Posts Tagged ‘James Karen’
Monday, March 14th, 2022
FUTURE SHOCK is a 1994 horror(ish) anthology, it seems very made-for-cable, though it apparently was made-for-video. Or at least as a compilation it was – I believe it’s made from two pre-existing short films tied following a new story and a wraparound.
The connective material stars none other than Martin Kove, who was in a prolific post-KARATE-KID period of his career – that year he also appeared in WYATT EARP, WYATT EARP: RETURN TO TOMBSTONE (yes, a TV movie that came out the same year as the better known one), ENDANGERED, SAVAGE LAND, GAMBLER V: PLAYING FOR KEEPS, DEATH MATCH, CAGNEY & LACEY: THE RETURN, plus a Burke’s Law and a Kung Fu: The Legend Continues. Here he’s rocking Swayze/Gibson style long hair, but playing a mostly buttoned down character, Dr. Langdon (yes, THE DA VINCI CODE was originally written as FUTURE SHOCK fan fiction but Kove refused to be in the movies because he knew they were gonna be fuckin boring, that’s why they almost didn’t make them and obviously regretted when they did [citation not necessary]), a psychiatrist who uses virtual reality to help his patients face their fears. (You see? In the form of little Twilight-Zone-ish short stories.) (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Amanda Foreman, anthology, Bill Paxton, Brion James, David DuBos, Eric Parkinson, Greg Grunberg, J.J. Abrams, James Gray, James Karen, Martin Kove, Matt Reeves, Oley Sassone, Richard Hatem, Rick Rossovich, Sydney Lassick, Tim Doyle, Vivian Schilling
Posted in Horror, Reviews | 7 Comments »
Monday, August 24th, 2020
August 16, 1985
THE RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD is a movie that I already reviewed thoroughly for Halloween 2015, but it’s such a classic I felt it would be wrong to exclude from this retrospective. So feel free to click on that link for a straightforward piece about some of the reasons I love the movie, but this one will zero in on a few aspects I feel are interesting in context with other movies we’ve discussed from the Summer of 1985 movie season.
As a horror-comedy that’s more of a real horror movie than a parody, RETURN arguably has a kinship with FRIGHT NIGHT. But obviously its closest comparison is its brother from another producer, George Romero’s DAY OF THE DEAD. Earlier in the summer I wrote about some of the ways DAY fit the specific moment of 1985. RETURN does it in a totally different way. Romero’s takes a grey, grim approach to railing against the Reagan era, while RETURN writer-director Dan O’Bannon does the EC Comics and punk rock version. Like so many of the movies we’ve been looking at, it’s a very soundtrack-oriented movie, embracing music of the time. But it’s not Huey Lewis, Cyndi Lauper or even Oingo Boingo – it’s punk rock bands like T.S.O.L., The Cramps, The Damned and The Flesh Eaters. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Clu Gulager, Dan O'Bannon, fast zombies, James Karen, Jewel Shepard, John Philbin, John Russo, Linnea Quigley, Mark Venturini, Miguel A. Nunez Jr., punk, Summer of 1985, Tony Gardner, zombies
Posted in Comedy/Laffs, Horror, Reviews | 27 Comments »
Thursday, October 5th, 2017
In the ’80s, lots of people were trying to make Steven Spielberg movies. And obviously POLTERGEIST is Tobe Hooper’s Steven Spielberg movie. Or Steven Spielberg’s Tobe Hooper movie. These days it sounds like they should’ve just been credited as co-directors if it had been allowed. Accounts vary. So let’s forget all that and call INVADERS FROM MARS his version of a Spielberg movie, but not a regular Spielberg movie. It’s the type that the weirdo who directed LIFEFORCE would make. And that Golan and Globus would produce.
It was, in fact, Hooper’s followup to LIFEFORCE (which the kid is watching in part of the movie – lenient parents) and has a screenplay by the same duo. That would be the great Dan O’Bannon (ALIEN, RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD) and the mysterious Don Jakoby (DEATH WISH 3, ARACHNOPHOBIA, DOUBLE TEAM, VAMPIRES – how is the writer of all of those not legendary?) Hooper was still editing this when he started TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE 2, so by my calculations this is right near the peak of feverish Hooper creativity. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Bud Cort, Christopher Young, Dan O'Bannon, Don Jakoby, Hunter Carson, James Karen, Karen Black, Laraine Newman, Louise Fletcher, PG horror, remakes, Stan Winston, Timothy Bottoms, Tobe Hooper
Posted in Horror, Reviews, Science Fiction and Space Shit | 23 Comments »
Thursday, October 29th, 2015
There are a bunch of movies that I consider among my very favorites, that I refer to all the time, and then when I try to make a link to them in another review I realize what in God’s name, how have I not officially reviewed the greatest zombie movie ever made by somebody who is not named George Romero? And what does this say about me as a person?
Not being made by Romero was actually kind of the whole point of this one. NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD co-writer (and infamous 30th Anniversary Edition maker) John Russo disagreed with Romero about how to do a sequel. Romero thought it should be one of the best movies of all time and Russo wanted to go a different direction. So Romero made DAWN OF THE DEAD and Russo wrote a book called THE RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD which apparently starts with a bus crash in a small town where the locals aren’t able to impale the brains of the dead like they usually do. (The book is very rare and pricey so I haven’t read it for myself).
The film rights ended up with Tobe Hooper with DARK STAR star/Jodorowsky’s DUNE would-be effects guy/ALIEN writer Dan O’Bannon working on the script. When Hooper left to do LIFEFORCE instead O’Bannon took over as director and rewrote the whole thing to be more humorous and have nothing to do with the book. (Russo got a story credit along with Rudy Ricci, another Romero buddy who wrote THERE’S ALWAYS VANILLA and was one of the bikers in DAWN OF THE DEAD. In the end Russo wrote the novelization of the movie that came out of the book that he wrote in order to make into a movie.) (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Clu Gulager, Dan O'Bannon, Don Calfa, fast zombies, James Karen, Jewel Shepard, John Philbin, John Russo, Linnea Quigley, Mark Venturini, Miguel Nunez, punk, Rudy Ricci, Thom Mathews, zombies
Posted in Comedy/Laffs, Horror, Reviews | 30 Comments »