TOTEM'S SCARY SUNFLOWERS?
Fangoria reports, 'After DARKNESS FALLS went to #1 this weekend at the box office, FANGORIA caught up with one of its producers, Jason Shuman, who gave us the dirt on the recently announced follow-up horror film, TOTEM, to be directed by Patrick (DRACULA 2000) Lussier from a script by Todd (JASON X) Farmer.'
'TOTEM is a different type of horror-thriller movie [from DARKNESS FALLS],' explains Shuman. 'It's more like THE SHINING. It's the story of a man coming to terms with his faith on a farm that's not doing well and it really delves into the idea of faith and how far he will go to try provide for his family in the eyes of the town and then, also, the whole story a'la THE SHINING of losing your mind.'
'The horror genre is no stranger to the idea of 'fear out in the field' with an entire franchise created out of Stephen King's CHILDREN OF THE CORN, but rather than corn or wheat, TOTEM's menacing fields will be full of towering...sunflowers?'
'There's a lot of fun things we do with sunflowers,' Shuman enthuses. 'I think the whole idea of 'corn' was already done in SIGNS and I don't want to explore that. That was done really, really brilliantly by M. Night and I'm not looking to copy him. We want this movie to be something on its own. Sunflower fields, which people probably aren't that familiar with, are exciting to us because visually, sunflower fields are really creepy with the whole way sunflowers work and how they move ? the heads of the sunflowers move towards the sun and seem to come alive in their own right. It's very creepy. I think we've come up with a good story that will not be what you think it is. Even though I'm saying it's THE SHINING and that may seem like oh-I've-seen-that-before-and-I-know-where-that's-going, it really has a lot of twists and turns that I think are really cool.'
'Originally entitled SCARECROW, which had many horror fans thinking it would be a killer-scarecrow-in-a-field movie (potentially, the heir apparent to William Wesley's under-appreciated 1988 cult favorite, SCARECROWS), the film's title change to TOTEM was first announced in the Hollywood Reporter (see the Fango story here) only about two weeks ago. With so many horror movies with 'scarecrow' in the title (Frank De Felitta's DARK NIGHT OF THE SCARECROW, Jeff Burr's NIGHT OF THE SCARECROW, and the upcoming Emmanuel Itier film SCARECROW to name a few), changing the title to TOTEM was likely a good move, though none of the horror-scarecrow movies actually inspired the switch.'
'There was a movie called SCARECROW [starring Gene Hackman] twenty-five years ago,' says Shuman of the title switcheroo. 'It was a drama. For the time being, I didn't want to be confused with that movie and I think TOTEM, when audiences see the trailer ? if that stays the title ? they'll see that it's a lot more than just a scarecrow or THE SHINING. There's a whole history to why it's called TOTEM.'
Courtesy of Fangoria