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Joe Hill Had to Make a Big Change to ‘The Black Phone’ in Order to Change it From Stephen King’s ‘It’

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Writer, of The Black Phone, Joe Hill had to make some big changes in order to switch things up from that of Stephen King’s It. It turns out that Hill’s killer character, “The Grabber” was originally going to be a part-time clown.

At the time, Hill wasn’t certain when It was going to be released, so it became a huge deal. he didn’t want It in theaters at the same time as The Black Phone – especially with both killers being clowns in some capacity. So, it was at that point that Hill made The Grabber into a magician.

“I had one big creative contribution, which is — I don’t know if we want to get down in the weeds. I had one big creative contribution, which was when I read the first draft, it was very, very faithful to the story and, in the short story, when Finney is kidnapped by The Grabber, the guy introduces himself as a part-time clown,” Hill told Screenrant. “He still was a part-time clown in the film, in the screenplay, which was kind of a natural evolution, because the character somewhat echoes the crimes of John Wayne Gacy. But I read the script and, I can’t remember if IT had come out at that point or was just about to come out, and I said, ‘Guys, I don’t think he can be a part-time clown, not with Pennywise about to explode on the American consciousness. I just think there’s room for only one deadly clown. So what if we made him a part-time magician instead?'”

That is a huge change from what Hill originally wanted but I can appreciate the change-up especially to change any and all resemblance to anything that King and Hill may have had crossed over.

The synopsis for The Black Phone goes like this:

Finney Shaw is a shy but clever 13-year-old boy who’s being held in a soundproof basement by a sadistic, masked killer. When a disconnected phone on the wall starts to ring, he soon discovers that he can hear the voices of the murderer’s previous victims — and they are dead set on making sure that what happened to them doesn’t happen to Finney.

The Black Phone is currently available on Blu-ray.

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‘The Dentist 1 & 2’ Comes to Vestron Video Blu-Ray Collection

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Dentist

Corbin Bernsen managed to make two of the most nightmarish low-budget, direct-to-video releases of their time. The Dentist and its sequel went for the jugular with its big gory effects and sleazy tale of a Dentist losing his mind. Both entries are incredibly entertaining and director Brian Yuzna really did have a goopy blast with both entries. Plus, Bernsen is completely having a blast coming unhinged throughout. The Dentist and its sequel are worth the price of admission.

Now, The Dentist and The Dentist 2 are coming to a killer blu-ray collection from Vestron’s collection. The artwork and the special features for both discs are both a serious treat for fans of the Yuzna filims.

The synopsis for The Dentist goes like this:

Dr. Alan Feinstone is a rich and successful Beverly Hills dentist. There’s only one problem, he’s insane. Dr. Feistone loves perfection, and he expects it of everyone. Unfortunately, no one is perfect. This unacceptable fact annoys the good doctor and leads him to commit his one small imperfection: murder.

THE DENTIST:

  • Audio Commentary with Director Brian Yuzna and Special Makeup Effects Supervisor Anthony C. Ferrante
  • Isolated Score Selections & Audio Interviews with Composer Alan Howarth and Director of Photography Levie Isaacks
  • “The Doctor Is Insane” – An Interview with Actor Corbin Bernsen
  • “Medical Malpractice” – An Interview with Cowriter Dennis Paoli
  • “Mouths of Madness” – Interviews with Special Makeup Effects Supervisor Anthony C. Ferrante and Makeup Effects Artist J.M. Logan
  • Trailer
  • Still Gallery

THE DENTIST 2:

  • Audio Commentary with Director Brian Yuzna and Special Makeup Effects Supervisor Anthony C. Ferrante
  • Isolated Score Selections & Audio Interviews with Composer Alan Howarth and Editor Christopher Roth
  • “Jamie’s New Neighbor” – An Interview with Actress Jillian McWhirter
  • “A Tale of Two Dentists” – An Interview with Producer Pierre David
  • Mouths of Madness: The Dentist 2 – Interviews with Special Make-Up Effects Supervisor Anthony C. Ferrante and Make-up Effects Artist J.M. Logan
  • Trailer
  • Still Gallery

Vestron’s The Dentist Collection arrives on January 24.

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Thriller ‘Just Cause’ Being Remade By Scarlett Johansson

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Deadline is reporting that Scarlett Johansson’s production company These Pictures and Warner Bros. have won the bid to make a limited series based on the 1992 John Katzenbach novel Just Cause. This is an order from Amazon Studios that will appear on Prime.

In the Katzenbach novel, journalist Matthew Cowart helps to overturn the conviction of a Florida man accused of murder. The twisty plot was the going trend in 90s mystery cinema.

Those who have seen the original film adaption from 1995 may remember that Sean Connery starred alongside Laurence Fishburne in the crime drama. Some names and situations were changed from the novel.

Sean Connery in “Just Cause” 1995

Johansson’s version will also stray a bit from the source material with the actress playing the lead instead of a man. Her name will be Madison “Madi” Cowart.

This is also a full-circle moment for the Black Widow heroine. One of her first roles was in the original film, playing Katie Armstrong; the daughter of Paul Armstrong (Connery).

This will be the first time Johansson has turned to television in a prestigious role. The star has had a rocky past with Disney and the MCU universe.

Back in 2021, the actress sued the house of mouse over a breach of contract. The suit claimed, “that the studio sacrificed the film’s box office potential in order to grow its fledgling Disney+ streaming service. Disney countered that Johansson was paid $20 million for the film.”

That case was settled in September 2021, but the terms were not disclosed.

Christy Hall (I’m Not OK With This, Daddio) will write the script for Just Cause. Hall was the consulting producer on Apple’s Servant.

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Real Amityville House For Sale: “It’s not haunted, not at all.”

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Who wants to buy a little piece of hell in Amityville, New York? The large Dutch Colonial house that inspired the book The Amityville Horror, and the subsequent films, is currently back on the market. The owners are even giving it a price cut to a meager $955,000 for those looking for a bargain.

The 10-room house had an original asking price of $1.45 million last year, then dropped to $1.35 million. The current owners say they are going through a divorce, and selling the property; it has nothing to do with the structure being haunted.

“It’s not that the house is haunted or anything,” said current owner Odalys Fragoso. “We had wonderful times in that house. I never felt anything, nothing whatsoever. I was just happy that we were buying the house because we saw the potential of it.”

She adds: “It’s not haunted, not at all.”

The selling agent, Donna Walesiewicz, agrees, “‘If there were a curse on it, I wouldn’t be in it. It is what it is, a nice old stately home.”

If you’re a horror movie fan or just a fan of the paranormal, you have probably heard of this house located at 112 Ocean Avenue (now 108). It was the site of the mass murder carried out by Ronald DeFeo Jr. against his entire family back in 1974.

A year later George and Kathy Lutz bought the property but infamously only lived there for 28 days before abandoning the house, claiming it was violently haunted.

A best-selling book by Jay Anson was released in 1977 which chronicled the “true story” of the Lutz family’s nearly month-long ordeal. They claimed swarms of flies would appear, ooze would seep from the walls and toilet, their young daughter was stalked by a pig-like entity, and, at one point, Kathy became possessed.

There was a movie based on the book that was released in 1979 and became a box office hit. Since then many sequels and other cinematic works, 28 in all, have used the famous house as inspiration.

Walesiewicz insists that the lower asking price has nothing to do with it being haunted. Instead, she says the housing market has, “dropped tremendously. That’s why people are coming down and buying homes in cash. They aren’t making money in other investments. They are putting it in real estate.”

That being said, remember that the Lutzs bought the house at a drastically discounted price in the beginning as well.

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