6 items from 2015
Whether you’re all for 3D, or have reserved a special place in hell for those awkward glasses, it would seem that it is here to stay. Long before it turned into the latest service fee added onto the bill of your movie going experience, 3D was a fun (and new) twist for film lovers. And with House of Wax (1953), Warner Bros. created not only the first color major studio 3D film, but one of the finest horror films of the 50’s, period.
Released in April of ’53, House of Wax was a pricey venture (1 million Us to produce), but one that Warner Bros. was willing to bank on after the smash 3D success of Bwana Devil (1952), an independent production. By this point, the major studios were desperate to get people back to the movies, as that new and nasty little box called television halved theatre attendance. What they achieved with »
- Scott Drebit
A year after starring in House of Wax, Vincent Price made another film with a solid cast and a script by an Oscar-winning writer, photographed in Technicolor by the man who went on to shoot such rainbow-hued classics as Mary Poppins. But Born in Freedom: The Story of Colonel Drake never played in theaters: it was an industrial film. Many Hollywood professionals made a good living working in the arena of nontheatrical filmmaking. These sponsored films were underwritten by various corporations, industrial groups, and branches of our government. Now my pal Ron Hall at Festival Films has released a collection of these oddities on DVD under the title Industrial Strength America. Born...
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- Leonard Maltin
With the death of horror film legend Christopher Lee, the last of the legendary honor guard of horror has passed on. He was part of an elite group that created the horror genre. Lee’s passing is a reminder that it’s been a long time since we had a new horror film superstar. Is the day of the horror film specialist gone forever? Where are the big-screen boogie-men for the 21st century?
Once upon a time there were a group of actors, known as the ‘screen boogiemen’ who created the horror film/monster movie genre (starting in Universal Studios and later in Hammer Studios.) They were specialists who understood the psychology and performance style of horror cinema and became legends in the industry. The first was silent film star Lon Chaney Sr. (Phantom of the Opera, London After Midnight, the Hunchback of Notre Dame, the Unholy Three, the Monster, »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Rob Young)
Today is Vincent Price’s 104th Birthday! Price was born here in St. Louis on this date in 1911 and is the most iconic movie star to hail from our city. Price, who died October 25th 1993, was also a gourmand, author, stage actor, speaker, world-class art collector, raconteur, and all-around Renaissance man. Vincent Price was simply one of the most remarkable people of the 20th Century. Four years ago we had the opportunity to celebrate his 100th birthday and St. Louis was the place to do it. I teamed up with Cinema St. Louis to present Vincentennial, The Vincent Price 100th Birthday Celebration, an event that lasted through much of the Spring of 2011. The following year Vincentennial won two coveted Rondo Awards, one for “Best Fan Event” and a second for myself as “Monster Kid of the Year” for directing the event. The Rondo Awards are prestigious Fan Awards given out »
- Tom Stockman
One way of telling the history of photographic arts is to describe a linear progression of more and more realistic picture-making, as if painter's brushes and pencils aimed mainly to approximate the human eye until, finally, photography emerged. (This is the premise André Bazin famously explored in “The Ontology of the Photographic Image.”) Given photography's automatic reproduction, painting could move on to express more boldly, more experimentally, more abstractly. Realism was no longer necessary. Incidentally, a lot of the most visible and most discussed uses of CGI and SFX in contemporary cinema have embodied images, actions, and temporalities that are far from realistic. These digital platforms enable visions of worlds that alter our own sufficiently so as to provide something—escape? Improvement? Color? It doesn't ultimately matter. The point is that the pixel has often been directed towards ends that seem to go against photography (and cinematography's) automatic capture of the world. »
- Zach Campbell
Because we were obviously in desperate need of a new "Blob" movie, cinematic auteur Simon West ("Con Air," "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider") has signed on to helm yet another remake of the 1958 drive-in classic, which was previously remade in 1988 by director Chuck Russell. Kevin Dillon starring vehicles were all the rage back then, obvs. Did we ask for this? I don't know, I think I'm good honestly. But since it's happening and there's pretty much nothing we can do about it, take a trip back with me as I revisit a few more horror films Hollywood just couldn't keep their hands off of - and judge which of the versions is the best. "King Kong" The 1933 classic was first remade in 1976 with Jessica Lange and Jeff Bridges, who starred opposite the robotic ape from the Universal Studios tram ride. Nearly 30 years later Peter Jackson decided to remake it as an epic three-hour film, »
- Chris Eggertsen
6 items from 2015
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