Tuesday, November 1, 2016
Uwe Boll is a unique man. As a director, he is singlehandedly responsible for some of the absolute worst video game adaptations known to man. These films aren't just terrible video game adaptations though, they're terrible movies in general. Go down the list and see for yourself:
House of the Dead
Alone in the Dark
Bloodrayne (three fucking films!)
In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (again, three fucking films!)
Postal (though I kind of dig it)
Not to mention the fact that he's helmed some terrible flicks not based on video games, like Seed, Assault on Wall Street, Rampage, Blubberella, Tunnel Rats, and more besides. I can sit here all day and shit on Uwe Boll like everyone else does, but you know what? I'm not doing that. We all know what kind of movies he makes, but goddammit, you kind of have to admire him for going out there and making these pieces of shit. Plus, in all honesty, some of his flicks really aren't anywhere near as bad as many make them out to be. Boll suffers from the fact that when his name is on something, it automatically gets hated on. Is the hate justified? Well, kind of...but it really isn't more often than you may think.
News broke recently that Boll is allegedly retiring from filmmaking. If in fact true, many of the neck bearded trolls of the internet will be cumming in their pants over the news...until they realize they have one less filmmaker to bitch about.
I for one will miss Uwe Boll and his "talents". You can say whatever you want about Boll and his films, i.e. that he's an asshole and his films are garbage (and that's not false either), but I will personally miss the fact that I'll get to see whatever new trainwreck of a flick he manages to scoop out of his ass. Nine times out of ten, no matter how bad his films are, they wind up being somewhat entertaining in spite of their awfulness...mostly because you never know what the fuck is going to happen next.
So long Uwe, we hardly knew ye.
Sunday, October 23, 2016
News broke yesterday that British comic book artist Steve Dillon passed away suddenly at the age of 54 in New York City. The news certainly came as a shock to the comic world, and definitely came as a major shock to me personally. The artwork of Steve Dillon has meant a lot to me over the years, and it wouldn't be out of line to call his work iconic.
I first got a taste of Dillon's artwork when I discovered the Vertigo books Hellblazer and in particular Preacher. I had taken a lot of time away from comics in my teens, mostly because I was sick of superheroes and the same old shit issue after issue. I discovered Preacher first, and thanks to Garth Ennis' maniacal storytelling combined with Dillon's blend of gritty realism and cartoonish mayhem helped make Preacher one of my all time favorite comic books in the history of fucking ever.
His earlier work on Hellblazer, also with Ennis (who was a frequent collaborator), was just as special. I knew about the series and John Constantine previously, but I had never paid it much mind until I got my hands on Ennis and Dillon's work. So I guess I have Dillon to thank for getting me into what turned out to be probably my all time favorite comic book character as well now that I think about it.
I stuck with Ennis and Dillon when they rebooted The Punisher for Marvel years later, a character that Dillon would often find himself drawing and working on even if Ennis wouldn't be involved in it in a number of various series'. Over the years, Dillon would do a lot of Marvel work, including Wolverine Origins, Bullseye: Greatest Hits, Daredevil VS Bullseye, Ultimate X-Men, Thunderbolts, and more. Before that, Dillon cut his teeth on a number of well-known British comics, most notably Doctor Who Magazine and 2000 A.D. (the Judge Dredd-starring magazine), as well as Warrior and Rogue Trooper.
Rest in peace Steve Dillon, you will be missed.
Saturday, October 15, 2016
Back in the late 70s, Sam Raimi, Bruce Campbell, and their merry crew of misfits journeyed into the woods to make a movie that wasn't a porno. The end result was the original Evil Dead, which would have its original premiere in 1981; a ferocious and unrelenting horror film that came out of nowhere and took the world by storm. Unlike most films of its ilk, the original Evil Dead wasn't just a commercial success, but a critical one as well. As we all know, the surprise success of the film led to a whole franchise being born, with Evil Dead 2 in 1987, Army of the Darkness in 1992, a remake in 2013, the Ash VS Evil Dead TV show that debuted last year, and tons of merchandise, comics, video games, and more besides.
Looking back on it, that's 35 years of Evil Dead, and honestly who would have thought that the film would have resonated the way it did, let alone become a massive cult phenomenon. It's funny watching the original Evil Dead nowadays, mostly because the film itself is so damn brutal compared to everything that would come in the future. The Evil Dead franchise is known for being nasty, but pretty damn funny too (mostly thanks to the slapstick silliness of Army of Darkness). What a lot of people seem to forget is that the original Evil Dead is an unforgivably nasty little horror film that grabs you by the balls and doesn't let go. We got a slight reminder of this when the 2013 remake came out, which also pulled no punches and packed on even more gore than the original. The original film though was made on a bare-bones budget in horrid conditions, and the pure unforgiving ferocity that it displays would never be matched by any sequel or remake.
Evil Dead the film, and the franchise as a whole, has managed to say relevant 35 years later because of the unforgettable impact it had upon the horror world when it was first released. Even from 1992 on when the franchise was dormant, it still retained a more than solid following. In the late 90s/early 2000s with the advent of DVD, Anchor Bay re-released the film for new generations to discover, and that's exactly what happened.
Let's all be thankful to Sam Raimi, Bruce Campbell, and everyone else involved in bringing Evil Dead to life. The world is a better place with Ash and the Deadites in it.
Saturday, October 8, 2016
It was announced earlier this week that the upcoming sequel to Blade Runner will be titled Blade Runner 2049. Considering the original film took place in 2019, that means this film will be set 30 years later, mostly likely to accommodate the fact that Harrison Ford is now old as fuck. I’ve talked before about how I’m not a fan of this idea at all, mostly because the original film manages to stand on its own (in particular the director’s cut and newer “final cut” which removes the bullshit happy ending and leaves everything open ended…which is pretty much perfect). So of course we’re getting a sequel that no one was asking for just for the sake of getting a few more nostalgia dollars out of an old property that people still revere.
The real issue I have with the concept of Blade Runner 2049 however is the fact that we are seeing basically old man Deckard. Why is this you ask? Well, the age old idea that Deckard is in fact a replicant. This idea was presented very subtly in the film, but everyone from Ford to Ridley Scott has pretty much said that yes, Deckard is indeed a replicant. It didn’t quite take a rocket scientist to figure that out to begin with, but the idea of an old Deckard pretty much means that he’s human. Replicants supposedly have short life spans, or termination dates, that span a couple to a few years. Maybe they’ll keep Deckard a replicant but have a bit of throwaway dialogue explaining that he’s a special one with no termination date? Or maybe Scott will be “na mate, we were just pulling your legs in 1982 about all that, he’s human”.
Blade Runner is a special film, in fact, it’s a visionary film. It was way ahead of its time in terms of aesthetic and theme, and even though it didn’t make much of a splash when it was first released, it managed to resonate with audiences for decades. It’s one of the best films of the 80s in general; one of the best science fiction films ever made, and is probably Ridley Scott’s finest film together with Alien. It doesn’t need a sequel and never has. I wouldn’t be opposed to the idea of a sequel/spin-off that focused on new characters in the same universe, and instead leave Deckard’s fate a mystery. Alas, that’s not what’s happening.
So here we are folks, there’s a new Blade Runner film coming, whether we want it or not. Fuck this noise.
Saturday, September 24, 2016
So...I was wrong.
Not too long ago, I had shared my thoughts about the new Blair Witch movie, claiming that I had believed distributor Lions Gate had only slapped that franchise label on an already completed film in an effort to earn more cash from it. After viewing Blair Witch, I can safely say that I was totally wrong about that. If Lions Gate did do such a thing, the amount of post-production work on the film would have been ridiculous, considering from the beginning on that it doesn't try to be anything else but a film in the Blair Witch universe.
I went into the film with no expectations, having never really been into the franchise at all, although I'm a diehard supporter of director Adam Wingard (You're Next, The Guest) and writer Simon Barrett. I had expected the film to be a smash hit and all and at least garner a good critical reception given the pair's pedigree and all, but then something weird happened...I enjoyed the film, and audiences apparently didn't.
Now I went through something similar recently with The Witch (also from Lions Gate), which I thought was brilliant but a majority of mainstream audiences seemed to hate because either they didn't get it, or because it didn't spell everything out to the viewer. Blair Witch kind of suffers the same fate because it offers little to no explanations to the viewer about anything, but it offers much more taut suspense than the original film ever did, at least in my opinion. Granted some of the jump scares are flat out ridiculously set up, but the film is far better than I anticipated it to be, and I enjoyed it quite a bit.
Now I know I often say this, but don't pay any attention to critics. In fact, don't pay much attention to those who have seen the film and offered their opinion on it, whether it be good or bad. See it for yourself and judge it for yourself. Also check out the films of Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett; they're fucking wonderful.
Sunday, September 11, 2016
News came out a few days ago that the long awaited, uncut, uncensored version of Fede Alvarez's 2013 remake/reboot of EVIL DEAD is finally going to see the light of day. Alvarez confirmed such while doing the press rounds for his new flick DON'T BREATHE, and it's very well known that this is something we've all been waiting for now for quite some time. This news seriously excites me more than it probably should.
The 2013 take on EVIL DEAD was a shockingly brutal and gory retread on Sam Raimi's original film, so much so that many were shocked it was granted an R rating given the extreme level of violence. The fact that there's an extended and uncut version coming soon makes me wonder just what could have gotten cut out. Funny thing is, apparently this same extended cut ran on a UK channel in 2015 by mistake when the distributor accidentally sent the wrong master of the film for TV airing. Oops.
My only question is why have we waited this long to see an uncut version of EVIL DEAD? Why has it taken this long for it to see the light of day in a wide-release? I guess it doesn't really matter honestly, and that we should just be happy that we're finally going to be able to see it in all its uncut glory.
With ASH VS THE EVIL DEAD being a smash hit and the franchise riding an all time high like never before, it's never been a better time to be an EVIL DEAD fan than it is right now. Who would have ever thought that the franchise would see such a resurgence? It's shit like this that makes it great to be a horror fan.
Sunday, September 4, 2016
Rob Zombie is a lot like Eli Roth to me: a fairly talented horror filmmaker that has had one truly great film on their resume, and rest of their filmography is filled with relative clunkers. With each passing film they release, I hope against hope that their upcoming flick will fulfill all that empty promise we've been handed for the past decade, and still walk away disappointed in the end. At least with Roth's case, The Green Inferno and Knock, Knock were relatively entertaining, so he's redeemed himself a bit in my eyes. In Rob Zombie's case? Not so much.
Rob Zombie's newest film, the crowdfunded 31, is upon us, and it's getting the reception that many of us thought it would: people are either loving the shit out of it, or hating it with every fiber of their being. I haven't seen it yet, but given Zombie's track record with Lords of Salem and the Halloween turds, I'm not in much of a hurry either. Trailers and looks at the film that I've seen make it look like a fairly generic piece of mediocrity, and chances are I'm probably right in my early assessment too. I'm not shitting on Rob or the movie, I'm really not, because even in the movies of his I find myself hating, I manage to find one or two elements about them that I admire the hell out of. I have a sinking feeling that with 31, that won't be the case.
One thing I've noticed lately, especially in the horror community, is that differing opinions really cause everyone's inner-asshole to come out, especially in the case of Rob Zombie films. There are people that genuinely love his Halloween films, and even consider them better than John Carpenter's classic. Now everyone's entitled to their own opinion and all, but really? Does Rob Zombie have the following he does because he's a musician first and filmmaker second? Do people actually enjoy that mess that is House of 1000 Corpses and think it's better than Devil's Rejects? One thing I've noticed in discussing things like this is that fans are fiercely defensive of Rob's work and the pedestal they place it on. Are they such a way because they know in their hearts that his work is shit?
That being said, I've seen people that have seen 31 trash the film, and those who haven't seen the film yet trash the reviewers, and vice-versa as well. Every film needs a fair chance before everyone can drop their drawers and shit all over it holding each other's hands in unison. Also, one other thing I've seen a lot of lately? People saying "if you're not a Rob Zombie fan, you're not a true horror fan". Yes, people have actually said that. These are probably the same people that don't know who Dario Argento and Lucio Fulci are but think that the Scream franchise is the greatest thing Wes Craven ever put on celluloid. Fuck these people, fuck them in the ear. But hey, that's just my opinion...right?
It's attitudes like this that make me sad. Like I said, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but being a flat out cock knocker to someone over a differing opinion than yours is just tiresome. That's what politics and comic book geek douche bags have nailed down, keep that shit out of the horror community yeah?
Or wait, you know what? Everyone's an asshole. Just ignore people in general and you'll be alright. Also, I will end up seeing 31 at some point, as long as I don't have to pay for it that is. That's just like, my opinion man.