DISTRICT 9 will end up being one of the most remembered films of 2009, as well it should be. Not because it’s perfect, sorry to say, but because it’s a barrier breaker. For the hardened fans of fantastic cinema, D9 will be a double-lunged breath of fresh air fired from a double-barreled shotgun of science fiction and horror. For a new generation, D9 will be a gateway drug into older, better cinema. And for studios, D9 will be proof positive that original ideas, particularly those of this genre, and unknown but not unqualified talents are worthy of their investment.
But here’s the catch. Stop watching the trailers. If a TV spot comes on, change the channel. If you see one of those “Humans Only” print ads, don’t look at it. You’re being lied to. The film you may think DISTRICT 9 is is not the film you will see in theaters (and trust me, you will want to see this film in theaters). Don’t worry, I’ll be walking on eggshells here, so feel free to continue reading why it isn’t those things and still remain unspoiled.
Neill Blomkamp’s feature debut is not a faux documentary nor is it filmed in the first person style, as the trailers make it out to be. Nor is it about the world’s reaction to aliens who have just arrived on Earth. DISTRICT 9 is a small, intimate story set within a fictional world in which aliens have landed 22 years ago. That last piece of information is crucial to shaping your notion of what this movie is. It is not a recount of what has already happened nor is it an invasion film.
Think of DISTRICT 9 as James Cameron’s ALIENS without there ever having been an ALIEN. It’s a very narrow story set within a very specific universe familiar enough to our own to feel grounded, but unpredictable enough to feel lethal for all involved.
I created the Shit Just Got Real tag precisely for videos like this. Unfortunately I don’t think this captured video feed of an “unknown life form” in a sewer on YouTube has a gasp of truth to its slimey breathing. Not when DISTRICT 9, the alien invasion flick produced by Peter Jackson, is on the horizon and has already leveraged word of mouth and street-team ad campaigns.
But, hey! That doesn’t mean we can’t hope someone finally filmed the spawning sacs of a C.H.U.D. One day, people, one day…
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.
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Yikes. Outside of TCM everything is modern. Have you not seen any Lucio Fulci films?? Ruggero Deodato?? Umberto Lenzi? Love your site, but this list was a little weak.
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I like what you said about wishing the story could go on and offer some more explination to all the torture. I watched this movie and it felt like a two act play. It could have ended with Lucie and been a short story, or it...