I briefly spoke with Kenya Hardaway about her work on integrated fan expeirences for the FX Network. It took two months with the Marco Brambilla Studio and her team to work on this popup experience.I covered the opening of FX Networks The LEGION Chamber the artistic video installation inspired by the FX drama series Legion to design which allows fans to step inside a 360-degree micro-theatre featuring a one-of-a-kind presentation by the internationally-acclaimed Marco Brambilla Studio. An extraordinary visual art piece hosted at Goya Studios in Hollywood this weekend (March 30 – April 1) only, The LEGION Chamber takes fans on a surreal journey through main character David Haller’s altered states of reality forcing them, like him, to question what is real and what is not. Once inside, participants will find themselves disconnected from the outside world – literally – and fully entrenched in David’s hypnotic digital realm. Legion, the acclaimed drama series from creator and executive producer Noah Hawley, will return to FX on Tuesday, April 3 at 10 PM ET/PT.
The LEGION Chamber hours and location details are below:
Friday, March 30th – 11AM – 7PM
Saturday, March 31st – 11AM – 7PM
Sunday, April 1st – 10AM – 6PM
Goya Studios, Stage C
1541 N. Cahuenga Blvd
Los Angeles, Ca 90028
For more information on how to experience The LEGION Chamber, go to facebook.com/legionfx.
ABOUT MARCO BRAMBILLA STUDIO
Founded in 2012, Marco Brambilla Studio is a digital and experiential art studio, based in New York and London. They are widely known for their visionary use of new technologies to create elaborate multi-sensory experiences, combining video, sound, light, architecture, and interaction. With Fracture, the immersive film created for this exhibit, Brambilla explores the concept of altered reality, a central theme of LEGION.
ABOUT FX NETWORKS
FX Networks, a business unit of 21st Century Fox, is comprised of the networks FX, FXX and FXM and the video on-demand app FXNOW. FX, the flagship general entertainment basic cable channel, launched in June of 1994 and is carried in 90 million homes. The diverse schedule features a growing roster of critically-acclaimed and award-winning hit dramas series, including The Americans, Taboo, Legion, Snowfall, Trust and the upcoming Mayans MC; the critically-acclaimed limited series American Horror Story, Fargo, American Crime Story and FEUD; acclaimed hit comedy series including Atlanta, Basketsand Better Things; and the upcoming dance musical series Pose. FXX, the newest network, launched in September 2013 and is carried in 86 million homes. Geared towards a young adult audience, the schedule features original series, movies, and acquired series. The channel is anchored by the acclaimed hit comedies It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, the Emmy® Award winning comedy series Archer and You’re the Worst. FXX is also the exclusive cable home to The Simpsons, the longest-running comedy in TV history. FXM (formerly Fox Movie Channel) was launched in October of 1994 and is now carried in 57 million homes. Its schedule features classic films during the day (FXM Retro), and contemporary box office hits and acclaimed, award-winning films in the evening, as well as short-form award-winning original programming. FX Networks received 55 Emmy® Award nominations in 2017, the most of any basic cable network for the fourth consecutive year, after winning a basic cable record 18 Emmy Awards in 2016.
About Marvel Entertainment and Marvel Television:
Marvel Entertainment, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS), is one of the world’s most prominent character-based entertainment companies, built on a proven library of more than 8,000 characters featured in a variety of media over seventy-five years. Marvel utilizes its character franchises in entertainment, licensing and publishing. Marvel Television develops and produces some of the world’s most creative and popular live-action and animated programming for broadcast and cable television networks plus digital platforms including a historic deal with NETFLIX. Its portfolio of self-produced series includes “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., ” ”Marvel’s The Inhumans” for ABC, ”Marvel’s Daredevil,” “Marvel’s Luke Cage,” and the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning “Marvel’s Jessica Jones” for NETFLIX and “Marvel’s Ultimate Spider-Man,” “Marvel’s Avengers” and “Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy” for Disney XD. Marvel Television’s upcoming projects include “Marvel’s Iron Fist” and the culminating “Marvel’s The Defenders” for NETFLIX as well as “Marvel’s The Punisher” (NETFLIX), “Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger” (Freeform), “Legion” (FX), and “Marvel’s Runaways” (Hulu). For more information, visit marvel.com. © 2017 MARVEL
Posted in Comic Books, Comic Con, culture, free, Geek Fun, geek tv, horror, Los Angeles, San Diego Comic Con
I’m so ready to fangirl after hearing what FX Networks is bringing to SDCC!
This year they are bringing Legion, the Strain (NOOOO it’s the final season), Archer, Atlanta and American Horror Story as they take over the Hilton Bayfront Park at San Diego Comic Con
Make sure if your a fan of the Strain to come see a special sneak peek screening on July 21 with the first two episodes from 7 – 9PM.
This years FXhibition is going to be even bigger than last year with interactive experiences that will have you on the edge of your seat! The installation is from July 20-23 ready to keep fans of FX Network ready to tune in and drop in living out fanboy/fangirl dreams .. or is that horrors the Strain is on the lawn too! I was hooked on Legion after episode three so am very curious about the Sessions: The Legion Mixed Reality Experience that will be powered by Microsoft HoloLens and bring the series to life or nightmare. You will be ‘David Hailer’ using the HoloLens to be a part of his world and test his world. You can make reservations beginning July 17th at LegionSessions.com
American Horror Story fans will get a chance to get a tease of the upcoming season with the larger than life AHS Zoetrope that promises to show the series in a new chilling and (am sure) horrifying way. Fans will also get to learn the title of the new AHS series July 20 with Ryan Murphy announcing the news! Exhibition will have a photo booth inspired by the freshman series Atlanta.
Other sharable video and photo opportunities at “FXhibition” include:
- The FX Scene Stealer, which will use the power of green screen technology to allow attendants to star in personalized scenes from original series like It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Archer, Legion, and The Strain.
- The Strain Sun Protection Station, which will feature some of the show’s iconic props including Bolivar’s head and multiple stingers, as well as provide life-saving sunscreen to protect fans from harmful rays.
- Snowfall Lacing Station, where fans can get their own sneakers re-laced by experts in unique styles with FX-branded laces.
- The Archer Wet Bar will encourage fans to rehydrate with water.
- FX Swag Box, a branded claw machine to distribute limited edition prizes, an experience that fans will want to share.
For details and more information on how to be a part of the “FXHibition” experience, visit FXSDCC.com.
ABOUT FX NETWORKS
FX Networks, a business unit of 21st Century Fox, is comprised of the networks FX, FXX and FXM and the video on-demand app FXNOW. FX, the flagship general entertainment basic cable channel, launched in June of 1994 and is carried in 90 million homes. The diverse schedule features a growing roster of critically-acclaimed and award-winning hit dramas series, includingThe Americans, The Strain, Taboo, Legion and Snowfall; the critically-acclaimed limited series American Horror Story, Fargo, American Crime Story, FEUD: Bette and Joan and the upcoming Trust; and acclaimed hit comedy series including the award-winning Louie, Baskets, Better Things and Atlanta. In 2016, FX received a basic cable record 56 Emmy® Award nominations and a basic cable record 18 wins, including 9 for The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story. FXX, the newest network, launched in September 2013 and is carried in 85 million homes. Geared towards a young adult audience, the schedule features original series, movies, and acquired series. The channel is anchored by the acclaimed hit comedies It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, the Emmy® Award winning comedy series Archer, You’re the Worst and the upcoming untitled Marvel’s Deadpool animated comedy series. FXX is also the exclusive cable home to The Simpsons, the longest-running comedy in TV history. FXM (formerly Fox Movie Channel) was launched in October of 1994 and is now carried in 55 million homes. Its schedule features classic films during the day (FXM Retro), and contemporary box office hits and acclaimed, award-winning films in the evening, as well as short-form award-winning original programming.
Posted in Game Chick, Geek Fun, Geek Gift, geek tv, horror, Los Angeles, San Diego Comic Con, TV Tagged with: AHS, American Horror Story, Archer, Atlanta, Fan Experience, FX Networks, FX Swag Bag, FX-branded laces, FXhibition, FXX, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Legion, Legion Sessions, Microsoft HoloLens, San Diego Comic Con, SDCC, Snowfall, Snowfall Lacing Station, The Strain, VR, Zoetrope
Grimmsters get ready to camp out at Ballroom 20 to see the cast of Grimm!
The SDCC panel is on Saturday July, 23 at 2:30
David Giuntoli, “Nick Burkhardt”
Russell Hornsby, “Hank Griffin”
Bitsie Tulloch, “Juliette Silverton / Eve”
Silas Weir Mitchell, “Monroe”
Sasha Roiz, “Sean Renard”
Reggie Lee, “Drew Wu”
Bree Turner, “Rosalee Calvert”
Claire Coffee, “Adalind Schade”
Jim Kouf, Executive Producer
David Greenwalt, Executive Producer
The “Grimm” panel is on Saturday, July 23, 2:30-3:15 PM in Ballroom 20.
Produced by Universal Television, “Grimm” is a drama series inspired by the classic Grimm Brothers’ Fairy Tales. After Portland homicide detective Nick Burkhardt (David Giuntoli) discovers he’s descended from an elite line of criminal profilers known as “Grimms,” he increasingly finds his responsibilities as a detective at odds with his new responsibilities as a Grimm.
Posted in Comic Con, geek tv, horror, San Diego Comic Con Tagged with: Adalind Schade, Bitsie Tulloch, Bree Turner, Claire Coffee, Comic-Con, David Giuntoli, David Greenwalt, Drew Wu, Hank Griffin, Jim Kouf, Juliette Silverton, Monroe, Nick Burkhardt, panel, Reggie Lee, Rosalee Calvert, Russell Hornsby, San Diego Comic Con, Sasha Roiz, SDCC, Sean Hayes, Sean Renard, Silas Weir Mitchell
So excited that Starz is bringing to San Diego Comic Con the stars and creators of Outlander and Ash vs Evil Dead this year! I hope you got your pass and are ready to camp out on Thursday, room 6A at 6pm. Friday is all about Outlander in Ballroom 20 at 4pm! I’ve already asked to be on the press list and am NOT ashamed to beg to interview them!
Hmm I already did my highlander joke to Caitriona and Sam which left them a bit perplexed when I spoke to them last year (interview on YouTube). I’ll stick to the show, the screen chemistry and of course the heaving bosom .. I’m talking about his! <hubba hubba> he does look VERY nice without a shirt! <snicker>
Any geek worth their salt have been going NUTS that Sam Raimi has brought Ash to the small screen! Meet my boomstick indeed!
“Ash vs Evil Dead”
Thursday July 9th, Room 6A in the San Diego Convention Center 6:00 – 7:00 PM
“Ash vs Evil Dead,” which is currently in production in New Zealand, is the long-awaited follow-up to the classic horror film franchise The Evil Dead and is set to premiere on STARZ in Fall 2015. The 10-episode first season of the half-hour series is executive produced by Sam Raimi, Rob Tapert, Bruce Campbell, the original filmmakers of the franchise, and Craig DiGregorio who will serve as executive producer and showrunner.
Campbell will be reprising his role as Ash, the stock boy, aging lothario and chainsaw-handed monster hunter who has spent the last 30 years avoiding responsibility, maturity and the terrors of the Evil Dead. When a Deadite plague threatens to destroy all of mankind, Ash is finally forced to face his demons –personal and literal. Destiny, it turns out, has no plans to release the unlikely hero from its “Evil” grip.
The cast is led by Bruce Campbell (Evil Dead, “Burn Notice”) in the role of Ash Williams, Lucy Lawless (“Salem,” “Spartacus”) as Ruby a mysterious figure who believes Ash is the cause of the Evil outbreaks, Ray Santiago (“Touch,” Meet the Fockers) as Pablo Simon Bolivar, an idealistic immigrant who becomes Ash’s loyal sidekick, Dana DeLorenzo (A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas) as Kelly Maxwell, a moody wild child trying to outrun her past and Jill Marie Jones (“Sleepy Hollow”) as Amanda Fisher, a disgraced Michigan State Trooper set to find our anti-hero Ash and prove his responsibility in the grisly murder of her partner.
Friday July 10th Ballroom 20 in the San Diego Convention Center 4:00 – 4:45 PM
Have you succumbed to the dulcet tones of this romantic fantasy drama? It’s a beautiful period drama with a solid cast based on a series written by Diana Gabaldon that is historical fiction but with the twist of time travel, social norms, sex, intrigue and a bit of mystery. I have to say one of the things that I enjoy about the series is the red hot screen chemistry! My other favorite is how it shows that social norms are fluid and constantly change about what’s ‘normal’. It’s a show unlike anything else on TV or I’ve ever seen.
“Outlander” spans the genres of romance, science fiction, history and adventure as it follows Claire Randall, a married WWII combat nurse who mistakenly falls back in time to 1743. As the season continues, Claire and Jamie’s relationship is tested and Claire must reconcile her modern mindset with this 18th century world. Ruthless redcoats, volatile clan politics, and a brutal witch trial force Jamie and Claire to escape to a new home. Just when their life as a married couple begins to take shape, Jamie is once again drawn into Captain Randall’s darkness. Ultimately, Claire discovers there is a fate worse than death as she struggles to save Jamie’s heart, as well as his soul.
Leave a comment below on what I should ask the cast of the shows! I might choose it when I talk to them at San Diego Comic Con.
Posted in Comic Con, Geek Travel, geek tv, horror, San Diego Comic Con, TV Tagged with: A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas, Ash vs Evil Dead, boom stick, boomstick, Bruce Campbell, Burn Notice, Caitriona Balfe, Dana DeLorenzo, Diana Gabaldon, Jill Marie Jones, Lucy Lawless, Meet the Fockers, OUTLANDER, Ray Santiago, Rob Tapert, Ronald D. Moore, Salem, Sam Heughan, Sam Raimi, San Diego Comic Con, SDCC, sleepy hollow, Spartacus, Starz, The Evil Dead, Touch
Get your credit cards out and get ready for a fun Broadway night right here in Los Angeles on February 23 (Monday)! The Pantages is bringing back Wicked this Spring and while they are performing they want to give back. So the cast is having a ONE night only event where they are going to be doing the Time Warp .. heck yes that will be awesome. Who hasn’t seen this subversive film at midnight??? But the chance to hear Broadway voices belting out our favorite tunes??? I might have to charge two tickets for this show! Who’s coming with me????
General admission to “THE WICKED ROCKY HORROR SHOW” is a $60 donation. VIP ticket area available for a $125 donation and includes priority seating as well as a 6:30 p.m. pre-show reception with members of the company. A limited number of standing room tickets will be available for a donation of $40. All proceeds benefit BC/EFA, and admission donations are tax deductible. Tickets for this event will go on sale to the public on Thursday, January 29th at 10am PT. Tickets will be available online at www.fondatheatre.com, or by calling 888-929-7849.
Leave a comment below on your favorite character and if your going to dress up!
THE NATIONAL TOURING COMPANY OF WICKED HOSTS BENEFIT CONCERT PERFORMANCE OF
“THE WICKED ROCKY HORROR SHOW”
TICKETS ON SALE THURSDAY, JANUARY 29TH AT 10AM
Wednesday, January 28, 2015 – The National Touring Company of WICKED will host “THE WICKED ROCKY HORROR SHOW,” a staged concert performance of Richard O’Brien’s “The Rocky Horror Show,” at The Fonda Theatre Monday, February 23, at 7:30 p.m. The event will feature the company of WICKED, and net proceeds will benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Tickets for this event will go on sale to the public on Thursday, January 29th at 10am PT. In addition to the performance, there will be live auctions including several opportunities to join the company backstage at The Pantages Theatre, and a chance to bid on a walk-on role in a performance of WICKED.
“THE WICKED ROCKY HORROR SHOW” is part of an ongoing series of performances by the touring company to support charitable causes which advance WICKED’s theme of acceptance and illuminate the musical’s message that people should not be judged on first impressions. The company believes that in these divisive times we must come together to support those in need throughout the country and around the world. In its nearly ten years on the road, the company has raised over $3.5 million in donations for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and local AIDS service organizations all over the country.
Produced by company members, the evening is an opportunity for them to step out of their roles in the musical and kick up their (spiked) heels as Dr. Frank-N-Furter, Riff Raff, Columbia, Magenta, Rocky, Janet and Brad.
The event will be directed by company member Timothy A. Fitz-Gerald with choreography by Jonathan McGill. Musical direction provided by Andrew Graham.
WICKED, Broadway’s biggest blockbuster, is playing through March 15 at the Pantages Theatre. Good seats are still available. Tickets can be purchased by visiting www.hollywoodpantages.com or www.ticketmaster.com/wicked or also by calling Ticketmaster at 800-982-2787.
About Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS
Broadway Cares / Equity Fights AIDS is one of the nation’s leading industry-based, nonprofit AIDS fundraising and grant-making organizations. By drawing upon the talents, resources and generosity of the American theatre community, since 1988 BC/EFA has raised over $250 million for essential services for people with AIDS and other critical illnesses across the United States. BC/EFA is the major supporter of seven programs at The Actors Fund – the employee assistance program of the entertainment industry – including The HIV/AIDS Initiative, The Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative, The Al Hirschfeld Free Health Clinic and more. BC/EFA also awards annual grants to more than 450 AIDS and family service organizations nationwide. For more information, visitwww.BroadwayCares.org.
About The Fonda Theatre
The Fonda Theatre is a historic 1920’s venue originally built as Carter De Haven’s Music Box and is formerly known as The Henry Fonda Theatre and The Music Box. One of Hollywood’s first legitimate theatres, the Henry Fonda Music Box Theatre experienced a variety of incarnations during the 1920’s, 1930’s and 1940’s as part of an entertainment district of exceptional quality and diversity. Still keeping up with that reputation The Fonda Theatre re-opened on March 17th, 2012 with a performance by FEED ME with Teeth. We are a beloved all-ages venue serving all genres of music and live performances. Past performers include Pearl Jam, Trey Anastasio Band, Black Eyed Peas, Katie Perry, Radiohead, Stevie Wonder, Black Crowes, Afro Jack, Esperanza Spalding, and Alabama Shakes, and Mogwai to name a few. The venue can hold up to 1,350 people and can also accommodate non-music events such as award ceremonies, film screenings, video shoots, private parties and dinners… you name it we can host it… and we have! www.fondatheatre.com.
Posted in concert, culture, Geek Fun, horror, Los Angeles, Theatre Tagged with: AIDS, BC/EFA, benefit, Brad, Broadway, Broadway Cares, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, Columbia, Dr. Frank-N-Furter, Equity Fights AIDS, Ford Teatre, Fundraiser, Hollywood, Janet, Jonathan McGill, Los Angeles, Magenta, Musical, Pantages, Richard O’Brien, Riff Raff, Rocky, Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Al Hirschfeld Free Health Clinic, The Fonda Theatre, The HIV/AIDS Initiative, The National Touring Company, The Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative, THE WICKED ROCKY HORROR SHOW, TimeWarp, Timothy A. Fitz-Gerald, Wicked
I’m not shocked that the new season of Sleepy Hollow is bursting at the seams! When I interviewed the producers at San Diego Comic Con (click for youtube video) they dropped a few hints of what the writers had in store for the fans but DANNNGGGG I had no idea the twists and turns and manipulations evil will do to wreck havoc as they plot to bring hell on earth.
Now I’d watched the first season last year religiously never missing an episode and recording on my DirecTV recorder so they could be REWATCHED for clues. So imagine my surprise for the season opener where Abbie and Ichabod were the newest kickass buddy cop duo that had won the battle. I thought to myself that I must have missed an episode somehow. I was a bit upset but of course kept watching the chemistry between Abbie and Ichabod as they mourned the loss of the SMWLA Speakeasy Location: The Victorian (and Basement Tavern) in Santa Monica, family and love. I shed a bit of tear for his wife Katrina (no not really she’s standing between Abbie and Ichabod love ) and for Abbie’s kickass sister (love her! I’d be mad to if my sister threw me under the boss and got me committed!).
I don’t want to give away any major details for those who love to binge but it’s a doozy and will have you screaming once the twist does the big revel. My friend @scifimaven thought it was too busy and a bit confusing but I loved the many paths they laid out for fans. I’m sure some a false, half truths and a few will be major revelations.
My favorite is that Abbie and Ichabod will still be able to draw closer as they battle Moloch, that Katrina is a double agent with her first love Abraham Von Brunt aka Headless Horseman (can’t blame him I’d be eternally pissed if my fiancé ran off with my best friend!) and that Henry Parrish aka Sin Eater aka Jeremy Krane aka God of War (that’s a lot of AKA and evil in one guy!) is STILL up to no good all stemming from his Daddy/Mommy issues (join the club dude join the club!!!) bwa ha ha
I’m excited about the second season of Sleepy Hollow and if you haven’t been watching this supernatural procedural drama than get caught up!!!! Your missing out on a great show!
Leave a comment below with your fan love of what’s going to happen this year ….
Posted in geek tv, horror, San Diego Comic Con, TV Tagged with: abbie, Blog, Comedy, crane, Fox, Geek, geekout, god of war, headless horseman, henry crane, Horrow, ichabod, katrina, police, prodedural, sleepy hollow, suspense, tv
I had to share this fascinating story of Chester Novell Turner who filmed his own horror films to … well no acclaim back in the 80s but was discovered by horror fans who wanted to see something new. Well they got new, scary and well BLACK with Chester’s twisted horror films. After reading this story in the NYT now I want to see Black Devil Doll and his other that alas are still on VHS but will hopefully be transferred to DVD or streamed online so that I can get a little scared in the comfort of my own apartment. It just goes to show that everyone has a story and SOMEBODY wants to hear that story!
Fairy Tale Ending in the Horror Realm
Chester Novell Turner and ‘Black Devil Doll’ Are Back
Images from “Black Devil Doll From Hell,” a 1984 film directed by Chester Novell Turner.
By ERIK PIEPENBURG – NYT November 17, 2013
In the 1980s, when the home-video revolution turned backyard directors into VHS auteurs, Chester Novell Turner lived his childhood dream of making horror movies. He bought a video camera, borrowed money from his mother and enlisted the help of buddies, a girlfriend and a preacher to make two ultra-low-budget movies that looked as if they were shot in a basement, because, in some cases, they were. “Black Devil Doll From Hell” was about a kindly woman who is raped by a ventriloquist’s dummy; “Tales From the Quadead Zone” was a trilogy of shorts that featured a killer clown and the ghost of a dead child. As word slowly spread about Mr. Turner’s gritty movies with African-American casts — a rarity in the very white horror world — bootleg copies of his films spread like crazy along the VHS underground.
Christian Hansen for The New York Times
Chester Novell Turner, who briefly made horror movies in the 1980s, at the screening of his “Black Devil Doll from Hell” at the Nitehawk Theater in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
Christian Hansen for The New York Times
A limited-edition poster designed by Earl Kessler Jr. for the screening this month.
Then he stopped. Although Mr. Turner told a newspaper in the late 1980s that he was at work on another film, it never materialized. In 1996, rumors surfaced that he had been killed in a horrifying car accident. Grief spread among his devotees, who by now were sharing the Gospel of Chester on the Internet. Although, by then, DVDs had started to replace VHS as the home entertainment option of choice, Mr. Turner’s films became some of the most prized VHS horror titles among fans who treasured the low-fi beauty of a chunky plastic box of tape.
As his renown among indie horror connoisseurs grew, mysteries remained: Why would he make a sinister psychosexual movie like “Black Devil Doll”? How did he come to make his leading character a working-class black woman, an unheard-of protagonist in the horror genre? Just who was this Roman Polanski of the South Side of Chicago?
Fast forward to 2013: a spry and alive Mr. Turner, 67, learns to his surprise that he is a niche horror star who is being cheered by fans at sold-out screenings across the country and is the subject of a new DVD boxed set.
“The reason we’re watching this film 25 years later is that you can tell Chester didn’t make it because he thought it would get him to Hollywood,” said Bryan Connolly, who manages a Vulcan Video store in Austin, Tex. “You can tell he had some weird ideas in his brain, and he had to get them out by any means necessary. Whether or not you think his films are trash, his drive is what a true artist’s drive is.”
Just after midnight on a recent Saturday at Nitehawk Cinema, a theater in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, mouths were agape during a screening of “Black Devil Doll From Hell” (1984). Filmed in a church, bar and other locations in Chicago, the bizarre sexual tale features Shirley L. Jones, who became Mr. Turner’s girlfriend, as a woman who undergoes a troubled sexual awakening after being assaulted by a dummy that looks like Rick James. The film is slow moving, crudely edited and has a low-budget look that comes from the VHS tape it was shot on.
John Woods, Nitehawk’s programing director, stocked “Black Devil Doll” at a video store he once owned, and he said he would tell customers: “Be prepared. It’s a crazy movie. It’s something you’re not going to forget, whether you love it or hate it.”
Mr. Turner’s mystique hit a zenith a few years ago, when an eBay auction of an original VHS copy of “Tales From the Quadead Zone” sold for nearly $700. The winner was Earl Kessler Jr., an illustrator who later designed a poster for the Nitehawk event. This year Mr. Kessler sold the video to another collector for over $1,300.
Enter Louis Justin, the 23-year-old owner of Massacre Video, a horror micro-label he runs out of his Michigan home. An avid collector of VHS, Mr. Justin turned amateur gumshoe to track down a director he calls a legend. After hundreds of fruitless calls to Chester Turners across the country, Mr. Justin was at a Chicago video store when he asked the owners if they’d heard of “Black Devil Doll.”
“They said, ‘Oh yeah, some kid stole that tape from us years ago,’ ” Mr. Justin recalled.
He called a Chester Turner who lived several blocks from the store. This Chester Turner, when asked if he was the director of “Quadead,” replied: “Yeah. Why do you want to know about that?”
Mr. Justin said: “I explained I was a giant fan of his films and said I would be honored to work out a deal and release them back into the public. His reply was, ‘Yeah that would be a lot of fun.’ ”
Mr. Turner, originally from the West Side of Chicago, said moviemaking was a side passion he developed as a child who devoured Hitchcock films and “The Twilight Zone.”
“I love the strange and the bizarre,” he said during an interview before the Nitehawk screening. “I had a twisted sense of humor.”
After taking a correspondence course on filmmaking basics, he shot “Black Devil Doll” with about $10,000.
“All my friends would say: ‘Who does he think he is? Steven Spielberg?’ ” Mr. Turner said. “But I said I’m going to do this because this story is worth telling.”
Mr. Turner self-released “Quadead” but sold “Black Devil Doll” to a distributor, who, he said, stiffed him. After that experience soured him on independent filmmaking, he focused on his home remodeling business.
Filmmaking “was a part of me that was left unfulfilled,” he said. “But there were other practical things that had to be taken care of,” like raising several children. (His wife died several years ago.)
Mr. Turner’s Brooklyn appearance was the last stop on a cross-country tour that commenced at the Cinema Wasteland horror movie convention in suburban Cleveland in October and continued in Los Angeles; Austin, Tex.; and Philadelphia. Far from looking like the creator of a demon doll, the director speaks quietly, with soft eyes and a wide, warm smile that delivers a hearty high-pitched laugh.
“People came up and shook my hand, and they were so sincere,” Mr. Turner said. “I’m amazed that people have that kind of feeling for something I did a long time ago.”
His re-emergence mirrors stories in recent documentaries about minority artists unaware of their acclaim among mostly white fans. Think of Sixto Rodriguez, the reclusive Hispanic musician in the Oscar-winning “Searching for Sugar Man,” or the three black brothers in a ‘70s rock group at the center of “A Band Called Death.” Like those artists, Mr. Turner turned the tables on racial conventions, in this case for horror movies, by casting black actors and shooting in black neighborhoods in Chicago and Alabama, where Ms. Jones was visiting relatives. His fans, however, have been the bread and butter of the modern horror genre: white and young.
Lars Nilsen, a programmer for the Austin Film Society, said he was initially concerned there was a “condescending hipster racism thing” in Mr. Turner’s following. “But I didn’t detect it at all” at his organization’s screening of “Black Devil Doll” with Mr. Turner and Ms. Jones, he said. “I think the fact that he’s black in a world that’s primarily white adds to the underdog thing. He’s a complete outsider in so many ways.”
Mr. Turner’s influence reaches beyond the horror set: Last year the Museum of Arts and Design showed “Tales From the Quadead Zone” as part of its VHS retrospective. Jake Yuzna, curator of the show, said Mr. Turner stood apart from other amateur filmmakers because his films “failed in a way that made them more original and fantastic.”
“If you watch the films, you can’t imagine there’s anyone else out there like him,” Mr. Yuzna added. “Like any auteur we talk about, like John Waters or Melvin van Peebles, these films are uniquely his. If you gave him a camera today, you’d know it’s his film.”
At a table in the Nitehawk lobby, Mr. Justin was doing a brisk business in DVDs and other merchandise. Later this year, the label Poisoned Mind Records plans to release a vinyl version of the “Black Devil Doll” soundtrack, which includes Mr. Turner’s own minimalist score (think of Kraftwerk with an R&B swagger) and original songs. Mr. Justin declined to go into detail about his contract with Mr. Turner, other than to say that he paid Mr. Turner for the rights to his two films, which is more “than what he made originally.”
“He’s been treated well,” Mr. Justin said of his deal with Mr. Turner. (“I trust him,” Mr. Turner said in a separate interview.)
Will Mr. Turner return to directing? He has several screenplays at the ready, including “Tales From the Quadead Zone 2” and a film about an afterbirth that comes to life.
“I haven’t reached a masterpiece yet,” he said.
Posted in Film, horror, Movie, Race in America Tagged with: Black Devil Doll, Black Film, Chester Novell Turner, Chicago, festival, Geek, horror, Indie Film, Movie, nerd, Screening, Tales from the Quadead Zone, Trilogy, VHS
You have your choice of fun stuff to do this halloween (October 31) from DTLA to Santa Monica and everywhere in between you can find something to do that’s you style. You can people watch at the West Hollywood Halloween Carnival or find brains in Santa Monica with the 1st Annual Zombie Crawl in Santa Monica or you can eat your way across korea town with the first annual Costumed DimSum Crawl LA
Chinatown or try new drinks in with the first annual BOOS FOR BOOZE: A CULVER CITY HALLOWEEN COCKTAIL CRAWL. Now if your not a drinker or want to start your halloween fun in the AM who can resist krispy kreme treat at participating stores nationwide and of course chipotle is having their annual fundraiser to benefit their own Chipotle cultivate Foundation. Now this is just a small list of things that attract me and if your in LA or another big city you have options and just not the usual HOUSE PARTY.
Posted in culture, Food, Good Cause, horror, Los Angeles, My pages Tagged with: Carnival, Chipotle, chipotley, Cocktail, Crawl, Culver City, DimSum, DTLA, halloween, Koreatown, Krispy Kreme, Pier, Santa Monica, West Hollywood, Zombie
Now I’m jealous of Canada with this live version of the classic original zombie movie Night of the Dead as a PLAY!!! What will they think of next in the great white north??? I remember seeing this B&W horror film as a kid and just being scared to death of the zombies. Who knew when George Romero decided to create a new horror genre that it would be a true classic and infect (get it infect with the zombie virus) our psyche for life??? Nothing is more scarier than the undead running around looking to eat our brains. Hmmm how can I get up to Toronto to see this live zombie horror treat???
AND BACK FROM THE DEAD BETTER THAN EVER:
George A. Romero’s
NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD LIVE
At Theatre Passe Muraille
Oct 8-27, 2013
August 1, 2013. Toronto. In celebration of the OCTOBER 1ST, 45th anniversary of the premiere of George A. Romero’s cult hit, NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, Co-Creators Christopher Harrison and Phil Pattison of Nictophobia Film are bringing the stage production of NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD LIVE back from October Oct 8-27, 2013
at Theatre Passe Muraille, 16 Ryerson Avenue in Toronto. NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD LIVE is directed by Christopher Bond (Evil Dead, The Musical, A Little Bit Zombie).
Tickets are available online at www.NIGHTOFTHELIVINGDEADLIVE.COM and at the NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD LIVE ticket launch party on Saturday, August 10 at Sp!n Toronto, 461 King St. W., Toronto, 8 – 10pm. Play free pong against zombies, cast and crew.
Told in the intimate setting of Toronto’s Theatre Passe Muraille, NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD LIVE brings audiences into the famous 1960’s farmhouse where six strangers are trapped, surrounded by the undead. Ben (Hinds) has just saved Barbra (Phillips) who has witnessed the gruesome death of her brother. Delirious with grief, she is unable to help Ben who is trying to turn the house into a fortress when Harry (Nahrgang) and Tom (new cast member is Second City AlumAdam Cawley) burst up from the basement, announcing that Helen (Harry`s wife)(Boyer), Karen, their sick daughter who needs immediate help, and Judy (Tom`s girlfriend) are also taking shelter there. Tensions rise as they debate the best way to protect themselves against an onslaught of zombies, but they soon realize that it may not be possible to survive this night of the living dead.
NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD LIVE is co-created by Christopher Harrison (Devil’s Night, The Man Who Loved Flowers) and Phil Pattison (Devil’s Night, The Man Who Loved Flowers), who are also producing the project with Marty Birthelmer (the upcoming The Mummers) through their production company, Nictophobia Films and executive produced by the legendary George A. Romero (Night of the Living Dead, Day of the Dead, Land of the Dead, Diary of the Dead and Survival of the Dead), Russ Streiner (best known as Johnny (“They’re coming to get you, Barbra”) in the original horror classic), and John A. Russo, co-author of Night of the Living Dead.
NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD LIVE, is written by playwrights Trevor Martin (Patch Town, A Little Bit Zombie), Canadian Comedy Award winner Dale Boyer (Second City, “Live from the CenTre”) and Christopher Bond, with production design by Lindsay Anne Black (My Mother’s Lesbian Jewish-Wiccan Wedding), choreography by Stacey Maroske with sound design by Richard Feren, costume design by Claudia Kada (Mein Kempf, Evil Dead: The Musical), makeup design by Christina Spina, lighting by multi-award winner Michelle Ramsey (Helen’s Necklace, My Mother’s Lesbian Jewish-Wiccan Wedding), Special FX design by Carlos Henriques (Death Race, Witchslayer Gretl, Red: Werewolf Hunter) and music by Juno Award-winner, Mike Trebilcock (The Tenant, Reid Coolsaet: Road to London) and Jamie Lamb (Monkey Toast, Ken Kostick & Co.).
Posted in culture, horror, Theatre Tagged with: George Romero, horror, Night of the Living Dead, Toronto, Zombie, Zombies