Tagged: Windsor lake studios
MOVIE MELT Podcast Covers Fangoria’s 1992 Northern Wisconsin Creature Feature: SEVERED TIES!
The latest episode of the Movie Melt podcast is a special one, especially for all of you “cheeseheads” out there-We cover the third Fangoria Films bizarro teen mad scientist monster flick ‘SEVERED TIES’ from 1992! This mostly forgotten gem was filmed in my home state of Wisconsin, way up north in my old stomping grounds-Rhinelander! WTF right? Why in the world would they choose the small town northwoods area to film NOT just Severed Ties but ALL three of their first feature films up there?!
Well the story is truly intriguing and on this episode we bring on special FX artist and native northern Wisconsinite Hank Carlson to tell his wild story of Windsor Lake Studios, the team behind ‘Hellraiser’ who decided to set up shop there. Hank fills us in on how as a small town teen with an unlikely dream of cracking into the biz as a make up artist, he somehow lands his dream job in the late 80s!
We get the scoop on horror history in the making and discuss ‘Severed Ties’ in all of it’s gooey glory! Plus a Wisconsin themed Battle of the bands in this ALL things Wisconsin horror movie mash up..
Who says dreams can’t come true?! Tune in RIGHT HERE to check out the episode and delve head on into one of the strangest horror films of the 1990’s: a practical fx creature feature that’s in desperate need of a fancy blu ray release and a devoted cult following…
The Northwoods of Wisconsin’s 1980s Horror Films & FANGORIA Connection?!
I just visited my old stompin’ grounds up in the Northwoods of Wisconsin & it peaked my interest into a specific window of time in the late 1980s & early 90s when apparently horror movie productions were a hot commodity up there-Fangoria was on the cutting edge of “cheesehead” fright flicks! Who knew? So waaaay up north there’s a cluster of small towns, Eagle River, Three Lakes, Sugar Camp & Rhinelander that were the main staple in filming many of these late 80’s early 90’s horror films. There was a unique studio all the way from the UK that oddly made it’s headquarters somewhere between this little group of cities. My mom currently lives in Three lakes (we had a cottage on a lake there since the 80s, my dad grew up there, my Aunt does too and owns a property in Sugar Camp & my mom also just bough a property in Rhinelander) alas I have spent a LOT of time there throughout my life. In fact I was just up there for an entire month. However I never suspected it was a mini horror mecca until recently. Why? Well let’s find out! Wisconsinite horror fanatics, this one’s for YOU!
Windsor Lake Studios which was based in Eagle River, Wisconsin, (I’ve heard possibly Sugar Camp Wisconsin too?) population 1300, produced a number of films for Fangoria and a few other smaller VHS only companies, though a few actually have made it onto blu ray over the past few years. Oddly only one of the trio of Fangoria Films releases have seen blu ray releases. At the time it was a big deal in the horror community when they started producing their own movies. It’s strange to me how or why a movie studio that produced predominantly horror flicks was open and operational in this tiny region nestled in the thick of the Northwoods and it’s plentiful chain of lakes. It’s definitely NOT Hollywood in the Northwoods-I can fully attest to that! That being said you just might run into a Rhinelander, Hodag (pictured below) in the woods if you’re lucky enough..
Windsor Lake Studio was started in 1987 and attracted the talent of Eagle River native Hank Carlson, only a teen at the time but had ambitions to be the “next Tom Savini”. He went on to become quite an impressive practical fx artist getting his start at Winsdor Lake by being annoyingly persistent, visiting the studio property many times though univited. There’s a great interview with him right here for all of you locals who want the scoop on this regional horror legend. He also gives some excellent perspective in the commentary of the Arrow Video blu ray’s for ‘Trapped Alive’ & ‘The Chill Factor’.
The three owners of the studio were from the UK and producers of major Hollywood hits ‘Heathers’ and more notably ‘Hellraiser’ & ‘Hellraiser II: Hellbound’. Apparently the premiere for ‘Hellraiser’ happened at the Vilas theater in small town Eagle River where Hank Carlson worked. I wish I’d have known that back then dammit!