Saturday, October 28, 2006

Update from Hell...

wow, Shocktober indeed...

Been a few since I last wrote. Been trying to recover from the whirlwind schedule they had us on to complete the film and as of now, its done like DONE. Now its just down to check discs and so far so good. We did a "cast commentary" with Rollins and Erica on wednesday which was fucking hilarious. It was the first time Henry saw the somewhat completed film and unless he was just being nice, he said he was pretty blown away. Now, Henry has an impeccable taste for film, so I was really nervous to hear his reaction but he seemed pretty impressed, saying he'd love to help promote the film when it gets out there. THAT's very cool...hear that Fox?
But other than some graphics checks, my time with WRONG TURN 2, at least on the creative production side, is DONE. Now, can't WAIT to hit the pavement and start promoting this fucking thing!

Fango Awards - Two sundays back Briana and I, along with the rest of the Fright Club, attended the Fuse Fangoria awards downtown at the Orpheum. You can read many reports, like Rotten's account HERE, but it was a pretty surreal time. My first awards show, and seeing people like Robert Englund, Fango editor Tony "The Suit" Timpone (with a million dollar smile on), Andrew "Leatherface" Byrarnski (who put me in a practical headlock at the after party, whispering sweet nothings in my ear...) and of course Jordan Catalano himself, Jared Leto who was there performing with 60 Minutes to Uranus. If you watch the actual broadcast, it looked a LOT more polished and professional a show, but watching the actual production, it was anything BUT a smooth ride. Since we were in the upper area for most of it, barely an audible word could be heard! We were clapping for god-knows-what when Slipknot and Leatherface, who was shit-faced and proudly wearing his Black Label Society biker vest, announced an award. Pissed HARD CANDY got snubbed, glad DEVIL'S REJECTS kicked ass, and very surprised that the show looked as good as it did! The after party, thanks to my mate Luke, was awesome. They weren't allowing ANYONE in; even claims of "My films gonna be nominated next year!" or "Don't you know who's smell is on my fingers?" didn't help. But Luke waited long after we even left, our feets and dignity hurting while waiting outside the club, and got us in, and I was so glad. Everyone was there, and we had a great time laughing it up with all the fright club gang while downing free sushi and mini pumpkin pies (yum!), all of us guys saying to each other "Is it me or are all of our wives/girlfriends WAAAYYY too hot to be with us geeks?"
If you want to see some of the pics from the night, swing over HERE.

Not sure if I mentioned this enough times, but Im a HUGE Oingo Boingo fan. Ever since I saw Danny and Co. play "Dead Man's Party" at Thorton Melon's house party in BACK TO SCHOOL, I was a fan. Then, WIERD SCIENCE came out, and I forever knew I was a BOINGO fan. Of course when Danny started doing scores I followed that career path, but was always an OINGO devotee. Well, when my composer Bear told me that the rest of the band, who he works with on the GALACTICA score, did all the instruments on the WT2 score, I was having a geek epileptic fit. Its an amazing honor to have their work on my film, and when Bear told me he was performing with the band on their annual Halloween reunion, I could not miss it. Because Bri, another huge fan, was sick, I went solo, but it was a grand time. I wondered if the band would feel as energetic, vital and fun without their old frontman, but they were in full effect, tearing through classics and obscure hits with the same energy as a hip, new hardcore band playing their first gig at the Whiskey. I felt like I was in a Bret Easton Elis book, transported back to the 80's Sunset strip, getting a taste of the feeling of seeing this band in his heyday. There were even skinny ties, hair-spray frozen 'dos, and vintage BOINGO T's in the crowd to further the illusion of a time warp....and Bear then came out, as Jack Skelington and accordion in hand, and played a few songs from NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS, which the crowd ate up. Actually, it seemed that there were more XMAS fans than BOINGO fans, but regardless, I can now cross off OINGO BOINGO from the list of bands/artists Ive dreamed of seeing live that I missed for one reason or another. Some others on the list include FAITH NO MORE, DOWNER, PANTERA & NIRVANA, and you can see why the latter two aint gonna happen anytime soon.

Been TRYING to catch up on flicks so here's some recent shots in the dark:
-TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE: THE BEGINNING: Graphic as hell and very well made, but its just the same movie over and over...R. Lee Emery and Andy B do great work performance wise, as does Jordana Brewster's ass crack.
-BABEL: An amazing film. Loved it. It's the kind of movie that sneak up on your brain when you're driving home from work, days after seeing it, and you remember
-THE PRESTIGE: God damn, now THAT's cinematic storytelling! Nolan at his sharpest, using flashbacks in flashbacks and great performances to suck you totally into the story. A must see TWICE film.
-MARIE ANTOINETTE: This was curious. Bri and I saw at the DGA and as a mood piece, a tonal work of a girl coming-of-age and fish-out-of-water (enough dashes here, christ!), i really liked it. I admire Sophia Coppola as a director, having loved VIRGIN SUICIDES and LOST IN TRANSLATION, and like the path she took with a historical epic. If you're looking for a history lesson, see another flick. This is the best "girlie" movie since FLY AWAY HOME...quote that muthafuckas!
-THE DEPARTED: When I saw GOODFELLAS on HBO back around 91, I couldn't believe my eyes OR my ears. It was such a visceral experience, and I felt that it was where I learned how to edit with gusto and shoot with nitros (thanks Thelma Schoonmaker and Michael Bauhaus, respectively) It changed the way I viewed moviemaking, and felt that Scorsese had opened my heart up and shoved a lightning bolt up my ass. It took monster movies to suck me into filmmaking; it took GOODFELLAS to suck me into personal, visionary filmmaking. Ever since, Sir Marty never captured that bolt in a bottle...whether it be the material (KUNDUN or AGE OF INNOCENCE anyone?) or his drive (making faux "important" films like AVIATOR & GANGS OF NEW YORK, which smacked of "Oscar nomination of bust". But now, Scorsese seems to have found himself back in black with THE DEPARTED, which is a remake of the semi-classic Hong Kong crime pot-boiler INFERNAL AFFAIRS, and surprisingly enough, THE DEPARTED is a much better film. I felt like I was experiencing GOODFELLAS for the first time again, watching a master toy with the audience using energetic visuals, whip-crack editing (thank you again, Thelma), some of the best, most complicated performances of the year (not a false note in the bunch, including Jack tearing the screen apart with bloody fists and a black dildo) and a killer soundtrack to compliment the twists and turns. One of the best of the year and I can't wait to see it again; I feel spoiled with all these great movies!

SCREAMFEST: We tried VERY hard to get WT2 into SCREAMFEST this year but it was not to be, sniff. But, SF06 was pretty fucking sweet, a wonderful forum for horror fans to see films that either don't have distribution, exposure or support from the industry. It was here that I got to see Steven C. Miller's TEAR-ANUS first film AUTOMATON TRANSFUSION (say that 6 times fast!) which is a no-budget zombie film of the highest order. It had the same passion behind the camera as EVIL DEAD or EL MARACHI did, and an amazing feat they made this balls out splatter movie for 30k, shot in 9 days, on 24p! See this movie. I also got to see Mike Mendez's GRAVEDANCERS, which I've been waiting nearly 6 years to check out, and was it worth the wait. If you're familiar with Mendez's prior work (THE CONVENT, THE REAL KILLERS) you'd expect the film to be very extreme in style and tone, and yet this is more classic-ly made, more american gothic, and a major step forward for Mendez. Its hard to creep me out these days, but there are images in this film that are borne of true horror of the unknown, and the design of the "ghouls" in the film are really the thing of nightmares. Evil grins have never been so creepy.
Overall I had a blast going to the festival this year; it was great seeing some horror get its full frontal exposure, a perfect primer for H'Ween and hopefully someday I'll have a flick in the there year...congrats Brad and Rachel and all the SF crew, even though they took away my TRIPPER premiere tickets, but it was for the greater good of distribution so it was hopefully worth the sacrifice.

On Monday Bri and I met up with some of the Fright Club to check out NIGHTMARE BEFORE XMAS in 3D. What a sight to behold. It didn't surpass the genius of the MONSTER HOUSE 3D experience, but god damn if Jack Skelington didn't literally jump off the screen. I dont think I've seen NIGHTMARE in a while, so it was refreshing to see it again in a new "light". If it's still around, I highly recommend seeing it, especially if you have Sally or Oogie Boogie dolls on your desk. Between this and Boingo playing some songs from XMAS, Im now fully ready for Halloween.

I FINALLY got to see Takashi Miike's MASTERS OF HORROR episode, IMPRINT, which was deemed "too intense" for Showtime who banned it from airtime and is now on DVD. I can see why they felt queazy; it is an amazing piece of art in that Miike, in what I think is one of his BEST works yet, balances some of the most picturesque, cinematic and color-saturated shots I've ever witnessed with some of the most gruesome and disturbing images ever put to film. I personally think Miike has a magic book of taboos, things you can't or arrent supposed to display in any art form and then just fucking goes for it. There is no other filmmaker working today that takes the risks he does, and does it with total moral abandon, which ends up making for the most amazing, provocative and intense cinema going. IMPRINT, with it's over-the-top acting (Billy Drago is perfectly cast) and fractured, ROSHOMON type storytelling, is nothing short of "Beautifully Disgusting" - Joe Lynch.

Holy shit. TEXAS CHAINSAW 2 was a major influence on WRONG TURN 2, but I just got the new "Gruesome Edition" DVD that just came out, and fuck me this is one hell of a splatter flick. Sure its jokey, fine it's dated, but its also VERY intense, has some amazing splatter by the master Tom Savini, and its one of the few films in the TCM franchise that is a direct sequel to a previous installment; most of the other films are just retreads of the same story "engine" as the original Hooper classic. Here Tobe seems to be playing with how far he can go with the film, much to the fan's delight. Plus, the place that the Sawyer family (brilliant moniker, just one of the black humor moments that work well in this movie) lives is named "Texas Battle Land"...Texas Battle???? Like my actor?????? Fuck I really do have creepy ties to this film! If you're looking for a juicy slice of 80's splatter, look no fucking further.
"The Saw is Family!!"

Deftones - Got lucky enough to hear an advanced copy of the new DEFTONES album, SATURDAY NIGHT WRIST. Being a longtime Defontes Devotee, I was disappointed with the last album (I think all bands should NOT follow Metallica's suit and name albums after the just doesn't work and doesn't set any feel of importance) but let me keep it short and sweet. THIS ALBUM FUCKING ROCKS. With a new producer at the boards, you can actually hear a band reinvigorated, revived, ALIVE. This is a wonderful evolution for the band, and the album is a major achievement. Good to have you back guys, its been a while.
HERE is the first video for "Hole in the Earth" which is pretty cool...

WHEW!!!! Now that's an update! Lots more to come...

Happy Halloween!

Staying Scary,

PS: Check out a HILARIOUS short my friends Adam, Ryan& Rotten did. It finally puts an end to my debate on which burger franchise is better, and who's spoke-person is more of a fucking bad-ass.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Vancouver in Rear-View

Hi all,

Its been a week since I got back from Vancouver and still feel like Im getting over it. Or at least getting over the idea that Im pretty much done with the film. The picture's locked, the color correction is tweaked as far as we could without pissing the German TV market (supposedly they hate over-saturated and contrasty content; they're gonna HATE CRANK) and the ambitious mix is, well...mixed, thanks to the amazing work by Post Modern Sound in BC, specifically Ian and Greg at the boards who really kicked ass with a very short amount of time. Our final night was INSANE; trying to fit in a crew screening for some of the local peeps where they ended up waiting 4 hours to watch it (just like the good old days where you waited in line for a movie like EMPIRE STRIKES BACK or MUPPETS TAKE MANHATTAN...yeah, I did so what?) was overly ambitious but we got it done and while I walked away going "I hope we got this" and "fuck am I happy with that?" its pretty killer what we achieved in the short amount of time we had. I really wanted to play with sound since its soooooo fucking important in the telling of a film...and they guys gave us a ton to play with. Now that it's been a week away from seeing it almost every waking second for the past 3 months Im excited to see it again, with hopfully fresh eyes.

I also have another cameo now in the film. I'll leave it for you to find, but its pretty funny. When we thought we were fucked from a vocal performance that just didnt work, I jumped into the booth and just cranked some audio electricity and voila, Cameo #2...take that Hitchcock!

Im still in awe of Bear's score. Seriously, if you could take Ennio Morricone, John Carpenter and Taiko drums and put them into a room with machetes to have at each other, the wails of murder heard from inside would sound like the score he provided. Just the right amount of proper dread, excitement and odd-ball atmosphere that made the film come alive in so many place. There's even an 80's flavored end credit cue named "Love Theme from WRONG TURN 2" that seriously made me feel like I was listening to the music as we're driving out of the drive in, the end credit music still blasting from the FM transmission. It's a perfect cue that keeps the "80's" love alive to the very last second of the flick. Man, he makes the movie feel HUGE. If you haven't watched BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, fuck man, stop reading this and get the DVD's. I watch them now just to hear the score...

But now Vancouver is in my rear view, and I miss it. The city had such an energy, a sexy charm, a vitality that I really responded to. As much as I lay my head in L.A, I dont feel as home here as I do in Vancouver. It reminds me of New York, of home. The people there are so wonderful too...the last night I was there was just another example of being so welcome in the town, my "tour guides" Adushka and Lauren led me from BAR NONE (where I ran into my good buddy Jay Brown, who was bouncing there...small world you slice of shit!) to the penthouse of an Indian Prince. Huh?!? What a fucking night. every time I go to Vancouver, the last night has always proved to be memorable. I cannot wait to go back.

We hit the TRIPPER party last to shake hands with Alexis Arquette...awesome. Paris Hilton was there too, and Ryan got a picture with her...double awesome. See some pics HERE.

Have you seen the GRINDHOUSE trailer? If you want to peek inside my brain, there it is. It seriously has....EVERYTHING. Blood, bullets, Rose Macgowan's boobs...and Tom Savini. And this isn't even QT's part yet!!!
God bless Cinema. Gaze upon the glory HERE.

The Tenacious D movie is fast approaching the Light of Day (another amazing rock flick...M.J. Fox and Joan Jett?) they've released a music video to accompany the film's release like the good old days when they actually made music videos that tied into films...ah, the 80's. Its pretty cool, a girl we know from Whole Foods is in it, and Im assuming it was directed by "cousin" Liam Lynch. Check it out HERE.

SCREAMFEST is this and next week. Saw a "killer" documentary called GOING TO PIECES which covered the late 70's-early 80's Slasher movie boom and it was great to see it, especailly with a rapt audience. It's on Starz this month; if you're in LA, support the horror scene and see one of the flicks in the festival. So far I've seen a few of the films, including HATCHET (another 80's slasher love fest that really delivers and you'll never forget the name Victor Crowley) and BEHIND THE MASK (MAN BITES DOG meets SPINAL TAP...its fucking gold and you'll never forget the name Leslie Vernon) and excited to see others there, including Steve Miller's AUTOMATION *** and Mike Mendez's GRAVEDANCERS. If you're around and hungry for gore (I mean fuck, it is October!) come on down!

You can check out info on SCREAMFEST HERE.

Going to the Fango Chainsaw awards tomorrow night...hope to have some juicy pics and stories soon.

Staying Scary,

Monday, October 02, 2006

Title says it all....


You dont know how happy this picture makes me. GRINDHOUSE is going to be a monumental event for me, you and all of us.
For now we only get this spy shot from AICN, but its enough to get me as hard as an unrated cut of CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST.

Yes! Another Shocktober...and an ABOMINABLE one

Hey (both of you),

Up and ready to jump into the sound mix. One more week and then Im done. Its really sad to think that I've been working on this practically every day since early march, and now, with the final touches being made to it, its almost fully complete. I gotta admit, even though Im very close to the fucker, and it's practically suckling my geek tit, I think people are really going to dig this movie. I really do. If they don't, well then all those friends who groaned at me for bringing over RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD or STREET TRASH to the sleepover parties back in the day can say "I told you he had no taste". Balls in your court boys.

But lo and behold, its October!!! You know what that means kiddies??? TONS of horror related things a happenin' and Im psyched. Never thought I'd say I'd be working on my own horror film around this time, but I can, and that fills my little evil heart with juicy joy.

For now though, as fans of the genre (as I know you little pervs are), go out and start picking up some of the new blood out there keeping the scene alive. Ryan Schifrin, a friend of mine since we chance encountered in line for a 2001 MANIACS screening back in 2005, has his first big feature film coming out tomorrow and its a whopper of a cool monster flick. Whats funny is that I had seen the film twice now, and each time i see it it gets better. The first time was as a "disasterous" (Ryan's words) test screening, but from the ashes of that came a new, meaner, NASTIER cut and its now a VERY fun movie. You dont get too many "monster" movies these days, but Ryan, like myself and a lot of others in our Horror Coffee Klatch, grew up in the 80's heyday of horror, and he proudly wears his influences on screen, and it works. Plus, throw in the talented and beautiful Tiffany Shepis into the mix (who meets a very THE BLOB 88 like climax...nerd alert) and some amazing production value and cast and you have one hell of a night on the couch. It comes out tomorrow. Have you ordered your copy yet?

Here is a link to the ABOMINABLE site..ROAR
Here is a link to myspace page... DOUBLE ROAR!

Happy Shocktober!!!