February 25th, 2014
They're gonna need a bigger Jaeger.
They're gonna need a bigger Jaeger.
Run is a little beauty of a story.
It's just a vignette, but that's all it needs to be: there's absolutely no need for it to be expanded into a full length feature. What counts is the economy with which the story unfolds, and the creepiness of the idea.
Watch out for the name of run's writer/editor/director Mat Johns in years to come. With a bit of luck and a decent budget to work with, he might well be bringing us something well worth watching.
[Via The Dissolve]
I'm probably the last filmgoer over the age of 30 in the western world to have heard about this particular example, but I still think it's worth sharing. It turns out that Stanley Kubrick was something of a stickler for detail when it came to preparing for one of the pivotal scenes in The Shining:
Never one to stint on artistic integrity and veracity, Kubrick used no shortcuts for the relatively simple scene. As artists Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin discovered during recent research in the Kubrick archives in London, instead of having the sentence typed on only the few sheets seen by viewers, the director asked his secretary Margaret Warrington to type it on each one of the 500-odd sheets in the stack. What's more, he also had Warrington type up an equivalent number of manuscript pages in four languages – French, German, Italian, Spanish – for foreign releases of the film. For these, he used idiomatic phrases with vaguely similar meanings:
Un "Tiens" vaut mieux que deux "Tu l'auras."
A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
Was du heute kannst besorgen, das verschiebe nicht auf morgen.
Don't put off until tomorrow what you can do today.
Il mattino ha l'oro in bocca.
The early bird gets the worm.
No por mucho madrugar amanece mas temprano.
Even if you rise early, dawn will not come any sooner.
To be fair, I can see Kubrick's point. What if Shelley Duvall had improvised during the scene, really nailing her character and the moment when Wendy Torrance found out what her husband had been up to in a barnstorming take that absolutely, positively had to make it into the final cut … only for the cool, cruel eye of the camera to reveal that Jack Torrance had only been obsessively typing for five sheets?
All of a sudden, he's not a weak man who has succumbed to madness in the middle of a long, cold winter of isolation but merely a writer undertaking a few minutes of loosening-up exercises at the keyboard before getting to work on his novel.
[Via The Millions]
I know the remake has been receiving mixed reviews in the USA, but I'm still sufficiently intrigued to see how it measures up to the original that I'll probably catch it when it opens in the UK.
The makers of The Sleepover describe it as a 'proof of concept' for a longer film set in the same town.
Me, I'm happy enough with what they've got here: to-the-point, horrifying and with a punchline worthy of Sunnydale.
[Via The Dissolve]
Didn't we all, deep down, know the awful truth all along.
We should probably be glad that Marv Wolfman and Gene Colan's story of Dracula fighting the Silver Surfer only took up a single issue of The Tomb of Dracula; with any luck, such brevity should protect it from ever being adapted for the big screen. Chris Sims tells the tale:
[Cult leader Anton Lupeski ...] has dreamed up "quite a unique" means for destroying Dracula. And he ain't kidding.
See, at this point in the series, Dracula had more or less settled down, apart from the occasional murder. He'd married a woman named Domini and gotten her knocked up with his hellish seed, and taken over Lupeski's "Church of the Damned" so that he could sit upon the Throne of Satan. It's all very metal.
So metal, in fact, that Lupeski seems to believe that the only way to battle it is through prog. Thus, his "unique" plan: To magically invade the mind of the Silver Sufer and send him to fight Dracula. Again: If you've got a better plan for dealing with that guy, I'd like to hear it. [...]
Charlie Stross trying to make James Nicoll cry:
Three o'clock in the morning. The rain had subsided to a gentle trickle: Cuddles hunkered down on her haunches and oozed through the cat-flap to take up position in the shrubs at the left of the yard. The damp soil smelled of worms and bugs and night creepers, which in better circumstances she would take delight in pursuing: but tonight was different.
Tonight, her human mistress Alice lay abed, skin bone-white against the pillow, barely breathing, the two marks on her neck livid and pulsing with every heartbeat. This could not be permitted! For two nights now, Cuddles had smelled the intruder's clammy undeadness on her adored human's hands in the morning: the death-smell of clay and graveyard soil. Another predator, alien and unbreathing, was stealing into the home and battening on Alice's blood. This could not be! So weakened, Alice could barely perform her duties: for two mornings in a row it had taken Cuddles more than an hour of shouting to wake her so that she could operate the machine that opens tins.
The intruder thinks he can take my food ape, thought Cuddles, flexing her claws. Boy, has he got a nasty surprise coming …
From "Cuddles After Dark" by Daisy Chick, book #1 of "Cats versus Vampires" (18 more to follow).
The thing is, I'd happily read this if it was written by Charlie Stross instead of Daisy Chick.
[Via More Words, Deeper Hole]
V-J Day in the Black Lagoon. What a great picture.
Having seen The Cabin in the Woods, I don't feel able to write very much about it because anyone thinking of seeing it absolutely owes it to themselves to go in with as little foreknowledge as possible of the storyline.
I will say one thing. You may think the trailers and poster have given away the plot. They haven't. Trust me on this.
First two acts are perfectly serviceable and okay meta-commentary on horror tropes that some will claim are more clever than they in fact are; third act is some of the most ambitious, exciting horror filmmaking in years, and since it's the last bit, you'll forget that the first two-thirds of it was only okay.
ABC (of) monsters. Off the top of my head, I can identify 20 out of the 26. The ones I can't get are D, I, O, Q, R and U.
Question: was E really a monster?
I, too, have fond memories of Tobe Hooper's "Lifeforce":
LIFEFORCE is my all-time guilty pleasure movie, (am referring to the 116 minute British version of course – from IMDB: "Original unedited European version contains more violent and erotic footage Tri-Star Pictures cut from the domestic version.").
I love the epic scopeness of it all. We travel all the way from outer-space, to mist-bound foggy parks in the morn, to asylums for the criminally insane, to the secret war-rooms of the vampire Prime Minister and finally to the end of the world. And all the time the seriousness of it, the gob-smacking, "gentlemen this is a D-notice situation", seriousness of it it. LIFEFORCE has a tone like no other film.
And Mathilda May.
Walking around nude.
For what seems like forever.
posted by jettloe at 7:55 AM on February 7 [8 favorites +] [!]
So just how truncated was the US release? I'm guessing it probably lasted about 23 minutes…
Lee Hardcastle's Pingu's THE THING. This is the epic extended cut, a whole two minutes long.
As a rule I work on the assumption that any instance where a writer or director revisits their best work a couple of decades on is likely to disappoint: given that this sequel is getting a release almost four decades on from the original part of me wishes he'd left well alone, even as I wish him luck.
The trailer looks OK but nothing special, so I'm going to choose to be cautiously optimistic but wait for the reviews.
<sarcasm>Six reasons why The Thing prequel is better than John Carpenter's 1982 film.</sarcasm>
Oh yes, we're in Antarctica, so I think I'll just pop outside and wave at that helicopter WITHOUT PUTTING MY COAT ON. And oh, any one of you could be a Thing, so hey, let me just STICK MY HEAD IN ALL YOUR MOUTHS TO SEE IF YOU HAVE FILLINGS. Because, you know, Things can't reproduce metal or something, though they don't appear to have any problems with clothes or zips or whatever. [...]
I didn't think there was much you could to to improve upon John Carpenter's The Thing, but somehow it's been done.
Ladies and Gentlemen, pray silence for … John Carpenter's "The Thing": The Musical. So, so good.