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

Posts tagged “Roger Corman

R.I.P Dick Miller

dick miller - after darkDick Miller, prolific screen actor and B-Movie legend, best known for his role as Murray Futterman in the 1984 classic horror film Gremlins, has died. He was 90.

With a career spanning more than 60 years, Miller has made hundreds of on screen appearances, beginning in the 1950’s with legendary director and producer Roger Corman. It was then that he starred as Walter Paisley – a character the actor would reprise throughout his career – in the cult classic “A Bucket of Blood,” before going on to land roles on projects such as The ‘Burbs, Fame and The Terminator.

Miller also boasts a long history of high-profile director partnerships, working with the likes of James Cameron, Ernest Dickerson, Martin Scorsese, John Sayles and, perhaps most notably, Joe Dante, who used Miller in almost every project he helmed.

In one of Dante’s earlier films, Piranha, Miller played Buck Gardner, a small-time real estate agent opening up a new resort on Lost River Lake. The only catch? A large school of genetically altered piranha have accidentally been released into the resort’s nearby rivers. Next up was a police chief role in the 1979 film Rock ‘n’ Roll High School before reprising the Walter Paisley mantle as an occult bookshop owner in Dante’s 1981 horror film The Howling.

Other notable appearances include the 1986 cult favorite Night of the Creeps, where he shared the screen with Tom Atkins as a police ammunition’s officer named Walt – he supplies Atkins with some necessary firepower in the face of an alien worm-zombie invasion – and a pawnshop owner in James Cameron’s 1984 hit The Terminator; the same year he appeared in yet another of Dante’s films, Gremlins.

Most recently, Miller reprised the role of Walter Paisley for a final time as a rabbi in Eben McGarr’s horror film Hanukkah.

Miller is survived by his wife Lainie, daughter Barbara and granddaughter Autumn.

joedanteDante called him “one of his most treasured collaborators,” writing, “I ‘grew up’ (kinda) watching Dick Miller in movies from the 50’s on and was thrilled to have him in my first movie for Roger Corman.”


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

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Piranha – Poster Art

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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


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


John Sayles

John Thomas Sayles (born September 28, 1950) is an American independent film director, screenwriter and author. Sayles was born in Schenectady, New York, the son of Mary, a teacher, and Donald John Sayles, a school administrator.

Like Martin Scorsese and James Cameron, among others, Sayles began his film career working with Roger Corman, scripting Piranha. In 1979, Sayles funded his first film, Return of the Secaucus 7, with money he had in the bank from writing scripts for Roger Corman. He set the film in a large house so that he did not have to travel to or get permits for different locations, set it over a three-day weekend to limit costume changes, and wrote about people his age so that he could have his friends act in it. The film received near-unanimous critical acclaim, and in November 1997, the National Film Preservation Board announced that Return of the Secaucus 7 would be one of the 25 films selected that year for preservation in the National Film Registry at the Library of Congress.

Sayles wrote, Alligator and Battle Beyond the Stars (both 1980), before writing The Howling (1981) for Joe Dante. In 1983, after writing/directing the films Lianna and Baby It’s You, Sayles received a MacArthur Fellowship. He used the money to partially fund the fantasy The Brother from Another Planet, a film about a black, three-toed slave who escapes from another planet and finds himself at home among the people of Harlem.

Sayles wrote the scripts for The Clan of the Cave Bear (1986) and Wild Thing (1987), before directing the excellent Matewan (1987) and Eight Men Out (1988). In 1989, he created and wrote the pilot episode for the short-lived television show Shannon’s Deal. Sayles received a 1990 Edgar Award for his teleplay for the pilot. The show ran for only 16 episodes before being cancelled in 1991.

Sayles has funded most of his films by writing genre scripts such as Piranha, Alligator, The Howling and The Challenge, having collaborated with Joe Dante on Piranha and The Howling, Sayles acted in Dante’s underrated 1993 movie Matinee. In deciding whether to take a job, Sayles reports that he mostly is interested in whether there is the germ of an idea for a movie which he would want to watch. Sayles gets the rest of his funding by working as a script doctor; he apparently did rewrites for Apollo 13, and Mimic. 

One such genre script, called Night Skies, inspired what would eventually become the highly successful film E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. That film’s director, Steven Spielberg, commissioned Sayles to write a script for Jurassic Park IV. 

He has directed the dramas, City of Hope (1991), Passion Fish (1992), The Secret of the Roan Inish (1994), Lone Star (1996), Men with Guns (1997), Limbo (1999), Sunshine State (2002), Casa de los Babys (2003), political comedy Silver City (2004) and musical Honeydripper (2007). Sayles 17th and latest feature film, was the historical war drama Amigo. 

In February 2009, Sayles was reported to be writing an upcoming HBO series based on the early life of Anthony Kiedis of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. The drama, tentatively titled Scar Tissue, centers on Kiedis’s early years living in West Hollywood with his father. At that time, Kiedis’s father, known as Spider, sold drugs (according to legend, his clients included The Who and Led Zeppelin) and mingled with rock stars on the Sunset Strip, all while aspiring to get into showbiz.

His novel A Moment in the Sun, set during the same period as Amigo, in the Philippines, Cuba, and the US, was released in 2011 by McSweeney’s. He should belt out a few more cheesy-pulp-scripts, we could do with them about now.