29 July 2008
Today we wish Molly a happy birthday. Being that she came from an animal shelter, we had to guess her actual d-o-b, but since she was presumed to be about six months old when we got her, we backtracked and decided on July 29th. Had she not passed away too young in 2005, she would have been 14 today.
28 July 2008
I love the unique art of former "Daredevil" artist Alex Maleev--his next project is a series of animated "webisodes" created by Stephen King, based upon his short story "N", which will appear in the "Just Before Sunset" anthology later this year. A trailer and the first episode of the 25-part series--King's latest collaboration with Marvel along with the "Dark Tower" prequels and the upcoming comics adaptation of "The Stand"--is now available online at Nishere.com.
27 July 2008
The two stories I've illustrated for Mr. Comics' upcoming anthology "Sex, Violence, Suffering, And Wickedness" (edited by Ty Templeton) are now available to preview online at Bootcamp Comics official site (click here for "Baby, Bunny, And Mum", and "A Different Class".)
25 July 2008
Yeah, I know--we've heard this one before. But this time, the news is a lot more encouraging, if not entirely convincing: a fellow with the dubious name of "Sid Terror" (presumably, because "Rob Zombie" was taken) claims to have held, in hand, a long-lost nitrate print of Tod Browning's legendary "lost" silent classic, which headlined Lon Chaney, Sr. Although it's been said that the last known print was burned in a fire in the MGM vaults, and also that a private collector owns it and has been waiting for its copyright to lapse, Terror has revealed that he came upon the film in the late 80s, when he was tipped off that it was filed under the title "The Hypnotist" in a film storage facility owned by Turner Entertainment.
Now, Ted Newson, a horror "historian", confirms that he, too, came upon the catalogue entry for "The Hypnotist" (co-labeled "London After Midnight" years earlier by "Terror") while employed at MGM in 2004. He tried to interest his employers, and some higher-ups at Turner into restoring the film, but with no success.
Now comes dire news that the storage facility housing the alleged print has been leased to new tenants and that its contents have been transferred to Warner studios and UCLA. And according to a recent search of the new database, the film has been lost again.
(Damn, Sid--you sound like an honest guy and all, but why the hell didn't you just tuck the reels under your shirt?!)
Read Terror's detailed account here at Horrordrunx. Just a few months back, nearly 30 minutes of lost footage from Fritz Lang's "Metropolis" were found, so who knows? TCM's stills-based "recreation" back in 2002 was a noble experiment, but generations have waited long enough for the real thing...
23 July 2008
This year's Midnight Madness lineup has been announced! Mr. Geddes and company offer up the usual 10-day extravaganza of international weirdness, plus, Jean-Claude Van Damme! Who, I guess, could qualify for "international weirdness" these days.
Jean-Claude Van Damme stars as Jean-Claude Van Damme in the comeback story of one of the biggest action stars in movie history. When a trip to the post office lands the down-and-out Van Damme smack-dab in the middle of a dangerous heist, the “Muscles from Brussels ” is exposed as an ordinary guy, complete with fears, contradictions and hopes. What can he do when the gun pointed to his temple isn't filled with blanks? JCVD finds himself at the turning point of his life as a presumed hero.
A horrific take on John Ford’s The Searchers, director JT Petty (S&MAN, TIFF’s Midnight Madness 2006) tells the story of a band of men who, in 1879, set out upon the plains of Dakota to find and recover a family of settlers mysteriously taken from their farm. Expecting the offenders to be a fierce band of natives, the group prepares for a routine battle. But, upon discovering strange holes in the ground, they soon realize that the real enemy is stalking them from below.
In this kinky, funny and chilling exploration of friendship, morality and the horror of growing up, two teen boys discover the naked body of a long-forgotten girl in a sealed basement of an abandoned asylum. They quickly realize something far more mysterious is at play when the girl, who they presumed to be dead, begins to exhibit signs of life. When they decide to keep her, their twisted teen fantasy soon erupts into a desperate and dangerous battle of wills between friends. As word of their dark secret threatens to spread, the boys are forced to decide how far they are willing to go to get what they want, and at what cost.
A serial killer is loose at a medical school in Spain , and nobody suspects that the culprit is Barbara, a sexy, fashion-obsessed student whose hunger for blood can't be satiated by what she gets in anatomy class! She’s Paris Hilton with the mind of Hannibal Lector. But when her fellow students’ experiment to discover the killer's identity goes terribly awry, Barbara's victims start coming back to life. Add in some zombies and chainsaws for a bloody spin on the term “fashion victim.”
Detroit Metal City
Based on the hugely popular manga series, Detroit Metal City tells the tale of Souichi, a sensitive and wimpy music geek who came to Tokyo from the country with the dream of becoming a fancy pop musician. But bubblegum dreams are crushed to a bloody pulp when Souichi is forced to front the satanic death metal band Detroit Metal City (DMC), whose trademark is eccentric makeup and destructive performance. Winning recognition as one of Japan ’s top acts, DMC is challenged to a death metal duel by rock icon Jack IL Dark (KISS’s Gene Simmons). Souichi must battle for the title of death metal king while keeping Ms. Aikawa, his long-time crush with an affinity for shiny happy pop, unaware of his double identity.
Not Quite Hollywood
Free-wheelin’ sex romps! Blood-soaked terror tales! Blazing action extravaganzas! The same cultural explosion that gave birth to Australian art classics also spawned a group of demon-children – maverick filmmakers who thumbed their noses at authority, made their own rules and, in the process, unleashed films such as Razorback, The Man from Hong Kong, Patrick and Mad Max. A rip-roaring documentary on Australian genre cinema of the 70s and 80s, Not Quite Hollywood features Jamie Lee Curtis, Dennis Hopper, Stacy Keach, Quentin Tarantino and other celebrities sharing their love and memories of an unjustly forgotten cinematic era.
North American Premiere
When they discover the body of a murdered Canadian backpacker buried in the woods, three high school students trace the crime back to a suspected killer. Taking full advantage of their situation, they attempt to blackmail their suspect into killing again. Their target? A brutal bully – recently released from prison – who has victimized them all their lives. But as their scheme lures them into a violent and sadistic world, the vulnerable teens soon discover that rather than destroying their childhood nightmare, they have created one far deadlier.
North American Premiere
Starring martial arts dynamo Jija Yanin, Chocolate reunites the director and action choreographer of the breakout Midnight Madness hit, Ong-Bak Muay Thai Warrior (TIFF 2003). Exiled from a powerful Thai crime syndicate following a passionate but forbidden love affair with a Japanese gangster, cancer-stricken Zin struggles to raise her shy, autistic daughter Zen. When she learns of some outstanding debts owed to her mother that, if collected, would pay for much-needed medical treatment, Zen sets out to collect from dangerous and reluctant debtors, soon realizing that years obsessively playing video games and watching action movies have transformed her into a martial arts savant.
North American Premiere
Inspired by Manga and video game imagery, Eden Log is a visually stunning sci-fi vision of a tomb-like underworld. A man regains consciousness at the bottom of a deep cave. He has no idea of how he got there, nor can he determine what happened to the dead man whose body he wakes up next to. Only one thing is certain – he must escape the menacing creatures that are pursuing him, and climb back to the surface through a cemetery-like world that has been abandoned by a mysterious organization called Eden Log.
North American Premiere
One night in the early 1970s, Lucie, a little girl missing for over a year, is discovered wandering by the side of a country road, unable to say anything about what has happened to her. Hospitalized, Lucie slowly learns how to live again with the help of Anna, a victim of terrible abuse at the hands of her own family. In no time, they are inseparable. Fifteen years later, with the help of Anna, Lucie sets out to wreak vengeance on the family she believes to be responsible for her capture and torture. A visceral and deeply disturbing exploration of what it means to be pushed to the limits of human endurance, Martyrs redefines the nature of horror cinema.
Check out the official site here. Remember, TIFF 2008 runs September 4-13!