TIFF Movie Review: John Carpenter’s The Ward

John Carpenter is a celebrated filmmaker who frequently has worked in the sci-fi and horror genres. He is one of the brand name filmmakers from the 1970′s-80′s. His filmography includes Assault on Precinct 13, Halloween, The Fog, Escape From New York, The Thing, Starman, Big Trouble in Little China, They Live, many of which have already been remade or are currently in development for a big screen redo. Carptener’s career hit a slump in the 1990′s with films like Memoirs of an Invisible Man, Village of the Damned, Escape from LA, Vampire$ and. Ghosts of Mars. Carpenter has not made a feature film in almost nine years.

This year at the Toronto International Film Festival, Carpenter makes his return to the big screen with a film called The Ward. Does this mark a triumphant return for Carpenter? Unfortunately not.
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Last night we got a brief preview of some of the films that will appear in the always-entertaining Midnight Madness lineup at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival. Now we’ve got the full nine, which in addition to the three announced last night (Super, Bunraku and The Butcher, The Chef and the Swordsman) include John Carpenter‘s The Ward, Brad Anderson‘s Vanishing on 7th Street and Insidious, by James Wan.

But TIFF isn’t stopping there: a whole host of other high-profile films were announced for the fest today. They include Clint Eastwood‘s Hereafter, Casey Affleck‘s I’m Still Here, Matt ReevesLet Me In, Dustin Lance Black‘s directorial debut What’s Wrong With Virginia? and the Will Ferrell dramedy Everything Must Go, along with confirmation of Danny Boyle‘s 127 Hours, for which there’s a new photo. (Above.) This year’s TIFF looks like a good one: check info about all the films after the break. Read More »

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John Carpenter last had a feature in theaters in 2001 with Ghosts of Mars, but he’s been working his way back to the multiplex in the long years since. There were a couple of episodes of Showtime’s Masters of Horror series, for example. And he’s got the feature The Ward, starring Amber Heard, in post-production right now.

Now Carpenter will take on vampires once again with an adaptation of the novel Fangland, which is an update (of sorts) of Bram Stoker’s original Dracula. Read More »

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It’s a crazy, mixed up world and we are thankful for movies that offer proof. Slashfilm’s Weekend Weirdness examines such flicks, whether in the form of a New York premiere for a provocative indie, a mini review or an interview.

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Weekend Weirdness’ favorite J.C. directed a nearly three hour epic about The King starring his main man Snake Plissken, and yet the film was at risk of being forgotten by younger generations. How could this occur when the movie in question, John Carpenter‘s Elvis, is arguably a better country music biopic than Walk the Line, and exudes an unpretentious but fetching style reminiscent of Hal Ashby’s Woody Guthrie biopic Bound for Glory? Well, until this week, Elvis wasn’t available on DVD, and the film’s prior home video presence was spotty at best.

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The gory image above is our first clear look at Laurie Strode, once again played by actress Scout Taylor-Compton, in H2: Halloween 2. Nice chipped teeth, eh? As you’ll recall, Strode is the (formerly) estranged sister of slasher Michael Myers, and according to horror visionaire Rob Zombie, “let’s just say this is the best part of her stay [at the hospital]. The worst is yet to come.” It will be interesting to see how Zombie’s sequel deviates from the original underrated 1981 follow-up, which was co-written and ghost-edited by The Shape’s creator, John Carpenter, and also set partially in a hospital to creepy effect. On his blog, Zombie has ended speculation about actor Malcolm McDowell reprising the pivotal character, Dr. Loomis, confirming that “he’s back and ready to deal with Big Mike.”As we’ve mentioned, H2 is due with the quickness this August and is now shooting in the state of Georgia.

After the jump: Hunter’s lengthy rant on the complete disappoinment and failure that was Marcus Nispel’s Friday the 13th, and Platinum Dunes’ annoying reign over horror icons vs. Rob Zombie’s polarizing Halloween and interpretation of Michael Myers. No friggin’ contest!

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They Live Remake

Strike Entertainment is in talks to acquire rights to remake John Carpenter‘s 1988 cult film They Live.

Based on Ray Nelson’s 1963 short story “Eight O’Clock in the Morning”, They Live was part sci-fi thriller and part black comedy. Pro wrestler Rowdy Roddy Piper played a down-on-his-luck construction worker who discovered a pair of special sunglasses which allowed him to see the world as it really is. He finds that all printed matter contains subliminal advertising and that many humans are actually aliens who in charge of the massive campaign to keep humans subdued. One of the film’s highlights is a five-and-half minute alley fight scene. The movie is also notable for coining Piper’s famous tagline “I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass… and I’m all out of bubblegum.”

I’m sure the change in economic times could be incorporated in the social satire of the story, and while a They Live remake is inevitable, I’m not sure that it wouldn’t be better served in five or ten years. I’m not one of those delusional people that say you shouldn’t remake a classic, because its going to happen one way or another — that’s a fact. But I do believe that Hollywood should only consider a remake when the original film becomes largely unrelatable to the general public. And you can call me an old, but I think They Live still plays. Then again, I haven’t seen the film in a few years.

That said, Strike’s credits include Children of Men and Zack Snyder’s remake of Dawn of the Dead – so they’re a good company to develop such a project. No screenwriter has been announced. Watch the original movie trailer below:

[flv:http://bitcast-a.bitgravity.com/slashfilm/trailers/theylive.flv 400 300]

Discuss: Who should play Rowdy Roddy Piper’s character in a They Live remake? Who should direct?

source: THR

John Carpenter’s Riot Movie Poster

/Film reader Joe sent over this exclusive poster for John Carpenter‘s Riot. Originally titled Scared Straight (I’m guessing they couldn’t secure the title rights from the popular documentary 1980 documentary), the prison thriller tells the story of a troubled youth who is sent to the Scared Straight crime-prevention program. But when a riot breaks out and the prisoners take him hostage, a lifer (played by  Nicolas Cage) is forced to help the young man out. xXx director Rob Cohen was originally attached to the project when it was set-up at New Line.

Joe Gazzam‘s screenplay was on the 2005 Black List, a listing of the best unproduced screenplays of the years compiled from an extensive poll of film executives and high level assistants. Some  great talent is involved and this is Carpenter’s first film in nearly a decade.

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