Genre Films

It’s hard not to be excited for the eventual release of Aztec Warrior, seeing as it’s set to combine the skills of Black Dynamite’s delightful director Scott Sanders and character acting’s patron saint Luis Guzman for a ridiculous tale of warring Mexican professional wrestlers. But, due to some concept art for the film that Twitch posted today, suddenly everyone’s feelings about the film might be a lot more confused. Sure, this poster titled ‘Aztec Warrior vs. The Office Robot’ looks pretty dang awesome, but what the heck are we actually looking at? Yep, you guessed it, that’s an artist’s rendering of Luis Guzman wearing a suit and a lucha libre mask while facing off with Robocop’s haywire robot ED-209. The question that any sane person must be asking after seeing this image is, “What exactly does a giant robot have to do with a movie about warring professional wrestlers?” Well, for one thing it’s not appropriate to ask a sane question about what is clearly going to be an insane project, and, for another, the image starts to make a lot more sense if you’ve followed the film careers of Mexican wrestling legends like Blue Demon and Mil Mascaras, whose movies Sanders cites as being inspirations for what he’s doing with Aztec Warrior.

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Ridley Scott on Alien Set

Of the directors we’ve covered in this feature, Ridley Scott might be the most forward. He’s brash an unorthodox, and when speaks, you get the sense that he threw his filter in the trash years ago. At this point, brass buttons are well-deserved. Alien, Blade Runner, Black Rain, Thelma & Louise, Gladiator, Kingdom of Heaven, Black Hawk Down, and a popcorn bucket-full more prove the man’s vision as a storyteller. A movie fan from a young age, Scott first found success as a commercial director. His first flick, The Duelists, was hailed at Cannes but made it to few screens beyond. It was a science fiction journey featuring a seven-member crew woken from stasis to explore a strange signal that made him a major name, and this weekend he dives back into that world with Prometheus. So here’s a bit of free film school (for fans and filmmakers alike) from a bloke from South Shields.

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Kristen Connolly in

What can be said about a movie that you’re not supposed to talk about? A lot, apparently. Recently, Kristen Connolly, star of the new genre-bending horror film Cabin in the Woods sat down with us to talk about her role in the film and the production in general. She also let us in on a few secrets about her earlier career in soap operas and what she wears to cook eggs in the morning. At Kristen’s side was director Drew Goddard to throw in his two cents about how the rumor mill has been treating his movie and why he doesn’t like movie trailers or even posters. And there’s blood. Lots and lots of blood.

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Over Under - Large

John Huston’s 1941 detective tale The Maltese Falcon gets credit for a lot of things. Not the least of which is the launching of both Huston’s career and the career of its star, Humphrey Bogart. It also gets credit for beginning the longstanding and successful onscreen pairing of Peter Lorre and Sydney Greenstreet, and heck, more often than not it’s pointed to as the beginning of the entire film noir movement of the 40s. That’s a lot of acclaim for a pretty simple mystery story about a salty detective named Sam Spade trying to find the whereabouts of a statue shaped like a bird. The late 70s and early 80s were a time when genre films were king. Not only were the titans of the industry, George Lucas and Steven Spielberg, tearing up the box office with huge event franchises like Star Wars and Indiana Jones, but lots of other directors were getting in on the act as well. Joe Dante hit it big with horror/comedy Gremlins, Robert Zemeckis struck gold with sci-fi/comedy Back to the Future, and even directors like Walter Hill made their names doing exploitation stuff like The Warriors. But, despite having the schlocky grit of something like The Warriors and the goofy humor of something like Gremlins, Alex Cox’s 1984 film Repo Man remains a movie remembered only by those plugged into the pulse of cult film. It’s a trivia question, an obscure pick, and not a cherished childhood memory like all the others.

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If you somehow aren’t aware by now, we take Fantastic Fest pretty seriously ’round these parts. America’s largest genre festival will kick the doors off the hinges for its 7th incarnation this September, and your faithful crew here at Starship Reject could not be more excited. As always, we’ll be assembling our Fantastic Fest Death Squad to attempt the insane goal of reviewing each and every film that plays this year. Take a gander at some of the titles that have jumped out at us from this latest batch. First up is Lars Von Trier‘s Melancholia. Antichrist was huge at Fantastic Fest back in 2009, and the buzz out of Cannes and from a brief run in LA has me chomping at the bit to see Von Trier’s latest as soon as possible. While certainly polarizing, Von Trier is also an extremely versatile and uncompromising filmmaker, and I can’t wait to see him put his own unique spin on a story with sci-fi elements. You can bet the Rejects will be first in line for this one come September. You also know we’re looking forward to You’re Next, the new film from the team behind last year’s A Horrible Way to Die. While their previous effort wasn’t a perfect film, the last 20 minutes in particular were chilling and showed quite a bit of promise with their fresh take on serial killer celebrity. Adam Wingard returns to direct You’re Next, and genre favorite AJ Bowen joins a cast that includes […]

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Last week the programmers for this year’s Toronto International Film Festival introduced the main course of this year’s festival lineup, fifty-three films from all over the world, big and small, about any number of subjects. The list was so impressive I ran out and booked a hotel room. So, now that I’m financially locked in to heading up to the city of David Cronenberg and that rapper who called himself SNOW, I’ll be following future announcements by the festival pretty closely. Today brought a big one. Adding to their initial lineup of films, TIFF has added a bunch of documentary works by fairly large documentary filmmakers and a bunch of genre works from fairly deranged genre filmmakers. First let’s take a look at some of the docs. Thom Powers is the lead programmer for documentaries, and about this year’s lineup he said, “I’m thrilled at the large number of veteran filmmakers who have brought us new works this year. The line-up contains a wide range of memorable characters – crusaders, convicts, artists, athletes, nude dancers, comic book fans, dog lovers and more. Not to mention the epic 15-hour Story of Film. These documentaries will have audiences discussing and debating for months to come.” I don’t think I’ll have time for that fifteen hour one, I’ve only got five days in the city, but the one about nude dancers is definitely on my docket.

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Nicolas Winding Refn just won Best Director at Cannes, but apparently he won’t be going to Disneyland to celebrate. Maybe not surprising for a director who once told me that “art is an act of violence.” That’s also when he began talking about Only God Forgives, a western-style drama that he’d like to shoot in Asia. Why Asia? Because they have the best toys, and Refn is an avid toy collector. I’m not making that up. Read the interview for confirmation. Fortunately, Twitch has gotten a hold of a synopsis for the film, and it’s chock-full of all sorts of genre goodness:

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Moses and his friends live in the roughest part of South London. They all reside in an apartment building in an economically arrested neighborhood. Part of the “hoodie” culture that gives older Brits nightmares, Moses’s crew gets into more than its fair share of mischief – going so far as to mug a woman in the street. But when meteors begin raining from the sky, toting vicious aliens in their wake, the hoodies in the street may no longer be the most dangerous thing on the block. They teach us not to use the word “I” in reviews. The first person voice is said to be less professional and less in the mold of the old school of journalism. While this is not an unreasonable standard, Attack the Block spoke to me on such a deeply personal level and suppressing that experience does the film no justice. I don’t know what it is about Britain, but over the last ten years or so they have been churning out genre films that carry the keys to my soul and therefore find easy access. Not only that, but they seem to be released at just the perfect interval to find me at precisely the right moments in my life.

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Your weekly fix of great movies made before you were born that you should check out before you die. This week’s Old Ass Movie goes line for gritty line down the Western Genre Rules and twists them all up with a one-armed stranger, a Japanese farmer, a conspiracy, and a handful of deadly secrets. It’s Noir in the desert. Director John Sturges takes all of it and works it into a sweat out in the southwest at the tail end of WWII. As a silent, enigmatic man gets off a train that never runs, everyone is in for a Bad Day at Black Rock.

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ff-fantasticawards

Luckily we had a list of the winners sent to us because we didn’t remember all the names. Or where our pants went.

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FantasticFest2009

Gentleman Broncos! Journey to Saturn! Vampire Girl Vs. Frankenstein Girl! Trick ‘r Treat! A fantastic line up for a Fantastic Fest.

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Is the Resurrection of Mickey Rourke for Real?

He’s been a huge name in Hollywood…for the past month…can the actor make it stick or will his meteoric rise turn out to be a flash in the pan?

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Hunter Prey

To be honest, I had only heard of fan auteur director Sandy Collora once before today — but that is likely to change, as his film Hunter Prey looks pretty damn cool.

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Fantastic Fest 2014
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