Nightmare Factory (2011 TV Movie)
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Greg himself tells his story here in a "Behind The Music" kind of way. Starting at the beginning with teenage home (monster) movies, his childhood influences, how he got started in the business, the 80's metal-hair days and including tons of behind the scenes footage from movies he's worked on and interviews with assorted directors and actors. Horror, fantasy, zombie, gore and animatronics, If your a horror fan than you'll love this, actually even if your not, its super interesting seeing behind the scenes into so many popular movies. 07.13
**** (out of 4)
Excellent documentary taking a look at the special effects of Greg Nicotero, Howard Berger and Robert Kurtzman, the team that would make up KNB. The documentary takes a look at the early history of special effects, which included the work of Lon Chaney and works itself up to Tom Savini and his ground-breaking work on DAWN OF THE DEAD and Friday THE 13TH. From there we hear from Nicotero and how he got involved with DAY OF THE DEAD, which led to one big film after another. NIGHTMARE FACTORY does a wonderful job at not only telling you the story of these three men but it also gives you a much better appreciation of the work they do. It's strange to think that so many great make-up artists were overlooked in previous decades but thanks to DVD commentaries, featurettes and movies like this, these artists are given their due, which is great. The documentary also features interviews with the likes of John Carpenter, George Romero, Quentin Tarantino, Frank Darabont and others. These men talk about their appreciation of the KNB group but also comment on the horror films that meant so much to them as children. The best thing about this documentary is that there's plenty of behind-the-scenes footage of the team at work on various films like EVIL DEAD 2, PREDATORS, KILL BILL, PIRANHA and The Walking Dead television show. Fans of horror films will certainly want to check this out.
I loved this first portion of the film. Afterwards, however, the film lost a bit of focus and then bounced around a little--showing various special effects tricks, more interviews with the men and never really maintaining as tight a focus as it had before. Now isn't to say this part is bad--it's just that by comparison the film lags a bit.
This gets right to the heart of horror effects -- no one does better than KNB (with all due respect to Tom Savini, who is essentially their predecessor). And all the mandatory people are here: Romero, Landis, Carpenter... and of course Nicotero and Berger themselves (but no Kurtzman, who left the team). Even a few unexpected guests... like Elijah Wood.
At first, a big focus seems to be "The Walking Dead" rather than a historical look at the team... but then we get the archive footage of "Evil Dead II" and other earlier works from the guys. Amazing stuff, and gives incredible insight into the horror movie magic.
Who knew such great things came from Pittsburgh?