Outcast – By Robert Kirkman
This title has been long anticipated and you can bet that has a lot to do with the name on the cover page. Kirkman is a non-stop dynamo with heavy hitter titles like The Walking Dead and Invincible under his belt, not just writing but creating the popular series. When it was announced he would be tackling a new horror title, anticipation was high. And damn was the wait worth it. Outcast is a comic that is introducing you into a whole new world head-first, it’s not going to tip toe you through the origins of the main character and general plot, it just plunges in and hits the ground running. And you keep up because it’s damn good. Like always, Kirkman does an excellent job at building real characters with realistic personalities and forty-four pages we have a demonic plot and a cast of characters we already know and sympathize for. It’s like reading a fantastic horror movie, where we get the bright sunny day exposition and then on a dime we get the gritty, terrifying plot threads. Artist Azaceta is a perfect fit for the title, creating smoky, grainy characters that fit into the world that’s being created. ShockTillYouDrop.
June 30, 2014 | Categories: Comics | Tags: Art, Comic Book Movies, Controversial, Cult, Disturbing, Franchise, Gore, Graphic Novel, Horror, Horror Comic, Icons, Images, Independent, Legend, Possession, Robert Kirkman, Sci-Fi, Slasher, Suspense, The Walking Dead, Thriller, Violence, Zombies | Leave a comment
Das Cabinet des Dr Caligari – Remastered
One of the most iconic masterpieces in cinema history, Robert Wiene’s Das Cabinet des Dr Caligari shook filmgoers worldwide and changed the direction of the art form. Now presented in a definitive restoration, the film’s chilling, radically expressionist vision is set to grip viewers again.
At a local carnival in a small German town, hypnotist Dr. Caligari presents the somnambulist Cesare, who can purportedly predict the future of curious fairgoers. But at night, the doctor wakes Cesare from his sleep to enact his evil bidding…
Released in 1920, this film is incalculably influential (yes I’m looking at you Tim Burton), the film’s nightmarish jagged sets, sinister atmospheric and psychological emphasis left an immediate impact in its wake (horror, film noir, and gothic cinema would all be shaped directly by it). But this diabolical tale nevertheless stands alone – now more mesmerising than ever!
June 29, 2014 | Categories: Trailers | Tags: Banned, Blockbuster, Classic, Controversial, Cult, Das Cabinet des Dr Caligari, Diabolical, Disturbing, Foreign, German, Gore, Gothic, Horror, Icons, Images, Independent, Legend, Noir, Possession, Robert Weine, Serial Killer, Sinister, Suspense, The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari, Thriller, Violence | Leave a comment
Audition – American Remake…
I don’t understand how this will work but Terminator, Rambo, and Basic Instinct exec producer Mario Kassar is assembling an English-language adaptation of Audition, the infamous 1997 novel by Japanese author Ryu Murakami about a lonely widower who gets more than he bargains for when he puts out a fake casting call to find a new girlfriend. Audition was, of course, adapted in 1999 into a cringe-inducing cult film in its own right by Japanese helmer Takashi Miike. The new Kassar-produced version is based on the original Murakami novel and will transplant the story to an American setting.
In this version, to be directed by Richard Gray, Audition‘s unlucky protagonist is Sam Davis, who lives alone with his son following the death of his wife seven years prior and is convinced by a filmmaker friend to stage the fake auditions. The former ballerina with a mysterious past he falls for is now named Evie Lawrence, but otherwise details fall closely in line with Murakami’s best-seller.
Gray adapted the script and will tackle a fall shoot for Audition after filming wraps on his current project, thriller Sugar Mountain starring Jason Momoa. He also helmed and produced the Justin Long crime thriller The Lookalike, which Well Go USA is releasing this summer. DEADLINE.
June 28, 2014 | Categories: Remakes | Tags: Banned, Controversial, Cult, Festival, Foreign, Franchise, Gore, Horror, Icons, Images, Independent, Japanese, Legend, Nudity, Rambo, Remakes, Ryu Murakami, Scream Queens, Serial Killer, Slasher, Suspense, Takashi Miike, Terminator, The Walking Dead, Thriller, Violence | Leave a comment
Child of God – Trailer
Child of God — which James Franco co-wrote, produced, directed — is an adaptation of the 1973 novel by Pulitzer Prize-winner Cormac McCarthy, author of No Country for Old Men and The Road. It’s the chilling story a pathological loner’s descent into crime and madness.
Based on an acclaimed novel set in the South, much like his 2013 drama As I Lay Dying. Child of God also features a breakout performance by Scott Haze, who worked with Franco on his last film (and his experimental Interior. Leather Bar.) Tim Blake Nelson and True Blood’s Jim Parrack also return to co-star.
Child of God played at the Venice, Toronto, New York and Austin International Film Festivals, and will open in select cities on Aug. 1. Among the many projects Franco has on his busy schedule are a biopic of writer Charles Bukowski, and another Faulkner adaptation The Sound and the Fury — with Haze and Nelson returning for both films.
June 27, 2014 | Categories: Trailers | Tags: Action, Actors, Charles Bukowski, Child of God, Controversial, Cormac McCarthy, Cult, Disturbing, Faulkner adaptation The Sound and the Fury, Festival, Gore, Horror, Icons, Independent, James Franco, Legend, No Country For Old Men, Possession, Post Apocalyptic, Scott Haze, Serial Killer, Suspense, The Road, Thriller, Tim Blake Nelson, Toronto, True Blood, Violence | Leave a comment
Eli Wallach – R.I.P.
Eli Wallach will always be Tuco to me. For some actors who enjoyed a career as long and varied as Wallach, being persistently known for one role above all others would rankle. Judging by Wallach’s frequent interview conversations about his role in Sergio Leone’s The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, he probably wouldn’t mind. Or he would understand, at least.
And Tuco is a hell of a performance, opposite Clint Eastwood and Lee Van Cleef, Wallach steals the show, he’s all bluster, willpower and charisma. In that respect, the role may actually be a good representation of the actor’s career. For Wallach was born to Polish Jewish parents, and grew up in an Italian neighborhood in Brooklyn. No one looking very closely would have mistaken him for an actual Mexican bandit, but Wallach’s cagey energy and sardonic wit allowed him to own the role. Those were only a couple of the qualities that made him a mainstay of stage and screen for nearly sixty years. Eli Wallach died Tuesday, at age 98.
If you want to play the game of exploring deeper cuts and more obscure roles, or if you just want a highlight reel that could run to feature length, Wallach’s incredible career can provide. His first big-screen role was in Baby Doll, an Elia Kazan-directed adaptation of a Tennessee Williams play, scripted by Williams himself.
Wallach played in westerns (The Magnificent Seven), literary adaptations (Lord Jim), contemporary dramas (The Misfits), total genre work (Circle of Iron), weird horror (The Sentinel), and even some high-profile sequels as in The Two Jakes, The Godfather Part III, and his final role, in Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps. He was even one of the Mr. Freeze actors in the ’60s Batman show, inheriting the role from Otto Preminger and George Sanders.
Wallach has 167 credits to his name on IMDB, which means you can peruse a list of his work that features almost twice as many film and TV roles as years in Wallach’s life. That doesn’t take into account his many stage roles, which were often performed opposite his wife, Anne Jackson. (They were married in 1948, raised three children, and remained together until his death.) In his prime, doing movie roles was often a way to finance work on stage — take a film gig, do a couple plays, repeat.
Wallach never won an Oscar, but was awarded an honorary Oscar in 2010, for being “the quintessential chameleon, effortlessly inhabiting a wide range of characters, while putting his inimitable stamp on every role.” (New York Times)
June 26, 2014 | Categories: Deaths | Tags: Action, Actors, Biography, Blockbuster, Classic, Clint Eastwood, Controversial, Cult, Hollywood, Icons, Images, Independent, Legend, Links, Sergio Leone, Serial Killer, Spaghetti Western, Suspense, The Godfather, The Magnificent Seven, Thriller, Violence | Leave a comment
Game of Thrones – By Rhianna Williams
Two incredible Game of Thrones artworks by Rhianna Williams.
June 25, 2014 | Categories: Images | Tags: Action, Art, Artwork, Blockbuster, Caricature, Classic, Comic Book Movies, Controversial, Cult, Disturbing, Fan Art, Fantasy Art, Franchise, Game of Thrones, Gore, Icons, Images, Independent, Legend, Nudity, Possession, Post Apocalyptic, Rhianna Williams, Scream Queens, Serial Killer, Slasher, Suspense, The Walking Dead, Violence | Leave a comment
The Purge: Anarchy – Trailer
The Purge: Anarchy takes the same basic premise as The Purge but goes in a bolder, more extreme direction. Once again, the story is set in a dystopian America where, in a ghastly effort to weed out the weak and let the strong blow off steam, all crime has been legalized for one twelve-hour period per year.
But this time, the action spills out onto the streets as Frank Grillo plays a man who heads out in search of revenge. Unfortunately for him (and the others with him), it’s not long before the tables are turned on them.
The whole idea of a Purge is horrifying enough, but the trailer gets really disturbing once the rich people show up. Then it starts to feel like an even more awful version of The Hunger Games, right down to the garishly decorated emcee. From here, it looks like The Purge: Anarchy deserves kudos for taking fuller advantage of this sickening premise.
Official Press Release: The New Founders of America invite you to celebrate your annual right to Purge. THE PURGE: ANARCHY, the sequel to summer 2013’s sleeper hit that opened to No. 1 at the box-office, sees the return of writer/director/producer James DeMonaco to craft the next terrifying chapter of dutiful citizens preparing for their country¹s yearly 12 hours of anarchy. Returning alongside DeMonaco to produce the sequel to 2013’s sleeper hit are Blumhouse Productions’ Jason Blum (Paranormal Activity and Insidious series), alongside Sébastien K. Lemercier (Assault on Precinct 13) and Platinum Dunes partners Michael Bay (Transformers franchise), Brad Fuller (The Amityville Horror, A Nightmare on Elm Street) and Andrew Form (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Friday the 13th).
June 24, 2014 | Categories: Trailers | Tags: A Nightmare on Elm Street, Anarchy, Assault on Precinct 13, Blumhouse Productions, Controversial, Cult, Disturbing, Franchise, Friday the 13th, Gore, Horror, Icons, Independent, Insidious, Legend, nightmare on elm street, Paranormal Activity, Post Apocalyptic, Purge, Serial Killer, Suspense, Texas Chainsaw Massace, The Amityville Horror, The Hunger Games, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Thriller, Violence | Leave a comment
The Rules of Attraction – Dave Amblard
June 23, 2014 | Categories: Posters | Tags: American Psycho, Art, Bret Easton Ellis, Classic, College, Degenerate, Disturbing, Drugs, Icons, Images, Independent, Legend, Nudity, Patracik Bateman, Serial Killer, Sex, Suspense, The Rules of Attraction, Thriller, Violence | Leave a comment
The Intruders – Trailer
BBC America dropped a trailer for their August 23 paranormal series The Intruders, about a secret society chasing immortality by taking over the bodies of others. The show, adapted from Michael Marshall Smith’s novel of the same name, is being spearheaded by Glen Morgan, a writer and executive producer of TV’s The X-Files and New Line’s Final Destination 1 and 3. With Blair Witch Project‘s Eduardo Sanchez and The Last Exorcism‘s Daniel Stamm directing episodes, the series is upping the ante with some serious horror and suspense. Set in the Pacific Northwest, John Simm stars as Jack Whelan, a former LAPD cop with a troubled history, whose quiet life is shattered when his wife Amy (played by Oscar-winner Mira Sorvino) goes missing. As calamity ensues, a sinister agent Richard Shepherd (James Frain) is embarking on a series of lethal executions, while a little girl (Millie Brown) runs away from home into a world of danger.
June 22, 2014 | Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: Action, Actors, BBC, BBC America, Blair Witch Project, British, Controversial, Cult, Disturbing, Final Destination, Gore, Images, Independent, John Simm, LAPD, Legend, Nudity, Pacific Northwest, Possession, Serial Killer, Slasher, Suspense, The Walking Dead, The X-Files, Thriller, Violence | Leave a comment
Christopher Nolan – Interstellar on IMAX 70mm
Christopher Nolan, the director of The Dark Knight, Memento and Inception is well-known for being beholden to film, and in particular to IMAX film. IMAX continues to produce film cameras for directors like Nolan to use, but IMAX projection is quickly moving away from film. These days, an increasingly large percentage of IMAX theaters have digital projectors, and the company is working towards laser projection.
So where does that leave Nolan’s latest film, Interstellar? As in the past, Nolan shot much of Interstellar on IMAX film cameras. He would obviously prefer it be projected that on film, too. In a new interview, the president of IMAX said they’d oblige. Interstellar will be projected on IMAX film at “somewhere around 50″ theaters.
Greg Foster, the President of IMAX, revealed this piece of information in an interview with Collider. You can listen and watch the whole thing HERE.
June 21, 2014 | Categories: NEWS: Science Fiction | Tags: Action, Actors, Art, Batman, Blockbuster, Christopher Nolan, Classic, Cult, digital projectors, film cameras, Icons, Images, IMAX, IMAX film, IMAX film cameras, IMAX theaters, Interstellar, Legend, Links, Nolan, Sci-Fi, Suspense, The Dark Knight, Thriller | Leave a comment
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes – Final Trailer
“War has already begun.” Here is the final trailer for Fox‘s summer ape call. In the tentpole sequel to the 2011 reboot of the 1960s-bred film franchise!, a group of Homo sapiens who were able to dodge that nasty virus a decade earlier is threatening Caesar and his Earth-ruling primates. A fragile peace is struck, but don’t expect it to hold. Director Matt Reeves’ actioner Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes stars Andy Serkis, Jason Clarke, Gary Oldman, Keri Russell, Toby Kebbell, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Enrique Murciano and Kirk Acevedo. Mark Bomback and Rich Jaffa & Amanda Silver wrote it. Have a look:
June 20, 2014 | Categories: Trailers | Tags: Action, Actors, Andy Serkis, Apes, Art, Blockbuster, Chimpanzee, Cult, Dawn, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Disturbing, Enrique Murciano, Franchise, Gary Oldman, Gorilla, Hollywood, Icons, Jason Clarke, Keri Russell, Kirk Acevedo, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Legend, Mark Bomback, Planet of the Apes, Post Apocalyptic, Rise, Sci-Fi, Suspense, Thriller, Toby Kebbell, Violence | Leave a comment
Coherence – Trailer
On the night of an astronomical anomaly, eight friends at a dinner party experience a troubling chain of reality bending events. Part cerebral sci-fi and part relationship drama, COHERENCE is a tightly focused, intimately shot film that quickly ratchets up with tension and mystery. Check out the exceptional trailer…
June 19, 2014 | Categories: Trailers | Tags: Action, Actors, Aliens, Controversial, Cult, Disturbing, Festival, Horror, Horror Science Fiction, Independent, James Ward Byrkit, Links, party experience, Possession, Sci-Fi, Serial Killer, Suspense, Thriller, Video Clips, Violence, Zombies | Leave a comment
The Art of Ralph McQuarrie
Best known for his instrumental contributions to the making of the original Star Wars trilogy, Ralph McQuarrie has inspired several generations of film fans and artists. While much of his Star Wars artwork has been reproduced in numerous volumes over the years, his non-Star Wars work has previously only been available in The Art of Ralph McQuarrie, a limited edition that Dreams and Visions Press published in 2007. That book is long out of print and now commands high prices on the secondary market.
With The Art of Ralph McQuarrie: ARCHIVES, Dreams and Visions Press will bring back into print a career-spanning retrospective of Ralph McQuarrie’s non-Star Wars artwork. At 13” x 9.5”, this 432-page volume is not only offered at a more affordable price point than the original 2007 release, one third of the content is original to this edition. That’s hundreds of Ralph McQuarrie illustrations spanning all aspects of his body of work.
The book will be available in two states: 1) a hardcover version with printed covers and 2) a deluxe cloth-bound individually numbered limited edition housed in a cloth-bound presentation traycase. Each copy will be smyth-sewn with head and tail bands to provide a sturdy binding that will last for years to come.
You can help get these editions made by supporting the guys on their kickstarter campaign HERE where they have some amazing rewards for backers…
June 18, 2014 | Categories: Promotional | Tags: Action, Art, Artwork, Awards, Battlestar Galactica, Biography, Blockbuster, Classic, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Comic Book Movies, Concept Art, Cult, Franchise, George Lucas, Hollywood, Icons, Images, Legend, Links, Movie Poster Art, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Ralph McQuarrie, Return of the Jedi, Sci-Fi, Star Wars, Star Wars artwork, The Empire Strikes Back | Leave a comment
Batman: Arkham Knight
My son has all 3 current games in the ‘Arkham’ series and now can’t wait for the 4th installment… it looks as awesomely violent as ever.
June 17, 2014 | Categories: Gaming, Trailers | Tags: Action, Arkham, Art, Batman, Blockbuster, Bruce Wayne, Controversial, Cult, DC Comics, Disturbing, Franchise, Graphic Novel, Horror, Icons, Images, Legend, Post Apocalyptic, Scarecrow, Serial Killer, Slasher, Suspense, The Dark Knight, Thriller, Violence | Leave a comment
A Look Inside: The Godfather
Exceptional documentary on the making of The Godfather.
June 16, 2014 | Categories: Documentary | Tags: Action, Actors, Al Pacino, Awards, Blockbuster, Classic, Controversial, Disturbing, Franchise, Francis Ford Coppola, Gangster, Godfather Part 2, Hollywood, Icons, John Cazale, Legend, Marlon Brando, Mobsters, Robert De Niro, Suspense, The Godfather, The Mob, Thriller, Violence | Leave a comment
When Animals Dream – Trailer
A sensual coming-of-age werewolf romance set in a small Danish coastal town, When Animals Dream fresh from its premiere in Critics’ Week at Cannes, is reminiscent of contemporary horror classic Let the Right One In. Sixteen-year-old Marie lives with her father and wheelchair-bound mother who is perpetually drugged. Marie takes a job at the local fishery, where she receives a fair amount of attention – especially from the young men.
As Marie becomes more interested in the opposite sex, her body begins to transform, and she questions her mother’s illness and a family history that is clearly being kept from her. Beautifully shot, and wonderfully performed by Sonia Suhl and Lars Mikkelsen (Mads’ older brother) in particular, When Animals Dream delicately combines deep emotion with tasteful gore.
June 15, 2014 | Categories: Trailers | Tags: Actors, Controversial, Cult, Disturbing, Festival, Foreign, Franchise, Gore, Horror, Icons, Images, Independent, Legend, Lycanthrope, Nudity, Scream Queens, Serial Killer, Slasher, Sonia Suhl, Suspense, The Walking Dead, Thriller, Video Clips, Violence, Werewolf, Werewolves | Leave a comment
Halloween Box Set
More details have emerged about that Halloween Box set I mentioned a while back. This deluxe, 15 disc set will be released on September 27th… JUST in time for a certain holiday. It contains 1287 minutes of pure horror with some fantastic bonus material and will absolutely be a must-have for fans of what goes bump in the night.
June 14, 2014 | Categories: Promotional | Tags: Art, Blu-Ray, Classic, Controversial, Cult, Disturbing, Franchise, Gore, Halloween (1978), Halloween 2, Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers, Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers, Halloween III: Season of the Witch, Halloween: H20, Halloween: Resurrection, Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers, Hollywood, Horror, Icons, Images, Independent, Jamie Lee Curtis, Legend, Nudity, Remakes, Scream Queens, Serial Killer, Suspense, Thriller, Violence | Leave a comment
Tom Hardy as Ronnie & Reggie Kray
Shooting has just started on Legend, the Working Title period gangster pic that sees Tom Hardy step into dual roles as the infamous Kray twins Ronnie and Reggie. Studiocanal, which is fully financing, nearly sold out on the Brian Helgeland-scripted and directed film in Cannes. Cross Creek has North America on Legend which will go out via Universal through its distribution deal with the studio. Release is expected in late 2015. Emily Browning, David Thewlis, Christopher Eccleston, Chazz Palminteri, Tara Fitzgerald and Taron Egerton have also been confirmed in the cast of the film that follows the rise and fall of the notorious London gangsters in the 50s and 60s. It’s based on John Pearson’s book The Profession Of Violence. Check out the versatile Hardy as Reggie and Ronnie:
June 13, 2014 | Categories: Promotional | Tags: Action, Actors, Biography, British, Cannes, Chazz Palminteri, Christopher Eccleston, Classic, Controversial, Cult, David Thewlis, Disturbing, East End Gangster, Emily Browning, Icons, Images, Independent, Kray twins, Legend, London, Mobsters, Organised Crime, Organized Crime, Suspense, Tara Fitzgerald, The Krays, Thriller, Tom Hardy, Violence | 3 Comments
Sin City: A Dame To Kill For – Trailer 2
Dimension has unveiled a new trailer for Robert Rodriguez‘s and Frank Miller‘s Sin City: A Dame To Kill For, adapted from Miller’s neo-noir graphic novels. The ultra-violent action crime thriller weaves two Sin City stories together into one hard-boiled narrative pitting the city’s thugs, lowlifes, and femme fatales against each other, with a cast that includes Jessica Alba, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Josh Brolin, Eva Green, Mickey Rourke, Bruce Willis, Rosario Dawson, Juno Temple, Jaime King, Jamie Chung, Dennis Haysbert, and more. Sin City 2 hits theaters August 22nd.
June 12, 2014 | Categories: Trailers | Tags: Action, Actors, Art, Bruce Willis, Comic Book Movies, Controversial, Cult, Dennis Haysbert, Disturbing, Eva Green, Franchise, Frank Miller, Frank Miller's Sin City, Gore, graphic novels, Icons, Images, Independent, Jaime King, Jamie Chung, Jessica Alba, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Josh Brolin, Juno Temple, Legend, Mickey Rourke, Nudity, Post Apocalyptic, Robert Rodriguez, Rosario Dawson, Serial Killer, Sin City: A Dame To Kill For, Slasher, Suspense, Thriller, Violence, Zombies | Leave a comment
With Harbinger Down, Alec Gillis pays homage to the monster movies of the late 70s and early 80s, specifically Ridley Scott’s Alien and John Carpenter’s The Thing, which both elevated rubber monsters to a new level of realism and visceral impact.
The most highly funded horror movie in Kickstarter’s history, Harbinger Down is a high-intensity “all practical effects” sci-fi creature feature that’s not just a movie, but a mission: to celebrate the art of ‘real monsters’ and share that love with a new generation and as an alternative to big studio CG driven films.
Check out more on the official webpage HERE and facebook page HERE
June 11, 2014 | Categories: Trailers | Tags: Action, Alec Gillis, Alien, Art, Classic, Controversial, Cult, Disturbing, Gore, Harbinger Down, Horror, horror movie, Icons, Independent, John Carpenter, Kickstarter, Legend, Links, Monster Movie, monster movies, Possession, Practical Effects, Ridley Scott, Sci-Fi, Scream Queens, Slasher, Stan Winston Studio, Suspense, The Thing, Thriller, Violence | Leave a comment
Rik Mayall R.I.P.
The Young Ones, Bottom and The New Statesman star Rik Mayall has died. The British comedian and actor was 56. He passed away at home in London today, although the cause of death is as-yet unknown. The BBC reports that the Metropolitan Police said it was not believed to be suspicious. The Essex-born Mayall was a pioneer of alternative comedy in Britain in the 1980s. He was best known to TV audiences for such sitcoms as The Young Ones, the classic 1982-1984 BBC series in which he starred as a would-be anarchist. He co-created that show along with Blackadder‘s Ben Elton.
Mayall also starred in the series with Adrian Edmonson, his longtime collaborative partner. The pair, who met at university, formed The Comic Strip in 1982. A group of alternative British comedians, it included Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders. Together, they created spoof series The Comic Strip Presents on Channel 4. In the early 1990’s, Mayall and Edmonson also created and starred in BBC series Bottom. From 1987-1992, he played pompous the politician Alan B’Stard in ITV’s satire of the Conservative government, The New Statesman. And, throughout the ’90s he popped up as Lord Flashheart in episodes of Blackadder. Among Mayall’s feature credits are An American Werewolf In London and Drop Dead Fred.
His manager Roger Davidson said: “It is a terrible shock. All we know… is that Rik died at home. He touched many lives, and always for the better.”
Edmondson added: “There were times when Rik and I were writing together when we almost died laughing. They were some of the most carefree stupid days I ever had, and I feel privileged to have shared them with him. “And now he’s died for real. Without me. Selfish bastard.”
Nigel Planer, who played the hapless hippie Neil in The Young Ones, said he was “very, very sad and upset that we’ve lost Rik, who was inspirational, bonkers, and a great life force”. He described Mayall as “a brilliant comedian and someone who made everyone else’s lives more fun. He will be really, really missed”.
He co-wrote The Young Ones with Lise Mayer and Ben Elton, which ran for 12 episodes between 1982 and 1985. It shared cult status and schoolboy humour with later sitcom Bottom. The pair met at Manchester University before forming the on-stage comedy duo The Dangerous Brothers. It was there Mayall had befriended Elton, who said of his friend: “He changed my life utterly,” adding: “He always made me cry with laughter, now he’s just made me cry.”
Stephen Fry, who appeared with Mayall in Blackadder, described his co-star as “an authentic comedy genius and a prince among men,” adding he was “simply distraught” at the news.
June 10, 2014 | Categories: Deaths | Tags: Actors, Ade Edmonson, Adrian Edmonson, Alan B'Stard, Alternative Comedy, Ben Elton, Biography, Blackadder, British comedians, Comedy, Controversial, Cult, Dawn French, Horror, Icons, Images, Independent, Jennifer Saunders, Legend, Metropolitan Police, Nigel Planer, Rik Mayall, The Comic Strip Presents, The New Statesman star Rik Mayall, The Young Ones | Leave a comment
Prank – Alex Weight Interview
I managed to get an interview with Alex Weight, the writer/director of new horror film Prank a short in the vein of the fantastical slasher pics of the 80’s – Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween.
Prank tells the story of those three young teenage boys (Richie, Bobby and Sam) who come together for just one night to catch up with an old friend they haven’t seen in years. It’s not until they arrive at their destination do we find out that all is not as it seems.
GEORDIE: Hi Alex, thanks for taking time out to answer a few questions about your new short horror film Prank. I’ll start with an assumption that Prank was influenced by your love of 80’s horror. What inspired the story and your drive to make the film?
ALEX: Hi Geordie, my pleasure. You’re very right, being a child of the 80’s I grew up with the classic Slasher films that defined the genre – Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween, Friday the 13th. These movies included an element of fun and adventure, without becoming farcical (excusing maybe some of the later ones) but still delivering shocks. They captured the freedom and excitement of youth rebelling against a grownup world, but now also battling demonic evil. This trope was fun, though watching those kids strive against, essentially the same monster got me thinking.
When Jason Voorhees, Michael Myers and Freddy Krueger found themselves alive again for the first time, was revenge the first thought on their mind? Did they consider tracking down family and loved ones? Making contact with those who hadn’t spurned them in life? Were they re-born with pure hatred, or was that decision to follow destruction considered, deliberated on, then actioned? What if they were innocents? What if their death wasn’t born from a life of pain and suffering but an accident? Now, finding themselves alive again after many years, what path would they take?
This is how Prank was born. I wanted to tell the story from the other side. From the side of the monster. And about the choices that are made in the beginning of that rebirth. Retribution or forgiveness? Revenge or redemption?
GEORDIE: The first thing that struck me at the location shoot the other week was the high production value of the film. It felt like a feature, the quality and scale of the set ups and the amount of cast and crew on hand was staggering for a short film. How difficult was it to pull the production together?
ALEX: It was a huge production but I can’t take all the credit for it. It really was Aaron Bush’s (Producer) ability to pull together the huge crew in a very short amount of time that made us able to get the production to that level. I was just the guy saying that I wanted a crane shot, Aaron was the guy who made it happen.
From the beginning I had a strong vision for how I wanted the film to look. A lot of independent and short horror nowadays goes down the “found footage” path. Which definitely has its benefits, cost being one of them. I wanted to break away from this and use more traditional camera setups and staging. Especially if we were going to push the whole 80’s look throughout. Unfortunately, this also means you need a big team and a crew that know what they’re doing.
But since we were still working with a short film budget we had to pull in a lot of favours. Most people out there realise what it means when you say that you’re working on a short film. Everyone knows the limitations you have of time and budget. But we were so lucky that they came onboard anyway.
GEORDIE: As I mentioned above, it was a very professional set-up and was very impressive to see you and your crew at work. How did the shoot go?
ALEX: Amazingly. Since it was my first time directing a live action shoot I couldn’t have been in better hands. Simon Harding (DP) has a huge amount of experience, once he understood the look and style we were going for he nailed it straight away. Which left me free to concentrate on the performance. Have to say, I was pretty spoilt.
Kayne Taylor (1st AD) kept everyone – including myself – running on time throughout both nights. Which was a massive task since when I first spoke to Kayne he told us we needed three nights. Unfortunately we could only afford two – always the way hey? – Getting it done in that time came down to Kayne pushing us all and staying very organised.
Everyone in the crew had a lot of experience, once they knew we had a plan it made it much easier for everyone to work quickly and efficiently. You lose a lot of time if you have everyone on set and then go searching for shots. We couldn’t afford to do this so we planned out every shot in boards before touching the camera.
GEORDIE: Prank feels very much like an homage to the classic 80’s horror we grew up on; there are a lot of elements that felt familiar from those movies without feeling like anything was lifted from any specific film.
ALEX: I feel horror nowadays has taken a turn for the worse. “Torture-porn” predominates the genre. Movies that just set out to mutilate the protagonists in as many gratuitous ways as possible. The sense of fun is gone, so has the fantastical. The villains in today’s movies are real people, born from the news and reality rather than another dimension. I want to bring back the monsters from the 80s, open the door to the other side and have some fun.
There was also a sense of adventure in 80s horror that I loved. The stories felt more personal, like you were in on the secret. These kids were out there dealing with monsters at night and bullies during the day, but the adult world never really intruded. That’s what made movies like Goonies and Stand By Me so great. We tried to get the essence of that feeling in Prank. Hopefully its there. But a lot of that comes down to casting. That energy and the acting style of that time. I think the kids we had did a great job of trying to capture it. I gave them all a bunch of 80s movies to watch as homework before the shoot.
GEORDIE: My standard question to all Australian film makers. The Australian film industry is either in a healthy state or at deaths door. It seems to concentrate and be favoured by the critics for focusing on anything but genre flicks; as if evidence were needed Margaret and David At The Movies didn’t even bother to review Wolf’s Creek 2. What’s your take on the current state of the industry here?
ALEX: Yeah, that’s a hot topic at the moment isn’t it? Well, it’s probably been the same for a while, but it feels like the industry has been more vocal about it of late. It’s a difficult subject since no Australian film maker wants to be a traitor to their industry, but at the same time it becomes increasingly frustrating when the industry doesn’t respond in kind.
We took Prank to a few of the Australian funding bodies and were told outright that they don’t support genre films. There is obviously a “type” of Australian film that does get funding. But if you have no interest in making that type of film it becomes very difficult to get your film made. In the end – like many other Australian film makers – we had to go with private funding.
I find it especially frustrating since there is so many good stories out there that just don’t get told. I’m all for art-house cinema, but I also feel that in order to support the industry and keep people in Australia we need to follow the American format a bit more and start thinking about making commercial movies that people want to watch. At the end of the day its about selling tickets. If you sell lots of tickets you’re going to be able to make another movie and keep your crew hired. Then hey, make your movie about the old lady who makes goat cheese for truck drivers in the outback.
GEORDIE: Australia has a long and infamous history in the horror genre, from the 70’s and 80’s grindhouse schlock through to the more recent success of Wolf Creek, Saw and The Loved Ones as well as the independent Redd Inc. and The Tunnel. What do you hope to bring to the mix with Prank?
ALEX: I love all those films. I think they were incredibly successful at what they were setting out to do. Especially the Grindhouse films. Some are just brilliant in a completely schlock way. But there’s a certain type of film and look that people associate predominately with America. Why? I don’t get it. It seems if you set your movie in safe suburbia, kids on bikes, tree houses etc… people think you’re shooting your film in America. Its like Australia is only made up of the outback, and grungy alleyways in Surry Hills. There’s just a big grey void in between. I want to remind people that we don’t have to take ourselves so seriously, and that a movie can be Australian without pandering to colloquial cliches.
There are a lot of film makers out there who feel the same and doing some brilliant work, e.g. Jennifer Kent’s The Babadook. I’m hoping that Prank can add to the slowly growing pile of commercially viable Australian genre films.
GEORDIE: The financially successful themes within the horror genre are cyclical; 2 1/2 years ago I asked Courtney Solomon what he thought was the next big thing in horror and he stated that it was the Ghost Stories and the Supernatural. He nailed it, no pressure but what do you hope to see as the next big thing in the genre and why?
ALEX: Haha! No pressure at all. Sure, why not. Well, let’s take a look at what we’ve had recently. I think the Ghost run has been fantastic with films like The Conjuring, Mama, Insidious etc… but you’re right, it’s probably played out now. Moving forwards it looks like we’re getting another rash of remakes Carrie, Poltergeist… but that’s always going to be the case. I dunno, thats a hard one. I think the whole “found footage” genre has run its course as well. I guess if I’m going to guess, I’d say that horror – more than any other type of genre – is a reflection of the predominate global fear, so… Right now there’s a lot of media focusing on bigger problems people can’t control – global warming, dwindling resources, overpopulation etc… the kneejerk reaction to this is people withdraw, hole up with their own supplies to protect their little family unit. I’d say we’re going to start seeing movies that play around with this idea. Along the lines of where “Take Shelter” started but pushing it further. Families living underground, crazy extremist preper camps. Not quite dystopian, but what people do just before the shit hits the fan.
GEORDIE: An easy one to finish. You’re obviously a big fan of the horror genre, what is your favourite horror film, what you remember from when you first saw it and why it’s still a favourite? Also, any new releases that have impressed you over the last few years?
ALEX: Wow. Just one? It’s not original but I’m going to have to go with Evil Dead 2. It’s just fucking great. I remember everything about watching for the first time. It’s scary, gross, funny. It just has every element a good horror film should have. Shit, any film should have.
So I saw it again recently and was just blown away with how well it’s made. The steady-cam shots are still amazing, the build-up to the first scare is handled beautifully. Some of the lines are so hokey but it all just works because it knows exactly what it is and doesn’t try to be anything different. That’s probably why I like it so much.
As for recent films? The two big standouts for me have been Cabin in the Woods and Drag Me To Hell. Both are incredibly well done. Plus both managed to get that sense of fun and adventure while still having some good shocks as well. I know I go on about it, but it’s just such a hard thing to do well.
GEORDIE: I’m assuming that you aim to screen Prank on the festival circuit, when and where will we be able to see the film? Thanks again for your time with the interview. Good luck with Prank.
ALEX: Coming to major festivals soon. Thanks Geordie, been a pleasure. Check out the films facebook page HERE.
June 9, 2014 | Categories: Interviews: EXCLUSIVE | Tags: A Nightmare on Elm Street, Alex Weight, Australian, Biography, Cabin in the Woods, Controversial, Cult, Disturbing, Drag Me to Hell, Evil Dead, Festival, Friday the 13th, Halloween, Horror, Icons, Images, Independent, longreads, Serial Killer, Slasher, Suspense, Thriller, Violence | 1 Comment
Escape From New York Toys
In 1988, the crime rate in the United States rises four hundred percent. The once great city of New York becomes the one maximum security prison for the entire country. A fifty-foot containment wall is erected along the New Jersey shoreline, across the Harlem River, and down along the Brooklyn shoreline. It completely surrounds Manhattan Island. All bridges and waterways are mined. The United States Police Force, like an army, is encamped around the island. There are no guards inside the prison, only prisoners and the worlds they have made. The rules are simple: once you go in, you don’t come out.
But wait…The President of the United States has been involved in a plane crash that has left him in the treacherous prison! This sounds like a job for…SNAKE PLISSKEN!
Look for these to be released in August 2014. Available HERE
June 8, 2014 | Categories: Toys | Tags: Action, Actors, Brooklyn, city of New York, Classic, Comic Book Movies, Cult, Dystopia, Escape From New York, Franchise, Icons, Independent, John Carpenter, Kurt Russell, Legend, maximum security prison, New Jersey, Post Apocalyptic, Sci-Fi, Snake Plissken, Suspense, Thriller | Leave a comment
Maleficent – By My 4 Year Old Daughter *****
My son has been writing reviews on this site for a few years now, he’s 8. We went to see Maleficent and although my wife and I thought it would be too scary for our 4 year old she was desperate to see it as she loves the Disney Princess series of features. After trying to explain a five star review system (a few times) she consistently gave it twenty stars. Here is her review…
Maleficent was like good. I loved the movie. I loved that Maleficent did good stuff. I loved all the powerful spells she did. I think Maleficent was beautiful and I loved her.
I liked it when Maleficent kissed Aurora, and when the fairies kept Aurora in the cottage and Maleficent visited.
Some bits were scary. The dragon bit and when Maleficent got angry, and some of the creatures in the forest. I liked it when Maleficent sent her armies to fight.
I love Maleficent because she’s from my favourite princess movie, Sleeping Beauty.
June 7, 2014 | Categories: Movie Reviews by Kids for Kids | Tags: 4 Year Old, Actors, Angelina Jolie, Animation, Aurora, Blockbuster, Classic, Controversial, Disney, Disney Princess, Dragon, Fairy, Franchise, Hollywood, Icons, Images, Is Maleficent Suitable for Kids, Kids Reviews, Legend, Magic, Maleficent, Reboot, Reinvention, Remakes, Special Effects, Violence | Leave a comment