5 items from 2016
Cynicism isn’t hard to come by in the horror genre; any Italian cannibal or home invasion flick will satiate your desire for an outlook on man’s worst transgressions. Conversely, it’s even harder to find a film with such a buoyant feel that is at odds with the terror on display. Well, folks, may I present to you The Boogens (1981), an endearing charmer of a subterranean monster movie. By the time it’s over, you may want to give it a big old hug.
Released by Jensen Farley Pictures in September (with Paramount buying up the TV rights) on a budget of $600,000 Us, The Boogens did nothing to impress critics. However, a certain Stephen King loved the hell out of it, and his praise would grace the advertising as it did with his accolades of The Evil Dead (1981). (A King blurb held a lot of truck in those days. »
- Scott Drebit
Mike Cecchini Nov 4, 2016
Despite what you may have heard, the 1978 Doctor Strange TV movie is one of Marvel's better early TV efforts...
It's a deliberately paced origin story set in New York City that's light on action and long on exposition and sometimes questionable special effects. The eastern elements of Strange's origin are scrubbed in favour of Arthurian overtones with Morgan le Fay (Jessica Walter playing not necessarily the Marvel Comics version) as the villain and The Ancient One replaced by "Lindmer" a mentor who is, essentially, Merlin (wonderfully played by Sir John Mills). Clyde Kusatsu's Wong isn't a robed manservant, but an ally and student of the Ancient One, »
It was also the "Apocalypse Now" of weather-themed disaster movies. The film's production was marked by severe injuries to the stars and crew, a runaway budget, and the cinematographers openly rebelling against the director. Here are the real-life twists you didn't hear about from the tornado drama's tempestuous shoot.
1. The "Twister" screenplay is credited to "Jurassic Park" novelist Michael Crichton and his wife, Anne-Marie Martin, but it was revised by such celebrated script doctors as Joss Whedon (who dropped out of the project because he contracted bronchitis), Steven Zaillian (who dropped out because he was leaving for his honeymoon), and Jeff Nathanson, who was on the set and kept rewriting the script until the end of the shoot.
- Gary Susman
Ryan Lambie Nov 4, 2016
Nearly 40 years ago, Doctor Strange got his first shot at screen glory. We take a look back at the Dr Strange TV pilot...
Even the biggest superheroes had to start somewhere. Batman made his screen debut in a 15-part serial for Columbia, where he spent the entire time tussling with a ‘Japanese’ criminal called Dr Daka (actually Irish-American character actor J Carrol Naish). Superman also made his first live-action appearance in a 40s serial, with Kirk Alyn wearing some very large underpants as the Man of Steel.
Sledge Hammer! premiered on ABC 30 years ago and was cancelled after only two seasons. In a recent interview with Splitsider, creator Alan Spencer discussed his short-lived cop comedy and its upcoming revival special in San Francisco.
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5 items from 2016
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