Hey folks, Harry here... recently got to see George Romero briefly when he was here in Austin at one of Tim League's fantastic Rolling Roadshows... What we've got here is a report from Chicago's FLASHBACK WEEKEND and from the sound of it, there was definite coolness abounding. Here ya go...
First time caller, long time listener. I just got back from a terrifying three day horror convention called the Flashback Weekend in Chicago, and I haven’t seen any reviews or news reported from the event so I thought I’d give you the high points of 4 future released films.
Land of the Dead
George Romero was on hand signing autographs, photo-ops, and offering some great Q and A. He said that he currently has three projects on his plate: Land of the Dead, Diamond Dead, and the Stephen King novel Tom Gordon. He says that Land of the Dead has financial backing and a script, so Land of the Dead will be the first picture he works on and I believe he said he will begin filming by the end of the year. He gave a brief synopsis of what the film will be about; it will take place farther along in the future from Day of the Dead, and it is set up as a city living in the now zombie-controlled world. The city will have a giant wall built around it to keep the undead masses out, and the problems and action will occur when the people of the city need to leave to get supplies such as food. The main overlying theme he wanted for this movie would be ignoring the problem, or rather how society ignores the problems around us until we are forced to actually face them. One other interesting note is that he finished the script to Land of the Dead, one week before 9/11, but no studio wanted anything to do with it, he has gone back and polished the script to better match the themes in today’s society than the pre-war society of 3 years ago.
The Devils Rejects
Sid Haig and Billy Mosely were on hand in a similar capacity to Romero, however they were a lot more approachable, and rather talkative. I went to get Sid’s autograph and he spilled a couple of interesting tidbits about the movie. First off, (spoiler alert) Spaulding will be revealed to be Baby and Rufus’s daddy, he was telling us of a couple of emotional scenes that Baby and he share on screen. The movie will be released in February, 2005. He believes that it will have a very hard time getting passed the MPAA for an R rating, and that Rob has set this movie up for no possible sequel.
The Toolbox Murders
We were treated to a screening of The Toolbox Murders on Saturday evening Tobe Hooper’s first attempt at a movie in quite some time. First of all Angela Bettis, the star of the movie, was there to give a little intro before the show, she iterated that this was not a remake of the original, Hooper only stole the title of the original.
This movie started out good, the killer awaits a very conservatively dressed Sheri Moon in her apartment and proceeds to burying his simple hammer into her skull repeatedly. One thing I could say for this movie, was it was not shy with the wet works. Angela Bettis and her husband move into the apartments and she seems to be the only one who is noticing these strange murders befalling other people. It was kind of like how Will Smith was in I, Robot with believing the robots were evil. What follows after that is Bettis trying to solve the mystery of who is behind the killings, people getting killed, and I don’t want to give much away, but the last half hour is pretty bloody and fast paced.
What worked? Bettis was good, but the rest of the cast was grossly irritating, and you could really give a rat’s ass by the end for who survived and who didn’t. The effects were good, and old school. I don’t recall seeing any CGI, just old fashioned red corn-syrup. I liked the atmosphere throughout seemed to keep a creepy, gritty look.
What sucked? Like I said before the cast of the movie aside from Bettis was pretty weak, and the resolution to the movie was very confusing, the first half of the movie also tends to get a little boring.
All in all I would recommend it for rental, but not much more.
The Card Player
We got to view Dario Argento’s latest on Friday evening, and I would have to say it was the lowlight of the convention. This movie was very generic, and there was hardly any blood or gore (aside from an autopsy scene). It was very unlike Argento’s previous work.
Here’s a brief synopsis: there is a serial killer on the loose who everyone calls the card player because he challenges the police to a game of video poker when he has a victim. He puts the victim on a web cam during the game and if the police lose a hand, the girl loses a body part. They play it best out of three hands, and if the cops lose you’ll never guess what happens. Let’s just say a LOT of offscreen violence occurs. With some of the worst acting you have ever seen. I really did not like this movie. It’s laughable when you discover who the killer is, and there is a point in the movie where the police enlist a young kid to play poker for him. He gives a speech on how he is so good as poker which must be some of the worst dialogue ever written. Avoid this one like the plague.