This past weekend, Todd Tucker’s The Terror of Hallow’s Eve had its world premiere at London’s FrightFest 2017. Extolled for its reliance, as much as possible, on practical FX, the film has been one of the most anticipated festival features for a while!
Today, we got the chance to speak with writer/director Todd Tucker, who himself has a long history of work in practical FX and makeup. Tucker told us about the conception of The Terror of Hallow’s Eve, working with the legendary Doug Jones, and even let slip that he’s begun writing a sequel! You can read it all below!
The Terror Of Hallow’s Eve stars Caleb Thomas, Eric Roberts, Doug Jones, Juliet Landau, Christina Kane, and Sarah Lancaster. It also features the music of John Carpenter.
Dread Central: Talk to me a bit about the idea behind The Terror of Hallow’s Eve and how it went from a concept to the film you have today.
Todd Tucker: The idea for the film came from the combination of a true story that happened to me as a kid and my love of the 1980’s Horror genera. In wanted to make a film that was based in reality then looses its mind and becomes a Dark Fantasy/Horror rollercoaster, filled with practical creatures.
DC: The film not only wears its love of practical effects on its sleeve, it makes it part of the story! Can you tell me a bit about your thoughts on practical effects in the horror genre?
TT: All of the 80s horror films use practical effects because CG was not around yet. We use all practical creatures for The Terror Of Hallow’s Eve, but actually have around 1 Hundred visual effects shots in the film. Some green screenshots, puppet wire removal and visual effects enhancement to some our practical characters. This helped to create a beautiful marriage between practical FX and CG.
DC: Films are always restrained by their budget, so what kinds of challenges did you face trying to create all your wonderful creatures while still ensuring that you didn’t compromise the rest of the film?
TT: My special effects makeup company Illusion Industries, is known for working on major films and television shows, it was important that the creatures in this film looked AMAZING and unique, but also somehow familiar.
Our budget was small, but this project was not. The challenge was to schedule the shoot so that I could spend the time we needed to get great performances from both the actors and the puppets.
DC: Practical effects aren’t always relegated just to costumes or props, they can be people as well! What was it like to work with Doug Jones, who is a practical effect in and of himself!
TT: I have known Doug Jones for over 15 years. I first put Doug into a yeti creature makeup on the film ‘MonkeyBone’. We recently worked together again on ‘Ouija, Origins Of Evil’, and I asked him if he would be willing to play “The Trickster” in our new film. Being the lovely man that he is, he agreed and gave me a character that is both haunting and somehow lovable. Doug is an amazing actor and actually plays two characters in the film.
DC: Obviously you have a great deal of experience with practical effects. How did your background with that world affect your role as director here?
TT: After years of working on films, I understand how to utilize visual and practical effects together, which made it much easier for me to pre plane all of the technical FX shots for the film.
DC: What kind of experience do you hope The Terror of Hallow’s Eve gives horror audiences?
TT: The film is a total homage to the 1980’s Horror genre, combined with the ultimate anti-bullying message. Hopefully the film will connect with some of the audience on a personal level.
DC: What’s next on your plate?
TT: We are currently pitching a creature driven television series and I just started writing ‘The Terror Of Hollow’s Eve 2’.
Growing up is hard and for fifteen-year-old Timmy Stevens it’s no exception. Scrawny and nerdy, he’s relentlessly tormented by the town bullies. His only escape is his love of horror and the creatures he creates.
A chance run-in with his tormentors in a convenience store parking lot on Halloween leaves Timmy brutally beaten. Walking home he stumbles upon a mysterious pumpkin. Despondent from the vicious attack he escapes to his private world and begins carving the pumpkin, wishing for revenge. Unknowingly, Timmy summons the Trickster, an ancient evil, who offers to grant his wish — scare the bullies to death.