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ABOUT THE PERFORMERS
JOBETH WILLIAMS portrays Diane Freeling in "Poltergeist II:the Other Side," recreating the heroic yet terrified housewife who was "willing to go to hell and back to save her child," as she in the 1982 hit thriller, "Poltergeist."
Since then, Williams has starred in a variety of motion pictures, including writer/director Lawrence Kasdan's 1983 hit ensemble drama, "The Big Chill," and "Desert Bloom," which she completed along with Jon Voight and Ellen Barkin just prior to the start of production on "Poltergeist II." Over the past three years, she has also starred in two outstanding movies for television –– "Adam," for which she received an Emmy nomination as Best Actress, and "The Day After."
Following her graduation from Brown University, Williams' extracurricular interest in acting evolved from a diversion into a passion. She elected to leave academia behind, joining the prestigious Trinity Repertory Theatre in Rhode Island at first and later to other regional companies.
After honing her stage skills at the Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia, the Charles Theatre in Boston, and at the Arena Theatre in Washington D.C., she moved to New York and began a two and a half year stretch in such daytime television dramas as "The Guiding Light" and "Somerset."
Williams made her New York stage debut off-Broadway in Weller's "Moonchildren." Her other notable theatre credits include the American premiere of D.H. Lawrence's "The Daughter-In-Law," "Uncle Vanya," "A Couple of White Chicks Sittin' Around Talkin'," "Ladyhouse Blues,' and "Gardenia."
Following her 1979 motion picture debut in "Kramer Vs. Kramer," Williams appeared in "Stir Crazy" and "Dogs of War." After being brought to national attention by "Poltergeist" in 1982, she went on to star in Alan Rudolph's "Endangered Species," "The Big Chill," "American Dreamers," "Teachers" and "Desert Bloom" before rejoining the Freeling family for "Poltergeist II."
Since starring as Steve Freeling in "Poltergeist," CRAIG T. NELSON has added such motion pictures as "Silkwood," "The Killing Fields," and "All The Right Moves" to his growing list of credits. His most prominent achievement during the past four years, however, was the television series, "Call To Glory," in which he portrayed U.S. Air Force Colonel Raynor Sarnac. Shortly before the release of "Poltergeist II," Nelson was seen in the starring role of the television movie, "Alex, The Life of a Child."
Born, raised and educated through high school in Spokane, Washington, Nelson attended two colleges in the state of Washington before enrolling at the University of Arizona to study drama. He continued his acting training through a scholarship to the Oxford Theatre in Los Angeles, where he and a fellow student, Barry Levinson, first broke into the industry as comedy writers, along with Rudy DeLuca, for the popular "Lohman and Barkley Radio Show." He and his writing partners were awarded with local Emmy Awards for their efforts in 1969 and 1970.
Nelson continued to write during the next three years, adding such television programs as "The Tim Conway Show" and an Alan King special to his credits. He also made guest appearances on most of the major television talk shows, and even on the then-hit comedy series, "The Mary Tyler Moore Show."
In 1973, Nelson and his family moved to a retreat in the Mt. Shasta area of northern California, returning to the industry after four and a half years to produce a series of fifty-two half-hour films documenting the rural lifestyles of many contemporary artists, entitled "American Still." 1978 brought Nelson back in Los Angeles, where he appeared on such television series as "Charlie's Angels," "Wonder Woman," "How the West Was Won," "The White Shadow," "WKRP in Cincinnati," and later, "Private Benjamin" and "Paper Dolls."
In 1979, Nelson made his motion picture debut in "And Justice For All." He added "The Formula," "Where the Buffalo Roam," "Private Benjamin," and "Stir Crazy" to his list of credits before starring in "Poltergeist" in 1982. Since then, Nelson has appeared in five additional films, including "A Man, A Woman and A Child" and "The Osterman Weekend" as well as "Silkwood," "All The Right Moves" and "The Killing Fields."
Nelson's television movie credits are extensive, and include "Diary of a Teenage Hitchhiker," "Inmates: A Love Story," "Murder in Texas," "Rage," "Toast of Manhattan" and "Chicago Story," which gave birth to the series of the same name in which Nelson also starred.
HEATHER O'ROURKE made her motion picture debut at the age of five as little Carol Anne in "Poltergeist." By the time principal photography had been completed on "Poltergeist II" she had nearly turned ten –– yet even now, she is same blonde-haired, blue-eyed darling whose innocent love is a beacon to the forces of darkness that will not leave the Freeling family alone.
Discovered by Steven Spielberg in the MGM Commissary while lunching with her mother and older sister, Tammy, Heather was no stranger to the entertainment industry before her motion picture debut. She had already appeared in numerous commercials, including one of McDonald's longest running on-air ads, and a much-aired spot for Mattel's "My First Barbie" campaign.
Following her smashing movie debut, Heather co-starred as Linda Purl's bright and beautiful daughter on the popular prime-time comedy series, "Happy Days." She has also made guest appearances on such other series as "Fantasy Island," "Maserati and the Brain, and had a recurring role on "Webster."
Born in San Diego, Heather lives in with her parents and sister in Big Bear, California. A fifth grader, she has served as student body president of her school, and enjoys studying English and social studies. She loves outdoor sports of all kinds, and has a special friend in Bee, her St. Bernard.
When asked if making the "Poltergeist" films frightened her, Heather remarks, "No. They were just movies, and I had fun making them." Her favorite scene? "At the breakfast table in the first movie, because we got to fight and throw things at each other."
As Robbie, the young man of the Freeling family, OLIVER ROBINS was snatched from the safety of his own bed by a gnarled tree with an appetite for small children in "Poltergeist." Four years may have elapsed, but they still know how to scare Robbie –– and in "Poltergeist II," they have something especially shocking in mind for Steve and Diane's only son.
Born in Miami Beach, Florida, Oliver reached his fourteenth birthday shortly after the completion of principal photography on "Poltergeist II." Since making his motion picture debut as one of the frightened Freelings in 1982, Robins has appeared in two motion pictures, "Airplane II" and "Million Dollar Infield," and a suspenseful television movie, "Don't Go To Sleep." Most recently, he appeared in an episode of the popular new "Twilight Zone" series.
Outside of his acting career, Oliver keeps himself busy as the writer, producer and director of his own film projects. At the time he completed his duties on "Poltergeist II," he had completed two films –– "The Day Pac Man Ate The Earth," and "Egg Deco: The Egg Adventure" –– and had just finished the script for "Slim's Crystal," his third.
To create these fifteen minute-long animated shorts, Oliver serves as both artist and cameraman. He explains that the secret of his success is his IBM PC, which he keeps in his programming room at home.
Now residing in Los Angeles with his family, Oliver is a ninth grader at present.
As the malevolent Reverend Henry Kane, the dark spectre who casts a shadow of annihilation across the loving Freelings, JULIAN BECK offers a devastating portrait of evil in his final screen performance.
In 1947 Beck and his wife, Judith Malina, co-founded the Living Theatre, an experimental theatre troupe which reached the height of its influence on the New York scene in the late Fifties and Sixties. Both political activists, Beck and Malina's acts of civil disobedience led to arrests and jail terms both at home and abroad. When their Greenwich Village theatre was closed in l974, the Living Theatre continued to perform in cities overseas, where its work was highly acclaimed.
Born in the Washington Heights section of Manhattan, Beck attended Yale and initially pursued abstract expressionist painting before devoting himself to "the work." In the early Sixties, he and Malina began to refine and combine their own techniques with those proposed by Artaud, who believed that a "theatre of cruelty" could shock passive theatre-goers into interacting with the material.
From this concept Beck and Malina developed what they described as collective creations –– and through such works as "Paradise Now," "Antigone" and "Frankenstein," their Living Theatre achieved its greatest renown. In 1984, the troupe returned to New York for the first time in ten years to present "The Archaeology of Sleep."
Prior to "Poltergeist II," Beck's most recent accomplishments included an appearance in "The Cotton Club" for director Francis Coppola, multiple appearances on the daytime drama, "All My Children," and an episode of "Miami Vice" which aired during the 1985-86 television season.
Following completion of his performing chores on "Poltergeist II," Beck had planned to reopen the Living Theatre in New York; one of its first productions was to be based upon the poems of LeRoi Jones, a.k.a. Imamu Amiri Baraka.
Julian Beck succumbed to cancer on September 14, 1985.
In "Poltergeist," ZELDA RUBINSTEIN portrayed psychic Tangina Barrons as a woman whose knowledge and inner strength inspired courage in others. Four years later, Rubinstein returns to a character whose own fears are ignited by the strength of the adversary she must help the Freelings confront.
Since originating the role of the diminutive medium in 1982, Rubinstein has appeared in the motion picture, "Sixteen Candles" for director John Hughes. She has also added various television movies and series to her list of credits, including "Eye to Eye," "Jennifer Slept Here," "Matt Houston," "I Gave at the Office," and "Whiz Kids."
Prior to "Poltergeist," Rubinstein appeared in such motion pictures as "Under the Rainbow," "Die Laughing," and "Americathon." Her stage credits are extensive, and include "Three Confessions" and "1984," performed at the Cast Theatre in Hollywood; "Slab Boys," performed at the Back Alley Theatre in Los Angeles; and "Deathtrap," performed at the Town and Gown Theatre in Birmingham, Alabama.
Rubinstein has also appeared as a guest on numerous talk shows, including "Today," "Mike Douglas," and "Entertainment Tonight."
WILL SAMPSON brings a lifetime of knowledge about his people and their culture to the role of Taylor, a native American shaman whose mysterious presence guides and protects the Freeling family during their dreadful ordeal in "Poltergeist II." A full-blooded member of the Musgokee tribe, Sampson himself is a shaman, a man who sees the practice of his religion as a path toward helping others.
Born in Okmulgee, Oklahoma, Sampson is an artist, a teacher and a gallery owner, a self-taught painter who sold his first work at the age of three. He discovered his love of acting when he was offered the role of Chief Bromden in "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest," in which he starred alongside Jack Nicholson. Sampson earned a Best Supporting Actor nomination for his performance in "Cuckoo's Nest," his first film.
Since then, Sampson has starred in such films as "Buffalo Bill and the Indians," "The Outlaw Josey Wales," "White Buffalo," "Orca" and "Old Fish Hawk," a role which earned him the Toronto Film Festival's Best Foreign Actor Award in 1979. He has also appeared on such television series as "Vega$," and in such mini-series as "Alcatraz" and "From Here to Eternity."
Sampson's recent activities include the mini-series, "Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee," based upon the book by Dee Brown. In addition, he recently narrated a PBS film series, "Images of the Indian," which examines stereotyping of the American Indian in the motion picture industry. He founded the American Indian Registry for the Performing Arts, and serves as a director on the board of the American Indian Film Institute.
A loving and clairvoyant woman who provides special guidance to her daughter, Diane, and her grand-daughter, little Carol Anne, in our world and on "the other side," Gramma Jess is portrayed by GERALDINE FITZGERALD. "Poltergeist II" is the distinguished actress' forty-third motion picture, in a screen career that began over five decades ago with "Open All Night." Her American movie career began with "Dark Victory" in 1939, in which she joined Bette Davis, George Brett and Humphrey Bogart.
Fitzgerald received her first Oscar nomination for her second motion picture performance –– as Laurence Olivier's maltreated wife in "Wuthering Heights." Since that time, she has secured a position as one of the most respected actresses on the stage as well as the screen, with countless plays to her credit. Fitzgerald's television accomplishments are numerous as well, and include an Emmy as Best Actress for her performance in the NBC daytime special, "Rodeo Red and the Runaway."
Most recently, she surprised critics and audiences alike with her outrageous comedic antics in "Arthur" and "Easy Money." Similar praise greeted her performances in the television mini-series, "Kennedy," in which she portrayed Rose Kennedy, and in the television movie, "Do You Remember Love," in which she played Joanne Woodward's mother.
Fitzgerald toured the nation successfully prior to joining the cast of "Poltergeist II" with "Streetsongs," a one-woman singing show televised by PBS and recorded as an album. She made her theatrical directing debut in 1980 with "Mass Appeal," for which she received a Tony nomination, and has since gone on to establish herself as one of New York's most successful woman directors.
Recently, she directed Joseph Papp's all-black production of "Long Day's Journey Into Night;" the off-Broadway hit, "The Return of Herbert Bracewell;" as well as two productions which were running with this writing –– Carol Hall's musical, "To Whom It May Concern," and Bill C. Davis' "Wrestlers."
On April 21, 1986, Fitzgerald was inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame in Broadway's Gershwin Theatre. She was the first actress to receive New York's Handel Medallion, and she holds an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree from Aldephi University.
ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER FREDDIE FIELDS has distinguished himself in virtually every area of the entertainment industry. During his career he has founded and operated one of the world's largest talent agencies, served as the president of a major motion picture studio, and produced a gallery of feature films showcasing some of Hollywood's finest artists.
Fields' producing accomplishments include "Looking for Mr. Goodbar," directed by Richard Brooks and starring Diane Keaton; "American Gigolo," written and directed by Paul Schrader and starring Richard Gere; "Victory," directed by John Huston and starring Sylvester Stallone, Michael Caine and Pele; "Lipstick;" the critically acclaimed "Citizen's Band;" and "Fever Pitch," directed by Richard Brooks and starring Ryan O'Neal. In addition, Fields presented the remarkable drama, "The Year of Living Dangerously," directed by Peter Weir and starring Mel Gibson, Sigourney Weaver and Linda Hunt.
In addition to "Poltergeist II," Fields' credits as an executive producer now include "American Anthem," directed by Albert Magnoli and starring Mitch Gaylord. He is currently producing the motion picture adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy, "Crimes of the Heart," which Bruce Beresford will direct starring Diane Keaton, Jessica Lange, Sissy Spacek and Sam Shepard.
Prior to entering film production, Fields founded Creative Management Associates (CMA), which flourishes today as International Creative Management (ICM). Fields' roster of talent at CMA included Robert Redford, Al Pacino, Paul Newman, Robert DeNiro, Gene Hackman, Michael Caine, Woody Allen, Barbra Streisand, Jacqueline Bisset, Liza Minnelli, Steve McQueen, and such renowned directors as Arthur Penn, Steven Spielberg, Bob Fosse, Mel Brooks, Sidney Pollack, George Lucas, Francis Coppola and George Roy Hill.
"Towering Inferno," "Dog Day Afternoon," "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," "Papillon," "The Sting," "American Graffiti," "Star Wars," and "The Godfather" are just a few of the dozens of major motion pictures which were "packaged" under Fields' guidance during his years with CMA.
As representative for the legendary Judy Garland, Fields presented and produced her virtuoso concert at Carnegie Hall and the resulting double album, which went double-platinum.
Fields also conceived and created the First Artists Production Company with clients Paul Newman, Steve McQueen, Barbra Streisand, Sidney Poitier and Dustin Hoffman, thereby forming the first independent cooperative film company in some fifty years.
In 1981, Fields was named President of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Film Co.'s motion picture production division. After serving for a year in that capacity for MGM/UA Entertainment Co., he became President and Chief Executive Officer of MGM Film Co. During his tenure, MGM enjoyed the success of such films as "WarGames," "Octopussy," "A Christmas Story," and "Rocky III."
Fields serves of the Board of Directors of the American Film Institute (AFI) as well as the Los Angeles International Film Exposition (Filmex).
WRITERS-PRODUCERS MICHAEL GRAIS and MARK VICTOR are making their motion picture producing debut with "Poltergeist II." These long-time collaborators are the sole writers of the film's screenplay, which continues the frightening tale of a family besieged by the forces of darkness first told in "Poltergeist."
Close friends since childhood, Victor and Grais began their careers with scripts for such popular television series as "Baretta," "Starsky and Hutch," and "Kojak." Their first motion picture screenplay to be produced was "Death Hunt," released in 1981 starring Charles Bronson.
Asked by Steven Spielberg to write "Poltergeist" after spending an evening trading ghost stories at the filmmaker's home, Victor and Grais ultimately co-wrote the script with Spielberg. In 1984, studio executives approached the writing team again in the hope they would consider a follow-up to their chilling hit.
"Friends told us they wanted to see a new film," explains Grais, "and we were interested in continuing the story of the original characters. Had any one of the original cast members backed out, the project probably would have fallen apart."
"Our decision to write the script around the same family was a gamble, since JoBeth, Craig, the kids and Zelda were not under contract to do a sequel," explains Victor. "And because it's a continuation of the first film, this has been an ambitious and demanding project from the very beginning."
Their emergence as producers of the film is a logical progression, it seems, since both Victor and Grais believe that "the vision of a movie is really the combination of the vision of the writer and the director." And writers are seldom asked to participate in the selection of a director.
Obviously, Brian Gibson's vision was closest to the one shared by Grais, Victor and executive producer Freddie Fields for the creation of "Poltergeist II." Today, the new hyphenates call their first producing experience as "the thrill of a lifetime for us –– it has been a great experience," says Grais.
With various new motion picture projects in development, Victor and Grais have a new ambition –– "to develop our screenplays with directors, as much as possible." They intend to continue to write many, if not all, of their motion picture projects, and have recently agreed to develop television projects for MGM as well.
For the moment, however, both Grais and Victor really have only one thing on their minds –– "Poltergeist II."
"We have great special effects. We have a lot of scares that are really gonna work for the audience. We have the humanity that the first movie had, and we've added a new, spiritual quality as well. There are a lot of expectations out there, and we think they'll be fulfilled," Victor concludes.
DIRECTOR BRIAN GIBSON is making his American motion picture debut with "Poltergeist II." His previous accomplishments include the musical New Wave cult hit, "Breaking Glass," which was released in the United States in 1983.
Described by executive producer Freddie Fields as "the director with the greatest passion for the material," Gibson was one of four directors who expressed interest in the project after reading the script. Yet it was not until after a meeting with Fields, producers Victor and Grais, and JoBeth Williams that Gibson himself realized just how strongly he felt about making "Poltergeist II."
"It had been a long meeting, and I decided to take a walk and get some air," Gibson recalls. "I began thinking about everything we had talked about, and it just suddenly struck me that this was really a film I wanted to make –– it was no longer hypothetical, but something I really wanted."
A British native, Gibson trained to become a doctor before entering the entertainment industry as a medical and scientific documentary filmmaker for the BBC. Along with several colleagues, Gibson produced the acclaimed British series, "Horizon," which later spawned the award-winning documentary series, "Nova."
In 1976, Gibson received his first British Academy Award for "Joey," a documentary filmed for "Horizon" which later aired on "Nova" as well. In 1980, his acclaimed "Blue Remembered Hills" was named Best Television Play of the Year by the British Academy.
Following the making of "Breaking Glass," Gibson began to write and direct for American television as well. One of his first accomplishments was "Gossip in the Forest," which won a Silver Medal at the New York Television Film Festival.
His invitation to join the "Poltergeist II" team did not cone as a complete surprise to Gibson, as he explains.
"In February, 1983, while I was in New York, a friend introduced me to Jill Cook, a psychic. At that time, of course, I was very skeptical, since my background was in documentaries about scientific facts based solely on empirical evidence. But I was intrigued, so I agreed to a reading, which we recorded."
Cook predicted that in late 1984, Gibson would receive a script "out of the blue" for a film he would ultimately direct. And while she did not name the project, Gibson did in fact receive one somewhat unexpectedly in November, 1984 –– "Poltergeist II."
By that time, Gibson and Cook had become friends, and throughout the busy months that preceded the start of production, he had occasion to talk to her by telephone at her home in Florida. Her predictions included the selection of Will Sampson, whom she named, and of another she did not name who would survive a serious illness only long enough to complete his work in the film.
"Today, I know there are things that are beyond evidence. Things that have to do with perspective, and with faith and belief, that you can't necessarily find hard evidence of. That's the nature of them –– that's what they're for. They're there to challenge what we believe in," Gibson observes.
"Over ninety-five percent of our work on this film took place on the sound stage," explains DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY ANDREW LASZLO, "inside and outside the house, within the cave, and out in the desert. Had we attempted to film all of this on actual location, we would not have had the control necessary for the unusual action required for our special effects, nor would we have been able to give the film the larger than life quality we were looking for.
Above all else, the most important thing was to give the film a very special look –– serving the dictates of the story and making it believable, while at the same time a bit larger than life –– and I think that is what we've achieved."
Laszlo began his career during the golden age of television, with such series as "Mama," "The Phil Silvers Show," and "Naked City." He has added such recent motion pictures as "Remo," "Streets of Fire" and "First Blood" to his long list of accomplishments.
Among Laszlo's most notable film credits are "Thieves," "The Warriors," "Class of '44," "The Owl and The Pussycat," "The Out of Towners," and "Popi." His extensive television credits also include the mini-series "Shogun," "The Dain Curse" and "Washington: Behind Closed Doors," and the television movies "Thin Ice," "Man Without A Country," "Teacher, Teacher," and "The Cliffdwellers." VISUAL EFFECTS SUPERVISOR RICHARD EDLUND got his start in the business with veteran special photographic effects expert Joe Westheimer, through an application Edlund had submitted to the California Department of Employment in Los Angeles. "I didn't have any relatives in the business," Edlund jokes. Even he admits "it's one of the oddest ways I've ever heard of to get started in motion pictures."
Through Westheimer's work on television commercials and series, including the legendary "Star Trek" programs, Edlund supplemented his knowledge of the techniques and technology of photography with a thorough understanding of optical effects and trick photography. Today Edlund is the master, guiding the skills of hundreds through the various phases of effects work on such films as "Star Wars," "The Empire Strikes Back," "Return of the Jedi," "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," "Raiders of the Lost Ark," "Poltergeist," "Ghostbusters," "2010," and currently, nearly a half-dozen upcoming features including "Poltergeist II."
A four-time Academy Award-winner for his work, Edlund is also the man who founded Industrial Light & Magic, Inc., a division of Lucasfilm Ltd., for George Lucas. He now heads Boss Film Co., which maintains one of the world's most sophisticated effects facilities in Marina Del Rey, California.
Since the birth of Boss Film Co., Edlund has found that he has begun to lose contact with his first love –– photography. "Since 'Empire,' I've gradually been losing intimate contact with the camera," Edlund relates, "and now, my function is more that of a producer. I have many, many talented people, and I work to guide them as much as I can, but they work to guide me as well, since they have all outstripped my particular expertise in any one aspect of their individual fields."
Yet Edlund seems more than satisfied with the direction his success is taking him. "Before too long, I'll be looking to begin producing movies, and I've found that to be a fairly creative activity."
PRODUCTION DESIGNER TED HAWORTH cut his filmmaking teeth on such classic science fiction films as "War of the Worlds," the original "Invasion of the Bodysnatchers," and "Flight To Mars." Haworth won an Academy Award for his contributions to "Sayonara."
"The greatest challenge on a film of this scale," observes Haworth, "is the coordination of all the different art departments, visual effects, special effects, construction, scheduling and budget. And that really can be dominated by only one man, and that's the director. My art end of it has to embrace all those different departments and accommodate them in every way possible –– in the best interests of the film and the director."
"We used a crew of sixty-five people to begin with on Stage 30, to reproduce Gramma Jess' house and yard, which took approximately ten weeks. At the same time, we had teams working on several other locations –– Cuesta Verde, the real house, the cavern on Stage 27 –– so our total crew was much larger than that."
The tale behind the house –– and the mirror-image created under Haworth's guidance on Stage 30 –– is illustrative of the painstaking detail that hallmarks the entire production.
"After a great deal of searching, I found the house on a Sunday. One of its most interesting features is the lot itself, which is not just an ordinary, flat lot. To duplicate its terrain meant we would have to defy all the usual rules of putting a set on a sound stage –– but it also meant that the terrain of the set would convince any audience that the entire film was shot on location. Ultimately, we went to massive effort to enhance the real house on location, and then to duplicate its exterior precisely back at the studio. The interior of the set was far more interesting than the house itself, since we did very little interior work on location."
"For the set, we constructed a platform that covered over 75% of the stage floor, and was ten feet higher at the rear than at the front. At the lower end, we built the house, including the entire first floor interior and exterior, and the entire second floor exterior. On the high end of the platform, we added Taylor's camp and the garage, complete with the family station wagon. In the remaining area of the stage, we constructed the interior of the second floor on several different levels, to accommodate staircases, turns in the hallways, and other details."
"To all of this, we added the entire exterior and interior environments –– natural grass, trees, hedges, flowers, mountains and sky on the outside, furnishings, fixtures, and the entire range of personal belongings on the inside."
"Throughout this process, we had to accommodate the need to shake the entire set for certain sequences –– a problem we solved by constructing it all atop huge truck inner-tubes, and hanging portions of the house from the rafters so that we could rock the whole house manually on cue."
"As a result, we were able to move from dawn to midday to dusk to midnight, all on the same stage within a few hours," says Haworth.
The final effect? Undetectable, even to the trained eye, just as effective an illusion as the cavern created on Stage 27.
"The cavern itself was about sixty-four feet in diameter and about eighteen feet high. The entrance was constructed at the top, and led down a narrow series of corridors and channels down into a pool of water just outside the main cavern. Altogether, the set was over a hundred and twenty feet in length."
"The end result was a synthesis of sketches made by Giger, pictures that I made, sculptures that we made to tie into those illustrations, and the final approach of casting it, cutting it in sections, building it and decorating it."
As Haworth concludes, "It was a nightmare to look at. It was clear from the moment you got beyond the entranceway that you were in a life-threatening situation. And the farther in you go, the spookier, steeper and more slippery it gets. Deadly."
Just like the film itself.
CONCEPTUAL ARTIST H.R. GIGER was brought aboard the "Poltergeist II" team by director Brian Gibson, who had first become acquainted with Giger's extraordinarily horrific themes in connection with another project. That film never went before the cameras, yet Gibson happily called him at his home in Switzerland soon after beginning his involvement with "Poltergeist II," hoping Giger would be available to help create the creatures and aspects of the environment essential to the project.
"He immediately started working," Gibson recalls. "He is a compulsive worker, and before the negotiations were finished, I began getting sketches in the mail –– nightmares and dreams he had captured, things he would clutch out of his imagination. We would review them over the telephone, and then he would take them to a further stage by painting them in detail."
Giger's world-famous imagination was first brought to motion picture audiences in "Alien," the disturbing science fiction thriller for which he received an Academy Award. Today, his paintings are shown in galleries all over Europe.
After finishing his studies at the age of twenty-four, Giger pursued a career as an industrial designer and architect for approximately three years. During this time, he slowly began to paint at night and later, to sculpt. Ultimately, he abandoned his design career to concentrate exclusively on what he calls his "free art."
While Giger's work contributed significantly to several aspects of the film, his most frightening concept was that of the Great Beast –– an earthly incarnation of the long-dead Reverend Kane, which begins its existence as a worm at the bottom of a bottle of tequila that is accidentally ingested by Steve Freeling. It is a creature that even frightens Giger himself.
"When I ask, 'What should the Great Beast look like,' they asked, 'What scares you the most?' That was very, very difficult for me," Giger recalls. "A worm under my skin, or something in my body –– that horrifies me the most. Then they asked, 'Can you do more?' That's even more difficult. At last, it's the transformation of the worm into the beast –– nothing could be scarier than that. They liked that."
With the exception of several briefs trips to Los Angeles, Giger performed his work for "Poltergeist II" from his studio in Switzerland. His long-time, Los Angeles-based assistant, Connie DeFreese, assisted in bringing Giger's work to the screen.
COMPOSER JERRY GOLDSMITH received an Academy Award nomination for his musical contributions to "Poltergeist" in 1982. In "Poltergeist II," he again contributes one of his finest efforts, punctuating the entire range of the film's events and emotions.
A native of Los Angeles, Goldsmith studied piano with Jacob Gimpel and music composition, harmony and theory with Mario Casteinuovo Tedesco. After teaching music for a time, he joined CBS Radio to do his own show, and then moved on to others. His earliest scoring efforts were for such classic television programs as "Playhouse 90," "Studio One," and "Gunsmoke.
One of the most sought-after composers in the industry, Goldsmith has won thirteen Oscar, six Emmy and six Grammy nominations to date. In 1976 he received his first Best Original Score Academy Award for "The Omen."
He has won Emmys for his work on "The Red Pony," "QB VII," "Babe," and "Masada." His most well-known television series theme, for "The Man From U.N.C.L.E.," was also Emmy-nominated.
Goldsmith's long list of Academy Award nominated scores include "Freud," "A Patch of Blue," "The Sand Pebbles," "Planet of the Apes," "Patton," "Papillon," "The Wind and The Lion" and "Star Trek: The Motion Picture."
His recent work includes "Alien," "First Blood," "Under Fire," "Gremlins," and "Rambo: First Blood, Part II."
As of May 1, 1986, the advertising billing block for "Poltergeist II: The Other Side" contains the following information:
A Freddie Fields Presentation of a Victor-Grais Production starring JoBeth Williams and Craig T. Nelson, "Poltergeist II: The Other Side" also stars Heather O'Rourke, Oliver Robins, Julian Beck, Zelda Rubinstein, Will Sampson, and Geraldine Fitzgerald.
The film features music by Jerry Goldsmith. Andrew Laszlo, A.S.C. is the director of photography, and Richard Edlund serves as visual effects supervisor. H.R. Giger serves as the film's conceptual artist, and Lynn Arost as the film's associate producer.
The film's executive producer is Freddie Fields. Written and produced by Michael Grais and Mark Victor, "Poltergeist II: The Other Side" is directed by Brian Gibson.
The film begins its worldwide theatrical engagements on May 23rd, 1986. It will be distributed throughout the United States and Canada by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and throughout the rest of the world by United International Pictures.