Wessex Hotel Doorman
What is NOTTFO?
NOTTFO stands for "Nightmare on the 13th Floor Online" and is the leading online authority on the film "Nightmare on the 13th Floor". It is, hopefully, one of the most definitely and comprehensive online resource guides ever created to honor a movie, and I hope that I have discussed everything that could possibly be discussed, in regards to the movie.
For more information on NOTTFO, please visit the About NOTTFO section of this guide.
What kind of information is contained within the site?
Everything you can think of, in regards to the movie. There are a ton of features, but the focal point would have to be the site's Walkthrough/Analysis - 1,700 images, and a comprehensive 397 printed pages worth of content, covering everything of a psychological, spiritual, cultural, mathematical, scientific, architectural, musical, artistical, historical or literary nature.
What made you want to cover this movie?
This movie is very near and dear to my heart and I have always loved it. Will always, too. It's one that I saw when I was very young, and one that I have never forgotten. It is a solid movie with a good cast, excellent music, beautiful filming locations, stylish props and decorum and a very, very engaging storyline. So many people have not seen it, or just do not give it the credit it deserves, and I feel that my efforts to preserve this classic are welcome to some. That and the whole concept of a hidden, or missing floor... everyone is oblivious to the hidden floor, and it's amazing that no one (besides Alan Lanier and Elaine Kalisher) has ever been able to figure this out. The concept of the frieze, blocking off stairwell access, and elevator access... even the hotel's layout. I guess being a carpenter, all of the architectural subtleties in the movie really get me excited. Plus having taken psychology, I feel like I can really get into the characters heads and feel as if I can personally relate to each and every one of the characters.
You have to remember that the movie was created in a time when television censorship was at it's highest. Foul language is kept to a minimum, there is absolutely no nudity, and there is no blood and gore. With a small budget and so many filming limitations, suspensfulness became the key to delivering a successful film. Creative camera usage, eloquent decorum and elaborate architecture help to set the stage. Mix in the stunning and suspensful score, a cast of characters who gave it their all, and a clever script, and you are able to produce an astounding movie, with a ton of limitations or not.
I think that what really drew a lot of people in would be a combination of the name and box artwork. VHS box covers had to be a little more imaginative in those days (versus DVD covers today). In a time before streaming internet videos and television "on-demand" channels, video rental was always a popular choice for being able to find something to watch, other than regular cable television channel line-ups. So many people would walk the aisles of their local video rental store, eagerly searching for something eye-catching. The picture of a man with an axe (the focal point being black on red), gargoyles, the number 13 and word "nightmare" are all elements that helped to draw in renters. And what I understand, those things were indeed what caught the attention of so many. Unfortunately, with the waining popularity of VHS, and the fact that there is no official DVD release, so many people have slowly forgotten about this movie. Not only am I wanting to introduce the movie to those who have never seen it, I am hoping that my site will bring the movie back into the subconscious of the populace and help to induce memories of the movie in the minds of all those who first saw it in 1990. May the movie live on forever.
What are your most favorite parts of the movie?
The whole process of Elaine slowly putting everything together is exciting. I think filmwise my favorite part would be the epic chase sequence at the end. It gets my heart racing every time!
What are your least favorite parts of the movie?
Are you kidding? I don't have any! Well, I guess if I had to choose, it would definitely be the untimely death of Mrs. Beecher for starters. So much empathy was gained for her through the course of her and Elaine's exchanges, to see her scared, alone, and then tragically and brutally murdered... oh, I hate that! Other than that, it would be our sweet engineer Gail Myers' untimely death, followed by the explosion and destruction of the 13th Floor. Gail is just as sweet as Mrs. Beecher and there is a lot of empathy built up for her as well. As for the explosion, what a waste of a perfectly good floor! Hopefully it can be saved as structural load-bearing elements were spared, due to a combination of cinder-block walls and flame retardant plaster standard of the time.
Which cast member do you like the most?
I love all of them. I honestly do not love any one of them more or less than any other. Each and every character, even the bit part actors, helped to make this movie a smashing success. It was a cumulative effort and the movie is a culmination of all of these gifted individuals. I love each and every one of them, and do not feel that any of the characters deviated from putting an entire 100% of their devotion into making this movie spectacular. I thank each and every one of them for the part they played, no matter how big or small, and thank them for helping to make this movie great.
On the site's About page, you mention the movie gave you nightmares for two years!? Can you
Two years consist of 730.5 days... Oh, you mean about the nightmares? Really it was only one nightmare, but it was recurring, meaning I had it several times throughout the course of those two years. It didn't happen every night - only off and on, but it's one dream or nightmare I would never forget - same as the movie that helped to spark them. I was in a hotel, although it more resembled hell. I believe their were two floors (although I guess there could have been three). Everything was on fire and everything and everyone was a blood red. All of the "people", including myself were "devils"... you know, the stereotypical hollywood image: bright red with horns and pointed tail... I was a little devil, all of the male devils were evil and carried axes, and all of the female devils were friendly and would do whatever they could to help me out. I remember running through the "halls", being chased by the male devils and I remember the female devils sheltering me in the "female devils" restroom until the male devils ran by. I remember them letting me out and me running back in the direction I had originally come from, I guess to find an exit. ...And that's all I can remember so I assume that's about the time I would wake up, covered in a cold sweat. The dream would repeat itself for about two years, until it finally went away. But I would never forget it. ...It was just as vivid as the dream Judith had for so long.
Every now and then, working on the site late at night, listening to it's score, I do get a little creeped out. It's all subconscious, I assume, but you can't shake the feeling that somebody might be watching you. Mix that with occassional noises and just an overall creepy ambiance, and I guess a person's imagination can get the best of them.
What do you expect out of the site?
Nothing really, other than the satisfaction of knowing that something I love so dearly has been covered to such exacting standards. I have tried to cover anything and everything that relates to this movie, and if I've missed something I hope to add it in the future. I love this movie and it makes me feel good knowing that you can literally "watch" the movie, through the site. I hope for it to be the most detailed, most definitive and most comprehensive resource companion that anyone could ever ask for.
What do you plan on achieving in the future?
Years ago, I unfortunately lost one of the greatest picture imaging programs that I have ever used, and just haven't been able to reacquire a copy. Because of this, I was forced to create NOTTFO using Paintbrush (which you can probably tell!). I'm happy with the site but I'm not. I have built websites with much smoother graphics and although I could have waited to build this site, I couldn't. So there is a chance that at one point or another in the future I will replace all of the imagery and site graphics with more seemless and high-definition ones. Until then, I'm not too ashamed with the site the way it is to unveil it to the public. I'm sure everyone can understand. Plus it didn't turn out all that bad.
I definitely want to finish interviewing the remainder of the cast and crew, with the exception of the few, who, unfortunately have already met a timely demise... May these actors/actresses rest in peace and know that they are not forgotten.
In the immediate future, I'd like to start working on a printed version of the site. A lot of the site graphics are background images that wouldn't print correctly and the whole white on black wouldn't look right on paper, so I may work on an identical version of the site, that is printer friendly. Eventually I would like to print out the entire site, store the pages in plastic page protectors and keep them in a binder with a built in VHS holder compartment. It would be literally, like an all-in-one combo package. Weird? Maybe. But I guess that's what makes the difference between your average fan and a true fan. With "Nightmare on the 13th Floor," I'm the latter.