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REVIEW: Halloween (Unrated Director’s Cut, 2007)

October 9, 2014 5 comments
Halloween (2007)Directed by: Rob Zombie
Produced by: Malek Akkad, Rob Zombie, Andy Gould
Written by: Rob Zombie
Edited by: Glenn Garland
Cinematography by: Phil Parmet
Music by: Tyler Bates
Starring: Malcolm McDowell, Scout Taylor-Compton, Tyler Mane, Sheri Moon Zombie, Daeg Faerch, Danielle Harris, Brad Dourif, William Forsythe, Kristina Klebe, Hanna R. Hall, Bill Moseley, Dee Wallace, Pat Skipper, Daryl Sabara, Skyler Gisondo, Jenny Gregg Stewart, Danny Trejo
Based on characters created by John Carpenter and Debra Hill
Year: 2007

 

Good grief. I knew this movie was going to be bad just by virtue of being one of the many films from the last decade to be a remake of a classic horror film, but this was ridiculous. Yes, after eight films – one of those being a reboot, and the final being a sequel to that reboot – Hollywood saw fit to throw the Halloween series under the bus and give it the straight up remake treatment with none other than Rob Zombie at the helm. Normally, it would be cause for concern if you had heard that a musician was taking over directing duties for a film franchise, but I’d heard that Rob Zombie had an admirable enough talent for directing horror films with The Devil’s Rejects, and so it wasn’t exactly as illogical as it may initially have sounded when he was hired to write and direct this movie. That being said, however, whatever talent he may have displayed there is noticeably absent from his remake of Halloween. Read more…

Review: “The Thing” (1982)

October 17, 2012 7 comments
Directed by: John Carpenter
Produced by: David Foster, Lawrence Turman, Wilbur Stark, Stuart Cohen
Written by: Bill Lancaster (screenplay)
Cinematography by: Dean Cundey
Music by: Ennio Morricone, John Carpenter (uncredited)
Starring: Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley, Keith David, Donald Moffat, Charles Hallah, Joel Polis, T.K. Carter, Richard Dysart, Donald Moffat, Thomas G. Waites, Richard Masur, Peter Maloney, David Clennon, Charles Hallahan
Based on the novella Who Goes There? by John W. Campbell
Year: 1982

 

The Thing is one of those movies I dismissed as a kid as yet another stupid monster movie. Looking back, I know exactly where this prejudice came from. Apparently that was the general consensus upon release, too. The film opened up against E.T. and Blade Runner and subsequently lost a good chunk of change from movie going audiences who wanted to see aliens and sci-fi adventures on the big screen. A bunch of scientists in the Antarctic being attacked by an alien creature doesn’t exactly compare to the wonderment of a little boy befriending an alien visitor or a detective seeking out robot fugitives on paper, when you think about it, huh? Critically, it suffered similarly, with the film’s nihilism and grotesque special effects not exactly endearing The Thing to critics of the time. Much like me, perhaps, popular opinions did gradually turn around, and now the film is recognized for its better qualities, chief among them the very same nihilism and special effects that were so controversial for their times. Read more…

Review: “Halloween” (1978)

October 20, 2011 10 comments
Director: John Carpenter
Produced by: Debra Hill, John Carpenter, Kool Lusby, Irwin Yablans, Moustapha Akkad
Written by: John Carpenter, Debra Hill
Starring: Donald Pleasence, Jamie Lee Curtis, P.J. Soles, Nancy Loomis
Music by: John Carpenter
Year: 1978

 

The original Halloween was a low budget affair. Extras were barely paid and culled from those who were already living on site in South Pasadena, California. The actors themselves were receiving significantly lower paychecks compared to what they could have made in some other production.

Despite being a fairly well-known actress today, Jamie Lee Curtis was a young, relatively unknown TV actress when this movie was made, best known possibly for being the daughter of Psycho scream queen Janet Leigh and Some Like it Hot icon Tony Curtis. Naturally, this meant a significantly smaller paycheck than what she’d get in just a few years’ time. The prolific Donald Pleasence, a name I had known but needed to look up, was the best known actor in the film at the time, known for his roles on TV and his role as the first Ernst Blofeld in You Only Live Twice, but even he had to take on a significant pay cut compared to his usual for his role as Dr. Loomis in this film. Read more…

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