FLASH GORDON 2 – What Could Have Been

3223bIn honor of the 30th anniversary of the Sci-Fi classic FLASH GORDON, totalscifionline sat down with director Mike Hodges, where it was revealed – dun dun duuuunnnn! – that there was supposed to be a second installment! Why didn’t it happen? Mr. Hodges explains how differences between Producer Dino De Laurentiis and star Sam J. Jones did in the follow up film:

”I was very fond of Sam but here’s what happened: we did the main shooting up until Christmas and then we stopped for the break. After Christmas I came back and did all of the second unit stuff too. For instance, I had to do the shots with the flying men and that sort of thing—what passed as special effects back then (laughs). So I also had to shoot a whole bunch of other stuff with a stunt double for Sam and I had to re-voice the occasional line of dialogue too. Not much but some—and I got somebody to impersonate Sam’s voice. You would never know it wasn’t him.
But Sam found out and I think that was one factor that led to him being upset. And Dino and he just did not see eye to eye for a while. So when you lose your main star there can’t really be a sequel.”

A sad day for fan boys everywhere, no doubt. But take heart – we most likely haven’t seen the death of this cult sensation!

THE LAST EXORCISM – Eli Roth and Daniel Stamm Interview

Below is a written transcript of an exclusive Cinefantastique interview with Daniel Stamm and Eli Roth, the director and producer of the new film THE LAST EXORCISM. The Interview was featured on The Cinefantastique Podcast 1:28 and was conducted by CFQ’s own Dan Persons!
CFQ: “Let me start with you Daniel. One of the things I noticed in your bio was that at some point you hitchhiked across the United States with only your ID. From doing that, what did you bring from your experience there into this film?
DS: “That’s a tricky question. I think what that did to me was it gave me a good overview of how different the different states in the U.S. are and how the one thing that connects them all – all my experiences – were that they very spiritual. There were a lot of people talking about God, lot of people talking about Jesus, which is something I never encountered hitchhiking in Europe. You could go through all of Europe and no one would ever mention God, where as hitchhiking from the east coast to the west coast, God came up in almost every single conversation. People were terrified to take me with them because hitchhiking has a different feel over here than it does in Europe, so a lot of people would say, “You know I’m terrified right now, but God told me to take you with me” or “I couldn’t just let you stand by the side of the road”. So there is this kind of deeply ingrained spirituality that I saw in that journey, which I think is a lot of what THE LAST EXORCISM is talking about.
CFQ: “Eli – your name is on this, your reputation precedes you. The thing is this film is breaks rather noticeably from that reputation.Were you concerned with that ?”
ER: “No, it was actually exciting for me. I love gore and I love blood in movies but I really love all kinds of movies: I love PARANORMAL ACTIVITY, I love CLOVERFIELD, I love DISTRICT 9. Those were very different films and when I read the script for this – it was actually before any of those came out – I thought it was one of the best, scariest, smartest scripts I had ever read. Originally, the writers were going to direct it and the intention was never to make a gory film. I’ve made my name synonymous with blood and guts, which I’m very proud of but I also feel that people associate a different level of smarter horror with me. The fans know that if I’m going to get involved with a film that is PG-13 and is not a particularly gory film, there must be something very special about it.
I also love films that are at THE RING/THE GRUDGE end of the spectrum, anything that is well done and smart. Robert Wise’s THE HAUNTING is one of my all time favorite films and, even though I’ve never made that movie, I love those kinds of stories. I think it’s the kind of thing where, looking back over the course of my career, people will see different projects I have made and they all have one common theme but they’ll all have different levels of blood. I think as long as the fans know what they’re in for and aren’t expecting Hostel 3 and know that this is about possession not power tools, I think they’re going to love what Daniel has done. Daniel made a film that is so smart and so fun and really does a great job of slowly building the tension and really keeping the audience guessing the whole way through. It’s just as exciting for me to be apart of a film that I think is a great addition to the exorcism cannon of films as I was about HOSTEL.
CFQ: “In this particular film, Cotton Marcus [Patrick Fabian] relies on a lot of stage illusions. How much of that is reality, how much of that actually happens with these types of exorcisms, how much is invention?”
DS: “I think it’s hard to say because there are more exorcisms happening today than at anytime in history all over the world – in all religions – and I’m sure that every single one of them has a certain element of stage magic to them. I think that they function very differently in India than they do over here, so we kind of pulled from different sources. We never quoted one source and said, “This is what our research shows is being done” but its just different ideas and some are made up of ideas of what you could do if you were in that situation.
CFQ: “This film walks a real line as far as whether there is a supernatural element to it or not. How difficult was that to achieve? Were there any concerns about playing that line as carefully as you are?”
ER: “Well, that really came about in the writing and development in the screenplay. You want the audience to think one thing and just when they think they have it figured out, you add in a new layer that they never saw coming but something that makes sense; Not a twist for the sake of a twist but something that engages you further going, “Oh my god I didn’t see that” or “That’s weird!” And for me, what’s unique and fun about the film is in this documentary format that, at first it’s Cotton Marcus in control and he basically slowly loses control to Nell. Its really about the clash of Science and Religion, but in this it’s the Reverend that’s coming from the scientific point of view saying, “She’s Crazy” and it’s the father coming from the place of devout faith saying, “She said she was possessed”, “She IS possessed”, “The demon is still in here”, “Get it out!” So suddenly it’s not even about being possessed or not it’s about getting her to stop behaving that way or the father is going to shoot her. What I loved about the script – and what I think Daniel did so brilliantly – was playing it all very real but never answering the question; just really keeping the audience, leading them one direction and then another direction and that’s what Daniel did so brilliantly in the film.

CFQ: “I’m doing some writing for another website and in doing some preparation for that I watched a lot of exorcism films. It’s sort of amazing to see, in contrast to your film, how many of those other films are grounded in Catholicism, to the point where it comes as something of a shock that there is this Evangelical aspect to THE LAST EXORCISM. In reading the script, did that surprise you or was that an appealing factor for you?”

ER: “No, I think what makes it interesting is that a lot of people don’t know that there are exorcisms in every religion and our movie exists in a world where the characters have seen THE EXORCIST and they mention it, acknowledge it and talk about THE EXORCIST and reference it. But what we discovered in the development of the script in the writing and figuring out how scenes are going to be shot and discussing things with Daniel is that pretty much everything people think about exorcisms comes from THE EXORCIST. If you think about zombies: there were zombies before NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, they were the kind of I WALKED WITH A ZOMBIE that was kind of voodoo based. And George Romero comes out with NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD and suddenly, they eat your flesh and if you’re bitten you turn and shoot them in the head. Every rule of zombies is literally is derived from Romero. And in that same way THE EXORCIST is such a cultural landmark that things people think of…everything about it comes from that film.
I think that – even these movies that are dealing with Catholicism – a lot of these films haven’t even bothered to do research beyond it or weren’t interested in doing research beyond it. Or maybe that was what the subject matter was – there are certainly fine films like THE EXORCISM OF EMILY ROSE – but I’m talking about more knock-off movies. We didn’t want this film to feel derivative, and Daniel was very specific about not making a specific denomination. We didn’t want to say that this is something that only happens to Catholics. We wanted to make it much broader so that you could really apply it to any religion.

Read the entire interview, and listen to the entire podcast (which also includes a lengthy discussion of PIRANHA 3D) by clicking here.


Get BURIED at Fantastic Fest 2010 in Auxtin, Texas

buried_movie_poster_01By now, most people have heard the buzz over the new Ryan Reynolds film BURIED, where he plays an American who gets buried alive in the desert. While it may seem too reliant on shtick, the reviews have been nothing but positive since it blew audiences away at Sundance. If you’re among the many who cannot wait to see the film, you’ll have a chance to get a jump on the rest of us at Fantastic Fest, an 8 day film-a-thon in Austin, TX, where they will be premiering some killer films. But for some, just seeing the movie won’t be enough…they’ll actually get to LIVE it! 4 lucky winners will be buried 6-feet under to view the film in some “cozy” confines.
Fantastic Fest takes place in Austin, Texas – September 23 through 30. Other events include a “100 Best Kills Party,” Arcade Demos and Tournament, actor Jeffrey Combs in the one-man play Nevermore: An Evening with Edgar Allan Poe, and many screenings: LET ME IN, RE-ANIMATOR, FROM BEYOND, THE LAST STARFIGHTER, NIGHTMARES, and many more.
BURIED opens nationwide October 8th, 2010.
Check out the official press release below:

Four Lucky Winners Who Survive the
“Buried with Buried: Rolling Roadshow of One” to Attend Gala
Austin, TX—Wednesday, August 25, 2010— Fantastic Fest will host a Gala Screening of Buried at The Paramount Theatre on Thursday, September 23, with Ryan Reynolds and director Rodrigo Cortés in attendance, as part of their opening night programming of the festival.
Buried, which Lionsgate will release in select theaters on September 24th and wide on October 8th, stars Reynolds as a truck driver and family man who wakes up six feet underground with no idea of who put him there or why. Buried with only a cell phone and a lighter, his contact with the outside world and ability to piece together clues that could help him discover his location are maddeningly limited.
“Buried is the most unique and compelling thriller I have seen in years. The festival is honored to screen what we feel is going to be the ‘buzz’ film of the season,” said Fantastic Fest co-founder Tim League.
In celebration of the much buzzed about film, Fantastic Fest will also present the film as part of their “Rolling Roadshow” screening series the weekend prior to the opening of the festival. The unprecendted “Rolling Roadshow of One”, goes beyond the bounds of sanity by enlisting four souls to view the entire film while buried! The Rolling Roadshow is the Alamo Drafthouse’s nationwide tour of famous movies in famous places. Previous screenings have included Close Encounters of the Third Kind at Devil’s Tower in Wyoming, Escape from Alcatraz on Alcatraz Island and more recently The Blues Brothers at Old Joliet Prison.
“The Rolling Roadshow is all about finding that unique film viewing experience with the perfect combination of movie and setting. It’s traditionally been a communal experience of seeing a film outdoors with hundreds of people. But for this event, we’re putting an even cooler twist on the concept, because some movies are perfect for seeing while buried,” said Fantastic Fest co-founder Tim League.
Fantastic Fest has scoured the globe for the very best in action, horror, science fiction, fantasy to the truly bizarre in contemporary cinema for your viewing pleasure. Look for more announcements in the weeks to come, including information on our gala events, parties and AMD Next Wave filmmakers in attendance.
Fantastic Fest is the film festival with the boring parts cut out. Miss this one and your regrets will agonize you for years to come. You have been warned.
Buried is a Versus Entertainment production in association with The Safran Company and Dark Trick Films, a Rodrigo Cortés film.
For more information on the film, visit: http://experienceburied.com/
For photos of the announced films, visit: http://www.fantasticfest.com/press/download-2010-stills/
For more photos from Fantastic Fest, visit: http://bit.ly/dzNrwX
For the latest developments visit the Fantastic Fest Facebook & Twitter:

About Fantastic Fest
Dubbed “The Geek Telluride” by showbiz bible Variety, Fantastic Fest is also known as the “Comic Con of film festivals.” Fantastic Fest is the largest genre film festival in the United States, showcasing eight days of offbeat cinema from independents, international filmmakers and major Hollywood studios. The 2009 edition hosted over 70 world, U.S. and regional premieres of the latest sci-fi, horror, fantasy and cult films from around the world.
Our Partners
IFC is a significant media partner in conjunction with regional media partner Time Warner Cable. KXAN Austin News (NBC) and The CW Austin (CW) are our network television partners. Dell and AMD are teamed up to support the Next Wave Filmmakers Competition at Fantastic Fest. Presenting sponsor Ambhar Tequila is the official tequila of Fantastic Fest. FEARnet has come on board as a Presenting Sponsor, while HitFix and Radisson are Title Sponsors. Other sponsors include Anchor Bay Entertainment, Dark Sky Films, Embassy Suites, Maxwell Locke & Ritter, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Texas Film Commission and Whole Foods. Media partners include Ain’t It Cool News, Austin Chronicle, 101X FM, The Onion, Chud, Fangoria, Moving Pictures and Twitch.
About Alamo Drafthouse
The Alamo Drafthouse is a lifestyle entertainment brand with an acclaimed cinema-eatery, the largest genre film festival in the United Sates and an online collectible art store. Named “the best theater in America” by Entertainment Weekly, the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema has built a reputation as a movie lover’s oasis not only by combining food and drink service with the movie-going experience, but also introducing unique programming and high-profile, star studded special events. Alamo Drafthouse Founder & CEO, Tim League, created Fantastic Fest, a world renowned film festival dubbed “The Geek Telluride” by Variety. Also regarded as the “Comic Con of film festivals” Fantastic Fest showcases eight days of offbeat cinema from independents, international filmmakers and major Hollywood Studios. The Alamo Drafthouse’s collectible art boutique, Mondo, offers breathtaking, original products featuring designs from world-famous artists based on licenses for popular TV and Movie properties including Star Wars, Star Trek & Universal Monsters. The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is currently planning to expand its theaters and unique programming philosophy to additional markets across the United States.
For more details regarding Fantastic Fest, contact Brandy Fons, publicist, at (310) 809-8882 or brandy@fonspr.com. For more information, visit www.fantasticfest.com.
For more details regarding BURIED, contact Chet Whitmore at (972) 739-6051 or CWhitmore@alliedim.com.


Doug Liman Spins Us Right Round In ALL YOU NEED IS KILL

doug_limanDirector Doug Liman is no stranger to trippy action-adventure. He’s the man behind such notables as MR. & MRS. SMITH, THE BOURNE IDENTITY, SWINGERS, and JUMPER, just to name a few. Now, it seems he will be taking audiences through the death of a solider…over and over and over again. Variety reports that Mr. Liman is set to direct ALL YOU NEED IS KILL, a film based off of the novel of the same name. Check out the synopsis below (courtesy of Cinematical):

Described as a Groundhog Day/Starship Troopers mash-up, All You Need is Kill was originally published for a young adult audience (“light novel” in publishing parlance) with illustrations by Yoshitoshi ABe. All You Need is Kill centers on a future war between humans and aliens, the Gitai. The central character, Keiji Kiriya, a young, raw recruit, dies on the first day of battle, but reawakens the next morning, alive, unscathed, and headed for the same battle. Caught in a time loop, Keiji attempts, to learn from his mistakes, living longer each time. On the 158th “day”, Keiji meets an experienced, female soldier, identified only as the “Bitch of War’ who may (or may not) hold the key to Keiji escaping the time loop.

Still deep in pre-production, no word on cast or start date has been released. Stay tuned for more info as it becomes available!

Melville Takes To The Sky In THE AGE OF THE DRAGONS

It seems you can’t throw a stick without hitting a new adaptation of Herman Melville’s MOBY DICK, the tale of Captain Ahab and his obsessive search for the great White Whale. From faithful films to under-the-radar modern updates, the titular sea monster has been everywhere and back again. Well…almost everywhere.
Enter THE AGE OF THE DRAGONS, the latest stab at this classic masterpiece. Set in a medieval time, we find the monster is no longer a white whale…but a white dragon.

In a medieval realm where Captain Ahab and crew hunt dragons for the vitriol that powers their world, Ishmael, a charismatic harpooner, joins their quest. Ahab’s adopted daughter Rachel, beautiful and tough, runs the hunting vessel. Ahab’s obsession to seek revenge on a great “White Dragon” that slaughtered his family when he was young and left his body scarred and mauled drives the crew deeper into the heart of darkness. In the White Dragon’s lair, Ahab’s secrets are revealed and Rachel must choose between following him on his dark quest or escaping to a new life with Ishmael.

It may not be classic literature, but it sure looks like it will pack a punch! No released date has been set, as the film is currently in post-production. More info to follow!

THE WALKING DEAD Trailer Shambles To A Computer Near You!

After months of being teased by photos, behind-the-scenes docs, and all manner of promotional material, the official trailer for AMC’s THE WALKING DEAD, makes its way to home viewers. In case you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past year, here is a quick synopsis of the zombie goodness heading your way (from the Official Walking Dead Site):

The Walking Dead tells the story of life following a zombie apocalypse. It follows a group of survivors, led by police officer Rick Grimes, traveling in search of a safe and secure home. Andrew Lincoln (Love Actually, Teachers, Strike Back) will portray the lead role of Rick Grimes while actor Jon Bernthal (The Pacific, The Ghost Writer) will portray the character Shane, who worked with Rick in the police department before the zombie disaster. Other cast includes Laurie Holden (The Shield), who plays Andrea, one of two sisters who join the survivors of the zombie plague, Steven Yeun as Glenn, an expert scavenger and Sarah Wayne Callies (Prison Break), who plays Rick’s wife Lori.

Excited yet? If for some reason you aren’t – and if that is the case, what’s wrong with you?! – then feast your eyes on the trailer!
THE WALKING DEAD premieres October 31st, 2010 on AMC.

Check Out The New Trailer For CASE 39

Have enough Satan in your life? Renee Zellweger and Bradley Cooper don’t think that you do. Enter CASE 39, the new thriller starring the pair and directed by Christian Alvart (PANDORUM), about a Child Services case worker Emily Jenkins(Zellweger) investigating reports of the abuse of young Lilith Sullivan (Jodelle Ferland, SILENT HILL). Deciding to bring her into her own home, Emily soon discovers that Lilith’s problems are more than skin deep. Check out the trailer and decide for yourselves whether or not to install new locks on your bedroom doors.
CASE 39 enters theaters October 1st, 2010


Check out the recently released trailer for the new horror/thriller THE VANISHING ON 7TH STREET. Starring Hayden Christensen, Thandie Newton and John Leguizamo, and directed by Brad Anderson (SESSION 9) this film follows a group of people as they fight to survive in a world slowly going dark:

A mysterious, seemingly global blackout causes countless populations to simply vanish, leaving only their clothes and possessions behind. A small handful of survivors band together in a dimly-lit tavern on 7th Street, struggling to combat the apocalyptic horror. Realizing they may in fact be the last people on earth, the darkness hones in on them alone.

If the trailer is any indication, Mr. Anderson may have another hit on his hands. THE VANISHING ON 7TH STREET debuts in theaters later this year.

New Trailer for Aronofsky's BLACK SWAN

Darran Aronofsky is well known for filling his movies with a mixture of the tragic (REQUIEM FOR A DREAM) and the fantastic (THE FOUNTAIN). Now he brings his vision to the thriller genre with his next release BLACK SWAN. The trailer was released recently and, though a bit confusing, will intrigue nonetheless. We suggest reading the plot summary first before viewing. Enjoy!

BLACK SWAN follows the story of Nina (Natalie Portman), a ballerina in a New York City ballet company whose life, like all those in her profession, is completely consumed with dance. She lives with her retired ballerina mother Erica (Barbara Hershey) who zealously supports her daughter’s professional ambition. When artistic director Thomas Leroy (Vincent Cassel) decides to replace prima ballerina Beth MacIntyre (Winona Ryder) for the opening production of their new season, Swan Lake, Nina is his first choice. But Nina has competition: a new dancer, Lily (Mila Kunis Kunis), who impresses Leroy as well. Swan Lake requires a dancer who can play both the White Swan with innocence and grace, and the Black Swan, who represents guile and sensuality. Nina fits the White Swan role perfectly but Lily is the personification of the Black Swan. As the two young dancers expand their rivalry into a twisted friendship, Nina begins to get more in touch with her dark side with a recklessness that threatens to destroy her.

BLACK SWAN will be in theaters December 1st, 2010