Destroy All Monsters (and Ghosts)

Zack Carlson on Destroy, Haunted House project

Dear Zack, Sorry I can't play the lead in
Dear Zack, Sorry I can't play the lead in "Destroy" but I'm dead. Your pal, Burt

"It's moving forward slowly, which I guess is the way things like this happen," That's Alamo Drafthouse Programmer Zack Carlson on the current status of Destroy, the un-undead epic he co-scripted with Bryan Connolly which has been slated to shoot in Bavaria with Best Worst Movie's Michael Stephenson directing.

So far, though, the film is languishing in pre-production as Stephenson, who met recently with associates of French horror auteur Xavier Gens, works to raise the necessary funding. Hey man, these things take time. Rome wasn't built in a day and Roger Corman didn't shoot Little Shop of Horrors in 72 hours. Okay, wait, scratch that last one. But that's Corman, and this is reality.

Carlson: "I was distressed at first that it hadn't already been made, starring Burt Lancaster, but apparently finding millions of dollars is difficult."

In the meantime, word came down the pike last week that Carlson and Stephenson have teamed up on a cable television project for NBCUniversal, the coyly titled The Untitled Haunted House Feature, to be produced by Stephenson's Magic Stone Productions and Brainstorm Media.

Described in the press release as a feature-length documentary that "will provide a fun and intimate look into the lives of devoted adults who go to fantastic and frightening lengths to create the ultimate homemade haunted house," the project is slated for an October, 2012 airdate.

Carlson describes it better: "We want to focus on unique, bizarre versions of what a Halloween spook house should be. For instance, there's the Halloween Brothers Haunted Train Ride, which is two adult, identical twins who dress up like train conductors and who have made a little steam train-thing out of old John Deere equipment so it's not on an actual track. They drive kids around this big, open field where monsters are set up, like Frankenstin and a mummy, but all of the sudden there'll be a big, wooded cutout of, like, the Little Mermaid making monster sounds. It's so weird. I really want to track these guys down but I'm having trouble contacting them by email."

Annoyingly, thus far NBCUniversal is planning on focusing on homemade Halloween h'aints on the East coast for the moment, with plans to move westward in successive seasons.

Nevertheless, if you think you have the freakiest/creepiest/most ridiculous haunted house on your Halloween block, you can drop the producers a line right here.

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More Destroy
Carlson and Connolly's Further Plans to 'DESTROY'
Carlson and Connolly's Further Plans to 'DESTROY'
Best Worst Movie filmmakers option local duo's script

Kimberley Jones, Feb. 16, 2011

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Destroy, Michael Stephenson, Bryan Connolly, Alamo Drafthouse

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