Before we get on with the news, I’d like to take this time honor the recently departed Herbert Lom. The character actor is probably known for his roles in The Ladykillers, Spartacus, Mysterious Island, and Gambit; as well as his fantastic work as Chief Inspect Dreyfus in the original Pink Panther films… particularly A Shot In The Dark. Horror fans, however, will recognize him from such films as Cronenberg’s The Dead Zone, Hammer’s Phantom of the Opera, Asylum, Franco’s Count Dracula, Mark of the Devil, etc. So long, Herbert! You will be missed.
Walter Hill’s remake of What Ever Happened To Baby Jane? just got one step closer to the silver screen. Financing is now in place on the Lakeshore Entertainment film, which Hill has adapted himself from the original novel. No production start date has been given, but the fact that Walter Hill is seemingly working again on a regular basis gives me a husband bulge. The man not always fire on all cylinder (who does?), but he’s given us far too many winners to make me give up on him yet.
Brian Yuzna (Society, Bride of Re-Animator) has returned to feature filmmaking after five years and the product of said return, Amphibious: Creature of the Deep, hits VOD on October 9th. The monster flick stars Michael Pare and obviously centers on an aquatic menace. Will it be good? Probably not, given Yuzna’s more recent work (Rottweiler, Beneath Still Waters), but Brian rarely turns in a film that isn’t at least partially entertaining.
Marcus Dunstan & Patrick Melton (Feast, The Collector) are certainly the popular duo over at Legendary Pictures. After completing the plum job of rewriting Pacific Rim for Guillermo Del Toro, they have now been hired by the studio to do a pass on another creature feature of theirs: Waterproof. This tale of carnivorous terror revolves around a boy who accidentally unleashes some beasties on his town after finding an order form in an old comic book. When it comes to monster movies, it’s always the more the merrier in my book these days.
The never-ending threat of a new Ghostbusters film rages on! We all know that Bill Murray has officially taken his name out of the hat on a potential third outing. Well, now Ivan Reitman is dropping hints that it might end up being a full-on remake instead of a torch-passing sequel. At this point, I really don’t care. It’s not that Ghostbusters 2 is a terrible film. Despite being nowhere near as good as the first, it is a pretty solid sequel. I’m not even against a continuation of the series. I’m just not enthusiastic about the talent involved. Get a new writing team and promise me that Reitman won’t direct and then maybe, MAYBE I’ll get a little optimistic.
A lot of people rag on Ed Zwick, but I actually enjoy most of the man’s work. While no master of cinema, he’s pretty consistent when it comes to churning out entertaining films (i.e. Legends of the Fall, The Last Samurai, Blood Diamond, etc.). I honestly hadn’t paid much attention to news about his proposed next, The Great Wall. I knew it had been described as a period piece epic, but nothing beyond that. It was postponed earlier in the year due to all the financing not being in place. While I’m not sure whether that issue has been rectified yet, it seems Zwick didn’t feel like waiting any longer. Ed has jumped ship on the Legendary Pictures project and they are now searching for a new helmer. Why am I talking about it in this column? Because apparently it is a period piece epic MONSTER movie. Logline? Set in 15th century China, Great Wall is about British warriors who happen upon the hurried construction of the massive wall. As night falls, the warriors realize that the haste in building the wall isn’t just to keep out the Mongols — there is something inhuman and more dangerous. Hello! Legendary seems to be piling on the monster movies lately (this, Pacific Rim, Godzilla, Waterproof, etc.) and I couldn’t be happier. It would have been nice to see what Zwick could do with a more fantastical story, but I’m sure he’ll land on a similar project in the future. It’s not as if he hasn’t flirted with doing less reality-based material before.
While we wait for the television adaptation of Guillermo Del Toro & Chuck Hogan’s The Strain to arrive, how about a little motion comic action to tide you over?
The folks behind most of the supplemental material on UK’s Arrow Films genre releases have put together a feature length documentary on the slasher genre. Slice and Dice: The Slasher Film Forever will premiere at Sitges Film Festival this year and will receive a DVD release in the UK on March 11th, 2013. No word on a U.S. release at this time, but I’m sure someone will scoop it up after it makes the rounds next month.
Bill Moseley says not to get your hopes up about seeing Chop-Top return in the new Chainsaw sequel (to the original series, not the Platinum Dunes films) or any potential sequels, unless a few more rights are snapped up. The deal that Twisted Pictures made did not include the rights to Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 and thus they do not have the right to use that character. Fear not though, kiddies! Bill is taking over the role of Drayton Sawyer (aka “The Cook”) from the late Jim Siedow in the new one and I’m sure he’ll do Jim proud.
I can’t remember whether I’ve mentioned it or not before, but Joe Dante’s The Hole opens in a limited theatrical release this weekend in the big cities (and Georgia)…so go see it if it is in your area! If it isn’t, fret not. It hits Blu-ray, DVD, and VOD on October 2nd. Between the fantastic films he has given genre cinema and his fantastic website, Trailers From Hell, he’s more than earned our loyalty and support.
Richard Kelly (Donnie Darko, The Box) has set his thriller Corpus Christie aside from the time being to focus on getting a true crime tale about a mass-murder made first: Amicus. It will be based on the exploits of a former record exec who hires a hitman to kill his family for insurance dough. Nic Cage is currently in talks to play a lawyer in the project. Kelly is an odd duck. While Donnie Darko still seems to be well-regarded (at least the original cut), his two follow-ups ended up being interesting failures. That basically means I’ll give it a look, but I’m not excited for it. Personally, with this director, Nic Cage starring, and THAT title…I was pulling for a Twilight Zone: The Movie-esque feature film love song to Hammer Films’ old rival: Amicus Productions. In fact, fair or not, I’m kind of pissed that it ISN’T something along those lines.
Between the remake of The Gambler and this just-announced project that he is attached to do, Hangover Trilogy helmer Todd Phillips seems poised to branch out bigtime after he finishes work on the capper entry to his aforementioned comedic saga. Phillips will produce and direct an adaptation of Linwood Barclay’s Trust Your Eyes. The Hitchockian tale centers on a schizo savant who witnesses a murder online and badgers his older brother into investigating it, leading them on a journey that includes a corrupt ex-cop and an icepick-wielding psycho.
Grave Encounters 2 is upon us! The sequel hits VOD this coming week on October 2nd and will receive a limited roll-out in theaters all throughout October. And here’s the trailer…
As you’ve noticed, I’m playing with the format a bit. I’m planning on this being a weekly Friday release from here on out, as long as the news will cooperate. This is an evolving beast, so any feedback is welcome. Hit me up in the comments section below or in the forums. See you in the sequel!