Dante Tomaselli the director for such films as Desecration and Horror and who is currently working on the highly anticipated Satan’s Playground talked about a possible theatrical release for his upcoming flick. In the interview he also talks about what work is left on the movie and his hopes for it, which would be a Fall release, perhaps maybe even around Halloween.Entertainment Insiders reports,
Talk about your stupid questions! Dante Tomaselli asked me if I’d like him to send me a copy of the trailer for his upcoming film “Satan’s Playground.” Usually my e-mail box is full of queries asking if I’d like a bigger penis or an unlimited supply of Vicoden. Dante’s e-mail was one to which I would respond. Tomaselli’s debut “Desecration” whet my appetite for his work. “Horror” convinced me (and many, many others) that Tomaselli was a visionary filmmaker who knows how to scare. I’ve been looking forward to his upcoming work. After seeing the 5-minute extended trailer, I just hope I live till October when Dante hopes to have his new film ready.
While certain films that have influenced and enriched Tomaselli are apparent in the trailer, I was struck most by the fact that what I saw reminded me of “a Tomaselli film.” Anyone who has seen “Desecration” and especially “Horror” knows that they are viewing the work of a man with his own vision. The trailer doesn’t shed much light on the film’s story, but it does reveal one spooky mise-en-scene and great production values. Several Tomaselli regulars join horror Icons Ellen Sandweiss (The Evil Dead), Felissa Rose (Sleepaway Camp) and Edwin Neal (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre) to tell the tale of the Jersey Devil.
Mr. Tomaselli took some time out from his post-production sound editing to talk about “Satan’s Playground.” My first thought was “This movie has to have a theatrical release!” Dante agreed: “This film should be ready by this August. So I would love a Fall release…hopefully around Halloween. The company behind “Satan’s Playground,” Em & Me Productions, and producers Millie Stanisic and Christa Avery will certainly be pushing for a theatrical release. Out of any of my films, I feel this one deserves it. “Satan’s Playground” was definitely created to be experienced on the big screen. Whereas my last two movies were designed to be watched in your bedroom late at night, with liquor and a joint.” There have been some cast changes since I last talked with Dante about the film. Michael Berryman (The Hills Have Eyes) was originally slate to play Edwin Neal’s role. Berryman had a schedule conflict and had to bow out. Likewise, John Gotti’s daughter Victoria had to bow out and was replaced by Ellen Sandweiss’s 17-year-old daughter Jessy.
Tomaselli is taking a different approach to the dark side this time. The $500,000 shot-on-film movie is less symbolic than his previous outings, however, Dante says the film is just as relentless. “Even though the film is low budget, I wanted to bring a kind of epic exuberance to “Satan’s Playground.” Many of the horror sequences are operatic. They build and build and crescendo. And each shot looks like some macabre painting…beautiful on the outside, but with a cruel…black heart. This film is about evil incarnate, what’s beneath the surface. The sadistic devil is out there — alive and kicking. If it seems like he’s hiding, he’s just having fun with us….bidding his time. Unlike “Desecration” and “Horror,” “Satan’s Playground” tells its tale in a straightforward fashion, but I’m still hanging on to the dream imagery I love to conjure. This movie looks and feels like a relentless nightmare.”
I think I connect with Tomaselli’s work because he grew up with many of the same interests as I did. I asked him about working with the heroes of his youth. “As a 13 year-old horror fanatic in 1983, I had a poster of her over my bed, the possessed cellar shot from “The Evil Dead.” Now, at 33, she’s in my own horror movie. Like Felissa, who I saw in “Sleepaway Camp” when I was 13, Ellen is a great friend, and I know we’ll be working together on many more films in the future.”
Dante is almost finished with the picture edit. He has about six-weeks of sound editing after that. Post production should be finished in August. While I’ll be happy to see “Satan’s Playground” in any form, I sincerely hope that I’m sitting in a huge-screened multiplex theater come Halloween watching Dante Tomaselli scare the unholy crap out of me.