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The Weekly Horror Roundup: Zombie Strippers, Friday the 13th, 3D Horror Remakes

Written by: Paula Haifley, CC2K Horror Chick

ImageCC2K's stalwart horror chick Paula Haifley has a gory, dripping basket of delectable horror news this week, including word about Jenna Jameson's Zombie Strippers, the remake of Friday the 13th and other projects from the world of terror.

I am so happy that Zombie Strippers will be playing for another week of limited release in Los Angeles. The film stars Robert Englund (known for playing the man of my dreams, Freddy Kruger) as a seedy strip club owner who sees his profits rise after one of his strippers becomes a living dead girl. His other dancers, including Jenna Jameson, must then decide if they want to go green as well to earn more greenbacks. No, I am not ashamed of that pun. You have to wonder, just from a practical standpoint, if all of your strippers become zombies, how long before they start to decay and stink? Or their parts start to fall off? Can you employ a stripper with only one boob? If the film isn’t coming to a theater near you, look for it when it comes out on DVD. I’ve heard nothing but good things about it. I’ll try to get a review up as soon as I see it.

Last week I mentioned the French thriller Inside, about a crazy chick that tries to cut a baby out of a pregnant chick, which was just released on DVD by Dimension Extreme. It has come to my attention that Blockbuster, which has an exclusive in-store rental contract with Dimension Extreme, is only renting the rated-R version, not the original unrated French version. So if you want the complete film and complete gore, you’re going to have to get it from Netflix or buy it. And in the future, if you’re at Blockbuster looking for the latest horror flick, check the back of the box to make sure you know what you’re getting. Or do like I do and check out your local independent video store. We have two great ones here in LA: Rocket Video in Hollywood (which has a great cult section) and Vidiots in Santa Monica (which has DVD-Rs of films that were never released on DVD).

Hazel Court, known for her work in England’s Hammer Studios horror films and American International Pictures thrillers, died on April 15th, just shy of the release of her autobiography Hazel Court: Horror Queen. My favorite performance of Court’s was her turn opposite Vincent Price in Masque of the Red Death, where she performs a ritual to become the bride of Satan and brands herself on camera. Yikes. Her autobiography will be released in the U.S. on June 9th.

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles will be back for a second season on Fox. Fans can look forward to thirteen new episodes of the sci-fi actioner, which will hopefully include a lot more naked people appearing at different points in time, getting in fights and trying to kill each other.

On Thursday, June 5th, NBC will launch its foray into the Masters-of-Horror-style-TV-serial Fear Itself. The first installment is "Eater," from Reanimator and Dreams In the Witchouse director Steward Gordon. In it a rookie cop (Elizabeth Moss) is left to watch over a serial killer dubbed, naturally, the Eater (Stephen Hart). Prom Night’s serial killer Johanthon Schaech and screenwriter Richard Chizmar, who also co-wrote the Masters of Horror The Washingtonians, adapted the script from Peter Crowther's story.

And in remake news:

Thomas and Charles Guard are remaking the South Korean thriller A Tale of Two Sisters as the Uninvited for Dreamworks. It’s set for a January 2009 release. You can check out the original, about two sisters who return home from a mental institution to live with their father and cruel stepmother and be pestered by ghosts, on DVD. I was so-so on the original, I found it interesting but thought that the twist ending didn’t completely connect to the entire plot. Maybe it would have benefited from more fairy tale parallels than just the stepmother, like some dwarves or candy houses or something.

Platinum Dunes’ Friday the 13th remake starts shooting this week. The film stars Jared Padalecki (Supernatural) as one of the young, hot, and oh-so-decapitatable camp counselors, Derek Mears (who so far has only had bit parts as thugs and creepy skinheads) as Jason, and Nana Visitor (Star Trek: deep Space Nine) as Jason’s mother Pamela.

The Fury, based on a book of the same name by John Farris, is being readapted by Brian McGreevy and Lee Shipman, two guys who wrote a horror script that everyone loved by no one made, for Fox 2000. Brian DePalma’s original doesn’t really hold up for modern audiences, but I’m still not convinced that another go round can make telekinesis scary.

Hell Night, about, you guessed it, some college pledges gettin’ slashed up in a creepy house, will be remade with a PG-13 rating by Sony Screen Gems. I know that these films are getting the PG-13 because that rating brings in the teen girls, but seriously, how much blood is too much for a 14-year-old to handle? Kids will find a way to get into an R-movie and probably enjoy it just as much as long as the subject matter isn’t any more gruesome than your average slasher. I don’t expect these girls to like Hostel, but when I was fourteen the original Halloween was one of my favorite films. I do think that if these film studios want the teen girls to come to slashers on dates they should scale down the sex and nudity, not because the girls are embarrassed by these things, but because its hard for a teenage girl to sit next to her date and compare herself to the impossibly hot actress with implants who is now 70 feet tall and taking off her clothes. Not that this was ever a problem for me, because I am scathingly hot… and the only person I knew in high school who wanted to see horror films was my mom. Anyway, if you can find the original Hell Night on DVD, it is well worth checking it out.

Alexandre Aja, who also remade The Hills Have Eyes, is taking a stab at Joe Dante’s Piranha for Dimension Films, which will have a hard R rating and be in 3D, but they are aiming for a realistic 3D that will really pull you into the violence of the film. I don’t usually go in for remakes, but if Aja can stay true to his Jaws-like vision of college kids on spring break being eaten by giant scary prehistoric fish, I am down.

Speaking of 3D, it seems to be the newest trend in horror, which I vastly prefer to the remake-everything-from-1970-1980 current trend. 3D flicks currently in the works are: Final Destination 4, My Bloody Valentine, Dark Country (a noir thriller starring my second favorite on-screen child murderer Thomas Jane), and the thriller The Mortician (I hope there’s an embalming fluid spraying at you scene). I’m sure there will be more, so I’m going to start working on my 3D puns right now. In your face.