Born and raised in the small riverbank town of Jenny Lind in Calaveras County, California, Edward Lucky McKee grew up mostly in poverty with little access to modern forms of entertainment. When McKee was age ten, he used an old video camera to videotape his sister’s birthday party which put him on a path for an interest in film making. At age 12, he and a friend made their own version of Pesadilla en la calle del infierno (1984) which they first saw at the local cinema.
While attending the Calaveras High School, McKee and classmate ‘Kevin Ford’) solicited a commission from the school board to videotape a documentary for their senior class. After graduation, McKee traveled to Los Angeles in 1993 and enrolled himself in a film writing program at the University of Southern California’s School of Film-Television. McKee made several friends during his four years at USC, most of whom helped with the development of his directing films. After leaving USC in 1997, McKee returned to his hometown to look for work. In 1999, he collaborated with making his first feature movie, which was a very low budget horror film titled All Cheerleaders Die (2001) with the production help from former USC classmate Chris Sivertson. Shot on high definition videotape over a period of two four-day weekends, All Cheerleaders Die (2001) was a splatter comedy about the rivalry between a group of high school jocks and four cheerleaders who accidentally die and are brought back to life to seek revenge.
While attending USC as a sophomore, McKee wrote the screenplay for a short film titled ‘Fraction’, as well as the screenplay for the feature movie May (2002) which was inspired by ‘Mary Shelley”s Frankenstein and the moodiness of Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver (1976), as well as the lyrics to a song from Nirvana. May (2002) tells the story about a lonely and repressed young woman working as a veterinarian assistant who is slowly pushed into insanity and murder by her quest for companionship. Having recognized McKee’s talent while attending USC, classmate Marius Balchunas developed the script through his newly founded “2Loop Productions” and offered McKee a production deal to make it into a feature film. With the backing of “2Loop Productions” and a cast of independent film actors who included Texas-born Angela Bettis in the starring role, who was Kevin Ford’s wife, as well as Jeremy Sisto and Anna Faris. Filming was made in late 2001 in Los Angeles, and finished just in time for the January 2002 Sundance Film Festival where it had a one-night showing where it was picked up by Lions Gate for a limited theatrical release the following year before making its mark on home video and DVD as a cult following ever since.
In 2005, McKee was offered by United Artists to direct the David Ross script The Woods (2006), another horror film shot in and around Montreal, Canada and starring some first-rate actors like Patricia Clarkson and Bruce Campbell about a haunted woods influencing the actions of a teenage girl attending an all-girls high school located in isolation within the woods. But the film ended up being shelved after United Artists was bought out by Metro Goldwyn Mayer with a release date still impending.
Also in 2005, McKee was brought on by Mick Garris as one of the many film directors to direct an episode for “Masters of Horror” (2005) with the episode “Sick Girl” which starred May (2002) star Angela Bettis and B-horror film star Erin Brown (aka: Misty Mundae) which was written by Sean Hood. McKee describes the episode as a dark comedy-romantic version of The Fly (1986) featuring Angela and Erin as two young lovers whose romance is complicated by the arrival of a lethal insect.
McKee then stepped in front of the camera for his first acting role in the starring role of Roman (2006), a psychological drama-thriller which is based on his own script and directed by May (2002) star Angela Bettis. McKee describes Roman (2006) as a sort-of alternated version of May (2002) with him playing a lonely guy whose obsession with a woman he sees passing by his residence every day leads to things going horribly wrong.
Most recently, McKee has agreed to direct Red (2008) an adoption of a Jack Ketchum novel about a lonely war veteran who goes crazy after his pet dog is killed. McKee has also worked as a producer for Chris Sivertson for the 2006 feature film The Lost (2006/II) also based on a novel by Ketchum.(1)
She Never Slept Interviews Master of Horror Lucky McKee!
SNS: Welcome to She Never Slept, Lucky. Let me get some geek girl gushing out of the way first. It is no secret to SNS readers, after my Lucky McKee Fest Twitter-a-thon, that I am a huge fan of yours. And… thanks to the miracle of social networking I have been able to express my admiration directly to you. I think you have a unique vision and you are an inspiration to me as a writer and filmmaker. So, on a personal level, thank you for being here. I am sure we will have a terrorific talk.
LUCK: Aww. Shucks. Let the terrorificocity begin…
SNS: My love for the strange and horrific was born at Drive-In Double Features when I was a wee one. What was it that brought you to the dark side – so to speak?
LUCK: The first film I remember seeing was JAWS when I was about 2. And yes, it was in a drive-in. I’ve always been fascinated with the spooky stuff. I think it also helps that life creeps you out along the way. At least that’s what happened in my case.
SNS: I read somewhere that you used to want to write and draw comics. Do you still keep up with drawing – even though your dream shifted?
LUCK: Yeah. I still draw, but it was just one of those instances where I was honest with myself. I knew I didn’t have the talent or the “gift” of favorite artists of mine (like John Byrne), no matter how hard I tried. I’m a firm believer that we all need to stay in tune with what we are truly good at and not bullshit ourselves. I don’t think enough people do that. I knew I wasn’t good enough to be a comic artist, so I found another medium to express myself through visual stories. I’m glad I picked movies or I’d probably be a lot lonelier person!
SNS: I am sure you made films when you were in college or younger that are buried safely in a vault millions of miles beneath the earth. (chuckles) When did you make you first film and what was it about?
LUCK: I started making movies around age 12. It was a Nightmare on Elm Street sequel, that TOTALLY should have been released. Hahaha. I made a bunch of videos and things all throughout middle school, high school, college, and after. I still make them! The short we made for XBox carries on that tradition. It’s so refreshing to just pick up a camera with a few friends every once in a while and remind yourself why you started doing this. Roman feels like that to me as well. I guess what makes that one super special is that it was a fully fleshed out story/idea but done in that home movie sort of way.(2)
Lucky McKee has always been a bit of a strange one. It’s a point he’s explored as a filmmaker and as a writer. In 2002 he wrote and directed a story about a social outcast named May and four years later he played the titular outcast of Roman. His films tend to revolve around unique characters and situations, and while they seem to fall under the umbrella of the horror genre, he doesn’t view them as such, but rather as character-driven stories that happen to proceed from some dark or scary place. That sensibility has followed him into his literary career as well. I’m Not Sam is his fourth collaborative effort with Jack Ketchum, and their second full-length book. Their first, The Woman, was made as a film which won Best Horror Film honors at the Toronto After Dark Film Festival, won him and Jack Ketchum the Best Screenplay Award at the Sitges Film Festival in Spain, and garnered critical and popular praise throughout the world. Lucky lives deep in the wilds of Oklahoma with his vicious lesbian guard dog, Veronica.(3)
If there’s one thing to be said about Lucky McKee, it is that he shows a penchant for originality. Since his days of growing up in the foothills of Calaveras County, California, to his newest residence in Oklahoma, Lucky has strived to make the most of what he deems as “true horror films”. After a four year stint at USC, Lucky traveed back home to shoot his first independant film All Cheerleaders Die which has since become a cult classic among true horror film buffs. A few years later, he would soon erupt into the movie scene with the Frankenstein-inspired release May, a film about a girl who assembles her ideal friend through the body parts of selected victims. Filmed in late 2001, May saw its release at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival for a one night showing. Eventually, Lions Gate Films released May for a short theatrical release. Now with The Woods already in stores, Lucky is currently in production with Red which is based on the Jack Ketchum novel. “It’s kind of not really a horror movie. It’s funny because it’s based on a book by one of the most notorious horror authors. It’s like a drama, but it’s got some violence and some bite to it. It’s really fucking harsh in some places. For the most part it’s really character driven drama, so it’s going to be kind of a shift for me after finishing my female horror trilogy.”, says Lucky.(4)
I made a post for each movie, all them with photos, info and links to online movies.
A young couple travel across the USA making a documentary about the social changes in America and the personal influences it has on various people. Shot entirely from the point-of-view of a video camcorder.
Featuring Angela Bettis and Kevin Ford, and set in Los Angeles during the Anthrax scare of late 2001, LOVINDAPOCALYPSE is an inter-dimensional exploration into time and space in a period when fear had certainly gotten the best of us… LOVINDAPOCALYPSE probably shouldn’t be considered a “movie” as much as a social time capsule sentiment about two people falling in love while the world falls apart around them… featuring cameos by Lucky McKee, Jaye Barnes-Luckett, and Ffish, and original music by Jaye Barnes-Luckett. Set during the Anthrax break-out of 2001, this film is an eerie time-capsule piece about love in a time of social collapse…
Producer Andrew van den Houten and director Lucky McKee previously teamed on THE WOMAN, and now they’ve reunited on a film starring a whole squad of women: ALL CHEERLEADERS DIE, McKee and Chris Sivertson’s revamp of their 1999-lensed shot-on-video opus.(5)
All Cheerleaders Die is actually a reimagining of a video project McKee and Sivertson wrote and shot immediately after graduating from USC Film School some ten years ago. Since then, both have gone on to successful solo directing careers.(1)
In the film, Mäddy Killian is a 17 year old rebel at Blackfoot High School on a mission to take down the captain of the football team. She rallies a group of cheerleaders around her cause, but after a tragic turn of events the girls are thrust into a supernatural battle that culminates in a mayhem-filled night they will never forget.
All Cheerleaders Die is leading us into the exciting world of popcorn fare, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to have the creative freedom that a company like Modernciné provides for writer/directors. This is going to be a thrill-packed extravaganza with a hot young cast to die for,” said the directors.(2)
Though there is not yet any sign of a trailer, the selection of Lucky McKee and Chris Sivertson’s co-directed horror flick All Cheerleaders Die as part of the Midnight Madness section means we do at least get our first look at stills from the latest by the directors of The Woman and Brawler. Check ‘em out in the gallery below.
A high-school outsider’s plot to revenge herself on the captain of the football team turns bloody when some phantasmagorical hijinks get tossed into the mix, in this refreshingly smart horror comedy from directors Lucky McKee (May, The Woods) and Chris Sivertson (I Know Who Killed Me).(4)
Notes & Trivia:
One of the locations for the filming of All Cheerleaders Die was Cathedral High School, at 1253 Bishops Road, near China Town, in Los Angeles, California. This school was founded in 1925, and is located on what was the old Calvary Cemetery prior to 1900. This high school was designated Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument 281 in 1984. Its athletes are nicknamed the Phantoms, because of the school’s location on top of a cemetery.(3)
Director: Lucky McKee
Writers: Lucky McKee, Chris Sivertson
Cast: Caitlin Stasey, Sianoa Smit-McPhee, Brooke Butler, Tom Williamson, Reanin Johannink, Amanda Grace Cooper, Leigh Parker, Jordan Wilson, Nicholas S. Morrison, and Chris Petrovski.
"Horror Meets Comedy" is a series of short film pilots that are available exclusively on XBOX Live. Episodes have been periodically released through the fall and winter, boasting current horror directors like Gunn, James Wan and Leigh Whannell (Saw), David Slade (30 Days of Night), Adam Green (Hatchett), Lucky McKee (The Woods), Andrew Douglas (The Amityville Horror), and Peter Cornewll (of the upcoming The Haunting in Connecticut).(1)(3)
Episode 1: Blue Like You by Lucky McKee
Blue Like You follows the antics of old friends Patrick and Cyndy as they get to know their mysterious and extraordinary new friend Blue, a beautiful young woman who doesn’t seem to understand how the simplest of things work.
Fans of McKee’s other work, most notably “May,” will feel right at home with “Blue Like You.” In fact, the character of Blue does bear a strange resemblance to the namesake of “May” in both her naivete and charm. Angela Bettis also has a starring role as Blue’s friend Cyndy, which should be no surprise to fans of McKee’s other work.
Thankfully, “Blue Like You” starts the series off on a funny, if somewhat underwhelming note. Although the silliness almost reaches nauseating levels throughout, the ending is worth the price of admission alone. It also proves that you can take the director out of horror, but you can’t the the horror out of the director. I would recommend not watching the trailer to preserve the impact of the ending. Overall, “Blue Like You” isn’t such a bad way to spend 10 minutes, and it’s free to boot, so get to downloading!(1)
McKee plays the kind but reclusive Patrick, who is set up on a blind date with Blue, a stunning brunette who seems just a little off. As it turns out, Blue has never been allowed to leave her bedroom thanks to a domineering mother, so trying new things like sitting in a chair or eating spaghetti excite and confuse her, and using a fork can be downright deadly! McKee brings back the same peculiar black comedy that made MAY such a smashing success, creating a new pair of oddball characters that are wholly original and equally entertaining. Much of the credit also belongs to McKee and Baker in the roles of Patrick and Blue, however, since they are the ones who truly bring the humor to life through their quirky physical performances. Cut with a keen precision to maximize the laughs, BLUE LIKE YOU shows all of the promise and potential of McKee’s most successful features within its short runtime.(4)
She Never Slept Interviews Master of Horror Lucky McKee!
SNS: You wrote, directed and starred in (along with Angela Bettis and Carlee Barker) a short film that is available on the XBOX called “Blue Like You”. (The one time I have cursed not having one!) I hope to see it someday. It’s sort of an unusual venue for a short film. How did this gig come about?
LUCK: I met James Gunn at a Masters of Horror dinner in LA and he told me he was doing these things and asked if I wanted to join in. I said “Hell yeah” and it actually ended up happening. James is good like that. He doesn’t just bullshit you and say “Oh, yah, bro, we should totally work together some day.” and then it never happens. He made it happen and it was a fucking blast.
SNS: You also composed the music for “Blue Like You”. Is there anything you can’t do?
Masters of Horror is an American television series created by director Mick Garris for the Showtime cable network. In 2005, Garris created and produced an original anthology television series of one hour movies, written and directed by many of the “Masters” which was originally
broadcast in the U.S. on the Showtime cable network.(1) Filmmakers from George Romero to Dario Argento produced one-hour, uncensored, stand-alone stories. Unfortunately, for all of the clout and name value the program brought, many of the installments were not very good. Enter Lucky McKee, director of the 2002 horror cult classic “May,” whose “Sick Girl” (2006) was one of the best episodes of the series.(3)
Lucky McKee wasn’t the first choice to helm Sick Girl; instead, he stepped in for one of the more infamous masters of horror in Roger Corman, who would have been tackling some familiar territory in this creepy, crawly bug-infested tale. Though McKee only had a couple of directorial credits to his name at the time, one of them was a real doozy in May, the weird little film that also introduced the horror world to his muse, Angela Bettis, whose performance as that film’s title character is already legendary. In this respect McKee’s replacement of Corman was a boon since he was able to bring Bettis along to give another fantastically awkward and affecting performance that ranks among the best this series has seen.
Bettis is Ida Teeter, an entomologist who loves her work just a little too much and often brings it home with her, which means her apartment is swarming with insects. This makes it difficult for Ida to keep a girlfriend—in fact, when we meet her, she’s just being broken up with via a message on her machine, and she’s sent crying into her pillow-case that’s adorned with cracked eggs (which says just about everything you need to know about her right there). At any rate, two big events befall her life right around the same time: first, she meets a sweet girl named Misty (Erin Brown, aka Misty Mundae), then she receives a strange package with an impossibly exotic insect. As her relationship blossoms, this new creature threatens to tear her life apart when it gets loose.
That’s definitely the setup for a creature run amok tale, and maybe that’s the direction Sick Girl might have taken under Corman. You can certainly see one of his old creature features re-imagined in the confines of this apartment building, and there’s hints of that here, even (a dog goes missing, some of Ida’s other pets get terrorized by the beast, etc.). However, McKee largely keeps it operating in the background and instead turns Sick Girl into something we don’t see very much in the horror genre: a completely charming love story that stays sweet no matter how sick this story gets—and it does go to some pretty disgusting places.
Bettis and Brown make for an adorably offbeat couple, with the former obviously leading the charge. Affecting multiple inflections and vocal patterns, Bettis’s Ida is weirder than weird; in fact, she seems to make a purpose of out-weirding everything and everyone. There are moments when she inflects that same sort of spazzy, twitchy tone that Stephen Geoffreys was memorable for about twenty years ago. It’d come off as a little off-putting or forced if Bettis didn’t seem so damn natural and endearing because of it (rather than despite it). She’s hyper-quirky and kooky, but she’s easily relatable due to her seemingly terminal awkwardness. Brown is a good match, maybe even unexpectedly so since she’s primarily known as a softcore porn actress; she’s similarly shy and undeniably cute, so she and Bettis are like two peas in a pod and perfectly insulated in their own little bizarre world. If ever there were two people that were made for each other, it’s this two.
Examining this as some kind of GLBT parable is tempting, and this angle is actually the result of McKee and screenwriter Sean Hood re-jigging the story to account for Bettis taking the lead role (Ida was originally conceived as a man). That’s mostly a valid approach, though Sick Girl is pretty restrained about it, save for the judgmental old bag who also serves as Ida’s landlord (Marcia Bennett). She fears how Ida and Misty’s open lesbianism will affect her own granddaughter, who looks up to Ida so much that she’s constantly wearing a ladybug outfit. Bennett provides a good foil, and her archaic homophobia helps to further endear us to the two leads.
Homophobia isn’t the only thing they contend with, as there’s still a matter of the giant insect tramping about Ida’s apartment. Even though a bulk of the film hovers around the central relationship, McKee doesn’t just suddenly remember the bug and stuff it back in; no, it’s actually always there, and McKee goes very Cronenberg with the material, and Nicotero and Berger’s top-notch effects realize some horrific bodily mutilations. Any atonal mish-mash is cleverly avoided, however, as McKee’s odd, comedic touch keeps this a sweet little romance that just happens to be complicated by a malicious parasite.
Sick Girl feels like the more affirming B-side to May; their similarities are rather obvious, but this take on the material is a bit more light and frothy. McKee has made four smart, interesting films centered around women, and they’ve all perceptively captured whatever theme is driving their story, be it loneliness, rebellion, or submissiveness. This film is perhaps the odd one out in terms of tone, but it’s no less memorable and certainly ranks in the upper echelon of Masters of Horror episodes. Anchor Bay again provides a nice DVD with a strong presentation and an assortment of extras. The centerpiece here is a commentary track with Mckee, Bettis, Hlubik, and composer Jaye Barnes Luckett, and it’s surrounded by all of the usual behind-the-scenes looks, interviews, and other promo material. Though his resume isn’t extensive right now, I can honestly say I’ve enjoyed everything McKee has directed so far, and Sick Girl is quite possibly his second best film after May.(2)
Unfortunately, the restrictions of Showtime’s one-hour time slot and limited budget keep “Sick Girl” from being all it could be. Everything feels just a little rushed in terms of pacing, like McKee is trying to fit everything in. The effects are clearly low-budget; silly at best, they can be jarring in some of the serious scenes, and the animatronic bugs look positively campy. While the film gets high marks in both its portrayal of a same-sex relationship and representation of women (all but one of the characters are female), there is not a single nonwhite character in the film, unless you count the bug, which hails from Brazil.(3)
She Never Slept Interviews Master of Horror Lucky McKee!
SNS: You were asked to direct a Masters of Horror episode for Showtime, “Sick Girl”. It was strange, horrific, gross, sweet and funny – all at the same time. Bravo! What was the experience like for you?
LUCK: Just plain fun. We were like little kids left at home alone with that one. We just went nuts and had fun and made a mess of things!(6)
Notes & Trivia:
This episode is included in the Masters of Horror Season One DVD boxset collection. It is also included on the Masters of Horror: The Complete First Season Blu-ray boxset collection. It was released as a stand-alone DVD by Starz Entertainment and Anchor Bay Entertainment on June 27th, 2006.
Director Lucky McKee is best known for directing the 2002 cult hit May, which also stars Angela Bettis. He also co-directed All Cheerleaders Die with Chris Sivertson and Red, which featured an appearance by A Nightmare on Elm Street star Robert Englund.
Actor Mike McKee, who plays Professor Malcolm Wolf, is the father of director Lucky McKee.
This episode aired on Friday the 13th.(4)
Roger Corman was going to direct Sick Girl but was replaced by Lucky McKee.
The role of Ida Teeter, played by Angela Bettis, was a role originally written for a man with the character name of “Ira Teeter”.(5)
Includes uncredited cameo appearances by actors Jim Carrey and Winona Ryder.
Let’s assume that man is Jim Carrey and that woman is Winona Ryder…
Director: Lucky McKee
Writer: Sean Hood
Cast: Angela Bettis (Ida Teeter) / Erin Brown (Misty Falls) / Jesse Hlubik (Max Grubb) / Marcia Bennett(Lana Beasley) / Mike McKee (Professor Malcolm Wolf) / Chandra Berg (Betty, the Ladybug) / Alison Bartlett (Wife) / Jim Carrey (Paul) / William Finley (Husband) / Teach Grant (Restaurant owner) / Nichole Hiltz (Danielle) / Winona Ryder (Woman) / Jacob Witkin (Choking man) / Nora Zehetner (Waiter)
After a thief comes across this, what can only be considered to be called a possessed, golf ball that bounces on its own; the ball decides to follow the thief home after his latest heist and drive him crazy.
Even the simplest description of this film’s story gives away too much. Let’s just say the title is very accurate. There’s crime, murder, revenge and a golfball all packed into a concise, entertaining 8 minutes. It’s funny, but most of all, it’ll make you think twice about killing a golfer.
This short film that Rian apparently did while still in film school and lasts a runtime of 8 minutes and 10 seconds. The film contains a lot of different feelings to it. It begins in a dark mysterious sense as it tries to introduce us to its main characters: the thief and the golfball from hell. Then while the thief is driving home we are treated to what is my favourite shot of the short. After being distracted by the golfball following, and keeping up I might add, the thief home the thief almost crashes and decides to hit the brakes. In that exact moment we see lights hit the thief flush in the face and his cigarette that he was attempting to light falls out of his mouth as if gravity may just be lacking in this small space of the world, which I find amazing. Then we reach home to see the golfball having found the thief and driving him insane the movie becomes a monster movie and all you can do is laugh as the thief lunges towards a rug to save some innocent by standards. The golfball may be representing the guilt that the thief is feeling for having robbed and murdered the man in the beginning of the film but I prefer to believe that it was all real and that damn rug was out to get those two college students.
It has been fun looking for and watching short films by directors who currently have feature films out. Those early efforts are inspirational because of how far they have come artistically and because we get to see what they were able to bring to life with whatever resources they had at their disposals. I ran across Rian Johnson‘s short film “Evil Demon Golfball from Hell” (1996) recently and loved it.
He has since directed Brick (2005), The Brothers Bloom (2008) and a couple of episodes of the TV shows Terriers and Breaking Bad (!!!). His current film is Looper [IMDB] starring Bruce Willis and (one of my favorites) Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
The extras of Looper Blu-ray conclude with a Looper animated trailer (1:34) that provides edgy graphic versions of shots from the film. Presented as either an Easter egg (I could find no way to access this from the menus) or something that was not cleared for (but not dropped from) the disc is Evil Demon Golf Ball from Hell!!!, Rian Johnson’s black and white 1996 short film (8:13). In this homage to classic horror films made by Johnson as a USC film student, bad things happen in the presence of a seemingly possessed, bouncing golf ball.
It’s a compelling debut that makes for a welcome inclusion here.
Holly would if only she could… Holly (ANGELA BETTIS) is trapped in her own inner silence and as a result has driven away her long-time boyfriend Keith (KEVIN FORD). As Keith turns to their mutual friends to borrow money and move away, Holly learns how to live alone again. HOLLYWOULD is an intense journey into a world of miscommunications and non-resolutions. It is a slice of contemporary Hollywood life and an examination of modern relationships.
A dark, cruel, and somehow hysterical show about friendship, shot in a Hollywood apartment building.
Hollywould (Episode 1 - Disease)
Director: Kevin Ford
Writer: Kevin Ford
Cast:: Angela Bettis, Kevin Ford, Lucky McKee, Shelli Merrill, Preemo, Chris Sivertson.
Chiller 13: The Decade’s Scariest Movie Moments (2010 - TV documentary)
Chiller 13: The Decade’s Scariest Movie Moments, produced by Emmy Award-winning company Associated Television International, features a diverse group of pop culture mavens and horror movie experts looking back on the top 13 scary movie moments of the past 10 years. Featured participants include renowned special makeup effects supervisor Greg Nicotero (The Walking Dead), comedians Dan Gurewitch & David Young (collegehumor.com), actress Betsy Russell (the Saw anthology), writer Steve Niles (30 Days of Night), actor Tony Todd (Final Destination) and horror film director Lucky McKee (May, Chiller’s original movie The Passenger), among others.
This documentary counting down the thirteen scariest movies from the decade. Various actors, writers, directors, fans, critics and other personalities talk about the films and their favorite scare scenes from them. In alphabetical order the films included are: 28 DAYS LATER, 30 DAYS OF NIGHT, CLOVERFIELD, THE DESCENT, DRAG ME TO HELL, FINAL DESTINATION, HOSTEL, THE MIST, ORPHAN, PARANORMAL ACTIVITY, THE RING, SAW and THE STRANGERS. Obviously, whenever a list like this comes out no one is ever going to agree with it but that’s part of the fun because it leads to some good conversations and debate. For the most part I thought the documentary was fun and especially when you get to hear from others about what they thought was frightening. Yes, some of the people interviewed were a tad bit annoying but we can’t have everything perfect. If you haven’t seen a film and it comes up on the list it would probably be best to skip over it because each film has major spoilers given for it.
Relive the most frightening moments of the decade with Chiller’s first original special. Chiller, the only cable channel devoted to delivering round-the-clock scares, presents the exclusive television event Chiller 13: The Decade’s Scariest Movie Moments. In this entertaining event, pop culture mavens and horror movie experts look back on the top 13 scary movie moments of the past 10 years.See renowned special makeup effects supervisor Greg Nicotero (The Walking Dead), comedians Dan Gurewitch and David Young (collegehumor.com), actress Betsy Russell (the Saw anthology), writer Steve Niles (30 Days of Night), actor Tony Todd (Final Destination), horror film director Lucky McKee (May, Chiller’s original movie The Passenger), and others talk about their favorite scary movie moments in an unforgettable event you won’t want to miss.Playing out like a horror version of one of those VH1 ‘I Love The’specials, Chiller 13 is an entertaining and at times humorous look at the scariest films of the past decade and the moments in them that delivered optimum terror. It only features big time mainstream flicks, but it’s a solid lineup of films that I didn’t really have any qualms about, movies such as The Ring, Paranormal Activity, The Strangers and The Descent. The only real issue I had with the show was with the people chosen to talk about the 13 movies. Though the cast of characters in the special did have some interesting insights about the films and what makes them so scary, I couldn’t help but think that the show would’ve been a whole lot better had Chiller tried to get more figures from the world of horror in there. Folks like Greg Nicotero, Tony Todd and Ti West do pop up from time to time, but most of the screentime belongs to comedians and oddball choices like Max from Saved By The Bell and some random American Idol reject, which I guess is how these kinda shows work but they just felt out of place. Had they have gotten more people that had worked on and starred in the films being discussed (such as Orphan’s Isabelle Fuhrman, who pops up when that film is being discussed), it would’ve been a much more solid show and I sort of wonder why they couldn’t have pulled off a more well rounded and pertinent cast. If the show were put together by VH1 it would’ve made a whole lot more sense, but I think a horror network likeChiller could’ve done better with casting.In any event, I had fun with the special and i’m always happy to see horror movies get respect like this. I’d call this one a good way to spend a Friday night, so check it out if ya get a chance!Oh and I must give you a little word of warning. Though most of you reading this have probably already seen all 13 films discussed, i’d try and stay away from watching the show if you’re not all caught up on your recent horror, or at least cover your ears and eyes when films are being discussed that you haven’t seen, because spoilers absolutely run wild throughout the special. But again, i’m sure most of you have already been there and done that with all these movies.
Director: Shane O’Brien [creative director]
Cast: Ed Alonzo, Darrin Butters, Brian W. Collins, Lucky McKee, Greg Nicotero, Ashlynn Yennie, Ti West.