Elijah Wood

A discussion about hockey and zombies, corpses in tubs and getting hit with the hatchet for the fourth time!

House of Tortured Souls:Hey everyone! Horrormadam here to bring you a great conversation I had with Visual Effects and editing mastermind Jeremy Wanek. He is such a great person and we had a really fun talk and I wanted to let you guys in on the fun! Our first topic to discuss was some of the projects that he has been working on.
Jeremy Wanek: Victor Crowley coming out February 6, 2018. Worked on the VFX for the opening sequence, editing, and death sequences.Most people think the effects are 100% practical (a practical effect is a special effect produced physically, without computer-generated imagery or other post-production techniques) with a little CG (computer generated images) and some definitely are but with a few enhancements to make them a little bigger.Enhancements to practical effects happen more in horror films. It is great to shoot practical, but CG works best when you can use it to enhance. That’s what Adam Green (Frozen, Hatchet 1 and 2) does when he shoots his movies.

Victor Crowley, Jeremy Wanek, VFX artist

Victor Crowley, flare effect, Jeremy Wanek, VFX artist

It was my first time working with Kane Hodder and Adam Green. It’s interesting how it worked out. I am from Minneapolis and it’s always interesting trying to reach out to people in LA or NY, but a lot of the work I do is for people on the coasts. So I am a fan of Adam Greens podcast The Movie Crypt that he does with Joe Lynch(Wrong Turn 2, Mayhem), so I wanted to try to get a hold of Adam to see if I could possibly get work to do on his film.and I was on FB when I saw that he replies back to many people that ask him questions or comment on his stuff. So I just basically told him how much I love his work and thank you for all that he does on his podcast and that I would be willing to do a few shots for him on the project that he has upcoming for free. He replied back to me  and said that’s awesome and told me to get in touch with his .com contact page and message them to get on the books, and a few weeks later I got a message from the webpage saying that Adam would like to talk to me about an upcoming project that he was doing and we ended up having a Skype conversation for about half an hour where he unveiled that he was doing the 4th Hatchet movie. It was cool for it to be that because it was the most exciting thing that I could have worked on for him. It was gonna originally be 10 shots then it kept expanding to 15 then 25 to about 50 shots and then at the very end the opening sequence was kind of thrust at me and I finished that in about a week or two. For the first minute and a half of the film after the cold open, there’s a sequence, except he didn’t want to have an opening title he just wanted a sequence that basically gives you a summary of what happened in parts 1-3 and kind of a build-up to the 4th one. Like what happened to Victor Crowley up to that point. He was pretty open and let me be creative with what I wanted to do with it, which was cool especially since we only had about a week or two to do it. Finished it two days before the LA premiere which was pretty exciting.

The other project I am working on is a film about hockey and zombies, Ahockalypse. It is one of the weirdest and possibly funniest movies I have ever worked on and it does not take itself to seriously. It is basically about a zombie outbreak that happens during a championship hockey match. The team suddenly starts to realize what is happening kind of like Shaun of the Dead. But Ahockalypse takes it to a whole other level, Shaun of the Dead seems pretty tame in comparison. They get into some weird situations and you get to meet a lot of very interesting characters trying to survive the zombie hordes. It has an appearance by big-time hockey player Barry Melrose (NHL player for the Toronto Maple Leafs and former coach of the LA Kings). There’s kung-fu zombies and zombie kids in some really interesting scenes. Hopefully, it will be done in the next month or two and released by the end of the year. I did the editing and VFX on this one.

Another project is Corpse Tub that is being produced by Elijah Wood. His production company, Company X does some really interesting indie films. It also has MarVista Entertainment and Tamperclean Films. It has an amazing cast, Dan Harmon (Community, Arrested Development) is in it and Taika Waititi (What We Do In The Shadows, Thor: Ragnarok), Sam Huntington (Detroit Rock City, Fanboys) Kate Micucci (Will and Grace, The Big Bang Theory) and so many other great comedic actors. It’s about a small-town couple finds the perfect apartment in the big city, except there’s one catch: the apartment is home to the ritualistic suicides of a deranged cult that keep happening in the tub. I don’t know too much more on that one, only did about 25 shots but what I have seen is hilarious and I am really looking forward to that one.

BlackCreek_TapedUp, Jeremy Wanek, VFX artist

Black Creek, TapedUp, Jeremy Wanek, VFX artist

Also worked on Black Creek that was done by the same producer as AhockalypseCraig Patrick (Zombie Spring Breakers), but this one was done first. It is about a troubled young man and his brash sister are terrorized by signs that an ancient Native-American spirit, awakened by a ritual murder, has marked them for death.

BlackCreek_Possession, Jeremy Wanek, VFX artist

Black Creek, Possession, Jeremy Wanek, VFX artist

Like one of those films where the killer transfers from body to body so it is hard to identify the real killer. It is with Chris O’Flyng who created his own amazing YouTube channel. VFX and editing on this one.

Jeremy also worked on Dementia 13 which has the amazing Julia Campanelli (Walking Away, Pink Moon) about a vengeful ghost, a mysterious killer, and a family where everyone has a secret converge in one night of terror in this remake of Francis Ford Coppola’s first feature film. Jeremy was the lead compositor/lead visual effects artist for it.
Dementia13_01_BeforeVFX

Dementia13, BeforeVFX

Dementia13_01_AfterVFX, Jeremy Wanek, VFX artist

Dementia13, AfterVFX, Jeremy Wanek, VFX artist

Dementia13_02_BeforeVFX

Dementia13, BeforeVFX

Dementia13_02_AfterVFX, Jeremy Wanek, VFX artist

Dementia13, AfterVFX, Jeremy Wanek, VFX artist

HoTS: So then I asked Jeremy how he got into doing all of this amazing work.
JW: Since I was young I always wanted to tell stories in one way or another. I got my first video camera and I shot a lot of horror. I was always into violent things like Mortal Kombat and other similar video games. The fighting games kind of shaped my influences. I made a lot of fighting movies with my friends and I liked every part of it. Directing, writing, editing, and VFX came naturally because we couldn’t really afford anything and it was always just easier to do it in post, to manipulate it however I wanted.
HoTS: Then I wanted to know about what films influenced his work.
JW: Some of my favorite horror films are Jaws, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Hatchet, and Behind the Mask, which influenced me more than any other because it was so unique and it was super fun and playful. The John Carpenter version of The Thing, Hellraiser, and Final Destination. One of my favorite directors is M. Night Shyamalan. He always gets a bad rap which I think is because he made The Sixth Sense which was nominated for an Oscar and people expected so much from him. Maybe too much. Signs is one of my faves and he is definitely back on track with Split and the upcoming Glass. Jurassic Park really made me want to do FX. I remember being in a doctors office and I saw a magazine that had a picture of the T-Rex and I was so amazed at how good it looked and when I saw it on screen I was blown away. Some others are Terminator 2, Mrs. Doubtfire, Dumb & Dumber, and Pulp Fiction.

For editing, it would be Walter Murch (Apocalypse Now, The Godfather Series, Touch of Evil). His lessons, teachings, and his book In The Blink Of An Eye where he talks about how to cut from one shot to the next. He realized when he was editing one of his movies he noticed he wanted to cut close to when someone was about to blink and the reason for that is when someone is having a conversation and they blink, “And that blink will occur where a cut could have happened had the conversation been filmed. Not a frame earlier or later.” I also really like Kirk Baxter (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Gone Girl, The Social Network) that David Fincher uses. His workflow that he uses is the same one that I emulate. I have a lot of connection to his work. Also Alfred Hitchcock, and Mike Flanagan for (Oculus, Hush, and Ouija: Origin of Evil).

Jeremy Wanek, VFX artistI and the House of Tortured Souls really want to thank Jeremy for taking time out from his extremely busy schedule to talk with us and share the 411 on some amazing new films and shorts! Looking forward to seeing so more of his work in the future!
BlackCreek_Skulls, Jeremy Wanek, VFX artist

Black Creek, Jeremy Wanek, VFX artist

Jeremy Wanek: Editor and VFX Artist (Interview)

Jeremy Wanek: Editor and VFX Artist (Interview)

A discussion about hockey and zombies, corpses in tubs and getting hit with the hatchet for the fourth time!

House of Tortured Souls:Hey everyone! Horrormadam here to bring you a great conversation I had with Visual Effects and editing mastermind Jeremy Wanek. He is such a great person and we had a really fun talk and I wanted to let you guys in on the fun! Our first topic to discuss was some of the projects that he has been working on.
Jeremy Wanek: Victor Crowley coming out February 6, 2018. Worked on the VFX for the opening sequence, editing, and death sequences.Most people think the effects are 100% practical (a practical effect is a special effect produced physically, without computer-generated imagery or other post-production techniques) with a little CG (computer generated images) and some definitely are but with a few enhancements to make them a little bigger.Enhancements to practical effects happen more in horror films. It is great to shoot practical, but CG works best when you can use it to enhance. That’s what Adam Green (Frozen, Hatchet 1 and 2) does when he shoots his movies.

Victor Crowley, Jeremy Wanek, VFX artist

Victor Crowley, flare effect, Jeremy Wanek, VFX artist

It was my first time working with Kane Hodder and Adam Green. It’s interesting how it worked out. I am from Minneapolis and it’s always interesting trying to reach out to people in LA or NY, but a lot of the work I do is for people on the coasts. So I am a fan of Adam Greens podcast The Movie Crypt that he does with Joe Lynch(Wrong Turn 2, Mayhem), so I wanted to try to get a hold of Adam to see if I could possibly get work to do on his film.and I was on FB when I saw that he replies back to many people that ask him questions or comment on his stuff. So I just basically told him how much I love his work and thank you for all that he does on his podcast and that I would be willing to do a few shots for him on the project that he has upcoming for free. He replied back to me  and said that’s awesome and told me to get in touch with his .com contact page and message them to get on the books, and a few weeks later I got a message from the webpage saying that Adam would like to talk to me about an upcoming project that he was doing and we ended up having a Skype conversation for about half an hour where he unveiled that he was doing the 4th Hatchet movie. It was cool for it to be that because it was the most exciting thing that I could have worked on for him. It was gonna originally be 10 shots then it kept expanding to 15 then 25 to about 50 shots and then at the very end the opening sequence was kind of thrust at me and I finished that in about a week or two. For the first minute and a half of the film after the cold open, there’s a sequence, except he didn’t want to have an opening title he just wanted a sequence that basically gives you a summary of what happened in parts 1-3 and kind of a build-up to the 4th one. Like what happened to Victor Crowley up to that point. He was pretty open and let me be creative with what I wanted to do with it, which was cool especially since we only had about a week or two to do it. Finished it two days before the LA premiere which was pretty exciting.

The other project I am working on is a film about hockey and zombies, Ahockalypse. It is one of the weirdest and possibly funniest movies I have ever worked on and it does not take itself to seriously. It is basically about a zombie outbreak that happens during a championship hockey match. The team suddenly starts to realize what is happening kind of like Shaun of the Dead. But Ahockalypse takes it to a whole other level, Shaun of the Dead seems pretty tame in comparison. They get into some weird situations and you get to meet a lot of very interesting characters trying to survive the zombie hordes. It has an appearance by big-time hockey player Barry Melrose (NHL player for the Toronto Maple Leafs and former coach of the LA Kings). There’s kung-fu zombies and zombie kids in some really interesting scenes. Hopefully, it will be done in the next month or two and released by the end of the year. I did the editing and VFX on this one.

Another project is Corpse Tub that is being produced by Elijah Wood. His production company, Company X does some really interesting indie films. It also has MarVista Entertainment and Tamperclean Films. It has an amazing cast, Dan Harmon (Community, Arrested Development) is in it and Taika Waititi (What We Do In The Shadows, Thor: Ragnarok), Sam Huntington (Detroit Rock City, Fanboys) Kate Micucci (Will and Grace, The Big Bang Theory) and so many other great comedic actors. It’s about a small-town couple finds the perfect apartment in the big city, except there’s one catch: the apartment is home to the ritualistic suicides of a deranged cult that keep happening in the tub. I don’t know too much more on that one, only did about 25 shots but what I have seen is hilarious and I am really looking forward to that one.

BlackCreek_TapedUp, Jeremy Wanek, VFX artist

Black Creek, TapedUp, Jeremy Wanek, VFX artist

Also worked on Black Creek that was done by the same producer as AhockalypseCraig Patrick (Zombie Spring Breakers), but this one was done first. It is about a troubled young man and his brash sister are terrorized by signs that an ancient Native-American spirit, awakened by a ritual murder, has marked them for death.

BlackCreek_Possession, Jeremy Wanek, VFX artist

Black Creek, Possession, Jeremy Wanek, VFX artist

Like one of those films where the killer transfers from body to body so it is hard to identify the real killer. It is with Chris O’Flyng who created his own amazing YouTube channel. VFX and editing on this one.

Jeremy also worked on Dementia 13 which has the amazing Julia Campanelli (Walking Away, Pink Moon) about a vengeful ghost, a mysterious killer, and a family where everyone has a secret converge in one night of terror in this remake of Francis Ford Coppola’s first feature film. Jeremy was the lead compositor/lead visual effects artist for it.
Dementia13_01_BeforeVFX

Dementia13, BeforeVFX

Dementia13_01_AfterVFX, Jeremy Wanek, VFX artist

Dementia13, AfterVFX, Jeremy Wanek, VFX artist

Dementia13_02_BeforeVFX

Dementia13, BeforeVFX

Dementia13_02_AfterVFX, Jeremy Wanek, VFX artist

Dementia13, AfterVFX, Jeremy Wanek, VFX artist

HoTS: So then I asked Jeremy how he got into doing all of this amazing work.
JW: Since I was young I always wanted to tell stories in one way or another. I got my first video camera and I shot a lot of horror. I was always into violent things like Mortal Kombat and other similar video games. The fighting games kind of shaped my influences. I made a lot of fighting movies with my friends and I liked every part of it. Directing, writing, editing, and VFX came naturally because we couldn’t really afford anything and it was always just easier to do it in post, to manipulate it however I wanted.
HoTS: Then I wanted to know about what films influenced his work.
JW: Some of my favorite horror films are Jaws, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Hatchet, and Behind the Mask, which influenced me more than any other because it was so unique and it was super fun and playful. The John Carpenter version of The Thing, Hellraiser, and Final Destination. One of my favorite directors is M. Night Shyamalan. He always gets a bad rap which I think is because he made The Sixth Sense which was nominated for an Oscar and people expected so much from him. Maybe too much. Signs is one of my faves and he is definitely back on track with Split and the upcoming Glass. Jurassic Park really made me want to do FX. I remember being in a doctors office and I saw a magazine that had a picture of the T-Rex and I was so amazed at how good it looked and when I saw it on screen I was blown away. Some others are Terminator 2, Mrs. Doubtfire, Dumb & Dumber, and Pulp Fiction.

For editing, it would be Walter Murch (Apocalypse Now, The Godfather Series, Touch of Evil). His lessons, teachings, and his book In The Blink Of An Eye where he talks about how to cut from one shot to the next. He realized when he was editing one of his movies he noticed he wanted to cut close to when someone was about to blink and the reason for that is when someone is having a conversation and they blink, “And that blink will occur where a cut could have happened had the conversation been filmed. Not a frame earlier or later.” I also really like Kirk Baxter (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Gone Girl, The Social Network) that David Fincher uses. His workflow that he uses is the same one that I emulate. I have a lot of connection to his work. Also Alfred Hitchcock, and Mike Flanagan for (Oculus, Hush, and Ouija: Origin of Evil).

Jeremy Wanek, VFX artistI and the House of Tortured Souls really want to thank Jeremy for taking time out from his extremely busy schedule to talk with us and share the 411 on some amazing new films and shorts! Looking forward to seeing so more of his work in the future!
BlackCreek_Skulls, Jeremy Wanek, VFX artist

Black Creek, Jeremy Wanek, VFX artist




Posted by Alan Smithee in COMING SOON, EXCLUSIVE, HORROR NEWS, INTERVIEWS, NEW RELEASES, PARANORMAL, PREQUELS AND SEQUELS, REMAKES AND REBOOTS, ZOMBIES, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: The Last Witch Hunter (2015)

MOVIE REVIEW: The Last Witch Hunter (2015)

By Dixielord

Vin Diesel as The Last Witch Hunter

The Last Witch Hunter

Sometimes I think I go in search of bad films. Not just bad films like Night of the Demon or Plan 9 From Outer Space, that are at least fun, but really bad films. That could explain why I went to see The Last Witch Hunter in the theater. The Last Witch Hunter is the newest film from Vin Diesel and Director Breck Eisner (The Crazies),

Now it's not the worst film I have ever seen, but I wasn't expecting it to be good when I made the decision to go. While I am occasionally fooled, and end up liking a film like Hansel and Grete :Witch Hunters, I just don’t trust these big slick “horror” movies. If I do have a unconscious desire to see bad films, then at least on that point, The Last Witch Hunter didn't really let me down.

On the good side it had a pretty decent cast. The title role was, of course played buy Vin Diesal (Riddick). I really like Vin, I do, but he does a lot of crappy movies. Also starring in The Last Witch Hunter, was Elijah Wood (Maniac), Rose Leslie (Game of Thrones), Michael Caine (What the hell hasn't he been in?) and Julie Englebrect (The Strain) as the Witch Queen.

On the bad side, it's another CGI fest of monsters and magic without any real soul. Vin is Vin, he's pretty much playing some version of Riddick in every movie. He's like a Tom Cruise that I don't feel guilty for liking. If you love Vin, you will probably enjoy him here, just don't look for any substance.

The Last Witch Hunter with Rose Leslie, Vin Diesel and Elijah Wood

Rose Leslie, Elijah Wood, and VIn Diesel in The Last Witch Hunter

Elijah Wood kind of disappointed me, with his character, and even just for being in The Last Witch Hunter. It's such a step backward from his performance in Maniac. He comes off as a weak, spineless character that Frodo would kick sand on at the beach. And the story is so transparent that you pretty much know what’s up with his character the moment he first appears on screen. It's so apparent that when it doesn't happen within his first ten minutes on screen, you start to think it's a red herring.

The whole story is pretty easy to figure out. Really, it was a bit annoying to be watching Vin and company scratching their heads trying to figure out something that was pretty obvious from the beginning. Apparently it isn't only Jon Snow who knows nothing, eh Rose?

Game of Thrones Rose Leslie in the Last Witch Hunter

You know nothing Vin Diesel, seriously dude, nothing.
Rose Leslie in The Last Witch Hunter

There was one line that I noted as somewhat interesting. When Leslie's good witch character is talking about the Salem Witch Trials and Diesel tells her that Salem was a horrible mistake, she asks if he would feel the same way if the women really were witches. It's interesting because we know now that the trials were about jealousy, spite, and land grabs and most likely those hung knew little if anything about witchcraft. How would we look at Salem now, with our more progressive and accepting society if the women really were witches or wiccans?

But that's about as deep as this movie gets. Any other questions of the morality of witchcraft and witch hunters is at about the same level of Glenda asking Dorothy if shes a good witch or bad.

If you are a fan of these type of horror/fantasy films, you might like The Last Witch Hunter. But there are better films out there, like Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters. It is slightly better than Keanu's Constantine, but not much. I really didn't hate it, I just really didn't like it very much. It's like Willie said, full of sound and fury but meh. I doubt I will watch it again unless it's on Netflix and I'm bored, 4 out of 10 CGI stars.

Posted by Allen Alberson in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Cooties (2015)

MOVIE REVIEW: Cooties (2015)

KILLER KIDS WILL EAT YOUR FACE!!
A Review of Horror/Comedy Cooties

By Amy Lynes

cooties-poster

Directed by: Jonathan Millot and Cary Murnion

Starring: Elijah Wood, Rainn Wilson, Leigh Whannell, Alison Pill, Jack McBrayer, Nasim Pedrad, and Jorge Garcia

Cooties begins with a chicken, infected with some sort of virus, being processed and turned into chicken nuggets as it makes it way through various stages of processing via conveyor belts. The nuggets are then shipped to the elementary school at...Fort Chicken. Yes, that's right. I said Fort Chicken.

Clint is a down on his luck aspiring writer and teacher, who has recently returned home to Fort Chicken from New York. In addition to writing his horror novel about a possessed boat, he has returned to Fort Chicken to take a teaching job at his old elementary school. And of course, his first day on the job is the very day that the tainted nuggets are being served to the elementary students.

Things start off normal enough, with Clint arriving at the school at the start of the day and introducing himself to the rest of the oddball teaching staff and meeting up with his old school crush, Lucy. She is now the 4th grade teacher and coincidentally, the girlfriend of the proverbial asshole phys ed teacher, who from the minute he sees them talking, has it in for Clint.

Before long, all hell breaks loose, "Cooties" are spread and soon all the children at the school have it and begin tearing the adults apart and Clint and the rest of the rag tag band of teachers are left to fight for their lives in the middle of a massive zombie like outbreak. They soon discover that the "cooties" can be transmitted from child to child merely by touch and that it has become a widespread epidemic...

There is as much to like about Cooties as there is to dislike, and although killing kids has never been this much fun, there is just something lacking here. With equal parts horror and equal parts comedy, Cooties was too light on both and almost seems to make fun of itself. The end result is that what could have been an extremely entertaining watch leaves much to be desired.

While the direction is mediocre, the effect aren't half bad and the acting is delightful. Even the cheesy, overused in horror films dialogue comes off as funny when masterfully executed by the talented cast, making the film much more palatable and fun to watch. Rainn Wilson shines with his comedic delivery as Wade and is perfectly complemented by Elijah Woods' take on geeky writer/teacher Clint and Leigh Whannell's portrayal of the creepy/dorky Doug.

While there is something a little bit weird about rooting for the destruction of these zed-like brain eating killer kids, there is a certain amount of satisfaction to be had watching these educators dispatch their charges, sometimes with glee. Ultimately though, Cooties almost tries too hard to be funny with cheap comedic shots and dialogue and in spite of the films humorous premise it does not quite live up to it's potential. There are worse ways to spend an afternoon, but if you are looking to be wowed, look elsewhere.

Rating 6/10

Posted by Alan Smithee in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments