Drew: The Man Behind The Poster
Drew: The Man Behind The Poster” is a feature-length documentary film highlighting the career of poster artist Drew Struzan, whose most popular works include the “Indiana Jones,” “Back to the Future” and “Star Wars” movie posters. Telling the tale through exclusive interviews with George Lucas, Harrison Ford, Michael J. Fox, Frank Darabont, Guillermo del Toro, Steven Spielberg and many other filmmakers, artists and critics, the journey spans Drew’s early career in commercial and album cover art through his recent retirement as one of the most recognizable and influential movie poster artists of all time.
However, the producers ran out of money in the final stages. Says director Erik P. Sharkey: “We are currently in the final stages of our sound mix. So the film has already been shot and edited. But we have totally run out of money. That is where you come in. Your generous donation would help us finish Post Production, take care of legal fees as well as promotion for the film. We are so close to the finish line but need your help. Please help us finish a film that honors an amazing artist Drew Struzan!”
You can donate to the project at their indiegogo page HERE and also check out their website HERE
Howard Winchester Hawks (May 30, 1896–December 26, 1977) was an American film director, producer and screenwriter of the classic Hollywood era. He is popular for his films from a wide range of genres such as Scarface (1932), Bringing Up Baby (1938), Only Angels Have Wings (1939), His Girl Friday (1940), Sergeant York (1941), To Have and Have Not (1944), The Big Sleep (1946), Red River (1948), The Thing from Another World (1951), Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), and Rio Bravo (1959).
In 1975, Hawks was awarded the Honorary Academy Award as “a master American filmmaker whose creative efforts hold a distinguished place in world cinema,” after the Academy did what it has a reputation of doing, not recognising exceptional talent at the time, although he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director for Sergeant York in 1942.
The Thing from Another World (often referred to as The Thing before its 1982 remake), is a 1951 science fiction film based on the 1938 novella “Who Goes There?” by John W. Campbell. It tells the story of an Air Force crew and scientists at a remote Arctic research outpost who are forced to defend themselves from a malevolent plant-based alien being. It stars Kenneth Tobey, Margaret Sheridan and James Arness, who played The Thing, but he is difficult to recognize in costume and makeup, due to both the lighting and other effects used to obscure his features. No actors are named during the film’s dramatic opening credits; the cast credits appear at the end of the film. In 2001 the film was deemed to be a “culturally, historically or aesthetically” significant motion picture by the United States Library of Congress and was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.
There is debate as to whether the film was directed by Hawks with Christian Nyby receiving the credit so that Nyby could obtain his Director’s Guild membership, or whether Nyby directed it with considerable input in both screenplay and advice in directing from producer Hawks, although Hawks denied that he directed the film.
Cast members disagree on Hawks’ and Nyby’s contributions. Tobey said that “Hawks directed it, all except one scene” while, on the other hand, Fenneman said that “Hawks would once in a while direct, if he had an idea, but it was Chris’ show”, and Cornthwaite said that “Chris always deferred to Hawks, … Maybe because he did defer to him, people misinterpreted it.” Although Self has said that “Hawks was directing the picture from the sidelines”, he also has said that “Chris would stage each scene, how to play it. But then he would go over to Howard and ask him for advice, which the actors did not hear … Even though I was there every day, I don’t think any of us can answer the question. Only Chris and Howard can answer the question.”
Rio Bravo is a 1959 American Western film, directed by Howard Hawks, starring John Wayne, Dean Martin, and Ricky Nelson. Rio Bravo is generally regarded as one of Hawks’ best, and is notable for its scarcity of close-up shots. The film was made as a response to High Noon, which is sometimes thought to be an allegory for blacklisting in Hollywood, as well as a critique of McCarthyism. Wayne called High Noon “un-American”, and as a riposte, teamed up with director Howard Hawks to tell the story his way. In Rio Bravo, Wayne’s character Chance is surrounded by allies—a deputy recovering from alcoholism (Dude), a young gunfighter (Colorado), an old man (Stumpy), a Mexican innkeeper (Pedro Gonzalez-Gonzalez), his wife, and an attractive young woman, and repeatedly turns down aid from anyone he doesn’t think is capable of helping him, though in the final shootout they come to help him anyway.
Hawks’ directorial style and the use of natural, conversational dialogue in his films were cited a major influence on many noted filmmakers, including Robert Altman, John Carpenter, Quentin Tarantino, and Brian De Palma, who dedicated his version of Scarface to Hawks.
The Exorcist – Live on Stage
If you’re in Los Angeles anytime between July 3 and August 12, get down to the Geffen Playhouse to see the stage adaptation of William Peter Blatty’s The Exorcist. If anyone out there manages to see this production, please post a review.
SYNOPSIS: The most chilling test of faith comes to life on stage. This world premiere adaptation of the famous 1971 novel documenting the terror and redemption of a ten-year-old girl remains as frightening and relevant as when first experienced. Under the direction of Tony Award winner John Doyle and adapted by acclaimed playwright John Pielmeier (Agnes of God), The Exorcist transforms the unsettling battles of good versus evil, faith versus fact and ego versus ethos into a uniquely theatrical experience as sophisticated as it is suspenseful.
Frank Theodore “Ted” Levine (born May 29, 1957) is an American actor. He is known for his roles as Buffalo Bill in The Silence of the Lambs and Captain Leland Stottlemeyer in the television series Monk.
Levine was born in Bellaire, Ohio, in 1957. He was born to Milton and Charlotte Levine, who were both doctors and members of Physicians for Social Responsibility. In 1975, he enrolled at Marlboro College and then later the University of Chicago, where h e became a fixture in the Chicago theatre scene and joined the Remains Theatre which was co-founded by Gary Cole and William L. Petersen. After his stage experience, Levine began to devote most of his energy during the 1980s toward finding roles in film and television such as a minor part in Charlie’s Angels. He also managed to get a minor role in Rambo: First Blood Part II, as one of the men getting the P.O.W.s off the helicopter.
Levine then scored the role of Jame Gumb (known by the nickname Buffalo Bill), the main antagonist of The Silence of the Lambs (1991), based on the Thomas Harris’s 1988 novel of the same name. In the film and the novel, he is a serial killer who murders overweight women and skins them so he can make a “woman suit” for himself.
The Silence of the Lambs was released on February 14, 1991, and grossed over $272 million. The film was the third film to win Oscars in all the top five categories: Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Actor, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay. The film is considered “culturally, historically or aesthetically” significant by the US Library of Congress and was selected to be preserved in the National Film Registry in 2011.
After his breakout role in The Silence of the Lambs, there was a period where he was typecast in villainous roles. Levine was able to remedy this by playing more positive characters, such as a member of Al Pacino’s police unit in Heat, astronaut Alan Shepard in the HBO mini-series From the Earth to the Moon, and Paul Walker’s police superior Sergeant Tanner in The Fast and the Furious. His résumé also includes an uncredited role as the voice of the sociopathic trucker “Rusty Nail” in 2001’s Joy Ride, and his performance as Detective Sam Nico in the 2003 film Wonderland, based on the gruesome murders in the Hollywood Hills. From 2002 to 2009, he co-starred as Captain Leland Stottlemeyer on USA Network’s series, Monk, starring Tony Shalhoub.
Levine also appeared as a patriarch whose family takes a turn for the worse in the remake of The Hills Have Eyes (2006), the film is one of the better remakes of the last decade. In 2007, he portrayed local Sheriff James Timberlake in The Assasination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford and appeared in Ridley Scott’s American Gangster, alongside Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe. Most recently, he was cast as the warden of the island prison in Martin Scorsese’s Shutter Island, starring Leonardo DiCaprio.
Levine has also provided the voice of the supervillain Sinestro in Superman: The Animated Series, Justice League and Justice League Unlimited.
The Dark Knight Rises – UK Empire Covers
Two fantastic new Dark Knight Rises covers from the UK Empire magazine… the Catwoman one is AWESOME.
The Vision of Prometheus – Ridley Scott
Check out this new featurette that spotlights the director of the film, Ridley Scott. The clip, has some new footage, as well as interviews with the cast and crew about Scott’s vision and what to expect from the film once it hits theatres. Also included are soundbites from the director himself expressing his intentions to give the audience bad dreams and “scare the living shit out of [them]”. Courtesy of Fox Malaysia.
Christopher Lee – Part 2
In addition to doing films in the United Kingdom, Lee did movies in Mainland Europe: he appeared in Count Dracula, where he again played the vampire count, The Torture Chamber of Dr. Sadism, Castle of the Living Dead and Horror Express.
Since the mid 1970s, Lee has eschewed horror roles almost entirely. Ian Fleming, author of the James Bond spy novels and Lee’s stepcousin, had offered him the role of Dr No in the first official Bond film. Lee accepted, but the producers had already cast the role. In 1974, Lee finally got to play a James Bond villain when he was cast as the deadly assassin Francisco Scaramanga in The Man with the Golden Gun.
In 1982, Lee appeared in The Return of Captain Invincible. In this film, Lee plays a fascist who plans to rid America (and afterwards, the world) of all non-whites. Lee sings on two tracks in the film (“Name Your Poison” and “Mister Midnight”), written by Richard O’Brien (who had written The Rocky Horror Picture Show seven years previously) and Richard Hartley.
In 1985, he appeared in Howling II: Stirba – Werewolf Bitch. In 1998, Lee starred in the role of Muhammad Al Jinnah, founder of modern Pakistan, in the film Jinnah. While talking about his favourite role in film at a press conference, he declared that his role in Jinnah was by far his best performance.
Lee played Saruman in the The Lord of the Rings film trilogy. In the commentary, he states he had a decades-long dream to play Gandalf but that he was now too old and his physical limitations prevented his being considered. The role of Saruman, by contrast, required no horseback riding and much less fighting. Lee had met Tolkien once (making him the only person inThe Lord of the Rings film trilogy to have done so) and makes a habit of reading the novels at least once a year. Lee’s appearance in the third film was cut from the theatrical release. However, the scene was reinstated in the extended edition.
The Lord of the Rings marked the beginning of a major career revival that continued in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002) and Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005), in which he played Count Dooku. His autobiography states that he did much of the swordplay himself, though a double was required for the more vigorous footwork.
Lee has also become a regular in many of Tim Burton’s films, five times since 1999. He had a small role as the Burgomaster in the film Sleepy Hollow (1999), Lee then went on to voice the character of Pastor Galswells in Corpse Bride (2005), and play a small role in the Burton’s reimagining of the Roald Dahl tale Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005). His part was cut from Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007). He voiced the Jabberwocky in Burton’s adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s classic book Alice in Wonderland (2010). In 2012, Lee marked his fifth collaboration with Tim Burton by appearing in his film adaptation of the gothic soap opera Dark Shadows.
In 2011, Lee appeared in The Resident and the critically acclaimed Hugo, directed by Martin Scorsese. Lee will be reprising the role of Saruman for the Lord of the Rings prequel film The Hobbit.
In 2001, Lee was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) and was knighted in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2009. In 2011, Lee was awarded the BAFTA Academy Fellowship by Tim Burton.
Christopher Lee – Part 1
Sir Christopher Frank Carandini Lee, CBE, CStJ (born 27 May 1922) is an English actor and musician. Lee was born in Belgravia, Westminster, as the son of Lieutenant-Colonel Geoffrey Trollope Lee, of the 60th King’s Royal Rifle Corps, and his wife, Contessa Estelle Marie (née Carandini di Sarzano).
Notable roles include Francisco Scaramanga in the James Bond film, The Man with the Golden Gun (1974), Saruman in The Lord of the Rings film trilogy (2001–2003), and Count Dooku in the final two films of the Star Wars prequel trilogy (2002, 2005). He has collaborated with director Tim Burton in five films, most recently with Dark Shadows (2012).
Lee considers his most important role to be his portrayal of Pakistan’s founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah in the biopic Jinnah (1998); however, he considers his best role to be that of Lord Summerisle in the British cult classic The Wicker Man (1973), which he also believes to be his best film. Lee is well known for his deep, strong voice and imposing height. He has performed roles in 275 films since 1946 making him the Guinness World Record holder for most film acting roles ever. He was knighted for services to drama and charity in 2009, and received the BAFTA Fellowship in 2011.
In 1946, Lee gained a seven-year contract with the Rank Organisation. He made his film debut in Terence Young’s Gothic romance Corridor of Mirrors (1947). Throughout the next decade, he made nearly 30 films, playing mostly stock action characters.
Lee initially portrayed villains and became famous for his role as Count Dracula in a string of Hammer Horror films, however his first film for Hammer was The Curse of Frankenstein (1957), in which he played the Monster, with Peter Cushing as the Baron. A little later, Lee co-starred with Boris Karloff in the film Corridors of Blood (1958), but Lee’s own appearance as Frankenstein’s monster led to his first appearance as the Transylvanian vampire in the 1958 film Dracula (known as Horror of Dracula in the United States).
Lee returned to the role of Dracula in Hammer’s Dracula: Prince of Darkness in 1965. This film set the standard for most of the Dracula sequels in the sense that half the film’s running time was spent on telling the story of Dracula’s resurrection and the character’s appearances were brief. His roles in the films Dracula Has Risen from the Grave (1968), Taste the Blood of Dracula (1969), and Scars of Dracula (1970) all gave the Count very little to do, but were all commercially successful.
Lee’s other work for Hammer included The Mummy (1959). Lee portrayed Rasputin in Rasputin, the Mad Monk and Sir Henry Baskerville (to Cushing’s Sherlock Holmes) in The Hound of the Baskervilles (1959). Lee later played Holmes himself in 1962’s Sherlock Holmes and the Deadly Necklace, and returned to Holmes films with Billy Wilder’s British-made The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970), in which he plays Sherlock’s smarter brother, Mycroft. Lee played a leading role in the German film The Puzzle of the Red Orchid (1962), speaking German, which he had learned during his education in Switzerland.
He was responsible for bringing acclaimed occult author Dennis Wheatley to Hammer. The Devil Rides Out (1967), is generally considered to be one of Hammer’s crowning achievements. According to Lee, Wheatley was so pleased with it that he offered the actor the film rights to his remaining black magic novels free of charge. However, the second film, To the Devil a Daughter (1976), was fraught with production difficulties and was disowned by its author. Although financially successful, it was Hammer’s last horror film and marked the end of Lee’s long association with the studio that brought him fame.
Like Cushing, Lee also appeared in horror films for other companies during the 20-year period from 1957 to 1977. Other films in which Lee performed include the series of Fu Manchu films made between 1965 and 1969, in which he starred as the villain in heavy oriental make-up; I, Monster (1971), in which he played Jekyll and Hyde; The Creeping Flesh (1972); and his personal favourite, The Wicker Man (1973), in which he played Lord Summerisle. Lee was attracted to the latter role by screenwriter Anthony Shaffer and allegedly gave his services for free, as the budget was so small.
Dracula – 115 years old today
Dracula by Irish author Bram Stoker was published on May 26, 1897. Famous for introducing the character of the vampire Count Dracula, the novel tells the story of Dracula’s attempt to relocate from Transylvania to England, and the battle between Dracula and a small group of men and women led by Professor Abraham van Helsing.
Dracula has been assigned to many literary genres including vampire literature, horror fiction, and the Gothic novel. It touches on themes such as the role of women in Victorian culture, sexual conventions, immigration, colonialism, and post-colonialism. Although Stoker did not invent the vampire, he defined its modern form, and the novel has spawned numerous theatrical, film and television interpretations.
Although Dracula is a work of fiction, it does contain some historical references. The historical connections with the novel and how much Stoker knew about the history are a matter of conjecture and debate.
When it was first published, in 1897, Dracula was not an immediate bestseller, although reviewers were unstinting in their praise. The contemporary Daily Mail newspaper ranked Stoker’s powers above those of Mary Shelley and Edgar Allan Poe as well as Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights.
According to literary historians Nina Auerbach and David Skal in the Norton Critical Edition, the novel has become more significant for modern readers than it was for contemporary Victorian readers, most of whom enjoyed it just as a good adventure story; it only reached its broad iconic legendary classic status later in the 20th century when the movie versions appeared. However, some Victorian fans were ahead of the time, describing it as “the sensation of the season” and “the most blood-curdling novel of the paralysed century”.
Eli Roth to direct The Green Inferno
After a few years producing and acting, Eli Roth is finally returning to the directors chair with The Green Inferno. Described as a horror-thriller, details surrounding the project are scarce; however, given the title and the South American shooting location that inspired it, there’s a good chance it will be related to cannibals.
The title is actually directly lifted from the most notorious cannibal film, Cannibal Holocaust, which featured a movie within its own narrative called The Green Inferno, so named after the region being explored by a doomed fictional documentary crew. A late ’80s cannibal film called Natura Contro also carried the ‘Green Inferno’ moniker in some territories, and, interestingly enough, some distributors re-branded it Cannibal Holocaust II despite having no real connections to the original.
Roth’s use of the title implies he’ll be attempting to reinvigorate the relatively short-lived cannibal genre that had its roots in ’60s “mondo” documentaries that captured third-world savagery. In the ’70s, Italian filmmakers especially started taking crews to jungles to make exploitation films that have achieved cult status.
Cannibal Holocaust represented a culmination of the cycle, and it’s now regarded as Italian exploitation filmmaker Ruggero Deodato’s masterwork in third-world horror. After “Holocaust’s” success, the genre began to fizzle out and has mostly lain dormant. Deodato’s film obviously resonated with Roth on some level, as he featured the cult director in Hostel 2, where Deodato played a cannibal himself.
It’s also worth noting that Deodato’s film is one of the earliest examples of found footage. One has to wonder if Roth will attempt to employ that technique with “Green Inferno” as well.
Roth’s return to directing should be a welcome one for horror fans who looked to him as one of the genre’s fresh new voices of the last decade. He exploded onto the scene with notorious films like Hostel and Cabin Fever, and, while he’s discussed directing projects, Roth has spent the last five years producing films like The Last Exorcism and acting in Inglourious Basterds for good friend Quentin Tarantino.
If Roth’s comeback feature is indeed a cannibal film, I would expect him to make waves. His first three features are infamously violent and splattery, and I can’t wait to see what this genre will bring out of him… although, please, no animal cruelty.
Star Wars released 35 years ago
Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, or Star Wars, as it’s known in my house, is a 1977 American epic space western film, written and directed by George Lucas. It is the first of six films released in the Star Wars saga: two subsequent films complete the original trilogy, while a prequel trilogy completes the six-film saga.
Groundbreaking in its use of special effects, unconventional editing, and science fiction/fantasy storytelling, the original Star Wars is one of the most successful and influential films of all time.
Produced with a budget of $11 million and released on May 25, 1977, the film earned $460 million in the United States and $337 million overseas, surpassing Jaws as the nominal highest-grossing film and remained that way until being surpassed 6 years later by E.T. the Extraterrestrial in 1983. When adjusted for inflation, it is the second highest grossing film in the USA and Canada as of 2010. Among the many awards the film received, it gained ten Academy Award nominations, winning six; the nominations included Best Supporting Actor for Alec Guinness and Best Picture.
Lucas has re-released the film on several occasions, sometimes with significant changes; the most notable versions are the 1997 Special Edition, the 2004 DVD release, and the 2011 Blu-ray release, which have awful, modified computer-generated effects, altered dialogue, and added scenes.
Doug Jones (born May 24, 1960) is an American former contortionist and a film/TV actor best known to science fiction, fantasy, and horror fans for his various roles playing non-human characters, often in heavy makeup, in films and television series such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Hellboy and its sequel Hellboy II: The Golden Army, Pans Labyrinth and Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.
Jones was from Indianapolis, Indiana. After attending Bishop Chatard High School, he attended Ball State University, from which he graduated in 1982.
Although known mostly for his work under prosthetic make-up, such as the zombie Billy Butcherson in the Halloween film Hocus Pocus (1993), or the lead Spy Morlock in the 2002 remake of the 1960 film The Time Machine, he has also performed without prosthetics in such films as Batman Returns, Mystery Men and Adaptation, and indie projects such as Stefan Haves’ Stalled, AntiKaiser Productions’ Three Lives, Phil Donlon’s A Series of Small Things and as Cesare in David Fisher’s 2005 remake of the 1920 silent classic The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.
Jones really came to prominence when he performed as Abe Sapien in Guillermo del Toro’s adaptation of the Mike Mignola graphic novel, Hellboy (2004), although the voice was performed by an uncredited David Hyde Pierce. Explaining the challenge of working so often in rubber suits and prosthetics, he notes, “I have to make that a part of my being and my physicality and again, acting is a full body experience and that’s a part of it when you’re doing a costumed character.”
In 2005, he renewed his association with Mexican director Guillermo del Toro, starring as the Faun in del Toro’s multi-Oscar-winning Spanish language fantasy/horror project El Laberinto del Fauno (Pan’s Labyrinth). He also has a secondary role in the film as ‘The Pale Man’, a gruesome creature with a penchant for eating children. Working once more under heavy prosthetics in both roles, he was also required to learn large amounts of dialogue in Spanish, though his voice was ultimately re-dubbed.
The year also brought success for The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, the film receiving three awards at the Screamfest Horror Festival in Los Angeles, including the Audience Choice Award. In 2006 Jones appeared in the feature films The Benchwarmers and Lady in the Water, and reprised his role as Abe Sapien by voicing the character in the new Hellboy Animated television project, recording two 75-minute animated films.
In June 2007 Jones appeared in Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer as the Silver Surfer (though Laurence Fishburne portrayed the character’s voice). He was the best thing about the movie. He also reprised his role as Abe Sapien in Hellboy II: The Golden Army, once again under the direction of Guillermo del Toro, for which he played both the voice and body performance. He also played two other roles in the film: the Angel of Death and The Chamberlain, both under heavy prosthetics. In 2009, del Toro announced on BBC Radio that Jones would be playing the monster in his upcoming version of Frankenstein… we’re still waiting.
In 2010, he appeared in the French-language film Gainsbourg (Vie héroïque), written and directed by French comic-book author Joann Sfar and produced by Universal Europe. Jones played La Gueule, the grotesque fantasy muse that teases, guides and accompanies Gainsbourg throughout his life. He was once more working under prosthetics designed and created by the Oscar-winning Spanish FX shop DDT Efectos Especiales, with whom he worked on Pan’s Labyrinth. He also featured in Legion as the creepy ice cream truck demon.
Recent roles include a role in Absentia, award-winning 2011 horror film written and directed by Mike Flanagan. The film follows two sisters who begin to link a series of mysterious disappearances to an ominous tunnel near their house. He will soon be seen in John Dies at the End, an upcoming American dark comedy horror film written and directed by Don Coscarelli, based upon the novel of the same name.
The Dibbuk Box – Jason Haxton
A series of eerie events slowly unfolds when a wine cabinet sells at an estate sale in Oregon. It is soon sold and resold on eBay’s Internet auction, and each new owner becomes desperate to get rid of the box along with the health problems, accidents, or death they claim came with it. Jason Haxton, the curator of a medical museum in a small Missouri town, learns of the mysterious cabinet and is intrigued by it as an artifact to be studied and researched. He places a bid on eBay and soon finds himself the proud owner of the Dibbuk Box. But as he carefully investigates and records everything he can about this unusual item said to be possessed by a Jewish spirit, Haxton discovers far more than he bargained for. In this true account, a dark story comes to light–a story that began at the time of the Holocaust and seems to have come full circle.
At our first ”Dibbuk Box” production meeting, Sam Raimi said it would be best to have the actual box in our possession while we worked on the movie. The question was raised about who would be the caretaker for the box while it was here. In a room of ten, nobody would volunteer, each using a different excuse to avoid exposure to the box’s curse. –Stan Wertlieb, Executive Producer of Dibbuk Box” aka The Possession
So reads the blurb on Amazon.com for Jason Haxton’s book The Dibbuk Box. Check it out HERE
Check out this episode of 30 Odd minutes, a Paranormal Television Talk Show, devoted to the story of the Dibbuk Box, featuring an interview with Jason Haxton.
The Possession (The Dibbuk Box) – Posters
Here are the two official posters for the forthcoming Ghost House Pictures production, The Possession. The new(er) poster on the right has just been issued as the original on the left is not approved for cinema display.
The Possession – The Dibbuk Box
That creepy story, The Dibbuk Box has been turned into a movie called The Possession.
Here’s the press release from the Sam Raimi backed Ghost House Pictures. Plot: Based on a true story, “The Possession” is the terrifying story of how one family must unite in order to survive the wrath of an unspeakable evil.
Clyde (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and Stephanie Brenek (Kyra Sedgwick) see little cause for alarm when their youngest daughter Em becomes oddly obsessed with an antique wooden box she purchased at a yard sale. But as Em’s behavior becomes increasingly erratic, the couple fears the presence of a malevolent force in their midst, only to discover that the box was built to contain a dibbuk, a dislocated spirit that inhabits and ultimately devours its human host.
To me it looks like all the real creepiness of the actual story has been replaced by Hollywood CGI, PG-13 horror…
Timothy David Olyphant (born May 20, 1968) is an American actor whose notable roles in television drama series include Seth Bullock in Deadwood, Raylan Givens in Justified, Danny Cordray in The Office, and Wes Krulik in Damages. He has also featured in films Scream 2, Gone in 60 Seconds, Dreamcatcher, Live Free or Die Hard, The Girl Next Door, A Perfect Getaway, The Crazies, Hitman and I Am Number Four.
Although he had roles in Gone in 60 Seconds (2000), Rock Star (2001) and Dreamcatcher (2003), it wasn’t until Olyphant played the lead role of Sheriff Seth Bullock in HBO’s superlative Western series Deadwood (three seasons from 2004 until 2006), that he became a recognised name. Olyphant considered it to be one of his first lead roles as a “complicated” and “complex” character.
Deadwood was created, produced and largely written by David Milch. The series aired on HBO from March 21, 2004, to August 27, 2006, spanning three 12-episode seasons. The show is set in the 1870s in Deadwood, South Dakota, before and after the area’s annexation by the Dakota Territory. The series charts Deadwood’s growth from camp to town, incorporating themes ranging from the formation of communities to western capitalism. The show features a large ensemble cast, and many historical figures appear as characters on the show—such as Seth Bullock, Al Swearengen, Wild Bill Hickok, Sol Star, Calamity Jane, Wyatt Earp, E. B. Farnham, Charlie Utter and George Hearst. The plot lines involving these characters include historical truths as well as substantial fictional elements. Milch used actual diaries and newspapers from 1870s Deadwood residents as reference points for characters, events, and the look and feel of the show. Some of the characters are fully fictional, although they may have been based on actual persons.
Deadwood received wide critical acclaim, particularly for Milch’s writing and Ian McShane’s co-lead performance. It also won eight Emmy Awards (in 28 nominations) and one Golden Globe. There were initial plans to conclude the series with two special TV movies, but the plans have not come to fruition. Several of the stars have since commented that the series is now unlikely to return. HBO had repeatedly asserted that the two movies could still be made, but it noted in July 2008 that the possibility of the two TV movies being made was very slim… which is a shame as it was awesome.
Olyphant next appeared in Live Free or Die Hard as a cyber-terrorist villain, and in Hitman (both 2007) as the title character and in Stop-Loss (2007). In June 2008 he joined the cast of FX’s show Damages. In 2009, he starred with Steve Zahn and Milla Jovovich in the thriller A Perfect Getaway as an Iraq war veteran and possible serial killer of honeymooners on the Hawaii islands. In 2010, he was featured in the lead role of the town sheriff in the remake of the George Romero film The Crazies, a remake of the 1973 film of the same name by George A. Romero, who is also the executive producer and co-writer of the remake. It is one of the better horror remakes.
In the spring of 2010 Olyphant landed the lead role of Raylan Givens in the FX series Justified. His character is a 21st century U.S. Marshal who is banished back to his home state of Kentucky for questionable actions in Miami. Givens wears a Stetson hat and behaves like an Old West sheriff. The show is based on a character created by Elmore Leonard in the novels Pronto and Riding the Rap, and the short story “Fire in the Hole,” which served as the basis for the pilot.
Peter Mayhew (born May 19, 1944) is an English actor and comedian. He is best known for playing Chewbacca in the Star Wars movie series. His peak height was 7 feet 3 inches (2.21 m) tall.
Mayhew was born and raised in Barnes, London, England. He got his first acting job in 1976 when the producers of Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger discovered Mayhew from a photograph in a newspaper article about men with large feet, and they cast him in the role of the Minotaur.
When casting roles for his first Star Wars movie, producer George Lucas needed a tall actor who could fit the role for the beastly Chewbacca. He originally had in mind 6 ft 6 in bodybuilder David Prowse, but he was instead cast to play Darth Vader. This led Lucas on a search which turned up Mayhew, who says that all he had to do to be cast in the role of Chewbacca was stand up.
Mayhew has played part of Chewbacca in four Star Wars movies: the original Star Wars trilogy (Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, and Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi) and Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. He also played the role in the 1978 television film The Star Wars Holiday Special, as well as in an appearance on The Muppet Show. He also recorded dialogue as Chewbacca for the animated show The Clone Wars, in the Season 3 finale episode called Wookie Hunt.
Mayhew also plays the role in commercials and for hospital appearances for sick children. When cast in the role he studied the movement of large animals at the zoo to come up with an authentic sense of movement for Chewbacca. When Mayhew grew ill in the shooting of The Empire Strikes Back a similarly tall stand in was used, but the actor could not match Mayhew’s studied movement style and the scenes had to be re-shot upon Mayhew’s recovery. Mayhew did not provide the voice of Chewbacca; that was created by the film’s sound designer, Ben Burtt, by mixing together the growls of different animals.
Mayhew has made numerous appearances as Chewbacca outside the Star Wars films. Mayhew as Chewbacca was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the MTV Movie Awards 1997.
Mayhew now lives in Boyd, Texas, and is the owner of his own business. He became a naturalised citizen of the United States on October 17, 2005. He has jokingly noted that he didn’t get a medal at this ceremony either, a reference to the Star Wars scene in which Luke and Han get medals but Chewbacca does not. Mayhew did state in an MTV interview that although he didn’t get a medal in the movie, he did get the last line: one of Chewbacca’s roars.
Killer Joe – Trailer
Deadline reports that the William Friedkin-directed black comedy Killer Joe will be released by LD Entertainment on July 27 with an NC-17 rating. The film received that rating in late February, and the decision was made after the distributor and filmmaker unsuccessfully went through the appeals process before deciding they didn’t want to change the ending.
It’s not the first time Friedkin turned in a cut of a film that drew a dreaded rating from the MPAA. While Friedkin tackled rough subject matter in films like The Exorcist and To Live And Die In L.A., he got an X-rating for the 1980 film Cruising, in which Al Pacino played a detective who goes undercover looking for a killer preying on gay men. Friedkin said he had to cut 40 minutes of that movie to get an R rating. But he won’t have to cut a frame of Killer Joe. LD Entertainment will release a trailer for the film tomorrow, and it will wear the NC-17 rating like a red badge of courage.
Killer Joe is a garish, sexy black comedy that stars Matthew McConaughey, Emile Hirsch, Juno Temple, Gina Gershon and Thomas Haden Church. It is provocative, but played strongly in Venice, Toronto (where it was acquired by LD Entertainment) and SXSW.
LD Entertainment’s Dinerstein confirmed the decision and issued this statement: “We support the artistic integrity of our filmmakers — Academy–award winning director, William Friedkin and our screenwriter Pulitzer-Prize winner Tracy Letts — and the film will be released in theaters on July 27th in its original version as an NC-17 film. The film has played to enthusiastic crowds at the Venice, Toronto and SXSW Film Festivals where many critics have noted this is Matthew McConaughey’s best performance to date. As our initial LD Entertainment release, we are to excited to bring this very entertaining, funny and provocative film to audiences this summer.”
Near Dark – Publicity Still
Cool Near Dark publicity still featuring Lance Henriksen, Jeanette Goldstein and Bill Paxton.
William “Bill” Paxton (born May 17, 1955) is an American actor and film director. He gained popularity after starring roles in the films Apollo 13, Twister, Aliens, True Lies, and Titanic. Paxton starred in the HBO series Big Love (2006–2011).
Paxton was born and raised in Fort Worth, Texas, the son of Mary Lou (née Gray) and John Lane Paxton, a businessman, lumber wholesaler, museum executive, and occasional actor. He was in the crowd waving when President John F. Kennedy emerged from the Hotel Texas in Ft. Worth, Texas, on the morning of his assassination, November 22, 1963. Paxton attended St. Anne’s Catholic School, Arlington Heights High School (Fort Worth, Texas), and Southwest Texas State University.
Paxton had minor roles in the early 80’s movies Stripes (1981), The Lords of Discipline (1983), Streets of Fire (1984), The Terminator (1984), Commando, and Weird Science (both 1985), before landing his scene stealing role as Hudson “Game over man, game over!”, in Aliens (1987). I then saw him in the excellent vampire/western horror film, Near Dark (1986), as Severen, one of a gang of nomadic vampires. Directed by Kathryn Bigelow, and featuring Lance Henriksen, Jeanette Goldstein and Adrian Pasdar . The story follows a young man in a small midwestern town who becomes involved with a family of nomadic American vampires.
Paxton had major roles in Brain Dead (1990), One False Move, Trespass (both 1990), and Tombstone (1993) before gaing major recognition co-starring in the huge hit Apollo 13 (1995). He followed that success with Twister (1996), Titanic (1997) and leading roles in A Simple Plan (1998). The Sam Raimi directed suspense drama is not as well known as his major work (Evil Dead, Spider-Man trilogy), however it is probably his best film, and Bill Paxton’s best major role. Co-star Billy Bob Thornton was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, and Scott Smith was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. Several prominent critics praised the film for its complexity and taut suspense (four stars from Roger Ebert and Critic’s Choice from The New York Times).
In 1998 he also appeared in the remake of Mighty Joe Young, before roles in U-571, and Vertical Limit (both 2000). Four years after appearing inTitanic, he joined James Cameron on an expedition to the actual Titanic. A film about this trip, Ghosts of the Abyss, was released in 2003. He has since featured in Spy Kids 2: Island of Lost Dreams (2002) and Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over (2003), Club Dread, Thunderbirds (both 2004), and the HBO series Big Love between March 2006 and March 2011. The show is about a fictional fundamentalist Mormon family in Utah that practices polygamy. Big Love featured a fantastic cast, Bill paxton, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Chloë Sevigny, Ginnifer Goodwin, Amanda Seyfried, Douglas Smith, Bruce Dern, Grace Zabriskie, Mary Kay Place, Matt Ross, and Cassi Thomson.
In 2011, he featured in Steven Soderbergh’s under-rated action thriller Haywire, and directed the short film Tattoo. Paxton has also directed a the short film Fish Heads (1980), which aired during Saturday Night Live’s 1980-1981 season. He directed the feature films Frailty (2001), and The Greatest Game Ever Played (2005).