I just had my mind blown, thanks to effects house studioADI.
The company, who releases all sorts of awesome never-before-seen footage from behind the scenes of older genre films, has shared an astounding piece of work from Mike Nichols’ 1994 Wolf, which starred Jack Nicholson and Michelle Pfeiffer.
“At ADI we pride ourselves on our realistic eye mechanisms. Even at their most basic they can get pretty complex,” says ADI. “Director Mike Nichols wanted a sustained close-up on a wolf’s eyes for the movie WOLF. Here’s how we approached the challenge: pupil dilation.”
Below is the video featuring said dialation, which is literally mind blowing. READ MORE
One of the most curious decisions in the history of cinema was back in May of 1980 when Stanley Kubrick deleted the final moments of his adaptation of Stephen King’s The Shining after hitting theaters. Maybe it was the mixed critical reaction, or maybe because he realized it was just freakin’ stupid (’cause it is), but either way it’s never been seen again.
Thanks to fan site The Overlook Hotel, run by Toy Story 3 director Lee Unkrich, we can now use the power of imagination to view the final scenes. The site has shared the 4 pages of the screenplay that were snipped from the infamous psychological horror tale that starred Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall and Danny Lloyd. Since a few still images remain, it’ll help you play the story out in your head. Below you’ll find the pages, which take us into a hospital where both Wendy and Danny are recovering from the ax-attack.
“This hospital epilogue was located between the shot of Jack frozen in the snow and the long dolly shot through the lobby that ends on the July 4, 1921 framed photo,” explains the site. READ MORE
We have only one week until Halloween so I bet drop filling your bags with a few more treats!
This afternoon’s edition focuses on Stanley Kubrick’s legendary 1980 The Shining, in which a family heads to an isolated hotel for the winter where an evil and spiritual presence influences the father (Jack Nicholson) into violence, while his psychic son sees horrific forebodings from the past and of the future.
A bit of fun to kick off the post as we’ve added some faux 1980′s inspired trading cards created by blog site Maninthewarmestplacetohide. See the Grady Twins, the Sno-Cat, and a decomposed old woman!
In more interesting news, at the end of the film you’ll see a photo of Jack Torrance with the entire dinner party from years past. The Overlook Hotel has shared the original, unaltered period photo into which actor Jack Nicholson was composited to create the iconic photograph seen in the final shots of The Shining! According to the site, these images were found in a book entitled “The Complete Airbrush and Photo-Retouching Manual,” which was originally published in 1985. The author of the book was the retouching artist responsible for creating the composited image. READ MORE
The Shining is one of my all time favorite horror movies. Actually it’s one of my all time favorite movies, period. No qualifier needed. That being said… I’m not entirely sure how much I need or want a prequel. But we may be getting one regardless.
Per The LA Times, “Warner Bros.is quietly exploring the possibility of a prequel to “The Shining,” the 1980 Stanley Kubrick chillfest that many fans regard as the scariest movie of all time. The studio has solicited the involvement of Hollywood writer-producer Laeta Kalogridis and her partners Bradley Fischer and James Vanderbilt to craft a new take as producers, according to a person familiar with the project who was not authorized to talk about it publicly… The film would focus on what happened before Jack Torrance (of course played memorably onscreen by Jack Nicholson), his wife and their psychic son arrived at the haunted retreat where Torrance soon descends into violent madness. A WB spokeswoman cautioned that any ‘Shining’ prequel was in a very early stage and not even formally in development.”
Now, that sort of leaves open two possibilites. The first would be that the prequel explores what was happening with the Torrance family beforehand. I’m not interested in that at all. I feel like their backstory in Kubrick’s film is handled perfectly. The second possibility – and from the above paragraph, the more likely one – would be that it explores the origins of The Overlook Hotel. The crazy horrible stuff that had been happening there for ages. I’d certainly be more interested in that as a standalone story and, in the right hands, it could be a cool exploration as long as we’re not expecting anything as great as the 1980 film.
The LA Times article makes some interesting points about Kalogridis, but doesn’t really touch on what I think could be the most promising sign. James Vanderbilt. Sure, he wrote the new (and apparently pretty bad) Spider-Man, but he also wrote David Fincher’s Zodiac. If he ends up writing this film, lets hope he tries to bring the same sense of measured, slow-burn menace.
Either way, it’s sort of an interesting idea. But also something we shouldn’t expect too much from. There’s no better way to kill your perception of a movie than to compare it to a masterpiece. Remember Prometheus?
The werewolf is the most under-appreciated and misused of all of the classic horror creatures. Sure, we get all kinds of movies with werewolves in them, but more often than not those films seem more concerned with mentioning werewolves and then showing some bizarre half-assed approximation of them. Like they’re checking off a box on a list.
Obviously one of the most recent and popular misuses of the werewolf would be in the Twilight films, but dissecting those is like taking candy from a baby and I don’t want to spend too much time on it. Suffice to say – they look more like foxes, transform in the daytime, communicate via telepathy and are generally pretty lame. They’re also prone to jorts, which makes them almost like Native American Incredible Hulks who turn into dogs instead of big green guys.
But it’s not up to some teen franchise to carry the torch of one of our best monsters. That falls under the stewardship of actual horror films. So why do most of them drop the ball so badly? Incompetence certainly plays into it and is probably the biggest factor, but there’s still a lot of people with actual talent out there missing the mark. Why?
One of my theories is that too many of these movies seem overly concerned with adding a unique spin or futzing with the rules. I’m not saying there’s not room for that – any genre should be open to reinterpretation. But there are so few great “classic” werewolf movies that maybe we should concentrate on getting a few more of them under our belts. I think that needs to happen before we can expect any spin or subversion of the genre to have any real impact, because right now we’re spinning and subverting something with such a decentralized compass that it just feels random. For example, if you’re going straight into your Nazi Demon Werewolf movie without even exploring some of the inherent possibilities the creature’s metaphor, you’re doing it wrong.
Let’s talk great werewolf movies. And why The Howling might not be one of them. Head inside for more. READ MORE
Did you know Toy Story 3 director Lee Unkrich is a semi-obsessive fan of The Shining? Neither did I until I saw this picture over at AICN. That pic led me to Unkrich’s Tumblr entitled “The Overlook Hotel”.
Over there I found a really cool TV spot cut for the film. It doesn’t feature scenes you haven’t seen before, but it does feature different takes of those scenes. I could actually tell the difference since a couple of the shots are actually fairly different.
Per The Overlook Hotel, “TV spots were often edited using existing prints of alternate takes, rather than going through the time and expense of creating new prints from original or duplicate negative. The commercials were edited on film, not video, so it was just easier to use the alternate takes, which were already sitting unused in the cutting room. This certainly makes sense, and seems to have been standard practice at the time, but it still strikes me as odd that Kubrick wouldn’t insist upon using only the footage that appeared in the finished film. Regardless, the commercial remains a fascinating glimpse into an alternate version of the film that was not meant to be.”
Hit the jump to check it out! READ MORE
A documentary on DIY producer/director Roger Corman and his alternative approach to making movies in Hollywood.
Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) gets a job as the custodian of the Overlook Hotel, in the mountains of Colorado. The place is closed down during winter, and Torrance and his family will be the only occupants of the hotel for a long while. When the snow storms block the Torrance family in the hotel, Jack’s son Danny – who has some clairvoyance and telepathy powers – discovers that the hotel is haunted and that the spirits are slowly driving Jack crazy. When Jack meets the ghost of Mr. Grady, the former custodian of the hotel who murdered his wife and his two daughters, things begin to get really nasty…
France, 18th century. Lieutenant Andre Duvalier has been accidentally separated from his regiment. He is wandering near the coast when he sees a young woman. He asks the road to Coldon, where he hopes to rejoin his regiment. But the woman doesn’t answer, doesn’t even greet him and walks away. Eventually she takes him to the sea, where she disappears in rough water. Andre loses conscience when he is trying to following her, and is attacked by a bird. He awakes in a house with an old woman and a numb man. She claims to never have seen the woman. After he leaves, he sees her again and when trying to follow her is saved by a man from certain death. He learns that to help the girl, he must go to castle of Baron Van Leppe. When he arrives, Andre sees the woman looking from a window. Baron Van Leppe is old and seems reluctant to let André in however. He claims there’s no woman in the castle, but shows André a painting which does indeed portray her. Andre learns that she is the baroness, who died twenty years ago. What is the baron’s secret?
In this tongue-in-cheek movie inspired by Poe’s poem, Dr. Craven is the son of a great sorcerer (now dead) who was once himself quite skilled at that profession, but has since abandoned it. One evening, a cowardly fool of a magician named Bedlo comes to Craven for help- the evil Scarabus has turned him into a raven and he needs someone to change him back. He also tells the reluctant wizard that Craven’s long-lost wife Lenore, whom he loved greatly and thought dead, is living with the despised Scarabus.