4 items from 2014
It represents the culmination of his 16-year, six-film J.R.R. Tolkien marathon — an outsized success in duration, execution, visual-effects wizardry and overall popularity. No director in history has maintained tighter control over the creative direction of a global film franchise, which so far has amassed close to $5 billion in ticket sales alone.
But after bringing his Middle-earth spectacles to the masses, the world’s most famous Kiwi is ready to downsize and return to his low-budget roots: The 53-year-old director-producer-screenwriter is working on adapting several true stories about his native country, with his longtime partner Fran Walsh, that he says will be similar in tone and scope to his 1994 murder tale, “Heavenly Creatures.”
“We really feel a bigger urge now to not continue with another Hollywood blockbuster for a while, »
- Brent Lang and Tim Gray
That’s the title of Jackson’s ultra-low budget 1987 directorial debut, but unless you’re a hardcore fan, you’ve probably never seen the bizarre sci-fi gross-out comedy about aliens looking to turn humans into low-calorie delicacies for an intergalactic fast food chain.
In addition to directing, Jackson served as writer, producer, cinematographer, co-editor and the head of makeup and special effects. On top of all that, he cast himself in two leading roles: nasty alien Robert (who has a beard) and human extraterrestrial-buster Derek (sans facial hair). In one memorable sequence, Robert pushes Derek off a cliff. (He survives, but cracks his skull and tries to prevent his brain from leaking out for the rest of the film.)
Jackson made the film on weekends over a four-year period, while »
- Geoff Berkshire
They're talented, individual, but could, possibly, do with a bit of editorial guidance. Could these directors use a boss, we wonder?
In truth, we're a bit frightened about this one. Several times in pub/coffee shop/cider drinking in the park conversations, we've chatted about film directors who perhaps have got too powerful, that they seem to be able to get their own way without having someone to call bullshit on them - be it a good boss, or a very good friend that they trust and listen to.
This can be a very good thing. After all, we want film directors to be free to tell their stories. We don't want studio suits calling the shots. And some directors use their independence wondefully well, without losing what bought it to them in the first place (so, Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Christopher Nolan, Robert Zemeckis and such like).
Stars: Jason Crowe, Josh Eal, Erin R. Ryan, Steve Rimpici, Dustin Mills, Allison Fitzgerald, Janet Jay, Roni Jonah, Brandon Salkil, Minnie Grey, Eugene Flynn, Dave Parker | Written and Directed by Dustin Wayde Mills
Dustin Wayde Mills is an indie filmmaker out of Ohio, who specializes in low (some would say micro) budget horror, a number of which involve puppets(!), released directly to his [growing] fanbase via self-distributed DVD, Blu-ray and VOD channels. Having found some success with the films released under his Dustin Mills Production banner, Mills has expanded his repertoire with his new production shingle Crumpleshack Films which aims to produce rough(er) exploitation flicks. And with the release of the first Crumpleshack Films production, Her Name Is Torment, we’re taking a look at some of the highlights of Mills’ oeuvre, beginning with his killer bunny flick Easter Casket.
All hell breaks loose when Peter Cottontail aka The Easter »
- Phil Wheat
4 items from 2014
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