UPDATE: According to a publicist who represents the producers and emailed me regarding the rumor.: “No – we have a slow 35 city roll out.” So, it appears many people beyond NY/LA will have a chance to dance in the moonlight with a cracked out Nicolas Cage.
It’s hard both to deny and describe the crazy cinematic potion that has flowed off the marketing materials and clips for Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans thus far. I cannot align these entertaining yet toxic vibes with another recent film, and many critics who see it—and like it—seem to share the task. It’s as if the voodoo weirdness that floats throughout pockets of the troubled region seeped into the dailies and into the gainfully employed skin of star Nicolas Cage. Much of this can be chalked off to the film’s publicized equation of iguana hallucinations, wild-man director Werner Herzog, and crack rocks, the math of which has stirred up semi-ironic anticipation for the film within movie culture. Unfortunately, it may be that a wide theatrical release for this anomaly is no longer happening; First Look Pictures, the film’s U.S. distributor looks to rush the film to DVD/Blu-ray for a February 2010 release.
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Between the fact that he founded effects house The Orphanage, the work that outfit subsequently produced and what I’ve seen of his directorial debut Legion, I’m ready to see more work from Scott Stewart. If it is forward-thinking stuff, great. If it’s good, solid genre filmmaking, great. We always want every new guy behind the camera to be some sort of genius, but I’m always happy to see someone making genre films that can work as entertainment. That may be Stwewart’s role, and if he transcends it, wonderful. If nothing else, he’s been roping in some great actors, and his adaptation of the Tokyo Pop graphic novel Priest just got three wonderful new faces. Read More »
As I was typing up some notes on Rob Zombie‘s Halloween II, this CNN headline flitted through my newsreader: ‘Victims of repeated abuse suffer complex trauma.’ It’s a truth that might jokingly apply to fans of the Halloween series, as the years since John Carpenter’s standard-setting original film have seen so many pointless, insipid sequels.
More seriously, you can apply it to the characters in Halloween II. Zombie seems quite interested in the psychological effect of violence on his characters. No one touched by Michael Myers is ever whole again. Those not carved into physical pieces are broken into traumatized shards. But while Zombie’s movie has ideas and intent, it is no more expressive than Myers’ white mask. Despite heavy doses of extreme violence, the most frightening thing about the movie is that it is unremittingly dull and inert. Read More »
Last month, /Film visited the set of H2 (Halloween 2). After flying into Atlanta, Georgia, a colleague and I followed a publicity firm’s map and drove far out into the country, down winding roads encased by high trees that exhaled into healthy farmland. The sun was setting, the temperature was cooling, and our cell phones were no longer getting reception. We were lost. We finally came to a local cop car blocking a road, lights on spin. The cop exited—he was alive—and said, “Here for the movie?” and pointed us in the direction of Haddonfield, a fictional town that millions of people all over the world have watched Michael Myers terrorize for years.
Since 2007, the grisly lore of Haddonfield has rested in the determined hands of writer/director Rob Zombie. And in my opinion, so does the current state and fate of the American horror film, an institution predictably oft-sniffed at, but that is vital to our culture. As exemplified in our epic interview—divided into two parts—Zombie is a filmmaker who is unapologetically forthright about detractors of his vision for Halloween and horror, and much more. There is great irony to be found in that so many 20somethings wake up to Zombie’s music cuing The Howard Stern Show, and that the same guy is creating cinema that aspires to haunt our grandkids’ nightmares more so than the last president. (Click here for part two of the interview.)
Hunter Stephenson: In December, it was officially announced that you were on board for the sequel. So, between then and the release date this August, you have had to write, cast, prep, shoot and now you guys are editing. That’s such a small window. When you first sat down to write the script, where did you want to go with Myers and this new mythology you created?
Rob Zombie: Well, I looked back at the first film and I thought, What would be the most realistic fall-out from the events that occurred previously? So, I started with Laurie Strode. The reality now is this: here is a girl who wakes up, her parents are murdered, most of her friends are murdered, and she finds out her brother is the person who killed everybody. What is the reality of that? What does that do to a person? I felt it would be much more interesting this time to make Laurie this dark, damaged character. And everyone else too.
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