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

Posts tagged “Buffy the Vampire Slayer

In Your Eyes – Joss Whedon on Vimeo

The latest flick from Writer/Executive Producer Joss Whedon is now available exclusively to rent on vimeo. A boy-meets-girl story, wrapped in a supernatural world. In Your Eyes features Zoe Kazan, Michael Stahl-David, Nikki Reed, Jennifer Grey, Steve Howey and is directed by Brin Hill.

In Your Eyes – Trailer from Bellwether Pictures on Vimeo.

Donald Sutherland

Donald McNichol Sutherland, (born 17 July 1935) is a Canadian actor whose film career spans nearly 50 years. Some of Sutherland’s more notable movie roles included offbeat warriors in popular war movies such as The Dirty Dozen, M*A*S*H, and Kelly’s Heroes, as well as characters in other popular films such as Klute, Don’t Look Now, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Animal House, JFK, Ordinary People and, more recently, The Hunger Games as President Snow. He is the father of actor Kiefer Sutherland.

Sutherland was born in Saint John, New Brunswick, however, his teenage years were spent in Nova Scotia, where he got his first part-time job at age 14 as a news correspondent for local radio station CKBW. He studied at Victoria College, University of Toronto, and graduated with a double major in engineering and drama. He changed his mind about becoming an engineer, and subsequently left Canada for England in 1957 to study at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.

In the early-to-mid-1960s, Sutherland began to gain small parts in British films and TV. He featured alongside Christopher Lee in horror films such as Castle of the Living Dead (1964) and Dr. Terror’s House of Horrors (1965). During this period he featured in British TV series’ The Avengers and The Saint. Sutherland was then on course for the first of the three war films which would make his name: as one of the The Dirty Dozen in 1967, alongside Lee Marvin and Charles Bronson; as the lead “Hawkeye” Pierce in Robert Altman’s M*A*S*H; and as hippy-like tank commander Sgt. Oddball in Kelly’s Heroes, alongside Clint Eastwood (both 1970).

During the filming of the Academy award-winning detective thriller Klute (1971), Sutherland and Jane Fonda went on to co-produce and star together in the anti-Vietnam war documentary F.T.A (1972), consisting of a series of sketches performed outside army bases and interviews with American troops who were then on active service. As a more mainstream follow-up to their teaming up in Klute, Sutherland and Fonda performed together again in Steelyard Blues (1972).

Sutherland then starred in the Venice-based psychological horror film Don’t Look Now (1973), directed by Nic Roeg. While Don’t Look Now observes many conventions of the thriller genre, its primary focus is on the psychology of grief, and the effect the death of a child can have on a relationship. The film’s emotionally convincing depiction of grief is often singled out as a trait not usually present in films featuring supernatural plot elements.

As well as the unusual handling of its subject matter, Don’t Look Now is renowned for its atypical but innovative editing style, and its use of recurring motifs and themes. The film often employs flashbacks and flash-forwards in keeping with the depiction of precognition, but some scenes are intercut or merged to alter the viewer’s perception of what is really happening. It also adopts an impressionist approach to its imagery, often presaging events with familiar objects, patterns and colours using associative editing techniques.

Originally causing controversy on its initial release due to an explicit and—for the time—very graphic sex scene between Christie and Sutherland, its reputation has grown considerably in the years since, and it is now acknowledged as a modern classic and an influential work in horror and British film.

He soon found himself in demand as a leading man throughout the 1970s in films such as Day of the Locust (1975), The Eagle Has Landed (1976), Federico Fellini’s Casanova (1976), 1900 (1976), and as the ever-optimistic health inspector in the science fiction/horror film Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978), and the thriller Eye of the Needle (1981).

Sutherland also had a small role as pot-smoking Professor Dave Jennings in National Lampoon’s Animal House (1978), making himself known to younger fans as a result of the movie’s popularity. When cast, he was offered either US$40,000 up front or a percentage of the movie. Thinking the movie would certainly not be a big success, he chose the 40K upfront payment. The movie eventually grossed $141,600,000 (US).

Throughout the 80’s and 90’s, Sutherland featured in A Dry White Season (1989), Backdraft (1989), Lock-Up (1991), Six Degree’s of Separation (1993), the Oliver Stone conspiracy film JFK (1991). In 1992, he played the part of Merrick in the movie Buffy the Vampire Slayer. He featured in Disclosure (1994), Outbreak (1995) and A Time to Kill (1996), the latter with his son Kiefer.

In more recent years, Sutherland was noted for his roles in Cold Mountain (2003), the remake of  The Italian Job (2003), in the TV movie Salem’s Lot (2004) as well as the TV series Commander in Chief (2005–2006). He earned an Emmy nomination in 2006 for his performance in the miniseries Human Trafficking. In 2010 he starred alongside an ensemble cast in a TV adaptation of Ken Follett’s novel The Pillars of the Earth. 

Sutherland portrayed President Snow in the movie adaptation of The Hunger Games, released in March 2012. He is slated to reprise the role in its sequel Catching Fire. 

The Cabin in the Woods ****½

You should see Cabin in the Woods before you read this review; see it before seeing the trailer, which gives away far too much. The main problem of course is that it has been difficult for most people to see the movie at all. Bankrupt studios, lawyers, delayed release dates and a seemingly difficult movie to market; the Cabin in the Woods has had a troubled time over the last couple of years.

It beggars belief that this film hasn’t been championed by the studio or distributors, it was only due to an online campaign that we finally got to see it in the cinemas here in Australia, over a year late!

The premise is a seemingly simple one, five college students jump in a camper van and head out to distant cousins Cabin in the Woods, not an entirely unfamiliar scenario in the horror film genre. The students are Dana (Kristen Connelly), her best friend Jules (Anna Hutchison), Jules’ boyfriend Curt (Chris Hemsworth), his friend Holden (Jesse Williams) and stoner dropout Marty (Fran Kranz).

They are not your typical stereotypes, initially at least; however, their personalities change soon after they arrive at the cabin. A few beers and a game of ‘truth or dare’ lead them into the basement where they encounter a plethora of odd artifacts. What could possibly go wrong?

Sitterson (Richard Jenkins) and Hadley (Bradley Whitford), the two guys watching them on closed-circuit TV, and apparently manipulating their surroundings seem more than willing to ensure that a lot will go wrong for these kids…

To say anything more would only ruin the surprise and lessen the impact of what is so far the best movie of the year.

Written by Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard, the script is exceptional; it’s smart, fun and filled with tension. An obvious love and deep knowledge of the genre has been poured into almost every scene and it pays off for horror fans of all sub-genres. Filled with references to horror films of all eras, with a particular focus on the classic 80’s period, most notably The Evil Dead, this movie is destined to be a drinking game staple for years to come.

The script is filled with fantastic dialogue and some excellent jokes, all of which are delivered by a solid cast, with a special mention of Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford who are particularly good.

I was never a massive fan of Buffy or Firefly, however Whedon has surpassed those efforts this year with this film and some other super hero flick that has done quite well recently. Drew Goddard has done a great job bringing all the elements together, paying homage to many the films referenced.

As a horror film it’s not really very frightening and it loses it’s way slightly towards the end, however, as a horror-comedy, it’s up there with the very best. No spoilers here, if you like horror, see it at any cost, if you love horror you’ll want to own it as soon as possible.

Quality: 5 out of 5 stars

Any Good: 4 out of 5 stars (It would have been 5 with a few more scares)

Doug Jones

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.

Rutger Hauer

Rutger Oelsen Hauer (born 23 January 1944) is a Dutch stage, television and film actor. His career began in 1969 with the title role in the popular Dutch television series ‘Floris’, directed by Paul Verhoeven. His film credits include ‘Nighthawks’, ‘Blade Runner’, ‘Flesh + Blood’, ‘Blind Fury’, ‘The Hitcher’, ‘Ladyhawke’, ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’, ‘Batman Begins’, ‘Confessions of a Dangerous Mind’, ‘Sin City’, ‘The Rite’ and ‘Hobo with a Shotgun’.

Hauer made his American debut in the Sylvester Stallone vehicle ‘Nighthawks’ (1981), cast as a psychopathic and cold-blooded terrorist named “Wulfgar”. The following year, he appeared in arguably his most famous and acclaimed role as the eccentric, violent, yet sympathetic replicant Roy Batty in Ridley Scott’s 1982 science fiction thriller, ‘Blade Runner’.

Hauer went on to play the adventurer courting Gene Hackman’s daughter (Theresa Russell) in Nicholas Roeg‘s poorly received ‘Eureka’ (1983); the investigative reporter opposite John Hurt in Sam Peckinpah’s ‘The Osterman Weekend’ (1983); the hardened mercenary Martin in ‘Flesh & Blood’ (1985): and the knight paired with Michelle Pfeiffer in ‘Ladyhawke’ (1985).

He made an impression on audiences, myself included, I saw it 3 times, in ‘The Hitcher’ (1986), in which he was the mysterious Hitchhiker intent on murdering C. Thomas Howell’s lone motorist and anyone else who crossed his path. At the height of Hauer’s fame, he was even set to be cast as Robocop in the film directed by old friend Verhoeven, although the role ultimately went to American method actor Peter Weller.

n the late 1980s and 1990s, as well as in 2000, Hauer acted in several British and American television productions, including ‘Inside the Third Reich’ (as Albert Speer); ‘Escape from Sobibor’ (for which he received a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor); ‘Fatherland; ‘Hostile Waters’ ; ‘Merlin’; ‘Smallville’; ‘Alias’, and ‘Salem’s Lot’.

Hauer played an assassin in ‘Confessions of a Dangerous Mind’ (2003), a villainous cardinal with influential power in ‘Sin City’ (2005) and a devious corporate executive running Wayne Enterprises in ‘Batman Begins’ (2005).

Some screenings of Grindhouse (mainly in Canada) also featured a fake trailer for a film titled Hobo with a Shotgun. The trailer, created by filmmakers Jason Eisener, John Davies, and Rob Cotterill, won Robert Rodriguez’s South by Southwest Grindhouse trailers contest. In the trailer, a vagabond with a 20-gauge shotgun becomes a vigilante; he is shown killing numerous persons, ranging from armed robbers to corrupt cops to a pedophilic Santa Claus. In 2010, the trailer was made into a full length feature film starring Rutger Hauer as the hobo. Hobo With a Shotgun was the second of Grindhouse‘s fake trailers to be turned into a feature film, the first being Robert Rodriquez hit ‘Machete’.

On March 4, 2011, it was announced that Hauer would play vampire hunter, Van Helsing in legendary horror director Dario Argento‘s new version of the vampire legend in ‘Dracula 3D‘. Scheduled for release sometime in 2011.