The Film Detective (TFD), a classic media streaming network and film archive which restores classic films, is offering a brief escape from these challenging times with the light-hearted side of classic film and television.
During the month of April, TFD will run classic films by the likes of Charlie Chaplin, The Three Stooges, Buster Keaton and Dean Martin & Jerry Lewis.
The Overlook Film Festival announced its lineup today and one of the key announcements was that legendary independent writer-director-producer Roger Corman would receive the festival’s first Master of Horror Award.
The festival has an impressive feature film and shorts lineup – including four world premieres (Blood Drive, Still/Born, Capture and Primal Screen) and such anticipated films as Lady Macbeth, Metal Machine Kodoku and The Untamed.
There will also be a festival-long immersive horror game and much more.
Over its inaugural weekend, the Overlook Film Festival will present 37 films (20 features and 17 shorts from 16 countries) – including a secret closing film described as ‘a hotly anticipated film from a bold voice in film.’
Olive Films, a small Chicago-based company, is released Roger Corman’s controversial 1967 film The Trip on Blu-ray and DVD.
The Trip looks at drug use, free love and spirituality in a way that made it a counterculture icon – especially coming out the same year as Jimi Hendrix’s Are You Experienced album. Between the two, they marked an initial high point in psychedelia.
Written by Jack Nicholson and directed by Roger Corman, The Trip stars Peter Fonda and Susan Strasberg and introduced unique elements – like strobe lights synchronized to the camera’s frame rates – to create the characters’ hallucinations in camera.
The Trip – in its original, uncensored form, will be in stores on March 22nd. For further details, follow the jump.
The latest Syfy/Roger Corman collaboration, Sharktopus [Saturday, 9/8C], follows the trend of the last several Syfy Saturday evening movies – there’s literally no suspense regarding the creature being featured; the action is set somewhere warm enough for there to be hordes of bikini-worthy women… in bikinis, of course; the villain is a mad scientist, and the hero is some ripped Indian Jones wannabe/mercenary. Body count is substituted for suspense and grotesque manners of death are the norm. Which doesn’t mean that Sharktopus is awful…
Apparently, writers Frances Doel and Guy Prevost didn’t watch many Roger Corman films before they write Dinoshark [Syfy, 9/8C]. It begins, promisingly enough, with a crumbling iceberg [global warning!] and a murky shot of something vaguely baby shark-like disappearing into the distance. Then we cut to three years later and a solo sailor having a really bad day – but we see the dinoshark, in its entirety [which is why I don’t feel too terrible about featuring it above], as it attacks.
Toronto, Ontario, Canada’s world renowned annual horror expo, the Rue Morgue Festival of Fear has landed Bruce “The Chin” Campbell as its 2009 Guest of Honour – and B-movie producer/director/writer Roger Corman as Featured Guest.
Campbell is, of course, known worldwide for playing Ash, the lead [if not necessarily the hero] of Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead Trilogy – as well as unorthodox performances in zillions of B-movies ranging from the jealous ex-boyfriend in Living in Oblivion to an elderly Elvis in Bubba Ho-Tep.
Corman is responsible for unleashing the talents of such legends as Jack Nicholson [the original Little Shop of Horror], James Cameron [Piranha] and Francis Ford Coppola [The Terror] upon an unsuspecting world.
Both are regarded as quality guests who can relate anecdotes with the best of them – and having both headline the same event is a definite coup.
The Rue Morgue Festival of Fear guest list also includes: Udo Kier [Suspiria], Barbara Steele [Black Sunday, The Pit and the Pendulum], James Duval [Donny Darko’s Frank the Bunny], Tom Savini [the king of low-budget practical FX], Max Brooks [author of World War Z], Linda Hamilton [The Terminator, T2 & Beauty & the Beast], Lloyd Kaufman [the madman behind TROMA], and Len Wein [creator of Swamp Thing and Wolverine], among others.
The 2009 Rue Morgue Festival of Horror/Canadian National Horror Expo will be held in the Metro Toronto Convention Center from August 28-30.
The original, Roger Corman production of Death Race 2000 was a high energy, in your face film that [sadly] predicted the reality TV thing. In its highly campy way, though, DR2K mixed in social commentary through the race’s rules [Hit a pedestrian? Add points. The pedestrian is an old lady? Bonus Points!]. The remake is a grittier, nastier piece of work that pits prison lifers against one another – and the last driver left alive wins [win five races and go free – in theory].
Jensen Ames [Jason Statham] is framed for the murder of his wife and finds himself on Terminal Island [think Alcatraz, 2015]. The warden [an exceptionally elegant Joan Allen] asks him if he will take over for a driver known only as Frankenstein. Poor Frankie died in the last race and she needs to keep the myth alive to keep up the ratings on the race’s internet subscription pay-per-view. Ames is given Frank’s pit crew, an oddball lot that includes Coach [Ian McShane], the pit chief who stayed on after his sentence was completed; Gunner [Jacob Vargas], a master mechanic, and Lists [Frederic Koehler], who seems to know more about everything than anyone else in the film.
Arrayed against Ames’ version of Frankenstein are nasties like Machine Gun Joe [Tyrese Gibson], Pachenko [Max Ryan] and Travis Colt [Justin Mader] – killers who treat their vehicles as weapons. Furthering the goonage is Jason Clarke as Warden Hennessy’s head guard, Ulrich. To balance the villains, Frank’s navigator is a gorgeous female convict named Case [Natalie Martinez], and she even gets to take part in the action a couple of times.
The big surprise about Death Race is that it is infinitely better than anything else director Paul W.S. Anderson has ever done. The writing [again by Anderson] is tight – though his attention to detail still needs a bit of work – and he stages some pretty impressive races. Even more impressive is that practically all the stunts and driving were done… well… practically.
True, the cast isn’t required to do much more than hit one or two notes apiece, but they hit those notes with the kind of enthusiasm that communicates itself onscreen. Although darker than the colorfully camp original, Anderson’s Death Race is not without its humor – some of it telegraphed but done with panache, and some of it sneakier than you might expect from the guy who gave us the Resident Evil and the Alien vs. Predator movies. And you won’t find many who can out cuss the elegant Warden Hennessy when things start to go wrong…
With a big budget and marketing plan, Death Race could, finally, vault Statham to actual action star status [and well past time]. It’s not the greatest action movie ever, but it does hit just the right spot in terms of vicious action, ham-fisted social commentary and general mayhem.