UNTOLD HORROR COMES TO HOLLYWOOD WITH DANTE AND LANDIS!

November 26, 2018 UntoldHorror 0

  We’re very excited to drop this press release on ya… This coming Friday, November 30, Untold Horror is presenting a rare 3-D screening of Joe Dante’s 2009 young adult horror classic The Hole at Hollywood’s legendary TCL Chinese Theatre. It will mark the first of a series of planned events connected to Untold Horror, a multi-media brand dedicated to shining the spotlight on unmade, lost and under-the-radar films. The screening will include a special Q&A session with Dante (The Howling, Gremlins), hosted by his long-time friend John Landis (An American Werewolf in London, Blues Brothers). Although the movie – and Dante’s work in general – is considered a major influence on popular films and television shows such as Super 8, It and Stranger Things, this quirky slice of coming-of-age terror never received a proper theatrical premiere in the United States and has rarely screened in 3-D. A decade later, Untold Horror will expose it to a whole new audience with this special screening. Created by former editor-in-chief of Rue Morgue magazine Dave Alexander and filmmaker Mark Pollesel (along with co-producers Bob Barrett and Kevin Burke), Untold Horror is anchored by the currently in-development documentary series produced in partnership with legendary television producer Mark Wolper (Salem’s Lot, Bates Motel) and filmmakers Tim Sullivan (Detroit Rock City, 2001 Maniacs), Kevin Nicklaus (Bates Motel), Garo Setian (Automation) and Allen Copeland (Night Songs). The Hole stars Chris Massoglia (The Vampire’s Assistant), Haley Bennett (Equalizer, Girl on a Train), Nathan Gamble (The Mist, The Dark Knight), Teri Polo (Meet the Fockers) and Academy Award nominee Bruce Dern (The Hateful Eight, The Great Gatsby). Tickets will be available via Fandango and the TCL Chinese Theater’s website . About Joe Dante Joe Dante is a master of tongue-in-cheek terror, with classics such as Gremlins, The ‘Burbs, The Howling, Twilight Zone: The Movie and the original Piranha. Having also helmed Explorers, […]

A TRIP TO GEORGE A. ROMERO’S AMUSEMENT PARK

November 12, 2018 UntoldHorror 0

  “This is truly one of those magical (cursed?) objects that I cannot believe has fallen through the cinematic cracks .” That’s how bestselling author Daniel Kraus describes – on his Twitter feed – seeing the unreleased GEORGE A. ROMERO film THE AMUSEMENT PARK, for which we’ve reposted some of the stills he took. Kraus, who co-wrote with Guillermo del Toro the Trollhunters and The Shape of Water novelizations, is currently completing the unfinished Romero novel The Living Dead (planned for a fall 2019 release). Part of his immersion into Romero’s world was to watch the unreleased 1973 film (shot in between Season of the Witch and The Crazies), which is not a horror movie but a meditation on ageism, set in an amusement park, that’s so scathing, it was shelved. A synopsis of it, for a screening at the Spectacle Theater in Brooklyn (no date listed yet, just the description of the film), reads: “An elderly gentlemen sets out for what he thinks will be a normal day at an amusement park and is soon embroiled in a waking nightmare the likes of which you’ve never seen! … Witness a crackup on the bumper cars where the police and insurance agents show up! See swindlers and hucksters take advantage of old people left and right! Witness a coffin plunked right in front of innocent attendees!” As Kraus describes it, “It’s hellish. In Romero’s long career of criticizing American institutions, never was he so merciless.” The film, which also features a cameo from its creator, sounds absolutely fascinating, and the good news is there’s a plan in place to restore and release it. And you can help by donating to the GARF: the George A. Romero Foundation (georgearomerofoundation.org). Founded by George’s wife, Suzanne Desrocher-Romero (also the President), and overseen by […]

Back to Babylon Fields

May 9, 2018 UntoldHorror 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 […]

Stan Lee’s Garbage Monster

March 25, 2018 UntoldHorror 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, […]

UNTOLD HORROR VISITS GUILLERMO DEL TORO: AT HOME WITH MONSTERS

October 31, 2017 UntoldHorror 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.

Unknown Untold:  Wes Craven’s The Fallen

May 19, 2017 UntoldHorror 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! One of my personal favourite aspects of digging into the world of Untold Horror, is taking a look at the many “what ifs” that come up when dealing with films that fell into the depths of Development Hell. What would have happened if so and so directed a certain project at some point, meaning a non-existent film would now exist.  It would also likely mean an entirely different chain of events would follow…  The mind races with possibilities.  This is one such project. From the pages of the May 12, 1982 issue of Variety comes today’s “Unknown Untold”. “An Unusual Drama of one man’s saga into primitive terror, love and all-out war with the fallen forces of evil for a treasure that will destroy all.”  – So reads the tagline for this mysterious film. Beyond this, we also have comparisons to Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Exorcist, The Omen, and, Close Encounters of the Third Kind.  With promises of “Relentless action”, “Suspenseful Terror” and “Astonishing Special Effects”, one can only imagine the type of spectacle scripted. Finally, and in larger font than anything else, the project was promised to be “Set in Three Continents” and a “Star-Studded Cast”. This clearly had the vision of being a large picture and production.  Much larger than anything that […]

PLANET CORN AND OTHER KERNELS ABOUT THE ORIGINAL TWIN PEAKS SEASON 3

May 17, 2017 UntoldHorror 0

(Presenting a special guest post by Andy Burns of Biff Bam Pop!) This Sunday, May 21st brings us the long-awaited return of Twin Peaks. The surreal show, set in the Pacific Northwest, was co-created by Mark Frost and David Lynch and, for brief period in the early 1990s, was the biggest television show in North America. An audience of 34 million watched the hypnotic two-hour ABC premiere, which felt more like a movie than a television show. There, we were introduced to Agent Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan), sent to the town of Twin Peaks to investigate the murder of the homecoming queen, sixteen-year-old Laura Palmer (Sheryl Lee). Over the course of two seasons, Twin Peaks would meld auteur cinema with soap opera storytelling; myths and conspiracy theories; aliens and the supernatural; coffee and cherry pie. However, the series would quickly flame out thanks to network interference, and both Lynch and Frost’s other interests. When the final episode aired in the spring of 1991, fans were left with multiple cliffhangers, most notably Agent Cooper’s body now in possession of the malevolent spirit, BOB (Frank Silva). While David Lynch would release the film Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me one year later, it served as a prequel rather than sequel, leaving so many questions unanswered. Season two wasn’t meant to be the end of Twin Peaks, though. In fact, David Lynch appeared on Late Night with David Letterman in an appeal to fans to write in to ABC to give it a third season order. It didn’t work, but what if it had? In an interview back in July 2007, with the Twin Peaks Archive, artist Matt Haley revealed he and Twin Peaks producer and Fire Walk With Me co-writer Robert Engels were working on a graphic novel that would have incorporated various ideas […]

If Lynch Met Lightsabres

May 4, 2017 UntoldHorror 0

As bizarre as it seems, in the ’80s, after he’d made the classics Eraserhead and The Elephant Man, but before he directed Dune, David Lynch was approached by George Lucas about directing Return of the Jedi. Now, he wasn’t the only director known for strange, dark film to be approached about it. David Cronenberg was also queried about making a movie with ewoks, and also turned it down. As he told The Hollywood Reporter, “I got a phone call once asking if I was interested in directing one of the Star Wars sequels. And instead of saying ‘Oh my God, yes!’ I said, ‘Well, you know, I don’t really do other people’s material.’ Click. I don’t know how far it would have gone, but it ended there.” Lynch didn’t get much further with the project, but he did take a meeting with Lucas. He tells the following story (see the whole thing in this YouTube video) about the experience:   He showed me these things called wookies, and now, y’know, this headache is getting stronger. And he showed me many animals and different things. Then he took me for a ride in his Ferrari for lunch. And George is kind of short, so his seat was way back and he was almost lying down in the car, and we were flying through this little town up in northern California. We went to a restaurant – and not that I don’t like salad, but all they had was salad. Then I got, like, almost a migraine headache and I could hardly wait to get home. And before I even got home I kind of crawled into a phone booth and phoned my agent and said, “There is no way – no way! – I can do this.” Of course, that doesn’t […]

Dracula, Chaney Style

April 28, 2017 UntoldHorror 0

As the more hardcore fans of the original Universal monster movies know, Bela Lugosi wasn’t the studio’s first choice to play the title role in 1931’s Dracula, despite starring in the stage play version of the Bram Stoker novel that the film was based upon. Studio head Carl Laemmle reluctantly gave his son, Carl Laemmle Jr., permission to make Dracula only if he could secure Lon Chaney for a dual role as Dracula and the creature’s nemesis, Professor Van Helsing. Chaney was big star at the time, having starred in Universal’s The Phantom of the Opera in 1925, but was under contract to rival studio MGM, where he had starred as a pointy-toothed ghoul in the Dracula-like London After Midnight in 1927 — now the most famous of all lost horror films. Chaney and director Tod Browning (Freaks, and then of course Dracula) had apparently discussed making a version of the film as early as 1922, and Laemmle Jr. was eager to get him. There was a script written by Pulitzer-prize-winning author Louis Bromfield that followed Stoker’s books more closely. Since it was’t based on a stage play, it’s more dynamic, with more locations, but also more sensual and violent. Alas, Chaney died of throat cancer on August 26, 1930, and the film was re-tooled for a new star. The earlier version of the script, along with the story behind it, the script for the 1922 Nosferatu, and a reprinted magazine feature in which Chaney talks about his life, was released as a book titled Lon Chaney’s Dracula. Part of series by Philip J. Riley featuring scripts of unmade genre movies, including Universal’s The Wolf Man Vs. Dracula, it was released by Bear Manor Media in 2010. It’s a fascinating read, especially because it feels tailor-made for Chaney, something that’s most evident in its description of The […]

Quill & Quire Interviews George A. Romero About Humongo Bongo

March 24, 2017 UntoldHorror 0

Literary website Quill & Quire has a great interview up with George A. Romero about Humongo Bongo, by Alison Lang. A snippet of Q&A: Legendary horror director George A. Romero on his first (and only) kids book   How did you end up illustrating this children’s book? George A. Romero: They said, “Well, go ahead and illustrate,” and I said, “Okay, but it won’t be good!” And it turned out to be good enough. This is a children’s book, but it seems to also have a very serious message. GR:  I meant it to be a parable about over-population, greed, and all of the terrible values that we humans have. That’s all it was meant to illustrate. Did you think back to any books you read as a kid while you wrote the story? GR: As a youth, the first actual novel that I ever read was Something of Value. It’s about the Mau Mau Uprising in Africa. That’s the topic, but what it’s about is basically families that are torn apart. It’s almost an anti-apartheid thing.   READ THE REST…

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