Monday, October 24, 2011

Maniacal Movie Poster Monday #40!

It's still Halloween season, it's still the Halloween Blogfest Blowout, and here we go...!

We'll go with a theme again this week - horror movies shot right here in Wilmington, NC!

Trick or Treat  (DeLaurentiis Entertainment Group, 1986)

This one was shot during the heyday of Dino DeLaurentiis's time here - I saw it only during its original theatrical run and in my memory it's a rather tepid hodgepodge horror and spoof, with nerdy bully target Marc Price getting revenge with the help of ghostly rocker Sammi Curr (Tony Fields) - of course eventually Price realizes his error and sets out to stop the specter. Despite cameos from Gene Simmons and Ozzy Osbourne, the miscasting of Fields and director Smith's inexperience as a horror director kill this one for me. But it has a small and fervent cult following and I would watch it again to make a final determination.

I Know What You Did Last Summer  (Columbia Pictures, 1997)

One of the first horror flicks to roll out in the wake of Scream's success, this one actually led to some strange meetings and partnerships. It was shot in early 1997, at the same time that the feature film Virus was shooting in Wilmington NC. Virus starred Jamie Lee Curtis; IKWYDLS writer Kevin Williamson is a huge Halloween fan, and arranged to meet Jamie. Their fast friendship led to Kevin Williamson doing an uncredited rewrite on Halloween: H20, which was in the prep stages at this time.

Also connected - at the same time as the other two movies, the presentation pilot for Williamson's first series Dawson's Creek shot here for five days. It was directed by Steve Miner - a veteran of two Friday the 13th movies - he would go on to direct Halloween: H20 thanks to these connections with Williamson and Curtis. Of course, Michelle Williams from Dawson's co-stars with JLC in H20.

Finally, when IKWYDLS premiered in theaters, Dawson's was shooting its first season as a series - before any episodes had aired - and I attended a showing of I Know at one of the first matinees in the company of James van der Beek, Michelle Williams, Josh Jackson, and Monica Keena (who played bad girl Abby recurringly). Katie ducked us because horror movies scared her. After the movie, local TV station WPSD was shooting audience reaction video to air on the local news as this was a movie shot here. I encouraged the kids to do one of the interviews - of course, the TV people had no idea who these kids were since not one frame of Dawson's had aired - and their piece was used in the news report. To no one's surprise they spend their few seconds onscreen praising the movie's writing - I have this segment taped on VHS - probably no one else knows they were interviewing and/or watching actors who were about to be hugely famous a few months later. My wife and I still laugh about this. If I ever get around to transferring my VHS-only stuff over to the computer as I keep promising myself, I will definitely amend this post with that video clip.

Stephen King's The Night Flier  (New Line Cinema, 1998)

Finally! A movie I actually worked on! I came on to this movie a week into its shooting - the producers fired the first assistant director due to his inability to keep the film on schedule. Accordingly, they bumped the second and second second assistant assistant directors up one rung each - so the second became the first, and the second second became the second - confusing enough for you? Then I came aboard as the new second second and finished out the movie "running first team," which is film jargon for coordination of the actors through makeup, hair, and wardrobe; and sending them to set when called for. I carried my giant hardcover copy of The Stand around in my car for the entire run of the show - waiting to get a genuine Stephen King autograph on it - and wouldn't you know it? Although he was earmarked to come in for one of his patented cameo scenes as a coroner in the movie - he was at the time slammed for time writing the serial novel The Green Mile and never ended up even visiting the production, let alone appearing in it! So I managed to work on the one Stephen King movie he's not in. *sigh*

And that's a wrap, as they say in the biz. Until next post - you Can Poke Me With A Fork, Cause I Am Outta Here!


  1. Awesome segment today!

    I tuned in for Halloweenfest, and got not one but TWO bonus Craiglore tales, neither of which I'd heard. Very cool!

    Still can't get over you spending time with Jaime Lee Curtis. Not many stars could set me dithering were I to meet them.

    She'd be one.

  2. Ooh! Stephen King...one of my favorite authors. I've read all his books and wait breathlessly for the next release. Too bad you didn't get his autograph. I saw him on TV a couple of years ago at a book reading for his new novel that was in progress...Under the Dome. His wife Tabitha and his son Owen were with him. It was on Book TV. Very cool. I read the book when it came out. Terrific. Looking forward to the movie. Funny thing, though. Just before his book was released, The Simpsons Movie was released and the plot was King's idea (A town is trapped under a giant dome). King kept saying in interviews that he had the idea first. Everyone thought he had stolen the Simpson's plot. Talk about lousy timing.

  3. Though a clear cash in on Scream, i did like the first I know What You did last Summer, probably because fisherman really do scare me lol. Great post

  4. Joe - thanks for that - yeah, it really appears that in 2012 - if not earlier - I will have to start rolling out full posts on some of my film production stories...at least one of them will be about Jamie Lee Curtis too... ;)

    Luana - I have been a fan of King's since one of my brother's high school girlfriends introduced me to the author with Salem's Lot. I was probably 11 or 12. I have been voraciously reading everything since. That's hilarious about the Under the Dome/Simpsons Movie similarities!

    Dempsey! Welcome aboard! Make yourself at home! I actually like the first I Know movie too - though wow, they took it far afield from the admittedly tepid teen drama book. I HATED the second movie - I will have to tell the story of chatting with Muse Watson - Ben Willis himself! - about his feelings about the second movie and what it was supposed to have/could have been. I picked up a cheap copy of #3, haven't watched it yet; but with one of the later Michael Myers replacing Watson, I'm not holding out much hope that it will even make it to "doesn't completely suck," let alone be good. In any case - thanks for the kind words; please come back often!