Zombie Dream is a narrative feature film that uses the popular horror genre and a setting soaked in American history to explore issues of liberty, freedom of expression, and our inalienable rights, and to consider what it means to possibly not champion those rights. Lead actor Eric Roberts takes us into a wild nightmare. In this movie the monsters aren’t biological zombies, they’re cultural zombies.
GENRES: Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi, Human Rights, Independent, Culture, Social Issue
DVD RELEASE DATE: 2015 RUNNING TIME: 1 hour, 45 minutes
TWENTY-ONE SELF-ASKED QUESTIONS WITH ZOMBIE DREAM DIRECTOR BLAIR MURPHY
1. WHAT WAS IT LIKE DIRECTING ERIC ROBERTS? It was a dream come true. I am a huge Bob Fosse fan. Bob Fosse directed “Cabaret”, “Lenny”, and “All That Jazz”. Also the movie “Star 80”, 1984, with Eric Roberts. Eric Roberts delivered a performance that was right up there with any one of the greatest American actors, right up there with De Niro or Pacino. To actually work with Roberts, and hear his stories about working with Fosse, was incredible for me. A top personal career moment. How did we end up with Eric Roberts in the first place? It was like I did a magic trick. I asked my girlfriend if I could get any cameo from anyone out there who would she wish for? She answered, “Eric Roberts, without question.” This was a Sunday morning. So I found a contact and wrote him about the project with an offer. We went to breakfast. When we got back, about two hours later, I checked my computer, “You’re not going to believe this. He wrote back and said he’s in.”
2. HOW DID STAN ‘THE MAN’ LEE END UP IN THE FILM? That cameo was the first thing I shot! I used to work for Stan a couple years at Marvel Films out in Los Angeles. He was the greatest! One day we went to lunch and he hooted, “Hey Blair, check this out!” And he swung his leg over parking meter! He was like 75 years old and still living like a glorious little kid full of life and enthusiasm, rubbing his hands together, saying “Boy o boy.” So later in his office I turned my camera on and asked him to do it again. So, he swung his leg fully over a high back chair and cheered, “Tah-daaaaa!” I promised, “One day Stan I’m going to use this cameo in a movie.” And I did. I remember calling his new office a years later and announcing I’d finally made the movie where I dropped in that cameo of Stan. His assistant was like, “…Blair (breathes out long sigh) you waited a really long time to use that cameo.”
3. HOW ABOUT EDDIE MUNSTER? Butch Patrick, AKA Eddie Munster from “The Munsters”, was a perfect match for us. We’d brought him out several times for the DraculaCons, a spooky public annual event the hotel throws. I loved “The Munsters” television show, 1964-1966. And if you watch it, there is a thread in it as a patriotic show. Herman Munster talks about the government and the importance of doing the right thing, etc. One day while shooting we drove Butch all the way down to Big Savage Mountain, which is on the border of PA and Maryland. It has a big tunnel. I believe it was named after an early surveyor almost was killed there by savages. Anyway, Butch was telling all these wonderful stories about being a little kid on “The Munsters”! In between takes he would get to play with Grampa Munster, Al Lewis, and climb around on the scaffolding super high in the studio rafters. What a trippy childhood that most have been. I was in heaven going to the Haunted Mansion in Disney every year. Butch must have been ten times higher getting to actually play Eddie Munster, wear the werewolf costume and makeup, get paid for it, and actually exist within the Hollywood creative process for a few solid years. He told us when he was a late teenager George Lucas came down to Malibu Beach and found him and offered him an acting job in a new upcoming move he was about to make to be called “American Graffiti.” It was a late 50s early 60s movie with cruising car culture and early rock and roll. This was around 1971 and Butch was now a teen idol with long hair. When Butch realized it was a movie about the early 1960s he asked if he would have to cut his hair. Lucas said yes. So Butch turned down the role. !!! It was for the lead, the part of Curt, which they then gave to Richard Dreyfuss! So maybe that wasn’t the best career decision, Butch noted in the car. I hadn’t seen “American Graffiti” in years. We later rented it. What a fabulous movie, all those moving car-to-car shots! George Lucas himself was only like 27 when he made it. Anyway, Butch Patrick shared endless fabulous Hollywood stories and was a real sweetheart, knew every single person’s name around, stayed at the hotel a few times. Came back with a camper and lived one wkd on the main street in the center of Windber. A real gem. I need to get a Woof Woof werewolf doll for the hotel.
4. WHAT ABOUT THE REST OF THE CAST AND CREW? It was just friends. I loved my cast. But it was not really actors. We created this film on a bbq level. The Midway’s in-house Chef Thom was right there, so it was like, “Hey Thom! Put this make up on!” Whoever was visiting the hotel that first wkd of shooting became the cast. It is absolutely amazing we won the Best Ensemble Cast Award at the Los Angeles Fear and Fantasy Film Festival. Same with the crew. What crew? It was whoever was around helped out. My buddy Jamie Elia had been coming around a lot lately for these artistic events we called Kerouacfests and shooting his camera, so I asked “Hey Jamie, what are you doing this wkd?” Suddenly everyone got roped into several weekends over a year. Mark “the magician” Swindler would make fun of me because I told him I needed him for just twenty minutes one weekend, and a year later we were still shooting him.
5. WHY ZOMBIES? WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE ZOMBIE MOVIES? They were so popular in Pennsylvania I had no idea! I lived in New Orleans and it was vampire country. I moved to PA and it was zombie central, in particular Pittsburgh, it’s right up there with Steelers and the Pirates…Zombies! We just mentioned it and suddenly we had endless volunteers crawling out of the woodwork. Rather, the graveyards. So, really, the State of PA picked the monster genre it wanted to represent itself. My favorites? I didn’t watch ANY during the entire creation of ZD. I wouldn’t. I just didn’t want to be influenced. When I was a little kid though I loved ALL monster movies. As far as zombies and the undead, I can remember really liking George Romero’s “Night of the Living Dead”, 1968, and Herk Harvey’s “Carnival of Souls”, 1962. I thought “Carnival of Souls” was terrifying! Kyra Schon, the little girl from “Night of the Living Dead” who eats her own mother, is a friend and has actually been here to the hotel. So I’m in heaven some of these nights getting to hang out with some of these horror movie icons in my own haunted mansion. I’m a Universal horror fan. I like all of the older black and whites. I love monsters. I always have. Monsters can be layered explorations of the human experience pushed to maximum limits. I really enjoy that. Life is never mundane. It’s excessive and passionate and maximal and extraordinary. With zombies, have you not seen like ten thousand zombie movies that all feel the same? You only need to see like four of them to wrap yourself around the entire genre. So I told myself no matter what we weren’t going to create yet another similar story. The historical element and cultural commentary felt fresh and a new take and even dangerous at times -we snuck onto all those locations, filming at Flight 93 and Gettysburg and Valley Forge. So, just like the characters, we raced toward it. Okay, we understood as we were making it ZD was not the greatest movie on the planet, but we genuinely tried to do something very different. A part of me feels like “So you’re welcome, zombie genre. We put out great effort to give you something new.” But as a rule, political-ish art or art with political commentary is something a lot of people will suggest one just sidestep. I get it. So in that sense, sorry zombie genre. You were a glorious, strange, unusual shore to visit…undead bodies, corpses, zombies…it was interesting crossing paths.
6. YOU DESCRIBED THE MAKING OF ZD AS A KIND OF FOLK SONG PARALLEL? Sometimes zero budget filmmaking can feel very different than just a smaller and cheaper version of working on a big Hollywood set. For me, it sometimes instead reminds me of folk singers. Like a voice from the people expressing something from a very different place and in a very different way. In that sense it is not any less legitimate. Like, we are Woody Guthrie sitting here with a banjo, or the American Beat Poets typing, or the French New Wave Cinema of the early 1960s. It’s not mainstream but it’s still an expression of that country and its people. So, filming Zombie Dream felt like that to me, like we were summoning some sort of folk work.
7. WHAT WAS YOUR MID-PRODUCTION RED DAWN EPIPHANY? About half-way through production I had this epiphany where I realized I was making the 1984 movie “Red Dawn” but with zombies. I didn’t know it at first, but it really is a zombie version of “Red Dawn”. Some Monty Python silliness is in there too. Actually, because of the subject matter, the gravitas of events from history (Gettysburg, Flight 93, Valley Forge, Liberty Bell) I went back and started to resculpt the film, shaving out half the silliness and changing the entire tone of the film to approach some aspects with new dignity and greater seriousness. So the film sways back and forth between these two vibes. Overall, it starts out silly but it grows more serious. I also was thinking a little about how Arthur Miller’s 1953 play “The Crucible”, about the Salem Witch Trials of the 1690s, was an allegory of McCarthyism when the American government started blacklisting artists accused of communism. I thought that was pretty interesting, and the deeper we got the more I used Miller’s play allegory as permission to explore my own work-in-progress. So thank you “Red Dawn” and Arthur Miller and the State of Pennsylvania, you three were probably ZDs biggest influences.
8. STAN RICE’S POEM ‘CENSORSHIP’? The poet Stan Rice was an influence, his poem Censorship from “Fear Itself”, by Kopf. Stan was the husband of author Anne Rice. I filmed Stan years earlier in his studio in New Orleans. I’d planned to use some of his poems in future films. For the entire production and post-production his poem Censorship was the opening of the cut of Zombie Dream as a kind of battle cry. “Beware my friends lest they be you!” Bill Eggert in a scene later in the movie makes a reference to it shouting that line at the other characters. But in the sound mix, very last minute, we decided to remove Stan’s poetry footage because it just felt too alien to the ZD footage. But Stan’s poem, none-the-less, was an anchoring influence right up there with Red Dawn, Arthur Miller’s the Crucible McCarthyism allegory, and the State of PA.
CENSORSHIP by Stan Rice
The goons are at the gate again.
Beware my friends,
Lest they be you.
We are in the skeletal stage.
The bloom is still in the wood.
Beware my friends
For the book unwritten
Is the book burned.
Literalists of all stripes
Wipe their knives
On their long skirts
And take back the night.
The devil is always naked.
His pants are always too tight.
He can rape you with a beam of light.
Beware my friends.
They beat the gate
To the same old tune,
For they have seen Satan,
And they mean well,
And they are the goons.
9. YOU CALL ZOMBIE DREAM “AN AMERICAN FILM”… It is. It was made for an American audience. It is not a universal movie for all audiences. It was a vehicle to explore the possible loss of our American inalienable rights. It speaks particularly to Americans. The story brings up three pillars of our heritage to consider: the First Amendment, the Second Amendment, and Separation of Church and State. What if all that was suddenly taken away? What if invaders came into your backyard and specifically wanted those three things? What, specifically, was going on in our culture at the time we were shooting that paralleled this in real life? Right this very week a story broke in our community how the sheriffs and judges abetted over fifty priests right here who molested and raped children. The Catholic diocese in Altoona-Johnstown had a huge file hiding all these crimes -over four decades of it! They all just got busted. How’s that for a simple example of why separation of church and state needs to be respected. Second Amendment? Everyone out here is a hunter, so everyone was raised with guns and familiarity of guns and rites of passage with their families with guns and feeding themselves from guns and from the day I moved to Pennsylvania, I’ve heard it endlessly -their concerns over this American birthright being taken from them. You can have my gun the day you pry it from my dead fingers, you hear average citizens saying. A lot. First Amendment? Just as we were finishing post-production the Charlie Hebdo shooting happened in France where Muslims didn’t approve of cartoonists creating lampooning comics so they assassinated eleven staff of the magazine and injured eleven more. A cleric came on national television and explained to the West that Islam doesn’t mean peace, that it means submission and if we just submit to them we won’t have any more problems. Another representative of Islam explained to Americans on the evening news how Freedom of Speech is actually limited and Americans need to learn how it doesn’t include insulting religions. The Egyptian government called for the American government to punish any American artists that insult religion. A Catholic bishop joined in the news debate and agreed that American freedom of speech needed to be changed to curb anything questions or mocking religion. The local tavern I was in erupted with furious Pennsylvanians watching the news. Remember, on 9-11, the Flight 93 plane crashed down RIGHT HERE. The memorial is just a few miles away in everyone’s back yard. I watched the men and women of this area as they reacted to influences from other countries demanding to change things here. “You will submit,” didn’t need much of a hiss and spooky music added to it to be real and happening right here now with genuine threat. “They’re not biological zombies, they’re cultural zombies.” We had our film’s strange steering wheel. Are they not ghouls, cutting off heads and stoning people to demolish free speech? Are these local priests, and the sheriffs and judges protecting them, not ghouls, molesting and raping little children behind the protection of the law? For the film’s sake I just centered on the First Amendment, the Second Amendment, and the separation of Church and State. It totally champions our American inalienable rights, which do not even need defending. You could try to debate pro-gun laws or anti-gun laws. But the ultimate American response can simply be “It’s not up for debate. It’s my inalienable right.” That’s America. Our rights come from God. They’re not granted from our government. First Amendment is the same thing. Your freedom of speech is an inalienable right FROM GOD. The American founding fathers were brilliant. They were also radical at that time in history. A lot of men and women died for us to have our American inalienable rights and freedoms. Americans should be aware of them, proud of them, taught them in school passionately, and continually stand strong for them. Above the grave of the unknown soldier of Washington’s army in Washington Square Park, Philadelphia, bears the engraving, “Beneath this stone rests a soldier of Washington’s army who died to give you liberty.” Above that it reads, “Freedom is a light for which many men have died in darkness.” We showcase that statement within the film, making it the final crystallized message of the “dream.”
10. YOU INCLUDE WILLIAM PENN AS THE ORIGINAL AMERICAN FOUNDING FATHER. I do. Across the nation in that timeline we sort of start with George Washington. But William Penn was really our first rock star. He was the architect of Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love. The Liberty Bell was created to commemorate Penn and his vision, and gift -the city itself- of liberty for all. He was a Quaker and Quakers were being jailed in the old world for their religious beliefs. Penn had been jailed too. A new land of freedoms and liberty for all men and women needed to rise. He mapped an entire new city out and put his money where his mouth was. Was he perfect? No. He had slaves too at that times, late 1600s. Philadelphia though was his “Holy Experiment” as he called it that later became the prototype of our nation. Penn’s work got the ball rolling. So, some seventy-five years before George Washington and Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin and the American Revolution there was William Penn.
11. HOW DID YOU GET THE GIANT ZIP LINE, AND THE FIRE TRUCK? AND HOW ON EARTH DID YOU GET PERMISSION TO FILM THE ACTUAL LIBERTY BELL, RING IT, AND PUT SNOW ON IT?! A lot of favors came from the generosity and kindness of locals just extending a hand. Two local men heard me talking about the film in a bar and just offered us the idea. “How would you like a zip line the characters escape out from the third floor window?” Boom! Instant script change! These guys were like super heroes! They showed up and zipped it from the hotel to the street! And we shot all the actors down it! It was a blast! At one point the coal train was coming and we had to untie the whole contraption so the train wouldn’t hit it. For the fire truck, I wanted a large vehicle of character. Something I obviously couldn’t have just borrow from a friend. So I made a donation to the Windber Fire Department. They let us use their beautiful firetruck and even sent along firemen to help us drive it. And the Liberty Bell? That was a good one, huh? We really delivered there. Magic trick. Can’t reveal our secrets.
12. WHAT’S WITH THE SQUIRREL SCENE? While editing the film I saw an article on a girl they were calling “the squirrel whisperer.” I instantly got feeling like this could be in the movie. I looked her up and she was in PA, a student at Penn State campus nearby. So I wrote her and shot up there with a camera the next day and sure enough she sat down by a tree and called for squirrels and they came down and sat beside her. She put a little Uncle Sam hat on one for me for the film. The squirrel sat there for a while wearing this little hat in front a Midway Hotel model. It was pretty cool. Filmmaking is wild how it takes one into all these little pockets of enchantment. We put it right in the beginning of the movie. It’s actually the most asked about moment in the film. People know it not faked and their confused, like, bonk! Hey wait! What just happened?!
13. WHO WAS THAT CRAZY MANUEL IBARRA CHARACTER? Manuel! Manuel Ibarra was a crazy Venice Beach guy I met when I first moved to California. We had so many endless funny Venice Beach adventures together. One time I was broke and he said “Don’t worry, brother, before nightfall we will be eating lobster.” And he took me to a dumpster in Beverly Hills, pulled out all kinds of broken items like toasters and tvs and vacuum cleaners, and then he took me to downtown LA where we spread it all over the sidewalk and sold it all for big money within hours. That night we both ate lobsters. He was a real character. His dream was to become a movie star. He came to America and became an almost mythical person in Venice Beach. He said his first season there gangsters took him out in the desert to train using machine guns for a bank robbery. Since they’d been in jail he asked what they did wrong the first time. They told him they didn’t kill their partners, so he bolted. Between the two of us we knew a lot of movie stars. We’d go to big Hollywood movie industry parties and I’d hear him telling tables of woman these wild stories about when one is working in the millions… He actually lived in an ice cream truck he’d converted into an apartment parked on the side of the road. One time Stan Lee and I were out driving around and I said, “Stan, see that ice cream truck? My buddy Manuel lives in there.” “What?” Asked Stan. So Stan Lee, creator of Spider-man, pulled over and shouted up “Hey, lemme see! Manuel?!” And Manuel’s head popped out the top of the truck sun window, “Yes? Hello?” One time Manuel asked me to help him move 1978 “Super-Man” Lois Lane actress Margot Kidder’s furniture up North. He had a truck full of her things but didn’t want to drive to Montana in the snow. So I drove with him. We got all the way there but she didn’t show up. So we waited there. Suddenly, Margot Kidder was in the news everywhere, having turned up as a street person in a manic episode! Here she was practically world news and we had all her stuff in another state! Manuel himself started turning up in movies. You can see him in a crowd shot in the comedy “Wayne’s World”. They’d paid him twice by accident so he responded he was keeping the money but that he’d do “Wayne’s World 2” for free. He was like a best friend bulldog who would do anything for you. Anything. He would tell me all the time, “Blair, if you have a problem, call me and I’ll take care of it.” I flew him out to Windber, PA a few times for Kerouacfest and then “Zombie Dream.” Some people were appalled by him, his humor was so blunt and outrageous, but he was such a startling breath of fresh air he won everybody over in the end. One day he called me from a hospital in LA. I was in a bar in Windber. He said he was really ill, that they wanted to remove his heart and wash it in morphine, and worried he couldn’t trust the doctors and feared this might be the end so he wanted me to rush there and help him escape. I laughed, thinking he was delusional from meds. I told him I loved him and that we’d had great lives and would see each other for many more adventures. But the next morning his girlfriend called me that Manuel had actually died.
14. HOW DiD HOWARD BLOOM END UP IN THE MIX? Howard Bloom was a public relations superstar for the music industry. He also wrote “The Lucifer Principle” and “The Genius of the Beast, Global Brain: the Evolution of Mass Mind from Big Bang to the 21st Century.” His books have been boycotted worldwide, accompanied with punishment threats in seventeen Islamic countries. He also played a role in fighting some of the religious fundamentalists here in the US trying to censor the music industry in the mid-80s. Someone in ZD knew him so they put us together. I just wanted to do a sort of blind, long interview with him and snip from it to pepper here and there in the film. People have commented they like his voice in the film, that it works kind of soothing and grounding.
15. THE HOLLYWOOD SHOOT? After all the Pennsylvania shooting, we capped it with a shoot in Malibu, California. My journal that wkd read: Hollywood Mission: I took Deanna to Los Angeles this week. We drove hours North to tour the magnificent San Simeon Hearst Castle. I cannot stress enough the influence William Randolph Hearst’s home-as-art-canvas has had on me with the Grand Midway Hotel. Later filmmaker Orson Welles mocked the castle as lifeless in his brilliant Citizen Kane, but the place was anything but… I walk around it almost crying. “How does one write even a forward for this journey into a period and place so touched with the golden haze of nostalgia as to be almost unreal?” -Ronald Reagan on San Simeon …watched beautiful sunset along coast covered with thousands of burping elephant bull seals. Enchanted long walks, romantic red wine, Mexican food… Day #2, take Deanna to Venice Beach, my old stomping ground! Yet another fantastic city-as-canvas, designed 1905 by eccentric Abbot Kinney. Deanna meets guy covered in hair, also meets Rocky the 5-legged dog. Next, we grand tour Hollywood itself, film industry, movie studios, Walk of Fame, Chinese Theater, cruise Sunset Blvd, mansions, evening drinks, I miss living here, the huge influence slipping into Windber, meet singer Terry Prine and bride for Cuban feast, midnight hang with living legend Manuel Ibarra and his sweet girlfriend, deep sleep in Malibu… Hollywood Mission: the real reason I am out here… Sunday morning camera friends Paris Patton and Sarah Morrison assist me in second unit filming for the hotel zombie movie. Manuel Ibarra and Deanna are in the scene, poolside, mountaintop over glorious Pacific Ocean. Our big secret? Actor Eric Roberts of the brilliant Bob Fosse movie Star 80, The Dark Knight, Cable Guy, Best of the Best, Pope of Greenwich Village, TV’s Law and Order, brother of Julia Roberts, etc etc etc, is now in our film. Bam! He also kisses Deanna a few times for the opening scene (his idea). Later, actor Robert Downey Jr stands behind us in line at lunch. Deanna asks me this morning, “Was this weekend just a dream?”
16. WHAT WERE THE ZD MUSIC CHOICES? I approached the soundtrack kind of the way Simon and Garfunkle music was used in the movie “The Graduate”, 1967. Since it was a personal film and we had several very talented friends in music, we incorporated our own friend’s work: Damien Youth, Paul Kuzupas, Christiane Dolores, Greater California. I also wanted to deliberately go against a standard non-stop spooky music soundtrack. Part of the intended mood was instead a kind of goodbye contemplative endearment at the end of the world feel. There was this great quote Damien said in the film. There are plenty of artists who do not see their art as a financial venture only, who do not rate their value in terms of popularity alone, etc. I think several of us identify with this idea that our work -our creative process- is closer akin to spirituality first. So, deep in the movie Damien said an impromptu line which spoke volumes! He was asked why when the world was ending was he writing a song or creating art, who would hear it, why bother, etc. And Damien responded to this guy that he completely misunderstood what he was doing, that what he was doing was not for others, that writing music and creating art was his form of “self-ministering”. Perfect phrase.
17. THE FILM’S BIGGEST FLAW? Zombie fans won’t give a shit about all the top-heavy history. History buffs won’t give a shit about zombies. It’s a PERFECT metaphor to me, like Stan Rice using the phrase ‘goons’, but I don’t think it’s going to be perfectly embraced by most audiences. I think the film will be watched for lower budget zombie reasons and people will just tolerate the inalienable rights / history elements at best. I did give a speech at the Pocono Mountains Film Festival about this very question. We won the Award for the Best Originality Film! Here festival director Bridget Davis poses giving me a congratulations kiss! Wonderful moment. I’m glowing inside. I couldn’t be much happier in this moment. This festival was a predominantly black and Christian event. My impromptu speech to the audience went: “I imagine you are wondering what a zombie movie is doing in this festival. I would be. There were a lot of films going on, some at the same time. I got to see half your movies. Wonderful! And, during our film there was another film that played, which had more of the audience. So, I just wanted to say, first, our film’s not a monster movie so much as a metaphor for people that try to take your liberties away. And so that’s how it ended up in this gathering. So, it uses zombies as a metaphor more for cultural rather than biological zombies. I’ve been to a lot of festivals this year, and, I have to say, I was at one and the guy’s entire motivation for making his movie was that he wanted pretty girls to kiss him. And I thought, that’s not that intriguing. But in this group every film seems to be made out of intense personal conviction, so I’m really honored to be among you tonight. Thank you very much.”
18. THE FILM’S GREATEST ASSET? I think it’s a little charming. Like, we were so innocent. Just ran outside and shot it all, off the cuff even at times. There’s a scene at a farm where Bill Eggert rattles off a list of iconic Americans and how they wouldn’t tolerate this situation -like, Rosa Parks to John Wayne, etc. And it just so innocently unites the American spirit of rebellion. Rebellion for liberation which has been core in the shaping of our nation and its ongoing character. And then Eric Roberts walks up via P.O.V. and we chop him up with a sword. It kind of feels brilliant and sweet and naive and fun and fresh all at the same time. I think it’s my favorite scene. I’m really proud of it. I’m proud because it’s so spontaneous and soaked in conviction at the same time.
19. THE GREAT ZOMBIE DREAM USA ROAD TRIP? Mark ‘the magician’ Swindler and I drove all over the USA for film festival circuit. We went to Louisville, Kentucky and stayed at the Galt House for a few festivals, to Idaho to Las Vegas, Nevada, to Las Cruces, New Mexico, to Pocono Mountains, Pennsylvania, to Hot Springs, Arkansas, to Los Angeles, California. Cinematographer Jamie Elia and actor Chef Thom Pulliam jumped in some times to New York City. It was sooooo much fun. We drove and drove covering USA upon rolling USA. By the time we reached the screening in Los Angeles we felt like superstars. Sometimes we’d find ourselves in these festival theaters and sit in a completely empty screening of our own film. And other times, actual movie stars would show up! All the while Mark the magician was still smirking, “I was only supposed to be in this film for a wkd. Ten minutes I said. And here I am years later, 3000 miles away, and I’m still being asked to do things.”
My journal notes for the climax of the road trip read: Los Angeles Fear and Fantasy Film Festival! My God, my God, Mark and I pulled into the Victory Theater in Burbank, California, ran inside, and immediately put on an evil Zombie Dream puppet show in the lobby! Some movie goers from the other films didn’t seem to be so wowed by us. But festival director Logan Thomas and his partners were completely our breed! We instantly knew we were going to love this festival. Their spirit and enthusiasm was perfect. Mark and I shot down to Venice Beach, drank beers at Hinanos, and slept outside along the canals…ready for our big screening in the morning.
Next, the Magic Castle! The Magic Castle was launched in 1963, the world’s most famous clubhouse for magicians, and home to the Academy of Magical Arts, devoted to the advancement of the art of magic. Mark REALLY wanted to go. I love the place. Thanks to my friend Gordo the Great we got passes to enter the exclusive club! We put on our tuxedos. What a magnificent Sunday brunch.
Finally, the Los Angeles Premiere of Zombie Dream! What a dream hour. The festival was so wonderful. The lobby filled up with one friend related to the film after another. Paris Patton, second unit camera, showed up! Terry and KariKari Prine, musicians from band Greater California of ZD soundtrack, showed up! Actor Manuel Ibbara’s family showed up! Hollywood tv icon Butch Patrick, aka Eddie Munster from the Munsters, showed up! What a fun full house!!! Thank you everyone for attending! I almost cried at my own screening. Then, we won! At the Los Angeles Fear and Fantasy Film Festival Awards Ceremony I wasn’t even filming not imagining for a second they’d ever be giving an award to a zero budget zombie movie… Then they called out Zombie Dream for Best Performance by an Ensemble Cast 2014! OMG OMG OMG! Unreal kicked up another notch. Congratulating us on stage was actress Veronica Cartwright from Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds”, Ridley Scott’s “Alien”, and George Miller’s “Witches of Eastwick”. Congratulations fellow cast, take a bow! Later we were hanging out with the exquisite actor Harry Dean Stanton! (“The Green Mile”, “Pretty in Pink”, “Godfather II”, “Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me”, “The Last Temptation of Christ”, “Repoman”, “Wild at Heart”, “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas”, “Cool Hand Luke”, and the masterpiece “Paris, Texas”)
Actor Jon Polito came to the screening (“Miller’s Crossing”, “The Man Who Wasn’t There”, “The Crow”, “The Big Lebowski”, “Barton Fink”, and “Big Eyes”). I thought he was brilliant in “Miller’s Crossing.” I would love to work with Jon Polito. He took Mark and I out for drinks! We talked about the potential next film!
20. THE LOCAL SILVER DRIVE IN SCREENING? What a night! Everyone was there! It was raining in this classic, charming outdoor theater and we were watching from our cars a fun horror movie we’d created ourselves! The photo is of old time buddy Riccardo Boccanegra (who played William Penn in the film) in front of the Silver Drive In marquee. I have to say thank you to the film cast and crew for embarking on a journey like this with me: Bill Eggert, Damien Youth, Riccardo, Crystal Hoffman, Chef Tom Pulliam, Kyle Stankan, Mark Swindler, Tim Frick, John Frick, Mark Portante, Margaret Bashaar, Butch Patrick, Phat Man Dee, Ben Mack, Kevin Bean, Julie Hinnorman-Meechan, Howard Bloom, Conner Pulliam, Nova Lox, Kelly Noir, Nick Noir, Jason Kirin, Stan Rice, Stan Lee, Samantha Metaldoll, Juliet Cook, Rickey Nash, Skot Jones, Brandi Breisch, Dustin Bones, Scheiny Speckschuttelnerin, Joe Bob Smith, Chris Barcley, Deven McCann, Paul Kuzupas, Allison Kuzupas, TJ Aesir, Christopher Mancuso, Brian Cano, Michael Meechan, Rachel Deacon, Michael Dennison, Luke Harlin, Angela Wilt, David Mucker, Stephanie Conrad, Deanna Kane, among many others, and Manuel Ibarra (star that you are, my brother, in the screen and in the sky, this film is dedicated to you). And, thank you to all the fun zombies, from Pittsburgh to Windber! It was also pretty cool Eric Roberts joined into our adventure. There are easily another three dozen people I need to thank from Rick Roscoe of the Silver Drive In to Parris Patton, Jason Bafile, Cody Peles, Grinder, and all the other folks who also contributed somehow to this fun work. Thank you all. Jamie Elia, thank you, for being our beatnik buddy and steady cinematographer through all this. Thank you to the Richland Fire Department and Robert Buck, Chris Guizo, Chris Meyers, and Justin Krone for the the zip line! Thank yous also go out to Tomcat and Diane Venet for cooking and cleaning and running around town in a wacky zombie horse costume to drum up interest. Thank you Syn Berns and Jim Lee for coming out a week early and scrubbing the hotel from floor to ceiling for our guests comfort, and making creepy on screen screams. Thank you Kimberly Zarobsky for appearing last minute as our creepy blue-eyed zombie woman and probably poster for the film. Thank you Jon Beard for last minute swooping in and doing the sound mix for all our ear’s enjoyment. Thank you Lenny Kvecher for all the fine food and drink you generously donated to our wkd. Thank you Devilz in the Detailz and the Black Bats for performing! And thank you to the charming town of Windber, Pennsylvania for allowing us to basecamp and shoot here! After the screening a local man came up to me and said, “I judged you people too soon. I really appreciate the things about America and our liberty you stated in this movie.” That was my favorite thing said all weekend. Thank you everyone in the audience for coming out into such a crazy enchanted exhausting timeless beautiful maddening rainy cold landscape for one of the Grand Midway’s most romantic nights, our screening of our movie Zombie Dream in the local Silver Drive In.
21. SO, LAST WORD… I sent out dvd copies to everyone involved with a signed thank you letter that read: Picasso said painting was his way of keeping a diary. In that context our film is now a kind of time capsule archiving a particular period of our shared lives around the hotel (as well as swimming in Pennsylvania American history). Thank you sincerely. Thank you all so much for the fabulous big fun, the rich creative memories, the deep beautiful hour, the risks and breakthroughs, the silly shenanigans, and the great adventure of it all. What a great gift we gave ourselves. O what a diary to have shared and loved and lived. This is just a pre-distribution copy. The end credits are not complete. Sorry. So if we spelled your name wrong or forgot to credit you please let me know. We’ll get it right in the final dvd pressing. Take care my friends. Stay enchanted! Until the next film, as all the characters agree at the end of our own movie, “It really is a beautiful day.” PS: Manuel my brother. I so wish you were here to see this. You finally are a movie star.
Zombie Dream is a feature film shot using the Grand Midway Hotel as it’s central location, starring Eric Roberts, Butch Patrick, Howard Bloom, Stan Lee, and hotel regulars Bill Eggert, Damien Youth, Blair Murphy, Deanna Dolges Kane, Mark Swindler, Manuel Ibarra, Nova Lux, Margaret Bashaar, Tim Frick, John Frick, Kyle Stankan, Crystal Tzara, Ben Mack, and Phat Man Dee. Director Blair Murphy. Director of Photography James Elia.
It will be available on dvd in Spring 2015.
ZOMBIE DREAM FESTIVAL TOUR…
This crazy zombie horse has been spotted around Richland, Johnstown, and Windber…on traffic corners waving and whinnying.
THE MAY 3, 2014 SILVER DRIVE IN SCREENING OF THE MOVIE ZOMBIE DREAM: What a night! The photo for this post is of old time buddy Riccardo Boccanegra (who played William Penn in the film) in front of the Silver Drive In marquee. I have to say thank you to the film cast and crew for embarking on a journey like this with me: Bill Eggert, Damien Youth, Riccardo, Crystal Hoffman, Chef Tom Pulliam, Kyle Stankan, Mark Swindler, Tim Frick, John Frick, Mark Portante, Margaret Bashaar, Butch Patrick, Phat Man Dee, Ben Mack, Kevin Bean, Julie Hinnorman-Meechan, Howard Bloom, Conner Pulliam, Nova Lox, Kelly Noir, Nick Noir, Jason Kirin, Stan Rice, Stan Lee, Samantha Metaldoll, Juliet Cook, Rickey Nash, Skot Jones, Brandi Breisch, Dustin Bones, Scheiny Speckschuttelnerin, Joe Bob Smith, Chris Barcley, Deven McCann, Paul Kuzupas, Allison Kuzupas, TJ Aesir, Christopher Mancuso, Brian Cano, Micheal Meechan, Rachel Deacon, Micheal Dennison, Luke Harlin, Angela Wilt, David Mucker, Stephanie Conrad, Deanna Kane, among many others, and Manuel Ibarra (star that you are, my brother, in the screen and in the sky, this film is dedicated to you). And, thank you to all the fun zombies, from Pittsburgh to Windber! It was also pretty cool Eric Roberts joined into our adventure. There are easily another three dozen people I need to thank from Rick Roscoe of the Silver Drive In to Parris Patton, Jason Bafile, Cody Peles, Grinder, and all the other folks who also contributed somehow to this fun work. Thank you all. Jamie Elia, thank you, for being our beatnik buddy and steady cinematographer through all this. Thank you to the Richland Fire Department and Robert Buck, Chris Guizo, Chris Meyers, and Justin Krone for the the zip line! Thank yous also go out to Tomcat and Diane Venet for cooking and cleaning and running around town in a wacky zombie horse costume to drum up interest. Thank you Syn Berns and Jim Lee for coming out a week early and scrubbing the hotel from floor to ceiling for our guests comfort, and making creepy on screen screams. Thank you Kimberly Zarobsky for appearing last minute as our creepy blue-eyed zombie woman and probably poster for the film. Thank you Jon Beard for last minute swooping in and doing the sound mix for all our ear’s enjoyment. Thank you Lenny Kvecher for all the fine food and drink you generously donated to our wkd. Thank you Devilz in the Detailz and the Black Bats for performing! And thank you to the charming town of Windber, Pennsylvania for allowing us to basecamp and shoot here! After the screening a local man came up to me and said, “I judged you people too soon. I really appreciate the things about America and our liberty you stated in this movie.” That was my favorite thing said all weekend. Thank you everyone in the audiance for coming out into such a crazy enchanted exhausting timeless beautiful maddening rainy cold landscape for one of the Grand Midway’s most romantic nights, our screening of our movie Zombie Dream in the local Silver Drive In. -Blair
FRIGHT NIGHT FILM FESTIVAL, AUG 1-3, LOUISVILLE, KY
“Congratulations, Zombie Dream has been selected to screen in the Fright Night Horror Weekend Film Festival, August 1-3, Louisville, Kentucky…” (That’s one)
FRIGHT NIGHT FILM FESTIVAL IN LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY… Zombie Dream actor Mark Swindler and I hopped in the car and zoomed down to Kentucky for the film festival. Here we are with the festival coordinator. We stayed in the Galt House (where they house the Kentucky Derby guests). This festival has been called The Sundance of Horror. It was a blast! We ran around all hours with other kooky filmmakers and their pretty lead stars. Somehow the Friday 4AM party ended up in our room, which was a giant executive suite! It was a few rooms actually! The next day we watched some of their films and spotted all the folks we’d just been drinking with hours earlier. Zombie Dream screened and we had our first audience of total strangers. At the convention were a bunch of Star Trek Next Generation stars which would have made Zombie Dream actress Margaret Bashaar lose her mind. Mark’s favorite attending star was George Wendt, ‘Norm’ from Cheers! Mine was Edward James Olmos, ‘Gaff’ from Bladerunner!
CHAIN NYC FILM FESTIVAL, AUG 4-16, NEW YORK CITY, NY
“I would like to thank you for your hard work and I am thrilled to let you know your film is officially selected to be part of the second annual Chain NYC Film Festival! We are overwhelmed with the talent and couldn’t be happier to showcase your amazing film in our festival…” (That’s two)
CHAIN NEW YORK CITY FILM FESTIVAL… So, Zombie Dream director of photography Jamie Elia drove up from the South to join us on this second film festival adventure. ZD actor Chef Thom and I were the other two astronauts, heading to New York City. We spent the morning gloriously swimming in a pool at my mom’s where she made us a great feast (thanks mom!), the afternoon walking Greenwich Village and reminiscing about the American Beat poets, the evening sightseeing the diamond district in Midtown Manhattan. At the festival we watched other filmmaker’s films, which is a very interesting experience because one gets to meet and question the filmmakers right there. Bladerunner actress Sean Young was supposed to attend. Chain was also about to screen John Cassavete’s 1959 film Shadows with attending star actress Lelia Goldoni! (Wow. Thank you festival director Kirk Gostkowski. -far right in photo) Filmmaker Ken Brady joined us and brought up fascinating feedback about our own film creation, describing ZD as “a merciless portrayal of the anarchy, frustration, and even apathy the average citizen today feels being cut off from their own inalienable powers and government.” We yapped late into the night at a nearby diner with other friend’s of Jamie’s who also attended the screening, one who works at the United Nations. Before the trip was over we’d ended up in Brooklyn, Queens, Princeton, NJ, New Hope, Pennsylvania, and ended up lost in the Lancaster, PA Amish Country looking for Amish! What a 24 hours!
WHITE SANDS INT FILM FESTIVAL, SEPT 3-7, LAS CRUCES, NEW MEXICO
“Congratulations! Your film, Zombie Dream, has been selected for the 2014 White Sands International Film Festival! We are thrilled to have you as part of what will be five days of great independent film making.” Sept 3-7, Las Cruces, New Mexico (That’s three)
Serpent Mound in Ohio
Mark Swindler, already in trouble
INCREDIBLY RANDOM MYTHICAL FIND OF THE DAY! So, Mark and I were zooming along somewhere in Texas when we saw some odd giant statue far out in a field. What the hell is that!?? So we pulled off the hwy and went exploring. It was a giant set of legs with top half missing. There was a big stone reading: In 1819 while on their horseback trek over the great plains of new Spain, Percy Bysshe Shelley and his wife, Mary Wollstonecraft (author of Frankenstein) came across these ruins. Here Shelley penned these immortal lines: “I met a traveler from an antique land who said two vast and trunkless legs of stone stand in the desert. Near them on the sand, half sunk, a shattered visage lies. Whose frown, and wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command, tell that its sculptor well those passions which yet survive stamped on these lifeless things. The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed and on the pedestal these words appear. “My name is Ozymandias, king of kings. Look on my works ye mighty and dispair!” Nothing beside remains round the decay of that colossal wreck. Boundless and bare the lone and level sands stretch far away.
WHITE SANDS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL after hours… Actor magician Mark Swindler and I have been hiding out early in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Here we stand outsideoutside the Billy the Kid court house that sentenced him to hang. We have had three days to prepare additional secret Zombie Dream material. Some of our research has included cases of ice cold Coronna, Tecate, Stone IPA, and several others brands. Warm breeze nights define our Wild West luxary. The White Sands festival has been really nice so far. Zombie Dream screens three times Friday and Sat. Today well spend the day watching other filmmaker”s films and doing more research. Actor Lou Diamond Phillips is here somewhere. His face is in the program. We are looking for you Lou Diamond Phillips…
WHITE SANDS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL WAS A BLAST! Mark and I watched so many films we lost track of half the story lines. We made friends with new pal Kirsten Russel who spent festival laughing with us…then her film won two awards! Our screening for Zombie Dream was filled with bright, giggling eigth grade kids!! What a trip! I think we found our target audience! The people of Las Cruses were wonderful and the festival treated us like kings, comping our hotel room and everything. Nice VIP parties. Best theater and screening Ive seen of ZD yet. And at one night night, in Rio Grande Theater, actors sang songs to us with classic Hollywood themes, so touching. So wowed! (No sign of Lou Diamond Phillips.)
FEAR AND FANTASY FILM FESTIVAL, SEPT 5-8, LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA
“Congratulations! Your submission has been selected to showcase in our 2014 program. We are happy to invite you to the 2014 season of the Los Angeles Fear and Fantasy Film Festival.” !!! Zombie Dream screens in LA this September… (that’s four)
This is being said in LA!
NEXT STOP, LAS VEGAS TO SEE PLAYBOY PLAYMATE OF THE YEAR CORINNA HARNEY! Id actually dated Corinna a little like a billion years ago. Wed just driven allllllllllllllllll night from New Mexico festival and had to leave almost immediately to drive further to make the LA festival, so i was dead tired here. Hi Corinna, bye Corinna, onward! Zoooom!
LOS ANGELES FEAR AND FANTASY FILM FESTIVAL! My God, my God, Mark and I pulled into the Victory Theater in Burbank, California, ran inside, and immediately put on an evil Zombie Dream puppet show in the lobby! Some movie goers from the other films didnt seem to be so wowed by us. But festival director Logan Thomas and his partners were completely our breed! We instantly knew we were going to love this festival. Their spirit and enthusiasm was perfect. Mark and I shot down to Venice Beach, drank beers at Hinanos, and slept outside along the canals…ready for our big screening in the morning.
THE HOLLYWOOD MAGIC CASTLE! The Magic Castle was launched in 1963, the worlds most famous clubhouse for magicians, and home to the Academy of Magical Arts, devoted to the advancement of the art of magic. Mark REALLY wanted to go. I love the place. Thanks to my friend Gordo the Great we got passes to enter the exclusive club! We put on our tuxedos. What a magnificent Sunday brunch.
THE LOS ANGELES PREMIERE OF ZOMBIE DREAM! What a dream hour. The festival was so wonderful. The lobby filled up with one friend related to the film after another. Paris Patton, second unit camera, showed up! Terry and KariKari Prine, muscians from band Greater California of ZD soundtrack, showed up! Actor Manuel Ibbaras family showed up! Hollywood tv icon Butch Patrick, aka Eddie Munster from the Munsters, showed up! (photo middle) What a fun full house!!! Thank you everyone for attending! I almost cried at my own screening.
WE WON! At the Los Angeles Fear and Fantasy Film Festival Awards Ceremony I wasn’t even filming not imaging for a second theyd ever be giving an award to a zero budget zombie movie… Then they called out Zombie Dream for Best Performance by an Ensemble Cast 2014! OMG OMG OMG! Unreal kicked up another notch. Congratulating us on stage was actress Veronica Cartwright from Alfred Hitchcocks The Birds, Ridley Scotts Alien, and George Millers Witches of Eastwick. Congratulations fellow cast, take a bow!
HANGING OUT WITH THE EXQUISITE ACTOR HARRY DEAN STANTON! (The Green Mile, Pretty in Pink, Godfather II, Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me, The Last Temptation of Christ, Repoman, Wild at Heart, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Cool Hand Luke, and the masterpiece Paris, Texas)
LOUISVILLE INT FESTIVAL OF FILM, OCT 9-11, LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY
“Zombie Dream: The above film’s entry in the Louisville’s International Festival of Film is now official. Laurels for the festival are attached.” Oct 9-11, Louisville, Kentucky (That’s five)
Meanwhile back at the Galt House, we are at the Louisville International Film Festival back in Kentucky where Zombie Dream screens in the morning!!!
At the Louisville International Film Festival after driving 8 hours all night just to get there we launched a powerhouse 24 hours of running around the Galt House and just laughing. The Galt House is also the official Kentucky Derby hotel. We had a blast! Here Mark Portante (one of our film’s zombies and a Midway hotel regular) gets a shoeshine while waiting for the next movie to start…
Here Mark ‘the magician’ Swindler drinks in the entire City of Louisville. Gorgeous day! He says, “My new favorite word is Belvedere. Its an architectural structure specifically designed to provide a scenic view.”
Here Zombie Dream zombie and hotel bud Mark Portante stands beneath the 120 foot tall baseball bat outside the Louisville Slugger Museum. The giant bat is a replica of Babe Ruth’s bat. The film festival held a great party there for all the filmmakers.
Louisville International Film Festival: myself (left) and Jamie Elia Zombie Dream director of photography (right) with Louisville Festival Director and actor Conrad Bachmann. In this moment I am just waking up, pre-coffee still, and Mr. Bachmann is inviting Jamie and I to some big film party later that night on a riverboat. It was very tempting…
Louisville International Film Festival 36 hour Hunter S. Thompson marathon of shenanigans and fun later finally dropping anchor at the Galt House hotel bar where Thelma makes fantastic turkey bacon club sandwiches and we decide it is time to make our escape… (Note: fish tank bar surface complete with fish)
POCONO MOUNTAIN FILM FESTIVAL
“You’re in.” (That’s six)
POCONO MOUNTAIN FILM FESTIVAL! So, for this nearby (only four hour drive) film festival set in the beautiful October Pocono Mountains, Zombie Dream zombies Jim Lee and Syn Berns joined me. Here we enjoyed a blast in our hotel room watching cable tv and drinking beers till the wee hours of the night. Weeeeee, what fun! I have been away at festivals for so many weekends now my head is spinning. What will this one bring?.
POCONO MOUNTAINS FILM FESTIVAL! Beautiful orange green brown yellow and red leaves surround us! Here we are outside a fun haunted house. There are police cars and FBI everywhere. We have found ourselves staying right where there is a manhunt for police slaying suspect famed fugitive Eric Frein. There is a $175,000 reward out for him. It was just reported on the news Frein may have just been spotted nearby at his old high school. So, we aren’t picking up any hitchhikers.
POCONO MOUNTAINS FILM FESTIVAL! The energy exploded with creative enthusiasm! All day we met and yapped with new artists and professionals and viewed film after film! What a day! Here we see writer VIP David Saperstein (author of the hit Cocoon, 1985), Jim Lee and Syn Burns (Windber zombies from our movie Zombie Dream), and special guest 30 year corporate executive Micky Hyman (once Head of CBS/MGM Video and entertainment counsel for the hit Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise), and myself (weirdo rogue artist of independent films, far right). Saperstein and Hyman gave a great afternoon talk on their experiences in the film industry, with lots of advice. Hyman: “In Dante’s Inferno as you enter the Gates of Hell there is a sign that reads ‘Abandon all hope all ye who enter here’. That’s what you need to do. If you hope this is gonna be a successful novel you can’t control that. Don’t hope. Just allow your creative process to happen.” Saperstein: “I no longer have the inclination to explain myself to what I call eleven year olds in Hollywood. They no longer make what I used to make. They make something else.” He continued, “I had fifty-one passes on Cocoon. So, part of the name of the game is tenacity. Remember, there’s one thing you got that none of them have. It’s been said many times in many ways: I’m there when the paper is blank.” His gem piece of advise on when adapting a story from other’s work was to recognize Love. “What is it that person LOVES? Ask why they made it in the first place…what they love. I call it the spine, the spine of the story. Don’t stray off that spine or you will be fired.”
POCONO MOUNTAINS FILM FESTIVAL, WINNING THE 2014 AWARD FOR BEST ORIGINALITY FILM! Here festival director Bridget Davis poses giving me a congratulations kiss! Wonderful moment. I’m glowing inside. I couldn’t be much happier in this moment. This festival was a predominantly black and Christian event. My impromptu speech to the audience went: “I imagine you are wondering what a zombie movie is doing in this festival. I would be. There were a lot of films going on, some at the same time. I got to see half your movies. Wonderful! And, during our film there was another film that played, which had more of the audience. So, I just wanted to say, first, our film’s not a monster movie so much as a metaphor for people that try to take your liberties away. And so that’s how it ended up in this gathering. So, it uses zombies as a metaphor more for cultural rather than biological zombies. I’ve been to a lot of festivals this year, and, I have to say, I was at this one and the guy’s entire motivation for making his movie was that he wanted pretty girls to kiss him. And I thought, that’s not that intriguing. But this group every film seems to be made out of intense personal conviction, so I’m really honored to be among you tonight. Thank you very much.”
HOT SPRINGS INTERNATIONAL HORROR FILM FESTIVAL (That’s seven)
HOT SPRINGS INTERNATIONAL HORROR FILM FESTIVAL ADVENTURE… Ok, so i wake up somewhere in Kentucky and realize i am driving yet again far off to another film festival. Eight hours drive thus far and we discover some huge random place called Dinasour World. Here’s Mark the magician with mammoths! Now another eight hours to Arkansas…
We made it! The Arkansas Hot Springs International Horror Film Festival was a blast. This town boasts endless bubbling hot springs and gangster history. Yes, thats right, Lucky Luciano and Al Capone used to come here too to escape into the magical H2O. These people really are horror fans. The Central Theater even offers a spooky backstage creepy clown tour. Enthusiasm abounds!
HOT SPRINGS INT HORROR HOST AND ACTRESS TAMARA GLYNN! Tamara starred in ‘Halloween 5, Revenge of Michael Myers’! Yeaaaaa Halloween! (I was raised in the actual town of Haddonfield, New Jersey where original ‘Halloween’ producer Debra Hill was from and later decided to set her creepy movie. Later, in Hollywood, I recorded Debra in rare interview footage where she joked how she was unhappy so she sent a killer back there. Heee heeee. Later, our home town wouldn’t let her film there so she changed the story setting to the fictitious town of Haddonfield, Illinois. Meeting anyone from the Halloween franchise always makes me feel related, like some big strange extended family.) Behind us in this photo is the Central Theater in Hot Springs which Tamara had decked out for her fun four day horror festival complete with about a dozen creepy clowns who leap out at you from hidden doors.
HOT SPRINGS HORROR FEST SPECIAL GUEST ACTRESS LESLIE EASTERBROOK! (Fantasy Island, Laverne & Shirley, The Love Boat, Dukes of Hazard, Halloween 2007, Police Academy, Private Resort, Rob Zombie’s The Devil’s Rejects, and many more!) She is so charming!
NEW ORLEANS FILM FESTIVAL, OCT 16-23, NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANNA
“Thank you for sharing Zombie Dream with us for consideration into the 25th Annual New Orleans Film Festival. We received more than 2100 entries, representing 86 countries, making this the largest and most far-reaching submissions pool we’ve ever had. Your film distinguished itself, making it in the final round of deliberations -the top 15% of all submissions. Unfortunately, in the end, we decided to pass…” Oct 16-23, New Orleans, Louisianna (Win some, lose some)
NEW ORLEANS COMIC EXPO, NOV 21-23, NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANNA
“Congratulations!” Zombie Dream is going to screen at the upcoming New Orleans Comic Expo, Nov 21-23. (That’s eight)