Robert E. Howard

Solomon Kane Movie

In an alternate universe, Solomon Kane would have been in theaters instead of the atrocious mess that was Season of the Witch. In another alternate universe, it would have been in theaters instead of Conan. Instead, this excellent, dark adventure from director Michael J. Bassett has hung around ever since Fantastic Fest 2009 for unknown reasons – none of which had to do with quality. Up until now, it’s only been available on import DVD, but with Bassett directing the forthcoming Silent Hill: Revelation 3D, there’s renewed interest in seeing his take on the famous Robert E. Howard character on the big screen. The trailer is a nice taste of the dirt and blood involved, as well as the stellar performance from James Purefoy. Grab a torch and check it out for yourself:

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My dad took my sister and me to a Sunday afternoon double feature once as a reward for being awesome kids. Presumably. I don’t recall how we convinced him to take us, but the bigger question here is do theaters even do double features anymore? Two movies for the price of one? Am I just that old? First up was Steven Spielberg’s E.T: The Extraterrestrial, and as expected all three of us loved it. The theater was packed, and as the end credits rolled it was clear that everyone would be staying for the second film as well. That second movie, inexplicably, was Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Conan the Barbarian. The first hint that this might not be a good idea struck my dad around the thirty minute mark when Conan enters the dwelling of a loose woman… and his fears were confirmed three minutes later when Arnold starts thrusting his bare-ass between the naked witch’s legs. Reluctantly, my dad stood, gave the witch’s sweaty flesh one last glance, and then led us on a long walk of shame up the aisle to the exit. I tell you that so I can tell you this… my dad would not have felt it necessary to do the same thing during the brand new incarnation of Robert E. Howard‘s classic tale. It’s far more cartoonish than offensive. And that’s not even the most surprising thing about the new movie… Marcus Nispel‘s Conan the Barbarian is also a fairly entertaining and enjoyable romp filled with […]

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Marcus Nispel is known as a work-for-hire type of director. The type of filmmaker that’s brought onto a project to craft a studio’s vision versus his own. Coming from the world of Platinum Dunes’ micromanagement, he’s worked on films that are not meant for auteurs. The projects he’s been a part of are calculated products, and Nispel is more than aware of it. The Friday the 13th and Texas Chainsaw Massacre remaker knows how the game goes for his franchise starter films. With Conan the Barbarian, Nispel got the chance to make a different type of blockbuster: a hard-R that features a misogynistic, barbaric lead. However, the director still was a “dog on many leashes,” as he described the process. Hopefully, Nispel still managed to create a version of Conan that lives up to the idea of an R-rated tent-pole release about a barbarian who thirsts for blood. Here’s what Nispel had to say about avoiding film school, making someone else’s vision, and how filmmaking is like raising children:

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In the rapid fire world of journalism, heh, sometimes you only get a few minutes with talent to get to the really great information. Then sometimes you only get a few minutes shoved into a tiny room overflowing with people shouting very general questions that offer little in the way of what we call “interesting information.” Today was one of those days when I got to share a room for about five minutes with Jason Momoa. Luckily the very tall and friendly star of Conan the Barbarian shot out some interesting information in this short period of time that we’re offering you up here.

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The prospect of Robert Rodriguez teaming with Rose McGowan for Red Sonja was an interesting one. Here’s a better one: Simon West coming off of a great, sleek bullet-based action movie The Mechanic and teaming with Amber Heard, fresh off of Drive Angry 3D and whatever awards she wins for Best Daisy Dukes ability. According to Empire, producer Avi Lerner claimed that Simon West had already gotten the gig, and that Amber Heard was at the top of Lerner’s list for the lead. Picture that. A veteran action director taking on the swords, sandals and sweat of Amber Heard in a chainmail handkerchief (that’s trying to pass as a bikini). Go ahead. Keep picturing it. It’s potential to kick several thousand cubits worth of ass is high, but at any rate, it seems like it could make Robert E. Howard fans happy.

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Movie lovers wanting to violently tear out their hair whenever an adult property is watered-down for the PG-13 cash will find themselves rejoicing next to the bearded miscreants who love drinking 60 Minute IPA from a giant novelty beer stein. That’s because FSR is organizing a march on Washington, DC to take back Hollywood from infantilizing films that should be sexed up instead of sexed down. Why are we doing it it Washington, DC instead of Hollywood? Ask the intern who bought the plane tickets. If these photos of the set of Conan are to be believed, we’ll also be inviting the fans of the upper half of the nude female form.

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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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After the dismal failure of the opening night film, Gentlemen Broncos, I needed something to kick off my festival in the traditional, beloved Fantastic Fest style; Solomon Kane obliged.

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published: 12.19.2014
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published: 12.18.2014
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published: 12.17.2014
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