A huge hit both critically and commercially at the time of its release, 2009 horror comedy Zombieland currently stands as the #2 highest grossing zombie movie of all time, and with good reason. From Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) detailing his patented zombie survival rules, to Tallahassee’s (Woody Harrelson) obsession with Twinkies, to the “zombie kill of the week”, the film truly has something for just about every horror fan who enjoys a good laugh with their undead carnage.
As has become well-known in the years since it came out, one of the greatest sequences in Zombieland involves a trip to Bill Murray’s house, which the main group of four initially decides to do just for the fun of it. Surprisingly, the legendary actor is still alive, managing to get around outside by pretending to be a zombie. Naturally, this leads to lots of wacky Ghostbusters-related hijinks involving Murray, Tallahassee, and Wichita (Emma Stone). Unfortunately, the erstwhile Dr. Venkman is then killed for real by a confused Columbus, although not before Murray gets in a joke about his mistake in doing the Garfield movie.
That said, the original plan for that portion of Zombieland was quite different. As revealed by scribes Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick during a recent appearance on Kevin Smith’s AMC talk show Geeking Out, the role that ultimately ended up going to Murray was originally written for Dirty Dancing and Point Break star Patrick Swayze, with jokes presumably tailored toward his own storied career in Hollywood. Unfortunately Swayze soon developed the pancreatic cancer that would ultimately end his life, preventing him from participating in Zombieland. Check out the fuill clip below to find out who else was approached prior to Murray.
While it’s certainly a tough proposition for Zombieland fans to imagine Murray’s scenes not having appeared in the film, it’s hard to argue that a Swayze cameo couldn’t have been just as fun if the former Ghost heartthrob was game to cut loose comedically. He’s certainly most famous for his dramatic work, but Swayze never seemed to have an issue doing wacky comedy, and would probably have been willing to go all out to try and get laughs, even if some of them were at his own expense. Sadly, the bastard known as cancer cut Swayze’s life short, denying the world a chance to see what he could have done with the part.
Netflix Doc ‘Devil on Trial’ Explores The Paranormal Claims of ‘Conjuring 3’ [Trailer]
What is it about Lorraine Warren and her constant row with the devil? We may find out in the new Netflix documentary called The Devil on Trial which will premiere on October 17, or at least we will see why she chose to take on this case.
Back in 2021, everyone was holed up in their homes, and anyone with an HBO Max subscription could stream “Conjuring 3” day and date. It got mixed reviews, maybe because this wasn’t an ordinary haunted house tale that the Conjuring universe is known for. It was more of a crime procedural than a paranormal investigative one.
As with all of the Warren-based Conjuring movies, The Devil Made Me Do It was based on “a true story,” and Netflix is taking that claim to task with The Devil on Trial. The Netflix e-zine Tudum explains the backstory:
“Often referred to as the ‘Devil Made Me Do It’ case, the trial of 19-year-old Arne Cheyenne Johnson quickly became the subject of lore and fascination after it made national news in 1981. Johnson claimed that he murdered his 40-year-old landlord, Alan Bono, while under the influence of demonic forces. The brutal killing in Connecticut drew the attention of self-professed demonologists and paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren, known for their probe into the infamous haunting in Amityville, Long Island, several years prior. The Devil on Trial recounts the troubling events leading up to Bono’s murder, the trial, and the aftermath, using firsthand accounts of the people closest to the case, including Johnson.”
Then there’s the logline: The Devil on Trial explores the first — and only — time “demonic possession” has officially been used as a defense in a US murder trial. Including firsthand accounts of alleged devil possession and shocking murder, this extraordinary story forces reflection on our fear of the unknown.
If anything, this companion to the original film might shed some light on just how accurate these “true story” Conjuring films are and how much is just a writer’s imagination.
[First Photos] ‘The Strangers’ Reboot is Already Made; It Consists of Three Movies
Director Renny Harlin (Deep Blue Sea, Exorcist: The Beginning, Cliffhanger) has been a busy man. He is rebooting The Strangers franchise with a trilogy that he has already completed according to Entertainment Weekly.
Harlin says he shot all of the films in Slovakia at the same time, and production was, “the challenge of a lifetime, but I also really embraced it. On a Monday morning, I could be shooting the second chapter, and Monday afternoon I could be shooting the first chapter, and Tuesday morning I could be shooting the third chapter. it was incredibly demanding for the actors, for the continuity in terms of the make-up and wardrobe, and for my director of photography, because we wanted to create a visual language that develops so that the movies get bigger, more epic, as we go [on]. It just kept all of our juices pumping all the time.”
He remembers the Bryan Bertino-directed 2008 original Strangers which he says impressed him so much that he never forgot it.
“I remember the experience of seeing it,” says Harlin, “I didn’t really know anything about it when I saw it and I just loved it. I thought it was fantastic and it’s stuck in my mind as one of my favorite horror films.”
He adds: “When this opportunity came to me, the idea of not doing a remake or a reboot but doing a trilogy based on the original film, I thought it was an incredible opportunity.”
As for what Harlin’s version is about he says the first movie The Strangers: Chapter 1 pretty much follows the set-up of the original: a couple is terrorized by sociopathic home invaders, and Chapter 3 and Chapter 4 will “explore what happens to the victims of this kind of violence and who the perpetrators are of this kind of violence. Where are they coming from and why?”
The targets in Chapter 1 are played by Madelaine Petsch and Froy Gutierrez (Teen Wolf, Cruel Summer).
The Strangers Trilogy is set for release in theaters next year. Harlin and producer Courtney Solomon will be participating in a panel about the three films at New York Comic Con on Oct. 12.
Original 2008 Trailer:
‘Terrifier 3’ Teaser To Play Ahead of ‘Terrifier 2’ Theatrical Re-Release
Terrifier 2 is returning to theaters nationwide beginning November 1.
Director Damien Leone will give a small on-screen introduction that will include the first public showing of the teaser from Terrifier 3. In addition, the first 100 audience members will receive a Terrifier 3 poster.
Terrifier 2 was the little indie(gogo) movie that could. It turned its shoestring budget of $250k into an $11 million windfall.
“This year has been unlike anything we could have imagined,” says Leone. “To see all the love Terrifier 2 has received and the excitement this release has inspired from fans new and old, is truly beyond words. As a thank you to our fans and the many people who worked tirelessly on this release, we want to bring it back to the big screen where it belongs. And more than that, while fans eagerly await the release of Terrifier 3 next year, we want the chance to share what we’ve been working on for the third installment because a year is just too long to wait.”
As for why the film is getting a re-release after Halloween, Brad Miska, Managing Director of Bloody Disgusting/Cineverse, says it’s a fitting adieu to the holiday.
“Terrifier 2’s return to theaters is the perfect farewell to the Halloween season, an event that will have audiences clinging onto their barf bags once again, “said Brad Miska, Managing Director of Bloody Disgusting/Cineverse. “This exemplifies the pinnacle of horror cinema, an experience that etches itself into memory. Between the exclusive Terrifier 3 scene that will only be shown in theaters to the exclusive poster, this is a night you won’t want to miss out on.”
For those who haven’t seen Terrifier 2, here is a brief description:
“Set one year after its predecessor, Terrifier 2 continued the gruesome story of Art the Clown and his insatiable thirst for murder. When a sinister force resurrects Art, he is once again upon the unsuspecting residents of Miles County. Back for another Halloween, Art sets his sights on a teenage girl and her little brother, portrayed by LaVera and Elliott Fullam, respectively, delivering a chilling and relentless tale of horror.”