The “How NOT To Make A Movie Podcast” tells the story of Hollywood sausage making but from the sausage’s POV. It’s a story of outsized egos, misused power, wasted money and utter foolishness. Of bad behavior and even worse behavior. Of grown ups acting like inmates running the asylum. Of bullshit winning the day. It’s about dedicated film-makers and the larger-than-life impresarios they work for. It’s about what happens when craftspeople see their craft turn into crap.
“TALES FROM THE CRYPT”
“Tales From The Crypt” was one of the HBO’s early hits. It put some of Hollywood’s biggest movie producers on TV via a TV series. Back in the 1990’s the feature world was the feature world and the TV world was the TV world. But Crypt brought the two worlds together to make an anthology based on the classic 1950’s horror comics published by EC Comics. The show had no standing sets or characters. Every episode was its own little feature film – with feature film stars.
Alan Katz and Gil Adler joined the Crypt team after its second season. Crypt’s third season was supposed to be its last. But, Alan and Gil reinvigorated not only the Crypt franchise, they reinvigorated the Crypt Keeper, too. Before their first season as Crypt’s producers was over, HBO ordered more seasons of “Tales From The Crypt” sausage.
More success followed. Universal Studios ordered three Crypt branded feature films (more sausage still!). The Crypt team’s first feature produced the successful “Demon Knight” starring Billy Zane, Jada Pinkett-Smith and William Sadler. As the team prepared to make the second mandated Crypt feature, circumstances beyond their control suddenly conspired against them.
“DEAD EASY” PLEASURE BECOMES “BORDELLO” PAIN
The team spent six months working on a psychological thriller script called “Dead Easy”. With Universal’s approval, they spent months in New Orleans finding locations and setting up shop.
But, three weeks before starting formal prep (the production schedule was tied to a Halloween release date a year away), Universal canceled “Dead Easy”. Instead, they handed the film makers a whole other script called “Bordello Of Blood” – with the very same production schedule. That meant they had three weeks to revise and then start shooting a script none of them had ever seen before.
What happened next – the production of “Tales From The Crypt Presents Bordello Of Blood” – would make a train wreck look tidy. It’s what happens when sausage making replaces Hollywood movie making. From the casting of its stars to the choice of shooting in Vancouver, every decision the creative team made backfired on them horribly. When you do things for all the wrong reasons, nothing good happens. You end up making a horror movie where the making of the movie is more horrifying than anything in the movie.
But, ultimately, “The How NOT To Make A Movie Podcast” is really about a creative relationship – how it started, how “Bordello of Blood” ended it – and how a podcast – this one – rekindled it. Who says there are no happy endings?
But, as the song says, “Let’s start at the very beginning…”.
The How NOT To Make A Movie Podcast, Episode One: “Fade In…”