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

Posts tagged “Death

Raiders Of The Lost Ark Face Melt Scene Slowed Down 1100% Ultra Slow Motion


R.I.P. William Peter Blatty

It’s been quite some time since I’ve bothered to write for the blog, partially through my busy work schedules, family commitments and in all honesty lack of interest…and I know I’m late as the news has been known for almost 12 hours now, however, it is with a heavy heart that I am compelled to write the following post.

friedkin_blatty_the_exorcist_1973William Peter Blatty, the author whose best-selling book The Exorcist was both a milestone in horror fiction and a turning point in his own career, died on Thursday in Bethesda, Md. He was 89. The cause was multiple myeloma, his wife, Julie Blatty, said.

The Exorcist, the story of a 12-year-old girl possessed by the Devil, was published in 1971 and sold more than 13 million copies. The movie version, made in 1973, starring Linda Blair and directed by Blatty’s longtime friend, William Friedkin, was a massive commercial success, breaking box-office records at many theaters and becoming the highest-grossing film to date for Warner Bros. studios. It earned Mr. Blatty, who wrote the screenplay, an Academy Award. (It was also the first horror movie nominated for the best-picture Oscar.)

The Exorcist marked a radical shift in Mr. Blatty’s career, which was already well established in another genre: He was one of Hollywood’s leading comedy writers having collaborated with the director Blake Edwards on the screenplays for four films, beginning in 1964 with A Shot in the Dark, the second movie (after The Pink Panther) starring Peter Sellers as the bumbling Inspector Clouseau and, in some critics’ view, the best. His other Edwards films were the comedy What Did You Do in the War, Daddy? (1966); the musical comedy-drama Darling Lili (1970); and Gunn (1967), based on the television detective series Peter Gunn. He also wrote the scripts for comedies starring Danny Kaye, Warren Beatty and Zero Mostel.

The phenomenal success of The Exorcist essentially signaled the end of Mr. Blatty’s comedy career, making him for all practical purposes the foremost writer in a new hybrid genre: theological horror. It was a mantle he was never entirely comfortable wearing.

When he declined his publisher’s entreaties for a sequel to The Exorcist and instead delivered an elegiac memoir about his mother, I’ll Tell Them I Remember You, published in 1973, Mr. Blatty felt the first cinch of the horror-writing straitjacket.

“My publisher took it because I wanted to do it,” he was quoted as saying in “Faces of Fear” (1985), a collection of interviews with horror writers by Douglas E. Winter. “But the bookstores were really hostile. The sad truth is that nobody wants me to write comedy,” he said in another interview. “ ‘The Exorcist’ not only ended that career; it expunged all memory of its existence.”

Mr. Blatty gave various accounts of what led him to try his hand at horror. He sometimes said the market for his comedy had waned in the late 1960s, and he was ready to move on. At other times, he said that his mother’s sudden death in 1967 had led to a renewed commitment to his Roman Catholic faith, and to a soul searching about life’s ultimate questions, including the presence of evil in the world.

In every account, he said the idea for The Exorcist was planted in 1949, when he was a student at the Jesuit-affiliated Georgetown University in Washington and read an account in The Washington Post of an exorcism under the headline “Priest Frees Mt. Rainier Boy Reported Held in Devil’s Grip.” The incident, widely discussed at the time among Georgetown students and faculty members, came back to Mr. Blatty 20 years later as the basis for a book about something not getting much press in the fractured, murky landscape of late-1960s America: the battle between Good and Evil.

He began writing what he thought would be a modest-selling thriller about a girl, a demon and a pair of Catholic priests. About halfway through, he later said, he sensed he had something more. “I knew it was going to be a success,” he told People magazine. “I couldn’t wait to finish it and become famous.”

William Peter Blatty was born on Jan. 7, 1928, in Manhattan to Peter and Mary Blatty, immigrants from Lebanon. His father left home when he was 6, and his mother supported the two of them by selling quince jelly on the streets, yielding a wobbly income that precipitated 28 changes of address during a childhood he once described as “comfortably destitute.”

The church figured prominently in his life. His mother was a churchgoing Catholic, and he was educated at prominent Jesuit-run schools that admitted him on full scholarships: the Brooklyn Preparatory School, now closed, where he was the 1946 class valedictorian, and Georgetown, from which he graduated in 1950.

After serving in the Air Force, Mr. Blatty worked for the United States Information Agency in Beirut. He returned to the United States for a public relations job in Los Angeles, where he hoped to begin his career as a writer.

He had already published his first book — a memoir, “Which Way to Mecca, Jack?” — but was still working in public relations in 1961 when he appeared as a contestant on a TV Game show hosted by Groucho Marx. He and a fellow contestant won $10,000. His winnings freed him to quit his day job and become a full-time writer. He never had a regular job again.

Mr. Blatty lived in Bethesda. In addition to his wife, the former Julie Witbrodt, whom he married in 1983, he is survived by their son, Paul William Blatty; three daughters, Christine Charles, Mary Joanne Blatty and Jennifer Blatty; and two sons, Michael and William Peter Jr., from earlier marriages; seven grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren. Another son, Peter Vincent Blatty, died in 2006; his death was the subject of Mr. Blatty’s 2015 book, “Finding Peter.”

His work after The Exorcist included several more theologically themed works of horror, including The Ninth Configuration in 1978 (a reworking of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Killer Kane,” from 1966) — and Legion in 1983. Both books were made into movies, directed as well as written by Mr. Blatty; the film version of Legion was released in 1990 as The Exorcist III.

Mr. Blatty became reconciled over the years to the overwhelming dominance The Exorcist — most recently adapted into a 2016 TV mini-series — would have on his reputation as a writer. (He also maintained a sense of humor about it, as reflected in the name of a comic novel about Hollywood he published in 1996: “Demons Five, Exorcists Nothing.”) He knew, he told several interviewers, that it would be what people remembered him for. But one thing bothered him.

Many moviegoers, including the president of Warner Bros., had interpreted the movie’s climax — in which the younger of the two priests (played by Jason Miller) goads the demon into leaving the girl to take up residence inside him instead, then jumps to his death — as a win for the demon.

That was not how Mr. Blatty meant it. For years he pleaded his case to Mr. Friedkin, a longtime friend. In 2000, Mr. Friedkin relented, issuing a re-edited director’s cut of the film that made the triumph of Good over Evil more explicit.

With the same purpose in mind, Mr. Blatty rewrote parts of the original book, even adding a chapter, for a 40th-anniversary edition of The Exorcist published in 2011. It was essential to him, he told The Times-Picayune of New Orleans in 2000, that people understand the point of The Exorcist: “That God exists and the universe itself will have a happy ending.”


Herbert White by James Franco

James Franco is everywhere these days. Between acting in just about everything and directing feature after feature, it seems safe to say that he’s in the prime of his creative output. In terms of his directorial efforts, Franco definitely has an affinity for adapting tough pieces of literature, like his upcoming feature Child of God, which is based on a novel by Cormac McCarthy, plus As I Lay Dying and The Sound and the Fury, both of which are based upon William Faulkner novels previously thought to be unadaptable. The adaptations didn’t start with that recent trio of films, however, but in the late 2000′s with several short films based on poems. One of these short film adaptations comes from a Frank Bidart poem called Herbert White, and, as luck would have it, it’s is probably one of the most disturbing films that you will ever see… and it stars Michael Shannon. Click on the link below… WARNING: Some people may find subject matter disturbing.
http://www.vice.com/read/james-francos-short-film-herbert-white-450?utm_source=vicefbus#ooid=s3Zm41bjq9sxnP227Lbe5ZeH78w-VHWR
If you’re interested you can check out the original poem HERE


Horror Themed Pizzas

Papas-Pizza_Scream_Halloween_The-Walking-DeadHungry? Check out these amazing Horror-themed pizzas by Wilhelm Rodriguez, a pizza maker at the Peurto Rican restaurant Papa’s Pizza… there’s much more on their facebook page HERE

Papas-Pizza_Freddy-Kreuger_Chucky_Jason-Voorhees

 


R.I.P. Saul Zaentz

saul-zaentzSaul Zaentz, the producer who won Best Picture Oscars in three different decades has died in the Bay Area, Indiewire reports. Saul Zaentz was 92. He won the Academy’s biggest prize for the classic One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest (1975), Amadeus (1984) and The English Patient (1996), and produced such other films as The Unbearable Lightness Of Being, Goya’s Ghost and the 1978 animated version of The Lord Of The Rings directed by Ralph Bakshi. He also received the Academy’s Irving G. Thalberg Award, the Producers Guild’s Lifetime Achievement Award and BAFTA’s Academy Fellowship.

Over his long career, Zaentz produced several notable films adapted from literary works, including Cuckoo’s Nest (based on the Ken Kesey’s novel) which earned he and then young producer Michael Douglas five Academy Awards, including best picture. It was Douglas’ first feature film producing credit. Cuckoo’s Nests Oscar wins were notable because it was the first film since 1934′s It Happened One Night to win all five top Oscar categories. It also earned Jack Nicholson and Douglas their first Academy Awards.

Then in 1984, when he joined with Cuckoo’s Nest director Milos Foreman again for Amadeus about the life of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, they once again swept the Academy Awards winning eight Oscars this time winning best picture, best director and best actor for F. Murray Abraham. And in 1997, Zaentz produced The English Patient which for third time during his career led to a sweep of the Academy Awards, winning nine Oscars including for best picture, best director for Anthony Minghella (who passed in 2008), best actor for the young Ralph Fiennes and best supporting actress for Juliette Binoche (who worked with Zaentz years earlier in The Unbearable Lightness of Being).

Never one to shy away from what he believe in, he became involved in a heated battle for many years with Miramax Films over monies owed from The English Patient and was outspoken about it not only for himself but on behalf of the actors and his director Minghella. But that was not his first legal wrangling. This was a man who stood up for what he believed in and was unafraid and unabashed to go head to head against companies for artists and himself. He also always went on the record with journalists, never hiding behind anonymity. He led a colorful and eventful life and was part of the Greatest Generation of those who served in the Army in World War II and, at one point, he made a living as a gambler. He was born Feb. 28, 1921, in Passaic, N.J. but relocated to St. Louis during his teens before moving to San Francisco.

one_flew_over_the_cuckoos_nest_ver3Zaentz started his showbiz career in the music business, working concert tours with jazzmen such as Duke Ellington and Dave Brubeck. In 1955, he joined Fantasy Records.  Twelve years later, he and a group of investors bought out the music company and would grow it into the largest jazz record label in the world. The label also recorded comedian Lenny Bruce who was known for breaking down barriers with his vulgar stream of conscious rants on politics and sex. The Bay Area label had modest success with jazz artists like Brubeck until a local act on its roster changed its name from the Golliwogs to Creedence Clearwater Revival became an international smash. He used his Fantasy Records earnings to get into a second career as a Hollywood producer but not before Zaentz and Credence’s leader, John Fogerty, would wage epic court battles over Creedence’s publishing and some of Fogerty’s solo songs, the latter case going all the way to the Supreme Court.

Litigation turned out to be a recurring theme in Zaentz’s life: His company and Warner Bros remain in a battle with the estate of J.R.R. Tolkien and publisher HarperCollins over copyright and merchandising rights related to the author’s The Hobbit and The Lord Of The Rings.

one_flew_over_the_cuckoos_nest_ver2His last film was Goya’s Ghosts, also directed by Milos Forman and starred Javier Bardem, Natalie Portman and Stellan Skarsgård. He also produced At Play in the Fields of the Lord and The Unbearable Lightness of Being based on the Milan Kundera novel of the same name. The film starred Daniel Day-Lewis, Binoche and Lena Olin. He also executive produced The Mosquito Coast which starred Harrison Ford.

In 1996, Zaentz was honored with the Irving G. Thalberg memorial award which is given to “creative producers, whose bodies of work reflect a consistently high quality of motion picture production,” joining the ranks of such legendary producers as Cecille B. DeMille, William Wyler, Alfred Hitchcock, and Billy Wilder. Some of the films he produced are epic in nature and scope and are still studied by film students. Years later, in 2003, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts would award Zaentz its highest award — the Academy Fellowship – to honor his body of work. And then in 1997, won the Producer’s Guild lifetime achievement award.