(Welcome to Movie Mixtape, where we find cinematic relatives and seek out interesting connections between new releases and older movies that allow us to rethink and enjoy what’s in our theaters as well as the favorites on our shelf. In this edition: The Mummy.)
It’s difficult to overstate how popular mummy movies have been over the years. From 1932 to today, every few decades, a new mummy craze would lift its ragged head from the tomb to shock and amaze before slinking back off into the shadows.
Boris Karloff and Universal definitely capitalized on it, but they have Nefertiti to thank. The discovery of her bust in 1912 kicked off modern Egyptomania, which was sustained by the further discovery of King Tutankhamen’s tomb in 1922. Tabloids fabricated and twisted a “Mummy’s Curse” into existence, which became the basis for the first wildly popular film, as well as the foothold for dozens of films over the next century. Tom Cruise leads the next installment, which promises to be the first in an extended Dark Universe when it hits theaters this Friday. Tough luck, Brendan Fraser. There’s a new kid in town. Who’s pretty old.
While we see if Universal can bring mummies back to life, let’s look at some other movies to bring out of the crypt.
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This Friday, Gallery 1988 in Los Angeles will hold the fifth Crazy 4 Cult art show, an annual exhibition which I’ve called the super bowl of pop culture art. I am so jealous of all my fellow Los Angelans who are able to attend this week. I’ll be away in Texas, but I can’t complain as I’ll be bringing back my girlfriend with me (the big move, exciting). The great guys at G1988 have given me a bunch of art from the show to premiere on the site.
After the jump you will find part one of our preview, which includes a new Back to the Future-inspired piece by the great Eric Tan, Monster Squad and Better Off Dead pieces by /Film favorite Dave Perillo, an incredibly multi-level Scott Pilgrim vs. The World piece by Jim Horwat, Alex Pardee‘s tribute to a new cult classic, Rubber, and more. So what are you waiting for?
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Platinum Dunes producer Brad Fuller has reappeared on Twitter over the weekend to offer a couple updates on future sequels of A Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot. Find out what he said, after the jump.
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In this week’s episode of the /Filmcast, David Chen, Devindra Hardawar, and Adam Quigley get caught up on Breaking Bad, celebrate Chris Evans’ selection as Captain America, and respond predictably to news that Platinum Dunes is remaking The Monster Squad. Special guest Dave3 joins us from Geeks of Doom.
Congratulations to the winners of our Kick Ass contest! Alex S. from Laguna Niguel, CA, John C. from Tacoma, WA, and Chris H. from Irvine, CA will be receiving copies of Kick Ass: Creating the Comic, Making the Movie. Thanks to Titanbooks for sponsoring the contest!
You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. Join us next week on Sunday night (tentatively) at 9 PM EST / 6 PM PST at Slashfilm’s live page as we review How to Train Your Dragon.
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Fred Dekker‘s 1987 movie The Monster Squad, written by Dekker and Shane Black, is a film that couldn’t be made today. Not because it was groundbreaking, but because it has a blend of enthusiastic naivite, fun effects, and young actors that don’t look like they were cloned from the same attractive DNA and grown in a vat hidden in Santa Monica.
Which means, of course, that a remake is happening. Almost two years ago Rob Cohen, who produced the original, mentioned that the rights to the film were back at Paramount and that he was working on a deal with the studio to produce a remake. We haven’t heard anything since then, but now a company is indeed working with Cohen on the remake: Michael Bay’s Platinum Dunes. Read More »
The bad news is that Hollywood has decided to rape your childhood once again. Rob Cohen revealed to Bloody Disgusting that he will be producing a remake of classic 1987 movie Monster Squad for Paramount. If there is anyone out there remotely excited by the idea of a Monster Squad remake, let me remind you that Cohen has directed some of the worst films of recent years: xXx, Stealth, The Skulls, and from I’ve heard, The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor.
The good news is that Cohen has no plans to direct the remake. Little known fact, Rob Cohen produced The Wiz, the African American adaptation of The Wizard of Oz starring Michael Jackson and Diana Ross. Sidenote: that was a horrible horrible film. I wouldn’t trust anything with his name attached to it now-a-days.
Co-written by Shane Black, and directed by Fred Dekker, Monster Squad followed a group of young teenagers who must stop Dracula and his classic monster minions (who were re-imagined by a team of special effects artists including Stan Winston) from taking over the world. The film has become a cult classic to the ‘80’s generation. Lionsgate released a two-disc 20th anniversary Monster Squad special edition DVD in October 2007.
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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