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[Note: In this special guest post, Gary Whitta, author of the upcoming fantasy horror book Abomination, shares four cinematic influences on his new novel.]
Though I wrote Abomination as a novel, my background is primarily a screenwriter, and the movies I watched growing up played even more of a part in inspiring me to become a writer as the books I read. So it’s perhaps not surprising that many of the influences that led to the creation of this book have cinematic roots.
The Thing (1982)
Abomination really began with wanting to write a good old-fashioned monster story, a fable about a man struggling with a beast within him in the tradition of The Wolfman, Doctor Jekyll and Mister Hyde, and even The Incredible Hulk. And I knew that I wanted the monsters to be as gnarly and twisted and horrifying as I could possibly make them. In that regard I always look at John Carpenter’s classic The Thing as the gold standard in stomach-churning monstrosity, and I definitely drew some influence from those awful, »
- Derek Anderson
We were sent a brand new clip from Nicholas Bushman’s survivalist thriller Union Furnace today, and it looks like a pretty interesting ride. Personally, I’m a big fan of films that pit groups of people against each other, in efforts to survive themselves (what can I say, I’d a sadist). Take that ingredient and add masks And They Live/The Thing‘s Keith David, and I’m on board right from the beginning.
Small-town crook Cody (Mike Dwyer, Sandbar) was at the end of his rope when a mysterious stranger offered him the chance of his life. There was just one catch – in this game he would have to wager everything, including his life. Cody finds himself trapped amongst a band of outsiders and misfits – all fighting for their lives and a slice of the American dream. Fueled by a horde of masked sadists, Cody and the »
- Jerry Smith
Think back to the science fiction cinema of the 1990s, and some of the decade's biggest box-office hits will immediately spring to mind: The Phantom Menace, Jurassic Park, Independence Day, Men In Black, Armageddon and Terminator 2 were all in the top 20 most lucrative films of the era.
But what about the sci-fi films of the 1990s that failed to make even close to the same cultural and financial impact of those big hitters? These are the films this list is devoted to - the flops, the straight-to-video releases, the low-budget and critically-derided. We've picked 50 live-action films that fit these criteria, and dug them up to see whether they're still worth watching in the 21st century.
So here's a mix of everything from hidden classics to forgettable dreck, »
There were a number of things I did and said in San Diego this year that are not going to be covered as separate articles. In some cases, someone else at HitFix was in the room to write the thing up. In some cases, it's just about time. Whatever the case, though, here are some random impressions to help round out my coverage of the single biggest nerd hype event of the year. 1. Rob Kazinsky should be our new Shazam I met Kazinsky on the set of "Pacific Rim," and while I thought he was solid in that film, his Australian accent was a nightmare. One of the things that I found most engaging at the Entertainment Weekly "New Warriors" panel was the way he offered that accent up as his greatest career regret so far. "You don't have to stop me on the street and tell me," he said. »
- Drew McWeeny
Legendary composer Ennio Morricone is set to do the score for Quentin Tarantino's "The Hateful Eight," marking his return to the genre after four decades away from a sound he made iconic in Sergio Leone's "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly," "Once Upon a Time in the West" and "A Fistful of Dollars"
Morricone has worked on such famous films as "The Untouchables," "The Thing," "The Mission," "In the Line of Fire," "Cinema Paradiso," "Days of Heaven," "Bugsy" "Disclosure" and "Casualties of War". He previously worked with Tarantino on "Inglorious Basterds" and "Django Unchained".
The revelation was just one of a number of reveals during the Hall H panel at Comic Con for the new Tarantino film. Kurt Russell, Tim Roth, Bruce Dern and Jennifer Jason Leigh were all on hand to show off seven minutes of footage from the film and talk about the new film's presentation. »
- Garth Franklin
Director Quentin Tarantino and the cast of his upcoming Western The Hateful Eight invaded Hall H at Comic-Con today, revealing the first footage to the massive crowd, although it hasn't gone online yet. But we did get a new poster. At the end of the panel, Quentin Tarantino made a surprise announcement that legendary composer Ennio Morricone will craft the score for The Hateful Eight, his first original Western score in over 40 years. Here's what the filmmaker had to say during the panel.
"I want to make one announcement that people don't know yet. It wasn't for sure, but we just settled it. You guys know that I don't use an original score in my movies, I kinda take scores from other movies and put 'em in there. This one, I thought should have an original score. So I'm here to announce that the great Ennio Morricone will be doing »
Shout! Factory TV is spreading fear all summer long with a plethora of classic films including John Carpenter and Tobe Hooper's Body Bags. Also: a Cthulhu Vinyl Bank from Diamond Select Toys and Blu-ray and DVD release details for The Last Survivors.
Shout! Factory TV's Summer of Fear: Press Release: "This July, summer hats up with a plethora of new programming on Shout! Factory TV that is sure to beat those binge cravings. Shout! Factory TV is unveiling Summer of Fear, a fright fest sure to please! A collection of classic horror films debut this month, featuring Body Bags, Day of the Dead, Night of the Demons, Q: The Winged Serpent, The Final Terror and many more.
Shout! Factory TV grants an insider’s insight into these films with the premiere of audio commentaries on the streaming service. This month, directors John Carpenter, George A. Romero, Kevin Tenney, »
- Tamika Jones
Directed by James Cameron
In 1984, James Cameron released his sci-fi thriller The Terminator: the story of a killer cyborg sent from the future, and programmed to kill the mother of a future rebel chief. Arnold Schwarzenegger is the automated hit man roaming around present-day Los Angeles to eliminate Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton). Her only hope is the guerrilla fighter Kyle Reese (Michael Biehn) who has followed the killer machine back through time in order to protect her. Terminator has long staked its claim as a classic for the ages (The Library of Congress even added it to its National Film Registry in 2008) and three decades later, Termiantor is still the best film James Cameron has directed, a resourceful low-budget thriller that recalls the canny exploitation work of George Miller and John Carpenter. While the film made a considerable profit for Orion Pictures, »
★★★★☆ Boiling terror down to essentials can be a winning formula for horror films: the phone call in Scream (1996), or the video tape in The Ring (1998). Perhaps, the best example is John Carpenter's 1982 remake The Thing, with its shape-shifting alien lurking amidst the blank spaces of Antarctica. With a similarly unspecific title, David Robert Mitchell's It Follows (2014) has the kind of barebones high concept that is beguiling in its simplicity and is realized in a rich and artful manner. Jay Height (Maika Monroe) is a young college student, living in Michigan, hanging out with her friends, drifting, a kind of sad thoughtful beauty.
- CineVue UK
Written by Tom Wood
What, who, why or even how did your fascination with Horror begin? I will give you a minute to think whilst I set the scene. The other day, I was driving my car to work; A journey that has been done a thousand times before and as a result, it has become so tedious; so pathetically boring; I could probably do it with my eyes closed and without thinking (not that I will of course, that would just be plain dangerous on so many levels); But my point is, whilst I was driving, a question, not just any old question, but that question popped and buried itself deep into the back of my head. A simple question of What made me interested in Horror? Had evolved and mutated like a diseased zombie into further questioning and so forth, that in the end, a whole »
Few comics sit at the intersection of “fan beloved,” “industry defining,” and “absolutely impossible to acquire” the way the EC Comics library does. For a while they almost felt like Comics’ very own Holy Grail. On one hand, you’ve got the Tales From The Crypt brand itself, which has left an indelible mark on pop culture with films, cable TV series, Saturday morning cartoons, and a line of revival graphic novels from Papercutz — a proud legacy, to be sure. But on the other hand, you enter into the more nebulous region of pop cultural osmosis, and it’s there that the legend of Bill Gaines’ little comic line that could grows to gargantuan levels. The baby boomers that ate his ghoulish “mags” up in the early ‘50s eventually grew into the genre fiction movers and shakers of the ‘70s and ‘80s — from cult directors like George Romero and Joe Dante, »
- Luke Dorian Blackwood
Death is inevitable. That’s a universal truth we all learn at a very early age and as we get older, the reality of that truism becomes more and more evident with each passing day. But what if you didn’t have to die? What if you could live forever? That wish fulfillment was precisely what a then up-and-coming filmmaker Ron Howard explored back in 1985 with his wondrous fable, Cocoon. It’s a remarkable film for many reasons, but what has always made it so memorable for me was the way Howard managed to create such a vivid, dignifying and endearing portrait of octogenarian life that demonstrated how the elderly can still enjoy a fulfilling existence even if the rest of the world no longer recognizes their vitality.
This month, Howard’s wondrously heartfelt fable turns 30 and it feels like the perfect time celebrate this remarkably unique film that defied the odds for many reasons, »
- Heather Wixson
Hey, Toronto! The Twitch-curated Russellmania: The Legend Of Kurt Russell retrospective continues at the Tiff Bell Lightbox this week with a June 20th screening of John Carpenter's classic Big Trouble In Little China! And we want to give you tickets! A loudmouth trucker (Kurt Russell) is plunged into a world of supernatural weirdness beneath the streets of San Francisco's Chinatown, in John Carpenter's cult chop-socky fantasy adventure. While Russell and director John Carpenter had gone to the dark side with their previous collaborations Escape from New York and The Thing, they took a turn for the seriously silly with this chop-socky fantasy adventure. Russell plays big-rig driver Jack Burton, a hilariously inept blowhard of an anti-hero who is plunged into supernatural weirdness when his buddy's...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
Sound on Sight undertook a massive project, compiling ranked lists of the most influential, unforgettable, and exciting action scenes in all of cinema. There were hundreds of nominees spread across ten different categories and a multi-week voting process from 11 of our writers. The results: 100 essential set pieces, sequences, and scenes from blockbusters to cult classics to arthouse obscurities.
If you’ve seen a film montage in the last 10 years, then you’ve been witness to at least one of the scenes mentioned on this list: the vibrating water glass from Jurassic Park signaling the T-Rex prowling nearby. It’s the perfect type of image to tell the audience: something is coming. These flashes of exhilaration are fan-favorites, and it’s no surprise to see them featured prominently as the centerpieces for some of the greatest films ever. It’s the invasion when the aliens come out of the sky, the »
- Shane Ramirez
We love us some Kurt Russell here at Twitch so we are beyond proud to be presenting the twelve film RussellMania retrospective at the Tiff Bell Lightbox kicking off this coming Saturday, June 13th with John Carpenter's classic The Thing playing on the big screen from 35mm.The second, and far more faithful, adaptation of John W. Campbell's story "Who Goes There?" (following Howard Hawks' classic 1951 version), John Carpenter's masterwork is one of the greatest (and most gruesome) horror films of all time. After a bizarre run-in with a fleeing husky and a helicopter full of manic, trigger-happy Norwegians, the crew of an American research station in the snowy wastes of Antarctica realizes that they have been invaded by a deadly alien parasite which can...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
To celebrate the release of Jurassic World, in cinemas now across the globe, I’ve decided to take a trip through 5 of my favourite on-screen creations that have defied the laws of supposed reality. We’re talking those creatures that capture the imagination when they’re first seen but also made you disregard that they weren’t even real.
6. Caesar from Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) (Dir. Rupert Wyatt)
I must admit my movie mind was cautious before the re-launch of another Apes saga but once you see Wyatt’s version that came complete with Andy Serkis’ Imaginarium monkey, sorry Ape, Caesar, then the game was changed forever.
Caesar is an exceptional creation and not just as they’ve given us the believability factor but because it’s done with all the correct intentions. Gone are the days where we know there are humans under the suits, »
- Dan Bullock
Bill Whitney’s just an ordinary American high school kid. Sure, he may live in a Beverly Hills mansion. He might drive a brand new Jeep to the beach. But deep down, he has the same hang-ups as most teenagers: he distrusts authority, resents his parents, and suspects that he might actually be adopted.
Gradually, however, we suspect that there might be something more to Billy’s paranoid fantasies than raging hormones - his parents really do seem to be up to something sinister - something to do with private parties, naked orgies, and shunting...
"We're just one big happy family... except for a little incest and psychosis"
Add Big Trouble in Little China to the list of John Carpenter films getting the remake treatment. Halloween, The Fog, and Assault on Precinct 13 all received remakes, The Thing was a prequel/remake, and a remake of Escape from New York is in active development. All of the originals hold up, but I’m willing to entertain the possibility of a successful Big Trouble in Little China remake if Dwayne Johnson is on board. According to The Wrap, Johnson is in talks to star in and produce the Big Trouble in Little China remake. X-Men: First Class writers Ashley Miller and Zack Stentz will write the script, which will have Johnson taking on the role of Jack Burton, “an All-American trucker who gets dragged into a centuries-old mystical battle in San Francisco’s Chinatown.” [caption id="attachment_252765" align="alignright" width="350"] Image via Universal Pictures[/caption] A remake of Big Trouble in Little China will be a tricky balancing act. »
- Matt Goldberg
Bob Hauk: Remember, once you’re inside you’re on your own.
Snake Plissken: Oh, you mean I can’t count on you?
Bob Hauk: No.
Snake Plissken: Good!
Somewhere between Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger, the 80s had another action star, one that wasn’t unintelligible, one that had far fewer muscles and seemed downright average in comparison to Arnie and Sly. With three movies in a six year span Kurt Russell became America’s biggest cult badass.
First came arguably his toughest tough guy Snake Plissken in 1981’s Escape from New York. It’s hard to beat an eye patch and an abdomen snake tattoo. Plissken, a cocky prisoner, is tasked with rescuing the kidnapped President in the collapsed, criminal run New York. Following Escape from New York was Carpenter’s 1982 terrifying alien invasion remake of The Thing and finally Big Trouble in Little China »
The remake of '80s fight fest "Poltergeist" hits theaters this Friday: Can it match the original? Seems doubtful, since horror remakes so seldom deliver.
Occasionally, a remake raises the bar and becomes an entirely new film: Case in point, John Carpenter's now-classic shape-shifting alien thriller "The Thing" (1982), a gorier and more psychological remake of the Howard Hawks film "The Thing From Another World" (1951). But revisiting a classic is usually just a waste of time. Even if the remake is halfway watchable, wouldn't you rather just see the original again?
Here are some of the most unnecessary horror remakes of all time. (We're not including the 2011 version of "The Thing" since, even though it's pretty pointless, it was a prequel, not a remake.) »
- Sharon Knolle
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