15 items from 2016
Ryan Lambie Jul 26, 2016
They cost millions and they’re very, very odd. We take a look at 12 expensive and eccentric Hollywood films from the past 40 years...
The risk-averse nature of filmmaking means that the world’s more maverick and outrageous writers and directors have to make do with relatively low budgets. Nicolas Winding Refn drenched the screen in all kinds of sordid, violent and startling imagery in such films as Only God Forgives and this year’s The Neon Demon, but the combined budget of those probably didn’t even match the catering budget for something like Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice.
Every so often, though, a truly bonkers film slips through the Hollywood studio system - often by accident. From horror sequels to original sci-fi adventures, here are 12 incredibly expensive and gloriously eccentric Hollywood movies from the past 40 years.
The Exorcist II (1977)
Budget: $14 million
Like most films made for purely financial reasons, »
A trailer for Douglas Schulze’s The Dark Below has been released and “Mother Nature” has plans for the film’s leads Veronica Cartwright and Lauren Shafer. Also in today’s Highlights: five preview pages from Dark Horse Comic’s Weird Detective #1 and a look at the cover art for Ghost in the Key of A: Pythagoras.
Watch The Dark Below Trailer: “Award-winning genre director Douglas Schulze (Mimesis, Dark Fields) and Executive Producer Seth Willenson bring us a survival thriller that explores the fear of entrapment beneath a frozen lake.
The film stars screen veteran Veronica Cartwright (Alien, Witches of Eastwick) and Lauren Shafer (Mimesis) and boasts an authentic production value that took cast and crew into the depths of Michigan’s Great Lakes in the dead of winter.
- Tamika Jones
Film director Daniel Adams and Nashville music producer Michael Flanders have teamed up to create Spiderworx Media, a $50 million fund to produce theatrical motion pictures over the next several years.
“An L.A. Minute,” co-written by Adams and former National Lampoon and High Times editor-in-chief, Larry “Ratso” Sloman, will be Adams’ first film to under the partnership. The pic is a “satirical look at fame, success, the star-making machinery and the karma that attaches to all those who worship at the altar of celebrity,” according to Adams.
Adams served 21 months in Massachusetts state prison for inflating expenses to obtain production tax credits on “The Lightkeepers,” starring Richard Dreyfuss and Blythe Danner, and “The Golden Boys,” starring David Carradine. He was released in 2013.
- Dave McNary
Guy Hamilton, who directed four James Bond movies including the 1964 classic Goldfinger, passed away earlier today at the age of 93. The filmmaker died on the Spanish island of Majorca where he lived. No details about the cause of death were given at this time, but we'll be sure to keep you posted with more updates as soon as they come in.
Guy Hamilton was born September 16, 1922 in Paris, France, and he got his start in the film business in the late 1940s. He served as director Carol Reed's assistant for five years, before becoming an assistant director on his 1949 classic film The Third Man. He also served as an assistant director on The Angel With the Trumpet, The Great Manhunt, Outcast of the Islands and the John Huston classic The African Queen, before making his directorial debut in 1951 with The Ringer.
He went on to direct An Inspector Calls, »
Biopics are best when focused on segmented portions of emotional turmoil, professional escalation or some perfect combination of the two, rather than trying to collapse entire lives into just a couple hours time. Hal Ashby’s 1976 retelling of Woody Guthrie’s popular ascent from dust bowl deadbeat to socially conscious folk music figurehead in Bound For Glory coolly pursues the latter with genuinely endearing, authentic feeling results. With David Carradine aptly filling the role of the humbly charismatic, musically driven drifter and a fully stocked catalog of Guthrie songs adapted for the screen by Leonard Rosenman, Ashby’s oddly conventional mid-period picture was in competition for the Palme d’Or, but ultimately lost to Paolo and Vittorio Taviani’s Padre Padrone.
- Jordan M. Smith
Well this came out of nowhere. It seems as though an official sequel to the cult film Death Race 2000 is now currently in production under the watchful eye of original producer Roger Corman. Details of Death Race 2050 are scarce, but it is said to have a similar plot to the original but will incorporate virtual reality.
“This is an amazing opportunity for me and millions of Death Race 2000 fans to experience the intensity, thrills and dark humor of the original, fueled by a terrific young cast, spectacular vehicles and side-splitting action, literally,” says Corman in the official press release. “Roger Corman’s Death Race 2050 puts the pedal to the metal to bring this enduring franchise to a whole new level.”
- Luke Owen
A reboot of the original 1975 David Carradine and Sylvester Stallone film "Death Race 2000," the story follows a group of automotive gladiators who earn points for killing pedestrians - and their fellow drivers.
Source: Heat Vision »
- Garth Franklin
This week sees two Fright At Home articles because, to be honest, we’ve seen quite a few films lately, ones that have stayed in our heads. This one also sees a documentary about one of the greatest writers of all time, William S. Burroughs. We’ve got quite a few films to cover in this one, and we’re excited to tell you Fright Fanatics all about them. Read on!
Sonny Boy (Dir. Robert Martin Carroll)
One of the craziest films I’ve ever seen, Robert martin Carroll’s Sonny Boy is like a coked-up look at family and insanity. Revolving around a very unconventional family full of colorful characters, the film follows “Sonny Boy”, a kind-napped baby who over the years, grows up and is stored in a cage. Beaten and having his tongue cut out by the demented Slue (Midnight Express) , Sonny Boy years for an escape »
- Jerry Smith
Jack Nicholson found his personal favorite role in this fine road picture: Navy signalman Buddusky, charged with escorting sad-sack prisoner Randy Quaid to prison. Hal Ashby's direction and Robert Towne's script pitches the story at the human scale favored by '70s director-driven filmmaking. The Last Detail Blu-ray Twilight Time Limited Edition 1973 / Color / 1:85 widescreen / 104 min. / Ship Date January 19, 2016 / available through Twilight Time Movies / 29.95 Starring Jack Nicholson, Otis Young, Randy Quaid, Clifton James, Carol Kane, Michael Moriarty, Luana Anders, Kathleen Miller, Nancy Allen, Gerry Salsberg, Don McGovern, Pat Hamilton, Michael Chapman, Jim Henshaw, Derek McGrath, Gilda Radner, Jim Horn, John Castellano. Cinematography Michael Chapman Film Editor Robert C. Jones Original Music Johnny Mandel Written by Robert Towne from the novel by Darryl Ponicsan Produced by Gerald Ayres Directed by Hal Ashby
Reviewed by Glenn Erickson
Bring up the 'golden age' of director-driven movies in the 1970s and the »
- Glenn Erickson
January’s home entertainment releases end on a quiet note as there are only a handful of genre-related Blu-ray and DVDs making their way home this Tuesday. Scream Factory has a double dose of horror coming our way on January with Jack’s Back (featuring James Spader) and Sonny Boy (starring the legendary David Carradine), and Wild Eye Releasing is serving up two indie horror flicks on DVD as well, Serial Kaller and Survival Knife.
One hundred years ago, Jack the Ripper slashed his way through London’s red light district. Now, a modern-day maniac is honoring the event by mutilating L.A. ’s ladies of the evening. Has Jack the Ripper been reborn? The police are stumped and the prostitutes of L.A. are scared. The only person with a chance of solving the murders has a problem of his »
- Heather Wixson
A couple played by Paul L. Smith and David Carradine use cruel and unusual parenting methods in Sonny Boy. Ahead of the film's January 26th home media debut from Scream Factory, we've been provided with three Blu-ray copies to give away.
How to Enter: For a chance to win, email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject "Sonny Boy Contest”. Be sure to include your name and mailing address.
Entry Details: The contest will end at 12:01am Est on January 29th. This contest is only open to those who are eighteen years of age or older that live in the United States. Only one entry per household will be accepted.
From the press release: A wickedly off-beat tale of family love gone berserk, the provocative cult classic Sonny Boy makes its home entertainment debut on January 26th, »
- Derek Anderson
A couple played by Paul L. Smith and David Carradine use cruel and unusual parenting methods in Sonny Boy. Ahead of the film's January 26th home media debut from Scream Factory, we have Blu-ray clips and a trailer from Robert Martin Carroll's 1989 horror film.
From the press release: A wickedly off-beat tale of family love gone berserk, the provocative cult classic Sonny Boy makes its home entertainment debut on January 26th, 2016 from Scream Factory. Featuring a shattering, unforgettable performance from David Carradine (Kill Bill) and powerful supporting turns from Paul L. Smith (Midnight Express, Crimewave) and Brad Dourif (Child’s Play, The Exorcist III), Sonny Boy features the unrated cut and comes loaded with bonus features, including a new audio commentary with director Robert Martin Carroll, new audio commentary with writer Graeme Whifler, a digital file of the first draft of the script, and the original theatrical trailer. »
- Derek Anderson
Shout Factory unveils a neglected cult item with its recuperation of Sonny Boy, a tawdry late 1980s obscurity with some awesome Wtf grotesqueries. Although its creators, both then and now, insist on the narrative’s notable subtexts as an allegory on child abuse and toxic familial allegiance, the film is never quite elevated beyond its grindhouse elements. Notably, David Carradine stars as a redneck transvestite (whose gender identity remains undefined) as the caring part of a vicious hillbilly couple who raise a kidnapped orphan to kill and rob members of the local rural community. Its lurid set-up should definitely interest cineastes who can appreciate a bit of tastelessness in their exploitation films, but Robert Martin Carroll’s provocative directorial debut devolves into a surreal fairy tale with an undernourished finale.
In 1970 New Mexico, small time criminal Weasel (Brad Dourif) murders two tourists staying in an isolated motel, not realizing there »
- Nicholas Bell
Dan Haggerty, best known for playing mountain man Grizzly Adams in both a TV series and on film, died Friday following a battle with cancer. He was 74. The actor's manager, Terry Bomar, confirmed his passing to ABC News.
Haggerty first starred as James Capen "Grizzly" Adams in the 1974 film The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams, which was based on the life of a real outdoorsman and grizzly bear trainer who resided in California in the 1800s. The movie finds the protagonist heading into the mountains and bonding with animals »
Read this story at your own risk; it's best to have already seen "The Hateful Eight." Chapter One: The Play's the Thing. Much like his revered fellow dialogue maestro Aaron Sorkin, Quentin Tarantino the scribe starts with characters and lets them talk. He writes in longhand with black or red Bic or Flair pens in a white-paged notebook. He may have known ahead of time that David Carradine's character in "Kill Bill" was going to meet his demise, but otherwise he lets his characters lead him to their various denouements. With the sprawling scripts for "Django Unchained" and "Inglourious Basterds," "I'd get to the third act," he told me over tea at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills. "That, I try never to maneuver. By the time it gets to the end, I was open to the characters to drive it. What the characters dictated, that’s what happened. »
- Anne Thompson
15 items from 2016
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