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Society (1989) Poster

(1989)

Trivia

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While shooting the infamous "shunting" scenes, Brian Yuzna would put a sign on the sound stage door that read "Abandon all hope ye who enter here".
Directorial debut of Brian Yuzna.
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Finished in 1989, it was released in much of Europe in 1989/1990 but not released in the USA until 1992.
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Brian Yuzna cited The Spiral Staircase (1946) and Rosemary's Baby (1968) as the film's biggest influences, particularly in terms of paranoia as a major element.
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The shot of Clarissa contorted in bed was achieved using Devin DeVasquez and one of DeVasquez's friends, who was buried under the covers with her legs exposed. The two were placed at such an angle that it appears to be Clarissa's body twisted in a strange position.
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The original script began with the scene where Billy creeps back into his house after leaving the hospital, with the first hour of the film being told as a flashback. To avoid audience confusion though Brian Yuzna opted instead to have a new opening written that's more of a foreshadowing to later events rather than setup for a flashback.
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Brian Yuzna's son Conan Yuzna plays one of the little boys who prank Shauna and Billy at the beach.
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The scene where Billy sees Jenny's body distort in the shower was added during the production because director Brian Yuzna felt another shocking scene was needed earlier in the film.
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The scenes where Billy has therapy sessions with Dr. Cleveland weren't in the original script. They were added during production to help strengthen the narrative of the movie.
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While filming the "shunting", scenes Brian Yuzna purposely avoided using any blood, fearing backlash from the MPAA.
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"Surrealistic" makeup effects designer Screaming Mad George was suggested for the production by the film's Japanese producers.
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Writer Woody Keith came from a Beverly Hills family much like that of Bill Whitney, and many of the characters depicted in the film are based upon real people Keith knew in Beverly Hills.
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During Ferguson's party Milo is seen wearing a shirt that says "Eat the Rich" on it. The shirt belonged to Brian Yuzna and was a leftover memento of his college days.
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Brian Yuzna was shocked the film was ignored and died after it's small run in the US. But the film became a hit in the UK and is pleased the film has developed a cult following in the US.
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Billy Warlock was hesitant to show his bare ass during his sex scene, as it was scripted. Luckily the scene was scheduled late in production and he was able to refuse the shot without being fired. He jokingly claimed he doesn't have a nice butt.
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The title track is "The Eton Boating Song", the school song for prestigious Eton College.
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The paintings of Salvador Dalí were a significant influence upon the creature designs of Screaming Mad George.
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Director Brian Yuzna got to direct this film by agreeing to direct "Bride of Re-animator". Yuzna's only stipulation was that "Society" be filmed first.
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Brian Yuzna claims he back engineered the film's plot points based on special effects ideas or gimmicks. Stating he was more interested in the surrealism of the story than the logic.
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A dozen crew members were used to work the large, contorted puppet for the 'shunting' finale. The puppet was moved from beneath the stage floor where the crew members were concealed.
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The film was shot in five weeks.
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Coincidentally, the Birmingham High School (Lake Balboa, CA) used in the film was the actual high school that star Billy Warlock graduated from just a few years before.
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Billy Warlock and Ben Meyerson who played enemies in the film, actually became good friends during the shoot.
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Billy Warlock claims the film came and went in US theaters with many critics writing it off as "just another Yuzna film".
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It was producer Keith Walley who suggested hiring Mark Ryder and Phil Davies as the film's composers.
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All scenes taking place in the living room use the exact same ticking clock audio loop as the one used in the opening babysitter sequence from When a Stranger Calls (1979).
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The exterior hospital scenes were filmed at the same location as 'Halloween II' (1981)
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

The original script had a different finale where the secret society was revealed as a cult that was out to sacrifice Billy for is own crazy reasons. Brian Yuzna, however, wanted a much more fantastic revelation, so he and makeup artist Screaming Mad George came up with the idea of the society being monstrous creatures that ate the lower class.
Tim Bartell's acting during his "shunting" death scene was so disturbing that director Brian Yuzna had to scale it back in editing to make it less intense.
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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