A candid look back at the headlines
The horror industry has its fair share of sensationalism, shockers, uppers and downers – rumors, announcements and revelations to prompt conversations and arguments, often leaving editors like myself winded. At the end of each year, I like to sift through the detritus of news carnage and see what got people talking. Perhaps it’s the ever-changing face of the horror news biz (where speculation and early leaks take prominence over hard news and facts), but 2010 was quite the drama queen. Director’s fought (literally) public battles. The remake train rolled on. 3D was more prevalent than ever. Films presented a few interesting twists. And plenty of other surprises were thrown our way to make us say, “Oh, Hollywood…you rascal.” Let’s take a look at some of the high points and low points in horror this year.
LOW! Kevin Greutert: The Saw 3D/Paranormal Activity 2 Tug-o-War
Paramount attaches the director of Saw VI (Paranormal Activity‘s 2009 box office rival) to Paranormal Activity 2. Twisted Pictures – the home of Saw – retaliates by exercising its contract with Greutert, forcing him to helm Saw 3D. Fans of both franchises watch Greutert kick up a fuss on his blog until principal photography begins on the “final chapter” of the Saw series. Saw 3D shifts its week date a week after Paranormal 2. The latter out-grosses Twisted’s 3D flick at the worldwide box office.
HIGH! Guillermo del Toro Kicks Hobbit to the Curb
After a series of delays, fan boy fave del Toro decides to step away from the long-gestating Hobbit film in development with Peter Jackson producing. Every goes “huh?!” when del Toro announces he’s shepherding a new Haunted Mansion film instead. This is followed by the real good news: He’s teaming up with James Cameron to bring H.P. Lovecraft’s “At the Mountains of Madness” to life.
HIGH! The Walking Dead Gets the Green Light!
AMC officially gives Frank Darabont the go ahead to adapt Robert Kirkman’s comic book series The Walking Dead into a six-part television event. Viewers tune in. The Internet lights up with squabbling over the dramatic changes that are made. A second season is ordered up.
LOW! James Cameron Versus Piranha, Again
Speaking of James Cameron, the king of the world voiced his feelings about Alex Aja’s Piranha 3D, stating that the remake demonstrates the wrong way to use 3D technology. Can’t say he’s wrong. Producer Mark Canton publicly fires back in defense of the film; meanwhile, Harvey and Bob Weinstein sink back in their chairs, relishing the free publicity the argument has received.
LOW! Suddenly, Hair Style Matters in Horror
Nancy O’Dell tweets a photo of Neve Campbell on the set of Scream 4. Comment boards are suddenly inundated with vitriol over Campbell’s haircut and horror fans are revealed to be the ultimate fashionistas.
HIGH! & LOW! Adam Green’s MPAA and AMC Woes
Congratulations, Adam Green! Dark Sky Films is rolling out Hatchet II in theaters unrated! Horror blogs respond: “Yeah, take THAT, MPAA!” Said sequel opens. Underperforms, according to the AMC Theater chain where the film is shown. Sequel is yanked from the big screen after a week. Entertainment Weekly, meanwhile, tracks the whole debacle and suddenly gives a shit about an independent horror film and what Green as to say about the whole matter.
HIGH! Fangoria Magazine’s Rebirth
In the wake of rumors about its demise, Shock learns Tony Timpone is stepping down from his position as editor of Fangoria, making room for Chris Alexander. Growing pains are said to be expected, but the magazine hits its groove. Are the readers there, however?
LOW! Diora Baird Has a Hissy Fit Over Boobs
The trailer for the Night of the Demons remake makes its online debut showcasing bare flesh and spilled blood. Diora Baird takes to Twitter to disparage the filmmakers and “clarify” that the boobs she’s accompanied with in her nude scene are not her own. You’re correct, they’re not. They’re just accurate fake silicone representations of the boobs you already have, furthermore, boobs that are on readily display when you Google “Diora Baird nude.”
HIGH! Romero Says “No Way” to Deep Red Remake
Rumors are volleyed about George A. Romero doing a remake of Dario Argento’s Deep Red. Claudio Argento, it seems, gets overzealous and announces the project in Variety. Romero says there is no deal and refuses to do it without Dario’s permission. Dario, meanwhile, tells a crowd at the Weekend of Horrors that there’s no truth to the remake talks.
LOW! Wait, Who Asked for These Sequels?
Quarantine 2: Terminal, Hostel: Part 3 and Hellraiser: Revelations rapidly move into principal photography and eagerly await the day when they’re instantly available for $4.99 on Best Buy’s Blu-Ray rack. Even worse, Doug Bradley turns down a chance to reprise his role as Pinhead. Yeah, because they’re really going to call him away from the convention circuit for Dimension’s big budget Hellraiser remake.
HIGH! Ti West’s Punch Out
The House of the Devil‘s Ti West reportedly breaks a dude’s nose at a holiday party. See? Not all hipsters with a fixation for â80s clothing and a talent for slow horror films are pussies.
LOW! Baffling Film Revelations
Anthony Hopkins is the Wolf Man’s were-dad. Adrien Brody is fearless when it comes to creature sex. Heaven is heavily fortified (and angels like guns). Monsters isn’t about monsters, really. And Jill Valentine’s return to the Resident Evil franchise is buried somewhere in the credits for the latest movie. I’m sure there are other “bafflers” in cinema from the last 12 months, but those stood out for me.
HIGH! Dario Does Dracula
Dario Argento aligns himself with a 3D redo of Dracula. After Giallo, why the f**k not? I’ll take it.
LOW! Far Too Many Deaths
Zelda Rubinstein. Frank Frazetta. Jean Rollin. Roy Ward Baker. Ingrid Pitt. Kevin McCarthy. Dino De Laurentiis The list goes on…
Source: Ryan Turek, Managing Editor