NIGHT TERRORS was another elaborate attempt at doing
something in film. A pilot to a TV show like HBO's TALES FROM THE CRYPT, only I had the idea many years before they did. It
sucks to be under-financed. If only I can find a few intelligent investors to roll the dice I could be a successful player
in a larger arena.
Anyhow, Gene Reynolds built the crypt for our host Grim Reaper at his huge house
in East Orange. He was an artist and his work space was filled with art supplies and various artistic projects in various
stages of completion.
The Reaper was a full size puppet and worked good. It was totally Gene's work.
The opening sequence of each episode showed a Grim Reaper walking through a foggy,
weirdly lit cemetery and entering a crypt and going to a podium and opening a book to read that episode's story which would
be dissolved to and acted out like Rod Serling's TWILIGHT ZONE and NIGHT GALLERY.
We shot ten openings for ten shows the same day, long into the night. It was
Kathy Monks, Tony Annunziata, Gene and me. After we filmed Gene took us on a tour of this very old manson-like place he rented
Kathy got very upset at the foot of steps leading to the upper floor. She froze,
pointed with terror.
"Don't you see the dead man?" she said.
We all looked and didn't, but Gene confirmed that a past owner had killed himself
there. Like the little boy in THE SIXTH SENSE, Kathy was honestly psychic and could see things most people couldn't. She insisted
that she be driven home instead of staying the night and I arranged it.
Tony and I were very tired. Shooting is hard work. Gene showed us to a small
room without beds to sleep on the floor. The room had no windows, but there was a distinct shaft of moon light hanging in
the air and casting the shape of a window on one of the walls. It was freaky.
Gene:"Thats just the ghosts fucking with you. Ignore it".
I was very tired and got ready to sleep as Tony passed his fingers through the
shaft of light. I guess at some point Tony found a spot and fell asleep too. It was in the middle of the night when a blood
curdling scream had me leaping to my feet in alarm. It was Tony. Something had run across his chest.
There was nothing in the room. I believed him but there was nothing that could
be done. I went back to sleep. Tony stayed up the rest of the night.
That was only one of my encounters with real supernatural happenings, there would
be others, some scarier!
When we shot in the cemetery we had rented generators, purchased fog machines
and had all 4 of our 1000 watt quartz lights blasting. The lighting style was like George Romero's CREEPSHOW but I shot this
years before Romero's movie was made. We had a crew of sorts on that night. Makeup people, helpers, etc. Suddenly the
cops pull up, lights flashing. They look at the huge camera, lights, crew and all the rest of the stuff.
"What are you doing here?" one cop asked.
I wanted to say playing cards, but instead explained we were shooting a movie.
Instead of throwing us out, which would have sucked, the cops asked if they could be in the movie!
All my life I've rolled the dice and put my own money at risk. I always opted
to try to accomplish something, rather than do nothing. I've gambled lots of my own, hard earned money but as one person I
frequently hit the wall financially. The things I attempted to do required investors putting up the proper budgets. All of
the things shut down for lack of financial support could have produced product that would have generated profits.
NIGHT TERRORS could have worked, but like DEMON AT LEEDSPOINT and RULERS OF THE
APOCALYPSE, lack of a good business partner to raise the needed money killed it. There was nothing I could do. I did all I
could. I still have hopes of making these projects some day.
Anybody interested in investing out there? Anybody interested in being my business
partner? Sorry, had to ask :o) .