With one of the choicest “stranded on an island with entertainment center” filmographies, genre or otherwise, director John Carpenter is without a doubt a fave here at Slashfilm. Next month, the man himself will be on hand for two out of four nights to wax awesome on his various ’80s era classics at a film festival presented by non-profit American Cinematheque (nice effort!) and Santa Monica’s Aero Theater. Unfortunately, They Live (probably my fave of his) is not being shown, but one really can’t moan the slightest about such a rare opportunity. Here’s the schedule…

Friday, June 13th, 7:30 p.m.
The Thing
and The Fog
Carpenter will discuss films between showings

Saturday, June 14th, 7:30 p.m.
Escape From New York and Escape From L.A.
Carpenter will discuss films between showings

Sunday, June 15th, 7:30 p.m.
Halloween and Christine (no speaker, but how sick is this double feature!?)

Wednesday, June 18th, 7:30 pm.
Big Trouble in Little China and Assault on Precinct 13
AOP13‘s Austin Stoker will discuss between films

Hopefully, everyone reading this site has seen these films. If not, make like Chainsaw and Dave this summer and join the club. If you’ll be attending one or more of these screenings with Carpenter shoot us an email after with a report. For more info, go here.


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Filmmaker Tribute Videos


Cinematical pointed me towards these really cool videos on YouTube by a 25-Year-Old freelance editor nicknamed barringer82, who has edited together a few compilation music videoes of his favorite directors. The Paul Thomas Anderson one is definitely worth a watch, especially if you’re a dan of his films. Check them out after the jump.

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Horror Remakes: Is Rob Zombie a Hypocrite?

Rob Zombie's HalloweenThe critics and fans pretty much hated Rob Zombie’s Halloween remake, so it makes us wonder why Zombie didn’t take his own advice. The following quote comes from ArrowintheHead. Apparently Rob Zombie said the following quote in a 2002 interview.

“I feel it’s the worst thing any filmmaker can do. I actually got a call from my agent and they asked me if I wanted to be involved in a remake of CHAINSAW. I said no fucking way! Those movies are perfect — you’re only going to make yourself look like an asshole by remaking them. Go remake something that’s a piece of shit and make it good. Like with my movie I have elements of CHAINSAW in it because I love that movie so much, but I wouldn’t dare want to “remake” it. It’s like a band trying to be another band.”

Halloween is raking in the cash at the box office, and lead to Zombie’s two picture deal with Dimension Films. So to be fair, it was a good business move. But I think that Zombie’s quote above speaks more towards the creative nature of a remake than the business nature. So is Zombie a hypocrite?

Will They Make a Halloween Sequel?

HalloweenRob Zombie has signed a two picture deal with Dimension Films, Halloween has already broken the Labor Day weekend record (aiming to take $32 million) ,well over the film’s estimated $15 million budget (despite god awful reviews from both fans and critics). But the question now becomes, will they make a sequel (And if so, will it be called Halloween 2, Halloween 10, or something else?)?

Weinstein Company head Bob Weinstein tells Reuters:

“I never say never never … but it would have to be something very, very different.”

With the re-envisioning / remake set to make 80+ million domestically, god knows how much worldwide, and even more on home video, I can’t see how Bob Weinstein won’t be able to find “something very, very different.” In Hollywood, it’s money (not ideas or story) that talks. Another question might be, does Rob Zombie have any interest in returning for a sequel. My quick guess is, probably not.

Rob Zombie's HalloweenMichael Myers has returned from the dead to slaughter all box office competition. The all-new MGM/Weinstein version of HALLOWEEN has exploded for an estimated $10.5M on Friday, and it’s headed for a 3-day of $30M and a spectacular 4-day Labor Day weekend of $35.775M.

The success isn’t a complete surprise. Director Rob Zombie has scored successes with low budget slasher flicks HOUSE OF 1,000 CORPSES ($12.6M domestic) and THE DEVIL’S REJECTS ($17M cume), and, after seeing the heavy metal rocker’s version of the 1978 John Carpenter classic, Bob and Harvey Weinstein signed Zombie to a 2-picture deal. Plus, as I reported in my Final Weekend Tracking column, HALLOWEEN opened with Total Awareness of 82% in the industry’s audience tracking along with 36% Definite Interest and a First Choice of 13%. I suggested that this could be a 4-quadrant hit since it opened the day with an 11% First Choice with Males 25 Plus and an 10% First Choice with Females Plus. I wrote that, “There will be a wave of nostalgia, but it won’t be a tsunami.” I predicted $25M+, but there is now a tsunami warning in effect.

HALLOWEEN will easily become the all-time #1 4-day Labor Day weekend champion, but who could have guessed that it would come in 44% above previous record-holder Transporter 2?

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Much of the horror community theorized that The Weinstein Company forced Halloween director Rob Zombie to film a series of reshoots. Zombie has disputed this claim on his blog, and now the musician turned horror director tells MTV about the alternative ending that could have been, and the real reason for the reshoots.

“And the weirdest thing about movies is it’s all planned out, but you just don’t know. Sometimes, things that you really think will work work, and sometimes they’re like ‘eh’,” said Zombie. “We were kind of rushed because, filming in Pasadena, it’s like 11:00 and – boom! – they shut you down…the cops would step in front of the cameras,” Zombie told us. “We were shut down and I thought ‘Well, maybe we have it.’ Then I started editing, and it didn’t feel like I had the end of the movie. Luckily, I had the luxury of going back.”

The original ending came after Myers reached into Loomis’ car and pulls out Laurie Strode. Sheriff Brackett and several other policemen pull up in their cars. Loomis attempted to talk to Michael, urging the cops to hold their fire. He blamed himself for Michael’s madness, and convinced Myers to drop the knife and release Laurie. Loomis embraces Laurie as Myers takes a step forward and the police unleash reactionary gunfire. The old ending will be included on the eventual special edition DVD release.

“Now by the end of the movie, on those final frames you’re going to think ‘Wow, that is Michael’s sister,” Zombie said of the new finale. “The other way, it was more like she was a victim being rescued. Now, she becomes her own person.”

Also of note, HorrorMovieADay took a look at the differences between the workprint that leaked online last week, and the theatrical version of the film. Here are some of the interesting bits:

  • In the workprint, there is an additional scene of young Michael with Deborah at the institution, where he expresses his need to “get out of here”. When he learns he cannot leave, he says “Then I have nothing left to say.”
  • In the workprint, an orderly and his friend harass and then rape a female inmate in Michael’s room. Michael ignores them until they begin playing with his masks (this pays off the line about him not liking it when people touch his things). He kills them both, gets their keys, and escapes. This also explains why Michael would kill someone who is seen as his friend in the scenes prior. This gives him a moralistic reason to be killed.
  • When the nurse looks at the photo of Michael and “Boo”, there is an additional line where she alludes to Michael being ugly. This provides more of a motive for her killing than is present in the theatrical version.
  • The Workprint showed the scene where Michael finds and removes the tombstone in the graveyard.
  • Bob’s death is completely different. In the workprint, he is killed in his van when he goes out to get beer. In the theatrical, he is killed in the exact same way he was killed in the 1978 film.
  • In the theatrical print, Loomis buys a gun, the scene where Brackett explains how he knows who Laurie Strode’s real family is (the workprint never explained how she came to be with that family or how Loomis would know where to find her), and the whole sequence where Loomis runs up to the House at the end (ie the new ending).
Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Rob Zombie’s Halloween Movie Review

Halloween PosterWhy exactly would anyone want to remake a classic film? With so much to live up to, times five, due to the time tested nostalgia factor, there is almost no conceivable way you can trump the expectations. But if there was one person that I would trust to remake Halloween, it would probably be Rob Zombie. House of 1,000 Corpses and The Devil’s Rejects were a call back to the classic horror films of the 1970’s. It’s almost like Zombie, and his collected crew, are able to channel Tobe Hooper and the directors of that era. It’s more about mood than anything else. It’s that creepy unsettling feeling that you feel. A mixture of the set design, camera direction, casting, and soundtrack. This is why I knew Rob Zombie would scare the living hell out of us again, with one of horror’s classic characters. But I was wrong.

Zombie’s re-imagining of the John Carpenter 1978 classic went wrong in conception. The concept is simple, and a good one at first glance: Who is Michael Myers? We got a small glimpse of his childhood origin in the original film, but Zombie’s vision was to expand upon this mythology. Because Myers was the key to the first film’s success. Sure, you had Jamie Lee Curtis’ lungs, and Carpenter’s now classic score, but the kids came because of the man in the mask.

In Zombie’s new film we learn why Myers wears the mask, and we even learn why he doesn’t speak. We learn a lot about Michael Myers, and that is problem #1. The reason why we enjoyed his character in the original was because he was such a mystery. It was what we didn’t know, what we didn’t see, what we were forced to make up in our heads.

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Michael Myers is ready to slash his way to an all-time 4-day Labor Day weekend record, and, by Monday, he’ll pass Jigsaw to become the 4th-biggest grossing movie “killer” in modern box office history.

The original 1978 John Carpenter film HALLOWEEN is, for my money, the scariest of all scary movies. Donald Pleasance is just over-the-top enough when the nurse says, “Don’t you think it would be better if you referred to ‘it’ as a ‘him’?, and, as Doctor Loomis, he responds, “If you say so.” And the moment where Jamie Lee Curtis says, “I killed him” and the little boy
says, “You can’t kill the boogie man” is classic.

No official reviews available for Rob Zombie’s new version of HALLOWEEN (MGM/Weinstein). Quint from ‘Aint It Cool News says that user reviews from screenings and bootlegs are love-hate 50/50. He also, correctly, points out that the Weinsteins are thrilled with Zombie, and Bob and Harvey have signed him to a 2-picture deal.

That being said, it’s always dangerous to remake classic, and HALLOWEEN is a bit of a high wire act, but this movie is going to open huge. I reviewed tracking with a well-placed source today, and even they were surprised at the apparent strength. This slasher pic isn’t just scoring with Under 25’s. The 25 Plus crowd may be showing up.

SAW III (Lionsgate), which opened to $33.6M last October, is a very good comparable. The most recent chapter of the twisted James Wan/Leigh Whannell horror series was stronger in almost every category on its opening day than HALLOWEEN is now, but ‘ole Mike Myers is giving Jigsaw a run for his money.

The Lionsgate sequel had Un-Aided Awareness of 22% compared to a very strong 13% for HALLOWEEN. The Rob Zombie remake actually leads SAW III in Total Awareness 82%-73%, but that’s a function of the legendary status of the original. The 3rd movie featuring Jigsaw leads in Definite Interest 46%-36% and in the First Choice column 20%-13%, but HALLOWEEN has a First Choice with Males 25 Plus of 11% and Females 25 Plus of 10%.

Is a 4-quadrant horror movie possible? To some degree, yes, but this is Rob Zombie (THE DEVIL’S REJECTS), and this picture has a strong R rating. Mom may have gotten a great scare out of Jamie Lee and Mike 30 years ago, but she’s not necessarily going to bring the kids to the mall to see this one. There will be a wave of nostalgia, but it won’t be a tsunami.

I’m targeting $23M-$26M for HALLOWEEN, which would be a record-breaking 4-day Labor Day weekend, surpassing 2005’s TRANSPORTER 2 from Fox. It will easily post the best opening weekend in the 8-film history of the franchise, and, interestingly, Michael Myers will pass Jigsaw to become the all-time 4th-best grossing movie killer/slasher. (Jigsaw will almost certainly retake #4 on the list sometime this fall with Saw IV opening on October 26.)

The tracking for BALLS OF FURY (Rogue Releasing) is actually stronger than its opening Wednesday of $1.7M. Its Un-Aided Awareness was 5%, which is a bit of a commercial pulse, but there were no long lines at America’s multiplexes on opening day. Critics are not being kind, but that’s not exactly a surprise. BALLS has a 29% Fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes and it’s 37% positive at, but they didn’t make this movie for the Ebert & Roeper crowd. This is the BEERFEST or DODGEBALL of ping-pong. That’s a huge range. BEERFEST opened with a 3-day of $7M back in 2006 and went on to gross a mere $19.1M. Meanwhile, DODGEBALL opened to $30M and became a phenomenon with $114.3M domestic.

The most recent dumb sport-themed movie was HOT ROD starring Andy Samberg. Despite debuting on over 2,000 screens, it managed only $5.3M on opening weekend, and, to-date, it has registered just $13.6M in domestic ticket sales. BALLS OF FURY is showing up dramatically stronger than HOT ROD in industry tracking with a 67% Total Aware vs. 42%, 34% Definite Interest vs. 25% and it’s got a 10% First Choice vs. 0% for HOT ROD.

My hunch is that Rogue’s soft Wednesday opening isn’t a great predictor of the weekend performance for BALLS OF FURY ($1.7M on Wednesday could be pointing toward a 4-day of $10M). Instead, I’m looking for a marginally better 4-day Labor Day weekend of $12-$15M, which would actually make it one of the All-Time Top 5 4-day Labor Day weekends (still not impressive). BALLS will likely turn in a 6-day (Wed thru Sun) of $15M -$18M.

That brings us to the hardly-marketed DEATH SENTENCE (Fox), which has been screened for virtually nobody. SAW co-creator James Wan is the director of his Kevin Bacon film, and those in the industry will likely view this as strike 2″ for him. (The first “strike” was Universal’s spring horror flick EAD SILENCE.)

The tracking says that only 42% of the movie-going public has ever heard of the film, and with Definite Interest of just 30% and a First Choice number of 4%, it won’t take long for this one to show up at the local Blockbuster. I’m not looking for more than $3M-$6M in its opening 4 days.

For the complete Box Office Tracking report go to FantasyMoguls.

HalloweenA workprint of Rob Zombie’s Halloween has been leaked onto the internet. The  copy turned up on several bit torrent websites just four days before the film’s theatrical movie premiere on Friday.

Hopefully Halloween won’t suffer the same fate as Eli Roth’s Hostel: Part II which had an unfinished work-print leak online a week before its theatrical release. In the case of Hostel, a week was all that was needed to convince the online horror community not to spend their cash at the box office. On the other hand, an early leak of Michael Moore’s Sicko lead to strong word of mouth, which many people speculate, may have ended up helping the film’s box office (however there is no way to prove anything either way). Disney/Pixar’s Ratatouille also ended up on the torrent sites a week before the film’s theatrical release after a nationwide sneak preview screening. Most people agree that this leak didn’t hurt the film due to its targeted family demographic. Movie Piracy seems to be most effective against the box office in films which target a teen demographic.
It’s also interesting to note that both Sicko and Halloween have ties to The Weinsteins, while Sicko and Hostel 2 have ties to Lionsgate. It’ll be interesting to find out exactly where these work-prints were leaked, but I have a feeling that they might all be connected. Again, I have no proof, but I’m guessing there is a leak somewhere in the chain of post production of all three of these films.