Want to see more of the action? Well, you’re in luck because the movie is headed to your local multiplex in just a few days! Director Shane Black’s The Predator hits theaters on September 14th, 2018, so there’s still time for a couple of more clips in the meantime. Stay tuned to Horror News Network for more details on The Predator as they break!
Living in Los Angeles, I never take for granted that haunt season kicks off the second week of September every year with opening night of Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood, and it has consistently been one of my favorite experiences as a genre fan over the last decade. Ahead of HHN’s opening night on September 14th, Daily Dead had the opportunity to tour the upcoming Stranger Things maze, which will be featured not only at Universal Studios Hollywood, but will also be part of the fright-filled festivities at both Universal Studios Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Singapore.
John Murdy, Halloween Horror Night’s Creative Director here in Hollywood, took our press group through the impressive setup for Stranger Things last week, and for the first time ever, Murdy and his team were able to utilize a sound stage for a maze, giving them an enormous amount of space to build in, and allowing them the ability to enact some of their more ambitious technical feats in their Stranger Things attraction.
Murdy explained how the stars aligned this year, saying, “With all the construction going on around the park, this sound stage became an island amongst all that construction and we were able to get it, which was fantastic because we don’t often get sound stages. It was very exciting, and I immediately knew Stranger Things had to be inside the sound stage because a lot of it deals with lighting control, and I knew we could really utilize all this space to its fullest.”
The Strangers Things maze will transport fans throughout a variety of familiar locations from season 1 of the hit Netflix series, including the Byers House, the Hawkins Laboratory, the Upside Down, and the kids’ elementary school science classroom for the big showdown with the Demogorgon, plus attendees will also experience a few more key places like Castle Byers (both iterations) and a lot of wooded terrains as they essentially travel through the maze following the journey of Will Byers in that inaugural season.
“Initially, we thought about combining both seasons, but halfway through that process we stopped and realized it didn’t feel right,” said Murdy. “It felt like we’re jumping around too much. It didn’t have a flow to it. And so, the more that we watched season 1, we just knew that this is a great show and we had to take our time with it. So, we went back and took a season 1 approach. It’s a good thing we did that, because that’s exactly what they [the Duffer brothers] had in their heads, too.”
“That’s the thing—TV is usually harder in the sense that there is always a wealth of material, and trying to fit it all in can be a challenge. This stage that we’re on is bigger, so that gives us a lot more room and we took more time to do all these extra things so that we could do justice by season 1.”
According to Murdy, the Demogorgon will be teased throughout the Stranger Things maze, and while they were excited to get the molds of the creature from Spectral Motion that were used for the series, he quickly realized that there was still work to be done in bringing the monstrosity to life for Halloween Horror Nights.
“I contacted Spectral Motion, and we got the molds and ran positives of the molds. Pretty quickly, though, we realized how much of this creature is CGI, as there was a guy on set wearing a suit, but his entire head was just a green hood, so all the of the teeth and the mouth and the movements were due to CGI effects. The feet also stuck out, where the performer was wearing green booties over his feet, so it wasn’t practical to take that exact sculpt and make it work for the maze. So, what we had to do instead is we had our sculpting team sculpt out their own version using the positive mold that we had of the original design, and then we could fill in those blanks and create our own version.”
Because of their ambitious approach to the Stranger Things maze, Murdy and his various teams encountered several other challenges while crafting the maze’s various areas. For the Byers house, even though the show takes place during the 1980s, the art department had to dial everything back to the 1970s, down to the wallpaper and furniture, because this isn’t a home that had really seen any major improvements over the years. Another big challenge was recreating the Upside Down, as the Duffer brothers have the advantage of utilizing technology for the series, but for Murdy, they had to find a way to do it all practically, which involved wrapping hundreds of fiber optic lights in swatches of cotton in order to diffuse the extremity of the micro-fixtures for park guests.
And while it might seem like there would be a simple setup involved with installing all the Christmas lights in the Byers house, it turned out that the HHN team had to run every single strand of lights over 150 feet back to the lighting room in order to achieve the chasing effect that was introduced in Stranger Things, as Will would communicate with Joyce through the lights. Oh, and for fans who are curious, even the rotary phone that Joyce uses play a key component in the Stranger Things attraction, effectively proving that once again, Murdy and all the talented artists behind this and all the Halloween Horror Nights are the masters of tuning into all those key details that fans enjoy about their handiwork each and every year.
Before we wrapped our tour of the Strangers Thing attraction with Murdy, he also discussed two of the other immersive experiences that fans in Hollywood will get to walk through during this year’s festivities: the Halloween 4 maze (where he confirmed that good ol’ Bucky would be making an appearance!) and their tribute to the Universal Monsters, which features an original score from legendary musician and horror enthusiast Slash.
“I’ve said before that a Universal Monsters maze was never going to work, so I’ve eaten my words a few times over the years. I said the same thing about The Shining, and then one day we did it. The same thing with TheExorcist, too. I had always wanted to do it, but I thought it would be terribly difficult to translate that movie to a maze. For the last 13 years, we have this list of 40 to 50 properties that we keep and pull out as we start the planning process, and then we eventually whittle that list down to a certain amount of properties that we’re going to go after. Every single year, the Universal Monsters have been on that list, and every year I personally take it off out of fear, more than anything. Because I love those films more than anything—except my children, of course—and they’re a huge part of my life.”
“So, to make something that didn’t work, I wasn’t willing to go there. It’s not easy to do, either. It’s not easy to take movies that are nearly 100 years old and make them relevant to a modern horror audience without obliterating what they are. It’s got to be scary, but it’s got to be scary without completely ignoring what made these characters so iconic in the first place.”
“For Halloween 4, a lot of times when we work with movies, sometimes spoilers are an issue and sometimes they’re not. A lot of the time, we’re out in front of these new movies, like last year, we were months ahead of the last Insidious movie, but that was fine. It wasn’t fine for the new Halloween. We knew that this is a movie that is a big relaunch for the franchise, and it doesn’t even come out until October 19th, so we would be giving it all away because we can’t just half-ass anything. We had a very difficult decision to make because we wanted to do it.”
“But we did “Titans of Terror” last year, and Michael [Myers] wasn’t invited to the party, so I wanted to do Michael Myers again. We ended up doing Halloween 4 because we wanted Michael back and it has a lot of great beats to it that work really well for a maze. On the surface, it may not seem logical, but we’ve done Halloween, we’ve done Halloween II and we have touched on Halloween III multiple times, so it made sense to do Halloween 4 this year,” Murdy added.
Anyone remember the 2002 movie Ghost Ship? Man, that sucker started off so well and then quickly took a nosedive into the murky depths, never to be spoken of again. But, in hindsight, maybe it’s not all that bad. But, speaking of supernatural ships/boats, we’ve just learned that Winston Azzopardi’s directorial debut, The Boat, will be […]
Deadline reports that Netflix is working on an “all rights acquisition deal” with Lantern Entertainment for Polaroid. The streaming giant has a track record of securing studio films with troubled release dates for digital releases, and their track record includes recent acquisitions such as The Cloverfield Paradox and Mowgli. In their report, Deadline notes that it could take a while for the Polaroid deal to wrap up due to the film’s initial ownership transition. Regardless of how long it takes for the film to start streaming, the announcement is good news for fans who just want to be able to watch the movie.
Stay tuned to Horror News Network for more details on the eventual release of Polaroid as soon as they break!
Normally, I kick off interviews by asking my subjects for a brief bio, but Jake Busey needs no introduction. After some choice roles in Contact and The Frighteners, he broke out in a big way with Starship Troopers in 1997 and has been working nonstop ever since. Still, 2018 and 2019 are shaping up to be red-letter years for the actor.
In addition to Shane Black’s The Predator, which finally invades US theaters nationwide this weekend, Busey has prominent parts in the upcoming seasons of Stranger Things and Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Dread Central was lucky enough to catch up with Busey for an exclusive sit down, where we discussed his past successes and future prospects. Check it out below, followed by the synopsis and trailer for The Predator, arriving Friday, September 14th, at the bottom of the article.
Dread Central: Back in November 2016, we heard rumors of a Starship Troopers reboot brewing at Columbia with Paul Verhoeven directing from a script penned by Mark Swift and Damian Shannon. Do you know anything about it?
Jake Busey: I heard a little bit about something brewing as well. I saw Casper [Van Dien] and [screenwriter] Edward Neumeier at the 20-Year reunion last summer. I believe they’ve already done it and it turned into an animated thing like Johnny Rico Goes to Mars or something.
DC: I remember that. Starship Troopers: Traitor of Mars came out in 2017, but I didn’t realize that was the reboot they were talking about. That’s pretty disappointing, actually. So, there aren’t any plans for a live-action reboot?
JB: I don’t know. I certainly haven’t been invited. Although I did tell them that if they’re planning on doing that to let me know, that I’d love to come back and be Ace Levy, the old general or something.
DC: I think we all want to know what Ace has been up to. That guy was such a kooky character!
JB: When the movie first came out, we really hoped it would become a powerhouse franchise. But all the sequels were kind of like low budget, independent film… experiments with the theme of Starship Troopers. Nothing like the original which had a $125 million budget and Paul Verhoeven directing it. For me, I still feel like there’s only been one real Starship Troopers film, because not only was the narrative changed, but the characters who survived the first film didn’t return, with the exception of Casper.
DC: Do you feel like Starship Troopers didn’t take off like it should have because people didn’t get it? I mean, I feel like viewers over the age of 21 could see that it was blistering political satire, but even today I think a lot of fans just don’t get what the director was doing.
JB: That was a big thing. I’ll be the first one to admit that it took Paul telling me during the film, “This is communism vs fascism.” His earliest years were during World War II in the Netherlands, and the Nazis had bombs going off all around him. He was just a scared kid at the time and it made a big impact on him. So, the film had these undertones where you had to know world history in order to put it all together. If you were just a young person looking to see a fun movie like Transformers or something, you missed the irony. There’s a bigger message being conveyed and Paul is really a genius. But your absolutely right, for a lot of people, it just went over their heads. I read a review article just last year by a movie critic who finally got it after 20 years. It was a great article and went in depth about all the political undertones in the film.
I think the biggest thing that really hurt the film was that the studio really wanted a teen-friendly movie, something that would have 14-year-old boys flocking to the theaters. But you’ve got the director who made RoboCop and Total Recall and very violent films, so we had a ton of gore and blood in Starship Troopers too. Because we were dealing with giant bugs and everything was tongue-in-cheek, though, it didn’t seem that violent to those of us working on the film. It was almost comedic in that sense.
When the film came out, I was working on Enemy of the State in Baltimore. I was with my girlfriend at the time (who’s now my wife), she and I saw that Starship Troopers was in the playing nearby and we were excited to see it. But the sad part was, right on the glass in front of the theater they had these fliers taped up all over, maybe 20 or 30 fliers all along the length of the building, saying: “ID Required to see Starship Troopers”.
DC: What a bummer.
JB: So, nobody could sneak in and the box office numbers were bad. There was a whole line of toys but they were only on the shelves at Toys ‘r Us for a week. I really wish I had bought a bunch of them; I only ever picked up, like, $100 worth. They’d probably be worth something today!
DC: Maybe when people see you in The Predator and read this article, it’ll start some Starship Troopers reboot buzz again. I mean, I’d just love to see Rico and Ace back together again, ripping ship up with Carmen Ibanez (Denise Richards) and Sgt. Zim (Clancy Brown) and Carl Jenkins (Neil Patrick Harris)—and I know I’m not the only one!
JB: That would be amazing. A lot of us have gone on to do other projects, like Neil, and to come back to the world of Starship Troopers after all this time, 20-22 years, would be awesome.
DC: Maybe we can get someone to launch a petition!
JB: One of the big issues is that the studio now isn’t run by the same people who were in charge when we made Starship Troopers. It’s a new, younger group of individuals who might not get the gist of what it was all about and what a cult hit it’s become. They just look at what the opening week box office numbers were. I think Starship Troopers made $70 million its opening weekend, but they spent $125 million, so they regarded it as a loss. They need get their heads out of their bean-counter butts and look at the tenure of the film and how it’s stood the test of time. It’s always on cable somewhere!
DC: It really is one of those movies you can watch ten times and enjoy just as much the eleventh time.
JB: People tell me all that time that whenever it’s on, they just have to watch it.
DC: I think it’s the closest thing to a “feel good” horror movie ever made.
JB: [Laughs] I suppose it is.
DC: I think our readers would probably revolt if I didn’t ask you a few questions about a little film called The Predator. What can you tell us in terms of whether we’ll be seeing a reboot or a sequel?
JB: The film definitely carries the spirit and tone of the first two movies. Shane Black told me this movie isn’t so much a reboot as it is a return to the original narrative, something lateral to the Alien vs Predator movies and Predators [released in 2010]. So, Shane considers the first two movies to be the original narrative, but he didn’t talk about the one with Adrien Brody [Predators]. I don’t know if he considers it Predator 3 or Predator 4, honestly. And The Predator doesn’t hit you over the head with a specific time or date or place.
But I think it’ll reach a broader audience than the original film. This one will be more accessible to women and kids. One of the leads driving the movie is Olivia Munn and she has a huge fanbase. Back in the day, Schwarzenegger holding a fifty-caliber machine gun in the middle of the jungle wasn’t exactly something most women wanted to see. This will be a far better date movie.
DC: And, or course, you’re playing the son of Peter Keyes from Predator 2, who was played by your real-life father [Gary Busey].
JB: Yeah, I’m playing Sean Keyes, which really makes a point for The Predator being part of the original narrative. I was very fortunate that Shane asked me to participate. It’s the first part I got where it was 100% nepotism! I was delighted when he asked me to be involved. I thought it was a great idea and it was really fortunate timing. I only hope I did a good enough job!
DC: Can I ask you about Stranger Things before I let you go?
DC: How will Season 3 compare to the first two seasons of Stranger Things?
JB: It’s going to be fantastic! It’s going to be edge-of-your-seat entertainment that fans will want to binge-watch in a single sitting. I think the first season was a bit of an introduction to that world and the people of Hawkins. In the second season, we got to see these characters get completely immersed in this “Upside Down” world where they faced really daunting odds. I think Season 3 is more like a nonstop roller coaster and it’s going to be big. That’s why it’s not coming out until 2019 because it’s going to be the best season yet.
DC: On IMDB it looks like you’ve got some great projects in pre-production. Is there anything you’re especially excited to plug?
JB: I’m just really excited to be part of Stranger Things Season 3 and The Predator. I’m also really looking forward to playing Tony Caine again in the next season of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. which started filming in July. Marvel is so secretive you never know what’s going to happen to your character-or when or how! So, it’s almost like a birthday present when they call and say, “Okay, we need you next week”. All of these projects are dreams come true.
DC: It sounds like you’re having a career renaissance.
JB: I’m trying, man. I’ve been knocking on doors for a long time now!
DC: Anyone who’s followed your work knows that you’ve been making films and TV since you started, but it’s great to see you getting this bigger, high profile parts. Congratulations!
JB: Thank you for that. I appreciate it!
Synopsis: From the outer reaches of space to the small-town streets of suburbia, the hunt comes home. The universe’s most lethal hunters are stronger, smarter and deadlier than ever before, having genetically upgraded themselves with DNA from other species. When a boy accidentally triggers their return to Earth, only a ragtag crew of ex-soldiers and an evolutionary biologist can prevent the end of the human race.
Are you a fan of Jake Busey? Would you love to see an actual Starship Troopers sequel or reboot? Are you excited to check out The Predator this Friday? Sound off in the comments below or on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram!
If you’ve been following our collective of hot ladies nest and sexiest images, you know sooner or later we’d have to address lovely Megan. In fact, she’s had so many photo shots taken that you’d be hard pressed not to ever come across several of them. An actress who has graced plenty of films and …
It may have been 40 years since Michael Myers returned to terrorise his hometown but the horror is as real today…
Revisit Haddonfield this Halloween as John Carpenter’s classic horror film is re-released on DVD, Blu-ray and for the first time on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray (which also includes 5 lobby-style artcards) to celebrate 40 years of terror
In today’s Horror Highlights, we have the trailer and poster for Philip Chidel’s post-apocalyptic thriller The Outer Wild. We also have details on Drunken Devil’s Halloween extravaganza Bacchanalia, and details on Stealing Fire: The Mastery of the Outsider, a new class featuring a conversation between artist Joe Coleman and writer/producer Heather Buckley as part of The Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies in New York City.
Check Out a Trailer and Poster for The Outer Wild: “THE OUTER WILD was written and directed by Philip Chidel (SUBJECT TWO), and stars Lauren McKnight (SO UNDERCOVER), Christian Oliver (HOUSE OF GOOD AND EVIL), Jeffrey Vincent Parise (CW’s “Supernatural”), Tory Taranova (EVERYBODY WANTS SOME!!), Jimmy Jean-Louis (NBC’s “Heroes”), and Zach Roerig (CW’s “The Vampire Diaries”).
THE OUTER WILD is a genre-bending thriller, part post-apocalyptic western and part Sci-Fi/horror/thriller, a generation after the unnatural event that has destroyed mankind. A new breed of creature, mutated from man, now runs the earth. Survivors live in colonies meant for protection — but mutations continue, and numbers are dwindling. Man’s time on Earth is over.
Now, a girl named Laura might hold the key to saving everyone. But when an experiment goes horribly wrong, she flees the colony to head for a refuge that may or may not exist — a fabled safe haven under a mysterious red star, where life is rumored to be as perfect as it should be. She is pursued by a bounty hunter named Cole, who ultimately helps her find this better place. But to get there, they must brave a dangerous wilderness infested with creatures both known and not.
As Laura discovers the lands outside the Colony for the first time, she finds this world is nothing like she had been told. Morality seems to have been lost along with mankind in the crisis that had killed the earth, and the lines between man and animal are blurred. Now, as she and Cole pioneer their way towards a better future, Laura questions whether mankind is worth saving — and in the end, she must face a final sacrifice that will determine the place for humanity at the end of the world.
THE OUTER WILD
On VOD (and limited theaters): September 28th, 2018
Distributor: Red Hound Films
Production Company: Chambo Films
Runtime: 85 minutes
Drunken Devil’s Bacchanalia Halloween Party Details: “Following the success of Bloody Gras, To Live and Di(n)e in LA, and Sin-A-Rama, Drunken Devil reveals its Halloween special event: Bacchanalia, a wild evening inspired by both the sadistic rule of Caligula and the hedonistic Roman festivals of Bacchus. Drunken Devil’s current party series explores the seven deadly sins, with characters based off each, and Bacchanalia will focus on Caligula as the embodiment of “Gluttony,” with attendees immersing themselves in an interactive storyline and indulging in a feast for the senses.
In Bacchanalia, Drunken Devil guests will be welcomed into the court of one of Rome’s most infamous rulers, Caligula, and invited to participate in an interactive storyline featuring elements of the ancient Roman festival in honor of the god of wine, Bacchus. The immersive narrative will focus on Caligula’s salacious and scandalous reign and guests will find themselves embroiled in a potential plot to overthrow the emperor. As attendees engage with the story, a raucous party will roar around them and all guests can indulge in the open bar featuring craft cocktails, beer, and -of course- wine.
In addition to the immersive elements and lavish, sinister atmosphere, the guests will enjoy burlesque acts from Erin Bridges (Poetry Cabaret), Olivia Bellafontaine (House of Red Velvet and Blue Velvet), Miss Marquez (Marijuana Madness), Brynn Route (Miss Pole Dance America 2016), and international burlesque performer, Miss Miranda. In addition, the event will feature strolling magic from Academy of Magical Arts Member Jackson Ridd and mystic Zac Young, and dance to the dark disco stylings of DJ Kerry and DJ James Jordan.
“With Drunken Devil, we strive to create the ideal horror nightlife atmosphere and Bacchanalia aims to be our most indulgent and haunting event to date as we bring the audience into the center of drama and intrigue of Caligula’s court,” stated Matt Dorado, Founder and Executive Producer of Drunken Devil. “The festivals of Bacchus were some of the first recorded wild parties in history, and we welcome everyone to indulge in sin, and celebrate Halloween with this dark spin on the original sinful soiree!”
Bacchanalia will take place on Saturday, October 13, 2018, at a secret location in Downtown Los Angeles. The location will be revealed to ticket-holders the day before the event. Guests are encouraged to dress to impress with formalwear fit for Roman gods, but please note Bacchanalia is not a toga party. Tickets to the strictly 21+ celebration are all-inclusive, priced at $85.00, and expected to sell out quickly!
Tickets for Drunken Devil’s Bacchanalia are now available at www.restlessnites.com/bacchanalia
About Drunken Devil
Drunken Devil is a Los Angeles-based entertainment company with an emphasis on horror-themed nightlife, dining experiences, and special events. Based on a character conceived by live entertainment producer Matt Dorado, the company’s aesthetic and vision is deeply rooted in mythology, folklore, kitsch, fine dining, mixology, music, and the horror genre. For more information on the Drunken Devil or this event, please visit thedrunkendevil.com or sign up for the Drunken Devil mailing list here.
Stealing Fire: The Mastery of the Outsider Details: “The Miskatonic Institute Horror Studies – NYC brings you into the world of the artistic Outsider with a unique conversation between film writer/producer Heather Buckley and Brooklyn artist Joe Coleman as they delve into the many characteristics and themes at play in Outsider art, with an intimate focus on symbols and cinema.
There are those who have formally studied their craft—at Universities, through mentorship in pursuit of a vocation through the brush, the scalpel; the camera. There are others that hone the craft as an Outsider, picking up the tools of the Masters to endeavor their own marks, without training guided only by the need to express and to make—to overturn rocks by hand and discover the forbidden.
Joe Coleman has been the Outsider—a Brooklyn artist, carny, once charged with harboring an “infernal device,” picked up these very tools of Creation—the pen and the brush—to create a maelstrom of images and words. He, possessed by arcane narratives, conjures his paintings as they unfold into tapestries of killers, sinners, self-portraits, counter-culture saints and martyrs. His hand untrained but true.
There is an intersection, by accident or intent, where the Master and the Outsider create symbols and works that mirror. There are places where The Master is unsure to go but the Outsider without the boundaries of convention walks into dangerous territory where the soul is confronted and everything is changed and what is a dream and what is real is combined and elevated.
To understand this borderland we must compare objects and acts. And in this unique live conversation moderated by film writer and producer Heather Buckley, Joe Coleman will investigate a series of films and the ways that concepts of high and low art intersect in and around them. The first will be Gerald Kargl’s Angst (1983) and John Parker’s Dementia aka Daughters of Horror (1955) — exploring the serial killer story. Godard’s Alphaville (1965) and Ed Wood Jr.’s Plan 9 From Outer Space (1959) — a comparison of the cast and similar iconography over both works. Sam Peckinpah’s The Wild Bunch (1969) and Charles Brabin’s Beast of the City (1932) — a look at the depiction of violence; realism vs expressionism. And finally, an exploration of an autopsy as performance and in cinema, the trained hand vs. the Outsider.
About the Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies:
Named for the fictional university in H.P. Lovecraft’s literary mythos, the Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies is an international organization that offers university-level history, theory and production-based masterclasses for people of all ages, founded by film writer and programmer Kier-La Janisse in March 2010, with regular branches in London, New York and L.A. as well as presenting special events worldwide. The New York branch is co-run by Joe Yanick of Yellow Veil Pictures and filmmaker Jacqueline Castel.
If the sex offender controversy surrounding Shane Black’s The Predator has you rethinking checking the film out when it arrives in theaters this Friday, September 14th, there is another option: The bloody Nicholas Cage revenge shocker Mandy, directed by Panos Cosmatos (Beyond the Black Rainbow) from a script he co-wrote with Aaron Stewart-Ahn. Now, I’m a Cage fan to begin with, so I need no convincing; if you’re on the fence, however, the insane trailer produced for the Japanese film market might just whet your appetite!
Cage is nothing short of unhinged as he rushed into the eye of a surreal, nightmarish storm of chaos. Give the Japanese trailer a spin below, after the film’s synopsis.
Synopsis: In the Pacific Northwest in 1983, outsiders Red Miller and Mandy Bloom lead a loving and peaceful existence. When their pine-scented haven is savagely destroyed by a cult led by the sadistic Jeremiah Sand, Red is catapulted into a phantasmagoric journey filled with bloody vengeance and laced with deadly fire.
In addition to Cage, Mandy stars Andrea Riseborough, Linus Roache, Ned Dennehy, and Richard Brake.
What do you think of the Japanese trailer for Mandy? Are you interested in seeing the film in theaters this Friday? Sound off in the comments below or on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Instagram!