7 items from 2015
This June, the dead will rise again as Double Take (2T) launches Ultimate Night of the Living Dead, with three new comics set in the universe of the 1968 film. Two series, Rise and Z-Men are written by preeminent Zombie writer, Jeff McComsey, while the third, Home, is written by Moth Grand Slam Champion, Peter Aquero. Digital previews of all three premier issues are available now at DoubleTakeUniverse.com.
Much more than just a singular launch, this marks the first releases in a major initiative surrounding the classic horror franchise, which frightened moviegoers all around the world and made zombies a household name. Having commissioned a new generation of writers to breathe new life into the classic franchise, 2T has a dozen series in the works - some following characters from the film in surprising new directions; other stories are all new. All creators are working in collaboration with 2T Gm, »
The acquisition of a stake in Renowned Films marks the sixth recent investment in a UK indie by public service broadcaster Channel 4. Via its £20M growth fund, the network has taken a minority share of the documentary and factual producer. Co-founded by BBC radio host Duane Jones along with Max Welch and Tim Withers in 2012, the indie aims to disrupt traditional broadcast media by creating innovative content directed at young audiences using emerging technology and… »
Two outings for The Toxic Avenger and a surprisingly good vampire movie feature in this month's Bottom Shelf...
The advent of high definition technology has ushered in an era of unsurpassed quality in terms of the home-cinema experience. With TVs now able to match filmmakers' original visions closer than ever, the path has been cleared for the true maverick masters of cinema to shine on the small screen. Which brings us to Troma Entertainment head honchos Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Herz, whose final two Toxic Avenger sequelsmake their way onto Blu-ray this month.
Not by any stretch of the imagination a pair of essential HD releases (you could argue the grainy footage of any Troma film is best viewed on ancient VHS), The Toxic Avenger Part III: The Last Temptation Of Toxie and Citizen Toxie: The Toxic Avenger IV are what they are: both the best and worst of Kaufman »
S’Blood: Lee’s Facsimile of Bill Gunn an Odd Satisfaction
Surprisingly, after the failure of his 2013 remake of Park Chan-wook’s Oldboy, provocateur Spike Lee’s latest, the Kickstarter funded Da Sweet Blood of Jesus, is also a remake, a modernization of Bill Gunn’s 1973 classic Ganja & Hess, a film tenuously positioned within the spectrum of Blaxploitation. Lee initially explained that the film was about blood addiction and not vampires, with early conversations indicating that this had nothing to do with the likes of Blacula. But those familiar with Gunn’s brilliant and strange (if somewhat compromised) original film will see his stamp all over it, directed with uneasy disconnect from Lee. It’s an odd, sometimes off-putting film, but it strikes a distinctive, addictive chord, generating a particular scent that will draw you down its path. Though Lee expressly wishes the focus of the film to be about »
- Nicholas Bell
Production is planned for later this year.
“Night of the Living Dead” was released in 1968 and starred Duane Jones, Judith O’Dea and Karl Hardman. The film, which follows seven people trapped in a rural farmhouse attacked by zombies, was shot in black and white for $114,000 and grossed $30 millon worldwide, spawning five more “Living Dead” films.
It was selected in 1999 by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Film Registry.
The new film’s story is by Romero, who will also direct, with a screenplay by Romero, Darrin Reed and Bryce C. Campbell. Radar’s Ted Field will produce with Aldo Lapietra, Campbell, Reed and Romero. Executive producers are Mike Weber and Thomas van Dell.
The project is set at the height of the Cold War, »
- Dave McNary
★★★☆☆ The inspiration for Spike Lee's upcoming Da Sweet Blood of Jesus (2014), Bill Gunn's 1973 vampire-but-not-quite film Ganja & Hess is being re-released by Eureka! on DVD and Blu-ray. It is a strange creature of the night; jumping back and forth in time, sometimes repeating itself in detail, eliding other important passages entirely. A concise and coherent plot summary is difficult. Dr. Hess Green (Duane Jones) is stabbed by his colleague George Meda (writer-director Bill Gunn) with a relic from an ancient African civilisation. When he wakes up the next day, he is unharmed and finds himself with an incurable hunger for human blood.
- CineVue UK
Save for a pesky snake problem, the Garden of Eden had a lot going for it, including lush greenery, a farm-to-table diet and a perfect male-female ratio. The post-apocalyptic Eden at the center of Craig Zobel’s “Z for Zachariah” offers many of the same amenities, only here there are two Adams vying for the attention of one Eve, with predictably fraught consequences. It’s a scenario with obvious appeal for Zobel, whose love-it-or-hate-it 2012 “Compliance” subjected a gaggle of characters to a psychological crucible modeled on Stanley Milgram’s controversial obedience experiments. This time, the stakes are even higher — the repopulation of the planet — but the dramatic tension considerably less, in a movie that feels stranded somewhere between serious artistic ambition and the dystopian franchise-building of “The Hunger Games,” “Divergent,” et al.
Like those movies, “Z For Zachariah” also sports a literary pedigree: a posthumously published 1974 novel by Newbery-winning Ya author Robert C. »
- Scott Foundas
7 items from 2015
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