There was no more appropriate place to hold the fifth annual Eyegore Awards ceremony than Universal Studios, which can boast that the American horror film was born within the shadows of its soundstages and backlot.

The awards event helped kick off the Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Hollywood. It put the spotlight on performers and filmmakers who use their creative talents to terrify audiences. Among the honorees were Shawnee Smith (Saw); Corey Feldman (Lost Boys); Michael Berryman (The Hills Have Eyes); and Don Mancini (writer of the Chucky films).

Past Eyegore winner Rob Zombie was at the “freak show” themed ceremony to pay tribute to a master of the horror film genre Roger Corman. Although Corman, 81, couldn’t be there, his accomplishments were duly noted by Zombie, who said, “It seems he gave everybody important in this business their start, people like Martin Scorsese, Ron Howard, and so many others.”

For more than half a century, Corman has made over 150 horror films, and is still producing an impressive slate of projects. Tales of his productions are legendary, and it is true that he shot the classic Little Shop of Horrors in just three days.

“I want to tell you one of the great Roger Corman stories that I’ve heard,” Zombie told the crowd. “They say he’s notorious for being cheap and thrifty, which is genius. He was filming Rock’n’Roll High School, and the story goes that Roger was so cheap, that when they were filming the concert scenes he couldn’t afford to pay for the extras– so he decided to charge them to get in. So everyone who was an extra in Rock’n’Roll High School actually paid to be in the movie. Corman’s a genius,” Zombie said with great admiration.


Zombie’s wife and star of his recent Halloween remake, Sheri Moon, also picked up a trophy, and noted, “I actually shot my first film, The House of 1,000 Corpses on the Universal lot, directed by my husband. Thanks sweetie.”

Don Mancini, who created the killer doll Chucky for the Child’s Play film franchise, got a little political when he received his award. He said, “It occurs to me that all these horror characters in the movies, however vicious and mean they seem to be, they all have a code. Freddy, Jason, Mike Meyers and those guys, they kill teenagers who engage in pre-marital sex. Jigsaw kills only people who don’t appreciate their lives. Hannibal Lecter kills only the rude. Chucky kills the weak-ankled. But they all live by a code.

They don’t kill for profit, they don’t kill merely for power. So I want to paraphrase some recent words by the immortal Sally Field, basically by saying, if Chucky, and Freddy and Jason and all these guys ran the world, there wouldn’t be any goddamn wars. The reason for that is, unlike certain governments, these fictitious horror characters always insist on having plausible motivation for killing people.” Now that’s scary.

Patricia Arquette became one of the horror genre’s most promising stars, thanks to her work in Nightmare on Elm Street’s dream sequences. Now she’s the award-winning star of NBC’s Medium, still having nightmares.

Since she was busy filming, her brother David Arquette accepted her Eyegore Award. David’s no stranger to the genre, being part of the Scream movies, where he met his wife Courteney Cox (of Friends fame).

The fun-loving David came in a glitzy Zorro outfit, and reported that his sister said “it was okay if I shamelessly plugged my DVD, The Tripper, coming out October 23.” David was the star, producer, director, writer and even did the soundtrack for The Tripper. Oh yeah, he also put his wife in the film.


Over the years Universal Studios has made classic films about monsters and mummies and murderous dolls. And more are coming.

Scheduled for release next July is Mummy 3, Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, from producer Stephen Sommers, directed by Rob Cohen starring Brendan Fraser and Jet Li.

Also upcoming, The Incredible Hulk starring Edward Norton as Bruce Banner; The Creature from the Black Lagoon with Bill Paxton; and  The Wolf Man starring Benicio Del Toro, adding fresh blood to the horror classic.

Frank Barron is the former editor of The Hollywood Reporter, having served twice in that capacity. In between, he was West Coast news director for Billboard Publications, supervising their five magazines. Barron also created the western TV series “The Man From Blackhawk” for the ABC network. For more than three decades he and writer-wife Margie Barron have covered Hollywood for Production Update magazine, and they currently contribute to numerous publications. Frank started in showbiz as publicity director for the KHJ radio and television station. Before moving to California, he was a sports editor in New Jersey.