The horror genre has lost a key figure in some of the films that we’ve enjoyed over the last 60 years. Stunt work is one profession in the movie world that seldom gets the credit it so richly deserves. They are the nameless, usually faceless actors and actresses that do all the amazing work with the stars of the film getting the credit. George Wilbur worked on some amazing films in his long career, in quite a few different genres. But it is the horror titles that we’re interested in. Ones like Blacula (1972) and Grizzly (1976), to Escape from New York (1981), Re-Animator (1985), to even Oscar winning films like Silence of the Lambs (1991). But it was his appearance playing Michael Myers in Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1989) that really put his name in the minds of fans. He reprised that performance in Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995).
He attended many conventions over the years, getting to meet tons of his fans and was always so gracious to them. He understood the importance of his work and what it meant to the fans. Wilbur passed away on Wednesday, Feb. 1st at the age of 81 years old. We must remember that it isn’t just the famous actors from the movies we love that make them so great, but everyone involved, some that we’re purposely not aware of, such as the stunt people. And Wilbur definitely was one of those special ones. Thanks to his involvement in the Halloween series, he will always be remembered. Our thoughts go out to his friends and family during this difficult time.
Starting next Friday, Aug. 5th to the 7th, you’ll want to run off to Flashback Weekend that is taking place in Rosemont, IL, at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare. As always, they have a HUGE guest list, but if you’re a fan of the Nightmare on Elm Street films, then you don’t want to miss this one, since they have 10 guests from the series, including Freddy himself, Robert Englund! But there are plenty of other guests as well, such as director Steven Miner, who not only directed the second and third entries in the Friday the 13th films, but also directed House, H20, and Lake Placid, just to name a few. Then we have Alex Winter from Bill & Ted and Lost Boys, Brad Loree, Tom Jones Jr., P.J. Soles and John Michael Graham (Lynda & Bob) from the Halloween series, and so many more.
I know everyone (or most everyone) reading this has seen the original Halloween (1978) and A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) before. Many times, before, I’m guessing. But have you seen it projected on a screen 90 feet across? Then now is your chance because next weekend, June 24th & 25th, they will be having a special double feature screening both of these classic horror films that were game changers for the genre.
The movie soundtrack can be just as important and effective as anything we’re seeing on screen, especially when it comes to the horror film. Just think of The Omen, The Exorcist, or even Creepshow. This episode we discuss some of our favorites and why we think they are effective.
Below are all the titles that are mentioned during the podcast, some in more details than others! Be sure to check some of these out and next time you’re watching one of them, or any movie, maybe pay a little more attention to what you’re hearing.
Below are the soundtracks that are mentioned during this episode of the podcast. We’d love to hear some of your favorites!
I know as horror fans we watch these films all year round. But there is something about October that we seem not only double our efforts when it comes to scary screenings, but I know there are a few titles that we all have that we bust out each and ever October. Could be a childhood favorite? One that really hit home with us around holiday? Or one that just fits the mood of Halloween and is something you need to watch at least once a year.
Our first real convention since October of 2019 is only 2 weeks away, and it looks like it is going to be HUGE! Moving to a new location, the Hyatt Regency O’Hare, this place looks to be not only a much bigger location, but is going to allow for even more fun. I can’t wait to be able to hang out with all our convention friends and family once again. It really has been way too long.
It looks like we will be returning to the convention circuit (if all still goes according to plan) at the end of July, for the Flashback Weekend, taking place in Rosemont, IL, from July 30th to August 1st. It’s been a long time coming, so we are very excited about it.
As usual, Flashback Weekend has come up with a wide variety of guests that should make all horror fans happy! They have Tobin Bell and Shawnee Smith from the Saw series appearing, Mark Rolston and Jenette Goldstein from Aliens (among many other roles), a Friday the 13th: A New Beginning reunion with Melanie Kinnaman, Deborah Voorhees, Dick Wieand, Ron Sloan, and Carol Locatell. Also on hand will be Kane Hodder and Nick Castle.
Taking Shape II: The Lost Halloween Sequels Published by Harker Press, 2020. 600 pages. By Dustin McNeill & Travis Mullins
With all the information packed in their initial book, Taking Shape, how could authors McNeill and Mullins put out yet another massive 600 page book on this series that fans have been following for over 40 years? That’s just it… it’s not about the films that were made, it is about the films that were not made. In fact, Taking Shape II: The Lost Halloween Sequels covers 24 sequels(!!!) that never got off the ground for a variety of reasons. You get to read about each of these proposed storylines, with interviews with the people directly involved, like the writers and directors. You also get a good look at inside the studio systems and just how screwed up the industry can be, and the poor creatures that have to work in there! Imagine turning in a screenplay that is exactly what was asked for only to be told that another executive hated it and you’re now off the project. Or being notified (over the PA system, no less) that the whole project itself was now cancelled just weeks before shooting was to start. It shows that with multiple bosses / executives, guiding the writers and directors in different directors, at the same time, while others not even caring about anything but the potential box office receipts, the scariest part of these films were trying to get these films made.Continue reading →
Assault on the System: The Nonconformist Cinema of John Carpenter Published by WK Books, 2020. 460 pages. By Troy Howarth
The latest volume from our buddy Troy Howarth is on one of my favorite directors. Next to Romero, you’d find at least two John Carpenter’s films in my top 15 films of all time. So how could I not dive into this once I got it? Yes, Mr. Howarth is a friend of mine, full disclosure here, but I think you know me by now not to pull any punches, no matter what I’m reviewing. But honestly, I never have to worry about that with his books because they are always so enjoyable to read, always feeling like a conversation with an old friend. Filled with wonderful stories, great information, and just an easy-going way of telling us this information that it just sinks in.
After a couple of chapters introducing us to Carpenter, giving us his upbringing and background (which really shows the impact on his later life, with his love of film and music), we start to go over his film career. Starting off when he is in film school in California, we do get a lot of information about each of the projects, while Howarth throws in other information about other things that are going on at the same time. It doesn’t just cover the films he directed but the scripts that he wrote, as well as the films he almost made or was even the slightest involved with. It really does show the range that Carpenter had in the different projects that “could have been”. Continue reading →
One of the positives for 2020 was the resurgence of the drive-in theaters. With all the social distancing, a drive-in theater is the perfect place to go see a movie, staying safe by not having to be in a large group of people. In fact, we made more trips to the drive-ins this year than we normally do, and had a blast each and every time. It was just a magical return to somewhat of our normal convention or movie viewing get-togethers, even though everyone was very good about keeping our space and wearing masks. But even with that, it was so much fun, and a little resemblance of the much-missed conventions.Continue reading →