Dolph Lundgren set to kill the unkillable in new Battle of the Damned poster
Thanks to The Expendables, Dolph Lundgren is more popular than he’s been in years -- and the actor’s not resting on his laurels, he’s striking while the iron is hot.
His newest project is the totally awesome-sounding Battle of the Damned, which finds Ivan Drago taking on not only zombies but killer robots too. This will probably turn out to be more of an action flick than a horror film, but do we really care? Doesn’t the thought of Lundgren destroying zombies and robots transcend the simple confines of genre, unless the genre being discussed is awesomeness? I think it does.
Here’s the latest poster for the film, which not only features a zombie and a killer robot, but also an oddly sad and pensive looking Lundgren. Needless to say, this could be the movie of the year. [Twitch]
Horror mash-up The Kitchen Sink finds a director
One of the most intriguing titles on the 2011 Black List (which is a list of the best unproduced scripts in Hollywood) was The Kitchen Sink – a tale of a zombie, vampire, and human who join forces to stop an alien invasion.
Sony has picked up the rights to the film, and last we heard (almost a year ago…) Jonah Hill was attached to direct. That didn’t come to pass, but Robbie Pickering has now reportedly landed in the director’s chair. Pickering was the helmer behind the Spirit Award-nominated Natural Selection. No word yet on casting, but I’ll keep an eye out for more news about this title. [Deadline]
Hammer lands Victorian thriller Gaslight – Speaking of the Black List, venerable British horror studio Hammer Films has acquired the rights to Gaslight – another title featured on the annual list. [STYD]
The script, written by newcomer Ian Fried, is being called a cross between Silence of the Lambs and From Hell. In it, Scotland Yard enlists the help of an imprisoned Jack the Ripper to hunt down a vampire stalking the streets of London. Sounds awesome.
Haunted Ship sails into production this spring – If you want to break into Hollywood and have no connections in the biz, then perhaps directing and releasing your own short films is the way to go. We’ve seen numerous self-produced mini-flicks gain Hollywood’s attention in the past few years, and Haunted Ship is the latest.
The brainchild of Jack Skyyler, Alex Zinzopoulos, and Joel Brook, Haunted Ship actually began life as a ten-minute short film entitled Infested Ship. In the film, which you can watch below, several friends plan to spend Halloween filming a Ghost Hunters-styled Halloween special aboard the haunted ship the USS Salem. Only problem is, they run afoul of the monsters inhabiting the vessel and are killed off one by one.
Haunted Ship will expand the idea to feature-length and make full use of the USS Salem, which has been featured on numerous paranormal investigation shows. The short film didn’t exactly blow me away, but I do like the setting. Maybe with more time – and hopefully more budget – Haunted Ship can chart a course toward cult classic status. [Dread]
Gruesome new REC: Genesis images hit the web – Director Paco Plaza will be going at it alone when REC: Genesis opens in Spain on March 30th. The co-director of the previous two entries in the popular foreign horror series has helmed the third installment solo, while partner Jaume Balaguero works on the fourth film.
To get everyone a little more hyped for the newest film’s debut, Plaza and his team have released some new stills from the feature. What we know so far is that this entry takes place not in the quarantined apartment building of the first two films, but instead at a wedding where “til death do us part” takes on a whole new meaning.
Check out one creepy new image below, then swing by Twitch for a full gallery.
I wasn’t a fan of the of Sony Picture’s Quarantine, a horror film that found Jennifer Carpenter and other assorted actors trapped in an apartment building while everyone around them turns into flesh-eating ghouls. The film wasn’t awful, but it was a fairly pedestrian remake of a fantastic Spanish horror film entitled [Rec]. Quarantine wasn’t as good as [Rec], and Sony basically made American audiences wait several years to discover that (they refused to release the original here until Quarantine had come and gone…)
So, when news emerged that a Quarantine sequel was in the works – one that would go straight to DVD – I wasn’t holding my breath. The guys behind [Rec] had already made a fantastic sequel, and I suspected that Quarantine: Terminal would just ape that plotline. Occasionally, I’m wrong.
Rather than just mimic the sequel to [Rec], Quarantine 2: Terminal stakes out for territory uniquely its own. This is both a positive and a negative, but for a direct-to-video flick it’s surprisingly effective.
Rather than return to the contaminated apartment building of the first film, Terminal moves the action to a commuter flight leaving LA while the events of the original are transpiring. The sparsely populated flight is looked after by flight attendants Jenny (Mercedes Masohn) and Paula (Bre Blair), but neither has been trained on how to effectively deal with a zombie-esque apocalypse on a plane (guess they never saw Flight of the Living Dead…). As things go bad on the flight, the crew is forced to land at a quarantined terminal where the monsters have more hiding places. From there, the title mostly becomes a stalk-and-kill flick.
It’s refreshing to see Quarantine: Terminal break away from the [Rec] series and do its own thing in the sequel. It’s clear that there’s no way the westernized version could compete with the Spanish originals, so why even keep trying? By going in a new direction, Terminal manages to forge its own cinematic identity – and it’s stronger for it. The loss of the found-footage angle is sure to disappoint some, but it works in the film’s favor.
What doesn’t work so much is the narrative’s decision to shift the cause of this monstrous outbreak. I won’t spoil it here, but I didn’t find the cause very inspiring. I like the idea behind the [Rec] films more.
If one can get past that and the fact that the cast of characters are wholly generic (petulant child, flight attendant with a heart of gold, mile high club wannabes, etc.), Quarantine: Terminal is a pretty good time. It’s got some solid jump scares and there are enough oozing body fluids and bleeding wounds to keep the casual gore fan engaged. It’s not as good as either of the [Rec] films, but it is good enough to have me interested in seeing another film and where they plan to take this potential franchise.
Horror on the Horizon
After the deluge of releases in January and early February, things have slowed down on the theatrical horror front. However, all is not lost – AMC’s The Walking Dead returns to the airwaves on Sunday night, so anyone who loves zombies and slow-moving soap operas should be thrilled. Hopefully the momentum of the mid-season finale carries over into the second set of episodes, because they sure wasted a lot of time looking for that little girl in the first six shows.