ABOUT THE PROJECT
In 2007 Larry Blamire followed up his cult classic film The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra with another 1950's classic sci-fi inspired example of film lunacy - Trail of The Screaming Forehead. The film saw a VERY limited release, yet garnered positive reviews from critics and fans alike. The movie won Best Horror Film at the 2007 Action on Film International Film Festival and was nominated for Best Musical Score at the 2007 Leo Awards.
The original film release, as well as a Director's Cut, were all but lost until spring of 2019. Encouraged by our recent success of The Lost Skeleton Returns Again Special Edition Blu-Ray on Kickstarter and with the special help of Jim Swift and Mark Allen Stuart, we will be releasing Trail of the Screaming Forehead for the FIRST TIME EVER on Region Free Blu-Ray.
Including on the Blu-Ray will be:
- A newly remastered version of The Directors Cut in HD with first ever newly recorded commentary by Director Larry Blamire
- The original release version in SD
- On set Behind the Scenes film footage
- On set interviews with the "Mount Rushmore" of classic film stars - James Karen, Dick Miller, Betty Garrett and Kevin McCarthy
- A new Reanimated Movie Classic featurette titled Tale of the Moist Apostrophe by Writer/Directer Larry Blamire and Executive Producer Mark Allen Stuart.
ABOUT THE FILM
Trail of the Screaming Forehead is writer/director/actor Larry Blamire's loving tribute to some of the crazy paranoia-filled alien invasion sci-fi movies of the 1950's. As the film unfolds, we learn of the scientific discovery that foreheads (and not actual brains) house human intelligence. On screen comes scientist Dr. Sheila Bexter (Fay Masterson), who injects a serum called "Foreheadazine" into the cranium of her colleague, Dr. Phillip Latham (Andrew Parks) -- and gigantic forehead-related events unfold. To add another outrageous dimension to the situation, a spaceship transporting "furrowed brows" crash-lands on Earth, and naturally they search out human forehead hosts. Now the townspeople get involved in a Frankenstein-type way that only townspeople can do, resulting in a Foreheadazine epidemic. And if there wasn't enough, two wayward salty dog sailors, Big Dan and Dutch "the Swede", come to port with a boat full of...wait for it...yes... frozen corpses - the dead kind. The crazy plot of the film is enhanced by rich color saturation utilizing the now-banned "Craniascope" filming technique. The result is a modern "back in the day" classic, highlighted by stop-action creatures designed by The Chiodo Bros. Productions. For more about the film scroll below for more details.
The film includes an incredible number of magical components:
- Larry 's ensemble acting troupe including Andrew Parks, Brian Howe, Dan Conroy, Fay Masterson, Jennifer Blaire, Susan McConnell, Alison Martin, Danny Roebuck, Trish Geiger and Robert Deveau
- Entertainment icons Dick Miller (Bucket of Blood), James Karen (Frankenstein Meets the Space Monster), H. M. Wynant (Conquest of the Planet of the Apes), and Betty Garrett (Laverne & Shirley) and Kevin McCarthy (Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Twilight Zone) - together this group has performed in almost 800 films/TV shows
- Beautifully rich color cinematography shot in "Craniascope"
- Stop-motion special effects designed by the Chiodo Bros. Productions
- A theme song written by Blamire and performed by The Manhattan Transfer
ABOUT THE NEW SHORT FEATURETTE INCLUDED ON THE BLU-RAY
We have decided to add a new Reanimated Movie Classic featurette titled Tale of the Moist Apostrophe by Writer/Directer Larry Blamire and Executive Producer Mark Allen Stuart. There are currently 3 Larry Blamire - Reanimated Movie Classics in the Hydraulic Entertainment library including "Who is Bill Lading?", "The Origin of the Making of the Lost Skeleton Returns Again" and "Son of the Sword of the Dagger" and all were included on the LSRA Blu-Ray.
The plot for this story is as complicated and challenging as the world around us today - Teenage student Sharigan has a problem and her friend Jammy will help but they may need the help of others as it may be bigger than it seems. There will be several ways fans can participate in the production of this soon to be classic 12-minute epic, including voice-over parts as well as Producer credits on the Blu-Ray and on IMDB.com.
USE OF PROCEEDS
The creation of this Blu-Ray will take a good deal of work to make happen; The Director's Cut will need to be fully remastered as well as up-mixed to 5.12 surround sound. We will also need to remaster the original release version and edit and post produce the never before seen Behind-The-Scenes footage and star interviews. Larry Blamire will be going into the studio to record a new commentary track that will need to be edited into the final HD Directors Cut version. We will also be writing/producing the new Reanimated Movie Classic featurette Tale of the Moist Apostrophe that will be added as a bonus to the Blu-Ray. In total, this will be like creating a new film package from scratch.
We have included a few really rare and special pledge levels for this project. Some of the pledge levels included:
- The Trail of the Screaming Forehead Blu-Ray
- The Trail of the Screaming Forehead Blu-Ray signed by writer/director Larry Blamire
- The Trail of the Screaming Forehead Blu-ray plus script sets signed by Larry
- The Trail of the Screaming Forehead signed Blu-Ray plus a signed 8 X 10 glossy of Jennifer Blaire as "Droxy"
- "Twin-pak" of Trail of the Screaming Forehead and Lost Skeleton Returns Again Blu-Rays
- Signed Trail of the Screaming Forehead Blu-Rays with incredibly rare original 2007 promotional material
- Original Larry Blamire monster paintings
- 5 fans will have the chance to be in a Larry film featurette (via voice-over)
- 6 fans will be able to Produce a Larry film featurette
- 2 incredibly rare screen-used creature props
RISKS AND CHALLENGES
Releasing any independent film project can be problematic. For the last 5 years, we have partnered with Kickstarter and our supporters to release over a dozen music and video projects, and we feel that we have a reliable model that will promote the project and achieve the goal.
MAKING THE MOVIE BY DIRECTOR LARRY BLAMIRE
“Who can sleep with brows on the prowl?”
—Millie Healey, town librarian
The citizens of peaceful Longhead Bay are gradually being taken over by crawling foreheads from outer space. By an absolutely incredible twist of fate, scientist Dr. Sheila Bexter (Fay Masterson) just happens to be working on her theory that the forehead, not the brain, is the seat of all human knowledge. Despite objections from cold-hearted superior Dr. Applethorpe (H.M. Wynant), she convinces good-natured colleague Dr. Philip Latham (Andrew Parks) to assist in her increasingly dangerous experiments to extract the all-important foreheadazine. Meanwhile, passing sailors Big Dan Frater (Brian Howe) and sidekick Dutch “The Swede” Annacrombie (Dan Conroy), staying at the Longhead Bay Inn run by charming couple Amos and Sarah (Daniel Roebuck and Susan McConnell), begin to suspect something is up, as does longtime resident and town librarian Millie Healey (Alison Martin). Though Longhead Bay Police Chief Bartnett (Robert Deveau) is having none of it, things are further complicated by local small-time hood and bar owner Nick Vassidine (Larry Blamire) and his dim-witted moll Droxy Chappelle (Jennifer Blaire), as more and more people fall under the control of the relentless foreheads from the stars.
“Ya know, if I had a dollar for every funny strange thought that came to someone from out of the blue, I’d have a number of dollars.”
—Big Dan Frater, adventurer
TRAIL OF THE SCREAMING FOREHEAD was written by Larry Blamire while still riding the adrenaline of wrapping LOST SKELETON OF CADAVRA. Though it managed to carry on the same loving straight-faced retro absurdity, in many respects this project was quite different.
For one thing, the look would be widescreen eye-popping candy colors, so prevalent in the early 60s. For its theme, it would tackle alien takeover movies; the subversive kind famously represented by Don Siegel’s chilling 1956 classic INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS, and the even earlier childhood favorite that indelibly made sandpits nightmare fuel, INVADERS FROM MARS (1953). In keeping with Blamire’s love for the absurd, he chose the least likely (and seemingly ineffectual) body part for the alien invaders: crawling foreheads. He decided to incorporate his recently-created Big Dan Frater characters (Big Dan, Dutch and Millie—see THE AUDIO ADVENTURES OF BIG DAN FRATER), realizing they were the perfect protagonists for this technicolor universe, thus making their first public appearance.
“Rome wasn’t built ya know.”
—Nick Vassidine, cheap hood
Producer James Swift had recently commissioned Larry Blamire to work on a different script, but during this time Jim’s wife Lauren Taylor Swift took a keen interest in the FOREHEAD project and decided to fund it.
It was always planned that stop-motion animation would be incorporated to bring the creatures to life, and producer Mike Schlesinger put Blamire in touch with Arnold Kunert, Ray Harryhausen’s agent and producer at the time. It was the thrill of a lifetime for Blamire to lunch with one of his childhood heroes, and Ray could not have been nicer. We were most fortunate to fall under the umbrella of the newly created “Ray Harryhausen Presents,” dedicated to supporting films carrying the torch of the beloved art of stop motion. Ray himself recommended the cult-favorite Chiodo Brothers (KILLER KLOWNS FROM OUTER SPACE) to oversee the actual animation, with one of their studio aces Frank Ippolito (LOST SKELETON RETURNS AGAIN) taking on the special makeup FX.
Further coloring this as a 60s matinee piece was the title song, written by Blamire and lushly orchestrated by composer Christopher Caliendo (DARK AND STORMY NIGHT). Mike Schlesinger’s coup of bringing Caliendo on board was matched by his brainstorm of commissioning his friends the magnificent Manhattan Transfer to perform the vocals; this, over a vibrant and wonderfully nutty animated title sequence collaboration between artist Cortney Skinner and editor Bill Bryn Russell.
Costume designers Kristin Burke (DARK AND STORMY NIGHT) and Erika Munro provided the dazzling wardrobe with no costume changes (think of the cast as comic book characters with closets full of identical clothing), while director of photography Kevin Jones’ (LOST SKELETON) vivid lighting and cinematography, combined with Radha Mehta’s rich art direction, added the finishing touches to a colorful throwback that Mike Schlesinger referred to as “Invasion of the Body Snatchers by way of Douglas Sirk.”
“Yet, the greatest forehead in creation could no more contain my pain than a thimble… or an backpack.”
—Dr. Philip Latham, scientist
The cast expanded the original Lost Skeleton troupe to include Alison Martin, Trish Geiger and Daniel Roebuck, as well as veteran character actors H. M. Wynant and James Karen (all of whom returned in LOST SKELETON RETURNS AGAIN and DARK AND STORMY NIGHT), plus cameos from wonderful screen legends Betty Garrett, Kevin McCarthy and Dick Miller (the latter of course playing a bartender).
One of the most interesting differences between this film and its predecessor is the sheer number of characters and their rather complicated machinations that grind the gears of the plot. There is also a creepier tone overall, shaded by the often-strange background music licensed from the De Wolfe Production Music Library, not to mention the queasily undulating foreheads themselves.
“There are no cows. Someone made them up.”
It’s usually impossible for a filmmaker to choose a favorite among his or her “children.” Quite often, it’s simply the one they’re currently shining the light on. Each of the “Skeleton Quartet” contains elements that make it a favorite. And for Blamire, there are aspects of FOREHEAD that frequently punch it to the top.
First of all, the structure. This is the only one of his films to feature parallel plot lines moving concurrently and finally converging at the climax. It presents something of a classical structure, particular when you add the elements of tragedy, of course featured with some frequency in the history of horror and scifi films. Then there’s the presence of stop motion, Blamire’s favorite practical effect. There’s also the overall strangeness, brought into sharp relief by the film’s vibrant retro color. Add to that, the film features what Blamire considers some of the finest performances of this incredibly talented ensemble. Finally, there’s the simple fact of this film being missing-in-action from U.S. video release, making its fate the single-most asked question over the years among fans—fans who simply want the dang thing on their shelves next to the others. We are only too happy to attempt to correct that.
“We like it that way, and we always have been.”
—Chief Bartnett, chief of police
Risks and challenges
Releasing any independent film project can be problematic. For the last 5 years we have partnered with Kickstarter and our supporters to release over 20 music and video projects and we feel that we have a reliable model that will promote the project and achieve the goal.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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