That Was The Week That Was 05 Aug

5 Aug 1998

Halloween H20: 20 Years Later released theatrically.  Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later is a 1998 slasher film and is the seventh instalment in the Halloween film series. It is directed by Steve Miner and starring Jamie Lee Curtis, Josh Hartnett, and Michelle Williams. The screenplay, based on a story by Kevin Williamson further developed by Robert Zapia, was written by Zapia and Matt Greenberg. It is set in an alternate timeline in which the events of Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers, Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers, and Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers never occurred and continues directly from Halloween II (Halloween III: Season of the Witch has no connection to the other films and is not considered to be a part of the “Michael Myers” storyline).

The film is set twenty years after the events of the original film and centres on a post-traumatic Laurie Strode living in fear of her murderous brother, Michael Myers, who attempted to kill her all those years ago. When Michael eventually appears, Laurie/Keri must face evil one last time, whilst the life of her teenage son hangs in the balance.

11 August 1947

Stuart Gordon,  director, writer and producer of films and plays is born. Most of Gordon’s film work is in the horror genre, though he has also ventured into science fiction. Like his friend and fellow filmmaker Brian Yuzna, Gordon is a fan of H. P. Lovecraft and has adapted several Lovecraft stories for the screen. They include Re-Animator, From Beyond, Castle Freak  and Dagon, as well as the Masters of Horror episode Dreams in the Witch-House.
Gordon attended the University of Wisconsin and soon after formed Screw Theater. In March 1968 Gordon’s Screw Theater produced The Game Show at the UW Memorial Union. The goal of the production was to get the audience to leave. To that end the heat was turned to 90, ushers chained the doors behind the audience, the show’s start time delayed and the content of The Game Show made as inane as possible. The audience finally demanded to leave one hour and fifty minutes into the two-hour production. In the fall of 1968, he produced a version of Peter Pan that got him and his future wife arrested for obscenity. The story made national headlines until the charges were dropped in November 1968. As Gordon described it in a 2001 interview:
“I had been protesting against the war in Viet Nam, and got tear-gassed by the Chicago police, and it suddenly struck me that you could take Peter Pan and turn it into a political cartoon about the whole situation. So, Peter Pan became the leader of the hippies and yippies, Captain Hook became Mayor Daley, and the pirates became the Chicago police. We left all of the James Barrie dialogue intact, so when they all went off to Neverland they sprinkled pixie dust on themselves and think lovely thoughts, and up they go. That was an acid trip, which was visualized by a psychedelic light show that was projected onto the bodies of seven naked young ladies…”
After the University of Wisconsin demanded future theatrical productions by Screw Theater be overseen by a University Professor, Gordon cut his University ties to form Broom Street Theater. Its first production, the new translation of the risque Lysistrata, premiered in May 1969. Gordon is married to Carolyn Purdy-Gordon, whom he frequently casts in his movies. Together in 1970, they founded the Chicago Organic Theater Company, for which Gordon also served as artistic director. With the company, he did several plays, such as Warp!, Sexual Perversity In Chicago, Bleacher Bums, ER, Bloody Bess. Warp! was later adapted into a comic book by First Comics. He is also the father of three daughters- Suzanna, Jillian, and Margaret. In 2009, he directed the one-man theatrical show, “Nevermore…An Evening with Edgar Allan Poe” which reunited him with Re-Animator alumni Jeffrey Combs and writer Dennis Paoli. Recently nominated for a Saturn award, the show enjoyed much success at its premiere in Los Angeles and is now in the process of touring the country.

12 August 1941

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is released. Starring Spencer Tracy, Ingrid Bergman and Lana Turner. Rather than being a new film version of the novel, it is a direct remake of the 1931 film of the same name, which differs greatly from the novel. The movie was based on Robert Louis Stevenson’s 1886 novella The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and directed by Victor Fleming, director of Gone with the Wind and The Wizard of Oz two years earlier. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (where Fleming was based) acquired the rights to the 1931 film, originally released by Paramount Pictures, in order to keep the earlier film out of circulation.
The MGM version was produced by Victor Saville and adapted by John Lee Mahin from the screenplay of the earlier film by Percy Heath and Samuel Hoffenstein. The music score was composed by Franz Waxman with uncredited contributions by Daniele Amfitheatrof and Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco. The cinematographer was Joseph Ruttenberg, the art director was Cedric Gibbons, and the costume designers were Adrian and Gile Steele. Jack Dawn created the make-up for the dissolute Mr. Hyde’s appearance.
The film also features Donald Crisp, Ian Hunter, Barton MacLane, C. Aubrey Smith and Sara Allgood.

6 Aug 

1970 – M. Night Shyamalan (director of many horror and suspense films) born
2003 – Silent Hill 3 released on the PlayStation and PC in North America

9 Aug 

2005 – Matthew McGrory (actor in several horror films) dies (b. 1973)

10 Aug 

2005 – Chaos (2005) released theatrically

11 Aug 

1947 – Stuart Gordon (director of Re-Animator and Dagon) born
1980 – City of the Living Dead released theatrically
1989 – A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child released theatrically
1999 – System Shock 2 released on PC

12 Aug 

1941 – Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941) released theatrically
1991 – Castlevania II: Belmont’s Revenge released on the Game Boy in Japan


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