6 items from 2014
With WolfCop out now on disc, Ryan takes a look at how werewolf myths have faded in and out of cinema history...
It might seem strange, from our interconnected, know-it-all 21st century perspective, that people really did once believe that werewolves existed. Legends of wolf-men date back to antiquity, but really began to bite into society’s fear centres in Europe of the Middle Ages.
Take, for example, Peter Stumpp, a 16th century man whose strange story was related in a pamphlet published shortly after his death. A resident of a small town in Cologne, Stumpp claimed to have been given a belt of wolf skin by the Devil, which when worn, gave him the ability to transform into a wolf. In this form, Stumpp said he’d killed and eaten a dozen or so people over the course of 25 years - crimes described in grisly detail in that old pamphlet. »
When Tim Burton’s Batman hit theaters 25 years ago, it was more than just a pivotal film in the superhero genre. It was a pivotal film in any genre — largely due to its phantasmagorical sets and vehicles. The 1989 vision of Gotham City, the Batmobile and the Batwing all sprang from the dark, fertile imagination of the film’s Oscar-winning production designer Anton Furst. Watch some of Furst’s earlier films and it’s easy to see how his and Burton’s aesthetics would play well with each other. For The Company of Wolves, Neil Jordan’s 1984 horrific take on the tale of Little Red Riding Hood, Furst created a world that merged storybook fantasy with gothic gloom. For Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket, he created crumbling sets and morphed actual locations in the UK into a war-ravaged Vietnam. In Batman, Furst’s vision would synthesize fantasy and realism into a dystopia crawling with life. Like »
- J.L. Sosa
The trailers teased glimpses of Sleeping Beauty's iconic villainess, accompanied by a gothic cover of "Once Upon a Dream." Gone were the 1959 animated film's Technicolor wonders, replaced with shades of blacks and blues, while Lana del Rey's vocals enveloped Mary Costa and Bill Shirley's airy duet with jazz-club smokiness. Even when the sneak peek appeared to throw a bone of sympathy towards the titular evil character, it brooded with the faux-angst of 9th grade poetry. This was what you could expect from Maleficent — Disney's early bid for summer-film dominance, »
Producers include Stephen Woolley (Made in Dagenham, The Crying Game, Mona Lisa), Elizabeth Karlsen (Great Expectations, Ladies in Lavender) and Joanna Laurie. Hyena was developed by Film4. Sam Lavender and Katherine Butler exec produced the film for Film4 which was co-financed by Film4, BFI, Ingenious and Lipsync and will be released by Metrodome in the UK and distributed internationally by Independent.
- email@example.com (Michael Rosser)
When companies like Netflix and Amazon starting to announce original series that would be hosted exclusively by them, I’ll be the first to admit I wasn’t really that interested. Kevin Spacey changed this view somewhat with House of Cards, but Hemlock Grove caught my interest even more. With good word of mouth and interesting trailers featuring a transformation that was reminiscent of The Company of Wolves I at least wanted to give the show a chance. So making sure my subscription to Netflix was active I waited patiently for the show to be available with the thought of watching one or two of the episodes. A whole day later I sat pretty damn impressed by what I’d seen – and now I can add the entire series to my collection with this DVD release.
The story of Hemlock Grove focuses on the lives of two families, one based »
- Paul Metcalf
The League of Gentlemen stars and creators of Inside No 9 interview each other to get answers to the big questions. Like who's got a pickled werewolf foetus at home
While their friend Mark Gatiss has travelled with his writing to the heart of mainstream TV (Doctor Who, Sherlock), Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton have been happy to till their own patch of marshy ground outside its walls. Once co-stars in The League Of Gentlemen, the noughties comedy chiller about the inhabitants of a bereft northern town called Royston Vasey, the pair have since developed their acting careers while delving further into the grotesque for two series of their BBC2 show Psychoville. For their new project – the funny and occasionally troubling Inside No 9 – they have reprised the "anthology" series' format for six stories about the secrets that lie behind our front doors. Who better to uncover their darkest thoughts than each other? »
- John Robinson
6 items from 2014
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