COMIC CON: Rogue Pictures Preview Panel

I was surprised Rogue Pictures managed to get a Hall H panel considering last year they were off in one of the smaller ballrooms and only had two movies, one of which (Balls of Fury) was actually previewed last year. However, they have a couple of interesting films coming up as they gave us looks at Balls of Fury, The Strangers and Doomsday.

The panel started with a short mention as Henry Selik and Neil Gaiman introduced Coraline based on Gaiman’s scary story. They didn’t show us anything other than to tell us that there would be a 20 minute preview of the film later that night, and that They Might be Giants are on the soundtrack.

Next up was the ping-pong comedy Balls of Fury with director Ben Garant and stars Dan Fogler and Thomas Lennon, the latter of which came out in his leotard costume from the movie (not attractive and only slightly funny).

The panel was moderately entertaining as Fogler did several impressions of Chritsopher Walken and they even shared a few Walken stories, which were actually quite funny and I would share them, but they are sort of that “you had to be there” kind of stories so I won’t bother you with them. They also showed a clip from the movie that actually didn’t come off that funny. The scene featured a “sudden death” match with Fogler, playing ping-pong underdog Randy Daytona, versus Terry Crews in yet another moment to flex his muscles.

They panel then moved to The Strangers as writer/director Brian Bertino and stars Scott Speedman and Liv Tyler made their way to the stage. I actually thought this movie looked pretty good when I first saw the trailers, but after seeing a couple of clips it looks might it may be rather generic.

The first clip they showed featured Liv Tyler as Kristen sitting scared in front of her fireplace as a strange metallic sound bangs outside her sliding glass door. She gets up and using a knife parts the curtains to reveal a masked character. She screams and backs off as banging sounds begin to sound all around her and the front door slowly creeps open a couple of inches. Kristen checks the opening and yet another masked character is staring back at her. This was when I wondered why the masked guy didn’t just walk in and kill her, but the scene ended and perhaps something else happened.

The second scene begins as Kristen and her husband James played by Scott Speedman begin to realize their options are limited and the people terrorizing them outside aren’t going to stop. The clip begins as Kristen and James watch as one of the strangers begins hacking away at their front door with an axe. James and Kristen begin wheeling a piano over to block the door and Kristen loads a shotgun and passes it to James. James grabs the gun and blasts at the front door.

There was also a short teaser shown, but overall I wasn’t all that impressed.

Finally writer/director Neil Marshall came out to talk about his new movie Doomsday, which I am really interested in seeing only because Marshall directed The Descent last year, which is one of the best horror films I have seen in a long time. Doomsday is described as a dark and brutal action thriller set in writer/director Neil Marshall’s hometown of Edinburgh, Scotland. It looks like a cross between Mad Max and Resident Evil as a plague occurs in Scotland and begins to wipe out the population, In an effort to quarantine the virus the government literally walls off the country and the decision pays off for three months, but then there was a breakout in London. Upon the new break out a team is sent into the quarantined area to find out how some survived.

Outside of discussing the film and fielding several questions from adoring fans it was rather uneventful. The film is due out in March or April next 2008. Most of the film was shot in Capetown, South Africa on a budget of $30 million.


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