Pic of the Day: Contamination (1980)

Contamination dvd coverArrow Video’s cover art for their new Blu-ray release of Luigi Cozzi’s Contamination (1980), one of my favorite gory Italian knock-offs. This one borrows a bit from Alien, including extraterrestrial eggs so similar to Ridley Scott’s classic that I can’t believe nobody got sued.

The disc features a commentary track, making-of documentary, and collector’s booklet.

Interview: Ashby director Tony McNamara

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An excerpt from an interview I did with Ashby writer/director Tony McNamara for Filmmaker Magazine. The film stars Nat Wolff as a suburban Virginia high schooler taken under the wing of ex-CIA assassin Mickey Rourke. Check out the entire interview over at Filmmaker.

“…On the day we shot the boxing scene (where Mickey teaches Nat to take a punch), Mickey was very concerned about getting hit because, weirdly enough, he hates fight scenes in movies. Because, from his point of view, there’s always a bad stunt coordinator and you end up getting hit. I think he’s been accidentally punched in the face, a few times so he was very adamant and he brought down his own guy from New York. He kept saying to me, “If that kid hits me in the face, I’m going to hit you in the face.” (laughs) But then once we started, because he’s a boxer, his boxer’s instincts kicked in. Even when I’d say cut, he’d keep throwing jabs and Nat was like, “We’ve stopped! We’ve stopped!” – Tony McNamara

The Shot Behind the Shot: Innerspace (1987)


Behind the scenes of Industrial Light & Magic’s Oscar-winning special effects from Joe Dante’s 1987 film Innerspace. Check out my interview with Innerspace model shop supervisor Bill George for Filmmaker Magazine. George has spent 33 years at ILM and worked on the Star Wars, Star Trek and Indiana Jones series.

Here’s more of Deep Fried MoviesShot Behind the Shot series.

Behind the scenes of A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

Behind the Scenes of A Nightmare on Elm Street #20

I’d read an article in the L.A. Times about a family who had escaped the Killing Fields in Cambodia and managed to get to the U.S. Things were fine, and then suddenly the young son was having very disturbing nightmares. He told his parents he was afraid that if he slept, the thing chasing him would get him, so he tried to stay awake for days at a time. When he finally fell asleep, his parents thought this crisis was over. Then they heard screams in the middle of the night. By the time they got to him, he was dead. He died in the middle of a nightmare. Here was a youngster having a vision of a horror that everyone older was denying. That became the central line of Nightmare on Elm Street.” – Wes Craven on the origin of A Nightmare on Elm Street, from Vulture’s oral history of the film.

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Pic of the Day: Angel Heart (1987)

Angel Heart (alanparker.com)

Director Alan Parker (left) shows Mickey Rourke the proper way to rough up a fellow actor on the set of 1987’s Angel Heart.

Thanks to the fine folks at Cinephilia & Beyond, I’ve spent the last few hours digging through the treasure trove that is AlanParker.com. The official site of the British director behind Angel Heart, Midnight Express, Mississippi Burning, and Pink Floyd The Wall, the site features behind the scenes pics and essays by Parker about the making of his films. That includes a production diary from Angel Heart with this passage about the casting of Robert De Niro:

“Getting Robert De Niro to say ‘yes’ to doing my movie wasn’t easy. Lanza’s, the Italian restaurant in New York’s Lower East Side where he had suggested we meet was the kind of cliché neighbourhood restaurant full of gentlemen in mohair suits making sure that they didn’t have their backs to the proceedings. But Mr. De Niro didn’t want to be stared at.

I had been courting him to play the Devil in Angel Heart for some months and we had met a few times—and he had continued to bombard me with questions examining every dot and comma of my script. I had walked him through the locations we had found, read through the screenplay sitting on the floor of a dank, disused church in Harlem and finally he said ‘yes’. To be honest, he said, “Alan, I am of a mind to do the movie.” Not overly gushing, it’s true, but De Niro doesn’t gush.” – Alan Parker

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