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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
“I know you gentlemen have been through a lot, but when you find the time, I’d rather not spend the rest of this winter Tied To This Fucking Couch!”
I won’t go into my usual retrospective because everyone has seen it many times, but I will share my The Thing story: I saw it the day it opened (June 25th 1982). My mother’s friend Marilyn came over in the morning so she and mom could go shopping. She brought her 9-year old Grandson Michael with her and handed me a $10 bill and said “Go take Michael to see E.T. The Extra-terrestrial (which had opened two weeks earlier) so he’s out of my hair while your mother and I »
- Tom Stockman
Just hours after The Hateful Eight character portraits debuted, we have even more images from director Quentin Tarantino's Western. These photos also include commentary with the cast members, who offer new insight into their characters in The Hateful Eight. With all of these photos debuting over the past few days, hopefully we'll get to see the first full trailer sometime soon, since the Western debuts in just six short months.
Set six or eight or twelve years after the Civil War, a stagecoach hurtles through the wintry Wyoming landscape. The passengers, bounty hunter John Ruth (Kurt Russell) and his fugitive Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh), race towards the town of Red Rock where Ruth, known in these parts as "The Hangman," will bring Domergue to justice. Along the road, they encounter two strangers: Major Marquis Warren (Samuel L. Jackson), a black former union soldier turned infamous bounty hunter, and »
Our look at underappreciated films of the 80s continues, as we head back to 1988...
Either in terms of ticket sales or critical acclaim, 1988 was dominated by the likes of Rain Man, Who Framed Roger Rabbit and Coming To America. It was the year Bruce Willis made the jump from TV to action star with Die Hard, and became a star in the process.
It was the year Leslie Nielsen made his own jump from the small to silver screen with Police Squad spin-off The Naked Gun, which sparked a hugely popular franchise of its own. Elsewhere, the eccentric Tim Burton scored one of the biggest hits of the year with Beetlejuice, the success of which would result in the birth of Batman a year later. And then there was Tom Cruise, who managed to make a drama about a student-turned-barman into a $170m hit, back when $170m was still an »
The advent of nimble digital cameras and cutting edge visual effects has meant that filmmakers have been able to mount increasingly ambitious sci-fi stories on relatively small budgets.
This week sees the release of Monsters: Dark Continent, a follow-up to Gareth Edwards' brilliant 2010 debut Monsters. Not only did Monsters shoot Edwards to the big time, putting him in the director's chair for Godzilla and next year's Star Wars: Rogue One, but it also only cost less than $500,000 to make.
Below, we look at 11 incredible science fiction movies that prove you can make a great movie for just a fraction of what Avengers: Age of Ultron cost ($280 million, apparently!).
Dark Star (1974)
Production budget: $60,000
How many could you make for the price of Avengers: 4666
HitFix's recent spate of "Best Year in Film History" pieces inevitably spurred some furious debate among our readers, with some making compelling arguments for years not included in our pieces (2007 and 1968 were particularly popular choices) and others openly expressing their bewilderment at the inclusion of others (let's just say 2012 took a beating). In the interest of giving voice to your comments, below we've rounded up a few of the most thoughtful, passionate, surprising and occasionally incendiary responses to our pieces, including my own (I advocated for The Year of Our Lynch 2001, which is obviously the best). Here we go... Superstar commenter "A History of Matt," making an argument for 1968: The Graduate. Bullit. The Odd Couple. The Lion in Winter. Planet of the Apes. The Thomas Crown Affair. Funny Girl. Rosemary's Baby. And of course, 2001, A Space Odyssey. And that's only a taste of the greatness of that year. "Lothar the Flatulant, »
- Chris Eggertsen
Carpenter’s screenplay is even credited to “Martin Quatermass”. Priest Donald Pleasence discovers an ancient canister full of liquid Evil which “broadcasts” warnings from the future. Or something. Given total creative freedom due to the low budget, this is probably Carpenter’s most off the wall picture, the middle entry in his “Apocalypse Trilogy” which includes his "The Thing" and "In the Mouth of Madness." »
- Trailers From Hell
Taking genre setups and elements and injected his own brand of sci-fi into them is what director Dan Bush is best at. Always giving fans very character-based stories, filled with humanity and smart characters in films like The Signal, Dan has a knack for allowing us as viewers into the head-space of his characters, making them feel like people we’ve known before and adding a level of authenticity to each project of his. Bush’s latest film, the sci-fi cloning mystery The Reconstruction Of William Zero, is a film that asks its viewers if they would choose to escape their lives and start over, if a tragic accident happened, the film is a home run for the director and one of the most original and heartfelt sci-fi films in quite some time, and features standout performances by Conal Byrne and Amy Siemetz as a husband and wife split up by the unthinkable. »
- Jerry Smith
Ah, 1989. The year the Berlin Wall came down and Yugoslavia won the Eurovision Song Contest. It was also a big year for film, with Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade topping the box office and Batman dominating the summer with its inescapable marketing blitz.
Outside the top 10 highest-grossing list, which included Back To The Future II, Dead Poets Society and Honey I Shrunk The Kids, 1989 also included a plethora of less commonly-appreciated films. Some were big in their native countries but only received a limited release in the Us and UK. Others were poorly received but have since been reassessed as cult items.
From comedies to thrillers, here's our pick of 25 underappreciated films from the end of the 80s...
25. An Innocent Man
Disney, through its Touchstone banner, had high hopes for this thriller, »
Tom Savini’s Nightmare City remake has met its indiegogo goal, but you can still support it during its final campaign days to help provide the Umberto Lenzi-presented project with more resources. Also featured in our latest round-up is an excerpt from Scott Shoyer's zombie novel, Outbreak: The Hunger, as well as details on how you can watch the first episode of Fox's Wayward Pines ahead of its May 14th debut.
Tom Savini’s Nightmare City Remake: Tom Savini, the Godfather of Gore, is fittingly set to direct and supervise the special effects on the Monsta Worx remake of Umberto Lenzi's zombie movie, Nightmare City. Lenzi himself is associate producing and presenting the project, with shooting slated to begin late this year in Pittsburgh and Los Angeles. In addition to his duties behind the camera, Savini is also attached to play a role in the film, along with »
- Derek Anderson
Escape from New York, 1981.
Directed by John Carpenter.
In 1997, when the Us President crashes into Manhattan, now a giant maximum security prison, a convicted bank robber is sent in for a rescue.
Conversations about major big budget genre filmmakers of the 70s and 80s tend to center around Lucas and Spielberg, with Kubrick usually thrown into the mix, but John Carpenter deserves a spot in those talks too, even if he typically worked with a much smaller budget than those guys. Look at Halloween, The Fog, The Thing, Big Trouble in Little China, They Live, and this review’s subject, Escape from New York: That’s quite a run of films that are well remembered by many fans today, even if they didn’t all set the box office ablaze. »
- Gary Collinson
These days, we're used to the marketing hype for a major film building up about two years ahead of release. Visitors to Comic-Con got a preview of Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice, for example, more than two years ahead of its due date. Our collective hunger for a first look at major forthcoming films is such that, it seems, studios are keen to show off their work-in-progress earlier and earlier.
But there are ways of teasing a forthcoming movie without showing a frame of the finished product, which is where the following list comes in. They're all examples of promos that manage to get across the flavour of a future film without going into story details. Some of them were made before a foot of celluloid was exposed, »
Them!, Psycho, Rosemary’s Baby, Jaws, The Omen, Poltergeist, John Carpenter’s The Thing, The Fly, The Blair Witch Project, Orphan, The Conjuring. For years and years, summer release has been integral to horror. The chill offsets the heat, the uncanny dread a counter to giant spectacle. Though the fall is a cozier atmosphere for the unknown…
The post The 2015 Summer Horror Preview appeared first on Shock Till You Drop. »
- Samuel Zimmerman
For many genre movie lovers, the name John Carpenter holds a special reverence. The man brought Halloween, Escape From New York, The Fog, The Thing, They Live, and In The Mouth of Madness --- to name just a few --- to life. He's also known as a fantastic soundtrack composer with a very distinct, dark-synth style in his own right. His recently released non-soundtrack album, Lost Themes, fills the void for many a barren fan's cravings. Just days ago, the first official music video for Lost Themes was unleashed. Directed by Gavin Hignight and Ben Verhulst, Night follows Carpenter as he puts on a virtual reality device and experiences driving a gleaming black muscle car throughout Los Angeles. Lavishly colored nightscapes roll across the screen of...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
At Star Wars Celebration yesterday, much was made over the fact that the new BB8 droid is, in fact, a practical effect and not a product of CGI. This was proven to be true when the droid actually made its way on stage, to the delight of “Star Wars” fans all over. Now, obviously, CGI is never going away, but yesterday’s revelation proves that practical, handmade visual effects will always hold a special place in our hearts. That’s why we still love "E.T." and will never stop freaking out over the chestburster scene in “Alien.” Earlier this week, CineFix gave us yet another reason to love and appreciate practical effects. They posted a ten minute video that examined, in great detail, the defibrillator chest-chomping scene in John Carpenter’s “The Thing.” With the help of a top-notch special effect team, lead by Rob Bottin (“RoboCop,” “Total Recall »
- Ken Guidry
If you’re a fan of John Carpenter’s legendary film work (how could you Not be?), then chances are, you’re equally a fan of his musical endeavors as well. The master of horror behind such classic films such as Halloween, The Thing, The Fog and countless others has provided many of his films with synth-heavy music, all of which became instantly unforgettable and staples in horror fans’ ears. Earlier this year, John unleashed Lost Themes, an album of tracks for films that were never made (on Sacred Bones Records), and like every other bit of music Carpenter has made, the album has already turned ears on from fans and even newcomers to the director/musician.
Today, io9.com premiered the Gavin Hignight/Ben Verhulst-directed music video for “Night“, which is easily my favorite track off of Lost Themes. It’s a futuristic video that features Carpenter going »
- Jerry Smith
Hollywood curse Horror curse Were not certain exactly what in the world is going on this week other than the unfortunate natural order of things as yet another familiar face and fan embraced genre contributor has passed away. Richard Dysart who brought charisma and deep value to the character Copper in John Carpenters pitch perfect classic The Thing has passed away. According to his wife hed long battled serious illness before succumbing on April 5th. He was 86 years old. »
Above: 1936 alternative one sheet for Modern Times (Charlie Chaplin, USA, 1936), designer unknown, and Us one sheet for The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, USA, 1980), designer: Saul Bass (1920-1996).As serendipity would have it, the two most popular posters of the past three months of Movie Poster of the Day were these two black and yellow faces, one a little-known 1930s poster by a journeyman designer at a budget print house, the other a very well known 1980s poster by the most recognizable name in movie poster design. Modern Times and Modern Horror. I’m hoping the love they received (over 500 likes and reblogs for each) were just as much about the items they were promoting: one my article on Leader Press, the other the Poster Boys podcast on Saul Bass by fellow movie poster aficionados (and ace designers) Sam Smith and Brandon Schaefer. Another Poster Boys related poster—Drew Struzan’s The Thing—also made the list. »
- Adrian Curry
Richard Dysart was known on TV for always keeping his wits about him. The star of stage and screen, who may be best known as firm partner Leland McKenzie on the hit series L.A. Law, died April 5 at his home in Santa Monica, Calif., after a long illness, He was 86. His publicist confirmed the news to the media. Dysart was on L.A. Law for the Stephen Bochco-created show's duration, from 1986 until 1994, winning an Emmy for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series in 1992. While that was easily his most high-profile role, the Boston-born thesp racked up dozens of small- and big-screen credits over the course of his nearly five-decade career, including roles in films such as The Thing, The Falcon »
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