Sunday, February 21, 2010

In Defense of the Gill-Man: Resurrecting THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON

Although The Wolfman didn’t ignite the box-office enough to get within howling distance of ever breaking even domestically — the notoriously troubled 150-million dollar project grossed a respectable, if underwhelming 35-million total over the four-day Valentine’s day weekend — it at least helped Universal take one step in the right direction towards officially resurrecting their classic Monsters line.

A mainstay in Cinema’s golden age, serving both as main attractions and B-movie programmers between the mid-1920s and mid-1950s, Universal’s treasure trove of repulsive boogeymen were a powerful and lucrative brand-name, promising chilling gothic atmosphere, square-jawed heroes, screaming damsels and unsightly tragic villains to anyone who purchased a ticket.

While history has strongly favored Frankenstein, the Invisible Man, Wolfman, Dracula and the Mummy, who, following successful and beloved debuts, went on to headline multiple starring vehicles, crossovers, spin-offs and, later on down the road, big-budget remakes, one of the studio’s most iconic and recognizable grotesqueries has long been criminally ignored and under-appreciated...

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About That GHOST RIDER Reboot...

I have seen the future, my friends, and can officially tell you in one simple word what will ultimately lead to the utter destruction of the superhero genre’s seemingly unstoppable reign of supremacy at the movie box-office. This word, uncomplicated in construct and meaning, has become a ravenous plague within the studio system, gnawing at the bones of creativity and effective story-telling, and promising little more than rehashed adventures and soulless, flashy spectacle-for-the-sake-of-spectacle. It’s indeed a disturbing six-letter atrocity, and it has once again reared its vile head.
That word is “Reboot.”

No, I’m not talking about the internet neutron bomb-like Spider-Man debacle — I’ll have plenty to say about that later on down the road, little dogies — I am, instead, talking about a franchise that had its chance. A franchise that lurched awkwardly and inelegantly into multiplexes almost three years ago, klutzily tripped over its inept feet in the process and blew its dang, silly brains out all over theatre screens across the world.

I’m referring, obviously, to ‘ol Matchstick; aka Skeletor’s combustible brother-from-another-mother; aka Mr. Meanie Melty-face; aka the one, the only Ghost Rider.

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