Writer turned the original Dr. Giggles script into a different movie

Deadly End Neighborhood Watch Graeme Whifler

I've always been a huge fan of the slasher sub-genre, but for some reason I never liked director Manny Coto's 1992 slasher movie DR. GIGGLES. The tone, the style, the story, something about it just put me off. It has been several years since I've tried to watch it again, so maybe I need to revisit it. But even though I didn't like it, some things about DR. GIGGLES have always stuck in my mind. Larry Drake's performance as the title character, his giggle, specific kills and horrific moments... It certainly made an impression on me.

The screenplay for DR. GIGGLES is credited to Coto and Graeme Whifler, and I had no idea that the finished film was far from what Whifler imagined when he sat down to write the first draft on his own. The title character wasn't even a doctor in his script; it was called MR. GIGGLES.

Speaking with Nightmare on Film Street, Whifler said, 

MR. GIGGLES bares only the vaguest similarity to the movie, DR. GIGGLES. The character names and the notion of surgery are all that survived. ... The lust for franchizing ultimately neutered the project, in my opinion. The producers were afraid to try anything new ... the wish for a franchize was so strong, the developers decided to drop all the unique stuff and just cobble something together using parts from other successful horror films."

If the producers wanted a franchise so badly, why did we never see a DR. GIGGLES 2? 

There is a simple reason no sequel was made, the film's box office was anemic. The audiences weren't that entertained."

The film turned out to be so different from Whifler's original story that he was able to turn his MR. GIGGLES script into a separate movie called DEADLY END (pictured above - and also known as NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH), which was released in 2005. The IMDb synopsis for that movie goes like this:

Nothing bad could ever happen on quiet, tree lined Wormwood Drive. At least that's what Bob and Wendi Petersen thought, before they met their new neighbor... Having moved across country so that Bob can begin a dream job with Zeecor, a large industrial corporation, the newly married couple looked forward to starting a new life together, far away from the crime and violence of the big city. Zeecor even provided them with a spacious company home on a peaceful suburban street. What more could a young couple ask for? But behind every perfect neighborhood, there hides a dark secret. On Wormwood Drive that secret is named Adrien Trumbull. Seemingly friendly, yet disturbingly intense, the hulking Trumbull welcomes his young new neighbors with a greeting of a box chocolates and kind words. Touched by his neighborly gestures, Bob and Wendi gratefully accept Trumbull's thoughtful gifts and friendship. However, Trumbull is not at all what he seems to be. Behind his welcoming grin lurks a dark obsession with poison and self-mutilation and within the walls of his rancid home hides pure madness. For Bob and Wendi Petersen, the neighborhood of their dreams is about to become a living nightmare. As darkness falls, they will soon learn the true meaning of fear. For on Wormwood Drive, the night has eyes and the neighbors are watching. Based on two true stories.

For comparison, here's the DR. GIGGLES synopsis: 

It has been 35 years since the small town of Moorehigh discovered why Dr. Rendell kept losing his patients: he was ripping their hearts out in a twisted attempt to save his ailing wife. The townspeople stoned Rendell to death, but they never found the young son with the hideous giggle who helped his deranged father perform the operations. Now, over three decades later, Dr. Rendell's son returns to gain revenge on Moorehigh's residents, and he's not shy about making house calls.

Not only do I need to watch DR. GIGGLES again sometime, now I need to seek out DEADLY END and see what the movie was originally intended to be.



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