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Posts tagged “Poltergeist

Tobe Hooper R.I.P

tobe-hooperSo soon after the passing of George Romero, it’s sad to report that Tobe Hooper, the horror director best known for helming The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and Poltergeist, died Saturday in Sherman Oaks, Calif., according to the Los Angeles County Coroner. He was 74. The circumstances of his death were not known.

The influential 1974 The Texas Chain Saw Massacre became a seminal horror title for its realistic approach and deranged vision. Shot for less than $300,000, it tells the story of a group of unfortunate friends who encounter a group of cannibals on their way to visit an old homestead. Though it was banned in several countries for violence, it was one of the most profitable independent films of the 1970s in the U.S. The character of Leatherface was loosely based on serial killer Ed Gein.

Hooper also directed the 1986 sequel The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, which took a more comedic approach, as part of his Cannon Films deal.

The 1982 Poltergeist, written and produced by Steven Spielberg, also became a classic of the genre. The story of a family coping with a house haunted by unruly ghosts starred JoBeth Williams and Craig T. Nelson. The film was a box office success for MGM and became the eighth-highest grossing film of the year.

After Poltergeist, Hooper directed two movies for Cannon Films, Lifeforce and Invaders from Mars, a remake of the 1953 alien movie.

His 1979 CBS miniseries adaptation of Stephen King’s bestselling novel Salem’s Lot is considered by many fans to be a high-water mark in televisual horror. Combining the intrigue of a nighttime soap opera with the gothic atmosphere of a classic horror film, the two-part program was eventually reedited and released theatrically throughout Europe.

He continued working in television and film throughout the 1990’s and 2000’s, but none of the films had the impact of his early works.  His other more recent works included Toolbox Murders, Crocodile, and Mortuary.

Among his other works was the music video for Billy Idol’s “Dancing With Myself.” In 2011 he co-authored a post-modern horror novel titled “Midnight Movie” in which he himself appeared as the main character.

 

Hooper continued to work on various TV series and films up until 2013, when his last film, Djinn, set in the United Arab Emirates and produced by Image Nation, was released. He is survived by two sons.


The Entity – Remake News

the-entityWe’re used to remakes of every horror film we loved so I shouldn’t be surprised by the news that they are remaking the classic 1983 horror movie The Entity, according to Heat Vision.

James Wan, best known for directing Saw, Dead Silence, The Conjuring, Insidious and now Fast 7 will produce the remake with brothers Chad and Carey Hayes (House of Wax and The Reaping) on board to write the script. Roy Lee (The Ring, Godzilla, The Grudge, Poltergeist) will produce Entity with Wan.

The Entity told the true story of Carla Moran, a single mom who was abused physically and sexually by a supernatural demon. Barbara Hershey played Moran while Ron Silver played a doctor who believes the woman is actually abusing herself and experiencing delusions brought about by a troubled past. Also figuring into the proceedings was a young son, a boyfriend, and two parapsychologists.


Poltergeist – TV Spot

Latest TV Spot for the remake of Poltergeist. Sam Raimi (producer) re-imagines and contemporizes the classic tale about a family whose suburban home is invaded by angry spirits. When the terrifying apparitions escalate their attacks and hold the youngest daughter captive, the family must come together to rescue her before she disappears forever.


Poltergeist – Teasers

635585846873878005-POLTERGEISTHANDS-1024x768635585847198986173-POLTERGEISTBIGHNADS-1024x768The first official images from the Poltergeist remake are online… and a teaser to the trailer.


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Poltergeist – Foreign Posters

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Poltergeist – Remake News

PoltergeistMore sad remake news is that the remake of Poltergeist will be a very PG friendly film. I know that the original was borderline but the difference being that it was so well done… something you can barely say about any of the plethora of remakes over the last decade.

Collider spoke to Sam Rockwell and asked him about the remake. Had he seen any footage yet:

I’ve seen a little in looping. I hope it’s good. I really don’t know. I really wish I could tell you. I’m praying that it’s – I mean, it’s gonna be hard to live up to the first one. The first one’s pretty damn good. This one’s gonna be in 3D though, I can tell you that.

The actor then added a bit more about the film’s protagonist and angle:

The 10-year-old boy is really the protagonist this time. JoBeth Williams was the protagonist for the most part in the first one and now the kid, it’s really through his point-of-view. So it’s more of a kids’ movie so I don’t know if it’s gonna be like rated-R scary.

The first wasn’t R-rated scary, as mentioned above, but it was pretty damn scary. Rockwell elaborates:

It’s not like Conjuring type of scary. You know, it’s a different kind of movie. It’s more of an adventure. It’s essentially a child abduction film when you come down to it. I mean, the original Poltergeist is too.

The Poltergeist remake will probably be PG-13 as per Film Ratings HERE. It’s rated PG-13 for “intense frightening sequences, brief suggestive material, and some language.”


Horror Icons – By Barret Chapman

Love this fantastic montage of Horror Icons by Barret Chapman. The man has great taste. I want this on my wall..! See more of Barret’s work HERE

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Rick Baker – Designs for Night Skies

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After Close Encounters of the Third Kind became a hit, Columbia Pictures wanted a sequel. Director Steven Spielberg did not, but the one thing he wanted less than a sequel was for Columbia to make one without him. So he set about developing a much darker, horror-tinged film that would act as a follow-up to Close Encounters. It was originally called Watch the Skies (which was also an early Close Encounters title) and eventually referred to as Night Skies.  John Sayles scripted, and Rick Baker was hired to design the alien concepts.

Rick Baker has been posting images of his designs on Twitter, and they’re wonderful to see. Several will look very familiar, too. Because while Night Skies was never made, the concepts from the film ended up in several other Spielberg projects, E.T. adopted several big ideas, and films such as Poltergeist and Gremlins took concepts and pointers. Courtesy of The Rick Baker and /Film.

Night-Skies_Rick-Baker_01Night-Skies_Rick-Baker_02


Paranormal Activity goes on… and on…

Paranormal Activity 5Paramount and Blumhouse Productions have been very happily cranking out a new Paranormal Activity film each year since the first became a smash hit in 2009. But the fifth film won’t hit this October. It was pushed back not long ago, and we know now that Paranormal Activity 5 will open (as expected, more or less) on October 14, 2014.

But there’s another dose of supernatural found-footage horror coming before that October ’14 date. The horror website ‘Shock Till You Drop‘ reports that the first spin-off from the series, aimed at the Latino audience and called Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones, will be one of the first films out of the gate next year. Release is planned for January 3 2014.  Paranormal Activity 2-4 writer Christopher Landon directed the film, and this confirms the expected January release date.

No one seems to know what the story of The Marked Ones will be at this point, other than it is set in the same general world as the other films, but don’t know if it relates directly to the story established in the first four core films in the series.


Adoption of PG-13 rating

In 1984, explicit violence and gore in the films Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Poltergeist and Gremlins caused an uproar among parents over their PG rating. Their complaints led Hollywood figure Steven Spielberg, director of Temple of Doom and producer of Gremlins, to suggest a new rating to MPAA president Jack Valenti for movies that have too much adult content to be rated PG, but not quite enough to be rated R. Spielberg’s suggestion was for an intermediate rating of PG-13 or PG-14. On conferring with cinema owners, Valenti and the MPAA introduced the PG-13 rating on July 1, 1984, indicating that some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. The Spielberg films were never re-rated.

The first film distributed with a PG-13 rating was Red Dawn (1984); Dreamscape and The Woman in Red were released on the same day the following week. The Flamingo Kid (1984) was the first film to receive the rating, but was not released until December 1984.

The ratings used from 1984 to 1986 were:

  • Rated G: General Audiences – All Ages Admitted.
  • Rated PG: Parental Guidance Suggested – Some Material May Not be Suitable for Children.
  • Rated PG-13: Parents Are Strongly Cautioned to Give Special Guidance for Attendance of Children Under 13 – Some Material may be Inappropriate for Children Under 13.
  • Rated R: Restricted – Under 17 Requires Accompanying Parent or Adult Guardian.
  • Rated X: No One Under 17 Admitted.

In 1986, the PG-13 rating’s wording was changed to: Parents Strongly Cautioned – Some Material May be Inappropriate for Children Under 13.


Kathleen Kennedy

Kathleen Kennedy (born June 5, 1953) is an American film Producer. In 1981 she co-founded Amblin Entertainment with her husband, Frank Marshall, and Steven Spielberg.  Kennedy is the second-most successful film producer of all time (after Speilberg) in terms of domestic box office receipts with totals at just over $5 billion.

Kennedy was born in Berkeley, CaliforniaKennedy graduated from Shasta High School in Redding, California, in 1971. She continued her education at San Diego State University where she graduated, majoring in telecommunications and film. In her final year, Kennedy got a job at a local San Diego TV station, KCST, taking on various roles and posts including camera operator, video editor, floor director and finally KCST news production coordinator.

After her employment with KCST, she then went on to produce a local talk show, entitled You’re On, for the station for four years before moving to Los Angeles where she secured her first film production job working with John Milius who at the time was making Spielberg’s 1941 (1979). The credits list her as a production assistant. During the production of 1941, while working for Milius, Kennedy came to the attention of Steven Spielberg who hired her as his secretary, but both she and he reported that she was a terrible typist who was only kept on because of her good production ideas.

Kennedy went on to executive producer credit on Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) and then co-produce Spielberg’s project of Tobe Hooper’s Poltergeist (1982) and received her first full producer’s credit on the box-office smash E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982). Following her work on the Indiana Jones films, especially Raiders of the Lost Ark , she rose to become one of Hollywood’s leading producers. Although working on a variety of projects, she continued her business relationship with Spielberg and became executive producer for both the blockbuster Jurassic Park and the historically dramatic Schindler’s List (both 1993). She went on to collaborate with a large and important group of filmmakers, including Martin Scorsese, Robert Zemekis, Barry Levinson, and Clint Eastwood.

A truncated list of some of her other work includes, Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983), Gremlins (1984), Back to the Future (1985), The Goonies (1985), Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988), Back to the Future Part II (1989), Back to the Future Part III (1990), Cape Fear (1991), Twister (1996), The Sixth Sense (1999), A. I. (2001), Munich (2005), War of the Worlds (2005), The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008), The Adventures of Tintin (2011) and War Horse (2011).

In 1981 she helped co-found and run the hugely successful production company Amblin Entertainemnt, with Spielberg and her husband Frank Marshall. Kennedy took over a large portion of the running of Amblin and served as president of the Amblin company until 1992, when she decided to form her own film company with her husband. She became and still is a partner with Frank Marshall in The Kennedy/Marshall Company, a Santa-Monica-based film-production company with a deal at Sony Pictures.

She is also a Governor on the Board of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. In 1995, she was awarded the Women in Film Crystal Award for outstanding women who, through their endurance and the excellence of their work, have helped to expand the role of women within the entertainment industry. Marshall and Kennedy were the producers for the US versions of two Studio Ghibli animated features, Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea released in 2009 and The Secret World of Arrietty, released in 2012.


Tobe Hooper – Part 1

Tobe Hooper (born January 25, 1943) is an American film director and screenwriter, best known for his work in the horror film genre. His works include the cult classic The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974), along with its first sequel, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986); the three-time Emmy-nominated Stephen King film adaptation Salem’s Lot (1979); and the three-time Academy Award-nominated, Steven Spielberg-produced Poltergeist (1982).

Hooper was born in Austin, Texas, the son of Lois Belle (née Crosby) and Norman William Ray Hooper, who owned a theater in San Angelo. He first became interested in filmmaking when he used his father’s 8 mm camera at age 9. Hooper took Radio-Television-Film classes at the University of Texas at Austin and studied drama in Dallas under Baruch Lumet.

Hooper spent the 1960s as a college professor and documentary cameraman. His short film The Heisters (1965) was invited to be entered in the short subject category for an Oscar, but was not finished in time for the competition that year. In 1969, Hooper co-wrote and directed Eggshells, a film about a group of hippies in a commune house having to deal with the presence of a possible supernatural force. Eggshells did not receive a theatrical release, but did win Hooper several awards, including the Atlanta Film Festival Award, when the film played around different colleges. Hooper had shot over 60 documentaries, commercials, and short films before making The Texas Chain Saw Massacre.

In 1974, he organized a small cast composed of college teachers and students, and with Kim Henkel, on a budget of $60,000 (which eventually rose to $70,000, though some reports say up to $120,000) made The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. Hooper claims to have come up with the idea for The Texas Chain Saw Massacre while standing in the hardware section of a crowded store. While thinking of a way to get through the crowd, he spotted chainsaws for sale. However the origins have always been linked to stories surrounding notorious serial killer Ed Gein. The highly successful film changed the horror film industry and landed Hooper in Hollywood. Media reports of audiences throwing up and storming out of theaters showing the film swept the nation. Hooper wanted an MPAA PG rating for The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, as there was no PG-13 at the time. Despite having no sex or sexual situations, no drug use, no hard profanity, and a low level of graphic violence, the film received an R rating. The MPAA cited the film’s intense tone as reason enough to issue the R rating.

Hooper was hired by Marty Rustam to direct his first Hollywood film, Eaten Alive (1977). Hooper and Henkel re-wrote most of Rustam and Alvin Fast’s script to fit their own desires. Eaten Alive starred Mel Ferrer, Carolyn Jones, William Finley, and Marilyn Burns, who played the lead role in The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. Some critics noted that Hooper tried to recreate Chainsaw, but did not succeed in terms of intensity. The main reason for this was that Hooper felt the producers were compromising his vision by exerting control over the film. As a result of this, Hooper left the set with three weeks of principal photography remaining. After Hooper’s departure, Carolyn Jones, and the editor, Michael Brown, reportedly finished directing the final weeks of the film.

Richard Kobritz, producer of the suspenseful and acclaimed John Carpenter telefilm, Someone’s Watching Me! (1978), handpicked Hooper to direct an adaptation of Stephen King’s vampire novel ‘Salem’s Lot. The novel had been a bestseller and had been in development for some time, with Hooper briefly attached under producer William Friedkin’s supervision in 1977. Salem’s Lot (1979) became Hooper’s most polished and mainstream film to date. The telefilm was well-received by critics and fans alike, and is generally thought of as a genre classic.

In 1981, Hooper directed the film, The Funhouse. The story involved four teenage friends who decide to spend the night in the funhouse of a sleazy traveling carnival. The film opened to modest box office receipts and received mainly positive reviews. Hooper had a shooting schedule similar in length to Salem’s Lot, but nowhere near the same budget. One of the most praised aspects of the film was its visually stylish cinematography.

In 1982, Hooper directed Poltergeist for MGM, with Steven Spielberg serving as co-writer with Michael Grais and Mark Victor, and co-producer with Frank Marshall. It quickly became one of the top ten highest grossing films of the year. In addition to this, Hooper was nominated for a Saturn Award for Best Director. As a result of the film’s critical and commercial success, it seemed that Hooper would be propelled into Hollywood’s A-list of directors. However, some industry insiders in Hollywood viewed the film as more of a Spielberg-directed film than a Hooper-directed film, despite Hooper’s claims that he directed the film and did “half the storyboards himself”.


Tobe Hooper’s DJINN Trailer

Director Tobe Hooper (Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Salem’s Lot, Poltergeist) is back with a new ‘haunted house’ movie called ‘Djinn’. Scripted by David Tully, Hooper’s Djinn centers around an attractive young Emirati couple (Khalid Laith and Razane Jammal) who return to their brand-new luxury apartment after a trip to the U.S., only to learn that the building’s site also happens to be home to malicious spirits known as Djinn. It looks like a typical haunted house tale in most respects, right down to the shot of Jammal standing terrified in her living room, but the sleek, modern Abu Dhabi setting and Djinn mythology seem like they’ll provide some refreshing updates to the formula.

Despite the rumours over the weekend that the Abu Dhabi royal family had objected to the film’s “politically subversive” nature and demanded it be shelved, production company Imagenation Abu Dhabi confirmed to ‘Shock Till You Drop’ yesterday that Djinn “is in active post-production” and will hit theaters sometime this year. However, no opening date has been announced at this time.

Check out the trailer, unfortunately, some subtitles are missing, however it looks interesting…


Heather O’Rourke

Heather O’Rourke (December 27, 1975 – February 1, 1988) was an American child actress famous for playing Carol Anne Freeling in the Poltergeist film trilogy and made several television guest appearances. O’Rourke died due to medical error, and her death had long-lasting effects on her family and the media industry.

In the Poltergeist trilogy, O’Rourke played Carol Anne Freeling, a young suburban girl who becomes the conduit and target for supernatural entities. The New York Times noted that she had played the key role in the films and commented, “With her wide eyes, long blonde hair and soft voice, she was so striking that the sequel played off her presence.” During the production of the original Poltergeist, Spielberg twice accommodated the child actress when frightened. When scared by performing a particular stunt, Spielberg replaced O’Rourke with a stunt double wearing a blonde wig; and when disturbed by the portrayal of adult abuse toward the child characters, Spielberg did not require she perform the take again.For her work in Poltergeist, O’Rourke earned between US$35,000–$100,000. O’Rourke played the role in all three films. The Carol Anne character was the only member of the Freeling family to appear in the third film, Poltergeist III.

O’Rourke’s delivery of the lines “They’re here!” in the first film, and “They’re baa-aack!” in the second (that film’s tagline), placed her in the collective pop culture consciousness.

O’Rourke’s death complicated Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer’s marketing for her last work, Poltergeist III, out of fear of appearing to be exploiting her death. Tom Skerritt and Nancy Allen, O’Rourke’s co-stars, were discouraged from giving interviews about the film to avoid questions about O’Rourke’s death. O’Rourke died four months before the theatrical release of Poltergeist III, which was dedicated to her memory.

O’Rourke’s death (as well as four others) has been attributed to a supposed curse on the Poltergeist films and those associated with them; this urban legend supposedly stems from a real human skeleton used as a prop in the first film. According to backstage personnel, the ghost of O’Rourke herself haunts Paramount Pictures’ stage #19, where she filmed episodes of Happy Days.


Steven Spielberg – Part 2

Rejecting offers to direct ‘Jaws 2’, ‘King Kong’ and ‘Superman’, Spielberg and actor Richard Dreyfuss re-convened to work on a film about UFO’s, which became ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind’ (1977). One of the rare films both written and directed by Spielberg, Close Encounters was a critical and box office hit, giving Spielberg his first Best Director nomination from the Academy as well as earning six other Academy Award nominations. It won Oscars in two categories (Cinematography, Vilmos Zsigmond, and a Special Achievement Award for Sound Effects Editing, Frank E. Warner). This second blockbuster helped to secure Spielberg’s rise. However, his next film, ‘1941’, a big-budgeted World War II farce, was not nearly as successful and though it grossed over $92.4 million dollars worldwide (and did make a small profit for co-producing studios Columbia and Universal) it was seen as a disappointment, mainly with the critics.

Spielberg then revisited his Close Encounters project and, with financial backing from Columbia Pictures, released Close Encounters: The Special Edition in 1980. For this, Spielberg fixed some of the flaws he thought impeded the original 1977 version of the film and also, at the behest of Columbia, and as a condition of Spielberg revising the film, shot additional footage showing the audience the interior of the mothership seen at the end of the film (a decision Spielberg would later regret as he felt the interior of the mothership should have remained a mystery). Nevertheless, the re-release was a moderate success, while the 2001 DVD release of the film restored the original ending.

Next, Spielberg teamed with Star Wars creator and friend George Lucas on an action adventure film, ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark‘ (1981), the first of the Indiana Jones films. The archaeologist and adventurer hero Indiana Jones was played by Harrison Ford. The film was considered an homage to the cliffhanger serials of the Golden Age of Hollywood. It became the biggest film at the box office in 1981, and the recipient of numerous Oscar nominations including Best Director (Spielberg’s second nomination) and Best Picture (the second Spielberg film to be nominated for Best Picture). Raiders is still considered a landmark example of the action-adventure genre. The film also led to Ford’s casting in Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner.

A year later, Spielberg returned to the science fiction genre with ‘E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial’ (1982). It was the story of a young boy and the alien he befriends, who was accidentally left behind by his companions and is attempting to return home. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial went on to become the top-grossing film of all time. E.T. was also nominated for nine Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Director.

Between 1982 and 1985, Spielberg produced three high-grossing films: ‘Poltergeist’ (1982), for which he also co-wrote the screenplay; a big-screen adaptation of ‘The Twilight Zone’ (1983), for which he directed the segment “Kick The Can”; and ‘The Goonies’ (1984) on which he was executive producer and also wrote the story on which the screenplay was based.

His next directorial feature was the Raiders prequel ‘Indiana Jones & the Temple of Doom’ (1984). Teaming up once again with Lucas and Ford, the film was plagued with uncertainty for the material and script. This film and the Spielberg-produced Gremlins led to the creation of the PG-13 rating due to the high level of violence in films targeted at younger audiences. In spite of this, Temple of Doom is rated PG by the MPAA, even though it is the darkest and, possibly, most violent Indy film. Nonetheless, the film was still a huge blockbuster hit in 1984. It was on this project that Spielberg also met his future wife, actress Kate Capshaw.

In 1985, Spielberg released ‘The Color Purple’, an adaptation of Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name, about a generation of empowered African-American women during depression-era America. Starring Whoopi Goldberg and future talk-show superstar Oprah Winfrey, the film was a box office smash and critics hailed Spielberg’s successful foray into the dramatic genre. Roger Ebert proclaimed it the best film of the year and later entered it into his Great Films archive. The film received eleven Academy Award nominations, including two for Whoopi Goldberg and Oprah Winfrey. However, much to the surprise of many, Spielberg did not get a Best Director nomination.

In 1987, as China began opening to Western capital investment, Spielberg shot the first American film in Shanghai since the 1930s, an adaptation of J. G. Ballard’s autobiographical novel ‘Empire of the Sun’ (1987) starring John Malkovich and a young Christian Bale. The film garnered much praise from critics and was nominated for several Oscars, but did not yield substantial box office revenues. I’s one of y favourite Spielberg films and was one of the best films of the year.


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