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Posts by Simon Powell

Jimmy Sangster (1927 - 2011)

Curse of Frankenstein quad

Jimmy Sangster, whose scripts for The Curse of Frankenstein and Horror of Dracula helped seal the reputation of Hammer Studios as the home of British horror in the 1950s and 60s has passed away at the age of 83.

Born in Wales in 1927, Sangster started his movie career aged 16 as a clapper boy, working his way through various jobs, before ending up as assistant director on Hammer adaptations of BBC Radio serials.

Eventually landing the job of scripting the studio's adaption of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, he made one significant change to the source material, moving the emphasis in the story from the monster to the creator, consequently giving Peter Cushing his breakthrough starring role, and Hammer a hit movie, both in the UK and the US.(read more...)

Ingrid Pitt (1937 - 2010)

Ingrid Pitt

Ingrid Pitt, best remembered to horror fans for her bloodthirsty and sexually charged roles in The Vampire Lovers, Countess Dracula, and The House that Dripped Blood has died at the age of 73. The BBC are reporting that she passed away in a London hospital after collapsing several days ago. (read more...)

TCSM vs. the BBFC

Texas Chain Saw Massacre quad

Texas Chainsaw Massacre Month. Many films have clashed with British censors over the years but The Texas Chain Saw Massacre does have its own unique place in the weird and wonderful history of censorship in the UK, having been present at several significant points in that story over the last four decades. In 1974, the Secretary of the British Board of Film Classification James Ferman condemned TCSM as "...the pornography of terror," but his plans to keep it completely out of UK cinemas were foiled on its initial release. Then, despite the best efforts of the BBFC to keep the film off the small screen, it went on to be a black market video nasty hit in the '80s, before the powers-that-be threw in the towel in the '90s, and granted it a legitimate, uncut release. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is a perfect example of a film that undermines their whole method of, and approach to, censorship as well as showing the extent to which the process is arbitrary, driven by political and media pressure, and riddled with class prejudice.

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"The Exorcist" Set for Blu-Ray Appearance

The Exorcist Re-Release poster

The Exorcist: The Version You've Never Seen Before on Blu-Ray later this year. The disc will hit shops on September 8th, but there is no news yet on what special features it will have, what the artwork will look like, or whether the original version will also get a high-definition makeover.

 

Le Cops vs Le Zombies - "La Horde" Trailer hits the net

La Horde

With the endless stream of remakes and sequels doing the rounds, it's nice to be able to report on something original for a change, with the news that the first trailer for French zombie apocalypse film La Horde has gone online.

According to the website Quiet Earth, the plot sees four corrupt Paris cops going on a rampage in a mobster's hideout after one of their colleagues is killed. However, they and the criminals must fight for survival after hordes of flesh eating creatures invade the building.(read more...)

"Predator" Reboot - The Hunt for a Director Is Over

Predator

Ain't it Cool News are reporting that Vacancy director Nimrod Antal has been hired to helm Robert Rodriguez's Predator reboot. Predators will see a group of humans trying to make it back home after getting trapped on the creatures' home planet.

Rodriguez, who is producing, wrote the original script back in 1994 when he was hired to put together a second sequel. This time he's using his Troublemaker Studios in Texas, in order to take advantage of the state's tax breaks.

Predators is due to be released in July next year.

"American Werewolf" to Howl Again?

American Werewolf in London still

Reuters are reporting that remake kings Dimension Films have picked up the rights for a new version of An American Werewolf in London.

The original, written and directed by John Landis, starred David Naughton and Griffin Dunne as two American backpackers hiking in the Yorkshire moors. After the pair are attacked by a werewolf, Naughton ends up terrorizing London while Dunne becomes a reanimated corpse, looking for ways for Naughton to kill himself and stop the curse.

The producers are reportedly trying to keep the comedy elements of the original, while making the story relevant to contemporary audiences. No writer or director has yet been hired for the new version, although Landis will apparently serve as executive producer.(read more...)

Argento Cuts Ties with New Thriller "Giallo"?

giallo-poster.jpg

Horror legend Dario Argento is reportedly distancing himself from his new thriller Giallo, with trade paper The Hollywood Reporter saying that he kept away from the recent premiere of his latest project at the Edinburgh Film Festival.

For the first time in his career, Argento is working as a hired director on a screenplay devised by others. American writers Jim Agnew and Sean Keller concocted Giallo as a tribute to the Italian director. In the film, which is set in Italy, Linda (Emmanuelle Seigner) fears her sister Celine (Elsa Pataky) may have been kidnapped. Inspector Enzo Avolfi (Adrien Brody) fears it's worse. The two team up to rescue Celine from a sadistic killer known only as Yellow.

Giallo, like Argento's previous film Mother of Tears, will be distributed in North America by the Weinstein Company, although no news yet on a release date.

Spielberg's "Oldboy" Remake Still on Course Despite Legal Wrangles

Oldboy

Another week, another remake story...

This time, Reuters are reporting that Steven Spielberg's plans to redo ultra-violent Korean revenge flick Oldboy with Will Smith in the lead role are still moving forward, despite a complex behind-the-scenes legal row between the publishers of the original manga and the producers of the original film.

Futabasha has filed a case against Show East in Seoul, alleging the Korean company never had the right to negotiate a remake. To futher complicate the story, Show East has shut down, its CEO, Kim Dong-Ju, has disappeared, and another firm involved in the production of the original, Big Egg, has also closed up shop.

DreamWorks, which snapped up the rights in November in the wake of its separation from Paramount, has so far not commented on the dispute.

"The Birds" and "Rosemary's Baby" in NOT Being Remade Shocker!

Birds poster

There is some good news of sorts if you were despairing of ever again seeing anything original at the cinema. The HorrorSquad website is reporting that Michael Bay's production company Platinum Dunes has apparently dropped plans to remake Hitchcock's The Birds and Roman Polanski's Rosemary's Baby.

In an interview with Brad Fuller and Andrew Form, the duo behind the recent Friday the 13th and Texas Chainsaw remakes, as well as the upcoming new version of Nightmare on Elm Street, both appeared to suggest that the overwhelmingly negative response on the Internet was a factor

On The Birds remake, which had been slated for a 2011 release with Naomi Watts in the Tippi Hedren role, Fuller is quoted as saying "As you guys know, we lay ourselves out there and get annihilated out there online all day long, and that movie just opens us up to a whole different level of annihilation."(read more...)

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