Monster Movie

Boiling Point

Previously, on Boiling Point… I bitched about Hollywood not releasing enough horror movies in October. This week, I’m taking aim at them for not releasing any monster movies – pretty much ever. I’ve come to ask where all the monsters have gone. Monster movies have a special place in any horror fan’s heart. Whether you’re a fan of giant mutated ants, hybrid beasts, strange aliens, or any crazy old weird thing someone dreamed up that crawled out of a swamp and raped a cheerleader, monsters are awesome. The bigger, badder, and bloodier the better. It seemed for years that even if you weren’t looking for a monster, one would come out of the darkness and tear your face off. Nowadays, you’re hard pressed to get your shit packed in by a mythical beast even if you go defecating on Native American burial grounds.

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Look, Shawn Levy directed Night at the Museum. He’s a busy guy and he doesn’t have time to be jerked around. That’s why two movie news stories that have come out recently have it looking like he could be done with the long gestating but still not accomplished Fantastic Voyage remake that James Cameron’s company is producing along with Fox. THR recently reported that there is a sticking point between Levy and the producers, where he believes that the film needs an A-list actor to star and he doesn’t want to go forward without getting one signed. For their part, the producers seem less concerned and just want to make the material. Apparently Levy has had recent meetings with Will Smith and if Smith bites the hook and agrees to make the movie it could still be on, but if not, Levy is likely to leave for other projects. Enter a report from Deadline Andermatt that Fox also has a Frankenstein project brewing, with a script written by John Landis’s son Max, that they want to rush into production. Why do they want to rush it into production? Because pretty much everybody has a project in the works about Frankenstein coming to life and beating people to death with his big cold meat paws, so they want to be at the front of the pack when they start hitting theaters. Apparently they want Levy to helm the thing, so if Cameron and crew don’t want to lose him to a […]

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I’m not the biggest Guillermo del Toro fan on the planet. I love Pan’s Labyrinth, but a lot of his more popcorny genre work doesn’t really resonate with me. If he said that he was swearing off horror movies and action franchises for the rest of his career in favor of focusing on dark dramas, I would be ecstatic. But that isn’t the sort of filmmaker he is, and we’re probably all lucky for that, because even I’m getting excited about how awesome his upcoming monster movie Pacific Rim sounds. Lately del Toro has been making all the right moves to turn me around and get me amped up for this project. First he hired Idris Elba to replace Tom Cruise in the starring role. Talk about a major upgrade. Then he went around town making comments about how big and unmodest this film was going to be, how he was approaching it like a big kid having fun, and how it was going to feature mankind creating mech suits to battle giant monsters that come out of the ocean. I don’t know what the best way to get a geek’s attention is, but promising monsters fighting mech suits just might be it. And now he’s in talks to cast Willem Dafoe in a high profile role.

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Director Andre Ovredal has been fairly silent about his next project, only going as far as saying it’ll involve “American mythology,” but it looks like an English-language remake of his Troll Hunter will be going through in an attempt to frighten people who get scared at the sight of subtitles. According to Deadline Aust-Agder, Chris Columbus – no stranger to fantasy – will be taking on the remake as a producer. He notes the visuals as the main reason to mine the material for a remake, saying it “was a visceral, thrilling, cinematic rock and roller coaster ride of a movie. Visually, there are scenes in this film that American audiences have never seen. We want to introduce an international audience to this amazing moviegoing experience.” It seems obvious that an international audience can already enjoy the amazing moviegoing experience by going to see the movie, but it seems clear that Columbus is trying to get his version into more theaters and to sell it bigger overseas than the Norwegian original did through Magnolia. When I spoke with Ovredal about the possibility of a remake, he said, “I think that would be fun. I’d love to see that.” It’s unclear as to whether he’ll be involved in any capacity, but it looks like he’ll get his wish. Hopefully a big Hollywood version will spark even more interest in the original.

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There’s nothing quite like returning to the old neighborhood to find that your childhood playground hasn’t been torn down. You run your hand along rope ladders deemed “unsafe” by modern standards, feel the crunch of pebbles beneath your feet that did more to cut than soften a fall, sit in the swing and think for a moment about jumping out at the highest point. Super 8 is the cinematic equivalent of unearthing a time capsule and finding everything inside is still impossibly shiny and new. It’s impossible to remove the film from its own nostalgia, except for its intended audience of children discovering this type of filmmaking for the first time (and maybe even seeing their first Amblin logo). That’s a pretty powerful thing. With everyone clamoring to tap a market of adults eager for their own past while simultaneously getting kids into seats, J.J. Abrams‘s latest is one of the few that actually succeeds.

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We live in cynical times, so it (at least seems) like a rare thing when a sequel doesn’t immediately follow a box office-ly successful movie. It’s even enough to cause a single tear when a filmmaker or producer says essentially what fans would say when it comes to the money grab. Cloverfield was a hit – the highest grossing movie of any January release when it came out. It propelled director Matt Reeves and J.J. Abrams into the world of movies, so it seemed obvious that a sequel would start rolling immediately. It didn’t. And it may not ever. Matt Reeves can explain why, and it’s a statement that deserves applause.

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Junkfood Cinema

Welcome back to Junkfood Cinema; the only way to win is not to play. Well sucks to be you my friend because you followed a search engine rabbit hole right into the fleshiest film feature this side of Fat Guys at the Movies. This is the internet column that gives far more credit to certain films than they probably deserve. Every Friday I roll out the red carpet (well, more like brown shag carpet fraught with Nesquik stains) for one of my favorite bad films and proceed to roast it like a vulgar, slightly less inebriated Dean Martin. But, like any good roast master, I wrap it up by lavishing praise upon my beloved stinker. No matter how bad a film may be, and how completely aware of its faults one may be,  there is usually something to love about it. To cap off this roast, I will pair the film with an appropriate snack food item to prove once and for all that apart from being fundamental reading is fattening. Today’s treat: Prophecy

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Deep in the heart of the Norwegian woods, there’s a giant menace standing tall against the landscape. That menace is power lines, and the people hate the power lines. However, they’re completely necessary to keep the trolls at bay. Troll Hunter is a found-footage style faux-doc that sees a crew of young teenagers (whose names matter about as much as their characters) heading out into the dangerous woods to track down the guy on the government dole who manages the troll population in secret. Hans reluctantly takes them into his world, and soon, they’re running for their lives and praying that the UV lamps on the top of his truck still have some battery life left in case they need to turn a 20-story baddie to stone.

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The Coroner

Next in line for our coverage of the After Dark Horrorfest is the monster flick Unearthed. I’ll be honest, this is one of my favorite After Dark films because it was a lot of fun for me, despite its cheese factor.

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This just in: J. J. Abrams’ monster movie will be called Cloverfield. Not probably, not maybe (and not very scarily), but definitely.

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published: 10.30.2014
B-
published: 10.29.2014
D+
published: 10.27.2014
C-
published: 10.24.2014
C-


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