The Horror News:
Tales From The Crypt (Stupidly?) Reborn – The only piece of horror news this week that perks my ears right up is Deadline’s report that a new Tales From the Crypt TV show is about to be shopped around to various networks. Any headline containing the words Tales From the Crypt is bound to grab me by the balls because not only am I a rabid fan of anthology television shows, but TFTC is my favorite anthology show of all time. Sure, other anthology shows have a better batting average when it comes to episode quality, but I’m a complete sucker for its consistently well-cast actors and knowingly corny mix of sex and death and gore and cheese. In fact, I was indulging in some TFTC goodness just this past weekend in the form of Demon Knight and Bordello of Blood.
Of course, because we apparently don’t deserve good things, there’s a huge, dripping red flag stopping me from getting excited in the least about this show. It’s A) Not going to be an anthology, B) not going to have any ties to the HBO series and C) is going to do something with the recurring characters from the comic book series. And to that I say, who the hell cares? If you’re going to keep around The Crypt Keeper and the Vault Keeper, why are you going to drop the anthology format? The whole point of Tales from the Crypt is in the title of the damned comic/show/film/cartoon/gameshow (yes, there were even TFTC cartoons and a gameshow; God, I miss the ’90s)– it’s about tales!
I’m already dreading what a Tales From the Crypt show co-produced by the guy who created Syfy’s Eureka will look like– and I even like Eureka! But if you’re just going to make a show where there’s a mystery-of-the-week formula tied into some season-long mystery, just call it something else.
The Horror Reviews:
As mentioned above, I watched Demon Knight and Bordello of Blood this past weekend. It was actually the first time I’d seen both films from beginning to end unedited. Demon Knight is of course the better of the two films, but I chalk that up almost entirely to cast. It’s probably Billy Zane’s career high (Sorry, The Phantom), William Sadler is great as always, while CCH Pounder, Jada Pinkett and Thomas Haden Church all know and embrace exactly what kind of movie they’re making. Unfortunately, our manly man hero in Bordello of Blood is Dennis Miller, an actor (and personality) whose appeal I’ve just never understood. Yes, he’s appropriately cast as a slightly sleazy, slightly skilled private detective, but I just can’t get past his persona and none of the supporting players offer much as far as alternate entry points goes.
As far as new releases (or relatively new releases, at least) go, the only title of note on my movie tab is William Malone’s (The House on Haunted Hill remake) Parasomnia, which I found to be simultaneously and inexplicably better than expected and yet exactly as expected. It’s a convoluted story about a guy who becomes obsessed with a girl struck with a condition that keeps her in a nearly permanent sleep, and who must then compete for her “affection” against another patient in her psychiatriac ward; a famed mentalist who can induce homicidial thoughts just by looking at someone. It’s slightly boring, but stays afloat thanks to Malone’s eye for distinct and bothersome imagery. It’s not something I’d recommend you go out of the way to see, but if you dug Malone’s Haunted Hill remake, you may find enough here to keep you interested. At the very least it does re-unite him with Jeffrey Combs.
The Horror Horizon:
If you happen to live in LA, New York, Toronto, San Francisco, Seattle, Austin or Chicago, then you absolutely must go see Attack the Block this weekend. As mentioned in my interview with director Joe Cornish, this movie will live or die based entirely on how it performs in these seven cities this weekend. If it doesn’t perform, it simply won’t expand to other cities. It sucks, but that’s the reality. Obviously if you logistically can’t see it this weekend, you can’t, but if you do live in or near one of those cities, please trust me when I say that you’ll have more fun watching Attack the Block than you will any other film so far this year and you’ll be supporting a movie that truly needs it.