Posted by: Peter Hall
When it was first announced that THE BOOK OF BLOOD was going to be adapted into a film, I balked. Not because it is a bad story, but because it’s barely a story. THE BOOK OF BLOOD was the framing device Clive Barker used to setup his anthology series BOOKS OF BLOOD. A man goes into a reportedly haunted room, soon learns said room is at the intersection of several highways of the dead, and comes out with writing carved into every inch of his body by the wandering souls that need someone to listen to their story. Said carvings are then what the reader finds in the BOOKS OF BLOOD anthologies.
In a series packed to the hilt with wild, depraved, maddening, but most importantly, adaptable stories, why chose the 12 page introduction as the basis for a 90+ minute script? It’s a precursor of things to come in the anthology, but the film is not a precursor to more Clive Barker adaptations from the same group of people. It was an odd choice to me, but I’m relieved to say that it ended up being a good choice.
John Harrison and Darin Silverman’s script actually melds together the anthology’s two framing bookends (the other half being ON JERUSALEM STREET) into a surprisingly cohesive, totally engrossing feature length film that never indicates that its largest inspiration is only 12 pages long. In fact, the only bad part about the film is the inclusion of ON JERUSALEM STREET, which Harrison actually uses as the framing introduction for his adaptation. The problem is that its only real purpose is to play into modern horror film conventions, as if the audience needs to be told that what they’re about to see is a scary story. Chop it off, however, and BOOK OF BLOOD is actually a quite finely crafted ghost story with more than a few earnest jolts and jaw dropping moments.
Posted by: Peter Hall
Theatrical Trailers and Clips
- DISTRICT 9 – Trailer for Neil Blomkamp’s alien invasion.
Studio News and Attachments
- THE DARK TOWER – J.J. Abrams tells MTV that as soon as “LOST” finishes they’ll muscle up for the film series. Considering STAR TREK is posed to be a huge success, I have a feeling Abrams will muster quite the budget once it hits the ground.
- DEATH NOTE – Warner Brothers picks up the rights to the popular Japanese manga/anime/live action series about a book that grants its owner the ability to kill anyone whose name is written inside.
- COLD SKIN – David Slade is attached to direct for Madrid films an adaptation of COLD SKIN, a novel about humanoid amphibians in the Antartic.
- I SELL THE DEAD – IFC has picked up the Dominic Monaghan, Ron Perlman, Angus Scrimm staring indie for distribution (presumably as part of their aforementioned Midnight Movies slate). In theaters and On Demand August 14th.
- THE ROAD – The Weinstein Company has now slated John Hillcoat’s adaptation of the brilliant, brilliant Cormac McCarthy novel for October 16th, ’09.
- THE LAST VOYAGE OF DEMETER – Marcus Nispel in talks to direct a feature based on the segment of Bram Stoker’s DRACULA in which the count arrives to England on a cargo ship.
- PHONE – The latest Korean ghosty to get a US doppelganger. Too bad the original sucks.
- DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE – In the largest piece of Get The Fuck Out movie news this year, Abel Ferrara is doing an update on the classic tale in which Jekyll is played by Forest Whitaker and Hyde will be 50 Cent. Head explodes.
Indie, Foreign and Random News
- LIVID – The French duo behind INSIDE have revealed their next project to be the tale of some punks who attempt to rob the “increasingly peculiar” house of a coma patient.
- SPAWN – Todd McFarlane claims to have seven offers in the table to do a new SPAWN movie.
- THE CHRIST MUST DIE – According to Stephen Fry, Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh want to make use of a vacant but enormous Jerusalem set constructed in New Zealand by producing a movie in which Nazi zombies travel back in time to kill Jesus. Kudos to whoever dreamed up that bullshit.
- MISTER WEED-EATER – Joe R. Lansdale’s short story about a blind and creepy groundskeeper will be adapted and directed by Brian James Fitzpatrick.
- BOOK OF BLOOD – The Sci-Fi channel will be premiering the adaptation of Clive Barker’s BOOK OF BLOOD.
- HATCHET 2 – Adam Green says they will be taking the story directly to…space.
Non-Theatrical Trailers and Clips