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

Posts tagged “Monsters

Eroding Designs – Classic Horror T-Shirts

GodzillaDawn of the DeadCheck out these awesome, locally made t-shirts featuring classic movies imagined by a 5 year old… Designs available An American Werewolf in London, Dawn of the Dead and Godzilla. Purchase them for only $20 including postage HERE


Tale of Tales – Trailer

Tale of Tales, based on a 17th century collection of fairy tales by Italian author Giambattista Basile, the film weaves realistic and fantastical elements together into three different storylines. Directed by Matteo Garrone (Gomorrah), starring Salma Hayek, John C. Reilly, Toby Jones, and Vincent Cassel.


Best Horror Posters of 2014 – Wolf Creek 2 & Sharktopus vs Pteracuda

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Monsters: Dark Continent – Trailer #2

Vertigo Films has released another new Monsters: Dark Continent trailer, the sequel to Godzilla director Gareth Edwards‘ exceptional 2010 low budget debut film Monsters.

Directed by UK filmmaker Tom Green (Misfits, Blackout), the sequel takes a more action-heavy military perspective and seems to be a change from the original movie, which was more of a suspenseful tease set against an indie human relationship drama.

Seven years on from the events of Monsters, and the ‘Infected Zones’ have spread worldwide. Humans have been knocked off the top of the food chain, with disparate communities struggling for survival. American soldiers are being sent abroad to protect US interests from the Monsters, but the war is far from being won. Noah, a haunted soldier with several tours under his belt, is sent on a mission: an American soldier has gone rogue deep in the Infected Zone, and Noah must reach him and take him out. But when Noah’s unit and transport are destroyed, he finds himself with only a young and inexperienced cadet for company – the brother of the man Noah has been sent to kill. The two soldiers must go on a life-altering journey through the dark heart of monster territory, accompanied by a young local woman to guide them. By the time the three of them reach their goal, they will have been forced to confront the fear that the true monsters on the planet may not be alien after all.


The Thing – Storyboard to Film Comparison

The visuals of both the desolate Antarctic and the ever-morphing alien creatures in THE THING were envisioned long before the movie was shot. Extensive storyboards were drawn by artist Michael Ploog so that all the departments of the production were on the same page in their preparation for the shoot. This is nothing new…but the similarity between the storyboards and the final imagery shot by legendary DP Dean Cundey is staggering. Storyboards are often only a guide, but in this film they were so specifically rendered that they became gospel. The detail and artistry of Ploog’s work up front, allowed the crew to have clear and defined goals on those frigid shooting days in both Alaska and Canada.

THE THING – Storyboard to Film Comparison from Vashi Nedomansky on Vimeo.


At The Mountains of Madness

Ath-the-Mountains-of-Madness_Guillermo-del-ToroAs dogged as ever, Guillermo del Toro is still desperate to being us an adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness? Well, he’s willing to compromise with Universal Pictures, against his better judgement, stating that he’ll make the creature feature a PG-13 horror film.

The 3-D film originally had Tom Cruise in talks to star, but also had a ballooning budget of over $120M, which was a lot considering del Toro wanted it to be R-rated. The studio killed the movie, which resulted in us being gifted with Pacific Rim, among other great stuff like the forthcoming “The Strain.”

Del Toro now has a blooming relationship with Legendary Pictures, producers behind the project, and in an interview with the WSJ reveals that At the Mountains of Madness may be back in his cards.

I said to them, that’s the movie that I would really love to do one day, and it’s still expensive, it’s still … I think that now, with the way I’ve seen PG-13 become more and more flexible, I think I could do it PG-13 now, so I’m going to explore it with [Legendary], to be as horrifying as I can, but to not be quite as graphic. There’s basically one or two scenes in the book that people don’t remember that are pretty graphic. Namely, for example, the human autopsy that the aliens do, which is a very shocking moment. But I think I can find ways of doing it.

We’ll see. It’s certainly a possibility in the future. Legendary was very close to doing it at one point, so I know they love the screenplay. So, we’ll see. Hopefully it’ll happen. It’s certainly one of the movies I would love to do.

Guillermo-del-Toro_At-the-Mountains-of-MadnessMadness is the deliberately told and increasingly chilling recollection of an Antarctic expedition’s uncanny discoveries-and their encounter with untold menace in the ruins of a lost civilization-is a milestone of macabre literature.

In this day of studio control it’s always hard to trust the filmmakers to do what’s right for the movie, but if del Toro thinks he can pull it off with a PG-13, well, I’m he’s one of the few I’m happy to believe in.

Unfortunately, it looks like this could take a back seat to Pacific Rim 2, which he briefly talks about.

I don’t want to spoil it, but I think at the end of the second movie, people will find out that the two movies stand on their own. They’re very different from each other, although hopefully bringing the same joyful giant spectacle. But the tenor of the two movies will be quite different.

Read the full interview at the Wall Street Journal link HERE


Godzilla – By My 8 Year Old Son *****

Godzilla_bannerGodzilla is about Godzilla versus MUTO which means ‘Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organism’.

Scientists discover a giant fossil and one egg which has hatched and one egg which has been damaged. The egg that had hatched was MUTO and he went to Japan and destroyed a nuclear power plant.  He feeds on nuclear radiation and grows stronger/massive.

After 15 years MUTO outside the old nuclear area, MUTO attacks breaks free. He goes to America where a female MUTO destroys Las Vegas.

SPOILER ALERT Then Godzilla follows them and fights the male MUTO and he slams it into a building and it dies. After that the building collapses on Godzilla and everyone thinks he’s dead. The female MUTO lays some eggs and tries to stop a boat with a nuclear missile on it, but Godzilla has a massive battle with her and blasts plasma down her throat and tears off her head.

godzilla_2014_textless-posterMy favourite part was in San Francisco where everyone was relaxing and on the tv news it was saying ‘Las Vegas Attack’ and no one was taking any notice until the wall smashed and MUTO was outside. My other favourite part was when the firemen broke down a door and the Elvis Presley song that me and Dad sing to my sister was playing and then the firemen look outside because the wall is destroyed. All these other buildings with MUTO destroying most of the city and all these helicopters flying around that’s when the song goes: “You’re the Devil in disguise”

It was awesome, I give it 5 out of 5 stars  ;D


Monsters: Dark Continent

With Gareth Edwards’ new film Godzilla hitting theaters tonight, people are once again talking about his first feature, Monsters which was one of the best movies of 2010. It would seem to be a good time to debut the new Monsters: Dark Continent trailer. This sequel features Edwards as an exec producer, along with his Monsters star Scott McNairy. Tom Green directed from a script by Jay Basu, and this time the action moves to the Middle East, where US military forces are dealing with a different sort of “infected zone” full of monsters. Check out the new trailer…


Once Upon A Time In Jerusalem

From the guys who brought you “Fist of Jesus” (see the ‘epic’ short below) and the classic and best short film of the Night of Horror Film Festival Zombie Night: “Brutal Relax” comes “Once Upon A Time in Jerusalem.” The adventures of Jesus and Judas in a world full of Zombies, Demons, post-apocalyptic Punks, Mutants, Cowboys, the Roman Army, Monsters, Mythological Creatures and Steampunk technology in a Troma 80’s style. Help these guys get it made by donating at IndieGoGo HERE


Universal Monsters – Infographic

If you have a monster fan in your life who isn’t quite as in touch with the Universal Monsters legacy as they should be, send them this handy chart, which highlights all of the major films involving these core characters from 1923-1960. Courtesy of  Movie.com

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Attack On Titan – Subaru

Currently streaming on Netflix Instant is an anime series called Attack on Titan, an adaptation of a manga series that centres around massive humanoid monsters who eat human beings.  Next year will see the release of a live-action feature film adaptation of the popular series, and the film’s director, Shinji Higuchi, just teased the carnage to come with an incredible commercial for Subaru, which brings the monsters from Attack on Titan to live-action life for the very first time.


Godzilla – Teaser

Described as “An epic rebirth to Toho’s iconic Godzilla, this spectacular adventure, from Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures, pits the world’s most famous monster against malevolent creatures who, bolstered by humanity’s scientific arrogance, threaten our very existence.”

I have faith as this was directed by Gareth Edwards, writer-director of the superb Monsters from 3 years back…. it looks BIG.


Pacific Rim – Concept Art

Check out these concept art images from Pacific Rim. Art by Doug Williams, courtesy of this months edition of the UK Total Film.

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Pacific Rim – Trailer

When legions of monstrous creatures, known as Kaiju, started rising from the sea, a war began that would take millions of lives and consume humanity’s resources for years on end. To combat the giant Kaiju, a special type of weapon was devised: massive robots, called Jaegers, which are controlled simultaneously by two pilots whose minds are locked in a neural bridge. But even the Jaegers are proving nearly defenseless in the face of the relentless Kaiju. On the verge of defeat, the forces defending mankind have no choice but to turn to two unlikely heroes — a washed up former pilot (Charlie Hunnam) and an untested trainee (Rinko Kikuchi) — who are teamed to drive a legendary but seemingly obsolete Jaeger from the past. Together, they stand as mankind’s last hope against the mounting apocalypse.


Hotel Transylvania by my 7 Year Old Son ****

Official synopsis for Hotel Transylvania: Dracula, who operates a high-end resort away from the human world, goes into overprotective mode when a boy discovers the resort and falls for the count’s teen-aged daughter.

My Sons review: Count Dracula builds a hotel for all the monsters to have a break away from humans, the monsters are all scared of humans. Dracula is in charge, he has a daughter called Mavis who he doesn’t want to let go out in the daytime as she would be burned by the sun Dracula’s friends are Murray the Mummy, Frank the Frankenstein monster, Wayne the Werewolf, and Griffin the Invisible Man and all the other monsters. A human comes to the hotel called Jonathan, and Dracula tries to hide him from the other monsters by dressing him up as a half-monster like Frankenstein.

The  favourite parts of the movie for me was the beginning when they showed us all the monsters and the graveyard near the castle. I really liked the zombies, especially when they were on fire. It’s pretty funny, the funniest bit is when Frank does a fart-prank on Murray the Mummy, and Murray gets blamed.

If little kids liked spooky stuff, they will like the movie, if not they could be scared. It’s not really a scary movie, I would like it more if it was more scary. I give it 4 stars, it would get 5 if it was scary.


John Landis – Monsters in the Movies

Check out this excellent John Landis article at Wired, where he discusses his new book: monsters in the movies


Hellboy – The Death of Hellboy

Mike Mignola is killing off Hellboy. Read Mignola’s open letter posted by Dark Horse Comics:

I’ve been planning this one for a long time. Well, sort of.

Almost from the beginning of Hellboy I knew that if the series went on long enough, I would eventually kill him. I didn’t know exactly how or when, but I figured that when the time was right I’d know. I actually did kill him off in the middle of The Island, but it didn’t take—it just wasn’t quite his time yet.

When Hellboy quit the B.P.R.D (at the end of Conquerer Worm) and ended up at the bottom of the ocean (The Third Wish), I could see we were headed in this direction. When Duncan came onboard to draw Darkness Calls, I told him I wanted him for a three-book arc and I knew the third book would end in Hellboy’s death. I know back then I had a rough idea for the third book, but over the years its plot changed so many times—I’m sure Duncan must have heard me tell him half a dozen different versions of it over the years, and (I hope, for his sake) he must have just stopped listening after a while. I remember that at one point the Gruagach (the long-suffering pig-man) was going to become the major villain and he would be the one to kill Hellboy, but, as is so often the case, these characters don’t always stick to the roads we make for them. Gruagach in particular took on a life (a very sad life) of his own, and the story sort of followed after him. I had to trust that he at least knew where he was going and it turned out that he did. When I asked Scott Allie (long-suffering editor) if I could have a couple extra pages for The Fury #3, it was so I could give Gruagach a proper exit. I just couldn’t leave him hanging in that tree.

And speaking of hanging in a tree—that’s probably where I’d have ended up if I’d tried to draw these last three books myself, so thank you, Duncan Fegredo. The simple truth is that Duncan is amazing. His storytelling is spot on, and he has a nearly inhuman ability to draw everything well. When I write for myself, I tend to avoid certain things, but with Duncan as artist I was free to write the story I wanted to write without worrying about how to draw Hellboy kissing a girl or what a helmet made of birds would look like. And, in my humble opinion, Duncan is one of the best artists working when it comes to giving characters real personality and emotion. I was spared writing a lot of awkward dialogue, because when Duncan draws two characters looking at each other, more often than not you can tell what they’re thinking. I would say I’ll miss writing for Duncan but, fortunately, I don’t have to. While I will be taking over the ongoing Hellboy story line (I’ve always said that in my world, when characters die they just become more interesting) as both writer and artist, there are still a lot of untold stories from Hellboy’s past—a simpler time when he didn’t have to worry about being the Beast of the Apocalypse or king of England. Duncan’s agreed to stick around and draw a bunch of those. I couldn’t be happier.

And now I have to get back to the drawing table.

– Mike Mignola


Ray Harryhausen

Ray Harryhausen, born on June 29, 1920 in Los Angeles, California, is an Producer and special effects creator. Check out the official Ray Harryhausen website

After having seen King Kong for the first of many times in 1933, Harryhausen spent his early years experimenting in the production of animated shorts, inspired by the burgeoning science fiction literary genre of the period. A friend arranged a meeting with Harryhausen’s idol, Willis O’Brien, animator of ‘King Kong’  O’Brien critiqued Harryhausen’s early models and inspired him to take classes in graphic arts and sculpture to hone his skills. Harryhausen became friends with an aspiring writer, Ray Bradbury, with similar enthusiasms. Bradbury and Harryhausen joined a Los Angeles-area science fiction club formed by Forrest J. Ackerman in 1939, and the three became lifelong friends.

Paramount executives gave Harryhausen his first job, on the ‘Puppetoons’ shorts, based on viewing his first formal demo reel of fighting dinosaurs from an abortive project called Evolution. H also produced a variety of other short animation demos during the post-World War II 1940s. He put together a demo reel of his various projects and showed them to Willis O’Brien, who eventually hired him as an assistant animator on what turned out to be Harryhausen’s first major film, ‘Mighty Joe Young’ (1949). O’Brien ended up concentrating on solving the various technical problems of the film, leaving most of the animation up to Harryhausen. Their work won O’Brien the Academy Award for Best Special Effects that year.

Harryhausen was hired to do the special effects for The Monster from Beneath the Sea. While in production, the filmmakers learned that a long-time friend of Harryhausen, writer Ray Bradbury, had sold a short story called “The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms” to The Saturday Evening Post, about a dinosaur drawn to a lone lighthouse by its foghorn. Because the story for Harryhausen’s film featured a similar scene, the film studio bought the rights to Bradbury’s story to avoid any potential legal problems. Also, the title was changed to ‘The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms’ (1953). Under that title, it became Harryhausen’s first solo feature film effort, and a major international box-office hit for Warner Brothers.

He followed that movie with minor hits, ‘It Came From Beneath The Sea’ (1955), ‘Earth Vs. The Flying Saucers’ (1956) and ’20 Million Miles to Earth’ (1956) before his greatest masterpiece (and biggest hit) of the 50s, ‘The 7th Voyage of Sinbad’ (1958).

After ‘The Three Worlds of Gulliver’ (1960) and ‘Mysterious Island’ (1961), both great artistic and technical successes, his next film is considered by film historians and fans as Harryhausen’s masterwork, ‘Jason and the Argonauts’ (1963). Among the film’s several celebrated animation sequences is an extended fight between three actors and seven living skeletons, a considerable advance on the single-skeleton fight scene in Sinbad. This amazing stop-motion sequence, never since equaled by a single individual, took over four months to complete, and helped to inspire an entire generation of subsequent filmmakers such as Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Tim Burton, Sam Raimi and James Cameron, among many others.

Harryhausen was then hired by Hammer Film Productions to animate the dinosaurs for ‘One Million Years B.C.’ (1967). It was a box office smash, helped in part by the presence of shapely Raquel Welch in a cavewoman bikini. Harryhausen next went on to make another dinosaur film, ‘The Valley of Gwangi’ (1969); the movie is set in 1912 Mexico, in a parallel Kong story—cowboys capture a living Allosaurus and bring him to the nearest city for exhibition. Sabotage by a rival releases the creature on opening day and the creature wreaks havoc on the town until it is cornered and destroyed inside a burning cathedral.

After a few lean years, Harryhausen re-teamed with Schneer, who talked Columbia Pictures into reviving the Sinbad character, resulting in ‘The Golden Voyage of Sinbad’, often remembered for the sword fight involving a statue of the six-armed goddess Kali. It was first released in Los Angeles in the Christmas season of 1973, but garnered its main audience in the spring and summer of 1974. It was followed by ‘Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger’ (1977), which disappointed some fans because of its tongue-in-cheek approach. Both films were, however, box office successes. The latter was my first cinematic experience of Harryhausens work; I’d been a fan as a little kid watching his movies on saturday matinees but seeing his effects on the big screen blew me away.

The last feature film to showcase his effects work was the ‘Clash of the Titans’ (1981), for which he was nominated for a Saturn Award for Best Special Effects. It featured an amazing set-piece with a Kraken, however despite of the relatively successful box office returns of “Clash of the Titans”, more sophisticated technology developed by ILM and others began to eclipse Harryhausen’s production techniques.

Amazingly, none of Harryhausen’s films were ever nominated for a special effects Oscar. Harryhausen’s contribution to the film industry and he was finally awarded a Gordon E. Swayer Award for “technological contributions [which] have brought credit to the industry” in 1992, with Tom Hanks as the Master of Ceremonies and Bradbury, a friend from when they were both just out of high school, presenting the award. This recognition made Harryhausen an international celebrity. A long series of appearances at film festivals, colleges, and film seminars around the world soon followed as Harryhausen met many of the millions of people who had grown up enjoying his work. On one of these tours he visited the Disney studio in Sydney where I was lucky enough to meet him and score an autographed copy of ‘Jason and the Argonauts’ DVD… it’s still my favourite piece of memorabilia.


Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark – Trailer

Delayed until August, the new movie written and produced by Guillermo Del Toro: Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark

SYNOPSIS: A young girl sent to live with her father and his new girlfriend discovers creatures in her new home who want to claim her as one of their own.

This normally wouldn’t raise an eyebrow, but anything that Guillermo Del Toro is involved with is always worth a look. However the delayed release date is a concern.


Troll Hunter – Coming Soon

If you enjoyed ‘Cloverfield’ and I’m not judging you… then you should enjoy this, check it out here