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William Friedkin earned a Best Director Oscar for his riveting 1971 film The French Connection and earned another nomination for changing the face of horror with The Exorcist. Now, with his latest controversial film Killer Joe out on Blu-ray, the legendary director revisits some of his greatest films for ETonline and reveals the secrets behind them; discusses his thoughts on Hollywood's remake fever; and gets candid about what frightens the man who helmed one of the scariest films ever made.
Related: The Uncomfortable Sexuality of 'Killer Joe'
On the Possibility of an 'Exorcist' Sequel/Prequel, and the Real-Life Case that Inspired the Film:
"[I've been asked often], and I won't. … I've said everything that could be said about demonic possession and exorcism. I have not even seen any of the sequels, not even [William Peter] Blatty's [Exorcist III]. I would not do a prequel or a sequel, absolutely not, under no circumstances and for no amount of money. But if I could »
Director/writer: Jared Cohn. Cast: Sara Malakul Lane, Jesus Guevara and Carl Donelson. December 12, 2012 was a day that came and went with nothing significant to report. The Asylum's 12/12/12 does nothing to add to the date either. In a huge cosmological list of dates that are believed to be significant, no apocalypse happened and neither has mankind evolved to the next level. These ideas are all missed opportunities for writer and director Jared Cohn to play up. Instead, this movie tried to introduce the world to a new threat, a different version of Chucky in the form of a baby mannequin prop. With a premise loosely based on Rosemary's Baby, this film suggests that children born under a powerful numerological date will become a vassal for a greater force. In this case, the devil has a human body and his name is Sebastian. But this film is hardly anything like The Omen. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Ed Sum)
Selena was caught cozying up to a mystery man on Dec. 16 who gushed about her dance moves! Do You think she is trying to make Justin jealous? Not long after dumping ex-boyfriend and badboy Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez had a fun night out on Dec. 16 with some of her fellow Unicef Ambassador friends, including the sexy Ronan Farrow, 25 -- and the two were snapped in an intimate pic together! Who is Ronan Farrow? Ronan, the only biological child of famed film director Woody Allen, 77, and Rosemary's Baby actress Mia Farrow, 67, was a former Youth Advocate for Unicef, and he worked to spread AIDS awareness in Africa. He has been a strong political activist ever since -- and even works for Secretary of State Hilary Clinton as the United States' first Special Adviser for Global Youth Issues. Ronan has quite an impressive resume, as he is also a Rhodes Scholar. This »
- Hollywood Life Staff
Every year the Hollywood Foreign Press Association announces its Golden Globe nominations, and every year we wonder why this rococo freakshow matters. In years past, clunkers like The Tourist and Burlesque have been nominated for Best Picture, and to the HFPA's credit, neither of those ridiculous movies ended up winning Best Picture. Unfortunately, the five I've listed below either won Best Comedy/Musical or Best Drama, and you'll likely agree that these embarrassments remain stinky all these years later.
Here they are, the five worst movies to win the biggest Golden Globe of the night.
I'm obviously an elite-level Madonna fan, but I'm also the first to admit that Evita is un-special. Madonna's performance is serviceable and Antonio Banderas' is a bit better, but to me Andrew Lloyd Webber's rather muted spectacle is the least interesting thing about Madonna in the '90s. And yes, I remember "Nothing Really Matters. »
Fans of the last season's installment of "American Horror Story" may have had to take a moment to recognize returning cast member Dylan McDermott this time around. No longer playing the yuppie therapist Ben Harmon, McDermott goes blue collar to portray the tattooed son of Bloody Face (Zachary Quinto) this season. In a conference call with reporters, McDermott, who says his character is in "the next three of four episodes" and comes face-to-face with his serial killer dad, talked about playing a serial killer, why he doesn't remove his character's tattoos when he goes home, and why he loves "Rosemary's Baby" »
- Liane Bonin Starr
Here's the problem with Burl Ives' Christmas tunes: I just want him to interrupt every recording by announcing, "I am an Oscar Winner, kids. I'm not just your f*cking grandpa with the pointy beard. I beat Lee J. Cobb and Gig Young. Suck on that sugar cube, Blitzen." Indeed, Rudolph's narrator scored a Supporting Actor trophy for 1958's The Big Country, and he wasn't the jolliest bastard you've ever seen in it. But here's the thing: Christmas is about bubbling-under rage, which I've decided that Burl has, and therefore "Silver Bells" is a definitive yuletide anthem. Score: 8
2. The Carpenters, "Merry Christmas Darling"
All right. It doesn't take a looped screening of the Carpenters' Christmas specials featuring the McNichols, John Denver, and Yuletide Anorexia to realize that Christmas meant everything to the Carpenters. Karen and Richard were nothing without their plasticine grins, that true indicator of the holiday spirit. »
Local pride may have caused problems for the much-awaited feature – but is it the start of a new phase for the Gulf film industry?
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In December 2011, at a cinema on the edge of Hyde Park – a stone's throw from Edgware Road, London's Arab quarter – 300 punters were filing out of a test screening of Djinn, the United Arab Emirates' first horror film and the eighth full-length Emirati feature to date. Image Nation Abu Dhabi, the government-backed company who made it, had scored a coup: persuading Texas Chainsaw Massacre legend Tobe Hooper to direct. And it seemed to have paid dividends. "It's the return of the master," crowed one viewer at the screening.
Then Djinn vanished. It didn't appear at the Dubai film festival, where it had been offered a red-carpet premiere. Promised spring and summer 2012 release dates came and went. It was »
- Phil Hoad
Summit Entertainment has set Burr Steers (Charlie St. Cloud) to write and direct an adaptation of horror-thriller novel, Breed. Written by Scott Spencer (Endless Love) under the pseudonym of Chase Novak, Breed centers on a young couple who participate in an experimental fertility treatment, but must seek out a cure when they are transformed into bloodthirsty savages. Steers previously wrote screenplays for Igby Goes Down and How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. In other acquisition news, DreamWorks has tapped director Ringan Ledwidge (Gone) to helm Glimmer, a time-traveling, sci-fi thriller produced on a shoestring budget. Hit the jump for more on both pictures. Variety reports that DreamWorks is hoping that Glimmer is a breakout hit with a budget that won't break the bank. Carter Blanchard's script centers on a group of teens who discover a portal back through time and must face the tragic consequences when one of them alters history. »
- Dave Trumbore
Drawn From Memory (Portrait Z Pamieci)
Director: Marcin Bortkiewicz | 2011 | Poland | 24 minutes
What's it about? A film school student enlists his grandmother as an actress as she gradually slips into dementia.
What's good? I'm fairly certain this is fiction, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was a documentary. Grandma's deterioration is captured with chilling realism, and it's genuinely sad when she reaches her lowest point. But before things get heavy, there are several moments of levity, including the sweding of Psycho, Rosemary's Baby and The Birds.
What's bad? The found footage aesthetic involves a bit too much shakycam and murky lighting. The story is as messy and unfocused as the cinematography.
Overall? There are snatches of brilliance in this short, but they're sparse. The personal connection between the filmmaker and his grandmother ultimately saves it. [Continued ...] »
While Cyber Monday sales are now over, Amazon still has a number of great DVD and Blu-ray deals. If you're a Criterion fan, Amazon has a ton of Criterion DVD and Blu-rays for over 50% off. Included in the sale are David Fincher's The Game, Rosemary's Baby, Seven Samurai, Godzilla, Harold and Maude, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Rushmore, Anatomy of a Murder, Quadrophenia and too many others to list here. In addition, if you're a gamer, Amazon has a ton of Xbox 360 and PS3 games onsale. Some of the other highlights are below. The Hannibal Lecter Collection (Manhunter / Silence of the Lambs / Hannibal) [Blu-ray] $14.99 (63% off) The Cabin In The Woods [Blu-ray + UltraViolet Digital Copy] $9.96 (75% off) Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (Movie-Only Edition + UltraViolet Digital Copy) (Blu-ray) $9.99 (50% off) Thor (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Copy) $9.96 (75% off) The West Wing: The Complete Series Collection $86.49 (71% off) Gilligan's Island: Complete Series Collection $26.99 (76% off) Star Trek »
- Steve 'Frosty' Weintraub
Amazon.com are in the midst of offering the last of their DVD and Blu-ray sales deals for the holiday weekend and for Cyber Monday they seem to be doing something special for lovers of the Criterion Collection.
The prestige label offers its classic film titles on Blu-ray at a retail price of $40 and usually sell online for $35. Every now and then Barnes & Noble will hold half price sales with titles going for at least $20. Today, Amazon is selling various key ones for $18 and $21 a piece.
Amongst the titles on offer there's film classics like "8 1/2," "12 Angry Men," "The 39 Steps," "Antichrist," "Being John Malkovich," "Black Narcissus," "Blow Out," "Brazil," "Carlos," "Charade," "Che," "Cronos," "Days of Heaven," "Diabolique," "The Darjeeling Limited," "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas," "The Game," "Godzilla," "Hunger," "In the Mood for Love," "The Last Temptation of Christ," "M," "Night of the Hunter," "Paths of Glory," "Rashomon," "The Red Shoes, »
- Garth Franklin
Just when you thought there couldn't be anymore deals this year Amazon goes and lowers their prices on several of their Criterion Blu-ray titles, many of which are priced at $17.99 including personal must owns such as Seven Samurai, Stagecoach, 12 Angry Men, Diabolique, The Thin Red Line, The Wages Of Fear, The Great Dictator, The Night of the Hunter, Rashomon, 8 1/2, Last Year at Marienbad and a major favorite of mine... Breathless. There are even some titles available for preorder such as Terry Gilliam's Brazil and Christopher Nolan's Following along with recently released titles such as Akira Kurosawa's Rashomon, David Fincher's The Game and Roman Polanski's Rosemary's Baby. I have broken the titles up into a few categories below based on my personal taste so sort through and give 'em a look and see if you can save a little money on some titles you've been wanting to add to your collection. »
- Brad Brevet
Blackburn also directed Donkey Punch. His latest film is described as a Rosemary's Baby-esque thriller. The plot: With the rest of the campus home for the Thanksgiving holiday, Justine and a few of her friends spend the weekend in their college dormitory: studying, relaxing and blissfully unaware of the terror that is about to unfold outside in the cold.
Read more »
"Pray for Rosemary's Baby..."
That tag line for Roman Polanski’s 1968 horror classic is an example of brilliant marketing. Until it was created, Paramount’s head of the studio, Robert Evans, admits not knowing how to sell the picture. Yes, it’s a horror film, but not like anything we’ve seen. Yes, it’s produced by William Castle, the schlock-meister who was famous for B-movie scare flicks utilizing gimmicks such as the selling of insurance policies in the theater lobby for patrons who feared they’d be scared to death. But the film is also an ingenious thriller outside of the horror genre; a crime story, in many ways, about a cult that drugs and rapes a woman for fiendish purposes. The subject is taken seriously, despite an undercurrent of dark humor. It was also very adult and frank for its time, and it had »
- email@example.com (Cinema Retro)
Vulture Joaquin Phoenix's apology (of sorts... if you stretch the definition of the word) for his comments about the Oscars
Film Drunk on Channing Tatum the "Sexiest Man Alive" ... and other prizes
Awards Daily Ben Affleck to receive the "Modern Master" award at Santa Barbara Fest after only three films. (I think it's time you all bowed down to my stunning predictive powers about Monsieur Affleck. I predicted his ascendance to Eastwood Jr. status years and years ago!)
In Contention Skyfall's amazing un-Oscared tech team
The Envelope overhears a "Who is that?" question in relation to... Jennifer Lawrence?!? Also: The Best Actress race. »
- NATHANIEL R
More than any other genre, horror tends to be a triumph of execution over concept, at least when it works. One could take a three-sentence synopsis of any number of watershed films (Psycho, Rosemary's Baby, The Shining), and they would hardly sound more compelling than your standard, direct-to-dvd output when seen out of context. The Ghostmaker probably never had that kind of potential, but it is nevertheless weaker than it might have been. Its fantastical plot would have lent itself nicely to a gloomy, Hammer throwback, but the film simply doesn't have the handle on atmosphere, character, or plotting to pull it off.
- Anders Nelson
Dimension Films' 'Satanic', previously known as 'Kristy', is currently trying to secure 'Twilight' and 'The Apparition' hottie Ashley Greene (below) to star alongside Haley Bennett ('The Hole', 'The Haunting of Molly Hartley') in the new 'Rosemary's Baby'-esque horror. The flick, helmed by 'Donkey Punch' director Oliver Blackburn, will commence shooting later on this month. The 25-year old actress comes off the back of two genre entries in the form of her final appearance in the tiresome franchise 'The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2' as well as subpar supernatural chiller 'The Apparition'. »
The Locarno Film Festival announced its 2013 edition will feature a complete retrospective of the films of George Cukor. They also announced their lineup of programmers, which features Cinema Scope editor/publisher Mark Peranson as the head of programming. An archive of Andrei Tarkovsky's personal photographs, letters and other items are going up for auction. According to The Guardian:
"The archive is being sold by Olga Surkova, who was Tarkovsky's pupil, amanuensis and friend as well as co-author of the book Sculpting in Time, in which the director sets out his theories on cinema....In the sale are notebooks with shot-by-shot analysis of his films; printed scripts for films, containing significant differences to the final versions; and a collection of 32 audio tapes and 13 MiniDiscs from his final years on which he talks about his films and cinema.
There are photo albums of Tarkovsky and his family on holiday in places »
- Adam Cook
Last week's poll was, somewhat surprisingly, another blow out. Roman Polanski's Chinatown easily topped all of his other films and came away victorious with 44% of the votes. Only Rosemary's Baby and The Pianist put up much of a fight, coming in at #2 and #3 respectively. The Ghost Writer and Repulsion both finished in a deadlock for fourth place, rounding out the top 5. The other remaining options didn't get much love, with his most recent film Carnage pulling up the rear. Do you agree with these results? 1. Chinatown -- 44.8% 2. Rosemary's Baby -- 23.6% 3. The Pianist -- 15.4% 4. The Ghost Writer -- 3.5% 4. Repulsion -- 3.5% 6. The Tenant -- 3.1% 7. Frantic -- 2.3% 8. Cul-de-Sac -- 1.9% 9. Knife in the Water -- 1.2% 10. Carnage -- 0.8%
For More Daily Movie Goodness, Visit Filmjunk.Com! »
Earlier this year New Yorker television critic Emily Nussbaum popularized the term "Hate-Watch" in her brilliantly funny (and, sadly, very accurate) takedown "Hate-Watching Smash," in which she explored why she sticks with the lambasted show despite the fact that every moment makes her want to draw-and-quarter Debra Messing with her trailerful of earth-toned scarves. This new AfterElton series celebrates the entertainments most eminently hate-watchable in an effort to better understand what compels us to sit through garment-rending shows and movies instead of going outside, doing charity work, or sleeping.
Hate-Watching 666 Park Avenue
When ABC announced that it would be feeding on the still-warm corpse of the breakout FX series American Horror Story (which itself satisfied its filthy appetite on the remains of pretty much every great horror movie ever made), I got a total filmboner. It's Rosemary's Baby! It's Devil's Advocate! It's John Locke and Wilhelmina Slater playing Mr. Roarke and Tattoo at the Dakota! »
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