See Olga Kurylenko as a Fish Goddess in the Trailer for the 'Avatar Meets Aquaman' Chinese-American Epic Empires of the Deep - Dread Central
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See Olga Kurylenko as a Fish Goddess in the Trailer for the ‘Avatar Meets Aquaman’ Chinese-American Epic Empires of the Deep

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Move over, Dragon Wars! Step aside, Skyline! Take a hike, In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale! Empires of the Deep is coming to put the “epic” back in epic fail.

Bear witness to the trailer to see the hilarity three years of production and over $130 million have given life to.

I’ve been hearing off and on about this extremely troubled Chinese-American fantasy production Empires of the Deep for years, but it wasn’t until today that I really paid any attention to the hubbub. That’s because the trailer has found its way online, and my immediate thought after viewing it was that it was as if someone actually decided to spend a fortune producing an aquatic version of the fake science fiction epic Ben Affleck uses as a front to save Iranian hostages in Argo. Empires of the Deep exists. This is a real trailer for a real movie that we will supposedly be able to watch in real theaters sometime in the real future.

Twitch Film posted both the trailer and a detailed to-do about the sordid saga of Empires of the Deep’s deeply troubled production that began three years ago. The gist of it is that a very wealthy Chinese real estate tycoon wrote a script for an epic underwater sci-fi fantasy adventure flick and set about to co-finance the film. Monica Bellucci was announced to star in it. Catwoman director Pitof was hired to direct it. The late Empire Strikes Back director Irvin Kershner was brought aboard to produce it. All three very quickly bailed on the project. That was in 2009. Jonathan Laurence was then brought in to direct, and when he abruptly departed the project, he wasn’t quiet about his disdain for how bad the production was (you can find his statements burying the production online). Michael French was hired to complete the film, and ex-Bond girl Olga Kurylenko was hired to look sexy while made up to look like the lovechild of Mer-Man and Evil Lynn.

Empires of the Deep is set in a mythical undersea world where a handsome young human falls in love with a beautiful mermaid, and their forbidden romance sets about an underwater war.

To be completely honest, the trailer looks kind of a cool in a “what if Golan-Globus made a Flash Gordon-esque Aquaman movie” kind of way. Did I say Golan-Globus? Maybe I should have said Playstation seeing as how the computer effects look like cut scenes from an Aquaman video game. Some of the visuals are still rather striking despite the obvious cheapness of the animation. But knowing this movie that spent three years in production supposedly cost upwards of $130 million to make… The only way what I’m seeing in this trailer cost that much money is if either the people making it had no damn clue what the hell they were doing and blew tens of millions in the process (likely) or someone behind the scenes was embezzling money from the budget (also possible). No way in hell this movie is ever grossing enough money to recoup its budget.

I’ll leave the behind-the-scenes issues to the people working on the movie to sort out because all I really care about is seeing Empires of the Deep with my own eyes. This looks like it could be a whole lot of fun, mostly in a train wreck cinema sort of way.

See Olga Kurylenko as a Fish Goddess in the Trailer for the Avatar Meets Aquaman Chinese-American Epic Empires of the Deep

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Funko Giving Jurassic Park the Pop! Treatment as Only They Can

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It is no secret we’re BIG fans of Funko’s Pop! Vinyl line here at DC HQ, and now they’ve announced a new series that has made our hearts just about burst… read on for a look at Pop! Movies: Jurassic Park, heading our way in February. The regular figures are awesome on their own, but wait until you see the exclusives!

From the Funko Blog:
Jurassic Park fans, get excited! To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the iconic film’s appearance on the silver screen, Jurassic Park is coming to Pop!

This series of Pop! features paleontologist Dr. Grant, Jurassic Park CEO John Hammond, mathematician Dr. Malcolm, and embryo-smuggler Dennis Nedry. (Keep an eye out for Dr. Ellie Sattler in Pop! Rides coming soon.)

We couldn’t forget the Jurassic Park dinosaurs! Featured in this line are the great T. rex, Velociraptor, and Dilophsaurus. Look for the Dilophosaurus chase, a rarity of 1-in-6.

Be on the lookout for exclusives. At Target you can find a wounded Dr. Malcolm, and the Dennis Nedry and Dilophosaurus 2-pack is available only at Entertainment Earth.

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American Psycho Meets Creep – Strawberry Flavored Plastic Review

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Starring Aidan Bristow, Nicholas Urda, Andres Montejo

Directed by Colin Bemis


Recently I wrote up an article here on Dread Central which was basically an open letter to anyone who was listening called “I Miss Found Footage.” Well, it seems like someone WAS listening, as I was then sent the link to an all-new found footage film called Strawberry Flavored Plastic from first-time writer-director Colin Bemis.

The film follows the “still-at-large crimes of Noel, a repentant, classy and charming serial killer loose in the suburbs of New York.” Basically, you could think of the flick as American Psycho meets Mark Duplass and Partick Brice’s Creep. That, or you could think of it as “Man Bites Dog in color!” However you choose to label Colin Bemis’ psychological thriller, just make sure you check out the film once it hits in the future.

As I alluded to above, the film is basically a found footage version of American Psycho. But that said, the film sports a twist on the charming serial killer subgenre that I have yet to see play out in any of the above-mentioned classics. I’m not going to go into spoiler territory here, but I will say that the film introduces an element to the tale that spins it into much more of a character drama than a straight horror film. Not that there is anything wrong with that!

Truth be told, the film’s turn from serial killer flick into a layered character study might have been its kiss of death, but this slight genre switch is rendered a minor issue as the film’s central narcissistic antagonist is played by Aidan Bristow. Bristow is an actor you may not have heard of before this review, but you will hear his name more and more over the years to come, I promise. The guy gives (no pun intended) a killer performance as the film’s resident serial killer Noel Rose, and time after time surprised me with how chilling, charming, or downright vulnerable he chose to play any given scene.

Bristow’s performance is, in the end, the major element the film has going for it. But that said, as a fan of found footage, I was smiling ear to ear at first-time director Colin Bemis’ understanding of what makes a found footage suspense sequence work.

In Strawberry Flavored Plastic director Colin Bemis is confident and content to allow full emotional scenes to play out with the camera directed at nothing more than a character’s knees. Why is this so important? Because it keeps the reality of the film going. Too many found footage directors would focus on the actors’ faces during such emotional scenes – no matter how contrived the camera angle was. In this film, however, Bemis favors the reality that says, “If you were really in this emotional state and holding a camera, you would let it drop to your side.” I agree, and it is small touches like that which make the film feel authentic and thus – once the shite hits the fan – all the scarier.

On the dull side of the kitchen knife, the film does feel a bit long even given it’s short running time, and there doesn’t seem too much in the way of visceral horror to be found within. Again, graphic blood and gore aren’t a must in a fright flick, but a tad more of the old ultra-violence would have gone a long way in selling our main psychopath’s insanity and unpredictability. But all the same, the film does feature a rather shocking sequence where our main baddie performs a brutal home invasion/murder that puts this film firmly in the realm of horror. In fact, the particular POV home invasion scene I’m talking about holds about as much horror as you’ll ever wish to witness.

In the end, Colin Bemis’ Strawberry Flavored Plastic is a must-see for fans of found footage and serial killer studies such as American Pyscho, Creep, and Man Bites Dog. I recommend giving it a watch once it premieres. If only to be able to point to Aidan Bristow in the near future and tell all your friends that you watched (one of) his first movies.

Until then, check out the film’s trailer HERE, and follow the movie on Facebook.

  • Strawberry Flavored Plastic
3.5

Summary

Lead actor Aidan Bristow turns in a star-making performance in Colin Bemis’ Strawberry Flavored Plastic, a found footage film that plays out like Man Bites Dog in Color before introducing a new element to the charming-serial-killer subgenre and becoming more character study than a straight horror. Think American Psycho meets Creep.

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Who Goes There Podcast: Ep 148 – Inside (2017 Remake)

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We’ve all heard the old saying, “in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Well, I’m here to tell you that’s only partially true. It seems there is a third certainty that had been omitted from the original quote, “It is certain, if you enjoy a movie, at some point someone will remake that movie.” Now is the time when one of my favorite movies gets reimagined, “for an American audience”.

In the late 2000’s an explosion of “French extreme” horror films was released. Martyrs and or High Tension can often be found on any number of lists of the “most fucked up horror movies ever”. Unfortunately, the vastly superior Inside is often forgotten (as well as Frontier(s), but that’s a whole ‘nother rant). Now, ten years after it’s initial release, Inside has been Americanized. Don’t worry, we watched it so you don’t have to. You’re welcome.

Mommy says you’re not dead. Is that true? It’s the Who Goes There Podcast episode 148!

If you like what you hear, please consider joining our Patreon subscribers. For less than the cost of a beer, you get bonus content, exclusive merchandise, special giveaways, and you get to help us continue doing what we love.

The Who Goes There Podcast is available to subscribe to on iTunes right here. Not an iTunes user? You can listen on our Dread Central page. Can’t get enough? We also do that social media shit. You’ll find us on FacebookTwitterInstagramTwitch, and YouTube.

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