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Universal Studios has a long, rich, laudable history of making monster movies. In 1923, Lon Chaney’s work as Quasimodo, the Hunchback of Notre Dame, kicked off what would be a fantastically successful decades-long series of horror films for the studio. Chaney portrayed monsters through the rest of the decade until Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff each first donned their monster makeup in 1931 with "Dracula” and “Frankenstein,” respectively. All through the '30s, '40s, '50s, and into the '60s, Universal rotated a crop of monsters that performed spectacularly at the box office. Karloff, Lugosi, Chaney, and Chaney’s son Lon Chaney, Jr. became widely famous for their work, and the American public turned out en masse to see multiple incarnations of “The Wolfman,” “The Invisible Man,” “The Mummy,” and “Creature from the Black Lagoon.” Indeed, Universal’s monster movies are part of cinema history, which is why recent »
- Zach Hollwedel
Back in the day, Universal Pictures was the king of the monster mountain. Their stable of classic monsters, from Bela Lugosi's Dracula to Lon Chaney Jr's Wolfman, from Boris Karloff's iconic Frankenstein to...Boris Karloff's iconic Mummy, and more, Universal cornered the market on Hollywood monsters. From standalone films, to crossovers, to Monster v Monster movies, one could easily argue that they established the blueprint that modern day comic book films are now so eagerly adopting. So it makes sense now that Universal is looking around at what their rivals at Disney, Warner Bros, Sony, and Fox are doing and saying, "Oh, yeah? You want to talk about your 'cinematic universes'? Well, we're going to relaunch the granddaddy of'em all. »
- Mario-Francisco Robles
The Universal Monsters Shared Universe franchise announced back in July keeps getting bigger and bigger, with the studio rumored to be developing a reboot of The Wolf Man.
Prisoners screenwriter Aaron Guzikowski has reportedly come aboard to write the script, although no details were given about how this classic character will be rebooted. Universal's Dracula Untold was confirmed last month to be the first in this series. Although it wasn't initially envisioned as a part of the franchise, a prologue scene that showed Luke Evans' title character in a modern-day market is what helps kick off this universe.
The Untitled Mummy Reboot will fully launch the franchise, arriving in theaters June 24, 2016, with the studio announcing last month that an unspecified monster movie will hit theaters on April 21, 2017. It isn't known if The Wolf Man or another project will occupy this date yet.
The Wolf Man franchise was launched in »
A rescoring of Drive has caused online outrage, but Mark's keeping an open mind about musical reinterpretations
Movie music matters. It's tough to wax lyrical about why it matters without sounding like one of those autocue scripts that we'll be hearing all throughout the coming awards season, probably read out by unlikely pairs of presenters, (“Now, to present the award for Best Sound Editing, Justin Bieber and Angela Lansbury!”) so let's just say that it does.
Whether it's an original score from Hans Zimmer or a jukebox tour of Quentin Tarantino's record collection, a movie's soundtrack informs the tone and timbre of the movie itself. So when we get into the question of movie rescores, we're really getting back into that thorny issue of asking whether the director's original intentions are sacrosanct to any subsequent versions of a film. As some of you may already have guessed, we bring »
The King Baggot Tribute will take place Friday, November 14th at Webster University’s Moore Auditorium beginning at 7pm as part of this year’s St. Louis Intenational FIlm Festival. The program will consist a rare 35mm screening of the 1913 epic Ivanhoe starring King Baggot with live music accompaniment by the Rats and People Motion Picture Orchestra. Ivanhoe will be followed by an illustrated lecture on the life and films of King Baggot presented by Tom Stockman, editor here at We Are Movie Geeks. After that will screen the influential silent western Tumbleweeds (1925), considered to be one of King Baggot’s finest achievements as a director. Tumbleweeds will feature live piano accompaniment by Matt Pace.
Here’s a look at the final phase of King Baggot’s career.
King Baggot, the first ‘King of the Movies’ died July 11th, 1948 penniless and mostly forgotten at age 68. A St. Louis native, Baggot »
- Tom Stockman
Things have been a little quiet on the long-promised revival of The Crow, but original creator James O’Barr has supplied a welcome update, stressing that the new film will not remake the Brandon Lee version, but will be a new spin on his comic-book. “We’re not remaking the movie, we’re readapting the book,” O’Barr told Collider. “My metaphor is that there is a Bela Lugosi Dracula and there’s a Francis Ford Coppola Dracula; they use the same material, but you still got two entirely different films.” “This one’s going to be closer to...
- George Wales
Top 100 horror movies of all time: Chicago Film Critics' choices (photo: Sigourney Weaver and Alien creature show us that life is less horrific if you don't hold grudges) See previous post: A look at the Chicago Film Critics Association's Scariest Movies Ever Made. Below is the list of the Chicago Film Critics's Top 100 Horror Movies of All Time, including their directors and key cast members. Note: this list was first published in October 2006. (See also: Fay Wray, Lee Patrick, and Mary Philbin among the "Top Ten Scream Queens.") 1. Psycho (1960) Alfred Hitchcock; with Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles, John Gavin, Martin Balsam. 2. The Exorcist (1973) William Friedkin; with Ellen Burstyn, Linda Blair, Jason Miller, Max von Sydow (and the voice of Mercedes McCambridge). 3. Halloween (1978) John Carpenter; with Jamie Lee Curtis, Donald Pleasence, Tony Moran. 4. Alien (1979) Ridley Scott; with Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt, John Hurt. 5. Night of the Living Dead (1968) George A. Romero; with Marilyn Eastman, »
- Andre Soares
Scariest movies ever made: The top 100 horror films according to the Chicago Film Critics (photo: Janet Leigh, John Gavin and Vera Miles in Alfred Hitchcock's 'Psycho') I tend to ignore lists featuring the Top 100 Movies (or Top 10 Movies or Top 20 Movies, etc.), no matter the category or criteria, because these lists are almost invariably compiled by people who know little about films beyond mainstream Hollywood stuff released in the last decade or two. But the Chicago Film Critics Association's list of the 100 Scariest Movies Ever Made, which came out in October 2006, does include several oldies — e.g., James Whale's Frankenstein and The Bride of Frankenstein — in addition to, gasp, a handful of non-American horror films such as Dario Argento's Suspiria, Werner Herzog's Nosferatu the Vampyre, and F.W. Murnau's brilliant Dracula rip-off Nosferatu. (Check out the full list of the Chicago Film Critics' top 100 horror movies of all time. »
- Andre Soares
The Crow isn't as precious as other comic book or genre properties that get rebooted for the big screen, simply because it has a long trail of direct-to-dvd sequels lying in its wake that aren't considered very good by most fans. So the idea of a straightforward remake is quite welcome, especially by series creator James O'Barr, who gives this new take on the material his blessing.
In a recent interview with independent blogger Sean C.W. Korsgaard, James O'Barr explains his involvement with the film, and how it is not a mere reboot but more of a 're-adaptation'.
"[W]e're not remaking the movie. We're readapting the book. My metaphor is that there is a Bela Lugosi 'Dracula' and there's a Francis Ford Coppola 'Dracula'. They use the same material, but you still got two entirely different films. This one's going to be closer to ' »
A lot of fans of the original film aren't too happy with this new movie being made, but with O'Barr's involvement in bringing it to the big screen and Luke Evans playing the title role, I've kind of warmed up to the idea. One of the first things that O'Barr clarifies in the interview is that they are not remaking the first movie:
"[W]e're not remaking the movie. We're readapting the book. My metaphor is that there is a Bela Lugosi Dracula and there's a Francis Ford Coppola Dracula. They use the same material, but you still got two entirely different films. This one's going to be closer to Taxi Driver or a John Woo film, and I think there's room for both of them. »
- Joey Paur
The Stack is back with a last look at what's truly "out there" for Halloween. First up is some vintage Blu-ray goodness from Kino, The Death Kiss starring Bela Lugosi and a late career entry from Boris Karloff, Cauldron of Blood finally becomes available on Blu-ray via the good folks at Olive Films. Scream Factory has a bunch of stuff out for Halloween but I picked the late seventies schlocker Squirm and the gorgeous Directors Cut of Night Breed. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre has never looked as stunning as it does in this new 40th Anniversary Edition from Dark Sky Films and IFC offers up a DVD of Alex de la Iglesia's weird and wonderful Witching and Bitching. Cult Epics truly blew my mind with the surreal...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
Should there be a remake of Alex Proyas’ The Crow? Does anyone even want one? The film’s been in the works for years now, so we’ve been mulling over those question for quite some time, but now the man who created it all, James O’Barr, the artist behind the comic, is assuring fans this new version will do the source material justice and respect the legacy of Brandon Lee and the 1994 film as well. In fact, the rendition starring Luke Evans isn’t even a remake of Proyas’ movie; it’s a new adaptation of the comic book. And Evans won’t be playing Eric Draven in the new film either, but rather, Eric, just like in O’Barr’s original work. Hit the jump for more on the new The Crow. It’s still unconfirmed whether or not F. Javier Gutierrez is still on board to direct, »
- Perri Nemiroff
The remake of The Crow will be adapted directly from the graphic novel rather than the 1994 cult film.
"[We're] not remaking the movie," O'Barr told Korsgaard's Commentary. "We're re-adapting the book.
"This one's going to be closer to Taxi Driver or a John Woo film, and I think there's room for both of them. Part of the appeal of The Crow comics, after all, is that they can tell very different stories."
O'Barr said that the new film will stick closer to his book than the original adaptation.
"If you read the comic, Eric and Shelley never have their last names revealed, »
"The Crow" creator James O'Barr has given an in-depth interview with Korsgaards Commentary where the topic of the upcoming cinematic reboot of the property came up. O'Barr is a consultant on the project which is aiming to be more loyal to the comics than other recent screen interpretations:
"[W]e're not remaking the movie. We're readapting the book. My metaphor is that there is a Bela Lugosi 'Dracula' and there's a Francis Ford Coppola 'Dracula'. They use the same material, but you still got two entirely different films.
This one's going to be closer to 'Taxi Driver' or a John Woo film, and I think there's room for both of them. Part of the appeal of 'The Crow' comics, after all, is that they can tell very different stories.
If you read the comic, Eric and Shelley never have their last names revealed. »
- Garth Franklin
Hallowe’en is coming around again, which means that it’s time to gather together and watch some of the classics of horror cinema. Of course, different generations have different ideas of quite what constitutes “classic”, but whether your vampire of choice is Orlok, Lestat, or Eric Northman, you will be aware of the classics that kick started the whole genre on screen.
When you say that your vampire favourite is so memorable because they’re “different”, that means “different from Dracula” and not Bram Stoker’s novel either, but the Universal Pictures take on the vampire as brought to life by Bela Lugosi.
You don’t even have to have seen a single minute of the Universal Monster Cycle to recognise them. Through cultural osmosis, references, parodies and tributes, these seven iconic monsters and their film franchises are part of our shared screen horror lexicon.
Even though »
- Jack Gann
Most people like a good horror film around Halloween. It’s the time of year for a good scare. But what kind of scare do you want…classic or modern? Do you prefer the gothic grand guignol of yesteryear or the deranged demons of today? Who’s cooler and creepier?
Just for clarity’s sake, we’ll draw the old vs. new line at 1978, with John Carpenter’s excellent Halloween being the start of the modern age of Horror. Everything before that (The B&W Universal monster films, the Hammer Studios films with Cushing and Lee, the Poe/Hawthorn adaptations with Vincent Price, etc.) are classic horror flicks.
Let’s start with the names of the monsters. In this category, you have to go with old Hollywood. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Rob Young)
Where would horror cinema be without gothic fiction? The careers of Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, James Whale, Roger Corman and many a German expressionist owe a great deal to the storied architecture that characterized the settings of 18th and 19th century literary classics. Moreover, from The Uninvited and Rebecca in the 1940s to the modern takes of the early 1960s (The Haunting and The Innocents, just to name a couple), the grand haunted house has proven to be a mainstay in horror, whether as a foreboding living space harboring dark secrets, a site for challenging and torturing tourists and skeptics, or an active site of dark experiments. The notion that houses – namely, large estates – contain histories which resonate beyond mortal bodies that inhabited them has vastly defined and influenced not only the terms of a cinematic genre, but what we find scary in general. But as postwar suburbanization came to redefine the relation between people and the »
- Landon Palmer
Reviewed by Grace Fontaine
Directed by F.W Murnau
In all confidence, I feel it is safe to say that you are not a vampire fan if you have not seen, what is considered to be the grand-sire of vampire films, 'Nosferatu', a silent German Expression film directed by the visionary F.W Murnau. Nine years before Bela Lugosi became synonymous with the character of Dracula thanks to Universal, it was Max Schreck who was seen as the face of terror, and for God forsaken good reason.
Personally, I feel writing this review is highly redundant considering how well known and universally appreciated it is, honestly, what is there that I can say that will be any different? I got absolutely nothing to say that would do this film justice, »
Kino Classics refurbishes public domain title The Death Kiss, a 1932 release made purely to capitalize off the success of Tod Browning’s 1931 Dracula by casting three of the main leads from that film. The title retains little interest except for Lugosi completists, who isn’t given much to do this time around as a rather miffed film studio manager. However, film historians may appreciate the film for its locale, set almost entirely within the back lot of what was termed a Poverty Row studio, shackled by the meager prospects of the Great Depression.
As director Tom Avery (Edward Van Sloan) films his final sequence on his new film The Death Kiss at the sound stage of Tonart Studios in Los Angeles, his lead actor Myles Brent (Edmund Burns) is shot with a real bullet. All the prop guns on set are checked. Investigating Detective Lt. Sheehan (John Wray) and Sergeant »
- Nicholas Bell
That a little studio located in the English countryside consistently put out high quality films on a very limited budget is one of the great stories in filmmaking history. Hammer Films was the most successful independent film company ever, producing comedy, drama, mysteries, and war movies before finding their niche in horror. Hammer became a name synonymous with horror, a name that still means something today.
They took their horror stories from English literature set in Europe in the 19th century and their carefully designed and constructed sets created an atmosphere that made the time and place as much a part of the film as the story. After securing remake rights from Universal for their catalog of classics from the 1930s and 1940s, Hammer became the leading producer of horror films. Hammer’s philosophy was straightforward: always be entertaining, have plenty of sex appeal, and lots of violence and blood. »
- Gregory Small
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