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Back to Babylon Fields

May 9, 2018 0

“Like the Bible says, ‘When there’s no room in Hell, the dead will walk the Earth.” “That’s from a movie.” “The hell it is!” “It’s not even, it’s from the poster.” That bit of dialogue from the pilot for Babylon Fields is a taste of what could’ve been had the proposed network series been green lit past the pilot stage. In 2007 – three years before The Walking Dead hit television – Michael and Gerald Cuesta and Michael Atkinson brought the zombie-themed series to CBS. Unlike The Walking Dead, Babylon Fields features a mass resurrection of the dead who aren’t mindless ghouls craving flesh, but rather confused revenants who want to return to their lives, with results that range from heartbreaking to horrifying to hunourous. It’s a premise that was explored previously in the obscure 2004 French film Les Revenants, which spawned two seasons of a 2014 T.V. series of the same name, plus an American adaptation of that series, called The Returned, which was cancelled after one season. Judging by the pilot, which you can watch online here, Babylon Fields, was less haunting, funnier and equally creepy. Aside from the aforementioned dialog between gun-happy rednecks confusing the Bible with the poster for Dawn of the Dead, the episode features a zombie who rekindles his sex life with his wife, a formerly abusive cop who realizes he was murdered by his family when he finds a gaping axe wound in the back of his head, and milky-eyed zombies clawing their way out of the ground en masse. The intriguing element of the premise, is, of course, how the living deal with the dead they’ve already said goodbye to and who no longer have a place in their world. Some treat then like movie zombies, attacking and shooting them; others struggle […]

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Unknown Untold: Dracula Fever

April 13, 2018 0

In our ongoing research into Untold Horror, we have uncovered a variety of projects which for better or worse went unrealized.  Many of them only exist in pitch material artwork if nothing else.   This ongoing series, entitled “Unknown Untold”, will shine a light on artwork for movies that never existed beyond what is seen on the page. If you have any further knowledge of any of the images posted, please let us know – Email mark@untoldhorror.ca with any details you may have about these projects! Phantom of the Paradise… The Rocky Horror Picture Show… Repo: The Genetic Opera… Cannibal! The Musical… … and that’s about it. Unlike other film genres that Horror so easily blends with, the (English-language) Musical isn’t high on that list.  And perhaps for good reason.   Horror is all about building tension – and it is pretty difficult to do that when you are breaking out into musical set-pieces every so often.  Perhaps the only way to achieve it correctly is to embrace the ridiculousness of it, as those who have successfully combined the genres, have indeed done. Studio decision makers are notorious for not getting behind anything that isn’t necessarily a straight-up horror film.  Event the legendary George A. Romero can count a (couple) of unproduced attempted Horror-Musicals, among his Untold Horrors.  Diamond Dead perhaps being the best know stillborn production within the strange subgenre. For this Unknown Untold, we’re looking at a trade ad that ran in the early 80’s, for a never-would-be horror musical. One of the most adapted characters in the history of cinema is Bram Stoker’s bloodsucker, Dracula.  The Count has been presented in literally just about every single possible interpretation up on the silver screen.   From animated, to romantic, from comedic, to heroic, and everything in between.  However, on screen, for better or worse, we […]

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Stan Lee’s Garbage Monster

March 25, 2018 0

Initially, the idea of a lauded French New Wave auteur teaming up with a Marvel comics personality seems absurd, but from its early days in the 1950s, the cinematic movement had an obsession with American pop-culture – including its directors celebrating Alfred Hitchcock films in Cahiers du Cinéma, Jean Paul Belmondo imitating Humphrey Bogart in Jean-Luc Goddard’s Breathless. Alain Resnais, who became famous for Hiroshima mon amour (1959), Last Year at Mareinbad (1961) and Je t’aime, je t’aime, loved Marvel comics so much that he wrote a fan letter to Stan Lee. They became pen pals, and eventually Resnais travelled to America to meet Lee and stay at his house on Long Island. The friendship between the two creators led to them collaborating on a pair of unrealized film projects. One of them, titled The Inmates, was described by Lee – in the 1970s, in the Marvel fan magazine FOOM – as a philosophical sci-fi meditation about humanity’s place in the universe. “It’s not a far-out science-fiction thing,” he noted. Lee wrote a treatment for the film but it never went past that stage. The other project, however, did become a screenplay. Titled The Monster Maker, it was a socially-conscious creature feature. In video interview recently posted at criterion.com, Lee delves into the project, recalling that the story revolved around a B-movie maker named Larry Morgan, who’s in love with a woman named Catherine Reynolds, but she has her sights set on a respected British auteur filmmaker named Peter Hastings; meanwhile Larry doesn’t notice that his writer, Patricia Hill, is in love with him.  “I started out by basing it on a fellow named Roger Corman, who had done many inexpensive movies that did very well st the box office,” says Lee. “They weren’t intellectual movies; they were low budget, […]

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Unknown Untold: L.A.B.C

March 9, 2018 0

In our ongoing research into Untold Horror, we have uncovered a variety of projects which for better or worse went unrealized.  Many of them only exist in pitch material artwork if nothing else.   This ongoing series, entitled “Unknown Untold”, will shine a light on artwork for movies that never existed beyond what is seen on the page. If you have any further knowledge of any of the images posted, please let us know – Email mark@untoldhorror.ca with any details you may have about these projects! “Whacked out Mutants on a Rampage Without Credit Cards” –  Tagline for “L.A.B.C” … Doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, does it? It’s been a while, but today we’re back with another addition to our “Unknown Untold” series.  Taking a look back at some of the amazing and evocative artwork created for trade magazines, for films that were never realized. Today, we’re looking at what would have been a Charles Band produced film under the “Beyond Infinity” and “Titan Productions” banners.  Credits for both companies  line-up with other Empire-Era Band films, such as Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama,  Breeders, Robot Holocaust, and  Robot Holocaust, during the mid-late 1980s. And looking at this poster – it certainly fits the look and feel of all those films.    Implications of over-the-top, insane violence and gruesome fun, with monsters and mutants.    Next to Cannon Films, the most fun delving into some of these old trade magazines is finding Sales art for Band productions – is seeing some of the wild artwork for movies that never were…. And some of the unrelated sales art for films that were. I mean, a side note.. But take a look at this Variety advertisement for Ghoulies.   So much… and maybe 1% (The titular Ghoulies and house, I guess?) of it is actually related to the […]

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UNTOLD HORROR VISITS GUILLERMO DEL TORO: AT HOME WITH MONSTERS

October 31, 2017 0

Happy Halloween from all of us at Untold Horror! We recently had the opportunity to check out GUILLERMO DEL TORO: AT HOME WITH MONSTERS, currently on at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), and speak with curator of the exhibit Jim Shedden.  As you’ll see in our clip, there’s an astounding amount of eye candy, including original artwork from THE SHAPE OF WATER, which is del Toro finally getting to make a version of CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON, and one of the gnarly, mutated penguins created for his aborted H.P. Lovecraft adaptation, AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS. More on that last item later, but for now, a peek at GUILLERMO DEL TORO: AT HOME WITH MONSTERS, which is on display at the AGO until January 8, 2018.

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