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#081 Sam Raimi: Evil Dead 2 vs. Spider-Man 3




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In today’s episode Nate and Austin compare Sam Raimi’ best and worst rated films, Evil Dead 2 (1987) and Spider-Man 3 (2007), respectively. Nate goes on about horror films again, Austin has a nostalgia trip, and they both go off on tangents.

Check back next Sunday at 7pm PST where we will compare Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) and The Brothers Bloom (2008), his best and worst rated films.


Also check out this interview with director Sam Raimi about his lowest rated film, Spider-Man 3:


Spider-Man 3 Notes

Worst Rated

PLOT: A strange black entity from another world bonds with Peter Parker and causes inner turmoil as he contends with new villains, temptations, and revenge.

  • Ratings: IMDb 6.2 | RT 63% C / 51% A
  • Released: 2007
  • Director: Sam Raimi
  • Writer(s): Sam Raimi & Ivan Raimi and Alvin Sargent (screenplay), Saim Raimi & Ivan Raimi (screen story), Stan Lee and Steve Ditko (Marvel comic book)
  • Cinematographer: Bill Pope (The Matrix, The Jungle Book, Bound)
  • Notable actors: Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, Thomas Haden Church, Topher Grace, Bryce Dallas Howard, Rosemary Harris, J.K. Simmons, James Cromwell, Theresa Russell, Dylan Baker, Bill Nunn, Bruce Campbell, Elizabeth Banks, Ted Raimi, Perla Haney-Jardine, Willem Dafoe, Cliff Robertson
  • Budget: $258 million
  • Box office: $890.9 million
  • Fun Facts:
    • On May 4th, 2007, while promoting the film on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (1992), Thomas Haden Church revealed that he broke three knuckles during the subway scene where he swings to punch Spider-Man and ends up punching a chunk of the wall away. Church said that the effects crew had told him that the brick in the middle was fake while the upper and lower ones were real. Unfortunately, the foam brick had not actually been put in place yet, and when Sam Raimi yelled ‘action’, Church spun around and punched the real brick on the first take.
    • All of the screams Kirsten Dunst had for this film were recycled from Spider-Man 2 (2004).
    • Bryce Dallas Howard performed her own stunts during the crane accident scene, unaware that she was pregnant at the time of filming.
    • In total, the film took 2 years and 10 months to make.
    • There were many scenes that were shot but never released on DVD including a montage of Peter (in his black suit) taking down criminals and leaving them strung up, tons of character-building moments, a confrontation scene between Captain Stacy and Eddie Brock (where Gwen dumps him at her father’s house) and Peter freaking out after he looks in a mirror and sees a nightmarish version of the Venom symbiote screaming at him.
    • It was considered at one point to split the movie into two films.
    • One of the sounds used for Venom is of a Tasmanian Devil.
    • According to James Franco, they had to go back and do some re-shoots just prior to the release, because test audiences felt that there was not enough action in the film.

Evil Dead 2 Notes

Best Rated

PLOT: The lone survivor of an onslaught of flesh-possessing spirits holes up in a cabin with a group of strangers while the demons continue their attack.

  • Ratings: IMDb 7.8 | RT 98% C / 89% A
  • Released: 1987
  • Director: Sam Raimi
  • Writer(s): Sam Raimi & Scott Spiegel (written by)
  • Cinematographer: Peter Deming (Twin Peaks, Oz the Great and Powerful, Mulholland Drive)
  • Notable actors: Bruce Campbell, Sarah Berry, Dan Hicks, Kassie Wesley DePaiva, Ted Raimi, Denise Bixler
  • Budget: $3.6 million
  • Box office: $5.9 million
  • Fun Facts:
    • During the scene where the severed head of Linda bites Ash’s hand, Bruce Campbell says the single line “work shed”. This line was later re-dubbed in post-production due to the quality of the audio, giving it a strange, slightly “disproportionate” sound to the audio. Nine years later, while filming his cameo in Escape from L.A. (1996), the first thing Kurt Russell said to Bruce Campbell on the set was, jokingly, “Say ‘work shed'”.
    • Stephen King was such a huge fan of The Evil Dead (1981) that he convinced producer Dino De Laurentiis over dinner (who was producing King’s Maximum Overdrive (1986) at the time) to have his production company DEG (De Laurentiis Entertainment Group) finance Evil Dead II.
    • Often considered to be a remake of The Evil Dead (1981); however, this is not accurate. The rights to show scenes from the original could not be obtained to re-cap what happened, so the beginning was remade to explain how Ash got to the cabin, etc.
    • The recap of The Evil Dead (1981) includes a shot where the “evil force” runs through the cabin and rams into Ash. When this shot was filmed, Bruce Campbell suffered a broken jaw when Sam Raimi (who was operating the camera) crashed into him with a bicycle – or so people were led to believe. This was a story concocted by Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell as a gag to see how many people would believe it actually happened.
    • Most of the film was shot on a set built inside the gymnasium of the JR Faison Junior High School in Wadesboro, North Carolina.
    • Ash’s chainsaw appears to switch hands in one scene. This is because Sam Raimi decided Ash should walk the opposite way across the room in that scene, so he flipped the negative.

Intro music by Eric Lynch



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#078 George Romero: Dawn of the Dead vs. Survival of the Dead w/ guest Spenser Williamson




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In today’s episode Nate and Austin compare George Romero’s best and worst rated films, Dawn of the Dead (1978) and Survival of the Dead (2009), respectively. Nate hates that dumb teenager, Austin just wants to talk about U2 some more, and Spenser brought his notebook.

Check back next Sunday at 7pm PST where we will compare Andrew Dominik’s The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007) and Killing Them Softly (2012), his best and worst rated films.


Also check out this interview with director George Romero about how he came up with the idea for Dawn of the Dead:


Survival of the Dead Notes

Worst Rated

PLOT: On an island off the coast of North America, local residents simultaneously fight a zombie epidemic while hoping for a cure to return their un-dead relatives back to their human state.

  • Ratings: IMDb 4.9 | RT 29% C / 19% A
  • Released: 2009
  • Director: George Romero
  • Writer(s): George Romero
  • Cinematographer: Adam Swica (The Haunting in Connecticut, Diary of the Dead, The Art of the Steal)
  • Notable actors: Alan Van Sprang, Joshua Peace, Hardee T. Lineham, Dru Viergever, Eric Woolfe, Shawn Roberts, Scott Wentworth, Amy Lalonde
  • Budget: $4 million
  • Box office: $386 thousand
  • Fun Facts:
    • The very same horse seen in this film is featured in the pilot of The Walking Dead (2010).
    • This was the least successful film in George A. Romero’s Dead films series.
    • This film marks the first time that a character from a previous Living Dead film returns to star in a sequel, with Alan Van Sprang as Sarge “Nicotine” Crockett having been seen in Diary of the Dead (2007), and also playing Brubaker in Land of the Dead (2005). The only two other times this has come close to happening was Tom Savini reprising his role of Blades from Dawn of the Dead (1978) as a cameo in “Land of the Dead” in zombie form, and Joseph Pilato playing an unnamed police captain in “Dawn of the Dead” returning to play Captain Rhodes in Day of the Dead (1985).
    • The cast are almost all Canadian, the exception being Julian Richings who is from London, England. Thee movie was shot entirely in Canada.

Dawn of the Dead Notes

Best Rated

PLOT: Following an ever-growing epidemic of zombies that have risen from the dead, two Philadelphia S.W.A.T. team members, a traffic reporter, and his television executive girlfriend seek refuge in a secluded shopping mall.

  • Ratings: IMDb 8.0 | RT 93% C / 90% A
  • Released: 1978
  • Director: George Romero
  • Writer(s): George Romero
  • Cinematographer: Michael Gornick (Creepshow, Day of the Dead, Knightriders)
  • Notable actors: David Emge, Ken Foree, Scott H. Reiniger, Gaylen Ross, Richard France
  • Budget: $1.5 million
  • Box office: $55 million
  • Fun Facts:
    • Tom Savini choose the gray color for the zombies’ skin, since Night of the Living Dead (1968) was in B&W and the zombie skin-tone was not depicted. He later said it was a mistake, because many of them ended up looking quite blue on film.
    • The two zombie children who attack Peter in the airport chart house are played by Donna Savini and Mike Savini, the real-life niece and nephew of Tom Savini. These are the only zombies in all of George A. Romero’s “Dead” films that spontaneously run and never do the trademark “Zombie shuffle”.
    • Filming at the Monroeville Mall took place during the winter of 1977-78, with a three-week reprieve during the Christmas shopping season (during which other footage, e.g. the TV studio, was shot). Filming at the mall began around 10 p.m., shortly after the mall closed, and finished at 6 a.m. The mall didn’t open until 9, but at 6 the Music came on and no one knew how to turn it off.
    • Dario Argento was an admirer of George A. Romero’s work, and vice-versa. When Argento heard that Romero was contemplating a sequel to Night of the Living Dead (1968) he insisted that Romero come out to Argento’s native Rome to write the script without distractions. Romero knocked out the script in 3 weeks and, though Argento read the script as it came out, he left all the writing to Romero. Argento also provided most of the film’s soundtrack and, in return for the rights to edit the European version of the film, assisted in raising the necessary funds.
    • Zombie actors took photographs of themselves dressed up in full zombie makeup inside a photo booth on the second floor. They then replaced the sample pictures on the front of the booth with the ghoulish ones.

Intro music by Eric Lynch



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#077 Tobe Hooper: The Texas Chain Saw Massacre vs. Night Terrors




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In today’s episode Nate and Austin compare Tobe Hooper’s best and worst rated films, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) and Night Terrors (1993), respectively. Nate is going to have night terrors after watching that movie, Austin wants to know where Zoe went, and they both decide to stay away from cannibalistic murderous families in Texas.

Check back next Sunday at 7pm PST where we will compare George Romero’s Dawn of the Dead (1978) and Survival of the Dead (2009), his best and worst rated films.


Also check out this interview with director Tobe Hooper about The Texas Chainsaw Massacre:


Night Terrors Notes

Worst Rated

PLOT: A young girl travels to Cairo to visit her father, and becomes unwillingly involved with a bizarre sadomasochistic cult led by the charismatic Paul Chevalier, who is a descendant of the Marquis de Sade.

  • Ratings: IMDb 3.3 | RT N/A % C / 7% A
  • Released: 1993
  • Director: Tobe Hooper
  • Writer(s): Rom Globus, Daniel Matmor
  • Cinematographer: Amnon Salomon (The Mangler, The Milky Way, Infiltration)
  • Notable actors: Robert Englund, Zoe Trilling, Alona Kimhi, Juliano Mer-Khamis, Chandra West, William Finley, Irit Sheleg
  • Budget: N/A
  • Box office: N/A
  • Fun Facts:
    • Director Gerry O’Hara left the project because he didn’t want to shoot a screenplay which envisioned the De Sade character in the eighteenth century.

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre Notes

Best Rated

PLOT: Two siblings visit their grandfather’s grave in Texas along with three of their friends and are attacked by a family of cannibalistic psychopaths.

  • Ratings: IMDb 7.5 | RT 88% C / 82% A
  • Released: 1974
  • Director: Tobe Hooper
  • Writer(s): Kim Henkel and Tobe Hooper (screenplay by), Kim Henkel (story by)
  • Cinematographer: Daniel Pearl (Friday the 13th, Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem)
  • Notable actors: Marilyn Burns, Allen Danziger, Paul A. Partain, William Vail, Teri McMinn, Edwin Neal, Jim Siedow, Gunnar Hansen, John Dugan
  • Budget: $300 thousand
  • Box office: $30.9 million
  • Fun Facts:
    • Marilyn Burns, whose character was chased by Leatherface through the undergrowth, actually cut herself on the branches quite badly, so a lot of the blood on her body and clothes is real.
    • Director Tobe Hooper claims to have got the idea for the film while standing in the hardware section of a crowded store. While thinking of a way to get out through the crowd, he spotted the chainsaws.
    • Surprisingly, this film is one of the least bloody horror films of all time. This is because Tobe Hooper intended to make the movie for a “PG” rating, by keeping violence moderate, language mild, and having most of the horror implied off-screen rather than shown in great detail onscreen. However, this plan had actually backfired, and made the film even more horrifying. Because despite cutting and repeated submissions, the Ratings Board insisted on an “X” rating, and it wasn’t until the film received the “R” rating when Hooper gave up and released it. Hooper had a similar ratings problem with the sequel.
    • According to John Larroquette, his payment for doing the opening narration was a marijuana joint.
    • Even in his lift boots, Gunnar Hansen could run faster than Marilyn Burns, so he had to do random things when chasing her through the woods (you’ll notice in one head-on shot that he starts slicing up tree branches in the background).
    • Leatherface had “lines” in the script that were gibberish with little side notes indicating what he was trying to say.
    • A still photo, taken during filming of the entire “Sawyer” family posing outside the house as a gag, was found and stolen from the set by a visiting German reporter, who took it back to West Germany with him, and the image of the family eventually became the advertising poster for the first release of the movie in West Germany.
    • The soundtrack contains no sounds from musical instruments (with the exception of some copyrighted music they had the rights to), instead they used sounds an animal would hear inside a slaughterhouse.
    • Tobe Hooper allowed Gunnar Hansen to develop Leatherface as he saw fit, under his supervision. Hansen decided that Leatherface was mentally handicapped and never learned to talk properly, so he went to a school for the mentally handicapped and watched how they moved and listened to them talk to get a feel for the character. He also tried his best to make his portrayal as non-offensive as he could. Many fans including those who are mentally handicapped, say he succeeded.
    • After getting into the old-age makeup, John Dugan decided that he did not ever want to go through the process again, meaning that all the scenes with him had to be filmed in the same session before he could take the makeup off. This entire process took about 36 hours (five of which which took to put the makeup on), during a brutal summer heat wave where the average temperature was over 100 degrees, with a large portion of it spent filming the dinner scene, with him wearing a heavy suit and necktie, sitting in a room filled with dead animals and rotting food with no air conditioning or electric fans. Everyone later recalled that the stench from the rotting food and people’s body odor was so terrible that some crew members passed out or became sick from the smell. Edwin Neal who played the hitch-hiker claimed: “Filming that scene was the worst time of my life . . . and I had been in Vietnam, with people trying to kill me, so I guess that shows how bad it was.”
    • Gunnar Hansen wore three-inch heels so that he was taller than the rest of the cast, but it meant that he had to duck to get through the doorways in the slaughterhouse.
    • Gunnar Hansen said that, during filming, he didn’t get along very well with Paul A. Partain, who played Franklin. A few years later he met Partain again and realized that Partain, a method actor, had simply chosen to stay in character even when not filming. The two remained good friends up to Partain’s death.
    • Due to the low budget, Gunnar Hansen had only one shirt to wear as Leatherface. The shirt had been dyed, so it could not be washed; Hansen had to wear it for four straight weeks of filming in the hot and humid Texas summer. By the end of the shoot, no one wanted to stand near Hansen or sit next to him during breaks to eat lunch because his clothing smelled so bad.

Intro music by Eric Lynch



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#062 John Boorman: Deliverance vs. Exorcist II: The Heretic




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In today’s episode Nate and Austin compare John Boorman’s best and worst rated films, Deliverance (1972) and Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977), respectively. Nate finally rates a film 1/10, Austin is possessed by Pazuzu, and they both squeal like a pig.

Check back next Sunday at 7pm PST where we will compare Mel Brooks’s Young Frankenstein (1974) and Dracula: Dead and Loving It (1995), his best and worst rated films.


Also check out this interview with the cast of Deliverance:


Exorcist II: The Heretic Notes

Worst Rated

PLOT: A teenage girl once possessed by a demon finds that it still lurks within her. Meanwhile, a priest investigates the death of the girl’s exorcist.

  • Ratings: IMDb 3.7 | RT 20% C / 13% A
  • Released: 1977
  • Director: John Boorman
  • Writer(s): William Goodhart (written by), John Boorman and Rospo Pallenberg (uncredited)
  • Cinematographer: William A. Fraker (Rosemary’s Baby, Tombstone)
  • Notable actors: Linda Blair, Richard Burton, Louise Fletcher, Max von Sydow, Kitty Winn, Paul Henreid, James Earl Jones, Ned Beatty
  • Budget: $14 million
  • Box office: $30.7 million
  • Fun Facts:
    • William Friedkin, director of the first film, told a story, recalled to by a Warner Bros. executive, at the Chicago Critics Film Festival in April 2013. Studio heads came to the sneak preview of “Exorcist II” in a limo, and told the drivers to go get fast food. They entered the auditorium, and within 10 minutes into the film, an audience member stood up, glanced into the crowd, and proclaimed: “The people who made this piece of shit are in this room!” 10 or 12 other audience members gathered to find the executives. The heads rushed out of the theater and realized that there were no cars to make their escape. They were subsequently chased down the street by a group of angry audience members.
    • The original cast and crew of The Exorcist (1973) were very much opposed to a sequel. William Friedkin and William Peter Blatty actually met to discuss ideas at one point, but when they failed to develop a suitable premise, they abandoned the project. Both Linda Blair and Ellen Burstyn turned down repeated offers by the studio, though Blair eventually agreed to return when presented with what she considered a good script. However, according to Blair, due to various rewrites the script ended up a total mess. By that point, however, she was contractually bound to a sequel, and unable to drop out of the project.
    • The original, opening night version of this film was so poorly received that the audience at a theater on Hollywood Blvd. actually threw things at the screen to express their disgust when it was over.
    • Stanley Kubrick turned down the offer to direct. When John Boorman accepted, Kubrick warned him that the only way a sequel to “The Exorcist” would succeed is if it were to be more graphic and horrific than the original.
    • Linda Blair has said that Richard Burton started out sober, but frequently became drunk during the middle and end of filming. She also says that tensions were high among the cast.

Deliverance Notes

Best Rated

PLOT: Intent on seeing the Cahulawassee River before it’s turned into one huge lake, outdoor fanatic Lewis Medlock takes his friends on a river-rafting trip they’ll never forget into the dangerous American back-country.

  • Ratings: IMDb 7.7 | RT 93% C / 82% A
  • Released: 1972
  • Director: John Boorman
  • Writer(s): James Dickey (screenplay), James Dickey (novel), John Boorman (additional dialogue)
  • Cinematographer: Vilmos Zsigmond (The Deer Hunter, Close Encounters of the Third Kind)
  • Notable actors: Jon Voight, Burt Reynolds, Ned Beatty, Ronny Cox, Billy Redden, Bill McKinney, Herbert Coward
  • Budget: $2 million
  • Box office: $46.1 million
  • Fun Facts:
    • In the year after the film’s release, more than 30 people drowned in the Chattooga River while trying to replicate the characters’ adventures.
    • To minimize costs, the production wasn’t insured, and the actors did their own stunts. Jon Voight actually climbed the cliff.
    • The rape scene was filmed in one take, largely because Ned Beatty didn’t want to film it repeatedly.
    • To save costs and add to the realism, local residents were cast in the roles of the hill people.
    • According to director John Boorman, the gas station attendant’s jig during “Dueling Banjos” was unscripted and spontaneous.
    • Burt Reynolds broke his coccyx while going down the rapids when the canoe capsized. Originally, a cloth dummy was used, but it looked too much like a dummy going over a waterfall. While Reynolds recovered, he asked, “How did it look?” Boorman replied, “Like a dummy going over a waterfall.”
    • Much of the film had to have its color desaturated because the river looked too pretty.
    • “Dueling Banjos” was the first scene shot. The rest of the movie was almost entirely shot in sequence.
    • The rape scene as originally scripted consisted mainly of swearing. The “squeal like a pig” phrase was an attempt to “clean up” the scene for TV viewing. John Boorman liked the “cleaner” version, and used it in the film.
    • Much of the dialogue is taken almost verbatim from the source novel.
    • Burt Reynolds breakthrough role, transforming him from an actor to a film superstar.

Intro music: Calm The Fuck Down – Broke For Free / CC BY 3.0


 


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#055 James Wan: Saw vs. Dead Silence w/ guest Spencer Roberts and Matthew Kerr de Salles




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In today’s episode Nate and Austin compare James Wan’s best and worst rated films, Saw (2004) and Dead Silence (2007), respectively. Nate thought Dead Silence needed more CGI tongues, Austin talks about his time marathoning the Saw franchise, and Spencer and Matthew are both terrified of dolls.

Check back Sunday, March 26 at 7pm PST where we will compare Alfonso Cuaron’s Children of Men (2006) and Great Expectations (1998), his best and worst rated films.


Also check out this interview of James Wan and Leigh Whannell on making Saw:


Dead Silence Notes

Worst Rated

PLOT: A young widower returns to his hometown to search for answers to his wife’s murder, which may be linked to the ghost of a murdered ventriloquist.

  • Ratings: IMDb 6.2 | RT 21% C / 51% A
  • Released: 2007
  • Director: James Wan
  • Writer(s): Leigh Whannell (screenplay), James Wan & Leigh Whannell (story)
  • Cinematographer: John R. Leonetti (The Conjuring, The Mask, Insidious)
  • Notable actors: Ryan Kwanten, Amber Valletta, Donnie Wahlberg, Michael Fairman, Joan Heney, Bob Gunton, Laura Regan
  • Budget: $20 million
  • Box office: $22 million
  • Fun Facts:
    • During the climax, in the storage area with all 101 dolls, you can see Jigsaw’s doll from the “Saw” films sitting on the floor, and Edgar Bergen’s doll Charlie McCarthy on one of the shelves. The doll that Detective Lipton throws over his shoulder in this scene is a replica of ventriloquist Jimmy Nelson’s doll, Danny O’Day.
    • There are two different versions of the “Mary Shaw” poem. In the movie the poem goes, “Beware the stare of Mary Shaw. She had no children only dolls. And if you see her in your dreams, be sure you never, ever scream.” On the trailer it was, “Beware the stare of Mary Shaw. She had no children, only dolls. And if you see her do not scream, she’ll rip your tongue out at the seam.”
    • “Billy” was not only the name of one of the dummies in this movie, but also the name of the puppet used by the Jigsaw killer in the “Saw” movies, also created by Leigh Whannell and James Wan.
    • The film was made into a haunted house at Universal’s “Halloween Horror Nights” in 2007 in Florida.
    • The film is dedicated to producer Gregg Hoffman. He died 2 years before the film had its theatrical release.
    • Leigh Whannell was so unhappy with the finished product, due to studio interference, that he decided to write all future scripts on spec, as opposed to pitching an idea to a studio and then being paid to write the screenplay, as was the case with this film.

Saw Notes

Best Rated

PLOT: Two strangers awaken in a room with no recollection of how they got there or why, and soon discover they are pawns in a deadly game perpetrated by a notorious serial killer.

  • Ratings: IMDb 7.7 | RT 48% C / 84% A
  • Released: 2004
  • Director: James Wan
  • Writer(s): Leigh Whannell (written by), James Wan and Leigh Whannell (story)
  • Cinematographer: David A. Armstrong (Pawn, On the Inside)
  • Notable actors: Leigh Whannell, Cary Elwes, Danny Glover, Ken Leung, Dina Meyer, Paul Gutrecht, Michael Emerson, Benito Martinez, Shawnee Smith, Makenzie Vega, Monica Potter
  • Budget: $1.2 million
  • Box office: $103.9 million
  • Fun Facts:
    • According to the DVD commentary director James Wan points out that many of the scare scenes in the film were nightmares he and Leigh Whannell had as kids.
    • All of the bathroom scenes were shot in chronological order in order to make the actors feel more what the characters were going through.
    • One of the most profitable horror films of all time.
    • Filmed in 18 days.
    • Director James Wan took a gamble and took no “up front” salary for the movie and opted for a percentage instead.
    • James Wan did not intend to make a torture porn film. It’s not really until the sequels got into gear that the films got what he describes as “more explicitly nasty”.
    • The sequel Saw II (2005) was approved for production the weekend this film opened.
    • Casting director Amy Lippens chose her ex-husband in the role of Mark, the man who burns himself alive.
    • Film’s pre-production was only five days; it was shot and cut at the same time in 18 days (all of the bathroom scenes were shot in six days). The actors had absolutely no rehearsals. The rehearsal takes were actual footage for the film.
    • James Wan wanted the camera movements to reflect the two main characters emotions and personality. He filmed Dr. Gordon with steady controlled shots and Adam as hand-held shots to capture their emotions of the situation.
    • Jigsaw’s puppet was completely made from scratch by the films creators (it was not bought at a store or a puppet that was altered).
    • The MPAA originally rated the film NC-17, due to the film’s tone; director James Wan had to remove some content to secure an R rating.
    • In post-production, James Wan discovered that he didn’t have enough shots or takes to fill out most of his scenes. So he and editor Kevin Greutert created their own filler shots by doctoring some of them to make them look as if they were filmed through a surveillance camera.
    • Originally intended for a straight-to-video release. After positive screenings, it was given the nod to become a premier movie.

Intro music: Calm The Fuck Down – Broke For Free / CC BY 3.0


 


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#041 M. Night Shyamalan: The Sixth Sense vs. After Earth




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In today’s episode Nate and Austin compare M. Night Shyamalan’s best and worst rated films, The Sixth Sense (1999) and After Earth (2013), respectively. Nate is a HUGE fan of the accents in After Earth, Austin doesn’t actually think it’s a horrible film, and they want to know what the hell M. Night Shyamalan is thinking.

Check back next Sunday at 7pm PST where we will compare Mel Gibson’s Hacksaw Ridge (2016) and The Man Without a Face (1993), his best and worst rated films.


Also check out this interview with M. Night Shyamalan and the cast of The Sixth Sense:


After Earth Notes

Worst Rated

PLOT: A boy who communicates with spirits that don’t know they’re dead seeks the help of a disheartened child psychologist.

  • Ratings: IMDb 4.9 | RT 11% C / 36% A
  • Released: 2013
  • Director: M. Night Shyamalan (The Village, Unbreakable, Signs)
  • Writer(s): M. Night Shyamalan and Gary Whitta (screenplay), Will Smith (story)
  • Cinematographer: Peter Suschitzky (Star Wars: Episode V, The Rocky Horror Picture Show)
  • Notable actors: Jaden Smith, Will Smith, Sophie Okonedo, Zoe Kravitz, Glenn Morshower, Kristofer Hivju, Sacha Dhawan, Chris Geere, Diego Klattenhoff, David Denman, Lincoln Lewis, Jaden Martin
  • Budget: $130 million
  • Box office: $243.8 million
  • Fun Facts:
    • Although not credited on the finished film, co-writer/producer Will Smith was responsible for much of the movie’s direction. While M. Night Shyamalan was primarily in charge of the blocking (composition of shots, placement of the camera) and the visual aspects of the film (color and design), it was Will Smith who personally coached Jaden Smith in his performance and dictated the development of the story and the on-screen action. After both the story and acting were heavily criticized, Shyamalan decided to take the blame.
    • The original idea for the film was a father and son on a camping trip. After the car they’re traveling in careens off the road, the son makes his way through the forest to find help for the father. Realizing that the idea had greater potential, producer Will Smith and screenwriter Gary Whitta decided to adapt the basic survival concept into a much larger science-fiction project.
    • The original cut was 130 minutes long and included more backstory on the decline of earth and the formation of Nova Prime. However, the film was vastly re-edited after performing poorly at test screenings and any actors playing Nova Primates were either reduced to extras or cut out entirely. The deleted footage will likely never be seen as M. Night Shyamalan is satisfied with the theatrical cut.
    • The first time in twenty years that director M. Night Shyamalan has accepted a project based on someone else’s screenplay.
    • Winner of 3 Razzie awards for worst actor, worst supporting actor and worst screen combo. It was nominated but did not win for worst picture, worst director and worst screenplay.
    • Will Smith personally hired M. Night Shyamalan to direct. Smith had wanted to work with Shyamalan for several years, but couldn’t find a suitable project.
    • Producer/co-writer Will Smith envisioned After Earth (2013) as a multi-platform franchise, including books, graphic novels, and interactive video games, which would all inform and add to the ideas and concepts already developed in the finished film.
    • The first film of M. Night Shyamalan’s career where he does not appear in the film in some sort of acting role.

The Sixth Sense Notes

Best Rated

PLOT: A boy who communicates with spirits that don’t know they’re dead seeks the help of a disheartened child psychologist.

  • Ratings: IMDb 8.1 | RT 85% C / 89% A
  • Released: 1999
  • Director: M. Night Shyamalan (The Village, Unbreakable, Signs)
  • Writer(s): M. Night Shyamalan
  • Cinematographer: Tak Fujimoto (The Silence of the Lambs, Signs, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off)
  • Notable actors: Bruce Willis, Haley Joel Osment, Toni Collette, Olivia Williams, Donnie Wahlberg
  • Budget: $40 million
  • Box office: $672.8 million
  • Fun Facts:
    • Reputedly, Haley Joel Osment got the role of Cole Sear for one of three reasons. First, he was best for it. Second, he was the only boy at auditions who wore a tie. Third, director M. Night Shyamalan was surprised when he asked Haley Joel Osment if he read his part. Osment replied, “I read it three times last night.” Shyamalan was impressed, saying, “Wow, you read your part three times?” To which Osment replied, “No, I read *the script* three times.”
    • Toni Collette has said that she was so moved by the emotional resonance of the story while filming, she did not even realize it was a horror film until after its release.
    • The movie’s line, “I see dead people,” was voted as the #100 of “The 100 Greatest Movie Lines” by Premiere in 2007.
    • While in New York auditioning for Bringing Out the Dead (1999), Toni Collette also auditioned for this film as an afterthought. She said the scene in the car (toward the end of the film), which was the audition scene, was the scene that really drew her to the film.
    • According to director M. Night Shyamalan, Donnie Wahlberg lost 43 pounds for the role of Vincent Grey.
    • Filmed in sequence.
    • Is one of only five horror films to receive an Oscar nomination for Best Picture; the other four that have received nominations are: The Exorcist (1973), Jaws (1975), The Silence of the Lambs (1991), and Black Swan (2010).

 

Intro music: Calm The Fuck Down – Broke For Free / CC BY 3.0

 


 


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#038 Wes Craven: A Nightmare on Elm Street vs. The Hills Have Eyes Part II




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In today’s episode Nate and Austin compare Wes Craven’s best and worst rated films, A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) and The Hills Have Eyes Part II (1984), respectively. Nate isn’t scared one bit, Austin loves how racist it is, and they both want to go on a Halloween horror marathon.

Check back next Sunday at 7pm PST where we will compare Park Chan-wook’s Oldboy (2003) and Stoker (2013), his best and worst rated films.


Also check out this interview with Robert Englund about A Nightmare on Elm Street:


The Hills Have Eyes Part II Notes

Worst Rated

PLOT: A group of bikers, heading to a race, become stranded in the desert and find themselves fighting off a family of inbred cannibals who live off the land.

  • Ratings: IMDb 3.7 | RT 0% C / N/A % A
  • Released: 1984
  • Director: Wes Craven (Scream, The Hills Have Eyes)
  • Writer(s): Wes Craven
  • Cinematographer:
  • Notable actors: Robert Houston, Kevin Spirtas, John Laughlin, Willard E. Pugh, Peter Frechette, Penny Johnson Jerald, Janus Blythe, Michael Berryman
  • Budget: $700 thousand
  • Box office: N/A
  • Fun Facts:
    • Though it was released after A Nightmare on Elm Street, The Hills Have Eyes Part 2 was shot before A Nightmare on Elm Street went into production. Writer-director Wes Craven has claimed that only about two thirds of the movie was shot before the studio halted production due to budget concerns. When A Nightmare on Elm Street became a box office success, the studio convinced Craven to finish Hills Have Eyes Part 2 using only the footage that had already been shot. Since there was not enough for a feature length film, footage from the first Hills Have Eyes was edited in to pad out the running time. Wes Craven has since disowned the movie.
    • Wes Craven claims that he did this film because he was in need of money and since then has disowned it.
    • Wes Craven thought John Bloom’s voice wasn’t strong enough for his role as The Reaper, so he had Nicholas Worth loop all of Bloom’s lines in post-production.
    • Even Michael Berryman admitted that he thought this sequel was terrible.

A Nightmare on Elm Street Notes

Best Rated

PLOT: Several people are hunted by a cruel serial killer who kills his victims in their dreams. While the survivors are trying to find the reason for being chosen, the murderer won’t lose any chance to kill them as soon as they fall asleep.

  • Ratings: IMDb 7.5 | RT 94% C / 83% A
  • Released: 1984
  • Director: Wes Craven (Scream, The Hills Have Eyes)
  • Writer(s): Wes Craven
  • Cinematographer: Jacques Haitkin (Fast 8, Captain American: Civil War)
  • Notable actors: John Saxon, Ronee Blakley, Heather Langenkamp, Amanda Wyss, Jsu Garcia, Johnny Depp, Charles Fleischer, Robert Englund
  • Budget: $1.8 million
  • Box office: $25.5 million
  • Fun Facts:
    • Robert Englund cut himself the first time that he tried on the infamous Freddy glove.
    • Freddy Krueger has under 7 minutes of screen time.
    • New Line Cinema was saved from bankruptcy by the success of the film, and was jokingly nicknamed “the house that Freddy built”.
    • Over 500 gallons of fake blood were used during the making of the film.
    • This was Johnny Depp’s first film.
    • The film was shot in 30 days.
    • The idea behind the glove was a practical one on Wes Craven’s part, as he wanted to give the character a unique weapon, but also something that could be made cheaply and wouldn’t be difficult to use or transport. At the time, he was studying primal fears embedded in the subconscious of people of all cultures and discovered that one of those fears is attack by animal claws. Around the same time, he saw his cat unsheathe its claws, and the two concepts merged, although in the original script the blades were fishing knives, not steak knives as in the finished film.
    • In the original script, Freddy was a child molester, however the decision was made to change him into being a child murderer to avoid accusations of exploiting a series of child molestations in California around the time of production. He was rewritten as a child molester in the 2010 remake starring Jackie Earle Haley.

 

Intro music: Calm The Fuck Down – Broke For Free / CC BY 3.0