Exclusive: Breck Eisner on The Brood, Escape from New York, and Blood of the Innocent - Dread Central
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Exclusive: Breck Eisner on The Brood, Escape from New York, and Blood of the Innocent

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Exclusive: Breck Eisner on The Brood, Escape from New York, and Blood of the InnocentJust a little while ago we had the chance to sit down with director Breck Eisner to discuss next week’s DVD and Blu-ray release of The Crazies, and during all our crazy talk we also waxed on about some of his upcoming projects (i.e., The Brood, Blood of the Innocent, and of course his upcoming Escape from New York remake!)

Kicking things off, Breck offered his final word on the proposed remake of David Cronenberg’s The Brood and why he’s not doing it —

“It was only rumored that I was doing that film. Honestly? I just couldn’t,” says Eisner. “I was approached to do it, and the studios really wanted me to tackle it, but I just had to pass on it. The reason I passed is that I like that movie far too much. The Brood is just so daring and so risky and so flawed and amazing, ridiculous and incredible, that I’m just too much of a fan of that movie and its execution to remake it. It’s perfect the way that it is, and I love it too much to ever touch it. I’m not that crazy.”

However, one project Eisner is really excited to get started on is a remake of the John Carpenter classic Escape from New York.

“I had to go back and watch the original again to decide if I wanted to do it,” Eisner tells us. “I hadn’t seen it in probably ten years. As I kid I was absolutely obsessed with that movie. I saw it probably hundreds of times. Snake Plissken is the coolest character of all time, or so I thought. It’s a movie that still holds up to this day for the type of movie that it was. When you look at Escape from New York today, the whole social commentary of the movie is completely irrelevant now. It couldn’t be farther from the reality of the world that we live in today. It all clearly suffered from a really small budget, which is why we saw the President’s plane crash on what looked like an Atari 2600 graphic instead of seeing the event itself. Combine those two things with the fact that we now have an audience that doesn’t know that particular movie so well anymore, and that’s what gave me the confidence that this could be a fun remake. Just like my remake of The Crazies, it will be very similar and different as well.

In terms of a rating …

“We are pushing for an R rating right now, but we’ll see. You never know when you’re talking about an expensive studio movie, but I really think the end result will be R-rated.

Just to lay aside some fears that you may have, Breck assured us that one thing that will not change is the character of Snake Plissken.

“He’s going to be the badass, eyepatch-wearing antihero that we all love,” insists Eisner. “He has to be! He’s gonna be! I actually think contractually, and this is hilarious, in Carpenter’s contract there are ten points which Snake must be, and one of them is a badass. It literally states that in the contract, which makes this the funniest and coolest contract I think ever written. My Snake WILL NOT be a different kind of character. What you’re getting with Escape from New York is of course the title, the character, and the world. Those things must all be there, and they MUST all be the same way.”

And finally, Breck gave us the scoop on what the deal is with the Dracula vs. Jack the Ripper flick Blood of the Innocent.

“Directing that one will be fun. It’s a pitch that [writer] Bill Marsilii and I came up with based on the Mark Wheatley comic book from the Eighties, which I had never even heard of before. It’s kind of an obscure four-part comic that put together Dracula and Jack the Ripper in the same space. As soon as I heard that idea, I thought it would be a genius idea for a movie. In it Jack the Ripper is actually a hero who’s trying to stop a vampire invasion in England. I’m totally obsessed with getting this made at the moment. Hopefully we’ll have a script by the end of the summer for it.

There you have it, folks. The official lowdown on several projects we’ve been talking about for quite some time now. What are your thoughts? There’s a comments section below. USE IT!

Uncle Creepy

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Children of the Fall Review – This Israeli Slasher Gets Political

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Starring Noa Maiman, Aki Avni, Yafit Shalev, Iftach Ophir, Michael Ironside

Directed by Eitan Gafny

Reviewed out of Utopia 2017


Slashers are a subgenre of horror that are often looked down upon. After all, what can a movie about a killer slaughtering multiple people have to say about, well…anything. Those of us in the community know full well that this is nonsense and that any kind of horror movie can be a jabbing (no pun intended) commentary on society, culture, politics, art, etc… And that’s precisely what Eitan Gafny aims to do with Children of the Fall, one of the few Israeli slashers ever created.

Set on the eve of the Yom Kippur war, the film follows Rachel (Maiman), a young American woman who comes to Israel to join a kibbutz after suffering some serious personal tragedies. Her goal to make aliyah (the return of Jews to Israel) is however hampered by some rather unpleasant encounters with local IDF soldiers and members of the kibbutz. Pushing through, she makes friends with others in the commune and her Zionistic views are only strengthened, although they do not go untested. Once Yom Kippur, one of the holiest holidays in Jewish culture, begins, a killer begins picking off the kibbutz workers one by one in violent and gruesome ways.

Let’s start with what Children of the Fall gets right, okay? As slashers go, it’s actually quite beautiful. There are wonderfully expansive shots that make use of the size and diversity of the kibbutz. The film opens with a beautiful shot of a cow stable, barn, water towers, and miscellaneous outbuildings, all set against a dark and stormy night. The lighting of this scene, and throughout the film, is also very good. I found myself darting my eyes across the screen multiple times throughout the film thinking I’d seen something lurking in the shadows.

The kills, while unoriginal, are very satisfying. Each death is meaty, bloody, and doesn’t feel rushed. In fact, the camera has no problems lingering during each kill, allowing us to appreciate the practical FX and copious amounts of blood used. And if you believe that a slasher needs to have nudity, you won’t be disappointed.

The acting is middle of the road. Maiman is serviceable as Rachel but the real star of the film is Yafit Shalev as “Yaron”. His range of emotion is fantastic, from warm and welcoming to Rachel when she arrives to emoting grief and pain during his Yom Kippur announcement where we learn that he was a child in a concentration camp. The rest of the cast are perfectly acceptable as fodder for the killer.

So where does Children of the Fall stray? Let’s start with the most obvious part: the runtime. Clocking in at nearly two hours, that’s about 30 minutes too much. The film could easily have gone through some hefty editing without affecting the final product. Instead, we have a movie that feels elongated when unnecessary.

Additionally, the societal and political commentary is very in-your-face but the film can’t seem to make up its mind as to what it’s trying to get across. Natalia, a Belarussian kibbutz worker, raises the concept of Israeli racism, misogyny, and xenophobia, her hostility unabashedly pouring out in the midst of IDF soldiers, locals, other kibbutz members, and more. Is there validity to what she’s saying? Undoubtedly. But there is also validity to Rachel’s retorts, which include calling this woman out on her own vitriolic views. This back-and-forth mentality frustratingly prevails throughout the film, as though Gafny was unwilling to just commit.

The dialogue is also quite painful at times, although I attribute this to difficulties with translating from Hebrew to English. Even the best English speakers in Israel don’t get everything perfect and the little quirks here and there, while charming, are quite detracting. Also, why is this movie trying to tell me that Robert Smith of The Cure is a character here? While amusing, it makes absolutely no sense nor does it fit in Smith’s own timeline.

Had this film gone through a couple rounds of editing, I feel like we’d have gotten something really great. Eitan Gafny is definitely someone that we need to be watching very closely.

  • Children of the Fall
2.5

Summary

While Children of the Fall has a lot going for it, it has just as much working against it. Overly long, you’ll get a really great slasher that is bogged down by uneven social and political commentary.

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Netflix to Tell The Frankenstein Chronicles in the States

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There’s still a big part of me that wonders why Universal – or anyone for that matter – has not been able to reboot classics like The Mummy, Dracula, and Frankenstein. Maybe they’re trying too hard? Maybe they keep putting the wrong people at the helm?

Look at del Toro’s The Shape of Water… It’s pretty much a new version of The Creature of the Black Lagoon with a heavier emphasis on the relationship between monster and chosen mate. Even though there are a couple of hokey parts, it really works and is excellent. So maybe we need to look elsewhere throughout the world to meet with success. Case in point: “The Frankenstein Chronicles.”

Variety is reporting that the hit six-episode UK series starring Sean Bean will be coming Stateside and more via the ever-growing streaming service Netflix.

This deal opens the way for Netflix to make further seasons should it resonate with its U.S. and global subscribers.

“The Frankenstein Chronicles” is a re-imagining of Mary Shelley’s classic novel. Set in 1830s London, Bean (“Game of Thrones”) plays John Marlott, a war veteran and river policeman. Season 1 of the serialized show sees him investigating the case of a corpse made up of body parts from different children and finding the matter involves senior establishment figures and demonic forces.

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Guardians of the Galaxy’s James Gunn Returning to the Horror Genre

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Know what’s funny? We horror fans have known how good James Gunn was all along. It just took the rest of the world time to catch up! Now that Gunn has made his big Hollywood bones with his two Guardians of the Galaxy flicks, he’s returning to the genre to produce a new horror flick! Oh, happy day!

Word came across our desks that Gunn has signed on to produce an untitled horror feature with The H Collective. It was written by James’ brother Brian and cousin Mark Gunn. James will produce the project in between writing the highly anticipated feature Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3 and starting production. Gunn’s longtime collaborator David Yarovesky will direct.

The H Collective will fully finance the project and produce alongside Gunn and his shingle, Troll Court Entertainment. Brian and Mark Gunn, Dan Clifton, and The H Collective’s Nic Crawley will executive produce.

The project is expected to go into production in the spring of 2018 and brings Gunn back to his horror roots. The filmmaker, whose credits included mostly fan-favorite horror gems like Slither prior to writing and directing Guardians of the Galaxy, is responsible for turning the Marvel property into one of the most memorable franchises in the Marvel universe.

More as we get it!

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