The “Walking Dead” Attraction at Universal Studios

As a fan who has been touting The Walking Dead comic since issue one, it still surprises me how well the comic series translated into a tv series which caught on with the general population.

Not only has The Walking Dead  tv series lasted six plus years, but has spun off the Fear the Walking Dead tv series and is now becoming a major attraction at Universal Studios.

11 Terrifying Facts About “The Hills Have Eyes”

Matthew Jackson and Mental_Floss present 11 Terrifying Facts About The Hills Have Eyes.  Here are three of my favorites…

1. IT WAS BASED ON A TRUE STORY.
According to writer/director Wes Craven, The Hills Have Eyes was inspired by the story of Sawney Bean, the head of wild Scottish clan who murdered and cannibalized numerous people during the Middle Ages. Craven heard the story of the Bean clan, and noted that the road near where they lived was believed to be haunted because people kept disappearing while traveling on it. He adapted the story to instead be about a group of wild people in the American West, and The Hills Have Eyes was born.

8. MICHAEL BERRYMAN CONSTANTLY FACED HEATSTROKE.1-
Berryman, who became a horror icon thanks to this film, was apparently game for just about anything Craven and company wanted him to do, though he personally told the producers he was born with “26 birth defects.” Among those birth defects was a lack of sweat glands, which meant that the intense desert heat was particularly hazardous to his health. He soldiered on, though, even in intense action sequences.

“We always had to cover him up as soon as we finished these scenes,” Craven recalled.

11. IT STARTED AN INTERESTING CHAIN OF HORROR HOMAGES.
The Hills Have Eyes is admired by fellow horror filmmakers, so much so that one of them—Evil Dead director Sam Raimi—chose to pay homage to it in a strange way. In the scene in which Brenda is quivering in bed after having been brutalized by Pluto and Mars, a ripped poster for Steven Spielberg’s Jaws is visible above her head. Raimi saw it as a message.

“I took it to mean that Wes Craven … was saying ‘Jaws was just pop horror. What I have here isreal horror.’”

As a joking response to the scene, Raimi put a ripped poster for The Hills Have Eyes in his now-classic film The Evil Dead (1981). Not to be outdone, Craven responded by including a clip from The Evil Dead in his classic A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984).

30 Things We Learned from the “Planet Terror” Commentary

Rob Hunter and Film School Rejects present 30 Things We Learned from the Planet Terror Commentary.  Here are three of my favorites…

7. Bruce Willis enjoyed his time on Sin City so much that he told Rodriguez “any time, any where, I’ll come make anything with you.” The director called his bluff and convinced him to play the bad guy here knowing it would only be two days work. Tarantino visited the set — both to say hi and because he shot some 2nd unit for the film — and was surprised to Willis in costume.

17. Michael Biehn, who plays Sheriff Hague, approached Rodriguez at one point to say he had fired six shots from his revolver and his character would need to reload before firing more. “Don’t worry about it,” replied the director, “it’s not that kind of movie.”
23. The “missing reel” gag was inspired by the time Tarantino screened an Oliver Reed film at an Alamo Drafthouse that was in fact missing a reel. The idea of not knowing what scenes you’re missing appealed to Rodriguez and used it here both as a gag and because his script was already growing too long.

10 Things You Might Not Know About John Carpenter’s Cult Classic “They Live”

Cheryl Eddy and io9 present 10 Things You Might Not Know About John Carpenter’s Cult Classic They Live.  Here are three of my favorites…

1) Before they met, Carpenter was a Piper fan, but Piper had never heard of the director, even though his filmography at the time included such high-profile works as Halloween, Escape From New York, The Thing, and Big Trouble in Little China.

2) The greatest fight scene in movie history runs five minutes and 20 seconds long. It took three days to film, but a month and a half of rehearsing in the backyard behind Carpenter’s office in the San Fernando Valley. According to interviews on the They Live Blu-ray, Carpenter drew inspiration for the clash from a similarly memorable brawl in The Quiet Man, a 1952 John Ford film in which John Wayne plays a retired boxer.

10) “Frank Armitage,” credited as They Live’s screenwriter, is actually a Carpenter pseudonym. It’s a shout-out to H.P. Lovecraft creation Henry Armitage; Carpenter would later pay further tribute to the author with the filmIn the Mouth of Madness. (“Frank Armitage” is also the name of David’s character in the film.)

Twilight Zone: “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” [Season 5, Episode 3] / Z-View

Twilight Zone: “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet[Season 5, Episode 3]
Original Air Date: October 11, 1963

Director: Richard Donner
Writer: Richard Matheson

Starring: William Shatner, Christine White, and Ed Kemmer.

The Overview: Beware of Spoilers…

Bob Wilson [Shatner] and his wife are flying home.  Wilson has just recovered from a nervous breakdown and a storm is making the flight less than comfortable.  Wilson becomes alarmed when he sees a creature on the wing of the plane tearing at wires.  His wife and others think Bob is suffering a relapse but he’s not…

10 Out-of-This-World Facts About “Plan 9 From Outer Space”

Mark Mancini and Mental_Floss present 10 Out-of-This-World Facts About Plan 9 From Outer Space.  Here are three of my favorites…

1. IT WAS BELA LUGOSI’S LAST MOVIE.
A lifelong Bela Lugosi fan, Ed Wood was able to cast his idol in 1953’s Glen or Glenda. Two years later, the director gave him a Dr. Frankenstein-like role in Bride of the Monster. For his next film, Wood once again wanted Lugosi to take center stage. At the California home of Swedish wrestler Tor Johnson—who’d also appeared in Bride of the Monster—Wood shot a handful of very brief scenes, all starring Lugosi. Depending on who’s telling the story, this footage was either intended for Plan 9 or for an unmade movie called The Vampire’s Tomb. Regardless, Lugosi sadly didn’t live to see any of it reach the silver screen. The horror icon died of a heart attack in August 16, 1956. Endlessly resourceful, Wood threw all of his existing Lugosi shots into Plan 9 from Outer Space.

2. A CHIROPRACTOR PLAYED LUGOSI’S DOUBLE.
Production on Plan 9 from Outer Space began in earnest after Lugosi’s death. Since he was no longer around to film certain scenes, Wood recruited chiropractor Tom Mason as a substitute. Physically, he wasn’t a perfect stand-in; Mason was noticeably taller than Lugosi (a fact that Wood tried to disguise by having him hunch over). But the good doctor made sure to mask his face under a cape at all times.

4. IN SOME VERSIONS OF THE FILM, YOU CAN SEE THE SHADOW OF A BOOM MIKE IN THE BACKGROUND.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Plan 9 has numerous bloopers. For example, the grave scenes use plywood tombstones, which wobble throughout the movie. But Wood’s team wasn’t responsible for every error. Early on, we see our hero—pilot Jeff Trent—flying a plane when a huge burst of light almost blinds him. Viewers may also notice that, as he recoils, a boom microphone shadow appears on the back wall of the cockpit. Look carefully, and you’ll also observe that Trent’s co-pilot is holding a copy of the script in his lap. Both of these gaffes were created when Plan 9 was converted to a film and TV-friendly format. Neither the script nor the boom mike shadow appeared in the original theatrical version. Unfortunately, the aspect ratio changes made to Plan 9 for its video and TV releases suddenly rendered both of these things visible.

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