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by The Arrow

Mr. Garris is mostly known for directing “Sleepwalkers”, “Psycho 4”, “Critters 2”, “The Stand” TV movie and “The Shining” TV movie. He showed up with his lovely wife Cynthia Garris who appeared in most of his films (she was the lady in the tub in “The Shining”) and came across as a very down-to-earth dude. Here’s what I learned about him:

  • Mick Garris operated R2D2 in the Star Wars TV specials and at The Academy Awards.
  • He started off by doing documentaries on “The Howling”, “Escape From New York” and “The Fog”.
  • His next big gig was writing for Amazing Stories and then directing a few episodes


CRITTERS 2: Mick seemed a bit embarrassed about his first feature. But he did dig the PlayBoy model transformation that was in the film. A bounty hunter turns into a big-breasted Playmate and imitates the image in the magazine to T. He even gets a huge staple stuck in his belly. Great scene! I went and talked to Mick after the panel and told him: “Dude! Critters 2 wasn’t that bad!” He nodded in agreement with a shy smile.

Read Arrow's CRITTERS 2 review here

PSYCHO 4: Mick is very proud of this film. Did you know that original Psycho screenwriter Joseph Stephano wrote this screenplay as well? If not, now you do.

SLEEPWALKERS: Mick showed us a scene from the film. He’s very proud of the morphing head during the car chase. That effect wuz done before T2 made morphing the “in” thing and is still very effective. “Sleepwalkers” wuz Stephen King’s first original screenplay and King was only on set for one day (for his cameo in the film). Mick also commented on the recent “Sleepwalkers” DVD that is kind of a bummer for DVD fans. Mick has nine “Sleepwalkers” deleted scenes in his possession but he found out about the DVD’s conception too late…they are not on the disk. BUMMER!

Read Arrow's SLEEPWALKERS review here

THE STAND: The Stand wuz shot on 16MM film to cut costs. For the opening scene, the studios didn’t want the corpses to have their eyes opened. Mick slapped some in there with open eyes anyway. He said that he wanted to push the boundaries of TV. Mick was also reluctant with the casting of Rob Lowe due to his sex scandal at the time. Rob was supposed to play the rock star but Mick offered him the blind dude instead. He wound up loving Lowe’s performance. Stephen King was on the set most of the time supervising everything. When asked if King liked his TV version of the famous book, Mick answered something along the lines of: “he offered me “The Shining” TV series, so I guess he did”. Garris himself is proud of the film but admits that he’s not too fond of the weak special effects.

THE SHINING: Mick admits to liking his version of “The Shining” better than Kubrick’s version. Cynthia Garris also liked her husband’s version more saying that in Kubrick’s version Jack is crazy from the get-go, where in Garris’ version we see Jack lose his mind gradually (she’s right about that but I still liked Kubrick’s version more…but hey…that’s just me). The film did poor in the ratings and Garris attributed that to the Kubrick version. I paraphrase: “People were saying, I’ve seen The Shining with Jack Nicholson already so why would I want to see it again with that guy from “Wings” (Steven Weber)?”

Garris himself is very pleased with Weber’s performance and was quite surprised at the amount of Hollywood actors who turned down the part because they didn’t want to walk in Nicholson’s shadow. He also revealed that pre-fame Haley Joel Osment was up for the part of Danny but his parents bailed him out due to the disturbing nature of the film. Courtland Mead took over and Mick was very happy with his performance. I for one thought Mead sucked big time and couldn’t hold a candle to Danny Lloyd who played Danny in Kubrick’s version.

THE TALISMAN: This is Mick’s next TV series, once again based on a Stephen King book. The flick will be in two parts and should hit TV-land in 2002. He just finished the last touches on the script.

I’ve enjoyed most of Mick’s work and adored hearing about his career. I was a bit letdown by the structure of the panel though. Audience members we’re not encouraged to ask questions.  It was very interesting but I had so many things that I wanted to ask him myself. Expect an interview with the man at some point on “The Arrow in the Head”. Mick Garris is a movie buff that made it. He’s a fan who’s been working in the field that he loves. For me, this panel was very inspiring. He also has a very sweet and gorgeous wife…you go, boy!

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Another year, another San Diego Comic Con for the Arrow and I. Okay, so this year's event wasn't as exciting or interesting to us as the one presented last year (see our entire coverage of that event here), but I guess we did still have quite a few things to check out, as presented below:

The Spider-Man/ Sam Raimi panel:
Sam discusses the "Spider-Man" movie that he is currently directing, answers some questions and gives us all a sneak 5-minute preview scene from the movie in question...

The Kevin Smith panel:
Kevin discusses everything in his View Askew universe, talks about his upcoming movie "Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back", his future and even shows us some behind-the-scenes outtakes and more...

The John Carpenter panel:
Legendary director John Carpenter comes to the Con to discuss his latest horror flick "Ghost of Mars", answers some questions and gets dissed in the process...

The Planet of the Apes Q&A with Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa:
Cary discusses Tim Burton's project and answers questions...

The Joss Whedon panel:
The man behind "Buffy: The Vampire Slayer" and "Angel" discusses everything and the kitchen sink in here...

Glen Morgan/James Wong present "The One":
The men behind last year's surprise hit "Final Destination" discuss their upcoming sci-fi/thriller starring Jet Li and more...

The Mick Garris panel:
Director Mick Garris discusses all of his films including his TV version of "The Shining", "The Stand" and his upcoming Stephen King movie "The Talisman"...

Interview with David Naughton:
You might not remember the name, but you will definitely remember his part as the guy who turned into the werewolf in John Landis' classic film "American Werewolf in London". The Arrow interviews him here...

Misc. stuff:
JoBlo reviews "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back" and the "Movie Webmaster panel" while The Arrow reviews "Elvira's Haunted Hills" and the "Jason X" trailer...

The official / 2001 San Diego Con Photo Gallery:
Pictures from our trip to California for anyone who gives a shit...

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