Writer Bret Easton Ellis and director Rob Zombie have teamed with Alcon Television to develop a project for Fox that will revisit the people and events connected to the Manson Family murder spree in August 1969.
The project is envisioned as a limited series, but it is in the very early stages of development with Fox. Ellis is set to write the script and some additional materials. Zombie is on board to direct.
Zombie has long been fascinated by the Manson Family slayings, which left seven people dead in the Los Angeles area. Among the victims were actress Sharon Tate, who was eight and a half months pregnant at the time with the child of director Roman Polanski, and prominent Hollywood hairstylist Jay Sebring.
The killings were so gruesome, and the stories of Charles Manson’s level of control of his drug-addled young followers so disturbing, that Manson was convicted of first-degree murder and conspiracy charges even though he was never found to have committed a homicide himself.
Manson’s clutch of cult followers have been suspected of many other murders during that era. But it was sheer brutality and psychopathic theatricality of the killings (complete with messages written in blood at the crime scenes) unleashed on Aug. 8-9, 1969, that jolted the nation’s psyche.
The Ellis-Zombie collaboration aims to tell converging stories of people and events leading up to and after the murders, from shifting points of view. The project is envisioned as a multipart series, but it is one of many limited series projects in the works and is far away from receiving a greenlight.
The idea for the project began with Zombie and Adam Kolbrenner and Robyn Meisinger of Madhouse Entertainment. They developed the concept and brought it to Ellis and Alcon. To date, no source material has been optioned for the project, which plans to take an original approach to dramatizing stories drawn from the historical record.
Ellis, Zombie and the Madhouse principals will exec produce with Alcon’s Sharon Hall, Andrew Kosove and Broderick Johnson. Ben Roberts and Ryan Cunningham serve as co-producers.
“I have been obsessed with this insane story since I was a kid, so obviously I jumped at the chance to be involved in this incredible project. After speaking with Bret, I immediately realized that we shared the same vision for this epic madness,” Zombie said.
Manson was sentenced to death in 1971, but the sentence changed to life in prison when California abolished the death penalty the following year. He has been denied parole 12 times.
Ellis most recently penned the micro-budgeted Lindsay Lohan starrer “The Canyons,” released last year by IFC. Zombie’s last directorial effort was the 2013 indie “The Lords of Salem.”
In the late 1980’s, Mick ”Crocodile” Dundee playfully encouraged audiences to question what really constitutes a knife when you’re in the untamed wilds of outback Australia. More recently, Mick Taylor of Wolf Creek similarly compelled potential visitors to the outback to think deeply and painfully about when a knife is really a knife.
He implores some German tourists to consider ”what the bloody hell are you buggers doing here?” And rightly so, considering what lies ahead for them.
The Wolf Creek films revel in the nightmarish underside to the myths of rural idyll, mateship and charming ockerism that have become so central to our ideas of national identity.
Horror films have long crept alongside the comedies, dramas and art films that make up the bulk of our cinematic output: before Babe, the adorable little pig who dared to dream big, there was Razorback, the giant wild boar that gleefully ripped its victims to pieces. In fact, some classic Australian films that we proudly hold as pinnacles of the craft, Wake in Fright (Ted Kotcheff, 1971), Walkabout (Nicolas Roeg, 1971) and Picnic at Hanging Rock (Peter Weir, 1975), are basically horror films masquerading as lofty art pieces.
I can distinctly remember watching both Walkabout and Picnic at Hanging Rock as a child – my well-intentioned parents evidently hoping to instil within me early a respect for great Australian cinema – and being haunted by nightmares from both for weeks. (At least I escaped being subjected to Wake in Fright at a young age – the consequences may have been much more severe.)
Wolf Creek 2 follows in the footsteps of these films, and in fact references Wake in Fright directly a number of times. Yet Margaret Pomeranz and David Stratton, the deserved royalty of Australian film criticism, refused to review Wolf Creek 2 on their influential television program, At the Movies, despite the fact the film is currently the top earner at the Australian box office.
For decades Pomeranz and Stratton have been vital cogs in the rather badly oiled machine that is the Australian film industry. Australian releases face a David and Goliath battle from the outset, being forced to compete with the flood of heavily marketed blockbuster Hollywood films.
Throughout their careers Pomeranz and Stratton have made it their mission to champion Australian films – even the ones they don’t particularly like – by raising awareness of Australian releases through their insightful reviews and interviews. Yet it seems that films classified as ”horror” are not extended this support.
This genre bias did not start with Pomeranz and Stratton: it has been an entrenched component of the Australian film industry since its revival in the 1970s. In the 2008 documentary Not Quite Hollywood, Phillip Adams, who helped to establish Australia’s government film funding system, admits that in setting up the guidelines for funding ”many of us were very snobby about genre films, there’s no question about it. We didn’t approve of them.”
Wolf Creek director Greg McLean and producer Matt Hearn are all too aware of this issue. Hearn mortgaged his house to finance Wolf Creek; their follow-up, Rogue, was financed by American studio executives the Weinsteins; and Wolf Creek 2 was delayed for years due to funding shortfalls.
Snobbery towards horror films does nothing to help strengthen the Australian film industry. Just because a film is packaged as ”horror” does not automatically mean it is devoid of artistic and intellectual value: it just makes it easier to sell. Even Stratton, in his caustic review of Wolf Creek 2 in The Australian, reluctantly admits that the film’s cinematography, courtesy of Toby Oliver, is ”pristine”.
Wolf Creek 2 is indeed violent and confronting, particularly because of the disconcerting mash-up of Mick Taylor’s true blue Aussie humour and his sadistic, murderous intent. However, so was Wake in Fright, which Pomeranz described as ”menacing and sinister” with a ”disgustingly seedy” antagonist, yet which Stratton went on to describe as ”a great milestone in Australian cinema history”.
So, too, was the recent Snowtown (Justin Kurzel, 2011), a thoroughly disturbing film about the infamous ”bodies in the barrel” murderer John Bunting. Yet Pomeranz lauded this film – classified as an ”art film” due to its minimalist style – for it ”does not pull back from exposing the audience to … grotesque brutality”. Stratton also complimented the film on its ”dark power”.
Yet Wolf Creek 2, which employs similar tactics wrapped up in a commercially viable horror film package, is by contrast ”ugly and manipulative”.
I deeply respect Stratton and Pomeranz and have idolised them for as long as I can remember. But their refusal to review Wolf Creek 2 – even just to declare their hatred for it – points to a long-standing problem within the Australian film industry.
The confected division between ”lofty” art pieces and ”low brow” horror is outmoded and unhelpful. Horror has some powerful and revealing things to say about our society, just as art films do.
Jessica Balanzategui is undertaking a film studies PhD at Melbourne University. Her research explores the cultural power of horror films. Read more and comment at The Age HERE
Wolf Creek 2 writer-director Greg McLean has slammed Margaret Pomeranz and David Stratton for failing to support local productions, after the ABC duo decided against reviewing his horror sequel on Tuesday’s At the Movies.
Despite the film hitting the #1 spot at the Australian box office on debut, the pair gave it a wide berth, without explanation. The pair chose to review Lone Survivor, Non-Stop, Gloria and The Wind Rises instead… so much for supporting Australian film.
In an emailed response to Fairfax Media, McLean said: “Seriously, what on earth are they thinking? Simply not reviewing an independent Aussie movie that beat its US studio competitor Lone Survivor … is worth paying some attention.”
He added that Lone Survivor, the Mark Wahlberg war epic, cost $80 million to produce and market and featured on about 15 per cent more screens.
“Even if they didn’t enjoy the movie, there are many, many Wolf Creek fans out there who love horror and thriller movies and want to support locally made productions,” he said. “Like them, I’d love to hear their thoughts on our movie, whatever they might be. I really hope they reconsider and give Wolf Creek 2 the fair go it deserves.”
The At the Movies website does carry a four-minute Wolf Creek 2 report, with clips and interviews with McLean and star John Jarrett, but neither Pomeranz, Stratton or in fact any reporter make an appearance.
Incredulous fans have taken to Twitter to question the TV show’s absent review. McLean also questioned the move on Twitter, saying: “Apparently there’s a new category of movie review from David and Margaret called – no review at all! That’s gotta be a first, right?”
He added that he did want a review from them: “Kinda fun watching them rip a movie apart or gush over something… either would be fine. Curious really.”
Stratton wrote a scathing review of the film in The Australian just days ago, calling it “manipulative and ugly” and only gave it two out of five stars. He also noted in his review that “this is not the place to discuss the worldwide appeal of torture-porn and extreme screen violence”.
In their 2005 At the Movies review of Wolf Creek, both critics gave the film four stars but expressed concern over the level of violence. “The film is incredibly sadistic. I think it’s foul in some ways, in terms of violence. I think it really is thoroughly nasty,” Stratton said at the time.
Pomeranz responded that it was a “worry”, while Stratton added: “I think people and audiences, potential audiences, have to be warned about it.”
The MA15+-rated Wolf Creek 2 was the top draw at the Aussie box-office on its debut last weekend, pulling in $1.681 million.
In the past Stratton has refused to review 1992 skinhead drama Romper Stomper, causing its director Geoffrey Wright to throw a glass of wine over him nearly three years later at the Venice Film Festival. Stratton later said he feared the film could “stir up racial violence”.
At the Movies executive producer said Jo Chichester said in a statement: “Margaret and David reviewed the first Wolf Creek, David’s thoughts on Wolf Creek 2 are in his review in The Australian, and there is an interview with the filmmaker and lead actor on the ATM website.” SMH
Artist Emma Allen uses the human face and body – often her own – as a canvas for strange, beautiful and often disturbing painted images, many of which seem to pulse and sparkle with life. Naturally, her next major creative step was to bring those images to life literally, through stop-motion animation. Check out her webpage HERE
Kitty Winn (born February 21, 1943) is an award-winning American Actress. Katherine Tupper (“Kitty”) Winn was born in Washington, D.C. As the daughter of an army officer she traveled widely during much of her childhood, including, time spent in United States, England, Germany, China, India and Japan.
Her career has spanned a wide range of drama productions on stage, in motion pictures and on television. She studied acting at Centenary Junior College and Boston University, graduating from the latter in 1966. During her college years Winn acted in student productions at Centenary Junior College, Boston University, and Harvard College and summer stock for two summers at The Priscilla Beach Theatre south of Boston. Shortly after college she joined the company at American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco where she remained for four years.
In the fall of 1970 Kitty left American Conservatory Theater to play opposite Al Pacino in the film ‘Panic in Needle Park’ for which she won the Best Actress award at the 1971 Cannes Film Festival. The film portrays life among a group of heroin addicts who hang out in “Needle Park” (the nicknames of Verdi Square and Sherman Square on New York’s Upper West Side near 72nd Street and Broadway). The film is a love story between Bobby (Pacino), a young addict and small-time hustler, and Helen (Kitty Winn), a restless woman who finds Bobby charismatic. She becomes an addict, and life goes downhill for them both as their addictions worsen, eventually leading to a series of betrayals.
To set the atmosphere, no music was used in the film, much of which features cinéma vérité-style footage. It is believed to be the first mainstream film to feature actual drug injection.
Although she went on to do several more films, such as ‘The Exorcist’, she always returned to her great love, the theatre. In The Exorcist, Kitty played Sharon Spencer, movie actress Chris McNeil’s friend and personal assistant who acts as Regan’s tutor.
Kitty co-starred in Peeper (1975) with Michael Caine, before returning to the role of Sharon in the Exorcist sequel, Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977).
Kitty retired in 1978 but returned to play Cordelia in “The Tragedy of King Lear” for KCET in 1983. She did not return to the stage again until 2011 when she played the lead in “The Last Romance” at the San Jose Repertory Theatre. For this performance she was nominated for a best actress award by the San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle.
For the first time, iconic sci-fi writer Harlan Ellison has allowed a film to be developed based on Repent, Harlequin! Said The Ticktock Man, the seminal story he published in Galaxy magazine in 1965. Ellison has granted an option directly to J. Michael Straczynski, whose recent credits include helping to fix World War Z, Thor, the TV series Babylon 5 and Sense8, the upcoming Netflix series he is doing with Lana and Andy Wachowski. He also wrote the incredible Rising Stars series for Image Comics… much better than the similarly themed Heroes television series.
The story is about Everett C. Marm, an ordinary man who disguises himself as the anarchical Harlequin and engages in whimsical rebellion against the Ticktock Man. The trouble is that if he is found out, the government could stop his heart at long distance if they learn who he is. Straczynski sees the cautionary tale as especially relevant in a post-Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street environment, or even Edward Snowden, in a story of a man who goes against the system and must pay the price for his actions. Now that the script is done, Straczynski will look for production partners and a director, and the first parties he will approach will be Peter Jackson and Guillermo del Toro. Ellison’s story won the 1966 Hugo Award and the 1965 Nebula Award, among others.
With the emergence of Electro, Spider-Man must confront a foe far more powerful than he. And as his old friend, Harry Osborn, returns, Peter Parker comes to realize that all of his enemies have one thing in common: OsCorp. Two new featurettes for The Amazing Spider-Man 2.
Robocop is about a man inside a machine, like what Cyborg says “It’s the man not the machine”. He starts as an agent who is almost killed by a bomb in his car. They put robot armour on him; they then change him by giving him robo vision which he can tell if the guy is a criminal or wanted by the law. He can see whatever crime scene whenever it’s happening.
There is lots of action and violence. The film is fun as there is an awesome way to play laser-tag in the movie. The best bit in the movie is when Robocop flies through a door on his motorbike with timed bombs and bullets flying into another room. The room is pitch black and filled with guys with night-vision and machine guns. Robocop jumps out and shoots them all and runs through the room and plays laser-tag!
Set in 1957, we meet a young Mrs.Voorhees who, on the day of her son’s birthday, learns that he drowned in Crystal Lake at the hands of some very mean children and several negligent counselors. One year later, an enraged Mrs. Voorhees hunts down her first victim to have her revenge for the demise of her son…. Jason.
John Sidney Blyth (February 15, 1882 – May 29, 1942), better known as John Barrymore, was an American actor of stage and screen. He first gained fame as a handsome stage actor in light comedy, then high drama and culminating in groundbreaking portrayals in Shakespearean plays Hamlet and Richard III. His success continued with motion pictures in various genres in both the silent and sound eras. Barrymore’s personal life has been the subject of much writing before and since his death in 1942.
A member of a multi-generation theatrical dynasty, he was the brother of Lionel Barrymore and Ethel Barrymore, and was the paternal grandfather of Drew Barrymore. Barrymore delivered some of the most critically acclaimed performances in theatre and film history and was widely regarded as the screen’s greatest performer during a movie career spanning 25 years as a leading man in more than 60 films.
Barrymore entered films around 1913 with the feature An American Citizen. He or someone using the name Jack Barrymore is given credit for four short films made in 1912 and 1913, but this has not been proven to be John Barrymore. Barrymore was most likely convinced into giving films a try out of economic necessity and the fact that he hated touring a play all over the United States. He could make a couple of movies in the off-season theater months or shoot a film in one part of a day while doing a play in another part. He also may have been goaded into films by his brother Lionel and his uncle Sidney, who had both been successfully making movies for a couple of years. Some of Barrymore’s silent film films included Dr, Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1920), Sherlock Holmes (1922), Beau Brummel (1924), played Captain Ahab in The Sea Beast (1926), and Don Juan (1926).
When talking pictures arrived, Barrymore’s stage-trained voice added a new dimension to his screen work. He made his talkie debut with a dramatic reading of the big Duke of Gloucester speech from Henry VI, part 3 in Warner Brothers’ musical revue The Show of Shows (“Would they were wasted: marrow, bones and all”), and reprised his Captain Ahab role in Moby Dick (1930). His other leads included Svengali (1931), The Mad Genius (1931), Grand Hotel (1932), Dinner at Eight (1933) and Twentieth Century (1934). He worked opposite many of the screen’s foremost leading ladies, including Greta Garbo, Katherine Hepburn, Jean Harlow, Joan Crawford and Carole Lombard.
Barrymore collapsed while appearing on Rudy Vallee’s radio show and died in his hospital room, May 29, 1942. His dying words were “Die? I should say not, dear fellow. No Barrymore would allow such a conventional thing to happen to him.”
According to Errol Flynn’s memoirs, film director Raoul Walsh “borrowed” Barrymore’s body before burial, and left his corpse propped in a chair for a drunken Flynn to discover when he returned home from The Cock and Bull Bar. This was re-created in the movie W.C. Fields and Me. Other accounts of this classic Hollywood tale substitute actor Peter Lorre in the place of Walsh, but Walsh himself tells the story in Richard Schickel’s 1973 documentary The Men Who Made the Movies. However, Barrymore’s great friend Gene Fowler denied the story, stating that he and his son held vigil over the body at the funeral home until the funeral and burial.
He was buried in East Los Angeles, at Calvary Cemetery, on June 2. Surviving family members in attendance were his brother Lionel and his daughter Diana. Ex wife Elaine also attended. Among his pallbearers were Hollywood Legends W.C. Fields, Louis B. Mayer and David O. Selznick. Years later, Barrymore’s son John had the body reinterred at Philadelphia’s Mount Vernon Cemetery.
Wolves follows the story of Cayden Richards – a young, handsome eighteen-year-old with an edge. Forced to hit the road after the death of his parents, Cayden finds his way to an isolated town to hunt down the truths of his ancestry. But in the end, who’s hunting whom? Directed by David Hayter and starring Jason Momoa from Game of Thrones… better than Teen Wolf?
Directed by Jonathan Glazer and starring Scarlett Johansson, Under the Skin tells the tale of an alien in human form is on a journey through Scotland. Check out the full trailer. Original teaser can be viewed HERE
After several long years, Phantasmagoria: The Visions of Lewis Carroll, written by Marilyn Manson is finally going into production. Check out this trailer for the film from over 3+ years ago, and his short film Doppelherz from the limited edition print of Manson’s 2003 album, The Golden Age of Grotesque. Both should give us a good idea of what to expect…
Take a look back and a look forward to the fourth season of the hit HBO series, the show features clips from upcoming episodes, behind-the-scenes-footage, interviews with talent, and cast members’ answers to questions posed by fans.
AMC and Sony Pictures Television have closed a deal to develop Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon’s controversial 1990s comic book series Preacher as a drama series. The project will be written/executive produced byThis Is the End writers/directors Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, with Sam Catlin (Breaking Bad) serving as executive producer/showrunner and Original Films’ Neal Moritz and Vivian Cannon also executive producing. Despite speculation, there are no plans for Rogen to have an onscreen presence at this time. Preacher follows Reverend Jesse Custer, a tough Texas preacher who has lost his faith, has learned that God has left Heaven and abandoned His responsibilities. He finds himself the only person capable of tracking God down, demanding answers, and making Him answer for His dereliction of duty. Accompanying Jesse on his journey is his former girlfriend and a friendly vampire who seems to prefer a pint in the pub to the blood of the innocent. On his tail is an immortal, unstoppable killing machine named the Saint of Killers – a western lone gunman archetype whose sole purpose is to hunt and kill Jesse.
“This is a great piece of material for AMC, and we’re thrilled to begin working with the creative team behind it to make another iconic AMC series,” said the network’s EVP Joel Stillerman. AMC is looking to repeat the success of another series based on an edgy comic, The Walking Dead. For Rogen and Goldberg, the deal marks the end of a long journey. “We’ve tried for seven years to work on Preacher and we’re so psyched AMC is finally letting us,” the two said. “It is our favorite comic of all time, and we’re going to do everything we can to do it right. Humperdoo!”
Ennis also reflected on Preacher’s long development path that stretched 16 years and a slew of incarnations: feature films, series and miniseries with various auspices. (HBO took a stab at developing it as a series with Mark Steven Johnson seven years ago). “Steve Dillon and I are very happy to see Preacher being developed for TV, which seems a much more natural home for the story than a 2-hour movie,” Ennis said. “Obviously it’s taken a while, but Ken Levin along with Neal Moritz and his team refused to give up, long after the point when I myself grew skeptical, and their unrelenting enthusiasm for the project has gotten us where we need to be. I’m particularly impressed that Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg and Sam Catlin understand Preacher fully — meaning they get it for what it is, not some vague approximation,” Ennis said, noting that he and Dillon had been involved in the creative conversation for the TV series. The 1995-2000 comic series Preacher, from DC’s Vertigo imprint, quickly achieved a cult status while also creating controversy with its dark and violent content. In addition to Rogen and Goldberg (through Point Grey Pictures), Catlin, Moritz and Cannon, Preacheris exec produced by Ori Marmur, Ken Levin and Jason Netter