James Gunn, Firefly Actors, and Porn Stars?

We’ve known for some time now that Slither director James Gunn is working on producing a series of “Horror Meets Comedy” shorts for Xbox Live, along with a contribution of his own for that project, Humanzee. Today he’s teased us even further by tweeting the cast for a future project—a list which includes Firefly’s Nathan Fillion and Alan Tudyk, along with porn starlets Belladonna, Aria Giovanni, Jenna Haze, and Sasha Grey.

He’s currently being coy about specifics, but I think he may actually be alluding to The Belcoo Experiment, a project which he’s been talking about since last year. As described via his MySpace:

The Belcoo Experiment is a script I wrote on spec.  It’s an ultra-violent thriller with a lot of action.  It has to do with a group of 83 American expatriates who work in a building in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  At the beginning of what is at first a regular, boring day, walls close up around the building, trapping them inside.  A voice emits over the speaker system, forcing them through a series of murderous moral decisions.

A synopsis like that will obviously require many actors, and I could easily see him fitting in porn stars who may be able to hide their lack of acting talent by blending in with the other characters. While somewhat Saw-like, it’s also a premise that could work extremely well if handled correctly, and Gunn has certainly proven himself to be an able caretaker of genre material. If you’re a horror fan and haven’t yet seen Slither, his criminally under-appreciated 2006 film starring Fillion and Elizabeth Banks, do so now.

His decision to cast Fillion and Tudyk together again is surely born out of Firefly fanboyism, but I’m not exactly complaining. Both Fillion and Tudyk deserve to be far greater stars than the fates have dealt them, and I can only hope that this project works out well for them and Gunn. Genre projects probably won’t get any of them recognized among general audiences, but it’s certainly a nice treat for their current fans.

Update: Gunn has confirmed the project isn’t Belcoo. At least this means we have one more Gunn project to look forward to :)

Discuss: Are you a fan of Gunn’s work? Are you excited for a semi-Firefly reunion with porn stars?
via Chud

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Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer The major purchase making the press rounds and generating blog buzz from this year’s Slamdance Film Festival, which ended Friday, is Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer. Anchor Bay purchased the film, which hearkens back to ’80s horror-comedies like House and Night of the Demons, for an impressive mid-six-figures with a theatrical release included in the deal. Directed by relative newcomer Jon Knautz and co-starring Robert Englund, actor Trevor Matthews portrays the titular slacker-plumber-slayer, a guy haunted by a childhood camping incident in which his parents were murdered by a creature, until he discovers his calling in life.

I know it might come off as harsh criticism for a little-horror-film-that-could, but Anchor Bay’s Hatchet was probably the most disappointing and one of the worst films I saw last year. The production values, acting, atmosphere and jokes were sub-par even for a Bikini Car Wash film, and I found the heavenly praise from several sites to set a terrible example for what’s expected from modern horror films, almost to the point of being regressive. I mention Hatchet, because it’s from the same studio, appeals to the same fanbase, and shares a warranted nostalgia and respect for ’80s scares, stars and tone with Jack Brooks. So, it’s cool to see that the trailer for Jack Brooks hints at a promising effort, reminiscent of James Gunn’s rather awesome 2006 creature-feature Slither.

There are numerous influences firing here, everything from Buffy, Evil Dead and Monster Squad, and I’m always interested to see what has inspired a young horror filmmaker. The genre needs its fair share of well watched but original voices now, so more power to Knautz if he pulled it off. The trailer is also effective at showing everything but showing nothing.

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