Reviews, articles, rants & ramblings on the darker side of the media fringe

Archive for June, 2014

Outcast – By Robert Kirkman

outcast_robert-kirkmanThis 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.


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!


Audition – American Remake…

audition_posterI 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.


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.


Eli Wallach – R.I.P.

eli-wallachEli 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)


Game of Thrones – By Rhianna Williams

Two incredible Game of Thrones artworks by Rhianna Williams.

Game-of-Thrones_Rhianna-WilliamsRhianna-Williams_Game-of-Thrones


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).