ONE DARK NIGHT PRODUCTION
Production was under way in 1982. An interior replica of the Hollywood Mausoleum was built from masonite, plywood and plastic, over a period of three weeks. Another week was devoted to matching the marble look of the walls. Production designer Craig Stearns had worked on creating sets for John Carpenter classics like Halloween, The Fog and Assault on Precinct 13. The art department prepared vans as coroner’s vans, when in reality there are only three coroner’s vans in Los Angeles.
Bob Summers weaved an atmospheric, foreboding score replete with creeping violins and ominous synthesizers; he also scored The Boogens a year prior. As effective as the score turned out to be, the director had something else in mind. "I had nothing against the score, I was just upset that I wasn’t a part of the process. It’s as if Chuck had to pee on the film to mark his little territory."
The film’s caretaker Martin Nosseck ran an independent projection room in Hollywood. "He created a place where filmmakers could run their dailies. Mike Hawes and I worked as projectionists. He would tell us stories about Howard Hughes. He always wanted to be in a movie. We used to tell him that if we ever made one, we’d put him in it. After we shot his scene, Martin said ‘God bless you. I always wanted to be in a movie and now I finally got to. The next morning, he died. We had no idea he was so sick. By the time they had his funeral, there was his check for his work – it just said Martin Nosseck: Rest in Peace."
As with many movies in
post-production, the ending was changed by the executives. "Our original
ending had the Steadicam moving through an empty crypt, telling the audience
we’re all going to end up here one day" the director explained. The
actual scripted ending was quite different and almost set up a sequel as
McLoughlin explains. "Meg Tilly looks at the camera and we see in her eyes
a hint that Raymar’s powers have passed on to her. It was to bookend the movie