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An Evening of Nightmares

June 12th, 2019

With the theatrical release of the new anthology film Nightmare Cinema just over a week away, Cranked-Up Films and Shudder are launching An Evening of Nightmares — a curated screening series that, according to a recent article at, “centers on filmmakers showcasing their own work and the work of their creative influences.”

Scheduled for June 14 at the Hayworth Theater in Los Angeles, the first screening in the series will feature three Nightmare Cinema directors, each sharing one of his early horror films.

Mick Garris, the Nightmare Cinema producer who also wrote and directed the anthology’s concluding segment “Dead,” will screen Sleepwalkers (1992), which features what could be horror cinema’s first use of CGI to morph an actor’s face into that of a snarling monster — a real jolt for moviegoers who first caught the film back in the early 90s.

Alejandro Brugues, writer and director of Nightmare Cinema‘s opening segment “The Thing in the Woods,” will screen his zombie comedy Juan of the Dead (Juan de los Muertos, 2011). The film delivers a biting political subtext that is all the more remarkable for having been filmed in Cuba. Of this aspect of the film, critic Simon Kinnear writes in the British magazine Total Film that Juan “resurrects the genre’s political subtexts with jibes at a country where zombies are dismissed as ‘dissidents’ …” Clearly, it’s a film that shows how effectively horror can serve as a vehicle for entertaining and provocative political commentary.

Filling out the program will be Joe Dante, director of the Nightmare Cinema segment “Mirari.” He’ll be screening his cult favorite Piranha (1978), the Roger Corman production released the same year as Jaws 2. Clearly the more entertaining of the two, Piranha has gone on to win a well-deserved cult following.

With that said, it’s worth noting that a clip from the intro to “Mirari” is now available exclusively at SyFy Wire. The clip features Zarah Mahler as Anna and Mickey Rourke as the Projectionist in a tense prelude to Richard Christian Matheson‘s story about plastic surgery gone terribly wrong.

An Evening of Nightmares will screen on June 14, from 5:30 to 11:00 pm, at Dynasty Typewriter (Hayworth Theatre) on 2511 Wilshire Blvd, the same place where the directors will be joined by Nightmare Cinema‘s cast and crew for a pre-release event on June 20.

Tickets for both An Evening of Nightmares and the Nightmare Cinema cast-and-crew screening are available here and here. In the meantime, you can check out the exclusive Nightmare Cinema clip (and read the related article) from SyFi Wire by clicking the image below.



Spring Events:
April is the Coolest Month

April 13th, 2016

nightmare cinemaApologies to T. S. Eliot, but I couldn’t resist the headline. And there will indeed be some cool things happening now that the winter that “kept us warm” has come to an end.

First up, I’ll be giving a talk at the Penguin Bookshop in Sewickley on April 27, sharing details surrounding the adaptation of my story “Traumatic Descent” for the upcoming anthology film Nightmare Cinema.

Although I cover the process of adapting “TD” in Voices and This Way to Egress, the Penguin event will give me a chance to relate some recent surprises and developments.

End of Watch51U+KNbSiaL._AC_UL320_SR210,320_I also plan to cover practical advice about storytelling and scriptwriting. The talk is titled “From Page to Screen,” and it gets underway at 6:30 p.m. If you’re in the area, I’ll hope to see you there. Professional secrets will be revealed.

It’s worth noting that the aforementioned Nightmare Cinema is being produced by Mick Garris, the same filmmaker who brought us Stephen King’s Sleepwalkers and the television versions of both The Shining and The Stand. I mention these titles because Stephen King will also be giving a talk at the Penguin later this spring, promoting the release of his forthcoming thriller End of Watch.

Tickets for the Stephen King event go on sale April 17. Here’s a link for more information.

Mark's Emmy award 10-27-2007And there’s more. On April 29, my brother and former band mate Mark Connolly will be joining me for a special musical performance at Riley’s Pour House. (That’s Mark on the left with the Emmy he won a few years back. Yeah, my bro’s got talent.)

Mark and I performed together on the college circuit back in the 70s. We called ourselves The Other Brothers, playing gigs, writing songs, and recording demos with our other brother John, who had a basement equipped with what was then state-of-the-art technology. I’m talking reel-to-reel four track tape. Real handmade music!

Mark and I will be playing some Other Brothers tunes at Riley’s, but you don’t have to wait until then to hear them. By clicking the player below (which features another photo of Mark, this time with a 20th-century version of the 21st-Century Scop), you can hear our demo cut of “Midnight Lover.” Mark wrote it, and it should have gone platinum.

Enjoy the song, and I’ll hope to see you at the Penguin Bookshop or Riley’s Pour House – or both. Until then . . . scop on!