The Nexus of Pop-Culture Fandom

The Weekly Horror Roundup: Revelation, Surveillance, AFI Workshop

Written by: Paula Haifley, CC2K Horror Chick

CC2K's very own horror chick brings us the latest and greatest from the world of horror.

ImageHave you every thought to yourself, “I liked The Ring, but would I like it even better if it was about alien abductions?” James McTeigue (V for Vendetta) is about to answer that question for you. He’s signed on to direct the thriller Revelation, written by John Salvati. The film is about a female journalist (probably not Naomi Watts) investigating a series of murders (probably not done by a scary kid) who finds out that all of the victims (probably not horses) were trying to get help from an organization that researches alien abductions.

Dennis Quaid and Ben Foster have signed on to star as astronauts in the sci-fi thriller Pandorum, brought to us by the Resident Evil team of Paul W.S. Anderson, Jeremy Bolt and Robert Kulzer. The guys wake up on their spaceship which no idea who they are or what they’re doing there, and then make a discovery that will threaten! All! Of! Humanity! In space, no one can hear your confusion.

Speaking of hot guys with tattoos … oh wait, we weren’t? Oh, OK. I love hot guys with tattoos, and now that we’re speaking of them, The Tattooist, starring Jason Behr (Roswell, The Grudge), will be the first release from the brand spankin’ new Ghost House Underground DVD label, which was started by, you guessed it, Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert’s Ghost House Pictures to give distribution to cool genre titles made outside of the studio system. Behr plays a tattoo artist who unwittingly unleashes an evil spirit when he tries to learn the Samoan art of tatu … I don’t really care, he just looks really hot with all of those fake tattoos. The DVD drops on June 24th.

In women in horror news:

Jennifer Lynch's mind-bending thriller Surveillance has landed a midnight screening at Cannes. The film, Lynch’s first directing gig since 1993’s Boxing Helena, stars Julia Ormond and Bill Pullman as FBI agents trying to track a serial killer with the help of three would-be victims, all of whom are telling a different story. Lynch is the daughter of that other famous Lynch, and I hope her film gets U.S. distribution soon (so far it’s only been bought in Germany) because it sounds awesome.

On Monday, May 12th in Los Angeles, the recent graduates of the American Film Institute’s Directing Workshop for Women will be screening the short films they made at the Institute. The two horror films on the ticket happen to both be about babysitters. In Death in Charge, written and directed by Devi Snively (directrix of the beloved-on-the-festival-circuit Raven Gets A Life and Confederate Zombie Massacre), we see what happens when you have Death as your babysitter. Liz Adams’ Side Effect is about an overworked babysitter who has to mind the kids, cook the Thanksgiving turkey (ok when has that ever happened?), and complete her homework, and turns to pill popping to help her get through it all. We all know that drugs are evil, but in this case, the drugs are reaaaaally evilllll. The screenings are free, but you have to RSVP. For more info and to get your free tickets, visit the AFI's online ticket booth. I recommend checking out these fearsome females before they become too famous to attend their own screenings.

After Dark Films will be producing two films for next year’s Eight Films To Die For slate: Perkins' 14, which I had hoped would be about a resurrected Anthony Perkins making 14 clones of himself, but is actually about the arrest of a suspected murderer and the carnage that follows, and Faithless, about a young woman who moves to the family farm in Atlanta to escape her abusive past and quickly learns how bad abuse can really get. I am all for After Dark making films for their annual festival, but do we really need another film with a young lady being mercilessly abused? Is this what post-feminism has brought us? I’d almost rather be tied to a mop.

Universal just acquired a spec script in which the Knights Templar (made famous by the Da Vinci Code) battle vampires who are hell-bent on destroying the Holy Grail. I am not kidding. I guess in this tale, the Grail is actually a cup and not a kid, though that would make it more interesting. The script was written by Adam Torchia and Justin Stanley and Marc Platt (Legally Blonde) and Timur Bekmambetov (Twilight Watch) will produce.

The Swedish vampire film Lat Den Ratte Komma In (Let the Right One In) won top honors in New York’s Tribeca Film Festival. The film is about a boy who befriends and falls for the girl-next-door, who turns out to be a vampire. Gee, that just happened to me last week, only if you change girl to boy and vampire to non-existant. Hammer Films and Spitfire Pictures have acquired U.S. remake rights. Hammer is the reinvigoration of my favorite horror studio, the British company that adapted many classic horror and gothic novels in the 1950s and '60s and gave 19-year-old me a huge crush on actor Christopher Lee. But not old Christopher Lee, because that’d just be weird.

Sleep Dealer, a Spanish language sci-fi film about Mexican migrant labor being outsourced from Tijuana via cyber network and remote-control robot, has been picked up by Maya Entertainment. Maya is a distribution company which aims to serve the growing U.S. Latino market, and Sleep Dealer, which won Sundance’s Screenwriting prize, will hopefully start a wave of new sci-fi films set in other cultures. I’m interested to see how filmmakers in other countries take on futurism, dystopia, and robots. Especially robots.