Among the living creatures seen in Dracula’s castle in Transylvania are opossums, armadillos, and an insect known as a Jerusalem cricket (Stenopalmatus Fuscus).
The Jerusalem cricket was common in Southern California, which may explain its cameo in the film.
The inclusion of armadillos was due to the fact that armadillos had occasionally been seen digging in graveyards, which led to the mistaken belief that they would dig their way into coffins and eat the cadavers.
Elvira: Mistress of the Dark was produced by NBC, which set up a distribution deal with New World Pictures. Just as the film was slated to hit theaters, New World filed for bankruptcy. The marketing campaign was abruptly halted and the release was scaled back from thousands of theaters to just a few hundred. Critics were brutal and, without promotion to entice potential viewers, the film bombed at the box office, though it later became a best-seller on video and one of the highest-rated programs of the year when NBC aired it in 1990.
As today is National Coming Out Day, I thought it would be appropriate to feature Elvira.
Lois Clark Duncan notoriously hated Kevin Williamson’s slasher reinvention of her relatively non-violent young-adult novel classic of 1973, and she did not hide her hostility to the media. She said she was “outraged” at how bloody Williamson made her story. Nobody died in her version, so, in that sense, her story was more like an old-school mystery, not a slasher. The movie was a blockbuster though, spawning several sequels and even talk of a tv series, and all this did not hurt Duncan’s book sales, which quadrupled 10-fold after the classic 90s slasher came out.
Did you know that Melissa Joan Hart was up for the role of Julie James? She turned them down, saying, “It just seemed like another Scream ripoff.”
The working title for David Cronenberg’s Dead Ringers was “Gemini.” The studio did not like it, and the working title was updated to “Twins.” This was changed to “Dead Ringers” after Ivan Reitman, who had produced two of David Cronenberg’s early films, approached Cronenberg about purchasing the rights to use the title “Twins.” This title was then used for the Danny DeVito/Arnold Schwarzenegger film Twins (1988).
It’s hard to imagine this movie being called anything other than Dead Ringers, let alone something as plain as Twins.
Did you know that the producers of Jaws thought it would be possible to train a live great white shark for the film? Not only is it impossible to hold a great white in captivity, but marine biologists have also proven the idea of training such a fish is laughable.
With the exception of some copyrighted music they had the rights to, the soundtrack of 1974’s The Texas Chainsaw Massacre contains no sounds from musical instruments. Instead, they used sounds an animal would hear inside a slaughterhouse.
Alfred Hitchcock would constantly make puns and double-entendres on the set of The Birds. The last straw came when Suzanne Pleshette asked if she could add a line, and he replied, “You mean, Sweet Adeline?” She then reacted by tackling the director, dictating, “If you continue this, you are gonna pay the price.” According to Suzanne in a 2006 interview with Stephen J. Abramson, “People were SHITTING” when they saw her run him down.
The house seen in the movie in real life does not and never actually did exist. The film-makers could not find a suitable mansion to use for the film so, at a cost of around $200,000, the production had a Victorian gothic mansion façade attached to the front of a much more modern dwelling in a Vancouver street. This construction was used for the filming of all the exteriors of the movie’s Carmichael Mansion. The interiors of the haunted house were an elaborate group of interconnecting sets built inside a film studio in Vancouver.