Acknowledging the blood, sweat & tears that went into making a head explode on film, among other things.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Logan’s Run Remake? Why the hell not?

Many times have I raised my fist in anger over unnecessary remakes. I would often question the existence of creation for letting some douche remake Yellow Submarine or cry in my pillow over the thought of The Thing remake. (Yes, I know it’s a prequel, but you can call a turd anything you want, it will still be a turd) I hated Visionary Director© Zack Snyder’s Dawn of the Dead remake even though it got lavish praise. He took what creeped me out in the original and made it hip and lame and not creepy at all. To sum up, most remakes give me a Natalie Portman face...

Not all remakes are bad of course. Scorsese’s Cape Fear was excellent as was Savini’s remake of Night of the Living Dead. More recently, True Grit in my opinion surpassed the original. This is pretty much how I feel with a possible Logan’s Run reinvention.

Logan’s Run is definitely a flawed film. It was birthed in an era that could have cared less about sci-fi films and the effects greatly suffered because of this. Somewhere between 2001: A Space Odyssey and Star Wars there was a great sci-fi malaise. Hollywood was young and edgy. The public wanted strong social commentary veiled in strained relationships and city streets, not futuristic tube transports and cardboard robots. Logan’s Run did well with the commentary; it was in the execution where it faltered.

Personally I enjoy the film, effects and all. It’s a great reminder to a time right before Star Wars where visual effects were new and experimental. The miniatures were blatant, the set design was painfully 70’s and Box… was, um… boxy.

So, why a remake? Why not? Logan’s Run is the type of film that sits somewhere between camp, cult and classic but doesn’t adhere to any one of those. It’s not sacred enough to warrant legions of angry Loganites to burn Hollywood to the ground and it’s not horrible enough to poke and laugh at. It would fit nicely into today’s blockbuster action sci-fi fare with dystopian deep political glazing. The actors would have to be young which is what Hollywood would do anyway. Stick Michael York as the Peter Ustinov character and you’d have yourself a nice homage to the original.

My only reservation on this idea would be their almost guaranteed overuse of CGI. I prefer to be a hopeless romantic and believe that the practical would outweigh but we all know that thinking is folly! FOLLY I SAY!

As long as they keep Box CGI free, that’s all I can ask for. You gotta pick you battles.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m late for Carousel.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Spotlight on: An American Werewolf In London (1981)

I try to stay away from this film and The Thing (1982) because, what else is there to say about them? They are the top dogs of the practical effect universe. I won’t go into too much detail about the craft because I have a few rare video clips I found on youtube that I lumped together for all to marvel at. I will however talk about my “first time” watching the film.

It was around 1986-1987 when I saw AAWIL. I was around 13/14 years old and knee deep in Fangoria mags. I went weekly to the video store and rented 5 or 6 movies at once. I usually watched them all in a weekend. I loved horror, although I was more into cheesy mainstream horror more than I wanted to admit. (I didn’t discover the Italian masters until much later)

I always saw clips of AAWIL mostly from Terror In The Aisles (one of the greatest compilation films never ever to see the light of day again, unless you have the VHS and a working VCR) so when I finally rented it, I was prepared for some gore galore.

What I didn’t expect is at first viewing I was a little turned off towards the end. Believe it or not, I felt the finale in Piccadilly Square was a little too dark and relentlessly violent. I don’t know what it was, but at that point I was turned off to gore films. Seeing people getting mauled by the wolf, smashing through windshields, getting ran over, guts and skulls popping under tires, I was a little nauseated. And the depressing ending was just a little too much for me at the time. Not that I was too young, I think I just watched the film at the wrong time. The disgust was short lived obviously because growing up and understanding John Landis’ twisted mind NOW and seeing the comical absurdity of the scene, it’s genius. I’m sure I’ll get shit for being a little pussy at the time, but that was the way I felt. It was weird.

It’s definitely a fulfilling film. It holds up very well by today’s standards, which I think is due mainly because of the humor. It’s a clever film… and Mr. Landis is one clever bastard.

Below are some great video clips of Rick Baker, John Landis & Co. for you to enjoy…

I love how Landis fetches coffee for Naughton and really observes Baker working. He is a true fan of movie magic.

This is a great featurette which was produced circa 1981

This is fantastic. The actual animatronic mid-transformation wolf head in action!

Bumpy back morphing action! God, I love this stuff so.

Finally here’s the Masters of Horror special which is mainly all about AAWIL.

Have a great weekend and STAY OFF THE MOORS!

Monday, January 3, 2011

80's Film Documentary

Apparently there is a documentary in production focusing on the special effect heavy films of the 80's. For people my age who lived their impressionable childhood straight through this highly imaginative era, this film aims to be extremely entertaining.

Also, if anyone who worked on any of the films that are showcased, I’m sure the filmmakers would love to hear from you.

You can contact the director via Facebook