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Exclusive pics/comments: How to “BLAST VEGAS” with John Landis and Joe Dante

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Now that the SHARKNADO has finished blowing through, a new threat comes to Syfy as Sin City gets laid low in BLAST VEGAS. Director Jack Perez sent along a few exclusive photos and talked to us about guiding a pair of genre greats in acting roles.

Premiering this Thursday, July 18 at 9/8 Central on Syfy, BLAST VEGAS stars Frankie Muniz, Barry Bostwick (who stole scenes in Perez’s previous SOME GUY WHO KILLS PEOPLE) and Maggie Castle, and sees a group of spring-breaking college kids stealing an ancient relic and unleashing a supernatural sandstorm that lays waste to Vegas. In true Syfy tradition, a giant serpent gets in on the act too. “Originally it was just a sandstorm, and I pushed to add the giant storm-snake [pictured above],” Perez tells Fango. “It looks better when a snake-thing pulls a building down, in my humble opinion.”

For added value, Perez cast two of his directing heroes in BLAST VEGAS’ prologue scene. “John Landis had executive-produced SOME GUY WHO KILLS PEOPLE, so I suggested that he and his buddy Joe Dante play bumbling thieves who steal a cursed Egyptian sword and get wiped out. They both smiled and said, ‘Sure.’ Directing those two filmmaking giants was positively surreal. Like everyone, I was raised on AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON, PIRANHA, THE HOWLING and THE BLUES BROTHERS, and here I was in the hills of Valencia in 110-degree heat, putting .357 Magnums in their hands and having them beat the shit out of a guy! In between takes, we’d jump into an air-conditioned car—there was no budget for a trailer!—and go over the next scenes. Or I would sit back and listen to their amazing Hollywood stories, which was beyond cool.

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“The interesting thing was how quickly both Landis and Dante donned their actor hats,” continues Perez, pictured directing the duo in the 1st photo below, with Bostwick, Castle and Muniz in the 2nd photo and staging the death of Serena (Summer Bishil) in the 3rd. “They both wanted to play the scenes as best they could, and would always politely ask, ‘How was that, Jack? Do we need another one?’ At one point, with some eight pages to shoot that day, I responded to Dante with a slightly distracted, ‘Sure, sure, that was great, Joe.’ He turned to Landis with a crazy grin and said, ‘He sounds just like me!’ I didn’t stop smiling for a week.”

See BLAST VEGAS’ page at Syfy’s website here.

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About the author
Michael Gingold
Michael Gingold has been a member of the FANGORIA team for the past three decades. After starting as a writer for the magazine in 1988, he came aboard as associate editor in 1990 and two years later moved up to managing editor, the position he holds to this day while continuing to contribute numerous articles and reviews.
  • Al

    watching right now. as soon it started i was asking “is that landis? is that dante?!” great scene, and an actually good syfy flick and not just campy good.

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