Wednesday, November 01, 2006

A VIRTUE-ous Prequel To SEVEN???

Greetings and salutations to you all. Today's lead off story is an odd one that may well be proven false in the near future... That said, it's interesting and I thought it worth my time and yours (Especially yours! HA!). I'm sure 99% of you have seen the creepy 1995 classic Seven. Well, you may be seeing more of it one day...

What am I talking about? Well, as I was perusing my assorted info sites today looking for interesting tidbits to blow out of proportion, I ran into an odd article over at the popular horror/splatter film site (Here's the story link: http://

Apparently a treatment is circulating around Hollywood for a project called Virtue that is actually a prequel to Seven. The article states that the treatment is currently being shopped around to writers to fully script. From there it will be offered to directors. The film is being set up as its own entity (Hence the vague title) and will only expose itself as a prequel near the film's closing.

Immediately after reading the article I thought it was a false rumor. However, the sheer amount of press this info has gotten from reputable websites is leading me to believe there may be a kernel of truth here... So what do I think about this Virtue project?

Well, I really enjoyed Seven. It was my favorite of the serial killer films (Yep, even over Silence Of The Lambs! Sacrilege!). I thought David Fincher's direction was brilliant and the pairing of Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman was genius. On top of that, Kevin Spacey was so memorably disturbed and intense that his performance is still ingrained in my memory. His John Doe (pictured) took the already great film to a whole other level. It's unfortunate he didn't get an Oscar nomination out of it... Plus, the film's ending was so uncompromising and clever that it became a deserved pop-culture reference. We never quite looked at Gwyneth Paltrow the same way again... It was the perfect closing and it defined the thriller as a masterpiece of the genre.

Now, those are pretty big shoes for Virtue to fill. Now, I like that they've set it up to act as an isolated film that would only reveal itself in the ending (Though, you can bet the studio would blatantly market the film as being the next Seven film, which would make it an easy sell. Never underestimate Hollywood's greed trumping artistry, kids.). Hopefully this would mean that it wouldn't feature Morgan Freeman's earlier cases or something. Freeman exhausted his philosophical-cop-hunting-serial-killer shtick in the post-Seven Alex Cross films Kiss The Girls and Along Came A Spider (Both of which were lame wannabes). It's likely, however, that it would feature Spacey's character in his earlier stages. If this is the case, I'm not sure it's that good of an idea. The brilliance of the character was that there was no back-story to him, nothing to base our opinions on. He was a cipher who was more terrifying due to his anonymity.

I'm also extremely leery of Virtue due to the fact that it will likely be made without any of the creative forces behind Seven. Andrew Kevin Walker's script for Seven was so ingenious that it seems unlikely another screen-writer could match it's Rubik's cube structure. The other key component in the film's success was director David Fincher (pictured). Fincher, after Seven, has gone on to create the brilliant Fight Club, the wonderfully suspenseful Panic Room, and the eagerly anticipated Zodiac (Also about serial killings, albeit non-fictional ones). I have grave doubts that an artist of his magnitude would be particularly interested in re-visiting his past success. Without Fincher's unique visual style and storytelling approach my concern is that Virtue would play out more as a lesser copycat than a worthy follow-up.

But then, that hasn't stopped Hollywood in the past, now has it? Basic Instinct 2 anyone? Son Of The Mask? Like I said, never underestimate Hollywood's love of easy money.

I'll keep watch over this story and let you know if it comes to fruition. In the meantime, go rent Seven if you haven't seen it. Caution though, it's not for the squeamish (My mom still shudders at the mere mention of it!).
I've got a quick update on Spider-Man 3 that's really groovy! Evil Dead god Bruce Campbell's cameo in the upcoming Sam Raimi production has been announced. As we all know, Campbell showed up in Spidey 1 as the ring announcer at the wrestling match, and provided comedy relief as the "snooty usher" in Spider-Man 2 (For anyone who's not familiar with Mr. Campbell, go rent Army Of Darkness. It'll redefine everything you thought you knew!). Well, get ready for Campbell to play one of Spidey's greatest (and goofiest) nemeses in the summer 2007 blockbuster!

The fan community has long rallied for Campbell to play Spidey's special-effects master antagonist Mysterio. Well, Raimi and the producers listened to their inane rantings and have given them their wish. Sort of. In a scene in the film Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson will wander onto the set of a Spider-Man movie being filmed. Director Raimi and producer Avi Arad will play themselves and Campbell will play Quentin Beck (Mysterio's alter ego), the special effects guy.

This way seem like nothing news to most of you, but to us Campbell fans this is spectacular news. If you don't believe there are Bruce Campbell fans, do a Google search, or better yet, go to, where you can get better acquainted with the man, the myth, the legend!__________________________________________________________________
Just a quick note that it seems my earlier writing of the Halo film getting into production soon has proven false. The plug has been pulled due to lack of financing, an over-blown budget, and an unproven director who has never made a feature film. Looks like producer Peter Jackson isn't infallible... So, sorry Gabe, no great video-game films in the near future... Though, there is that Street Fighter sequel....

H'okay folks, that's all! Hope you enjoyed what you read! Keep it real!

Monday, October 30, 2006

HALLOWEEN To Be Resurrected By A Zombie???

Okay, well, today's post isn't exactly "breaking" news... Rather it's pretty darn old. I'm really only doing it to appease those of you who feel that there should be a Halloween theme today. Well, here ya go!!! I hope you all choke on it! No, wait! Come back! I'm just kidding! Actually, it's a cool story that I'm actually looking forward to! What is it? Well, how many of you saw Halloween: Resurrection....?

I'm guessing a decent amount of you. You all know how bad it was! How ungodly a creation, spat out from the bowels of the darkest region of schlock cinema! A public defiling of a beloved horror icon! A quick pay-cheque for Jamie Lee Curtis! An acting showcase for Bustah Rhymes...

You could say I didn't think it was great. BUT, as was announced a while back, Halloween ain't dead (God knows they tried to kill it...)! Nope, next October will bring us a revamped, re-imagined version of the Halloween mythos, directed by none other than Rob Zombie, creator of the brilliantly off-kilter Devil's Rejects!

Now, there is reason for concern of course. Horror prequels are almost always bad. The public hasn't exactly taken to the streets singing the praises of Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning. There's also some dread about the impending Friday the 13th and rumored Nightmare on Elm Street prequels. I don't particularly await those last two with open arms... But, I believe strongly in the abilities of Rob Zombie.

Now, most who know me know that Zombie's '98 album Hellbilly Deluxe was responsible for introducing me to heavy metal (You don't want to know what I was listening to prior to that...), so I've always felt a certain respect for anything Zombie produces. That said, I thought his House Of 1000 Corpses was pretty lousy. It was a hokey rip-off of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre school of horror, that was really only notable for its bizarre atmosphere and killer performance by Sid Haig as Captain Spaulding. The Devil's Rejects, however, was nothing short of genius! It was quirky, disgusting, and unforgettable. It was everything it should have been and so very much more. It established Zombie's distinctive voice and gave me confidence about his future as a filmmaker.

So, when it was announced Zombie was gonna re-interpret Halloween, I was giddy. I've watched all 8 previous Halloween films and seen the highs (Personally, I'm partial to 1,2 & 4), and the grim lows (What the hell was going on in part 3???). Michael Myers is my favorite of the serial slashers and I think it's time people were properly reminded why he's such a classic figure in terror. Plus, it should be known that the original Halloween (Go rent it!) is severed head and shoulders above the rest of those that followed (Nightmare, Friday, etc.). So, if this one's half as good as that one, it'll still be better than pretty much every horror movie of the last 10 years or so (With a few exceptions, of course.)

Now, the film is scheduled to start shooting in January, with no confirmed cast at this point (Though Zombie said he could see Jeff Bridges or Ben Kinsley as Dr. Loomis, Myer's adversary). Apparently Zombie is going to focus on the reason Michael Myers donned that William Shatner mask in the first place. There will be a deeper study on his childhood with greater detail given to Myer's psychology. Basically, he ain't just gonna give us a lunatic with a knife chasing a scantily clad teenie-bopper for 90 mins. He's going to give us a real horror film with fully drawn characters.

Zombie has stated that the mask will remain unchanged (We don't need a Jason X-style upgrade, thank you very much!), so there won't be any radical alterations done to Myer's image. Hopefully he chooses to keep the same music as well, as John Carpenter's 1978 Halloween score is the best of the horror film themes. Zombie's recent use of that theme as his opening music on his band's summer tour has put that concern to rest for me.

So, you can assume that next Halloween, I'll be waiting in line for tickets to this one over the just-announced Saw IV. I'm sorry, Jigsaw's cool and all, but, to paraphrase the old saying, he doesn't hold a butcher knife to Michael Myers!
Moving on, I read an interesting article on today. Seems Variety is reporting that a deal has been reached that will result in a new Street Fighter film(!). Since the 1994 film was such a massive success (LOL), they've decided to go for round 2. This film will apparently focus away from Van Damme's Guile character ("Now, who wants to go home... and who wants to go with me?") and instead follow Chun Li (Played my Ming Na in the original).

I don't really know what to say about this one... The first is sort of a cheese-classic for me (My friend Tony often laughingly recalls the "stealth" boats from the climactic boat chase), so I'm not sure there's much point in this film. There's a reason no one remembers Plan 10 From Outer Space! You can only fly so close to the sun so many times before your wings melt off... I wonder if Chun Li will be a reporter again, with her wacky news crew featuring a sumo wrestler and a heavyweight boxer...

Either way, curiosity may lead me back to the theatre again. They better give my man Blanka his due though! He got screwed in the last one. Oh, and they better bring some Van Damme-age to the project! And fingers crossed for more stealth boats!

Okay, that's all from my end today! I'll be back later with more inane ramblings.

Oh, and if you're looking for a good Halloween rental here's some recommendations: the aforementioned '78 Halloween, the original Dawn Of The Dead or Night Of The Living Dead, Evil Dead 2, The Exorcist, Psycho (Don't think for a second I'm referring to the 1998 remake) or Poltergeist... Stay away from that I Know What You Did Last Summer/When A Stranger Calls/The Grudge/House Of Wax crap! And don't rent my Halloween 2000 choice: Ghost Town. It'll just put you to sleep...

Happy Trick or Treating!