While Michael Bay AKA Lord of All Things That Detonate Onscreen (or LATTDO, as I like to call him) finishes up work on Transformers, his Platinum Dunes production banner continues to set up low-cost genre pics that turn out to be nigh-guaranteed moneymakers. The latest is a departure from their well-established horror movie remake strategy, and instead looks to plunder freely from a different, but no less grimy source. Fiasco Heights is Bay’s stab at Sin City, except it’s not based on any pre-existing comic or novel, but rather a spec script from a rookie named Kyle Ward, who’s graduating to Big League Chew after grinding it out as a mere assistant at Dreamworks. But even at the screenplay stage, this baby is said to take place in a “stylized, hyper-real” environment (I see lots of post-production in this film’s future) as it tells the familiar sounding story of a hitman teaming up with a private dick to look for a missing dame and a mysterious briefcase that’s worth a lotta scratch. Just typing that description lowered the blinds in my room and plastered my cheeks with razor stubble. Also, I have a taste for booze all of a sudden. Hmm.

Anyway, I know it’s a knockoff of a knockoff of a knockoff, but that’s what Platinum Dunes is there for. It’s that shady shop in the back of the market that gets you the goods, but does so at poor man’s prices. They’re out to cheaply reproduce good genre material from a generation or so ago in order to grab the money of today’s ADD-afflicted kids who can’t be bothered to look up the originals. I have no problem with that because Hollywood’s always been built on retelling stories, and lots of young talent both in front of and behind the camera can get work and build a CV with this stuff. The key is actually getting talent, as in people with it, rather than CW castoffs and camera hacks. Fiasco Heights could go either way, as there’s no director or talent attached yet. Whatever the case, tho, I’m sure Bay will steer clear of the actual Sin City franchise and scope out a safe release date when computer-processed noir isn’t so fresh in the minds of the viewing public.