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With such inherently dramatic source material, George Stevens's cameo-packed 1965 dramatisation of the life of Jesus Christ still manages to be long, plodding and unintentionally funny
Director: George Stevens
Entertainment grade: E
History grade: C
Jesus of Nazareth is believed by Christians to have been the son of God.
The film begins in the reign of Herod the Great, who died in 4Bc. (This is the reason that many historians date the birth of Jesus to between 11 and four years before himself.) Told by three magi that a new king has been born in Bethlehem, Herod orders a massacre of local children. This massacre appears only in Matthew's gospel and is not mentioned in any non-biblical sources, such as Josephus's Antiquities of the Jews, which details Herod's murderous record at some length. John's gospel implies that Jesus was born in Nazareth, not Bethlehem. This doesn't put the film off. »
- Alex von Tunzelmann
You know what really makes a man? A beard. Beards have been featured in films throughout the history of cinema, some great, some good, and some not so great or good. But over the years a few beards have stood the test of time and deserve a little attention. So without further ado ...
The Buz presents:
The Top Ten List Of The Greatest Beards In Horror History
Max had one of those beards that just looked like it belonged there. It was a part of his face. While it wasn’t the fullest or longest beard, it makes an impression. And if I’m not mistaken, it’s the only film in which Larry Fishburne had a beard, making it both unique and stylish. Let us hope he brings it back soon.
Unique and Stylish, »
- The Buz
The movie also inspired an animated Filmation TV series and book series by author Issac Asimov.
In "Fantastic Voyage", The Us and Soviet Union develop technology allowing matter to be miniaturized using a process to shrink individual atoms. But the smaller an object is made, the quicker it will revert back to its original size.
Scientist 'Jan Benes', working behind the Iron Curtain, calculates a way to make the shrinking process work indefinitely and with the help of the CIA, escapes to the West, but an assassination attempt leaves him comatose, with a blood clot in his brain.
- Michael Stevens
Wake in Fright (aka Outback) is widely acknowledged as one of the most important films in the development of modern Australian cinema. Although the film was prominently featured in the documentary Not Quite Hollywood, opportunities to actually see it have been scarce. A new eidtion of Wake in Fright on Region 4 DVD and all-region Blu-Ray from Australian distributor Madman fills in the gap left by a decades-long absence of a quality video release.
A brief background discussion is useful in understanding the importance of this new release. Evan Jones wrote the screenplay based on Kenneth Cook's 1961 novel of the same. Ted Kotcheff, who is Canadian, sat in the director's chair. The film was completed in 1970, but the its brutal depiction of life in the Australian outback received a chilly public reception upon its 1971 theatrical release. Critics, however, embraced the Wake in Fright with Garry Maddox of the Sydney Morning »
I gave Cold Prey 2 (aka Fritt Vilt II) a quiet nod in my 10 Examples Of a Pulse In The Modern Slasher article after fully acknowledging it's predecessor in my primary list. But last night I opted to give Cold Prey 2 another go-round. So last night, Heineken free and of sound mind I popped CP2 in the DVD player and prepped for a nice refresher.
Well, nice refresher isn't even a sufficient description. It's more like a slap in the face followed by a guttural voice echoing throughout my living room 'where were you the first time you watched this flick? No stranger to Heineken that night eh?!'
The picture is absolutely brilliant! Jannicke (Ingrid Bolse Berdal) is found freezing - pick axe in hand - in the Norwegian mountains. She's taken to a local hospital where she tells authorities of the horrific incidents that occurred (in Cold Prey), and »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Matt Molgaard)
British film producer Robert S. Baker teamed with Monte Berman to produce, and occasionally direct, a handful of Gothic horror and science fiction films in the late 1950s. The duo produced the classic 1958 terror tale Blood of the Vampire (1958) starring Sir Donald Wolfit, and the cult sci-fi thriller The Crawling Eye (aka The Trollenberg Terror) (1958) starring Forrest Tucker. They produced and directed the 1959 gruesome recounting of Jack the Ripper (1959), and told the tale of the bodysnatching team of Burke and Hare in 1960’s The Flesh and the Fiends (aka Mania, The Fiendish Ghouls) starring Peter Cushing and Donald Pleasence. They also produced the period thriller The Hellfire Club (1961) and the horror comedy No Place Like Homicide! (aka What a Carve Up!) (1961).
Baker was born in London on October 27, 1916. He served in the Royal Artillery in North Africa during World War II, before being transferred to the Army Film and Photographic Unit. »
- Harris Lentz
Undertones: Volume 7 It's the time of the year again where folks' minds turn to the macabre and the ghoulish; where death is celebrated rather than feared and of course, when dusty copies of horror films are taken off the shelf to terrify and amuse. So, in honor of the Halloween season it would seem only right that this installment of Undertones concern itself with the scores of horror films or, more specifically, those that emerged during a particularly groundbreaking and ultra-violent decade of cinema - the 1970s. Many of the horror films of the 1970s did not involve supernatural beings such as vampires, werewolves and swamp things, but the terrors of home and society at large. The menacing figures of films such as Texas Chainsaw Massacre (Hooper, 1974) and Halloween (Carpenter, 1978) may have worn crazy masks and looked decidedly 'un-human' but the messages these films posited concerned themselves with that of »
To bring us out of Halloween I thought I would do a daring deed and take on Jason Voorhees, Michael Myers and Freddy Krueger in a no holds bared face off (literally) where I have watched the entire back catalogue of their films to determine once and for all who is champion slasher, Part 1 was on Jason, Part 2 is Michael Myers.
The three killers have haunted us through our childhoods with each horror legend bringing us movies which have completely terrified and equally bemused us with poor sequels and terrible plots
Beware pictures of blood and gore to follow.
Michael Myers is very similar to Jason Voorhees and Freddy Krueger in that nothing seems to kill him, but the big difference is that Michael Myers is the only non-supernatural monster out of the three, he is a killing machine that has been shot numerous times, blown up in fire, stabbed »
- Gary Phillips
Saw VI, much to my surprise, turned out to be one of the better films in the franchise, and in honor of it, I thought we’d look at some of the genre’s best sequels. They’re a fact of life when it comes to horror films so here's my take on some of the follow-ups that either usurped the originals or, at least, turned out better than expected.
10. A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987)
After the baffling detour into “hey, let’s use Freddy as a metaphor for teenage homosexuality” that was Freddy’s Revenge*, the series realigned itself with this direct follow-up to Wes Craven’s original (with Craven himself contributing to script duties).
Part 3 boasts an imaginative story, good characters (need I remind anyone of Kincaid?), and one of the most memorable locales in the franchise. Director Charles (later Chuck, for some reason) Russell »
- Masked Slasher
With Rob Zombie’s Halloween II recently in theaters, featuring the new Michael Myers overturning cars wearing a Buckethead hoodie, it’s important to remember the first sequel in the 31-year franchise. After Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasence) saved Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) by gunning down bogeyman Michael Myers in the final minutes of John Carpenter’s 1978 landmark, audiences were horrified to find that the Shape had just gotten up and walked away. Where did he go?
After Halloween became a sleeper smash and Universal Pictures acquired the sequel rights, audiences got the answer: He went right into Halloween II. The movie, which opened on its namesake weekend in 1981, begins the same night, as Laurie is taken to Haddonfield Memorial Hospital and Michael follows her there to finish the job. In the process, it’s revealed that Michael is Laurie’s big brother (which means the first film’s scene »
- email@example.com (Pat Jankiewicz)
AFI Fest 2009 presented by Audi today announced films scheduled for Halloween, all of which celebrate the horror genre. Joe Dante’s The Hole, Sean Byrne’s The Loved Ones, Ted Kotcheff’s Wake In Fright and Michael Stephenson’s Best Worst Movie will screen on Saturday, October 31 at the Mann Chinese 6 Theatres in Hollywood.
Presented in 3-D, Joe Dante’s family friendly thriller The Hole marks an auspicious return to the big screen by the celebrated genre director after 11 years. In the film, two young brothers stumble upon a mysterious hole in their basement that houses an evil force that can create a physical manifestation of their deep-seated fears. After unwittingly unleashing the force, the brothers must team with the teenage girl next door to find a way to defend themselves against the darkness. The film stars Chris Massoglia, Haley Bennett, Nathan Gamble, Bruce Dern and Teri Polo.
The Hole »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (FANGORIA.com)
I always try to find at least one film at Toronto that's way off the beaten track. I rarely stray further afield than I did Tuesday night, when I found myself watching "Wake in Fright," a film made in Australia in 1971 and almost lost forever. It's not dated. It is powerful, genuinely shocking, and rather amazing. It comes billed as a "horror film," and contains a great deal of horror, but all of the horror is human and brutally realistic.
The story involves a young school teacher in the middle of the desolate wilderness of the Outback. The opening overhead shot shows a shabby building beside a railroad track, the camera pans 360 degrees and finds only the distant horizon. and then returns to find a second building on the other side of the tracks. One building is the school. The other is the hotel. »
- Roger Ebert
Here’s a list of some of the new movie and TV shows coming to DVD and Blu-ray this week that we’re looking forward to seeing. Also, there’s some classic, and not-so-classic, movies hitting Blu-ray for the first time this week as well.
Check them out.
- Joe Gillis
While talking with Fangoria Radio hosts Dee Snider, Debbie Rochon and Tony Timpone last week, director Rob Zombie discussed revisiting his own image of Haddonfield for Halloween II (currently in theaters), as well as his next endeavor, reimagining The Blob! Check out the excerpts below and listen to Fangoria Radio every Friday on Sirius Xm Stars satellite radio, Sirius channel 108/Xm channel 139, from 10 p.m.-1 a.m. Est. You can hear the full Zombie interview on iTunes (free Fango Radio audio clips are listed in the iTunes Store under the Podcasts tab; simply search for Fangoria). And catch more Zombie right here.
Dee Snider: So where are we finding you on this glorious night of the opening of Hii?
Rob Zombie: I’m just hanging around at home.
Snider: You’ve got a few movies under your belt now. Is this your pattern? Different directors have done »
- email@example.com (FANGORIA RADIO)
Adam Mast reviews Rob Zombie's sequel to his reboot.
Perhaps the worst thing about this terrible sequel to a pointless remake is that somewhere, buried deep within, writer/director Rob Zombie actually had some interesting ideas to explore in Halloween 2. Ideas that are so minimally explored that they're not even strong enough to be considered afterthoughts.
Halloween 2 picks up directly where Halloween ended, and finds a bloodied and frantic Laurie Strode (Scout Taylor-Compton) revealing to a police officer that she killed boogeyman Michael Myers (Tyler Mane). Cut to a year later. Laurie has moved on, but she's plagued by nightmarish visions of her monstrous assailant. Little does Strode know that Myers (whose body was never found-how convenient) is alive and well, and taking advise from his deceased mother (played by Mrs. Zombie). Where and why he's been laying low for a year isn't really explained, but then »
"Breaking out is impossible--breaking in is insane!" Welcome to New York in the far-flung future of 1997, where the Big Apple is a maximum security prison, the world of John Carpenter's cult classic, Escape From New York.
It's a weird time for John Carpenter fans, who haven't seen a movie from the Master of Horror in almost a decade. Carpenter's most celebrated creation, Michael Myers is onscreen now, barely recognizable in a Halloween II where he's a bearded giant without a mask or Carpenter theme song, taking marching orders from his dead mother like his rival, Jason Voorhees. Would anyone be surprised to hear that Escape was being sized up for a re-do?
The project, until recently, was set to star 300's Gerard Butler as the new Snake Plisken. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Pat Jankiewicz)
There’s a subtheme running through Halloween II about the exploitation of the Michael Myers name for profit, and Exhibit A is Halloween II itself. The movie that Rob Zombie first said he’d never make, and then got rushed to the screen by Dimension Films when he changed his mind, adds nothing to the mythology established by John Carpenter and Debra Hill in 1978 and embellished by Zombie two years ago, reduces Michael from a malefic All Hallows’ spirit to a lumbering, easily distracted hulk and, most crucially, is almost never scary.
Whether due to the hurried development and production or to rumored behind-the-scenes meddling, Halloween II feels half-hearted and even less thought out. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the numerous scenes in which Michael (Tyler Mane) has visions of his mother Deborah (Sheri Moon Zombie) and his younger self (Chase Wright Vanek, a pallid replacement for the »
- email@example.com (Michael Gingold)
Danielle Harris stars in the new Halloween sequel by Rob Zombie. It’s a crap movie, but Danielle Harris, who was brought back into the franchise last year by Zombie for his remake, actually starred in the original Halloween 4 and 5, in which she played Jamie Lloyd, the target of Michael Myer’s wrath. In Zombie’s Halloween II, she reprises her role as Annie Brackett, the ill-fated friend of Lori Strode who bravely takes on nudity in an un-Jamie Lloyd way.
But Danielle Harris is much more than funny anecdotes about how much Donald Pleasance scared her when she was a kid because he was always drunk on the set and wearing a gross fake scar; she’s a clever woman with filmmaking aspirations of her own. She tells Pretty/Scary about how the Halloween franchise is now a part of her life...
Despite what you may think, Harris »
In case you missed it last weekend, Fangoria Radio (heard live every Friday on Sirius Xm Stars satellite radio, Sirius channel 108/Xm channel 139, from 10 p.m.-1 a.m. Est) featured some cool Halloween II chat from returning actor Malcolm McDowell. Besides talking up Michael’s latest (due tomorrow from Dimension) with hosts Dee Snider, Debbie Rochon and Tony Timpone, the actor discussed some of the rumors surrounding writer/director Rob Zombie’s latest slasher, as well as his take on recreating the iconic Dr. Loomis character. You can hear the full interview on iTunes (free Fango Radio audio clips are listed in the iTunes Store under the Podcasts tab; simply search for Fangoria). And catch Zombie himself this Friday on Fangoria Radio and right here.
Dee Snider: How does it feel returning to the Dr. Loomis character again?
Malcolm McDowell: Well, you know, it’s always fun to work with Rob. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (FANGORIA.com)
After pulling in $47 million in domestic box office from a $325,000 budget, it was inevitable that a sequel to John Carpenter’s ‘Halloween’ would be in the works sooner rather than later. Not only was ‘Halloween’ a financial success, and not only was it a critical success, it sparked something in the world of horror filmmaking. As of 1978, the slasher film was born, and, after 1980’s ‘Friday the 13th,’ the people behind a ‘Halloween’ sequel knew the masses wouldn’t be satisfied with the tension-filled air Carpenter’s first film projected. They knew they had to up the body count and give audiences exactly what they wanted. What resulted in ‘Halloween II,’ is a horror fans grab bag, a mixture of both suspense, atmosphere and enough blood to go around.
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