Monday, 29 April 2013



Jeremy Irvine (War Horse) and Phoebe Fox (Black Mirror) have signed to star in The Woman In Black: Angel of Death, the follow-up movie from the team behind worldwide box office hit The Woman In Black, which starred Daniel Radcliffe.

The sequel will continue the story four decades later.

Seized by the British government during World War II, the sudden arrival of a group of evacuated children at Eel Marsh House awakens its ghostly inhabitant. Directed by Tom Harper, The Woman In Black: Angel of Death will be produced by Exclusive Media’s Tobin Armbrust and Simon Oakes, Cross Creek Pictures’ Brian Oliver and Talisman Films’ Richard Jackson, in addition to Roy Lee who will serve as executive producer.

The casting was announced by Oakes, president and CEO of Hammer and vice chairman of Exclusive Media, Guy East and Nigel Sinclair, co-chairmen of Exclusive Media, Hammer’s parent company, and Cross Creek Pictures president Oliver and Xavier Marchand, Entertainment One’s president of worldwide distribution.

Screenwriter Jon Croker (Desert Dancer) wrote the screenplay based on an original story by Susan Hill (The Woman In Black). Buyers will be scared into action by Alex Walton, Exclusive Media’s president of international sales and distribution, during the upcoming Marche du Film in Cannes. Entertainment One Films will again co-finance the film and distribute in the U.K., Spain and Canada.

Director Tom Harper said: "Jeremy and Phoebe are fantastic actors to continue The Woman in Black’s chilling tale.  I’m looking forward to working with them both on the film and can’t wait to start shooting with the pair."

The Radcliffe starrer, directed by James Watkins, has become the highest grossing British horror film of the past 20 years, grossing more than $130 million worldwide.
Irvine is repped by CAA, Hatton McEwan Penford and Schreck Rose Dapello and Adams.
Fox is repped by WME and the Curtis Brown Group.

Thursday, 25 April 2013


Franky Sakai (Senichiro Fukuda), Jerry Ito (Clark Nelson), Hiroshi Koizumi (Dr Chujo), Kyoko Kakagawa (Michi Hanamura), Emi Itoh & Yumi Etoh (The Aielenias), Ken Uehara (Dr Harada) 

US Version:
Director – Lee Kresel, Screenplay – Robert Myerson, Producer – David B. Horne

Director – Inoshiro Honda, Screenplay – Shinichi Sekizawa, Story – Takehiko Fukunaga, Yoshie Hotta & Shinichiro Nakamura, Producer – Tomoyuki Tanaka, Photography – Hajime Koizumi, Music – Yuji Koschi, Special Effects – Eiji Tsuburaya, Art Direction – Kimer Abe & Takeo Kita. Production Company – Toho. Japan. 1962.

After a ship is wrecked at sea by a typhoon, the survivors are found on an island that was once the site of atomic tests. When asked how they came to be unaffected by the radiation, they say it is because the natives gave them a special juice. The authorities are surprised because it is believed that the island was deserted. The scheming entrepreneur Clark Nelson then announces an expedition to investigate. On the island, Nelson and his team of scientists discover two six-inch tall twin sisters. Nelson captures the twins and takes them back to Japan where he turns them into curiosity exhibits on the stage. Two reporters try to persuade Nelson to heed the sisters’ warnings about the vengeance of the island’s guardian Mothra, a giant-sized moth that is telepathically linked to the twins. Mothra now hatches from its cocoon and heads to Tokyo to rescue its handmaidens, its wings creating vast winds that destroy all in its path.

The Japanese monster movie (the kaiju eiga) had begun with enormous success with Godzilla, King of the Monsters (1954). Godzilla spawned an industry that has included 28 sequels and is still going strong five decades after the original came out. There were a huge number of imitators from Japan and other Asian countries. For a few years after Godzilla, Toho tried to create other screen monsters with the likes of Rodan the Flying Monster (1956), Varan the Unbelievable (1958), Gorath (1962), Attack of the Mushroom People/Matango the Fungus of Terror (1963), Dogora the Space Monster (1964) and Frankenstein Conquers the World (1966). Mothra was the most successful of these and is the only other Toho film to have spawned its own remakes and sequels. Godzilla still remained Toho’s most lucrative franchise and almost all of the creatures in the above-listed films were eventually pitted up against it. Indeed, Mothra became the first monster from another Japanese film to take on Godzilla in Godzilla vs the Thing (1964). One suspects the reason that Mothra stood out from the other Japanese monsters is that it has more distinctive personality in comparison to any of the other monsters – where Godzilla was a naked force of aggression, Mothra is clearly a more sympathetic feminine force who is identified with nature, with her rampage being more genteel and less intentionally destructive and angry.

Mothra is one of the best Japanese monster movies from the 1950s-70s period and the next best effort that director Inoshiro Honda put out after the original Godzilla. While most of the later kaiju eiga towards the end of the 1960s and especially into the 70s descended to cheap effects and became increasingly juvenile in focus, Mothra is one entry that clearly strives to transcend this. The scenes of model destruction with the Mothra larva rampaging across the countryside and then its emergence in winged form are especially good. Most importantly, the special effects scenes are built into a strong story. At its oddest, Mothra becomes a fairy-tale of the bizarre, where the eye-poppingly attractive Tohoscope colour and the array of exotic dancers, psychedelic jungles and the miniature twin sisters creates a marvellously colourful world all unto itself. The film holds some incredible beautiful images at times – like the emergence of Mothra from its cocoon, spreading its wings and taking to the sky; or a montage that combines the image of the sisters crossing a wire on a model coach with scenes of the Mothra larva duck-diving through the ocean, all scored to the girl’s inhumanly beautiful voices. Even the depiction of a bombing run becomes something magnificently lyrical.

The underlying metaphor is of course the same old atomic bomb fears that informed Godzilla. The country of Rellisica in the story becomes a thinly disguised stand-in for the US, something that is even further emphasised by the inserts shot for the English-language print that clearly include American freeways. (In the original Japanese print, Rellisica was meant to sound like a combination of Russia and America). One can notice a decided uneasiness in Japan’s viewing of US relations – Rellisica seen as wielding both a sinister economic influence over Japan and yet comfortingly able to step in with military aid at a moment’s notice.

Mothra subsequently encountered Godzilla in Godzilla vs the Thing (1964). With the successful revival of Godzilla franchise in the 1990s using better visual effects and animatronics, this was remade as Godzilla vs Mothra (1992). Mothra was subsequently revived for a trilogy of films Rebirth of Mothra (1996), Rebirth of Mothra II (1997) and Rebirth of Mothra III (1998). Mothra also encountered Godzilla in Ghidrah the Three-Headed Monster (1964), Godzilla Vs the Sea Monster (1966), Destroy All Monsters (1968), Godzilla vs Space Godzilla (1994), Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack (2001), Godzilla: Tokyo SOS (2003) and Godzilla: Final Wars (2004).

Inoshiro Honda’s other genre films include:- Godzilla, King of the Monsters (1954), Gigantis the Fire Monster/Godzilla Raids Again/The Return of Godzilla (1955), Rodan the Flying Monster (1956), The Mysterians (1957), The H-Man (1958) about a radioactive blob that can dissolve people, the Yeti film Half-Human (1958), Varan the Unbelievable (1958), the space opera Battle in Outer Space (1961), the space opera Gorath (1962), King Kong vs Godzilla (1962), Atragon (1963) about a super-submarine, Attack of the Mushroom People/Matango, Fungus of Terror (1963), Godzilla vs the Thing/Mothra vs Godzilla (1964), Dagora the Space Monster (1964), The Human Vapor (1964) about a gaseous villain, Ghidrah the Three-Headed Monster (1964), Monster Zero/Invasion of the Astro Monster (1965), Frankenstein Conquers the World (1966), War of the Gargantuas (1966), King Kong Escapes (1967), Destroy All Monsters (1968), Godzilla’s Revenge (1969), the submarine adventure Latitude Zero (1969), Yog – The Monster from Outer Space (1970) and Terror of Mechagodzilla/Monsters from an Unknown Planet (1976) 


Friday, 5 April 2013


Marsha Mason (Janice Templeton), Anthony Hopkins (Elliot Hoover), John Beck (Bill Templeton), Susan Swift (Ivy Templeton), Norman Lloyd (Dr Steven Lipscomb), Philip Sterling (Judge Harmon Langley), Robert Walden (Brice Mack), John Hillerman (Scott Velie) 

Director – Robert Wise, Screenplay/Based on the Novel by Frank De Felitta, Producers – Frank De Felitta & Joe Wizan, Photography – Victor J. Kemper, Music – Michael Small, Special Effects – Henry Millar Jr, Production Design – Harry Horner. Production Company – United Artists. 

Bill and Janice Templeton become concerned about a stranger who keeps following and calling them and sends presents to their 11 year-old daughter Ivy. The stranger introduces himself as Elliot Hoover and tells them how he has come to believe following a trip to India that Ivy is the reincarnation of his daughter Audrey Rose who was killed in a car crash the same day that Ivy was born. He is able to calm Ivy’s recurrent nightmares down by calling her Audrey Rose. Hoover then abducts Ivy but is arrested. His subsequent attempts to argue a case for reincarnation at his trial become a cause celebre.

Rosemary’s Baby (1968) gave birth to an enormous cinematic occult horror boom in the 1970s. The boom spawned such successes as The Exorcist (1973), Carrie (1976) and The Omen (1976), each of which propagated their own subgenres of imitators. Audrey Rose came near at the end of that cycle when the genre had successfully established itself among A-budget films and where the theme of evil and/or possessed children was its overriding subject.

Both the film of Audrey Rose and the 1975 Frank De Felitta book it is based on give the feeling of a story that wanted to be something more serious that instead ended up pigeonholed in the horror genre. Screenwriter/original novelist De Felitta’s other works show him as a writer who wants to deal with the supernatural as real (or at least the sort of supernatural that becomes the stuff of tabloid magazines – reincarnation, hauntings, ghost rapes). His novel was set up toward the purpose of placing an argument for reincarnation on a courtroom stand, which must surely stand as the ultimate arbiter of Western rationalism. (In reality though, the case presented here probably would be thrown by any court – whether or not Ivy is the reincarnation of Hoover’s daughter is surely irrelevant, the only thing a court is interested in is the issue at hand – whether or not Hoover abducted Ivy). The film does change the balance of the book somewhat. In the book, the court case took up nearly three-quarters of the story but in the film the court case is reduced to only two or three showcase arguments and presented with considerable bias – no contrary arguments doubting or questioning reincarnation are ever highlighted from the prosecution’s side, for instance.

The film cannot escape the basic fact that it is burdened by a wordy and static script. This however does lead to a unique approach from director Robert Wise who uses the dialogue itself as suspense. Wise hypnotically engages us in Anthony Hopkins’s monologues, where one becomes so enrapt that even small movements like the spilling of a teacup or the relatively uninteresting shot of a door opening behind someone eavesdropping on a conversation is made to hold suspenseful power. There are some effective scenes – particularly the one with burns suddenly appearing on Susan Swift’s hands when she places them on a cold window. However, try as Robert Wise might to turn Audrey Rose into an interesting dramatic film, the material remains solidly unmoving.

The first half of the film, set around Hoover’s bizarre intrusion into the family digs into the 1970s Stranger Danger peril. Hoover’s actions are designed with the intent of making the family anxious – their being followed, anonymous phone-calls, mysterious presents left, the child being abducted from school and from the apartment – without any thought placed into why the otherwise relatively rational Hoover is behaving so creepily. When we come to understand where the character is coming from later in the film, such furtive actions fail to make sense. The film’s generation of Stranger Danger paranoia is ironically so effective that it becomes almost impossible to view Hoover’s motivations normally and it is only through turning of him into a passive wimp for the rest of the film and Anthony Hopkins’s performance that the character succeeds in retaining any sympathy. Far better at engendering sympathy is Marsha Mason who gives an enormously convincing performance in what is essentially a passively handwringing role. Young Susan Swift also manages to comes across as mature and intelligent.

Robert Wise directed a number of classic films including Run Silent, Run Deep (1958), West Side Story (1961) and The Sound of Music (1965). Wise’s other genre films are:– The Curse of the Cat People (1944) and The Body Snatcher (1945), two classic psychological horror films made for Val Lewton; the human hunting film A Game of Death (1945); the alien visitor classic The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951); the haunted house classic The Haunting (1963); the Michael Crichton adaptation The Andromeda Strain (1971) and Star Trek – The Motion Picture (1979).

Screenwriter Frank De Felitta has a number of other genre credits. He wrote and produced the overpopulated future film Z.P.G. (Zero Population Growth) (1971); directed/wrote the tv movie Trapped (1973) about a man hunted through a department store by dogs; directed/wrote the supernatural time travel tv movie The Two Worlds of Jennie Logan (1979); directed the American Gothic tv movie The Dark Night of the Scarecrow (1981); wrote the interesting ghost story The Entity (1982); and directed/wrote the worthwhile psycho-thriller Scissors (1991).  

Images: Marcus Brooks 

Tuesday, 2 April 2013


Now celebrating Peter Cushing Centenary Year: The UK Peter Cushing Appreciation Society founded in 1956, now on Facebook Fan Pages. Updated every day with features, interviews and rare images. Our aim is to celebrate the life and career of Peter Cushing. OBE. Over 4,500 images and 200 albums we invite you to browse! Please join us! HERE
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...