TOM SAVINI’S GRANDE ILLUSIONS SPECIAL EFFECTS MAKEUP BOOKS TO GET A RE-RELEASE

Grande Illusions Re-Issue Banner

It’s book central here at Backwoods Horror today it’d seem. I’ve had a copy of both of Tom Savini’s amazing GRANDE ILLUSIONS books for some time (one signed by the man himself), having found them in a box of books donated to the library I was working in at the time. You can imagine the freak-out that followed for yourselves. It was like finding buried treasure. On the inside cover of both, it said that the books were published by Morris Costumes specifically for the costume trade and have been, for the longest time, difficult to get ones claws on. It’s always been one of the high points of my collection. Now, it would seem, the rest of you finally get your chance to check out these amazing books in a re-release that combines both books into one mighty tome you’d be proud to have on your horror shelves.

CONTINUE READING AFTER THE BREAK FOR MORE ON TOM SAVINI’S GRANDE ILLUSIONS RE-RELEASE!

RELEASE DATE AND BLU-RAY ART REVEALED FOR MANIAC REMAKE

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IFC has given a release date and art design for Franck Khalfoun’s MANIAC REMAKE, starring Elijah Wood and written by Alexandre Aja and Gregory Levasseur. Thomas Langmann, Aja, Levasseur and Lustig produced the remake, while Antoine de Cazotte, Daniel Delume, Andrew W. Garroni, Pavlina Hatoupis and Alix Taylor are attached as executive producers. The film, which has already been playing festivals, a limited theatrical run, and a successful VOD release, will be released on October 15th on both DVD and Bluray. That’s the good news. The bad news is the art design for the DVD/Blu-Ray cover. Given the incredible minimalist art that we were given with the poster, it seems as though IFC chose to overlook artistic merit for the standard photoshopped floating head scenario we’ve all come to loathe.

CONTINUE READING FOR A LOOK AT THE MANIAC REMAKE BLU-RAY ART & MORE!

REVIEW: THE TURNPIKE KILLER (2012)

Distribution/Production Company: New York Horror Film Productions
Directed by: Evan Makrogiannis
Written By: Evan Makrogiannis & Brian Weaver
Starring: Bill McLaughlin, Edgar Moye, Lyndsey Brown, Vinny Ward, Ruby Larocca, & Manoush
Running Time: 129 minutes
Rating: Unrated

Synopsis:

In a city that never sleeps, a killer prowls the streets at night. Over a span of ten years, the butchered remains of New York City women have been found dumped along the New Jersey Turnpike. The sadistic fiend behind these horrific murders has been dubiously termed “THE TURNPIKE KILLER.” His search for “The Chosen One” leaving an endless trail of bloodshed and brutality, NYPD Homicide Detective Lloyd is on the case as “The Turnpike Killer” continues to evade capture. Keep off the streets at night, stay out of the tunnels, and avoid the bridges because you can’t escape when all roads lead to terror!

Turnpike Killer Still 1

For the past few years, horror fans have been yearning for a return to the heyday of 80’s slasher/grindhouse fare. This is probably due in some part to nostalgia, but I tend to believe that the horror films you and I grew up with, dear fiendish readers, are simply just so much better than the over-polished tripe that we’ve been fed for decades now. That’s not to say that a few gems haven’t shone through the immense amount of sludge, with even a few studio efforts making the grade. The finest horror fare these days, however, is thanks to independent filmmakers who just couldn’t get enough of the genre classics on VHS.

Some of my fondest memories are of going with my brother and father to the local mom ‘n pop independent video stores and staring longingly at hours on end of that wide variety of titles available with box covers, oven in gruesome blood red color, depicting a taste of what I could expect inside. Upon meeting the director of THE TURNPIKE KILLER, Evan Makrogiannis at a special screening of a VHS copy of the original Mother’s Day, I learned that he too was an independent filmmaker and kindred spirit when it came to the genre we all love and admire. After a brief conversation on the re-emergence of VHS as a popular platform, he produced a copy of his film, THE TURNPIKE KILLER, in, of all things, an 80’s style big-box VHS case. That’s right boils ‘n ghouls, Evan, being a true fan, put so much thought not only into his film, but it’s release as well. Inside I found not only the DVD, but a VHS copy and a signed poster for the film signed by none other than budding scream queen Ruby LaRocca!

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With all of this attention to detail, I couldn’t wait to watch the film (though, admittedly, it took forever to find a VCR because I wanted to see the film in the format it so clearly was meant for as well as the DVD). THE TURNPIKE KILLER is a very strong entry into the genre by a first time filmmaker on a budget. Shot originally on DV, the film was later put through a process to give it that grindhouse 16mm look we all know and love to better match the material within. I’m not talking about the fake pops and scratches Tarantino and co. poorly tried to replicate in his Grindhouse double feature. THE TURNPIKE KILLER looks as though it could actually be a lost film from the 80’s era. With this mood set, I was incredibly excited for the ride I was about to take and I was not disappointed.

CONTINUE READING AFTER THE BREAK FOR THE FULL REVIEW FOR THE TURNPIKE KILLER!

CHECK OUT THE FIRST SIX MINUTES FROM THE MANIAC REMAKE STARRING ELIJAH WOOD

Recently picked up for all North American rights and distribution by IFC Midnight, Warner Brothers (the international distributors) have released the first six minutes of the MANIAC REMAKE! Check it out below! The film premiered out of competition at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year.

Written by Alexandre Aja and Gregory Levasseur, MANIAC is a reboot of director William Lustig’s 1980 cult pic of the same name.

Thomas Langmann, Aja, Levasseur and Lustig produced the remake, while Antoine de Cazotte, Daniel Delume, Andrew W. Garroni, Pavlina Hatoupis and Alix Taylor are attached as executive producers.

SYNOPSIS:

MANIAC stars Elijah Wood (THE LORD OF THE RINGS) and Nora Arnezeder (SAFE HOUSE). In the film, Wood plays the role of a serial killer who works at a shop that sells antique mannequins. Finding victims on the Internet, he stalks them like prey, all while suffering from hallucinations that throw him back into the past, when he was abused by his own mother. In his twisted mind, he gains a measure of revenge against his mother with each kill.

10 NEW STILLS FROM THE MANIAC REMAKE STARRING ELIJAH WOOD

Ten new stills from the upcoming MANIAC remake based upon the Bill Lustig grindhouse classic of the same name have been released to the web.

Recently picked up for all North American rights and distribution by IFC Midnight, the film stars Elijah Wood as a psychopathic serial killer. The film premiered out of competition at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year.

Written by Alexandre Aja and Gregory Levasseur, MANIAC is a reboot of director William Lustig’s 1980 cult pic of the same name.

Thomas Langmann, Aja, Levasseur and Lustig produced the remake, while Antoine de Cazotte, Daniel Delume, Andrew W. Garroni, Pavlina Hatoupis and Alix Taylor are attached as executive producers.

SYNOPSIS:

MANIAC stars Elijah Wood (THE LORD OF THE RINGS) and Nora Arnezeder (SAFE HOUSE). In the film, Wood plays the role of a serial killer who works at a shop that sells antique mannequins. Finding victims on the Internet, he stalks them like prey, all while suffering from hallucinations that throw him back into the past, when he was abused by his own mother. In his twisted mind, he gains a measure of revenge against his mother with each kill.

KEEP READING AFTER THE BREAK FOR NINE MORE STILLS FROM THE FILM ALONG WITH THE NOW INFAMOUS RED-BAND TRAILER!

IFC MIDNIGHT ACQUIRES ALL NORTH AMERICAN RIGHTS FOR MANIAC REMAKE

Source: Bloody Disgusting:

IFC Midnight has acquired all North American rights to director Franck Khalfoun’s thriller MANIAC, which stars Elijah Wood as a serial killer, Variety reports. The pic premiered out of competition at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year.

Written by Alexandre Aja and Gregory Levasseur, MANIAC is a reboot of director William Lustig’s 1980 cult pic of the same name.

Thomas Langmann, Aja, Levasseur and Lustig produced the Maniac reboot, while Antoine de Cazotte, Daniel Delume, Andrew W. Garroni, Pavlina Hatoupis and Alix Taylor exec produced.

SYNOPSIS:

MANIAC stars Elijah Wood (THE LORD OF THE RINGS) and Nora Arnezeder (SAFE HOUSE). In the film, Wood plays the role of a serial killer who works at a shop that sells antique mannequins. Finding victims on the Internet, he stalks them like prey, all while suffering from hallucinations that throw him back into the past, when he was abused by his own mother. In his twisted mind, he gains a measure of revenge against his mother with each kill.

A TRAILER HITS FOR THE NEW TOM SAVINI DOCUMENTARY: SMOKE AND MIRRORS

No reader of Backwoods Horror should be unfamiliar with Tom Savini’s work. Garnering at one time the Godfather of Gore, the King of Splatter, his special makeup effects work spans a great deal of the horror films we grew up with. FRIDAY THE 13th, FRIDAY THE 13th PART IV, DAWN OF THE DEAD, DAY OF THE DEAD, MARTIN, MANIAC, THE PROWLER, the list goes on and on. Something of a renaissance man of the film industry, though he’s known for his effects work, he’s also an accomplished stunt man, director, and actor. You name it, he’s done it. And now, finally, a documentary has been made about this incredible man.

Having succeeded with raising a few bucks with their kickstarter campaign, Jason Baker and MIJO Films present SMOKE AND MIRRORS: THE STORY OF TOM SAVINI, a film that delves into his early life, career, and legacy by not only interviewing the man himself, but everyone he’s worked with throughout the years, featuring interviews with Academy Award winning special effects make-up artists Greg Nicotero and Howard Berger of KNB EFX, Video Watchdog founder and film critic Tim Lucas, The Misfits’ Jerry Only, and legendary filmmaker George A. Romero among others…people who have considered him a lifelong friend.  For those of you lucky enough to be at the Montreal Comic Con Horrorfest, Baker will be debuting the film on Saturday, September 15th, at 10:15pm with Tom, the man himself, in attendance. I am so incredibly excited that someone has finally made a documentary about a man whose artistry has changed the course of horror films forever and I can’t wait to see it.

I was lucky enough to meet Tom Savini in Asheville, NC at a small lecture he was giving about his career in makeup and special effects to a theater class at UNCA. I wasn’t a part of the class and so was not allowed to attend as there were only 12 or 13 seats, but he came walking out of the room before the lecture and saw me standing there with my EVIL DEAD t-shirt on and began talking to me about what an awesome film it was. Then he introduced himself, as did I while also telling him I knew exactly who he was and what a fan I was of him and his work but wasn’t allowed to attend the lecture. Not only did he get me in, and right at the front row, but he signed my copies of his Grande Illusions books, A rare DAWN OF THE DEAD poster book, and was nice enough to take a photo with me. He’s an incredible man who has done some incredible work both behind and in front of the camera, and this documentary has been a long time coming.

MANIAC REMAKE SALES ART HITS THE WEB

The first sales art promo from Cannes for the MANIAC remake has hit the web. Obviously, it isn’t anywhere near as enticingly exploitative as the poster art for the original MANIAC, but this is only sales art and I have my doubts the finished product will be anywhere near as bland. Though, honestly, if I saw Elijah Wood in my rearview mirror, I’d probably be afraid. That impish little hobbit creeps me out. (I keed, I keed….mostly)

Directed by Franck Khalfoun (P2), and written by Alexandre Aja (THE HILLS HAVE EYES remake,HAUTE TENSION) with his producing/writing partner Grégory Levasseur. MANIAC stars Elijah Wood (THE LORD OF THE RINGS) and Nora Arnezeder (SAFE HOUSE). In the film, Wood plays the role of a serial killer who works at a shop that sells antique mannequins. Finding victims on the Internet, he stalks them like prey, all while suffering from hallucinations that throw him back into the past, when he was abused by his own mother. In his twisted mind, he gains a measure of revenge against his mother with each kill.

BLOOD AND NUDITY IN OFFICIAL NSFW MANIAC REMAKE TRAILER

Last week a partial teaser for the MANIAC remake trailer hit the web. Whether released purposefully or not to raise interest, certain horror sites received cease and desist notifications after posting it. Not us, so we left it up. Not long after all the lawyering, however, an official complete NSFW trailer was released that begins in much the same way as the original leaked teaser but then things really get interesting with more insanity, violence, blood, and nudity which, needless to say, has us here at Backwoods Horror finding ourselves incredibly excited for the film.

That’s right, boils ‘n ghouls, we’re excited about a REMAKE! Elijah Wood simply oozes maniacal rage and insanity and this trailer doesn’t hold back on the goods. There are few remakes that can even hold a candle to the original, but if this trailer is any indication of what’s in store for Franck Khalfoun’s take on William Lustig’s masterpiece, this film may join the ranks of such remakes as THE THING and THE FLY.

SYNOPSIS:

Directed by Franck Khalfoun (P2), and written by Alexandre Aja (THE HILLS HAVE EYES remake, HAUTE TENSION) with his producing/writing partner Grégory Levasseur. MANIAC stars Elijah Wood (THE LORD OF THE RINGS) and Nora Arnezeder (SAFE HOUSE). In the film, Wood plays the role of a serial killer who works at a shop that sells antique mannequins. Finding victims on the Internet, he stalks them like prey, all while suffering from hallucinations that throw him back into the past, when he was abused by his own mother. In his twisted mind, he gains a measure of revenge against his mother with each kill.

NSFW MANIAC REMAKE TEASER TRAILER

In honor of the Cannes premiere, the remake of William Lustig’s serial killer opus MANIAC, directed by Franck Khalfoun (P2), now has a (incomplete) teaser trailer. As much as I generally despise remakes (excepting of course Carpenter’s THE THING, and Cronenberg’s THE FLY), I’d have to admit that this teaser intrigues me. I had my doubts concerning Elijah Wood’s (THE LORD OF THE RINGS, FLIPPER) turn as the titular psycho killer, but having seen his work again in SIN CITY recently, my fears had begun to wane a bit. And now, with this new trailer, I have a feeling we may see a very interesting performance from a man perhaps best known for playing Frodo Baggins. I’m also very intrigued by the decision to portray the entire film essentially via the POV of a serial killing madman. Lustig’s MANIAC was intended to view the world from the killer’s perspective originally, attempting to give the audience a glimpse into madness, and Khalfoun seems to have taken the idea and run with it. Alexandre Aja and Grégory Levasseur (HAUTE TENSION, THE HILLS HAVE EYES REMAKE) wrote the screenplay and are producing the film, returning once again to remake territory. While I’d like to see the dynamically French duo once again work on original work, as their remakes have been hit and miss, they do possess the talent to potentially make this film stand out amongst the remake crowd.

Synopsis:

Wood plays the role of a serial killer who works at a shop selling antique mannequins. He finds victims on the Internet and stalks them like prey, all the while suffering from hallucinations that throw him back into the past, when he was abused by his mother. In his twisted mind, he gains a measure of revenge against his mother with each kill.

We’ll have a more complete teaser trailer up and more news on the film when it becomes available, so stay tuned boils ‘n ghouls!