According to Piper Laurie, she honestly thought her character in Carrie (1976) was too over the top fanatical to be taken seriously. Director Brian De Palma had to take her to the side and personally tell her it was a horror film and not a “black comedy” as she thought it was. Even so, she would constantly burst out into laughter between takes because not only was her characterization and wardrobe laughable in her eyes, but the dialogue itself was humorous for her. To this day, she still refers to and maintains the movie as a black comedy.
The effect of Sadako coming out of the well was accomplished with only one simple special effect. The actress who played Sadako, Rie Ino’o—who was a student of the Kabuki theatre, which uses exaggerated motion and jerking movements to emphasize emotion—was heavily involved in the development of the Sadako character. Ino’o was filmed walking backward and the film was run in reverse. The end result is Sadako walking forward with unnatural motions.
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.