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It's one thing to set a TV series in the 1980s; it's a whole other thing, however, to make it feel like it was actually shot during the Reagan-and-Rubik's-Cube era. Matt and Ross Duffer's new Netflix series Stranger Things is full of nostalgic nods to the decade and its pop-cultural products, but it's also uncommonly rigorous about getting the details just right — whether it's the many pitch-perfect music cues, the hat-tipping nods and homages to Eighties movies, or simply nailing the cringeworthy fashion statements of the day (those Mom jeans! »
[Guest author Christopher Lombardo of Really Awful Movies celebrates Canada Day by looking back at three backwoods Canadian horror films.] In the ’70s, Canadian tax loopholes spurred growth in domestic horror films, providing a more reliable low-cost means of recouping one’s investment in a frequently fickle business. A few, like Martin Scorsese’s favorite The Changeling, were critical darlings, while the bulk of them were regarded as cheap government-funded trash. A prominent Canadian critic famously called Cronenberg’s Shivers “an atrocity, a disgrace to everyone connected with it” in a jeremiad titled “You Should Know How Bad This Film Is. After All, You Paid for It.”
Luckily, for those of us invested in such things artistically if not financially (unless you count our tax dollars), we got gems such as Happy Birthday to Me, My Bloody Valentine, Black Christmas (1974), and many others.
The “tax shelter” era, in addition to straight-ahead slashers, also gave us lesser-known films that exposed class divisions—punishing urban interlopers who lacked the necessary survival skills to thrive in the wilderness. »
- Christopher Lombardo
Article by Jim Batts, Dana Jung, Sam Moffitt, and Tom Stockman
Special effects legend Ray Harryhausen, whose dazzling and innovative visual effects work on fantasy adventure films such as Jason And The Argonauts and The 7th Voyage Of Sinbad passed away in 2013 at age 92. In 1933, the then-13-year-old Ray Harryhausen saw King Kong at a Hollywood theater and was inspired – not only by Kong, who was clearly not just a man in a gorilla suit, but also by the dinosaurs. He came out of the theatre “stunned and haunted. They looked absolutely lifelike … I wanted to know how it was done.” It was done by using stop-motion animation: jointed models filmed one frame at a time to simulate movement. Harryhausen was to become the prime exponent of the technique and its combination with live action. The influence of Harryhausen on film luminaries like Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Peter Jackson, and »
- Movie Geeks
The news dropped last night. I read (and reread) Heather’s article in these very pages with a mixture of shock, some trepidation, and an ultimate realization: John Carpenter is coming home. To Halloween. In the horror world, in this community, news doesn’t come any bigger or impactful. And while it is very early in the game, I think all parties involved (Blumhouse, Miramax, Malek Akkad) are determined to give us the best damn Halloween we’ve seen in a very long time. Especially Carpenter.
Hyperbole much? Sure. But here’s the thing – horror fans have always been like that. We invest ourselves completely in these worlds; discuss the pros and cons, ups and downs of every single film we come across. Are we sometimes cynical about what we’re offered? Of course. There’s a lot of disappointment, we all know that. We’ve all been burned, many times. »
- Scott Drebit
John Carpenter, the filmmaker behind the original Halloween films, is to return to the franchise as executive producer on a new production of the iconic horror movie.
Miramax, which holds worldwide distribution rights, has yet to announce a theatrical distribution partner.
- email@example.com (Michael Rosser)
John Carpenter, the multiple award-winning and legendary filmmaker and creator of the original Halloween films, will return to the franchise as executive producer on a new production of the iconic horror movie, it was jointly announced today by Miramax and Trancas International Films — Miramax and Blumhouse Productions will co- finance development and production, with Malek Akkad serving as producer under his Trancas banner and Jason Blum producing for Blumhouse. Miramax, which holds worldwide distribution rights, will determine its theatrical distribution partner at a future date.
John Carpenter said:
“38 years after the original Halloween I’m going to help to try to make the 10th sequel the scariest of them all.”
Malek Akkad said:
- Kellvin Chavez
Some days, I really have to pinch myself, because getting the opportunity to be at tonight’s Halloween announcement is easily one of the coolest moments I’ve had in the seven years I’ve lived in California.
Last week, I received a mysterious call from Josh Raffel at Blumhouse Productions, who invited me to a secretive event to be held tonight, May 23rd, and other than providing me with a time, that’s all the information I was given. Once I arrived tonight, along with a select group of journalists, the mystery was finally revealed with the announcement of a new partnership behind a brand new Halloween, which is bringing together Miramax, Blumhouse Productions, Trancas International’s Malek Akkad (longtime producer of the Halloween franchise), as well as legendary Master of Horror John Carpenter in an executive producer role for the film. And if all goes well, Jason Blum »
- Heather Wixson
John Carpenter's simple, legendarily creepy Halloween theme is one of the most immediately-recognizable movie themes of all time, and the horror master himself played it live for the first time during a concert (his first ever!) at Los Angeles's Bootleg Theater over the weekend -- not to mention his themes for 1976's Assault on Precinct 13, 1980's The Fog, 1979's Escape from New York, 1983's Christine, 1986's Big Trouble in Little China and 1989's They Live (the latter four of which were co-composed with Alan Howarth). I can only imagine that seeing this live and in person was a religious experience for Carpenter fanatics. "I direct horror movies," said the writer/director/producer before jumping into Halloween. "I love horror movies. Horror movies will live forever." Carpenter also performed tracks from his albums Lost Themes and Lost Themes II. You can watch Carpenter perform all of the above-mentioned themes »
- Chris Eggertsen
John Carpenter is widely known as one of the most celebrated genre filmmakers of all time, directing classics such as Halloween, Escape From New York, The Fog and so many more. What some might not realize is the filmmaker is also an accomplished musician, who actually composed the scores and theme songs for most of his movies. The filmmaker hasn't directed a feature since 2010's The Ward, but over the weekend, the filmmaker took to the stage for a live retrospective of his music, performing several of his iconic theme songs from his hit horror movies.
The concert took place this past Friday at the Bootleg Theater in Los Angeles, where the director performed the theme songs live for hits such as Halloween, They Live, The Fog, Assault on Precinct 13 and Christine. In case you couldn't make it to this event, videos of these performances recently surfaced on YouTube, »
Well, here we are again, back in Corman waters. Why do we keep coming back? What is the pull of a Roger Corman production that calls to us like a syphilitic siren wailing from the rocks, beckoning us home? My guess is quality chafing the walls of quantity. There are a lot of exploitation movies out there, and most were justified their position on the lower rung of a double bill on a Tuesday night at the drive-in. But un film du Corman is different – he’s always had an innate gift for corralling talent on the rise, and kind enough to foster it on the way down. His turn of the decade monster mash Humanoids from the Deep (1980) is a perfect storm of his wondrous cinematic sensibilities.
And of course I mean ‘wondrous’ as it applies to our station, the gloriously trashy and deliciously weird. Humanoids fits neatly into »
- Scott Drebit
By 1995, it was safe to say that John Carpenter’s best days as a filmmaker were behind him. He had made the last of his many masterpieces one year earlier with 1994’s In the Mouth of Madness and would, in fact, direct only four more theatrical features in his career (as of this writing, at least). It would be difficult to argue for any of the four as being his best work.
Though his filmography boasts a handful of detours, most were movies Carpenter made to demonstrate his ability to do something other than horror—the romantic drama of Starman, the would-be commercial FX comedy Memoirs of an Invisible Man. He’s only ever made two movies that feel like dispassionate for-hire gigs. One is The Ward. The other is Village of the Damned, new to Blu-ray from Scream Factory.
A remake of the 1960 film of the same name, Village of the Damned »
- Patrick Bromley
Ranked: The 7 Scariest Extraterrestrials in John Carpenter Movies There’s been a welcomed re-appreciation of John Carpenter‘s filmography over the last few years, in no small part due to the magnificent reissues Scream Factory has put out of such classics as The Fog, They Live, Prince of Darkness and the Halloween movies. Now Scream Factory…
The post Ranked: The 7 Scariest Extraterrestrials in John Carpenter Movies appeared first on Shock Till You Drop. »
- Max Evry
Stars: Kal Penn, Claudia Lee, Kenny Wormald, Toby Hemingway, Miranda Rae Mayo, Corey Schmitt, Oliver Seitz, Autumn Kendrick, Eva Bourne, Katharine Isabelle | Written by Nick Simon, Osgood Perkins, Robert Morast | Directed by Nick Simon
When Wes Craven passed away back in August of last year, The Girl in the Photographs instantly went from a film that had been flying under the radars of horror fans to one that was both immediately bittersweet as well as hotly-anticipated. Craven, shortly before his passing, executive produced the independent effort, and it will forever be the final film to bear his name. A sobering and depressing thought, regardless of the movie’s quality – which is of course what we’re here to talk about today.
- John Squires
Roughly half of John Carpenter's feature films have either already been remade or have remakes in the works. Apparently that's just what happens when you make some of the most popular and influential genre films of the '70s and '80s. And now we can move one more to the remake column, as THR breaks news that a new Starman is in the works with Shawn Levy (Real Steel) directing a script from Arash Amel (who is writing another '80s remake, WarGames). A Starman remake could fair quite well in this day and age, at least better than some other Carpenter re-dos (we're glowering at you, The Fog). Not because the original needs improvement - it's actually one of Carpenter's best films - but because it simply has a wonderful, compassionate story...
- Peter Hall
Presenting murderous moppets on screen is always a dicey proposition. For every The Bad Seed or The Omen, there is always The Good Son or Mikey skulking about. It’s all about the fear – making a five or ten year old believably frightening is hard to do. As audience members, we put our faith in filmmakers to produce tension, conflict, and danger in a palpable (but not necessarily plausible) way, and when it’s tested we end up wading through Children of the Corn. But when our faith is rewarded, we find ourselves in the Village of the Damned (1960), a seminal killer kid chiller.
Based on the novel The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham, Village was produced by MGM’s British division and distributed there in July, with a December rollout in the States. The film was a great success, both with critics and audiences alike, luring them in with »
- Scott Drebit
We asked and you let us know! To celebrate February, the Seventh Annual Women in Horror Month, we ran a Final Girl bracket, letting you vote each week for your favorite, until last week we pitted the winners against each other. We compiled the votes from our Facebook page and our Twitter account and while it was a bloody contest, one woman did triumph as the Ultimate Final Girl, towering above the others (or perhaps cowering, after her terrors).
And your favorite Final Girl is… »
- Harker Jones
Stars: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Chad Villella, Hannah Marks, Fabianne Therese, Nathalie Love, Mather Zickel, David Yow, Tipper Newton | Written and Directed by Radio Silence, Roxanne Benajmin, David Bruckner, Patrick Horvath
Southbound opens and closes with Radio Silence’s The Way Out and The Way In (in that order). A book-ending tale that introduces us to two men on the run, being chased across the desert by ethereal, skeletal grim reapers from which there is no escape. Especially when the pair stop at a gas station… We return to the same tale for the closer, discovering why the pair are on the run and why they are being haunted. Radio Silence’s opener The Way Out really sets the tone for the rest of the film, »
- Phil Wheat
© Compass International Pictures/Sunset Boulevard/Corbis
While John Carpenter might not be held in the same high regard as contemporaries Spielberg, Scorsese and Coppola, he’s unquestionably left a lasting impact with his work. From 1974 to 1988 he produced an insane number of instant classics like Halloween, The Thing, Starman and Big Trouble In Little China. His simple, direct style of filmmaking and characterisation has been oft-imitated (The Purge, It Follows, The Guest) but nobody can do it quite like he does.
His work has been cited by filmmakers like Tarantino, Robert Rodriguez, Neil Marshall and even Scorsese himself, and his work as a composer has also been influential to various musicians like Portishead and Gunship. Recent years have seen many of his films being given inferior remakes – like Rob Zombie’s Halloween and The Fog – which only served to highlight his brilliance even further.
The director has been semi-retired from »
- Padraig Cotter
It’s been a busy week in Hollywood! Check out some highlights below and then head off to see Deadpool again. We know you were at the Thursday previews … We all were, which is why Ryan Reynolds’ revamped superhero broke box-office records. The $12.7 million dollars it raked in Thursday night was more than any other R-rated movie had in the whole history of ever. Both fans and critics are in love with it. Even Last Golden Girl Standing Betty White raved about it! (Warning: Nsfw language, so listen with your earbuds!)
• Following in the wake of MTV’s successful Scream (and Fox’s less successful Scream Queens), Freeform (the erstwhile ABC Family) is jumping on the horror bandwagon with Dead Of Summer. Conceived by Once Upon A Time creators Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis, the show cast two of the stars from their fairy-tale series: Elizabeth Mitchell, who played Ingrid, »
- Harker Jones
You know, there’s a fine line between brilliant and psychotic, and this latest collectible from Death By Toys rides it like a razor. Hold on to your asses, kids; you’re not gonna believe this one. From the Death By Toys… Continue Reading →
- Steve Barton
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