Argento’s Dracula gets a disappointing trailer – Last time we saw anything about Dario Argento’s upcoming 3D version of Dracula, it was a sizzle reel used to lure in buyers that somehow made its way online.
That clip was not good, but some of Argento’s staunchest supporters argued that it wasn’t fair to judge a film based on a clip the public wasn’t supposed to see – one featuring incomplete FX work and what appeared to be a stock music track.
That seemed fair, but now that the official first trailer has debuted, it’s safe to say that the film isn’t looking any better. This could be the worst trailer of 2012.
As a card-carrying Argento-phile of the first order, it pains me to see Argento turn in this sort of work. The new clip is every bit as campy as the sales teaser was -- filled with overacting, hokey looking sets, and CG imagery that would have looked terrible two decades ago. Sure, we’ll see it – if for no other reason than to watch Rutger Hauer chew the scenery as Van Helsing – but based on this clip, our expectations are incredibly low. Have a peek for yourself and let us know what you think.
Rob Zombie offers updates on various projects – Musician-slash-filmmaker Rob Zombie has reportedly finished work on his newest production, Lords of Salem, but he took time out from his busy schedule to talk about the future – and the state of several projects he’s supposedly working on.
Zombie dishes on the feature-length future of his Grindhouse faux trailer Werewolf Women of the SS and his intriguing Tyrannosaurus Rex – but the news doesn’t seem promising for either title.
"Well, neither of those are film projects I’m working on. Werewolf Women of the SS was just what it was; it was a fake trailer for a Quentin Tarantino movie. That’s all it was ever supposed to be; it was never going to be a full movie. Tyrannosaurus Rex is a script that I wrote, that I have, but it’s not planned anytime soon. We finished Lords of Salem, and I’ll be doing music for the next year and a half; within that year and a half maybe we’ll do Tyrannosaurus Rex, maybe not. I don’t know what the next movie is – we’ll figure that out."
So there you have it, Zombie fans – the future looks wide open for the filmmaker.
New Clip for The Loved Ones debuts – We’ve been waiting forever (and ever…) for Sean Byrnes’ The Loved Ones to finally get a theatrical release here in America. The wait is finally over, as Byrnes’ Aussie horror flick will finally debut here this summer.
In the meantime, here’s a new clip from the film – which one reviewer describes as Texas Chainsaw Massacre meets 16 Candles – about a young jilted girl who has her own private prom with the object of her affection and power tools. Funny, our proms weren’t this exciting…
Plot details about the film are being kept secret at this point, but astute horror fans will undoubtedly make the connection between the title and the film's South American setting and wonder if perhaps this Roth's homage to the classic Italian cannibal films of the late 1970s -- particularly Ruggero Deodato's harrowing Cannibal Holocaust.
While that's only a guess, it seems a given that Roth has some kind of jungle shenanigans lined up for us. Given his love of the genre, it wouldn't be shocking to see him launch a modern take on the cannibal film -- but we suspect The Green Inferno might be something a little more traditional than Deodato's found footage narrative. We'll bring you more details as they come to light.
IFC Films has been committed to bringing horror fans interesting and under-the-radar titles from around the globe – and that trend continues with their recent release of Alexandre Courtes’ entertaining Asylum Blackout
Originally released as The Incident (a title I preferred because it isn’t quite so on-the-nose…), Courtes’ film follows a group of misfit bandmates who spend their days working in the kitchen of an isolated sanitarium. Led by head chef (and lead singer) George (Rupert Evans), the group gets more than they bargained for when a freak power outage traps them inside the building – with a group of murderous inmates who immediately take over.
While some have been quick to label Asylum Blackout as just another torture porn flick, there’s more going on here than meets the eye. Courtes’ film features some impressive gore, but it’s hardly the sole purpose for the title’s existence. Asylum Blackout continually raises questions as to why the inmates are acting so violently, and whether or not one freaky looking patient is responsible for it.
Courtes offers up more questions than answers before arriving at an ending that’s honestly a bit of a letdown. A final twist feels forced and unnecessary and works against what had been an interesting and straightforward genre offering up until this point. It’s disappointing to see a young director (Asylum Blackout is Courtes’ first feature film) resort to this sort of thing – particularly when the film worked almost perfectly without the twist -- but I suspect he’ll learn from this moving forward.
Despite the narrative misstep of the twist ending, the rest of Courtes’ filmmaking technique is impressive. The film isn’t a large-budget affair, but the director makes the most of his limited funds and sets. The asylum is relatively non-descript, but once the power goes out that starts to work to its advantage – what was plain and dull in the light of day becomes much more ominous and confusing in the dark – especially when psychotic patients could be lurking around any corner.
Rupert Evans is the film’s other strong point. Evans brings a likable everyman quality to the role of George. He respects the patients in the asylum – insisting on serving them properly marinated cuts of meat when he could shovel gruel on a plate and call it a day and no one would say a word in protest. Evans is the film’s emotional center, and because we respect him and come to care about him, it keeps the tension level high. We want George to be okay – but it’s an outcome that’s completely in doubt once the film gets rolling.
The rest of the ensemble cast isn’t given as much to do in the narrative, but each acquits themselves nicely. Each character is largely an archetype as opposed to a fully fleshed out individual, but the performers make the most of it. Richard Brake, in particular, deserves recognition for his creepy portrayal of inmate Harry. Whether his portrayal of a disturbed psychiatric patient is medically accurate or not, it’s hard to deny that he’s terrifying in the part anyway.
Unfortunately, endings are the things audiences always remember – and as previously mentioned, the ending of Asylum Blackout leaves a bit to be desired and does lessen the film’s impact. That being said, there’s a lot to like in this feature – between the performances, the direction, and the onscreen FX and violence. Horror fans will want to keep an eye on Alexandre Courtes – it appears as though he could have a bright future making horror films. Horror hipsters will want to catch this one now, so they can say they saw it Cortes became a big deal.
Horror on the Horizon
If you need a brief respite from superhero movies before The Dark Knight Rises, you’re in luck. May 25th sees the arrival of Oren Peli’s (Paranormal Activity) new genre offering, Chernobyl Diaries. It should be interesting to see what Mr. Peli brings to the table in this tale about a group of thrillseekers stranded in the ruins around the Chernobyl nuclear power plant…
Home video fans have more options as usual – including the arrival of Hammer’s The Woman in Black and the uncut version of festival hit A Serbian Film on May 22nd. Talk about opposite ends of the spectrum…
The pickings are a little slimmer the next week, although audiences will finally get an opportunity to see last year’s excellent horror film/domestic drama We Need to Talk About Kevin from the comfort of their couches. While Kevin isn’t a straight horror film, it’s likely to appeal to any fright fans who like movies about deeply disturbed children.