On the evening of October 2, 2009, I attended the annual Chiller-Eyegore Awards at the Globe Theatre on the Universal Studios lot. Hosted by Corey Feldman (The Lost Boys) the event honors the best in horror, and certainly this year’s winners were icons in that genre.
Make-up artist Rick Baker was presented with the Jack Pierce-Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to the cinema, including Hellboy, Men in Black, The Howling, X-Men: The Last Stand and the upcoming version of The Wolfman. Jack Pierce headed the make up department at Universal Studios from 1926 to 1945, and designed and created the make up for Frankenstein, The Mummy, The Wolfman and their sequels, facts that Baker was eager to relate in his acceptance speech:
Rick Baker: How cool to actually be at Universal Studios, where they made all those classic horror films, Frankenstein, Dracula, Wolfman, and an award with Jack Pierce’s name on it; he did Frankenstein’s monster, the greatest make up ever done. He was my first idol, he’s the reason that I do what I do, and it means a lot to me to be here and to get this award.
Honored as Filmmaker of the Year for his movie Halloween II, Rob Zombie leapt onto the stage with this bizarre acceptance speech:
Rob Zombie: I got one of these 10 years ago, when they gave out the first Eyegore Awards, and I was like, ‘What is this?’ But the funny thing is, 10 years ago it was hosted by a guy dressed up like Chop Top from Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, and he was really funny, he looked really authentic and he gave me my award, and I was talking to him afterwards and I said, ‘You really convinced me, you really seemed like the guy from the movie,’ and it was the guy from the movie, Bill Mosley. I was just starting House of 1,000 Corpses and I went home and wrote a part for him, because I found out he lived right down the street from me. So that’s my story on the Eyegore Awards.
The final award of the evening went to Tobin Bell for his continuing role as Jigsaw in the Saw franchise, which ties into the theme of the studio’s Halloween Horror Nights … more on that later. The actor who, when he’s not scaring people to death, is a little league baseball coach.
Tobin Bell: I’m delighted to have an opportunity to play a character with the kind of depth and dimension that John Kramer has. It’s the police and the press that have called him Jigsaw, but he does have a warm, tender side. Every year we get together, many of the same casts and crew, to make another Saw film and it’s been a really remarkable experience for me. I had never done a horror film before this, and people that make the films, Twisted Pictures and Lions Gate, are very committed to making these movies the very best they could possibly me, so every year I look forward to weaving the fabric of a very rich story. If you haven’t been into the Saw maze here at the studio yet, it’s an amazing experience.
No, I hadn’t been into the Saw maze yet, and I had no intention of visiting it. But I did go on the Terror Tram, how scary could that be? Almost immediately, on screens all over the tram, Jigsaw appeared to welcome us to the ride, inviting us to his deadly game, daring us to survive the back lot. Well, I survived it last year, so I was confident I could do it again, but I have to admit it was even more intense this year; it was darker, so you couldn’t see where you were going, and the paths you had to walk along were narrower, which made dodging monsters with chainsaws a little trickier.
Thanks goodness there was the Rocky Horror Picture Show: A Tribute to go to afterwards; where a live 30-minute performance brings the classic horror spoof to life on-screen and on-stage – very clever. Then I went home, managing to miss the other mazes and ‘Scare Zones’ including, Halloween: The Life and Crimes of Michael Myers, My Bloody Valentine: Be Mine 4 Ever, Saw: Game Over, Welcome to Hell, The Meat Market and Freakz – okay, I admit it, I’m a wimp!
See the image gallery post for pics of the ‘Scare Zones’ and more of the event. Look out for this over the weekend.