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This Way to Egress: Looking Back

Mick Garris’s anthology film Nightmare Cinema was released to theatres four years ago this month, with premiere events held at The Dynasty Typewriter and Arena Cinelounce in LA, the Frida Cinema in Santa Ana, the Parkway Theatre in Pittsburgh, and others. I covered those events in previous blog posts, along with accounts of earlier festival screenings in Canada, England, Ireland, and the US.

But this month marks another Nightmare Cinema anniversary, and unlike the film’s release, it’s one I haven’t written about before.

Which Way to Egress? A reversible sign points the way to a lot midway between the two main LA locations for Nightmare Cinema’s “This Way to Egress” segment, June 2017.

In June 2017, the Nightmare Cinema segment “This Way to Egress” went before the cameras in downtown LA, and a few weeks ago, anticipating a return to the city for meetings on a new project, I was looking forward to revisiting some of the “Egress” locations and possibly working up a blog post for the anniversary. Ever the optimist, I was hopeful the WGA’s contract negotiations would go well and that the new project–previously delayed by Covid–would finally bring me back to town. Alas, that didn’t happen.

Nevertheless, with the trip canceled and the new peoject once again on hold, I began sorting through photos, notes, call sheets, and a wealth of other stuff collected during the “Egress” shoot. There was a lot there. I was surprised at how much I had in my files … and how much of it rekindled half-forgotten memories that will surely fade forever if I don’t write them down.

To that end, this month I’m going to try sharing some of those recollections in a series of posts, with the first dropping sometime early next week.

In the meantime, you can find Nightmare Cinema on your favorite on-demand platform or on DVDBlu-Ray and even (if you’re looking for that retro experience) VHS tape. You can also watch it on Freevee and Tubi, if you can tolerate the ads.

Check it out if you’re so inclined, and stop back next week when I’ll do my best to recall what happened when the fifth segment of Nightmare Cinema went before the cameras six years ago this month.

For now, here’s Producer Mick Garris with a short history of how Nightmare Cinema came to be.




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