20 items from 2013
HBO’s rise from the you’re-spending-my-subscription-money-on-that-crap? original programming basement to cable TV’s creative gold standard can be charted over a period of about ten years with the successes of several key original offerings.
By the end of the 1980s, the movie box office was becoming dominated by young-skewing sci fi and fantasy adventures, over-the-top action blockbusters, and sequels to sci fi and fantasy and over-the-top blockbusters. Box office Top Tens for 1989-1990 included the likes of Batman (1989), Ghostbusters II (1989), Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989), Home Alone (1990), Total Recall (1990), and Die Hard 2: Die Harder (1990). Over on the small screen, the penchant was for the sweet, the nice, the inoffensive. TV series at the top of the rating charts during the same period included The Cosby Show, Golden Girls, Wonder Years, Who’s the Boss?, and Murder, She Wrote.
There were writers and directors and producers in Hollywood itching to do something different, »
- Bill Mesce
Director: Philip Kaufman
Running Time: 115 minutes
Synopsis: In San Francisco, a group of people discover the human race is being replaced one by one, with clones.
Philip Kaufman’s acclaimed adaptation of Don Siegel’s 1956 sci-fi classic Invasion Of The Body Snatchers remains one the earliest and beloved remakes in the genre, while remaining faithful with author Jack Finney’s source novel ‘The Body Snatchers’. Director Kaufman’s paranoia-fuelled update improves on the simple storyline of a population being replaced by emotionless alien duplicates by shifting the extraterrestrial terror to one of the United States’ most iconic cities. San Francisco adds a sometimes epic scope to proceedings, and also suggests this could very well be a sequel as these pod-like otherworldly arrivals, with the ability to eerily clone human beings, have expanded beyond that initial and unlucky small town. »
- Craig Hunter
Odd List Ryan Lambie 6 Nov 2013 - 06:50
From random films with altered names to unrelated storylines, we take a look at 15 incredibly tenuous horror and sci-fi film sequels...
The profit-driven nature of filmmaking usually means that, if a movie's a hit, sequels follow. And it's sometimes the case that, particularly in the realm of low-budget sci-fi and horror, those sequels are trotted out in a rush, or don't have anything to do with the film they're following.
This isn't to say that the sequels on this list are necessarily bad - it's a proper mixed bag of the great, the mediocre and the downright awful - but in each instance, these sequels have only vague links to their predecessors, or worse still, they're entirely different films rebranded to fit an existing franchise.
Our list is by no means definitive - rather, we've chosen a collection of films that we find the most memorable. »
Since the end of the 1990s, lovers of animal attack films have been subjected to copious amounts of uninspired Nu Image, Syfy Channel and Syfy Channel-like dreck like Silent Predators (1999), Maneater (2007) Croc (2007), Grizzly Rage (2007) and a stunning amount of terrible shark attack films to name a few that barely scratch the surface of a massive list.
These movies fail miserably to capture the intensity of the unforgettable films they are imitating and the recent wave seems to carry with it the intent of giving the Revolt of Nature horror film a bad name. »
- Terek Puckett
‘The Cat and the Canary’ 1939: Paulette Goddard / Bob Hope haunted house comedy among Halloween 2013 movies at Packard Theater There’s much to recommend among the Library of Congress’ Packard Campus and State Theater screenings in Culpeper, Virginia, in October 2013, including the until recently super-rare Bob Hope / Paulette Goddard haunted house comedy The Cat and the Canary (1939). And that’s one more reason to hope that the Republican Party’s foaming-at-the-mouth extremists (and their voters and supporters), ever bent on destroying the economic and sociopolitical fabric of the United States (and of the rest of the world), will not succeed in shutting down the federal government and thus potentially wreak havoc throughout the U.S. and beyond. (Photo: Bob Hope and Paulette Goddard in The Cat and the Canary.) Screening on Thursday, October 31, at the Packard Theater, Elliott Nugent’s The Cat and the Canary is a remake of Paul Leni »
- Andre Soares
No we didn’t.
I was sent the accompanying image by a fan that asked me, as co-creator of the character, what I thought of it. The image is of Virgil Hawkins (Static) making out with his best friend Richie. Frankly, it didn’t bother me and I was much more concerned with how this woman got my personal email.
Turns out I gave it to her at the end of my Black Panel at the San Diego Comic Con, which struck me as suspect because she’s not Asian.
Shit, I said I would no longer do Asian girl joke references. Ok, let me try that again… turns out I gave it to her at the end of my Black Panel at the San Diego Comic Con, which stuck me as suspect because she’s not pretty.
Actually she’s very pretty so let me try that one more time, »
- Michael Davis
The World's End lands in theaters everywhere on Friday, and the Edgar Wright alien-invasion/drinking comedy featuring Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Martin Freeman, Rosamund Pike and Pierce Brosnan draws on a number of cinematic inspirations, from Invasion of the Body Snatchers-style sci-fi classics to The Big Chill-styled reunion movies. In fact, Wright recently assembled 14 fave influences (several of which are listed below) in a thematic, double-feature screening series at the New Beverly Cinema in Los Angeles to get audiences in the proper frame of mind.
Related Video: The Beginning of 'The World's End' at Comic-Con
The World's End follows a group of friends (including Paddy Considine and Eddie Marsan) who embark on an epic 12-pub crawl in their hometown in an effort to complete "The Golden Mile," having fallen short two decades earlier when they were teens in their prime. Back to finish what they started, the reunited »
“Old man sitting there/he’s so fine in his chair/Watching him grow his hair/its so long he doesn’t care/…A pod is waiting for him.”
–I Monster “A Pod is Waiting”
What started out as a 120 page novella by Jack Finny published in 1955 has steadily become a quasi-film- franchise. The first film, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, was released in 1956 which then went on to be remade three more times: in 1978 by Philip Kaufman, in 1993 (Body Snatchers) by Abel Ferrara and in 2007 (The Invasion) by director Oliver Hirschbiegel. While each version carries the same plot (an alien race that replaces humans with imposters) it is the political turmoil and current events and attitudes of the times that influence and change each interpretation of the story. Whether it be yuppie culture, McCarthyism or Militarism, each film carries its own agenda and spin on the matter and »
- Andrew Perez
Betty Hutton: Annie Get Your Gun and dancing with Fred Astaire (Photo: Betty Hutton in Annie Get Your Gun) [See previous post: "Betty Hutton Movies: 'It Had to Be You.'"] Betty Hutton’s career would reach its peak in 1950: Top billed, she danced with Fred Astaire in Norman Z. McLeod’s aptly titled Let’s Dance. Though not a great movie, the pairing with Astaire signaled prestige; the Rko-turned-mgm star was certainly more well-regarded than the likes of Sonny Tufts, John Lund, Don DeFore, or Macdonald Carey. That same year, Betty Hutton replaced a problematic Judy Garland in MGM’s George Sidney-directed film version of Irving Berlin’s Annie Get Your Gun. Of note: On Broadway, the role of Annie Oakley had been played by none other than Hutton’s Panama Hattie nemesis, Ethel Merman. Annie Get Your Gun was to be one of MGM’s biggest productions of the year. Hutton was even featured on the cover of Time magazine, »
- Andre Soares
The Young and the Restless tallied 23 nominations as honors were announced this morning for the 40th annual Daytime Emmy Awards. Restless’ impressive take helped CBS lead all networks with 50 overall nominations. PBS and ABC followed, with 44 and 38 nods, respectively.
General Hospital, which earned 19 nominations, joined Restless in the race for Outstanding Drama Series, and Sesame Street received 17 nods, including three for Kevin Clash, the voice of Elmo who faces allegations of sexual misconduct.
- Jeff Labrecque
Sam Champion read the 2013 Daytime Emmy Nominations on Good Morning America on May 1, and it’s a great list! General Hospital and The Young & The Restless were some of the many shows nominated, while Ellen DeGeneres, Katie Couric and the lovely ladies of The View are some of the hosts nominated. Read on for the full list.
Daytime Emmys 2013 — Full List Of Nominations
Outstanding Drama Series
Bradley P. Bell, Executive Producer
Ronald W. Weaver, Senior Producer
Mark Pinciotti, Coordinating Producer
Days of Our Lives, NBC
Ken Corday, Executive Producer
Janet Drucker, Tim Stevens, Coordinating Producers
Albert Alarr, Producer
General Hospital , ABC
Frank Valentini, Executive Producer
- Eleanore Hutch
Scream Factory recently announced a June 18th release date for their Blu-ray/DVD Collector’s Edition of The Howling and we now have the official list of bonus features that will be included:
“It’s time to unleash the beast within and join the pack as Scream Factory™ is proud to present the ferocious 1981 classic The Howling Collector’s Edition on Blu-ray™ and DVD June 18, 2013. Directed by legendary filmmaker Joe Dante (Gremlins) and written by John Sayles and Terence H. Winkless, this massive cult hit is based on the popular novel by Gary Brandner. The all-star cast includes Dee Wallace (E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Cujo), Patrick MacNee (The Avengers, A View to a Kill), Dennis Dugan (Happy Gilmore), Christopher Stone (Cujo), Belinda Balaski (Piranha), Kevin McCarthy (Innerspace), John Carradine (The Twilight Zone), Slim Pickens (Dr. Strangelove), Elisabeth Brooks (Deep Space) and Robert Picardo (Star Trek: Voyager). Brimming with edge-of-your-seat suspense and »
- Jonathan James
Latest adaptation of a bestselling Meyer novel has received atrocious ratings on the review-aggregator web site Rotten Tomatoes "Dopey, derivative and dull, The Host is a brazen combination of unoriginal science-fiction themes, young-adult pandering and bottom-line calculation," says New York Times film critic Manohla Dargis. And Dargis' opinion is one of the kinder ones that U.S. critics have written about Andrew Niccol's mix of romance, adventure, and science-fiction, starring Saoirse Ronan, Diane Kruger, Max Irons, and Jake Abel, and co-produced by the author of the novel on which the film is based (Niccol himself is credited for the adapation): Stephenie Meyer, best known as the brain behind the Twilight Saga literary and cinematic franchises. (Pictured above: Ronan, a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award nominee back in early 2008, and co-star Abel) Invasion of the Body Snatchers meets The Twilight Saga? In the story, an alien force usurps the »
- Andre Soares
Prepare to howl at the moon Fright-fiends, Joe Dante’s The Howling is getting a Collector’s Edition Blu-ray from Scream Factory! The rising cult/horror video label is set to give Dante’s lycanthrope classic the HD treatment come June 18th! Dig on the newly commissioned cover art from Nathan Thomas Milliner, and preliminary bonus features below!
From Scream Factory’s Facebook page:
“Director Joe Dante’s classic The Howling. Known fondly for its humorous script, outstanding Rob Bottin effects and Dee Wallace (Cujo), this will release on 6/18 as a Collector’s Edition on either DVD or Blu-ray. (Important to note that this will mark the first time the film has been on the Blu-ray format in the U.S.) New key art plus the iconic original theatrical poster art on the reverse side plus extras (which are still in development but you can pretty much expect that all »
- Justin Edwards
We don't know about you cats but we are proud to live in a world in which Ninja III: The Domination can see the light of day in a high quality extras loaded Blu-ray release. Oh, Scream Factory... how we love you!
From the Press Release
It’s time to unleash the beast within and join the pack as Scream Factory™ is proud to present the ferocious 1981 classic The Howling Collector’s Edition on Blu-ray™ and DVD June 18, 2013. Directed by legendary filmmaker Joe Dante (Gremlins) and written by John Sayles and Terence H. Winkless, this massive cult hit is based on the popular novel by Gary Brandner. The all-star cast includes Dee Wallace (E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Cujo), Patrick MacNee (The Avengers, A View to a Kill), Dennis Dugan (Happy Gilmore), Christopher Stone (Cujo), Belinda Balaski (Piranha), Kevin McCarthy (Innerspace), John Carradine (The Twilight Zone), Slim Pickens (Dr. Strangelove), Elisabeth Brooks »
- Uncle Creepy
Scream Factory announced the release date and bonus features for their upcoming Blu-ray/DVD Collector’s Edition of The Howling. We also have details on two other upcoming Scream Factory titles, Dead Souls and Ninja III: The Domination.
“It’s time to unleash the beast within and join the pack as Scream Factory™ is proud to present the ferocious 1981 classic The Howling Collector’s Edition on Blu-ray™ and DVD June 18, 2013. Directed by legendary filmmaker Joe Dante (Gremlins) and written by John Sayles and Terence H. Winkless, this massive cult hit is based on the popular novel by Gary Brandner. The all-star cast includes Dee Wallace (E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Cujo), Patrick MacNee (The Avengers, A View to a Kill), Dennis Dugan (Happy Gilmore), Christopher Stone (Cujo), Belinda Balaski (Piranha), Kevin McCarthy (Innerspace), John Carradine (The Twilight Zone), Slim Pickens (Dr. Strangelove), Elisabeth Brooks (Deep Space) and Robert Picardo (Star Trek: Voyager »
- Jonathan James
One of the many Scream Factory titles scheduled to be released this year is Joe Dante’s The Howling. The movie will be released as a bonus feature-packed Blu-ray/DVD collector’s edition, and we have the first look at the cover art.
A specific release date has not been announced, but Scream Factory expects The Howling to be available this summer. We should have release information, including a list of bonus features, next month.
For those that haven’t seen the werewolf classic, it was released in 1981 and stars Dee Wallace, Patrick Macnee, Christopher Stone, and Kevin McCarthy. The movie was directed by Joe Dante before he’d go on to make Gremlins.
“From the director of Gremlins and Piranha comes the ultimate masterpiece of primal terror. Filled with edge-of-your-seat suspense, “genuine thrills [and] amazing special effects” (Us), this riveting werewolf tale sinks its teeth into your deepest fears and never lets go! »
- Jonathan James
Back in February of 2012 we told you about a little indie flick called The Ghastly Love of Johnny X. Nobody heard us. Nobody listened. And now... well now the little flick has gone on to live in infamy!
CBS News is reporting that the Paul Bunnell directed film, starring Will Keenan and De Anna Joy Brooks as well as Creed Bratton ("The Office"), Reggie Bannister (Phantasm), Kate Maberly (The Secret Garden), Paul Williams (Phantom of the Paradise), and the late Kevin McCarthy (Invasion of the Body Snatchers) in his final role, has gone on to become the lowest grossing film of 2012, raking in a whopping $117.00 at the box office! How much you wanna bet it goes on to make bank on home video and midnight screenings because of that?
The Ghastly Love Of Johnny X is a truly mad concoction – a mesmerizing big screen spectacular! Johnny X and his »
- Uncle Creepy
Directed by Joe Dante.
Two teenagers going for a dip inadvertently stumble upon a government secret weapon: deadly piranha fish, planned for use in Vietnam. Accidentally released, the piranha make their way to the site of a children's summer camp resort, and the watery carnage begins.
If Jaws is the father of the summer blockbuster, then Piranha is the father of the mockbuster. Directed by Joe Dante (Gremlins) and produced by B movie legend Roger Corman (Little Shop of Horrors), Piranha was designed to capitalise on the box office success of the classic 1975 shark thriller, and now it arrives on Blu-ray here in the UK, timed I presume to capitalise on the (slightly) increased recognition of the Piranha name following the recent 3D remake and its 3Dd sequel.
Hiking around Lost River Lake, two »
We have two copies of the Blu-ray to give away to our readers.
From the director of The Howling and Gremlins and starring Bradford Dillman (Sudden Impact), Heather Menzies (Logan’s Run), Kevin McCarthy (Invasion of the Body Snatchers), Keenan Wynn (Once Upon a Time in the West), Barbara Steele (The Pit and The Pendulum) and Dick Miller (The Terminator), Piranha makes its Blu-ray debut complete with some outstanding bonus features on 28 January 2013.
When two teen hikers disappear around Lost River Lake, private detective Maggie McKeown teams up with the local drunk to search for clues. Their investigation takes them to a secret military base where they inadvertently let loose an experimental strain of mutant piranha. »
- Matt Holmes
20 items from 2013
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