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Why Size and Scope Have Always Been the Franchise’s Best Friends.
Earlier this week, I was talking to someone about the upcoming Star Trek Beyond when a half-forgotten memory came tumbling from the dusty corners of my mind. It is of me and my brother, still children, sprawled out on the floor of the First National Bank in our small hometown. To help make ends meet, my parents took on several shifts as the overnight cleaning crew for the local branch; they would begin every shift by rolling the break room television into the manager’s office so my brother and I could watch old episodes of Star Trek they’d picked up from the nearby Blockbuster. As my family did not own a television until years later, these episodes of Star Trek, dated as they may have seemed, were a Big Deal for the two of us. I was pretty much hooked.
- Matthew Monagle
Earlier this month, production began on Universal's The Mummy reboot, which will be the first full-fledged adventure in Universal's monster universe. We got our first glimpse at this unique world in a post credit sequence for 2014's Dracula Untold, where Luke Evans' title character is transported to present day. But, aside from The Mummy, we don't know which project is next in this sprawling universe. One of the movies being included is Van Helsing, and today we have some new details from writer Eric Heisserer.
Eric Heisserer came aboard to write the script alongside The Mummy writer Jon Spaihts back in November, but the project still doesn't have a director yet and there is very little we know about the story. Eric Heisserer recently spoke with Hitfix, while promoting the new thriller Lights Out, which he co-wrote, where he revealed that this version of Van Helsing was inspired by another iconic character. »
I'm just going to come right out with it:
I think a Van Helsing film series is a brilliant concept.
That said, I don't have faith in anyone getting it right after that unruly mess of a Hugh Jackman movie in 2004. I think the concept is fantastic, though. You have a main character- a monster hunter (!!!)- that can, essentially, navigate his way throughout an entire shared, cinematic universe. And the universe he lives in is inhabited by legendary monsters like Dracula, The Wolf Man, The Invisible Man, Frankenstein, and The Mummy! And one of the things that made those monsters legendary was the mystique surrounding them, and the way they could be used sparingly to create maximum tension and anticipation. Therefore, the idea of making the star of those movies a single, human protagonist means you don't have to over-expose your famous beasts!
- Mario-Francisco Robles
Not much is yet known about Universal’s Marvel Cinematic Universe-style Monster reboots, which have been racking up quite the cadre of A-list stars over the last several months. While shooting on The Mummy starring Tom Cruise and Sofia Boutella is already complete and two of the other installments -- The Wolf Man and another untitled monster project -- have been given release dates, there are a total of six other films in the series that remain in some phase of development. One of those developing projects is Van Helsing, which is being scripted by Eric Heisserer and Jon Spaihts and will serve as a big-screen vehicle for the eponymous monster-hunter who has been portrayed in various incarnations by Peter Cushing (Hammer’s Dracula series), Laurence Olivier (1979’s Dracula), Anthony Hopkins (Bram Stoker’s Dracula), Christopher Plummer (Dracula 2000) and Hugh Jackman, who embodied the character in Stephen Sommers' »
- Chris Eggertsen
In typical Killjoys fashion, a ton of stuff went down during this action-packed hour.
However, it's safe to say that Killjoys Season 2 Episode 2 was all about returning home and to the rest of the gang missing from the premiere. As Michelle Lovretta teased in our exclusive interview, "It's the beginning of really emotionally, I think, compelling and classic science fiction type storylines."
I'm still bummed about how Hills went out, but I think Jelco is a brilliant adversary.
Was that mirror bit at the top a hint there are multiple Dutch's out there? Clones? Alvis mentioned that scarbacks hadn't stepped foot on Arkyn for over 200 years. So how did D'av see Dutch killing them in that "very old memory"?
Is it possible Khlyen (via the green-goo) was implanting memories in D'av or is their some truth to what he saw? What the hells is going on, guys? So many cool »
- Henry A. Otero
Hammer hits one out of the park with this 'ripping good' Sherlock Holmes tale, tilted heavily toward gothic mystery and horror. Peter Cushing and André Morell excel in heroic roles, while Christopher Lee doesn't have to play a monster, just a coward. Terence Fisher's directing skill is at its height. The Hound of the Baskervilles Blu-ray Twilight Time Limited Edition 1959 / Color / 1:66 widescreen / 86 min. / Ship Date June 14, 2016 / available through Twilight Time Movies / 29.95 Starring Peter Cushing, André Morell, Christopher Lee, Marla Landi, David Oxley, Francis De Wolff, Miles Malleson, Ewen Solon. Cinematography Jack Asher Production Designer Bernard Robinson Film Editor Alfred Cox Original Music James Bernard Written by Peter Bryan from the novel by Arthur Conan Doyle Produced by Michael Carreras & Anthony Hinds Directed by Terence Fisher
Reviewed by Glenn Erickson
In addition to their straight-up gothic horrors, Hammer films produced films in other genres, such as costume adventures and war pictures. »
- Glenn Erickson
Every time a hospitalized man wakes up, he’s lost another limb. Meanwhile, London police are on the hunt for a serial killer who drains the blood from his victims before dispatching their bodies. Also meanwhile (again), a Nazi-ish regime is being thwarted from an insider in an Eastern European country. Again meanwhile (and also again), I’m thoroughly confused. And you will be too! Welcome to Scream and Scream Again (1970), a joint Amicus/Aip production that’s as delightful as it is confounding.
Released in the U.K. in January 1970, and the U.S. the following month, Scream and Scream Again enjoyed box office success, bringing in over $1.2 million U.S. against a $350,000 budget. The film has enjoyed somewhat of a reappraisal over the years, with critics succumbing to its seemingly nonsensical charms. And you should too, as long as you keep a notebook and pen nearby.
Okay, it »
- Scott Drebit
Article by Jim Batts, Dana Jung, Michael Haffner, Sam Moffitt, and Tom Stockman
Peter Cushing, born on this day in 1913, was one of the most respected and important actors in the horror and fantasy film genres. To his many fans, the British star, who died in 1994, was known as ‘The Gentle Man of Horror’ and is recognized for his work with Hammer Films which began in the late 1950’s, but he had numerous memorable roles outside of Hammer. A topnotch actor who was able to deliver superb performances on a consistent basis, Peter Cushing also had range. He could play both the hero and the villain with ease.
Here, according to We Are Movie Geeks, are Peter Cushing’s ten best roles:
During the 1960s, Amicus Studios had a knack for borrowing from the pool of Hammer Studios actors and filmmakers to make their own Hammer-inspired films. While »
- Movie Geeks
On this day in history as it relates to the movies...
1828 Feral teenager Kaspar Hauser is discovered wandering Nuremberg, claiming to have been raised in total isolation. Theories abound and the story inspires many artists down the road including Werner Herzog in the film The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser (1974).
1886 Al Jolson is born. Will later star in the first "talkie" The Jazz Singer (1927)
1894 Silent film star Norma Talmadge is born
1897 Bram Stoker's epistolary novel "Dracula" is published. Never stops being adapted for film and television but our hearts will always belong to Francis Coppola's Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992) despite the aggravating double possessive
1907 John Wayne was born. Did he always talk like that?
- NATHANIEL R
We're nearing that time of the year again, at the end of May, when we get to celebrate the birthdays of three of the biggest legends horror cinema has ever known. I'm talking of course about Vincent Price, Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing. Had they all still lived, Peter would have become 103 this Thursday, and Friday would have seen Vincent reach 105, and Christopher (the eternal spring chicken of the three) reach 94. While all three were famous for horror, all were fine actors in their own right, and all possessed wonderful distinctive voices. No matter how good or bad the films were in which they starred, they made them better, and they brought class, grace and intelligence to the weirdest of places. With...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
This is not your garden-variety horror picture -- its scares stem from primal guilt and fear of supernatural demons and devils that we can't entirely dismiss because people still believe in them enough to do terrible things. Robert Eggers' first film is the best-reviewed horror picture of its year, and quite an achievement. The VVitch: A New-England Folktale Blu-ray + Digital HD Lionsgate/ A24 2015 / Color / 1:66 widescreen / 92 min. / Street Date May 17, 2016 / 24.99 Starring Anya Taylor-Joy, Ralph Ineson, Kate Dickie, Harvey Scrimshaw, Ellie Grainger, Lucas Dawson, Bathsheba Garnett, Sarah Stephens. Cinematography Jarin Blaschke Film Editor Louise Ford Original Music Mark Korven Produced by Daniel Bekerman, Lars Knudsen, Jodi Redmond, Rodrigo Teixeira, Jay Van Hoy Written and Directed by Robert Eggers
Reviewed by Glenn Erickson
I don't find most modern horror pictures scary. The ones that scare usually do so with ideas, reaching beyond our defenses to find and exploit a personal weakness. »
- Glenn Erickson
Last week, details were revealed about the next Star Wars graphic novel, Star Wars: Bloodlines, written by Claudia Gray. The story follows General Leia's backstory leading into The Force Awakens, and the book sheds new light on how the Resistance was founded, Han and Leia's relationship, plus the reveal of a huge secret about Darth Vader. Star Wars 8 director, Rian Johnson even collaborated with the author on this new story. Now that the book is available for purchase, Claudia Gray shed some light on the story in a new interview. There will be Spoilers for this book below, so read on at your own risk if you plan on picking up Star Wars: Bloodlines.
This latest novel story revisits an iconic part of Leia's on-screen history, her time spent in the infamous gold bikini when she was enslaved by Jabba the Hutt. Leia encounters a character that refers to her as the "Huttslayer, »
The late ’80s provided a veritable potpourri for horror film fanatics. Slashers had petered out, and filmmakers were keen on exploring other avenues, everything from a parasitic drug slug (Brain Damage) to possession (The Unholy), and all points in-between. Of course, mileage may vary, and many have fallen through the cracks or are best forgotten. Possibly one of the oddest of the bunch is Anthony Hickox’s Waxwork (1988), a goofball mixture of Hammer and Amicus brought kicking and screaming into the modern era with a touch o’ teen comedy sensibility. And in horror, odd never hurts—and sometimes it even helps create an unassuming delight such as this.
Produced and distributed by Vestron Pictures, who scored big the previous year with the terrifying Dirty Dancing, Waxwork was given a limited release in June in the Us and the rest of the world the following year. Made for $1,500,000, it only returned $800,000 domestically. »
- Scott Drebit
From the mid sixties to the mid seventies, omnibus (or anthology, or portmanteau if you’re really fancy) horror films were big business. And Amicus Productions ruled the roost. Between ’65 and ’74 they released seven such films, starting with Dr. Terror’s House of Horrors (not to be confused with Dr. Tongue’s Evil House of Pancakes) and culminating with From Beyond the Grave. Today’s film lands in the middle, The House that Dripped Blood (1971) showcasing a company just starting to hit their stride with anthologies.
Popularity of the omnibus format has ebbed and flowed throughout the last 50 years; after Amicus stopped making them, George Romero and Stephen King collaborated on one of the finest, Creepshow (1982), which didn’t so much kick start a revival as have everyone afraid to compete. Throughout the late ‘80s and ‘90s there were pockets of inspiration, Tales from the Hood (1995) and of course HBO »
- Scott Drebit
Alamo Drafthouse is bringing the first three “Star Wars” movies to more than 20 cities in August with its “Return of the Trilogy” roadshow program.
The distributor noted that the films — “Episode IV – A New Hope,” “Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back” and “Episode VI – Return of the Jedi” — have long been out of release. Most of the showings will screen back-to-back-to-back as a single triple feature.
“It’s always been a dream to show the original ‘Star Wars’ trilogy again — somehow, someway,” said Alamo Drafthouse’s VP of Special Events Henri Mazza. “Seeing the original trilogy on the big screen for the first time is a real life-altering event and just a supreme amount of fun. When the films became available to book for screenings like these, we jumped at the chance to do something big.”
All three of the films will be presented in their 1997 re-release format. Tickets for »
- Dave McNary
Bride of Re-Animator, 1989.
Directed by Brian Yuzna.
Herbert West and his assistant Dan Cain discover how to re-animate dead tissue from individual body parts and set about creating their own ‘perfect’ woman.
Right then, now we’re talking. You can forget all of that found footage, melting ghost face, jump-scare-every-few-minutes nonsense that passes for horror at the moment as Arrow Video are bringing out the big guns with this dual format special edition of Bride of Re-Animator, Brian Yuzna’s sequel to Stuart Gordon’s horror comedy classic Re-Animator.
Despite being based on H.P. Lovecraft’s Herbert West – Reanimator short story, Re-Animator was essentially Frankenstein retold for the 1980s, with Jeffrey Combs’ Herbert West chillingly close to Peter Cushing’s matter-of-fact take on Baron Frankenstein and played totally serious against a backdrop of absurdity and over-the-top splatter. »
- Amie Cranswick
The first trailer for Star Wars: Rogue One is officially here. We take a closer look at what it all means...
If The Force Awakens had one herculean trial to undertake - relaunch the Star Wars franchise for a new generation of moviegoers - then Rogue One has a mighty task of its own. This is, after all, both a spin-off from the numbered Star Wars entries and also a prequel to 1977's A New Hope.
As history has already taught us, Star Wars sequels aren't necessarily easy to get right.
What Rogue One does offer, however, is the possibility of opening up the Star Wars universe in ways that were previously confined to books, videogames and other media. Director Gareth Edwards (Monsters, Godzilla) has pitched his movie as a mash-up of Dirty Dozen and space opera; its basic plot involves the Rebels' attempt to steal »
Douglas Wilmer, who has died at the age of 96, was a wily, sardonic actor best known for playing Sherlock Holmes on television. He was cast alongside Nigel Stock’s doughty Watson in a 1964 BBC adaptation of The Speckled Band, and then returned for a 12-episode series based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories the following year. Wilmer gave his Holmes an arrogance that he found missing from his screen predecessors, and he felt that his steely antihero was closer to Conan Doyle’s intentions for the character.
He was frustrated by the process of making the series, frequently rewriting scripts, clashing with directors and ruing the short rehearsal time typical in television of that period. He did not return for the second series, where Stock was instead joined by Peter Cushing. »
- Toby Hadoke
Tired of stupid sword 'n' sandal costume pictures? Robert Rossen's all-star bio-epic of the charter founder of the Masons is a superior analysis of political ambition and the ruthless application of power. Yeah, he's wearing a blond wig, but Richard Burton captures the force of Alexander without camping up Asia Minor. Alexander the Great Blu-ray Twilight Time Limited Edition 1956 / Color / 2:35 widescreen / 136 min. / Ship Date March 15, 2016 / available through Twilight Time Movies / 29.95 Starring Richard Burton, Fredric March, Claire Bloom, Danielle Darrieux, Barry Jones, Harry Andrews, Stanley Baker, Niall MacGinnis, Peter Cushing. Cinematography Robert Krasker Art Direction Andrej Andrejew Film Editor Ralph Kemplen Original Music Mario Nascimbene Produced by Gordon Griffith, Robert Rossen Written and Directed by Robert Rossen
Reviewed by Glenn Erickson
- Glenn Erickson
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