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Rotten Candy: A Look Into TALES OF HALLOWEEN

By Erin Maxwell

Faceless serial killers, masked maniacs, slackers turned slashers and all manner of things that go bump in the night will come out to play this October as Epic Pictures’ Tales of Halloween makes its way to the big screen.

Ten twisted tales from the filmmaking collective known as the October Society offer their take on All Hallow’s Eve with stories about the nasty side of Halloween, like a piece of poisoned candy.

Darren Lynn Bousman (Saw 2), Axelle Carolyn (Soulmate), Adam Gierasch (Night of the Demons), John Skipp and Andrew Kasch (Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy), Neil Marshall (The Descent), Lucky McKee (The Woman), Mike Mendez (Big Ass Spider), Dave Parker (The Hills Run Red), Ryan Schifrin (Abominable) and Paul Solet (Grace) take turns behind the camera in the horror anthology.

At the San Diego Comic-Con panel, the directors chatted about the importance of the project and the opportunities it provided them as filmmakers.

“There are many things that are wonderful about this project, but certainly from a creative standpoint was freedom. That was the thing. We work so much with companies that offer a little bit of freedom, but you’re basically delivering a product…You are making something for someone else,’ said Mendez. “This was an opportunity to make what you want.”

In the pic, Hallween traditions, no matter how innocuous, are baptised in blood and given a demented take by the horror helmers.

In Parker’s segment, Sweet Tooth, even the sweet side of the holiday is shown to have its dark side.

“We have all these directors, and they are all coming up with stories and they are taking all the cool Halloween traditions. So, I came up with this idea of coming up with a bit of folklore, a sort of cautionary tale of ‘Don’t binge eat your Halloween candy; share it.’ So this is about people who don’t” said Parker.

Solet’s segment The Weak and the Wicked gave the director a chance to try his hand at tackling a few of his influences.

“It’s like Sergio Leone meets Walter Hill, like The Warriors by way of Leone. The coolest thing about this is that you can basically do whatever you want as long as it was Halloween themed. So, what are my most obscure cinematic fetishes that nobody else will ever let me explore in a feature film?,” said Solet. “So I can do Leone and ‘Warriors’ and hire my very favorite actors and cover them in tattoos and blood.”

The freedom to create allowed the helmers to free range to turn any and all aspects of the kiddie holiday in on itself, ever one as innocent as a pumpkin.

In Marshall’s Bad Seed, even giant orange gourds with goofy faces aren’t safe.

“It’s based on the idea that every year millions of pumpkins get slaughtered. So I thought what if a genetically modified pumpkin comes to life and takes revenge,” said Marshall. “I think the tone of it was similar to Gremlins in a way, just dark, twisted and gory but funny at the same time.”

Mendez’s tale of Friday the 31st pays tribute to the over-the-top horror comedies and kill-’em-all slasher pics of the ‘80s and ‘90s.

“I’m a huge horror geek. What I want to see is probably what a lot of people want to see, which is a lot of gore and decapitations and things on the big screen that we don’t get to see anymore,” said Mendez. “I looked at it as an opportunity to just go wild and do something you don’t see in cinema anymore, which is excessive gore.”

In addition to the creative freedom the directors were given in their stories, the filmmakers were also given the chance to work with their favorite actors. Cameos in the movie include John Landis, Mick Garris, Lin Shaye, Greg Grunberg, Barry Bostwick, Clare Kramer and John Savage, just to name a few.

Tales of Halloween will hit theaters on October 16th and VOD on October 30th
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