I keep forgetting that Nicolas Winding Refn is producing a remake of Maniac Cop. He’s got the film’s original director, William Lustig, working with him as producer, and that’s a pretty good combination. This new Maniac Cop will likely be rather different from Lustig’s original exploitation effort, which starred the incomparable Robert Z’Dar as the title character, and featured Bruce Campbell and Tom Atkins. (What a cast!)
Now we know one other detail which should elevate your interest: Ed Brubaker, the comics writer who created the Winter Soldier storyline and whose Criminal series is one of the best comics runs of the last decade, has scripted the film. Read More »
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The films of William Lustig are crude exploitation, but they’re strange and entertaining enough to find new groups of fans every few years. Maniac, for example is a chilly ride, and a film that is currently being remade with Elijah Wood as the unlikely but compelling choice for the title character. Vigilante is a Death Wish- and poliziotteschi-influenced urban crime movie with a cartoonish tone balanced by Robert Forster.
Then there are the Maniac Cop films: a bizarro trilogy of increasingly silly tales centered on killings perpetrated by a vengeful/evil/supernatural police officer.
The original film starred genre stalwarts Tom Atkins, Bruce Campbell, Richard Roundtree, and the massive-jawed Robert Z’Dar as the title character. Writer Larry Cohen (also a schlock master, thanks to films like Q, God Told Me To, and It’s Alive!) and Lustig have been working to produce a new Maniac Cop film.
And now they’ve got company. Nicholas Winding Refn (Drive, Pusher, Bronson) is on board to produce the movie that will be a prequel of sorts to Lustig’s original 1988 picture. Read More »
Mondo has been on a roll lately, and today they tossed images of three upcoming poster images out to three different sites. But while the company has been doing a lot of high-profile films of late (Star Wars, Hellboy, etc) these films get back closer to the origins of Mondo.
The Alamo Drafthouse is doing a two-night series with exploitation director William Lustig, and has commissioned three posters to celebrate the three films being shown. Tuesday night (that’s tomorrow!) will be Maniac and then Maniac Cop 2 (note that despite the title similarities, these are unlreated movies) and then Wednesday will be Vigilante. And Mr. Lustig will be present for all three screenings.
Check out the posters in full after the break. Read More »
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Trailers are an under-appreciated art form insofar that many times they’re seen as vehicles for showing footage, explaining films away, or showing their hand about what moviegoers can expect. Foreign, domestic, independent, big budget: I celebrate all levels of trailers and hopefully this column will satisfactorily give you a baseline of what beta wave I’m operating on, because what better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising? Some of the best authors will tell you that writing a short story is a lot harder than writing a long one, that you have to weigh every sentence. What better medium to see how this theory plays itself out beyond that than with movie trailers?
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