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       A 24 Oct 1986 LA Weekly article reported that after seeing the success of several Halloween-themed movie franchises, producer Dino De Laurentiis decided to launch his own. When he approached writer-producers Joel Soisson and Michael Murphey with two treatments, they rejected his concepts but immediately turned to their network of friends to find a fresh story thread, whereby, twenty-four-year-old Rhet Topham came up with the winning idea. Since De Laurentiis was adamant that the movie’s release be in Oct 1986, the producers believed they did not have enough time to hire the necessary writers and spent six weeks completing a script themselves. The script’s emphasis was on character and comedy instead of gore, and overall, Murphey and Soisson tried to strike a balance between scary special effects and satire.
       According to production notes in AMPAS library files, actor Marc Price reportedly did all his own stunts. He performed everything from receiving an electric charge and driving off a drawbridge into a river to catapulting over lunchroom tables. More than 400 area high school students were hired to be background actors.
       Production notes state principal photography began 21 Apr 1986 and production took place in various locations around Wilmington, NC. The LA Weekly article stated the film’s budget was $2.8 million. A 3 Jul 1986 DV brief announced that principal photography had been completed. During the seven week-shooting schedule, the filmmakers alternated between Hoggard High School and Hanover High School to represent the movie’s fictitious “Lakeridge High.” Interiors such as “Nuke’s” broadcast booth at the radio station, and "Eddie’s" bedroom were filmed on Sound Stage 2 at the De Laurentiis Entertainment ... More Less

       A 24 Oct 1986 LA Weekly article reported that after seeing the success of several Halloween-themed movie franchises, producer Dino De Laurentiis decided to launch his own. When he approached writer-producers Joel Soisson and Michael Murphey with two treatments, they rejected his concepts but immediately turned to their network of friends to find a fresh story thread, whereby, twenty-four-year-old Rhet Topham came up with the winning idea. Since De Laurentiis was adamant that the movie’s release be in Oct 1986, the producers believed they did not have enough time to hire the necessary writers and spent six weeks completing a script themselves. The script’s emphasis was on character and comedy instead of gore, and overall, Murphey and Soisson tried to strike a balance between scary special effects and satire.
       According to production notes in AMPAS library files, actor Marc Price reportedly did all his own stunts. He performed everything from receiving an electric charge and driving off a drawbridge into a river to catapulting over lunchroom tables. More than 400 area high school students were hired to be background actors.
       Production notes state principal photography began 21 Apr 1986 and production took place in various locations around Wilmington, NC. The LA Weekly article stated the film’s budget was $2.8 million. A 3 Jul 1986 DV brief announced that principal photography had been completed. During the seven week-shooting schedule, the filmmakers alternated between Hoggard High School and Hanover High School to represent the movie’s fictitious “Lakeridge High.” Interiors such as “Nuke’s” broadcast booth at the radio station, and "Eddie’s" bedroom were filmed on Sound Stage 2 at the De Laurentiis Entertainment Group (D.E.G.) Studio in Wilmington. The sequence depicting the hotel fire that took the life of heavy metal rocker "Sammi Curr" was shot on the D.E.G. backlot.
       The picture marked musician-actor Ozzy Osbourne’s theatrical film debut, and that of actor and later television writer-producer, Glen Morgan. It also marked actor Charles Martin Smith’s directorial film debut.
      End credits state: “Filmed on location at DEG Film Studios, Wilmington, North Carolina.” The following acknowledgments appear in end credits: “Special Thanks to: Giorgio Postiglione; The City of Wilmington, North Carolina; The New Hanover County School District; The University of North Carolina at Wilmington; Donna and Chris Patterson; Windmill Lane Studios, Dublin; Jimmy “The Armored Saint” Christopher/KNAC; Keith Levene/Multi-Image Group; The Post Group; Pepsi-Cola; Perrier; Adidas; B.C. Rich Guitars; Telemedia Group.”
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GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
3 Jul 1986.
---
Hollywood Reporter
24 Oct 1986
p. 3, 65.
LA Weekly
24 Oct 1986.
---
Los Angeles Times
27 Oct 1986
Section G, p. 2.
New York Times
25 Oct 1986
p. 12.
Variety
29 Oct 1986
p. 11.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
De Laurentiis Entertainment Group presents
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
3d asst dir
2d unit dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
Steadicam op
Lighting gaffer
Lighting gaffer
Elec best boy
Elec best boy
Elec
Grip best boy
Still photog
2d unit dir of photog
2d unit 1st asst cam
2d unit 1st asst cam
2d unit 2d asst cam
2d unit gaffer
2d unit key grip
2d unit grip
2d unit grip
Addl photog
Cam systems by, Joe Dunton Cameras Limited
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
1st asst ed
Apprentice ed-N.C.
Apprentice ed-L.A.
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dresser
Swing gang
Swing gang
Swing gang
Swing gang
Swing gang
Swing gang
Prop master
Asst prop master
Asst prop master
Set const coord
Const foreman
Scenic painter
COSTUMES
Cost des
Asst cost des
Set costumer
Asst set costumer
Asst costumer-L.A.
Asst costumer-L.A.
Seamstress
MUSIC
Orig mus comp and performed by
Mus score
Mus exec prod
Asst mus supv
Asst mus supv
Back-masking mixer
Score cond
Score eng
SOUND
Prod sd mixer
Post prod sd
Post prod sd, JFA
Post prod sd, JFA
Post prod sd, JFA
Post prod sd, JFA
Post prod sd, JFA
Post prod sd, JFA
Post prod sd, JFA
Post prod sd, JFA
Post prod sd, JFA
Re-rec facility
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Sd opt
VISUAL EFFECTS
Opt eff created by
Opt eff created by
Speaker transformation eff
Speaker transformation asst
Speaker transformation asst
Speaker transformation asst
Speaker transformation asst
Mechanical eff coord
Mechanical eff crew
Mechanical eff crew
Mechanical eff crew
Mechanical eff crew
Titles & opticals
Titles & opticals, Van Der Veer Photo Effects
Titles & opticals, Van Der Veer Photo Effects
MAKEUP
Spec make-up eff created by
Key make-up and hair
Asst make-up
Asst hair stylist
Spec make-up asst
Spec make-up asst
Spec make-up asst
Spec make-up asst
Spec make-up asst
Spec make-up asst
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Casting
Scr supv
Loc mgr
Loc scout
Prod medic
Animal trainer
Transportation coord
Honeywagon driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Prod auditor
Prod accountant
Asst prod accountant
Asst prod accountant
Prod secy
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Asst to the prods-N.C.
Asst to the prods-L.A.
Asst to the dir-N.C.
Asst to the dir-L.A.
Unit pub
Catering
Craft service
Casting assoc
Loc and extras casting
Voice casting
Insurance provided by
Loc equip by
Loc equip by, D.E.G. Film Studios
STAND INS
Stuntman
Stuntman
Stuntman
Stuntman
Stuntman
Stuntman
Stuntman
Stuntman
Stuntman
Stuntman
Stuntman
Stuntman
Stuntman
Stuntman
Stunt coord
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col by
SOURCES
SONGS
“Stand Up,” composed and performed by Fastway, produced by Eddie Clarke and Will Reid Dick, courtesy of CBS Records, published by De Laurentiis Music (ASCAP)
“Tear It Down,” composed and performed by Fastway, produced by Eddie Clarke and Will Reid Dick, courtesy of CBS Records, published by De Laurentiis Music (ASCAP)
“Scream Until You Like It,” performed by Only Child, produced by Paul Sabu, composed by Paul Sabu, Charles Esposito, and Neil Citron, published by Jungle Boy Music (BMI) and Careers Music, Inc. (BMI)
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SONGS
“Stand Up,” composed and performed by Fastway, produced by Eddie Clarke and Will Reid Dick, courtesy of CBS Records, published by De Laurentiis Music (ASCAP)
“Tear It Down,” composed and performed by Fastway, produced by Eddie Clarke and Will Reid Dick, courtesy of CBS Records, published by De Laurentiis Music (ASCAP)
“Scream Until You Like It,” performed by Only Child, produced by Paul Sabu, composed by Paul Sabu, Charles Esposito, and Neil Citron, published by Jungle Boy Music (BMI) and Careers Music, Inc. (BMI)
“Grey, Grey, Grey,” performed by See Jane Run, courtesy of Bug Music, composed by Mick Muhlfriedel and Marina Del Rey, published by Cephlaphone Songs/Bug Music (BMI)
“Don’t Stop The Fight,” composed and performed by Fastway, produced by Eddie Clarke and Will Reid Dick, courtesy of CBS Records, published by De Laurentiis Music (ASCAP)
“Get Tough,” composed and performed by Fastway, produced by Eddie Clarke and Will Reid Dick, courtesy of CBS Records, published by De Laurentiis Music (ASCAP)
“Tot,” performed by Only Child, composed and produced by Paul Sabu, published by Bel Ritmo Music (BMI)
“Hold On To The Night,” composed and performed by Fastway, produced by Eddie Clarke and Will Reid Dick, courtesy of CBS Records, published by De Laurentiis Music (ASCAP)
“The Haunted House of Rock,” performed by Whodini, courtesy of Jive Records, composed by Jalil Hutchins, Pete Harris, and Nigel Green, published by Zomba Enterprises Inc. (ASCAP)
“Trick Or Treat,” composed and performed by Fastway, produced by Eddie Clarke and Will Reid Dick, courtesy of CBS Records, published by De Laurentiis Music (ASCAP)
“It’s Up To You Now,” composed and performed by Diana Blair, published by I’m The Girl Music (ASCAP)
“Heartbreakin’ Lie,” performed by Diana Blair, courtesy of Helion Records, composed by Diana Blair and Pat Anthony, produced by Greg Knowles, published by I’m The Girl Music (ASCAP)
“After Midnight,” composed and performed by Fastway, produced by Eddie Clarke and Will Reid Dick, courtesy of CBS Records, published by De Laurentiis Music (ASCAP).
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DETAILS
Release Date:
24 October 1986
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 24 October 1986
Production Date:
21 April--June 1986
Copyright Claimant:
DeLaurentiis Entertainment Group, Inc.
Copyright Date:
20 November 1986
Copyright Number:
PA310923
Physical Properties:
Sound
Recorded in Ultra-Stereo®
Color
Duration(in mins):
97
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
28325
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

The athletes at Lakeridge High School bully teenager Eddie Weinbauer and steal a music cassette out of his gym locker. As he chases after the cassette, he ends up naked in the women’s gymnasium after the bullies snatch his towel. While he bangs on a locked door, a female student grabs a Polaroid camera and photographs his bare buttocks. Later, Eddie aka “Ragman” writes a letter to his idol, heavy metal rock musician Sammi Curr, saying he would rather be dead, but then he thinks about how Sammi was once a student at his high school, and it gives him strength. However, Eddie is disappointed that Sammi’s Halloween concert at his alma mater has been cancelled because school officials disapprove of the violence and obscenity in his songs. Eddie’s disappointment turns to shock when he learns that Sammi has been killed in a hotel fire. At radio station WZLP, Eddie and a deejay friend, “Nuke,” share their sorrow over Sammi’s death. Nuke gives Eddie a copy of Sammi’s newest album, and says that Sammi wanted Nuke to debut the record on Halloween. At school, a fellow student, Leslie Graham, returns Eddie’s music tape and the embarrassing Polaroid, and invites him to a pool party. There, high school sports jock, Tim Hainey, informs Eddie he is not welcome. Tim and a friend hide a weight in his knapsack and throw Eddie in the pool. He sinks like a stone, panics and struggles to remove his pack. Leslie dives in and saves him. Outside, Leslie apologizes for being late to the party. Eddie is convinced the whole school has singled him out as an object ... +


The athletes at Lakeridge High School bully teenager Eddie Weinbauer and steal a music cassette out of his gym locker. As he chases after the cassette, he ends up naked in the women’s gymnasium after the bullies snatch his towel. While he bangs on a locked door, a female student grabs a Polaroid camera and photographs his bare buttocks. Later, Eddie aka “Ragman” writes a letter to his idol, heavy metal rock musician Sammi Curr, saying he would rather be dead, but then he thinks about how Sammi was once a student at his high school, and it gives him strength. However, Eddie is disappointed that Sammi’s Halloween concert at his alma mater has been cancelled because school officials disapprove of the violence and obscenity in his songs. Eddie’s disappointment turns to shock when he learns that Sammi has been killed in a hotel fire. At radio station WZLP, Eddie and a deejay friend, “Nuke,” share their sorrow over Sammi’s death. Nuke gives Eddie a copy of Sammi’s newest album, and says that Sammi wanted Nuke to debut the record on Halloween. At school, a fellow student, Leslie Graham, returns Eddie’s music tape and the embarrassing Polaroid, and invites him to a pool party. There, high school sports jock, Tim Hainey, informs Eddie he is not welcome. Tim and a friend hide a weight in his knapsack and throw Eddie in the pool. He sinks like a stone, panics and struggles to remove his pack. Leslie dives in and saves him. Outside, Leslie apologizes for being late to the party. Eddie is convinced the whole school has singled him out as an object of ridicule, and threatens to have his revenge on all the athletes who have hassled him. Later, he plays Sammi’s last record on his turntable at home. He hears gibberish, but plays the record in reverse and hears a message. The next day in the school cafeteria, Leslie wants to talk to Eddie about the previous night, but he stalks off, believing she set him up. He marches over to Tim Hainey, who calls him “Aquaman.” Eddie tips Tim’s food over the front of his shirt. As Tim and his friends chase Eddie, he disappears behind a closed door. Tim grabs a fire extinguisher, and accidentally sprays a group of teachers in a meeting. Later, Eddie plays the hidden lyrics to his friend, Roger Mockus, who is unimpressed and reminds Eddie that Sammi put messages on several other records. Roger believes it is a gimmick to get kids to play albums backward, ruin the record, and buy more copies. He also thinks it is a big coincidence that the message gave Eddie some advice that worked. Later, Eddie cannot resist and again plays Sammi’s record backward. The voice on the recording calls out Eddie’s nickname, “Ragman,” and laughs. Eddie asks the record if yesterday’s message was meant for him. Played backward, the record responds that it is all part of the plan. “What is the plan?” Eddie asks. This time the turntable plays backward on its own, and the voice says, “ “Nail them all. Remember. Revenge.” “Metal machines. 66. Crush,” the voice continues. The next day, Eddie visits room 66, the school’s machine shop. He sits at a desk, slides on his headphones, and plays Sammi’s music. He opens his lunch sack and begins to eat when Tim and a friend appear, and announce that they have spent the whole morning on janitorial detail. Tim knocks Eddie out of his seat, kicks his cassette player across the floor and makes fun of his love for heavy metal music. Tim pulls wrenches off a pegboard and throws them. Suddenly, a machine spontaneously starts up, and Tim’s tie is sucked into the mechanism. He finds himself face to face with a drill bit approaching his forehead. Tim screams at Eddie to shut the machine. Eddie waits until the drill is dangerously close before turning off the mechanism. As Tim leaves, he vows that their vendetta is not over. In Eddie’s room, Angie Weinbauer leaves her son’s clean laundry but accidentally brushes against his stereo and deafening heavy metal music plays. She panics before figuring out how to shut off the power. Eddie returns and thanks her for the clean laundry. They say nothing about his music. The next day, Eddie leaves Tim a music cassette at his locker as a peace offering. Later, Tim’s girl friend, Genie Wooster, plays Eddie’s tape in the car while waiting. Tim finds her unconscious with ooze clinging to the headphones. Tim stops at Eddie’s house to accuse him of putting Genie in the hospital. He warns Eddie to stay away. Eddie plays Sammi’s record backward and asks what has happened to Genie. “Cheap thrills,” the voice says laughing. Eddie is worried as things take a sinister turn. The voice says, “Nail them all. F—k ‘em.” When Eddie tells the voice it is time to end the game, it responds that Leslie set him up. Eddie explains that Leslie has nothing to do with the school bullies but when he lifts the needle from the record, he receives an electric shock. Eddie’s stereo vibrates with electrical power, shelves begin shaking, and a can of Pepsi spills onto his turntable. Accompanied by a bolt of electricity, Sammi Curr appears and tells Eddie that he needs to stay loyal to his heroes because they can turn on him. Angie Weinbauer comes to the door with some soup, and Sammi disappears into a stereo speaker. When Eddie takes a baseball bat and destroys his stereo, his mother is horrified. Soon, he calls Roger and pleads with him to steal Tim’s cassette and destroy it. Roger tells Eddie he disposed of the tape. Instead, he listens to the music at home until an electrical disturbance shorts out his stereo. As smoke wafts from his speakers, Sammi Curr appears and demands that Roger play his album that night. Meanwhile, Eddie is grounded by his mother and ordered to hand out candy to trick or treaters. When Leslie calls to find out why he is not at the school Halloween dance, Eddie hears Sammi’s music in the background. He jumps in his car but Sammi’s spirit invades the vehicle and takes him on a hair-raising ride. When the car stops and teeters at the edge of a drawbridge, Eddie destroys Sammi’s cassette, gingerly escapes and heads toward his high school. At the school dance, when the lead singer of a band receives an electrical shock from an amplifier, Sammi takes his place. As Sammi performs, his guitar releases bolts of electricity that randomly vaporize students and chaperoning teachers. Panic ensues as students try to escape but the doors are locked. Eddie arrives, and orders Roger to find and dismantle the main breaker box. Eddie finds his cassette and destroys it, then hunts for Leslie. He finds Tim and pleads for him to leave but he is too late. Sammi appears, grabs Tim by the throat and electrocutes him. Eddie runs away and is reunited with Leslie when Sammi appears before them. However, Roger takes an axe to the fuse box and is knocked out by an electrical charge, as Sammi disappears. Policemen arrive but Eddie escapes and Leslie follows. Soon, Eddie explains that Sammi appears every time his album is played backwards. He destroyed all the copies of the cassettes but Nuke at the radio station is going to air the album at midnight. When they are unable to warn Nuke by phone, they go to Eddie’s house. There, Eddie smashes the stereos and radios, but a transistor radio in the bathroom still plays. When Eddie and Leslie find his keys in the bathroom, Sammi breaks through the door but Eddie throws a cabinet at him. The musician topples and his arm falls in the toilet where he is seemingly electrocuted. Outside, Eddie tries to start the car but it drives off on its own. Soon, Eddie and Leslie find an abandoned patrol car. As they drive, Eddie sounds the siren. At the radio station, items fly through the air and it is evident that Sammi is there. Outside, Eddie asks Leslie to count to 100 and then destroy Nuke’s reel-to-reel tape. Meanwhile, Eddie grabs a transistor radio and drives off in the patrol car. He talks to the transistor taunting Sammi to show himself. Eddie says he does not need Sammi anymore but Sammi is nothing without his fans. He tells Sammi to come and get him. Finally, Sammi appears in the back seat, clawing the car’s metal screen. As Eddie drives the speeding patrol car off the drawbridge, Leslie rips Sammi’s tape and the station’s sound equipment to shreds. Eddie emerges from the water safe and victorious. He returns to Leslie at the radio station, and they embrace. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.