Last Week in Horror News: November 29th to December 6th


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Theatrical Trailers and Clips

  • CASE 39 – Two new clips for the long-shelved Renee Zellweger, Bradley Cooper and Ian McShane thriller.
  • DAYBREAKERS – A new teaser spot for the damned fine flick out in January.  Review here.

Studio News and Attachments

  • ZOMBIELAND 2 – Is official and will be shot in 3D.  Woody Harrelson and Jesse Eisenberg are assumed to be returning, but no word on Emma Stone or Abigail Breslin.
  • BAD MONKEYS – Matt Battaglia (who produced the cool, but languishing in release flick KILL THEORY) is producing BAD MONKEYS, a script about a girl who, when arrested for murder, claims to be part of a secret society dedicated to fighting evil.
  • ENDANGERED SPECIES – Eli Roth’s next project as a director is still undergoing some script tweaking, after Roth showed a draft to Quentin Tarantino, of course, as well as some f/x tests to determine how it will be shot.
  • “HOWL” – In an attempt to get some of them Twilight monies, Fox and DreamWorks are teaming together to make a show about rival werewolf families in Alaska.  Should have just called it “TEAM JACOB CASH-GRAB”.
  • HATCHET 2 – The sequel to Adam Green’s swamp-killer “throwback” HATCHET is moving along at Anchor Bay and the first official new cast member is none other than Daniel Harris.

Remakes

  • PHONE - The rather unimpressive K-horror flick PHONE (review) about a…killer phone… has been optioned for a US remake by Imprint Entertainment.
  • THE AMITYVILLE HORROR – Dimension Films is planning on remaking AMITYVILLE yet again.  Because it turned out so well for all involved with Platinum Dunes did it 4 years ago…

Indie, Foreign and Random News

  • RIP Paul Naschy – The Spanish Lon Chaney passed away this past week at the age of 75.
  • Universal Classic Monsters – Universal’s new site for THE WOLF MAN remake features a loving tribute to its stable of classic monsters equipped with playable soundtracks and more.
  • Sundance 2010 – A look at the intriguing lineup for next year’s midnight movie slate at Sundance.
  • FROST ROAD – Keith Arem is making the jump from the video game world (he directed the cutscenes in MODERN WARFARE 2) to the big screen with FROST ROAD, a story about “the survivors and victims of an invisible contagion in a small coastal Eastern town.”
  • NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD: ORIGINS – The cast for the animated prequel film to NOTLD voice cast includes Danielle Harris, Mos Def and Bill Moseley.
  • LEFT FOR DEAD – Albert Pyun is making a western-set horror movie called LEFT FOR DEAD, which will be told in “almost real time”, not unlike Pyun’s INVASION (review), which was laboriously told in real time from the dash-cam of a cop car.
  • ALONE IN THE DARK II – Will be out on DVD January 26.  Just an FYI since I know everyone was eager to mark their calendars.  Note: this one has almost nothing to do with Uwe Boll’s film.
  • PIPER – Zenescope Entertainment’s comic PIPER about a bullied kid in high school who channels the malevolent spirit of the Pied Piper is heading for the land of film.
  • SOME GUY WHO KILLS PEOPLE – John Landis is producing a film called SOME GUY WHO KILLS PEOPLE.  Awkward.

Non-Theatrical Trailers and Clips

  • PHOBOS – Co-eds locked in an underground bunker in Russia does not at all look like THE HOLE on steroids…
  • THE DESCENT 2 – Clip.
  • FRITT VILT 3 – Norway’s first slasher (known as COLD PREY in the States) gets another sequel.

DAYBREAKERS Review. [Fantastic Fest 2009]


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Written and Directed by Michael Spierig and Peter Spierig, 2009


When I first saw the trailer for DAYBREAKERS, the Spierig brother’s follow-up to their freshman film UNDEAD, I thought two things about their take on a world overrun by vampires in dire need of some new human blood.  First, that looks a hell of a lot better than UNDEAD ended up being.  Second, there is no way that a world of only vampires could have a viable economy; if blood is their only food source, that eliminates trillions upon trillions of dollars in everything from the agricultural to shipping to utility industries with no conceivable means of replacement.

These are the things I think about when I watch science fiction — and trust me, though the horror crowd will want to hold onto it because the film has a lethal, gory seam to its bloodsucker proceedings, DAYBREAKERS is at its core a sci-fi film that happens to be about vampires.  It also happens to be a pretty damned good film.  Yes, it’s leagues better than their resourceful but lacking, low-budget zombie opus UNDEAD, but more importantly, the Spierig brothers’ script for DAYBREAKERS is legitimately concerned with the unsustainable state of a nocturnal, plasma-centric economy and a whole host of other problems that come with a world over-run with vampires, including but not limited to inter-species vampirism and the huge number of forest fires caused by transformed animals too stupid to realize that if they run out into the forest during daylight they’re going to burst into flames.

For someone like me, someone who cares about the little touches like that, DAYBREAKERS is an ideal blend of thought and action.  And though ideal for me, that may be a problem for others considering DAYBREAKERS is perhaps lighter on the horror and action foundations than one might hope for.  It’s also not flawless on the thought side, either, but it makes very noble strides into territory that no vampire film has gone before with an undead heart in the right spot every step of the way.  Ethan Hawke is suitably morose in the role of Edward, a human-sympathizing corporate hematologist who refuses to drink 100% human blood, who only wants to convince his overlords that unless a blood substitute is found (and it isn’t likely), plasma-deprivation is going to turn all of the civil vampires on Earth into ravenous, uncontrollable winged creatures of blood lust.

DAYBREAKERS, ZOMBIELAND and SURVIVAL OF THE DEAD all Head to Fantastic Fest!


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The second wave of titles for this year’s Fantastic Fest are ravaging the interwebs and the Twitters and I couldn’t be more excited.  Not only will this be my first real film festival (I’m not counting the Chicago International Film Festival), but it’ll be my first Fantastic Fest.  From everything I’m hearing, that’s like having your hymen broken by King Kong.  Say it’s going to leave an impression is an understatement.

Click here to remember the past to see the first wave of titles and read on for the second batch of features with further details at the official Fantastic Fest Blog.  Considering there’s still a third list of titles waiting in the wings, I think I may have to upgrade the above analogy from having sex with King Kong to getting raped by the entire girth of that asteroid worm that tried to eat the Millennium Falcon in EMPIRE STRIKES BACK.

Last Week in Horror News: June 21st to the 28th.

Observation(s) Concerning the Lack of Black Vampires in DAYBREAKERS.


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First let me say that DAYBREAKERS looks great, leagues better than the Spierig brother’s first film, UNDEAD.  In in fact, the portrayal of a vampire-only world looks interesting enough to have inspired several (hypothetical) posts in the days to come.  The first of which, turns out, is this simple one.

Why are there little to no black vampires?  I’ll admit that it didn’t even occur to me after having seen the trailer two or three times.  It took my friend Billy, go to authority for all things not white, to notice the complete lack of brothers in a world of only blood suckers.

The trailer does show one (still human) black guy raging against the oppressors, but the vamps themselves are, save for one lone woman waiting for a train, all Saltines.  What’s the deal with that, Spierig bros?  I’m not going to hypothesize as to why this is the case.  I don’t care if the two Spierigs are using a whites only fascist society as their most horrific idea of a doom-and-gloom future.  And I’m definitely not trying to make any accusations.  My problem is that it, statistically speaking, doesn’t make a lick of sense.

Last Week in Horror: March 15th to the 22nd


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Theatrical Trailers and Clips

Studio News and Attachments

  • SAW VI – Shawnee Smith is in the latest installment?  Why the hell not?
  • LOST BOYS 3 – Why the hell not?
  • DAYBREAKERS – Lionsgate bumps the vampire flick down the line to the newly claimed horror month of January.  Ethan Hawke, Willem Dafoe and Dr. Allen Grant still have me interested, though.
  • DANTE’S INFERNO – Dan Harris has picked up the screen writing slack on an adaptation of the yet-unpublished game adaption of the titular piece of classic lit.

Remakes

Indie, Foreign and Random News

  • GHOSTBUSTERS – Alyssa Milano is taking over the Weaver filled female lead in the upcoming GHOSTBUSTERS game.
  • FREDDY VS JASON VS ASH – This is really the preview image for FvJvA?  I coulda Photoshopped this bologna.
  • Pascal Laugier – The MARYTRS director talks potential projects on his slate(s), which reach past the HELLRAISER remake and include a CUJO-esque script as well as a LOVECRAFT infused property.
  • CLEAVAGEFIELD – I promise you that, unless I cancel the channel, I will bring you a review of Cinemax’ CLEAVAGEFIELD after it debuts on April 1st.

Non-theatrical Trailers and Clips

  • THIRST – The teaser trailer for Chan-Wook Park’s vampire film.  Looks great.
  • THE LANDLORD – I actually was offered an early look at THE LANDLORD this week.  Should I take it?
  • GOBSTOPPER – Christopher Lloyd does Willy Wonka killing teenagers?
  • THE CHILDREN – I know that this was viewed recently in Austin, but I’ve yet to see what the general consensus was.
  • EVIL THINGS – Trailer.



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