I’ve been trying to play it cool about remakes but the recent mention of the Plan 9 From Outer Space remake and now this, The Day The Earth Stood Still is being remade with Keanu Reeves. I’m going to take the high road and not bag on Keanu as it is sometimes fashionable to do because, quite frankly, I think he took enough of that shit back when The Matrix and its shameful sequels came out.
No, my beef is with Hollywood and its hangup on genre remakes. They piss and moan about sagging ticket sales and put so much time and money into fighting piracy but they’re still not giving people much reason to actually make a night of it and go out to see their movies. You know what? I’ve seen The Day The Earth Stood Still and I’ll tell you what, I love it. It’s a hamfisted fable about Cold War America, atomic weapons and a robot in a steel diaper. A very large part of its charm is the setting and the circumstances. Back in 1951, there was a lot of saber rattling from both sides of the Iron Curtain. That’s not really happening these days so how do you take a story like The Day The Earth Stood Still and make it something relevant that is more than just a special effects heavy alien invasion movie?
I’ll tell you how, given current Hollywood standards. You don’t. Click on the image for a better look at the poster.
I passed up an opportunity a while back to see Blood Car but I’m told it’s pretty awesome in a completely ridiculous way. The new poster, which I’m told more or less conveys the tone of the movie perfectly, it starting to circulate around the web and it’s a gas (no pun intended, or was it?).
It’s good to see a lot of indies taking up the painted posters cause. It used to be that they couldn’t afford it so you’d get the horror movie equivalent of a No Limit Records album cover full of bad photoshopping and excessive use of filters.
Click the image for a closer look. Also keep an eye out. Blood Car is available on DVD now.
Since the bulk of the Cinema S staff is located up here in New England, we have a tendency to go house over our regional horror con, Rock and Shock. In particular, I’ve been to three of these shows, had to skip last year’s for personal reasons but I vow to be in attendance this time around (maybe even with a table of our own). Every year leading up to the first announcement of the show’s guests is a period of great anticipation. They get some great folks up in there and they finally updated their site with the first announcement!
Rock and Shock 2008 is a Hellraiser reunion show with guests Doug Bradley (Pinhead), Simon Bamford (Butterball) and Barbie Wilde (Female Cenobyte) as well as Ashley Laurence (Kirsty).
Also on hand is “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, who I believe had to cancel last year as well as Tom Savini, Gremlins’ Zach Galligan, R&S regular Bill Moseley and Ken Foree.
Rock and Shock gets better year after year so this time around will undoubtedly be a blast.
Stay on top of things at their site: http://www.rockandshock.com/guests2008.html
Hope you weren’t banking on checking out Ryhuei Kitamura’s American debut, the adaptation of Clive Barker’s gory short story, Midnight Meat Train. Word came down from Lionsgate yet again that the release date was being pushed back again, this time to coincide with the release of The Mummy 3 on August 1st but that’s not the part that sucks. For reasons that Barker doesn’t specify, the film has been relegated to a minor release of only 100 theaters. Clive Barker, whose company, Midnight Picture Show co-produced the movie, is vocally pissed about this move:
As you may or may not have heard, due to certain politics, MIDNIGHT MEAT TRAIN is in danger of Lionsgate not giving it a wide release. I’m asking you to please help spread the word in order for all to enjoy this film. I want to passionately encourage everybody who cares about my work to use this chance to change the minds of the folks at Lionsgate.
Anything any of you can do—be it e-mails, web postings, word of mouth and the like—to help encourage this movement would be deeply appreciated. The film is worth the effort in my mind, and I do not want to see my work fall by the wayside.
So pass it on, folks. Send an email, make a phone call, whatever you feel moved to do. Midnight Meat Train makes its premier at the upcoming Fantasia Film Festival in Montreal.
Update: To contact Lionsgate about this matter use the following contact information (please be civil and courteous, I know how you animals can be):
2700 Colorado Ave.
Santa Monica, CA 90404
Telephone (310) 449-9200
Facsimile (310) 255-3870
Maybe you’ve seen the ads. There’s probably one on this page somewhere. Ryan and the Lost Zombies crew hit me up last week about their site and I loved it. I’ve been vocal about my personal burnout when it comes to zombies but let’s face it, they’re probably the easiest, most fun monster in the entire horror movie world so I’m always willing to give them a break, particularly when the idea is fresh. I recommend you take a little time to familiarize yourself with their site.
The social media bug is catching on quickly and becoming the new eCommerce with more Myspace clones than you can shake a stick at but what sets Lost Zombies apart from the pack is that not only are they creating a place for you to put up your own profile and share video with other zombie hounds, they’re crowdsourcing a zombie movie with all the submitted footage. Under the pretense that zombies are real and that there’s an outbreak in progress right now, you are invited to drop by and toss your hat in the ring. Your footage of zombie attacks could possibly wind up in their documentary.
You really don’t need a reason to throw buckets of corn syrup colored with food coloring at your buddies and make your own squibs but The Lost Zombies offers a great opportunity for aspiring filmmakers and special effects artists to get off their asses and come up with some fun footage of head shots, neck-bites and gut rips. As the zombie “thing” grows stale, The Lost Zombies are poised to breathe a little life into the beast and make it fun and innovative again.
Stop what you’re doing right now and check out their website
I don’t know what to think anymore. It seems that the most common news items in the horror world is Movie X is going to be remade. It’s sad, but probably not as sad as the news that the trashy 70’s rape/revenge shocker, I Spit On Your Grave is being remade.
According to Bloody Disgusting, Cinetel CEO, Paul Hertzberg said, “Contemporary genre fare has become so graphically violent that the original doesn’t seem as outrageous as it did 30 years ago.”
While that certainly might be true about modern horror movies, the impact of the original I Spit On Your Grave has not diminished at all. A double dose of savage, graphic rape scenes at the hands of giggling hicks is still as upsetting as it ever was. It really doesn’t seem to matter that a castration and a boat-prop disembowelment happen under water, away from the camera’s eye. But if Hertzfeld and original director turned Executive Producer, Meir Zarchi feel like they need to add insult to injury, and you will be injured, so be it. If you have any ideas about making an already troubling movie nastier, they’re taking pitches now.
Straight out of the what the fuck files comes this bit of info from Bloody Disgusting regarding a cross promotion between Platinum Dunes, the people behind a lot of the recent remakes, and Hasbro, the people who brought you Candy Land. Hasbro acquired a lot of properties from Parker Brothers when they went tits up and among them was the one, the only, the original mystifying oracle, the Ouija Board, prime artifact of supernatural themed horror movies such as The Exorcist and article of Christian paranoia the world around.
Seems that Michael Bay’s “awesome” production company is, err, adapting the classic boardgame to the big screen(?) for Universal Studios. Does that sound right? The planchette would be indicating yes right now. What the plan is, I can hardly imagine but they have tried this in the past, most notably, the Witchboard series. I’ll take a shot in the dark and when the movie hits theaters, we’ll see if I’m right.
A group of attractive youngsters find the mystifying oracle at a yard sale (or authorized Hasbro affiliate outlet) and begin playing with it as most people do but they unlock something evil which makes their lives miserable.
Rated PG-13. Download the ringtone.
This is probably the worst news I’ve heard all year. Maybe even last year. Worse than a remake of Red Dawn.
Darkstone Entertainment is gearing up to remake Ed Wood’s timeless piece of crap, Plan 9 From Outer Space. The official website states that the intention is to make it in Wood’s original vision, a scary piece of sci-fi and horror. The plan is to remove all the camp and parody and release it as a serious picture. So basically what director, John Johnson is suggesting is that he’s going to take out everything about it that people like. I don’t know if you’ve seen this movie but I feel like I need to warn you. Every frame of Plan 9 is dismal. It’s an awful movie made on a slim budget by a man who had no business making movies. Wood’s love of filmmaking is very infectious, though, and it’s one of the picture’s saving graces. Its willingness to be completely absurd and disguise the stand-in for Bela Lugosi behind a cape pulled over the actor’s face is a riot. It’s a fun, retarded movie and it looks like everything that’s good about is going to be removed and played straight in John Johnson’s remake, simply titled Plan 9.
I have to tell you. I’d be a lot more comfortable with this if Johnson were remaking it and trying to be funny.
Word around Cannes was that Tony Jaa’s latest flick (also directed by the rising star, himself), tentatively titled Ong-Bak 2, was pretty bad ass. Plot details are still pretty thin but as it stands, Jaa plays a fighter raised by a collective of martial artists from different schools of fighting and as such he becomes an expert in each style. I guess the overall theme is about a young fighter who learns the true spirit of martial arts.
While the title of the movie, for the moment, is Ong-Bak, the relationship ends with Tony Jaa. From what I’m told, this is a period piece and bears no resemblance. As you may or may not remember, Tom Yum Goong (known in the States as The Protector) also went by the name Ong-Bak 2 for a time. The word from Twitch Film’s Cannes correspondent, is that this is the Thai martial arts movie we’ve all been waiting for. Up until now, Tony Jaa’s movies have been primers, getting the world ready for a new breed of action star. Ong-Bak 2 is the one that will blast him into the global consciousness. Also thanks to Twitch, two posters for the upcoming movie have the interwebs and you can see them here. Click on each poster to view a high resolution version.
I defy you watch this trailer and tell me that it doesn’t look like the greatest movie ever conceived. Astron-6 Video International turned up a lost direct to video gem (not really) from 1991 and put it on the internet for your downloading pleasure. It comes in Mp4 format and is tagged for your iPod or, uh, Zune, if you’re into that sort of thing.
Lazer Ghosts 2 easily qualifies as one of the funniest things I’ve seen in recent memory and captures that old video store vibe perfectly. So, like, there are these ghosts. Or lazer ghosts. The most evil among them is Albert Einstein. They have lazers. There’s this nerdy guy who kinda looks like Jim Van Bebber in Deadbeat At Dawn and he always seems to have a bloody nose. There’s a cop and a scientist woman who proves time and time again that she’s only wearing a bra under her lab coat. There’s also a good ghost who helps them out and does some kind of drug. There are a lot of lazer fights. Swords. Some shit blows up and a sweet rock guitar soundtrack. There are also some extremely funny lines of dialog like the one that titles this article as well as, “Come with me if you don’t want to be dead.” and “You can’t kill what’s already a dead Einstein’s ghost.”
At nine minutes it runs too long to be a trailer, but I would probably kill a man to see a feature length of this movie based on the above criteria, alone. Seriously. Point someone out and I”ll deep six them. You need to hold up your end of the bargain, though.
I’m actually reminded of some of the Mega64 movies or Something Awful’s Doomhouse. It is without question one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever seen and I plan on showing it to everyone I know. Good work, Steven Kostanski.
edit: Take some time to look around the rest of the Astron-6 website. It’s loaded with stuff to see and, quite frankly, I’m fascinated by most of it. Make sure you see the Punch-Out trailer. I have no idea what this movie could possibly be about but it has this Dazed and Confused meets Trainspotting vibe about it.