H2 SET REPORT PART 1: FX ARTIST WAYNE TOTH!Share on Facebook
It’s early evening, April 7th and ICONS is out in a big open field of Covington, Georgia, where the town tonight is subbing for Haddonfield in Rob Zombie’s much anticipated (and much debated about) HALLOWEEN sequel, H2.
We got the chance to stop by the make-up trailer of Wayne Toth, the FX maestro responsible for the gore & carnage of all of Rob Zombie’s films to date. It was hard not to be overwhelmed (and immediately excited) by the plethora of photographs plastering the walls and mirrors of Toth’s trailer. It takes a moment to soak it all in, because quite frankly, none of it’s what I expected at all. In fact, these quick glimpses only make me more intrigued by what Zombie has in store for us when we walk into those theaters on August 28th.
The first thing fans are curious about when it comes to HALLOWEEN is obviously the look of their iconic villain, Michael Myers. Judging from the pictures we’ve seen on-line, both official and unofficial, we can guess that we’ll see a minimum of 3 different looks for Michael over the course of the film. “There’s another time lapse, or jump in time in this one, like in the first one,” explains Toth. “So there’s a couple of different versions of the mask. Rob just wanted to take it a step further even though one of them is basically supposed to be the last mask, we changed it anyway just so it’s its own thing. Toward the end of the film is the current version of the mask, which is a lot different from any of them that we’ve seen. The final incarnation, I think it’s going to throw the real Myers fans for a loop.”
Just from scanning the photos covering the mirrors in Toth’s trailer, we see a shot of Tyler Mane in a hood with a large beard, the unmasked Myers, which no doubt is one of the many looks of Michael this time out.
“Percentage wise, it’s probably… at least 70 percent of the film he looks like that. We just came up with an exposure kind of look like you’d see on a homeless person, cracked skin and that kind of stuff. Again, Michael Myers fans will be a little shocked. “What?! No mask on Michael Myers?” But just like anything else, as long as you’re doing something cool, people will get it.”
The FX wiz points out, “I mean, no one’s really dared to change the actual character. They’ve just always put him in different situations and that gets old pretty fast. So to actually be daring with Michael Myers and change it – I think that’s kind of the appeal of this movie, it wasn’t limited to a remake like last time. We could take it a step further.”
And speaking of taking it a step further, this writer’s a tad surprised to see quite a few surreal looking masked characters that fit easily in a Halloween (the holiday) inspired movie, but it’s the type of thing we’ve never seen yet in a HALLOWEEN (the franchise) movie. “There are a few dream sequence characters that were fun,” says Toth. “We actually got a jump on those characters because they didn’t rely on casting actors or anything like that. So those were the things we did first, so we had a little bit of time at the beginning to play around with that kind of stuff. It’s neat to have some fantasy elements. This was a chance to change it up a bit. So I think people will be surprised. You’d never expect to see something like that in a modern horror remake sequel! So it’s kind of fun to get a chance to do stuff like that.”
How much free reign did Toth have with the dream sequence characters? He tells us it’s always a very collaborative effort with Rob. “Most of the time when we come up with stuff like that, we’ll talk about it first. And he’ll wind up doing some sketches. They’re real rough sketches, but usually it’s enough where I get his vibe already by now, so I just take those and translate it into something like this. So, it’s kind of a back and forth, but he’s got a really good eye, so it helps a lot to have a starting point like that.”
Judging from the incredibly detailed work of some of the pictures we’re seeing from the dream sequences, we asked Toth if this was something we’d frequently see over the course of H2. “Yeah, there’s a lot,” he replies. “What makes it kind of interesting because Laurie’s going a little crazy, and she’s Michael’s sister, so there’s the shared dementia. Sometimes their dream sequences start to have similarities and stuff. Again, it was a good opportunity to go haywire and come up with something new.”
“A lot of the stuff we did on this movie wasn’t even planned. We’d come in in the morning and Rob would be like, ‘What can we do to these people? I have this idea…I’m thinking about having like 20 people in a body pit in the basement of the hospital.’ (Laughs) Like literally we’re having breakfast and he’d say, ‘How do you feel about 20 dead people in the basement?’ I’m like “Alright, sure!” (Laughs) So it’s fun. It’s a big variety and it was kind of fun to improvise and come up with stuff like that on the fly.”
From the initial looks of it, this is definitely going to be a HALLOWEEN movie that delivers the unexpected. However, one thing fans can always expect is Michael's innovative and unique ways of dispatching of people unlucky enough to get in his way. Just from scanning pictures of the aftermath of Myer’s many victims this time, we’re definitely going to get our variety of kills in H2!
“We tried to do something a little different, like this slit faced nurse was supposed to be a slit throat. Because you’re limited. His only weapon is a knife, so it’s either a stabbing or a slit throat, stuff like that. So we tried to come up with a couple of different things just to change it up a little bit. That one seems to be everyone’s favorite, because no one likes to get slashed across the lips or nose! (Laughs) The way we do it, like with everything else, we try not to shoot it like an ‘insert make-up FX gag’ kind of way, just for the sake of doing a gag. We shot one (kill) in a wide shot with a full body dummy with an animatronic head. We wanted to do things a little different and shoot it in a way where you wouldn’t expect it. It’s done in more of a voyeuristic way. What it might actually look like if you were witnessing stuff like that.”
Zombie has spent a good chunk of time teasing us with ads for the film’s infamous Halloween bash, the PHANTOM JAM. We asked Toth if it was fun going all out dressing characters up for a huge Halloween party. “We did some of the featured characters who were dressed in Halloween costumes, it was kind of a fine line – we have the wolf man character. These are supposed to be people just attending this Halloween party. Typically when people do their own costumes, they don’t look very good, so how realistically should we approach this? You don’t want to do something that just looks bad, because then it looks like you did a bad job! So… we gave it the vibe that these people are so into it that they work on their own costumes and make them a little bit better. That’s how they wound up looking like that as opposed to just… ya know for the wolf man, like some guy gluing hair to his face. (Laughs) Typical thing that happens.
And how about the mysterious late night horror host, Uncle Seymour Coffins? “We used the Vincent Price MADHOUSE make-up as reference, just cause it’s supposed to have that kind of vibe, and I always liked that make-up a lot. We showed it to Rob and he was like ‘Yeah, let’s do something like that.’ We did it first on Bill Moseley. He came in and shot some stuff that was going to be playback, like a TV commercial for the Phantom Jam party. But then he had another film that conflicted with the next time we were going to shoot that character so we wound up actually using a different guy.”
One can’t help but notice the many familiar faces that grace these trailer walls, including alumni from the previous HALLOWEEN. Fan favorite Danielle Harris’s Annie Brackett survived the first film, but not without quite a few scars! One pic we spotted shows her with dozens and dozens of stitches across her face from the beginning of H2, the gruesome aftermath of her previous encounter with Myers. “She wound up doing a lot more then what was originally scripted (for her), because Rob just kept coming up with more stuff so we see her at the beginning of the film like that, the aftermath of the last movie.”
“Then there’s Dan Roebuck as the Frankenstein. He’s the owner of the strip club that Michael’s mother worked at and in this movie, he puts on the local family Halloween carnival, but in the meantime, he’s trying to drum up business for the strip club. (Laughs)”
Toth seems excited and proud of the work that he & his crew have put forth into H2. And from seeing it first hand, it’s hard not to be impressed by the unexpected. “I think there’s enough to satisfy the horror fans easily, and then some stuff on top of that. I think people will get a real kick out of this HALLOWEEN.”
And just wait until you see the final mask. –Robg.
CHECK BACK EVERY DAY THIS WEEK FOR A NEW REPORT FROM THE SET OF H2: HALLOWEEN 2!
Rob Zombie returns to write and direct HALLOWEEN 2, which stars Scout Taylor-Compton, Malcolm McDowell, Tyler Mane, Brad Dourif, Sherri Moon Zombie, Danielle Harris, Brea Grant, Bill Moseley, Caroline Williams, Margot Kidder, Daniel Roebuck, Chase Wright Vanek, Dayton Callie, Richard Brake, Matt Bush, Howard Hesseman, Bill Fagerbakke, Ezra Buzzington, Jeff Daniel Phillips & Mark Christopher Lawrence. H2 hits theaters this August 28th!
Check out his first extensive interview on HALLOWEEN 2, exclusively here on ICONS by clicking either image below:
And make sure to read what is arguably Rob Zombie's most extensive on-line interview about making the first HALLOWEEN by clicking the frame below!
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