Can a disturbed young boy find true love with the vampire next door? Can Los Alamos, New Mexico afford more than one police officer? Can an American remake of a brilliant Swedish film be worth watching on its own merits? Dan Persons, Lawrence French, and Steve Biodrowski answer these and other questions as they examine LET ME IN, written and directed by Matt Reeves (CLOVERFIELD) based on LET THE RIGHT ONE IN (2008). Also: an interview with actress Danielle Harris on starring in HATCHET II and a fond farewell to late actress Gloria Stuart, who appeared in the classic horror movies THE INVISIBLE MAN and THE OLD DARK HOUSE.
Here’s the Offical Description and trailer for this week’s new episode of The CW’s THE VAMPIRE DIARIES: ‘Brave New World’.
“When a confused and desperate Caroline (Candice Accola) leaves the hospital and joins her friends at the Mystic Falls Carnival, Damon (Ian Somerhalder) wants to take immediate action, but Stefan (Paul Wesley) and Elena (Nina Dobrev) come to Caroline’s defense.
Matt (Zach Roerig) is completely mystified by Caroline’s behavior, but still tries to tell her about his feelings for her. Damon has suspicions about Tyler’s Uncle Mason (guest star Taylor Kinney) and uses Tyler’s (Michael Trevino) volatile personality in an attempt to get Mason to reveal his secret.
Upset with everything going on around her, Bonnie (Katerina Graham) takes her anger out on Damon.
Steven R. McQueen also stars.
John Dahl directed the episode written by Brian Young.”
THE VAMPIRE DIARIES airs Thursday nights at 8:00 pm/7:00 Central on The CW Network.
Here’s the teaser for SyFy’s ‘Americanized’ take on BEING HUMAN, the BBC’s “young urban monsters trying to pass in the real world” series.
It features no footage from the upcoming show.
“Syfy’s all-new drama series BEING HUMAN, starring Sam Witwer (Smallville, Battlestar Galactica), Meaghan Rath (The Assistants), Sam Huntington (Cavemen, Superman Returns) and Mark Pellegrino (Lost, Supernatural) has commenced production in Montreal, Canada. Adam Kane (The Mentalist, Heroes) is Director and Co-Executive Producer with Executive Producer Michael Prupas (The Kennedys, Pillars of the Earth) and husband and wife Executive Producers/Writers Jeremy Carver (Supernatural) and Anna Fricke (Men in Trees, Everwood). Muse Entertainment is producing 13 1-hour episodes for Syfy. Being Human, a re-imagining of the acclaimed UK series created by Toby Whithouse, follows three paranormal, 20-something roommates living in Boston – vampire “Aidan” (Witwer), werewolf “Josh” (Huntington) and ghost “Sally” (Rath) – as they struggle to hide their dark secrets from the world, while helping each other navigate the complexities of living double lives and trying to be human. Mark Pellegrino plays Aidan’s charismatic but menacing vampire mentor ‘Bishop.’
The producer is Irene Litinsky (Human Trafficking, The Phantom) of Muse Entertainment, the director of photography is Pierre Jodoin (The Last Templar, Secrets of the Mountain) and the production designer is Zoe Sakellaropoulo (The Last Templar, The Phantom).”
The original BEING HUMAN currently airs on BBC America on Saturdays at 9:00 pm/8 Central.
Here’s the Official Description of the September 9th Season Premiere of the CW Network’s THE VAMPIRE DIARIES, with the extended Second Season teaser trailer. The Return
Picking up on the same night as last season’s finale, Elena (Nina Dobrev) arrives home to a nightmare as she discovers Uncle John’s and Jeremy’s fate. At the hospital, Sheriff Forbes (guest star Marguerite MacIntyre) is comforted by Matt (Zach Roering), Bonnie (Katerina Graham) and Damon (Ian Somerhalder) while she waits to hear if Caroline (Candice Accola) will survive the car accident. After a confusing conversation with Elena about the night’s events, Damon is the first to realize that Katherine (also played by Nina Dobrev) has returned. Katherine’s arrival sends Stefan (Paul Wesley) and Damon on a path to find out what she wants, why she’s back, and how much of a threat she is to the people they love.
Meanwhile, still reeling from his father’s death, Tyler (Michael Trevino) is surprised when his charming and mysterious uncle, Mason Lockwood (guest star Taylor Kinney, “Trauma”), arrives to console the family.
Sara Canning also stars.
J. Miller Tobin directed the episode written by Kevin Williamson & Julie Plec.
THE VAMPIRE DIARIES airs Thursdays at 8:00 p.m./7:oo Central on the CW Network.
In November of last year, I was contacted by representatives of Canada’s History Channel to be interviewed for a documentary they were making about vampires. At long last, the project has come to fruition: THE REAL VAMPIRE FILES will air Tuesday, September 7 at 8:00pm. I haven’t seen it, and the last time I was involved in one of these was E Channels TEN VAMPIRES WE LOVE, which cut my hour-long interview down to two sound bites, so for all I know I have been squeezed out by more luminary names such as David Skal, who really is the go-to guy for this subject.
Here is a description from the project’s Facebook page:
Dracula, Nosferatu and now Edward are all part of cinema history and the Vampire legend, but is there any truth behind the spine-chilling fiction?
At first bite, the vampire seems to be just the product of our heated imagination, a dark fairy tale. But some folklore’s do hold truths, explain some fears, and satisfy some desires. Indeed, this terrifying monster’s beginnings is a lifetime away from the 21st century vampire – those real people living amongst us who drink human blood and purposely embrace the darkness.
The Real Vampire Files explores the evolution of the age-old myth that has truly become a blood-curdling reality.
Most of my discussion centered on the evolution of the vampire from folklore through literature, cinema, and television, not on any so-called real vampires; hopefully, it provides a little context for the public’s changing attitude toward the subject matter.
Overture Films releases this rather unnecessary remake of LET THE RIGHT ONE IN, the wonderful Swedish vampire film from 2008. Kodi Smith McPhe plays unhappy 12-year-old, bullied at school, who finds a new friend when the mysterious Abby (Chloe Moretz) moves in next door. Matt Reeves (CLOVERFIELD) wrote and directed LET ME IN, officially based on the source novel by John Ajvide Lindqvist. Richard Jenkins, Elias Koteas, Sasha Barrese, and Cara Buono fill out the cast; plus there’s someone named V.J. Foster playing the “Original Vampire,” a character not seen in LET THE RIGHT ONE IN.
LET ME IN was produced by the recently reborn Hammer Films, a new version of the company that changed the face of horror in the ’50 and ’60s with their robust and colorful Gothic thrillers like HORROR OF DRACULA and KISS OF THE VAMPIRE.
Release Date: October 1, 2010
1960 was a blood-red year for the vampire’s kith and kin, with over a half-dozen variations on the theme. There is an international flavor to these sanguine offerings, with blood-drinkers prowling crypts in England, France, Mexico, and Italy; at least one is ensconced inauspiciously in an American flower shop. Some are old-school nosferatu of the Gothic horror variety; others have a decidedly sexier style than seen in classic horror films of earlier eras; one or two are mutant science fiction off-shoots. Some are ugly; others are handsome or beautiful. Some favor old-fashioned black-and-white photography, emphasizing the spooky atmosphere of the crypt and cemetery; others are bold and beautiful in modern color. One or two are classics; others are camp; some might be dismissed as Euro-trash (or celebrated for their daring sexiness, depending on the critic). In short, there such a rich diversity of undead revenants and blood-drinking monsters that it is hard to generalize; you have to take each on on its own terms. Here then is a Photographic Retrospective of the Vampires of 1960.
ATOM AGE VAMPIRE (Seddok, l’erede di Satana)
Our first vampire title (alphabetically speaking) is more of Jekyll-and-Hyde mad scientist film, in which “vampirism” is of the most figurative sort: stealing glands of young victims in order to rejuvenate the beauty of a disfigured woman is a sort of modern variation on draining the life essence. The original Italian title is less misleading, translating roughly as “Seddok, the Heir of Satan.”
BLACK SUNDAY (a.k.a. THE MASK OF SATAN)
Italian director Mario Bava’s atmospheric masterpiece of black-and-white horror features two magnificent vampires: Barbara Steele as Princess Asa and Arturo Dominici as Ygor Yavutich (four if you count two of their victims who return from the dead). Burned alive as witches, Asa and Yavutich return from the grave to drain the blood and/or life force of Asa’s descendants. The result is one of the great horror films of all time.
BLOOD AND ROSES (Et Mourir de Plasir [“To Die with Pleasure”])
Next up is French filmmaker Roger Vadim’s ambiguous adaptation of Carmilla, the excellent Victorian vampire novel by J. Sheridan LeFanue. Vadim modernizes the setting and presents a dreamlike atmosphere that leaves the question of vampirism open to debate, yet the film contains memorable imagery that should satisfy fans of the undead.
THE BRIDES OF DRACULA
Hammer Films’ first sequel to HORROR OF DRACULA suffers from the absence of Christopher Lee as the Count, but there is an interesting alternative in the form of David Peel as a blond, boyish vampire named Baron Meinster. He also has some lovely brides to keep him company. This English film is one of the best of its kind, even if there is no Dracula in it.
THE CURSE OF NOSTRADAMUS
This interesting Mexican variation on the vampire motif presents the son of the famous oracular prophet, who rises from the grave intent on establishing a cult devoted to magic and the supernatural. So confident is he of his powers that he appears to a renowned scientist and declares his intention of killing thirteen victims, even naming the time and place, just to show how unstoppable he is. German Robles makes a fine, aristocratic vampire, even if bad dubbing undermines the effectiveness for English-speaking viewers.
THE LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS
Before graduating to eating body parts and/or whole human, Audrey the plant begins by drinking the willingly offered blood of Seymour Krelboin, the goofy would-be botanist who created her. Producer-director Roger Corman’s campy classic, written by Charles B. Griffith, is not quite as funny as intended, but it is so weird it has to be seen to believed.
THE PLAYGIRLS AND THE VAMPIRE (L’Ultima Preda Del Vampire [“The Last Prey of the Vampire”])
Another Italian entry in the vampire genre, this one offers a sexier slant on the old blood-suckers.
THE VAMPIRE AND THE BALLERINA (a.k.a. L’amanti del Vampiro [“The Vampire’s Lover])
This off-beat Italian entry in the vampire sweepstakes is tame on its own terms, but it offers some of the first suggestions of the more explicitly sexual approaches to the theme that will emerge later in Continental vampire films (see THE PLAYGIRLS AND THE VAMPIRE, above). Along with a couple of fetching female vamps, the film also features one of the ugliest undead this side of NOSFERATU’s Graf Orlock.
THE WORLD OF THE VAMPIRES (El Mundo de los Vamiros)
This eccentric Mexican vampire film features vampires that, for some reason, can be disabled by particular sound waves, leading to a dubious conclusion in which the villain is defeated by someone playing a tune on a pipe organ. Gotta give ’em credit for off-the-wall originality, if nothing else.
After releasing this cult horror-comedy to art house theatres on a region-by-region basis this summer, with engagements in Los Angeles, New York, San Diego, etc, Indican Pictures offers it on VOD and DVD on September 21, with a subsequent Blu-ray release scheduled for October 5, 2010.
The title, of course, is a play on Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Tom Stoppard’s 1966 play that retold the story of Shakespeare’s Hamlet from the point of view of two subsidiary characters, unable to grasp the big picture of the tragic story in which they were taking place. A hit on the festival circuit last year, this horror comedy follows a stage director who gets a gig handling an avante garde, off-Broadway adaptation of Hamlet, which turns out to have been scripted by a vampire, who is hoping to lure his rival out of seclusion so that they can resolve their romantic rivalry over Ophelia.
The film was written and directed by Jordan Galland. The cast includes Jake Hoffman, Devon Aoki (SIN CITY), John Ventimiglia, Kris Lemche, and Ralph Macchio as a gangster (yes, the Karate Kid himself). Distribution is through Indican Films.
Laemmle Sunset 5, West Hollywood, CA 90046
Regency Theatres, Orange County California, South Coast Village, Santa Ana/Costa Mesa
Gaslamp Stadium – Reading Cinemas, San Diego, CA 92101
Village East Cinema. New York, NY 10012
Hollywood Theatre, Portland, OR 97212 (run completed)
Raleigh, N.C. — TBA
Chicago, IL — TBA
Nashville. TN — TBA
Cincinatti, OH — TBA
Boston, MA — 9/17 (???)
NOTE: This post has been altered and updated since originally appearing on April 1.
20th Century Fox Film Corporation releases this alleged spoof of vampire movies from Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer, the writer-director team responsible for MEET THE SPARTANS, EPIC MOVIE, DATE MOVIE, and the upcoming SCARY MOVIE 5. Expect lots of references to THE TWILIGHT SAGA, along with bits from ALICE IN WONDERLAND and other movies. The trailer doesn’t promise much in the way of laughter, but the werewolf character who turns out to be a chihuahua is good for a giggle. Matt Lanter, Arielle Kebbel, David DeLuise, Crista Flanagan, Kelsey Ford, and Ken Jeong star.
Release date: August 18