Saturday, March 28, 2009

Update: $quid

Bits of $quidishness



$quid is an in-production Aussie film about a giant squid living in the Brisbane River. It is being made by Daley Pearson and Luke Tierney and is set to be released this year.

It began life as an award-winning short film:



This isn't the only short film featuring the Brisbane River that Pearson and Tierney have undertaken. Another is called Adrift, which is, with its pseudo documentary style, quite hilarious.



At some point the guys decided to make $quid the short film into $quid the feature-length film. Here's what they say about its inspiration:
Imagine Anaconda directed by the Coen Brothers -- a 'creature feature' driven by character rather than action. Then imagine a giant squid attacking a New Year's Eve singles cruise on the outskirts of the Brisbane River. That is the inspiration for the feature film, $quid. ... We're calling it a Romster Comedy. That's a genre we invented, which is a romantic, monster comedy.
Of course, the motivation behind the attacks seems to be the fact that one of the passengers on the cruise owes money to the giant squid. Hence the dollar sign in the title.



$quid will be directed by Pearson and Tierney and stars Ed Kavalee (Thank God You're Here, Boytown), Josh Lawson (Thank God You're Here, Sea Patrol), Christian Clark (Neighbours), Henry Nixon (Noise, The Pacific), Brooke Sheehan (pictured below) and Lauren Lillie.



Pearson and Tierney have put together a 15-part Making of $quid documentary. Here is the Introduction:



And here's Part One:



You can watch all 15 parts from the guys' YouTube page.

Now... the Trailer!!!



Filming:









Publicity: (click to make bigger)


New: ZMD

Apparently there are two films with this title. This is the one that was in production first and the first to issue a trailer. Rather than a RomZomCom (a genre famously exemplified by Shaun of the Dead), this one is a Pol-Zomedy! And it's not based on the comic of the same name. Apparently.

ZMD: Zombies of Mass Destruction (US-2009; dir. Kevin Hamedani)



Synopsis:
Life is wonderful for the people in the quiet island town of Port Gamble. Frida, a young Iranian-American college dropout, is back in town to help her father run the family restaurant. Tom Hunt, a Wall Street broker, visits his hometown with his outspoken boyfriend Lance in order to finally come out to his estranged mother. As Frida, Tom, and Lance take life-changing steps, the town faces a far greater challenge: a zombie virus outbreak!
Trailer:

The film is currently listed by IMDb as being in post-production.

Friday, March 27, 2009

New: DragonQuest



The latest medieval dragon flick from The Asylum, DragonQuest (US-2009; dir. Mark Atkins) goes on sale 31 March 2009.

Synopsis:
When an ancient warlord summons a mythological beast, a young hero must complete a series of quests to awaken the dragon that will defeat the monster.
Trailer:


I wonder if the burning monster was inspired by the climactic sequences of Outlander, where the alien "dragon" burns while still being feisty.

Source: The Asylum website via Avery

Thursday, March 26, 2009

New: The Dead



The Dead
(US-[in post-production, 2009]; dir. Howard J. Ford and Jonathan Ford)

Synopsis:
"A road trip movie across Africa, all with the zombie apocalypse going down all around." (Quiet Earth)

When Lt. Brian Murphy finds himself in extreme conditions he must team up with local Daniel Dembele in order for both men to try and find their way back to what is left of their lives whilst battling a terrifying threat from which there seems to be no escape.



Source: Quiet Earth via Avery

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

New Release: Platoon of the Dead

Platoon of the Dead (US-2009; dir. John Bowker and Joe Sherlock) -- released on DVD.


Synopsis:
Three soldiers must fight to survive the night in a seemingly abandoned house, when a zombie platoon attacks.

It stars ARIAUNA ALBRIGHT (Polymorph), TOM STEDHAM (Torment), CHRIS KEOWN (Uncle Bingo), MICHELLE "AME" MAHONEY, TYLER DAVID, AMANDA BOUNDS and JONATHAN JACOBY. Executive Producer is J.R. Bookwalter; Written by John Bowker; Produced and Directed by John Bowker and Joe Sherlock.
Nice to see a film abandoning the current fad for making the cause of the zombie plague an infection -- whether "natural" or by way of biological-warfare research gone wrong. This looks distinctly supernatural, which appeals to me.



Sunday, March 15, 2009

New: Thoraxx II: The Breeding



In his lifelong pursuit of low-end independent monster flicks, Kaiju Search-Robot Avery happened upon a pair of films, Thoraxx and its sequel, Thoraxx II: The Breeding. It was touted as "the World's First Giant Bug Hillbilly Musical". Inevitably intrigued, he got in touch with one of the directors, Jason Butler, and asked him how to get a copy. Jason replied:
Thoraxx II: The Breeding does not have distribution or anything like that. Pretty much the only way to get a copy is to email me! The film was released in 2003, it has a run-time of 100 minutes, and the directors are myself (Jason Butler) and my friend Mark Peaslee. The first Thoraxx has a run time of about ten minutes, was completed in a one-day shoot in April of 1999, and didn't really seem to warrant a trailer. The first Thoraxx is included on the Thoraxx II DVD.

The film is very low-budget, very goofy, and the bugs were mostly made out of things we had laying around. But, it is a musical, and I think it's pretty entertaining. I'll leave it up to you whether the audience for your website would agree.

Since Thoraxx II we've been working on a series of werewolf movies titled Werewolf Cemetery. There will be four films when we're done, totaling about five hours (I'm still working on the editing). It's also largely a comedy, but also an epic tragedy, an action movie, and a black-and-white homage to the great films of the past especially The Wolf Man.

Also we have a film about a really crappy superhero titled The Adventures of the Screaming Ape. Not exactly a giant monster movie although he has a rather monstrous personality.
The Backbrain will be reviewing the Thoraxx films in due course, but in the meantime here's the trailer for Thoraxx II: The Breeding.



  • Source: Kaiju Search-Robot Avery

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Horror Celebs at the Weekend of Horror

Below is a segment from "In Your Face, Chicago!" that looks at Fangoria's Weekend of Horrors convention, which took place in Chicago.

Avery says:
Ha! Gotta love ol' "The Rock" getting himself out there still. That shameless self-promoter. Lot's of cool celebs in there! Go, Rock!



Episode 5: Love fest in the Land of the Dead
from In Your Face, Chicago on Vimeo

Announced: Journey Sequel

Brendan Fraser's dino vehicle Journey to the Center of the Earth (2008) is about to turn into a franchise, with an unusual take on the way to do it.


Click on this image to make it wallpaper size

New Line have announced the sequel, which will be directed by Eric Brevig and will once again be in 3D. The actors -- Brendan Fraser, Josh Hutcherson and Anita Briem -- are expected to reprise their roles from the first film, though this has not been confirmed.

As yet the sequel has no title, but the proposed plotline came about when an earlier concept that featured Atlantis was abandoned (due to a plethora of Atlantis projects already in development) and producers stumbled upon a spec script by Richard Outten, titled "Mysterious Travels". This one is an adventure tale "based on the fantasy conceit that the literary tales Gulliver's Travels, Treasure Island and Verne's own Mysterious Island all occurred on the same island." It will be "re-purposed" to fit the idea of a sequel to "Journey", something that Verne himself never attempted.

More dinosaurs. Yay! You can never have too many.

Friday, March 13, 2009

New: Brain Dead

Kevin Tenney, of Witchboard (1986) and Night of the Demons (1988) fame, has appeared at the helm of a newish zombie flick, about to be given a limited theatrical release by Monogram Releasing. It sports a title that's been used twice before, once by an excellent psychological horror thriller directed by Adam Simon (1990) and once (joined into one word) by Peter Jackson's brilliant 1992 zombie splatter comedy, known in the US under the naff alternative title Dead Alive.

Brain Dead (US-2007; dir. Kevin Tenney)



Synopsis:
A small rock crashes into Earth’s atmosphere and lands in the head of a fisherman. The rock however is not the problem; the trouble stems from the brain-sucking slime that hitched a ride in the rock. It turns its host into a zombie and reproduces, converting others into brain-eating monsters. Soon enough a group of wanderers, including a couple of jailbirds (Joshua Benton and David Crane), two med students (Sarah Grant Brendecke and Michelle Tomlinson) and a reverend and his secretary (Andy Forrest and Cristina Tiberia), hole up in a cabin in the woods, hiding from the knowledge-seeking creatures lurking outside.
The publicity for the film describes Brain Dead as a "gruesome and terrifying tale that brings good ol’ violence and T&A back to the genre" -- though from some recent cinematic experience I wasn't aware it had left. At any rate, this film is touted as: "Overflowing with gore, gratuitous nudity and special effects, Braindead is an over-the-top horror that delivers the goods, and then some."



Trailer:


It opens at select theatres on March 20th. It's not much use for my Aussie readers, but for those of you in the US, here's where you can see it:
Nova Theatres
Moline, Ilinois

Nova Georgia
340 Tanger Drive
Commerce, Georgia 30529

Studio 10 Cinemas
1624 E. State Highway 44
Shelbyville, Indiana 46176
Movieline: 398-FLIX(3549)

Georgetown 14 Cinemas
3898 Lafayette Road
Indianapolis, Indiana 46254
phone: (317) 291-3456

Nova 10
4353 Merle Hay Road
Des Moines, Iowa 50310

Movie Palace Cinemas
1231 Woodland Drive
Elizabethtown, Kentucky 42701
phone: (270) 769-1505

Dixie Dozen Cinemas
6801 Dixie Highway
Louisville, Kentucky 40258
phone: (502) 935-3771

Theatres of Georgetown
401 Outlet Center Drive
Georgetown, Kentucky 40324

Branson Meadows Theatres
4740 Gretna Road
Branson, Missouri 65616
Branson Meadows Outlet Mall
Phone: 417-332-0464
Movie Hotline: 417-332-2884

The Amp Oxford Mississippi
206 Commonwealth Boulevard
Oxford, Missouri 38655
Movie Hotline: 662-236-4080

Portsmouth Cinemas
1623 Chillicothe Street
Portsmouth, Ohio 45662
Movieline: 355-FILM(3456)

Lake Geneva 4
244 Broad Street
Lake Geneva, Wisconsin 53147
  • Source: Official Press Release

Thursday, March 12, 2009

A Touch of G

Some pics from the kaiju film G (Japan-2007; [48 min.]; dir. Kiyotaka Taguchi), which we highlighted on Undead Backbrain last July.



The film was made by the director of the recent release Chohatsu Daikaiju Gehara [Long-haired Giant Monster Gehara], which can be viewed in its entirety here.

Hopefully G will come to DVD (or a download site) one of these days. It looks great.



New: Terror from Beneath the Earth

Another low-budget independent 1950s monster flick pastiche -- The Terror from Beneath the Earth (US-2009; dir. Christopher R. Mihm).



Synopsis
After years of underground atomic testing, one of the animals living within the Wisawa caves (a system that stretches from Phantom Lake to the Deadlands) has undergone a radical and unimaginably horrible transformation! While exploring the caves, Dr. Vincent Edwards (Mike Cook) and colleague Rosemary Bennett (Stephanie Mihm) stumble across evidence in the disappearance of local children. After reporting the find to the local sheriff, Dr. Edwards and Rosemary are tapped to lead a rescue attempt. Along with the sheriff and small-town farmer Stan Johnson (the children's father), the rescue party quickly comes to the realization that if the caves don't get them, whatever unseen terror lurking in the shadows just might!




The film premieres on 20 May 2009.

Announced: Man With the X-Ray Eyes remake

One of the most memorable (if not the best) of B-film godfather Roger Corman's output has always been, for me, X: The Man With the X-Ray Eyes (US-1963; dir. Roger Corman). I remember seeing it in my youth and being fascinated, and then awed, as the film escalated into a world of macrocosmic awesomeness with pulp metaphysics taking over from its more visceral elements. That's always the way -- it's the implications that give the most potent of horror films their ongoing resonance.

Okay, The Man With the X-Ray Eyes is pulp and probably not one of the world's great films, but by god it worked! The final scene, in which Raymond Milland's character, Dr Xavier, takes the only course left open to him, this side of madness, was, and still is, extraordinarily powerful.

"If thy eye offend thee, rip it out!"



Synopsis:

Dr James Xavier is a world renowned scientist experimenting with human eyesight. He devises a drug, that when applied to the eyes, enables the user to see beyond the normal realm of our sight (ultraviolet rays, etc.) it also gives the user the power to see through objects. Xavier tests this drug on himself, when his funding is cut off. As he continues to test the drug on himself, Xavier begins to see, not only through clothes and walls, but through the very fabric of reality! (IMDb)


Now Variety has announced that The Man With the X-Ray Eyes is about to undergo the current remake treatment. To be directed by Spanish filmmaker Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (who was responsible for 28 Weeks Later), this new project could be a winner, as for all Corman's virtues his films did suffer somewhat from their tiny budgets and inevitably miniscule production schedules.

If Fresnadillo can avoid the dual problems of so many of the current crop of remakes -- (1) a cast too young for the roles assigned them, so that their portrayals lack needed authority, and (2) an over-indulgence of CGI spectacle that suggests a failure to rightly evaluate what the film needs rather than what the producers perceive (usually incorrectly) the audience wants -- this could result in a very effective film. But he's got to get the escalation/deterioration paced correctly and the metaphysics imagined with due respect for what is awesome rather than simply spectacular.


Sunday, March 8, 2009

Want To Be In A Monster Movie?

If you've always wanted to be a giant monster movie and live in the vicinity of Newport, Wales, in the UK -- or are willing to go there -- now's your chance.

A casting call has gone out for two actors to take part in a film called "A Monster Movie", in which you will get to trash a city.

Described as "a comedy" and "a frank, entertaining allegory for the current financial crises", the film is to be directed by Marc Holtbecker and made by a student crew from the MA Film course at the International Film School Wales.
It is the story of a woman and the bank manager who denies her the loan that she desperately needs. In their imagination they start to fight a battle as gigantic superheroes, set in the cardboard metropole amidst the great tradition of giant monster movies. Eventually, the Credit Crunch Monster brings it all to an end...
Check out the details here.
  • Source: via Avery

Update: Serpent Lake - New Trailer!

Remember the ultra-low-budget independent lake monster/good ol' boys horror comedy that Kaiju Search-Robot Avery has been following -- Serpent Lake (US-2009; dir. Joel Trujillo)?

Well, director Trujillo has sent along this latest trailer, which ups the ante on the monster's size and experiments with CGI to a much greater extent. Not too bad for a first attempt. Remember this is no-budget filmmaking...



Saturday, March 7, 2009

Lost Treasure and One-Eyed Monsters

Newly released (or soon-to-be-released) monsterflicks from Anchor Bay:

Lost Treasure of the Grand Canyon (US-2008; dir. Farhad Mann)



Synopsis:
In the early days of the 20th Century, an expedition led by Dr. Samuel Jordon traveled deep into the Grand Canyon in search of a long-rumored hidden city. The entire team disappeared. But when Jordon’s archaeologist daughter Susan (Shannen Doherty) leads a rescue party into the uncharted valley, she will discover an ancient civilization ruled by savage warriors, human sacrifice and a mythological monster that feeds on carnage. Even if the explorers can survive the deadly trials of the Aztecs, will they find a way to escape the ultimate ritual of evil?
Michael Shanks and J.R. Bourne of Stargate SG-1 co-star in this Sci Fi Original Movie from the producer of Sands of Oblivion and The Fallen Ones.

Cyclops (US-2008; dir. Declan O'Brien)



Synopsis:

When a terrifying Cyclops is terrorizing the Roman countryside the corrupt emperor, Tiberius, sends in his strongest general, Marcus, to deal with the situation. Soon the Cyclops is captured and brought to the great city to fight as a gladiator, but the tables quickly turn on Marcus, who must fight as well. Bitter enemies become great allies to overthrow the tyrannical power of Emperor Tiberius and his nephew.

This one stars Eric Roberts, Frida Farrell and Craig Archibald and was produced by B-flick guru Roger Corman. It was first aired on the Sci Fi Channel.

Warbirds (US-2008; dir. Kevin Gendreau)

Synopsis:

In the midst of World War 2, a OSS officer leads a group of female pilots on a mission to deliver a secret weapon, only to crash land on an island in the Pacific after an encounter with a deadly storm. On the island, they must not only contend with a small band of Japanese soldiers but the native inhabitants of the island as well - vicious prehistoric Pterodons. (IMDb)

Is that cover accurate? That head looks more like a T-Rex ... with wings! And are they really that big?

Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer (Canada-2007; dir. Jon Knautz)



Synopsis:
As a child Jack Brooks witnessed the brutal murder of his family. Now a young man he struggles with a pestering girlfriend, therapy sessions that resolve nothing, and night classes that barely hold his interest. After unleashing an ancient curse, Jack's Professor undergoes a transformation into something not-quite- human, and Jack is forced to confront some old demons... along with a few new ones. (IMDb)
Check out the groovy website.



Friday, March 6, 2009

New: Mega-Shark vs Giant Octopus



Taking the lead from Japanese kaiju eiga -- where you describe the main attraction of the movie in the title -- The Asylum's latest creature feature offers 'em up very big indeed, if the image on the cover is anything to go by.

Mega-Shark versus Giant Octopus (US-2009; dir. Ace Hannah)

Synopsis:
The California coast is terrorized by two enormous prehistoric sea creatures as they battle each other for supremacy of the sea.
Clearly this film embraces several key elements of the Japanese monster-film tradition: descriptive title, really big beasties and monster punch-ups.

If it delivers on those promises, I'm there!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Archangel Alpha: Behind the Scenes

On Undead Backbrain, we've been talking about the film Archangel Alpha (US-[in production, 2009]; dir. Aaron D. Martin) and featuring galleries of images from the independent scifi apocalyptic flick.

Now here are a couple of Behind-the-Scenes videos:




video


You can view this second video in a larger HD format here.
  • Source: Aaron Martin via Avery

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Weird Japanese Zombies: Tokyo Zombie

Just released in Australia on DVD (through Madman Entertainment) is this piece of Nipponese weirdness:

Tokyo Zombie
[aka Tôkyô zonbi] (Japan-2005; dir. Sakichi Satô)



Synopsis:
Looming over a future Tokyo is "Black Fuji" – a massive stinking mountain of garbage and a popular place to dump anything from toasters to dead bodies. However, something within the toxic mountain is bringing the dead back to life and infusing them with an insatiable hunger for human flesh!

Nearby at a fire extinguisher factory, two bored employees practice jujitsu while their boss is away. With enough practice, one of them reckons he can train the other to be a world champion. And certainly what better way to practice their martial arts – on the unleashed hordes of the undead!





Trailer:



Source: Madman Entertainment

Dozers, But Not That Mechanical Kind



Indie filmmaker Don Adams, along with co-writer/director/producer Harry James Picardi have just started talking about their latest collaboration, a non-traditional zombiesque apocalypse flick titled Dozers.



Adams commented:
“A few years ago, our homeless-zombie script URBAN DECAY was shot [by director Harry Basil] with Dean Cain, Meat Loaf and Brooke Burns... The producers dropped the ball on it and it’s still tied up in court. It’s a fun, singular take on the zombie genre that deserves a release. We wanted to do something on our own again, so we came up with another off-kilter ghoul story about a stress-relieving drug patch called Solace that has the side effect of driving people crazy."
Read more on Fangoria.com

Cloverfield 2 Redux

And on the subject of our last post regarding J.J. Abrams' remarks on the possibility of a Cloverfield sequel, the following clip of the event has become available:

Monday, March 2, 2009

Cloverfield 2? Where's It At?

I'd been thinking that a sequel to the most metaphorically effective and original US giant monster flick for some time, Cloverfield, was a sure thing. Well, apparently not.

Still, at Wondercon in late February, producer J.J. Abrams had this to say about it:
We're actually working on an idea right now. The key obviously at doing any kind of sequel, certainly this film included, is that it better not be a business decision. If you're going to do something, it should be because you're really inspired to do it. It doesn't really have to mean anything, doesn't mean it will work, but it means we did it because we cared, not because we thought we could get the bucks. We have an idea that we thought was pretty cool that we're playing with, which means there will be something that's connected to Cloverfield, but I hope it happens sooner than later because the idea is pretty sweet.