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

Posts tagged “B-Movie

Bill Paxton R.I.P

bill-paxton-near-dark-vampireThe actor Bill Paxton, who was 61, has died due to complications from surgery, according to a statement from a representative of Paxton’s family.

“A loving husband and father, Bill began his career in Hollywood working on films in the art department and went on to have an illustrious career spanning four decades as a beloved and prolific actor and filmmaker,” read the statement, in part. “Bill’s passion for the arts was felt by all who knew him, and his warmth and tireless energy were undeniable.”

That warmth earned Paxton a career that began in B-movies, experimental film and music videos, moved through bit parts in big pictures and, ultimately, leading roles. The epitome of a working actor, he described to The Los Angeles Times his on-screen presence as that of “a very straight-looking guy, very old-fashioned.”

“I consider myself an everyman, and there will always be an underdog quality to my stuff,” Paxton told Cosmopolitan magazine in a 1995 interview.

Paxton often found a way to make these roles his own. One memorable moment? As Pvt. Hudson in James Cameron’s film “Aliens,” Paxton’s desperate, defeated whine after a spaceship crash became a catch-phrase: “Game over, man! Game over!”

Born William Paxton in Fort Worth, Texas, the actor was the son of a hardwood salesman and, he told “Fresh Air” host Terry Gross in a 2009 interview, expected that he’d follow the same path. But after taking theater classes in high school, Paxton made a decision to become an actor.

He relocated to Los Angeles when he was in his late teens. One of his first gigs was at New World Pictures as a set designer for famed B-movie producer and director Roger Corman on the Angie Dickenson movie “Big Bad Mama.” A year later, he acted in “Crazy Mama,” a New World production directed by a young Jonathan Demme.

The actor continued with set design gigs while making inroads in front of the camera. Early appearances included a starring role in “Fish Heads” (1980), a cult-classic novelty video for the music duo Barnes & Barnes, which Paxton directed and that aired on “Saturday Night Live.”

Paxton played a blue-haired punk rocker in an opening scene of “The Terminator,” a role that led to a friendship with director James Cameron and jobs in “Aliens,” “True Lies” and “Titanic.” Paxton’s acclaimed turn in “Apollo 13,” further confirmed the actor’s abilities.

He was fantastic as the trashy vampire in “Near Dark” scene stealing as the scary, and comic relief, Severin.

“Every day you’re taking a final exam as an actor,” Paxton told the late film critic Roger Ebert in 1998, while discussing his work in “A Simple Plan.”

As Hank in “A Simple Plan,” Paxton harnessed his average-Joe demeanor in service of a career-defining role alongside Billy Bob Thornton. After their two characters find millions of dollars in the woods, Paxton’s Hank endures hardships that reveal the ways in which good men can do bad things.

“I don’t play my characters with any judgment,” he told Gross. “I don’t think it’s possible to play any character with judgment.”

The actor carried that philosophy into one of his most notable performances, as Bill Henrickson in “Big Love.” As the polygamist patriarch, Paxton played a husband juggling family, work and spirituality — with three wives, a half-dozen children and a sect-wide family feud.

When “Big Love” concluded, Paxton told The Los Angeles Times’ Mary McNamara that he faced a hurdle. “It was the only steady job I’ve ever had as an adult,” he said. “But then nobody knew really what to do with me.”

As was always the case, though, Paxton found work. He earned an Emmy nomination in 2012 for the miniseries “Hatfields and McCoys,” and had a recurrent role in the TV series “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”

Paxton was starring as Det. Frank Rourke in the first season of the CBS series “Training Day.” The 13 episodes finished shooting in December, with nine still set to air.

CBS and Warner Bros. Television praised Paxton’s work in a statement issued Sunday morning.

It read, in part: “Bill was, of course, a gifted and popular actor with so many memorable roles on film and television. His colleagues at CBS and Warner Bros. Television will also remember a guy who lit up every room with infectious charm, energy and warmth, and as a great storyteller who loved to share entertaining anecdotes and stories about his work.”

Paxton is survived by his wife, Louise, and two children, James and Lydia.


More B-Movie Remakes

Girls_in_Prison_1024x1024Jeff Katz, Lou Arkoff, and Hal Sadoff plan to remake 10 titles in the Arkoff/Nicholson library of American International Pictures-produced 1950’s classics. That means a steady diet of antiheroes, monsters and naughty girls is back on the menu. They will start with these 1950’s drive-in classics: Girls In Prison, Viking Women & The Sea Serpent, The Brain Eaters, She-Creature, Teenage Caveman, Runaway Daughters, The Undead, War of The Colossal Beast, Cool & The Crazy and Day The World Ended. The plan is to shoot them all back to back, beginning this fall. The question will be how these films, distinguished more than anything by their titles, will play in the modern age.

AIP was founded in 1954 by Samuel Z. Arkoff and James H. Nicholson, and churned out 500 low-budget, indies for teens that included the Beach Party series with Frankie Avalon and the late Annette Funicello, as well as the early films of director Roger Corman. In 1979 AIP merged with Filmways which later was folded into Orion Pictures. Currently, the rest of the library is owned by MGM, Orion’s successor. Arkoff, son of Samuel, had previously produced remakes of AIP titles for Showtime’s Rebel Highway series in the 1990′s.

the-brain-eaters_vintage-science-fiction-movie-poster“The AIP spirit was all about innovation and giving new young talent a place to create,” said Arkoff. “We are now using that independent spirit and our library of classic titles to create something brand-new for the modern media model, with a coordinated social effort to accelerate interest in these properties. Our goal is to engage young audiences and drive the spirit of the times with the same excitement that fueled these titles decades ago”

Sadoff, who headed ICM’s indie film department, will sell them. “The independent film marketplace has never been stronger, with traditional along with new and exciting distribution platforms for consumers to access content. We will be working with established and cutting edge talent to create films that are fun and commercial, while maintaining the integrity of the classic AIP titles.”

the-she-creature-movie-poster-1956-1020143915Katz is a writer/producer and former studio executive who has worked on such films as Shoot ‘Em UpFreddy Vs. JasonWolverine and Snakes On A Plane and has written comic books for DC Comics, Top Cow and Dynamite. Katz has written all ten movies in the AIP series. “My filmmaking heroes growing up were men like Arkoff, Castle, Corman and Shaye,” Katz explained. “This series of movies is really meant as a tip of the hat to that sort of attitude. It’s not every day you get the opportunity to create a brand new universe out of old school titles and I feel incredibly fortunate and honored to get to play in the AIP sandbox.” Courtesy of DEADLINE


The Elaborate End of Robert Ebb

Supinfocom alumni Fx Goby, Matthieu Landour and Clement Bolla unite forces for their ‘reverse B-movie’ about a night watchman whose prank turns tragic when he gets stuck in a monster costume. Originally conceived as an animated short for Fx Goby’s Supinfocom graduation film, the directors decided that the comedic nature of Robert Ebb was much better suited to live action. As with last year’s seafood battle short Monster Roll, the trio required their staring monster to be more kitsch comedic than realistically terrifying. Ready to suspend your disbelief?

The elaborate end of Robert Ebb from Robert Ebb on Vimeo.


Big Ass Spider – Trailer

Check out this trailer for Big Ass Spider, With a special introduction from Director Mike Mendez. This looks better than Transformers…

Harking back to the classic 50’s creature features, Big Ass Spider tells the tale of an exterminator (Greg Grunberg) and his sidekick (Lombardo Boyar) who are caught in an epic battle when a military assault fails to contain a giant alien spider rampaging through the city of Los Angeles…


Piranha 3D Puppet – For Sale…

Check out this mechanical Piranha puppet video from Piranha 3D, up for sale right now on the Prop Store website HERE