Iconic Characters


When an actor nails a certain role in his career it can be both a blessing and a curse. Anthony Perkins, for a no-brainer example, rarely picked up any roles after Psycho due to being typecast as the lunatic he so exquisitely played. That’s why it’s also great to know when actors have a sense of humor about their more iconic roles – taking up the burden of spoofing themselves so no one else has to.


Death Wish

Internationally loved cologne salesman, Charles Bronson, was already a massive star by the time he made Death Wish, but it’s his role as Paul Kersey that might be his most famous simply because he owns it completely. Sure he’s rugged and charismatic in The Dirty Dozen, he’s surprisingly vulnerable in The Great Escape, but in the Death Wish movies he’s in command and the streets bow down to him. So maybe a remake is in order? According to the LA Times, that’s the thinking of MGM and Paramount, and the partnership wants Joe Carnahan to clean up from fighting wolves for The Grey and come help them out with it. It must be tough coming out of bankruptcy, but MGM really has nothing except remake concepts going for them. That’s pretty damned sad. Of course, the big question with a remake like this (beyond the fact that remakes aren’t doing good business currently) is how to re-create something that tapped into a social feeling in the 1970s. The same heat just isn’t there, there is no grand panic in society of rising crime rates and a feeling of helplessness in the face of a bewildered law enforcement culture. In fact, police are so good at doing their jobs now, they even find time to pepper spray people in the face at random. So who becomes the villain here? And even better, who could possibly replace Charles Bronson as Paul Kersey? Jason Statham did the job recently for The Mechanic, but […]



There is a giant maze of odd circumstances when it comes to re-making, re-imagining, sequelizing or prequelizing a beloved property. You get into situations where you’re making a “prequel” to a movie while sharing the same name as said movie (see: The Thing). You also fall into a weird zone where you have to keep enough of the DNA of a project to earn the name while making enough of it different to accommodate for new fans (see: every reboot ever). Then, you have the strange personnel situation where you’re remaking a fan-favorite film, but your lead actor from years past is both 1) still alive and 2) too old to reprise the character. So what do you do? Do you re-cast some poor schlub into a role he can never own? Do you scrap the character entirely and raise eyebrows? According to Bruce Campbell, it’s the latter. Shock Til You Drop was keen enough to find some tweets from Campbell responding to the Ash Question looming over The Evil Dead remake. “No Ash character currently,” was the straightforward message. It still seems to leave the door open for Ash to walk through, but as of now, it sounds like the production team is attempting to remake a movie without its main character. It’s just one of those weird choices that must be made when walking the tightrope of remakes, but they’re damned if they do or don’t. There is no right answer here, but for now, it looks like […]



You never know. You just never know. I wonder if back in 1930, Universal Studios make up artist, Jack Pierce while constructing his “monster” make-up on actor Boris Karloff, had wondered if he was creating something transcendent. Something that would forever infuse itself into the western culture generation after generation, becoming the mental image that every brain would access when it heard the name “Frankenstein.” I bet he didn’t. I bet ol’ Jack had an assignment, did the best job that he could, collected his meager paycheck and was grateful to be working during the depression. Truly, that is the way it is. You never can tell what will connect with audiences. You just do the work, collect your salary, and thank God you are not pounding the pavement looking for your next job. Evil Dead II is one of those cult favorite films that so much of has been discussed and revealed through interviews, articles, supplemental videos on DVD’s, convention panels, etc., that I’m not sure what I can add to all of this information besides my individual view point. Forgive me if you’ve heard much of this information before; just know that what you are now reading is not being pushed through the filter of a reporter. I was there in Mark Shostrom’s South Pasadena studio. And although, again, I didn’t go to location in North Carolina, what I designed and sculpted at Mark’s would follow me to this day.



William Fichtner needs no introduction. He’s headed a sting operation against Ecstasy dealers, had Heath Ledger shove a grenade in his mouth, and now with Drive Angry, he plays a mysterious figure that’s short on talk and big on results. Especially if those results involve a baseball bat and the oh-so-fragile human skull. The Accountant is bound to be an iconic character in the same vein as Pulp Fiction‘s Winston “The Wolf” Wolfe. He’s an unflinching hunter not bound by the laws of this world (or the laws of physics), and Fichtner delivers the usual acting power that he’s known and applauded for. Fortunately, Fichtner was nice enough to take time out to speak with me about the role, his love of cars, and what KC and the Sunshine Band has to do with demons from Hell.


Disturbing Movie Santas

You can always re-watch Miracle on 34th Street for a little holiday magic, but if you’re tired of the same old sweet Santa Claus, there are plenty of options out there – movies made from sick people who chose to pervert Santa Claus into either something he’s not or something he used to be back when he stole bad little children and cooked them into stew. Man, Icelandic Santa myths are messed up. There’s Billy Bob Thornton in Bad Santa, the ridiculous Hulk Hogan Santa With Muscles, and the always iconic mall Santa from A Christmas Story, but this list isn’t for those who simply don the red costume. This list is for the man himself – the giant elf who flies around the world giving presents and coal, and drinking your milk. Oh, Santa. What have these filmmakers done to you?



For the first time on video, you can see with your own eyes as I wander around a parking lot and sit around in a bowling alley with a director who has the skills to become the next major franchise helmer.

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published: 01.28.2015
published: 01.28.2015
published: 01.28.2015
published: 01.27.2015

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