13 items from 2017
Harrison Abbott on how Universal can save the Dark Universe…
Whilst its international take is admittedly surpassing its domestic performance by quite some way, it is still reasonable to suggest that The Mummy hasn’t been the mega-hit that Universal were hoping for. Weighed down by astonishingly clunky exposition, countless instances of tonal whiplash and a certain high profile ego to contend with (not to mention that embarrassing PR blunder with the trailer audio), the film has been the deserving subject of bad word of mouth and a relentless onslaught of critical maulings. Suffice it to say, it has been something of a rocky journey for the first instalment in the fledgling ”Dark Universe”.
In case you need catching up to speed, this Dark Universe is essentially the latest attempt to revive all of Universal’s classic movie monsters. Many efforts have been made in the past to reboot these characters, »
- Harrison Abbott
Every week, IndieWire asks a select handful of film and TV critics two questions and publishes the results on Monday. (The answer to the second, “What is the best film in theaters right now?”, can be found at the end of this post.)
This week’s question: With “The Mummy” opening to mostly negative reviews this weekend, Universal’s attempt to kickstart its “Dark Universe” franchise is stuck in a rut. What would you do (or recommend the studio do) to make good movies out of Universal’s classic monsters?
Violet Lucca (@unbuttonmyeyes), Film Comment
The obvious response is “don’t try,” but since we’re a few years away from getting back to using original intellectual property in film, I’ll give them a few options.
- Eric Kohn
Edgar G. Ulmer movies on TCM: 'The Black Cat' & 'Detour' Turner Classic Movies' June 2017 Star of the Month is Audrey Hepburn, but Edgar G. Ulmer is its film personality of the evening on June 6. TCM will be presenting seven Ulmer movies from the mid-1930s to the mid-1960s, including his two best-known efforts: The Black Cat (1934) and Detour (1945). The Black Cat was released shortly before the officialization of the Christian-inspired Production Code, which would castrate American filmmaking – with a few clever exceptions – for the next quarter of a century. Hence, audiences in spring 1934 were able to witness satanism in action, in addition to other bizarre happenings in an art deco mansion located in an isolated area of Hungary. Sporting a David Bowie hairdo, Boris Karloff is at his sinister best in The Black Cat (“Do you hear that, Vitus? The phone is dead. Even the phone is dead”), ailurophobic (a. »
- Andre Soares
May has been a great month for horror and sci-fi releases so far, and this Tuesday looks to be another great week for fans looking to expand their home entertainment collections.
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is bringing home the latest installment in the Resident Evil franchise on May 16th, with several types of releases for Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, as well as Resident Evil: The Complete Collection, which brings all the films in the series together.
Scream Factory is keeping busy with their two rat-tastic cult Blu-ray titles on Tuesday, Willard and Ben, and with the new Mummy movie coming our way, Universal has assembled several Universal Monsters box sets that classic horror fans are going to want to pick up this week.
- Heather Wixson
Every horror fan has their favorite type of monster. Some people love shambling zombies, others prefer squid-faced aliens from beyond the stars, and I’m sure there are a few people out there who would swear that The Mangler is the greatest beast to grace the silver screen. But for me, one archetype has always reigned supreme: the scaly fish-man.
I can’t explain why, but ever since I was a kid, sea life has always interested me, so it should come as no surprise that as far as famous monsters go, the Gill-man’s always been my favorite. Unfortunately, being a fan of the Gill-man can lead to some issues. Unlike Dracula, Frankenstein, and The Mummy, the Gill-man was an original creation of Universal, and as such, was not in the public domain. So, while there are many great films bearing those iconic names, the Creature from the Black Lagoon only has three, »
- Perry Ruhland
Universal Pictures’ classic monsters are available now on Blu-ray in four bonus-packed box sets; The Mummy Legacy Collection, The Frankenstein Legacy Collection, The Dracula Legacy Collection and The Wolf Man Legacy Collection. And we have two complete sets on Blu-ray to giveaway… Yes, Two!!
The Mummy Legacy Collection
All 6 Films From The Legacy Of The Original Mummy Includes: The Mummy (1932), The Mummy’S Hand (1940), The Mummy’S Tomb (1942), The Mummy’S Ghost (1944), The Mummy’S Curse (1944), and Abbott And Costello Meet The Mummy (1955)
The original Mummy is one of the silver screen’s most unforgettable characters and, along with the other Universal Classic Monsters, defined the Hollywood horror genre. The Mummy: Complete Legacy Collection includes all 6 films from the original legacy including the terrifying classic starring Boris Karloff and the timeless films that followed. These landmark motion pictures defined the iconic look of the ancient Egyptian monster and continue »
- Phil Wheat
By Hank Reineke
The Vampire Bat (1933) was a staple of TV late-night movie programming well into the 1980s. Too often the running time of this maltreated film was irreverently trimmed or stretched to accommodate commercial breaks or better fit into a predetermined time slot. With black-and-white films almost completely banished from the schedules of local television affiliates by 1987, TV Guide disrespectfully dismissed The Vampire Bat as a “Dated, slow-motion chiller.” That’s an unfair appraisal. But with the MTV generation in the ascendant and Fangoria gleefully splashing the lurid and blood-red exploits of such slice-and-dice horror icons as Michael Meyers, Jason Voorhees, and Freddy Krueger on its covers, it’s somewhat understandable why the other-worldly atmospherics of The Vampire Bat were perceived as little more than a celluloid curio – an antiquated footnote in the annals of classic horror.
The Vampire Bat is hardly original. The film was, no doubt, conceived »
- email@example.com (Cinema Retro)
Another impressive horror restoration! Majestic Pictures pulls together a great cast, including Fay Wray and Lionel Atwill, for a smart gothic horror outing complete with squeaky bats, a flipped-out village idiot (Dwight Frye!), a crazed mad scientist (the worst kind) and a lynch mob with torches that have been hand-tinted in color. Melvyn Douglas is the debonair flatfoot assigned to solve a series of vampire killings.
The Film Detective
1933 / B&W with part-tinted scene / 1:37 Academy / 83 min. / Street Date April 25, 2017 / 19.99
Cinematography: Ira H. Morgan
Film Editor: Otis Garrett
Written by Edward T. Lowe Jr.
Produced by Phil Goldstone
Directed by Frank Strayer
- Glenn Erickson
Bela Lugosi fan alert! This Monogram horror opus is yet another narrative-challenged fumble of unmotivated, incomprehensible characters… but Bela’s great in it, in a central role. He’s a sympathetic, non- maniac this time, if you don’t count his tendency to go into trances and smother random houseguests. Savant’s review has the lowdown on the interesting cast; Tom Weaver’s commentary has the authoritative lowdown on whole show.
Kl Studio Classics
1941 / B&W / 1:37 flat Academy / 64 min. / Street Date March 21, 2017 / available through Kino Lorber / 24.95
Film Editor: Robert Golden
Original Music: hahahahah, good one.
Produced by Sam Katzman
Directed by Joseph H. Lewis
Horror movie fans come in two varieties, obsessive and dangerously obsessive. Back »
- Glenn Erickson
Last fall, Universal Studios Home Entertainment gave horror fans an early Halloween treat with their Complete Legacy Collection Blu-ray box sets for Frankenstein's monster and The Wolf Man. This spring, two more Universal Monsters will get their due, as Dracula and The Mummy are also getting the Complete Legacy Collection Blu-ray treatment.
The respective Complete Legacy Collection Blu-ray box sets for Dracula and The Mummy are scheduled for a May 16th release. Although the full list of films for each collection have not been announced, it's likely that they will contain the same films featured on the DVD versions:
Dracula Complete Legacy Collection:
The Mummy Complete Legacy Collection:
And for additional details, »
- Derek Anderson
David Crow Feb 13, 2017
The movie, TV show, cartoon and comic references of The Lego Batman Movie...
This article contains major The Lego Batman Movie spoilers.
Holy plastic building blocks, Batman! Almost everything really was awesome about The Lego Batman Movie. After years of dark nights and grim glares at other superheroes, the newest adventure of the Caped Crusader, as voiced by Will Arnett’s perfectly overdone gravel, was a breath of fresh air. Not afraid to let Batman’s sidekicks have fun - even if our cantankerous main guy still prefers to wear only black and sing about “darkness” - The Lego Batman Movie is poised to entertain Bat-fans of all Bat-ages.
Still one of its best gags is its shameless (and relentless) use of references, cutaways, and in-jokes to overstuff its narrative with more meta-humor than the most unwieldy episode of Community. As a consequence, it’s easy to »
“I kissed her as she lay there in the coffin; and her lips were cold.”
Now I know where Eddie Munster got his widow’s peak! He must have watched White Zombie as a toddler and decided to emulate his Uncle Dracula who remained behind in Transylvania while Grandpa, Herman and Lily moved to America. Actually, Bela Lugosi isn’t Dracula in the 1932 chiller White Zombie, but he might as well be. He’s a voodoo master who has taken his enemies lives over, turned them into zombies and made them his slaves. When he is contacted by a man who is coveting somebody else’s wife, Lugosi simply turns her (Madge Bellamy) into one of the living dead by waving her scarf over an open flame. She keels over, is »
- Tom Stockman
Robert Englund and Freddy Krueger. Not since Bela Lugosi and Dracula have a character and an actor been so deeply linked. And I would venture to say that not even Lugosi’s Dracula achieved the level of mainstream popularity achieved by Englund’s Krueger. During the late ’80s, you couldn’t turn on the television, open a magazine, or even look at a damn lunchbox without seeing Freddy’s charred face plastered on it. But that scorched visage would be nothing without Englund’s personality at the core of the character. Englund’s ability to imbue Krueger with such malicious delight struck a note with the public that just can’t be replicated. Jackie Earle Haley is a fantastic actor and did some interesting things in the Nightmare on Elm Street remake, but I never really felt like I was watching Freddy Krueger.
This was in part due to the direction taken with the remake, »
- Bryan Christopher
13 items from 2017
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