Saturday, May 28, 2016
Well, this was unexpected.
A few days ago it was announced that the "Halloween" franchise had found a new home between Miramax (well, technically they were an old home too, but I digress) and Blumhouse (who have been behind a shitload of mainstream and micro-budgeted horror dirges of varying quality). What's even more surprising though is that John Carpenter is going to be serving as a producer on the next installment of the franchise. That's right, John fucking Carpenter is returning to the franchise he helped birth.
Now what does this mean exactly?
Well, in all honesty, probably nothing much. The "Halloween" franchise has had its share of ups and downs (mostly downs) and suffered through mid-series reboots, ignored chapters, and a remake (with a sequel) from Rob Zombie that should have never seen the light of day. Other than "Hellraiser" and "Texas Chainsaw Massacre", the "Halloween" series has gotten fucked over more times than Zack Ryder in WWE (get that? No? Don't watch wrestling? Fuck you!).
Bringing Carpenter into the fold as a producer is probably for the sake of his name if nothing else. Saying the franchise needs a shot in the arm is saying it lightly, and having Carpenter's name at the marquee would do just that. Thing is though, don't expect him to really have much of an impact on the film itself. Carpenter was a "producer" on that abortion of a remake of "The Fog". From out of his own mouth he claimed his job was to occasionally show up on set and say hello. That's not something that really bodes too well is it?
Now, who knows how this new "Halloween" will turn out with an attachment from Carpenter. Apparently it's going to be a sequel to the first two films and completely ignore everything that came after? Who knows? All I know for sure is that it can't be any fucking worse than either of the Rob Zombie movies right?
Saturday, May 21, 2016
I had said some time ago that mainstream hype can kind of kill a horror movie upon release, citing recent horror flicks "The Babadook" and "It Follows" as examples. "The Babadook" was overrated anal waste, while "It Follows" wasn't bad. Now I've finally gotten around to seeing "The Witch", which had quite a bit of more than favorable critical reviews, but for some reason, audiences seemed to hate. Keep in mind that when I say audiences, I mean mainstream audiences.
Now why did mainstream audiences shit all over "The Witch"? Well, probably because it doesn't offer a jump scare every twenty seconds. One thing I've realized from going to see a few horror flicks in theaters (the original "Paranormal Activity" being chief among them) is that mainstream audiences base how they enjoy a horror movie from the number of jump scares they experience. "The Witch" doesn't offer anything of the sort. It's cerebral and doesn't spell anything out for the viewer, which is probably another reason audiences hated it. Audiences seemed to enjoy "The Forest" better, and that movie is a piece of shit for sure, but it offers jump scares and little to no intelligence...just like mainstream movie-going audiences. Yes I know that sounds mean, but y'all know it's true.
Now, I had said that "The Witch" doesn't spell anything out for the viewer, and it doesn't. It doesn't flat out spell on the screen that Black Philip is Satan himself, or that he's giving a contract out at the end of the film in an effort to get the surviving daughter to sell her soul to him, but if you had half a brain, you'd get that. Mainstream audiences need to have every rhyme and reason for anything that happens in a movie to be spelled out and explained to them, because that's what they expect. They don't want to think, they want to turn their brains off and be entertained. Now there's nothing necessarily wrong with that, but when it comes to films that offer a more cerebral experience instead of eye-bleeding CGI effects and pure stupidity, most audiences will rather choose the latter.
Not to mention the fact that this film is surprisingly graphic in its depictions of child death/torment, which for someone like me is quite lovely. It's really nice to see a mainstream-released horror movie not hold back. In fact, I'm really surprised this film had a national run in theaters. Seriously, I'm really fucking surprised.
Now I know I sound like an elitist fuck here in this thing, but when it comes to things like this, I guess I kind of am. I'm also unapologetic about it, so there's that. Regardless, you should really see "The Witch". It's the best mainstream-released horror movie in recent memory, and it now holds a special place in my heart.
Saturday, May 14, 2016
We've lost Darwyn Cooke. If you're asking yourself who that is, prepare to be educated:
Darwyn Cooke was a comic book artist, known primarily for his work with DC Comics. He first came to my attention when "The New Frontier" series had originally launched. What attracted me to it was Cooke's distinct style: a pseudo-retro design for characters and panels that both at once combined elements of the Golden and Silver Ages of comics, as well as a modern take. His work was truly unique, and in all honesty, something that I was initially put off by. Over time though, Cooke's work grew on me quite a bit, and it wasn't long before I began tracking down as much of his work as I could.
He'd worked in animation (for the animated adaptations of Batman, Superman, and Batman Beyond) and did other comic work on series' and characters including Catwoman, The Spirit, Spider-Man, and more besides. Everything Cooke touched was a thing of beauty from a visual standpoint, and alas, he's been taken from us far, far too soon.
Rest in peace Darwyn Cooke. My thoughts and hopes go out to your family. Your work will live on forever though, of that there is no doubt.
Saturday, May 7, 2016
Remember that sequel to "Blade Runner" you were hoping would one day become a reality? Yeah, I don't either.
Either way though, we're getting it, as Ridley Scott continues to mine his past work in a self-destructive/semi-masturbatory way to squeeze some more cash out of classic properties. Unlike with "Prometheus" and the upcoming "Alien: Covenant" (sweet baby Jesus I didn't realize how dumb that title sounds until I just said it out loud), Scott will only be serving as a producer on the "Blade Runner" sequel, which also sees the original film's co-screenwriter Hampton Fancher returning, as well as Harrison Ford as Rick Deckard. The film is set decades after the end of the original, and will apparently answer some questions the first film left unanswered...
...which sounds fucking horrible.
One of the things that always made "Blade Runner" stick out to me was its ambiguity. I like the fact that the film doesn't spell things out for you like nearly every film released for mainstream audiences has the need to do. So I guess we'll get flat out told if Deckard is a replicant or not? Or maybe they'll just have Ryan Gosling (who is starring in the film) do a shitty and needless voiceover narration to explain things that don't need explaining?
The original "Blade Runner" was a victim of studio interference. That's why there's half a dozen different versions/cuts of the film. Considering all that interference and the fact that the film's studio never had that much faith in it to begin with, does it really warrant a follow up? Can't it just be left alone for fuck's sake?
Oh well, at least it's not getting a remake...
...until the sequel bombs terribly and it's decided that it should be rebooted from the ground up because somebody somewhere still thinks they can squeeze some more cash out of it.