Typically, it’s the French New Wave that gets all the news, but Japan had its own New Wave in the ’60s, and one of the key players, whether he would have said as much or not, was Suzuki Seijun. The director worked for Nikkatsu studios, and in the ’60s he started to crank out studio films that grew weirder with each release. One of the formative films in that period was Youth of the Beast, starring the chipmunk-cheeked Shishido Joe.
Though not as wild as some of Suzuki’s later films, Youth of the Beast is a great, weird film. And now it will be remade by John Woo, who will call his version Day of the Beast. Rob Frisbee scripted, and Woo’s long-time producer Terence Chang will produce. Ironically, while Nikkatsu eventually fired Suzuki for his increasingly eccentric films, this production is part of the studio’s 100th Anniversary.
After the break, there’s a trailer for the original Youth of the Beast, and we’ve got some news on the new version of Carrie, and one of the prime movers behind the original Little Shop of Horrors speaks about the new film version of that story. Read More »
There have been two big-screen versions of Little Shop of Horrors, which was originally a farce directed by Roger Corman. The comedy story of geeky floral assistant and a plant that feeds on humans has roots in a story from the ’30s, but the Corman film version became surprisingly iconic, spawning a stage musical, a 1986 musical remake from Frank Oz and Warner Bros., and an animated series.
Now Warner Bros. is setting up a possible new version. Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, who has written for Marvel comics and the stage, and just penned the Carrie remake that Kimberly Peirce is making with Chloe Moretz and Julianne Moore starring, is in talks to write. More interesting is that Joseph Gordon-Levitt is producing, and would like to star. Read More »
Not familiar with George Hardy’s work as an actor? Click here to watch a packed audience reacting to him on screen . It’s totally worth it.
About a week ago, while drinking slushies on a beach, I attempted to brainstorm a hyperbolic-geek intro for this interview that was impossibly cheesy and awful, yet aptly expressed my sentiments about the subject. As follows: It would be very difficult indeed to find a dentist who has contributed to more smiles around the globe than would-be actor, Alabama dentist, and newly-championed cult icon George Hardy.
For those who don’t know, Hardy was one of the lead human stars of 1990’s Troll 2; over the last few years, the shittastic fantasy-horror movie has rocketed in cult status and is a viable contender for a next-gen Rocky Horror Picture Show. Made for MGM by a crew of non-English speaking Italians, Troll 2 ironically exists today as an innocent, warped time-capsule of 1980s’ American summers, American culture, and genre films. In the role of the movie’s aloof dad, Michael Waits, Hardy is renown for the silly parental anecdote, “You can’t piss on hospitality!!” His performance is regarded by a growing number of cult cineastes to be one of the worst and most cherished of all time. Patton Oswalt, the Alamo Drafthouse, and Edgar Wright are counted as huge fans. The basic storyline is that of a generic Vacation knockoff meets slime and plot holes worthy of a drug trip: Hardy hauls his family (and a grandfather’s ghost) in a van to spend a summer in a dusty, desolate town called Nilbog. Goblin spelled backwards, Nilbog is populated by devilish country-folk and vegan Druid non-Trolls. In the end, the Waits fam defeats them and their leader, an STD-plagued witch, using a mystical bologna sandwich. Or do they?
Best Worst Movie, the new documentary about the reunited cast of Troll 2 and its international fandom, is a 2009 favorite of the /Film and /Filmcast staff. Directed by Troll 2‘s former “child star,” Michael Stephenson, much of Best Worst follows Hardy as he temporarily leaves his life as a small-town dentist to encounter the ups and downs of modern fame and his performance’s excavated notoriety. Thanks to a compelling story and the sharp twists and turns of real life, Best Worst can be enjoyed with or without having viewed the flick that spawned it. George called me from his lake house to discuss all of this while eating a sandwich. For our interview with Michael Stephenson, click here.
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