ARTICLES

LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS

Interview with Gary J. Tunnicliffe, writer and director of Hellraiser: Judgement
By James Whittington, Saturday 20th February 2021
Gary J. Tunnicliffe doing SFX make-up on the set of Hellraiser Judgement

Director and long-time Hellraiser franchise SFX artist Gary John Tunnicliffe has a new entry into the Hellraiser series for us all to enjoy, Hellraiser: Judgement. Here he chats about this gritty horror.

HC: Was there one person or film which inspired you to want to be in the effects industry?

GJT: I can't remember one film that directly inspired me to be in the effects industry, it would definitely have been around 1982 (when I was 14) when The Thing AND American Werewolf in London came out (as well as a mass of FX laden movies) but more than anything it was when someone showed me a copy of Fangoria magazine, it was THAT, that influenced me to become a make-up effects artists when I saw pictures of people actually creating monsters and effects and realized it was a legitimate profession.

HC: You've been long established as one of the leading people in special effects make-up, can you recall the first time you walked onto a set?

GJT: It was probably for a commercial at Pinewood studios, I was working for Bob Keen at Image Animation and I think I was literally just bringing some pieces in for the other 'on set' people, I just remember it being dark, an Aladdin's cave and there was this mass of people all seemingly busy with tasks and I couldn't fathom how all these people were involved or what they were doing.

HC: When did you start getting the feel for wanting to be a director?

GJT: To be honest I didn't have the 'feel' for wanting to be a director until someone asked me 'Would you be interested in directing' and foolishly, arrogantly and without much knowledge of the entire process I said yes, to be honest that first film really was my film school and I owe a debt of gratitude to my first DP (Adam Kane) AD (James Deck) and Script Supervisor (Jennifer Gettzinger) (as well as the rest of the crew except ONE of the producers) for supporting me and getting me through the technical stuff I was 'green' about.

HC: You've been around the Hellraiser franchise for quite some time, were you a big fan before you worked on it?

GJT: I was huge fan of Hellraiser, I sat in a movie theatre in Cannock, England in 1987 watched the movie mesmerized and when I saw Pinhead I said to myself - that's awesome, who did that, how did they do that and I WANT to do that!

HC: Let's talk about Hellraiser: Judgement, how did you come to be writing the script and directing this?

GJT: I was originally offered to write and direct Hellraiser Revelations, which (due to a conflict working on Scream 4) I could not do, I wrote the initial script for Revelations which was then altered and Directed by Victor Garcia. When another Hellraiser move came to be made they graciously once again asked me if I'd be interested in writing and directing and of course I said yes.

HC: It's a very gritty, violent and bloody film, with shades of "Se7en" mixed into its fantastical storyline, was this a deliberate choice to take it away from what we'd expect it to be like?

GJT: I don't REALLY know what people would 'expect' it to be like, the films have been a mixed bag of influences and tones over the years, some good, some bad and let's face it some awful. I had to write a film to a budget ($350k) so my options were fairly limited, I wrote what I thought I could do well with limited time and money but at the same time I didn't see the point in just 'retreading' what had been done before especially with less money. Dimension didn't want a twisted love story exploring the sexuality of Hellraiser (unfortunately) so I went with a cop story and a serial killer (since you can't spend 90 minutes with the Cenobites - no matter how much people may think they want that) and I decided to bring in a new faction with a an 'intimate' process that would be disturbing but cost effective and if you're doing a serial killer movie crossed with Hellraiser, Se7en seems the obvious influence!

HC: Was it all shot on location as the street shots add so much atmosphere to the piece?

GJT: YES! all shot in and around Oklahoma City with fantastic cooperation of all there for our micro budget endeavour, chilly February temperatures and a giant smoke machine helped provide the atmosphere (laughs).

HC: The Auditor is such a great character, do you think he should have his own series, and would you continue to play him?

GJT: He should have his own series, his own reality show, his own line of men's cologne and he'd make a great breakfast time host and celebrity chef and me and only me should ever play him (laughs).

HC: There are some incredible effects, do you have a favourite moment?

GJT: Actually I don't really think there are any particularly stunning effects in the film, its stuff that I've done before and in some cases more elaborately and better, there are effects I would like to have spent more on (money and time) like the skinning of Watkins - but everything in the film is done well and Pinhead and the Cenobites etc all look great and that's kudos to a great team on set - I do think that considering the elements ( a stuffed toy and a bit of a silicon stomach section, intercut with a real stomach with a prosthetic and a puppy with some water on it) the 'dog from the stomach' gag works surprisingly well - a testimony to good editing!

HC: How hard is it to design new Cenobites?

GJT: New Cenobites are GREAT fun to design and ideas come from the strangest of places, the influence for the Angelique Cenobite in part 4 came from watching Sister Act! - the trick is to design something that is both grotesque and beautiful, violent but with order.

HC: Would you like to continue the franchise?

GJT: I would love to, I have been involved (professionally) with these films since 1993 and as a fan long before, but alas I think my tenure is over, I don't think I'll be invited to the party any more, but I am thrilled I got to do Judgment and put my own personal stamp on the franchise.

HC: You're a man of many talents, do you have a favourite skill or job?

GJT: That's very kind of you, well certainly NOT make up, I gotta say I really don't mind if I never apply a make-up ever again, did you ever do something SO much until you hate it?...yep, that's prosthetic make up and me. I genuinely enjoy directing, especially seeing something dark, bizarre and strange that you wrote or imagined bought to life in front of you. Acting terrifies me, but I enjoy the process and then hate seeing the results.

HC: So, what are you up to at the moment?

GJT: I'm signed on the direct COULROPHOBIA (fear of clowns) which I also co-wrote which is an intense horror film experience with the antagonists in the form of four clowns (great fun designing these) hopefully shooting later this year - I'm also working on several other writing projects BUT I am also still possibly doing effects for some old friends as well (I don't mind picking up a brush and doing effects for the right people) and in my spare time I do personal art projects, rock hound and tumble, train and fight and drink Guinness.

HC: Gary J. Tunnicliffe, thank you very much.

Hellraiser: Judgment and Hellraiser: Revelations are on Digital 22 February and Blu-ray/DVD 1 March.


Related show tags: HELLBOUND: HELLRAISER II, HELLRAISER, HELLRAISER III: HELL ON EARTH
MORE ARTICLES
Horror Channel launches assault of premieres for June plus further seasons of Farscape
Posted in Features, Thursday 12th May 2022

Ryan Simon's British supernatural chiller Demon Eye, starring Darren Day, and Liam Fox, and Brad Baruh's Coen-sequel mystery thriller Night Drive, starring AJ Bowen and Sophie Dalah, both receive Friday night UK TV premieres on Horror Channel.

There are also channel premieres for John Carpenter's cult classic Assault On Precinct 13 and Finnish-German sci-fi Nazi horror spoof Iron Sky: The Coming Race, directed by Timo Vuorensola (Iron Sky) and starring Udo Kier, reprising his role as Adolf Hitler.

Plus, cult classic Farscape returns with the channel premieres of Season 3 and 4. This Australian-American Sci-Fi TV series, created by Rockne S. O'Bannon, has proved a big hit with Horror...

SHARE: READ MORE
Wyrmwood: Apocalypse - Blu-ray review
Posted in Reviews, Saturday 30th April 2022
Wyrmwood ApocalypseWyrmwood: Apocalypse
101 Films
Certificate 18
***

Zombie cinema is a genre that's literally dying on its feet. Restrained by its own concept strong or original movies of the undead are few and very far between. The TV series The Walking Dead and all its spin-offs has ensured that every possible avenue of interest or uniqueness has been followed. Wyrmwood: Apocalypse is a brutal and bloody entry and attempts to deliver a more violent and relevant to today's de-sensitised audience.

In a zombie infested Australian wasteland, hard-edged soldier Rhys (Luke McKenzie) - who uses zombies as fuel for his barbie - dedicates his days to tracking down and capturing s...

SHARE: READ MORE
From Rob Savage comes Dashcam
Posted in News, Saturday 30th April 2022
DASHCAM POSTER

Rob Savage's provocative new horror Dashcam will be released in selected UK cinemas on Friday June 3, by eOne and will be available for digital download from Monday June 6. Savage, who was the genius behind Host in 2020 seems to have tapped into what makes found-footage such a chilling genre and this time has turned the tension up to 11!

Dashcam follows Annie Hardy on a crazy horror road trip. Viewed through her livestream, this abrasive musician's night takes a dangerous turn after she agrees to help transport a frail elderly woman out of town. As you can guess, things don't go to plan and a surreal road-trip begins to unfold...

Written by Gemma Hurley, Rob Savage and Jed Shepherd ...
SHARE: READ MORE
The Boy Behind the Door - Blu-ray review
Posted in Reviews, Friday 29th April 2022
The Boy Behind the Door CoverThe Boy Behind the Door
Acorn Media
Certificate 15
****

This title crept up on me, I knew little about it so went in blind, came out the other end disturbed, challenged and I have to admit, a bit emotional. The Boy Behind the Door takes a very sensitive subject, that of child abduction and the evils which go along with it, and ramps it to an extreme and intense level.

Twelve-year-old Bobby (Lonnie Chavis) and best friend, Kevin (Ezra Dewey) are abducted on their way home from school and taken to a house surrounded by miles of bleak, dark country in every direction. Bobby manages to escape his confines and quietly navigates the dark h...

SHARE: READ MORE
Interview with Stewart Sparke, director of Book of Monsters
Posted in Interviews, Friday 29th April 2022
Director Stewart Sparke watches a scene

A birthday bash becomes a bloodbath when monsters escape from a supernatural storybook, leaving a group of teenagers to fight for their lives and shut the party down in the UK TV premiere of Book of Monsters on May 16th on Horror. We chatted to its director, Stewart Sparke about this fun, retro-filled fright-fest.

HC: Did you know from a young age that you wanted to be a film director?

SS: I remember first realising that I wanted to make films during one of many viewings of The Mummy (1999) on VHS in my bedroom on an old 15" TV. I became quite obsessed with the film and tried to make all my friends come over to watch it ...

SHARE: READ MORE
Dare you see The Boy Behind The Door?
Posted in News, Tuesday 26th April 2022

The Boy Behind The Door is the dramatic and evocative feature film debut from writing-directing duo David Charbonier and Justin Powell. This Shudder Original from the talented team - who went on to create the critically acclaimed horror The Djinn - has been described by the NME as 'practically flawless' and is now set for its UK Blu-ray, DVD and digital release, from Acorn Media International.

The film, set for its UK physical premiere on 2 May, is unrelentingly fast-paced and conjures up the nerve-jangling sense of dread of a childhood nightmare. A night of unimaginable terror awaits twelve-year-old Bobby (Lonnie Chavis) and best friend, Kevin (Ezra Dewey) when they are abducte...

SHARE: READ MORE
Dominic Brunt's new horror movie, Wolf Manor, enters post-production.
Posted in News, Tuesday 26th April 2022
Wolf Manor - WEB2

The werewolf horror thriller Wolf Manor has entered post-production.

Directed by Dominic Brunt, this full-throttle, gore-filled tale of a film crew caught in the claws of a manor house's resident werewolf, was shot in three weeks in locations in Shropshire.

Brunt's UK-produced film, which was written by Pete Wild and Joel Ferrari, stars James Fleet, (Bridgerton, Operation Mincemeat) Jay Taylor (Donkey Punch, Misfits), Thaila Zucchi (Evie, Attack of the Adult Babies), Rupert Procter (Luther, Ripper Street) and John Henshaw (The Keeper, Looking For Eric).

Wolf Manor's creature design was created by renowned special make-up effects artist Shaune Harrison (Star Wars, ...

SHARE: READ MORE
John Carpenter, Daniel Davies and Cody Carpenter announce original soundtrack for Firestarter
Posted in News, Thursday 21st April 2022
Firestarter LP Cover

The horror master John Carpenter is back with his Halloween series collaborators Daniel Davies and Cody Carpenter for their infectious new soundtrack to the 2022 adaptation of Stephen King's Firestarter. The soundtrack is set for release digitally alongside the film's theatrical release on May 13th via Black Lot, with vinyl, CD and cassette tape due on October 14th on Sacred Bones.

The score marks the first official soundtrack that the team has composed together outside of the Halloween series and their inspiration and evolution as a creative team is on full display.

The film is a new take on the thriller examining a girl with extraordinary ...

SHARE: READ MORE
Horror Channel celebrates history of genre cinema with The Vintage Vault
Posted in Features, Thursday 21st April 2022

Starting in May, Horror Channel journeys into the history of genre cinema with The Vintage Vault, which will present double-bills of classic sci-fi and horror films every Sunday night.

The season premieres on Sunday May 1st with The Invisible Man, in which Claude Rains delivers a remarkable performance in his screen debut. This is paired with Bride Of Frankenstein, the celebrated sequel to the 1931 classic with Boris Karloff reprising his role as the monster. Then on Sunday May 8th, we have Christy Cabanne's frightening chiller masterpiece The Mummy's Hand, followed by Frankenstein Meets The Wolfman, featuring the original Wolf...

SHARE: READ MORE
Kim Newman dares to check out this weekend's Classic Sci-Fi event
Posted in Features, Thursday 14th April 2022
Kim Newman

Respected journalist, film critic, and fiction writer Kim Newman takes us through the celebrated B-movies joining Horror for our Classic Sci-Fi Weekend event running from 16th-17th of April.

The Horror Channel returns to a decade riven with fears of devastating climate change, imminent global war, mutating diseases and general paranoia... albeit in black and white, with miniature effects and make-up masks rather than CGI and the kind of urgency that means world-menacing phenomena can be invoked, allowed to run rampage and then dispelled in well under ninety minutes of crisp, sometimes poetic, sometimes bombastic melodrama.

The times weren't really simpler, and neither were the movies i...

SHARE: READ MORE
Scream - Blu-ray review
Posted in Reviews, Sunday 10th April 2022
SCREAM 4K COVERScream
Paramount
Certificate 18
****

The last few years has seen a resurrection of genre favourites such as Halloween, Child's Play (and the Chucky TV series), Jurassic Park, Ghostbusters to name a few, and although Scream has already had a successful TV series the studio bosses decided that it was time for Ghostface to come back to the big screen.

Twenty-five years after a streak of brutal murders shocked the quiet town of Woodsboro, a terrifying new killer resurrects the Ghostface mask. As the deaths mount, Woodsboro's new targets must seek help from the survivors of the original Ghostface attacks. Now, only Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell), former sheriff Dewey...

SHARE: READ MORE
Wyrmwood: Apocalypse gets Blu-ray, DVD and digital release
Posted in News, Friday 8th April 2022
Wyrmwood Apocalypse

Having thrilled UK audiences - and sated horror fans' thirst for bloody-bedlam on its UK premiere at FrightFest Glasgow, now Wyrmwood: Apocalypse is set for its Blu-ray, DVD, and digital release on 16 May from 101 Films. Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead and Wyrmwood: Apocalypse will also be available as a Blu-ray double set.

Australian brothers Kiah and Tristan Roache-Turner have penned another gut-splattering sensation with this fantastically frenzied feature, so get set for a hellish, high-octane return to the Aussie outback for some outlandish, blood-oozing rampaging zombie action.

In a zombie infested Australian wasteland, hard-edged soldier Rhys (Luke McKenzie) - who us...

SHARE: READ MORE
Articles Archive: 2022 | 2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006
PICK OF THE WEEK
Meteor Apocalypse
METEOR APOCALYPSE
Saturday 21st May
6.40 PM
Extant
EXTANT
Friday 27th May
7.00 PM
Vacancy
VACANCY
Monday 23rd May
9.00 PM