The second night of the Seed of Chucky/Orphan double feature at the New Beverly Cinema was a smash hit, exceeding everyone’s expectations, including my own and the New Beverly staff. But I was most pleased for my friend and co-conspirator in this event, Don Mancini, who has weathered with good humor a lot of criticism of his movie in the past six years, most of it from horror fans who resented the deliberate turn toward comedy that was the signature of the last two Chucky films, and Seed in particular. (I dished some out myself before I finally came around.) So it was very exciting to see him and star Jennifer Tilly swarmed by autograph hounds and New Beverly ticket buyers who were there to celebrate their movie and enjoy it on its own terms, not to measure it against their own expectations for how the Chucky series should or should not have proceeded. The near-packed house laughed and screamed and thoroughly enjoyed themselves, and they were primed as could be for the very entertaining Q&A that followed the movie. Screenwriter Mike Werb , who wrote Face/Off, The Mask and is the creator of the Cartoon Network original live-action series Unnatural History, ably engaged the panel, which consisted of actors Debbie Lee Carrington, Steve West and Jennifer Tilly, producer Corey Sienega and writer-director Don Mancini, in an uncensored, spirited and funny hour-long conversation that has to be one of the best of its kind I’ve ever seen. We all had so much fun that Don and I are already turning over ideas for a couple of possible future double features, if the New Beverly will have us. But for now, I have to say that last night’s festivities surpassed even the brilliant Orphan Q & A hosted by Don the previous evening. It’s definitely one of the highlights of my not-so-young life, and I’m proud to present the Q & A here in its entirety.
And here is the Q & A from the October 20 program, minus the last three or four minutes-- the tape ran out just before the discussion ended, and had I not started the tape so early before the end credits of the movie were finished I might have had better luck with my timing. But what’s there is excellent stuff-- Don Mancini moderates a discussion between screenwriter David Leslie Johnson, actress Isabelle Fuhrman and producer Erik Olsen immediately after the Wednesday night screening of Orphan. One word of warning about this panel recording: it is extremely NOT spoiler-sensitive, so if you have not yet seen Orphan and would like to have the integrity of the film’s plot development maintained for you until you’ve had a chance to see it for yourself, it is advisable that you do NOT press play. Those of you who do know what’s wrong with Esther may proceed and enjoy a substantial, thoughtful and entertaining discussion of one of the best horror movies of the past decade.
My thanks once again to the New Beverly, to Don and all the special guests, and to all who packed the house both nights and took the time to introduce yourselves and express your appreciation for the programming. Hopefully this will be only the first of many opportunities to share unique movie experiences with you through this site and the wonderful New Beverly Cinema.