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Haunting from Home with Tony Gardener

by Natalie Wright
Haunting from Home with Tony Gardener
Known best for the films "127 Hours," "Zombieland Double Tap," "Hocus Pocus," and"Bad Grandpa," as well as his work with Daft Punk, Tony Gardner began his film career working on "Michael Jackson's Thriller" under the auspices of Rick Baker.
His very first independent FX job was an animatronic Half-Corpse for Dan O'Bannon's "The Return of the Living Dead," followed by Chuck Russell's feature film remake of "The Blob." Tony quickly established a reputation for delivering innovative effects work, and was quickly considered one of the most creative and reliable artists in Hollywood and abroad. In 1992, Tony created the disfigured title character for director Sam Raimi's classic film,"Darkman." From there, Tony's career took off. Films as varied as "Hocus Pocus," "Army of Darkness," "Hairspray," and the "Jackass" series followed.

His company Alterian, Inc. is located in Los Angeles, California.

What was your favourite Halloween outfit as a kid?
I remember going out for Halloween as a hunchback with scars and bruises and a hump padded out with crumpled newspaper, and having a blast. I think I was about 7 years old at the time.
Tony Gardner halloween costumes
 
You’re attending a Halloween party and time and money is no object what costume/look do you create?
 No budget limitations? Chernabog from "Fantasia" would be a cool costume to make. Darkness from "Legend" would be a fun one as well. Neither would be easy to walk around and hang out in, though, so maybe a costume version of the Power Loader from "Aliens" with a puppet version of the operator riding in front of me.

 Tony Gardner halloween
Conversely: You have ten dollars to make a costume, what do you buy/what do you go as?
I've lived this Halloween before... we bought white sheets, cut out holes for our eyes and mouths, and went as ghosts. We painted eyelashes on my wife Cindy's sheet so you could tell us apart.
 
Is there character/look you’ve seen in film/tv in the past year that you think would make a great Halloween costume?
I'd love to see Marti Matulas go out for Halloween as the George the Demon character from "Evil" on CBS. A super tall, full body creature minus clothing with an attitude and an accent wandering around would definitely be fun to see.
 
What’s your top tip for someone looking to do their own makeup this year, who maybe has never tried it before?
I feel like different apps. and tutorials have opened up people's eyes as to what's possible in regards to applying makeup on themselves, and how to apply it effectively, so I would suggest checking those out.  What's nice is that you can watch and follow along at your own pace. I think my top tip would be to not choose a makeup design where you'll be spending more time in front of the mirror than you'll spend out having fun in that makeup.

Tony Gardner werewolf
 
What are your top 5 Halloween films?
Going for true "Day of Halloween" here, not just horror movies:
Halloween
Hocus Pocus
Nightmare Before Christmas
The Crow
The Witching Hour (it's so dated, it's great)

Hocus Pocus Tony Gardner
Do you have any Halloween traditions or rituals?
Halloween in our house has always been a big deal, and the entire house is done up. We have a Halloween tree that goes up every year, and all of us decorating that Halloween tree is on par with the family tradition of us decorating our Christmas tree.

Tony Gardner Christmas tree
 
Some say that on Halloween, the spirits of the dead return to earth for one night. Whose spirit would you chose to spend your Halloween with?
I'd spend it with my grandma, who besides being a nurturing person, was also a great storyteller, Halloween lover, and teacher. When I was a little kid, she bought me the magic set that put me on the path that led me to where I am today.

Chucky at home Tony Gardner
 
If you were to create your own HHN style haunted house, what would be your chosen theme?
If I had the chance, I'd love to do two houses: One done Haunted Mansion style, with a few adult scares added in there, and the Second done as an interactive, intense horror show, where the audience might come out of the exit a little bloodier than when they went in. (I have a specific film in mind, but it hasn't come out yet.)
Tony Gardner halloween
 
And finally do you have any Halloween plans for this year?
Being what it is, this year is going to be pretty casual. We might all try an online, themed mixology class and have fun together that night even though we'll all be spread out.

Tony Gardner thumbs up
Thank you Tony for taking the time to share your love for Halloween with us! 
Make sure to follow Tony's instagram 
@tonygardner 
@alterianinc