I’d animate. Terry Gilliam has always been one of my heroes and I’ve been doing animation since I was 8 years old, so I figured screw it, I’ll do cutouts and see what happens.

I actually got so into the animation it was more fun than the live action; plus I could put in photos of people who were shocked when they saw themselves in the final film. The whole film was super hand-made; my Mom sewed all the costumes and made the paper mache heads. Matt Mailer (son of Norman Mailer) did all the gore effects. We’d have to do production meetings at Norman Mailer’s house in Brooklyn Heights, where I’d sit in the living room looking at all his books and Matt and I would talk about how we’re going to decapitate Mayor McCheese and stab Hamburgler’s eyes out.

Restaurant Dogs

One funny story from shooting was during the McCheese decapitation where a snowstorm blew in out of nowhere. We were filming the Mayor McCheese rally in the Ancient Playground, which is located next to the Met on 95th and 5th, and all of a sudden we have to take shelter in the public bathrooms. This little girl who lived in one of the towers across the street came over and asked what we were doing, and within two minutes I had her doing slate and holding the boom. I am so not opposed to child labor on student films; it’s great for everyone!

So within seconds we’re in a blizzard and we grab our cameras and run into the only shelter we had, the public toilets. Now, I don’t know if you’ve ever been in a public park toilet in New York City, but it’s super scary, and the stalls don’t have doors. So there are like 3 crack addicts smoking up in the bathroom, totally high, and all of a sudden Grimace, Mayor McCheese, Ronald – the whole gang roll in. They thought they were hallucinating. This little girl asked if we were hungry and said her mom had a charge account at Gristede’s, the supermarket nearby. We said YES and sent our sound guy Tim with her, and within minutes they came back with hot soup and sandwiches for everyone. We had plenty of food and we fed the homeless guys and it was this weird, magnificent feast. The girl was just happy to be in the men’s room, something she had never seen before. After lunch the homeless guys became our security and watched all our stuff. We got the rest of the scene, which you’ll notice suddenly has a blizzard in the middle of it and then turns animated because we couldn’t finish shooting due to the storm. After I asked her name and she said, “Kingsley Woolworth.” I was like, “As in F.W…?” and she said “Yeah, he’s my grandpa.” So thank you, Kingsley Woolworth – you fed us and got one of my favorite decapitations I’ve ever shot.

Restaurant Dogs

The screening at the NYU film festival was a blast. Everybody’s films were so serious, they were like student film versions of Schindler’s List or some deep film trying to solve homelessness. The teachers kept asking, “What’s your message?!” and I said that I didn’t have a message; I just wanted people to be entertained for ten minutes. The film feels long at ten minutes, but back then that was a short movie. Kids were making 45-minute films… shot on film! It was insane! I remember we premiered on a Friday night at 9:00 and the film brought the house down. I was so happy until I saw the judges’ (teachers’) comments:

  • “This isn’t a movie, this is a music video.”
  • “A complete mess.”
  • “How is this person graduating?? Didn’t we teach them ANYTHING?”

I then entered the movie in the Student Academy Awards, which in 1995 started the “alternative” category. Nirvana exploded music and Tarantino changed film, and the mainstream was all called “Alternative” so they created this new category for films that didn’t really fit in dramatic or documentary. And I was one of the winners, much to the shock and amazement of my professors. They did this big ceremony at the Museum of Modern Art, and the film played and they presented me with a certificate. So I can say my film played at the most prestigious modern art museum in the U.S. For years I would circulate VHS tapes of the film around the sets I was working on. Someone would hear I made a crazy movie about Ronald McDonald on a killing spree, and the VHS would go from trailer to trailer. I think Kevin Kline even saw on the set of In and Out, but that was just a rumor.

Restaurant Dogs

Doug McDermott (on the left) played Harmonica Man in “Cabin Fever.” Boom operator Dan Bova was an editor at “Stuff.” We shot this at the Burger King on 6th ave and 14th street. They had no idea what was going on, but the manager Jimmy Ng was super cool and let us do whatever we wanted.

For years when I was trying to make Cabin Fever people would ask to see my work and I’d show them this film. They’d then hand the tape back, very confused, and politely decline. It wasn’t until I made Rotten Fruit and Chowdaheads that I finally convinced someone to give me the money. Sam Froelich was the one who saw my shorts and this film and loved it and signed up to invest in Cabin Fever, which thankfully paid off handsomely for him.

I did finally have the grand screening with Tarantino, and he loved it. By the time this film was made, everyone was making some kind of Pulp Fiction ripoff, but he loved that I was homaging him right from Reservoir Dogs. I told him I’m the original Tarantino ripoff. I’ve kept it buried for a number of years, but now with CryptTV launching, it’s time to break it out. So get ready to waste ten minutes of your life you will never get back.

Here’s Restaurant Dogs.

The student film that almost stopped Eli Roth from graduating. For the first time ever, you can watch the madness. #GodSaveTheDairyQueen

Posted by Crypt TV on Thursday, April 30, 2015

CryptTV is an original-for-digital studio that produces dark and edgy content. They work with young filmmakers to create shorts, shows, and the like. The ultimate goal of CryptTV is to develop IPs with young filmmakers, release them digitally, grow the audience, then pair them with Eli Roth or have Eli help them to grow their idea past digital and into TV or film. For more info follow CryptTV on Twitter.

Restaurant Dogs

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Vampire Hunter D: The Series Gets Writer For Pilot Episode

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It’s been a little while since we’ve heard news about “Vampire Hunter D: The Series”, the CG-animated series based on Hideyuki Kikuchi’s titular character. However, some new news broke today over at ANN as they’ve reported that Brandon Easton, who is writing the scripts for new Vampire Hunter D comics, has been tapped by Unified Pictures to write the pilot for the series. The pilot will be based on Kikuchi’s “Mysterious Journey to the North Sea” storylines, which make up the 7th and 8th titles in the book series. Unified is making this series in conjunction with Digital Frontier, the Japanese animation studio behind the CG Resident Evil titles.

Easton told the site, “I’ve had to manage the expectations of three entities: the creator Hideyuki Kikuchi, the producers at Digital Frontier and Unified Pictures, and ultimately myself. This means that you have to find new and exciting ways of telling a story that has a set of concrete rules that have been fully established by the novels.

Meanwhile, the studio has also announced that Ryan Benjamin is taking over as the artist and colorist on the Vampire Hunter D: Message From Mars series with Richard Friend inking the issues.

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Watching A Quiet Place’s John Krasinski Get Scared by Freddy on Ellen Will Brighten Your Day

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I was just researching the new Platinum Dunes horror-thriller A Quiet Place and stumbled across this video. It features the film’s writer-director and star John Krasinski getting scared by a man dressed as Freddy Krueger on “Ellen.”

It’s as much fun as it sounds, and I’m sure it will make your day. It sure as hell just brightened mine.

Give it a watch below, and then let us know what you think!

John Krasinski directs the film, which will be the opening night entry at this year’s SXSW festival in Austin, TX. Emily Blunt stars alongside Krasinski, Noah Jupe, and Millicent Simmonds.

A Quiet Place will then open wide on April 6.

Synopsis:
In the modern horror thriller A Quiet Place, a family of four must navigate their lives in silence after mysterious creatures that hunt by sound threatens their survival. If they hear you, they hunt you.

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Interview: Director Jeff Burr Revisits Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III

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Director Jeff Burr was gracious enough to give us here at Dread Central a few minutes of his time to discuss the Blu-ray release of his 1990 film Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III. Recently dropped on 2/13, the movie has undergone the white-glove treatment, and he was all-too-happy to bring us back to when the film was being shot…and eventually diced thanks to the MPAA – so settle in, grab a cold slice of bloody meat, read on and enjoy!

DC: First off – congrats on seeing the film get the treatment it deserves on Blu-ray – you excited about it?

JB: Yeah, I’m really happy that it’s coming out on Blu-ray, especially since so many people bitch and moan about the death of physical media, and this thing made the cut, and it’s great for people to be able to see probably the best-looking version of it since we saw it in the lab back in 1989.

DC: Take us back to when you’d first gotten the news that you were tabbed to be the man to direct the third installment in this franchise – what was your first order of business?

JB: It was fairly condensed pre-production for me, and there really wasn’t a whole lot of time to think about the import or the greatness of it – it was basically just roll up your sleeves and go. It was a bit disappointing because a lot of times in pre-production you have the opportunity to dream what could be – casting had already been done, but certain decisions hadn’t been made yet. A very condensed pre-production, but exciting as hell, for sure! (laughs)

DC: R.A. Mihailoff in the role of Leatherface – was it the decision from the get-go to have him play the lead role?

JB: No – I totally had someone else in mind, even though R.A. had done a role in my student film about 7 years earlier, and we’d kept in touch, and I’d felt strongly because I’d gotten to know him a bit that Gunnar Hansen should have come back and played Leatherface, which would have given a bit more legitimacy to this third movie. He and I talked, and he had some issues with the direction that it was going – he really wanted to be involved, and it ended up boiling down to a financial thing, and it wasn’t outrageous at all – it wasn’t like he asked for the moon, but the problem was that New Line refused to pay it, categorically. I think the line producer at the time was more adamant about it than anyone, and Mike DeLuca was one of the executives on the movie, and he was really the guy that was running this, in a creative sense. I made my case for Gunner to both he and the line producer, and they flat out refused to pay him what he was asking, so after that was a done “no deal” I decided that R.A would be the right guy to step into the role. Since New Line was the arbiter of the film, he had to come in and audition for the part, and he impressed everyone and got the part. He did an absolutely fantastic job – such a joy to work with, and he was completely enthusiastic about everything.

DC: Let’s talk about Viggo Mortenson, and with this being one of his earliest roles – did you know you had something special with this guy on your set?

JB: Here’s the thing – you knew he was talented, and I’d seen him in the movie Prison way back in the early stages of development and was very impressed with him, and he was one of those guys that I think we were really lucky to get him on board with us. I really believe that The Indian Runner with he and directed by Sean Penn was the movie that truly made people stand up and notice his work. Every person in this cast was one hundred percent into this film and jumped in no questions asked when it was time to roll around in the body pits.

DC: It’s no secret about the amount of shit that the MPAA put you through in order to get this film released – can you expound on that for a minute?

JB: At the time, I believe it was a record amount of times we had to go back to the MPAA after re-cutting the film – I think it was 11 times that we went back. What a lot of people don’t realize is after Bob Shaye (President of New Line) had come into the editing room and he thought that it was very disturbing, and cut out some stuff himself. He thought that it would have been banned in every country, and it was banned in a lot of countries but so were the previous two. It was definitely on the verge of being emasculated before even being submitted to the MPAA, and I would have thought just a few adjustments here and there – maybe a couple of times to go back…but eleven? It was front-page news in the trade papers then, and I think that the overall tone of the film was looked at as being nasty. The previous film (Chainsaw 2) had actually gone out unrated, and with the first film being so notorious, I think it was a combination of all of that, and now even the most unrated version of this would be rated R – that’s how far the pendulum has swung in the other direction.

DC: Looking back at the film after all this time – what would be one thing that you’d change about the movie?

JB: Oh god – any film director worth his salt would look back at any of their films and want to change stuff up, and with this being 28 years old, I can look back and say “oh yeah, I’d change this, this and this!” You grow and learn over the course of your time directing, and this was my third movie and my first without producers that I had known, so the main thing that I’d do today would be to make it a bit more politically savvy. I had always thought that they wanted me to put my vision on this film, and that wasn’t necessarily the case, so maybe I’d navigate those political waters a little better.

DC: Last thing, Jeff – what’s keeping you busy these days? Any projects to speak of?

JB: Oh yeah, I’ve got a couple of movies that I’m working on – I’m prepping a horror movie right now, and then I’ve got a comedy film that I’m doing after that. You haven’t heard the last of me! I’ve had a real up and down (mostly down) career, but I still love it – it’s what I love to do, and it’s still great that after 28 years people still want to talk about this movie, and are still watching it – that’s the greatest gift you can get, and I thank everyone that’s seen it and talked about it over all these years.

BUY IT NOW!

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