Horror Film Shot at Disneyland

September 17, 2013 by  

Horror Film Shot at Disneyland, The trailer (posted above) for first-time director Randy Moore’s black-and-white horror flick Escape From Tomorrow was released online Wednesday. A hit at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, the film has been riding a steady wave of publicity for the past nine months, not only for its noir-ish artistic merits, but also for the fact that it might be a heaving pile of illegality.

Escape From Tomorrow tells the story of a troubled family’s trip to a Disney theme park. Their day of fun unravels into maelstrom of “paranoid visions, bizarre encounters, and an obsessive pursuit of a pair of sexy teenage Parisians,” according to the film’s synopsis. There is also a scene in which the lead character is vomiting and defecating simultaneously at the theme park. The movie was shot on location at both Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, and Disneyland in Anaheim, California—without the permission of the Walt Disney Company. This is an example of “guerrilla filmmaking.” (Moore also reportedly edited it in South Korea to try to keep it a secret from Disney.)

Filmmakers are generally required to negotiate and secure legal access to filming locations, so it wouldn’t be an enormous shock if (the famously litigious) Disney were to take legal action against the movie, particularly with its October theatrical release around the corner. One prime example of Mickey Mouse getting his litigation on was the nearly decadelong 1970s court battle Walt Disney Productions v. Air Pirates, in which a group of countercultural cartoonists published two issues of the alt-comic Air Pirates Funnies. The issues showed beloved Disney characters indulging in sex, narcotics, and naughty language. The underground artists were sued by Disney for copyright and trademark infringement, among other things. The rebel cartoonists lost every case and appeal in the eight-year saga, which ended with a whimper: Disney decided not to try to have them thrown in jail and ended up dropping the lawsuit.

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