BOOK OF BLOOD Review.


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Directed by John Harrison, 2009
Written by John Harrison & Darin Silverman


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.

Last Week in Horror News: 9/13-9/20


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Theatrical Trailers and Clips

Studio News and Attachments

  • HEREAFTER – Matt Damon will star in Clint Eastwood’s next directorial outing, a supernatural thriller produced by DreamWorks.
  • SILENT HILL 2 – Roger Avary and producer Samuel Hadida will be returning to the franchise.  No director or cast yet, but the sequel will film in 2010 to when production on RESIDENT EVIL 4 ends.
  • JENNIFER’S BODY – Not too hot at the box office.  Whodathunk?
  • THE PASSAGE – GLADIATOR scribe John Logan will be doing multi-million dollar adapting duties on an unpublished vampire novel for Ridley Scott to potentially direct.

Remakes

  • HALLOWEEN 3D – Dread Central confirms that MBV3D and DRACULA 2000 director Patrick Lussier will be taking over the reigns on the first film in the franchise to be 3D.
  • NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD – Is getting a pseduo-remake in the form of a 3D CGI prequel called NOTLD: ORIGINS, to be directed by the guy who did the remake of WHEN A STRANGER CALLS.

Indie, Foreign and Random News

  • DEATH ISLAND – Tom Savini finally heads back to the director’s chair for ‘fresh take on the undead genre’.
  • Ronnie Yu – FREDDY VS JASON director Ronnie Yu wants to direct a story about werewolves who run a bank in the Outback of Australia.  And if that isn’t sitcom awesome enough already, the bank is then robbed by vampires.
  • Clive Barker’s SEDUTH – Barker’s newest comic will be published in 3D.

Non-Theatrical Trailers and Clips

  • GROWTH – If the sub-cutaneous vine crawling of THE RUINS bothered you, do not watch this trailer.
  • NEVER SLEEP AGAIN – Trailer for the upcoming NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET documentary.

Last Week in Horror News: June 7th to the 14th


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Look, over there!  It’s a Weinberg!  It’s a blog!  It’s HorrorSquad.com, a new blog managed by HND friendo and general genre wunderkind Scott Weinberg!  Enjoy.


Theatrical Trailers and Clips

Studio News and Attachments

  • TRICK ‘R TREAT – Michael Dougherty tells Fango that the forthcoming DVD will be rather bare but the Blu is packed with features and as yet recorded commentaries.
  • THE HUNGER – Tony Scott mentions scripting progress for a sequel to his ’83 vampire flick THE HUNGER.
  • Eli Roth’s Arcade – Roth’s new production house is producting 1) COTTON, a faux documentary about a shame exorcist who comes across a real possession, 2) PSYCHO KILLER, a slasher ‘from the killer’s perspective’ written by Andrew Kevin Walker, 3) a remake of Tobe Hooper’s FUNHOUSE.
  • RED STATE – The Weinsteins, no doubt in an attempt to try to actually make money for once, have passed on Kevin Smith’s horror film.

Remakes

  • HELLRAISER – MARTYRS director Pascal Laugier has removed himself from the troubled Barker remake.
  • PIRANHA 3D – Carnage and mayhem and apparently Wild, Wild, Wild Girls in these set pics from Aja’s remake look red water fantastic.
  • FRANKENSTEIN – Guillermo del Toro is, naturally, casting Doug Jones as the lead in his mad science remake.  No details on whether the lead is alive or undead.
  • PREDATORS – Neil Marshall is the first public name of seven to be in line for helming duties on the Rodriguez produced franchise reboot.
  • BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER – Joss Whedon was offered the gig to bring (a new) the chosen one to the big screen, but he wisely turned it down, wishing them luck in the process.
  • CONAN – Marcus Nispel steps into the fantasy realm to direct the now Ratner-less reboot.  Assume this means that Sean Hood’s SUBTERRANEAN and THE LAST VOYAGE OF THE DEMETER are shelved for now.
  • NOES – Wes Craven tells IGN about the sting of Platinum Dunes never getting in touch with him about their remake of NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET.
  • UNSEEN – Sony Screen Gems is once again giving money to PROM NIGHT ’08’s principal creative forces to remake another piece from the past, this time opting for 1971’s BLIND TERROR starring Mia Farrow.

Indie, Foreign and Random News

  • NIGHTBREED Lost Footage – Clive Barker spilled that 40+ minutes of unseen NIGHTBREED has been dusted off, though no official commitment to implement it yet exists.
  • Michael Cunningham – The novelist/screenwriter behind dramas like THE HOURS mentions a pseduo-slasher and monster movie in his pipeline, the former of which has the super original plot of an ugly duckling femme who exacts revenge on all those pesky students who teased her.
  • DEADWORLD – David Hayter helping produce a film franchise based on the comic series about zombies with feelings who ride motorcycles…

Non-Theatrical Trailers and Clips

  • [REC]2 – Teaser.
  • DOGHOUSE – New trailer from EVIL ALIENS writer/director Jake West.
  • THE BOOK OF ZOMBIE – Trailer: “A small, sleepy Utah town gets an undead wake-up call when all of the townspeople of Mormon faith suddenly transform into flesh-eating ghouls!”
  • SALVAGE – Trailer for this Brit flick about the mysterious contents of a container that washes ashore
  • THE CANYON – I always love me a folk stuck in the wild flick and this may just be the first one set in the Grand Canyon?
  • MOTHGIRL – Teaser

Last Week in Horror News: April 26th to May 3rd


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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.

Remakes

  • 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

Last Week in Horror: October 26th to Nov 2nd.


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Theatrical Trailers and Clips

Studio News and Attachments

Remakes

Really?  No big news?  I must be missing something…

Indie, Foreign and Random News

Non-Theatrical Trailers and Clips

Oh, and in case you don’t refresh the site every 14 seconds like I do, Cinematical now has a routine horror news re-cap from its own genre head Scott Weinberg.  Now my weekly job is a lottt easier.




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